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Lies and Forgeries on Iran´s Nuclear Program

by Toles

By Yusuf Fernandez | Al-Manar TV* | May 14, 2010

Nowadays, everyone knows that the US invaded and occupied Iraq through lies, which were echoed by US mass media. These media projected lies as corroborated facts. A large part of this information, including the discredited claim that Iraq wanted to acquire uranium from Niger, came from Paul Wolfowitz and Douglas Feith, two pro-Israeli neocons. With the White House’s support, they created the so-called Office of Special Plans in the Pentagon in 2001 in order to collect and spread disinformation and lies that could be used to “justify” the invasion of Iraq. After the invasion, the Office was disbanded. Admitted spy for Israel Larry Franlkin worked at the OSP.

Now, history is repeating. The US has accused Iran, without any evidence, of deviating from peaceful goals in its nuclear program. Any progress in Tehran´s program is denounced as a new effort in this sense. However, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has not found any proof of a nuclear military program in Iran.

The US authorities have not  refrained from using fake documents in its anti-Iran campaign. They were accused of presenting fabricated papers to French courts in order to support their demand for extradition of Majid Kakavand, an Iranian engineer who was detained in France in March 2009 at the request of the US authorities, which demanded his extradition for allegedly breaching the US embargo against Iran.

Recently, he was acquitted of all charges brought against him in France and vowed to take legal action against US authorities. “Given that I have spent fourteen months in jail on false charges, it is my legal right to sue US authorities as soon as possible,” said Kakavand, who arrived in Tehran, IRNA reported. Kakavand´s advocate Diane Francois said that some of the documents included e-mail copies with attachments that did not have corresponding dates concluding that the documents were falsified, reported Expatica.com on March 31.

Iran, for its part, had demanded Kakavand´s immediate release. On March 16, Iran’s Foreign Ministry Spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said: “The innocence of (Majid) Kakavand is evident and we urge France not to be trapped in American propaganda and release him.”

US propaganda has also spread rumors about an alleged Iranian plan to build ballistic missiles capable of striking the United States in five years. However, Iranian Defense Minister Ahmad Vahidi has rejected the reports. The intention behind these allegations is clear: to persuade the US public that the Islamic Republic of Iran, which has never attacked another country – except when it was invaded by Saddam Hussein´s army in the 1980-88 war, is a “threat” to the US.

While the US and Western countries have reacted with suspicion to Iran’s development of new deterrent missiles, Tehran has made it clear that its missile capabilities only serve defensive purposes against a possible attack. Actually, the US stance is completely hypocritical. It threatens Iran with a military attack and at the same time it considers any Iranian military development as a “threat”.

Washington and its allies are trying to boost their campaign for sanctions in the international media. In this framework, the British daily ‘Times’ published on December 14, 2009 a story that claimed that Iranian scientists had conducted experiments into neutron sources aimed at producing the trigger for a nuclear bomb. The report was based on an undated two-page document in Farsi (Persian) that according to unnamed “foreign intelligence agencies” would have been written in early 2007. The Times did not mention the source of the document, but it quoted “an Asian intelligence source” – a term some media outlets use for Israeli intelligence officials.

The document was intended to be used as a possible pretext for war. International Institute for Strategic Studies analyst Mark Fitzpatrick told The Times: “The most shattering conclusion is that, if this was an effort that began in 2007, it could be a casus belli. If Iran is working on weapons, it means there is no diplomatic solution.” The story of the alleged Iranian document provoked a new round of expressions of US and European support for tougher sanctions against Iran.

The article had all the signs of a fabricated story designed to generate public concern about Iran´s nuclear program. It also sought to undermine a National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) issued by US intelligence agencies in late 2007 that concluded that Iran had put an end to any military nuclear program in 2007. The 2007 NIE was harshly criticized in the US and Israel by those promoting tougher measures, including military attacks, against Iran.

Tehran dismissed the claims as “baseless”. Like other reports provided to the IAEA by Western intelligence services that supposedly revealed Iran’s weapons documents, there were lots of doubts about the authenticity of this one. It is noteworthy to point out that that key documents used by the Bush government to justify its invasion of Iraq in March 2003 -involving Baghdad´s alleged acquisition of uranium in Niger- were proven to be forgeries.

Soon, the hallmarks of a forgery could be seen. Analyst Gareth Porter exposed three of them in an article published by IPS and other outlets with the title of “New Revelations Tear Holes in Nuclear Trigger Story”:

First of all, a columnist for the Times acknowledged that the document published by the newspaper was not a photocopy of the original document but an expurgated and retyped version of the original. A translation of a second document also published by the Times contradicted the claim by the newspaper itself that the “nuclear trigger” document had been written within an organization run by an Iranian military scientist, Mohsen Fakhrizadeh.

