Published reports in Washington and London indicate that the US military is planning an air attack on Iran. The US Air Force has set up a strategic planning group, called Project Checkmate, consisting of top air force officers and cyberspace experts which is working, among other things, to perfect plan for the strike against Iran. The task force is headed by USAF Brig. Gen. Stutz Stutzriem (The Sunday Times, 23 September).
In a related development, the US weekly magazine Newsweek today quoted an aid to Vice President Dick Cheney as saying that the Vice President has been considering the idea of pushing Israel for a limited missile attack on Iranian nuclear sites “in order to provoke Tehran into lashing out.”
An Iranian military response to the Israeli attack would then give the US the pretext to launch a strike on Iran.
In Iran, the commander of Islamic Revolution Guards Corp. (IRGC) said Iran would “pull the trigger” if attacked. During a military parade in Tehran on Saturday, the IRGC showed its medium-range ballistic missiles capable of hitting Israeli targets and US military installations in the region.
"You have seen the missiles. Just pull the trigger and shoot," IRGC Maj. Gen. Mohammad Ali Jafari said after the parade.