Iran Endorses Bush - Says They Know He'll Go Easy on them

AP: "The head of Iran's security council said on Tuesday the re-election of Bush was in Tehran's best interests, despite the administration's axis of evil label, accusations that Iran harbors al-Qaida terrorists and threats of sanctions over the country's nuclear ambitions.Historically, Democrats have harmed Iran more than Republicans, said Hasan Rowhani, head of the Supreme National Security Council, Iran's top security decision-making body."We should not forget that most sanctions and economic pressures were imposed on Iran during the time of Clinton," Rowhani said of the former Democratic president. "And we should not forget that during Bush's era - despite his hard-line and baseless rhetoric against Iran - he didn't take, in practical terms, any dangerous action against Iran." LOL!! Btw - That's the sixth Dictatorship to back Bush! (China, Putin, Berlusconi, Ghadaffi & Sharon are the others)

Bush Sells Bunker Busters to Israel the Same Week He Rattles Sabers against Iran

IHT: "The United States will sell Israel nearly 5,000 bombs in one of the largest weapons deals between the allies in years...The $319 million sale will include 500 'bunker busters' that could be effective against Iran's underground nuclear facilities, Israeli security sources said. The Pentagon said in June that it was considering the sale to Israel of 500 BLU-109 warheads, one-ton bombs that can penetrate five meters, or 15 feet, of fortifications." The same week, Bush stepped up his saber rattling against Iran, trying again to foment yet another war. The connection was confirmed by an Israeli security source, who said, 'Bunker busters could serve Israel against Iran, or possibly Syria."

Here We Go Again! White House Sets Sights on Iran in Its 'Connect-the-Oil Countries' War Game

Reuters: "They have put people in there. They have put money in there," Rumsfeld said in an interview with The [Moonie] Times... 'By 'they,' I'm not going to say which element of the government or whether it's even known to the government. But money has come in from Iran. People have come in from Iran.' He gave no further details." If you are having deja vu, don't worry - you're not alone. It's because this "opening salvo" by the White House in its effort to trump up oil war #3 is nearly identical to the one used to start the wrecking ball rolling toward Iraq. Now doesn't this sound familiar? : "Rumsfeld said... Iran has shown by its behaviour that it is 'not part of the civilised world.' " Or how about this: "The Washington Times said it had been told by 'military sources' [anonymous, of course!] that Iran's Revolutionary Guard helped fund Iraq's rebel Shi'ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr who led a series of insurrections." In short....HERE WE GO AGAIN!

Kerry Says He Would Use Words, Not Blood, to Quell Iran Problem

Boston Globe: "A John Kerry administration would propose to Iran that the Islamic state be allowed to keep its nuclear power plants in exchange for giving up the right to retain the nuclear fuel that could be used for bomb-making, Democratic vice presidential nominee John Edwards said yesterday. Edwards said that if Iran failed to take what he called a 'great bargain,' it would essentially confirm that it is building nuclear weapons under the cover of a supposedly peaceful nuclear power initiative. He said that Kerry would ensure European allies were prepared to join the United States in levying sanctions if Iran rejected the proposal."

Fearing 'October Surprise' Attack, Iran Embraces Bush's 'Pre-emptive War' Doctrine

Le Monde opines, "Iranian Defense Minister Ali Chamkhani remarks: 'We will not sit with out arms folded waiting for others to act against us (...) Some Iranian military officials feel that preventive operations are neither an American invention nor a prerogative of the United States.' The warning is clear and doubly informative... Iran fears that Israel will take advantage of the American administration's fixation on the election to deal a blow, with or without Washington's consent, to one or the other of Iran's nuclear installations, which it swears are for civilian use. On this score, Teheran is haunted by the precedent of Israel's 1981 aerial bombardment of Iraq's Osirak reactor. A pipe dream or reality? "

If Bush is Re-Selected, the US will be at war in Iran within a Year

Anyone who casts a vote for G. W. Bush this November is casting a vote for a third war, this one in Iran. They will also be casting a vote for the deaths of hundreds of more US soldiers in yet another war zone and, most likely, for a draft. The Guardian reports: "History is beginning to repeat itself, this time over Iran. Just two years after the notorious Downing Street dossier on Saddam Hussein's alleged weapons of mass destruction and the first efforts to get United Nations approval for war, Washington is trying to create similar pressures for action against Iran. The ingredients are well-known: sexed-up intelligence material which puts the target country in the worst possible light; moves to get the UN to declare it in "non- compliance", thereby claiming justification for going in unilaterally even if the UN gives no support for invasion; and at the back of the whole brouhaha, a clique of American neoconservatives whose real agenda is regime change. "

Aide in Rumsfeld's Dept. Accused of Stealing White House Secrets for Israel

Independent: "The FBI is investigating whether an aide to the Pentagon's number three acted as a spy for Israel, giving the Jewish state classified material about secret White House deliberations on Iran. No arrests had been made, said two government law enforcement officials, speaking anonymously. They refused to identify the aide, but said the person worked in the office of Douglas Feith, the under-secretary of defence for policy and the Pentagon's third most senior official.Feith is a key aide to defence secretary Donald Rumsfeld, working on sensitive policy issues, including US policy toward Iraq and Iran.The investigation centres on whether the employee in Feith's office passed secrets about Bush administration policy towards Iran to the main pro-Israeli lobbying group in Washington, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, which then allegedly gave them to the Israeli government, one official said."

