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Irans Nuclear Program

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Iranian negotiator Hassan Rowhani had said earlier in Tehran that Iran has agreed to suspend "NEARLY all" of its uranium enrichment-related activities as part of a deal with Britain, France and Germany.

 

 

In diplomatic terms what the Iranians are really saying is= (To appease the United Nations, Iran will slow down some of it's activities, But if you think that We will Stop, then DREAM ON).

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Vienna (AFP) Nov 10, 2004

EU-Iranian nuclear talks to get Iran to suspend uranium enrichment in order to avoid possible UN sanctions have hit a snag, even as deadlines are beginning to fall in the crisis, diplomats told AFP Wednesday.

 

The deadlock, which one diplomat said had Europeans becoming pessimistic about finalizing an agreement, comes as the UN atomic agency is about to issue a report for a meeting that will decide whether to take the Iranian dossier to the United Nations on US charges that Tehran is secretly making nuclear weapons.

 

The Iranians contacted European diplomats in Tehran Wednesday asking for more concessions on a preliminary agreement the two sides had worked out in Paris last week, diplomats in Vienna and another Western capital told AFP.

 

But the European trio conducting talks for the EU - Britain, France and Germany - said "no, take it or leave it and Iran promised to give an answer" later Wednesday or Thursday, a diplomat who asked not to be identified said.

 

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has told Iran it must respond this week in writing to the European deal if it wants its position included in a report for an IAEA meeting in Vienna on November 25.

 

This meeting will decide whether to take the Iranian dossier to the UN Security Council for possible sanctions, a diplomat close to the IAEA said.

 

Iran insists its nuclear program is a strictly peaceful one to generate electricity.

 

"The IAEA is under the obligation to issue its report in a time frame pretty much two weeks before the board meeting," the diplomat said. Thursday marks the two-week deadline before the meeting.

 

"The most important thing is this letter to ask the agency to verify suspension," a diplomat close to the negotiations said.

 

The diplomat said Iran was trying to get more assurances about a European offer to supply Iran with a light-water research reactor - which would produce less fissible material than could be used for making nuclear weapons than a heavy-water reactor Iran wants to build - if Iran cooperated in abandoning the nuclear fuel cycle.

 

"Iran has always said they want concrete incentives and not just promises," the diplomat said.

 

In Tehran, former president and top regime cleric Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani was quoted Wednesday saying Iran was at a "crucial point" in its stand-off with the UN atomic watchdog.

 

Another Iranian official, negotiator Sirous Nasseri, warned that Iran could continue pursuing its nuclear drive "underground" and quit the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) that empowers the IAEA if it came under too much pressure.

 

A Western diplomat said Wednesday's devopments leave the European trio "increasingly pessimistic that a good deal can still be struck."

 

The main sticking points in the tentative agreement on getting Tehran to suspend uranium enrichment are over the length and extent of any halt, diplomats said.

 

Uranium conversion makes the uranium gas needed for the enrichment process which makes nuclear fuel, but which can also be the raw material for atomic bombs.

 

The 25-nation EU, led by Britain, France and Germany, says Iran must indefinitely and fully suspend uranium enrichment activities, but Iran insists its right to enrichment cannot be called into question.

 

Europe's three major powers are offering Iran nuclear technology, including access to nuclear fuel, increased trade and help with Tehran's regional security concerns if the Islamic republic halts enrichment, in an attempt to keep Iran from being taken to the Security Council.

 

Iran has agreed to suspend the making of the uranium hexafluoride gasthat is the actual feed for the enrichment process but "is not willing to suspend earlier stages," a diplomat said.

 

Over timing, "Iran is pushing for a time-specific duration, namely six months," but the European trio "refused and said the suspension must be maintained until a long-term agreement is reached," the diplomat said.

 

All rights reserved. © 2004 Agence France-Presse. Sections of the information displayed on this page (dispatches, photographs, logos) are protected by intellectual property rights owned by Agence France-Presse. As a consequence, you may not copy, reproduce, modify, transmit, publish, display or in any way commercially exploit any of the content of this section without the prior written consent of Agence France-Presse.

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http://www.swissinfo.org/sen/Swissinfo.htm...143&sid=5340770

 

 

November 15, 2004 9:15 AM

 

Iran says nuclear freeze will be brief

 

TEHRAN (Reuters) - Iran has stressed that its decision to freeze sensitive nuclear work is a voluntary move to

dispel concerns it is secretly building atomic arms and that it will last only for a short time.

 

Iran told the United Nations atomic watchdog on Sunday it would suspend uranium enrichment and processing

activities as part of a deal with the European Union to avert any U.N. Security Council sanctions.

 

Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman, Hamid Reza Asefi, hailed the deal on Monday at a weekly news conference, saying:

"These were very important talks and the parties made the best decision.

 

"Accepting the suspension is a politically motivated move. In the agreement it says it is not a legal obligation

for Iran and Iran has voluntarily accepted this," he said.

 

Iran, which denies U.S. accusations its atomic energy programme is a front for a nuclear weapons bid, has said the

suspension will remain in place while it and the European Union discuss a lasting solution to its nuclear case.

 

The EU -- in talks with Iran led by Britain, Germany and France -- wants the oil-rich country to give up its

nuclear fuel cycle activities like uranium enrichment for good.

 

In return the EU is prepared to offer Iran a range of incentives including help with a civilian nuclear programme

and a possible trade deal. But Iran has said it will never give up its enrichment technology.

 

Asefi stressed that the talks -- and enrichment suspension -- would be brief.

 

"The talks will be for a short period of time ... and in the agreement it has been emphasised that Iran has the

right to develop peaceful nuclear technology," he said.

 

The talks are due to commence on December 15 and would be handled by separate working groups for political,

security, technology and economic issues, Asefi said.

 

He said a team of International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspectors now in Iran could verify the suspension.

 

 

Reuters

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I am hoping that Israel will be taking a New Look at Iran.

 

 

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Iran warns nuclear suspension subject to progress in talks with EU

AFP: 11/17/2004

 

TEHRAN (AFP) - Iran warned that its agreement to suspend sensitive nuclear activities in order to ease fears it is seeking the bomb was subject to rapid progress in a new round of negotiations to begin next month.

