Friday, July 28, 2006

Saturday's Daily Briefing on Iran

DoctorZin reports, 7.29.2006:

Ahmadinejad's promised message to the world coming soon... August 22nd?
  • Eli Lake, The New York Sun reported that Israeli strategic planners are closely watching whether Iran will deliver on President Ahmadinejad's promise last week to make an announcement that would neutralize Israel's nuclear threat.
  • Robert Spencer, reported that Western officials are concerned with the message that Iranian President is planning for August 22nd. He examines the significance of the date in Islamic history and fears it is Iran's day of terror.
  • Lt. Col. Gordon Cucullu, concerned about Ahmadinejad's August 22nd surprise announcement outlined what Iran and its surrogates in Syria and inside Hezbollah might have in mind.
A disturbing meeting in Damascus.
  • Reuters reported that Ali Larijani, the secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council, flew to Syria on Wednesday for talks with senior Syrian officials to discuss the crisis as Hizbollah guerrillas.
  • Die Welt reported that Nasrallah may now be in Damascus for discussions with Syrian President Bashar Assad and the head of Iran's Supreme National Security Council, Ali Larijani about wider strategic issues such as Syrian and Iranian involvement in the war.
Iran testing its weapons and tactics in Lebanon?
  • The New York Sun reported that Lebanon's Druze leader, Walid Jumblatt, said Tehran is using Hezbollah's confrontation with the Jewish state to test its weapons capabilities and to observe Israeli military tactics.
Iran denies it is providing military aid to Hezbollah.
  • Forbes reported that Iran's foreign ministry on Friday denied allegations that Tehran has provided military support to Hezbollah in its fight against Israel. Sure.
Bush blames Iran for its role in Hezbollah's war with Israel.
  • USAToday reported that President Bush declined to criticize Israel's tactics in its continuing offensive against Hezbollah guerrillas in southern Lebanon, and gave a sharp condemnation of Iran's role in the bloody fighting.
State Department: Lebanon's Hezbollah is an independent organization?
  • World reported that the State Department said that Hizbullah, despite Iranian sponsorship, remains an independent organization. A senior official said Hizbullah has been influenced rather than dominated by Iran and Syria.
Bolton: UNSC to give Iran until August 31st to stop uranium enrichment.
  • reported that US Ambassador John Bolton said a resolution to be proposed to the UN Security Council by six major powers would give Iran until August 31 to halt uranium enrichment.
Al Qaeda declares unity with Shiite Hezbollah.
  • Thomas Joscelyn, The Weekly Standard reported that al Qaeda's Zawahiri's statements: "We cannot just watch these shells as they burn our brothers in Gaza and Lebanon and stand by idly, humiliated," runs counter to the conventional wisdom of many in the intelligence community.
Here are a few other news items you may have missed.
  • Olivier Guitta, Asia Times provided an excellent backgrounder on Hassan Nasrallah, the secretary general of Lebanon's Shi'ite Hezbollah.
  • examined why Hezbollah's Nasrallah choose to attack Israel now.
  • The Wall Street Journal reported that while Hezbollah fired more than 1,500 Katyusha missiles this week at Israeli, the real threat may be their smaller, free-flying rockets now evolving into relatively sophisticated and accurate ballistic missiles.
  • Cox & Forkum published another cartoon: Global Jihad.