Iran nuclear capability timeline

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August 31, 2006

  • Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad taunts U.S. George W. Bush for refusing his invitation to a televised debate: "We asked them to attend a televised debate, but they escaped. Why do you panic? We want the world public opinion to judge us. Do you think that the world nations are unwise?" (If George W. Bush wasn't such an intellectual underachiever perhaps the U.S. would be in a stronger position internationally.)
  • Demonstrating the conservative talent for making illogical categorical errors, The Conservative Voice columnist Scott Sullivan asks an impressively silly question: "Is Ahmadinejad a Fascist or a Nazi?" text. Why not ask whether Seabiscuit was a pig or a Berkshire hog? Sullivan's assertion that, "not all fascists are the enemy of democracy" reveals something very creepy about the politics of many American conservatives.

August 29, 2006

  • Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad challenges U.S. President George W. Bush to a televised debate on world issues. Bush runs away from the opportunity. (Would JFK have refused such a chance? But then JFK was intelligent, well educated and eloquent.) Ahmadinejad also challenges the veto power of the U.S. and Britain on the UN Security Council, an issue that resonates in Japan, India, the Muslim world, Africa and Latin America.

August 26, 2006

  • Iranian chief nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani states: "Iran will continue its uranium enrichment. We want to produce our own nuclear fuel...We will never stop it...Those who threaten us with sanctions know perfectly that we have obtained a home-made atomic programme under international sanctions. And it is irreversible." Source: Parisa Hafezi. "Iran to Pursue Atom Work Despite Deadline." Reuters UK. August 27, 2006.

August 25, 2006

  • Russian Defense Minister Sergei B. Ivanov states that the issue is not "so urgent” that the UN Security Council should consider sanctions and expressing doubt that they would work in any case: "I know of no cases in international practice or the whole of previous experience when sanctions achieved their goals or were efficient." Source: Steben Lee Myers. "Russia Says Sanctions Are Premature." The New York Times. August 25, 2006. (A better title would have been "Russia Says Sanctions Won't Work")
  • Congressional neoconservative Republicans demand expressions of official fear to help gin up public support for war against Iran. House of Representatives Intelligence Committee releases report critical of the CIA and other intelligence agencies for what it says are the major gaps in America's knowledge of Iran's nuclear program. Republican Committee members offer tortured logic that the intelligence agencies are "playing down" the threat. Source: Dan Fromkin. "History, Eepeating Itself." Washington Post August 24, 2006. See also Juan Cole's Republican Congressional Report on Iran Riddled With Errors

August 24, 2006

  • Israeli officials consider an attack on Iran without the U.S. Source: Yaakov Katz, Herb Keinon and Nathan Guttman. "Israel Feels US Will Not Attack Iran." Jerusalem Post. August 24, 2006.

August 23, 2006

  • French Foreign Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy states: "What I know is that the resolution 1696 ... tells Iran it must stop all uranium enrichment by August 31." Source: n.a. "World Needs A Few Days To Study Iran Reply-France." Reuters, South Africa. August 23, 2006.
  • Royal Institute of International Affairs at Chatham House's Middle East Programme concluding that, "There is little doubt that Iran has been the chief beneficiary of the War on Terror in the Middle East." Philippe Naughton. "Iran Now The Key Power In Iraq, Says UK Think-Tank." The Times of London. August 23, 2006. Article Text

August 22, 2006

  • This pretext for war appears to be a damp squib. Iranian government submits detailed written response to the demands made by the Permanent Five Plus Germany denying that it is developing a nuclear weapons program. Source: n.a. "Iran Offers West 'Serious' Talks." BBC News. August 22, 2006.
  • Time to prime Israeli public opinion more war? Israeli Cabinet member and former spy chief Rafi Eitan states: "We are liable to face an Iranian missile attack. The Iranians have said very clearly that if they come under attack, their primary target would be Israel...therefore we must prepare for what could come, and prepare the entire country for a missile strike attack, to prepare all the civilian systems so they are ready for this." Source: n.a. "Israel Must Be Ready For Any Iranian Attack-Minister." Reuters. August 22, 2006.

August 21, 2006

  • U.S. President George W. Bush blamed the failures of his foreign policy on Iran: "Iran is obviously part of the--part of the problem. They sponsor Hezbollah. They encourage a radical brand of Islam. Imagine how difficult this issue would be if Iran had a nuclear weapon." Source: August 21, 2006 Press Conference by the President, The White House Text
  • Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei states that, "The Islamic Republic of Iran has made up its mind based on the experience of the past 27 years to forcefully pursue its nuclear program and other issues it is faced with and will rely on God. Be patient, and hopefully we will taste a sweet outcome." Source: Michael Slackman. "Iran’s Leader Vows to Continue Nuclear Program." The New York Times. August 21, 2006. What but religion could convince a person that anything nuclear was "sweet"?
  • According to the IAEA, Iranian officials turned away its inspectors from the Natanz facility. Source: George Jahn. "Defiant Iran to Continue Nuclear Activities." Associated Press and Detriot Free Press. August 21, 2006.

August 20, 2006

  • Iranian miltiary test fires 10 Saegheh surface-to-surface (50 to 150 mile range) short range missiles. Source: Nasser Karimi. "Iran Test-Fires 10 Short-Range Missiles." Washington Post. August 20, 2006.
  • In a discussion about the shambles of the second Bush administration's Middle East policy Fareed Zakariah predicts that President George W. Bush wil do nothing more than "huff and puff" about Iranian nuclear proliferation. Source: ABC News: THis Week With George Stephanopoulos. August 20, 2006.

August 19, 2006

  • Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak cautioned against a military attack on Iran: "The conflict between the United States and Iran must be resolved through diplomatic channels and direct dialogue, because any strike on Iran means the end of stability in the region and the world...Iran is an important country in the region, and relations between countries are governed by pacts and treaties and agreements that prohibit interference in any internal matters of the countries." Source: n.a. "Egypt warns against any military strike on Iran." Reuters and August 19, 2006.
  • Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Peter MacKay stokes war fever denounces Iran for supporting Hezbollah: "They are certainly behind much of the difficulty that's going on in the region by funding Hezbollah, by supporting them in terms of their activities against Israel. They have a great deal of responsibility and blood on their hands from their activities." Source: Mike Blanchfield. "MacKay Says Tehran Has 'Blood on its Hands'." Regina Leader Post. August 19, 2006. Does the U.S. have blood on its hands for supporting Israel?

August 17, 2006

  • Open letter from 21 former generals, diplomats and national security officials of the United States argues that the administration's "hard line" in Iran has undermined U.S. security. Included are Army Lt. Gen. Robert G. Gard, Marine Corps Gen. Joseph P. Hoar and Morton H. Halperin. Gard commented that, "It's not a crisis...To call the Iranian situation a 'crisis' connotes you have to do something right now, like bomb them." Source: Peter Speigel. "Group Says Iran Is 'Not a Crisis'." Los Angeles Times. August 16, 2006.

August 14, 2006

  • U.S. President George W. Bush made comments lending support to Seymour Hirsh's claims of coordiantion in a war plan aimed at Iran: "The Middle East is at a pivotal moment in history. Millions of people in Lebanon, Iraq and Afghanistan and elsewhere are equally determined to live in peace and freedom. They have tired of the false promises and grand illusions of radical extremists...The leaders of these armed groups must make a choice: If they want to participate in the political life of their countries, they must disarm. Elected leaders cannot have one foot in the camp of democracy and one foot in the camp of terror." Source: Julie Mason and Michael Hedges. "Bush Says Hezbollah Defeat is 'Pivotal': President Links War in Lebanon to the War on Terror." Houston CDhronicle. August 14, 2006. Is the neocon strategy to saddle the next administration, Democrat or Republican, with the war that Bush provokes against Iran?
  • Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad posts his first blog posting, in 4 languages: Source: n.a. "Iran's President Launches Weblog." BBC News. August 14, 2006.

August 13, 2006

  • Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hamid Reza Asefi states that: "Iran will not yield to the language of threat and pressure. If they continue to pressure us, we will review our policy." Source: n.a. "Iran Insists on Nuclear Policy Change If Pressured." Reuters South Africa. August 13, 2006.
  • Majlis Speaker Gholam-Ali Haddad-Adel threatens that: "If Iran’s membership in international organisations including the International Atomic Energy Agency means that we will be deprived of our inalienable rights then we will have no reason to continue our membership in these organisations." Source: n.a. "Iran Threatens To Pull Out Of Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty." Iran Focus. Augsut 13, 2006.

August 12, 2006

  • Seymour Hersh accuses the second Bush adminitration of preplanning the Israeli-Lebanese War with the Israeli government as a trial run for a larger war against Iran: "Let Israel attack Hezbollah, we'll watch and see how it works, learn from it, and if we do decide to go to Iran, we can't go to Iran anyway as long as Hezbollah has rockets." Source: "Report: The U.S. Pushed Israeli Plan New Yorker's Hersh Reports U.S. Encouraged Israel's Strikes As Prelude To Iran." CBS Evening News August 13, 2006. Transcript

August 10, 2006

  • Iranian ambassador to Russia Gholamreza Ansari stated that his country does not, "recognize the demand that we suspend uranium enrichment in view of absence of violations." Source: n.a. "Iran Will Continue Nuclear Work "To The Maximum Scope:" Ambassador." China View. Augsut 10, 2006.

August 9, 2006

  • Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad articulates anti-imperialist grievance interview with CBS: "See how they talk down to my nation. ... They want to build an empire. ... The American government, sir, it is very clear to me they have to change their behavior and everything will be resolved." Source: n.a. "Iranian President Chides Bush in CBS Interview." Reuters. August 9, 2006.
  • Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki reminds the international community of U.S.-Iranian political history: "At the time of the former Iranian regime (the Pahlavi Dynasty), the United States encouraged the King to find access to the uranium enrichment cycle and build nuclear power plants in Iran, but today it is acting in violation of all the international rules and regulations, including the rules of the NPT....One such attitude could be seen very clearly in the way the United States acted with regard to the recent United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolution against Iran, they acted restlessly to reach a resolution against us before we could present our response to the six-nation package." Source: n.a. "Iran Accuses U.S. of Violating NPT on Nuke Issue." Xinhua. August 11, 2006.

August 8, 2006

  • U.S. State Department spokesperson Sean McCormack states that, "There have been a variety of public statements from the Iranians, but we haven't seen any evidence yet that they are complying with the demand and requirement of the international community." Source: Barry Schweid. "U.S.: No Sign Iran Will Comply With U.N." Washington Post August 8, 2006. By "international community, McCormack may mean the UN Security Council, a 15 member with only 1 predominantly Islamic country or perhaps he means the UN Security Council "Permanent Five" members with Vetoes, none of which is a predominantly Islamic country. Not much of a "community" really.

August 6, 2006

  • Western bluff is called, again. Iranian chief nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani states at a news conference that, "We will expand nuclear technology at whatever stage it may be necessary and all of Iran's nuclear technology including the cascades will be expanded...We do not want to end the supervision of the agency (IAEA), but you should not do anything to force Iran to do so....If they do, we will react in a way that would be painful for them....Do not force us to do something that will make people shiver in the cold....They should not think that they can hurt us and we would stand still without a reaction." Sources: Simon Tisdall. "Iran Threatens to Use 'Oil Weapon' in Nuclear Standof." Guardian Unlimited Augsut 7, 2006; n.a. "Iran Vows More Atom Work, To Hit Back At Sanctions." Reuters. August 6, 2006,

August 4, 2006

  • Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati, Chair of the Iranian Guardian Council, joined conservative critics in the United States in expressing contempt for the United Nations although for parallel rather than the same reasons: "They must close down this United Nations and its Security Council, what kind of a Security Council is this? The United Nations and the Security Concil are so weak, so incapable and so influenced by major powers that they cannot even issue a resolution. But when it comes to Iran and trampling on Iran's right to use nuclear energy, they quickly issue a resolution." Source: n.a. "Iran Cleric: Shut Down Two-Faced Security Council." Reuters. August 4, 2006.
  • Iranian Deputy Oil Minister Mohammad Hadi Nejad-Hosseinian said on Friday global crude oil prices may reach $100 a barrel: "There is still a possibility of crude reaching $100 a barrel due to geopolitical problems worldwide and peaking of winter demand." n.a. "Iran Says Oil May Hit $100/Barrel." Reuters. August 4, 2006.
  • Second Bush administration continues to flail around in foreign policy. Sanctions are imposed on 7 firms for doing business with Iran in sensitive technology, including two Russian firms state owned arms exporter Rosoboronexport, Russian fighter jet manufacturer Sukhoi, Indian chemical manufacturers Balaji Amines Ltd. and Prachi Poly Products Ltd., North Korean firms Korean Mining and Industrial Development Corp. and Korea Pugang Trading Corp., and the Cuban firm Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology. Source: George Gedda. "U.S. Sanctions Companies Over Iran." Associated Press and Forbes. August 4, 2006. As usual the administration satisfies itself and its constituenceis with the appearance of being tough rather than taking effective action.

