Thursday, July 20, 2006

Friday's Daily Briefing on Iran

DoctorZin reports, 7.21.2006:

The West prepares to seize an opportunity to rein in Iran.
  • The Times Online reported that Britain blames Iran for the eruption of fighting in Lebanon and wants to use crisis talks to build an alliance for its long-term “containment”.
  • Michael Ledeen, The National Review Online argued that Iran appears to have miscalculated in fueling the present crisis between Hezbollah and Israel. Never before have Saudis, Egyptians, Jordanians, Kuwaitis, and Iraqis spoken so forcefully against the terrorists (Hamas and Hezbollah, Sunni and Shiite) and their state sponsors in Tehran and Damascus and this provides a unique opportunity for the West that must not be missed.
  • The Washington Times reported that former senior U.S. and Israeli officials called for the United States to rally the international community to impose sanctions on Iran and push Arab allies to work against Hezbollah and Hamas.
  • Kenneth R. Timmerman, reported that the nearly month-old hot war between Hezbollah and Israel. This is the opening salvo of Iran’s global assault on the United States.
Iran planned the Hezbollah attack that ignited the present war, a month ago.
  • Con Coughlin, The Telegraph reported that Hezbollah's operation against Israel's northern border has been more than a month in the planning, and Teheran dispatched 20 Iranian Guard commanders to southern Lebanon in mid-June to oversee the preparations. A must read.
Iran wants a seat in any Hezbollah/Israel negotiations?
  • The Guardian reported that a hard-line Iranian parliament member, Sayeed Abu Talib, predicted Iran could be positioning itself for eventual truce talks saying ``There can be no negotiations without Iran,'' he said. ``Otherwise, any deal is doomed to failure.''
Lebanese support for Hezbollah eroding fast?
  • The Spectator reported that the Lebanese people have watched as Hezbollah has built up a heavily armed state-within-a-state that has now carried the country into a devastating conflict it cannot win and many are fed up.
Saudi Cleric issues fatwa against Hezbollah.
  • Eli Lake, The NY Sun reported that one of Saudi Arabia's leading Wahhabi sheiks, Abdullah bin Jabreen has issued a strongly worded religious edict, or fatwa, declaring it unlawful to support, join or pray for Hezbollah.
Iranian popular support for Ahmadinejad is a myth.
  • Mehdi Khalaji, The Washington Institute for Near East Policy reported that while westerners believe Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinezhad to be popular in Iran, in no small part because of his strong support for Iran’s nuclear program. However, there is much evidence to the contrary. A must read.
Iranians want to know the truth and the West provides "balanced reporting."
  • The Washington Times reported that young Iranians are turning increasingly to the Internet to voice their dissatisfaction with a hard-line regime and argued that the United States could make better use of blogs, satellite television, radio and other means to communicate information that the regime withholds from its public.
Iran "officially" commits to a response to the Perm-5 Plus 1.
  • ABC News reported that Iran has again rejected international demands it freeze its controversial nuclear program but would take until August 22 to reply.
Yes, the Iranians were in North Korea for the missile tests.
  • Reuters reported that assistant Secretary of State Chris Hill, the chief US negotiator with Pyongyang confirmed reports that Iranians witnessed the July 4 tests saying "Yes, that is my understanding" and it is "absolutely correct." US officials fear cash-strapped Pyongyang are keen to sell Iran missiles and possibly nuclear material.
Germany refuses to release Ahmadinejad's letter to Merkel. Why?
  • Speigel Online reported that German Chancellor Angela Merkel's government has refused to release a copy of a letter from Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad saying it contains "many claims that are not acceptable to us, in particular about Israel, the state of Israel's right to exist and the Holocaust."
Here are a few other news items you may have missed.
  • Senator Rick Santorum spoke to National Press Club and defined the unique challenges that confront the United States as we conduct a new world war. The full text of his speech. A must read.
  • The National Review Online examined the accusation that Israel is using a “disproportionate use of force.” He asked Europe, if missiles were falling on Strasbourg, Nancy, Lille, Dijon, and Paris would Chirac’s concern be to respond only in “proportion”?
  • The Los Angeles Times reported that Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Maliki accused the MEK, of meddling in his country's affairs and suggested that it could face expulsion from Iraq.
  • Rooz Online reported on Akbar Ganji’s call for a world-wide 3-day hunger strike which has created a global network linked to Tehran and his message was an internal regime change.
  • Reuters reported that a senior Iraqi-Kurdish official accused Iranian forces on Thursday of shelling Kurdish guerrillas in northern Iraq.
  • Cox & Forkum published a cartoon: Helter Shelter.