Skip to comments.Iranian Alert -- August 29, 2004 [EST]-- IRAN LIVE THREAD -- "Americans for Regime Change in Iran"
Posted on 08/28/2004 9:07:40 PM PDT by DoctorZIn
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DEATH IS BIG BUSINESS IN NAJAF, BUT IRAQ'S FUTURE DEPENDS ON WHO CONTROLS IT
by Amir Taheri
August 28, 2004
|Iran says it has achieved effective deterrent power|
|www.chinaview.cn 2004-08-29 07:02:35|
TEHRAN, Aug. 28 (Xinhuanet) -- Iranian Defense Minister Ali Shamkhani said Saturday that Iran has achieved an "effective deterrent power" to confront its enemies in the region, the official IRNA news agency reported.
"Today by relying on our defense industry capabilities, we have been able to increase our deterrent capacity against the military expansion of regional enemies," Shamkhani was quoted as saying.
"The Defense Ministry has put its capabilities in the ground, air, sea and missile domains in the three categories of fire, maneuver and precision into a race with its foreign rivals," Shamkhani added.
Iran said earlier this month it carried out a successful test firing of an upgraded version of its Shahab-3 medium-range ballistic missile.
Military experts said the missile is capable of striking Israel or any other enemy target in the region.
Tensions between Iran and Israel as well as the United States have been accelerated recently.
The United States and Israel, accusing Iran of developing nuclear weapons secretly, threatened to launch a surprising attack upon Iran's atomic power plant in Bushehr.
On Aug. 18, Brigadier General Mohammad Baqer Zolqadr, deputy commander of Iran's Revolutionary Guards, warned that Iran would strike Israel's nuclear reactor at Dimona if Israel's threat were materialized. Enditem
Tehran seeking role in Mid-East
Mr Khatami was responding to questions from reporters about American policies in the region.
He also said that Iran was willing to provide any guarantee to the International Atomic Energy Agency that it was not developing nuclear weapons.
Pressure is building on Iran ahead of a fresh round of discussions on Teheran's nuclear programme at the IAEA.
Speaking in Tehran, President Khatami said despite its many problems with the US, Iran would not let these effect its policies towards Iraq.
Mr Khatami said if the Americans had trusted Iraq's neighbours and countries in the region, instead of continuing their occupation, the problems in Iraq could have been solved.
American officials and some members of the Iraqi interim government have accused Iran of causing trouble in Iraq.
A visit to Tehran by the Iraqi deputy prime minister to try and ease relations between the two neighbours is expected soon.
Mr Khatami also talked about what he described as Iran's natural and legal right to develop peaceful nuclear power.
Speaking positively about the negotiations with the IAEA, Mr Khatami said if the agency recognised Iran's right to enrich uranium and accepted it as a member of the nuclear club, all problems would be solved.
He then called for the IAEA board of governors to take Iran's case off the agenda by next month's meeting. He added that he believed this was unlikely, however.
The US has been lobbying the agency to report Iran to the United Nations Security Council.
Washington believes Tehran is secretly developing nuclear weapons, a charge that Iran denies.
Iraq minister set for Iran visit
Relations have become increasingly tense between the two neighbours.
Earlier this week Iraqi interim Vice-President Ibrahim Jaafari made a surprise visit to Iran.
The official Iranian news agency says Mr Saleh's trip is aimed at preparing for a later visit to Iran by Iraq's interim Prime Minister, Iyad Allawi.
Shia Iran has been fiercely critical about the use of military force against Shia militiamen in the holy Iraqi city of Najaf.
Earlier, Iraq's defence minister accused Iran of arming insurgents close to the radical Iraqi cleric Moqtada Sadr, allegations which Tehran denied.
"There is a real uncertainty within the Allawi government," says Paul Rogers, Professor of Peace Studies at Bradford University.
"It did not manage to control the insurgency in Najaf as it had hoped and possibly expected - as a result there's a slight degree of paranoia that things could get worse again."
Baghdad continues to be concerned about Iran's attempts to increase its influence in Shia areas of Iraq.
But some experts say that Tehran may actually have less influence than it would like over some of Iraq's independently minded Shi'ite clerics.
