The Iranian History 2007 AD


US Takes Iranian Diplomats Hostage

Jan, 11, 2007 AD

Baghdad Iranian Embassy Jul, 10, 2009: Five Iranian Diplomats who were kidnapped and taken Hostage by U.S. military on Nov, 11, 2007 were finally released.On Jan, 10, 2007, U.S. President Bush made a statement that signaled a tough stance on Iran, whom he accused of destabilizing Iraq. The following day US troops in Irbil raided a building Iran said was a consulate, arresting five men. Iran demanded the release of the five Iranians and claimed they were diplomats but the U.S. government said they were Revolutionary Guards arming Shia fighters in Iraq.
On Feb, 6, 2007 armed gunmen kidnapped Jalal Sharafi, the second secretary of the Iranian embassy in Baghdad. The gunmen wore uniforms of a special Iraqi unit under U.S. direction. Although the U.S. military denied any involvement in the kidnapping, after his release on April 3, the diplomat reported he was tortured by CIA operatives. According to Iran's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, U.S. government violated all international and diplomatic norms by launching such operations resulting in negative impacts on diplomatic norms around the world.
The 15 British sailors captured by Iran on March, 23, were released on April, 4, leading to speculation that there was a connection in the events, though all governments officially deny it.
On Jul, 9, 2009, US authorities released the five diplomats: Mohsen Bagheri, Mahmoud Farhadi, Majid Ghaemi, Majid Dagheri and Abbas Jami after 910 days of imprisonment.
The US said this action was required under a U.S-Iraq agreement. Despite the fact that Iran and US do not officially have diplomatic relations, they seem to have established communication channels whenever necessary (Updated: Aug, 30, 2009)

Innovation In Repairing Cord Injuries

Feb, 4, 2007 AD

Persia: Digestive System as perceived in 17th Century(FNA) - Iranian scientists introduced a revolutionary technique for repairing spinal cord injuries on Feb, 4, 2007.
"In this method, stem cells which have been taken from the patient are injected into his spinal cord," Iran's Minister of Health Kamran Bagheri Lankarani said during a ceremony at Tehran's Imam Khomeini Hospital to announce the significant medical progress, where the president was also present.
A number of 25 million people are now suffering from cord injuries worldwide, and 130,000 patients join the inflicted population annually, he said.
In Iran, an estimated number of 70,000 patients are suffering from the said injuries with an annual growth rate of 3%.
The minister also stated that treatment of spinal cord injuries is now carried out only in three world countries, including China, Russia and Ukraine, adding, "But they use other methods which have brought them not more than 25% of success, while the Iranian scientists' innovated method has proved to be more promising."
The Islamic Republic of Iran has decided to practice the method in three other medical centers across the country, in addition to Imam Khomeini Hospital, as of next Iranian year (Norooz) - starting March 20st.
Meanwhile, Lankarani promised that our country can host foreign patients with spinal cord injuries who are willing to undergo the treatment method.
Experts believe that Iran's innovated technique is a milestone in curing spinal cord injuries as it has proven to be much more successful than other methods and repairs injured parts faster.
On Feb, 9, 2011 Iranian researchers at Tarbiat Modarres University managed to optimize culture medium, proliferation and differentiation of cells in vitro and succeeded in differentiating cells on three dimensional polymeric scaffolds to increase the resistance and maintenance of hepatic cells under the aforementioned conditions. (Updated: Jan, 26, 2012)

Bomb Kills 11 People

Feb, 14, 2007 AD

Sistan Baluchestan Heidarabad Fortress : Built in 1920 by Eidoo Khan, it was used as his residence until 1928.(BBC) - Eleven people have been killed in a bomb blast near a bus in city of Zahedan in south-eastern Iran, the official IRNA news agency has reported.
The bomb, hidden in a car, targeted members of IRGC, Iran's Revolutionary Guard, the agency said, although it is unclear if all the dead belonged to the guard.
Ghasem Rezayi, a military commander, described the act as "terrorism" and blamed "rebels".
Recent attacks have been blamed on the terrorist Jondollah organization.
Correspondents say an attack of this size and nature is unprecedented in Iran - hitting an elite force in daylight in an open street.
Reports say suspects behind the bombing have been arrested.
The city of Zahedan lies in the province of Sistan-Baluchestan, which borders both Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Iranian officials have accused Britain and the United States of supporting ethnic minority rebels operating in the Islamic republic's sensitive border areas.
Zahedan has been the focus of low-level unrest, with several security force members being killed in the last two months.
Fars news agency says a small car overtook the bus and then stopped in front of it, the occupants saying it had broken down.
They were then picked up by motorcycles and taken away before the bomb planted in the car exploded, apparently triggered by remote control.
A precise casualty number has been difficult to establish. The Iranian Red Crescent said only eight complete bodies had been recovered.
"The bandits and the agents of insecurity in this criminal act put a bomb near the bus and martyred these people," Mr Rezayi said.
IRNA said five suspects were arrested, including two suspects apprehended by members of the public.
The Jondollah terrorist group continued its operations, releasing disturbing videos of torture and decapitation on Al Arabia TV until Feb, 23, 2010, when CIA-backed Abdolmalek Rigi, the leader of notorious Jondollah was caught in a sophisticated operation by Iranian security forces. (Updated: Feb, 14, 2012)

