Olmert calls Ahmadinejad a “psychopath” who “speaks like Hitler”

May 02, 2006

* Iran says it may give nuclear aid to regime in Sudan
* Iran shells Kurds in Iraq
* For first time, UN admits Iran aids Hizbullah
* Israel has world’s largest Jewish population for first time in almost 2,000 years

 

CONTENTS

1. “Olmert: Ahmadinejad is ‘psychopath’ who ‘speaks like Hitler’” (Ha’aretz, April 30, 2006)
2. “Iran’s secret plan if attacked by US codenamed ‘Judgement Day’” (Asharq Al-Awsat, April 27, 2006)
3. “Iran’s president recruits terror master” (Sunday Times of London, April 23, 2006)
4. “UN says Iran aids Hezbollah” (UPI, April 21, 2006)
5. “Senior Iran cleric tells Sudan that nuclear aid is available” (New York Times, April 26, 2006)
6. “Iran chalks U.S. threats up to failure to build coalition” (Beirut Daily Star, April 22, 2006)
7. “Families flee Iranian shelling on Kurdish rebels in Iraq” (AFP, May 2, 2006)
8. “Iran enriched uranium to over 4 pct, says official” (Reuters, April 30, 2006)



[Note by Tom Gross]

This dispatch should be read in conjunction with the other dispatch on Iran sent today. Below, I attach a series of recent news reports on Iran. There are summaries first, for those who don’t have time to read the full articles. (There will be no more dispatches for the next week because of other work commitments.)

The first article reports on Ehud Olmert’s comments to the German best-selling Bild newspaper in which he called Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad a “psychopath” who “speaks like Hitler.” The next article, an “exclusive” from the London-based Saudi-owned daily Asharq Al-Awsat, reports on Iran’s secret plan, codenamed “Judgment Day,” if attacked by the U.S.

Other articles below report on Ahmadinejad’s recruitment of Imad Mugniyeh, the Lebanese commander of Hizbullah’s overseas operations, who could be in charge of any Iranian retaliation. This comes only days after the UN, for the first time, named Iran a supporter of Hizbullah.

The final articles report on the offer from Iran to Sudan of nuclear aid, Iranian accusations against the U.S., reports that Iran shelled Kurdish rebels causing casualties and families to flee their homes, and news that Iran has enriched uranium to over four percent.

On another depressing note, the Islamic regime’s worldwide suicide-bombers internet registration site has recommenced operations according to this report: www.iranpressnews.com/source/012531.htm

-- Tom Gross

 

ISRAEL HAS LARGEST JEWISH POPULATION FOR FIRST TIME IN ALMOST 2,000 YEARS

On a separate matter, United Press International reports today that for the first time in almost 2,000 years, Israel has the largest Jewish population of any country in the world. New statistics announced yesterday by the Israeli government say that about 76 percent of the population of 7.3 million is Jewish, about 5.3 million people. The last survey of the U.S. Jewish population put it at about 5.3 million in 2001, but statisticians think that the numbers may have declined slightly.

 

SUMMARIES

“HE SPEAKS LIKE HITLER DID OF THE EXTERMINATION OF THE JEWISH NATION”

“Olmert: Ahmadinejad is ‘psychopath’ who ‘speaks like Hitler’” (Ha’aretz, April 30, 2006)

Interim Prime Minister Ehud Olmert launched an unprecedented attack on Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in an interview with a German newspaper published Saturday, labeling him an anti-Semitic “psychopath of the worst kind. He speaks like Hitler did of the extermination of the entire Jewish nation.”

“I hope that he will never become so dangerous and destructive, like Adolf Hitler was,” Olmert goes on. “I hope he never gets the chance to transfer his threats into the deeds, but if one wants to judge a statesman based on his words, I can say Ahmadinejad speaks today as Hitler spoke before the seizure of power.”

“Suffice to say that the west, led by the United States, will not agree under any circumstances to allow Iran to have nuclear weapons. U.S. President George W. Bush is a brave man who understands this very well.”

 

IRAN’S SECRET PLAN IF ATTACKED BY U.S. CODENAMED “JUDGEMENT DAY”

“Iran’s secret plan if attacked by US codenamed ‘Judgement Day’” (Asharq Al-Awsat, By Ali Nouri Zadeh, April 27, 2006)

Eight fundamentalist Islamist organizations have received large sums of money in the last month from the Iranian intelligence services, as part of a project to strike U.S military and economic installations across the Middle East, Asharq Al-Awsat has learned.

