Thursday, June 17, 2004

US Intelligence thought chicken coops were missile silos

Yahoo! News - Spy Work in Iraq Riddled by Failures: "U.S. analysts also erred in their analysis of high-altitude satellite photos, repeatedly confusing Scud missile storage places with the short, half-cylindrical sheds typically used to house poultry in Iraq. As a result, as the war neared, two teams of U.N. weapons experts acting on U.S. intelligence scrambled to search chicken coops for missiles that were not there.
'We inspected a lot of chicken farms,' said a former inspector who asked not to be identified because he now works with U.S. intelligence. His U.N. team printed 'Ballistic Chicken Farm Inspection Team' on 20 gray T-shirts to mark the futile hunt.
The problems the U.S. experienced in gathering and analyzing intelligence mirrored difficulties experienced by other Western intelligence agencies. Investigations of intelligence agencies in at least four countries have found the misjudgments of Iraq's weapons were founded on circumstantial evidence, unverified secondhand accounts, false assumptions, old intelligence and shoddy tradecraft. "

US backs away from UN debate on Iran's nuclear program

ISN - Information Services - Security Watch: "US backs away from UN debate on Iran's nuclear program 17.06.2004

Though the US contends that Iran strives to develop nuclear weapons, Washington seems to be losing ground in its demands for a strongly worded UN resolution against Iran. But analysts say that President George Bush would be risking elections if he fomented an international crisis over Iran at a time when Iraq is spiralling out of control and public opinion is growing increasingly critical.

Ardeshir Moaveni for EurasiaNetThe issue of Iran?s nuclear program does not appear headed for UN Security Council debate any time soon. Bush administration officials are not willing to press the issue with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the UN?s nuclear monitoring organization, before the US presidential election in November, sources tell EurasiaNet. The IAEA governing board is in the midst of a meeting, with Iran?s efforts to develop its nuclear capacity topping the agenda. Tehran insists that its nuclear program is designed for civilian applications. The US, meanwhile, contends that Iran strives to develop nuclear weapons, and has urged that the international community adopt a tougher line to frustrate Tehran?s program. In the middle is the EU ? led by Britain, France, and Germany ? which has advocated engagement with Iran. "

President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev received Iranian Justice Minister Shushteri

AzerTAj | STATE INFORMATION AGENCY OF AZERBAIJAN REPUBLIC: "AZERBAIJAN, IRAN: RELATIONS SUCCESSFULLY DEVELOP
PRESIDENT OF AZERBAIJAN ILHAM ALIYEV RECEIVES JUSTICE MINISTER OF IRAN
[June 17, 2004, 20:12:35]

President of Azerbaijan Republic Ilham Aliyev received justice minister of the Islamic Republic of Iran Mohammadismail Shushteri on 17 June.

Warmly greatening the guest, President Ilham Aliyev said that the relations between the two countries are successful and we are pleased with this. Political links are strengthening. We are very delighted that our economic links also develop. We attach great significance to it. We have high-level relations in other fields as well. There is also good cooperation between the justice bodies of our countries and your visit will strengthen it, President said. I am aware that in the frame of this visit, you have signed Memo on co-op and that you have a tense schedule and a number of meetings. This pleases me. We want the Iranian-Azerbaijani relations to expand and deepen in numerous fields.

Noting that he has close personal links with the Iranian President Khatemi, President of Azerbaijan said that the heads of other departments, ministries should also set close relations among them. Your visit serves this goal, President Ilham Aliyev underlined. "

minister Shushteri

AzerTAj | STATE INFORMATION AGENCY OF AZERBAIJAN REPUBLIC

AzerTAj | STATE INFORMATION AGENCY OF AZERBAIJAN REPUBLIC: "

IRAN SUPPORTS TERRITORIAL INTEGRITY OF AZERBAIJAN AND THIS POLICY IS UNCHANGEABLE
[June 17, 2004, 19:08:59]

Speaker of Azerbaijan Parliament Murtuz Alaskarov received the delegation led by justice minister of the Islamic Republic of Iran Muhammadismail Shushteri, 17 June, AzerTAj correspondent reported. Touching upon the existing friendly relations between the two countries Mr. Alaskarov expressed satisfaction with the current level. A number of documents signed during the reciprocals visits of the by heads of state set reliable ground for these links.

