Institut für Völkerrecht & internationale Beziehungen 
Institute for International Law & International Relations


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This site contains Information until 12 April 2007 !


News + Analysis

  • Ivanov: War with Iran, catastrophic - (11/04/2007) -   PressTV  - Russia's first Deputy Prime Minister, Sergei Ivanov, has warned that a war against Iran would lead to some certain catastrophe. Speaking in the Armenian capital, Yerevan, he said, "The Iranian issue needs to be resolved in a political and diplomatic way, as a threat of war is a road to nowhere, or to a catastrophe."  Ivanov added that Iran had the right to pursue the development of its nuclear energy but the uranium enrichment issue is a separate and controversial matter. He believes that the only rational and productive solution is for uranium enrichment activities to be controlled by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). He added that the percentage of Iran's uranium enrichment must be monitored closely. Iran announced on Monday that it had begun producing nuclear fuel on an industrial scale as part of its peaceful nuclear program and reiterated plans to continue enlarging its nuclear fuel production capacity.

  • IAEO: Iran braucht mindestens vier Jahre für die Bombe - (11/04/2007)  -  Frankfurter Rundschau - «Es gibt also noch viel Zeit, zu verhandeln», sagte IAEO-Sprecherin Melissa Fleming am Mittwoch im Deutschlandfunk. 

  • The American Chemical Society Terminates the Membership of Chemists from Iran (07/04/2007) -  By DAVID N. RAHNI 
    The American Chemical Society (ACS) has once again led the way, with its "zealot" interpretation of "embargo" by the Department of Treasury's Office of Foreign Asset Control, by terminating the membership of its long-standing members in Iran, many of whom are post Ph.D. Alumni of American Universities. Several years ago, the ACS undertook a similar unprecedented action, under the same law. Then, it unilaterally stopped accepting scholarly and research manuscripts from Iranian scientists for its three dozen periodicals in the publication division. However, later, under embarrassing pressure from the American scientific community and its membership, the ACS retracted its decision and agreed to take it up instead with the federal government. Paradoxically and notwithstanding rhetoric, such ill-conceived measures are against the current U.S. Administration policy of promoting people-to-people contact as enunciated by the Assistant Secretary of State Nicholas Burns at the March 29 hearing of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.  
    Yudhijit Bhattacharjee, in Science Magazine, reported that the ACS Assistant General Counsel, David Smorodin when "re-reading the embargo rules, made the recommendation to terminate Iranian membership (Science Magazine, Vol. 315, 30 March 2007). One can not help but speculate whether or not such decision is truly serving the interests of member-based ACS or enforcing the laws to the limit as he has served as a U.S. Assistant District Attorney before joining the ACS. Nonetheless, despite the abrupt termination of individual membership of Iranian chemical scientists with no due process, the ACS has stated that while they [Iranians] can continue to purchase journals and other "non-sensitive products at full-rate, the ACS might apply for a special license from the Treasury Department to reinstate their memberships. This has in the meantime deprived American chemists to learn about the scholarly contributions of their Iranian peers. 
    It should be noted that as in the past, the American Physical Society (APS), in contrast, stated, "We have NO plan to do anything similar, and continue to serve our members in Iran." Judy Franz, a director at the APS further stated that, "We would resist having to obtain a license to the extent we can." When interviewed by Science Magazine, the official publication of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), David Rahni an Iranian-American chemistry professor in New York stated, "I, like most ACS members and peers in the scientific community, strongly question the ACS motive on this issue, and expect ACS,s leadership to refrain from allowing politics to taint the high stature the Organization has achieved." Rahni further stated that this has personally concerned him gravely since he has served the ACS with distinctions in the past thirty years, as typified by his positions as the chair of the ACS New York, the chair of the Middle Atlantic Regional Meeting, and the chair of Nichols Medal. 90% of the ACS projects, publications and activities are run by a huge cadre of volunteer professionals who, with no expectations, give their time, energy, money and intellects and talents to the advancement of the chemical sciences worldwide. It is painfully ironic to many, especially the ACS American members to witness the politicization of their disciplines through the ACS as they continue to register their grave concerns with the ACS lucratively remunerated executive directors. 
    As a chemistry professor with having given fifty years of his life to the ACS and the profession so eloquently put it, "Never mind the Iranians as one may not give a darn about them and their plights, what, I am bewildered to speculate the ulterior motives of the ACS paid "professional leadership is to embarrass us as freethinking science. ACS is US and not its DC staff as they are required by our mandate to serve our interests and not create problems for us. The consensus among the nearly one million Americans of Iranian ancestry is to reaffirm their yearning commitment to the attainment of justice, security, stability, equity, transparency and human rights through "home-grown", indigenous and democratic reforms in Iran, but not at the expense of isolating the scientific community in their motherland from their peers worldwide. They further deplore any possible unilateral military action against Iran, as they firmly believe this is counter-productive to the organic, slow, but steady evolution of Iran through educational benchmark, cultural reforms and communication with the rest of the world. They further consider military action and/or isolation counter-productive to the credibility of their American homeland which would inevitably lead, once again, to the priceless loss of human life and loss of credibility for our nation in the international scene. Iran's chemist/chemical engineering professionals/scholars numbers tens of thousands. They are, by and large, members of the Iranian Chemical Society
    However, many of them hold at least one overseas membership, mostly in the Royal Societies in the UK. There are currently 36 Iranian members in the American Chemical Society. The strong position of chemistry/chemical engineering in Iran is due to the oil and gas explorations by the petrochemical industry during the past 100 years, and due to some of Iran,s renowned past and contemporary chemists, scientists, and philosophers. The contributions of Americans of Iranian background to the chemistry and sciences, engineering and medicine, is unparalleled by other recent immigrant communities.
    There indeed exists an  <> Iranian Chemists' Association of the ACS that since its inception in the 80, has reached out to over a thousand chemists of Iranian ancestry in the U.S. alone. It is well substantiated that as long as the diplomatic relations between the two nations remain at a hostile stalemate, a political cloud hovers over the personal and professional aspirations of Iranian-Americans. Specifically, senior and executive level professional opportunities for Iranian-Americans, particularly in government, higher education and the corporate world, remain chronically undermined. Iran, a multiethnic country of 70 million, traces its heritage to a long and illustrious history, 10,000 years in the making, with 2500 years of a continuous form of government. There are two million students in her higher education system, 60% of whom, especially in the sciences, engineering and medicine, are women. Its literacy rate is 90%, unprecedented in that part of the world. Iran or Persia as it was formerly known by the outside world until 1935, has indeed contributed immensely toward the advancement of science, technology and society for millennia. Rhazes, Avicenna, Algorithm, Omer Khayam, Farabi, Biruni, Hayyan, and many others are some of the epics that come to a western scholar,s mind. 
    Despite the tremendous burden imposed on the Iranian students and scholars as they struggle to obtain a US visa (mostly denied) for doctoral studies, some of the brightest graduate students in Ivy League Universities (e.g., Stanford, Harvard, Berkeley, and MIT) are Iranians. Increasingly, however, they opt to pursue their doctoral studies in Australia, Canada and Europe. Iranian high school students have continuously ranked among the top few of the nations in the International Chemistry and other Science Olympiads, and Robotics and Computing Competitions. Isn't it ironic that when the ACS claims to be an international professional society, 130 years old, with a membership of 160,000, 10% of whom are from overseas, and an additional 20%, are naturalized Americans or permanent residents, that it forces the nationals of Iran out, deprives them from maintaining scientific communications with peers worldwide, and does not let them contribute toward the advancement of science worldwide?  Notwithstanding the rhetoric and provocations leading to a possible disastrous confrontation by governments, a true scientist, or a credible organization of scientists such as the ACS, which does not recognize the boundaries of the world, should be capable to transcend all political barriers for the advancement of science. David N. Rahni, Ph.D. is a Professor of Chemistry at Pace University, in Pleasantville, New York and Adjunct Professor of Dermatology, New York Medical College. He is also an Adj. Prof. Envirnonmental Law at Pace U. He can be reached at:

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When word of a crisis breaks out in Washington,  it's no accident that the first question that comes to everyone's lips is:  'Where's the nearest carrier?'"   President Bill Clinton, March 12, 1993 aboard USS Theodore Roosevelt

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US-Documents relevant for Iran

UN-Documents relevant for Iran

Other Documents relevant for Iran

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History Repeating ?...

  • Bush may strike Iran near end of term 15/05/2007 -  by 
    While arguing that economic sanctions against Teheran still have a chance of bearing fruit, a top strategic expert predicted on Tuesday that the Bush administration could conduct a military strike against Iran's nuclear facilities toward the end of its term in office. "I, for one, don't exclude the possibility that the US will act," Shai Feldman, currently director of the Crown Center for Middle East studies at Brandeis University, told an editorial meeting of The Jerusalem Post. 
    "My feeling, though, is that if it will act, it will act in the last months of the administration, mostly because I think that they are inclined to try to give the other options the fullest possible chance." US President George W. Bush, still embroiled in the war in Iraq, would be reluctant to take action against Iran until the the latter part of his term, which concludes on January 20, 2009, Feldman said.  "The paradox of this is that the closer you are to a position of being a lame-duck president, the more freedom of action you have," he said.

    Feldman, a former head of Tel Aviv University's Jaffee Center for Strategic Studies, said he believed that international sanctions were taking their toll on the Iranians. "Right now it seems that the squeeze is not ineffective," he said. "It's not clear at all in my view at this point that the economic sanctions won't work, and I don't mean the formal sanctions by the UN or by the EU, but more the unilateral pressures that the US and key European countries are putting on Iran through the international financial system. "That feeds into lots of discontent within Iran focused on President [Mahmoud] Ahmadinejad regarding the economic situation." 
    Feldman said a debate is still raging in the US over whether to engage in a dialogue with Iran (as advocated by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice) or continue to isolate it as part of the "axis of evil" (as Vice President Dick Cheney would have it.) "I think that there is incomplete discussion within the US administration on dealing with Iran," he said. "I think there is a monumental debate that is still going on, and it may not be over until January 2009." Sidestepping questions on what Israel should do, he said that while the Iranian issue was always on the table in bilateral talks with the US, this didn't mean that the two countries had synchronized positions. "I think Israel raises this issue with the Americans, and the Americans raise the issue the Israelis, and there is not a JPMG [Joint Political Military Group] meeting in which Iran doesn't come up," he said. "But does this really amount to the two sides coordinating?" 
    Coming out in support of a US dialogue with Teheran, Feldman said the American war in Iraq had left Iran "the sole power in the Persian Gulf." Calling himself "a deterrence theorist," he said he was convinced that deterrence could work because there is a clear address in Iran for dialogue, the regime is aware of the costs of war, and it is sensitive to outside forces. "This is not an isolated regime like North Korea and like Saddam was," he said. "It's a regime that's got extremely good sensors and in the past, it has reacted to international pressures." Nevertheless, he added: "If I were the decision-maker, and everything else failed, and if I were presented with a plausible scenario for military interdiction, I would take that action despite my logical analysis that leads me to believe that actually it's more probable than not that we will be able to establish a stable balance of deterrence with Iran." "I would take [the decision] because of the residual uncertainty that my analysis may be wrong."

  • Countdown to War on Iran - 2007-05-14 - Middle East Online
    The United States continues to apply destabilizing pressure on Iran. Europe continues complicit with the US strategy. George Bush has shown no evidence he has given up the idea of attacking Iran. Such an attack would be a disaster for European relations with the Middle East warns Alain Gresh.
    Silently, stealthily, unseen by cameras, the war on Iran has already begun. Many sources confirm that the United States, bent on destabilising the Islamic Republic, has increased its aid to armed movements among the Azeri, Baluchi, Arab and Kurdish ethnic minorities that make up about 40% of the Iranian population. ABC News reported in April that the US had secretly assisted the Baluchi group Jund al-Islam (Soldiers of Islam), responsible for a recent attack in which some 20 members of the Revolutionary Guard were killed. According to an American Foundation report, US commandos have operated inside Iran since 2004.
    President George Bush categorised Iran, along with North Korea and Iraq, as the “axis of evil” in his State of the Union address in January 2002. Then in June 2003 he said the US and its allies should make it clear that they “would not tolerate” the construction of a nuclear weapon in Iran.
    It is worth recalling the context in which these statements were made. President Mohammed Khatami had repeatedly called for “dialogue among civilisations.” Tehran had actively supported the US in Afghanistan, providing many contacts that Washington had used to facilitate the overthrow of the Taliban regime. At a meeting in Geneva on 2 May 2003 between Javad Zaraf, the Iranian ambassador, and Zalmay Khalilzad, Bush’s special envoy to Afghanistan, the Tehran government submitted a proposal to the White House for general negotiations on weapons of mass destruction, terrorism and security, and economic cooperation. The Islamic Republic said it was ready to support the Arab peace initiative tabled at the Beirut summit in 2002 and help to transform the Lebanese Hizbullah into a political party. Tehran signed the Additional Protocol to the Non-Proliferation Treaty on 18 December 2003, which considerably strengthens the supervisory powers of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) but which only a few countries have ratified.
    The US administration swept all these overtures aside since its only objective is to overthrow the mullahs. To create the conditions for military intervention, it constantly brandishes “the nuclear threat.” Year after year US administrations have produced alarmist reports, always proved wrong. In January 1995 the director of the US Arms Control and Disarmament Agency said Iran could have the bomb by 2003, while the US defence secretary, William Perry, predicted it would have the bomb by 2000. These forecasts were repeated by Israel’s Shimon Peres a year later. Yet last month, despite Iran’s progress in uranium enrichment, the IAEA considered that it would be four to six years before Tehran had the capability to produce the bomb.
    What is the truth? Since the 1960s, long before the Islamic revolution, Iran has sought to develop nuclear power in preparation for the post-oil era. Technological developments have made it easier to pass from civil to military applications once the processes have been mastered. Have Tehran’s leaders decided to do so? There is no evidence that they have. Is there a risk that they may? Yes, there is, for obvious reasons.
    During the 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq war, Saddam Hussein’s regime, in breach of every international treaty, used chemical weapons against Iran, but there was no outcry in the US, or in France, against these weapons of mass destruction, which had a traumatic effect on the Iranian people. US troops are deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan, and Iran is surrounded by a network of foreign military bases. Two neighbouring countries, Pakistan and Israel, have nuclear weapons. No Iranian political leader could fail to be aware of this situation.
    So how is Tehran to be prevented from acquiring nuclear weapons, a move that would start a new arms race in a region that is already highly unstable and deal a fatal blow to the non-proliferation treaty? Contrary to common assumptions, the main obstacle is not Tehran’s determination to enrich uranium. Iran has a right to do so under the Nuclear Proliferation Treaty but it has always said it was prepared to impose voluntary restrictions on that right and to agree to increased IAEA inspections to prevent any possible use of enriched uranium for military purposes.
    The Islamic Republic’s fundamental concern lies elsewhere. Witness the agreement signed on 14 November 2004 with France, Britain and Germany, under which Iran agreed to suspend uranium enrichment temporarily on the understanding that a long-term agreement would “provide firm commitments on security issues.” Washington refused to give any such commitments and Iran resumed its enrichment programme.
    The European Union chose not to pursue an independent line but to follow Washington’s lead. The new proposals produced by the five members of the Security Council and Germany in June 2006 contained no guarantee of non-intervention in Iranian affairs. In Tehran’s reply to the proposals, delivered in August, it again “suggest[ed] that the western parties who want to participate in the negotiation team announce on behalf of their own and other European countries, to set aside the policy of intimidation, pressure and sanctions against Iran.” Only if such a commitment was made could negotiations be resumed.
    If not, escalation is inevitable. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s election as president in June 2005 has not made dialogue any easier, given his taste for provocative statements, particularly about the Holocaust and Israel. But Iran is a big country rich in history and there is more to it than its president. There is much tension within the government and Ahmadinejad had severe setbacks both in the local elections and in elections to the Assembly of Experts in December 2006. There are substantial challenges, economic and social, and forceful demands for more freedom, especially among women and young people. Iranians refuse to be regimented and the only strong card the regime has to win their loyalty is nationalism, a refusal to accept the kind of foreign interference suffered throughout the 20th century.
    Despite the disaster in Iraq, there is no indication that Bush has given up the idea of attacking Iran. This is part of his vision of a “third world war” against “Islamic fascism,” an ideological war that can end only in complete victory. The demonisation of Iran, aggravated by the attitude of its president, is part of this strategy and may culminate in yet another military venture. That would be a disaster, not only for Iran and the Arab world, but for western, especially European, relations with the Middle East.
    Translated by Barbara Wilson
    Alain Gresh is editor of Le Monde diplomatique and a specialist on the Middle East

  • Japan ready to pay in yens for Iran oil -  (05/04/2007) -  PressTV  - "Japan has announced that it is ready to buy Iranian crude in yens instead of U.S. dollars, acting upon a formal request by Iran. Several Japanese crude traders like Nippon Oil have announced that Iran has demanded they stop paying for oil purchases in U.S. dollars. They are ready to go ahead with the shift in currency but are awaiting a formal request from Iran according to media in the country, which has quoted foreign reports as saying. Iran has started a campaign to carry out all its oil-industry related purchases in euros instead of dollars and has accordingly asked its crude clients to pay for purchases in non-dollar currencies. This appears to be a new tactic to dodge recent U.S. economic pressures and particularly the restrictions, created by Washington, on overseas banks to stop dollar transactions with Iran. Signs of Iran's success over this issue appeared last month when the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) announced that 60% of payments are made in non-dollar currencies. NIOC further added that almost all European and some Asian clients have agreed to pay in currencies other than U.S. dollars. The first to welcome the initiative were the Chinese companies and particularly China's state-run Zhuhai Zhenrong Corp, the biggest buyer of Iranian crude worldwide, which began paying for its oil in euros late last year. With exports hovering around 2.4 million barrels per day, Iran's annual income from crude sales stand at an average of above $40 billion. Iran's leading crude clients are the big Asian consumers Japan and China with Italy and France the leading European clients. Japan is a major importer of Iranian crude and reportedly buys 486,000 barrels of oil per day out of Iran's production of about 3.8 million bpd." 
  • READ ALSO IN THIS CONTEXT:  Iran's Pre-Emptive Strike. By Gary North (  - (04/04/2007)  
  • Iran: Das nächste Vietnam? Von Behrooz Abdolvand und Nima Feyzi Shandi. (04. April 2007) Ein aktueller Beitrag aus den "Blättern für deutsche und internationale Politik" 

  • The War on Iran. By Michel Chossudovsky. Global Research, April 1, 2007  "The US has completed major military maneuvers in the Persian Gulf  within a short distance of Iranian territorial waters.  This naval deployment is meant to "send a warning to Tehran" following the adoption of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1747, which imposes major economic sanctions on Iran in retaliation for its non-compliance with US demands regarding its uranium enrichment program. The US war games off the Iranian coastline involved the participation of two aircraft carriers, the USS John Stennis carrier group and the USS Eisenhower with some 10,000 navy personnel and more than 100 warplanes. The USS John C. Stennis aircraft carrier group, which is part of the US Fifth Fleet, entered the Persian Gulf on March 27, escorted by guided-missile cruiser USS Antietam (CG 54). (see USS John C. Stennis Carrier Strike Group (JCSSG) and its air wing, Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 9 is said to have conducted "a dual-carrier exercise" together with the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group (IKE CSG):     " This marks the first time the Stennis and Eisenhower strike groups have operated together in a joint exercise while deployed to 5th Fleet. This exercise demonstrates the importance the ability for both strike groups to plan and conduct dual task force operations as part of the Navy's commitment to maintaining maritime security and stability in the region." The war games were conducted at a time of diplomatic tension and confrontation following the arrest by Iran of 15 British Royal navy personnel, who were allegedly patrolling inside Iranian territorial waters. The British government, supported by media disinformation, has been using this incident, with a view to creating a situation of confrontation with Iran. The maneuvers coupled with British threats in relation to the unfolding  "Iran Hostage Crisis" constitute an act of provocation on the part of the Anglo-American military alliance..."

  • Zum Atomstreit mit dem Iran. "Eine Gruppe ehemaliger Diplomaten und die Arbeitsgruppe Friedensforschung an der Universität Kassel haben das Papier »Fünf Minuten vor zwölf« verfaßt, um die Bundeskanzlerin, den Bundesaußenminister und die Bundestagsfraktionen zu einem Überdenken ihrer bisherigen Haltung zum Atomstreit mit dem Iran zu bewegen. Im Streit um das iranische Atomprogramm hat der UN-Sicherheitsrat mit seiner jüngsten Resolution 1747 (2007), den Ton weiter verschärft und das Zeitfenster, das noch für konstruktive Verhandlungen bleibt, enger gemacht. Die in der Resolution vor allem auf Druck der westlichen Staaten genannten Forderungen und Maßnahmen zielen darauf ab, den Iran wirtschaftlich zu treffen. (...) Dies erinnert auf fatale Weise an das Sanktionsregime, das seinerzeit gegen den Irak verhängt wurde und bekanntlich zu unsäglichem Leid unter der Zivilbevölkerung geführt hat. Ähnlich verhält es sich mit dem beschlossenen Waffenembargo, dessen Durchsetzung mittelfristig nur den Sinn haben kann, die militärischen Fähigkeiten Irans zu schwächen. In eine ähnliche Situation war der Irak vor dem US-amerikanisch-britischen Angriff im März 2003 gebracht worden. Mit dem angeblichen Atomwaffenprogramm des Iran haben die militärbezogenen Forderungen des Sicherheitsrats jedenfalls nichts zu tun. (...) Als eine Art Beruhigungspille hat der UN-Sicherheitsrat in seiner Resolution festgelegt, daß die nächste Stufe der Sanktionseskalation »im Rahmen des Artikels 41« UN Charta verbleiben müsse. Artikel 41 sieht keine militärischen Maßnahmen vor (die folgen erst in Artikel 42). Außerdem wird in der Präambel auf einen Antrag islamischer Staaten (u.a. Katar und Indone­sien) hin darauf hingewiesen, daß »die Einrichtung einer von Massenvernichtungswaffen freien Zone im Nahen Osten« den Frieden und die internationale Sicherheit in dieser Region und in der Welt »begünstigen« würde. Eine konkrete Aufforderung an die Staaten des Nahen Ostens, insbesondere an Israel, dieses Ziel umzusetzen, enthält die Resolution allerdings nicht. (...) In letzter Zeit häufen sich die Signale, wonach die militärischen Angriffsplanungen der USA weitgehend abgeschlossen seien und ein Angriff unmittelbar bevorstünde. (...) Die von renommierten Atomwissenschaftlern betriebene »Doomsday Clock«  steht mittlerweile wieder auf fünf Minuten vor zwölf. (...) Der folgende Vorschlag geht von der Notwendigkeit und Möglichkeit aus, die Regelung der Schlüsselelemente der gegenwärtigen Krise miteinander zu verkoppeln. Diese sind einerseits das von der iranischen Führung wahrgenommene Sicherheitsdefizit und andererseits deren wiederholte Versicherung, nicht nach atomaren Waffen zu streben. Die Verkoppelung jener beiden Schlüsselelemente ließe folgende Regelungskonstruktion zu:  1. Der Westen nimmt die iranische Führung beim Wort und geht auf deren erklärte Bereitschaft ein, Urananreicherung nicht für die Entwicklung von Atomwaffen zu nutzen. 2. Als Gegenleistung räumt der Westen die Sicherheitsbefürchtungen der iranischen Führung hinsichtlich einer westlichen Intervention zu ihrem Sturz aus.(...) PD Dr. Michael Berndt, Dr. Ingrid el Masry, Prof. Dr. Werner Ruf, Dr. Arne Seifert, Dr. Peter Strutynski "

  • Gary Leupp: Iran, a Chronology of Disinformation.    BY Dissident News. (27/03/07) 

  • Sanctioning the next war of aggression. By Daniel M Pourkesali (26/03/07)  "United Nations Security Council (UNSC) has once again voted to impose yet another sanction on Iran for its failure to suspend a legal activity allowed by the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty, to which Iran remains a signatory state, and that the IAEA itself has found no indication of any nuclear material being diverted to military purposes. As in case of the UNSC resolution 1737 approved in December 2006,  the United States has played a key roll in draft of the language used and the push for its passage, in a continued effort to lay the ground for a planned military action against Iran. In an op-ed  written days following the ratification of resolution 1737, this writer urged readers and all those outraged by the Iraqi deception to stand up and repeatedly make it known, over the deafening megaphones of the war-mongers that:1) Iran is not in breach of any international conventions or agreements. Processing of uranium is entirely within the guidelines of the NPT, and according to the IAEA, all fissile material have been accounted for and confirmed as not diverted to prohibited activities. Above remains true today as it has been since the inception of Iranian nuclear program in 1957 with the help of the United States. In that year a civil nuclear cooperation program was established under the U.S. 'Atoms for Peace' program. In 1959, the Tehran Nuclear Research Center (TNRC) was established and run by the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI). The TNRC was equipped with a U.S.-supplied 5-megawatt nuclear research reactor that became operational in 1967 fuelled with highly enriched uranium.  Iran signed the NPT in 1968 and ratified it in 1970. With the establishment of Iran's atomic agency and the NPT in place, the Shah approved plans to construct, again with U.S. help, up to 23 nuclear power stations by the year 2000. 2) The UN Security Council is not the world and hence does not reflect the will of the 'international community' – it represents the views and positions of 15 nations five of which are undemocratically assigned as permanent members including the United States, Britain, China, France and Russia. The 118 United Nations member states of the Nonaligned Movement have repeatedly confirmed and recognized Iran's right to nuclear energy for peaceful purposes. Yet a handful of powerful nations led by the U.S., continue to portray their own narrow and self-serving objectives as the will of the entire international community. 3) Any military action against Iran regardless of the Security Council approval would be ethically and morally void of any legitimacy. The UNSC is the organ of the United Nations charged with maintaining peace and security among nations. Under Chapter Six of the UN Charter, "Pacific Settlement of Disputes", the Security Council "may investigate any dispute or any situation which might lead to international friction or give rise to a dispute in order to determine whether the continuance of the dispute or situation is likely to endanger the maintenance of international peace and security." The key phrase is endangering of 'international peace and security'. A simple question to ask here is this -- How can a legal activity allowed by the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty constitute a danger to world "peace and security" and prompt an international body charged with maintaining the same to impose such unwarranted sanctions that as witnessed in case of Iraq can be used as plain justification to invade and occupy a sovereign nation? But the far grimmer question to ask is – Are we as world citizens going to idly stand by and allow yet another illegal act of treachery be carried out under the pretext of protecting 'international peace and security'?..."

  • Russischer General erwartet Irak-Szenario - Britische Soldaten gefangen genommen - Iran: Über den Kriegsbeginn wird weiter spekuliert - über Kriegsanlässe nicht (25. März 2007).

  • Security Council tightens sanctions against Iran over uranium enrichment. By UN News Centre (24/03/07) "...Resolution 1747 reaffirms that Iran must take the steps required by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Board of Governors, which has called for a full and sustained suspension of all enrichment-related and reprocessing activities; and ratification and implementation of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty's (NPT) Additional Protocol granting the IAEA expanded rights of access to information and sites, as well as additional authority to use the most advanced technologies during the verification process..."

  • Exclusive: Embassies in Teheran prepare escape plans.(23/03/07) 

  • US military strike on Iran seen by April ’07.  By Ahmed Al-Jarallah. Arab Times (17/03/07) 

  • Ungebremst in den Krieg. Von Knut Mellenthin(17/03/07)

  • Seymour Hersh on planned invasion of Iran (27/02/07)CNN Report 

  • Investigative Reporter Seymour Hersh: US Indirectly Funding Al-Qaeda Linked Sunni Groups in Move to Counter Iran 

  • Pentagon Whistle-Blower on the Coming War With Iran  (27 February  2007) 

  • US accused of drawing up plan to bomb Iran. - Guardian (26 February  2007) 

  • US developing plan to bomb Iran, report says- Israel News, Ynetnews (25 February  2007) 

  • "An American Strike on Iran is Essential for Our Existence". AIPAC Demands "Action" on Iran. By Gerry Leup (24/02/2007) 

  • Report: Israel asks for ‘air corridor’ to attack Iran  - Israel News, Ynetnews (24 February  2007) 

  • "Theater Iran Near Term" (TIRANNT) - by Michel Chossudovsky. Global Research. (21 February  2007) 

  • StratCom already planning pre-emptive strike on Iran (21 February  2007) 

  • US 'Iran attack plans' revealed. BBC NEWS | Middle East | (20 February  2007)Broadcast  BBC News

  • American preparations for invading Iran are complete. By Dan Plesch - New Statesman (19 February  2007) 

  • The US propaganda campaign against Iran. By Jeremy R. Hammond - Online Journal Contributing Writer (16 February 2007) "The US government has stepped up its rhetoric against Iran this week with a presentation held in Baghdad designed to support the claim that, as worded by President Bush last month, “Iran is providing material support for attacks on American troops.”[1] But, as the Washington Post observed, “The officials offered no evidence to substantiate allegations that the ‘highest levels’ of the Iranian government had sanctioned support for attacks against U.S. troops.”[3] That conclusion was admittedly an “inference,” and the defense analyst present acknowledged the inconclusiveness of the evidence, saying, “The smoking gun of an Iranian standing over an American with a gun, it’s never going to happen.”[4] The reason for the buzz, as the Post also accurately noted, was that, “Although the administration has made many assertions about Iran’s nuclear program, its role in Iraq and its ties to groups on the State Department’s terrorism list, the U.S. government has never publicly offered evidence proving the allegations.” The presentation was the first attempt by the government to offer what it regards as evidence to substantiate the claims being made. In the spotlight was the “explosively formed penetrator,” or EFP, made from a cylinder of PVC pipe. The EFP projects a slug of metal when it explodes and has components that require precision machining, which, according to the officials, links the weapons to Iran, since “We have no evidence that this has ever been done in Iraq.”[5] They offered no evidence it had ever been done in Iran, either, though we may assume Iranians would be capable of doing so. Of course, Iraqis are likely capable of doing so, as well. An article in Jane’s Intelligence Review last month reported that the required tools “can easily be found in Iraqi metalworking shops and garages.” The author of the article, Michael Knights, told IPS, “I’m surprised that they haven’t found evidence of making EFPs in Iraq. That doesn’t ring true for me.”[6] The existing administration convinced the public of the need for war against Iraq by invoking images of a “mushroom cloud” and said Iraq was close to developing a nuclear bomb. There is no slight irony, as Patrick Cockburn noted in the Independent, that “Washington is now saying Iraqis are too backward to produce an effective roadside bomb and must seek Iranian help.”[7] Also offered as evidence were mortars and rocket-propelled grenades said to have come from Iran. The argument that EFP components and other weapons ostensibly manufactured in Iran constitute evidence of Iranian government involvement assumes that they can’t be obtained through the black-market.[8] This is a dubious assumption. General Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, acknowledged to reporters two days after the presentation that the case “does not translate that the Iranian government per se, for sure, is directly involved in doing this.”[9] ran has consistently denied the charges that it supports attacks against US troops. In response to the most recent effort, Foreign Ministry spokesman Mohammed Ali Hosseini observed, “The United States has a long history in fabricating evidence.” The allegations are, needless to say, reminiscent of government claims that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction and was intent on collaborating with the al Qaeda terrorist organization to use them against the US. In the PowerPoint presentation offered to journalists, entitled “Iranian Support for Lethal Activity in Iraq,” references are made to “extremist groups” rather than specifying whether the groups supposedly being armed by Iran are Sunni or Shiite.[10] The US is struggling with a predominately Sunni resistance movement in Iraq. Iran is a Shiite country friendly to the majority population of Iraq who share that faith. The government propped up by US forces is dominated by Shiites, and the death squads principally target Sunnis. As Iranian leaders have noted, it is in Iran’s best interest to promote a stable Shiite-dominated government in Iraq. As Patrick Cockburn noted, the evidence presented “implies the Shiites have been at war with the U.S., when in fact they are controlled by parties which make up the Iraqi government.”[11] What is interesting about the framework for discussion of Iranian support for attacks on US troops in Iraq is the underlying assumption that it would be most heinous for Iran to involve itself with its next-door neighbor. The US, on the other hand, has every right to interfere, politically and militarily, in the affairs of the Mesopotamian country on the other side of the world. This declared right for the US to use violence to meet political ends (which, incidentally, meets the definition of terrorism) is never questioned in Washington or the corporate media, while the conjecture about Iranian involvement in Iraq rages on. An alternative framework for discussion is possible. It could be assumed that the same standards must apply to the US as to Iran. But that would be unthinkable. The US is instead absurdly portrayed as the defender of Iraq, struggling to keep other parties from destabilizing the country. Iraq is preposterously “the front line” in the “war on terrorism” as a result of waging a “war on terrorism” against Iraq. Aside from claims of Iranian support for attacks on US troops in Iraq, the government has also charged that Iran is intent on producing nuclear weapons and the president has declared that “all options are on the table” for dealing with the alleged threat, including the use of military force, presumably in the form of air strikes against targets inside Iran.[12]  Evidence that Iran has military intentions for its nuclear program is scant, however. When Mohammed ElBaradei, head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, traveled to Belgium this week, the Western media largely noted his comment that “full transparency” was required from Iran. Ignored were other remarks he also made, just the most recent reiteration from the IAEA of the lack of evidence supporting US government allegations: “I don’t see a military solution of the Iranian issue. First of all, as far as we know what Iran has now today is knowledge. We do not know that Iran has the industrial capacity to enrich uranium. We don’t know, we haven’t seen indication or concrete proof of a nuclear weapons program. So I don’t see that people talk about a military solution. I don’t know what they mean by that. You cannot bomb knowledge as I said before. I think it would also be completely counterproductive.”[13]  But then the predicted consequences didn’t stop the US government from invading Iraq, and we should not presume that an attack on Iran is off the table, particularly when we are repeatedly reminded otherwise. Any such attack would certainly be counterproductive. One predictable result would be Iran’s expulsion of the IAEA and withdrawal from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. And if Iran currently has no intention of making a bomb, an attack would virtually guarantee that the effort would get underway, underground and without international oversight, just as occurred after Israel’s bombing of Iraq’s Osirak reactor in 1981. But besides being “counterproductive,” like the invasion of Iraq it would also be a crime; in fact, as defined at Nuremberg, “the supreme international crime, differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole.” But that’s an inconvenient truth many are reluctant to include in the accepted framework...." 

