July 19, 2007

Drums of War


From CNN: Americans held in Iran on alleged security offenses shown on state TV.

Two detained Iranian-Americans were shown on state television Wednesday night in a program contending they tried to foment regime change in Iran with the support of the U.S. government.

The 50-minute program showed a montage of disparate quotes from Haleh Esfandiari and Kian Tajbakhsh combined to form what could be interpreted as incriminating statements, which their supporters and the U.S. government called illegitimate and coerced.

The scholars appeared alongside footage of anti-government protests in the former Soviet Union and of President Bush saying that the "untamed fire of freedom will reach the darkest corners of our world."

From AP: US takes a step toward talks with Iran.

The Bush administration edged toward new talks with Iran on Tuesday, even though it says the last such session apparently did little to deter Iran from arming and helping insurgents in neighboring Iraq.

"It could be helpful," State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said. "It could be useful to be able to have that direct exchange and to convey a message, again, directly to them."

Iraq's ambassador in Washington, Samir Sumaidaie, said Washington and Tehran have agreed to meet and have set a date. McCormack said the meeting has not been scheduled.

From The New York Sun: Iran Is Found To Be a Lair of Al Qaeda. (via Banafsheh Zand-Bonazzi)

One of two known Al Qaeda leadership councils meets regularly in eastern Iran, where the American intelligence community believes dozens of senior Al Qaeda leaders have reconstituted a good part of the terror conglomerate's senior leadership structure. ...

The judgment that Iran has hosted Al Qaeda's senior leadership council is likely to draw some criticism from those outside the government who doubt Iran plays a significant role in bolstering Sunni jihadist terrorism. Iran's Shiite Muslims are considered infidels by the Salafi sect of Sunnis that comprise Al Qaeda.

While there is little disagreement that a branch of Al Qaeda's leadership operates in Iran, the intelligence community diverges on the extent to which the hosting of the senior leaders represents a policy of the regime in Tehran or the rogue actions of Iran's Quds Force, the terrorist support units that report directly to Iran's supreme leader.

UPDATE I -- July 20: Here's a good way to encourage the mullah's war against us, from ABC News: Deal in the works to release Americans detained in Iran.

Like almost every dealing between the U.S. and Iran, this one touches on the sensitive and volatile issue of nuclear weapons and sanctions.

The U.S. officials told ABCNews.com that a European country is brokering the deal, which they say Iran hopes will help delay a third set of sanctions being considered by the United Nations Security Council over Iran's refusal to halt its nuclear program.

UPDATE II -- July 22: From FOX News, two stories on the front page that illustrate the absurdity of the situation: U.S.: Weapons Smugglers With Iran Links Nabbed in Iraq and U.S., Iranian Officials to Meet in Baghdad This Week.

UPDATE III -- July 24: It just keeps getting worse. From CNN: U.S., Iran, Iraq to form group to address Iraq's security problems.

UPDATE IV -- July 26: Yet more evidence we are at war with Iran, or rather that Iran is at war with us. From FOX News: U.S.: Iranian Training Responsible for 'Significant Improvement' in Iraqi Insurgents Aim With Mortars.

The U.S. military has noted a "significant improvement" in the aim of attackers firing rockets and mortars into the heavily fortified Green Zone in the past three months that it has linked to training in Iran, a top commander said Thursday.

UPDATE V: Here's an update of a list of articles about Iran's war against us and our allies, mostly in Iraq but as of late in Afghanistan, too:

Captured Video Shows Iraqi Insurgents Firing Sophisticated Iranian-Made Rockets at U.S. Positions (FOX News, August 8, 2007)
U.S. says Iran-supplied bomb is killing more troops in Iraq (New York Times, August 6, 2007)
U.S.: Iranian Training Responsible for 'Significant Improvement' in Iraqi Insurgents Aim With Mortars (FOX News, July 26, 2007)
U.S.: Smugglers nabbed in Iraq may have links to Iran (CNN, July 22, 2007)
Chinese missiles smuggled through Iran into Iraq: US (AFP, July 22, 2007)
Americans held in Iran on alleged security offenses shown on state TV (CNN, July 18, 2007)
Iran Is Found To Be a Lair of Al Qaeda (New York Sun, July 17, 2007)
Iraqi official says 200 explosive belts captured in truck crossing from Syria [an Iranian ally] (Ynet News, July 11, 2007)
US takes China to task over Iraq and Afghan arms [flowing via Iran] (Financial Times, July 9, 2007)
Officials: Captured Hezbollah agent helped plan deadly Karbala raid (CNN, July 1, 2007)
Iran supplied missile that hit UK helicopter (The Sunday Times, June 24, 2007)
Gates: Taliban getting weapons from Iran (The Boston Globe, June 13, 2007)
Iran arming Taliban, U.S. claims (CNN, June 13, 2007)
US troops attacked by Iranian military last year (The Jerusalem Post, March 25, 2007)
Iran's influence grows in Iraq, region (Chicago Tribune, March 7, 2007)
Iraqi extremists trained in Iran: US intelligence (AFP, February 28, 2007)
Military: more evidence of Iran-made explosives (Seattle Times, February 27, 2007)
U.S.: Large Cache of Weapons Discovered in Iraq Traceable to Iran (AP via FOX News, February 26, 2007)
Iraqi insurgents using Austrian rifles from Iran (The Telegraph, February 13, 2007)
Iran involvement suspected in Karbala compound attack (CNN, January 31, 2007)
Donkeys harboring weapons stopped at Iran-Iraq border (Army Times, November 2, 2006)
Barbero: Iran training Shiite insurgents (AP via Army Times, August 24, 2006)
Casey cites Iran hand in attacks by Iraqi Shiites (The Washington Times, June 23, 2006)
Rumsfeld accuses Iran of troublemaking in Iraq (AP via Army Times, March 7, 2006)
EXCLUSIVE: Iraq Weapons -- Made in Iran? (ABC News, March 6, 2006)
Rumsfeld: Iraq bombs 'clearly from Iran' (CNN, August 10, 2005)

Posted by Forkum at July 19, 2007 03:43 PM