iran

Mon, May 18, 2015 Saudi Arabia 'to Buy' Pakistani Nukes As Arms Race Escalates

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry at the Gulf Cooperation Summit. The American administration has been attempting to ameliorate Gulf fears about Iran's nuclear program. (Photo: Reuters)

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry at the Gulf Cooperation Summit. The American administration has been attempting to ameliorate Gulf fears about Iran's nuclear program. (Photo: Reuters)

Saudi Arabia will purchase nuclear weapons from Pakistan, according to a former U.S. Defense official.

Speaking to Britain’s The Sunday Times, the unnamed official said:

“There has been a longstanding agreement in place with the Pakistanis and the House of Saud has now made the strategic decision to move forward.”

Saudi Arabia, which financed much of Pakistan’s nuclear program, will buy nuclear weapons “off-the shelf.”

On May 11 an Arab leader told The New York Times “We can't sit back and be nowhere as Iran is allowed to retain much of its capability and amass its research.”

It is not yet known whether Saudi Arabia has already bought nuclear weapons or is merely planning to do so. However, the news seems to realize fears of Obama’s nuclear deal in the making with Iran triggering a regional arms race.

Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah Sisi concluded a deal with Russia’s Vladimir Putin to build Egypt’s first nuclear power plant in February. It is speculated that Turkey may soon follow suit and begin to pursue its own nuclear ambitions.

A senior British military officer backed up the claims saying Western leaders “all assume the Saudis have made the decision to go nuclear.”

He said “The fear is that other Middle Eastern powers — Turkey and Egypt — may feel compelled to do the same and we will see a new, even more dangerous, arms race.”

Czechs Stopped Potential Nuclear Tech Purchase by Iran

Submitted by Emily on Thu, 2015-05-14 10:15

URL: 
http://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2015/05/13/world/middleeast/13reuters-iran-nuclear-czech-exclusive.html
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Wed, May 6, 2015 Iran Arrests Leading Dissident

Still from a clip of Narges Mohammedi delivering a speech.

Still from a clip of Narges Mohammedi delivering a speech.

Leading Iranian human rights activist Narges Mohammedi was arrested in the early morning on May 5. She was arrested at her home in the capital Tehran and is believed to be being held in Iran’s notorious Evin Prison, where many political prisoners are kept.

She is deputy director of the banned Defenders of Human Rights Center and has been imprisoned by the regime for her activism in the past. In 2010 she was arrested and in 2012 she was sentenced to six years in prison. In 2011 she was released early on health grounds. 

Defenders of Human Rights Center is headed by Noble Peace Prize Laureate Shirin Ebadi. She has been in exile in the UK since 2009. 

The reasons for the timing of Mohammedi's arrest are unknown.

Mohammedi was facing charges over her civil activities, but was summoned before the Revolutionary Court on May 3. She attended the hearing and reportedly complied fully with regime demands. The court had granted her an extension, ostensibly so that her lawyers could review her case file.  

Prior to the hearing her lawyers had not been allowed to view the charges, which were read out loud in court.

She is facing three charges:

  • “propaganda against the state”
  • “assembly and collusion against national security”
  • “establishing the anti-security and illegal ‘Step by Step to Stop Death Penalty’ group.”

‘Step by Step to Stop the Death Penalty’ is an Iranian movement to try and abolish the death penalty in Iran.

Mohammedi told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran that the charges against her were brought due to her civil activism and not due to any crime.

She said “Even my presence at a gathering outside the Parliament to protest the acid attacks [against women in Isfahan], is reflected as ‘participation in riots.’ I was extensively interrogated on this subject. I said I participated in a peaceful gathering with hundreds of other citizens, but the interrogator insisted that it was a riot.”

She denied any wrongdoing, saying:

“The reasons for these charges are almost entirely based on my civil activities over the past two years. My interviews with media based outside Iran, my speeches at different ceremonies, my efforts to abolish capital punishment through establishing ‘Step by Step to Stop Death Penalty,’ establishing the ‘Women’s Civil Center,’ continuing my activities with the Defenders of Human Rights Center, and my relationship with [human rights defender and Nobel Peace laureate] Ms. Shirin Ebadi are the most significant reasons cited for my charges.”

 

Britain Told U.N. Monitors of Active Iran Nuclear Procurement

Submitted by Emily on Mon, 2015-05-04 07:59

URL: 
http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/04/30/us-iran-nuclear-idUSKBN0NL09220150430
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U.S.-Flagged Ship Intercepted by Iranian Patrol

Submitted by Emily on Wed, 2015-04-29 05:05

URL: 
http://edition.cnn.com/2015/04/28/politics/iran-seizes-commercial-ship-u-s-official-says-no-americans-on-board/
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Tue, April 21, 2015 Top Iranian General: Nuclear Inspectors Will Not be Permitted

Illustrative picture of a nuclear reactor. (Source: © Reuters)

Illustrative picture of a nuclear reactor. (Source: © Reuters)

The deputy head of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps categorically rejected any international inspectors on any Iranian military bases as part of the nuclear deal.

Brigadier-General Hossein Salami told Iran’s state-run Press TV “They will not even be permitted to inspect the most normal military site in their dreams.”

“Visiting a military base by a foreign inspector would mean the occupation of our land because all our defense secrets are there” Salami said. “Even talking about the subject means national humiliation.”

The P5+1 insists that international inspectors be required to have access to Iranian nuclear sites to carry out inspections as part of the nuclear deal slated to be signed between the Islamic Republic of Iran.

They are needed to ensure that Iran complies with the agreement and does not breach the restrictions on its nuclear program.

Yet Salami decried even discussing the subject of nuclear inspectors saying “This subject is treasonous and selling out the country, and if anyone speaks of it we will respond with hot lead.”

Salami also belittled US threats that all options were on the table saying “the declarations of the American seniors regarding the threat of using the military options don’t worry us. We have made plans for the possibility of a total war with the Americans. Our defense capabilities are spread throughout the region and we don’t have any fears on this issue.”

The Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps is tasked with defending Iran's Islamic revolution and with exporting it abroad. To that end it supports and trains terrorist groups around the region including the Hezbollah in Lebanon, Hamas in the Gaza Strip, Shiite militia groups in Iraq and most recently Houthi rebels in Yemen. 

At the time of writing the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier the USS Theodore Roosevelt was headed towards Yemen to join several other US ships there to be ready to secure US interests in the region.

In February the Iranian Revolutionary Guards navy carried out a drill in which they destroyed a life-sized replica of a US Nimitz-class aircraft carrier.

Watch the clip: 

To learn more about the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps see Clarion Project's Factsheet 

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