 

Tehran agreed to suspend its controversial uranium enrichment programme in a deal Sunday with three European Union states -- Britain, France and Germany.

 

In mid-December they are scheduled to begin talks on building long-term guarantees on Iran`s peaceful intentions as well as a package of incentives for Tehran.

 

"They will give the results of their work three months later. If the results are positive, it (the enrichment suspension) would continue," President Mohammad Khatami told reporters after a cabinet meeting.

 

"If the other side does not respect its commitments, we will not have any obligations either," he warned, while adding that Iran had struck a "positive accord that respects the national interests".

 

The deal came just ahead of a November 25 International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) examination of Iran`s cooperation.

 

The United States, which accuses the www.google.com regime in Tehran of seeking nuclear weapons, wants the IAEA board to refer Iran to the UN Security Council and sanctions to be imposed.

 

And an Iranian opposition group on Wednesday accused the regime of pursuing a secret nuclear weapons programme at a military site near Tehran whose existence had not been disclosed to UN inspectors.

 

"The site is involved in uranium enrichment, they are developing a number of techniques", Farid Soleimani, senior official of the National Council for Resistance in Iran, said ahead of a press conference in Vienna.

 

Pakistan, meanwhile, denied an Iranian opposition claim that its disgraced chief nuclear scientist Abdul Qadeer Khan had transferred highly enriched uranium to Tehran in 2001.

 

A two-year IAEA investigation has revealed activities deemed suspicious, but no "smoking gun" that provides concrete proof of the US allegations.

 

Iran says it only wants to enrich uranium to make fuel for power generation, but there are fears that it could later divert the programme and produce highly-enriched uranium for a nuclear bomb.

 

"Before we spoke of a maximum period of six months, but now we do not want to fix a timeframe," Khatami said of his country`s pledge to suspend enrichment activities as of November 22 -- just three days before the IAEA meets.

 

Khatami said it was now up to the IAEA board and the EU to respond in kind to Iran`s agreement to cooperate as a first step in proving to Iran that the diplomacy was worthwhile.

 

Iran`s top nuclear negotiator Hossein Moussavian also signalled that Tehran was expecting rapid progress in the coming months.

 

"Within three to four months at the most, we should reach a stage where we have an overall conclusion. If they come to no conclusion or say the only visible guarantee would be to halt enrichment altogether, Iran will not accept this," he told state television.

 

Iran has committed itself to halt enrichment while the negotiations with the EU are in progress, but the latest comments signal that Iran is unwilling to see them drag on fruitlessly too far into 2005.

 

But while Dutch Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende -- whose country currently holds the European Union`s rotating presidency -- said the accord was a "step in the right direction", he warned the enrichment suspension had to be rapidly verified.

 

"If this does not happen we will have no option but to go to the UN Security Council," he told the European Parliament in Strasbourg.

 

Ideally the EU-3 would like Iran to abandon its fuel cycle work altogether.

 

But Iran is standing by its right to the fuel cycle, saying enrichment for peaceful purposes is permitted by the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). But it has said it is ready to discuss ways in which it can operate the fuel cycle under full IAEA supervision that would ease any alarm.

 

Moussavian said Washington had prepared three draft Security Council resolutions on the case and would call for "economic sanctions and other measures" against Tehran if their demands were not met.

 

 

11/17/2004 - 17:50 GMT - AFP

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Did you read Jomhuri-ye Eslami's editorial on Wednesday. Iranians fear that national pride has been undermined.

 

"If Iran doesn't secure the right to have nuclear fuel cycle technology, it will be deprived of this technology for ever...

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Well! Luke,I read this instead, which is the same thing the editorial says. What I found interesting is that people still think that the cold war is over. It's NEVER OVER.

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http://www.tehrantimes.com/Description.asp...004&Cat=2&Num=1

 

Iranian students form human chain to support nuclear program

 

Tehran Times Political Desk

TEHRAN(MNA) – Thousands of university students on Monday formed a human chain around Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization headquarters as a gesture of Iranian nation’s strong determination to have full access to civilian nuclear technology.

 

The students chanted: "Enrichment is our natural right,”, "Nuclear technology is our legitimate right", and “We don’t want atomic bombs”. Qaderi, a physicist and the deputy director of the production of nuclear fuel at the IAEO, addressing the students said, “We will not forgo nuclear energy which is our inalienable right and gained through our scientists’ efforts.”

 

The students also said the evening prayer as a sign of solidarity.

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Ya know, who ever said that the Cold War was over, did not know what he or she was talking about. Between, China,Russia, and Iran, the United states really has it's hands full.

 

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http://www.turkishpress.com/news.asp?ID=36481

 

 

Iran to commission Russia to build telecom satellite

AFP: 1/26/2005

TEHRAN, Jan 26 (AFP) - Iran is to sign a 132-million-dollar contract with Russia this week for the building of a telecommunications satellite, state television reported Wednesday.

 

It said the deal with the Russian Aerospace Agency and its affiliate AviaExport was scheduled to be inked on Sunday.

 

It said the satellite, named Zohreh (Venus), would bolster the Islamic republic's telecommunications infrastructure by handling data, audio and video signals.

 

The production period was put at 30 months, but no details on the launch plans were given.

 

A first Iranian satellite is scheduled to be launched in April. Officials have said it will be used to detect natural resources, control the electricity and energy networks, and later for communications and crisis management.

 

 

01/26/2005 14:18 GMT - AFP

 

Copyright © 2004 Agence France Presse. All rights reserved. The information contained in the AFP News report may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without the prior written authority of Agence France Presse.

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Guest Human

http://www.wpherald.com/storyview.php?Stor...26-045615-4690r

 

 

USAF playing cat and mouse game over Iran

By Richard Sale

UPI Intelligence Correspondent

Published January 26, 2005

 

 

NEW YORK -- The U.S. Air Force is playing a dangerous game of cat and mouse with Iran's ayatollahs, flying American combat aircraft into Iranian airspace in an attempt to lure Tehran into turning on air defense radars, thus allowing U.S. pilots to grid the system for use in future targeting data, administration officials said.

 

"We have to know which targets to attack and how to attack them," said one, speaking on condition of anonymity.

