Tuesday, June 22, 2004

MENAFN - Jordan, Iran sign agreements on economic, scientific and cultural cooperation

MENAFN - Middle East North Africa . Financial Network: "Jordan, Iran sign agreements on economic, scientific and cultural cooperation

Jordan Times - 23/06/2004

TEHRAN (Petra) ? Jordan and Iran agreed to upgrade their joint panel to become a 'higher committee,' chaired by Prime Minister Faisal Fayez and Iranian Vice President Mohammad Aref Reza.

Fayez made the announcement on Tuesday after he was received by Iranian President Mohammad Khatami.

During the meeting, the premier stressed the Kingdom's keenness on strengthening its ties with Iran. Fayez, who arrived home later in the day, pointed out that the progress made at the political level has paid off in other fields, citing eight memoranda of understanding the two sides signed Monday on economic, scientific and cultural cooperation.

The premier's talks with President Khatami also covered regional issues. On Palestine, Fayez highlighted Jordan's continued support for the Palestinian cause and the Palestinians' pursuit of their legitimate rights, particularly their right to return and compensation, and to establish their independent viable state after full Israeli withdrawal from lands occupied in 1967. "

Boston.com / Wolfowitz may have been Chalabi's Friend but was he his Source

Boston.com / News / Washington / Wolfowitz describes Chalabi's activities as ''mixed picture'': "Wolfowitz describes Chalabi's activities as ''mixed picture''
By John J. Lumpkin, Associated Press, 6/22/2004 18:07

WASHINGTON (AP) Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz insisted Tuesday that the Ahmed Chalabi's organization provided information that helped U.S. forces in Iraq, but conceded that some of the Iraqi politician's recent behavior was ''puzzling.''
Wolfowitz, testifying before the House Armed Services Committee, denied that Chalabi was ever a favorite of the Pentagon, as he has been widely described.
Chalabi's star has fallen in recent months because much of the intelligence his group supplied on Iraq's alleged weapons of mass destruction programs failed to pan out. Last month, U.S. soldiers and Iraqi police raided his residence and office. Allegations then surfaced that he supplied Iran with classified U.S. intelligence on American monitoring of Iranian communications. "

Questions for Paul Wolfowitz - Center for American Progress

Questions for Paul Wolfowitz - Center for American Progress: "Questions for Paul Wolfowitz, Deputy Secretary of Defense
June 21, 2004
Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz is scheduled to testify this week before the House and Senate Armed Services Committees. With the transition to the new Iraqi government only 10 days away, the administration has no clear strategy for repairing our international credibility and ensuring that Iraq does not become a threat to our national security. The hearings will provide Congress with an opportunity to closely question Wolfowitz on his previous statements and predictions about post-war Iraq."

Israel News : Jerusalem Post Report: Kurds deny Mossad active against Iran

Israel News : Jerusalem Post Internet Edition: "Report: Kurds deny Mossad active against Iran

An Iraqi Kurdish leader denied Tuesday reports that Israeli military and Mossad teams are operating in the Kurdish zones of northern Iraq.
Jalal Talabani told the Turkish news agency Anatolia that the reports were 'total fabrications.'
The New Yorker published the initial story by Seymour Hersh quoting Israeli security sources as saying Israeli officers were training Kurdish commandos in northern Iraq. His report also claimed Israeli spies had entered parts of Iran to spy on its nuclear installations and was using its agents to spy on Syria, as well. Hersh's report was also confirmed by an unnamed US intelligence officer.
The report said Israel wants Kurdish troops to be trained to offset the booming influence of Iraq's Shia militia groups. "

Lebanese FM leaves Beirut for Iran

Persian Journal Iran News - Latest Iran News, news Tehran Iranian News persian news web site sport irani news iranians site farsi women sport woman, newspaper football: "Lebanese FM leaves Beirut for Iran
Jun 22, 2004, 19:44

Lebanese Foreign Minister Jean Obeid left here for Tehran on Tuesday on an official visit to discuss latest regional developments as well as avenues for expansion of bilateral cooperation with senior Iranian officials.

Obeid's three-day visit is taking place at the official invitation of his Iranian counterpart, Kamal Kharrazi.

He is scheduled to submit Lebanese President Emile Lahoud's written message on expansion of bilateral ties and developments in the Middle East to President Mohammad Khatami. During his stay here, the Lebanese Minister is to meet with Khatami, Kharrazi and Majlis Speaker Gholam-Ali (shire'i)Haddad Adel"

Khatami and Mar'ashi Visit Jordan

Mehr News Agency English: "Khatami, Jordanian Prime Minister Discuss Regional Developments, Bilateral Ties
TEHRAN, June 22 (MNA) -- Visiting Jordanian Prime Minister Faisel al-Fayez met with President Mohammad Khatami here on Tuesday to discuss regional developments and the expansion of bilateral cooperation.
At the meeting, Khatami said the restoration of peace and stability in the region is essential for regional development.

According to the Presidential office, Khatami said, 'We are trying to become powerful in an effort to render more services to other nations and to maintain our defensive capabilities? instead of misusing them to attack others.'

Voicing satisfaction about the expansion of bilateral ties as well as the exchanges of visits between the two countries? high-ranking officials, President Khatami said that Islamic countries in the region must strengthen their diplomatic relations.

Power can be attained by fostering regional cooperation, negotiating settlements of differences, and finding common ground, he pointed out.

It is not possible to become a powerful country by turning the country into a warehouse for the military equipment of other countries, he said, adding, ?We should acquire scientific and technological expertise which can be achieved through collective cooperation and solidarity.'