Japan Ignores Bush Administration Warning, Goes Ahead with Planned Oil Deal in Iran

Bloomberg: "Japan does not intend to abandon a commitment to help develop an oilfield in Iran because of a U.S. request that Japan reconsider its policy, Kyodo News said, citing Japanese Trade Minister Shoichi Nakagawa. "There will be no policy reversal at the current stage," Kyodo quoted Nakagawa as saying yesterday. U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell on Thursday said Japan should reconsider its energy investments in Iran, Kyodo reported." Maybe the Japanese were less impressed with Powell's admonititions because they know that Iraq (with the blessing of the US) is also working on a deal with Iran (oil pipeline). Bush & Co. are probably just p-oed because other countries are making money peacefully in Iran, disrupting the Bush scheme to just go in and TAKE it all by force.

Bush, CIA at Odds over Iran-Al Qaeda 'Link'

LA Times: "[Acting CIA Director John] "McLaughlin had said Sunday that although 'about eight' of the Sept. 11 hijackers may have passed through Iran before their mission, the CIA had 'no evidence that there is some sort of official connection between Iran and 9/11.' Bush on Monday noted McLaughlin's comments, but said: 'We will continue to look and see if the Iranians were involved'... The commission is expected to recommend the creation of a single Cabinet-level position overseeing the 15 agencies that make up the nation's intelligence-gathering community. McLaughlin acknowledged on 'Fox News Sunday' that 'a good argument' could be made for such consolidation, but added that it was unnecessary because the CIA already had taken steps toward reform since Sept. 11 and because a restructuring would impose additional bureaucracy on the system. White House officials have described McLaughlin as a capable leader, but have also indicated that they do not see him as a permanent replacement."

9/11 Commission Starts Disinfo Campaign to Invade Iran

Prof. Ervand Abrahamian says, "The fantasy part is that there is actually collusion between the Iranian regime and Al Qaeda. This just doesn't make sense. Iran and the Taliban and Al Qaeda were in a state of war. Iran accused Al Qaeda of actually carrying out terrorist acts coming across the same border, blowing up mosques in Iran. Al Qaeda and Taliban actually massacred a large number of pro Iranian people in Afghanistan, including Iranian diplomats. We forget that the Afghan war was really a war by proxy. Iran was supporting the Northern Alliance against the Taliban and Al Qaeda, and Iran was actually quite happy when the US eventually invaded and got rid of the Taliban... It would be a rerun of the Iraqi situation. Again, the same stories, insinuations, use of some rumors people saying, well, they heard this, they saw that, and then these become facts and then Iran then is considered as an imminent threat to the United States."

Bush Pushing the 'Evil Iran' Angle Again - The SAME DAY Halliburton's Illegal Multi-Million-Dollar Business with Iran is Revealed

It says it all, of course, that this story is found in the Moonie News (er, Washington Times) - one of Bush's favorite phony story/propaganda outlets:" Bush yesterday accused Iran of harboring and aiding top al Qaeda terrorists, but he stopped short of charging that Tehran was directly involved in the September 11 attacks. Using stern language against a nation that he has labeled a member of an 'axis of evil,' the president said his administration is examining whether Iran had any connection with the 2001 terrorist attacks that killed nearly 3,000 at the World Trade Center and the Pentagon and in Pennsylvania." But the REAL story behind the hysterical bullsh*t is that the DAY AFTER Bush made this announcement, and the SAME DAY that the Moonies ran this story, the story broke that Halliburton was being investigated for conducting multi-million dollar deals with Iran through a Cayman Islands operation!

911 Commission Targets Iran

"A senior U.S. official told TIME that the Commission has uncovered evidence suggesting that between eight and ten of the 14 'muscle' hijackers passed through Iran in the period from October 2000 to February 2001... Iran had a history of allowing al Qaeda members to enter and exit Iran across the Afghan border. This practice dated back to October 2000, with Iranian officials issuing specific instructions to their border guards - in some cases not to put stamps in the passports of al Qaeda personnel - and otherwise not harass them and to facilitate their travel across the frontier. The report does not, however, offer evidence that Iran was aware of the plans for the 9/11 attacks... The report will note that Iranian officials approached the al Qaeda leadership after the bombing of the USS Cole and proposed a collaborative relationship in future attacks on the U.S., but the offer was turned down by bin Laden because he did not want to alienate his supporters in Saudi Arabia."