Paul Rogers says Baghdad's current close ties with Washington make a radical improvement in relations difficult.
"The Iranians would like to see a circumstance in which Iraq was pretty determinedly independent and far less under American influence," he says.
"The Iranians don't want permanent [American] bases in Iraq."
On Friday, Baghdad released an Iranian reporter arrested in Iraq earlier this month in an apparent goodwill gesture ahead of this visit.
But there is still no firm news about an Iranian diplomat abducted in Iraq.
Iranian scribe released after three weeks
Web posted at: 8/28/2004 6:46:38
Source ::: AFP
TEHRAN: The Baghdad bureau chief of Irans state news agency Irna was released by authorities yesterday after being held for nearly three weeks, the agency said.
Mostafa Darban, who was detained by police on August 9 and held by the interior ministry, was turned over to Iranian officials at the Khosravi border crossing between the two neighboring states, Irna said. I do not know why I was arrested, Darban was quoted as saying after his arrival in Iran. I think it was all the result of a misunderstanding. I thank everyone who worked to obtain my freedom.
Two other Irna journalists, Mohammad Khafaji and Mohsen Madani, were arrested at the same time, according to Irna, but the news agency did not say if they were still being detained.
Darbans liberation comes on the eve of a visit to Iran by Iraqs interim vice prime minister, Barham Saleh, as the neighbours try to mend fences after a certain tension in recent weeks.
Irna said on Thursday that Saleh had promised during a meeting with the Iranian charge daffaires that the journalists would be released before his visit. The Iraqi government has never explained the arrests, although Tehran stands accused of meddling in the affairs of the new US-installed government.
Iraqi officials have joined the Americans in accusing Iran of getting involved in the Shiite rebellion and even of arming rebels. Shiites are the majority of the population in both countries. An Iranian diplomat also disappeared on the road between Baghdad and Karbala and has been presumed kidnapped.
Fereydun Jahani went missing on August 4 on the road leading from Baghdad to Karbala, in central Iraq, where Tehran was set to open a consulate. His kidnapping was claimed by the Islamic Army of Iraq, which was reported to have issued threats against him but is not known to have carried them out. Iraqi Foreign Minister Kamal Kharazi said yesterday that Jahani was in good health, but he did not provide any details.
Iran awards $120,000 to judo champ for not fighting Israeli
Web posted at: 8/29/2004 2:10:6
Source ::: AFP
TEHRAN: Irans official sporting body has awarded $120,000 to its world judo champion Arash Miresmaeili for refusing to fight an Israeli during the Athens Olympics, a newspaper report said yesterday.
Miresmaeilis act was extremely valuable, and therefore we are awarding him the gold medalist award, the head of the Iranian Physical Education Organisation, Mohsen Mehralizadeh, was quoted as saying in the official daily Iran. The sum is the same amount awarded to Hossein Rezazadeh, who won a gold medal in weightlifting.
The paper said the Iranian National Olympics Committee had also given Miresmaeli its gold medalist cash payout of $5,000 for what they also termed as a valuable action. Miresmaeilis move was praised by Irans President Mohammad Khatami, who said the snub was a great act of self-sacrifice and a protest against massacre, terrorism and usurpation.
Miresmaeili, who was bidding to become the first Iranian to win an Olympic judo medal, said he was refusing to fight an Israeli as a gesture of support for the Palestinians. The 23-year-old, twice a winner of the flyweight world title, opted not to take on first round opponent Ehud Vaks of Israel.
But he was later eliminated from the competition when he failed to make the weight for the planned contest in Athens. He was two kilograms (4.4 pounds) overweight. Although he was suspected of intentionally gaining body weight to avoid fighting an Israeli opponent, the International Judo Federation (IJF) said he will not be punished.
The IJF also said that the 23-year-old Iranian, who carried his countrys flag in the opening ceremony, had denied suggesting he would boycott his opening match.
ALLEGED ISRAELI SPY IN PENTAGON WAS IN CONTACT WITH IRANIAN FIXER
By Safa Haeri
Posted Saturday, August 28, 2004
PARIS, 28 Aug. (IPS, with reports from Haaretz and agencies) The man FBI suspects as having spied for Israel has met Manouchehr Qorbanifar, an Iranian arms dealer involved in the Iran-Contra deal scandal of the 1980s.
