Archive for the 'Iranian Politics' Category

Iranian Nuclear Sites

Ben S. on Apr 26th 2012

 

 This map published by the Russian International News Agency shows the locations of Iran’s nuclear research centers, uranium enrichment sites, nuclear power plants, and uranium mines. Iran’s recent activity regarding its nuclear program is eliciting increased scrutiny from much of the west, with further questions being raised over Iran’s claim that the nuclear program is for peaceful purposes to meet the country’s energy needs.

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Iran’s Quest to Possess Nuclear Technology

Ben S. on Apr 26th 2012

The Washington Post has provided a timeline of Iran’s efforts to possess nuclear technology. Iran has recently announced that it has begun enriching uranium as part of a major expansion of its nuclear program, drawing U.N. sanctions and condemnation from the West. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has said that Iran is now capable of enriching nuclear fuel “on an industrial scale.” In light of accusations from the west that Iran is pursuing a nuclear weapons program, Ahmadinejad said recently that “foreign nations were determined to dominate the region, which shouldn’t be allowed.” Six world powers have since demanded that Iran allow international inspectors to visit military installations where explosive tests aimed at developing atomic bombs are believed to have taken place.

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Iran Nuclear Program

tobin on Apr 25th 2012

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iUWgTXme2cI

Here is an intersting video analyzing the Iran nuclear program. The video goes into depth how Iran plans to continue the growth of Uranium while the Western world continues to impose sanctions on Iran.

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“Stuxnet” and “Stars”

jfurnary on Apr 25th 2012

Here is a link to a news article talking about the “Stuxnet” and “Stars” viruses that, unwittingly to the Iranian government, sabotaged their nuclear machinery for years up until April 2011 when they discovered them. The article mentions that the effects of the viruses are still being dealt with and posing major problems.

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Nuclear Ambitions

tobin on Apr 25th 2012

Here is a link following up the disccusions about Iran and its nuclear plans. Iran is not backing down and looking to find ways around international sanctions preventing nuclear programs. HERE

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Iranian Political Hierarchy

bkyser on Apr 23rd 2012

This BBC article outlines the power hierarchy in Iran and the responsibilities attributed to each role.

The most powerful leader in Iran is the Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei. He appoints the head of the judiciary and half of the Guardian Council, the commanders of the armed forces and confirms the president’s election. The power of the Supreme Leader is checked by the Assembly of Experts. The Assembly of Experts monitors the Supreme Leader’s actions and can remove him if they feel he is not performing his duties. There are 86 members in the Assembly of Experts and their elections are held every 8 years.

The president is listed as the second-highest ranking official in Iran and is elected every four years. The authority held by the president is secondary to that of the Supreme Leader and it is the Supreme Leader who controls the armed forces and makes decisions on foreign policy and security issues.

This article also looks at the Guardian Council, which is headed by Ayatollah Jannati, the armed forces, the parliament, and Ayatollah Shahrudi, who is the Iranian Head of Judiciary.

BBC News, “Guide: How Iran is ruled,” British Broadcasting Company, June 9, 2009, http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/8051750.stm (accessed April 23, 2012).

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Interpreting Ahmadinejad

bkyser on Apr 23rd 2012

An image of a banner said to have been erected outside a center of Iran's Basij militia.

Source: http://thelede.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/04/17/israeli-minister-agrees-ahmadinejad-never-said-israel-must-be-wiped-off-the-map/

As the Iranian nuclear program gains more attention and as the possibiliy of an attack from Israel on Iran becomes more likely, quotes from both sides are being thrown around. The most famous of these quotes is one from Ahmadinejad, often referenced by the Israelis. That quote is “Israel must be wiped off the map.” However, different circles of scholars have disagreed on whether or not Ahmadinejad did in fact say this. One of the reasons for the disagreement is that Farsi is often hard to translate word for word into English. The quote that is often referenced by Israelis comes from a speech that Ahmadinejad issued at the 2005 “World Without Zionism” Conference. In this speech, Ahmadinejad uses the often poorly translated phrase “must be wiped off the map;” however, many have noted that the word map is not used at all in this speech. It is also not clear whether Ahmadinejad’s quote was a threat or a prediction. In this video, Israeli Minister of Intelligence and Atomic Energy, Dan Meridor, agrees that Ahamdinejad never said that Israel must be wiped off the map. Meridor mentions other anti-Zionist and anti-Israel quotes issued by Ahmadinejad and Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei in this piece as well.

