Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Hamas website: Kids, die for Allah

Hamas website: Kids, die for Allah

New Hamas website features animated figures calling on youngsters to fight Zionists, commit suicide for God
Dudi Goldman

A new, attractive website for children was recently launched on the net. The site features animated figures and stories that young children could easily relate to.

However, unlike ordinary sites catering for children, this particular one is operated by Hamas and its main objective is to advocate suicide and self sacrifice on behalf of Allah.

According to Israel's leading newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth, the site, whose name means "The Victor," glorifies death and suicide for God.

In one instance, a caption that appears next to a picture of an animated girl throwing stones at IDF soldiers, reads: "Death for Allah is victory, the victory of the glorified heroes whose names will forever remain in the hearts of millions of Muslims across the world."

The animated figure calls on children surfing the web to enter the site and learn about the lives of "shahids" (martyrs) who "died a hero's death," after massacring Jews.

Another section of the site is dedicated to suicide bombers. Each day the site presents the picture and biography of a different "shahid." A special page on "The Victor" focuses on the story of Hamas' "brave shahid" Nazim Jabary, who carried out a suicide bombing aboard a Be'er Sheva bus in 2004, killing 16 people, including children.

And, like every self-respecting site for youngsters, the website also features some catchy songs to entertain surfers: "For the great heroes who killed the Zionist thieves and invaders and died for Allah. These are the heroes our people will treasure in their hearts for eternity, and their names will be spoken by millions of Muslims today and in the future."

The IAEA report on the Iranian nuclear program goes to the Security Council for consideration of possible punitive action

The IAEA report on the Iranian nuclear program goes to the Security Council for consideration of possible punitive action

March 8, 2006, 11:31 PM (GMT+02:00)

DEBKAfile reports: The council is expected to give Tehran 30 days to comply with nuclear watchdog directives. Tehran has threatened the US with “harm and pain” for pushing the issue to the world body, a threat the White House dismissed as provocative and further isolating Tehran. U.S. delegate Gregory Schulte said "the time has now come for the Security Council to act." He said the 85 tons of feedstock uranium gas already to hand in Iran could produce enough material for about 10 nuclear weapons if enriched. DEBKAfile’s Gulf sources disclose that Tehran accompanied the 35-member International Atomic Energy Agency’s decision Wednesday, March 8, by launching a new, locally-built submarine, the Nahang (whale) in the Persian Gulf. With the capability to carry multipurpose weapons, the sub is especially adapted to Gulf waters. Military experts report Iran also has six Russian-built SSK or SSI Kilo class diesel submarines patrolling the strategic waterway. The United States has the power to cause harm and pain," said Ali Asghar Soltanieh, a senior Iranian delegate to the IAEA. "But the United States is also susceptible to harm and pain. So if that is the path that the U.S. wishes to choose, let the ball roll." Separately, France, Germany and Britain, which spearheaded the Feb. 4 IAEA resolution clearing the path for Security Council action, warned that what is known about Iran`s enrichment program could be only "the tip of the iceberg." However, both the Russian and Chinese foreign ministers stood aside from the US-EU view. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Moscow would oppose sanctions on Iran because such measures rarely work. He suggested relying on the professional advice of the IAEA. Chinese Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing called for more negotiations. He objected to Security Council involvement. Tuesday night, the Russian foreign minister lined up with US secretary of state Condoleezza Rice in Washington to oppose any enrichment of nuclear fuel in Iran. The Russian minister denied a new compromise had been put before Iran, while Rice affirmed “The Russians did not tell us of any new proposal they made to the Iranians."

Iran Threatens U.S. Over Nuclear Program

Mar 8, 9:26 PM EST

Iran Threatens U.S. Over Nuclear Program

Associated Press Writer

VIENNA, Austria (AP) -- Iran threatened the United States with "harm and pain" Wednesday if the U.S. tries to use the U.N. Security Council - which has the power to impose sanctions - as a lever to punish Tehran for its suspect nuclear program.

Washington warned that Tehran has enough nuclear material for up to 10 atomic bombs.

