Posts Tagged ‘Iran’
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has declared that he is ready to be the first Iranian in space.
The news follows Iran’s announcement last week that it had successfully launched a monkey into space and retrieved it alive.
Officials hailed the launch as a major step towards their goal of sending humans into space, although the idea of putting the President himself into orbit surely comes as something of a surprise.
“I am ready to be the first human to be sent to space by Iranian scientists,” Ahmadinejad said on the sidelines of an exhibition of space achievements in Tehran, according to the Mehr news agency.
“Sending living things into space is the result of Iranian efforts and the dedication of thousands of Iranian scientists…”
Iran’s monkey launch added to Western concerns about the country’s space programme because the same rocket technology could potentially be used to deliver a nuclear warhead on a ballistic missile.
The last sentence is worth including if for nothing else than to point out what hypocrites the real military giants on this planet always are. You can carry that all the way down to the most dangerous country in the Middle East. You know, the one with hundreds of atomic weapons.
Iran’s Civil Aviation Organization announced aircraft will be prohibited from flying across the country during the call to prayer five times a day.
The new directive…will also prevent aircraft from taking off until at least 30 minutes after the day’s first call to prayer, al-Fajr, at 5:38 a.m., local time, The New York Times reported…
Hamid Reza Pahlevani, the head of Iran’s Civil Aviation Organization, told the Iranian Students’ News Agency the move is meant to give air travelers time “to carry out their religious duties.” The directive is apparently part of an effort to improve obedience to orthodox Islamic codes of conduct…
The announcement by the aviation organization did not explain how the new rules will affect flight schedules, or whether flights would be forced to land or be rerouted during times of prayer.
A delightful example of how some humans think their gods must be appeased. The affairs of ordinary people trying to get from place-to-place in the Islamic Nation are meaningless compared to edicts from the all-powerful representatives of that mythical guy in the sky.
Amid rising tensions in one of the world’s most volatile regions, an audacious project to use science for diplomacy is taking shape in the heart of the Middle East.
In this land of ancient hatreds, a highly sophisticated scientific installation is being built in Jordan. It has support from countries that are usually openly hostile to each other.
The plan is for a multi-million-pound synchrotron particle accelerator, known as Sesame.
It has backing from several Arab nations, together with Turkey, Pakistan, Cyprus, Iran and – astonishingly – Israel as well.
The Iranian government is publicly committed to Israel’s destruction and Israel has threatened to bomb Iran’s nuclear facilities. And most recently Israel accused Iran of supplying Palestinian militants with the missiles launched at Israeli cities.
Yet the governments of both these countries and others have pledged to provide more funding to Sesame, and BBC News witnessed their scientists and officials meeting for lengthy discussions in Jordan earlier this month.
After years of doubts about the project’s feasibility, construction is now at an advanced stage and most of the next round of finance is secured. The first science could start as early as 2015…
Synchrotrons have become an indispensable tool for modern science with some 60 in use around the world, almost all of them in developed countries, and this will be the first in the Middle East…
The governing council of Sesame is headed by a British physicist, Prof Sir Chris Llewellyn Smith, a former director of Cern, which operates the Large Hadron Collider from Geneva in Switzerland.
During a visit to the facility, in the hills 20 miles northwest of Amman, he told BBC News: “It is pretty remarkable but it’s happened and it’s because the scientific communities in these countries have pushed for this and ignored the political barriers.
“Science is a common language – if we can speak it together, possibly we can build bridges of trust which will help in other areas.”
RTFA for lots more detail – and hope.
Qader truck-mounted cruise missile
Although I believe it would be idiotic for any country to wage war with Iran, one cannot rule out the possibility. Here are 20 reasons why a military attack on Iran is a bad idea:
First, Iran has become the leading country in the Muslim world advocating for an end to nuclear weapons by religiously committing itself against weapons of mass destruction (WMD). The Iranian Supreme Leader issued a Religious Decree, or Fatwa, that forbids the production, stockpiling and use of all WMDs.
Second, the IAEA in the past decade, following more than 4,000 inspection hours, frequently and constantly has declared that there is no evidence of diversion in Iranian nuclear activity toward building a weapon.
Third, the U.S. National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) has maintained that Iran does not have nuclear weapons, has not made the decision to build them and is not on the verge of acquiring nuclear weapons. The international community also accepts this conclusion…
Ninth, there is no doubt that in case of any strike, Iranians of all political stripes would rally around the flag to defend their land, integrity, identity, and rights, and to resist security threats.
Tenth, President Obama’s effort to improve relations with the Muslim world is one of the most important U.S. foreign policy objectives. This was highlighted in his June 4, 2009 Cairo speech, calling for a “new beginning” between the United States and Muslims. Any strike on Iran by the U.S. or Israel would revive anti-American sentiment in the Muslim world and even other parts of the globe…
Thirteenth, America’s standing in the Middle East is already under mounting strain on multiple fronts. The political order in a number of “pro-American” Arab countries such as Egypt, Tunisia, Yemen and Lebanon is shifting away from the United States. In the event of an attack on Iran, this trend will accelerate and may shift the balance of influence and power more toward Tehran.
