Waffen für Maliki

Ungeachtet der politischen Streitigkeiten zwischen Sunniten und Schiiten im Irak gehen nach einem Bericht der Zeitung „New York Times“ auch die Waffenverkäufe an die Regierung in Bagdad im Gesamtwert von elf Milliarden Dollar weiter. Die Verkäufe, darunter Panzer und Kampfflugzeuge, dienen nach Angaben des Pentagons der Außenverteidigung des Iraks nach dem Abzug der amerikanischen Truppen. Im Irak aber werden Befürchtungen laut, dass das schiitisch dominierte Militär die Waffen zur Unterdrückung von Sunniten einsetzen könnte, falls diese Unabhängigkeit für ihre Regionen fordern sollten.

Ministerpräsident Maliki hat für diesen Fall mit „Strömen von Blut“ gedroht. Washington verlangt als Bedingung für die dauerhafte militärische Zusammenarbeit mit dem Irak, dass keine Minderheiten an den Rand gedrückt werden. Erst vor wenigen Tagen hatte die amerikanische Regierung den Kongress informiert, das der Irak 18 Kampfflugzeuge des Typs F-16 für insgesamt 2,3 Milliarden Dollar kaufen wolle.

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Better act now ….

So now we know the kind of sanctions that hit Iran’s regime where it really hurts. The U.S. and Europe are at last mustering the gumption to target Iran’s multibillion-dollar oil industry, and almost immediately Tehran is threatening to bring Persian Gulf tankers to a halt. If it struck first, Iran could sink a few ships and do some damage. But Iran is no military match for the U.S. and its allies in the Persian Gulf.
The Hormuz threat is another opportunity to set boundaries on Iran’s rogue behavior. Washington, along with London, Paris and Riyadh, should say plainly that any attempt to close or disrupt traffic through the strait would be considered an act of war that would be met with a military response. That response would be robust and immediate, and it would target Iran’s military and nuclear assets, perhaps even its regime. Iran’s mullahs need to understand that an act of aggression would jeopardize their own survival.
The Hormuz flap should also underscore the strategic damage that would result if Iran does get the bomb. Fortified by a nuclear threat, the mullahs would be more willing to blackmail their neighbors and press for regional dominance. Would the U.S. dare resist Iranian aggression if it meant putting American forces at risk of a nuclear reprisal? Better to act now to stop Iran before we have to answer that terrible question.

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Iran droht

Sollten die Sanktionen gegen den Iran ausgeweitet werden, will das Land „keinen Tropfen Öl“ mehr durch die Straße von Hormus lassen. Die USA zeigen sich unbeeindruckt.

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Shameless attempt

International Committee against Stoning, Press Release 26 December 2011

 The Islamic Republic of Iran is considering Sakineh Mohamadi Ashtiani’s execution; This is an attempt to gauge the international response

 Malek Ajdar Sharifi, the head of East Azerbaijan province’s justice department, has announced that the Islamic Republic of Iran is considering changing Sakineh Mohamadi Ashtiani’s stoning sentence to execution by hanging and said that they are waiting for the go-ahead from the Ministry of Justice to execute Sakineh.

Clearly, the regime has been unable to stone Sakineh to death because of the global outrage. The regime arrested her lawyer and son and forced her and her son to ‘confess’ on Press TV and incriminate themselves. They have been barred from contacting international institutions.

By planning to execute Sakineh, the Islamic regime is trying to show the world that despite public outrage, it will continue its execution machinery in order to ensure its survival.

The International Committee against Stoning declares:

This is a shameless attempt by the regime and its criminal judicial system to test the reaction of world public opinion in order to create the groundwork for Sakineh’s murder.

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The Rise and Fall of the Iranian Revolutionary Model

The internal developments in Iran and the upheavals in the Arab world pose significant challenges for the Iranian regime. The erosion in the status of the clerics, the growing resistance to the concept of rule by the Supreme Leader, and the increasing difficulty to present the Islamic revolution as a successful model to be imitated by Muslim societies cast doubts on the future of the regime.
In the short term, the Iranian leadership may be able to eliminate any threat to the stability of the regime and take advantage of new opportunities to advance its influence in the Arab world. However, the increasing power of alternative ideological views at home, coupled with the emergence of competing Islamic government models in the Arab world, may make it even more difficult for Iran to realize its long-term objectives.

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Es tagt der Rat der Weisen

Steinigen oder Hängen, Hängen oder Steinigen – eine schwere Entscheidung, mit der die Experten noch immer ringen. Ist der Strang nicht zu milde, wenn Allah doch Steinigung verlangt? Man weiß es nicht, ist aber guten Willens und prüft deshalb. Bedürfte es noch mehr, um die ganze Abartigkeit der ‚göttlichen Gerichtsbarkeit‘ zu demonstrieren?

