Thursday, July 10, 2008


Here is a month-by-month and year-by-year report on Iran's nuclear program as reported by ALJAZEERA, the largest news agency in the Middle East.

Timeline: Iran's nuclear programme

Iran broke the UN seals on the Natanz enrichment facility in January 2006 [EPA]2002August - The exiled opposition National Council of Resistance of Iran reports the existence of an uranium enrichment facility at Natanz and a heavy water plant at Arak.

December - The United States accuses Iran of an "across-the-board pursuit of weapons of mass destruction".2003

February - International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspects the Natanz and Arak facilities.
June - An IAEA report on the inspections says that Iran has failed to comply with the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.2004

Iran insists that its nuclear programmeis for civilian purposes [EPA]November - Iran promises EU negotiators it will suspend all nuclear fuel processing and reprocessing work.2005

September 2 - IAEA report says that Iran has resumed uranium conversion at the Isfahan nuclear research facility.2006

January 10 - Iran resumes nuclear fuel research at the Natanz enrichment plant after breaking the UN seals on the facility.

February 4 - IAEA votes to report Iran to the UN Security Council.

February 5 - Iran ends snap UN nuclear inspections.

April 11 - Iran announces it has produced low-grade enriched uranium suitable for use in power stations, a move confirmed by the IAEA
February 14 - Iran restarts small-scale feeding of uranium gas into centrifuges at Natanz after a two-and-a-half year suspension.

June 5 - Javier Solana, European Union foreign policy chief, delivers a package of incentives from world powers if Iran agrees to halt uranium enrichment.

August 31 - The IAEA announces Iran has not met a deadline to suspend its atomic fuel programme.

December 23 - Security Council votes for sanctions and gives Iran a 60-day deadline to suspend enrichment. Iran calls the resolution illegal.2007

March 24 - The Security Council unanimously approves further financial and weapons sanctions against Iran.

April 18 - The IAEA says Iran has begun making nuclear fuel in an underground uranium enrichment plant.

May 23 - A confidential IAEA report says Iran has not suspended enrichment-related work.

August 21 - Iran and the IAEA say they have agreed a timeline for answering the watchdog's outstanding questions about Iran's nuclear programme.

Saeed Jalili replaced Ali Larijani as chief nuclear negotiator in October [AFP]October 20 - Saeed Jalili is named as Iran's new chief nuclear negotiator. He replaces Ali Larijani, who resigned.

October 24 - The US imposes new sanctions on Iran and accuses the elite Revolutionary Guard of spreading weapons of mass destruction.

November 2 - Britain, France, Germany, the US, Russia and China (the group of six) agree to push ahead with a third round of tougher sanctions.

November 15 - The IAEA says Iran has made important strides towards transparency but it remains unable to ascertain whether Iran has a secret, parallel military enrichment programme.

November 30 - The EU expresses disappointment with Iran after more talks with its main nuclear negotiator in London.

December 1 - A meeting of world powers in Paris fails to reach an agreement on further sanctions.

December 3 - A US National Intelligence Estimate says Iran halted its attempts to build a nuclear bomb in 2003.

December 5 - Victory over the US is declared by Ahmadinejad

December 11 - Opposition coalition NCRI says that Iran's programme was shut down in 2003 and re-started a year later, adding that the recent US analysis was misleading.

March 3 - UN Security Council adopts third sanctions resolution targeted at Iran's nuclear programme.

May 14 - Russia's foreign minister says an offer to negotiate and security guarantees for Iran could be given by the group of six. The US administration denies that security guarantees were being considered.

May 26 - The IAEA says Iran's alleged research into nuclear warheads is a matter of serious concern and asks for more information on Tehran's missile-related activities.

June 1 - In reaction to the IAEA's report, Tehran says it might have to limit cooperation with them.

June 14 - Solana, in Tehran, presents Iran with an offer from world powers with economic and other benefits. However, Iran rejects any suspension of activities.

July 10 - Iran tests nine missiles in the Gulf.