Seventeenth, Israel is already isolated. A war with Iran would worsen this situation and further strain both U.S. and Israeli relations with countries in the region.
Eighteenth, even if Israel takes unilateral military action, the U.S. would be considered complicit in the attack, and its assets, bases and personnel would be targeted by the Iranian retaliation.
Nineteenth, an Israeli or U.S. strike could dramatically widen the diplomatic split between the United States and Russia, China, and Non-Alignment Movement countries and may even create divergence with European and regional allies, reminiscent of tensions over the Iraq war.
Hossein Mousavian is a research scholar at Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. From 1997 to 2005, he was the head of the Foreign Relations Committee of Iran’s National Security Council; from 2003 to 2005, he served as spokesman for Iran in its nuclear negotiations with the European Union.
RTFA for all 20 reasons. I displayed some of the most important – IMHO.
A photograph of wrestlers Jordan Burroughs and Sadegh Goudarzi is being hailed as the single image to encompass the spirit of the Olympics.
Jack Moore of Buzzfeed first posted the image of Burroughs, an American, and Goudarzi, an Iranian, hugging after the New Jersey native beat his Middle Eastern competitor for first place.
“American wrestler Jordan Burroughs defeated Iran’s Sadegh Goudarzi in freestyle wrestling to win gold,” wrote Moore. “After the match and medal ceremony, Burroughs tweeted this photo…”
After all, the Olympics is not about athletes winning gold, but rather about nations meeting in peace for friendly competition.
Well said. There are more than a few Americans who worked in Iran, who have friends in Iran – who would be welcomed completely independent of any of the political crap that exists between our two nations.
Courtesy of American taxpayers
More than 400 Israelis, including Tel Aviv University law professors Menachem Mautner and Chaim Gans, have recently signed an online petition calling on Israel Defense Forces pilots to refuse to obey if ordered to bomb Iran.
The petition calls a decision to launch a strike against Iran a “highly mistaken gamble” that would only delay Iran’s nuclear program, without stopping it, and would come “at an exorbitant price.”
You have the option of saying “No,” the petition addressed to the pilots reads. “Certainly, this is not a simple option. It involves profound professional and moral dilemmas, and carries the risk of losing a career which is important to you and also the possibility of being prosecuted. Nevertheless, it is your duty to consider most carefully and seriously the possibility that by saying the little word ‘No,’ you will be rendering an important and vital service to the State of Israel and all who live here. This service would be infinitely more important than blind obedience to this particular order.”
The petition cautioned that in the event an attack on Iranian nuclear facilities caused the dispersal of radioactive materials among civilian populations “Israel as a country, as well as those carrying out the bombing might be charged with war crimes…”
Meanwhile, members of the board of directors of Physicians for Human Rights – Israel, including senior doctors in Israel’s health establishment, have sent a letter to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak in which they expressed their fears about the consequences of a potential Israeli attack on Iran.
“If we liken the state to a ship, you are the captains gripping the wheel of power who are heading this ship and its passengers into an enormous iceberg,” the physicians’ letter said.
Bravo! Inaction against an international crime leaves you to be judged as a willing participant. How history has come full circle when Israelis may be condemned for being “Good Germans”.
Does the US have a legitimate right to intervene in the behaviour of companies and individuals, or indeed of countries, operating beyond its own borders?
The question is pertinent and timely, given that Standard Chartered, a UK bank, was accused this week of violating US law.
Not, that is, as a result of the bank’s relatively limited activities in America…
The case is just the latest example of how the US has been extending its so-called extraterritorial powers in recent years – where the US has been flexing its legal muscle outside its own territory.
“The issue boils down to the following concept,” says Jacob Frenkel…”Any sovereign, whether a country, province, state or municipality, has a right to expect that a company or person doing business in that territory is subject to the laws of that territory.
“Just as a party doing business enjoys the protection of the laws, so too must a party comply with the laws.”
That definition raises two further questions. First, how should “doing business in that territory” be defined? In other words, when is an individual or firm deemed to be doing business in the US?
It does not take much, according to David Pitofsky…”As long as dollars are involved, they will eventually touch a US institution,” he says, referring to how almost all banking transactions, particularly in US dollars, will at some point in the process flow through the Federal Reserve Bank in New York.
Our courts have made clear over the years that such flows of funds through New York is sufficient for asserting jurisdiction.
“Even if a transaction is done, say, in Japanese yen, if a blip in the system turns these into dollars – however briefly – that in theory could mean it falls under US law,” says Mr Pitofsky.
RTFA. Longish, wandering through the labyrinth of self-serving decisions woven through the fabric of our law, courts and financial institutions. Patents, Dodd-Frank’s extra-territorial jurisdiction, DOJ jurisdiction over anti-corruption law, online gambling based in foreign countries, lack of reciprocity — topic after topic that American politicians have deemed subservient to the will of American courts and government institutions regardless of location.