  • Target Iran: US able to strike in the spring. By Ewen MacAskill  Guardian Unlimited (10 February  2007) 

  • Iran War Lies. By Bob Fertik (2 February  2007) 

  • Answering the Charges Against Iran  - CASMII  (26 January  2007) (Download pdf file here

  • "WIPED OFF THE MAP" - The Rumor of the Century. "By by Arash Norouzi  (18 January 2007) "So what did Ahmadinejad actually say? To quote his exact words in farsi: "Imam ghoft een rezhim-e ishghalgar-e qods bayad az safheh-ye ruzgar mahv shavad." That passage will mean nothing to most people, but one word might ring a bell: rezhim-e. It is the word "Regime", pronounced just like the English word with an extra "eh" sound at the end. Ahmadinejad did not refer to Israel the country or Israel the land mass, but the Israeli regime. This is a vastly significant distinction, as one cannot wipe a regime off the map. Ahmadinejad does not even refer to Israel by name, he instead uses the specific phrase "rezhim-e ishghalgar-e qods" (regime occupying Jerusalem). So this raises the question.. what exactly did he want "wiped from the map"? The answer is: nothing. That's because the word "map" was never used. The Persian word for map, "nagsheh", is not contained anywhere in his original farsi quote, or, for that matter, anywhere in his entire speech. Nor was the western phrase "wipe out" ever said. Yet we are led to believe that Iran's President threatened to "wipe Israel off the map", despite never having uttered the words "map", "wipe out" or even "Israel." Here is the full transcript of the speech in farsi, archived on Ahmadinejad's web site

  • Nuclear War against Iran. By Michel Chossudovsky. Global Research (3 January  2007)

  • Iran offered ‘to make peace with Israel’ in 2003. By  Gareth Porter (26. Mai 2006) 

  • Falschmeldung? Na wenn schon!  Von Knut Mellenthin.  (23.Mai.2006 ) 

  • Mediale Kriegsvorbereitung - Rassismus-Vorwurf gegen Iran. (20. Mai 2006) 

  • Israel and Iran: Ideological Foes or Strategic Rivals? ( 9 May 2006) Lecture  by Dr. Trita Parsi  (Video -1h 1min 59 sec)

  • THE IRAN PLANS. By SEYMOUR M. HERSH (18 April 2006) 

  • President Bush's statement: nuclear strike option is "on the table" (18 April 2006) 

  • Pragmatische Außenpolitik, unerträgliche Propaganda. Der iranische Präsident und die Haltung Teherans zum Staat Israel. Was Ahmadinedschad wirklich sagte und was nicht. Von Knut Mellenthin (7. April 2006)

  • Der Krieg gegen den Iran hat längst begonnen - Israel von der Landkarte löschen - Über die angeblichen Äußerungen des iranischen Präsidenten Ahmadinedschad" eine Medienanalyse von Anneliese Fikenscher und Andreas Neumann (19. März 2006). (English Version: Does Iran's President Want Israel Wiped Of The Map - Does He Deny Te Holocaust?)

  • Iran was not referred to the Security Council for Noncompliance. By Mike Whitney. "ICH" - 02/21/06

  • The US war with Iran has already begun.   (20 June 2005) - Former UN weapons inspector in Iraq, Scott Ritter stated: "...The fact is that the Iraq war had begun by the beginning of summer 2002, if not earlier. This timeline of events has ramifications that go beyond historical trivia or political investigation into the events of the past. It represents a record of precedent on the part of the Bush administration which must be acknowledged when considering the ongoing events regarding US-Iran relations. As was the case with Iraq pre-March 2003, the Bush administration today speaks of "diplomacy" and a desire for a "peaceful" resolution to the Iranian question. But the facts speak of another agenda, that of war and the forceful removal of the theocratic regime, currently wielding the reigns of power in Tehran. As with Iraq, the president has paved the way for the conditioning of the American public and an all-too-compliant media to accept at face value the merits of a regime change policy regarding Iran, linking the regime of the Mullah's to an "axis of evil" (together with the newly "liberated" Iraq and North Korea), and speaking of the absolute requirement for the spread of "democracy" to the Iranian people.  But Americans, and indeed much of the rest of the world, continue to be lulled into a false sense of complacency by the fact that overt conventional military operations have not yet commenced between the United States and Iran.  As such, many hold out the false hope that an extension of the current insanity in Iraq can be postponed or prevented in the case of Iran. But this is a fool's dream. The reality is that the US war with Iran has already begun. As we speak, American over flights of Iranian soil are taking place, using pilotless drones and other, more sophisticated, capabilities. The violation of a sovereign nation's airspace is an act of war in and of itself. But the war with Iran has gone far beyond the intelligence-gathering phase. President Bush has taken advantage of the sweeping powers granted to him in the aftermath of 11 September 2001, to wage a global war against terror and to initiate several covert offensive operations inside Iran. The most visible of these is the CIA-backed actions recently undertaken by the Mujahadeen el-Khalq, or MEK, an Iranian opposition group, once run by Saddam Hussein's dreaded intelligence services, but now working exclusively for the CIA's Directorate of Operations. It is bitter irony that the CIA is using a group still labelled as a terrorist organisation, a group trained in the art of explosive assassination by the same intelligence units of the former regime of Saddam Hussein, who are slaughtering American soldiers in Iraq today, to carry out remote bombings in Iran of the sort that the Bush administration condemns on a daily basis inside Iraq. Perhaps the adage of "one man's freedom fighter is another man's terrorist" has finally been embraced by the White House, exposing as utter hypocrisy the entire underlying notions governing the ongoing global war on terror. But the CIA-backed campaign of MEK terror bombings in Iran are not the only action ongoing against Iran. To the north, in neighbouring Azerbaijan, the US military is preparing a base of operations for a massive military presence that will foretell a major land-based campaign designed to capture Tehran. Secretary of Defence Donald Rumsfeld's interest in Azerbaijan may have escaped the blinkered Western media, but Russia and the Caucasus nations understand only too well that the die has been cast regarding Azerbaijan's role in the upcoming war with Iran. The ethnic links between the Azeri of northern Iran and Azerbaijan were long exploited by the Soviet Union during the Cold War, and this vehicle for internal manipulation has been seized upon by CIA paramilitary operatives and US Special Operations units who are training with Azerbaijan forces to form special units capable of operating inside Iran for the purpose of intelligence gathering, direct action, and mobilising indigenous opposition to the Mullahs in Tehran. But this is only one use the US has planned for Azerbaijan. American military aircraft, operating from forward bases in Azerbaijan, will have a much shorter distance to fly when striking targets in and around Tehran. In fact, US air power should be able to maintain a nearly 24-hour a day presence over Tehran airspace once military hostilities commence. No longer will the United States need to consider employment of Cold War-dated plans which called for moving on Tehran from the Arab Gulf cities of Chah Bahar and Bandar Abbas. US Marine Corps units will be able to secure these towns in order to protect the vital Straits of Hormuz, but the need to advance inland has been eliminated. A much shorter route to Tehran now exists - the coastal highway running along the Caspian Sea from Azerbaijan to Tehran. US military planners have already begun war games calling for the deployment of multi-divisional forces into Azerbaijan. Logistical planning is well advanced concerning the basing of US air and ground power in Azerbaijan. Given the fact that the bulk of the logistical support and command and control capability required to wage a war with Iran is already forward deployed in the region thanks to the massive US presence in Iraq, the build-up time for a war with Iran will be significantly reduced compared to even the accelerated time tables witnessed with Iraq in 2002-2003. America and the Western nations continue to be fixated on the ongoing tragedy and debacle that is Iraq. Much needed debate on the reasoning behind the war with Iraq and the failed post-war occupation of Iraq is finally starting to spring up in the United States and elsewhere. Normally, this would represent a good turn of events. But with everyone's heads rooted in the events of the past, many are missing out on the crime that is about to be repeated by the Bush administration in Iran - an illegal war of aggression, based on false premise, carried out with little regard to either the people of Iran or the United States. Most Americans, together with the mainstream American media, are blind to the tell-tale signs of war, waiting, instead, for some formal declaration of hostility, a made-for-TV moment such as was witnessed on 19 March 2003. We now know that the war had started much earlier. Likewise, history will show that the US-led war with Iran will not have begun once a similar formal statement is offered by the Bush administration, but, rather, had already been under way since June 2005, when the CIA began its programme of MEK-executed terror bombings in Iran." [Scott Ritter is a former UN weapons inspector in Iraq, 1991-1998, and author of Iraq Confidential: The Untold Story of America's Intelligence Conspiracy, to be published by I B Tauris in October 2005.]

  • Will Iran Be Next? By Mark Gaffney: Information Clearing House -   (05.08. 2003)  "Those who have hoped that a U.S. military victory in Iraq would somehow bring about a more peaceful world are in for a rude awakening. The final resolution of this war and the U.S. occupation of Iraq will likely not be the end, rather, only the prelude to a succession of future crises: in Kashmir, Syria, North Korea, and Iran. This article will focus primarily on the latter case. In the coming months the United States and its ally Israel will either accede to the existence of an Iranian nuclear power program, or take steps to prevent it. At the eye of the storm is Iran’s nuclear power plant at Bushehr, on the Gulf coast, currently under construction. The reactor is scheduled for completion later this year. Its nuclear fuel rods will then be delivered. By June 2004 it should be fully operational. The controversial project has been in the works for more than a quarter century. As it nears completion, tensions between Iran and the U.S./Israel are sure to rise. Iran is a signatory of the Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT), which affirms the right of states in good standing to develop nuclear power for peaceful use. Although there is no evidence Iran has yet violated the NPT, the U.S. and Israel believe that Iran is seeking nuclear weapons. This is the crux of the problem. And two recently discovered Iranian nuclear sites, at Arak and at Natanz, have only heightened suspicions. It is very possible--some would say probable--that the U.S., possibly in conjunction with Israel, will launch a "preventive" raid and destroy the Bushehr reactor before it goes on line. Such a raid would be fateful for the region and the world. It would trigger another Mideast war, and possibly a confrontation with Russia, with effects that are difficult to predict. A war with Iran might bring about the collapse of the NPT, lead to a new arms race, and plunge the world into nuclear chaos. Such a crisis holds the potential to bring the world to the nuclear brink. This article will review the background, and provide an analysis. I will discuss the reactor at Bushehr first, then the other suspect sites..." 

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The Film "300" and its Context 

Information on the film "300" available at: and 300 (film) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia 

Iranian premiere to counter '300' - 02/05/2007 - PressTV -
Film critics attending the world premiere of 'Glory of Persepolis' have said the film is an appropriate response to the Hollywood film 300. Critics and others at the screening also said the documentary reflects the "dignity of Iranians". The screening was part of a series of films at the Nour film house of the Imam Ali (AS) Religious Arts Museum which was held Monday. The Q&A session following the screening was attended by the producer of the documentary, Hossein Hazrati, and Mohammad-Hassan Talebian, the head of the Parseh Research Foundation, an organization that aims to promote knowledge and appreciation of ancient Iranian hisory. Speaking at the session, Talebian said the documentary was originally proposed by Iran's Cultural Heritage Tourism and Handicrafts Tourism Organization in 2003, long before the release of the Hollywood film. "The film is now used to introduce Persepolis to visitors and give them an idea of this world famous ancient monument prior to touring it," he added. "Based on the research conducted at the foundation on the scientific progress and outstanding technologies of the era, it was found that the technology of the period was ahead of its own time, some examples of which are just being used today. Film critic, Reza Dorostkar, also attending the session, dismissed the idea of preserving the Iranians identity and history through incitement of their feelings. "Today, we need to produce films aiming to revive our historical monuments that will provide the opportunity to observe historical facts and at the same time get introduced to the history," he added. On his part, the producer of the documentary expounded on the film and the relevant book, adding that it is the fruit of sincere efforts of all those involved in the project. "In the process of production, it was attempted to consider the views of domestic and foreign experts, researchers and archaeologists," said Hazrati.  (See also: The Film "300" and its Context)

Cultural Attaché: 300 Unrealistic  (04. April 2007) PressTV - Iran's cultural attaché in Russia has described the movie '300' as unrealistic, racist and conforming to the clash of civilizations theory. Mehdi Imanipour made the remark in an interview with Russia's RBC TV. When asked why Iran reacts to an unserious movie seriously, Imanipour said that the reaction to the '300' is a national response rather than a state one, adding every Iranian reacts to the movie wherever he or she lives. The Iranian cultural attaché in Russia also termed '300' as a propagandistic movie ordered by those who beat the war drums.

Iran's minister calls '300' "downright insulting" (04. April 2007)  - Iran's Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance calls the Hollywood film 300 "downright insulting" to the Iranian nation. Mohammad-Hossein Saffar Harandi said in a meeting with his staff on Tuesday that the response from Iranian artists to the creators of the film will be fair and "magnanimous". "Some [people] have created a disgraceful film while pursuing a personal vendetta against the Iranian people," Saffar Harandi told reporters who were present at the meeting. "Westerners have acknowledged that, while they were living in the dark ages, Iranians were far ahead of them thanks to their great scientists and prominent scholars," he continued. The controversial film's unjust portrayal of Iran's heritage and civilization will fail to have any lasting effect, he insisted. Iran has repeatedly condemned the American company that produced the film, Warner Brothers, saying the film is "anti-Iranian" in nature. Officials from Iran have cried foul over what they say is a gross deviation of historical facts in the film, where Persians are depicted as ugly and violent creatures rather than realistic human beings.

Iranian Embassy in Bangkok Condemns Movie 300 - (31.03. 2007) - TEHRAN (Fars News Agency)  "Following Iranians' wide scale reaction to a film recently produced by Warner Brothers Studio titled '300', the Islamic Republic's embassy in Bangkok issued a statement to voice its strong protest against the distorted nature of the movie...The Iranian people are outraged by the movie produced by the Warner Brothers Studio titled "300" purportedly about an epic battle fought between the Persian and Greek armies in 480 B.C., but which is full of deliberate distortions and derogatory depictions of ancient Persia. It is about the war between the Greek King Leonidas heading an army of 300 Spartans and the Persian Emperor Xerxes commanding an army of one million. It portraits Iranians as monsters rising from the heart of darkness to destroy the Greek civilization... The movie openly is distorting the history of the oldest civilization on the earth and it shows the producers chasing a hidden agenda. We feel that this movie not only has done a poor job painting the reality of the past, but also it has humiliated the Iranian culture and the reality of what Iran represented at that era...The movie is "Part of a comprehensive west's psychological war aimed at Iranian culture through Hollywood and other media machines who has initiated studies to figure out how to attack Iranian culture, and "certainly" the recent movie is a product of such studies." FULL TEXT HERE  -

Press Release by the Permanent Mission of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the United Nations - New York  regarding the Movie 300.  March 20, 2007 "The Iranian people are outraged by the movie produced by the Warner Brothers Studio titled “300” purportedly about an epic battle fought between the Persian and Greek armies in 480 B.C., but which is full of deliberate distortions and derogatory depictions of ancient Persia. With its crude demonization of Persians, as the embodiment ofevil, moral corruption, the nefarious and the destructive, the movie is a serious affront to both history and the proud Iranian people. While recognizing that this is not a docudrama and its content is largely fictionalized, that it is a “fantasy” version of a historical past, nonetheless it seems judicious to investigate why the film fails to convey a bare minimum truth about Iranian history and indulges in inventing perverse, demonic images of Persians?" FULL TEXT HERE. 

Iran UNESCO representative protests over '300', Sunday, March 18, 2007 - "...Iran's representative to the Paris-based UNESCO, Mohammad-Reza Dehshiri, in a letter to UNESCO director general criticized screening of Warner Brothers anti-Iran movie `300' and called for its severe reaction and condemnation of such an insult, IRNA reported. In his letter, Dehshiri protested over the inciting nature of the movie, deliberately insulting the Iranian nation, as the founder of dialogue among cultures and civilizations. Meanwhile, he underlined UNESCO's responsibility towards this sensitive issue, given the need for promotion of international peace and solidarity based on the introduction to the UNESCO Charter, calling for a proper reaction to the move. Turning to the responsibility of this international organization to promote peaceful coexistence, peace and logic rather than hatred, war and arrogance, he drew the attention of UNESCO head to the growing objection of world historians and Iranian intellectuals to this blasphemous movie. Dehshiri called on the UNESCO director general to prevent repetition of such insulting actions undermining the Iranians' social ethics and denying their rich culture. Turning to the fact that against the medium-term strategy of this international body, which is based on promotion of dialogue among civilizations and cultures, he said that the movie called `300' will lead to conflict among civilizations. Besides, the Iranian officials reiterated the need for UNESCO's reaction to this measure to safeguard the cultural heritage of all world nations. In separate letters to the heads of other international bodies such as the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC), the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) and the group of 77, he also called for condemnation of such measures and their proper reaction to stop further insult to Iran's history and culture. Dehshiri called on these bodies to discuss the issue at their general assembly meetings under the name of `Violation of the Convention for the Safeguarding of Cultural Heritage'." Iran complains to UNESCO, BBC Persian, 2007-03-18.  

Iranian Academy of Arts to submit UNESCO declaration against '300', Payvand News, 2007-03-16':  "The Iranian Academy of Arts has prepared a declaration against onscreen Hollywood production of "300" to offer the UNESCO. The film and cinema group of the academy has asked the UNESCO secretary to respond to the destructive acts of Hollywood in distorting history and culture of Iran which is one of the ancient civilizations in the world. The declaration emphasizes that UNESCO is responsible to protect civilizations and cultural heritage of nations, and it should not be silent toward degrading nations through art and cinema. UNESCO has prevented any threat of demolishing ancient sites, so it is expected to oppose destruction of historical identity of all nations in the form of film and cinema, reads part of declaration, adding that it is not less important than a monument's destruction. The declaration also warns the art and cultural figures of other countries for intermingling art and cinema with political intentions to violate peaceful interactions of the nations..."

Critiqual articles in international news services concerning the film "300"

Spartans film is psychological war, says Iran, by Robert Tait in The Guardian, 2007-03-15. 

EUR FILM REVIEW: 300: By Kam Williams. March 12, 2007 "...A monochromatic, testosterone-sodden cross of Gladiator and Sin City strictly for the bloodlust demographic." 

Battle of the Manly Men: Blood

Bath With a Message, by A. O. SCOTT in the New York Times, 2007-03-09: ' “300” is about as violent as “Apocalypto” and twice as stupid. Adapted from a graphic novel by Frank Miller and Lynn Varley, it offers up a bombastic spectacle of honor and betrayal, rendered in images that might have been airbrushed onto a customized van sometime in the late 1970s. The basic story is a good deal older. It’s all about the ancient Battle of Thermopylae, which unfolded at a narrow pass on the coast of Greece whose name translates as Hot Gates...its muscle-bound, grunting self-seriousness is more tiresome than entertaining. Go tell the Spartans, whoever they are, to stay home and watch wrestling.' 

Greek critics lash Hollywood's ancient epic '300', International Herald Tribune, 2007-03-08: "Daily Ta Nea newspaper gave Zack Snyder's "300" zero out of 10, with critic Dimitris Danikas claiming the film even carried a message about the U.S. war on terror. 'By ancient Persia, they refer to modern Iran — whose soldiers are portrayed as bloodthirsty, underdeveloped zombies," he wrote. "They are stroking racist instincts in Europe and America.' " 

Information on the history of Iran at:

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Open Letters  - Offene Briefe

United in support of Iranian women 
From 35 Iranian, Iraqi and British women academics, activists and politicians.
By Mahboubeh Abbasgholizadeh in the The Financial Times. (28/03/2007)

"...Once again Iran is in the news. While the US has learnt nothing from the invasion of Iraq and continues its posturing with Iran, Iranian women have certainly heeded a few lessons. Their active struggle for gender equality is now exacerbated by concerns about military attacks and how external threats are used as a pretext further to limit their space for building a stronger women's movement. Meanwhile in Iraq, girls' and young women's attendance at schools and universities is in rapid decline owing to security fears; the war and occupation have left the economy in tatters; and women are the first to suffer from lack of education and employment and to be pushed back to their homes to perform domestic duties. All this is compounded by the Iraqi government bringing in new discriminatory legislation. Across the border in Iran, women from all backgrounds now make up more than 60 per cent of university entrants. Iran's women's movement is now challenging the system that leaves many of these graduates jobless, by demanding a change in discriminatory laws. Through a national coalition of leading civil society women activists, students and democratic forces, they are struggling to change discriminatory laws to enhance dialogue, collaboration and democratic action. It is a bumpy road to travel, with leading members arrested in the run-up to International Women's Day protests and released only after a few days, yet the movement grows daily: something only a war could stop. We, the undersigned, as women activists, academics and politicians, condemn any threat of and actual military action against Iran and support the Iranian women's campaign.  Mahboubeh Abbasgholizadeh, Director, NGO Training Centre, Tehran. Shadi Sadr, Lawyer, Tehran. Prof Elaheh Koolaee, University of Tehran. Fatemeh Farhangkhah, The Society for Protection of Handicapped Children and Youth NGO, Tehran. Dr Fatemeh Sadeghi, Academic, Tehran. Lily Farhadpour, Writer and journalist, Tehran. Maryam Ommi, Student and NGO Training Centre, Tehran. Mahsa Shekarloo,, Women's Website, Tehran. Prof Haleh Afshar, York University. Prof Homa Hoodfarm, Women Living Under Muslim Laws (WLUML). Roudabeh Shafie, Anti-War Campaigner. Dr Mehri Honarbin-Holliday, Kent University. Dr Ziba Mir-Hosseini, The London Middle East Institute. Dr Elaheh Rostami-Povey, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. Dr Laleh Khalili, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. Mahnaz Razavi, Consultant Psychotherapist. Dr Nadjie Ali, University of Exeter. Tahrir Abdul Samad Swift, Arab Media Watch. Fenik Adham, Counsellor. Salma Yaqoob, Councillor. Rania Khan, Councillor. Yvonne Ridley, Journalist and author. Clare Short MP. Lynne Featherstone MP. Lynne Jones MP. Jean Lambert MEP. Lindsey German, Stop The War Coalition. Jane Shallise, Stop The War Coalition. Dr Ayesha Imam, WLUML, Senegal. Prof Fatou Sow, Université Diderot Paris, WLUML. Sultana Kamal, WLUML, Bangladesh. Farida Shaheed, Shirkat Gah and WLUML Pakistan. Codou Bop, WLUML, regional office, Senegal. Zarizana Abdul Aziz, WLUML, Malaysia. Prof Nayereh Tohidi, California State University"

Das internationale Recht verlangt eine friedliche Streitschlichtung  (04. April 2007) 
Appell an Großbritannien und Iran, den Konflikt zu deeskalieren - Pressemitteilung aus der Friedensbewegung im Wortlaut

OPEN LETTER TO Federal Chancellor Dr. Merkel (19. February 2007)
"... Dear Mrs. Merkel we ask you to act be
cause danger is looming. Do prevent this war! Otherwise Germany and the European Union could be made responsible for a disaster of unthinkable dimesions... Stand up for a Conference of Security and Co-operation in the Middle East to begin as early as possible, in order to start the peaceful dialogue in the region. Either there is a common solution for the actual conflicts in the region or there will be a fire storm, chaos and new calamity for the whole of mankind..."
(ENGLISH pdf  here)

OFFENER BRIEF AN Bundeskanzlerin Dr. MERKEL (19. Februar 2007)
"... Sehr verehrte Frau Merkel, wegen Gefahr im Verzug bitten wir Sie zu handeln. Verhindern Sie diesen Krieg und dass Deutschland und die Europäische Union für ein Desaster unvorstellbaren Ausmaßes mit verantwortlich gemacht werden wird... Setzen Sie sich für den baldigen Beginn einer Konferenz für Sicherheit und Zusammenarbeit im Mittleren und Nahen Osten ein, um damit den friedlichen Dialog in der Region zu eröffnen. Denn entweder gibt es eine gemeinsame Lösung für die aktuellen Konflikte in der Region oder es gibt einen Flächenbrand, Chaos und neues Unglück für die Menschheit..."
  (GERMAN pdf  here) (70,76 KB)

Legal + Human Rights Groups Issue Open Letter Warning Of Illegality Of Any Offensive Military Action By U.S. Against Iran   (1/02/07) European, international and United States legal and human rights groups issued an open letter to All Members of Congress, the Bush Administration And the U.S. Armed Forces warning of the illegality of any offensive military action by the United States against Iran.... If the United States or any other nation were to act outside of its UN obligations it would risk starting a war of aggression and committing a crime against peace. Furthermore, the sending of aircraft carriers combined with recent threatening statements constitutes a threat to wage a war with Iran. This is also prohibited by the Charter.  Principle VI of the Nuremberg Principles  also makes crimes against peace punishable under international law. Crimes against peace include: planning, preparation, initiation or waging a war of aggression in violation of international treaties, agreements, or assurances, or participation in a common plan or conspiracy to accomplish these acts.... Signatories include the American Association of Jurists, Center for Constitutional Rights (U.S.), Droite Solidarite (France), European Association of Lawyers for Human Rights and Democracy, Italian Association of Democratic Lawyers, Haldane Society (United Kingdom), International Association of Democratic Lawyers, Indian Association of Lawyers, (India), Japanese Association of Lawyers for International Solidarity, (Japan), Lawyers Against War (Canada), National Lawyers Guild (U.S.), Progress Lawyers Network (Belgium). 

U.S. Physicists Letter to President Bush: "Nuclear Weapons Against Iran Gravely Irresponsible" (17/04/2006)  
Authored by: Philip Anderson, Nobel Laureate ; Michael Fisher, Wolf Laureate ; David Gross, Nobel Laureate ; Jorge Hirsch, Professor of Physics ; Leo Kadanoff, National Medal of Science ; Walter Kohn, Nobel Laureate ; Joel Lebowitz, Boltzmann Medalist ; Anthony Leggett, Nobel Laureate ; Eugen Merzbacher, President, American Physical Society, 1990 ; Douglas Osheroff, Nobel Laureate ; Andrew Sessler, President, American Physical Society, 1998 ; George Trilling, President, American Physical Society, 2001 ; Frank Wilczek, Nobel Laureate ; Edward Witten, Fields Medalist (pdf file  with signatures)

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Target Iran - Timeline 2001 - 2009
  • "...29 January 2002
    In his first State of the Union address, President Bush named three countries that he said continue to sponsor terror:  North Korea, Iran and Iraq. He called them and their terrorist allies "an axis of evil,"...
  • 01 February 2007
    The year 2007 begins to mark the closing of the window of opportunity for military strkes against Iran.
    CBS News reported on 18 December 2006 that the Bush administration has decided to ramp up the naval presence in the Persian Gulf to send a message to Tehran. CBS reported that an additional aircraft carrier would be added to the Gulf contingent in January 2007, arriving on station around 01 February 2007. The New York Times reported 20 December 2006 that the Bremerton-based aircraft carrier CVN-74 John C. Stennis and its strike group could leave weeks earlier than planned as part of a move to increase the U.S. military presence in and around the Middle East. Moving up the Stennis’ departure date in January 2006 allows a longer overlap with USS Dwight D. Eisenhower, the carrier currently in the Persian Gulf. Eisenhower deployed 01 October 2006, and could remain on station into March 2007. It is difficult for one Carrier Air Wing [CVW] to conduct flight operations for much more than about 12 hours before having to stop. However, with the combined striking power of two CVWs, the Carrier Task Force (CTF) is able to conduct air operations over a continuous 24-hour cycle.  If the White House is politically risk averse with reference to striking Iran, striking Iran as early as February 2007 would allow the maximum time betweeenr the strikes and the 2008 Presidential election.
  • July 2007
    Gordon Brown, who represents a district in Scotland, will replace Tony Blair as Prime Minister of the UK sometime in July 2007. While Blair might be expected to authorize the use of Diego Garcia for staging US strikes against Iran, Brown probably would not. [See also:]
  • August 2007
    Monday, September 3rd is Labor Day 2007, the national beginning of the 2008 Presidential campaign. If the White House is politically risk averse with reference to striking Iran, the weeks before Labor Day might mark the last opportune moment to do the deed before the Presidential campaign gets under way.
  • 4 November 2008
    The US presidential election of 2008 is scheduled to occur on November 4, 2008. If the White House judges that military strikes would rally the country around the President and his party, it would argue for timing strikes as little as a week before the election, a pre-planned October Surprise.
  • 20 January 2009
    The new President is innaugurated. Depending on political calculation, a final window of opportunity to strike Iran opens during the transition from the old President the new. If Bush judged that his incoming successor lacked the resolve to take the neccessary action, or if it were judged that blaming Bush would ease the way of the new President, there might be arguments for striking after the election but before the innauguration.
  • 31 December 2009
    If strikes have not occured by January 2009, the new President will have some months to decide on a course of action. If strikes have not occured by the end of 2009, American policy will have shifted from saying the Atomic Ayatollahs are unacceptable, to accepting them as an accomplished fact."  

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April  2007

  1. Iran ready for unconditional talks - (10/04/2007) -  PressTV  - 
    Iran says it is ready for comprehensive unconditional negotiations with the 5+1 Group over the country's peaceful nuclear program. "We have always announced our readiness for unconditional talks. If the 5+1 members have something new to say, we are ready to resume negotiations," said Iranian Foreign Minister Manuchehr Mottaki at a press conference with his Afghan counterpart in Tehran. He noted that the Islamic Republic believes negotiations should be transparent so as to reach a solution. Mottaki continued, "In talks with the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on the sideline of an Arab Summit in Saudi Arabia in late March, I stressed that Iran does not accept suspension of its uranium enrichment as precondition for the resumption of dialogue or the outcome of negotiations." He said, "We have left the issue of suspension behind," urging the 5+1 members (U.S., UK, France, Russia, China plus Germany) to accept the existing realities. Responding to a question about the visit of Iran's Deputy Minister of Interior for Security Affairs Mohammad Zolqadr to Russia, despite a ban imposed by the UN on travels by Iranian officials, Mottaki said UN Resolution 1747 has not banned Iranian officials from traveling, adding that visits by the country's officials to other nations would continue transparently. Elsewhere in his remarks, Mottaki turned to the forthcoming conference on Iraq due to be held in Egypt, saying Iran prefers that only Iraq's neighbors plus Egypt and Bahrain attend the meeting and that the conference venue be in Iraq. The Iranian Foreign Minister noted that the Tehran conference on Iraq had set Baghdad as the venue for the next meeting. He also underscored Iran's willingness to further expand bilateral ties with neighboring Afghanistan and said Tehran and Kabul had decided to double their economic relations. Mottaki voiced hope that the expansion of Tehran-Kabul ties would be sped-up. Afghan foreign minister Rangin Dadfar Spanta for his part underscored Kabul's determination to expand ties with Tehran. He said Afghanistan attaches special importance to its relations with Iran.