The American TV network CBS reported Friday that the Federal Bureau of Investigations has been conducting an ongoing investigation into the matter and is convinced the spy has conveyed highly sensitive information to the Israeli government via two representatives of AIPAC.
The CBS report only identified the suspected mole as a senior analyst who works in the bureau of Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. He was also said to be closely associated with two senior Pentagon officials, Paul Wolfowitz and Undersecretary of Defence for Policy Douglas J. Feith.
"The FBI has a full-fledged espionage investigation under way and is about to... roll up someone [who] agents believe has been spying, not for an enemy, but for Israel, from within the office of the secretary of defence", CBS reported.
The network said that the mole, whom it described as a "trusted analyst of the Pentagon", had last year passed on "secret White House deliberations on Iran".
But the Web site of The Washington Post on Saturday quoted two sources who identified the alleged Pentagon spy as Larry Franklin, a desk officer in the Defence Department's Near East and South Asia Bureau.
In late 2001, Franklin and another Defence Department official, Harold Rhode, met Qorbanifar in Paris in order to get information on the situation in the Islamic Republic and possible ways of destabilising the regime.
A senior U.S. official, however, said on condition of anonymity that two other Iranians were present at the meeting who the Bush administration had been told had information useful to the U.S. in its then-fledgling global war on terrorism, Haaretz added from Washington.
Questioned about the meeting in August 2003, Mr. Rumsfeld said it was "absolutely not" the case that the meeting with Qorbanifar was intended to be part of any other ongoing, unofficial talks with Iranians.
Alongside with Colonel Oliver North, Robert McFarlane, President Roland Reagans Chief security adviser and Israeli intelligence specialist Amiran Nir, Qorbanifar helped the newly established Islamic Republic that was attacked by Iraq and under sanctions from Washington, to get much needed sophisticated anti aircraft missiles Tow and Hawk in exchange for the money going to the Nicaraguan rebels under what became known as the Irangate scandal.
A person who refused to identify himself told IPS on Saturday that Mr. Qorbanifar was not available until Monday.
Israel immediately denied that it had any agents operating on American soil and the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) vehemently rejected its involvment after it was revealed that the FBI has launched a probe into allegations that an official in the Pentagon has been passing intelligence information concerning Iran to Israel via AIPAC, the most influential and powerful of all American Jewisah lobbies in the United States.
"We deny carrying out any intelligence activity. It is a strange story", said the government official, who declined to be identified. "Israel, for many years, has not carried out intelligence activity in the United States".
Iranian and Israeli analysts where also baffled, observing that as far as it is known, not only the Bush Administration lacks a clear cut policy on Iran, but is also shares information with Israel about Iran.
Israel has a special unit working day and night on the situation in Iran and is believed to be well informed. Besides, some Israeli specialising on Iran are routinely in contact with the White House and Defence Department, an informed source told Iran Press Service on condition of anonymity, adding that while Israel might be involved, AIPAC is certainly not.
AIPAC issued a statement said, "We would not condone or tolerate, for a second, any violation of U.S. law or interests. We are fully cooperating with the governmental authorities and will continue to do so".
Any allegation of criminal conduct by AIPAC or our employees is false and baseless. Neither AIPAC nor any of its employees has violated any laws or rules, nor has AIPAC or its employees ever received information they believed was secret or classified, the organisation stated, adding that it would fully cooperate with the FBI in its investigations.
The New York Times reported the analyst worked for Feith, who created a special intelligence unit before the Iraq war that had sought to build a case that Baghdad had ties to Al-Qaeda - a position that has been criticised by intelligence professionals.
Asked by the Israeli newspaper Haaretz whether the suspect worked under Feith, the number three Pentagon official, and William Luti, a senior official in the Pentagon's policy section, Pentagon spokesman Lawrence Di Rita declined comment.
"It's a criminal matter and we don't comment on criminal matters", he said.
CBS also reported that FBI investigators are concerned that Israel may have used him in an effort to influence U.S. policy on the war in Iraq, but the Defence Department said Saturday that the mole would not have had any influence on decision-making at that level.
