Reade Paterno
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/01/world/middleeast/01iran.html?ref=middleeast
http://www.irna.ir/En/View/FullStory/?NewsId=1033335&idLanguage=3
China on Iran Sanctions

Summary:
These two articles discuss China's recent decision to start considering sanctions on Iran for its lack of cooperation with the IAEA. Up until this point, China and Russia had not been on board with the economic sanctions against Iran, but Iran's continued failure to cooperate has led to China considering sanctions. I chose to do two articles for this topic, because one is from the Iranian point of view, while the other is from the American side. The NY Times article is obviously much more positive about China's agreement to the sanctions; it says that Iran is very suspect of developing nuclear weapons, and that these sanctions will finally make Iran cooperate. The IRNA article is much less optimist about China's choice. The article doesn't even say that China has agreed to think about sanctions; it just says that China is "approaching a decisive moment." The IRNA article urges China not to be "pressured" by other nations, and to be independent and support Iran.
Analysis and Comparison: Iran is obviously getting very anxious about its nuclear program. The sanctions are growing, and evidence is piling up against them that supports the accusation of their illegal use of nuclear technology. If China does decide to fully get behind the sanctions against Iran, then the country might have to actually fully cooperate with the IAEA. They will actually be forced to halt their nuclear development programs, and abide by the U.N.'s rules. This might also result in Iran increasing its nuclear development. They might see China's decision as a reason to make a mad dash for a nuclear weapon so that they can defend themselves when the UN tries to control them. This could turn out very badly, with Iran developing its own nuclear weapons and using them against members of the Security Council that try to halt Iran. Either way, Iran will most likely be forced to make a decision. They will either see this as a threat and respond to it by taking the nuclear programs further, or they will see it as a sign of their defeat, and they will finally submit to the IAEA's rules and inspections.


Reade Paterno
http://www.irna.ir/En/View/FullStory/?NewsId=1033481&idLanguage=3
President Stresses Need to Further Construct Iran

Summary: This article is about what President Ahmadinejad stated during the inauguration of an iron ore pellet factory. He basically congratulated the Iranian people on their progress thus far within the Islamic Republic. He says that they have done a great job on progressing the nation, and that all other nations that are supportive of Iran have congratulated them. He also says that he is proud of Iran for getting through the economic downturn. He claims that even with the economic sanctions against Iran, they have been able to survive and continue their growth. Ahmadinejad continues though by saying that he wants more. He thinks that while the country has done well so far, they are not anywhere near where he wants them to be. Ahmadinejad used this as a great way to boost nationalism for his country, and to nurture dislike for the nations that are "ill wishers of the Iranian nation."
Analysis and Comparison: This speech was an obvious instance of propaganda. Ahmadinejad was using this progressive step as a means to boost nationalism for his country, and at the same time boost anti-West sentiments. This speech was given at a critical time for Iran because of all of the nuclear technology issues. Ahmadinejad is trying to rally nationalism, because one of his best hopes for getting nuclear capability is to make it a nationalistic issue. He is attempting to unite the people against everyone that is against Iran getting nuclear weapons, so that they end up rallying behind him and his push for nuclear capability. This is also probably an attempt for him to gain popularity and support from the people, because of the controversy over his election. Ahmadinejad's speech also reminds me of the Soviet Union's and China's five year plans. Their attempts to progress the country through things like mass industrialization sound very similar to what Ahmadinejad is talking about. This speech was given at the opening of an iron ore factory, which is exactly in line with industrialization and creating building materials.

Reade Paterno
http://www.irna.ir/En/View/FullStory/?NewsId=1033874&IdLanguage=3
Iran Urges Nuclear States to Disarm to help International Peace

Summary: This article summarized what President Ahmadinejad said during a conference on April 3rd. In regards to the IAEA pressure and pressure from other Western nations, Ahmadinejad called for a total disarmament of all nuclear states. He said that while Western nations are trying to restrict Iran's nuclear capability, they themselves are breaking the nuclear proliferation treaty. He promotes Iran's cooperation with IAEA, and says that the West's allegations about Iran's nuclear weapons are completely "baseless." Ahmadinejad continues to voice negative opinions of the United States, saying that narcotics have quadrupled since the US intervened in the area, and urging the Iranian people to come into the streets and voice their opinions of the United States.
Analysis and Comparison: This article says a lot about politics and how the government works in Iran. To begin with, it almost completely contradicts all of the articles that we have read in class. The article claims that all of the West's evidence for Iran's nuclear arms are completely "baseless," when there is clearly a lot of evidence to the contrary. Iran has hidden nuclear facilities, and torn down facilities before they can be inspected. Evidence has been found on Iranian nuclear technology that supports the notion that they've enriched uranium to the point of nuclear weapons. Also, Iran has been anything but cooperative with the IAEA. They have failed to tell the IAEA everything about their nuclear facilities, and they have often postponed inspection days, most likely to cover up any incriminating evidence. Also, the fact that this article is so biased is evidence that the Iranian government has a lot of control over the media. They wouldn't allow the newspaper to print anything about Iran not cooperating with the IAEA, and this article was very anti-West. It makes Ahmadinejad look like a leader who wants peace and who has done nothing wrong or illegal, when in all probability it is the opposite. This media control reminds me a lot of China. No one is allowed to print any anti-government media, and the news is used as a way to make the government leaders appear wise, powerful, and honest.


George Beatty
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/20/world/middleeast/20iran.html?ref=middleeast
Iran Releases Opposition Leaders
Summary
: Recently, the Iranian authorities have released dozens of high profile opposition figures who were arrested after the disputed presidential election in June. The prisoners were required to post bail in the hundreds of thousands of dollars, according to human reights advocates. Mohsen Mirdamadi, a former member of Parliament and reformist politician, was released this week after posting bail of $450,000. Saeed Leylaz, a prominent economist and journalist, and Bahman Ahmadi Amooee, another well-known journalist, were also released after paying substantial sums. The advocacy group Human Rights Activists in Iran said Friday that about 18,000 people had been arrested since last summer, and that many of them remained in prison. Emadeddin Baghi, a human rights activist and journalist, has been in solitary confinement for the past 50 days. At least six people were sentenced to death last week for their role in the protests, in addition to two others who were executed in February. There has been large opposition to the treatment of the political opposition and awareness is being raised surrounding the governments actions.
Analysis: There is distrust in Iran between the people and the government. The elections that were supposedly democratic, have been questioned by many opposing leaders. The response was quick and physical, the government was not open to political opposition. The biggest recent concern that most Iranians have is the lack of respect that the government has for human rights and the freedoms that are included. The large sums of money that the government demanded from families was put in place so that it was extremely difficult for individuals to get out of jail after protesting the government. The harsh levels of punishment such as the excutions that took place were also brought up by the activists. It is unfotunate that men arrested for expressing their opinions, but at least some of them are finally home.
Comparison: The manner in which the Iranian government has handled the opposing political views of its people can be most closly compared to China's attitude towards politcal freedom. There is an allowance of economic freedom and westernization as long as no one questions the government. There is no level of tollerance when it comes to political opinions, the option are agree with the government or dont say anything at all. Iran's government does not have the same control over its people and therefore has been publicy exposed.