  2. Natanz to Be Equipped with 50,000 Centrifuges. (10/04/2007) -  Far News Agency - Head of Iran's Atomic Energy Organization (IAEO) Gholam Reza Aghazadeh said a number of 50,000 centrifuges will be installed at Natanz enrichment center within the next two years.  Speaking in an interview with Iran's state-run TV Monday night after Iran announced access to the know-how required for the production of nuclear fuel at industrial scale, Aghazadeh said that foreign experts imagined it would be impossible for Iran to complete the pilot stage and advance from the laboratory-scale to the industrial phase of uranium enrichment in just one single year. "During the last year, an average number of 3000 experts, scientists and skilled forces worked in Natanz center on a daily basis, and these efforts finally yielded the unimaginable and extraordinary result," he continued. He said that Iran's young scientists who specialize in the field of nuclear technology introduce an innovation every 16th day on the average, and stressed, "Natanz nuclear center will be equipped with 50,000 centrifuges in the next two years." Yesterday, Aghazadeh announced that Iran has succeeded in entering the phase of industrial nuclear fuel production following its significant technological progress at Natanz enrichment facility. After it succeeded in completing two cascades of 164 centrifuges, Iran has now gained full access to the required know-how for the production of nuclear fuel at industrial scale. Aghazadeh made the remarks during a ceremony held in Natanz nuclear facility for announcing the controversial good news of President Ahmadinejad. The ceremony was attended by Iranian president, high-ranking officials and MPs as well as more than 45 ambassadors of foreign countries to Tehran and representatives of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) Troika. Political analysts described Iran's entrance to the phase of semi-industrial nuclear fuel production as "a no return point" establishing the Islamic Republic as a nuclear state. Meantime, Deputy head of Iran's Atomic Energy Organization (IAEO) Mohammad Sa'eedi said Iran's industrial production of nuclear fuel is not synonymous with the installation of 3000 centrifuges. Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the Natanz ceremony, Sa'eedi said Iran has now gone beyond the pilot stage and is on the threshold of enriching uranium at an industrial scale. "We have so far been dealing with the completion of 2 cascades of 164 centrifuges as a pilot stage and passing this phase means industrialization of uranium enrichment," he continued. The official dismissed reports about installation of 3000 centrifuges by Iran, but declined to announce the number of centrifuges installed for the industrial phase.

  3. IAEA Inspectors Arrive in Iran. (10/04/2007) -   (Fars News Agency)- 
    Two International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspectors arrived in Tehran on Tuesday a day after Iran celebrated nuclear progress and access to the required know-how for the production of nuclear fuel at industrial scale.  Despite a recent parliament approval allowing government to revise cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency, Tehran continues cooperation with IAEA and in the latest case two of the agency's inspectors arrived here today. The said approval was issued in reaction to the UN Security Council Resolution 1737 against Iran and its peaceful nuclear activities. During their one-week mission, the two inspectors are due to visit Natanz enrichment facility. The visit of the IAEA inspectors falls within the safeguard agreement of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and is viewed as the Agency's routine inspections of nuclear sites. Iran's nuclear activities are fully supervised by the IAEA inspectors and cameras, and Tehran is observing the rules and contents of the NPT Comprehensive Safeguard Agreement in full. Yesterday, head of Iran's Atomic Energy Agency (IAEO) Gholam Reza Aghazadeh announced that Iran has succeeded in entering the phase of industrial nuclear fuel production following its significant technological progress at Natanz enrichment facility. After it succeeded in completing two cascades of 164 centrifuges, Iran has now gained full access to the required know-how for the production of nuclear fuel at industrial scale. Aghazadeh made the remarks during a ceremony held in Natanz nuclear facility for announcing the controversial good news of President Ahmadinejad. The ceremony was attended by Iranian president, high-ranking officials and MPs as well as more than 45 ambassadors of foreign countries to Tehran and representatives of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) Troika. Political analysts described Iran's entrance to the phase of semi-industrial nuclear fuel production as "a no return point" establishing the Islamic Republic as a nuclear state. Meantime, Deputy head of Iran's Atomic Energy Organization (IAEO) Mohammad Sa'eedi said Iran's industrial production of nuclear fuel is not synonymous with the installation of 3000 centrifuges. Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the Natanz ceremony, Sa'eedi said Iran has now gone beyond the pilot stage and is on the threshold of enriching uranium at an industrial scale. "We have so far been dealing with the completion of 2 cascades of 164 centrifuges as a pilot stage and passing this phase means industrialization of uranium enrichment," he continued. The official dismissed reports about installation of 3000 centrifuges by Iran, but declined to announce the number of centrifuges installed for the industrial phase. Despite intense propaganda by the US and some EU countries, the regular visits of the International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors to the Iranian nuclear sites and installations further illustrates Iran's transparent cooperation with the IAEA. In addition, all Iran's nuclear activities are also supervised and recorded by the IAEA cameras installed in all Iranian nuclear sites and centers. So far an unprecedented figure of over 2000 person/day inspections have been carried out of Iran's nuclear facilities by the IAEA and all inspection reports, including those presented by the IAEA Director-General Mohammad ElBaradei to the UNSC and Board of Governors, are in confirmation of Iran's continued adherence to the IAEA and NPT rules and regulations. The Islamic Republic has always stressed its peaceful purposes in developing the nuclear technology, while it has also underlined that it would never give up even an iota of its right of access to nuclear technology. Iran is among the only eight world countries which are equipped with the needed technology for producing a nuclear gas product called UF6.

  4. Iran to pull out of nuclear treaty 'if further pressure' : (10/04/2007) -  Iran will be obliged to pull out of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty if it is subjected to further international pressure over its atomic programme, chief nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani warned on Monday. 

  5. Experts doubt Iran's claim to be nuclear power: (10/04/2007) - Many experts and officials cast doubt on Iran's claim, including an assertion that it had fed gaseous uranium into 3000 centrifuges to begin purifying nuclear material on an industrial scale. 

  6. UN Inspectors Arrive To Check Iran's Nuclear Enrichment Plant: (10/04/2007) -  - Two U.N. inspectors have arrived in Iran to visit its uranium enrichment plant, the authorities said Tuesday as Western governments and experts expressed dismay and skepticism over Iran's announcement that it is now enriching uranium in industrial quantities. 

  7. Iran's "Industrial" Nukes: Yawn:  (10/04/2007) - So, in case you missed it,  some members of the news media are freaking out, reporting Ahmadinejad's claim that Iran is enriching uranium "on an industrial scale," - and parroting the usual pundits' warnings that the end of the world is just around the corner. Repent! 

  8. The NeoCons' Decision to Bomb Iran:  (10/04/2007) - "We are conducting military operations inside Iran right now. The evidence is overwhelming, from both the Iranians [and] Americans, and Congressional sources." 

  9. US Navy builds Stingray-esque base in Indian Ocean:  (10/04/2007) - Reports have emerged that the US Navy is upgrading its submarine base at the isolated tropical atoll Diego Garcia, which is formally British territory.  (See in this context also the Video": STEALING A NATION (2004)  by John Pilger: this is an extraordinary film about the plight of people of the Chagos Islands in the Indian Ocean - secretly and brutally expelled from their homeland by British governments in the late 1960s and early 1970s, to make way for an American military base.)

  10. Teetering on the Brink of Disaster: The NeoCons' Decision to Bomb Iran. (09/04/2007) B Ali Fathollah-Nejad. Global Research  

  11. US Sanction on Iranian Banks Violates IMF Agreement -  (09/04/2007) -  TEHRAN (Fars News Agency)- Iran's executive director at the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said that the US boycott on two Iranian banks is against the contents of the IMF agreement, and called on IMF officials to take the required actions in this regard. Abbas Mirakhor in a statement released here on Monday pointed to the recent measures adopted by the US administration in cutting financial relations with Iranian banks and financial institutes, and reminding the two countries' restricted relations in the financial and banking areas since years ago, reiterated that the US measure violates the IMF agreement.  "In addition, misusing international financial bodies for political objectives brings tension and unrest to the world financial system as a result of which global economy will be troubled," he continued. The official further called on the IMF to support its members' right to have unlimited access to the international financial system and make efforts to maintain order and stability of the world financial system.

  12. Iran Starts N. Fuel Production at Industrial Level (09/04/2007) -  TEHRAN (Fars News Agency) - The Islamic Republic of Iran has succeeded in entering the phase of industrial nuclear fuel production following its significant technological progress at Natanz enrichment facility, head of Iran's Atomic Energy Agency (IAEO) Gholam Reza Aghazadeh said on Monday.

  13. Larijani: No Compromise on National Interests (09/04/2007) -  TEHRAN (Fars News Agency) - 
    Iran's Chief nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani in the northeastern city of Mashhad on Monday stressed that his country would not compromise with anyone on national interests in the sphere of nuclear energy. Larijani, who is also Iran's Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Secretary, said Tehran is always prepared to attend talks to remove concerns and misunderstandings. "Some western countries demand us in a very straightforward manner that Iran should not acquire nuclear technology," he said, adding that western countries block other nations' access to hi-tech in a bid to gain and maintain hegemony over world economy. The official mentioned that the West seeks to harness Iran through the nuclear challenge, and viewed this attitude of the West as wrong, reminding that all Iranian officials, and even those Iranians whose views and beliefs differ from those of the Islamic Republic ruling system, are united and pursue one single approach towards the issue. Describing access to nuclear technology as a symbol of independence and self-belief, he viewed nuclear fuel production as a magnificent source of national profit and the greatest economic capital in future world. The Iranian top nuclear negotiator also pointed to nuclear fuel production as a constituent of Iran's strategic policies, and reminded that his country will be troubled in case it has a large number of nuclear power plants but is unable to supply the needed amount of nuclear fuel. "The West has shown that it does not remain loyal to its contracts on supplying nuclear fuel. If we can't supply our nuclear fuel and grow needy in this regard, they will exert pressure on us in the political and other grounds in future," he said. Larijani reminded that his country has made industrious efforts during the last 20 years to achieve the required know-how for the production of nuclear fuel, saying that it would be a great cruelty to the Iranian nation if the Islamic Republic ignores the said endeavors. "During our talks, they (the counterparty) mention that they are worried about any possible future diversion by Iran from peaceful nuclear activities," he stated, saying that such statements lack legality and international acceptability. Larijani further voiced Iran's preparedness to attend talks to solve all technical issues and ambiguities, and said that nuclear science has upgraded his country's national ability. Meantime, the chief negotiator pointed out that access to the nuclear fuel production cycle increases Iran's bargaining power, warning that if the counterparty continues the path of UN Security Council, they will have to wait for the reaction of the Iranian officials. To conclude his remarks, Larijani called on the Iranian nation to reinvigorate national unity, and stressed that Muslims should now allow the United States to foment strife between the Shiite and Sunnite Muslims.

  14. Russia Ignores UNSC Resolution 1747 (09/04/2007) -  TEHRAN (Fars News Agency)- 
    Hosting an Iranian delegation headed by deputy Interior Minister for Security Affairs Mohammad Baqer Zolqadr last week, Russia proved inefficiency of the recent UN Security Council (UNSC) Resolution against Iran's nuclear activities. 

  15. Iran to Commemorate N. Technology Day - (08/04/2007) - TEHRAN (Fars News Agency) - The Islamic Republic of Iran is scheduled to mark April 9 as the 'National Day of Nuclear Technology' during a ceremony due to be held in Natanz nuclear facility, where President Ahmadinejad will announce the good news about nuclear progress. The ceremony is also due to be attended by the ambassadors of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) member states and envoys of Muslim countries to Iran. In April 9th, 2006 President Ahmadinejad announced that Iran succeeded in completing the nuclear fuel production cycle at laboratory scale, which made Iran one of the world's 9 established nuclear states. Following the event, April 9th was named as the day of nuclear technology.

British Soldiers released by Iran on 4 April 2007-Overview

  1. Sailors' interviews were a mistake, admits Blair  - (12/04/2007) -  - By Will Woodward Richard Norton-Taylor - The Guardian  Navy 'acted in good faith' over media payments. Critics round on Browne for 'calamitous' decision

  2. And now, from Tehran, the film and the book  - (12/04/2007) -  -  By Robert Tait in Tehran - The Guardian
    No drama is complete without an accompanying movie, and Iran beat Hollywood to the mark by pledging to recount the entire 13-day affair in a film. A book will also tell the story of the British sailors, accounts that are likely to dwell on the hospitality and fun they had, rather than the imprisonment and isolation.... The book and film will challenge that view by "documenting" the sailors' arrest, interrogations and alleged confessions...

  3. Fear & Loathing In Teheran - (12/04/2007) -  -  By  Sarah Gillespie (   -  Via CASMII)
    Faye Turney, the ‘she-man’ Seaman captured in Shatt al-Arab last month, claims her captivity in Teheran was marred by fear of rape, torture and a lifetime of incarceration.ite having been released unharmed, a bizarre scene is emerging from the dark recesses of Turney’s imagination in which the saintly mother of little Molly (3) was subjected to floundering indefinitely in a dingy jail wearing nothing but pair of knickers and a floral headscarf.
  4. Anger over Iran hostages' media deals - Servicewoman sells story for £100,000. (09/04/2007). By Will Woodward & Matthew Taylor - The Guardian  "The Ministry of Defence and the Royal Navy were accused of undermining the reputation of Britain's armed forces last night over the decision to allow the 15 sailors and marines held by Iran to sell their stories to the media. The navy's move to suspend its usual rules - taken "as a result of exceptional media interest" and with the agreement of the defence secretary, Des Browne - was condemned by senior opposition politicians, former officers and the families of dead service personnel. Faye Turney, the only woman in the crew, has agreed a joint deal with the Sun newspaper and ITV's Tonight With Trevor McDonald for close to £100,000. But amid the complaints about the decision, fears were voiced that it has devalued the work of other serving forces and handed Iran a propaganda victory. Critics said it was a politically inspired move, but the Ministry of Defence argued that the families of the service personnel had already been offered large sums of money to tell their stories and by allowing the former captives to speak they were able to retain some control over the story. The announcement also risked diminishing sympathy for the 15, who had been nervous of reaction in Britain after they were seen on television on Tehran confessing to entering Iranian waters - a claim they retracted on their return. Colonel Tim Collins, who commanded the 1st Battalion the Royal Irish Regiment in Iraq, said: "This episode has brought disgrace on the British armed forces and it comes from complete ineptitude at the top." He contrasted this case with the capture of 11 members of the Royal Irish Regiment in Sierra Leone. "They were held hostage and there was a real chance that they would be killed before they were eventually rescued by the SAS. There was not so much as a peep out of any of them afterwards, no talk and certainly no mention of money which is exactly the way it should be." Mike Aston, whose 30-year-old son, Corporal Russell Aston, was one of six military policemen killed by a mob in Majar al-Kabir, Iraq, in June 2003, said he was "absolutely amazed" by the MoD's stance. "I think to actually sell [my] story it would besmirch my son's memory." Ms Turney, whose salary as a leading seaman is recorded as being between £23,535 and £29,576, was interviewed by Sir Trevor McDonald near Chippenham, Wiltshire, ahead of screening tonight. She gave a separate interview to the Sun. She was one of nine crew absent from a joint press conference held by six of the crew on Friday and agreed a deal with the Sun and ITV that day. William Hague, the shadow foreign secretary, told Sky News's Sunday Live: "If, whenever people have been in a difficult situation, they are going to be allowed to sell their story quickly after that, then I think we are going to lose steadily that dignity and respect for our armed forces." Sir Menzies Campbell, the Liberal Democrat leader, told BBC News 24: "I am very concerned about what those governments that were trying behind the scenes to get our personnel home are going to think. "And there is, of course, the very understandable feeling of the families of those who have died in Iraq as to why it should be that those who have survived should - putting it bluntly - profit in this way."  The MoD, which pointed out that the decision was not unprecedented, said in a statement: "Service personnel must seek permission from the chain of command before speaking to the media. Queen's regulations for the Royal Navy allow personnel to retain fees paid to them for broadcasting, lecturing or writing for publication under certain circumstances."

  5. Iran Stresses Britain's Pledge to Avoid Future Aggressive Measures -  (08/04/2007) - TEHRAN (Fars News Agency)- Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Seyed Mohammad Ali Hosseini said in a letter submitted to the Iranian embassy Britain mentioned that its marines did not pursue any hostile intentions when trespassing Iran's waters and pledged to avoid repetition of such measures in future.  Speaking to reporters during his weekly press conference here on Sunday, Hosseini responded to questions about London's letter to Tehran, and said, "A letter was delivered to us through the two countries' embassies, which mentioned that they did not pursue hostile intentions and would avoid such measures in future."  He further dismissed reports about a letter addressed by the world Catholic Church leader, Pope Benedict XVI, to the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution, Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei, about the 15 British marines. The spokesman also stressed that no British delegation visited Tehran for the release of the 15 British troops. He also denied any possible link between the issue of the 15 British troops with such other issues as the freedom of Iranian diplomat Jalal Sharafi.  The spokesman said that the Red Cross envoys have met the 5 Iranian consulate staffers in detention in Iraq for a second time, but meantime he dismissed reports about a meeting between a member of the Iranian embassy in Baghdad with the said 5 missioners. Asked to comment on the recent statements by US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice voicing her preparedness to attend direct talks with her Iranian counterpart on the sidelines of the summit of the foreign ministers of Iraq's neighboring states, Hosseini said the issue is not on the working agenda of the Islamic Republic of Iran.  Regarding Iran's nuclear issue, he confirmed recent talks between Iran's chief nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani and EU Foreign policy Chief Javier Solana, stressing that nuclear negotiations should be goal-oriented. "Iran's indispensable right cannot be put to negotiation," the foreign ministry spokesman underlined. Elsewhere, he described reports about a possible raid by Israel and the US on Iran's nuclear facilities and installations as media stories, reminding that the US officials have stressed both in their words and stances that they do not have any program for military operations.  "Our military troops are fully vigilant and they have already foreseen all the required measures of deterrence and defense and thus, they are not worried at all," Hosseini continued. In response to another question about financial disputes between Iran and Russia over the completion of Bushehr nuclear power plant, Hosseini underscored that there exists no problem or dispute between Tehran and Moscow.

  6. Parliament Speaker Views Interview of British Militaries as Worthless - (08/04/2007) - TEHRAN (Fars News Agency) - "Iranian Parliament Speaker Gholam Ali Haddad Adel described as a worthless theatrical act the recent interview with 6 of the freed British marines broadcast by western media. Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of an open session of the parliament here on Sunday, Haddad Adel praised the Islamic Republic's decision to pardon the detainees, and viewed it as a beautiful measure. "The Islamic Republic of Iran took the right and appropriate action and it was clear that the party who has embarked on showing such a behavior (trespassing) would dictate the text of the interview to its trespasser militaries," he continued. The chief legislative official said Tehran predicted that Britons would arrange such a theatrical play in order to save face."

  7. Transcript: Rasoul Movahedian. (07/04/2007) - By Daniel Dombey - Financial Times 
    In the aftermath of Iran’s decision to free 15 British detainees, the Financial Times spoke to Rasoul Movahedian, Tehran’s ambassador to the UK, in his first interview since the crisis began.  He sought to emphasis the possibility for further diplomatic breakthroughs between Iran and the UK - although British prime minister Tony Blair subsequently responded to the killing of four British soldiers in Iraq by accusing Iranian “elements” of backing terrorism in that country. On Friday, tensions increased further when the 15 British sailors and marines said they had been blindfolded, kept in solitary confinement and exploited by their Iranian captors. But in the interview Mr Movahedian held out hope for increased cooperation between Iran and the UK, signalling that Tehran would welcome British help in freeing five Iranian detainees held by the US in Iraq and a reduction in tensions in the dispute over Iran’s nuclear programme.

  8. Americans offered 'aggressive patrols' in Iranian airspace. (07/04/2007) . By Ewen MacAskill, Julian Borger, Michael Howard and John Hooper - Guardian

  9. Haddad-Adel: U.S. supporting terrorists in Pakistan  - (06/04/2007) -  PressTV - "Iran's Majlis Speaker has said that the United States is putting pressure on Iran by supporting anti-Iranian militants operating from the Pakistani border region. Speaking to reporters after talks with Pakistani leaders, Gholam-Ali Haddad-Adel said on Thursday that Pakistan was not involved in helping the militants. "There is no doubt in our minds that the United States spares no effort to put pressure on the Islamic Republic of Iran. "The best indication of United States' support to a particular terrorist group is that one of the leaders of this terrorist group was given the opportunity to speak on VoA after committing the crime," Haddad-Adel pointed out. The U.S. channel ABC News reported on Tuesday the United States had been secretly advising and encouraging a Pakistani militant group that had carried out a series of guerrilla raids inside Iran. "Some of the militants, the rebel forces are active in our border areas and we should work with Pakistan in order to increase security cooperation," the speaker underlined. "There is no news, no evidence, and we don't have any reason to believe that the military establishment in Pakistan is also supporting such militant groups."  

  10. US Unresponsive to Iran's Calls for Release of Diplomats - (6/04/2007)  - TEHRAN (Fars News Agency ) - 
    Iranian Intelligence Minister said that the foreign ministry has made continued efforts to set free the five Iranian diplomats kidnapped during a raid by the US on Iran's consulate general in Iraq's northern city of Erbil, adding that Americans have remained unresponsive to Iran's demands in this regard.

  11. What If Iran Had Invaded Mexico?  By Noam Chomsky. April 06, 2007 
    "...The results of an attack on Iran could be horrendous. After all, according to a recent study of "the Iraq effect" by terrorism specialists Peter Bergen and Paul Cruickshank, using government and Rand Corporation data, the Iraq invasion has already led to a seven-fold increase in terror. The "Iran effect" would probably be far more severe and long-lasting. British military historian Corelli Barnett speaks for many when he warns that "an attack on Iran would effectively launch World War III."What are the plans of the increasingly desperate clique that narrowly holds political power in the U.S.? We cannot know. Such state planning is, of course, kept secret in the interests of "security." Review of the declassified record reveals that there is considerable merit in that claim—though only if we understand "security" to mean the security of the Bush administration against their domestic enemy, the population in whose name they act. Even if the White House clique is not planning war, naval deployments, support for secessionist movements and acts of terror within Iran, and other provocations could easily lead to an accidental war. Congressional resolutions would not provide much of a barrier... It is, however, useful to ask how we would act if Iran had invaded and occupied Canada and Mexico and was arresting U.S. government representatives there on the grounds that they were resisting the Iranian occupation (called "liberation," of course)...It is easy to understand an observation by one of Israel's leading military historians, Martin van Creveld. After the U.S. invaded Iraq, knowing it to be defenseless, he noted, "Had the Iranians not tried to build nuclear weapons, they would be crazy."... The Iranian-American consensus includes the complete elimination of nuclear weapons everywhere (82 percent of Americans); if that cannot yet be achieved because of elite opposition, then at least a "nuclear-weapons-free zone in the Middle East that would include both Islamic countries and Israel" (71 percent of Americans).Seventy-five percent of Americans prefer building better relations with Iran to threats of force... These facts suggest a possible way to prevent the current crisis from exploding, perhaps even into some version of World War III. That awesome threat might be averted by pursuing a familiar proposal: democracy promotion—this time at home, where it is badly needed. Democracy promotion at home is certainly feasible and, although we cannot carry out such a project directly in Iran, we could act to improve the prospects of the courageous reformers and oppositionists who are seeking to achieve just that... Democracy promotion in the United States could have far broader consequences. In Iraq, for instance, a firm timetable for withdrawal would be initiated at once, or very soon, in accord with the will of the overwhelming majority of Iraqis and a significant majority of American...The U.S. would have adopted a national health-care system long ago, rejecting the privatized system that sports twice the per-capita costs found in similar societies and some of the worst outcomes in the industrial world. It would have rejected what is widely regarded by those who pay attention as a "fiscal train wreck" in-the-making. The U.S. would have ratified the Kyoto Protocol to reduce carbon-dioxide emissions and undertaken still stronger measures to protect the environment. It would allow the UN to take the lead in international crises, including in Iraq....If public opinion mattered, the U.S. would accept UN Charter restrictions on the use of force, contrary to a bipartisan consensus that this country, alone, has the right to resort to violence in response to potential threats, real or imagined, including threats to our access to markets and resources... Washington would join the broad international consensus on a two-state settlement of the Israel-Palestine conflict,...Democracy promotion at home, while no panacea, would be a useful step towards helping our own country become a "responsible stakeholder" in the international order (to adopt the term used for adversaries), instead of being an object of fear and dislike throughout much of the world. Apart from being a value in itself, functioning democracy at home holds real promise for dealing constructively with many current problems, international and domestic, including those that literally threaten the survival of our species." FULL ARTICLE HERE 

  12. Press welcomes end to UK navy row - (06/04/2007) - BBC -  Papers in the Middle East and elsewhere applaud the fact that the row over 15 British navy personnel held by Iran was brought to an end through diplomacy. Several papers hope the dialogue opened up between Britain and Iran will continue. Many feel that Iran has emerged the victor from the crisis but at least one warns the Iranian leadership not to let this success go to its head.
    The British prime minister has undergone a happy experience with Iran, one which seems to have prompted him to launch his call to the international community to be willing to deal with Tehran.
    It seems Iran achieved its aims in the operation. It detained the sailors... to create an opportunity for dialogue with Britain and the EU after a period of coldness between the two sides because of the Iranian nuclear programme.
    The Iranians achieved two important victories - firstly, a military victory by successfully capturing the sailors and secondly, a diplomatic victory by compelling the British government to call for direct talks with Tehran.
    Talking and inclusion are always more effective than isolation and pressurising. This may, for a while, look as though oppressive regimes are being tolerated, but in the long run, it forces them to give their word and keep it.
    This mini crisis has taught everyone important lessons. Once more, it has been understood that Iran is intrepid. The UK also showed that it will not surrender easily.
    The Iranians have gained from the hostage crisis. However, the Iranian administration must not think that the game it has played successfully this time will go that way every time.
    Iranian President Ahmadinejad released the British captives, dropping a dramatic propaganda bombshell before the entire world... The Iran-UK crisis has been resolved for now. Iran seemed to be right over this issue.
    Is the capture of the British sailors part of an operation to launch an attack against the opposition in Iran? This is the question being asked in Tehran where the establishment is discussing future internal and foreign policies.
    [Iran's] decision has been welcomed by the entire world, including the UK. By treating the prisoners well and releasing them, Iran has sent a message to the USA to stop the maltreatment of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay.
    BBC Monitoring selects and translates news from radio, television, press, news agencies and the internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages. It is based in Caversham, UK, and has several bureaux abroad.

  13. Bolton: Brit crew case gave Iran 'double victory' - (06/04/2007) -  PressTV - 
    "The former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations has said that Tehran's initiative to pardon the British Royal Navy crew members has given Iran a "double victory." John Bolton, known for his anti-Iran bias at the UN, has said that Tehran has won a victory both in detaining and pardoning the crew. On 23 March, Iran detained 15 British naval crew for violating Iran's marine borders with Iraq. Later, on 4 April, President Mahmud Ahmadinejad announced that Iran had pardoned the crew as a gift to the British people. They were flown to London the next day. Iran was able to gauge Britain's resolve in response to the incident, Bolton has told the Arabic-language television network of Alhurra, as reported by AFP. The controversial ambassador left the UN post in January. His removal appeared to be a pre-emptive measure by the U.S. Administration to avoid pressure from the Democrats who had just claimed victory in U.S. Congress elections. Bolton had been spearheading the U.S. campaign against Iran's peaceful nuclear energy program at the Security Council."

  14. Britain's Humiliation -- and Europe's.  (06/04/2007) -  By Charles Krauthammer - The Washington Post  

  15. Iranian Lawmaker: Release of British Sailors Proves Iran's Role in Int'l Issues - (6/04/2007) -TEHRAN (Fars News Agency) - An Iranian MP said President Ahmadinejad's decision to pardon the British troop proved Iran's role in international issues and displayed the Islamic Republic's might and authority.

  16. Brits freed despite Tehran's right to try them: Iran's minister  -  (06/04/2007) -  PressTV - 
    "Iran's Defense Minister Mostafa Mohammad-Najjar says the decision to release 15 Britons detained for incursion into Iranian territory was made despite Tehran having the rights and powers to put them on trial. Major General Mohammad-Najjar made the comments hours after the Britons' release on Wednesday, saying that Iran's approach in making such a decision was based on Islamic kindness and forgiveness and on the eve of the birth anniversary of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). He also told ISNA news agency of a guarantee by Britain not to repeat such violations of Iran's sovereignty. "We strongly showed that if anyone or any country dares violate our territorial borders or make aggression against our territorial integrity, they will receive a firm response. And we made it clear in the Britons case." Iran pardoned the British sailors and marines on Wednesday following their detention on 23 March for illegal entry into Iranian waters. They arrived back in England on Thursday accompanied by some staff from the British Embassy in Tehran. Asked about a recent report of U.S. war planes violation of Iran's air space and if Tehran has given warnings to the U.S. military, Mohammad-Najjar said there was an incident. He did not provide further details. "We are investigating the incident right now and will publish the results," he added. Iranian media quoted a commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) in the southwestern city of Abadan, as saying on Sunday that two U.S. airplanes had trespassed into Iranian air space from the northwest of the city and exited from its southwest on Saturday. Colonel Abdolmajid Aqili said the planes cast out a white smoke trail, attracting local people's attention. "The airplanes had violated Iranian air space several times in the past," he added."

  17. Sailors press conference 'staged' - -  (06/04/2007) -  PressTV -
    "Iran has described as "a staged show" a news conference by freed British sailors and marines. The press conference was to cover up their (Brits) illegal entry into Iran's territory, Iranian Foreign ministry said in a statement. "Such staged moves cannot cover up the mistake made by British military personnel who illegally entered Iran's territory," Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Mohammad Ali Hosseini said Friday. Iranian TV also said that the British military "dictated'' to its sailors what to say in the press conference. "They held a pre-organized press conference in which the British sailors only read from pages dictated to them.'' "They made statements completely different from what they had said in Iran and claimed that they were in Iraqi waters when detained,'' the TV added. On Friday, the 15 British sailors and marines, seized by Iran when illegally entering into its territorial waters, spoke of "psychological" intimidation during their detention in Iran."

  18. Treatment in Iran Described by Britons - -  (06/04/2007) -  By JON ELSEN and SARAH LYALL - The New York Times
    "The 15 British marines and sailors who were released by Iran on Thursday said today that they were threatened and subjected to psychological pressure before giving videotaped statements appearing to apologize for trespassing in Iranian waters.
    Some of the former captives said today at a news conference that they knew they were really in Iraqi waters when they were seized, and that they had no choice but to surrender quickly when surrounded by Iranian boats. They denied having ever given the Iranians genuine confessions that they had entered Iranian waters." MORE>>
    Five of the fifteen British military personnel freed by Iranian authorities on Thursday spoke today at a news conference at the Royal Marines Barracks in Chivenor, England. From left, Royal Marine Joe Tindell, 21, Arthur Batchelor, 20, Royal Marine Capt. Chris Air, 25, Lt. Felix Carman and Royal Marine Adam Sperry, 22.   Video From the Press Conference

  19. Britons gathered intelligence -  (06/04/2007) -  PressTV -  
    "Captain of the British sailors admits gathering intelligence on Iran in the Persian Gulf was part of their mission. Royal Marine Captain Chris Air made this admission on March 13 to two news agencies, ten days before the capture of 15 sailors for treading on Iranian waters illegally. His admission was made in an un-broadcasted joint interview with Five News and Sky News on March 13. Both agencies decided not to announce this interview until after the release of the sailors in order not to jeopardize their safety. In this interview, Captain Air has stated that their mission in the Persian Gulf is called "interaction patrol" or IPAT. He instructed the crew to patrol the Persian Gulf waters and single-out dhows, or any ships or vessels of any kind, and then proceed to search the cargo ship and retrieve information from the captain and its crew. “It's partly a hearts and minds type patrol, whereby we'll come along and speak to the crew, find out if they have any problems and just sort of introduce ourselves, let them know we're here to protect them, protect their fishing and stop any terrorism and piracy in the area,” he tells the interviewer. Captain Air states that part of the questioning is aimed at gathering intelligence information on Iran. He also states that they tread the waters for days at a time, and are "right by the buffer zone with Iran." The UK Defense Secretary Des Browne says "Modern military operations all have an element of gathering intelligence, and we need to understand as much as we can about the environment." Iran freed these 15 sailors three days ago, an act to show goodwill."

