Eye on Iran: Iran Says Could Target Turkey Missile Shield

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Reuters: „Iran could target installations in Turkey that are part of a planned NATO missile shield in any future conflict, a senior military official said on Saturday, upping the rhetoric against its neighbor with whom relations have soured in recent months. ‚We are ready to attack NATO’s missile shield in Turkey if we face a threat and then we will follow other aims,‘ the semi-official Mehr news agency quoted Amir Ali Hajizadeh, head of the Revolutionary Guards‘ aerospace division, as saying. Tehran has made clear its displeasure at Turkey’s agreement in September to deploy a NATO missile early warning system which it sees as a U.S. ploy to protect Israel from any counter-attack should the Jewish state target Iran’s nuclear facilities. Once warm relations between Iran and Turkey have been strained this year due to the missile shield and Ankara’s outspoken criticism of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s violent crackdown on popular unrest.“http://t.uani.com/sC3ANz

AP: „Iran’s parliament on Sunday approved a bill requiring both Iran and Britain to withdraw their respective ambassadors from each other’s countries, following London’s support of recently upgraded U.S. sanctions on Tehran… During an open session broadcast live by state radio, 171 out of 196 lawmakers present voted for the bill requiring Iran to reduce its relationship with Britain to the level of charge d’affaires within two weeks… Britain’s Foreign Office on Sunday said the decision to order the country’s ambassador, Dominick John Chilcott, to leave Tehran was regrettable.“http://t.uani.com/sxqFPh

Reuters: „Europe is edging towards an Iranian oil embargo despite worries a ban would hit enfeebled euro zone members hardest, propel global crude prices higher and only hurt Iran by obliging it to rely on China to buy more crude at discounted prices. As the political heat rises, Italy and France are pressing their oil companies to consider abandoning purchases from Iran, officials say. Traders and analysts say a prerequisite for action is that the European Union gets Saudi Arabia on board to fill any gap from Tehran. The slowdown in Europe’s economy at least means fuel demand growth is not an issue for Brussels as it calculates the economic impact of a French-led push towards further isolating Iran because of its nuclear ambitions.“ http://t.uani.com/tUpnKi

Nuclear Program & Sanctions

The Forward: „As the Obama administration imposes new economic sanctions against Iran in an effort to get it to abandon its nuclear program, some state legislatures are ramping up sanctions of their own. Following the lead of California and Florida, New York state is now considering a ban on contracts with all companies doing business with Iran. The new legislation enjoys bipartisan support and is expected to pass. But so far, only these three states have responded to the call issued by some advocacy groups for states to contribute to the escalating American sanctions regime… Behind the drive to dissuade international companies from dealing with Iran stands an organization called United Against Nuclear Iran, which has developed model legislation for states to use. ‚We are focusing on the state front,‘ said Nathan Carleton, UANI’s communications director. ‚That seems the most effective. This is a very simple thing: If you do business with Iran, you have to make a choice.‘ … On July 14, UANI sent letters to governors and legislative leaders in all 50 states, urging them to adopt state certification legislation to ensure that their respective states are not dealing with companies active in Iran. The legislation, said Carleton, ‚has proven a highly popular cause among politicians of all stripes, and typically passes quickly and unanimously after being introduced.'“http://t.uani.com/tay803

WSJ: „David Cohen, the U.S. Treasury Department’s undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, will travel next week to the United Arab Emirates and Israel to discuss recent measures taken against Iran and Syria. The trip to discuss sanctions, Cohen’s third in seven months, comes days after the U.S. found the entire Iranian banking sector – including the central bank – a ‚primary money-laundering concern‘ under the Patriot Act, a distinction not used against an entire jurisdiction since 2003… Cohen will meet with senior government officials in each country to discuss ‚additional steps the international community can take to further isolate and impose pressure on Iran,‘ including options the U.S. is exploring, such as ‚possible financial measures targeting the Central Bank of Iran,‘ Treasury said in a statement.“ http://t.uani.com/tjtjjJ

