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Principles of the Nuremberg Tribunal, 1950

Statut für den Internationalen Militärgerichtshof, 1945 - (DEUTSCH) 
Artikel 6(a) Verbrechen gegen den Frieden:

 "Planen, Vorbereitung und Einleitung oder Durchführung eines Angriffskrieges oder eines Krieges unter Verletzung internationaler Verträge, Abkommen oder Zusicherungen oder Beteiligungen an einem gemeinsamen Plan oder an einer Verschwörung zur Ausführung einer der vorgenannten Handlungen" 

A-RES-3314(XXIX).Definition of Aggression

 

GV Res. 3314 (XXIX). Definition der Aggression (DEUTSCH)

 

Übereinkommen vom 9. Dezember 1948 über die Verhütung und Bestrafung des Völkermordes Artikel 2 (DEUTSCH)

"....In dieser Konvention bedeutet Völkermord eine der folgenden Handlungen, die in der Absicht begangen wird, eine nationale, ethnische, rassische oder religiöse Gruppe als solche ganz oder teilweise zu zerstören: a) Tötung von Mitgliedern der Gruppe; b) Verursachung von schwerem körperlichem oder seelischem Schaden an Mitgliedern der Gruppe; c) vorsätzliche Auferlegung von Lebensbedingungen für die Gruppe, die geeignet sind, ihre körperliche Zerstörung ganz oder teilweise herbeizuführen;..." 

LEGALITY OF THE THREAT OR USE OF NUCLEAR WEAPONS, (1994 - 1996)
ICJ
ADVISORY OPINION OF 8 JULY 1996

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  • U.S. sidesteps questions on Israeli threat against Iran - Friday, June 6, 2008 - (Reuters) via   Casmii - "Editor's note: The call by the deputy prime minister of Israel for a military attack against Iran is a flagrant violation of the UN charter and any preemptive military intervention would be a crime against humanity as clearly spelled out by the Nuremeberg trials of the Nazi leaders. The US and and its European allies are however silent in the face of this blatant threat of a crime against humanity and choose to support or appease Israel which has a history of waging illegal pre-emptive military attacks against its neighbours."   -  WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The White House on Friday sidestepped questions about an Israeli threat to attack Iranian nuclear sites if it continues uranium enrichment, saying it would not respond to "hypotheticals."  Israeli Transport Minister Shaul Mofaz was quoted as telling an Israeli newspaper that an attack on Iran looks "unavoidable" given the apparent failure of sanctions to deny Tehran technology with bomb-making potential..."  MEHR >> 

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  • For the entire available information until 12 April 2007 click here !

INFO AND ANALYSIS ON THE NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE ESTIMATE (NIE) REPORT

National Intelligence Estimate Key Judgments: Iran: Nuclear Intentions and Capabilities 3/12/07  
http://www.campaigniran.org/casmii/index.php?q=node/3670

Can the US Accept Iran as a Regional Power?     Iran reacts to NIE report. -  by Pepe Escobar / Paul Jay (source: The Real News) via CASMII - December 24, 2007  Based in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Pepe Escobar writes The Roving Eye for Asia Times Online. He has reported from Iraq, Iran, Central Asia, US and China. He is the author of the recently published Red Zone Blues. Pepe is a regular analyst for The Real News. For watching the video, see here.

The NIE Watergates Bush - by Saul Landau; Progreso Weekly; December 24, 2007 - ZNet | Foreign Policy(20 December 2007)
The intelligence report served to discredit Bush, which reduces chances of an imminent war with Iran, but don’t fool yourself -- it doesn’t change fundamental U.S. policy.

“Look, Iran was dangerous, Iran is dangerous and Iran will be dangerous, if they have the knowledge necessary to make a nuclear weapon.” --George Bush, Dec. 4, 2007

“We have no clear understanding of what bullshit is, why there is so much of it, or what functions it serves. … Bullshitters seek to convey a certain impression of themselves without being concerned about whether anything at all is true. They quietly change the rules governing their end of the conversation so that claims about truth and falsity are irrelevant.” --Prof. Harry Frankfurt (1986)

In early December, an intelligence report served as the instrument to disgrace Bush and Cheney. Behind this apparently benign act stood the relieved super rich and their government guardian who saw the reckless policies of Bush and Cheney as a threat to their power and fortunes.
In the early 1970s, the Establishment worried about Nixon. He brought a California crowd into the White House who didn’t consult the bastions of old power and wealth. Then, “Deep Throat” serendipitously emerged to reveal to Washington Post reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein details of Nixon’s involvement in a criminal break-in at Democratic Party Headquarters in Washington’s Watergate complex, and of a subsequent White House cover up. In August 1974, Nixon -- facing impeachment -- resigned. The power structure breathed a collective sigh of relief.
In December 2007, intelligence boss Mike McConnell released a National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) report that humiliated Bush and Cheney. By making facts about the non-functioning of Iran’s nuke program public, the NIE removed the Bush zealots’ ostensible reason for starting another war. The “experts” concluded “with high confidence” that Iran had shut down its nuclear weapons program in 2003, thus nullifying the Bush’s pretext for bombing that country. The spooks also deduced that Iran might make a weapon by 2015 -- if it reactivated its dormant program.
Compare that report with Bush’s September claim that Iran’s nuclear program could ignite World War III; reminiscent of Cheney’s 2002 rhetoric to show why Iraq needed invading because Saddam Hussein had tried to buy yellowcake uranium in Niger to make a nuclear WMD. Bush and Cheney also scoffed at intelligence reports that cast major doubt on these allegations. Bush still rejects the conclusion that Iran shut down its nuclear weapons production. (He also rejects evolution.)
By making this NIE public, the CIA further weakened Bush’s already damaged credibility. He no longer intimidates and he stands exposed as a fraud.
The CIA informed Bush in August of its benign findings, but he shrugged off the facts and continued to insist on war as his answer to a non-existent threat. So, McConnell released the report which, for Bush, compares with his twins making the centerfold of Playboy -- on the humiliation scale.
The intelligence community sucker punched the Great Intimidator -- in public. Their NIE averred implicitly that Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the hated Holocaust denier and only remaining axis of evil personage, had told the truth about Iran not developing nuclear weapons. Conversely, Bush and Cheney, leaders of the World Alliance for God and Good (WAGG), prevaricated through their proverbial teeth.
The NIE derailed the White House policy of the bombing of Iran and led to a prolonged scream from neo con heavies like Norman Podhoretz, editor of Commentary, and Frank Gaffney of the Center for Security Policy. They now bleat on TV about “treason” in high places (CIA) and the nation’s desperate need to bomb Iran immediately.
Douglas Feith, Bush’s former Under Secretary of Defense for Policy from July 2001 until he resigned in August 2005, spoke to the American Enterprise Institute in Washington in December and defended his own failed policies in Iraq. Some neo cons demand a “Team B” report to invalidate the NIE, an equivalent of former CIA Chief William Casey’s ploy to resurrect the Soviet threat.
In 1980, after U.S. intelligence concluded the USSR posed less of a threat to the West than in previous decades, Casey handpicked another team of “experts” who predictably found the declining Soviet Union more dangerous than ever. Team B thugs backed Reagan’s aggressive posture to build more missiles and a Star Wars defense.
Bush and Cheney, like Reagan and Casey, disregard their intelligence services -- for which taxpayers pay $40 billion per year -- and instead relied on Israel’s Mossad, whose spies rejected the CIA findings. Israeli intelligence clings to its claim that Iran will soon build a nuke.
For Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak publicizing the NIE report meant a “blow to the groin” of Israel. (Truth is a kick in the balls? Bombing is good for Israeli manhood?) Will Bush now secretly encourage Israel to use some its own nuclear stockpile to launch a “preemptive strike” against Iran?
For Bush, good nations behave obediently. England and now France, for example, should possess nuclear weapons. Sort-of-good Pakistan still rates approval (obedient by mouth, which is good enough); and of course, beloved Israel -- with 200 or more nukes.
Iran, the only remaining member of Bush’s “axis of evil,” began punching the United States in the fist with its face in 1953 when Iranians brazenly elected a democratic government. The CIA and their British equivalent in the name of anti-communism and in the interest of the oil companies overthrew that government and set up a puppet Shah, who ruled despotically until 1979 when militant Muslims dumped him and established a theocracy. In 1980, Iranian militants held CIA and other U.S. officials hostage for more than a year -- thus humiliating numero uno.
The President and most presidential aspirants follow the U.S. axiom. To keep its status, Washington without casus belli invades and occupies other countries. Those who dare challenge such blatantly illegal behavior now become Islamofascists.
Acting in the Lord’s name, U.S. presidents took revenge for Iran’s insolent behavior. After failing to revive the Shah’s rule, the U.S. backed the now hated but then useful Saddam Hussein who dutifully, and with U.S. aid, invaded Iran in 1980.
After almost a decade of Iraq-Iran slaughter, the United States punished Iran with sanctions -- while covertly selling it missiles to support anti-Sandinista rebels in Nicaragua.
9/11 allowed Bush to declare a permanent and perpetual war against terrorism, thus undermining traditional foreign policy methods for unabashed aggression. His neo con advisers usurped power from the traditional Establishment, much as Nixon did with his California outsiders. The neo cons invaded the intelligence apparatus, much as Nixon’s Plumbers assumed FBI and CIA tasks. (Plumbers sealed “leaks” -- to the press.) CREEP (Committee and Finance Committee to Re-elect the President) allowed Nixon his own private budget as well as a White House intelligence and police operation. Such behavior made the traditional agency heads seriously pissed off.
Bush and Cheney’s war-loving intellectuals like Richard Perle, Paul Wolfowitz and Feith manipulated intelligence in order to use 9/11 to generate fear. They pushed the country into war with Iraq -- which had nothing to do with 9/11. Even after the invasion turned sour, the neo cons pursued their plan to attack Iran. Now discredited, these men writhe from the NIE’s kick to their cerebral groins.
The repercussions from the revelation will play out in Europe as well. Bush’s plan to place missiles in Poland and the Czech Republic as a defensive shield against Iran’s “nuclear threat” has drawn the ire of Russian President Putin. Russia’s leader sees Bush repeating Truman and Churchill’s Cold War policies of 60 years ago, using a non-existent threat (Iran) as a pretext to militarily encircle Russia. In 1947, Truman declared the USSR an imminent threat to attack Western Europe while the Soviets still licked their wounds after losing more than 20 million people in World War II.
Repetition of history with a new metaphor! The groin kick -- an intelligence report to the balls -- should help abate the “hate Iran” fever that replaced the 2001-2003 “hate Iraq” zeal. The NIE revealed to the U.S. public that Bush and Cheney were dangerous bullshitters who spread malicious lies about Iran. Previously, they had accused Teheran with providing Iraqi insurgents bombs to kill U.S. military personnel, a line that remains in Bush’s verbal arsenal.
Sadly, presidential hopefuls from both Parties, excepting Ron Paul and Dennis Kucinich, still buy into the anti-Iran axiom. They agree with Bush that the United States should not permit other nations to help anti-U.S. insurgents albeit Washington feels duty bound -- by God? -- to help pro-U.S. insurgents fight bad countries, like the Soviet Union in Afghanistan in the 1980s. Sound like bullshit?
The imperial bullshit level has surpassed the feeble imaginations of Cheney, Bush and even the presidential candidates. It emanates from the $700 billon smelly military budget pile, passed by Congress even though no nation poses a threat.
The NIE served to discredit Bush, which reduces chances of an imminent war with Iran, but don’t fool yourself -- it doesn’t change fundamental U.S. policy.
Saul Landau is a Fellow of the Institute for Policy Studies and a senior fellow of the Transnational Institute. His latest book is A Bush and Botox World


Ex-CIA official: Israel will attack Iran on its own - JPost.com Staff , THE JERUSALEM POST - Dec. 21, 2007

"I came back from a trip to Israel in November convinced that Israel would attack Iran," Bruce Riedel, a former CIA official and senior adviser to three US presidents, George W. Bush among them, told the American Newsweek magazine in an article published Friday.
Citing conversations he had in Israel with officials in Mossad and the Israeli defense establishment, Riedel concluded that "Israel is not going to allow its nuclear monopoly to be threatened."
While some US experts doubt Israel's ability to tackle Iran alone, David Albright, of the Institute for Science and International Security in Washington, was quoted by Newsweek as saying that although information on the exact location of Iran's nuclear facility is incomplete, Israel's air strike on an alleged Syrian nuclear facility on September 6, widely discussed in foreign media outlets, could be seen as a test run for any future strike on Iran's facilities, as well as a direct warning to Teheran.
Riedel told the magazine his impression that Israel would venture a strike on Iran on its own was formed before the publication of the joint US intelligence agencies' report, the National Intelligence Estimate (NIE). "This [the NIE] makes it [a strike on Iran] even more likely," he said.
Since the publication of the NIE, which reversed a previous American assessment by concluding that Iran halted its nuclear weapons program in 2003, leaders worldwide have been adjusting their publicly stated positions on the Iranian nuclear issue.
Even inside the US, President Bush attempted some damage control by stating a day after the report's publication that "Iran was dangerous, Iran is dangerous and Iran will be dangerous."
In Israel, responses to the report ranged from subtle criticism of the report's conclusions to outright slamming of the US intelligence community's capabilities, so much so that on last Sunday's cabinet meeting Prime Minister Ehud Olmert instructed his ministers to refrain from commenting any further on the report.
In the international scene, Russia's decision to renew fuel shipments to Iran main nuclear facility at Bushehr was interpreted by many anlysts as stemming directly from the NIE's publication; another development possibly stemming from the report is Russia and China's hardened position on further sanctions against Teheran.
In Teheran, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was quick to capitalize on the NIE, calling it an "Iranian victory" and demanding that the United States publicly apologize for its previous bellicose stance.
Uzi Arad, a former Mossad official and adviser to opposition leader Binyamin Netanyahu, told Newsweek that on a recent trip to Moscow, a Russian general poked fun at the naiveté of the NIE, commenting that if the Iranians had halted weapons development in 2003 it was partly because they were satisfied with progress there and wanted to devote investment to harder parts of the nuclear equation, like enrichment.
"The irony is that the effect of this report may be self-negating - by itself it will accelerate Iranian acquisition of nuclear weapons," Arad told the magazine- This article can also be read at http://www.jpost.com /servlet/Satellite?cid=1196847398265&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull


Wer narrt wen? Behrouz Khosrozadeh (Neues Deutschland) Dec 15, 2007 Im Mai 2005 hatten die USA das Verlangen Irans nach einer Atomwaffenproduktion als sehr hoch eingestuft. Im November 2007 steht dieselbe »high confidence« dafür, dass Teheran das Programm im Herbst 2003 (während der Amtszeit Präsident Khatamis) einstellte. Es stünde auch mit »high confidence« fest, dass der Stopp mindestens bis Mitte 2007 angehalten hat – bis zur Mitte der Präsidentschaft von Ahmadinedschad. Zuvor hatte Bush vor einem Dritten Weltkrieg gewarnt. Wer hält die internationale Gemeinschaft zum Narren, die Bush-Administration oder der Iran?Irans Entscheidung, das Atomwaffenprogramm zu stoppen, sei das Ergebnis des internationalen Drucks, so der Bericht der US-Geheimdienste. Daraus wird geschlussgefolgert, den zivilen Druck auf Teheran zu verschärfen. Es ist eine bewusst falsche Lesart des Berichts, denn der Iran stand 2003 nicht unter hohem Druck. Die Übergabe der Nuklearakte durch die Internationale Atomenergiebehörde an den UN-Sicherheitsrat erfolgte 2006 und die erste Resolution (Nr. 1696) gegen den Iran Ende Juli 2006. Irans Atomwaffenprogramm, wenn es eines gegeben hat, wurde kurz nach dem Fall Saddam Husseins eingestellt. Es richtete sich folglich wohl gegen Saddams Irak, der den Iran 1980 überfiel. Iran hätte somit weder Israel vernichten, noch Nachbarn bedrohen wollen.Ein persisches Sprichwort besagt, man könne den Kopf des Gegners auch mit Watte abschneiden. Vielleicht kennt man solche Gedanken auch in den USA: Mit Verweis auf den Bericht will Bush das Tor für Sanktionen offen halten. Innenpolitisch könnte es ein verzweifelter Schachzug im Hinblick auf die Präsidentschaftswahl sein, die die Republikaner zu verlieren drohen. Die Administration wäre von einem Kriegszwang gegen den Iran, den sie selbst entfachte, entlastet.Dem Bericht zufolge ist der Iran – entgegen der Dämonisierungskampagne der amerikanischen NeoCons und der Israel-Lobby – ein nach Kosten-Nutzen-Kalkulation handelnder rationaler Akteur. Optimistisch betrachtet könnten die USA begriffen haben, dass in der Region kein Weg am Iran vorbeiführt. Schließlich gehe es um die Sicherung der Energiezufuhr, Stabilität, Existenz Israels und Abwehr von Al-Qaida. Keines dieser Ziele kann ohne den Iran erreicht werden. Im Irak sind die Anschläge auf US-Soldaten enorm zurückgegangen. Das Land hat seine Apokalypse hinter sich. Im Libanon setzt sich Teheran konstruktiv für einen Konsenspräsidenten ein. Außenpolitisch hat sich Iran trotz aggressiver Rhetorik korrekt verhalten. Es wäre mithin an der Zeit, dem Projekt einer solidarischen Staatengemeinschaft im Nahen Osten nachzugehen. Ein Projekt, das im Gegensatz zu zahllosen US-Konzepten (Großer Naher Osten, Neuer Naher Osten) nicht darauf bedacht ist, Sunniten gegen Schiiten aufzuhetzen und einen innerpalästinensischen Bürgerkrieg zu Gunsten Israels anzufachen. Ein Projekt, das sich mit einem atomwaffenfreien Nahen Osten beschäftigt und dabei auch Israels 200 atomare Sprengköpfe nicht ignoriert. Ein Projekt, das keine »Annapolis-Konferenz« ins Leben ruft, damit Israel eine Woche später den Bau von 300 Wohnungen in Ostjerusalem freigibt. Ein Projekt, das den Interessen aller Beteiligten, einschließlich der Vereinigten Staaten von Amerika und Israels, Rechnung trägt. Eine Alternative gibt es nicht. Der im Iran geborene Politologe publizierte im Oktober 2007: »Die Ayatollahs und der Große Satan«.

Senior Western Politicians Call for Reorienting Iran Policy  (source: CASMII) 

Friday, December 14, 2007 -CASMII Germany Press Release 

The key finding of the National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) by 16 American intelligence agencies released earlier this month has triggered an overdue rethinking of the West’s Iran policy by stating that Iran has no nuclear weapons programme. Senior policymakers from key European countries have since called for a diplomatic offensive.
During a recent visit to Tehran, the European Parliament (EP) Delegation “stressed the importance of seizing the favourable political moment in order to make progress towards a satisfactory, peaceful solution to this problem, in accordance with NPT and IAEA regulations”.
Angelika Beer (MEP), the Chair of the Delegation, said that “the [NIE] report explicitly says, Iran's nuclear programme is peaceful in nature”. She reiterated Iran’s right to pursue a nuclear energy programme and has called for the return of Iran’s nuclear dossier, from the UN Security Council, to the auspices of International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). Following her return to Germany, Beer, a senior EU foreign and security policy diplomat, declared that “… in the nuclear dispute the EU must urgently find back its autonomous way – beyond George Bush’s on-going war rhetoric”.  She also warned that further UN or unilateral sanctions would exacerbate the situation.
In the same vein, the Chairman of the German Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee, Ruprecht Polenz, has emphasized that “ … there is now the chance for talks”. He proposed returning the Iranian nuclear dossier to the jurisdiction of the IAEA. Polenz, who was actively involved in the negotiations between the EU-3 and Iran, considers a new round of UN sanctions both unhelpful and not enforceable among EU and UN Security Council members. He further said that the time for direct US-Iran talks is ripe. Both Beer and Polenz have underscored that such negotiations should start without any preconditions.
The Campaign Against Sanctions and Military Intervention in Iran (CASMII) calls for the IAEA’s sole and legitimate authority over Iran’s nuclear programme as well as unconditional talks between the US and Iran on all issues of concern. The proposed policy reorientation towards Iran from confrontation to dialogue is the only way to regional and global peace and stability. Security Council sanctions on Iran are clearly illegitimate, they harm Iranian people and are a prelude to war. It is vital that these recommendations are heeded without delay and SC resolutions and sanctions on Iran are removed. For more information or to contact CASMII please visit http://www.campaigniran.org[END]


Führende westliche Politiker plädieren für einen neuen Kurs in der Iran-Politik - von CASMII Deutschland – Pressemitteilung - 14. Dezember 2007 - Der zu Beginn dieses Monats von 16 amerikanischen Nachrichtendiensten veröffentlichte National Intelligence Estimate (NIE), nach der Iran kein Atomwaffenprogramm unterhält, hat im Westen zu einem überfälligen Überdenken des bisherigen Kurses in der Iran-Politik geführt. Führende Politiker wichtiger EU-Staaten plädieren seither auf eine diplomatische Offensive. Während ihres letzten Besuches in Teheran rief eine Delegation des Europäischen Parlaments (EP) auf, „diesen wichtigen politischen Moment zu nutzen, um möglichst schnell eine friedliche und zufriedenstellende Lösung – in Übereinstimmung mit dem NPT [Atomwaffensperrvertrag] und den Bestimmungen der IAEA [Internationale Atomenergie-Agentur] – zu finden“. Angelika Beer (Mitglied des EP), Vorsitzende der Delegation, sagte „der (NIE-)Bericht besagt ausdrücklich, dass das iranische Atomwaffenprogramm friedlicher Natur ist.“ Sie wiederholte nachdrücklich, dass Iran das Recht habe, ein Atomenergieprogramm zu verfolgen. Darüber hinaus forderte Beer die Rückgabe des Iran-Atomdossiers vom UN-Sicherheitsrat an die Federführung der IAEA. Bei ihrer Rückkehr nach Deutschland erklärte Beer, führende EU-Diplomatin für Außen- und Sicherheitspolitik: „Im Atomstreit muss die EU dringend zu einem eigenständigen Weg – jenseits der anhaltenden Kriegsrhetorik von George Bush – zurückfinden.“ Zudem warnte sie davor, dass zukünftige UN- oder bilaterale europäische Sanktionen die Situation nur verschärfen würden. Ruprecht Polenz, Vorsitzender des Auswärtigen Ausschusses des Deutschen Bundestages, betonte : „Es gibt jetzt die Chance für Gespräche“. Auch er schlug vor, das iranische Nukleardossier an die zuständige IAEA zurückzugeben. Polenz war aktiv an den Verhandlungen zwischen den EU-3 und Iran beteiligt. Neue Sanktionen hält er derzeit für wenig hilfreich und weder in der EU noch im Sicherheitsrat für durchsetzbar. Die Zeit sei reif für direkte Gespräche zwischen den USA und Iran. Sowohl Beer als auch Polenz hoben hervor, dass diese Gespräche ohne Vorbedingungen stattfinden sollten. Die Campaign against Sanctions and Military Interventions in Iran (CASMII, dt. Kampagne gegen Sanktionen und militärische Intervention in Iran) fordert die alleinige und gesetzmäßige Kontrolle der IAEA über Irans Atomprogramm sowie bedingungslose Gespräche zwischen den USA und Iran – in allen Streitpunkten. Ferner ist ein Kurswechsel in der Iran-Politik die einzige Möglichkeit, Frieden und Stabilität – regional sowie global – sicherzustellen. Die Sanktionen des UN-Sicherheitsrates gegenüber Iran sind illegitim: Sie schaden der iranischen Bevölkerung und dienen dazu, Kriegshandlungen den Weg zu ebnen. Daher ist es notwendig, dass diese Forderungen ohne Verzögerungen umgesetzt und die Resolutionen sowie Sanktionen des Sicherheitsrates gegenüber Iran aufgehoben werden. [ENDE]

US-Diskussion um Iran-Bericht  (Deutschlandfunk) via CASMII - Deutsch - Dec 5, 2007  Pressekonferenz des US-Präsidenten George W. Bush nach der Veröffentlichung des Geheimdienstberichtes | Amerikanische Politiker fordern Kehrtwende in Iran-Politik | Seymour Hersh warnt dennoch vor einem Angriff Israels ›››

PORTRÄT EX-AUSSENMINISTER HENRY KISSINGER - Matthias B. Krause(Erschienen im gedruckten Tagesspiegel vom 15.12.2007) oder unter:   „Spione sind nicht Teil der Regierung“ Die durch den jüngsten Geheimdienstbericht wegen ihrer Iran-Politik unter Druck geratene Bush-Regierung bekommt Beistand von überraschender Seite: Ausgerechnet Henry Kissinger ließ kein gutes Haar an den Schlapphüten – und an der Interpretation ihrer Erkenntnisse in den Medien.  Der Schluss, dass von Teheran keine Gefahr ausgehe, weil es sein Atomwaffenprogramm 2003 eingestellt habe, sei falsch, schrieb der ehemalige Sicherheitsberater von Präsident Richard Nixon und Außenminister unter dessen Nachfolger Gerald Ford in der „Washington Post“. Kissinger sieht vielmehr Zeichen dafür, dass ein subtiler, am Ende viel gefährlicherer Plan am Werk sei, der darin bestehe, zunächst genügend bombenfähiges Nuklearmaterial anzureichern und erst dann die Produktion von Sprengköpfen aufzunehmen. Gleichzeitig übt Kissinger scharfe Kritik an der Art und Weise, wie die 16 US-Geheimdienste mit ihren Erkenntnissen umgingen. Statt sich als Teil der Exekutive zu verstehen, wollten sie sie nun auch kontrollieren. Die Geheimdienstler müssen zu ihrer traditionellen Anonymität zurückkehren, forderte Kissinger. Ausgerechnet, spricht doch hier ein Mann, der bis heute versucht, seine enge und alles andere als ruhmreiche Zusammenarbeit mit den US-Geheimdiensten zu verschleiern. In Frankreich, Spanien, Brasilien, Argentinien und Uruguay hätten viele gerne näher gewusst, welche Rolle Kissinger bei der Unterstützung von brutalen Militärregimen spielte, als er selbst noch Teil der US-Regierung war. Dieser Ruf hat den 1923 im fränkischen Fürth geborenen Kissinger, der mit seinen jüdischen Eltern vor den Nazis nach Amerika floh, nie davon abgehalten, sich aktiv in die öffentliche Debatte um die US-Außenpolitik einzumischen. In einem Interview mit Bob Woodward bekannte er zudem, dass er Bush und dessen Vize Dick Cheney bei deren Feldzug im Irak berate. Ein Sieg über die Widerständler sei die einzig wahre Exit- Strategie, proklamierte er noch 2005. Gegenüber Teheran will er dagegen einen gemäßigteren Kurs einschlagen: Amerika sei es sich selbst schuldig, die Möglichkeit der Normalisierung der Beziehungen zum Iran vollständig zu untersuchen. Das jedoch, glaubt Kissinger, sei nun Aufgabe der nächsten US-Regierung. Genauso, wie die Balance zwischen den Produzenten und den Nutzern von Geheimdiensterkenntnissen wieder herzustellen. Matthias B. Krause -  Major cleric: NIE report neither a big victory nor something without importance - Tehran, Dec 14, 2007 -  IRNA - Substitute Friday prayers leader of Tehran Ayatollah Ahmad Khatami said here that Tehran takes the NIE report neither as a big political victory nor something without importance. "We consider the report of 16 US intelligence institutions neither as a big political victory nor as something (of) minor (importance)," said Ayatollah Khatami in an address to large groups of Friday prayers worshipers here at Tehran University campus. Ayatollah Khatami said the report has some positive points. "The report bears positive points: One is that it explicitly acknowledges that Iran does not have nuclear weapons today. Moreover, it admits that since 2003 Iran's nuclear energy has been peaceful. Another point, which is a source of honor for our system, is that they have reported that in 2007 Iran made a serious jump in the field of nuclear technology. The acknowledgements by the enemy is a success. "There are yet inaccurate points in the report: One is that (it maintains) Iran had perhaps been seeking nuclear weapons prior to 2003. That's an American lie which has been raised repeatedly by the US statesmen. They have claimed that Iran had stopped seeking nuclear weapons on the US pressure, which is another lie," said Ayatollah Khatami. The cleric said Iran has the right to be pessimistic over the enemy. "Principally, we should be pessimistic towards the enemy. If it bore smile on its face, we should say that's satanic. So, we consider the report neither a big political victory nor something of less value and we maintain our vigilance. Our Islamic system carefully watches all movements of the enemy." Elsewhere in his remarks, Ayatollah Khatami said assassination of a senior Lebanese commander General El-Haj was in line with the plots to escalate tension in the country. "Undoubtedly, the Zionist regime is to be blamed for the act. The criminals do not wish to see Lebanon in peace," he declared. He then termed as a "political victory" the failure of the US Defense Secretary Robert Gates in his recent Manama visit to lure support of Arabs in opposing Iran. "Gates had gone there (to Manama) to form an Arab-Israeli camp against Iran but with God's grace, he spoke so humiliatingly in the Conference that the participants ridiculed him. We consider it as a political victory that our Arab neighbors have come to the belief that Iran is their powerful friend and they want to have a peaceful co-existence with it. Iran too has shown that it has been their best friend after the triumph of the Islamic Revolution". He said the neighbors should be cautious that certain countries' claims, raised every now and then, that they own the three Iranian islands is a "US trap." "They are constantly wishing to keep the issue so as to fan flames of conflict, which we hope neighbors will be watchful."  He also lashed out at the US in removing last week some proof and evidence on interrogation and torture of the Guantanamo inmates as acknowledged by the CIA Chief. "That's a dark stain for the US. (The US President George W.) Bush personally orders torture. They bring the inmates under torture and film it, then remove all traces of the crime and claim they defend human rights. This is seriously a fiasco for western democracy." He also ridiculed British Prime Minister Gordon Brown in claiming that Britain will take its forces our of Basra by next two weeks. "That's a sweet fruit of Iraqi people's resistance. This proves that if they resist the enemy will start to escape." He added, "At the same time, Brown has claimed they will remain in Afghanistan for another 10 years. We tell Brown, rest assured that you cannot remain long in Afghanistan too and will escape from there without gaining anything. The reason for it is your claim that you wanted to be in Afghanistan to reduce poppy cultivation, while it has been tripled." He also ridiculed the occupiers' false claim of campaign against terrorism. "You said you want to fight terrorism. We have reliable evidence that you are cooperating with Taliban and provide the militia, which is an outstanding example of terrorism, with money so as to remain in power for another short time. That's too a British-style lie. Thanks God, our nation is for ages resentful and hateful of the old colonialist." 1420**1771

NIAC Memo: Is the Iran NIE a Blessing in Disguise for Israel? - Dr. Trita Parsi    Dec 07, 2007

Washington DC - The U.S. National Intelligence Estimate's assertion that Iran currently does not have a nuclear weapons program has caused much frustration in Israel. Deputy Defense Minister Ephraim Sneh referred to the report as a lie at a recent breakfast in New York, and Infrastructure Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer reportedly "doesn't buy" its findings. Though the report aggravates Israel's effort to compel Washington to pursue an increasingly harsh line against Tehran, all is not lost for Israel. In fact, despite these initial knee-jerk reactions, the NIE may very well end up being a blessing in disguise for the Jewish state by pulling Israel out of its state of paralysis vis-à-vis Iran.
Download PDF version: http://www.niacouncil.org/images/PDF_files/is%20the%20iran%20nie%20a%20blessing%20in%20disguise%20for%20israel.pdf

  • Study: U.S., Israel should begin planning strike on Iran nuclear sites - By Aluf Benn, Haaretz Correspondent - 11 Dec 2007 - 
    The report, by a former deputy head of the National Security Council, Chuck Freilich, says Israel and the U.S. should discuss nuclear-crisis scenarios between Israel and Iran. The report, entitled "Speaking About the Unspeakable," was released over the weekend by the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. Freilich assumes that detailed talks between the U.S. and Israel on Iran do not extend beyond exchanges of intelligence, coordination of diplomatic moves and the supply of sophisticated weapons to Israel.  According to Freilich, a lack of symmetry exists between the U.S. and Israel on the Iranian threat, although both use similar rhetoric toward it. From Israel's perspective, Iran presents a potential existential threat, so its nuclear plans must be stopped at almost any price. In contrast, the U.S. is disturbed by the implications of nuclear weapons in Iran but does not see it as an existential threat.  In Freilich's view, this difference in evaluations dictates the nature of the dialogue. The U.S. is leery about talks with Israel on military action against Iran, and Israel is concerned about talks on security alternatives if Iran's nuclear status is accepted. Freilich lists the alternatives; he believes that diplomacy and sanctions have a slim chance of success. He mentions a quasi-military alternative such as a naval blockade or secret sabotage action, an Israeli or American military action, or coming to terms with a nuclear Iran, with the U.S. giving security assurances to Israel. He opposes the proposal that Israel move to an open nuclear policy to deter Iran. Freilich says Israel would prefer that the U.S. attack Iran. He notes that if Israel believes it can successfully attack Iran, Israel fears that the U.S. would veto the plan, so Israel would not unveil the scheme ahead of time. The U.S. would also keep secret from Israel any intention of attacking Iran. Freilich believes that despite these mutual reservations, detailed discussions between the U.S. and Israel should be held on possible military action against Iran because of the need to separate forces if Israel attacks Iran and U.S. forces are in the way. In addition, Iran in any case would see the U.S. and Israel as cooperating and would respond against both. Freilich proposes a dialogue on Iran's possible responses, on terror attacks and the disruption of oil shipments from the Gulf to the West. But he also seeks a dialogue on how to live with a nuclear Iran.
    Related articles:
    Chronology of Iran's nuclear program
    Envoy: UN may have deal on third sanctions resolution against Iran
    French FM: France is not ruling out a military strike on Iran

  • Speaking about the Unspeakable: U.S.-Israeli Dialogue on Iran's Nuclear Program -  The Washington Institute for Near East Policy  -11 Dec 2007 - 

  • Policy Focus #77
    Speaking about the Unspeakable: U.S.-Israeli Dialogue on Iran's Nuclear Program
    Chuck Freilich
    Format: PDF, 44 Pages
    Published: December 2007
    Price: Free Download
  • Despite the longstanding and ever-evolving "special relationship" between the United States and Israel, the two allies do not appear to have engaged in substantive discussions on key facets of their most pressing mutual concern, the Iranian nuclear threat. Specifically, there has been little if any dialogue on the possibility of military action if the diplomatic route comes to a dead end, nor on the possible means of living with a nuclear Iran should both countries decide to refrain from military action. In this Policy Focus -- the second entry in The Washington Institute's series "Agenda: Iran" -- former Israeli deputy national security advisor Chuck Freilich explains the significant obstacles to such dialogue and proposes means of surmounting them. Most of these obstacles center on each country's concerns about how the other would interpret such discussions, and how these interpretations would in turn affect their ability and willingness to conduct diplomatic and military action, either independently or in tandem. Overcoming these concerns sooner rather than later is crucial if the United States and Israel are to effectively address the most important issue they have ever faced together.
  • NIAC Memo: Can the NIE Evade the Risk for War? -  Dr. Farideh Farhi   -  Dec 05, 2007 Washington DC - The NIE report that was released on December 3 regarding Iran’s nuclear program will obviously be greeted with a sigh of relief by many who have been worried about the U.S. hardliners’ push for military action against Iran. The report judges with high confidence that Iran currently does not have a nuclear weapons program. It further states its lack of knowledge about Iran’s intent to develop nuclear weapons. Also, while it judges with moderate confidence that “Iran would be technically capable of producing enough HEU [highly enriched uranium] sometime during the 2010-2015 time frame,” it goes on to say “agencies recognize the possibility that this capability many not be attained until after 2015.” Finally the report judges with high confidence that Iran will not be technically capable of producing and reprocessing enough plutonium (presumably via the planned heavy water reactor in Arak) for a weapon before about 2015.  Download PDF version:
  • Congressional Responses to the NIE -  December 04, 2007 - Iran Nuclear Watch (INW) 

    Here are some selected quotes from Members of Congress to the National Intelligence Estimate and President Bush's response to the NIE.
    “In October, President Bush raised the specter of World War III with Iran because of its pursuit of a nuclear weapon months after he had been told by our own intelligence community it was likely Iran had halted its weapons program in 2003.
    “After all that Americans have been through, for this President to knowingly disregard or misrepresent intelligence about an issue of war and peace, is outrageous. It’s exactly what he did in the run up to the war in Iraq in consistently exaggerating intelligence suggesting that Iraq had WMD, while failing to tell the American people about intelligence concluding that it did not. It further undermines America’s credibility around the world – and the government’s credibility here at home – at a time when that credibility is at an all-time low. And it injects more tension and instability into the Middle East at a time when we should be doing everything in our power to prevent that region from spiraling out of control.”
    Senator Joseph Biden (Delaware)
    December 4, 2007
    “At first blush, this looks like a good news story. Good because the intelligence community was willing to reconsider an important intelligence judgment. More importantly, it's good news that Iran doesn't appear to be currently working on a bomb.”
    Senator Kit Bond (Missouri)
    December 3, 2007
    "I vehemently disagree with the president that nothing has changed and therefore nothing in American policy has to change. He should seize this opportunity and engage in serious diplomacy using both carrots and sticks.”
    Senator Hilary Clinton (New York)
    December 4, 2007
    “On Iran and the NIE report, I think we've got a couple of things that I think are very important and worth noting. One, is we no longer have to have a policy that's either based by hype and fear, but can now be clear-eyed and hardheaded as it approaches the Iranians. We do not have to operate from fear or weakness. We have strength here. And I think the NIE report shows that.”
    Representative Rahm Emanuel (Illinois-5)
    December 4, 2007
    "Iran's nuclear program remains a serious concern but it is clear from the [intelligence estimate] that vigorous and coordinated diplomacy is the right way to approach it.”
    Senator Russ Feingold (Wisconsin)
    December 3, 2007
    “The United States must employ a comprehensive strategy that uses all elements of its foreign policy arsenal, in particular offering ‘direct, unconditional and comprehensive talks’ with Iran – where all issues, ours and Iran’s, are on the table, including offering Iran a credible way back from the fringes of the international community, security guarantees, and other incentives. Our strategy must be one focused on direct and comprehensive engagement and diplomacy…backed by the leverage of international pressure, military options, isolation and containment. Now is the time for America to act in light of the NIE report and the momentum generated by the Annapolis Middle East meeting last week.”
    Senator Chuck Hagel (Nebraska)
    December 3, 2007
    “This newest information supports what I have said all along: We need to give diplomacy with Iran more of a chance. I continue to favor dialogue between our two countries, in contrast to the Administration’s belligerent and stiff-necked refusal to talk with Tehran. And I believe we need to use every means at our disposal – economic, political and diplomatic – to persuade Iranians that peaceful development of energy options, free of any hint of military use, is well within reach.
    “In its unclassified report, the intelligence community has judged that Iran makes its decisions about a nuclear weapons program based on a cost-benefit analysis. This suggests that Tehran may be open to a combination of pressure and incentives to keep it from returning to developing a nuclear arsenal. And the latest publicly-available intelligence indicates that it will take longer for Iran to produce sufficient materials for a nuclear weapon than previously thought. So we have more time – beyond the end of the current Administration – to continue to push for this mixture of pressure and incentives."
    Representative Tom Lantos (CA-12)
    December 4, 2007
    "It is absolutely clear that this administration and President Bush continues to not let facts get in the way of his ideology. They need, now, to aggressively move on the diplomatic front. They should have stopped the rattling -- should never have started it.”
    Senator Barack Obama (Illinois)
    December 4, 2007
    "While we should harbor no illusions about the intentions of some Iranian leaders, the new Iran NIE suggests there is time for a new policy toward Iran that deters it from restarting its nuclear program while also improving relations overall."
    Representative Nancy Pelosi (CA-8)
    December 3, 2007
    “President Bush’s heated rhetoric on Iran – including comments about a potential World War III – is even more outrageous now that we know the intelligence community had informed him that it believes Iran had stopped its nuclear weapons program four years ago. This is the latest in a long line of inaccurate and misleading comments that got us into the Iraq war to begin with. They further diminish the credibility of a President with a dangerous record of overstating threats.“In light of yesterday’s remarkable new National Intelligence Estimate on Iran, I urge the President at his press conference today to announce a top-to-bottom review of his Iran policy and a diplomatic surge to advance U.S. interests with regard to Iran. He should announce that his Secretary of State and Secretary of Defense are prepared to meet anytime, anywhere with their Iranian counterparts to conduct vigorous diplomacy to advance U.S. interests and address the challenges of Iran.”
    Senator Harry Reid (Nevada)
    December 4, 2007“The key judgments show that the intelligence community has learned its lessons from the Iraq debacle. It has issued judgments that break sharply with its own previous assessments, and they reflect a real difference from the views espoused by top administration officials.”
    Senator Jay Rockefeller (West Virginia)
    December 3, 2007

  • US spies concoct a potent Iran brew - AsiaTimes - 4. Dec 2007 - By Kaveh L Afrasiabi  - Two years after the last National Intelligence Estimate (NIE)on Iran that claimed "with high confidence that Iran currently is determined to develop nuclear weapons despite its international obligations and international pressure", the 2007 NIE by the US's 16 spy agencies claims otherwise. That is, that Iran "halted" its secret weapons program in the autumn of 2003. Crediting this to pressure by the international community, the new report is clearly geared to sustain the crumbling United Nations coalition on Iran.As expected, Washington, which released the report with much fan-fare, has been quick to frame it with the appropriate nuance, by letting National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley do the talking, "It confirms that we were right to be worried about Iran seeking to develop nuclear weapons," Hadley said. "It tells us that we have made progress in trying to ensure that this does not happen. But the intelligence also tells us that the risk of Iran acquiring a nuclear weapon remains a very serious problem."In other words, let's not have a let-up with the sanctions that the new report proves are effectively working.The new NIE reports with "high confidence" that the military-run program was shut in 2003, and it concludes with "moderate confidence" that the program had not restarted as of mid-2007.The timing of the report's release is curious, coinciding both with Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad's crucial meeting with the heads of states of the Gulf Cooperation Council, where Ahmadinejad has made substantial progress in confidence-building by advancing the idea of security and economic cooperation in the region, and with critical discussions with the so-called "Five plus One" countries regarding the next United Nations steps against Iran. The Five plus One includes the five permanent members of the UN security Council - United States, the United Kingdom, France, Russia and China - plus Germany.Irrespective of Hadley's comments, the new NIE actually undermines much of the rationale behind the US-led push for a third round of US sanctions on Iran, by flatly contradicting what until now has been held as an article of faith by US politicians and much of the media. That is, the notion that Iran has been pursuing an open weapons program via its uranium-enrichment and reprocessing activities.Casting heavy doubt on that flawed theory or "truth paradigm" [1], the new NIE simultaneously recycles the previous reports's air of certainty and lack of minutest doubt and presents its new findings, which are in stark contrast, if not flagrant contradiction, to the previous report's. Such intelligence flip-flops on Iran simply reduce the credibility of any information on that country from Washington and raise international doubts about its real intentions.Thus, given the credibility gaps in US information on Iran, the real question is whether or not the new report actually helps or harms the US's bid to escalate sanctions on Iran? This is an important question since reports indicate strong reservations on the part of China and Russia to go along with further sanctions imposed either unilaterally or multilaterally.To open a caveat, former US national security advisor, Zbingnew Brzezinski, has written an article in the US media claiming that China, depicted as a "geopolitically status-quo power", is inclined to come on board more sanctions and even the "revisionist" Russians can be persuaded with the right "patient diplomacy".Brzezinski does not mention the China-Russia alliance within the anti-North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, which has accorded Iran observer status, conveniently relying on a caricature of China's evolving global power projections and intentions.Cultivating partners against Iran by benign analyses or dubious intelligence reports will not cut it and the US is today in dire need of a serious rethinking of its long-term policies and intentions in the Middle East, nowadays featuring a "rising Iran".In the absence of such a rethinking, the unrealistic expectation of "zero centrifuges" will persist. Instead, the US could contemplate the utility of an alternative, coercion-free Iran diplomacy centered on shared and parallel interests with the US, that is, both nations' vested interest in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries' oil flowing from the Persian Gulf to the international market, as well as on an internationally monitored Iranian nuclear program. In other words, it is time for "realism, not idealism" in the US's policy regarding Iran's nuclear program. [2]To open another caveat, this author's past exposure to Iran's nuclear decision-makers, particularly in 2004 and 2005, leaves no doubt the new US report's claim that Iran "halted" certain nuclear activities due to external pressure should be taken with a grain of salt. This is in view of the fact that all exhaustive International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)inspections have produced no such conclusions and, on the contrary, have actually reinforced the Iranian claim that Iran has never diverted to military development.The various programs that Iran halted in 2004-2005, as a result of intense negotiations with the European troika of Germany, France and Britain, were "voluntary, non-legally binding" confidence-building measures, and not any illicit, military activities, such as those alluded to in the US's new intelligence report. If the latter were true, then the world community needs to know what specific activities were involved and why the US has until now failed to share them, for example, with the IAEA. After all, IAEA chief Mohamad ElBaradei has been quite forthcoming in his latest press interviews regarding the lack of any knowledge of Iran's pursuit of nuclear weapons.What is troubling about the new NIE is that top US intelligence officials have been going on record, for instance in their congressional testimony, promising no repetition of past errors put on full display with respect to Iraq, no "cherry picking" intelligence on Iran, and even threatening to resign if selective intelligence were to be misused for military adventures against Iran.With the US intelligence community on the defensive since the post-Iraq-invasion revelations still plaguing the George W Bush administration, the latter may have managed a mini-coup with the intelligence community by procuring a new report that confirms an Iranian nuclear weapons program, albeit one that it claims has been "halted".If complemented by a follow-up report that Iran is now poised to change course and resurrect its halted activities, then theoretically speaking, that gives ample justification for Washington's planned "pre-emptive strikes" on Iran, not to mention added sanctions. Yet, even short of such a follow-up, the present state of mind on Iran fueled by the new intelligence report is sufficiently paranoid to warrant tough new actions against Tehran.But, does this new report really represent an improvement in the US's intelligence on Iran? Or is it the same attitude that continuously falls shy of acknowledging Iran's legitimate nuclear rights, and needs for peaceful purposes, and the viability of existing mechanisms, for verification, by the IAEA, not to mention the proposed additional "objective guarantees" that Iran has put on the table?This aside, the US has for now taken a qualitative step away from the military option by releasing this new report that states unequivocally an Iranian freeze on its proliferation impulse, while simultaneously giving that military option a new lease of life by the related allegation of past proliferation activities.On the whole however, this puts the US behavior with regard to Iran in a thick cloud of uncertainty, let alone credibility gap, with the pendulum capable of swinging in wildly different directions almost at will. The bottom line, thanks to its vast cadre of intelligence "alchemists" is that the US and its even more gullible politicians, has now pre-positioned itself for yet another disastrous gambit in the volatile Middle East.The temporary freeze on the military option by the new intelligence report has nested within it its exact opposite, and may be calculated as part and parcel of a roundabout way of dealing with Iran's "nuclear menace". This is, indeed, a menacing development. 
  • Notes
    1. Debunking the Iran nuclear mythmakers Asia Times Online, January 25, 2007 and Iran, nuclear challenges The Iranian Journal Of International Affaris, Spring, 2007.
    2. Realism, not idealism, Harvard International Review, May 2007.
  • Polenz für Verhandlungen mit Iran www.tagesspiegel.de - 5.12.2007
    Der CDU-Außenpolitiker Ruprecht Polenz sieht eine Chance für Gespräche: Nach den neuen US-Geheimdienstberichten über das iranische Atomprogramm solle nun vorbehaltlos mit Teheran verhandelt werden. 

