Monday, January 29, 2007

US to counter Iranian nukes?

Monday's Daily Briefing on Iran.
US plans to counter Iran 's ballistic missile program by 2011?
  • Middle East Newsline reported that the United States has launched an effort to counter Iran's nascent long-range ballistic missile program. The Defense Department plans to deploy missile defense assets in Eastern Europe that could intercept Iranian intermediate-range missiles fired toward the United States or its European allies.
Iran’s Space Venture a Ruse to Create an ICBM?
  • Debka File reported that Iran is closer than ever before to the launch of a spy satellite by a BM25 ballistic missile, 18 of which were purchased from North Korea.
Cheney: U.S. Carrier to Persian Gulf Sends "Strong Signal".
  • Reuters reported that by deploying a second aircraft carrier to the Gulf the United States has sent a "strong signal" that it is in the region to stay and working with allies to deal with an Iranian threat, Vice President Dick Cheney said.
But did other US Politicians Send a Message to Iran?
  • Fars News Agency reported that the Islamic Republic is contemplating on several notes forwarded by some US politicians and statesmen to Tehran.
Meeting Between Khatami, Kerry "Ordinary".
  • Islamic Republic News Agency reported that foreign Ministry spokesman Mohammad-Ali Hosseini here Sunday assessed as "ordinary" a meeting held between former Iranian president Mohammad Khatami and Senator John Kerry.
Khatami: No Chance of Talks Between Iran, Israel.
  • Haaretz reported that former Iranian president Mohammed Khatami said Saturday that there was no chance for talks between Iran and Israel.
Iran Wants More Time to Review Plan That Delays U.N. Sanctions.
  • The New York Times reported that the top nuclear negotiator for Iran said Sunday that his country needed time to review a plan proposed by the head of the United Nations nuclear watchdog agency that called for a delay in imposing Security Council sanctions if the Iranians suspended uranium enrichment. [What the ****]
Iranian Reveals Plan to Expand Role in Iraq.
  • The New York Times reported that Iran’s ambassador to Baghdad outlined an ambitious plan on Sunday to greatly expand its economic and military ties with Iraq — including an Iranian national bank branch in the heart of the capital — just as the Bush administration has been warning the Iranians to stop meddling in Iraqi affairs.
Putin sends message to Iran 's supreme leader to strengthen ties.
  • Xinhua reported that Russian President Vladimir Putin has sent a message on expanding mutual ties to Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
Here are six news items you may have missed.
  • Forbes reported that North Korea has dismissed allegations that it is providing Iran with nuclear expertise.
  • The International Herald Tribune reported that Iran has closed several border crossings with Iraq ahead of the Shiite holy day of Ashoura.
  • reported that the oil division of Russian energy giant Gazprom is planning to build a refinery in Armenia to process oil coming from neighboring Iran.
  • The Guardian reported that an Iranian nuclear agency official has denied claims made by a top lawmaker that the Islamic Republic had begun installing 3,000 centrifuges at an uranium enrichment plant.
  • The New York Times traveled to Iran and interviewed Ayatollah Mesbah-Yazdi’s most open and media-friendly acolyte, Ayatollah Mohsen Gharavian. [Screw you, too.]
  • Amir Taheri, Asharq Alawsat argued that Ahmadinejad appears to be replaying Saddam's confrontation with the US.
Thank you, Doctor Zin and Team, for this news. It sounds like the drumbeats are getting louder by the way people are talking, but I doubt it. Have a nice day.