The plan, which also includes the carrying out of suicide operations targeting US and British interests in the region, as well as their Arab and Muslim allies, in case Iran is attacked, was drawn up by a number of experts guerilla warfare and terrorist operations, and was revealed by a senior source in the Iranian armed forces’ joint chief of staff headed by the veterinary doctor Hassan Firouzabadi…

As for the Lebanese Hezbollah, several loads of arms have been sent to; they include rockets, explosives, and guided missiles. Hezbollah’s arsenal includes more than 10 thousand rockets short-range rockets and missiles including Fajr, Nour, Arash, Hadid.

An estimated 80 members underwent private training last year on how to carry out suicide operations from the air (through the use of kite planes) and undersea operations using submarines…

 

AHMADINEJAD RECRUITS TERROR MASTER

“Iran’s president recruits terror master” (By Sarah Baxter and Uzi Mahnaimi, The Sunday Times of London, April 23, 2006)

Iran’s president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, attended a meeting in Syria earlier this year with one of the world’s most wanted terrorists, according to intelligence experts and a former national security official in Washington. US officials and Israel intelligence sources believe Imad Mugniyeh, the Lebanese commander of Hezbollah’s overseas operations, has taken charge of plotting Iran’s retaliation against western targets should President George W Bush order a strike on Iranian nuclear sites.

Mugniyeh is on the FBI’s “Most Wanted Terrorists” list for his role in a series of high-profile attacks against the West, including the 1985 hijacking of a TWA jet and murder of one of its passengers, a US navy diver.

Now in his mid-forties, Mugniyeh is reported to have travelled with Ahmadinejad in January this year from Tehran to Damascus, where the Iranian president met leaders of Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad and Hamas…

Jane’s Intelligence Review cited “reports in recent weeks” of Mugniyeh’s presence alongside the president… “It’s hard to identify Mugniyeh because he is said to have changed his face and his fingerprints”…

Mugniyeh lives in Iran and has evaded capture for more than 20 years, despite a $5m American bounty on his head… The young Mugniyeh first attracted the attention of the West when he was involved in the kidnapping, torture and mutilation of William Buckley, the CIA station chief in Beirut, in 1984…

 

UN NAMES IRAN A SUPPORTER OF HIZBULLAH FOR FIRST TIME

“UN says Iran aids Hezbollah” (By William M. Reilly, United Press International, April 21, 2006)

The United Nations has for the first time named Iran a supporter of Hezbollah, an Islamic Shiite resistance group based in Lebanon and a bitter foe of Israel. The mention came in a report to the U.N. Security Council under Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s name, but prepared by his special envoy Terje Roed-Larsen. Among its requests, the report calls for the removal of all foreign forces from Lebanon.

The semi-annual report was sent to the panel of 15 nations earlier this week and a copy was obtained by United Press International prior to its official publication.

The prime target of the report was the Syrian military and Palestinian militias based in the Arab country. Annan said in the report, “I note the assurance of the Lebanese Army Command that it has the capacity to collect the arms of Palestinian militias if and when a political decision to that effect is taken.”…

“Hezbollah maintains close ties, with frequent contacts and regular communication, with the Syrian Arab Republic and the Islamic Republic of Iran,” Annan said in the report…

 

“IRAN IS PREPARED TO TRANSFER THE EXPERIENCE, KNOWLEDGE AND TECHNOLOGY OF ITS SCIENTISTS”

“Senior Iran cleric tells Sudan that nuclear aid is available” (By Nazila Fathi, New York Times, April 26, 2006)

Iran’s supreme leader said Tuesday at a meeting here with the Sudanese president that Iran was ready to share its nuclear technology with other countries.

“Iran’s nuclear capability is one example of various scientific capabilities in the country,” the leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said to President Omar al-Bashir of Sudan, the Iranian news agency IRNA reported. “The Islamic Republic of Iran is prepared to transfer the experience, knowledge and technology of its scientists.”…

 

[For space reasons, only a summary of this article is attached in this dispatch]

IRAN CHALKS U.S. THREATS UP TO FAILURE TO BUILD COALITION

“Iran chalks U.S. threats up to failure to build coalition” (The Beirut Daily Star, April 22, 2006)

Iran on Friday dismissed a U.S. warning it could strike Iranian nuclear installations in the name of self-defense, with the foreign ministry arguing the threat was a sign of frustration in Washington. “America is angry because no other country has taken its side,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi was quoted as saying by the IRNA news agency.

