Eye on Iran – 30.Juni 2011

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Bloomberg: „Iran is furnishing new, more deadly weapons to Shiite Muslim militias targeting U.S. troops in Iraq as part of a pattern of renewed attempts to exert influence in the region, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said. About 40 percent of the deaths of American soldiers since the official end of U.S. combat operations almost 10 months ago have occurred in the past few weeks as a result of the attacks, Gates said yesterday in an interview at the Pentagon that also touched on Iran’s nuclear program. The U.S. has raised the attacks with Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki and others, said Gates, who leaves office today. Gates will be succeeded by Leon Panetta, director of the Central Intelligence Agency. Iran is ‚facilitating weapons, they’re facilitating training, there’s new technology that they’re providing,‘ Gates said. ‚They’re stepping this up, and it’s a concern.‘ Iran is supporting radical Shiite groups intent on ‚killing as many as possible in order to demonstrate to the Iraqi people that, in effect, they drove us out of Iraq at the end of the year,‘ he said. The attacks are increasing as the U.S. and Iraqi governments are discussing politically acceptable ways to extend the American military presence beyond December… The aid to radical allies inside Iraq reflects Iran’s stepped-up efforts to wield influence in the Middle East and the Persian Gulf region, Gates said. The pattern has become particularly evident since populist revolts began against authoritarian rule in Tunisia, Egypt and elsewhere, collectively known as the Arab Spring. ‚They didn’t create the Arab Spring or start it, but they are clearly trying to exploit it wherever they can,‘ said Gates… The Iranian threat to the U.S. forces has increased ‚in the last three or four months,‘ Gates said. Iran is supplying bigger ‚explosively formed penetrators,‘ or EFPs, a particularly powerful type of roadside bomb, and ‚improvised rocket-assisted munitions,‘ or IRAMs, he said.“ http://t.uani.com/mlIZ9t

Guardian: „A senior Saudi Arabian diplomat and member of the ruling royal family has raised the spectre of nuclear conflict in the Middle East if Iran comes close to developing a nuclear weapon. Prince Turki al-Faisal, a former Saudi intelligence chief and ambassador to Washington, warned senior Nato military officials that the existence of such a device ‚would compel Saudi Arabia … to pursue policies which could lead to untold and possibly dramatic consequences‘. He did not state explicitly what these policies would be, but a senior official in Riyadh who is close to the prince said yesterday his message was clear. ‚We cannot live in a situation where Iran has nuclear weapons and we don’t. It’s as simple as that,‘ the official said. ‚If Iran develops a nuclear weapon, that will be unacceptable to us and we will have to follow suit.‘ Officials in Riyadh said that Saudi Arabia would reluctantly push ahead with its own civilian nuclear programme. Peaceful use of nuclear power, Turki said, was the right of all nations.“http://t.uani.com/kUdhOL

Reuters: „The world’s largest container firm suspended operations at several Iranian ports on Thursday, potentially disrupting critical food shipments as it complies with tightening U.S. sanctions. Maersk line, a unit of A.P. Moller-Maersk, manages several refrigerated ships and container vessels that transport food to the country, including wheat, rice and bananas from Asia. Shipments could be delayed for weeks as Maersk adjusts its operations in the Middle East, analysts said. ‚We are not sure how they are going to sort this out as it could disrupt food supply to Iran, especially ahead of the Ramadan festival,‘ said Ker Chung Yang, an agricultural commodities analyst at Phillip Futures in Singapore. The United States last week blacklisted Tidewater Middle East Co. and prohibited U.S. entities from any transactions with the major Iranian port operator, which manages over 90 percent of the country’s container operations. ‚Maersk Line is committed to complying with all relevant foreign trade controls and sanctions programmes,‘ said Morten Engelstoft, chief operating officer for Maersk Line in a statement on Thursday. ‚In this connection, Maersk Line has decided to cease acceptance of, business to and from the Iranian ports of Bandar Abbas, Bandar Khomeini and Asaluyeh.‘ … Maersk operates in other Iranian ports and could also divert shipments to Dubai, partnering with other companies that are not bound by U.S. sanctions aimed at curtailing Iran’s alleged nuclear weapons programme… Tidewater-managed ports have been used to export arms or handle related material in violation of U.N. Security Council resolutions, the U.S. Treasury said last week. International sanctions are aimed at curtailing Iran’s alleged nuclear weapons programme.“http://t.uani.com/miNEsZ

Nuclear Program & Sanctions

Reuters: „Iran has tested a new radar system, a military commander said on Wednesday, as part of a show of strength it hopes will warn Israel and the United States against any attack. On day three of a 10-day military exercise, Amir Ali Hajizadeh, head of the Revolutionary Guards‘ aerospace division, said the new radar system, called Ghadir, was used for the first time. ‚The Ghadir radar has been designed and built to detect airborne targets, radar-evading planes, cruise and ballistic missiles and low-orbit satellites,‘ he was quoted as saying by the student news agency ISNA. The radar has a range of 1,100 km (680 miles) and a height of 300 km (190 miles), he said.“http://t.uani.com/kThRjV

