Archive for the ‘Iran’ Category

All Iranian media have been forbidden to publish any advertisements about pets or pet-related products.

Iranians with their pets. This photo has been published by the free Iranian press in exile.

The decision was made by the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance.

The fatwa was issued as a Press release on Tuesday by Ayatollah Nasser Makarem Shirazi, from the the ministry’s Advertisement and Information Dissemination Office (AIDO).

– Based on his response, publishing any advertisement about keeping, buying, and selling pets is forbidden, AIDO Director Alireza Karimi said.

In addition, ads promoting pet foods and shops selling pet accessories, especially for cats and dogs, have been banned by the fatwa, he added.

Karimi demanded that all the various media outlets decline to publish the above-mentioned ads. Based on shariah, a dog is essentially unclean.

Keeping pets, especially dogs and cats, has become remarkably common among Iranians, particularly those living in metropolitan areas. Police have been assigned the task of stopping people from walking in public or driving with their pets.

Months ago, Ayatollah Makarem Shirazi was asked a question about the cleanliness of dogs in shariah. Such a question, called an istifta, is a request by someone for a fatwa, a ruling based on shariah.

The istifta inquired why is a dog considered unclean under shariah despite a lack of any references to dogs in the Holy Quran.

In his response to the istifta, Ayatollah Makarem Shirazi emphasized that under shariah, dogs are indeed considered unclean. He said the uncleanliness of dogs is based upon riwayahs, reliable narrations handed down from the Prophet Muhammad (S) and his household (AS).

He described the current Iranian inclination toward dogs as “blindly imitating the West”; something that he believes will result in “evil outcomes.”

“Many people in the West love their dogs more than their wives and children,” he stated.

Source: Iranian News agencies.

My comment:

The Bibles says the deceivers will go from bad to worse, deceiving them selves and their listeners.

What good can the Islamic culture bring to the free and democratic nations in the West?

If the Iranian people do not get rid of this totalitarian corrupt, and evil Islamic regime, their leaders will not only rob them for their pets. The Iranian people will be robed for their peace of mind, and eventually the salvation that is available for for all who obey Jesus of Nazareth.

Advertisements

CURRENT – ‘DILLUTED’ – SANCTIONS ON IRAN ARE UNLIKELY TO STOP PRODUCTION OF NUCLEAR WEAPONS, WITH IRAN AND RUSSIA PLAYING BRILLIANTLY. HOWEVER, NUKES IN HANDS OF AHMADINEJAD COULD EVENTUALLY HARM IRAN, BRING STRONGER SANCTIONS OR EVEN A BLOCKADE.

Nuclear Iran could pose a danger to the Middle East... and to itself. Despite recent prognosis of new sanctions draft against Iran barring sale of advanced weaponry to it, Russians announced they would indeed supply the Mullahs with S-300 anti-aircraft missile system:

Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Mikhail Margelov said the latest sanctions proposal does not pertain to agreements signed with Iran in the past.

"Russia is a responsible supplier to international markets and it has no interest in working towards arming the Middle East," Margelov was quoted as saying by the Novosti and Interfax news agencies. He added that the draft proposal formulated by the five permanent members of the Security Council along with Germany is "balanced" and that the sanctions it offers are not "paralyzing."

"We are talking about steps that would be unavoidable should Iran not adhere to international law," he said.

(Ynet)

RUSSIA CERTAINLY USES the loophole well to its advantage: they keep Iran at bay by saying they won’t sell it any new weapons, however, they are already willing to supply much to Ahmadinejad. We still know little of what exactly was signed between Medved and Ahmadinejad, thus it is possible the sales would include not only the S-300 system, but also fighter aircraft (such as the MiG-29) and other types of weaponry.

Russia comes out as a sole winner in this situation – at one hand, the West cannot complain about Russian weapons in Iran’s hands; on the other, Iran gets the package; on the third – Russians get paid in full, thus fueling their own economy, and particularly the defense budget.

Some analysts point out that within days of Brazil-brokered ‘enrichment deal’ with Turkey, Iran, played out its cards well, making few significant gains:

1.   Tough UN sanctions are off the table, leaving individual governments the freedom to proceed, or not, with unilateral penalties against Iran’s nuclear violations.

