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23 avril 2008 3 23 /04 /avril /2008 23:46


Iraq: Up to 100 al-Qaeda leaders in Iran, says government

Baghdad, 23 April (AKI) - Iraq's national security advisor Muwafaq al-Rubei has claimed Iran is hosting 100 al-Qaeda leaders and members, some of whom are under house arrest.

"In Iran, there are many members of the terrorist organisation, that come from Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, North Africa or Yemen," said al-Rubei in an interview with pan-Arab daily al-Sharq al-Awsat on Wednesday.

According to the national security advisor, some al-Qaeda leaders have been jailed in Iran, while others are under house arrest.

But al-Rubei claimed those under house arrest still have access to a telephone that enables them to stay in contact with al-Qaeda cells in Iraq.

He also said Iraq has asked Iran for information regarding these people but have not received any response.

Al-Rubei has asked for Iran's collaboration to "interrupt the influx of terrorists to our country". He said without Iranian support, Iraq could not stop them.

"We have information about other terror groups such as Ansar al-Islam and Ansar al-Sunna that cross the borders between Iran, Iraq and Kurdistan that have contacts with these leaders, and we consider that Tehran must do something to stop them," said al-Rubei.

Al-Rubei also accused Iran of providing financial support for Shia militias, such as those of radical cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, to create instability that would allow political movements close to Iran to gain power.

"If they [Iran] wanted to, they could do a lot more for the stability of the country, for example, blocking the influx of weapons coming from their country," concluded al-Rubei.
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21 avril 2008 1 21 /04 /avril /2008 15:31
Elaph.com : Irak / Arrestation d’un iranien chargé d’entraîner des terroristes en Irak
lundi 21 avril 2008 - 11h26
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Le site « Elaph.com » cite un communiqué officiel selon lesquel l’armée américaine a arrêté un responsable iranien chargé d’entraîner des groupes armés irakiens, en compagnie de trois autres terroristes, lors d’opérations menées dans le quartier chiite d’Al-Kazimiya, au nord de Bagdad.

L’Iranien est responsable de plusieurs attaques contre les forces irakiennes et l’armée américaine dans la capitale irakienne, et était lié à la milice de Moqtada Sadr.

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20 avril 2008 7 20 /04 /avril /2008 17:28
Si cela pouvait servir de leçons aux actuels alliés de l'Iran : Bachar, Hamas, Hezbollah ou Chavez... : devenu trop voyant, l'Iran chercherait à couper le cordon ombilical avec Moqtada Sadr...
Elaph.com : Irak / Reprise des affrontements à Sadr city
dimanche 20 avril 2008 - 11h02
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Le site « Elaph.com » souligne que de violents affrontements ont repris entre les forces gouvernementales irakiennes et la milice de Moqtada Sadr, l’Armée du Mahdi, dans son fief de Sadr city, la banlieue est de Bagdad. Les affrontements ont déjà fait, ce dimanche, huit morts et 22 blessés. Moqtada Sadr a en outre ordonné à ses hommes d’évacuer leurs positions à Bassorah, et de remettre les bâtiments publics qui étaient occupés aux forces de l’ordre. Certains voient dans ce geste un effondrement de sa milice, d’autant plus qu’elle serait « lâchée » par l’Iran. En effet, depuis plusieurs jours, plusieurs médias iraniens, qui avaient longtemps soutenu Sadr, se retournent contre lui et lui attribuent les attentats qui ont ensanglanté Karbala et Nadjaf, ces dernières années. Des sites iraniens diffusent des vidéos attestant de l’implication de Sadr dans un terrorisme de grande ampleur.

En outre, la télévision « Al Arabiya » souligne que neuf étudiants, qui participaient à une sortie organisée, ont été enlevés ce matin sur un faux barrage, dans la région de Baaqouba.

By BUSHRA JUHI, Associated Press Writer 31 minutes ago

BAGHDAD - U.S. troops killed 12 militants during an "uptick" in fighting Sunday, the military said, as fierce clashes broke out in Baghdad's Sadr City district after radical cleric Muqtada al-Sadr warned he will declare war if a crackdown against his followers persists.

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, meanwhile, arrived in Baghdad for a trip she said was intended to promote fresh political gains she sees to be flowing from the government-led assaults on radical militias.

Rice told reporters she sees signs that last month's assaults on militia forces in Basra have brought sectarian and ethnic groups together in an unprecedented way, and she said she wants to capitalize on that cohesion.

Loud explosions were heard in central Baghdad as rockets or mortar shells were fired toward the U.S.-protected Green Zone as Rice was meeting with top Iraqi officials there. The area has faced regular shelling since the current tensions erupted last month.

Also Sunday, Iraqi security forces gained control of the last Mahdi Army stronghold in Basra and began setting up bases and checkpoints.

Lt. Gen. Ali Ghaidan, a commander of the operation, said troops had recovered large caches of weapons during door-to-door searches of Hayaniyah, scene of some of the bitterest fighting last month.

The deadliest battle in Sadr City occurred just before 8 a.m. when gunmen attacked a U.S. checkpoint with machine guns, rocket-propelled grenades and mortar shells, a military spokesman said.

