0 comments Friday, April 28, 2006

Sorry about the past week and no updates. I've been busy, and this week will follow with no updates and then I'll be back to normal daily feed.
Thank you for visiting.

Watchdog says Iran defies UN

Iran has defied a UN deadline to halt uranium enrichment, the UN nuclear agency said in a report yesterday that led to calls for tough Security Council action over Tehran's atomic program. US President George W Bush said Iran's nuclear ambitions were "dangerous" but that Washington, which fears Tehran is trying to develop atomic weapons, wanted to resolve the dispute "diplomatically and peacefully". Iran reacted sharply, hardline President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad insisting it was being denied its right to atomic energy and issuing a veiled threat to cut off ties with the watchdog International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). He said Iran did "not give a damn" about demands to freeze sensitive nuclear work, adding that the world would enjoy peace if it were not for US bullying. IAEA chief Mohamed ElBaradei's report came as a 30-day UN Security Council deadline expired for Tehran to comply with UN demands to halt enrichment, which makes the fuel for civilian nuclear reactors but what can also be the explosive core of atom bombs. The report said the IAEA had taken samples on April 13 at Iran's enrichment facility in Natanz "which tend to confirm as of that date the enrichment level (of 3.6 percent) declared by Iran."
More at TMCnet

PFLP's Jibril warns US, Israel against attacking Syria, Iran

"We will not allow any aggression against Syria or the Islamic Republic of Iran," leader of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command Ahmed Jibril told a rally of about 1,000 supporters in a Palestinian refugee camp in the Syrian capital.

"I say it frankly, we will not only be on their side, we will be in the forefront," said Jibril.
Jibril was among the Palestinian faction leaders who met President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad when the Iranian leader visited Damascus in January.

"You must understand that the pressures on Syria and Islamic Iran are primarily because of their stand on the Palestinian cause," Jibril told the rally.

"If the United States of America and this Zionist entity (Israel) believe that they can change the regimes in Syria and Iran, then we tell them: 'Think whatever you wish, but the Palestinians inside and outside (the territories) will remain on the side of Syria and Iran'," Jibril said.

Earlier this month, after a dramatic highway pursuit, Israeli security forces apprehended a PFLP member en route to carry out a suicide bombing. The group also supplied the bomb used in an April 2 suicide bombing that killed four Israelis near Kedumim in the West Bank.

In October, one of Jibril's aides reported that he was planning to move to the Gaza Strip.
More at the Jerusalem Post

Iran N-strike must be ruled out: Kasuri

Foreign Minister Khurshid Mehmood Kasuri said on Friday nuclear strike against Iran should never be considered and the international community should provide it an opportunity for face saving.

He was speaking at the Royal United Services Institute for Defence and Security Studies (RUSI) on the subject of Pakistan's role in promoting peace and stability here today. He reiterated his call for efforts to seek a peaceful solution of the Iranian crisis.

Referring to reports on the possibility of a nuclear attack to eliminate Tehran's nuclear capability, he said. "I think that should not ever be contemplated."

Mr Kasuri cast doubts if a nuclear strike on Iran would be able to achieve the conceived objectives, adding , Iran might have already ⌠dispersed what it had. Secondly he said an attack on Iran would be considered an attack on yet another Muslim country.

This will destabilize large parts of the Muslim world, he said, adding there were Shia population in the Muslim countries.

Opposing sanctions against Iran, he said, Islamabad's oil import bill last year soared to $6 billion registering an increase of 50 per cent. If the price of oil went up by $100 a barrel one could imagine its impact on the world's economy including Pakistan.

He said the international community should not to undermine Tehran's capability to hurt and give a robust response following a strike against it. If a few ships were sunk in the Straits of Hormuz by anybody, there were not enough facilities for refining oil hence it would lead to oil price hike, he added.
More at DAWN

Excerpts from IAEA report to the U.N. Security Council on Iran's nuclear program

"After more than three years of agency efforts to seek clarity about all aspects of Iran's nuclear program, the existing gaps in knowledge continue to be a matter of concern."


"... the agency has repeatedly requested Iran to provide additional information on certain issues related to its enrichment program. Iran declined to discuss these matters ... ."


"... the agency was shown by Iran in January 2005 a copy of a hand written one-page document reflecting an offer said to have been made to Iran in 1987 by a foreign intermediary (in the nuclear black market). In order to be able to ascertain its nature and origin, a copy of the document is needed by the agency. However, Iran continues to decline the agency's request for a copy of the document."

More at the Chicago Tribune

1 comments Tuesday, April 18, 2006

War game will focus on situation with Iran

Amid rising tensions between the United States and Iran over the future of Iran's nuclear program, the Pentagon is planning a war game in July so officials can explore options for a crisis involving Iran.
The July 18 exercise at National Defense University's National Strategic Gaming Center will include members of Congress and top officials from military and civilian agencies. It was scheduled in August, before the latest escalation in the conflict, university spokesman Dave Thomas said.
It's the latest example of how otherwise routine operations are helping the United States prepare for a possible military confrontation with Iran. On Tuesday, President Bush refused to rule out military action — even a nuclear strike — to stop Iran's nuclear program. "All options are on the table," Bush said in the Rose Garden.
The exercise is one of five scheduled this year, including others envisioning an avian influenza pandemic and a crisis in Pakistan. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld started the exercises involving members of Congress in 2002 to help the legislative and executive branches discuss policy options.
Such exercises do not involve military members simulating combat. Instead, officials gather for a daylong conference and discuss how to react to various events presented in a fictional scenario.
Prodded by the United States, the United Nations Security Council has demanded that Iran stop all uranium enrichment activities by April 28. Last week, Iran said it has mastered the technology to make fuel that could be used for power plants or bombs, but it insists its nuclear program is only meant to generate electricity. The United States and its allies say Iran is working to build nuclear weapons.
The July exercise may have real-world consequences since Iran could interpret it as evidence the United States plans to attack, said Khalid al-Rodhan, an Iran expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
"Anything the U.S. will do in the region will be seen as further provocation," al-Rodhan said. "Given what's happening in Iraq, it's clear the Iranians are afraid of U.S. intentions."
More at USA Today

Nuclear war with Iran too costly for Americans, Iranians

Author Gore Vidal has called this country the United States of Amnesia because decisions made by the American government often seem divorced from a memory of history. One example of this was the lead-up to the latest U.S. invasion of Iraq, which many people said would bear similarities to the U.S. war on Vietnam.
While there are many clear differences between the war against the peoples of Vietnam and the war in Iraq, the similar idea is that the people of a country will do whatever it takes to fend off the aggressive invasion of their country by a superpower, no matter what the apparent odds.But now it seems Americans can't even remember 2003 as the Bush administration is threatening to attack Iran. Iran has a much stronger military than Iraq, which had been devastated by a decade of sanctions. If the United States were to attack Iran, it is likely the results will be similar to what's happening in Iraq.Iran has recently enriched uranium, which is a necessary component for nuclear weapons the country has threatened to develop in the future. In response to Iran's nuclear ambitions, the Pentagon presented a plan to the White House that includes "the use of a bunker-buster tactical nuclear weapon ... against (Iran's) underground nuclear sites," according to an article in The New Yorker by Seymour Hersh.There's nothing "tactical" about a weapon of mass destruction. Nuclear weapons kill innocent people indiscriminately. Two years ago, I completed a pilgrimage to the cities of Nagasaki and Hiroshima in order to see the destruction the "leaders" of my country wreaked on the people of those two beautiful cities. It's impossible for me to conceive that with all Americans know about the suffering of the hundreds of thousands of victims in August 1945, there are still people in the United States of Amnesia who would consider ever using nuclear weapons. If the option of nuclear war is unleashed, innocent Iranians will die.
More at TMC Net

