Iran Commander: We Have Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles

Iran Commander: We Have Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles

Reza Khalili

Iran has the technological ability to target any point
on the planet with an intercontinental ballistic missile should it choose to,
according to Brig. Gen. Seyyed Mehdi Farahi of the Revolutionary Guards Corps,
who is the director of the Iranian air and space industries.

A
recent editorial
in
the Iranian Keyhan newspaper, the mouthpiece of Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah
Ali Khamenei, reports on Iran’s ballistic missile technology with a headline
“Iran Now Exports Ballistic Missiles.”

In the report the general brags about Iran’s military
might and its ability to simultaneously launch 14 or more rockets with extreme
precision. He says that the export of ballistic missiles and the progress in
Iran’s space program are signs that Iran has achieved the highest levels of
military and technological excellence.

 

Despite international sanctions, the general
boasts:

“Today, I proudly announce that an Islamic Iran is not
only capable of exporting industrial and defense products but also technology
and defense technology as well.”

Military experts and analysts who cover Iranian
military and defense issues have acknowledged that Iran does in fact have the
strongest ballistic missile program in the Middle East and that the low costs of
the missiles has in fact taken the ballistic missile market out of the West’s
hands, the editorial says.

The newspaper cites recent testimony before the U.S.
Senate Armed Services Committee by the director of the U.S. Defense Intelligence
Agency, Lt. Gen. Ronald L. Burgess. “Iran’s progress in building ballistic
missiles is noticeable, and with the launch of satellites to space it became
clear that Iran has succeeded in building intercontinental ballistic missiles,”
the general testified, according to the paper. The successful launch of the
Rasad satellite to space drew the attention of observers and foreign
counterparts, the general reportedly testified.

 

The Safir missile is capable of transporting a
satellite into space and indeed a ballistic missile that can reach beyond the
earth’s gravity into orbit. The missile has twice been vertically shot over the

earth’s atmosphere, the editorial says, “but if one day Iran decides that this
missile should be shot parallel to the earth’s orbit, the missile will actually
be transformed into an intercontinental ballistic missile (that) has the
capability to destroy targets in other continents.”

“In other words,” the editorial concludes, “the fact
that Iran currently possesses technology that can put satellites into orbit
means that Iran has also obtained intercontinental ballistic missiles with solid
fuel capabilities and that at any moment, this technology can be put to military
use.”

 

Iranian officials recently announced that they have
successfully developed the necessary technology to build and launch satellites
designed to travel in an orbit 21,750 miles above the earth’s equator  — and
that, in the next few months, they will launch another rocket into space, this
time carrying a monkey with a payload of 330 kilograms..

According to Dr. Peter Vincent Pry, a nuclear weapons
expert who has served in the CIA, “Historically, if a nation could put a large
payload (hundreds of kilograms) into orbit, that has been treated as a milestone
signifying that they have a military ICBM capability. We appear to have changed
this rule for Iran’s space program.  If Western analysts today applied the same
standards to Iran that we have applied to the USSR and China in the past, we
would conclude that Iran already has an ICBM capability.

“It seems that the Obama administration is unwilling
to acknowledge this, perhaps not seeing it in its best interest, alluding that
it still has time to negotiate,” says Pry, who has also served with the EMP
Commission and is now president of EMPact America.

The radicals ruling Iran have now passed a major
threshold in both their nuclear and missile programs. Barring any military
action, which seems unlikely, there is no stopping them.

We only have ourselves to blame as it is now certain
that the Jihadists in Tehran will have nuclear bombs with the delivery system to
target any country on the planet. Though the West relies on the policy of Mutual
Assured Destruction, it will find how wrong this policy is with
Iran.

Reza
Kahlili

is a pseudonym for an ex-CIA spy who requires anonymity for safety
reasons. He is the author of
A Time to Betray, a book about his double life as a
CIA agent in Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, published by Threshold Editions, Simon
& Schuster, April 2010
. A Time to Betray was the winner of the 2010
National Best Book Award, and
the 2011
International Best Book
Award
.

Iran demonstrators clash with police, Rev Guard

Iran demonstrators clash with police, Rev Guard

Rick Moran

 

You’ve got to hand it to the thugs running Iran. They
learned a thing or two about how to break up demonstrations during the last go
around with the reformers and have applied the lessons with vigor.

