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August 3, 2012 in Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization
This study investigates Iran’s strategy of smuggling weapons to Afghan insurgents. Based on the hypothesis that Iran utilizes its weapons smuggling networks as proxies to leverage against foreign threats with predictable results, this study will address Iran’s future weapons smuggling behaviors. Iran, like the United States, is a complex actor pursuing rational, national strategic objectives. The perceived dichotomy between Iran’s words and actions results in an atmosphere of suspicion surrounding Iranian motives that can potentially lead to unintended escalations between Iran and other nations. An increase in tensions between the U.S. and Iran, specifically over perceived threats to Iranian sovereignty, will be matched with an increase in the rate and quantity of weapons, an introduction of more capable weapons, or both. Given the elasticity of realizing strategic success by increasing the rate and quantity of weapons, Iran will likely attempt to quickly counter an imminent threat by deploying more destructive weapons comparable to those Iran supplies to Lebanese Hezbollah.
March 19, 2012 in Featured
Israel’s intelligence services agree with American intelligence assessments that there is not enough proof to determine whether Iran is building a nuclear bomb, according to a report published Sunday in the New York Times. The newspaper said that senior American officials believe there is little disagreement between the Mossad and U.S. intelligence agencies over Iran’s nuclear program, despite the fact that Israeli political leaders have been pushing for quick action to block Iran from becoming what they describe as an existential threat.
February 29, 2012 in Featured
HSBC Holdings Plc said on Monday it will likely face criminal or civil charges from an expanding investigation into its ties to allegedly illegal money transactions, including some tied to Iran. The disclosure in a regulatory filing shows the increasingly serious nature of inquiries into the London-based bank’s business. HSBC already is the subject of multiple U.S. law-enforcement probes for ties to illegal money transactions. Monday’s filing was the first time the bank disclosed that Iranian transactions are under scrutiny and that it could face a criminal charge.
November 26, 2011 in News
Senior Iranian parliamentary officials announced that the country has arrested 12 agents of the American Central Intelligence Agency. Member of the Iranian Parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Commission Parviz Sorouri said that the agents had been operating in coordination with Israel’s Mossad and other regional agencies, and targeted the country’s military and its nuclear program. “The US and Zionist regime’s espionage apparatuses were trying to damage Iran both from inside and outside with a heavy blow, using regional intelligence services,” Sorouri told the Islamic republic news agency on Wednesday.
November 14, 2011 in Featured
In public Sunday, President Obama was at a summit unsuccessfully leaning on Russia and China to back diplomatic efforts to curb Iran’s nuke program. In private Sunday, there was more evidence of an efficient and brutal covert operation that continues to degrade Iran’s military capabilities. Iranian officials revealed that one of the 17 men killed in a huge explosion at a munitions depot was a key Revolutionary Guard commander who headed Iran’s missile program. And the IRNA state news agency reported that scientists had discovered a new computer virus in their systems, a more sophisticated version of the Stuxnet worm deployed last year to foul up Iran’s centrifuges.
Previous reports by the Director General have identified outstanding issues related to possible military dimensions to Iran’s nuclear programme and actions required of Iran to resolve these. Since 2002, the Agency has become increasingly concerned about the possible existence in Iran of undisclosed nuclear related activities involving military related organizations, including activities related to the development of a nuclear payload for a missile, about which the Agency has regularly received new information.
October 11, 2011 in United States
Who used the mysterious September 11 incident as a pretext to attack Afghanistan and Iraq, killing, injuring, and displacing millions in two countries with the ultimate goal of bringing into its domination the Middle East and its oil resources? Who nullified the Breton Woods system by printing trillions of dollars without the backing of gold reserves or equivalent currency? A move that triggered inflation worldwide and was intended to prey on the economic gains of other nations. Which country’s military spending exceeds annually a thousand billion dollars, more than the military budgets of all countries of the world combined? Which governments are the most indebted ones in the world?