MarketWatch: „Vitol Holding BV, one of the world’s largest oil trading firms, said Wednesday it is in full compliance with U.S. laws that bar trading with Iran and said it is reviewing whether it will bid for any of the 30 million barrels of crude currently offered from the U.S. government’s emergency stockpile. A company spokesman said privately held Vitol isn’t precluded from participating in the sale. The comments come after the government amended its rules for the sale from the nation’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve to require bidders to certify they aren’t trading with Iran… Recent industry reports have said Vitol has resumed dealings with Iran. IHS Global Insight said June 24 that Vitol has struck an agreement to resume swaps of Caspian crude oil, whereby Vitol would supply northern Iran with crude from Turkmenistan in exchange for lifting crude of the same value at one of Iran’s Gulf ports.“ http://t.uani.com/lg9eER

Human Rights

WashPost: „The Obama administration on Thursday accused Iran of assisting Syria’s government in its brutal crackdown on demonstrators, listing names of Iranian security officials that the White House says helped train and arm Syrian police to attack peaceful protesters. Sanctions unveiled by the Treasury Department identified Iran’s national police force and a pair of senior Iranian officials, one of whom allegedly traveled to Damascus in April to offer expertise on dealing with the country’s protest movement, White House documents showed. While the United States has previously accused Iran of backing the crackdown, Thursday’s statement was the first to provide specific names and dates. ‚We are exposing further Iran’s provision of its military and security forces to support the Syrian government’s ongoing violence and repression of the Syrian people,‘ said David S. Cohen, the department’s acting undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence. Cohen said the moves build on weeks of previous sanctions intended to ‚end the use of wanton violence‘ by forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. The Iranian officials hit with sanctions included Ismail Ahmadi-Moghaddam, the chief of Iran’s Law Enforcement Forces (LEF), and his deputy, Ahmad-Reza Radan. A Treasury statement accused Radan of traveling to Syria in April to provide ‚expert aid in the Syrian government’s crackdown on the Syrian people.'“ http://t.uani.com/kIr7Sa

AP: „The German government says it is ‚outraged‘ about the arrest of an Iranian female sports journalist a day before she planned to leave her home country to attend the women’s World Cup in Germany. The government’s top official for human rights says Maryam Majd’s arrest is ‚a further, sad example of intimidation and persecution of women’s rights activists by the Iranian regime.‘ Markus Loening demanded on Wednesday the immediate release of Majd and all other detained women’s rights activists in Iran.“ http://t.uani.com/klrxbN

Foreign Affairs

AFP: „Iran and Syria ‚remain leading state sponsors of terrorism,‘ top US counterterrorism official John Brennan said on Wednesday while introducing a new American anti-terrorism strategy. ‚Hezbollah and Hamas are terrorist organizations that threaten Israel and our interests in the Middle East. We will therefore continue to use the full range of our foreign policy tools to prevent these regimes and terrorist organizations from endangering our national security,‘ Brennan said… Iran and Syria both support Hezbollah, which the US has blacklisted as a terrorist organization.“http://t.uani.com/mlPiVp

WashPost: „Three U.S. service members were killed Wednesday in a rocket attack near a U.S. base that is close to the Iranian border, according to U.S. military officials, adding to an already deadly month for American forces here… Maj. Gen. Jeffrey S. Buchanan, chief spokesman for the U.S. military in Iraq, said this week that American military commanders have been ‚anticipating an increase in attack levels from these guys throughout the period of this year.‘ Buchanan said U.S. troops are caught among three rival Shiite militias, which they suspect are backed by Iranian Revolutionary Guard special forces, but vying among themselves to emerge as the dominant Shiite insurgency group in Iraq. In an interview with Bloomberg News published Thursday, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates also blamed Iran for supporting recent attacks on U.S. troops in Iraq.“ http://t.uani.com/kAhZZj

Reuters: „The United States and its allies are exploiting popular protests in Syria to try to break an alliance between Damascus and Tehran against Israel, a senior Iranian official said on Wednesday. Iran is watching the unrest in neighboring Syria with alarm and rejects western allegations it is helping its closest ally in the Middle East to crush a three-month popular uprising against President Bashar al-Assad’s rule. Ramin Mehmanparast, a special advisor to Iran’s Foreign Minister, said the alliance between Iran and Syria constituted a threat not only to Israel, but also to the West’s interests in the Middle East. ‚The West could not stop regional uprisings … America lost a close ally in the region with the overthrow of (Egyptian President Hosni) Mubarak,‘ Mehmanparast said. ‚As interests of America and its allies are endangered in the region … they are trying to shift the crisis by creating problems for independent countries (like Iran and Syria).'“http://t.uani.com/iEZYKR 

Veröffentlicht am 30. Juni 2011 in Empfehlungen, Gesetze, Interview, Literatur, Medien, Meinungen, Politik und mit , , , , getaggt. Setze ein Lesezeichen auf den Permalink. Kommentare deaktiviert für Eye on Iran – 30.Juni 2011.

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