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Israel Netanyahu wants US bomb Iran before nuclear deal
Kerry says Israel Saudi Arabia Egypt wanted US bomb Iran before nuke deal
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>US 'Daesh Conspiracy' As Feared 'Tehran-To-Beirut Land Bridge' Is Established
Tehran To Beirut Land Bridge
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US Congress
under funding from Israel
wants war with Iran
US Congress under funding from Israel wants war with Iran
Russian General Nikolay Makarov Predicts US Collapse if Iran is Attacked
Forged documents on supposed purchase of yellowcake uranium by Iraq from Niger used by George W. Bush to promote a war on Iraq.
by Juan Cole, February 21, 2010
US paid terrorist leader Abdolmalek Rigi on US Afghanistan military base 24 hours before getting on flight to Iran from Dubai
Lavrov is less convinced there is anything sinister about Iran's civilian nuclear research, though he admits that questions remain: the process of work, questions arose both from the IAEA's inspectors themselves and on the basis of the intelligence which the IAEA obtains from various countries.
They were questions that aroused suspicion as to whether there might in reality be some military aspects to Iran's nuclear programme.
These questions were presented to the Iranians, as required by the procedures applicable in such cases.
And, some time ago, Iran answered most of them.
In principle, its answers were satisfactory, in a way that was considered by the professionals in Vienna normal.
However, some of the questions are still on the table.
So Lavrov thinks Iran's answers are largely 'satisfactory,' though there remain small areas of uncertainty.
Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu was in Moscow earlier this week calling for 'crippling sanctions on Iran.'
Lavrov's remarks clearly indicated that Moscow disagreed that that situation was so perilous as to call for such a step.
But just to be sure there was no misunderstanding, Lavrov sent out his own deputy foreign minister, Sergei Ryabkov, to denounce any such talk.
Ryabkov said, according to Xinhua:
"The term 'crippling sanctions' on Iran is totally unacceptable to us.
The sanctions should aim at strengthening the regime of non- proliferation . . . We certainly cannot talk about sanctions that could be interpreted as punishment on the whole country and its people for some actions or inaction . . . "
He said that Russia sought to settle differences with Iran through dialogue and engagement.
He also pledged that Russia would honor its deal to provide Iran S-300 air defense systems.
He said:
"There is a contract to supply these systems to Iran and we will fulfil it. The delays are linked to technical problems with adjusting these systems . . . "
So on Friday, even as the hawks in Washington watered at the mouth at the prospect of being able to use the new IAEA report as a basis for belligerency against Iran, Russia's foreign policy establishment was engaged in a whirlwind of activity aimed at challenging the notion that Moscow is in Washington's back pocket on Iran sanctions.
Killed in US paid Jundallah terrorist bombing
The chief of staff predicted American collapse in an Iran conflagration, and vowed in any case to try to block any such attack.
The foreign minister pronounced himself largely but not completely satisfied with Iran's answers concerning its nuclear activities, and underlined that Russia needs Iran because of Caspian issues (and he could have added, because of Caucasus and Central Asian ones).
And then the deputy foreign minister was enlisted to slap Netanyahu around a little, presumably on the theory that it would sting less coming from someone with 'deputy' in his title.
Those who have argued that Russia's increasing willingness to acquiesce in tougher UNSC sanctions might influence China to go along, too, should rethink.
Russia doesn't seem all that aboard with a brutal sanctions regime.
China not only has its own reasons not to want its own deals with Iran to be declared illegal, but its leaders doubt Iran has the capacity to construct a nuclear warhead anytime soon.
Postscript: The head of Iran's nuclear program, interviewed on Aljazeera, warns the US against pressuring Iran.
John Ricardo I. "Juan" Cole (born October 1952) is an American scholar, public intellectual, and historian of the modern Middle East and South Asia.
He is Richard P. Mitchell Collegiate Professor of History at the University of Michigan.
To find out more about Juan Cole, visit the Informed Comment web page at
© Copyright 2005-2010
Bedlam Reality of the West
Sometimes I [Kewe] want to get out of here so bad, to get off this planet, to retreat to world's and states where some version of sanity hold — I think those of us who hang on do it for the children, the Souls who have come to experience, as we have had ones to guide us, those that wish to grow and that need some of us around so they don't think all are completely crazy.
There is the knowledge of beingness, of Soul, taking place with some — how can you quantify that.
The level of stupidity of grown people (in the West) has reached, is reaching, has been to this point, you pick... words fail in its description.
For instance:
It is conventional wisdom in the U.S. press corps that Iran’s June 12 presidential election was rigged, with the word “fraud” now sometimes appearing without the qualifier “alleged.”
But a new poll of Iranians uncovered a different opinion, an overwhelming judgment that the election was legitimate. used native Farsi speakers calling from outside Iran to interview 1,003 Iranians across the country between August 27 2009 and September 10 2009 and discovered that 81 percent said they considered Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to be the legitimate president of Iran.
Only 10 percent called him illegitimate, with eight percent offering no opinion.
Sixty-two percent said they had strong confidence in the election results, which showed Ahmadinejad winning by about a 2-to-1 margin, and another 21 percent said they had some confidence in the official vote count, for a total of 83 percent expressing favorable views on the election.
By comparison, only 13 percent said they had little or no confidence in the results.
Michael Rivero of had the most appropriate comment on the Bedlam Reality State that so many now live within:
It is conventional wisdom in the U.S. press corps that the recent election in Afghanistan, which returned the highly unpopular US/Unocal Puppet Karzai to power, was honest, despite massive evidence to the contrary!
I think the primary test to work in the US Corporate media is the ability to stand there with your hair on fire and convince the audience you cannot smell any smoke.
Rabbi of Natorei Karta kissing Iran President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Rabbi Yisroel Dovid Weiss, of Natorei Karta, said in a statement that:

'This will be the third time we're meeting with Iran President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Every time, we stressed to the Iranian leadership that despite the declarations by Jews who don't understand the essence of the matter, we have found the Iranian people and their leaders friendly and respectful.'

Rabbi Yisroel Dovid Weiss added that Natorei Karta members believed Ahmadinejad was a very religious man who was dedicated to world peace based on mutual respect and dialogue.

Regarding Israel's relations with Iran, Weiss said that:

'Judaism seeks peace.

Unfortunately, many Jews who are influenced by Zionism — a philosophy less than 100 years old — feel that the proper response to their enemies, be they real or imagined, is aggression.

They call for violence and, to our great misfortune, try to drag other nations into war.'

Weiss expressed chagrin that few world officials had tried to talk with Ahmadinejad or to follow the real opinion of Iranian Jews, who, he said, live peacefully in the country.

'We want to meet with the man who has proven again and again that he is interested in the welfare of the Iranian Jewish community and that he has a deep respect for the Jewish world.

