Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Khojir nukes? no proof in pudding


Powerlineblog.com had a blurb about a news story re: Khojir - a Nuclear development area near Tehran.

Check this out:
According to Google Map: Khojir coordinates are 35° 40' 58" North, 51° 42' 28" East and its original name (with diacritics) is KhojÄ«r. See Khojir photos and images from satellite below, explore the aerial photographs of Khojir in Iran.

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Hard to tell what it is, but if one zooms out one can see that this is great country to hide stuff, close to mountains and easy to create caves etc.

Certainly this is no smoking gun - what exactly does a nuclear facility look like?

But looking at satellite photos one can make incriminating remarks but that is about it.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Israel - is another big player in the chess match between Iran and US.


Yahoo news story


BERLIN - Israel's prime minister on Tuesday brushed aside suggestions that the threat from Iran's nuclear program has receded, saying he remains convinced that Tehran is "moving forward" with plans for an atomic weapon.

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It is obvious that Israel believes Iran will build nukes and ballistic missiles, then stockpile them and use them at their convenience.


What would your response be if you believed it was only a matter of time before a nation took a declaration of war and attempted to annihilate you?

Can anyone say "first strike".

No one should blame Israel as Ahmadinijad has said many times that he will lay waste to Israel. I believe the quote was to wipe Israel off the map.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Iran helping Afghanistan?

Iran-Focus article

"Iran is providing assistance to Afghanistan: whether that is meant to assist Afghanistan or influence Afghanistan, I leave that to you," he said.

And he criticized Iran's forced repatriation over winter of thousands of Afghan nationals in the neighboring country illegally. The issue is a sore point in relations between Tehran and Kabul.

Wood, perhaps the most influential foreign diplomat in Kabul, said Afghanistan's relationship with Pakistan was also complicated but better cooperation between them was "crucial."

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Here is more evidence of the complicated weaving of southwest asian politics.

Tehran has helped at times, and hurt at times.

Somewhat tribal in nature these changes of direction.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Talk about the weirdness that Americans see in the Saudi case of Yara:
Powerlineblog

Arab News reports on the latest outrage by Saudi Arabia's Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice: the "arrest" of a 36-year-old businesswoman identified only as "Yara" for the crime of drinking coffee in a Riyadh Starbucks with a male business associate described as a "Syrian financial analyst."
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What about this:

from Iranian.com

I wish she had not said this. All the women on the train are now staring at me. Those standing are focused on me from above and those sitting from below. I turn my head so that I can see the woman better. All of a sudden it feels as though her appearance has changed. But she is playing with her cell phone and looking at the women who surround her. A streak of stubbornness is apparent in her expression. "You mean that you would be willing to allow your husband to take on a second or even a third wife while married to you, with the law supporting him in doing so?" I ask.

"What’s the problem with that?" She responds abruptly and forcefully. "I am the second wife to my husband." All the women surrounding us are now staring at me. There is something in their gaze. It is as if they are waiting for me to put this woman in her place with a strong and reproachful response. But the woman does not allow me to respond, she continues: "I fell in love with my husband. I am still in love with him. If it weren’t for the law, I would not be allowed to be with him. Even if it is for one day a week, it is legal. This law gives us greater freedom of choice, why should I oppose it?"

I collect my signatures and leave the metro. The women only car, filled with serious discussion, departs the station.

I repeat to myself: Freedom of choice... Freedom in love... Freedom in love is one sided!!

NOTE
(*) While the Metro is not segregated and allows for women to ride in all cars, one car on all trains is set aside for women only. Most members of the Campaign focus their signature collections on the women only car.

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Us Americans just cannot fathom these social customs. And the various implications in regular standard everyday tasks.
Hey Look Iran is privatizing:
Payvand News story

relevant blurb:
The 60-acre port city of Fereydoun-Kenar is located some 238 km north of the capital Tehran.

Fereydoun-Kenar was originally designated by Majlis (Iran's parliament) as a port city in 1990 and vested in private sector in the first half of the current Iranian calendar year (to end on March 19) in line with the government's efforts to complete the privatization trend in the country.

The port city has three harbors with the capacity of loading and unloading 700,000 tons of goods and grains per year.

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There is another story that says the oil sector is privatizing as well ...
Payvand

$90Billion holding company is being built.

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And what does this mean?

Iran wants foreign investment and a legitimate and strong investment community, i.e. stock market and more.


We should help them!!
Some analysis from Asia Times


Kaveh L Afrasiabi, PhD, is the author of After Khomeini: New Directions in Iran's Foreign Policy (Westview Press)

offers this insight:
"In tandem with Iran's cooperation and nuclear transparency, what is needed is a phasing out of the UN sanctions regime on Iran, instead of strengthening it. Iran's former foreign minister, Ali Akbar Velayati, who advises the supreme leader on foreign policy matters, has recently stated the importance of Iran's diplomatic dialogue with the "5 +1". This signals a growing Iranian willingness to enter direct dialogue with the US on the nuclear issue.

The US must be prepared to revise its defunct and unrealistic positions on Iran's nuclear dossier, to focus on transparency and confidence-building measures pertaining to the various "objective guarantees" that Iran has been putting on the table for some time. The continuation of the present "coercive" course of action against Iran by Washington will neither solve the Iran nuclear crisis nor improve the semi-crisis that the NPT finds itself in today; rather, it will augment both. "


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Dr. Afrasiabi certainly has a point - there has been little to show for the coercive strategy.

On the other hand there has been little in options for the US.


If not coercive - then what?

An engaged diplomatic core requires some reciprocate reaction from Iran.

There has been little cooperation.

Certainly one could try the cooperation angle and see where it leads, as long as no additional technology is given to Iran then the Iranians are going to go along and do what they do anyway.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Russia wants an offensive capability

From SpaceWar

If the recent words of four-star Gen. Yury Baluyevsky, the chief of the Russian General Staff, are heeded, Russia will have to equip all the services of its armed forces with permanently combat-ready nuclear weapons. Nobody can guess who will use them first.

Speaking at a meeting of the Academy of Military Sciences in Moscow on Jan. 19, Baluyevsky declared that force should be used not only in the course of hostilities, but also to demonstrate the readiness of leaders to uphold their national interests.

"We are not going to attack anyone," he reassured his audience, "but we want all our partners to realize that Russia will use armed force to defend its own and its allies' sovereignty and territorial integrity. It may resort to a pre-emptive nuclear strike in cases specified by its doctrine."