Shortly after the September 11, 2001 attacks, Feith and Luti set up the intelligence unit, which ended up finding a close relationship between Al-Qaeda and Iraq that later became an important element for invading Iraq.
The FBI has notified Rumsfeld about the investigation and has asked AIPAC to provide it with information about the two representatives in the organization who are suspected of involvement in the affair.
In a statement released Friday, the Pentagon said that it was cooperating with the Justice Department in the investigation, and downplayed the possibility that the suspect had sought to sway U.S. policy in the Gulf or Middle East.
"The investigation involves a single individual at the Department of Defence at the desk officer level who was not in a position to have significant influence over U.S. policy", it said.
"Nor could a foreign power be in a position to influence U.S. policy through this individual. To the best of the Department of Defence's knowledge, the investigation does not target any other Department of Defence individuals".
In November of 1985, U.S. naval intelligence analyst Jonathan Pollard was arrested at the gates of the Israeli embassy in Washington, on espionage charges. He was tried, convicted and handed a life sentence for spying for Israel.
Israel apologised for the incident and disbanded the intelligence cell of which Pollard was a part, but all its efforts and pressures to have Mr. Pollards sentence reduced were rejected by successive American administrations.
ENDS ISRAEL ESPIONAGE 28804
Europe's Iran Fantasy
Weekly Standard - By Leon de Winter
Sep 9, 2004
Europeans are from Venus, Mullahs are from Mars
ON OCTOBER 22, 2003, the Guardian, a leading British newspaper, carried no fewer than three articles about the remarkable events in Tehran the day before. The foreign ministers of the three leading European Union countries--Britain's Jack Straw, France's Dominique de Villepin, and Germany's Joschka Fischer--had flown to Iran to try to persuade its Shiite leaders to conclude an agreement about Iran's nuclear program.
The first was a news story, under the headline, "E.U. ministers strike Iran deal." The lead began, "Three European foreign ministers claimed a diplomatic coup yesterday, securing an agreement from Iran over its nuclear program which could defuse a brewing crisis with the U.S." Central to the agreement was a commitment "to suspend [Iran's] uranium-enrichment and reprocessing activities"--in other words, to halt production of materials for nuclear weapons.
The second article was by Guardian commentator Ian Black, who wrote: "The agreement marks a significant victory for the European Union's policy of 'conditional engagement' and the use of carrots and sticks, in contrast to threats from the United States against the Islamic republic, part of President George Bush's 'axis of evil.' . . . 'We often find ourselves on the defensive, being told we are appeasers for engaging with regimes like this,' an E.U. diplomat said last night. 'This agreement gives the lie to that argument. Clearly the Iranians did not do this because they feared E.U. military action. They did it because they want a relationship with us and want to keep channels open.'"
The Guardian's third piece about
this triumph of European diplomacy opened as follows: "Iran's agreement to allow unlimited U.N. inspections of its nuclear facilities and to suspend its uranium enrichment program marks a tremendous success for European diplomacy. . . . Mr. Straw played down the significance of the achievement. He should not be so modest. . . . Iran will doubtless remain an axis-of-evil rogue state in George Bush's florid lexicon. But Washington must not try to undermine this accord. To date, [Washington's] polarizing, aggressive pressure tactics have mostly made a difficult problem worse. Europe demonstrated yesterday that there is a different, more effective way. And it is not the American way."
These articles were typical of those then appearing in the European press about the success of European soft power. Few commentators could resist the opportunity to malign Bush, even though many realized that Iran had no intention of adhering to the agreement. The warnings and reports by the International Atomic Energy Association, then and since, make it clear: Everything that happened on that fall day in Tehran was fiction and deception. Yet Europe's leading politicians chose to deceive and debase themselves rather than recognize Iran's play-acting for what it was. For them, the illusion of soft power was infinitely preferable to the suggestion that they should be prepared to prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear power at all costs. The Iranians knew perfectly well that the Europeans would not back up their demands with force--the only language tyrants building nuclear arsenals understand. The mullahs are quite familiar with Europe: The life-loving Europeans of the third millennium would never have sent their children into the minefields of Iraq.
