Morning report: August 2, 2004

Sistani condemns church bombings. Iraq's Shi'a leader, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Husseini al-Sistani has condemned the attacks on Iraqi Christian churches in a strongly worded statement. The al-Qaeda attacks mark the opening of a new front in the global terror war, and may indicate an attempt by al-Qaeda to distance itself from the remaining Ba'athist militia, while attempting to derail the latter's secret negotiations with Washington (see next item). (Fox News)

Et tu, Ba'ath? A Debka analysis suggests that the church bombings may represent al-Qaeda's effort to sabotage Ba'ath negotiations with the US Government aimed at reducing or eliminating Ba'athist attacks on American forces. Debka states that an unnamed, high-profile, non-Iraqi Arab official is acting as mediator for these negotiations, and adds that 'the negotiating track began with a preliminary condition: Baath and Sunni leaders must undertake to disengage from al Qaeda and other foreign Arab fighters.' (Debka)

IRI regime flouts nuclear accords. The islamist regime in Iran has made it clearer than ever that it has no intention of abiding by nuclear weapons accords. Recent news reports indicate that Tehran is resuming uranium enrichment activity in defiance of an earlier deal with the European Union. The Kerry campaign's proposed strategy is to provide Iran more fuel. (Telegraph via Free Iran; MSNBC - hat tip, LGF)

Khomeini property torched. News item: 'A huge fire dammaged heavily one of the two towers of Khomeini's commemorative premises in the Iranian Capital. Hundreds of firefighters and security forces were sent ... ' (Comment: Burn, baby, burn. - aa) (SMCCDI / Free Iran)