August 3, 2006

  • Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson urges Iran to comply with the U.N. resolution on uranium enrichment: "As for the nature of the UN Security Council’s resolutions, it should be born in mind that under article 25 of the UN Charter all members of the organization agree to abide by Security Council resolutions and implement them....We are hoping that the Iranian side will respond properly to the calls addressed to it and no extra action by the UN Security Council will be required." Source: n.a. "Russia Urges Iran to Meet Nuclear Deadline." August 3, 2006.
  • Green Nightmare: Recognizing a "Right" to Develop Nuclear Power As Payoff for Nuclear Weapons Non-Proliferation. Speaking at the "Iran-Europe Ties" debate at Tehran's Strategic Research Center of the Expediency Council, former German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer said, "No country denies Iran's right" (to use nuclear power) with confidence building measures (a.k.a. nuclear safeguards) and that, "If such confidence-building is realized, great advantages either in terms of peaceful use of nuclear energy or in other political and economic domains would be provided for Iran. Source: n.a. "Fischer Says Compromise and Respect Can Defuse Iran Crisis." Deutche Welle. text August 3, 2006.

August 2, 2006

  • Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad tells rally in beautiful Bojnurd that Iran will maintain its right to produce nuclear fuel despite a UN Security Council resolution: "Iran considers developing peaceful nuclear fuel cycle technology as its right and will maintain the inalienable right....If some people think they can talk to us with a language of force and threats, they are making a bad mistake." Source: n.a. "Iran Maintains Right to Produce Nuclear Fuel: President." People's Daily Online. August 2, 2006.
  • Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei warns of an impending Muslim jihad against the West: "The aggressive actions and nature of the U.S. and Israel will revive the spirit of resistance in the Islamic world and will make the value of jihad more prevalent for it...Islamic Iran believes resistance against American bullying and aggression and mischief by Israel to be its duty and will stand alongside all oppressed nations, especially the dear people of Lebanon and the combatant Palestinian nation." Source: n.a. "Iran’s Supreme Leader Warns U.S. of Impending Jihad." August 2, 2006. Translation: Iran is willing to fight to the last Lebanese and Palestinian.

August 1, 2006

  • Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao urged calm and further negotiations: "We hope that the Security Council resolution helps the on-going diplomatic efforts...We call on all sides to remain calm and exercise restraint and keep pushing for the early resumption of talks." Source: n.a. "China Calls for Restraint on Iran Nuclear Issue." Boston Globe and Reuters. August 1, 2006.
  • MoU signed between Iranian and Venezuelan ministries for 6 Iranian contractors to build 50 housing units in Venevuela. Source: n.a. "Iran to Build 50 Housing Units in Venezuela." Islamic Republic News Agency. August 1, 2006. Big wow. Iranian housing construction in Venezuela won't be important until the 10,000th unit is started.

July 31, 2006

  • UN Security Council votes 14 to 1 to pass weak resolution requiring Iran to suspend uranium enrichment ny August 31, or more diuscussions are threatened. The lone 'no' vote was from Qatar, the lone predominantly Islamic state now on the body. Although there are 1 billion Muslims on the planet--one-sixth of the total-Islamic states had only one-fifteenth of the voting power on the body. Source: n.a. "U.N. Gives Iran Until the End of August." Washington Post. July 31, 2006.
  • Akbar Mohammadi, an Iranian dissident serving a 15 year sentence for organizing protests in 1999 died in Evin Prison after a long hunger strike. n.a. "Student Dies After Hunger Strike in Iran Prison." Iran Focus News. July 31, 2006. His heroic sacrifice is ignored in U.S. television news so that extensive coverage may be given to Mel Gibson's drunken rantings during his arrest.

July 28, 2006

  • Threat that sanctions will be "discussed." The permanent 5 at the UN Security Council reached agreement on a draft resolution demanding that Iran suspend nuclear enrichment by Aug. 31 or face the threat of sanctions being discussed. Source: Evelyn Leopold. "UN Council Agrees on Resolution for Iran Demands Aug. 31 Nuclear Deadline." Chicago Tribune and Reuters. July 29, 2006. (Seems John Bolton's hatched chicken (see July 25, 2006) is a peeley-wally wee fowl.)
  • Veneuelan President Hugo Chavez arrives in Tehran on his 52nd birthday to receive a medal and some invesment capital from Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Venezuelan voice on the International Atomic Energy Agency has backed Iran's "right" to enrich uranium. Source: Christian Oliver. "Iran Medal, Oil Deals for Birthday Visitor Chavez." Washington Post and Reuters. July 28, 2006.
  • During his Friday sermon Iranian Assembly of Experts leader Ahmad Khatami stated that, "Islamic Iran will not be deprived from its obvious nuclear right, even by a resolution by an useless U.N. Security Council." Source: n.a. "Cleric Says U.N. Cannot Stop Iran's Nuclear Work." Reuters. July 28, 2006.

July 26, 2006

  • Stratetgic coordination. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Russian President Vladimir Putin discuss Israeli-Lebanese War in telephone conversation. Source: n.a. "Ahmadinejad and Putin Discuss Conflict in Lebanon." July 26, 2006.

July 25, 2006

  • Q: Why did the neo-conservative count his chickens before they were hatched? A: Because the second Bush administration desperately needs some good news from the Middle East. U.S. Ambassador the UN John Bolton said that the big six were close to agreement on the etxt of a resolution about Iran: "We made a lot of progress today. This was probably the most productive session. This bring us very close." He also said that under the draft resolution being considered, "Iran is bound mandatorily to suspend its uranium enrichment and reprocessing activities." Source: Evelyn Leopold. "UN Negotiators Close to Deal on Iran Nuclear Draft." Washington Post July 25, 2006.

July 24, 2006

  • Iranian government spokesperson Gholam-Hossein Elham states that Iran will use "all legal and diplomatic ways" to oppose the Israeli attack on lebanon rather than send military forces. Source: n.a. "Iran Not to Send Troops to Join Conflict in Lebanon: Spokesman." People's Daily Online. July 25, 2006.

July 23, 2006

  • Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad proposes ethnic cleansing, urges Israeli evacuation of the Middle East: "I suggest that they (Israelis) bale and move out of Mideast before the fire they have launched in Lebanon catches them...Israel has pushed the button of its own destruction by attacking Lebanon...Israel and its allies must apologize for their policies, or the people in the region will respond." n.a. "Iranian President Urges Israel to Move Out of Mideast." People's Daily Online. July 23, 2006. (And what does this religious fanatic have in mind for the Lebanese Maronites, Egyptian Coptic Orthodox and Armenians?)

July 22, 2006

  • Russian diplomats declien support for language in a UN resolution threatening sanctions against Iran for non-compliance. Source: n.a. "Russia's Balk Strains Iran Resolution: Russian Politicians Pulling Away From U.S.-Backed UN Resolution." CBS News July 22, 2006. (Did U.S. President George W. Bush succeed in completely alienating Russian president Vladimir Putin at the G-8 Conference in St. Petersburg?)

July 21, 2006

  • Former Iranian President and Chair of the Expediency Council Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani denounces the United Nations Security Council: "On our nuclear issue, we are now witnessing a cruel act...They are going to commit another historic act of tyranny against Iran, despite Iran announcing several times that it is ready to negotiate...If Iran accepts, that would mean putting our hands up and surrendering." Source: n.a. "Iran Cleric Accuses UN of Tyranny." Reuters, July 21, 2006.

July 20, 2006

  • Iranian nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani states that, "Based on law, Iran has planned to produce 20,000 MW of nuclear electricity in the next 20 years and needs to produce nuclear fuel inside the country for those reactors." Source: Parisa Hafizi. "Iran Sticks by Nuclear Plans Despite U.N. Pressure." Reuters. July 20, 2006. The second Bush administration is similarly enthusiastic about producing electricity from new nuclear power plants.
  • Iranian government announced that it would reply to the UN incentive package on August 22, 2006 but indicated that it would not accept any deal that undermines its nuclear program. Source: Ali Akbar Dareini. "Iran Promises Aug. 22 Reply to Nuke Plan." Associated Press and Washington Post. July 20, 2006.
  • Accusations traded. U.S. accused Iran of sending obervers to the North Korean missile tests and Iran accused the U.S. of obstructing negotiations about its nuclear prgram. Source: n.a. "US Accuses Iran Over North Korean Missile Tests." Reuters. July 20, 2006.

July 19, 2006

  • Economic nationalism campaign on Iranian state television with messages urging the boycott of products sold by "Zionist" firms, including Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Marks and Spencer, Nestle, McDonalds, Timberland, Revlon, Garnier, Hugo Boss, Tommy Hilfiger, Calvin Klein and L’Oreal. Souirce: n.a. "Iran TV Urges Boycott of "Zionist" Products." Agence France Presse and Khaleej Times Online July 19, 2006.

July 18, 2006

  • Israeli attack on Lebanon continues to divert focus from Iranian nuclear proliferation issue. Iranian Majlis Speaker Gholam Ali Haddad Adel warns Israeli government that, "The towns you have built in northern Palestine (Israel) are within the range of the brave Lebanese children. No part of Israel will be safe." Source: n.a. "No part of Israel is Safe, Iranian Lawmaker Says Despite Comments, Tehran Denies Behind-the-Scenes Role in Fighting," Associated Press and Newsweek. July 18, 2006.

July 17, 2006

  • Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki delivers letter to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad from Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad expressing support for Syria against any threat (Israel). Source: n.a. "Iran Foreign Minister in Syria, Discusses Lebanon." Reuters. July 17, 2006.

July 15, 2006

  • Iranian nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani leads delegation to Saudi Arabia: meets Saudi Public Security Organization Mogren bin Abdal-Aziz; scheduled meeting with Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdal-Aziz. Source: n.a. "Larijani Arrives in Saudi Arabia." Islamic Republic News Agency. July 15, 2006.

July 14, 2006

  • Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad speaking on state television dismisses decision to refer Iranian nuclear proliferation to the UN Security Council: "The people of Iran will not give up their right of exploiting peaceful nuclear technology. They are not intimated by the arrogant uproar and propaganda today." Source: n.a. "Iran Shrugs Off Threat." The Hindu. July 14, 2006.

July 13, 2006

  • U.S. President George W. Bush reveals what he fears while in Germany: "I truly think they're trying to wait us out, that it's only a matter of time before people lose their nerve. And I think they are going to be sorely mistaken....The Iranians must understand that they can't wait us out and can't hope to split a coalition - and so the first step is to go to the United Nations and speak with as common a voice as possible." Source: n.a. "Bush Seeks Diplomacy Move on Iran." BBC News. July 13, 2006. Has any post-WWII U.S. President ever been so out of his depth in foreign affairs?

July 11, 2006

  • Iranian chief nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani commands patience. ""We have discussed a wide range of important issues together, consultations will now be done by both sides. We will be in contact together in order to see how to proceed. We have to go into a long process, we must be patient." Source: Slobodan Lekic. "Iran Dashes Hope for Breakthrough." The Washington Post. July 11, 2006.

July 9, 2006

  • Truth never constrains a neo-conservative. Neo-con U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. John Bolton claims that North Korean missile tests do not distract the U.S. and its allies from Iranian nuclear proliferation: "I don't agree that one issue distracts from the other. I think we are very focused on both of them and fully capable of dealing with both of them." Source: George Jahn. "Iran's Nuclear Threat Still On the Table." The Seattle Times. July 10, 2006.
  • Anti-government protests rock Iranian universities. Source: n.a. "Protests Mark Anniversary of Student Unrest in Iran." Iran Focus. July 10, 2006.

July 7, 2006

  • Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad condemns Israel for its incursion into Gaza and for being illegitimate: "They should not let things reach a point where an explosion occurs in the Islamic world. If an explosion occurs, then it won't be limited to geographical boundaries. It will also burn all those who created (Israel) over the past 60 years.....This is a fake regime ... it won't be able to survive. I think the only way (forward) is that those who created it (the West) take it away themselves." Source: Ali Akbar Dareini. "Iran President Criticizes Israeli Offensive." Associated Press and Forbes. July 7, 2006.
  • U.S. President George W. Bush struggles to appear cowboy tough while counseling patience in answering foreign policy questions about North Korea, saying, "And its just--whether it be the Iranian issue or the the North Lorean issue, there is a way forward for these leaders that will lead to a better life for their people and acceptance into the international community."

July 6, 2006

  • EU foreign affairs spokesperson Cristina Gallach describes the meeting between EU foreign minister Javier Solana and Iranian chief negotiator Ali Larijani in positive terms: "It's a good start for what we expect will be a positive meeting on July 11." Source: Mark John. "EU Upbeat After First Iran Nuclear Talks." Washington Post. July 7, 2006.

July 5, 2006

  • Iranian chief negotiator Ali Larijani agrees to meet EU foreign minister Javier Solana in a private dinner. Larijani had cancelled a meeting the previous day because the EU was playing footsie with an Iranian exile leader. Source: Mark John. "EU's Solana to Hold Rescheduled Talks with Iran." Reuters. July 5, 2006.

