Monday, June 21, 2004

Scotsman.com News - Latest News - Navy Vessels 'Seized by Iran'

Scotsman.com News - Latest News - Navy Vessels 'Seized by Iran': "Navy Vessels 'Seized by Iran'

By Gavin Cordon, Whitehall Editor, PA News


The Ministry of Defence was today investigating reports that three Royal Navy vessels had been seized by Iran.

The Arab-language satellite station Al-Alam was reported to have said that the vessels had been detained in Iranian territorial waters close to the border with Iraq.

The Iranians were said to have arrested eight Royal Navy crew as well as finding weapons and maps on board the vessels.

A MoD spokesman said that they were investigating the reports."

Jerusalem Post - Mossad agents and IDF Intelligence officers infiltrating Iran

Israel News : Jerusalem Post Internet Edition: "Israeli intelligence agents infiltrating Iran - report
By MATTHEW GUTMAN

Mossad agents and IDF Intelligence officers are working to infiltrate Iran through Kurdistan in northern Iraq to gather intelligence on the Shi'ite state's developing nuclear program, New Yorker magazine investigative reporter Seymour Hersh told CNN on Sunday.
Israeli special units were said to have hunted Scud missile launchers in the western Iraqi desert in the build-up to the Gulf War, and it has been rumored among intelligence circles that Israeli intelligence officers aided their American counterparts since the end of hostilities last May.
Officially, at least, Israel has taken no active role in the warfare in Iraq at the behest of US President George W. Bush's administration.
'Hundreds' of undercover IDF Intelligence officers and Mossad agents resurrected their cooperation with Kurdish militiamen in northern Iraq, with the aim of crossing the porous Iraq-Iran border in the North and establishing cells in Iran that might yield new intelligence on Iran's nuclear program, Hersh told CNN.
The Israelis are also providing an ancillary role to the Kurds and, according to Hersh, are aiding Kurdish elements in northern Syria. Kurdish riots and the seeds of a minor rebellion in northern Syria in recent weeks have rocked Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime.
Israel has become increasingly pessimistic about the chances of a stable government forming in Iraq, and has thus moved on to 'stage B' of its post-war campaign, establishing what amount to mini-intelligence stations, Hersh said. "

Mar'ashi puts a stop to dual pricing practice for tourist attractions in Iran

: "Iran to stop dual pricing practice for tourist attractions


TEHRAN, June 20 (AFP) - Iran's tourist office has ordered museums and historical sites to cease the Soviet-style practice of charging foreigners up to 10 times more than locals, the student news agency ISNA reported Sunday.

Removing one of the many frustrating aspects of a visit to Iran, the Iranian Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organisation also ordered attractions to provide English and French speaking guides and pamphlets free of charge.

At present, foreigners typically have to pay around four dollars for each tourist attraction, significantly more than the fee charged for Iranians.

But while tourists can in the future enjoy Iran's splendours at next to no cost, the order does not apply to hotels -- which also practice a dual pricing policy aimed at extracting the maximum amount of money from foreign visitors.

Since the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States and the subsequent invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, Iran has experienced a sharp drop in foreign visitors.

Complex visa procedures, a poor reputation for service and the imposition of the Islamic dress code also make many tourists reluctant to travel to Iran -- home to some of the greatest architectural sites in the world."