Iranian Nuclear Crisis Timeline

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July-August 2007

  • Iran and the IAEA reach an agreement in July, and IAEA's inspectors begin visiting the heavy water research reactor at Arak, and holding talks with a UN technical team on guidelines for inspecting its uranium enrichment plant at Natanz. In August they agreed on a timeline for more comprehensive inspections. (Source: UN-Iran nuclear talks 'positive', BBC News, August 21, 2007)

May 30, 2007

  • Iranian chief nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani rejects suspending uranium enrichment: "Suspension is not a solution to Iran's nuclear issue...Iran cannot accept suspension. We have no conditions and we are ready for constructive talks but we will not accept any preconditions. We are ready to remove concerns over Iran's atomic issue." Source: n.a. "Iran refuses to suspend nuclear program-Larijani." RIA Novosti. May 30, 2007. News Source.
  • U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice says that the IAEA is not the right body to represent the international community in negotiations with Iran: "The IAEA is not an agency that is in negotiation with the Iranians. I just think it's appropriate for those six states to determine what the diplomatic course ought to be." Source: Anne Geagan. "Rice: World Should Not Soften on Iran." Guardian Unlimited. May 30, 2007. News Source.

May 28, 2007

  • U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker and Iranian Ambassador to Iraq Hassan Kazemi-Qomi negotiate for four hours, primarily about security in Iraq. Source: Ross Corwin. "U.S. Tells Iran To Stop Backing Iraq Militias." Reuters. May 28, 2007. News Source. Note the biased title of this article. The title "Iran Tells U.S. to End Its Occupation" would have made as much sense in describing the meeting. For some reason reporter Corwin only got or used quotes from the American side.

May 26, 2007

  • Sounding defensive, the Iranian intelligence agency issues statement broadcast on state-run television claiming that it roled up foreign spy networks and promised more information in the futurte: "These spy networks were operating under the guidance of the occupiers' intelligence services and with the support of some influential Iraqi groups and factions...The detailed news will be announced in the next few days." Source: n.a. "Iran Uncovers U.S. Spy Networks." May 27, 2007. News Source.

May 24, 2007

  • IAEA Director Mohamed ElBaradei predicts that Iran could produce a nuclear weapon in 3-8 years: ""I tend, based on our analysis, to agree with people like John Negroponte and the new director of the CIA, who are saying that even if Iran wanted to go for a nuclear weapon, it would not be before the end of this decade or sometime in the middle of the next decade. In other words three to eight years from now. Iran needs to suspend its enrichment activities as a confidence-building measure but the international community should do its utmost to engage Iran in comprehensive dialogue." Source: Mark John. "Iran Probably 3-8 Years Off Nuclear Bomb: IAEA." Reuters. May 24, 2007. News Source

May 23, 2007

  • CBC reports conclusions from an IAEA report that Iran is preventing it from monitoring Iranian nuclear activities. The report reads: "Iran has not suspended its enrichment related activities. It should be noted that because the agency has not been receiving, for over a year, information that Iran used to provide, including under the Additional Protocol, the agency's level of knowledge of certain aspects of Iran's nuclear related activities has deteriorated." Source: n.a. "Iran Still Ignoring Warnings From UN, Nuclear Agency Says." May 23, 2007. News Report
  • Gunboat diplomacy. Nine U.S. Navy warships, including the USS John C. Stennis, USS Nimitz, and the USS Bonhomme Richard enter the Persian Gulf in preparation for a "showing the flag" exercise that begins on May 24. U.S. navy spokesperson refuses to answer the question whether warships were equipped with nuclear arms. Source: Mohammed Abbas. "U.S. Navy Begins War Games On Iran's Doorstep." Reuters. May 24, 2007. News Source

May 22, 2007

  • Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad visits Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko and they pledge to act jointly to counter attempts to exert pressure by the OECD countries. Source: Andrei Makhovsky. "Iran, Belarus To Stand Together Against Critics." Reuters. May 22, 2007.

May 19, 2007

  • At the World Economic Forum Mohammed J.A. Larijani, Director of Iran's Institute for Studies in Theoretical Physics and Mathematics, descibes the sanctions against Iran as "unjust, unfair and illegal" and comments: "The Western countries, with this prejudice they have, they are not going to give any reactor to any country in the area...The brothers in the Gulf should point to the Americans that the area does not have the capability or the ability to tolerate another military adventure." Source: n.a. "Iran seeks Arab support for nuclear program." Associated Press and International Herald Tribune. May 20, 2007. News Report

May 18, 2007

  • Pakistani Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz thinks that states have a "right" to develop dangerous technology: "Negotiation is the only way to settle Iran's nuclear issue. Imposing force on Iran's nuclear dossier will bring disastrous consequences. Pakistan believes using nuclear energy peacefully is the right of all countries." Source: n.a. "Pakistan PM: Negotiation The Only Way To Settle Iran's Nuclear Issue." IRNA. May 18, 2007 News Source (Doesn't claiming that a state has rights make an idol of the nation-state?)

May 15, 2007

  • David Albright, Director of the Institute for Science and International Security, estimates that Iran will not have enough enrtiched uranium for a single nuclear weapon until 2009 at the earliest: "Iran's been making slow but steady progress. We think Iran has been moving faster than (the U.S. government) has anticipated." Source: William J. Kole. "Iran Nuclear Progress 'Slow but Steady'." The Guardian. May 16, 2007. News Report

May 14, 2007

  • More bluster from Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad who threatens "severe" retaliation against any U.S. attack: "They realize that if they make such a mistake the retaliation of Iran would be severe and they will repent. All people know they cannot strike us. Iran is capable of defending itself. It is a strong country." Source: Diala Saadeh. "Iran Vows "severe" Response If U.S. Attacks." Reuters. May 14, 2007. News Source
  • While on a visit across the Persian Gulf to Abu Dhabi (United Arab Emirates), Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad called for U.S. troops to leave their bases in the Gulf and defended Iranian nuclear development: "The superpowers cannot prevent us from owning this. If they want to strike us militarily, I say their use of these practices will be gone forever. The Iranian people can protect themselves and retaliate." Source: Jim Krane. "Iranian Leader Works to End US-Gulf Ties." The Guardian. May 15, 2007.
  • IAEA Inspectors find 1300 centrifuges running smoothly at the Natanz plant. IAEA Director Mohamed ElBaradei concludes: "We believe they pretty much have the knowledge about how to enrich. From now on, it is simply a question of perfecting that knowledge. People will not like to hear it, but that’s a fact." Source: David E. Sanger. "Inspectors Cite Big Gain by Iran on Nuclear Fuel." The New York Times. May 14, 2007. News Source

May 11, 2007

  • U.S. Vice President Richard B. "Dick" Cheney taunts the Iranians rhetorically: "We'll stand with others to prevent Iran from gaining nuclear weapons and dominating this region." Source: n.a. "Cheney Vows Iran Will Not Get Nuclear Weapons." Breitbart. May 11, 2007. News Report. (Apparently only the Americans, British and Israelis are allowed to possess nuclear weapons and dominate the region.)

May 9, 2007

  • Hossein Mousavian is released by Iranian authorities on a $225,000 bail. Government spokesperson Gholam Hossein Elham offered almost effectively no information when he stated that the arrest on April 30, "was not necessarily related to the nuclear issue." Source: Nasser Karimi. "Iran Releases Former Nuclear Negotiator." The Guardian. May 10, 2007. News Report
  • Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mohammad-Ali Hosseini asserts that his country's nuclear program is completely peaceful and that there is no reason for concern: "The Islamic Republic of Iran's activities in peaceful use of nuclear energy has always been confirmed by the International Atomic Energy Agency and the international community and the Agency's reports testify that there is no room for concern over Iran's nuclear activities." Source: n.a. "Spokesman: Iran's Nuclear Program is Peaceful." IRNA. May 9. 2007 News Report. (Then why all the secrecy about the program?)

May 7, 2007

  • Diplomatic Conference on the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty in Vienna remains "stalled" by Iranian opoosition to language in the text.

May 5, 2007

  • Fars News Agency reports that former Iranian chief nuclear negotiator Hossein Mousavian had been jailed on charges of espionage. Source: Frances Harrison "Iran's Nuclear Negotiator 'Spied'." BBC News. May 5, 2007. News Report

May 4, 2007

  • Republican Presidential candidates former New York mayor Rudolph Giuliani and Senator John McCain engage in rhetorical out-bidding on Iran. Giuliani claimed that attacking Iran would be "very dangerous" but that allowing nuclear arms "in the hands of an irrational person" like Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad would be worse. McCain said that attacking Iran would be a last resort if it went nuclear but that "our intelligence tells us that this is a real threat to the state of Israel, to other states in the region." Source: Tony Czuczka. "Republican Hopefuls Blast Iran, Reject Iraq Pullout." Monsters and Critics. May 4m 2007. News Report (So why didn't McCain name the "other countries in the region?" No votes to be had from mentioning Arab countries? Or was it because Iran poses an even less plausible threat to them than it does to Israel?)

May 3, 2007

  • More of the same nationalist rhetoric from Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad: "Today, Iranians are prepared to take a leap forward, but the enemies, ill-wishers and colonial powers are against the progress, development and welfare of our nation. Given the presence of colonial forces in Iran over the past 150 years and their continued antagonism and aggressions on our country after the victory of the Islamic Revolution, they have been targeting our independence. Given their failure to materialize their goals, they seek to prevent the progress of Iranian nation by launching psychological war. They presume that by imposing economic sanctions against Iran as well as misusing the United Nations, they can disrupt the progress of Iranian nation...Our enemies oppose what they call production of nuclear weapons and bombs, whereas, they themselves are producers and exporters of various types of such arms and use them against world nations. Today our nation is united and willing to hold talks based on reason and within the framework of law. Iranians are against aggression, bullying and extremism. However the enemies should be aware that the nation will not even give up an iota of its rights." Source: n.a. "President: Iran Never Gives Up Inalienable Right." IRNA. May 3, 2007.

May 1, 2007

  • Former chief Iranian nuclear negotiator Hossein Mousavian, who served before Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was elected president of Iran, is arrested by 8 security officers (spy hunters?). Source: n.a. "Iran Nuclear Official 'Detained'." BBC. May 2, 2007. News Report
  • Iranian diplomat (un-named in news reports for some reason) to the Vienna nuclear non-proliferation conference opposes text that would re-state need for treaty members to fully comply with the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT).
  • U.S. State Department once again designates Iran as the world's leading state sponsor of terrorism. Also named among the designated ideological enemy states are Cuba, North Korea, Sudan and Syria. Once again NOT named is Pakistan, a sometimes close U.S. ally that the Indian government accuses of sponsoring terrorism in Indian Kashmir. See 2006 State Sponsors of Terrorism

April 27, 2007

  • EU "Foreign Minister" Javier Solana urges the U.S. to engage Iran in direct negotiations concernign the latter's nuclear program and the Middle East. Source: Robert Weilaard. "Top EU Official Urges U.S.-Iran Talks." The Guardian. April 28. 2007.

April 26, 2007

  • Iranian chief nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani comments after meeting with EU "Foreign Minister" Javier Solana and Turkish Foreign Minister Abdulla Gul: "In some areas we are approaching a united view. We are aiming to reach out for a common paradigm." Source: n.a. "Iranian Negotiator Reports Progress in Talks With EU About Enrichment." International Herald Tribune. April 26, 2007. News Report

April 24, 2007

  • Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Seyed Mohammad Hossein Hosseini commented that EU "Foreign Minister" Javier Solana had set no preconditions for Iranian-EU negotiations on the Iranian uranium-enrichment program. Source: n.a. "No Condition for Iran-EU Nuclear Talks-Spokesman." IRNA. April 24, 2007. News Source

April 23, 2007

  • Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad offers to deak directly with U.S. President George W. Bush: "Last year, I announced readiness for a televised debate over global issues with his excellency Mr. Bush. And now we announce that I am ready to negotiate with him about bilateral issues as well as regional and international issues." Source: Nasser Karimi. "Iran's Leader Proposes Talks With Bush." The Guardian. April 23, 2007.

April 22, 2007

  • Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert sounds reasonable on Isreal Radio: "I believe the international efforts will achieve the goals. There is no need to get caught up in any apocalyptic prophecies that have no basis in reality. Iran is far from crossing the nuclear threshold ... Unfortunately, it is not as far as I would like it to be but it is also not as close as it proclaims to be." Source: Aron Heller. "Olmert: Iran's Nukes Can Be Stopped." The Guardian. April 22, 2007. News Report

April 20, 2007

  • IRNA quotes President of the Iranian Atomic Energy Organization Gholamreza Aghazadeh as saying that Iranian enriched uranium fuel autonomy is years away: "Installation of centrifuges continues and each month inspectors of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), when they come to Tehran, will see important changes. We have reached the industrial stage, but we need several years to create an industrial unit capable of producing fuel for our power stations. We must install 50,000 centrifuges to be able to provide the fuel for two nuclear stations." Source: n.a. "Iran Needs Several Years to Make Nuclear Fuel-Iran Atomic Energy Agency Head." Aptil 20, 2007. News Report.
  • Iranian Vice President Gholam Reza Aghazadeh urges that the West to help build nuclear power plants across Iran. Source: Ali Akbar Dareini. "Iran: West Should Build Nuclear Plants." Associated Press. April 21, 2007. News Report

April 19, 2007

  • Triumph of the Resolve? In a meeting with U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and Isreali PM Ehud Olmert, Isreali Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni comments on will: "The free world is tested by the countries under threat from Iran, especially its Arab and Muslim neighbors. Every hesitation is interpreted as weakness and is liable to lead to an effort to appease Iran. Only the world's resolve can preserve the 'moderate camp.'" Source: n.a. "Gates Placates Israel on US's Planned Arms Sale to Saudis." The Jerusalem Post. April 19, 2007. News Report

April 18, 2007

  • U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates holds discussions with Isreali Defense Minister Amir Peretz and offers positive comment about diplomacy: "We agreed it was important to deal with the Iranian nuclear problem through diplomacy, which appears to be working." Source: Yaakov Katz. "Gates: Diplomacy Toward Iran Effective." The Jerusalem Post. April 18, 2007, News Report.

April 16, 2007

  • Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mohammad-Ali Hosseini remarks that Iran and Egypt were the first countries to advocate creating a nuclear weapons free Middle East. Source: n.a. "Spokesman: A Middle East free from nuclear weapons first proposed by Iran, Egypt." IRNA. April 16, 2007. News Report

April 15, 2007

  • Baztab reports that Deputy Chief of the Iranian Atomic Energy Organization Ahmad Fayyazbakhsh announced that his governemnt would be takign bids for the purchase of two $1.7 billion nulcear plants. U.S. firms woulod be free to bid. Source: Ramin Mostaghim and Louise Roug. "Iran Aims to Build 2 Nuclear Plants." Los Angeles Times and Seattle Times. April 16, 2007. News Source

April 13, 2007

  • Iranian Ambassador to Spain Davoud Salehi reiterates the claim that Iran has the "right" under the NPT to develop peaceful nuclear power. "Uranium enrichment is conducted in Iran just for peaceful objectives to generate electricity...As a signatory to the NPT, Iran has so far fulfilled all its commitments and duties. It, however, demands the rights stipulated in the treaty for it." Source: n.a. "Iran Stresses Its Nuclear Rights As An NPT Member, Says Envoy." IRNA. April 14, 2007. News Report (But is it cover for a nuclear weapons program as was the case in India and Pakistan?)

April 12, 2007

  • Speaking in Riyadh, IAEA Director Mohammed ElBaradei offered a more realistic assessemnt of the Iranian nuclear weapons potential: "Iran is still just at the beginning stages in setting up its Natanz enrichment facility. The talk of building a facility with 50,000 centrifuges is just at the beginning, and it is (currently) only in the hundreds...It has not been demonstrated until now that there are underground nuclear facilities in Iran working covertly, and Iran doesn't have the material that can be used to make a nuclear weapon." Source: Donna Abu-Nasr. "UN Nuke Chief: Iran's Program Limited." Associated Press. April 12, 2007. News Report

April 11, 2007

  • U.S. State Department Undersecretary for Political Affairs R. Nicholas Burns asserts that war with Iran was neither "inevitable or desirable" and that Tehran was susceptible to international pressure. Source: Jay Lindsay. "Burns: Diplomacy Will Work With Iran, Over Time." Associated Press and April 11, 2007. News Report

April 10, 2007

  • South Africa's Minister of Intelligence Ronnie Kasrils expressed his government's support for the Islamic Republic's legal right to advance its peaceful nuclear program. Source: n.a. "S.Africa Praises Iran Nuclear Program." Press TV. March 11, 2007. News Report

April 9, 2007

  • Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad announces that Iran was now capable of enriching nuclear fuel "on an industrial scale." Source: Nazila Fathi & Christine Hauser. "Iran’s President Sees Progress in Nuclear Program." The New York Times. April 9, 2007. News Report
  • White House National Security Council (NSC) spokesperson Gordon Johndroe states: ""We are very concerned about Iran's announcement that they entered an industrial stage of nuclear fuel production. Iran continues to defy the international community and further isolate itself by expanding its nuclear program, rather than suspending uranium enrichment." Source: n.a. "W.House 'Very Concerned' on Iran Nuclear Statement." Reuters. April 9, 2007. News Report

April 8, 2007

  • Logic has different national perspectives? Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mohammad Ali Hosseini seems to think so: "The [uranium] enrichment suspension contradicts the provisions of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. We have repeatedly stated that a moratorium [on uranium enrichment] is not logical from Iran's viewpoint." Source: n.a. "Iran Will Continue Uranium Enrichment-Official." RIA Novosti. April 8, 2007. News Report (What a brilliant scientific advance the Iranians have made in determining that logic is not universal but varies parochially!)

April 7, 2007

  • Iranian Ambassador to Britain Rasoul Movahedian demonstrates lack of subtlety in diplomacy: "Now it is up to the British government to proceed in a positive way. We will welcome in general any steps that could defuse tensions in the region." Source: Jill Lawless. "Iranian: U.K. Can Help Mend Relations." Associated Press & The Guardian. April 8, 2007. News Report.

April 6, 2007

  • British and American news media scramble to assist British government public relations effort to undo any damage done by the confessions given by the 15 British military personnel now freed from Iranian custody. CNN refers to them as "detainees" and Fox News described them as having been "detained." Drawing too explicit a parallel to the POWs at Guantanamo Bay poses obvious rhetorical risks.
  • Brent price reaches $70 a barrel because of rumors of a U.S. airstrike in Iran.