2.   The heavily-diluted UN draft omits any mention of energy bans, such the refined oil products, a provision formerly advocated by Washington as the most effective means of forcing Iran to abandon its drive for a nuclear weapon.

3.   Not only has the notion of a sea blockade gone by the board, but heavy restrictions are clamped down on searches of vessels suspected of carrying contraband military or nuclear cargoes, for which permission must now be requested by the nation flagged. This allows Iranand Syria to safely import nuclear materials and missiles by sea without fear of interception. Even before the haggling begins, therefore, the new "sanctions" draft before the UN Security Council scarcely answers to its description.

4.   The Obama administration’s inclination to treat the new uranium exchange deal brokered by Brazil and Turkey as the Six-Power Group’s springboard for bringing Tehran back to the negotiating table offers Iran the gift of more time and space to achieve its ultimate objective of a nuclear weapon.

(DebkaFile)

Israeli leaders are probably shocked at the incompetence and stark pacifism of the international community. While nobody wants war, it is clearly understood that the current sanctions draft will lead nowhere, as it basically leaves in Iran in its current position for at least several years.

Iran’s strategy could be in the wrong, however. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad plans to create a nuclear weapon as soon as possible, in order to control as much of Middle East as possible. Then, Ahmadinejad believes, Iran would could and it would be impossible to simply impose sanctions on it. He could be wrong, however. True, Iran is no North Korea, but it could be close. While uncertain, the international community would be much more inclined to impose tough sanctions on Iran when it realizes its nuclear potential. While a blockade would always be the last resort of the pacifist United Nations, nuclear Iran would cause much worry for surrounding states, thus giving sanctions a few more votes in the Security Council. While Russia or China could indeed veto such decision, they would be unlikely to do so, as their current rhetoric allows them to waste time until Iran finishes its nuclear research, but not much after it does.

Nuclear Iran certainly would start a new era in the Middle East. Radical Islamists African countries are likely to flock to it for protection and military supply, which Iran would gladly provide (unless a blockade is indeed imposed). Few more entities, such as Syria, Gaza’s Hamas and Lebanon’s Hezbollah would make bolder steps, bluntly confronting Israel, even militarily – feeling Iran’s protective backing. On the other hand, Iran’s enemies – such as Egypt, Jordan and Saudi Arabia, are likely to make bolder steps on their side against Iran-aligned elements within their societies. Thus – if he makes it, that is – Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak would instruct his forces to up the stakes in fight against radical Muslim Brotherhood, and would take further steps to lock down Gaza. Jordan, knowing it is vulnerable, would likely keep any anti-Iran operation under covers, and would likely request help from either of its neighbors – even Israel, although that would be accepted covertly and in a limited fashion.

Overall, nuclear Iran certainly would alter Middle East’s inner workings. However, it is quite possible the altercation would not be good for Iran, as its only option could be aligning itself with even poorer nations, who can do little to further Iran’s goals on international arena.

Is Russia making another step towards Iran?

Posted: May 20, 2010 by Jonathan Boyko in International, Iran, Middle East
Tags: ,

Russian S-300 SAM system Military sources report Russia summoned Iranian operators to its bases, training them to run Russian-made S-300 Surface to Air Missile, anti-aircraft defense system. Rumors had it for over a year now Russians plan to sell Iran the S-300 SAM system; Iran wants the missiles to protect its nuclear installations:

Moscow is withholding them from Tehran for now, keeping the promise prime minister Vladimir Putin gave President Barack Obama. But if and when the weapons are delivered, Iran will have trained crews ready to operate them.

In their push to develop military ties with Iran and its allies, the Russians earlier this month also agreed to sell Syria MiG-29 fighter jets, Pantsyr short-range air defense systems and armored vehicles in a major arms transaction.

Washington and Jerusalem have known about the presence of IRGC S-300 missile crews at Russian training bases since early May. But when Israeli president Shimon Peres raised the issue during his talks with President Dmitry Medvedev in Moscow on May 9, he was told sharply that neither Israel nor any other government is entitled to tell Russia to whom it may give military assistance.

