Saturday, April 29, 2006

Week in Review

DoctorZin provides a review of this past week's [4/23/06 - 4/29/06] 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.
  • Reuters reported that Soltanieh, Iran's envoy to the International Atomic Energy Agency, said that Iran and Russia have not reached uranium enrichment agreement.
  • Elaine Shannon, Time reported that ahead of this week's U.N. Security Council deadline for Iran, U.S. officials have been mapping a plan to hit the defiant regime. But the attacks will be financial, not military.
  • Los Angeles Times reported that Iran's key ally in the current nuclear crisis is not Russia or China. It's oil.
  • Telegraph reported that Robert Joseph arms control chief warned that Iran is "very close to the point of no return" in acquiring the technological expertise to make a nuclear weapon and "that the Iranians have put both feet on the accelerator."
  • IranMania reported that leaders of oil-rich Persian Gulf Arab states will hold their annual mid-year "consultative" summit on May 6 with the Iranian nuclear crisis on the agenda.
  • Bloomberg reported that Ahmadinejad rejected a United Nations deadline to suspend Iran's nuclear program, threatened to quit the Non-Proliferation Treaty if the UN doesn't recognize Iran's right to nuclear technology.
  • The Washington Post reported that the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee acknowledged "we really don't know" how close Tehran is to developing a nuclear weapon.
  • U.S. News reported that the West is seriously considering a "Plan B" for Iran: Sanctions that Bite.
  • The New York Times reported that Iran has told the IAEA that it will refuse to answer questions about a second, secret uranium-enrichment program.
  • Reuters reported that Iran's chief nuclear negotiator, Ali Larjani, said Iran would suspend its relations with the IAEA if sanctions were imposed.
  • BBC News reported that Iran's Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has said Iran is ready to share its nuclear technology with other nations.
  • The Guardian reported that Ali Larijani, the top Iranian nuclear negotiator threatened to hide its nuclear program if the West takes ``harsh measures.''
  • Rooz Online reported that Dr. Ali Zabihi, Mahmoud a presidential advisor to Ahmadinejad claims that the international community would not impose sanctions on Iran.
  • Casper Star Tribune reported that Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said the credibility of the U.N. Security Council will be in doubt if it does not take clear-cut action against Iran over Tehran's nuclear program.
  • reported that Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said the United States is concerned over Iranian threats to share the nuclear technology it is developing with other countries.
  • UPI reported that British Prime Minister Tony Blair again refused to rule out the possibility that he would support military action against Iran.
  • TVNZ reported that China rejected a US proposal to order Iran to suspend uranium enrichment work under a legally binding measure under the Chapter 7 provision of the UN Charter.
  • Reuters reported that eleventh hour talks between ElBaradei and Iran's nuclear energy chief ended without public comments.
  • Rooz Online reported that Iran has another surprise likely tomorrow, as the UNSC meets: the discovery of vast resources of uranium some where in the south of Iran.
  • View London reported that the prime minister's spokesman said that Downing Street is taking the threat posed by Iran "very seriously."
  • Reuters reported that Jack Straw said that China's backing on Iran is crucial.
  • Rooz Online discussed: Is the current slogan and rhetoric advanced by the government media, “nuclear energy is our absolute right" a true reflection of the needs of the people?
  • Rooz Online published an interview with French Foreign Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy.
  • Deutsche Welle reported that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad remained defiant saying his country "will not bow to injustice and pressure," the day before a UN deadline to stop sensitive nuclear work expires. "Thanks to God, we are a nuclear state."
  • The Financial Times reported that Russia and China on Thursday warned against escalating the dispute over Iran’s nuclear program.
  • reported that Germany's foreign minister suggested that the United States and Iran could hold direct discussions on the Islamic republic's nuclear standoff with the West if Tehran agrees to talk to Washington about the chaos in Iraq.
  • Dow Jones Newswires reported that France wants any U.N. resolution on Iran's nuclear program to come under Chapter 7 of the U.N. charter, allowing for sanctions or possibly military force.
  • The Wall Street Journal reported that the U.S. had already asked for a Security Council meeting for next Wednesday to discuss the IAEA report due out Friday and how to respond to it.
  • Haaretz reported that Iran has purchased surface-to-surface missiles from North Korea with a range of 2,500 kilometers. The new weapons pose a threat for countries in Europe and are able to carry a nuclear warhead.
  • Yahoo News reported that Iran's president said: "Those who want to prevent Iranians from obtaining their right should know that we do not give a damn to such resolutions."
  • Islamic Republic News Agency reported that President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said that Iran has potentials to become an international superpower speedily.
