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« Reply #255 on: June 24, 2009, 11:37:22 PM »

Iranian air force to hold major exercise
Jun. 21, 2009
JPost.com Staff , THE JERUSALEM POST

The Iranian air force is expected to begin an extensive exercise in the Persian Gulf and the Sea of Oman on Monday to raise "its operational and support capability."

"In this maneuver, there will be long-distance flights of around 3,600 kilometers along with aerial refueling from tanker to fighter jet and from fighter jet to fighter jet," Reuters quoted the official IRNA news agency as saying on Sunday.

The exercise will also reportedly include Iranian jets flying at low altitudes over the waters of the Gulf to a distance of 700 km.

On April 18, Iran staged the largest air show in its history as a demonstration of its military prowess.

The exhibition took place on Iran's Army Day, and included 140 fighter jets.

In addition, all units in the Iranian army were represented in the exercise.

The show was a symbol of the army's "preparedness in defending the country," a senior Iranian air force commander said.

The Iranian air force is currently the only air force in the world to maintain an active fleet of F-14s, a model that has effectively been rendered obsolete by the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet.

Iranian air force to hold major exercise
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« Reply #256 on: July 12, 2009, 02:16:26 PM »

U.S. military chief says clock ticking on Iran nuke     

in.reuters.com/


The top U.S. military officer warned on Tuesday that time is running out for dialogue with Tehran to avoid either a nuclear-armed Iran or a possible military strike against the Islamic Republic.

Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, said it is critical for diplomatic efforts to reach a solution before Iran develops a nuclear weapon or faces an Israeli or U.S. strike to turn back its nuclear program.

"That window is a very narrow window," Mullen told an audience at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a Washington think tank.

"There's a great deal that certainly depends on the dialogue and the engagement," he said. "I'm hopeful that that dialogue is productive. I worry about it a great deal if it's not."

Mullen noted that some forecasters believe Iran could be as little as a year away from developing a nuclear bomb, adding: "The clock has continued to tick."

The Obama administration hopes to coax Tehran into negotiating over its nuclear program. Washington and its allies say the program is aimed at producing nuclear weapons, but Iran insists it is a civilian electricity program.

Israel has said a nuclear-armed Iran would be a threat to its existence and points to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's calls for Israel to be wiped off the map.

That has raised concerns that Israel could ultimately carry out a military strike against Iranian nuclear sites.

U.S. President Barack Obama said in an interview the United States had "absolutely not" given Israel a green light to attack Iran over its nuclear program, but he said Washington cannot "dictate to other countries what their security interests are."

"It is the policy of the United States to try to resolve the issue of Iran's nuclear capabilities in a peaceful way through diplomatic channels," Obama told CNN during his trip to Russia.

Vice President Joe Biden said in an interview with ABC's "This Week" program on Sunday that Israel had a sovereign right to act in its best interest in dealing with Iran's nuclear ambitions. The comment was seen by some as giving Israel a green light to attack.

Mullen told his audience that Washington must keep all options on the table as it pursues dialogue with Iran, "including certainly military options."

But he said a military strike -- like the development of an Iranian nuclear bomb itself -- would be "very destabilizing" for the Middle East and pose unpredictable consequences for U.S. allies and interests.

"It (a military strike) is a really important place to not go, if we can not go there in any way, shape or form," the admiral said.
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« Reply #257 on: July 18, 2009, 11:22:34 AM »

Iran speeds up mass production of long-range surface missiles     

debka.com/

Iran is slowing down the manufacture of the Shehab-3 surface missile in favor of mass production of the more accurate two-stage 2,000-kilometer range Sejil II ballistic missile powered with solid fuel, which was successfully tested on May 20, DEBKAfile's military and Iranian sources report.

More than 1,000 new Sejil IIs are projected to come off production lines in five years, at the rate of 200 a year.

Western sources say the Iranians are over-ambitious and can deliver no more than 10-15 missiles a year at present, although with a huge multi-billion dollar investment they might raise output to 30.

Liquid-fuel missiles like the Shehab take hours to prepare for firing, during which time they are exposed to oversight by US and Israel spy satellites, whereas the Sejil because it is powered by solid fuel has the huge advantage of stealth. It can only be detected by military satellites and early warning radar systems like the American FBX-T posted in the Israeli Negev after it is airborne and winging towards target.

Iran has also recruited Chinese missile experts to assist in the production of mobile launchers for the Sejil II. The combination of the solid-fuel Sejil mounted on mobile vehicles will give an Iranian missile attack the advantage of surprise, because of the difficulty of tracking and targeting them from space or the air.

