Saturday, September 16, 2006

Week in Review

DoctorZin provides a review of this past week's [9/10/06 - 9/16/06] 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.
  • The Wall Street Journal reported that European Union and Iranian officials met for a second day of talks Sunday which the two sides said the talks Saturday had been "constructive."
  • Reuters reported that Iran will not accept any preconditions for talks on its nuclear program. Iranian spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi said: "Suspension is an issue that is in the past. We cannot return to the past."
  • International Herald Tribune reported that Condoleezza Rice insisted that the United States was not overplaying the potential threat from Iran's nuclear activities and that "The world is prepared to act."
  • Dow Jones Newswires reported that U.K. Prime Minister Tony Blair said that ignoring Iran's threats to destroy Israel, especially when it appears to be intent on developing nuclear weapons, could prove to be a historic mistake.
  • Peter Brown, considered the question: Is History Repeating Itself in Iran?
  • Danielle Pletka, argued why the West must end Tehran's free ride for ignoring international concern over its nuclear program.
  • Reuters reported that Condoleezza Rice said the United States might be willing to join negotiations with Iran if it temporarily suspended its nuclear program. "Suspension, verified suspension, that's the condition," she said.
  • Aviation Week considered what it will take to slow Iran's development of a nuclear bomb and why it must be done soon.
  • The Financial Times reported that Europe is poised to compromise on Iran’s nuclear program.
  • Reuters reported that the State Department said Iran has not offered to temporarily suspend its uranium enrichment program.
  • Dow Jones Newswires reported that a senior U.S. envoy said the U.N. Security Council still intends to "move forward" toward sanctions if Tehran refuses to freeze uranium enrichment.
  • Forbes reported that the six world powers abandoned attempts to issue a joint statement criticizing Iran's nuclear defiance.
  • The Israel Project has created a petition so you may tell Kofi Annan in your own words why Iran should not get the nuclear bomb.
  • Bridget Johnson, Daily News reported that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad penned a tome to new German Chancellor Angela Merkel, in which he said: "The propaganda machinery after World War II has been so colossal that has caused some people to believe that they are the guilty party..."
  • United Press International reported that Iran has taken measures to counter a U.S. decision to cut off the Iranian state-owned Bank Saderat from any dealings with the U.S. financial system.
  • The Jerusalem Post reported that Vladimir Putin, in a rare note of criticism, said he has also deplored Iranian calls for the destruction of Israel.
  • New Press reported that key European nations called on Iran to negotiate its nuclear dispute with the international community, even as Washington said the time had come to punish Tehran with U.N. sanctions.
  • Reuters reported that the UK's foreign office minister Kim Howells said punitive sanctions on Iran to curb its nuclear ambitions would likely prove ineffective and there is no military solution to the standoff.
  • Reuters reported that Britain has little confidence that Iran will stop providing military and financial support to Lebanon's Hezbollah.
  • The Australian reported that US envoy Gregory Schulte said "Given Iran's history of deception, lack of transparency, provocative behaviour and disregard for its international obligations, we must take further steps to persuade Iran to abandon its nuclear weapons ambitions."
  • Bloomberg reported that France, whose lenders account for 24 percent of bank loans to Iran, may reject a U.S. campaign to sever financial ties with the Middle Eastern nation.
  • Farhad Mansourian, National Review Online argued that the U.S. decision to enable former Iranian President Muhammad Khatami to visit to the US is an unfortunate reflection of the Bush administration’s continuing confusion about Iran. The Islamic Republic has convinced successive U.S. administrations that there is a dichotomy in Iran between reformers and hardliners. But the division within Iranian society is not between hardliners and reformers, but rather between the regime and the population.
  • International Herald Tribune reported that an Iranian opposition group claims that Iran has secretly revived a program to enrich uranium using laser technology, reportedly with favorable results, at Lashkar Ab'ad, about 25 kilometers (about 15 miles) northwest of Tehran.
  • Yahoo News reported that French Foreign Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy warned "If the international community were to become divided, Iran would continue" its enrichment work.
