Friday, February 23, 2007

Iran in the News - 2-23-07

This week, for all the headlines cited below, please join us in proclaiming THIS DECREE:

"Ye shall not fear them; for the Lord your God he shall fight for you."
(Deut. 3:22)

1. Gulf 'facing serious security threat' -

IRAN could pose a greater threat to the security of the Gulf than Al Qaeda, the leader of region's US navy forces warned yesterday. US Naval Forces Central Command (NAVCENT) and US Fifth Fleet Commander Vice-Admiral Patrick Walsh said the country had been deliberately provocative in carrying out military exercises in the region - accusing the country's leadership of continuing to use aggressive language. "We consider this moment in time unprecedented in terms of the amount of insecurity and instability that is in the region," he said.

2. GCC Focuses on Air Defense, Navy - MENL

Gulf Cooperation Council militaries have launched an effort to bolster the air defense and navies to prepare for any war with Iran. Western industry sources said Gulf Arab states such as Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates have led the way with procurement and development programs meant to bolster defenses in the Gulf. The sources said the three GCC states envisioned an Iranian attack on their oil facilities amid any U.S.-led war against Teheran.

3. Iran Denies Payment Delays as Russia Freezes Works on Bushehr Reactor - AP

Top Iranian officials on Monday rejected claims that Tehran had been dragging its feet on payments for a Russian-built nuclear power plant, The Associated Press news agency reports. The officials criticized Moscow of buckling under international pressure and prolonging the reactor’s launch. Russian officials on Monday said uranium fuel deliveries to the Bushehr nuclear plant in southern Iran and the reactor’s launch could fall behind schedule because of Iran’s delays in payment. But Mohammad Saeedi, the deputy head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, denied that Iran had been late making payments. “Iran has had no delay whatsoever in making payments for the Bushehr nuclear power plant to the Russian company,” Saeedi was quoted as saying by the official Iranian news agency, IRNA.

4. Iran defies deadline to halt atom work: U.N. watchdog - Reuters

The U.N.'s nuclear watchdog said on Thursday Iran had failed to meet a February 21 deadline to suspend enrichment of uranium, exposing Tehran to possible new sanctions over concerns it hopes to produce an atomic bomb. U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said he was "deeply concerned that the Iranian government did not meet the (Wednesday) deadline set by the Security Council." "I urge again that the Iranian government should fully comply with the Security Council" as soon as possible."

5. World Powers Will Meet In London To Discuss Iran - Radio Free Europe

Representatives of six major powers will meet in London on February 26 to discuss further steps in the Iranian nuclear standoff. The announcement of the meeting follows confirmation from the UN nuclear agency that Iran ignored a Security Council deadline to suspend sensitive nuclear activities. A U.S. State Department spokesman Tom Casey said that Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Nicholas Burns will travel to London to consult with his Russian, Chinese, British, French, and German counterparts on the Iranian nuclear issue.