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Postby insan » Sun Feb 13, 2005 4:17 pm

Sunday, February 13, 2005
10:15 PM on Sunday, February 13, 2005
What will U.S. do if 'new Iraq' starts looking like Iran




By HAROLD MEYERSON
Special to The Washington Post


WASHINGTON - Suppose, as a result of George W. Bush's decision to go to war there, that Iraq turns into Iran? Just what do we do then?



As the vote-counting continues in last month's Iraqi elections, it's clear that the predictable has in fact occurred: The electoral alliance put together and dominated by Iraq's Shiite clerics has swept to power. It will command a clear majority in the National Assembly, with the Kurds, Sunnis and various secular groups bringing up the rear. It will write the national constitution, although, according to the soon-to-be-replaced transitional authority of Ayad Allawi, the new document needs a Kurdish and Sunni buy-in to go into effect.

That, at least, is the theory. In practice, the clerics are getting restless. For the first time in Iraq's unhappy history, the Shiite majority will control a national government. And some Shiite clerics can't stop talking about codifying Koranic law in the new constitution.

http://www.polkonline.com/stories/02130 ... Iraq.shtml
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Postby insan » Wed Feb 16, 2005 7:03 pm

CIA, FBI Warn Panel on Top Threats to U.S.

By KATHERINE SHRADER
Associated Press Writer
Published February 16, 2005, 10:35 AM CST


WASHINGTON -- Groups associated with al-Qaida are at the top of the list of threats to the United States, leading government intelligence officials said Wednesday, saying Iran has emerged as a top threat to American interests in the Middle East.

Despite gains made against al-Qaida, CIA Director Porter Goss, in an unusually blunt statement before the mostly secretive Senate Intelligence Committee, said the terror group is intent on finding ways to circumvent U.S. security enhancements to attack the homeland.

"It may be only a matter of time before al-Qaida or other groups attempt to use chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear weapons. We must focus on that," Goss said

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nati ... &cset=true
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Postby insan » Wed Feb 16, 2005 7:04 pm

Israeli official: Iran could be ready to build atomic bomb in six months


LONDON Israel's foreign minister says within six months Iran will have the knowledge it needs to build nuclear weapons.

That estimate comes from Silvan Shalom, who says it is not only's Israel's problem. He says long-range missiles can reach Europe, so it's "an international problem."

The foreign minister's comments come during a visit to London.

Israel has repeatedly said a nuclear Iran would be the biggest threat to stability in the Middle East.

Iran says its nuclear program has no military purposes, and is only for generating electricity.

http://www.kwqc.com/Global/story.asp?S=2955425
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Postby insan » Wed Feb 16, 2005 7:08 pm

Iran, Syria 'form common front'
Iran and Syria, both locked in rows with the United States, say they will form a common front to face challenges and threats.

"We are ready to help Syria on all grounds to confront threats," Iranian Vice-President Mohammad Reza Aref said after meeting Syrian Prime Minister Naji Otari in Tehran.

Mr Otari says the meeting was important.

"This meeting, which takes place at this sensitive time, is important especially because Syria and Iran face several challenges and it is necessary to build a common front," he said.

The United States has recalled its ambassador to Syria to show its deep displeasure with Syria after Monday's killing of former Lebanese prime minister Rafik Hariri.

US officials say they are considering imposing new sanctions on Syria because of its refusal to withdraw its 14,000 troops from Lebanon.

The US also believes that Syria lets Palestinian militants and Iraqi insurgents operate on its soil.

Syria rejects accusations it supports terrorism.

Washington has branded Iran part of an "axis of evil" and accuses Tehran of seeking nuclear weapons.

Iran says its nuclear program is solely for electricity generation.

- Reuters

http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems/20 ... 304546.htm
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Postby insan » Wed Feb 16, 2005 7:12 pm

Iran Will Know How to Build Bomb in 6 Months - Israel
Wed Feb 16, 2005 08:17 AM ET




By Andrew Cawthorne
LONDON (Reuters) - Israel said on Wednesday arch-foe Iran was just six months away from having the knowledge to build an atomic bomb, as Tehran accused the United States of using satellites "and other tools" to spy on its nuclear sites.

The Israeli warning followed Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's call last week for Iran to abandon any pursuit of nuclear weapons and meet its international obligations if it was to be sure of avoiding conflict.