 

The flights, which have been going on for weeks, are being launched from sites in Afghanistan and Iraq and are part of Bush administration attempts collect badly needed intelligence on Iran's possible nuclear weapons development sites, these sources said, speaking on condition of strict anonymity.

 

"These Iranian air defense positions are not just being observed, they're being 'templated,'" an administration official said, explaining that the flights are part of a U.S. effort to develop "an electronic order of battle for Iran" in case of actual conflict.

 

In the event of an actual clash, Iran's air defense radars would be targeted for destruction by air-fired U.S. anti-radiation or ARM missiles, he said.

 

A serving U.S. intelligence official added: "You need to know what proportion of your initial air strikes are going to have to be devoted to air defense suppression."

 

A CentCom official told United Press International that in the event of a real military strikes, U.S. military forces would be using jamming, deception, and physical attack of Iran's sensors and its Command, Control and Intelligence (C3 systems).

 

He also made clear that that this entails "advance, detailed knowledge of the enemy's electronic order of battle and careful preplanning."

 

Ellen Laipson, president and CEO of the Henry L. Stimson Center and former CIA Middle East expert, said of the flights, "They are not necessarily an act of war in themselves, unless they are perceived as being so by the country that is being overflown."

 

Laipson explained: "It's not unusual for countries to test each other's air defenses from time to time, to do a little probing -- but it can be dangerous if the target country believes that such flights could mean an imminent attack."

 

She said her concern was that Iran "will not only turn on its air defense radars but use them to fire missiles at U.S. aircraft," an act which would "greatly increase tensions" between the two countries.

 

The air reconnaissance is taking place in conjunction with other intelligence collection efforts, U.S. government officials said.

 

To collect badly needed intelligence on the ground about Iran's alleged nuclear program, the United States is depending heavily on Israeli-trained teams of Kurds in northern Iraq and on U.S.-trained teams of former Iranian exiles in the south to gather the intelligence needed for possible strikes against Iran's 13 or more suspected nuclear sites, according to serving and retired U.S. intelligence officials.

 

Both groups are doing cross border incursions into Iran, some in conjunction with U.S. Special Forces, these sources said.

 

They claimed the Kurds operating from Kurdistan, in areas they control. The second group, working from the south, is the Mujahedeen-e Khalq, listed by the State Department as a terrorist group, operating from southern Iraq, these sources said.

 

The use of the MEK for U.S.-intelligence-gathering missions strikes some former U.S. intelligence officials as bizarre. The State Department's annual publication, "Patterns of Global Terrorism," lists them as a terrorist organization.

 

According to the State Department report, the MEK were allies with Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein in fighting Iran and, in addition, "assisted Saddam in "suppressing opposition within Iraq, and performed internal security for the Iraqi regime."

 

After the U.S. invasion of Iraq in March 2003, U.S. forces seized and destroyed MEK munitions and weapons, and about 4,000 MEK operatives were "consolidated, detained, disarmed, and screened for any past terrorist acts, the report said.

 

Shortly afterwards, the Bush administration began to use them in its covert operations against Iran, former senior U.S. intelligence officials said.

 

"They've been active in the south for some time," said former CIA counterterrorism chief, Vince Cannistraro.

 

The MEK are said to be currently launching raids from Camp Habib in Basra, but recently Pakistan President Pervez Musharaff granted permission for the MEK to operate from Pakistan's Baluchi area, U.S. officials said.

 

Asked about the Musharaff decision, Laipson said: "Not a smart move. The last thing he (Musharaff) needs is another batch of hotheads on Pakistani soil."

 

A former senior Iranian diplomat told United Press International that the Kurds in the Baluchi areas of Pakistan can operate in freedom because the Baluchis "have no love for the mullahs of Iran."

 

In fact, in the early 1980s, there were massacres of Iranian Revolutionary Guards in the area by Baluchi militants who wish to be independent, he said.

 

Both covert groups are tasked by the Bush administration with planting sensors or "sniffers" close to suspected Iran nuclear weapons development sites that will enable the Bush administration to monitor the progress on the program and develop targeting data, these sources said.

 

"There is an urgent need to obtain this information, at least in the minds of administration hawks," an administration official said.

 

"This looks to be turning into a pretty large-scale covert operation," a former long-time CIA operator in the region told UPI. In addition to the air strikes on allegedly Iranian nuclear weapons sites, the second aim of the operation is to secure the support in Iran of those "who view U.S. policy of hostility towards Iran's clerics with favor," he said.

 

The United States is also attempting to erect a covert infrastructure in Iran able to support U.S. efforts, this source said. It consists of Israelis and other U.S. assets, using third country passports, who have created a network of front companies that they own and staff. "It's a covert infrastructure for material support," a U.S. administration official said.

 

The network would be able to move money, weapons and personnel around inside Iran, he said. The covert infrastructure could also provide safe houses and the like, he said.

 

Cannistraro, who knew of the program, said: "I doubt the quality of these kinds or programs," explaining the United States had set up a similar network just before the hostage-rescue attempt in 1980. "People forget that the Iranians quickly rolled up that entire network after the rescue attempt failed," Cannistraro said.

 

The administration's fear is that by possessing a nuclear weapon, Iran will gain a new stature and status in the region strengthening its determination to remove the U.S presence from the region and making its hostility seem more credible, U.S. officials said.

 

There is also the administration's fear that Iran, with Syria's help, will accelerate Palestinian terrorism as Israel withdraws from the Gaza Strip, these sources said.

 

So the United States, backed by Israel, is deadly earnest about neutralizing Iran's nuclear weapons site. "The administration has determined that there is no diplomatic solution," said John Pike, president of the online think-tank globalsecurity.org.

 

"Like the Israelis, the Bush administration has decided that forces of sweetness and light won't be running Iran any time soon, and that having atomic ayatollahs is simply not acceptable."

 

Said Cannistraro of the administration's policy: "Its very, very, very dangerous."

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Guest Human

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?p...3-2-2005_pg4_16

 

 

Russia to launch Iran spy satellites, says report

 

* Moscow’s spokesman downplays the move, saying site will also launch civilian satellites

 

MOSCOW: Russia plans to launch Iran’s first two satellites, which were built to gather intelligence from space, the business daily Kommersant reported on Wednesday.