The
Beeb:

Thousands of opposition supporters have clashed with security forces
in the centre of the Iranian capital, Tehran.
Police used tear gas and detained dozens rallying in solidarity with
uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia. There was one report of a death in Tehran.
The BBC also received reports of similar protests being held in the cities of
Isfahan, Mashhad and Shiraz.
Earlier, the police placed opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi under house
arrest, according to his website.
It said the move was intended to prevent the former prime minister attending
the march in Tehran, which the authorities had prohibited. The road leading to
Mr Mousavi’s house was also blocked by police vans.
Fellow opposition leader Mehdi Karroubi, a former speaker of parliament and a
senior cleric, is also reportedly under de facto house arrest.

The situation got ugly, quickly: CNN
reports:

Uniformed security forces and pro-government Basij militiamen had earlier
advanced on crowds who chanted “Death to the dictator!” during demonstrations in
the city’s Imam Hossein Square — the planned starting point of a scheduled
rally, a witness said.
“We definitely see them as enemies of the revolution and spies, and we will
confront them with force,” said Cmdr. Hossein Hamedani of the Revolutionary
Guard, according to the official Islamic Republic News Agency.
Thousands of security personnel lined Revolution Avenue, allowing the march
to continue but preventing the marchers from congregating in Azadi Square –
considered a rallying point by opposition groups.
“You can’t take two steps without running into security personnel,” one
witness said. “They’re all over the place.”
Several protesters who were diverted by police to side streets were beaten
with batons and gassed by security officers who were waiting at those locations,
witnesses said.

That the protestors were able to organize at all is a testament to the adage
“Where there’s a will, there’s a way.” It takes more than guts to join a protest
these days in Iran – as evidenced by what happened to so many after the last go
around:

The opposition says more than 80 of its supporters were killed over the
following six months, a figure the government disputes. Several have been
sentenced to death, and dozens jailed.

Can the Iranian opposition rev up the demonstrations again? They may try, but
unlike Egypt, Iran has the state security apparatus that would have no problem
massacring their own people – the basij and the Revolutionary Guards. It will
take a lot of moxie to participate in protests when you know the security forces
could open fire at any time.
 

NETANYAHU WARNS OF “A NEW CALIPHATE”


NETANYAHU WARNS OF “A NEW CALIPHATE”
By Joel C. Rosenberg


(Washington, D.C., February 9, 2011) — Israeli Prime
Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivered an important address to a policy
conference in Jerusalem on Monday of some 400 European lawmakers and
dignitaries, organized by the European Friends of Israel. During the address,
which I encourage you to read in its entirety, Netanyahu warned of several
serious threats to world peace and Western civilization:

1. The
expressed ambition of Shia and Sunni Radical Muslims to build a Islamic kingdom
or “caliphate” that will encompass the Middle East and North Africa, and then
Europe, and then North America, and then the entire world. Netanyahu did not say
the caliphate would be achieved, but he rightly warned that this is what the
Radicals want to achieve.

2. The rise of an Iranian regime with nuclear
weapons and ballistic missiles that can not only reach Israel but more and more
of Europe.

3. An Egypt that doesn’t develop into a peaceful, moderate,
secular democracy with a prominent role for the military to provide stability
and security but into one of two other scenarios: A) one in which “the Islamists
exploit the[ir] influence to gradually take the country into a reverse
direction, not towards modernity and reform but backward; or B) one in which
“Egypt would go the way of Iran, where calls for progress would be silenced by a
dark and violent repression that subjugates its own people and threatens
everyone else.”

Netanyahu did not say these threats would inevitably
come to pass. To the contrary, he stated clearly, “The good news is that nothing
is inevitable. We have the power to protect our common civilization, to roll
back the forces of radicalism and to advance a secure peace. One of the keys to
defeating this fanaticism is to be able to distinguish friends from enemies.”

Well put, Mr. Prime Minister. Let us pray more people have ears to hear,
eyes to see and hearts to understand.

>> I’ve posted key excerpts
from the speech on the blog, along with a link to the full text. We’ve also
posted links to several interviews I have done in recent days on the Egypt
Crisis, including those with Glenn Beck, CBN, Janet Parshall, and Fox News,
along with links to the latest headlines from Egypt and the epicenter. Just go
http://flashtrafficblog.wordpress.com/. Thanks.

(Photo: PM Netanyahu
addressing the European Friends of Israel conference in Jerusalem.)

‘Is it Fair to Say Islam is Setting the Rules?’

‘Is it Fair to Say Islam is Setting the Rules?’