The rhetoric reflected the intensity of the debate at a meeting of the International Atomic Energy's 35-nation board over a critical report on Iran's nuclear program. The meeting ended late Wednesday, formally opening the path to Security Council action that could range from a mild statement urging compliance to sanctions or even military measures.

The meeting also set the stage for a potential struggle between Washington, which seeks harsh measures against Tehran, and Moscow, which advocates a softer line.

But the head of the IAEA - the U.N. nuclear watchdog - cast Security Council involvement as a continuation of diplomacy with Iran.

Mohamed ElBaradei also suggested that Washington might need to talk to Tehran directly if negotiations reach the stage of focusing on security guarantees to Tehran in exchange for concessions on its nuclear program.

"Once we start to discuss security issues my personal view (is) that at one point the U.S. should also be engaged into a dialogue," ElBaradei told reporters.

The IAEA put the Security Council on alert over the issue last month but delayed any action to give more time for diplomacy under an agreement by the United States, Russia, China, France and Britain - the five permanent Security Council members that wield veto power.

At U.N. headquarters in New York, the five permanent members met for the first time Wednesday to discuss a first response to the Iran nuclear crisis.

One council diplomat said after the quick consultations that Britain had proposed that ElBaradei report back in two weeks about Iran's progress toward compliance with IAEA resolutions. The diplomat spoke on condition of anonymity because consultations were private.

Iran claims its nuclear program is peaceful and only aimed at generating electricity, but an increasing number of countries have come to share the U.S. view that Tehran is seeking to develop atomic weapons.

Iran has been under growing international pressure over the past three years as the IAEA compiled worrying details about its nuclear activities.

But formal Security Council involvement opens a new dimension because the U.N. body could impose economic and political sanctions against Iran. Such action is unlikely because of opposition from Russia and China, which have strategic and commercial ties with Tehran.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov suggested Wednesday that Moscow would not support sanctions and he ruled out military action.

"I don't think sanctions as a means to solve a crisis have ever achieved a goal in the recent history," Lavrov said after meeting Secretary-General Kofi Annan at the United Nations.

He added that Russia was "convinced that there is no military solution to this crisis" - an apparent rebuttal to Vice President Dick Cheney's warning this week that Iran would face "meaningful consequences" if it does not back away from an international confrontation over its nuclear program. Cheney did not specify what the U.S. would do, but said it "is keeping all options on the table."

U.S. Undersecretary of State Nicholas Burns suggested America would push for sanctions if appeals and demands failed.

"We believe that next Monday or Tuesday the United Nations Security Council will begin a very active debate about Iran's nuclear ambitions," Burns said Wednesday. "That debate will be designed to shine a very large, intensive spotlight on what we believe to be a clear Iranian (weapons) program."

Burns told the House International Relations Committee that U.S. officials expect the Security Council to consider a statement of condemnation against Iran. He said, however, that the Bush administration would like to go "beyond that to entertain the possibility of a resolution to isolate and hopefully influence (Iran's) behavior."

If Iran does not respond to words and resolutions, "then we believe that the world community should entertain the possibility of sanctions against Iran," Burns said.

ElBaradei's report accused Iran of withholding information, possessing plans linked to nuclear weapons and refusing to freeze uranium enrichment - a possible pathway to nuclear arms.

In comments to the IAEA board meeting, Gregory Schulte, the U.S. delegate to the agency, said the 85 tons of feedstock uranium gas already produced by Iran "if enriched, could produce enough material for about 10 nuclear weapons."

Separately, France, Germany and Britain warned that what is known about Iran's enrichment program could represent "the tip of the iceberg."

Iran reacted angrily to Washington's role in the standoff over its nuclear ambitions.

"The United States has the power to cause harm and pain," Ali Asghar Soltanieh, the chief Iranian delegate to the IAEA, said, reading from a statement. "But the United States is also susceptible to harm and pain. So if that is the path that the U.S. wishes to choose, let the ball roll."

He did not elaborate, but diplomats said the comment as possibly a veiled threat to use oil as a weapon. Iran is the second-largest producer within the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and has leverage with extremist groups in Iran and elsewhere in the Middle East that could harm U.S. interests.

Iran's minister of petroleum, Sayed Kazem Vaziri Hamaneh, however, sought to ease concerns about Iran's oil plans, telling reporters at an OPEC meeting in Vienna: "Iran has no intention whatsoever of reducing its oil exports."

