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SWIFT To Cut Off Iran - No Financial Telecommunications
Today's Headlines
Headline Comments [Views]
Page 1: WoT Operations
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Page 2: WoT Background
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Africa Horn
1 Wounded in Mogadishu Police Building Car Bomb Blast
A car boom went kaboom! inside the compound of a major police building in Somalia's war-torn capital Mogadishu on Friday, wounding at least one police officer, officials said.

"A car full of explosives, which was seized by the security forces this morning, went kaboom! -- a policeman was injured," said Abdulahi Ahmed, a Somali police official. "We are still investigating the incident."

The blast occurred in the grounds of the Criminal Investigation Department of Somalia's police, close to the busy central K4 roundabout.

Witnesses said the car went kaboom! while parked inside the building, destroying the perimeter wall.

"The car went kaboom! in a parking lot, the blast was very heavy, and smoke and fire shot up high into the sky," said Farah Adan, a witness.

No group immediately grabbed credit for Friday's attack, the latest in a string of blasts including roadside kabooms and grenade kabooms that have rocked the Somali capital in recent months.

The city has seen an increase in such attacks since the al-Qaeda linked Shebab abandoned fixed positions there in August and switched to guerrilla tactics against the Western-backed government and African Union
...a union consisting of 53 African states, most run by dictators of one flavor or another. The only all-African state not in the AU is Morocco. Established in 2002, the AU is the successor to the Organisation of African Unity (OAU), which was even less successful...
troops.
Posted by: trailing wife || 02/18/2012 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [428 views] Top|| File under:

#1  So, let me get this straight - the Somali cops, whoever they are, found a car bomb, and then BROUGHT IT INSIDE THEIR HEADQUARTERS to the parking garage? Seriously, wtf.
Posted by: gromky || 02/18/2012 14:16 Comments || Top||


Arabia
Dozens Hurt in South Yemen Election Protests
Dozens of people were hurt in festivities in southeast Yemen between rival demonstrators supporting and opposing Tuesday's presidential election, witnesses said on Friday.

They said the trouble began late on Thursday when activists of the pro-secession Southern Movement, which opposes the election, threw stones and petrol bombs at a sit-in of pro-election activists in Mukalla, the capital of Hadramawt province.

The activists have been campaigning for the election, which will see Vice President Abdrabuh Mansour Hadi stand as the sole candidate to replace veteran strongman President-for-Life Ali Abdullah Saleh
... Saleh initially took power as a strongman of North Yemen in 1977, when disco was in flower, but he didn't invite Donna Summer to the inauguration and Blondie couldn't make it...
, who is standing down under a Gulf-brokered deal.

Tuesday's election follows a year of protests against Saleh's rule, deadly unrest that erupted last January as the so-called Arab Spring swept through Tunisia and Egypt.

Saleh's departure has been the main demand of the anti-regime demonstrators in Yemen.

"Armed men of the Southern Movement" attacked their sit-in, the activists said in a statement, "injuring 60 youths of the revolution, some seriously, and setting fire to four tents" in Mukalla's Change Place, focus of the protests.

Residents also reported Southern Movement protests against the election in several other Hadramawt towns late Thursday.

Thousands of people have burned their electoral cards in recent weeks at the urging of the Southern Movement.
Posted by: trailing wife || 02/18/2012 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [283 views] Top|| File under:


Yemen Arrests 21 'Qaida Suspects' over Killings
Yemeni authorities announced on Friday the arrest of 21 suspected members of al-Qaeda in connection with the murder of five people in Bayda province, including two electoral officials.

The five were killed when gunnies opened fire on their car in Bayda, southwest of the capital, on Tuesday.

The army and security forces "set to sit in solemn silence in a dull, dark dock, in a pestilential prison with a life-long lock 21 suspected members of the al-Qaeda terrorist network, among them the authors of this ignoble crime," said a defense ministry statement published by state news agency Saba.

Referendum-like elections will be held in Yemen on Tuesday to approve Vice President Abdrabuh Mansour Hadi as a consensus president for a two-year term to replace President President-for-Life Ali Abdullah Saleh
... Saleh initially took power as a strongman of North Yemen in 1977, when disco was in flower, but he didn't invite Donna Summer to the inauguration and Blondie couldn't make it...
, who is stepping down after a year of protests under a Gulf-brokered deal.

The people killed in Bayda included a Republican Guard officer responsible for electoral security, two soldiers and a civilian, the sources said.

On Thursday, dozens of people were hurt in festivities in southeast Yemen between rival demonstrators supporting and opposing the election.
Posted by: trailing wife || 02/18/2012 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [294 views] Top|| File under: al-Qaeda in Arabia


Caucasus/Russia/Central Asia
13 Russian Soldiers Killed in Battles with Insurgents in Caucasus
Thirteen Russian troops have been killed and at least 17 others maimed in five days of festivities with Islamic faceless myrmidons in the snowy mountains covering restive Chechnya and Dagestan, a report said Friday.

The North Caucasus standoff first erupted on Monday and resumed again on Friday morning after an overnight lull, Interfax quoted an unnamed Russian security source as saying.

The fighting on Thursday broke out when Russian interior ministry forces met resistance from three separate groups of faceless myrmidons hiding in the heavily forested hills, the source said.

"Five coppers died in Thursday's heated exchange," said the source.

