Iran is sending commanders from its elite Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps and hundreds of foot soldiers to Syria, according to current and former members of the corps.The personnel moves come on top of what these people say are Tehran's stepped-up efforts to aid the military of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad with cash and arms. That would indicate that regional capitals are being drawn deeper into Syria's conflict—and undergird a growing perception among Mr. Assad's opponents that the regime's military is increasingly strained.A commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, or IRGC, appeared to offer Iran's first open acknowledgment of its military involvement in Syria."One of Iran's wings will be broken if Assad falls. They are now using all their contacts from Iraq to Lebanon to keep him power," Mohsen Sazegara, a founding IRGC member who now opposes the Iranian regime and lives in exile in the U.S., said by telephone.Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who has the final word in all state matters, has appointed Qasim Solaimani, the commander of the elite Quds Forces, to spearhead military cooperation with Mr. Assad and his forces, according to an IRGC member in Tehran with knowledge about deployments to Syria."Solaimani has convinced Mr. Khamenei that Iran's borders extend beyond geographic frontiers, and fighting for Syria is an integral part of keeping the Shiite Crescent intact," said the IRGC member in Tehran. The so-called Crescent, which came together after Saddam Hussein's fall, includes Shiites from Iran, Iraq, Lebanon and Syria.Iran is also deploying IRGC commanders to guide Syrian forces in battle strategy and Quds commanders to help with military intelligence, Mr. Sazegara and the current IRGC members said.
Iran sought to rally developing nations behind its production of nuclear fuel Sunday at the start of a week of international diplomacy that could further increase tensions between Tehran and Washington.
Iran is hosting the summit of the 120-nation Non-Aligned Movement, a Cold War grouping of countries that seeks to promote the interests and independence of the developing world.
Mr. Morsi will be the first Egyptian leader to visit Iran in more than three decades. Iranian state media said he might visit Iran's Bushehr nuclear reactor as part of his trip.
India, meanwhile, is scheduled to hold a trilateral meeting with Iran and Afghanistan in Tehran to discuss the Central Asian region following the withdrawal of American forces from Afghanistan next year.
"The Iranians seem to have a real chance to portray themselves as a power in the region," said a U.S. official. "This is not what we wanted to see."
Iran said on Tuesday it has no plans to show its nuclear sites to diplomats visiting Tehran for this week's Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) summit, contradicting an earlier offer by a deputy foreign minister."We have no specific plans for a visit to Iran's nuclear installations by foreign guests participating in the summit of NAM member countries," Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said, state news agency IRNA reported.The IAEA suspects that Iran has conducted explosives tests in a steel chamber at Parchin relevant for the development of nuclear weapons, possibly a decade ago, and that it may have tried to cleanse the site in recent months.
The $27.5 million structure features concrete walls, reinforced windows and a unique architectural plan all designed specifically to absorb and deflect rocket fire. Notices on the walls of the Shaar Hanegev high school remind the 1,200 students of their new reality: in case of a warning siren, it reads, stay put.“You can finally teach without constantly worrying about what to do when there is a rocket attack,” said Zohar Nir-Levi, the principal of the junior high school inside the complex. “You can concentrate on your studies. It used to be that even before you said hello in the morning you were telling people where to run.”In the 12 years since rockets began raining down on Sderot, just kilometers from Gaza, residents say life has often been unbearable. Eight people have been killed, hundreds wounded and nearly everyone in the working-class town of some 24,000 has been traumatized by the frequent wail of sirens and explosions.
During the Cold War, the North American Aerospace Defense Command, or NORAD, watched out for apotential nuclear attack from the Soviet Union. But times have changed. Now NORAD is inviting members of the Russian military in.
This week, a group of Russian officers will train alongside their U.S. and Canadian counterparts to respond to a simulated terrorist hijacking above the Arctic Circle. One group, led by Maj. Gen. Sergei Dronov, is operating out of Norad’s HQ at Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado. A second will work out of Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Alaska. Still more Russian troops will operate in Russia’s far east.“What makes this year interesting is that the Russian personnel from the Russian Federation air force are actually here at NORAD headquarters at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado Springs,” Royal Canadian Navy Lt. Al Blondin, a NORAD spokesman, tells Danger Room.
Mr. Duncan first made waves back in 2002 with his book, The Dollar Crisis, in which he predicted the financial meltdown of 2008 due to what he called flaws in the post-Breton Woods financial system. The near implosion of the financial system wasn’t caused by an evaporating greenback, but experts say there was much about his analysis that was correct.His latest book, titled The New Depression, offers similarly dire predictions. By abandoning the link between the dollar and gold, the U.S. paved the way for politicians and central bankers to take control of the printing presses, switching them on and off in support of whatever policy initiatives were deemed important. Now it’s reached the point that the only way to keep the economy going is by quantitative easing (printing money), but even that won’t work for ever.
Chancellor Angela Merkel's plans for a new treaty governing the European Union are becoming more concrete. SPIEGEL has learned that the German leader wants the EU to begin working on a draft this year, with the aim of providing Brussels with greater power to monitor budgets. But many countries are deeply opposed to the idea.Germany is pushing for a new treaty governing the construction of the European Union, and it is calling for a convention to draft the pact to be convened before the end of the year. The treaty would pave the way for deeper European integration and would create a new legal foundation for the bloc.
Although many EU nations have had enough of Greece and their backsliding on austerity measures, a consensus seems to be emerging that no matter what, Greece can't be allowed to default and the EU can't kick them out of the euro zone.This may not have been the case a few months ago. But continued weakness in the Spanish and Italian economies, making them vulnerable to the contagion if Greece were to exit the euro, seems to have convinced most of the euro zone that they must stick with Greece come hell or high water.As long as a Greek collapse would likely mean big trouble for Italy and Spain, the EU will do everything in its power to keep Athens afloat. A bail out of those two huge economies would drain the emergency bail out mechanisms already in place and lead to a general exit from the euro.