April 5, 2007

  • Released 15 British miltiary prisoners of the Iranian government arrive in Britain. British Prime Minister Tony Blair insists that there was no negotiation for their release. Syrian officials that they play a role in the release. Source: n.a. "British Sailors and Marines Held Captive in Iran Arrive in London." Associated Press. April 5, 2007.
  • British authorities announce that 4 British military personnel and their Kuwaiti interpreter have been killed in Basra, Iraq.
  • British Conservative MP Bernard Jenkin, Defence Select Committee, complains that the focus on the the 15 British military personnel in Iranian custody divert attention from the Iranian nuclear program: "We have had a huge setback. We should have spent the last few weeks discussing the UN sanctions that were applied two weeks ago--funnily enough at the same time as these servicemen were captured." Source: n.a. "'No deal done with Iran'--Blair." BBC News. April 5, 2007. News Report
  • U.S. State Department spokesperson Sean McCormack states that U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is open to negotiations with Iran at the ministerial: "We will not exclude any particular diplomatic interaction. There was one at the envoys level...and the same would hold true for the secretary." Source: n.a. "Rice Open to Bilateral Talks With Iran at Iraq Neighbors Meeting." Reuters. April 5, 2007.

April 4, 2007

  • Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad announces that 15 British military prisoners will be released the following day. Ahmadinejad postures as a benign leader for the television cameras. Most news sources in the U.S. stop referring to them as "hostages" and begin referring to them as "captives."

April 3, 2007

  • During a televised press conference U.S. Pres. George W. Bush claims that the Iranian nuclear issue is the "cornerstone" of U.S. policy towards Iran. By implication control over the flow of oil from the Persian Gulf and the U.S. quagmire in next door Shi'a majority Iraq are not as important.
  • British Prime Minister Tony Blair comments on the British military prisoners held by the Iranian government: "The next 48 hours will be fairly critical." British tabloids hysterical with war fever. Consider the title of the news report in this Source: n.a. "Blair: We've 48 Hours to Save Sailors." This Island London. April 3, 2007. News Report

April 2, 2007

  • ABC News reports an intelligence estimate that Iran could produce a nuclear warhead by 2009. Brian Ross and Christopher Isham. "Exclusive: Iran Nuclear Bomb Could Be Possible by 2009." ABC News. April 2, 2007. The report is pooh-poohed as patently bogus by Sean-Paul Kelley. Note that the claim later disappears. Will Brian Ross and Christopher Isham retract it?
  • Iranian state radio reports that all 15 of Iran's British miltiary prisoners held captive by Iran have confessed to illegally entering Iranian waters. Source: Naser Karimi. "Iranian radio Reports "Positive Changes." Associated Press. April 2, 2007. News Report

April 1, 2007

  • RIA Novosti quotes Russian official asserting that, "Russian intelligence has information that the US Armed Forces stationed in the Persian Gulf have nearly completed preparations for a missile strike against Iranian territory." Source: n.a. "US Ready to Strike Iran on Good Friday'." Jerusalem Post. April 1, 2007. Jerusalem Post Article
  • Israeli Military Intelligence Chief Maj. Gen. Amos Yadlin claims that Iran, Syria and Hizbullah are preparing for a possible military confrontation with the United States this summer: "Their preparation is defensive ahead of war … They fear a war initiated by the Americans because they understand that there might be an attack against Iran over the summer, but not by Israel." Source: Ronny Sofer. "IDF intelligence: Iran, Hizbullah Preparing for Possible US Strike." April 1, 2007. News Report (This isn't even creative.)

March 31, 2007

  • Q: Would Bush miss a chance to posture as tough guy? A: Not if it would change the subject in Washington. "Iran must give back the hostages," demands domestically embattled U.S. Pres. George W. Bush. "They're innocent, they did nothing wrong, and they were summarily plucked out of waters." Source: Deb Reichmann. "Bush Calls for Iran to Free U.K. Sailors." Associated Press. March 31, 2007. News Report
  • Gordon Prather argues that Any Casus Belli Will Do for a U.S. attack on Iran.

March 30, 2007

  • British Prime Minister Tony Blair comments on Iranian state television's broadcast of a second confession by a British military prisoner: "I really don't know why the Iranian regime keep doing this. All it does is enhances people's sense of disgust. It doesn't fool anyone." Source: Robin Stringer & Caroline Alexander. "Iran Airs Briton's `Confession', Wants `Guarantee' (Update2)." Bloomberg. March 30, 2007. News Report
  • Jingoism seizes Iranians. Muslim cleric tells the devout during Friday prayers that, "Britain is an aggressor and Iran has confronted it." An estimated 60,000 football (soccer) fans chant "Death to Britain" at a match in Tehran and 700 people at rally near Tehran University chant at "We condemn the British invasion!" Source: Nasser Karimi. "Second Captive Briton Apologizes to Iran." The Washington Post. March 30, 2007.
  • CNN News follows the lead of Fox News in describing the 15 British miltiary prisoners of the Iranian government as "hostages."
  • Iranian Ambassador to Russia Gholam-Reza Ansari tells Russian television Vesti-24 that the 15 British military prisoners in Iranian custody, "will be tried if there is enough evidence of guilt." Source: Naser Karimi. "Iranian Official: Sailors May Be Tried." Associated Press. March 31, 2007.

March 29, 2007

  • Iran demands apology from Britain for what it described as an incursion into Iranian waters by the British Navy. Iranian spokesgeneral General Alireza Afshar states: "The logical for the British authorities to accept the reality, present their apologies to the great Iranian people." Source: n.a. "Britain Takes Iran to UN, Woman Sailor Remains Captive." Agence France Presse. March 29, 2007.
  • European Union "Foreign Minister" Javier Solana uses appropriately toned diplomatic language in speaking before the European Parliament about the Iranian nuclear crisis: "There is no alternative, ladies and gentlemen, to negotiations and we must resume negotiations as soon as possible." Source: James G. Neuberger. "EU Presses for Iran Nuclear Talks, Condemns Arrests (Update5)." March 29, 2007.
  • The UN Security Council recommended that release its 15 British miltiary prisoners and stated that the members wanted, "an early resolution to this problem." Source: Janine Zacharia & Paul Tighe. "Iran Should Free U.K. Sailors, Security Council Says (Update2)." Bloomberg. March 30, 2007.
  • John Stewart of the Comedy Channel's Daily Show refers to the 15 British military prisoners held by the Iranian government as "hostages." 11:00 ET. (Not that the Daily Show writers have ever been 'picky' about the words used by others.)

March 28, 2007

  • Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki insists on his country's "rights" to nculear power development: "Iran's nuclear activities are fully clear and transparent and we will continue our activities until restoration of our nation's legitimate rights." n.a. "Mottaki: Iran Not To Relinquish Nuclear Rights." IRNA. March 28, 2007.
  • Iranian cabinet orders the Iranian Atomic Energy Organization (IAEO) to adopt new rule that renouces a subsidiary undertaking under the Non-Proliferation Treaty. Iran will no longer report new facility projects 6 months before initiation but will instead report them when they begin. Source: n.a. "IAEO Assigned to Drop Subsidiary Undertakings to NPT." IRNA. March 28, 2007. News Report
  • On The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer, CNN Pentagon correspondent Barbara Starr refers to the British sailors and marines in Iranian custody as "hostages." 5:05 ET.

March 26, 2007

  • EU "Foreign Minister" Javier Solana annoucnes that he will resume negotiations with Iran over the nuclear program. Source: n.a. "Europe To Resume Nuke Talks With Iran." 'CBS News & Associated Press. March 26, 2007.
  • In a joint statement Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Hu Jintao urge the Iranian government to "search for a comprehensive, long-term and mutually acceptable solution to the Iranian nuclear problem." Source: n.a. "Russia, China Urge Iran to Heed U.N." Guardian. March 26, 2007. News Report
  • Iran resumes payments to Russia for the Bushehr nuclear facility. Source: n.a. "Tehran 'Begins Nuclear Payments'." BBC News'. March 26, 2007.

March 25, 2007

  • UN Security Council passes UN Resolution imposing additional sanctions on Iran. In defending the desision the U.S. Ambassador to the UN Alejandro Wolff describes the creation of the UN itself and suggests that the Holocaust was an event somehow seperate and distinct from the other bloodshed of the Second World War. Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki appears at the meeting instead of Iranian Pres. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and excoriates the decision. Source: n.a. "FM: Iran's Nuclear Program Is Completely Peaceful." IRNA. March 25, 2007.
  • British Prime Minister Tony Blair describes the continuing detention of 15 British naval personel arrested by Iranian naval forces on March 23 as ""serious, unjustified and wrong". Source: Mark Tran & Mark Oliver. "Q&A: the Seized British Sailors." The Guardian. March 28, 2005.

March 24, 2007

  • Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh expresses his governemnt's disapproval of any Security Council punitive action against Iran. Source: n.a. "India PM Calls for Return of Iran's Case to IAEA." IranMania. March 24, 2007. India acquired nuclear weapons under the cover of an official non-military nuclear power program, in the much the same manner that Isreal did and Iran is now attempting to do.
  • U.S. Ambassador to the UN Alejandro Wolff stated that Iran could easily end the sanctions to be imposed today by the UN Security Council by ending uranium enrichment "It is suspension for suspension. It is not a high bar for Iran to meet." Source: Evelyn Leopold. "U.N. Council Ready to Tighten Sanctions on Iran." Reuters & Washington Post. March 24, 2007.
  • Captured British Marines "confess" to being in Iranian waters when they were taken into custody by Iranian military, a claim possibly supported by the Iraqi military commander of the area, Gen. Hakim Jassim: "We were informed by Iraqi fishermen after they had returned from sea that there were British gunboats in an area that is out of Iraqi control. We don't know why they were there," he told AP Television News. Source: Ali Akbar Dareini. Iran: U.K. Troops Admit To Illegal Entry." Associated Press & Houston Chronicle. March 24, 2007. News Report
  • ABC Evening News describes Iran as a "renegade" nation. Renegade was the term the U.S. government often used to label Native American rebels who fled reservations for the freedom they enjoyed before subjugation.

March 23, 2007

  • Daniel Wendell, Bern, Switzerland U.S. Embassy spokesperson Daniel Wendell announces that the Iranian passports for visa applications for Iranian Pres. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and other Iranian officials had been handed over. Source: n.a. "U.S.: Ahmadinejad Visa en Route to Iran." Associated Press. March 23, 2007.
  • Iranian Pres. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad cancels his appearance before the UN Security Counil. Source: Evelyn Leopold. "U.N. Council Ready to Tighten Sanctions on Iran." Reuters & Washington Post. March 24, 2007.
  • Iranian naval forces arrest 15 British Royal Navy sailors and marines on boats near the mouth of the Shatt al-Arab waterway. British Foreign Secretary Margaret Beckett demands explanation for Iranian arrest of 15 British personnel: "We have asked for a full explanation on what has happened and we are leaving them in no doubt that we want the immediate and safe return of our personnel and their equipment." Source: n.a. "Britain Demands Explanation for Iran's Detention of Sailors and Marines." Associated Press & International Herald Tribune. March 23, 2007.

March 21, 2007

  • Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov comments that his government "will not support excessive sanctions against Iran" and added that the draft U.S. Security Council resolution on sanctions had been softened at Moscow's behest. Source: Vladimir Isachenkov. "Russia Nixes 'Excessive' Iran Sanctions." Associated Press. March 21, 2007. News Report
  • Defiance in a Persian new year speech Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei: "Until today, what we have done has been in accordance with international regulations. But if they take illegal actions, we too can take illegal actions and will do so...If they want to treat us with threats and enforcement of coercion and violence, undoubtedly they must know that the Iranian nation and authorities will use all their capacities to strike enemies that attack." Source: Edith M. Lederer. "6 World Powers Seek New Iran Sanctions." The Guardian. March 22, 2007. News Report

March 20, 2007

  • This neo-con still wants a war with Iran. Speaking to the conservative Hudson Institute former unconfirmed U.S. Ambassador to the UN John Bolton is ready to give war a chance: "I believe that ultimately the only real prospect of getting Iran to give up nuclear weapons is to change the regime." (How?) "By the force of the Iranian people themselves. But if the alternative is a nuclear Iran, as unpleasant as the use of military force would be, I think the prospect of a nuclear Iran is worse." Source: n.a. "Bolton: Iran Won't Give Up Nuke Ambition." March 21, 2007. Associated Press & CBS News. News Report

March 19, 2007

  • Iran prevents IAEA inspectors from visiting an underground bunker at the Natanz facility. n.a. "Iran Stops Inspectors Visiting Nuclear Site: Diplomats." Agence France Presse. March 19, 2007. News Report

March 18, 2007

  • U.S. and Isreali military conduct Juniper Cobra joint exericise to practice intercepting entirely ballistic missiles attacking Isreal. U.S. Embassy spokesperson Stewart Tuttle explained that, "It is a computer simulation exercise designed to test the interoperability of the air defense system. The air defense can protect you against whatever happens to be on the warhead." Source: Aron Heller. "Israel, U.S. Test Missile Defense." The Guardian. March 18, 2007. News Report

March 17, 2007

  • Commander-in-chief of the regular Iranian Army Maj. Gen. Ataollah Salehi warns against any "stupid move" by the United States or other Western powers. Source: n.a. "Iran Army Vows to Defend Nuclear Program." Reuters & The New York Times. March 17, 2007. News Report

March 16, 2007

  • Iranian IAEA representative Ali Asghar Soltanieh points up the obvious hypocrisy of the British decision to renew its Trident nuclear missile submarinbe fleet while demanding that Iran end its uranium enrichment program: "Britain does not have the right to question others when they're not complying with their obligations (under the NPT). It is very unfortunate that the UK, which is always calling for non-proliferation...not only has not given up the weapons but has taken a serious step towards further development of nuclear weapons." Source: Sophie Walker. "British Nuclear Plans 'Serious Setback'-Iran Envoy." San Deigo Union Leader. March 16, 2007.
  • The northern border is safe(r) but the western and northeastern borders are dicey. New Turkmenistan President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov voiced support for the Iran's "right" to develop peaceful nuclear power. Source: n.a. "Turkmen President Supports Iran's Peaceful Nuclear Program." IRNA. March 16, 2006.

March 15, 2007

  • Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad attempts some new fiery rhetoric: "Using the Security Council as an instrument, the enemies of Iran want to prevent the progress of the Iranian nation. But the Security Council today has no legitimacy among world nations...Today, the Iranian nation fully possesses the nuclear fuel cycle. If all of you gather and also invite your ancestors from hell, you will not be able to stop the Iranian nation." Source: n.a. "Ahmadinejad Says New U.N. Sanctions 'Illegitimate,' Won't Undermine Iran's Nuclear Technology." Associated Press & The International Herlad Tribune. March 15, 2007. News Report (The phrase "ancestors from hell" sounds religious but decidedly un-Abrahamic. Are such oaths kosher in Shiism?)
  • IAEA supremeo Mohamed ElBaradei discusses nucvlear proliferation in Iran and North Korea with Chinese Assistant Foreign Minister Cui Tiankai. Source: n.a. "IAEA Chief Exchanges Views With China on Korean Peninsula, Iran Nuclear Issues." People's Daily On-Line. March 15, 2007.
  • Jon Stewart of Comedy Central's The Daily Show mocks Iranian complaints that the film 300 is anti-Iranian. Seems that popular culture has never been used to encourage a war fever. Read the Iranian concern explained.
  • Reuters reports a skeletal Iranian crisis timeline.

March 14, 2007

  • Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki pierces the taboo surrounding references to Isreali nuclear proliferation, saying that Isreali nukes pose "a uniquely grave threat to regional and international peace and security and requires to be seriously dealt with by the international community taking practical measures" and that it, "is surprising that while no practical step is taken to contain the real source of nuclear danger in the Middle East, my country is under tremendous pressure to renounce its inalienable right for peaceful use of nuclear energy." Source: n.a. "Iran: Israel, US Threaten Middle East." Fars Mews Agency. March 14, 2007. News Report
  • U.N. Security Council President for March, South African Ambassador Dumisani Kumalo, states that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has not officially asked for a meeting: "For us it will only become an issue when we receive a letter from him and he (Iran's U.N. envoy, Mohammad Javad Zarif) had not yet received instructions to write a letter that I would then present to the other members for consideration of what to do." Source: Michelle Nichols. "U.N. Council Says No Request From Iran For Briefing." Reuters. March 14, 2007. News Report

March 13, 2007

  • Can a country that can not pay its bills be a major threat? ZAO Atomstroyexport construction supervisor for the Iranian Bushehr nuclear facility Vladimir Pavlov warns that building will halt unless Iran makes the requisite payments: "We can wait no longer for a decision from the Iranian side." Atomstroyexport spokesperson Irina Yesipova commented, "We continue to work, but how quickly and how successfully is unclear. At present, we can't pay for the equipment that Bushehr needs to become operational." Source: Yuriy Humber. "Russia Threatens to Stop Work on Iran Nuclear Reactor (Update2)." Bloomberg. March 13, 2007. News Report

March 12, 2007

  • Democratic Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi caves to pressure from Blue Dog Democrats and the Israeli lobby by stripping a provision from a spending bill that would have required President George W. Bush to seek Congressional approval before ordering armed force against Iran. Seemingly incapable of stopping an on-going disastrous war, the Democratic Congressional leadership appears unable to prevent a disastrous widening of the war.
  • Israeli righist Likud leader Benjamin Netanyahu tells journalists that "There need to be financial sanctions that will hurt Iran. What we are doing against the Hamas government in the Palestinian Authority needs to be done to Iranian president Ahmadinejad." Source: Gil Ronen. "Netanyahu Lobbying US for Iran Disinvestment." Arutz Sheva. March 13, 2007. News Report

March 11, 2007

  • Iranian Majlis Speaker Gholam Ali Haddad-Adel points of the hypocrisy of ignoring Israeli nuclear weapons and expresses sentiment that, "We hope there would be some wise individuals in the US administration to prevent eruption of a new crisis in the region." Source: n.a. "Speaker Criticizes US Hostile Policies on Iran Nuclear Program." IRNA. March 11, 2007. News Report
  • On Meet the Press, neo-conservative U.S. Ambasador to Iraq Zalmay Khalilzad offers upbeat assessment of his encounter with Iranian diplomats at the multilateral meeting in Baghdad about the future of Iraq. He denies that the second Bush administration has flip-flopped on its original insistence that it would not negotiate with Iran until there is a verifiable halt to the Iranian uranium enrichment program. But then neo-cons are factual relativists.
  • Arch-conservative Washington Times columnist Arnaud de Borchgrave reports a "not for attribution" leak from within the delegation of Jordanian King Abdullah claiming that the Jordanian monarch had frightened Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad with descriptions of a much more extensive U.S. bombing campaign against Iran. Ahmadinejad reportedly left the meeting "a much chastened and worried man." Source: Arnaud de Borchgrave. "War Clouds' Silver Linings." The Washington Times. March 11, 2007. Column. (When they are not wallowing in fear, conservatives indulge in wishful thinking.)