  • http://www.tagesspiegel.de/medien/hermes/cme1,170623.html http://www.tagesspiegel.de/medien/hermes/cme1,170623.html

    http://www.tagesspiegel.de/medien/hermes/cme1,170623.html

    Ruprecht Polenz (CDU), seit 2005 Vorsitzender des Auswärtigen Ausschusses des Deutschen Bundestages. - Foto: Thilo Rückeis

    Von Helmut Reuter, dpa

    5.12.2007 14:25 Uhr


    BERLIN - "Die Forderung nach Aussetzung der Urananreicherung sollte zwar bestehen bleiben, aber nicht mehr als Vorbedingung gesehen werden, um sich mit Iran an einen Tisch zu setzen. Es gibt jetzt die Chance für Gespräche", sagte der Vorsitzende des Auswärtigen Ausschusses des Bundestages.
    Auch sollten die vom UN- Sicherheitsrat beschlossenen Sanktionen bekräftigt werden. "Ich rate aber nicht zu einer Verschärfung der Sanktionen." Polenz regte an, dass der Sicherheitsrat in einer neuen Resolution das Nuklear-Dossier an die Internationale Atomenergiebehörde (IAEA) zurückgibt. Dann sollen die sogenannten EU-3 (Deutschland, Frankreich, Großbritannien) in Abstimmung mit den USA, Russland und China mit Teheran verhandeln. Iran müsse aber dann seine für diesen Fall gemachte Zusage halten und das Zusatzprotokoll zum Nicht-Verbreitungsvertrag ratifizieren. Dieses Protokoll ermöglicht unangemeldete Inspektionen und eine genauere Kontrolle von Atomanlagen. "Es kann jetzt endlich ein Prozess in Gang kommen, bei dem sich auch die Amerikaner direkt mit den Iranern an einen Tisch setzen."
    Neue Sanktionen hält Polenz derzeit für wenig hilfreich und zudem weder im Sicherheitsrat noch bei allen 27 EU-Mitgliedsländern für durchsetzbar. Er erinnerte daran, dass das von den EU-3 vorgelegte Angebot für eine verstärkte Kooperation mit Iran bei der Atomtechnologie und in Wirtschaftsfragen weiter Bestand habe. Die Wirtschaftskooperation sollte nach seiner Ansicht mit einem konstruktiven Verhalten Teherans im Nahost-Friedensprozess verbunden werden. Schließlich sei Iran das einzige Land der Region, das im israelisch-palästinensischen Konflikt eine Zwei-Staaten-Lösung dezidiert ablehne, sagte Polenz. Teheran verfüge aber über erheblichen Einfluss auf die radikalislamischen Gruppen Hamas und Hisbollah.

  • US Democrats: Time for new Iran policy - PressTV - 05 Dec 2007 -  Senior US Democrats urge President George W. Bush to consider 'a top-to-bottom review of his Iran policy' after the US intelligence report. Now that the intelligence community has confirmed there is no evidence Tehran is pursuing nuclear arms 'President Bush's heated rhetoric on Iran, including comments about a potential World War Three, is even more outrageous,” said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. "He should announce that his Secretary of State and Secretary of Defense are prepared to meet anytime, anywhere with their Iranian counterparts to conduct vigorous diplomacy to advance US interests," he added. Meanwhile, US Democratic presidential candidates have criticized President Bush's claim that 'nothing has changed' despite the new report. "This president will not let facts get in the way of his ideology,'' said Senator Barack Obama. ”They should have stopped the saber rattling, should never have started it,'' he added. Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton also said Bush "should seize this opportunity'' while her rival Senator Joe Biden termed Bush as 'not trustworthy'.
  • Soltaniyeh: West should compensate and win Iran's trust  IRNA - 5 December  2007
    Iran's Permanent Envoy to IAEA Ali Asghar Soltaniyeh said on Tuesday that following recent comments made by IAEA director general on recent report released by the US National Intelligence Estimate (NIE), the West should compensate and win Iran's trust.  Speaking to IRNA, he said the issue proves Iran's position of peaceful nature of its nuclear activities, therefore, the western countries and Europe in particular should compensate the losses Iran suffered in terms of finance and prestige. It is Europe which should compensate and win Iran's trust, he underlined.  To show their goodwill and political determination, European countries should prevent the intervention of United Nations Security Council from any involvement which would further weaken IAEA. Under such circumstances, both Iran and IAEA could resolve the the remaining issues within IAEA rules and responsibilities, he said. The US, particularly in the past four years, has reported incorrect information on Iran's peaceful nuclear activities which only wasted IAEA's time, he said. Iran is to continue cooperation with IAEA to help resolve remaining issue on its dossier, he pointed out. A team of experts from IAEA is to visit Iran on December 10 to follow up the issue, he concluded.

  • Iran: President Bush's Press Conference - broadcast date:2007-12-04 - Pres. Bush holds a press conference to discuss the National Intelligence Report on Iranian nuclear capabilities. In this press conference President Bush comments to reporter's questions about the newly released National Intelligence Estimate. Among other, he maintains the importance of putting pressure on the Iranian government and isolating it. He calls Iran "dangerous" and views the NIE as confirmation of his policies, and not in contradiction to it. He maintains that the "carrot and stick" approach with the government is effective and should be with the help of U.S.'s allies. source: cspan via http://www.politube.org/show/271 (English, 14 minutes, created by kuros)

  • Info  U.S. Finds Iran Halted Its Nuclear Arms Effort in 2003 - By MARK MAZZETTI - Dec.4, 2007   WASHINGTON, Dec. 3 — A new assessment by American intelligence agencies released Monday concludes that Iran halted its nuclear weapons program in 2003 and that the program remains frozen, contradicting a judgment two years ago that Tehran was working relentlessly toward building a nuclear bomb.
    The conclusions of the new assessment are likely to reshape the final year of the Bush administration, which has made halting Iran’s nuclear program a cornerstone of its foreign policy.
    The assessment, a National Intelligence Estimate that represents the consensus view of all 16 American spy agencies, states that Tehran is likely to keep its options open with respect to building a weapon, but that intelligence agencies “do not know whether it currently intends to develop nuclear weapons.”
    Iran is continuing to produce enriched uranium, a program that the Tehran government has said is intended for civilian purposes. The new estimate says that the enrichment program could still provide Iran with enough raw material to produce a nuclear weapon sometime by the middle of next decade, a timetable essentially unchanged from previous estimates.
    But the new report essentially disavows a judgment that the intelligence agencies issued in 2005, which concluded that Iran had an active secret arms program intended to transform the raw material into a nuclear weapon. The new estimate declares instead with “high confidence” that the military-run program was shut in 2003, and it concludes with “moderate confidence” that the program remains frozen. The report judges that the halt was imposed by Iran “primarily in response to increasing international scrutiny and pressure.”
    It was not clear what prompted the reversal. Administration officials said the new estimate reflected conclusions that the intelligence agencies had agreed on only in the past several weeks. The report’s agnosticism about Iran’s nuclear intentions represents a very different tone than had been struck by President Bush, and by Vice President Dick Cheney, who warned in a speech in October that if Iran “stays on its present course, the international community is prepared to impose serious consequences.”
    The estimate does not say when intelligence agencies learned that the arms program had been halted, but officials said new information obtained from covert sources over the summer had led to a reassessment of the state of Iran’s nuclear program and a decision to delay preparation of the estimate, which had been scheduled to be delivered to Congress in the spring.
    The new report came out just over five years after a 2002 intelligence estimate on Iraq concluded that it possessed chemical and biological weapons programs and was determined to restart its nuclear program. That estimate was instrumental in winning the Congressional authorization for a military invasion of Iraq, but it proved to be deeply flawed, and most of its conclusions turned out to be wrong.
    Intelligence officials said the specter of the 2002 estimate on Iraq hung over their deliberations on Iran even more than it had in 2005, when the lessons from the intelligence failure on Iraq were just beginning to prompt spy agencies to adapt a more rigorous approach to their findings.
    The 2007 report on Iran had been requested by members of Congress, underscoring that any conclusions could affect American policy toward Iran at a delicate time. The new estimate brought American assessments more in line with the judgments of international arms inspectors.
    Last month, Mohamed ElBaradei, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, reported that Iran was operating 3,000 uranium-enriching centrifuges capable of producing fissile material for nuclear weapons, but he said inspectors had been unable to determine whether the Iranian program sought only to generate electricity or to also to build weapons.
    Senator Harry Reid, Democrat of Nevada and the Senate majority leader, portrayed the assessment as “directly challenging some of this administration’s alarming rhetoric about the threat posed by Iran” and called for enhanced diplomatic efforts toward Tehran. Democratic presidential candidates mostly echoed Senator Reid, but also emphasized that Iran’s long-term ambitions were still a great concern to the United States.
    In interviews on Monday, some administration officials expressed skepticism about the conclusions reached in the new report, saying they doubted that American intelligence agencies had a firm grasp of the Iranian government’s intentions.
    The administration officials also said the intelligence findings would not lessen the White House’s concern about the prospect of a nuclear-armed Iran. The fact that Iran continues to refine its abilities to enrich uranium, they said, means that any decision in the future to restart a nuclear weapons program could lead Iran to a bomb in relatively short order. While the new report does not contrast sharply with earlier assessments about Iran’s capabilities, it does make new judgments about the intentions of its government.
    Rather than portraying Iran as a rogue, irrational country determined to join the club of nations that possess a nuclear bomb, the estimate says Iran’s “decisions are guided by a cost-benefit approach rather than a rush to a weapon irrespective of the political, economic and military costs.”
    The administration called new attention to the threat posed by Iran this year when Mr. Bush suggested in October that a nuclear-armed Iran could lead to “World War III.” Mr. Cheney also said that month that as Iran continued to enrich uranium, “the end of that process will be the development of nuclear weapons.”
    Yet even as Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney were making those statements, analysts at the Central Intelligence Agency were well under way toward revising the earlier assessment about Iran’s nuclear arms program. Administration officials said the White House had known at the time that the conclusions about Iran were under review but had not been informed until more recently that intelligence agencies had reversed their 2005 conclusion.
    In September, officials said, Gen. Michael V. Hayden, the C.I.A. director, and his deputy, Stephen R. Kappes, met with Iran analysts to take a hard look at past conclusions about Iran’s nuclear program in light of new information obtained since 2005.
    “We felt that we needed to scrub all the assessments and sources to make sure we weren’t misleading ourselves,” said one senior intelligence official, speaking on condition of anonymity.
    The estimate concludes that if Iran were to restart its arms program, it would still be at least two years before it would have enough highly enriched uranium to produce a nuclear bomb. But it says it is still “very unlikely” Iran could produce enough of the material by then.
    Instead, the report released on Monday concludes that it is more likely that Iran could have a bomb by the early part to the middle of the next decade. The report states that the State Department’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research judges that Iran is unlikely to achieve this goal before 2013, “because of foreseeable technical and programmatic problems.”
    The estimate concludes that it would be difficult to persuade Iran’s leaders to abandon all efforts to get nuclear weapons, given the importance of getting the bomb to Iran’s strategic goals in the Middle East.
    Intelligence officials presented the outlines of the intelligence estimate two weeks ago to several cabinet members, along with Mr. Cheney. During the meeting, officials said, policy makers challenged and debated the conclusions. The final draft of the estimate was presented to Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney last Wednesday.
    Officials said they now planned to give extensive briefings to American allies like Israel, Britain and France. Israel intelligence officials for years have put forward more urgent warnings about Iran’s nuclear abilities than their American counterparts, positing that Iran could get a nuclear bomb this decade.
    Intelligence officials had said just weeks ago they were ending the practice of declassifying parts of intelligence estimates, citing concerns that analysts might alter their judgments if they knew the reports would be widely publicized.
    But in a statement on Monday, Donald M. Kerr, the principal deputy director of national intelligence, said that since the new estimate was at odds with the 2005 assessment — and thus at odds with public statements by top officials about Iran — “we felt it was important to release this information to ensure that an accurate presentation is available.”

  • BRISANTES DOSSIER - US-Geheimdienste relativieren Gefahr durch Iran  -  SPIEGEL ONLINE - 03. Dezember 2007 -Die US-Geheimdienste haben ein neues Dossier zum Iran-Konflikt veröffentlicht: Das Atomprogramm wurde demnach schon 2003 gestoppt, die Bedrohung ist geringer als gedacht. Für die Regierung Bush ein heikler Bericht - sie wies prompt zurück, die Gefahr aufgebauscht zu haben.  Das neue Dossier ist das Werk aller 16 US-Geheimdienste. Gemeinsam kommen sie zu einem eindeutigen Ergebnis: Die iranische Regierung von Präsident Mahmud Ahmadinedschad sei bei der Entwicklung eines Atomarsenals "weniger entschlossen" als bisher angenommen. Das Land werde frühestens Ende 2009 in der Lage sein, hochangereichertes Uran für den Bau von Atomwaffen herzustellen - doch auch dieses Szenario sei "sehr unwahrscheinlich", heißt es in dem sogenannten National Intelligence Estimate...MEHR HIER>> 

  • "Key Differences Between the Key Judgments of This [2007 US National Intelligence] Estimate on Iran's Nuclear Program and the May 2005 Assessment "2005 Assess with high confidence that Iran currently is determined to develop nuclear weapons ... "2007 Judge with high confidence that in fall 2003 Tehran halted its nuclear weapons program ..."
    "If we permit Iran's deception to go on much longer, it will be too late. Iran will have nuclear weapons."
    - John Bolton, former US ambassador the UN, in a speech in April 2004.  
  • Key Differences Between the Key Judgments of This Estimate on Iran’s Nuclear Program and the May 2005 Assessment

    2005 IC Estimate 2007 National Intelligence Estimate
    Assess with high confidence that Iran currently is determined to develop nuclear weapons despite its international obligations and international pressure, but we do not assess that Iran is immovable. Judge with high confidence that in fall 2003, Tehran halted its nuclear weapons program. Judge with high confidence that the halt lasted at least several years. (DOE and the NIC have moderate confidence that the halt to those activities represents a halt to Iran's entire nuclear weapons program.) Assess with moderate confidence Tehran had not restarted its nuclear weapons program as of mid-2007, but we do not know whether it currently intends to develop nuclear weapons. Judge with high confidence that the halt was directed primarily in response to increasing international scrutiny and pressure resulting from exposure of Iran’s previously undeclared nuclear work. Assess with moderate-to-high confidence that Tehran at a minimum is keeping open the option to develop nuclear weapons.
    We have moderate confidence in projecting when Iran is likely to make a nuclear weapon; we assess that it is unlikely before early-to-mid next decade. We judge with moderate confidence that the earliest possible date Iran would be technically capable of producing enough highly enriched uranium (HEU) for a weapon is late 2009, but that this is very unlikely. We judge with moderate confidence Iran probably would be technically capable of producing enough HEU for a weapon sometime during the 2010-2015 time frame. (INR judges that Iran is unlikely to achieve this capability before 2013 because of foreseeable technical and programmatic problems.)
    Iran could produce enough fissile material for a weapon by the end of this decade if it were to make more rapid and successful progress than we have seen to date.
    We judge with moderate confidence that the earliest possible date Iran would be technically capable of producing enough highly enriched uranium (HEU) for a weapon is late 2009, but that this is very unlikely.

News Weekly Digest

  • Iran: Sanctions violate UN Charter (source: China Daily via CASMII) February 1, 2008
  • Belgium praises Iran's regional role  (source: Press TV via CASMII) January 31, 2008  
  • Secret talks with Iran on nuclear reactors by Ben Fenton (source: Financial Times) via CASMII - December 30, 2007 -  In negotiations with the head of the Iranian atomic energy programme, senior UK civil servants predicted that by the end of the 20th century Iran would have obtained the technology - from Britain itself - to build nuclear weapons. >>read more

  • Russia delivers more nuclear fuel to Iran: official (source: AFP) via CASMII - December 29, 2007 TEHRAN (AFP) — Russia has delivered a second consignment of nuclear fuel to Iran's Bushehr power plant, the official news agency IRNA quoted the deputy head of the Iranian Atomic Energy Organisation as saying on Friday. >>read more 

  •   Nuclear hoax by John Cherian (source: Frontline ) via CASMII - December 28, 2007  - Bush, however, continues to insist that Iran still remains a “dangerous country”, asserting that the NIE conclusions support his administration’s position about Iran pursuing a clandestine nuclear weapons policy. He did concede that the NIE report was a “great discovery” and that Iran had a sovereign right to a civilian nuclear programme. But he hastened to add that his administration continued to be suspicious about Iran’s enrichment programme “because of their covert efforts at weapons development”. >>read more

  • Iran Hawks Find New Supporters Against the NIE by Rostam Pourzal (source: Foreign Policy In Focus) via CASMII - December 28, 2007  -  Rostam Pourzal Many of us remember the Iraqi exile groups whose tall tales the Administration used to justify the invasion of their country in 2003. Fewer people are aware that similar groups from other Middle Eastern countries frequent the halls of Congress and editorial board rooms carrying their frightening ghost-written books with guidance from pro-war think tanks. The organized challenge against the 2007 National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) summary on Iran this month included such a group, which for years cried wolf about Iran. >>read more

  • No proof Iranian gov't behind IEDs: Afghan diplomat (source: CTV.ca) via CASMII - December 28, 2007 - Omar SamadAfghanistan's Ambassador to Canada appears to be cautious about blaming Iran for improvised explosive devices (IEDs) being used in attacks against Afghan and NATO soldiers in his country. Omar Samad, the top Afghan diplomat in Canada, told CTV Newsnet on Wednesday that there is no evidence about where the IEDs actually originated and who brought them to Afghanistan. >>read more 

  • Nur wenige iranische Juden wollen nach Israel - von Amir Loghmany ( der Standard) via CASMII -  Dec 28, 2007 - Großes Medieninteresse für 40 Emigranten In einem gemeinsamen Kommuniqué haben der Vorsitzende der iranischen Judenorganisation, Mere Sedgh, und der Vertreter der iranischen Juden im iranischen Parlament, Moris Motamed, die Berichterstattung über die Auswanderung 40 iranischer Juden nach Israel als gezielte Propaganda gegen den Iran bezeichnet. Die Auswanderung selbst wurde dabei weder bestätigt noch dementiert.  Die 40 iranischen Juden sind am Dienstag in Israel eingetroffen und wurden dort mit großem Bahnhof und Medieninteresse empfangen. Sie sind die größte Gruppe von Juden seit der Islamischen Revolution von 1979, die den Iran verlassen. Mere Sedgh betonte in einem Interview, dass die Juden im Iran unbehelligt leben und als Minderheitenrecht einen Abgeordneten im iranischen Parlament haben. Sie fühlten sich als ein Teil der iranischen Nation, so Mere Sedgh.  Bis zu 28.000 Juden leben im Iran (in Teheran allein gibt es 20 Synagogen), das ist die größte jüdische Gemeinde im Mittleren Osten. Moris Motamed bezeichnete die finanziellen Anreize für jüdische iranische Einwanderer in Israel als eine „Beleidigung der iranischen Juden“. Die Integrität der iranischen Juden könne man nicht kaufen.  Tatsächlich bekommt jeder iranische Jude in Israel bei seiner Einwanderung über die normale Unterstützung hinaus 10.000 US-Dollar. Der überwältigende Teil der iranischen Juden, die meist dem Mittelstand angehören, zieht es trotz aller Nachteile vor, im Iran zu bleiben. Die israelische Zeitung Haaretz zitiert einen Beamten der Einwanderungsbehörde mit den Worten: „Wir haben ihnen so viel geboten, aber nur so wenige kommen.“ (Amir Loghmany aus Teheran/DER STANDARD, Printausgabe, 29./30.12.2007) 

  • Iranian Jews say republic safe for them by Ali AKbar Dareini (source: Associated Press) via CASMII -  December 27, 2007 A top Jewish community leader in Iran on Wednesday described the recent immigration of 40 Iranian Jews to Israel as a "misinformation campaign" and insisted that Jews living in the Islamic Republic were not endangered by the hard-line policies of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. >>read more

  • Paul: 'We're getting ready to bomb Iran' by David Edwards & Jason Rhyne (source: The Raw Story) via CASMII - December 27, 2007 - Rep. Ron PaulDespite a recent National Intelligence Estimate finding that Iran has halted its nuclear weapons program, libertarian-leaning GOP presidential contender Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) says there is still "a great possibility" of US military action against the country. >>read more 
  • British MPs call on government to oppose military attack on Iran (source: CASMII) - December 20, 2007 -   On Tuesday 18th December, Jeremy Corbyn, Labour MP for Islington North, London, submitted an early day motion (EDM) to the House of Commons, calling on the British government to oppose publicly any military intervention against Iran. "EDMs are formal motions submitted for debate in the House of Commons. However, very few EDMs are actually debated. Instead, they are used for reasons such as publicising the views of individual MPs, drawing attention to specific events or campaigns, and demonstrating the extent of parliamentary support for a particular cause or point of view." See http://edmi.parliament.uk/EDMi/Default.aspx Corbyn's motion on Iran and the Middle East states: "That this House notes the findings of the International Atomic Energy Agency-Iran work plan of 27th August and the IAEA's report of 15th November clarifying and clearing a number of major outstanding issues in relation to Iran's past nuclear activities; notes the judgment of the recent US National Intelligence Estimate that Iran does not have an active nuclear weapons programme at present; is strongly concerned about the continued threats of a military attack against Iran which could start another catastrophic war in the Middle East; urges immediate, direct and unconditional negotiations between the US and Iran on all points of dispute; and calls on the Government to oppose publicly any military intervention by the US and/or Israel in Iran."

  • Manufacturing Threats: Sudan, Iran, and the War for Civilization (source: media lens) via CASMII -  December 18, 2007 - News that British schoolteacher Gillian Gibbons had been jailed in Sudan after allowing her pupils to call a teddy bear Mohammed fed straight into the UK media’s hate factory and its “war for civilisation”. [...] This did nothing to dim the enthusiasm of journalists eager to portray Iran as a threat to world peace. George Monbiot wrote in the Guardian last month: "I believe that Iran is trying to acquire the bomb." >>read more

  • Sinopec to triple oil import from Iran - PressTV - Fri, 14 Dec 2007 -  China's refiner Sinopec Corp. will triple its import of crude from Iran next year, boosting its share of crude from OPEC's second largest producer. Its state-run parent company, Sinopec Group, currently importing 60,000 barrels per day (bpd) is determined to purchase 160,000 bpd as of next year, said Reuters quoting two informed sources. Based on the deals signed between Iran and China, Beijing will import around six percent of its total oil demand, namely 400,000 bpd, from Iran in 2008. Another oil contract had been clinched earlier between the National Iranian Oil Company and China's state-owned Zhuhai Zhenrong Corporation. It took almost three years to finalize the talks on the crude deal. China is the world's second largest oil consumer. MPR/HAR 

  • China, Iran Sign $2 Billion Oil Production Agreement by Wang Ying & Dinakar Sethuraman (source: Bloomberg) via CASMII - December 10, 2007 -  China Petrochemical Corp. signed a $2 billion agreement to develop Iran's Yadavaran oil field, advancing prospects for a contract on the sale of liquefied natural gas to the world's fastest-growing major economy. >>read more

  • Iran stops selling oil in U.S. dollars -report - Sat Dec 8, 2007 - TEHRAN (Reuters) - Iran has completely stopped selling any of its oil for U.S. dollars, an Iranian news agency reported on Saturday, citing the oil minister of the world's fourth-largest crude producer. The ISNA news agency did not give a direct quote from Oil Minister Gholamhossein Nozari. A senior oil official last month said "nearly all" of Iran's crude oil sales were now being paid for in non-U.S. currencies. For nearly two years, OPEC's second biggest producer has been reducing its exposure to the dollar, saying the weak U.S. currency is eroding its purchasing power. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who often rails against the West, has called the U.S. currency a "worthless piece of paper." Foes since Iran's 1979 Islamic revolution, Tehran and Washington are also at odds over Tehran's disputed nuclear programme as well as over policy in Iraq. "In line with the policy of selling crude oil in currencies other than the U.S. dollar, currently the sale of our country's oil in U.S. dollars has been completely eliminated," ISNA reported after talking with Nozari. Nozari told ISNA: "In regards to the decrease in the dollar's value and the loss exporters of crude oil have endured from this trend, the dollar is no longer a reliable currency." "This is why, at the meeting of the heads of states, Iran proposed to OPEC members that a currency (for oil exports) would be determined that would be reliable and would not cause any loss to exporter countries," he said. At a November summit of Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries heads of state, Iran suggested oil should be sold in a basket of currencies rather than dollars, but failed to win over other members except Venezuela. Ahmadinejad and his Venezuelan counterpart, Hugo Chavez, are vocal critics of U.S. influence in the world. Hojjatollah Ghanimifard, international affairs director of the state owned National Iranian Oil Company, last month told Reuters that most of Iran's oil export earnings were in euros, with some in yen. (Reporting by Zahra Hosseinian, writing by Fredrik Dahl, editing by Anthony Barker)

  • Iran's Nuclear Program Never Existed by William O. Beeman (source: New America Media) via CASMII - December 5, 2007 - Iran has never had a proven nuclear weapons program. Ever. This inconvenient fact stands as an indictment of the Bush administration’s stance on Iran. >>read more

  • Iran will turn into a huge tsunami if attackedmms://217.218.67.244/presstv/program/Middle%20East%20Today/1127_MED-Tehran.wmv 29 Nov 2007 - PressTV - 
  •  "....Q: Several days ago, US Vice President Dick Cheney, in a speech to a hawkish pro-Israel think-tank, the Washington Institute for Near Policy, warned Tehran of 'serious consequences' if it did not freeze its nuclear program.
    In addition to the harsher rhetoric, Congressional analysts noticed the insertion of an US $88 million request in the $200 billion 2007 supplemental defense bill to modify B-2 Stealth bombers so that they can drop a 'Massive Ordnance Penetrator', a conventional 'bunker-busting' bomb designed to destroy targets that are buried deep underground, in response to 'an urgent operational need from theater commanders'. According to some defense analysts, the only logical target for such a weapon in the current geostrategic climate, would be Iran's nuclear sites. What are your comments on Vice President Cheney's threat and possible use of 'bunker-busting' bombs?
    A: The material capabilities that our enemies - the Israelis and the Americans - have were used in Lebanon's 33-day war. We all saw that the Shia people of southern Lebanon opted for and used the Basij philosophy. There are religious and cultural commonalities between our two communities. They stood against these bunker-busting bombs and other military capabilities. All the people around the world came to see that a revolutionary army with spiritual beliefs and the Basij philosophy can stand against the best army in the world. They resisted for thirty days and the invasion failed. We can use the same philosophy and strategies used by Hezbollah to nullify their military superiority.
    Q: The top advisor to the Supreme Leader on military affairs and the former Islamic Revolution Guards Corps Commander, Major General Yahya Rahim Safavi has said the United States is 'highly unlikely' to launch a military strike against Iran. However, he said the Iranian armed forces don't underestimate a possible attack by the US and are prepared to counter any possible threat against the country. How close do you see the prospect of a US war against Iran?
    A: I think General Safavi was correct. The possibility of a military attack on our country, especially on land, is a very remote possibility. The Americans know they can not land here because they will not go back. But there is the possibility of a limited air campaign which targets a number of special sites. If our enemies are wise at all, they will not even do that. As the US President is approaching his eight-year limit and the election campaign really kicks off, they will not be in a position to do so. They might think that a limited air campaign against Iran can be done and later announce it has been carried out. We will end the game ourselves. Once they start, they can not say it's ended. " READ THE WHOLE  exclusive interview with the head of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps Mohammad Ali Jafari. HERE  

Kriegsvorbereitung gegen IRAN:Kriegsvorbereitung gegen IRAN:Kriegsvorbereitung gegen IRAN:Kriegsvorbereitung gegen IRAN:Kriegsvorbereitung gegen IRAN:Kriegsvorbereitung gegen IRAN:

Wie der britische Herald am Montag unter Berufung auf "militärische Quellen" berichtete, wird die US-Basis auf der Insel Diego Garcia im Indischen Ozean derzeit ausgebaut, um Vorbereitungen für einen Angriff auf den Iran zu treffen...

Secret move to upgrade air base for Iran attack plans - 29 October 2007- By IAN BRUCE, Defence Correspondent  The US is secretly upgrading special stealth bomber hangars on the British island protectorate of Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean in preparation for strikes on Iran's nuclear facilities, according to military sources.  The improvement of the B1 Spirit jet infrastructure coincides with an "urgent operational need" request for £44m to fit racks to the long-range aircraft.  That would allow them to carry experimental 15-ton Massive Ordnance Penetrator (MOP) bombs designed to smash underground bunkers buried as much as 200ft beneath the surface through reinforced concrete. One MOP - known as Big Blu - has already been tested successfully at the US Air Force proving ground at White Sands in New Mexico. Tenders have now gone out for a production model to be ready for use in the next nine months.  The "static tunnel lethality test" on March 14 completely destroyed a mock-up of the kind of underground facility used to house Iran's nuclear centrifuge arrays at Natanz, about 150 miles from the capital, Tehran. Although intelligence estimates vary as to when Iran will achieve the know-how for a bomb, the French government recently received a memo from the International Atomic Energy Agency stating that Iran will be ready to run almost 3000 centrifuges in 18 cascades by the end of this month. That is in defiance of a UN ban on uranium enrichment and would be enough to produce a nuclear weapon within a year. 

Diego Garcia is ideally placed for strategic missions in the Middle East

Diego Garcia, part of Britain's Indian Ocean Territory, has several current missions. US Air Force bombers and Awacs surveillance planes operate from its 12,000ft runway and the USAF Space Command has built a satellite tracking station and communications facility.The Ministry of Defence says the US government would need Britain's permission to use the island for offensive action. It has already been used for strategic strike missions during the 1991 and 2003 Gulf wars against Iraq. The UK "sovereign territory" has a garrison of 50 British and 3200 US military personnel. The atoll, the largest in the Chagos Archipelago chain, lies about 1000 miles from the southern coasts of India and Sri Lanka. It is ideally placed for strategic missions in the Middle East. The US Department of Defence request for special bomb racks was hidden in a £95bn request to the US Congress last week for extra emergency funding for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The new Big Blu bomb is 20ft long, weighs 30,000lb and carries 6000lb of high explosives. It is designed to go deeper than even existing nuclear bunker-busting weapons. The bomb is designed to be dropped from as great a height as possible to achieve maximum velocity and penetrating power, guided on to target by satellite and accurate to within a few feet. Each B2 bomber would be able to carry only one weapon because of its weight. The B2s, normally based at Barksdale, Missouri, flew round-trip strikes against Baghdad in 2003, but would ideally be positioned closer to its targets for missions against Iran. The Pentagon has drawn up contingency plans for a range of attacks on Iran. The likeliest is a five-day bombardment, aiming to disable nuclear facilities and all major airbases and radar facilities; the most devastating would involve air and cruise missile attacks on 1000 targets, including headquarters and barracks of the Iranian Republican Guard Corps, over more than a month. The US branded the Revolutionary Guards a terrorist organisation last week in the latest round of diplomatic sanctions against Tehran.

  • NEWS FROM THE SCIENTIFIC COMMUNITY: 
    Prof. Joseph Taylor's speech at Sharif University of Technology, Tehran, Iran  -16 OCTOBER 2007  - "... is one of the most important days in the history of the university. For the first time a Physics Nobel prize winner was speaking for the universities students and professors. On Tuesday morning Joseph Taylor and Sharif Physics department's professors were negotiating transfers of students and   professors between Sharif and Princeton. There was also a meeting with the university professors and members of the academy of science and engineering, in which each of the members will be speaking about their fields of research... READ MORE> >
  • Implementation of the NPT Safeguards Agreement and relevant provisions of Security Council resolutions 1737 (2006) and 1747 (2007) in the Islamic Republic of Iran - Report by the Director General. GOV/2007/58 - 15 November 2007 - Restricted Distribution. Original: English (PDF Document - 9 pages !!)  
  • IAEA’s Report on Iran ’s P2 Centrifuge Design, or is it really P3? - By Nader Bagherzadeh - CASMII - 21.11.2007 
  • Iran 'committed to IAEA agreements' - Tue, 20 Nov 2007 19:33:44 - PRESS TV Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki says Tehran remains committed to the comprehensive Safeguard Agreement with the IAEA. In a letter to the Foreign Ministers of the world countries, Mottaki said Iran has cooperated with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) beyond the country's obligations.... MORE>>
  • Ahmadinejad erwägt Urananreicherung in neutralem Land - Kleine Zeitung - 18.11.2007 
  • Iran rehabilitiert - ElBaradeis IAEA-Bericht bestätigt: Teherans Atomprogramm ist ausschließlich friedlich. Enttäuschung und Ärger bei westlichen Regierungen. Von Knut Mellenthin  - 17.11.2007 /  Junge Welt - Ausland / Seite 7 Mit Enttäuschung und Ärger haben die Regierungen des Westens am Freitag auf den jüngsten Bericht der Internationalen Atomenergiebehörde (IAEA) über das iranische Atomprogramm reagiert. Israelische Politiker forderten sogar den Rücktritt von IAEA-Generaldirektor Mohamed ElBaradei. Im Iran hingegen wird der Bericht als neuerliche Bestätigung für den ausschließlich friedlichen Charakter des Atomprogramms gewertet.
    Das von der IAEA offiziell noch nicht veröffentlichte, aber bereits im Internet zugängliche Dokument hat neun Seiten Umfang und beschäftigt sich mit zwei Themen: Im Hauptteil werden detailliert die Ergebnisse der seit August geführten Untersuchung über »ausstehende Fragen« der Entwicklungsgeschichte des iranischen Atomprogramms dargestellt. Im Anschluß daran wird über den aktuellen Stand der Arbeiten an der Urananreicherung und am Bau eines Schwerwasserreaktors in Arrak berichtet.
    Angaben bestätigt
    Im historischen Teil des Papiers wird zu wesentlichen, bisher nicht endgültig geklärten Fragen jetzt eindeutig festgestellt, daß die von iranischer Seite gemachten Angaben als bestätigt und bewiesen anzusehen seien. Einige noch offene Punkte sollen planmäßig »in wenigen Wochen« und »in nächster Zeit« abgeschlossen werden. ElBaradei hat dafür das Jahresende als Termin gesetzt. Daß immer noch nicht alle Fragen vollständig geklärt sind, ist –wie es im Bericht wörtlich heißt – begründet durch die »lange Geschichte und Komplexität des Programms«. Die IAEA hat vom Iran nicht nur eine vollständige Chronologie aller Ereignisse gefordert und erhalten, sondern hat sich auch die Teilnehmerlisten von bis zu 20 Jahren zurückliegenden Beratungen geben lassen, um anschließend Einzelgespräche mit den beteiligten Personen zu führen. Schwierige Fragen, wie beispielsweise die Gründe für die Schließung einer Uranmine im Jahr 1993, wurden genau erforscht. Umso beachtlicher sind die Ergebnisse, die die Iraner in allen bisher abgeschlossenen Punkten ohne Einschränkung rehabilitieren. Im Bericht wird überdies festgestellt, daß die iranische Seite der IAEA in zufriedenstellender Weise Zugang zu allen beteiligten Personen ermöglicht und alle Fragen in angemessener Zeit beantwortet hat.
    Unter IAEA-Kontrolle
    Die Klärung der Geschichte des iranischen Atomprogramms ist von allergrößter Bedeutung, weil die gegen Iran verhängten Sondermaßnahmen, wie etwa die Forderung nach Einstellung aller Arbeiten an der Urananreicherung, ausschließlich mit offenen Fragen aus der Vergangenheit begründet worden sind. Der Atomwaffensperrvertrag (NPT) bietet keine Handhabe, dem Iran die Urananreicherung oder auch den Bau eines Schwerwasserreaktors zu verbieten.
    Daher ist es aus rechtlicher Sicht auch unerheblich, daß in ElBaradeis jüngstem Bericht erneut festgestellt wird, was vom Iran gar nicht bestritten wird und nach dem NPT nicht zu beanstanden ist: Die Arbeiten an der Urananreicherung gehen weiter. Iran hat zur Zeit 3000 Gaszentrifugen in Betrieb, wenn auch nicht mit voller Kapazität. Der Prozeß steht unter vollständiger, strikter Kontrolle der IAEA, ebenso wie das gesamte bisher produzierte angereicherte Uran. Der höchste von der IAEA gemessene Anreicherungsgrad ist vier Prozent. Für die Herstellung von waffenfähigem Uran wären 80 bis 90 Prozent erforderlich. * IAEA-Bericht: graphics8.nytimes.com/packages/pdf/world/20071115IAEA-report.pdf
  • "DEUTSCHE TERRORZELLE" AUS DEM IRAN GESTEUERT? ANMERKUNGEN ZUR PRODUKTION EINES GERÃœCHTS. Von Knut Mellenthin - 17.November 2007
  • Iran's cooperation sufficient, but not proactive - World Nuclear News - 16 November 2007 
  • Iran more transparent but expands nuclear campaign Iran has made important strides towards clarifying past nuclear activities but key questions remain unresolved and it has significantly expanded uranium enrichment, a U.N. watchdog report said on Thursday. Reuters/ AP/ Bloomberg/ AFP/ DPA 
  • NYT: Report Raises New Doubts on Iran Nuclear Program The International Atomic Energy Agency said in a report on Thursday that Iran had made new but incomplete disclosures about its past nuclear activities, missing a critical deadline under an agreement with the agency and virtually assuring a new push by the United States to impose stricter international sanctions. NYT/ FT/ Chicago Tribune/ BBC 
  • Britain cautious over Iran nuclear report Britain said on Thursday it would study a key UN nuclear watchdog report on Iran’s nuclear ambitions, but repeated its threat to impose tougher sanctions if there was no further progress. AFP 
  • U.S. to Seek New Sanctions Against Iran The Bush administration plans to push for new sanctions against Iran after the U.N. nuclear watchdog agency reported yesterday that Tehran is providing "diminishing" information about its controversial nuclear program, U.S. officials said. WP 
  • Iran's top nuclear negotiator says new UN sanctions would be wrong Iran's top nuclear negotiator said Thursday that a new U.N. nuclear watchdog report proves accusations that Iran is pursuing nuclear weapons are baseless and that new sanctions against the country would be wrong. AP/ Reuters 
  • Glimmer of hope ahead of nuclear deal talks The government meets its communist allies on Friday to try and soften their opposition to a landmark nuclear deal with the United States amid conflicting signals from left leaders. Reuters 
  • Mystery still surrounds Israel’s Syria attack Rarely does President George W. Bush bite his lip when discussing “axis of evil” states such as Syria and North Korea. FT 
  • Sarkozy wants everyone to have nuclear power - French nuclear power Six months into his term, President Nicolas Sarkozy is aggressively pursuing a new policy to give Muslim countries access to nuclear power - and win lucrative contracts for France's energy champions in the process. IHT 
  • UN nuclear watchdog chief expresses concern about anti-Iran rhetoric from US - The Associated Press via International Herald Tribune. 28  October 2007: The head of the U.N. nuclear watchdog said Sunday he had no evidence Iran was working actively to build nuclear weapons and expressed concern that escalating rhetoric from the U.S. could bring disaster. "We have information that there has been maybe some studies about possible weaponization," said Mohamed ElBaradei, who leads the International Atomic Energy Agency. "That's why we have said that we cannot give Iran a pass right now, because there is still a lot of question marks." "But have we seen Iran having the nuclear material that can readily be used into a weapon? No. Have we seen an active weaponization program? No.".... MORE>>
  • Iran weist Terror-Vorwürfe der USA als lächerlich zurück - EUROPOLITAN - 27.October .2007 
  • One Man's Terrorist is Another's Diplomat - by Barbara Slavin - 26.October 2007 
  • US only isolating itself, Jalili says. Tehran, Oct 26, IRNA
  • Larijani says Prodi's nuclear proposal worth study. Tehran, Oct 26, IRNA 
  • Ahmadinejad felicitates Austrian counterpart on National Day. Tehran, Oct 25, IRNA
    President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad cabled a message on Thursday to his Austrian counterpart Heinz Fischer to congratulate him, the Austrian government and nation on the country's Nation Day. According to the Presidential Bureau, in the message, President Ahmadinejad underlined that "Fortunately the two sides's high ranking officials are determined to broaden friendly ties between the two countries." He hoped to witness further expansion and consolidation of mutual ties between the two nations. In another development, Iran's First Vice President Parviz Davoudi sent a message to Austrian Chancellor Alfred Gusenbauer to congratulate him, the Austrian government and nation on the country's National Day.