  20. Freed marine 'gathered intelligence on Iran' - 05/04/2007 -   irish 
    "One of the 15 returned British personnel admitted Britain was gathering intelligence on Iran in the Persian Gulf, a previously unbroadcast interview reveals tonight. Royal Marine Captain Chris Air told how one purpose of patrols in the area was to gather “int” – intelligence – on “any sort of Iranian activity”. 
    In a joint  Five News and Sky News interview he acknowledged that he was operating close to the buffer zone between Iranian and Iraqi waters adding: “It’s good to gather int on the Iranians.” The interview with correspondent Jonathan Samuels was recorded on March 13 but not broadcast until after the 15 sailors and marines had been released because of the sensitive nature of the contents. The interview features a so-called “interaction patrol” in which British personnel go alongside or board dhows in the Persian Gulf. The seven marines and eight sailors were seized on March 23 as they carried out a routine search of a cargo ship in the northern Persian Gulf. “It’s partly a hearts and minds type patrol, whereby we’ll come along and speak to the crew, find out if they have any problems and just sort of introduce ourselves, let them know we’re here to protect them, protect their fishing and stop any terrorism and piracy in the area,” he tells the interviewer. “Secondly, it’s to gather int if they do have any information because they’re here for days at a time. They can share it with us whether it’s about piracy or any sort of Iranian activity in the area because obviously we’re right by the buffer zone with Iran. “This dhow has been robbed by some Iranian soldiers about three days ago. “They had some money taken off them and apparently it’s happened quite a lot of times in the past so it’s good to gather int on the Iranians.” A Ministry of Defence spokesman said: "Gathering information while patrolling is all part of modern operations. This is as true on maritime boardings as it is when a patrol is out in Basra. “The information helps get a better picture of the security environment. We have said that we would not comment on the specific incident but as we have already said, this boarding was routine. “It is entirely appropriate that we would ask about any potential criminal or terrorist activity irrespective of the nationality.”

  21. Iranian official: Britain apologizes to Iran  -  (05/04/2007) -   PressTV -
    "An advisor to the Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Ali Khamenei says Tehran has received a letter of apology from Britain before the release of the 15 British personnel. The 15 British sailors and marines, who were detained on March 23 for their illegal entry into Iranian waters, were released on Wednesday and arrived back in England on Thursday. Ali Akbar Velayati, an adviser on international affairs to Ayatollah Khamenei, said Iran had achieved its "objectives" in the political standoff with Britain over the arrests. "Iran set a condition that Britain accepts there was a violation of Iranian waters and gives apologies. On Tuesday, we received a letter of apology from British Prime Minister Tony Blair," former Iranian Foreign Minister said. Velayati dismissed reports that the release of the British servicepeople was because of the UK 48-hour ultimatum. "Iran showed its will to defend its territorial integrity, we have achieved the objectives in pardoning the British sailors." "We ended the issue powerfully and without any hasty action. We were not impressed by the support of the European Union and the UN Security Council of Britain." He also said that Iran proved it fears no one and has no hesitations in defending its territorial integrity. Iran's President Mahmud Ahmadinejad on Wednesday announced that Iran had forgiven the 15 British marines and sailors as a gift to the British people on the eve of the birthday anniversary of Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) and the Easter."

  22. UK sailors arrive at Heathrow Airport - Associated Press, THE JERUSALEM POST -   (05/04/2007)  "The plane carrying 15 members of the Royal Navy crew freed by Iran arrived at London's Heathrow Airport on Thursday. Armed police patrolled the tarmac as two military helicopters idled on the airport's north runway. The British Airways plane landed at the VIP suite near Heathrow's Terminal Four, and passengers were being led off the back of the plane. As the 15 arrived, Prime Minister Tony Blair said new and interesting lines of communication had opened with Iran. But he called for continued international pressure on Tehran following the deaths of four servicemen in an attack in Iraq earlier in the day."Now it is far too early to say that the particular terrorist act that killed our forces was an acted committed by terrorists that were backed by any elements of the Iranian regime, so I make no allegation in respect of that particular incident," Blair said.He said it was "sensible" for Britain to continue to pursue the new lines of communication. "However, the international community has got to remain absolutely steadfast in enforcing its will whether it is in respect of nuclear weapons or in respect of the support of any part of the Iranian regime particularly when directed against democratic governments." Wednesday's announcement of their release in Teheran was a breakthrough in a crisis that had escalated over nearly two weeks, raising oil prices and fears of military conflict in the volatile region. The move to release the sailors suggested that Iran's hard-line leadership decided it had shown its strength but did not want to push the standoff too far. Iran did not get the main thing it sought - a public apology for entering Iranian waters. Britain, which said its crew was in Iraqi waters when seized, insists it never offered a quid pro quo, either, instead relying on quiet diplomacy. Syria, Iran's close ally, said it played a role in winning the release

  23. Freed sailors: Iranian perspective. (5/04/2007) - BBC - The British prime minister, Tony Blair, has expressed relief at the release of the 15 British sailors. But how was the news received in Iran? People inside the country gave their reaction to the BBC News website and BBC 

  24. Iran’s release of sailors: A humiliating episode for Britain. (5/04/2007) By Chris Marsden - World Socialist Web Site.
    "Since they were captured by Iranian naval forces in the Shatt al Arab waterway, the sailors and marines have come to epitomise the gap between Britain’s pretensions as a world power and its actual capabilities. Prime Minister Tony Blair’s response to the incident, with repeated declarations that he was seeking a diplomatic solution, is not an indication of a new pacifist turn by one of the architects of the Iraq war. It was forced upon him by his reliance on the United States, both politically and militarily. The sailors seized were part of Britain’s contingent in a US-led naval force that includes two aircraft carriers. This force has been mustered by the Bush administration as part of its political campaign against Tehran, demanding that Iran end its nuclear programme and alleged sponsorship of the insurgency in Iraq. Blair has acted as Washington’s key ally in seeking to isolate the Iranian regime and impose the strictest sanctions possible, with the attendant preparations for a possible military assault in future. But Blair’s efforts to enable Britain to punch above its weight by an alliance with the US have suffered a grave setback as a result of the debacle in Iraq, something of which Iran is fully aware and which conditioned its attitude to London’s demands for the sailors to be released. The Iranian regime avoided any bellicose posturing, but continually insisted that the British personnel were captured because they had trespassed into its waters. Its diplomats were successful in countering the Blair government’s somewhat half-hearted attempts to take a hard line, portraying this and Britain’s refusal to admit wrongdoing as an arrogant effort to inflame the situation. Tehran will have calculated that Britain could not move independently of the US. And, in turn, the ability of Washington’s more hawkish elements to win support for a military response was weakened. Within American ruling circles, there is significant opposition to a military attack on Iran, particularly under conditions where the US is still bogged down in Iraq and Afghanistan. Internationally, the US finds itself isolated. There were clear calls from the neoconservative media and think-tanks for the capture of the British to be met with a hostile response, or at least that it not to be allowed to divert from such action in the near future. Mario Loyola wrote in the National Review online edition that “the United States must make it clear to the Iranians that abandoning the non-proliferation regime will trigger a military confrontation. The British should have defended the hostages when they were surrounded. The United States cannot now be paralyzed in its response to Iran out of a desire to protect a group of sailors from an allied country that was incapable of protecting them itself... Otherwise, in a few years, Iran could be holding all of us hostage.”  But the best that Bush could offer such of his supporters was to insist that the captured sailors were “hostages” and that they should be handed over unconditionally. Washington’s difficulties contributed to London only being able to secure the most limited formal censure of Iran’s actions at the United Nations and from the European Union. Within Britain, the more strident voices in the media were opposed by those insisting that diplomacy be given chance to work, particularly with British lives at stake. In both countries, moreover, military action meets its most serious opposition among working people. Neither Bush nor Blair is in a position to simply push for an immediate attack on Iran in the face of popular hostility to their war-mongering—and a belief that both are inveterate liars. Even a poll by the right-wing Daily Telegraph found that a mere seven percent of respondents had been convinced by the jingoistic media campaign against Iran that military action should be taken. In the end, despite Bush’s insistence that there should be no quid pro quo, Iran appears to have been able to secure certain concessions in return for releasing the 15, most notably the release by Iraq of Iranian diplomat Jalal Sharafi, seized two months ago by gunmen in Iraqi military uniforms. Washington is also considering an Iranian request to visit five of its officials seized in January by the US military in the northern Iraqi city of Irbil and held incommunicado for more than two months. It was in these circumstances that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad mounted yesterday’s press conference to mark the Persian New Year, during which he again insisted that the British sailors and marines had invaded Iran’s waters. After first attacking the West for its Middle East policy, he announced that the sailors would be released as a “gift” to Britain and that they were pardoned in order to mark both the Prophet Muhammad’s birthday on March 30 and the Easter holiday. After asking Blair not to punish the 15 for having admitted to being in Iranian territorial waters, he continued, “Instead of occupying the other countries, I ask Mr. Blair to think about the justice, to think about the truth and work for the British people, not for himself.” Whereas no concessions had been made by the British government to secure the releases, Britain had pledged “that the incident would not be repeated,” he said. Speaking later yesterday, Blair did not thank the Iranian president, but addressed the Iranian people, stating, “We bear you no ill will. We respect Iran as an ancient civilisation. The disagreement we have with your government we wish to resolve peacefully... in the future we hope to do so.” Blair’s attempt to take the moral high ground is both nauseating and not to be believed, given that similar statements by him could be cited with respect to Iraq. No one should assume that the setback he has suffered will mean a let-up. For its part, Washington responded aggressively to Ahmadinejad’s move, particularly his statement that Iran could reconsider its relations with the US if President Bush’s attitude changed. Insisting that there would be no change in US policy—and therefore no lessening of the danger of war—State Department spokesman Tom Casey said, “The behaviour that needs to change is the Iranians’, not the United States.” The US would only deal directly with Iran if it gave up its uranium enrichment programme, he added."  "Iran’s release of the 15 British naval personnel captured in the Gulf is the dénouement of a humiliating episode for the Blair government and for British imperialism."

  25. Ahmadinejad switches guises from demagogue to showman. (5/04/2007)  By Robert Tait in Tehran. Guardian
    He has been demonised variously as a demagogue, a Holocaust denier and even as the "new Hitler". But yesterday President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad laid claim to a different distinction - that of political chameleon and showman. At a pre-arranged press conference in Tehran, he strode on stage clad in a pale suit, hands held self-deprecatingly aloft and wearing the mischevious grin which has the ability to cause unease from the Knesset to Capitol Hill. Squinting out through banks of television lights and camera flashes, the President of the Islamic Republic of Iran started off doing what he does best. Knowing he would be watched by millions both at home and abroad, he launched into his favourite international adversaries - Britain and America - in vintage fashion. The two countries were shaping global affairs for their own ends, he said. They were acting against the interests of justice through their veto power in the UN security council. They were irresponsible superpowers who needed to be brought down to size. He kept it up for 40 minutes before introducing his audience to the revolutionary guards who had accosted the British sailors. He gave each a medal, a kiss and the thanks of their leader. But then came the theatrical flourish, the rabbit up his showman's sleeve. "On the occasion of the birthday of the great prophet [Muhammad] ... and for the occasion of the passing of Christ, I say the Islamic Republic government and the Iranian people, with all powers and legal right to put the soldiers on trial, forgave those 15," he said, referring to the Muslim prophet's birthday on March 30 and the Easter holiday. "This pardon is a gift to the British people."  Even in the midst of his generosity and as the assembled press - and no doubt most of the watching world struggled with the import of his words - he could not resist using Faye Turney, the only female sailor among the captives, to have a dig at the liberal western values he so deplores. "How can they send a mother away from her home and her children," he asked. "Why don't they respect the family in the west?" The president then delivered a second headline-grabbing coup de grace by meeting and greeting the newly freed Britons in person. Gazing beatifically into the faces of sailors visibly relieved to be going home, Mr Ahmadinejad knew he was projecting an image of compassion and magnanimity far removed from the firebrand third world revolutionary of western notoriety.  "So you came on a mandatory vacation," he said to one seaman in a display of the mischievous humour he occasionally reveals in public appearances. As the president no doubt anticipated, the sailors gratefully played along, with one telling him: "Your people have been really kind to us, and we appreciate it very much." Another told him: "We are grateful for your forgiveness." Of course, the "Easter gift" for Britain was not Mr Ahmadinejad's alone. Until yesterday, the president had been uncharacteristically quiet throughout the 13-day crisis, with many commentators speculating that he had been ordered to lie low lest his fiery rhetorical instincts derailed a negotiated solution. The decision to free the sailors appeared to have been collective, approved finally by the supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, after negotiations with London, led by Ali Larijani, secretary of Iran's supreme national security council. In bearing the good tidings with such flourish, however, Mr Ahmadinejad, proved his ability in maximising a political opportunity. In truth, he badly needed the limelight to restore his fortunes, which have been waning in recent months. Under pressure from domestic critics because of Iran's struggling economy, the president has been increasingly dismissed at home and abroad as a declining force. Whether that perception will now change is uncertain. But one thing unlikely to alter is Mr Ahmadinejad's combativeness - or, it seems, his sense for the big occasion.

  26. The US can learn from this example of mutual respect. The outcome of the crisis between Iran and Britain provides a lesson on how to deal with the wider international standoff.  (5/04/2007) By Abbas Edalat - The Guardian
    The unexpectedly early resolution to the dispute between the UK and Iran over the detention of 15 sailors and marines in the Persian Gulf is the direct result of Iran's goodwill and a U-turn by the British government. After initially using threatening language and seeking to add an unnecessary international dimension to the dispute, it eventually opted for direct negotiations with Iran based on mutual respect. This outcome offers a compelling lesson on how to deal with the wider international standoff between the US and Iran. President Ahmadinejad may have chided the British government at yesterday's press conference for not being brave enough to admit that it had made a mistake by crossing into Iranian waters, but his mood was generous. His "gift to the British people" was with immediate effect, and he asked for no apology or other concessions. But what was the impediment to immediate recourse to bilateral diplomacy, which could have achieved an agreement soon after the arrest? In 2004, a similar incursion involving British service personnel in Iranian territorial waters was resolved in a matter of days, with guarantees that such incursion would not occur in future. Tehran has certainly sought similar assurances over the past 13 days, which is reasonable given the long history of British imperial domination in Iran in the 19th century, the US/UK-incited coup of 1953 which overthrew the popular government of Dr Mosaddeq, and the UK's support for Saddam's regime in its eight-year war against Iran, including provision of chemical weapons. Against this background is the current wider context where, in violation of the UN charter, Iran is threatened by the US, UK and Israeli leaders, who regularly assert that "the military option" is on the table. But Tony Blair effectively dismissed the possibility of a conventional approach by announcing that there would be no negotiations and suspending trade and diplomatic relations. Iran's offer to release Faye Turney was then sabotaged by the British government, which hastily involved the UN security council and the EU, unprecedented in a case which could and should be resolved bilaterally. The government's heavy-handed approach can only be explained in the context of the US drive for regime change in Iran, which Blair has supported for more than a year. The US and UK, prodded by Israel, have been systematically pursuing a multi-pronged strategy to demonise and isolate Iran, using unfounded allegations that Iran is intent on building nuclear weapons, is directly supporting Iraqi insurgents, and aims to "wipe Israel off the map". With two US aircraft carriers stationed in the area, and a third on its way, there is a sense of deja vu in relation to the period preceding the attack on Iraq, when "evidence", subsequently shown to be false, was used to provide a casus belli. After over 2,200 hours of inspections, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has found absolutely no evidence of a nuclear weaponisation programme in Iran, where Ayatollah Khamenei, the supreme leader, has issued a fatwa against the production, stockpiling and use of nuclear weapons. Yet there are two security council resolutions calling on Iran to suspend its legal enrichment programme and imposing sanctions for its refusal to comply. Strikingly, there is now incontrovertible evidence, provided by Stephen Rademaker, the former US assistant secretary for non-proliferation and international security, that the US coerced the IAEA to vote against Iran in 2005 and, in 2006, to report its nuclear file to the security council. On another propaganda front, Colonel Justin Masherevski, of the British forces in Basra, announced, on the same day as the sailors' detention, that local sources had told him Iranian agents were providing "sophisticated weaponry" to Iraqi insurgents. Such allegations have been levelled against Iran by the US and Britain since the summer of 2005, but have never been substantiated. Meanwhile, five Iranian diplomats have remained in US detention at an unknown location with no formal charges against them following a raid on their Irbil consulate in January, although Ahmadinejad yesterday denied any link between their plight and the release of the British sailors. Finally, Ahmadinejad's own call for regime change in Israel - "the occupying Zionist regime of Jerusalem should cease to exist in the page of time" - has been mistranslated and distorted into the notorious phrase, "Israel should be wiped off the map" by the western media. What is never reported is that Ayatollah Khamenei stated unequivocally immediately afterwards that "the Islamic Republic has never threatened and will never threaten any country". Ahmadinejad's decision to release the British detainees was a sign of strength, and he further stated that he would be willing to reconsider ties with Washington were President Bush to change his behaviour. But the dispute has also highlighted the real dangers of escalation, as happened in 1964 when the Gulf of Tonkin incident was manipulated by the US to justify war in Vietnam. Yesterday's welcome outcome should show the international community that the solution to the standoff lies in its hands. The UK and other governments must pressure the US to drop its pre-condition of suspension of Iran's legal right to uranium enrichment, and enter into negotiations on all points of conflict.  Abbas Edalat is professor of computer science and mathematics at Imperial College London, and the founder of the Campaign Against Sanctions and Military Intervention in Iran.

  27. Ahmadinedschads Niederlage - (04.04. 2007) - Von Bahman Nirumand - SPIEGEL ONLINE
    Mahmud Ahmadinedschad zelebrierte die Freilassung der 15 britischen Soldaten als ganz persönlichen großherzigen Gnadenakt. Doch in Wahrheit bedeutet das iranische Einlenken in der Geisel-Krise für den Präsidenten eine Niederlage. In der Heimat wächst der Druck auf den Hardliner. Mit glänzenden Augen und voller Stolz betrat der kleingewachsene Präsident der Islamischen Republik, Mahmud Ahmadinedschad, die Bühne. Vor ihm saßen mehr als 200 Journalisten aus aller Welt - gespannt, was der gläubige Muslim über die seit zwei Wochen in Haft sitzenden britischen Marinesoldaten zu verkünden hat. Wissend, dass seine Worte von zahlreichen Fernsehanstalten, darunter von der BBC und von CNN, direkt übertragen und simultan übersetzt werden würden, nutzte er die Gelegenheit, um seine nicht allzu himmlischen Botschaften zu verbreiten. Er stellte den gesamten Westen, allen voran die USA, an den Prager und warf den Briten vor, sie seien in iranische Gewässer eingedrungen und hätten damit ein international anerkanntes Recht verletzt. Moralisch verwerflich sei es auch, dass sie eine Frau, die Soldatin Faye Turney, von ihrer Familie und von ihrem kleinen Kind getrennt hätten. Und dann, nach dem Rundumschlag, ließ er überraschend Milde walten. Er habe die gefangenen Soldaten begnadigt, sie würden nach der Konferenz freigelassen werden - sozusagen ein Ostergeschenk des islamischen Fundamentalisten an den ungläubigen britischen Premier Tony Blair. Die Inszenierung war perfekt, nicht nur die Pressekonferenz, sondern überhaupt die Art und Weise, wie Iran mit dem Vorfall umging. Da zeigte sich wieder einmal, dass auch Islamisten gute Werbeagenturen zur Verfügung haben und den Umgang mit den Medien voll beherrschen. In diesem Fall sogar besser als die Kollegen in London und Washington. Während Tony Blair mal drohend, mal bittend und recht verzweifelt wirkte und US-Präsident George W. Bush wieder einmal die verbale Keule schwang, insistierte Teheran mit großer Gelassenheit auf seinem Standpunkt, inszenierte Videoaufnahmen mit den britischen Soldaten, die mal Hähnchen essend, mal Schach spielend einen recht fröhlichen Eindruck machten. Die Soldatin durfte sogar ihr Kopftuch ablegen. Sie alle gestanden nacheinander ein, Fehler begangen zu haben und entschuldigten sich beim iranischen Volk. Ahmadinedschad fügte sich den Kritikern - Gefangenschaft in Iran ist ja wie im Urlaub, werden manche Zuschauer außerhalb Irans gedacht haben, die nicht wissen, wie viele Menschen hier gefoltert und hingerichtet worden sind. Vermutlich werden sie auch nicht wissen, dass die Gnade, die Ahmadinedschad walten ließ, für ihn eigentlich eine Niederlage war. Denn wäre es nach ihm gegangen, hätte er, wie schon so oft, den außenpolitischen Konflikt weiter eskalieren lassen, um von inneren Problemen abzulenken, um die Massen mit dem Hinweis auf die Gefahr, die den Islam und das Vaterland bedroht, bei der Stange zu halten. Die Begnadigung war sicherlich nicht sein Wille, sondern der seiner Gegner, denen offenbar gelang, ihm Zügel anzulegen und damit eine dem Land drohende Gefahr abzuwenden. Tatsächlich stehen Ahmadinedschad und seine Regierung schon seit Monaten unter wachsender Kritik, die wohlgemerkt nicht allein von den Reformern und selbstverständlich auch von der weit entwickelten iranischen Zivilgesellschaft kommt. Dieser Kritik schließen sich zunehmend moderate Konservative an, sogar auch einige Radikalislamisten, die bis vor wenigen Monaten auf seiner Seite standen. Die Kritik richtet sich insbesondere gegen die wirtschaftliche Misere, in die das Land seit der Machtübernahme Ahmadinedschads hineingeraten ist. Dabei hatte der populistische Präsident dem Volk soziale Gerechtigkeit und Wohlstand versprochen, er hatte seinen Vorgängern Korruption und Verrat an den Idealen der Revolution vorgeworfen und ihnen mit unerbittlichem Kampf gedroht. Ungehaltene Versprechen - Aus alledem ist nichts geworden. Die Armen und Bedürftigen, die ihm vor anderthalb Jahren zugejubelt haben, haben längst gemerkt, dass dieser Präsident nichts zu bieten hat als hohle Parolen. Die Preise steigen ins Unerträgliche, Unternehmer haben ihr Kapital in Milliardenhöhe ins Ausland gebracht, ausländische Unternehmen wagen aufgrund der unsicheren politischen Situation schon seit einem Jahr nicht mehr zu investieren. Die Arbeitslosigkeit, insbesondere unter jugendlichen Erwachsenen und der Mangel an Zukunftsperspektive vermehren die Zahl der Unzufriedenen. Auch politisch wird die Situation für die Bewohner des Landes immer unerträglicher. Die Repression gegen Andersdenkende, gegen Schriftsteller, Künstler, Journalisten, das Verbot liberaler Zeitungen und dergleichen mehr hat die Front gegen Ahmadinedschad gestärkt. Selbst der islamistische Revolutionsführer Ali Chamenei, der ihm noch bis vor kurzem den Rücken stärkte, geht auf Distanz. Immer wieder ermahnt er ihn, sich mehr um das Wohl des Volkes zu kümmern. Nach Einschätzung politischer Beobachter ist die Position Ahmadinedschads innerhalb der doch komplizierten Machtkonstellation so schwach geworden, dass er es entweder wagen werde, mit Hilfe der Revolutionswächter, die ihn an die Macht gebracht haben, einen Putsch zu riskieren, oder er werde soweit isoliert, dass er möglicherweise die ihm verbleibenden anderthalb Jahre Amtszeit nicht durchstehen wird. Für Ahmadinedschad und seine radikal-islamistischen Anhänger gibt es eigentlich nur eine Rettung: die Eskalation der Konflikte mit dem Ausland. Wächst der Druck von außen, kommt es gar zu einem militärischen Schlag gegen Iran, kann er wieder von den inneren Problemen ablenken, die Massen mobilisieren und seine Märtyrerideologie verbreiten. Für Radikalislamisten sind Ruhe und Frieden tödlich. ZUR PERSON: Bahman Nirumand, Jahrgang 1936, ist ein Pendler zwischen kulturellen Welten: Er wurde in Teheran geboren, studierte in Deutschland Germanistik, Philosophie und Iranistik, promovierte, und kehrte wieder in seine Heimat zurück. In Teheran lehrte er an der Universität, schrieb Bücher und arbeitete als Journalist. Zwei Mal flüchtete Nirumand aus Iran – bis er endgültig in Deutschland seine neue Heimat fand. Seit 1982 lebt und arbeitet Nirumand als Schriftsteller und Publizist in Berlin. Er verfasste unter anderem die Khomeini- Biografie "Mit Gott für die Macht". Zuletzt erschien das Buch "Iran. Die drohende Katastrophe".

  28. Iran drama played out on world stage.  By Zoe Murphy. BBC News. Published: 2007/04/04 19:06:24 GMT 
    In a surprising twist, the Iranian president announced the pardon and release of 15 British naval personnel to a stunned news conference broadcast live around the world. Just minutes later, some of the crew were shown on Iranian state television, wearing smart grey suits and no ties - in compliance with Islamic revolutionary dress codes - thanking President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for their freedom. President Ahmadinejad wished "good luck" to the Britons who had been detained for 13 days, at a ceremony in Tehran to mark their release. He smiled, joking with one Briton: "How are you?... So you came on a mandatory vacation."  I want to give them as a present to the British people to say they are all free .The British crew members, who had reportedly "shouted for joy" at the news of their release, lined up to shake the president's hand and exchange polite words. "I would like to thank yourself and the Iranian people," said one. "Your people have been very kind to us and I appreciate that very much," said another. Mr Ahmadinejad responded in Farsi: "You are welcome." 
    'Maximum value': President Ahmadinejad had twice cancelled news conferences in recent days. The start of Wednesday's event did not betray any hint of the drama that was to come. It started with a long reading from the Koran marking the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. It was more than an hour into the 90-minute statement before he even mentioned the issue of the British sailors and marines. The president first awarded a medal to the naval commander responsible for the capture of the HMS Cornwall personnel, saying it represented the gratitude of the Iranian people. At that point hopes for the Britons' release looked very dim. Then in a theatrical flourish the president said he would, as a goodwill gesture, pardon the servicemen and set them free as "a gift to the British people".  Completely changing the tone of the news conference, Mr Ahmadinejad then basked in the moment to enjoy the shock effect of his announcement. He said he was willing to forgive the sailors, even though Britain was not "brave enough" to admit it had made a mistake and strayed into Iran's territory. 
    'No punishment': The BBC's diplomatic correspondent Jonathan Marcus says the Iranian leadership had clearly decided it had made its point and extracted the maximum value from this affair. Iran emerges in its own narrative as a staunch defender of its territorial integrity but magnanimous to those it sees as being caught up in the scheming of the big powers, our correspondent adds. Mr Ahmadinejad said he had asked UK Prime Minister Tony Blair "not to punish" the crew for confessing they had been in Iranian waters when they were seized. He referred to the footage broadcast by Iranian media of some of the crew making confessions. The president said the captives would be released immediately. They are expected to arrive back in Britain on Thursday. So a potentially embarrassing episode has been brought to an end and a long-drawn out hostage crisis avoided. What will now be under urgent review is the way in which patrol and boarding operations in the Gulf are conducted to make sure British servicemen and women will not be so vulnerable in future. 

  29. Pardoned British Troops Thank Ahmadinejad - (04.04.2007) - TEHRAN (Fars News Agency)- The 15 British troops, who were arrested by Iran's border guards on March 23rd for illegal entry into Iranian waters, appreciated Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for pardoning them.  "On behalf of my friends and myself, I appreciate you and I thank the Iranian people for their hospitality," one of the 15 British troops told Ahmadinejad during a ceremony held here in Tehran on Wednesday.
    Other British troops also thanked the Iranian president who told the 15 that they have been pardoned on the occasion of the birthday anniversary of the prophet of Islam (PBUH). Meantime, an informed source told FNA that when the 15 heard Ahmadinejad saying during an earlier press conference here on Wednesday afternoon that Iran has pardoned the 15 British troops, they started crying happiness and joy. The conference was translated for the 15 British troops, and when Ahmadinejad expressed regret over the dispatch of a British mother to war zones, the only detained female marine started crying. During his press conference, Ahmadinejad expressed regret over the dispatch of the British youths to Iraq and their arrest in Iranian waters, and asked, "Why should the most cumbersome missions, such as sea patrolling, be assigned to a mother, why does the western civilization not care for family values?" Meantime, the source told FNA that the British troops will not be handed over to the British embassy in Tehran, adding that all the 15 will directly leave Tehran for London Thursday morning.

  30. Iran pardons British sailors - (04.04. 2007) - PressTV - Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad says Iran has pardoned 15 British sailors earlier detained for trespassing into Iranian waters.  President Ahmadinejad said in a press conference on Wednesday that the sailors will be sent to the airport right after the conference and transfered to their home country. Ahmadinejad also asked the British officials not to bring the sailors before trial for admitting to trespass into Iranian territorial waters.

  31. MP: 1975 treaty proves UK border transgression - (04.04. 2007) - PressTV - An Iranian member of parliament says the 1975 Algiers Agreement, which demarcated the disputed land frontier between Iran and Iraq, can prove the British marines did transgress into Iranian waters on March 23. Elham Aminzadeh, a member of the parliamentary commission for national security and foreign policies, said the third protocol to the Algiers Treaty clearly delineates the Iranian and Iraqi shipping routes along the Arvand River, and that the 15 British servicemen were detained on the Iranian side of the 30 year-old demarcation line. Aminzadeh, who is also a professor of law, said any country whose border is violated is entitled to file a complaint with the United Nations under Charter 39 and may require the offending party to remedy the situation. "According to international laws, Britain must first accept responsibility for any violations on the part of its troops, apologize to the country whose rights have been breached and, finally, compensate for any damages", the female MP said. The official slammed London and the European Union for not accepting the British navy personnel's account of the events nor their admission that they entered Iran's territorial waters.

  32. A boundary expert discusses the demarcation of the waters - BBC VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS  (04.04.2007) 
    Murky dividing lines of Shatt al-Ara. Story from BBC NEWS: (04.04.2007) 
    Martin Pratt, director of research at the University of Durham's International Boundaries Research Unit, said shifting coastlines caused problems as it meant the median line could not be calculated precisely.The territorial waters of the Shatt al-Arab waterway between Iraq and Iran have been central to the dispute between Tehran and London over 15 Royal Navy personnel seized by Iran's Revolutionary Guard. Tehran claims it arrested the 15 because they had strayed into Iranian waters. The UK insists they were in Iraqi waters. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has said the 15 Britons captured would be freed as a "gift" to Britain. The Shatt al-Arab median line, which divided that waterway in half, was first agreed between the two countries in the 1970s, says Iraq expert Toby Dodge, of the University of London's Queen Mary college. Until recent years the median line was marked simply with buoys, he says. "But the demarcation of the waterway has suffered, like many things.""Maritime boundaries are generally a matter of a coastline. A coastline with well defined headland is easier."A shifting coastline with mud flats that appear and disappear over time mean you don't have a sound basis with which to draw a median line."The line could shift from month to month. It makes it much harder to see with any confidence. And that is the case in this situation."He added: "It is always dangerous to be dogmatic about a boundary unless the line is clearly defined in a treaty that is accepted by both parties."'No certainty' The position at which the UK claims the incident took place lies to the south of a boundary established by Iran and Iraq in a treaty in 1975, said Mr Pratt.  Iran and Iraq have never agreed a boundary of their territorial waters. There is no legal definition of the boundary beyond the Shatt al-Arab. 
    Richard Schofield -King's College London: However, this agreement had been "torn up" by Saddam Hussein in the 1980s. "While the legal status and exact alignment of that boundary today are not entirely clear, it is difficult to see how Iran could legitimately claim sovereignty over the point in question. "They have logs and charts to tell them the co-ordinates of Iranian and Iraqi waters."They will use GPS machines which will give them a fixed location, and plot this against charts which will tell them where different countries' waters are. "However, he said, if either of the co-ordinates that the UK says Iran supplied for the incident are correct, then "the issue is less certain". He said: "Both points lie beyond the terminus of the 1975 boundary and there is no agreed boundary in the territorial sea. "Based on the low-water line marked on British charts, one of the points lies just on the Iraqi side of the median line between the two coasts, the other just on the Iranian side. "In such a context, I don't see how either side can claim to be certain whose waters the vessel was in when the arrest was made. "Richard Schofield, an expert in international boundaries at King's College London, said the fact that "there is no formally agreed boundary" caused problems. "It isn't clear the incident happened off the water of Shatt al-Arab. We are talking about territorial waters beyond," he said. "Iran and Iraq have never agreed a boundary of their territorial waters. There is no legal definition of the boundary beyond the Shatt al-Arab." 
    'Great dispute': Craig Murray, former UK ambassador to Uzbekistan, and head of the maritime section of the Foreign Office between 1989 and 1992, believes neither side in the dispute could claim to be right.  This area is extremely contested. It is an area of great dispute.  Craig Murray, Former ambassador and Foreign Office naval official: "The truth is nobody can say if we were in Iraqi waters or if we were in Iranian waters because at this point the boundary is extremely fuzzy," he said. "This area is extremely contested. It is an area of great dispute." He said the UK had "made a big mistake by producing a map that has a very definite red line and saying we were definitely in Iraqi waters". He stressed that, equally, Iran could not say definitively that the UK crew had been in its waters. "What has happened in this case is something of a muddle. The difficulty is that in this area the boundaries, once you get inside territorial waters, are just not defined." Mr Pratt said such boundary disputes were common, adding that in such situations negotiations are usually the best way to agree the territorial sea boundaries. But what if diplomacy fails? "If both sides can't reach an agreement they might submit to adjudication by the International Court of Justice or an arbitration tribunal," he said. But he said it was a "brave step" to allow a court to make a ruling "because it takes control of sovereign territory". He concluded: "There is certainly a need for some kind of rules to be laid down in this area. There need to be negotiations between Iran and Iraq over the boundary."