Secondly, George Maschke, whose specialty is Near Eastern languages and culture, pointed out: “This allegedly Iranian document was composed on a computer that evidently lacked Persian (Farsi)- the Iranian national language- resources. It is readily apparent that the document was composed using Arabic and not Persian letters. For example the Arabic letter corresponding to the English “y” is ي

In Persian, however, the dots are always omitted when the letter appears at the end of the word.”

Thirdly, the subject of the document would be highly classified under any state’s security system. Yet there is no confidentiality marking on the document, as can be seen from the photograph of the original published by the Times.

Iran insisted that Fakhrizadeh had procured the technologies in question for nonmilitary uses by various components of the Imam Hussein University, where he was a lecturer.

IPS also quoted [former] Central Intelligence Agency official Philip Giraldi, who said that US intelligence judges the “nuclear trigger” document to be a forgery. The IPS story also pointed out that the document lacked both security markings and identification of either the issuing organization or the recipient. Giraldi, who was a CIA counterterrorism official from 1976 to 1992, told Gareth Porter that intelligence sources had pointed out that the United States had nothing to do with forging the document, and that Israel is the primary suspect. The sources did not rule out a British role in the fabrication either.

Porter indicated that The Times “is part of a Murdoch publishing empire that includes the Sunday Times, Fox News and the New York Post. All Murdoch-owned news media report on Iran with an aggressively pro-Israeli slant.” “The Rupert Murdoch chain has been used extensively to publish false intelligence from the Israelis and occasionally from the British government,” Giraldi said.

Porter concludes his report claiming that “after reviewing documentation submitted by Iran and verifying some of its assertions by inspection on the spot, the IAEA concluded in its February 22, 2008, report that Iran’s explanation for Fakhrizadeh´s role in obtaining the items had been truthful after all.”

Another stage of the anti-Iranian campaign started last year after Tehran announced the existence of the Qom enrichment plant, situated within a mountain, which would assure continuation of enrichment if the Natanz Enrichment Plant were attacked. Washington immediately claimed that Iran had been working in the plant for several years and it was an evidence of a covert military nuclear program. Obama called the second enrichment facility “a direct challenge to the basic foundation of the non-proliferation regime”, saying Iran had broken “rules that all nations must follow”.

In November and after IAEA inspectors had visited the Qom site, former Director General Mohamed ElBaradei commented that they had found “nothing to be worried about” and that the facility was indeed a backup to the Natanz plant as Iran had maintained. “It is a hole in a mountain,” ElBaradei said.

Some Western media have also reproduced the fabricated story about an alleged Iraqi attempt to acquire uranium in Niger -which was used before the invasion of Iraq by then US Vice President Dick Cheney to justify the war- but changing this time some of the players: Iran instead of Iraq and Zimbabwe instead of Niger. On April 25, a report published in the British daily Daily Telegraph claimed that a deal had been reached between Iran and Zimbabwe. According to the agreement, Zimbabwe would allow Iran to mine Zimbabwean uranium reserves in exchange of the African country´s access to Iranian oil.

The report said that the agreement was sealed secretly last month during a visit to Tehran by a close aide to Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe. Britain and other Western powers have passed sanctions against Zimbabwe and have showed their support for a regime change in this country.

Industry and Commerce Minister Welshman Ncube rejected the report, saying there was no evidence suggesting that Zimbabwe had such deposits. “It is not true. No such agreement was signed,” said Ncube.

The story was published some days after Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad paid an official visit to Zimbabwe last week. During his visit, he met his counterpart Robert Mugabe, attended the official opening of Zimbabwe’s International Trade Fair and signed a number of trade and cooperation agreements in the areas of banking, finance and insurance. The Iranian president told reporters before his departure that the visit came as part of his government´s plan to consolidate ties with African countries.

*Additional editing by Aletho News

May 16, 2010 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Wars for Israel | 1 Comment

Ahmadinejad welcomes Lula da Silva

Press TV – May 16, 2010

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has officially welcomed his Brazilian counterpart Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva in the capital of Tehran ahead of the G15 summit.

President Lula arrived in Tehran, accompanied by a 300-member delegation — including five Brazilian cabinet ministers — to attend the Group of 15 summit on Monday.

The Brazilian president is expected to meet with the Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei during his visit.

According to IRNA, Brazilian and Iranian officials signed eleven memorandums of understanding on Sunday to promote bilateral cooperation in the fields of economy, agriculture, and industry.

