February 24th, 2012
U.S. crude futures rose for a seventh day on Friday, ending with their best weekly performance since December, as a report by the U.N. nuclear watchdog that Iran had stepped up work on nuclear enrichment was seen further inflaming tensions between Tehran and the West.
On the New York Mercantile Exchange, crude for April delivery settled at $109.77 a barrel, gaining $1.94, or 1.8 percent, the highest settlement since May 3, when prices ended at $111.05.
In seven straight days, front month crude futures surged $9.03, or 8.96 percent, their biggest seven-day increase since Oct. 31, when they gained 9.25 percent. For the week, front-month crude rose 6.33 percent, the best weekly percentage gain since the week to Dec. 23, when prices rose 6.58 percent.
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February 10, 2012
By Tony Cartalucci
The British Daily Mail published a stunning admission by “US officials” that Israel is indeed funding, training, arming, and working directly with US State Department listed terrorist organization, the People’s Mujahedin of Iran, also known as Mujahedeen e-Khalq (MEK).
The Daily Mail article states, “U.S. officials confirmed today that Israel has been funding and training Iranian dissidents to assassinate nuclear scientists involved in Iran’s nuclear program.” The article continues by claiming, “Washington insiders confirmed there is a close relationship between Mossad and MEK, according to NBC, but said the U.S. was not involved.”
Of course, this is an overt lie, exposed by 3-4 years of documented collaboration between the United States and MEK, including an extensive conspiracy formulated within US policy think-tank Brookings Institution’s 2009 “Which Path to Persia?” report, proposing to fully arm, train, and back MEK as it waged a campaign of armed terror against the Iranian people.
In their report, they openly conspire to use what is an admitted terrorist organization as a “US proxy” (emphasis added):
“Perhaps the most prominent (and certainly the most controversial) opposition group that has attracted attention as a potential U.S. proxy is the NCRI (National Council of Resistance of Iran), the political movement established by the MEK (Mujahedin-e Khalq). Critics believe the group to be undemocratic and unpopular, and indeed anti-American.
In contrast, the group’s champions contend that the movement’s long-standing opposition to the Iranian regime and record of successful attacks on and intelligence-gathering operations against the regime make it worthy of U.S. support. They also argue that the group is no longer anti-American and question the merit of earlier accusations. Raymond Tanter, one of the group’s supporters in the United States, contends that the MEK and the NCRI are allies for regime change in Tehran and also act as a useful proxy for gathering intelligence. The MEK’s greatest intelligence coup was the provision of intelligence in 2002 that led to the discovery of a secret site in Iran for enriching uranium.
September 7, 2010
by Wissam Keyrouz
Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad ruled out an attack on the Islamic republic over its nuclear programme, during a visit to Qatar on Sunday, because any such action would result in Israel’s destruction.
“Any act against Iran will lead to the eradication of the Zionist entity,” he told a joint news conference in Doha with Qatar’s emir, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, after their talks.
Israel, the region’s sole if undeclared nuclear power, has not ruled out a military strike to prevent Iran acquiring an atomic weapons capability, an ambition its arch-foe Tehran strongly denies.
“The Zionist entity and the US government would hit any country in the region whenever they are able to do so, and they will not wait to get permission. But (at the moment) they cannot,” he said.
“Iran has the ability to retaliate, strong and hard,” warned Ahmadinejad, whose comments in Farsi were translated into Arabic.
Iran’s hardline president said the talk of war against Iran to halt its controversial nuclear programme was aimed at putting psychological pressure on Tehran.
“There will be no war against Iran. What could take place is a psychological war,” he said.
In renewed criticism of the relaunched direct peace negotiations between the Palestinians and Israel, Ahmadinejad charged that the “decaying” Jewish state was hoping to “revive” itself through the talks.
“The Zionist entity is decaying. It is in a critically difficult state, and hopes to revive itself through an unfruitful dialogue,” he said.
Ahmadinejad had on Friday said the Washington-sponsored talks were “doomed” to fail, and infuriated the moderate Palestinian leadership by slamming it as unrepresentative.
“Who gave them the right to sell a piece of Palestinian land? The people of Palestine and the people of the region will not allow them to sell even an inch of Palestinian soil to the enemy,” he said at an annual pro-Palestinian rally.
