Saturday, December 03, 2005

Daily Briefing on Iran Thursday, 12/1/2005

Thursday, Nov. 30, 2005
State Department rethinking Iran?

Guy Dinmore, The Financial Times:
Iran’s new president, Mahmoud Ahmadi-Nejad, is an irresponsible radical who is digging a hole for himself, a senior US official declared on Wednesday. Nicholas Burns, the State Department’s number three official, launched a particularly personal attack in a speech that focused on:
**Iran’s alleged pursuit of nuclear weapons,
**its support for “terrorist” groups, including Hamas and al-Qaeda, and
**its poor human rights record. ...
Mr Burns’ speech appeared designed to highlight what the US hopes are the new battle-lines being drawn in Iran – between people and government, rather than within the regime between reformists under the former president, Mohammad Khatami, and hardliners.

“There is a clear struggle underway between the reactionary Iranian government and the moderate majority,” Mr Burns said.

Although he promised more funding for pro-democracy activities, observers in Washington said the Bush administration was faced with a paucity of worthy recipients in the US, and considerable hurdles in overtly funding such groups inside Iran. READ MORE
Here are a few other news items you may have missed.
**Gooya news reported that the wife of Akbar Ganji said: I think something might have happened that they have cancelled our visiting with Ganji !
**Iran Focus reported that with the parliamentary elections in Iraq less than three weeks away, several Shiite groups have started to claim that the revered twelfth Imam in Shiite Islam has guided Iraqis to vote for their candidate.
**The Financial Times reported that Nicholas Burns, the State Department’s number three official appears to see the new battle-lines being drawn in Iran as between the people and government, rather than rather than the regime and the reformists.
**Iran Focus reported that there were more than 420 recorded political protests in Iran over the past month.
**Expatica reported that Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel warned Iran not to back away from cooperation with the U.N. nuclear supervisory body, the International Atomic Energy Agency.
**Dow Jones Newswires reported that Ahmadinejad reiterated Wednesday that Iran would never give up its nuclear program, adding: Our enemies have to know that the Iranian people will develop their nuclear technology to the limit.
**Arutz Sheva, reported that Gen. Ze’evi Farkash, the head of Israeli intelligence said: The Iranian nuclear arms race has reached a point of no return.
** reported that the deputy chief of Iran’s hard-line Revolutionary Guards has been appointed as deputy interior minister for security and police.
**Michael Ledeen, The National Review warned the Bush administration that its current approach towards Iran threatens to dismantle the accomplishments of the past 4 years and leave the US more vulnerable.
**Michael Rubin, Rivista di Intelligence published a report on: how to deal with kidnappings in Iraq.
**Iran Focus reported that the Commandant of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) declared that Iran was exporting its Islamic revolution which would inevitably bring about the downfall of the United States in the Middle East.
**Iran Focus reported that the former Supreme Commander of Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards, Mohsen Rezai, has recently switched his allegiance from Rafsanjani to the new hard-line Iran president.
**Meysam Tavab, Rooz Online reported that President Ahmadinejad has ordered a review of all the appointments in government agencies that took place during the last 8 years. The president’s directive calls for more rigorous ideological screening of applicants to government positions.
**Rooz Online reported that the cleric Zahedi, recently appointed as Chancellor of Tehran University, quickly resigned after massive student demonstrations.