The White House dismissed Iran's threats.

"I think that provocative statements and actions only further isolate Iran from the rest of the world," White House press secretary Scott McClellan told reporters traveling with President Bush.

The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations said the comments reflected the menace posed by Iran.

"Their threats show why leaving a country like that with a nuclear weapon is so dangerous," John Bolton told The Associated Press by phone from Washington.
Associated Press reporters Palma Benczenleitner in Vienna, Pauline Jelinek in Washington and Nick Wadhams at the United Nations contributed to this report.

Israel will have to act on Iran if UN can't

Israel will have to act on Iran if UN can't
Wed Mar 8, 2006 9:28 AM ET

By Louis Charbonneau

BERLIN (Reuters) - If the U.N. Security Council is incapable of taking action to stop Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons, Israel will have no choice but to defend itself, Israel's defense minister said on Wednesday.

Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz was asked whether Israel was ready to use military action if the Security Council proved unable to act against what Israel and the West believe is a covert Iranian nuclear weapons program.

"My answer to this question is that the state of Israel has the right give all the security that is needed to the people in Israel. We have to defend ourselves," Mofaz told Reuters after a meeting with his German counterpart Franz Josef Jung.

Iran denies wanting nuclear weapons and says it is only interested in the peaceful generation of electricity. It has also threatened to retaliate if Israel or the United States were to bomb any of its nuclear facilities.

In 1981, Israel bombed Iraq's Osirak nuclear reactor to prevent Saddam Hussein from getting nuclear weapons. Saddam's covert atom bomb program continued until U.N. inspectors dismantled it after the 1991 Gulf War, but the Israeli strike set progress back many years.

"The Israeli approach is that the U.S. and the European countries should lead the issue of the Iranian nuclear program to the table of the U.N. Security Council, asking for sanctions. And I hope the sanctions will be effective," Mofaz said.

Mofaz, who was born in Iran, added that Israel believed the 15-nation Security Council should grant the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the U.N.'s Vienna-based nuclear watchdog, sweeping inspection powers so that it can smoke out any secret nuclear arms-related activities in Iran.

"We need to have very deep and large inspections within all the nuclear locations in Iran because Iran has two nuclear programs -- one is a covered one and the second is uncovered," he said.

The Iranian delegation to an IAEA board of governors meeting in Vienna issued a statement earlier warning that the United States could feel "harm and pain" if the Security Council took up the issue of Tehran's nuclear fuel research and vowed never to abandon its atomic program.

At a news conference with Mofaz, Jung told reporters Germany was already discussing with the five permanent Security Council members -- Russia, China, the United States, Britain and France -- what the council could do to prevent Tehran getting the bomb.

"Everything must be done to ensure that Iran does not acquire nuclear weapons," Jung said.

A senior diplomat from one of the "EU3" said earlier that the Security Council would probably begin discussing Iran next week and hoped to issue a "presidential statement" urging Iran to suspend its uranium enrichment program and cooperate with the IAEA.

Ariz. Governor Orders Troops to Border

Ariz. Governor Orders Troops to Border
Mar 08 7:41 PM US/Eastern
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Associated Press Writer


Gov. Janet Napolitano on Wednesday ordered more National Guardsmen posted at the Mexican border to help stop illegal immigrants and curb related crimes.

National Guard troops have worked at the border since 1988, but Napolitano signed an order authorizing commanders to station an unspecified number of additional soldiers there to help federal agents.

Once the funding is approved, the troops will monitor crossing points, assist with cargo inspection and operate surveillance cameras, according to the order.

"They are not there to militarize the border," the governor said. "We are not at war with Mexico."

About 170 National Guardsmen are already posted at the nation's busiest illegal entry point, where they assist with communications, fence construction and anti-drug efforts.

Napolitano did not say how many additional troops would be stationed at the border and referred questions to the National Guard, which did not immediately return a call.

The Democratic governor proposed sending troops to the border more than two months ago. Her critics in the Republican-led Legislature then introduced a bill requiring her to do so and providing $10 million for the project.

