Iran

Obama sends ‘let’s talk’ message

By Nathan Guttman, March 26, 2009

True to his campaign promise to reach out diplomatically to Iran, US president Barack Obama issued a public appeal to the Iranian leadership on the occasion of the Iranian holiday of Nowruz.

President Obama’s overture to Tehran marks the beginning of the US effort to engage with Iran, a strategy viewed with skepticism by Israel. The President’s public call for rapprochement comes days after senior administration officials were urged by Israel’s chief of staff not to shelve the military option against Iran.

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Israel may go it alone on Iran strike

By Anshel Pfeffer, March 26, 2009

While the American intelligence community is tearing itself apart in public over the question of whether Iran has accumulated sufficient uranium for a nuclear weapon, a quiet debate is going on behind the scenes in Israel.

Most Israeli intelligence analysts believe Iran is a few months away from the point of no return.

If pro-Israel president George Bush decided not to attack Iran, it is hard to see Barack Obama with his new policy of engaging Iran and the Muslim world ordering a strike. That leaves Israel with an awful dilemma — can it go it alone?

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Iran uses fake CIA report to 'kill off' Israel

By Jenni Frazer, March 19, 2009

A claim that a secret CIA document exists that forecasts Israel would not survive for more than 20 years has been denounced as "a ludicrous hoax".

The report was broadcast by the Iranian-backed Press TV station last week and has subsequently been cited as fact on many websites and blogs. Press TV - a propaganda vehicle for the Iranian government - has been attacked for "disinformation".

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Iran buys anti-aircraft missiles from Russia

By Anshel Pfeffer, March 19, 2009

The reported sale of advanced anti-aircraft missiles to Tehran has made the need to deal with Iran’s nuclear programme more urgent than ever.

A senior source in Russia’s Federal Bureau of Military-Technological Cooperation confirmed to the Interfax news agency on Wednesday that his country had signed a contract to sell the S-300PMU missile system to Iran in 2007. The official said that the system had not yet been supplied.

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Australian anger over Iran invite

By Dan Goldberg, March 19, 2009

An invitation to the former president of Iran to speak in Melbourne next week has enraged Jewish community leaders, writes Dan Goldberg.

Mohammed Khatami is due to speak at La Trobe University in Melbourne on March 26.

John Searle, president of the Jewish Community Council of Victoria, resigned from the university’s dialogue committee in protest against the invitation and said it was “inconceivable” that the Anglican archbishop of Melbourne, Philip Freier, was meeting Khatawi.

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Israel: Iranian bomb just months away

By Anshel Pfeffer, March 12, 2009

Israel warned the Obama administration this week that the window of opportunity for dealing diplomatically with the Iranian nuclear threat has closed.

At the Israeli cabinet meeting on Sunday, Major General Amos Yadlin, commander of the IDF’s Intelligence Branch, said: “Iran has crossed the technological threshold. It is one strategic decision away from becoming a nuclear-enabled military power.” He indicated that Iran can now build a bomb in a matter of months.

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Analysis: There is one positive

By Emanuele Ottolenghi, March 12, 2009

How close is Iran to developing nuclear weapons?

According to Amos Yadlin, Iran has crossed another threshold on the road to nuclear capability, after the recent International Atomic Energy Agency report that Iran has accumulated a much larger stockpile of low-enriched uranium than previously documented.

This means that although Iran is still some distance from building a nuclear weapon, it now has the tools to do it.

The bad news is thus that Iran could soon have a nuclear weapon — a transformational event that could dramatically change the region and precipitate a conflict.

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Analysis: Is the nuclear threat imminent?

By Meir Javedanfar, March 5, 2009

The apparently contradictory statements from US Admiral Mike Mullen — who said Iran was not yet close to a nuclear bomb — and from US Defence Secretary Robert Gates — who seemed to imply quite the opposite — created both concern and confusion in the United States.

The Obama administration is fully aware that a nuclear-armed Iran is against its interests. However, although the statements appear inconsistent, upon closer inspection we can see that they are both accurate.

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IDF chief is to warn Pentagon over Iran

By Anshel Pfeffer, March 5, 2009

IDF Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi is to meet his US counterparts in Washington next week for talks aimed at convincing the Obama administration of the urgency of acting against Iran’s nuclear programme.

Senior Israeli military sources have made it clear that a decision on an Israeli strike against Iran will top the agenda of a new government headed by Binyamin Netanyahu.

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Ofcom clears Channel 4 on Iran message

By Simon Rocker and Marcus Dysch, February 26, 2009

Ofcom, the broadcast watchdog, has rejected a complaint against Channel 4 for choosing President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran to deliver its Alternative Christmas Message last year.

This week Ofcom said that it had received 295 complaints from viewers that the Iranian leader was an “offensive and inappropriate” choice because of his views on the Holocaust, women and homosexuals.

But it stated that the actual content of the broadcast could be “described as non-confrontational, comprising as it did a message of goodwill to the UK audience”.

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