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‚Iran strike could spare world a very real threat‘

A military strike on Iran could spare the region and the world a very real threat and dramatically improve the long-term national security of the United States, analyst Matthew Kroenig of Georgetown University said recently in an article published by Foreign Affairs magazine. (…)

In the article, Kroenig warned that it is dangerous to assume that the consequences of a US attack on Iran would be even worse than Iran achieving its nuclear ambitions.

He claimed that military strike, if carefully managed, „could spare the region and the world a very real threat and dramatically improve the long-term national security of the United States.“


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Is Kurdistan ready for a US-Iran war?

Michael Rubin in der Kurdistan Tribune:

Tension between Iran and the United States is at a peak. On October 11, Attorney General Eric Holder accused the Islamic Republic of plotting an attack on American soil. “Today, the Department of Justice is announcing charges against two people who allegedly attempted to carry out a deadly plot that was directed by factions of the Iranian government to assassinate a foreign ambassador here in the United States,” he announced.

Over subsequent weeks, tension increased. On November 8, the International Atomic Energy Agency issued a report finding that Iran’s nuclear program included components which had no civilian energy role, only military applications. A month later, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps recovered a top-secret U.S. spy drone. In just the last two weeks alone, Iranian authorities announced they had captured a CIA spy and the U.S. government announced a $10 million bounty on Yasin as-Suri, an Al Qaeda financier believed to reside in Iran.

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Allein seit dem Wochenende hat der iranische Rial 15 Prozent an Wert eingebüßt. Diktator Ahmadinedschad fordert sein Volk zur Ruhe auf – vergeblich.


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Sanktionen zeigen Wirkung

An Iranian government minister acknowledged that Western sanctions are affecting the Islamic Republic’s economy.

Iran’s deputy oil minister, Ahmad Qalebani, told the official Iranian Students’ News Agency that Iran’s crude oil production in 2011 had declined from the previous year due to a lack of foreign investment stemming from the sanctions, The New York Times reported.

Iran is producing about 3.4 million barrels of oil a day this year, about half a million fewer than last year.

Other Iranian officials also said that sanctions against the country have been effective.

“We cannot pretend the sanctions are not having an effect,” Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi told the official Islamic Republic News Agency, according to The New York Times.


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Let’s hope so

March 14 General Secretariat coordinator Fares Soueid said Wednesday evening that Hezbollah is likely to become “a Lebanese party” that is not affiliated with any foreign powers in the event the Syrian regime falls.

Soueid told Future News that Hezbollah “will not use its weapons in order to change the situation” in Lebanon following any possible downfall of the Syrian Baath regime.

“[Hezbollah] will be pragmatic and not suicidal.”

Hezbollah is currently affiliated with Iran and also supported by Syria.

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Immer nur der zweite Platz

Der Iran hat nicht nur den zweiten Platz inne, wenn es um die Zahl von Hinrichtungen geht, auch bei Arbeitsunfällen hat er es noch nicht ganyz an die Spitze geschafft:

Iran ranks second in the world in work accidents. Last week, a blast at a steel factory in Yazd left at least 18 dead.

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Rivalry over Syria, Iraq widens rift between Turkey and Iran

Following a day-long meeting on Thursday, the top Turkish military council said it reviewed the military’s preparedness for war, without elaborating on what types of threats the country faces. Observers immediately jumped to the conclusion that it was a message designed to send chills through Tehran and its chief ally Syria.

The statement came shortly after a series of threats Iranian officials made against Turkey, although Iran denied they were the Islamic republic’s official position. The largely hidden „cold war“ between Tehran and Ankara is brewing quickly, bringing with it a greater risk of conflict.

The great indulgence granted to Iran’s ways and phobias in the face of a nuclear standoff last year between the Islamic republic and the West has reaped a self-destructing harvest, giving leeway to Iran’s never-ceasing desire to expand. It would have been unimaginable last year, following Turkey’s defense of the Islamic republic to defuse Western threats, to now expect Iran to end its friendship with the NATO member.

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Die große Öl-Show

Ulricke Becker in der FR:

Deutschland bremst die Sanktionen gegen Iran. Dabei gilt es, das Atom-Programm so lange es geht aufzuhalten. Am besten, bis zum Sturz des Regimes.

Der Bericht der Internationalen Atomenergiebehörde vom 8. November war deutlich: Das iranische Regime arbeitet an allen nötigen Komponenten für eine Atombombe.