The bill won final approval Wednesday in the House and was headed to the governor, but she promised to veto the measure, saying it infringes on her constitutional powers as commander in chief of the Arizona National Guard.

Napolitano has asked the military to pay for her plan, but said she would commit state dollars if necessary.

The governor declared an immigration emergency last summer in Arizona's four border counties, citing security shortcomings by the federal government.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Iran, Venezuela declare war on petrodollar

Iran, Venezuela declare war on petrodollar--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Posted: February 9, 2006
1:00 a.m. Eastern

By Jerome R. Corsi

© 2006

Iran and Venezuela have joined forces in an effort to undermine the U.S. dollar. In October 2005, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez announced that Venezuela was ready to move the country's foreign-exchange holdings out of the dollar and into the euro. He also called for the creation of a South American central bank designed to hold in euros all the foreign-exchange holdings of the participating countries.

Beginning in 2003, Iran began demanding oil payment in euros, not dollars, although the oil itself was still priced in dollars. Iran has announced the intention of opening an Iranian Oil Bourse in March to challenge NYMEX (the New York Mercantile Exchange) and IPE (London's International Petroleum Exchange).

Saddam Hussein may well have signed his death warrant in 2000 when he began the process of convincing the United Nations that Iraq could sell Iraqi oil for euros, not dollars. Saddam ultimately received U.N. permission to convert Iraq's $10 billion oil-for-food foreign reserves from dollars to euros.

The risk to the United States does not involve how oil is priced – oil could conceivably be priced in any liquid currency, since pricing is a largely technical issue needed to establish transaction values. The real issue is foreign-currency reserves.

The United States relies on approximately 70 percent of all foreign-exchange currency to be held in dollars because we sell Treasury debt into that foreign-exchange market. Should Venezuela and Iran succeed in creating a worldwide flight of foreign-exchange reserves away from the dollar and into the euro, the move could depress the value of the dollar.

Dwindling foreign exchange dollar holdings could end up pushing the Treasury to sell debt into a smaller international supply of dollars, with the dollar not being as strong as it is today. Increasing the cost of our "twin deficits" – the budget deficit and the trade deficit – would have detrimental effects on the U.S. economy and on a Bush administration which seems to have lost traditional Republican budgetary discipline.

As the world's foreign-exchange currency market expands, we should probably expect some reduction in the dollar holdings of central banks. A move to hold more euros may simply represent a decision by a central bank to diversify their foreign-currency holdings, thereby hedging their risk from fluctuations in the dollar. Venezuela and Iran have in mind a politically motivated decision to move out of foreign-exchange currency holdings in the dollar as a conscious decision to wage economic war against America.

In 2004, the Switzerland-based Bank for International Settlement reported that the U.S. dollar-denominated deposits of OPEC countries fell from 75 percent of their total deposits in the third quarter of 2001 to 61.5 percent by the end of 2003. In the same period, the share of euro-denominated deposits of OPEC countries rose from 12 percent to 20 percent. OPEC member euro-denominated deposits reached 44 billion in June 2004, nearly double the 23.4 billion euros these countries held in the third quarter of 2001. In the same period of time, the dollar holdings of the OPEC member countries decreased from $145.3 billion to $132.1 billion.

In 2005, China negotiated major oil and natural-gas rights from Iran. Now under pressure of being referred to the Security Council over their nuclear program, Iran is counting on China to veto any strong move by the United States to have Iran sanctioned.

After Japan, China has the world's second-largest cache of foreign-exchange currency – some $800 billion today – an amount that is expected to grow to $1 trillion this year. In January 2006, China announced an intention to reduce 75 percent of its foreign-exchange reserves currently held in the dollar. Economists widely expect China's move will put downward pressure on the dollar, depending on how much diversification China decides to make into other world currencies. As Iran struggles to fight off world pressure over the defiant path it has chosen to take in pursuing nuclear technologies, Iran might well seek to convince China to hold significantly fewer dollars in their foreign-exchange reserves.

Venezuela and Iran have much in common – both countries are radically anti-America, both have extensive oil reserves, both are resolved to use oil as an economic weapon against the United States. The three countries voting against the IAEA resolution on Feb. 4 were Cuba, Syria and Venezuela. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has just accepted an invitation from Fidel Castro to visit Havana to attend the Sept. 11-16 Non-Aligned Summit and most likely to address the Cuban National Assembly.