Alexis Strobin
Title: Iranian leader shuns ancient fire festival
Source: http://www.cnn.com/2010/WORLD/meast/03/15/iran.new.year.crackdown/index.html?iref=allsearch
Summary: Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, is attempting to stop an annual event celebrating the last days of winter and the Persian calendar year, while the government is strengthening its security presence in the days leading up to a major holiday. On Sunday, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei urged Iranians to dismiss the ancient practice of fire jumping and feasting on Chaharshanbe Soori, a festival held on the eve of the last Wednesday before spring (this year March 16). These activities date back thousands of years. According to Khamenei, the festivities have no basis in Islam, and can cause "harm and corruption.” The celebrations lead up to Norooz, the holiday that marks the first day of spring. Iran is beefing up security to ensure "order and calm" during the two-week period celebrating Norooz, stationing 200,000 security personnel across Iran. It's a precaution that's become increasingly common in Iran, especially in advance of holidays, as the government continues to warn against political demonstrations that have emerged since last summer. Most recently, the government stopped anti-government protests that started in February as the nation commemorated the 31st anniversary of the Islamic Revolution, which marked the end of the country's Western-backed monarchy and the start of an Islamic republic. In the days that led up to the holiday, the government mobilized security forces and heightened its warnings, saying it would arrest protesters and hold them until the end of Norooz.
Analysis/Comparison: I think this article perfectly shows just how much the Iranian government wants to control everything- including holidays! The government doesn’t trust the people to make their own decisions and so it decides to get involved. Even holidays, which are (usually) supposed to be fun, happy times are under government control. In other countries, there might be some security during the holidays- to ensure the safety of citizens- but in Iran it’s gotten out of control. The security isn’t protecting the people but instead criticism against the government. Even China, as tightly controlled as it is, doesn’t have this much security.


Iran tightens petrol rations as economic sanctions loom

Tess Micheli
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/8573087.stm

Summary: Iran's government has decided to cut petrol rations for its citizens by 25%, from 80 liters to 60 liters per month per car. In Iran, food and energy are government subsidized as well. However, due to Iran's bad financial situation and potential future sanctions (because Iran refuses to give up its nuclear power program), rations are being cut. Right now, before the new cuts, Iranians are allowed 80 liters for 10 cents a liter; anything beyond that costs 40 cents a liter. In order to avoid further ration cuts, the Oil Ministry has pledged to begin producing more oil so that Iran can be more self-sufficient.

Analysis: It seems a little ironic that Iran of all countries should have to limit oil so heavily for its citizens. It shows that, just like in colonial times, Western countries are still managing to get most of the Middle East's oil one way or another. As Iranian need for oil increases and people become richer, this will likely become more of a conflict. I thought it was interesting that a third of Iranian oil is imported, when it seems like it shouldn't need to import any.

Compare: The countries we've studied so far don't have economies that are so government-subsidized, but it's a little similar to the former USSR in that supplies are rationed and are supposed to be equal for everybody. Other countries such as the UK have done this in times of war.



George Beatty
http://www.iran-daily.com/1388/12/25/MainPaper/3641/Page/1/MainPaper_3641_1_12628_NewsCut.jpg
Double-Deck Highway Opens in Isfahan
Summary: President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Monday opened the first double-deck highway in the tourist city of Isfahan. The Imam Khomeini Highway is among the advanced urban structures and the first of its kind in the country and the Middle East. The road work was initiatially started in late 2008 and cost an estimated $60 million, the overpass is five kilometers long. It was reported that the first light rail service will soon be launched in the ancient city. The traffic in the area had become untollerable making commutes extremely long, the new road with serve over three million plus on a daily basis. Isfahan is one of the top tourist attractions in Iran. Every year millions of Iranians and foreign tourists visit this beautiful city and its elegant mansions and mosques, especially during the Norouz holiday season and in summers.
Analysis: The new highway that has been established is more than a means for Iranians to get to work, it is a symbol that Iran is becoming Industrial and modern. The fact that the city of Isfahan can hold over three million people and produces millions of dollars of revenue is a reason for countries such as the United States to recognize Iran as a developing nation. Oil and violence have been a major source of media attention in Iran, but now there is another side to Irans economy. The focus of the United States needs to be on strengthening relations between ourselves and Iran in order to create industrilizing allies instead of enemies.

Meredith Allen
http://www.irna.ir/En/View/FullStory/?NewsId=1005698&IdLanguage=3
President acknowledges deep-rooted Iran-Afghan ties
Summary: President of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, made comments on Wednesday at a luncheon ceremony that showed a deep respect and admiration for Afghanistan. President of Afghanistan, Hamid Karzai, was present at the ceremony. President Ahmadinejad explained their relationship with Afghanistan as a peaceful and brotherly one. He claimed that the boarders of their countries were boarders of friendship and equality. President Karzai responde saying Afghanistan would never forget how helpful and humanitarian Iran had been especially in the last eight years.
Analysis/Comparison: One other thing that Iran took a stance on was the war still going on in Afghanistan due to the terrorist attacks of September 11th. President Ahmadinejad was quoted saying, “We advise them to quit the region because the people in the region know how to attain peace, friendship and development.” Them refers to America and this statement is asking for peace in the middle east. I thought this was very interesting because often times we do not even think of how this war has effected more than just Americans. If there are people begging for peace not even in the same country then we as Americans should see what we can do to grant this.



Alexis Strobin
Title: Iran closes newspaper and magazine critical of government
Source: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/03/01/AR2010030101470.html?hpid=moreheadlines
Summary : On Monday, Iran closed a prominent magazine and newspaper critical of the government, therefore silencing all dissenting voices after months of anti-government protests. The daily newspaper Etemmaad and the weekly magazine IranDokht were banned by the Press Supervisory Board, a media watchdog. The board closed Etemaad for going beyond "the limits of the press." Etemaad was vaguely affiliated with the political opposition and frequently criticized President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's administration. It had a high circulation and was widely seen as the most influential, semi-independent news source still allowed publishing. The paper apparently violated a part of the country's press code that prohibits media from mentioning ethnic differences, accusing officials or insulting Islamic sanctities. The magazine IranDokht was closed because it was "not committed to the constitution."
Analysis/Comparison: This is a good example of how tightly controlled the media in Iran is. Just saying one little thing contradicting the government’s beliefs could get you in jail or your paper banned. The magazine and newspaper were ironically banned a day after six journalists and opposition activists held for suspected involvement in the country's post-election turmoil were released on bail. This situation reminds me of the tight grasp that the Chinese government has on its media. It censors everything online and citizens only have access to certain media. The government controls content as a means to maintain power. Watchdog groups frequently fire or demote editors and journalists who publish articles objectionable to the Communist Party. In addition, China has an “Emergency Response Law,” which bans the spread of unverified information regarding riots, disasters, and other emergencies. Originally, the law threatened to fine media sources up to $12,500 for violations, but it was redrafted with more ambiguous language before it was passed. In the United States, newspapers and magazines criticizing politicians (and many other people) are published every day; it’s just a part of American society.



Iranian film director Jafar Panahi arrested

Tess Micheli
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/8545505.stm


Summary: Iranian police recently broke into the home of Iranian filmmaker Jafar Panahi, arresting him, his daughter, his wife, and 15 other guests. He is an internationally recognized filmmaker whose movies include social commentary that is often not favorable to the Iranian government. He has also been arrested before, after going to the memorial of a student killed in protest, and he was travel banned after wearing green (the color of the opposition to Iran's government) to a public event. However, police claim that his arrest has nothing to do with politics, and that he was accused of "some crimes."

Analysis: This shows, obviously, how easy it is to get arrested in Iran, and how dangerous it is to speak out at all against the government - even wearing the wrong color to a rally can have consequences. However, I also think it's interesting how much Panahi seems to have gotten away with already. He has been living in Iran and is famous for his movies, some of which directly criticize the Iranian government. Nobody denies that Iran is a corrupt authoritarian regime, but it seems that people can still express different views, at least for a while, if they're lucky.

Compare: This is very similar to treatment of people who express controversial opinions in China, although China is so tightly run and has such extreme censorship that a filmmaker and public figure like this would probably already have been arrested. It is also similar to the incident with the journalists in Russia. A common theme of dictatorships and totalitarian regimes is that they work very hard to suppress freedom of speech, press, etc., because once opposition takes root (as it has, somewhat, in Iran) it can lead to serious problems for the government.