All but a handful of Europe's politicians, obsessed by the specter of electoral defeat, refuse to take a stand if doing so could force them to sacrifice lives. Post-historical and post-religious Europe, born in the shadow of the Holocaust, does not see sacrifice as legitimate. Of course, considering that Europe has nurtured some of the world's cruelest ideologies, the dread of scenarios that might require sacrifice is hardly surprising. The problem is that much of the world, especially the Arab Islamic parts of it, is simply not interested in the moral and ethical implications of Europe's bloody past.
Since Auschwitz--the benchmark of ideological and political developments in Europe--the miracle of European prosperity and freedom has not led to the conviction that this prosperity and freedom must be defended, if necessary by force; on the contrary, the miracle has given birth to an attitude of cultural relativism and pacifism. It is as if modern Europe had divested itself of its idealistic and historical context, as if many Europeans saw the miracle of a prosperous and free Europe as an ahistorical, natural, and permanent state of affairs--as if Auschwitz had been wiped from their memory.
But anyone who is ignorant of, or ignores, the fact that tens of millions of Europeans died in the twentieth century in the struggle between good and evil--and it seems most Europeans have simply forgotten this--will fail to appreciate that the continued existence of Europe's system of liberal moral and ethical values is the result of conscious choices by courageous Europeans (and many others).
It may be something worse than amnesia: Today's Europeans may see the history of the twentieth century as scarred only by an abstract process known by the ancient Germanic word "war," a concept that for them represents some monstrous destructive force beyond good and evil that blindly spews out victims, like a flood or a hurricane. Most Europeans no longer regard Auschwitz as the disastrous result of evil ideas and the evil decisions of human beings. Instead, they see it as the consequence of something more like a natural disaster.
Perfectly expressing this concept of war were the huge demonstrations in Europe against the war in Iraq. In these rituals, the term "war" was taken out of its historical, political, and cultural context, and no justification for fighting was deemed acceptable. The high priest of this antihistorical creed is Michael Moore, who, 59 years after the end of the Second World War, in a discussion with TV talk show host Bill O'Reilly, would not state categorically that only a devastating war could have saved Europe from something far worse, namely Nazism. By these lights, war is bad whatever the historical or political circumstances.
Another manifestation of the same kind of thinking is the antihistorical view of the suffering caused by the Allied bombing of Nazi Germany: Germans increasingly see themselves as victims of "the war," as if the conflict were not a consequence of the German people's national obsessions with race and purity. A recent German novel about the Allied bombing enjoyed a succès de scandale because it purposely left out any reference to historical context. Everyone is a victim in war, was the message, and the difference between good and evil disappears when the dogs of war are unleashed. "Ordinary Germans" were victims too.
The European landscape is littered from north to south and east to west with monuments to battles and massacres. Many of them commemorate distant conflicts that now are hard to understand, but some mark the struggle against the most recent European evils: the right-wing totalitarian fascism of Nazi Germany and the left-wing totalitarian fascism of the Soviet Union. Although carved in stone, their lessons have not been learned. For most Europeans, the monuments no longer speak to Western civilization of the essential choice between good and evil. Instead, the memorials to the millions who died, from American soldiers to murdered civilians, stand for a faraway world that today's European, safe in his postmodern cultural relativism, thinks he has long since left behind: a world as distant as the Ice Age, plagued by an abstract phenomenon called "war."
It was only logical, therefore, that the implosion of Yugoslavia in the 1990s, which threatened to generate yet more massacres and monuments, left Europe paralyzed. Europe had to bring an end to the mass killings of Europeans by other Europeans in the Balkans, but it lacked the ability to take the necessary action. For that, Europe needed the detested United States.
Of course the horrors of war are beyond comparison, and it is a mark of civilization to deploy military force only with extreme caution. But most Europeans no longer realize that to avoid taking a path that may in the end lead to violent conflict--to avoid opposing totalitarian ideologies--can result in even greater suffering and more casualties. Today's Europeans seem unable to accept the idea that bowing to tyranny is sometimes worse than going to war to resist it. Indeed, to judge from the way European appeasers have handled the threat of a potential Iranian nuclear bomb, it seems that Europe would rather accept its own demise than sacrifice its sons to the dogs of war, which make no distinction between good and evil.
