Meanwhile, Back in the Middle East

So much fanfare lately over President Obama’s visit to Israel, it’s as if the Iranian crisis had become the sideshow. Well, believe us – it’s still the main event, even if the president has returned to DC. You just have to dig a little media-wise to keep abreast of recent developments.

First of all, as the experts like to say: the centrifuges are still spinning. In this spirit: While we know Reza Kahlilis’ website is considered suspect by some, we feel that it would be irresponsible to pass up this report of his.

According to Kahlili: “Iran has inadvertently confirmed WND’s report that the Islamic regime is working on nuclear weapons at a secret facility known as “Quds,” a name synonymous with the Arabic word for “Jerusalem”. WND report on March 20 and a follow-up in the Washington Times the next day revealed that Iranian scientists are trying to perfect nuclear warheads at the underground site, which is unknown to the West. The coordinates to this vast site and detailed information about the regime’s secret operation were provided to WND by a high-ranking Iranian intelligence officer assigned to the Ministry of Defense.”

Of course, just as the Iranians aren’t sitting on their hands from IAEA report to the next, so too sanctions imposed by the international community continue to press Tehran to recalculate its strategy and at least stay close to the negotiating table (even if no concessions on its part are so far forthcoming). In this context, this week we learned it may have lost another of its past sanctions- bypass conduits.

According to reports, “Dubai’s trade statistics for 2012 are in. And they show that, finally, western sanctions on Iran are crippling trade with the Islamic republic. The emirate started its path to regional entrepot status at the turn of the 20th century, when the ruling family offered a new home to Persian traders facing a rising tax burden. Since then, Iran has been central to Dubai’s economy, in trade, tourism and real estate. All that is changing as US financial sanctions finally close down one of the main avenues for global trade into Iran. Trade between Dubai and Iran trade fell by nearly a third, from Dh36bn ($9.8bn) in 2011 to Dh25bn in 2012.

Of course, Tehran operates at multiple levels, and when it comes to the Middle East is concerned with much more than circumventing sanctions.

Within the framework of its subversion agenda, “The official Saudi Press Agency quoted an Interior Ministry statement as saying Tuesday that material evidence and detainees’ confessions prove that members of the group had received money from the Islamic Republic for information on vital locations in the kingdom. The ministry said on March 19 that security authorities had arrested an 18-member spy ring, including an Iranian, a Lebanese and 16 Saudis.”

Well, well: Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, Lebanon, and of course – Syria. A never-ending list; nothing new there. A good time to refocus the media on the core issues in this crisis.

Blogging & updating on #Iran related news- focusing on Politics, Human Rights & the Iranian nuclear Program. Followed by top Middle East Analysts, Reportes & think tanks.

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2 comments on “Meanwhile, Back in the Middle East
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