The Americans fought back, killing the seven militants, then shot to death two Iraqi snipers firing at them from a nearby rooftop as local nationals arrived to remove the bodies, according to the spokesman, Lt. Col. Steve Stover.

Three other militants were killed while trying to plant roadside bombs at about 6:43 a.m. elsewhere in Sadr City, Stover said.

He added that U.S. troops also clashed with militants elsewhere in Baghdad, but no deaths were reported in those incidents.

Sadr City, a sprawling district of some 2.5 million people in eastern Baghdad, has seen daily clashes between U.S.-backed Iraqi forces who have launched a crackdown against Shiite militias led by al-Sadr's Mahdi Army militia.

But Stover said the fighting on Sunday was among the fiercest.

"There was an uptick in violence in comparison with the past couple of weeks," Stover said, although he declined to link it to al-Sadr's warning, which was broadcast over mosque loudspeakers in the district late Saturday.

"We're not looking for a fight but what we are doing is protecting the Iraqi people," Stover said.

The deaths were in addition to seven armed "criminals" reported killed by the military on Saturday in Sadr City — two in gunbattles and five in two separate airstrikes.

Iraqi police and hospital officials also said six civilians — four men and two boys ages 8 and 10 — were killed in fighting in Sadr City after midnight.

The U.S. military insisted it does not engage if civilians are seen in the area and blamed the militants for putting innocent Iraqis at risk by mingling among them.

Internal Shiite rivalries have intensified since U.S.-backed Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki launched the crackdown against militias on March 25. The government also has demanded that al-Sadr disband his Mahdi Army militia or face political isolation, while insisting that military operations are only targeting criminal gangs.

Al-Sadr's followers believe the campaign is aimed at weakening their movement to prevent it from winning provincial council seats at the expense of Shiite parties that work with the United States in the national government.

However, the U.S. military insists the campaign is not aimed at the Mahdi Army, saying they are only trying to root out criminal elements.

"We've made it very clear that the Mahdi Army itself ... is not the enemy," said Maj. Gen. Rick Lynch, commander of the 3rd Infantry Division, which controls a large region south of the capital. "The enemy is Sunni extremists, Shiite extremists and Iranian influence."

Sadrist lawmakers, who hold 30 seats in the 275-strong parliament, demanded Sunday that the military operations stop in Sadr City and other Shiite areas and warned that they would continue to resist calls to disband the Mahdi Army.

"Random airstrikes, killings and bloodshed will not help but rather will increase hatred and enmity," Sadrist lawmaker Fawzi Akram said, reading a statement issued by the bloc.

In Sadr City, officials at the Sadr's office instructed journalists to cease all activities in the district for the next two days. No reason was given.

In the warning posted Saturday on his Web site, al-Sadr said he had tried to defuse tensions by declaring a unilateral truce last August, only to see the government respond by closing his offices and "resorting to assassinations."

He accused the government of selling out to the Americans and branding his followers as criminals.

"So I am giving my final warning ... to the Iraqi government ... to take the path of peace and abandon violence against its people," al-Sadr said. "If the government does not refrain ... we will declare an open war until liberation."

A full-blown uprising by al-Sadr, who led two rebellions against U.S.-led forces in 2004, could lead to a dramatic increase in violence in Iraq at a time when the Sunni extremist group al-Qaida in Iraq appears poised for new attacks after suffering severe blows last year.

The terror network on Saturday also announced a one-month offensive against U.S. troops and Sunnis who have joined forces with the Americans in a new Internet audiotape by the purported leader of al-Qaida in Iraq, Abu Ayyub al-Masri.

Underscoring concerns that Sunni insurgents are regrouping in the north, gunmen on Sunday ambushed three minibuses carrying university students near Baqouba, 35 miles northeast of Baghdad.

The drivers were kidnapped but the students were released, according to a police officer who received the report at the Diyala provincial headquarters. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he wasn't authorized to release the information.


Associated Press writers Sinan Salaheddin and Qassim Abdul-Zahra contributed to this report.

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20 avril 2008 7 20 /04 /avril /2008 17:13
Charles Krauthammer revient sur le danger de l'Iran nucléaire, et les moyens de s'en prémunir. 

Dissuader l’opiniâtre

Par Charles Krauthammer

Washington Post, 18 avril 2008

Adaptation française de Sentinelle 5768 ©

L’ère de la non proliferation est
terminée. Pendant le premier demi-siècle de l’ère nucléaire, la sécurité a reposé sur la limitation de l’armement aux grandes puissances, et à la mise à l’écart des Etats voyous à son accès. Cette stratégie devait inévitablement s’effondrer. L’inévitable est arrivé.

Les pourparlers à six parties sur la Corée du Nord ont échoué misérablement. Ils n’ont pas empêché Pyongyang de tester une arme nucléaire et de se joindre au club.

Aujourd’hui, la Corée du Nord a transgressé de nouveau son engagement de révéler toutes ses installations nucléaires.