Last month the Brookings Institution hosted a conference of former American and European politicians and bureaucrats on the danger of the Shiite bomb. Newsweek quoted Madeleine Albright as commenting: "Europeans say they understand the threat but then act as if the real problem is not Iran but the United States."
It is remarkable that current developments in Iran do not dominate our headlines. The media are obsessed by Abu Ghraib, by those "liars" Sharon and Bush, by Halliburton and the neocons. And their obsession extends to conspiracy theories, although they fail to realize that something must be wrong when a radical pacifist like Michael Moore can receive the best film award at Cannes from Quentin Tarantino, a man who has done more than anyone to glamorize violence. In the meantime, a terrifying danger looms on the horizon, set to transform the geopolitical map of the Middle East within two years and so the map of the entire world: the Iranian nuclear bomb.
The mullahs are quite frank about why they want nuclear weapons. On December 14, 2001, the de facto dictator of Iran, Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, spelled out his dream in a sermon at Tehran University. "If one day the world of Islam comes to possess the [nuclear] weapons currently in Israel's possession," Rafsanjani said, "on that day this method of global arrogance would come to a dead end." This, he said, is because the use of a nuclear bomb on Israel would entirely demolish the Jewish state, whereas it would only damage the Islamic world. Iran's leaders have made dozens of similar statements.
Last week Israel's senior commentator Zeev Schiff wrote in the Israeli newspaper Haaretz: "There is an impression that Iran has no fears of any United Nations Security Council action. If its audacity succeeds, Iran will gain another period of unhindered nuclear development. Even though the Iranians have been caught out in the lies they have been weaving for 18 years, it is possible the ayatollahs' regime in Tehran believes that time is on their side."
What happened in Tehran on October 21, 2003, was not proof of the viability of soft power, but the opposite--proof of its impotence. The Guardian and the rest of the European media were fooling themselves and us, blinded by their hatred of Bush's hard power. "Washington sought to persuade Western allies to take a tougher line on Iran," Haaretz wrote last week, concluding dryly, "But Britain, Germany, and France say they prefer to try and persuade Tehran to cooperate with the International Atomic Energy Agency." They never learn.
Leon de Winter is a Dutch novelist and columnist for Elsevier magazine, Holland's premier political weekly. He is also a contributor to German publications like Die Zeit, Der Spiegel, and Die Welt, as well as an adjunct fellow at the Hudson Institute.
Europe's Iran Fantasy
Weekly Standard - By Leon de Winter
Sep 9, 2004
Europeans are from Venus, Mullahs are from Mars
Iran nuke program near point of no return
WorldNet Daily - From Geostrategy-Direct
Aug 28, 2004
U.S.: 'If we permit . . . deception to go on much longer, it will be too late'
JERUSALEM Israeli military intelligence has concluded Iran is preparing to accelerate uranium enrichment in violation of Tehran's pledge to the European Union, reports Geostrategy-Direct, the global intelligence information service.
The assessment anticipates an Iranian effort to complete the acquisition of nuclear expertise and technology and produce fissile material.
In an Aug. 17 briefing to the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, Brig. Gen. Yossi Kuperwasser said Iran would spend the next few months acquiring the expertise and technology to produce fissile material and weapons assembly.
Kuperwasser said the Iranian effort would be completed in 2005 and Teheran would then be prepared for accelerated uranium enrichment.
Kuperwasser said Iran plans to acquire enough enriched uranium to assemble its first nuclear weapons in 2007. Iran intends to produce enough nuclear material and expertise to ensure the continuation of Tehran's weapons program in case of a halt in foreign assistance.
Iran has procured about 1,000 gas centrifuges and has been preparing to operate up to 5,000 such systems. The International Atomic Energy Agency has determined that Teheran has already enriched uranium to a level of 54 percent.
"If we permit Iran's deception to go on much longer, it will be too late," U.S. Undersecretary of State John Bolton told the Hudson Institute on Aug. 17. "Iran will have nuclear weapons."
Bolton said Tehran has told Britain, France and Germany that Iran could enrich enough uranium for a nuclear weapon within a year. The undersecretary did not elaborate, but the U.S. intelligence community believes Iran could assemble a nuclear arsenal by 2007.
