Saturday, April 08, 2006

Week in Review

DoctorZin provides a review of this past week's [4/02/06 -4/08/06] major news events regarding Iran. (The reports are listed in chronological order, not by importance) READ MORE

Iran's Military conducts war games.
  • Reuters reported that a senior Iranian naval commander Iran has test-fired a sonar-evading underwater missile that can outpace any enemy warship.
  • Ilan Berman, American Foreign Policy Council reported that Iran is assembling a new class of hybrid intermediate ballistic missiles that bring nearly every city in Western Europe within striking distance.
  • Reuters reported that Iran test fired a new torpedo in the Strait of Hormuz that they claim are "capable of destroying enemy warships and submarines at any depth and moving at any speed." They added: "We are going to have very important news that will make our nation proud in the next few days."
  • The Financial Times reported that Iran’s announcement that it had tested a new torpedo in the Persian Gulf is driving up oil prices.
  • ABC News reported that Richard Clarke said: "The missile test may backfire. Iran is claiming that missile has multiple warheads...the only reason for having multiple warheads is if you have nuclear weapons."
  • The New York Times reported on Iran's space program and its application to ballistic missile development.
  • Reuters reported that Iran said it would test fire more missiles as part of a week of wargames in the Gulf.
  • RIA Novosti reported that the chief of Russia's General Staff said he could neither confirm nor deny reports that Ukraine had sold 250 nuclear warheads to Iran.
  • Bill Gertz, The Washington Times referring to Iran's tests of an older Scud missile variant last week reported that the Pentagon said Iran often exaggerates its military developments.
  • MosNews reported that the chairman of the Russian State Duma said that the latest demonstration of military force by Iran "is not quite appropriate now."
  • India Defence reported that Iran successfully tested a "super-modern flying boat" which Iran claimed: "no radar at sea or in the air can locate it. It can lift out of the water... and can launch missiles with precise targeting while moving."
  • Iran Focus reported that Iran test-fired a shoulder-launched rocket.
  • CNN News reported that Iran tested a second missile equipped with remote-control designed to sink ships.
  • SeattlePI reported that experts said of Iran's weapons tests that it appears much of the technology came from Russia.
  • Dow Jones Newswires reported that a top commander of Iran's Revolutionary Guards said the current maneuvers in the Persian Gulf and Arabian Sea aim to prepare the troops in case of attack by the U.S.
  • The Guardian reported that a top Iranian military official said Iran can now defend itself against any invasion.
  • Telegraph reported that while Iran announced another success: the launching of "the world's fastest underwater missile," the Russian Admiral Eduard Baltin, said Iran's torpedo announcement was little more than a bluff. "Shkval has no target designation devices. That is, it is not a self-homing torpedo. Besides, it leaves a trail, which makes it easy to spot and destroy."
  • MemriTV published video footage of an Iranian Revolutionary Guards Navy test of a flying boat and two missiles.
  • SeattlePI reported that the United States, Israel and the Gulf Arab states are now all worried about the same thing, Iran.
  • Asharq Al- Awsat reported on Iran's latest missile test which carried a message of "peace and friendship" and asked "so where exactly is the peace and amity message in this military demonstration?"
  • Iran Press News reported that some in Iran are advising the Islamic regime's ministry of defense to conduct military maneuvers with "the Islamic regime's attendant allies" such as Cuba, Venezuela, Bolivia, etc. near US waters.
Iran's Nuclear Program & The UN Security Council.
  • Reuters reported that Iran blasted the U.N. Security Council for trying to pressure it into halting its uranium enrichment work but pledged to keep cooperating with the IAEA.
  • USA Today reported that Condoleezza Rice said the United States was committed to pursuing a diplomatic solution to the Iranian nuclear crisis, but added: "However, the president of the United States doesn't take his options off the table."
  • Xinhua reported that U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, John Bolton, dismissed allegations that Washington would solve the Iran nuclear issue by force, saying that his country was seeking a peaceful settlement.
  • The Sun reported that Iran's nuclear bomb plans will be unstoppable by 2007.
  • The Jerusalem Post reported that Iran said it is willing to negotiate with world powers on the large-scale enrichment of uranium but will never give way on their key demand - to cease all enrichment.