  • Condoleezza Rice erhöht den Druck: Neue Strafmaßnahmen gegen Iran verkündet -  Zum ersten Mal richten sich US-Sanktionen gegen das Militär eines fremden Landes - Uni Kassel, AG Friedensforschung
    Die USA haben ihre Sanktionen gegen den Iran verschärft. Die neuen Maßnahmen richteten sich gegen Teile des Militärs und drei Banken, teilten US-Außenministerin Condoleezza Rice und Finanzminister Henry Paulson am 25. Oktober 2007 in Washington mit. Dies geschehe zum Schutz von US-Interessen und der US-Bürger. "Das bedeutet, dass es keinem US-Bürger und keiner privaten Organisation gestattet sein wird, finanzielle Verbindungen mit diesen Personen und Einheiten einzugehen", hieß es weiter in der Erklärung. Von den neuen Sanktionen sind die Revolutionswächter und ihre Eliteeinheit, die El-Kuds-Truppen, betroffen. Den Revolutionswächtern wird die Verbreitung von Massenvernichtungswaffen vorgeworfen, die El-Kuds-Truppen werden als Unterstützer des Terrorismus gebrandmarkt.Die Strafmaßnahmen würden dabei helfen, das internationale Finanzsystem vor den "illegalen Aktivitäten der iranischen Regierung zu schützen", hieß es in der US-Erklärung weiter... MEHR HIER

  • Verschärfung der Sanktionen gegen Iran führt zu weiteren Eskalationen
    Zur Verschärfung der Iran-Sanktionen durch die USA erklärt Norman Paech, außenpolitischer Sprecher der Fraktion DIE LINKE:  Die USA haben im Alleingang neue Iran-Sanktionen verhängt, die das iranische Verteidigungsministerium, die Revolutionsgarde und mehrere Banken sowie Einzelpersonen treffen, die dadurch vom amerikanischen Finanzsystem isoliert werden sollen.
    Diese Sanktionen treiben die Eskalationspolitik der USA weiter voran. Sicher ist, dass diese Maßnahmen nicht dazu beitragen werden, die Regierung Irans im Atomstreit zum Einlenken zu bewegen. Vielmehr werden diplomatische Lösungen dadurch immer schwieriger. Politische Verhandlungen mit geladenen Kanonen stehen im krassen Widerspruch zu dem immer wieder behaupteten Interesse an einer diplomatischen Lösung.
    Vielmehr setzen die USA ihren Kriegskurs gegen den Iran weiter fort. Dies belegt nicht zuletzt ein Posten über 88 Millionen US-Dollar für sogenannte „bunkerbrechende Munition“ im amerikanischen Haushaltsplan für das am 01.10.07 begonnene Haushaltjahr. Dass dieser Haushaltsposten im Zusammenhang mit einem möglichen Angriff auf den Iran steht, haben Abgeordnete der oppositionellen Demokraten besorgt geäußert.
    Alle Anzeichen deuten also weiterhin unübersehbar auf einen zukünftigen Krieg gegen den Iran hin. Denn die iranische Regierung wird unter diesen Bedingungen ihre Urananreicherungs-Programme nicht aufgeben, zumal sie von Atommächten umgeben ist, die erst kürzlich wieder milliardenschwere Waffenlieferungen aus den USA erhalten haben.
    Zwingend notwendig ist, dass die Bundesregierung nicht nur mit der Regierung des Irans, sondern vor allem mit der US-Regierung spricht.

  • Nuclear energy "indispensable" says EU report. 25 October 2007 - Worl Nuclear News
    Members of the European Parliament have overwhelmingly voted in favour of a report that states that nuclear energy will be indispensible if the EU is to meet its basic energy needs in the medium term.  The report, Conventional Energy Sources and Energy Technology was adopted with 509 votes in favour, 153 against and 30 abstentions. It was drafted by Herbert Reul of the EPP-ED group (Group of the European People's Party (Christian Democrats) and European Democrats in the European Parliament). MORE>>  Energy - New and Renewable Energies - Home Page. Renewable energy sources are expected to be economically competitive with conventional energy sources in the medium to long term.... MORE:  ec.europa.eu/energy/res/index_en.htm

Mottaki: Iran never let its legitimate rights be trampled upon. Oct 22,2007  "Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki here on Monday sent a letter to his French counterpart Bernard Kouchner to declare that the Islamic Republic of Iran is accountable to international system and it never lets its legitimate rights be trampled upon...Iran is to show good-will when it sees the same from the other side... [imposing] unilateral sanctions against Iran would bear no fruits. It is about three decades that Iran has faced sanctions mostly by the Americans or even some unofficial sanctions imposed by the Europeans, he said... [Imposing] one-sided sanctions against countries is regarded as an illegal move which runs counter to UN Charter and is indicative of the incompetency of the UNSC, ... in total contradiction with their claims of pursuing diplomatic solutions, ...t he US and a number of those countries possessing nuclear weapons have not remained committed to non-proliferation of nuclear weapons while they introduce themselves as grantors of such treaties in order to divert world public opinion from their nuclear depots. In the meantime, the Zionist regime is now developing its nuclear facilities without any concern, he underlined. The foreign minister said those who try to persuade the UNSC to impose more unjust sanctions on Iran, prevent the same from being applied to the Zionist regime..."   MORE>> Iran weist Terror-Vorwürfe der USA als lächerlich zurück - EUROPOLITAN - Reflections on Europe -  27.10.2007
Teheran - Der Iran hat in einer ersten Stellungnahme die Entscheidung der US-Regierung scharf kritisiert, weitere Sanktionen gegen das Land zu verhängen und eine Einheit der regulären iranischen Streitkräfte als Terrorismus-Förderer einzustufen. Die USA hatten am Donnerstag die härteten Sanktionen gegen den Iran seit fast 30 Jahren verhängt. Kritik an der Entscheidung kam auch von Russlands Präsident Wladimir Putin. Kritiker argumentieren, dass Sanktionen nur die Zivilbevökerung träfen und dem Regime keinen Schaden zufügten.
Mohammad-Ali Hosseini, Sprecher des iranischen Außenministeriums, bezeichnete die Sanktionen als wertlos. Zudem stünden sie im krassen Widerspruch zur internationalen Praxis und seien daher von vornherein zum Scheitern verurteilt. „Solche lächerlichen Maßnahmen können die Amerikaner nicht aus der Krise retten, die sie im Irak geschaffen haben", so Hosseini.
Die US-Regierung hatte die Sanktionen damit begründet, dass der Iran sein Atomprogramm nicht offen lege, und den internationalen Terrorismus fördere. Betroffen sind mehr als 20 iranische Unternehmen und Einzelpersonen, die künftig vom amerikanischen Finanzsystem ausgeschlossen werden sollen. Außerdem haben die USA die iranische Eliteeinheit al-Kuds in die Liste der terroristischen Organisationen aufgenommen. Damit stehen zum ersten Mal reguläre Streitkräfte eines Landes auf der Terrorliste. Innerhalb der US-Regierung ist sogar darüber nachgedacht worden, die iranischen Revolutionswächter als Ganzes als Terrororganisation einzustufen.
Die nun verhängten Sanktionen sind die Schärfsten der USA seit der islamischen Revolution von 1979. Damals besetzten Iraner die US-Botschaft in Teheran. Kritik an der Entscheidung kam auch aus Russland, das sich ebenso wie China gegen Sanktionen ausspricht. Präsident Putin fragte: „Warum sollten wir die Situation verschlechtern?" Putin ist davon überzeugt, dass eine Verschärfung der Lage dem Regime in Teheran nicht schadet, sondern nützt.
Durch die jetzigen Sanktionen können die USA Guthaben der betroffenen Personen, Unternehmen sowie der Revolutionsgarden einfrieren. Auf diesem Wege wollen die USA dem Terrorismus die Finanzierung entziehen. Allerdings sind von der Maßnahme auch hunderte ausländische Unternehmen betroffen, die mit de Iran Geschäfte machen. Für Kritiker sind die Sanktionen kontraproduktiv, da von einer Schwächung der Wirtschaft in erster Linie die Zivilbevökerung, und nicht die Staatsführung betroffen ist. Vielmehr führten Sanktionen dazu, dass die Bevökerung gegen den Feind von außen zusammenrücke – und somit die Regierung eher stärke als schwäche.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's visit to the USA

  •  

    Ahmedinejad: Villain or Hero - Mosaic Intelligence Report 

    Ahmadinejad's stock rose even higher after his speech this week at Columbia University; people in Iran and the Arab world are angry at Columbia University president Lee Bollinger for insulting the Iranian leader during his introduction. In the Arab and Muslim worlds, you don’t invite someone to your house, even if he was a foe, then turn around and insult him when he answers at your door. The entire uproar over the Columbia event - played right into the Iranian leader's hand.

    There was nothing new in his speech at this year’s UN General Assembly; however, his presence dominated the opening of the meeting, attracting worldwide coverage. Before even appearing at the UN and Columbia University, the front page of the New York's Daily News ran the headline "The evil has landed" while The New York Post called Ahmadinejad the "Madman Iran Prez".

    Is he a madman?

    When Ahmadinejad says controversial things, the western world condemns him, but is he even talking to the West?

    Watch this Mosaic Intelligence Report: Ahmadinejad: Villain or Hero

    http://rs6.net/tn.jsp?t=iuu6afcab.0.xt96afcab.qukp7ccab.5585&ts=S0286&p=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DzfYXHOEY9zA

    No Gays in Iran… But Many Same-Sex Couples

    New America Media, Commentary, William O. Beeman, Posted: Sep 26, 2007

    Editor’s Note: Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s comment that homosexuality does not exist in Iran like it does in the West is true in a sense, writes anthropologist William Beeman. In fact, same-sex relations in Iran do look very different from what is called gay behavior in the West.

    Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was derided for his statement in a Sept. 24 speech at Columbia University that homosexuality doesn't exist in Iran. Though many Americans may find it incredible, differences in the construction of sexual behavior do exist across cultures.

    As an anthropologist, I can state with confidence that sexuality varies tremendously between cultures. The notion that one is either "gay" or "straight" does not accord with what we observe in human sexual behavior, which is far more flexible. This categorization is an artifact of American culture, which glories in binary categories for classifying people. Folks that identify as "bisexual" (yet another ambiguous category) in the United States often get grief from both the gay and straight community for "deluding" themselves about their sexuality. Read More

  • Iranian Leader Addresses Columbia University  -Monday, 24 Sep 2007,
  • Columbia Uni. welcomes Ahmadinejad - Sat, 22 Sep 2007 - Source: Agencies via PressTV

  • TEXT of President Ahmadinejad's Speech at Columbia University: 24. September 2007

For the Video of President Ahmadinejad's Speech click on the following links:

  • LA Times: Ahmadinejad, 'ME hero'  - 25 Sep 2007 - via PressTV - President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has won the admiration of both Shias and Sunnis in the Middle East region, a reputable US newspaper says. "President Ahmadinejad has transcended national and religious divides to become a hero across the Middle East," the Los Angeles Times said in an article published on Monday. The articles points to the president's popularity among Muslims who believe that their leaders are too beholden to or frightened of the Bush administration. "I like him a lot," Mahmoud Ali, a medical student in Cairo, was quoted by the daily as saying. "He's trying to protect himself and his nation from the dangers around him. He makes me feel proud. He's a symbol of Islam. He seems the only person capable of taking a stand against Israel and the West. " People in the Middle East consider Ahmadinejad as the rallying voice of Islam, the daily concluded.

  • Ahmadinejad: Iran will not attack Israel - Iranian president says his country never sought to expand its territory, says reported IAF attack in Syria stemmed from 'Israeli expansionism' and had nothing to do with Iran. - 24 Sep 2007 - Associated Press via  Israel News

  • Ahmadinejad gets blistering welcome from university president - 24 Sep 2007 - Associated Press via  Israel News

  • Iranian Leader Addresses Columbia University  -Monday, 24 Sep 2007 - MyFoxNY.com -- Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is speaking at Columbia University. You can watch the speech in a live stream here on MyFoxNY.com. Ahmadinejad is also addressing the United Nations and may make a stop at Ground Zero during his visit to New York City.
  • Coverage Of Ahmadinejad Visit To New York City - Tensions Rise Around Columbia Campus -  24 Sep 2007 - MyFoxNY.com

  • Ahmadinejad: No Gay People in Iran - Says Country Doesn't Have Such a 'Phenomenon' -  24 Sep 2007 - MyFoxNY.com

  • Columbia Uni. welcomes Ahmadinejad - Sat, 22 Sep 2007 - Source: Agencies via PressTV

IRAN'S HOLOCAUST TV-SERIE

http://tv1.irib.ir/barnameha/sharhefilm.asp?code=0011109036106http://tv1.irib.ir/barnameha/S-Images.asp?code=0011109036106&picnum=8
http://tv1.irib.ir/barnameha/S-Images.asp?code=0011109036106&picnum=9
http://tv1.irib.ir/barnameha/S-Images.asp?code=0011109036106&picnum=10

  • Iran launches Holocaust miniseries - Associated Press , THE JERUSALEM POST- Sep. 16, 2007        It is Iran's version of "Schindler's List," a miniseries telling the tale of an Iranian diplomat in Paris who helps Jews escape the Holocaust  - and people around the country are riveted, tuning in every week to catch the latest episode.That's surprising enough in a country where hard-line President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has questioned whether the Holocaust even took place. What's even more surprising is that government media produced the series, and is airing it on state-run television. Even without Ahmadinejad's past comments, the series would be a surprise. The Holocaust is rarely mentioned in state media in Iran, school textbooks don't discuss it and Iranians have little information about it. Yet the series, titled "Zero Degree Turn," is clearly sympathetic to the Jews' plight during World War II. Scenes show men, women and children with yellow stars on their clothes being taken forcibly out of their homes and loaded into trucks by Nazi soldiers. "Where are they taking them?" the horrified hero, a young Iranian diplomat who works at the Iranian Embassy in Paris, asks someone in a crowd of onlookers. "The Fascists are taking the Jews to the concentration camps," the man says. The hero, named Habib Parsa, then begins giving Iranian passports to Jews to allow them to flee occupied France to then-Palestine - a fictionalized version of a true story. The series could not have aired without being condoned by Iran's clerical leadership. The state broadcaster is under the control of the supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khomenei, who has final say in all matters inside Iran. The government even allowed the series to break another taboo in Iran: For the first time, many actresses appear without the state-mandated Islamic dress code. The producers wanted to realistically portray 1940s Paris, and thus avoided the headscarves and head-to-foot robes that all women must normally wear on Iranian TV. The show's appearance now may reflect an attempt by Iran's leadership to moderate its image as anti-Semitic and to underline a distinction that Iranian officials often make - that their conflict is with Israel, not with the Jewish people. Ahmadinejad sparked widespread outrage in 2005 when he made comments casting doubt on the Holocaust and saying the state of Israel should be "wiped from the map." His government organized a conference of Holocaust deniers and skeptics from around the world in December. About 25,000 Jews live in Iran, the largest Jewish community in the Middle East after Israel. They have one representative in the Parliament of the country, which is run mostly by Islamic clerics. The series has won support even from hardliners in Iran. Some of them argue that it links the Holocaust with Israel's creation, thus boosting an argument by Ahmadinejad that if the Nazi killing of Jews did take place, the Palestinians who then lived in Palestine should not have had to pay the price for it, by the creation of Israel after the war. "The series differentiates between Jews and Zionism. The ground for forming Israel is prepared when Hitler's army puts pressure on activist Jews. In this sense, it considers Nazism parallel to Zionism," the hard-line newspaper Keyhan said. However, if the series does aim to make that point, it has not done so - overtly - so far. And the series, which began in April, has been a revelation for some Iranians. It has pulled many away from more popular satellite channels, which are banned but which many watch anyway on illegal dishes. The fare on state TV is usually dry. "Once, I wept when I learned through the film what a dreadful destiny the small nation had during the World War, in the heart of so-called civilized Europe," said Mahboubeh Rahamati, a Teheran bank teller. Kazem Gharibi said he watches the series every Monday on a TV in his grocery store. "Through this film, I understood that Jews had a hard time in the war - helpless and desperate, as we were when Iraq imposed war on us," he said, referring to the 8-year Iran-Iraq war in the 1980s. The series began in April with a love story between Parsa, the Embassy employee, and a French Jew, Sara Stroke, in the early 1940s - and many viewers say the love story pulls them as much as any history. After Paris is occupied by the Nazis, Habib decides to forge Iranian passports for many French Jews to save them from the Holocaust - starting with Sara and her family. The German government accepts his embassy's claim that the passport holders are from an Iranian tribe and lets them leave France. Habib is later imprisoned by the Nazis for espionage, in the TV show, after his forgeries are discovered. He then is released and returns to Teheran, where he is jailed again for forging passports. The Habib character is fictional but is based on a true story of diplomats in the Iranian Embassy in Paris in the 1940s who gave out about 500 Iranian passports for Jews to use to escape. Eight more episodes remain in the series, and viewers drawn by the love story between Habib and Sara are on edge as they await the finish. "I have watched the series from the beginning," said Sedigheh Karandish, a housewife and mother of two. "It's pulling me in to see what these two people do at the end. Hopefully, it will be a happy ending."
  • Iran's Unlikely TV Hit - Show Sympathetic to Plight Of Jews During the Holocaust Draws Millions Each Week -By FARNAZ FASSIHI - September 7, 2007; Page B1 (See Corrections & Amplifications item below.) -  

Every Monday night at 10 o'clock, Iranians by the millions tune into Channel One to watch the most expensive show ever aired on the Islamic republic's state-owned television. Its elaborate 1940s costumes and European locations are a far cry from the typical Iranian TV fare of scarf-clad women and gray-suited men.But the most surprising thing about the wildly popular show is that it is a heart-wrenching tale of European Jews during World War II.
The hour-long drama, "Zero Degree Turn," centers on a love story between an Iranian-Palestinian Muslim man and a French Jewish woman. Over the course of the 22 episodes, the hero saves his love from Nazi detention camps, and Iranian diplomats in France forge passports for the woman and her family to sneak on to airplanes carrying Iranian Jews to their homeland.
On the surface, the message of the lavish, state-funded production appears sharply at odds with that sent out by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who has repeatedly called the Holocaust a myth.
In fact, the government's spending on the show underscores the subtle and often sophisticated way in which the Iranian state uses its TV empire to send out political messages. The aim of the show, according to many inside and outside the country, is to draw a clear distinction between the government's views about Judaism -- which is accepted across Iranian society -- and its stance on Israel -- which the leadership denounces every chance it gets.
"Iranians have always differentiated between ordinary Jews and a minority of Zionists," says Hassan Fatthi, the show's writer and director. "The murder of innocent Jews during World War II is just as despicable, sad and shocking as the killing of innocent Palestinian women and children by racist Zionist soldiers," he says.
Mr. Fatthi, 48 years old, is a well-known director of historical fiction for television. In the past, his work has focused on Iranian history. But he also dabbles in comedy, winning international critical acclaim two years ago for a hit feature, "Marriage, Iranian Style."
He says he came up with the idea for "Zero Degree Turn" four years ago as he was reading books about World War II and stumbled across literature about charge d'affaires at the Iranian embassy in Paris. Abdol Hussein Sardari saved over a thousand European Jews by forging Iranian passports and claiming they belonged to an Iranian tribe.
VISIT THE WEBSITE• Official site for "Zero Degree Turn."1
Mr. Fatthi says he chose the title because the world at the time was in dire circumstances, offering few options for avoiding the terrors to come. Shot on location in Paris and Budapest, the show stars Iranian heartthrob Shahab Husseini and is so popular that its theme song -- an ode to getting lost in love -- is a hit, too.
"It's captivating. No matter where I am or what I'm doing, on Monday nights I find a television set and watch the show. So does every Jewish person I know here," says Morris Motamed, the lone Jew in parliament.
Mr. Fatthi enlisted the help of Iran's Jewish Association, an independent body that safeguards the community's culture and heritage. The association has criticized Mr. Ahmadinejad's comments about the Holocaust but has praised Mr. Fatthi's show.
Iran is home to some 25,000 Jews, the largest population in the Middle East outside of Israel. Iran's Jews -- along with Christians and Zorastrians -- are guaranteed equal rights in the country's constitution. Iran's Jews are guaranteed one member of parliament and are free to study Hebrew in school, pray in synagogues and shop at kosher supermarkets. Despite Mr. Ahmadinejad's statements, it isn't government policy to question the Holocaust, and the country's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, hasn't endorsed those views.
While Iran makes it no secret that it considers Israel an enemy, it has been extremely touchy about criticism of its treatment of Jewish citizens. The show is seen as an effort by the government to erase the image that it may be anti-Semitic -- both at home among Jews and non-Jews, and abroad.
"In this show, you notice that a new method of political dialogue is being promoted that is more in line with the modern world," says Mohammad Ali Abtahi, a reformist cleric and former Iranian vice president.
The message appears to be grabbing the public. Sara Khatibi, a 35-year-old mother and chemist in Tehran, says she and her husband never miss an episode. "All we ever hear about Jews is rants from the government about Israel," she says. "This is the first time we are seeing another side of the story and learning about their plight."
The show also pushes Iran's political line regarding the legitimacy of Israel: The Jewish state was conceived in modern times by Western powers rather than as part of a centuries-old desire of Jews for a return to their ancestral homeland. In one scene, a rabbi declares it a bad idea for Jews to resettle in Arab lands. In another, the French Jewish protagonist refuses a marriage offer by a cousin, who is advocating the creation of Israel.
Iran has long used TV to shape public opinion, where newspapers and the Internet are seen as media for the elite. The state's control over radio and television is enshrined in the constitution. Ayatollah Khamenei, the supreme leader, is not only head of the armed forces and the judiciary, but also the national broadcast authority.
"The regime appreciates the fact that to appeal to the masses, both in Iran and the Muslim world, television is the most important outlet," says Karim Sadjadpour, an expert on Iran at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington.
On any given day, the country's seven state-run channels broadcast a mostly drab offering of news, sports, cooking shows, soap operas and religious sermons. Political propaganda is constantly fed into the mix. Dissidents such as students or reformers are routinely paraded before cameras to read confessions after stints of solitary imprisonment.
A slick documentary-style program recently aired long interviews with two Iranian-Americans who were detained on allegations of working to overthrow the regime. The interviews -- in which the pair blandly admitted to meeting with Iranian scholars and dissidents, but not to attempting to topple the government -- were intercut with provocative scenes of demonstrations in Ukraine, where the U.S. encouraged groups that eventually staged the successful Orange Revolution in late 2004.
In July, Iran launched a 24-hour English-language satellite news channel called Press TV, joining the ranks of the BBC, CNN and Al Jazeera. Its Arabic news channel, Al Alam, has been broadcasting news with an Iranian slant in the Arab world for several years.
Episodes of "Zero Degree Turn," broadcast in Farsi, can be seen outside of Iran on the Internet, either streaming live or downloaded at tv1.irib.ir/barnameha/sharhefilm.asp?code=00111090361062. It is also broadcast with English subtitles on the state-controlled Jameh Jam satellite channel, which is available on Europe's Hot Bird satellite network. Mr. Fatthi also says Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting has been contacted about selling the show to networks in other countries, but he doesn't know which ones.
Write to Farnaz Fassihi at farnaz.fassihi(at)wsj.com3
Corrections & Amplifications:
Press TV, a 24-hour English-language satellite news channel, was launched by Iran in July. An earlier version of this article incorrectly called the channel Pars News.
URL for this article: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB118912609718220156.html Copyright 2007 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved. This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. Distribution and use of this material are governed by our Subscriber Agreement and by copyright law. For non-personal use or to order multiple copies, please contact Dow Jones Reprints at 1-800-843-0008 or visit www.djreprints.com.
Hyperlinks in this Article:
(1) http://tv1.irib.ir/barnameha/sharhefilm.asp?code=0011109036106 (2) http://tv1.irib.ir/barnameha/sharhefilm.asp?code=0011109036106 (3) mailto:farnaz.fassihi(at)wsj.com


 

  • German envoy hails Iran-IAEA agreement - Vienna - 10. September 2007 - IRNA - 
    German Ambassador to International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Peter Gottwald said on Monday that the agreement between Iran and the agency might hopefully prepare the ground for resolving the remaining issues on Iranian nuclear program.
    He told IRNA on the sidelines of Board of Governors meet that the agreement is a step towards responding to the questions which had remained unanswered.
    "We are waiting to see it work and hope to see it accomplish very soon."
    Gottwald said that as IAEA Director General Mohamed ElBaradei told the Board of Governors "we hope to see the matter be resolved within two or three years."
    Asked whether the UN Security Council may take another step against Iran while both Iran and the agency are working on the timetable, he said that there are two issues - one concerning Iranian activities in the past and the second is about the current activities which go in parallel with each other and "I cannot predict the outcome."
    "I hope to see progress in the two subjects and their coming back to the right track, the ambassador said.
    In reply to a question whether Germany and the European states are opposed to uranium enrichment by Iran, the ambassador said it is very complex. "But, we always said that Iran has the right to have uranium enrichment on the basis of Article 4 of Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). He said that there is problem concerning Iranian NPT rights which must be restored through confidence building.
    "We never said Iran has no NPT right, we call for confidence building."  Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (PDF) - IAEA
  • IAEA agreement shows Iran's goodwill, says deputy FM - London - 10. September 2007 - IRNA - 
    Last month's agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) shows Iran's goodwill to clear up any outstanding issues over the country's civilian nuclear program, says deputy foreign minister Saeid Jalili.
    If the main problem between Iran and the world community was that Tehran has not been transparent over nuclear experiments, then the IAEA agreement should address that, Jalili said in an interview with the Financial Times published Monday.
    The agreement to resolve any unanswered questions, which was hailed by the IAEA, was "another step to indicate Iran's goodwill," he said. "The only solution is to take it (the issue) from the Security Council and back to the IAEA," he said ahead of this week's meeting of the IAEA's board of governors that is expected to scrutinize the deal.
    Jalili said Iran had suspended its uranium enrichment program for two years in 2004 and 2005, under an agreement with European governments, but that all it got out of this was a demand that it shut down the program permanently.
    The daily said what it called the IAEA "work plan" had complicated the pursuit by the US and the EU of a new UN Security Council resolution to impose further sanctions against Iran.
    Two of the permanent members, Russia and China, it said, are likely to be more sympathetic to Iran's argument that the agreement with the IAEA should be tested before more measures are imposed.
  • Why Bush can get away with attacking Iran - Sun, 09 Sep 2007 21:47:34 - By JEAN BRICMONT, counterpunch.org
    Many people n the antiwar movement try to reassure themselves: Bush cannot possibly attack Iran. He does not have the means to do so, or, perhaps, even he is not foolish enough to engage in such an enterprise.
    Various particular reasons are put forward, such as: If he attacks, the Shiites in Iraq will cut the US supply lines. If he attacks, the Iranians will block the Straits of Hormuz. Russia won't allow such an attack. China won't allow it -- they will dump the dollar. The Arab world will explode.
    All this is doubtful. The Shiites in Iraq are not simply obedient to Iran. If they don't rise against the United States when their own country is occupied (or if don't rise very systematically), they are not likely to rise against the US if a neighboring country is attacked. As for blocking the Straits, this will just be another justification for more bombing of Iran. After all, a main casus belli against Iran is, incredibly, that it supposedly helps the resistance against US troops in Iraq, as if those troops were at home there. If that can work as an argument for bombing Iran, then any counter-measure that Iran might take will simply "justify" more bombing, possibly nuclear. Iran is strong in the sense that it cannot be invaded, but there is little it can do against long range bombing, accompanied by nuclear threats.
    China is solely concerned with its own development and won't drop the dollar for non-economic reasons. Most Arab governments, if not their populations, will look favorably on seeing the Iranian Shiite leadership humiliated. Those governments have sufficient police forces to control any popular opposition-after all, that is what they managed to do after the attack on Iraq.
    With the replacement of Chirac by Sarkozy, and the near-complete elimination of what was left of the Gaullists (basically through lawsuits on rather trivial matters), France has been changed from the most independent European country to the most poodlish (this was in fact the main issue in the recent presidential election, but it was never even mentioned during the campaign.)
    In France, moreover, the secular "left" is, in the main, gung-ho against Iran for the usual reasons (women, religion). There will be no large-scale demonstrations in France either before or after the bombing. And, without French support, Germany--where the war is probably very unpopular -- can always be silenced with memories of the Holocaust, so that no significant opposition to the war will come from Europe (except possibly from its Muslim population, which will be one more argument to prove that they are "backward", "extremist", and enemies of our "democratic civilization.")
    All the ideological signposts for attacking Iran are in place. The country has been thoroughly demonized. That in itself is enough to neutralize a large part of the American "left". The issue of course is not whether Iran is nice or not ­according to our views -- but whether there is any legal reason to attack it, and there is none; but the dominant ideology of human rights has legitimized, specially in the left, the right of intervention on humanitarian grounds anywhere, at any time, and that ideology has succeeded in totally sidetracking the minor issue of international law.
    Israel and its fanatical American supporters want Iran attacked for its political crimes-supporting the rights of the Palestinians, or questioning the Holocaust. Both US political parties are equally under the control of the Israel lobby, and so are the media.
    The antiwar movement is far too preoccupied with the security of Israel to seriously defend Iran and it won't attack the real architects of this coming war-the Zionists-for fear of "provoking anti-Semitism".
    Blaming Big Oil for the Iraq war was quite debatable, but, in the case of Iran, since the country is about to be bombed but not invaded, there is no reason whatsoever to think that Big Oil wants the war, as opposed to the Zionists. In fact, Big Oil is probably very much opposed to the war, but it is as unable to stop it as the rest of us.
    As far as Israel is concerned, the United States is a de facto totalitarian society-no articulate opposition is acceptable. The US Congress passes one pro-Israel or anti-Iran resolution after another with "Stalinist" majorities.
    The population does not seem to care. But if they did, but what could they do? Vote? The electoral system is extremely biased against the emergence of a third party and the two big parties are equally under Zionist influence.
    The only thing that might stop the war would be for Americans themselves to threaten their own government with massive civil disobedience. But that is not going to happen. A large part of the academic left long ago gave up informing the general public about the real world in order to debate whether Capital is a Signifier or a Signified, or worry about their Bodies and their Selves, while preachers tell their flocks to rejoice at each new sign that 'the end is nigh'.
    Children in Iran won't sleep at night, but the liberal American intelligentsia will lecture the ROW (rest of the world) about Human Rights. In fact, the prevalence of the "reassuring arguments" cited above proves that the antiwar movement is clinically dead. If it weren't, it would rely on its own forces to stop war, not speculate on how others might do the job.
    Meanwhile, an enormous amount of hatred will have been spewed upon the world. But in the short term, it may look like a big Western "victory", just like the creation of Israel in 1948; just like the overthrow of Mossadegh by the CIA in 1953; just like the annexation of Alsace-Lorraine seemed to be a big German victory after the French defeat at Sedan in 1870. The Bush administration will long be gone when the disastrous consequences of that war will be felt.
    PS: This text is not meant to be a prophecy, but a call to (urgent) action. I'll be more than happy if facts prove me wrong.
    Jean Bricmont teaches physics in Belgium and is a member of the Brussels Tribunal. His new book, Humanitarian Imperialism is published by Monthly Review Press.
  • Iran science minister discusses UNESCO director general  -  Iran-UNESCO-Maulana - 06 Sep 2007 - IRNA 
    Iran's Minister of Science, Research and Technology Mohammad-Mehdi Zahedi here Thursday held talks with Director of the United Nations Education, Science, Culture Organization (UNESCO) Koichiro Matsuuro. Zahedi, who is in Paris to take part in the commemorating ceremony of Maulana Jalaleddin Mohammad Balkhi, addressed the audience on the achievements in the recent Non-Aligned Movement Ministerial Meeting on Human Rights and Cultural Diversity, which was held in Tehran from September 3-4.
    He underlined the need for honoring Iranians' scientific status in international circles, calling on UNESCO to employ Iranian experts in regional offices and the secretariat of the international body.  The minister assessed the outcome of the NAM's Tehran meeting as positive and thanked Matsuura for dispatching his deputy for human and social affairs to the summit.  Zahedi referred to the appointment of the new head of UNESCO regional office in Tehran, expressing hope that its level will improve in the fields of science, education and manpower.  Pointing to the establishment of a fund among regional neighboring countries to repair cultural and historical monuments in Iran, he called for signing a memorandum of understanding between Iran and the UNESCO in this respect.
    Appreciating the UNESCO efforts to revive historical and cultural monuments around the world, he noted that the Organization should pay more attention to the cultural heritage of Islamic civilization.  The UNESCO director general, for his part, praised Iran's efforts to hold NAM meeting and underlined the importance of cultural diversity in the current era.  Matsuura thanked Iranians for acceptance of head of new UNESCO office in Tehran, expressing hope that given the terms, the office can be upgraded in the scientific and technological fields.  He concluded that all countries worldwide are entitled to use global scientific achievements.
  • Iran's enemies target Islamic identity  - 04 Sep 2007 - PressTV -  Iran's enemies have tried to remove the prefix of 'Islamic' from the name of some of the institutions in the country to weaken the government. George Soros, the American financial speculator, says that a move by the late founder of the Islamic Republic to hold a referendum on the Islamic Republic of Iran was a wise step. "Drawing up Iran's constitution was his second wise step and with these two steps (Imam) Khomeini established the foundations of the Islamic state. We advised our friends to focus on two points to undermine the Islamic regime: first the Islamic identity of the regime and second the perfection of the constitution. These goals should not be followed among the ordinary people since Islam and (Imam) Khomeini are sensitive issues for them; but in open discussions in universities and intellectual circles, the Islamic identity of the regime could be introduced as a sign of discrimination and the elimination of the Islamic prefix could be pursued as a democratic move. Direct opposition to the regime's constitution could also incite sensitivities. This objective can be followed by casting doubt on the constitution…" Soros said. A member of Mojahedin Enghelab Eslami and Mosharekat parties has recently told a group of students that during the term of Mohammad Khatami as president, it was proposed that the Islamic prefix be eliminated from the name of students' organizations, so that everybody could freely work with them. "We argued that the move would create an atmosphere of competition, but some people said that you are seeking to separate students from Islamic values and norms." He suggested that it is not necessary to be committed to the constitution, adding that " Even we cannot be committed to Nahj al-Balagha (a collection of speeches and letters by Imam Ali (PBUH) ) since one cannot make sure that it has not been distorted ."
  • IRGC boosting its deterrence power  -  04 Sep 2007  - PressTV -  The commander of the IRGC says superiority in intelligence gathering and strategic missile capabilities are the strong points of the force. In his first press conference after taking office as Commander of Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps, Major General Mohammad Ali Ja'fari said the IRGC is increasing its preparedness to boost its deterrence power. He added the IRGC is seeking to deter the enemies from launching any attack against Iran. The Iranian commander termed the ability of the IRGC in striking a devastating blow to the enemies from a short or long distance as the basis of the military force's preparedness.He warned that the foreign forces should leave the region as soon as possible as their withdrawal would be in their interest.
  • Arrogance 'will cause US downfall'  -    03 Sep 2007 - PressTV -  Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Ali Khamenei says the arrogance of the United States will eventually lead to its collapse. Addressing a group of Iranian elite students, the Leader denounced Bush's latest verbal attacks as 'hateful, arrogant and violent' saying such threats cannot intimidate Iran. Ayatollah Khamenei added the hegemonic powers are sinking in the quagmire created by them, and they will eventually face collapse. The Iranian nation has never been intimidated by such a language of threat and it would bring these intoxicated and arrogant powers to their knees through wisdom and prudence, the Leader added. Ayatollah Khamenei termed the stance adopted by the US and its allies on Iran's nuclear issue as a clear example of their bullying policies. "Those countries tell us you should not have nuclear technology because we don't trust you. Those who tell us these words waged two world wars and resorted to military force wherever they could. Their atrocities in Hiroshima, Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine and Kosovo exemplify their manner and performance. " Ayatollah Khamenei reiterated that Iran has never started a military aggression since the Islamic Revolution. The Leader said Iran should become a scientific pole in the world, reiterating that the Iranian nation would use its scientific achievements to serve humanity. Ayatollah Khamenei described science as an integral part of power adding, "The US and some Western countries use their scientific capabilities as a means to exert pressure on other countries. Therefore, we should also resist them using science. " "That's why I have emphasized the importance of a scientific movement in recent years," the Leader concluded.
  • Official:Iran goes on with IAEA talks  - 03 Sep 2007 - PressTV -  Iran's Deputy Foreign Minister Mahdi Mostafavi says Tehran would continue nuclear talks with the IAEA until reaching definite results. He said that Iran was not after buying time in its negotiations with the agency but the talks should be given the required time in order to reach desirable results. The Iranian official added Tehran has set no time limit for the negotiations, adding that the settlement of outstanding issues depends on progress in the Iran-IAEA negotiations. "Iran and the Agency should maintain nuclear talks within a reasonable timing to reach a final agreement on the issue." Iran's Deputy Foreign Minister criticized the West for its "politically motivated" moves and added some western countries are insisting that Iran's dossier remain in the UN Security Council. He warned that hauling Iran's case before the UN Security Council was a wrong move and political considerations could hinder legal and technical approaches toward the issue.
  • UK prof. credits Iran's N-activities  -  03 Sep 2007 - PressTV -  A British professor stressed that Iran's nuclear program is perfectly lawful and in accordance with international rules and measures.  Paul Rogers, Professor at University of Bradford and Global Security Consultant to Oxford Research Group, emphasized that there has been nothing against international regulations and standards in Iran's nuclear activities. Professor Rogers, who has worked in the field of international security, arms control and political violence for over 30 years said according to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), countries that have agreed not to develop their nuclear armaments are allowed to expand their nuclear programs under the control and supervision of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). "Since Iran has left its institutions open for inspectors to visit, what this country does is perfectly lawful and there is no proof of unlawful activity for that," said the expert.
  • Zionists pushing for an attack on Iran - 03 Sep 2007 - By Paul J. Balles, redress.cc via PressTV -  Those who follow what's going on in the world know that the invasion and occupation of Iraq were based on a myth created by the neo-conservatives in America, trumpeted by George W. Bush and spread by a Zionist-controlled media. That myth, a fictionalized account of non-existent weapons of mass destruction in Saddam Hussein's non-existent arsenal was created by "dual loyalists" in the American administration who wanted to eliminate any possibility of Iraq developing a destructive force that could endanger Israel. Now, a new assault orchestrated by the Zionists is moving forward on the basis of another myth: that Iran is developing a nuclear arsenal and wants to "wipe Israel off the map". The invasion of Lebanon was part of that myth. When Hezbollah captured two Israeli soldiers on Lebanese territory, the Israelis leapt at the opportunity to use that as an excuse to attack Lebanon, provoking Hezbollah to retaliate. The Israelis knew that if they provoked them, Hezbollah would respond in kind. While destroying Lebanon's infrastructure and murdering its civilians, the Zionist propaganda machine blathered its usual line about self-defense. The conclusion of the deceptive argument was that Hezbollah's attacks on Israel prove that Iran wants to wipe Israel off the map. The next part of the sham argument holds that since Iran wants to eliminate Israel, according to its president, and because it insists on its right to develop a nuclear capability, and as they're lying about wanting nuclear power for peaceful purposes, Iran must be attacked. However, Iran's president did not say that Israel should be wiped off the map. That interpretation of what Ahmedinejad said was based on a fraudulent translation of his speech. His comment was "Imam [Khomeini] said “This regime that is occupying Qods [Jerusalem] must be eliminated from the pages of history." Carrying the myth forward, G.W. Bush said, based entirely on the misinterpretation of Ahmadinejad's speech: The threat from Iran is, of course, their stated objective to destroy our strong ally Israel. That's a threat, a serious threat. It's a threat to world peace; it's a threat, in essence, to a strong alliance. I made it clear, I'll make it clear again, that we will use military might to protect our ally, Israel. The truth was that Iran advocated a regime change in Israel. As Anneliese Fikentscher and Andreas Neumann observed, "To commute a demand for removal of a 'regime' into a demand for removal of Israel is serious deception and dangerous demagogy." The myth that Iran would be a nuclear threat to Israel is the most ludicrous part of the Zionist propaganda campaign and the most dangerous part of the neo-conservatives' deception. Iran could not conceivably consider a nuclear attack on Israel as long as they occupy what Ahmadinejad referred to as "our dear Palestinians". The only conceivable danger to Israel from Iran - even if Iran had nuclear weapons - would be (1) if the Palestinians were eliminated from Palestine, and (2) if Israel then attacked Iran. If Israelis keep harping on the myth about the potential danger from Iran, knowing that the Iranians would never target Palestinians, the only logical deduction is that Israel plans to rid occupied Palestine of the Palestinians. Zionist lackey US Senator Joe Lieberman has already urged America to bomb Iran. How many more lunatics will fall in line?
  • Iran denounces human rights violation -   03 Sep 2007 - PressTV  - Iran's FM has criticized the violation of human rights in certain countries, particularly the atrocities committed against Palestinians. Speaking as the Chairman of the Meeting of Foreign Ministers of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) on Human Rights and Cultural Diversity, Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said the issue of human rights has been exploited as a tool to exert political pressure on independent states. Mottaki condemned the West's double standards regarding the issue of human rights, as evidenced by its secret prisons across Europe and the violation of rights of minorities especially the Muslims. "Today, even the United Nations' mechanisms are exploited." he said. "Using human rights as a political leverage against some countries is a double standard policy which has seriously tarnished the sacred cause of human rights."Mottaki insisted that improvements be made to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, "because the Islamic viewpoints have not been included in it." Mottaki highlighted the dignity assigned to human beings in the teachings of Islam and said confronting the political and geographical hegemony needs firm will and cooperation on the international scene especially within the Non-Aligned Movement.On globalization, Mottaki said globalization should not justify the domination of a particular culture over others, but it should guarantee cultural diversity. "The NAM movement managed to materialize the theory of power without domination," he said. "The world expects to see a more influential NAM role in restoring justice and peace, because traces of the Cold War and double standard policies are still lingering." The foreign minister said the movement needs to focus on overcoming insecurity, instability and discrimination. At the end of his speech, the Iranian foreign minister thanked the NAM members for their massive participation in Tehran's meeting. The two-day meeting of Non-aligned Movement opened in Tehran on Monday to discuss human rights and cultural diversity.