“The U.S. is trying to weaken international institutions by using lies and tricky unilateralist policies. The U.S. is trying to make up for its inability to get other countries on side,” he added…

 

“DOZENS OF FAMILES WERE FORCED TO LEAVE THEIR HOMES”

“Families flee Iranian shelling on Kurdish rebels in Iraq” (AFP, May 2, 2006)

Iranian forces shelled Kurdish rebel positions in Iraq for the second day, forcing dozens of Kurdish families to flee.

“The Iranians shelled PKK positions from 9 pm on Sunday until 5 am on Monday,” Rustom Judi, a leader of the rebel Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in Iraq’s northern province of Sulaimaniyah, told AFP. “Dozens of families were forced to leave their homes,” he said Monday. “We have casualties,” he added, but did not provide further details…

 

“WE HAVE DONE ENRICHMENT IN THE RANGE OF ABOVE 4 PERCENT”

“Iran enriched uranium to over 4 pct, says official” (Reuters, April 30, 2006)

Iran has enriched uranium to more than 4 percent, an Iranian official said on Saturday, a level higher than Iran previously told the U.N. nuclear watchdog but still in the range used for fuel in nuclear power stations.

Iran had told the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in mid-April that it had enriched uranium to 3.6 percent, a level which the IAEA confirmed from samples it took…



FULL ARTICLES

“HE SPEAKS LIKE HITLER DID OF THE EXTERMINATION OF THE JEWISH NATION”

Olmert: Ahmadinejad is ‘psychopath’ who ‘speaks like Hitler’
Ha’aretz
April 30, 2006

Interim Prime Minister Ehud Olmert launched an unprecedented attack on Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in an interview with a German newspaper published Saturday, labelling him an anti-Semitic “psychopath” who “speaks like Hitler.”

Olmert told Bild newspaper that the Iranian president “is a psychopath of the worst kind. He speaks like Hitler did of the extermination of the entire Jewish nation.”

“I hope that he will never become so dangerous and destructive, like Adolf Hitler was,” Olmert goes on. “I hope he never gets the chance to transfer his threats into the deeds, but if one wants to judge a statesman based on his words, I can say Ahmadinejad speaks today as Hitler spoke before the seizure of power.”

The prime minister said that it was the duty of the entire world to work together to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons.

“So you see, we are dealing with a psychopath of the worst kind, with an anti-Semite,” Olmert said. “God forbid that this man ever gets his hands on nuclear weapons, to carry out his threats.”

Olmert also touched on the possibility of a military strike to deter Iran’s nuclear aspirations. Tehran said Saturday that it would allow the United Nations to resume snap inspections of its nuclear sites as long as the country was not referred to the UN Security Council.

“Suffice to say that the west, led by the United States, will not agree under any circumstances to allow Iran to have nuclear weapons. U.S. President George W. Bush is a brave man who understands this very well.”

The Iranian president provoked an international outcry last year when he denied the Holocaust had occurred, and said that Israel should be “wiped off the map.”

In February, Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki had said Ahmadinejad’s October 2005 comments had been misunderstood and that he had been speaking about the Israeli “regime,” not the country. Mottaki had said a country could not be removed from the map.

But earlier this month, the Iranian president called Israel a “rotten, dried tree” that will be annihilated by “one storm.”

“There might be doubts in the Holocaust, but there are definitely no doubts about the holocaust happening in the recent years in Palestine,” Ahmadinejad said in an April 14 address.

The land of Palestine, he said, referring to the British mandated territory that includes all of Israel, Gaza and the West Bank, “will be freed soon.”

He did not say how this would be achieved, but insisted to the audience of at least 900 people: “Believe that Palestine will be freed soon.”

He most recently repeated the comments on Tuesday, as Israel marked Holocaust Remembrance Day, saying that the Jews of Israel should return to Europe.

 

IRAN’S SECRET PLAN IF ATTACKED BY U.S. CODENAMED “JUDGEMENT DAY”

Iran’s secret plan if attacked by US codenamed “Judgement Day”
Asharq Al-Awsat Exclusive
By Ali Nouri Zadeh
April 27, 2006

Eight fundamentalist Islamist organizations have received large sums of money in the last month from the Iranian intelligence services, as part of a project to strike U.S military and economic installations across the Middle East, Asharq Al-Awsat has learned.