The Zionist attempt to isolate this man and his people is immoral and tragic.'

Photo: Mozybyte
Rabbi of Natorei Karta kissing Iran President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Natorei Karta: Ahmadinejad man of peace
Sep 25, 2007
Natorei Karta spokesman Rabbi Yisroel Dovid Weiss on Tuesday called Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad "an advocate of peace," prior to the group's meeting with the controversial leader in New York.
[Rabbi Yisroel Dovid] Weiss said in a statement that:
"This will be the third time we're meeting with [ Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad].
...Every time, we stressed to the Iranian leadership that despite ... the declarations by Jews who don't understand the essence of the matter, we have found the Iranian people and their leaders friendly and respectful."
He added that Natorei Karta members believed Ahmadinejad was a very religious man who was dedicated to world peace based on mutual respect and dialogue.
Regarding Israel's relations with Iran, Weiss said that:
"Judaism seeks peace.
Unfortunately, many Jews who are influenced by Zionism — a philosophy less than 100 years old — feel that the proper response to their enemies, be they real or imagined, is aggression.
They call for violence and, to our great misfortune, try to drag other nations into war."
Weiss expressed chagrin that few world officials had tried to talk with Ahmadinejad or to follow the real opinion of Iranian Jews, who, he said, live peacefully in the country.
"We want to meet with the man who has proven again and again that he is interested in the welfare of the Iranian Jewish community and that he has a deep respect for the Jewish world.
... The Zionist attempt to isolate this man and his people is immoral and tragic."
Ahmadinejad's visit to New York as part of the UN General Assembly has garnered harsh criticism from Jewish groups due to his frequent calls to "wipe Israel off the map."
[  These references to comments by Ahmadinejad are always completely mistranslated and are in gross error.
Ahmadinejad refers always to the assimilation of the present few and small pieces of Palestine land remaining for the Palestine people with the present day far larger area, and always increasing areas, of the accepted state of Israel.
This error of translation to Ahmadinejad statements is repeated endlessly by the Western Press, and by Israel media —  ]
© 1995 — 2008 The Jerusalem Post.   All rights reserved.
Myth of Iran wiping Israel off the map dispelled
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is due to address the UN General Assembly in New York on September 23.
The following is an exclusive Press TV interview with the president on his message for the world.
He also sheds light on several controversial issues.
Thu, 18 Sep 2008
Press TV:   I want to know about this issue and the controversy of Israel being wiped off the map.
A lot of controversy is surrounding that… was it a mistranslation, not a mistranslation?
Mike Wallace had this interview with you a couple of years back.
One part of it, a major part of it, was edited out.
Your idea on the destruction of the state of Israel and Israel should be wiped off the map? The part you talked about democracy and referendum?
Iran won 4-0
Ahmadinejad:   We said we do not accept this regime and the solution that we are presenting is a humanitarian solution.
It is a very clear solution.
We are saying that the Palestinians should decide their destiny themselves; they should choose their own political system.
What we are saying is very clear.
We believe that the people whose ancestors have lived in that land and own the land although they have been deported and expelled and are under occupation, we are saying that they are the ones….
Press TV:   So you did not threaten to wipe Israel off the map as an Iranian leader? That we will wipe Israel off the map?
Ahmadinejad:   No. We say that the people of Palestine should have rights and when the people of Palestine exercise this right, this will happen.
Where is the Soviet Union?
The Soviet Union has been wiped off the map.
What happened to the Soviet Union?
The decision of the people, the vote of the people.
When the people of the Soviet Union, the Russian people, were allowed to decide to take charge of their destiny, the Soviet Union disappeared.
The Zionist regime is an artificial regime... a fictitious regime.
You brought people from different parts of the world and you have built this state.
No, that cannot last, it is not sustainable.
If they do not listen to our solution, this will happen one day.
          Click here for complete interview   
Iran TV in English
© Press TV 2008.          All rights reserved.
Iran places elite Revolutionary Guards
in charge of defending territorial Persian Gulf waters
TEHRAN — Speaking of business as unusual.
A mere two months ago, the news of a China-Kazakhstan pipeline agreement, worth US$3.5 billion, raised some eyebrows in the world press, some hinting that China's economic foreign policy may be on the verge of a new leap forward.
A clue to the fact that such anticipation may have totally understated the case was last week's signing of a mega-gas deal between Beijing and Tehran worth $100 billion.
Billed as the "deal of century" by various commentators, this agreement is likely to increase by another $50 billion to $100 billion, bringing the total close to $200 billion, when a similar oil agreement, currently being negotiated, is inked not too far from now.
The gas deal entails the annual export of some 10 million tons of Iranian liquefied natural gas (LNG) for a 25-year period, as well as the participation, by China's state oil company, in such projects as exploration and drilling, petrochemical and gas industries, pipelines, services and the like.
The export of LNG requires special cargo ships, however, and Iran is currently investing several billion dollars adding to its small LNG-equipped fleet.
Still, per the admission of the head of the Iranian Tanker Co, Mohammad Souri, Iran needed to purchase another 87 vessels by 2010, in addition to the 10 already purchased, in order to fulfill the needs of its growing LNG market.
Iran has an estimated 26.6-trillion-cubic-meter gas reservoir, the second-largest in the world, about half of which is in offshore zones and the other half onshore.
It is perhaps too early to digest fully the various economic, political and even geostrategic implications of this stunning development, widely considered a major blow to the Bush administration's economic sanctions on Iran and particularly on Iran's energy sector, notwithstanding the Iran-Libya Sanctions Act (ILSA) penalizing foreign companies daring to invest more than $20 million in Iran's oil and gas industry.
While it is unclear what the scope of China's direct investment in Iran's energy sector will turn out to be, it is fairly certain that China's participation in the Yad Avaran field alone will exceed the ILSA's ceiling; this field's oil reservoir is estimated to be 17 billion barrels and is capable of producing 300 to 400 barrels per day.
And this is besides the giant South Pars field, which Iran shares with Qatar, alone possessing close to 8% of the world's gas reserves.
Iran applying
for church to
become a
World Heritage
To open a parenthesis here, until now Tehran has been complaining that Qatar has been outpacing Iran in exploiting its resource 6-1.
In fact, Iran's unhappiness over Qatar's unbalanced access to the South Pars led to a discrete warning by Iran's deputy oil minister and, soon thereafter, Qatar complied with Iran's request for a joint "technical committee" that has yet to yield any result.
For a United States increasingly pointing at China as the next biggest challenge to its Pax Americana, the Iran-China energy cooperation cannot but be interpreted as an ominous sign of emerging new trends in an area considered vital to US national interests.
But, then again, this cuts both ways, that is, the deal should, logically speaking, stimulate others who may still consider Iran untrustworthy or too radical to enter into big projects on a long term basis.
Iran's biggest foreign agreement prior to this gas agreement with China was a long-term $25 billion gas deal with Turkey, which has encountered snags, principally over the price, recently, compared with Iran's various trade agreements with Spain, Italy and others, typically with a life-span of five to seven years.
Thus some Iranian officials are hopeful that the China deal can lead to a fundamental rethinking of the risks of doing business with Iran on the part of European countries, India, Japan, and even Russia.