Bush won't exclude Iran nuke strike

The United States on Tuesday failed to secure international support for targeted sanctions against Iran and President George W. Bush refused to rule out nuclear strikes if diplomacy failed to curb the Islamic Republic's atomic ambitions.
Bush said he would discuss Iran's nuclear activities with China's President Hu Jintao, who has been cool towards sanctions, during his U.S. visit this week.
Asked if his options included planning for a nuclear strike, Bush said: "All options are on the table. We want to solve this issue diplomatically and we're working hard to do so."
But a meeting of major powers in Moscow ended without consensus despite strong U.S. pressure for international sanctions. Washington believes Iraq is trying to build bombs but Tehran says it is only developing nuclear energy.
The meeting of deputy foreign ministers of the U.N. Security Council's permanent members -- The United States, Britain, France, China and Russia -- plus Germany, was called after Tehran declared last week that it had enriched uranium and was aiming for industrial-scale production.
The No. 3 U.S. State Department official, Nicholas Burns, argued that sanctions should be imposed on Iran, but Russia and China are resisting and the parties came to no agreement, said U.S. State Department spokesman Tom Casey in Washington.
"Burns raised the issue of some form of sanctions and there will need to be further discussions on this," he said after being briefed by U.S. officials about the meeting.
More at Reuters

Defiant Iran threatens to ‘cut off hands of any aggressor’

The defiant stance came hours before a two-day meeting in Moscow of senior diplomats from the five permanent UN Security Council members and Germany to discuss the issue and less than two weeks before a council deadline for Iran to stop uranium enrichment. “Today, you are among the world’s most powerful armies because you rely on God,” Mr Ahmadinejad declared at a parade to commemorate Army Day. “Iran’s enemies know your courage, faith and commitment to Islam and the land of Iran has created a powerful army that can powerfully defend the political borders and the integrity of the Iranian nation and cut off the hand of any aggressor and place the sign of disgrace on their forehead,” he added.
The United States, Britain, Japan, Israel, France and Germany have accused Iran of using its civilian nuclear programme as a cover to produce nuclear weapons. Iran has maintained its right to enrich uranium and says it is only building nuclear facilities to generate electricity. US President George W Bush said that “all options are on the table” to prevent Iran from developing atomic weapons, but added that he would continue to focus on the international diplomatic option to persuade Tehran to drop its nuclear ambitions. “We want to solve this issue diplomatically and we’re working hard to do so,” Mr Bush told reporters in the Rose Garden. Mr Bush also said there should be a unified effort involving countries “who recognise the danger of Iran having a nuclear weapon”, and he noted that US officials are working closely with Britain, France and Germany. Mr Bush was asked if his administration was planning for the possibility of a nuclear strike against Iranian nuclear facilities. “All options are on the table,” he said. Mr Ahmadinejad said Iran’s army “has to be constantly ready, equipped and powerful. It has to be equipped with the latest technologies, recognize the enemy and constantly be vigilant.”
More at the IrishExaminer

Oil prices rise above 71 US dollars

World crude oil prices closed with record highs above 71 dollars on the eve of U.S. energy stocks weekly report Tuesday, amid worries of supply in Iran and Nigeria.
New York's main contract, light sweet crude for delivery in May, added 93 cents to close at 71.35 dollars a barrel, its highest closing price since 1983, after touching intra-day high of 71.60 dollars, the highest price since 1983.
On London's ICE Futures exchange, the price of Brent North Sea crude for June delivery climbed 1.05 dollars to 72.51 dollars a barrel, its record high since 1988.
The Organization of Petroleum downgraded the world demand-growth forecast for 2006 to 1.42 million barrels a day, down from 1.46 million barrels per day in the previous report Tuesday in its latest monthly report.
Traders are still concerned about the possibilities that Iran's oil exports would halt if the United Nations imposes Teheran an international sanction for its nuclear activities.
Iran vowed on Monday to keep on enriching uranium despite international demand that it freeze its controversial nuclear program, the official IRNA news agency reported.
More at Xinhua

0 comments Monday, April 17, 2006

Over 70$

Brent North Sea crude oil for delivery in June ended at $71.46 per barrel on Monday, rising for the ninth consecutive day.
Markets are anxious about the idea that the US could launch military strikes against Iranian nuclear sites.
Iran has pledged to carry on enriching uranium to fuel a nuclear reactor.
Iran, the world's fourth-largest oil producer, says it needs nuclear power to generate electricity, but western nations are concerned it wants to develop atomic weapons.
ABN Amro broker Lee Fader told the Associated Press news agency that the trigger for Monday's rally was "heightened fear about military action" against Iran.
"If somehow this got resolved diplomatically," Fader said, "that would definitely take a few dollars off" the price of crude oil.
But traders say that in the short-term the price could rise as high as $75 per barrel.
A sentence more at BBC NEWS

Not much news today, actualy oddly silent.

3 comments Sunday, April 16, 2006

I find it funny that just now the major newscasts are reporting on the 40 000 suicide bombers waiting and preparing for a possible confrontation. This is old news mates. Boy it takes a while for the "news" to spread. I read this story a couple months back, and I cannot see how it comes as a surprise to anyone that there is such a growing number of supporters to Ahmadinejad.

Satellite images show reinforcement of Iran's nuclear sites

The Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS), a U.S.-based think tank, said in an email with commercial satellite photos attached sent to news media that Iran has built a new tunnel entrance at an Iranian uranium conversion facility in Isfahan. Just two entry points existed in February, it said."This new entrance is indicative of a new underground facility or further expansion of the existing one," said ISIS, led by ex-United Nations arms inspector and nuclear expert David Albright.ISIS also released four satellite images taken between 2002 and January 2006 it said showed Natanz's two subterranean cascade halls being buried by successive layers of earth, apparent concrete slabs and more earth and other materials. The roofs of the halls now appear to be eight meters (26 feet) underground, ISIS said.The revelations came one week after Iran announced it had enriched uranium for use in power stations for the first time, stoking a diplomatic row over Western suspicions of a covert Iranian atomic bomb project. Iran says it seeks only nuclear energy for its economy.The UN Security Council, wielding the threat of sanctions against Iran, has urged Tehran to halt enrichment activity and asked U.N. nuclear watchdog chief Mohamed ElBaradei to report on the Iranian response on April 28. Iran stood its ground during a visit by ElBaradei last week. "Iran is taking extraordinary precautions to try to protect its nuclear assets. But the growing talk of eliminating Iran's nuclear program from the air is pretty glib," Albright told Reuters by telephone from Washington.Despite Bush's denial, Former Iranian President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani said Tehran could not discount the possibility of a U.S. military strike."We stress at the same time that it would not be in the interest of the United States, nor us," Rafsanjani, who heads a council that arbitrates Iranian legislative disputes, said during a visit to Syria."Harm will not only engulf the Islamic Republic of Iran, but the region and everybody," the influential Iranian leader told a news conference with Syrian Vice President Farouq Shara.
(Please note that these sites are popping up all over the country, as just last month more underground facilities were found in tehran in preparation.)
More at Haaretz

Iran `suicide squads ready to hit US, British targets'

Teheran has trained suicide bombers to attack British and American targets if Iran's nuclear sites are attacked, a newspaper reported Sunday.
The main force - the Special Unit of Martyr Seekers in the Revolutionary Guards - was first seen in Iran last month when members marched in a military parade, dressed in uniforms with explosive packs around their waists and detonators held high, The Sunday Times said.
Dr Hassan Abbasi, head of Iran's Center for Doctrinal Strategic Studies in the Revolutionary Guards, said 29 Western targets had been identified.
"We are ready to attack American and British sensitive points, if they attack Iran's nuclear facilities," The Sunday Times quoted Abbasi as saying in a tape recording of a speech the paper said it had obtained. He said some sites were "quite close" to Iran's border with Iraq.
Abbasi warned the would-be martyrs to "pay close attention to wily England" and vowed that "Britain's demise is on our agenda," The Sunday Times reported.
The paper quoted unidentified Iranian officials as saying 40,000 Iranian suicide bombers have been trained and are ready for action.
At a recruiting station in Teheran recently, volunteers for the suicide force had to show their birth certificates, give proof of their address and mark a box stating whether they would prefer to attack American targets in Iraq or Israeli targets, the paper said.
(Please note here that those 40 000 suicide bombers are likely to be used against military targets in and around the middle eastern region and that before this report came out another one stated that 400 terrorists were being prepared to attack targets over seas. These 40 000 are basicly "soldiers" if you can even call them that, thsoe 400 are the real threat to the American people.)
More at the Standard

Iran's leader calls on global propaganda campaign against Israel

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Sunday called on a global propaganda against Israel, the news agency ISNA reported.
'To defeat the Zionist regime (Israel) we need solidarity among the Islamic world and use of new methods such as staging effective propaganda to disclose the inhuman and blood-thirsty nature of the regime to all nations,' Ahmadinejad said.
In a meeting with Lebanese parliamentary speaker Nabih Berri, Ahmadinejad said the world was gradually getting aware of the 'faked nature' of Israel which, he said, 'would lead to the fall of the regime.'
More at Monsters and Critics

