Thursday, August 23, 2007

News Clips, August 23, 2007

“Iran announces new 2,000-pound ‘smart’ bomb,” International Herald Tribune, August 23, 2007
Iran has developed a new 900-kilogram (2,000-pound) "smart" bomb, state-run television reported Thursday, the latest in a recent series of announcements heralding new weapons systems. The guided bomb, named Qased or Messenger, can be deployed by Iran's aging U.S.-made F-4 and F-5 fighter jets and will be officially unveiled next week, said the broadcast quoting a Defense Ministry statement. Iran often announces new weapons for its arsenal, but the United States maintains that while the Islamic Republic has made some strides, many of these statements are exaggerations.
Straight to the Source

“Legal Questions Remain for Freed Scholar in Iran,” New York Times, August 23, 2007
Haleh Esfandiari, the Iranian-American scholar freed on bail after three months in prison, is waiting for Iranian judicial officials to inform her whether the travel ban against her will be lifted and a new passport issued to allow her to return to the United States, her husband and her lawyer said Wednesday. In addition, a judge told the wife of Kian Tajbakhsh, who is also in jail in Iran and who like Ms. Esfandiari has dual nationality, that her husband would not be released from Evin Prison for at least another 10 to 15 days. “He promised me for the first time that my husband will be home for the last month of my pregnancy,” said Bahar Malek, Mr. Tajbakhsh’s wife, noting that she is nearly eight months pregnant.
Straight to the Source

“Fox Is Pushing For Iran War, Senator Says,” New York Sun, August 23, 2007
Senator Sanders of Vermont is backing a campaign to warn Americans that Fox News is using jingoistic programming to push the nation into a military attack on Iran. Mr. Sanders, a self-described socialist who caucuses with the Democrats, joined with a liberal filmmaker yesterday to denounce the popular cable channel for leading a drumbeat in favor of a military strike against Tehran. "The leader of that effort is Fox News, which, in many ways, is a propaganda machine," Mr. Sanders said during a conference call with reporters and bloggers. He said the network was echoing "increased rumblings" from President Bush and Vice President Cheney about the prospect of an attack on Iran. "We have got to put pressure on the mass media not to play the same craven role that they played in Iraq, where they essentially collapsed and became a megaphone for Bush's policies," the senator said.
Straight to the Source

“How to challenge Iran's militancy without using arms,” Op-Ed in Christian Science Monitory by Marc Gopin and Rep. Gregory Meeks, August 23, 2007
In a recent poll by Terror Free Tomorrow, a nonprofit research group that develops strategies to counter terrorism, 70 percent of Iranians thought that normal relations with the West should be a high priority, but only 29 percent thought nuclear energy should be, and an astonishing 61 percent disapproved of Ahmadinejad's government. The internal vulnerabilities of Iran's ruling circles make this a perfect time to extend an olive branch to the people of Iran with a diplomatic initiative that involves economic incentives and development opportunities for the poor, the middle class, and the reformers. Multilateralism is a must if we want this to happen, because Europe, Russia, Japan, and others maintain good relations with Iran's business sector, the kind necessary in order to provide socioeconomic development assistance. If the Revolutionary Guard and the president block these gestures then "it is on their heads," and we will likely see them increasingly marginalized.
Straight to the Source

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