2006-03-06

Morning Report: March 6, 2006

Iran to face IAEA hearing today. Iran Focus: 'The 35 nations of the International Atomic Energy Agency’s board have begun their session in Vienna during which they will discuss steps to take against Iran for breeching its international obligations vis-à-vis its nuclear program. The Times via Iran Focus: 'The IAEA voted, at an emergency meeting in February, to press ahead with the referral to the Security Council, allowing a month’s delay to see how Iran would respond. “Not well enough”, appears to be the result of that experiment.' Meanwhile, Deutsche Welle reports that the IRI remains as defiant as ever: 'Iran will not freeze sensitive nuclear "research" work even if it is hauled before the UN Security Council, the Islamic republic's top nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani said Sunday. Speaking on the eve of a meeting of the UN nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) that could prompt Security Council action, Larijani asserted Iran was not intending to use oil as a weapon in the dispute or quit the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) -- but nevertheless warned this could change if the crisis worsened.' (Iran Focus, DW)

Plus Ultra: Pakistan ban reveals Islamabad/terrorist ties. We already know that the government of Pakistan has banned 12 websites for publshing the Mohammed cartoons. But how did they happen to pick those 12? One of the Blaspheming 12, Plus Ultra, connects the dots from Islamabad to Portland: 'So drawmohammed.com put up a link to our website, in a list of links labeled “friends”, which, with a link to their own website, and 10 others, totalled exactly 12. Shortly after this, we started noticing that our website was being visited frequently by people in the Middle East, especially Turkey, coming from discussion forums for Islamic cyberterrorists. These were chat rooms where Muslims hackers gather to plot their mischievous deeds, and almost all of them were based in Turkey. We reported on this phenomenon at the time, here: [LINK] Here’s a Turkish hacker website where you can see the targeted websites listed: [LINK] It is the same list of 12 websites that was published on drawmohammed.com under the label “friends.” ...' The plot thickens. Follow new developments at Plus Ultra. (Plus Ultra)

Pakistan: Army claims control in Waziristan standoff. Also from Pakistan, via The Intelligence Summit: 'Peshawar, 6 March (AKI/DAWN) - Pakistani security forces say they have regained control of government buildings and installations after a fierce military battle with the pro-Taliban fighters in Miramshah, the regional headquarters of North Waziristan, the tribal area on the Afghan-Pakistan border. The army says that about 50 militants were killed in the fighting, which some observers say is the fiercest so far in the region. However, there were also reports of sporadic clashes continuing and civilians trying to flee the area. Last week, reports said that pro-Taliban forces had taken control of government buildings in Miramshah.' (TIS)

Four terrorists killed in car by Israeli airstrike. Debka: 'Four Jihad Islami operatives killed in Israeli airstrike against their car in Gaza Sejaiya district. They included operational commanders Ashraf Shalouf and Muneir Suqar. Seven people were injured. Three Qassam missiles fired from Gaza into Israel earlier Monday, 5 Sunday. An Israeli soldier was injured in shootout with armed Palestinians in West Bank hotbed of Nablus while arresting terrorist suspects.' (Debka)

Iran: Women spectators defy sports ban. Iran Focus: 'Iranian security officers forcefully removed several hundred women spectators from an indoor stadium as they were watching athletes performing in the 2006 Gymnastics World Cup tournament being held in Tehran, eye-witnesses reported. ... The ban on women watching male athletes performing in stadiums has been in force for years, but a few dozen women have challenged it in recent months. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s hard-line government recently decided to enforce the ban more stringently.' (Iran Focus)

Fatah vs. Hamas. Ha'Aretz: 'A senior Palestinian official accused Hamas lawmakers on Monday of attempting to oust Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas by nullifying a parliamentary decision that gave the Palestinian president wider powers. "We see this as a coup attempt to change the regime and they [Hamas] have to seriously reconsider their decisions," said Tayeb Abdel-Rahim, a senior aide to Abbas. Meanwhile, exiled Hamas leader Khaled Meshal said Monday that the group's recent visit to Moscow marked the end of its international isolation.' Reuters, via The Intelligence Summit: 'Fatah legislators walked out of the Hamas-led Palestinian parliament on Monday after the Islamic militant group took initial steps to revoke powers the previous legislature granted President Mahmoud Abbas. Hamas, which crushed Abbas's Fatah faction in a Jan. 25 election, decided to put the issue of the president's enhanced authority on the agenda of the new parliament's first working session, sparking the walk-out. "We have tried through dialogue and contacts with Hamas to resolve this issue before, but they are insisting on domination," said Azzam al-Ahmed, head of the Fatah bloc in parliament.' (Ha'Aretz, TIS)

Anti-Terrorism demo in Bahrain. Gateway Pundit has some great photos. Go to Chan'ad Bahraini for more. (Gateway Pundit, Chan'ad Bahraini)

The case of the missing Iraqi civil war. John Dunshee at Just Some Poor Schmuck joins Insty and others in looking for that civil war in Iraq that the media have been warning us about. But wait! It's John Murtha to the rescue: 'Rep John Murtha on Face the Nation has the answer. They're all lying. Murtha had one of his staffers check the State Department reports and concluded that we're absolutely defeated. When Marine General Peter Pace says that he thinks things are going well Murtha says that he is lying. So a Marine Reserve Lt. Col thinks that the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs is lying. Based on his superior knowledge garnered from observing from his office window I suppose.' Read the rest at the link. (JSPS)