Saturday, September 02, 2006

Week in Review

DoctorZin provides a review of this past week's [8/27/06 - 9/02/06] major news events regarding Iran. (The report is organized by various categories in chronological order, not by importance). Catch up on all the past week's news developments. READ MORE

Iran's Nuclear Program & The UN Security Council.
  • Reuters reported that Iran said a U.S. threat to form an independent coalition to impose sanctions if the U.N. Security Council failed to act over Tehran's nuclear program was an insult to the council's work.
  • The Washington Times reported that the Bush administration plans to move rapidly to organize and impose international economic sanctions on Iran, but not until after a Thursday U.N. deadline passes.
  • reported that the EU's Solana and the French are ready to talk to Iran over its nuclear work.
  • The Washington Times reported that the UN nuclear watchdog agency will hand over a report that says Iran has resumed enriching a small amount of uranium to the U.N. Security Council.
  • The Christian Science Monitor reported that we should expect Thursday's deadline for Iran to stop enriching uranium to pass with more of a whimper than a bang. As the United States experiences what one observer calls "confrontation fatigue," and as international unity against a nuclear-armed Iran threatens to splinter under pressure, quick action against Iran is not likely.
  • The New York Times reported that with Iran defying a Thursday deadline to halt production of nuclear fuel, the United States and three European allies are assembling a list of sanctions they would seek in the United Nations Security Council, beginning with restrictions on imports of nuclear-related equipment and material.
  • Reuters reported that the UN said Iran failed to meet its nuclear deadline.
  • Vital Perspectives published a copy of the IAEA report being distributed to diplomats at the UN today on Iran's nuclear program.
  • Reuters reported that President George W. Bush said "It is time for Iran to make a choice... We've made our choice. We will continue to work closely with our allies to find a diplomatic solution, but there must be consequences for Iran's defiance and we must not allow Iran to develop a nuclear weapon."
  • Reuters reported that European foreign policy chief Javier Solana and Iran's chief nuclear negotiator, Ali Larijani, agreed on Thursday to meet soon to discuss Iran's response to incentives to curb its nuclear activities.
  • Claudia Rosett, The Wall Street Journal argued why U.N. sanctions on Iran won't work.
  • The Washington Times reported that the U.S. military is operating under the assumption that Iran is five to eight years away from being able to build its first nuclear weapon, a time span that explains a general lack of urgency within the Bush administration.
  • United Press International reported that the IAEA told the U.N. Security Council its inspectors have found new traces of enriched uranium in Iran. The discovery marked the third instance that highly enriched uranium was found at an Iranian facility.
  • The Times Online reported that Iran's defiance of the United Nations' deadline was supposed to be the climax of this long-running stand-off. Instead, Europeans blinked. What happened...
  • The Times Online reported that Iran’s defiance of the deadline to stop its nuclear work may have increased the chances of a US attack on Iran.
  • Reuters reported that Russia's foreign minister Sergei Lavrov called sanctions on Iran a "dead end."
  • Chicago Tribune reported that Iranians are used to sanctions. What made them bristle Thursday, as the United Nations deadline passed for Iran to halt its nuclear-enrichment program, was the thought that their country could become an international pariah.
  • CNN News reported that European Union foreign ministers agreed on Saturday to give Iran two more weeks to clarify its stance on halting sensitive nuclear work.
  • DW-World reported that Germany urged Iran Saturday to send a signal that it is serious about talks on its suspending some nuclear activities. German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said: "We don't want to slam the door but we need a signal from Iran that it is ready to move in our direction."
  • EU Observer reported that a number of EU member states are growing impatient with the secretive handling of the Iran issue by foreign policy chief Javier Solana and the EU's "big three."
Former president of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Khatami, invited to speak in Washington DC.
  • Eli Lake, The New York Sun reported that Iran's ex-president is scheduled to address a U.N. conference next week as part of a charm offensive that may extend to Washington — if the White House lets him have a visa. A Bush administration official said: "No one wants him here. The real question is whether we lose more in terms of international leverage by denying him a visit. That's being weighed, not debated."