The New York State Department of Financial Services, which is the regulator that accused Standard Chartered of [gasp] exchanging Petrodollars for Iran – is just 10 months old and claims the right to supervise 4,500 foreign and domestic institutions. Says our government, says our politicians. And probably most American voters who think we have a biblical right to rule the world.
Let’s not drag this out in the media. Or elections.
Daylife/AP Photo used by permission
An Iranian court has sentenced four people to death for a billion-dollar bank fraud that tainted the government of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad…
Iranians, hit by sanctions and soaring inflation, were shocked by the scale of the $2.6 billion bank loan embezzlement that was exposed last year and by allegations it was carried out by people close to the political elite or with their assent.
Of the 39 people tried for the fraud, the biggest in the country’s history, four were sentenced to hang…
Mail me a penny postcard when American courts, American politicians, grow the courage and integrity to prosecute high crime in the world of high finance. Federal attorneys like Preet Bahrara have an outstanding record of prosecuting up through the level of insider trading – and that’s where it ends. Thugs who legitimized mortgage fraud by the trade in derivatives deserve no less than life in prison.
The man described by Iranian media as the mastermind of the scheme, businessman Amir Mansoor Khosravi, is said to have forged letters of credit from Iran’s Bank Saderat to fund dozens of companies and buy a state-owned steel factory.
Mahmoud Reza Khavari, the former head of Iran’s biggest bank, state-owned Bank Melli, resigned over the affair and fled to Canada where records show he owns a $3m home, Iranian and Canadian news agencies reported…
Golly, I wonder if Canada’s honorable government is aware of this?
President Ahmadinejad has rejected claims that the investment company at the heart of the scandal has links to his closest aide, Esfandiar Rahim Mashaie, a powerful figure who has become the prime target for the president’s adversaries within the hardline ruling elite.
Ahmadinejad’s economy minister, Shamseddin Hosseini, survived an impeachment vote last year, where members of parliament accused him of lax banking supervision.
The ultimate arbiter of morality in Iran is the Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. While he criticised financial corruption, he also made the point that the media should not “drag out the issue”. Perish the thought that a theocracy would dedicate real time to fighting crime in high places.
Tell Romney that Syria and Iran haven’t a common border
“Maybe one of the few bright spots in the Middle East developments in the last year has been the rising of the people in Syria against [President Bashar al-] Assad. Obviously, as you know, Syria is Iran’s only Arab ally in the region. Syria is the route that allows Iran to supply Hezbollah with weapons in Lebanon. Syria is Iran’s route to the sea.”
— Mitt Romney, question and answer session at AIPAC conference, March 6, 2012
We’ve puzzled over this comment for a while. When the presumptive GOP nominee referred to Syria as Iran’s “route to the sea” during the Arizona GOP debate in February, we figured it was just a slip of the tongue.
But then a reader counted at least five times in which Romney has used this phrase, including in the Feb. 22 debate, at last month’s American Israel Public Affairs Committee annual conference, in a TV interview (MSNBC, Dec. 21), on the radio (Kilmeade & Friends, Feb. 14) and even in a Washington Post interview (Feb. 10).
Considering that Syria shares no border with Iran — Iraq and Turkey are in the way — and that Iran has about 1,500 miles of coastline along the Persian Gulf and Gulf of Oman, leading to the Arabian Sea, the reader wanted to know: What’s Romney talking about?
The man is an ignoranus. He may be bright enough enough get through Harvard Law – twice if I recall correctly – but, maybe Harvard dumbs things down for the children of prominent politicians. Yale certainly gets accused of that often enough [Eh, George W?].
Perhaps someone tried to explain to him how, for example, modern Lebanon is essentially a creation of Colonial France after World War 1. He thought there was a parallel? Or the man is an ignoranus.
Thanks, class warfare exists
Not a tanker – and not really belonging to anyone in Panama
A prominent U.S. lawmaker has asked the small South Pacific island nation Tuvalu to stop reflagging Iranian oil tankers and warned its government of the risks of running afoul of U.S. sanctions…
There is no nation on Earth too small for the United States to invade.
The European Union banned Iranian oil imports as well as providing insurance for vessels carrying Iranian oil on July 1, and the United States has new economic sanctions that have curbed Iranian oil imports by most other major nations.
Reflagging ships masks their ownership, which could make it easier for Iran to obtain insurance and financing for the cargoes, as well as find buyers for the shipments without attracting attention from the United States and European Union…
Howard Berman said he believes reflagging the tankers could be deemed as “sanctionable activity” under U.S. rules, and asked Telavi to cancel the registry of all NITC vessels.
“Given the close and cooperative relationship that our two governments now enjoy, it would be unfortunate if this action were permitted to stand,” Berman said.
Will someone please mail me a penny postcard when dillweed Berman and his peers in Congress notice that virtually every American-owned ship carrying everything from oil to condoms sails under foreign registry. Perish the thought any of these corporations should pay taxes to the nation where their owners sit in comfort.
It’s been going on for decades and the clown princes of law and order have never even barked at their polo ponies much less threatened war.