Terça-feira, 20 de Maio de 2008

Ameaças de Ahmadinejad

O Presidente do Irão Mahmoud Ahmadinejad afirmou na semana passada que “Israel está morrendo e as celebrações do 60º Aniversário são uma tentativa de evitar a sua aniquilação”. Estes comentários foram proferidos na ocasião que o presidente George W. Bush estava em Israel como orador principal para as celebrações do Aniversário do Estado Judeu. O Presidente linha dura iraniano utilizou uma palavra árabe, Ismihalal, que pode ser traduzida como destruição, morte e colapso. O Irão não reconhece Israel e Ahmadinejad repetidamente conclama a destruição de Israel. As trocas de ameaças entre o Irã e Israel se intensificaram, a partir de 2005, quando Ahmadinejad declarou num discurso que Israel será um dia “varrido do mapa”. O líder iraniano também alegou que o Holocausto foi um “mito”. Israel considera o Irão como uma séria ameaça devido ao seu programa nuclear e ao seu arsenal de mísseis de longo alcance que podem transportar artefatos nucleares e capazes de atingir o Estado de Israel. Teerão está equipado com mísseis Shahab-3 que tem o alcance de até 2.000 quilômetros, e Israel está a cerca de 1.000 quilômetros a oeste do Irão.

publicado na Rua Judaica

publicado por nx às 11:02
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Segunda-feira, 12 de Maio de 2008

1948/2008 - 60 ANOS DA CRIAÇÃO DO ESTADO DE ISRAEL

 

13 de Maio - 21:00 - Fnac Colombo

Esther Mucznik, Joshua Ruah e Antonieta Lopes da Costa (Rádio Europa Lisboa) conversam sobre a fundação do Estado de Israel

 

No dia em que se comemora o 60º aniversário do Estado de Israel, propomos um colóquio em torno da importância deste Estado. Desde sempre ligado a paixões, argumentos e contra argumentos, tudo em torno de uma região que é berço de tantas outras culturas. Convidámos Esther Mucznik,  Joshua Ruah e Antonieta Lopes da Costa para nos darem algumas pistas sobre o que é, como se prespectiva o futuro do Estado de Israel, a sua importância para a região e para o mundo.

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Segunda-feira, 7 de Abril de 2008

60º Aniversário do Estado de Israel

Paulo Casaca preside a Workshop sobre "Ajuda e Desenvolvimento"

 

O Deputado Paulo Casaca preside, na manhã da próxima quarta-feira, dia 9 de Abril, a um Workshop sobre “Ajuda ao Desenvolvimento” no âmbito das comemorações do 60º Aniversário do Estado de Israel.

 

A iniciativa, desenvolvida em parceria com o Deputado Nickolay Mladenov (PPE-DE), terá lugar nas instalações do Parlamento Europeu, em Bruxelas, e insere-se num ciclo de palestras e eventos culturais promovidos pela organização “Amigos Europeus de Israel” (EFI – European Friends of Israel) - de que Paulo Casaca é membro fundador, integrando actualmente a sua Comissão Executiva - pela Missão de Israel junto da União Europeia e pela B'nai B'rith International.

 

Serão oradores convidados neste workshop, Smadar Shapira, responsável pelo projecto “Saving Children” do Centro Peres para a Paz, programa lançado em 2003 e que assegura  assistência médica a mais de um milhar de crianças palestinianas por ano, Drora Tzarfati, do Centro de Cooperação Internacional Mashav do Ministério dos Negócios Estrangeiros de Israel, que tem em curso diversos projectos médicos na área da prevenção da cegueira e tratamento de doenças oculares junto de refugiados, e o Tenente Coronel Itai Peleg, da Unidade de Salvamento das Forças de Defesa de Israel (IDF), unidade composta fundamentalmente por soldados na reserva com especialidades nas vertentes da medicina, engenharia, operações de maquinaria pesada e cinotecnia, e que desde 1984 tem desenvolvido em todo o mundo diversas missões de apoio e salvamento de vítimas em cenários de catástrofe.