  • Yahoo News reported that the Bush administration decided Tuesday to allow former Iranian President Mohammad Khatami to visit the United States.
  • Iran Press News reported that Khatami warned that if he is to be fingerprinted in the US upon arriving he will cancel his trip to the US.
  • The Washington Post reported that former president Jimmy Carter has agreed in principle to host former Iranian president Mohammad Khatami for talks during his visit to the United States.
  • The National Review Online published an NRO Symposium on Mohammad Khatami’s upcoming visit to the United States.
  • Chicago Sun-Times reported that former Iranian President Mohammad Khatami was expected to arrive Thursday in Chicago to speak at two Muslim conventions over the weekend. The report added that a spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations in Chicago said American Muslims consider Khatami "a kindred spirit in faith."
  • The New York Sun in an editorial examined why Harvard University is choosing to mark the fifth anniversary of the terrorist attacks by hosting Mohammed Khatami, a former president of Iran, an enemy state levying a terrorist war against America.
  • Eli Lake, The New York Sun reported that the State Department's decision to grant a visa to Iran's former president is sparking a rebellion among Republican members of Congress who seek a tougher line on the rogue country.
  • The Chicago Tribune reported on the first speech on American soil by a high-ranking Iranian official in three decades, former President Mohammed Khatami. But neither Khatami nor his aides took questions from the audience or the media. But he was well received by the Muslim convention he spoke to.
Iran behind Hezbollah's war on Israel - The cease fire.
  • Joseph Klein, reported that despite all of its public bluster, Iran suffered a serious setback to its long-term strategic interests as a result of the Hezbollah-initiated war against Israel. He explained how the UN turned Iran's defeat into a victory.
  • LA Times in an editorial argued that Hezbollah is not a headache for Israel alone. If unchallenged, the Iran-Hezbollah axis of power will end the millenniums-old Sunni Arab domination of the Middle East.
  • Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center published part one of a translation of a booklet found in Lebanon among the Hezbollah called: “Al-Jihad - Exporting the radical ideology of the Islamic revolution in Iran.
  • U.S.News & World Report published a report on Lebanon and its movement towards becoming an Iran by the sea.
  • YNet News reported that Iran’s Foreign Minister offered UN Secretary General Kofi Annan his country’s full cooperation over a Security Council resolution on the truce between Israel and Hezbullah.
  • Ali Afshari and Akbar Atri, The Wall Street Journal suggested that when UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan is visiting Iran he should place the issue of human rights as the top priority on his agenda, civil and human rights are in dire need of the secretary-general's attention.
  • Time reported that when Iranians watched on their illegal satellite dishes Hezbollah doling out thick stacks of cash, courtesy of Iran, a majority of Iranians who are barely scraping by, such news is infuriating.
The threatening, strange and sad statements of Iranian leaders.
  • De Velt Blog reported that they are sure Iran's Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottakisaid: 'that the US aggrandizes such deceitful notions as democracy and human rights so as to impose its hegemonic policies.' didn't mean it to say it so plainly when he They're against democracy and human rights. Got that everyone?
  • Yahoo News reported that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad told German Chancellor Angela Merkel that the Holocaust may have been invented by the victorious Allied powers in World War II to embarrass Germany.
  • Reuters reported that Ahmadinejad challenged President Bush to a televised debate, saying: "The debate should be go uncensored in order for the American people to be able to listen to what we say and they should not restrict the American people from hearing the truth."
  • Dow Jones Newswires reported that the White House dismissed the idea of a televised debate between President George W. Bush and Iranian leader Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, as a diversion. A White House spokesman added: "Iran may want to look first to allowing free expression and open debate within its borders, as opposed to the current practice of crushing dissent."
  • Karl Vick, The Washington Post reported on a meeting in Tehran at the headquarters of Ansar al-Hezbollah where its speaker, Mehdi Koochakzadeh, said: "We have no such thing as majority rule in Islam ... If the majority says, 'We don't want an Islamic regime,' they have no right."
Iranian dissident's.
  • The Washington Post reported that Iran released on bail liberal intellectual Ramin Jahanbegloo, who was accused of working with the U.S. to overthrow the government.