Azerbaijan has always been keen in expansion of ties with Iran and this policy successfully continues today, he underlined. Highly appraising the inter-parliamentary links, Murtuz Alaskarov emphasized that there is a working group on cooperation between the legislative bodies of the two countries. According to the agreement reached by this Group and Parliaments of the two countries, members of parliament of both countries have the same position in the international organizations.

Updating on the Armenia-Azerbaijan, Nagorny Karabakh conflict, Speaker of Azerbaijan Parliament said that Azerbaijan adheres peaceful settlement of the problem in the frame of territorial integrity of states and international law. “We also highly appreciate Iran’s support in this problem and hope that this policy will be further continued”, Mr. Alaskarov stated.

Expressing gratitude for warm reception, Mr. Shushteri said that his country is also interested in development of relations with Azerbaijan. Approval of the agreements on cooperation in the field of law-enforcement by the Parliaments eases our mutual activity. Security of our citizens, legal environment for investment and other actions have especially promoted our cooperation, he stressed. “We are convinced that and the parliaments will benefit our common cause”. Touching upon the Nagorny Karabakh conflict, the Minister said that Iran has always supported Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity, condemns the Armenian aggression and adheres peaceful resolution to the problem. “This policy is unchangeable”, the Iranian Minister underlined.

The Hindu - IAEA admits lapse in accusing Iran

The Hindu News Update Service: "IAEA admits lapse in accusing Iran
Vienna, June 17. (AP): The head of the International Atomic Energy (IAEA) on Thursday acknowledged mistakenly accusing Iran in one instance of withholding information from a probe of its nuclear program but insisted Tehran still had a long way to go in explaining suspect activities.
The issue threatened to delay action on a toughly worded resolution taking Iran to task for its spotty record on cooperating with an agency investigation of what had been nearly two decades of covert nuclear activity until revealed two years ago. "

IAEA Admits Mistakenly Accusing Iran

Welcome to AJC!: "IAEA Admits Mistakenly Accusing Iran
By ANDREA DUDIKOVA
Associated Press Writer
VIENNA, Austria (AP)--The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency on Thursday acknowledged wrongly accusing Iran of withholding information from a probe of its nuclear program but insisted Tehran still must fully explain its suspect activities.
The issue threatened to delay action on a toughly worded resolution rebuking Iran for its spotty record cooperating with an agency investigation of what had been nearly two decades of covert nuclear activity until revealed two years ago.
The text is meant to keep pressure on Tehran. Apparently delayed by the side issue of the false accusation against Iran, the draft now was now unlikely to be submitted to the 35-nation IAEA board of governors meeting before Friday. "

Iran's Pistachio Revenues Rise By 49.5 Percent

Mehr News Agency English: "Iran's Pistachio Revenues Rise By 49.5 Percent

TEHRAN June 16 (MNA) -- Iran's revenue from pistachio exports rose by 49.5 percent in the first two months of the current Iranian year (beginning March 20, 2004) compared to the same period last year.
Deputy Minister of Agricultural Jihad Mohammad-Ali Tahmasebi told IRNA that revenues from Iranian pistachio exports stood at 92 million dollars in the first two months of Iranian year 1383.

Tahmasebi said pistachio export volume rose by 19 percent, standing at 21,347 tons in the study period.

Ruling out reports that Iran's pistachio exports had been blocked by the European Union, he explained the EU had only called on Iran to take measures to lower the percentage of Aflatoxin in its pistachio consignments.

An Iranian delegation recently traveled to Europe to hold talks on the quality of Iranian pistachio exports."

Iran threatens to restart uranium plan

HoustonChronicle.com - Iran threatens to restart uranium plan: "Iran may renew uranium plan
Leaving bargain on nuclear power also threatened
By KARL VICK
Washington Post
TEHRAN, Iran -- The Iranian government threatened Wednesday that it might restart its uranium enrichment program if the United Nations finds that the country has failed to cooperate with nuclear inspectors.
President Mohammad Khatami also implied during a news conference that Iran was prepared to abandon a diplomatic bargain with three European nations it accepted in October that defused a mounting confrontation over its nuclear plans.
The voluntary suspension of uranium enrichment activities was considered a gesture to build international confidence with the country. In addition, the government had promised to detail nuclear activities it had kept secret for 18 years. Iranian officials have insisted their aim has been to develop peaceful use of nuclear power, not weapons. "