Shahram Jazayeri Escapes The Prison

Feb, 20, 2007 AD

A Parliament representatives is taking a nap during a Majlis sessionShahram Jazayeri, a high profile prisoner whose name was associated with financial corruption and bribing of top officials escaped while being taken for investigation about a property. Accompanied by two guards, he suddenly vanished near his apartment in Ecbatan district of Tehran. The escape sent a shock wave among Iranians debating healthiness of the judicial system. The authorities gave contradicting statements adding further to public suspicion. Several officials were forced to resign including the head of the notorious Evin prison. During Norooz holidays, the news of his arrest in Oman was announced. He had reportedly escaped to Dubai on a fake passport. After receiving a tip, two Iranian police officers showed up at the hotel were Jazayeri was residing but he evaded the arrest. Being chased by the Interpol, he finally got arrested in Oman and brought back to Iran on a private jet plane. Many of vital questions regarding how's and why's of his escape still remain a mystery. Some rumors indicate that his term is just a formality and that his strong relations have guaranteed him a luxurious life in prison just like the former Tehran mayor, Gholamhossein Karbaschi.
On the other hand, reports of human rights violations, and abuse of political prisoners and rights activists continue to fill pages of the regime's workbook. As a matter of fact, the last word in the Islamic Republic of Iran is Connections which stands well above laws, rules and regulations. (Updated: Mar, 28, 2008)

Iran-Armenia Gas Pipeline Inaugurated

Mar, 19, 2007 AD

Sun sets in the horizon of South Pars on the Persian Gulf March, 2009. South Pars is the world's largest gas field, shared between Iran and Qatar covering an area of 9,700 sq. km, of which 3,700 is in Iranian waters.The initial plans to build the Iran-Armenia gas pipeline were announced on April, 15 2002 by Armenian Energy Minister Armen Movsisian. The pipeline started operations on December, 20 2006, and was officially inaugurated by the Presidents Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran and Robert Kocharyan of Armenia on March, 19 2007.
The pipeline diameter is 70 centimeters and it cost about 220$ million. The initial capacity of pipeline is 1.1 Billion Cubic Meters (BCM) of natural gas per year, which will be increased up to 2.3 BCM by 2019. The contract was signed for 20 years. For each cubic meter of the Iranian gas, Armenia is supposed to return 3 KWH of electric energy to Iran.
The pipeline is 140 km long. The 100 km Iranian section runs from Tabriz to the Iran-Armenia border. The Armenian section runs from the Meghri region to Sardarian, and another 197 km of pipeline is planned to reach the center of the country, where it will link up with the existing distribution network.
On November, 11 2009, Armenian officials reported an explosion of some segment of the pipeline within the Armenian borders.
Armenia has been building closer ties with Iran. Until now, Russia's Gazprom has supplied most of Armenia's gas.There are discussions to build a second pipeline from Iran to Armenia. (Updated: Feb, 29, 2012)

15 British Soldiers Seized In Iranian Waters

Mar, 23, 2007 AD

British Sailors Seized IranIranian naval forces seized British sailors and marines who were reportedly in Iran waters. Iran's Revolutionary Guard naval corps, which operates separately from Iran's navy, was involved in this operation. After heavy diplomatic traffic and media coverage, on April, 4th, the Britons were released after 15 days, wearing suits, rather than the military uniform they wore before. The one female crew member, Faye Turney, had a headscarf. An hour after their release, 4 British soldiers were killed in Iraq by a roadside bomb attack. The British had previously claimed that they were in Iraqi waters until adequate proof by Iranian authorities was presented to show otherwise. In several TV interviews, the soldiers admitted being in Iranian waters. 150 years ago, the Anglo-Persian war resulted in Herat to be separated from Iran. (Updated: Jan, 12, 2008)