L’autre test était l’Iran. Les négociations avec les trois de l’UE (Grande-Bretagne, France et Allemagne) n’ont abouti nulle part. Chaque résolution du Conseil de Sécurité de l’ONU promulguant ce qui passait pour des sanctions était plus inutile que la précédente. L’enrichissement de l’uranium se poursuit.

Quand la récente annonce par l’Iran qu’elle triplait le nombre de centrifugeuses à 9.000 n’a provoqué aucune réponse perceptible de l’administration Bush, la partie était terminée.

Chacun déclare qu’il faut empêcher l’Iran d’accéder au nucléaire. Personne ne se lancera dans une mission dangereuse.

La « communauté internationale » est prête à ne rien faire de conséquent pour empêcher la prolifération nucléaire. Personne ne veut l’admettre. Pas plus que quiconque ne veut envisager la perspective d’armes nucléaires entre les mains d’un, deux, ou de beaucoup d’Etats voyous.

Nous le devons. Ce jour arrive, et vite.
Nous devons faire face à la réalité et commencer de songer à comment vivre avec l’impensable.

Il y a quatre façons de traiter avec des Etats voyous accédant au nucléaire : la prévention, la dissuasion, les missiles de défense, et le changement de régime.

La prévention marche mais en tant que remède, il est consommé. L’Irak a été décrochée par la frappe aérienne israélienne en 1981, par la guerre du Golfe de 1991 (qui mit à jour les programmes nucléaires clandestins de Saddam Hussein) et enfin par l’invasion en 2003, qui mit fin à la dynastie des Hussein, père et deux fils.

Un effet collatéral de la guerre d’Irak a été le désarmement nucléaire de la Libye. Voyant la destinée de Hussein, Mouammar Khadafi révéla et démantela son programme nucléaire. Et s’il faut en croire l’Estimation Nationale du Renseignement (NIE) de novembre dernier, l’invasion de l’Irak a même amené l’Iran à suspendre temporairement l’armement et l’enrichissement.

Mais le coût de la prévention est simplement trop élevé. Personne ne va renouveler la guerre de Corée avec une attaque sur Pyongyang. Et les perspectives d’une attaque sur les installations de l’Iran sont de plus en plus faibles.
Que faire ?

La dissuasion.
Elle fonctionnait pendant la Guerre Froide à deux acteurs. Fonctionnera-t-elle avec de multiples voyous ? Elle semble très adaptée pour la Corée du Nord, dont le régime, loin d’être suicidaire, est obsédé par sa survie.

L’Iran est un cas différent. Avec sa direction millénariste actuelle, la dissuasion est en effet un pari médiocre, comme je l’ai écrit en 2006 en envisageant le dossier de la prévention. Mais si la prévention est hors jeu, la dissuasion est tout ce qui reste. Notre tâche est de rendre la dissuasion plus convaincante dans ce contexte.

De deux manières : Commencer par menacer de représailles si dénuées d’ambiguïté et si accablantes en cas d’agression nucléaire de l’Iran, que les non millénaristes de la direction conserveraient les rênes ou même chasseraient ceux qui mènent leur pays à l’extinction.

Mais il y a un complément à la dissuasion : les missiles de défense. Contre un immense arsenal soviétique, cela était inutile. Contre de petites puissances avec de petits arsenaux, à savoir la Corée du Nord et l’Iran, cela devient extrêmement efficace associé à la dissuasion.   

Juste pour la discussion, imaginez un système de défense anti-missiles disposé en deux couches, dans lequel chaque couche est imparfaite avec, disons, une certitude de coup au but de 90 %. Cela signifie que seulement un missile sur 100 traverse les deux couches. Cela renforce infiniment la dissuasion en dégradant radicalement la possibilité d’une première frappe réussie. Même Mahmoud Ahmadinejad pourrait s’abstenir de lancer un arsenal de, disons, 20 têtes nucléaires, si ses conseillers scientifiques lui démontraient qu’il n’y a que 18,2 % de chance qu’un seul puisse traverser – et 100 % de risque qu’une contre-attaque en représailles de centaines de têtes nucléaires israéliennes (ou américaines) réduisent en cendres la première république islamique du monde.

Bien sûr, on pourrait déborder des missiles de défense en utilisant des terroristes. Mais tout ce qui ne serait pas une attaque sur de multiples sites, au secret hermétiquement gardé, et parfaitement exécutée, provoquerait une destruction terrible, mais non existentielle. La destruction en représailles, d’autre part, serait existentielle.

Nous discutons, bien sûr, de probabilités. Une sécurité totale provient d’un changement de régime. Pendant la Guerre Froide, nous étions inquiets des têtes nucléaires soviétiques, mais jamais de celles détenues par les Français ou les Britanniques. Les armes ne tuent pas les gens ; des gens tuent des gens. Un changement de régime adviendra sûrement en Corée du Nord et en Iran. Ce sera l’ultime salut.

Mais c’est entre aujourd’hui et cette date que gît le danger. Comment naviguer en sécurité dans l’intervalle ? La dissuasion plus la défense par missiles rend le succès d’une première frappe si improbable, et à l’opposé si assuré de provoquer l’autodestruction qu’elles pourraient – pourraient seulement – nous faire passer du jour où les voyous accèdent au nucléaire à celui de leur déposition.