"The question is not if the Iranians will have a nuclear bomb in 2009, 10 or 11, the main question is when are they going to have the knowledge to do it," Israeli Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom said on a visit to London.

"We believe in six months from today they will end all the tests and experiments they are doing to have that knowledge."

The chief of Israel's Mossad intelligence agency said in January Iran would have the capability to produce enriched uranium, which can be used in both power stations and nuclear bombs, by the end of 2005.

Iran's Intelligence Minister Ali Yunesi on Wednesday again denied that his country's civilian nuclear facilities were a cover for an atomic weapons program, saying U.S. satellites were spying on Iran but would find nothing as "we have nothing to hide."

While Europe has pursued a policy of engagement with Iran, the United States and Israel have taken a more aggressive stance. Washington has said it favors diplomacy but does not rule out any option in stopping Tehran from acquiring nuclear weapons, and Israel has hinted at possible military action.

An Israeli air strike on the Iraqi reactor Osiraq in 1981 dealt a severe blow to Saddam Hussein's nuclear program.

Israel plans to buy 500 "bunker buster" bombs from the United States that could prove effective against Iran's nuclear facilities, many of which are underground.

"They are trying very hard to develop the nuclear bomb. This kind of extreme regime with a nuclear bomb is a nightmare, not only for us," Shalom told reporters at the London briefing.

http://www.reuters.com/newsArticle.jhtm ... ID=7647272
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Postby insan » Thu Feb 17, 2005 2:59 am

Wednesday, February 16, 2005
By Linda Vester
•Risk of an Attack
Hi all,

Lots to hash out on Thursday's DaySide. Rep. Dan Burton (search) of the House Armed Services Committee has agreed to talk to me about the rather stunning pronouncements made by the new CIA chief Wednesday. In case you didn't hear, Porter Goss (search) said very bluntly that Al Qaeda is working hard to get around our post- 9/11 security to attack us again. He also said that Iran has emerged as a serious threat. He went on to add that there's enough nuclear material missing right now from Russia to make a nuclear weapon.

So I have lots of questions for Rep. Burton, considering that he's privy to some of this intelligence. He's open to questions from viewers, so if there's something you want to know — e-mail your question to me at dayside@foxnews.com.

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,147860,00.html
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Postby insan » Fri Feb 18, 2005 3:43 am

Bush Says He Wants to Move Beyond Differences During Europe Visit

By Terence Hunt The Associated Press
Published: Feb 17, 2005



WASHINGTON (AP) - President Bush, about to embark on a fence-mending trip overseas, said Thursday that Europeans wrongly believe his only interest is America's security. "We also care deeply about hunger and disease," he said.
A primary objective of next week's trip is to make sure Europeans know that "as we move beyond the differences of the past, that we can work a lot together to achieve big objectives," Bush said.

Bush is very unpopular in Europe, particularly because of the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq. Europeans also are upset about other issues, from Bush's opposition to the Kyoto climate treaty to what is widely viewed as a go-it-alone foreign policy. Differences over Iran and China are high on the list, too.

The president will fly to Brussels, Belgium, on Sunday for three days of talks with allies, many of whom believe the United States has ignored their views and is unwilling to listen. French President Jacques Chirac, perhaps Bush's biggest critic, has been invited to dine with the president on Monday evening. Bush also will meet NATO leaders and then visit the headquarters of the 25-nation European Union.

Bush will talk with the leaders about specific steps to support the new government in Iraq, national security adviser Stephen Hadley said. He said the president will ask European nations to follow the U.S. lead in increasing money to help the Palestinian Authority build democratic institutions.

On Tuesday, Bush will meet separately with British Prime Minister Tony Blair, Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi and Ukraine's new president, Viktor Yushchenko. Yushchenko said Thursday that withdrawal of his country's soldiers from Iraq is a priority.

From Brussels, Bush will travel to Mainz, Germany, for talks with Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, and finally to Bratislava, Slovakia to see Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said the United States was troubled by the concentration of power in the Kremlin and the lack of independent media in Russia. But she said that isolating Russia would be a mistake. "It is, after all, only recently emerging from the Soviet Union," she said.

Bush, at a news conference, refused to say whether he would offer support for efforts by France, Germany and Britain to persuade Iran to scrap its uranium enrichment program in exchange for technological, financial and political support. European leaders say Iran is unlikely to sign onto an agreement that lacks a U.S. endorsement.