  • Deutsche Welle Online reported that German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier held talks with US officials in Washington on the Iranian nuclear crisis.
  • Telegraph reported American intelligence believes that the nose cone of the Shahab-3 ballistic missile has been modified to carry a nuclear bomb and the IAEA suspects the existence of a secret uranium enrichment project at closed military bases.
  • Time reported that Europe wants to offer Iran incentives including security guarantees as well as sanctions and that the U.S. to give up, for now, its pursuit of regime change.
  • Iran Focus reported that a number of officials appointed by Ahmadinejad for the posts of Iran’s ambassadors to European countries have been rejected by the host countries.
  • Iran Press News reported that the Chinese representative to the U.N. Security Council warned that there will be unpleasant consequences, if Tehran's regime refuses to comply with the UNSC demand to halt uranium enrichment activities within 30 days.
  • Reuters reported that John Bolton said the United Nations Security Council could give Iran only two chances to comply with demands for the Islamic republic to curb its nuclear activity before imposing sanctions. "Then we will consider the next step, which may well be a Chapter 7 resolution that imposes sanctions of some kind."
  • Yahoo News reported that U.N. Ambassador John Bolton said US is considering other diplomatic and economic options to deter Iran from developing nuclear weapons if diplomacy at the United Nations Security Council fails.
  • Telegraph reported that IAEA inspectors are now convinced that the Iranians have another, small-scale uranium processing and enrichment project that is being kept secret from the outside world.
  • Telegraph reported that military experts have concluded that Iran has been able to modify the nose cone to carry a basic nuclear bomb.
  • AFX News reported that Mohamed ElBaradei, will visit Iran next week to meet with senior Iranian officials regarding outstanding safeguard verification issues and other confidence-building measures.
  • BBC News reported that UN nuclear inspectors are back in Iran to visit locations including the Natanz uranium enrichment plant and another facility at Isfahan.
Earthquake update.
  • Reutersreported that there is growing concern over the welfare of tens of thousands of children affected by a series of quakes in western Iran last week.
  • Iran Press News reported that the Iranian regime has been arresting earthquake victims who complained the lack of relief, calling them agitators and hoodlums. One example: no more than 2000 tents have been sent to provide shelter 250,000 people. No private citizen is permitted to deliver any assistance.
  • Iran Press News reported on still more and more earthquake victims protests over the lack of relief efforts and as before they were then brutally attacked and severely beaten.
Iran's Dissidents.
  • ReleaseGanji reported that Akbar Ganji rejected the claim that he was going to keep silent after his release and announced: I won't keep quiet. He added that none of their demands will be achieved without paying a price.
  • Rooz Online reported that fake charges are being brought against imprisoned human rights defenders in Kurdish provinces.
  • Amnesty International called for urgent action in support of eight women and children held solely in an attempt to force their husbands and fathers to give themselves up to the Iranian authorities.
  • Iran Press News reported that a bus drivers’ union member has gone on a hunger strike in prison to protest his re-arrest.
  • Iran Press News reported that the editors of two more Iranian publications have been charged with printing "lies, material that agitates public opinion and stirring trouble".
  • Iran Press News reported on still more innocent journalists have been sentenced to prison for the charges are insulting the founder of the Islamic Revolution and taking action against the security of the order of the ruling regime.
Power Struggle inside of Iran?
  • Ilan Berman, American Foreign Policy Councilreported that listening devices have reportedly been found in a number of key regional and federal offices that have close contact with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his cabinet.
Iranian regime leaders & the western media.
  • Mehran Riazaty reported that Iran will activate Hezbollah’s Satellite Broadcast called “Kabarand will cover North Africa, Central Europe, and North America.
The Unrest inside of Iran.
  • Iran Focus reported that some 400 people were arrested in the Iranian capital on the final day of the Persian New Year.
  • The Australian reported that the Iranian regime arrested seven men posing as the national wrestling team seeking to flee the country.
  • SMCCDI reported that Iranians defied the Islamist regime and taboos in massive cultural outdoor event, the end of Persian New Year.
  • Iran Focus reported that another agent of Iran’s State Security Forces (SSF) was killed during armed clashes in the western province of Kermanshah.
Human Rights/Freedom of the press inside of Iran.
