Barak: Israel has not already decided to strike Iran

Amidst a flurry of recent reports regarding a possible Israeli attack against Iran, Defense Minister Ehud Barak said on Monday that he and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu have not already decided that Israel will conduct such a strike. Quelle

Siehe auch: US fears unilateral Israeli strike on Iran

Washington concerned Israel will mount military operation against Islamic Republic without coordinating move first, State Department official says. US consequently putting greater pressure on Security Council to impose harsher sanctions on Iran

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Crippling Iran’s Central Bank

David S. Cohen, the US Treasury department’s under secretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, took a whirlwind tour last week of Paris, London, Berlin and Rome in an effort to convince Europe to ratchet up the pressure on Iran.

The Iranian government’s plot to murder the Saudi ambassador in a high-end Washington restaurant, which could have caused the deaths of many Americans, has added fresh urgency to the next round of Iran sanctions.

The Obama administration might target the Central Bank of Iran (CBI), Cohen told Reuters.

“Iran needs to be held accountable for this plot,” he said. “We are going to continue to look at those financial institutions that are involved with proliferation activity for Iran, and continue to try to isolate them from the international financial sector.”

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Iranian MPs head for showdown with President

Iran’s parliament is set to summon President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for questioning over an economic scandal and his polices after the required number of MPs signed a petition yesterday, the latest salvo in a long battle between the President and his rivals.

Mr Ahmadinejad would be the first president to be hauled before the Iranian parliament, a serious blow to his standing in a conflict involving the President, MPs and clerics. At least 73 MPs signed the petition to question Mr Ahmadinejad, just above one-quarter of the 290 members required by Iran’s constitution to call in a President. Earlier, the parliament found Mr Ahmadinejad’s Economics Minister guilty in relation to a $2.6m fraud case, considered the largest in Iran’s history.

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Untedrückung der Ba’hai im Iran eine der extremsten Auswüchse religiöser Intoleranz und Verfolgung

Die Verfolgung der Bahá’í in der Islamischen Republik Iran gehört nach Ansicht des UN-Sonderberichterstatters über Religions- und Weltanschauungsfreiheit, Prof. Dr. Heiner Bielefeldt, zu den “extremsten Auswüchsen religiöser Intoleranz und Verfolgung“ in der heutigen Welt. Prof. Bielefeldt äußerte sich im Rahmen einer Pressekonferenz am vergangenen Donnerstag in New York, bei der er auch zu einem aktuellen Bericht über die Hetzkampagne der Regierung in den iranischen Medien befragt wurde.

“Die iranische Regierung betreibt eine systematische Verfolgungspolitik”, sagte Heiner Bielefeldt bei der Gelegenheit, “mit dem Ziel, diese Religion sogar weltweit zu zerstören…. Es ist eine ganz offensichtliche und deutlich formulierte Politik extremer Feindseligkeit.”

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Why Syria and Iran are becoming Turkey’s enemies, again

Lesenswerte Analyse von Soner Cagaptay:

The more people Assad kills, the more hardline Turkey’s policies will become against Syria.  This will, in turn, drive Iranian-Syrian action against Turkey through PKK attacks from Iraq.  PKK attacks will rise. Turkey, Iran and the Assad regime are locked in a power game over Syria’s future.  Either Ankara will win and Assad will fall, or Tehran will win and Ankara, hurt by PKK attacks, will throw in the towel and let Syria be.

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…. boost economic ties

Die staatliche iranische Nachrichtenagentur über den Besuch von Herrn Farzin in Deutschland:

Visiting Iran’s Deputy Minister of Economy and Finance Mohammad Reza Farzin and Ruprecht Polenz, Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of German Parliament on Wednesday called for expansion of bilateral economic cooperation.
Iran, Germany ready to boost economic ties

On 27 percent increase in Iran’s non-oil export last year as well as its 39.5 percent boost in the first six months of the current Iranian calendar year, Farzin voiced Tehran’s readiness to bolster economic cooperation with all Europian states, particularly Germany. He criticized EU’s double standard and discriminatory policies as well as its restrictions imposed on Iranian and German merchants. He also condemned violation of human rights by the West as a tool to exert pressure on independent states. The German official, for his part called for development of economic relations between Tehran and Berlin. Polenz expressed hope that international community would reach a better understanding of the Islamic Republic through talks with Tehran.

Auch Farsnews freut sich über diese enorme Aufwertung der IRI in Deutschland und Europa: Berlin Mocks Israel’s Protest against Iranian Official’s Visit to Germany

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Wird im Iran das Amt des Präsidenten abgeschafft?

Mohammad Reza Kazemi im Spiegel:

Politikwissenschaftler haben bereits genug Schwierigkeiten, das politische System der Islamischen Republik Iran in die richtige Kategorie einzuordnen: Das Land ist eine “Republik”, die einerseits “islamisch” ist, und in der ein religiöser Gelehrte die höchste Staatsmacht innehat, in der es andererseits einen Präsidenten und ein Parlament gibt und Wahlen stattfinden.