This article also mentions how Ahmadinejad has failed to correct those who have misquoted him because he is so adamant in his dislike of Israel that  [he does not want] “to be seen as stepping back from even threatening remarks he did not make.” This quote has been used so frequently in the news that it is now taken as common knowledge and used by many different people to indicate that Iran wants to see the end of Israel.

Robert Mackey, “Israeli Minister Agrees Ahmadinejad Never Said Israel ‘Must Be Wiped Off the Map,” The New York Times, April 17, 2012, http://thelede.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/04/17/israeli-minister-agrees-ahmadinejad-never-said-israel-must-be-wiped-off-the-map/ (accessed April 23, 2012).

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The Iranian-American Relationship from 1923 until Today

bkyser on Apr 15th 2012

This New York Times article traces the evolution of the relationship between Iran and the United States from 1923 until today. This article emphasizes the nuclear program in Iran and the United States’ involvement with this program. Here is a summary of the article, beginning in 1923.

In 1923, a man named Arthur Millspaugh went to Iran from the United States. He was an economic advisor who was sent to help Iran, a country that was seen as “hampered by administrative inefficiency.” He left Iran in 1928. Flash forward 30 years to 1953 and the United States becomes involved with the coup d’etat of Mohammad Mossadegh. This leads to the first real intervention of the United States in Iranian affairs and is often cited as the root to many of the areas of contention between the two nations today. This coup got ride of Prime Minister Mossadegh and placed the Shah, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, into power. In 1957, Iran and the United States join in on a deal, titled, Iran-United States Agreement for Cooperation Concerning Civil Uses of Atomic Energy as part of President Eisenhower’s Atoms for Peace program. Under this plan the United States gave Iran uranium. Later, in 1968, Iran signed the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty. Throughout the Shah’s rule, he receives praise from different American presidents, from Kennedy to Carter, who view him in a positive light for upholding Iran in an unstable neighborhood.

After the 1979 Islamic Revolution, Iran undergoes many changes, and naturally, so to does its nuclear program and its relationship with the United States. In February 1979, Ayatollah Khomeini returns from exile and immediately calls for an end to all foreign invasion in Iran. This leads to the removal of 1,350 Americans from Iran. In November of that same year, militants also known as “students” occupy the American Embassy in Tehran and hold the hostages captive for 444 days. The students held these Americans captive in demanding for the Shah to return from the United States to Iran to face trial. On July 27, 1980, the Shah passes away in Egypt.

September 21, 1980 is the beginning of the Iran-Iraq War, which begins with Iraq’s invading of Iran. A major area of Iran that experiences a large amount of conflict is the Shatt al-Arab waterway. This war occupies much of the mindset of Iran for the next eight years. The war ends on July 18, 1988 after both Iran and Iraq agree to a cease-fire (United Nations Security Council Resolution 598). An estimated 1 million people are dead as a result of the war.

In 1987, Abdul Qadeer Khan, the father of Pakistan’s nuclear weapons program, is reported to have shared his research with Iran and other countries such as North Korea and Libya. Iran and Russia go on to sign a nuclear contract in 1995 calling for the development of a nuclear power plant in Bushehr. As a result of Iran’s nuclear aspirations, President Clinton issues sanctions against all companies with investments in Iran in 1996 as part of his initiative to stop the spread of terrorism. In August 2002, the Muhajeddin (M.E.K.) release pictures of a uranium enrichment plant and a heavy water plant. After accusations from the United States, Iran agrees to an inspection from the Atomic Energy Authority.

In 2004, Iran agreed to halt its nuclear program. However, in 2006, the United Nations Security Council issued sanctions to curb the nuclear program. And in 2009, President Obama calls for international inspections in Iran. In 2010, the United States agreed to more sanctions issued against Iran’s nuclear program. The sanctions are intended to hinder military purchases and financial transactions carried out by the Revolutionary Guards Corp. The bombing on January 11, 2012, that killed Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan, a supervisor at the Natanz nuclear plant, leads to more friction between the United States and Iran as the United States and Israel are blamed for this attack.

JEFFERY DelVISCIO, DIANTHA PARKER, DAVID FURST, JEFF ROTH, JON HUANG and ARTIN AFKHAMI, “Iran, the United States and a Nuclear Seesaw,” The New York Times, April 13, 2012, http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2012/04/07/world/middleeast/iran-timeline.html (accessed April 15, 2012).

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Iran Military News

tobin on Apr 13th 2012

Here are two articles posted by the BBC about the Iranian Military. The first article entitled Iran

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Man Charged with Terror for Norway Massacre

tobin on Mar 7th 2012

Anders Breivik was indicted this week on terror charges for massacring 77 people. However due to his mental state he will not be spending time in a prison and will be attending psychiatric care instead. Link

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