Iran donates $50m to Hamas government

Iran has announced it is giving $50 million to the cash-strapped Palestinian Authority to fill gaps left by western aid cuts.
The US and the European Union (EU) have cut off aid and Israel has frozen a transfer of about $50 million a month to the Hamas-controlled Palestinian Government.
Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki says the gift is Iran's duty as a friend of the Palestinians but has not said how or when it will reach them.
Iran has been at odds with the US since its 1979 Islamic revolution and has refused to recognise Israel.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Saturday labelled Israel "a rotten, dried tree that will be eliminated by one storm".
Washington and the EU have frozen aid to the Hamas-led Palestinian Authority because the Islamist group has not complied with their demand to recognise Israel, renounce violence and abide by interim peace agreements.
(When the world figures it should stop supplying a terrorist organisation with money you can always count on Iran to jump right into the wrong lane traffic. Though I do understand the palestinian people are under great stress financialy and socialy, I don't believe that giving there terrorist government money will help the people and will only finance future attacks.)
More at ABCNEWS Online

Senators Back Direct Talks With Iran

"I think that would be useful," said GOP Sen. Richard Lugar, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, when asked on ABC's "This Week" about having direct talks. "The Iranians are a part of the energy picture," Lugar said. "We need to talk about that."
Sen. Christopher Dodd, D-Conn., agreed, saying the U.S. has ceded too much diplomacy to Europe.
"I happen to believe you need direct talks," Dodd said on "Fox News Sunday." "It doesn't mean you agree with them. It doesn't mean you support them. It doesn't mean you have formal diplomatic relations. But there's an option."
The Bush administration has warned Iran to comply with worldwide insistence to back off its nuclear program and said it had a "number of tools," including a military option, if Tehran did not cease uranium enrichment activities.
However, while the administration has said it would talk with Iran about its activities in Iraq, it has rejected the idea of direct negotiations over its nuclear program. The concern is that Iran is seeking to build a nuclear bomb, an allegation Tehran denies.
More at the Houston Chronicle

7 comments Saturday, April 15, 2006

Well as some of you might have read before, Bloomberg published an article with the header of something of the sorts," Iran can produce Nuclear weapon in 16 days." When I first read the article was shocked on how a reliable source such as Bloomberg could manipulate the public in that way. As you all should know by now, the title was referring to Iran when it has all it's centrifuges running (54 000) it would be able to produce a weapon in 16 days. That moment is now years away. But I must say shame on Bloomberg for this manipulative title.

Not all in Iran back president's rhetoric

Iran's success in producing enriched uranium for the first time may have increased national pride, but hard-line President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is annoying predecessors by claiming the achievement in his name alone.
And others, including some among the president's supporters, worry his tough rhetoric is intensifying international anxiety over the nuclear program and worsening the country's isolation. Since his announcement, Ahmadinejad has been even more defiant in defending his country's decision to press ahead with its nuclear program over the U.N. Security Council's objections.
Ahmadinejad rebuffed a request Thursday by Mohamed ElBaradei, the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, that Iran suspend uranium enrichment, saying Tehran will not retreat "one iota." This left some conservative Iranians angry. "The more Ahmadinejad confronts the international community, the more power he may show to his public in the short term but deny Iran a good life among world nations in the long term," said Hossein Salimi, a professor of international relations in Tehran. But even still this is the minority voice in Iran.
More at the Seattle Investigator

Islamic Jihad vows aid to Iran if it is attacked

Abdullah Ramadan Shala, the head of the palestinian militant group Islamic Jihad said, "Any threat to the Islamic republic is a threat to the Palestinians, and Iran will not be alone in facing these threats. And any aggression against Iran is an aggression against the Palestinians." Hamas has showed similar support.
More at Iran Mania

General says Iran’s military ready “to project its power”

In preparation to a possible confrontation, Brigadier General Mohammad-Hossein Dadras, commander of the regular Iranian army’s ground forces, said Iran’s military has identified “the enemies’ weak spots” in the region and its missile capabilities would guarantee Iran’s “national interests”.“We have identified and studied the enemies’ strong and weak spots in the region regarding ground, sea, and air forces”, Dadras said at the Friday prayers ceremony in Tehran.“Today, we have in the country that which is adequate to face threats. Right now, we have that thing which, when required, will land on the enemy’s weak spot. The enemies know this”, Dadras said.“We do not need foreign support. We have an adequate missile capability which can guarantee our national interests”, he said.“Iran’s capability is such that no one dares to come near it. If they do they will return with no success”.Alluding to the border with Iraq and Afghanistan, the army chief said that Iran has six military divisions based at “strategic and operational points”.
More at Iran Focus

America to Introduce Limited Sanctions on Iran

In this frame, the US reportedly may freeze assets of several Iranian government officials and impose visa restrictions that would make it difficult for these officials to conduct foreign visits.
In his statement, US Secretary of State Spokesman Sean McCormack said the seventh article of the United Nations (UN) contract discusses freezing assets and imposing visa restrictions. "Taking such decisions is in the hand of international society," McCormack added.
At an important gathering next Tuesday in Moscow, high level foreign ministry officials from the UN Security Council's permanent members US, Britain, Russia, China, and Germany will discuss the response against Iran's uranium enrichment.
American officials reported Washington does not foresee any kind of sanction towards Iran's oil and gas sectors, so as not to increase the difficulties faced by the people of Iran.
More at Zaman Daily News

Israel condemns Iranian threats

Shimon Peres urged the world to unite against Mr Ahmadinejad who he predicted would end up like Saddam Hussein.
"The United Nations cannot but react," Mr Peres insisted.
"Iran is a member state of the United Nations that is threatening to destroy another member state of the United Nations," he said. Mr Peres, one of Israel's senior statesmen and a potential senior cabinet member in Israel's new government-in-the-making, replied that: "What the Iranian president says is reminiscent of Saddam Hussein's proclamations, and Ahmadinejad will meet the same end as he did. "The Iranian president represents Satan and not God. History has rejected these sorts of sword-brandishing lunatics," said Mr Peres.
More at BBC News

4 comments Friday, April 14, 2006

Iran maintains defiant stance towards US

Iran’s religious leaders maintained an assertive stance Friday towards the US and its allies, despite assurances given by officials on Thursday to the United Nations nuclear chief, Mohammad ElBaradei, of increased co-operation with his agency. A team of UN inspectors will travel to Tehran next week after Mr ElBaradei’s visit, but Iran has refused international calls for a halt to sensitive nuclear work.
Opening a conference on Palestine on Friday in Tehran, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran’s supreme leader, accused the US of “linked plots” against Iran, Iraq, Lebanon and Syria and demanded Washington stop “enflaming the Middle East and Persian Gulf”.
Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati told Friday prayers in Tehran that this week’s announcement that Iran had completed nuclear enrichment in its Natanz laboratory was more important in the country’s history than the nationalisation of the oil industry in the 1950s.
In day-long talks on Thursday, Mr ElBaradei, head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, was promised access to sites, documents and people requested by inspectors still trying to piece together a complete picture of Iran’s controversial nuclear programme.
More at the Financial Times

'Rotten Israel will be annihilated' - Iran's president

Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad today said Israel was a “rotten, dried tree” which will be annihilated by “one storm”.“Like it or not, the Zionist regime is heading toward annihilation,” Ahmadinejad told a conference for supporting the Palestinians as it opened in the Iranian capital Tehran.At the opening of a conference on supporting the Palestinians, Ahmadinejad fired a series of verbal shots at Israel, saying it was a “permanent threat” to the Middle East that will “soon” be liberated, and questioning the validity of the Nazi Holocaust against Jews in the Second World War.“Like it or not, the Zionist regime is heading toward annihilation,” Ahmadinejad said. “The Zionist regime is a rotten, dried tree that will be eliminated by one storm,” he said.The president provoked a world outcry last October when he said Israel should be “wiped off the map”.Today, he repeated his previous line on the Holocaust, saying: “If such a disaster is true, why should the people of this region pay the price? Why does the Palestinian nation have to be suppressed and have its land occupied?”The land of Palestine, he said, referring to the British mandated territory that includes all of Israel, Gaza and the West Bank, “will be freed soon”.He did not say how this would be achieved, but insisted to the audience of at least 900 people: “Believe that Palestine will be freed soon.”“The existence of this (Israeli) regime is a permanent threat” to the Middle East, he added. “Its existence has harmed the dignity of Islamic nations.”
More at Ireland Online