After Election, Bush Will Invade Iran

The London Telegraph was one of the major drummers for war in Iraq. Now it is starting to beat the drums for war in Iran. "Iran gave free passage to up to 10 of the September 11 hijackers just months before the 2001 attacks and offered to co-operate with al Qaeda against the US... The report will add to pressure for Iran's theocratic rulers to be the first target of a re-elected Bush administration. Hawks within the administration want a concerted effort to overturn the regime by peaceful means. Some Bush officials are privately contemplating a possible military strike against Iran's nuclear facilities before Russian fuel rods are delivered next year."

Bushie Media Floats Saber Rattling Story about 'Build Up' of Iran Troops at Iraq

Here's what the Moonie news (UPI in Washington Times) wants you to know: "The Saudi daily Al-Sharq al-Awsat, monitored in Beirut, reports Iran has massed four battalions at the border." Hmm...sounds menacing, eh? We better made a preemptive strike! Now here's what the White House and its media minions DON'T want you to know: Iran and Iraq hammered out a deal - with the US's blessing, no less - to build an oil pipeline from Iraq to Iran (ie at the border). http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/3522285.stm Construction on this pipeline is underway. It seems logical that Iranian troops are currently deployed at the border to protect the pipeline from attacks - which will be even more likely if civil war breaks out in Iraq after June 30. Note the lack of mention by Bush or his media about the "little detail" of an Iraq-Iran pipeline.

Why Has the US Media Completely Suppressed the Extensive Oil Pipeline Negotiations between Iraq and Iran?

Since December 2003, Iraq's oil minister Ibrahim Bahr al-Uloum with the full knowledge of the Bush administration, has traveled to Iran several times to work out a deal to construct an Iraq to Iran oil pipeline. Although some US news services have covered the story, US news editors, undoubtedly on orders from the Bush admin, have made sure the US public never saw the story. Now Bush and Co. are acting as if any dealings with Iran were somehow forbidden, and using Chalabi's communications with Iran as "proof" of a Chalabi "betrayal." What's going on? Maybe Bush wanted the pipeline to be built first, so that his oil baron buddies would have a "turn key" operation in place when he invaded Iran for its oil later. See also http://www.libertyforum.org/showflat.php?Cat=&Board=news_news&Number=1303030&page=0&view=&sb=&o=&vc=1&t=-1

Has Chalabi Given U.S. Secrets to Iran?

Mark Hosenball writes: "Since the war, Chalabi's contacts with Iran may have intensified: a Chalabi aide says that since December, he has met with most of Iran's top leaders, including supreme religious leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and his top national-security aide, Hassan Rowhani... Newsweek has learned that top Bush administration officials have been briefed on intelligence indicating that Chalabi and some of his top aides have supplied Iran with 'sensitive' information on the American occupation in Iraq. U.S. officials say that electronic intercepts of discussions between Iranian leaders indicate that Chalabi and his entourage told Iranian contacts about American political plans in Iraq. There are also indications that Chalabi has provided details of U.S. security operations. According to one U.S. government source, some of the information Chalabi turned over to Iran could 'get people killed.' "

US Ordered to Pay $600 Million to Iranian Soldiers Injured by US-Supplied Chemical Weapons

AFP: "An Iranian court has ordered the United States pay 600 million dollars (500 million euros) to Iranian soldiers wounded by Iraqi chemical weapons during the 1980-1988 war, the IRNA official news agency reported. The court ruled that 'the United States was responsible for supplying the chemical weapons to the regime of Saddam Hussein and permitting their use.' The same court in March ordered Washington pay 1.2 billion dollars to several Iranian citizens for damages suffered in unspecified US military attacks in the 1980s. US marines destroyed in 1987 an Iranian oil platform used as a base following missile attacks on Kuwait. In 1988 US forces destroyed most of the Iranian navy and a US ship shot down an Iran Air Airbus killing 290 people." Of course, it was Reagan and Bush Sr. who provided Iraq with these WMDs, with the help of their envoy, Donald Rumsfeld.

