Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Rafsanjani is considering standing for the presidency

SOUTHWEST ASIA Iranian News: Reuters | Latest Financial News / Full News Coverage: "Iranian political heavyweight and former President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani has said he is considering standing for the presidency in polls next year, according to a newspaper.

Rafsanjani, a business-minded, mid-ranking cleric would be a strong candidate for president with the likely support of Iran's resurgent conservatives. He is also a top advisor to Iran's most powerful figure Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

'If there is no other suitable candidate, I will run in the next presidential elections for the sake of Islam and the revolution,' the Hambastegi daily on Saturday quoted the 70-year old as saying in a speech to students in the holy city of Qom."

SOUTHWEST ASIA Iranian News: Friday Sermon - Rafsanjani - Iran celebrates US 'defeat' in Najaf

SOUTHWEST ASIA Iranian News: Friday Sermon - Rafsanjani - Iran celebrates US 'defeat' in Najaf: "influential former Iranian President, Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, said events in Najaf - which he compared to Stalingrad - should alert the West to the power of the Islamic clergy.

The Iranians have played a waiting game over Najaf, with senior officials from the president downwards fiercely denouncing the use of military force there by the Americans while never officially committing themselves to full-blown support for Moqtada Sadr and his followers. "

SOUTHWEST ASIA Iranian News: Rafsanjani denies wealth rumours

SOUTHWEST ASIA Iranian News: Rafsanjani denies wealth rumours: "A former Iranian president has publicly denied amassing great wealth after stubborn rumours of a business ranging from pistachio nuts to airlines.
Akbar Hashemi-Rafsanjani, who now leads Iran's powerful Expediency Council, said he was no richer than before the Islamic Revolution of 1979.

'The total value of all my belongings today is not even close to the value of the house I owned [then],' he said. "

SOUTHWEST ASIA Iranian News: Mullah Rafsanjani: Iran insists on fuel production

SOUTHWEST ASIA Iranian News: Mullah Rafsanjani: Iran insists on fuel production: "Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani here Sunday stressed the need for production of nuclear fuel by Iran. In a meeting with South African Ambassador to Tehran Yusuf Saloojee, Mullah said preventing Iran from producing its needed nuclear fuel can serve as a black point in modern history."

Rafsanjani says regional process of events going against U.S.

Description of Selected News: "

Rafsanjani says regional process of events going against U.S. interests Khatami, Syrian FM call for regional convergence

Tehran Times Political Desk
TEHRAN (MNA) -- Syrian Foreign Minister Farouq al-Sharaa met with Expediency Council Chairman Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani here on Wednesday.

In the meeting, Rafsanjani offered a detailed analysis of the critical situation in Iraq, Lebanon, and Palestine, saying that on the whole, the current process of events in the region is going against U.S. interests and is moving toward the ideals and causes of regional nations.

He stated that resistance and patience are some of the most principled and determining strategies which have been adopted by regional countries and said that U.S. troops are suffering under difficult conditions in Iraq.

Rafsanjani praised Syria’s positions on regional issues and said that if regional countries establish close relations the evil conspiracies of the arrogant powers will fall flat.

For his part, al-Sharaa elaborated on developments in Syria and said that Iraq is in a complicated situation, adding that the senseless massacre of Iraqi citizens by U.S. forces is one of the main concerns of regional countries.

He said that Syria believes a free election should be held in Iraq and expressed hope that a consensus could be reached at the upcoming conference in Sharm al-Sheikh which would give a clear message to Iraqis.

On the current situation in Lebanon and the U.S. interference and pressure on Syria, he stated that the U.S. and Israel have been unable to realize their regional objectives.

The Syrian foreign minister also met with Iranian President Mohammad Khatami here on Tuesday night to discuss the latest regional issues, particularly Iraq.

During the visit, President Khatami referred to the current situation in the region and the threats to regional countries and underlined the necessity of staying alert in order to defend the interests of regional nations and to solve the problems.

He said that Iranian officials believe that peace and security in Iraq is equal to peace and security in the Islamic Republic of Iran and added that regional countries are calling for the withdrawal of foreign powers from Iraqi territory, the establishment of peace and security in the country, and the formation of a democratic government which would maintain its territorial integrity.

Elsewhere in his remarks, Khatami condemned the Zionist crimes against the Palestinians and said that more consultations between regional countries are essential for the establishment of peace in Palestine.

Al-Sharaa expressed satisfaction about the close and developed relations between the two countries and praised the Islamic Republic of Iran for its principled and wise stances on regional and international issues."

Maariv International

Maariv International: "Iran has supplied Hezbollah with eight drones

According to a senior Iranian official. One of them was the UAV that managed to penetrate Israeli air space on Sunday.
Jacky Hougi

Iran has supplied Hezbollah with eight unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) and has trained 30 of the group’s operatives to operate them, a senior Iranian official told the London-based Arab daily “al-Sharq al-Awsat”.

According to the official, a senior commander in the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, one of those drones was the UAV that managed to penetrate Israeli air space on Sunday.

He added that the drones, which arrived in Lebanon about three months ago, were used in surveillance missions over Iraq in an attempt to monitor the movements of US forces.