Nous sommes entrés dans l’ère postérieure à la non prolifération. Il est temps de sortir notre tête du sable, et de nous en occuper.
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20 avril 2008 7 20 /04 /avril /2008 13:34
British dealers supply arms to Iran


Customs probe reveals sanctions-busting sales of arms, missile technology and nuclear components * Mark Townsend, defence correspondent * The Observer, * Sunday April 20 2008 * Article history About this article Close This article appeared in the Observer on Sunday April 20 2008 on p6 of the News section. It was last updated at 00:00 on April 20 2008. Iranian soldiers. Soldiers of Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards march during an annual military parade to mark Iran's eight-year war with Iraq. Photograph: Atta Kenare/AFP/Getty Investigators have identified a number of British arms dealers trading with Tehran, triggering alarm among government officials who fear Iran's nuclear programme may be receiving significant support from UK sources. The probe by customs officers suggests that at least seven Britons have been defying sanctions by supplying the Iranian air force, its elite Revolutionary Guard Corps, and even the country's controversial nuclear ambitions. Officials say they are perturbed by the number of British dealers who appear to be trading with Tehran, despite a third round of restrictions being recently imposed by the United Nations on exporting arms and components to Iran. However, investigators argue that it is the generous riches being offered by Iran, not any shared ideology, that is seducing the dealers. Among the examples uncovered is the case of a UK businessman caught smuggling components for use in guided missiles through a front company that proved to be the Iranian Ministry of Defence. Another case involves a group that included several Britons which, investigators alleged, attempted to export components intended to enhance the performance of Iranian aircraft. Other examples involve a British millionaire arms dealer caught trading machine-guns used by the SAS and capable of firing 800 rounds a minute with a Tehran-based weapons supplier. Customs offers are also working on a number of 'active investigations' which include several Britons and breach sanctions aimed at curbing Iran's military strength. At least two other UK nationals are also being investigated over claims they are working, or have worked with, Iran to import components for the country's alleged nuclear weapons programme. These individuals are understood to have long-standing links to nuclear scientist Abdul Qadeer Khan, Pakistan's 'father of the bomb', who has admitted helping North Korea, Iran and Libya to develop nuclear weapons. A Foreign Office source said evidence that Iranian authorities are contacting British companies as it tries to circumvent sanctions 'through the backdoor' was a concern. 'We shouldn't be naive enough to know that [Iran] will not try to get these items,' he added. Among those identified are London businessman Mehrdad Salashoor, who was caught shipping hi-tech navigation equipment adaptable for missile guidance systems to the Iranian military. When the 56-year-old asked British authorities about the licences required to export 11 'gyrocompass' devices worth £650,000 to Azerbaijan he was informed that he would require a special export licence. Undeterred, he sent the consignment without licence to Malta with instructions for an onward shipment to an Iranian company. British investigators later discovered that the 'firm' was the Iranian Ministry of Defence. Other paperwork uncovered by officials revealed that Salashoor had also received arms orders from the Iranian air force and navy. The operation was conducted under the auspices of the missile technology control regime, an arrangement involving 34 countries and aimed at tackling 'weapons of mass destruction'. Salashoor has been jailed for 18 months and told to surrender more than £430,000 in assets. Anxiety mounted recently after satellite imagery appeared to indicate a previously unknown facility in its long-range missile programme. Another Briton, John Knight, one of Britain's most experienced arms dealers, has also been jailed for four years after trying to sell 130 machine guns in an Iranian deal. Millionaire Knight, who lived in a gated community in Kent and was regarded by neighbours as a normal businessman, traded through an offshore company, Endeavour Resources, based in the British Virgin Islands.
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20 avril 2008 7 20 /04 /avril /2008 10:49

La diaspora libanaise mène une nouvelle campagne contre son alliance avec le Hezbollah

Michel Aoun et le CPL seront-ils inscrits sur la liste des mouvements terroristes ?

dimanche 20 avril 2008 - 09h49, par Randa Al Fayçal

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Depuis la signature de l’arrangement entre le Courant Patriotique Libre (CPL) du général Michel Aoun, et le Hezbollah, en février 2006, les Occidentaux craignent de plus en plus l’exploitation du CPL par le parti chiite pour contourner les interdictions qui frappent ce dernier et ses médias, classés sur la liste des organisations terroristes.

Aujourd’hui, le quotidien koweïtien « Al Seyassah » confirme cette crainte, et révèle que « des dizaines d’institutions et d’associations libanaises de la diaspora ont repris leur campagne pour faire interdire le CPL aux Etats-Unis et en Occident ». Car, selon les initiateurs de cette campagne, « le général Aoun est l’allié du Hezbollah, et lui sert de couverture pour contourner les restrictions qui le visent depuis son inscription sur la liste des organisations terroristes en Occident ». La campagne veut pour preuve le développement de la télévision du CPL, « Orange TV » (OTV), grâce aux fonds iranien et du Hezbollah, qui tend à remplacer la télévision « Al-Manar », interdite en Occident. Ainsi, le Hezbollah cherche à inonder les Etats-Unis par OTV.