In Zukunft kann eine weitere Besonderheit dazu kommen: die Streichung des Amtes des Präsidenten. Der geistliche Führer Ajatollah Ali Chameneisagte in einer Rede, wenn man “eines Tages in naher oder ferner Zukunft” das Gefühl habe, anstelle eines präsidentiellen Regierungssystem sei ein parlamentarisches besser geeignet, habe er kein Problem damit. Die Regierung würde dann durch den vom Parlament eingesetzten Premierminister geleitet.

Zwar betonte Chamenei, dass diese Maßnahme, die eine Verfassungsänderung voraussetzt, “wahrscheinlich in naher Zukunft nicht notwendig” werde. Doch seine Aussage ist für viele Beobachter ein ernstes Warnsignal dafür, dass Iran in absehbarer Zeit zu einer Republik mit nur einem Machthaber werden könnte: Chamenei.

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…. braucht keine warme Kleidung

Eghbal Moradi, father of Zanyar Moradi, a Kurdish prisoner at Rajaee Shahr Prison in Karaj, told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran that the Supreme Court upheld his son’s death sentence. “My relatives went to prison this week to bring Zanyar warm clothing, as the cold season has come. But prison officials told them that he would not need the clothes as his death sentence has been upheld. They told my relatives this explicitly, adding that they would be informed of the execution date,” Eghbal Moradi told the Campaign.

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How?

The increasingly violent influence of the Iranian regime is nothing new. The Iranian regime is responsible for over two thirds of attacks against U.S. forces in Iraq. So, what is the United States going to do about it? “No one should miscalculate America’s resolve and commitment to helping support the Iraqi democracy,” Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on NBC’s Meet the Press. “We have paid too high a price to give the Iraqis this chance.”

She reiterated on Sunday October 23 that no one, in particular Iraq’s neighbor Iran, should doubt the American commitment to Iraq.

The question is, how? How is the United States going to counter the Iranian threat in Iraq after it leaves, when it couldn’t accomplish that objective when tens of thousands of U.S. soldiers were in Iraq?

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Why the crazy Iranian plot to pay Mexicans to kill the Saudi ambassador isn’t so implausible

Christopher Hitchens in Slate:

There may conceivably be a reason to doubt the truth of the Obama administration’s claim that the “Quds Force” of the Islamic Republic of Iran went into the free market for murder in order to suborn the killing of the Saudi ambassador to the United States. But neither the apparently surreal nor the apparently flagrant nature of the thing would constitute such reasons. We have been here before, as a splendid recent book reminds us, and have learned that no allegation made against the goon squads in Tehran can be thought of as prima-facie implausible.

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Protest gegen den Besuch des iranischen Vize-Finanzministers

Der Redebeitrag von Thomas von der Osten-Sacken auf der Protestkundgebung gegen den Besuch des iranischen Vize-Finanzministers bei der DGAP:

Weitere Impressionen der Demonstration bei Stop the Bomb.

Absage

Das haben die Damen und Herren EU-Parlamentarier genau so verdient:

The five members of the European Parliament Delegation for Iran, who were shortly leaving to Iran on a visit from 31 October to 4 November 2011, learned Wednesday that the Iranian authorities would not issue visas to the participants, Tarja Cronberg chair, Delegation for Relations with Iran in the European Parliament, said in a statement here tonight.
“This decision means that the visit is effectively cancelled, despite considerable preparations and planning. No clear reasons were given for this unexpected decision,” noted the statement.
“The European Parliament’s delegation was ready to engage in a constructive dialogue with Iranian parliamentarians, government officials and representatives of civil society on issues such as the nuclear programme, human rights, drug related issues; energy and the environment; regional security and the upcoming parliamentary elections in Iran,” it said.

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“Schaden öffentliche Hinrichtungen dem Tourismus?”

Alan Posener über Dialog mit dem Iran bei der Deutschen Gesellschaft für auswärtige Politik:

Vor wenigen Tagen sei er in Isfahan unfreiwilliger Zeuge einer öffentlichen Hinrichtung gewesen, sagte ein Diskussionsteilnehmer. Ob Seine Exzellenz nicht auch meine, dass solche Dinge dem Ausbau des Tourismus im Iran schaden würden?

Die Frage kennzeichnet das Niveau der Veranstaltung mit Mohammed Reza Farzin, stellvertretender Minister für Wirtschaft und Finanzen der Islamischen Republik, zu der die Deutsche Gesellschaft für Auswärtige Politik (DGAP) am Mittwoch in Berlin geladen hatte.

