Don’t attack Iran now, warns ex-IDF intel chief
No imminent threat of a nuclear-armed Iran, experts say
Analysis: Israeli rhetoric not seen leading to Iran war – yet
Netanyahu: If Israel attacks Iran, I will take responsibility for the consequences
Iran blames U.S., others for failure of Annan’s plan: report
Iranian hostages may be freed Friday: Libyan Red Crescent
Iran boosts strategic grain stocks with wheat buy
Iranian tankers return to buy Syrian crude
US lawmaker compares Iranian exile camp to Auschwitz
Notable Opinion: Sanctions cripple Iran’s middle class, not the regime
Jerusalem Post: “Don’t attack Iran now, warns ex-IDF intel chief“
“An attack is not a single strike and once it happens we are in a whole other world,” he said. “Iran will pull out of the Non-Proliferation Treaty, Khamenei and Ahmadinejad will reunite and it will be clear that they need a bomb now so that we cannot attack them again. This means that Israel will need legitimacy to be able to maintain the operation with more attacks within weeks, months and years after. Otherwise what did you do?” “Israel needs to know if it can, over time, ensure that the attack is maintained,” he added. “This is the key to success or failure.”
Los Angeles Times: “No imminent threat of a nuclear-armed Iran, experts say”
But nonproliferation experts and Middle East analysts are skeptical of Israeli claims that the Tehran regime is so close to building a nuclear weapon that time is running out for a peaceful resolution of the decades-long standoff. “This is a window that has been closing for 15 years now, and it’s always imminently about to close,” said Jamal Abdi, policy director for the National Iranian American Council.
Reuters: “Analysis: Israeli rhetoric not seen leading to Iran war – yet“
An array of analysts in Israel see an Israeli strike in coming months as unlikely, pointing to the huge difficulties posed by military action coupled with the political intricacies of defying Washington in the run-up to the U.S. vote. An Israeli official told Reuters Netanyahu’s inner council, comprising the coalition’s eight top ministers, had not discussed Iran in detail since last year, suggesting there was nothing imminent in the works.
Speaking in a closed meeting, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stated on Thursday that he is not troubled by the possibility that an investigative committee could be formed after a theoretical Israeli strike on Iran. Netanyahu criticized security establishment officials for their handling of the issue, hinting that they are primarily concerned about avoiding having to take responsibility for their actions. Two officials who attended the meeting, who asked to remain nameless, said that the majority of those present left the meeting feeling that Netanyahu remains steadfast in his determination not to rely on the United States, and can be expected to order the IDF to attack Iran in the coming months. Others present at the meeting however, pointed out that Netanyahu’s comments seemed to be part of the “psychological warfare” campaign that Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak are conducting, in order to pressure the U.S. into attacking Iran itself.
Reuters: “Iran blames U.S., others for failure of Annan’s plan: report”
Iran blamed Western and Arab countries on Friday for the failure of Kofi Annan’s Syria peace plan, the official IRNA news agency said on Friday, a day after the former U.N. secretary general quit as international envoy.
Reuters: “Iranian hostages may be freed Friday: Libyan Red Crescent”
Seven Iranian relief workers may be freed later on Friday by an armed group that took them hostage on Tuesday in the heart of the Libyan city Benghazi, a Libyan Red Crescent Association official said.
Reuters: “Iran boosts strategic grain stocks with wheat buy“
Iran’s state grain buyer continued to build its strategic stocks, purchasing at least 240,000 tonnes of milling wheat this week, as a drought-fueled grain price rally kept food security on government radars. Iranian grain imports are usually handled by the private sector but the state was compelled to step in and help with purchasing earlier this year because of the disruption to trade financing caused by sanctions aimed at Iran’s disputed nuclear programme.
Reuters: “Iranian tankers return to buy Syrian crude”
Iran has become Syria’s main crude oil buyer, helping Bashar Al-Assad’s flailing government to circumvent Western sanctions, as Iranian tankers have returned for a third time since April, shipping industry sources said. Although Tehran already finds it difficult to sell its own crude under sanctions, two of its ships picked up Syrian oil late in July following a smaller purchase at the start of the same month. Asia is the likely destination for the Syrian oil but the sources said it remained unclear where the previous cargoes ended up.
AFP: “US lawmaker compares Iranian exile camp to Auschwitz“
The outrage over the conditions came as the US State Department expressed concern over Iraq’s threatened forced closure of Camp Ashraf, where 1,200 members of the People’s Mujahedeen of Iran (MEK) remain despite a UN-brokered accord to leave as a first step toward resettlement. The Iraqi government has been locked in a bitter dispute with the MEK over plans to relocate them to Camp Liberty, a former US military base, and 1,900 people have already moved there. But the rest have refused to move, and none have transferred since May, under steps toward all the exiles eventually being expelled from Iraq.
Notable Opinion: “Sanctions cripple Iran’s middle class, not the regime”- Foreign Policy
Mohammad Sadeghi Esfahlani and Jamal Abdi discuss the effects of the US sanctions regime on Iran’s middle class:
Punishing the social backbone of Iran’s democracy movement in an effort to engineer discontent demonstrates a fundamental lack of understanding about the movement’s origins and strengths. But advocates of this strategy appear unconcerned with the details. Just as advocates of sanctions supposedly designed to stop Iran’s nuclear program now say they have failed, there will come a time when the rebranded sanctions supposedly aimed at producing a democratic Iran will also be pronounced dead. And with “economic warfare” no longer on the table, sanctions hawks will tell us there is only one remaining option to “liberate” Iran.
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