March 10, 2007

  • U.S. and Iranian envoys barely encounter one another at the meeting in Baghdad on the future of Iraq. Yet it was a meeting and thus a flip-flop in the U.S. policy that it would not negotiate with Iran until there is a verifiable halt to the Iranian urananium enrishment program. The decision to invade Iraq and subsequent blunder after blunder in the occupation of Iraq effectively traps the second Bush adminsitration into diplomatic exchange with the Iran government. Mariam Karouny. "U.S., Iran Trade Barbed Words at Baghdad Talks." Reuters. March 10, 2007.

March 9, 2007

  • Mere coincidence or the Perfect Moment to Encourage Anti-Persian Sentiment in Popular Culture? 300 opens in the United States.

March 8, 2007

  • International Atomic Energy Agency Board votes to deprive Iran of 22 technical aid projects, none of which directly apply to the Iranian uranium enrichment program.
  • Iranian IAEA Chief Delegate Ali Ashgar Soltanieh responds the latest, largely symbolic decision taken by the IAEA against Iran: "None of these projects are related to enrichment. The enrichment program will continue as planned." Source: George Jahn. "Iran Shrugs Off U.N. Pressure Over Nukes." March 8, 2007. News Report

March 7, 2007

  • Iranian Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) chief Gholamreza Aghazadeh comments that Iran can go it alone: "Today, the West says it is ready to give the best nuclear power plant and technology to Iran, if it suspends enrichment but we should not be hopeful of such promises. The West's extensive efforts to suspend activities at Natanz facility shows significance of Iran's nuclear program. Iran currently assumed satisfactory status in terms of peaceful nuclear technology. But their negative approach will not succeed with respect to Iran's national determination to have nuclear energy for peaceful purposes...Iran achieved nuclear technology by itself. We currently have thousands of experts in this field. We have an intellectual power to reconstruct nuclear facilities with more security, if faced with problems." Source: n.a. "Iran Should Not Be Hopeful of West Promises: Aqazadeh." IRNA. March 7, 2007.

March 5, 2007

  • Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki accused the American and Iraqi governments of responsibility for the Jan. 11, 2007 arrest of 4 Iranian diplomats in Erbil and the Feb. 4, 2007 kidnapping in Baghdad of an Iranian state-owned bank officer: "The US is responsible for abduction of the officials and the Iraqi government is responsible for their release as well." The 5 are still being held. Source: n.a. "Iran advises IAEA Board of Governors to defend findings on Iran." IRNA. March 4, 2007.

March 4, 2007

  • In a speech before the American Conservative Union wingnut columnist Ann Coulter accuses liberals of disloyalty, alleging that they want Iran to acquire nuclear power but not the United States. That comment drew less attention than her accusation that Democratic U.S. Presidential candiate John Edwards was gay.

March 2, 2007

  • Doubts emerge about U.S. intelligence on North Korea and Iran. Source: George Jahn. "Analysis: U.S. Intel on Nukes in Doubt." The Guardian. March 2, 2007. News Report

March 1, 2007

  • Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad fans the embers of war with fatuous rhetorical overkill: "There is no place in the world that suffers from divisions and wars unless America or the Zionists' fingerprints are seen there." Source: n.a. "Ahmadinejad: U.S., Israel Cause Problems." Associated Press & CBS News. March 1, 2007.

February 27, 2007

  • Second Bush administration flip-flops on negotiating with Iran. Speaking to a Congressional hearing on Iraq, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice announces the U.S. will negotiate with Iran, resumably even without a verifiable suspension of uranium enrichment: "I would like to take one moment to talk about our diplomatic offensive. I would note that the Iraqi government has invited all of its neighbors, including Syria and Iran, to attend both of these regional meetings," Rice said. "We hope that all governments will seize this opportunity to improve their relations with Iraq and to work for peace and stability in the region." Source: Guy Raz. "Iraq Meeting May Lead to U.S.-Iran Talks." NPR. February 28, 2007.

February 26, 2007

  • Intransigence tricked up as diplomacy. U.S. State Department spokesperson Sean McCormack states that the U.S. is willing to join negotiations between the European powers and Iran if Iran suspends its uranium enrichment activity: "Should they choose not to proceed down that pathway, then there will be consequences. And those consequences will be diplomatic isolation from the rest of the world." Source: Helene Cooper. "Diplomats to Begin Drafting New U.N. Sanctions on Iran." The New York Times. February 26, 2007.
  • Chinese Foreign Ministry spokespperson Qin Gang urges diplomacy: ""All the parties agreed to follow negotiations and peaceful means to resolve this issue. Our position has been consistent in that we advocate the solution of the Iran nuclear issue through diplomatic negotiations and peaceful means." Source: n.a. "China Says Talks Only Way to Resolve Iran Nuclear Issue." International Herald Tribune. February 26, 2007.

February 24, 2007

  • U.S. Vice President Richard "Dick" Cheney, the last powerful neo-conservative in the second Bush administration, makes vaguely bellicose comments about Iranian rhetoric and nuclear proliferation while in Sydney, Australia: "They have made some fairly inflammatory statements. They appear to be pursuing the development of nuclear weapons. We are deeply concerned and have made it very clear we're deeply concerned about Iran's activities." Source: Caren Bohan. "Cheney Warns of Iran's Nuclear Ambition." ABC News. February 24, 2007. (From the Iranian perspective, the second Bush administration's rhetoric is also inflammatory and unlike Iran the U.S. actually posseses nuclear weapons.)
  • The Daily Telegraph reports that the Israeli government had opened negotiations with the U.S. for a flight corridor over U.S. occupied Iraq to bomb Iran. Israel's Deputy Defense Minister Ephraim Sneh denied the report told, describing it as "baseless." Source: David Stringer. "Report: Israel Wants To Fly Over Iraq." Associated Press & Boston Glode. February 24, 2007. News Report

Februray 23, 2007

  • Tehran says No Pasaran. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad rejects compromise: "If we show weakness in front of the enemy the expectations will increase but if we stand against them, because of this resistance, they will retreat." Source: Edmund Blar. "Iran Vows No Weakness Over Nuclear Program." Reuters. February 23, 2007.
  • Chinese Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing and Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki speak about the Iranian nuclear crisis by telephone. China Daily News Report

February 22, 2007

  • British Prime Minister Tony Blair reiterates claim that no attack against Iran is planned: "You can't absolutely predict every set of circumstances that comes about, but sitting here now and talking to you I can tell you that Iran is not Iraq...There is, as far as I know, no planning going on to make an attack on Iran and people are pursuing a diplomatic and political solution for a very good reason ... that it is the only solution that anyone can think of as viable and sensible." Source: n.a. "Blair Says No Plan For Iran Strike." Reuters. February 22, 2007. News Report (Note the deployment of propaganistic reification in the news article: "the West fears." Abstractions cannot have emotions.)

February 21, 2007

  • U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki Moon makes comments endorsing negotiations to end the Iranian Nuclear Crisis: "Solutions can only be found through talks and dialogue. This is the basic principle in conflict situations. I regret very much that we have not found the proper solution to the Iran conflict. The issue is now in the hands of the UN Security Council...During last month's meeting with the Iranian foreign minister, I have urgently requested him to convince the international community that Iran is in fact interested in the peaceful use of atomic energy." Source: n.a. "Only Diplomatic Means Can Resolve Iranian Nuclear Conflict: UN Chief." IRNA. February 21, 2007. News Report
  • More nationalist/nuclearist defiance. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad comments: "We...will continue our work to reach our right [to nuclear technology] in the shortest possible time...Obtaining this technology is very important for our country's development and honour. It is worth it to stop other activities for 10 years and focus only on the nuclear issue." Source: n.a. "Iran 'Swiftly Seeks Nuclear Goal'." BBC News. February 21, 2007. News Report
  • Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert demands tougher sanctions against Iran: "Today is the last day that was designated by the international community and by the UN Security Council. Therefore the international community will have to think of additional measures." Source: n.a. Olmert Calls For Tougher Iran Sanctions." Associated Press. February 21, 2007. ('Therefore'?)
  • NYU Professor demands the U.S. threaten war, or maybe almost-war. Prof. Alon Ben-Meir writes: "What is needed now is a clearly articulated warning that sets the stage for what is to come. Unlike the situation in Iraq before the invasion, Iran's actions speak for themselves: Tehran openly pursues a nuclear program, nakedly supports terrorism, and poses a clear and present danger to the United States and its allies. The American public and Congress are supportive of the President's moves, a fact that will not be lost on Tehran." Source: Alon Ben-Meir. "Ending Iran's Defiance Requires Real Action." St. Louis Jewish Light. February 21, 2007. Commentary. (Why the professorial pussy-footing? Why not come out and simply demand airstrikes?)
  • Anocratic politics evident in Tehran as 136 Iranian MPs send letter to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad objecting to closing down Baztab, a popular conservative news website that had published articles critical of the president. Source: n.a. " Iran MPs Protest Ban On Conservative Website." Agence France Presse. February 21, 2007.

February 20, 2007

  • Denials from U.S. President George W. Bush and U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates notwithstanding, the U.S. miltiary has well developed target lists for an attack on Iran. The two triggers for such air strikes are 1) intelligence that Iran is developing a nuclear weapon and 2) an event in Iraq with high U.S. casualties. Source: n.a. "US 'Iran Attack Plans' Revealed." BBC News. February 20, 2007.
  • More common sense foreign policy from John Edwards: "It's a huge strategic mistake not to be dealing directly with Iran...What we should be doing with Iran, both on the Iraq issue and the nuclear issue, is being much smarter than we're being now. We have tools available to us to engage them." Source: n.a. "U.S. Presidential Candidate Urges Direct Talks With Iran." Associated Press & Turkish Weekly. February 20, 2007.

February 19, 2007

  • Embarrassment for Tehran. Russian nuclear ageny Rosatom announces that will suspend work on Iran's Bushehr nuclear reactor because Iran is behind in its payments. The official explanation is that the Iranian bank responsible for payment had switched from using dollars to euros. Source: Guy Falconbridge. "Russia Delays Work On Iran Nuclear Plant." Reuters. February 19, 2007.

February 17, 2007

  • Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei comments endorses the importance of nuclear energy for Iran's future: "Oil and gas resources will not last forever and if a country does not consider this fact it will turn to a dependent country for energy in the future...The only reason behind powers objection towards our peaceful nuclear program is because they want to control the world's energy future." Source: n.a. "Ayatollah Khamenei: Nuclear Energy is a Future Determining Matter For Iran." ISNA. February 17, 2007.
  • Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney attempts to win attention with rhetorical out-bidding in an interview with George Stephanopoulos: "Well it's a nation where people participate in suicide bombing and that kind of a suggestion, I think it was former President Rafsanjani who talked about Israel being a one-bomb nation, meaning they could not survive one bomb, but they, Iran, could survive one bomb. It's like, 'Are you kidding? Are you suggesting that you'd be willing to take a bomb in order to eliminate another people?' This is a nation where the genocidal inclination is really frightening and having a nation of this nature develop nuclear weaponry is unacceptable to this country and to the Middle East." Columnist Gary Leupp describes Romney's comments as "gibberish".
  • Iranian grand strategy described. According to Talal Atrissi, aMiddle Eastern specialist based in Lebanon, the Iranian interests and strategy are clear: "Iran’s policy in Iraq works to prevent the U.S. from feeling safe and secure. It works to prevent the formation of a pro-American Iraqi government, in favor of at least an Iraqi government that does not feel enmity toward Iran...The Iranian historic, religious, economic ties with Iraq make Iran keen on preventing the U.S. being the sole authority in Iraq. They feel a duty to preserve these ties, and to protect their national security, which is threatened by the U.S. presence in Iraq." Source: Michael Slackman. "Iran’s Chance: U.S. Troubles in Iraq Create Opening for Regional Shift." The New York Times. February 18, 2007.

February 16, 2007

  • U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates reiterates claim that the U.S. does not intend to attack Iran.
  • Japan imposed trade sanctions on Iran, freezing some assets to help pressure Iran on the nuclear proliferation issue. Source: Hiroko Nakata. "Cabinet OKs Ban on Funds Said Linked to Nuclear Iran." The Japan Times. February 17, 2007.

February 14, 2007

  • Flushing out the quarry? Conflicting claims isued about ther whereabouts of radical Shia Islamist leader Moqtada al-Sadr. U.S. miltiary asserts that he is in Iran while his aides in Iraq insist he is still in country. al-Sadr is one of several Shia Islamists expected to dominate the Iranian client Iraqi state after the U.S. military packs up and goes home, however his relationship to Iran is tenuous and conflicted. Source: n.a. "Aides Deny Claims Sadr Has Fled Iraq." Guardian. February 14, 2007.

February 13, 2007

  • Announcement of a tentative deal ending North Korean nuclear proliferation in six party talks in Beijing.
  • Righist University of Tennessee law professor Glen Reynolds who writes the Instapundit blog recommends political murder: "We should be responding quietly, killing radical mullahs and Iranian atomic scientists, supporting the simmering insurgencies within Iran, putting the mullahs' expat business interests out of business, etc. Basically, stepping on the Iranians' toes hard enough to make them reconsider their not-so-covert war against us in Iraq. And we should have been doing this since the summer 2003. But as far as I can tell, we've done nothing along these lines." Columnist Paul Campos described Reynolds as the the "Right's Ward Churchill".

February 12, 2007

  • U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates describes Pakistan as a "strong ally" of the U.S. against the Taliban. What about those other Islamist terrorists operating in Kashmir? Pakistani nuclear proliferation? Heroin manufacture and smuggling?

Fabruary 11, 2007

  • In Munich, drawing a parallel to Russian President Vladimir Putin, U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates describes himself as fellow "old spy": "I have, like your second speaker yesterday, a starkly different background - a career in the spy business. And, I guess, old spies have a habit of blunt speaking."

February 10-11, 2007

  • Iranian government celebrates Ten Day Dawn ceremonies at which it will "announce the achievement and establishment of peaceful nuclear technology and the due power of the country." Source: n.a. "Spokesman: Iran to Celebrate Nuclear Victory in February." Xinhua. December 18, 2006. News Article

February 10, 2007

  • The Guardian reports the U.S. planning for a war against Iran are well developed and the decision to launch the war is being pushed by a "war party" of neo-conservatives at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) and the Hudson Institute together with Vice President Richard "Dick" Cheney and the as yet unindicted members of his staff. According to former U.S. Air Force officer Colonel Sam Gardiner, recent comments by DCIA Robert Gates that the U.S. was not planning war were merely badly chosen words: "Gates said there is no planning for war. We know this is not true. He possibly meant there is no plan for an immediate strike. It was sloppy wording. All the moves being made over the last few weeks are consistent with what you would do if you were going to do an air strike. We have to throw away the notion the US could not do it because it is too tied up in Iraq. It is an air operation." Source: Ewen MacAskill. "Target Iran: US Able To Strike in the Spring." The Guardian. February 10, 2007.
  • EU "foreign minister" Javier Solana speaks tepid words about meetings with Iranian chief nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani: ""We believe the Iranian nuclear dossier is resolvable by negotiation...We've had constructive talks with Mr. Solana in the past and we believe that had we continued, we could have come to a positive conclusion." Source: Mark John. "Iran Says Talks Could End Nuclear Row." Reuters. February 10, 2007. News Article
  • In Munich, Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks bluntly about the dangers of American unilateralism: ""We are witnessing an almost uncontained hyper use of force in international relations ... the United States has overstepped its national borders in every way...The legitimate use of force can only be done by the United Nations, which cannot be replaced by EU or NATO...The unilateral illegal action has not resolved any problem." Source: Slobodan Lekic. "Putin Accuses U.S. of Sparking Arms Race." Associated Press & February 10, 2007. News Article

February 9, 2007

  • IAEA annouces that it has suspended 22 of 55 technical aid programs with Iran. Source: William Broad. "World Atomic Agency Suspends 22 Programs of Aid to Iran." International Herald Tribune. February 9, 2007.

February 7, 2007

  • Iranian miltiary successfully tests newly delivered Russian built TOR-M1 surface to air missile system. Russia delivered 29 of the untis in January. Source: Farhad Pouladi. "Iran Test-Fires Russian Air Defence Missiles." Agence France Press. February 7, 2007.

February 6, 2007

  • Iranian government accuses U.S. of responsibility for the kipnaping of one of its diplomats in Baghdad: "The Islamic Republic of Iran strongly condemns this aggressive act, which is in violation of international law...Iran holds American forces in Iraq responsible for the safety and life of the Iranian diplomat." The U.S. denies involvement, an assertion made less plasuible by recent revelations about Bush's Commissar Order. Source: n.a. "Iran Accuses US Over Seized Diplomat." The Guardian. February 6, 2007. News Report
  • British Prime Minister Tony Blair denies there are plans to attack Iran and then projects the strategy of the Iranian government: "Their strategy is to create the maximum trouble for us and for the region and I think that is a miscalculation because in the end they are going to find that they assemble a very large coalition against them...Nobody's talking about military intervention in respect of Iran but people are increasingly alarmed and concerned at the strategy that they appear to be pursing." Source: n.a. "'Nobody Planning' Attack on Iran." BBC News. February 6, 2007.
  • This war can still be saved! In a speech to the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert comments: "I think there is a way to stop the Iranians from moving forward on their nuclear program without violent actions...They are not as close to the threshold as they pretend to be, and therefore there is still time to fight in a responsible, comprehensive and powerful manner." Sources: n.a. "Olmert Says Still Time to Curb Iran Nuclear Plans." Reuters. February 6, 2007; n.a. "Olmert Upbeat On Iran Solution." JTA Daily Briefing. February 6, 2007. News Report

February 5, 2007

  • Coalition of British groups including Oxford Research Group, the Foreign Policy Centre and Oxfam issues 'Time to talk' report warning against military attack on Iran and urges negotiations. Source: Julian Borger. "Attacking Iran Would be Disastrous, Warns Coalition of Opinion Led by Retired Officers." The Guadian. February 5, 2007. News Report

February 4, 2007

  • On Meet the Press U.S. Senator and Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards speaks common sense about the U.S. relationship with Iran:
"Now, what would strengthen him (Mahmoud Ahmadinejad)? A military strike by America against Iran would strengthen him. They would rally around this guy. On top of that, we would see retaliation. It’d be hard for them to get to us, except through terrorists, but they—we got 100,000-plus American men and women right next door, and there—a lot of us believe that there’s an infrastructure for retaliation if that were to happen. What—what’s much smarter for us to do, certainly now, for the time being—no American president should ever take any option off the table—but what’s smarter for us to do now is to continue to tap into this growing isolation between this radical leader and his own people...And what should be done, in my judgment, is we ought—we ought to work with our friends in Europe. You know, actually, the banking institutions in Europe have been pretty good about being tough on Iranian banks. The governments have been less good. But we ought to put an offer of both sticks and carrots on the table. We ought to make it clear that there are things that America and the Europeans are willing to do—it’d be great if we could get the Russians and the Chinese to participate—but certainly the Europeans, they have economic leverage with Iran. And those things include making the nuclear fuel available to them, controlling the cycle—this has been offered before—but combining that with a set of economic incentives that will be very attractive to the people in, in Iran who’re already feeling an isolation from this president. And then on the stick side say, ‘But there will be consequences if you don’t give up your nuclear program. And the consequences are the economic decline that you’re seeing within your own country will be accelerated, and it will be accelerated because the bank—the banks in Europe and the European governments will not continue to do economic business with Iran." Source: Transcript of interview with Sen. John Edwards. Meet the Press with Tom Russert. February 4, 2007. Text
  • In their News Analysis in The New York Times William J. Broad and Peter E. Sanger cast doubt on the Iranian uranium enrichment achievement: "What the Iranians are not talking about, experts with access to the atomic agency’s information say, is that their experimental effort to make centrifuges work has struggled to achieve even limited success and appears to have been put on the back burner so the country’s leaders can declare that they are moving to the next stage." Source: William J. Broad and Peter E. Sanger. "Iranian Boast Is Put to Test." The New York Times. February 4, 2007.

