|Southwest Asia News Digest
Iranian Judiciary: U.S. and NATO Control Afghan Narcotics Trade
Jan. 3 (EIRNS)A senior Iranian official, First Deputy Head of the Judiciary Ebrahim Raeesi, today blamed NATO and the U.S. for the huge increase in narcotics trafficking from Afghanistan. "Today, Afghans have no special influence in the issue of narcotics but the NATO and Western states control drug production and dealings and are busy in this field," Raeesi said at a conference of anti-drug police in Tehran, according to Pakistani news reports. "Today, the drug movements and networks are controlled by the Americans and the hegemonic system and Afghans are acting as their agents."
Lyndon LaRouche has repeatedly laid responsibility for the skyrocketing Afghan opium trade on President Obama, and his British masters.
Raeesi said that the Western forces in Afghanistan "can prevent drug plantation and production through their capabilities in the short run, but we are witnessing no action by these countries, and drug production has rather found a new form due to their presence." He called the increased drug trade a "crime against humanity." Iran, which is forced to spend billions of dollars trying to control the trafficking from Afghanistan, has lost thousands of lives fighting the anti-drug war, and makes 85% of the world's total opium seizures.
In April, Afghan lawmaker Nasimeh Niazi had announced that foreign forces deployed in Afghanistan are involved in narcotics production and trafficking, and that British troops had trained a number of experts for opium cultivation. "As long as foreign forces are present in Afghanistan, the cultivation, production and trafficking of drugs will continue in the country," she had told FNA, adding that heroin-production labs in Helmand, which did not exist before the U.S.-led war in Afghanistan, are now plentiful and work openly.
Iran Arrests Mossad Ring for Killing Iranian Nuclear Scientist
Jan. 10 (EIRNS)Fars News Agency reported today on an Iranian Ministry report, that read: "The Intelligence Ministry has identified and arrested members of a spy and terrorist network linked to the Zionist regime." The statement continued, "The network of spies and terrorists linked to the Mossad was destroyed," adding that, "The network was behind the assassination of Masoud Ali Mohammadi."
Mohammadi, a 50-year-old lecturer at Tehran University, was killed by a remote-controlled bomb, on Jan. 12, 2010, as he left his home in Tehran. Iran's Intelligence Ministry said the Mossad had used bases in European and non-European countries, as well as Iran's neighboring states, for purposes of the assassination, and other activities. The ministry said months of complicated measures and access to sources in the Israeli regime, led to the finding of "very important and sensitive" intelligence about Mossad spy teams, which inflicted heavy damage on Israel's intelligence and security structures.
Iran's accusations of Mossad involvement in assassinating the Iranian scientist came about a week after outgoing Mossad chief Meir Dagan told the Defense Committee of the Israeli Knesset that Iran would not have a nuclear weapon until about 2015a marked change in previous statements from Israeli government officials, who have been warning that Iran was "three years away" from a nuclear weapons since about 2006.
Reports from well-informed Middle East intelligence sources to EIR have said that during his tenure as head of the Mossad, Dagan had built up one of the most active assassinations program run by Israeli secret services since the 1970s, when hit teams were deployed throughout Europe to eliminate Palestinian leaders in retaliation for the 1972 killing of Israeli athletes at the Olympic games in Munich, Germany. Middle East media reports have also claimed that Dagan's Mossad was actively carrying out sabotage operations and assassinations inside Iran, which are targetted against the nuclear program.
Iran Invites Russia, China, Non-Aligned, and EU To Tour Nuclear Facilities
Jan. 4 (EIRNS)Continuing with another step towards negotiations about its nuclear program, Tehran has sent a letter inviting a group of nations, led by Russia, China, and the Non-Aligned members of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), to tour major nuclear facilities in Iran in the coming weeks. The invitation pointedly does not include the United States.
According to the London Guardian, the letter, which was released to Associated Press, was sent to Russia, China, Egypt, the group of Non-Aligned nations at the IAEA, Cuba, Arab League members at the IAEA, and Hungary, which holds the current presidency of the EU. According to AP, the news agency was told by a diplomatic source that the Iranian government plans to bring the delegations to tour the Bushehr (nuclear power plant) and Natanz (nuclear enrichment facility) locations, and that meetings are to be held with acting Foreign Minister Ali Salehi, the head of Iran's atomic agency and Saeed Jalili, Tehran's chief nuclear negotiator.
The Russian news agency Ria Novosti reported that Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said the invitation was part of Iran's attempt to demonstrate its "cooperation with the IAEA," and a statement today by Iran's envoy to IAEA suggested Jan. 15-16 as the possible date for the tour. In December, Iran held its first meeting with the Permanent Five+1, which was a serious meeting, according to Washington-based intelligence sources, to be followed up by another meeting in Istanbul, Turkey, by the end of January.
As usual, the Obama administration was quick to dismiss the initiative, with State Dept. spokesman Philip Crowley telling the New York Times that the invitation was just "a clever ploy" by Iran.