Sunday, November 22, 2009

Do you want to play a game - Iran?

Tehran, Iran (CNN) -- Iran plans to launch a large aerial military exercise Sunday to prepare for any possible attack, state media said.
The five-day exercise was to cover a vast area in the country's northwest, west, south and southwest, Press TV said, citing Brig. Gen. Ahmad Miqani.
Iran's regular military and its elite Revolutionary Guards were to participate in the exercise against aerial attacks, especially against Iran's nuclear plants, according to Press TV.

The report did not offer further details about the scope of the exercise, but came as world powers have been strategizing about how to deal with Iran's apparent rejection of a key part of a nuclear deal.

The United States, Russia, China, Germany, France and the United Kingdom, along with the European Union, are trying to map a way forward on Tehran's controversial nuclear program. They seek to reduce international fears that Iran wants to develop nuclear weapons.

On Wednesday, Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said his country refused a request to send its partly enriched uranium abroad to be turned into material for medical research.

However, he said, Tehran might allow the nuclear material to be reprocessed inside Iran, the semiofficial ISNA news agency reported.
The nuclear deal, hammered out in October with the help of the International Atomic Energy Agency, is aimed to reduce the amount of raw material Iran has to build a nuclear bomb.

President Obama has warned of "consequences" if Iran does not accept the plan.
Iran says it intends to produce nuclear energy only for peaceful purposes, including civilian electricity and medical research.
Iranian media reported on Saturday that, according to a senior Iranian lawmaker, the country is capable of producing partly enriched uranium up to 20 percent, but had requested to buy the fuel from other countries instead. The move was described as a sign of good will.

"Given that Iran is capable of enriching uranium to a level more than 5 percent inside the country, it could well take a step to produce the fuel for its Tehran (research) reactor," said Kazem Jalali, of the parliament's national security and foreign policy commission, according to Press TV.
However, Iran sees buying the fuel as a better option, he said.

Editors note: The exercise will undoubtedly be monitored closely by the U.S. intelligence community hoping it will reveal military capabilities, reaction times, etc. Thanks Iran!

To kill the snake - you cut off the head.

Kabul, Afghanistan (CNN) -- Security forces in Afghanistan have killed or captured more than 30 high-level militants, including many accused of participating in roadside bomb attacks, military officials said.

Twenty-six militants have been captured, and eight have been killed, with most of them senior leaders in the Taliban and the Haqqani network, according to a news release issued by NATO's International Security Assistance Force.

The militants -- "known for leading the planning and undertaking of deadly attacks" against civilians, government officials and soldiers -- were captured or killed between August 20 and October 17, the force reported. The insurgents also facilitated the "trafficking of fighters, weapons, explosives and money to support their terrorist activities," the force said.

The force did not explain under what circumstances the militants were killed or detained.

Among the dead are Mullah Farid Fazil Lang, who is accused of planning and participating in attacks against Afghan and ISAF soldiers, the force said.
Lang, who commanded a cell in charge of preparing roadside bombs, was involved in the kidnapping of New York Times reporter David Rohde in November 2008, the force said.

Rohde was snatched outside Kabul, Afghanistan's capital, but was later held in Pakistan. He escaped in June after seven months in Taliban captivity.
Among the detained were Karim Shakan and Matiullah, the force said.
Shakan, a Taliban commander, assisted in the "movement and use of IEDs," or improvised explosive devices. He recruited local Afghans for the insurgency and preached anti-government messages," according to the force.
Matiullah served as an Afghan national police officer in Parwan province, just north of Kabul, when he was linked to insurgents, the force said. He was accused of passing on information to the insurgency.


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