Saturday, April 01, 2006

Week in Review

DoctorZin provides a review of this past week's [3/26/06 -4/01/06] major news events regarding Iran. (The reports are listed in chronological order, not by importance) READ MORE

Iran's Nuclear Program. The UN Security Council gives Iran 30 days.
  • The New York Times reported that the Bush administration and Russia are struggling to forge a joint strategy on Iran. Russia is concerned about a possible replay of the United States' using resolutions by the Council to confront Iran in the same way it acted against Iraq.
  • Deutsche Presse-Agentur reported that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said the final victory in the nuclear dispute would be with the Iranian nation despite Western intimidation. He added: "we will even demand compensation (from the West) for the loss of the last two and a half years."
  • Rooz Online reported that in recent testimony before the Iranian parliament, the minority reformist faction in the Majlis criticized Ali Larijani, head of Iran's nuclear negotiating team, for providing the MPs with irrelevant and incorrect information.
  • Reuters reported that a senior Iranian official said military strikes against Iran's nuclear sites would not destroy the Islamic republic's uranium enrichment activities, which could be easily moved and restarted.
  • RIA Novosti reported that Iran may continue nuclear talks with Moscow.
  • MosNews reported that U.S. and Russian diplomats were meeting in a new bid to end the impasse over a UN response to Iran’s controversial nuclear program.
  • U.S. Department of State reported that Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice traveled to Germany, France and the United Kingdom to consult with trans-Atlantic partners on the Iranian nuclear program.
  • Reuters reported that Germany said the EU could consider letting Iran pursue limited nuclear enrichment if the U.N. Security Council agreed.
  • Xinhua reported that Russian Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov said Iran should give a clear answer to Russia's offer to set up a uranium enrichment joint venture on Russian territory.
  • FOX News reported that Iran has proposed setting up a nuclear fuel production facility within its borders with international help.
  • Reuters reported that Iran's ambassador to the IAEA said the Islamic Republic's research on atomic enrichment was proceeding well and was on track to be expanded.
  • The New York Times reported that European and American diplomats circulated a new and weaker draft statement to the Security Council but requires the director of the nuclear agency to report back on Iran's compliance with the Security Council statement in 30 days.
  • The Times Online reported that the UN Security Council has given Tehran a month to halt its uranium enrichment program.
  • The Washington Post reported that Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice told the US Senate that Iran was a menace for reasons other than its alleged drive to build a nuclear bomb and that the U.S. and its allies have "a number of tools" if Tehran does not change its ways. She said: "I think there's no doubt that Iran is the single biggest threat from a state that we face."
  • Insight Magazine reported that the U.S. intelligence community has concluded that U.N. Security Council sanctions would fail to stop Iran's nuclear weapons program.
  • CNSNews reported that the head of the Arab League called on the world's Arab states to pursue "peaceful" nuclear energy programs.
  • Breitbart reported that Iran defiantly rejected a U.N. call to reimpose a freeze on uranium enrichment.
  • Bloomberg reported that the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council will use a meeting in Berlin to discuss action to take after the council told Iran to stop enriching uranium.
  • The New York Times reported that members of the UN Security Council are rejecting calls for sanctions on Iran.
  • Xinhua reported that Russia called on Iran to carefully study the statement released by the UN Security Council on its nuclear issue and cooperate.
  • The Washington Post examined the question: Could Sanctions Stop Iran?
  • Vital Perspective published the text of the Security Council presidential statement on Iran.
  • Reuters reported that Iran's influential former president, Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, said that putting the U.N. Security Council in charge of the Iranian nuclear file risked harming Iran, the region and the West.
  • LA Times reported that Iran's foreign minister sought to play down the possibility of a confrontation over Iran's efforts to develop nuclear know-how.
Another earthquake in Iran.
  • reported that two strong earthquakes flattened villages in western Iran early Friday, many dead and injured.
  • Yahoo News reported that President Bush offered assistance Friday to earthquake victims in Iran, saying the United States cares about the suffering of the Iranian people.
  • IranMania reported that US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on Friday offered US humanitarian aid to the victims of the earthquake in Iran.
  • Reuters reported that relief efforts are under way after a series of earthquakes on Thursday night struck Iran's western Lorestan province with over 300 villages in the remote area were reportedly affected, with between 30 and 100 percent of homes damaged.
  • Photos of the earthquake damage.
  • Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting reported that Iran rejected the U.S. offer of aid to the victims of the recent earthquake here.
Iran's Dissidents.
  • Rooz Online reported that while Iranians around the world celebrated the Persian New Year its prisons are full of political and religious dissidents.
  • Amnesty International reported on the imminent execution of Fatemeh Haghighat-Pajouh.
Iranian Leaders On the Offensive.
  • Khaleej Times Online reported that Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, urged Iranians to resist the enemy’s threats.”
  • Reuters reported that a senior Iranian official said military strikes against Iran's nuclear sites would not destroy the Islamic republic's uranium enrichment activities, which could be easily moved and restarted.
  • Haaretz reported that in a meeting with former Spanish prime minister Jose Maria Aznar, Iran's Ayatollah Ali Khamenei explained why Iran must declare war on Israel and the United States until they are completely destroyed.
Power Struggle inside of Iran?
  • Rooz Online reported that Iranian President Ahmadinejad accused former president Khatami of treason.Do the frequent travels of these people to Europe with public funds, and their provision of information to them not constitute spying?”
  • Rooz Online has learned that a number of reformist groups in Iran have sent a confidential letter to ayatollah Khamenei regarding Iran’s nuclear issue, calling on him to prevent the country from falling into more serious crisis.
Iranian regime leaders & the western media.
  • Steven Ekovich, Iran va Jahan reported that the Islamic Republic News Agency distorted an interview with him.
The Unrest inside of Iran.
  • Reuters reported that three members of Iran's Revolutionary Guards were killed in a clash with Kurdish separatists.
Human Rights/Freedom of the press inside of Iran.
  • The Guardian reported that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is cracking down on Iran's universities in an effort to crush a student pro-democracy movement.
  • Institute for War & Peace reported on the efforts of the Iranian regime to eliminate the Iranian Turkmen language and identity.
  • USA Today reported that blogs are now under attack by Iran's hard-line regime.
  • Radio Free Europe reported that the UN special rapporteur on freedom of religion, Asma Jahangir, disclosed an official Iranian government letter that reportedly tells government agencies to collect information -- "in a highly confidential manner" -- about Baha'i members. She explained why the information will likely be used to persecute and discriminate against Baha'i believers.
Iran's Oil Weapon.
Rumors of War.
  • News Max reported that Reza Pahlavi said he is "totally against" a U.S. military strike against Iran's nuclear facilities.'
  • The Guardian reported that Jack Straw today insisted that military action against Iran would be neither "appropriate or conceivable."
  • BBC News examined whether the US will use the military option to stop Iran's nuclear program.
  • Telegraph reported plans by Britain to hold a high-level meeting which will take place in the Ministry of Defense at which senior defence chiefs and government officials to consider the consequences of an attack on Iran.
  • BBC News later reported that the Ministry of Defense said: "No such meeting between defense, foreign office and other officials is taking place."
Support for Internal Regime Change in Iran.
  • Department of State announced an open competition for grant applications that support democratic governance and reform in Iran.
  • The Financial Times reported that President George W. Bush stepped into an intense debate among democracy activists in the US and Iran over how US dollars should be used to carry out the administration’s policy of promoting freedom in the Islamic republic.
  • The Guardian reported that the US is encouraged by the increasing unrest among Iran's numerous ethnic and religious minorities as it steps up efforts to destabilize and if possible bring down the hard-line Islamic Republic.
Iran's Military.
  • Rooz Online reported that military, intelligence, security and police forces in Iran have been put on alert during the Persian New Year holidays and that all leaves have been suspended.
  • Middle East Newsline reported that Britain continues to approve the export of military and security equipment to the Islamic republic.
  • Iran Focus reported that Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps forces in western and south-western Iran close to the Iraqi border have been put on a heightened state of alert.
  • Yahoo News reported that thousands of Iranian troops will on Friday start a week-long military maneuver in the Gulf to ready armed forces for warding off "threats."
  • Times Online reported that Iran today test-fired a new missile with the ability to avoid radar and hit several targets simultaneously.
  • Islamic Republic News Agency during a joint Iranian maritime war-game in the Persian Gulf, reported that: "One unit of Shahab 2 missile is to be launched to resemble peace and friendship among littoral states of the Persian Gulf and Sea of Oman."
  • Dow Jones Newswires reported that the U.S. State Department said Iran's successful test of a nuclear-capable missile demonstrates Iran's "very active and aggressive military program" that is worrisome to the world.