DEBKAfile's military sources add that Iran is going all out to fill its arsenal with Sejil II missiles for outwitting Israel's Arrow interceptors if and when they attack Israel. Western missile experts calculate that if Iran lets loose against Israel a simultaneous barrage of dozens of Shehab-3 and a handful of Sejil II, the Arrow will only intercept some of them; the rest will reach their targets.

Iran's arms industry is driving forward at top speed to attain this capability. Israel has entered the arms race by stepping up production of the Arrow anti-missile systems.

At some point, Israel strategists had hoped the surge of unrest in Tehran sparked by the disputed June 12 presidential election would result in the regime pulling funds out of nuclear and missile industries and investing in projects for improving the lives of the disaffected populace. But the challenge to its authority has had the opposite effect. The Islamic rulers have opted for speeding up weapons production and maximizing their tools of war rather than home benefits.
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« Reply #258 on: September 09, 2009, 12:22:35 PM »

Iran edges close to capacity for building first nuke, fitting a missile's nuclear warhead 

debka.com

Barack Obama has been in the White House for nine months and Binyamin Netanyahu in the Israeli prime minister's office six months. Both have spent precious time batting the numbers of settlement apartments to and fro instead of taking resolute steps to thwart Iran's spectacular advances on the road to a nuclear weapon. DEBKAfile's military and intelligence sources note that Tehran has made good use of this time for the longest strides towards its objective than at any time since its program was surreptitiously launched.

The progress confirmed by our sources consists of four major steps:

1. Iran has succeeded in secretly combining uranium processing, airborne high-explosive tests and work on designing a missile cone to fit a nuclear warhead, according to Western intelligence updates.

2. The conflicting reports on the amount of uranium enriched and number of fast centrifuge machines in operation obscure the following hard facts: The Iranians have doubled the number of ever faster centrifuges that are working at their enrichment plants.

They are moreover completing tests on a more advanced homemade centrifuge, the IR4, which will halve the time taken for converting low-grade enrichment uranium into weapons-grade material.

3. By February 2010 - and some say sooner - Tehran will have stocked enough high-grade enriched uranium for two nuclear bombs.

4. Iran has also gone into home production of nuclear fuel rods for plutonium.

Barack Obama' repeatedly held up his plan to engage Tehran in dialogue - first until the June 12 presidential election (hoping a more rational president would replace Mahmoud Ahmedinejad); then, until the popular unrest following the disputed poll died down (for fear of being accused of interfering); and finally on the assumption that the turmoil would divide and weaken the Islamic regime and make it easier to engage constructively.

The six world powers, US, Russia, China, France, the UK and Germany accordingly gave Iran until Sept. 15 to start talks.

It turned out that these delays, instead of weakening Iran's rulers, hardened their position.

Reacting to the new intelligence presented to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Iran's delegate Ali Asghar Soltanieh said Friday, Sept. 4: "The government of the United States has not handed over the original documents to the agency since it does not in fact have any authenticated documents and all it has are forged document"

An anonymous US official in Vienna said Soltanieh's accusations were baseless and the IAEA itself "had accepted the material as credible."

But by then, the Iranian delegate had come up with a new self-serving initiative: a proposal for the agency's board of governors to ban member states from attacking the nuclear facilities of other nations.

Then on Saturday, Sept 5, Soltanieh, made it clear that Tehran was virtually scrapping the Western powers incentives offer which has been gathering dust since last year as the basis for talks and was about to put forward its own "comprehensive package on issues, including nuclear and economic cooperation as well as concerns about the proliferation of atomic weapons."

The Iranian package will be handed in this week.

What do Washington and Jerusalem propose to do now in the face of Iran's aggressive nuclear and diplomatic offensives? Will the foot-dragging continue until Iran conducts its first nuclear test?

Four years ago, prime minister Ariel Sharon said Israel must meet US demands on containing West Bank settlement "because we would need the Americans on the Iran issue."

His successor, Ehud Olmert and foreign minister Tzipi Livni held off Israeli action by reiterating it was up to the "international community" to stop Iran's advance toward a nuclear bomb.

Has anything changed in Washington and Jerusalem?
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« Reply #259 on: September 27, 2009, 04:06:50 PM »

Iran to Test-Fire More Missiles That Could Hit Israel, U.S. Bases
Sunday , September 27, 2009
FOXNews

After claiming to successfully test-fire two short-range missiles during drills Sunday by the elite Revolutionary Guard, Iran will test-fire a missile on Monday that could have the capability to hit Israel and U.S. bases in the Gulf region, Reuters reported.