In July, Israel's intelligence community told the Cabinet that Iran encountered a three-year delay in nuclear weapons development. The Israeli intelligence assessment asserted that Iran would acquire indigenous nuclear weapons capability in 2007 and produce its first atomic bombs in 2008.
The delay in Iran's nuclear program was attributed to a series of IAEA inspections in 2004. The inspections halted uranium enrichment and forced the Iranians to transfer facilities to closed military bases.
>>>The man FBI suspects as having spied for Israel has met Manouchehr Qorbanifar, an Iranian arms dealer involved in the Iran-Contra deal scandal of the 1980s
Can you please expand on this with your insight? I only learned of "Rishon Letzion" the other day due to the McGreevey debacle in NJ. I know I'm missing something with all of this new news on Israel Spy stuff.
I don't have much to add at this point. I will post more on it as it develops.
Suspected Israeli Spy in Pentagon: First the Leak, Then the Fallout
DEBKAfile Special Analysis
August 28, 2004, 6:45 PM (GMT+02:00)
FBI team leader Szady
It is very likely that one or more arrests will ensue from the leaked report run by CBS News Friday, August 27, of a high-profile FBI probe against a Pentagon official on suspicion of passing secrets to Israel through two employees of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee AIPAC. Without such arrests, the report would lose its credibility.
The vigorous denials by Israel and AIPAC indicate that both expect the reported investigation to move into the detention stage. Within hours of the first disclosure, the name of Larry Franklin, a desk officer-analyst who works with two top Pentagon officials, Paul Wolfowitz and Douglas Feith, turned up unofficially in the Washington Post as the suspected Israeli mole. So too did the name Dave Szady, as head of the FBI inquiry team.
Depending on who is arrested and the nature of the charges, the investigation is fraught with a high degree of damage to President George W. Bushs Middle East policy and his core advisory team, eight weeks before he stands for re-election. Already, there are marks of strain in US-Israel relations and Bushs ties with Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon are bound to be affected. The harm is visible even before the investigation has determined whether it will lead to a charge of espionage or lesser offenses of improper disclosure or the mishandling of classified materials.
An AIPAC official said to the Washington Post:, Our folks are pretty outraged about this. Weve had these kinds of accusations before, and none of them has ever proven to be true.
The pro-Israel lobby has categorically denied the accusation against two of its employees but prepared for the worst by hiring outside counsel.
The Pentagon quickly asserted that the suspected official was in no position to influence US policy and the investigation in the department was very limited in scope. Jerusalem officials heatedly maintained that no Israeli intelligence-gathering resources had been active in Washington for many years.
These statements are but initial knee-jerk reactions to the first disclosure in the pre-arrest stage of the affair. But even the first report is remarkable for its multi-targeted sweep. Impugned is
the top policy advisory level of the Department of Defense - from deputy defense secretary Paul D. Wolfowitz, through Douglas J. Feith, undersecretary of defense for policy and William J. Luti, deputy undersecretary of defense for Near East and South Asian Affairs. He oversaw the Pentagons Office of Special Plans, which conducted some early policy work for the 2003 invasion of Iraq including issues of weapons of mass destruction and Saddam Husseins links to al Qaeda.
The units work is a vital White House policy tool on the Iran question as well as Iraq. It is one of the two Pentagon offices that Bush administration critics accused Pentagon hawks of setting up to bypass the CIA and other intelligence arms. The possibility cannot be ruled out that by leveling a single sensational accusation, some American intelligence element believing itself sidelined struck out against Bush, his top team and his policies by the simple device of tarring Israel and the influential organization representing its cause in Washington in one fell swoop.
Without being spelled out, the implication has been planted that, 19 years after the Jonathan Pollard affair, Israel is still running moles to dig out American secrets in order to manipulate US policies for its own rather than American interests. The media will recall that some of Pollards intelligence-military controllers had been allies of Ariel Sharon in his former service as defense minister. If Franklin is proved beyond doubt to have been an Israeli spy and the two AIPAC employees, his contacts for transferring secrets to Israel, Sharon will automatically come under a cloud, inferentially accused of harking back to his old ways. All this innuendo will cause Israel incalculable damage in the United States, even before the FBI establishes whether or not it has a case.
Therefore, the way the new spy sensation unfolds is important as much for its political fallout and nuanced marginal notes as for the legal case.
