Friday, March 24, 2006

Saturday's Daily Briefing on Iran

DoctorZin reports, 3.25.2006:

UN Security Council working through the weekend on Iran.
  • FOX News reported that Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice issued a veiled warning to holdouts in a diplomatic impasse at the United Nations over Iran's disputed nuclear program. "There can't be any stalling."
  • Reuters reported that Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov agreed in the call that the sides' negotiators could work through the weekend to try to break the impasse.
US/Iran talks will happen.
  • Xinhua News Agency reported that U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said she is "certain" that the United States will hold direct talks with Iran on Iraq "at an appropriate time."
Khalilzad accuses Iran of duplicity.
  • The Washington Post reported that U.S. Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad said Iran is publicly professing its support for Iraq's stalemated political process while its military and intelligence services back outlawed militias and insurgent groups.
Iranian regime knows how to play the world's media.
  • Northeast Intelligence Network reminds us that very time the nuclear issue heats up and there is posturing by Iran and the United States over Iran's nuclear plans; Iran reaches into their bag of distractions and makes a play for the global media’s attention to shift the focus from the immediate threat.
Iran's Press not free to criticize regime's nuclear program.
  • BBC News reported that as the international debate over Iran's nuclear program has intensified, some Iranian journalists say they have come under increasing pressure not to criticise their government on the issue.
US Military: no immediate action on Iran.
  • The Voice of America reported that the chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Peter Pace, said Washington does not see military action against Iran as an immediate option to force the Iranian regime to scrap its nuclear program.
UN sanctions will lead to executions in Iran.
  • Inter Press Service reported that a United Nations Security Council (UNSC) vote imposing sanctions on the Tehran government for its nuclear program could result in retaliatory executions.
Iranian military exercises near Iraqi border.
  • Iran Focus reported that Islamist militiamen affiliated to the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps have launched military exercises near the Iraqi border to “deal with possible unrest.”
US domestic efforts against the Iranian regime.
  • The Foundation for Defense of Democracies reported that the US Treasury Dept. dealt a major blow to Hezbollah's Al-Manar TV designating it as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT) entity.
  • Vital Perspectives reported that California State Controller Steve Westly called on state agencies to examine their pension holdings for investment in companies with ties to Iran.
Iran's Hardliners/Reformists unite in nuclear crisis?
  • Radio Free Europe reported that despite a great deal of controversy preceded the semi-annual meeting of the Assembly of Experts in early-March, the body of 86 clerics that supervises and selects Iran's top political and religious leader. Rafsanjani told the assembly that this is the time for national unity.
Turkey on Iran.
  • The New Anatolian reported that visiting U.S. senators told Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan that Iran's nuclear activities not only pose a threat for the U.S. but also for Turkey and the whole Middle East.
  • Daily Star reported that in one of those revealing slips of the tongue, Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul recently confessed that he feared the spread of Iranian influence.
Here are a few other news items you may have missed.
  • The Wall Street Journal in an editorial said that democratic revolutions tend to have iconic figures that become emblems of the suffering of their people and that in Iran; the iconic figure is Akbar Ganji.
  • And finally, Eli Lake, The New York Sun reported that a former Democratic senator and 9/11 commissioner says a recently declassified Iraqi account of a 1995 meeting between Osama bin Laden and a senior Iraqi envoy presents a "significant set of facts," and shows a more detailed collaboration between Iraq and Al Qaeda.