 

Para além deste evento, o programa das comemorações do 60º Aniversário do Estado de Israel no Parlamento Europeu, em Bruxelas, prevê a realização de uma mostra cinematográfica e várias outras palestras destinadas a debater os fenómenos da imigração e multiculturalidade, ambiente, tecnologia, desenvolvimento sustentável e cooperação internacional.

publicado por nx às 16:51
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Terça-feira, 25 de Março de 2008

Conferência Internacional [Áustria] sobre a Ameaça Iraniana


International Conference
The Iranian threat
The Islamic republic, Israel's struggle for existence and European reactions
May 3rd/4th 2008, Camp of the University of Vienna, courtyard 2, lecture room C1
Alserstraße/Spitalgasse, trams 5, 33, 43, 44
Conference languages: English / German (simultaneous transla! tion)
Please plan for possible checking at the entrance.

Patronage: Dr. Brigitte Bailer-Galanda, Kammerschauspielerin Elisabeth Orth

Program:

Saturday, May 3rd 2008

19.30 Introduction and greetings
Dr. Ruth Contreras (Scholars for Peace in the Middle East)
Simone Dinah Hartmann (STOP THE BOMB)
Dr. Joanna Nittenberg (Illustrierte Neue Welt)

20.00 - 22.00 Round table: The Impact of the Iranian threat: Islamism, Antisemitism and the nuclear program
Dr. Patrick Clawson (Deputy Director for Research at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, USA)
Yossi Melman (Journalist Haaretz, Israel)
Prof. Benny Morris (Historian, Ben Gurion University Israel)
N. N. (t.b.a.)
Chair: Simone Dinah Hartmann (spokeswoman STOP THE BOMB – Coalition against the Iranian extermination program)

Sunday, May 4th 2008

10.30 - 12.15 The rule of political Islam in Iran and global jihadism
Menashe Amir (Former director of the Persian programme of "Voice of Israel", Israel):
Religious and ideological motivation in Iranian domestic and international policies
Niloofar Beyzaie (Stage director and author from Teheran, since 1985 in exile in Germany, women's rights activist):
Oppression of women and minorities in Iran
Florian Markl (Political scientist, Humboldt University Berlin):
Global Jihadism and it's Iranian supporters
Chair: Alex Gruber (Lecturer Institute for political science Vienna)

12.30 - 14.15 Critique of appeasement: Iran and islamic Antisemitism as a challenge for Israel and Europe
Dr. Matthias Küntzel (Political scientist, board member Scholars for ! Peace in the Middle East, Hamburg):
Is Europe failing to act?
Dr. Michael Oren (Historian, senior fellow at the Shalem Center, Jerusalem):
Israel's Worst Nightmare – The threat of the Iranian Nuclear Weapons Program
Bruno Schirra (Journalist and author, Berlin):
European Illusions about Iran and Islam
Chair: Dr. Elisabeth Pittermann (former member of the Vienna City Council)

15.15 - 17.00 Austrian-Iranian relations against the background of the National-socialist past
Hiwa Bahrami (Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan): Austria's politics of appeasement
Dr. Stephan Grigat (Café Critique, Lecturer Institute for political science Vienna):
The Austrian-Iranian friendship – Foreign Policy in post-nazism
Robert Schindel (Author, Vienna):
The Austrian memory
Chair: Michaela Sivich (Journalist)

17.15 - 19.00 Round table: The need for a new antifascism
Simone Dinah Hartmann (Spokeswoman STOP THE BOMB)
Prof. Jeffrey Herf (Historian, University of Maryland, College Park, USA)
Kayvan Kabouli (Green Party of Iran, USA)
Thomas von der Osten-Sacken (Political Analyst and Director of Wadi e. V. Germany)
Chair: Dr. Stephan Grigat (Café Critique, Lecturer Institute for political science Vienna)

Inquiries:
DI Simone Dinah Hartmann
Phone: +43 650 344 88 58
Email: info@stopthebomb.net
http://www.stopthebomb.net
publicado por nx às 15:09
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Segunda-feira, 7 de Janeiro de 2008

EFI Member Paulo Casaca :"European aid cannot be derailed for terrorist activities"