Brazil, a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, has been making efforts to break the deadlock over Iran’s nuclear program and help reach an agreement on a fuel swap deal.

The G15 is made up of countries from Asia, Africa, and Latin America with a common goal of economic growth.

Earlier on Saturday, foreign ministers from the group of 15 met to discuss measures to tackle the global economic crisis.

May 16, 2010 Posted by | Economics, Solidarity and Activism | Comments Off on Ahmadinejad welcomes Lula da Silva

Israel refuses re-entry to 5 Druze who made condolence call in Syria

Golan Heights residents stuck in Syria

By Yuval Azoulay | Haaretz | May 14, 2010

Five Druze residents of the Golan Heights have been stuck for more than six weeks in Syria after Israeli authorities denied them permission to cross back into the Golan.

The group includes two women, Hamaa Shaar, 36, and Johara Shakhrur, 56, from the Golan Heights town of Buqata, who were visiting their families in Suwara, Syria following the death of Sha’ar’s brother and Shakhur’s mother.

The family’s lawyer, Haran Riechman, wrote the Interior Ministry’s Population Administration bureau in Kiryat Shmona that when the women left for Syria, MK Ayoob Kara (Likud ) had obtained special permission for them to stay for two weeks instead of the 48 hours the Israeli authorities had initially given them.

Riechman wrote that for unknown reasons, five days after the women left, the Interior Ministry demanded they return.

Six other Israeli residents of the Golan Heights in Syria received the same instruction; some managed to make it to the Quneitra crossing within a few hours.

However, the women only reached the crossing a day later, together with three other Israeli Golan Heights residents who had also been in Suwara. Their families were already waiting for them, as were the Military Police and the Red Cross, but the Interior Ministry official did not show up, the border remained closed, and the women returned to Suwara, Riechman told Haaretz.

“One of the soldiers told the family that the army was preventing their return and it was unclear why,” Riechman also said.

Riechman wrote the Population Administration that if the women are not allowed back by the weeked, he will appeal to the High Court of Justice.

Interior Ministry spokeswoman Sabin Hadad, said Thursday that the Israel Defense Forces is responsible for the Quneitra crossing.

May 16, 2010 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | Comments Off on Israel refuses re-entry to 5 Druze who made condolence call in Syria

Jewish Settler Flees Scene After Ramming Vehicle Into Mother with Two Little Girls

By Saed Bannoura – IMEMC & Agencies – May 16, 2010

Palestinian medical sources in Bethlehem reported Saturday at night that a Jewish settler rammed his vehicle into a mother and her two girls in Al Jab’a village near Bethlehem, and fled the scene.

The sources identified the woman as Aneesa Hasan Al Tous, 35, and her two daughters Ro’a, 2 years old, and Nagham, 5. They were moved to Al Ahli Hospital In Hebron; the mom and one of her children are in moderate conditions while the second child is in a serious condition.

Eyewitnesses reported that the mother and her children were walking at the entrance of the village when the settler rammed his vehicle into them and fled the scene.

The Israeli army managed to apprehend the settler later on.

Al Jab’a is located south of Bethlehem and is under full Israeli security and military control and its residents are facing constant violations and attacks carried out by the settlers.

In a separate incident, resident Ahmad Al Alami, 22, from Beit Ummar town near Hebron, was also wounded after a settler rammed his vehicle into him. He was moved to Hadassah Israeli hospital in Jerusalem. His condition was described as moderate but stable. This time, the settler reportedly did not leave the scene and called an Israeli ambulance.

May 16, 2010 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation, Subjugation - Torture | 11 Comments

Japanese form human chain at US base

Press TV – May 16, 2010

Thousands of people have formed a human chain around the Futenma airbase on the island of Okinawa to protest the US military presence in Japan

Some 17,000 protesters called on Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama on Sunday to move the controversial facility out of Okinawa, Kyodo news agency reported. The rally comes just days ahead of a visit to Japan by US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton.

The relocation of the Futenma airbase is at the center of a dispute between Washington and Tokyo. Hatoyama had promised to move the base off Okinawa by the end of this month. However, local media say the government has abandoned the deadline and is now seeking to settle the feud by November.

The islanders have suggested that the Futenma base should be moved off the island of Okinawa or even outside of Japan altogether.

The Futenma airbase has been used by the US since the final days of World War II. Some 47,000 US troops are currently based in Japan, with more than half of the soldiers stationed in Okinawa.

Hatoyama’s failure to move the base will endanger his weakening ruling coalition. The issue has threatened the political future of Hatoyama with both Washington and his political allies putting him under pressure to find a solution to the deadlock.

May 16, 2010 Posted by | Illegal Occupation | 2 Comments