Bloomberg: „Iran plans to soon start issuing tenders for 21 oil and gas fields to domestic and foreign investors, Fars reported, citing Oil Minister Rostam Qasemi. The state-run news agency didn’t identify any of the projects or provide a schedule Sanctions over Iran’s nuclear program have discouraged international companies from pursuing energy projects in the Persian Gulf country, restricting Iran’s access to technology and foreign investment. Iran needs to invest as much as $50 billion a year in its oil industry to maintain its position as OPEC’s second-largest crude exporter and boost natural gas production, Oil Minister Rostam Qasemi said Nov. 23. Iran needs to increase its output to 5.1 million barrels a day from 3.9 million barrels by 2015, Qasemi said.“http://t.uani.com/vfoBDA 

 

AP: „The chief of Iran’s elite Quds Force says he doesn’t fear U.S. threats of assassination and is ready for ‚martyrdom‘, warning Washington of serious consequences if it does not stop threatening the Islamic Republic. The comments by Quds Force commander Brig. Gen. Ghassem Soleimani were published in several Iranian newspapers Saturday.“ http://t.uani.com/ti0RsU

 
Domestic Politics

WashPost: „A massive blast at a missile base operated by Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps nearly two weeks ago was the latest in a series of mysterious incidents involving explosions at natural gas transport facilities, oil refineries and military bases – blasts that have caused dozens of deaths and damage to key infrastructure in the past two years. Iranian officials said the Nov. 12 blast at the missile base was an ‚accident,‘ and they ruled out any sabotage organized by the United States and its regional allies. The explosion on the Shahid Modarres base near the city of Malard was so powerful that it shook the capital, Tehran, about 30 miles to the east. Despite the official denial of foreign involvement in the latest blast, suspicions have been raised in Iran by what industry experts say is a fivefold increase in explosions at refineries and gas pipelines since 2010.“ http://t.uani.com/tHyrgk

LAT: „Long suspensions and $30,000 fines. That’s what Iran’s football association imposed on two Iranian soccer players accused of celebrating a goal in an ‚immoral‘ manner, Iranian media reported Sunday. The two players landed in hot water last month when Persepolis defender Mohammed Nosrati swatted the backside of his teammate, Sheys Rezaei, while celebrating a goal in a nationally televised match. The players insisted the fanny pat was only for fun. But it didn’t go down well with the Iranian football federation’s disciplinary committee, which immediately suspended both players on charges of immoral offense and reportedly dismissed Persepolis manager Mahmoud Khordbin for failing to report the incident.“ http://t.uani.com/tKByRu  
 
Opinion & Analysis

Daily Telegraph Editorial Board: „By urging the expulsion of Britain’s ambassador, Iran’s parliament has provided a vivid insight into the mindset of the Islamic Republic’s leadership. Their first thought as they retreat further into isolation and economic malaise is to credit Britain with prime responsibility for all their problems. For over a century, British statecraft was indeed the dominant factor in Iranian politics, causing the downfall of leaders who were thought to threaten London’s interests. But the era when a string of Royal Navy bases guaranteed that the Gulf was a British lake ended several generations ago. However, the old men who misrule Iran still claim to detect a British hand behind every significant event. The latest trigger for their suspicion appears to have been the Treasury’s (overdue) decision to exclude Iran from transactions with the UK financial system. Meanwhile, another round of UN sanctions is approaching as Iran’s efforts to acquire nuclear weapons capability become increasingly obvious. While the regime may well ignore the parliamentary vote, it clearly believes that Britain will be the guiding force behind this diplomatic drive. When millions marched in Tehran to protest against Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s victory in the rigged elections of 2009, that too was blamed on the British. Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the obdurate ‚Supreme Leader‘, claimed on that occasion that Britain was the regime’s ‚greatest enemy‘. Perhaps we should rejoice in the status that all this accords us. Perception can amount to reality in international affairs, so the fact that Iran vastly overestimates our national power should cause us to be more assertive. And if Tehran’s ossified, brutal leaders regard us as their foremost opponent, that is an honour indeed.“ http://t.uani.com/vPh8qa