The drills are a show of force days after the U.S. and its allies condemned Tehran over a newly revealed underground nuclear facility that was being constructed secretly

The Guards on Monday will test-fire the surface-to-surface Shahab 3 missile, which Iranian officials say has a range of around 1,240 miles, potentially putting Israel and U.S. bases in the Gulf within reach, according to state radio. It has been tested several times before.

English-language Press TV reported that on Sunday, the first day of exercises, the solid-fuel Fateh-110, Tondar-69 and Zelzal missiles were test fired, but did not give specifics on range or other details. Both are short-range, surface-to-surface missiles.

Gen. Hossein Salami, head of the Revolutionary Guard Air Force, told reporters Iran tested for the first time a multiple missile launcher. Press TV showed pictures of at least two missiles being fired simultaneously and said they were from the latest drill.

The powerful Revolutionary Guard defends Iran's clerical rulers. It has its own ground, naval and air units and its air force controls the country's missile program.

The Guards said "the drill aims to maintain and boost the country's armed forces deterrent capabilities," Reuters reported. Salami said the missile tests and military drills were meant to show Iran's strong resolve to defend its national values.

The tests came two days after Western intelligence officials and diplomats disclosed that Iran had been secretly developing a previously unknown underground uranium enrichment facility. The site in the arid mountains near the holy city of Qom is believed to be inside a heavily guarded, underground facility belonging to the Revolutionary Guard, according to a document sent by President Barack Obama's administration to lawmakers.

After strong condemnations from the U.S. and its allies, and a demand to open the site to international scrutiny, Iran said Saturday it will allow U.N. nuclear inspectors to examine the site.

Reuters reported Iran's ambassador to the U.N.'s nuclear agency watchdog, Ali Asghar Soltanieh, as saying Sunday that "fabricated Western clamor" over the facility would, however, negatively affect its talks with world powers.

Nuclear experts said the details that have emerged about the site and the fact it was being developed secretly are strong indications that Iran's nuclear program is not only for peaceful purposes, as the country has long maintained.

By U.S. estimates, Iran is one to five years away from having a nuclear weapons capability, although U.S. intelligence also believes that Iranian leaders have not yet made the decision to build a weapon.

Iran also is developing a long-range ballistic missile that could carry a nuclear warhead, but the administration said last week that it believes that effort has been slowed. That assessment paved the way for Obama's decision to shelve the Bush administration's plan for a missile shield in Europe, which was aimed at defending against Iranian ballistic missiles.

Salami said Iran would test medium-range Shahab-1 and Shahab-2 missiles on Sunday night and long-range Shahab-3 missiles on Monday, during drills set to last several days.

Salami said Fateh, Tondar and Zelzal missiles were test fired on Sunday, but did not give specifics on range or other details. All are short-range, surface-to-surface missiles.

He told reporters Iran had reduced the missiles and their ranges and enhanced their speed and precision so they could be used in quick, short-range engagements. He also said they are now able to be launched from positions that are not as easy to hit.

Salami claimed Iran has started "running into difficulties storing so many missiles" with its recent progress on its missile program.

Iran has had the solid-fuel Fateh missile, with a range of 120 miles, for several years. Fateh means conqueror in Farsi and Arabic. It also has the solid-fueled, Chinese-made CSS 8, also called the Tondar 69, according to the Wisconsin Project on Nuclear Arms Control, a private group that seeks to stop the spread of weapons of mass destruction. The Tondar, which means thunder, has a range of about 93 miles.

State media said the Revolutionary Guard tested a multiple launcher for the first time, designed for the Zelzal missile. Tehran has previously tested the Zelzal — versions of which have ranges of 130-185 miles — but only single launch.

In July 2006, Israeli military officials said their jets had destroyed a missile in Lebanon named Zelzal, which they said Hezbollah had received from Iran and could reach Tel Aviv. Zelzal means earthquake.

Iran's last known missile tests were in May when it fired its longest-range solid-fuel missile, Sajjil-2. Tehran said the two-stage surface-to-surface missile has a range of about 1,200 miles — capable of striking Israel, U.S. Mideast bases and Europe.

The revelation of Iran's secret site has given greater urgency to a key meeting on Thursday in Geneva between Iran and six major powers trying to stop its suspected nuclear weapons program.

