Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Eye on Iran: 99% of Americans Consider Iranian Nukes a Threat

For continuing coverage follow us on Twitter and join our Facebook group.
Top Stories

Times of Israel: "A huge majority of Americans view Iran's nuclear program as a 'critical threat,' alongside the North Korean nuclear program and 'international terrorism,' according to a poll released Monday. The Gallup poll found that 99 percent of Americans believe the Islamic Republic's nuclear program is a threat 'to the vital interests of the United States in the next 10 years,' with 83% saying it was a 'critical threat' and another 16% saying it was an 'important, [but] not critical' one. Just 1% declined to say it was at least an important threat."

WSJ: "In what has been widely perceived as a pre-election stunt, Pakistan has pushed ahead with a controversial pipeline deal with Iran -  a move that has irritated the U.S. and that could lead to economic sanctions if Islamabad begins imports of Iranian gas. Pakistan's state-owned Inter-State Gas Systems and Tadbir Energy Costar Iranian Co. on Friday signed a contract to lay the gas pipeline in Pakistan. They announced work would start immediately and that the Pakistan portion of the pipeline would be completed in 15 months, though analysts believe that's optimistic. The goal of the pipeline is to connect Iran with Asian markets, addressing substantial energy shortages in Pakistan. If the pipeline extends beyond Pakistan, the country stands to profit from substantial gas transit fees. The U.S. has opposed the pipeline since its inception, promoting the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India pipeline as an alternative that keeps Iran firmly out of Asian energy markets. Washington has made it clear that it will impose economic sanctions on Islamabad if it begins to buy gas from Iran. In a written reply to The Wall Street Journal, the U.S. embassy in Islamabad reiterated the U.S.'s position stating: 'Our policy on Iran is well known. We have made it clear to all of our interlocutors around the world that it is in their interests to avoid activities that may be prohibited by UN sanctions or sanctionable under U.S. law.'"

Free Beacon: "Millions of Americans may have unwittingly invested in a Turkish bank that has illegally helped Iran circumvent international economic sanctions meant to weaken its disputed nuclear program, according to investment documents and sanctions experts. Several of America's largest financial institutions are significant shareholders in Turkey's Halkbank, a majority state-owned lender that has come under fire for enabling so-called 'gold-for-gas' exchanges with Iran that violate U.S. sanctions, according to investment documents obtained by the Washington Free Beacon. Multiple U.S. financial groups currently own shares in the bank, also known as Turkiye Halk Bankasi, which is state-owned and publicly traded. They include the Vanguard Group, Inc., Fidelity Management, J.P. Morgan, T. Rowe Price Associates, Inc., and Principal Management Group, among others... 'It is of great concern that U.S. institutions may be indirectly involved in the sale of Iranian oil for Turkish gold,' said Nathan Carleton, spokesman for United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI), a nonpartisan advocacy group that pressures international companies to cease dealings with Tehran. 'The Iranian regime is conducting these transactions specifically to evade sanctions and fund its nuclear program.' 'The American people don't want their money going toward Iran business, and once they're informed of these situations the companies will have to make a choice between U.S. investors or the Iranian regime,' Carleton said. 'Any U.S. entities invested in Halkbank should take immediate action to stop Iranian oil transactions, or divest.'"
MTN Banner 
Nuclear Program & Sanctions

CBS: "Looking ahead to U.N. talks next week, former Secretary of State under President Bill Clinton Madeleine Albright, said sanctions against Iran are working. 'The P-5 Plus 1 (U.S., Britain, France, China, Russia and Germany), they are going to keep pushing Iran, and I think that the sanctions are working because we hear an awful lot about problems within the Iranian economy,' she said on 'CBS This Morning.' 'But ultimately, we're going to have to see what our policy is,' she added. 'As the president has said, containment is not enough. And all options are on the table. But these are important talks because they do have to be a multilateral push to isolate Iran internationally.'"

Fox News: "Iraq has approved the construction of a natural gas pipeline across its territory that will connect Iran to key ally Syria. The move likely to strengthen Tehran's influence over its neighbors. The Iraqi Cabinet said in a statement Tuesday evening that it has instructed the country's oil minister to sign a framework agreement for the $10 billion project, allowing the pipeline to move ahead. The project is designed to supply gas from the giant South Pars field to Syria as well as other export markets."