Concerning India, which signed a memorandum of understanding with Iran initially in 1993 for a 2,670-kilometer pipeline, with more than 700km traversing Pakistani territory, the Iran-China deal will undoubtedly give a greater push to New Delhi to follow Beijing's lead and thus make sure that the "peace pipeline" is finally implemented.
The same applies, mutatis mutandis, to Russia, which has as of late been dragging its feet somewhat on Iran's nuclear reactor, bandwagoning with the US and Group of Eight (G8) countries on the thorny issue of Iran's uranium-enrichment program.
The Russians must now factor in the possibility of being supplanted by China if they lose the confidence of Tehran and appear willing to trade favors with Washington over Iran. Russia's Gazprom may now finally set aside its stubborn resistance to the idea of entering major joint ventures with Iran.
Iran appears more and more interested to join the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and form a powerful axis with its twin pillars, China and Russia, as a counterweight to a US power "unchained".
The SCO comprises China, Russia, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan.
China, Russia and Iran share deep misgivings about the perception of the United States as a "benevolent hegemon" and tend to see a "rogue superpower" instead.
Even short of joining forces formally, the main outlines of such an axis can be discerned from their convergence of threat perception due to, among other things, Russia's disquiet over the post-September 11, 2001, US incursions in its traditional Caucasus-Central Asian "turf", and China's continuing unease over the Korean Peninsula and Taiwan; this is not to mention China's fixed gaze at a "new Silk Road" allowing it unfettered access to the Middle East and Eurasia, this as part and parcel of what is often billed as "the new great game" in Eurasia.
Indeed, what China's recent deals with both Kazakhstan (pertaining to Caspian energy) and Iran (pertaining to Persian Gulf resources) signifies is that the pundits had gotten it wrong until now: the purview of the new great game is not limited to the Central Asia-Caspian Sea basin, but rather has a broader, more integrated, purview increasingly enveloping even the Persian Gulf.
Increasingly, the image of the Islamic Republic of Iran as a sort of frontline state in a post-Cold War global lineup against US hegemony is becoming prevalent among Chinese and Russian foreign-policy thinkers.
For the moment, however, the Iran-Russia-China axis is more a tissue of think-tanks than full-fledged policy, and the mere trade interdependence of the US and China, as well as Russia's growing energy ties to the US alone, not to mention its weariness over any perceived Chinese "overstretch", militate against a grand alliance pitted against the Western superpower.
In fact, the Cold War-type alliances are highly unlikely to be replicated in the current milieu of globalization and complex interdependence; instead, what is likely to emerge in the future are issue-focused or, for the lack of a better word, issue-area alliances whereby, to give an example, the above-said axis may be inspired into existence along geostrategic considerations somewhat apart from purely economic considerations.
Hence what the SCO means on the security front and how significant it will be hinges on a complex, and complicated, set of factors that may eventually culminate in its expansion, from the current group of six, as well as greater, alliance-like, cooperation.
It is noteworthy that in Central Asia-Caucasus, the trend is toward security diversification and even multipolarism, reflected in the US and Russian bases not too far from each other.
In this multipolar sub-order, neither the US is capable of exerting hegemony, nor is Russia's semi-hegemonic sway without competition.
In the Caspian Sea basin, for example, Kazakhstan has opted to take part in several distinct, and contrasting, security networks, including the North Atlantic Treaty Organization's Partnership for Peace program, the Commonwealth of Independent States' Collective Security Organization, the SCO, and membership in OSCE (Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe).
Kazakhstan is not, however, an exception, but seemingly indicative of an expanding new rule of the (security and strategic) game played out throughout Central Asia-Caucasus.
Economically, both Kazakhstan and Russia are members of the Central Asia Economic Cooperation Organization, and all the Central Asian states are also members of the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO), which was founded by the trio of Iran, Turkey and Pakistan.
Certain economic alliances are, henceforth, taking shape, alongside the budding security arrangements, which have their own tempo, rationale and security potential.
Concerning the latter, in 1998, the ECO embarked on low security cooperation among its members on drug trafficking and this may soon be expanded to information-sharing on terrorism.
Also, Iran has also entered into low security agreements with some of its Persian Gulf neighbors, including Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.
The SCO initially was established to deal with border disputes and is now well on its way to focusing on (Islamist) terrorism, drug trafficking and regional insecurity.
Meanwhile, the US, not to be outdone, has been sowing its own bilateral military and security arrangements with various regional countries such as Azerbaijan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan, as well as promoting the Guuam Group, which includes Azerbaijan and Georgia, formed alongside the BTC (Baku-Tiblisi-Ceyhan) pipeline as a counterweight to Russian influence.
Consequently, the overall picture that emerges before us is, as stated above, a unique multi-trend of military and security multipolarism defying the logic of Pax Americana.
In this picture, Iran represents one of the poles of attraction, seeking its own sphere of influence by, for instance, entering into a military agreement with Turkmenistan in 1994, and, simultaneously, exploring the larger option of how to coalesce with other powers in order to offset the debilitating consequences of (post-September 11) unbounded Americanization of regional politics.
A glance at Chinese security narratives, and it becomes patently obvious that Beijing shares Iran's deep worries about US unipolarism culminating in, as in Afghanistan and Iraq, unilateral militarism. Various advocates of US preeminence, such as William Kristol, openly write that the US should "work for the fall of the Communist Party oligarchy in China".
Unhinged from the containment of Soviet power, the roots of US unilateralism, and its military manifestation of "preemption", must be located in the logic of unipolarism, thinly disguised by the "coalition of the willing" in Iraq; the latter is, in fact, as aptly put by various critics of US foreign policy, more like a coalition of the coerced and bribed than anything else.
But, realistically speaking, what are the prospects for any regional and or continental realignment leading to the erasure of US unipolarism, notwithstanding the US military and economic colossus bent on preventing, on a doctrinal level, the emergence of any challenger to its global domination now or in the future?
The strategic debates in all three countries, Russia, China and Iran, feature similar concerns and question marks.
For one thing, all three have to contend with the difficulty of sorting the disjunctions between the different sets of national interests, above all economic, ideological and strategic interests.
This aside, a pertinent question is who will win over Russia, Washington, which pursues a coupling role with Moscow vis-a-vis Beijing, or Beijing, trying to wrest away Moscow from Washington?
For now, Russia does not particularly feel compelled to choose between stark options, yet the situation may be altered in China's direction in case the present drift of US power incursions are heightened in the future.
The answer to the above question should be delegated to the future.
For now, however, the quantum leap of China into the Middle East and Caspian energy markets has become a fait accompli, no matter how disturbed its biggest trade partner, the US, over its geopolitical ramifications.
Article published in 2004
Kaveh L Afrasiabi, PhD, is the author of After Khomeini: New Directions in Iran's Foreign Policy (Westview Press) and "Iran's Foreign Policy Since 9/11", Brown's Journal of World Affairs, co-authored with former deputy foreign minister Abbas Maleki, No 2, 2003.   He teaches political science at Tehran University.
Copyright 2004, Asia Times Online
Sick person