Referring to the current situation in occupied Palestine and the crimes committed by the Zionist regime with the support of a number of other countries, he said, 'We should be a harbinger of peace in the world. Lasting peace in the region could be established by restoring the Palestinian people?s rights.'

On the situation in Iraq, Khatami said that, unfortunately, the arrogance of U.S. officials and"

Aref, Fayez Stress Iran-Jordan Bonds

Persian Journal Iran News - Latest Iran News, news Tehran Iranian News persian news web site sport irani news iranians site farsi women sport woman, newspaper football: "Aref, Fayez Stress Iran-Jordan Bonds
Jun 22, 2004, 19:22

Iran's First Vice President Mohammad Reza Aref in a meeting with visiting Jordanian Prime Minister Faisel al-Fayez in Tehran on Monday underlined the need for bolstering Tehran-Amman economic, scientific and cultural ties.

'The two countries relations are progressing and we hope this visit of a high ranking Jordanian delegation would pave the way for further consolidation of mutual ties,' Aref said after an official welcome ceremony for al-Fayez' at Sa'ad Abad official Residence.

Aref described the previous negotiations of Joint Economic Commission as 'positive' and held in cordial mood. Fayez, for his part, expressed happiness over his current visit and said Jordanians always have made diligent efforts to expand bilateral ties. Fayez said the Tehran-Amman political relations have been developing since the Jordanian king visited Iran.

The negotiation between high ranking delegation of two sides are to be held following Aref-Fayez private talks. Jordan's Prime Minister Faisel al-Fayez arrived in Tehran on Monday for a 3-day official visit. He is also scheduled to meet with Iran's President Mohammad Khatami and several Iranian Ministers. "

Iran, China Trade Topped $4bn In 2003

Mehr News Agency English:

"Iran, China Trade Topped $4bn In 2003
TEHRAN June 22 (MNA) - Iran and China trade hit four billion dollars last year, said deputy Trade Minister for International Affairs Abdul Hossein Vaha?ji here Sunday, Fars News Agency reported.
?Iran exported 2.5 billion dollars of crude oil and 225 million dollars worth of non- oil products to China during the past year.?

Vahaji stressed that in light of China?s increasing demand for Iranian oil a long-term program will be devised aimed at boosting bilateral ties between the two countries.

Elsewhere in his remarks, the deputy minister asserted that the Iranian private sector?s meager presence in economic development projects was the weak point of Iran-China trade relations.

According to the report China exported 1.5 billion dollars worth goods to Iran in the past year."

Iran to Ban Water-Pipe in Public

Persian Journal Culture - Latest Iran News, news Tehran Iranian News persian news web site sport irani news iranians site farsi women sport woman, newspaper football: "
Iran to Ban Water-Pipe in Public

Young Iranians have taken to gathering around the qalyoun to smoke and flirt Iranian officials have said that smoking the hubble-bubble, or water-pipe, will be banned in all restaurants and leisure places from Monday. "

The New Yorker and the captured British Commandos

The New Yorker and the captured British Commandos

This week the New Yorker published “The Kurdish Gambit” by Seymour M. Hersh. Papers all over the Middle East picked up this story that Israel was training Kurdish Commandos in Iraq and infiltrating them into Iran. The Jerusalem Post reported the story without question, which in many people’s eyes validated the facts entirely. So how does Iran respond to what is clearly Israeli aggression?

The first step is obviously to tighten up the border patrols. Enter the Royal British Navy puttering about in the Shatt al-Arab waterway on Iran’s border. Were they spying, infiltrating, maybe supply the Israeli backed commandos? Maybe they were just lost but it was the wrong day for fierce looking Navy Commandos to be in Iranian waters. When we look at the situation from the Iranian viewpoint what could they do but arrest the men. Over the weekend Seymour Hersh says Commandos are infiltrating Iran. The Jerusalem Post says Israel is sending Commandos into Iran. Commandos are arrested. Maybe the Coalition could arrange to seal the border against further Commando infiltrations and then I bet Iran would send those British sailors home.
Barry O'Connell

The World Today - Iran takes hard line on territorial border with Iraq

The World Today - Iran takes hard line on territorial border with Iraq:

"Coalition forces in Iraq have been given a clear warning from neighbouring Iran that they may have to operate more carefully along the border of the two nations, following the capture and detention of eight British troops for allegedly straying into Iranian territory.

As nuclear tensions grow between Iran and the international community, the Islamic nation appears to have abandoned its previous policy of ignoring minor territorial incursions by Coalition forces, and is taking a harder line."

Iran to prosecute Royal Navy crew - Iran TV

Reuters | Latest Financial News / Full News Coverage: "Iran to prosecute Royal Navy crew - Iran TV
Tue 22 June, 2004 09:39

By Paul Hughes
TEHRAN (Reuters) - Iran will prosecute eight British sailors seized after apparently straying into Iranian waters on the Iraqi border, Iran's al Alam television says.
The British Foreign Office immediately demanded an explanation from Tehran on the report. British officials have not been given access to the men, detained on Monday with their three boats, and have not been told where they are being held.
Quoting unnamed Iranian military sources, al Alam said the eight men were to be prosecuted on charges of 'illegally entering Iran's waters'.
'The British military officials were arrested after they entered 1,000 metres into Iranian waters. The British confessed that they were arrested when they were inside Iran's waters,' it added.
The incident -- the latest in a string of boat seizures in the Gulf area by Iran's Revolutionary Guards -- is the most serious between Iran and foreign forces operating in Iraq and is likely to com"