Andrew Bostom

Lars Vilks, Lars Hedegaard, and Rabbi Jon Hausman were interviewed yesterday (Monday, 10/5/2010) by Helen Glover of WHJJ 920 AM, Providence, about the sorry state of free speech in the West as we capitulate to Islamic intimidation over the Medieval dictates of Sharia-based “blasphemy” law.

Rabbi Hausman’s matter-of-fact description of the security measures that Mr. Vilk’s brief visit to the Boston area entailed, are particularly chilling.

Lars Vilks is the Swedish artist whose Muhammad sketch triggered both Al-Qaeda death fatwas and a thwarted assassination plan by American convert to Islam, “Jihad Jane”. Lars Hedegaard is a Danish journalist and writer who founded the Danish Free Press Society.

Link to the interviews, here:

Iran’s secret pipeline into the U.S.

Iran’s secret pipeline into the U.S.

August 18, 2010 – 5:02am

AP: a5bae176-185b-4b86-a2c3-55708af8f7cd

FILE — In a Feb. 11, 2008 file photo Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, speaks during a rally to celebrate the 29th anniversary of the 1979 Islamic Revolution at Azadi Square, Tehran, Iran. (AP Photo/Hasan Sarbakhshian/file)

J.J. Green, wtop.com
WASHINGTON – Iran Air 744 is a bimonthly flight that originates in Tehran and flies directly to Caracas with periodic stops in Beirut and Damascus. The maiden flight was Feb. 2, 2007.

The mere existence of the flight was a significant concern for U.S. intelligence officials, but now a broader concern is who and what are aboard the flights.

“If you [a member of the public] tried to book yourself a seat on this flight and it doesn’t matter whether it’s a week before, a month before, six months before — you’ll never find a place to sit there,” says Offer Baruch, a former Israeli Shin Bet agent.

Baruch, now vice president of operations for International Shield, a security firm in Texas, says the plane is reserved for Iranian agents, including “Hezbollah, the Revolutionary Guard (IRGC) and other intelligence personnel.”

Current and former U.S. intelligence official fear the flight is a shadowy way to move people and weapons to locations in Latin America that can be used as staging points for retaliatory attacks against the U.S. or its interests in the event Iranian nuclear sites are struck by U.S. or Israeli military forces.

“My understanding is that this flight not only goes from Caracas to Damascus to Tehran perhaps twice a month, but it also occasionally makes stops in Lebanon as well, and the passengers on that flight are not processed through normal Venezuelan immigrations or customs. They are processed separately when they come into the country,” says Peter Brookes, senior fellow for National Security Affairs at the Heritage Foundation.

The 16-hour flight typically leaves Tehran and stops at Damascus International Airport (DAM), which is Syria’s busiest. In 2009, almost 4.5 million passengers used the airport.

After a 90-minute layover, the flight continues the remaining 14 hours to Venezuela’s Caracas Maiquetía International Airport (CCS). Upon arrival, the plane is met by special Venezuelan forces and sequestered from other arrivals.

“It says that something secretive or clandestine is going on that they don’t want the international community to know about,” says Brookes, a former deputy assistant defense secretary for Asian and Pacific Affairs and CIA employee.

“The fact that there is a flight is of course of interest, but the fact that not anybody can gain access to this flight or buy a ticket for that flight is of particular curiosity and should be of concern to the United States.”

In addition to speculation about who is aboard, there are significant concerns that the Boeing 747SP airplane might be transporting uranium to Tehran on the return flight. The U.S. government has enacted strong sanctions against Iran because of its nuclear program and there are worries the flight might provide an opportunity to skirt the embargo against materials that might be used for the program.

“Clearly, Iran has been a sponsor of Hezbollah, and clearly Hezbollah profits from this relationship,” former CIA Director Michael J. Hayden says.

“It would be too much to say that Hezbollah is a puppet of the Iranian state, but one way of looking at this relationship is that the Iranian state might rely on Hezbollah as a strategic weapon — its weapon for global reach.”

Hayden, now a principle in the Chertoff Group, says the CIA has been aware of the activities for several years.

“Fundamentally, the thing that first and very solidly caught our attention at the Agency was the inauguration of direct air flight between the two capitals. Here was a conduit that people could travel from Iran into the Western Hemisphere, into Latin America in a way that would be very difficult for American intelligence services to detect and to understand.

“Right there at that very simple level, just the direct flight is something that we would be and should be concerned about.”

Brookes says the passengers “may not even need visas because they are special passengers. That obviously is of concern because there is no transparency about who the people are coming in and going out of the country. Of course there is concern that these folks may be Iranian special agents.”