 

Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov has signed an order permitting the Russian defence ministry to launch the two satellites, named Mesbah and Sinah-1, from the Plesetsk launch site in the far north of the country, the daily said without citing sources.

 

A government spokesman confirmed that Fradkov had signed an order allowing the Plesetsk site to be used for launching civilian satellites including the Iranian ones, but downplayed the decision.

 

The spokesman said the site would also be used for launches of civilian satellites from other countries including China, Britain, Norway, Germany, Japan and the European Space Agency and would be controlled by foreign experts making use of Russian facilities. Kommersant said the two Iranian satellites were due to be launched between April and June of this year and said they were designed for “distant examination of the earth’s surface,” a term the daily said was the common idiom for intelligence gathering.

 

The satellites were to be launched aboard Russian-built Kosmos-3M rockets and would be placed in a low geo-synchronised orbit, Kommersant said.

 

The news comes amid rising tension between the United States and Iran over the Islamic state’s nuclear programme and seemed likely to come under close scrutiny by Washington, which is nervous about Tehran’s development of advanced technologies with dual military and civilian uses.

 

Iranian media reported on Sunday that Tehran and Moscow had signed a 132-million-dollar contract for construction of a new Iranian telecommunications satellite, the Zohreh (Venus). That satellite would be used to bolster Tehran’s telecommunications infrastructure by handling data, audio and video signals, and is to be operational within two and a half years, the Iranian news agency IRNA said. afp

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Here is a little background on Iran

 

The ancient nation of Iran, historically known to the West as Persia and once a major empire in its own right, has been overrun frequently and has had its territory altered throughout the centuries. Invaded by Arabs, Seljuk Turks, Mongols, and others--and often caught up in the affairs of larger powers--Iran has always reasserted its national identity and has developed as a distinct political and cultural entity.

 

During World War II, Iran was a vital link in the Allied supply line for lend-lease supplies to the Soviet Union. After the war, Soviet troops stationed in northwestern Iran not only refused to withdraw but backed revolts that established short-lived, pro-Soviet separatist regimes in the northern regions of Azerbaijan and Kurdistan. These were ended in 1946. The Azerbaijan revolt crumbled after U.S. and UN pressure forced a Soviet withdrawal and Iranian forces suppressed the Kurdish revolt.

 

In 1951, Premier Mohammed Mossadeq, a militant nationalist, forced the parliament to nationalize the British-owned oil industry. Mossadeq was opposed by the Shah and was removed, but he quickly returned to power. The Shah fled Iran but returned when supporters staged a coup against Mossadeq in August 1953. Mossadeq was then arrested by pro-Shah army forces. In 1961, Iran initiated a series of economic, social, and administrative reforms that became known as the Shah's White Revolution. The core of this program was land reform. Modernization and economic growth proceeded at an unprecedented rate, fueled by Iran's vast petroleum reserves, the third-largest in the world.

 

In 1978, domestic turmoil swept the country as a result of religious and political opposition to the Shah's rule and programs--especially SAVAK, the hated internal security and intelligence service. In January 1979, the Shah left Iran; he died abroad several years after.

 

On February 1, 1979, exiled religious leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini returned from France to direct a revolution resulting in a new, theocratic republic guided by Islamic principles. Back in Iran after 15 years in exile in Turkey, Iraq, and France, he became Iran's national religious leader. Following Khomeini's death on June 3, 1989, the Assembly of Experts--an elected body of senior clerics--chose the outgoing president of the republic, Ali Khamenei, to be his successor as national religious leader in what proved to be a smooth transition.

 

In August 1989, Ali Akbar Hashemi-Rafsanjani, the speaker of the Majles, was elected President by an overwhelming majority. He was re-elected June 1993, with a more modest majority; some Western observers attributed the reduced voter turnout to disenchantment with the deteriorating economy. (Ali) Mohammad Khatami-Ardakani, elected President in August 1997 with an overwhelming majority, was re-elected again with a majority in June 2001. In February 2004 flawed elections were held for the 7th Majles in which many reformists were prohibited from contesting their seats. The managed result was that a much more conservative Majles took its seats in May 2004.

 

GOVERNMENT

The December 1979 Iranian constitution defines the political, economic, and social order of the Islamic republic. It declares that Shi'a Islam of the Twelver (Jaafari) sect is Iran's official religion. The country is governed by secular and religious leaders and governing bodies, and duties often overlap. The chief ruler is a religious leader or, in the absence of a single leader, a council of religious leaders. The constitution stipulates that this national religious leader or members of the council of leaders are to be chosen from the www.google.com establishment on the basis of their qualifications and the high esteem in which they are held by Iran's Muslim population. This leader or council appoints the six religious members of the Council of Guardians (the six lay members--lawyers--are named by the National Consultative Assembly, or Majles); appoints the highest judicial authorities, who must be religious jurists; and is commander in chief of the armed forces. The Council of Guardians, in turn, certifies the competence of candidates for the presidency and the National Assembly.

 

Economy

GDP (2004 est.): $477.8 billion.

GDP real growth rate (2003 est.): 6%.

GDP composition by sector (2004): Agriculture 19%, industry 26%, services 55%.

Per capita income (est.2003): $7,000.

Natural resources: Petroleum, natural gas, and some mineral deposits.

Agriculture: Principal products--wheat, rice, other grains, sugarbeets, fruits, nuts, cotton, dairy products, wool, caviar; not self-sufficient in food.

Industry: Types--petroleum, petrochemicals, textiles, cement and building materials, food processing (particularly sugar refining and vegetable oil production), metal fabricating (steel and copper), armaments.

Trade (2002): Exports--$24.8 billion: petroleum 85%, carpets, fruits, nuts. Imports--$21.8 billion: food, machinery, and semifinished goods. Major markets/suppliers--Germany, Japan, Italy, South Korea.

 

Iran spends about 4% of its GDP on its military. Branches of its military include ground forces, a navy, an air force, and Revolutionary Guard Corps. The Iran-Iraq war took a heavy toll on these military forces. Iran is trying to modernize its military and acquire weapons of mass destruction; it does not yet have, but continues to seek, nuclear capabilities.

