Saturday, November 28, 2009

Aww--Castro brothers send hug to Ahmadinejad via Chavez

Here is a story to warm you up:
"We feel at home here and among our brothers ... we're going to be together until the end," Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad told his Venezuelan counterpart Hugo Chavez during a visit to Latin America on Wednesday.

Both leaders roundly denounced US "imperialism," and Chavez also called Israel "a murderous arm of the Yankee empire."

Chavez said he had just returned from an unannounced visit to Cuba, where he met with his mentor Fidel Castro as well as President Raul Castro. "They asked me to give you a hug for them," he told Ahmadinejad. [...]
Ahmadinejad must really appreciate that hug from the Castros, but undoubtedly what would really make him happy is the delivery of those S-300 missiles from Russia. According to IRIB Radio, Iran has received assurances that Russia still intends to deliver them:
Iran's Ambassador to Moscow Mahmood Reza Sajjadi in Moscow on Friday evening said that the Russian officials have told him they still honour a contract to deliver S-300 missiles to Iran.

According to IRNA, visiting "Argomenti" Daily in Moscow on Friday afternoon, Sajjadi said that the Russian officials have always talked about recognition of military and technical cooperation contract with Iran and declared their commitment to execute the contract.

He added that the Russian officials are also committed to complete Bushehr Power Plant and they hope that the power plant starts its activity in the shortest possible time. [...]
Things are not so cozy, however, between Iran and Norway:
Iran has denied Norway’s allegation that the Islamic Republic has confiscated the Nobel Peace Prize of Shirin Ebadi.

Norwegian Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Stoere said in a statement on Thursday, “The medal and the diploma have been removed from Dr. Ebadi’s bank box, together with other personal items. Such an act leaves us feeling shock and disbelief,” CNN reported.

It is surprising that Norwegian officials jump to conclusions without respecting international protocols and taking enough time to consider both sides of the issue, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said on Friday.

Mehmanparast said the issue involved tax evasion, and as in all countries, tax evasion is a crime in Iran and individuals face legal penalties should they commit such an act. [...]
The article, you'll note, does not actually say where the medal is. Iran's threats to withdraw from cooperating with the IAEA are getting a fair amount of press coverage. The Iranian press has a great deal about it, of course. Here is part of a Mehr article:
Iran officially announced that it will cease its voluntary cooperation with the IAEA after the agency’s Board of Governors adopted a resolution against Iran on Friday under pressure by Western countries.

Iran said the drafters of the anti-Iran resolution made a historic mistake and advised the West to discard its policy of confrontation with Tehran.

"To show its goodwill, the Islamic Republic of Iran has so far taken steps beyond its commitments, but this resolution will cause Iran to cooperate with the agency only within the framework of the NPT (nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty)," Ali Asghar Soltanieh, Iran’s ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency, said on Friday. [...]
I don't think that Iran's nuclear ambitions are encountering too many obstacles from the West so far.

Crossposted on Soccer Dad

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