Nuclear News + Issues


  • IAEA in the News - 10. September 2007 
    • ElBaradei to Defend Iran Plan At IAEA Governors Meet The chief of the U.N. nuclear watchdog will tell skeptical nations on its governing board this week Iran's pledge of atomic transparency should be given a chance to work, not dismissed as a time-buying ruse. Reuters / AP
    • U.N. nuclear head urges Western patience on Iran plan The head of the United Nations' nuclear watchdog body on Friday rebuffed Western critics of a cooperation deal it has struck with Iran as "back-seat drivers" and urged them to give it time to work to help avoid war. Reuters
    • Iran rejects 'impossible' nuclear suspension Iran's top nuclear negotiator says it is "impossible" for Tehran to yield to the key Western demand over its nuclear program, even if the UN Security Council imposes further sanctions. AFP
    • Iran Denies Plans to Build Atomic Bomb Iran's supreme leader on Sunday denied his country had any plans to build atomic weapons, but the president insisted the nuclear program itself was not negotiable. AP
    • NAM to support Iran-IAEA deal Iran's representative to the IAEA says that NAM has ratified a statement in support of the agreement reached between Iran and the IAEA. presstv
    • Iran will continue cooperation with IAEA: Hosseini Foreign Ministry spokesman, Mohammad-Ali Hosseini, stressed Sunday that Iran would continue its cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). IRNA
    • EU ministers duck Iran nuclear issue for now Iran's nuclear programme has slipped so far down the European Union's agenda that it did not even figure at a two-day brainstorming session of the bloc's 27 foreign ministers this week. Reuters/ FT
    • Iran’s nuclear foes ‘racing to hell’: Ahmadinejad President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Sunday lashed out at his Western foes, which demand Iran halt, its sensitive nuclear activities, saying they were ‘racing to hell’. AFP
    • IAEA releases book on its golden jubilee A photographic history of nuclear watchdog International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and its work mission, "Atom for Peace", has been launched to commemorate its first 50 years. Hindu
    Other Nuclear News - 10. September 2007 
    • US team due in Seoul ahead of North Korea trip A US team of experts will arrive in Seoul Monday for talks ahead of a visit to North Korea to discuss disabling the communist state's nuclear facilities, officials said Sunday. AFP
    • Bush offers North Korea a deal to end the world's oldest cold war George Bush offered North Korea a peace deal yesterday that would end the world's oldest and bloodiest cold war conflict on condition that Pyongyang gives up its nuclear weapons programme. The Guardian
    • Iran sees progress in Russia talks on nuclear plant Iran's talks with Russia on the start-up of the Islamic state's first nuclear power plant are making progress, the Foreign Ministry said on Sunday, days after local media reports said a deal had already been reached. Reuters
    • Australia does nuclear deal with Japan THE Federal Government has taken another step to positioning Australia for nuclear power after securing a commitment from Japan to provide reactor technology and expertise. The Herald Sun
    • Public doubts over nuclear power persist Serious misgivings about nuclear power remain as well as concerns over the role of private sector operators in the industry according to the largest ever public consultation to be held in the UK. FT
    Opinion and Analysis - 10. September 2007 
    • INFCIRC/711, Information Circlular, 27 August 2007 [pdf] - Communication dated 27 August 2007 from the Permanent Mission of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the Agency concerning the text of the "Understandings of the Islamic Republic of Iran and the IAEA on the Modalities of Resolution of the Outstanding Issues" 
  • INFCIRC/711, Information Circlular, 27 August 2007 [pdf] - Communication dated 27 August 2007 from the Permanent Mission of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the Agency concerning the text of the "Understandings of the Islamic Republic of Iran and the IAEA on the Modalities of Resolution of the Outstanding Issues" 
  • Report on Possible New Framework for Using Nuclear Energy - Report to IAEA Board Addresses Options for Assurance of Supply of Nuclear Fuel - IAEA Staff Report  - 15 June 2007 - Story Resources

    Information Circulars:
        Austria | Germany | Japan | Russia | UK
    A new IAEA report on a multilateral framework for nuclear energy presents a range of options that seek to guarantee supplies of nuclear fuel while minimizing proliferation risks. IAEA Director General ElBaredei presented the report this week to the Agency's Board of Governors. 
    The 90-plus page report - entitled Possible New Framework for the Utilization of Nuclear Energy: Options for Assurance of Supply of Nuclear Fuel - addresses proposals put forward over the past two years by various States and institutions. Some proposals call for the creation of an actual or virtual reserve fuel bank of last resort, under IAEA auspices, for the assurance of supply of nuclear fuel. This bank would operate on the basis of apolitical and non-discriminatory non-proliferation criteria. Others call for conversion of a national facility into an international enrichment centre. Still others call for the construction of a new, multinational enrichment facility under IAEA control. 
    "We are looking these proposals and their associated legal, technical, financial and institutional aspects," Dr. ElBaradei said. "Trends clearly point to the need for developing a new multilateral framework for the nuclear fuel cycle. And it´s clear that an incremental approach, with multiple assurances in place, is the way to move forward." 
    Such a multilateral framework could best be achieved through establishing mechanisms that would: 

  • assure the supply of fuel for nuclear power plants,
  • over time, convert enrichment and reprocessing facilities from national to multilateral operations, and
  • limit future enrichment and reprocessing to multilateral operations.

Such a framework is voluntary and States are free to choose their fuel options - no rights of States would compromised. 
Background:
The report comes at a time when more countries are expressing interest in nuclear power for electricity generation, to help meet rising energy demands. This would mean increased demand for fuel cycle services. It also means an increase in the potential proliferation risks created by the spread of sensitive nuclear technology, such as that used in uranium enrichment and nuclear fuel reprocessing. In February 2005, the IAEA Director General issued a report on Multilateral Approaches to the Nuclear Fuel Cycle. In September 2006, the IAEA organized a Special Event during its annual General Conference on the subject. The latest report was submitted to the Board for its future consideration and discussion, including a decision on the report´s public release.

  • Statements by Delegates and NGO Representatives
    • Statement by B.E. Dr. AIi Asghar Soltanieh Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the United Nations and Other International Organizations, Vienna to the First Session of the Preparatory Committee for the 2010 NPT Review Conference 1 May 2007, Vienna
  • Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) sees role for nuclear energy - 04 May 2007 - WNN 
    Working Group III of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has published its Summary for Policy Makers report on mitigation of climate change. The report acknowledged the role of nuclear energy as an option for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, but said that safety, weapons proliferation and waste remain as constraints.
    Current nuclear power is included as a 'key mitigation technology' in the field of energy supply while advanced nuclear power is considered key for the 2030 timeframe, alongside advanced renewables like tidal and wave energy, concentrating solar and photovoltaics. The text states: "Given costs relative to other supply options, nuclear power, which accounted for 16% of the electricity supply in 2005, can have an 18% share of the total electricity supply in 2030 at carbon prices up to 50 US$/tCO2-eq (tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalents), but safety, weapons proliferation and waste remain as constraints." A footnote in the report states that Austria could not agree to this text. Austria was concerned that by saying that nuclear energy could have an 18% share of global electricity supply the IPCC was projecting a significant increase in generation from nuclear power, especially when the huge projected increase in overall electricity consumption is taken into account. Greenpeace reacted negatively to the inclusion of nuclear energy in the report, stating that the IPCC had identified two "false solutions" in nuclear energy and carbon capture and storage. Bert Metz, co-chair of Working Group III stressed that the IPCC reports are technical reviews and do not make policy recommendations. The report concludes that there are mitigation options available that could be used to stabilize atmospheric greenhouse gas emissions. Stabilization between 445 and 710 parts per million of CO2-eq would, the IPCC projects, result in a change in global gross domestic product ranging between a 3% decrease and a small increase. The report notes that to achieve the lower stabilization levels will require greater emphasis on low carbon energy sources "such as renewable energy and nuclear power." 
    Further information Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
    WNN: IPCC publishes report on impacts of climate change
    WNA: Policy Responses to Global Warming Information Paper

OMV- NIOC - Heads of Agreement (Memorandum of Understanding)



  • PetroPars-Ofisi-OMV oil consortium - 4 Aug 2007 - PressTV 
    Iran, Austria and Turkey have reached an agreement to structure a tripartite consortium dealing with oil exploration and extraction in Iran. According to a statement released at the Istanbul Stock Exchange, the Turkish Petrol Ofisi Company has announced that it has signed a contract with Iran's PetroPars and Austria's OMV on the issue. The statement added that the tripartite oil consortium would implement oil extraction and exploration projects in Iran. "Once the inked deal is approved by Iran's NIOC, the consortium will be authorized to bid for oil projects in Iran. The Turkish Petrol Ofisi's share in these projects will be 33 percent," said the statement. Petrol Ofisi is one of the oldest oil enterprises in Turkey whose shares have gradually been transferred to the private sector. The OMV is one of Austria's largest oil companies. Iran's PetroPars Company was registered in 1998. It is a subsidiary of NIOC, which owns all of its shares. MPR/HGH/KB

  • Leitl verteidigt OMV gegen Drohungen der USA  und ist "voll und ganz hinter OMV" - 21 June 2007 - APAWien - Wirtschaftskammer-Präsident Christoph Leitl weist die Drohungen der USA gegen die OMV wegen des geplanten Gasgeschäftes mit dem Iran zurück. Es sei selbstverständlich, dass sich österreichische Unternehmen an Beschlüsse von UNO, EU, WTO sowie an die heimischen Gesetze halten, sagte Leitl bei einer Pressekonferenz am Donnerstag. Es könne aber nicht sein, dass ein einzelnes Land durch einseitige Beschlüsse etwas anderes beschließe und mit Sanktionen drohe, betonte Leitl, ohne die USA direkt zu erwähnen. Hochrangige US-Regierungsvertreter hatten die OMV und die österreichische Regierung am Dienstag davor gewarnt, das geplante Gasgeschäft mit dem Iran zu realisieren. Als "äußerstes Mittel" wurde auch die Anwendung des "Iran Sanctions Act" angedroht, der Strafmaßnahmen gegen Firmen ermöglicht, die mehr als 20 Mio. Dollar (14,9 Mio. Euro) im Iran investieren. Solche Firmen können etwa vom US-Kapitalmarkt ausgeschlossen werden. Die österreichische Wirtschaft stehe jedenfalls "voll und ganz hinter der OMV", betonte Leitl. 

  • Iran, Austria boosting economic ties - 12 June 2007 -  PressTV 
    Austria has always defended gas deal with Iran - Austrian Economy Minister has said the project to transfer Iran's gas to Austria and Europe is by no means against the EU regulations. At a meeting with his visiting Iranian counterpart in Vienna, Martin Bartenstein said Austria is willing to beef up cooperation with Iran in different areas. Referring to the agreements made between the officials of the Iranian and Austrian Chambers of Commerce, he said," Apart from oil and gas sectors, the two countries can embark on joint investment in Africa, Central Asia and Latin America." He described Iran as a significant source of energy supply to Europe, stressing the importance of energy security. Iran's Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs Davoud Danesh Ja'fari, for his part, said the two countries are willing to expand cooperation in customs and taxation. He underlined Iran's strategic position in the Middle East and Austria's unique position in Europe, calling for enhancement of mutual economic ties. Iranian oil officials and the Austrian OMV signed three MOUs last April, based on which OMV will purchase liquid gas from the National Iranian Gas Export Company and will be cooperating with the Iran LNG plan scheduled to be completed by 2012. MRD/RE

  • OMV satisfied with Iran gas talks - 14/05/2007 - PressTV
    Austria's OMV says talks with Iran on a major gas deal were going well despite US pressure to prevent foreign companies from investing there. A board member of OMV Helmut Langanger said, "We are an Austrian company, I have to make sure that we stick to European laws," the Iranian Students News Agency (ISNA) reported. "OMV plans to lift 3 billion cubic meters of gas per year for delivery to European markets from the LNG terminal," Langanger said. "OMV is also pushing ahead with plans to develop Iran's Mehr oilfield," he said, adding," Development will start later this year and OMV is targeting first oil output from the field in 2010." "The project will cost several hundred million dollars and output will total about 40,000 barrels per day," he said. OMV is the operator of the Mehr block with a 34 percent stake. Spain's Repsol YPF and Chile's Sipetrol each have 33 percent stakes. OMV signed a preliminary agreement with Iran last month to develop an area of its giant South Pars gas field, build a liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal and export the fuel. Iranian media reports said the deal could be worth up to $ 30bn over 25 years. The US had earlier voiced concerns over the Austrian company's deal with Iran.

  • Iranischer Vizeaußenminister weist Kritik an OMV-Deal zurück. Araghchi: "Haben stets gute Beziehungen zu Österreich" - "Der Irak ist das Problem der USA" -  04/05/2007 -   Der Standard 
    Der iranische Vizeaußenminister Sayyed Abbas Araghchi hat Kritik am 30-Milliarden-Dollar-Deal (22 Mrd. Euro) der OMV mit dem Iran zurückgewiesen. "Diese Kritiker kennen die Realität nicht: Iran genießt ein hohes Maß an Stabilität, das Land hat ein hohes Potenzial. Wir haben mit Österreich stets gute Beziehungen unterhalten, Österreich und Iran profitieren vom guten Gesprächsklima zwischen beiden Ländern", erklärte Araghchi in einem Interview mit der Tageszeitung "Die Presse". Außerdem rechtfertigte er die vom iranischen Präsidenten Mahmoud Ahmadinejad geäußerten Zweifel am Holocaust. "Wenn es ein solch schlimmes Verbrechen gegeben hat, wer hat dieses Verbrechen begangen? Etwa die Palästinenser? Warum muss dieses Volk für die Verbrechen Europas bezahlen?"  Außerdem sollte man die historischen Fakten studieren und erforschen, was wirklich passiert sei, sagte Araghchi. Zugleich beschuldigte er den Westen der Arroganz, weil dieser den Iran über Menschenrechte und das iranische Nuklearprogramm belehren wolle. Einen bewaffneten Konflikt wegen des Atomstreits fürchtet Araghchi nicht. "Die Amerikaner wissen, was Amr Moussa, Generalsekretär der arabischen Liga gesagt hat: Der Krieg im Irak hat das Tor zur Hölle aufgestoßen, ein Krieg mit Iran wäre die Hölle selbst." Auf die Frage, ob der Iran den USA helfen wolle, die Lage im Irak zu stabilisieren, meinte der Vizeaußenminister: "Der Irak ist das Problem der USA. Vielleicht hat man in Washington nun verstanden, dass man die Kooperation der Nachbarn braucht, um das Problem lösen zu können." Allerdings habe man in der Vergangenheit "sehr schlechte" Erfahrungen bei der Zusammenarbeit mit den Vereinigten Staaten gemacht und sei daher vorsichtig. Ein sofortiger Abzug der US-Truppen würde das Chaos im Irak noch vergrößern, fügte Arghchi hinzu, aber "wir brauchen eine Perspektive für einen Abzug der US-Truppen". Araghchi betonte zugleich das Interesse des Iran an Stabilität im Nachbarland. "Ich sehe das Risiko des Auseinanderfallens des Irak: Das Resultat wäre Chaos, ein Paradies für Terroristen und eine Flüchtlingskatastrophe ungeahnten Ausmaßes." (APA)

  • Envoy: Iran to export two bn tons of gas to Austria for 25 years- 28/04/2007 -  IRNA
    Iran's Ambassador to Vienna Seyed Mohsen Nabavi said on Saturday that based on the agreement signed recently between the Iranian and Austrian oil companies, 2.02 billion tons of liquid gas will be exported to Austria for 25 years. The agreement was signed by Austria's biggest state-controlled oil company, OMV AG, and National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC). He told IRNA that despite some similarity between the countries on the two sides of Atlantic Ocean in their political and economic policies, their stance on energy and the way to supply it are not the same. Nabavi made the statement in response to the question about US pressures on Austria about this deal. "Given the shortage of hydrocarbon sources in Europe, European Union member states seek to guarantee the security of future energy supplies, in particular from the Middle East, including Iran," he added. About EU support for the signed agreement, he said that lower reliance of European Union on a single source to supply its energy requirements and the diversity of such sources is of strategic importance and the EU intends to make long-term investment in the energy sector. "Given the facility of access to natural gas, its transfer through pipeline in liquid form and the compatibility of natural gas with the environment due to its low emissions of environmental pollutants, consumption of this type of energy will increase in future among EU member states," he said. The Iranian diplomat said, "On the other hand, Europe's new energy policy aims to guarantee balanced relations between environmental sustainability, energy security and competitiveness." Nabavi said that Europeans need to invest 1,000 billion euros in infrastructural affairs and development of modern energy technologies to make energy sources and supply more diverse. "Besides, given the increase in oil price over recent years and the EU policy to reduce production of greenhouse gases, there will be more demand for natural gas," he said. The Iranian ambassador said that undoubtedly EU support for Iran-Austria agreement is mainly rooted in its growing energy requirements in future, particularly natural gas. 2326/2322/1412

  • EU explains Austria-Iran gas deal - 26/04/2007 - PressTV 
    The EU has said that US concerns about OMV's plans to develop Iran's gas industry does not mean the EU and the US have opposing energy policies. Speaking at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, the European Energy Commissioner, Andris Piebalgs said, "We should not somehow think that because of the example of Iran we have a difference of opinion in energy policy with the United States because we have clearly the same basis. We are for the open markets, freedom of investment and ... the United States clearly supports us in the diversification efforts.” OMV, the leading oil and gas group in Central Europe, and Iran's National Iranian Oil Company announced a deal on April 21 that includes the development of some sectors of Iran's gas fields, a gas liquefaction plant and purchasing contracts for liquefied natural gas. OMV is currently involved in an offshore oil project in Iran. According to Iranian reports, the deal would be worth $30 billion over the next 25 years. "US concerns of the OMV deal stem from United States legislation that clearly does not allow the US companies to invest in Iran and the United States believes that it is counterproductive,” the EU energy commissioner explained. At the same time, Piebalgs also noted that UN Security Council resolutions do not prohibit oil and gas ventures with Iran, “To be fair, I'd say to the OMV no United Nations resolution prevents them from doing this,” he said. The US expressed concerns on March 23 about OMV's plans for a natural gas project in Iran at a time when Iran is facing international sanctions over its nuclear program. EU foreign ministers agreed on April 23 on new sanctions against Iran, after Tehran refused international requests to halt its uranium enrichment. The US State Department spokesman, Sean McCormack was quoted as saying that the US will bring its concerns up with the Austrian government and OMV. Piebalgs said Washington is simply questioning whether this is the right time to do this investment, “It doesn't mean that there is a different policy (with the EU), just one particular issue - Iran - where the United States has very strong views as does the European Union,” he said. Support for OMV has come from Austria's government. Foreign Minister Ursula Plassnik stressed on April 23 that "no general economic boycott" existed against Iran. Eager to reduce dependence on gas imports from Russia, the EU plans to expand cooperation with the Caspian states as well as Algeria, Libya and Iran on gas supply.

  • Breite Front gegen US-Einmischung- 25/04/2007 -- Der Standard 
    Trotz heftiger Kritik aus den USA zum geplanten Großprojekt der OMV im Iran spürt Österreichs Öl- und Gaskonzern Rückenwind. Unterstützung für die geplante Entwicklung von Gasfeldern und Weiterlieferung des Energierohstoffs nach Europa kam am Dienstag erneut von Außenministerin Ursula Plassnik, wobei sie sich im Gespräch mit dem STANDARD für eine klare Trennung der Atomsanktionen von anderen wirtschaftlichen Aktivitäten aussprach. "Ich plädiere für Nüchternheit und Sachlichkeit in der Debatte. Es handelt sich bei den Aktivitäten der OMV im Iran um einen Geschäftsvorgang, der mit dem Nuklearprogramm nichts zu tun hat und im Erdgasbereich angesiedelt ist", sagte die Außenministerin. Man setze die Sanktionen der UNO auf Punkt und Beistrich um, einen vollständigen Wirtschaftsboykott gebe es aber nicht. Die Sanktionen richteten sich ausschließlich gegen das Atomprogramm, nicht gegen die Bevölkerung des Landes. Und schließlich gehe es auch um die Energiesicherheit in der EU. 
    Vorvertrag - Wie berichtet, hat sich die OMV am Wochenende mit der nationalen iranischen Ölgesellschaft NIOC auf einen nicht bindenden Vorvertrag für ein Riesen-Gasprojekt verständigt. Dabei geht es um die Entwicklung von Teilen des South Pars Gasfeldes im Persischen Golf (siehe Grafik), den Bau einer Erdgas-Verflüssigungsanlage sowie Bezugsverträge. Alles in allem hat das Projekt einen Wert von knapp 22 Mrd. Euro – verteilt auf die nächsten 25 Jahre. Die USA hatten sich besorgt über die geplante Zusammenarbeit geäußert. "Vielleicht ist es nicht die günstigste Zeit für ... große Investitionen auf dem iranischen Gas-und Ölsektor, wenn der Iran (wegen seiner Atompläne; Anm.) mit dem Rest der internationalen Gemeinschaft im Konflikt liegt", sagte der Sprecher des US-Außenministeriums, Sean McCormack, am Montag in Washington. Washington behalte sich vor, im Falle eines Geschäftsabschlusses Sanktionen gegen die OMV zu verhängen. Dies entspreche dem "Iran Sanctions Act", wonach die USA Strafmaßnahmen gegen Firmen ergreifen können, die mehr als zehn Millionen Dollar (7,38 Mio. Euro) im Iran investieren. Solche Firmen können vom US-Kapitalmarkt ausgeschlossen werden.  Die OMV notiert nicht mit eigenen Aktien an der Wall Street, ist seit 1994 aber mit sogenannten American Depository Receipts (ADR) am US-Kapitalmarkt vertreten. ADRs sind Zertifikate, die im Fall der OMV von JP Morgan ausgestellt werden. JP Morgan hat die zugrunde liegenden Aktien in Verwahrung. 
    Ruttenstorfer: "Wichtiger Schritt" "Energiesicherheit braucht Diversifikation", sagte OMV-Generaldirektor Wolfgang Ruttenstorfer. Er halte die geplante Zusammenarbeit mit dem Iran für einen wichtigen Schritt, nicht von Russland als einzigem Gasanbieter abhängig zu sein. Man halte sich dabei an alle österreichischen Gesetze, an alle Beschlüsse der EU und der UNO und auch an den unternehmenseigenen "Code of Ethics" zu den Menschenrechten. Unterstützung für die OMV gab es auch von SPÖ, ÖVP, FPÖ und BZÖ. Die Grüne Abgeordnete Ulrike Lunacek kritisierte das Timing angesichts der gerade verschärften EU-Sanktionen als "ungünstig". Bisher ist die OMV im Iran in einem Onshore-Erdölprojekt tätig. Über die weiteren Gespräche des Iran-Projekts wurde Stillschweigen vereinbart. Mit einem Vertragsabschluss jedenfalls sei frühestens Ende 2007 zu rechnen. Für Tobias Winter von der Raiffeisen Centrobank ist die Reaktion der USA zum OMV-Projekt "nicht überraschend gekommen", zumal auch die Banken angehalten worden seien, ihre Geschäfte mit dem Iran zurückzufahren. Das Projekt an sich sei "strategisch sinnvoll". (stro, mimo, APA, DER STANDARD, Print-Ausgabe, 25.4.2007) 

  • Austrian MP supports Iran-Austria gas deal - 25/04/2007 -  IRNA 
    An Austrian MP on Wednesday supported gas deal between Iran and his country's National Oil and Gas Company (OMV). Kurt Eder, who is head of economic commission of Austrian parliament, also told IRNA in an exclusive interview that the Europe economy requires gas to provide its energy. "I assume the mutual agreement completely correct, and support signing the gas deal," he said. Pointing to the US pressure to hinder in the way of the deal, he added that Austrian Chancellor Alfred Gusenbauer underlined in the parliament session on the country's budget that his government will not permit other countries to interfere its internal affairs. The MP quoted the Chancellor as saying that the matter concerns economic policies of Iran and Austria. "All commitments and regulations will be implemented carefully, and Austrian government and the ruling Social-Democrat party rebuke the criticism of other countries," he noted. He clearly underlined that the project guarantees the energy supply of European countries.

  • Austria defends gas deal with Iran - 24/04/2007 - PressTV 
    Austria has dismissed US concerns over the deal recently signed between the Austrian OMV and Iran for development of Iranian gas industry. The head of the Austrian OMV Wolfgang Ruttenstorfer told reporters, "If one wants to provide energy security then one has to focus on diversification. Naturally, with this diversification we will keep to all Austrian laws, all decisions by the European Union, the United Nations Security Council and of course also our code of ethics in regards to human rights." Austria's Foreign Minister Ursula Plassnik also stressed that "no general economic boycott" existed against Iran. "I see this deal also in light of energy security, that is an issue for all of us," she said on the sidelines of the EU foreign ministers' meeting in Luxembourg. "Of course OMV would carefully examine all aspects of the deal with respect to the existing regulations," Plassnik said. The United States expressed concerns Monday about OMV's plans for a natural gas project in Iran. US State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said the US will bring its concerns up with the Austrian government and OMV, even though UN Security Council resolutions do not prohibit oil and gas ventures with Iran.  

  • EU agrees Iran sanctions as Russia signs Bushehr protocol - 24 April 2007 - WNNThe European Union (EU) has agreed to implement sanctions against Iran, ahead of a meeting between EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana and Iran's chief nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani. The EU decision was taken at the General Affairs and External Relations Council meeting in Luxembourg. In calling for a total, rather than partial, arms embargo, the EU sanctions go further than those already agreed by the United Nations after Iran refused to halt its uranium enrichment activities. The EU has also added further people to the 'travel ban' list - they are banned from the EU and their assets are frozen. The two negotiators are due to meet in Turkey on 25 April, in their first meeting since February. Iran remains adamant that it has no intention of halting its uranium enrichment programme, which it insists is solely for the production of nuclear fuel. However, the country is still "several years" away from producing fuel for its nuclear power station, according to Gholamreza Aghazadeh, head of Iran's Atomic Energy Organisation (IAEO). According to Aghazadeh, a plant to produce zirconium tubes to hold nuclear fuel rods has already been completed and a facility for making fuel pellets should be ready next year. On 21 April, the Iranian cabinet approved the establishment of three companies, specialising in enrichment, fuel production and waste. The companies - Uranium Processing and Nuclear Fuel Production Company, Nuclear Enrichment Company, and Nuclear Energy Waste Company of Iran - are all affiliated to the IAEO. Meanwhile, Russia and Iran have signed a new protocol on 'stable financing' of Iran's Bushehr nuclear power plant. Irina Yesipova of AtomStroyExport suggested that the protocol would go some way towards solving the funding issues that have beset the project, but that some issues remained. Further talks are due in May. Disagreements over Iran's payments to Russia have contributed to delays to the startup of Iran's first nuclear plant, for which Russia is to provide the fuel.Further information Russian Federal Atomic Energy Agency (Rosatom)
    WNN: Iran and EU fix date for meeting
    WNN: Iran: Enrichment confirmed, Bushehr delay acknowledged
    WNN: Insight Briefing: Iran rebuked by sanctions

  • EU verschärft Iran-Sanktionen und setzt auf Dialog - - (24/04/2007) -  Reuters - 
    Im Atomkonflikt mit dem Iran hat die Europäische Union ihre Sanktionen verschärft, zugleich aber die Bereitschaft zum Dialog mit der Islamischen Republik bekundet. Die 27 EU-Außenminister beschlossen am Montag in Luxemburg, abermals über die Beschlüsse des UN-Sicherheitsrates hinaus zu gehen, um die Regierung in Teheran zum Stopp der Uran-Anreicherung zu bewegen. Die Aussetzung dieses besonders kritischen Teils des Atomprogramms ist für die EU die Bedingung für formelle Verhandlungen mit dem Iran. Der EU-Außenbeauftragte Javier Solana kündigte an, sich am Mittwoch in der Türkei mit dem iranischen Chefunterhändler Ali Laridschani zu treffen. Auch der Iran und die USA zeigten Gesprächsbereitschaft. Die Sanktionen der EU und der Vereinten Nationen (UN) richten sich gegen Vertreter und Mitarbeiter des Atomprogramms, mit dem sich der Iran nach Befürchtungen von EU und USA in den Besitz von Atomwaffen bringen will. Ein Sprecher des Auswärtigen Amtes sagte in Berlin, es sei Ziel der deutschen EU-Ratspräsidentschaft, die UN-Sanktionen so schnell wie möglich in europäisches Recht umzusetzen. Bei dem Treffen Solanas mit Laridschani gehe es um die Frage, ob es eine Grundlage für neue Verhandlungen über das Atomprogramm gebe. Solana sagte in Luxemburg, auch er hoffe auf ein Signal der Verhandlungsbereitschaft. "Ich hoffe, dass wir unsere vor einiger Zeit nicht weitergeführten Gespräche darüber wieder aufnehmen können, ob wir uns auf Verhandlungen zubewegen können." Es wäre das erste Gespräch beider Spitzendiplomaten seit der Verschärfung der UN-Sanktionen im März. Die Strafmaßnahmen waren ausgeweitet worden, weil der Iran ein Frist zur Aussetzung der Uran-Anreicherung erneut hatte verstreichen lassen.Sein Land wolle nicht aus dem Atomwaffensperrvertrag ausscheren und die Sanktionen der UN mit friedlichen Mitteln abwehren, sagte Präsident Mahmud Ahmadinedschad im spanischen Fernsehen. Die Wurzel des Streits liege im Streben einiger Länder, das Monopol über die Herstellung von Kernbrennstoffen zu besitzen. Ahmadinedschad rief die Europäer zudem zu einem eigenständigen Kurs auf. "Sollten die Europäer nur die Worte der USA übersetzen, können wir direkt mit den USA sprechen." US-Außenministerin Condoleezza Rice rief den Iran zur Teilnahme an einer Sicherheitskonferenz für den Irak auf. Sollte die Regierung in Teheran ihren Außenminister nicht zu der im Mai geplanten Konferenz schicken, wäre dies eine verpasste Gelegenheit, sagte Rice der "Financial Times". Die USA wollten bei dem Treffen die Notwendigkeit eines stabilen Iraks für die gesamte Region unterstreichen. An dem zweitägigen Treffen in Ägypten sollen Vertreter der irakischen Nachbarstaaten wie Syrien und die Türkei sowie der Weltmächte teilnehmen. Auch der Iran ließ die Bereitschaft zu Dialog und Deeskalation erkennen.

  • Trotz US-Kritik: OMV bleibt bei Iran-Projekt  - (24/04/2007) - Ö1 Mittagsjournal - Christian Williwald  
    Die OMV bleibt bei ihrem Iran-Geschäft. Generaldirektor Wolfgang Ruttenstorfer sieht zumindest keinen Anlass, an dem Plan etwas zu ändern. Er hält die Zusammenarbeit mit dem Iran für einen wichtigen Schritt, nicht von Russland als einzigem Gasanbieter abhängig zu sein. Man halte sich dabei an alle österreichischen Gesetze, an alle Beschlüsse der Europäischen Union, des Weltsicherheitsrates der Vereinten Nationen "und natürlich auch an unseren Code of Ethics, was die Menschenrechte betrifft."  Viel mehr ist Ruttenstorfer zu dem Thema heute nicht zu entlocken - auch nicht, was die Kosten des OMV-Projekts im Iran betrifft. Auf die Frage, ob die berichteten 22 Milliarden Euro nicht etwas hoch seien, sagt Ruttenstorfer: "Wenn Sie das so sagen, wird das so sein."  "USA-Kritik kein Kriterium": Etwas auskunftsfreudiger als sein Chef ist heute OMV-Unternehmenssprecher Thomas Huemer. Er sagt sinngemäß, Kritik der USA sei für die OMV kein Kriterium, ein Geschäft zu machen oder nicht zu machen. Die OMV halte sich an Gesetze und internationale Vereinbarungen. Das sei für ein Unternehmen wie die OMV wichtig. Thema Menschenrechte: Auch die Kritik, die OMV mache Geschäfte mit einem Land, das die Menschenrechte missachtet, lässt Unternehmenssprecher Thomas Huemer nicht gelten. Er verweist auf einen sogenannten "Code of Conduct", einen Verhaltenskodex, den sich die OMV selbst verordnet hat. Die OMV übernehme die Verantwortung, dass "im Umfeld ihrer Tätigkeiten keine Menschenrechtsverletzungen stattfinden, von denen wir wissentlich profitieren. Darüber hinaus halten wir uns an alle internationalen Gesetze". "Alle kaufen Iran-Öl" : Außerdem verweist Huemer darauf, dass viele Länder aus dem Iran Öl beziehen. Es sei schwer zu verstehen, warum sich die USA gerade an dem Plan der OMV stoßen. Der Iran sei ein sehr großer Ölexporteur, "alle Welt kauft Öl aus dem Iran, das war bisher kein Thema." Regierung prüft: Huemer glaubt nicht, dass die OMV-Führung die Reaktion aus den USA unterschätzt habe. Auf die Frage, ob das Finanzministerium als Eigentümer-Vertreter von dem Plan gewusst habe, sagt er, alle internationalen Geschäftstätigkeiten der OMV seien strategiekonform. Und die Strategie sei mit dem Aufsichtsrat geklärt. Die Regierung wird das geplante Geschäft jedenfalls - wie das in solchen Fällen üblich ist - prüfen. Welches Ministerium zuständig ist, ist noch unklar. 

  • Mehr dazu in Ö1 Inforadio:
    EU hat kein Problem mit OMV-Projekt Plassnik: Keine Bedenken gegen OMV-Deal Politische Rückendeckung für OMV-Gasdeal Einbußen für österreichische Firmen

  • Vor Mega-Erdgas-Deal mit dem Iran - Die OMV verhandelt über ein Erdgasprojekt im Persischen Golf, das mit einem Volumen von 22 Milliarden Euro das größte ist, das der Iran je mit einer europäischen Firma abschloss. (22/04/2007) - DerStandard 
    Die OMV will künftig die riesigen iranischen Erdgasreserven im Persischen Golf anzapfen: Der börsenotierte Öl- und Gaskonzern hat eine Absichtserklärung mit der National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) unterzeichnet. Angaben zum finanziellen Umfang des Projekts wurden von OMV-Seite nicht gemacht. Nach iranischen Presseberichten soll der geplante Deal ein Geschäftsvolumen bis zu 30 Mrd. Dollar (22 Mrd. Euro) über die nächsten 25 Jahre ausmachen. Das staatliche iranische Fernsehen sprach vom größten jemals zwischen dem Iran und einer europäischen Firma vereinbarten Gasgeschäft, meldete die Nachrichtenagentur Reuters aus Teheran. Bei dem Projekt gehe es um mögliche Beteiligungen an der Entwicklung von Teilen des South Pars Gasfelds im Persischen Golf, einer Verflüssigungsanlage für Flüssig-Erdgas (Liquefied Natural Gas - Iran LNG) sowie Bezugsverträge für Flüssig-Erdgas, teilte die OMV am Samstag in einer Aussendung mit. Vereinbarung unterzeichnet. Die staatliche iranische Nachrichtenagentur IRNA meldete auf ihrer Homepage, "der Iran und Österreich" hätten am Samstag am Rande der 12. Internationalen Öl, Gas und Petrochemie-Messe eine Vereinbarung unterzeichnet. Demnach werde die OMV einen Zehn-Prozent-Anteil am iranischen LNG-Projekt übernehmen und jährlich 2,2 Mio. Tonnen LNG (Flüssig-Erdgas) für Europa liefern. Gemäß einem weiteren Abkommen zwischen der OMV und der iranischen Petropars Gesellschaft werde die österreichische Gesellschaft 20 Prozent an einem Entwicklungsprojekt im South Pars Gasfeld übernehmen. Das Projekt wäre das erste Erdgasprojekt der OMV im Iran, sagte OMV-Sprecher Thomas Huemer am Wochenende auf Anfrage der APA. Bisher ist die OMV im Iran in einem Onshore-Erdölprojekt tätig. Über die weiteren Gespräche des Iran-Projekts wurde Stillschweigen vereinbart. Konkrete Ergebnisse werden laut OMV erst für die zweite Hälfte des Jahres 2007 erwartet. Das Erdgasprojekt im Iran steht im Zusammenhang mit dem Flüssig-Erdgas-Terminalprojekt in Kroatien: Die OMV bereitet im Rahmen eines Konsortiums den Bau eines Flüssiggas-Terminals auf der kroatischen Insel Krk vor, in den in den nächsten Jahren bis zu 700 Mio. Euro investiert werden sollen. "Vor dem Hintergrund des geplanten Regasifizierungsterminals für LNG (Flüssig-Erdgas) in Kroatien würde ein derartiges integriertes Projekt von zwei OMV Geschäftsbereichen (Exploration und Produktion sowie Erdgas) im Iran Sinn machen", betont die OMV heute. Flüssiggas-Terminal in Kroatien -  Der Flüssiggas-Terminal in Kroatien soll nach heutiger Planung 2011/2012 in Betrieb gehen, so das Unternehmen. Als eine mögliche Bezugsquelle biete sich unter anderem der Iran mit seinen großen Gasreserven an. Das iranische South Pars Gasfeld und das North Field in Katar ist das größte bekannte Gasfeld der Welt. Die LNG-Technologie stellt eine Alternative zum Transport via Pipeline dar. Dabei werden große Gasmengen bei minus 160 Grad Celsius verflüssigt, damit auf ein Sechshundertstel ihres ursprünglichen Volumens "geschrumpft", per Schiff transportiert und in speziellen Anlagen am Bestimmungshafen wieder in Gas verwandelt ("Regasifizierung"). Angesichts steigender Energiepreise wird laut Branchenexperten die Verflüssigung von Gas zum Transport via Schiff immer attraktiver. Die OMV ist bereits in einem Onshore-Erdölprojekt im Iran engagiert. Im April 2001 unterzeichnete die OMV ein Abkommen mit der National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) über Explorationstätigkeit in der westiranischen Region Zagros. Im Februar 2007 wurde die Wirtschaftlichkeit des Feldes von der NIOC bestätigt. Nunmehr wird ein Plan für die Feld-Entwicklung erarbeitet. (APA) (Siehe auch: Hintergrund: Iran-Katar-Gasfeld)

  • Iran, Austria to ink gas deals - (22/04/2007) -  Tehran Times -- 
    The National Iranian Gas Company (NIGC) and Austria’s OMV, Central Europe’s leading oil and gas group, are due to sign gas deals. On the sidelines of the 12th International Oil, Gas and Petrochemicals Exhibition underway in Tehran, agreements were reached to sign a contract in the framework of Iranian participation in the "Nabucco" pipeline, Iran’s LNG ventures (purchasing liquefied natural gas from Iran) and investment deals in Iran’s LNG projects. The Nabucco pipeline project is due to transport Iranian and Caspian Sea gas through Turkey, Bulgaria, and Romania to Austria and is the European Union’s (EU) attempt at having a common energy policy that would reduce its dependence on Russia. Austria’s OMV Company General Manager Erich Bauer said EU aimed at reducing its dependence on Russia’s gas and was seeking to transfer the gas of the Caspian Sea and Persian Gulf. Talking to PIN, Bauer added, “Iran is among the world’s largest holder of gas reserves and the transfer of Iran’s gas to Europe through Nabucco pipeline is a real possibility. “Even after the running of Iran-Pakistan-India (IPI) gas pipeline, the export of Iran’s gas to Europe through Nabucco pipeline is an option.” It is about two months that Bauer has taken the helm of OMV’s Tehran-based office. Bauer termed the oil show in Iran as invaluable. He told PIN the international exhibition provided a good opportunity to exchange views and information on the oil industry.“We consider the oil and gas exhibition in Iran as a very good opportunity to introduce our activities to other companies, participants, and visitors,” Bauer added. He underlined that the foreign companies, which were keen to cooperate with Iran, needed to attend the oil show and share their know-how and experience. “Since its career in Iran in 2001, OMV has been regularly present in the annual oil and gas exhibition,” said the general manager. OMV is among the giant European oil and gas companies, which is active mainly in exploration and production fields. The Austrian company is in charge of implementing the project of oil exploration in Mehr Block in the southern Iranian province of Khuzestan.

  • Oil Minister: Iran, Austria Ink $30 bln Gas Deal - (22/04/2007) -  TEHRAN (Fars News Agency)- 
    Iranian Oil Minister Seyed Kazem Vaziri Hamaneh said endorsement of a $ 30 bln memorandum of understanding between Iran and Austria's OMV paved the way for Iran's gas exports to Europe. Iran signed a major agreement with Austrian energy group OMV yesterday to help develop the country's vast gas resources and build a plant for liquefied natural gas (LNG). The understanding is deemed as Iran's biggest such agreement with Europe. Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the 12th International Oil, Gas and Petrochemical Exhibition here in Tehran on Sunday, Hamaneh also said, "To export natural gas to Europe, Turkey and European countries should first settle down the problems pertaining to the gas transfer pipeline."
    "Once the two sides settle their disputes, we can put gas exports to Europe on our agenda on the basis of a time-table," he continued. Regarding the contract, the Iranian oil minister said, "The 30-billion-dollar agreement signed yesterday included both sales of LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas) and (the Austrian side's) participation in the implementation of the project."
    "Once this agreement is implemented, a part of phase 12 of the South Pars development plan will be carried out by the Austrian OMV while Iran will undertake to sell LNG to this company," he continued. Also noting the start of executive operations of phase 12 of South Pars, he said, "Under the present conditions, this agreement is very important to us." He also added that attracting cooperation is very precious for Iran at the present stage. Elsewhere, Hamaneh assessed the 12th International Oil, Gas and Petrochemical Exhibition as more successful than previous years, and added, "A number of 519 foreign companies have partaken in the 12th exhibition, which shows 5 to 6 percent of increase in comparison to the past. "Considering that the country (Iran) is under international pressures, participation of this number of companies reveals their tendency for making investments in Iran's oil industry," the Iranian oil minister concluded.

