Archive for the ‘Khamenei’ Category

Israel Ponders War on Iran; Obama, Russia Haggle

March 5, 2009

Israel is seriously considering taking unilateral military action to stop Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons, according to a report by top US political figures and experts released Wednesday.

Jerusalem Post
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The report also says Israel’s time frame for action is growing shorter, not only because of Iranian advances, but because Teheran might soon acquire upgraded air defenses and disperse its nuclear program to additional locations.

The report, “Preventing a Cascade of Instability,” was put out by the Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP). It also argues that international sanctions against Iran need to be intensified urgently for the engagement the Obama administration is planning with Teheran to be effective.

An early draft of the report was endorsed by Dennis Ross before he withdrew upon joining the Obama administration, in which he is serving as a special adviser dealing with various countries in the region, including Iran. Senator Evan Bayh of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, and Congressman Gary Ackerman, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs subcommittee on the Middle East, were among the signatories.

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Related:
 Russia Testing Obama: Just as Biden Predicted
Russia building anti-satellite weapons

 Russia: Medvedev Pushing Putin Out?

Russia Verifies “American, Western Weakness”

Russia Sees Obama, U.S., Others As “Weak,” “Naive”

From the Washington Post:

Iranian leaders said Wednesday that President Obama follows the “crooked ways” of his predecessor, repeated earlier warnings that Iranian missiles could reach Israel and reiterated that the Holocaust was “a lie.”

Iran’s president and other officials have at times appeared to welcome Obama’s proposal for greater dialogue, but the remarks Wednesday suggested that Iranian positions on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and other issues would pose obstacles. The comments were also a reminder that Iran’s complex leadership structure brings together clerics and political leaders with views that sometimes differ sharply.

In his first public comments on the new U.S. administration, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who is Iran’s supreme leader and has the final say over foreign policy, said Obama had adopted former president George W. Bush’s support for Israel, which Khamenei called a “cancerous tumor.”

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Suicide Volunteers May Still Go From Iran To Assist Hamas In Gaza

January 11, 2009

Iranian officials on Saturday strongly disputed media reports that Iran‘s top leader Ayatollah Ali Khameini has banned volunteers from leaving the country to carry out suicide bombings against Israel and stressed that the supreme leader meant only that practical obstacles remained for such attackers to get to Gaza.

The officials said The Associated Press misinterpreted Khamenei‘s comments when he said Thursday that “our hands are tied in this arena.” The AP also quoted Khamenei as saying that Iran would assist the militant group Hamas, which is fighting Israel, in other ways.

The Iranian officials said Khamenei’s words should not have been interpreted as a ban on such volunteers, but meant that any Iranians would have great practical difficulty in reaching Gaza because of Israel’s offensive. The report was used by some Arab television stations.

An Iranian hardliner wears a headband reading "Martyrdom" ... 
An Iranian hardliner wears a headband reading “Martyrdom” as he stands in front of a picture of Al-Aqsa mosque during a rally in Tehran to condemn the Israeli attacks on Gaza, December 30, 2008.REUTERS/Morteza Nikoubazl (IRAN)

Last week, hardline Iranian student groups had asked the government to authorize volunteers to carry out suicide bombings in Israel in support of Hamas. The students began signing up after Khamenei issued a religious decree on Dec. 28 saying anyone killed while defending Palestinians in Gaza against Israeli attacks would be considered a martyr.

Volunteer suicide groups have made similar requests in the past and the government never responded to their calls.

The student groups claim that more than 70,000 people throughout Iran have registered as volunteer suicide bombers since Israel launched its assault against Hamas-ruled Gaza on Dec. 27.

Israel’s bombardment of Gaza, which has killed more than 700 Palestinians, has outraged many in Iran and the Arab world.

Israel says it launched the offensive to get Hamas from shooting rockets into southern Israel. Thirteen Israelis have died since the offensive began.

— Associated Press