The plan, which also includes the carrying out of suicide operations targeting US and British interests in the region, as well as their Arab and Muslim allies, in case Iran is attacked, was drawn up by a number of experts guerilla warfare and terrorist operations, and was revealed by a senior source in the Iranian armed forces’ joint chief of staff headed by the veterinary doctor Hassan Firouzabadi.

The source added that the forces of the Revolutionary Guards’ al Quds Brigades, under Brigadier General Qassim Suleimani is responsible for coordinating and providing logistical support for the groups taking part in the execution of the plan, codenamed al Qiyamah the Islamic word for “Judgment Day”.

The plan includes three steps, which Asharq al Awsat has examined in earlier reports. The source gave more details about how the plan will be implemented. He said, “Most of Iran’s visitors in the last four months, including the leaders of revolutionary groups in Iraq, Palestine and Lebanon, as well as the heads of Hezbollah cells in the Persian Gulf and Europe and North America were asked, when they met with the Iranian intelligence minister Gholamhossein Mohseni Ezhei and his aides: are you ready to defend the Islamic revolution and vilayat e faqih? If you agree to take part in the great jihad, what would you need to be ready for the great fight?

Amongst the leaders who visited were the head of one of the Iraqi armed group who was very clear and honest. He said his men would transform Iraq into a hell for the Americans if Iran were attacked.

The source also said that the military training camps of the Guards were opened for the fighters of the Mehdi army in Iran to receive the necessary training. Iran had also increased its financial assistance to Moqtada al Sadr to more than 20 million dollars.

The same applied to Islamic Jihad in Palestine which has received large sums of money, large quantities of arms and military training for its cadres in Isfahan, including street fighting methods.

As for the Lebanese Hezbollah, several loads of arms have been sent to; they include rockets, explosives, and guided missiles. Hezbollah’s arsenal includes more than 10 thousand rockets short-range rockets and missiles including Fajr, Nour, Arash, Hadid.

An estimated 80 members underwent private training last year on how to carry out suicide operations from the air (through the use of kite planes) and undersea operations using submarines.

While denying that Hamas had joined the list of organizations ready to help Iran in its likely war with the U.S, the source indicated that the external success of the movement, which enjoys considerable Iranian support both financial and military, was strengthened following the latest visit by its leaders to Tehran. This was translated in the Palestinian masses’ support for Iran, against Israel and the United States.

According to Iran, the latest military plan includes:

1 – A missile strike directly targeting the US bases in the Persian Gulf and Iraq, as soon as nuclear installations are hit.

2 – Suicide operations in a number of Arab and Muslim countries against US embassies and missions and US military bases and economic and oil installations related to US and British companies. The campaign might also target the economic and military installations of countries allied with the United States.

3 – Launch attacks by the Basij and the Revolutionary Guards and Iraqi fighters loyal to Iran against US and British forces in Iraq, from border regions in central and southern Iraq .

4 – Hezbollah to launch hundreds of rockets against military and economic targets in Israel.

According to the source, in case the US military attacks continue, more than 50 Shehab-3 missiles will be targeted against Israel and the al Quads Brigades will give the go-ahead for more than 50 terrorists cells in Canada, the US and Europe to attack civil and industrial targets in these countries.

What about the last stage in the plan?

Here, the Iranian source hesitated before saying with worry; this stage might represent the beginning of a world war, given that extremists will seek to maximize civilian casualties by exploding germ and chemical bombs as well as dirty nuclear bombs across western and Arab cities.

 

AHMADINEJAD RECRUITS TERROR MASTER

Iran’s president recruits terror master
Plot for revenge attacks on West
By Sarah Baxter and Uzi Mahnaimi
The Sunday Times (of London)
April 23, 2006

Iran’s president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, attended a meeting in Syria earlier this year with one of the world’s most wanted terrorists, according to intelligence experts and a former national security official in Washington. US officials and Israel intelligence sources believe Imad Mugniyeh, the Lebanese commander of Hezbollah’s overseas operations, has taken charge of plotting Iran’s retaliation against western targets should President George W Bush order a strike on Iranian nuclear sites.

Mugniyeh is on the FBI’s “Most Wanted Terrorists” list for his role in a series of high-profile attacks against the West, including the 1985 hijacking of a TWA jet and murder of one of its passengers, a US navy diver.