July 4-5, 2006

  • North Korea conducts multiple ballistic missile tests but elicits only condemnation from the second Bush administration. North Korea is not deemed much of a "threat" to U.S. national interests by the second Bush administration because it lacks large oil deposits and is not a threat to Israeli security.

July 3, 2006

  • Seymour Hersh reports that the U.S. Military has removed the nuclear strike option from military planning against Iran. The New Yorker, July 10, 2006

June 29, 2006

  • Iranian foreign minister Manouchehr Mottaki politiely but firmly declines demand that his government respond to the profered package of incentives by July 5: "Different committees are considering different segments of this proposed package." They supposedly seek to deal the "questions and ambiguities" in the package. Mottaki reiterates that the Iranian response will come in August, either in early or mid-month. Source: Helene Cooper. "G-8 Leaders Set Deadline for Iranian Response." The New York Times. June 29, 2006.

June 27, 2006

  • Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei states does not need negotiations with the U.S. over its nuclear program. Source: n.a. Leader: Talks With U.S. Not Necessary. Chicago Tribune. June 28, 2006.
  • British Foreign Secretary Margaret Beckett warns about the risk of being embroiled in negotiations about negotiations: "What I think there would be some concern about ... if we appeared that we were entering into a period of negotiation about negotiations." Source: n.a. "EU-Iran Nuclear Meeting Postponed Until After G8." Reuters. June 28, 2006.

June 25, 2006

  • (Don't try to rush us!) Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hamid Reza Asefi comments that, "The package contains legal, political and economic dimensions. All its dimensions have to be studied." (Or we will mess with the oil markets by issuing threats!) Iranian Oil Minister Kazem Vaziri Hamaneh warns again that his country could disrupt the world's oil supply if the standoff leads to open conflict. Source: n.a. "Tehran on Nukes: Be Patient." Chicago Tribune. June 26, 2006.

June 22, 2006

  • Gen. George W. Casey accuses the Iranian government of covert support of Shi'a "extremist groups" and predicted partial withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq by the end of the year. Source: Michael R. Gordon. "Iran Aiding Shiite Atacks Inside Iraq, General Says." The New York Times. June 23, 2006.

June 21, 2006

  • Folksy threat issued by U.S. President George W. Bush, who comments that, "It seems like an awful long time," to respond to a "reasonable proposal." This is met with a frostily pious response from Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who syas this his country will "review the proposals on the basis of our legitimate right and, God willing, we will give our opinion regarding the proposals toward the end of Mordad," (or the Iranian month ending on August 22). Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki joins in by saying that Bush "should not be in a hurry" for a response. Source: n.a. "Bush: 2 Months Is Too Long For Iran's Answer." Fre Press News Service. June 22, 2006.

June 12-16, 2006

  • Chinese President Hu Jintao and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad hold discussion during the regional summit in Shanghai. Source: n.a. "China and Iranian Presidents To Meet Next Week." Associated Press. June 8, 2006.

June 9, 2006

  • Trying to cover how much his government conceded, a posturing U.S. Pres. George W. Bush says, "We've given the Iranians a limited period of time--you know, weeks not months--to digest a proposal to move forward. And if they choose not to verifiably suspend their program, then there will be action taken in the U.N. Security Council." Source: n.a. "Bush Says Iran Has "Weeks Not Months" To Respond." Reuters. June 9, 2006. Or WHAT George? Going to subject them to another annoying public search for ordinary words?
  • Iranian senior cleric Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati states, "The package they have presented is a package (that is) good for them. It's not good for Iran." Source: Ali Akbar Dareini. "Cleric Urges Iran to Reject Nuclear Deal." Associated Press. June 9, 2006. Could it be that Shi'a clergy have begun to worship all things nuclear as idols?

June 8, 2006

  • Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad states in televised speech that, "If they (the international community) think they can threaten and hang a stick over the head of the Iranian nation and negotiate at the same time, they should know the Iranian nation will reject such an atmosphere." Source: Edmund Blair. "Iran Says Threats Will Not Work In Nuclear Talks." Reuters. June 8, 2006.

June 7, 2006

  • Weak position of the Six Powers is exposed. World learns that the package of ince ntives would require Iranian government to suspend uranium enrichment only during negotiations and that it might resume afterward. George Jahn. "Diplomats: Package Gives Iran Some Leeway." Associated Press. June 7, 2006.

June 6, 2006

  • World learns that the package of incentives for Iran includes light water reactor technology and aircraft spare parts from U.S. vendors. Source: Allison Linn. "Aircraft Help Reportedly An Iran Incentive." Seattle Post Intelligencer. June 6, 2006.
  • After speaking to a very safe audience at the Border Patrol Academy U.S. Pres. George W. Bush comments on the Iranian response: "Sounds like a positive response to me." Bush then gabbles about immigration reform and at one point mistakenly describes undocumented immigrants as "citizens." Source: Transcript: "President's Remarks to the Travel Pool at Laredo Border Patrol Sector Headquarters," Laredo Border Patrol Sector Headquarters, Laredo, Texas. The White House. Text

June 5, 2006

  • EU "Foreign Minister" Javier Solana arrives in Tehran to persuade Iraanian government to accept the proposed package of incentives. Source: Lucia Kubosova. "Solana To Talk Iran Into New Nuclear Deal." EUObserver. June 6, 2006.
  • Price of oil increases to $73 a barrel in apparent anxiety about disruption of oil supplies in the event of war in the Persian Gulf. Source: Peg Mackey. "Oil at $73, Iran Warns of Gulf Supply Disruption." Reuters. June 5, 2006.
  • A frustrated U.S. Secretary of State Donald Rumsfeld criticises the Shanghai Co-operation Organisation for considering the membership of Iran, which he described as, "the leading terrorist nation in the world." Source: n.a. "Rumsfeld Changes Tone." Financial Times. June 5, 2006.

June 4, 2006

  • Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei clarifies his regime's positions on the use of nuclear weapons and who has whom by the energy supply: "We have not threatened any neighbor... accusation that we are seeking nuclear bomb is wrong, a sheer lie." "We have no target to use a nuclear bomb. It's against Islamic teachings." "If you make any mistake [invade Iran], definitely shipment of energy from this region will be seriously jeopardized. You have to know this." "You will never be able to protect energy supply in this region. You will not be able to do it." Source: n.a. "Iran: We Will Not Cease Enrichment: Iran's Top Leader Warns Of Energy Disruption If U.S. Attacks." CBS News. June 4, 2006.

June 3, 2006

  • Russia rules out military froce against Iran. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov states that, "Tehran will not face a deadline to respond to the six nation proposal." He emphasized that the package does not include the use of a military force. Source: Suleyman Kurt. "Ankara Steps in for Iran." Zaman Daily Online. June 3, 2006.

June 2, 2006

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin welcomes U.S. offer of direct talks with Iran: "This is a very important step, which gives the whole process a new dimension. It is necessary to conduct a thorough discussion with the Iranian leadership." Alissa J. Rubin. "Iran Says Pressure Won't 'Bear Fruit'". Los Angeles Times and Bioston Glode. June 3, 2006.

June 1, 2006

  • Six Powers (U.S., Britain, France, Gemany, Russia, China) reach agrrement on package of incentives, but not sanctions. The imediate quid pro quo is that Iran suspends uranium enrichment in return for suspension of action in the Security Council. British Foreign Secretary Margaret Beckett states that if Iran failed to comply, "further steps would have to be taken in the Security Council." Source: Thom Shanker & Elaine Sciolino. "Package of Terms (No Sanctions Included) for Iran." The New York Times. June 2, 2006.
  • Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki welcomed possible direct negotiations with Washington but declined the U.S. condition that Iran first suspend uranium enrichment. Source: Glenn Kessler. "Rice, Foreign Leaders Hope to Forge Consenus on Iran Incentives, Penalties to Be Crafted at Vienna Meeting." Washington Post. June 1, 2006.
  • Deputy chief of the Iranian Supreme Security Council Javad Vaedidi comments that the wording (of the U.S. proposal for direct negotiations) unfortunately shows still the (second) Bush administration does not want to convince us that they are ready to consider our rights and interests. The content is based on the domestic affairs of the United States." Source: Michael Slackman. "Iranians Dismiss U.S. Terms For beginning Direct Talks." The New York Times. June 2, 2006.
  • Iran ready to reap the crop the U.S. has sown in Iraq! Expediency Council Chair Ayatollah Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani tells students, "Iran is ready to transfer its constructive experiences to Iraq to remove war destructions in the country." Source: n.a. "Iran ready to transfer its experiences to Iraq." Iran Mania. June 1, 2006.

May 30, 2006

  • FLIP-FLOP! Second Bush administration foreign policy becomes even less coherent as a visibly tense U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice announces on television that the U.S. is wiling to negotiate directly with Iran if it agrees to a verified suspension of uranium enrichment: "The Iranian people believe they have a right to civil nuclear energy. We acknowledge that right." Glenn Kessler. "Analysis: Shift in U.S. Stance Shows Power of Seven-Letter Word." Washington Post. June 1, 2006.

May 29, 2006

  • Strategic judgment. Speaking in Malaysia Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki comments that the U.S. won't take military action against Iranian nuclear sites because, "of a lot of difficulties in Iraq and Palestine. They are not in a position to create a new crisis in the region." Source: n.a. "Iran Offers EU New Nuclear Talks." BBC News. May 29, 2006.
  • Don't bet the farm. Commodity strategist at Commonwealth Bank of Australia Ltd. David Thurtell predicts that, "Iran is going to fold on this. They're just going to stick it out and extract as big a concession as they can. The U.S. is going to have to make some concessions as well." Source: n.a. "Oil Futures Trades Above $71 as UN Studies Iran Atomic Program." Bloomberg Prediction. May 29, 2006. But what if Iranian leaders are't rational value maximizers with short time horizons like Mr. Thurtell? What if they really are the fanatical Islamic fundamentalists that they appear?

May 28, 2006

  • Russian Pres. Vladimir Putin speaks through his Security Council Chief Igor Ivanov commenting that, "Unlike the U.S., Russia believes Iran's nuclear program needs to be resolved only through dialogue. Any use of force will further complicate the issue and will cause tension in the region." n.a. "Russia: No Use Of Force Against Iran: Russia Opposes Any Use Of Force Against Iran Over Its Nuclear Program." CBS News & Associated Press. May 28, 2006.

May 26, 2006

  • Italian foreign ministry spokesperson Pasquale Terracciano comments that Italy would pay a particualrly high price in the vent of economic sanctions against Iran because the two countriesd are improtant trading partners. Source: n.a. "Iran: D'Alema, Sanctions Would Especially Damage Itay." Agencia Giornalistica Italia. May 27, 2006.
  • Cobservative foreign policy Realists tell second Bush administration Neo-cons to get real. Former Secretary of State and unidcited war criminal Henry Kissinger, Republcian Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Richard G. Lugar and Republcian Sen. Chuck Hagel urge White House to stop escalation of the criiss and join European allies in direct talks with Tehran. Source: Lauren Rozen. "GOP Heavy Hitters Pressuring White House to Talk With Iran." Lose Angeles Times. May 27, 2006.
  • Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari said "In our view the Islamic Republic has the right to have nuclear technology as long as it is for peaceful means." Source: n.a. "Iraq Says It Backs Iran's Right to Nuclear Program (Update4)." Bloomberg Text.

May 25, 2006

  • Six powers meeting in New York decide to meet again the following week. U.S. Undersecretary of State Nicholas Burns comments tha the he is "very pleased" with the "very productive, very constructive" negotiations. Britain's U.N. Ambassador Emyr Jones Parry states that, "They're moving closer to an agreement on the content of the package." Source: Edith M. Lederer. "6 Key Nations to Meet Next Week on Iran." Washignton Post and Associated Press. May 25, 2006.
  • Iran has a new friend in the region. Pakistani Pres. Gen. Pervez Musharraf and Iranian Vice President Pervez Dawoodi agrre to complete an IPI gas pipeline. n.a. "Pakistan, Iran Not To Yield To External Pressure On IPI Gas Pipeline." Xinhua. May 25, 2006.

May 24, 2006

  • Speaking to a joint session of the U.S. House and Senate, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert states: "If we don't take Iran's bellicose rhetoric seriously now, we will be forced to take its nuclear agressions seriously later. The international community will be judged by its ability to convince nations and peoples to turn their backs on hatred and zealotry." Source: n.a. "Olmert Warns Of Nuclear Iran." Aljajeera. May 24, 2006. So nuclear armed Israel that in the past has dispossesed the Palestinians, invaded Lebanon etc. has never exhibited "hatred and zealotry." Good to know!
  • British Foreign Ministry spokesperson John Sawyer describes six power talks in London in upbeat but suspiciously repetitive language: "constructive and valuable discussions," "made some good progress," and "a good day's work." Source: n.a. "Meeting Yields 'Good Progress' On Iran Conference Of Six World Powers Is Constructive, But No Decision Reached," CBS News. May 24, 2006.
  • Iranian journalist, political dissident and one-time Revolutionary Guard Akbar Ganji is awarded the annual Martin Ennals Award for Human Rights Defenders (MEA). He shares the award with Arnold Tsungam, chairperson of the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights. Source: n.a. "IRAN: Iranian Dissident Receives Human Rights Award." Reuters Foundation: AlterNet. May 24, 2006.
  • Meeting between IAEA Director Mohamed El Baradei, U.S. Secretary of State Condolleeza Rice and National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley. Source: n.a. "ElBaradei To Meet Rice Next Week To Discuss Iran." Jerusalem Post. May 20, 2006.
  • British Foreign Secretary Margaret Beckett is not optimistic about the meeting on Iran: "It will be a key meeting today but I suspect it won't be the final meeting." Source: n.a. "World Powers Seek Iran Consensus." CNN and Reuters. May 24, 2006.