The official noted that the UAV carries three cameras, digital radar and electronic broadcasting devices. It is able to reach an altitude of 6,000 feet and reach a maximum speed of 120 km/h.

Iran is in the midst of developing an improved model, which would be able to fly at an altitude of 10,000 feet and cruise at 160 km/h.

According to the paper, Iranian Revolutionary Guards are currently training another group of Hezbollah members to operate UAVs. The training is taking place near the city of Esfahan."

Iran's Rafsanjani cautions EUs over nuke deal

IranMania News: "Iran's Rafsanjani cautions EUs over nuke deal

Wednesday, November 10, 2004 - ©2004 IranMania.com
LONDON, Nov 10 (IranMania) - A top Iranian regime official has warned Britain, France and Germany that the Islamic republic could harden its stance if they failed to show flexibility in a crucial stage of talks over a nuclear stand-off, press reports said Tuesday.

"If the Europeans are rational, we can make some assurances... but if they put their foot down, then our attitude will change," powerful former president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani was quoted as saying by the Hamshahri newspaper.

An Iranian negotiator, Hossein Moussavian, announced Sunday that Iran and the European Union have reached a "preliminary agreement" on easing concerns over the Islamic republic's nuclear programme following two days of crucial negotiations in Paris.

The accord is centered on demands that Iran maintain and widen a suspension of its sensitive uranium enrichment activities or else risk being referred by the UN nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), to the UN Security Council for possible sanctions.

According to European diplomats, the tentative deal still contains several sticking points -- including the length and extent of any halt on fuel cycle work.

"This technology has been achieved by our people by our own means, and others cannot put an end to it," said Rafsanjani, who now heads Iran's top political arbitration body the Expediency Council.

The United States accuses Iran of secretly trying to develop nuclear weapons and wants the IAEA's board, which meets in Vienna on November 25, to send the matter to New York. Iran says it only wants to generate electricity.

The 25-nation EU, led by Britain, France and Germany, has so far, in talks that started in October, said Iran must indefinitely and fully suspend uranium enrichment activities, but Iran insists its right to enrichment cannot be called into question.

Enriched uranium, depending on its purity, can be used as fuel for a civilian power reactor or as the core of a nuclear weapon. Enrichment for peaceful purposes is allowed under the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), of which Iran is a signatory.

The IAEA is apparently holding up publication of a report on Iran until next week in order to have an eventual EU-Iranian agreement included in the text, a key document for the November 25 meeting, diplomats said."

albawaba.com: Former Iranian president: Current regional conditions are against US interests

albawaba.com: Former Iranian president: Current regional conditions are against US interests: "Former Iranian president: Current regional conditions are against US interests
10-11-2004, 13:27

Former Iranian president, Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani on Wednesday said that the regional conditions are currently against the US interests and in favor of the ideals and goals of the regional nations. Speaking in a meeting with visiting Syrian Foreign Minister Farouk al-Shara, he referred to the present complicated situation in Iraq and said that the US is experiencing many dilemmas.

According to a report released by IRNA, Rafsanjani noted that the regional nations have displayed resistance and forbearance in tackling dilemmas.

For his part, al-Shara briefed Rafsanjani on the latest developments in his country and the region and said, "Today, Iraq's position is quite complicated and the irrational killing of Iraqi citizens by the US troops are one of the concerns of regional states."

"Syria believes in broad-based elections in Iraq and safeguarding the country's independence, which will require the withdrawal of the foreign occupation troops," he added. (Albawaba.com)"

Khaleej Times Online

Khaleej Times Online: "Iran at “crucial point” in nuclear stand-off: Rafsanjani
(AFP)

10 November 2004
TEHERAN - Iran is at a “crucial point” in its stand-off with the UN’s nuclear watchdog, one of the country’s most senior figures was quoted Wednesday as saying.

“We have arrived at a crucial point, and I hope we will reach a result,” former president and top regime cleric Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani was quoted by the student news agency ISNA as saying.

“We should have patience and fortitude to pass through these tough times,” he was also quoted as saying by the state news agency IRNA.

On Sunday, Iran and the European Union’s “big three” -- Britain, France and Germany -- managed to strike a tentative agreement to avert a major confrontation after two days of tough talks in Paris.

The accord is centered on demands that Iran maintain and widen a suspension of its sensitive uranium enrichment activities, but subject to approval at the very top of the Iranian regime.

According to European diplomats, the tentative deal still contains several sticking points, including the length and extent of any halt on fuel cycle work. Both the United States on one side and Iranian hardliners on the other have been critical of the diplomacy.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is apparently holding up publication of its latest report on Iran until next week in order to have an eventual EU-Iranian agreement included in the text, a key document for the November 25 meeting, diplomats said.

The United States accuses Iran of secretly trying to develop nuclear weapons and wants the IAEA’s board, which meets in Vienna on November 25, to refer the matter to New York. Iran says it only wants to generate electricity.

But Rafsanjani said “those who are spreading false rumors are wrong, and hopefully Americans and Europeans will wise up.”"