Now in his mid-forties, Mugniyeh is reported to have travelled with Ahmadinejad in January this year from Tehran to Damascus, where the Iranian president met leaders of Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad and Hamas.

The meeting has been dubbed a “terror summit” because of the presence of so many groups behind attacks on Israel, which Ahmadinejad has threatened to wipe from the map.

Jane’s Intelligence Review cited “reports in recent weeks” of Mugniyeh’s presence alongside the president.

Michael Ledeen, a Middle East expert and former Pentagon and National Security Council official who wrote that Mugniyeh had “probably” been there, said last week senior American officials had confirmed it.

“It’s hard to identify Mugniyeh because he is said to have changed his face and his fingerprints,” Ledeen said. “But senior government officials have told me I was right. He was there.”

Shortly after the Damascus summit Henry Crumpton, head of counter-terrorism at the state department, singled out the elusive Mugniyeh as a threat. The Iranians, Crumpton said, “have complete command and control of Hezbollah. Imad Mugniyeh works for Tehran. And you can’t talk about Hezbollah and not think about Iran. They really are part and parcel of the same problem.”

Mugniyeh lives in Iran and has evaded capture for more than 20 years, despite a $5m American bounty on his head. Western intelligence reports claim he has many connections to terrorist cells in Europe, Africa, Latin America and the US and he is said to have met Osama Bin Laden.

“When and if the Iranians decide to hit the West in its soft belly, Imad will be the one to act,” a western intelligence source said last week.

An Israeli defence source claimed Mugniyeh was in regular touch with the new Iranian intelligence minister, Gholamhossein Mohseni Ezhei. The minister is a long-time confidant of Ahmadinejad and was appointed by him.

“We know that Mohseni Ezhei holds routine meetings with Mugniyeh, who is today Iran’s head of overseas operations,” said the Israeli defence source. “Since we know from previous Iranian terror attacks that it takes about a year to plan a substantial one, we should not be surprised if operations against western targets are already in high gear and Mugniyeh is certainly playing a major role.”

The young Mugniyeh first attracted the attention of the West when he was involved in the kidnapping, torture and mutilation of William Buckley, the CIA station chief in Beirut, in 1984. He kept his victim at the Sheikh Abdullah camp in the Lebanese Bekaa valley and was allegedly the last person Buckley saw before he died.

“Imad had good reason to retaliate,” said a well-informed source. “A car bomb killed his brother Jihad, who had taken Imad’s old job as bodyguard to Hezbollah’s spiritual leader.” Mugniyeh blamed the CIA, and Buckley was chosen to pay the price.

The kidnapping led to the Iran-contra affair, one of the most embarrassing episodes of the Reagan presidency, in which arms were swapped for hostages. But by the time the Americans were negotiating with the Iranians, Buckley was already dead.

Mugniyeh has also been linked to the demolition of the American embassy and marine barracks in Beirut in 1983 and is wanted in Argentina for his role in recruiting the bombers of the Israeli embassy and Jewish centre in Buenos Aires in the early 1990s.

Mugniyeh left Lebanon for Iran in 1994 with his wife and son after an assassination attempt. He is since believed to have played an active role in fomenting trouble in Iraq. Ledeen described him last week as the “spinal column of the terror war against America in Iraq from the beginning”.

According to Robert Baer, a former CIA agent who pursued Mugniyeh in the 1980s, “he is the most dangerous terrorist we have ever faced. Mugniyeh is probably the most intelligent, most capable operative we have ever run across, including the KGB or anybody else.

“He enters by one door, exits by another, changes his cars daily, never makes appointments by telephone – he is never predictable. He is the master terrorist, the grail we have been after since 1983”.

Elite Iranian army officers who arrived in south Lebanon this month have taken command of thousands of rockets aimed at cities across Israel. They are believed to have been given control of the missiles by Hezbollah to deter possible Israeli attacks against Iran’s nuclear facilities.

 

UN NAMES IRAN A SUPPORTER OF HIZBULLAH FOR FIRST TIME

UN says Iran aids Hezbollah
By William M. Reilly
United Press International
April 21, 2006

The United Nations has for the first time named Iran a supporter of Hezbollah, an Islamic Shiite resistance group based in Lebanon and a bitter foe of Israel.

The mention came in a report to the U.N. Security Council under Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s name, but prepared by his special envoy Terje Roed-Larsen. Among its requests, the report calls for the removal of all foreign forces from Lebanon.