Beyond concerns about Iranian intelligence flooding the west, Brookes and others worry that Iranian special advisers are schooling the Venezuelan military and may be involved in plans to move Iranian agents inside the U.S.

“It’s certainly a possibility. Would the agents that come into Venezuela be able to find their way to the United States? That’s certainly possible. You see the drug smugglers today using submersibles to move drugs to the U.S. and other parts of the Caribbean which is a real challenge. So why wouldn’t they be able to do the same with persons?”

A U.S. official who spoke on the condition of anonymity says there are concerns about the relationships between Iran and Venezuela, but you have to keep it in perspective.

“The problems both countries face internally, and their own regional priorities closer to home, limit the amount of trouble they can cause together. But it’s something you have to watch, whether it’s the potential for government-to-government mischief or the possibility of something involving Iran’s friends like Hezbollah.

“You can ask what a self-proclaimed Bolivarian socialist has in common with a bunch of theocratic thugs in Iran. The answer is ‘not much,’ beyond a taste for repression and a shared desire to make life difficult for the United States and its allies.”

On Friday, the next flight is expected to take off. While U.S. intelligence may be able to track the flight, there appears to be little more they can legally do to determine what or who is on board.

“American intelligence services have a lot of things on their plate. The fact that I can tell you that we’re really interested in that direct flight tells you that it was on our scope — something that we are sensitive to,” Hayden says. “Are we doing enough about it? I would have to say ‘no,’ because it’s a very challenging menu that American intelligence has to deal with.”

In a statement, the State Department says, “Nations have the right to enter into cooperative relationships with other nations.”

Neither the Iranian nor the Venezuelan governments responded to request for reaction before this article was published.

You can follow WTOP’s J.J. Green on Twitter.

Brittany Zickfoose contributed to this report.

(Copyright 2010 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)

J.J. Green, wtop.com

WASHINGTON – Iran Air 744 is a bimonthly flight that originates in Tehran and flies directly to Caracas with periodic stops in Beirut and Damascus. The maiden flight was Feb. 2, 2007.

The mere existence of the flight was a significant concern for U.S. intelligence officials, but now a broader concern is who and what are aboard the flights.

“If you [a member of the public] tried to book yourself a seat on this flight and it doesn’t matter whether it’s a week before, a month before, six months before — you’ll never find a place to sit there,” says Offer Baruch, a former Israeli Shin Bet agent.

Baruch, now vice president of operations for International Shield, a security firm in Texas, says the plane is reserved for Iranian agents, including “Hezbollah, the Revolutionary Guard (IRGC) and other intelligence personnel.”

Current and former U.S. intelligence official fear the flight is a shadowy way to move people and weapons to locations in Latin America that can be used as staging points for retaliatory attacks against the U.S. or its interests in the event Iranian nuclear sites are struck by U.S. or Israeli military forces.

“My understanding is that this flight not only goes from Caracas to Damascus to Tehran perhaps twice a month, but it also occasionally makes stops in Lebanon as well, and the passengers on that flight are not processed through normal Venezuelan immigrations or customs. They are processed separately when they come into the country,” says Peter Brookes, senior fellow for National Security Affairs at the Heritage Foundation.

The 16-hour flight typically leaves Tehran and stops at Damascus International Airport (DAM), which is Syria’s busiest. In 2009, almost 4.5 million passengers used the airport.

After a 90-minute layover, the flight continues the remaining 14 hours to Venezuela’s Caracas Maiquetía International Airport (CCS). Upon arrival, the plane is met by special Venezuelan forces and sequestered from other arrivals.

“It says that something secretive or clandestine is going on that they don’t want the international community to know about,” says Brookes, a former deputy assistant defense secretary for Asian and Pacific Affairs and CIA employee.

“The fact that there is a flight is of course of interest, but the fact that not anybody can gain access to this flight or buy a ticket for that flight is of particular curiosity and should be of concern to the United States.”

In addition to speculation about who is aboard, there are significant concerns that the Boeing 747SP airplane might be transporting uranium to Tehran on the return flight. The U.S. government has enacted strong sanctions against Iran because of its nuclear program and there are worries the flight might provide an opportunity to skirt the embargo against materials that might be used for the program.

“Clearly, Iran has been a sponsor of Hezbollah, and clearly Hezbollah profits from this relationship,” former CIA Director Michael J. Hayden says.

“It would be too much to say that Hezbollah is a puppet of the Iranian state, but one way of looking at this relationship is that the Iranian state might rely on Hezbollah as a strategic weapon — its weapon for global reach.”