Fallujah Marine in court today over Iraqi death

The Associated PressPosted : Thursday Jul 10, 2008 7:01:19 EDT

CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. — Marine Sgt. Ryan Weemer hoped his battle experience in Fallujah and other Iraqi hot zones would pave the way to a job in the Secret Service.

Instead, the 25-year-old is among three Marines charged with murdering unarmed captives in November 2004, during some of the heaviest house-to-house fighting of the Iraq war.

Weemer is due in a Camp Pendleton courtroom Thursday for a daylong preliminary hearing, known as an Article 32 hearing, before an investigating officer who will determine whether there is sufficient evidence to support court-martialing the Marine on one count of murder and six counts of dereliction of duty.

The case first came to light when Weemer allegedly described the killing during an interview with the Secret Service after being asked during a polygraph test whether he had participated in a wrongful death.

Military prosecutors claim Weemer, of Hindsboro, Ill., fatally shot an Iraqi after his squad leader grew irate that AK47 rifles were found in a house the detainees claimed was free of weapons.

The squad leader, Jose Nazario Jr., 27, of Riverside, Calif., has been charged with two counts of voluntary manslaughter in the killing of two captives “upon a sudden quarrel and a heat of passion.” Because he has already completed his military service, the former sergeant is scheduled to be tried in August in federal court.

A third Marine, 26-year-old Sgt. Jermaine Nelson of New York, is slated to be court-martialed in December on charges of unpremeditated murder and dereliction of duty.

Continue reading story here:


I doubt if there is any other blog on the internet that brings you what is being printed in the TEHRAN TIMES published in Tehran, Iran.

Here is the lead story from TEHRAN TIMES:

Iraq occupation is costing the United States a whopping $5.54m an hour

The occupation phase of the Iraq war is costing the United States $1,538 a second, or $92,333 a minute, or $5,540,000 an hour.

That works out to $133 million a day, or $3.99 billion a month. Let’s round it off at $4 billion a month.

By Kaleem Omar

President George W. Bush last week asked Congress to approve $ 70 billion in funding for the Iraq and Afghanistan wars for the U.S. fiscal year 2009, which begins on October 1, 2008. The Iraq war has already cost U.S. taxpayers more than $ 500 billion dollars, and there is still no end in sight to the U.S.’s utterly illegal occupation of Iraq. According to congressional analysts, the eventual total cost of the Iraq war and the occupation could be as high as $ 1.5 trillion – that’s $ 1,500 billion.

This cost does not include the cost of rebuilding Iraq’s shattered infrastructure, which has been destroyed by a massive U.S. bombing campaign and other military action. Once an oil-rich country with the best educational and medical infrastructure in the Middle East, Iraq has now been reduced to little more than an economic basket case. Even Baghdad, the capital, still gets only a few hours of electricity a day.

Thousands of Iraqis continue to die each month as a result of the war and U.S. occupation. According to a survey carried out by Britain’s Opinion Research Business, since the beginning of the war in March 2003 up to the end of September 2007, over 1.2 million Iraqis have died violent deaths as a result of the conflict.

The total number of American soldiers killed is about 4,500 up to the end of last month. That’s a death ratio of one American per 266 Iraqis. It is anybody’s guess as to how many more Iraqis will be killed before the U.S. occupation ends – if ever it does.

According to Newsweek magazine, however, this $ 4 billion a month figure is just the beginning. “It doesn’t include the cost of running Iraq’s government and rebuilding it, which could be an additional billion a month, according to rough UN estimates made before the war,” Newsweek noted. “Then there’s the matter of Iraq’s enormous debts…Estimates of the total external debt, including war reparations to Kuwait, run well over $ 100 billion. How will the reconstruction be funded? For the administration it’s an especially painful question, in part because it comes at a time when the U.S. economy is in the doldrums, when budget deficits are ballooning and when tax cuts are the preferred method of getting business churning again.” The White House forecast last week that the U.S. budget deficit would be about $455 billion in the current fiscal year. The Bush administration said that the deficit had been exacerbated by a weak U.S. economy, the Iraq war and tax cuts.

But whose fault is the weak U.S. economy, the Iraq war and tax cuts? The answer, of course, is that it is the Bush administration’s own fault.