George Beatty
http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20100221/wl_nm/us_iran_separatists_1;_ylt=Ambh8lgRJTJZiK.D.0IXNar5SpZ4
Iranian forces kill 4 Kurdish Separatists
Summary: Iranian security forces killed four members of a Kurdish separatist group involved in deadly clashes last year in northwest Iran. Personnel of the Intelligence Ministry ambushed and killed a four-member team, affiliated to the Komouleh terrorist group, responsible for the deaths of three security officers in that province in late December. The terrorist group known as the Party of Free Life of Kurdistan beliefs that Iran was behind the death of a Justice Ministry official in Khoy city in West Azerbaijan last month. There is a continual retaliation between the terrorist groups and the Iranian government. The actions that were taken by the government supposedly is justified by the past action of the terrorists. Unfortunately this reaction will undoubtedly lead to more violence.
Comparison: The latest violence that the Iranian government has committed can be compared to the past actions that have been taken over the course of the last several years. There have been large amounts of terrorist groups within Iran and the only solution that the Iranian government, along with the allied forces, has come up with is to retaliate to the violence with more violence. Unfortunately this has lead to no progression and thousands of lives lost. The terrorists groups need to be reasoned with because they continue to gain support while the government continues to lose support.
Analysis: The current situation that exists within Iran can be attributed to the lack of negotiations between the government and the terrorist groups. The government of Iran needs to take initiative and act to peaceful meet with the dissatisfied terrorist groups to come up with a reasonable solution to the problems that exist in the country. At the moment the reaction to violence is more violence, this type of strategy has lead nowhere and has destabilized the country.

George Beatty
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/8523340.stm
Iran's supreme leader denies nuclear report claims
Summary: Iran's supreme leader has denied it is developing nuclear weapons, after a new report from the UN atomic watchdog, the IAEA, sparked an international outcry. Iran is now in the defensive after alligaitions about developing nuclear weapons errupted in the west. Leaders of Iran are concerned about their relations to the rest of the middle east and the world. According to the leaders of Iran there has been no reason for the alligations and they feel as though they are being falsly accusted. Still world powers such as the US continue to question the ligitimacy of Iran. Britain and Germany both said the report reinforced their "great concerns" about Iran's enrichment of uranium and other nuclear activities. Enriched uranium can be used to fuel nuclear power plants. Very highly enriched uranium can be made into atomic bombs.
Comparison: The concern of nuclear weapons can be compared to the concerns in Iraq. There was limited evidence to the alligations, but the west was still on high alert do to the radical groups in the Middle East. There needs to be a better approach the US,in teh current situation. Oteherwise the relations in the middle east could be ruined.
Analysis: The leaders of Iran need to meet and clear up the newest alligations. They need to make it clear that they have nothing to hide and that the rest of the world can trust them to be a coperative nation. The biggest issue that remains is that the US has a large supply of nuclear weapons and yet refuses to let other countries become more develop because of fear. Nuclear weapons need to be let go from the US if they want to act a world police.

Allen

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100215/ap_on_re_mi_ea/ml_clinton_mideast
Clinton: Iran is becoming a military dictatorship
Summary: Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton recently said that Iran was slowly slipping into a military dictatorship. This accusation comes after a tumultuous few months of uncomfortable relations between Iran and the rest of the world, concerning nuclear programs. Clinton was visiting the Gulf Countries and Saudi Arabia where she met up with Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal. The Prime Minister also said that Iran’s nuclear ambitions were a problem that needed to be dealt with immediately. Although the USA is trying to gain international support for sanctions in Iran, when asked straight out if the USA was planning a military attack on Iran, Clinton said a very clear, “No.”

Clinton also said, "I'm not predicting what will happen but I think the trend with this greater and greater military lock on leadership decisions should be disturbing to Iranians as well as those of us on the outside."
Comparison & Analysis: I was surprised to hear that Hillary Clinton had said what she did. I believe that she said this a bit prematurely. Although it may technically coincide with how Obama’s Administration feels as well, I think that Hillary Clinton should not have explained the United States’ stance on the situation. I compared this to The Cuban Missile Crisis. The United States was in a bad situation and acted too hurriedly. I think that our country should be developing a more united front with other countries by making allies.

3 world powers criticize Iranian enrichment
Amy Dreher
Summary: The United States, France, and Russia are worried about Iran's enrichment of Uranium, the project reinforced the idea that Tehran is seeking nuclear weapons. The president,mahmoud Ahmadinejad, ignored these comments and announced taht the county is moving ahead in enrichmjent, and installing advanced machinary into the main facilities.Enrichment can be used for both nuclear weapons and reactor fuel, Iran is now under three U.N. Security Council sanctions. Iran plans to enrich the uranium by 20 perccent, warhead material needs to be enriched by 90 percent, which is a big step in Iran's nucklear program.
Comparision and analysis: The U.S. has always been worried about Iran's nuclear program, its worried about any middle eastern's nuclear program. Ahmadinejad has even been saying that there have been talks about trades of nuclear fuel cells, they are even willing to trade with America.

Alexis Strobin
Title: Iran may be seeking nuclear warhead, U.N. watchdog says
Source: http://news.yahoo.com/s/mcclatchy/20100218/wl_mcclatchy/3430078_1
Summary: On Thursday, the United Nations’ nuclear watchdog said that Iran may be trying to develop a nuclear warhead that could be placed atop a missile. Iran claims to be pursuing a peaceful nuclear program. The report says that Iran, along with enriching uranium that could fuel a nuclear bomb, is experimenting with constructing a warhead. “Broadly consistent and credible information” has been collected about Iran’s military-related nuclear activities. Iran has begun enriching uranium to a purity of nearly 20%, close to what’s needed for nuclear bomb fuel. U.S. officials said that Iran is producing an estimated 100 grams per day of the 20-percent pure uranium — at a rate that would take it five to seven years to have enough for a bomb if it were enriched further. What’s extremely worrisome is that Iran has moved its current stock of low-enriched uranium to a pilot enrichment plant, indicicating it is planning to convert to the more-pure form. Currently, the U.S. assessment of Iran’s nuclear ambitions is under review as part of a new National Intelligence Estimate.
Analysis/Comparison: The step Iran is suspected of taking toward a nuclear warhead is, quite frankly, nothing new. It has been previously cited multiple times in media and IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) reports. The report on these findings could definitely affect new sanctions on Iran, although the report states that Iran is encountering technical difficulties in its nuclear program. Iran keeps denying that it’s seeking nuclear weapons, and says that it is using the pure uranium to fuel a research reactor that is used for medical uses, like cancer treatment. At this point, no one is buying in to what Iran says it’s using the uranium for. In 2007, the U.S. intelligence community’s conclusion was that Iran was no longer working on nuclear weapons. This conclusion was controversial from the start, and is even more controversial today.



Iran says the world 'will regret' sanctions

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/8517723.stm
Tess Micheli

Summary: Iran has been threatened with sanctions if it does not comply with the five permanent members of the UN Security Council and Germany ("P5+1"), and now President Ahmadinejad has said that any countries participating in the sanctions will be "regretful," and has promised to retaliate against any country that "does anything against Iran." However, he added that there is still a possibility for agreement, and he also still insists that Iran is not trying to develop nuclear weapons with its nuclear program. The UN Security Council is still trying to persuade Iran to send its nuclear material to Russia in exchange for enriched uranium, but Russia has threatened sanctions if Iran does not agree.
Analysis: This seems like an unusually bold step for Iran, which is obviously worrying to the rest of the world. Even now President Ahmadinejad denies that they are trying to develop nuclear weapons, so it's interesting that he is so directly threatening countries if they resort to sanctions. Especially considering the connection with nuclear weapons that this situation has, the threat seems very ominous.
Compare: This situation has certain similarities with Russia during the Cold War, when the USSR made veiled threats and developed its nuclear technology, but never actually did anything. Hopefully Iran will turn out the same. It is also a little like China, in that the world chooses to cooperate with a corrupt, authoritarian government for the sake of peace, economics and politics.