Hayden, now a principle in the Chertoff Group, says the CIA has been aware of the activities for several years.

“Fundamentally, the thing that first and very solidly caught our attention at the Agency was the inauguration of direct air flight between the two capitals. Here was a conduit that people could travel from Iran into the Western Hemisphere, into Latin America in a way that would be very difficult for American intelligence services to detect and to understand.

“Right there at that very simple level, just the direct flight is something that we would be and should be concerned about.”

Brookes says the passengers “may not even need visas because they are special passengers. That obviously is of concern because there is no transparency about who the people are coming in and going out of the country. Of course there is concern that these folks may be Iranian special agents.”

Beyond concerns about Iranian intelligence flooding the west, Brookes and others worry that Iranian special advisers are schooling the Venezuelan military and may be involved in plans to move Iranian agents inside the U.S.

“It’s certainly a possibility. Would the agents that come into Venezuela be able to find their way to the United States? That’s certainly possible. You see the drug smugglers today using submersibles to move drugs to the U.S. and other parts of the Caribbean which is a real challenge. So why wouldn’t they be able to do the same with persons?”

   1 2  –  Next page  >>

Iran’s Underground Revolution

Iran’s Underground Revolution

Posted By Lisa Daftari On July 2, 2010 @ 12:17 am In FrontPage | 6 Comments

As Iranians passed the one-year mark of a tumultuous and historic year, an unimpressive and rather quiet June 12 anniversary left many wondering what happened to the disenchanted Iranians.  Regime threats, issued weeks in advance against protesters engaging in anniversary demonstrations, succeeded in deterring some. However, from its initial moments, this movement was remarkably forged by hundreds of thousands of courageous Iranians who have not let government intimidation discourage them. Journalists, analysts, and politicians questioned the movement’s strength and survival, wondering if President Ahmadinejad, the clerics, and their Revolutionary Guard had succeeded in quashing the masses.

The people of Iran tell a different story. Rather than pouring onto the streets and surrendering to the brutality of regime forces, the Iranian people say they have voluntarily taken a step back. The one-year anniversary of Iran’s fraudulent election has seen a transformation in the Iranian people and consequently, their ongoing movement.

“What’s the point of demonstrating when we are putting up our finest and most intellectual minds to go up against conscienceless guards to be shot at?,” asked Maryam, a 34-year-old radio producer for Iran’s state media in an early morning phone call to Tehran. “People have given up too much over the last year and have since changed their strategy,” she said in her native Farsi.

Maryam is politically active and socially in tune with the changing ambiance in Iran.  She wants regime change for her country. An Iran that is secular and democratic is what’s best for everyone, she said.

Among friends, Maryam is considered to be bold, courageous, and even “crazy” for speaking out openly against the regime.  Yet, she could not even use her real name in this interview.

Like many Iranians, Maryam had friends who were arrested and beaten during the protests. She quickly became upset when remembering some of these instances and changed the topic. Iranians have learned a very valuable lesson over the last 12 months, she concluded. They realized that they could be more efficient staying home.

Despite the appearance that the movement has been suppressed in the absence of demonstrations, intellectuals and politically active Iranians like Maryam and her friends are opting to sit home to think, write, publish, and discuss politics.

Welcome to Iran’s Intellectual Revolution.

The shutdown of dozens of Iranian newspapers and media platforms over the last year as a result of demonstration coverage that was unflattering to the regime, left a sizable void that the underground media is effectively filling.  The regime strategically closed official media sites hoping to thwart the spread of anti-government sentiment through traditional media outlets. They simultaneously paved the way for popular and unregulated publications to sprout up by the dozens, including underground newspapers, magazines, websites, blogs, and even night letters—flyers that are circulated in local neighborhoods in the middle of the night and have become a popular method of disseminating important political messages in many Iranian cities and villages.

At the same time, the radical crackdown against protesters and their freedoms sparked a thirst for information and transparency among the Iranian people.

“This is the time to sit back and think about how we can organize and strategize against the government to make significant changes,” Maryam said. “I cannot say too much over the phone.”

She repeated that phrase many times; fearful of getting into too much detail, and almost certain her line was tapped by the government.

As election results were announced last year—significantly ahead of the time it would actually take to count the votes—the regime proved its corruption and provoked its people. Iranians filled the streets in protest not just against a rigged election but also against 30 years of tyrannical rule.

