Thursday, November 09, 2006

Gates cannot stand! DBI

Thursday's Daily Briefing on Iran.
Bush's appointment of Gates worries pro-democracy forces in Middle East.
  • The Wall Street Journal reported that with Robert Gates replacing Donald Rumsfeld as President Bush's nominee for Defense Secretary it appears a significant policy shift is in play on Iran . Gates has contended that the lack of American engagement with Iran had harmed American interests, and advocated direct talks with the Iranians.
  • The Council on Foreign Relations participated in a program in the fall of 2004, entitled: Iran: Time for a New Approach: An Independent Task Force on U.S. Policy Toward Iran, in which Robert M. Gates spoke, along with Suzanne Maloney and Zbigniew Brzezinski.
  • The Wall Street Journal reminded us that Mr. Gates was deputy national security adviser under Brent Scowcroft in 1991, when President Bush's father abandoned the Shiite uprising that followed the first Gulf War. One reason the Iraqi government of Nouri al-Maliki has had such a hard time dismantling Shiite militias is because Shiites fear that it's only a matter of time before the U.S. abandons them again.
"Iran has transformed into a trans-regional power."
  • Iran Focus reported that the Islamic Republic of Iran has been transformed into a “trans-regional power”, a top military commander claimed.
  • Middle East Newsline reported the Islamic Republic has formed an army of suicide fighters. The troops would be used to stop any ground invasion of Iran.
Hezbollah admits to working to topple Lebanese Government.
  • Iran Press News reported that one of the commanders of the Lebanese branch of Hezbollah affiliated to the Islamic Republic, confirmed a report that indicated that Hezbollah has been taking all necessary action to topple the government of Lebanon.
  • Iran Press News reported that Walid Jumblatt, the leader of Lebanon's most powerful Druze clan, said the “decision to disarm Hezbollah in Lebanon is in the hands of Khamenei.”
Rumors spread that rebel Ayatollah may be dead.
  • Iran Press News reported the regime having arrested anti-regime cleric, Ayatollah Kazemeini-Boroujerdi announced that he had “suffered a heart attack” and that he has been hospitalized, however, they failed to mention the name of said hospital.
  • Iran Press News reported that reliable source inside ward 209 of Evin prison said that Kianoosh Sanjari has been under daily tortured and interrogation. The source also added that [the torturers] have every intention of taking his life.
Here are a few other news items you may have missed.
  • Middle East Media Research Institute reported that Sunni Islamist websites affiliated with the jihad groups in Iraq posted what they claimed was a top-secret Iranian document. The document, dated May 2001, indicates contacts between top Al-Qaeda figures and the highest echelons of the Iranian intelligence apparatus, which is part of the office of Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and can be viewed at the end of this document. Excerpts and a photo of the document.
  • Reuters reported that Iran 's president is facing criticism from opposition lawmakers and press for giving more budget powers to provincial governors.
  • The International Herald Tribune reported that Iran 's foreign minister on Wednesday abruptly postponed a visit to Moscow planned for this week.
  • Cox & Forkum published a cartoon on the US elections: In The Wind.
Thank you, Doctor Zin and Team, for such an excellent job of reporting from behind the 'wall of silence' which is known as Iran. Keep up the great work.