Alexis Strobin
Source: http://www1.voanews.com/english/news/middle-east/US-Denies-Speaking-to-Iran-About-Prisoner-Swap-83407372.html
Title: US Denies Speaking to Iran about Prisoner Swap
Summary: Last Tuesday, Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said that his government would release three jailed U.S. citizens (the hikers) in exchange for Iranians held in American prisons. Since then, the United States has denied speaking to Iran about a prisoner exchange. Mr. Ahmadinejad did not specify whether the talks involved U.S. officials and he did not say which Iranians he wants the United States to release. Iran has previously alleged that 11 of its citizens are being held in the United States, including a nuclear scientist. Iranian authorities arrested three Americans last July after they crossed into Iran from Iraq. Tehran accuses them of spying. Washington has said the accusations against the Americans are unfounded, and has called for them to be released. Iran has said they will be put on trial, but has not announced a date. The United States and Iran do not have diplomatic relations and contact between U.S. and Iranian officials is rare.
Analysis/Compare: It’s the sad truth that nowadays countries can simply swap prisoners, like in this situation. Iran thinks that swapping the three jailed hikers (who the U.S. says are innocent) in exchange for Iranian criminals, scientists, etc. held in the United States is fair. The United States, being a country of action and force, will most likely not settle for this deal. U.S. State of Secretary Hillary Clinton has already said that the hikers should be released immediately on humanitarian grounds. In addition, she said that there are no negotiations taking place. There isn’t equivalence between an Iranian citizen who has been convicted of arms trafficking and three hikers who wandered across an unmarked border. In the past, there have been countries that have made this type of deal with one another, but I doubt the United States will agree to it.


Meredith Allen..... sorry reade!!!
http://www.indianexpress.com/news/sent-worms-turtles-rat-into-space-iran/575243/
Sent Worms, Turtles, Rat Into Space: Iran
Summary: As Iran deals with heavy negotiations concerning their current nuclear powers, the country surprised everyone with a strange move: On Wednesday two turtles, one rat and some worms were test rocketed out into space. The launch was a “Kavoshgar 3” or “Explorer” missle, which is capable of carrying satellites. With all the heat resting upon the Tehran to dismantle their nuclear weapons, people are concerned with this wacky behavior and if it has anything to do with a stall for time. Iran has been asked by the United Nations to export 70% of their uranium and freeze its nuclear program. Right now, Iran has enough uranium to power one nuclear warhead. Obama’s administration has taken a cautious approach to the situation, fearing a possible missile attack on the Persian Gulf. However, the crisis come along with this strange news.
Analysis: Why has Iran sent living organisms into space? People are very confused but are trying to accept this move as some sort of space dominance. Some say this action is Iran’s way of showing their intelligence, technology, and determination. Iran has come out with a public statement claiming that the country was only doing this for peaceful reasons and they would not tolerate “any unpeaceful use of space by any country”.
Compare: The American race to space was decades ago, but it was still a mark of our countries talent and skill. Iran may be doing just the same thing, but since it comes at a controversial moment in Iran, it seems like a joke, especially since they sent up turtles, worms and a rat. If Iran continues with its “peaceful” space race long after the nuclear problems wear down, people will be able to accept that their intentions were pure.

Sent worms, turtles, rat into space: Iran

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/sent-worms-turtles-rat-into-space-iran/575243/
Reade Paterno

Summary: The Iranian government recently sent up a rocket. The rocket was carrying a rat, two turtles, and a bunch of worms, and it was intended to be a research mission. The rocket has the capability to hold satellites. The rocket was sent up as an example of the growing missile technology that Iran is developing. The rocket was also meant to be an example of the control of the Iranian government. It was meant to be a testament to their power and functionality, an example to show that they were still in power. The rocket was sent up during a controversial time for the Iranian government. They're under pressure from the U.N. to deliver their uranium deposits international, its the 31st anniversary of the Islamic Revolution, and the government is under attack from protesters who are upset about the June elections. During this controversial time, the rocket was meant to re-establish some legitimacy and power to the government.

Analysis: I don't think that this is a very effective move. I don't think that people are really going to respond to the rocket that much, and it won't give the government that much control back. If anything, people are just going to become more angry with the government. They might feel that instead of focusing on solving the pressing issues that are effecting the government right away, they're wasting resources on irrelevant things like rockets. The rocket will not make any of the problems go away, and it will probably just increase the pressure from the U.N. The U.N. will see this as an increase in Iran's missile technology, and therefore it will be more important that Iran's uranium be exported. The more technology that they develop, the more likely that they will be able to develop long-range missiles that could be armed with nuclear warheads created from the Uranium.

Comparison: Iran's move reminds me of China. China is all about keeping the status quo where the government is in power. They do everything they can to keep the idea that the government controls everything, and this it is incredibly powerful. They also go to ridiculous lengths, like shooting rockets, in order to keep this image. A good example is how they blow up clouds in order to control the weather, and make sure that everything goes according to their plan.



West wary as Iran president agrees nuclear deal terms

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/8494939.stm
Tess Micheli
Summary:
Iran's President Ahmadinejad now says that Iran is willing to cooperate with the plan of sending enriched uranium to Russia to be turned into nuclear fuel, rather than nuclear weapons. This comes after a long period of Iran refusing the proposal, so naturally there is international skepticism. Many believe that Iran is just stalling for more time and to avoid trade sanctions and other international backlash. On the other hand, if Iran is really telling the truth this would be a very positive event, since the rest of the world is worried despite Iran's claims that its nuclear program is "entirely peaceful." Also, the freeing of the three American hikers being held prisoner in Iran is supposedly being negotiated.

Analysis: I have to agree with Germany's ambassador that Iran would not do this unless it had something else up its sleeve. It probably is just stalling to look like it's cooperating internationally. On the other hand, this shows that Iran is facing very real pressure to become more cooperative and possibly democratic. For the people of Iran, globalization may be a good thing, since the world community is becoming more aware of what is going on in Iran, both with the nuclear threat and the people's lack of freedom and human rights.

Compare: This is a situation a lot like Cuba, the former USSR, or North Korea, where the question is "should they be allowed to have nuclear weapons?" For the good of the Earth as a whole, many countries believe that authoritarian regimes like Iran's should not be allowed to have nuclear technology. However, it can be very difficult to prevent this without invading national sovereignty. Also, the world is willing to compromise to some degree to try to ensure peace.




Supporters of Iran's government stage big rallies
Sam LeBlanc
Following the recent opposition protests in Iran, the Iranian government hosted “Pro-Government” rallies in major cities throughout the country. Tehran has accused the Western powers of inciting protests and dissent, and therefore assigns the West blame for the eight deaths that occurred at the protests. One of those killed was the nephew of the opposition leader Mir Houssein Mousavi- the government is denying claims that the poice fired upon protestors, including Mousavi’s nephew. Britain, the US, Canada, France, and Germany have condemned the violence from both sides.

"The offensive slogans have made the pious Iranian nation sad and the Zionist world happy," the government said in a statement.
It described the opposition as "pawns of the enemies" who "have furnished a red carpet for the foreigners who [are] aiming at the nation's security".


Analysis: Iran creeps further and further towards civil war rather than revolution, in my opinion, considering the considerable hard-line conservative support that the government could muster. Generally speaking, most people consider Iran to be a regime that is ilegitimate in the eyes of its people; while some certainly see the flaws in the system, many still support it, which is surprising.
Comparison: This situation is comparable to China to some extent, as the two regimes have a tendancy to control media and freedoms of the people; also, these two nations have faced opposition mainly from the younger demographic, although the responses from the two nations have been different.