UNSC Resolution #1747: Second Sanctions

Mar, 24, 2007 AD

Undated replica of Ayatollah Khamenei's Basij ID Card installed in port city of AnzaliFollowing the resolution #1737, the UNSC resolution #1747 which was passed on March, 24, 2007 was built on its previous decision to impose sanction on Tehran by banning arms exports from Iran and freezing financial assets some individuals and entities. The resolution takes into account some of the concerns expressed by South Africa, Indonesia and Qatar, such as the acknowledgment that all parties to the NPT, including Iran, have a right to peaceful uses of nuclear technology. The resolution also includes mechanisms for future negotiation with Iran and a nuclear-free Middle East.
On Feb, 22, 2008 IAEA report, submitted to UNSC on Iran’s nuclear program stated that Iran had answered many key questions on the development of a weapons program over US allegations that they attempt to enrich uranium and develop nuclear missile heads. Iran described US accusations as baseless, although the third UNSC resolution on March, 3, 2008 proved that Iran was almost alone in the international political scene and that a minority of hardliners were jeopardizing the future of the nation. A test of time for Iranian leaders. (Updated: Mar, 5, 2008)

Kidnapped Iranian Diplomat Released

Apr, 3, 2007 AD

Iranian Soldier wearing a mask against Chemical weapons used by Saddam Iran-Iraq War killing or injuring thousands of civilians and military personnel. European countries such as Germany and Netherlands were primary suppliers of chemical agentsJalal Sharafi, an Iranian diplomat who was taken hostage during a kidnapping in 2007 was released on Tuesday, April, 3 2007, and walked back into the Iranian embassy in Baghdad.
It remains unclear whether the release of the 15 British naval personnel on April, 4, 2007 had any connection with the release of a senior Iranian diplomat,
Although it is not clear who had abducted him, Jalal Sharifi was taken captive by a group of men dressed in uniforms of the Iraqi 36th Commando Battalion – a special Iraqi unit under U.S. direction. After his release, Sharafi claimed he had been kidnapped and tortured by American troops and agents of some Iraqi organization acting under the supervision of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). Signs of torture were reportedly found on Sharafi's body for which he received medical treatment. On Jan, 11, 2007 US took five Iranian diplomats hostage. The Iranian nationals arrested in the US raid on Iranian liaison office in Erbil were not released until Jul, 9, 2009 by US authorities after 910 days of imprisonment.
The British government however repeatedly stated that it made no deals with the United States or with Iran to secure the release of the detainees, and the timing of these events may be purely coincidental. (Updated: Nov, 9, 2012)

