Sunday, May 07, 2006

Monday's Daily Briefing on Iran

DoctorZin reports, 5.8.2006:

UNSC discussions on Iran reach a "decisive phase."
  • IranMania reported that German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said the ongoing row over Iran's nuclear program have reached a "decisive phase."
Iran to Kofi: No!
  • Bloomberg reported that Iran rejected a call by United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan for the U.S. to hold direct talks with the Islamic Republic about its nuclear program.
Iran threatens to withdraw from the NPT... again.
  • Yahoo News reported that the Iranian parliament threatened to force the government to withdraw from the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty if the West continues pressuring Tehran to suspend uranium enrichment.
Bush to world: Take Iran's threats "very seriously."
  • Yahoo News reported that President Bush said the world community should take Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's threats concerning both its nuclear program and Israel "very seriously."
Rice presses Russia on Iran.
  • reported that the Russian Foreign Ministry released a terse statement that Sergey Lavrov’s phone conversation with Condoleezza Rice “focused, among other issues, on the search for a diplomatic solution of the Iranian nuclear problem.”
US seeks "de facto" sanctions on Iran.
  • The Financial Times reported that the US is attempting to persuade European governments, banks and companies to isolate the Iranian government by engaging in de facto financial sanctions.
Iranians converting bank deposits into gold.
  • Ken Timmerman, reported that in a sign that the population lacked confidence in the future of the regime, Iranians are converting bank deposits into Gold coins.
Ahmadinejad wants to hide foreign deposits.
  • Rooz Online reported that Ahmadinejad had instructed the governor of the Central Bank to transfer the country’s foreign exchange deposits into the personal accounts of selected trusted individuals because the private accounts would be immune from the problems the state has with foreign governments. Sheibani has not implemented the presidential instructions.
Update on Jahanbegloo: He is "confessing?"
  • Rooz Online reported that Iranian intellectual Jahanbegloo is being kept at ward 209 of Evin and according to press accounts he has already provided tens of pages of confessions. Human Rights Watch said it is likely that he has been subjected to torture and forced to provide fake confessions.
Here are a few other news items you may have missed.
  • The Guardian argued that Jack Straw's fate was sealed when the White House called Mr Blair and asked why the foreign secretary kept saying a military option against Iran was inconceivable.
  • The Daily Star reported that while the Iranian regime and Hamas are currently upgrading their alliance, the alliance with Iran will cost Hamas the support of other Sunni nations.
  • Congressman Jim Saxton, The Washington Times argued that given Iran's huge oil and gas resources, Iran has no need for its much more costly nuclear program. However, support for terrorism and economic mismanagement have damaged oil and gas development in Iran.
  • Radio Free Europe reported that former Iranian President Mohammad Khatami warned against what he called "organized radicalism" in Iran.
  • Scotsman reported that since Mahmoud Ahmadinejad came to power last June, life for Iran's 25,000 Jews has become even more precarious.
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