Friday, May 05, 2006

Saturday's Daily Briefing on Iran

DoctorZin reports, 5.6.2006:

"Tehran Jack" is out!
  • Guardian reported the removal of UK Foreign Minister Jack Straw from Tony Blair's cabinet. Iran was the key to the demotion of Jack Straw from foreign secretary.
Bolton challenges Russia and China to end the impasse.
  • Reuters reported that U.S. Ambassador John Bolton challenged Russia and China to come up with legal alternatives to break the impasse on a draft U.N. resolution ordering Iran to suspend its nuclear program, before Monday's meeting of foreign ministers from Germany and the five permanent Security Council members.
Russia denies Iran's claim Russia it "officially" opposes sanctions or military action on Iran.
  • Al Jezeera reported that the Russian foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, responded to remarks from Manouchehr Mottaki, his Iranian counterpart, that Russia and China "had officially told us ... [of] their opposition to sanctions and military attacks" against the Islamic Republic. Lavrov said: "We have made no such announcements."
Cheney calls for Iran to renounce its nuclear weapons program.
  • reported that Vice President Dick Cheney said that Iran should follow the example the Central Asian set several years ago in renouncing nuclear weapons.
Iran takes first step to it's "Oil Bourse:" The "financial equivalent of a nuclear strike?"
  • Business Week reported that Iran is establishing an oil market denominated in euros, a plan analysts described as highly unlikely to materialize but which in theory could have serious consequences for the U.S. economy.
Can Iran close the Strait of Hormuz?
  • Bloomberg reported that Iran may be planning to respond to a strike against Iran's nuclear program with an effort to choke off oil shipments through the Strait of Hormuz.
HRW demands the release of Jahanbegloo!
  • Human Rights Watch demanded that immediate release of one of Iran’s most prominent scholars, Ramin Jahanbegloo from Iranian custody.
The EU issues statement of concern over Iran's lack of human rights.
  • Khaleej Times reported that the European Union on Friday expressed "serious concern" about the human rights situation in Iran. The statement said they were particularly worried about 10 executions carried out at Iran's Evin prison on April 19 and the indictment of human rights defender Abdolfattah Soltani.
Here are a few other news items you may have missed.
  • The New York Times sees parallels between Iran's radical's use of the 1979 taking of the US Embassy in Tehran and its current effort to create a new crisis with the US over its nuclear program.
  • Iran Focus reported that a prominent Arab daily accused Iran of trying to establish a “strategic position” in the Gulf region by dominating Iraq.
  • Amir Taheri, Asharq Alawsat pondered whether we should take Iran's recent interest in direct talks with the US seriously.
  • Iranian Solidarity Council issued a statement saying they "categorically and unequivocally condemns any military action" against Iran, but that their goal is the complete removal of the current regime.