August 3, 2011 in News
One atomic researcher after the other has died in a series of recent murders in Iran. Is Israel’s Mossad trying to sabotage the construction of a nuclear bomb with the attacks? Officials in Jerusalem aren’t denying anything. Israeli military generals are even more hawkish, and their calls for air strikes on Iran are growing louder. “Israel is not responding,” Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak said earlier this week when asked if his country had been involved in the latest slaying of an Iranian nuclear scientist. It didn’t exactly sound like a denial, and the smile on his face suggested Israel isn’t too bothered by suspicions that it is responsible for a series of murders of physicists involved in the controversial Iranian nuclear program. There is little doubt in the shadowy world of intelligence agencies that Israel is behind the assassination of Darioush Rezaei. “That was the first serious action taken by the new Mossad chief Tamir Pardo,” an Israeli intelligence source told SPIEGEL ONLINE.
July 2, 2011 in Immigration and Customs Enforcement
The Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General issued a report in May 2011 titled “Supervision of Aliens Commensurate with Risk” that details Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) detention and supervision of aliens. The report includes a list of Specially Designated Countries (SDCs) that are said to “promote, produce, or protect terrorist organizations or their members”. The report states that ICE uses a Third Agency Check (TAC) to screen aliens from specially designated countries (SDCs) that have shown a tendency to promote, produce, or protect terrorist organizations or their members and that the purpose of the additional screening is to determine whether other agencies have an interest in the alien. ICE’s policy requires officers to conduct TAC screenings only for aliens from SDCs if the aliens are in ICE custody.
Among the lessons learned from the revolutions in Egypt and Tunisia is the value and affect of unencumbered access to information and communications technology (ISCT), including but not limited to independent information and social networking across multiple platforms, such as mobile, internet, web-based, and satellite broadcast. The current ICT available in and outside Iran remain largely silod platforms (i.e. lacking technology that facilitates convergence of information and interactivity). In general, the younger generation that support reform and actively oppose the regime from within have not been able to effectively access newer technologies or have been dissuaded from participating in communications programs operated by less legitimate traditional opposition parties from outside. Most these platforms are either state sponsored, like VOA and BBC, or are exile opposition websites and channels out of Los Angeles with a political agenda and low tolerance for alternative viewpoints. Most have failed to stay up to date with the language, trends, mentality, culture, and sociopolitical situation of the today Iran. The partisan nature of the older generation opposition groups further limit their ability to reach the younger demographic.
January 19, 2011 in News
Iran’s top police chief envisions a new beat for his forces: patrolling cyberspace. “There is no time to wait,” Gen. Ismail Ahmadi Moghaddam said last week at the opening of a new police headquarters in the Shiite seminary city of Qom. “We will have cyber police all over Iran.” The first web watchdog squads are planned in Tehran this month — another step in Iran’s rapidly expanding focus on the digital world as cyber warfare and online sleuthing take greater prominence with the Pentagon’s new Cyber Command and the secrets spilled to WikiLeaks. For Iranian authorities, mastering the intricacies of the web is seen as critical on two fronts: an offensive weapon against political opposition and a defensive shield to thwart cyber-attacks such as the Stuxnet computer worm that Iran said was aimed at sabotaging its uranium enrichment program. It’s part of what the Islamic Republic calls its “soft war” — which includes trying to curb Western cultural influences and gaining the upper hand in cyberspace against web-literate opposition groups.
IrExpert.ir is a Persian-language social networking site established as a forum for Iranian professionals and experts around the world. Similar in style to the popular international business social networking site Linkedin, IrExpert.ir serves as a platform for users to exchange ideas, foster professional relationships, connect with other colleagues, share information, and seekprofessional opportunities. Only limited information is available on the open social networking site, as the majority of content is retained in the password protected portal that can only be accessed by members. This report is based only on the information available to nonmembers.
For almost a decade, the Iranian regime and netizen activists have been engaged in a veritable war of attrition over freedom of information on the Internet. With at least tacit support from information technology businesses — whose interests are adversely affected by government controls and restrictions — activists have sought to exploit the Internet in order to share information and voice dissent. In turn, the authorities have been implementing plans to manage cyber activity by taking ownership of Internet infrastructure and by promoting the presence of their supporters and messages in cyberspace, while justifying their efforts on the grounds of morality and national security. Neither netizen activists nor the government are likely to win the battle over information flows in the near term, in part because of financial considerations and evolving technologies.
December 1, 2010 in News
On Oct. 10, to celebrate its 65th anniversary as a one-party state, North Korea unveiled a new missile in the type of military parade that for decades has been a hallmark of authoritarian regimes. The North Koreans call the missile the Musudan. The Musudan is now playing a starring role in reports this week prompted by WikiLeaks’ release of U.S. diplomatic cables. One of the documents says that Iran has obtained 19 of the missiles from North Korea, prompting news reports suggesting that the Islamic republic can hit targets in Western Europe and deep into Russia – farther than Iran’s existing missiles can strike.