  • Iran Signs Gas Deal with Austria's OMV - - (22/04/2007) - Fars News Agency- 
    Iran signed a major agreement with Austrian energy group OMV yesterday to help develop the country's vast gas resources and build a plant for liquefied natural gas (LNG).  Iran's state-run television described it as Iran's biggest such contract with Europe, and some Iranian media put its total value at up to $30bn over 25 years, including the sale of billions of cubic meters of natural gas to the continent. But OMV made clear the deal was still at an early stage and did not give any figures, suggesting it had so far only signed a non-binding memorandum of understanding. It comes at a time of escalating tension between the West and Iran over Tehran's disputed nuclear program. The United States has urged its allies not to invest in the Islamic Republic. Iran sits atop the world's second-largest gas reserves after Russia. But politics, sanctions and construction delays have slowed its gas development. The huge oil and gas reserves are a strong magnet for international energy companies despite the political risks. "Officials of Iran's Oil Ministry and the managing director of the Austrian OMV have signed a gas agreement worth $18bn," Iranian state radio said. The Oil Ministry's Shana news agency estimated the long term value at $30bn. Reuters quoted OMV as saying it had signed a so-called Heads of Agreement - a non-binding document outlining the main issues of a tentative partnership accord-with Iran's national oil company NIOC. It concerned participation in the development of an area of the South Pars gas field, an LNG plant and a subscriber agreement for such gas, it said. LNG is gas frozen to liquid for transport in special tankers, avoiding the need for pipelines. The Austrian firm said Iran could supply LNG for a Croatian regasification plant which OMV is helping to set up and which should start operating in 2011-2012. It added, "Further talks on this matter are confidential. Concrete results are not expected until the second half of 2007." UN sanctions have been imposed on Iran for its refusal to halt enrichment of uranium, but OMV spokesman Thomas Huemer said the agreement with Iran did not violate any international rules. "We are acting within the framework of Austrian law, European law and the United Nations' rules," he said in Vienna. Iran says its atom work is aimed at generating electricity so that it can export more of its valuable gas and oil.

  • OMV and National Iranian Oil Company: Heads of Agreement for participation in the Iranian South Pars Gas Field and Iran LNG project -  April 21, 2007 - 8:57 a.m. (CET) - 
    OMV, Central Europe’s leading oil and gas group, today signed a Heads of Agreement with the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) regarding a participation in the development of an area in the South Pars Gas Field in the Persian Gulf (South Pars Field phase 12), a liquefaction plant for Liquefied Natural Gas (Iran LNG) and a subscriber agreement for Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG). A coordinated and aligned project in Iran on the basis of an integrated approach would involve two of OMV’s business segments (Exploration & Production and Gas) and would complement the planed LNG regasification terminal in Croatia, in the development of which OMV participates. According to current plans, the LNG terminal in Croatia should start operating in 2011/2012 and Iran, with its substantial gas reserves, could be a source of supply.Further talks on this matter are confidential. Concrete results are not expected until the second half of 2007. 
    Balanced international E&P portfolio - OMV owns a balanced international E&P portfolio in 20 countries organized around six core regions, namely the Danube and Adriatic region, Northern Africa, Northwestern Europe, the Middle East, Australia/New Zealand and Russia/Caspian. OMV’s daily production volume is approximately 324,000 boe/d, and the company’s reserves are approximately 1.3 bn boe. 
    Background information: South Pars Gas Field  - The Iranian South Pars Gas Field and the North Field in Qatar is the largest known gas field in the world with estimated gas reserves of approximately 1,300 trillion cubic feet (221 bn boe). Of this, approximately 500 trillion cubic feet (85 bn boe) are located in Iranian territory. Iran plans to develop this gas field in several phases. The OMV-NIOC MoU concerns one of these phases of development (South Pars field phase 12). 
    OMV in Iran - OMV signed an exploration contract (exploration of oil and gas) for the Zagros region with the National Iranian Oil Company in May 2001. Work focuses on an area covering 2,500 km², the so-called “Mehr Block”. OMV (34% share) is the operator of the consortium, in which Repsol YPF (Spain) and Sipetrol (Chile) each hold 33%. The first exploration well was carried out successfully in January 2005. The drilling reached a depth of 4,148 meters. First production tests of the reservoir yielded an average flow rate of 1,040 bbl/day. In February 2007, the commerciality of the field was confirmed by the NIOC. A field development plan is being developed. 
    OMV Aktiengesellschaft - With Group sales of EUR 18.97 billion and a workforce of 40,993 employees in 2006, as well as market capitalization of approx. EUR 14 billion, OMV Aktiengesellschaft is Austria’s largest listed industrial company. As the leading oil and gas group in Central Europe, OMV is active in Refining and Marketing (R&M) in 13 countries. In Exploration and Production (E&P) OMV is active in 20 countries on five continents. OMV sells more than 14 bcm gas a year. OMV’s Austrian gas hub Baumgarten annually transports approximately 47 bcm of gas. OMV’s Central European Gas Hub is amongst the three largest hubs in Europe. OMV holds stakes in integrated chemical and petrochemical plants – 50% in AMI Agrolinz International GmbH and 35% stake in Borealis A/S, one of the world’s leading producers of polyolefin. Other important holdings are: 51% of Petrom SA, 50% of EconGas GmbH, 45% of the BAYERNOIL refining network and 10% of the Hungarian company MOL. With the acquisition of a majority stake in the Romanian Petrom, OMV has become the largest oil and gas group in Central Europe, with oil and gas reserves of approx. 1.3 billion boe, daily production of around 324,000 boe and an annual refining capacity of 26.4 million metric tons. OMV now has over 2,540 filling stations in 13 countries. The market share of the group in the R&M business segment in the Danube Region is now 20%. OMV further strengthened its leading position in the European growth belt through the acquisition of 34% of Petrol Ofisi in 2006, Turkey’s leading company in the retail and commercial business. In June 2006, OMV has established the OMV Future Energy Fund, a wholly owned subsidiary to support projects in renewable energy with more than EUR 100 Mio to initiate the change from a pure oil and gas group to an energy group with renewable energy in its portfolio. 
    OMV: Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) - OMV is actively committed to the values enshrined in its Code of Conduct. These include a strong sense of responsibility towards the social and natural environment in economically weak regions. OMV works hard to address economic, environmental and social issues related to its operations. Its CSR activities are fully documented in biannual performance reports compiled according to Global Reporting Initiative guidelines.

  • The Concept of Corporate Social Responsibility - CSR - Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council and the European Economic and Social Committee - Implementing the partnership for growth and jobs : making Europe a pole of excellence on corporate social responsibility /* COM/2006/0136 final */ : "1. INTRODUCTION: Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is a concept whereby companies integrate social and environmental concerns in their business operations and in their interaction with their stakeholders on a voluntary basis[1]. It is about enterprises deciding to go beyond minimum legal requirements and obligations stemming from collective agreements in order to address societal needs. Through CSR, enterprises of all sizes, in cooperation with their stakeholders, can help to reconcile economic, social and environmental ambitions. As such, CSR has become an increasingly important concept both globally and within the EU, and is part of the debate about globalisation, competitiveness and sustainability. In Europe, the promotion of CSR reflects the need to defend common values and increase the sense of solidarity and cohesion...." mehr>> 

  • OMV und National Iranian Oil Company: „Heads of Agreement“ für Beteiligung am iranischen South Pars Gasfeld und Iran LNG Projekt-  21. April 2007 (8:57) - OMV Presse Aktuelle News: Die OMV, Mitteleuropas führender Öl- und Gaskonzern unterzeichnete heute mit der National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) ein „Heads of Agreement“ betreffend möglicher Beteiligungen des Unternehmens an der Entwicklung von Teilen des South Pars Gasfelds (South Pars Feld, Phase 12) im Persischen Golf, einer Verflüssigungsanlage für Liquefied Natural Gas (Iran LNG) sowie BezugsverträgenLiquefied Natural Gas (LNG). Vor dem Hintergrund eines geplanten LNG Regasifizierungsterminals in Kroatien, an dessen Entwicklung die OMV maßgeblich beteiligt ist, würde ein derartiges integriertes Projekt von zwei OMV Geschäftsbereichen (Exploration und Produktion sowie Erdgas) im Iran Sinn machen. Der LNG Terminal in Kroatien soll nach heutiger Planung 2011/2012 in Betrieb gehen, als eine mögliche Bezugsquelle bietet sich unter anderem der Iran mit seinen großen Gasreserven an. Über die weiteren diesbezüglichen Gespräche wurde Stillschweigen vereinbart. Konkrete Ergebnisse werden erst für die zweite Hälfte des Jahres 2007 erwartet. 
    Ausgewogenes internationales E&P-Portfolio - OMV hält ein ausgewogenes internationales E&P-Portfolio in 20 Ländern, das sich auf sechs Kernregionen aufteilt: den Donau-Adria-Raum, Nordafrika, Nord- und Westeuropa, den Mittleren Osten, Australien/Neuseeland und Russland/Kaspische Region. Die Tagesproduktion der OMV liegt bei rund 324.000 boe, die Öl- und Gasreserven betragen rund 1,3 Milliarden boe. 
    Hintergrundinformationen: South Pars Gasfeld - Das iranische South Pars Gasfeld und das North Field in Katar ist das größte bekannte Gasfeld der Welt mit geschätzten Gasreserven von etwa 1.300 Trillionen Kubikfuß (221 Mrd boe), wobei rund 500 Trillionen Kubikfuß (85 Mrd boe) auf iranischer Seite liegen. Der Iran plant dieses Gasfeld in mehreren Phasen zu entwickeln. Die OMV –NIOC Absichtserklärung betrifft einen Teil dieser Entwicklungsphase (South Pars Feld Phase 12). 
    OMV im Iran - Im April 2001 unterzeichnete die OMV ein Abkommen mit der National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) über Explorationstätigkeit (Öl- und Gassuche) in der Region Zagros, Die Arbeiten konzentrieren sich auf ein 2.500 km² großes Gebiet, den so genannten „Mehr Block“. Die OMV mit 34% Anteilen operiert dabei als Betriebsführer eines Konsortiums, in dem Repsol YPF (Spanien) und Sipetrol (Chile) zu je 33% beteiligt sind. Die erste Explorationsbohrung wurde im Jänner 2005 erfolgreich abgeschlossen. Die Bohrung erreichte eine Tiefe von 4.148 Meter. Erste Produktionstests ergaben eine Rate von 1.040 Barrels pro Tag (bbl/d). Im Februar 2007 wurde die Wirtschaftlichkeit des Feldes von der NIOC bestätigt. Nunmehr wird ein Plan für die Feldesentwicklung erarbeitet. 
    OMV Aktiengesellschaft: - Mit einem Konzernumsatz von EUR 18,97 Mrd und einem Mitarbeiterstand von 40.993 im Jahr 2006 sowie einer Marktkapitalisierung von rund EUR 14 Mrd ist die OMV Aktiengesellschaft das größte börsenotierte Industrieunternehmen Österreichs. Als führendes Erdöl- und Erdgasunternehmen Mitteleuropas ist der OMV Konzern im Bereich Raffinerien & Marketing (R&M) in 13 Ländern tätig. Im Bereich Exploration & Produktion (E&P) ist die OMV in 20 Ländern auf fünf Kontinenten aktiv. Der Bereich Erdgas verkauft jährlich über 14 Mrd m³ Gas, über die österreichische OMV Erdgasdrehscheibe Baumgarten werden jährlich rund 47 Mrd m³ Gas transportiert. Der Central European Gas Hub der OMV zählt zu den drei größten Hubs Europas. Die OMV ist an integrierten Chemie- u. Petrochemiebetrieben – zu 50% an AMI Agrolinz Melamin International GmbH und zu 35% an Borealis A/S, einem der weltweit führenden Polyolefin-Produzenten – beteiligt. Weitere wichtige Beteiligungen: 51% an Petrom SA, 50% an der EconGas GmbH, 45% am BAYERNOIL-Raffinerieverbund, 10% an der ungarischen MOL. Mit der Übernahme der Aktienmehrheit an der rumänischen Petrom entstand der größte Öl- und Erdgaskonzern Mitteleuropas mit Öl- und Gasreserven von rund 1,3 Mrd boe, einer Tagesproduktion von rund 324.000 boe und einer jährlichen Raffineriekapazität von 26,4 Millionen Tonnen. OMV verfügt nunmehr über 2.540 Tankstellen in 13 Ländern. Der Marktanteil des Konzerns im Bereich R&M im Donauraum beträgt damit rund 20%. Durch den Erwerb von 34% an der Petrol Ofisi in 2006, Türkeis führendem Unternehmen im Tankstellen- und Kundengeschäft, baute die OMV ihre führende Position im europäischen Wachstumsgürtel weiter aus. Mit dem OMV Future Energy Fund wurde im Juni 2006 eine eigene Gesellschaft gegründet, die Projekte zu Erneuerbaren Energien mit mehr als EUR 100 Mio finanziell unterstützen wird. Damit will die OMV den Übergang von einem reinen Erdöl- und Erdgaskonzern zu einem Energiekonzern einleiten, der Erneuerbare Energien in seinem Portfolio hat. 
    OMV Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) - Die OMV hat sich mit ihrem Code of Conduct zu klaren Werten verpflichtet und übernimmt Verantwortung für Mensch und Umwelt vor allem in sozial und wirtschaftlich sensiblen Regionen. Das Unternehmen setzt laufend Schritte, um die wirtschaftliche, ökologische und soziale Dimension in ihrem geschäftlichen Handeln, zu berücksichtigen. Die OMV berichtet alle zwei Jahre in einem CSR Performance Report über ihre entsprechenden Aktivitäten und orientiert sich an den international gültigen Berichtsstandards der GRI - Global Reporting Initiative. (English Version of this Article here

Das Konzept der Sozialen Verantwortung der Unternehmen - Mitteilung der Kommission an das Europäische Parlament, den Rat und den Europäischen Wirtschafts- und Sozialausschuss - Umsetzung der Partnerschaft für Wachstum und Beschäftigung : Europa soll auf dem Gebiet der sozialen Verantwortung der Unternehmen führend werden /* KOM/2006/0136 endg. */: "1. Einleitung: "Soziale Verantwortung der Unternehmen (Corporate Social Responsibility - CSR) ist ein Konzept, das den Unternehmen als Grundlage dient, um auf freiwilliger Basis soziale und ökologische Belange in ihre Unternehmenstätigkeit und in die Beziehungen zu den Stakeholdern zu integrieren[. Dabei beschließen die Unternehmen, über gesetzliche Mindestanforderungen und auf tarifvertraglichen Regelungen beruhende Verpflichtungen hinauszugehen, um gesellschaftlichen Notwendigkeiten Rechnung zu tragen. Indem sie ihrer sozialen Verantwortung gerecht werden, können Unternehmen aller Größen in Zusammenarbeit mit ihren Stakeholdern dazu beitragen, dass wirtschaftliche, soziale und ökologische Zielsetzungen miteinander in Einklang gebracht werden. CSR ist darum zu einem zunehmend wichtigen Konzept sowohl auf globaler Ebene als auch innerhalb der EU und zu einem Thema in der Diskussion über Globalisierung, Wettbewerbsfähigkeit und Nachhaltigkeit geworden. In Europa spiegelt sich in der Förderung von CSR das Bedürfnis wider, gemeinsame Werte zu verteidigen und den Sinn für Solidarität und Zusammenhalt zu stärken..."   mehr >>

Facts

     

 

"When word of a crisis breaks out in Washington,  it's no accident that the first question that comes to everyone's lips is:  'Where's the nearest carrier?' "  President Bill Clinton, March 12, 1993 aboard USS Theodore Roosevelt

Visual Information about Iran

Campaign Pushes for Iran Divestment - 17.05.2007 - TIME - By Elaine Shannon/WashingtonAn unusual alliance of big-state Democrats and Iraq war hawks is coalescing around a campaign to force European and Asian multinational corporations to stop doing business with Iran, in order to pressure Tehran over its nuclear program and its support for militants in Iraq, Lebanon and the Palestinian territories. The Iran disinvestment campaign is being marshaled by, among other groups, the conservative American Enterprise Institute, an influential Washington think tank whose experts laid much of the ideological groundwork for the U.S. invasion of Iraq. The AEI has identified dozens of energy companies active in Iran's oil and gas fields and has also pointed a finger at such engineering, transportation and communications giants such as Siemens, Daimler-Chrysler and Volkswagen of Germany, Renault and Peugeot Citroen of France, and Ericsson and Volvo of Sweden. "Money talks, and the first line of attack has to be taxpayer subsidies for companies that are investing in Iran," says Danielle Pletka, AEI vice president for foreign and defense policy studies. Pletka wants the White House and State Department to arm-twist American allies to end state-funded subsidies that facilitate commercial engagement with Iran. The Bush Administration has resisted, preferring instead to use gentler arguments to build a broad coalition that emphasizes diplomacy. "State doesn't want to do anything," complains Pletka, a former adviser to former Sen. Jesse Helms. "State is all about accommodation and trying to sit down and have a Chamberlain-style peace with Iran." Although they take a very different line from the AEI on Iraq, a number of influential Democrats have lent their weight to similar initiatives on Iran, out of concern for Israel. On Wednesday, Sen. Barack Obama, the Illinois Democratic presidential hopeful and advocate for withdrawing most U.S. forces from Iraq within a year, joined with Democratic Congressmen Barney Frank of Massachusetts and Tom Lantos of California to propose legislation that would encourage individual and institutional investors, such as state pension funds, to dump stock implicated in trade with Iran. "Pressuring companies to cut their financial ties with Iran is critical to ensuring that [U.N.] sanctions have their intended result," Obama said in a statement released by his office. A separate bill by Democratic Rep. Brad Sherman of California would force the Bush Administration to enforce the Iran Sanctions Act of 1996, which targets companies that invest $20 million or more annually in Iran, focusing on its energy sector. Sherman complains that the Bush Administration has routinely waived punishments for big companies from friendly countries. Last month State Department officials lodged a futile protest after Austrian energy company OMV announced an $18 billion deal to exploit Iran's South Pars gas field. "The Americans may refuse to invest in Iran's oil industry," Austria's Foreign Minister Ursula Plassnik told the Austrian Die Presse newspaper. "But Austria is not bound by U.S. law." So far, the Bush Administration has been unwilling take more aggressive action against European commercial concerns that trade openly with Iran, and it won't endorse the Obama-Frank or Sherman bill. State Department officials don't relish a repeat of the "freedom fries" confrontation with France and other European nations who opposed the invasion of Iraq. "We've been working with the Europeans and others to put together and maintain this unity and coalition to confront Iran, and that's achieved what we've gotten in terms of the Security Council," says a senior State Department official, referring to two U.N. Security Council sanctions resolutions. "That's what we want to build on, and this legislation is not helpful in those efforts."

IRAN and LYBIA SANCTIONS ACT  (ILSA) OF 1996 (House of Representatives - June 18, 1996) (H.R. 3107) 
http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c104:H.R.3107.ENR:

SUMMARY AS OF:

7/16/1996--Passed Senate amended.    Iran and Libya Sanctions Act of 1996 - Declares U.S. policy with respect to Iran and Libya.
(Sec. 4) Urges the President to commence diplomatic efforts with U.S. allies to establish multilateral trade sanctions against Iran, including limiting its development of petroleum resources, in order to end its ability to support acts of international terrorism and efforts to develop or acquire weapons of mass destruction. Requires the President to report periodically to the appropriate congressional committees on the extent of the success of such efforts. Authorizes the President to waive such sanctions if certain requirements are met.

Requires the President to report to the appropriate congressional committees with respect to the imposition of trade sanctions on persons doing business or having investments in Iran or Libya by member states of the European Union, the Republic of Korea, Australia, Israel, or Japan.
(Sec. 5) Directs the President to impose certain economic sanctions against persons who with actual knowledge have: (1) made an investment of $40 million or more in any 12-month period that directly contributes to Iran's or Libya's ability to develop its petroleum resources; or (2) exported to Libya any goods or technology prohibited by United Nations Security Council Resolution 748, adopted March 31, 1992, or Resolution 883, adopted November 11, 1993, which significantly contributed to Libya's ability to acquire chemical, biological, or nuclear weapons, develop petroleum resources, or maintain its aviation capabilities. Specifies exceptions to trade sanctions, among other things, for certain defense-related articles or services essential to U.S. national security.
(Sec. 6) Authorizes the President, with respect to any sanctioned person, to: (1) direct the Export-Import Bank not to approve issuance of any guarantee, insurance, or credit extension for the export of goods or services to any sanctioned person; (2) order the U.S. Government to deny licenses or permits to a sanctioned person for the export of goods or technology; and (3) prohibit loans from U.S. financial institutions. Specifies sanctions that may be made against sanctioned persons that are financial institutions.
(Sec. 7) Authorizes the Secretary of State, upon request, to issue an advisory opinion to any person as to whether a proposed activity would be subject to sanctions.
(Sec. 8) Waives the requirements of this Act if the President certifies to the appropriate congressional committees that Iran has: (1) ceased its efforts to develop or acquire a nuclear explosive device, chemical or biological weapons, or ballistic missiles and missile launch technology; and (2) been removed from the list of countries determined, under the Export Administration Act of 1979, to have repeatedly supported acts of international terrorism.
Waives the requirements of this Act with respect to Libya only if the President, in addition to the waiver determination, certifies to the appropriate congressional committees that Libya has fulfilled the requirements of the United Nations Security Council Resolution 731, adopted January 21, 1992, Resolution 748, adopted March 31, 1992, and Resolution 883, adopted November 11, 1993.
(Sec. 9) Specifies circumstances in which the President may delay or waive sanctions, conditioned on certification to the Congress of certain facts. Prescribes a minimum two-year duration for sanctions.
(Sec. 10) Requires the President to report periodically to the appropriate congressional committees on efforts to persuade other countries to: (1) pressure Iran to cease its nuclear, chemical, biological, and missile weapons programs and support of international terrorism; and (2) ask Iran to reduce the presence of Iranian diplomats and other personnel and withdraw any of them who participated in the takeover of the U.S. embassy in Tehran on November 4, 1979. Requires such report also to detail: (1) the extent to which the International Atomic Energy Agency has established regular inspections of all nuclear facilities in Iran; and (2) Iran's use of Iranian diplomats and representatives of other government and military or quasi-governmental institutions of Iran to promote acts of international terrorism or to develop Iran's nuclear, chemical, biological, and missile weapons programs. Requires the President to ensure continued reports to the Congress on Iran's: (1) nuclear and other military capabilities; and (2) support for acts of international terrorism.
(Sec. 11) Declares that determinations to impose sanctions under this Act are not reviewable in any court.

 

Der "Iran Sanctions Act" (ISA) sieht Sanktionen gegen ausländische Unternehmen vor, die im Iran verstärkt investieren. Das Gesetz wurde 1996 unter dem damaligen US-Präsidenten Bill Clinton beschlossen, damals betraf es Wirtschaftssanktionen gegen Unternehmen wegen Geschäften mit dem Iran oder Libyen. 2006, nach Auslaufen der Rechtsvorschrift wurde sie für Geschäfte mit dem Iran erneuert und restriktiver gestaltet. Die USA wollen damit den Iran wirtschaftlich isolieren. Bisher ist noch nie ein Unternehmen wegen dieses Gesetzes mit Sanktionen belegt worden. US-Vertreter sehen darin eine abschreckende Wirkung gegenüber Konzernen, die sich insbesondere im iranischen Energiesektor engagieren wollen. (APA)

Mr. GILMAN. Mr. Speaker, I move to suspend the rules and pass the bill (H.R. 3107) to impose sanctions on persons exporting certain goods or technology that would enhance Iran's ability to explore for, extract, refine, or transport by pipeline petroleum resources, and for other purposes, as amended. The Clerk read as follows: H.R. 3107
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,
SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.
This Act may be cited as the `Iran and Libya Sanctions Act of 1996'.
SEC. 2. FINDINGS.
The Congress makes the following findings:
(1) The efforts of the Government of Iran to acquire weapons of mass destruction and the means to deliver them and its support of acts of international terrorism endanger the national security and foreign policy interests of the United States and those countries with which the United States shares common strategic and foreign policy objectives.
(2) The objective of preventing the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and acts of international terrorism through existing multilateral and bilateral initiatives requires additional efforts to deny Iran the financial means to sustain its nuclear, chemical, biological, and missile weapons programs.
(3) The Government of Iran uses its diplomatic facilities and quasi-governmental institutions outside of Iran to promote acts of international terrorism and assist its nuclear, chemical, biological, and missile weapons programs.
(4) The failure of the Government of Libya to comply with Resolutions 731, 748, and 883 of the Security Council of the United Nations, its support of international terrorism, and its efforts to acquire weapons of mass destruction constitute a threat to international peace and security that endangers the national security and foreign policy interests of the United States and those countries with which it shares common strategic and foreign policy objectives.
SEC. 3. DECLARATION OF POLICY.
(a) Policy With Respect to Iran: The Congress declares that it is the policy of the United States to deny Iran the ability to support acts of international terrorism and to fund the development and acquisition of weapons of mass destruction and the means to deliver them by limiting the development of Iran's ability to explore for, extract, refine, or transport by pipeline petroleum resources of Iran.
(b) Policy With Respect to Libya: The Congress further declares that it is the policy of the United States to seek full compliance by Libya with its obligations under Resolutions 731, 748, and 883 of the Security Council of the United Nations, including ending all support for acts of international terrorism and efforts to develop or acquire weapons of mass destruction.
SEC. 4. MULTILATERAL REGIME.
(a) Multilateral Negotiations: In order to further the objectives of section 3, the Congress urges the President to commence immediately diplomatic efforts, both in appropriate international fora such as the United Nations, and bilaterally with allies of the United States, to establish a multilateral sanctions regime against Iran, including provisions limiting the development of petroleum resources, that will inhibit Iran's efforts to carry out activities described in section 2.
(b) Reports to Congress: The President shall report to the appropriate congressional committees, not later than 1 year after the date of the enactment of this Act, and periodically thereafter, on the extent that diplomatic efforts described in subsection (a) have been successful. Each report shall include--
(1) the countries that have agreed to undertake measures to further the objectives of section 3 with respect to Iran, and a description of those measures; and
(2) the countries that have not agreed to measures described in paragraph (1), and, with respect to those countries, other measures (in addition to that provided in subsection (d)) the President recommends that the United States take to further the objectives of section 3 with respect to Iran.
(c) Waiver: The President may waive the application of section 5(a) with respect to nationals of a country if--
(1) that country has agreed to undertake substantial measures, including economic sanctions, that will inhibit Iran's efforts to carry out activities described in section 2 and information required by subsection (b)(1) has been included in a report submitted under subsection (b); and
(2) the President, at least 30 days before the waiver takes effect, notifies the appropriate congressional committees of his intention to exercise the waiver.
(d) Enhanced Sanction:
(1) Sanction: With respect to nationals of countries except those with respect to which the President has exercised the waiver authority of subsection (c), at any time after the first report is required to be submitted under subsection (b), section 5(a) shall be applied by substituting `$20,000,000' for `$40,000,000' each place it appears, and by substituting `$5,000,000' for `$10,000,000'.
(2) Report to congress: The President shall report to the appropriate congressional committees any country with respect to which paragraph (1) applies.
(e) Interim Report on Multilateral Sanctions; Monitoring: The President, not later than 90 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, shall report to the appropriate congressional committees on--
(1) whether the member states of the European Union, the Republic of Korea, Australia, Israel, or Japan have legislative or administrative standards providing for the imposition of trade sanctions on persons or their affiliates doing business or having investments in Iran or Libya;
(2) the extent and duration of each instance of the application of such sanctions; and
(3) the disposition of any decision with respect to such sanctions by the World Trade Organization or its predecessor organization.
SEC. 5. IMPOSITION OF SANCTIONS.
(a) Sanctions With Respect to Iran: Except as provided in subsection (f), the President shall impose 2 or more of the sanctions described in paragraphs (1) through (6) of section 6 if the President determines that a person has, with actual knowledge, on or after the date of the enactment of this Act, made an investment of $40,000,000 or more (or any combination of investments of at least $10,000,000 each, which in the aggregate equals or exceeds $40,000,000 in any 12-month period), that directly and significantly contributed to the enhancement of Iran's ability to develop petroleum resources of Iran.
(b) Sanctions With Respect to Libya:
(1) Trigger of Mandatory sanctions: Except as provided in subsection (f), the President shall impose 2 or more of the sanctions described in paragraphs (1) through (6) of section 6 if the President determines that a person has, with actual knowledge, on or after the date of the enactment of this Act, exported, transferred, or otherwise provided to Libya any goods, services, technology, or other items the provision of which is prohibited under paragraph 4(b) or 5 of Resolution 748 of the Security Council of the United Nations, adopted March 31, 1992, or under paragraph 5 or 6 of Resolution 883 of the Security Council of the United Nations, adopted November 11, 1993, if the provision of such items significantly and materially--
(A) contributed to Libya's ability to acquire chemical, biological, or nuclear weapons or destabilizing numbers and types of advanced conventional weapons or enhanced Libya's military or paramilitary capabilities;
(B) contributed to Libya's ability to develop its petroleum resources; or
(C) contributed to Libya's ability to maintain its aviation capabilities.
(2) Trigger of discretionary sanctions: Except as provided in subsection (f), the President may impose 1 or more of the sanctions described in paragraphs (1) through (6) of section 6 if the President determines that a person has, with actual knowledge, on or after the date of the enactment of this Act, made an investment of $40,000,000 or more (or any combination of investments of at least $10,000,000 each, which in the aggregate equals or exceeds $40,000,000 in any 12-month period), that directly and significantly contributed to the enhancement of Libya's ability to develop its petroleum resources.
(c) Persons Against Which the Sanctions Are To Be Imposed: The sanctions described in subsections (a) and (b) shall be imposed on--
(1) any person the President determines has carried out the activities described in subsection (a) or (b); and
(2) any person the President determines--
(A) is a successor entity to the person referred to in paragraph (1);
(B) is a parent or subsidiary of the person referred to in paragraph (1) if that parent or subsidiary, with actual knowledge, engaged in the activities referred to in paragraph (1); or
(C) is an affiliate of the person referred to in paragraph (1) if that affiliate, with actual knowledge, engaged in the activities referred to in paragraph (1) and if that affiliate is controlled in fact by the person referred to in paragraph (1).
For purposes of this Act, any person or entity described in this subsection shall be referred to as a `sanctioned person'.
(d) Publication in Federal Register: The President shall cause to be published in the Federal Register a current list of persons and entities on whom sanctions have been imposed under this Act. The removal of persons or entities from, and the addition of persons and entities to, the list, shall also be so published.
(e) Publication of Projects: The President shall cause to be published in the Federal Register a list of all significant projects which have been publicly tendered in the oil and gas sector in Iran.
(f) Exceptions: The President shall not be required to apply or maintain the sanctions under subsection (a) or (b)--
(1) in the case of procurement of defense articles or defense services--
(A) under existing contracts or subcontracts, including the exercise of options for production quantities to satisfy requirements essential to the national security of the United States;
(B) if the President determines in writing that the person to which the sanctions would otherwise be applied is a sole source supplier of the defense articles or services, that the defense articles or services are essential, and that alternative sources are not readily or reasonably available; or
(C) if the President determines in writing that such articles or services are essential to the national security under defense coproduction agreements;
(2) in the case of procurement, to eligible products, as defined in section 308(4) of the Trade Agreements Act of 1979 (19 U.S.C. 2518(4)), of any foreign country or instrumentality designated under section 301(b)(1) of that Act (19 U.S.C. 2511(b)(1));
(3) to products, technology, or services provided under contracts entered into before the date on which the President publishes in the Federal Register the name of the person on whom the sanctions are to be imposed;
(4) to--
(A) spare parts which are essential to United States products or production;
(B) component parts, but not finished products, essential to United States products or production; or
(C) routine servicing and maintenance of products, to the extent that alternative sources are not readily or reasonably available;
(6) to information and technology essential to United States products or production; or
(7) to medicines, medical supplies, or other humanitarian items.
SEC. 6. DESCRIPTION OF SANCTIONS.
The sanctions to be imposed on a sanctioned person under section 5 are as follows:
(1) Export-import bank assistance for exports to sanctioned persons: The President may direct the Export-Import Bank of the United States not to give approval to the issuance of any guarantee, insurance, extension of credit, or participation in the extension of credit in connection with the export of any goods or services to any sanctioned person.
(2) Export sanction: The President may order the United States Government not to issue any specific license and not to grant any other specific permission or authority to export any goods or technology to a sanctioned person under--
(i) the Export Administration Act of 1979;
(ii) the Arms Export Control Act;
(iii) the Atomic Energy Act of 1954; or
(iv) any other statute that requires the prior review and approval of the United States Government as a condition for the export or re-export of goods or services.
(3) Loans from United States financial institutions: The United States Government may prohibit any United States financial institution from making loans or providing credits to any sanctioned person totaling more than $10,000,000 in any 12-month period unless such person is engaged in activities to relieve human suffering and the loans or credits are provided for such activities.
(4) Prohibitions on financial institutions: The following prohibitions may be imposed against a sanctioned person that is a financial institution:
(A) Prohibition on designation as primary dealer: Neither the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System nor the Federal Reserve Bank of New York may designate, or permit the continuation of any prior designation of, such financial institution as a primary dealer in United States Government debt instruments.
(B) Prohibition on service as a repository of government funds: Such financial institution may not serve as agent of the United States Government or serve as repository for United States Government funds.
The imposition of either sanction under subparagraph (A) or (B) shall be treated as 1 sanction for purposes of section 5, and the imposition of both such sanctions shall be treated as 2 sanctions for purposes of section 5.
(5) Procurement sanction: The United States Government may not procure, or enter into any contract for the procurement of, any goods or services from a sanctioned person.
(6) Additional sanctions: The President may impose sanctions, as appropriate, to restrict imports with respect to a sanctioned person, in accordance with the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (50 U.S.C. 1701 and following).
SEC. 7. ADVISORY OPINIONS.
The Secretary of State may, upon the request of any person, issue an advisory opinion to that person as to whether a proposed activity by that person would subject that person to sanctions under this Act. Any person who relies in good faith on such an advisory opinion which states that the proposed activity would not subject a person to such sanctions, and any person who thereafter engages in such activity, will not be made subject to such sanctions on account of such activity.
SEC. 8. TERMINATION OF SANCTIONS.
(a) Iran: The requirement under section 5(a) to impose sanctions shall no longer have force or effect with respect to Iran if the President determines and certifies to the appropriate congressional committees that Iran--
(1) has ceased its efforts to design, develop, manufacture, or acquire--
(A) a nuclear explosive device or related materials and technology;
(B) chemical and biological weapons; and
(C) ballistic missiles and ballistic missile launch technology; and
(2) has been removed from the list of countries the governments of which have been determined, for purposes of section 6(j) of the Export Administration Act of 1979, to have repeatedly provided support for acts of international terrorism.
(b) Libya: The requirement under section 5(b) to impose sanctions shall no longer have force or effect with respect to Libya if the President determines and certifies to the appropriate congressional committees that Libya has fulfilled the requirements of United Nations Security Council Resolution 731, adopted January 21, 1992, United Nations Security Council Resolution 748, adopted March 31, 1992, and United Nations Security Council Resolution 883, adopted November 11, 1993.
SEC. 9. DURATION OF SANCTIONS; PRESIDENTIAL WAIVER.
(a) Delay of Sanctions:
(1) Consultations: If the President makes a determination described in section 5(a) or 5(b) with respect to a foreign person, the Congress urges the President to initiate consultations immediately with the government with primary jurisdiction over that foreign person with respect to the imposition of sanctions under this Act.
(2) Actions by government of jurisdiction: In order to pursue consultations under paragraph (1) with the government concerned, the President may delay imposition of sanctions under this Act for up to 90 days. Following such consultations, the President shall immediately impose sanctions unless the President determines and certifies to the Congress that the government has taken specific and effective actions, including, as appropriate, the imposition of appropriate penalties, to terminate the involvement of the foreign person in the activities that resulted in the determination by the President under section 5(a) or 5(b) concerning such person.
(3) Additional delay in imposition of sanctions: The President may delay the imposition of sanctions for up to an additional 90 days if the President determines and certifies to the Congress that the government with primary jurisdiction over the person concerned is in the process of taking the actions described in paragraph (2).
(4) Report to congress: Not later than 90 days after making a determination under section 5(a) or 5(b), the President shall submit to the appropriate congressional committees a report on the status of consultations with the appropriate foreign government under this subsection, and the basis for any determination under paragraph (3).
(b) Duration of Sanctions: A sanction imposed under section 5 shall remain in effect--
(1) for a period of not less than 2 years from the date on which it is imposed; or
(2) until such time as the President determines and certifies to the Congress that the person whose activities were the basis for imposing the sanction is no longer engaging in such activities and that the President has received reliable assurances that such person will not knowingly engage in such activities in the future, except that such sanction shall remain in effect for a period of at least 1 year.
(c) Presidential Waiver:
(1) Authority: The President may waive the requirement in section 5 to impose a sanction or sanctions on a person described in section 5(c), and may waive the continued imposition of a sanction or sanctions under subsection (b) of this section, 30 days or more after the President determines and so reports to the appropriate congressional committees that it is important to the national interest of the United States to exercise such waiver authority.
(2) Contents of report: Any report under paragraph (1) shall provide a specific and detailed rationale for the determination under paragraph (1), including--
(A) a description of the conduct that resulted in the determination under section 5(a) or (b), as the case may be;
(B) in the case of a foreign person, an explanation of the efforts to secure the cooperation of the government with primary jurisdiction over the sanctioned person to terminate or, as appropriate, penalize the activities that resulted in the determination under section 5(a) or (b), as the case may be;
(C) an estimate as to the significance--
(i) of the provision of the items described in section 5(a) to Iran's ability to develop its petroleum resources, or
(ii) of the provision of the items described in section 5(b)(1) to the abilities of Libya described in subparagraph (A), (B), or (C) of section 5(b)(1), or of the investment described in section 5(b)(2) on Libya's ability to develop its petroleum resources, as the case may be; and
(D) a statement as to the response of the United States in the event that the person concerned engages in other activities that would be subject to section 5(a) or (b).
(3) Effect of report on waiver: If the President makes a report under paragraph (1) with respect to a waiver of sanctions on a person described in section 5(c), sanctions need not be imposed under section 5(a) or (b) on that person during the 30-day period referred to in paragraph (1).
SEC. 10. REPORTS REQUIRED.
(a) Report on Certain International Initiatives: Not later than 6 months after the date of the enactment of this Act, and every 6 months thereafter, the President shall transmit a report to the appropriate congressional committees describing--
(1) the efforts of the President to mount a multilateral campaign to persuade all countries to pressure Iran to cease its nuclear, chemical, biological, and missile weapons programs and its support of acts of international terrorism;
(2) the efforts of the President to persuade other governments to ask Iran to reduce the presence of Iranian diplomats and representatives of other government and military or quasi-governmental institutions of Iran and to withdraw any such diplomats or representatives who participated in the takeover of the United States embassy in Tehran on November 4, 1979, or the subsequent holding of United States hostages for 444 days;
(3) the extent to which the International Atomic Energy Agency has established regular inspections of all nuclear facilities in Iran, including those presently under construction; and
(4) Iran's use of Iranian diplomats and representatives of other government and military or quasi-governmental institutions of Iran to promote acts of international terrorism or to develop or sustain Iran's nuclear, chemical, biological, and missile weapons programs.
(b) Other Reports: The President shall ensure the continued transmittal to the Congress of reports describing--
(1) the nuclear and other military capabilities of Iran, as required by section 601(a) of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Act of 1978 and section 1607 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1993; and
(2) the support provided by Iran for acts of international terrorism, as part of the Department of State's annual report on international terrorism.
SEC. 11. DETERMINATIONS NOT REVIEWABLE.
A determination to impose sanctions under this Act shall not be reviewable in any court.
SEC. 12. EXCLUSION OF CERTAIN ACTIVITIES.
Nothing in this Act shall apply to any activities subject to the reporting requirements of title V of the National Security Act of 1947.
SEC. 13. EFFECTIVE DATE; SUNSET.
(a) Effective Date: This Act shall take effect on the date of the enactment of this Act.
(b) Sunset: This Act shall cease to be effective on the date that is 5 years after the date of the enactment of this Act.
SEC. 14. DEFINITIONS.
As used in this Act:
(1) Act of international terrorism: The term `act of international terrorism' means an act--
(A) which is violent or dangerous to human life and that is a violation of the criminal laws of the United States or of any State or that would be a criminal violation if committed within the jurisdiction of the United States or any State; and
(B) which appears to be intended--
(i) to intimidate or coerce a civilian population;
(ii) to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or
(iii) to affect the conduct of a government by assassination or kidnapping.
(2) Appropriate congressional committees: The term `appropriate congressional committees' means the Committee on Finance, the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, and the Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate and the Committee on Ways and Means, the Committee on Banking and Financial Services, and the Committee on International Relations of the House of Representatives.
(3) Component part: The term `component part' has the meaning given that term in section 11A(e)(1) of the Export Administration Act of 1979 (50 U.S.C. App. 2410a(e)(1)).
(4) Develop and development: To `develop', or the `development' of, petroleum resources means the exploration for, or the extraction, refining, or transportation by pipeline of, petroleum resources.
(5) Financial institution: The term `financial institution' includes--
(A) a depository institution (as defined in section 3(c)(1) of the Federal Deposit Insurance Act), including a branch or agency of a foreign bank (as defined in section 1(b)(7) of the International Banking Act of 1978);
(B) a credit union;
(C) a securities firm, including a broker or dealer;
(D) an insurance company, including an agency or underwriter; and
(E) any other company that provides financial services.
(6) Finished product: The term `finished product' has the meaning given that term in section 11A(e)(2) of the Export Administration Act of 1979 (50 U.S.C. App. 2410a(e)(2)).
(7) Foreign person: The term `foreign person' means--
(A) an individual who is not a United States person or an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence into the United States; or
(B) a corporation, partnership, or other nongovernmental entity which is not a United States person.
(8) Goods and technology: The terms `goods' and `technology' have the meanings given those terms in section 16 of the Export Administration Act of 1979 (50 U.S.C. app. 2415).
(9) Investment: The term `investment' means any of the following activities if such activity is undertaken pursuant to an agreement, or pursuant to the exercise of rights under such an agreement, that is entered into with the Government of Iran or a nongovenmental entity in Iran, or with the Government of Libya or a nongovernmental entity in Libya, on or after the date of the enactment of this Act:
(A) The entry into a contract that includes responsibility for the development of petroleum resources located in Iran or Libya (as the case may be), or the entry into a contract providing for the general supervision and guarantee of another person's performance of such a contract.
(B) The purchase of a share of ownership, including an equity interest, in that development.
(C) The entry into a contract providing for the participation in royalties, earnings, or profits in that development, without regard to the form of the participation.
The term `investment' does not include the entry into, performance, or financing of a contract to sell or purchase goods, services, or technology.
(10) Iran: The term `Iran' includes any agency or instrumentality of Iran.
(11) Iranian diplomats and representatives of other government and military or quasi-governmental institutions of Iran: The term `Iranian diplomats and representatives of other government and military or quasi-governmental institutions of Iran' includes employees, representatives, or affiliates of Iran's--
(A) Foreign Ministry;
(B) Ministry of Intelligence and Security;
(C) Revolutionary Guard Corps;
(D) Crusade for Reconstruction;
(E) Qods (Jerusalem) Forces;
(F) Interior Ministry;
(G) Foundation for the Oppressed and Disabled;
(H) Prophet's Foundation;
(I) June 5th Foundation;
(J) Martyr's Foundation;
(K) Islamic Propagation Organization; and
(L) Ministry of Islamic Guidance.
(12) Libya: The term `Libya' includes any agency or instrumentality of Libya.
(13) Nuclear explosive device: The term `nuclear explosive device' means any device, whether assembled or disassembled, that is designed to produce an instantaneous release of an amount of nuclear energy from special nuclear material (as defined in section 11aa. of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954) that is greater than the amount of energy that would be released from the detonation of one pound of trinitrotoluene (TNT).
(14) Person: The term `person' means--
(A) a natural person;
(B) a corporation, business association, partnership, society, trust, any other nongovernmental entity, organization, or group, and any governmental entity operating as a business enterprise; and
(C) any successor to any entity described in subparagraph (B).
(15) Petroleum resources: The term `petroleum resources' includes petroleum and natural gas resources.
(16) United States or State: The term `United States' or `State' means the several States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, American Samoa, Guam, the United States Virgin Islands, and any other territory or possession of the United States.
(17) United States person: The term `United States person' means--
(A) a natural person who is a citizen of the United States or who owes permanent allegiance to the United States; and
(B) a corporation or other legal entity which is organized under the laws of the United States, any State or territory thereof, or the District of Columbia, if natural persons described in subparagraph (A) own, directly or indirectly, more than 50 percent of the outstanding capital stock or other beneficial interest in such legal entity.