Darbie McPhail
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/8456076.stm
Summary: Masoud Ali Mohammadi, an Iranian nuclear scientist, was killed in a bombing Tuesday. It is claimed by Iranian media that he was killed by counterrevolutionaries, Zionists, and “agents of global arrogance”, inferring that this incident was a western plot to stifle Iran’s nuclear program. Yet, there have been many abnormal occurrences in the wake of this event: Iran has responded to the murder incredibly quick, taking hours rather than days or weeks. Also, the United States and Britain, after reviewing his published research, have claimed that Mohammadi is not a nuclear scientist, but more likely worked in quantum mechanics. He also was a known supporter of the opposition candidate in the last election, Mir-Hossein Mousavi.
Analysis: This event, and the information that Iranian media has published about it, raises more questions than answers. With intense security in Tehran, how was a foreign agent capable of infiltrating the city and killing Mohammadi (assuming a foreign agent is responsible for the killing)? Also, the murder does nothing to aid the advancement of the nuclear program negotiations. The suspicion that the government could be behind the bombing does not have sufficient evidence either. Though Mohammadi was part of the opposition, he was not a leader.
Comparison: Just as China did in the past, Iran is using the western world as a scapegoat for controversial events. Though there is not sufficient evidence that this was or was not a western plot, Iran is pinning the blame on the west, most likely to stir up more resentment and hostility. This occurred often in China’s past, with events such as the Tiananmen Square Massacre and its aftermath.


Emily Tysinger
http://www.cnn.com/2010/WORLD/meast/01/12/iran.professor/index.html
http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/world/2010/01/12/watson.iran.prof.killed.cnn?iref=allsearch

Iranian media: Iran suspects Israel, U.S. behind scientist's killing

Summary: Massoud Ali-Mohammadi was killed today Tuesday January, 1210 by a roadside bomb attached to a motorcycle outside of his home in broad daylight. Mohammadi was a prominent nuclear scientist who worked at the University of Tehran. According to Mohammadi's collegues he was not politically involved, however some news scources say he was a staunch supporter of the Islamic Revolution in Iran, while others say he was a supporter of the opposition party in June . The Iranian foreign ministry has spoken up saying that they beleive the bombing was an assasination revealing "signs of involvment of the Zionist regime, the U.S. and their allies in Iran." The U.S has denied all allegations saying that charges that the United States was behind the killing is absurd.
Analysis and Comparrison: Though it is far too soon to know who the culprit was behind the attack, there has been much speculation. Iran is in a state of upheaval since the elections in June and the government has cracked down hard on anyone suspected of being involved in or in support of the opposition. However whats most interesting about this bombing and death is the fact that Mohmmadi was a Nuclear Partical Physicist. Iran recently has come under major fire from the U.S and the U.N at large due to their determination and defiance in building more Nuclear facilities. So its really no coincidence nor is it absurd for Irans ministry to put the U.S, as well as its allies on the "chopping block." It just is one more example of Irans attitude towards the U.S and highlights their continued poor relations and Irans unstable state.

IRAN CURRENT EVENTS (Ben Judge stay away, Never) Ben Judge

UAE, Germany urge Iran to abandon 'uncooperative' nuclear stand


http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5h9lAtsU68aWKXbdl40OK1jix_LEQ
Summary: The UAE and Germany has urged Iran to cooperate with the international community or there is sure to be a fresh round of sanctions for the already poverty stricken country. Most of the complaints come from the fact that Iran will not cooperate with IAEA inspectors to at least make sure that the facilities they are using are safe. The UAE said that Iran should use the UAE as an example of transparent nuclear energy use, just in the recent weeks a 20.4 billion dollar was passed for south korea to build nuclear reactors in the UAE. Germany has offered again to help iran to develop its nuclear program only if it cooperates with the IAEA to make sure that there are no accidents and chance of millions of people getting killed by the nuclear facilities.
Analysis: Since Iran is in the midst of a revolution and is currently not on good terms with the international community I believe that they should take a deal to have IAEA inspectors look at the facilities and make sure that they are safe and then go in to the possibility of giving money for the development of nuclear power only. Iran needs to listen to Germany and the UAE and solve its growing problems before Iran becomes a failed state with no solid government which is a distinct possibility within the next 11 months. I believe that any internal development to quell the fumes of revolution will help the government of Iran to show they are competent and are willing to work with the international community.
Compare: Since China has come under the international eye again this can be seen as a similar situation of two countries starting to be seen in a negative light and are starting to be seen as the evil countries in the international community. Iran needs to work with the international community and so does China so that they do not see another revolution on their hands.

Bobby Mook http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/8441376.stm
Iran 'bars co-operation with foreign groups'
Summary:
Iran banned its citizens from co-operating with foreign organizations ranging from human rights groups, Iranian opposition websites to media groups such as the BBC and US broadcasters. The government says these organizations are trying to destabilize the government. There 60 blacklisted groups total. The ban and the ensuing conflict can be described as a "soft war" against the state. The official who released a statement to BBC said the banned groups had helped incite post-election unrest. This is not the first time bans like this have been issued but Press TV quoted the official as saying that co-operating with the groups, signing contracts with them or receiving assistance from them was illegal.
Analysis and Comparison:
It seems to me that Iran’s government sees the walls cracking before them and is struggling to keep the globalized world out of their fundamentalist society. They are behaving like an animal that has been cornered, sticking to their big guns with the treat of nuclear weapons and imposing even greater restrictions on a society that has little freedom to begin with. We have been talking a lot about china in class so I have drawn similar conclusions as the search engine debate for censorship. It appears that the authoritarian government of Iran is attempting to do what China has done and what every other authoritarian government must do to stay in power i.e. control information. The major flaw with this is that geographically they are in a congested area and they have no bargaining chips, they make threats with nukes but they don’t have nuclear potential yet so I anticipate they will be finished soon especially with the instability of the middle east.

Shai Lev:
**http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/8468794.stm**
Summary- Iran's leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has warned the opposition to distance itself from the country's Western “enemies”. This warning comes ahead of expected opposition protests next month that coincides with the 31st anniversary of the founding of the Islamic Republic. This will be the anniversary of the 1979 revolution, which is one of the most important dates in Iran's political calendar. Former President Mohammad Khatami has defended the protesters. Tensions are at an all time high in Iran, after eight people died in clashes between security forces and the opposition last month.
Analysis- The Clashes last month were the worst since the protest in last June’s presidential elections. The government has stated that opposition protests are a foreign backed attempt to undermine the clerical rule. Iran's leader has stuffed a hard line against opposition’s protesters. In his speech, Ayatollah Khamenei said, "All parties with different tendencies should clearly distance themselves from the enemies, particularly influential elites should avoid making ambiguous comments... when arrogant powers [usually referring to the West] and oppressors adopt anti-Islamic stances." Khamenei also called on the government supporters to turn out for counter demonstrations on their anniversary.
Comparison- This situation can be compared to many other nations whom have had oppositions to deal with, within their country. For example, there have been many protests in Mexico regarding the corruption of their government. Many different parties get mixed up in the protests. Thus, some of the parties may seem to present somewhat of a danger towards its central government, although many times this is not true.



Lizzy Orton
Steady Drip of Leaks Corrodes the Core of the Iranian Regime Summary:
Summary: There have been a number of leaks from within the government including: a memo from within the state-owned cable station, details about Ali Moussavi's funeral, and information about a meeting held to discuss the arrest of opposition leaders. These leaks may be a result of President Ahmadinejad's and Ayatollah Khamenei's marginalization of all but the most loyal officials in the government. Some are taking the leaks as a sign of weakness in the regime and they hope that although Ayatollah Khamenei has refused to compromise with the opposition, the regime might reform as a result of pressures from within. Even if internal pressures do not continue to undermine the legitimacy of the government, reports like the one stating that petty criminals were used to add numbers to the pro-government rally, will.
Analysis: Crowd's chanting "Death to the Dictator" and fighting the police must have the President and Ayatollah worried. However, what is even more worrisome is their lack of willingness to compromise or even communicate with the leaders of the Green Movement. One of the leader's of the Opposition, presidential candidate, Hussein Moussavi, issued a statement "saying that the leadership could restore its legitimacy if it took several steps to loosen its grip on the opposition, freeing political prisoners and allowing freedom of speech, media and assembly." Instead of doing what Moussavi suggested, the government instead made it illegal to be associated with any organization that is "anti-revolutionary," including foreign media, opposition groups and websites. However, the protests have not stopped, and the killings, beatings and arrests have not seem to put a dent in the protesters spirits. The more the government cracks down, the more the people have to protest against.
Comparison: The governmental control in Iran seems similar to China. The footage of protesters being shot in the back as they run away from the protests in Iran look like the footage of people being shot in Beijing. The censoring that is taking place in Iran also similar to the situation in China during the protests in Tiananman Square.

