Iran

Brzezinski on Syria

In a Time article headed Intervention Will Only Make It Worse, Zbigniew Brzezinski writes that

broader regional fighting could bring the U.S. and Iran into direct conflict, a potentially major military undertaking for the U.S. A U.S.-Iran confrontation linked to the Syrian crisis could spread the area of conflict even to Afghanistan. Russia would benefit from America’s being bogged down again in the Middle East. China would resent U.S. destabilization of the region because Beijing needs stable access to energy from the Middle East.


Read more: http://swampland.time.com/2013/05/08/syria-intervention-will-only-make-it-worse/#ixzz2T4nktvge

 

IAEA head says Iran hampering agency’s work

IAEA Director-General Yukiya Amano has said that Iran is preventing nuclear inspectors from carrying out their work in the country, and has appointed a new top investigator, Herman Nackaerts, to replace Olli Heinonen, who resigned from the IAEA earlier this year. (Reuters)

Russia/Israel/Syria/Iran

  • Israel’s defence minister Ehud Barak went to Russia on Sunday in a bid to halt an arms deal between Russia, Syria and Iran.
  • On Monday Ehud Barak signed an arms deal between Israel and Russia.
  • On Monday the IAEA complained that Iran is preventing some of its inspectors from monitoring Iran’s nuclear program.
  • On Tuesday the head of Iran’s nuclear program claimed that Iran has the right to bar some UN inspectors.
  • According to IDF sources, NGOs are planning to sail up to 20 ships to Gaza in coming months.

(jpost.com)

Russian cleric demands Palestinian state

Via PressTV:

Russian and world Muslims demand the establishment of an independent Palestinian state, says Chief of the Council of Russian Muftis Sheikh Rawi Ayn al-Din.

The chief of Russia’s highest Islamic institution made the remarks during a Friday prayer sermon in Moscow also attended by Iran’s ambassador to Russia and an accompanying delegation.

Heinonen: Iran nuclear program is a threat

The Jerusalem Posquotes former UN chief of nuclear inspections Olli Heinonen as saying that Iran has enough low-enriched uranium to make two nuclear weapons, though “it would not be logical for it to cross the bomb-making threshold”:

Heinonen called Iran’s nuclear program a “threat” in a rare public interview, given shortly before he stepped down from his position as deputy director-general of the International Atomic Energy Agency. Heinonen was head of the IAEA’s nuclear safeguards arm, which monitors countries’ nuclear programs to make sure they are intended for peaceful use. Heinonen left the post in August for personal reasons.

Iran and Russia in joint nuclear fuel proposal

According to AFP, Iran has proposed to Russia that the two countries should jointly produce fuel for the Bushehr reactor, and also for future nuclear plants.

“Moscow is studying this offer,” [Ali Akbar Salehi, head of Iran’s AEO] said [on Thursday]. “We (Iran) should show the world our capability in uranium production and transforming it to nuclear fuel.”

Dershowitz: Israel-Palestinian peace won’t be easy to achieve

Writing in his JP blog, Alan Dershowitz says that the path to an Israeli-Palestinian peace in the short term will not be an easy one:

There are those who theorize that if Israel were to strike a deal with the Palestinians, that would make it easier for the Obama Administration to prevent a nuclear Iran.  Whether that is true or not, the Israelis with whom I spoke want more than theorizing.  They want an assurance that they can achieve real peace and safety, not only in relation to the Palestinians but also in relation to Iran, if they are to surrender control over territories they won in a defensive war.

To say that peace will be difficult to achieve is not to suggest that the parties stop trying.  But in order to succeed, they must take into consideration the risks and realties on all sides.

S-300s: Russia, Iran

While Russia says it has deployed the S-300 interceptor systems in Abkhazia “not only to cover the territories of Abkhazia and South Ossetia but also to avert violations of their state borders in the air and destroy any vehicle illegally penetrating their air space, whatever the goal of its mission," (Gen. Zelin, via Reuters, Aug. 11), some analysts believe that the S-300 interceptor batteries have been placed in Abkhazia to block a possible Israeli air route to Iran.

On August 21 Russia will begin loading fuel into Iran’s Bushehr nuclear reactor.

Iranian ships heading for Gaza

Via Reuters:

Iran is sending aid ships to blockaded Gaza, state radio said on Monday — a move likely to be considered provocative by Israel which accuses Tehran of arming the Palestinian enclave’s Islamist rulers,

One ship left port on Sunday and another will depart by Friday, loaded with food, construction material and toys, the report said. "Until the end of (Israel’s) Gaza blockade, Iran will continue to ship aid," said an official at Iran’s Society for the Defense of the Palestinian Nation.