Gasoline Rationing Plan Starts

Jun, 27, 2007 AD

The South Pars / North Dome field is a natural gas condensate field located in the Persian Gulf is the world's largest gas field, shared between Iran and Qatar holding an estimated 51 trillion CBM of in-situ natural gas and 7.9 billion CBM of condensates.(Wikipedia) - 2007 Gasoline Rationing Plan in Iran was launched by president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's cabinet to reduce Iran's fuel consumption. Although Iran is one of the world's largest producers of petroleum, rapid increases in demand and limited refining capacity has forced the country to import about 40% of its gasoline, at an annual cost of up to $7 billion.
The fuel rationing originally triggered discontent in Iran, but, according to analysts quoted in the Western news media, the Iranian government is hoping that reducing gasoline imports will help insulate the country from international pressure related to its nuclear program. "We will greatly suffer if they (foreign countries) suddenly decide not to sell us fuel," said Iranian political analyst Saeed Leylaz. "Fuel rationing is a security-economic decision to reduce fuel consumption." In an interview Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said: "They had a plan and idea that is neutralized. They don't know our nation. They think if they refuse to provide us with gasoline, our nation would say we don't want nuclear energy."
An increase in population since 1980 from 40 to 68 million people pushed Iran’s gasoline consumption up by nearly 13 percent annually over the previous five years. As a result the country consumed far more gasoline than its refineries could provide. Production stood at 40,000 m3 a day, compared with daily demand standing at 70,000 m3. With 43 percent of its gasoline imported, Iran was the world’s second largest gasoline importer.
Iran's petrol was heavily subsidized, sold at about a fifth of its real cost. The price of 1,000 Rials ($0.11) per liter made Iran one of the cheapest countries in the world for motorists. The government maintained that the rich benefit from 70 percent of subsidies and that it is one of the primary reasons for changing the subsidies system.
Iran took action to reduce its dependence on foreign gasoline through a three-pronged strategy which includes:
Significant expansion of Iran’s refining capacity
Securing gasoline imports from friendly allies
Reducing the use of gasoline
Development of the public transport system
A special committee set up by the government came up with a four-point program which includes:
Conversion of most existing cars to run on natural gas within five years at a rate of 1.2 million annually. This will begin with conversion of 600,000 public and governmental cars to NGV.
Phase out of very old cars (approximately 1.2 million) by 2010.
As of June 2007, most of the newly manufactured cars will have to be able to run on natural gas.
Within five years most of Iran’s 10,000 refueling stations will be retrofitted to serve natural gas.
The Iranian government provides incentives to CNG car buyers and has meanwhile decreased the gasoline subsides. It must be noted that Iran is the Middle East's leading car manufacturer. In 2005 Iranian automakers produced nearly one million vehicles including 884,000 passenger cars and 104,000 heavy vehicles, altogether worth $11.6 billion. The Iranian government aims to have most of Iran’s cars running on natural gas by 2015.
The restrictions began at midnight local time on Wednesday 27 June, 2007, Tuesday and were set to continue for four months. The rationing system, allowed private drivers only 100 liters of fuel per month at the subsidized price. Taxis get 800 liters a month. Anything more than that will have to be bought at a higher price, which officials say will be announced within the next two months. The fuel rationing has triggered widespread discontent in Iran, but it succeeded in reducing the amount of imported gasoline which rendered USEU sanctions obsolete.
Based on the current rationing plan, each private car receives 120 liters per month at about 10 cents per liter. Currently, the price for non-rationed gasoline is almost 40 cents (Nov. 2008).
Prices in neighboring countries
In mid-November 2008, the prices of super gasoline in the neighboring Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Pakistan, Turkey and the UAE were 105, 108, 74, 84, 187 and 45 cents per liter. Whereas, in Iran motorists are allowed 100 liters of gasoline each month at the subsidized price of about 10 cents per liter and an unlimited amount at 40 cents per liter .
According to Iranian counter-smuggling authorities, 17 percent of daily fuel production equivalent to some 40 million liters were being smuggled out of the country every day in 2009. This is while most of the smuggling concerns gasoline and diesel fuel, whereas Iran imports both of these to the tune of 30 million liters every day. Smugglers are using "lakes of fuel", underground pipelines to neighboring countries and oil tankers on the Arvand Rood waterway. Facilities such as the Martyr Rajayi Port Complex in Hormozgan Province were reportedly used by smugglers within the state to export state subsidized gasoline outside the country. Fuel smuggling increased by 232 percent compared to last year's figures. Iran says its naval security forces have confiscated ten oil tankers smuggling 4,600 tons of Iranian fuel out of the Persian Gulf in 2008. As of 2012, smuggling to Pakistan and Afghanistan continues unabated because of price differential with these countries. According to the Iranian Police Chief, before the implementation of the subsidy reform plan, 20 million liters of fuel were trafficked out of the country daily. Now about one million liters of fuel is trafficked out of Iran every day despite increased domestic fuel prices caused by the Iranian targeted subsidy plan.
In June 2009, Oil Ministry announced that Iran has so far saved $8.5 billion through the nationwide fuel rations program. Regarding the fuel rationing program, if the plan had not been executed, Iran would have had to import 33 million liters of gasoline per day in 2007-8 and 44 million liters in 2008-9. With the implementation of the plan these figures reduced to 18.9 million liters and 21.6 million liters per day, respectively.
By July 2010, Iran had managed to save 11 billion dollars since the rationing began, thanks to the gasoline rationing plan, which has spared the need for excessive imports of the commodity. In June 2010, it was announced that after the implementation of the new subsidy reform plan, gasoline will be sold on "free market price".
Currently (June, 2012), each car receives 60 liters per month at the price of 4000 Rials and drivers have to pay 7000 Rials to buy gasoline at the free market price. (Updated: Jul, 19, 2012)