The timing of the disclosure should be instructive. Was it leaked for the ulterior motive of hurting the Bush run for re-election against Senator John Kerry, by suggesting that his key decisions on the Iraqi war were determined not only by the neocons of his administration but by a foreign mole? Or was the motive quite different? Might it not have been designed for showing the president as having rid himself of the influence of the Pentagon team and Israel by the very fact of the probe against that team, Israel and its foremost Washington lobbyist, APAIC?
This tactic is not unknown. A former Republican president, Ronald Reagan, though undisputably a friend of Israel, fought hard against AIPAC over the sale of US AWACs to Saudi Arabia and dealt harshly with the spy Pollard.
If the White House is indeed conforming to this pattern, it would mean that the Bush administration has given up on Sharon and his chances of forcing through his disengagement plans and is ready to drop their collaborative relations.
A falling out between Bush and Sharon would cause great celebration in Tehran. Even the initial disclosure must have given Irans hard-line clerics cause to rub their hands in glee after a highly profitable week. Israels Arrow anti-ballistic missile system missed its aim against a Scud missile performing similarly to their Shehab-3, the weapon that is the backbone of Irans deterrent force against American military forces in Iraq and its insurance against Israel demolishing their nuclear weapons production facilities. Two days later, the Israeli mole in the Pentagon affair erupted, an event that will be seen in Tehran as tying the Bush administrations hands in a way that will hamper its ability to take action against Irans advancing nuclear weapons program.
Sunday 29th August, 2004
Five U.S. War Planes Reportedly Enter Iran Air Space
|Five U.S. war planes have trespassed Iranian air space and may have been testing its air defenses, Iran's official news agency said Friday.
The five planes entered Iranian air space late Aug. 19 from the southwestern Shalamcheh border and flew over the city of Khorramshahr, the official Islamic republic news agency said, citing reports earlier this week in the Tehran press.
The daily Seday-e Edalat reported the fighter jets flew at high speed and altitude, then headed to the Arvand river. They flew at a height of 10 kilometers (more than 30,000 feet) and maneuvered over Khorramshahr for a while.
While the objective behind the fighters' violation of the Iranian air space is not known yet, some military specialists believe such moves are aimed at assessing the sensitivity of the Islamic Republic's anti-aircraft defense system, Seday-e Edalat said.
The fact that Iran's own government is badly divided might be some consolation to Washington, but it's also a source of confusion. Who can the Bush administration or Allawi's government talk to? Moderate reformist President Mohammed Khatami is almost completely marginalized. Rafsanjani and Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the country's two main power brokers, don't always see eye to eye, while rich religious foundations and factions of the Iranian security services often have their own agendas. Some of the unrest in Iraq is traced to a special unit of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards known as the Quds Brigade. Its supposed leaders, Mohammed Agha Mohammadi and Mohammad Reza Naghdi, are both of Iraqi origin and could be looking to set up an independent power base.
The one point of agreement is that Iraq is of vital strategic interest to Teheran, and nobody there wants a massive U.S. troop presence to remain so close at hand. "Iran is defending itself in Iraq," says Modarrisi. "If America had swallowed up Iraq in one easy bite, where would they turn next? Tehran. I wouldn't be surprised by anything Iran does in this country." None of the rest of us should be surprised either.
The remaining part of the article:
(L-R) Silver Medalist Bahri Tanrikulu of Turkey, gold medalist Steven Lopez of the United States and bronze medalist Yossef Karami of Iran pose for photos after the men's under 80 kg Taekwondo event on 28/08/2004
Great shot! Iran always had an interst in Martial Arts, I used to read of their fighters all the time in the world competitions.
Since the fall of Khitan kingdom by Jurchen Chin, Khitans hated Jurchens so much that Khitans allied with Mongols. Soon after that, Mongols led by Genghis Khan grew as a huge empire. Fearless Khitans became the spearhead of conquering troops of Yuan Dynasty(Mongol Empire), and were sent all over the world. As a result, Khitans were dispersed, and lost opportunity to rise as a major ethnic group in China again. Chinese also presented a story that some Khitans migrated to Khorman area in current Iran and converted to Islam after their Kingdom fell.
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