IRAN: May 2, 2012
Iran Nuclear Power Plant Works at Near Full Capacity, IRNA Says
Iran’s first nuclear power plant was connected at almost full capacity to the national power grid on April 28, the Islamic Republic News Agency reported, citing Fereydoun Abbasi-Davani, who heads the Iranian Atomic Energy Organization.
A Tiny Island Is Where Iran Makes a Stand
For Iranians, whose country’s borders have shrunk in the past 200 years after wars and unfavorable deals by corrupt shahs, territorial issues are a delicate matter. So a renewed claim by the United Arab Emirates to the tiny island of Abu Musa in the Persian Gulf has touched a raw nerve.
Iran Denounces Florida Pastor Over Koran Burning
A Koran burning conducted by Terry Jones, the controversial pastor from Florida, has angered Iranian politicians, with one calling for Jones’s execution.
Netanyahu sees unity on Iran crumble
Israeli leaders have spent years calling for international unity to face down the threat posed by Iran’s nuclear programme. Now they are seeing this common front crumble in the one place they thought was safe: Israel itself.
Iran lawmaker: Fighters in UAE are US-Israeli plot
A prominent Iranian lawmaker says the reported basing of America’s most sophisticated stealth jet fighters in the United Arab Emirates is a U.S.-Israel plot to create regional instability.
US deploys F-22s to base near Iran
The U.S. military has deployed several F-22s, the nation’s most advanced fighter jets, to an allied base less than 200 miles from Iran.
Iran hopes for “successful” nuclear talks with U.N
An Iranian envoy voiced hope on Monday that talks with the U.N. nuclear watchdog in mid-May would help resolve “outstanding issues”, but he again ruled out any halt to the Islamic state’s controversial uranium enrichment program.
U.S. signals major shift on Iran nuclear program
The Obama administration might support letting Iran continue enriching uranium up to 5% purity if it agrees to other U.N. restrictions.
Security Experts Warn of Cyber Threats From Iran
A panel of experts warned lawmakers on Thursday about the looming threat of a cyber attack emanating from Iran, an increasingly isolated nation that has been linked to numerous attacks against the United States in recent years including a plot last year to assassinate the Saudi Arabian ambassador to the United States in Washington, D.C.
Iran’s nuclear talk agenda aims at easing Western sanctions
Iran has made no secret of its hopes for the next round of nuclear negotiations with world powers: Pledges by the West to ease sanctions as a step toward deal making by Tehran.
Israeli ministers: Election won’t affect Iran
Two top Israeli security officials said Wednesday that the prospect of early national elections will have no influence over a decision over whether to strike Iranian nuclear sites.
Iran’s Oil Output at Lowest Level in 20 Years
Iran’s oil output has reached its lowest level in 20 years, independent data showed Wednesday, as the impact of sanctions dramatically deepens.
Wary of Iran, Saudis seek progress on Gulf union
Wary of Iran and regional protest movements, Gulf Arab states are pushing ahead with plans for a political union that would involve joint foreign and defense policies, the Saudi foreign minister said in a speech at the weekend.
UANI Calls on IMF to Cease its Business with Iran’s Central Bank
On Tuesday, United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI) launched its IMF campaign, calling on the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to either close the accounts it holds with Iran’s sanctioned Central Bank, Bank Markazi, or suspend Iran’s membership in the IMF.
Iran undecided on nuclear bomb - Israel military chief
The head of the Israeli military has said he does not think Iran will develop nuclear weapons.
Uzbekistan, Belarus, Iran Among World’s Worst Media Censors
A leading journalism watchdog group has listed authorities in Uzbekistan, Belarus, and Iran as among the world’s leading media censors.
Oil report seen supporting Iran sanctions
Global oil inventories grew over the last two months despite the loss of further supplies from Iran, according to a U.S. report that gave leeway for the Obama administration to press ahead with sanctions on the OPEC nation.
Iran Cyber Attack Oil Industry Contained, Official Says
A cyber attack that targeted Iran’s crude industry and caused computer systems at the Oil Ministry and other related state-owned businesses to crash has been “fully contained,” a government official said.
Iran condemns Syria blast, blames external forces for ‘terrorist actions’
Iran on Saturday condemned a deadly suicide bombing in Damascus, claiming that such “terrorist actions” were the work of foreign governments that wanted to arm the Syrian opposition.