Farzin, ein schmächtiger Herr im obligaten Teheraner Einheitslook – dunkler Anzug, offenes weißes Hemd, Schnauzer –, antwortete lächelnd, nicht das Image des Regimes sei das Problem, sondern das Fehlen touristischer Infrastruktur.

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When night falls in Damascus

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Der etwas andere Ayatollah

A message from Ayatollah Kazemeyni Boroujerdi to the 66th annual UN General Assembly:

Honorable UN Secretary General, Ban Ki Moon, respected and esteemed representatives of the countries around the world, ladies and gentlemen of the free world,

The abominable oppression and subjugation of the people of Iran by the Revolutionary Guards, under the ruling dictatorship is so egregious, and their apparatus for its cover-up so systematic that the world at large never learns of the actual horror stories and the crimes committed by the Islamic regime against the humanity of the people of Iran.

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Auf zum Dialog

Iran’s Deputy Minister of Economy and Finance Dr. Mohammad Reza Farzin is slated to be the keynote speaker at a Wednesday forum organized by the German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP).

Farzin’s address was scheduled despite official protests by Israel and Opposition groups in Iran.  Farzin is one of the top Iranian officials to visit Germany over the past two years, which have been marked by growing financial sanctions on the Islamic Republic, imposed by the West over its refusal to suspend its nuclear work.

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The real failure

Take two headlines, one about Iraq, the other about Afghanistan.  The Iraqis told us to honor our signed agreement, and pull out all our troops by year’s end.  Over in Kabul, Karzai said he’d go to war against us if we attacked his neighbor, Pakistan.  It’s the same story in both places, but the real headline is the thirty-year-old one:  U.S. fails to come up with an Iran strategy.

It’s pretty obvious, isn’t it?  You’re a Middle Eastern leader, and you’ve been working and fighting alongside the Americans.  The United States was magnificent on the battlefield, and you either won (as in Iraq) or were winning (Afghanistan) when the Americans announced they were leaving.  And they even set a date for their departure.  Where does that leave you?

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Schlechte Zeiten für die Hisbollah …

meint zumindest Hanin Ghaddar von Now Lebanon:

For the first time, the Arab people have realized that their main enemy is their own tyrants, not Israel, the long-time enemy of Hezbollah. For the first time, the Party of God and its “divine” victories and “divine” arms are less significant than obtaining freedom and dignity. A new vocabulary for these new-found values is being invented every day on Arab streets.

Instead of trying to learn the new language of the street or at least pretend to support the people’s aspirations, Hezbollah seems to be fighting back, mostly when it comes to the uprising against the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. The Lebanese are being forced to follow the party’s lead and support the dictator in Damascus or otherwise stay silent. (…)

It is very simple: Any ally of a dictator is an enemy of the Arab street.

It has become clear to many supporters of the Resistance that Hezbollah’s main priority today is its weapons. It is willing to support dictators and criminals as long as its weapons are protected.

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Shi’ism as a form of “Aryanized Islam”

Al-Tamimi über die Kontinuität des antiarabischen Rassismus im Iran.

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Demonstrationsaufruf gegen den iranischen Vize-Finanzminister

Zum Besuch des iranischen Vize-Finanzministers folgt ein Update von Stop the Bomb:

STOP THE BOMB hat die DGAP vergeblich aufgefordert, die Veranstaltung abzusagen und wird am 26. Oktober vor der DGAP, Rauchstraße 17/18 in 10787 Berlin, gegen das Treffen protestieren. Die Kundgebung beginnt um 11.30 Uhr! Es wird mehrere interessante Redebeiträge geben. Der Kundgebungsort liegt wenige Gehminuten vom S-/U-Bahnhof Zoo entfernt. (Karte) Laden Sie bitte auch Ihre Kontakte via Facebook ein!

Schreiben Sie an die Beteiligten bei der DGAP, Herrn Eberhard Sandschneider (Moderation) und Paul Freiherr von Maltzahn (geschäftsführender stellvertretender Präsident und Unterzeichner der Einladung) info@dgap.org oder hausotte@dgap.org, sandschneider@dgap.org und rufen Sie bei der DGAP an: 030/ 25 42 31 – 17

Hier finden Sie den Einladungstext.

Matthias Küntzel hat eine Analyse des letzten Iran-Strategiepapiers der DGAP verfasst, die Sie hier finden.

Hier ein Protestbrief der Journalistin Saba Farzan. Die DGAP hat mittlerweile unseren Protest beantwortet. An der Veranstaltung mit dem “wichtigen” Staat Iran hält die DGAP fest.

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Die EU zeigt mal wieder Zähne

Das Mordkomplott gegen den saudischen Botschafter lässt die EU Teheran nicht so einfach durchgehen:

“Following the foiled plot to assassinate the Saudi ambassador to the U.S., the Council today subjected five persons to EU restrictive measures aimed at combating terrorism,” the EU said in a statement.
The EU statement did not name those targeted or state their nationalities but said “their financial assets in the EU will be frozen and that no funds may be made available to them.”