  • Iran Focus reported that Iran'’s security forces have arrested several student activists responsible for the publication of campus newspapers in two Iranian universities.
  • Rooz Online has been the subject of repeated Internet attacks during the past few days.
Rumors of War.
  • NewsMax reported that Senator John McCain said a military conflict with Iran over that country's nuclear program could lead to "Armageddon."
  • Forbes reported that Washington is not preparing for an imminent confrontation. However, current political and military undercurrents suggest that Washington is focused as much on a long-term effort to change the nature of the Iranian regime.
  • Seymour M. Hersh, The New Yorker once again claims the US is preparing to attack Iran, but this time he claims the use nuclear weapons against Iran is being considered.
  • The NY Times reported that four Pentagon, military, and administration officials rejected the Hersh's accusation that the Bush administration was considering nuclear weapons in a possible strike against Iran.
  • The Scotsman added that Iran claimed the article is part of a campaign of "psychological war."
Support for Internal Regime Change in Iran.
  • Voice of America reported that in a Congressional hearing Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice defended plans to step up U.S. broadcasting and democracy-promotion efforts in Iran, saying she believed that subtlety in trying to promote reform in Iran is not the proper course.
  • Countdown reported on a petition against the US plan to allocate funds for democracy promotion in Iran.
  • Voice of America reported that the State Department is already accepting applications from NGOs and individuals interested in obtaining U.S. funds to work with the Iranian people. That could include factions from the Iranian exile community.
  • U.S. Department of State released a statement supporting human rights and democracy in Iran: The U.S. Record 2005 - 2006.
Iran's economy in serious trouble.
  • Yahoo News reported investors' are worried about Ahmadinejad's anti-market policies and the Iranian people, suffering from crushing unemployment and inflation, may soon grow weary of his regime sacrificing their butter for guns.
  • Rooz Online reported that the head of Iran's Planning and Management Organization announced that the government would continue the policy of quotas for gasoline. If economic sanctions are imposed on Iran, gasoline imports could turn into a serious crisis for the country.
  • Iran Press News reported that the Islamic regime has withdrawn 700 tons of its gold reserves worth $30 billion from Swiss banks and transferred it to Asian banks located in the United Arab Emirates.
  • Rooz Online reported that Iran's parliament voted to lower the banking interest rate, despite the Banking Governor's warning of its effect on the economy.
Iran's Troublemaking in Iraq.
  • Sunday Mirror reported that a network of terror camps has been set up in Iran to train insurgents to kill British troops in Iraq.
  • Reuters reported that Iran's Revolutionary Guards commander said "The Americans should accept Iran as a great regional power and they should know that sanctions and military threats are not going to be benefit them."
US/Iran talks on hold.
  • Bill Samii, Radio Free Europe reported that no matter what comes from the US/Iran talks on Iraq, Iran's "soft power," to influence Iraqi affairs seems likely to continue.
  • Mehr News Agency reported that public talks between Iran and the United States on the security and stability of Iraq will take place on Saturday, April 8.
  • Mehran Riazaty said that the Iran-U.S. talks on Iraq will be held next few days but whether these talks are to be public or not depends on the agreement reached by both sides.
  • Iran Press News reported that the Iranian press is discussing the real reason for the Islamic regime is attempting to hold discussions with the U.S. regarding Iraq.
  • Abbas William Samii, The Daily Star reported Iran is divided over talking to the U.S.
  • The Washington Post reported that while the Bush administration remains interested in limited talks with Iran on its activities in Iraq, but talks have been put on hold.
  • BBC News reported that some hardliners in Iran are calling for the cancellation of talks planned between the US and Iran over Iraq.
Iran and the International community.
  • Telegraph reported that Iran has set up a sophisticated intelligence gathering operation in southern Lebanon to identify targets in northern Israel.
  • Reuters reported that the United States confirmed that two Iranian navy ships had visited Indian ports last month, but played down the contact.
  • Arizona Republic reported that top intelligence officers from several Arab countries and Turkey have been meeting secretly to coordinate their governments' strategies in case civil war erupts in Iraq and in an attempt to block Iran's interference in the war-torn nation.
