Israeli PM calls for ‘crippling sanctions’ against Iran

Israeli PM calls for ‘crippling sanctions’ against Iran

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called Thursday for “crippling sanctions” against Iran to stop its disputed nuclear work, on a solemn visit to Berlin marked by Holocaust remembrance.

After talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Netanyahu expressed hopes for a quick resumption of Middle East peace talks as he warned of a mortal threat to Israel’s survival posed by Iran. [continued…]

Khamenei: post-election unrest pre-planned

The Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei says the post-election unrest in Iran was pre-planned.

“I don’t accuse the leaders of the recent incidents of being affiliated with foreign countries, including the US and Britain, since the issue has not been proven for me,” Ayatollah Khamenei said in a meeting with a group of university students in Tehran on Wednesday. [continued…]

Senior Iranian cleric calls system a dictatorship

Iran’s most senior dissident cleric on Wednesday criticized the ruling system under Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei as a dictatorship in the name of Islam, the most serious attack on the country’s top official following the disputed presidential election.

Grand Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri said the ruling system showed its true nature with the violent crackdown against the hundreds of thousands who protested President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s re-election and the torture of detainees that led to at least three deaths. [continued…]

Iran’s factional disputes grow increasingly bitter

On Wednesday, aides to Iran’s president lashed out publicly at two former presidents, the nation’s most influential dissident cleric said government officials had taken a “deviant path” and a government-aligned Web site reported that the Tehran prosecutor had been fired.

In another time, the day’s flurry of crises might be seen as extraordinary. But since President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad claimed a landslide victory in Iran’s disputed election in June, each day there have been flare-ups in the increasingly bitter fight between political and clerical factions.

“The game in Iran is no longer between the reformists and the conservatives,” said Mustafa El-Labbad, an expert in Iranian affairs and the director of the Middle East Center for Regional and Strategic Studies in Cairo. “It is now between the pragmatists and the radicals.” [continued…]

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