Aug 20, 2006

Iran Rejects Demands on Uranium Enrichment, Test Fires Missiles

Iranian special forcesLeft: Iranian special forces in maneuvers, courtesy of Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA)

(Tehran) Iranian officials indicated that Iran would not stop enriching uranium, rejecting the primary goal behind a package of incentives proposed by six western nations.

Speaking after the test-firing of 10 short-range Saeqeh missiles in the Kashan desert southeast of Tehran, Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi said that a nuclear compromise would have to be reached during future negotiations.

"We are not going to suspend [uranium enrichment]. The issue was that everything should come out of negotiations,” he said. “Suspension is not on our agenda.”

The five-week exercise, named 'The Blow of Zolfaqar', is being currently conducted in the southeastern province of Sistan Balochistan, and will also be staged in 14 of Iran's 30 provinces. Zolfaqar was the sword of Ali, the son-in-law of the Prophet Muhammad.

The Saeqeh missile has an estimated range of 50-150 miles, and is not believed to be capable of carrying a nuclear warhead. The Farsi word saeqeh roughly translates as "thunderbolt."


Anonymous said...

Load the nukes and turn Iran into a sheet of glass, enough of this crap already.

marduk22 said...

I think Barry McCaffrey nailed it on Meet The Press this week:

"Well, I—you know, first of all, I applaud the efforts by Secretary Rice and by others, Steve Hadley, trying to start the beginnings of building an alliance to confront the Iranians. The notion that we can threaten them with conventional air attack is simply insane. First of all, we're more vulnerable than they are to having the Persian Gulf closed, to leaving 135,000 troops 400 kilometers up into Iraq with a Shia population on our supply lines. Never mind our allies who I think are terrified by this, the—you know, the notion that we would use air power to go after 70-some odd nuclear sites.

"The Iranians are going nuclear. It's going to change the region for the worse in the coming 10 years, and hopefully not provoke the proliferation of WMD, where you end up with an Arab Sunni bomb to counter the Persian Shia bomb. So I think the answer to this one is diplomatic, economic: build alliances, stop threatening military action."

microdot said...

Briefly, is there any sense of reality in the bellicose way that the USA tries to deal with Iran? Can we as a less than 300 year old nation understand and try to manipulate the cultural fabric of the Shiites in the middle east? Our meddling has created our present problems, one after another. We supported and installed the Shah who lived his life large on the pages of Life Magazine as true Euro a huge world party in the desert to have himself and his wife crowned as heirs to Alexander the Great while Iran suffered his brutal despotic rule supported by the CIA. The CIA meanwhile totally lost the ball with the growing rebellion in Iran and the influence of Khomeni. When he came back to Tehran while the Shah was being treated and dying of cancer in the USA, the CIA barely knew who he was or was aware of his influence. American support of the brutal regime of the Shah made them the most poignant target of protest and hence, the trashing of the American Embassy and the Hostage taking. The Iranians found lots of evidence to support their beliefs that America had encouraged and abetted the Shah secret police. Then followed the debacle of American attempts to release the hostages including a war within the State Department to undermine Carters bungled diplomacy and disasterous attemept to use a stealth raid to free them. Finally, Reagans supporters in the CIA worked the deal that allowed the hostages to be freed on his inaugaration. Of course, the budding neocons never forgot the humiliiation of America and were determined to make Iran pay for it!
All this revolves around the fact that Iran sits atop of one of the lartgest untapped oil reserves on the planet. As it is today, the oil could flow eastward via a pipeline or if the USA could figure out how to do it, on tankers to America. Hence, the Neocons sit and stew and plot and try to manipulate reality...remember the neocon statement, "We make reality"...sounds good, but like all big stupid plots, they have a nasty habit of backfiring in the most unexpected ways.
After and in spite of decades of American imposed embargoes on Iran, things were loosening up. A young generation was stretching its wings and wanting more freedom. The Iranian population is demographically young because so many men were killed in the Iran/Iraq war in the early 80's...oh yeah, another American inspired attempt to destroy Iran, we were arming and providiing logistical support for a guy over there in Iraq...what's his name?...oh yeah, Saddam Hussein! Another reason the Iranians trust us and love us so much!
So there was an election a few years ago, and it looked like Iran was going to elect a more secular western looking government and what happened? George Bush started making speeches about freedom and how the elections were going to be flawed...the results from sticking his bazoo into the mix? Ahminejehad was able to mobilize the anti American sentiment in the country and win the election and put the country on its present more conservative militant course.
I wrote this over long slightly ranting post because I don't think most Americans have any idea of the issues and history of Iran. They get all their info from George Bushs' speeches which are inherently flawed because he doesn't have any real idea of what he is talking about.
George and his family do know the oil business and how to make money from it now! If you think there is any other reason for Americas present belicose posturing towards Iran, you are living on a puffy neocon cloud counting Ayatollahs jumping over a piepline!

Hooda Thunkit said...

I see one of two things happening:

1. Iran blows themselves up trying to join the nuclear club.


2. Someone else doing it for (and, to) them...

Dariush said...

Hooda: "I see one of two things happening:

1. Iran blows themselves up trying to join the nuclear club."

There's always cause for concern when it comes to nuclear energy (much less, nuclear weapons). Nevertheless Iranians aren't morons, and if North Korea, India, Pakistan and Israel can handle it then so can Iran.


2. Someone else doing it for (and, to) them..."

The only states willing and capable of such action are the US and Israel. Israel won't do it because the consequences of such a course of action, and not just from the Muslim world, will be very severe.

The U.S. gov't won't do it, simply because the American people aren't behind such an action, despite the non-stop bombardment of hasbara that they are subjected to by the government and its court stenographers in the media.

Twin Cities Pioneer Press/Hearst Newspapers:

The latest nationwide survey shows that most Americans believe that the Iranian threat "can be contained with diplomacy now." According to a CBS News survey released June 12, 55 percent of respondents said the Iranian threat could be contained, 21 percent said the threat "requires military action now" and 19 percent said Iran was "not a threat at this time."

Of course that's not to say that, with the proper kind of encouragement, public opinion couldn't change (literally) overnight.

I realize that it's frustrating, Hooda. Attempting to force one's will onto a proud people with an ancient culture who simply refuse to be anyone's footstool and who don't exercise the proper degree of deference and subservience to those who feel they are owed such. But USUKsrael will simply have to accept the reality of a nuclear Iran and get over it.