February 2, 2007

  • U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates denies that the U.S. is planning a war with Iran: "Nobody is planning, we are not planning for a war with Iran." (Does that mean the war is already as planned as it can get?) He also stated that evidence of Iranian covert involvement in the humiliating raid in Kabala is unclear: "The information I've seen is ambiguous." Source: Lolita Balbor. "Gates Says U.S. Not Planning Iran War." The Guardian. February 3, 2007.
  • Iranian governmnt is reportedly "working feverishly" to contrcut undergound bunker for its uranium enrichmeent facility at Natanz. Source: n.a. "Iran 'Working Feverishly' On Nuclear Bunker: UN Atomic Agency." CBC.CA February 2, 2007. News Report

February 1, 2007

  • French President Jacques Chirac dares to speak common sense about Iranian nuclear proliferation by describing it as "not very dangerous," but then retreats in the face of withering international and domestic criticism. His office issues a statement sayingthat : "France, along with the international community, cannot accept the prospect of an Iran equipped with a nuclear weapon...The Iranian nuclear program is opaque and therefore dangerous for the region." Source: n.a. "French Leader Backtracks On Iran: In Reversal, Chirac Now Says Iran Having Nuclear Weapons Is Unacceptable." BCS News. February 1, 2007. News Report
  • If she has to promise a major war to win the presidency, she is willing. Speaking to an audience of 1,700 at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, U.S. Senator and Democratic Party presidential frontrunner Hillary Rodham Clinton says: "U.S. policy must be clear and unequivocal: We cannot, we should not, we must not permit Iran to build or acquire nuclear weapons...In dealing with this threat ... no option can be taken off the table." Source: Samantha Gross. "Sen. Clinton: Iran Is a Threat to Israel." February 1, 2007. News Report
  • From the Kremlin Russian President Vladimir Putin tells television audience that Iran has the "right" to a civilian nuclear power program and asserts that it can satisfy international concerns: "It is necessary to find a scenario for the development of nuclear industry that would, on the one hand, fully guarantee Iran's access [to nuclear technology] and on the other, address any concerns within the international community...Such options exist, and Mr. Mohamed ElBaradei [Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)] is proposing them...As you know, we are cooperating with Iran in peaceful nuclear activities, building a nuclear power plant in Bushehr. We intend to pursue this program in the future." Source: n.a. "Peaceful Iran Nuclear Program Can Be Guaranteed-Putin." RAI Novosti. February 1, 2006.
  • Not exactly stirring rhetoric. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad comments that Iran will celebrate "the stabilization and the establishment of its full right" to enrich uranium. Source: n.a. "Iran To Stabilize Muke Program Next Week." The Jerusalem Post. February 1, 2007.

January 31, 2007

  • London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies concludes that Iran will have enough enriched weapons grade uranium for a single nuclear weapon (55 pounds) roughly 11 months after its planned 3,000-centrifuge cascade is operational. Source: Raphael G. Satter. "Report: Iran Years From Nuclear Weapons." Washington Post. January 31, 2007.
  • U.S. Defense Logistics Agency freezes sales of spare parts for F-14s. Iran's 79 US-built F-14s were purchased before the 1979 Islamic Revolution. Successive U.S. administrations banked heavily on the anti-communist Pahlavi Regime and sold it virtually any weapons system that it wanted. Source: Jack Mannion. "US Stops F-14 Parts Sales, Hints Iran Behind Karbala Attack." Agence France Presse & France 24. January 31, 2007.

January 29, 2007

  • In an extremely friendly interview with NPR's Juan Williams U.S. President George W. Bush issues vague threat: "If Iran escalates its military action in Iraq to the detriment of our troops and/or innocent Iraqi people, we will respond firmly." Later in the interview he denies having plans to invade Iran: "Yeah. I have no intent upon going into Iran." Although not part of the NPR written transcript, Bush can be clearly heard on the audio starting to use the word "incursion," which had been used by Williams, but caught himself and stopped at "incurs__." Incursion was the euphemism used by the Nixon administration to describe its invasion of Cambodia. Source: NPR Transcript. "President Bush on the Record, Part 1." All things Considered. January 29, 2007.
  • Notwithstanding a stated desire to resolve the problem diplomatically, U.S. Acting Ambassador to the UN Alejandro Wolff rejected Mohamed ElBaradei's "timeout" proposal: "There is a path laid out for suspension...That is Iranian suspension of their enrichment activities to be responded to by the council. That is very clear and it is not subject to reinterpretation." Source: Bill Varner. "ElBaradei's Idea for `Timeout' With Iran Is Rejected by U.S." Bloomberg. January 29, 2007. News Report

January 28, 2007

  • Delaying tactics. Iranian nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani states that his government needed time to review an IAEA plan to end the nuclear impasse offered by Mohamed ElBaradei at Davos: "Time should be allocated to see if the plan has the capacity to solve the case." Source: n.a. "Iran Wants Time to Review Plan That Delays U.N. Sanctions." Associated Press & The New York Times. January 28, 2007.
  • Princeton emeritus professor Bernard Lewis believes he can read the minds of 60 million Iranians but appears unaware he is engaged in wishful thinking. Lewis claims that most Iranaisn oppose their government's nuclear program. Source: Amir Mizroch. "Bernard Lewis: Iranians Oppose Regime's Nuke Drive." Jeruslaem Post. January 28, 2007.

January 27, 2007

  • Influential American political scientist Graham Allison published op-ed column asserting that the "objective consequence" of the second Bush administration's invasion of Iraq and toppling of Saddam Hussein was to strengthen Iran and that negotiations with Iran are probably the way forward: "If Iran is to be prevented from building nuclear bombs without war, the US must now explore negotiating options that are unpalatable but nonetheless better than the options a President will face at the end of the road he is now on." Source: Graham Allison. "Graham Allison: Iran's Nuclear Bomb: Acquiesce or Attack?" January 27, 2007. Op-Ed Column
  • Iranian Atomic Energy Organization spokesperson Hossein Simorgh states that, "no new centrifuges have been installed in Natanz." Source: Nasser Karimi. "Iran Official Denies Nuke Plant Reports." Associated Press. January 28, 2007. News Report

January 25, 2007

  • IAEA Chief Mohamed ElBaradei opposes military attack on Iran: "It would be absolutely counterproductive and encourage it to develop a nuclear bomb." Source: Stella Dawson. "IAEA Chief Says Attack on Iran Would Be Catastrophe." Reuters. January 25, 2007.
  • Iranian nuclear scientist Ardeshir Hassanpour is reported on Iranian state television, one wek after the death from radiation. An Article in Stratfor suggests that the death may have been the result of covert action against Iran.

January 24, 2007

  • Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert threatens Iran with nuclear attack using the Holocaust as a moral justification: "The Jewish people, with the scars of the Holocaust fresh on its body, cannot afford to allow itself to face threats of annihilation once again. Anyone who threatens us, who threatens our existence, must know that we have the determination and capability of defending ourselves, responding with force, discretion and with all the means at our disposal." However he wants "every country" (Code for the United States and various Western European states) to share complicity for attacks against Iran: "It is the obligation of every country to act against this with all its might." Source: Steven Glutkin. "Olmert Calls For action against Iran." Associated Press & San Jose Mercury News. January 24, 2007. News Report
  • The story improves with the telling. The Daily Telegraph reports that North Korea is helping Iran prepare to conduct a nuclear test. However what the text of the article in the conservative Briitsh daily reveals is that an unnamed senior western military official told its reporters that a) the Iranians are working closely with the North Koreans to study the results of last year's North Korean nuclear bomb test, b) there is increased activity at Iran's nuclear facilities this year and c) "there are indications" that "the Iranians are working hard to prepare for their own underground nuclear test." Source: Con Coughlin. "N Korea Helping Iran With Nuclear Testing." The Daily Telegraph. January 24, 2007. Daily Telegraph News Article Haaretz then reports that, "the Daily Telegraph reported Wednesday, North Korea is helping Iran prepare an underground nuclear test similar to the one Pyongyang carried out last year." Source: n.a. "Report: Iran Planning Nuclear Test with N. Korean Assistance." Haaretz. January 24, 2007. Haaretz New Article
  • U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice admits that there is nothing to the claim that North Korea is helping Iran prepare to test a nuclear device: "I don't see that it's based on anything that I've seen. I don't see what it's based on." Source: n.a. "Rice Dismisses Report North Korea Helping Iran Prepare Nuke Test." Agence France Presse. January 24, 2007. News Report

January 23, 2007

  • U.S. undersecretary of state for political affairs Nicholas Burns blusters in speech the Dubai-based Gulf Research Center: "The Middle East isn't a region to be dominated by Iran. The Gulf isn't a body of water to be controlled by Iran. That's why we've seen the United States station two carrier battle groups in the region...Iran is going to have to understand that the United States will protect its interests if Iran seeks to confront us." While in Syria, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad condemns American and Isreali motives: "The U.S. intends to cause insecurity and dispute and weaken independent governments in the region to continue with its dominance over the Middle East and achieve its arrogant goals...The U.S. and Zionist regime have a conspiracy to stir up conflict between Shiite and Sunni Muslims in order to plunder the wealth of the regional nations." Source: Jim Krane. "U.S. Warns Iran to Back Down." Associated Press. January 23, 2007. News Report
  • French Foreign Ministry spokesperson Jean-Baptiste Mattei expressed his government's dismay that Iran had decided to bar IAEA nulcear inspectors from entering the country. Source: n.a. "France Expresses Concern About Iran's Decision to Bar 38 U.N. Nuclear Agency Inspectors." The International Herald Tribune. January 23, 2007. Nuclear weapons state France disapproves of Iranian efforts to achieve the same status but has not offered to give up its own nuclear arsenal.
  • Isreali rightist Benjamin Netanuyahu urges Massachusetts Treasurer Tom Cahill to divest in firms doing business with Iran because of that coutnry's nuclear policies: "This allows you to use economic pressure that might obviate the need to use different measures. It actually might work given Iran's own vulnerabilities." Source: n.a. "Netanyahu Asks U.S. Pension Fund to Quit Companies Dealing With Iran." Reuters and Haaretz. January 24, 2007. But did Neyanyahu promise to work for Israeli nuclear disarmament?
  • Courting the Isreali lobby back home. Speaking at the annual Herzliya Conference in Isreal Mormon Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney called for economic sanctions against Iran like those imposed on aparthied era South Africa. He also promised "The military option remains on the table." Source: Glen Johnson. "Romney Calls for Anti-Apartheid-like Sanctions Against Iran." Associated Press. January 23, 2007. Does Mitt Romney's Mormon morality permit promising a war to get elected? What about approving Israeli "aparthied" against the Palestinians? Also considering a run for the Republican nomination is Newt Gingrich who competing with Romney as fear-monger: "Israel is in the greatest danger it has been in since 1967. Prior to '67, many wondered if Israel would survive. After '67, Israel seemed military dominant, despite the '73 war. I would say we are (now) back to question of survival." Source: Yaacov. "Israel Faces Nuclear Holocaust Warns Gingrich." Y-Net News. January 23, 2006. Gingrich waxes hysterical: "Three nuclear weapons are a second holocaust. ... I'll repeat it. Three nuclear weapons are a second holocaust. ... Our enemies are fully as determined as Nazi Germany and more determined than the Soviets. Our enemies will kill us the first chance they get...If we knew that tomorrow morning we would lose Haifa, Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, what would we do to stop it? If we knew that we would tomorrow lose Boston, San Francisco or Atlanta, what would we do?"

January 22, 2007

  • The Iranian government retaliates for UN Resolution 1737 (December 23, 2006) by barring 38 out of a total of 200 IAEA nuclear inspectors detailed to Iran. Iranian parliamentary foreign policy and national security committee chair Alaedin Boroujerdi announced: "The committee has decided to bar 38 inspectors from coming to Iran and we have announced the new limitation to the agency." However, according to the IAEA spokesperson Melissa Fleming, "There are a sufficient number of inspectors designated for Iran and the IAEA is able to perform its inspection activities in accordance with Iran's Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement." Source: Nazila Fathi. "Iran Bars Inspectors; Cleric Criticizes President." The New York Times. January 23, 2007.

January 21, 2007

  • Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad issues hyperbolic dismissal of the claim that Resolution 1737 had any effect in Iran: "The (U.N.) resolution was delivered dead. Ten more similar resolutions will not affect our economy and our policy...Falsely, they want to imply that we have had costs in this regard." He also promises to distribute shares of ownership in companies to 20 million more Iranians. Source: Naser Karimi. "Iran's Leader: U.N. Won't Stop Nuke Plan." Associated Press. January 21, 2007.
  • Iranian government announces it has begun three days of tests for its short range Zalzal and Fajr-5 missiles. Source: Naser Karimi. "Iran Announces New Missile Tests." The Guardian. January 22, 2007.
  • Former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu wants "the world" (code for The United States) to attack Iran in the 21st century to atone for its failure to attack Nazi Germany in the mid-20th century in an impossible effort to save Jewish non-U.S. citizens from genocide: "I want to call on the world that didn't stop the Holocaust last time to stop any attempt this time and what needs to be done is divest genocide." Source: Naser Karimi. "Iran's Leader: U.N. Won't Stop Nuke Plan." Associated Press. January 21, 2007. Curious how Netanyahu has not demanded that Israeli Defense Force units be rushed to Darfur.

January 20, 2007

  • Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad begins tour of the Arab Middle East Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Syria and Jordan. Source: n.a. "Musharraf, Ahmadinejad Discuss Mideast." Associated Press. January 19, 2007.

January 19, 2007

  • How did the U.S. get into this miserable position? U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates admits, "Frankly, right at this moment there’s really nothing the Iranians want from us, and so in any negotiation right now we would be the supplicant." Souce: David S. Cloud. "Gates Says U.S. Has Few Options to Halt Iran’s Atomic Plans." The New York Times. January 19, 2007. News Article
  • Sniffing for weakness, speculation is expressed in the language of Orientalism. Chicago Tribune reports that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad faces conservative opposition over nuclear policy in the "hazy world of Iranian politics." Evidence for the claim takes the form of an editorial in Jomhouri Eslami, a newspaper controlled by conservative Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei commenting that Resolution 1737, "is certainly harmful for the country" and disquiet among reformists in the Iranian parliament. Source: Nasila Fathi and Michael Slackman. "Iranians Press Leader to Exit Nuclear Debate: Rebuke of President Follows UN Sanctions." Chicago Tribune. January 19, 2007.
  • Emerging Southwest Asian Islamist Alliance? Pakistani President (miltiary dictator) Gen. Pervez Musharraf and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad reportedly discuss Middle East politics by telephone. Source: n.a. "Musharraf, Ahmadinejad Discuss Mideast." Associated Press. January 19, 2007.

January 18, 2007

  • Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mohammad Ali Hosseini criticises new UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon: "Ignoring the right of IAEA members to pursue peaceful nuclear technology is against the provisions of the NPT, the right having been emphasized and backed by 118 countries of the Non-Aligned Movement during its summit on Dec. 22, 2006. We expect the U.N. secretary-general's remarks and stances to be in accordance with the U.N. Charter and to uphold its principles and responsibilities, and to observe fairness in decision making." Source: n.a. "Iran: U.N. Chief Ignorant of Nuclear Law." United Press International. January 18, 2007.
  • Iranian nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani blusters before Iranian clerics in Qom: ""The Islamic republic's armed forces are completely ready to confront any probable threats by the enemies...Our enemies have waged a psychological war in order to make us retreat from our nuclear positions." Source: n.a. "Iran Nuclear Chief Says Forces Ready For Any Threat." Agence France Presse. January 20, 2007.

January 17, 2007

  • Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad comments: "They [Israelis] well know the power of the Iranian people. I don't think they would ever dare to attack us, neither them nor their masters. They won't do such a stupid thing." Source: n.a. "Iran President Says Israel Would Not Dare Attack." Reuters NewsAlert. January 17, 2006.
  • IAEA imposes temporary suspension of nuclear assistance to Iran. Source: George Jahn. "U.N. Nuclear Agency Stops Some Iran Aid." Guardian and Associated Press. January 17, 2006.
  • Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists moves the Doomsday Clock to five minutes to midnight. Source: Alex Morales. "Scientists Adjust `Doomsday Clock' as Threat Grows (Update1)." Bloomberg. January 17, 2006.
  • With Republican neo-cons it's always someone else's fault. Increasingly impotent U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice tells NBC reporter Andrea Mitchell in an interview that Iran is the party at fault for the U.S. refusal to engage in negotiations: "And as for Iran, this is a time when Iran every day is more and more in violation of international responsibilities and international demands. Iran knows how it can engage with the United States. It only has to suspend its enrichment, something that has been demanded by the international community." Souce: Interview With Andrea Mitchell of NBC News U.S. Department of State January 17, 2007.

January 16, 2007

  • Someone is lying. Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mohammad Ali Hosseini denied unconfirmed January 15, 2007 reports that the Iranian government had asked the government of Saudi Arabia to mediate the Iranian Nuclear Crisis: "(The report about) Iran asking Saudi Arabia to mediate between Iran and America is baseless." Source: Parisa Hafezi. Iran Denies Urging Saudi to Mediate With U.S. Reuters January 16, 2006.