  • The Washington Post reported that U.N. inspectors investigating Iran's nuclear program angrily complained to the Bush administration and to a Republican congressman yesterday about a recent House committee report on Iran's capabilities.
  • The Washington Post asked President Bush what he would say to the Iranian people if he had a chance. He answered.
  • Reuters reported that Bush, who will travel to New York next week for meetings at the United Nations, said he would insist on the need to stay firm in the bid to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon.
  • Kenneth R. Timmerman, NewsMax reported that Senator Santorum said the United States and its European partners "should end phony negotiations" with Iran over its nuclear program.
  • The Jerusalem Post reported that Giora Eiland, the recently retired head of Israel's National Security Council, "The political process vis-a-vis Iran has more or less exhausted itself," and "In the end, Iran will attain a nuclear capability. The international opportunities of a few years ago were not exploited, and today it's too late."
  • The Washington Post reported that major powers are considering a joint meeting with Iran next week that excludes the United States as a way of bridging a divide over its nuclear program. They described the planning as extremely fluid and unlikely to result in any firm decisions until key officials confer in New York.
Ahmadinejad travels to Cuba and the UN.
  • IranMania reported that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is to hold talks next week in Venezuela to meet with Chavez who recently told cheering students that "we should unite and save humanity and get rid of the American empire."
  • Assorted Babble reported that Cuba is hosting a summit September 11-16 with leaders of 116 developing nations. The presidents of Iran, Syria, representatives of N.Korea, etc. are expected to attend this week.
  • Khaleej Times reported that President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will seek strong backing from Non-Aligned Movement allies for his nuclear program at this week’s summit in Cuba.
  • Reuters reported that Iran, Venezuela and other states opposed to U.S. policy sought to forge a common front on Friday at a Non-Aligned summit in Cuba.
  • ABC News reported that Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez pledged that Venezuela will support Iran if it is invaded.
  • Iran Focus reported that United States President George W. Bush ruled out meeting with his Iranian counterpart Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York where world leaders will gather next week.
  • Xinhua reported that the leaders of Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) nations threw their weight behind Iran in its nuclear row with the West, saying Iran had the right to use atomic energy for peaceful purposes.
Former president of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Khatami, speaks in the US.
  • Alan Dershowitz, The Boston Globe examined the ethical issues involved in inviting Khatami to speak in the US.
  • Russell Berman, Telos reported on a Khatami's response at Harvard to a question from an Iranian in the audience who questioned him about the case of the suppression of free speech: the arrest, rape and murder of Canadian-Iranian journalist Zahra Kazemi. Khatami's answer was very revealing.
  • Yahoo News reported Khatami was met by protesters when he arrived at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government. Many angrily called on him to stand up for human rights where Harvard College Democrats teamed with their Republican peers for the protest.
  • published an article in the Washington Times September 11, 2006 entitled: Khatami’s US Visit Hides the Clerics’ Developing War Plans ...
  • Caroline Glick, The Jerusalem Post reported that Harvard University's student newspaper ran as its top headline read, "Students plan to protest Khatami's visit." But ran a second headline, "Cheney visits Harvard Club through backdoor." On the surface, these stories seem to perfectly balance one another.
  • Amir Taheri, New York Post reported that in his recent speeches in the US, Khatami used a vocabulary carefully designed to hoodwink the Americans. The trick was reinforced by the fact that he often said one thing in Persian, while the interpreter said something else in English for the benefit of the Harvard audience. A must read.
Rumors of War.
  • Ardeshir Dolat reported that Iranian press are saying that the the head of Tehran Fire Brigade, stated,There will be a necessity for volunteer fire fighters in Tehran to help the employed fire fighters.” Is the regime preparing for air strikes?
  • Mario Loyola, The Corner argued that President Bush is promising preemption against Iran when he said in his 9/11 address to the nation: "If we do not defeat these enemies now, we will leave our children to face a Middle East overrun by terrorist states and radical dictators armed with nuclear weapons."
