Posts tagged as: iran


Saturday, January 13, 2007


Murtha will press for closure of Guantanamo, Abu Ghraib

`The House lawmaker in charge of defense spending said Friday that he intends to force the closure of the Guantánamo Bay military prison and curb U.S. engagement in Iraq, and that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi “absolutely” supports his efforts. [..]

He said the best way to control what course the war takes is for Congress to attach conditions to war-spending bills, because Bush is unlikely to veto a bill that provides money to keep fighting.

The Guant�namo military prison, where prisoners have been held without charges and abused, need to be closed to restore U.S. credibility, Murtha said.’


Sunday, January 7, 2007


Revealed: Israel plans nuclear strike on Iran

`Israel has drawn up secret plans to destroy Iran’s uranium enrichment facilities with tactical nuclear weapons.

Two Israeli air force squadrons are training to blow up an Iranian facility using low-yield nuclear “bunker-busters”, according to several Israeli military sources.

The attack would be the first with nuclear weapons since 1945, when the United States dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The Israeli weapons would each have a force equivalent to one-fifteenth of the Hiroshima bomb.’

Friday, December 8, 2006


Can You Tell a Sunni From a Shiite?

`For the past several months, I’ve been wrapping up lengthy interviews with Washington counterterrorism officials with a fundamental question: “Do you know the difference between a Sunni and a Shiite?”

A “gotcha” question? Perhaps. But if knowing your enemy is the most basic rule of war, I don’t think it’s out of bounds. And as I quickly explain to my subjects, I’m not looking for theological explanations, just the basics: Who’s on what side today, and what does each want? [..]

But so far, most American officials I’ve interviewed don’t have a clue. That includes not just intelligence and law enforcement officials, but also members of Congress who have important roles overseeing our spy agencies. How can they do their jobs without knowing the basics?’


A Chilling Photograph’s Hidden History

`On Aug. 27, 1979, two parallel lines of 11 men formed on a field of dry dirt in Sanandaj, Iran. One group wore blindfolds. The other held rifles. The command came in Farsi to fire: “Atesh!” Behind the soldier farthest to the right, a 12th man also shot, his Nikon camera and Kodak film preserving in black and white a mass execution.

Within hours, the photo ran across six columns in Ettela’at, the oldest newspaper in Iran. Within days, it appeared on front pages around the world. Within weeks, the new Iranian government annexed the offending paper. Within months, the photo won the Pulitzer Prize.’

Wednesday, November 8, 2006


Iran offers cash for Western tourists

`Iran will offer cash incentives to travel agencies to encourage Western tourists to visit the country, giving a premium for Americans, the official Islamic Republic News Agency reported.

The Islamic republic’s political leadership has been trying to reach out to ordinary Americans to show that a standoff over Iran’s nuclear ambitions is with the Bush administration — not U.S. citizens. [..]

“Iran’s tourism department will pay $20 per person to those who attract European or American tourists to the country,” the agency on Tuesday quoted Mohammed Sharif Malakzadeh, deputy head of the department, as saying.’

Monday, June 12, 2006


The Iran Badge Hoax

`The world reacted with shock and dismay last month to the news that Iranian Jews were being forced to wear yellow badges, a policy made infamous by the Nazis. Canada’s National Post featured the story on its front page with a headline reading “Iran Eyes Badges For Jews” above a photograph of Hungarian Jews wearing yellow Stars of David from 1944. The world media quickly followed the National Post’s lead, with the reports repeated in major newspapers across the globe. The Simon Weisenthal Center confirmed the story, noting “Iran is moving closer and closer to the ideology of the Nazis”. The Australian and Canadian Prime Ministers expressed outrage, with Stephen Harper observing that the Iranian regime was “very capable of this kind of action”.

The only problem with this story? It was a complete fabrication.’


Wednesday, May 17, 2006


EU mulls Iran reactor incentive

`European Union states are reportedly considering reviving an offer to Iran of a light-water nuclear reactor to persuade it to halt uranium enrichment.

Britain, France and Germany will raise the idea with the US, China and Russia on Friday, an unnamed EU diplomat says.

The EU is preparing a new package of measures that it hopes will convince Iran to curb its nuclear ambitions.

The EU and the US fear that Iran – despite its denials – is actually trying to develop nuclear weapons.

Iran says its nuclear programme is aimed at meeting its energy needs only and insists on its right to enrich uranium. ‘


Wednesday, May 3, 2006


Iran Threatens Israel if U.S. Attacks

`Iran’s first target would be Israel in any response to a U.S. attack, a Revolutionary Guards commander said Tuesday, reinforcing the Iranian president’s past call for Israel to be “wiped off the map.”

“We have announced that wherever (in Iran) America does make any mischief, the first place we target will be Israel,” the Iranian Student News Agency quoted Gen. Mohammad Ebrahim Dehghani as saying.

Dehghani, a top commander of the elite Revolutionary Guards, also said Israel was not prepared to go to war against Iran.’