Iran fears push oil price above $70

The price of Brent North Sea crude oil broke through $70 a barrel for the first time on Thursday evening, fuelled by simmering tensions between Iran and the international community.
The price of Brent crude for June delivery jumped 34 cents to reach $70.20 before later falling back slightly to $70.15, an increase of 28 cents from Wednesday's close.
Brent has been striking record high points since Monday on market concerns that the US might launch military strikes at uranium facilities in Iran, the world's fourth largest producer of crude.
More at RTE Business

Russia to host new round of talks on Iran nuclear program

Russia will host a new round of talks next week with leading world powers on Iran's nuclear program in a bid to head off a confrontation with the U.N. Security Council, the Government said on Friday.
The talks involving Russia, the United States, the European Union and China will be held in Moscow on Tuesday, Foreign Ministry spokesman Andrei Krivtsov said.
The United States and Britain say that if Iran does not comply with the Security Council's demand to stop enrichment by April 28, they will seek a resolution that would make the demand compulsory.
Sergei Mironov, the Kremlin-allied speaker of the Russian parliament's upper house, warned that sanctions against Iran would be ``premature and won't yield positive results,'' ITAR-Tass reported.
Russia's chief nuclear official, meanwhile, voiced hope for a diplomatic solution to the standoff despite Tehran's vow to press ahead with uranium enrichment.
Sergei Kiriyenko said that ``there is still a chance for a diplomatic settlement of the Iranian nuclear program.''
More at the Hindu

2 comments Thursday, April 13, 2006

Rice Urges Iran's Nuclear Compliance

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Thursday that Iran will have no choice but to comply with worldwide insistence that it back off its disputed nuclear activities. Rice indicated the next step against Iran will be a resolution at the United Nations Security Council seeking punitive or coercive sanctions to stop what the United States says is a covert drive to acquire nuclear weapons. "When the Security Council reconvenes, there will have to be some consequence for that action and that defiance," Rice said after a meeting with Canada's new foreign minister, Peter MacKay. "And we will look at the full range of options available to the Security Council." Rice referred to the Security Council's power to "compel ... member states of the U.N. to obey the will of the international system." "I'm certain that we'll look at measures that could be taken to ensure that Iran knows that they really have no choice but to comply," Rice said. Iran denies it intends to build weapons, and has refused to give up what it calls a legitimate program to develop nuclear power for electricity.
More at Forbes

Iran Is `Some Years Away' From Making a Nuclear Bomb, U.S. Says

Iran is ``some years away'' from developing a nuclear bomb, said Thomas Fingar, deputy U.S. director of national intelligence.
Fingar, who chairs the National Intelligence Council, said that's the shared assessment of U.S. intelligence agencies. Fingar, one of three deputies who reports to national intelligence director John Negroponte, is in charge of intelligence analysis.
The question of how soon Iran could build a nuclear weapon gained urgency April 11 when President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said his country had enriched uranium sufficiently to produce nuclear fuel. He said used 164 centrifuges were used. Yesterday, Deputy nuclear chief Mohammad Saeedi said Iran planned to install 3,000 centrifuges at its Natanz plant this year, then expand to 54,000. Nuclear experts say that's enough to build a bomb.
Fingar and other senior intelligence officials, talking with reporters in Washington, sought to put Iran's assertions in context.
Kenneth Brill, head of the National Counterproliferation Center and the U.S. envoy to the United Nation's nuclear watchdog, said previous Iranian claims about their number of working centrifuges were exaggerated.

More at Bloomberg

More at the Washington Post

General: No Air Force planes lost in Iran

Spy planes that Iran claims to have shot down over its territory were not operated by the U.S. Air Force, a top American general said Thursday. Maj. Gen. Allen G. Peck also played down Pentagon planning for air strikes on Iran, calling it routine.
Iran's Farsi-language daily Jomhouri Islami reported Sunday that Iran had downed an unmanned spy plane flying in its airspace near the border with southern Iraq.
Peck, the deputy commander of U.S. Air Force operations in the Iraq and Afghanistan theaters, said no unmanned aerial vehicles, or UAVs, that fly in the region had gone missing.
"All of my UAVs are accounted for," Peck said in an interview with The Associated Press. "I know where they all are and none of them are on the ground in Iran."
It is possible Iran downed a spy drone operated by an intelligence agency, military officials said, or it could have downed a plane flown by a non-coalition military.
Or Iran may have fabricated the incident, the military officials said.

More at SeattlePi

Once again the UNSC is not calling for any sanctions. It's really getting annoying, to see the great security council being so passive. At the end of the month once again Iran will be given another 30 days, until it creates a Nuclear weapon and then the UNSC will once again drop it saying they don't posses any nuclear weapons. This round is going to go round and round and it wont stop untill some country comes in and actualy does something.

UNSC shame on you.

0 comments Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Iran's Boast May Mean Little

Iran's boast that it has joined "the club of nuclear countries" by enriching uranium may rattle the Western world. But diplomats and experts familiar with the program say Iran still is far from producing any weapons-grade material needed for bombs and may be exaggerating its own progress.
"The Iranians are deliberately trying to hype this up," David Albright, president of the Washington-based Institute for Science and International Security, said Wednesday.
He called the step that Iran announced with great fanfare Tuesday _ the use of 164 centrifuges to enrich small amounts of uranium _ merely a small and expected advance.
By trumpeting its successes so forcefully, Iran may be trying to apply political pressure _ aiming to convince the U.N. Security Council that its nuclear capability is so far along that no sanctions can dissuade it. The Security Council has ordered Iran to stop all enrichment by April 28, and the chief U.N. nuclear inspector, Mohamed ElBaradei, heads to Iran for talks Friday to try to resolve the international standoff.
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice telephoned ElBaradei on Wednesday to urge him to reinforce Western demands, and she called on the Security Council to consider "strong steps" against Iran. The United States wants sanctions because it fears Iran aims for nuclear weapons.
"This is not a question of Iran's right to civil nuclear power," she said. "This is a question of, ... the world does not believe that Iran should have the capability and the technology that could lead to a nuclear weapon."
Iran, apparently undeterred, said it would push ahead to dramatically expand its program, which it insists is only to generate electricity for peaceful purposes. It plans to install 3,000 centrifuges at one site by late 2006, then expand to 54,000 centrifuges, its deputy nuclear chief said.
More at the Washington Post

Storm gathering in Iran

The Iranian authorities and elite are busy transferring their bank accounts from Europe to Asia, or to Switzerland, whose territory is usually outside sanctions. These are multi-billion sums. Many analysts see this as Tehran's precaution ahead of a potential armed clash with the U.S. and its allies, which may take place if the attempt to settle the situation around Iran's nuclear program falls through.
Apparently, the Iranians have learnt their own lessons well and remember the sad experience of neighboring Iraq, which was attacked for its alleged attempt to hide the weapons of mass destruction from the world community.
For all the differences between the two regimes and their political and economic potentialities the Washington-drafted plan of action against Iran is strangely similar to the U.S. scenario for Iraq. But there are some indications that the U.S. strategists have lost some of their confidence since the cruel lesson in Iraq. This fact creates an additional chance for a diplomatic settlement of the problem.
More at the RNIA


One month after the publication by two influential international relations scholars of a highly controversial essay on the so-called "Israel Lobby," their thesis that the lobby exercises "unmatched power" in Washington is being tested by rapidly rising tensions with Iran. Far more visibly than any other domestic constituency, the Israel Lobby, defined by Professors John Mearsheimer of the University of Chicago and Stephen Walt, academic dean of Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, as "the loose coalition of individuals and organizations who actively work to shape U.S. foreign policy in a pro-Israel direction," has pushed the government -- both Congress and the Bush administration -- toward confrontation with Tehran.Leading the charge has been a familiar group of neo-conservatives, such as former Defense Policy Board (DPB) chairman Richard Perle and former CIA director James Woolsey, who championed the war in Iraq but who have increasingly focused their energies over the past year on building support for "regime change" and, if necessary, military action against Iran if it does not abandon its nuclear program.
More at TMCnet