EU-OPEC Energy Dialogue

Waiting for a Gas OPEC - 01/05/07  - Iran Daily News

Four years after the fall of Baghdad - which for the neo-cons would signal the advent of the US as “the new OPEC“ - a meeting in the tiny Persian Gulf emirate of Qatar may be signaling the birth of a new cartel: a “gas OPEC“, grouping countries controlling 73% of the world’s gas reserves and 42% of production.
It’s not as simple as it seems, because a gas cartel along the lines of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries is above all a brilliant political idea - an astute exercise in (new) branding. The irony is that in this case the wealthy West - so keen on branding when it comes to soft drinks and TVs - has been shaken to the core, Atimes.com reported.
Doha could not be a more adequate venue for this crucial meeting of the soon-to-be-rebranded Gas Exporting Countries Forum - an organization founded in 2001. By 2008, Qatar will be the world’s premier supplier of liquefied natural gas (LNG). It already boasts the highest per capita income in the Middle East. Official spin rules that the emirate is “carefully investing“ no less than US$130 billion over the next five to seven years to build a “dynamic and sustainable economy“. Iraqis about to be “liberated“ from their oil wealth have every reason to be jealous, not to mention the array of gas-deprived developing countries.
Members of the Gas Exporting Countries Forum include Algeria, Bolivia, Brunei, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Libya, Malaysia, Oman, Qatar, Russia, Trinidad and Tobago, the United Arab Emirates, and Venezuela. Norway is an observer. The founding fathers of the gas OPEC would be Russia, Iran, Qatar, Venezuela and Algeria. All their political leaders are in favor--from Vladimir Putin to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, from Hugo Chavez to Abdelaziz Bouteflika. That’s what sends shivers down the spines of the United States and the European Union - testy Putin and favorite bogeymen du jour Chavez and Ahmadinejad laying down the law in yet another powerful club.
Russia holds the world’s largest gas reserves (47.8 billion cubic meters), followed by Iran (26.7 billion cubic meters) and Qatar (23.7 billion cubic meters). But production is another matter. According to 2005 data, Russia controls no less than 21.6% of the world’s natural-gas production, well ahead of Algeria (3.2%), Iran (3.1%), Indonesia (2.8%) and Malaysia (2.2%).
Russia above all wants to become a huge global exporter: for the moment it exports only a third of its production. Iran, incredible as it might seem, imports more from Turkmenistan than it exports to Turkey - because of investment problems. Like Russia, Iran’s aim is to become a major global exporter.
No wonder Iran, with the world’s second-largest gas reserves and desperately needing to export more, has vividly recommended to Russia the creation of a gas OPEC. Unlike the oil market, in gas matters there is no price coordination: prices are individually negotiated - for as long as five years per contract - between buyer and producer. Buyers - overwhelmingly from wealthy Western nations - usually have the upper hand. A gas OPEC makes total sense for producing countries in terms of a swift counterpunch to the West’s economic might.
As far as Iran is concerned, it’s strategically fundamental: it would open the way for a much stronger presence in Asian and European markets, and it would improve its security and power of dissuasion. To cut to the chase: with Iran in a gas OPEC, no Western nation would dream of supporting a US preemptive strike.
Easier said than done. Qatar may be in favor but as it is in fact little other than a US military base, Washington would never agree to its membership in a gas cartel. Moreover, Qatar already ships a lot of LNG to the US. Even before the meeting, Qatari Energy Minister Abdullah bin Hamad al-Attiyah told Reuters in Abu Dhabi: “We do not see the need for the creation of a gas organization because the issue of gas is more complex.“
The Nezavissimaya Gazeta daily argues, “More than 57% of the world’s gas reserves are concentrated in three countries - Russia, Iran and Qatar. If these states create a cartel, the gas OPEC will be easier to manage than the oil organization and may in fact have the monopoly on the sector.“
Russia and Iran united in a gas OPEC royally serves them both. Iran’s export way out is first and foremost Asia. Russia wants to concentrate on Europe. But the Europeans would do anything to diversify their sources, so Iran, in the end, will also be the winner.
Diplomats in Brussels never stop swearing that the EU’s ultimate fear is to become a hostage to Russia’s energy policy. The alternative supplier is definitely Iran.

One thing is certain. Doha signals to the world that the Gas Exporting Countries Forum is no longer a talking shop: now it really means business. “Gas OPEC“, as a branding concept, is here to stay. It does not matter that Canada, Norway, the Netherlands and Australia - which combined sell 35% of the gas available in world markets - are not part of it. The idea has been planted - and in this case the idea is far more influential than concrete mechanisms to implement it. 
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization, true to form, had to react with extreme paranoia. Last November, NATO members were “warned“ that Russia was fabricating a new, deadly political roadside bomb against Europe, by trying to set up a natural-gas cartel from Algeria to Central Asia. 
Welcome to the new, Pentagon-inspired, arc of (gas) instability. Who would have thought that branding could become so explosive?
The EU imports around 40% of its oil from the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). High oil prices and uncertainty in oil markets have been encouraged by growth in oil demand and a reduction of spare capacity. In this context, the EU and OPEC have established in the second half of 2004 a high-level bilateral dialogue to enhance producer-consumer relations. The EU aims at a more stable international oil markets and prices, an attractive investment climate, a more transparent market, a better market analysis and forecasts as well as, technological and international cooperation. OPEC’s role is the coordination of petroleum policies, fair prices for petroleum producers and efficient, economic, regular supply to consuming nations and a fair return in capital to those investing in the industry. A yearly meeting at ministerial level has been programmed.

Analysis

  • Article by H.E. Dr. Zarif on Iran's peacefull nuclear program and some other issues, published in Columbia University's Journal of International Affairs, May 2007  (PDF - 3,92 MB ) 
  • INTERVIEWS ZU IRAN MIT EXPERTEN IN DEUTSCHER SPRACHE
  • Krieg um jeden Preis? Die USA bereiten sich weiterhin auf einen Waffengang gegen Iran vor  - Von Rainer Rupp - junge Welt, 22.Juni 2007 -  (veröffentlicht auch auf der Homepage der Uni Kassel, AG Friedensforschung).
    Unter dem Titel "Naher und Mittlerer Osten. Krieg - Besatzung - Widerstand" erscheint dieser Tage im Bonner Pahl-Rugenstein-Verlag ein von Nick Brauns und Dimitri Tsalos herausgegebener Band zu politischen Problemen der Region (209 S., brosch., 16,90 Euro, ISBN 978-3-89144-385-9). Zum ersten Mal schreiben deutschsprachige Autoren und Vertreter palästinensischer, libanesischer, irakischer und afghanischer Volksbewegungen in einem Buch über einen politischen Großraum, der einer permanenten imperialistischen Aggression ausgesetzt ist. Es handelt sich um die überarbeiteten Beiträge zweier Konferenzen, die im Februar und März 2007 in Berlin und Chianciano/Italien zum Thema stattfanden. Wir dokumentieren aus dem Band vorab Auszüge der Analyse Rainer Rupps zum Thema "US-Strategien im arabisch-persischen Raum". [Dieser Beitrag wurde in der "jungen Welt" veröffentlicht.]
    Viele Indikatoren sprechen dafür, daß die Bush-Administration schon seit langem immer wieder kurz davor stand, militärisch gegen Iran loszuschlagen, sie sich aber aufgrund vielfacher interner und externer Bedenken und Hindernisse nie zum Angriff hatte durchringen können. Anfang des Jahres 2007 waren die bürgerlichen Medien voll mit Warnungen wie: »Im Frühling sind die USA bereit zuzuschlagen.« Dabei wurde detailliert über die amerikanischen Kriegsvorbereitungen berichtet. So wurde z. B. in der britischen Tageszeitung The Guardian am 2. Februar 2007 der ehemalige CIA-Direktor für Aufstandsbekämpfung Vincent Cannistraro zitiert: »Die Ziele für einen Luftkrieg gegen die iranischen Atomanlagen sind bereits ausgesucht, und die militärischen Mittel, um ihn durchzuführen, sind bereits in Stellung gebracht. Wir planen den Krieg, und das ist unglaublich gefährlich«. Trotz aller Dementis von US-Verteidigungsminister Robert Gates schreite die US-Kriegsplanung gegen Iran fort, so Cannistraro.
    In der Tat waren bis Ende Februar auf Befehl von US-Präsident George W. Bush zwei Flugzeugträger, die »Eisenhower« und die »John C. Stennis«, mit ihren Begleitschiffen im Persischen Golf eingetroffen. Zugleich war eine »Assault Group« (Angriffsgruppe) unter Führung des amphibischen Kampfschiffes »Bataan« auf dem Weg in den Golf, wo bereits ein weiterer Angriffsverband wartete. Bei einer Assault Group handelt es sich um je sieben Kriegsschiffe mit insgesamt 2200 US-Marineinfanteristen, Kampfhubschraubern, senkrecht startenden Kampfbombern vom Typ »Harrier« und anderem Gerät zur Erstürmung feindlicher Küsten.
    Üben für den Angriff - Insgesamt hatte Washington zu diesem Zeitpunkt etwa 50 Kriegsschiffe im und um den Persischen Golf zusammengezogen. Auch britische Minensuchboote, spezialisiert auf Operationen in flachen Gewässern, wie sie vor der iranischen Küste und in der strategisch wichtigen Straße von Hormus üblich sind, waren mit von der Partie. Hunderte US-Kampfflugzeuge standen in der Region bereit: auf den Flugzeugträgern, auf der riesigen US-Base in Katar, in Bahrain, auf den vier großen US-Luftstützpunkten in Irak, auf Diego Garcia im Indischen Ozean und in Afghanistan. Sogar auf der US-Basis Incirlik in der Türkei war Verstärkung eingetroffen, obwohl die türkische Regierung bereits letztes Jahr erklärt hatte, daß türkisches Territorium den USA für einen Angriff auf Iran nicht zur Verfügung stehe.
    Laut britischen Medien übten auch die Isra­elis bereits eifrig Luftangriffe gegen Iran. Dies wurde durch eine Nachricht aus Griechenland indirekt bestätigt. Der Hintergrund ist, daß der Operationsradius der israelischen Kampfjets nicht ausreicht, um ohne nachzutanken Iran zu bombardieren. Die Betankung während des Fluges gehört jedoch nicht zur Standardausbildung israelischer Piloten, die mit Ausnahme der Zerstörung des irakischen Atomkraftwerkes Osirak im Jahre 1981 keine Fernangriffe geflogen sind. Daher ließ es aufhorchen, als die zivile griechische Luftüberwachung (FIR-Athen) am 5. Februar 2007 einen Vorfall meldete, bei dem Dutzende nicht angemeldeter israelischer Kampfjets beim Üben der Luftbetankung über dem Mittelmeer in den griechischen Luftraum eingedrungen waren. Griechische F-16-Abfangjäger identifizierten die israelische Luftflotte, die aus sieben zu Tankern umgebauten israelischen Boeing 707, einem Gulfstream-Jet zur elektronischen Kriegsführung und aus 25 F-16- und F-15-Jagdbombern bestand, die alle mit dem Davidstern gekennzeichnet waren. Der griechischen Meldung zufolge handelt es sich bereits um die zweite derartige Übung innerhalb weniger Wochen.
    Alarmierende Meldungen kamen auch aus Paris, wo Le Figaro unter Berufung auf französische Militärexperten Mitte Februar berichtet hatte, daß Washington inzwischen ausreichende militärische Mittel in der Golfregion zusammengezogen habe, »um bis zu 40 Tage lang rund um die Uhr einen Luftkrieg gegen Iran zu führen«. Laut Figaro will die US-Satellitenaufklärung inzwischen 1500 Ziele ausgemacht haben, die direkt oder indirekt mit Irans Atomprogramm in Verbindung stehen. Allerdings dürfe niemand daran zweifeln, daß bei einem US-Angriff auch zivile Ziele wie iranische Industrieanlagen und Ölinstallationen erheblich beschädigt würden, so die Experten im Figaro.
    Wie die US-Luftwaffe tatsächlich einen Angriff gegen Iran plant, darüber gab Sam Gardner Auskunft, seines Zeichens Oberst a. D. der US-Airforce, der jahrzehntelang für die Planung von Luftkriegen verantwortlich gewesen war und in diesem Zusammenhang auch besondere Erfahrungen mit dem »Ziel Iran« gesammelt hat. Auch Gardener war Mitte Februar 2007 der Überzeugung, daß »die Vorbereitung des Luftkrieges gegen Iran in vollem Gang« war. »Alles, was in den letzten Wochen geschehen ist, paßt zu dem, was wir normalerweise tun, wenn wir Luftschläge vorbereiten. Niemand soll davon ausgehen, daß wir Iran nicht angreifen, weil wir im Irak festsitzen«, sagte Gardner, der eine Luft­operation »von ungeheurer Zerstörungskraft« erwartete.
    Laut Gardner hatte das Pentagon 1500 Ziele ausgewählt, die direkt mit dem iranischen Atomprogramm zusammenhängen. Aber damit – so gab er zu bedenken – werde sich ein Pentagon-Planer nicht begnügen, und er führte aus: Iran habe z.B. zwei Anlagen zur Herstellung von chemischen Waffen, und da wären dann auch noch die Produktionsstätten der ballistischen Raketen und ihre Lager. Außerdem gebe es 14 iranische Luftwaffenbasen und die iranischen Kampfflugzeuge in ihren befestigten Unterständen. Auch die »Bedrohung« für die Schiffahrt im Golf, d. h. die iranischen Dieselunterseeboote und die Land-See-Raketen, müßte ausgeschaltet werden. Ebenso die Munitionslager und die Verkehrsknotenpunkte, die Brücken, die Befehls-Kommandostellen und Kommunikationszentren, usw., usf. Und so kämen schnell 15000 bis 20000 Ziele zusammen. Aber nicht alle könnten aus der Luft zerstört werden. Deshalb müßten Spezial-Bodentruppen eingesetzt werden; zur Zerstörung tief unter Fels vergrabener Ziele hatte das Weiße Haus bereits im Sommer 2006 ausdrücklich befohlen, den Einsatz von Mini-Atombomben in die Planung mit einzubeziehen.
    Auf Eskalationskurs - Während die Bush-Administration in der Region ihre militärische Schlagkraft aufbaute, verschärfte sie zugleich mit einer Reihe von politischen Provokationen die Spannungen zwischen Teheran und Washington, die der Präsident mit seiner Rede zur »Lage der Nation« Mitte Januar bereits kräftig angeheizt hatte. Auf Befehl von Bush patrouillieren nun amerikanische Kampflugzeuge über der irakisch-iranischen Grenze, angeblich mit dem Auftrag, Waffenschmuggel zu verhindern und Verdächtige (!) – gegebenenfalls auch auf iranischem Territorium – zu bekämpfen, was völkerrechtlich einem kriegerischen Akt gleichkäme. Laut US-Medien sind die Piloten angewiesen, ihre Missionen »aggressiv« zu fliegen, also konfrontativ, womit Grenzzwischenfälle geradezu programmiert sind.
    Zugleich hat Bush befohlen, angebliche »iranische Agenten« in Irak zu jagen und zu töten. Diesem Befehl vorangegangen war die Entführung hochrangiger Iraner, die mit Diplomatenpaß auf Einladung des irakischen Präsidenten Talabani zu sicherheitspolitischen Beratungen in den Irak gekommen waren. Sie waren auf dem Rückweg von einem offiziellen Treffen mit der irakischen Seite von einer Spezialtruppe der US-Besatzer gekidnappt worden. Erst nachdem Talabani energisch gegen diese amerikanischen Gangstermethoden protestiert hatte, wurden die irakischen Geiseln wieder freigelassen, und sie konnten den Irak verlassen. (...)
    Weiter angeheizt wurde die Lage Anfang Februar, als die US-Besatzer bei einer Pressekonferenz in Bagdad mit manipulierten Beweisen Iran beschuldigten, den irakischen Widerstand mit modernen Waffen zu versorgen. Daher sei Iran »mitschuldig am Tod von 170« US-Soldaten. Bei dem Versuch, in Eile einen neuen Kriegsgrund zu schaffen, waren die angeblichen »Beweise« jedoch zu offensichtlich manipuliert worden, wodurch die »Beweisführung« unhaltbar wurde. (...)
    Trotz der politischen und militärischen Eskalation, die viele Beobachter bereits im Frühjahr 2007 einen US-Militärschlag gegen Iran erwarten ließ, sprachen viele Indikatoren gegen einen bevorstehenden Angriff. Und das nicht nur, weil Präsident Bush, seine Außenministerin Condo­leezza Rice und sein neuer, eher der Realpolitik von Bush senior zuneigender Verteidigungsminister Robert Gates nicht müde wurden zu versichern, daß es keinen Angriff geben werde. Zudem war Gates als Vertrauter von Bush senior und Vertreter der alten, traditionellen republikanischen Linie nach dem Rücktritt von Donald Rumsfeld gewissermaßen als Aufpasser von George W. Bush geschickt worden. Daher war es kaum vorstellbar, daß Gates mit der Unterstützung eines Angriffs gegen Iran einen noch größeren Fehler machen würde als sein Vorgänger. Zudem hatte Gates gemeinsam mit Zbigniew Brzezinski, dem ehemaligen Sicherheitsberater von US-Präsident James Carter, Ende 2006 einen Bericht veröffentlicht, in dem wegen der gefährlichen und nicht absehbaren Folgen für die US-Interessen in der Region vor einem US-Angriff auf den Iran nachdrücklich gewarnt worden war.
    Natürlich – so wurde von Beobachtern argumentiert – hätte das Dementi der Bush-Führung auch ein Bluff sein können, um das Überraschungsmoment zu erhalten. Aber für einen gegen Iran gerichteten Bluff dieser Art gab es keinen Grund. Denn wegen des offensichtlichen US-Aufmarschs in der Region war Teheran sowieso gewarnt, und der mögliche taktische Vorteil eines Überraschungsangriffs war so bereits vergeben. Zudem hatte die Bush-Administration schon im Fall Irak den Krieg angekündigt und zu keinem Zeitpunkt ihre Angriffsabsichten dementiert.
    Wachsender Widerstand
    Es gab aber noch weitere Gründe, die gegen einen US-Krieg gegen Iran sprachen. So hatte die demokratische Mehrheit im US-Kongreß eine Bewegung in Gang gebracht, die Präsident Bush letztlich die Autorität für den »Krieg gegen den globalen Terror« entziehen soll. Zugleich haben die Demokraten Gesetze auf den Weg gebracht, auf deren Grundlage die Gelder für den Krieg in Irak gekürzt und der Abzug der US-Truppen erzwungen werden soll. Die Finanzierung eines neuen, vom Kongreß abgelehnten Krieges gegen Iran wäre somit sehr problematisch geworden.
    Von den vier US-amerikanischen Waffengattungen Luftwaffe, Marine, Bodentruppe und Marineinfanterie hatte sich Mitte 2006 nur die Luftwaffe für einen Krieg gegen Iran ausgesprochen. Alle anderen haben ihn als zu gefährlich abgelehnt. Insbesondere die Armee und die Marines fürchten als Bodentruppen im Kriegsfall in verlustreiche Kämpfe verwickelt zu werden. Mit ihren bereits jetzt überforderten Kräften wären sie dort mit einem Kriegsschauplatz konfrontiert, der zwanzigmal so groß und gefährlicher ist als derzeit das sogenannte Dreieck des Todes im sunnitisch dominierten Teil des Irak. Und außer der US-Luftwaffe vertraut niemand auf deren Fähigkeiten, einen Krieg allein aus der Luft zu gewinnen. Daher ist der Widerstand gegen einen Krieg gegen Iran in der militärischen Führungsspitze der USA sehr groß, nicht zuletzt, weil Iran eine Reihe von Möglichkeiten der asymmetrischen Kriegsführung zur Verfügung stehen, mit denen Teheran den US-Interessen in der Region nicht nur empfindlich schaden könnte, sondern auch schwere Opfer an US-Soldaten und Material abverlangen würde
    Widerstand gegen einen Angriff auf Iran gab es indes auch auf seiten aller europäischen Verbündeten Washingtons. Alle haben in der Vergangenheit eindeutig erklärt, daß sie gegen eine militärische Lösung des Konfliktes mit Iran sind. Zu einer Zeit, in der die Bush-Administration mehr denn je auf internationale, insbesondere europäische Unterstützung angewiesen ist, würde sie ein neuerlicher kriegerischer Alleingang weltweit vollständig isolieren. Zumal die katastrophalen Auswirkungen eines US-Angriffes für die Weltwirtschaft ausschließlich Washington zur Last gelegt würden.
    Wenn aber nach Lage der Dinge ein tatsächlicher Angriff gegen Iran ausgeschlossen scheint, warum hat Washington in der Region dann mit Flugzeugträgern und Battle Groups wiederholt eine gefährliche Drohkulisse aufgebaut? Das erste Mal geschah das im Oktober 2006 vor der ersten Entscheidung im UN-Sicherheitsrat, ob Sanktionen gegen Iran verhängt werden sollten. Auch der Aufbau der zweiten Drohkulisse im Februar 2007 fällt zeitlich mit den Vorbereitungen zur Abstimmung im UN-Sicherheitsrat über eine Verschärfung der Sanktionen gegen Iran zusammen. Daher liegt die Erklärung nahe, daß mit den Drohkulissen weniger die Iraner als die anderen Länder in dem Gremium beeinflußt werden sollten. Sie sollten – wie 2003 im Fall Irak geschehen – davon ausgehen, daß Washington wieder einen militärischen Alleingang unternähme, sollten sie den von den USA geforderten scharfen Sanktionen nicht zustimmen.
    In Teheran hat man die US-Drohkulissen im Golf als Teil von Washingtons psychologischer Kriegsführung gesehen. (...) Ob es sich bei der Drohkulisse, die von Israel aufgebaut wird, auch um psychologische Kriegsführung handelt, darüber (geben offizielle iranische Stellen – d. Red.) leider keine Auskunft. Nach ihrem verlorenen Krieg gegen die von Iran unterstützte Hisbollah im Libanon im Sommer 2006 drängen die Hardliner der Olmert-Regierung Washington mehr denn je zu einem Waffengang gegen Iran. Wiederholt hat Tel Aviv inzwischen auch mit einem Alleingang gegen die iranischen Atomanlagen gedroht. Dafür haben sowohl US-Präsident Bush als auch sein Vize Dick Cheney, einer Ermunterung gleich, stets öffentlich Verständnis gezeigt. Bereits Ende 2005 hat das Pentagon Israel 500 Spezialbomben geliefert, die tief in den Fels eindringen und unterirdische Bunkeranlagen zerstören können. Allerdings weiß bis heute niemand, wo genau am Ende von kilometerlangen Tunneln die iranischen Atomanlagen verbunkert sind. Zudem hat Teheran deutlich gemacht, daß es keinen Unterschied macht, ob es von israelischen oder von US-amerikanischen Flugzeugen und Raketen angegriffen wird. Iran würde auf jeden Fall zurückschlagen.
    Wehrhafter Iran - An dieser Stelle nun einige Worte über die Stärke der iranischen Streitkräfte und den Anteil Washingtons an deren ursprünglichem Aufbau. Bereits zu Beginn des Kalten Krieges hatten die USA Iran zu einem Bollwerk gegen die Sowjet­union aufgerüstet. In den Jahren 1947 bis 1965 erhielt Iran US-Militärhilfe in Höhe von 1,4 Milliarden US-Dollar geschenkt. Von 1965 bis 1969 lieferten die USA Waffen nur noch zu günstigen Krediten, und ab 1969 hatte man den Schah so weit, daß er den Ölreichtum des Landes für modernste Waffen aus den USA verschwendete und sogar das im Iran stationierte US-Militär mit fürstlichen Gehältern entlohnte.
    Die enormen Ölpreiserhöhungen von 1974 führten dazu, daß Teherans Waffenkäufe in den USA bis 1979 sprunghaft anstiegen. Insgesamt lieferten die USA nach eigenen Angaben bis 1979 Rüstungsgüter im Wert von 10,7 Milliarden Dollar, mit denen Iran zur stärksten Macht der Golfregion avancierte. Zugleich beherbergte Iran die größte US-Militärmission in der Welt, mit 1500 US-Soldaten und 45000 militärischen »US-Zivilisten«. Sie alle mußten nach Ayatollah Khomeinis islamischer Revolution 1979 fluchtartig das Land verlassen. Im April 1980 brach Washington die diplomatischen Beziehungen zu Teheran ab, womit auch die 1959 gegründete CENTO am Ende war, der »Zentrale Militärpakt« (Central Treaty Organisation), dem neben den USA und Großbritannien die Türkei, Pakistan und Iran angehörten.
    Bis heute haben die USA keine diplomatische Vertretung in Teheran. Mit dem Verlust Irans ging auch der Einfluß der USA in der Golfregion kontinuierlich zurück, bis dann 1991 der erste US-Krieg gegen Irak die Wende brachte. Mit dem zweiten Irak-Krieg im Jahr 2003 und der Besetzung des Landes hatten sich die US-Krieger im Irak eine ähnliche Entwicklung erhofft, wie sie zuvor im Iran in den Jahren vor 1979 stattgefunden hatte.
    Da die amerikanischen Waffensysteme im iranischen Arsenal lange Zeit dominierten, war die Abhängigkeit von US-Ersatzteilen und -Technikern enorm. Dadurch wurde das iranische Militär vom US-Embargo ab 1980 so schwer getroffen, daß es sich bis heute noch nicht voll erholt hat. Versuche, das US-Waffenembargo zu unterlaufen, gelangen nur teilweise. Interessant, daß ausgerechnet Israel immer wieder eine wichtige Rolle bei der Lieferung von militärischen US-Ersatzteilen an Iran gespielt hat.
    Aber selbst das Weiße Haus hat lange Jahre die rigorose Embargopolitik des eigenen Außenministeriums unterlaufen und über Israel 2008 moderne TOW-Panzerabwehrraketen und 235 Bausätze für Hawk-Luftabwehrraketen an Iran geliefert. Allerdings hat Teheran auch vom siegreichen Vietnam US-Ersatzteile gekauft. Aber all dies hat nicht ausgereicht, um die damals moderne, hochgezüchtete Armee des Schahs instandzuhalten. Notgedrungen setzte die Kannibalisierung der Waffensysteme ein, d. h. intakte Systeme wurden zu Ersatzteillieferanten für andere Systeme. Hinzu kamen die hohen Verlustraten im Irak-Iran-Krieg (1980–1988).
    Inzwischen aber hat Iran in eigener Regie eine ganze Palette zielgenauer ballistischer Kurz- und Mittelstreckenraketen den Streitkräften zugeführt, mit denen es die US-Basen und regionalen US-Kommandozentralen im ganzen Mittleren Osten, in Afghanistan und Irak, im Golf und in der Türkei erreichen kann. Damit nicht genug. Iran ist eines der wenigen Länder, das schwere Panzer baut. Auch in anderen Bereichen der militärischen Hochtechnologie hat das Land beachtliche Fortschritte gemacht. Neben eigenen Entwicklungen von tragbaren Panzer-Flugzeugabwehrraketen hat man auch in Rußland modernste Militärtechnologie gekauft, u.a. die hochentwickelten Thor-Flugabwehrsysteme, die inzwischen operationell sind und den potentiellen US-Angreifern einiges Kopfzerbrechen bereiten dürften.
    Asymmetrischer Krieg - Außerdem hat Teheran, wahrscheinlich mit Hilfe ehemaliger sowjetischer Wissenschaftler, superschnelle Torpedos und Land-See-Raketen in seinem Arsenal, vor denen selbst die US-Kriegsmarine im Persischen Golf Respekt hat.
    Trotz all dieser beachtlichen Fortschritte sind die iranischen Streitkräfte jedoch für das hochgerüstete Militär der US-Supermacht in einem konventionellen Krieg kein ebenbürtiger Gegner, obwohl Washington im Kriegsfall mit empfindlichen Verlusten rechnen müßte. Irans wahre militärische Stärke liegt jedoch bei seinen vielfältigen Möglichkeiten der asymmetrischen Kriegsführung, zumal die iranische Führung fest entschlossen ist, im Falle eines US-Angriffs »den Krieg ins Lager der Gegner zu tragen«, womit auch die Mobilisierung und Unterstützung des Widerstands gegen die US-Besatzer in Irak und Afghanistan gemeint sein dürfte.
    So ist man aus guten Gründen in Washington an einem Bodenkrieg im Iran nicht interessiert. Neokonservative Schreibtischstrategen wie Richard Perle argumentierten statt dessen, daß »eine Staffel von B-2-Bombern genügen würde, um in einer Nacht das iranische Problem aus dem Weg zu räumen«. Doch wenn es zum Angriff käme, dann wäre ein Landkrieg in Iran für die USA nicht zu vermeiden. Zu lang und unübersichtlich sind die Grenzen Irans mit Irak und Afghanistan, über die hinweg Teherans Einheiten immer wieder gegen US-Truppen operieren und diese nach und nach, mit verheerenden Konsequenzen, immer tiefer in den Iran hineinziehen würden.
    Zugleich hätte Iran die Möglichkeit, die Straße von Hormus zu schließen, über die der größte Teil des Golföls in die reichen Industrieländer des Westens und Japans gelangt. Zugleich würden die entlang der Küste tief im Fels versteckten Raketenbatterien eingesetzt werden, um den US-amerikanischen Schiffsverkehr lahmzulegen. Von den über sechshundert kleinen Häfen entlang der Küste könnten kleine Boote, mit superschnellen Torpedos ausgerüstet, Jagd auf US-Kriegsschiffe machen. Um diese Gefahr zu vermeiden, wären die USA gezwungen, mit Bodentruppen den Küstenstreifen zu erobern und zu besetzen, um ihn dauerhaft kontrollieren zu können. Wenn US-Truppen aber erst einmal auf iranischem Territorium sind, dann ist davon auszugehen, daß sie ständig von kleinen Gruppen aus der Tiefe des Landes angegriffen werden. Dagegen würden nur der Abzug oder die Ausweitung des Krieges und der weitere Vorstoß ins Landesinnere helfen. Um dies durchzustehen, müßte Washington jedoch zu Hause wieder die politisch inakzeptable allgemeine Wehrpflicht einführen, denn das Pentagon hat sich im Irak verausgabt und verfügt nicht mehr über genügend Soldaten für eine mittlere Militäraktion in einem anderen Land.
    Als eines der wichtigsten Mittel der asymmetrischen Abschreckung kann Iran zudem auf eine einfache, aber höchst effiziente Verteidigungswaffe zurückgreifen, die bereits der mächtigen Sowjetarmee in Afghanistan das Rückgrat gebrochen hat: die tragbare, von der Schulter abgefeuerte Flugabwehrrakete, im westlich-amerikanischen Militärjargon MANPAD genannt. Irans Arsenale sind mit modernen russischen MANPADS gefüllt, und seit kurzem stellt die iranische Rüstungsindustrie diese anscheinend auch selbst her. Wenn Iran seine Arsenale öffnet und den irakischen und afghanischen Widerstand mit Flugabwehrsystemen dieses Typs versorgt, dann ist es mit der auf Hubschrauber und tieffliegende Kampfjets gestützten militärischen Überlegenheit der US-Soldaten im Operationsgebiet schnell vorbei. Und dann kann der Widerstand seinen Vorteil ausspielen, nämlich seine lokalen Terrainkenntnisse, gepaart mit hoher Mobilität. Ein Alptraumszenario für jeden US-Strategen, der die Niederlage der Sowjetarmee in Afghanistan studiert hat.
    Vor diesem Hintergrund ist verständlich, daß die militärische Führung im Pentagon an einem Krieg mit Iran nicht interessiert ist. Für die Neokonservativen in und außerhalb der Bush-Administration wird inzwischen die Zeit knapp. Denn sie sind überzeugt, daß dieser Krieg nur noch möglich ist, solange Bush im Amt ist. Dabei sind sich die Neokonservativen durchaus des Schadens bewußt, den dieser Waffengang gegen Iran Amerika und dem Rest der Welt zufügen würde. Aber die Alternative dazu beschwören sie als noch schlimmer, denn – so ihr Argument – wenn in zehn Jahren Iran die Atombombe habe, dann können die USA nicht länger im Golf schalten und walten, wie sie wollen. Mit der US-Dominanz in der Region sei es dann ein für alle mal vorbei. Und das gleiche würde natürlich für Israel gelten, das sich nicht länger auf sein Atombombenmonopol stützen könnte, um die benachbarten Länder zu dominieren.
    Wenn dagegen jetzt – so das Kalkül der Hardliner in Washington – Krieg gegen Iran geführt und das Land in die Steinzeit zurückgebombt wird, dann wäre das zwar für Amerika verlustreich und würde weltweit zu einer Wirtschaftskrise führen, aber von allen Ländern der Welt seien die USA am besten in der Lage, die Verluste zu verwinden und die Krise zu meistern. Und in zehn Jahren wäre die Krise überwunden; die USA würden nicht nur den Golf, sondern den Größeren Mittleren Osten mehr denn je dominieren, und der Status von Israel als unangefochtener regionaler Supermacht wäre sicher wie nie zuvor. (SIEHE MEINE INFO ÜBER DAS „Greater Middle East Programm“ der USA  + Landkarte des „Greater Middle East“ - ANMERKUNG DR. SCHMIDT):
    * Rainer Rupp arbeitete vom Januar 1977 bis zu seiner Verhaftung im Juli 1993 als DDR-Kundschafter unter dem Decknamen "Topas" in der politischen Abteilung im Brüsseler Hauptquartier der NATO, wo er als hoher Beamter angestellt war.
  • U.S. warships in Strait of Hormuz violating Law of the Sea - 28/05/2007 - TEHRAN, (MNA) 
    “The deployment of three U.S. warships in the Persian Gulf has increased insecurity in the region,” former Iranian representative to the United Nations Disarmament Commission Ali Khorram said here on Monday. “The vessels that make a passage are not allowed to conduct coercive measures against any country or to undermine their sovereignty”, Khorram stated in a lecture entitled “The Legal Situation of the Passage of Warships through the Strait of Hormuz and Their Presence in the Persian Gulf and Their Effects on the Peace and Security in the Region” delivered at the seventeenth “Persian Gulf Security and International Law” conference.  Noting that the Persian Gulf is a completely demarcated and closed region, the political analyst said that the innocent passage of vessels is allowed granted that it does not threaten the security of coastal countries.Iran’s strategy should be cooperation with regional countries, he added, saying that any violation of Iranian territorial waters is also a violation of the territories of the United Arab Emirates, Oman, and other countries of the region.  Asserting that the U.S. warships in the Strait of Hormuz are violating the Third United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS III), he explained that the U.S. warships are passing through the water between Iranian islands and not international waters, and their passage is neither an innocent nor a transit passage.  Dr. Ahmad Jalinusi of Isfahan University also delivered a speech entitled “The Artificial Islands in the Persian Gulf”.  The Persian Gulf region has long been subject to various tensions, a significant proportion of which consist of territorial disputes, he stated.  “The fact that 65 percent of the world’s oil reserves are located in this region doubles the importance of such matters,” he added.  Pointing to the territorial disputes between Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and the UAE, he said that Iran-UAE relations have been tense for a while due to the UAE’s claims of sovereignty over three Iranian islands.  “The construction of artificial islands in the Persian Gulf might turn into a threatening matter for regional nations,” he observed, adding that Iran should seriously object to this and prevent the implementation of the United Arab Emirates’ new projects. 

  • The fire next time - The United States's response to its problems in Iraq and Afghanistan could escalate into an Iran-centred regional crisis.  By Paul Rogers - 24/05/2007 (Paul Rogers is professor of peace studies at Bradford University, northern England. He has been writing a weekly column on global security on openDemocracy since 26 September 2001.) 
    The extent of the United States predicament across the Middle East, and the policies being introduced to meet it, is increasing the risk of a crisis with Iran. The nature of the predicament is reflected in the decision to send additional military personnel to Afghanistan as well as Iraq, and in new priorities for equipment geared to counterinsurgency. After the current additional deployment of troops, US forces in Afghanistan will exceed 25,500, at least 7,000 more than in 2005. Many of these form part of the 34,000-strong International Security Assistance Force (Isaf) force under Nato control, but others operate independently, meaning that total foreign forces in the country now exceed 40,000 (see "Troops Keep Comin' to Afghanistan", AFP, 10 May 2007). In Iraq, too, it is now clear that the "surge" of the past three months is set to last for up to a year, rather than the six months originally anticipated (see "Iraq's cloudy horizon", 10 May 2007). Current plans are likely to result in combat-troop numbers rising to 98,000 by the end of 2007. Adding in the support troops, the overall total is expected to rise from the 162,000 now in Iraq to over 200,000 by January 2008 (see Stewart M Powell, "U.S. quietly, dramatically increasing Iraq troop levels" Seattle-Post Intelligencer, 22 May 2007). The result will be by far the largest US troop deployment in Iraq since the start of the war in 2003, and comes at a time when National Public Radio is reporting Pentagon plans to maintain up to 40,000 troops in Iraq for many years - possibly several decades.

     

     


     

A Baghdad fortress 

Such a prognosis is certainly supported by the construction of the world's largest diplomatic building, the $592-million US embassy in Baghdad's green-zone, now nearing completion. Part of the huge cost of the 21-building complex on its 104-acre compound is due to the need for it to be self-sustaining in terms of energy use, but much of it is due also to the need to provide protection from mortar and rocket fire. To this end, the embassy includes secure compartments for over 600 people (see Anne Gearan, "US Embassy in Iraq to be the Biggest Ever", AP, 19 May 2007).


The compound, about the size of the Vatican, is the biggest U.S. embassy on earth.

A clear sign of the current strain in Iraq is the rise in the number of detainees. In the first two months of the surge the numbers of suspected insurgents in US custody in Iraq went up by 3,000 to 19,500, with an even larger increase in those held in Iraqi prisons, camps, police stations. The overall figure is nearing 40,000 (see Joshua Partlow, "New Detainees Strain Iraq's Jails", Washington Post, 15 May 2007). Furthermore, there are signs that sectarian killings - whose reduction is one of the main aims of the surge - are again increasing (see Sudarsan Raghavan, "Morgue Data Show Increase in Sectarian Killings in Iraq", Washington Post, 24 May 2007). The situation in Iraq and Afghanistan alike is illustrated too by the changing military priorities of the US armed forces. The most urgent requirement for the US air force is not a new bomber or fighter but a new combat-rescue helicopter, because of the urgent need to be able to evacuate the hundreds of troops being wounded every month on the battlefield. For the army, the urgent requirement is for new ambush-resistant vehicles. The key programme here is the mine-resistant, ambush-protected (MRAP) vehicle, first deployed in Afghanistan in 2003 and in Iraq in 2004. The US military in Iraq has wanted as many as 2,500 of these vehicles for a year or more but the intensity of the insurgency and the experience of persistent ambushes have transformed the requirement; the number requested has risen seven-fold in a few months to 17,770, all to be supplied to the army within the next two years, with another 3,700 for the marines. The total cost will be well in excess of $20 billion.
The Iran plan
Over all these developments looms the political timetable in Washington, with the incipient campaign for the 2008 presidential election already affecting policy. The most substantial change here is a sudden increase in tension with Iran stemming from developments in both countries. The Tehran administration is pointedly failing to comply with the relatively modest requirements of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspections. The expiry on 23 May of the latest (two-month-long) UN Security Council deadline has been met by Tehran's determination to speed up the rate of uranium enrichment, even at the cost of less cooperation with the IAEA. The latest report from the agency says that the "level of knowledge of certain aspects of Iran's nuclear-related activities has deteriorated" (see Karen de Young, "Iranian Defiance of U.N. Detailed", Washington Post, 24 May 2007). A further issue, not much publicised in Europe, is the continuing detention of the American/Iranian scholar Haleh Esfandiari, a well regarded academic and director of the Middle East Program at the Smithsonian's Woodrow Wilson Center for Scholars (see Rasool Nafisi, "Haleh Esfandiari: Iran's cultural prison", 17 May 2007). She has now been charged with crimes against national security and may be defended by 2003 Nobel peace laureate, Shirin Ebadi. Haleh Esfandiari's detention has provoked a sense of anger in Washington that is not restricted to the traditional political right. Moreover, it can be guaranteed to bring back memories of the 1979-81 American hostage crisis. If the Ahmadinejad regime seems happy to play it hard, the same is certainly true of Washington. Renewed calls for military action have come from predictable voices such as John Bolton and Norman Podhoretz; though the latter's Commentary essay is intransigent even by his standards (see "The Case for Bombing Iran", Commentary, June 2007).
In any case, this kind of rhetoric is being matched by three further developments. 
The first is the reported presidential approval of covert operations against Iranian financial interests by the CIA (see Brian Ross and Richard Esposito, "Bush Authorizes New Covert Action Against Iran", ABC News, 22 May 2007).
The second is the welter of claims about increased Iranian interference in Iraq, possibly involving a sudden surge in such activity in an attempt to bring chaos to US security operations. Iran may well possess the capability to do this, even though there is little evidence of any current increase in interference, and independent analysts question the extent of Iranian involvement (see the report by Jacob Halpin for the British American Security Information Council). These doubts notwithstanding, there is evidence of widespread briefings of journalists about the imminent Iranian threat (see Simon Tisdall, "Tehran's secret plan", Guardian Weekly, 25 May 2007).
The third development is that the US navy has moved two complete aircraft-carrier battle-groups from the Arabian Sea through the Straits of Hormuz into the Persian Gulf. Nine warships and 17,000 personnel, together with around 140 aircraft on the two carriers, moved through the straits on 23 May in a very unusual high-profile daytime passage. They will stay in the Gulf for several weeks conducting exercises; these will include an amphibious landing by 2,200 marines in Kuwait, apparently simulating a response to a natural disaster (see Mohammed Abbas, "Nine Warships Enter Gulf in Show of Force", Reuters, 23 May 2007).
Be prepared
To sum up: the US position in Iraq is in trouble, with the surge failing so far to deliver the expected results and a further expansion therefore planned; reinforcements have had to be sent to Afghanistan; meanwhile, the Iranian government is being particularly forceful and US naval forces have moved into close proximity to Iran in the Persian Gulf (see "The Persian Gulf: a war of position", 8 February 2007). These circumstances will not necessarily result in a tipping-point on the other side of which is war, but at a time of pre-existing tension which they in turn reinforce they do present particular dangers. These are the circumstances in which there is a risk of unexpected events developing rapidly into confrontation, even where the latter is not the intended result. That is the situation the region and the world now faces, and there is little indication that it will ease in the coming weeks.