Wednesday, April 12, 2006


Iran claims breakthrough

`Iran announced overnight it had successfully enriched uranium to make nuclear fuel, a dramatic breakthrough in its disputed atomic drive that defies a UN Security Council demand for the work to be halted.

The announcement came just 15 days before the expiry of a Security Council deadline for Iran to freeze enrichment – a process that can be extended to make the fissile core of an atom bomb.

In a speech carried live on state television, vice president and atomic energy chief Gholam Reza Aghazadeh announced that “on April 9, we successfully enriched uranium to 3.5 per cent,” the purity required for civilian reactor fuel.’


Monday, April 10, 2006


U.S. Seeks to Dampen Talk of Iran Strike

`The White House on Sunday sought to dampen the idea of a U.S. military strike on Iran, saying the United States is conducting “normal defense and intelligence planning” as President Bush seeks a diplomatic solution to Tehran’s suspected nuclear weapons program.

Administration officials — from President Bush on down — have left open the possibility of a military response if Iran does not end its nuclear ambitions. Several reports published Sunday said the administration was studying options for military strikes; one account raised the possibility of using nuclear bombs against Iran’s underground nuclear sites.

Britain’s foreign secretary called the idea of a nuclear strike “completely nuts.”‘

Also Bush administration ‘secretly plans air strikes’ as it seeks regime change in Iran:

`The Bush administration has sent undercover forces into Iran, and has stepped up secret planning for a possible major air attack on the country, according to the renowned US investigative journalist Seymour Hersh.

While publicly advocating diplomacy to stop Iran from pursuing a nuclear weapon, Hersh reports in the next issue of The New Yorker magazine that “there is a growing conviction among members of the United States military, and in the international community, that President Bush’s ultimate goal in the nuclear confrontation with Iran is regime change”.’

Saturday, April 8, 2006


US considers use of nuclear weapons against Iran

`The administration of President George W. Bush is planning a massive bombing campaign against Iran, including use of bunker-buster nuclear bombs to destroy a key Iranian suspected nuclear weapons facility, The New Yorker magazine has reported in its April 17 issue.

The article by investigative journalist Seymour Hersh said that Bush and others in the White House have come to view Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as a potential Adolf Hitler.

“That’s the name they’re using,” the report quoted a former senior intelligence official as saying.

A senior unnamed Pentagon adviser is quoted in the article as saying that “this White House believes that the only way to solve the problem is to change the power structure in Iran, and that means war.”‘


Saturday, April 1, 2006


Fool Me Twice

`Does this story line sound familiar? The vice president of the United States gives a major speech focused on the threat from an oil-rich nation in the Middle East. The U.S. secretary of state tells congress that the same nation is our most serious global challenge. The secretary of defense calls that nation the leading supporter of global terrorism. The president blames it for attacks on U.S. troops. The intelligence agencies say the nuclear threat from this nation is 10 years away, but the director of intelligence paints a more ominous picture. A new U.S. national security strategy trumpets preemptive attacks and highlights the country as a major threat. And neoconservatives beat the war drums, as the cable media banner their stories with words like “countdown” and “showdown.”

The nation making headlines today, of course, is Iran, not Iraq. But the parallels are striking. Three years after senior administration officials systematically misled the nation into a disastrous war, they could well be trying to do it again.’

Iran Test-Fires Missile Able to Duck Radar

`Iran’s military said Friday it successfully test-fired a missile not detectable by radar that can use multiple warheads to hit several targets simultaneously, a development that raised concerns in the United States and Israel.

The Fajr-3, which means “victory” in Farsi, can reach Israel and U.S. bases in the Middle East, Iranian state media indicated. The announcement of the test-firing is likely to stoke regional tensions and feed suspicion about Tehran’s military intentions and nuclear ambitions.’


Thursday, March 30, 2006


Iran Gets 30 Days to Clear Nuke Suspicions

`The U.N. Security Council gave Iran 30 days to clear up suspicions that it is seeking nuclear weapons, and key members turned their focus on what to do if Iran refuses to suspend uranium enrichment and allow more intrusive inspections.

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice arrived in Berlin on Thursday for discussions between the five permanent council members the United States, Russia, China Britain and France plus Germany, on how much and what kind of pressure to exert on Iran if it refuses to comply.

After three weeks of intense negotiations, the 15-member Security Council approved a statement Wednesday asking the U.N. nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency, to report back in 30 days on Iran’s compliance with demands to stop enriching uranium.’

Like it matters. The US government no doubt already knows if it wants to invade Iran or not, and the UN isn’t going to sway them at all.

Thursday, March 9, 2006


Iran threatens US with ‘pain’ if sanctions begin

`Iran threatened America with “harm and pain” if sanctions were imposed as Tehran was finally referred to the UN Security Council for action over its suspected nuclear weapons programme.

