Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Iran 'ready to attack US bases'. Iranians 'were targeting British High Commission in Kenya'.

Iran 'ready to attack US bases'

Iran declared on Wednesday that it can destroy nearby US military bases and strike Israel within minutes of an attack on the Islamic Republic, reflecting tensions over Iran's suspect nuclear programme.

A surface-to-surface missile is launched in Iran
The elite Revolutionary Guards' military drill included the firing of ballistic missiles Photo: AP

The veiled threat came during a military drill that has included the firing of ballistic missiles.
The elite Revolutionary Guards, conducting the war games in Iran's central desert, said that the missiles were aimed at mock-ups of foreign military bases.
Israel and the US have hinted at the possibility of military strikes against Iran if sanctions and diplomacy do not rein in Iran's nuclear development programme. The West suspects Iran may be aiming to build nuclear weapons. Iran insists its programme is for peaceful purposes.
The semiofficial Fars news agency quoted Gen. Ami Ali Hajizadeh of the Revolutionary Guards as saying US bases are in range of Iran's missiles and could be hit in retaliatory strikes. He referred to Israel as "occupied territories."
"Measures have been taken so that we could destroy all these bases in the early minutes of an attack," said Hajizadeh, chief of the Guards' airspace division.

Oil Backed Up, Iranians Put It on Idled Ships

The New York Times
An estimated 65 Iranian tankers are being used to store oil.

Iranians 'were targeting British High Commission in Kenya'

Two Iranians suspected of planning terror attacks in Kenya toured Nairobi surveying the British High Commission, the Israeli embassy and a synagogue in the week before their arrest, police told The Daily Telegraph.

Iranians 'were targeting British High Commission in Kenya'
Ahmad Abolfathi Mohammad and Sayed Mansour Mousavi were arrested last week with 33 pounds of RDX, a powerful explosive, in the coastal city of Mombasa Photo: AP

Kenya cancels oil deal with Iran after warnings

Kenya on Wednesday cancelled a deal to import Iranian oil hours after the U.S. warned the country that it risked being penalized if it sees through the deal which would breach U.S. and European union sanctions, a government official said.

The sanctions are meant to deprive funding for the Iranian government and what is believed to be an effort by Iran to build nuclear weapons.

Kenya's Energy Permanent Secretary Patrick Nyoike said Kenya had not signed an agreement but had a memorandum of understanding with Iran to import its oil and was complying with international sanctions on Iran.
"There is an embargo on Iranian oil and on that note it has been decided that the M.O.U. will be terminated," Nyoike said.

The U.S. announced in December that it would penalize banks that do oil deals with Iran, giving countries and the oil markets until the end of June to adjust.

A statement from the U.S. State Department said Wednesday that sanctions will be implemented fully, and they include sanctions against financial institutions from any country, without an exception, if they are found to conduct sanctionable transactions, including those with the Central Bank of Iran.

Nyoike had been quoted this week saying that Kenya has signed an agreement to buy millions of barrels of Iranian oil.
He said he was not aware of the U.S. warning to Kenya about oil deals with Iran.

Nyoike said the cancellation of the memorandum with Iran had nothing to do with accusations that two men believed to be agents of a secretive unit in the Iranian armed forces were planning to bomb American, Israeli, British and Saudi Arabian targets.

Kenyan security forces arrested the Iranians on June 19 and were then led to 15 kilograms (33 pounds) of RDX, a powerful explosive that could have been used against multiple targets or concentrated in one large bomb. If used together, the explosives could have leveled a medium-sized hotel, officials told AP.

The two suspects — Ahmad Abolfathi Mohammad and Sayed Mansour Mousavi — appeared in a Kenyan court last week, where Mohammad said he had been interrogated by Israeli agents. Israel's embassy said it had no comment.
In Israel, the office of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told the AP that "there are no limits to the Iranian terror."

Iran State TV Accuses BBC of Hacking Website

TEHRAN, Iran July 4, 2012 (AP)

Iran's state TV charged Wednesday that the BBC hacked its website to change the results of a poll about Iran's nuclear program. The BBC denied the allegation.

The West suspects Iran may be aiming to produce nuclear weapons. Iran insists its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes like energy production. The British broadcaster's Farsi language service reported that the poll showed 63 percent of those who took part favored halting uranium enrichment in exchange for an end to Western economic sanctions. 

The TV report Wednesday said the actual figure was 24 percent, and the rest favored retaliation against the West with measures like closing the strategic Strait of Hormuz, a key to exporting oil from the Gulf. In a statement, the BBC said the claims were "both ludicrous and completely false, and the BBC Persian Service stands by its reporting." 

 "There is a significant audience within Iran which depends on BBC Persian to provide impartial and trusted news, and we are confident they are familiar with the state media's tactics," it said. The poll was taken off Iran TV's website on Tuesday.


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