  • The Corner published a rough transcript of Senator Santorum's speech from a Senate floor commented on Bush's 9/11 speech where he said: "We just can't get past the politics around here, just can't get past the partisan advantage around here, can't face the reality that we have a dangerous enemy out there, an enemy that wants to destroy everything we hold dear."
  • Angus Reid reported that most Britons believe their government should not participate in any military effort against Iran.
  • Fortune Magazine reported that Iran's auto industry commissioned a study of how to run their businesses in a war zone.
  • Charles Krauthammer, The Washington Post reported that President Bush said "It's very important for the American people to see the president try to solve problems diplomatically before resorting to military force." "Before" implies that the one follows the other. The signal is unmistakable.
  • Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll, 54% say U.S. should strike militarily if necessary to stop Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.
Iranian dissident's.
  • World Politics Watch published it most recent Iran Watch: Activists Arrested, Execution Scheduled. Under-reported translations of Iranian news reports.
Interesting reports inside of Iran.
  • Daily News & Analysis India reported that a hardline Iranian newspaper on Monday described the September 11 attacks as a "black conspiracy inside the White House", publishing what it said was evidence the strikes could have been staged by US officials.
  • Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center reported on Hezbollah’s Shi’ite youth movement, The Imam al-Mahdi Scouts.”
  • The Jerusalem Post published an interview with Voice of Israel Farsi broadcaster Menashe Amir who said the Iranian people "don't buy [President Mahmoud] Ahmadinejad's view" of the world and emphasized the urgency of American intervention to inspire insurgency in Iran.
Human Rights and Freedom of the Press in Iran.
  • Dow Jones Newswires reported that the Islamic Republic closed the daily Shargh, the most prominent reformist daily opposed to the hard-line policies of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
  • Reporters Without Borders reported that Iran is doing its utmost to isolate its citizens from the rest of the world by purging the Internet of independent content, noting that the authorities even brag about the success of their censorship. "We are filtering more than 10 million websites." They have made a special focus on censoring all political opposition and all information about the rights or the condition of women.
  • Reuters reported that the United States took Iran to task for its "harsh and oppressive treatment" of religious minorities in its annual "Report on International Religious Freedom".
The Iranian Military.
  • Los Angeles Times reported that U.S. military intelligence has determined that a video released by the Iranian government purporting to show a test of a new submarine missile is bogus. it matched a video of an earlier Chinese test. "It's the identical launch," a Pentagon official said. "The plume, everything, is the same."
The Iranian Economy.
  • Market Watch reported that China's Sinopec Group is close to signing a deal with Iran for a 51% stake to develop the Yadavaran oil field in the southern area of the Middle Eastern country.
  • Payvand reported that Oil Minister Kazem Vaziri-Hamaneh said that all preparatory requirements were arranged for launching Iran's oil bourse.
  • The Jerusalem Post reported that three top Japanese banks will refrain from doing business with Iran's state-run Bank Saderat Iran in line with US financial sanctions.
Iran and Iraq.
  • Reuters reported that the first official visit to Iran by Iraq's Shi'ite prime minister, Nuri al-Maliki, that was due to take place on Monday may be delayed.
  • USA Today reported that Iraq's prime minister received a red-carpet welcome at the Iran's presidential palace on Tuesday.
  • NewsOne reported that Iraq‘s prime minister made his first official visit to Iran on Tuesday, asking Tehran to prevent al-Qaida militants from slipping across the border to carry out attacks.
  • Kenneth R. Timmerman, reported on the latest Senate intelligence reports on the build up to the war with Iraq.
  • The New York Sun reported that a deputy prime minister of Iraq offered a sharp contradiction of the conventional wisdom here that Saddam Hussein's Iraq and Al Qaeda had no connection before the 2003 war. He said: "I know this at first hand. Some of my friends were murdered by jihadists, by Al Qaeda-affiliated operatives who had been sheltered and assisted by Saddam's regime."
  • National Post reported the biggest threat to U.S. interests in Iraq comes not from al-Qaeda insurgents but Iran.