  • The Washington Post reported that Iran's armed forces on Friday successfully test fired a domestically produced missile which can evade radar, adding: "This technology is completely new, without copying any other missile systems that may exist in other countries."
Aircrash in Iran.
  • Reuters reported that a cargo plane crashed west of Tehran.
Iran's Troublemaking in Iraq.
  • Mehran Riazaty examined the statement by the head of Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI), Abdul Aziz Hakim when he said that Iran isn't interfering in internal Iraqi affairs.
  • Ha'aretz reported that Palestinians have for the first time fired the powerful Katyusha rocket believed by many to be of Iranian manufacture.
  • Mehran Riazaty reported that Iranian supported Moqtada Sadr’s spokesman said: All of the Al-Qaeda’s Terrorist operations in Iraq are directed by the US Forces.
US/Iran talks on hold.
  • The Guardian reported that the promised talks between the US and Iran on the situation in Iraq have been put on hold.
  • Mehran Riazaty reported that the Badr Organization in Iraq urged expulsion of US ambassador to Iraq, Zelmai Khalilzad.
Iran and the International community.
  • Telegraph reported that Liam Fox, the [UK] shadow defense secretary, has accused Jack Straw of making a "pretty big mistake" by ruling out military intervention in Iran.
  • reported that fears of an increasing Iranian role in Iraq appeared to loom over the annual summit of Arab leaders.
  • The New York Times reported that German prosecutors claimed that several million dollars' worth of equipment that could be used for a nuclear program had been shipped from Germany to Iran, via a Russian company.
  • World Tribune reported that Nigeria has sought Iranian help in establishing a defense industry.
  • reported that the Central Bank of Iran denied news reports on withdrawal of 250 tons of Iran's gold reserves from the Swiss Credit Bank. These reports say Iran has withdrawn 700 tons of its gold reserves, since October to unknown destinations.
Insight into the Iranian mind.
  • Zaneirani, an Iranian blogger, asked why sympathizers of the Iranian regime have the permission to live in the U.S. while others get the black stamp in their passport!
Must Read reports.
  • Rooz Online published an interview with Hassan Abbassi, Ahmadinejad's chief strategic guru, who said: "We are able to endanger both, US security and its economic interests anywhere in the world."
  • Charles Krauthammer, Time Magazine sees the end of civilization, if we fail to prevent an Iranian regime run by apocalyptic fanatics from going nuclear.
  • Anne Bayefsky, The National Review argued why the latest action by the UN Security Council is a a win for Iran.
  • The Washington Post reported that U.S. intelligence and terrorism experts say they believe Iran would respond to U.S. military strikes with attacks against U.S. targets worldwide.
The Experts.
  • Amir Taheri, The New York Post warned that the indecision and slow pace of action by the Western powers towards Iran amounts to a clear encouragement of the most radical factions in Tehran.
  • Michael Ledeen, National Review Online reminded the US government is ignoring the fact that Iran is at war with the US and they are convincing the world that they have already won in Iraq. He also reported massive troop movements inside Iran designed to battle the under-reported ethnic unrest there.
  • Middle East Economic Survey reported that the Joint Economic Committee of the US Congress issued a report which states that "support for terrorism and economic mismanagement by the government have damaged oil and gas development in Iran." Full text of the report.
  • Amir Taheri, The Wall Street Journal reported how Iran's Hassan Abbasi, the principal foreign policy voice in President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, believes the US will be forced from the Middle East. A must read.
  • Ilan Berman, The Jourmal of International Security Affairs suggested that Washington may soon find a much more constructive tenor to its long-running dialogue with Moscow over Iran.
  • The Times reported that the Badr organisation, trained in exile by Iran’s Revolutionary Guards was deliberately recruited by Britain to join the new Iraqi security services after Saddam Hussein was overthrown.
  • Amir Taheri, Asharq Alawsat argued there is no civil war in Iraq: here is why.
Photos, cartoons and videos.
  • Photos of the earthquake damage.
And finally, The Quote of the Week.
Haaretz reported that in a meeting with former Spanish prime minister Jose Maria Aznar, Iran's Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Anzar recounted:

"He received me politely," Aznar wrote, "and at the beginning of the meeting he explained to me why Iran must declare war on Israel and the United States until they are completely destroyed. I made only one request of him: that he tell me the time of the planned attack."