O deputado europeu Paulo Casaca colocou por escrito à Comissão Europeia a questão sobre que mecanismos estão planeados para assegurar que a ajuda Europeia não seja desviada para a promoção de actividades terroristas nos Territórios Palestinianos, como informa a web do European Friends of Israel:
«At the end of December, a truck was caught at one of the crossing points in Judea and Samaria carrying approximately 6.5 tons of Potassium Nitrate. The Potassium Nitrate was disguised in sugar bags, and was intended for use by terrorists in the Gaza Strip. Potassium Nitrate is a banned substance in the Gaza Strip and the Judea and Samaria region due to its use by terrorists for the manufacturing of explosives and Qassam rockets. The terror organizations disguised the Potassium Nitrate in sugar bags that were marked as being part of the humanitarian aid provided by the European Union. This attempt shows how the terror organizations exploit the humanitarian aid that is delivered to the Palestinian population in the Gaza Strip with Israel's approval.
Paulo Casaca, MEP, Member of EFI, tabled a question to the Commission in order to figure out what are the mechanisms planned to ensure that the European aid is not derailed for promotion of terrorist activities in the Palestinian Territories.»
To read more : Question tabled by Paulo Casaca to the European Commission
publicado por nx às 19:38
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Quinta-feira, 20 de Dezembro de 2007

Poder e razão

Esther Mucznik - Público, 2007.12.20
Investigadora em assuntos judaicos

Só haverá paz quando os palestinianos aceitarem construir um Estado ao lado de Israel e não em vez de Israel

Com o ano de 2007 quase a chegar ao fim, abordarei nesta crónica três temas.
Em primeiro lugar, a situação do conflito israelo-palestiniano. O ano termina sob os auspícios da Conferência de Annapolis, que prevê um acordo já para 2008 com vista à criação de um Estado palestiniano, e da Conferência de Doadores realizada esta semana em Paris com a promessa de uma verba recorde de 7400 milhões de dólares para viabilizar a criação desse Estado. Aparentemente são passos importantes. Mas correndo o risco de estragar a festa, devo dizer que não acredito em milagres e muito menos em Estados edificados à custa de injecções de dinheiro. Há décadas que os palestinianos recebem fundos avultados e actualmente, como referiu a comissária europeia Benita Ferrero-Waldner, aqueles "recebem a maior ajuda internacional per capita". Para onde tem ido todo esse dinheiro? Certamente não para melhorar a vida do povo palestiniano e muito menos para viabilizar as necessárias reformas institucionais, económicas e sociais. Podem-se arranjar todo o tipo de justificações, nomeadamente os obstáculos criados por Israel. Mas por mais que essas justificações sejam verdadeiras, o problema fundamental é interno: está essencialmente na liderança árabe e palestiniana que sempre encarou a aceitação de um Estado próprio palestiniano como o reconhecimento e aceitação do Estado de Israel. Desde a recusa árabe do plano de partilha de 1947 das Nações Unidas até às negociações de Camp David no ano 2000, todos os argumentos foram bons para adiar a criação do mesmo. É por isso que os fundos - pelo menos os que não foram desviados para os bolsos de Arafat e seus fiéis - se destinaram não à criação de escolas ou hospitais, mas a armar e a treinar milícias para combater Israel. É por isso também que a retirada de Israel do Líbano e de Gaza serviram apenas para reforçar o Hezbollah e o Hamas e não para melhorar a vida do povo. Só haverá paz quando os palestinianos aceitarem construir um Estado ao lado de Israel e não em vez de Israel. É esta a escolha que o povo palestiniano tem de fazer.

O segundo tema é a Europa. O ano termina com a aprovação do Tratado Constitucional graças aos esforços bem sucedidos das presidências alemã e portuguesa, permitindo ultrapassar a crise institucional em que estava mergulhada a União Europeia. Nesse sentido, é um dado positivo que se espera que venha a ter resultados práticos. Mas mais significativas, em minha opinião, são as mudanças na liderança de países europeus, nomeadamente da Alemanha, que já vem do ano anterior e este ano da França, com a eleição de Sarkozy. Apesar das diferenças que os separam, estes dois lideres têm em comum três aspectos essenciais: uma visão europeísta, ou seja, a consciência da importância da Europa como actor global; uma real vontade reformadora nos seus países e da própria União Europeia; uma visão das relações transatlânticas valorizando a aliança comum e a complementaridade com os Estados Unidos, não a concorrência de poder. Estes aspectos, nomeadamente este último, podem ter e já estão a ter consequências positivas nos assuntos de política externa, nomeadamente na questão iraniana e médio-oriental. Também para enfrentar o desemprego, a inflação e o fraco crescimento económico, estas lideranças reformadoras estão mais aptas - Sarkozy já o mostrou recentemente em França nas reformas económicas e institucionais que está a tentar levar a cabo. Não é certo que o consiga, mas, se assim for, a França pode vir a desempenhar de novo um papel relevante na Europa e no mundo. E a Europa e a União Europeia só têm a ganhar com isso.