(DebkaFile)

WHILE THE MIG-29 is not as advanced fighter as it was a decade ago, it still is a serious adversary to modern air fighters, particularly the F-16 currently employed by many armed forces around the Middle East. It is probably the best option available for Iranian Air Force.

The S-300 is a different matter. The Sp-300, also known in the West as SA-10 or – in a more advanced version – SA-12, is a powerful system, ranging between 75 and 150 kilometers (between 47 and 93 miles), able to track up to 24 targets at a time and guide four separate missiles to four of the tracked aircraft. While no SAM system is perfect, defending a single site with four such systems or more could lead to grave consequences for the attacker.

In the past, Russia offered the US and Israel to purchase Iran’s order, claiming the former already manufactured the goods and needs to get rid of them. Neither government responded to the proposition, and are unlikely to make the purchase, which likely goes into hundreds of millions of US dollars.

Iran and Brazil - new best friends? In a trick worthy of better politicians, Iran’s Mahmoud Ahmadinejad agreed surprisingly quickly to Brazil’s offer of enriching uranium in Turkey:

The shipment of the low-grade uranium ostensibly would prevent the possibility that Iran could use the material to build a nuclear weapon. However, Germany and Britain remain unimpressed. Iran would continue to be able to produce high-grade uranium, and Turkey would return the low-grade uranium if it does not ship fuel rods within a year.

No announcement was made concerning what Turkey would do with the low-grade uranium, which would be stored under supervision of United Nations and Iranian authorities.

(Channel 7 News)

THE DEADLOCK SOLVED itself swiftly – so swiftly, in fact, that it smells real dirty. After all, Brazil stepped in as a mediator only a week ago, and managed to solve a situation stalled for a month?

Not so fast, though. While Brazil’s da Silva stepped up his efforts, Iran still claims the right to continue enrichment program, thus it is unclear whether Turkey would play any role at all. With Russians warning the deal unlikely to solve anything, the international community cannot really stop pushing Iran:

"One question is: will Iran itself enrich uranium? As far as I understand from officials of that state, such work will be continued. In this case, of course, those concerns that the international community had before could remain," [Russian President Dmitry] Medvedev said.

(Haaretz)

The Europeans put even sadder masks on, expressing outright disgust at Iran’s mockery of a deal:

The office of EU foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton in Brussels said the deal "does not answer all of the concerns" raised by Tehran’s nuclear program.

Germany’s Foreign Ministry responded that no agreement could replace the draft inked between Iran and the IAEA last October in which Iran would transfer its enriched uranium to France and Russia, where it would be processed into nuclear fuel rods and returned back to Iran to fuel Tehran’s research reactor.

(Ynet)

The analysts go far beyond disgust, illustrating outright humiliation of the West and somewhat good political planning and execution by anti-US bloc of Iran, Brazil and the Thanksgiving Country:

Just think: Obama invited Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva to the White House and praised him wildly: Obama called himself "a great admirer of the progressive, forward-looking leadership that President Lula has shown." This is despite the fact that the Brazilian leader is as close to a Communist as you can get nowadays, has sunk his country into huge debts, and has been a major critic of the United States.

And then what does “Lula” do after being feted in the White House?

Naturally, he is trying to destroy U.S. efforts to raise and enforce sanctions on Iran. Lula has tried to save Iran from sanctions by putting together a phony diplomatic deal on Tehran’s terms. And guess who his partner is in trying to sabotage sanctions and help Tehran? Why that "moderate Muslim" regime in Turkey for which the Obama Administration has had so much praise!

Now Lula has just visited Tehran in person and proposed that Brazil should provide Iran with equipment and parts to modernize its oil production while Iran assists Brazil in deep-water drilling efforts in the Atlantic Ocean. Lula also said he would urge Brazilian companies to invest in Iranian refineries. There can be no doubt that Brazil will oppose sanctions in the UN.

(Rubin Report)

Other analysts go further, echoing warnings by Western countries that the deal, based on technicality, legitimizes Iran’s continued nuclear program and further stalling possibility of sanctions on Iran:

2. The deal legitimizes Iran’s right to enriched uranium of a higher grade, which can be converted in short order to fuel for a nuclear bomb. Tehran has now gained an international seal for going up to weapons grade.