Sick mentally and spiritually
Calls Iran 'the centre of global terror'
Look a little closer Peres
Iran applying for ancient Armenian church
to become a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Published on Friday, March 30, 2007 by Inter Press Service
Fate of Five Detained Iranians Unknown
by Khody Akhavi
WASHINGTON — As the Western media turns its attention to the fate of 15 Britons detained for allegedly trespassing into Iranian waters over the weekend, the status of five Iranian officials captured in a U.S. military raid on a liaison office in northern Iraq on Jan. 11 remains a mystery.
Even though high-level Iraqi officials have publicly called for their release, for all practical purposes, the Iranians have disappeared into the U.S.-sanctioned “coalition detention” system that has been criticized as arbitrary and even illegal by many experts on international law.
Hours before President George W. Bush declared that they would “seek out and destroy the [Iranian] networks providing advanced weaponry and training to our enemies in Iraq,” U.S. forces raided what has been described as a diplomatic liaison office in the northern city of Arbil, the capital of Iraqi Kurdistan, and detained six Iranians, infuriating Kurdish officials in the process.
The troops took office files and computers, ostensibly to find evidence regarding the alleged role of Iranian agents in anti-coalition attacks and sectarian violence in Iraq. One diplomat was released, but the other five men remain in U.S. custody and have not been formally charged with a crime.
“They have disappeared. I don’t know if they’ve gone into the enemy combatant system,” said Gary Sick, an Iran expert at Columbia University who served in the White House under former President Jimmy Carter.
“Nobody on the outside knows.”
A spokesman for the Multinational Forces Iraq (MFI), Lt. Col. Christopher Garver, told IPS this week from his office in Baghdad, “They are still in ‘coalition detention’ in accordance with the U.N. Security Council Resolution 1546, 1637 and 1723.”
He provided no further information regarding their status or treatment.
The resolutions endorse the transitional government of Iraq and extend the mandate of the U.S.-led coalition force into 2007.
The continued detention of the Iranians has escalated tensions between the U.S. and Iran and may even have set the stage for the seizure by Iranian forces of 15 British sailors and marines who allegedly crossed into Iranian waters over the weekend.
“The Iranian group in Iraq was arrested by American forces, and we have been asking continuously for their release,” Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari told the Saudi daily Al-Riyadh this week, “but this is something different from the British sailors.”
A State Department official with knowledge of the situation said the Iranians were informed of the status of the diplomats after their detention through the Swiss government, which represents U.S. interests in Iran in the absence of any U.S. diplomatic presence.
He referred all additional questions to MFI in Baghdad.
Washington severed diplomatic ties with Iran in 1979, after Iranian students sympathetic to the Islamic Revolution took 52 staffers hostage at the U.S. Embassy in Tehran.
We condemn aggressive force
During this month’s regional meeting in Baghdad in which U.S. officials also participated, the Iranian delegation requested the release of the five men, according to a State Department spokeswoman.
In response, the Iraqi government asked the U.S.-led coalition to investigate the circumstances involving their detention, she told IPS, adding that “the investigation is not complete, and we don’t comment publicly with respect to ongoing investigations.”
The U.N. Security Council resolution that officially marked the end of the U.S. occupation and transferred sovereignty to the Iraqi government retains the U.S. military’s right to implement “security detentions”.
However, any such detentions should be subject to Iraqi law, according to Scott Horton, who teaches international law at Columbia University School of Law.
Iranians being held unlawfully
“The Iranians who are being held as ’security detainees’ are not being charged with anything, and so are being held unlawfully,” he told IPS.
Under Iraqi law, detainees identified as insurgents who are “actively engaged in hostilities” — those implicated in attacks on coalition forces and innocent Iraqi civilians — are supposed to be charged in civilian courts.
They may be held up to 14 days before being brought before a magistrate and either charged with a crime or released.
In order to hold detainees longer without charging them, detention authorities must provide justification for doing so, according to Horton.
That such requirements appear to be systematically ignored by U.S. forces not only in Iraq, but also in Afghanistan and the broader “war on terror”, has fueled criticism of Washington’s detention policies and practices by human rights groups and legal experts around the world.
“The U.S. hasn’t articulated the legal grounds under which it detains ‘combatants’,” said John Sifton, a researcher with Human Rights Watch.
“They regularly conflate criminal terrorism, innocent civilians, and real combatants on the ground, and throw them all into the same pot.”
“The vagueness of the war on terror has supplied the soil under which all this has flourished,” said Sifton.
U.S. detention camps in Iraq currently hold more than 15,000 prisoners, most of whom, like the Iranians, have been held without charge or access to tribunals for months, even years, in some cases, according to a recent New York Times investigative report.
Exercise of raw power by U.S
“It’s an exercise of raw power by the U.S. that’s not backed by any legal justification,” said Horton.
“Legally, it doesn’t pass the ‘ha ha’ test.”
The U.N. secretary-general’s office has not commented on the detained Iranians or Iran’s detention of the 15 British sailors, describing both incidents as “disputes between individual states”.
“We’ve left it to the respective countries to work it out among themselves,” said Farhan Haq, a U.N. spokesman.
“Ultimately it’s up to Security Council members themselves to determine how its resolutions get implemented.”
The legal fate of the captured Iranians turns in part on the issue of whether the two-story building in Arbil that was the target of the Jan. 11 raid was, as Iran claims, an official consulate, in which case its premises and staff are entitled to diplomatic immunity under the Vienna Convention, or rather a liaison office, as U.S. officials contend, which would not be entitled to the same protections.
Both Iran and the Kurdish regional government have agreed that consular activities — such as the issuance of visas — had been carried out by office staff since 1992.
But the U.S. State Department insists that it was not an accredited consulate and that the five detainees are members of the Quds force, an elite unit of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) described by spokesman Sean McCormack as specialising in “training terrorists and those sorts of activities”.
According to a knowledgeable source at the Iraqi Embassy here, the five were not accredited diplomats, although they had submitted documents for accreditation before the raid was carried out.
Their applications were being processed at the time, said the source, who asked not to be identified.
The source also said that the Kurdish regional government had treated them as if they were indeed accredited.
The raid on the Arbil liaison office was the third in a series of episodes that targeted Iranian officials operating in Iraq.
On Dec. 20, U.S. forces stopped a car carrying two Iranian diplomats and their guards.
King calls US occupation of Iraq — illegitimate foreign occupation
The next morning, soldiers raided the compound of Abdul Aziz al-Hakim, the leader of the largest political party in Iraq, and detained two Iranians who turned out to have been members of the Revolutionary Guard.
After a tense nine-day political standoff, the Iranians were released from U.S. custody and were ordered by the Iraqi government to leave the country.
As part of extensive review of its diplomatic relations with Iran, the Iraqi foreign ministry plans to turn all liaison offices in Iraq into consulates, giving them official diplomatic status, according to the New York Times.
There are 36 Iranian diplomats currently based at Iran’s embassy in Baghdad, as well as 11 at its consulate in Karbala and nine more at another consulate in the southern city of Basra.
Copyright © 2007 IPS-Inter Press Service
The U.S. War Economy, and its Weapons of Mass Destruction.