The U.S. and its partners plan to tell Tehran at the meeting that it must provide "unfettered access" for the International Atomic Energy Agency, the U.N. nuclear watchdog, within weeks.

The facility is Iran's second uranium-enrichment site working to produce the fuel that could eventually be used in a nuclear weapon.

A close aide to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said Saturday the site will be operational soon and would pose a threat to those who oppose Iran.

"This new facility, God willing, will become operational soon and will blind the eyes of the enemies," Mohammad Mohammadi Golpayegani told the semi-official Fars news agency.

Evidence of the clandestine facility was presented Friday by Obama, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown and French President Nicolas Sarkozy at the G-20 economic summit in Pittsburgh. On Saturday, Obama offered Iran "a serious, meaningful dialogue" over its disputed nuclear program, while warning Tehran of grave consequences from a united global front.

Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said Saturday the revelation was firm proof Iran was seeking nuclear weapons.

Israel considers Iran a strategic threat with its nuclear program, missile development and repeated calls by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for Israel's destruction. It has not ruled out a pre-emptive strike on Iran's nuclear sites.

In 1981, Israeli warplanes bombed Iraq's Osirak nuclear reaction and in 2007, Israel bombed a site in Syria that the U.S. said was a nearly finished nuclear reactor built with North Korean help that was configured to produce plutonium — one of the substances used in nuclear warheads.

Israel's Foreign Ministry had no immediate comment on the missile tests.

Iranian Vice President Ali Akbar Salehi, who heads the country's nuclear program, said Saturday that U.N. nuclear inspectors could visit the nuclear site. On Sunday, he told Press TV Iran and the IAEA would work out the timing of the inspection.

The small-scale site is meant to house no more than 3,000 centrifuges — much less than the 8,000 machines at Natanz, Iran's known industrial-scale enrichment facility, but they could still potentially help create bomb-making material.

Experts have estimated that Iran's current number of centrifuges could enrich enough uranium for a bomb in as little as a year. Washington has been pushing for heavier sanctions if Iran does not agree to end enrichment.

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« Reply #260 on: October 01, 2009, 10:21:20 PM »

Iran May Use Hezbollah to Hold the US Hostage        

canadafreepress.com


A Middle East terrorism expert has warned that Iran may use a terrorist group to strike the United States if it becomes threatened. “If Iran’s regime is in trouble, either from the outside or even from a democratic uprising, it may order Hezbollah to attack the U.S.” said Dr. Walid Phares during an appearance on FOX News last week.

This reiterates what Hezbollah themselves have said. “We have 2,000 volunteers who have registered since last year,” Hezbollah spokesman Mojtaba Bigdeli told Reuters in a 2006 interview. “They have been trained and they can become fully armed. We are ready to dispatch them to every corner of the world to jeopardize Israel and America’s interests. We are only waiting for the supreme leader’s green light to take action. If America wants to ignite World War III … we welcome it.”

While many in the U.S. are concerned with al Qaeda, the Lebanese-based and Iranian-funded Hezbollah poses the greater threat. Excluding the 9/11 attacks, Hezbollah has killed more Americans than any other terrorist group. Phares has stated previously that Hezbollah is “well funded, very well organized, and we assume that their penetration of the U.S. is deeper than al Qaeda’s.”

In addition to their activity in the Middle East, Africa, and Europe, Hezbollah is operating in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Venezuela, and other countries in Central and South America.

Following news in 2006 that Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad met with Hezbollah’s military commander Imad Mugniyeh (who until his death would have likely commanded attacks against Western targets), investigations were conducted on Hezbollah cells in 14 U.S. cities. FBI and Justice Department probes revealed about a dozen hard-core supporters of Hezbollah in New York City alone. Another cell was discovered in Detroit, which has become the center for Hezbollah’s fundraising operations. San Antonio reportedly has Hezbollah-linked groups.

There have been multiple instances in recent years where personnel from the Iranian mission to the United Nations were expelled for monitoring New York City subways, bridges, tunnels, and other potential targets. According to testimony from former CIA director James Woolsey, Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad “says that he knows of the 29 sensitive sites in the U.S. and the west which he has spied out and is ready to attack in order to, quote: ‘End Anglo-Saxon civilization.’”

It is likely that the attacks Ahmadinejad mentions would be executed by members of Hezbollah.

