IRAN: April 24, 2012
Iranian oil ministry hit by cyber-attack
Iran’s main oil export terminal is cut off from internet after apparent attack on website and communications systems.
Iran Sanctions Help Tanker Operator
Iranian oil stored at sea is building up due to international sanctions, but the measures are also proving a boon to the country’s homegrown tanker operator, officials in Tehran said Tuesday, underscoring the mixed effect of mounting pressure on Iran.
Facing Cyberattack, Iranian Officials Disconnect Some Oil Terminals From Internet
Iran disconnected several of its main Persian Gulf oil terminals from the Internet on Monday, local news media reported, as technicians were struggling to contain what they said were intensifying cyberattacks on the Oil Ministry and its affiliates.
Obama levies new tech sanctions on Syria, Iran
Under pressure to stop the Syrian government’s deadly crackdown, President Barack Obama on Monday levied new sanctions on people and entities in Syria and Iran that use technology to target their citizens and perpetrate human rights abuses.
Official: Iran oil industry safe after cyberattack
An Iranian official says the country’s oil industry is working well despite an attack from hackers and a computer virus that targeted the sector’s computer systems.
Latest cyberattack on Iran targets oil export facilities
Computer servers at the government oil ministry and the National Iranian Oil Co. are the apparent target of a cyberattack via a data-deleting virus, Iranian officials have acknowledged. Previous attacks struck at Iran’s nuclear program.
Indian shipping firms to carry Iran crude despite reduced insurance
Indian shipping firms will continue to transport Iranian crude even if limited insurance coverage due to tightening Western sanctions leaves them financially exposed to a spill or accident, a top executive and industry sources said.
Iran Says It Foiled Cyberattack on Oil Production
The Iranian government claimed Monday that a massive cyberattack on the country’s oil industry had been foiled, though it did damage some computer motherboards and erase some data.
Panetta Scoffs at Iran Claim It Copied US Spy Drone
U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta scoffed at the Iranian government’s claim that it had recovered data from a downed U.S. spy drone and made a working copy of the spy craft.
Iran making overtures to China on access to US drone technology
While the Iranians claim they’ve reverse-engineered the American drone that went down last year inside its borders, Fox News has learned that Tehran is making overtures to the Chinese to potentially give them access to the sensitive drone technology.
American Professors Gather in Tehran for Occupy Wall Street Conference
An alarming news report from Iran’s Press TV, a propaganda arm of the Iranian government, showing American professors gathering in Tehran to discuss the Occupy Wall Street Movement.
Activist Describes Iran’s Harsh Prison Conditions
A Kurdish human rights activist serving a 3.5-year jail sentence in Iran has provided a rare glimpse into what he says are harsh conditions inside the country’s detention facilities.
Iran recalls diplomat to be ‘dealt with’ over Brazil groping scandal
Iran announced on Tuesday it is investigating allegations made in Brazil that one of its diplomats fondled underage girls.
Iran oil minister warns of new sale cuts to Europe
Iran’s oil minister on Thursday raised the prospect of more cutoffs in oil sales to the European Union if the bloc failed to show some flexibility toward Iran ahead of a second round of nuclear talks next month.
British man gets $1M bail in Iran missile case
A judge granted a $1 million bail Monday for a British man who was extradited to Texas to face charges that he tried to sell missile parts to Iran.
Iran considers turning disputed Abu Moussa island into capital of new province
A draft law to be submitted to the Iranian parliament proposes the establishment of a new province with Abu Moussa, one of the three islands disputed with the UAE, as its capital, said a parliament source.
Syria Car Bomb Near Iranian Office Hurts 3
A car bombing near the Iranian cultural office in Syria’s capital, Damascus, wounded three Syrians, Iran’s state-run Press TV reported.
Don’t let nukes overshadow Iranian human rights: Ebadi
Iran’s nuclear ambitions should not prevent world leaders from pressing the Persian nation to respect human rights and open its government to democracy, Nobel Peace Prize winner and exiled Iranian activist Shirin Ebadi said Tuesday.
Iran to Start South Pars Oil Drilling by End of May, Shana Says
Iran’s Pars Oil & Gas Co. will start drilling the oil layer of the South Pars gas fields by the end of May, the Oil Ministry’s news website reported.
Iran to Boost Oil Output at Shared Hengam Field, Press TV Says
Iran will boost oil output to 30,000 barrels a day at the Hengam field that it shares with Oman after drilling a fourth well at the site, Press TV reported, citing Iranian Offshore Oil Co.’s managing director.
Iran Accuses Saudi Arabia Of Breaching OPEC Ceiling
Iran Thursday accused Saudi Arabia of breaching a collective OPEC agreement, reviving fears that the producer group’s fractious meeting last year could be repeated.
Defense Secretary Leon Panetta
"We always have a concern about in particular the [Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps] and [their] efforts … to expand their influence not only throughout the Middle East but into [South America] as well. That, in my book, that relates to expanding terrorism. And that’s one of the areas that I think all of us are concerned about."
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
"If Tehran and Baghdad are powerful, then there will be no place for the presence of enemies of nations in this region, including the U.S. and the Zionist regime."
Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati, secretary of the powerful Guardian Council
"They (western countries) are ready to accept that enrichment is Iran’s right. The West should lift sanctions against Iran but if they continue to insist on sanctions and then say they are negotiating with Iran, it is clear that this talks will be halted."