 

Iran has acknowledged both the heavy water production plant at Arak and the uranium enrichment facility at Natanz, but did so only after their existence was disclosed to the press in August 2002 by an Iranian opposition group.

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QUESTION: Thank you, Madame Secretary. Andrea Mitchell from NBC News.

 

You suggested earlier today that UN sanctions, or at least referring the Iran question to the UN, would loom over Iran if Iran did not recognize the significance of the issue. And you also seemed to suggest that the message was not being adequately delivered by the EU-3. Could you clarify whether you have any question as to whether that message is being delivered strongly enough by the negotiators with Iran, and whether you think that you would have European agreement at this point or at some future point to refer to the UN? Because, up until now, they have not agreed with that.

 

SECRETARY RICE: Well, I'm quite clear and I believe that everybody is telling the Iranians that they are going to have to live up to their international obligations or next steps are in the offing; and I think everybody understands what next steps mean.

 

We've had these discussions in the IAEA Board of Governors. It is obvious that if Iran cannot be brought to live up to its international obligations, that, in fact, the IAEA statutes would suggest that Iran has to be referred to the UN Security Council.

 

I said yesterday, or the day before or the day before that -- I really can't remember which day -- that the Iranians should take the opportunity that the Europeans are giving them to live up to their obligations. And we and the Europeans talk all the time about the importance of sending a strong message to the Iranians that they are being given an opportunity to demonstrate that they are prepared to live up to those obligations.

 

So I think the message is there. The Iranians need to get that message. And we can certainly always remind them that there are other steps that the international community has as its disposal should they not be prepared to live up to these obligations.

2005_02_09_nato1_600.jpg

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Guest NukeWars
The latest threats of U.S. State Department Secretary Condoleezza Rice that Iran will either be isolated or submit sound less than convincing. Similar American threats do not seem to have had much impact on North Korea. The Bush administration may yet go down in history - despite the famous axis of evil warning -- as the team that let the genie of nuclear proliferation out of the bottle.

That moment of decision, when the West either accepts the inevitability of a nuclear-armed Iran or launches a military strike to pre-empt it, is looming ominously closer. And such an attack, while rallying Iranian opinion behind the ayatollahs, is unlikely to do more than buy a few years of delay.

Already, anxious officials in London, Berlin and Paris are trying to assess how long it will be before the threat of a nuclear-armed Iran inspires Turkey, Kazakhstan or even Saudi Arabia to follow suit.

The problem is to understand Iran's real motives. Tehran's desire to have a nuclear deterrent is understandable. It is surrounded by nuclear powers: Russia to the north; India and Pakistan to the West; and Israel to the east. The American superpower has already publicly placed Iran on the axis of evil hit-list.

But are Iran's ambitions more than just defensive? Israeli officials have for some time been talking about Tehran's hopes of building a Shi'ite empire, based on the religious ties between Iran's own Shi'ite population, the Shi'ite majority of Iraq, the Shi'ites of Southern Lebanon and the Shi'ite minority in Saudi Arabia, who mostly live along the coast of the Persian Gulf where the oil is.

If Tehran, or rather the ayatollahs of the holy city of Qom, could bring all these Shi'ites together into a political unit that stretched from the Mediterranean to the Indian Ocean, and commanded the oil of Iraq, Iran and Saudi Arabia, that would be an extremely rich and influential entity. And if it also was defended by nuclear weapons, it might with impunity dominate the Middle East and the Islamic world.

[quote]
In February of 2003, American officials stated that an evaluation of what Dr. ElBaradei found in February, as well as other nations' intelligence, has convinced American and other experts that Natanz is so obviously a weapons facility that the International Atomic Energy Agency can be persuaded to act on it.

"We were surprised by the scale of the discoveries by the director general," an administration official said, referring to Dr. ElBaradei. "We knew that Iran was working on a centrifuge program. But we were surprised by the number of centrifuge pieces waiting to be assembled. They had a hundred-plus centrifuges built, and they were building more."
[/quote]

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Q Mr. President, Secretary Rice said today in Brussels that the United States would not tolerate foot-dragging by Tehran on accounting for their nuclear program. Is time running out for Iran to come to terms with the European negotiators?

 

PRESIDENT BUSH: The Iranians just need to know that the free world is working together to send a very clear message: Don't develop a nuclear weapon. And the reason we're sending that message is because Iran with a nuclear weapon would be a very destabilizing force in the world.

 

And I look forward to going over to Europe to continue discussing this issue with our allies. It's important we speak with one voice. I'm very pleased with the response that European leaders have given to Dr. Rice on this issue. She has made -- her trip, by the way, has been a fantastic trip. I want to thank Aleksander, the President, for being so gracious to her on the first leg of her trip, or one of the first legs on her trip. But the message is, is that we're going to speak with one voice, and we'll continue to do so.

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Guest Fletcher

Iran has strong protectors in the United Nations in the form of Russia and China, but also many countries, such as India, which depend on imported oil and gas are vulnerable to Iranian blandishments. This why these bastards are able to get away with their terrorist ideals.

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Guest Mohammad Sahimi

What you do not know is that the United States and her allies were in fact the driving force behind the birth of Iran’s nuclear program in the late 1960s and early 1970s. According to declassified confidential US Government documents posted on the Digital National Security Archive, in the mid-1970s, the US encouraged Iran to expand her non-oil energy base, suggested to the Shah that Iran needed not one but several nuclear reactors to acquire the electrical capacity that the Stanford Research Institute had proposed, and expressed interest in the US companies participating in Iran’s nuclear energy projects.”

 

http://www.payvand.com/news/03/oct/1015.html

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Guest Allyn

A top Pentagon official said Monday that a US missile defense drill would simulate an Iranian attack - a departure from the usual scenario of a North Korean attack - according to Reuters.

 

"Previously, we have been testing the [Ground-Based Midcourse Defense] GMD system against a North Korean-type scenario. This next test... is more of a head-on shot like you would use defending against an Iranian shot into the United States. So that's the first time that we're now testing in a different scenario," Lt.-Gen. Patrick O'Reilly, head of the US Missile Defense Agency, said at the Reuters Aerospace and Defense Summit in Washington.