To read the full TEHRAN TIMES story click on this link:


BAGHDAD, July 10 (VOI) - Two people were killed and four more were wounded in a suicide car bomb attack in western Baghdad, a police source said on Thursday.

Baghdad - Voices of Iraq Thursday , 10 /07 /2008 Time 9:57:03

"A suicide bomber blew up a car crammed with explosives targeting a police vehicle patrol in Drag neighborhood in al-Mansour region, western Baghdad," the source told Aswat al-Iraq - Voices of Iraq - (VOI) on condition of anonymity."The explosion killed two persons, injured four others, and set a number of nearby cars on fire," he added.He did not add further details.

This is the second explosion in Baghdad today as four civilians were wounded in a roadside bomb explosion in eastern Baghdad.The two blasts coincided with the visit paid by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan to Iraq, the first by a Turkish premier since 1990.


A number of bombings rocked Mosul and Fallujah today, leaving dozens of casualties.

Overall, 30 Iraqis were killed and another 76 were wounded across the country. Also, one American soldier was killed and another two were wounded in Samarra.

In Mosul, eight people were killed and 41 were wounded during a bomb attack on a convoy carrying the commander of army forces in Ninevah province. Gunmen killed two policemen in a separate incidents. A soldier was shot and wounded in the al-Islah al-Zeraei neighborhood.

Another bombing wounded an Iraqi soldier. Late in the day, yet another bombing wounded two women. Mosul is considered al-Qaeda's last urban stronghold in Iraq. Also, a wanted suspect was captured and two weapons caches were confiscated.

Six people were killed and 18 more were wounded during a bomb attack outside a bank in Fallujah. Retirees were waiting in line to receive their pensions when the first bomb was detonated. A second bomb blasted the first responders who arrived to help bomb victims. U.S. forces reported a third bomb as well. This double-bombing tactic has been used frequently in Iraq. Anbar province is currently suffering from a slight surge in violence.

In Baghdad, six people were killed and eight more were wounded when a gunman shot at worshippers in an Abu Ghraib mosque. At least 32 suspects were captured. Three hostages were freed. Also, one dumped body was found in Talbiyah.

A roadside bomb killed four people traveling in a funeral procession near Baquba. The "mastermind" of a bombing was captured.

The body of a young girl was found in a ditch near Kut.

A body was found in Tuz Khormato.

Two civilians were injured in a shooting near Makhmour.

suspect was killed during a police raid in Udhaim.

In Kirkuk, a cell phone tower was destroyed.

A child was freed in Karbala and her kidnappers were arrested. Three other suspects were detained.

A man headed to Karbala was arrested at a checkpoint in al-Dibla. He was carrying a "hallucinogenic" substance that would be combined with perfume and given to pilgrims.

Fourteen detainees were released in Diyala province after they proved their innocence.
A rocket attack
wounded three members of an Awakening Council in Bishkan.

Gunmen wounded two physicians driving near Hawija.


U.S. Troops in Iraq Face A Powerful New WeaponUse of Rocket-Propelled Bombs Spreads

By Ernesto LondoƱoWashington Post Foreign ServiceThursday, July 10, 2008; A01

BAGHDAD, July 9 -- Suspected Shiite militiamen have begun using powerful rocket-propelled bombs to attack U.S. military outposts in recent months, broadening the array of weapons used against American troops.

U.S. military officials call the devices Improvised Rocket Assisted Munitions, or IRAMs. They are propane tanks packed with hundreds of pounds of explosives and powered by 107mm rockets. They are often fired by remote control from the backs of trucks, sometimes in close succession. Rocket-propelled bombs have killed at least 21 people, including at least three U.S. soldiers, this year.

The latest reported rocket-propelled bomb attack occurred Tuesday at Joint Security Station Ur, a base in northeastern Baghdad shared by U.S. and Iraqi soldiers. One U.S. soldier and an interpreter were wounded in the attack.

U.S. military officials say IRAM attacks, unlike roadside bombings and conventional mortar or rocket attacks, have the potential to kill scores of soldiers at once. IRAMs are fired at close range, unlike most rockets, and create much larger explosions. Most such attacks have occurred in the capital, Baghdad.