Iranian Diplomat Shot Execution-Style in Iraq

Iranian diplomant Khalil Naimi was shot in an apparent execution-style slaying while driving near the embassy in Baghdad. BBC reports, "Correspondents have seen a bullet-ridden car with a body inside. An Iranian foreign ministry delegation is in Iraq to try to assist in the crisis over the rebel leadership of cleric Moqtada Sadr. An Iranian official in Baghdad [reported] that Naimi had been driving to the office when 'three men drove up and shot him. " It is known that NeoCon hawks Cheney, Perle, Rumsfeld, and Wolfowitz are vehemently opposed to allowing Iranian diplomats to mediate in Iraq at a time when the NeoCons are trying to foment a reason to invade Iran. Just how far would they go to derail Iranian diplomacy? see http://www.lewrockwell.com/ips/lobe75.html

After Smearing Iran as 'Evil,' Bush Now Pleads for Its Help with Iraq

AFP: "The United States has made a formal request to Iran to help ease mounting violence in Iraq and Tehran is now making an effort to mediate in the conflict, Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharazi said Wednesday. Iran has sent a top foreign ministry official to Iraq for talks with coalition officials, Iraqi politicians and religious figures in a bid to help mediate an end to the current wave of unrest, the official IRNA news agency said. The foreign ministry's director for Gulf affairs, Hossein Sadeghi, left for the Iraqi capital to 'examine events there and to look into finding the means to solve the crisis,' the news agency said."

Will Iran Be Next?

Mark Gaffney writes: "Those who have hoped that a U.S. military victory in Iraq would somehow bring about a more peaceful world are in for a rude awakening. The final resolution of this war and the U.S. occupation of Iraq will likely not be the end, rather, only the prelude to a succession of future crises: in Kashmir, Syria, North Korea, and Iran. This article will focus primarily on the latter case. In the coming months the United States and its ally Israel will either accede to the existence of an Iranian nuclear power program, or take steps to prevent it... It is very possible--some would say probable--that the U.S., possibly in conjunction with Israel, will launch a 'preventive' raid and destroy the Bushehr reactor before it goes on line. Such a raid would be fateful for the region and the world. It would trigger another Mideast war, and possibly a confrontation with Russia, with effects that are difficult to predict."

Japan Signs Oil Deal with Iran in Defiance of Bush Cartel

Yahoo reports: "A Japanese consortium will develop an Iranian oilfield with reserves of up to 26 billion barrels in an estimated $2 billion US deal announced Thursday by Japan but opposed by the United States because [allegedly] of fears the money could go to nuclear proliferation. 'Our policy has been, with respect to Iran, to oppose petroleum investment there,' U.S. State Department spokesman Richard Boucher told reporters in Washington on Wednesday. 'We remain deeply concerned about deals such as this.'" Deeply concerned that ExxonMobil and Halliburton didn't get there first!!

Tehran Outmaneuvers Washington For Now

Erich Marquardt writes for PINR: "From the beginning, Iran's decision to comply with the International Atomic Energy Agency's (IAEA) latest stipulations on its nuclear research program was an attempt to politically outmaneuver Washington. Tehran agreed to temporarily cease its uranium enrichment program and to allow for more stringent inspections of its nuclear facilities. The Bush administration has been pushing for international pressure to be placed on Iran in the hopes of stunting the country's nuclear research program. Washington fears that Iran's growing nuclear knowledge and sophisticated nuclear facilities will allow the country to develop nuclear weapons, a scenario that would greatly increase Iran's power potential in the Middle East and Central Asia."

U.N. Finds No Evidence Iran Making Nukes

"The U.N. nuclear watchdog agency has found 'no evidence' so far that Iran is trying to make nuclear weapons but can't say yet that its programs were strictly peaceful, diplomats citing from a confidential agency report said Monday. The report, drawn up by the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, faults Iran for hiding nuclear activities that led to suspicions it was trying to make such weapons, the diplomats said on condition of anonymity. But it says Tehran has been cooperating with the agency since September, according to the diplomats. Mohamed ElBaradei submitted the report to the member nations of the IAEA board of governors, including the United States."

Here We Go Again: US Gleaning Iran Intel from the Same Dubious Sources

SF Chronicle: "Both Iran and Iraq were accused by the United States of developing banned weapons, and in both cases much of the intelligence came from exile groups whose credibility has been questioned. Now, some fear that despite the deal struck between Iran and European foreign ministers last week to allow inspections of nuclear sites, the United States may be proceeding down a warpath toward Iran, as it did with Iraq, based in part on faulty intelligence peddled by politically ambitious exiles. In the case of Iraq, much of the Bush administration's information about Saddam Hussein's alleged programs to build chemical, biological and nuclear weapons came from sources associated with the Iraqi National Congress (INC), an exile group favored by senior U.S. officials, including Vice Resident Dick Cheney and Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz. With the failure to find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, many of the INC's claims have been discounted." Can you say "Chalabi"?

Can Iran's Pursuit of Nuclear Technology Be Thwarted By Air Strikes?

Erich Marquardt writes for PINR: "As Iran continues its development of nuclear technology, powerful rival states such as the United States and Israel have publicly considered the viability of launching an air strike against Iran's nuclear facilities should Tehran come closer to developing the ability to create nuclear weapons. Israel, for example, has a nuclear monopoly in the Middle East and has shown its willingness to prevent other Middle Eastern states from acquiring nuclear arms. In 1981, when France was assisting Iraq in its quest for nuclear technology, Tel Aviv launched an air strike on Iraq's Osirak nuclear reactor. The attack accomplished its primary objective of putting a dent in Baghdad's nuclear research program. Would a similar attack on Iran's nuclear facilities yield similar results?"

