The NYT almost had it though: "to forestall any Iranian escalation of its confrontation with the West if new sanctions are imposed." Just replace that phrase with 'to forestall any Iranian reactions to a US or Israeli attack'!
The US/UK/Israeli axis of evil has been winding up the threats in recents weeks and months, but the last few days have seen a massive propaganda effort, including by Blair at the Chilcott whitewash.
We have what The Hill calls a 'bipartisan group of senators' but which I call a group of bloodsucking crooks demanding "crippling sanctions" against Iran.
Another consummate liar and crook, Hillary Clinton has started threatening China over Iran, which is really quite the most hilarious a piece of chutzpah I think I've ever come across. Perhaps someone ought to remind her that China virtually owns the US, and could seriously hurt it, as the Chinese reaction to US arms sales to Taiwan showed just recently. Even more amusing when we consider how she went pleading to Chinese just last February "to continue buying US Treasury bonds"
Back to Iran; the latest threats from the best Congress money can buy are now to Iran's fuel suppliers. Note how the Washington
Apart from the "deployment of new defenses against possible Iranian missile attacks in the Persian Gulf," the US is also "placing special ships off the Iranian coast...Aegis cruisers on patrol in the Persian Gulf at all times. Those cruisers are equipped with advanced radar and antimissile systems designed to intercept medium-range missiles.". Note that this buildup is merely "defensive" by nature! Why do they need defences? Does anyone who is NOT a raving lunatic really think that Iran will start a war of aggression on the rest of the Gulf states? Or is it much more likely that if Iran was attacked by Israel or the US (the same thing), it would retaliate targeting US military installations in the Gulf states mentioned?
And note the capabilities of the Aegis Cruisers: "Built to be employed in support of Carrier Battle Groups, Amphibious Assault Groups, as well as interdiction and escort missions, their mission is two-fold. First, to prevent the employment of weapons against friendly forces by destroying enemy missiles, aircraft, submarines and surface ships. Second, to conduct offensive actions against the enemy through the employment of long range anti-ship and land attack missiles, and through naval gunfire support."
Lets have a look at those installations:
As the NYT reported in 2005 "the military has more than $1.2 billion in construction under way or on the drawing board to upgrade 16 air bases throughout the Middle East and Southwest Asia."
Gen. David Petraeus, head of the U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM), stated: “[T]he countries of the Arabian Peninsula are key partners … CENTCOM ground, air, maritime, and special operations forces participate in numerous operations and training events, bilateral and multilateral, with our partners from the Peninsula. We help develop indigenous capabilities for counter terrorism; border, maritime, and critical infrastructure security; and deterring Iranian aggression. As a part of all this, our FMS [foreign military sales] and FMF [foreign military financing] programs are helping to improve the capabilities and interoperability of our partners’ forces. We are also working toward an integrated air and missile defense network for the Gulf. All of these cooperative efforts are facilitated by the critical base and port facilities that Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, the UAE [United Arab Emirates], and others provide for U.S. forces.”
For a more detailed look Nick Turse has an excellent piece here:"Out of Iraq, Into the Gulf".
Even France is at it.
If Iran were attacked by either the US or Israel, Iran would be within its rights to retaliate. And retaliating against US bases would be competely logical and legitimate.