Le quotidien précise que « la campagne contre Aoun a repris à l’occasion du 25ème anniversaire de l’attentat qui avait terrassé l’ambassade américaine à Beyrouth, le 18 avril 1983, faisant 60 morts. Un attentat attribué aux groupuscules chiites qui se sont coalisés dans le Hezbollah ».

Les associations de la diaspora libanaise aux Etats-Unis, ainsi que le « Conseil mondial de la Révolution du Cèdre » et « l’Union maronite mondiale », demandent à l’administration américaine de prendre des mesures efficaces contre l’alliance Hezbollah-CPL et d’interdire l’entrée sur le territoire américain de représentants du général Aoun, qui tentent de retourner l’opinion publique américaine en faveur du Hezbollah. Ils affirment que « le Hezbollah utilise le CPL et le général Aoun comme une couverture chrétienne pour infiltrer l’Occident ».

Cette offensive hostile au général Aoun intervient, rappelle le quotidien, « quelques semaines après que le chef du CPL ait défendu la Syrie et l’Iran, à la télévision, et après ses vives critiques formulées à l’encontre des Etats-Unis, accusés d’ingérence au Liban ». Aoun avait qualifié la politique américaine au Liban « d’hostile », réclamant « le droit à l’autodéfense contre la politique de Bush ».

Le Conseil mondial de la Révolution du Cèdre a adressé des requêtes aux gouvernements américain, canadien et australien, leur demandant « d’agir contre le CPL et le général Aoun » et dénonçant « les membres activistes du CPL, installés dans ces pays, qui travaillent pour le compte du Hezbollah ». Le Conseil met en garde contre l’exploitation de chrétiens, jusque-là insoupçonnables, dans des opérations terroristes pour le compte du parti chiite et de ses commanditaires, la Syrie et l’Iran, surtout si les relations entre Washington et Téhéran se dégradaient à la faveur du conflit autour du programme nucléaire iranien. « Dans le cas où le conflit se militarisait, ces agents chrétiens du Hezbollah n’hésiteraient pas à rééditer l’attentat contre l’ambassade américaine à Beyrouth, mais cette fois dans les grandes villes américaines, canadiennes et australiennes », met en garde le Conseil.

Il convient de rappeler que cette campagne intervient après des révélations inquiétantes, ces derniers jours, sur les efforts du CPL à armer ses partisans dans les régions chrétiennes au Liban. Dans sa dernière édition, l’hebdomadaire « Al Shiraa » croit en effet savoir que le Hezbollah a livré aux partisans du général Aoun plusieurs milliers d’armes légères et de lance-roquettes (RPG), ainsi qu’il a fourni des armes aux Arméniens et à la milice de Sleiman Frangieh, et à d’autres groupuscules. Le Hezbollah entraîne les partisans du CPL dans ses camps de la Békaa, notamment aux tirs de RPG...

En étroite collaboration avec le Hezbollah, le CPL a, selon la même source, préparé un plan d’action (militaire) visant à paralyser la région chrétienne, au cas où l’évolution politique lui était défavorable. Ce plan est notamment soutenu par le député aouniste franco-libanais, Nabil Nicolas, et par le gendre du général Aoun, Gebran Bassil. Ces développements ont révolté le député du Metn, Michel Murr. Lors d’une réunion du Rassemblement aouniste, à la mi-mars, Murr a refusé cette option « terroriste », mais il a peiné à faire valoir sa position. Il a fini par claquer la porte et annoncer son retrait définitif du CPL, après plusieurs mois d’hésitations.

Traduction et synthèse de Randa Al Fayçal

Lire l'article original : Al Seyassah - Koweït

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19 avril 2008 6 19 /04 /avril /2008 11:16

Que fait l'UNESCO?



Des synagogues anciennes ont été rasées dans le cadre du programme de développement urbain de Téhéran
[Source : chn.ir, Iran, 12.04.2008]

Le site sur l'héritage culturel iranien chn.ir rapporte que dans le cadre du programme de développement urbain de Téhéran, la municipalité de la capitale a rasé sept anciennes synagogues du quartier juif Oudlajan du sud de la ville – bien que celles-ci aient été classées monuments iraniens historiques.

Lire : http://www.thememriblog.org/iran/blog_personal/en/6884.htm.

* * * * * * * *

Pour plus d´infos sur l´Iran : http://www.thememriblog.org/iran.
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16 avril 2008 3 16 /04 /avril /2008 09:05
La Syrie a-t-elle définitivement tourné le dos aux Arabes ?

L’Iran célèbre l’Ayatollah Khomeiny en Syrie

mardi 15 avril 2008 - 18h45, par Chawki Freïha

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Ce qui relevait encore de la rumeur et des accusations "infondées", souvent formulées par les Sunnites et les Arabes, mais longtemps démenties par la Syrie, semble se confirmer. L’Iran vient d’annoncer que les cérémonies à la mémoire de l’Ayatollah Khomeiny, commémorant l’anniversaire de sa mort, seront célébrées en Syrie, cette année.

