Tag Archives | Iran
Via the Herald Sun: The Iranian press is reporting that a group of Republican Guards on patrol outside of an underground nuclear enrichment plant discovered a “monitoring device” cleverly disguised as a rock. The device self-destructed when the guards attempted to remove it. This is only the latest in a string of incidences involving the use of high-tech devices to monitor, or in some cases sabotage, Iranian nuclear plants.
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Last week, the country’s vice president Fereydoun Abbasi said power lines had been blown up near the facility on August 17 in an attempt to sabotage Iran’s “peaceful” nuclear program.
But experts examined the rubble and found a device designed to intercept data from computers at the plant.
The accident signals the loss of an important source of intelligence for the West on Iran’s progress towards making a nuclear bomb.
It is not the first time a fake rock has been used for espionage.
Answer: When the US government says so.
When the Mujahedeen in Afghanistan were assassinating members of their government and the Russian troops dispatched to support it, they were, in Washington’s view, freedom fighters, even as their enemies branded them terrorists.
When they turned against an Afghan government imposed by the United States or revolted against a US invasion, they were once again branded terrorists.
When armed groups battling Khadafy’s government were supported by NATO, they were called freedom fighters. When some recently and allegedly turned violently against the United States, which is now dominating Libyan politics, they are once again castigated as terrorists.
And now, the United States Government through a decision by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has decided that the Iranian group Mujahedeen Khalq, or People’s Mujahedeen, that had been on the US State Department’s terrorist list for years, has now been taken off the list.… Read the rest
The term “October Surprise” is one that always triggers speculation in political circles.
It refers to some covert initiative that a candidates take in the month before the election to try to win an election.
Even as President Obama seems to lead in the polls, and the lead is slipping, the political race faces a number of unknowns including whether and how Israel may intervene more actively to force its political agenda on our political agenda.
According to Consortium News, this has happened before in an earlier US election:
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“A pressing foreign policy question of the U.S. presidential race is whether Israel might exploit this politically delicate time to bomb Iran’s nuclear sites and force President Obama to join the attack or face defeat at the polls, a predicament with similarities to one President Carter faced in 1980,” writes Robert Parry.
Using an exaggerated if fictive Iranian threat to create nuclear weapons as their pretext, Israeli politicians are blatantly and publicly inserting themselves in America’s Presidential elections, demanding that President Obama do their bidding by articulating so-called “red lines” to further threaten Tehran.
Until, now Israel has been content to mobilize its powerful lobby and media assets to apply pressure from the shadows, using political contributions and diplomacy of a covert type so that Tel-Aviv’s direct intervention could have plausible deniability. That is no longer the case.
The New York Times reports,
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“Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel inserted himself into the most contentious foreign policy issue of the American presidential campaign on Tuesday, criticizing the Obama administration for refusing to set clear “red lines” on Iran’s nuclear progress that would prompt the United States to undertake a military strike.
The Israeli military has issued a new brochure offering safety tips to civilians in case of a war – you know, just in case of a war- with Iran. That’s not surprising, but the way they’ve chosen to present the information is: They’re using the face of “Moishe Oofnik”: the Israeli version of Sesame Street‘s “Oscar the Grouch.”
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Muppets on the popular show are known for teaching children numbers and the alphabet, but Moishe Oofnik has taken on a different job with this pamphlet – instructing Israelis how to react if their nation’s government launches a war against Iran.
The booklet, issued by the Israeli military, says that once air raid sirens sound, residents of the Jewish state would have between 30 seconds and three minutes to find cover before rockets hit their area. The brochure, which is being distributed across the country, also teaches Israelis how to prepare a safe room or shelter for emergency situations.
What are “international obligations? Does the United States have to uphold them along with other counties? Does Washington even know they are defined as “obligations owed by states to the international community as a whole, intended to protect and promote the basic values and common interests of all.” By this very definition, no one state can decide what’s best for all.
When the United States stepped up its sanctions on Iran last past week, it cited Iran’s failure to adhere to its “international obligations.” There was, of course, no reference to domestic politics where President Obama, under attack from adversary Mitt Romney, criticized his failure to stop Iran’s nuclear program.
Romney did so in Israel hoping to curry favor and donations from Jewish voters. Scholars like Juan Cole found the exercise distasteful for many reasons:
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“There is a convention in US politics that you don’t criticize the sitting president, even if you are an opposition politician, while on foreign soil.
Via CBS News:
Federal Magistrate Frank Maas has recommended that Al-Qaeda, the Taliban and Iran be held liable for six billion dollars in a 2011 civil suit brought against them by relatives of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. The assessment is symbolic in nature, as it will be impossible to collect damages. Still, at least some of the plaintiffs are pleased with the results:
Plaintiff Ellen Saracini … is happy about Manhattan Federal Magistrate Judge Frank Maas’ recommendation Monday. Her husband, Victor, was the captain of one of the planes that struck the World Trade Center.
Read the entire story at CBS News.