3.  Given the close bonds unfolding between Turkey, Iran and Syria, no independent agency can expect a chance to monitor the transaction or find out the actual quantity of enriched uranium Tehran is in fact exporting to Turkey.

4.  The Six-Power group’s compromise proposition for the export of 1.200 kilograms of low-enriched Iranian uranium was put forward more than a year ago and left hanging. There is no telling how much enriched uranium Tehran has produced in the interim period. Therefore, the quantity Iran has agreed to send to Turkey may be a drop in the ocean. In any case, the deal leaves Tehran with all the necessary infrastructure for continuing to build up its stocks of enriched uranium – and at a higher grade.

(DebkaFile)

The ridiculousness of the situation portrayed best by the inability of the sole superpower to impose any kind of restraint on Iran. I could understand why President Obama feels he cannot single-handedly impose a blockade on Iran, as he outdoes himself distancing his policies from those of his predecessor. However, lack of US’ strong lead undermines any possibility of peaceful solution to the problem. The Europeans certainly will not take a lead and are likely to portray themselves as being forced into sanctions, as European governments attempt to contain rage of millions of Muslim immigrants as well as some neighbors. The United States – the one country that does not heavily depend on pacifying rioting Muslim youths – fails the test of time, as neither President Obama nor Secretary of State Clinton presented a clear stance and strategy for combating Iran’s acquisition of nuclear arsenal.

Thus Israel is left with a tough choice. Feeling it is out of friends, it mulls the option to attack; nevertheless, it is the route Netanyahu’s unlikely to take as he clearly understands the repercussions of such a move. While Israel – and other intelligence agencies around the world – attempted to sabotage Iran’s program, they achieved only scarce success.

This leaves Israel with two options, neither of them perfect: step up anti-ballistic defense R&D and step up Mossad’s sabotage. Neither will bear necessary fruit. Israel’s tough stance will force Netanyahu and his generals to think of new strategies – and seek new friends.

Iran tests missiles for Hezbollah

Posted: May 14, 2010 by Jonathan Boyko in Hezbollah, Iran, Lebanon, Middle East, Terrorism

Iran launches its Fajar missile during exercise With Hezbollah unable to test its newly-acquired arsenal, it looks like Iran is doing it for them, testing the range and overall capabilities of similar and identical missiles:

Iran wound up its biggest ever naval exercise, Velayat 89, Wednesday, May 12, by simultaneously firing 30 short-range, surface-to-surface Fajr missiles of the same types as the brand-new, advanced weapons in the Lebanese Hizballah’s armory, DEBKAfile’s military sources report. The display was Tehran’s way of advising Israel of the heavily upgraded capabilities Hizballah has in store for the Jewish state and also responding to the big war game Israel conducted on its northern borders from Sunday through Thursday, May 9-12.

Compared with earlier models, the new Fajr-5 is more accurate and carries a bigger payload. The types Hizballah used against northern Israeli in 2006 had a range of 75 kilometers, reaching as far as Hadera, 45 kilometers short of Tel Aviv and the Jezreel Valley on the southern fringes of Galilee. The version fired in the Iranian exercise could reach deeper into Israel’s heavily populated regions, around Netanya and Herzliya, at a distance of 110 kilometers from the Lebanese border.

The new Fajar 5 is also highly mobile and usable at short notice.

(DebkaFile)

AS HEZBOLLAH PREPARES to use its new and advances missile arsenal, it encounters a serious issue of preparation. The preparation have to be secret, so that international intelligence agencies – watching South Lebanon from satellites all day long – would not discover the missiles. Moreover, while it has the arsenal, Hezbollah knows little of its actual capabilities, besides theoretical data. Thus while Iran’s use of missiles during the exercise was not intended as sole demonstration for its Lebanese proxy, it was part of the intent. Nasrallah needs to know what he is now capable of and his Iranian bosses provided partial answer.

Iran develops new nuclear missile, analyst says

Posted: May 12, 2010 by Jonathan Boyko in Iran, Israel, Middle East

Iran's missile developments Speaking in front of audience, Israeli Aerospace Industries chief Yair Shamir told his listeners Iran currently develops an advance ground-to-ground, nuke-capable missile:

"The pace of missile development (in Iran) is much faster than that of the solutions," Shamir said. "The new element is that Iran is already in space" – an intimation that its activities in space were a key element in accelerating Tehran’s missile program.