C’est du moins ce qu’affirme l’agence de presse italienne AKI (AdnKronos international), citant une source iranienne à Damas. L’Ayatollah Mojtabi Husseini, le représentant du Guide de la Révolution iranienne (Ali Khamenaï) en Syrie, a expliqué que « les cérémonies seront célébrées notamment au Mausolée de Sayyda Zeinab à Damas, ainsi que dans d’autres mosquées et centres culturels, dans plusieurs villes du pays. Ces festivités seront organisées avec la collaboration de l’ambassade iranienne et de l’attaché culturel iranien à Damas. L’objectif étant d’exposer au peuple syrien les pensées éclairées du fondateur de la république islamique ». Mojtabi Husseini a ajouté que « les peuples syrien et libanais sont à la recherche de telles idées éclairées, plus que tous les autres peuples du monde ».

Les opposants au rapprochement syro-iranien accuse la République islamique d’avoir un projet aux dimensions multiples, confessionnelles, religieuses, culturelles, sociologiques et économiques complètement opposé à l’Islam. Ces opposants dénoncent la célébration de Khomeiny en Syrie et regrettent le soutien de Damas à un tel projet.

Les responsables syriens, dont le Mufti, ont démenti les informations relatives à la chiitisation des Syriens. Le Mufti, bien que sunnite, il est redevable au régime qui l’a nommé à ce poste pour servir de couverture islamique et de légitimation d’un régime sectaire détenu par la minorité alaouite, longtemps considérée comme « hérétique ». Il aurait fallu une fatwa de l’imam chiite libanais (d’origine iranienne) Moussa Sadr, en 1973, pour reconsidérer les alaouites comme faisant partie de la communauté chiite, afin qu’ils puissent gouverner les sunnites. Les relations privilégiées entre les deux pays remontent à cette période. Elles se sont renforcées à la faveur de la guerre entre l’Iran et l’Irak. Ce mariage entre Damas et Téhéran a enfanté le Hezbollah au Liban.

Avec la célébration de Khomeiny en Syrie, le régime de Damas confirme son alliance avec les Iraniens chiites, et tourne définitivement le dos à ses partenaires Arabes et sunnites.

Traduction et synthèse de Chawki Freïha

Lire l'article original : AKI - Italie

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15 avril 2008 2 15 /04 /avril /2008 07:53
Monday, April 14, 2008

Analysis: How Iranians are Avoiding Sanctions

April 14, 2008
The Financial Times
Anna Fifield in Tehran

When Shahrom, a Tehran developer, wants to transfer thousands of dollars to his property investment business in Dubai, or to associates in the US, he does not go to the bank. Instead, like thousands of other Iranian business people, he turns to his trusted money changer.

Using a centuries-old financial transfer system known as havaleh in Iran and elsewhere as hawala, its Arabic name, Shahrom moves his money easily – and just about invisibly.

“I usually transfer money into my own account in Dubai but my money exchange dealer tells me not to transfer more than $100,000 (£50,350, €63,125) at a time because it might look suspicious,” he says in his office in central Tehran, the walls adorned with photos of apartment towers his company has built. With sanctions in place against Iran, he and other dealers and businessmen who spoke to the Financial Times for this article asked that their surnames not be used.

“So I usually transfer money in batches of $40,000 or $50,000. But if I’m transferring money to or from the US, I send it through Turkey. I don’t want to make them suspicious either,” Shah¬rom adds.

Hawala, a cheap and remarkably reliable system for money transfer, dates back to the eighth century but in recent decades has become the favoured method employed by migrant workers from south Asia and the Middle East to send earnings back home. The system has been used by business too – and since the US and the United Nations started curtailing Iran’s access to the international financial system following the regime’s refusal to stop enriching uranium, the use of hawala in Iran has rocketed, according to business people, money changers and analysts.

After almost three decades under various US sanctions, Iranians have proven adept at skirting the restrictions. Although the latest US crackdown on Iran’s financial sector and the sanctions imposed by the UN are hurting, Iranian businessmen have found a way to work around them.

Much of the traded goods that were being sent from countries in Europe and Asia – and even from the US – have been re-routed through Dubai, making it impossible to tell which are destined for the United Arab Emirates rather than for Iran. The use of hawala is a further way to circumvent western curbs. The apparent sharp increase in the use of informal money transfer systems is ringing alarm bells in Washington, which has been trying to scrutinise Iranian transactions.

Most of the time, hawala is used for legitimate transfers, but its anonymity and the lack of a full paper trail means it has attractions for more dubious dealings too. After the September 11 attacks on the US in 2001, Washington officials worried that al-Qaeda had used hawala as a conduit to provide finance for its mission. Although these suspicions were later discounted, hawala is unregulated and very difficult to police.

This is how it works. Mr A, an importer of Chinese shoes, goes to a money exchanger in Tehran and says he wants to send $10,000 to his supplier. The broker calls his counterpart in Beijing, who goes to the supplier’s bank and deposits the money. The Beijing counterpart carries a $10,000 debt against the broker in Tehran. When an Iranian in China wants to send $5,000 to his family in Iran, he goes through the hawala process in reverse. Over time, the debts of the brokers in Tehran and Beijing cancel each other out.