Finalmente, Portugal. Já foi dito e repetido, mas não é demais voltar a realçar a forma profissional, persistente e sobretudo com objectivos próprios com que foi conduzida a presidência portuguesa. Para além da aprovação do tratado, com as cimeiras UE-Brasil e África, Portugal valorizou a sua vocação específica na relação privilegiada com aqueles países/continentes. Só a mesquinhez e a boçalidade populista podem criticar a atenção ou o dinheiro consagrados à "Europa", em detrimento dos interesses nacionais. Por muito que custe a alguns, Portugal é parte integrante da União Europeia, não só para receber os milhões de que mal ou bem tem beneficiado, mas também para assumir as suas responsabilidades, que são, aliás, também do seu próprio interesse. Por isso e neste aspecto, está o Governo português de parabéns.
Gostaria de terminar com esta nota positiva, mas infelizmente a decisão do Tribunal Constitucional de dissolver os partidos políticos com menos de cinco mil militantes não pode deixar de merecer um comentário. Não vou discutir se esta medida é ou não constitucional, embora me pareça evidente que não. Mas do ponto de vista político ela é totalmente inadmissível num regime democrático, em que a liberdade de expressão, associação e organização partidária é garantida. Que seja necessário um número mínimo de votos para a eleição de deputados ao Parlamento, parece óbvio, tanto mais que os partidos com assento parlamentar beneficiam de fundos públicos. Mas suspeito de que alguns partidos com assento parlamentar não tenham os tais cinco mil militantes. É que, de facto, uma coisa são os militantes inscritos, outra são os votantes... Mais importante do que isso, não é legítimo, nem salutar para o próprio debate público silenciar correntes de opinião mesmo ultraminoritárias, exceptuando as que fazem da incitação ao ódio e à violência o seu programa político. É isso que define um regime democrático e admira-me não ver por parte dos partidos que dele beneficiam nenhum protesto contra esta medida intimidatória. De facto, o poder tem razões que a razão desconhece...
Para os leitores do PÚBLICO um bom Natal, se for caso disso, e um feliz Ano 2008.
publicado por nx às 23:02
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Sexta-feira, 7 de Dezembro de 2007

Reacções internacionais ao relatório do NIE

International Media Intelligence Analysis

I-M-I-A Special Report


INTERNATIONAL REACTION TO THE U.S. NIE REPORT ON IRAN

By Simon Barrett


The National Intelligence Estimate Report on Iran
The office of the Director of National Intelligence, National Intelligence Council prepared a National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) on Irans nuclear programme titled, Iran: Nuclear Intentions.

President Bush press conference (discusses NIE report on Iran)
Iran was dangerous, Iran is dangerous, and Iran will be dangerous if they have the knowledge necessary to make a nuclear weapon. The NIE says that Iran had a hidden -- a covert nuclear weapons programme. That's what it said. What's to say they couldn't start another covert nuclear weapons programme? Mr President: I think it is very important for the international community to recognise the fact that if Iran were to develop the knowledge that they could transfer to a clandestine program it would create a danger for the world. And so I view this report as a warning signal that they had the program, they halted the programme. And the reason why it's a warning signal is that they could restart it. And the thing that would make a restarted program effective and dangerous is the ability to enrich uranium, the knowledge of which could be passed on to a hidden programme.

How Much Does Weaponization Matter? Judging Iran's Nuclear Programme
The just-released National Intelligence Estimate (NIE), "Iran: Nuclear Intentions and Capabilities," is about weaponization, not the enrichment and fuel cycle issues that have been the focus of multiple UN Security Council and International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) board resolutions regarding Iran's nuclear programme. The NIE only suggests that Tehran has changed its sequence -- something that does not slow the country's progress toward a nuclear weapon by a single day. Therefore, it is not clear how this report affects the current thrust of U.S. policy: to stem Iran's nuclear fuel cycle capabilities.