Immediately, and in the days that followed, the regime began a brutal and vengeful crackdown on protesters. The wrath of the regime’s Revolutionary Guard was not enough. Thousands of Basiji militiamen, imported Iraqis, Pakistanis, Saudis, Palestinians, and others, were paid hundreds of dollars each day, equivalent to the monthly salary of many Iranian professionals, to violently and relentlessly attack demonstrators. Tear gas, acid, batons and even guns were used against the people.

The Iranians persisted.  As the government took away their Internet connections, the Iranians found ways to bounce Internet connections through proxy servers. Journalists banned from the country resulted in an emergence of a nation of citizen journalists.  As government forces cracked down against women and murdered Neda Agha-Sultan, women quickly came to the forefront of the movement. When the clerics became more radicalized and religious in their sermons, the Iranian people became more secularized and nationalistic.  It began as a movement for reform and an election debate, but evolved into a battle to regain control of a 5,000 year-old heirloom.

 

More than half way through this year, the Iranian people gradually realized that in order to be successful in their endeavor, they must have organization and leadership. The biggest obstacle the opposition faces is that they lack both. The Iranians learned that demonstrations would not help gain either. They only put the lives of innocent Iranians at risk. This new-found awareness has given the opposition a new perspective from which to operate.  Iranians are looking to engage one another in meaningful dialogue. They are publishing valuable content, publicizing critical information, and looking for unique ways to communicate political messages to one another.

The alternative, as they witnessed, is watching their loved ones be rounded up and taken to Evin Prison.

Interpol helping Iran to track dissidents here

Interpol helping Iran to track dissidents here

Clarice Feldman

It seems shocking but it is charged that interpol is helping the Iranian regime track and beset dissidents living here:

LOS ANGELES, Calif. — The Iranian regime is notorious for cracking down on dissent inside Iran . Now Mahmoud Ahmadenijad and the mullahs are targeting dissidents in other countries — including those in the United States . And they are using an international organization to do it.

The Regime Never Forgets

Shahram Homayoun fled Iran for the United States 19 years ago. He was a marked man in his native country, because of his support for democracy and human rights.

Now the regime has finally caught up with Homayoun: not in Tehran , but in Los Angeles .

“They have managed to keep me here, and it seems like there is nothing the U.S. government can do,” Homayoun told CBN News in an exclusive interview.

Homayoun owns a satellite television network in L.A. called Channel One TV. He broadcasts pro-democracy programming into Iran on a daily basis.

Now Iranian officials want to silence him — permanently. A prosecutor in the Iranian city of Shiraz recently issued an arrest warrant against Homayoun on charges of terrorism.

Homayoun explained that he has never called for violence or terrorism of any kind against the Iranian government.

“Never,” he said. “Even if the Iranian regime changes, we are encouraging people not to seek revenge. We are anti-terrorism.”

Yet Homayoun is now a wanted man, unable to leave the U.S. for fear of arrest.

Marked as a Terrorist

The Iranian regime alerted INTERPOL, the global law enforcement organization, about Homayoun. The organization then issued what’s known as a “Red Notice” against him. The Red Notice alerted all 188 INTERPOL member countries that Homayoun was wanted for terrorism.

Homayoun told CBN News that the terrorist charge has made his life extremely difficult.

We contribute funds to Interpol and work closely with that organization on terrorism and other international criminal matters. Interpol cannot operate within the U.S. borders but it appears that it can take actions detrimental to US residents and citizens anyway. In this case, US banks refuse to allow the target or his wife to maintain bank accounts here. The Attorney General has the oversight responsibility for contacts with Interpol and should blow the whistle on this practice.
Clarice Feldman

Enough Already — Just Move the UN to Iran

Enough Already — Just Move the UN to Iran

The UN’s Economic and Social Council has just elected Iran to a seat on the UN’s women’s rights commission. Wouldn’t it be easier to just ship the entire UN, lock, stock and seating arrangements, to Iran?

Shockingly Weak Obama Shockingly Moves To Weaken Iran Sanctions

Shockingly Weak Obama Shockingly Moves To Weaken Iran Sanctions

April 29th, 2010 Posted By Pat Dollard.

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Washington Times:

The Obama administration is pressing Congress to provide an exemption from Iran sanctions to companies based in “cooperating countries,” a move that likely would exempt Chinese and Russian concerns from penalties meant to discourage investment in Iran.

The Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability, and Divestment Act is in a House-Senate conference committee and is expected to reach President Obama’s desk by Memorial Day.