May 23, 2006

  • Iranian government closes a Farsi language newspaper for publishing a cartton offensive to the Azweri minority and jailing the editor and cartoonist. Source: Ali Akbar Dareini. "Iran Closes Newspaper Over Cartoon Furor." Seattle-Post Intelligencer. May 23, 2006.

May 21, 2006

  • U.S. tightens the financial sanctions screw by compelling UBS and Credit Suisse of Switzerland, ABN Amro of the Netherlands, and HSBC of Britain to restrict their banking operations with Iran. On NBC's Meet the Press U.S. Secretary of State Condolleeza Rice aserts that Iran, "cannot really not stand the kind of international isolation that could be brought upon it if [its leaders] don't find a way to change course." Source: David Willman. "Rice Says All Options On Table With Iran Report: Banks Curbing Dealings." Boston Glode and The New York Times. May 22, 2006. Who could argue with this policy? Just consider how well U.S. efforts to isolate Iran have worked in the past!
  • Although the U.S. State Department rejects direct negotiations about uranium enrichment, U.S. Ambassadorto/Viceroy of Iraq Zalmay Khalilzad wants "talks" with Iran about Iraq. Source: John Daniszewski. "U.S. Envoy Wants talks With Iran." ABC News International. May 21, 2006. Neo-cons no more need to be consistent than they need to tell the truth.
  • Iranian MP and Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Committee spokesperson Kazem Jalali stated that, "As representatives of the nation, we can hold talks with some members of the US Congress in order to exchange our opinions. Unfortunately, it seems that the atmosphere prevailing over the White House is largely not in favor of dialogue as a logical, positive and constructive approach...If they had the logic of dialogue they would have answered President Ahmadinejad’s letter." Source: n.a. "MP Proposes Talks Between Iran, US Lawmakers." IranMania. May 21, 2006.

May 20, 2006

  • Letter from Congressional Democrats to Bush: Harry M. Reid, Senate minority leader; Richard J. Durbin, assistant minority leader; John D. Rockefeller IV, vice chairman of the intelligence committee; Carl M. Levin, senior Democrat on the Armed Services Committee; and Joseph R. Biden Jr., senior Democrat on the Foreign Relations Committee warn Bush not to repeat the mistakes of the Iraq War, "We must have objective intelligence untainted by political considerations or policy preferences and a comprehensive debate in the Congress about the best short and long-term approaches to resolving the international community's differences with Iran." Source: n.a. "Intelligence Update On Iran Is Requested: Senate Democrats Write President." The Washington Post and Associated Press. May 20, 2006.
  • Black Propaganda/Misinformation? Commenting on a news report that the Iranian Majlis had adopted a law requiring non-Muslims to wear colored badges in public, Australian Prime Minister John Howard said: "It obviously echoes the most horrible period of genocide in the world's history and the marking of Jewish people with a mark on their clothing by the Nazis, and anything of that kind, would be totally repugnant to civilised countries." Source: n.a. "Howard Compares Iran to Nazi Germany." The Sydney Morning Herald. May 20, 2006. Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper said that he couldn't vouch for the accuracy of the newspaper report, but he added that Iran was "capable" of such actions and quickly compared them to repression in Nazi Germany. Iranian sources, including Jewish Iranian MP Morris Motamed dismissed the claim. Source: Alexander Panetta. "Harper Says Iran 'Capable' of Introducing Nazi-like Clothing Labels." Canadian Press. May 19, 2006. Canadian industry is also capable of making cloth labels but that does not mean its government requires them to be worn.

May 19, 2006

  • News report in The New York Times complains that the Iranian government is increasingly secretive about its nuclear fuel/weapons production facilities. Source: William J. Broad & Elaine Sciolino. "Iran Pulls Curtain On Atom Sites." The New York Times. May 19, 2006. The article does not mention the "normal" secrecy at U.S., British, French, Russian, Chinese, Israeli, Indian or Pakistani nuclear weapons facilities. Do as we say, not as we do.

May 18, 2006

  • While in Tokyo, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan has cooking in mind when urges caution by saying that there is, "a need to lower the temperature and refrain from actions and rhetoric that could further inflame the situation." Source: n.a. "Annan Warning Over Iran 'Crisis'." Guardian Unlimited. May 18, 2006.

May 17, 2006

  • Candy for gold. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad dismises quid pro quo of halting uranium enrichment for EU economic incentives, saying that Iran was being offered "candy for gold". Christian Oliver. "Iran Scorns EU Atomic Incentives." Swissinfo and Reuters. May 17, 2006. His full statement was: "Do you think you are dealing with a 4-year-old child to whom you can give some walnuts and chocolates and get gold in return?" Source: Karl Vick. "Iran Defies Offer From Europeans: Anti-Nuclear Incentives Called Laughable." San Jose Mercury News. May 18, 2006.

May 16, 2006

  • Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hamid Reza Asefi issues statement that, ""Iran's decision to preserve this right (to enrich uranium) is definite and irreversible." Source: n.a. "Iran Says Will Continue Nuclear Enrichment." Reuters. May 16, 2006.
  • Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov states that, ""We cannot isolate Iran or exert pressure on it. Far from resolving this issue of proliferation, it will make it more urgent. Russia and China will not vote for the use of force in resolving this issue." Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Liu Jianchao states that, "We believe that at the current stage relevant parties should make active gestures to launch a new round of diplomacy." Source: Charles Hutzler. "Russia, China: Don't Use Force in Iran." Associated Press. May 16, 2006. Liu Jinchao states expresses hope that the European Union improves its plan by taking into account "the reasonable concerns of Iran." Source: Dan Belefsky & John O'Neil. "China Supports Europe's Incentives Plan for Iran." The New York Times. May 16, 2006.
  • Senior Venezuelan government official Gen. Alberto Muller states that his government is considering, "the feasibility of a negotiation with Iran for the sale of those planes (F-16s)." Source: n.a. "Venezuela Eyes Selling F-16s to Iran: Possibility Raised Day After U.S. Banned Weapons Sales." Newsweek and Associated Press. May 16, 2006.

May 15, 2006

  • High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy and Secretary-General of the Council of the European Union Javier Solana describes incentives for Iranian cooperation: "It will be a generous package, a bold package that will contain issues related to nuclear, economic matters and maybe if necessary security matters." Source: n.a. "EU promises "generous, bold" Iran nuclear offer." Reuters. May 15, 2006.

May 14, 2006

  • Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad rejects, "Any proposal that obliges us to stop peaceful (nuclear) activities would not have value and would not be valid." Source: Parinoosh Arami. "Iran Won't Accept Offer on Halting Atomic Work." The Washington Post & Reuters. May 14, 2006.
  • Impolite laughter is heard when Afghani Foreign Minister Rangeen Dadfar Spanta offers the services of his U.S./NATO puppet state in mediating the Iranian Nuclear crisis. Source: n.a. "Afghanistan Offers to Mediate in Iran Nuclear Row." Reuters AlertNet, UK. May 14, 2006.

May 13, 2006

  • In a display of sensitivity typical of majority Islamic states, the D-8 (Developing 8) hold meeting on majority Hindu island of Bali. Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono states that, "Our people need to do more to help one another," and adds that "proud" Islamic nations should work together to develop renewable and alternative energy sources. Source: n.a. "D-8 Group Makes No Comment On Iran Nuclear Dispute." Reuters. May 13, 2006. The D-8 include Indonesia (large Christian and Hindu minorities) Iran (Zoroastrian minority), Pakistan (Christian minority), Nigeria Vhirsitan and animist minorities), Turkey, Malaysia (large Christian, Hindu and Buddhist minorities), Egypt (large Christian minority).

May 11, 2006

  • IAEA Director Mohamed ElBaradei states that Iran poses "no imminent threat" and that he is pleased that the Britain, France and Germany were trying to use economic benefits rather than economci sanctions in negotaiting with Iran. Source: Fia Curley. "IAEA Head Welcomes Iran Resolution Delay." ABC News. May 11, 2006. Good cop/bad cop. Maybe they have never seen that before in Iran?
  • Sounding somewhat conciliatory in a speech to the pro-Israeli Washington Institute for Near East Policy, Undersecretary of State Nicholas Burns states that it is important to "raise the cost" to Iran this year it moves toward further urabium enrichment. Source: Carol Giacomo "U.S. Stands Tough On Iran's Nuclear Programme." Swissinfo. May 12, 2006.
  • During live interview with Indonesia's Metro television Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad states that his government is ready to negotiate with anybody. Later at a rally for students he states that Israel is, "a regime based on evil that cannot continue and one day will vanish." Source: n.a. "Iran President Says Ready For Dialogue, Brands Israel 'Evil Regime'". Haaretz. May 11, 2006.

May 10, 2006

  • Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad descibes international (read American, British, French and German) anxiety about his government's uranium enrichment as a "Big Lie" in a press conference hel after meetings with Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono at the Presidential Palace in Jakarta, Indonesia. Source: Chrius Brumitt. "Iran: Worry Over Nuke Program 'A Big Lie'." The Washington Post. May 10, 2006.
  • Maybe you should start the war after I leave office. Outgoing Israeli National Security Council Director Giora Eiland states that, "We do believe that a political solution to the problem is still achievable although time is running out. The relevant time terms can be measured in months. I don't think that any military option should be discussed right now." Source: Stevin Gutkin. "Israeli Official: Time Running Out On Iran." San Jose Mercury News May 10, 2006.

May 9, 2006

  • In response to a question about the U.S. response to his 18 page personal letter to U.S. President George W. Bush, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad states that, "We will wait to see the reaction of the recipient and we will act based on the reaction." Source: n.a. "Iran President Says Awaits Reaction To US Letter." The Washington Post." May 9, 2006.

May 8, 2006

  • Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad sends 18 page personal letter to U.S. President George W. Bush via the Swiss Embassy in Tehran proposing "new solutions" to international problems. This is the first direct communication between the two states in 27 years. Source: Parisa Hafezi. "Iran President Will Send Letter To Bush: Spokesman." Reuters. May 8, 2006. With this gambit Tehran steals a march on Washington by appearing as the peacemaker.
  • A very basic form of communication reveals the basic failure to communicate. U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice responds that the Iranian President has addressed the wrong issues: "This letter is not the place that one would find an opening to engage on the nuclear issue or anything of the sort. It isn't addressing the issues that we're dealing with in a concrete way." Rice makes that comment as she fails to get a meeting of the UN permanent 5 to agrre to a response to Iranian uranium enrichment/nulcear proliferation. Source: n.a. "Ahmadinejad Letter Attacks Bush." BBC News. May 9, 2006.
  • Fellowship of Reconciliation delegation of 22 Americans and 1 Briton fly to Tehran with a message of peace U.S. Friendship Delegation Leaves for Iran.

May 7, 2006

  • Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hamid Reza Asefi states that, "Countries sponsoring the draft resolution (presumably Britain, France and the United States) have political motivations. It's clear that any action by the U.N. Security Council will leave a negative impact on our cooperation with the IAEA." Source: n.a. "Iran: U.N. Intervention Illegal: Iranians Say Suspension Of Enrichment Not On Agenda. " CBS News. May 7, 2006. Political motives? tsk tsk.
  • Members of the Iranian Majlis (parliament) sends letter to UN Sec. Gen. Kofi Annan threatening to denounce (withdraw from) the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). Source: n.a. "Iran MPs Threaten Nuclear Treaty." BBC News. May 7, 2006.

May 5, 2006

  • Russia and China express opposition to the propised UN draft resolution. Chinese UN ambassador Wang Guangya states, "I think we have serious difficulty with Chapter 7 and the threat to international peace and security. These are the basic ones." Russian U.N. ambasador Vitaly Churkin states that the use of Chapter 7, "might in fact detract from the strength of this resolution because might be detracting from our goal of supporting the IAEA in its activities in working with Iran." Source: Evelyn Leopold. "Russia, China Dig In Against West on Iran." The Washington Post. May 5, 2006.
  • Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad asserts that, "All our nuclear activities are in keeping with the generally recognized rules of international law, and are under full and unprecedented inspection of the International Atomic Energy Agency." Source: Caroline Alexander. "Iran Wants to Pursue Nuclear Program Under IAEA Supervision." Bloomberg. May 5, 2006.