  • Ottawa Citizen reported that an Iranian-Canadian man, Ramin Jahanbegloo, held in a Tehran prison for four months without charges was released on bail, but news of his freedom was tempered by reports of a supposed confession made to national media shortly after his release.
  • The International Herald Tribune reported that the State Department accused Iran on Friday of detaining a number of student activists and demanded their release. State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said in a statement "The Iranian regime's continued efforts to suppress freedom of speech and assembly make clear the hollowness of professed openness to peaceful dialogue and debate."
Interesting reports inside of Iran.
  • The Scotsman reported that at least 30 people died when an Iranian airliner skidded off the runway and caught fire as a tire burst while it was landing at a north-eastern airport yesterday.
Human Rights and Freedom of the Press in Iran.
  • IranMania reported that Iran warned it would prosecute any individual or business inside the country from working with foreign-based Persian language satellite channels.
  • Time Magazine reported that for the past few months, Iranians have been subjected to stronger enforcement of Islamic codes using a new tactic. Is this a revival of the dogmatic strictures of the country's revolutionary past? A must read.
  • Radio Free Europe reported that activists in Iran have started a petition drive calling for changes to laws that discriminate against women. Organizers hope to attract the signature of 1 million Iranians -- a challenge that they say public officials could not ignore.
  • The Washington Post reported that the managing director of an Iranian daily has been acquitted of insulting Iran's Azeri minority, four months after the newspaper was banned for a cartoon that sparked protests. The cartoonist is still awaiting trial.
  • Ha'aretz reported that AIPAC is urging the United States government to disconnect an Iranian news site, Baztab, from American Internet servers, charging that the site has ties to terrorist organizations.
  • The New York Times reported that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad faced a freewheeling two-hour news conference and found himself challenged by local reporters who questioned the government’s economic program and its treatment of the press. A must read.
  • Iran Focus reported that hundreds of new “judicial police” have begun to roam the streets of Tehran arresting those who the judiciary suspected of “illegal activities”.
  • The Financial Times reported that when Mahmoud Ahmadi-Nejad spiced up a press conference this week by challenging George W. Bush to a live television debate he displayed a keen grasp of American-style politics. But a diplomat said "If he doesn't answer questions, and it's shown live on TV anyway, what's the point?" The local Iranian journalists put him on the hot seat.
The Iranian Military.
  • MyWayNews reported that Iran test fired a new submarine-to-surface missile during war games in the Persian Gulf on Sunday. A brief video clip showed the long-range missile, called Thaqeb, or Saturn, exiting the water and hitting a target on the water's surface within less than a mile.
The Iranian Economy.
  • The Japan Times reported that Iran has warned Japan of a possible move to seek joint development of its giant Azadegan oil field with Russia or China if it cannot reach an agreement with Japan by Sept. 15.
Iran and the International community.
  • The Sunday Times reported that Israel is preparing for a possible war with both Iran and Syria, according to Israeli political and military sources. The conflict with Hezbollah has led to a strategic rethink in Israel. A key conclusion is that too much attention has been paid to Palestinian militants in Gaza and the West Bank instead of the two biggest state sponsors of terrorism in the region, who pose a far greater danger.
The US Congress on Iran.
  • Philadelphia Inquirer reported that U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum called Iran the principal leader of the "Islamic fascist movement" that poses the greatest threat to America's freedom and way of life, and said the country must be prevented from developing nuclear weapons.
Must Read reports.
  • Rachel Makabi, Newsweek International interviewed Reza Pahlavi to get his thoughts on the standoff, the effectiveness of U.S. policy toward Iran and his ongoing work with Iranian dissidents. Reza described Iran's standoff with the West as a "Race against time."
  • Stanley Kurtz, The National Review Online argued that American politics is about to undergo a sea change. Our lives are going to be transformed on a more personal level as well. Sometime between now and five-to-ten years from now we’re going to be forced to choose between preemptive war with Iran, and living in a post-proliferation world. A must read.