AP: "Two Iranian men have been charged with allegedly smuggling dozens of German-made aircraft motors to Iran to be used in its Ababil III surveillance and attack drone, federal prosecutors said Wednesday. Germany prohibits the export of goods to Iran that could be used for military purposes, abiding by international sanctions. Iman J. L., a 30-year-old German-Iranian dual national, and Iranian Davood A., 54, have both been charged with violating German export laws, said prosecutors' spokesman Marcus Koehler. The men, whose last names were not given in accordance with German privacy laws, face two to 15 years in prison if convicted."

Domestic Politics

Bloomberg: "Iran's former president Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani criticized Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's policies and his government's 'imaginary' economic indicators, the Donya-e- Eqtesad newspaper reported. An energy and food subsidies reform plan that started in 2010 failed to boost local production and growth, he said. Instead, it led to an 'insignificant amount of cash distributed to the population in exchange for alarming inflation,' Rafsanjani said, according to the daily. 'People are feeling the multiplication of prices and the drop of the national currency's value with their flesh and skin,' Rafsanjani said. 'Yet some are still content with their imaginary statistics.'"

RFE/RL: "One of the most-feared figures of Iran's Islamic establishment has announced his candidacy in the country's June 14 presidential vote. Ali Fallahian, a member of Iran's Assembly of Experts who served as intelligence minister under former President Hashemi Rafsanjani, has been accused of involvement in the killings of Iranian dissidents and is on Interpol's wanted list for alleged participation in the 1995 bombing of a Jewish center in Buenos Aires that killed 85 people. He announced his candidacy on February 19 in Birjand... For many Iranians, Fallahian's name is closely associated with several murders and disappearances of Iranian intellectuals while he was serving as intelligence minister from 1989 to 1997. Rights groups and a German court have linked the 68-year-old to several such murders, both inside and outside the country, and he has also been implicated in the 1992 assassinations of three Iranian Kurdish opposition leaders."

Opinion & Analysis

Elie Chalhoub in Al-Akhbar: "On the fourth anniversary of his assassination in Damascus, Al-Akhbar meets Iranians who worked with the man who spent 25 years building Hezbollah into a formidable resistance force. Eyes take on the colors of the setting sun on a wintry day. Their redness holds back tears that well up at the memory of the fallen friend whose assassination has yet to be avenged. There is heartfelt affection in Iran for the man whose over 25 years of joint struggle earned him the confidence of the 'Imam Leader' and the respect of Iran's generals and military. A strong desire to share stories about the legendary commander is tempered by fear of inadvertently revealing secrets and putting lives in danger. Yet the Iranian officials who got to know Imad Mughniyeh believe he is owed his due in this world, just as they hope he is rewarded in the next. Iran's relationship with 'Hajj Imad' was no brief affair. The Islamic Republic had denied that until the day he was martyred where it paid tribute to the fallen leader at his funeral. The Iranian delegation was led by Ali Akbar Velayati, representative of the supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and by then Foreign Minister Manushehr Mottaki on behalf of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. A symbolic tombstone was also erected at Behesht-e-Zahra, graveyard of Iran's own martyrs in Tehran. Mughniyeh's connection to Iran began with the outbreak of the revolution in 1979. He was a frequent visitor to the Islamic Republic and became a fluent Farsi speaker, acquiring a distinct Tehrani accent, according to those Iranians who met him."

Citizens Lab: "This report, titled 'After the Green Movement: Internet Controls in Iran, 2009-2012', details Iran's increasing Internet controls since 2009, when protests against the victory of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad rocked the country. The election protest campaign-dubbed the 'Green Movement'-was marked for the high use of social media and other information and communication technologies (ICT) to organize protests and disseminate information. Since the protests, however, the regime has tightened its controls on the use of ICTs while also seeking to use that technology to promote its own national narrative in cyberspace. While the filtering of web content has continued unabated, Iran has increasingly moved toward political centralization of its control regime, involving members of the country's religious, administrative, and defence organizations as stakeholders in what the government sees as an ideological threat against the country's values and national security. Key findings from the report include..."

Eye on Iran is a periodic news summary from United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI) a program of the American Coalition Against Nuclear Iran, Inc., a tax-exempt organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Eye on Iran is not intended as a comprehensive media clips summary but rather a selection of media elements with discreet analysis in a PDA friendly format. For more information please email

United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI) is a non-partisan, broad-based coalition that is united in a commitment to prevent Iran from fulfilling its ambition to become a regional super-power possessing nuclear weapons.  UANI is an issue-based coalition in which each coalition member will have its own interests as well as the collective goal of advancing an Iran free of nuclear weapons.

No comments:

Post a Comment