January 15, 2007

  • Wishful thinking? News sources report unconfirmed information that a Saudi Arabian government official said that Iranian chief nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani had delivered a joint message from Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to Saudi King Abdullah urging him to convey a message of goodwill from Tehran to Washington. Source: Julian Borger, Ian Traynor & Ewen MacAskill. "We Are Not Leaving, Gates Warns Iran as Troop Surge Begins." Guardian. January 16, 2006. News Story
  • Former unconfirmed U.S. Ambassador to the UN now reduced to AEI neo-con talking-head John Bolton concludes that war with Iran to achieve regime change is "preferable" to striking Iran's nuclear site because, "the only course worse than the use of force is an Iran with nuclear weapons". Source: Sarah Baxter. "Sanctions Won't Stop Iran Getting N-arms: Bolton." The Australian. January 15, 2007.

January 14, 2007

  • Iranian Foreign Ministry Mohammad Ali Hosseini denies that nuclear enrichment is stalled at the Natanz facility. Source: n.a. "Iran Denies Reports of Stalled Nuclear Activities." Associated Press and International Herald Tribune. January 14, 2006.
  • Planted news story? Former Russian Black Sea Fleet Edward Baltin warns that the numerous U.S. submarines patrolling in the Persian Gulf indicate a likely U.S. attack on Iran. Source: n.a. "Russian Admiral: Numerous US Nuclear Subs Signals Imminent Strike on Iran." Jerusalem Newswire. January 14, 2007.

January 12, 2007

  • Smiley second Bush White House spokesperson Tony Snow describes the widespread suspicion that Bush's televised January 10, 2007 speech was an attempt to prepare American public opinion for war with Iran as "an urban legend." With respect to preparations for war with Iran, Snow states flatly: "There are not." Read the unambiguous denial made during the January 12, 2007 Transcript of the White House Press Conference.
  • British Iran specialist Ali Ansari describes the U.S. raod on the Iranian consulate in Arbil as an "extreme provocation" and "a declaration of war": "The risk is a wider war. Because of the underlying tensions, we are transferring from a 'cold war' into a 'hot war'." Source: Ann Penketh. "Bush's Tough Tactics Are A 'Declaration of War' on Iran." The Independent. January 12, 2007.

January 11, 2007

  • CBS News reports speculation by Center for Strategic and International Studies' Anthony Cordeman that Iran might have shifted ther focus of uranium enrichment to undisclosed locations because the Natanz plant was a likely target of airstrikes. Source: George Jahn. "Iran Nuke Work Seems Slow, Puzzling West." CBS News. January 11, 2006.
  • Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert lobbies Chinese leaders in Beijing to discuss Iranian nuclear crisis. Xinhua quotes Prime Minister Wen Jiabao: "China will continue to play a constructive role in promoting the (diplomatic) settlement of the (Iran) issue." Source: Dan Williams. "Israel's Olmert Discusses Iran With China's Hu." Washington Post. January 11, 2007.
  • U.S. military arrests 4 Iranian diplomats in a raid on their consulate in Erbil that was not coordinated with the Iraqi national government or the semi-autonomous Kurdish government controlling northern Iraq.

January 9, 2007

  • Eldad Pardo, Hebrew University (Jerusalem) Iran specialist talks up the inevitability of war: "A nuclear Iran would sell weapons to terrorists, and a clash will be inevitable." Source: Etgar Lefkovits. "Expert: Clash Over Iran Nukes Inevitable." Jerusalem Post. January 9, 2007.

January 8, 2007

  • Stuart Levey, described by NPR Morning Edition reporter as the "Bush administration sanctions guy," describes UN Resolution 1737 as potentially powerful: "From my perspective as the guy who does sanctions policy, if you read this resolution and if it is really faithfully enforced, it could be very powerful." Michele Keleman. "U.S., Russia at Odds over U.N. Sanctions on Iran." NPR Morning Edition. January 9, 2007. News Report

January 7, 2007

  • The Sunday Times, a newspaper owned by pro-Israeli Rupert Murdoch's News Corp, "breaks" the story that Israel has drawn up "secret" plans for an airstrike to destroy Iran’s uranium enrichment facilities with tactical min-nukes, low yeld nuclear weapons designed as "bunker busters." Israeli miltiary officers are reported to be the sources for the (purposefully?) leaked information. The targets named in Natanz, Isfahan and Arak. Source: Uzi Mahnaimi and Sarah Baxter. "Revealed: Israel Plans Nuclear Strike on Iran." The Sunday Times. January 7, 2007. News Report
  • Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mark Regev denied the reported nuclear attack plan: "Israel is 100 percent committed to the international effort to achieve a diplomatic solution and supports the full and expeditious implementation of UN Resolution 1737." Source: David Rosenberg. "Israel Denies Plan to Attack Iran Nuclear Facility (Update2)." Bloomberg. January 7, 2007. News Report

January 6, 2007

  • Iranian MP Kazem Jalali expreses Iranian sense of victimization: "Western states intend to convince the world that Iran has violated international regulations by obliging the country's officials to make hasty decisions while the issue is not true...Giant world media, influenced by the Zionist regime, intend to show an inappropriate image of Iran." Source: n.a. MP Cautions Against Hasty Decision On Nuclear Case. IRNA. January 6, 2007. News Article
  • The New York Times reports conclusion about the Israeli government by Hebrew University professor Schlomo Avineri suggesting that the Israeli security and intelligence services are calling rhe shots in foreign policy: "This is a government where the prime minister and defense minister don't really control their own people in the security services and don't feel strong enough to challenge them. Source: Steven Erlanger. "In a Weakened Israel, Split on Policy and Politics, Angry Words--or No Words at All." The New York Times. January 7, 2007. A9.

January 5, 2007

  • In Beijing, Chinese President Hu Jintao urges chief Iranian nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani to respond to the UN Resolution 1737: "[W]e hope Iran could make a serious response to the resolution...China continues to believe the Iranian nuclear issue should be resolved through diplomatic negotiation." Source: Audra Ang. "Report: China Prods Iran to Answer U.N." Guardian. January 5, 2006. News Report
  • More bluster from Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Iranian state-run television: "Iran will stand up to coercion. ... All Iranians stand united to defend their nuclear rights...Enemies have assumed that they can prevent the progress of the Iranian nation through psychological war and issuing resolutions, but they will be defeated." n.a. "Iran Flouts Nuclear Sanctions: Nuclear Chief Touts 'Tons' Of Enrichment Materials As President Rails Against Resolution." CBS News. January 5, 2007.

January 4, 2007

  • The Jerusalem Post reports comments of a former Israeli Air Force commander about an air strike against Iranian nuclear installations: "Israel can do it. All you have to do is pick a number of essential targets and destroy them. This way you delay the process and wait to see what happens...We would need to know all of the specifications, whether the bunker is fortified by steel or concrete and even how thick it is." Source: Yaakov Katz. "IDF Can Stop Iran's Nuclear Program'." January 4, 2007. (Note that the headline said "stop" while the quote said "delay." (This begs the question: Delay for what purpose? Until another bellicose Republican U.S. President can be elected to invade Iran?")
  • In Hendijan, Khuzistan, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad reminds his auduence(s) that the international nuclear non-proliferation regime has an explicit quid pro quo: "The Articles of Association of the NPT and IAEA clearly stipulate that the Agency and nuclear technology-rich countries are obligated to assist other members to gain access to the nuclear fuel cycle and in return other members have been urged to refrain from diverting to nuclear weapons". Source: n.a. "Progress of Iran Angers Enemies." Fars news Agency. January 4, 2007. News Report

January 3, 2007

  • Revolutionary Guards Maj. Gen. Yahya Rahim Safavi threatens: "More than 190,000 members of American forces are scattered in Afghanistan and Iraq. If the U.S. carries out its threats against Iran, they must know that all these forces will be within our reach..."The U.S. and the Zionist regime (Israel) do not have the power to confront us and we will hand them bone-breaking blows...Iraq is getting more unsafe everyday for America anyway." Source: n.a. "Iran Will Target U.S. Forces If Attacked." January 3, 2007. New Report
  • Iranian nuclear negotiator Sirus Naseri comments that anxiety about the "confidentiality of information" is "more intense in view of potential threats of military strikes against facilities visited by the agency", (a.k.a. ther IAEA). Source: n.a. "Iran Will Target U.S. Forces If Attacked." January 3, 2007. New Report
  • Pessimism increases in the U.S. about the possibility the second Bush administration will widen the war to include Iran. Examples: Brace Yourself for 2007.

January 2, 2007

  • Rightist Israeli Minister for Strategic Affairs Avigdor Lieberman sends letter to new UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon critical of the Secretary General's conclusion that the Israeli-Palestinian issue was at the core of solving the problems in the Middle East, including the problem of the claimed Iranian threat to Israel: "I have never heard Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad call for territorial compromises from Israel, but rather for the total and unconditional annihilation of the Jewish state. I have never heard Mahmoud Ahmadinejad call for negotiations between Israel and Palestinians, yet I have heard his repeated calls for wiping Israel off the map. Ahmadinejad's vision for a 'new Middle East' is one void of a Jewish state or any Jews at all." Source: Gil Hoffman. "Lieberman Responds to UN Chief." The Jerusalem Post. January 2, 2007. Lieberman then proceeds to make hysterical demand that incoming UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to expel Iran from the world body over its repeated threats against Israel: "Ahmadinejad's intentions are clear, and while the free world takes its time, the Iranian president is pressing with his plan to build nuclear weapons. Israel can and will stand alone against Iran, but we shouldn't have to do so. If Iran is allowed to acquire nuclear weapons, the free world will pay a heavy price and Israel will be the first and will pay the heaviest price. But Iran's aggression will not end there." Source: n.a. "Lieberman to UN Chief: Expel Iran." Ynetnews and Israelinsider. January 4, 2007. News Article

January 1, 2007

New Years Day becomes a day of rhetorical overkill for Iranian MPs.

  • How did humans exercise freedom before they could crack atoms? Should we add nuclear power to speech, press, assembly and due process as essential rights? Iranian MP Kazem Jalali and Rapporteur of Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Commission comments: "After ratification of the unfair and illegal resolution by the Security Council, the Islamic Consultative Assembly, as one of important decision-making centers (of the country), passed the bill to speed up nuclear activities and revise Iran's cooperation with the IAEA...There are special regulations in international relations. Iran has fulfilled its international duties in hope of restoring its rights...There is no reason for denying a country access to its inalienable rights while it has conducted its duties well." Source: n.a. "Majlis Aims To Restore Iran's Nuclear Right: MP." IRNA. January 1, 2006. News Report
  • How did humans even survive before they could crack atoms? Should we add nuclear power to the list of essential including food, shelter, health care and education? Iranian MP Heshmatollah Felahat-Pisheh comments: "All through these years because the West always deprived us of our essential nuclear needs, we were practically sanctioned. Therefore the issuance of such a resolution against Iran was completely predictable. However, Iran will celebrate its nuclear achievement in the Islamic Revolution anniversary days." Source: n.a. "Iran MP: UNSC Sanctions have no effect on Iran's progress." ISNA. January 1, 2007 News Report

December 31, 2006

  • Different messages for different audiences. In a first day of Eid al-Adha speech at Tehran University former Iranian President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani comments: "The problems will not be limited to Iran. Many (countries) will suffer from the smoke from this fire." Later in a sermon on Iranian state television he states: "We are ready to resolve the accusations with logic, negotiations and inspections. We are ready to cooperate with international bodies under their regulations." Source: Nasser Karimi. "Rafsanjani: U.N. Sanctions Will Backfire." Washington Post. December 31, 2006.

December 30, 2006

  • In a speech at at Baqiyatollah Medical University, Commander of the Islamic Revolution’s Guards Corps (IRGC) Major Gen. Yahya Rahim Safavi explains: "Their major concern is to see the Islamic Republic of Iran becoming a regional superpower...Our enemies are determined to prevent us from attaining such a goal...Due to our access to scientific and technological know-how, the nation can take significant strides toward progress." Source: n.a. "Safavi: Enemies Fear Iran's Regional Clout." IranMania. December 30, 2006. News Report

December 29, 2006

  • Russian Ambassador to the UN Vitaly Churkin comments: "We hope the Iranian leadership will properly assess the situation and take concrete measures to implement Resolution 1737 in order to restore [international] trust in Iran's nuclear program." Source: n.a. "Russia Hopes Iran Will Act to Restore Trust in Nuclear Program." RIA Novosti. December 29, 2006.

December 28, 2006

  • Shopping around for someone to fight Isreal's war against Iran? The Jerusalem Post quotes a senior Israeli Defense Force (IDF) source as saying: "There are people who want this issue to come up and want NATO to start talking about Iran...This should be on NATO's agenda." Source: Yaakov Kaatz. "'NATO Interested in Iran's Nuke Program'". Jerusalem Post. December 28, 2006.

December 27, 2006

  • Iranian Majlis votes 161 to 15, with 15 abstentions, to limit IAEA inspections at Iranian nuclear sites and accelerate nuclear development. Sources: n.a. "Iran's Parliament Votes to Revise Ties With the U.N. Nuclear Agency." Associated Press & International Herald Tribune. December 27, 2006; n.a. "Iran MPs Vote To Revise Ties With IAEA." Mewhr News. December 27, 2006.
  • U.S. Deputy Press Secretary Scott Stanzel complained that the vote in the Iranian Majlis would, "worsen the situation in the eyes of the world." (Does the White House think that it speaks for "the world?") Iranian Majlis Speaker Gholam Ali Haddad Adel commented: "The bill gives a free hand to the government to decide on a range of reactions—from leaving the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty to remaining in the International Atomic Energy Agency and negotiating." Source: n.a. "Iran's Parliament Votes to Revise Ties With the U.N. Nuclear Agency." Associated Press & International Herald Tribune. December 27, 2006.

December 24, 2006

  • Defiance from Tehran. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad tells a group of war veterans: "This [UN sanctions resolution] will not damage the nation of Iran, but its issuers will soon regret this superficial and nil act." In a better quote Iranian nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani states: "From Sunday morning, we will begin activities at Natanz, the site of 3,000-centrifuge machines, and we will drive it with full speed. It will be our immediate response to the resolution." Source: Nasser Karimi. Iran Rebuffs U.N., Vows to Speed Up Uranium Enrichment." Washington Post & Associated Press. December 25, 2006.

December 23, 2006

  • UN Security Council votes to appove Resolution 1737 imposing limited economic sanctions following two months of intense negotiations between the U.S., EU 3, Russia and China. U.S. Undersecretary of State Nicholas Burns complains: "We don't think this resolution is enough in itself. We want the international community to take further action. We're certainly not going to put all our eggs in the U.N. basket...We want to let the Iranians know that there is a big cost to them." Source: Jennifer Loven. "U.S. Hails U.N. Resolution Against Iran." Associated Press. December 23, 2006.

December 21, 2006

  • Iranian nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani comments on the ineffectiveness of sanctions and Western motivations: "This behaviour will just create more problems. They should know that if they ratify the resolution Iran will be in a new situation. In this situation Iran will review its cooperation with the agency (International Atomic Energy Agency) and (review) other political, economic and cultural fields. The issue for the other side is not whether Iran's programme is peaceful or not. Basically they don't want Iran to have such technology." Source: n.a. "Iran Says U.N. Resolution Won't Stop Nuclear Work." Reuters'. December 21, 2006.
  • Jaffe Center for Strategic Studies (JCSS) issues 2005-2006 Middle East Strategic Balance compiled by former IAF Intelligence officer Yiftah Shapir and retired Brig. Gen. Zvi Shatuber reporting that military action was the only way to stop Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. Source: Yaakov Kotz. "Only Military Action Can Stop Iran." Jerusalem Post. December 21, 2006.

December 20, 2006

  • Mossad Chief Meir Dagan tells the Isreali Knesset's Committee on Foreign Affairs and Defense that Iran will not get the bomb before 2009: "The diplomatic effort to block Iran's nuclear program is far from being over. The threat is close enough to draw attention and yet far enough to allow time for action." By 2008 the Iranian centrifuges will have produced approximately 25 kilograms or 55 pounds of enriched uranium. Source: Aluf Benn. "Mossad Chief: Iran Will Not Get Nuclear Bomb Before 2009." Haaretz. December 20, 2006.
  • Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad reminds everone of the European 3's hypocrisy of turning a blind eye to Israeli PM Olmert's admission that his government has nuclear weapons while continuing to pressure Iran to give up its nuclear program: "They shamelessly remain silent or smile in consent toward the official announcement by the Zionist occupying regime possessing nuclear weapons, but insist, using their influence in global organizations, to impose so-called sanctions against the Iranian nation." Source: Ali Akbar Darieni. "Ahmadinejad Says UN Sanctions Won't Stop Iran's Nuclear Program." The Canadian Press. December 20, 2006.
  • While in Kermanshah Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad tells an audience of disabled war veterans and families of war deads: "Our domestic mission is to build a genuinely independent, powerful, progressive and model country while our international mission is to lead the world to salvation through resistance against bullying powers. The US and Britain cannot threaten the Iranian nation with their bullying, which have no effect on them." Source: n.a. "President Urges Nation to Stand Shoulder to Shoulder With Corrupt Powers." IRNA. December 20, 2006. (This is the most amusing badly translated news article title in recent memory!)
  • While in the town of Javanroud, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad predicted: "Today, it is the United States, Britain and the Zionist regime which are doomed to disappear as they have moved far away from the teachings of God." Source: n.a. "Britain, Israel, US To 'Vanish'." News 24. December 20, 2006. News Report (Just like protestant Christian milennialists, Ahmadinejad likes to make vague predictions and then attribute them to god.)

December 19, 2006

  • Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov murmurs "victory" by telling Interfax: "The new resolution prepared by the EU3 that is now being discussed in the Security Council has to a large extent taken into account our approaches." Source: n.a. "Russia Signals Hope for Ending Iran Nuclear Impasse." CBC & Associated Press. December 19, 2006. News Article
  • Second Bush administration sends second aircraft carrier to the Persian Gulf to deter and possibly attack Iran.

December 16, 2006

December 14, 2006

  • Elie Wiesel demands punishment of Iran: "We believe everything must be done so Iran does not become a nuclear power." Source: Eva Cahen. "Don't Let Iran Become Nuclear Power, Nobel Laureate Urges." CNS News December 15, 2006. The "we" he refers to are French intellectuals.
  • Incoming UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon condemns factual relativism: "Denying historical facts, especially on such an important fact as the Holocaust, is just not acceptable, nor is it acceptable to call for the elimination of any state or people." Source n.a. "Ki-Moon Condemns Iran's Shoah Denial." Jerusalem Post & Associated Press. December 14, 2006. News Article. Does Ki-Moon's insistence on objective fact extend to the existence of Isreali nuclear weapons?
  • Israeli commentator Yossi Melman claims Israeli nuclear weapons have been useful in intimidating neighboring Arab states: "It has been the right policy; it has helped Israel. The Arabs, knowing that Israel is a nuclear superpower and a conventional weapons superpower, probably reduced their aspirations or limited their plans." Source: Joshua Mitnick. "Why Israel Maintains Nuclear Ambiguity." The Christian Science Monitor. December 14, 2006. News Article.