U.S. Intel Possibly Duped by Iran
A highly controversial, 150 page National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) on Irans nuclear programs was coordinated and written by former State Department political and intelligence analysts not by more seasoned members of the U.S. intelligence community, Newsmax has learned. Its most dramatic conclusion that Iran shut down its nuclear weapons program in 2003 in response to international pressure is based on a single, un-vetted source who provided information to a foreign intelligence service and has not been interviewed directly by the United States. Newsmax sources in Tehran believe that Washington has fallen for a deliberate disinformation campaign cooked up by the Revolutionary Guards, who laundered fake information and fed it to the United States through Revolutionary Guards intelligence officers posing as senior diplomats in Europe.

Pentagon: Intelligence Estimate Shows Need to Keep up Pressure on Iran
Defence Secretary Robert M. Gates today pointed to the new national intelligence estimate as evidence that non-military means are the best way for the United States to deal with Irans nuclear enrichment program. Responding to a reporters query during a joint news conference with Afghan President Hamid Karzai here, Gates said the estimate, released yesterday, also underscores the need for the international community to continue pressuring Iran not to restart its nuclear weapons programme. If anything, the new national estimate validates the administrations strategy of bringing diplomatic and economic pressures to bear on the Iranian government to change its policies, Gates told reporters. The report finds that the intelligence community has high confidence that Iran halted its covert nuclear weapons programme in the fall of 2003 and they have moderate confidence that they have not restarted that programme as of mid-2007, national security advisor Stephen Hadley said in a Washington news briefing yesterday.

Commentary: Was Bush Behind the Iran Report?
Bombing Iran, it seems, is now off the table. There's no other reasonable take on the latest National Intelligence Estimate that concludes Iran halted its nuclear weapons programme in 2003. But there is also no doubt that the Bush White House was behind this NIE. While the 16 intelligence agencies that make up the "intelligence community" contribute to each National Intelligence Estimate, you can bet that an explosive, 180-degree turn on Iran like this one was green lighted by the President. And explode is what the hawks in and outside the Administration are about to do. They were counting on Bush being the one President prepared to take on Iran. As recently as last month, Bush warned of World War III if Iran so much as thought about building a bomb. Bush's betrayal is not going to go down well. The neocons, clinging to a sliver of hope, will accuse the intelligence community of incompetence; pointing out that as late as 2005 it estimated "with high confidence" that Iran was building a bomb.

U.S. admits intelligence gaps on Iran
NIE has 'only moderate confidence' nuke option halted The U.S. intelligence community has determined that Iran halted nuclear weapons development in an estimate that reversed its earlier assessments and differed from those of Israel. In a position that contrasted with that of the Bush administration, the U.S. intelligence community asserted that Iran ended its nuclear weapons program in 2003. Since then, Teheran has focused on developing uranium enrichment, a process used in the assembly of nuclear weapons, Middle East Newsline reported. The National Intelligence Estimate acknowledged gaps in intelligence regarding Iran's nuclear program. The report said the intelligence community has assessed "with only moderate confidence" that Iran ended its entire nuclear weapons programme.

NIE: An Abrupt About-Face
As many recognise, the latest NIE on Irans nuclear weapons program directly contradicts what the U.S. Intelligence Community was saying just two years previously. And it appears that this about-face was very recent. How recent? Consider that on July 11, 2007, roughly four or so months prior to the most recent NIEs publication, Deputy Director of Analysis Thomas Fingar gave the following testimony before the House Armed Services Committee (emphasis added): Iran and North Korea are the states of most concern to us. The United States concerns about Iran are shared by many nations, including many of Irans neighbours. Iran is continuing to pursue uranium enrichment and has shown more interest in protracting negotiations and working to delay and diminish the impact of UNSC sanctions than in reaching an acceptable diplomatic solution. We assess that Tehran is determined to develop nuclear weapons--despite its international obligations and international pressure. This is a grave concern to the other countries in the region whose security would be threatened should Iran acquire nuclear weapons. This paragraph appeared under the subheading: "Iran Assessed As Determined to Develop Nuclear Weapons." And the entirety of Fingars 22-page testimony was labelled "Information as of July 11, 2007." No part of it is consistent with the latest NIE, in which our spooks tell us Iran suspended its covert nuclear weapons programme in 2003.