 

According to O'Reilly, an Iranian attack would be more challenging than a North Korean attack because a missile fired from Iran would reach the US "more head-on than from the side," and therefore relatively faster.

 

The test, scheduled for January, is expected to cost about $150 million. During the maneuver the US will fire an interceptor missile from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California at a mock-Iranian missile which would be fired from the Marshall Islands in the Pacific Ocean.

 

O'Reilly was speaking just days after diplomats expressed concerns over reports that Iran had been testing a neutron initiator, a key element in producing nuclear weapons.

 

A neutron initiator begins the implosion that ends with a nuclear blast. As a component of the nuclear cycle, it has no use in civilian or military programs, except in the production of atomic bombs.

 

On Sunday, Britain's Times claimed it had obtained confidential intelligence documents from "foreign intelligence agencies" and quoted a source at an "Asian intelligence agency" as confirming that Iran had been working on the device "as recently as 2007."

 

If the report is correct and Iran began developing the device while insisting its program was peaceful, it could be a casus belli, Mark Fitzpatrick, senior fellow for non-proliferation at the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London, was quoted by the Times as saying.

 

"If Iran is working on weapons, it means there is no diplomatic solution," he said, adding, "Is this the smoking gun? That's the question people should be asking. It looks like the smoking gun. This is smoking uranium."

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Guest Human

It's too late. The Middle East IS going nuclear, as well as Latin America. All that can be done now is mitigate the damage that the idiotic democrats have done to the world.

 

Lithium has many other uses other than for green cars. One of its other uses IS for increasing the explosive yield of an atomic bomb.

 

Bolivia with Large Lithium Deposits, Brazil with Large Uranium deposits. Strategicly speaking, they are in very good positions right now.

 

<I AM OUT, I am going to let some one who is more Insane than I am deal with it. I can understand information, but I can't understand people.>

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Guest Luke

A French consortium made a final bid this week to sell at least two reactors to Abu Dhabi, although it faces competition from a low offer from a South Korean company. Washington and Paris have commercial and military ties with Abu Dhabi and have been lobbying for the estimated $40 billion (£25 billion) contract. A final decision is expected soon. The first reactor in the UAE will open in 2017. South Korea will provide Jordan with its first plant by 2014.

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Guest LPAC

There is a growing, imminent danger that Israel, under British pressure, will launch a preemptive attack against Iran, ostensibly to prevent the Islamic Republic from obtaining a nuclear weapon. Were such an attack to occur, it would be a virtual trigger for World War III, particularly if Israel resorted to the use of nuclear weapons in the attack. The prospect of such an Israeli attack has greatly increased, as the result of growing desperation in London, as the result of the British Monarchy's abject failure to impose their policy of global depopulation at the recently-concluded Copenhagen conference on global warming. Inside Iran, sources closely tracking events there warn, an Israel attack would provide the most radical factions of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corp (IRGC) with the pretext to carry out a "Night of the Long-Knives" extermination of the leadership of the opposition. The assassination on Dec. 27 of Ali Mousavi, the nephew of the former Presidential candidate and Speaker of the Parliament Hussein Mousavi, was a premeditated operation, carried out by IRGC-controlled assassination teams from the Basij militia, and was indicative of a larger planned operation, by rightwing factions of the IRGC/Basij, if the opportunity is presented.

 

The threat of Israeli nuclear strikes against Iran is a factor driving Iran to seek its own nuclear deterrent. "It is all part of the continuing Sykes-Picot trap that hangs over the entire Southwest Asia region," LaRouche warned.

 

It is in the interests of the United States, Russia, China, India and all the neighboring states, for the threat of an Israeli attack to be removed. Iran has every right to nuclear power, including to its own enrichment capability. But Iran should not be allowed to develop a nuclear weapon. The best and only outcome is for the Four Powers—the United States, Russia, China and India—to coordinate a diplomatic effort to secure an agreement with Iran to export their low enriched uranium, in exchange for higher enriched uranium rods, needed for their medical isotope reactor. Such an agreement, which is in the vital interests of everyone—except the British—must be rammed through now. The alternatives, including a possible Israeli strike against Iran, triggering permanent chaos throughout Eurasia, is unthinkable.

 

"We are facing an immediate threat of war, possibly nuclear war. Only a Four Powers concerted effort can prevent this. There is a nuclear threat against Iran coming from Israel," LaRouche continued. "Israel is acting as a Sykes-Picot puppet of London, and the Iranians know this. But we cannot allow this British-manipulated situation to continue. It would mean the destruction of India, the destruction of Pakistan, and chaos throughout the extended region, were the Israelis to be allowed to carry out an attack. We must prevent such an Israeli action, and we must prevent the present Iranian government from obtaining nuclear weapons. That can only be accomplished by a concerted effort by the Four Powers. Nothing short of that will trump the British game."

 

LaRouche addressed the Israeli situation. "If Israel is willing to go to war, under the direction of the British Monarchy, then they are placing themselves in the same British camp as Adolph Hitler and the Nazis, who were sponsored by London to launch their 1939 war against Poland. At the same time that Hitler was launching his war on Poland, on the same kind of pretext that some in Israel are now using to justify an attack on Iran, the Nazi dictator was also launching a so-called health care reform, called T-4, which was the original euthanasia program, that led to the Holocaust. Does anyone in Israel really wish to be in that camp? It is not irrelevant to this situation that the same Nazi T-4 healthcare 'reform' adopted by Hitler at the start of the invasion of Poland, was imposed on Great Britain by then-Prime Minister Tony Blair—and is now being pushed on the United States, through the Obama Administration. Tony Blair, who has the mysterious backing of factions within the Vatican, is aggressively pushing this policy down the throat of the Obama White House, with the enthusiastic backing of such White House figures as Rahm Emanuel and the London School of Economics' Peter Orszag."

 

LaRouche concluded: "Iran is a sovereign nation-state, and the Iranian people deserve the opportunity to sort out their situation, without the kind of threat of attack, currently coming from London via Israel. We must remove this factor from the political equation, through the only means available: A concerted intervention by the Four Powers, to secure an agreement from Iran on the nuclear fuel issue, that also guarantees that they will not be subject to a London-ordered attack from Israel. The alternative—a perpetual war in the heartland of Eurasia—is totally unacceptable, no matter how much the hysterics in the British Monarchy wish it to happen."