Iran Agrees to Halt Uranium Enrichment, OKs Checks

"Iran will suspend uranium enrichment and allow unrestricted inspections of its nuclear program, as sought by the U.N. nuclear watchdog agency, a senior Iranian official said today after three European foreign ministers came to Tehran to press the international community's case. Iran set no date for the steps. Iran faces an Oct. 31 deadline, set by the International Atomic Energy Agency, to prove its does not have a nuclear weapons program as the United States alleges. Otherwise, the IAEA will likely turn to the U.N. Security Council, which could impose sanctions. Iran also pledged to hand over long-sought information to the IAEA that should help it determine whether Tehran has tried to make nuclear weapons, diplomats said today in Vienna, where the agency is based." Who will the Busheviks rattle their sabers at now?

Khatami Hints Iran May Stop Uranium Enrichment

Reuters: "Iran's President Mohammad Khatami indicated on Sunday Tehran may halt uranium enrichment, which some Western governments say could be used to make atomic bombs, if it is allowed to keep its civilian atomic energy program. Asked by reporters if Iran was prepared to stop enriching uranium as the United States and several European countries have demanded, Khatami said: 'We will do whatever is necessary to solve the problems and in return we're expecting our rights to be preserved which is (the right) to have nuclear technology.' It was the first indication from a top Iranian official that Iran could mothball uranium enrichment facilities which it began building in 1985. Iranian officials had previously insisted they had every right to continue enriching uranium to use in nuclear reactors."

Iran-Contra, the Sequel: Ledeen, Ghorbanifar Try to Pass 'Evidence' that Uranium Moved from Iraq to Iran!

AP: "Acting through a prominent conservative with friends at the Pentagon, a central figure in the Iran-Contra scandal has passed allegations to the Bush administration that enriched uranium was smuggled from Iraq into Iran five years ago and some may remain hidden in Iraq. The intermediary, [Neo-Conservative] Michael Ledeen, said the CIA failed to aggressively check out the allegations because of its long-held distrust of Manucher Ghorbanifar, the middleman in the Iran-Contra arms-for-hostages deals of the Reagan years. The CIA agrees it is skeptical of information from Ghorbanifar, saying he has 'proven to be a fabricator.'" The CIA was right to distrust Ghorbanifar -- and they should also watch their backs with Ledeen. Ledeen was another Iran-Contra middleman -- in fact he brought Ghorbanifar "into the loop"! Now these Iran-Contra criminals are trying to continue the WMD charade -- by saying that Iraq's uranium is now in Iran! Maybe we won't get fooled again... into another War.

Mossad Has Plans to Preemptively Strike Six Sites in Iran

AFP: "Israel's spy agency Mossad has drawn up preemptive attack plans on six sites in Iran it suspects are being used to prepare nuclear weapons, Der Spiegel magazine says in its Monday edition, citing Israeli security officials. A special Mossad unit received orders two months ago to prepare plans for attacks on half-a-dozen targets, the magazine said. Complete destruction of the targets by F-16 fighter bombers was deemed achievable by Mossad, it said. Israel, which is accused by Arab neighbours of possessing nuclear weapons of its own, has come to regard Iran as its chief military threat since the downfall of Saddam Hussein's regime in Iraq. The UN nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency, has imposed an October 31 deadline on Iran to prove it is not secretly developing nuclear weapons and also urged it to suspend enriching uranium, which the United States claims could be used to make nuclear bombs."

Bolton Rattles His Saber at Iran

"An American official warned yesterday that the potential threat posed by Iran's nuclear programme had to be 'eliminated' and predicted Tehran would try to 'throw sand' in the eyes of the world to avoid a confrontation at the UN. John Bolton, deputy under secretary of state for arms control, who is regarded as the state department's chief hawk, was speaking to journalists in London where he reaffirmed the Bush administration's notion of 'rogue states' which threatened US interests. Top of the list were Iran and North Korea, he said. 'There is awareness of the threat posed by Iran and consensus that threat has to be eliminated,' he said referring to the Iranian nuclear reactor at Bushehr. Iran 'will try and throw sand in our eyes' mixing cooperation and obfuscation 'to conceal as much as they can, to delay and to avoid having the issue referred to the security council,' said Mr Bolton."

Iran Reportedly Ready to Accept Nuclear Inspections

"Iran has indicated it will conditionally accept the International Atomic Energy Agency's Additional Protocol as early as October 4, according to source familiar with the country's strategic planning. Tehran's prickly disposition toward joining the protocol, which would allow expanded inspections of its nuclear facilities, has been a major source of global tension, involving Iran, the United States and the European Union. In signaling a willingness to accept the Additional Protocol, Iranian leaders are insisting on an international guarantee that the country can continue existing nuclear programs, including uranium enrichment activities, which they insist are for civilian purposes."

