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Levantine Shore
Wednesday, 17 September 2008
Oil prices drop
"An oil drop of $30 a barrel is significantly more damaging to Iran's economy than U.N. Security Council sanctions," said Karim Sadjadpour, an associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. "That's a loss of about $75 million per day in oil revenue. A further drop in prices could play a decisive role in the June 2009 presidential elections, for it could deflate [President Mahmoud] Ahmadinejad's populist agenda."

Falling prices could alter corporate agendas, too, though the rise and fall of oil prices have been so sudden that most energy companies, which usually make conservative price forecasts, have said their plans are not changing.

Posted by red.carlisle at 9:57 AM EDT
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Tuesday, 17 June 2008
Miniaturized implosion nuclear device plans found
Mood:  on fire
Topic: Pakistan, Iran

Two former Bush administration officials said they believed that the Tinners,  brothers Urs and Marco and their father Friedrich,  had provided information to the C.I.A. while the father and two sons were still working for Pakistan and that some of their information helped American and British officials intercept shipments of centrifuges en route to Libya in 2003. Several published reports have asserted that Urs Tinner became an informant for U.S. intelligence before the breakup of the smuggling ring, but that has not been officially confirmed.

The electronic design for a bomb itself among material seized from some of Dr. Khan’s top lieutenants, including the Tinners.
But this is the second weapons design found in Pakistan's smuggling network. The first was for an unwieldy but effective Chinese design from the mid-1960s that Libya acknowledged obtaining from the network before it surrendered its bomb-making equipment in 2003.

Both the new and the old designs exploit the principle of implosion, in which a blast wave from a sphere of conventional explosives squeezes inward with tremendous force to compress a ball of bomb fuel, starting the chain reaction and the atomic explosion.  The new design was powerful but miniaturized — using about half the uranium fuel of the older design to produce a greater explosive force. Pakistan fired the miniaturized version in 1998. The new design was small enough to fit atop a family of medium-range missiles that derive from North Korea’s Nodong class of missiles. Those missiles include Pakistan’s Ghauri and Iran’s Shahab. All are about four feet wide, and any warhead atop them must, by definition, be smaller.

 Tinner Family

nuclear device

Syrian nukes

Posted by red.carlisle at 9:00 AM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, 17 June 2008 9:08 AM EDT
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Friday, 22 June 2007
The archipelago of Iranian proxies
Topic: Gaza/Palestine, Lebanon
Hamas is a client of Iran. Gaza now constitutes the farthest reach of the archipelago of Iranian proxies: Hamas in Palestine, Hezbollah in Lebanon, the Mahdi Army (among others) in Iraq and the Alawite regime of Syria. here

Posted by red.carlisle at 2:34 PM EDT
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Thursday, 21 June 2007
Iran yet another foothold on Arab borders
Topic: Gaza/Palestine, Lebanon
Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak has invited Abbas, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Jordan's King Abdullah II to a meeting in the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh. here The conquest of the Gaza Strip by Hamas has frightened Arab leaders because it was characterized by the same dynamics that have been agitating the region. Once again, as in Lebanon last summer, the fight pitted a Western-backed government against a newly empowered, radical Islamist group aligned with Syria and Iran. And, once again, the Western-backed group lost and the Iranian-Syrian group won. The outcome demonstrated the rising threat to the status quo in places like Cairo; Amman, Jordan; and Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, posed by political Islam. And it gave Iran yet another foothold on Arab borders. here Read More...

Posted by red.carlisle at 8:48 AM EDT
Updated: Thursday, 21 June 2007 9:03 AM EDT
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Monday, 18 June 2007
Iran attacks US by surrogates
Topic: Gaza/Palestine, Lebanon
May 22 The CIA has received secret presidential approval to mount a covert "black" operation to destabilize the Iranian government, current and former officials in the intelligence community tell the Blotter on the law, the CIA needs an official presidential finding to carry out such covert actions. The CIA is permitted to mount covert "collection" operations without a presidential finding. "Presidential findings" are kept secret but reported to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and other key congressional leaders. The Blotter Mid June Defense Secretary Gates says the Iranians are supplying arms to Afganistan's Taliban. CNN A parliamentarian allied with the US is assassinated in Lebanon by shiites. This is a stronghold of Hezbollah, the Iranian-backed Shia guerrilla movement and political party which looks to Iran and its supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei for spiritual guidance and more. BBC News Hamas takes over Gaza " indirectly through Hezbollah in Lebanon, Iran is engaged in trying to control the events inside the Occupied Territories" RFE/RL Also, once divided by the Arab-Israeli conflict, the region is now the battleground for three other rivalries: the United States and its allies pitted against an Iran-Syria alliance in a proxy war regionwide, secular governments confronted by rising al-Qaeda extremism, and autocratic governments reverting to draconian tactics to quash grass-roots movements vying for democratic change. Washington Post

Posted by red.carlisle at 2:51 PM EDT
Updated: Monday, 18 June 2007 3:41 PM EDT
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