Friday, January 19, 2007

Iran-Turkey build-up on Iraqi border

Friday's Daily Briefing on Iran.
Iranian and Turkish troop build-up along border with Iraqi Kurdistan.
  • Adnkronos International reported that Iran is amassing troops along its border with Iraq 's Kurdistan region near the Bashamagh crossing.
  • reported that the Turkish army have gathered and intensified its forces on Iraqi Kurdistan’s boarder ready for attack.
Iran makes its move in Afghanistan.
  • reported an increasing number of critical reports about Iran 's secret contacts with insurgent groups in Afghanistan , specifically those groups fighting against the U.S. presence in the country.
Islamic Republic permits media attacks on Ahmadinejad's policies.
  • reported that in Iran prices for vegetables have tripled in the past month, housing prices have doubled since summer —- and as costs have gone up, so has Iranians' discontent with hard-line President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his focus on confrontation with the West.
  • The Financial Times reported that a new political coalition is emerging in Iran in response to growing US pressure, especially over Tehran ’s nuclear program, and in concern over the radical approach of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in both foreign and domestic policy.
Ahmadinejad Condemns his Critics.
  • The International Herald Tribune reported that Ahmadinejad denounced his critics of his nuclear diplomacy at home, saying their calls for compromise echo "the words of the enemy" and will not affect his government's handling of the nuclear dossier with the West.
UNSC/IAEA Pressure on Iran Increases.
  • The Financial Times reported that Germany has proposed expanding the range of sanctions against Iran beyond United Nations-mandated measures.
  • CCTV reported that the International Atomic Energy Agency has temporarily suspended some technical nuclear aid projects to Iran in comply with the a UN Security Council resolution.
Iran Warned as Troop Surge Begins.
  • The Guardian reported that US defense secretary, Robert Gates, said this week that Iran believed it had gained the upper hand over Washington in the Middle East, but he declared a US military build-up was intended to signal American determination to remain a dominant player in the region.
Iraq Signals Changes in Protocols with Iran.
  • The New York Times reported that Iraq is carrying out an extensive review of its diplomatic protocols with Iran and may place new restrictions on them.
U.S. officials say rumor of Iran strike not true.
  • The Scotsman reported that U.S. defense officials on Thursday said a rumored Iranian missile strike on a U.S. naval vessel in the Gulf was not true.
Advice to President Bush on Iran.
  • Michael Ledeen, National Review Online applauded the Bush administration's sudden willingness to admit Iran 's support role for the Iraqi insurgency, but he explains why this is not enough.
  • Kenneth R. Timmerman, argued that there is an alternative to war or direct negotiations with Iran . The only approach that will get the attention of the Islamic Republic's leaders is regime change. He offers how to advice.
Here are a few other news items you may have missed.
  • Middle East Media Research Institute reported that the former Hezbollah secretary-general Sheikh Subhi Al-Tufeili said that Hezbollah was part of Iranian intelligence.
  • YNet News reported that Iran 's Minister of Defense, Brigadier General Mostafa Mohammad Najjar, has described "recent rumors" of an Israeli plan to strike Iranian nuclear facilities as a "psychological operation," adding that such an attack would be a "suicidal act for the Zionist regime."
  • Adnkronos International reported that n Iranian delegation headed by deputy foreign minister Mehdi Safari traveled to the North Korean capital Pyongyang on Thursday.
  • Yahoo News reported that Condoleezza Rice implicitly criticized French plans to send an envoy to Iran to discuss the situation in Lebanon and the Middle East.
  • Peter Brookes, The New York Post reported on the speech last week that almost nobody noticed the Director of National Intelligence John Negroponte's Senate testimony on the intelligence community's consensus views of global threats.
  • Bob Gorrell, Town Hall [published a new cartoon: Ahmadinejad's Holocaust Solution.
Thank you, Doctor Zin and Team, for gathering this news. You are doing a great service. Have a great day.