By Michael Rubin, Special to CNN
Editor’s Note: Michael Rubin is a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute and author of Dancing with the Devil: The Perils of Engaging Rogue Regimes. The views expressed are his own.
Iraq is on a precipice from which it may never recover. The fall of Mosul, Iraq’s second largest city, to forces ostensibly from the al Qaeda-affiliated Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), may simply be the tip of the iceberg. What has happened in Iraq increasingly appears not simply to be a binary struggle between government and insurgent, but rather a more complicated problem that may be impossible to fully unravel.
I drove from Tikrit through Beiji to Mosul earlier this year, and into Syria along the same roads ISIS and other insurgents now use. Even then, government control over Mosul was tenuous. Iraqi soldiers at checkpoints on the outskirts of town urged me and my driver to reconsider my trip because Mosul was not safe; they relented only because a local vouched for me. After all, while Tikrit was home to former President Saddam Hussein and his immediate entourage, Mosul was the hometown of much of Saddam Hussein’s officer corps. It still is. As I continued on to the Syrian border, a special security agent at a checkpoint separated me from my taxi driver and another man accompanying us to ensure that I was there of my own free will. A senior security official in Baghdad subsequently told me that was standard protocol. It also reflects, however, the lawlessness of that area. Read the rest of this entry »
- Mohammad-Reza Tabesh: “We must support the government of Syria, which is at the frontline of the struggle against Israel… But we should support it as long as the government of Syria does not treat the people of Syria badly and the rights of the people are not violated.”
- Ali-Reza Mahjoub: “Survival of the Syrian government is in the interest of our region.”
- Jafar Qaderi: “The government of Syria… must continue the path of reform, enforce the popular will, and respect the popular vote.”
- Fatemeh Alia: “We must support the trend of reform in Syria.”
- Mousa-al-Reza Servati: “We oppose the West because of belief that any reform must take place based on the choice of the people and implemented by the people of Syria. People can achieve whatever their wishes through elections”
- Amir-Hossein Qazizadeh: “What we see in Syria… is a domestic Syrian issue and intervention in internal affairs of states is incorrect and illegal…”
- [E] The Indian media reported that the country’s government has decided to attend the 16th heads-of-state summit of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) in Tehran at the highest level, and that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will represent New Delhi in the high profile meeting.
- [E] Iran and Russia lambasted the western and Arab states for their interferences in the internal affairs of Syria, and called on them to stop unconstructive acts in the Muslim country.
Military and Security
- Iran’s ambassador to the United Nations comments on the Bulgaria bombing: “Iran condemns any act of terrorism in any shape and form… In the short political history of the regime occupying al-Quds [Jerusalem] there are many cases of terrorism, including acts of terror against Jewish citizens…” Read the rest of this entry »
(E) = Article in English
- Egypt‘s President Mursi denies entry visas to Iranian citizens.
- Ayatollah Ahmad Khatami, temporary Tehran Friday prayer leader, condemns “massacre of Muslims in Myanmar”:
- “They are killing Muslims in a savage way and the president of Myanmar is doing so by saying ‘We do not consider Muslims as citizens…’ Sometimes a suspicious death happens at a remote place in the world and they start screaming but in this case, they are silent, which makes us believe that the United States is guilty of this crime as well…”
- “Syria is paying the price of supporting the innocent Palestinians, Hezbollah and the Islamic Iran… The unholy and ominous alliance of the United States, Britain, Europe, the reactionary Arabs, and al-Qaeda, this murderous group and some neighboring countries of Syria, which are dreaming of reestablishing their past empire [Turkey] are behind the crimes… They can’t beat the Syrian people with this terrorist act, just as the Islamic Republic solidly remained in its place after the blast at the office of the Islamic Republican Party.”
- Discussing arrest of Ayatollah Nimr in Saudi Arabia and suppression of the Shi’a in Bahrain, Khatami continued: “The Khalifa and al-Saud clans should know that an infidel government may survive but injustice is not lasting…”
- [E] Iran’s embassy in Sofia denied Israel’s allegations about Tehran’s involvement in a terrorist attack in Bulgaria, and stressed Iran’s strong opposition to any kind of terrorist act.
Military and Security
- Fars News slams Ambassador Bolton’s statements in the wake of terrorist incident in Bulgaria.
Iran extends its railway system to Iraq and Syria(01-2007) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
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- According to Asr-e Iran, a majority of former members of the Parliament’s Oil Committee joined the Oil industry after the end of their parliamentary term. The list includes Ali Adyani-Rad, Hassan Shabanpour, Abdollah Kabi, Assadollah Gharahkhani, Emad Hosseini and Hassan Ghaffourifard.
- Foreign Minister Ali-Akbar Salehi:
- “From the past, we have been in touch with vast [number] of the parties [engaged] in the conflict in Syria and have had consultations. Now too we are ready to facilitate dialogue between the protesters and the government of the Republic of Syria… Bashar Assad, the president of Syria, has recently appointed an individual called Ali Heydar to an institution to engage in dialogue with the protesters… We too have announced that we are ready to facilitate dialogue between the protesters and the government of Syria.”
- Commenting on the latest diplomatic dispute between Canada and Iran over remarks by Iran’s cultural attaché in Ottawa, Salehi said: “We have always stressed to our compatriots… that they should follow the laws and regulations of the country of their residence.”