REACTION: ISLAMIC REPUBLIC OF IRAN

Iran-President-Centrifuges
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Iran needs 50,000 centrifuges to supply fuel for one year to a power plant. In a meeting with war veterans here on Wednesday, Ahmadinejad said, "When we commissioned 164 series of centrifuges, the ill-wishers told us to stop there and that they would ignore it, but "we said we need 50,000 centrifuges to supply fuel for one year to a power plant." The president said Iran continued industrial production of nuclear fuel in spite of ill-wishers' will. On the possible issuance of a new resolution at the United Nations Security Council against Iran's peaceful nuclear activities, the president said, "Our nation does not fear such threats."

Iran Celebrates the NIE Report
The U.S. intelligence report on Irans nukes is being hailed in Tehran as a political victory by an exultant Ahmadinejad and his supporters, and is a clear cause of worry for Irans neighbors. But there are also some within Iran worried about its implications, reports Meir Javedanfar. The The new assessment by US intelligence agencies, which states that Iran halted its nuclear weapons programme in 2003, has been enthusiastically received by Iranian media and officials. Bush is the biggest loser of the US intelligence report read the headline in Wednesdays edition of the Keyhan newspaper. Similar sentiments were shared by the pro-Ahmadinejad Raja News Agency, which called the report is a disgrace for the White House. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad himself joined in the exultations. While addressing a large crowd in the city of Ilam on Wednesday, he boasted that the publication of the recent US intelligence report with regards to Irans nuclear program can be considered as one of the biggest political victories for the people of Iran.

President Views NIE Report a Bullet in Enemy's Head
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said that the US intelligence report on the peaceful nature of Iran's nuclear programme shot a bullet into the head of all ill-wishers of the Iranian nation. Addressing a large public congregation in Iran's western province of Ilam on Wednesday, the president said that despite enemies' efforts, the Iranian nation could gain victory on the nuclear scene. "Today, Iran has turned to a nuclear country and all the world countries, even the western states, have accepted this fact," he said. "Three months ago I announced that the political story of Iran's nuclear issue ended and that the Iranian nation would continue its clear and glorious path, but some imagined that I wanted to give courage to the Iranian nation," the president continued.


REACTION: BRITAIN AND EUROPE

Britain says potential threat from Iran remains
The British government believes that the potential threat from Iran remains a 'very serious issue' despite a US intelligence report saying that Tehran halted its atomic weapons programme in 2003. Foreign Secretary David Miliband said suspicions about Iran's intentions were inevitable, given that Tehran was enriching uranium while there were no civilian nuclear power plants in the country capable of using it. Asked whether the new US report made military action against Iran less likely, Miliband said Britain remained '100 per cent focused, with the rest of the international community, on a diplomatic resolution to this issue.' 'They (Iran) have no nuclear power plants to put this enriched uranium into. That's why people have fears about what the enrichment is for. That's why they have fears about the dangers of weaponization,' Miliband said in a BBC interview.

Sarkozy: Iran report reinforces concerns
PARIS (AP) French President Nicolas Sarkozy said a new U.S. intelligence report saying Iran stopped its nuclear weapons development in 2003 reinforces international concerns and should not diminish pressure for new sanctions. Sarkozy's office said early Thursday that he had spoken Wednesday night with President Bush about the report, which reversed earlier American statements and said Iran had halted the nuclear program because of international pressure. The report also contained warnings about Iran's continued nuclear activity, however, and said that it could have a nuclear bomb between 2010 and 2015.Sarkozy said that if confirmed, the findings mean "international concerns since 2002 about the intentions of nuclear activities in Iran would be further reinforced," his office said. The demands of the international community therefore are pertinent: Iran should cooperate fully with the International Atomic Energy Agency and suspend its enrichment activities," the statement said. Irans refusal to conform justifies a new U.N. resolution reinforcing sanctions," it said.

Germany Calls for Continued Pressure on Iran
The German government said Wednesday that the international community needed to continue pressing Iran to halt its uranium enrichment program as Tehran remained in violation of international law. Iran continued to violate international law in this respect because it was failing to adhere to UN Security Council resolutions, German government spokesman Ulrich Wilhelm said. "There remains a cause for concern," the spokesman said, two days after a US intelligence assessment concluded that Tehran appeared to have suspended its nuclear weapons program in 2003. At the same time, Wilhelm said an offer of cooperation with Iran remained in force if the government there agreed to halt enrichment, which some nations in the West fear is geared towards making a bomb. "The findings (of the report) confirm what the German government has always said -- that diplomatic negotiations are promising," Wilhelm told a press conference.

