Iran begins vote to choose Ahmadinejad’s successor

Iranians began voting on Friday in a presidential election unlikely to result in seismic shifts in its troubled relations with the West and Gulf Arab neighbours, but which could bring a softening of the confrontational style personified by outgoing president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Iran’s Gulf Arab neighbours are also wary of Iran’s influence in Iraq next door and its backing for President Bashar al-Assad and his Lebanese allies Hezbollah in the Syrian civil war. The Sunni Arab kingdoms are backing the rebels in Syria. Continue reading

Gulf sources: “Accidents” to Ahmadinejad, Jalili were attempted assassinations

Twelve days before Iran’s presidential election, stubborn rumors were making the rounds that two “accidents” which took place Sunday, June 2, were in fact attempts on the lives of outgoing Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and a leading presidential hopeful, Iran’s senior nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili. Both escaped unhurt. The rumors pointed the finger of suspicion at supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei or his underlings possibly acting on their own. Continue reading

Iran threatens to knock Israel ‘comatose’ for Syria strike

As a top security official from Tehran arrived in Damascus to show support for the regime of President Bashar Assad, a senior Iranian military chief warned that there will a massive response to Israel’s alleged attack on a Syrian research facility last week, Iranian Press TV reported on Sunday.

“Syria’s response to the recent aggression of the Zionist regime against this country will send this regime into a coma,” Brig. Gen. Masoud Jazayeri, the  deputy chairman of the Iranian Armed Forces, said on Saturday. Continue reading

‘India determined to continue cooperation with Iran’

TEHRAN – The National Security Advisor to the Prime Minister of India has said that New Delhi is determined to continue cooperation with Tehran.

Shivshankar Menon, who has traveled Iran to attend the summit of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), made the remarks during a meeting with the secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council (SNSC), Saeed Jalili, on Wednesday.

Menon highlighted the role of the Islamic Republic in the Non-Aligned Movement and said that India is determined to maintain cooperation with Iran.

Jalili also pointed to the potential of NAM to influence international relations and create a new order in the world based on justice and described as important the role of increased cooperation between influential countries, such as Iran and India, in creating new economic and security structures that meet the needs of the current situation in the world.

Certain countries that are not member to the Non-Aligned Movement should not be allowed to undermine unity and strategic cooperation between NAM member states, he added.

US, EU fake Iran’s consent to discussing enrichment to fend off Israeli action

A spokesman for EU foreign executive Catherine Ashton, who heads the six-power group in nuclear negotiations with Iran, reported Monday night, June 11, that Tehran is now willing to discuss high-grade uranium enrichment in the next round of nuclear talks in Moscow on June 18-19.

The claim is false. Tehran consistently refuses to discuss its “right to enrichment” and threatened not to turn up for the Moscow session after US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton demanded last week that Iran come to the table with  “concrete plans” for curbing uranium enrichment up to 20 percent purity.

Iran has not backtracked:  Ashton got nothing new from an hour of tense conversation with senior negotiator Saeed Jalili and had to be satisfied with issuing the noncommittal statement, “The Iranians agreed on the need for Iran to engage on the (six powers’) proposals, which address its concerns on the exclusively peaceful nature of the Iranian nuclear program.”

Full article: US, EU fake Iran’s consent to discussing enrichment to fend off Israeli action (DEBKAfile)