Saturday's Daily Briefing on Iran
DoctorZin reports, 3.18.2006:
Russia hopes to slow down the UN Security Council on Iran.
- FOX News reported that U.S. Ambassador John Bolton said the U.N. Security Council appears determined to send a "strong and clear signal" to Tehran about its suspect nuclear program, after a meeting of the powerful U.N. body that he described as the best so far.
- Nick Wadham, Forbes reported that Russia's U.N. ambassador on Friday rejected proposals that would have the U.N. Security Council demand a quick progress report on Iran's suspect nuclear program, saying - half in jest - that fast action could lead to the bombing of Iran by June.
- Radio Free Europe reported that Iranian General Ismail Ahmadi-Moghaddam said rebels posed as security forces, stopped cars traveling along the Zabol-Zahedan road and then killed 22 passengers and suggested that U.S. and British intelligence agents were involved.
- Reuters reported that a Sunni rebel group said it was behind an attack that killed 22 people in a remote region in southeastern Iran saying that they attacked the convoy of a provincial governor, killing 22 soldiers, and took seven hostages, including a senior security official to obtain the release of members detained by Iran.
- BBC News reported that US National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley said he was concerned an offer by Iran to hold talks with the US on Iraq could be simply "a device" to divert pressure from Tehran's nuclear ambitions.
- U.S. Department of State reported that Secretary of State Rice said that talks with Iran would not be "negotiations." Full text.
- Reuters reported that U.S. officials in Iraq again accused Iran of meddling in Iraq's internal affairs, saying the Islamic Republic was carrying out "unhelpful activities" there.
- Iran Focus reported that Iran’s Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki demanded a timeline for the withdrawal of United States-led troops from Iraq.
- Iran Focus reported that Iranian Ayatollah Jannati said on Iran would never back down from its nuclear pursuit and the nuclear capability was the “dignity of Islam.”
- Iran Focus reported that Iran’s Supreme National Security Council, Ali Larijani, accused the United States of pursuing a campaign of “creeping regime change” in Iran.
- White House released a Presidential Message to commemorate the Iranian holiday of Nowruz.
- Alex Alexiev, Center for Security Policy examined the transition of Iranian totalitarian theocracy to messianic Islamofascism and suggestions towards a strategy for regime change.
- BBC News reported that a group of exiled Syrian opposition leaders has announced they are to form a common front to oppose President Bashar al-Assad's government.
- And finally, Financial Times reported that International oil companies are putting multibillion-dollar projects in Iran on hold, concerned about the diplomatic standoff over the country’s nuclear program.