As the system is founded on honour, brokers – just like banks – know they will go out of business if they renege on a deal. And it is very fast – with average transfer times of 48 hours, it is much quicker than an international bank transfer or Western Union, thanks to the absence of bureaucracy. Hawala can often also be much cheaper than traditional methods.

Iranian hawala dealers charge a fee – typically 1-1.5 per cent of the total or sometimes a flat $50 – or use exchange rate spreads to generate their income. In a variation on this process, the money changer in Tehran uses a counterpart in Dubai, who deposits the money into an emirate bank account and then wires the money through the international banking system.

In that way, imported consumer goods enter Iran. “With the US trying to impose ever more vigorous financial sanctions on the other, how on earth else could the bazaar continue to operate without recourse to hawala?” asks Roger Ballard, a hawala expert at Manchester University. Saeed, who sells pots and pans imported from China in Tehran’s bustling bazaar, confirms this suggestion. “If we wanted to send money through the banking system it would cost a small fortune, so we give the money to dealers and they send the money through Dubai to China,” he says.

“These people are family, friends, people we trust. This is our secret way. If you talk about it, maybe they will try to put sanctions on this too,” Saeed says, before abruptly closing his mouth.

The liquidity for hawala transfers is provided by the huge flows of remittances sent from workers in first-world countries to their families in the Middle East and south Asia. Mr Ballard estimates that annual flows of such remittances total $100bn. “This is all about the globalisation of the world economy,” he says.

In dusty Ferdowsi Square in central Tehran, competition for business among the numerous money changers is rife. Almost all use the most informal version of hawala – sending counterparts in other countries to deposit money on their customers’ behalf and running debts for each other. In one exchange shop, where the facilities comprise a money counting machine and a teapot, Reza, behind the counter, explains the procedure.

“Just give me the name and account number of the person you want to send it to,” he says. “It will take less than 48 hours, maybe even less than 24 hours. London is the easiest place to send to because my guy there has lots of pounds,” he adds, laughing.

When asked if the money is guaranteed to arrive, Reza places his hand on his heart and says “100 per cent”. He then pulls out a stack of papers to prove his previous transactions – they show transfers of $30,000 to a Bank of China account in Beijing and $20,000 to a customer of Bank of America in New York.

Next door at Soleymani Exchange, there is a 1 per cent charge for transfers of less than $10,000 and 0.5 per cent for amounts above that. “US dollars, Canadian dollars, no problem,” the man behind the counter says.

Asked about the legitimacy of such payments, he points to the certificate on the wall: “We’ve got permission from the central bank to do this. We guarantee that your money will be transferred securely.” On the US sanctions, all the hawala agents who spoke to the FT had the same answer: “No problem.” They point out the benefits – the speed of transfer and the absence of currency controls.

The set-up is only a little different across town in the shop of Naveed, the money exchanger who carries out transfers for Shahrom, the property developer. “We can transfer anywhere you want,” says Naveed, dressed in a three-piece suit and cufflinks behind the counter of his crowded premises. The door constantly opens and closes as women come in to transfer money to their children at university in the US and men seek to pay for goods imported through Dubai.

Naveed’s exchange office conducts between five and 100 international transfers a day, charging a 1.5 per cent fee. About half of his business goes through Dubai. “We can transfer from Iran to any bank in Europe,” Naveed says, producing documentation showing the €20,000 ($31,700, £15,960) he has just sent to BNP Paribas in Paris and €14,000 that went to Deutsche Bank.

“Because of the US sanctions, our business with Europe has gone up a lot. Before, the dollar was the currency we used most often but now about 70 per cent of our business is done in euros,” Naveed says. Still, Naveed offers to send dollars to US banks – through Dubai. “With US dollars there are some problems. But we are standing up to the US and we will continue to do so in the future too,” he says.

Both Naveed and Shahrom say the Dubai banks do not ask questions about the identity of the transferrers or the source of the cash. “They don’t know and they don’t want to know,” Shahrom says. “They just work with the system.”

As the US tries to increase pressure on Iran and force the government of President Mahmoud Ahmadi-Nejad to curtail its nuclear programme – which Tehran insists is only for civilian purposes – Washington is paying increasing attention to informal financial transfers such as these. “Only in the last couple of years have countries, including the US, started to take the issue of regulating hawala seriously,” says Victor Comras, a Washington-based expert on terrorism financing and money laundering. “The system operates on its own dynamic and there are a lot of part-time brokers because it’s so easy to get into. It’s a real ‘catch as catch can’ business.”

There are more than 40,000 hawala dealers registered with the US authorities, required to keep records and subject to the same kind of “know your customer” rules as banks. The authorities have also been tracking down and fining unregistered dealers. This is important for America’s international credibility, says Mr Comras, who served as a special terrorist financing monitor for the UN until 2004.

“At the same time as we are putting pressure on the international community to abide by the UN sanctions and as we use our leverage in the international banking system to get people to recognise the risks that they run if they do business with Iran”, he says, “we have to make sure that our own house is in order.”