Russia Downplays Iran's 'Good News'

Russian experts are downplaying Iran's "good news" to have joined the world's nuclear technology club.
Iran's announcement that it had processed uranium is no cause for alarm, said Viktor Mikhailov, former Russian minister of atomic energy.
"Largely a bluff," said Vladimir Yevseyev, a senior researcher at the Moscow-based Center for Global Security.
"A fairy tale," declared Yevgeny Velikhov, a politically connected nuclear scientist.
Russia's assessment matters because President Vladimir Putin's government has positioned itself as in intermediary in the international standoff over Iran's nuclear program. Russia has offered to supply Iran's civilian nuclear program with nuclear fuel jointly processed in Russia, but so far, Iran has not accepted the offer
Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov warned that Iran's announcement would not bolster its negotiating position with the West.
"A solution of the Iranian problem from the position of strength does not exist. All European Union countries agree with this," Lavrov said. "If there are any such plans after all, they will fail to produce a solution, but will merely create a highly explosive situation in the Middle East."
More at the Washington Post

No quick action on Iran seen in divided UN council

Iran's declaration that it has enriched its first batch of uranium is unlikely to spur the United Nations to act sooner than May on the question of Iran's nuclear ambitions, diplomats said on Wednesday.
Following Iran's announcement, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said the council, which last month called on Tehran to suspend all enrichment work, would need to take up the issue again.
But several council members said the U.N. body had agreed in a statement last month to wait for further action until International Atomic Energy Agency chief Mohamed ElBaradei makes his report at the end of April.
"When we have this report, we will react," French U.N. Ambassador Jean-Marc de la Sabliere told reporters.
Nor did the Iranian announcement convince all council members that it was time to take a tougher line on Tehran.
"I think people are still talking about diplomatic efforts," Chinese Ambassador Wang Guangya said when asked whether China felt it was now time for the council to step up its efforts on Iran.
Last month's council statement on Iran's nuclear work was nonbinding.
More at Reuters

West will burn in nations’ fury

“Those who insulted the Iranian nation and set back Iran’s movement for progress for several years must apologise”, Ahmadinejad said at a rally in the eastern town of Rashtkhar. His comments were aired on state television and carried by the official news agency.“You must bow down to the greatness of the Iranian nation”, he said, addressing the West. He added that if the United States continued to seek to use “bullying” tactics then “every nation of the world” would chant “Death to America” and “Death to Israel”.“If you do not return to monotheism and worshipping god and refuse to accept justice then you will burn in the fire of the nations’ fury”, Ahmadinejad said.He once again accused the West of launching a “psychological war” against Iran.
More at Iran focus

0 comments Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Good Job UNSC, it's about time to figure out that Iran is standing it's ground, no matter how much time you give it.

Iranian President Confirms Uranium Enrichment

Iran has enriched uranium, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad announced on Tuesday.
"I'm announcing officially that Iran has now joined the countries that have nuclear technology," Ahmadinejad said in a carefully staged speech carried live across Iran. "This is a very historic moment, and this is because of the Iranian people and their belief. And this is the start of the progress of this country." Standing before a sweeping backdrop featuring doves around an Iranian flag, Ahmadinejad said the country was moving toward enrichment on an industrial scale for power plants, not the weapons that the Bush administration and other governments say are Tehran's real goal.
"We are saying again that the nuclear technology is only for the purpose of peace and nothing else," Ahmadinejad said.
White House spokesman Scott McClellan, traveling with President Bush to Missouri today, told reporters that the news suggests Iran is "moving in the wrong direction." If it continues down that path, he said, the United States will consult with other allies about how to respond.
The head of Iran's Atomic Energy Organization said the breakthrough came Monday at the pilot enrichment plant located in Natanz, in the desert south of Tehran.
"I am proud to announce that we have started enriching uranium to the 3.5 percent level," Gholamreza Aghazadeh said, specifying the low level used to generate electricity. "This achievement has paved the way for Iran to start its industrial-scale production and, to enter this stage, we are trying to put in operation a complex of 3,000 centrifuges" by mid-March of next year, Aghazadeh said.
More at The Washington Post

Iran Sunni rebels video shows killing of officer

An Iranian Sunni rebel group video broadcast on Arab satellite television on Tuesday showed the killing by firing squad of a man identified as an Iranian Revolutionary Guard officer.
The Jundollah (God's Soldiers) video broadcast by Al Arabiya television showed militants kill the man. They displayed his identification card bearing the name Zahed Shaykhi.
The video also showed the Baluchi group's leader Abdolmalek Rigi despite official media reports that Iranian forces had killed him.
"These are falsehoods aimed at playing with the emotions of people," a militant reading a statement said.
Iranian officials have said Rigi is the leader of Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda network in the Islamic Republic.
Rigi appeared on the tape speaking to the Iranian officer who sat nearby with a gunman pointing his rifle at his head and another standing by. The two militants later fired rounds at the officer who was sitting on the ground wearing white robes.
The group has kidnapped Iranian soldiers in the past to try to force the release of detained members.
More at Reuters

Rumsfeld Dismisses Reports of Military Plan on Iran

Secretary Rumsfeld made it clear to reporters he had nothing to say about Tuesday's announcement by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad that Iran has enriched uranium to a level used in nuclear power plants. "I'd rather wait and see what our experts say about it. I've not seen the statement, I've not had a chance to analyze anything that they've said and nor have I had a chance to talk to the people who have the responsibility in the United States government for making judgments and assessments with respect to things like that," he said.
Iran insists its nuclear intentions are peaceful and its program is only for making electricity.
As for published media reports saying the Pentagon has been working on contingency plans for possible military strikes to force Tehran to abandon its nuclear program, Secretary Rumsfeld said he had nothing to add to comments already made by President Bush. "I think the president handled it properly. The United States of America is on a diplomatic track. That is the president's decision, that is where our European allies are. There is obviously concern about Iran. It's a country that supports terrorists. It's a country that has indicated an interest in having weapons of mass destruction. So, obviously the president has indicated his concern about the country. But it is simply not useful to get into fantasy land," he said.
More at Voice of America

Russia hopes Iran to cooperate with IAEA

Iran should fully cooperate with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said here Tuesday at a meeting with his Jordanian counterpart Abdel Ilah al-Khatib.
"We regard it very important that Iran should fully cooperate with the IAEA to clarify all the remaining questions in compliance with decisions of the agency's board of governors," Lavrov was quoted by the Interfax news agency as saying.
"Russia and Jordan are convinced of the need for a political settlement of the Iranian nuclear problem," he said.
The head of the IAEA, Mohamed ElBaradei, is due in Iran on Wednesday to discuss Tehran's nuclear program amid a tense standoff with the West.
More at Xinhua

2 comments Monday, April 10, 2006

Well I've been lazy and just posting stories word for word, and that's not fair for all the hard worked Authors of those article and it's a violation of copyright laws so now I'll be writing my own reporting on the articles and more articles will be placed on the site.

Iran: U.S. military plans 'psychological warfare'
The Toronto Star
The Iranian President once more released comments saying that America is waging apsychologicall war with Iran. "Our enemies know that they cant cause a minute pause in our nations motion forward," said Ahmadinejad in front of a large number of people." Unfortunately today some bullying powers are unable to give up their bullying nature." Iran's foreign minister spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi said that the report of a possible Nuclear attack was a form psychologicalcal warfare. "We see it as psychological warfare, resulting from the Americans anger and despair, he said to journalists.

Bush dismisses Iran reports as 'wild speculation'
Bush said today that that report of the attack was just speculation."We hear in Washington, you know, 'prevention means force. It doesn't mean force, necessarily. In this case, it means diplomacy." But then again he reassured the world that Iran could not posses any information on Nuclear technology. "We do not want the Iranians to have a nuclear weapon, the capacity to make a nuclear weapon or the knowledge about how to make a nuclear weapon."

Iran opposition leader urges Europe to support Resistance
Iranian opposition leader Maryam Rajavi said today that the West should stop the negotiations with the Iranian President and instead supporesistancesitance. "Once again, I call on the [international community] to make this choice in support of the Iranian people and their Resistance." This was said this as she showed pictures of hangings in Iran. Today, Europe is facing a choice: A choice between firmness [against Tehran] or compromise, which would allow the mullahs to arm themselves with nuclear weapons." She also called for a nuclear free Iran.