New Discovery of Uranium Traces in Iran May Actually Bolster Tehran's Case

"The U.N. nuclear watchdog has found further traces of enriched uranium in Iran, though this discovery could support Tehran's explanation that the traces are due to contamination, diplomats told Reuters. Speaking on condition of anonymity, the diplomats said the new traces of highly-enriched uranium were found at the Kalaye Electric Co. Earlier this year, the U.N. inspectors found traces of enriched uranium at another nuclear site in Iran, raising suspicions that Iran has been secretly purifying uranium for use in an atomic weapon. Tehran, which says its nuclear program is peaceful, has blamed the earlier find, at Natanz, on machinery it says it purchased abroad. This explanation has met with skepticism inside and outside the IAEA. However, one Western based diplomat said failure to get a positive result from samples taken at Kalaye would have been surprising, as this is where Iran said it stored the centrifuge components which it says were contaminate."

EU Big Three Offered Iran Carrot for Nuclear Deal

"Britain, Germany and France defied the United States last month by offering Iran the prospect of sharing technology if it stops its disputed nuclear fuel enrichment program and accepts tougher U.N. inspections. Western diplomats told Reuters a joint letter by the big three European foreign ministers, the content of which has not previously been disclosed, was delivered to Tehran in early August despite intense lobbying by Washington. It highlighted a gulf between the administration of Resident Bush and even its closest European ally, Britain, on whether to engage or isolate the Islamic republic."

U.N. Agency Sets Deadline for Iran to Reveal Nuclear Plans

From Reuters: "The U.N.'s nuclear watchdog set Iran an October 31 deadline on Friday to prove it had no secret atomic weapons program, prompting Tehran to threaten a 'deep review' of its cooperation with the agency. Following intense U.S. pressure for action against Iran, the 35-nation governing board of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) passed a resolution setting the deadline. Iran's delegation stormed out of the closed-door meeting, accusing Washington of having new invasion plans after Iraq. The toughly worded resolution gives Iran -- branded by the Washington last year as part of an 'axis of evil' with pre-war Iraq and North Korea -- one last chance to prove it has been complying with the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT)."

EU Says Iran Needs More Nuke Inspections

"EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana urged Iran to sign up for tougher inspections of its nuclear program to keep good relations with the 15-nation bloc, but Iran said it wouldn't yield to pressure.... The EU has pursued a policy of dialogue with Iran, including holding several rounds of talks on a possible trade pact. But EU officials have said Iranian agreement to enhanced inspections is a key demand for trade talks to progress. Iran said this week it was ready to start talks with the U.N. nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), to allow inspectors more access to nuclear facilities, but Tehran also said it wanted some clarifications regarding its sovereignty, a reservation some analysts fear may cause delays. The IAEA said on Tuesday that Iran had improved cooperation, but there were still questions about weapons-grade uranium found at a site in Iran."

Iran Says Uranium Traces are from Contamination

"Iran says highly enriched uranium traces UN inspectors found ... resulted from contamination and not because it is secretly enriching uranium.... However, diplomats said they wanted the UN's International Atomic Energy Agency to investigate Iran's explanation for the presence of what could be weapons-useable uranium in an environmental sample taken at a nuclear site.... Diplomats said the contamination explanation could not be ruled out and should be taken seriously, though suspicions remained that the uranium was enriched inside Iran.... The board would, however, almost certainly not agree to declare Iran in non-compliance with its Safeguards Agreement. Diplomats said the hard line view of the United States, which accuses Iran of having an extensive clandestine nuclear weapons programme and would not oppose reporting Tehran to the Security Council, had few clear supporters on the board."

Why Iran Wants Nuclear Weapons

Erich Marquardt writes for PINR: "To add to its security woes, Iran has been facing a rapidly changing balance of power directly on its borders. In 2001, the United States overthrew the Taliban leadership in Afghanistan. While the Taliban was still in power, Iran had little to fear from its eastern border; it faced an unorganized state constantly in the throes of civil war. Yet with the removal of the Taliban from power, Iran now faces a border area littered with U.S. troops hostile to Tehran. In addition to Afghanistan, Iran also faces threats along its western flank with Iraq. While Tehran certainly did not bemoan the fall of the Ba'ath Party, it is justifiably concerned about its replacement: A U.S. occupational force situated on its western border. Furthermore, if U.S. objectives are realized in Afghanistan and Iraq, Iran's current leadership will face a perilous future of being enveloped by unfriendly states, beholden to U.S. interests."