April 29, 2006

  • Mohammad Saeedi, deputy chief of Iran's Atomic Energy Organization states that Iran is unwilling to stop uranium enrichment, with a caveat: "But ... we will continue implementing the Additional Protocol as a voluntary measure." Source: n.a. "Iran To Allow Atomic Checks If UN Drops Case." Reuters'. April 29, 2006.
  • BBC news reporting on this date seems much more willing than U.S. news sources to portray the U.S. as moving steadily toward war with Iran.

April 28, 2006

  • IAEA issues report stating that Iran has defied the UN Security Council call for a freeze on enriching uranium and that its lack of cooperation with nuclear inspectors is a "matter of concern." Anticipating the IAEA report, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad responded that, "The Iranian nation won't give a damn about such useless resolutions. Today, they want to force us to give up our way through threats and sanctions but those who resort to language of coercion should know that nuclear energy is a national demand and by the grace of God, today Iran is a nuclear country." George Jahn. "Nuclear Agency Says Iran Defying U.N." The Washington Post. April 28, 2006. Poor diety, always being dragged out to take the blame for the bad behavior of politicians.

April 27, 2006

  • At a political rally in Tehran Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad states defiantly that, "If you think by frowning at us, by issuing can impose anything on the Iranian nation or force it to abandon its obvious right, you still don't know its power. "We have obtained the technology for producing nuclear fuel ... No one can take it away from our nation." Edmund Blair "Iran President Rejects UN Call To Halt Enrichment." Reuters. April 27, 2006.

April 26, 2006

  • Iranian domestic politics presents a rhetorical arms race between Iranian leaders. Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei states that, ""The Iranian nation will respond to any blow with double the intensity." Source: n.a. "Iran Leader Issues Warning To US." BBC News. April 26, 2006. "The Americans should know that if they assault Iran their interests will be harmed anywhere in the world that is possible." Source: n.a. "Iran Threatens Retaliation If America Attacks." The Guardian Unlimited. April 26, 2006.

April 25, 2006

  • In an effort to push the second Bush adminsitration's buttons, Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei tells Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir that, "The Islamic Republic is ready to transfer this experience and the technology and knowledge of its scientists." Source: n.a. "Iran 'Could Share Nuclear Skills'." BBC News. April 25, 2006. U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice reacts with apparent alarm to the statement. When Iran is done sharing, the future Sudanese nuclear strike forces may be as powerful as the contemporary Mongolian submarine fleet or Swiss space patrol.
  • Nuclear armed Israel launches Eros B satellite to spy on the nuclear weapons state wannabe Iran; satellite has a camera capable of deciphering objects on the ground as small as 70 centimeters across. Source: Ori Lewis. "Israel To Launch "Eye In The Sky" Over Iran: Report." Reuters. April 25, 2006.
  • CNN reports that Iranians encountered in Teheran express "immense pride" in having "joined the nuclear club". Aneesh Raman. "Iranians Happy To Be In The Nuclear Club." CNN April 25, 2006.

April 24, 2006

  • Consistency is important. Iranian oil ministry announces that it is cancelling the 960 million euro Olefin 11 contract with French, German and South Korean firms to build new petrochemical plant to allow domestic Iranian firms to do the work. Source: n.a. "Iran to cancel 960 mln euro petrochemical deal with Linde, Hyundai, Technip." AFX News Limited. April 24, 2006.

April 23, 2006

  • Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hamid Reza Asefi states that, "Iran's uranium enrichment and nuclear research and development activities are irreversible". Source: n.a. "Iran Nuclear Work 'Irreversible'." BBC News. April 23, 2006. The Iranian spin is that the fait est accompli.

April 22, 2006

  • While in Russia, Ali-Asghar Soltanieh, Iran's ambassador to the IAEA, states that Iran and Russia have a basic deal to enrich uranium in a joint venture but still have details to work out. Source: n.a. "Iran Has "basic" Enrichment Deal in Russia." Reuters. April 22, 2006.

April 21, 2006

  • Iranian Ayatollah Mohammad Emami Kashani tells his Friday prayer worshippers ElBaradei and the IAEA had singled out Iran's quest for technology, while ignoring nuclear-armed Israel: "Israel has got nuclear warheads and it is proliferating them constantly and you do not ask them why." He denounces the UN Security Council for inconsistency: "You are establishing security for the wolves and predators rather than for the sheep." Moscow is opposed to talking about sanctions. Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mikhail Kamynin states that, "We will only be able to talk about sanctions after we have concrete facts confirming that Iran is not exclusively involved in peaceful nuclear activities." Source: Alireza Ronaghi. "Russia Toughens Opposition to UN Sanctions on Iran." The Washington Post. April 21, 2006.
  • U.S. Undersecretary of State [[[R. Nicholas Burns]] states that Washington believes it was time to ban arms sales to Iran and sales of "dual use" technologies that could be employed in Tehran's nuclear program to generate electricity or make a weapon. Source: Paul Richter and Kim Murphy. "U.S. Wants Embargo on Arms to Iran." The Los Angeles Times. April 22, 2006.

April 20, 2006

  • Iranian Defense Minister Mostafa Mohammad Najjar dismisses possibility of a U.S. attack: "The United States has been threatening Iran for 27 years and this is not new for us. Therefore we are never afraid of U.S. threats," reporters during a visit to neighboring Azerbaijan. If you take into account the fact that they are not doing anything, this shows it is just talk." Source: Edmund Blair. "Iran Scoffs At US Strike Talk." The Washington Post. April 20, 2006.

April 18, 2006

  • Stiff response. When American diplomats use phallic imagery they mean war! Or are having fantasies of getting them some war. Commenting on three hours of negotations between the five permanent UN Security Council members and Germany, U.S. Undersecretary of State Nicholas Burns states that diplomats recognized the, "need for a stiff response to Iran's flagrant violations of its international responsibilities." Source: Henry Meyer. "U.S. Envoy: Iran Sanctions Discussed." Associated Press. April 19, 2006.

April 17, 2006

  • Is it silly hyperbole, dreadful metaphor, gross misperception or chiliastic insanity? Always difficult to tell in the Middle East. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad thunders that, "Today, you are among the world's most powerful armies because you rely on God. Iran's enemies know your courage, faith and commitment to Islam and the land of Iran has created a powerful army that can powerfully defend the political borders and the integrity of the Iranian nation and cut off the hand of any aggressor and place the sign of disgrace on their forehead." Source: Ali Akbat Dareini. "Iran Marks Army Day, Issues More Threats." Associated Press and The Seattle Intelligencer. April 17, 2006.
  • Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mikhail Kamynin reaffirs the Russian government's insistence on further diplomatic efforts with Iran: "We are convinced that neither sanctions nor the use of force will lead to the solution of the problem." Source: Vladimir Isachenkov. "Update 11: Russia Still Opposed to Sanctions on Iran." Associated Press. April 18, 2006.

April 16, 2006

  • Former Iranian President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani travels to Kuwait to reassure Gulf states about the Iranian nuclear program. Source: n.a. "Iran's Rafsanjani In Kuwait To Reassure On Nuclear Crisis." Agence France Presse. April 16, 2006.

April 15?

  • Iranian television reports that Chinese diplomat Cui Tiankai met with Iranian Supreme National Security Council chief Ali Larijani and nuclear negotiator Javad Vaidi. Source: n.a. "Chinese Official Holds Nuclear Talks With Iran - Report." Forbes and AFX News. April 16, 2006.

April 14, 2006

  • Standing obediently beside U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Peter MacKay endorses possible economic sanctions against Iran: "It may not be the preferred option, but there aren't a lot of other options right now." Tom Harper. "MacKay Talks Tough on Iran." Toronto Star. April 14, 2006.
  • Where's the fire? According to two anonymous intelligence sources the announcement that Iran is enriching uranium does not change the intelligence estimate that Iran is 5 to 10 years away from acquiring the bomb. Warren P. Strobel, John Walcott and Jonathan S. Landay. "There's Little Agreement On What To Do About Iran." The Mercury News and Knight Rider Newpapers. April 14, 2006.
  • Institute for Science and International Security releases report with analysis of satellite images which may indicate the Iranian government expanded its uranium conversion site at Isfahan and reinforced the Natanz underground uranium enrichment plant against possible air strikes. Source: ISIS Imagery Brief

April 13, 2006

  • Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad states emphatically, "Our answer to those who are angry about Iran achieving the full nuclear fuel cycle is just one phrase. We say: Be angry at us and die of this anger," the official Islamic Republic News Agency quoted Ahmadinejad as saying. We won't hold talks with anyone about the right of the Iranian nation (to enrich uranium)." Ali Akbar Dareini. "Iran Touts Itself As a Nuclear Power." The Washington Post. April 13, 2006.

April 12, 2006

  • Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mikhail Kamynin criticises Iranian uranium enrichment announcement: "We believe that this step is wrong. It runs counter to decisions of the IAEA and resolutions of the U.N. Security Council." Source: n.a. "Reports: Russia Criticizes Iran Enrichment". The Washington Post and Associated Press. April 12, 2006.
  • Israel's military intelligence chief Amos Yadlin tells Haaretez that, "The announcements from Tehran are a bargaining chip. They are meant to move the debate to the next point." Luke Baker. "Israel Reacts Warily to Iran's Nuclear Progress." The Washignton Post. April 12, 2006. Alternatively, and more probably, Iran wants nuclear weapons for exactly the same reasons that Isreal acquired them: isolation, insecurity, deterrence and revenge.
  • During a photo-op with the military dictator of Equatorial Guinea, Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, U.S. Secretaarry of State Condoleezza Rice responds to a question about Iranian nuclear proliferation by saying, "...when the Security Council reconvenes, I think it wil be time for action." Source: "Remarks With Equatorial Guinean President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo Before Their Meeting." U.S. Department of State. April 12, 2006. The reporters ignored the military dictator, which is the way he likes it. Rice on the other hand was probably thinking that the client government she wants to help install in Tehran should name an oil field after her.

April 11, 2006

  • Iran cals the American bluff. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad declares that Iran is enriching uranium and has joined the club of nuclear countries," in a televised speech during an ridiculous ceremony involving singing and chanting. Source: Farah Stockman. "Iran Touts Advance In Nuclear Program." The Boston Globe. April 12, 2006. Proving once again that religion and nationalism cause humans to act insanely, what should be a reason for shame becomes a source for pride.
  • Radzhab Safarov, Director of the Center of Modern Iranian Studies in Moscow, states that U.S. air strikes against nuclear facilities in Iran might kill betwen 12,000 and 15,000 workers and damage but not destroy the economy. "[T]he Iranian economy would not be paralyzed and it would not result in a political crisis in the country. On the contrary, Iranians would maximally consolidate around their political leaders, Iran would withdraw from all possible legal structures and start full-scale development of its nuclear program." Source: n.a. "Iran's Economy Could Withstand U.S. Military Strike - Expert." RIA Novosti. April 11, 2006.

April 10, 2006

  • Seymour Hirsch reports in an article in the April 17, 2006 issue of The New Yorker that despite public advocacy of diplomacy the second Bush administration increased "clandestine activities inside Iran and intensified planning for a possible major air attack." The primary focus of clandestine activity is support for ethnic minority opposition groups. Source: Seymour M. Hirsch. "The Iran Plans: Would President Bush Go to War to Stop Tehran From Getting the Bomb?" The New Yorker. April 17, 2006. What else does the second Bush admisnitration have left to lose now that its other efforts in the Middle East have failed? The leaked threat is impressive in and of itself and an actual attack on Iranian nuclear facilities would be the last important thing that the neo-con clique making administration foreign policy could do for Israel. But what if the threat fails and there is no attack?
  • U.S. presidential aide Dan Bartlett states that, "The president's priority is to find a diplomatic solution to a problem the entire world recognizes. And those who are drawing broad, definitive conclusions based on normal defense and intelligence planning, are ill-informed and are not knowledgeable of the administration's thinking." Source: n.a. "U.S., Iran Shrug Off Reports Of War Plans." Free Press News Service. April 10, 2006.
  • President George W. Bush dismisses report Seymour Hersh that his administration is planning the planet's second nuclear attack (once again against a non-nuclear weapons state) as "wild speculation" in a speech at a branch of the Johns Hopkins University in Washington DC. "The doctrine of prevention is to work together to prevent the Iranians from having a nuclear weapon. I know here in Washington prevention means force. It doesn't mean force necessarily. In this case it means diplomacy. What you are reading is just wild speculation which happens quite frequently here in the nation's capital." Source: n.a. "Bush Dismisses 'Iran Attack Plan'." BBC News. April 11, 2006. The problem for Bush is that he has apoorer record of speaking the truth than Seymour Hersh.

April 9, 2006

  • Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hamid Reza dismisses reports of a U.S. attack on Iran as psychological warfare: "We regard that (planning for air strikes) as psychological warfare stemming from America's anger and helplessness." Source: n.a. "Iran Says US Military Strike Talk 'Psychological Warfare'." Agence France Presse. April 9, 2006.
  • British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw states that the idea of a U.S. military attack on Iran would be "completely nuts" and "is not on the agenda." He also states that Britain would not accept a preemptive strike. Source: n.a. "Military Strike on Iran "Not On Agenda"-UK's Straw." Reuters. April 9, 2006.
  • IAEA announces that International Atomic Energy Agency Director-General Mohammed ElBaradei will be in Tehran on Tuesday April 11 or Wednesday April 12. Source: n.a. "IAEA Chief to Visit Iran." CNN. April 9, 2006.