Oil Climbs to Record in London on Concern About Iran Conflict
Because of the strike scare oil has risen once again. "
Crude oil for May delivery jumped $1.41, or 2.1 percent, to $68.80 a barrel at 1:30 p.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Futures were just $2.05 shy of the record $70.85 reached on Aug. 30, the day after Hurricane Katrina."

Ahmadinejad Statements
“Our enemies will take their desire to harm and stop the Iranian nation to the grave. This nation is determined to continue the path of advancement. The enemies can never create a gap in its determination by creating commotion. For as long as be stand firm, no power can harm the Iranian nation in the slightest way,” said Ahmadinejad at the North-western town of Fariman.

0 comments Sunday, April 09, 2006

Govt. insists focus is on diplomacy against Iran

The Bush administration insisted on Sunday its priority was to seek a diplomatic solution to the dispute over Iran's nuclear ambitions, amid reports of stepped-up planning for possible US air strikes.
A senior administration official downplayed prospects for American military action, calling the latest reports "ill-informed," but stopped short of an outright denial.
Iran accused the United States of waging a "psychological war" out of desperation.
The US official spoke after a New Yorker magazine article by investigative journalist Seymour Hersh said Washington was stepping up planning for a possible bombing campaign against Iran, despite publicly pushing for a negotiated settlement.
The Washington Post, citing unnamed US officials and independent analysts, also reported the administration was studying options for strikes against Iran as part of a broader strategy of coercive diplomacy.
The newspaper said no attack was likely soon and many specialists inside and outside the US government harbor strong doubts whether such action would be effective. But it said the intent was to show Iran the seriousness of Washington's intentions.
"The president's priority is to find a diplomatic solution to a problem the entire world recognizes," the senior official told Reuters.
"And those who are drawing broad, definitive conclusions based on normal defense and intelligence planning are ill-informed and are not knowledgeable of the administration's thinking on Iran."
More at ABC News

Meeting with Iran on hold

A meeting with Iran to discuss its role in Iraq will not be held until the formation of a government in Baghdad, said the U.S. ambassador to Iraq on Sunday.
Shi'ite, Kurdish and Sunni leaders are struggling to form a unity government they hope can avert civil war but there are no signs of immediate resolution.
"What we have decided is not to hold the meeting until the Iraqi government is formed," said U.S. Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad on "Fox News Sunday." "We do not want to give the impression that the United States is sitting with Iran to decide about the Iraqi government. The Iraqis will decide that."
More at Reuters

Iran blasts “psychological war” by U.S.

Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid-Reza Asefi blasted on Sunday what it described as a “psychological war” by the United States against the Islamic Republic after an American magazine reported that the Bush administration was considering carrying out military strikes against Iran’s nuclear sites.
In an article in The New Yorker magazine, acclaimed investigative journalist Seymour Hersh quoted anonymous current and former U.S. officials as saying that Washington had increased clandestine activities inside Iran and intensified planning for a possible major air attack on its nuclear sites.
“This psychological war is due to America’s anger and desperation”, Asefi said at his weekly press conference.
More at Iran-focus

Spy Plane Shot Down

Iran said on Sunday that it shot down an unmanned spy plane from Iraq in the south of the country.
“This plane had lifted off from Iraq and was busy filming the border regions”, the semi-official daily Jomhouri Islami wrote.
The plane’s structural markings and systems have given officials “information”, the report added, without elaborating.
More at Iran-focus

Iran's Ahmadinejad not planning to attend World Cup

Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has no plans to travel to Germany to support his country's World Cup campaign, an official said on Sunday.
Ahmadinejad labelled the Holocaust a myth and German diplomats feared he could become a controversial and embarrassing distraction from the tournament.
"It is not on his agenda," Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi told reporters, when asked whether Ahmadinejad was planning to support Iran from the stands in Germany.
Iran's opening match against Mexico on June 11 is in Nuremberg, a city closely associated with Nazism.
There have been calls, particularly from Jewish leaders, to ban Iran from playing in the World Cup but German Chancellor Angela Merkel has said the country's team and fans should not be penalised for their president's remarks.
More at reuters

0 comments Saturday, April 08, 2006

ElBaradei to visit Iran in next two days

Iran said the head of the United Nations atomic watchdog, Mohamed ElBaradei, will visit Iran within the next two days, as Tehran continues its standoff with the West over its nuclear program, according to AFP.
"Mohamed ElBaradei, the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) will visit Iran either tomorrow or the day after it, and the trip is within the framework of Iran's cooperation and consultation with the IAEA," a source in the Iranian nuclear negotiation team told the state news agency IRNA on the condition of anonymity.
He added: "ElBaradei will hold talks with a number of the Iranian officials during his stay and Iran's outstanding issues with the IAEA will be discussed."
On Friday, a diplomat with the agency said that ElBaradei will visit Iran next week "to meet with senior officials for discussions related to outstanding safeguard verification issues and other confidence building measures requested by the IAEA board of governors."
More at Iran Mania

U.S. steps up plans for possible Iran attack

The U.S. administration is stepping up plans for a possible air strike on Iran, despite publicly pushing for a diplomatic solution to a dispute over its nuclear ambitions, according to a report by influential investigative journalist Seymour Hersh.
Hersh's story in the April 17 issue of the New Yorker magazine, mostly citing unidentified current and former officials, says President George W. Bush views Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as a "potential Adolf Hitler," and sees "regime change" in Tehran as the ultimate goal.
"This White House believes that the only way to solve the problem is to change the power structure in Iran, and that means war," Hersh quotes an unidentified senior Pentagon adviser on the war on terror as saying.
The White House, without denying the report, reiterated that it was pursuing a diplomatic solution.
"We are not going to discuss military planning," said spokesman Blair Jones.
"The IAEA (The International Atomic Energy Agency) and the UN Security Council have spoken clearly: Iran must return to full and sustained suspension of its enrichment and reprocessing activities."
More at Reuters

U.S. Is Studying Military Strike Options on Iran

The Bush administration is studying options for military strikes against Iran as part of a broader strategy of coercive diplomacy to pressure Tehran to abandon its alleged nuclear development program, according to U.S. officials and independent analysts.
No attack appears likely in the short term, and many specialists inside and outside the U.S. government harbor serious doubts about whether an armed response would be effective. But administration officials are preparing for it as a possible option and using the threat "to convince them this is more and more serious," as a senior official put it.
According to current and former officials, Pentagon and CIA planners have been exploring possible targets, such as the uranium enrichment plant at Natanz and the uranium conversion facility at Isfahan. Although a land invasion is not contemplated, military officers are weighing alternatives ranging from a limited airstrike aimed at key nuclear sites, to a more extensive bombing campaign designed to destroy an array of military and political targets.
Preparations for confrontation with Iran underscore how the issue has vaulted to the front of President Bush's agenda even as he struggles with a relentless war in next-door Iraq. Bush views Tehran as a serious menace that must be dealt with before his presidency ends, aides said, and the White House, in its new National Security Strategy, last month labeled Iran the most serious challenge to the United States posed by any country.
Many military officers and specialists, however, view the saber rattling with alarm. A strike at Iran, they warn, would at best just delay its nuclear program by a few years but could inflame international opinion against the United States, particularly in the Muslim world and especially within Iran, while making U.S. troops in Iraq targets for retaliation.
More at The Washington Post

1 comments Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Iran test-fires two more new missiles

ran has successfully test-fired two more new missiles as the ongoing military maneuver in the south of the country was approaching its end, official media reported on Wednesday.
The state television said the Islamic Republic tested a new air- to-sea-and-ground missile with the capability of resisting electronic jamming systems and dodging anti-missile missiles.
The report defined the missile, dubbed "Nour," as a secret weapon marking a breakthrough in Iran's development of missiles.
Earlier, the official IRNA news agency reported that the armed forces on Tuesday successfully test-fired a highly precise anti- aircraft missile dubbed "Misaq" which can be launched from man's shoulder and is capable of hitting air targets.
"The speed of the missile is to the extent that no radar can detect it and its high speed protects it completely from being targeted in case of being detected by other warning systems," Mohammad Ibrahim Dehqani, spokesman of the war game, was quoted as saying.
"Misaq" and "Nour" were the Islamic Republic's fourth and fifth missile test-firing during the week-long war game
More here