October 18, 2010 in News
The Obama administration has concluded that Chinese firms are helping Iran to improve its missile technology and develop nuclear weapons, and has asked China to stop such activity, a senior U.S. official said. During a visit to Beijing last month, a delegation led by Robert J. Einhorn, the State Department’s special adviser for nonproliferation and arms control, handed a “significant list” of companies and banks to their Chinese counterparts, according to the senior U.S. official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss a sensitive issue in U.S.-Chinese relations. The official said the Obama administration thinks that the companies are violating U.N. sanctions, but that China did not authorize their activities.
October 1, 2010 in News
The Stuxnet worm attacking computers in Iran includes a reference to the Book of Esther, the Old Testament story in which the Jews pre-empt a Persian plot to destroy them, and is a possible clue of Israeli involvement, The New York Times reported on Thursday. A file inside the Stuxnet code is named “Myrtus,” an allusion to the Hebrew word for Esther, and is a possible Israeli calling card or, perhaps, a “red herring” designed to throw investigators off the track, the Times said. According to security software experts and analysts, Stuxnet may have been designed to target Iran’s nuclear facilities and suspicions have fallen on Israel and the United States.
September 23, 2010 in News
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad told the United Nations on Thursday most people believe the U.S. government was responsible for the attacks of September 11, 2001, prompting the U.S. delegation to leave in protest. In his speech to the General Assembly, Ahmadinejad said it was mostly U.S. government officials who believed a terrorist group was behind the suicide hijacking attacks that brought down New York’s World Trade Center and hit the Pentagon. Another theory, he said, was “that some segments within the U.S. government orchestrated the attack to reverse the declining American economy, and its grips on the Middle East, in order to save the Zionist regime.”
August 20, 2010 in Headline
August 20, 2010 in News
The Obama administration, citing evidence of continued troubles inside Iran’s nuclear program, has persuaded Israel that it would take roughly a year — and perhaps longer — for Iran to complete what one senior official called a “dash” for a nuclear weapon, according to American officials. Administration officials said they believe the assessment has dimmed the prospect that Israel would pre-emptively strike against the country’s nuclear facilities within the next year, as Israeli officials have suggested in thinly veiled threats. For years, Israeli and American officials have debated whether Iran is on an inexorable drive toward a nuclear bomb and, if so, how long it would take to produce one. A critical question has been the time it would take Tehran to convert existing stocks of low-enriched uranium into weapons-grade material, a process commonly known as “breakout.”
August 4, 2010 in News
A state-run broadcaster has rejected reports suggesting that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad faced an apparent assassination attempt Wednesday. A conservative website reported that a handmade grenade was tossed in the direction of Ahmadinejad’s convoy as it travelled to the town of Hamedan in western Iran. The website report said one person was arrested and that the grenade exploded about 100 metres from the convoy. But Iran’s state-run Press TV quoted unnamed government sources saying that “no such attack took place.”
July 16, 2010 in News
The Sunni rebel group Jundullah has claimed responsibility for the double suicide bombing outside of a Shi’ite mosque in the Iranian provincial capital of Zahedan. At least twenty-seven people were killed in the attacks and more than two-hundred and seventy have been injured. While the U.S., Canada, and the UN, have all publicly denounced the attacks, Iranian officials have stated that the group claiming responsibility for the attack is supported by the U.S. Reputable sources outside of the Iranian government confirm this association and in February of this year, the leader of the Jundullah gave a televised confession describing the support he had received from U.S. sources and the Central Intelligence Agency.
In March 2010 Channel 4 News was shown a large consignment of weapons, reportedly destined for Afghan insurgents, which had been intercepted on the Iranian border in Herat province. The weapons seized included landmines, explosives, mortar rounds, RPG rounds and grenades as well as possible IED main charges in cooking pots and jerry cans. Some of the mines had Persian serial numbers. Afghan government records show that 10.5 tonnes of weapons from Iran were intercepted in Herat province during the previous 12 months and Afghanistan claims that 60% of the weaponry came directly from the Iranian government.