  • The New York Sun argued that the world, it seems, has passed this way before. The summer's events in south Lebanon, Iraq, London, Afghanistan, North Korea and, above all, Iran, have filled the air with a sense of foreboding that few except the very oldest among us have ever felt. We appear to be teetering on the edge of a catastrophe.
  • David Frum, National Post reported that the US dollars Hezbollah has been handing out to Lebanese whose home were destroyed in the conflict are counterfeit.
  • Caroline Glick, The Jerusalem Post reported on the failure of the mainstream media to critically report the news and lauded the growing role of the blogosphere to correct the record.
  • reported that U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld indirectly warned Iran that the U.S. army was capable of waging another war somewhere else. We are capable of dealing with other problems, were they to occur.”
  • The Boston Globe reported that Iranians have NOT been flocking to the museum in Tehran where 204 winning entries in the ``Holocaust International Cartoon Contest" are on exhibit.
  • Asian Tribune, in a report published August 12th, claimed that a Voice of America correspondent, Matiur Rahman Chowdhury, called reports that the British foiled a mega terror plot a "game of the British government." Chowdhury made his comments in a local TV interview. Chowdhury went on to accuse "western governments," and in particular the United States and the United Kingdom, of deliberately fabricating the terror plot to deflect world attention from what he called "Hezbollah victories."
  • The Washington Times reported that Newt Gingrich in an impromptu speech said "I am opposed to a military strike on Iran because I don't think it accomplishes very much in the long run." Instead he argued "we need a strategy to replace the regime."
  • The New York Sun reported that while the West's war on terror is going tactically well enough, with its mission to put out fires here and there before they start. But it sorely misses the larger strategy that must be implemented. Just like the war on communism, the war on terror must combine the force of arms with the power of ideas.
  • Govindini Murty, FrontPageMag, a conservative film critic reported that she attended an advance screening of ABC’s epic miniseries "The Path to 9/11" (airing this September 10-11), and came away enormously impressed.
The Experts.
  • Amir Taheri, Gulf News examined the history of the Islamic Republic's failed "talks" with other nations, from Russia, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan, Turkey and Egypt. In every case the Islamic Republic has interpreted the readiness of an adversary to talk as a sign of weakness and, as a result, has hardened its position.
  • Amir Taheri, Prospect Magazine produced a detailed analysis of the Hezbollah war on Israel and argued that the battle of summer 2006 may be a prelude to a bigger conflict between the US and Iran.
  • Michael Ledeen, The New York Sun argued that the Islamic Republic is in fact a clerical fascist, a violent anti-Semite and an intensely chauvinistic anti-American. This evidence is readily available to anyone willing to look at it. He reviewed the origins of its ideology and the astonishing sympathy these leaders receive from the West.
  • Michael Rubin, AEI Online published a must read report: Can Iran Be Trusted? He examined how the Iranians themselves approach and understand diplomacy.
  • Michael Rubin, Bitterlemons-International discussed: "Is the West racist toward Muslims and Arabs?" and argued why the US should hold Arabs and Muslims to a universal standard.
  • Amir Taheri, Asharq Alawsat reviewed the book: Guests of the Ayatollah - Was this the first clash between the United States and militant Islamism?
Photos, cartoons and videos.
  • A cartoon on how the Mullahs achieved "victory" in Lebanon: We Won.
  • Jerry Holbert, Townhall published a cartoon: What the Middle East Sees.
  • published excerpts from interviews with Iranian army generals on the subject of recent war games. Video.
  • Cox & Forkum published a cartoon: Militant Message.
  • Cox & Forkum published another cartoon: Five Minutes to Midnight.
  • Bob Gorrell, Town Hall published a cartoon, I call: Why Talking to Ahmadinejad is a waste of time.
  • Gary Varvel, published a cartoon: The UN Pressures Ahmadinejad.
  • reported that Iranian leaders claim they are producing heavy water to fight cancer. A great new site.
The Quote of the Week.
The Washington Post reported on a meeting in Tehran at the headquarters of Ansar al-Hezbollah where its speaker, Mehdi Koochakzadeh, said:

"We have no such thing as majority rule in Islam ... If the majority says, 'We don't want an Islamic regime,' they have no right."