Ein atomar bewaffneter Iran ist ein Albtraum. Denn das Wesen der Islamischen Republik Iran ist, wie der Publizist Richard Herzinger es kürzlich formulierte, der permanente verdeckte Krieg gegen die eigene Bevölkerung wie gegen die Nachbarn. Dazu gehört der islamistische Krieg gegen die Opposition, die Religions-, Presse- und Meinungsfreiheit, gegen die Religionsgruppe der Bahai, gegen Homosexuelle und gegen Frauen, die sich den Kampagnen gegen den „bad hijab“, also den unzureichenden Schleier, nicht beugen wollen. In Afghanistan und im Irak, im Libanon und in Gaza, aber auch in Lateinamerika finanziert der Iran islamistische Organisationen und terroristische Anschläge.

Zum Wesen des Regimes gehört auch die antisemitische Vision von einer Welt ohne Israel. Alle iranischen Religionsführer und Präsidenten bekräftigten das Ziel, den jüdischen Staat auszulöschen. Mitglieder des Majles, des iranischen Pseudo-Parlaments, rufen gemeinsam „Tod Israel“ und „Tod Amerika“. Irans Präsident Ahmadinedschad kündigte an, die Nuklearisierung Irans werde die Welt verändern. Es ist deshalb eine Illusion zu glauben, eine Atombombe in den Händen des islamistischen Regimes diene lediglich dem Selbsterhalt.

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Tehran ruins dome ‚adorned‘ with Jewish symbol

Mehr als ein Jahr hat es gedauert, aber nun hat die Stadtverwaltung Teherans endlich reagiert und der Davidstern-Invasion Einhalt geboten:

The Tehran Municipality has demolished the dome in the city’s central square on Tuesday due to criticism that the monument featured Stars of David, which are associated with Judaism.
The Iranian news agency Fars reported that „part of the dome in Revolution Square, which resembles the symbol of the Zionist regime, has been destroyed by municipality workers.“

Fotos der zerstörten Anlage gibt es auf dem Blog Elder of Ziyon.

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Avtobaza: Iran’s weapon in alleged RQ-170 affair?

Ende Oktober berichtete die russische Nachrichtenagentur Russia Today über die Lieferung mehrerer 1L222 Avtobaza (Foto) für Elektronische Aufklärung/Elektronische Gegenmaßnahmen nach Teheran. Eines dieser Systeme könnte beim Absturz der amerikanischen Sentinel-Drohne eine entscheidende Rolle gespielt haben:

The original reports that Iran „shot down“ a Lockheed Martin RQ-170 Sentinel appear to be misleading. Iranian news agency reports credited the army’s electronic warfare unit with bringing down the UAV, but apparently in a way that limited the amount of damage on landing or impact. […]
The Avtobaza, moreover, is designed to jam side-looking and fire control radars on aircraft and manipulate the guidance and control systems of incoming enemy missiles. It would be the perfect tool to target and perhaps infiltrate the communications link that allows a UAV to be controlled from a remote location.

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Der Bittsteller

Die nächste Stufe des Appeasements: Obama fragt freundlich bei den Mullahs an, ob diese die abgestürzte Aufklärungsdrohne nicht wieder zurückgeben könnten: We have asked for it back. We’ll see how the Iranians respond.. Nein, das ist kein Scherz:

Und die Antwort aus Teheran?

Iran has rejected a US call for the return of an American spy drone captured by Iran’s military.
„The American espionage drone is now Iran’s property, and our country will decide what steps to take regarding it“

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Mysterious explosion kills 7, injures 16 in Iran

Die Serie rätselhafter Explosionen in iranischen Anlagen setzt sich fort:

A mysterious explosion took place in a steel factory in Iran overnight Sunday, killing seven people, the latest in a series of blasts that have rocked the Islamic Republic over the last month.
The deaths occurred in an explosion and subsequent fire at a steel factory in the central Iranian province of Yadz, Iran’s IRIB news agency quoted Yazd Governor Azizollah Seifi as saying on Monday. He said that some of the those killed in the blast were foreign nationals.The cause of the explosion was not immediately clear but reports over the years have indicated the existence of covert nuclear facilities in the city of Yazd and it’s surrounding areas.

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Theoretisch am Ende

Die Industrien des Iran sind durch 30 Jahre Sanktionen geschwächt, ohne Zulieferungen deutscher Maschinenbauer wären sie schrottreif, außerstande, der jungen Generation Arbeit und Lebenssinn zu geben. Zwischen Fortsetzung der Atomrüstung und durch den „arabischen Frühling“ noch gesteigerter innerer Unruhe steht das Regime der Fanatiker in Teheran vor der Existenzfrage.


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Honestly Concerned: Meldungen und Artikel zum Iran

Honestly Concerned mit Auszügen aktueller Meldungen zum Thema Iran aus seinem täglichen Nahost-Newsletter.

Dank an Ulrich Becker.