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Guest Kane

Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Wednesday rebuffed a warning from the United States over a plan to sell surface-to-air missiles to Iran, saying Moscow needed no advice from Washington on its weapons sales.

 

The United States said Tuesday that it had warned Russia that delivering the S-300 anti-aircraft system to Iran would have serious consequences for relations with Washington.

 

The S-300, which can shoot down several aircraft or missiles simultaneously, could allow Tehran to fend off a possible air strike by Israel or the United States on its nuclear program, changing the balance of power in the region.

 

http://www.themoscowtimes.com/news/article/lavrov-rebuffs-us-warning-on-iran/405846.html

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Guest emporia

Israel's security suffered a major setback on the eve of its homeland war-safety exercise (starting Sunday, May 23) from three Obama administration concessions that were granted to buy Moscow's backing for UN Security Council sanctions against Iran. One was the deletion of an embargo on sophisticated weaponry, including the suspended sale of Russian S-300 systems sought by Tehran for shooting down any US or Israel warplanes attacking its nuclear sites.

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Guest Robert Parry

In its latest neocon-styled editorial – commenting on a new critical report about Iran’s growing truculence toward nuclear inspectors – the Times concluded with this judgment:

 

“Tehran, predictably, insists it is not building a [nuclear] weapon. Its refusal to halt enrichment and cooperate with the I.A.E.A. [international Atomic Energy Agency] makes that ever more impossible to believe.”

 

Beyond the grammatical point that “impossible” like “unique” is an absolute adjective that can’t be modified, the Times misses the point that its previous over-the-top hostility toward Iran – evidenced in its news columns as well as its opinion pages – has helped create the dynamic that is driving the standoff over Iran’s nuclear program to a crisis point.

 

Amazingly, the Washington Post, usually an even more reliably neocon bastion than the Times, offered a more thoughtful assessment in its own Friday editorial on the same topic. The Post noted that the most promising area for negotiation with Iran was its past willingness to swap some of its low-enriched uranium for more highly enriched isotopes for medical purposes.

 

But the Post observed that delays in reaching an agreement over a proposed swap of 1,200 kilograms of low-enriched uranium – combined with the steady increase in Iran’s stockpile – “has greatly complicated the prospects.”

 

The Post said that “when the deal was first proposed, Iran would have given up more than two-thirds of its stockpile and would have been left with less than the amount needed for one bomb. To achieve the same effect, Tehran would now have to be induced to nearly double the amount of low-enriched uranium it turned over.”

 

The Post noted that Iran currently has enough low-enriched uranium to build two nuclear bombs, if it chose to bring the refinement up to much higher levels and committed itself to design and construct a nuclear weapon.

 

However, what the Post – and the Times – don’t mention in their two lead editorials is that they and their neocon friends were instrumental in frustrating President Barack Obama’s initial efforts to reach an agreement on the fuel swap last year and that they then helped sabotage a parallel deal negotiated by the leaders of Brazil and Turkey earlier this year.

 

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva persuaded Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to accept the swap agreement in May, completing the negotiations that the Obama administration had begun.

 

Sinking the Swap

 

At that point, the swap would have removed about half of Iran’s low-enriched uranium leaving the Iranianis only enough to theoretically begin work on one bomb, assuming they actually wanted to.

 

Though the swap would seem to have represented a major step forward – since one hypothetical nuclear bomb is far less threatening than two and since the agreement might have led to more Iranian concessions – the deal was trashed by opinion leaders at the Post and the Times.

 

The Post’s editors mocked the Brazil-Turkey initiative as “yet another effort to ‘engage’ the extremist clique of Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.”

 

The Times star columnist Thomas Friedman chimed in, terming the Brazil-Turkey peace effort “as ugly as it gets,” the title of his column. Friedman, who was also a top cheerleader for invading Iraq (having dubbed himself a “Tony Blair Democrat”), made clear that he would only be satisfied with more “regime change” in Iran.

 

“Ultimately, [the success of the Iranian opposition] — not any nuclear deal with the Iranian clerics — is the only sustainable source of security and stability. We have spent far too little time and energy nurturing that democratic trend and far too much chasing a nuclear deal,” Friedman wrote.

 

Administration hardliners, like Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, also treated the leaders of Brazil and Turkey as unwelcome interlopers who were intruding on America’s diplomatic turf.

 

Lula da Silva responded by challenging those Americans who insisted that it was “none of Brazil’s business” to act as an intermediary to resolve the showdown with Iran.

 

“But who said it was a matter for the United States?" he asked, adding that “the blunt truth is, Iran is being presented as if it were the devil, that it doesn't want to sit down" to negotiate, contrary to the fact that "Iran decided to sit down at the negotiating table. It wants to see if the others are going to go along with what (it) has done."

 

What Iran saw instead was a parade of American pundits and policymakers heaping scorn on the Iran-Brazil-Turkey accord.

 

Puzzled by the U.S. reaction, Brazil released a three-page letter from President Obama to President Lula da Silva encouraging Brazil and Turkey to go forward with the swap deal. In the letter, Obama said the proposed uranium swap “would build confidence and reduce regional tensions by substantially reducing Iran’s” stockpile of low-enriched uranium.

 

However, the administration’s hawks – backed by the elite opinion-shapers of the Post and Times – prevailed over Obama. Instead of embracing the swap deal, the Obama administration pressed forward with harsher sanctions against Iran, despite warnings that the sanctions would only harden Iran’s nuclear stance.

 

Now, after Iran predictably reacted with greater animosity and suspicion toward the international community, the Times editorialists are determined, again, to ratchet up the tensions in line with Friedman’s view that the only acceptable solution is “regime change.”

 

The Post’s editorialists at least were honest enough to note the failed swap deal, but they, too, ended on an ominous note, suggesting that a U.S. military attack may be the only solution.

 

Noting a new analysis by the Institute for Science and International Security that Iran may already be producing weapons-grade uranium at a secret facility, the Post concluded: “If that is the case, economic sanctions are unlikely to prevent it.”

 

So, this is where the biased journalism of the Times and the Post -- especially regarding Iran’s 2009 election (click here or here for details) -- has led the world, to the brink of another Middle East conflict.