- Hassan Mousavi, head of the Islamic Republic Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organization, accuses “Colonialism and the Global Arrogance of causing drought in southern Iran.”
- Hojjat al-Eslam Sheikh Mohsen Araki is appointed Center of Proximity of Islamic Sects director general.
Military and Security
- Reports on the Revolutionary Guards Navy commanders’ seminar in Mashhad:
- Ali Fadavi, Revolutionary Guards Navy commander, discusses the closure of the Strait of Hormuz: “Although different authorities have made statements on this strategic area, what is important is that the Islamic Republic of Iran is capable of doing what it has said… Start of conflict depends on the degree of stupidity of the Westerners and it seems that they are not pursuing this option [military conflict] and have concentrated all their efforts on economic pressure and sanctions. However, we are prepared to deal with any situation, including their military option.”
- Hassan Firouzabadi, chief of the General Staff, addresses the seminar of the Revolutionary Guards Navy authorities:
- “The Revolutionary Guards Navy is today the front line of the defense of the Islamic Republic of Iran…” Read the rest of this entry »
Dr. A.Q. Khan’s designed the centrifuges loosely based on Zippe-type gas centrifuges. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
A selection of the latest news stories and editorials published in Iranian news outlets, compiled by Ali Alfoneh, Ahmad Majidyar and Michael Rubin.
(E) = Article in English
- Ahmadinejad addresses newly elected parliamentarians:
- “The cabinet never intervenes in the work of the legislature… Tomorrow you will enter the parliament and you will appoint the committees. The chairman, deputy and other positions are all within your capability. We believe in this. We do not have an egoistic, politicizing view attempting to recruit and mobilize or to engage in factionalism… There is a division of labor… Why did the revolution take place? Was the purpose to elect some executives from the southern [poorer] parts of town, the villages and distant places to come to live in northern Tehran? When these people came to office, they did not have any money for their daily needs, but they have become billionaires, factory owners and merchants. Was this the purpose of the revolution…? The head of the chief inspectorate does nothing but shouting insults against the cabinet. And when it comes to the parliament, it is not answerable to anyone but God Almighty. This is also apparent in our constitution, which may be a fault… God forbid the day when people say about elected officials: ‘Such a pity; what we wanted and what we get.'”
- Hojjat al-Eslam Hassan Khomeini, grandson of the founder of the Islamic Republic, says he will not run for president in 2013. He said this while participating at the funeral of brother of Mohammad Mousavi Khoeinihain Tehran
- Fars News releases the names of some prominent individuals who participated in the commemoration ceremony.
Military and Security
- In an interview with France 24, Ahmadinejad http://www.farsnews.com/newstext.php?nn=13910311000367 “>dismisses claims that the Islamic Republic delivers arms to the regime in Syria.
- Ahmadinejad in an interview with France 24:
- “There is lack of trust on both sides and in order to achieve the desired result, both parties need to cooperate within the framework of justice and law. We have good suggestions which we will present when the time is ripe… Production of 20% enriched uranium is our legal right. We were not inclined to use this right. We told the agency about our needs, according to the regulations. States engaged in production of 20% enriched uranium are obliged to give us the uranium without any conditions, but they did not do so and they made political conditions prior to delivering it to us. We had no choice but investing in it and produce the 20% enriched uranium ourselves.
A selection of the latest news stories and editorials published in Iranian news outlets, compiled by Ali Alfoneh, Ahmad Majidyar and Michael Rubin. To receive this daily newsletter, please subscribe online.
(E) = Article in English
- The Islamic Republic celebrates the Revolution Day:
- Ahmadinejad addressing the crowd on the Revolution Day praises Iran’s progress on all fronts.
- According to Khabar Online, close to parliamentary speaker Ali Larijani, there were no placards of Ahmadinejad among the demonstrators celebrating the Revolution Day.
- The crowd in Tehran chanted slogans against Rafsanjani as Rafsanjani and his followers showed up at the Tehran Revolution Day rally.
- Hamid Rowhani, head of the Historical Studies Foundation, calls the Ahmadinejad group “the Hojjatiyeh Society,” a reference to the pre-revolutionary semi clandestine Hojjatiyeh Charitable Society banned by Grand Ayatollah Rouhollah Khomeini. Rowhani also accuses the Ahmadinejad group of believing in “the Satanic thesis that one must spread corruption to hasten the emergence of the Imam of the Era, and of expanding embezzlement, corruption, theft of public funds and moral and economic corruption.”
- Ayatollah Mohi al-Din Haeri Shirazi, Assembly of Experts member, says that “the Mahdavi government [government of the 12th Imam of the Shi’a] in Iran began with the victory of the revolution…” Haeri Shirazi added that the Twelfth Imam remains hidden during this government, and “his deputy, His Holiness [Ali Khamenei] is in charge of the affairs.”
- Parliamentary Speaker Ali Larijani addresses the crowd in Mashhad on the occasion of the Revolution Day:
- “I urge some regional states that were on Saddam’s side during the [Iran/Iraq] war and are now conspiring against the Iranian nation along with the United States to stop doing so, since the clemency of the Iranian nation towards them will not be repeated…” Larijani added that the regional countries should not follow the policies of the United States towards Iran hoping to find “burned ground,” and concluded: “If there is a conspiracy against our nation, it will spread to the entire region.”