David Makovsky in WINEP: „In a revealing interview with CNN last weekend, Israeli defense minister Ehud Barak hinted that Israel and the world may reach the limit of their capacity to effectively strike Iran’s nuclear facilities within as little as six months. His comments suggest that unless additional international sanctions deter Tehran’s nuclear efforts, Israel is increasingly likely to opt for a military option while it still can. Israel has repeatedly warned of the need to halt the Iranian nuclear program – whether by sanctions or a military strike – in light of its pace and the quantity of enriched uranium it has produced. Yet Barak’s statements mark the first time an Israeli official has made clear that the ability to target the program may be limited by technical capacity, firmly indicating that the window for a military option may be closing. Whether or not Iran is able to produce a nuclear weapon in the coming years, Barak argued, the regime’s efforts to disperse and fortify its facilities mean that attempted strikes against them are unlikely to have the desired impact after next year. As he explained, ‚It’s true that it won’t take three years – probably three quarters [of a year] – before no one can do anything practically about it because the Iranians are gradually, deliberately entering into what I call a zone of immunity, by widening the redundancy of their plan, making it spread over many more sites.‘ When pointedly asked about the date at which a strike becomes impossible, he replied, ‚I cannot tell you for sure, nor can I predict whether it’s two quarters or three quarters [of a year]. But it’s not two or three years.‘ Yet he refused to answer direct questions about an Israeli strike, insisting that such a subject should not be discussed on television. Barak has repeatedly made clear in the past that inaction now guarantees inaction later, since a nuclear Iran would be as untouchable as nuclear North Korea is today. From this perspective, a nuclear Iran would profoundly change the balance of power in the Middle East, intimidating moderate forces and unleashing a regional arms race that could even proliferate nuclear technology to nonstate actors. If Barak is to be believed, little time remains for sanctions to have the necessary effect. Indeed, the potency and timing of new sanctions are inversely related to the probability of an Israeli military strike.“ http://t.uani.com/uPldAu

Parisa Hafezi in Reuters: „Iran, its crucial anti-Israel alliance with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad at risk from an uprising against his rule, has chosen a ‚wait and see‘ policy driven in part by concern not to alienate anyone who might succeed him, analysts say. A downfall of Assad could deal a strategic blow to Shi’ite Muslim-dominated Iran, where confrontation toward Israel remains one of its overriding foreign policy principles. Iran has used various regional cards, including fears it could unleash militant proxies like Hezbollah and Hamas against Israeli and U.S. interests, to deter foreign intervention in Syria, making it harder for protesters to overthrow Assad. But analysts say the Iranian-Syrian axis now faces a serious dilemma: Should Iran stick with Assad — whose family has ruled Syria for 41 years — at any cost or should it jettison the Islamic Republic’s most important Middle East ally? ‚Iran’s policy is to wait and see … We need to be patient as the situation is very unclear and very sensitive in Syria. We hope for the best possible outcome for everyone,‘ said an Iranian government official, speaking on condition of anonymity. ‚(But although) Assad helped Iran play a leading role in its fight against the Zionist regime (Israel) … now it is unwise for Iran to take sides.‘ Iran will be hard-pressed to find Arab allies to replace Syria so it will be naturally keener to ensure Assad — whose minority Alawite sect is an offshoot of Shi’ite Islam — can ultimately vanquish the revolt by majority Sunni Muslims. ‚A weak Assad is no longer an effective regional ally for Iran … But it is better to have a weak ally rather than a Sunni (Muslim) leader in power in Syria,‘ said Iranian analyst Hamid Farahvashi.“ http://t.uani.com/tluSVI

Veröffentlicht am 28. November 2011 in Empfehlungen, Gesetze, Medien, Meinungen, Politik und mit , , , , , getaggt. Setze ein Lesezeichen auf den Permalink. Kommentare deaktiviert für Eye on Iran: Iran Says Could Target Turkey Missile Shield.

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