Friday's Daily Briefing on Iran
DoctorZin reports, 5.19.2006:
Gulf States agree to help the US destabilize Iran.
- Middle East Newsline reported that the Gulf Cooperation Council has quietly agreed to help the United States in efforts to destabilize Iran.
- Reuters reported that Iran's neighbors -- including Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates -- are talking to the United States about ways to bolster their defenses.
- Khaleej Times Online reported that European nations want to offer Iran security guarantees as a key incentive to freeze its nuclear enrichment program but added “When Iran rejects the offer, few will be left with any doubt that Iran wants nuclear weapons. If they don’t take their chance, then we’re going to get tough.”
- YNet News reported that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad mocked opponents of his country's nuclear program saying: "Those who are saddened by the progress and happiness of others suffer from mental and psychological problems..."
- The Jerusalem Post reported that the next six-nation meeting on Iran will take place next Wednesday.
- The Guardian reported that the UN secretary-general, Kofi Annan, warned that the confrontation over Iran's nuclear program was a "crisis" that the international community had to address urgently.
- Fox News reported that Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said: "immediate sanctions... will lead Iran to withdraw and become a second North Korea."
- BBC News reported that doubts have been raised about how technically advanced Iran's nuclear program is, after it emerged Tehran may have used material from China.
- Reuters reported that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is writing a second letter to Pope Benedict.
- Jerusalem Post reported that the World Council of Churches called on Iran to halt its uranium enrichment program and recognize the state of Israel. The report added: the United States proposed that the 65-nation Conference on Disarmament negotiate a new treaty banning production of the nuclear material needed to make atomic bombs.
- Telegraph reported that Sir Malcolm Rifkind, the former Conservative foreign secretary, said that western countries should be ready to consider military action against Iran if diplomacy and sanctions fail to curb Teheran's uranium enrichment program.
- BBC Monitoring reported that the authorities in Iran are reportedly making new plans to disrupt broadcasts from abroad intending to increase the number of jamming stations in Tehran and other cities from 50 to 300 within two years.
- Edwin Feulner, The Heritage Foundation weighs in on Iran's letter to President Bush.
- MEMRI reported that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's letter to U.S. President George Bush emulates the letter written in 1989 by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini's to then U.S.S.R. president Mikhail Gorbachev.
- The Washington Post argued why Iran is unlikely to use oil as a weapon.
- Mehran Riazaty reported that Iranian leaders are saying that "our friends are in charge of government in Iraq and Afghanistan."
- Amir Taheri, Commentary Magazine reported the many positive developments in Iraq missed by most in the media.