A senior Iranian official warned: “The United States may have the power to cause harm and pain but it is also susceptible to harm and pain. So if the United States wishes to choose that path, let the ball roll.”‘


Saturday, February 25, 2006


Iran: U.S., Israel Destroyed Iraqi Shrine

‘Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad blamed the United States and Israel on Thursday for the destruction of a Shiite shrine’s golden dome in Iraq, saying it was the work of “defeated Zionists and occupiers.”

Speaking to a crowd of thousands on a tour of southwestern Iran, the president referred to the destruction of the Askariya mosque dome in Samarra on Wednesday, which the Iraqi government has blamed on insurgents.

“They invade the shrine and bomb there because they oppose God and justice,” Ahmadinejad said, alluding to the U.S.-led multinational forces in Iraq.

“These passive activities are the acts of a group of defeated Zionists and occupiers who intended to hit our emotions,” he said in a speech that was broadcast on state television. Addressing the United States, he added: “You have to know that such an act will not save you from the anger of Muslim nations.”‘

followup to Iraq faces civil war threat.

Sunday, February 12, 2006


US prepares military blitz against Iran’s nuclear sites

`Strategists at the Pentagon are drawing up plans for devastating bombing raids backed by submarine-launched ballistic missile attacks against Iran’s nuclear sites as a “last resort” to block Teheran’s efforts to develop an atomic bomb.

Central Command and Strategic Command planners are identifying targets, assessing weapon-loads and working on logistics for an operation, the Sunday Telegraph has learnt. [..]

“This is more than just the standard military contingency assessment,” said a senior Pentagon adviser. “This has taken on much greater urgency in recent months.”‘

Wednesday, February 8, 2006


Iran to publish Holocaust cartoons

`Iran’s largest selling newspaper announced today it was holding a contest on cartoons of the Holocaust in response to the publishing in European papers of caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed.

“It will be an international cartoon contest about the Holocaust,” said Farid Mortazavi, the graphics editor for Hamshahri newspaper – which is published by Teheran’s conservative municipality.

He said the plan was to turn the tables on the assertion that newspapers can print offensive material in the name of freedom of expression.

“The Western papers printed these sacrilegious cartoons on the pretext of freedom of expression, so let’s see if they mean what they say and also print these Holocaust cartoons,” he said.’


Monday, February 6, 2006


Iran ‘has negative role in world’

`Iran is the country most widely viewed as having a negative influence in the world, with the US in second place, a new poll for the BBC suggests.

The survey for the BBC World Service asked how 39,435 people in 33 nations across the globe saw various countries.

Views of China, Russia and France have declined in comparison to a similar survey at the end of 2004.

Japan is most widely seen to have a positive influence. Europe has the most positive scores of all in the poll.’


Tuesday, January 17, 2006


Iran issues stark warning on oil price

`Iran stepped up its defiance of international pressure over its nuclear programme yesterday by warning of soaring oil prices if it is subjected to economic sanctions. As diplomats from the US, Europe, Russia, and China prepared to meet today in London to discuss referring Tehran to the UN security council, [..]

In a provocative move, Iran also announced plans yesterday to convene a “scientific” conference to examine the evidence supporting the Holocaust. The news comes weeks after President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad provoked a global outcry by describing the slaughter of 6 million Jews by the Nazis in the second world war as a “myth”.’


Tuesday, January 10, 2006


Iran to Begin Enriching Uranium

`ABC News has learned that Iran intends to begin enriching uranium — the critical step in making material for nuclear weapons — a move European diplomats and officials at the International Atomic Energy Agency, or IAEA, have tried to prevent over the past three years.

Sources with knowledge of Iran’s nuclear program tell ABC News that a senior Iranian official notified the IAEA verbally over the weekend of its intention to introduce uranium hexafluoride gas, or UF6, into centrifuges at a facility in Natanz, 150 miles south of Tehran.’


Friday, December 30, 2005


Israel warns of Iran’s nuclear ambitions

`Israeli overseas intelligence service Mossad chief Meir Dagan said on Tuesday that Iran is seeking more than one nuclear bomb and it will attain technological independence within a number of months.

Dagan told the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee of the Knesset (parliament) that it’s just a matter of time for Iran to make a nuclear bomb, but he refused to predict when Iran will be able to produce such a bomb.

“There exists a strategic Iranian decision to reach nuclear independence and the capability to produce bombs,” Dagan said in an annual assessment presented to the Knesset panel.

“Iran’s chances of attaining the necessary technology depends on whether its plans will be thwarted by outside actors or whether it will be able to advance the uranium enrichment process,” Dagan stressed.’

Monday, February 28, 2005


Scott Ritter Says U.S. Plans June Attack On Iran

`Scott Ritter, appearing with journalist Dahr Jamail yesterday in Washington State, dropped two shocking bombshells in a talk delivered to a packed house in Olympia’s Capitol Theater. The ex-Marine turned UNSCOM weapons inspector said that George W. Bush has “signed off” on plans to bomb Iran in June 2005, and claimed the U.S. manipulated the results of the recent Jan. 30 elections in Iraq.’