Shamir rarely talks in public on security matters. DEBKAfile’s military sources report he apparently found it necessary to speak out in view of the defense minister Ehud Barak’s soothing assessments, his efforts to downplay the peril from Tehran and denials that Iran had become an existential threat to Israel.

(DebkaFile)

AS AHMADINEJAD UNDERSTANDS the insanity of actually attacking someone using nuclear missiles – and the grave consequences of such move – he also knows that in order to be a local threat, nuclear technology is not enough – delivery tech is just as important. If Iran manages to create a missile capable of delivering nuclear weapons into Israel, Egypt and Jordan, he would be a serious threat.

A threat, however, he would be mostly to his Arab counterparts, not to Israel. With Israel’s possession of advanced ballistic missile defenses, it would be hard for Iran to even consider attacking Israel full-on in the next decade.

Ahmadinejad, however, continues to portray his defiance of the US and the West. In the most recent such episode, Iranians say they scared off a US recon aircraft:

"A US reconnaissance aircraft which had intended to approach our operational war games left … upon the timely warning of our air defense forces," Fars quoted army commander Ataollah Salehi as saying.

(Ynet)

Not everything is well for good ol’ Mahmoud, as he sees further protests aimed at him in Tehran:

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad received a chilly welcome Monday at the University of Tehran, where hundreds of pro-Opposition students protesting against his appearance there clashed with Revolutionary Guardsmen for a number of hours.

The protestors, among whom were quite a large number of women, cried out calls of "Freedom" at the guards.

(Ynet) (You can view the video from the protest at the link)

Such protests place further doubt on Ahmadinejad’s plans. While currently he is the [doubtfully-] elected President, everything could change in a few years, when he could be replaced by a pragmatist (or a further radical).

Ahmadinejad uses defensive-aggressive tactic?

Posted: May 12, 2010 by Jonathan Boyko in Egypt, Iran, Middle East

Is new Cold War possible? GLORIA Center’s Barry Rubin believes Iran’s Mahmoud Ahmadinejad might use the nuclear weapon – if he is ever to acquire one – to set up an “umbrella” for its actions:

What’s most important of all, however, is the second motive, an Iranian strategy I call creating a defensive umbrella for aggression. This might become the centerpiece of Middle East politics in the future. Let me explain.

Most discussion in the West has focused on Iran using nuclear weapons or threatening to do so. Yet, instead, Iran could genuinely be developing these arms in order to defend itself. The problem is that this defense is coupled with an aggressive policy.

In this framework, Iran would continue and escalate its subversive efforts against neighbors; consolidate and increase its influence in Lebanon and Iraq; support Hamas and client forces in Afghanistan; press regional states toward appeasement; recruit millions into revolutionary Islamist groups; and try to make Iran the hegemonic power in the region.

But when anyone tries to oppose Iran, Tehran need merely give a gentle reminder that it has nuclear arms and so they better shut up. To be fully intimidated by this tactic, Arabs don’t have to believe that Iran would win a nuclear exchange with the United States. After all, even if Tehran lost they know their own countries would be devastated. Better to avoid any chance of a nuclear war than to offend Iran. Syria and Turkey, under its neo-Islamist regime; Hamas and Hizballah; Yemeni rebels and Iraqi insurgents would smirk and stick out their tongues from under Iran’s protective umbrella.

(GLORIA Center)

I BELIEVE THAT while the analysis is not new – I’ve been saying this for months now – it puts all the details in nicely. There is no doubt Iran would not use nuclear weapons to directly attack Israel – if it would, it would be the end of the state of Iran, thanks to Russia and the United States whose worst nightmare it is an attack of such kind. However, Ahmadinejad would gain much footing in the Middle East – and that is precisely why Egypt mulls setting up its own nuclear program. Eventually, we might get to a smaller version of the Cold War, even though we probably have another decade or two.

Ahmadinejad’s goal is to rule the Middle East, and he might, if he can use his own nuclear achievements as leverage. If Egypt indeed does develop nukes, many small-scale conflicts would arise in the Middle East, with both Egypt and Iran staying on the outskirts, supporting their men fighting each other.