  • Vital Perspective published the long awaited IAEA report on Iran and an analysis. Full text of IAEA report.
  • My Way News reported that the IAEA said ran has defied a U.N. Security Council call for a freeze on enriching uranium and its lack of cooperation with nuclear inspectors was a "matter of concern."
  • The Washington Post reported that President George W. Bush said about the Iran crisis after a meeting with Azeri President Ilham Aliyev, Bush said his desire is "to solve this problem diplomatically and peacefully."
  • Dow Jones Newswires reported that French Foreign Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy said in a statement. "We continue, nevertheless, to say to Iran that the door to negotiation is not closed."
  • Dow Jones Newswires reported that German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said: "We maintain that the only solution is a diplomatic one."
  • Dow Jones Newswires reported that China's UN Ambassador Wang Guangya "All we want is to work for a diplomatic solution because this region is already complicated, there are a lot of problems in the region, and we should not do anything that would cause the situation (to be) more complicated."
  • Reuters reported that Senator John McCain warned Russia and China on Friday of damage to their relationship with the United States if they refused to go along with sanctions against Iran. "There will be a reaction in the U.S. Congress."
  • Peter Brookes, reported on the implications of Tehran offering to share its nuclear know-how with others.
  • The Wall Street Journal reported that a funny thing happened on the way to the Iranian bomb: The more alarming the mullahs' behavior, the more nonchalant the rest of the world seems to be about it. But one development may give even the most adamant pooh-poohers pause.
  • reported on the next steps in attempts to pressure Iran.
  • Eitb24 reported that an Iranian nuclear official said Tehran was ready for a conditional return to intrusive inspections but that uranium enrichment will continue, "if the issue is returned to the International Atomic Energy Agency."
  • The Wall Street Journal reported that U.S. and European officials said they now would press the U.N. Security Council to swiftly pass a Chapter VII resolution.
  • The Washington Post reported that the US and the European Union struck different tones on how to respond to Iran's nuclear defiance.
  • Kenneth R. Timmerman, published highlights from the latest IAEA report.
Iranian regime threats.
  • CBS News reported that Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said "The Americans should know that if they invade Iran, their interests around the world would be harmed. Iran will respond double-fold to any attack."
  • Mehran Riazaty reported that two years ago, the Ansar of Hezbollah said the same thing as what Ayatollah Khamenei said today. If enemies attack interests of Iran, no matter how small this attack would be, we will endanger all of their interests all over the world.”
  • Asharq Alawsat published what they claim is Iran's secret plan if attacked by US codenamed "Judgment Day."
Ahmadinejad tries to score points with Iranian women.
  • Reuters reported that Ahmadinejad said women should be allowed into sports stadiums for the first time, reversing the Islamic Republic's code preventing them watching men playing sports.
  • The Financial Times reported some of Iran’s most senior clerics issued rulings this week condemning a decision by President Mahmoud Ahmadi-Nejad allowing women to sit in the stands at top matches.
Iran's Dissidents.
  • Rooz Online reported on the increase of executions by the "Compassionate Government" of Ahmadinejad.
  • Iran Press News republished a statement by political prisoners in Iran who condemned, Iranian Nobel Peace Prize winner, Shirin Ebadi, saying that her interviews, speeches, articles and reports have taken on a very conservative tone.
The Unrest inside of Iran.
  • SMCCDI reported the assassination of a top Pasdaran Corp. (Islamic Revolutionary Guards) commander in the religious city of Ghom.
  • Iran Focus reported that a young man was hanged in prison charged with killing a local Iranian police commander.
  • SMCCDI reported that the Islamist prosecutor of the City of Shadgan was seriously wounded during an armed attack by an unknown masked commando.
Rumors of War.
  • FOX News reported that their latest poll indicates that the U.S. should have Iran war plans ready.
  • Asia Times claimed a former Iranian ambassador and Islamic Republic insider provided intriguing details about alleged US covert operations inside Iran aimed at destabilizing the country and toppling the regime.
  • REGNUM News Agency reported that Iranian Supreme National Security Council Ali Larijani said in an interview said US “Reconnaissance units are acting in Azerbaijan, their activity is aimed against the Islamic Republic of Iran.”
  • MosNews reported that the Secretary of Iranian Supreme National Security Council Ali Larijani accused the United States of using the territory of Iran’s neighbor, Azerbaijan, against the Islamic republic.
Support for Internal Regime Change in Iran.
  • Vital Perspective reported that the Iran Freedom Support Act overwhelmingly passed in the House by a margin of 397-21. When will the Senate act on its version on the bill?
Iran's economy in serious trouble.