Nachdem man das Regime mit dieser Peitsche bis an den Rand des Zusammenbruchs getrieben hat, gibt’s wieder etwas Zuckerbrot:

Also on Friday, the European Union’s foreign policy chief said in a letter to Tehran that major powers were willing to meet with Iran within weeks if Tehran was prepared to “engage seriously in meaningful discussions” on its disputed nuclear program.
“When moving to continuation of our talks, it is crucial to look for concrete results,” Catherine Ashton said in the letter addressed to Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili.
“We have to ensure that when we meet again we can make real progress on the nuclear issue so that both sides can draw concrete benefits,” said the letter, a copy of which was obtained by Reuters.

Diplomatie à la EU.

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European Parliament “Iran Delegation” Plans Shameful Trip To Tehran

European Parliament’s delegation for relations with Iran is planning to pay a five-day visit to Tehran at the end of this month.

The request for this trip was made months ago by two German MEPs Barbara Lochbieler and Kurt Lechner as part of the delegation. The trip will cost European tax-payers an estimated €100.000.

No delegation from the European Parliament has visited Iran in the current parliamentary term. It was due to concerns of atrocities committed by the Iranian authorities that the world witnessed following the sham Presidential Elections that was hijacked by Mahoud Ahmadinejad in 2009.

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Nightmare scenario

Michael Rubin in Commentary:

With President Obama announcing a full withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq, what comes next?

The nightmare scenario for me isn’t simply a huge rise in Iranian influence. That’s a given, now that the Iraqis will not be able to balance the Iranians and Americans off each other to preserve space for themselves. Nor is it the simple abandonment of all those who allied themselves with the United States–a mistake, Obama seems determined to emphasize, that no one should ever again make.

Rather, with perhaps 160 troops defending the largest U.S. embassy in the world, the danger is what happens should Iranian forces and their proxies want to humiliate the United States completely? Will the State Department sit idly by while Muqtada al-Sadr’s forces rain mortars down on the compound? Or when they begin to fire on the checkpoints? While the United States will maintain forces in Kuwait, these will by no means be rapid reaction in case of a crisis at the embassy.

If the Iranian leadership wills it to be so, it is quite possible 2012 will be the year when American diplomats and contractors abandon the U.S. embassy in droves, adding an exclamation point to Obama’s self-inflicted wound and creating an iconic image to replace the withdrawal from Saigon.

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The myth of the Islamic Republic’s genius

Indeed the myth of the Islamic Republic’s genius has even lent its glow to Tehran’s allies, none more than Hezbollah. And yet over the span of some 30 years Iran has pumped billions of dollars into an organization now led by a man, Hassan Nasrallah, whose claims of a “divine victory” over Israel are belied by the fact that in the 2006 war Hezbollah lost perhaps a quarter of its frontline fighters, while the Shia community suffered so much damage that it fears nothing more than the prospect of another “divine victory.” Furthermore, by banking on Syrian president Bashar al-Assad, the Iranians are on the verge not only of losing their one Arab state ally, but also forfeiting Hezbollah’s supply line. Elsewhere in the region, the Iranians handed off a significant portion of their Iraq portfolio to Moktada al-Sadr, a man who has not served their interests well.

Nonetheless, those still inclined to believe that the terror plot against the United States sounds fishy because the Iranians can’t be this stupid can satisfy themselves by seeing it from the perspective of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps. Without having to resort to their most skillful operatives, the Quds Force took a shot at proving they have both the will and wherewithal to kill an American client in the U.S. capital without risking a thing. Let the skeptics doubt Iran’s hand if they like, the Revolutionary Guard must be thinking—is it any wonder these Americans will do nothing to protect their troops stationed in Iraq and Afghanistan from us?

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Protest gegen Einladung des iranischen Vize-Finanzministers zur DGAP

STOP THE BOMB fordert die Absage der Veranstaltung mit Mohammad Reza Farzin und Rainer Stinner (FDP) – Islamische Republik kein Partner in Afghanistan

Für den kommenden Mittwoch, 26. Oktober 2011 lädt die teilweise aus Bundesmitteln finanzierte Deutsche Gesellschaft für Auswärtige Politik (DGAP) zu einem „Expertengespräch“ mit Mohammad Reza Farzin, dem Vizefinanzminister der Islamischen Republik Iran und Rainer Stinner, dem außenpolitischen Sprecher der FDP-Bundestagsfraktion.
Dabei soll es unter anderem um eine mögliche Energiekooperation mit dem Iran, aber auch um Möglichkeiten einer Partnerschaft bei der „Bewältigung der Probleme in Afghanistan“ gehen.
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