  1. Channel 4 Interview with Dr Ali Larijani, Secretary General of Iran’s National Security Council (04.04. 2007)  - "Our priority is definitely to solve this problem within the diplomatic framework. We are not interested to further complicate this matter. There are two ways forward. One was to resolve this by the diplomatic negotiation between Iran and Britain; and one was the other side using the language of force which meant they are not interested in a diplomatic resolution and perhaps preferred a trial. Our priority is for this to be resolved through the diplomatic channels and in my view it can be resolved in that context. ››read more  LISTEN TO THE INTERVIEW:  070402_larijani_channel4.mp3

  2. Tehran reviewing IAEA proposal -  (04/04/2007) - PressTV  - 

    Tehran says it is reviewing the proposal made by the IAEA over the installation of the extra cameras. In reaction to the letter of ElBaradei's deputy for safeguards issues, Olli Heinonen, Ali-Asghar Soltanieh said on Wednesday, "The issue is technical and should not be considered a political issue." Referring to the ratification of the government for revision of cooperation with the IAEA, Soltanieh told the Iranian Fars News Agency that the countries affiliated to the NPT have signed the extensive safeguard agreement that is a criterion document by which the members would be inspected. The diplomat added that based on the agreement, the member states should submit their nuclear facilities information to the agency at least six months prior to the injection process. He pointed out that the Board of Governors interpreted the paragraph in 1992 as: the members should inform the IAEA from the early stage of the design and building the facilities, saying the members were obliged to implement the ratification. Soltanieh reiterated that Iran was not obliged to follow the ratification by 2003, but from that date it accepted to do as the ratification said, and thus informed the agency about its nuclear facilities. The envoy dismissed the West's allegations over Natanz and Isfahan nuclear facilities, for Iran was not obligated to observe the ratification until 2003."

  3. Britain proposes direct discussions with Iran (04.04. 2007) - PressTV - Britain proposed "direct bilateral discussions" with Iran over the 15 naval personnel detained by Tehran, after revealing that the two countries had "further contacts" late on Tuesday.

  4. Russia's top general warns against strikes on Iran (04.04. 2007)  PressTV  - "Russian First Deputy Foreign Minister and the country's top general warned Tuesday against military action against Iran. "Any military action near our border is unacceptable. We will take that extremely negatively and do everything we can to oppose it," said Andrei Denissov, at a press conference, the Interfax agency reported. Russia has no land border with Iran. But it is one of several countries that shares part of the Caspian Sea shoreline with the Islamic Republic of Iran, along with the former Soviet republics of Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan. Asked if Russia was worried about possible U.S. air strikes against Iran, he answered: "Yes, of course."

  5. Iran, Britain resolute on diplomatic crisis solution:(03.04. 2007) PressTV  -  Britain has agreed to Iran's offer to resolve the issue of British captives through diplomatic talks, said a spokesman for Britain's Foreign Office. 

  6. Iran outlines conditions for release of UK sailors:(03.04. 2007) - Guardian- Laying out what appeared to be a vague road map for the freeing of the British personnel, Mr Larijani said that, if it was found they had crossed into Iranian territory, there should be an apology and they would then be released.

  7. UK promised to cease illegal incursions in 2004(03.04. 2007) PressTV  - Iran's ambassador to Islamabad says that British forces trespassed Iranian territorial waters on at least five separate occasions in recent years.

  8. Washington hurting British bid to free crewTough words from U.S. highlight rift between White House and Downing Street

  9. Bush sees no swap for British sailors in Iran(03.04. 2007) - Alertnet- The Iraqi government is trying to secure the release of five Iranians detained by U.S. forces in northern Iraq in January, as the British government seeks freedom for the British military personnel seized by Iran March 20 on charges of being in Iranian waters.

  10. Did Bush Machinations Provoke Seizure of Brits? (03.04. 2007)  - "The Nation – President Bush describes Iran’s seizure of 15 British sailors and Marines as “inexcusable behavior.” But did the Bush administration’s anti- Iran machinations lead to the escalation in tensions that culminated in the seizure of the Brits?One of the finest reporters on the Middle-East affairs argues that this is precisely the case..." FULL TEXT here

  11. VP: Britain's Change of Attitude Solves Marines' Issue (03.04. 2007) - TEHRAN (Fars News Agency)- Iran's First Vice-President Parviz Dawoodi warned that if London continues making hue and cry, the problem of the British sailors will not be solved in the near future.

  12. Released Diplomat Arrives in Tehran (03.04. 2007)  - TEHRAN (Fars News Agency)- Iranian diplomat Jalal Sharafi who had been kidnapped in front of the Islamic Republic embassy in Baghdad two months ago arrived at Tehran's Mehr Abad Airport here on Tuesday a few hours after his release.               

  13. Iran's N. Progress not Impeded by Sanctions (03.04. 2007)  - TEHRAN (Fars News Agency)- A prominent Iranian lawmaker said sanctions cannot prevent Iran from making further progress in the field of civilian nuclear techn

  14. MP Calls on Britain to Show Respect for Countries' Rights (03.04. 2007)  - TEHRAN (Fars News Agency)- An Iranian legislative official stressed that the US and Britain can't remain disrespectful to the international rights of other countries as the time of their arrogant and bullying behavior has come to an end.           

  15. Iran Develops Advanced Laser Systems (03.04. 2007)  - TEHRAN (Fars News Agency)- Scientists at Bonab Atomic Energy Studies Center are developing Iran's most advanced laser system, said a lawmaker.

  16. British Sailors Admit Illegal Entry (03.04. 2007)  - TEHRAN (Fars News Agency)- All 15 captured British sailors and marines have confessed to intruding illegally into Iranian waters on March 23, when they were seized at gunpoint.   

  17. Iran Starts Construction of 360-Megawatt N. Power Plant (03.04. 2007)  - TEHRAN (Fars News Agency)- Head of Iran's Atomic Energy Organization (IAEO) Gholam Reza Aghazadeh said simultaneous with the construction of Bushehr power plant, his country has started building a 360-megawatt nuclear power plant through utilizing domestic technology.   

  18. VP: Bushehr Ready to Receive N. Fuel (03.04. 2007)  - TEHRAN (Fars News Agency)- Iran's First Vice-President Parviz Dawoodi said following the inauguration of the back up systems of Bushehr nuclear power plant, Iran is now prepared to receive nuclear fuel from Russia.   

  19. Aghazadeh: Gov't to Announce Good News about N. Technology (03.04. 2007)  - TEHRAN (Fars News Agency)- Head of Iran's Atomic Energy Organization (IAEO) Gholam Reza Aghazadeh said that Ahmadinejad's administration is due to announce some good news about the country's progress in the field of nuclear technology.   

  20. Second Secretary of Iran's Embassy in Baghdad Released (03.04. 2007)  - TEHRAN (Fars News Agency)- Second secretary of Iran's embassy in Baghdad Jalal Sharafi was released on Tuesday.   

  21. Bushehr Back Up Systems Inaugurated (03.04. 2007)  - TEHRAN (Fars News Agency)- The back up systems of Bushehr nuclear power plant were inaugurated in Iran's southern province of Bushehr on Tuesday in the presence of the Iranian first Vice-President, Parviz Dawoodi.   

  22. FNA Releases Fresh Photographs of British Marines (03.04. 2007)  - TEHRAN (Fars News Agency)- A new series of FNA exclusive pictures of the 15 British troops who were arrested after trespassing on Iranian territorial waters could be accessed on the Persian Service of this news agency.   

  23. Back Up Systems of Bushehr N. Power Plant to Be Inaugurated (03.04. 2007)  - TEHRAN (Fars News Agency)- Iran is due to inaugurate the back up systems of its first nuclear power plant in the southern province of Bushehr on Tuesday in the presence of the country's first Vice-President Parviz Dawoodi.   

  24. MP: Hasty Stances of UNSC Discredited by Confessions of British Marines (03.04. 2007)  - TEHRAN (Fars News Agency)- A prominent Iranian lawmaker said that the straightforward and free confessions made by the British marines who were arrested after trespassing on Iran's territorial waters discredited the hasty and biased stances adopted by the UN Security Council in this regard.   

  25. Chief of Staff Pleased with Detention of Trespassers (03.04. 2007)  - TEHRAN (Fars News Agency) - Chief of Staff of the Islamic Republic of Iran's armed forces Major General Seyed Hassan Firooz-Abadi viewed detention of trespassers on Iran's territorial waters by the Islamic Republic border guards as a source of joy and pleasure for the Iranian nation.

  26. Ahmadinejad Endorses Detention of British Marines  (01.04. 2007) TEHRAN (Fars News Agency)- Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad Sunday said that his country's border guards have shown ultimate courage, vigilance and fairness in arresting the British marines who had trespassed on Iran's territorial waters.

  27. Wrathful Protestors Call for Expulsion of British Ambassador  (01.04. 2007) TEHRAN (Fars News Agency)- Thousands of angry students from different Iranian universities have congregated in front of the British embassy in Tehran demanding expulsion of the British ambassador and closing down of the embassy.

  28. Countries' Sovereignty not Ignored by Use of Unethical Words (01.04. 2007) TEHRAN (Fars News Agency)- Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Seyed Mohammad Ali Hosseini said that the use of unethical words cannot hide violation of the sovereignty and trespassing on borders of other countries.

  29. Iran Protests against Britain's Violation of Consulate Laws  (01.04. 2007) TEHRAN (Fars News Agency)- Iranian Foreign Ministry here on Sunday sent a note to the British embassy in Tehran to voice its strong protest against the raid by the British troops on the Islamic Republic's consulate general in Basra, Iraq.

  30. Lawmaker: Britain's Performance Raises More Ambiguities  (01.04. 2007) TEHRAN (Fars News Agency)- A prominent Iranian MP here on Sunday said that the performance of the British foreign secretary regarding the detained British marines has complicated the issue and raised more questions and ambiguities.

  31. Greece calls for dialogue to settle Iranian nuclear dispute  IRNA (01.04. 2007)

Zum Seitenanfang

March  2007

  1. Would Air Strikes Work? Understanding Iran's Nuclear Programme and the Possible Consequences of a Military Strike. 
    By Dr. Frank Barnaby, with a foreword by Dr. Hans Blix, March 2007   
    The prospect of a nuclear Iran causes acute concern not only in the United States and Israel, but also in Europe, the Middle East and most of the rest of the world. Recent indications from the USA point towards possible military strikes against Iranian nuclear and military targets. The aim of such strikes would be to put back by many years any ambitions elements in the Iranian regime may have for nuclear weapons. This report is an assessment of: What is known of Iran’s nuclear programme. How that programme could be diverted towards military ends. Whether military strikes would succeed in preventing Iran getting a nuclear weapon. Frank Barnaby concludes that far from stopping Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon, military attacks would probably accelerate Iran’s nuclear programme. The reasons for this counter-intuitive outcome are that: Limited intelligence about Iran’s nuclear programme means that many hundreds of strikes would still not destroy all nuclear related facilities and materials. Iran could then move from a gradual and relatively open nuclear programme, to a clandestine crash nuclear weapons programme using secret facilities, salvaged materials, and possibly procuring supplies from the black market, outside of Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty controls. Under crash nuclear weapons programme conditions, Iran could build a nuclear weapon within two years if the decision was made. Which is less time than the evidence suggests Iran could manage with the current programme. In the long-term, the report concludes, Iran cannot be deterred from attaining a nuclear weapons capability by bombing its facilities. Download as a PDF

  2. Voices of Aggression: Exploring Israeli-Iranian Rhetoric. By Dr. Farhang Jahanpour, March 2007 
    In the second paper he has contributed to a series of occasional ORG briefings from key international commentators and experts, Farhang Jahanpour explores the extreme rhetoric from Israel and Iran, and argues that it should not be allowed to jeopardise the unique history of relationship between these two countries. Download as a PDF

  3. Psychologische Kriegsführung - Warmlaufen in der Wüste Negev und im Persischen Golf: Die USA und Israel zeigen Teheran bei Militärmanövern schon mal ihre Waffen. Von Rainer Rupp - Junge Welt (31.03. 2007)  "Der Truppenaufmarsch gegen Iran ist enorm. Bei sogenannten Militärmanövern zeigten die USA und Israel in den vergangenen Tagen dem Feind in Teheran schon mal die Waffen. Im Westen wurde nicht zuletzt nach der Gefangennahme von 15 Soldaten der britischen Kriegsmarine durch Einheiten Irans geschickt der Eindruck erweckt, die potentiellen Angreifer seien die eigentlich Angegriffenen. Die Nachrichtenagentur RIA Novosti meldete in dieser Woche dagegen unter Berufung auf einen namentlich nicht genannten ranghohen Vertreter der russischen Armee- und Sicherheitsstrukturen: »In letzter Zeit erhält die Militäraufklärung Daten, die von einer aktiveren Vorbereitung der US-Kräfte auf eine Luft- und eine Bodenoperation gegen Iran zeugen.« Die endgültigen Termine der Angriffe gegen Teheran habe das Pentagon aber noch nicht festgesetzt, weil die Amerikaner einen solchen Schlag konzipierten, der Iran in die Knien zwingen und zugleich ihre eigenen Verluste minimieren würde. In dem Bericht wurde audrücklich darauf verwiesen, daß die US-Kriegsmarine im Persischen Golf so stark massiert ist wie sie vor vier Jahren kurz vor der Irak-Invasion im März 2003. Der Vizepräsident der Akademie der geopolitischen Wissenschaften Rußlands, Generaloberst Leonid Iwaschow, hatte in einem Interview für RIA Novosti bereits am 21.März die Überzeugung geäußert, daß Washington »bereits in nächster Zeit« einen massiven Schlag gegen die militärische Infrastruktur in Iran führen werde. »Daran habe ich keine Zweifel«, sagte der Militär mit guten Verbindungen zum Kreml. Laut Iwaschow bereitet sich das Pentagon vor allem »auf groß angelegte zermürbende Luftangriffe« vor, »um Irans Atomindustrie zu zerstören und sein Widerstandspotential zu schwächen«. Dazu werden die Amerikaner vor allem versuchen, insbesondere Verwaltungszentren und wichtige Industrie- und Infrastrukturobjekte zu vernichten, sagte Iwaschow, der einen Einsatz von taktischen Nuklearwaffen erwartet. Zugleich verwies er darauf, daß Washington Patriot-Abwehrsysteme in die Region schicke, um dort die in Reichweite iranischer Raketen liegenden US-Militärbasen und Hauptquartiere vor einem Vergeltungsschlag Teherans zu schützen"

  4. Steht ein US-Angriff auf Iran bevor?  Alarmierende Meldungen: US-Truppenkonzentration, Zwischenfälle, Evakuierungspläne (31.03. 2007) 

  5. Spekulationen um einen baldigen US-Angriff. Neue Sanktionen gegen Iran beschlossen. ngo-online über die neue UN-Resolution und die Warnungen ehemaliger Diplomaten und aus der Friedensforschung (31.03. 2007)

  6. Friedensforscher und ehemalige Diplomaten fordern Kehrtwende in der Iranpolitik. Aide mémoire vorgelegt: "5 Minuten vor 12" - Pressemitteilung der AG Friedensforschung (31.03. 2007) 

  7.  Konstruktion eines Kriegsgrundes - Vor der Eskalation des Vietnamkrieges gab es einen von der US-Marine inszenierten »Zwischenfall« im Golf von Tonkin. Von Knut Mellenthin

  8. Erpressung und Rechthaberei. Konflikt zwischen Iran und Großbritannien nimmt groteske Züge an. Von Thomas Pany - Telepolis (30.03.2007)

  9. Cleric Warns UNSC, EU not to Meddle with Iran-Britain Problem (31.03. 2007) TEHRAN (Fars News Agency)- Tehran's Interim Friday Prayers Leader Ahmad Khatami called on the UN Security Council, European Union and other international bodies not to interfere with the current problem between Tehran and London, saying that Britain has trespassed Iran's borders and the issue must be solved by the two countries themselves."It is clear that no country allows any other state to violate its sovereignty. This is a problem between two countries, and thus, no international body such as the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) and European Union (EU) is entitled to meddle with this issue. They should know that their interference will aggravate the problem," Khatami said while addressing a large congregation of prayers on Tehran University Campus here on Friday. He further pointed to London's hue and cry about the arrested British marines, and stressed that the 15 British soldiers have violated Iran's sovereignty by trespassing Iranian borders. The cleric reminded that British troops have trespassed the Iranian borders several times so far, and said, "According to the existing documents, they have even extended their apologies in this regard several times and vowed that they would not repeat the action in future." "All the documents available show that the British troops have entered Iran's waters and there is no doubt that they are trespassers and this is something the British marines themselves have confessed to," he continued. Khatami further stated, "Britons should know that the 19th century has passed … today, Britain is a defeated and isolated power who is operating as the United States' political middleman." "Britain should know that today Iran is … a great and powerful Islamic country which has stood up to the United States (i.e. Britain's master)," he said, adding, "The female marine was scheduled to be released, but after the boastful and arrogant statements made by the British officials and the invasion of Iranian consulate in Basra, her freedom was postponed." He also warned Britain that in case it intends to continue its hostile attitude towards Iran, it will have to pay a heavy price. "If you decide to trespass our country's borders even for an inch, then you will have to face the wrathful reaction of Iran's vigilant border guards," this week's interim Friday Prayers Leader of Tehran warned.

  10. Resist the war drive against Iran. By George Galloway. (03/30/07) "Information Clearing House"  - The capture by Iranian forces of 15 British sailors in the Gulf brought shrill, bellicose headlines last weekend and calls for retribution. The anti-war movement has done a superb job in winning a clear majority against the war and occupation in Iraq. But no one should believe that because the case against the “war on terror” is so overwhelming then no British government can garner support for another military misadventure. The capture of the British sailors has all the hallmarks of the kind of incident that has been used in the past as a reason either for war or for escalating confrontation. In 1949 the British gunboat HMS Amethyst was fired on in the Yangtze river in China. There was much outrage in Britain at Mao’s People’s Liberation Army, which was on the verge of taking power, for shooting at the ship. There was little questioning of what a British ship was doing on a Chinese river. Whether or not the British sailors were in Iranian waters is disputed. But what is not in dispute is that Britain has joined the US in pouring warships into the Gulf while pressuring and threatening Iran. Reliable US sources have reported that special forces are already operating in Iran.The Stop the War Coalition has rightly argued that the occupation of Iraq threatens to generate a wider regional war. The commander of the ship HMS Cornwall unwittingly captured the mentality of imperial occupation when he said the sailors had been captured in “our waters”. He meant the waters belonging under international law and treaty to the Republic of Iraq. In addition to the immediate argument that this incident is not worth yet more bloodshed and war, it is vital to challenge this imperialist delusion. Part of that is simply asking the obvious question: imagine if Iran occupied France, had scores of warships in the Channel, was reported to have commandos operating in the home counties, and was pushing for sanctions against Britain – how would public opinion, the media and the British government react? What makes anyone think Iran is any different? Secondly, as propagandists try to gloss the “war on terror” in fake humanitarianism, more and more people need to shout out the single greatest lesson of the anti-war movement. It is not the business of Western governments and the corporations that back them, steeped in the blood and sweat of hundreds of millions of people across the globe, to bring “order” to the “savages”. It is the business of those of us who live in those imperialist states to do all in our power to stop their militarism and to act in solidarity with those around the globe fighting for a better world. Everywhere you go this week, make sure people are asking: what on earth are British gunboats doing in Iraqi or Iranian waters in a place called the Arabian or Persian Gulf thousands of miles from home? It is up to all of us to oppose the war drive against Iran. Can you start a discussion at work or college, arrange a Stop the War meeting, get a letter into your local paper, petition on the streets? And as the People’s Assembly in London agreed last week, if there is an attack on Iran, we will need civil disobedience in every community, walkouts in every school, protests and strikes in every workplace. If George Bush bombs Iran, we should bring this country to a standstill."

  11. Is UK-Iran marine incident part of larger war provocation plan? By Larry Chin, Online Journal Associate Editor (30.03.2007)  "The Bush administration and its allies (notably the UK and Israel governments) have been planning to attack Iran as early as spring 2007. It is not surprising that yet another fabricated pretext is being used to set it up...While Western media coverage has done little beyond echo and embellish Tony Blair’s immediate shrieking and bellicose assertions (“there was no justification whatsoever . . . completely unacceptable, wrong and illegal”), and the predictable Bush administration support for Blair (the White House “fully backs Tony Blair and our allies in Britain”), and the impending political onslaught against Tehran, little if any analysis has been devoted to the context of what has led up to this incident. In 2003, Tehran sent a sweeping proposal to the Bush administration (via the Swiss Embassy) for dialogue and regional cooperation. White House officials confirm that this memo was widely circulated and discussed -- and rejected (top Bush administration officials profess a convenient “memory lapse”)..." FULL TEXT HERE

  12. Both Sides Must Stop This Mad Confrontation, Now - No agreed maritime boundary between Iraq and Iran. By Craig Murray - Global Research - (30.03. 2007):  "There is no agreed maritime boundary between Iraq and Iran in the Persian Gulf. Until the current mad propaganda exercise of the last week, nobody would have found that in the least a controversial statement. Let me quote, for example, from that well known far left source Stars and Stripes magazine, October 24 2006. 'Bumping into the Iranians can’t be helped in the northern Persian Gulf, where the lines between Iraqi and Iranian territorial water are blurred, officials said.   "No maritime border has been agreed upon by the two countries," Lockwood said.' That is Royal Australian Navy Commodore Peter Lockwood. He is the Commander of the Combined Task Force in the Northern Persian Gulf. I might even know something about it myself, having been Head of the Maritime Section of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office from 1989 to 1992, and having been personally responsible in the Embargo Surveillance Centre for getting individual real time clearance for the Royal Navy to board specific vessels in these waters. As I feared, Blair adopted the stupid and confrontational approach of publishing maps ignoring the boundary dispute, thus claiming a very blurred situation is crystal clear and the Iranians totally in the wrong. This has in turn notched the Iranians up another twist in their own spiral of intransigence and stupidity. Both the British and the Iranian governments are milking this for maximum propaganda value and playing to their respective galleries. Neither has any real care at all for either the British captives or the thousands who could die in Iran and Basra if this gets out of hand. Tony Blair's contempt for Middle Eastern lives has already been adequately demonstrated in Iraq and Lebanon. His lack of genuine concern for British servicemen demonstrated by his steadfast refusal to meet even one parent of a dead British serviceman or woman, killed in the wars he created. He is confronting an Iranian leadership with an equal lust for glory and lack of human concern. It is essential now for both sides to back down. No solution is possible if either side continues to insist that the other is completely in the wrong and they are completely in the right. And the first step towards finding a peaceful way out, is to acknowledge the self-evident truth that maritime boundaries are disputed and problematic in this area. Both sides can therefore accept that the other acted in good faith with regard to their view of where the boundary was. They can also accept that boats move about and all the coordinates given by either party were also in good faith. The captives should be immediately released and, to international acclamation, Iran and Iraq, which now are good neighbours, should appoint a joint panel of judges to arbitrate a maritime boundary and settle this boundary dispute. That is the way out. For the British to insist on their little red border line, or the Iranians on their GPS coordinates, plainly indicates a greater desire to score propaganda points in the run up to a war in which a lot of people will die, than to resolve the dispute and free the captives. The international community needs to put heavy pressure on both Britain and Iran to stop this mad confrontation. The British people must break out of the jingoism created by their laudable concern for their servicemen and woman, and realise that this is just a small part of the madness of our policy of continual war in the Middle East. That is what we have to stop. As Britain's outspoken Ambassador to the Central Asian Republic of Uzbekistan, Craig Murray helped expose vicious human rights abuses by the US-funded regime of Islam Karimov. He is now a prominent critic of Western policy in the region.

  13. Possible U.S. strike on Iran. UPDATES: RIA Novosti News Service (30.03. 2007): 

  1. Easter Surprise: Attack on Iran, New 9/11… or Worse. By Heather Wokusch. (30.03. 2007) - The devastating implications of a US strike on Iran are clear. And that begs the question: how could the US public be convinced to enter another potentially ugly and protracted war? Continue 

  2. Brzezinski: Avoid disaster with Iran. BY RAY GRONBERG, The Herald-Sun (30.03. 2007)
    "In the remaining 20 months of the Bush administration, America's leaders have to avoid the sort of "spontaneous combustion" that could produce a disastrous escalation of the country's Middle East military conflicts, a former national security adviser said at Duke University on Wednesday. Specifically, the country has to avoid getting into an armed conflict with longtime nemesis Iran, said Zbigniew Brzezinski... "If the war is enlarged in the next 20 months to include Iran -- if that happens -- for the next 20 years the United States is going to be bogged down in a war which spans Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan, and then you can forget about American global leadership," he said..."

  3. Blair in Decline -- and Eventually in Prison? By Hassan Tantawi (29/03/2007) -  PressTV  - 
    The crux of the still unfolding story of the detention of 15 British sailors by Iranian naval forces in the Arvand Rud, the maritime border between Iran and Iraq, last Friday is not really whether the sailors were 500 meters within Iranian territorial waters or 1.7 kilometers inside the Thalweg Line on the Iraqi side of the river. The lessons to be imbibed are how far divorced from reality British Prime Minister Tony Blair is, how deeply he is entrenched in past history and what an ugly spectacle a politician in terminal decline can present to an international viewing audience. Video footage and interviews of the Britons widely available on the internet and satellite television make it clear there is no hostage situation, their lives are not in danger, they are being fed regularly, treated well and kept in clean surroundings. Obviously a routine procedure is underway to terminating the matter. One would not have a clue of any of this if your source of information was Tony Blair and what John Pilger so nicely described recently as his "arthritic pirouetting". He is stumbling to an increasingly undignified conclusion of his decade in office, besieged by scandals and embarrassed by plummeting popularity figures. Yet what we have seen for the past several days is Blair fulminating about dire consequences if the Iranians don't immediately resolve the problem of the detention of the sailors. The rantings of a moribund politician that has lied his nation with "eyes wide shut" into a morass that makes Suez 1956 pale by comparison, a man defined recently by the highly respected former Labor MP and cabinet minister Tony Benn as a perpetrator of war crimes in Iraq, is not a personality to make the Iranian government quake in its collective boots. Blair makes the whole Arvand Rud incident sound as if Tehran was up to some intricate diabolical plotting to foment strife and in so doing puts on full display the tactics of a now dead British Empire whose stock in trade was creating incidents to plunder and pillage. Perhaps this is his way of stoking the American war machine to attack Iran--an adventure he has made clear his government will not be participating in. Times have changed though and what Tony mistakes for a roar is heard by the rest of the world as well--simply pathetic. The more instructive line of questioning is really not about the sailors or Iranian intentions which by all accounts are simply procedural and benign but the recent history that put British patrols in the Arvand Rud in the first instance. Here we immediately run into large issues--not the detention of sailors--but war crimes of an enormous magnitude perpetrated by two veto wielding members of the UN Security Council. This malignant behavior began right after the 1991 expulsion of Saddam's forces from Kuwait and the UN sanctions put in place immediately thereafter. The strictures continued for 13 years and are conservatively estimated to have cost the lives of 500,000 Iraqis. Other sources say the number was an even million. The silent massacre prompted the late Pope Paul John VI to denounce it in the harshest language while former U.S. secretary of state Madeleine Albright said the decimation of the Iraqi nation was well worth it. Little is mentioned about what that 13 years of starvation did to weaken the genetic composition of Iraqis who were pre-adolescent or born in that period. Equal silence has been afforded the question of how the landscape of that country littered with the detritus of depleted uranium ordinance, was leaching the life from Iraqis, American and British troops. The troops of course could and did leave, though Persian Gulf Syndrome lives on and remains firmly embedded in an estimated 300,000 U.S. and British troops from that war, leaching life from them too, now 16 years after the fact. Perhaps it was that wanton UN sanctioned killing that persuaded the Bush and Blair governments to think it was okay to embark on an unprecedented campaign of bald-faced lying in the run-up to the second invasion of Iraq. Blair's outright falsehood told with a straight face of Saddam's ability to assemble and deliver a nuclear device in 45 minutes has to be one of the lowest points in British prime ministerial history. In October of 2006 the British medical journal Lancet published the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health survey that put the number of civilian deaths due to the consequences of the 2003 invasion and ongoing occupation at 655,000. The "Coalition of the Willing" led by Bush and Blair (Bush's poodle according to large numbers of the British public) was wracking up a remarkable record of kills. But the whole operation had begun to go south by the summer of 2003 and has been headed further that way with an impressive head of steam ever since--so have Tony Blair's political fortunes. Given the circumstances, it was perhaps inevitable that Iran would be scapegoated for this still unfathomable blundering of the Yanks and Brits that will play itself over decades and see the continuing diminution of both. It was with the knowledge of this bitter pill in his mouth that Blair came limping into the Persian Gulf region in December 2006 with the message of the "danger" of Iran for its neighbors. A phrase richer in irony from the prime minister of an occupying power that is the historic progenitor of every past and potential future conflict in the Middle East (Palestine for instance) would be hard to uncover. Coming from the mouth of Blair, it was a sure sign that he was at best delusional. The tempest in a tea pot that is the Arvand Rud incident has been world headlines since Friday and seen oil prices jump to their highest levels in 2007. The event has also afforded Blair yet another opportunity to shoot himself in the foot. Certainly the British public will breathe a sigh of relief when he finally relinquishes the reigns of power--an initiative he certainly seems to be struggling mightily to avoid but which is inevitable. Perhaps the best thing the Islamic Republic can do under the circumstances is wrap the virtual non-event of the British 15 up in rapid order. Tehran has already announced that sailor Faye Turner is set for a rapid release. The government here might also issue a private note to the prime minister not to go vacationing in Spain, as is his habit. There the law awaits him in the form of Judge Baltazar Garzon. In the March 21st issue of El Pais, Garzon opined that President George W. Bush and by extension Prime Minister Tony Blair, should be tried for war crimes over the deaths of those 650,000 Iraqi civilians. It could be that knowledge has added to the decibel level of the prime minister's uncalled for hectoring of Tehran and his hallucinating about the gravity of the Arvand Rud incident.

  4. Press Release of the Mission of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the UN regarding the Security Council Press Statement on UK military personnel who illegally entered Iranian territorial waters - 29 March 2007  "It is unfortunate that, once again, the United Nations Security Council is abused to issue a press statement on an issue of purely bilateral nature that in no way falls within the purview of the Council. On Friday 23 March 2007 , 15 British marines and sailors illegally entered Iranian territorial waters in the northern part of the Persian Gulf , violating the internationally recognized border between Iran and Iraq . The Islamic Republic of Iran, in exercise of its sovereign right to protect its border from transgression and unlawful entry into its territory, had no choice except to stop this illegal move and detain the British marines and sailors. In fact, this was not the first time the British troops violated the Iranian border since their invasion and occupation of Iraq . In 2004, a similar incursion into the Iranian territorial waters took place by the British forces that resulted in the detention of transgressors and their subsequent release following bilateral contacts between the two governments. At that time, the British Embassy in Tehran expressed, and in fact noted down, the commitment of its government to respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Iran by avoiding the recurrence of such illegal acts in the future. In the past, Iran had warned the occupying forces in Iraq to fully respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Iran as they were conducting their activities..." FULL TEXT HERE 

  5. SECURITY COUNCIL PRESS STATEMENT ON IRAN - 29 March 2007 "Members of the Security Council expressed grave concern at the capture by the Revolutionary Guard, and the continuing detention by the Government of Iran, of 15 United Kingdom naval personnel, and appealed to the Government of Iran to allow consular access, in terms of the relevant international laws. Members of the Security Council support calls, including by the Secretary-General in his 29 March meeting with the Iranian Foreign Minister, for an early resolution of this problem, including the release of the 15 United Kingdom personnel."