  • The Washington Post reported that Iran is scrapping a $1.2 bln deal with foreign firms. Conservative parliamentarians had argued that Iranian firms could carry out the project more cheaply. Analysts believe this could trigger a flight of engineering companies from Iran.
  • Iran Press News reported that workers representative of the Pokdasht townships said: “The problems of 228 workers from Sazmayeh mining company have not been resolved and they are owed 15 months of wages and benefits."
  • The Wall Street Journal reported that Iran's new Oil Minister Kazem Vaziri Hamaneh said that the country may ease the restrictive rules under which foreign oil companies can invest in the nation.
  • TMCNet reported that Oil Minister Kazem Vaziri Hamaneh said that the Oil Stock Exchange will be launched in Iran in the next week.
Iran's Troublemaking in Iraq.
  • Iran Press News reported that Tehran’s regime has been found to be behind plans to create chaos in Jordan in order to block the conference being organized by King Abdullah II of Jordan; the national reconciliation conference will bring Iraqi Sunni and Shiite leaders together in order to primarily discuss Tehran’s incessant meddling in Iraqi affairs.
  • reported that the most important fact about Iraq's new prime minister, Jawad al-Maliki's election is that it's a modest declaration of independence from Iran.
Iran vs. Israel.
  • reported that Ahmadinejad said that Israel "cannot survive", adding that migrants to the Jewish state should go back to where they came from.
  • The Jerusalem Post reported that Interim Prime Minister Ehud Olmert warned that Teheran's ambitions threaten not only Israel but all of Western civilization.
  • The Jerusalem Post reported that the Israeli Defense Forces, fearing an Iranian missile attack, has raised the level of vigilance of its Arrow 2 anti-ballistic missile defense system.
  • Ha'aretz reported that a top secret comprehensive report produced by a military-civilian committee warned that other Muslim countries in the Middle East could follow Iran in equipping themselves with nuclear weapons.
  • The Jerusalem Post reported that something very important is happening that is changing the Middle East dramatically: the decline of the Arab world, the development of a major conflict between Sunni and Shi'ite Arabs, and the rising power of Iran.
  • Telegraph reported that Israel's defence minister, Shaul Mofaz, said: "Of all the threats we face, Iran is the biggest. The world must not wait. ... Since Hitler we have not faced such a threat."
  • Reuters reported that Israel successfully launched on Tuesday a highly accurate imaging satellite which will enhance its ability to spy on Iran.
  • The Jerusalem Post reported that Israeli Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz said Iran has given close to 10 million dollars to Palestinian terror groups in Israel since the beginning of the year.
  • Mercury News reported that Iran's U.N. ambassador denounced Israel's election as a vice-chair of the U.N. Disarmament Commission. The same commission that Iran was elevated to last week despite its ignoring the UNSC call to halt its nuclear enrichment and offering to share its nuclear technology with other nations.
  • Ireland Online reported that Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert expressed confidence that the West will prevent Iran from obtaining weapons of mass destruction and compared Iran’s president with Adolf Hitler.
US/Iran talks on hold? Or have they been held already?
  • Iran Focus reported that Ahmadinejad ruled out direct talks between the Islamic Republic and the United States over Iraq. He said: Right now, we think that with the presence of a permanent government in Iraq there is no longer any need.”
  • The Financial Times reported that Philip Zelikow, counsellor at the US State Department said: "The US position has been that at this time we don't see value in having direct talks with the Iranians about, say, the nuclear issue." He added: "The fallacy in a lot of the arguments about security assurances . . . is the assumption that the agenda of the current government in Iran is fundamentally entirely defensive."
  • Yahoo News reported that U.S. and Iranian officials held talks on Iraq in Iraq's northern Kurdistan region "a while ago." But U.S., Iranian and Iraqi officials could not confirm the report.
Insight into the Iranian people.
  • Amil Imani,, an Iranian blogger argued it is ironic that while President Bush is sinking in the polls in his home country, his popularity is climbing in Iran. But he asks: Is the United States serious about Iran?
  • Rooz Online discussed: Is the current slogan and rhetoric advanced by the government media, “nuclear energy is our absolute right" a true reflection of the needs of the people?
  • CNN News reported on the immense pride that many Iranians feel having joined the global nuclear club.
  • The New York Times published a report of a former "hostage taker" and "reformist" who says his country is intoxicated by oil wealth and headed toward "social collapse." "The situation is now more like the situation in the Soviet Union before the fall of Communism."
Iran and the International community.
  • Iran Press News reported that Hugo Chavez, president of Venezuela in a speech in Caracas last week, said: “I am sure that the Islamic Republic of Iran is not producing nuclear weapons" and added that Iranian Presidents Khatami and Ahmadinejad are his "brothers."