April 8-11, 2006

  • Los Angeles Times/Bloomberg Poll reveals that 54% of respondents answered "No" to the following question: "Do you trust George W. Bush to make the right decision about whether we should go to war with Iran?" Of the remaining respondents, 42% answered "Yes" and 4% answered "Don't know."

April 7, 2006

  • Iranian-American negotiations over Iraq in Baghdad are put on hold. Barry Schweid. "US-Iran Talks Over Iraq Put on Hold." The Washington Post. April 7, 2006.
  • Iranian cleric and political insider Ahmad Khatami, (Friday prayer preacher at Tehran University and member of the Assembly of Experts), asserts during a radio broadcast that Iran will not comply with UN demands on nuclear proliferation. "Whether it is one month or one year, whatever timeframes you want to give us, the Iranian nation has explicitly said ... that it would not give up its rights on the nuclear issue. We will stand up for our rights until the last drop of our blood." Source: n.a. "Iran Cleric Says UN Nuclear Demand is Unacceptable." Reuters. April 7, 2006.
  • Japan and Saudi Arabia call for a Nuclear Free Zone in the Middle East and urge diplomacy to end the row over Iran’s atomic ambitions. Source: n.a. "Call for Nuke-Free Middle East." Agence France Presse and Times of Oman. April 8, 2006.

April 6, 2006

  • Is this the sound of a neo-con climp-down? U.S. Ambassador to the UN John Bolton states that if the Iranian government defies a statement from the Security Council which urges suspension of its nuclear enrichment activities by the end of this month, the Security Council is likely to issue a stiffer warning demanding such compliance. "Then we will consider the next step, which may well be a Chapter 7 resolution that imposes sanctions of some kind." Source: n.a. "U.S.: Iran May Face Sanctions After Two UN Warnings." Reuters. April 6, 2006. At this rate, Bolton may pull ahead of Rice in the race for the title of least effective neo-con diplomat.

April 5, 2006

  • Iranian Revolutionary Guards Gen. Yahya Rahim Safavi states that, ""We regard the presence of America in Iraq, Afghanistan and the Persian Gulf as a threat, and we recommend they do not move toward threatening Iran." He also states that, "The Americans should accept Iran as a great regional power and they should know that sanctions and military threats are not going to be benefit them, but are going to be against their interests and against the interests of some European countries." n.a. "Iran Says Military Threats Not in US Interests." Source: n.a. Reuters. April 5, 2006. In reality without Russia and or China as patrons Iran is still a rather flimsy "regional power."
  • More incoherence from the second Bush administration. In a hearing before the U.S. Senate, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice defends the Indo-American nuclear deal as recognition of an Indian fait accompli: "We are simply seeking to address an untenable situation," she says. Presumably some day some future Secretary of State in a future administration will say the same about Pakistan and Iranian nukes. Source: n.a. "Rice Defends India Nuclear Deal." 'BBC News. April 5, 2005.

April 4, 2006

  • More Iranian missile tests. With the test firing of a new radar avoiding Noor missile, Iranian Revolutionary Guards Gen. Yahya Rahim Safavi claims that Iran is now able to "confront any extra-regional invasion," although he refrained from mentioning the United States by name. Source: Ali Akbar Dareini. "Iran Rolls Out Yet Another Missile." The Washington Post. April 4, 2006.
  • During a White House Press Briefing Scott McClellan responds to a question about secret talks between defense chiefs discussing a possible strike against Iran by saying, "I don't know about those reports. I haven't seen them." He then repeats that position that the U.S. is attempting to achieve a diplomatic solution and that Iran is not Iraq.

April 3, 2006

  • Iranian Rear Admiral Dehqani boasts that, " A powerful torpedo made by experts of the Revolutionary Guards will be test fired today in the Persian Gulf. Tomorrow, we will see other missile test firings by the Revolutionary Guards in the 'Great Prophet' war games." n.a. "Iran Says Will Test More Weapons in Wargames." Reuters. April 3, 2006. Amusingly, the torpedo is called the "Hoot" or "whale", neither or which appears calculated to strike terror in the hearts of Americans although it might sound ferocious to a people without a naval or maritime tradition like the Iranians. Source: Ali Akbar Dareini. "Iran Rolls Out Yet Another Missile." The Washington Post. April 4, 2006.

April 1, 2006

  • Iranian Revolutionary Guard air services Gen. Hossein Salami announces successful test of the Fajr-3 missile, claiming it is capable of delivering multiple warheads accurately and avoiding anti-missile missiles: "Today, a remarkable goal of the Islamic Republic of Iran's defense forces was realized with the successful test-firing of a new missile with greater technical and tactical capabilities than those previously produced." Ali Akbar Dareini. "Iran Says Test-Fire of Missile Able To Avoid Radar a Success: Fuels Suspicion Over Tehran's Plan". Associated Press and Boston Glode. April 1, 2006. Military posturing seems to have no national of ideological identity: Shiite Islamist miltiary posturing is indistinguishable from the military posturing of Italian fascists, Japanese miltiarists, Chinese communists, Israeli zionists, American conservatives, secular Baathist Arab nationalists and even that by the officers of the ancien regime of the Pahlavi Dynasty. "Look world! We are proud of our new killing machinery! Fear us for we have nothing else to offer."

March, 2006

March 31, 2006

  • Iranian Foreign Minister Manuchehr Mottaki states that His country would not use oil as a weapon or withdraw from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). Iran was prepared for diplomacy or war: "I wish to stress that Iran's nuclear question can be approached from two perspectives: Cooperation and interaction or confrontation and conflict. I underline that my country has prepared itself for both possibilities." Maggie Farley. "Iran Minister Downplays Chances of Nuclear Face-Off." The Los Angeles Times. April 1, 2006.

March 30, 2006

  • Meeting scheduled in Berlin between foreign ministers of Russia, China, U.S., Britain, Germany and France to discuss Iranian nuclear proliferation.
  • Iranian representative to the IAEA Aliasghar Soltaniyeh states defiantly that, "We will not, definitely, suspend again the enrichment." Louis Charbonneau and Sue Pleming. "Iran Rejects UN Demand For Halt To Enrichment." Reuters. March 30, 2006.
  • Despite the fact that her administration has promoted regime change in Teheran, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice describes the UN Security Council statement giving Iran 30 days to chnage their ways as, "a strong signal to Iran that negotiation not confrontation should be their course." n.a. "Rice Says Iran Should Chose `Negotiation not Confrontation'." Bloomberg. March 30, 2006. In reality the signal is weak, in no small part because Rice is a weak U.S. Secretary of State.
  • IAEA Director-General Mohammad ElBaradei states that, "There is no military solution to this situation. It's inconceivable. The only durable solution is a negotiated solution." Jeffrey Fleishman and Alissa J. Rubin. Los Angeles Times. March 31, 2006.

March 29, 2006

  • Five permanent members of the UN Security Council inch toward agreement on the wording of a statement about Iranian nulcear proliferation. The Russian and Chinese diplomats say that the main obstacle was a provision in the draft text asserting that the Security Council is responsible for international peace and security. They worry that such langauge may used later as the basis for action against Iran. Source: n.a. "UN Council Close to Iran Deal." Reuters. March 29, 2006.
  • German prosecutors investigate whether six German evndors sold electronic equipment in a clandestine network that supplied Iran with equipment for its nuclear program. Richard Bernstein. "German Firms Targeted in Iran Inquiry." The New York Times and [[The International Herlad Tribune. March 29, 2006.

March 28, 2006

  • The military bluff has failed. British Foreign Minister Jack Straw says military action against Iran would be neither "appropriate or conceivable." Matthew Tempest. "Straw Rejects Military Action Against Iran." The Guardian Mach 28, 2006.

March 27, 2006

  • Iranian Ambassador to Russia Gholam-Reza Ansari tells reporters that the Iranian and Russian governments are still negotiating: "We remain in contact with our Russian partners and will continue the talks." n.a. "Russia, Iran Uranium Talks Sre Still On." United Press International. March 27, 2006. How serious these neotiations are remains unclear.

March 26, 2006

  • Speaking to the group of the Bisij, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei states that the "enemies" of Iran would be "disappointed" after any confrontations. Source: n.a. "Khamenei: Iran Will Resist Pressure On N-Programme." The Hindu. March 27, 2006.

March 25, 2006

  • Is the world facing a nuclear fait accompli? Perhaps it should have constructed better international institutions at the end of the Second World War to control nuclear weapons. IAEA chief Mohamed ElBaradei, 2005 Nobel Peace Prize winner, states that, "Too often, the Security Council's engagement is inadequate, selective or after the fact." n.a. "ElBaradei Criticises Security Council." Reuters and Aljazeera. March 26, 2006.
  • Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad "God willing, this year is the year that Iran completely commissions nuclear energy for peaceful purposes." Iran is due to begin operations later this year at its nearly completed Russian built Bushehr nuclear reactor. Nasser Karimi. "Iran's hard-line president announces his support for talks with United States on Iraq." Associated Press and OnMy News. March 26, 2006. So now god is being blamed for civilian nuclear electric production that generates nuclear waste.

March 23, 2006

  • Looking for leverage? Sankei Shimbun reports that U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Robert Zoellick and Undersecretary of State Robert Joseph informally requested that Japan suspend its development of Iran's Azadegan oil field, believed to be world's second largest. Source: Elaine Lies. "US Asks Japan to Stop Iran Oil Development-Paper." Reuters. March 23, 2006.
  • Discussing the Indo-American nuclear deal Acting U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Arms Control Stephen G. Rademaker states that, "We are confident that it's not the death knell" of the Non-Proliferation Treaty. To the contrary, we think bringing India into the international non-proliferation regime will strengthen the regime." Source: François Murphy The Boston Globe. March 24, 2006. "Embrace your policy contradictions by denying their existence!"

March 22, 2006

  • Putting the best face on a bad situation, Gregory Schulte, U.S. representative to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), tells Reuters TV that, "I would expect in the coming days we'll see a statement coming from the Security Council." The Russians and Chinese insist on deleting lots of the text in the Franco-British draft statement about the Iranian nuclear program. Source: Mark John. "U.S. Still Expects UN Statement on Iran - Envoy." Reuters. March 22, 2006.

March 21, 2006

  • Russia and China appear to making common cause on Iran, in effect giving the emerging Southwestern Asian regional power a chance to develop nuclear weapons and become to power that the neoconservatives worry about. PRC Foreign Ministry spokesperson Qin Gang states that, "China and Russia have common views on how to resolve the Iranian nuclear issue." Russian Pres. Vladimir Putin is in Beijing and talking about a strategic partnership between Russia and China. Source: Lindsay Beck. "China, Russia United On Iran." Washington Post. March 21, 2006.

March 20, 2006

  • Representatives of the UN Security Council Permanent 5 Plus Germany meet In New York to discuss the Iranian crisis that threatens to become a non-crisis because the Russians and Chinese refuse to adopt a comparable tough stand. A senior U.S. official speaking on condition of anonymity uses the word "hellbent" repeatedly in discussing the U.S. position: "We're not hellbent on going to war; we're not hellbent on imposing sanctions. We're hellbent on having the Iranians return to the negotiations, like the Russians and the Chinese want." Colum Lynch. "Top U.N. Members To Try to Break Stalemate on Iran." Washignton Post March 20, 2006. Note the religious references in the anonymous senior official's comment. Religious delusion sems at the heart of the diplomatic communication problem in both Teheran and Washington.
  • Gary Berntsen, former CIA operative who failed to capture or kill Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan in late 2001, tells the The Jerusalem Post' that the U.S. could easily destroy Iranian nuclear facilities using bunker-buster bombs. Yigal Grafeff. "'US Could Wipe Out Iran Nukes in 2 Days'." The Jerusalem Post. March 20, 2006. In effect Berntsen tells an Israeli news audience that more violence will make Israel safe. What is the definition of neuroticism?

March 17, 2006

  • Neo-conservatives still suffering from a responsibility deficit. When the second Bush administration isn't blaming the U.S. news media for its incompotence in Iraq it is blaming the Iranians. U.S. officials complain about the "unhelpful activities" of the Iranians. U.S. Ambassador to Iraq (Formerly to Afghanistan) Zalmay Khalilzad is authorised by the White House to enter into talks with Iran on the issue. Source: n.a. "U.S. Accuses Iran of "unhelpful activities" in Iraq." Reuters. March 17, 2006.

March 16, 2006

  • Having failed so miserably with the War in Iraq, the second Bush administration reaffirmed its policy of preemptive war in the adminsitration's second National Security Strategy report and named Iran as the primary threat against which such a policy might be implemented. Source: Peter Baker. "Bush to Restate Terror Strategy: 2002 Doctrine of Preemptive War To Be Reaffirmed." Washington Post. March 16, 2006. Unable to gauge the magnitude of the security threat posed by the Islamists and tempted to blow it out of proportion, senior administration officials say and may even believe that they are involved in a global conflict akin to the Cold War against the Soviet Union. See also Doug Lorimer. "United States: New Security Document Targets Iran." Green Left Weekly. March 29, 2006.
  • Iranian Security Official Ali Larijani states that Tehran was ready for direct talks with the Washignton over Iraq. Source: Gareth Smyth & Najmeh Bozorgmehr. "Teheran prepared to Hold Talks With Washington in Iraq." Financial Times. March 17, 2006.