Unlike other Arab states in the Gulf that have echoed Western suspicions about Iran’s nuclear programme and its ambitions in the region, Qatar has maintained friendly relations.
In May when the United States was pushing for a new round of UN sanctions against Iran, Qatar backed Turkish and Brazilian efforts to broker a deal that would avoid further punitive measures.
But Qatar is also a staunch US ally and hosts two American military bases.
As-Sayliyah base served as the coalition’s command and control centre during the 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq, while the US air force used Al-Udeid airbase in the 2001 war in Afghanistan and in the aftermath of the Iraq invasion.
September 7, 2010
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has questioned the accepted narrative of the September 11, 2001 attacks in the United States, saying it was still not clear who was behind them.
“Something happened in New York and still nobody knows who the main perpetrators of that act were,” Ahmadinejad told diplomats and newspaper editors late on Sunday while on a brief visit to Qatar.
“No independent people were allowed to try and identify the perpetrators,” he charged.
“They say that in the Twin Towers, 2,000 people were killed. In Afganistan, so far more 110,000 have been killed.”
Ahmadinejad has on several occasions questioned the accepted version of the 2001 attacks by Al-Qaeda militants, which killed nearly 3,000 people in the United States.
In March, he referred to the attacks as “a big lie,” Iranian state media reported.
Iran is locked in a standoff with Western governments over its nuclear programme.
The UN Security Council imposed a fourth round of sanctions on June 9 over Iran’s failure to heed repeated ultimatums to suspend uranium enrichment, the sensitive process which can produce fuel for nuclear reactors or, in higly extended form, the fissile core of an atomic bomb.
August 17, 2010
Israel has “eight days” to launch a military strike against Iran’s Bushehr nuclear facility and stop Tehran from acquiring a functioning atomic plant, a former US envoy to the UN has said.
Iran is to bring online its first nuclear power reactor, built with Russia’s help, on August 21, when a shipment of nuclear fuel will be loaded into the plant’s core.
At that point, John Bolton warned Monday, it will be too late for Israel to launch a military strike against the facility because any attack would spread radiation and affect Iranian civilians.
“Once that uranium, once those fuel rods are very close to the reactor, certainly once they’re in the reactor, attacking it means a release of radiation, no question about it,” Bolton told Fox Business Network.
“So if Israel is going to do anything against Bushehr it has to move in the next eight days.”
Absent an Israeli strike, Bolton said, “Iran will achieve something that no other opponent of Israel, no other enemy of the United States in the Middle East really has and that is a functioning nuclear reactor.”
But when asked whether he expected Israel to actually launch strikes against Iran within the next eight days, Bolton was skeptical.
“I don’t think so, I’m afraid that they’ve lost this opportunity,” he said.
The controversial former envoy to the United Nations criticized Russia’s role in the development of the plant, saying “the Russians are, as they often do, playing both sides against the middle.”
“The idea of being able to stick a thumb in America’s eye always figures prominently in Moscow,” he added.
Iran dismissed the possibilities of such an attack from its archfoes.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said Tuesday that “these threats of attacks had become repetitive and lost their meaning.”
“According to international law, installations which have real fuel cannot be attacked because of the humanitarian consequences,” he told reporters at a news conference in Tehran.
Iranian officials say Iran has stepped up defensive measures at the Bushehr plant to protect it from any attacks.
Russia has been building the Bushehr plant since the mid-1990s but the project was marred by delays, and the issue is hugely sensitive amid Tehran’s standoff with the West and Israel over its nuclear ambitions.
The UN Security Council hit Tehran with a fourth set of sanctions on June 9 over its nuclear programme, and the United States and European Union followed up with tougher punitive measures targeting Iran’s banking and energy sectors.
The Bushehr project was first launched by the late shah in the 1970s using contractors from German firm Siemens. But it was shelved when he was deposed in the 1979 Islamic revolution.
It was revived after the death of revolutionary founder Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini in 1989, as Iran’s new supreme leader Ali Khamenei and his first president, Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, backed the project.
In 1995, Iran won the support of Russia which agreed to finish building the plant and fuel it.