The semi-annual report was sent to the panel of 15 nations earlier this week and a copy was obtained by United Press International prior to its official publication.

The prime target of the report was the Syrian military and Palestinian militias based in the Arab country. Annan said in the report, “I note the assurance of the Lebanese Army Command that it has the capacity to collect the arms of Palestinian militias if and when a political decision to that effect is taken.”

He also welcomed recent statements from both groups indicating a willingness to put their arms “under the state’s authority.”

The report further called for “free and fair” elections in a Lebanon not dominated by Syria, which has maintained a vast “intelligence network in its neighbor.”

As for Hezbollah, the direct link it shares with Iran – considered the world’s largest state sponsor of terrorism – is underscored midway through the document.

“Hezbollah maintains close ties, with frequent contacts and regular communication, with the Syrian Arab Republic and the Islamic Republic of Iran,” Annan said in the report. “In this context, particularly, I have taken note of statements by senior Syrian officials urging a continuation of the ‘resistance.’”

The group is described by the U.S. Council on Foreign Relations as “a Lebanese umbrella organization of radical Islamic Shiite groups and organizations. It opposes the West, seeks to create a Muslim fundamentalist state modeled on Iran, and is a bitter foe of Israel.”

The council added, “Hezbollah is also a significant force in Lebanon’s politics and a major provider of social services, operating schools, hospitals, and agricultural services, for thousands of Lebanese Shiites.”

It has long been regarded as funded largely by Tehran.

“There has not yet been any noticeable change in the operational status and capabilities of Hezbollah,” the report said. “A group engaged in the democratic political process of opinion formation and decision-making can not simultaneously possess an autonomous armed operational capacity outside the authority of the state.”

Hezbollah’s inclusion in the government underlined the significance of its possible transformation into solely a political party, Annan said, reiterating his belief “the carrying of arms outside the official armed forces is impossible to reconcile with the participation in power and in government in a democracy.”

He also said leaders of most Lebanese political factions had told him they view with favor the eventual integration of Hezbollah into the armed forces.

However, Annan said arms are still being shipped to Hezbollah, as recently as February.

“Arms destined for Hezbollah had been transferred from Syria into Lebanon,” the secretary-general said he was told. “Twelve trucks carrying ammunition and weapons of various kinds, including Katyusha rockets, crossed the border from Syria.

“Discovered a few days later at a checkpoint inside Lebanon, the trucks were allowed to continue their journey towards their destination in South Lebanon,” he continued, adding an army statement indicated “transportation and storage of ammunition belonging to the ‘resistance,’ once inside Lebanon, were subject to the ministerial policy statement of the current Lebanese government, which considered the ‘resistance’ to be legitimate.”

Beirut confirmed the Lebanese military had not been authorized to prevent further movement of the material “which had been a common practice for more than 15 years.”

However, Annan said Roed Larsen has been assured by the Lebanese government and military “further cases of arms transfers would be put to the direct decision of Prime Minister (Fouad) Siniora, and that no further transfers of ammunitions and weapons have occurred since this incident.”

Hezbollah continues to justify its existence as a “resistance” movement by Israel’s ongoing occupation of the Shaaba farms area, which the United Nations had determined to be Israeli-occupied Syrian territory but which many Lebanese claimed.

Lebanon and Syria recently agreed it should be regarded as Israeli-occupied Lebanese territory when the border between Lebanon and Syria is demarcated.

 

“IRAN IS PREPARED TO TRANSFER THE EXPERIENCE, KNOWLEDGE AND TECHNOLOGY OF ITS SCIENTISTS”

Senior Iran cleric tells Sudan that nuclear aid is available
By Nazila Fathi
The New York Times
April 26, 2006

Iran’s supreme leader said Tuesday at a meeting here with the Sudanese president that Iran was ready to share its nuclear technology with other countries.

“Iran’s nuclear capability is one example of various scientific capabilities in the country,” the leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said to President Omar al-Bashir of Sudan, the news agency IRNA reported. “The Islamic Republic of Iran is prepared to transfer the experience, knowledge and technology of its scientists.”

Mr. Khamenei made his comments just days before the Friday deadline set by the United Nations Security Council for Iran to suspend its uranium enrichment.

At a conference on Tuesday in Tehran on its nuclear program, senior officials vowed that Iran would continue its enrichment activities.

Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator, Ali Larijani, said that in the event of Security Council sanctions, Iran would suspend cooperation with the United Nations nuclear agency. If there is a military strike aimed at destroying its facilities, Iran will simply hide its nuclear program, he added.

“You may inflict a loss on us, but you will lose also,” he said. Mr. Larijani said Iran was willing to cooperate if its case was returned to the International Atomic Energy Agency, but warned, “Do not expect us to act otherwise if you drag the case to the Security Council.”

Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, a senior cleric and head of the powerful Expediency Council, speaking at the conference, denounced the role of the nuclear agency and said it had failed to support Iran’s program. “I am not saying that the agency has had bad intentions,” he said. “But it has not fulfilled its duty to support countries to enjoy their right to have nuclear technology.”

 

“DOZENS OF FAMILES WERE FORCED TO LEAVE THEIR HOMES”

Families flee Iranian shelling on Kurdish rebels in Iraq
AFP (Agence France Presse)
May 2, 2006

Iranian forces shelled Kurdish rebel positions in Iraq for the second day, forcing dozens of Kurdish families to flee. “The Iranians shelled PKK positions from 9 pm on Sunday until 5 am on Monday,” Rustom Judi, a leader of the rebel Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in Iraq’s northern province of Sulaimaniyah, told AFP.

“Dozens of families were forced to leave their homes,” he said Monday. “We have casualties,” he added, but did not provide further details.

Iranian troops targeted positions around the villages of Laradu, Rushga and Qalaa Tuka about 190 kilometers (118 miles) north of Sulaimaniyah in the region’s rugged mountains, Judi said.

On Sunday, Iraq’s defence ministry said Iranian forces had entered Iraqi territory and shelled PKK positions over a period of 24 hours.

Iran on Monday refused to confirm or deny its troops had crossed into Iraqi soil. “I do not confirm the entry of our forces into the territory of neighbouring countries, notably Iraq,” government spokesman Gholam Hossein Elham told reporters.

“We have security cooperation accords with neighbouring countries and we act within the framework of these accords. There is no cause for concern over this kind of thing with neighbouring countries,” he said.

On April 20, Iranian shelling killed at least two people and injured 10 others in Iraq, the PKK said, while a group linked to the rebels, Pejak, killed four fighters inside Iran in weekend violence.

 

“WE HAVE DONE ENRICHMENT IN THE RANGE OF ABOVE 4 PERCENT”

Iran enriched uranium to over 4 pct, says official
Reuters
April 30, 2006

Iran has enriched uranium to more than 4 percent, an Iranian official said on Saturday, a level higher than Iran previously told the U.N. nuclear watchdog but still in the range used for fuel in nuclear power stations.

Iran had told the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in mid-April that it had enriched uranium to 3.6 percent, a level which the IAEA confirmed from samples it took.

Experts said uranium enriched to a range of roughly 3 to 5 percent is a low level used in atomic power reactors. Uranium would have to be enriched far higher, to 80 percent or more, to make nuclear weapons, which is what the West fears Iran wants.

“We have done enrichment in the range of above 4 percent,” Mohammad Saeedi, deputy head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Agency, said on a discussion programme on Iranian state television.

He also repeated Iran’s position that it would not give up enrichment, describing it as an “issue of life and death for Iranian society” and saying the goal enjoyed broad support.

“It is up to Iran to decide if it will keep enrichment at a pilot level or move towards an industrial scale,” he said.

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has said Iran will pursue large-scale enrichment in defiance of U.N. demands for suspending the sensitive nuclear work.

The world’s fourth largest oil exporter insists it has no military nuclear programme and says it wants to enrich fuel for nuclear power stations.

Western diplomats at the United Nations in New York have said they plan to introduce a resolution to the Security Council within a week giving legal force to the Council’s demands.

The United States, backed by Britain and France, support limited sanctions but the other two veto-wielding permanent Council members, Russia and China, are more guarded.

“I am sure that Russia and China will not support any draft that could lead to a Chapter 7 resolution in the Security Council,” Iran’s envoy to the IAEA in Vienna, Ali-Asghar Soltanieh, told the television programme by telephone.

A resolution adopted under Chapter 7 of the U.N. Charter makes council resolutions mandatory under international law. Chapter 7 allows for sanctions or even war but a separate resolution is required to specify either step.

Western diplomats have said China and Russia were unlikely to veto a resolution, but may block any eventual sanctions.


All notes and summaries copyright © Tom Gross. All rights reserved.