Sam LeBlanc

Iran's Mottaki defiant on UN nuclear sanctions threat

Summary: Iran foreign minister Manouchehr Mottaki has stated that the country requires as many as 15 nuclear power plants to meet its energy needs, and continues to decry the imposition of sanctions against Iran. The US, UK, and France stated in the past that Iran's failure to comply with IAEA regulations would be met with further sanctions from the Western nations. Mottaki discouraged the use of sanctions against Iran, calling them "illegal" and "ineffective". Last month, the Security Council rebuked Iran for developing and enriching uranium in secret, and has threatened to increase sanctions if Iran fails to cooperate. Iran argues that its pursuit of nuclear technology was for peaceful energy purposes only, not for nuclear weapons. Currently, the nation only has one Russian-built nuclear power plant, still under construction.
Analysis: This is essentially the same deadlock we've seen between the West and the Middle East over nuclear power since the first concerns about the spread of the technology- the United States and other Western nations are fearful of the implications of a nuclear Iran, especially considering the wars in two of Iran's bordering states, as well as the volatile Israeli-Palestinian Conflict (Iran refuses to recognize the Jewish state, and has vocally declared intentions to destroy Israel given the means). However, there is something to be said for equal access to technology- no one limited the United States' pursuit of technology, so is it really fair to limit Iran's pursuit of peaceful nuclear energy?
Comparison: This could easily be related to any number of up-and-coming nations that wish to pursue potentially "dangerous" technologies- a major contemporary conflict in politics is the limiting of developing nations' technology by developed nations. The question at the base of the conflict is whether or not the current superpowers have the right to limit the development of other nations, even out of "security concerns". A large gap can be observed between the global "haves" and "have nots", and for the first time we are seeing nations attempt to block each others development abroad, rather than employing the cold war strategy of building "bigger and better" domestically.

Ben Judge
Summary:
http://www.nowpublic.com/world/defiant-ahmadinejad-gives-aggressive-speech-iran-nearing-bomb
Ahmedinejad gives aggressive speech and will Enrich Uranium furtherIranian President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad has said in the past days that he will be enriching the uranium to a high level of 20% of the uranium for its nuclear program. In an angry speech he was seem banging on the desk and saying that “Israel or its supporters will not stop us.” He said that no matter what they will produce what they need on their own to support their nuclear energy program and does not need help from the west. He talked about how the west should have given them high enriched uranium and since they wouldn't they would take matters into their own hands. He was very paranoid that Israel was going to attack the nuclear sites and he was convinced that no matter what happened they were going to attack. He was disappointed with Russia and the US and said that Russia was wrong for censuring Iran in their time of need. Although they have said they do not want to get nuclear weapons and that it is against Islam according to the supreme leader.
Analysis: Once again there is the President blaming the west for something that they had nothing to do with. He is blaming random sources like Israel and that he is going to be ready for an attack by the Israelis when there has been no indication that Israel was going to attack the nuclear sites. They are not willing to take deals from the IAEA and are going to produce highly enriched uranium that can be used for nuclear weapons. Although the supreme leader has said they do not want nuclear weapons this does not show good faith in that. They could have much lower enriched uranium and really have a successful nuclear program.
Compare: This issues continues to show that all countries are together in this nuclear issue in Iran and more countries are taking a united from on this issue and it is good to see.

Emily Tysinger
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20091206/ap_on_re_mi_ea/ml_iran
Iran Chokes Off Internet on the Eve of student Rallies
Summary:
During student protests in Tehran police have used tear gas, blockades, and other forcful means to hold the protestors back. However the government made further attempts to curb protests before they had even occured. On sunday Iran expirienced a nation wide slow in the Internet. Attimes it it became compleatly inecsessible to teh public. This was aimed at depriving the opposition of it key means of mobilizing the masses as Iran's clerical rulers keep a tight lid on dissent. Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei accused the opposition of "exposing divisions in the country and creating opportunities for Iran's enemies", Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjan a leader of the opposition accused Iran's hard-line rulers of silencing any constructive criticism by shutting down and slowing the internet. As well as students, Journalists have also been arrested or detained by the governemnt. The protestors were not detered and went forward with huge numbers turing out.
Analysis/ Comparison: The Iranian government is quickly loosing any hold it has on the people. It seems every new attempt to curb the opposition becomes more and more desperate.This desperation has led to an even greater mistrust and dislike of the government throughout the counrty. Instead of stopping the communication pathways that the protesters used inorder to take control of the situation the government just added fuel to the flame. By resorting to slowing the internet to stop protests the government is only showing its lack of control. This is similar to the government control of the media in China just to a lesser degree. It also gives insight into the way the people are feeling and shows that the people are so upset and want change they will stop at nothing.

Darbie McPhail

**http://www.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/meast/12/07/iran.arms.dealer/index.html?iref=allsearch**
Iran seeks release of arms dealer facing sentence in U.S.

Summary: Since before 2004, has the U.S. been unknowingly providing military weaponry to the Iranian government? According to Amir Hossein Ardebili, we have. He claims that the use the illegally bought aircraft and missile parts and night vision goggle were intended to be used in an expected war between Iran and the United States. Captured in Georgia (the Eastern European nation) in 2007 and charged in Delaware in 2008, this case has been kept a secret as U.S. officials tracked leads found in Ardebili’s computer. Authorities began tracking Ardebili in 2004. Yet now, Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki is asking the United States for his “unconditional release.”
Analysis: This seems like a not-so strategic move by the U.S. at this point in time. With the current nuclear power issue and the Iranian government having the upper hand, it does not seem so wise to make this case public. Worst case scenario, Iran could demand to have Ardebili returned and the U.S. could become subservient to all requests of Iran due to the situation we are in. This also raises suspicion for both corruption within U.S. borders (who is selling these weapons) and future intentions for the Iranian government. The fact that Ardebili was buying these weapons and that he claimed they were to be used for an expected war is unsettling to say the least.
Compare: Just as Iran, Chinese detainees in the U.S. are asked to be sent back home. Because of the situation we are in with China (being that they have loaned us exorbitant amount of money), similar to the awkward situation with Iran, the U.S. is at a standstill. We have to decide between human rights or possibly potential war, as the prisoner will undoubtedly be killed if they are sent back to China.


Lizzy Orton
Iranian Student Protesters Clash With PoliceNew York Times
Summary: The protests and the Green Movement/opposition are getting serious. On Monday, National Student Day, thousands of people were on the street protesting against the government. The police attempted to mitigate the waves of protesters by using different barricades, but the large number of protesters made it difficult for the police, and members of the Basj militia, to control them. Protesters, who were mostly students, chanted "Death to the Dictator," and "death to the oppressor, whether shah or supreme leader,” burned posters of the Ayatollah Ali Khemenei and President Mahmoud Amadinejad, and carried Iranian flags with the symbol of Allah, which was added after the Islamic Revolution in 1979, removed. A Russian flag was also burned, to mock the anti-Americanism of the government. Protests were held in Tehran at the University and in other cities and other universities around the country. There many arrests and injuries.
Analysis/Comparison: The people of Iran, a fairly large number of them, are growing increasingly fed up with the oppressive government and a regime that many believe stole the last election. Election fraud is not even the main issue anymore, the people simply do not condone the current government at all, and they want another revolution. Iran has banned foreign media and has shut down internet and cell phone towers, but despite the government's efforts, the protests keep growing. Student led protests have been seen in many places around the world: China, Mexico, the US. In some cases the protests end in deaths, but in some cases protests accomplish their goals peacefully. The world should not let the Iranian government to continue to shut out the media, it needs to serve as a watchdog over this situation. It seems very likely that a full blown revolution may be in the future for Iran.