Bush Administration Divided Over the Road to Tehran

Jim Lobe writes: "After the occupation of Iraq, the administration of U.S. Resident George W. Bush appears to be torn between moving from Baghdad on to Tehran, or refocusing on al Qaeda as the main target in the 'war on terrorism.' According to a series of leaks by U.S. officials, Iran has offered to hand over, if not directly to Washington then to friendly allies, three senior al Qaeda leaders and might provide another three top terrorist suspects that Washington believes are being held by Tehran. But its price--for the U.S. military to permanently shut down the operations of an Iraq-based Iranian rebel group that is on the State Department's official terrorism list--might be too high for some hard-liners, centered in the Pentagon and Vice Resident Dick Cheney's office, who led the charge for war in Iraq. Members of this group see the rebels, the Mujahedin el Khalq (MEK), or People's Mujahedin, as potentially helpful to their ambitions to achieve 'regime change' in Iran."

Pentagon's Douglas Feith Secretly Tried to PROVOKE Hostility with Iran

"At least two Pentagon officials working for Undersec. of Defense Douglas Feith have held 'several' meetings with Manucher Ghorbanifar, the Iranian middleman in U.S. arms-for-hostage shipments to Iran in the mid-1980s... The talks with Ghorbanifar were NOT authorized by the White House and appeared to be aimed at undercutting current sensitive backchannel negotiations with the Iranian regime... 'US policy officially is not regime change, overtly or covertly,' but to engage Iranian officials in dialogue over contentious issues, such as Iran's nuclear weapons program, and to press the regime to extradite al-Qaida operatives. He said that the immediate objective of the Pentagon hardliners appears to be to 'antagonize Iran so that they get frustrated and then by their reactions harden U.S. policy against them.' He confirmed that Colin Powell complained directly to Donald Rumsfeld several days ago about Feith's policy shop conducting missions that countered U.S. policy." FIRE FEITH NOW!

Rumsfeld Tries to Whitewash Secret Pentagon-Ghorbanifar Plotting

Immediately after Newsday exposed unauthorized secret talks between Pentagon officials working for Undersecretary Douglas Feith and Iran-Contra middleman Manucher Ghorbanifar, Donald Rumsfeld tried to whitewash the talks. "Asked whether he had authorized the secret talks, Rumsfeld confirmed only that the meeting had taken place. 'There wasn't anything there that was of substance or of value that needed to be pursued further,' he said." Rumsfeld considers this a "routine effort" to gain information about Iran - like his meeting with Saddam in 1983, which paved the way for arming Iraq with WMD's. Now, according to Newsday, Feith was secretly trying to provoke HOSTILITY between Iran and the US. This is a MAJOR scandal, and Rumsfeld's dismissal doesn't begin to address it. We demand Feith's immediate FIRING - and a Special Prosecutor!

Is Tehran Back in the Crosshairs of the Neocon Crusade?

Jim Lobe writes: "Reports that top officials in the administration of President [sic] George W. Bush met Tuesday, May 27th to discuss U.S. policy toward Iran, including possible efforts to overthrow its government, mark a major advance in what has been an 18-month-old campaign by neoconservatives in and out of the administration. Overshadowed until last month by their much louder drum-beating for war against Iraq, the neocons' efforts to now focus U.S. attention on 'regime change' in Iran has become much more intense since early May and has already borne substantial fruit."

Yo, Ayatollahs!

Maureen Dowd writes: "The Iraq WMD's and ties to Al Qaeda were merely MacGuffins, as Alfred Hitchcock called devices that drove the plot but were otherwise inconsequential. The plot was always to remake the Middle East, while remaking a Bush into a Reagan. And the Bushies were not above playing on American fears and desire for 9/11 payback. Far from being chagrined about the little problem of having no casus belli, and no plan for smoothly delivering Pax Americana to Iraq and Afghanistan, the hawks are hawking the next regime change. If Iraq was not harboring Al Qaeda and going nuclear, then certainly Iran is... It is paradoxical that the hawks were passionate about breeding idealism by bringing democracy to the Middle East, but are unconcerned about breeding cynicism by refusing to admit mistakes or overreaching. By the time the C.I.A. delivers its report, it will be time to investigate how our intelligence was hyped in the prelude to the strike on Iran."

U.S., Iran Discuss Afghanistan, Iraq

AP reports: "With American troops dug in for long stays in Afghanistan and Iraq, the United States has been holding unannounced talks with Iran, a country that shares long borders with both, officials said Monday. The discussions began not long after the Afghan war started in the fall of 2001 and initially were largely limited to developments in Afghanistan. They have been expanded recently to include exchanges on Iraq, with which Iran fought an eight-year war in the 1980s. The talks have been held in Geneva, under auspices of the United Nations... On Iraq, American irritation with Iran grew from the ethnic Persian state's dispatch of Shiite militants into Arab Iraq to boost the fortunes of Iraqi Shiites as the post-Saddam transition proceeds. For its part, Iran is worried that the United States may install an anti-Iranian administration in Baghdad."