A Marriage Made In Hell.

Image of The Economist and words: Mike Hastie
Vietnam Veteran
February 18, 2007     

The U.S. War Economy, and its Weapons of Mass Destruction.
A Marriage Made In Hell.
Mike Hastie
Vietnam Veteran
February 18, 2007

Putin attacks very dangerous US
"One state, the United States, has overstepped its national borders in every way."
Earlier German chancellor Angela Merkel told the delegates in Munich that the international community was determined to stop Iran getting nuclear weapons.
"This is very dangerous. Nobody feels secure anymore because nobody can hide behind international law," the Russian President said, speaking through a translator about the US.
"This is nourishing an arms race with the desire of countries to get nuclear weapons."
Western leaders in the audience, including Mrs Merkel, looked decidedly glum-faced when President Putin had finished.
"What we are talking about here is a very, very sensitive technology, and for that reason we need a high degree of transparency, which Iran has failed to provide, and if Iran does not do so then the alternative for Iran is to slip further into isolation," Merkel had said before Putin spoke.
The IAEA in the pocket of the West and other warring Western nations announced it had frozen about half of technical aid projects involving Iran.
The IAEA gives technical aid to dozens of countries on the peaceful use of nuclear energy in fields such as medicine, agriculture and power generation.
U.S. puts squeeze on Iran's oil fields
...  If Iran were to suddenly stop exporting its 2.6 million barrels of oil a day, such as in the event of a military strike, world oil prices probably would skyrocket.
But a gradual decline might be offset by other OPEC members, analysts say, particularly as Iraq increases its oil production and Saudi Arabia carries out plans for significant increases in its production capacity.
The efforts by the United States and its allies over the last few months to persuade international banks and oil companies to pull out of Iran threaten dozens of projects, including development of Iran's two massive new oil fields that could expand output by 800,000 barrels a day over the next four years.
"Many European banks which had accepted financing some oil industries projects have recently canceled them," Nejad-Hosseinian said.
In addition, banks are no longer granting letters of credit for delivery of some supplies, ministry officials say. And as nations such as Japan begin to back out of Iran oil development under U.S. pressure, the government in Tehran is being forced to dig into its own reserve funds to get crucial new projects off the ground.
But Nejad-Hosseinian said Iran had recognized the gravity of the threat and launched steps to head it off, including new "smart" rationing cards, scheduled for distribution in March to check skyrocketing sales of cheap gasoline, and an overhaul of Iran's historically stingy contract terms in an attempt to lure big oil companies into skirting the U.S. roadblocks.
Iran also is hoping to turn to China and Russia for help.
But U.S. officials already have warned that they will seek to hold China accountable under Washington's unilateral sanctions laws if it proceeds with a $16-billion project to develop Iran's North Pars gas field.
China also has signed a memorandum of understanding under which it may take on development of the Yadavaran field in southwestern Iran, expected to boost production by 300,000 barrels a day....
In fact, Iran's oil and gas dilemma appears to point up a "genuine" need for civilian nuclear power, Stern said.
"When I first started hearing this claim that Iran needed these nuclear plans to substitute for oil and gas, I thought, 'That's ridiculous,' " he said.
"So it has really been a surprise to me," he added, to see evidence that Tehran's stated purpose for the nuclear reactor is not "simply a weapons deception."
Putin, Russia the Petrodollar and new Ruble internationally convertible
The following report was published in the Russian daily Kommerzant in early June, by Ivan Safronov, Kommerzant, Moscow, (original Russian - 2006-06-02).   It points to Russian military presence in the Eastern Mediterranean as well as support in the modernization of Syria's air defense system, the modernization of Syrian tanks and ground forces.   The question is whether in the current context, this military build-up of Syrian capabilities, supported by Russia, will act as a deterrent to an attack on Syria by Israel.
Global Research, 28 July 2006
According to our sources, Russia is deepening the port of Tartus ( Syria) where it has a naval materiel and technical supplies center.
This may be regarded as evidence of Russia's determination to make Syria a bridgehead for boosting its influence with Middle East.
Russia has had a naval materiel and technical supplies center in Tartus since the 1970s.
Vladimir Zimin, advisor on the staff of the Russian Embassy in Syria, says that the port is being made deeper at present.
Similar work is under way in the port of Latakia.
All this may be regarded as evidence of Russia's determination to make Syria a bridgehead for boosting its influence with Middle East.
The materiel and technical supplies center may eventually gain the status of a base of the Black Sea Fleet.
Far-reaching plans
Defense Ministry sources, speaking anonymously, hint that Moscow has some far-reaching plans indeed.
A group of ships under the missile cruiser Moskva (Black Sea Fleet flagship) is to be formed within the next three years.
The group will be stationed in the Mediterranean Sea on the permanent basis.
Among other tasks, it will participate in counter-terrorism operation Active Endeavor with NATO forces.
Hence the necessity to make the Tartus and Latakia facilities ready for the Russian surface warships - ships of the Black Sea Fleet and eventually the Northern Fleet as well.
(The latter will be used to reinforce the Russian Mediterranean naval group whenever necessary.)
But a source in the Naval Main Command said that establishment of a fully-fledged base in Tartus could help Russia with warships and tenders withdrawn from Sevastopol in the Crimea.
In fact, once the bottom of the Tartus port is deepened, the port will be able to receive all ships of the Black Sea Fleet without exception.
Defense Ministry sources point out that a naval base in Tartus will enable Russia to solidify its positions in the Middle East and ensure security of Syria.
Moscow intends to deploy an air defense system around the base - to provide air cover for the base itself and a substantial part of Syrian territory.
(S-300PMU-2 Favorit systems will not be turned over to the Syrians.   They will be manned and serviced by Russian personnel.)
According to our sources, Russia and Damascus reached an agreement on modernizing Syria's air defenses.
Its medium-range S-125 air defense systems will be upgraded to the Pechora-2A level.
The upgrade will certainly improve Syrian air defense, which uses hardware supplied to Syria back in the 1980s.
Moscow is prepared to offer Syria more sophisticated medium-range Buk-M1s as well.
Close-range Strelets systems sold to Damascus last year are all the Syrian air defense system has to show by way of sophisticated gear at this point (these systems use Igla SAMs).
Syria wants more than that.   A contract for modernization of 1,000 T-72 tanks was drawn and signed.
Yesterday, Arms-TASS news agency reported successful tests of T-90C tanks "in a certain Middle East country" and Rosoboroneksport's negotiations over their sale.
Other Russian-Syrian arms talks under way concern two Amurs (Project 1650 diesel submarines), some SU-30MKI fighters along with YAK-130s, and modernization of MIG-29 frontal fighters.
Damascus also aspires for a consignment of the latest Pantsir-C1 air defense systems designed in Tula.
Establishment of a base in Tartus and rapid advancement of military technology cooperation with Damascus make Syria Russia's instrumental bridgehead and bulwark in the Middle East.
Damascus is an important ally of Iran and irreconcilable enemy of Israel.
It goes without saying that appearance of the Russian military base in the region will certainly introduce corrections into the existing correlation of forces.
Russia is taking the Syrian regime under its protection.
It will almost certainly sour Moscow's relations with Israel.
It may even encourage the Iranian regime nearby and make it even less tractable in the nuclear program talks.
                          To rebel is right, to disobey is a duty, to act is necessary !
         Bad translation — WIPED OFF THE MAP           
January Friday 19 2007
— The Rumor of the Century
by Arash Norouzi
Across the world, a dangerous rumor has spread that could have catastrophic implications. According to legend, Iran’s President has threatened to destroy Israel, or, to quote the misquote, "Israel must be wiped off the map".
Contrary to popular belief, this statement was never made, as the following article will prove.
On Tuesday, October 25th, 2005 at the Ministry of Interior conference hall in Tehran, newly elected Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad delivered a speech at a program, reportedly attended by thousands, titled "The World Without Zionism".
Large posters surrounding him displayed this title prominently in English, obviously for the benefit of the international press.
Below the poster’s title was a slick graphic depicting an hour glass containing planet Earth at its top.
Two small round orbs representing the United States and Israel are shown falling through the hour glass’ narrow neck and crashing to the bottom.
Before we get to the infamous remark, it’s important to note that the "quote" in question was itself a quote — they are the words of the late Ayatollah Khomeini, the father of the Islamic Revolution.
Although he quoted Khomeini to affirm his own position on Zionism, the actual words belong to Khomeini and not Ahmadinejad.
Iran Siyavash Gudarzi
Thus, Ahmadinejad has essentially been credited (or blamed) for a quote that is not only unoriginal, but represents a viewpoint already in place well before he ever took office.
So what did Ahmadinejad actually say? To quote his exact words in farsi:
"Imam ghoft een rezhim-e ishghalgar-e qods bayad az safheh-ye ruzgar mahv shavad."
That passage will mean nothing to most people, but one word might ring a bell: rezhim-e.
It is the word "Regime", pronounced just like the English word with an extra "eh" sound at the end.
Ahmadinejad did not refer to Israel the country or Israel the land mass, but the Israeli regime.
This is a vastly significant distinction, as one cannot wipe a regime off the map.
Ahmadinejad does not even refer to Israel by name, he instead uses the specific phrase "rezhim-e ishghalgar-e qods" (regime occupying Jerusalem).
