Eye on Iran 14.Juni 2011

 Top Stories


AP: „Hezbollah and its allies rose to a position of unprecedented dominance in Lebanon’s government Monday, giving its patrons Syria and Iran greater sway in the Middle East. Lebanon Prime Minister Najib Mikati announced a new Cabinet dominated by the militant group and its allies after the country has operated for five months without a functioning government. The move caps Hezbollah’s steady rise over decades from resistance group against Israel to Lebanon’s most powerful military and political force. Opponents of Hezbollah – which the U.S. considers a terrorist organization – say having it in control of Lebanon’s government could lead to international isolation. The group’s most ardent supporters are Iran and Syria, which dominated Lebanon for 29 years.“http://t.uani.com/l8OXEs

Reuters: „Iran accused Israel’s allies on Tuesday of interfering in Syria after Western countries said Tehran may be helping crush dissent there. ‚Some regimes, especially America and the Zionist regime, with particular aims, are provoking terrorist groups in Syria and in the region to carry out terrorist and sabotage operations,‘ Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast told a news conference. Iran, which crushed its own anti-government protests after the contested re-election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in 2009, has voiced support for uprisings in most of the Arab world, but not Syria with which it has what it sees as a ‚line of resistance‘ against Israel as both support militant groups Hamas and Hezbollah. Mehmanparast backed the Syrian government’s assertions that the three-month-old protests are part of a conspiracy backed by foreign powers. ‚The Zionist regime and its advocates are seriously threatened, that is why they are doing all they can to crush this resistance line standing against the aggression of the Zionist regime.'“ http://t.uani.com/l8ymcd

WashPost: „Two years ago, Iranian activists used social media sites as engines to organize massive anti-government demonstrations. But now, activists say, the limitless freedoms available online are proving to be a distraction from real-world dissent. Instead of marching in the streets, the same doctors, artists and students who led the demonstrations in 2009 are playing Internet games such as FarmVille, peeking at remarkably candid photographs posted online by friends and confining their political debates to social media sites such as Facebook, where dissent has proved less risky. ‚We have become couch rebels, avoiding the dangers that real changes bring,‘ said a 39-old Iranian artist who spends most days juggling between two laptops and 1,300 online friends. ‚Our world online is like an endless party with no rules, and that keeps us very busy.'“ http://t.uani.com/kAUbJg

 

Nuclear Program & Sanctions

Xinhau: „Deputy Secretary of the Supreme National Security Council of Iran Ali Bagheri called on the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on Monday to detect agents involved in Stuxnet computer worm plan, the semi-official ISNA news agency reported. Addressing the closing session of the second International Nuclear Disarmament Conference in Tehran on Monday, Bagheri urged IAEA to form a fact-finding committee to detect agents involved in nuclear terrorism and operation of Stuxnet computer worm, said the report. In September, the Islamic Republic said that the computer worm of Stuxnet infected 30,000 IP addresses in Iran but the Iranian Foreign Ministry denied the reports that a cyber worm had damaged computer systems at the country’s nuclear power plant. Stuxnet is the first discovered worm that spies on and reprograms industrial systems. It is specifically written to attack SCADA systems which are used to control and monitor industrial processes.“ http://t.uani.com/kvrPm8


Domestic Politics

Reuters: „Iran’s monetary policies helped trim inflation to 12.4 percent for 2010-11 from 25.4 percent two years earlier, the International Monetary Fund said in a statement on Monday following talks in Tehran. The IMF, which held regular consultations in Iran from May 28 to June 9, said strong growth in non-oil sectors and good performance in agriculture helped the country recover to 3.5 percent growth in 2009-10 despite a fall in oil prices. Iran has achieved ‚early success in the implementation of their ambitious subsidy reform program‘ with increases in prices of energy, public transport, wheat, and bread having removed almost $60 billion of subsidies, the IMF said.“http://t.uani.com/jmjRWr 

Foreign Affairs

AFP: „President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is to meet his Chinese and Russian counterparts at a Shanghai Cooperation Organisation summit in Kazakhstan, Iranian media reported on Monday. Presidents Dimitri Medvedev and Hu Jintao, of Russia and China respectively, are expected to meet Ahmadinejad on the sidelines of the summit, which starts on Wednesday in Astana, the Mehr and Fars news agencies said. Iran has been invited to attend the summit, which will bring together the leaders of China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, as an observer.“http://t.uani.com/kfnFEp

Reuters: „Egyptian Foreign Minister Nabil Elaraby on Monday told Iran not to meddle in the internal affairs of Gulf Arab states, saying that Cairo considers the security of fellow Arab countries ‚a red line‘, or no-go area. Tensions between non-Arab Iran and its Gulf Arab neighbours have risen after Tehran objected to the despatch of Saudi troops to Bahrain in March to help crush an uprising by mostly Shi’ite Muslims against the kingdom’s Sunni rulers, and a spying row. In excerpts of an interview with al-Arabiya television, broadcast on Monday, Elaraby said he had communicated Egypt’s views with ‚frankness and clarity‘ on security in the Gulf region to his Iranian counterpart. ‚Egypt does not accept the intervention by any state in the internal affairs of another state,‘ Elaraby said.“ http://t.uani.com/mikprs

Opinion & Analysis

Abhijit Singh in World Politics Review: „In an extraordinary development, Iran deployed submarines to the Red Sea last week, prompting fears that the Islamic Republic is engaging in another brazen show of strength. Although Tehran has long been convinced of its regional supremacy, this is the first time that Iranian submarines have been sent into the Red Sea — previously off-limits to Iranian naval ships. Reports suggest the submarines are accompanying warships of the Iranian navy’s 14th Fleet, with the ostensible purpose of their mission to collect data in international waters and carry out surveillance against suspicious activity. But there might be more to the deployment than meets the eye. Iran’s naval forces have become visibly proactive in recent months. Its warships have ventured outside the Persian Gulf and well beyond Tehran’s traditional maritime sphere of influence. In February, two Iranian warships, the frigate Alvand and the tanker Kharg, sailed through the Suez Canal on an unprecedented visit to Syria, provoking a sharp reaction from Israel. Egypt, keen to signal a shift in policy in the post-Mubarak era, allowed the warships to pass through the waterway — a move widely interpreted as reflecting Cairo’s desire to re-establish ties with Tehran severed 30 years ago. Traditionally, Iran’s naval surveillance and reconnaissance activity has been directed against the Israeli Defense Forces navy and ships of the U.S. Navy’s Bahrain-based 5th Fleet. Maintaining a presence in the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden allows Tehran to keep an eye on Israeli navy activities, which it believes are aimed singularly at undermining Iranian interests. Indeed, there have been reports in the recent past of attempts by the Israeli navy to prevent the smuggling of arms from Iran to the Gaza Strip. Israel also frequently employs operational and intelligence assets to prevent Iranian ships from supplying arms and contraband goods to its Lebanese proxy Hezbollah. Many of these missions have resulted in the interception of maritime convoys in the Red Sea, en route from Sudan to Egypt, as well as the seizure of contraband in the form of weapons destined for Syria or Hamas. Iran is ramping up its presence in the Red Sea in an effort to pre-empt these operations. Tehran hopes that the Iranian navy and Revolutionary Guards will be able to secure future arms shipments by warning both the vessels carrying weapons as well as the smugglers waiting for them on shore about Israeli activity.“ http://t.uani.com/lLoYym

 

Quelle:United Against Nuclear Iran

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