Suspected Iran Ties to Extremists
27 Jul 2010 16:59
WSJ | July 27, 2010
Cooperation among Iran, al Qaeda and other Sunni extremist groups is more extensive than previously known to the public, according to details buried in the tens of thousands of military intelligence documents released by an independent group Sunday.
U.S. officials and Middle East analysts said some of the most explosive information contained in the WikiLeaks documents detail Iran's alleged ties to the Taliban and al Qaeda, and the facilitating role Tehran may have played in providing arms from sources as varied as North Korea and Algeria.
The officials have for years received reports of Iran smuggling arms to the Taliban. The WikiLeaks documents, however, appear to give new evidence of direct contacts between Iranian officials and the Taliban's and al Qaeda's senior leadership. It also outlines Iran's alleged role in brokering arms deals between North Korea and Pakistan-based militants, particularly militant leader Gulbuddin Hekmatyar and al Qaeda.
WikiLeaks and the Iran-AQ Connection
FP | July 27, 2010
Most of the response to the WikiLeaks Afghanistan document release thus far has focused on the absence of major revelations, with most of the details reinforcing existing analysis rather than undermining official discourse about the war. A similar response is appropriate to a story making the rounds that the documents bolster the case for significant connections between Iran and al-Qaeda. Information in the documents, according to the Wall Street Journal, "appear to give new evidence of direct contacts between Iranian officials and the Taliban's and al Qaeda's senior leadership." What's more important in these stories than the details found in the documents about Iran's activities in Afghanistan is the attempt to spin them into a narrative of "Iranian ties to al-Qaeda" to bolster the weak case for an American attack on Iran.
There's no secret about Iran's role in Afghanistan, of course -- this has long been a staple of the debate over Afghan policy, and has also long been pointed out as an area of potential cooperation or conflict between Washington and Tehran. As with much of the rest of the WikiLeaks documents, much of what has been found about Iran's role in Afghanistan is already generally known, while other information in them is of dubious provenance. It's not like we didn't know about Iran and Gulbuddin Hekmatyar. These new details do add to the case for taking Iran into account more effectively when designing Afghanistan policy, on both the military and political dimensions. But they don't add up to some kind of smoking gun demonstrating an Iranian alliance with al-Qaeda.
US hunts Afghan war files leaker
Al Jazeera | July 27, 2010
The US defence department has launched an investigation to identify who leaked tens of thousands of classified documents on the war in Afghanistan to whistleblower website.
Officials said on Monday that whoever handed over the about 91,000 documents to Wikileaks appeared to have security clearance and access to sensitive documents.
"We will do what is necessary to try to determine who is responsible for the leaking of this information," Geoff Morrell, the Pentagon press secretary, said.
He warned that while it remained unclear who had handed over the information more leaks were possible.
"Until we know who's responsible, you have to hold out the possibility that there could be more information that has yet to be disclosed. And that's obviously a concern."
Former CIA Chief Misquoted, Never Mind About War with Iran
VF | July 27, 2010
The AP has published a slight correction to the assertion that Hayden characterized war as inevitable: Hayden did not, in fact, characterize war as inevitable. "A spokeswoman for Hayden responded that he made his ["inexorable"] reference to Iran's push toward acquiring a nuclear program and not to military action," the news organization reports.
Iran fuel imports nosedive as sanctions bite: source
Reuters | July 27, 2010
Only three cargoes of gasoline have so far reached Iran in July, according to a shipping document seen by Reuters, much less than the seasonal norm, as new sanctions cause ships carrying fuel to be diverted.
A series of new sanctions agreed since June specifically targets Iran's oil trade and industry, making it even harder to do business with the Islamic Republic. The EU adopted formally its latest measures on Monday.
Traditionally during the summer holiday driving season, Iran needs 11-13 cargoes a month, a Dubai-based trader told Reuters.
The document seen by Reuters showed only three cargoes of gasoline had arrived this month and were supplied by Turkish refiner Tupras and Unipec, the trading arm of China's Sinopec.
Canada Hits Iran With New Sanctions
RFE/RL | July 27, 2010
Canada has followed the European Union in adopting tougher sanctions targeting Iran's energy sector in an effort to curb its disputed nuclear program.
The European and Canadian sanctions include measures to block dealing with Iranian banks and steps to prevent investment in Tehran's oil and gas sector, including refining.
Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon said his country's new measures will include a ban on any new Canadian investment in Iran's oil and gas sector.
Far From Iran, a Struggle to Stay Involved
NYT | July 27, 2010
On a recent muggy afternoon in Washington Aliakbar Mousavi, a former member of Parliament, sat at a white table in a small Google conference room, imploring a top executive to provide more Persian-language Internet tools.
Speaking in halting English acquired during a year in the United States, Mr. Mousavi told Robert O. Boorstin, the company's director of public policy, that activists inside Iran desperately needed Google earth, Google advertising and other services that can help thwart repression.
Mr. Boorstin was sympathetic if noncommittal, promising to consult with various engineers.