March 15, 2006

  • Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hamid Reza Asefi states that the Iranian government stop its research on nuclear fuel even if instructed to do so by the United Nations Security Council. Source: n.a. "Iran Will Resist Any UN Call To End Atomic Research." Reuters. March 15, 2006.

March 14, 2006

  • Ayatollah Ali Khamenei rules out any retreat on nuclear development, equating it with Iranian national independence: "Any retreat at this point will bring an unending chain of pressures and further retreats. Therefore, this path is irreversible and the foreign policy establishment has to bravely defend Iran's right." Source: Ali Akbar Dareini. "Iran Leader: Nuclear Path 'Irreversible'." The Washington Post and Associated Press. March 14, 2006.

March 12, 2006

  • Revelation of a secret program at the Atomic Weapons Establishment at Aldermaston in Berkshire, England, in conjunction witht he United States to develop a replacement for the Trident nuclear warhead known as the Reliable Replacement Warhead (RRW) arouses concern. Source: Michael Smith. "Revealed: UK Develops Secret Nuclear Warhead." The Times. March 12, 2006. Obvious Questions: Why does Britain need another generation nuclear weapons? Who is it going to threaten to use them against? How can the British government complain about Iranian nuclear proliferation when it is going forward with research like this?
  • Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer states that Australia would not change its three decades old policy of refusing to export uranium to countries which had not signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), and despite President George W. Bush's embarce of Indian nuclear weapons status that includes India. n.a. "No Uranium Exports to India: Downer." The Age. March 12, 2006.

March 11, 2006

  • Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hamid Reza Asefi tells the press that, "The Russian proposal is not on our agenda any more." Source: n.a. "Russia Deal 'Off Iran's Agenda'." BBC News. March 12, 2006. Perhaps it never was seriously considered by Teheran.

March 10, 2006

  • Embattled Pres. George W. Bush said that Javad Vaeedi's "harm and pain" threat involved oil. Bust commented to reporters that, "When I'm sitting around the Oval Office talking about national security matters and, somebody says 'did you see what the Iranians said about consequences?' -- really what they're talking about I guess is energy." He also said that, "For national security purposes we have got to become... not addicted to oil." Source: n.a. "Bush Assumes Iran Threat Is Over Energy." Reuters. March 10, 2006. Bush Jr. thus comes to a conclusion about oil dependence that most intelligent Americans reached way back in the Seventies.
  • Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov commented that, "The Security Council should not take upon itself the leading role in determining the presence or absence of real - and not imaginary - risks of violations of the nuclear nonproliferation regime." Nick Wadhams. "Security Council Considers Iran Proposals." The Guardian Unlimited March 10, 2006.

March 9, 2006

  • The United Nations begins consideration of the text of a resolution urging Iran to comply with IAEA demands. The U.S. Ambassador to the UN John Bolton wants more than admonishment: "I think we all feel a sense of urgency, and that's certainly been communicated, but we're going to proceed in a deliberate and orderly fashion as well. How long and to what extent we pursue this in the Council, I think, principally rests in the hands of Iran." Source: Warren Hoge. "U.N. Council to Chastise Iran but May Sidestep Sanctions." The New York Times. March 10, 2006. Bolton flails away but convinces none of the other important players.

March 8, 2006

  • Iran calls the bluff of the United States. Unrepentant Iranian nuclear negotiator Javad Vaeedi said that "The United States may have the power to cause harm and pain but it is also susceptible to harm and pain. So if the United States wants to pursue that path, let the ball roll." Source: Elaine Sciolino. "Threats Rattle at Nuclear Meeting on Iran." The New York Times. March 9, 2006. The Iranians know that the second Bush administration has exhausted its political capital at home and abroad, that it cannot mobilize either domestic public opinion or international public opinion for military action.
  • According to IAEA Director General Mohamed ElBaradei's report formally delivered to diplomats, the IAEA cannot, "conclude that there are no undeclared nuclear materials or activities in Iran." A separate statement from France, Germany and Britain, a.k.a. the EU-3, states the belief that Iran's nuclear activities have a "military dimension" and that there is a "crisis of confidence" in Iran's intentions. Source: Jonathan Tirone & Andrea Dudikova. "UN Nuclear Agency Cedes Action on Iranian Program to Council." Bloomberg. March 8, 2006. France and Britain are both nuclear weapons states, neither of which has demonstrated any intention of nuclear disarmament since the end of the Cold War.

March 6, 2006

  • The Times reports that official Washington is divided over how to repsond to Iraqi defiance of the IAEA. Source: Tom Baldwin. "Washington Splits Over Best Policy to Halt Iran's Nuclear Plan." The Times. March 6, 2006.

March 5, 2006

  • Fearing that a perfectly good interantional crisis, not to mention his only opportunity to make history, is now slipping away, U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. John Bolton told the annual Policy Conference of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) that there is an urgent need to confront Iran's "clear and unrelenting drive" for a nuclear weapons program. Source: Foster Klug. "Bolton: World Must Confront Iran." March 5, 2006. Why didn't Bolton and his neo-conservative clique foresee this problem before they occupied Iraq. Now that the U.S. military is tied down in the Iraqi quagmire a war against Iran would be very difficult.

March 3, 2006

  • European Union-Iranian negotiations in Vienna end without an agreement, to no one's surprise. Source: George Jahn. "Iran, EU Nuclear Tealks End Without Result." Guardian Unlimited. March 3, 2006.
  • In Hyderabad, India Pres. George W. Bush defends his nuclear deal with India India has been an, "excellent partner in non-proliferation over the decades." Source: Steve Holland. "Bush Defends Controversial Nuclear Pact With India." Washington Post. March 3, 2006.

March 2, 2006

  • In Washington, Massachusetts Democratic Rep. Edward Markey commented that the double standard nuclear deal, "is a disaster for the nuclear non-proliferation regime on the planet." Steve Holland. "Bush Defends Controversial Nuclear Pact With India." Washington Post. March 3, 2006.

February, 2006

February 28, 2006

  • IAEA chief inspector Muhammad El Baradei states that questions over Iran's nuclear activites remain unanswered "after three years of intensive agency verification. To clarify these uncertainties, Iran's full transparency is still essential." Source: n.a. "Iran Forges Ahead With Enrichment." BBC News. February 28, 2006.
  • Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki states that the government of Iran will not be giving up its nuclear program but that negotiations with Russia to establish a joint venture to enrich uranium would lessen international concerns. Source: George Nishiyama. "Iran Minister Says Won't Give Up Nuclear Program." Reuters Canada. February 28, 2006.

February 27, 2006

  • Russian nuclear energy chief Sergei Kiriyenko stated that, "Russia's proposal for creating such a joint venture with Iran is only one element of a complex approach. Work needs to be done on this." Source: Daniel Dombey (Brussels), Negar Roshanzamir (Tehran) and Arkady Ostrovsky (Moscow). "Moscow Disputes Tehran Claim of Nuclear Deal." Financial Times. February 27, 2006.

February 26, 2006

  • Speaking at a news conference in the southern Russian city of Bushehr, Iranian nuclear chief Gholamreza Aghazadeh says that Iran agrees "in principle" to allow Russia to enrich uranium for fuel for use in the Iranian civil nuclear power program. Source: n.a. "Iran and Russia in Joint Venture." BBC News. February 26, 2006.

February 25, 2006

  • Russian nuclear energy chief Sergei Kiriyenko states that the offer to enrich uranium on Russian soil for Iran was still on the table. Source: n.a. "Russia and Iran in Last Bid Nuclear Talks." Aljeseera. February 25, 2006.
  • Dr. Abasi, advisor to Iran's Revolutionary Guard, is rep[orted to ahve threatened a retaliatory strike against Israel's Dimona nuclear reactor and other strategic sites such as the port city of Haifa and the Zakhariya area in response to a U.S. attack on nuclear plants in Iran. Source: Yossi Melman. "Iranian Advisor: We'll Strike Dimona In Response To U.S. Attack." Haaretz. February 25, 2006.

February 23, 2006

  • Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki tells reporters that Iran is seriously considering the Russian uranium enrichment offer. He repeats the claim that the Iranian nuclear program is intended for electricity generation rather than nuclear weapons. Source: n.a. "Russia Enrichment Offer Seriously Considered: Iran." Reuters. February 23, 2006.
  • U.S. State Department spokesperson Adam Ereli politely rejected the Greman proposal that the U.S. enter talks with the Europeans and Iran on uranium enrichment. Source: n.a. "Update 1: White House Sits Out Iran Nuclear Talks." Associated Press and Forbes. February 23, 2006. Subtext: Participating directly in the talks would mean sacrificing the goal of regime change in Teheran and that is more important to Washington than prevnting nuclear proliferation.

February 21, 2006

  • Ali Hosseinitash, deputy secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security deputy secretary and chief of the Iranian delegation in Russia, described negotiations between Iran and Russia in diplomatically oblique terms as "positive and constructive." Source: n.a. Iran says Russia Nuclear Talks Constructive." Reuters. February 21, 2006

February 20, 2006

  • France and India sign agreement on bilateral civil nuclear cooperation with possible contracts for reactor vendor Aveva SA. Source: Emma Vandore. "France, India Sign Civil Nuclear Agreement on Chirac's Visit." Bloomberg. February 20, 2006. This demonstrates to everyone watching, and presumably the Iranians, that fait accompli nuclear weapons proliferation under cover of a civil nuclear program will be forgiven eventually. India thus accomplished what Iran is now attempting in the 1970s.

February 18, 2006

  • IAEA chief Mohamed El Baradei decides to make no recommendations in a February 27 report to IAEA board members, a week prior to their meeting to consider the course of action recommended to the UN Security Council. Source: Mark Heinrich. "West May Have To Live With Low-Level Iranian Atom Work." Washington Post. February 19, 2006.

February 17, 2006

  • Iranian Embassy officials in Paris say that Iran only wants to produce low grade uranium, i.e. not weapons grade, and that the Iranian government is ready to ask the Iranian parliament to ratify an accord allowing United Nations inspectors to resume snap checks of its nuclear facilities under certain conditions. Source: n.a. "Iran Sets Terms for UN Nuclear Checks." Aljazeera. February 17, 2006.

February 16, 2006

  • French Foreign Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy states that the Iranian nuclear program is a cover for a clandestine nuclear weapons program. Source: n.a. "France: Iran Program 'Military'." CNN February 16, 2006.
  • Second Bush administration requests supplemental FY2006 funds that includes $75 million for "democracy promotion" in Iran. $15 million would be used for civic education in Iran for labor unions and political parties. Source: Kenneth Katzman. "Iran: U.S. Concerns and Policy Responses." CRS Report for Congress. Updated Match 10, 2006. p. 26.

February 14, 2006

  • Iran confirms that it has resumed uranium enrichment but agreed to talks with Russia to outsource its uranium enrichment beginning February 20. Source: Gareth Smyth "Russia-Iran Nuclear Talks Back On." February 14, 2006. Financial Times.

February 13, 2006

  • Newsweek graces its cover with a photo of flinty eyed Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejab and the question: "How Dangerous is Iran?"

February 8, 2006

  • British Foreign Minister Jack Straw said that an international response short of military action was still possible once Iran achieved the capability of making nuclear weapons. Madeline Chambers. "Military Action On A Nuclear Iran Not Inevitable: UK." ABC News. February 8, 2006.

February 6, 2006

  • While in Athens, Greece, Russian Fopreign Minister Sergey Lavrov cautioned that, "I think that at the current stage, it is important not to make guesses about what will happen and even more important not to make threats." Source: Vladimir Isachenkov. "Russia warns Against Armed Conflict With Iran." Associated Press. February 6, 2006.
  • Scott Ritter, former head of UNSCOM, predicted that the U.S. would attack Iran, claiming that UN Ambassador John Bolton's speechwriter had already written a speech claiming the right to unilateral action. Source: Brandon Garcia, "Ex-U .N. inspector: Iran’s Next" Santa Fe New Mexican.

February 5, 2006

  • Pres. George W. Bush blusters that the IAEA decision sends, "a clear message" to Iranian government officials in Teheran. Pres. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad "re-blustered" that, "Our enemies cannot do a damn thing. We do not need you at all." Souce: Parisa Hafez. "Iran and US Square Up After IAEA Vote." Reuters. February 5, 2006. Bush and Ahmadinejad seem to have adopted the same high minded tone.

February 4, 2006

  • The IAEA Board votes 27 to 3 with 5 abstentions to report Iran to the UN Security Council. Syria, Cuba and Venezuela vote against the measure while Algeria, Belarus, Indonesia, Libya and South Africa abstain. Anticipating the adverse vote, Iranian Pres. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad accused the world's nuclear powers of attempting to impose a "scientific apartheid." Source: John Ward Anderson & Karl Vick. "U.N. Nuclear Agency Reports Iran to Security Council: Move Signals Growing Unease About Nation's Nuclear Program." Washington Post. February 4, 2006.