  • Rooz Online reported that France has refused to agree on the new appointment of Ali Ahani as Iran's new ambassador to their country.
  • Paulo Casaca, Member of the European Parliament and fellow members refused a demand by the Islamic Republic of Iran to change the name of the "Delegation for Relations with Iran" by "Delegation for Relations with the Islamic Republic of Iran" saying the vast majority of the members of the European Parliament that do not agree with the appeasement policies of the European leaderships to the islamo-fascist dictatorship.
  • Money Control reported that Pakistan would honor sanctions on Iran if adopted by the U.N. Security Council.
  • Globe and Mail reported that the Canadian Foreign Affairs department says a Iranian-Canadian professor has been arrested in Iran.
US Congress.
  • The Wall Street Journal reported that the Bush administration is intensifying efforts to cut off funding to Hezbollah, the Shiite organization the U.S. believes is Iran's principal vehicle for conducting terrorist attacks globally.
  • Vital Perspective reported that the Iran Freedom Support Act overwhelmingly passed in the House by a margin of 397-21. When will the Senate act on its version on the bill?
  • The Washington Post reported that the US House overwhelmingly approved legislation to tighten sanctions against Iran, rejecting administration arguments that tougher sanctions could be an obstacle to international efforts to prevent the Tehran government from developing nuclear weapons.
How did Iranian nuclear negotiator get to Washington and who is he meeting with?
  • The Washington Times reported that Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice expressed concern yesterday about the case of a high-ranking Iranian official who arrived last month in the United States on a green card.
Must Read reports.
  • The Guardian published anti-Iraq war columnist who argued that Iran does pose a threat in every way Iraq did not.
  • The Herald reported that three former Iranian national footballers warned Iran may try to exploit the World Cup.
  • Anne Bayefsky, The National Review reported that the UN honored with a 2006 "Champion of the Earth" award, the former spokesperson for the US Embassy hostage takers in Tehran.
  • Walid Phares, LebanonNewsWire warned that Syria and Iran still control Lebanon.
  • Richard Miniter, The New York Sun reported that Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, America's chief nemesis in Iraq, boldly emerged from the shadows in an unprecedented videotape released yesterday.
  • Banafsheh Zand-Bonazzi is reporting that the controversial Iranian Nobel laureate Shirin Ebadi is going to be on Oprah Winfrey. Iranian opposition groups are organizing efforts to stop the broadcast.
  • The Guardian reported that the Simon Wiesenthal centre called on Germany to ban the Iranian president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, from attending the World Cup.
  • Middle East Newsline reported that the Center for Strategic and International Studies said the Iranian military has failed to procure the platforms or weapons required to block the Straits of Hormuz.
  • The Guardian reported that the US State Department branded Iran public enemy number one, calling it one of the world's most active sponsors of terrorism.
  • The Independent reported that some in Iran fear that Ayatollah Mesbah-Yazdi (Ahmadinehjad's radical mentor) aspires to become Supreme Leader himself.
The Experts.
  • Amir Taheri, Arab News reported on the Middle East's undeclared war and the question of whose regime will change first, the US's or Iran's.
  • Natan Sharansky, The Wall Street Journal argues that President Bush is a rare breed of politician, "a dissident president." But has some suggestions on how to succeed in the Middle East.
  • Amir Taheri, The New York Post reported on Iraq's new prime minister, Jawad al-Maliki, and believes the West has reason to be encouraged.
  • Kathryn Jean Lopez, The National Review published a valuable interview with Iran expert Michael Rubin on how the US should deal with Iran.
  • Amir Taheri, Asharq Alawsat compared a self-styled “holy warrior” who made a bit of a splash in the 19th century by launching a “Jihad” and Osama Bin Laden.
  • US Department of State released its "Country Reports on Terrorism 2005."
  • Reuel Marc Gerecht, The Wall Street Journal reviewed the book "Guests of the Ayatollah," Mark Bowden.
  • William Kristol, The Weekly Standard responded to all the talk in DC that "Iran is not Iraq."
Photos, cartoons and videos.
  • Memri published a video and translation in which Ahmadinejad elaborates on his plan for the Jews.
  • No Blood for Sauerkraut published a parody of the website.
  • A cartoon: Ahmadinejad has a solution for Iran.
  • A cartoon: Ahmadinejad's Peaceful Nuclear Program.
The Quote of the Week.
Yahoo News reported that Iran's president said:

"Those who want to prevent Iranians from obtaining their right should know that we do not give a damn to such resolutions."