  • Twenty Reasons against Sanctions and Military Intervention in Iran  -  06/05/2007 -  CASMII   INTRODUCTION  After four years since the US-UK led illegal invasion of Iraq, which has brought the ongoing catastrophe for Iraqi people, all peace loving people and antiwar organizations in the world are appalled by the current Iran-US standoff that has a shocking resemblance to the run-up to the invasion of Iraq. The same neo-conservatives and hawks, headed by Dick Cheney in Washington, who championed the cause of invasion of Iraq, are now shamelessly calling for a military attack on Iran. The same Israeli lobby which pushed for the invasion of Iraq, is now pushing for a military attack on Iran. The same strategy of lies and distortions which was used to dupe the international community and soften it up for the invasion of Iraq, is again used to pave the way for another illegal pre-emptive war of aggression against Iran. As in the case of Iraq, the UN Security Council Resolutions against Iran, obtained by massive US pressure and coercion, would provide a veneer of legitimacy for such an attack.  Contrary to the myth created by the western media, it is not Iran, but the US and its European allies which are defying the overwhelming majority of the international community, in that, they have resisted the call to enter into direct, immediate and comprehensive negotiations with Iran without any pre-conditions. The US and its European allies show their lack of good faith in a diplomatic solution to the standoff by demanding that Iran concede the main point of negotiations, namely, suspension of enrichment of uranium which is Iran’s legitimate right under the Non-Proliferation Treaty, before the negotiations actually start.  Here, we examine and debunk the common myths and charges against Iran and provide a list of twenty reasons to oppose sanctions and military intervention in Iran. The Campaign Against Sanctions and Military Intervention in Iran (CASMII) calls for immediate and direct negotiations between the US and Iran without any pre-conditions in order to avert a new even more horrifying catastrophe in the Middle East. Click [here] to download the full paper in PDF format
  • Russia wants Iran to become more predictable - 26/04/2007 -  RIA Novosti - political commentator Pyotr Goncharov - Russian-Iranian relations are on the verge of a crisis, and not at all because of the problems with the construction of the Bushehr nuclear power plant, for which Moscow and Tehran are blaming each other. This is rather a consequence. The reasons behind a cool-off are different. Moscow has considerably hardened its stand on the Iranian nuclear program in the UN Security Council. It has backed a resolution on tougher sanctions against Iran in response to its refusal to stop all uranium enrichment efforts. Judging by Tehran's reaction, it did not expect Moscow to take this step despite its continuous appeals to satisfy the Security Council demands and return to the negotiating table. How will the imminent crisis affect Russian-Iranian relations? These relations are only discussed in the context of bilateral geopolitical interests and regional cooperation. It is the character of these contacts based on identical interests and mutual dependence that allows Tehran to talk about Russia and Iran as "strategic allies." Moscow is more reserved and prefers to speak about regional "strategic partnership." Historically, Russia and Iran have been good neighbors and supported each other in the Caucasus, the Caspian region and Central Asia. Their interests in these regions do not clash but supplement each other. Here is an eloquent example. In recent time, Iran has substantially escalated its economic expansion in Central Asia. Russia welcomes this process in its traditional sphere of interests. Unable to fully implement its interests in the whole region, Russia hopes that Iran's growing presence will keep the United States, Turkey and China away from Central Asia. Identity of interests is particularly striking against the background of the U. S. attempts to carry out a Greater Central Asia Partnership for Cooperation and Development (GCAP). Washington has included Afghanistan and Pakistan to Central Asia's traditional states of Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan. Whether the United States and Europe want it or not, but this partnership is bound to oust Russia from the region in the foreseeable future. The authors of the project want trade and various economic projects to move southward and create an alternative to Russia's monopoly on the exports of hydrocarbons, electricity, cotton, etc. Thus, Iran, which has fallen from U.S. grace, is again becoming Russia's ally in Afghanistan. As regards the Caspian region, Iran is the only nation that fully shares Russia's position on the Caspian Sea's international status, which completely rules out the presence of any non-regional countries in the area. Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan hold a different position on this main issue. Other Caspian questions are not that important. The two countries pursue the same policy in the Caucasus. Iran played a special role presiding over the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) at a time when the Kremlin's policy in Chechnya was in the worst crisis. It was largely under Iran's pressure that the OIC reluctantly agreed that Chechnya was Russia's domestic issue. It would be surprising if Iran, a country with such a population, resources and history, was not trying to occupy a befitting place in the region, a place reflecting its political weight and potential. Iran's ambitions are quite understandable, as well as its desire to turn from a passive onlooker into a key regional player. While actively backing Iran's involvement in the resolution of regional problems, Moscow does not support expansion of strategic partnership to the entire Middle East, as Tehran would like to see it. It is hard to imagine the circumstances that would compel Moscow to support this. Russia would like Tehran to conduct a more reasonable policy that would suit better the Arab nations. Now Moscow should decide what it values more in its policy towards Iran in the near future. On the one hand, Moscow is vitally interested in a "strategic partnership" with Iran in Central Asia, the Caucasus and the Caspian region; on the other, there is a real threat to the nuclear non-proliferation regime, and the emergence of a nuclear Iran, which would lead to a confrontation with the United States and Arab nations in the Middle East. Most analysts believe that for all the obvious allied potential of the two countries, a more moderate and predictable Iran would be a better partner for Russia. The opinions expressed in this article are the author's and do not necessarily represent those of RIA Novosti.
  • Russian Roulette and the War on Iran: Ulterior Motives of a Potential Iran War Profiteer— and Its Risks. (21/04/2007) By Ali Fathollah-Nejad - Global Research
    A war on Iran would be catastrophic. That is certainly not a far-fetched estimation expressed by Russia’s Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov, on April 11. But Moscow’s former Defense Minister is not the only one in his country suggesting an imminent U.S. nuclear strike on Iran as the scenery for war has already been set. Announcements made by leading Russian political and military officials as well as experts and commentators during the last days on the high probability of an American assault on Iran are, besides being disturbing for Western ears, perfectly reflecting the highly critical crossroads we are currently at. But is that ‘talk of war’ made in the noble intention to prevent our world from a terrible, almost unique, disaster—or are their tangible interests behind that? 
    Signs of a Russian Turnaround? It is general belief that Iran and Russia form a stable strategic alliance predominantly directed against U.S. global influence. Despite UN sanctions put upon Tehran, Moscow insisted on continuing cooperation with that country, especially in the much-disputed nuclear area. In January 1995, Iran signed an $800 million contract with the Russian Ministry of Atomic Energy (MinAtom) to complete nuclear reactors at its Bushehr power-plant under IAEA safeguards. While the reactor’s completion was scheduled for July 1999, countless postponements have fixed the finalizing date to the end of this year. But despite comprehensible frustration from the Iranian side as to this issue, efforts directed at maintaining the Russo-Iranian partnership are have not broken off. While Moscow was the only major global power condemning the kidnapping of Iranian diplomats early this year in Northern Iraq, it sharpened the tone as it considered Iran’s seizure of British spies and its subsequent pursuit of its nuclear research activities despite the latest Security Council resolution a ‘provocation.’ A major commentator from Russia’s state news agency, RIA Novosti, even concluded that it is Iran that is ‘provoking’ a war. A couple of days later, the same praises to the skies Tehran’s adroit release of London’s soldiers, thus preventing a possible U.S. attack on April 6. Moscow’s state-run news agency was also the very first one to report the immediate danger of a U.S. nuclear assault on Iran for this month. But in recent days, it seems to backpedal while citing sources assessing an American strike on Iran is not going to happen. But what can we conclude from this potpourri of messages and reports echoing from Moscow? Russia’s Secret Desires -  A lot of evidence points to the fact that in the case of an Iran War, Russia is most probably the only strategic beneficiary of such a scenario. Of course, the United States’ decisive hold on the world’s fossil energy center is destined to provide it with the most powerful strategic leverage enabling Washington to prolong its global supremacy. But assuming the continuity of the neoconservatives’ false—if not amateurish—calculations of the outcomes of their foreign policy initiatives and the evanescent probability of the U.S. remaining the master of an unpredictable situation of a Middle East going up in flames, the profiteer of such a bloody quagmire can be sought elsewhere. The world’s great powers—i.e. the European Union, India, China, and Japan—have nothing to gain, but much to loose from a war on Iran, as all-time record oil prices will blatantly undermine their highly oil-dependent economies. But Russia, an important oil-producing nation itself, would not be disinclined when such a case turns real. Being a major energy supplier for China and Europe, Moscow disposes one-fourth of the world’s proved reserves of natural gas (before Iran and Qatar) and six percent of petroleum. Therefore Russia’s role as an indispensable energy supplier will be strengthened as a result of war, moreover benefitting from increased world market prices for both petroleum and gas. What is more, the recent Russian sales of military defense systems to Iran, in particular, 29 TOR-M1 surface-to-air missiles for alleged $700 million to $1 billion as well as Russian Navy torpedoes of the type VA-111 Shkval (’Squall’), should enable Tehran to considerably harm the U.S. when attacked—an outcome much desired by Moscow as it would revive its superpower ambitions. And also during the war, Russia could speed up its military exports to the Middle East. The recent UN arms embargo on Iran could hardly prevent its military industry from huge war-time profits. Besides these multi-billion dollar businesses, Moscow can speculate about a geostrategic gain of tremendous proportions. As it can be expected, an Iran War will considerably weaken the aggressed (as a regional great power), but also the aggressor (as the global superpower). The power vacuum then produced in the whole Middle East region would be gladly filled by Russia. Thus it could gain highly significant terrain in the much-disputed Eurasian grand chessboard and pay back the geostrategic losses it had to suffer in its ‘immediate neighborhood’—i.e. Central Asia—in the wake of 9/11 through heavy U.S. militarization of former Soviet nations. 
    Risky Roulette - But all this does not mean that Russia will be able to occupy a calm seat while making major economic and strategic gains from such a grueling fight. As an all-out war is highly probable, Russia could hardly remain for a long time a mere observer of a theater of war erupting at its Southern flank. As Caspian Sea abutters (above all, Azerbaijan and Georgia) might be roped in a war as they harbor U.S. military bases from where strikes could be carried out, amalgamation with other regional security issues in that geostrategically indispensable part of the world involving Russia cannot be ruled out. In this light, Russia’s interests in Transcaucasia and Central Asia can be jeopardized by U.S. military actions emanating from there. There are signs that American allies will get the green light to go for their interests in the region, which are predominantly in contrast to Russian ones. Washington, along with NATO, might seize the opportunity to further reduce Russian influence in that region—a momentous blow to Moscow’s global status. Briefly put, the enormous destabilizing effects from an Iran War are not expected to halt on Iran’s Northern borders. With Tehran under assault, Moscow will miss a reliable and stable status-quo power on its Southern flank. The global consequences of an Iran War will not exclude Russia. Moscow, too, will lose a promising power to cooperate with in all perceivable economic fields and further pave the way for extinguishing the unipolar world order. The ambitious plan to create a gas cartel—unthinkable without the participation of the Persian Gulf countries including Iran, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates (who express opposition to a ‘military option’ against Iran realizing that they, too, might be targeted)— will also be harmed. While it is true that Moscow does not wish a nuclear Iran, the prospect of a total U.S. control over that region is more dangerous for its interests in Eurasia. As Russia’s leading strategic thinker, General Leonid Ivashov, holds, "it is hard to imagine a quiet heaven where one might hide from the coming doom." The far-ranging consequences of an Iran War cannot be calculated, therefore there are good reasons for Moscow not to surrender to the blurred dream to come off as sole winner. It is clear that by waging a nuclear war on Iran, Washington will bear in mind its overall strategic goal to avoid any global rival, of course paying special attention to the Eurasian heavyweight Russia. And it has every means to do that, as its military is well anchored in parts critical to Moscow. After all, it remains to Russia’s strategic reflections whether to engage with or distance itself from Iran. The latter, coupled with the belief that war profits will exceed peace-time opportunities, can decisively lower the international hurdle to wage a war on Iran. However, one certitude remains: "After the very first nuclear blast, mankind will find itself in an entirely new world, an absolutely inhumane one." (L. Ivashov) Ali Fathollah-Nejad is researcher of the Middle East based in Germany. He is the author of a detailed study on the Iran crisis entitled Iran in the Eye of Storm – Why a Global War Has Begun (pdf). ali_fna@yahoo.de

  • Notes
    1 Goncharov, Pyotr (2007), “Should Iran rush into war?,” RIA Novosti, March 28. URL
    2 Goncharov, Pyotr (2007), “Bravo, Iran!”, RIA Novosti, April 6. URL
    3 See e.g. http://en.rian.ru/world/20070330/62861432.html.
    4 BP (2006), Statistical Review of World Energy 2006, June:  http://www.bp.com/liveassets/bp_internet/globalbp/globalbp_uk_english/reports_and_publications/statistical_energy_review_2006/
    STAGING/local_assets/downloads/pdf/statistical_review_of_world_energy_full_report_2006.pdf 
    5 Russian President Putin expects $7.5 million from military exports for the next year. In 2006, his country made arms sales worth of $6 million with India and China being its top customers. (Deutschlandfunk, April 20, 2007)
    6 ABDOLVAND, Behrooz & Feyzi Shandi, Nima (2007), “Iran: Das nächste Vietnam,” Blätter für deutsche und internationale Politik, No. 04/2007, pp. 389-392.
    7 Cf. Areshev, Andrei (2007), “US Blows Up Caucasus,” Strategic Culture Foundation online magazine, April 3. http://en.fondsk.ru/article.php?id=655
    8 Cf. Tomberg, Igor (2007), “Gas Cartel: A De-facto Establishment,“ Strategic Culture Foundation online magazine, April 14.  http://en.fondsk.ru/article.php?id=672
    9 RIA Novosti (2007), “Qatar strongly opposes war against Iran – foreign minister,” April 12. http://en.rian.ru/world/20070412/63512273.html
    10 Adomeit, Hannes (2007), Russlands Iran-Politik unter Putin, SWP-Studie 2007/S 08 (Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik – German Institute for International and Security Affairs, Berlin), April, 44 pages.
    11 Ivashov, Leonid (2007), “Iran: the Threat of a Nuclear War,” Strategic Culture Foundation online magazine, March 30. http://en.fondsk.ru/article.php?id=647
  • Nuclear Power Will Not Play Major Near-Term Role in Countering Climate Change, Concludes New Council Report. (18/04/2007) By Charles D. Ferguson, Fellow for Science and Technology  -  Council on Foreign Relations  
    Nuclear energy is unlikely to play a major role in the coming decades in countering the harmful effects of climate change or in strengthening energy security, concludes a new Council Special Report authored by Charles D. Ferguson, Council fellow for science and technology. To significantly combat climate change in the near term, the “nuclear industry would have to expand at such a rapid rate as to pose serious concerns for how the industry would ensure an adequate supply of reasonably inexpensive reactor-grade construction materials, well-trained technicians, and rigorous safety and security measures,” says the report. There are currently 103 nuclear reactors operating in the United States. Even with twenty-year extensions of their planned lifespan, all existing reactors will likely need to be decommissioned by the middle of the century. To replace them, the United States would have to build a new reactor every four to five months over the next forty years. “However, based on the past thirty years, in which reactor orders and construction ground to a halt, this replacement rate faces daunting challenges. For this reason alone, nuclear energy is not a major part of the solution to U.S. energyinsecurity for at least the next fifty years,” says the report, Nuclear Energy: Balancing Benefits and Risks.
    Ferguson also argues against the United States increasing funding and subsidies for nuclear energy. While it is true that nuclear energy emits fewer greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, the conventional wisdom “oversells the contribution nuclear energy can make to reduce global warming and strengthen energy security while downplaying the dangers associated with this energy source,” he says. 
    The report further warns that “the United States and its partners face the daunting challenge of preventing the diversion of nuclear explosive materials into weapons programs and controlling the spread of potentially dangerous nuclear fuel-making technologies and materials.” Nuclear waste is a particular cause for concern. “If nuclear power production expands substantially in the coming decades, the amount of waste requiring safe and secure disposal will also significantly increase,” says Ferguson, noting that “no country has begun to store waste from commercial power plants in permanent repositories.” 
    Nonetheless, because “nuclear energy produces one-fifth of U.S. electricity and one-sixth of global electricity…the United States and its partners have a vested interest in ensuring safe and secure operation of the world’s nuclear industry,” says the report. Ferguson outlines steps the United States could take to level the economic playing field for all energy sectors, which, over the long run, would encourage the construction of new nuclear reactors (if only to replace existing ones that will need to be retired) and help reduce global warming. Among the recommendations: 
        * “The United States should impose a fee on greenhouse gas emissions to leverage market forces in order to counter global warming.”
        * “Industry should devote adequate resources to cover safety and security costs.”
        * “To complement the safety assessments done by the World Association of Nuclear Operators, the nuclear industry in all advanced countries should set up a fund that would support developing best regulatory practices for both safety and security in all countries that use or want to use nuclear power.”
       * “To further improve security, the nuclear industry should transfer as much spent fuel as possible into dry storage casks that are hardened against attack while the United States moves forward with development of a permanent nuclear waste repository.”
    Internationally, “the United States should work with partner governments to develop and implement rules that would apply equally to all countries and, thus, would move toward a less discriminatory nonproliferation system.” Such rules could include: 
       * “Requiring any country in noncompliance with safeguards commitments to suspend suspect activities until the problem is resolved.”
        * “Encouraging any country seeking a nuclear fuel facility to consider the economic soundness of this activity before building the facility. An economic test would be whether the proposed nuclear project could secure financing by private capital.
        * “Urging any country wanting to develop nuclear power programs to factor in all environmental, safety, and security costs as compared to other energy sources; to support these assessments, the IAEA and the International Energy Agency could work together to provide comprehensive energy analysis for any country, including all costs for each energy source.”
        * “Offering assured access to nuclear fuel based on competitive market prices as long as a country meets rigorous safeguards criteria and can secure private financial support for its civilian nuclear program.”
    The report was produced in partnership with Washington and Lee University and was funded, in part, by generous support of the Lenfest Foundation. Additional funding was provided by the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the Richard Lounsbery Foundation, and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. 
    Nuclear Energy - Balancing Benefits and Risks. Report by  Charles D. Ferguson, Fellow for Science and Technology - Council on Foreign Relations (April 2007) 56 pages - ISBN 978-0-87609-400-6 (0-87609-400-0)  - Council Special Report No. 28  DOWNLOAD THE FULL REPORT HERE (270K PDF)

  • Strange victory. By Rageh Omaar- NewStatesman - (16/04/2007)   The original gamble was born of weakness. But thanks to British errors, Iran has got more than it was hoping for. It has been the strangest and most unexpected of victories for Iran. The abduction of the 15 British sailors began as a gamble brought on by desperation. In February, two US battle groups had taken up position in the Persian Gulf. President Bush's "troop surge" was under way, its aim to pacify Baghdad and undercut political groups and militias supported by Tehran. Then US forces pounced on two Iranian diplomats while they were on an official visit to Iraqi Kurdistan as guests of local politicians. Although this attempt failed, five other Iranian diplomats had been seized the previous month in Erbil. Even the protests of the Iraqi president, Jalal Talabani, had little effect. Iran looked weak. Its image as the power-broker in Iraq and across the region was being challenged.  The Iranians had no bargaining chips. So they went out and grabbed some, in the form of the British sailors. Two weeks later, as the naval personnel were released, what was the result? Iran had won a globally televised propaganda battle, an apparent superiority enhanced by the unedifying spectacle of the sailors selling their stories to the press. Britain had been isolated in its attempts to persuade the United Nations to condemn Tehran's actions. A surprise diplomatic dividend for Tehran was the divisions exposed between London and Washington over the handling of the crisis.  In the first week of the drama, Tony Blair had one of his characteristic rushes of blood and assumed that the Iranian regime could be intimidated into giving up its adventure if he gave it a bit of megaphone diplomacy, spiced with statements of shock and outrage. The Foreign Office quickly realised this was getting nowhere and that it had no option other than the one offered by Tehran - quiet diplomacy between equals, rather than Blair's method of master shouting at subordinate. But the United States, as has so often been the case with its policy towards Iraq and Iran, had its own agenda. In a move that showed not only a different outlook, but also an indifference to their allies, US military commanders in the Gulf said that if American sailors had been seized by the Iranians, they would have fought back.  The impact in the Gulf among oil-rich Arab monarchies has been disastrous. These vulnerable but important allies are dependent on the military strength of the UK and the US and the diplomatic credibility of their western protectors. States such as Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain (all of which have pol itically restive Shia populations) have watched in alarm since the Iraq invasion as the demise of US authority in the region takes place simultaneously with the rise of Iranian influence. Now Britain, too, has been made to look weak and ineffective.  In the eyes of Gulf monarchies, having warships sailing up and down Iran's coastline is one thing, but having the diplomatic credibility to back up that force is quite another. Although the Royal Navy says the unannounced searches in the Gulf of boats suspected of smuggling will continue, I doubt they will. The marines will go through the motions, and who can blame them? Is the navy really going to risk a rerun of the crisis, knowing that next time Tehran is unlikely to be so magnanimous? Again, to a regional audience, this looks like Britain being brought down a peg or two.  The public reaction in many of the Gulf states has been different from the private but frank comments made by Gulf officials to western journalists. Fear and resentment of the growing power of Persian Iran is a sentiment that Arab rulers feel far more acutely than Arab citizens. Like it or not, Hamas and Hezbollah have widespread support among ordinary people in the Arab world, and the only country that is aiding these organisations is Iran. This, more than any other factor, is what gives Tehran support in the Arab street ahead of most Arab governments.  As a result, considerable parts of public opinion in the Gulf and the rest of the Arab world view Iran as having been unfairly bullied in its own backyard by British and American warships, UK and US troops aggressively boarding ships in the Persian Gulf and humiliating a regional power. For that same reason, these people saw the seizure of the British sailors as the west getting a dose of its own medicine. This matters, because once again, as happened last year during the war between Israel, Lebanon and Hezbollah, Iran has widened and exploited the difference in sentiment between the Arab street and Arab rulers.  The crisis need not have ended this way. That it did must be explained in part by a fundamental misreading in Britain of Iranian politics. UK policy-makers work from the clichéd assumption that Iran is run by its maverick president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. In the British press, the entire Iranian state is personified in Ahmadinejad. This both frustrates and amuses Iranian commentators and politicians (especially those vehemently opposed to the president).  In this sense, Ahmadinejad has become a very useful foil for the men who really control Iran: the National Security Council, which is presided over by the Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and the secretary to the council, Ali Larijani, Iran's chief negotiator in all key areas, including nuclear talks. It was Larijani who led negotiations with the UK over the abducted sailors. The diplomatic communiqué sent to Blair and to Margaret Beckett, the Foreign Secretary, was from him, not Ahmadinejad. But the Iranian president is nothing if not a born performer and he provides good copy for journalists, which is why the only time we heard from him during the entire affair was at the very end, when he held the press conference to announce the sailors' release. This essential failure of British analysis has played into Tehran's hands. The irony is that this latest incident bolstered Ahmadinejad's position just at a time when economic failings had severely dented his popularity at home. This feat was something that many of his fierce critics in Iran's parliament had thought impossible. Perfidious Albion - As a British citizen, I find it impossible not to be struck by how deep and abiding is Britain's historical image as a duplicitous power eager to exploit Iran. One of the defining moments of Iranian modern history is the overthrow of the democratically elected secular leader Muhammed Mossadeq in a CIA-backed coup in 1953. What every Iranian is still taught and remembers, however, is that the coup was conceived and driven by the UK, which dragged the United States into the plan as a way of protecting Britain's oil assets in the country. Today, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad struts the stage, knowing that in the eyes of his people he has taught the old enemy, Perfidious Albion, a lesson.  The Iranian government entered into this crisis hoping at best for the eventual release of its junior diplomats from US custody. Instead, it has emerged with a string of benefits - greater prestige in the region than it has enjoyed for years; victory for the principle that it is better to negotiate than to threaten; divisions at the UN, and differences between the UK and the US. Part of this is a natural reflection of Iran's true influence in the Middle East, but it is also the product of Blair's mistaken approach to Tehran. The result? Now that Iran has claimed it can produce nuclear fuel on an industrial scale, I wonder who will be looking forward more to the next round of negotiations: Tehran or London.

  • Iran may be the greatest crisis of modern times- (14/04/2007) - - PressTV -  By John Pilger 
    The Israeli journalist Amira Hass describes the moment her mother, Hannah, was marched from a cattle train to the Nazi concentration camp at Bergen-Belsen. "They were sick and some were dying," she says. "Then my mother saw these German women looking at the prisoners, just looking. This image became very formative in my upbringing, this despicable ‘looking from the side'." It is time we in Britain and other Western countries stopped looking from the side. We are being led towards perhaps the most serious crisis in modern history as the Bush-Cheney-Blair "long war" edges closer to Iran for no reason other than that nation's independence from rapacious America. The safe delivery of the 15 British sailors into the hands of Rupert Murdoch and his rivals (with tales of their "ordeal" almost certainly authored by the Ministry of Defense – until it got the wind up) is both a farce and a distraction. The Bush administration, in secret connivance with Blair, has spent four years preparing for "Operation Iranian Freedom." Forty-five cruise missiles are primed to strike. According to Russia's leading strategic thinker General Leonid Ivashov: "Nuclear facilities will be secondary targets... at least 20 such facilities need to be destroyed. Combat nuclear weapons may be used. This will result in the radioactive contamination of all the Iranian territory, and beyond." One million Iraqis fill the streets of Najaf demanding that Bush and Blair get out of their homeland – that is the real news: not our nabbed sailor-spies, nor the political danse macabre of the pretenders to Blair's Duce delusions. Whether it is treasurer Gordon Brown, the paymaster of the Iraq bloodbath, or John Reid, who sent British troops to pointless deaths in Afghanistan, or any of the others who sat through cabinet meetings knowing that Blair and his acolytes were lying through their teeth, only mutual distrust separates them now. They knew about Blair's plotting with Bush. They knew about the fake 45-minute "warning." They knew about the fitting up of Iran as the next "enemy." Declared Brown to the Daily Mail: "The days of Britain having to apologize for its colonial history are over. We should celebrate much of our past rather than apologize for it." In Late Victorian Holocausts, the historian Mike Davis documents that as many as 21 million Indians died unnecessarily in famines criminally imposed by British colonial policies. Moreover, since the formal demise of that glorious imperium, declassified files make it clear that British governments have borne "significant responsibility" for the direct or indirect deaths of between 8.6 million and 13.5 million people throughout the world from military interventions and at the hands of regimes strongly supported by Britain. The historian Mark Curtis calls these victims "unpeople." Rejoice! said Margaret Thatcher. Celebrate! says Brown. Spot the difference. Brown is no different from Hillary Clinton, John Edwards and the other warmongering Democrats he admires and who support an unprovoked attack on Iran and the subjugation of the Middle East to "our interests" – and Israel's, of course. Nothing has changed since the US and Britain destroyed Iran's democratic government in 1953 and installed Reza Shah Pahlavi, whose regime had "the highest rate of death penalties in the world, no valid system of civilian courts and a history of torture" that was "beyond belief" (Amnesty International). Look behind the one-way moral screen and you will distinguish the Blairite elite by its loathing of the humane principles that mark a real democracy. They used to be discreet about this, but no more. Two examples spring to mind. In 2004, Blair used the secretive "royal prerogative" to overturn a high court judgment that had restored the very principle of human rights set out in Magna Carta to the people of the Chagos Islands, a British colony in the Indian Ocean. There was no debate. As ruthless as any dictator, Blair dealt his coup de grâce with the lawless expulsion of the islanders from their homeland, now a US military base, from which Bush has bombed Iraq and Afghanistan and will bomb Iran. In the second example, only the degree of suffering is different. Last October, the Lancet published research by Johns Hopkins University in the US and al-Mustansiriya University in Baghdad which calculated that 655,000 Iraqis had died as a direct result of the Anglo-American invasion. Downing Street officials derided the study as "flawed." They were lying. They knew that the chief scientific adviser to the Ministry of Defense, Sir Roy Anderson, had backed the survey, describing its methods as "robust" and "close to best practice," and other government officials had secretly approved the "tried and tested way of measuring mortality in conflict zones." The figure for Iraqi deaths is now estimated at close to a million – carnage equivalent to that caused by the Anglo-American economic siege of Iraq in the 1990s, which produced the deaths of half a million infants under the age of five, verified by Unicef. That, too, was dismissed contemptuously by Blair. "This Labour government, which includes Gordon Brown as much as it does Tony Blair," wrote Richard Horton, editor of the Lancet, "is party to awar crime of monstrous proportions. Yet our political consensus prevents any judicial or civil society response. Britain is paralyzed by its own indifference. " Such is the scale of the crime and of our "looking from the side." According to the Observer of 8 April, the voters' "damning verdict" on the Blair regime is expressed by a majority who have "lost faith" in their government. No surprise there. Polls have long shown a widespread revulsion to Blair, demonstrated at the last general election, which produced the second lowest turnout since the franchise. No mention was made of the Observer's own contribution to this national loss of faith. Once celebrated as a bastion of liberalism that stood against Anthony Eden's lawless attack on Egypt in 1956, the new right-wing, lifestyle Observer enthusiastically backed Blair's lawless attack on Iraq, having helped lay the ground with major articles falsely linking Iraq with the 9/11 attacks – claims now regarded even by the Pentagon as fake. As hysteria is again fabricated, for Iraq, read Iran. According to the former US Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill, the Bush cabal decided to attack Iraq on "day one" of Bush's administration, long before 11 September 2001. The main reason was oil. O'Neill was shown a Pentagon document entitled "Foreign Suitors for Iraqi Oilfield Contracts," which outlined the carve-up of Iraq's oil wealth among the major Anglo-American companies. Under a law written by US and British officials, the Iraqi puppet regime is about to hand over the extraction of the largest concentration of oil on earth to Anglo-American companies. Nothing like this piracy has happened before in the modern Middle East, where OPEC has ensured that oil business is conducted between states. Across the Shatt al-Arab waterway is another prize: Iran's vast oilfields. Just as nonexistent weapons of mass destruction or facile concerns for democracy had nothing to do with the invasion of Iraq, so nonexistent nuclear weapons have nothing to do with the coming American onslaught on Iran. Unlike Israel and the United States, Iran has abided by the rules of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, of which it was an original signatory, and has allowed routine inspections under its legal obligations. The International Atomic Energy Agency has never cited Iran for diverting its civilian program to military use. For the past three years, IAEA inspectors have said they have been allowed to "go anywhere." The recent UN Security Council sanctions against Iran are the result of Washington's bribery. Until recently, the British were unaware that their government was one of the world's most consistent abusers of human rights and backers of state terrorism. Few Britons knew that the Muslim Brotherhood, the forerunner of al-Qaeda, was sponsored by British intelligence as a means of systematically destroying secular Arab nationalism, or that MI6 recruited young British Muslims in the 1980s as part of a $4bn Anglo-American-backed jihad against the Soviet Union known as "Operation Cyclone." In 2001, few Britons knew that 3,000 innocent Afghan civilians were bombed to death as revenge for the attacks of 11 September. No Afghans brought down the twin towers. Thanks to Bush and Blair, awareness in Britain and all over the world has risen as never before. When homegrown terrorists struck London in July 2005, few doubted that the attack on Iraq had provoked the atrocity and that the bombs which killed 52 Londoners were, in effect, Blair's bombs. In my experience, most people do not indulge the absurdity and cruelty of the "rules" of rampant power. They do not contort their morality and intellect to comply with double standards and the notion of approved evil, of worthy and unworthy victims. They would, if they knew, grieve for all the lives, families, careers, hopes and dreams destroyed by Blair and Bush. The sure evidence is the British public's wholehearted response to the 2004 tsunami, shaming that of the government. Certainly, they would agree wholeheartedly with Robert H. Jackson, chief of counsel for the United States at the Nuremberg trials of Nazi leaders at the end of the Second World War. "Crimes are crimes," he said, "whether the United States does them or whether Germany does them, and we are not prepared to lay down a rule of criminal conduct which we would not be willing to have invoked against us." As with Henry Kissinger and Donald Rumsfeld, who dare not travel to certain countries for fear of being prosecuted as war criminals, Blair as a private citizen may no longer be untouchable. On 20 March, Baltasar Garzo'n, the tenacious Spanish judge who pursued Augusto Pinochet, called for indictments against those responsible for "one of the most sordid and unjustifiable episodes in recent human history" – Iraq. Five days later, the chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, to which Britain is a signatory, said that Blair could one day face war-crimes charges. These are critical changes in the way the sane world thinks – again, thanks to the Reich of Blair and Bush. However, we live in the most dangerous of times. On 6 April, Blair accused "elements of the Iranian regime" of "backing, financing, arming and supporting terrorism in Iraq." He offered no evidence, and the Ministry of Defense has none. This is the same Goebbels-like refrain with which he and his coterie, Gordon Brown included, brought an epic bloodletting to Iraq. How long will the rest of us continue looking from the side? (NOTE: LINKS HAVE BEEN ADDED BY Dr. Yvonne Schmidt - for more information on the US led war against Iraq click here and see also this: http://www.life.com/Life/essay/gulfwar/gulf06.html

  • Schwachpunkt Dollar - Konflikt zwischen Iran und dem US-geführten Westen eskaliert auch an der Wirtschaftsfront. Wird der Ölpreis bald in Euro bestimmt?  Von Steffen Bogs und Klaus Fischer  -   Junge Welt, 13. April 2007
    Die Entspannung war nur von kurzer Dauer. Kaum hatte der Iran 15 inhaftierte britische Soldaten freigelassen, verkündete Staatspräsident Mahmud Ahmadinedschad am Ostermontag Neues vom Nuklearprogramm seines Landes. In der Atomfabrik Natans sagte der Politiker, sein Land könne nun Uran anreichern. Dies gilt allgemein als eine der wichtigsten Voraussetzungen für den Betrieb von Kernkraftwerken -- und den Bau von Atombomben. Der Iran werde bestimmten westlichen Staaten nicht gestatten, diese Fähigkeit zu unterlaufen, so der Staatschef. Allerdings ist der Streit um Teherans Nuklearprogramm nicht der einzige Punkt, der zu Eskalation beiträgt. Auch an der ökonomoschen Front sind Prozesse im Gang, die den von russischen Geheimdiensten lange Zeit für Karfreitag prognostizierten Angriff der USA und Israels zu einem anderen Zeitpunkt möglich scheinen lassen. 
    Nicht »eingepreist« - An den Finanzmärkten glauben die meisten Händler und Analysten nicht an eine kriegerische Auseinandersetzung USA--Iran. Besser noch, sie wollen es nicht. Die ökonomischen Risiken einer derartigen Auseinandersetzung »einzupreisen« hieße: Explosion des Ölpreises, eine deutliche Verteuerung von Erdgas. Im Schlepptau würden sämtliche Ansätze eines konjunkturellen Aufschwungs in den westlichen Industriestaaten im Keim erstickt. Iran weiß um die entscheidende Schwachstelle der USA und des gesamten kapitalistischen Wirtschaftssystems -- den Dollar. Der muß ohnehin permanent mit der geballten Kraft aller politischen Akteure wie Staaten, deren Zentralbanken, sowie internationalen Wirtschafts- und Finanzinstitutionen vom Schlage des IWF, vor dem Kollaps bewahrt werden. Jetzt hat Teheran geschickt an dieser Sollbruchstelle des Weltkapitalismus angesetzt, um den USA auch ökonomisch einzuheizen. So will die Staatsbank ihre Devisenreserven umschichten und den Dollaranteil reduzieren. Zentralbankchef Ebrahim Sheinbany nannte als Grund für diese Entscheidung die Sanktionen, die der UN-Sicherheitsrat gegen sein Land verhängt hatte. Geplant sei, US-Dollar durch Euro und Yen zu ersetzen, ließ die Bank verlauten. Zwar ist die Summe der vom Iran angehäuften US-Währung nicht riesig, aber mit 58 Milliarden US-Dollar immerhin groß genug, um beim Verkauf auf die Währungsnotierung Einfluß zu haben. Iran steht an 17. Stelle unter den Nationen, die Dollarbestände angesammelt haben. Den ersten Platz nimmt immer noch China ein. Das Reich der Mitte hat inzwischen die erkleckliche Summe von 1,04 Billionen US-Dollar gehortet -- mit allen Konsequenzen, die sich daraus für das eigene und das internationale Wirtschafts- und Währungsgefüge verbinden. Gravierender als der Verkauf von ein paar Milliarden Dollar ist die Absicht der iranischen Regierung, seine Erdölrechnungen nicht mehr in der US-Währung, sondern in Euro zu legen. Das könnte nach Ansicht von Beobachtern dem »Greenback« als Weltleitwährung den Todesstoß versetzen. 2006 verkaufte der Iran Öl im Wert von 46 Milliarden US-Dollar. Das Land rangiert mit einer jährlichen Menge von ca. 200 Millionen Tonnen Erdöl an vierter, und mit 80 Milliarden Kubikmetern Erdgas an siebter Stelle der Förderländer. Es verfügt zudem über die drittgrößten nachgewiesenen Ölreserven (ca. 18 Milliarden Tonnen).
    USA im Zugzwang - Washington wird sich die Infragestellung des Petrodollar kaum bieten lassen. Sollte dieses Beispiel Schule machen, könnte es schnell vorbei sein, mit der ökonomischen US-Herrlichkeit. Denn noch ist es so, daß beim Kauf von Erdöl die jeweilige Landeswährung des Käufers erst in Dollar umgetauscht werden muß. Damit wird eine permanente Nachfrage nach der US-Währung erzeugt, die deren struktureller -- und faktischer -- Schwäche entgegensteht. Einer Studie der US-Beratungsgesellschaft Pimco zufolge, ließen die Erdölexporteure seit 2001 ca. 1,2 Billionen Dollar aus ihren Gewinnen in die Anlegermärkte der USA fließen. Dieses Geld gleicht einen gewichtigen Teil der eklatanten Handelsbilanzdefizite des größten Schuldners der Welt aus. Seit 1985 haben die Vereinigten Staaten aus dem internationalen Warenhandel ein Minus von etwa sechs Billionen Dollar angesammelt. Das ist etwa die Hälfte des ohnehin durch Immobilien­blasen und andere Apothekerzahlen aufgeblähten US-Bruttoinlandsproduktes. Für die USA und deren politische Supermachtaktivitäten ist es überlebenswichtig, daß der Dollar Petrodollar bleibt und als wichtigste Weltwährung eine Finanzierung der ökonomisch aberwitzigen Dauerkonsumorgie in seinem Heimatland quasi verbrieft. Dafür, so viele Experten, riskiert Washington unter Führung der Republikaner zweifellos einen Krieg. Zweifelhaft allerdings ist der Ausgang einer solchen Auseinandersetzung. Teheran ist bei weitem nicht so wehrlos, wie Saddam Husseins Irak. So könnte das iranische Militär nach Ansicht von Experten recht zügig die Straße von Hormuz dichtmachen. Ein Drittel der weltweiten Erdöltransporte aus Saudi-Arabien, Kuwait, Iran, Irak und den Emiraten laufen durch dieses Nadelöhr am Persischen Golf. Eine veritable Ölkrise wäre die Folge. Und die im iranischen Besitz vermuteten russischen SS-N-27-Raketen könnten sogar den Symbolen der globalen US-Macht, den Flugzeugträgern, gefährlich werden. Gegen diese Anti-Schiffs-Marschflugkörper hat die US-Navy derzeit kein Abwehrmittel.