In 2000, members of a North Carolina cell were convicted for providing “material support” to Hezbollah. In addition to sending profits from a cigarette smuggling ring to Hezbollah, one group member was ordered by a Hezbollah member in Lebanon to obtain night-vision equipment, surveying equipment, global positioning systems, mine detectors, radar, and other dual-use technology to send to Lebanon.

In Canada, intelligence officials disclosed that Hezbollah mobilized as many as four of their sleeper cells following Mugniyeh’s assassination last year. Up to 20 Hezbollah suspects were tracked as they conducted reconnaissance on synagogues and the Israeli embassy in Ottawa. Members of the cells were also instructed to send their family members back to Lebanon. Toronto has become a hub of activity for Hezbollah, despite the Canadian government declaring Hezbollah a terrorist organization in 2002.

If Hezbollah's weapons can go south, what is to stop them from being brought into the U.S. through a porous border?

In 2006, FBI director Robert Mueller confirmed that the FBI busted a Hezbollah cell that smuggled operatives across the Mexican border. In 2001, Mahmoud Kourani, who according to his indictment is a Hezbollah “member, fighter, recruiter and fund-raiser,” illegally entered the U.S. through Mexico before being convicted for providing material support to Hezbollah. Kourani’s brother is Hezbollah’s chief of military security in Lebanon.

Hezbollah operatives also infiltrate the U.S. through the Canada. An associate of Kourani smuggled 20 to 30 Hezbollah members into the U.S. across the Canadian border.

In South America, the strategic partnership between Iran and Venezuela have provided a base of operations for Hezbollah activity in the Western Hemisphere. Venezuelan cells are part of the “Special Operations Command,” the group tasked with overseas attacks, such as the 1992 bombing of the Israeli embassy in Buenos Aires, Argentina and another bombing in 1994 of a Jewish community center in the same city. U.S. Treasury officials alleged last year that two Venezuelans had “facilitated the travel” of Hezbollah members and “discussed operational issues with senior officials” of the terrorist group. The import of operatives and material were further eased as the State Department noted that Venezuelan border officials in the airport did not stamp passports and rarely entered passengers into the immigration database.

Hezbollah operatives and equipment could reach South America through Venezuela, migrate to the U.S. through Mexico, and await their orders from Teheran.

Although Hezbollah has not yet attacked targets in the U.S., the terrorist group clearly has the capability, and has announced their intention to strike. Their presence on our soil serves to hold the American people hostage with the threat of terrorist attacks in order to protect Iran’s nuclear weapons program. Therefore, it is essential that America become increasingly vigilant in order to stop the threat from Hezbollah.
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« Reply #261 on: March 29, 2010, 06:14:44 AM »

Big powers hamper progress of world nations
Tehran, March 28, IRNA

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said here on Sunday that the big powers are making efforts to hamper progress and development of world nations.
He made the remarks in a meeting with Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Cemil Cicek, who arrived here to attend the Nowruz Celebrations.

President Ahmadinejad regretted that the big powers only think about their own interests.

Both Iran and Turkey shoulder great responsibilities with regards to other nations since the world is facing a new situation, he added.

Referring to Tehran-Ankara amicable ties, he said progress and development of each of these two countries would benefit both nations and the entire globe.

The Islamic Republic of Iran considers progress of Turkey as its own progress, the President noted.

Underlining the need for expansion of cultural relations between the two neighboring states, he called for a boost in all-out bilateral cooperation.

Cicek, for his part, stressed that Ankara attaches great importance to its ties with Tehran. Cooperation with Iran is Turkey’s fundamental and principled policy, he added.

He said further expansion of all-out ties between the two states would bring about peace, stability and security to the region.

Ankara is trying to boost ties with Tehran to its highest possible level, he added.

The presidents of Iraq, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Afghanistan as well as the Azeri foreign minister and Turkish deputy premier attended the Nowruz Celebrations.

Meaning 'new day,' Nowruz is celebrated by over 300 million people worldwide.

Nowruz was registered on the list of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) on September 30, 2009.

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« Reply #262 on: March 29, 2010, 06:15:59 AM »

IPU backs Iran proposal for condemning Israel
Kuala Lumpur, March 28, IRNA

The IPU member states backed Iran’s proposal to condemn Israel for its illegal construction work in Palestine and usurping Islamic heritage.
The 122nd Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) Assembly started a six-day long meeting on March 27 in Bangkok, Thailand.

Iran’s First Vice-Speaker of Majlis Mohammad-Hassan Abutorabi-Fard heading a number of Iranian parliamentarians has taken part in the Assembly. Some 1,000 parliament members from 130 countries are present in the IPU gathering.