“It’s incredible the administration is asking for exemptions, under the table and winking and nodding, before the legislation is signed into law,” Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Florida Republican and a conference committee member, said in an interview. A White House official confirmed Wednesday that the administration was pushing the conference committee to adopt the exemption of “cooperating countries” in the legislation.

Neither the House nor Senate version of the bill includes a “cooperating countries” provision even though the administration asked the leading sponsors of the Senate version of the bill nearly six months ago to include one.

The legislation, aimed at companies that sell Iran gasoline or equipment to refine petroleum, would impose penalties on such companies, up to the potentially crippling act of cutting off the company entirely from the American economy. It also would close a loophole in earlier Iran sanctions by barring foreign-owned subsidiaries of U.S. companies from doing business in Iran’s energy sector.

Although Iran is one of the world’s leading oil exporters, it lacks the capacity to refine as much oil into gasoline as its domestic economy uses. Three years ago, the Iranian government imposed gasoline rations on the population.

“We’re pushing for a ‘cooperating-countries’ exemption,” the White House official said. “It is not targeted to any country in particular, but would be based on objective criteria and made in full consultation with the Congress.”

Mrs. Ros-Lehtinen, however, said the exemption “is aimed at China and Russia specifically.”

“The administration wants to give a pass to countries for merely supporting a watered-down, almost do-nothing U.N. resolution,” she said.

All past sanctions against Iran have included a waiver that lets the president refrain from penalizing foreign companies that are doing business with Iran.

The “cooperating countries” language that the White House is pressing would allow the executive branch to designate countries as cooperating with the overall strategy to pressure Iran economically.

According to three congressional staffers familiar with the White House proposal, once a country is on that list, the administration wouldn’t even have to identify companies from that country as selling gasoline or aiding Iran’s refinement industry.

Even if, as current law allows, the administration can waive the penalties on named companies for various reasons, the “cooperating countries” language would deprive the sanctions of their “name-and-shame” power, the staffers said.

The prospect that China and Chinese firms would be exempt from penalty follows reports that Beijing is cooperating with Iran’s missile program. On April 23, Jane’s Defense Weekly reported that China broke ground on a plant in Iran this month that will build the Nasr-1 anti-ship missile.

Mark Dubowitz, executive director of the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, where he directs the group’s Iran energy project, said the “‘cooperating-country’ status would send a signal to the energy sector that the Obama administration is not serious about penalizing those companies that continue to do business with the Iranian energy sector, the lifeblood of the men who rule Iran.”

Indeed, Christophe de Margerie, chief executive of the French national oil concern Total, told Reuters news agency on Tuesday that his company would stop business in Iran only if required to do so by the law.

“I’ve been asked by certain people to reconsider,” he said. “I say, ‘OK, make it official.’”

However Patrick Clawson, the deputy director for research at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, said U.S. policy objectives should not be to penalize foreign companies, but instead to persuade countries like China to enforce their own trade restrictions with Iran.

“If the administration can use this ‘cooperating-countries’ waiver to get cooperation from a country like China on enforcing the U.N. sanctions and on suspending investment in Iran’s oil and gas industry, then this bill will be a great success for U.S. objectives about Iran’s nuclear program and support for terrorism,” he said.

One congressional staff member working on the bill told The Washington Times that Mr. Obama personally asked the House leadership this month to put off the sanctions bill until after the current work period. Shortly after that meeting, both the House and Senate named conferees for the legislation.

U.S. unilateral sanctions aimed at freezing foreign companies out of American markets have been irritants in U.S. diplomacy. Foreign countries complain that imposing such “secondary sanctions” is just a form of protectionism.

The Obama administration has promised to pursue sanctions at the U.N. Security Council and also has indicated it would pursue unilateral sanctions targeted at Iran’s banking sector and the companies that insure shipping to and from Iranian ports.

Keith Weissman, a former Iran specialist for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, said he did not think the current refined-petroleum sanctions would be effective.

“Of all the sanctions I have been around, this is one of the dumber ones,” Mr. Weissman said. “We have been talking about this for so long, the Iranians are ready for this. Not only are they building the capacity for refining the fuel, they will have more capacity to purchase it from regional countries.”

Nonetheless, a number of foreign companies have announced in recent months that they would end business in Iran in anticipation of U.N. and U.S. sanctions. Some companies that provide Iran with refined petroleum, such as the Indian firm Reliance and the Kuwaiti trader IPG, have announced they would end the gasoline shipments.

Mr. Weissman was accused in 2005 by the federal government of conspiring to leak classified information to a Washington Post reporter. The Justice Department dropped the charges last year.

