Iran Update
Volume: 1 - Issue:  2721 April 2010
Iran Update
Dear Friend,

We are delighted to present you with the current issue of Iran Update, a publication of International Solidarity for Democratic Change in Iran (ISDCI).    
Setting the trap on Iran 
The Washington Post
David Ignatius
21 April 2010
The Obama administration's strategy as it devises sanctions for Iran is to build a sticky trap -- so that the harder the Iranians try to wriggle out of the sanctions, the more tightly they will be caught in the snare. It's a clever idea. But even if it works with mousetrap precision, it's unlikely to stop the Iranian nuclear program...
For policymakers, the discussion is beginning to shift to the sensitive area suggested by Gates's memo -- the space between sanctions and outright military action. What options would the United States and its allies have, short of war, to raise the cost to Iran of pursuing a nuclear weapons program? Are there means of subverting, sabotaging or containing such a program without actually bombing Iranian facilities?
We won't be hearing a lot of public discussion about this gray area. But that's where senior officials will focus more of their energy in coming months, as they prepare for the possibility that Levey's clever trap won't work.
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Iran Gives Weapons to Re-Arm Hezbollah, Pentagon Says 
Businessweek
Viola Gienger
20 April 2010
April 20 (Bloomberg) -- Iran has provided weapons and as much as $200 million a year to help the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah re-arm itself to levels beyond those in 2006, when the group waged a war with Israel, the Pentagon said.
The unclassified review of Iran's military power, the first submitted under legislation passed last year, cites the Persian Gulf nation's "longstanding relationship" with Hezbollah, which the U.S. and Israel consider a terrorist group.
Iran views Hezbollah "as an essential partner for advancing its regional policy objectives," the Pentagon said in the 12-page account, submitted yesterday to congressional committees. The report also examines Iran's build-up of its navy and air forces, and its ties with China, Russia and Venezuela.
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Confused on Iran 
The Washington Post
Editorial
20 April 2010
...We are not advocating strikes against Iranian nuclear facilities. But the public signs of the administration's squishiness about military options are worrisome because of the lack of progress on its two-track strategy of offering negotiations and threatening sanctions. A year-long attempt at engagement failed; now the push for sanctions is proceeding at a snail's pace. Though administration officials say they have made progress in overcoming resistance from Russia and China, it appears a new U.N. sanctions resolution might require months more of dickering. Even then it might only be a shell intended to pave the way for ad hoc actions by the United States and European Union, which would require further diplomacy. And what would sanctions accomplish? Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton told the Financial Times last week that "maybe... that would lead to the kind of good-faith negotiations that President Obama called for 15 months ago." Yet the notion that the hard-line Iranian clique now in power would ever negotiate in good faith is far-fetched. More likely -- and desirable -- would be a victory by the opposition Green movement in Iran's ongoing domestic power struggle. But the administration has so far shrunk from supporting sanctions, such as a gasoline embargo. that might heighten popular anger against the regime.
All this probably explains why Mr. Gates, in his own words, "presented a number of questions and proposals intended to contribute to an orderly and timely decision making process."
"There should be no confusion by our allies and adversaries," he added, "that the United States is... prepared to act across a broad range of contingencies in support of our interests." If allies and adversaries are presently confused, that would be understandable.
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Iran 'bans newly-reopened reformist daily' 
AFP
19 April 2010
AFP, Tehran, 19 April 2010 - Iran's press watchdog has banned reformist daily newspaper Bahar for 'publishing false material,' just two months after it resumed operations, Fars news agency reported on Monday.
Bahar (Spring) was ordered shut for 'publishing false material, spreading doubt on key issues like the elections, questioning the decisions of regime officials and spreading lies about ministries,' the watchdog said, quoted by Fars.
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Analysis: one sanction that might work 
The Times
James Bone
19 April 2010

There is probably only one sanction that could bring Iran to its knees and stop Tehran developing a nuclear weapon. Time is running out - but that sanction is not even on the table in talks at the United Nations.
A blanket ban on Iran's import of refined petroleum products would target the Islamic Republic's Achilles' heel. 
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Thank you for your reading Iran Update. We welcome your comments. 
 
 
Sincerely,
 
ISDCI News Group
In This Issue
Setting the trap on Iran
Iran Gives Weapons to Re-Arm Hezbollah, Pentagon Says
Confused on Iran
Iran 'bans newly-reopened reformist daily'
Analysis: one sanction that might work
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Putting Human Rights
First
We invite you to write to your national government officials to ask them to freeze all commercial and diplomatic ties with the Iranian regime until there is a full stop to repression of protests in Iran, release of political prisoners and respect for human rights as demanded in the recent UN Human Rights Council session.