December 13, 2006

  • Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mohammad Ali Hosseini describes Olmert's slip as a "confession" that Israel is the real threat to Middle East security and stability, and evidence of hypocrisy: "The advocators and supporters of the Zionist regime are quite inconsiderate of this regime's confession of nuclear arms possession and have shut their eyes on this crucial and significant incident. They have not even shown any reaction but simply recognized it on merely academic and scientific grounds as synonymous with hatred and eradication. Such paradoxical approaches reveal that the supporters of the Zionist regime have abused freedom, democracy, justice and peace for the sake of a group of Zionist extremists." Source: n.a. "Iran: Zionist Regime PM Nuclear Slip, Discloses a Real Threat to Mid East." ISNA. December 13, 2006. News Article; n.a. "Spokesman: Confession of Zionist PM, Real Threat to Regional Security." IRNA. December 13, 2006;
  • Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert meets Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi and Pope Benedict XVI in Rome to discuss Iranian nuclear proliferation. Source: Yossi Verter and Assef Uni. "Lebanon, Iran top Olmert's Agenda on Visit to Germany, Italy." Haaretz. December 10, 2006. Prodi calls on the international community to "do everything possible to prevent Tehran from developing nuclear weapons". (Presumably that means Italy will offer a little military assistance to the U.S. in a war against Iran.) Kadima party strategist and Olmert crony Eyal Arad was in Italy before the visit establishing Kadima Italia. Source: Daniel Mosseri. "Olmert: Prodi is a Friend of Israel." European Jewish Press. December 14, 2006.EJP
  • Russian Russian General Staff Chief Gen. Yuli Buluyevsky throws more cold water on the idea of sanctions againt Iran: "In principle, sanctions are not an effective instrument to resolve problems, especially regarding Iran," Yury Baluyevsky Speaking about sanctions, we should carefully consider any further steps and their consequences. If sanctions are imposed, they will freeze prospects to launch talks in the near future. Tehran may reduce and even stop cooperation with the IAEA in response. Generally speaking, we will be gradually cornering Iran, the Security Council and the situation as a whole." Source: n.a. "Sanctions May Freeze Talks on Iran Nuclear Program-Army Chief." RIA Novosti. December 13, 2006.

December 12, 2006

  • Oops, Olmert makes nuclear "slip of the tongue" while on a tour of the former Axis powers. During a meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin to discuss Iranian nuclear proliferation Isreali PM Ehud Olmert breaks the taboo against admitting that Isreal is a nuclear weapons state:"Iran, openly, explicitly and publicly threatens to wipe Israel off the map. Can you say that this is the same level, when they are aspiring to have nuclear weapons, as America, France, Israel, Russia?" Source: Dan Williams. "Israel's Olmert Under Fire Over Nuclear Remarks." Reuters. December 12, 2006. Merkel comments: "It must be unmistakable and clear to Iran that (getting a nuclear weapon) would not be acceptable...That is why the time has come...not just to think about, but to work on sanctions." Source: Louis Charbonneau and Allyn Fisher-Ilan. "Germany's Merkel Says Iran Must Never Get Atom Bomb." Washington Post. December 12, 2006.
  • British PM Tony Blair described Iran as being a threat to the region in which it is a part: "I don't think there's any point us hiding the fact that Iran poses a major strategic threat for the cohesion of the entire region." Source: n.a. "Blair calls Iran major threat to Middle East." Scotsman and Reuters. December 12, 2006. The presence of all those American and British troops in Iraq would be what then, a benefit to the region?
  • After rejecting the idea of a nuclear fuel bank, Iranian Atomic Energy Organization international affairs deputy, Dr. Mohammad Saeedi, states flatly that "Iran must not succumb to nuclear fuel isolation." Source: n.a. "Saeedi: Iran's Peaceful Nuclear Path is Irreversible." ISNA. December 12, 2006.

December 11, 2006

  • He wasn't going to get the Muslim vote anyway. Republican Presidential candidate and Arizona Sen. John McCain effectively promises war against Iran in a speech before hundreds of prominent Jewish leaders at Yeshiva University's Yeshiva University's annual Chanukah dinner at the Waldorf-Astoria: There's only one thing worse that a military solution, and that, my friends, is a nuclear-armed Iran. The regime must understand that they cannot win a showdown with the world, and as Americans we also need to reassure the millions of Iranians who aspire to self determination that we support their longing for freedom and democracy." Sources: Kathleen Lucadamo. "McCain Blasts Iran on Giuliani's Terrain." New York Daily News. December 11, 2006; n.a. "McCain Assails Iran's Nuclear Aspirations In Yeshiva Address." NU 1 December 11, 2006.
  • Scheduled visit of Russian nuclear chief Sergei Kiriyenko to Tehran to discuss economic cooperation betwen Russia and Iran at an inter-governmental commission on economic relations. Source: n.a. "Russian Nuclear Chief to Visit Tehran." Agence France Presse. November 24, 2006.

December 9, 2006

  • Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad announces that Iran has begun installing 3000 centrifuges for uranium enrichment at a plant in central Iran and crows that the the U.S., Britain, France and Germany were caving to Iranian resistance: "Resistance of the Iranian nation in the past year forced them to retreat tens of steps over Iran's nuclear issue." Source: n.a. "Iran Prez: Nuclear Program Moving Forward." CBS News and Associated Press. December 9, 2006.

December 8, 2006

  • Britain, France and Germany agree to the text of proposed sanctions against Iran to be introduced on December 11 that would "grandfather" or not cover Russian construction, supply and operation of the light-water reactor in Bushehr, Iran. Source: Warren Hoge. "Europeans Limit Scope of Iran Nuclear Resolution." The New York Times. December 8, 2006.

December 6, 2006

  • French Foreign Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy states on RTL Radio that sanctions will be imposed against Iran: "The question is about the scope of sanctions but there will be sanctions." Source: Angela Charlton. "France Says Iran Will Face Sanctions." Associated Press. December 6, 2006. So Iran will be spanked in some fashion for doing what Israel, Pakistan, India, France, Britain, Russia and the United States have done in the past. If the French are serious about opposing Iranian nuclear proliferation why not offer to trade giving up French nuclear weapons for an Iranian agreement to do the same?
  • Speaker of the Iranian Consultative Assembly, a.k.a. the Iranian Majlis Gholam Ali Haddad Adel dismisses as unimportant the Israeli decision to create its new Minsitry of Strategic Affairs: "Even before the Zionist regime created this ministry, it clearly wanted to slow down the pace of Iran's progress." Sources: n.a. "Iran Blasts Israel's New Ministry Targeting its Nuclear Issue." People's Daily Online. December 7, 2006; n.a. "Zionist Regime Against a Powerful Speaker." IRNA. December 7, 2006.

December 5, 2006

  • In a Jerusalem Post interview, Daniel Ayalon states unequivocally that the U.S. will prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons: "I am absolutely certain that the US will not allow Iran to go nuclear, because this is a direct challenge to the most vital interests of the US in the region and beyond. There is a deep understanding of this among American strategic thinkers and political leaders in both parties." It's true that the focus right now is on a diplomatic solution and all avenues will be exhausted there, but we all should take seriously Bush and Rice's statements that all options are on the table, because they're not just posturing." Source: Gil Hofman. "Ayalon Says US Won't Let Iran Go Nuclear." Jerusalem Post. December 5, 2006. How does he know this? Did someone in the second Bush administration make this promise to him and his government? News Report
  • Second Bush administration Secretary of Defense nominee Robert Gates characterizes Iranian nuclear proliferation as deterrent in nature during his confirmation hearing before the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee: "And I think that while they are certainly pressing, in my opinion, for a nuclear capability, I think that they would see it in the first instance as a deterrent. They are surrounded by powers with nuclear weapons—Pakistan to their east, the Russians to the north, the Israelis to the west and us in the Persian Gulf." Zionist news sources twist this by emphaszing that Gates refused to guarantee that Iran will not attack Israel with its still nonexistent nuclear weapons with news coverage of the hearing that Gates "con't promise" Iran won't attack Israel. Source: n.a. "Peretz: Gates Remark Bears Examining." Jerusalem Post. December 5, 2006. News Report Gates also didn't promise that Israel won't attack Iran. Or that the Earth won't be sterilized in a gamma ray burst from a neighboring star.
  • In Dubai Iranian chief nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani comments that his government is not seeking nuclear weapons but that it will not give up its "inalienable rights" to develop nuclear power. Source: n.a. "Iran Says Won't Bow to Pressure on Nuclear Issue." Reuters. December 5, 2006.
  • The UN Security Council Permanent Five Plus Germany and the European Union continue negotiations in Paris about Iranian nuclear proliferation without agreement. In one of the silliest comments to come out of the negotiations, U.S. Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs Nichols Burns said that the Russians and Chinese have to "shift into higher gear." Source: Gregory Viscusi. "U.S., Russia Narrow Differences Over Iran Nuclear Sanctions." Bloomberg. December 6, 2006. News Report

December 4, 2006

  • Israeli government of Ehud Olmert creates the Ministry of Strategic Affairs to be headed by uber-nationalist Avigdor Lieberman. Source: n.a. "Israel Okays New Ministry to Deal With Iran Threat." IranMania. December 4, 2006. New Report
  • Monumental hypocrisy. French Socialist Party nominee Segolene Royal states: "I think that is the greatest danger for the security of Israel and the world—and not just Israel, by the way, for that whole part of the world — and that we must not let Iran have access to civilian nuclear power. That will be my position if I am elected president." Source: n.a. "French presidential Candidate Royal Says Iran Should be Barred from Using Nuclear Power." Associated Press. December 5, 2006. France is the most enthusiastic developer of nuclear power on the planet and ignored the rest of the planet when it was developing its own nuclear weapons force du frappe. Royal should explain her brother's role in a certain bloody act of state sponsored terrorism against Greenpeace in New Zealand in defense of French nuclear tests in the Pacific?

December 3, 2006

  • Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mohammad Ali Hosseini states: "No change has been witnessed in Russia's stance towards Iran. Russia tries to lessen the intensity of the draft resolutions drawn against Iran and we are satisfied with the Russians for these efforts and their different stances in comparison to the others." Source: n.a. "Iran FM spokesman: We Are Satisfied With the Russians for their Efforts." ISNA. December 3, 2006. Text of News Report
  • Russian Security Council Secretary Igor Ivanov reiterates Russian commitments to Iran: "All work at the plant in Bushehr and everything that is connected with the delivery of nuclear fuel and the subsequent return of spent nuclear fuel will be done under strict control, and for this reason we do not expect problems here." n.a. "Russia to Meet Iran Nuclear Power Plant Obligations-Ivanov." Itar-Tass. December 3, 2006. News Report

December 1, 2006

  • U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice dismisses criticism of U.S. leadership in preventing Iranian nuclear proliferation: Unity is not an end in itself. I'm all for maintaining unity, but I'm also all for action." Source: Helene Cooper. "Dissent Weakens Coalition Pressing Iran on Nuclear Program." The New York Times. December 1, 2006. A17.

November 29, 2006

  • Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad publishes letter making unprecedented, direct appeal to the American people, urging them to reject current U.S. foreign policy. "If the U.S. government meets the current domestic and external challenges with an approach based on truth and justice, it can remedy some of the past afflictions and alleviate some of the global resentment and hatred of America." Source: n.a. "Iran Leader Appeals to US People." BBC News. November 29, 2006.

November 24, 2006

  • IAEA Director-General Mohamed ElBaradei comments that: "The sooner Iran proceeds with transparency measures, the sooner the agency will be able to secure the status, nature and size of Iran's nuclear activity." Source: n.a. "ElBaradei Approves of Iran Response to IAEA Call." IranMania. November 24, 2006.
  • "Anonymous" Russian Defense Ministry official discloses that Russia has begun delivery of some 29 Tor-M1 air defense missile systems to Iran. Source: n.a. "Russia Sends Defense System to Iran." Associated Press & Jerusalem Post. November 24, 2006.
  • Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki complains about human rights in Canada: "This was the first time Iran submitted a resolution against Canada's horrible, yet modern violation of the rights of the indigenous residents of this country." Source: n.a. "Iran to Pursue Human Rights Violation in Canada." IranMania. November 24, 2006.

November 22, 2006

  • More of the same from Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad: "They think that the government and nation of Iran are like some other courtiers, whom crack down in front of them even with the smallest threat or pressure, but they should know that the nation of Iran will never kneel in front of their demands. Today, the knowledge of our people and our nuclear policies progress daily, and it is the enemy which is stepping back. Today, the U.S. policies have been defeated in the international arena, and they are no longer able to decide." Source: ISNA November 22, 2006. Also from Mahmoud Ahmadinejad: "[T]he evil president of the U.S visited Indonesia and you saw how people of Indonesia opposed the thoughts of this person...We will first have to break the horn of the big head so that justice can be done...Some bullying countries impose their illegal demands on independent and free countries while enjoying the support of some international organizations, which they founded for defending their own interests." Source: n.a. "Iranian President Describes Bush as Evil, Says Iran Must Thwart US Arrogance." Associated Press. November 22, 2006.

November 21, 2006

  • Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad appears to express belief that nuclear power is the key to the future: "Initially, they (the US and its allies) were very angry. The reason was clear: They basically wanted to monopolize nuclear power in order to rule the world and impose their will on nations. Today, they have finally agreed to live with a nuclear Iran, with an Iran possessing (the whole) nuclear fuel cycle." Source: n.a. "Ahmadinejad: Iran Continues N. Work until Launching 60 thousand Centrifuges." FARS News Agency. November 22, 2006. News Report

November 20, 2006

  • Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad displays apparent exuberance when he declares: "We intend to install 100,000 centrifuges and, God willing, Iran will be able to provide for its needs in nuclear fuel by next year." Source: n.a. "Agency Says Iran Wants 100,000 Atomic Centrifuges." Reuters UK. (from ISNA) November 20, 2006.

November 18, 2006

  • ISNA quotes Iranian Atomic Energy Organisation Director Gholamreza Aghazadeh states: Whether the IAEA helps or not, the research reactor in Arak will continue its work. If the IAEA denies the assistance, it will be harmful for the IAEA...It is the IAEA that insists on Iran cooperating with it on the security dimension of the reactor." Source: Alireza Ronaghi. "Iran Vows to Press On With Arak Reactor." Washington Post & Reuters. November 18, 2006.

November 16, 2006

  • Speaking to reporters aboard in Hanoi, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice threatens unspecified bad consequences for Iran: "I think they have to take any Chapter 7 resolution seriously. You know, Chapter 7 resolutions--it's a small club. It now includes North Korea, it includes for not much longer Iraq. It's a really small club. And to be in that club has all kinds of collateral effects that I think the Iranians will not be able to ignore. They already have banks leaving Iran and refusing to deal with their accounts. I think that you will see that investment decisions about Iran are affected by the fact that they're under a Chapter 7 resolution with the potential for further sanctions. Whatever this initial list looks like, there's always the potential for future sanctions. So you know, I know that the Iranians have a tendency to say, oh, well, they really don't care if they're under Security Council sanctions. Well, most people try to avoid Security Council sanctions for a reason, and the Iranians have done everything that they can to avoid Security Council sanctions. It shouldn't surprise anybody that every time we get close to a Security Council resolution, every Iranian diplomat in the world is on a plane somewhere to argue against Security Council resolutions. So I guess they do care what happens." Asked about propsed international sanctions becoming weaker, she tries to spin past weakness into future strength: "I just think it's the wrong way to look at it. The fact of the matter is, first of all, sanctions are there to try to convince people to negotiate. They're not there just for the purpose of having sanctions. But if they won't negotiate, then they will live under the specter of a Chapter 7, which is really, you know, opprobrium from the international community that you've done something bad enough to be under Chapter 7 is pretty bad. And then people start making decisions based on your status in the international system, and that's not something that the United States will have to make a very big deal of. People can read the tea leaves. People can understand that if this continues and the Iranians continue to move down a nuclear road that it's entirely possible that there are further sanctions. And they start to make decisions accordingly. So to my mind, the important breakthrough was 1696 when it became clear that the Security Council, in particular the P-5, would come back under Article 41 of Chapter 7." Source: "Roundtable With Traveling Press." U.S. Department of State Transcript. November 16, 2006. Text
  • IRNA quotes Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as saying: "The Iranian nation is about to take its final step in the nuclear issue." Source: n.a. "Iran Soon To Take "Final Step" in Atomic Plan-IRNA." Reuters November 16, 2006.

November 15, 2006

  • Yet more nationalist and nuclearist rhetoric from Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad: "The Iranian nation stands for its nuclear right and will go ahead until the end...Time is on the Iranian nation's side. With each passing day, (the West) must retreat one step and acknowledge the rights of the Iranian nation and with each passing day the Iranian nation goes ahead toward the summits of victory...By the grace of God, we will hold a great nuclear celebration before the end of this year, all over Iran." Source: Alireza Ronaghi. "Iran Vows to Pursue Atomic Plans 'Until the End'." Reuters. November 15, 2006.

November 14, 2006

  • Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert flies to Los Angeles to attend the 75th annual United Jewish Communities (UJC) General Assembly. Also taking part are Israeli Ministers Tzipi Livni, Abraham Hirchson, Yuli Tamir and Isaac Herzog, and Opposition Chair Benjamin Netanyahu. Source: Ronny Sofer. "Olmert In US For Talks, Says Barghouti's Release Not On Agenda." Israeli Insider. November 12, 2006.
  • U.S. President George W. Bush, standing next to Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert states that a nuclear-armed Iran would not only threaten Israel but loom as an "incredibly destabilising" threat to the region and the world. Source: Barry Schweid. "Bush Rebuffs Blair on Peace Role for Iran." The Age. November 15, 2006. So nuclear armed Israel isn't a threat to the region?
  • Taunts find an easy target in arrogant pretension. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad cannot resist twitting the Bush administration: "We won't talk to the Zionist regime because it is a usurper and an illegitimate entity. But we will talk to the U.S. government under certain conditions. Should it correct its behavior, we will talk to them." White House National Security Council spokesperson Gordon Johndroe responds by claiming to speak for the entire world: "I don't think this is about a U.S. attitude adjustment. The collective attitude of the world is that Iran needs to play a constructive role in the region, not meddle in Iraq and stop its (nuclear) enrichment activities." Source: Alu Akbar Darieni. "Iran Opens Door to Talks With U.S." Washington Post. November 14, 2006.