Iran says war games tell U.S. not to meddle

The Supreme Commander of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) declared on Wednesday that the week-long naval war games in the Persian Gulf and the Sea of Oman by his forces serve as a warning to the United States “not to meddle in Iran’s internal affairs”, state television reported.
“The message of this great military exercise for [U.S.-led forces in Iraq and Afghanistan] is for them not to meddle in Iran’s internal affairs”, Major General Yahya Rahim Safavi said on state television.
The powerful military chief warned the intelligence agencies of the United States “not to create insecurity in [the Iranian province of] Khuzestan and endanger security in the region”.
Safavi said the United States had to accept Iran as a “great regional power” and added that threats against Tehran would be of no use to the U.S. or Europe.
The general accused the “occupiers of Iraq and Afghanistan” of endangering regional security.
He warned the United States and Britain not to “hatch plots for the region”.
“We have intelligence that America and the countries occupying Iraq are trying to tarnish the image of Iran. They are giving the Iraqi people bad cement and expired medicines pretending they came from Iran in a bid to tarnish the image of our country in the eyes of Iraqis”, Safavi said.
More here

Iran military hints at Strait of Hormuz blockade

The Supreme Commander of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps, Major General Yahya Rahim Safavi, described on Wednesday the Strait of Hormuz on Iran’s southern shores as “the economic lifeline” of the West and said it could be used to put pressure on Iran’s enemies, state television reported.
About two-fifths of the world's oil supplies pass through the 50-kilometre-wide entrance to the Persian Gulf.
Safavi was speaking to reporters during the sixth day of weeklong naval exercises in the Persian Gulf and Sea of Oman, dubbed “Great Prophet”. The general said that the area was of “immense military and geo-strategic importance” and that it linked the seaways of three continents – Africa, Asia, and Europe.
“Many industrial countries are dependent on the energy from this region. Japan gets 70 percent of its oil from this region, likewise 70 percent of certain European countries’ energy comes from this region”, he said, adding that every day the equivalent of 20 million barrels of oil travelled through the Strait of Hormuz.
“The Strait of Hormuz and the Persian Gulf are … the corner stone of [Iran’s] defence. The Strait of Hormuz counts as a point of economic control and pressure in the transfer of energy for aggressive powers from beyond the continent that want to endanger the security of the region”, General Safavi said.
More here

Iran's Ali Daei gives Saba Battery semis berth

Persepolis and the visiting Abu Moslem struggled to a 2-2 draw in the 27th week of the fifth Iran Pro League while national skipper Ali Daei struck two to hand Saba Battery a place in the League Cup semifinals, MNA reported.
Against the run of play, Abu Moslem took the lead in the 33rd minute through Mohammadreza Khalatbari, who spectacularly cleared four, including the keeper Farshid Karimi before finding the net from close range.
The red-clad home side was stunned seven minutes later when striker Mehdi Kheiri, who received a superb pass from captain Hossein Badamaki, slid the ball under the diving Karimi.
Persepolis, however, pulled one back just before halftime. Referee Fereydun Esfahanian awarded a penalty for Majid Nurmohammadi handball and a cool-headed Ali Ansarian converted the spot-kick.
Some 10,000 fans in Azadi Stadium gave Javad Kazemian a standing ovation as the forward duped his marker Aziz Farisat in the area to rifle home 10 minutes into second half.
More here

0 comments Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Iran reiterates it's ready to negotiate on large-scale enrichment

ran said Tuesday it is willing to negotiate with world powers on the large-scale enrichment of uranium but will never give way on their key demand - to cease all enrichment, a process that can produce fuel for nuclear reactors or material for bombs.
The UN Security Council has demanded that Iran suspend all enrichment of uranium and formation shared with the International Atomic Energy Agency and the U.N. Security Council.
Her bottom line: ``I remain skeptical - lots of unanswered questions.''
``The conjecture that I have is that if I were Iran, and I wanted to put out disinformation, it might look a lot like what our government is claiming is information,'' she said. ``I can't tell you that's true, but I can't tell you it's not true.''
Harman didn't provide details on the classified session.
With tensions growing between the U.S. and Iran over its nuclear program, Tehran in the past week has touted new weapons including missiles supposedly invisible to radar and torpedoes too fast to be avoided. Experts have questioned Iran's claims about the weapons' capabilities.
The announcements came as the Bush administration was working toward a diplomatic solution to address its belief that Iran intends to produce nuclear weapons. Iran says it aims only to generate electricity, but it has thus far defied U.N. Security Council demands that it give up key parts of its program.
More here

The Talks are on Saturday

Mehr news agency quoted an unnamed official in Iran’s Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) as saying that the Iranian delegation would be led by either Ali Hosseini-Tash or Aziz Jaafari, both of whom are brigadier generals of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps and now hold senior positions in the SNSC.
The report said that Iranian Foreign Ministry officials will also take part in the meeting which would be held in Baghdad.
“The talks would be held before the cameras at the request of Iran”, the official said.
U.S. President George W. Bush has authorised the American ambassador to Iraq, Zalmay Khalilzad, to discuss the security situation in Iraq with Iran. The United States and Iraqi officials routinely blame Tehran for aiding the insurgency.
More here

Who's Supplying Irans New technology?

Iran has unveiled with great fanfare a series of what it portrays as sophisticated, homegrown weapons _ flying boats and missiles invisible to radar, torpedoes too fast to elude.
But experts said Tuesday it appears much of the technology came from Russia and questioned Iran's claims about the weapons' capabilities.
Still, the armaments, tested during war games by some 17,000 Revolutionary Guards in the Persian Gulf, send what may be Iran's real message: its increased ability to hit oil tankers if tension with America turns to outright confrontation.
To underline that message, the maneuvers _ code-named "The Great Prophet" _ have been held since Friday around the Strait of Hormuz, the 34-mile-wide entrance to the Gulf through which about two-fifths of the world's oil supplies pass.
Throughout the war games, Iran has touted what it calls technological leaps in its weapons production. In recent years, Iran revved up its arms programs after long relying on purchases abroad to keep up its aging arsenal, hampered by U.S. sanctions and Washington's pressure on other countries against selling weapons to Tehran.
More here

Another New Missle

Persisting with its show of strength, Iran has tested a land-to-sea missile as well as a "flying boat", near the Strait of Hormuz — an area through which large quantities of Gulf oil are exported.
The Iranians on Tuesday test-fired the Kowsar missile. On Friday, Iranian military commanders said they had tested a missile designed to carry multiple warheads. Analysts say that throughout the course of their on-going military exercises at the strategic junction of the Gulf and the Sea of Oman, the Iranians have been sending a clear message that they have the capacity to influence the global economy, in case they are subjected to a military attack.
More here

0 comments Monday, April 03, 2006

U.S. not to join EU in nuclear talks

"The EU-3 is comfortable with where things are in the sense that there is a process that has been put in place, and that process should be able to lead to the desired solution," State Department deputy spokesman Adam Ereli said at a briefing.
Ereli argued that there is no suggestion that the process is soflawed that the United States needs to jump into it.
"The reason we're at a standstill is not because the United States isn't in negotiations, the reason we're at a standstill is because Iran is thumbing its nose at the international community and rejecting the offers of the EU-3, and rejecting the proposals of Russia, and moving with apparently great determination to develop an enrichment capability," Ereli said.
More here

Iran's Satellite

The spacecraft is small by world standards - a microsatellite of a few hundred pounds. Launched in October by the Russians for a wealthy client, it orbits the earth once every 99 minutes and reportedly has a camera for peering down on large swaths of land.
But what makes this satellite particularly interesting is not its capabilities, which are rudimentary, but its owner: Iran. With last year's launching and another planned for the next few weeks, Tehran has become the newest member of the international space club.
The question now asked in Washington and other capitals is whether Iran's efforts are simply part of its drive to expand its technical prowess or an attempt to add another building block to its nuclear program. In that sense, it is the newest piece of the Iranian atomic puzzle.
To some government analysts and other experts in the West, Iran's space debut is potentially worrisome. While world attention has focused on whether Iran is clandestinely seeking nuclear arms, these analysts say the launchings mark a new stage in its growing efforts to master a range of sophisticated technologies, including rockets and satellites. The concern is that Tehran could one day turn such advances to atomic ends.
"It may appear tempting to dismiss Iranian efforts" as relatively crude, said John Sheldon, an analyst at the Center for Defense and International Security Studies in Britain who recently wrote a report on Tehran's space program. "But Iran has already demonstrated a persistence and patience that would indicate it is prepared to play a long game in order to achieve its ambitions."
More here