Because oil-refining sanctions would end up increasing the price of gasoline and heating oil for average Iranians, they have been opposed by many in Iran’s “green” opposition movement, such as Shirin Ebadi, the Nobel Peace Prize-winning human rights lawyer.

Mojtaba Vahedi, a former chief of staff to opposition leader Mehdi Karroubi, said in a telephone interview that he would prefer to see targeted sanctions aimed at Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps and its front companies.

“The main problem in Iran is the management of the country, everything that helps to remove [Iranian President Mahmoud] Ahmadinejad is good for the people, especially smart sanctions that target the regime,” he said.

Morning Bell: The Ahmadinejad Victory Tour AHMADINEJAD TO ATTEND CONFERENCE AT UN NEXT WEEK…

Morning Bell: The Ahmadinejad Victory Tour

Posted By Conn Carroll On April 29, 2010 @ 9:26 am In American Leadership, Protect America | No Comments

[1]

Yesterday, State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley confirmed [2] Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had submitted an application for a visa to attend the United Nations nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty conference in New York next month. Since Crowley also confirmed that Ahmadinejad is likely to be awarded the visa, the Iranian President can now look forward to witnessing first hand the failure of President Barack Obama’s Iran policy.

At first the White House believed that President Barack Obama’s sheer power of personality and persuasion would be enough to convince the Iranian regime to give up their nuclear program. So the President gave a conciliatory speech in Cairo [3], sent a direct message to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei [4], and opened up direct talks with the Iranian regime [5]. The results have been crystal clear: the Iranian regime has only accelerated its nuclear program [6], accelerated its ballistic missile program, and further crushed internal dissent, all while the Obama administration remained silent [7] as the Green Revolution was brutally crushed [8].

Now the Obama administration is seeking “crippling” sanctions on Iran through the U.N. Security Council. This is another Obama fantasy that plays right into Iran’s “cheat, retreat, and delay” [9] nuclear strategy. Whatever goodwill the Obama administration hoped to get from Russia by caving into their New START demands has not paid off [10]. With help from Turkey [11], China and now Egypt [12], Iran’s rope-a-dope [13] U.N. diplomacy will render any U.N. sanctions regime completely toothless [14].

All these Ahmadinejad victories over President Obama would not be so alarming if the Obama administration were not actively undermining our nation’s ability to deter and defend against Iranian nuclear attack. First there was President Obama’s decision to cancel missile defense installations in Eastern Europe [15]. The Obama administration claimed that their alternative system, called the Phased Adaptive Approach, could defend U.S. allies by 2020. But a recent Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) report [16] warns Iran may be able to reach the United States with an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) by 2015. This means President Obama has created a new “window of vulnerability” [17] for our enemies to exploit.

And then there is President Obama’s New START agreement which limits U.S. conventional, nuclear and missile defense options. Former director of the Missile Defense Agency, Retired Air Force Lt. Gen. Henry Obering, noted in The Washington Times [18] this week: “Strangely, New START may actually rest on what Russia permits the United States to do to defend Americans and our allies from such a missile attack. This equation is both bizarre and unsafe.”

“Bizarre and unsafe” is a generous assessment of the Obama administration’s efforts to protect America from Iran’s nuclear ambitions so far. The Obama administration must change course. The United States should impose and enforce the strongest possible sanctions [14], even if doing so requires action outside of the U.N. framework, and step up public diplomacy efforts to discredit the regime’s legitimacy and offer support to opposition groups, such as the Green Movement [19]. Most importantly the Obama administration must make the commitment to create and sustain a layered missile defense system [20], designed to counter every range of Iranian missiles in all stages of flight, including those that threaten the territory of the United States and its allies. This would include scrapping New START, returning missile defense installations to Eastern Europe and fully funding missile defense. For more, see 33 Minutes [21].

Quick Hits:

  • According to USA Today [22], starting in 2014 the Internal Revenue Service will become the chief enforcement agency for Obamacare.
  • USA Today also reports that starting this summer Obamacare will trap about 200,000 Americans [23] in high cost insurance plans.
  • A new Pew Poll [24] shows that 62% of Americans believe President Obama’s $862 billion economic stimulus has not helped the job situation.
  • Business leaders and economists say [25] they have seen few results from President Obama [26]’s five-year plan [27] to double U.S. exports.
  • Venezuela’s economy is set to contract by as much as 5% under Hugo Chavez’s 21st-century socialism [28] this year, while free-trad- embracing Chile is set to grow by 4%.
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