So this raises the question.
What exactly did he want "wiped from the map"?
The answer is: nothing.
US Kyle Creminara
That’s because the word "map" was never used.
The Persian word for map, "nagsheh", is not contained anywhere in his original farsi quote, or, for that matter, anywhere in his entire speech.
Nor was the western phrase "wipe out" ever said.
Yet we are led to believe that Iran’s President threatened to "wipe Israel off the map", despite never having uttered the words "map", "wipe out" or even "Israel".
Iran US wrestling
Iran's Hamid Razani — red
US Anthony Ramico Blackmon — blue
The full quote translated directly to English:
"The Imam said this regime occupying Jerusalem must vanish from the page of time".
Word by word translation:
U.S. freestyle wrestler wins gold medal
Imam (Khomeini) ghoft (said) een (this) rezhim-e (regime) ishghalgar-e (occupying) qods (Jerusalem) bayad (must) az safheh-ye ruzgar (from page of time) mahv shavad (vanish from).
The full transcript of the speech in farsi is archived on Ahmadinejad’s web site
While the false "wiped off the map" extract has been repeated infinitely without verification, Ahmadinejad’s actual speech itself has been almost entirely ignored.
Given the importance placed on the "map" comment, it would be sensible to present his words in their full context to get a fuller understanding of his position.
In fact, by looking at the entire speech, there is a clear, logical trajectory leading up to his call for a "world without Zionism".
One may disagree with his reasoning, but critical appraisals are infeasible without first knowing what that reasoning is.
Eric Larkin
Arash Rabiee
In his speech, Ahmadinejad declares that Zionism is the West’s apparatus of political oppression against Muslims.
He says the "Zionist regime" was imposed on the Islamic world as a strategic bridgehead to ensure domination of the region and its assets.
Palestine, he insists, is the frontline of the Islamic world’s struggle with American hegemony, and its fate will have repercussions for the entire Middle East.
Ahmadinejad acknowledges that the removal of America’s powerful grip on the region via the Zionists may seem unimaginable to some, but reminds the audience that, as Khomeini predicted, other seemingly invincible empires have disappeared and now only exist in history books.
He then proceeds to list three such regimes that have collapsed, crumbled or vanished, all within the last 30 years:
(1) The Shah of Iran — the U.S. installed monarch
(2) The Soviet Union
(3) Iran’s former arch-enemy, Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein
In the first and third examples, Ahmadinejad prefaces their mention with Khomeini’s own words foretelling that individual regime’s demise.
He concludes by referring to Khomeini’s unfulfilled wish:
"The Imam said this regime occupying Jerusalem must vanish from the page of time.
This statement is very wise".
This is the passage that has been isolated, twisted and distorted so famously. By measure of comparison, Ahmadinejad would seem to be calling for regime change, not war.
One may wonder: where did this false interpretation originate?
Who is responsible for the translation that has sparked such worldwide controversy?
The answer is surprising.
The inflammatory "wiped off the map" quote was first disseminated not by Iran’s enemies, but by Iran itself.
The Islamic Republic News Agency, Iran’s official propaganda arm, used this phrasing in the English version of some of their news releases covering the World Without Zionism conference.
International media including the BBC, Al Jazeera, Time magazine and countless others picked up the IRNA quote and made headlines out of it without verifying its accuracy, and rarely referring to the source.
Iran’s Foreign Minister soon attempted to clarify the statement, but the quote had a life of its own.
Though the IRNA wording was inaccurate and misleading, the media assumed it was true, and besides, it made great copy.
Amid heated wrangling over Iran’s nuclear program, and months of continuous, unfounded accusations against Iran in an attempt to rally support for preemptive strikes against the country, the imperialists had just been handed the perfect raison d’être to invade.
To the war hawks, it was a gift from the skies.
It should be noted that in other references to the conference, the IRNA’s translation changed.
For instance, "map" was replaced with "earth".
In some articles it was "The Qods occupier regime should be eliminated from the surface of earth", or the similar "The Qods occupying regime must be eliminated from the surface of earth".
The inconsistency of the IRNA’s translation should be evidence enough of the unreliability of the source, particularly when transcribing their news from Farsi into the English language.
U.S. Iran shake hands
The mistranslated "wiped off the map" quote attributed to Iran’s President has been spread worldwide, repeated thousands of times in international media, and prompted the denouncements of numerous world leaders.
Virtually every major and minor media outlet has published or broadcast this false statement to the masses.
Big news agencies such as The Associated Press and Reuters refer to the misquote, literally, on an almost daily basis.
Following news of Iran’s remark, condemnation was swift.
Blair expressed "revulsion"
British Prime Minister Tony Blair expressed "revulsion" and implied that it might be necessary to attack Iran.
U.N. chief Kofi Annan cancelled his scheduled trip to Iran due to the controversy.
Ariel Sharon demanded that Iran be expelled from the United Nations for calling for Israel’s destruction.
Shimon Peres threatened to wipe Iran off the map
Shimon Peres, more than once, threatened to wipe Iran off the map.
More recently, Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu, who has warned that Iran is "preparing another holocaust for the Jewish state" is calling for Ahmadinejad to be tried for war crimes for inciting genocide.
The artificial quote has also been subject to additional alterations.
U.S. officials and media often take the liberty of dropping the "map" reference altogether, replacing it with the more acutely threatening phrase "wipe Israel off the face of the earth".
Newspaper and magazine articles dutifully report Ahmadinejad has "called for the destruction of Israel", as do senior officials in the United States government.
Iran US flags
Destroying Israel?
President George W. Bush said the comments represented a "specific threat" to destroy Israel.
In a March 2006 speech in Cleveland, Bush vowed he would resort to war to protect Israel from Iran, because, "..the threat from Iran is, of course, their stated objective to destroy our strong ally Israel."
Former Presidential advisor Richard Clarke told Australian TV that Iran "talks openly about destroying Israel", and insists, "The President of Iran has said repeatedly that he wants to wipe Israel off the face of the earth".
In an October 2006 interview with Amy Goodman, former UN Weapons Inspector Scott Ritter referred to Ahmadinejad as "the idiot that comes out and says really stupid, vile things, such as, ’It is the goal of Iran to wipe Israel off the face of the earth’ ".
The consensus is....
Confusing matters further, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad pontificates rather than give a direct answer when questioned about the statement, such as in Lally Weymouth’s Washington Post interview in September 2006:
Are you really serious when you say that Israel should be wiped off the face of the Earth?
We need to look at the scene in the Middle East — 60 years of war, 60 years of displacement, 60 years of conflict, not even a day of peace.
Look at the war in Lebanon, the war in Gaza — what are the reasons for these conditions?
We need to address and resolve the root problem.
Arash Norouzi is an artist and co-founder of The Mossadegh Project.         
Monday, 16 January 2006
Iran's key nuclear sites
With international concerns running high over Iran's nuclear programme, the map below shows more about its key nuclear facilities.
Iran key nuclear sites
BUSHEHR — Nuclear power station
Bushehr nuclear power station, Iran
Bushehr nuclear power station
Iran's nuclear programme began in 1974 with plans to build a nuclear power station at Bushehr with German assistance.
The project was abandoned because of the Islamic revolution five years later, but revived in 1992 when Tehran signed an agreement with Russia to resume work at the site.
There are two pressurised water reactors at the site — one reportedly near completion.
ISFAHAN — Uranium conversion plant
Isfahan uranium conversion plant, Iran
Isfahan uranium conversion plant (images: Digital Globe)
Iran is building a plant here to convert uranium ore into three forms:
  • Hexafluoride gas — used in gas centrifuges
  • Uranium oxide — used to fuel reactors, albeit not the type Iran is constructing
  • Metal — often used in the cores of nuclear bombs. The IAEA is concerned about the metal's use, as Iran's reactors do not require it as fuel.
    In depth: The nuclear fuel cycle
  • NATANZ — Uranium enrichment plant
    Natanz uranium conversion plant, Iran
    A recent satellite image of the Natanz site
    Iran suspended work on an uranium enrichment plant at Natanz in 2003 — but has recently reopened the facility.
    In 2003, a leaked International Atomic Energy Agency report said that weapons-grade uranium had been found in samples taken from the site, although Iran blamed contaminated imported equipment, and an independent report later confirmed this.
    According to some estimates, when complete, Natanz could house some 50,000 advanced gas centrifuges, which would produce enough weapons-grade uranium to produce more than 20 weapons per year.
    Other estimates suggest the plant will have a total of 5,000 centrifuges when initial stages of the project are completed. With that number, Iran would be able to produce sufficient enriched uranium to make a small number of nuclear weapons each year.
    ARAK — Heavy water plant
    The Arak plant in 2002, Iran
    The Arak plant in 2002
    The apparent existence of a heavy water facility near the town of Arak first emerged with the publication of satellite images by the US-based Institute for Science and International Security in December 2002.
    Heavy water is used to moderate the nuclear fission chain reaction either in a certain type of reactor — albeit not the type that Iran is currently building — or produce plutonium for use in a nuclear bomb.
    20,000 Iranian rial notes
    US Treasury Department labels Iran state-owned Bank Sepah proliferator of weapons of mass destruction bans all transactions between it and U.S. businesses
    U.S. Alleges Iraqi Bombs Linked To Iran
      BAGHDAD, Iraq, Feb. 11, 2007

