Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Wednesday's Daily Briefing on Iran

DoctorZin reports, 7.12.2006:

Iranian dissident to meet with Noam Chomsky.
  • Eli Lake, The New York Sun reported that Iran's most famous opposition figure, Akbar Ganji, is due to arrive in New York on Saturday and attend a meeting with the leftist MIT political science professor Noam Chomsky. But Mr. Ganji will not be meeting with any American government officials.
US prepares "united" and punitive action on Iran.
  • Voice of America reported that the United States says world powers are fully prepared to seek punitive action against Iran after it failed to provide a clear answer to their overture to Tehran to halt uranium enrichment and return to nuclear negotiations.
  • Reuters reported that President George W. Bush, leaving on Wednesday for Germany and Russia, will urge key allies to stay united in their drive to contain the nuclear ambitions of Iran.
But Russia says Iran is decades away from nuclear weapons.
  • UPI reported that Russia believes Iran to be 25 to 30 years away from possession of nuclear arms.
And Iran responds by ignoring the deadline.
  • VOA News reported that the EU deadline for an answer on new proposals to end the Iranian nuclear controversy went almost unnoticed in Iran. The Iranian press and government leaders just ignored it.
  • The Financial Times reported that Iran's chief nuclear negotiator deflected Western pressure for an immediate answer to a package of incentives to suspend uranium enrichment saying: "Iranians do not accept anything called a deadline."
Ahmadinejad warns supporters of "the Zionist regime."
  • Iran Focus said that Iran’s hard-line President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said that “the supporters of the Zionist regime must remove this regime before it is too late.”
Iranian hardliners seek power to choose religious students.
  • Rooz Online reported that the Prosecutor of the Special Clergy Court Salimi is seeking to change the methods of selecting religious students. He mentioned background family checks, personal records, and the motivation of the applicants as important subjects that had to be taken into account before accepting the applicants. The Iranian constitution specifically bans prying into the ideology of individuals in any form.
Iran's privatization drive leading to illegal contracts with military commanders.
  • Rooz Online reported that following the decrees of ayatollah Khamenei regarding the privatization of some large government businesses, military commanders are taking over most of these enterprises. The Iranian constitution forbids contracts being entered into in this manner.
Iranian government not yet sure how to deal with its looming gasoline crisis.
  • The Financial Times reported that while an Iranian government spokesman said gasoline rationing was on the way, a member of parliament’s economic commission, said that government and legislators lacked “the necessary courage” to approve rationing.
Here are a few other news items you may have missed.
  • AlJazeera.net reported that diplomats have said Iran's nuclear program appears to have been slowed down by technical problems.
  • The Jerusalem Post reported that gunmen seized an Iraqi diplomat serving in Iran as he was driving near his home in Baghdad.
  • News.com.au reported that Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer said the world must stop Iran from developing nuclear weapons and do more to help spread democracy.
  • The Harvard Crimson reported that Iranian-Canadian philosopher Ramin Jahanbegloo, arrested on unspecified charges in Tehran this past April, is getting some help from his former Harvard colleagues — several of whom are petitioning for his release.
  • Slater Bakhtavar, Persian Journal reported on the ascent of the radical Hojjatieh movement in the Iranian leadership which Ayatollah Khomeini once opposed for being too radical.
  • Stanley A. Weiss, International Herald Tribune argued that the current animosity between Iran and Israel is an historical aberration and why the two nations may someday become allies.