Bush said he would talk with allies "to make sure we continue to speak with one voice" in demanding that Iran not develop nuclear weapons. He also said he would seek a consensus on how to press Syria to withdraw its forces from Lebanon.

"There is a concern in Europe, I suspect, that the only thing I care about is our national security," Bush said. He said it is a subject at the top of his agenda because of the Sept. 11 attacks.

"But we also care deeply about hunger and disease," Bush said. "And I look forward to working with the Europeans on hunger and disease."

Blair, as chairman of the Group of Eight industrial nations, is trying to rally allies to work on poverty in Africa and around the world. Blair also has made the battle against climate change a priority.

Bush offered no apologies for opposing the Kyoto treaty that the Europeans embraced. "They thought the treaty made sense. I didn't." Still, he said there are new technologies to help achieve a better environment.

---

On the Net:

White House: http://whitehouse.gov
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Postby insan » Fri Feb 18, 2005 2:21 pm

Bush's European `Honeymoon' Masks Iran, China Discord (Update1)
Feb. 18 (Bloomberg) -- The smiles will be wide and the embraces warm when President George W. Bush arrives in Europe next week on his first visit since he won re-election last year.

Bush and European leaders will meet at a double summit in Brussels, where they have promised to set aside their bitter rift over the U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq. Le Monde, the French newspaper, is billing the trip as a ``honeymoon'' for U.S.- European relations.

The public displays of affection will only mask, not resolve, differences over such issues as Iran's nuclear capabilities, the lifting of an embargo on arms sales to China and global warming, say analysts such as Charles Kupchan, a member of the National Security Council under President Bill Clinton and now a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington.

``It will be important to distinguish between happy talk and reality,'' Kupchan said. ``If the positive rhetoric is not accompanied by a convergence of policy, then the calls for repairing the partnership ring hollow.''

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid= ... world_news
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Postby insan » Fri Feb 18, 2005 2:22 pm

Putin: Iran has no nuclear weapons plans





AP PHOTO/ALEXANDER NATRUSKIN, POOL

Russian President Vladimir Putin holds a glass after the presentation of credentials by foreign ambassadors in the Kremlin in Moscow, Thursday, Feb. 17, 2005.


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MOSCOW — Russian President Vladimir Putin said Friday that he is convinced Iran does not intend to develop nuclear weapons and said he plans to visit Iran.

Putin, at a meeting with Iranian National Security Council chief Hasan Rohani, also said Russia would continue its nuclear cooperation with Iran. Moscow has helped Iran build a nuclear reactor, a project that has been heavily criticized by the United States which fears it could be used to help Tehran develop nuclear weapons.

"The latest steps from Iran confirm that Iran does not intend to produce nuclear weapons and we will continue to develop relations in all spheres, including the peaceful use of nuclear energy," Putin said.

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/APWire ... TAN80.html
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Postby insan » Fri Feb 18, 2005 4:58 pm

Today: February 18, 2005 at 6:54:43 PST

Russia to Cooperate on Iran Nuke Program
By MARA D. BELLABY
ASSOCIATED PRESS

MOSCOW (AP) -

Russian President Vladimir Putin said Friday that Moscow will continue its nuclear cooperation with Iran and that he is convinced Tehran does not intend to develop atomic weapons.

Iran's nuclear program is likely to be one of the top issues when Putin and President Bush meet Thursday in Slovakia.

Moscow has helped Iran build a nuclear reactor, a project that has been heavily criticized by the United States, which fears it could be used to help Tehran develop atomic weapons.

"The spread of nuclear weapons on the planet does not aid security, it does not strengthen security. The latest steps from Iran confirm that Iran does not intend to produce nuclear weapons and we will continue to develop relations in all spheres, including the peaceful use of nuclear energy," Putin said at a meeting with Iranian National Security Council chief Hassan Rowhani.

Putin's statement indicated that the chance of agreement with Washington on Iran is minimal.

"We hope that Iran will strictly adhere to all international agreements, in relation to Russia and the international community," Putin said.

He also said that Iran's leadership had invited him to visit, and he accepted. Russian news agencies said that no date has been set.

http://www.lasvegassun.com/sunbin/stori ... 02122.html
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