Ahmadinejad Statements

Iran’s hard-line President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Monday that the Islamic Republic was “determined” in its pursuit to obtain nuclear capabilities, according to a statement issued by his office and carried by the official news agency.
“The Iranian nation and government are determined about their rights in the field of nuclear technology”, Ahmadinejad said during a meeting in Tehran with the Foreign Minister of the Guinea Fatoumata Kaba.
“Today, several European countries and America have been bewildered over Iran’s nuclear issue”, he said.
“The path of the Islamic Republic of Iran in obtaining nuclear technology is clear, in accordance with laws, and under the consideration of the International Atomic Energy Agency”, he added.
More here

0 comments Sunday, April 02, 2006

Another Missle

Iran conducted its second major test of a new missile within days on Sunday, firing a high-speed torpedo it said no submarine or warship can escape at a time of increased tensions with the U.S. over its nuclear program.
The tests came during war games that Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards have been holding in the Persian Gulf and the Arabian Sea since Friday.
On the maneuvers' first day, Iran said it successfully tested the Fajr-3 missile, which can avoid radar and hit several targets simultaneously using multiple warheads.
The new torpedo, called the "Hoot," or "whale," could raise concerns over Iran's power in the Gulf, a vital corridor for the world's oil supplies and where the U.S. Navy's 5th Fleet is based. During Iran's war with Iraq in the 1980s, Iranian ships attacked oil tankers in the Gulf, and Iran and the U.S. military engaged in limited clashes.
Iran's state television stopped its normal programs to break news of the torpedo test, showing it being launched from a ship into the Gulf waters, then hitting its target, a derelict ship.
Gen. Ali Fadavi, deputy head of the Revolutionary Guards' navy, said the ships that fire the Iranian-made Hoot had radar-evading technology and that the torpedo - moving at 223 miles per hour - was too fast to elude.
"It has a very powerful warhead designed to hit big submarines. Even if enemy warship sensors identify the missile, no warship can escape from this missile because of its high speed," Fadavi told state television.
More here

U.S. Committed to Diplomacy

In an interview with the ITV television channel recorded in Liverpool on Saturday, Rice acknowledged concerns that the standoff between the U.N. Security Council and Iran over its nuclear program could lead to the U.S. taking pre-emptive military action.
But she said: "Iran is not Iraq. I know that's what's on people's minds. The circumstances are different," Rice said.
"I just want to be very clear, Iran is not Iraq. However, the president of the United States doesn't take his options off the table. We are committed to a diplomatic course because we believe that a diplomatic course can work," she said.
British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw, who met with Rice in England before traveling with her to Iraq, has said it is inconceivable that military action would be taken against Iran.
However, the Sunday Telegraph newspaper reported that Britain's government and military chiefs plan to hold secret talks Monday to discuss contingency plans about possible military strikes against Iran
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No Plans to Attack

British officials say they are not considering an attack on Iran and have no plans to discuss a military option, as has been reported in British media.
A spokesman for the Ministry of Defense said a Sunday Telegraph article was wrong in saying British defense officials would meet Monday to discuss what action to take if Iran attacked Iraq -- such as strategically bombing suspected Iranian nuclear plants.
Sky News reports both British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw and U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice are pushing for diplomacy on the Iranian issue to continue.
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US will Find Another Excuse to Target Iran

The United States is firm in its plans to launch a military operation against Iran, said Kazim Jalali, a spokesman for the Iranian Parliament’s Commission of Foreign Affairs, adding the United States would find another reason for its military operation even if the nuclear plants were immediately shut down.
There are peaceful motives behind the nuclear projects in Iran, said Jalali, when he asserted that the use of nuclear weapons is outlawed according to Islam too. The Western news media distorted what Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said about Israel, Jalali argued.
Jalali was hosted in Turkey by the Political Thought Platform. Iran signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, NPT, Jalali told Zaman, and added that the treaty accords certain rights to produce and utilize nuclear energy for peaceful purposes.
There are nuclear projects in Iran that allow international monitoring, said Jalali.
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0 comments Saturday, April 01, 2006

Iran May Retaliate With Terror

As tensions increase between the United States and Iran, U.S. intelligence and terrorism experts say they believe Iran would respond to U.S. military strikes on its nuclear sites by deploying its intelligence operatives and Hezbollah teams to carry out terrorist attacks worldwide.
Iran would mount attacks against U.S. targets inside Iraq, where Iranian intelligence agents are already plentiful, predicted these experts. There is also a growing consensus that Iran's agents would target civilians in the United States, Europe and elsewhere, they said.
U.S. officials would not discuss what evidence they have indicating Iran would undertake terrorist action, but the matter "is consuming a lot of time" throughout the U.S. intelligence apparatus, one senior official said. "It's a huge issue," another said.
Citing prohibitions against discussing classified information, U.S. intelligence officials declined to say whether they have detected preparatory measures, such as increased surveillance, counter-surveillance or message traffic, on the part of Iran's foreign-based intelligence operatives.
But terrorism experts considered Iranian-backed or controlled groups -- namely the country's Ministry of Intelligence and Security operatives, its Revolutionary Guards and the Lebanon-based Hezbollah -- to be better organized, trained and equipped than the al-Qaeda network that carried out the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.
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Minister of Defence Denies Military Meeting

A Ministry of Defence spokesman said there was no truth whatsoever in the claims, made in the Sunday Telegraph.
He said: "No such meeting between defence, foreign office and other officials is taking place."
But BBC Defence Correspondent Paul Wood said US plans for a possible strike are thought to be at an advanced stage.
He pointed out that many defence analysts expected that British military officials would have a wide range of contingency plans available including one for a possible US air strike on Iran.
"There is no sense that such a strike is imminent however there is well sourced and persistent speculation that American covert activities aimed at Iran are already underway," he said.
The Sunday Telegraph said: "A high-level meeting will take place in the Ministry of Defence at which senior defence chiefs and government officials will consider the consequences of an attack on Iran."
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Iran has an aggressive military programme

Iran’s successful firing of a new radar-evading missile capable of striking several targets simultaneously shows that it has an “aggressive military programme under way,” the US State Department said on Friday.
The Iranian-developed missile can also “hide from radars and evade anti-missile missiles,” Iranian Brigadier General Hossein Salami told state television in Iran.
State Department spokesman Adam Ereli said the move “demonstrates that Iran has a very active and aggressive military programme under way.”
Their programme includes “efforts to develop weapons of mass destruction as well as delivery systems,” he said.
Iran is currently under mounting international pressure over its disputed nuclear energy drive, which Israel and several western nations believe is a cover for weapons development. Tehran denies the charges. “I think Iran’s military posture, military development effort, is of concern to the international community, as evidenced by the kind of consensus you’re seeing with regard to their nuclear programme as well as other non-proliferation concerns,” Ereli said.
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43 Aftershocks

Different parts of western Lorestan province have been rattled by some 43 aftershocks since Thursday evening when the initial quake hit, IRNA reported.
The Tehran University Geophysics Institute said the strongest of such aftershocks hit an area in Dorud, 80 kilometers east of Khorramabad in Lorestan province, at 04:47 (01:17 GMT) on Friday.
Initial reports after Thursday evening's major quake which hit the province put the number of dead at 70 besides 1,300 injured.
The strongest aftershock, which lasted for one minute on Friday, shook the cities of Dorud, Borujerd and Khorramabad followed by 42 minor ones causing panic among residents.
The quakes and aftershocks which hit Borujerd and Dorud have rendered about 15,000 families homeless.
Also Russia will be sending relief to the disaster affected areas. It'll send blankets and other humanitarian aid.
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There have been more clashes between anti-governmental rebel groups and security forces, this time leaving 3 more security forces dead. In the past 3 days the fighting has taken the lives of 6 security forces. The conflict is being held in the West Azerbaijan Province. It happened in the town of Khoy when the rebels drove up and open fire of the forces.
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