European Press Review: Iran Report Could Impact Elections
Some European papers saw the US Iran report as a danger to Israel, while others took it as hope for diplomacy. In any case, World War Three has been avoided -- at least for now. Writing on Wednesday, Dec. 5, from Munich, the Sddeutsche Zeitung said the recent US report, which stated that Iran had halted its nuclear weapons program in 2003, was intended to avoid a mistake similar to the invasion of Iraq in 2001. "The domestic consequences of the reversal are incalculable," continued the paper. "The distrust will now intensify in favor of the Democrats." Only Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton's popularity will suffer from the report as she had been the most outspoken against Iran in her party, opined the Sddeutsche Zeitung.

Details in Military Notes Led to Shift on Iran, US Says
American intelligence agencies obtained notes last summer from deliberations of Iranian military officials involved in the nuclear weapons programme. American intelligence agencies reversed their view about the status of Iran's nuclear weapons programme after they obtained notes last summer from the deliberations of Iranian military officials involved in the weapons development programme, senior intelligence and government officials said on Wednesday.


REACTION: ISRAEL

Israel urges strong position on Iran
Daily Telegraph: Israel gave warning yesterday that Iran must either co-operate with the West over its uranium enrichment programme or face military action. Ron Prosor, Israel's newly appointed ambassador to Britain and one of his country's leading experts on Iran's nuclear programme, said that Teheran could enrich enough uranium to make an atomic bomb by 2009."At the current rate of progress Iran will reach the technical threshold for producing fissile material by 2009," he told The Daily Telegraph. "This is a global threat and it requires a global response. It should be made clear that if Iran does not co-operate then military confrontation is inevitable. It is either co-operation or confrontation." Mr Prosor, who served Ehud Olmert, the Israeli prime minister, as his senior adviser on Iran, said that time for resolving the nuclear issue was rapidly running out. However, he was non-committal about the possibility of Israel launching military action."There needs to be full verification of what is happening in Iran," said Mr Prosor, who was speaking for the first time since his arrival in London last month. "In Israel there is a belief that the Iranians are continuing with their nuclear weapons programme."

Analysis: Why does US and Israeli intel differ?
All it took was eight pages, and the entire international front against Iran has undergone a revolution. The US intelligence report released Monday with the claim that Iran froze its nuclear military track four years ago has Israel concerned that the United States is weakening its strong stance against Iran that had President George W. Bush warning that World War III would break out if the ayatollahs got their hands on a bomb. What the report makes even clearer are the major differences between the various intelligence agencies in Israel and the United States. The Mossad claims that the Iranians will be able to develop a nuclear bomb by the end of 2009; Military Intelligence warns that Teheran will cross the technological threshold within six months; and now the Americans are putting the timeline toward the middle of the next decade, or 2013 at the earliest.

Decoding the U.S. National Intelligence Estimate on Iran's Nuclear Weapons Programme
The U.S. government's latest National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) has concluded that Iran froze its active efforts to manufacture nuclear weapons in 2003, and will not have such a capability until at least 2012. While the NIE states that the U.S. intelligence community has "high confidence" that the Iranians halted their nuclear weapons programme in 2003, it also states that it has only "moderate confidence" that Tehran has not restarted the programme. In contrast, Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak has said that while it is "apparently true that in 2003, Iran stopped pursuing its military nuclear programme for a certain period of time," nonetheless, he adds that "in our estimation, since then it is apparently continuing with its programme to produce a nuclear weapon."

'US nuclear report based on notes of Iranian officials'
The new US intelligence assessment which stated that Iran halted its nuclear weapons programme four years ago was based mainly on notes acquired last summer from discussions between Iranian military officials, senior intelligence and government officials told The New York Times on Thursday. The notes reportedly detailed conversations in which certain army officials complained about Iranian leaders' 2003 decision to shut down efforts to develop nuclear weapons. The notes gave no clue as to why Iran had decided to stop weapons development. The information contained in the notes was supported by other intelligence, including conversations between Iranian officials which had been intercepted in recent months, the paper reported.


I-M-I-A seeks to provide news and analysis of world-shaping events.

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