Bobby Mook
Family directlty Accuses Iran for Daughters Death

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/8396052.stm
Summary: "I openly declare that no one, apart from the government, killed Neda. Her killer can only be from the government," Ali Agha Soltan. The family of Neda Agha Soltan directly blamed the Iranian security force for the death of their daughter who was shot in killed in the protests of what protesters said was the fraudulent election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. This is the Strongest statement that has been issued which finally directly accused the Government and was released because the Iranian Government had been spreading conspiracy theories about the killing for instance one proposed theory blamed a conspiracy of western governments for the killing. The Iranian authorities say western governments and the opposing canidate in the election killed her in an attempt to smear the authorities. Some in Government are blaming the a young medical student who tried to treat Neda as she lay dying in the street.
Analysis: I think that this issue is very indicative of many things that have gone on in Iran. For every single current event I have done they have been attemting to hide their real intent for nuclear power and there ofcourse one story on the issue on bbc but I decided to switch things up. However the Theme of the Iranian government’s decisions remains the same. Neda was shot and killed by the Iranian security force during one of the more heated parts of the protest and now the government is trying to spin it to blame the western world and propagate their regeme as the good guys. I will make the same comparison as last time, WW2 Hitler. Propaganda against everyone as scapegoats for the governments failings in pre war germany is all too similar to the state of things in Iran with the current Iranian leaders.


Emily Tysingerhttp://www.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/meast/12/01/iran.nuclear/index.html
U.S.: Time Running out for Iran
Tuesday the White house sent a clear message to Iran which stated it faces further sanctions if "they don't stop their enrichment activities, if they don't forsake their nuclear weapons program." Iran denies that it plans to build nuclear weapons saying its nuclear program “is for civilian electricity and medical research.” This warning is in response to Iran’s announcing that plans to build 10 new nuclear production facilities. The U.N watchdog, International Atomic Energy Agency, has also demanded that Iran immidiatly halt the construction of one of its new nuclear plants. Iran has said that it will take legal action over “infringements on its nuclear rights,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast responded with the statement that Iran will not do away with its rights and Iran would write letters of protest to nations that backed a U.N. resolution of rebuke over Iran's nuclear program. Mehmanparast also accused countries of using nuclear fuel “to meddle in his country's domestic affairs.”
Analysis: This article is an example of the uncooperative stance Iran continues to take time and time again when dealing with other countries, especially the U.S, and the U. N. Instead of just agreeing along with its fellow countries to take care of their responsibilities Iran continues to fall short of its side of the agreement. Iran’s somewhat controversial actions are worrisome to the U.S because the U.S has made it clear the idea of military action has not been ruled out, which would mean a 3 front war due to president Obama’s decision to send more troops into Afghanistan.
Compare: This situation in Iran is very similar to North Koreas. North Korea has a very similar stance on enrichment which has caused the same controversy with the U.S and the U.N.


Sam LeBlanc
Iran's Ahmadinejad visits Hugo Chavez to deepen ties
Summary: Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Iran's President, recently visited Venezuela as part of his trip to South America. The trip to Venezuela was preceded by trips to Brazil and Bolivia, in which the nations' leaders spoke with Ahmadinejad, largely about Iran's nuclear program. Both nations' leaders affirmed Iran's right to a peaceful program, but Brazilian officials encouraged Ahmadinejad to cooperate with the West. In Venezuela, the Iranian President received support as well; Hugo Chavez, the Venezuelan President, is a fellow critic of the United States. The two leaders are also set to sign business and industry agreements, in fields ranging from agriculture to business to technology and energy. Interestingly, the former Deputy Foreign Minister of Venezuela, Adolfo Tayllardhat told BBC Mundo that most of the relationship and diplomacy was based on personal ties, rather than any political or economic relationship: "...I insist these are just personal relations, not between Venezuela and Iran, because the only thing that links the two countries is that they are oil producers and members of Opec".
Analysis: President Ahmadinejad's motives are clear enough- he is attempting to garner support and allies in order to rally support for Iran's nuclear program. It is interesting that Brazil seems to be split on the issue, which may reveal some cultural or stereotypical bias on the part of the United States (the US has had an outspoken opposition to Iran's nuclear program since discrepancies in the IAEA reports led to suspicion regarding Iran's peaceful intent). Also intriguing is the relationship between Chavez and Ahmadinejad- the two leaders have written accords and policies entirely independent from any governing body within their respective nations, and forged a political bond based on personal feelings.
Compare: In the past, the United States has used South America as a bargaining chip and an asset politically and economically, and now it seems that many nations support Iran, or are otherwise neutral. As Brazil's economy grows, and as other nations continue to develop, the United States will have to radically retool its policy towards South America, or risk losing the support of our Southern neighbors even further.

Darbie McPhail
**http://www.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/meast/11/22/iran.military.exercise/index.html**
Iran to conduct military exercise aimed at protecting nuke sites
Summary: State media announced a large-scale military exercise throughout Iran, to practice for future areal attacks, especially on their nuclear plants. It will last for five days, starting Sunday. The details of the exercise are not being released, yet it has come at a time when world powers are attempting to plan “about how to deal with Iran's apparent rejection of a key part of a nuclear deal.” Although Iran’s Foreign Prime Minister relayed his country’s refusal to send its partly enriched uranium overseas to be turned into material for medical research, Iran leaders claim that they are using their nuclear resources for peaceful purposes only, not as weapons. Iranian media reported that the country is capable of producing up to 20% partly enriched uranium, but continues to buy fuel from other countries (“a sign of good will”).
Analysis: This article relays the further complications in the nuclear power agreements with Iran. While the US, Russia, China, and the EU nations are attempting to build a nuclear program for Iran, the country continues to take very controversial actions. It seems that in its time of ‘power’ over many world nations, Iran is advantage of their situation.
Compare: This event reminds me of the Cuban Missile Crisis, as the Soviet Union used the missiles as a scare tactic to the US. By performing these exercises, Iran is not only attempting to scare world leaders trying to come to a nuclear power agreement, but exhibiting their power over these nations due to this controversial issue.

Shai Lev:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/8409733.stm

Summary- Iran’s foreign minister Manouchehr Mottaki stated that the country may require as many as 15 nuclear power plants to meet its energy needs. The United States, UK, and France have stated in the past that Iran's failure to comply with IAEA regulations would be met with further sanctions from the Western nations. Last month, the Security Council said that Iran was developing and enriching uranium in secret, and has threatened to increase sanctions if Iran fails to cooperate with their demands. But in Iran’s defense they have stated that its pursuit of nuclear technology was for peaceful energy purposes only, and not for any nuclear weapons.
Analysis- this can be seen as the same situation that we have seen between the U.S, UK and the Middle East over nuclear power. The United States and other Western countries are fearful of the idea that Iran will have nuclear technology, especially when one considers the violent Israeli-Palestinian Conflict.
Comparison- this situation can easily be compared to any of the new up and coming nations that pursue nuclear power and technology.


Iran Sentences Journalist to Jail Time
Ben Judge
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/24/world/middleeast/24tehran.html
Summary: Iran has given a prominent journalist, Ahmad Zeidabadi, a 5 year jail sentence, after many sentences have been given down for this summers protests after the elections that were highly contested. She has been exiled to a small town and his bail was increased from 250,000 dollars to 350,000 dollars. This has come after another student leader was sentenced to an 8 month jail sentence. There has been alot of these jailing in the past few months as call for action has increased. There was a recent documentary that talked about a mans time in the jails of Iran and in the report he lost 25 pounds. He was under so much pressure that he almost committed suicide and he was facing really tough conditions and they did not like seem like the most humane of practices.
Analysis: This shows that Iran is continuing to bolster its authoritarian might and is once again cutting off human rights to people in jail. If this person was in our country the 8th amendment would have been able to help them. It is sad to see that people are being put through so much pain and suffering and that there is no freedom to speak out against the government. This once again shows that Iran is nothing willing to follow examples of other countries and have freedom of protest and to start to lower its authoritarian rule over the country. There will continue to be these protestors until Iran starts turning more democratic to its people. After it shot down the UN's proposed idea of sending uranium to other countries to be enriched it is clear that Iran is not willing to change and that it will continue this Authoritarian and almost dictatorship of a government rule over the people in fear, and not allow them express themselves, it is a shame and I wish to not see these sentences and practices continue in Iran because it has the potential to be a great democracy and a great country.
Compare: THis can bee seen like the killing of journalists in RUssia and Mexico in the past years, it represents the limit of free speech and how governments to do not want their people knowing the whole truth and it is a sad to thing in the major powers of the world.