  6. The Long history of British and American covert provocation and action in Iran.   By Steve Watson ( (29 March 2007) . Published on Campaign Against Sanctions and Military Intervention in Iran ("The US and Britain are already at war with Iran, have been at war with Iran for a number of years now and are funding anti-Iranian terrorist groups inside Iran in preparation for the fallout that will occur after overt military action is commenced. Not my words, the words of high ranking CIA officials, Defense department officials, former UN officials and retired US air force Colonels.  Iran's state news agency, IRNA today listed five previous violations of Iranian territory by British armed forces: 

    • June 2004: An unmanned reconnaissance plane violated Iranian airspace in northeastern Abadan and was hit by Iranian anti-aircraft guns.

    • June 22, 2004: Eight navy personnel in three speed boats entered Iranian territorial waters and were arrested by Iranian coast guards; the arrested were released after three days.

    • November 1, 2006: Two helicopters, hovering at a height of 150 meters (492 feet), violated Iranian airspace for a total of 10 minutes.

    • January 27, 2007: A helicopter violated Iranian airspace over the mouth of the Arvand river and left the area after a warning from Iranian coast guards.

    • February 28, 2007: Three navy boats entered Iranian territorial waters in the mouth of Khor Mousa.

  7. Can we believe Iranian state news? Is Britain and/or the US engaging in covert intelligence gathering in Iran? The answer is we don't have to believe Iranian state news because it is a well established fact that a covert intelligence war is already being waged with Iran and has been ongoing for many years now. In an article entitled The US war with Iran has already begun , written back in June 2005, former UN weapons inspector in Iraq, Scott Ritter, addressed this very issue and described how intelligence gathering, direct action and the mobilizing of indigenous opposition is all being carried out already by CIA backed US special forces..."

  1. Law Revising Cooperation with IAEA Communicated  (28/03/07)THERAN (Fars News Agency)- Ratification of the council of ministers for revision of cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in certain fields went into effect as of today, Wednesday.

  2. Iran Will Not Overlook Aggression Against Its Territory (28/03/07)  TEHRAN (Fars News Agency)- First vice speaker of the Islamic Consultative Assembly of Iran addressing British prime minister, Tony Blair said that Mr. Blair should not expect Iran to overlook obvious aggression agaist its territory.

  3.  Pursuit of Iran's N Case at UN Security Council not Legal (28/03/07) TEHRAN (Fars News Agency)- Ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Iran to Paris, addressing a meeting at Paris 11 University stated that pursuit of Iran's nuclear case at the UN Security Council lacks legal and technical bases.

  4. Bosnia, Herzegovina Opposed to Sanctions against Iran (28/03/07)  TEHRAN (Fars News Agency)- New Foreign Minister of Bosnia and Herzegovina announced that his respective country is opposed to any sanctions to be imposed on Iran as a means for the settlement of Iran's nuclear issue.

  5. US Officials' Statements Concerning Iran's Nuclear Case Illusive (28/03/07) TEHRAN (Fars News Agency)- Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Seyed Mohammad Ali Hosseini termed the statements made by the US officials concerning Iran's nuclear issues as illusive evaluations and assessments.

  6. FM: Discriminating Iranian Nation's Rights Complies with no Criterion (28/03/07) TEHRAN (Fars News Agency)- Iranian Foreign Minister made reference to Iran's latest peaceful nuclear activities and said that discriminating the rights of the Iranian nation and depriving the people of Iran of the scientific progress and technologies that are required for sustainable development complies with no criterion.

  7. China shifts to euros for Iran oil. By Chen Aizhu. (28/03/07)  China's state-run Zhuhai Zhenrong Corp, the biggest buyer of Iranian crude worldwide, began paying for its oil in euros late last year as Tehran moves to diversify its foreign reserves away from U.S. dollars. The Chinese firm, which buys more than a tenth of exports from the world's fourth-largest crude producer, has changed the payment currency for the bulk of its roughly 240,000 barrels per day (bpd) contract, Beijing-based sources said. Japanese refiners who buy about 500,000 bpd of Iranian crude, nearly a quarter of Iran's 2.2 million-bpd shipments, continue to pay in dollars but are willing to shift to yen if asked, industry sources and officials said separately. Iranian officials have said for months that more than half the OPEC member's customers switched their payment currency away from the dollar as Tehran seeks to diversify its reserves, but news of the Zhenrong change is the first outside confirmation. The price of the oil is still based on dollar quotes. The shift, being watched closely by foreign exchange traders, comes amid an extended row between Tehran and Washington over Iran's nuclear programme. China, which depends on Iran for about 12 percent of its imported crude oil, has at times used the threat of its United Nations veto to blunt Western measures. The UN imposed new sanctions on Iran on Saturday as Tehran refused to halt its nuclear programme, targeting arms exports and 28 Iranian individuals and entities. Iran's central banker told Reuters earlier on Tuesday that Tehran had cut its holding of U.S.-dollar assets to a minimum level of around a fifth of its foreign reserves in response to U.S. hostility, still enough to handle major shocks..." MORE>>

  8. Iran to stop pricing oil with USD. By ASSOCIATED PRESS. KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia. (28/03/07)  "Iran, the worlds’ fourth largest oil producer, will stop pricing oil in U.S. dollars, with less than half of its oil income now paid in the American currency, Iran’s central bank governor said. “More than 50 percent of Iran's oil income is paid in other currencies. We are reducing the dollar share and asking clients to pay in other currencies,” Ebrahim Sheibany told Zawya Dow Jones News Service on the sidelines of an Islamic finance forum in Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur.  Almost all of Iran’s European and Asian oil customers started paying in currencies other than the U.S. dollar late last year as Tehran moved to diversify its foreign exchange reserves away from the U.S. dollar. Zhuhai Zhenrong Trading, a Chinese state-run company that is the biggest buyer of Iranian crude oil worldwide, have begun paying Iran for its oil in euros. The company, which buys more than a tenth of the oil exports from Iran, has changed the payment currency for the bulk of its contract of roughly 240,000 barrels per day, its officials said. Iran is a leading oil supplier for China, which depends on Iran for about 12 percent of its imported crude oil. “Most of China's purchases have shifted to euro… It's not difficult so long as our banks can handle that,” a Chinese state oil trader said. Japanese buyers, who buy almost a quarter of Iran's 2.2-million barrel daily shipments, continue to pay in dollars but are willing to shift to yen if asked. "We are looking at it so that we can switch the currencies any time, but we have not gotten any official requests from them," said Fumiaki Watari, the chairman of Japan’s top refiner, Nippon Oil. Sheibany noted that Iran has earned more than U.S. $45 billion from oil sales during the current fiscal year, which ended March 20. "Even if we get dollars, we directly convert it to other currencies,” he said. Iran’s shift from the U.S. dollar is being watched closely by foreign exchange traders. It comes amid an escalating dispute between Tehran and Washington, which is leading international pressure to isolate the Islamic Republic over its nuclear program, which the U.S. claims is aimed at building atomic bombs. Earlier this week, the UN Security Council passed a resolution expanding sanctions on Tehran over its refusal to halt its uranium enrichment. Iran insists that its nuclear program is aimed at producing electricity so it can save its oil and gas resources for export, and prepare for the day when its huge energy reserves run out. Tehran had no “meaningful” economic relations with the U.S., Sheibany said, adding that his country has "perfect control" in keeping its currency stable. "We do not have any problem. We are trading with more than 70 countries, including (in) Asia and Europe," the governor said.  He added that Iran's central bank is also shifting to holding its foreign reserves in a basket of 20 currencies and away from U.S. dollars, which now make up less than 20 percent of the reserves. "We are trying to diversify our reserves and of course it is very natural to switch to currencies other than U.S. dollars," Sheibany said. About 20 percent of the country's $50 billion to $100 billion of foreign reserves is in dollars, he said. It’s worth mentioning that global markets were shaken by the growing tensions over Iran’s nuclear program as well as Tehran’s detention of 15 British sailors, with oil prices rising by $5 overnight to more than $68 a barrel before they settled back to around $64.  Gold also jumped to a four-week high on safe-haven buying before prices eased."

  9. Oil Traders Fear US Iran Attack: Maybe We Should Too. By Dave Lindorff. (28/03/07) 

  10. British pawns in an Iranian game. By Pepe Escobar. Asia Times. (28/03/07) "The Iranian seizure of 15 British sailors may be much cleverer than it appears. Oil has moved above US$60 a barrel as a result of the incident. And if Tehran drags out proceedings, the Shi'ites in southern Iraq may take the hint and accelerate a confrontation, and even start merging with strands of the Sunni resistance."

  11. Iran: We Will Know SoonBy Richard Heinberg. Museletter #180. (27 Mar 2007)  "...As many have pointed out, an attack could have cataclysmic implications for the region, for the world economy, and not least for the oil import-dependent and nearly bankrupt US...Bob Graham, former chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, made the following comment: “This administration seems to be getting ready to make—at a much more significant, escalated level—the same mistake we made in Iran that we made in Iraq. If Iraq has been a disaster, this would be multiple times Iraq. The extent to which this could be the horror of the twenty-first century is hard to exaggerate.”

  12. Iran's arrest of sailors was legitimate, says former UK envoy.  By IRNA, 27/03/07  "Former British Ambassador to Uzbekistan, Craig Murray Monday supported Iran's decision to arrest 15 UK marines in the Persian Gulf last week. "In international law the Iranian government were not out of order in detaining foreign military personnel in waters to which they have a legitimate claim," Murray said, who was also a previous head of Foreign Office's maritime section, carrying out negotiations on the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea. "For the Royal Navy, to be interdicting shipping within the twelve mile limit of territorial seas in a region they know full well is subject to maritime boundary dispute, is unnecessarily provocative," he said.

  13. Iran's arrest of sailors was legitimate, says former UK envoy.  By IRNA, 27/03/07 "Former British Ambassador to Uzbekistan, Craig Murray Monday supported Iran's decision to arrest 15 UK marines in the Persian Gulf last week. "In international law the Iranian government were not out of order in detaining foreign military personnel in waters to which they have a legitimate claim," Murray said, who was also a previous head of Foreign Office's maritime section, carrying out negotiations on the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea. "For the Royal Navy, to be interdicting shipping within the twelve mile limit of territorial seas in a region they know full well is subject to maritime boundary dispute, is unnecessarily provocative," he said. The former envoy said that this was "especially true as apparently they were not looking for weapons but for smuggled vehicles attempting to evade car duty." "What has the evasion of Iranian or Iraqi taxes go to do with the Royal Navy?" he questioned in comments on his webpage, set up after he was sacked from his post in 2004 after criticizing British foreign policy. While working for the Foreign Office, Murray was also head of the UK's Embargo Surveillance Centre, analyzing Iraqi attempts to evade sanctions and providing information to UK military forces and to other governments to effect physical enforcement of the embargo. He said that under international law, Britain would have been allowed to enter Iranian territorial waters if in "hot pursuit" of terrorists, slavers or pirates. But added "they weren't doing any of those things." "Plainly, they were not engaged in piracy or in hostilities against Iran. The Iranians can feel content that they have demonstrated the ability to exercise effective sovereignty over the waters they claim," the former envoy said. He criticized the "ridiculous logic" of Prime Minister Tony Blair, saying he was creating a mess that "gets us further into trouble." The Daily Mirror, which has been an outspoken opponent of the Iraq war, reminded its readers Monday that "if the UK had never joined the disastrous invasion of Iraq, the 15 would not have been put in a position where they could be seized." In its editorial on the incident, it also said that "US threats in the recent past to launch military strikes on Iran have inflamed tensions." 2220/345/1416

  14. DAS KRÄFTEMESSEN ZWISCHEN IRAN UND DEN USA GEHT IN EINE NEUE RUNDE. In unruhigen Gewässern. Von Bahman Nirumand (28/03/07) "Trotz Widerstands der anderen Mitglieder hat Washington seine aggressive Strategie gegen den Iran im UN-Sicherheitsrat durchgesetzt. Teheran soll um jeden Preis in die Knie gezwungen werden - koste es, was es wolle. Dazu soll zunächst der Druck auf Iran erhöht und das Land immer mehr in die Isolation getrieben werden. Und wenn auch das nichts hilft, werden die Flugzeugträger, die längst in den Gewässern des Persischen Golfs stationiert wurden, den Befehl zum Angriff erhalten. Neben den härteren Wirtschaftssanktionen, die nun beschlossen wurden, sind die USA dabei, eine "sunnitische Front" gegen die Schiiten aufzubauen. Ihre engsten Verbündeten in der Region, allen voran Saudi-Arabien, stehen ihnen dabei zur Seite. Im Irak werden iranische Staatsbürger massiv verfolgt. Seit Wochen schon befinden sich mehrere iranische Diplomaten in amerikanischer Haft. Sollten die waghalsigen Radikalislamisten in Teheran zu Gegenmaßnahmen greifen und damit in eine der zahlreich aufgestellten Fallen tappen, so wäre dies vielleicht schon Vorwand genug, um die militärische Option zu wählen. Ob die Festnahme von fünfzehn britischen Marinesoldaten im Schatt el-Arab eine Reaktion auf dieses Kräftemessen oder vielmehr eine Falle war, wird sich in den nächsten Tagen zeigen. Doch mit dem wachsenden Druck und der Isolation des Iran wird genau das Gegenteil dessen erreicht, was angestrebt ist. Ahmadinedschad nimmt die Attacken als willkommenen Anlass, um von inneren Problemen und der wirtschaftlichen Misere im Lande abzulenken. Die Kritiker, deren Zahl auch im Lager der Konservativen zunimmt, werden zum Schweigen gebracht, die Zivilgesellschaft zur Geisel der Radikalislamisten gemacht. Wäre es nicht klüger, nur das Regime und nicht das ganze Land zu isolieren? Durch Verhandlungen und Vorschläge, die dem berechtigten Sicherheitsbedürfnis des Landes entgegenkommen, hätte man sowohl die Reformer als auch die moderaten Konservativen gewinnen und damit deren Widerstand gegen die Radikalen um Ahmadinedschad stärken können. Doch den USA geht es um mehr als um eine Lösung im Atomkonflikt: Ihr Ziel ist ein Regimewechsel im Iran. "

  15. US-Flotte probt Angriffe.  "Die US-Marine hat ihr größtes Manöver im Persischen Golf seit Beginn des Irak-Kriegs vor vier Jahren begonnen." Von Knut Mellenthin (28/03/07)

  16. NATO-Kriegsschiffe vor Irans Küste. Iraks Besatzer sind eine permanente Provokation für Teheran. Razzien nicht vom UN-Sicherheitsrat gedeckt. Von Knut Mellenthin (27/03/07)

  17. Besatzer auf Patrouille. 15 britische Soldaten bleiben in iranischer Haft. Waren sie wirklich nur auf Kontrollfahrt im Schatt Al Arab oder spionierten sie nicht eher gegen Teherans Marine?  Von Knut Mellenthin (27/03/07)

  18. Exil-Iraner Nirumand: Unterschiedliches Maß des Westens (27/03/07)  "Man kann nicht mit Indien, das nicht einmal den Atomwaffensperrvertrag unterzeichnet und illegal Atomwaffen gebaut hat, einen umfassenden Vertrag zum Atomtechnologietransfer und Lieferungen von Brennstäben schließen" und zur Atommacht Pakistan schweigen, "einem Land, in dem die Machtübernahme der Radikal-Islamisten keineswegs ausgeschlossen ist", so der in Berlin lebende Exil-Iraner. Man könne nicht das israelische Atomarsenal unwidersprochen hinnehmen und "auf der anderen Seite Iran unter Kriegsandrohungen die Urananreicherung im eigenen Land verbieten. All das hat weder mit Religion noch mit Kultur zu tun. Das sind nackte Interessen", meinte Nirumand. (red/APA)

  19. Campaign Against Sanctions and Military Intervention in Iran (CASMII) Statement on UNSCR 1747- . March 27, 2007.
    "Campaign Against Sanctions and Military Intervention in Iran strongly condemns the decision by the 15 members of the United Nations Security Council to impose the latest Resolution 1747 [1] on Iran for its failure to suspend its uranium enrichment work, a lawful activity permitted by the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty [2], to which Iran remains a signatory state.  This in the context of the IAEA itself having found no evidence of any nuclear material being diverted to military purposes.   We are alarmed that these unjustified resolutions, extorted through blackmail and coercion of the member states, will inexorably lead to a ‘preemptive’ military attack on Iran, with catastrophic ramifications for the region and for the world.  As evidenced in the case of Iraq, the sanctions, after inflicting untold suffering on the population, will be used as a prelude and justification to invade and occupy a sovereign member state of the United Nations. 
    As in case of the UNSC resolution 1737 [3] approved in December 2006,  the United States has played a key role in the draft of the language and the push for its approval, in its continued and relentless drive to lay the grounds for a planned military attack against Iran. The passage of this resolution was made possible only after Iran’s nuclear dossier was moved from the IAEA to the United Nations Security Council through coercive measures [4] by the United States, as admitted by Stephen Rademaker, a former high ranking Bush administration official in a meeting of the Indian Institute for Defense Studies and Analyses.  Revelations of such pressure tactics have brought the legitimacy of both these resolutions into serious question, as evident by the support of the 118 United Nations member states of the Non-aligned Movement [5] which have repeatedly confirmed and recognized Iran's right to nuclear energy for peaceful purposes.
    Historically, Iran’s nuclear program was started under the 'Atoms for Peace' project [6] in 1957, with the help of the United States. In 1959, the Tehran Nuclear Research Center (TNRC) was established and run by the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI). The TNRC was equipped with a U.S.-supplied 5-megawatt nuclear research reactor that became operational in 1967, fuelled with highly enriched uranium.  Iran signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT)  in 1968 and ratified it in 1970. With the establishment of Iran's atomic agency and the NPT in place, the Shah approved plans to construct, again with U.S. help, up to 23 nuclear power stations by the year 2000.
    Under Chapter Six of the UN Charter [7], "Pacific Settlement of Disputes", the Security Council "may investigate any dispute or any situation which might lead to international friction or give rise to a dispute in order to determine whether the continuance of the dispute or situation is likely to endanger the maintenance of international peace and security."
    We believe that an activity declared legal  by Article IV of the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty does not constitute a danger to the world "peace and security" and there is no justification for the United Nations Security Council, an international body charged with securing and maintaining international peace, to impose such unwarranted sanctions on Iran.
    The Security Council’s abuse of its power accorded to it by the UN Charter has precedence in Iranian history.  27 years ago, the belated Resolution 479 [8] on September 28, 1980, was adopted 7 days after no action by the SC, during which Iraq captured 30000 sq Kilometers of Iranian territory.  Despite the Security Council’s wish not to mention this case of non-compliance, this legitimate resistance in recapturing lost territory is proudly registered in the Iranian national consciousness.  The Security Council also ignored for several years, its own UN reports confirming the use of chemical weapons by Iraq, supplied by the same western member states, against the Iranian civilians and military personnel. Also remembered is the Security Council’s attempt, 55 years ago, to condemn Iran for threatening international peace and security for daring to nationalize its oil industry.  Similarly, in July 2006, the UK/US’s prior knowledge of the Israeli intention to attack Lebanon, and their refusal in the Security Council to stop the killing of civilians and the destruction of Lebanese infrastructure, has eroded public trust and alarmed the international community.  It is this travesty of duty and justice by the United Nations Security Council that is undermining its credibility in the Muslim world and the Non-aligned Movement, and is the most serious threat to international peace and security."

Zum Seitenanfang

  1. No Stop in Iran's Peaceful Nuclear Move Even for a Second. By Fars News Agency (27/03/07)  "Iranian President described the recent resolution issued by the UN Security Council as illegal and said that the resolution will not stop  the legal and peaceful nuclear move the Iranian nation has started..."   
  2. Iran Will Stop Cooperation with IAEA in Certain Fields. By Fars News Agency (27/03/07)  "Iranian Government Spokesman [Gholam Hussein Elham] reported of a ratification by the council of ministers that foresees revision of cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in certain areas and added that cooperation in certain fields with the IAEA will be halted as long as Iran's case has not been returned from the UN Security Council to the IAEA..."

  3. Teheran rejects UN SC resolution, to scale down cooper with IAEA. By ITAR-TASS News Agency (26.03.2007)

  4. Verschärfte Sanktionen gegen Iran. UN-Sicherheitsrat folgt einstimmig dem Kurs der USA und Großbritanniens. Weitere Eskalation programmiert. Von Knut Mellenthin (26.03.2007).  

  5. Spione im Schlauchboot? Von Thomas Pany (25.03.2007). "Gefangennahme von britischen Marinesoldaten durch Revolutionäre Garden löst größere Krise aus. Die Krise zwischen Großbritannien und Iran spitzt sich zu: Nach jüngsten Informationen aus der englischen Presse sollen die 15 britischen Marinesoldaten, die am Freitag von Mitgliedern der Revolutionären Garden gefangen genommen wurden, als Spione vor Gericht gebracht werden. Die britische Sonntagsausgabe der Zeitung Times beruft sich allerdings nicht auf offizielle Verlautbarungen der iranischen Regierung, sondern "auf eine Webseite, die von Verbündeten des iranischen Präsidenten Mahmud Ahmadinedschad betrieben wird". Dort soll von einer möglichen Anklage wegen Spionage die Rede sein:  Wenn es erwiesen ist, dass sie mit Vorbedacht in iranisches Hoheitsgebiet eindrangen, dann werden sie vor Gericht der Spionage angeklagt. Wenn sich das als richtig erweist, dann können sie sich auf ein erhebliches Strafmaß gefasst machen, da nach iranischem Recht Spionage ein schwerwiegender Verstoß ist, der ernsthaft geahndet wird...." 

  6. SC Resolution Against Iran a Violation of UN Charter. By Fars News Agency (25/03/07)  "...Spokesman of the Foreign Ministry of the Islamic Republic of Iran Seyed Mohammad Ali Hosseini expressed regret over issuance of the UN Security Council Resolution 1747 concerning Iran's nuclear case and stated, "By issuing the recent resolution, the UN Security Council once again took to challenge the urgency which is attached to the protection of the rights of nations and governments in compliance with article 25 of the UN Charter.... Many of the countries as well as international and regional bodies refuse to support such resolutions and resolution 1747 is not favored by the international community which is dissatisfied with the ratification of illegal resolutions"..."

  7. Mottaki : Iran not to give up demands under any sanction, threat. By the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Iran (24/03/07)  "Iran`s Foreign Minister Mr Manouchehr Mottaki said Saturday that no sanction or threat can make the Iranian nation retreat from its legal and legitimate demands. `The world must know - and it does - that even the harshest political and economic sanctions or other threats are far too weak to coerce the Iranian nation to retreat from their legal and legitimate demands,` said Mottaki in an address to the UN Security Council following issuance of a second anti-Iran resolution by the Council. The full text of the Minister`s statement is as follows:

  8. SC Resolution Against Iran a Violation of UN Charter. By Fars News Agency (25/03/07) "...Spokesman of the Foreign Ministry of the Islamic Republic of Iran Seyed Mohammad Ali Hosseini expressed regret over issuance of the UN Security Council Resolution 1747 concerning Iran's nuclear case and stated, "By issuing the recent resolution, the UN Security Council once again took to challenge the urgency which is attached to the protection of the rights of nations and governments in compliance with article 25 of the UN Charter.... Many of the countries as well as international and regional bodies refuse to support such resolutions and resolution 1747 is not favored by the international community which is dissatisfied with the ratification of illegal resolutions"..."

  9. Hosseini regrets issuance of new anti-Iran resolution. By the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Iran (24/03/07) "... The UN Security Council, once again, challenged the need for the UN`s support for rights of nations and governments within its legal framework and objectives and acted in such a way that it damaged the UN Charter and international laws..."

  10. Security Council tightens sanctions against Iran over uranium enrichment. By  UN News Centre (24/03/07) "The United Nations Security Council acted unanimously today to tighten sanctions on Iran, imposing a ban on arms sales and expanding the freeze on assets, in response to the country's uranium-enrichment activities, which Tehran says are for peaceful purposes but which other countries contend are driven by military ambitions." 

  11. India PM calls for return of Iran's case to IAEA , (24/03/07) "Expressing India's disapproval of any Security Council punitive action against Iran, he said India opposes unilateralism in dealing with Iran's nuclear program. Referring to the amicable relations between Iran and India, he called Iran as India's strategic friend. Khatami said that Iran's nuclear case was in an appropriate situation and both Iranian and European parties showed great flexibility to legally tackle the issue, but, unfortunately the US refused to aid the course. He added the American officials instead of honoring the negotiations, tried to undermine European inclination for cooperation. Khatami referred to negotiations with no pre-condition as the only way to solve the issue, while expressing hope that the talks would lead to fruitful results for all parties in the shortest possible time..."

  12.   UN backs fresh sanctions on Iran (24/03/07) "British ambassador to the UN Emyr Jones Parry said "the unanimous adoption of Security Council Resolution 1747 reflects the international community's profound concerns over Iran's nuclear programmes".

  13.  UN ratchets up pressure on Iran. By Jane O'Brien, BBC News, UN headquarters. "The Security Council is being abused to take an unlawful, unnecessary and unjustifiable action against the peaceful nuclear program of the Islamic Republic of Iran" said Iranian Foreign Minister Manoucher Mottaki

  14. Security Council approves new sanctions on Iran. By CNN - POSTED: 6:31 p.m. EDT, March 24, 2007 "Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki rejected a unanimous vote by the U.N. Security Council on Saturday to impose new sanctions on Iran because of its refusal to suspend its uranium enrichment program..."Iran presents no threat to international peace and security and therefore falls outside the council's charter mandate."... "As we have stressed time and again, Iran's nuclear program is completely peaceful," Mottaki said. Despite his denial that the Security Council has any power over Iran, Mottaki offered hope that the impasse can be resolved. "We have expressed our readiness to take unprecedented steps and offered several proposals to allay possible concern in this regard," he said. Expressing the divide between Iran and the U.N. demand, the acting U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Alejandro Wolff, said: "While we hope that Iran complies with this resolution ... the United States is fully prepared to take additional measures in 60 days should Iran choose another course. "China's U.N. ambassador, Wang Guangya, said China supports Iran's right to a peaceful nuclear energy program, but fully backed the resolution...The new embargo on Iranian weapons exports -- such as small arms and explosives -- is an attempt to put the squeeze on supplies to militants in the Palestinian territories, Lebanon and Iraq.... Several council members spoke before the vote, stressing that they prefer to resolve the issue of nuclear development through negotiation. "This resolution is about the need to build international confidence in Iran's nuclear program," said Rezlan Ishar Jenie, Indonesia's U.N. ambassador... French U.N. Ambassador Jean-Marc de la Sabliere said, "Nobody in this council wishes to deny Iran its rights, or to prevent the Iranian people from benefiting from nuclear energy for peaceful purposes. "All states party to the Non-Proliferation Treaty have the right to the peaceful use of nuclear energy" as long as they meet the Non-Proliferation Treaty obligations... The 10 nonpermanent council members are Belgium, Italy, Qatar, Congo, Panama, Slovakia, Ghana, Peru, South Africa and Indonesia.

  15. Security Council Approves New Sanctions on Iran. By REUTERS (24/03/07)  "...Germany and the permanent council members with veto power -- the United States, Britain, France, Russia, China -- spent a month in intensive negotiations drawing up the text. To get the support of South Africa, Indonesia and Qatar, they added the importance of a Middle East free of weapons of mass destruction and highlighted the role of the International Atomic Energy Agency. South Africa's U.N. ambassador, Dumisani Kumalo, who had submitted amendments that deleted all the sanctions, said he voted in favor because of Pretoria's opposition to nuclear weapons but criticized the resolution for penalizing Iranian institutions beyond the nuclear sphere."

  16. Security Council Approves New Sanctions on Iran.  By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS (24/03/07)  "The moderately tougher sanctions include banning Iranian arms exports, and freezing the assets of 28 people and organizations involved in Iran's nuclear and missile programs...The new sanctions -- already a compromise between the stronger measures favored by the United States and the Europeans and the softer approach advocated by Russian and China -- are considered modest... The new resolution calls for voluntary restrictions on travel by the individuals subject to sanctions, on arms sales to Iran, and on new financial assistance or loans to the Iranian governmentIt asks the International Atomic Energy Agency to report back in 60 days on whether Iran has suspended enrichment and warns Iran could face further measures if it does not. But it also says all sanctions will be suspended if Iran halts enrichment and makes clear that Tehran can still accept a package of economic incentives and political rewards offered last year if it complies with the council's demands. After the latest resolution met with surprising resistance from several elected Security Council members, a reference was inserted to a past resolution from the IAEA calling for the Middle East to be free of weapons of mass destruction. Indonesia and Qatar had wanted the council to make that appeal outright, but that would have had implications for Israel, a U.S. ally widely believed to possess nuclear weapons, though it has never officially acknowledged it."

