"Iran’s militarized theocracy will survive or perish depending on the strength of the Revolutionary Guards, the praetorian branch of the military that has become a self-sustaining fundamentalist conglomerate." - Ruel Gerecht
" If the international community cannot restrain Iran, the Israeli government will face great pressure to take preemptive steps to protect the country against attack." - Michael Danby
“When we say we do not manufacture the bomb, we mean it, and we do not believe in manufacturing a bomb, the Iranian nation is brave enough that if one day we wanted to build nuclear bombs we would announce it publicly without being afraid of you." - Mahmoud Ahmadinejad”
If you were a member of the loyal opposition, if you were wearing green or even if you looked like you might want to join an opposition rally, you couldn't get on a bus or a taxi, you were stopped if you were walking on the sidewalk and interrogated, many were beaten up first, or were arrested, and layers and layers of basij and police tried their best to keep you from your destination. If you tried to escape, you were hit with paintballs and anyone walking around with paint on them were immediately arrested.
So, it looked like the government's plan to contain the opposition worked, and all official newscasts showed what a huge success the rally was. In the days to come we may find out the number of those arrested, added to the over 1000 who were arrested previously for being organizers. Does anyone think that whenever the next set of elections will be held in Iran they will be honest and fair?
"One day they said we cannot enrich uranium, but with the resistance of our leader, nation ... and with the help of God, the Iranian nation has become nuclear," - Mahmoud AhmadinejadIran had invited the IAEA to witness the enrichment process of 20%: "IAEA chief Yukiya Amano noted that Iran currently had just one cascade of centrifuges at the Natanz plant capable of the additional enrichment. Earlier this week, Iran's atomic chief Salehi said the separate cascade was "more on a lab scale," suggesting its output would be limited.
Ahmadinejad mocked Western governments' focus on removing the majority of Iran's existing stockpiles of low-enriched uranium (LEU) from the country. He boasted that the Natanz plant, where Iran has been enriching uranium in defiance of U.N. Security Council ultimatums and sanctions, had the capacity to produce large quantities to replace any Iran shipped out.
"They think it is such a big job to take some hundred kilos of 3.5 pct uranium out of Iran," he said, referring to the U.N.-drafted deal, which proposed supplying the fuel for the Tehran research reactor in return for Iran shipping out most of its stockpiles of LEU. "We are making several kilos of this in Natanz every day. In the near future, inshallah, our daily production will be tripled."
In the meantime, the Yemeni government and Houthi rebels have achieved a ceasefire...
AP: "President Barack Obama will meet with the Dalai Lama at the White House next week. The long-anticipated meeting set for Feb. 18 is likely to enflame tensions between China and the United States. China accuses the Dalai Lama of pushing for Tibetan independence and believes that shunning the exiled Tibetan monk should be a basic principle of international relations."
The Chinese invaded Tibet, chasing out the Dalai Lama when he was a child and forcing an exile camp to be set up in Northern India. They put all remaining monks in jail, outlawed religion, and forced Han Chinese to migrate from China and forcibly made to live in Tibet, much like they did in Mongolia.
Because the Dalai Lama just wants Tibet to become autonomous again, safe for all exiled Tibetans to move back to their homeland, he is branded as threatening to the Chinese regime. As much as I like many things Chinese, they just have their collective heads up their asses on this one...