The international organization of Parliaments (IPU) was established in 1889. The Union is the focal point for world-wide parliamentary dialogue and works for peace and co-operation among peoples and for the firm establishment of representative democracy.

IPU backs Iran proposal for condemning Israel
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« Reply #263 on: March 29, 2010, 06:19:48 AM »

 Moscow welcomes expansion of relations with Tehran
Tehran, March 28, IRNA

Russian Ambassador to Tehran Alexander Sadovnikov said on Sunday that the Russian statesmen are willing to bolster relations with the Islamic Republic of Iran in the new Iranian year.

Speaking to IRNA, he described Tehran-Moscow relations as "excellent" and that Moscow is to broaden and deepen relations with the government of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as well as other Iranian governments in the future.

Referring to the landmark celebration of Nowruz in Tehran by leaders of Persian-speaking nations, he said that marking the ceremony at such international level was groundbreaking and that it was for the first time he took part in Nowruz ceremony during his 20-year stay in Tehran.

“I was pleased to be invited to the celebration and mark the event along with the Iranian nation and wishing them all a promising new year,” he said.

He wished for a world free from war, conflict and violence but full of earnestness and friendship. (That will never happen as long as man rules the world. The only chance for peace is Jesus Christ. And He will rule His world, with an iron rod...... DW)

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« Reply #264 on: March 29, 2010, 06:23:01 AM »

Western support for Israel, element of world insecurity
Kuala Lumpur, March 29, IRNA

An Iraninian parliamentary delegation said in Bangkok on Sunday western policy of backing the terrorist regime of Israel has brought about insecurity in the world.

Iran’s delegation to the 122nd meeting of the Inter-Parliamentary Union Assembly (IPU) in Bangkok headed by Majlis First Vice-Speaker Mohammad-Hassan Abutorabi-Fard said those policies are obstacles to the world efforts to uproot the issue of terrorism.

To remove the name of Mujahedin-e Khalq Organization (MKO) from the terrorist list is an indication of the West's ambiguous reaction to the issue, a member of Iran’s Majlis Javad Jahangirzadeh said in the IPU committee of international peace and security.

He added any measures taken to fight terrorism should be strong and free from discrimination.

Tehran has already condemned Israel for illegal project of construction work in the occupied lands of Palestine. The condemnation was welcomed by the IPU member states.

A delegation from Iranian parliament has taken part in the six-day-long meeting of the IPU Assembly in Bangkok, Thailand which started on March 27.

Western support for Israel, element of world insecurity

Right and I'm so NOT believing that statement. The only hope for this world is Jesus Christ. This has all ready be written out. It just hasn't been played out yet.
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« Reply #265 on: March 29, 2010, 07:10:08 AM »

Iran says Muslims must act over Jerusalem
03.26.10

Foreign Minister Mottaki says, 'Expansion of Israeli settlements, destruction of Islamic and Christian sites and wide-scale construction of new synagogues show the Zionist plans to accelerate Judaization of east Jerusalem'
Reuters

Iran attacked Israel's construction plans in east Jerusalem on Friday, saying Muslims around the world needed to take action.

Announcements by Israel's right-wing government of new building projects in east Jerusalem – which the Jewish state seized in a 1967 war – have spoiled US plans to get Palestinians and Israelis back into peace negotiations.

"Expansion of Israeli settlements, destruction of Islamic and Christian sites and wide-scale construction of new synagogues ... show the Zionist plans to accelerate Judaization of east Jerusalem and unfortunately it is approved by American officials," Iran's Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said in comments reported on Iranian state radio.

"This has raised the alarm for all people around the world and doubled the need for Muslim and other countries to act seriously," he said, adding that the 22-nation Arab League should take a strong stance at its meeting in Libya this weekend.

US officials have sought to coax Israel into suspending further east Jerusalem projects and discussing core issues such as borders and the status of Jerusalem as part of indirect talks with the Palestinians that have been blessed by the Arab League.

Iran is locked in dispute with the United States and its allies, including Arab states, over its nuclear energy program which they fear will allow Tehran to develop nuclear weapons. Iran says it has no such intention.

Israel says it considers a nuclear Iran as an existential threat and analysts say Israel, itself regarded as a nuclear power, could carry out raids on Iranian sites.

Iran, a major oil and gas producer, sees itself as the main champion of the Palestinian cause among Muslim countries.

Iran says Muslims must act over Jerusalem
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