    A U.S. Army Abrams battle tank, destroyed east of Baghdad on March 10, 2006, after a large explosion set fire to it. The U.S. military alleges that sophisticated bombs (referred to as "explosively formed projectiles") used in such attacks can be traced to Iran  (AP Photo/Hadi Mizban)
    AP) U.S. military officials charged on Sunday that the highest levels of the Iranian leadership ordered Shiite militants in Iraq to be armed with sophisticated armor-piercing roadside bombs that have killed more than 170 American forces.
    The military command in Baghdad denied, however, that any newly-smuggled Iranian weapons were behind the five U.S. military helicopter crashes since Jan. 20 — four that were shot out of the sky by insurgent gunfire.
    A fifth chopper crash has tentatively been blamed on mechanical failure.   In the same period, two private security company helicopters also have crashed but the cause was unclear.
    The deadly and highly sophisticated weapons the U.S. military said were coming into Iraq from Iran are known as "explosively formed penetrators," or EFPs.
    The presentation of evidence was the result of weeks of preparation and revisions as U.S. officials put together a package of material to support the Bush administration's claims of Iranian intercession on behalf of militant Iraqis fighting American forces.
    Senior U.S. military officials in Baghdad said the display of evidence was prompted by the military's concern for "force protection," which, they said, was guaranteed under the United Nations resolution that authorizes American soldiers to be in Iraq.
    Three senior military officials who explained the evidence said the "machining process" used in the construction of the deadly bombs had been traced back to Iran.
    The experts, who spoke to a large gathering of reporters on condition that they not be further identified, said the supply trail began with Iran's Revolutionary Guards Quds Force, which also is accused of arming the Hezbollah guerrilla army in Lebanon.   The officials said the EFP weapon was first tested there.
    The officials said the Revolutionary Guard and its Quds force report directly to Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
    The so-called Iran dossier, a small portion of which was revealed in Baghdad on Sunday, was revised heavily after officials decided it was not ready for release as planned last month.   U.S. military officials in Baghdad had even scheduled a briefing for reporters only to cancel it a day later.
    Senior U.S. officials in Washington — gun-shy after the drubbing the administration took for the faulty intelligence leading to the 2003 Iraq invasion — had held back because they were unhappy with the original presentation.
    The display of evidence appeared to be part of the White House drive that has empowered U.S. forces in Iraq to use all means to curb Iranian influence in the country, including killing Iranian agents.
    It included a Powerpoint slide presentation and a handful of mortar shells and rocket-propelled grenades which the military officials said were made in Iran.
    The centerpiece of the evidentiary display, however, was a gray metal pipe about 10 inches long and 6 inches in diameter, the exterior casing of what the military said was an EFP, the roadside bomb that shoots out fist-sized wads of nearly-molten copper that can penetrate the armor on an Abrams tank.
    The EFPs, as well as Iranian-made mortar shells and rocket-propelled grenades, have been supplied to what the military officials termed "rogue elements" of the Mahdi Army militia of anti-American Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr.   He is a key backer of Shiite Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.
    The U.S. officials glossed over armaments having reached the other major Shiite militia organization, the Badr Brigade.   It is the military wing of Iraq's most powerful Shiite political organization, the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq, whose leaders also have close ties to the U.S.
    Many key government figures and members of the Shiite political establishment have deep ties to Iran, having spent decades there in exile during Saddam Hussein's rule.   The Badr Brigade was formed and trained by Iran's Revolutionary Guard.
    The U.S. officials said there was no evidence of Iranian made EFPs having fallen into the hands of Sunni insurgents who operate mainly in Anbar province in the west of Iraq, Baghdad and regions surrounding the capital.
    "We know more than we can show," said one of the senior officials, when pressed for more evidence that the EFPs were made in Iran.
    An intelligence analyst in the group said Iran was working through "multiple surrogates" — mainly in the Mahdi Army — to smuggle the EFPs into Iraq.   He said most of the components are entering the country at crossing points near Amarah, the Iranian border city of Meran and the Basra area of southern Iraq.
    The analyst said Iraq's Shiite-led government had been briefed on Iran's involvement and Iraqi officials had asked the Iranians to stop.   Al-Maliki has said he told both the U.S. and Iran that he does not want his country turned into a proxy battlefield.
    ©MMVII, CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.
    Tuesday, 12 September 2006
    Iran offers Iraq 'full support'
    Iraqi PM Nouri al-Maliki and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