  17. Key elements of UN Iran resolution, Associated Press, THE JERUSALEM POST  (24/03/07)

  18. Analysis: Who knows who the waters belong to? Associated Press, THE JERUSALEM POST 24/03/07)
  19. Iran condemns illegal entry of British sailors into its waters. Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Iran (24/03/07)

  20. Ahmadinejad: World Has Changed, No One Gives In to Literature of Force. By Fars News Agency (25/03/07) "Western Politicians should know that the world has changed and that no one gives in to the literature of force any more. Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in an interview with France 24 International TV network here in Tehran on Friday, stressed the point that the western politicians should know that the world has changed and that no one gives in to the literature of force any longer. In response to a question posed by the France 24 Network correspondent who accused Iran of having triggered crisis, president Ahmadinejad stated, "We have never triggered any crisis. We just defend our legal rights. When France defended its nuclear rights, were these the French people who triggered crisis or the opponents of France?. Crisis is triggered by those who reserve rights for themselves beyond law. Last year, I addressed a letter to Mr. Bush in which, I think I uttered everything that had to be said. Everybody in the world knows that the American statesmen are responsible for most of the world problems. In Iraq, in Afghanistan, in Palestine, in Sudan, Africa, Asia, everywhere you go, you can trace the footholds of Americans. The same is true in the nuclear case. And some states follow them of course." Regarding Iran's nuclear case, president Ahmadinejad stated, "Everybody admits that the US and Britain are our enemies and reluctant to see that our country is making progresses. They plan to block our access to nuclear fuel cycle. And now they are hiding themselves behind the UN Security Council. We know what this game is all about." In response to a question concerning the number of centrifuge units Iran has installed, the Iranian president said, "Can you estimate how many centrifuges are available to the US or France? Hundreds of thousands! Well then, why should they be allowed to have access to so many centrifuges while others, including us, are deprived of using them. They are members of NPT and we are members of NPT as well. What law allows them to utilize so many centrifuges while the same disallows us to utilize even one thousand of these devices." President Ahmadinejad further added that the era of the cold war and deployment of weapons has come to an end and this is the era of contemplation and reflection, no atomic bomb can help Americans in Iraq and no atomic bomb can secure Mr. Bush popularity. Iranian president stated that fossil fuel resources are depleting and Iran's first nuclear power plant will go into operation soon and within a period of 20 years, we are planning to generate 20 thousand megawatts of electricity. In response to a question posed by the correspondent of France 24 international TV network, president Ahmadinejad said, "My question is, what has Israel committed that the world nations hate it so much. This is a key question that should be answered by the American and European leaders. As long as they have not answered this question, they will have to face problems. "President Ahmadinejad concluded by asking, "Why are the European statesmen so sensitive about the Zionists while so many Palestinians are killed everyday and 5 million Palestinians remain homeless for years?"
  21. Exclusive: Embassies in Teheran prepare escape plans.(23/03/07)  "Several foreign embassies in Teheran are updating their emergency evacuation plans should a Western or Israeli attack on Iran occur. According to foreign sources, foreign diplomats believe a possible attack would take place before the end of 2007. By that time, Iran might have enough enriched uranium to cause a humanitarian and environmental catastrophe from radioactive fallout should its nuclear facilities be damaged or destroyed in an attack. Embassies in all countries generally have evacuation plans for their staff, but foreign sources describe the general atmosphere in Iran as one of heightened preparedness. Recently, several diplomatic missions based in Teheran have begun to reassess their plans, and embassies without permanent security officers have requested them. Embassy experts reportedly are testing various evacuation options and logistics, such as timing routes to different destinations by different types of vehicles. The plans include evacuation for all staff. Foreign sources say both the United States and Israel, who accuse Iran of wanting to develop nuclear weapons, want to give diplomatic efforts aimed at stopping Iran's nuclear drive the best possible chance to succeed. But according to these sources, should the West or Israel feel that the time needed for diplomatic efforts is longer than the time it would take for Iran to obtain nuclear independence, they are likely to strike at Iran's main nuclear facilities before the damage done by such an attack would cause serious radiation fallout. Such fallout would likely kill many civilians and render some parts of Iran uninhabitable for an undetermined period of time. According to this logic, the timing of such an attack would take place just before Iran has enriched an amount of weapons-grade material that, if damaged, would cause such a humanitarian and environmental catastrophe, it could be construed as a nuclear attack. The assessments posit that Israel and the US will try to delay an attack until the last moment due to the expected Iranian counterattack and regional deterioration. Similar dilemmas over timing were faced by Israel before the 1981 raid that destroyed Saddam Hussein's reactor at Osirak. According to "The Raid on the Osirak Nuclear Reactor," an article by researcher Avi Hein, the Israeli cabinet in 1981 received word that "a shipment of 90 kilograms of enriched uranium fuel rods is expected from France to Iraq, ready for radiation." The moment the rods would be placed in the reactor, there would be a danger of radiation fallout if the reactor was attacked. This was the decisive factor for deputy prime minister Yigael Yadin, who had initially opposed the plan to attack Osirak, but changed his mind after receiving the news about the fuel rods, Hein wrote. According to other published sources on the Osirak strike, Israel felt any raid had to take place well before nuclear fuel was loaded to prevent radioactive contamination. It is now known that during the strike preparations, one question affecting the timing was the estimated date the reactor would become "live," after which a strike could cause radiation fallout on civilians. In the current standoff with Iran, US pressure on many countries and multinational corporations to divest from Teheran is bearing fruit. But in the final analysis, Iran is not seen likely to stop its nuclear program, and UN sanctions are regarded as likely to take too long to have an effect. Should it be attacked, Iran is expected to launch missiles against Israel and an offensive against US forces in the Middle East. Teheran is also expected to activate Hizbullah in a full assault against Israel. Israeli security services also expect attacks on Jewish interests and institutions worldwide. Syria is still deciding if it will go "all the way" with Iran, or abandon its one friend in the world and return to the international fold. Syria's potential role in such a regional conflagration is undetermined. Saudi Arabia has been exerting consistent and mounting pressure on both Syria and Iran to change course. Former Iranian president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani is making political moves within Iran's Supreme Council to limit the power of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad - who many in Iran feel is out of the control of the ruling elite. At first, the ayatollahs acquiesced to Ahmadinejad's foreign policy line - which has at its core the drive for nuclear power, the ambition to replace Saudi Arabia as Islam's "core state," and the stated aim to destroy Israel - because of the former mayor of Teheran's wide popular support. For approximately the past year, there has been a noticeable growing concern among the ruling elite that Ahmadinejad is slipping out of their control, even though there is little chance he could take over supreme power and authority."

  22. Embassy of Iran Protests at Screening of '300' Film in France. By Fars News Agency (21/03/07)  "At the threshold of the screening of the film '300' in France, the embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran in Paris released a statement and protested at the screening of this film which is the fabricated story of a historical event.The Iranian embassy in Paris has termed the film an insult to the rich Iranian culture and civilization and shameless fabrication of history. The statement further reads, "This is surprising that Hollywood cinema, in a hostile manner and in pursuit of unhealthy objectives and with a commercial look in compliance with the militarist policies of some ill famed and domineering powers, has initiated to propagate hatred and terrorism in the world instead of attempting to diagnose the real problems gripping the present world. It has in fact painted a wrong and fabricated picture of the culture of the great Iranian nation."The statement released by the Iranian embassy in Paris further adds that all throughout history, the Iranian culture has proved to be the culture of friendship, peace seeking and avoiding war, a culture the symbols of which have been printed on the UN walls. The statement further adds that the film '300' lacks credit not only because of hostile fabrication of the Iranian culture and display of a tough and violent picture of the peaceful Iranians, but also because of having employed an outdated and old fashion method in fabricating the cultures of other nations and because of propagating the culture of hatred.The director of the film '300', Zack Snyder is 40 years old with no significant professional record." For more information see 300 (film) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia and critical reaction and  Battle of the Manly Men: Blood Bath With a Message. New York Times

  23. Open Letter from Reform Movement Calls for Enrichment Suspension (21/03/07)  "Sohkhahi, which means "Demanding Peace" has published an open letter signed by 310 Iranians from the Reform Movement, academia, student organizations, political activists and religious figures demanding that the Iranian government accept the proposal from the International Atomic Energy Agence for a temporary suspension of enrichment. The letter warns the government about the ramification of sanctions and also the possibility of a conflict with the US. The letter can be viewed (in Persian) here."

  24. Special Reports: Operation Bite: April 6 sneak attack by US forces against Iran planned, Russian military sources warn.  By Webster G. Tarpley. Online Journal Contributing Writer  (21/03/07)

  25. Le Pentagone va attaquer des cibles militaires iraniennes (expert russe) - Ria Novosti (21/03/07) "Le Pentagone projette de mener prochainement une attaque massive contre l'infrastructure militaire iranienne, estime le général Leonid Ivachov, vice-président de l'Académie de sciences géopolitiques. "Je n'ai aucun doute quant à la réalité de cette opération ou, plus précisément, de cette agression contre l'Iran", a déclaré le général russe dans un entretien à RIA Novosti mercredi. Selon lui, en témoignent notamment la conférence début mars à Washington du Comité américano-israélien (AIPAC), qui a décidé d'appuyer l'administration Bush, ainsi que le fait que quelques jours après le Congrès US a révoqué son propre amendement interdisant au président d'attaquer l'Iran sans son aval. "Nous en avons tiré la conclusion que cette opération aurait bien lieu. Autrement dit, la communauté israélienne des Etats-Unis et la direction israélienne - représentée à cette conférence par la ministre des Affaires étrangères de l'Etat hébreu - ont formulé la directive d'attaquer l'Iran", a noté l'expert. Mais les Etats-Unis ne projettent pas d'opération terrestre. "Selon toute évidence, il n'y aura pas d'invasion terrestre. Ce seront des frappes aériennes massives et d'usure, dans le but de détruire le potentiel militaire de la résistance, les centres de direction administrative, les installations économiques clefs et, si possible, une partie de la direction iranienne", a souligné l'expert. Le général Ivachov n'a pas écarté l'éventualité de frappes au moyen d'armes nucléaires tactiques contre les sites nucléaires iraniens. "Il se peut qu'on fasse appel à des charges nucléaires de faible puissance", a-t-il supposé. L'action du Pentagone sera en mesure de paralyser la vie dans le pays, d'y semer la panique et, d'une manière générale, d'instaurer un climat de chaos et d'incertitude", a affirmé l'expert. "Cela pourrait raviver les luttes pour le pouvoir à l'intérieur de l'Iran. Une mission de paix devra suivre pour mettre au pouvoir à Téhéran un gouvernement pro-américain", a estimé le général Ivachov. Tout cela aura pour but de redorer le blason de l'administration républicaine qui pourra ainsi déclarer que le potentiel nucléaire iranien a été détruit, a-t-il ajouté. Parmi les éventuelles conséquences de l'opération militaire, le général a cité la dislocation du pays à l'instar de l'Irak. Selon lui, "cette conception a donné des résultats dans les Balkans, maintenant elle sera appliquée - si celle-ci ne l'est pas déjà - à l'égard du Grand Proche-Orient". Interrogé sur la question de savoir si la Russie était en mesure, par la voie diplomatique, d'influer sur les évolutions autour de l'Iran, l'expert a affirmé que "Moscou doit exercer un impact, exigeant une convocation urgente du Conseil de sécurité de l'ONU pour étudier la question de l'agression non sanctionnée en préparation contre l'Iran et du non-respect des principes de la Charte de l'ONU"."Et là la Russie pourrait coopérer avec la Chine, la France et les membres non permanents du Conseil. De telles mesures préventives pourraient contenir l'agression", affirme le général Ivachov."

  26. L'Iran serait attaqué début avril (experts militaires russes) (19/3/07)- Ria Novosti "Les experts militaires russes estiment que la planification de l'attaque militaire américaine contre l'Iran a passé le point de non retour le 20 février, lorsque le directeur de l'AIEA, Mohammed ElBaradei, a reconnu, dans son rapport, l'incapacité de l'Agence de "confirmer le caractère pacifique du programme nucléaire de l'Iran". Selon l'hebdomadaire russe Argoumenty nedeli, une action militaire se déroulera au cours de la première semaine d'avril, avant les Pâques catholique et orthodoxe (cette année elles sont célébrées le 8), lorsque l' "opinion occidentale" sera en congé. Il se peut aussi que l'Iran soit frappé le vendredi 6, jour férié dans les pays musulmans. D'après le schéma américain, ce sera une frappe d'un seul jour qui durera 12 heures, de 4 heures de matin à 16 heures d'après-midi. Le nom de code de l'opération est à ce jour "Bite" en anglais (Morsure). Une vingtaine d'installations iraniennes devraient être touchées. A leur nombre, des centrifugeuses d'enrichissement d'uranium, des centres d'études et des laboratoires. Mais le premier bloc de la centrale nucléaire de Bouchehr ne sera pas touché. Par contre, les Américains neutraliseront la DCA, couleront plusieurs bâtiments de guerre iraniens dans le Golfe et détruiront les postes clefs de commandement des forces armées. Autant de mesures qui devraient ôter à Téhéran toute capacité de riposter. L'Iran projetait de couler plusieurs pétroliers dans le détroit d'Ormuz dans le but de couper l'approvisionnement des marchés internationaux en pétrole et de frapper au missile Israël. Les analystes affirment que les frappes américaines seront lancées depuis l'île de Diego-Garcia, dans l'océan Indien, d'où décolleront des bombardiers à long rayon d'action B-52 avec à leur bord des missiles de croisière ; par l'aviation embarquée des porte-avions américains déployés dans le Golfe et faisant partie de la 6e Flotte américaine en Méditerranée ; des missiles de croisière seront également tirés depuis les sous-marins concentrés dans le Pacifique et au large de l'Arabie. Résultat, le programme nucléaire iranien sera rejeté de plusieurs années en arrière. Dans des entretiens privés, des généraux américains supposent que les délais de déploiement de la défense antimissile américaine en Europe peuvent être reportés à plus tard. Autre événement prévu, le baril de pétrole pourrait s'envoler à 75-80 dollars et ce pour une période prolongée. Entre-temps, la nouvelle résolution sur l'Iran et dont le projet a été adopté par les cinq membres permanents du Conseil de sécurité et l'Allemagne devrait être votée au CS dès cette semaine. Le texte prévoit des sanctions à l'encontre de 10 entreprises publiques iraniennes et de trois compagnies relevant du Corps des gardiens de la révolution islamique, unité d'élite aux ordres du leader spirituel de la République islamique, l'ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Des sanctions sont aussi prévues contre 15 personnes physiques : huit dirigeants haut placés de sociétés d'Etat et sept personnages clefs au Corps des gardiens de la révolution islamique."

  27. Translated Excerpts of Reza Pahlavi of Iran’s message on the occasion of Norouz 1386 (Persian New Year 2007) 

  28. Es gärt unter Irans Arbeitern - Wachsender Protest gegen die Wirtschaftspolitik Ahmadinedschads.Von Birgit v. Criege: (22/03/07) 

  29. Ungebremst in den Krieg. Von Knut MellenthinDie Energiereserven Irans sowie die Folgen aus den Militäreinsätzen gegen Afghanistan und Irak treiben die USA dazu, Iran in absehbarer Zeit anzugreifen (17. März 2007) 

  30. Unheilige Allianzen Washington will das iranische Regime stürzen. Dazu baut es auf ein Bündnis der arabischen Sunniten und schürt die inneren Konflikte im Iran: ein gefährliches Spiel. BAHMAN NIRUMAND. taz Nr. 8228 vom 17.3.2007.  

  31. Iran to Sell Oil in euros and other currencies. Fars News Agency (17 March 2007)

  32. Text: Draft UN resolution on Iran. BBC (15/3/07)  " The five permanent members of the UN Security Council, plus Germany, have drawn up a draft resolution setting out a new sanctions package designed to put pressure on Iran over its nuclear programme. Here is the full text

  33. The “Democratic Supplemental” Fails to Deal with Iran and Has Big Loopholes That Will Leave Tens of Thousands or More Troops in Iraq. By Kevin Zeese   (12/3/07)

  34. Ahmadinejad intends to visit UNSC. (11/3/07) 

  35. Iranian general 'hands over vital documents after defecting to US'. By Anne Penketh, Diplomatic Editor (10/3/07) 

  36. U.S., Allies Agree to Drop Proposed Iran Travel Ban.  By Colum LynchWashington Post  (10/3/07) 

  37. U.S., Iran Trade Barbs in Direct Talks.  By SCHEHEREZADE FARAMARZI and QASSIM ABDUL-ZAHRA. The Associated Press(10/3/07)    "In their first direct talks since the Iraq war began, U.S. and Iranian envoys traded harsh words and blamed each other for the country's crisis Saturday at a one-day international conference that some hoped would help end their 27-year diplomatic freeze."

  38. Iran says no one-to-one talks with U.S. in Baghdad U.S. and Iran Hold Rare Direct Talks. By Mariam Karouny. Reuters (10/3/07)   "U.S. and Iranian envoys spoke to each other directly at a regional meeting in Baghdad on Saturday but their exchanges dealt only with problems in Iraq and not with nuclear diplomacy."

  39.  U.S. and Iran attend Baghdad conference. By Mariam Karouny. Reuters (10/3/07)

  40. Timeline: U.S.-Iran Contacts - Council on Foreign Relations. By Lionel Beehner, Staff Writer (9/3/07)

  41. UN Financial Sanctions on Iran: Political Confrontation, Iran's Response to US Threats. By Prof. Akbar E. Torbat (9/3/07)

  42. George Bush's Samson Option. By Stephen Lendman. (March 08, 2007)  "...The updated NSS details an "imperial grand strategy" with new language more belligerent than the original version that was intended to be a declaration of preemptive or preventive war against any country or force the administration claims threatens our national security.  It followed from our Nuclear Policy Review of December, 2001 claiming a unilateral right to declare and wage future wars using first strike nuclear weapons that in enough numbers potentially can destroy all planetary life, save maybe some resilient roaches and bacteria. In still other national security documents, the administration intends being ready by maintaining total control over all land, surface and sub-surface sea, air, space, electromagnetic spectrum and information systems with enough overwhelming power to defeat any potential challengers using all weapons in the arsenal, including those nukes masquerading as king-sized grenades..."

  43. Try talk. You can use the stick later. By Malcolm Rifkind. (5 March 2007)

  44. Ohne Bremse und Rückwärtsgang - Iran hat mit seinem Atomoratorium nur negative Erfahrungen gemacht. Verhandlungen ohne Vorbedingungen nötig. Von Knut Mellenthin (5 March 2007)

  45. "We're going to take out 7 countries in 5 years: Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan & Iran." Video Interview with General Wesley Clark. Retired 4-star U.S. Army general, Supreme Allied  Commander of NATO during the 1999 War on Yugoslavia .Global Research, March 23, 2007. Democracy Now - 2007-03-02. Gen. Wesley Clark Weighs Presidential Bid: "I Think About It Everyday"  Video Interview: 128k stream 256k stream. Short version of interview on

  46. Iranian Leader to Visit Saudi Arabia.(1 March 2007)

  47. CDI Science Fellow Analyzes IAEA Report on Iran’s Nuclear Activities  (1 March 2007)

Zum Seitenanfang

February  2007

  1. Pentagon Whistle-Blower on the Coming War With Iran. "Lt. Col. Karen Kwiatkowski (ret.), a veteran of the Pentagon with firsthand experience of the administration’s cherry-picking of intelligence, reveals why Bush thinks he can win a war with Iran, why few politicians are serious about withdrawal and why “when they call Iraq a success, they mean it.” Update: Full transcript added" Listen: Download MP3 audio file (running time: 32:41 / 29.9 MB) (27 February  2007)  
  2. Waffen gegen Teheran (Tageszeitung junge Welt). Von Knut Mellenthin (27 February  2007)

  3. US accused of drawing up plan to bomb Iran. Guardian. Suzanne Goldenberg in Washington. (26 February 2007)  "President George Bush has charged the Pentagon with devising an expanded bombing plan for Iran that can be carried out at 24 hours' notice, it was reported yesterday...It said a special planning group at the highest levels of the US military had expanded its mission from selecting potential targets connected to Iranian nuclear facilities, and had been directed to add sites that may be involved in aiding Shia militant forces in Iraq to its list. That new strategy, intended to reverse the rise in Iranian power that has been an unintended consequence of the war in Iraq, could bring the countries much closer to open confrontation and risks igniting a regional sectarian war between Shia and Sunni Muslims, the New Yorker says. Elements of the tough new approach towards Tehran outlined by Hersh include: · Clandestine operations against Iran and Syria, as well as the Hizbullah movement in Lebanon - even to the extent of bolstering Sunni extremist groups that are sympathetic to al-Qaida Sending US special forces into Iranian territory in pursuit of Iranian operatives, as well as to gather intelligence. Secret operations are being funded by Saudi Arabia to avoid scrutiny by Congress. "There are many, many pots of black money, scattered in many places and used all over the world on a variety of missions," Hersh quotes a Pentagon consultant as saying. As in the run-up to the Iraq war, the vice-president, Dick Cheney, has bypassed other administration officials to take charge of the aggressive new policy, working along with the deputy national security adviser, Elliott Abrams, and the former ambassador to Kabul and Baghdad, Zalmay Khalilzad.

  4. West 'humiliating' Iran, says Hans Blix- Israel News, Ynetnews (26 February  2007)  "Former UN weapons inspector slams US and Europe over 'humiliating neo-colonial' attitude to Iran. 'People have their own pride whether you like them or don't,' he adds, urging use of economic incentives for better diplomacy."

  5. US generals ‘will quit’ if Bush orders Iran attack.  TimesOnline - By (25  February 2007) "Tension in the Gulf region has raised fears that an attack on Iran is becoming increasingly likely before President George Bush leaves office. The Sunday Times has learnt that up to five generals and admirals are willing to resign rather than approve what they consider would be a reckless attack.

  6. Hersh: Pentagon panel created to plan bombing attack on Iran within 24 hours of Bush command (25  February 2007) 

  7. Indian UN Representative and High Commissioner questioned over IAEA coercion. (25  February 2007)  "We need the Indian government to be transparent about this matter of global significance. If the US coerced India into voting against Iran, it brings into question the entire legitimacy of the decision by the Governors' Board of the IAEA to refer Iran to the Security Council and the consequent passing of Resolutions 1696 and 1737 and any future resolutions against Iran the UN might pass. It also raises the question, “how many other members of he Governors'  Board of the IAEA were coerced by the US to politicise Iran's nuclear file, refer it to the UN Security Council and bring about first resolution 1696 and then resolution 1737?”. As in the run-up top the invasion of Iraq, UN resolutions are being used to give a veneer of legitimacy and provide a pretext for an illegal US pre-emptive strike against Iran. In Iraq, the invasion was ordered “in support of UN authority”. The same justification is likely to be used by the Bush administration for strikes on Iran. We are demanding an immediate high level investigation to the use of coercion by the US and its allies within the IAEA."

  8. Evidence of US coercion of IAEA members against Iran revealed. CASMII  Press Release - (25  February 2007)   + 'India coerced into voting against Iran' THE TIMES OF INDIA(17  February 2007) + India's anti-Iran votes were coerced, says former U.S. official  +  Rademaker is not a U.S. official' The Hindu : National (17  February 2007) 

  9. Stop bullying Iran. By Hossein Derakhshan. (23 February  2007) "It's the ultimate hypocrisy of the west to punish Iran for a law Iran has not broken. When no one has found the tiniest evidence of Iran producing nuclear weapons - which is the whole purpose of the non-proliferation treaty that it has signed - what kind of international law justifies the UN security council's sanctions on Iran? Since when has international law become able to measure the intentions of countries and react to them, if they say Iran intends to produce nuclear weapons? And how come the same UN security council turns a blind eye to Israel, India, and Pakistan - who everyone knew had long the same intention? They have never signed the non-proliferation treaty, yet their defiance has been and is still rewarded.The more the clash between the west and Iran escalates, the more convinced I become that the west's real problem with the Islamic Republic of Iran is not its nuclear activities, its level of democracy, its human rights record, or its support for "terrorist" groups. Pakistan, followed closely by Saudi Arabia, easily beats Iran on all these fronts. The real problem is that the Islamic Republic has decided to be independent in a region saturated with fossil energy resources, and at the same time run by American puppets. Iran has posed the biggest continuous challenge to the American hegemony in the whole world, and so it has to pay a price..."  MORE >>

  10. U.S. Strike Might Not Destroy Iran Nuke Sites. By Kristin Roberts, Reuters. (23 February  2007) "Any U.S. attack against Iran could involve thousands of sorties and missile launches lasting weeks, but it still would not eliminate the country's nuclear program, U.S. military officials and analysts say."

  11.  US intelligence on Iran does not stand up, say Vienna sources. Guardian | By Julian Borger. (23 February  2007)

  12. Iran defiant, but moving slowly on nukes. By Eric Hundman -  Foreign Policy blog here. (23 February  2007) 

  13. Glimmers of Hope in Iran Report? By Eric Hundman’s blog post for “The Danger Zone” in WIRED here. (23 February  2007)

  14.  Report on Iran Safeguards Sent to IAEA Board, Security Council. (22 February  2007) "IAEA Director General Mohamed ElBaradei has circulated his latest report to the upcoming meeting of the IAEA Board of Governors on the Implementation of the NPT Safeguards Agreement and Relevant Provisions of Security Council Resolution 1737 (2006) in the Islamic Republic of Iran. The report - submitted in parallel to the UN Security Council - covers developments since Dr. ElBaradei´s report of 14 November 2006. The 35-member Board will consider the report at its next meetings beginning in Vienna 5 March. The report´s circulation is restricted and unless the IAEA Board decides otherwise it cannot be released to the public. The report is in addition to the one on Iran and IAEA cooperation that the Director General circulated to the Board on 9 February in light of UN Security Council Resolution 1737 adopted 23 December 2006."                                                         See also  Statements of the IAEA Director General

  15.  IAEA report on Iran’s nuclear capabilities - GOV/2007/8 (22 February  2007) 

  16. What is behind Russia's delay of Iran's nuclear reactor? By Peter Symonds (22 February  2007)

  17. Blix Blasts Bush’s Policy in Iran - The former U.N. weapons inspector thinks the government is playing with fire. By Niall Stanage - New York Observer (22 February  2007)

  18. "Theater Iran Near Term" (TIRANNT). By Michel Chossudovsky (21 February  2007)

  19. UN nuclear watchdog calls Trident hypocritical. By David Blair (Daily Telegraph) (21 February  2007).  "In a lecture at the London School of Economics, Mr ElBaradei condemned the "unfairness" of a world in which nine countries seek to maintain their monopoly of nuclear weapons. "How do they expect this system of haves and have nots to be sustainable? How do I go to country X and say 'you should keep your obligation not to develop nuclear weapons', when the big powers are making no progress towards their obligations for disarmament?"

  20. Sen. Sanders Introduces Iran Resolution: (21 February  2007) "On February 15, 2007, Senator Bernie Sanders introduced S.Con.Res. 13 to prevent expansion of the war into Iran. According to a press release from the Senator's office: "Now there are reports that the President may be considering expanding this tragic war into Iran. The President has no constitutional authority to make war on Iran without Congressional approval, nor has he historical precedent. I offer today a resolution "expressing the sense of Congress that the President should not initiate military action against Iran without first obtaining authorization from Congress." The resolution sets forth the Constitutional grant of authority to Congress for declaring war and funding any war, it cites Federalist paper number 69 on the intention of the drafters of the Constitution, and it cites Presidents Washington and Jefferson on the power reserved to Congress to authorize war. "  Search Results - THOMAS (Library of Congress)

  21. "IRAN: OFFENER BRIEF AN DT. BUNDESKANZLERIN A.MERKEL" / "OPEN LETTER TO FEDERAL CHANCELLOR AND EU COUNCIL PRESIDENT, A.MERKEL" / Lettre ouverte à Madame la Chancelière fédérale et Présidente de l’Union européenne, A.Merkel (APPEAL: in Zeit-Fragen, Zürich).  

  22. US-Regierung ignorierte iranisches Verhandlungsangebot. Von Knut Mellenthin (20 February  2007) "Die US-Regierung hat im Mai 2003 einen umfassenden, weitgehenden Gesprächsvorschlag Irans ignoriert. Berichte über Teile dieses Vorgangs gab es schon länger. Nun wurden in der vergangenen Woche weitere Fakten bekannt, die das Bild vervollständigen. Unklar ist nach wie vor, welche amerikanischen Politiker damals das iranische Angebot gesehen und über seine Nichtbeachtung entschieden haben. Erstmals veröffentlichte die Washington Post jetzt ein zweiseitiges Memorandum des Schweizer Botschafters in Teheran, Tim Guldimann, der von den Iranern als Vermittler eingeschaltet worden war." 

  23. Fabricating the case against Iran. By Larry Chin. (20 February  2007)

  24. US 'Iran attack plans' revealed. BBC NEWS | Middle East | (20 February  2007) "US contingency plans for air strikes on Iran extend beyond nuclear sites and include most of the country's military infrastructure, the BBC has learned. It is understood that any such attack - if ordered - would target Iranian air bases, naval bases, missile facilities and command-and-control centres."

  25. American preparations for invading Iran are complete. By Dan Plesch - New Statesman (19 February  2007)  "American military operations for a major conventional war with Iran could be implemented any day. They extend far beyond targeting suspect WMD facilities and will enable President Bush to destroy Iran's military, political and economic infrastructure overnight using conventional weapons. British military sources told the New Statesman, on condition of anonymity, that "the US military switched its whole focus to Iran" as soon as Saddam Hussein was kicked out of Baghdad. It continued this strategy, even though it had American infantry bogged down in fighting the insurgency in Iraq. The US army, navy, air force and marines have all prepared battle plans and spent four years building bases and training for "Operation Iranian Freedom". Admiral Fallon, the new head of US Central Command, has inherited computerised plans under the name TIRANNT (Theatre Iran Near Term). The Bush administration has made much of sending a second aircraft carrier to the Gulf. But it is a tiny part of the preparations. Post 9/11, the US navy can put six carriers into battle at a month's notice. Two carriers in the region, the USS John C Stennis and the USS Dwight D Eisenhower, could quickly be joined by three more now at sea: USS Ronald Reagan, USS Harry S Truman and USS Theodore Roosevelt, as well as by USS Nimitz. Each carrier force includes hundreds of cruise missiles..." MORE >>

  26.  FT Interview 190207 - Transcript of the Director General´s Interview on Iran and DPRK (19 February  2007)

  27. Iran bars Greenpeace ship from entering waters. (18 February  2007)

  28. Is the Bush administration behind the bombings in Iran? By Peter Symonds (17 February  2007) 

  29. U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders  Says No to Expanding War into Iran -- 02/15/2007

  30.  Former Deputy Director of IAEA Denies Iranian Nuclear Weapons Program (14 February  2007)

  31. Iran And The U.S. What Is At Stake - Video Broadcast 02/13/07 "Charlie Rose talks with David Sanger of The New York Times, Michael Hirsh of Newsweek, and Ray Takeyh of the Council on Foreign Relations on Iran and the United States. Javad Zarif, Iran's ambassador to the United Nations."

  32. Want to ease tensions with Iran? Just try talking - A little known fact is that in 2003, the Iranians discussed a secret 'Grand Bargain' (13 February 2007). By Gabrielle Rifkind:- The Independent - 
    "The evidence put out over the weekend by American military officials in Baghdad - that Iran is supplying Shia extremists groups in Iraq with deadly weapons - has ratcheted up tensions. But as the US continues the biggest naval build-up in the Gulf since the Iraq war, have all the diplomatic options been fully explored? "Creative diplomacy and leadership" was called for last week by the Atomic Energy Agency chief, Mohamed ElBaradei. He emphasised the dangers of an uncontrolled chain reaction if confrontation with Iran made the Middle East more militant and angry. He called for a three-month time-out period that allowed for a comprehensive settlement covering not just covering nuclear issues but security and trade, which have polarised issues between Iran and the United States for 25 years. The current crisis could present new opportunities as the political landscape in Iran is changing. There are increasing signs that President Ahmadinejad may have suffered a near fatal blow. In an unprecedented criticism of his bellicose foreign policy rhetoric, and his poor record on promised reforms at home, 150 members of the Iranian Majlis (parliament) signed a letter blaming him for raging inflation, soaring food prices, high unemployment and failure to deliver a budget on time. Pragmatists in Iran claim that Ahmadinejad's provocative rhetoric in which he declared "Iran would not suspend uranium enrichment even for one day" runs the risk of torpedoing any chance of better relations with the West. His declining position coincides with a crushing defeat in December's local elections, when his allies won only a fifth of the seats for the Tehran City Council. The results suggest a move away from dogmatic conservatism and a growth of support for his presidential rival, Mohammed Baqer Qalibaf, the mayor of Tehran, who is known for more pragmatic policies. Even if this does not happen, the changing mood inside the country and the external pressures from the UN Security Council may have encouraged those in charge of foreign policy to challenge Ahmadinejad. Under Iran's complex constitutional set-up, President Ahmadinejad is responsible only for domestic policy, not for Iran's external relations. Foreign policy is made by the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei under the guidance of the National Security Council. A military strike from outside, either from the US or from Israel, would derail these developments and would be welcomed by the regime hard-liners. During a recent visit to Tehran, I spoke to hardliners and moderates. Many felt that the consequences of outside intervention would lead the Revolutionary Guard to declare a state of emergency, marginalising moderate influence for the next decade. This would escalate Iran's thrust to become a nuclear-weapon state. A surge of nationalistic fever could secure Ahmadinejad's position. A little-known fact is that in 2003 the Iranian government, under the then-president Mohammad Khatami, discussed a secret "Grand Bargain" with Swiss interlocutors at the time of the fall of Saddam Hussein. In return for US security guarantees of non-interference in the regime, the end of sanctions and the opening of the possibility of joining the World Trade Organisation, Iran offered support for a two-state solution for Israel and Palestine in which it said it would accept the 2002 "Beirut Declaration", in which the Arab League endorsed this objective. It also offered to give up supporting terrorist groups. What then is the scope, four years later, to revitalise such an initiative, and could the changing mood in Tehran offer new opportunities? There is much suspicion and mistrust about the intentions of the Iranian and US governments. Tehran insists that the US policy is aimed at regime change, and the US charges Iran with attempting to sabotage its attempts to stabilise the Middle East. Mutual security agendas need to be addressed. Can the gradual drum beat towards war against Iran be averted? Is it possible to mitigate Iran's nuclear threat by offering a deal that addresses the security concerns of all the parties engaged in this conflict? ElBaradei's call for "a three-month time-out period" could address much deeper questions and anxieties about Iran's place in the region, the future of the regime and relationships with the West and Israel. Could the changing mood in Tehran open up more possibilities to pursue this agenda?  Gabrielle Rifkind is a specialist in conflict resolution. She co-authored 'Making Terrorism History'

  33. Israel ready 'to confront Iran alone'. Agence France-Presse " (13 February  2007)  "ISRAEL alone will have to confront the perceived nuclear threat from arch enemy Iran, the country's ultra-rightwing Strategic Affairs Minister Avigdor Lieberman said today. "We will have to face the Iranians alone, because Israel cannot remain with its arms folded, waiting patiently for Iran to develop non-conventional weapons," he told public radio when asked about a possible Israeli attack on Iranian nuclear installations. He criticised an EU report leaked to the Financial Times that said with Iran unlikely to negotiate seriously on its nuclear programme, the international community can do little to prevent Tehran from developing an atomic bomb." MORE >>

  34. Ali Larijani on Iran’s nuclear program. (12 February 2007) "Ali Larijani, Secretary of the High Exclusive Council for National Security, Islamic Republic of Iran, on his country’s nuclear program and relations with the West - an exclusive WSN TV interview."(Persian  with English translation)

  35. Ali Laridschani - Speech at the 43rd Munich Conference on Security Policy. (The speech was held in Persian. English translation ) (11.02.2007)  

  36. Wladimir Putins Rede auf der Münchner Sicherheitskonferenz (Deutsche Übersetzung) (10.02.2007)

  37. Putin, Wladimir W., Speech at the 43rd Munich Conference on Security Policy (The speech was held in Russian. English translation) (02/10/2007)

  38. Tzipi  Livni - Speech at the 43rd Munich Conference on Security Policy (09.02.2007)

  39. Will They Nuke Iran? By Alexander Cockburn (10 February  2007)

  40. Target Iran: US able to strike in the spring. By Ewen MacAskill  Guardian Unlimited (10 February  2007) "Despite denials, Pentagon plans for possible attack on nuclear sites are well advanced"

  41. A Strike on Iran would signify the Beginning of an Epoch of Nuclear War By Dimitriy Sedov (10 February  2007)

  42. An "Existential" Conflict - Charging Iran with "Genocide" Before Nuking It. By Gerry Leup (8 February  2007)

  43. Iran's Intellectual Holocaust. By Jalil Bahar (6 February  2007)

  44. Iran: Ahmadi-Nejad's Tumultuous Presidency - International Crisis Group - Click for full report (6 February  2007) 

  45. Saudis act to counter Iran's influence in the Mideast. By Michael Slackman & Hassan M. Fattah. (5 February  2007

  46.  Military attack on Iran would have disastrous consequences warns new report from  Foreign Policy Centre.   Download "Time to Talk"  (1765 KB) Farsi translation of Executive Summary of "Time to Talk" (5 February  2007) 
    The report concludes that military action against Iran could:

  • Further jeopardise the prospects of peace taking root in the Middle East - Long standing Iranian links to Hamas in Gaza and the West Bank, Hezbollah in Lebanon and Shia groups in Iraq, along with the presence of significant minority Shia populations in Saudi Arabia, could lead to severe destabilisation throughout the Middle East.