A Tehran-Caracas Axis clearly extends also to Havana and Damascus. Whether we realize it or not, we are already involved in an economic war that could easily turn into a shooting war, starting with Iran.
Jerome R. Corsi received a Ph.D. from Harvard University in political science in 1972 and has written many books and articles, including co-authoring with John O'Neill the No. 1 New York Times best-seller, "Unfit for Command: Swift Boat Veterans Speak Out Against John Kerry." Dr. Corsi's most recent books include "Black Gold Stranglehold: The Myth of Scarcity and the Politics of Oil," which he co-authored with WND columnist Craig. R. Smith, and "Atomic Iran: How the Terrorist Regime Bought the Bomb and American Politicians."

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Iran negotiator announces: We duped West on nukes

Iran negotiator announces:
We duped West on nukes
Top Tehran negotiator tells Islamic clerics,
academics talks convinced EU nothing afoot

Posted: March 5, 2006
1:00 a.m. Eastern
© 2006
Iran's top nuclear negotiator, in a speech to the nation's leading Islamic clerics and academics, has admitted what many in U.S. intelligence have been saying all along – namely, Tehran duped the West on its nuclear program by continuing its development while using diplomatic talks to lull the Europeans into inaction.

Hassan Rowhani led talks with the EU3 – Germany, France and the UK – until last year and part of his job, reports the London Telegraph, was to play for time after Iran's nuclear program was exposed by dissidents in 2002.

At the closed meeting of the Supreme Council of Cultural Revolution, Rowhani boasted that during talks to forestall Iran's nuclear program, which intelligence sources in the U.S. saw as part of an effort to build nuclear weapons, Tehran completed the installation of equipment needed to convert yellowcake at its Isfahan plant. The Europeans, he said, were convinced nothing was occurring at the plant.

"From the outset, the Americans kept telling the Europeans, 'The Iranians are lying and deceiving you and they have not told you everything.' The Europeans used to respond, 'We trust them'," he said.

Rowhani's frankness, it appears, was motivated by internal criticisms from hardliners that he had negotiated away too much in recent talks with the Europeans. His comments, published in a journal available to the regime's elite, seem designed to defend his performance.

"When we were negotiating with the Europeans in Teheran we were still installing some of the equipment at the Isfahan site," he said. "There was plenty of work to be done to complete the site and finish the work there. In reality, by creating a tame situation, we could finish Isfahan."

Rowhani's diplomatic skills were severely tested in September 2003 when the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) demanded a "complete picture" of Iran's program.

"The dilemma was if we offered a complete picture, the picture itself could lead us to the U.N. Security Council," he said. "And not providing a complete picture would also be a violation of the resolution and we could have been referred to the Security Council for not implementing the resolution."

He also revealed two occasions where the IAEA learned of secret experiments from academic papers published by Iranian scientists.

Libya's decision to negotiate with the U.S. and Britain to end its own nuclear program brought to light the proliferation network run by Pakistan atomic scientist A.Q. Khan. Khan's role in supplying nuclear-related equipment to Libya, revealed in surrendered documents, also exposed the fact he had supplied advanced centrifuges to Iran.

Revelations of Rowhani's candor come on the eve of tomorrow's IAEA meeting to reassess Iran's banned nuclear operations. According to U.N. protocol, the IAEA review is the final step before Tehran's case is forwarded to the Security Council, where, if the facts dictate, sanctions may be imposed.

Iran has just completed failed talks with Russia, which opposes U.N. sanctions, to find a way around the impasse.

On another matter, the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), an opposition group responsible for many of the revelations about Iran's secret program, has obtained a confidential parliamentary report revealing that Iran's legislators were unaware of the nuclear project and that it was funded off the books.

"Rowhani's remarks show that the mullahs wanted to deceive the international community from the onset of negotiations with EU3," said Mohammad Mohaddessin, the NCRI's foreign affairs chief, "and that the mullahs were fully aware that if they were transparent, the regime's nuclear file would be referred to the U.N. immediately."