  • The Democrat Contenders and Iran - The Awful Truth About Hillary, Barack and John. - 12/04/2007 - By NORMAN SOLOMON  The Pentagon's most likely next target is Iran. Hillary Clinton says "no option can be taken off the table." Barack Obama says that the Iranian government is "a threat to all of us" and "we should take no option, including military action, off the table." John Edwards says, "Under no circumstances can Iran be allowed to have nuclear weapons." And: "We need to keep all options on the table." A year ago, writing in The New Yorker, journalist Seymour Hersh reported: "One of the military's initial option plans, as presented to the White House by the Pentagon this winter, calls for the use of a bunker-buster tactical nuclear weapon, such as the B61-11, against underground nuclear sites." For a presidential candidate to proclaim that all "options" should be on the table while dealing with Iran is a horrific statement. It signals willingness to threaten -- and possibly follow through with -- first use of nuclear weapons. This raises no eyebrows among Washington's policymakers and media elites because it is in keeping with longstanding U.S. foreign-policy doctrine. This year, with their virtually identical statements about "options" and "the table," the leading Democratic presidential candidates -- Clinton, Obama and Edwards -- have refused to rule out any kind of attack on Iran. If you're not shocked or outraged yet, consider this: On Feb. 22, the national leaders of MoveOn sent an e-mail letter to more than 3 million people with the subject line "War with Iran?" After citing a need to give UN sanctions "a chance to work before provoking a regional conflict," the letter said flatly: "Senator Hillary Clinton has provided some much needed leadership on this." The MoveOn letter quoted a passage from a speech that Clinton had given on the Senate floor eight days earlier: "It would be a mistake of historical proportion if the administration thought that the 2002 resolution authorizing force against Iraq was a blank check for the use of force against Iran without further congressional authorization. Nor should the president think that the 2001 resolution authorizing force after the terrorist attacks of 9/11, in any way, authorizes force against Iran. If the administration believes that any, any use of force against Iran is necessary, the president must come to Congress to seek that authority." But, while quoting Hillary Clinton's speech as an example of "some much needed leadership," MoveOn made no mention of the fact that the same speech stated: "As I have long said and will continue to say, U.S. policy must be clear and unequivocal: We cannot, we should not, we must not permit Iran to build or acquire nuclear weapons. And in dealing with this threat, as I've also said for a long time, no option can be taken off the table." Earlier this year, David Rieff noted in The New York Times Magazine on March 25, "Vice President Cheney insisted that the administration had not taken any options off the table' as Iran continued to defy United Nations calls for it to abandon its nuclear ambitions. The response from Democrats was not long in coming. Senator Clinton helped lead the charge, reminding the president that he did not have the authority to go to war with Iran on the basis of the Senate's authorization of the use of force in Iraq in 2002. "But what Senator Clinton did not say was at least as interesting as what she did say. And what she did not say was that she opposed the use of force in Iran. To the contrary, Senator Clinton used virtually the same formulation as Vice President Cheney. When dealing with Iran, she insisted, no option can be taken off the table.'" To praise Hillary Clinton for providing "much needed leadership" on Iran -- and to mislead millions of e-mail recipients counted as MoveOn members in the process -- is a notable choice to make. It speaks volumes. It winks at Clinton's stance that "no option can be taken off the table." It serves an enabling function. It is very dangerous. The stakes are much too high to make excuses or look the other way. Norman Solomon is the author of War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death.
  • For Iran, it's a win-win situation - 12/04/2007 -  By Georgy Mirsky for RIA Novosti - 
    Experts have two main questions about the situation in Iran: first, are the Iranians close to developing a nuclear bomb? And second, are the Americans going to start a war there? Several thousand centrifuges are enough to enrich uranium to 90% and produce a nuclear bomb within a year. Earlier, the Iranians announced their intention to increase the number of centrifuges at the Natanz facility to 3,000; on April 10, after the celebration of the National Day of Nuclear Technologies (April 9), Gholamreza Agazade, Iran's vice president and head of the country's atomic energy organization, said that the plan is to launch 50,000 centrifuges. Nevertheless, IAEA officials have warned many times that it is not possible to prove that Iran wants to develop nuclear weapons. This situation is not likely to change. But there is still indirect evidence that what the Iranians are developing is very far from a civilian nuclear industry. In 2005, Russia made an offer to Iran to enrich uranium for it, and guaranteed that Iranian nuclear plants would be fully loaded with nuclear fuel. Tehran rejected the idea, as well as a package of proposals from the UN Security Council members and Germany. Iran was promised help with its WTO entry, assistance in building nuclear power plants and supplies of new spare parts for worn-out civilian aircraft if it gave up uranium enrichment. But Iran turned down all these tempting proposals for only one reason - it wanted to avoid foreign control over its uranium enrichment. It seems that throughout the talks, Tehran has simply been stalling for time in order to start enriching weapons-grade uranium. It is clear, though, that Iran does not need the bomb. Whom would it drop it on? The United States is far away, and an attack on Israel would kill not only Jews but also Arabs in both Israel and the Palestinian territories. It is abundantly clear that the Islamic Republic of Iran, with its aspirations to Muslim leadership, would not dare kill millions of its brethren-in-faith. The bomb has no practical use. Most probably, Tehran plans to stop at the five-minute-readiness level, that is, one step before the bomb. This would allow the Iranian leaders to enjoy unheard-of prestige at home, dominate the Muslim world, and dictate its terms to the West. Iran is already talking with everyone from a position of strength because it feels invulnerable and is not afraid of an American attack. The Americans are stuck in Iraq and cannot afford to launch another military land operation. Pinpoint air strikes at nuclear facilities may delay the Iranian nuclear program for several years but will not change the regime. In any case, the Iranians are not likely to leave the American strike unanswered. They may attack oil refineries in neighboring countries or U.S. military bases in the region. This would be a disaster for the U.S. in Iraq - all the local Shiites who cooperated with the Americans, albeit without much enthusiasm, will turn against them. This would lead to the defeat of the Republican Party in the 2008 presidential, congressional and gubernatorial elections. Although George W. Bush may be very tempted to attack Iran, he is not a dictator and will not ignore public opinion and ruin his party. The Iranians are not afraid of sanctions, either. Those imposed by the UN Security Council are irritating but not very effective. Only an embargo on oil and gas exports would be deadly for Iran, but nobody except the Americans would insist on such a measure, and the Iranians are fully aware of this. Therefore, they can say with a straight face that they will ignore the world community and continue enriching uranium. The question is what to do after the expiration of the 60-day deadline stipulated by the UN Security Council in its latest resolution on Iran (#1747 of March 24)? It would be logical to adopt an even tougher resolution, but there are fears that stronger measures could compel Iran to quit the IAEA and go on enriching uranium without any control. But maybe it's worth the risk? Iran is in desperate need of investment, without which its industries cannot cope with domestic requirements. Even though it is a world leader in oil reserves, today Iran has to import 40% of its gasoline. A gradual economic isolation of Iran could be quite effective, probably leading the Iranians to give up their nuclear ambitions. If they did so, they would still be able to save face and say that they never even thought about building a bomb but merely wanted to secure more privileges for their peaceful nuclear industry. "We have not been brought to our knees; we have won," the Iranian leaders would say. Georgy Mirsky is a senior researcher at the Institute of World Economics and International Relations of the Russian Academy of Sciences. (The opinions expressed in this article are the author's and do not necessarily represent those of RIA Novosti.)  

  • The American Chemical Society Terminates the Membership of Chemists from Iran - (07/04/2007) -  By DAVID N. RAHNI - Counterpounch  The American Chemical Society (ACS) has once again led the way, with its "zealot" interpretation of "embargo" by the Department of Treasury's Office of Foreign Asset Control, by terminating the membership of its long-standing members in Iran, many of whom are post Ph.D. Alumni of American Universities. Several years ago, the ACS undertook a similar unprecedented action, under the same law. Then, it unilaterally stopped accepting scholarly and research manuscripts from Iranian scientists for its three dozen periodicals in the publication division. However, later, under embarrassing pressure from the American scientific community and its membership, the ACS retracted its decision and agreed to take it up instead with the federal government. Paradoxically and notwithstanding rhetoric, such ill-conceived measures are against the current U.S. Administration policy of promoting people-to-people contact as enunciated by the Assistant Secretary of State Nicholas Burns at the March 29 hearing of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.  Yudhijit Bhattacharjee, in Science Magazine, reported that the ACS Assistant General Counsel, David Smorodin when "re-reading the embargo rules, made the recommendation to terminate Iranian membership (Science Magazine, Vol. 315, 30 March 2007). One can not help but speculate whether or not such decision is truly serving the interests of member-based ACS or enforcing the laws to the limit as he has served as a U.S. Assistant District Attorney before joining the ACS. Nonetheless, despite the abrupt termination of individual membership of Iranian chemical scientists with no due process, the ACS has stated that while they [Iranians] can continue to purchase journals and other "non-sensitive products at full-rate, the ACS might apply for a special license from the Treasury Department to reinstate their memberships. This has in the meantime deprived American chemists to learn about the scholarly contributions of their Iranian peers. It should be noted that as in the past, the American Physical Society (APS), in contrast, stated, "We have NO plan to do anything similar, and continue to serve our members in Iran." Judy Franz, a director at the APS further stated that, "We would resist having to obtain a license to the extent we can." When interviewed by Science Magazine, the official publication of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), David Rahni an Iranian-American chemistry professor in New York stated, "I, like most ACS members and peers in the scientific community, strongly question the ACS motive on this issue, and expect ACS,s leadership to refrain from allowing politics to taint the high stature the Organization has achieved." Rahni further stated that this has personally concerned him gravely since he has served the ACS with distinctions in the past thirty years, as typified by his positions as the chair of the ACS New York, the chair of the Middle Atlantic Regional Meeting, and the chair of Nichols Medal. 90% of the ACS projects, publications and activities are run by a huge cadre of volunteer professionals who, with no expectations, give their time, energy, money and intellects and talents to the advancement of the chemical sciences worldwide. It is painfully ironic to many, especially the ACS American members to witness the politicization of their disciplines through the ACS as they continue to register their grave concerns with the ACS lucratively remunerated executive directors. As a chemistry professor with having given fifty years of his life to the ACS and the profession so eloquently put it, "Never mind the Iranians as one may not give a darn about them and their plights, what, I am bewildered to speculate the ulterior motives of the ACS paid "professional leadership is to embarrass us as freethinking science. ACS is US and not its DC staff as they are required by our mandate to serve our interests and not create problems for us. The consensus among the nearly one million Americans of Iranian ancestry is to reaffirm their yearning commitment to the attainment of justice, security, stability, equity, transparency and human rights through "home-grown", indigenous and democratic reforms in Iran, but not at the expense of isolating the scientific community in their motherland from their peers worldwide. They further deplore any possible unilateral military action against Iran, as they firmly believe this is counter-productive to the organic, slow, but steady evolution of Iran through educational benchmark, cultural reforms and communication with the rest of the world. They further consider military action and/or isolation counter-productive to the credibility of their American homeland which would inevitably lead, once again, to the priceless loss of human life and loss of credibility for our nation in the international scene. Iran's chemist/chemical  engineering professionals/scholars numbers tens of thousands. They are, by and large, members of the Iranian Chemical Society. However, many of them hold at least one overseas membership, mostly in the Royal Societies in the UK. There are currently 36 Iranian members in the American Chemical Society. The strong position of chemistry/chemical engineering in Iran is due to the oil and gas explorations by the petrochemical industry during the past 100 years, and due to some of Iran,s renowned past and contemporary chemists, scientists, and philosophers. The contributions of Americans of Iranian background to the chemistry and sciences, engineering and medicine, is unparalleled by other recent immigrant communities. There indeed exists an  Iranian Chemists' Association of the ACS that since its inception in the 80, has reached out to over a thousand chemists of Iranian ancestry in the U.S. alone. It is well substantiated that as long as the diplomatic relations between the two nations remain at a hostile stalemate, a political cloud hovers over the personal and professional aspirations of Iranian-Americans. Specifically, senior and executive level professional opportunities for Iranian-Americans, particularly in government, higher education and the corporate world, remain chronically undermined. Iran, a multiethnic country of 70 million, traces its heritage to a long and illustrious history, 10,000 years in the making, with 2500 years of a continuous form of government. There are two million students in her higher education system, 60% of whom, especially in the sciences, engineering and medicine, are women. Its literacy rate is 90%, unprecedented in that part of the world. Iran or Persia as it was formerly known by the outside world until 1935, has indeed contributed immensely toward the advancement of science, technology and society for millennia. Rhazes, Avicenna, Algorithm, Omer Khayam, Farabi, Biruni, Hayyan, and many others are some of the epics that come to a western scholar,s mind. Despite the tremendous burden imposed on the Iranian students and scholars as they struggle to obtain a US visa (mostly denied) for doctoral studies, some of the brightest graduate students in Ivy League Universities (e.g., Stanford, Harvard, Berkeley, and MIT) are Iranians. Increasingly, however, they opt to pursue their doctoral studies in Australia, Canada and Europe. Iranian high school students have continuously ranked among the top few of the nations in the International Chemistry and other Science Olympiads, and Robotics and Computing Competitions. Isn't it ironic that when the ACS claims to be an international professional society, 130 years old, with a membership of 160,000, 10% of whom are from overseas, and an additional 20%, are naturalized Americans or permanent residents, that it forces the nationals of Iran out, deprives them from maintaining scientific communications with peers worldwide, and does not let them contribute toward the advancement of science worldwide?  Notwithstanding the rhetoric and provocations leading to a possible disastrous confrontation by governments, a true scientist, or a credible organization of scientists such as the ACS, which does not recognize the boundaries of the world, should be capable to transcend all political barriers for the advancement of science. David N. Rahni, Ph.D. is a Professor of Chemistry at Pace University, in Pleasantville, New York and Adjunct Professor of Dermatology, New York Medical College. He is also an Adj. Prof. Envirnonmental Law at Pace U. He can be reached at: dnabirahni@pace.edu

Offene Briefe - Open Letters

United in support of Iranian women
From 35 Iranian, Iraqi and British women academics, activists and politicians.By Mahboubeh Abbasgholizadeh in the The Financial Times. (28/03/2007)

"...Once again Iran is in the news. While the US has learnt nothing from the invasion of Iraq and continues its posturing with Iran, Iranian women have certainly heeded a few lessons. Their active struggle for gender equality is now exacerbated by concerns about military attacks and how external threats are used as a pretext further to limit their space for building a stronger women's movement. Meanwhile in Iraq, girls' and young women's attendance at schools and universities is in rapid decline owing to security fears; the war and occupation have left the economy in tatters; and women are the first to suffer from lack of education and employment and to be pushed back to their homes to perform domestic duties. All this is compounded by the Iraqi government bringing in new discriminatory legislation. Across the border in Iran, women from all backgrounds now make up more than 60 per cent of university entrants. Iran's women's movement is now challenging the system that leaves many of these graduates jobless, by demanding a change in discriminatory laws. Through a national coalition of leading civil society women activists, students and democratic forces, they are struggling to change discriminatory laws to enhance dialogue, collaboration and democratic action. It is a bumpy road to travel, with leading members arrested in the run-up to International Women's Day protests and released only after a few days, yet the movement grows daily: something only a war could stop. We, the undersigned, as women activists, academics and politicians, condemn any threat of and actual military action against Iran and support the Iranian women's campaign. Mahboubeh Abbasgholizadeh, Director, NGO Training Centre, Tehran. Shadi Sadr, Lawyer, Tehran. Prof Elaheh Koolaee, University of Tehran. Fatemeh Farhangkhah, The Society for Protection of Handicapped Children and Youth NGO, Tehran. Dr Fatemeh Sadeghi, Academic, Tehran. Lily Farhadpour, Writer and journalist, Tehran. Maryam Ommi, Student and NGO Training Centre, Tehran. Mahsa Shekarloo, Badjens.com, Women's Website, Tehran. Prof Haleh Afshar, York University. Prof Homa Hoodfarm, Women Living Under Muslim Laws (WLUML). Roudabeh Shafie, Anti-War Campaigner. Dr Mehri Honarbin-Holliday, Kent University. Dr Ziba Mir-Hosseini, The London Middle East Institute. Dr Elaheh Rostami-Povey, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. Dr Laleh Khalili, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. Mahnaz Razavi, Consultant Psychotherapist. Dr Nadjie Ali, University of Exeter. Tahrir Abdul Samad Swift, Arab Media Watch. Fenik Adham, Counsellor. Salma Yaqoob, Councillor. Rania Khan, Councillor. Yvonne Ridley, Journalist and author. Clare Short MP. Lynne Featherstone MP. Lynne Jones MP. Jean Lambert MEP. Lindsey German, Stop The War Coalition. Jane Shallise, Stop The War Coalition. Dr Ayesha Imam, WLUML, Senegal. Prof Fatou Sow, Université Diderot Paris, WLUML. Sultana Kamal, WLUML, Bangladesh. Farida Shaheed, Shirkat Gah and WLUML Pakistan. Codou Bop, WLUML, regional office, Senegal. Zarizana Abdul Aziz, WLUML, Malaysia. Prof Nayereh Tohidi, California State University"


Das internationale Recht verlangt eine friedliche Streitschlichtung  (04. April 2007)
Appell an Großbritannien und Iran, den Konflikt zu deeskalieren - Pressemitteilung aus der Friedensbewegung im Wortlaut


OPEN LETTER TO Federal Chancellor Dr. Merkel (19. February 2007)
"... Dear Mrs. Merkel we ask you to act because danger is looming. Do prevent this war! Otherwise Germany and the European Union could be made responsible for a disaster of unthinkable dimesions... Stand up for a Conference of Security and Co-operation in the Middle East to begin as early as possible, in order to start the peaceful dialogue in the region. Either there is a common solution for the actual conflicts in the region or there will be a fire storm, chaos and new calamity for the whole of mankind..." (ENGLISH pdf  here)

 

OFFENER BRIEF AN Bundeskanzlerin Dr. MERKEL (19. Februar 2007)
"... Sehr verehrte Frau Merkel, wegen Gefahr im Verzug bitten wir Sie zu handeln. Verhindern Sie diesen Krieg und dass Deutschland und die Europäische Union für ein Desaster unvorstellbaren Ausmaßes mit verantwortlich gemacht werden wird... Setzen Sie sich für den baldigen Beginn einer Konferenz für Sicherheit und Zusammenarbeit im Mittleren und Nahen Osten ein, um damit den friedlichen Dialog in der Region zu eröffnen. Denn entweder gibt es eine gemeinsame Lösung für die aktuellen Konflikte in der Region oder es gibt einen Flächenbrand, Chaos und neues Unglück für die Menschheit..."  (GERMAN pdf  here)(70,76 KB)


Legal + Human Rights Groups Issue Open Letter Warning Of Illegality Of Any Offensive Military Action By U.S. Against Iran   (1/02/07)
European, international and United States legal and human rights groups issued an open letter to All Members of Congress, the Bush Administration And the U.S. Armed Forces warning of the illegality of any offensive military action by the United States against Iran.... If the United States or any other nation were to act outside of its UN obligations it would risk starting a war of aggression and committing a crime against peace. Furthermore, the sending of aircraft carriers combined with recent threatening statements constitutes a threat to wage a war with Iran. This is also prohibited by the Charter.  Principle VI of the Nuremberg Principles  also makes crimes against peace punishable under international law. Crimes against peace include: planning, preparation, initiation or waging a war of aggression in violation of international treaties, agreements, or assurances, or participation in a common plan or conspiracy to accomplish these acts.... Signatories include the American Association of Jurists, Center for Constitutional Rights (U.S.), Droite Solidarite (France), European Association of Lawyers for Human Rights and Democracy, Italian Association of Democratic Lawyers, Haldane Society (United Kingdom), International Association of Democratic Lawyers, Indian Association of Lawyers, (India), Japanese Association of Lawyers for International Solidarity, (Japan), Lawyers Against War (Canada), National Lawyers Guild (U.S.), Progress Lawyers Network (Belgium). 


U.S. Physicists Letter to President Bush: "Nuclear Weapons Against Iran Gravely Irresponsible" (17/04/2006)
Authored by: Philip Anderson, Nobel Laureate ; Michael Fisher, Wolf Laureate ; David Gross, Nobel Laureate ; Jorge Hirsch, Professor of Physics ; Leo Kadanoff, National Medal of Science ; Walter Kohn, Nobel Laureate ; Joel Lebowitz, Boltzmann Medalist ; Anthony Leggett, Nobel Laureate ; Eugen Merzbacher, President, American Physical Society, 1990 ; Douglas Osheroff, Nobel Laureate ; Andrew Sessler, President, American Physical Society, 1998 ; George Trilling, President, American Physical Society, 2001 ; Frank Wilczek, Nobel Laureate ; Edward Witten, Fields Medalist (pdf file  with signatures)
The letter was read in public on April 26, 5:00 PM, at Lafayette Park, across from the White House and delivery in person to the White House was attempted, however White House staff refused to take delivery. The letter was delivered by certified mail to the White House (Label/Receipt Number: EQ210249212US)  - Short version of  the letter was published in the International Herald Tribune


Statement by B.E. Dr. AIi Asghar Soltanieh Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the United Nations and Other International Organizations, Vienna to the First Session of the Preparatory Committee for the 2010 NPTReview Conference 1 May 2007, Vienna

http://www.un.org/NPT2010/statements/Iran_01_05_pm_final_version.pdfIn the name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful Mr. Chainnan,

At the outset I would like to congratulate you on your election as the Chairman of the First Session of the Preparatory Committee for the 2010 NPT Review Conference. I am sure that under your able chairmanship as a distinguished and experienced diplomat this session would have a successful outcome.

Mr. Chairman,
I would like associate myself with the statement delivered by the distinguished ambassador of Cuba, on behalf of the Non-aligned Movement. 
Mr. Chairman, distinguished delegates,
After almost Forty years following the conclusion of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), despite increasing challenges encountered this Treaty, the NPT remains the cornerstone of the global nuclear disarmament and nonproliferation in all its aspects. However the NPT today faces three --- major challenges: lack of progress towards nuclear disarmament, awarding nonparties by generous offer of supplying technology and materials useable for production of nuclear weapons particularly in the Middle East, and lastly increased limitations against the developing nations parties to the Treaty, on
peaceful use of nuclear energy. The NPT set the foundation for nuclear disarmament and. nonproliferation as well as promotion of peaceful uses of nuclear energy almost four decades ago. These three objectives of the NPT have yet to be fulfilled. Given the nightmare of Hiroshima and Nagasaki nuclear bombings, the international community rightly considers the continued existence of thousands of nuclear weapons in the stockpiles of Nuclear Weapon States and their possible use as the most serious threat to the very existence of humankind. The limited efforts of the two major Nuclear Weapon States after the Cold War in reducing their nuclear arsenals or decommissioning some of their nuclear warheads and placing them in the storerooms can not meet the expectations of international community nor is it consistent with their legal obligations. Nuclear weapon States have not fulfilled their obligations under Article VI of the NPT. Lack of any timeframe or deadline for the elimination of nuclear weapons in this Article is one of the most serious shortcomings of the Treaty. Unfortunately the existing trend is not promising and the prompt implementation of this Article is an urgent necessity. The emergence of a new security doctrine by the United States that seek to rationalize the development and stockpiling of a new generation of tactical nuclear weapons and their use in conventional conflicts and against perceived non-nuclear weapon adversaries, continued weaponization of outer-space as well as the reliance on the nuclear weapon for a foreseeable future as a key element in the national security strategy of certain Nuclear Weapon States are more than ever worrisome. The recent decision of the United Kingdom to renew and further develop its nuclear weapons capability, by approving the Trident Project, is in full contravention with Article VI of the NPT and in defiance with the unanimous decision of the 2000 NPT Review Conference. The Trident Project can generate and in fact expand nuclear arms race beyond the traditional rivalry between the two most powerful Nuclear Weapon States, thus is a special source of concern for the international community and is a clear set back for the global efforts to bolster nuclear disarmament and non - proliferation. The continuation of nuclear weapon sharing arrangements with Non-
Nuclear Weapon States being in contravention with Article 1 of the NPT, particularly through the deployment of nuclear weapons in the NATO European countries, has been overlooked. The development and testing of new nuclear weapons in laboratory conditions and by using supercomputers, which run contrary to the spirit and letter of the CTBT, is also a clear violation of the Article VI of the NPT and has been considered as a vertical proliferation. And last but not the least, the planned deployment of missile defense systems in various regions, is in total disregard for the agreement of the 2000 NPT Review Conference. Furthermore, the transfer of nuclear technology and materials to nonparties to the NPT, in particular the 2000 agreement of nuclear cooperation between the United States and Israeli regime, whose nuclear arsenals presents the greatest threat to regional and international peace and stability, and providing its scientists the full access to the US nuclear facilities, has demonstrated the US total disregard for its obligations under Article I of the Treaty and is another example of noncompliance of the United States with the NPT provisions. 
Mr. Chairman,
The NPT constitutes an integrated and holistic structure, whose effectiveness lies in full compliance with all its provisions by all parties without any discrimination. The selective approach imposed by a few States for the realization of all provisions of the NPT undermines the international interest in its full implementation. Their refusal to address the issue of nuclear disarmament is chief among the unimplemented provisions of the Treaty. As the result of the major efforts by States Parties to strengthen the Treaty, the 2000 NPT Review Conference agreed by consensus on its Final Document, "the unequivocal undertakings by the Nuclear- Weapon States to accomplish the total elimination of their nuclear arsenals leading to nuclear disarmament, to which all States Parties are committed under Article VI". Accordingly, the Conference also adopted the 13 practical steps for the systematic and progressive efforts to implement Article VI. We should not let these commitments go unnoticed. The 2000 NPT Review Conference, under the Chapter on "Article VII" of its Final Document also reaffirmed that total elimination of nuclear weapons is the only absolute guarantee against the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons, and agreed that legally binding security assurances by the five Nuclear Weapon States to the Non-Nuclear Weapon States parties to the NPT strengthen the non-proliferation regime, and called upon the  Preparatory Committee to make recommendations about it. It is an unfulfilled task ahead of us. We urge the 2010 NPT Review Conference and its Preparatory Committee to work hard on this critical issue.

Mr. Chairman,
The establishment of nuclear weapon free zones in different regions of the globe constitutes an effective measure to realize the main objective of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation. It is therefore promising that such NWFZs have been established in some regions of the world, but still await ratification by all Nuclear Weapon States and therefore full implementation. Through the establishment of such zones a large part of the world shall effectively renounce and in most strong term, the possession and development of nuclear weapons. However a few regions of the world, despite the aspirations of their people are still far trom achieving such a goal. The establishment of a Nuclear Weapons Free Zone in the Middle East has been the long-standing goal of the people of the region. Iran, first initiated the idea of the establishment of a nuclear-weapon-tree zone, as an important disarmament measure in the Middle East in 1974, followed by the relevant resolutions in the United Nations General Assembly, the IAEA General Conference as w ell as Final Declarations of all NPT Review Conferences. The Zionist Regime remains the only obstacle for the establishment of such a zone in region. Peace and stability could not be achieved in the Middle East while a massive nuclear arsenal continues to threaten the region and beyond. It is a matter of regret that while no practical measure is taken to contain such threat as the real source of nuclear danger in the Middle East, the Islamic Republic of Iran as a member of the NPT and the initiator of the idea of the establishment of a Nuclear Weapon Free Zone in Middle East is under tremendous pressure to renounce its inalienable right for peaceful use of nuclear energy. Unfortunately, the absolute ignorance and regretful silence of the Security Council over the past several decades in addressing the welldocumented
illicit nuclear weapons program pursued by the Zionist Regime, and over the threats of military attack against peaceful nuclear activities of the States Parties to the Treaty, as well as full support of some Western countries trom such policies, have given the audacity to this regime to explicitly acknowledge possession of nuclear weapons, in contradiction to the long-sought idea of the establishment of a Nuclear Weapon Free Zone in the Middle East. The Non-Aligned Movement in its statement issued on 5 February, 2007 expressed its great concern over such acquisition of nuclear capability, which poses a serious and continuing threat to the security of neighboring and other States, and condemned that Regime on its action and for continuing to develop and stockpile nuclear arsenals. We expect that this session of the Preparatory Committee unanimously do the same and condemn such declared policy.

Mr. Chairman,
On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the IAEA establishment, I cannot, but to express our appreciation for those who genuinely contribute to the promotion of peaceful use of nuclear energy. It is however disappointing that the authority of the Agency as the sole and autonomous authority for verification of the safeguard agreements as well as promotion of technical cooperation has been undermined. The engagement of the Security Council on such issues as verification and peaceful cooperation of the Agency with Member States is in clear contradiction with the provisions of the IAEA Statute. The inalienable right of the States Parties to the NPT to develop nuclear technology for peaceful purposes including fuel cycle emanates from the universally accepted proposition that scientific and technological achievements are the common heritage of mankind. Nuclear technology has been recognized as a source of energy and a viable option within the sustainable development policies with broad applications. The promotion of the use of nuclear technology for peaceful purposes has been, therefore, one of the main pillars of the NPT and the main statutory objective of the IAEA. It is unacceptable that some countries tend to limit the access to '_ peaceful nuclear technology to an exclusive club of technologically advanced States under the pretext of non-proliferation. This attitude is in clear violation of the letter and spirit of the Treaty and destroys the fundamental balance, which exists between the rights and obligations in the Treaty. The Treaty itself clearly rejects this attempt in its Article IV by emphasizing that "nothing in the Treaty shall be interpreted as affecting the inalienable right of all Parties to the Treaty to develop research, produce and use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes without discrimination."  The involvement of other international organizations even the United Nations Security Council can not be justified to impose limitations against the peaceful use of nuclear energy in contravention with the clear statutory obligations well established by the NPT and the IAEA Statute. This attitude would only undermine the credibility of the international organizations, which have been created to assist nations to realize their legitimate aspirations.

Mr. Chairman,
In conclusion I would like to add some points in highlighting the principled position of the Islamic Republic of Iran with respect to its cooperation with the IAEA and its relevance to the NPT. As my Government has repeatedly indicated weapons of mass destruction, in particular nuclear weapons, have no place in the Islamic Republic of Iran's defense doctrine and according to a religious decree(Fatwa) issued by the supreme leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran, such
inhuman weapons are considered prohibited and against the Islamic law. Islamic Republic of Iran, suspended all its enrichment activities for about 2.5 years in order to facilitate removal of any ambiguity if any, about its nucl ear activities. It is essential to note that the suspension was considered, in all resolutions of the Board of Governors of the IAEA, as voluntary, non-legally binding. Therefore, stopping voluntary suspension could not be considered in any way as a violation. The Director General of the IAEA has repeatedly reported to the Board of Governors that there has been no evidence of diversion of nuclear materials and activities to prohibited purposes and all declared nuclear materials have been accounted for. According to Article XII of the Statute, non-compliance and diversion have to be recognized by the inspectors, and then be reported to DG, where he, thereupon shall report to the Board ofGovernors. Since none of these legal procedure and requirements have been pursued, therefore the resolution GOV /2006/14 of the Board of Governors conveying the nuclear dossier to the United Nations Security Council, did not havelegal grounds, consequently the resolutions 1696, 1737 and 1747 passed, on the basis of the Board of Governors resolution, are unjustified and legally baseless. Certainly if Iran was not party to NPT, it would have not been faced with such unfair situation. Penalizing NPT party on political grounds shall have grave consequences.

Mr. Chairman,
Acceptance of over 2000 man-day most robust inspections and granting access to over 20 military sites, as well as voluntarily implementation of the Additional Protocol, prior to ratification, for almost three years, are crystal clear indication of Iran's commitments to international non-proliferation. Suspension of voluntary measures, such as the implementation of the Additional Protocol, was made, in accordance with the law passed by parliament, pursuant to convey of the nuclear dossier to the United Nations Security Council. Therefore, one has to strongly blame those few members of the Board of Governors for the status quo. The Islamic Republic of Iran is ready to negotiate with interested parties on mechanisms that could guarantee the non-diversion of Iran's peaceful activities in the future. While emphasizing on nuclear fuel cycle programs, aimed at the industrial production of fuel needed for its reactors and power plants, Iran stresses that there is no capacity at any level (R&D, pilot or industrial) for the production of nuclear material useable for nuclear weapons. The path of the Security Council has no sound legal basis for Iran's nuclear issue. Any further steps taken by the Security Council, would surely complicate the situation, is counterproductive for settlement of the issue and put at stake the current efforts and initiatives for resuming the negotiations, for peaceful settlement of this issue. The Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran continues to be ready to resolve a few of the remaining issues with the Agency, provided that the nuclear dossier, is returned in full in the framework of the lAEA and the United Nations Security Council disengagement is realized. The Islamic Republic of Iran is the responsible State and continues to comply with its obligations under the NPT, but will not stand still in the face of intimidation and threats, and will never give up its inalienable rights for peaceful use of nuclear energy, stipulated in Article IV of the NPT and articles I and 11 of
the Agency's Statute.

Mr. Chairman,
This Preparatory review process of the NPT which was further strengthened by the 1995 NPT Conference provides the best forum for addressing the real challenges to the Treaty and identifying proper solutions for them. Serious collective measures to remedy these concern, have to taken prior to the 2010 NPT Review Conference; otherwise, the future of the Treaty will be in jeopardy. The credibility and legitimacy of the Treaty does not lie in adopting a discriminatory approach to concentrate in some particular aspects of the Treaty, which coincides with the political interest of some parties, but lies in a balanced review of all basic obligations of the Treaty. This principle applies to substantive as well as procedural aspects of our work. I hope that this First Session of the Preparatory Committee under your able chairmanship would take a very firm step towards preparation for such a review and establish a solid ground for other sessions of the Preparatory Committee to follow.
Thank you for your kind attention. (PDF Version here)

 


 

OIC Sec Gen asks for declaring Mideast as Nuclear Free Zone (REPETITION: correction in headline)- (11/04/2007) - IRNA  - Secretary General of Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) said here Wednesday OIC is determined to set a cornerstone for ending application of double standards regarding nuclear issues. Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu made the comment at his joint press conference with IRI Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki, adding, "In line with pursuing that objective, the OIC asks for declaring the Middle East a Nuclear Weapons Free Zone, so as to impose pressure over Israel to conduct its nuclear activities under the supervision of the IAEA, and to abide by that agency's treaties." He added, "We already have a good example of a Nuclear Weapons Free Zone in Central Asia." Ihsanoglu said, "In line with the same objective, we also encourage Iran to adopt measures to build trust among regional countries and to help to end all remaining worries regarding its peaceful nuclear program, and to continue them while maintaining constructive interactions with regional countries." He referred to his talks with the IRI President and the Iranian Foreign Minister on latest status of nuclear developments, arguing, "From OIC's point of view, all countries, including Iran, are entitled to take peaceful advantage of nuclear technology under the supervision of the IAEA, and abiding by all NPT regulations." Ihsanoglu further emphasized, "Regarding Iran's nuclear program we seriously believe in need to respect that right, and we emphasize that till solving all remaining issues it should keep abiding by IAEA regulations and keep cooperating with that UN agency." He stressed that the OIC approves resuming of peaceful negotiations based on international laws and without any preconditions, save for abiding by NPT rules, in a bid to end solve the problem, believing that sanctions will not solve any problems. The OIC Chief said, "There are numerous cases in the world that sanctions have not yielded to any results, and on the contrary, they have led to negative results, including inflicting losses against people." In response to a question why the OIC, as an important member of the international community, does not strongly and openly support Iran, or even reflect its supportive viewpoints in written documents, Ihsanoglu said, "I must admit that is not OIC's problem, since we are constantly exchanging information with Iran, and regarding sanctions, too, the OIC has openly declared its viewpoints." He emphasized, "We clearly defend Iran's absolute rights, as well as the rights of all our other members, and we believe issuing resolutions and imposing sanction yield no favorable results and lead to negative aftermaths, as well." Mottaki, too, at the joint press conference appreciated the OIC Secretary General for supporting Iran's logical stands in insisting to pursue its peaceful nuclear activities. Referring to Ihsanoglu's meeting with President  Ahmadinejad, he said, "During that meeting the OIC Secretary General was asked to present his proposals aimed for eliminating the possible remaining worries among some regional countries regarding activities at Iran's Bushehr Nuclear Reactor." Mottaki also focused on probability of holding a meeting in Iraq, arguing, "Iran favors holding a conference, inclusive of Iraq's neighbors, in addition to Egypt and Bahrain, in accordance with previous agreements, in Iraq." 2329/1771 (Treaty establishing a Central Asian Nuclear Weapon Free Zone (CANWFZ) (pdf file 122 KB))

 


 

Statement byAmbassador Mehdi Danesh-Yazdi

Deputy Permanent Representative of the Islamic Republic of IranBefore the United Nations Disarmament Commission2007 Substantive Session,10 April 2007 , New York

In the name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

Mr. Chairman,

I would like to begin by congratulating you on your election as the Chairman of the Disarmament Commission. I am confident that under your able leadership, we will have a fruitful session this year. My delegation wishes to associate itself with the statement made by the distinguished representative of Indonesia on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement. Given the role of the Disarmament Commission as the sole deliberative body on disarmament issues with universal membership, we welcome the Commission entering the intermediate year of its three-year-cycle of in-depth substantive deliberations on nuclear disarmament. In view of certain setbacks and unfulfilled commitments in disarmament area, it is of a high time for the Commission to focus on exploring ways and means for elimination of nuclear weapons.

Following the nuclear bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki by the United States and their tragic aftermath, it took the international community more than two decades to come up with a collective action in the form of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. The Treaty was seen as a genuine promise to rid the world from nuclear weapons nightmare. However, after almost four decades since the entry into force of the NPT, a real progress towards nuclear disarmament has yet to be achieved. The world public opinion is extremely weary of the continuation of this situation, and rightly expects the nuclear weapons states to take concrete actions to fulfill their contractual obligations with regard to nuclear disarmament.

In 1978, the General Assembly, cognizant of the fact that nuclear weapons constitute the gravest threat to international peace and security, adopted the Final Document of the SSOD-I which stressed on the nuclear disarmament as the highest priority on disarmament agenda. In our view, the nuclear disarmament is a major milestone towards the real objective of the disarmament process namely general and complete disarmament.

In recent years, certain developments have presented serious challenges to the objective of nuclear disarmament which inter-alia include:

•  persistent refusal by the nuclear weapons states especially the United States to fulfill the agreed 13 practical steps as a part of unequivocal undertaking to accomplish nuclear disarmament ;

•  the continuation of nuclear weapon-sharing arrangements with non-nuclear-weapons states in contravention of Article I of the NPT, particularly through the deployment of nuclear weapons in the NATO European countries;

•  the development and testing of new nuclear weapons in laboratory conditions, which run contrary to the spirit and letter of the CTBT;

•  the transfer of nuclear technology and materials to non-parties to the NPT, in particular the agreement of nuclear cooperation between the United States and Israel, whose nuclear arsenals presents the greatest threat to regional and international peace and stability, and providing Israeli scientists access to the US nuclear facilities, thereby demonstrating the US total disregard for its obligations under Article I of the Treaty;

•  the planned deployment of missile defense systems in various regions and the threat to use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear-weapons states;

•  advancing new doctrines to justify the reliance on nuclear weapons, especially by stressing the essential role of nuclear weapons as an effective tool for achieving security goals and foreign policy objectives, and targeting non-nuclear weapon States Parties to the Treaty;

•  developing new nuclear weapons systems, and constructing new facilities for producing nuclear weapons,

•  resuming efforts to develop and deploy tactical nuclear weapons despite the commitment to reverse this process and effectively reduce them;

In short, the NPT nowadays is facing serious risks due to the adoption of a policy of negation, denial and refusal by the nuclear weapons states especially United States with respect to their unequivocal undertaking to accomplish the elimination of their nuclear arsenals. In this context, the US continues to undermine the integrity and credibility of the NPT by obstructing the follow up process of nuclear disarmament commitments within the framework of the UN multilateral disarmament machinery, and pursues its own unilateral policies and priorities through more exclusive bodies and groups.

We have a collective responsibility to restore the credibility of the NPT. To realize this goal, we need to address collectively and thoroughly such daunting challenges.

Mr. Chairman,

The NPT is the foundation of nuclear disarmament, nuclear non-proliferation and peaceful uses of nuclear energy. Our efforts in this august body should be directed towards mutual reinforcement of these interrelated pillars of the Treaty.

The current session of the Commission should intensify efforts to adopt concrete recommendations in achieving the objectives of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation. Our endeavors should be guided by the following principles:

•  to maintain and strengthen the integrity of the existing non proliferation instruments;

•  to reject attempts to undermine the inalienable rights of the states parties;

•  to preserve fully the achievements reached at the NPT 1995 and 2000 Review Conferences;

•  to emphasize the authority and credibility of relevant international organizations such as IAEA with regard to the verification of compliance;

The Commission should re-emphasize the “unequivocal undertaking” of the nuclear weapons states for systematic and progressive efforts to implement nuclear disarmament, and recommend appropriate measures for its realization. For many years, the Conference on Disarmament has failed to adopt a program of work due to the lack of political will for negotiations on nuclear disarmament. To overcome this problem, the Commission should recommend the early establishment of an ad-hoc committee on nuclear disarmament.

The threat of use of nuclear weapons by some possessor states is increasingly alarming. The Commission should not turn a blind eye on such dangerous threats and should send a strong message to these states by rejecting such illegal and inhumane policies.

Mr. Chairman,

Non-proliferation and peaceful uses of nuclear energy, as recognized by the NPT, are of high importance. These issues should be considered on their own merit with due attention to the rights and obligations of member states under relevant provisions of the NPT. Unfortunately, non-proliferation has been manipulated by a few countries as a pretext to advance their narrow national interests and to deprive developing countries of their rights to nuclear technology for peaceful purposes.

The negation of the nuclear disarmament obligations is not the only challenge facing the NPT. Certain nuclear-weapons states under the pretext of "non proliferation" have attempted to establish new mechanisms and precedents to restrict and deny the inalienable rights of States Parties under article IV of the NPT to develop and use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes. Efforts to advance non-proliferation are of utmost importance. However, the ill-intended attempts made under the banner of non-proliferation are increasingly pursued to deprive member states to use nuclear material, equipment and technology for peaceful purposes. Such attempts will only exacerbate the existing inequalities that are inherent in the NPT, and consequently will lead to the erosion of the integrity of the Treaty and the benefits of its membership. Ironically, the same states are proliferating nuclear weapons horizontally and vertically by either transferring the nuclear weapons technology and materials to non-parties to the NPT or by developing new types of nuclear weapons or modernizing them.

Thus, the Commission needs to reflect on non proliferation in all its aspects and recommend certain measures to ensure the critical balance between non-proliferation obligations and the right to nuclear technology for peaceful purposes. It should equally reflect on the followings:

•  to reiterate the inalienable rights of states parties to the fullest possible exchange of nuclear material, equipments, technology for peaceful purposes without any discrimination, and to enable the NPT States Parties to exercise their full rights for developing and producing nuclear energy for peaceful purposes under appropriate international monitoring and supervision ;

•  to call on certain group of states to remove restrictions incompatible with their relevant international obligations imposed on states parties in transfer of nuclear material , equipment and technology for peaceful purposes;

•  to recognize the authority of the IAEA as the sole international competent body to deal with the verification of compliance of member states with their respected safeguard obligations in strict observance of the provisions of the IAEA Statute;

- to ensure full universality of the NPT without a single exception, and in this regard, to urge Israel, as the only one in the Middle East which has not yet adhered to NPT to accede to it without delay and to place its unsafeguarded facilities under the full scope of the Agency;

- to reiterate the necessity to conclude without delay an internationally legally binding instrument on the negative security assurances pending the total elimination of nuclear weapons;

•  to require all states to stick to multilateralism to address issues of non-proliferation in all its aspects;

•  to avoid abusing the UN bodies including the Security Council as an instrument of pressure for depriving states parties from exercising their inalienable rights;

•  to strengthen collective and coordinated efforts to prevent proliferation by anyone and anywhere on a non-discriminatory manner and also to strictly prevent the spread of nuclear weapons,

Mr. Chairman,

Let me now turn to the issue of confidence building measures (CBMs) in the field of conventional weapons. We are of the view that CBMs, if widely applied by all states, could enhance stability, peace and security at regional and international levels. However, it should be noted that CBMs are of very complex and multifaceted nature. CBMs are widely considered as voluntary measures among the concerned parties which should be implemented bilaterally or multilaterally and should not be abused nor turned to legally binding measures. Complexity of the issue of CBMs originates from the fact that CBMs would not be effective and universal if the cold war era security perceptions of some member states continue to prevail. Almost two decades have passed since the end of the cold war, but regrettably thousands of nuclear weapons continue to exist as a means of terrorizing the non-nuclear weapon states.

CBMs cannot and should not be seen in isolation from international security environment. While some nuclear weapons states persistently seek absolute security by relying on their nuclear weapons arsenals, it is unrealistic to believe that our common goal towards general and complete disarmament can be realized in a foreseeable future. Therefore, CBMs should be coupled with simultaneous concrete steps towards elimination of nuclear weapons. To attain such a noble goal, the international community must pursue and advance disarmament in practice rather than in words.

Thank you.

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