  • Severely undermine hopes for stability in Iraq - Iran has several thousand intelligence agents operating in the Shia region of Iraq and has been accused of arming Shia insurgents. A decision to activate insurgent units could lead to a massive escalation in violence.

  • Bolster the position of hard-liners and set back chances of reform within Iran - Recent municipal elections suggest that the bellicose rhetoric of Ahmadinejad is beginning to lose appeal. Over the winter there have been fuel shortages and inflation continues to rise. Ahmadinejad's popularity is waning. Military strikes would unify Iranians, ignite greater nationalist feeling and undermine the growing prospects of an internal shift in power.

  • Push developing countries into greater poverty - If military action led to an increase in oil prices. For example, a $10 increase in oil price could drop the GDPs of Sub-Saharan African states by an average of 3% with serious implications for those already living in poverty.

  • Damage UK, US and European economies - if oil prices rose to $100 per barrel this could increase the risk of recession.

  • Threaten serious environmental contamination - Bombing could result in radioactive contamination, oil slicks and oil well fires that could take years to deal with.

  • Increase the terror threat to the UK by fuelling resentment and bolstering extremists.

  1. Iran: The War Begins. By John Pilger (5 February  2007) 

  2. Iranian nuclear scientist ‘assassinated by Mossad’. (4 February  2007) "A PRIZE-WINNING Iranian nuclear scientist has died in mysterious circumstances, according to Radio Farda, which is funded by the US State Department and broadcasts to Iran. An intelligence source suggested that Ardeshire Hassanpour, 44, a nuclear physicist, had been assassinated by Mossad, the Israeli security service. Hassanpour worked at a plant in Isfahan where uranium hexafluoride gas is produced. The gas is needed to enrich uranium in another plant at Natanz which has become the focus of concerns that Iran may be developing nuclear weapons. According to Radio Farda, Iranian reports of Hassanpour’s death emerged on January 21 after a delay of six days, giving the cause as “gas poisoning”. The Iranian reports did not say how or where Hassanpour was poisoned but his death was said to have been announced at a conference on nuclear safety..." (See also Haaretz - U.S. website: Mossad killed Iranian nuclear physicist. By Yossi Melman, Haaretz Correspondent)

  3. Iran to open nuclear facilities to Western diplomats, challenges their countries to do same | Source: AP (4 February  2007) 

  4. Why is the US press silent on Brzezinski's warnings of war against Iran? By Barry Grey (3 Febr. 2007)  

  5. The American hostility towards Iran - BBC NEWS | Americas | By Paul Reynolds. (1 February  2007)

  6. Chirac Strays From Assailing a Nuclear Iran - New York Times. (1 February  2007)                                               

  7. (See also:  Chirac’s First Interview on Iran + Chirac’s Second Interview on Iran - New York Times) (1 February  2007) 

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January 2007

  1. The Future of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Janet Bloomfield. Oxford Research Group, January 2007 (pdf file here)

  2. Iranian-Americans Join Anti-War Protests. By Daniel M Pourkesali (CASMII) (27 January  2007)

  3. Hegemony and Appeasement: Setting Up the Next U.S.-Israeli Target (Iran) For Another "Supreme International Crime".By Edward S. Herman and David Peterson (27 January  2007)

  4. Herzliya Conference: In a word: Iran.  By | Jerusalem Post (25 January  2007) "If this year's Herzliya Conference is any indication, the Israeli establishment, though reeling from one political scandal to another, has only one thing on its mind: Iran. Panel after panel declaimed, ad nauseum, the "existential threat" emanating from the "messianic totalitarian" government in Teheran. Cabinet ministers, IDF representatives, the usual cadre of former generals, policy analysts and even the handful of ex-Mossad officials discussed both openly and privately the nuclear threat, its geo-strategic and psychological implications and methods for its removal..."

  5. Congress Can Stop the Iran Attack, or Be Complicit in War Crimes - by Jorge Hirsch (20 January  2007)

  6.   GENERAL ASSEMBLY ADOPTS RESOLUTION CONDEMNING ANY DENIAL OF HOLOCAUST - GA/10569 (29 January 2007) "The General Assembly today adopted by consensus a resolution condemning, without reservation, any denial of the Holocaust, with the United States, among the text’s 103 sponsors, stressing that to deny the events of the Holocaust -- one of the most tragic moral catastrophes in history -- “was tantamount to approval of genocide in all its forms”."

  7. "WIPED OFF THE MAP" - The Rumor of the Century. " By by Arash Norouzi  (18 January 2007) "So what did Ahmadinejad actually say? To quote his exact words in farsi: "Imam ghoft een rezhim-e ishghalgar-e qods bayad az safheh-ye ruzgar mahv shavad."  That passage will mean nothing to most people, but one word might ring a bell: rezhim-e. It is the word "Regime", pronounced just like the English word with an extra "eh" sound at the end. Ahmadinejad did not refer to Israel the country or Israel the land mass, but the Israeli regime. This is a vastly significant distinction, as one cannot wipe a regime off the map. Ahmadinejad does not even refer to Israel by name, he instead uses the specific phrase "rezhim-e ishghalgar-e qods" (regime occupying Jerusalem).  So this raises the question.. what exactly did he want "wiped from the map"? The answer is: nothing. That's because the word "map" was never used. The Persian word for map, "nagsheh", is not contained anywhere in his original farsi quote, or, for that matter, anywhere in his entire speech. Nor was the western phrase "wipe out" ever said. Yet we are led to believe that Iran's President threatened to "wipe Israel off the map", despite never having uttered the words "map", "wipe out" or even "Israel." Here is the full transcript of the speech in farsi, archived on Ahmadinejad's web site

  8. Anti-Iran War Legislation Percolating - Iran Nuclear Watch - Atom (17 January  2007) - "Amidst heightened tensions that a US war on Iran may be imminent, on January 18, 2007, Rep. Walter Jones (R-NC) will hold a press conference to announce H.J.Res.14, a resolution he co-authored with Rep. Jack Murtha to demand that the president seek congressional authorization before initiating the use of force against Iran." Search Results - THOMAS (Library of Congress)

  9. ON THE HOLOCAUST CONFERENCE SPONSORED BY THE GOVERNMENT OF IRAN - By Gholam Reza Afkhami and over one hundred others. (15 January  2007) "We the undersigned Iranians,...Strongly condemn the Holocaust Conference sponsored by the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran in Tehran on December 11–12, 2006, and its attempt to falsify history; Pay homage to the memory of the millions of Jewish and non-Jewish victims of the Holocaust, and express our empathy for the survivors of this immense tragedy as well as all other victims of crimes against humanity across the world..."

  10. UN Security Council Escalates Nuclear Situation with Iran. By Michael Spies. (10 January  2007)

  11. Man who invented 'axis of evil' speaks out. By  Yitzhak Benhorin. (9 January  2007) "President Bush has two important White House speeches coming up this month, and preparations are in full force... David Frum has been there in the White House, and has written such speeches for Bush. He has left his mark on history with the unforgettable "axis of evil" speech on January 29, 2002, which he wrote. This was the speech in which Bush identified Iraq, Iran and North Korea as dangerous countries that deal with terrorism and are arming themselves with weapons of mass destruction. The 'axis of evil' speech was the key to understanding Bush's policy in the coming years, and paved the way to the war in Iraq... I think the Iranians must be made to see that the consequences of proceeding are very expensive… Iran is seeking to acquire certain weapons to tilt the strategic balance in its favor. But because Iran is so technologically primitive, and because its armory is Russia, it is not difficult for the nations of the West to ensure that each step the Iranians take to try to tilt the balance in their favor, in fact might make things worse by providing Israel with more accurate bombs and missiles..." .

  12. Atomübung gegen Iran.  By Knut Mellenthin. (7 January  2007)

  13. Psychologische Kriegsführung.   By Harald Neuber  (7 January  2007)

  14. Are We Still Going to Support Israel If They Use Nuclear Weapons? | The Huffington Post (7 January  2007) "Are there no bounds to hypocrisy? The Times is reporting that Israel is seriously considering using nuclear weapons against Iran so that Iran does not threaten the world with nuclear weapons. That would break all irony records..."

  15. Revealed: Israel plans nuclear strike on Iran - Sunday Times - Times Online. By  (7 Jan. 2007)  "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..."

  16. Focus: Mission Iran - World - Times Online. (7 January  2007) "Israel will not tolerate Iran going nuclear and military sources say it will use tactical strikes unless Iran abandons its programme. Is Israel bluffing or might it really push the button? Uzi Mahnaimi in New York and Sarah Baxter in Washington report."

  17. Think tank: Israel could attack Iran's nuclear program alone - Haaretz - By Amos Harel, Haaretz Correspondent and The Associated Press. (2 January  2007) "The Institute for National Strategic Studies at Tel Aviv University said in its annual report, released Tuesday, that Iran will possess nuclear weapons unless military action is taken against it, and Israel would be capable of carrying out such an attack."

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December 2006

  1. How to Lose an Army - Plow deep into Iraq and dare Iran to strike. By William S. Lind (director of the Center for Cultural Conservatism at the Free Congress Foundation in Washington, D.C.) Copyright © 2006 The American Conservative December 18, 2006 Issue.

  2. Iran to revise IAEA co-operation - BBC NEWS | "Iran's parliament has passed a bill which obliges the government to review its co-operation with the United Nation's nuclear agency, the IAEA...The bill, which also tells the government to "accelerate" Iran's controversial nuclear drive, was approved by an overwhelming parliamentary majority. Out of 203 deputies present, 161 voted in favour, 15 against and 15 abstained...The bill was then approved by the Guardian Council, a hardline constitutional watchdog which vets all parliamentary legislation." (27 December 2006) 

  3. Why did Russia and China vote to sanction Iran? By Prof. Dr. Jorge Hirsch - "In the aftermath of the Dec. 23 United Nations Security Council unanimous vote imposing sanctions or Iran for failing to suspend uranium enrichment (see text of resolution here), one has to wonder: why did Russia and China go along with it? Iran's pursuit of uranium enrichment for civilian nuclear purposes is allowed by the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, and the IAEA has found no indication that Iran has diverted any nuclear material to military purposes. While Russia may prefer for its own reasons that Iran not enrich uranium, it fully recognizes that Iran's pursuit is legal under international law. Furthermore, as Western news media constantly emphasize, Russia and China have extensive commercial ties with Iran, hence it is not in their interest to antagonize Iran. Their support of UNSC1737 doesn't seem to make sense." READ THE WHOLE COMMENT: BY Jorge Hirsch -  a Professor of Physics at the University of California at San Diego, a fellow of the American Physical Society, and organizer of a recent petition, circulated among leading physicists, opposing the new nuclear weapons policies adopted by the US in the past 5 years. He is a frequent commentator on Iran and nuclear weapons. Email to: (26 December 2006) 

  4.  UN atomic watchdog chief calls for talks to resolve Iranian nuclear issue (26 December 2006)                                IAEA Director General Dr. Muhamad  ElBaradei

  5. Iran may need nuclear power: study.  By Jim Wolf - (26 December 2006)

  6. "Wir brauchen Leute, die auspacken" Einst steckte der Pentagon-Mitarbeiter Daniel Ellsberg der Presse Geheimdossiers über den Vietnamkrieg zu – nun warnt er vor einem Waffengang in Iran - Interview in DIE ZEIT (25 December 2006) 

  7. An interview with Saeed Jalili, Iran's deputy foreign minister - The Boston Globe (25 December 2006) Saeed Jalili, Iran's deputy foreign minister for European and American affairs, spoke with the Boston Globe's James F. Smith about Iranian-US relations and other issues on Dec. 18. Here are excerpts:  "Our nation has had to face a 27-year-long embargo against this country. We are familiar not only with the sanctions, but other forms of pressures against our country. The most important was the imposed eight-year war by the Saddam Hussein regime. People acknowledge clearly that Iran today is much more powerful, much more capable, and much more developed. Those countries who put an embargo against Iran have merely put sanctions against themselves. They deprive themselves of the chance to get involved with Iran..."        

  8. Analysis: Sanctions on Iran - too little, too late for Israel's security... | Jerusalem Post (24 December 2006)  "The decision by the UN Security Council on Saturday to impose sanctions on Iran was met with caution within the defense establishment. There was certainly no excitement in the corridors. Israel has been pushing for sanctions for years and while they have finally been imposed, they are believed to be too little and too late. According to forecasts within the defense community, the sanctions, which order countries to ban the supply of specific materials and technology that could contribute to Iran's nuclear and missile programs, and freeze assets of key companies and individuals involved in those programs, will not stop the Islamic republic from continuing with its pursuit for nuclear power."

  9. Nuclear stand-offs set to continue in 2007 - BBC NEWS (24 December 2006)

  10.  Director General Response to Security Council Resolution on Iran - IAEA Press Release  (23 December 2006)

  11. SECURITY COUNCIL IMPOSES SANCTIONS ON IRAN FOR FAILURE TO HALT URANIUM ENRICHMENT, UNANIMOUSLY ADOPTING RESOLUTION 1737 (2006) - 23 December 2006 " Determined to give effect to its unmet 31 July demand that Iran suspend all uranium enrichment-related and reprocessing activities, the Security Council today imposed sanctions on that country, blocking the import or export of sensitive nuclear materiel and equipment and freezing the financial assets of persons or entities supporting its proliferation sensitive nuclear activities or the development of nuclear-weapon delivery systems.  Unanimously adopting resolution 1737 (2006) under Article 41 of the Charter’s Chapter VII, the Council decided that Iran should, without further delay, suspend the following proliferation sensitive nuclear activities:  all enrichment-related and reprocessing activities, including research and development; and work on all heavy-water related projects, including the construction of a research reactor moderated by heavy water.  The halt to those activities would be verified by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)... The Council requested a report within 60 days from the Director General of IAEA on whether Iran had established full and sustained suspension of all activities mentioned in the resolution, as well as on the process of Iranian compliance with all steps required by the IAEA Board, to the Board of Governors and the Council for its consideration.  The Council affirmed that it would review Iran’s actions in light of that report and suspend implementation of measures, if and for so long as Iran suspended all enrichment-related and reprocessing activities..."  " Iran’s representative told the Council that it was a sad day for the non-proliferation regime.  The Council was imposing sanctions on a member of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, which, unlike Israel, had never attacked or threatened to use force against any United Nations member.  Also unlike Israel, Iran had categorically rejected development, stockpiling and use of nuclear weapons on ideological and strategic grounds, and it was prepared to provide guarantees that it would never withdraw from the Non-Proliferation Treaty.  It had placed all its nuclear facilities under IAEA safeguards, had fully implemented the Additional Protocol for more than two years, and had stated its readiness to resume its implementation.  Iran had also allowed more than 2,000 “person days of IAEA scrutiny” of all of its related -- and even unrelated -- facilities, resulting in reported statements by the Agency on the absence of any evidence of diversion. He said that bringing Iran’s peaceful nuclear programme to the Council by a few permanent members, particularly the United States, was not aimed at a solution, but at compelling Iran to abandon its rights under the NPT to peaceful nuclear technology.  Suspension was not a solution, but a temporary stop-gap measure to allow time to find a real solution.  Moreover, such a suspension had been in place for two years, as verified by IAEA.  He was here today because his country had not accepted that “unlawful demand”.  At the same time, his country was prepared to go to any length to allay the so-called proliferation concerns.   Iran was told it needed to build confidence, but confidence could only be built through respect for and non-discriminatory application of international law and international treaties.  Such treaties could not be the subject of self-serving reinterpretations, even if imposed through resolutions." UN SCl Resolution 1737 (2006) + UN SC Meeting Record for Resolution 1737  + Lawyers' Committee on Nuclear Policy (Analysis of the Resolution)

  12. "Die USA haben einen Flächenbrand gelegt"- Bahman Nirumand über Iran, den Nahen und Mittleren Osten (21 Dezember 2006)

  13. What lies beneath the rhetoric. By Gabrielle Rifkind* - (19.12.2006) - Haaretz 
    "A strange carnival of Holocaust-deniers, including ultra-Orthodox rabbis in long black coats, white supremacists and members of the Ku Klux Klan went almost unnoticed in the streets of Tehran this week. Internationally, the recent Holocaust-denial meeting has created a justifiable outrage. The meeting, organized by the Iranian Foreign Ministry's Institute for Political and International Studies (IPIS) in Tehran, evokes fear and anger, not least because it touches on Israel's existential anxiety about her own survival. How should such provocation be understood and, as is widely assumed, does it reflect a more aggressive Iranian policy toward Israel, or does the extreme rhetoric of this meeting require deeper understanding, taking into account the context of Iranian politics? To try to understand what Iran's real relationship with Israel is, I recently spent a week in Iran speaking with the political elite. There is clearly a multiplicity of voices and anti-Israel rhetoric, not least the questioning of the Holocaust, which is disturbing to the West. It was explained to me as a recurring part of the Iranian political mindset that has existed since the Iranian revolution in 1979. It would, however, seem to be a trap to take it too literally. It is certainly clear that there is a tradition of sloganeering in modern Iranian politics, and part of this involves Holocaust-denial. This rhetoric needs to be unpacked. It cannot be understood fully through a European lens. An Iranian analyst explained to me how things were viewed in Iran: "The Holocaust, and the anti-Semitism which led to it, is viewed in Iran as a specific Western event leading out of the centuries of Western Christian mistreatment of Jews - it is logical for Iranians that the Holocaust become the subject of review." In the West, this discussion is perceived as Holocaust denial. Europeans, he said, "now carry a deep scar and revulsion at their own behavior and a deep fear of any repetition. Iranians carry no such history." The Muslim religion prides itself on being respectful to both Jews and Christians. Nevertheless, Jews at different times have been mistreated in the Middle East. But this is not to say that the rampant anti-Semitism, which has characterized European history for centuries finds its equivalent in the Muslim world. Jews have a long history of uninterrupted presence in Iran dating back to the 8th century B.C.E. Iran still has the largest Jewish population in the Middle East outside of Israel; the synagogue in Tehran claims a membership of 25,000. According to the Iranian constitution, there must be Jewish members of parliament. Today Maurice Motamed sits in the Iranian parliament as a Jewish MP. This conference has indeed upset the 25,000 strong Jewish community, and Motamed said, "by holding this conference, they are continuing to insult the Jewish community." Iran has engaged in Israel-bashing for the past 25 years, including anti-American and anti-Israel slogans. Some Israeli analysts interpret these words as meant for Iran's domestic consumption, a kind of street politics for shoring up Ahmadinejad's power, frustrated by his inability to wrestle control away from Iran's theocratic power elites. Much of the rhetoric could be seen in the context of cementing domestic political allegiance to the current regime, and not for foreign consumption. Therefore, to take the language literally could be to risk escalating the crisis. A more sanguine response would be to understand the chasm between rhetoric and official policy. President Ahmadinejad does not decide Iran's nuclear policy or foreign policy. His power is over economic and social issues. Foreign policy decisions are in the hands of Ayatollah Ali Khameni and the National Security Council. Iran's official policy toward Israel is that whatever Israel and the Palestinians democratically agree on is acceptable to Iran. Political Islamists have made a number of statements recently, to the effect that they wish to have contact with Jews. What they oppose is Israel's policy of occupation of the Palestinian territories. Almost immediately after the furor over the Iranian president's outburst last year, the Iranian minister of foreign affairs, Manouchehr Mottaki, issued a press statement reiterating Iran's official position, first enunciated by former president Rafsanjani 13 years earlier, that Iran respects the sovereignty of all United Nations countries and would not wage war against any UN member. Iran has funded, supported and armed Hezbollah in its war with Israel, but this can be analyzed in part as a proxy war with the U.S. to create a balance of power in negotiations. To the Iranian psyche, Iran is a victim of other people's political exploitations, and its prime motivation is to garner respect and be seen as an equal player. From a wider perspective and in the longer term, there are no profound reasons for hostility between Iran and Israel. Iran has never been invaded, threatened, nor has her population been expelled by the Israelis. The Iranians' real quarrel is with successive U.S. administrations over the last 27 years. Israel is used as a pawn, because of its very close relationship with the U.S.. The great void in the Iranian-American-Israel relationships is one of the most dangerous anomalies in international relations at present. Distorted megaphone diplomacy has done a great deal of damage, and what is currently needed is a conversation of equals behind closed doors to shift the current dangerous rhetoric to communication. Ultimately, there is much to talk about. Little known is the fact that in 2003 Iran offered a "grand bargain" to the U.S. In exchange for supporting a two-state solution for Israel and Palestine, in which it would accept the "Beirut Declaration," the Iranian government wanted full diplomatic recognition from the U.S. and suspension of sanctions. The real question now is whether negotiations could be revitalized."  (*Gabrielle Rifkind is Human Security Consultant to Oxford Research Group and a specialist in conflict resolution. She also co-authored "Making Terrorism History.")

  14. True Muslims Must Never Deny the European Holocaust - By Ibrahim Ramey  (15 December 2006)

  15. Iran: Die Konferenz der Leugner "Der einzige jüdische Abgeordnete im iranischen Parlament, Morris Motamed kritisierte die Veranstaltung. Die Holocaust-Konferenz erzeuge Druck gegen die Juden "überall auf der Welt". Mit dieser Wendung umging Motamed die Frage, ob Juden im Iran aufgrund der Konferenz Diskriminierung befürchten. " Von JAN KEETMAN & THOMAS SEIFERT (Die Presse) (12.12.2006)

  16. New Nuclear Programs in the Middle East: What do they mean?  Emily B. Landau 11. December 2006)

  17. From Khomeini to_Ahmadinejad. By Matthias Küntzel December 2006 issue of Policy Review
  18. Ahmadinejad leugnet Existenzrecht Israels - (9. December 2006)

  19. Israel angry over German loans to Iran | Jerusalem Post (10. December 2006)

  20. The Democrats & Iran. Foreign Policy In Focus By Conn Hallinan  (9. December 2006)

  21. Time for UN to sanction Iran | Jerusalem Post. By YAAKOV KATZ AND JPOST STAFF (9. December 2006)

  22. See TALKS. "In its report released last week, the Iraq Study Group strongly urged the Bush administration to negotiate with Syria and Iran as a way of resolving the crisis in Iraq. The commission headed by James A. Baker III and Lee Hamilton urged an immediate diplomatic offensive, the organization of a regional conference and the inclusion of Tehran and Damascus in these efforts. But can George W. Bush swallow his pride and reach out to what is left of the axis of evil? And even if he did, would Syria and Iran see any advantage to such a new relationship with Washington?"  BY Juan Cole (10. December 2006)
  23. Iraq Study Group Report: Full Text | Appendices | Excerpts - The 10-member Iraq Study Group, led by former secretary of state James A. Baker III and former congressman Lee H. Hamilton (D-Ind.), released its report on Dec. 6, 2006, recommending "new and enhanced diplomatic and political efforts ... and a change in the primary mission of U.S. forces."

  24. US diplomat calls for Iran action. "A senior US diplomat has hit out at Iran and called on members of the UN Security Council to agree on economic sanctions against Tehran. At a summit in Brussels, Nicholas Burns called Iran "the major disruptive, negative force in the Middle East" By BBC News (5. December 2006)

  25. Iran and the Violation of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty. "Iran, an op-ed in the The New York Times reported yesterday, began operation of a group of uranium enrichment centrifuges, thus violating a legally binding demand by the United Nations Security Council that Iran suspend such activities until the international community is confident that the country’s nuclear program “is for exclusively peaceful purposes.” Iran’s response was that a suspension would abrogate its rights under the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty – even though under international law, it has temporarily surrendered these rights by violating the obligations that condition them." By Jeremy R. Hammond Znet (4 December 2006)

  26. Israel creates new ministry to deal with Iran threat - The Israeli government has approved the creation of a new ministry for strategic affairs, to be headed by a controversial ultra-nationalist and deal mainly with Iran's nuclear ambitions...The ministry will be responsible "for coordination between the different bodies regarding the different strategic threats Israel is facing," most notably Iran's nuclear programme, which the Jewish state and the United States believe is aimed at acquiring a nuclear bomb, despite Tehran's denials. (3 December 2006)

  27. 'Iran’s nuclear progress: the reality'- July 2006 briefing by CND (Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament) (4 Dec. 2006)

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March -  November 2006

  1. Text of Iran president’s letter to the U.S. (pdf Version here: (29 November 2006)

  2. Iran leader appeals to US people. By BBC "Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has made an unprecedented and direct appeal to the US people, urging them to reject US foreign policy...." (29 November 2006)
  3. Robert Skidelsky: A peace deal for the whole of the Middle East - There is a balance of power there for the first time since the end of the Ottoman Empire. "...It is increasingly accepted that the American-British-Israeli policy of reshaping the Middle East by military force has failed. The Americans have lacked the strength and the will to subdue Iraq (much less create a democracy there); the Israelis have failed to destroy Hizbollah in the Lebanon (or indeed quell the Palestinian insurgency); the US has failed to stop Iran's nuclear weapons programme..." (24 November 2006)

  4. THE NEXT ACT - Is a damaged Administration less likely to attack Iran, or more? by SEYMOUR M. HERSH (19.Nov. 2006)

  5. CIA analysis finds no Iranian nuclear weapons drive: report - (18.Nov. 2006)

  6. Official says U.S. may mull pre-emptive Iran strike. By Adrian Croft (15.Nov. 2006)

  7. Blair Urges Strategy Change in Mideast, Spotlighting Iran. New York Times. By ALAN COWELL (14.Nov. 2006)

  8. Russia Suggests Extensive Corrections to Draft UN Resolution on Iran - Diplomat - MOSNEWS.COM (14.November 2006)

  9. IAEA Inspectors Due in Iran - Fars News Agency. (31.October 2006)

  10. In depth - WMD intercept exercise set to begin in the Gulf. By Guy Dinmore in Washington, Roula Khalaf in London and  Najmeh Bozorgmehr in Tehran. Financial Times. (29.October 2006)
  11. The push for military strikes against Iran rests on inflated assessments of a minor threat. By Gregory Cochran (23. Oct. 2006)

  12. The Next War. By Daniel Ellsberg (October 2006)  

  13. Target Iran. This is a must listen: Scott Ritter talked about his book Target Iran: The Truth About the White House's Plans for Regime Change, published by Nation Books. He was joined by Seymour Hersh. New York Society for Ethical Culture. (16.October 2006)
  14. In Iran, Two Power Centers Vie Amid Standoff Over Nuclear Fuel. Wall Street Journal. By Bill Spindle (13 October 2006)

  15. US General: Strikes on Iran possible by 2007. By Yitzhak Benhorin.  (10 October 2006)

  16. Israel's Plan for a Military Strike on Iran. By Jonathan Cook. (10 October 2006)

  17. War on Iran will lead to World War III as US Neo-Cons readily admit. Text of a speech by Professor Pirouz Mojtahed-Zadeh at a conference on “Iran and US War Drive in the Middle East” Organized by CASMII and Action Iran in SOAS, University of London, (25 September 2006)

  18. "Cold War Shivers": War Preparations in the Middle East and Central Asia. By Michel Chossudovsky (October 6, 2006)
  19. What Would War Look Like? Time Magazine (25 September 2006)

  20. IAEA:  Iran Nuclear Report 'Outrageous' - U.N. Blasts House Committee Claims On Tehran's Weapon-Making Capability (14. September 2006)                                                                                          

  21.  IAEA  Iran Report. GOV/2006/53. The IAEA Board derestricted the latest report on the implementation of safeguards in Iran submitted by IAEA Director General Mohamed ElBaradei.(14. September 2006)     

  22.  SECURITY COUNCIL DEMANDS IRAN SUSPEND URANIUM ENRICHMENT BY 31 AUGUST, OR FACE POSSIBLE ECONOMIC, DIPLOMATIC SANCTIONS - The Security Council, seriously concerned that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) was still unable to provide assurances about Iran´s undeclared nuclear material and activities after more than three years, today demanded that Iran suspend all enrichment-related and reprocessing activities, including research and development, and gave it one month to do so or face the possibility of economic and diplomatic sanctions to give effect to its decision. Security Council Resolution 1696 (2006). (31 July 2006) + Commentary on Security Council Resolution 1696 on Iran. By Michael Spies and John Burroughs

  23. IAEA Report on Iran - GOV/2006/27 (28. April 2006 ) + Q&A: Iran's nuclear programme | Special reports | Guardian Unlimited: "... What is wrong with enrichment? The problem as far as the US and EU are concerned - and increasingly, Russia and China - is that if Iran can master enrichment to fuel grade, it can also master enrichment to weapons grade. There is a difference in strength between fuel- and weapons-grade uranium (Mr Ahmadinejad boasted of a 3.5% level of enrichment, a bomb or warhead needs around 90%) but the processes would be the same - provided Iran can get its hands on significantly more centrifuges than the 164 it now claims to have in operation. Its main plant has space for 54,000..."

  24. Folgen eines Krieges gegen den Iran - Iran: Consequences of a War  - Oxford Research Group - Paul Rogers (March 2006) (PDF file)

  25. Die Kriegstrommeln werden lauter. Von Georg Schöfbänker (13. Mai 2006)

  26. Die Nichtverbreitung von Atomwaffen wird unterlaufen. Von Harald Neuber - Telepolis (3 März 2006) "Das zivile Atomabkommen zwischen Indien und den USA könnte weitreichende Konsequenzen haben. Mit der Zusage einer engen atomaren Zusammenarbeit hat US-Präsident George W. Bush bei seinem ersten Indien-Besuch die Politik der Annäherung zu Neu Delhi fortgeführt und Indien mit der strategischen Partnerschaft faktisch als Atommacht anerkannt. "Unsere Beziehungen ändern sich grundlegend", sagte Bush am Donnerstag nach einem Gespräch mit Regierungschef Manmohan Singh in der indischen Hauptstadt. Singh sprach nach den Gesprächen mit seinem US-Amtskollegen von einem "historischen Tag". Mehr als drei Jahrzehnte nach Indiens erstem Atomwaffentest will Bush den US-Boykott des zivilen indischen Atomprogramms aufgeben. Im Gegenzug soll Neu Delhi künftig Kontrollen einiger Atomanlagen durch die Internationale Atomenergiebehörde (IAEA) ermöglichen."

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ARTICLES 2005 - February 2006 HERE

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