  • DowJones reported that a full-page advert in London's Financial Times by the American Jewish Committee asking if the world could feel safe if Iran were to develop nuclear weapons has spurred anger from Iranian diplomats.
  • Kathryn Jean Lopez, National Review Online published an interview with Nazanin Afshin-Jam, the former Miss World Canada, who is calling the world's attention to the plight of the Iranian people.
  • UPI reported that Russia said it is interested in joining the Iran-Pakistan-India gas pipeline as an active partner. It appears the US is resigned to fact the pipeline may go ahead.
  • CNN News reported that Condoleezza Rice downplayed concerns about India's links with Iran as she lobbied Congress to support the controversial nuclear cooperation agreement struck between India and the United States.
  • Reuters reported that Iran President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad may travel to Germany to watch his national team play at the World Cup despite the fact that in Germany holocaust denial is punishable with a prison term of up to five years.
  • Reuters reported that Germany invites Iran's president to the World Cup Soccer games, after he expressed interest in attending.
Insight into the Iranian mind.
  • Iran Press News reported that in recent months, the number of suicides among unpaid workers in Iran has skyrocketed; some of the workers have even committed suicide with their families.
  • Iran Focus reported that Iran’s State Security Forces (SSF) are now tying young men to walls in Tehran on charges of “causing trouble” to humiliate them. Photo.
US Congress.
  • The Telegraph reported that the US Congress claimed that Swiss bank UBS helped finance the Mullahs' nuclear ambitions in breach of US sanctions.
  • The Financial Times reported that a senior Iranian official, Mohammad Nahavandian, has flown to Washington to “lobby” high level US/Iran talks, but the Bush administration is resisting.
Must Read reports.
  • AxisGlobe reported that a former CIA undercover agent claims: KGB and GRU former intelligence operators are assisting Hezbollah to penetrate the US.
  • Iran Press News reported that a special clerical court of the Islamic regime sentenced a Mullah who recently shot and killed a young man, in the back, to only 3 years in prison because "he will not tell us" why he did it. The government argued it may have been an accident.
  • David Frum, Il Foglio examined three possible reasons why the Iranian regime, who seem determined to obtain nuclear weapons at the earliest opportunity, brags and boasts and taunts the West--before they have actually have a nuclear bomb.
  • Ilan Berman, AFPC reported that the House of Saud is moving forward with its own clandestine nuclear program, with the help of Pakistan.
  • Mehran Riazaty produced a collection of Iranian press reports that Ahmadinjead is being directed by the invisible power of the 12th Imam will return in 2 years.
  • Caroline Glick, The Jerusalem Post reported on the dangerous rise of the Islamist axis under the leadership of Iran.
  • Rooz Online argues that there is no evidence that the US wants to break Iran into smaller nation states as some Iranians fear.
  • NewsMax reported that Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld predicted that the saber rattling by Iranian President Ahmadinejad will backfire, ultimately weakening his hold over the Iranian people.
The Experts.
  • Amir Taheri, The New York Post reminds us that the area where Iran's nuclear plant is located at the center of the country's most active earthquake zone. He examined the safety issues no one is talking about.
  • Council on Foreign Relations released audio and transcripts of its Symposium on Iran's Nuclear Program: Policy Options for the United States. An interesting read.
  • Victor Davis Hanson, The National Review Online thinks that the Iranian president has miscalculated in its judgments of the US and suggest he better sober up and do some cool reckoning.
  • William F Buckley, The National Review Online published his thoughts on the current crisis on Iran.
  • Amir Taheri, Asharq Alawsat argued that a Shiite split will help Iraq's new democracy.
Photos, cartoons and videos.
  • Cox & Forkum published a cartoon: Chaos Theory.
  • The Right Brothers, You Tube, released a music video: Bush Was Right.
  • Cox & Forkum published another cartoon: Blixatron.
  • Iran Focus published photos of Iran’s State Security Forces (SSF) tying young men to walls in Tehran on charges of “causing trouble” to humiliate them.
  • You Tube features a video that explains why Iranian opposition groups want the west to learn about Cyrus The Great.
And finally, The Quote of the Week.
ReleaseGanji reported that Akbar Ganji reminded visiting students

"all the countries who have achieved such ideals as democracy, freedom etc. have also paid the price and this principle has no exception."