November 12, 2006

  • Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert arrives in Washington for meetings with important Bush adminisration decision makers and U.S. President George W. Bush on the Iranian nuclear crisis, the aftermath of the Lebanese-Israeli War and the Isreali-Palestinian War. Safely benath the American miltiary unbrella Olmert appears to threaten Iran: "I don't believe that Iran will accept such compromise unless they have a very good reason to fear the consequences of not reaching it. In other words: Iran must start to fear." Source: n.a. "Iran Must Start To Fear: Israeli PM." Peoples Daily Online. November 12, 2006.

November 11, 2006

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin holds meeting with Iranian nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov states that Russia and Iran will work to see the resumption of international negotiations on the Iranian nuclear program: "We think it’s possible, if there is a goodwill, to find mutually acceptable basis for the resumption of talks on the basis of the proposals of the six and Iran’s response to them." Sources: n.a. "Iran’s Top Nuclear Negotiator Meets With Russian President." Boston Herald & Associated Press. November 11, 2006; n.a. "Russia, Iran will Push for Resumption of Talks - FM Lavrov." RIA Novosti. November 11, 2006.

November 9, 2006

  • Interfax quotes Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov as saying Iranian nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani will be in Russia on November 10, 2006. Source: n.a. "Iran's Larijani to Visit Russia on Friday." Reuters. November 9, 2006.

November 8, 2006

  • Russian Ambassador to the UN Vitaly Churkin claims Iran's Bushehr nuclear plant is legal and not contributing to nuclear proliferation. Source: Evelyn Leopold. "Russia Reassures Europeans on Iran's Nuclear Aims." Washington Post. November 8, 2006.
  • Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei states that, "The Islamic Republic of Iran has the strength to bring about this unalienable national right, without needing others’ assistance or reaching out for other countries’ support." (The inalienable right he claims is nuclear research and development.) "Contrary to the West’s propaganda and ballyhoo," the Supreme leader continued, "the enemies of the Iranian nation, including the United States, are in a weaker position than they were 10 to 15 years ago. The U.S.’s defeat in Iraq, Lebanon, Palestine, and Afghanistan indicate this reality...The American government used all its resources and went as far as feigningly accepting the formation of the Palestinian government in order for the Zionist regime to be free of encounters from the Palestinian people; however, the government which is today in power in Palestine does not recognise the legitimacy of the Zionist enemy and is not willing to negotiate with it. This shows the U.S.’s absolute defeat in Palestine." Source: n.a. "Khamenei Vows Iran Will Continue its Nuclear Activities." Iran Focus. November 8, 2006. Text

November 7, 2006

  • U.S. Ambassador to the UN John Bolton experiences steep learnign curve. "We don't think the Russian text is consistent with what foreign ministers had agreed previously,: he complains. "I don't know how we are going to work it out because the Russian version is very different than what we think the foreign ministers agreed to. But we are going to discuss that this afternoon." Source: Irwin Arieff. "U.S. Says Moscow Backing Off Commitments on Iran." Reuters. November 7, 2006. Multilateralism is hard and not the kind of thing a presidential administration should put off trying to learn until late in its second term. Otherwise problems become intractable.

November 6, 2006

  • Civil War Spain provided the pre-WWII weapons testing ground for Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy and the Soviet Union. Now it seems to be Lebanon's turn to play that role for Israel and Iran. Lebanese newpaper The Daily Star reports that Iranian Ambassador to Lebanon Mohammad Reza Sheibani offers to provide Lebanon with anti-aircraft missiles. Source: n.a. "Iran to Provide Lebanon with Anti-Aircraft Missiles." Xinhua. November 6, 2006. News Report
  • Iran tests new automatic cannons with a range of 75 kilometers. Source: n.a. "Iran Tests New Automatic Cannons in War Games." Times of India. November 6, 2006. News Report

November 5, 2006

  • UN IAEA in spectors spent 4 hours at Iran's Natanz uranium enrichment facility. Source: n.a. "UN Inspectors Visit Iran Natanz Facility." Gulf News. November 6, 2006.

November 4, 2006

  • Iranian government stages mass demonstration at 10:00 a.m. to "celebrate?" the anniversary of the November 4, 1979 seizure of the U.S. Embassy by Iranian militants.

November 3, 2006

  • Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov distances his governemnt from the sanctions proposal drawn up by Britain, France and Germany: "What the EU troika drew up went way beyond what had been agreed." Source: n.a. "Russia Says EU Draft on Iran Sanctions Goes Too Far." Reuters-Alert. November 3, 2006.
  • Iranian Revolutionary Guards deputy navy commander Admiral Sardar Fadavi comments on the naval exercise in the Persian Gulf: "I think the enemies of the Islamic Republic should stop their hostility in the Persian Gulf, and they should not make any move that could intensify the tensions in the region." Source: n.a. "Iran: Missile Launch Calls for U.S. to Stop Drills In Gulf." Xinhua. November 3, 2006.

November 2, 2006

  • Iran test fired its new Shahab-3 missile, believed capable of hitting targets in Israel. U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice complained and engaged in mind-reading: "I think the Iranians are a threat and that's why the international community's got to be strong in resisting their ambitions." Iran intended, she said, "to say to the world you're not going to keep us from getting a nuclear weapon. The world has to say to them, yes, we will." Source: n.a. "Rice Says By Firing Missiles Iran Trying Show Its Strength." International Herald Tribune. November 2, 2006.
  • Expanding Iranian influence: INRA reports that Iranian Energy Minister Parviz Fattah said iranian firms would construct 300 and 500 megawatt thermal power plants in Sri Lanka. Source: n.a. " Iran to Build 2 Thermal Power Plants in Sri Lanka." Iran News. November 3, 2006.

November 1, 2006

October 30, 2006

  • IAEA Director Mohamed ElBaradei reports to the UN General Assembly: "The IAEA continues therefore to be unable to confirm the peaceful nature of Iran's nuclear program, which is a matter of serious concern." Source: Irwin Arieff. "Iran Nuclear Plans Still A "Serious Concern": IAEA." Reuters. October 30, 2006.
  • More of the same from Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad: "The Iranian nation will respond to restrictive activities with an appropriate and firm response. Efforts by the big powers will only incite anger and hatred." Source: Naser Karim. "Iran Plans 'Firm Response' To Sanctions: Iran Plans 'Firm Response' To Any Sanctions Imposed by U.N. Security Council." CBS News. October 30, 2006. News Report.

October 29, 2006

  • Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mohammad Ali Hosseini described the Leading Edge anti-nuclear proliferation naval training exercise in the Persian Gulf saying, "We are watching their movements very carefully." Iranian Admiral Sajjad Kouchaki commented that the presence of U.S. warships in the Gulf, "indicates the hostile nature of the U.S. policy" and that Iran "is completely ready to confront any possible threat." Ships from Italy, France, Australia, Bahrain, the United States and Britain are taking part. Saudi Arabia is notably absent. Sources: Jim Krane. "Iran Criticizes U.S.-Led Nuke Exercise." Associated Press. October 29, 2006; n.a. "Iran Calls Adventurous a U.S.-Led Nuclear Interception Navy Exercise in the Gulf." Associated Press & The International Herald Tribune. October 29, 2006.

October 28, 2006

  • Something else Iranians have in common with Americans! Reform activist Mohammad-Reza Khatami, the younger brother of former President Mohammad Khatami, tells ISNA: "We reformists are worried whether the elections would be healthy or not and whether there would manipulations on elections day and vote counting." Source: n.a. "Iran Reformers Worried About Election Fraud." Deutsche Presse-Agentur. October 28, 2006.

October 27, 2006

  • ISNA reports that the Iranian government has begun a second series of cascades for centrifuges in its unranium enrichment program. The second cascade of 164 centrifuges is reported to produce uranium fuel at a 4.5% level of enrichment. Enrichment Source: Christine Hauser. "Iran Said to Take New Step to Enrich Uranium." The New York Times. October 26, 2006.

October 25, 2006

  • German, French and British diplomats reach agreement the text of a draft UN resolution on Iranian nuclear proliferation which they present to their Russian and Chinese counterparts. The resolution requires states to "prevent the supply, sale or transfer" involving the Iranian nuclear and ballistic missile programs and prevents international financing and technical assistance for them. Individuals involved with the weapons programs also face travel restrictions and freezing the foreign assets. The draft resolution exempts Russia from the nuclear trade embargo, thus allowing it to continue work on the construction of the Bushehr nuclear facility. Rejected were proposed American amendments for additional restrictions on Russian-Iranian nuclear trade and characterizations of Iranian nuclear activities as threatening international peace and security. Source: Colum Lynch & Glenn Kessler. "U.S., European Allies at Odds on Terms of Iran Resolution." Washington Post. October 26, 2006.
  • British PM Tony Blair articulates a foreign policy that would requires both a heroic assumption (that civil and miltiary nuclear programs can be seperated) and primary enforcement responsibility by the U.S. military: "We have made it clear that we will not merely allow but help Iran with a civil nuclear power program, but we will not allow them to acquire material that goes to the development of a nuclear weapons capability." Source: n.a. "Blair: World Must Stop Iran From Getting Nuke Bomb." Associated Press & The Jerusalem Post. October 25, 2006. Article Text
  • Director of Atomstroiexport, Russian Federation nuclear vendor monopoly, Sergei Shmatko, states that technical problems will delay launch of the Bushehr nuclear power plant operations. Source: n.a. "Iran Bushehr NPP Launch Delayed For Technical Reasons--Russian Co." RIA Novosti. October 25, 2006.

October 23, 2006

  • IAEA Director Mohamed ElBaradei concludes that Iran is testing new uranium enrichment equipment that could double production: "[B]ased on our most recent inspections, the second cewntrifuge cascade is in place and ready to go." Source: David E. Sanger. "U.N. Official Says Iran Is testing New Enrichment Device." The New York Times. October 24, 2006. P A8.
  • Isreali Prime Minister (functional president) Ehud Olmert appeals for world (mostly U.S.) support in dealing with Iran: "We have to prepare for the struggle to prevent this capability being attained. This struggle is not just Israel's, it is not first and foremost Israel's." Olmert also plays the Holocaust card: "It is inconceivable that...a member of the United Nations continues to be received throughout the world as a legitimate leader while he stands up and says another U.N. member state should be wiped off the map. We shall never repeat the mistakes of 60 years ago, of taking things lightly, ignoring what was being heard then when it was still possible to save lives." Source: Amy Teibel. "Olmert Appeals to World on Iran Threats." Washington Post & Associated Press. October 23, 2006. (Decoded mesage: America, do our fighting for us because you feel guilty about crimes committed by the Nazis.)
  • Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad continues to sound defiant: "They (the West) should know that taking advantage of nuclear energy is the demand of all the Iranian nation...All the Iranian nation insists on this right and will not retreat one iota." Source: n.a. "Iran Won’t Retreat From Atomic Rights: President." Khaleej Times & Reuters. October 23, 2006.

October 20, 2006

  • Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad responds to threat from Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert. Ahmadinejad describes Israeli leaders as "a group of terrorists" after Olnmert threatens that the iranian government would have a "a price to pay" unless it ends its nuclear program. Source: Ali Akbar Dareini. "Israel, Iran Exchange Threats." San Jose Mercury News and Associated Press. October 21, 2006.

October 19, 2006

  • In a telvised speech to a Tehran rally Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad once again calls for negotiations on the nuclear crisis but insisted that Iran was within its rights: "Our nation does not want one iota more than its right...Our nation is in favor of talks and negotiations, but the world should know that the Iranian nation will not retreat one iota from its right." Source: n.a. "Iran Wants Talks on Atomic Rights." Reuters. October 19, 2006. He also predicted that Israel would fail because it was artifical: "Our nation has previously announced that this regime is illegitimate from its foundation. It is fabricated. It has been imposed on the nations of the region and it cannot survive." Source: Jack Kim. "Iran President Says Israel Illegitimate, Won't Last." Malaysia Star. October 19, 2006. Article Text

October 18, 2006

  • Iranian chief nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani blusters: "Iran will not stand idle if pressured to ignore its nuclear rights. The path of the Security Council, sanctions and illegal (imposition of) hardship is such a path in which the other side should expect a reciprocal act by...Iran. The (Iranian) parliament has prepared a plan based on which the inspections of the International Atomic Energy Agency will be suspended in the face of the West's adventurous behavior." Source: Ali Ronaghi. "Iran Atomic Aide Warns of Retaliation To Sanctions." Reuters. October 18, 2006.
  • Iranian government imposes limits on Iranian internet service providers (ISPs) reducing the speed of Internet access to homes and cafes. Source: n.a. "Iran Cuts Internet Speeds to Homes, Cafes." Reuters. October 18, 2006. (In Iran authoritarians attack the freedom of the internet directly with heavy naded government regulation. In America they do the same thing with greater subtlety by reducing it to property.)

October 17, 2006

  • Israeli Prime Minister (president) Ehud Olmert meets with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow to discuss Iranian nuclear proliferation.

October 16, 2006

  • Israeli Foreign Minister Mark Regev announces that Israeli Prime Minister (president) Ehud Olmert will meet Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow: "Both countries are involved in a series of issues where there are concerns about the Iran nuclear program, what's going on in Lebanon and the Middle East peace process and we're eager to engage with the Russians on these issues...There are mutual interests and mutual concerns." Source: Corinne Heller. "Olmert to visit Putin to discuss nuclear Iran." Washington Post. October 15, 2006.

October 14, 2006

  • Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is insistent: "Iran’s nuclear activities have been completely in line with international law and treaties...The Islamic Republic has always sought talks and has defended its fundamental and rightful position within the framework of negotiations." Source: n.a. "Iran Determined to Pursue Nuclear Program: Ahmadinejad." Mehr News. October 14, 2006.
  • German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier reminds Iranian government that it can take the offer at any time: "We have made it extremely clear that our offer for cooperation with Iran remains on the table...We are prepared at any time to return to the negotiating table if Iran says it is ready to accept the conditions for negotiations." Source: Louis Charbonneau. "Germany To Iran: It's Not Too Late To Avoid Sanctions." Washington Post. October 14, 2006.
  • Iranian representative Hessam Khoshnevis announced that the Iran government would pay to rebuild 100 schools in Lebanon destroyed in the recent war. Source: n.a. "Iran To Build 100 Schools In Lebanon." Iran News. October 14, 2006.

October 13, 2006

  • Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei accused the United States of divide and rule strategy to turn Sunni Muslims against Shias "to sow pessimism". Source: n.a. "US Sowing Iraq Strife, Says Iran." BBC News'. October 13, 2006. (Sounds like scapegoating. The American Occupation may have been incompetent and ocrrupt but Sunni and Shi'a Iraqis certainly needed little encouragement to begin enthusiastically murdering oen another in large numbers.)
  • Group of 45 Iranian lawmakers sign a motion to impeach Education Minister Mahmoud Farshadi for poor performance. Source: n.a. "Iranian MPs in Bid to Unseat Minister." The Peninsula & Reuters. October 13, 2006.

October 12, 2006

  • Fantastically strained logic. Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert comments that the North Korean nuclear weapons test illustrates the need for the international community to deal in an urgent, determined, courageous and united manner with the nuclear issue. Source: Ronny Sofer. "Olmert Urges Action Against Iran." Otober 12, 2006. Text. So the international community (i.e. the U.S., Britain, France and Germany) should respond to the nuclear test in North Korea by punishing Iran? The Neo-Conservative's Next War of Preference

October 11, 2006

  • Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad roars defiance: "The day sanctions are imposed on Iran by its enemies, would be a day of national celebration for the Iranian nation...Iran has achieved nuclear technology under sanctions." Source: n.a. "Iran's President Says Sanctions Would Prompt 'National Celebration'." Associated Press & International Herald Tribune. October 11, 2006.
  • Iranian government spokesperson Gholam Hossein Elham put the blame for North Korean nuclear proliferation on the U.S.: "The root cause of this should be sought in the policy, behavior and method adopted by the rulers of the United States." Source: n.a. "Iran Blames U.S. For N. Korea Nukes: Also Vows To Continue Its 'Path Of Dignity' Toward Its Own Nuclear Program." CBS News. October 11, 2006.
  • October 11: U.S. Department of State criticises the appointment of Iranian Interior Minister Mostafa Pour-Mohammadi as the Iranian representative to the Tripartite Commission of Iran, Afghanistan, and United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Geneva on October 9-10, 2006, describing him as a "notorious human rights violator." Source: n.a. "U.S., Iran Opposition Denounce Iran Cleric’s Visit To UN Body." Iran Focus. October 12, 2006. Text

October 9, 2006

  • There is no parallel betwen North Korean and Iranian nuclear declaration claim some in the West. U.S. President George W. Bush says: "North Korea is a different case...I don't expect our strategy on Iran will change. Iran certainly won't get put on the back burner." (Obviously.)

An unnamed British source says: "Iran is a democracy, however odious parts of the regime may be. North Korea is a dictatorship led by a man who people don't know very much about." Source: Louis Charbonneau. "Western Powers Dismiss Iran-N.Korea Comparisons." Reuters UK. October 9, 2006.

October 8, 2006

  • North Korea conducts its first nuclear weapons test.

October 6, 2006

  • London meeting of the UN Security Council Five plus Germany is delayed because U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice have trouble catching a flight. The excuse is that her flight was delayed in Iraq because her plane had problems. Source: Robin Wright. "Decision Delayed on Sanctions Against Iran Over Nuclear Issue." The Washington Post. October 6, 2006. (Sure. That's entirely plausible. Why wouldn't that ne true?) U.S. sources say a decision about sanctions will be made via conference call on October 9th or 10th.

October 4, 2006

  • Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad states: "We are ready to talk to remove the concerns. We want talks to continue but if anyone thinks talks can be used to pressure us they are wrong." Source: n.a. "Iran President Says Wants More Atomic Talks." Reuters. October 4, 2006.
  • EU "Foreign Minister" makes comments that communicate he is ready to abandon diplomacy with Iran: "It is up to the Iranians now to decide whether this time has come to an end." Source: n.a. "EU warns Iran 'Time Running Out'." BBC News. October 4, 2006.

October 3, 2006

  • Appearing at a news conference with Prince Saud al-Faisal, Foreign Minister of the most grotesque, most medieval tyranny in the Middle East, U.S. Secretary Condoleezza Rice states that, "We are continuing to hope that Iran will suspend its enrichment activities but we have no evidence that it is (going) to do so." Source: n.a. "Iran Must Stop Enrichment to Avoid Sanctions: Rice." Reuters. October 3, 2006.
  • French Foreign Ministry spokesperson Jean-Baptiste Mattei states that, "If the Iranians accept our offer of double suspension, then we can enter into negotiations and each side will be free to make its proposals...The channel we have is through talks between Solana and Larijani and it's through that channel that propositions should be made." This appears to reject the iranian offer to allow France to monitor Iranian nuclear activities by having its nuclear fuel consortia Eurodif and Areva undertake uranium enrichment for Iran. Source: Gregory Viscusi & Fabio Benedetti-Valentini. "France Says Iran Must Halt Uranium Enrichment, Deal With EU." Bloomberg. October 3, 2006.