Iran and the International community.
The US Congress on Iran.
  • DoctorZin reported that a number of bloggers had the opportunity to speak with Senator Santorum on a conference call. The Senator appealed to bloggers to support the passage of the Iran Freedom and Support Act. Write your Senators now.
  • Yahoo News reported that US Senators Rick Santorum (R-PA) and Mel Martinez (R-FL) hosted Reza Pahlavi of Iran who affirmed the world needed to focus on the big picture regarding the crisis facing his homeland and proposed an integrated three- pronged policy approach to the clerical regime of Iran.
The fallout from the Pope's statement on Islam.
  • Stratforconsidered the political fallout from the Pope's speech in which he quoted 14th Century Byzantine Christian Emperor Manuel Paleologos II regarding the issue of jihad: "Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached."
Must Read reports.
  • NDTV reported that French Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy said that Iran had "made itself into an outlaw nation" and must not be allowed to develop nuclear weapons.
  • Eli Lake, The New York Sun reported on the attack on the US embassy in Syria.
  • The New York Sun reported that historian Bernard Lewis warned that the U.S. may lose the war on terror. He said during the darkest days of the fight against Nazism he "had no doubt that in the end we would triumph." But he does not "have that certitude now."
  • The Independent reported that Ahmadinejad's exhibition of cartoons about the Holocaust, some suggesting it was fabricated or exaggerated, has been a flop in Tehran. It attracts just 50 people a day.
  • The Telegrah reported that Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf's government had authorized the release from jail of 2,500 Al Qaeda and Taliban fighters caught fighting coalition forces in Afghanistan.
The Experts.
  • Natan Sharansky, Los Angeles Times reported that in 2000, Russian President Vladimir V. Putin told me a story that he has been unable to get out of his mind. The story involves a nephew, a suitcase, a train to Manhattan and a nuclear bomb.
  • Amir Taheri, Gulf News considered where are we now in the war on terror?
  • Amir Taheri, New York Post reported that in his recent speeches in the US, Khatami used a vocabulary carefully designed to hoodwink the Americans. The trick was reinforced by the fact that he often said one thing in Persian, while the interpreter said something else in English for the benefit of the Harvard audience. A must read.
  • Ilan Berman in testimony before The U.S.-China Economic & Security Review Commission detailed the impact of the Sino-Iranian Strategic Partnership.
  • Kenneth R. Timmerman, reported on the latest Senate intelligence reports on the build up to the war with Iraq.
  • Kenneth R. Timmerman, NewsMax reported that Senator Santorum said the United States and its European partners "should end phony negotiations" with Iran over its nuclear program.
  • Amir Taheri, Asharq Alawsat argued that a mini cold war is likely to see a Western push for regime change in Syria.
  • Amir Taheri, Arab News reported on Tehran’s plan to render sanctions ineffective, but the law of unintended results may operate in yet another way: If sanctions prove ineffective from the start, the US and its closest allies might decide that the only effective move against the Islamic republic is military action.
Photos, cartoons and videos.
  • Chuck Asay, Townhall published a cartoon: Bin Laden, Ahmadinejad = Hitler?
  • DoctorZin recently appeared on the Michael Reagan Show. You can listen to it by clicking here.
  • Memri Films released an online film: Arab and Iranian Reaction to 9/11 Five Years Later, with Ron Silver.
  • Jy99, Flicker published photos of the Harvard protest of Khatami.
  • Bob Gorrell, Townhall published a cartoon: Remember.
  • You Tube has a video of the protest of Khatami's Harvard speech.
  • You Tube has a video on the Iranian treatment of dissidents.
  • Paul Nowak, CNS News published a cartoon: Successful Iranian Negotiations.
  • Cox & Forkum published another cartoon: Critical Mass.
The Quote of the Week.
United Press International reported that Ahmadinejad said :

America and Britain "may have won World War II" but they will most assuredly "lose World War III" because "Iran will win the coming war and America will be beaten."