Paul Joseph Watson
Prison Planet 
Friday, July 11, 2008
Israeli war minister Ehud Barak will visit Washington next week to meet with top U.S. government officials and President Bush in what some are suggesting will be the final planning session in anticipation of a military strike on Iran.
Barak will hold talks for three days with Defense Secretary Robert Gates, Vice President Dick Cheney, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon – as well as U.S. President George Bush.
Barak’s visit will also precede a tour by Israeli military chief of staff Lieutenant-General Gabi Ashkenazi, who is set to meet with Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Michael Mullen.
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The trip follows Mossad chief Meir Dagan’s visit to Washington during which he met top intelligence officials.
“The visits of the Israeli officials came as an intense debate continued to rage inside the US administration between those who favored military action, led by Cheney, and those opposed, led by Gates,” according to a Jerusalem Post report .
The talks arrive on the back of two missile tests on behalf of Iran, with a third rumored to have also just taken place.
Far from showcasing Iran’s deadly capability, it appeared as if one of the tests actually went wrong.
Defense analyst Mark Fitzpatrick of the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), studied photographs of the missile launches and came to the conclusion  that they had been doctored.
“It very much does appear that Iran doctored the photo to cover up what apparently was a misfiring of one of the missiles,” said Fitzpatrick.
Responding to the tests, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said today  that the limited range of Iranian missile technology, which is restricted to within 2,000 kilometers, proves there is no justification for a US missile defense shield to be installed in Europe.
“The tests in Iran confirm that Iran has missiles with a range of up to 2,000 kilometers and confirm… that a missile defence shield with these parameters is not needed to monitor or react to such threats,” he said.
Rhetoric about the Iranian threat, as well as a propaganda assault on behalf of the corporate media, has reached a crescendo over the last two weeks, but forecasts of military action have been plentiful for at least three years though have remained unfulfilled.