February 2, 2006

  • First day of the 2-day meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) sceduled to file a progress report before the next general meeting of its 35 member board of governors in Vienna. Source: n.a. "UN Nuclear Agency to Report on Iran." Agence France Presse; George Jahn. "Nuclear Watchdog Group Considers Iran Referral." Associated Press. February 2, 2006.

February 1, 2006

  • Iranian government is unrepentent. Iranian IAEA representative Ali Asghar Soltaniyeh threatened that in the event the IAEA refres the matter to the UN Security Council, "We Iran would immediately stop voluntary co-operation with the Additional Protocol (spot-check regime). It would mean many areas covered by inspections now would no longer be covered. This would a serious historical mistake." Speaking to an Iranian crowd chanting "Death to America" and "Death to Israel," Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said, "I am telling those fake superpowers that the Iranian nation became independent 27 years ago... on the nuclear case will resist until fully achieving its rights." Source: George Jahn. "Nuclear Watchdog Group Considers Iran Referral." Associated Press. February 2, 2006. As ever, nationalism makes humans violent and stupid.

January, 2006

January 31, 2006

  • Meeting of the 5 permanent UN Security Council members in London agrees that the IAEA should report to the full UN Security Council on what Iran must do to cooperate with the agency, but not until March 6!. U.S. Secretary of State Rice apparently failed to convince them to take action sooner.
  • Iranian nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani responded to the decision of the 5 permanent members of UN Security Council, saying that although the crisis could still be resolved peacefully, "Reporting Iran's dossier to the U.N. Security Council will be unconstructive and the end of diplomacy." Source: Ali Akbar Dareini. "Iran Strikes Back at Big Five Decision." Associated Press. January 31, 2006.

January 30, 2006

  • A public opinion poll of 1,002 Americans conducted between January 23 and January 26 released by TNS indicates that 71% would support imposing economic sanctions on Iran to prevent it from developing nuclear technology while only 42% would support bombing Iranian nuclear development sites. Source: TNS/Washington Post/ABC News.
  • A meeting of European Union officials in Brussels does not recommend that the UN Security Council take up the issue of Iranian nuclear activities, perhaps because some fear the U.S. is seeking a pretext for war and because Russia and China appear reluctant to support the effort in the Security Council. Source: Mark John. "UN Security Council Needed in Iran Atomic Row - EU." Reuters. January 30, 2006. Had the second Bush administration not lost so much creibility with its invasion and failed occupation of Iraq, the world might be more willing to rally to its leadership on Iranian nuclear proliferation.

January 29, 2006

  • Iranian Revolutionary Guard commander Yahya Rahim Safavi tells state television that, "If we come under a military attack, we will respond with our very effective missile defense." His Revolutionary Guard's Shahab-3 intermediate range missiles have a range of greater than 1000 km. and perhaps upwards of 2000 km., which would permit attacks against Israel. Source: n.a. "Missiles Ready For Any Attack, Warns Tehran." Courier-Mail. January 30, 2006. The Shahab-3 was first tested in 2004 and demonstrated ranges exceeding 1000 km. Those tests coincided with miltiary exercises in Western Iran advertised as military deterrence against attacks on Iranian nuclear plants. Source: SIPRI Yearbook 2005, Pp. 242-243.
  • Oil industry experts speculate that the price of oil could reach $90.00 a barrel as a result of the crisis. Iranian oil minister Davoud Danesh-Jafari warned that punitive action against his country would result in 'the unleashing of a crisis in the oil sector'. Source: Heather Stewart. "Iran Crisis 'Could Drive Oil Over $90." The Guardian. January 29, 2006.

January 28, 2006

  • British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw makes conciliatory noises at the World Economic Forum in Davis, Switzerland saying that diplomacy is the only way forward to resolving the problem. Source: n.a. "Britain Says Diplomacy, Not Force, Only Way Forward on Iran." Agence France Presse. January 28, 2006.

January 27, 2006

  • Undersecretary of State Nicholas Burns is quoted as saying that the U.S. would be no dialogue between U.S. representatives and Iranian representatives at an upcoming Afghan donor conference in London. Burns also noted that the Iranians had not fully embraced the Russian enrichment offer. Source: David Gollust. "U.S. to Shun Iranians at Afghan Donor Conference." Voice of America. January 27, 2006.

January 26, 2006

  • In a press conference, U.S. President George W. Bush said that he supports Iran having civilian nuclear power but that hte didn't, "believe non-transperent regimes that threaten the security of the world should be allowed to gain the technologies necesary to make a weapon." Presumably "our ally Israel" as the president describes it, would be exempt from Washington's displeasure. A regime that denies having nuclear weapons yet obviously has nuclear weapons would seem impresively non-transperant and Israeli nuclear weapons might not sem threatening to Washington but they have to seem fairly threatening to all of its Arab neighbors. Perhaps the cases of Israel and Iran can be distinguished by the fact that the Israelis already have them and the Iranianians are stil trying to get them. If so then it seems only fair to demand that Israel give up its nuckes and allow inspections to verify that if itsr neighbors are required to do the same.
  • U.S. Ambassador to India David Campbell Mulford was summoned by Indian Foreign Minister to be told that his threat that a deal transfering US nuclear technology to India could collapse if India does not back a UN motion against Iran were "inappropriate and not conducive to building a strong partnership between the two democracies." Mulford expressed "sincere regrets." Source: n.a. "India Summons US Envoy Over Iran." BBC. January 26, 2006. Campbell is a heavy-weight contributor to various Republican election campaigns, a fact that had absolutely, positvely nothing at all to do with his appointment as an ambassador.

January 25, 2006

  • Iranian officials welcomed a Russian offer to enrich uranium for Iran but made no commitments. Source: Steve Gutterman. "Iran Welcomes Nuclear Offer." Associated Press. January 25, 2006.
  • In an effort to persuade the governemnt of China not to oppose U.S. and Western European efforts to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons, Deputy Secretary of State Robert Zoellick warned Premier Wen Zibao that Iranian nuclear weapons development could threaten Chinese oil supplies. Source: n.a. "U.S. Envoy Warns China Over Iran Nukes." Associated Press. Janurary 25, 2006. Did Zoellick mean that after a war against Iran, China would lose access to Iranian oil? Now that's a heavy handed threat. Should help to confirm for the Chinese that the second Bush administration is thinking in terms of "containment."

January 23, 2006

  • 1000 Iranian athletes form a human chain around the Isfahan nuclear facility in ademonstration wearing t-shirts with the slogan, "Nuclear Energy is Our Legitimate Right." Source: n.a. "Human Wall Circles N-Plant." The Courier-Mail. January 24, 2006.
  • Iranian nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani threatened that Iran would carry out uranium enrichment on an industrial scale if its nuclear actiivities were taken up by the UN Security Council. He also said that Iran will stay in the NPT regime. Source: n.a. "Iran Threatens to Carry Out Enrichment on Industrial Scale: Larijani." Agence France Presse. January 23, 2006.

January 20, 2006

  • Iraninan Central Bank begins moving its foreign currency reserves out of European banks ahead of possible economic sanctions that would freeze them. Source: Ali Akbat Dareini. "Iran Moving its Foreign Currency Reserves." Associated Press. January 20, 2006.
  • Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad meets with Syria's Bashir al-Assad, prays conspicuously at a Shi'a shrine in Syria, and pledges suport for support to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. Source: Suleiman al-Khalidi. "Iran President Meets Palestinian Militants in Syria." Malaysia Star. January 20, 2006.

January 19, 2006

  • 2008 Democratic Presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton called for sanctions against Iran in an effort to flank the second Bush administration on its right by acusing it of "downplaying" the Iranian threat. Source: Geoff Mulvihill. "Sen. Clinton Calls for Iran Sanctions." Associated Press. January 19, 2006. Obvious foreign policy question: can the United States afford to wage a new third war against Iran when it is still bogged down in Iraq and Afghanistan?
  • Crude oil futures on the New York Mercantile Exchange rise to $65.85 a barrel in late trading.

January 1, 2006

  • Iran threatened a "crushing reponse" if the United States and/or Israel attacked its nuclear and military facilities.


August 14, 2005

  • President Ahmadinejad presents the Iranian Majles with a cabinet of 21 little known Shi'a Islamist hardliners. Hope for gradual liberal democratic reform in Iran withers.

June 25, 2005

  • Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is elected President of Iran ins run-off election. Perceived as a hardliner.

May 22, 2005

  • Iranian Council of Guardians administratively winnowed the field of preesidential candidates from 1,014 to a mere 6: Rafsanjani, Ahmedinejad, Karrubi, Qalibaf, Moin, Larijani, and Mehralizadeh.

March 2005

  • U.S. Secretary of State Condolleeza Rice announces the second Bush administration's failed policy of isolating the Iranians: "We've made very clear that we have a lot of other problems with the Iranians. We've also made very clear that we don't intend to do anything to legitimize the Iranian regime. And so what we're looking at here is helping the Europeans in their diplomacy, not shifting policy toward Iran." Glenn Kessler. "Analysis: Shift in U.S. Stance Shows Power of Seven-Letter Word." Washington Post. June 1, 2006.


February 2004

  • In what would become a familair refrain in 2006, Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi states, "This industry is strictly for peaceful purposes. No one can deprive us of this natural, legal and legitimate right." Source: Joby Warrick. "Iranian Nuclear Plans Found: U.N. Team's Discovery Raises Doubts About Tehran's Vow of Candor." The Washington Post. February 13, 2004.
  • Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi states that, "We suspended uranium enrichment voluntarily and temporarily. later, when opur relations with the IAEA return to normal, we will definitely resume enrichment." Source: Ali Akbar Dareini. "Iranians To Resume Enriching Uranium; Minister Dislcoses Military's Atomic Role." The Washington Post. March 11, 2004.


November 26, 2003

  • IAEA Board votes to pass resolution censuring Iran, but stops short of recommending sanctions.

November 25, 2003

  • Britain, France and Germany reach agreement with U.S. about the text of a UN resolution warning Iran about its nuclear activities.

November 11, 2003

  • IAEA report states that Iran has admitted that it produced plutonium but adds there is no evidence that the country is trying to build an atomic bomb.

November 13, 2003

  • Washington dismisses the November 11, 2003 IAEA report as "impossible to believe". UN stands by the report.

November 10, 2003

  • Iran states it is suspending uranium enrichment and intends to allow tougher IAEA inspections of its nuclear facilities.

June 8, 2003

  • Crackdown on pro-reform movement in Iran.


November 2000

  • Operation Merlin, a flawed CIA covert action to give flawed nuclear weapons blueprints to Iran is launched in an efort to penetrate the Iranian nuclear weapons program. Source: James Risen. 2005. State of War: The Secret History of the CIA and the Bush Administration. New York: Free Press. ISBN 0743270663. Pp. 193-218.

Historical Background

  • July 1999: Major student demonstrations in Iran.
  • May 1997: Hihammad Khatemi is elcted President of Iran. Perceived as a reformer.
  • 1992 Iran and Russia sign a 15 year nuclear cooperation agreement, conditional on non-proliferation measures, under which Russia supplies and runs twp 400 MW PWR reactors and assistance in completing the Bushehr plant. Source: Anoushiravan Ehteshami. 1995. After Khomeini: The Iranian Second Republic. Routledge. ISBN 0415108799. Pp. 189-190.
  • September 1992 Iran and China sign an agreement to build a 300 MW light-water reator near Teheran under IAEA safeguards. Source: Anoushiravan Ehteshami. 1995. After Khomeini: The Iranian Second Republic. Routledge. ISBN 0415108799. P. 190.
  • June 3, 1989: Ayatollah Ruhillah Khomeini dies.
  • June 7, 1981: Israeli aircraft destroy the Iraqi Osirak reactor.
  • September 30, 1980: Two Iranian Phantom jets attack the Iraqi Osirak reactor, 8 days after Iraq invades southern Iran.
  • 1977: International Conference on the Transfer of Nuclear techology is held in Persepolis, Iran. Assertions of sovereign rights to nuclear technology etc. made by many Third World delegates are seen as a Rebellion against the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT).
  • 1974: Iran and Egypt co-sponsor a proposal to establish a Nuclear Free Zone in the Middle East that is pased by a majority vote in the United Nations. Undecalred nuclear power Israel abstained from the vote. Source: Alva Myrdal. 1982. The Game of Disarmament: How the United States and Russia Run the Arms Race. Pantheon. ISBN 0394706498. Pp. 204-205.
  • 1974: The Shah of Iran lends $1 billion to EURODIF to establish a uranium enrichment plant in Tricastin, France. Other partners in the French scheme include Italy, Spain, and Belgium.
  • 1974: KWU (Germany) sells Pahlavi regime in Iran two 2480 MWe-Plt nuclear reactors and and Framatome (France) sells it two 1850 MWe-Plt nuclear reactors.
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