Europeans still asleep

Former Israeli Ambassador to France Daniel Shek said in a TV interview on Channel 10 that “the new EU sanctions don’t hurt Europe and thus won’t hurt Iran either.” Other disgruntled Israeli commentators wondered what it would take for Europe to act against Iran. This happened after it became clear that the attack on the British embassy would not lead to crippling EU sanctions.
The outcome of the recent meeting of EU foreign ministers was further evidence of the wide gap in the perceptions of the Iranian threat between Jerusalem and Europe. For the EU, Iran seems to be a sideshow and a rather abstract and distant threat. For Israel, however, it is a matter of life and death.


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U.S. officials, analysts differ on whether drone in Iran TV video is real

Iranian TV aired images Thursday of what it says is a U.S. stealth drone that went down in Iran last week, an apparently intact RQ-170 drone propped on a pedestal and triumphantly displayed.
„Military experts are well aware how precious the technological information of this drone is,“ said Brig. Gen. Amir Ali Hajizadeh, commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps Aerospace Forces, according to the semi-official Fars News Agency.
There was disagreement among Pentagon officials about whether the drone in the video is real. Military and intelligence officials were analyzing the Iran television footage.
One U.S. official said right now the U.S. can’t be certain it’s the real stealth drone, because U.S. personnel don’t have access to it. But he added there’s no reason to think it’s a fake.
However, a second senior U.S. military official said that a big question is to how the drone could have remained virtually intact given the high altitude it is believed to have crashed from.

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Covert War in Iran

The U.S. withdrawal from Iraq will create a power vacuum that the Iranians are eager to exploit. The potential for Iran to control a sphere of influence from western Afghanistan to the Mediterranean is a prospect that not only frightens regional players such as Israel, Saudi Arabia and Turkey but also raises serious concerns in the United States. As we have noted before, we don’t believe that a military attack against Iran’s nuclear facilities alone is the answer to the regional threat posed by Iran. Iran’s power comes from its ability to employ its conventional forces and not nuclear weapons. Therefore, strikes against its nuclear weapons program would not impact Iran’s conventional forces or its ability to interfere with the flow of oil through the Strait of Hormuz by using its conventional forces asymmetrically against U.S. naval power and commercial shipping. Indeed, any attack on Iran would have to be far broader than just a one-off attack like the June 1981 Israeli strike at Osirak, Iraq, that crippled Saddam Hussein’s nuclear weapons program. Because of this difficulty, we have seen the Israelis, Americans and their allies attacking Iran through other means. First of all, they are seeking to curb Iran’s sphere of influence by working to overthrow the Syrian regime, limit Iran’s influence in Iraq and control Hezbollah in Lebanon. They are also seeking to attack Iran’s nuclear program by coercing officials to defect, assassinating scientists and deploying cyberwarfare weapons such as the Stuxnet worm. It is also necessary to recognize that covert action does not occur in a vacuum. Each covert activity requires a tremendous amount of clandestine intelligence-gathering in order to plan and execute it. With so much covert action happening, the clandestine activity undertaken by all sides to support it is obviously tremendous. But as the frequency of this activity increases, so can sloppy tradecraft. Finally, as we examine this campaign it is remarkable to note that not only are Iran’s enemies using covert methods to stage attacks on Iran’s nuclear program and military capabilities, they are also developing new and previously unknown methods to do so. And they have shown a willingness to allow these new covert attack capabilities to be unveiled by using them — which could render them useless for future attacks. This willingness to use, rather than safeguard, revolutionary new capabilities strongly underscores the importance of this covert campaign to Iran’s adversaries. It also indicates that we will likely see other new forms of covert warfare emerge in the coming months, along with revolutionary new tactical applications of older forms.

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Es wird besser und besser

Ach so:

Iranian Ambassador to Lebanon Ghadanfar Roken Abadi said on Friday that the situation in Syria is “improving.”

“Day by day, things are getting better in Syria,” the envoy said following his meeting with Speaker Nabih Berri.

He added that „Western states’ [unyielding] position vis-à-vis President Bashar al-Assad’s regime is lessening,” the National News Agency reported.

“The Islamic Republic’s stances are proving to be right; the majority of the Syrian people support [Assad’s] regime and want to make reforms at the same time.”


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Bilder der abgestürzten US-Drohne

Im iranischen Fernsehen wurde eine abgestürzte amerikanische Aufklärungsdrohne präsentiert:

Seizing on its capture of a downed C.I.A. stealth drone as an intelligence and propaganda windfall, Iran displayed the first images of the aircraft on state television Thursday and lodged an official diplomatic protest over the incursion. The 2.5-minute video clip of the remote-control surveillance aircraft was the first visual evidence to emerge that Iran had possession of the drone since Sunday, when Iran claimed that its military had downed the aircraft. American officials have since confirmed that controllers of a pilotless drone aircraft, based in neighboring Afghanistan, had lost contact with it.