 

Having brushed aside the disaster in Iraq and the related bungled war in Afghanistan, the neocons and their allies appear to remain the chief arbiters and the leading architects of U.S. foreign policy.

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Guest Troglodite

If all the intelligence services are stating that Iran is not building a nuclear weapon, then why is everyone ready to go to war.

 

Early last month, U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta told a television audience: “Are they [iran] trying to develop a nuclear weapon? No, but we know that they’re trying to develop a nuclear capability.” ["Face the Nation", CBS, Jan. 8, 2012; see video]

 

A week later we could read in the New York Times (Jan. 15) that “three leading Israeli security experts — the Mossad chief, Tamir Pardo, a former Mossad chief, Efraim Halevy, and a former military chief of staff, Dan Halutz — all recently declared that a nuclear Iran would not pose an existential threat to Israel.”

 

Then, a few days afterward, Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak, in an interview with Israeli Army Radio (Jan. 18), had this exchange:

 

Question: Is it Israel’s judgment that Iran has not yet decided to turn its nuclear potential into weapons of mass destruction?

 

Barak: People ask whether Iran is determined to break out from the control [inspection] regime right now … in an attempt to obtain nuclear weapons or an operable installation as quickly as possible. Apparently that is not the case.

 

Lastly, we have the U.S. Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, in a report to Congress: “We do not know, however, if Iran will eventually decide to build nuclear weapons. … There are “certain things [the Iranians] have not done” that would be necessary to build a warhead. [The Guardian (London), Jan. 31, 2012]

 

Admissions like the above — and there are others — are never put into headlines by the American mass media; indeed, only very lightly reported at all; and sometimes distorted — On the Public Broadcasting System (PBS News Hour, Jan. 9), the non-commercial network much beloved by American liberals, the Panetta quote above was reported as: “But we know that they’re trying to develop a nuclear capability, and that’s what concerns us.”

 

Flagrantly omitted were the preceding words: “Are they trying to develop a nuclear weapon? No …” ["PBS's Dishonest Iran Edit", FAIR (Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting), Jan. 10, 2012]

 

http://consortiumnews.com/2012/02/04/what-israel-really-fears-about-iran/

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Guest 18

Netanyahu's Speech to the United Nations General Assembly in New York

 

September 27. 2012

 

There's a great scholar of the Middle East, Prof. Bernard Lewis, who put it best. He said that for the Ayatollahs of Iran, mutually assured destruction is not a deterrent, it's an inducement.

Iran's apocalyptic leaders believe that a medieval holy man will reappear in the wake of a devastating Holy War, thereby ensuring that their brand of radical Islam will rule the earth.

 

That's not just what they believe. That's what is actually guiding their policies and their actions.

Just listen to Ayatollah Rafsanjani who said, I quote: "The use of even one nuclear bomb inside Israel will destroy everything, however it would only harm the Islamic world."

Rafsanjani said: "It is not irrational to contemplate such an eventuality."

 

Not irrational…

 

And that's coming from one of the so-called moderates of Iran.

 

The Shrine of Two Imams, Ali al-Hadi and Hassan al-Askari

 

Alī al-Hādī was the tenth of the Twelve Imams. Hassan al-Askari was the eleventh of the Twelve Imams. Muḥammad ibn al-Ḥasan al-Mahdī is believed to bee the ultimate savior of humankind and the final Imām of the Twelve Imams. Twelver Shī'a are said to believe that al-Mahdī was born in 869 and did not die but rather was hidden by God (this is referred to as the Occultation) and will later emerge with Isa (Jesus Christ) in order to fulfill their mission of bringing peace and justice to the world.

 

Have you seen the Iranian government's new film "The appearance of Imam Mahdi Is Imminent?" The film shows Iran's supreme leader Ali Khamenei and President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad Ahmadinejad and the Secretary General of Hezbollah Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah as the most important characters contributing to the emergence of Imam Mahdi.

 

From what I read the shrine at Jamkaran (located a short distance away from Qom), is where the Mahdi is said to dwell. With the strong backing of President Ahmadinejad, the Jamkaran mosque has been undergoing a complete renovation and expansion in recent times.

 

 

 

President Ahmadinejad's end prayer called on the messiah to hasten his appearance is unique and illustrates the sense of immediacy that Ahmadinejad frequently seeks to convey when speaking about the Mahdi's appearance. According to Ahmadinejad's own account, as he made this call to the Lord he was bathed in a green light, which he took as a sign that the Mahdi himself was blessing the speech.

 

Al Mahdi will materialize when the believers are severely oppressed in every corner of the world. He will fight the oppressors, unite the Muslims, bring peace and justice to the world, rule over the Arabs, and lead a prayer in Mekkah at which Jesus will be present.

 

In a speech to clerics in Mashad last month, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said that the appearance of the Hidden Imam, the Shi'ite messiah, was imminent, and declared, "The time has come for us to carry out our global duty... With God's help, Iran will become the center of [global] leadership... The Hidden Imam runs the affairs of Iran and of the rest of the countries of the world... and he is preventing the U.S. from taking over Iraq's oil and looting it."

 

Alam-al-Hoda, Friday prayer leader in the city of Mashhad, reinforced Ahmadinejad's statements, saying that nuclear scientists had told him that they had successfully overcome the technical difficulties of developing Iran's nuclear program by turning to the Hidden Imam.

 

Some references to Imam Mahdi

 

 

 

To sum this all up.

 

Does Iran's President believe the Apocalypse is close at hand? Does Ahmadinejad believe that he might be Imam Mahdi? Is he suggesting that he will use nuclear weapons like the fabled Zulfiqar to end all evil.

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Guest Adnan Darwash

Iran should only suspend its Uranium enrichment program if Israel signs the Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty, dismantles all its Nukes and destroys its chemical and biological weapons. Israel has brought disaster on itself as all countries in the area require to develop deterence to Israel massive arsenal of WMD. It is illogical for Israel,that refuses to allow the International community to check its Nukes, goes to call on the UN to prevent Iran from enriching Uranium. Not to mention here, that Israel is in breach of 39 UNSCO resolutions.

Adnan Darwash, Iraaq Occupation Times

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