Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Evening Update:

Iran Pledges To Deploy Warships In The Atlantic

For the second time in less than a year, Iran’s top naval commander has said Iranian Navy vessels will soon be plying the Atlantic Ocean, having made great strides in recent years in expanding its presence beyond Iranian waters.

Iran has also established close ties with Cuba, another potential destination for an Iranian Navy Atlantic voyage.

“The navy has carried out successful activities in open seas, and in the near future we will witness the presence of the navy in the Atlantic Ocean,” the Mehr news agency quoted Sayyari as saying.

“The powerful presence of Iranian Navy in the high seas has proven the Islamic Republic’s might,” he said.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has paid two visits to Venezuela this year, strengthening ties with its U.S.-baiting president, Hugo Chavez, as well as other leftist allies including the leaders of Cuba, Bolivia and Ecuador.

Aleppo, Syria's commercial capital, is braced for a major confrontation as hundreds of fighters from both sides stream into the city. Government forces are said to be deployed around the 13th century citadel, with thousands more on their way.

The BBC in Aleppo and ITN in the Damascus suburb of Douma have both broadcast footage of Assad's forces bombing opposition strongholds with fighter jets. Both reporters described the sight and sound of jets as "unmistakable".

Activists have released disturbing video purporting to show victims of a massacre in the Qaboun district of Damascus. The footage shows the bodies of 11 people, some of whom appeared to have been tortured.

About half of the UN's 300 observers have left Syria, Hervé Ladsous, the head of UN's peacekeeping operations announced in Damascus. The new head of the mission Babacar Gaye, described the situation in Syria as "very difficult".

Defense Minister Ehud Barak said on Wednesday – the same day Iran announced it had added 1,000 more centrifuges – that dealing with a nuclear-armed Iran would be much more deadly and costly than confronting Tehran before it goes nuclear.

Barak, speaking to the graduating class of the National Defense College, said that Israel’s leaders were facing the most “complicated and complex” security challenges the country had ever faced.

Saying that the Arab Spring had gradually turned into an Islamic summer, Barak said that at its moment of truth Israel could rely only on itself.

“it is perfectly clear to me that dealing with this challenge when it matures, if it matures, will be inestimably more complex, inestimably more dangerous and inestimably more costly in human life and resources.”

Barak’s words came the same day that Iran defiantly made clear that it was moving forward with its nuclear activities. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was quoted as saying Iran currently had “11,000 centrifuges active in enrichment facilities” in the country.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, who has warnedconsistently in recent months that Iran was moving steadily forward with its nuclear program under the cover of talks with world powers, said in a recorded message aired at the National Defense College graduation ceremony that in a region surrounded by missiles the best defense was “the ability to attack.”

Netanyahu said that while Israel had harnessed the international community to apply heavy pressure on Iran, Jerusalem was “committed to doing everything in our power to stop the nuclearization of Iran.”

No comments: