Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Thursday's Daily Briefing on Iran

DoctorZin reports, 3.23.2006:

Congress reduces pro-democracy funds for Iran.
  • House Appropriations Committee in a press release announced that the committee did not fund the $75 million requested by the Administration for the promotion of democracy in Iran because it was poorly justified. Instead, $56 million was provided through proven, existing programs that will have an immediate, positive impact on the fostering of democratic ideals in Iran.
Ahmadinejad strengthens ties to Al Qaeda.
  • Adnkronos International reported that an Iranian source close to the reformists confirmed that "With the victory of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad relations with al-Qaeda have been resumed and strengthened."
Britain seeks a military option for Iran.
  • The Times Online reported that Britain is pushing for a military option to restrain Tehran.
  • John Sawers, a Leading British Diplomat, The Times Online published a confidential letter in full detailing the UK Diplomat's Iran strategy.
Condi confident.
  • Reuters reported that Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said she was confident an international agreement would be reached on way to pressure Iran to stop enriching uranium. "Sometimes diplomacy takes a little bit of time..."
Russia digs in.
  • Reuters reported that Russia's foreign minister firmly rejected a draft U.N. Security Council statement aimed at pressuring Iran.
Link established between Libyan and Iran nuclear bomb documents.
  • The Telegraph reported that nuclear inspectors have established a link between Iranian nuclear documents and the blueprint for a warhead bought by Libya on the black market.
No date set for US/Iran talks.
  • FOX News reported that the Bush administration questioned on Wednesday the motives of Iran's Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in approving U.S.-proposed talks on Iraq. No date has been set for the talks.
Iran's hardliners see hard times this year.
  • Iran Press News reported that a regime newspaper said: "The new year will be a dangerous one for the Islamic regime."
Update: Bus Drivers Strike.
  • Iran Press News reported that the Bus driver's union board of directors was released from prison and then one was rearrested the next day.
Iranians arrested for contacting opposition media.
  • Iran Press News reported that residents of the town of Sardasht and surrounding villages have been arrested and charged with phoning into Iranian opposition radio and satellite TV talk shows outside Iran.
Here are a few other news items you may have missed.
  • Jordan Times reported that Arab leaders overall are divided, and publicly squabbling, over how to defuse a crisis that has caused the West to haul Iran before the UN Security Council.
  • Iran Press News reported that families and friends of political prisoners gathered in front of Evin and Rejaiishahr prisons to celebrate Norooz with their loved ones. Photos.
  • Iran Press News reported that a UNESCO Committee declared this year to be "The Year of Pasargad". The fields surrounding Pasargad have been recognized as the birthplace for the concept of human rights and the first capitol of Persia.
  • The New York Sun published the season's top 10 conspiracies in the Arab and Iranian press.
  • Reuters reported that the U.S. asked Japan to stop its planned development of a huge Iranian oil field.
  • And finally, Joseph Klein, argued that Iran has four aces in its hand to avoid any meaningful action by the UN Security Council.