Obama tightens sanctions on Iran, Syria by punishing business partners
President Obama issued an executive order Tuesday tightening sanctions on Iran and Syria by prohibiting financial transactions with foreigners who have evaded existing sanctions with those countries and denying them entry into the United States.
Israeli defense chief balks at Iran nuclear talks
Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak is the latest senior official to throw cold water on the nuclear negotiations between Iran and six world powers; the defense chief said Monday evening that Israel could not afford to be “duped” by the talks.
White House sets sights on evaders of Iran, Syria sanctions
President Obama is beefing up the administration’s sanctions on Iran and Syria, issuing an executive order targeting anyone who tries to skirt the crackdown.
Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert
“The last resort is a military action, and I prefer it to be an American action, supported by the international community, if all the other efforts will fail. The United States should be the one that decides on it, on the scope of it, on the extent of it, its cooperation. Israel certainly could be a part of the effort, but Israel should not lead it.”
Iranian defense minister, Gen. Ahmad Vahidi
“Basing American F-22 in an Emirate’s base is a harmful action and damages regional security.”
Israeli defense minister, Ehud Barak
“A Radical Islamic Republic of Iran with nuclear weapons would be far more dangerous both for the region and, indeed, the whole world. Israel cannot afford to be duped. The No. 1 responsibility is to ensure that our fate will remain firmly in our own hands.”
“I think it’s fair to say — the only step we could take that we aren’t already taking is to launch a war against Iran. If that’s what Governor Romney means by a very different policy, he should tell the American people. He should say so. Otherwise, the governor’s tough talk about military action is just that — talk. And, I would add, counterproductive talk.”
Early Israeli elections? What it would mean for US, Iran
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu signaled on Sunday for the first time that he is liable to move up Israel’s elections from next year to this year.
The tragic farce of voting in Iran.
How The Death Of Benjamin Netanyahu’s Father Could Affect Relations With Iran
Benzion Netanyahu, father of Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, died early Monday at the age of 102 and the Israeli newspaper Haaretz noted that Benzion Netanyahu “remembered for his great influence on the worldview of his son, Benjamin.”
How Iran May Get Around Oil Sanctions Over Nuclear Program
Crude oil for June delivery reached $106 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange this week, and that’s the highest price seen since March 27. Explaining why prices have fallen 4 percent from a March 1 peak, Bloomberg said it’s because tensions have eased between Iran and Western nations over the country’s nuclear program.
Understanding Iran’s diplomatic strategy
Iran has been developing nuclear capacities in order to obtain leverage in diplomatic talks with the United States.
Iran Is to India as Pakistan Is to the U.S.
Tourists flying into this ancient city are sometimes surprised to find their descent re-routed at the last minute by the presence of an 86-foot bronze statue that sits at the end of a runway. The giant icon depicts none other than Lord Shiva, one of Hinduism’s most popular and powerful gods. Known alternatively as the destroyer and the creator, family man and hermit, teacher and warrior, kind herdsman and wrathful avenger — Shiva is, like India itself, a perfect symbol of contradictions.
In Iran’s backyard, war games may spark new conflict
The tiny Gulf islands of Abu Musa and Greater and Lesser Tunb may become a new theater of conflict between Tehran and the neighboring Sunni countries.
Could Iran Wage A Cyberwar On The U.S.?
Security professionals in both the U.S. government and in private industry have long feared the prospect of a cyberwar with China or Russia, two states capable of launching destructive attacks on the computer networks that control critical assets such as the power grid or the financial system.
Israel security establishment goes where US politicians fear to tred
Disagreements in Israel over whether to attack Iran have erupted into the open. In one corner, the Netanyahu government. In the other, a number of Israeli security officials.
America’s Syria Policy Emboldens Assad—and Iran
Bashar al-Assad’s security forces have brazenly slaughtered more than 10,000 Syrian civilians, and injured or detained tens of thousands more, since the anti-regime protests began in March 2011. Despite these facts, America’s policy towards Syria—a terror-sponsoring government that is Iran’s closest ally in the Arab World, a possessor of weapons of mass destruction, and a supporter of foreign fighters that killed American troops in Iraq—remains incoherent and ineffectual.