US Faking Intel To Attack Iran

Nov, 8, 2007 AD

Image released by Iranian news agencies caused laughter in world media after it became obvious that one of the missiles had failed and photoshopers manipulated it to conceal their epic failure that ironically might have started a war otherwise.A US National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) on Iran was held up for more than a year in an effort to force the intelligence community to remove dissenting judgments on the Iranian nuclear program. U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney with an aggressive policy toward Iran pressured on intelligence analysts to produce a draft estimate without those dissenting views.
White House finally released the unsatisfactory NIE draft, yet without making its key findings public.
NIE coordinates the judgments of 16 intelligence agencies on a specific country or issue.
Even within the biased views of US administration, there are certain doubts to alarmist signals that accuse Iran of having secret military purposes behind her nuclear program while Iranian nuclear activities are under international supervision. Pentagon uses the imaginary threat to finance its expensive overseas ventures in the Persian Gulf. Meanwhile AIPAC uses a fictional Tehran bomb to channel funds in support of the bankrupt state of Israel.
The first NIE draft which was completed a year before was not acceptable to the White House. Intelligence analysts had to review and rewrite their findings three times, because of pressure from the White House who wanted a document that it could use as evidence for its Iran policy, Despite such pressures, some analysts refused to go along with conclusions that they believed were not supported by the evidence.
NIE on Iran had already been completed in October 2006 but Cheney's office had objected to its findings on both the Iranian nuclear program and Iran's role in Iraq. The draft NIE did not conclude that there was confirming evidence that Iran was arming the Shiite insurgents in Iraq.
The White House had decided to postpone any decision on the internal release of the NIE until after the November 2006 elections.
Cheney's desire for a clean NIE that could be used to support his aggressive policy towards Iran was apparently a major factor in the replacement of John Negroponte as director of national intelligence in early 2007. Negroponte had angered the neoconservatives in the administration by telling the press in April 2006 that the intelligence community believed that Iran would not be capable of making a nuclear bomb before a decade.
On Jan. 5, 2007, Pres. George W. Bush announced the nomination of retired Vice Admiral John Michael McConnell to be director of national intelligence. McConnell was far more amenable to White House influence than his predecessor. On Feb. 27, one week after his confirmation, he told the Senate Armed Services Committee that the alleged export of explosively formed penetrators to Shiite insurgents in Iraq was linked to the highest leadership in Iran; apparently a false accusation to start a blame game for US failures in Iraq.
Cheney had been making that charge, but Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Secretary of Defence Robert M. Gates, as well as Negroponte, had opposed it.
The decision to withhold key judgments on Iran from the public was apparently part of a White House strategy for reducing the potential damage of publishing the estimate with the inclusion of dissenting views.
The flow of information in US administration follows a complicated pattern in a Soviet style hierarchy, in that; a letter from Iran which was sent to the US administration as an olive branch on May, 4th 2003, did not reach high-ranking US authorities. The US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice denied in Congressional testimony that she had seen the Iranian offer, well if she was not lying under oath.
The new US administration came with hopes but President Barrack Obama quickly forgot his promises of change before his election in Oct, 2009. This is probably because of his debt to lobbies supporting his presidential campaign. Obama released a New Year video message on March, 19, 2009 congratulating Norooz in Persian, yet US continued to impose tougher economic sanctions on Iran that made Americans more unpopular among average Iranians especially because of targeting sectors such as civilian aviation that has human lives at stake.
In September, 2011, the Obama administration accused Iran with an assassination plot against a Saudi official inside the US. Although allegations were funny enough to make a roasted chicken laugh, it is pretty obvious that a new breed of neoconservatives is still at work to start a war.
In one word, a consequence of a US military attack on Iran is disaster. Fortunately, level of sensitivity and awareness among American public has been rising thanks to independent media. Nevertheless, for this dangerous game the scenario to invade a nation does not have to be credible or logical as it was in the case of Afghanistan, a neighboring country which is still under occupation of NATO; therefore such ignorance and stupidity can become collective at the highest political levels despite simple facts that the time, effort and money which has been spent in warfare could have changed lives of people for better if it was managed wisely.
How can politicians risk their political future to such absurd atrocities? It is because they get credit and are paid for it, while they enjoy immunity from prosecution. If a few individuals that push nations to war, costing them millions of lives could be properly punished, they'd think twice even before uttering a stupid word out of the blue.
In 2003, in a meeting with Palestinian officials, George Bush claimed he was on a mission from God when he launched the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq. That lunatic held the office as President of the United States for eight years.
The fact that makes hostile states refrain from an attack is that: a strike on Iran will only give Iran the right to strike back. As it was experienced by Iraq on September, 23, 1980, the striker(s) will be caught by surprise. (Updated: Oct, 31, 2011)

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