Reports: Iran test-fires more missiles

Story Highlights
Iran test-fires more missiles, says Iran's Press TV, one day after other test-fires
Rice: U.S. determined to prevent Iran from threatening its interests or those of allies
Adds that missile defense shield in Eastern Europe could help head off threat
Rice to Iran: Get on the right side of the international community, accept incentives

(CNN) -- Iran test-fired more missiles Thursday, according to Iran's Press TV, one day after it tested a long-range Shahab-3 and other missiles in the Persian Gulf region.

The test came only hours after U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said the United States is determined to prevent Iran from threatening its interests or those of its allies.

At a news conference in the Georgian capital of Tblisi, Rice said the United States has been working with allies to "make certain that they are capable of defending themselves" against any threat from Iran.

"We take very strongly our obligation to help our allies defend themselves and no one should be confused about that," Rice said.

She said a missile defense shield the United States hopes to create in Eastern Europe would be another way to head off any threat from Iran.

See where Iran's missiles could strike »

"These are all elements of America's intention and determination to prevent Iran from threatening our interests or the interests of our friends and allies, and I don't think the Iranians are too confused, either, about the capability and the power of the United States to do exactly that," she said.

The forces of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps had test-fired a Shahab-3 missile and several others during war games in the Persian Gulf, an Iranian commander said Wednesday.
The exercises came a month after Israel conducted a military drill in the eastern Mediterranean involving dozens of warplanes and aerial tanks.

The tests prompted condemnation from the United States and Israel. It is believed the longer-range Shahab-4 missile, when finished, would have the capability to hit parts of Europe, a U.S. intelligence official said.

Rice encouraged Iran to "get on the right side of the international community" by accepting a package of incentives put forward by China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States -- the permanent members of the U.N. Security Council -- as well as Germany.

Iran "ought to be talking about that, not about threats against America or threats against America's allies because frankly it's not going to do them any good."

Rice's comments came a day after U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said that Iran's test of a long-range missile shows the need for the United States to expand its missile defense system into Europe.

"We've been saying as we talk about missile defense in Europe that there is a real threat, and the test this morning underscores it," Gates said hours after Iran's test.

Watch Gates call Iran a 'real threat' »


21 bodies found buried at Iraq school site

Story Highlights
Relatives say some were al Qaeda in Iraq kidnap victims
School in western Iraq's Anbar province is under construction
Coalition soldier killed in explosion in northern Iraq's Salaheddin province
Mosul suicide bombing targets Iraqi soldiers; eight civilians killed

BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- Twenty-one decomposed bodies were found buried at a school under construction in Anbar province, Iraqi authorities said Wednesday, and family members say some of the victims were kidnapped two years ago.

The bodies were found in the Adala neighborhood of central Ramadi, the capital of Anbar province west of Baghdad, an Iraqi Interior Ministry official said.

Laborers working at the construction site found the corpses, which Iraqi security forces transferred to a morgue.

Family members have identified some of the bodies, the official said.
Largely Sunni
Anbar province was once dominated by insurgents, including members of al Qaeda in Iraq. But in the past two years, an anti-al Qaeda tribal movement called "the awakening" has managed to reduce their numbers in the province's Euphrates River valley area.
U.S.-backed groups called Awakening Councils have spread across

Also on Wednesday, a soldier with the U.S.-led coalition was killed in an explosion in Salaheddin province in northern Iraq, the U.S. military said. Two other coalition soldiers were wounded.
The nationalities of the casualties were not clear. Two other coalition soldiers, both Americans, have been killed this month.

Watch when U.S. troops might leave Iraq »

In northern Iraq, a suicide car bomber targeting soldiers killed eight civilians and wounded 42 other people in Mosul, the capital of Nineveh province, an Interior Ministry official said.
The attacker targeted an Iraqi army convoy carrying Lt. Gen. Riyadh Jalal Tawfiq, chief of operations in Nineveh province. He escaped unharmed, but seven of his guards were wounded.