September 30, 2006

  • U.S. Pres. George W. Bush signs the Iran Freedon Support Act, saying, "I applaud Congress for demonstrating its bipartisan commitment to confronting the Iranian regime's repressive and destabilizing activities by passing the Iran Freedom Support Act...This legislation will codify U.S. sanctions on Iran while providing my administration with flexibility to tailor those sanctions in appropriate circumstances and impose sanctions upon entities that aid the Iranian regime's development of nuclear weapons." Source: n.a. "U.S. Legalizes Sanctions for Iran Atom Aid." Agence France Preses and International Herald Tribune. October 1, 2006.

September 29, 2006

  • Suspicious natural gas pipeline explosion just inside the Iranian border with Turkey.

September 28, 2006

  • Congressional Republicans want another war. Majority Republicans in U.S. Hosue of Representatives vote to pass the preposterously named Iran Freedom Support Act. Source: n.a. "House Approves Legislation to Sanction Iran Over Weapons Programs." Associated Press & International Herald Tribune. September 28, 2006.
  • The Iranian President wants war too. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad comments that his government would not suspend uranium enrichment for "one single day." Source: n.a. "Iran Will Not Suspend Uranium Enrichment For a 'Single Day'." Deutsche Presse-Agentur. September 28, 2006.
  • Iranian chief nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani comments positively if vaguely on his negotiations with the EU "foreign minister Javier Solana: "It has been a long, constructive negotiation...We have been able to arrive at some positive conclusions. Today we have discussed modalities with the aim of coming back to the main negotiations as soon as possible." Source: n.a. "Iran Negotiator Sees "Positive Conclusions" in Nuclear Talks." Deutsche-Welle. September 28, 2009.

September 27, 2006

  • Avner Cohen, author of "Israel and the Bomb," remarks on the parallels between Iranian and Israeli nuclear proliferation: "Whether deliberately or inadvertently, there are elements of resemblance between the way Iran is pursuing its nuclear program today and the way Israel was pursuing its own program in the 1960s...This is a great irony of history but Iranian policymakers and nuclear technocrats may be strategically mimicking the Israeli model." Source: Bernd Debusmann. "Iran seen borrowing nuclear strategy from Israel." The Washington Post. September 27, 2006.

September 26, 2006

  • Sergei Shmatko, president of Russia’s state-run company Atomstroiexport, and Mahmoud Hanatian, vice president of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization sign deal for the Russian vendor to supply fuel for the Iranian reactor at Bushehr in March 2007. Reactor start-up is planned for September 2007 and electric generation by November 2007. Source: n.a. "Russia Agrees to Send Fuel for Iran Nuclear Plant." Associated Press and The New York Times. September 26, 2007.

September 25, 2006

  • U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice makes pessimistic noises about diplomacy producing a result desired by the second Bush administration: "It is important in keeping a coalition together to--if people want to explore something that doesn't move you very far off course, to go ahead and explore it. And I think you get into a stronger position that way." Source: n.a. "Rice Says Time is Running Out for Iran to N-halt." IranMania. September 29, 2006.
  • Iranian Vice President and Iranian Atomic Energy Organization (IAEO) Chief Gholam-Reza Aqazadeh arrives in Moscow to discuss the construction of the Bushehr nuclear power plant by Atomstroiexport. Sources: n.a. "Iran Vice Pres. To Discuss Bushehr NPP Construction in Moscow." RIA Novosti September 24, 2006; n.a. "Iran’s Top Nuclear Negotiator to Meet Russian Counterpart in Moscow." MosNews. September 24, 2006. Article

September 23, 2006

  • Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov states, "Russia has never set factitious terms to reach conflict settlement. Our goal is to ensure the inviolability of the non-proliferation regime....Russia is not sitting idle and waiting for how the EU High Representative Javier Solana’s talks on Iran will end. It is actively working with the Iranian counterparts to ensure a maximally favourable result of such contacts...All partakers in the talks call for pooling efforts to settle the problem by political and diplomatic means. There are enough possibilities for finding such solution to the problem." Source: n.a. "Russia FM Says No Reason to Impose Sanctions On Iran." Iran Focus. September 24, 2006.

September 22, 2006

  • Iranian senior cleric and adviser to Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, rejects suspending uranium enrichment as a precondition for negotiations: "It is a ridiculous precondition. It is unacceptable." Source: n.a. "UPDATE 1-Suspending Enrichment "Unacceptable"-Iran Cleric." Reuters. September 22, 2006.
  • Iranian Vice President Parviz Davoodi hyperbolizes: "We want peace but we warn the expansionists not to think of an aggression against Iran as we can defend the fatherland and Islam...Our lions are so powerful that they can strike the enemy like lightning and destroy him." Source: n.a. "Iran Warns of "Lighting' Response to Any Attack." Khaleej Times. September 22, 2006.

September 21, 2006

  • Governments of United States, France, Britain, Germany, China and Russia agree to set a new deadline for Iranian compliance, the fourth deadline so far. The new deadline is the first week in October. Source: Glenn Kessler. "Early October New Deadline for Iran: Suspension of Nuclear Program Still Precondition for Talks With U.S." The Washington Post. September 21, 2006.
  • During a news conference at the UN Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad states: "We believe those negotiations are moving on the right path. Hopefully others will not disrupt the work--in small ways perhaps. It is a constructive path to take." Source: n.a. "Iran's Ahmadinejad: Nuclear Talks on Right Path." Reuters. September 21, 2006.

September 19, 2006

  • Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad states that, "Iran's nuclear program is not an important subject and does not require so much debate. It is a technical subject that is following its course but some want to politicize it." Source: Marc Wolfensberger. "Iran's President, in U.S., Calls Nuclear Issue 'Not Important." Bloomberg. September 19, 2006.
  • Lets play Cold War tit for tat. In response to the U.S. refusals to grant visas to 15 journalists accompanying Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to New York this week and Interior Minister Mostafa Pour-Mohammadi a U.S. visa last week, Iranian Director General of Foreign Media and Press Mohammad Hossein Khoshvaght threatens, "If this attitude continues and Iranian reporters face restrictions for visiting this country, the ministry will put on its agenda some necessary measures like rejecting visa applications or cancelling the license of those (US) media active in Iran." Source: n.a. "Iran Warns Could Hit Back After Journalists Barred from US." Agence France Presse and Khaleej Times. September 19, 2006.
  • Bolton commands Larijani's presence in New York; Larijani goes to Damascus instead. U.S. Ambassador to the UN John Bolton commented on Iranian chief nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani's absence from New York: "The discussions with Iran appear to have come to a stop--in the sense that Mr. Larijani, whom we expected in New York, is not here." Source: n.a. "Iran Negotiator's Absence Raises Doubts About Talks." The Washington Post and Reuters. September 18, 2006. Ali Larijani was instead in Damascus for talks with the Syrians. Source: n.a. "Iran Nuclear: Larijani Travels to Syria." AKI. September 20, 2006.

September 18, 2006

  • French President Jacques Chirac said further negotiations with Iran should be pursued because U.N. sanctions had never performed well. Source: n.a. Reuters.UK. September 18, 2006.
  • Kenneth Katzman, senior Middle East expert with the U.S. Congressional Research Service, was unable to attend a security confertence in Tehran because his visa was rescinded at the last minute. Source: n.a. "Congress Researcher Says Barred From Iran." Reuters and Washington Post. September 18, 2006.
  • Oil rises to $64 a barrel. Bill O'Grady, A.G. Edwards & Sons in St. Louis analyst, commented that, "All of the news from Iran is the most important thing affecting the market...It's a mixed bag with the U.S. talking about sanctions and the Europeans continuing to negotiate. It appears that the U.S. is playing bad cop to the Europeans' good cop." Source: Mark Shenk. "Oil Rises Above $64 on Dispute Over Iran's Nuclear Program." Bloomberg September 18, 2006.

September 15, 2006

  • French Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Jean Baptiste Mattei states that Iranian diplomats have expressed a willigness to negotiate suspension of uranium enrichment. Source: n.a. "Iran Ready to Discuss Enrichment Suspension: Paris." Reuters. September 15, 2006.

September 14, 2006

  • Speaking in Dakar, Senegal, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad states the conflict between Iran and the West can be solved through dialogue, and called for "new conditions" in negotiations. Iranian chief nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani and EU "foreign minister" Javier Solana postpone a scheduled meeting. Source: George Jahn. "Iran and European Union Postpone Talks." The Washington Post. September 14, 2006.
  • Republican pack 'o lies exposed. IAEA nuclear inspectors send a letter to U.S. Representative Peter Hoekstra, the Republican chair of the U.S. House Intelligence Committee, decribing his committee's report as containing, "erroneous, misleading and unsubstantiated statements." Source: Dafna Linzer. "U.N. Inspectors Challenge House Nuclear Report on Iran: 'Outrageous and Dishonest' Claims, Officials Complain." San Francisco Chronicle. September 14, 2006. So how will Hoekstra treat the accusation of mendacity?

September 13, 2006

  • French Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Jean Baptiste Mattei expreses dislike for sanctions: "We generally prefer measures that are decided in the framework of the United Nations, or the European Union...We have never liked unilateral sanctions." French banks have 24% of the value of outstanding loans to Iran. Source: Celestine Bohlen. "France Cool to U.S. Pressure to Cut Bank Ties to Iran (Update1)." Reuters. September 13, 2006.

September 11-12, 2006

  • Planning for a post-American future status as an Iranian client state. Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki meets Iranian leaders in Tehran. Source: n.a. "Iraqi PM to Visit Iran on Monday." The Washington Post. September 9, 2006.

September 11, 2006

  • IAEA chief Mohamed ElBaradei offers mildly positive assessment of the discussions in Vienna: "I am...encouraged that there is an ongoing dialogue between Iran and the EU and other create the conditions for the parties to go back into negotiations." Source: Mark Heinrich. "Big Powers Mull Moves After Upbeat Iran-EU Talks." Reuters. September 11, 2006.
  • World price of oil falls to $66 a barrel. Source: Randi Fabi. "Oil Falls Below $66 on OPEC, Iran." Reuters. September 11, 2006. (The price drop is even being reflected at the pump in the U.S., where it seems "someone" wants the Republicans not to lose too many seats in Congress!)

September 9-10, 2006

  • Iranian chief nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani and EU "foreign minister" Javier Solana meet in Vienna. Source: Mark Heinrich. "Iran, EU Set Crunch Atom Talks; U.S. Seeks Sanctions." The Washington Post. September 9, 2006. On September 10, it is reported that Ali Larijani offers a 2 month suspension of the Iranian nuclear enrichment. Source: n.a. "Iran Offers 2-Month Atomic Enrichment Halt-Diplomat." Reuters September 10, 2006.

September 7, 2006

  • EU "foreign minister" Javier Solana announces that negotiations with Iranian chief nuclear neotiatiator Ali Larijani will resume on Saturday, September 9, 2006. Source: n.a. "Key Iran Talks 'Set For Saturday'." BBC News . September 7, 2006.

September 6, 2006

  • Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov comments that Russia was considering sanctions: "We will consider this from all points of view, in totality, based on our goal of not allowing the spread of WMD [weapons of mass destruction] and technology that is linked with this." Source: n.a. "Iran-EU Nuclear Talks Postponed." BBC News. September 6, 2006.
  • Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad inadvertently demonstrates the fallacy of the excluded middle when he tells a meeting on the Hidden Imam: "Those who do not respond to the invitation (to follow God's will), as we said, will have no good fate...We requested a face-to-face debate (with Bush) to assess the problems of the world...We will let humanity choose between us." Source: Parisa Hefezi. "Iran President Urges West to Follow God's Path." Reuters. September 6, 2006.

September 5, 2006

  • Vali Nasr, author of The Shia Revival, comments that the U.S. invasion of Iraq and removal of Saddam Hussein made Iran stronger. He characterizes Iranian nuclear ambitions in terms of its strategic goals: "There are big things that Tehran wants and there are little things that Tehran wants. Iran wants to be recognised as a great power in the region. It wants to be like India is in South Asia. They basically want their position to be accepted and acknowledged. And the nuclear issue is part of that." Source: Adla Massoud. "'Removing Saddam Strengthened Iran'". "Aljazeera. September 5, 2006. Text of Interview
  • Islamic Republic News Agency reports that Iranian military announced tests radar guided bombs. Source: n.a. "Iran Tests Laser-Guided Bomb During War Games." Associated Press and International Herald Tribune. Merely "tested?" Well were they successful?

September 3, 2006

  • Speaking to the Islamic Society of North America former Iranian President Mohammad Khatami complains: "Media Islam is the result of a one-sided understanding of Islam that is represented to us in a solitary, cliched and vicious way....The political version of Islam that is displayed is merely an imaginary version of Islam. What has been stated is a dark and false perception of Islam and the East." Source: Iam Brimacombe. "Iran Khatami's Condemns U.S. Policy." BBC News September 3, 2006. Article Text Golly Khatami, could that be true of the portrayal of non-Islamic religions and atheism in Iranian media?
  • Iran has a long way to go to catch up with Israel as a merchant of death. Iranian Defense Minister General Mostafa Mohammad-Najjar brags that Iran is currently exporting military equipment to 57 countries in the world. Source: n.a. " 'Iran Exports Military Equipment to 57 Countries'". IranMania. September 3, 2006.
  • Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hamid Reza Asefi dismisses talk of sanctions: ""I think the issue of sanctions is more like a psychological game...Right now we should think about solving the issues through negotiations. I think the matter of sanctions was only brought up by some Zionist American circles to exert pressure." Source: n.a. "Iran Says Sanctions Threat is Psychological Game." Reuters. September 3, 2006.

September 2, 2006

  • UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan meets with Iranian leaders urging them to curtail weapons shipments to Hezbollah and compromise in its nuclear confrontation with the West. Source: n.a. "Annan Pushes Iran to Compromise on Nukes." NPR. September 2, 2006. (He will not be meeting with American leaders urging them to curtail weapons shipments to Israel or to compromise with the rest of the world on ballistic missile defense, although that would be consistent with his proper role.)
  • European Union "foreign minister" Javier Solana described a forthcoming meeting with Iranian chief negotiator Ali Larijani in vaguely positive diplomatic language: "If the meeting goes well and Iran accepts the philosophy of the cooperation project we presented to it in June, I think we will be able to start a more formal negotiation." Source: Ingrid Melander. "EU Gives Iran Two More Weeks in Atomic Standoff." Reuters. September 2, 2006.
  • Leading German Social-Democrats (SPD) including Martin Schulz expressed opposition to imposing UN sanctions against Iran. Source: n.a. "Top German Ruling Party Officials Oppose Likely Iran Sanctions." Islamic Republic News Agency. September 2, 2006. (All those decades of being the designated initial battleground for a Third World War between the U.S. and the Soviet Union tend to steel one's nerve or at least inure one to the reality of a world in which many of the ideologically minded possess nuclear weapons.)

September 1, 2006

  • Democratic Sen. Russ Feingold notes that the U.S. invasion of Iraq gave the Iranian government the chance to develop nuclear weapons. Source: Lisa Rossi. "Feingold: War in Iraq gave Iran Opportunity" The Democratic Senator Blames the Administration and Says the U.S. is Weaker Militarily and Diplomatically." The Des Moines Register. September 1, 2006.

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.)
  • U.S. President George W. Bush asumes political posture at American Legion Convention in Salt Lake City (talk about a safe venue): "It is time for Iran to make a choice," Bush said at a convention of the American Legion U.S. veterans group. "We've made our choice. We will continue to work closely with our allies to find a diplomatic solution, but there must be consequences for Iran's defiance and we must not allow Iran to develop a nuclear weapon." Source: n.a. "Bush: Iran Must Faces Consequences for Defiance." Reuters. August 31, 2006. Full Text of Speech
  • 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 of Column. 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 30, 2006

  • U.S. Department of Defense spokesperson responds to an article in The Washington Times that the Pentagon assumes Iran is 5 to 8 years from having a nuclear weapon by saying that it never comments on contingency planning. Source: n.a. "Pentagon Sees Iran With Bomb in 5 Years- Report." Reuters. August 30, 2006.

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 by August 31, or more discussions 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 Korean 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 Washington 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 calls 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 Iran's 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 Iranian 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

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.


May 2004

  • May 25: Habib, Ace of Spies. CIA undertakes investigation of the role played by Ahmed Chalabi and his intelligence chief, Aras Karim Habib, in convincing the U.S. to invade Iraq. They are beleived to have passed U.S. secrets to Iran, and that Mr Habib has been a paid Iranian agent for several years. Source: Julian Borger. "US Intelligence Fears Iran Duped Hawks Into Iraq War." Guardian. May 25, 2004.
  • May 6: U.S. House of Representatives passes Resolution 398, 376 to 3, calling on the U.S. government "to use all appropriate means to deter, dissuade, and prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.

February 2004

  • In what would become a familiar 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 our 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.


December 18, 2003

  • Iran signs NPT (nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty) Additional Protocol on Nuclear Safeguards

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.

October 23, 2003

  • Iranian Supreme National Security Council secretary Hassan Rowhani states: "We will suspend our activities for as long as we deem necessary. This could be for one day, one year or longer. The decision is ours."

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 effort 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 spark hopes in Washington for democratic change in Tehran.
  • February 23, 1998, the U.S. State Department reaffirmed American opposition to the Iranian nuclear program, arguing that Iran has sufficient oil and gas reserves for power generation, and that nuclear reactors are expensive, unnecessary, and could be used for military purposes.
  • May 1997: Hihammad Khatemi is elected 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 two 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 reactor 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.
  • 1980: Covert action? Iranian scientist Yahya al-Meshad is found stabbed to death in Paris. His body is discovered by a maid in his hotel room the next morning. Article in Stratfor
  • 1979: Islamic Revolution overthrows the Pahlavi Dynasty. Ayatollah Khomeini deems nuclear weapons research to be un-Islamic and orders the Pahlavi regime's project closed.
  • 1977: International Conference on the Transfer of Nuclear technology 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).
  • 1976: President Ford offers to sell the Iranian government a complete nuclear fuel cycle including reactors and plutonium reprocessing. (Source: Past Arguments Don't Square With Current Iran Policy - By Dafna Linzer, Washington Post, March 26, 2005, p.A15.)
  • 1974: Iran and Egypt co-sponsor a proposal to establish a Nuclear Free Zone in the Middle East that is passed by a majority vote in the United Nations. Undeclared 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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