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July 2, 2010
Fars News Agency
TEHRAN – The approval of the fourth round of sanctions against Iran at the UN Security Council indicated the failure of US President Barack Obama in bringing a change to Washington’s policies, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said.
“Mr. Obama took the power with the slogan of change but the
With the new resolution passed at the UNSC, President Obama has followed in former US president George W. Bush’s footsteps, President Ahmadinejad said, adding that such policy was doomed to failure.
The UNSC adopted new sanctions against the Islamic Republic last month. The sanctions came after US’s hard lobbying for new punitive measures against Tehran over its nuclear work.
The Iranian chief executive blamed Washington for the ratification of the recent sanctions, saying other nations were pushed by the US to approve the UN resolution.
“We consider the United States as responsible for the resolution, because the Security Council is under US influence,” President Ahmadinejad said in an interview with Japan’s Kyodo news agency.
The Iranian president said the US government has been treating Iran with hostility for over 50 years, adding that threats and sanctions could not force Iran to withdraw from its peaceful nuclear activities.
Regarding a proposal by the P5+1 for the resumption of nuclear talks, he said that Iran already suggested talks before the ratification of sanctions.
President Ahmadinejad further added that Iran always backs talks but asserted that Tehran’s conditions for negotiations with the six major powers have changed after the ratification of the new resolution.
“Our conditions for talks have changed and we will soon release these conditions. Of course our conditions will be totally just and legal,” the Iranian president concluded.
January 13, 2010
By Ladane Nasseri
Iranian Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani blamed the CIA and Mossad for the death of a physicist who was killed yesterday in a bombing outside his Tehran home.
“We had clear intelligence days ago that the Zionist regime’s intelligence service, with the cooperation of the CIA, was aiming to have a terrorist act in Tehran,” the state-run Mehr news agency quoted Larijani as saying today.
The Israeli and U.S. spy agencies “perhaps thought that given certain internal disputes there was an opportunity for such action and that they could create friction among academics and harm the country’s nuclear research work,” Larijani said.
The Obama administration denied any role in the killing yesterday after the allegation was initially carried by Iran’s state media, calling it “absurd.” The Israeli prime minister’s office had no response today when called for comment.
Iran has been in political turmoil since President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s re-election seven months ago, which provoked the biggest street protests since the 1979 Islamic Revolution by opposition movements who said the vote was rigged. Both sides claimed yesterday that the slain professor, Massoud Ali- Mohammadi, was one of their supporters.
The opposition Web site Rahesabz said Ali-Mohammadi campaigned with other academics in favor of Mir Hossein Mousavi, a former prime minister who ran against Ahmadinejad in the disputed June election. Mousavi has since become a leader for the opposition movement that grew out of the election controversy.
Portrayed as Committed
State media have portrayed Ali-Mohammadi as a nuclear scientist committed to the ideals of the Shiite Muslim-led state, and his death as an attempt by foreign powers to prevent Iran from advancing its nuclear technology.
The Web site of the University of Tehran’s Physics Department, where Ali-Mohammadi taught, describes him as a professor of elementary particle physics and lists more than 50 of his academic articles.
After briefly reviewing those articles, the president of the Washington-based Federation of American Scientists said Ali- Mohammadi doesn’t appear to have been connected to Iran’s nuclear weapons or energy programs.
Most of the 53 papers indicate he’s a mathematical or astrophysicist, said Charles Ferguson, head of the science federation and a U.S. Navy-trained nuclear engineer.
The commander of Iran’s government-backed Basij militia, Mohammad Reza Naghdi, called for revenge against the U.S.
“The enemy is going so far as to kill our scientists,” he told the state-run Fars news agency. “Revenge for such crimes should be taken on the U.S., and thanks to God’s greatness this will be done.”
The Basij is controlled by the Revolutionary Guards Corps, a military branch separate from the country’s regular armed forces with responsibilities that include safeguarding the ideals of the 1979 revolution. The Guards and the Basij paramilitary force were instrumental in enforcing the crackdown that followed the June ballot.
Ali-Mohammadi was heading to work at about 7:30 a.m. yesterday when a bomb planted on a motorcycle in front of his home was detonated by a remote device, state-run Press TV said.