Bobby Mook
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/8372985.stm
Summary:
Iran has begun five days of large-scale war simulations to prepare for attacks on its nuclear sites. Officials have warned that Iran will retaliate if provoked. The aim of the exercises is to prepare for attacks and spying from the air. Iran has also issued the warning that it would retaliate with a missile strike on Tel Aviv, if it was attacked by Israel. Iran is under intense pressure over its nuclear programme, which may be intended to produce nuclear weapons. The US and Israel have not ruled out the prospect of a military attack to prevent Iran developing nuclear bombs. Tehran insists its programme is peaceful. Britain, China, France, Russia, the United States, and Germany are still urging Tehran to reconsider its rejection of the proposal that would send Iran's nuclear material to be enriched outside Iran and returned as fuel rods. If Iran were to accept this proposal the process would prevent Iran enriching uranium to the degree necessary to make a bomb. However Iran rejected a key part of the deal, seeking further guarantees. The UN Security Council has called on Iran to stop uranium enrichment and has approved three rounds of sanctions - covering trade in nuclear material, as well as financial and travel restrictions.
Analysis:
it is unfortunate that I have to keep writting current events on the same issue because it has become fairly redundant. Last week I wrote about the UN proposal to send Iran's nuclear fuel to France and Russia for enrichment and now I have to write about how they rejected it and are continuing to push their agenda with questionable motives. although this proposal is still possible to be accepted I sincerely doubt that Iran will accept it because this issue has been escalating for the past year and the world keeps giving Iran options and Iran keeps giving enough slack so as to not incite direct confrontation but they have yet to fully cooperate with the UN. This crisis has gotten to a breaking point because Iran is practicing for war while simultaneously flaunting its military and issuing threats to israel. If it continues on the path this crisis is headed the outcome won't be good. as far as comparing this to something from history a few things come to mind but the most famous of which is the appeasement of Hitler. Before the WW2 broke out the allied nations gave him slightly what he wanted and didn't confront his obvious agressive acts and let him take enough power to cause millions of deaths and an 8 year war.



Lizzy Orton
Iran’s Death Penalty Is Seen as a Political Tactic
Summary: The number of executions in Iran have been increasing alarmingly. Human Rights specialtists are concerned that the killings are an attempt to intimidate and suppress the growing opposition to the government since the election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in June. Although most of the recent executions have been of criminals charged with drug dealing and murders, a growing number of protesters have been exectued. Ehsan Fattahian, serves as an example of executions becoming more and more political. He was convited of being a member of a militant Kurdish group and orginially sentenced to 10 years in prison, but the charge of being a Mohareb, an enemy of God, was added and he was hung on Nov. 11. Although the government maintains that only those who “who violate the public rights of the people by using guns, killing people, creating insecurity, sell drugs, distribute drugs at a high level, are sentenced to execution in Iran, and some of these punishments — very few are carried in the public eye, before the public eye. It’s a law based on democratic principles.” However, Hadi Ghaemi, the director of the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran, says that most often people are not given a fair trial."'There is growing fear that another jump in executions is under way,' he said. 'Most troubling is that execution of political prisoners has resumed.'"
Analysis: Since June's election, and even before, there has been political unrest in Iran. The article said that in Iran there is a precedent for executing political prisoners, but not in recent years. The recent spike in executions seems to be foreshadowing a reform of the current oppressive government. Iran is certainly in the spotlight, banning foreign journalists drew more attention to the country. The presents of watchdog agencies, like the International Campaign for Human Rights is good, and will hopefully prevent any large scale violence.
Comparision: Iran has the second highest execution rate behind China. It seems that regimes that focus on tight governmental control have a higher rate of executions. China has experienced protests recently, the protest of certain minority groups and protests against the summer Olympics. In Iran, as in China and Mexico, it is students who lead most of the protests.

Shai Lev:
**http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/8469332.stm**
Summary- Iran has told the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) it does not accept the terms of a deal to ease concerns about its nuclear program. BBC's Bethany Bell in Vienna says that it is not clear whether or not the Iranian officials have responded to this in writing or verbally to the IAEA about the deal. This deal evolves Iran sending about 70% of its low-enriched uranium to Russia and France, where it would be processed into fuel. But many diplomats say that they appear to have rejected one of the main conditions- that all the uranium leaves Iran well before any fuel is dispatched. Although neither the IAEA nor any of Iran’s public officials have made any comments about this thus far.
Comparison- This Situation can be compared to many events regarding nations with nuclear power/technology and their accepting or not accepting to terms of specific deals about distribution to other nations.

Sam LeBlanc
Sunni militant 'executed by Iran'
Summary: The Fars news agency reported Tuesday that Iranian authorities executed a Jundallah Sunni militant, Abdolhamid Rigi. Jundallah militants have been blamed for several recent terrorist attacks in Iran, including a suicide bombing last month in Zahedan that killed 42 people (6 of whom were Revolutionary Guard commanders). Rigi was hanged in the Zahedan prison on Monday after being convicted of "kidnapping, being a Mohareb (enemy of God) and co-operating with [Jundullah leader Abdolmalek] Rigi's terrorist grouplet." Jundallah activity has occurred mainly in the Sistan-Baluchistan province, which is predominately populated by Sunni Muslims, a minority group in Shia-ruled Iran. The Jundallah claim to fight for the religious/political rights and privileges of the oppressed Sunni Muslims.
Analysis: This article provides a good example of the unrest and high religious/ethnic tensions in Iran. The Shia and Sunni Muslims have clashed for centuries, making it one of the longest-standing conflicts still around today. The conflict itself is based largely upon religion, which illustrates the importance of religion to the everyday lives of the Iranian people. Another instance of religious influence can be observed in Abdolhamid Rigi's sentence: he is charged with "being a Mohareb (enemy of God)".
Comparison: Mexico is also largely influenced by religion, but not in an official capacity. Iran's political system is founded entirely upon religious principles, and crimes, policies, and political actions are guided by religion above all else. Mexico has a large Catholic majority (90%), but the official political system is largely separate from the official religious system (as opposed to Iran, wherein the clergy is directly tied to the political system). However, politicians in Mexico must still follow the principles of Catholicism in public policy if they wish to amass any sort of support.

Emily Tysinger
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/05/world/middleeast/05iran.html
Dissidents Mass in Tehran to Subvert an Anti-U.S. Rally
Summary: In Beruit supporters and members of the opposition party in Iran took to the streets in protest of the anual government sponsered anti- American rally. The protests occured on the 30th anniverary of the takeover of the United States Embassy in Iran. This protest was the largest in two months and showed that the opposition, which has struggled to maintain its momentum since the June election set off turmoil and domestic unrest, is not willing to give up yet. In recent months the opposition has been brutally surpressed by the authorities but has taken heart at their ability to "openly challenge the government despite a stream of warnings from all levels of Iran’s conservative establishment." The opsition seemed to be taking advantage of the governments recent appearence of weakness with Ahmadinejad's lack of support on signing a nulear deal with the West.
This article gives a good look into the two opposing sides in Iran. It also shows how hypocriticle the conservitave government is being while concluding a deal with the U.S and still going through with it's anti- american rally's. These dealings with the U.S shows a conflict of interest to supporters of the leading government and gives the opposition an advatage. The protests show that the idea of change in Iran by the majority of the citizens is great and president Obamas willingness to work with Iranians makes it tougher for the government to compleatlty ignore the United States.