Endless War: NeoCon Think Tanks Discuss Regime Change for Iran

The Moonie UPI writes: "Analysts at key think tanks in Washington say the U.S. foreign policy community is actively debating what steps should be taken to promote liberalization and regime change in Iran following the Iraq war. Meyrav Wurmser, director of the Center for Middle East Policy at the conservative Hudson Institute, said there is a sense of urgency surrounding the future of Iran because of the wide impact the Iraq war has had upon the region. Speaking Tuesday at a conference on the issue co-sponsored by Hudson and the conservative American Enterprise Institute and Hudson, Wurmser said U.S. policy for the region must focus on ridding it of the regimes that aim to do harm to the United States and its allies."

Here We Go Again: Bush Wants Iran Nuke Censure

CBS News reports: "Concerned that Iran may be running a nuclear weapons program, the United States is pushing for U.N. action against Tehran, diplomats said Thursday. Washington is specifically seeking a declaration from the board of the International Atomic Energy Agency that Iran has violated the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, which it has signed, said the diplomats."

Rumsfeld Begins Disinformation Campaign against Iran and Syria

It looks like Rummy is ahead of schedule on the BushCheney Oil Empire's "master plan." Experts didn't think they'd start trying to frame and hang Syria and Iran until April. But, on March 28, Rummy accused Syria of sending Iraq shipments of military equipment and that the Bush Posse would hold Syria accountable for these "hostile acts." Of course, even Iraq denies the charge. Rumsfeld also tossed out unsubstantiated charges that "hundreds" of armed Iraqi Shiite Muslim from Iran are now in Iraq and would be viewed as "combatants." Rummy didn't mention that the US has REPEATEDLY violated Iranian airspace in a "combative" manner over the past several years. Guess he needs lots of FLEXIBILITY in his lying.

Endless Bloody War, with Iran and Syria Next

"Between April of 2003 and November 2004," predicts veteran defense issues commentator John Stanton, "the US, UK and Israel will accelerate instability operations in Iran and engage in global disinformation campaigns to belittle the political and military leadership there. They will take to the airwaves to portray to Americans a country beset by internal strife and dissension. Corporate media will revisit the Iranian Hostage Crisis and display for war-hungry Americans footage from the 1978-80 timeframe. That will include images of Khomeni's henchmen hanging and executing the Shah's secret police. Movies such as Sally Field's Not Without My Child portraying many Iranians as 'evil doers' will be broadcast by all the networks."

US Fires Missiles into IRAN

Reuters reports, "Three missiles fired by U.S. jets taking part in attacks in Iraq landed over the border in southwestern Iran, Iran's official IRNA news agency said. Citing an unnamed military commander, IRNA also said that U.S. and British military jets violated the Islamic Republic's airspace several times on Friday and Saturday during operations against targets in southern Iraq. 'In two cases, rockets from American planes hit' the area of Maniuhi, close to the border with Iraq, the commander said. He gave no further details and there no reports of casualties or damage. Another rocket hit an oil refinery depot on Friday evening in the city of Abadan, about 30 miles east of the southern Iraqi city of Basra, government officials and witnesses told Reuters. Two guards at the depot were injured in the blast... Torn by its enmity for both Iraq and the United States, Iran has condemned the U.S.-led military attack on its western neighbor but vowed to remain neutral in the conflict."

UN Inspectors in Iran Examine Machines to Enrich Uranium

NYTimes reports: "International inspectors visiting Iran this week were shown a network of sophisticated machinery to enrich uranium, spurring concerns that Iran is making headway in its suspected program to develop nuclear weapons, Western officials and international diplomats said today. The site in question is near the city of Natanz and was visited on Friday by Dr. Mohamed ElBaradei, the chief of the International Atomic Energy Agency, who went to Iran to assess the status of its nuclear program. It was the first time that inspectors had visited the installation... Noting that North Korea and Iran's nuclear programs are far ahead of Iraq's, critics of the Bush administration have contended that it has focused too much on a lesser proliferation problem."

Iran Shocks the World with Uranium Program Announcement

Reuters writes, "The surprise announcement... may alarm Washington, which accuses the Islamic Republic of harboring secret plans to develop nuclear weapons.... He said the uranium had been extracted near the central city of Yazd and processing facilities had been set up in the central cities of Isfahan and Kashan... Washington has long been at odds with Russia over its help in building an $800 million nuclear power plant at Bushehr, which Tehran expects to come on stream at the end of 2003 or early in 2004. U.S. fears over the project were somewhat assuaged by assurances from Moscow that all spent fuel from the plant would be returned to Russia, ensuring that it would not be diverted to a weapons program. But the discovery of its own uranium supplies could, in theory, make Iran independent of Russia for its nuclear fuel needs." North Korea is reviving its nuclear weapons program, now Iran is starting one. The nuclear arms race has begun again. Do you feel safer yet? Impeach Bush Now!