I actually laughed when I read this headline; Iran ‘very optimistic’ over nuclear expert visit…

…Iran said it was very optimistic over a visit by UN nuclear inspectors aimed at shedding light on suspected military aspects of Tehran’s atomic work, but suggested Tehran would curb cooperation if the experts became a “tool” for outside powers.

An International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) team began a three-day visit to try to advance efforts to resolve a row about nuclear work which Iran says is for making electricity, but the West suspects is aimed at seeking a nuclear weapon.

Tensions with the West rose this month when Washington and the EU imposed the toughest sanctions yet in a drive to force Tehran to provide more information on its nuclear programme. The measures take direct aim at the ability of OPEC’s second biggest oil exporter to sell its crude.

The Mehr news agency quoted foreign minister Ali Akbar Salehi: “We are very optimistic about the outcome of the IAEA delegation’s visit to Iran . . . Their questions will be answered during this visit.”

“We have nothing to hide and Iran has no clandestine (nuclear) activities.”

Parliament speaker Ali Larijani warned the IAEA team to carry out a “logical, professional and technical” job or suffer the consequences. “This visit is a test for the IAEA. The route for further cooperation will be open if the team carries out its duties professionally.

“Otherwise, if the IAEA turns into a tool (for major powers to pressure Iran), then Iran will have no choice but to consider a new framework in its ties with the agency.”

As numerous ex-Intel vets have been saying all along, and wikileaks confimed, is the fact that the IAEA deck has been stacked against Iran, ever since El Baradei ‘retired’…! I do hope the Iranians will provide extra security to the brave souls that meet with the IAEA ‘inspectors’…! As I’ve mentioned before all of the assassinated and/or, disappeared Iranian Scientists had met with IAEA personnel previously…!

Now, Panetta sat down with ’60 Minutes’ and regurgitated all the old tropes…

…”The United States — and the president’s made this clear — does not want Iran to develop a nuclear weapon,” Defense Secretary Leon Panetta told the CBS program “60 Minutes.”

“That’s a red line for us. And it’s a red line obviously for the Israelis so we share a common goal here.”

Panetta maintained that US officials “will take whatever steps are necessary to stop it” if Washington receives intelligence that Iran is proceeding with developing a nuclear weapon.

Asked if that meant military action, he said: “There are no options that are off the table.”

Panetta told the interviewer that “the consensus is that, if they (Iran) decided to do it, it would probably take them about a year to be able to produce a bomb and then possibly another one to two years in order to put it on a deliverable vehicle of some sort in order to deliver that weapon.”

So again… Wtf, over…? What’s the rush to bomb, bomb, bomb Iran…? Or better yet the rush to build a better bomb for Iran…?

…The Pentagon has decided that its largest conventional bomb isn’t capable of destroying Iran’s underground nuclear enrichment facilities and has ordered efforts to make it more powerful.

The 30,000-pound “bunker-buster” bomb, known as the Massive Ordnance Penetrator, was designed to penetrate deeply buried targets, like some of Iran’s nuclear facilities. But tests of the bomb led the Pentagon to believe it may not fully destroy the facilities, and so this month they secretly submitted a request to Congress additional for funding to build a bigger, more destructive bomb.

Already more than $330 million has been spent to develop about 20 of the bombs, which are built by Boeing Co. The Pentagon is now seeking about $82 million more to enhance it…

I know we could’ve spent the $82 million on more ‘constructive’ uses, not destructive…!

I should also add that that Iranian ‘timeline’ for a potential Nuke, and the missile to deliver it, that Panetta is peddling, is exactly the same timeline the US/EU/Israel has been pimping since 1984…!

Speaking of the race for Tehran, Israel experienced a little setback…!

Now, it’s interesting to see what overtures Iran is making… Iran Calls on Syria to Hold Free Elections… And then to read about other interesting developments…

Turkey may provide Hamas with $300 million in annual aid

Hamas has been facing financial difficulties due to late and reduced payments from Iran; Meshal deciding between Qatar and Jordan for new Hamas headquarters, after leaving Syria.

Do you suppose Erdogan likes Bibi very much…?

Bank on it, folks… $150 a barrel: Iran warning

Can you afford it…?

*gah*