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
"So far they haven’t rolled back the Iranian program, or even stopped it by one iota. I can tell you the centrifuges are spinning. They were spinning before the talks began recently with Iran. They were spinning during the talks. They were spinning as we speak."
Iran’s cyber prowess: Could it really have cracked drone codes?
Iran claims it hacked into the data banks of a captured CIA stealth drone. US officials dismiss it as ‘bluster,’ but aviation and cyber experts say it’s possible.
Nah, Iran Probably Didn’t Hack CIA’s Stealth Drone
Four months after capturing a crashed U.S. stealth drone near the Iran-Afghanistan border, Tehran claims it has hacked into the ‘bot’s classified mission-control system. If true, it could mean Iran is making good on its vow to reverse-engineer the stealthy, Lockheed Martin-built RQ-170 Sentinel spy drone and produce homemade copies.
The Pentagon Is Taking The Fight With Iran Straight To South America
Iran’s sowing the seeds of influence in South America under the guise of new “embassies and cultural centers” it’s built over the past several years.
Iran nuclear talks: To keep global support, US must seize diplomatic opportunities
Talks between Iran and the P5+1 in Istanbul April 14 show that negotiations aimed at addressing Tehran’s nuclear ambitions appear to be on track. Diplomatic momentum should quell loose talk about the ‘military option.’ The top priority now must be to halt Iran’s uranium enrichment.
The Obama World Order
The president’s rhetoric has helped make change seem possible in Iran and the Middle East. Now comes the hard part.
Cyberattack on Iran’s oil ministry played down
A suspected cyberattack at Iran’s oil ministry did not destroy any sensitive data, government officials said on Monday, amid confusion about how serious the attack was and who was behind it.
The Mullahs’ Greatest Fear: Kim Kardashian
Karim Sadjapour explains what most frightens Iran’s mullahs, and no it is not an Israeli air strike. It’s the insidious Western message of sexual emancipation.
Unplug Companies That Help Iran and Syria Spy on Citizens
The evidence forms a high stack. U.S., European and other companies are selling technologies that enable the repressive Iranian and Syrian regimes to disrupt and monitor the Internet and track down government critics, as documented in media reports, notably by Bloomberg News.
India cannot wean itself off Iranian Oil overnight
India is dependent for its economic future not just on exports, but on imports, particularly oil. Like many nations, India depends on foreign-produced crude to sustain its impressive growth. And as has been widely reported, Iran has been a large supplier of oil to India.
UAE and Iran: Frenemies forever
The visit of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s to the disputed islands located between the UAE and Iran was met with a torrent of condemnation and denunciation by the Gulf States and several other Arab states. The UAE objected officially and recalled its ambassador in Tehran for consultations, whereas Gulf foreign ministers met in Doha yesterday to denounce the Iranian provocations. The question that must be raised today is: Why did President Ahmadinejad choose to visit the islands at this particular time? Did Iran really mean to provoke the UAE? Are there other motives at play?
Romney and Iran’s ‘route to the sea’
We’ve puzzled over this comment for a while. When the presumptive GOP nominee referred to Syria as Iran’s “route to the sea” during the Arizona GOP debate in February, we figured it was just a slip of the tongue.
How France’s Presidential Runoff Could Shape Iran Diplomacy
French President Nicolas Sarkozy may have once been caught in an unguarded moment telling President Barack Obama he couldn’t stand Benjamin Netanyahu and branding the Israeli leader “a liar,” but Netanyahu would nonetheless lose an important ally if Sarkozy is unable to reverse Sunday’s setback in his reelection bid. That’s because regardless of the personal chemistry between them, Netanyahu will be initimately aware that Sarkozy is widely regarded as the most Israel-friendly French president ever and is also Israel’s best bet among Western leaders for maintaining a hard line on Iran. Even if presidential frontrunner Francois Hollande is unlikely, if elected, to change France’s formal position on Iran, the Socialist Party candidate is also highly unlikely to reprise Sarkozy’s hyperactive and reliably hawkish hectoring of Washington and his European neighbors to escalate pressure on Iran—and to resist compromises with Tehran on the issue of uranium enrichment.
Iran Toughening on Arab Gulf States and Softening on Nuclear Negotiations
Iran’s leadership has purposely coupled the features of its deal on the nuclear issue with the five permanent Security Council member-states plus Germany with a blow to the six countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), punishing them for their stance on the Syrian issue and toughening Iran’s stance on them, as coinciding with potential concessions on the nuclear issue. Tehran realizes that it will not obtain the blessing of Western countries for the role it seeks to play at the regional level. The West might acknowledge Iran’s importance in the region, and some Western countries may provide guarantees of non-interference in Iran’s domestic affairs. But what Iran will not obtain is any recognition that the Islamic Republic of Iran holds an exceptional position in regional affairs.
For Israel, the Problem with Iran Diplomacy Is the Prospect of Nuclear Compromise
Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu amplified his skepticism of President Obama’s Iran strategy on Wednesday, when he used a Holocaust remembrance speech to warn that Iran was building nuclear weapons in order to destroy Israel. “The Iranian regime is acting openly and decisively toward our destruction, and it is acting feverishly to develop a nuclear weapon to achieve this goal,” Netanyahu said, two days after accusing the Administration and its partners of giving Iran a “freebie” in last weekend’s nuclear talks in Istanbul. The combination of those statements creates an impression that the Israelis see the current diplomacy with Iran as prevarication in the face of a mortal threat to Israel — a message calculated to raise the domestic political heat on President Obama.