Daniel Glaser, deputy assistant secretary for terrorist financing at the US Treasury, says the fact that the hawala business is booming is proof of the effectiveness of the sanctions. “In our view, this confirms the disruptive effect of the sanctions,” Mr Glaser argues. “They are making it more difficult for [the Iranians] to finance their regime and their nuclear programme.”

But he dismisses the suggestion that Washington’s targets might simply be able to move from a regulated, visible system to a murky one. “There is any number of ways for targets of sanctions to try to evade the sanctions,” Mr Glaser says. “If what our sanctions and the international sanctions have done is to push organisations like the Quds force [an Iranian unit that backs Islamic revolutionary movements abroad] out of the international financial system and into costlier, riskier and less efficient systems, then that is a good thing.”

American officials are understood to be concerned, however, that banks in Dubai are turning a blind eye to Iranian transactions. Under pressure from the US, banks in the UAE have been tightening restrictions on Iranian businesses, fearful that companies are being set up to circumvent sanctions, and have also curtailed credit to Iran. Iranian officials suggest that more than half of the banks in Dubai no longer give credit to Tehran-based businesses.

Dubai should do more, US officials say. “I don’t think they are doing as much as they should be doing,” says one, speaking on condition of anonymity and acknowledging: “It’s a big balancing act for [the Dubai authorities] – this is their next-door neighbour, so they don’t want to stick their neck out very far.”

If the US is serious about tracking down the sources of Iranian money that ends up on its shores, it should start by looking no further than New York, says Mr Ballard of Manchester University. “It’s all a complete hall of mirrors, because hawala is supposed to be a system without records,” he says. “The best source of data on this is going to be on Wall Street – if money is being sent to Bank of America, where are the records going to be?”

The trouble is, the simplicity of hawala helps ensure that while any paper trail may begin or end somewhere in the Gulf, it will rarely if ever specify that the origin of the funds is Iranian.

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14 avril 2008 1 14 /04 /avril /2008 21:32
Khaleej Times Online >> News >> MIDDLE EAST

No back-channel talks on Iran: US


14 April 2008

WASHINGTON, Texas - The United States on Monday denied a British press report of back-channel talks between Washington and Iran on Teheran’s controversial nuclear program.

In London, The Independent newspaper reported Monday that a group of former US diplomats and foreign policy experts had been holding talks for the past five years with Iranian academics and policy advisers, in hopes of reaching a breakthrough on the diplomatic impasse.

But a White House official on Monday, speaking anonymously, said ”clear channels” exist for communication with Iran, and that the approach described in the Independent article “isn’t one of them.”

The daily quoted former US undersecretary of state Thomas Pickering as saying that the United States had pursued five years of talks with Iran, despite decades of tense relations publicly, and amid continuing strife over the Islamic Republic’s failure to heed international ultimatums that it suspend uranium enrichment.

The US State Department was equally emphatic that the talks described in the article were “not a government activity,” but instead “a set of private discussions.”

“It is not a channel for negotiation. It is not a channel to pass messages. It has no official standing whatsoever,” said Tom Casey, a State Department spokesman.

Casey said however that the United States was not indisposed to the talks going ahead.

“It is a set of private discussions by private individuals and we are happy to see those move forward. But no one should mistake that for any kind of formal, informal or any kind of channel. Period.”

Meanwhile, the Washington Post reported last week that the Bush administration has launched “an interagency assessment of what is known about Iranian activities and intentions, how to combat them and how to capitalize on them.”

The United States broke diplomatic relations with Iran in April 1980, after Iranian students seized the US embassy and held hundreds of US diplomats captive in the aftermath of its revolution, and the two countries have had tense relations ever since.

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Magie de la langue hébraïque

A tous nos chers lecteurs.


Ne vous est-il jamais venu à l'esprit d'en savoir un peu plus sur le titre de ce blog ?

Puisque nous nous sommes aujourd'hui habillés de bleu, il conviendrait de rentrer plus a fond dans l'explication du mot lessakel.

En fait Lessakel n'est que la façon française de dire le mot léhasskil.

L'hébreu est une langue qui fonctionne en déclinant des racines.

Racines, bilitères, trilitères et quadrilitères.

La majorité d'entre elle sont trilitères.

Aussi Si Gad a souhaité appeler son site Lessakel, c'est parce qu'il souhaitait rendre hommage à l'intelligence.

Celle qui nous est demandée chaque jour.

La racine de l'intelligence est sé'hel שכל qui signifie l'intelligence pure.

De cette racine découlent plusieurs mots

Sé'hel > intelligence, esprit, raison, bon sens, prudence, mais aussi croiser

Léhasskil > Etre intelligent, cultivé, déjouer les pièges

Sé'hli > intelligent, mental, spirituel

Léhistakel > agir prudemment, être retenu et raisonnable, chercher à comprendre

Si'hloute > appréhension et compréhension

Haskala >  Instruction, culture, éducation

Lessa'hlen > rationaliser, intellectualiser

Heschkel > moralité

Si'htanout > rationalisme

Si'hloul > Amélioration, perfectionnement


Gageons que ce site puisse nous apporter quelques lumières.

Aschkel pour Lessakel.



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