Iran-Iraq relations have improved since Saddam Hussein's overthrow
    Iran-Iraq relations have improved since Saddam Hussein's overthrow
    Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has offered Iraq full support in stabilising the security situation in the country.
    He made the remarks in Tehran after talks with the Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Maliki.
    Speaking to reporters after their meeting, Mr Ahmadinejad said "Iraq's security is Iran's security".
    Mr Maliki is making his first official visit to Iran since he took office in May.
    "Iran supports the Iraqi government that has been created by the Iraqi people's votes, and strengthening a united and independent Iraq is in the interest of all the region", Mr Ahmadinejad said.
    Mr Maliki said his discussions with Mr Ahmadinejad had been positive.   "Even in security issues there is no barrier in the way of co-operation."
    Few concrete details of their talks have emerged, except that an agreement covering political, security and economic co-operation was signed.
    Close ties
    After fighting a long war in the 1980s, the relationship between Iran and Iraq has improved since the fall of Saddam Hussein in 2003.
    Many of Iraq's new Shia leaders have close ties to neighbouring Iran.
    Mr Maliki lived in Iran during the 1980s when Saddam Hussein was in power in Baghdad.
    The United States has accused Iran of destabilising Iraq by backing Shia militant groups there.
    Last year, Britain said explosive devices used to attack British troops in southern Iraq had "Iranian elements".
    Iran has rejected these allegations.
    Mr Maliki is due to meet Iran's Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Khamenei, on Wednesday.
    During his visit, he is expected to also press for the release of six Iraqi border guards who were seized last week after a reported exchange of fire with Iranian forces.
    Does Abdul Halim Khaddam Have Anything to Do with What's Going on in Syria?
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    Iran US confrontation — Part II
    US economy simply can not cope with these oil prices and the cost of military operations abroad
    The future doesn’t look bright at all
    It seems the U.S. administration is bent on destroying anything that it can not control
    And by doing this, it is losing all control
    Congressional Report on Iran Riddled With Errors
    But like the hated “Goldstein” of George Orwell’s “1984” Mr. Bin Laden is alive and well and his organisation can still scare us witless
    Iran nuclear project forges ahead
    US vs. Iran: Is an attack inevitable? — 2006 Analysis
          Iran Oil Bourse is scheduled to open on March 20th, 2007      
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          Iran War: Resource Info      
      Afghanistan — Western Terror States: Canada, US, UK, France, Germany, Italy      
           Photos of Afghanistan people being killed and injured by NATO      

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