Friday, October 28, 2005

Saturday's Daily Briefing on Iran

DoctorZin reports, 10.28.2005:

Blair Hints at Military Action after Iran's 'Disgraceful' Taunt

Philip Webster, The Times UK:
Tony Blair gave warning last night that the West might have to take military action against Iran after worldwide condemnation of its President’s call for Israel to be “wiped off the map”.

Ending a one-day European Union summit, the Prime Minister called the explosive declaration by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Wednesday a disgrace.

Promising discussions with Washington and other allies over how to react, Mr Blair said that he had often been urged not to take action against Iran.

But he added: If they carry on like this the question people will be asking us is — when are you going to do something about Iran? Can you imagine a State like that with an attitude like that having nuclear weapons?

It was the first time Mr Blair had even hinted at military action and his words are likely to alarm Labour MPs. Mr Blair, clearly angry at the President’s outburst, said that there were people in Iran’s leadership who believed that the world was sufficiently distracted that it could not afford to focus on the nuclear arms issue.

They will be making a very big mistake if they do that. Those sentiments are completely unacceptable,” he said. “I have never come across a situation in which the president of a country has said they want to wipe out another country. That is unacceptable.” READ MORE
For more details on the controversy read:
  • 10 Downing Street released a transcript of the press briefing from the Prime Minister's Official Spokesman on Iran.
  • published an English translation of the Iranian President's speech at Tehran "World without Zionism" Conference.
Here are a few other news items you may have missed.
  • Agence France Presse reported that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Friday dismissed widespread international condemnation of his call for Israel to be "wiped off the map", saying his controversial remark was "right and just".
  • BBC News reported that while Iran has defended its president's call for Israel to be "wiped off the map," a senior Palestinian official rejected the Iranian position.
  • JTA News reported that both houses of Congress unanimously condemned the Iranian president’s call to annihilate Israel.
  • Reuters reported that President George W. Bush on Friday called Iran and Syria "outlaw regimes" and once again saying: The United States makes no distinction between those who commit acts of terror and those who support and harbor them because they are equally guilty of murder.
  • Xinhua News Agency reported that the UN Security Council discussed a British-drafted presidential statement which would decry the Iranian president's radical comments on Israel.
  • Agence France Presse then reported that the UN Security Council on Friday condemned Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's comment.
  • Eli Lake, The NY Sun reported that the U.N. Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, will go ahead with plans to visit Tehran, even after the Iranian president's call for Israel to be "wiped of the map."
  • Khaleej Times Online reported that Arab governments maintained silence yesterday over the call by Iran's new president for Israel to be "wiped off the map," but analysts said Teheran's Arab rivals may quietly be pleased.
  • Amir Taheri, Asharq Alawsat News warned Syria to ignore recent calls by Iran to resist Western pressure for change.
  • World Tribune reported that Iran has sent its first satellite into space and have achieved limited space reconnaissance capability over the entire Middle East, including Israel.
  • Islamlic Republic News Agency attempted to blame the US State Department for having "directly ordered the US media to raise hues and cries against Iran's head of state."
  • Amir Taheri, The New York Post reminded us that the new president of the Islamic Republic, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, described Israel as "a stain of shame that has sullied the purity of Islam," and promised that it would be "cleansed very soon."
  • Middle East Online reported that Iran was Friday holding its annual anti-Israeli hate fest. The turnout was smaller than past events.
  • Ramita Navai, The Times UK was among thousands on the streets of the Iranian capital for annual anti-Israel rallies and reported that it would be a mistake to think that all of Iran is on the streets baying for Israel's blood and that the majority of ordinary Iranians don't really care about Israel- they have enough to worry about at home with a declining economy and high unemployment.
  • And finally, A Photo of Rafsanjani, showing his support of Ahmadinejad's stand on Israel, participating in the anti-Israel, Quds Day, march in Iran.