compiled by Cem Ertür
US Plans to Stage Bomb Attacks in Iraq
Fars News Agency, 25 November 2008
US troops plan to launch a series of bomb attacks in different parts of Iraq to force the country’s parliament to approve the controversial security pact through insecurity in the war-torn country, a source said.
“Following increasing protests by the people in Iraq against the approval of the security pact with the US and the likely disapproval of the agreement by the Iraqi parliament, the US military troops are planning several explosions in different parts of Iraq, particularly in Baghdad, to create an atmosphere of insecurity and pressurize the Iraqi parliament and government,” an informed source told FNA.
The US has for months been in talks with Iraqi officials to get them to sign a provocative security agreement which secures long-term US presence in Iraq.
If ratified by the Iraqi parliament, the Status of Forces Agreements (SOFA) would also grant US forces in Iraq immunity from prosecution.
It also gives the occupation forces a free rein to stage military operations wherever and whenever they deem necessary.
The proposed pact has faced widespread opposition among Iraqi people and politicians.
Many fear Washington has plans to keep permanent bases, despite a denial of any such plan written into the agreement. Iraqis say the agreement would infringe on Iraq’s sovereignty by giving US forces too much freedom to operate.
“Americans intend to spread these bomb attacks to the Al-Khadra’ region (the Green Zone),” the source added.
Al-Khadra’ is a maximum security region in Baghdad where most diplomatic centers and missions are located.
“Before the endorsement of the security pact by the Iraqi government, Americans had clearly warned that they would freeze the country’s assets in case Baghdad refused to sign the agreement,” the source said, adding, “Spreading rumors about possible coup d’état was also among the other pressure levers used by the Americans to bully the Iraqi statesmen into signing the security pact.”
Iraqi cabinet last Sunday approved signing the deal with the US according to which American troops must evacuate the country by the end of 2011.
Last Monday, Hoshiyar Zebari and US ambassador to Baghdad Ryan Crocker signed the draft of the agreement which took a year to reach this point.
Iraq’s parliament must approve the deal which has also faced strong criticism from members of al-Maliki’s own coalition. The Iraqi parliament is due to announce its view on the agreement through a vote on November 26.
Two Iraqi officials familiar with the negotiations have warned that opposition in the legislature was so widespread that it stood no chance of winning approval without significant changes in the US position. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because of the secrecy surrounding the negotiations.
excerpts from Iran seeks death penalty for ‘Mossad spies’
by Dudi Cohen, Ynetnews, 25 November 2008
On Monday Iranian Revolutionary Guard Commander Mohammad Ali Jafari said security forces had uncovered a Mossad espionage network that had been “trying to gather intelligence about the Iranian nuclear program, about the working of the Revolutionary Guard and about various people.” He described the discovery as “a severe blow to the Mossad.”
The men had been caught with digital cameras, which they had allegedly used in order to document different sites in the country, as well as satellite GPS equipment and laptop computers outfitted with special programs used to send and receive messages.
Mortazavi said they were trained in warfare, assassination, explosive devices, operational motorcycle driving, and the execution of terrorist acts with the use of computers and satellites.