The rebels' kavkazcenter.com website confirmed the toll and said Russian forces -- comprising federal interior ministry troops and coppers from Dagestan and Chechnya -- were also using aviation forces.

Russian reports said the clash initially broke out near Chechnya's eastern border with Dagestan, a larger Mohammedan region that has been the center of North Caucasus unrest in recent years.

Chechnya is currently ruled by Ramzan Kadyrov, a former rebel turned Moscow supporter whose crackdown on faceless myrmidons has been accompanied by widespread allegations of rights abuses.

But the republic has remained largely peaceful since waging two post-Soviet wars against federal forces that claimed tens of thousands of lives and saw hundreds of thousands flee the ravaged Chechen capital Grozny.
Posted by: trailing wife || 02/18/2012 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [298 views] Top|| File under:


Home Front: WoT
California Man Pleads Guilty to Exporting Computers to Iran
Summary:
Massoud Habibion and the company he founded, Costa Mesa, CA-based Online Micro LLC pled guilty to conspiring to ship computers to Iran illegally via Dubai. Part owner Mohsen Motamedian pled guilty to obstructing justice.

First Online Micro sold and shipped 1,000 Dell computers, for which they had paid $500,000 in 2007. Dell cut them off after receiving a number of service calls from Iran.

In 2009 and 2010 Online Micro conspired and did ship computer-related goods to Iran via Dubai valued at more than $4.9 million. The two men lied on export forms and to federal agents, a very bad thing for which Habibion will likely spend five years in prison after paying a large fine, and Motamedian will be sentenced to twenty years with a smaller fine.
Posted by: trailing wife || 02/18/2012 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [291 views] Top|| File under:

#1  $500 for a Dell? Sounds steep. Wonder if they came with the stuxnet option.
Posted by: Nimble Spemble || 02/18/2012 8:33 Comments || Top||

#2  "Wonder if they came with the stuxnet option."

Could be, Nimble.

After all, dem nefarious Juices are able to do anything (even to stuff they're not involved with). It's that special Juice magic. ;-p
Posted by: Barbara || 02/18/2012 8:50 Comments || Top||

#3  $500 for a Dell? Sounds steep.

He probably bought them as surplus by the pallet for a tenth of that, refurbed them and sold 'em as new.
Posted by: Pappy || 02/18/2012 15:30 Comments || Top||


India-Pakistan
17 terrorists killed in Orakzai, Khyber clashes
ORAKZAI/KHYBER AGENCY: Seventeen bad boyz were potted and 18 others were maimed in encounters with security forces in different areas of Orakzai and Khyber agencies. Three security volunteers were also killed during the encounters. Security forces also demolished four faceless myrmidons check-posts of bully boyz through helicopter shelling. Separately, one person was killed and three others were maimed in a grenade attack in Kurram Agency
...home of an intricately interconnected web of poverty, ignorance, and religious fanaticism, where the laws of cause and effect are assumed to be suspended, conveniently located adjacent to Tora Bora...
.
Posted by: trailing wife || 02/18/2012 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [313 views] Top|| File under:


Suicide bomber, police kill 29 Shias in Kurram
* 26 killed, dozens injured in blast outside Shia mosque

* Three more killed as police shoots at Shia protesters

PARACHINAR/ISLAMABAD: At least 26 Shias were reportedly killed while more than three-dozen injured on Friday, after a jacket wallah detonated his explosives just near the targeted mosque in the congested Kurmi bazaar in the main town of Kurram Agency
...home of an intricately interconnected web of poverty, ignorance, and religious fanaticism, where the laws of cause and effect are assumed to be suspended, conveniently located adjacent to Tora Bora...
. The miseries of the locals did not end there, as security forces fired on crowds protesting the attack, killing three people.

According to details, the bomber struck outside the mosque in the busy market shortly after Friday prayers. Scores of shops in the bazaar were also damaged as a result of the kaboom, while security forces sealed the entire bazaar. Local government administrator Wajid Ali told The News Agency that Dare Not be Named that many of the victims were shoppers or people with stalls in the market.

Since the late 1980s more than 4,000 people have been killed in outbreaks of sectarian violence between Sunni and Shia bully boy groups in Pakistain.

It was the deadliest attack in Pakistain since a remote-controlled kaboom killed at least 35 people in the Khyber tribal district on January 10.

Residents said the bombing destroyed at least eight shops in the city's crowded bazaar. Telephone links broke down after the attack and news of the elevated corpse count was slow to arrive via radio, said top regional administrator Sahibzada Muhammad Anees.

A curfew was imposed in the area and law enforcers launched a search operation. However,
man does not live by words alone, despite the fact that sometimes he has to eat them...
no arrests were made till the filing of this report.

Fazal Saeed, leader of a breakaway faction of the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistain, grabbed credit for the latest attack in Kurram. "We have targeted the Shia community of Parachinar because they were involved in activities against us," he told Rooters by telephone from Qazi's guesthouse an undisclosed location. "We caught a man yesterday who was planting a bomb at a petrol station owned by a Sunni. We did it in response," he told AFP.

"We also warn the political administration of Parachinar to stop siding with the Shia community in all our disputes."

Officials had earlier said eight people died in the blast, which struck as locals visited a special Friday market. "A curfew has been imposed in the area after some people tried to hold a demonstration. Security forces have sealed the area," Anees said.

Parachinar is the main town in Kurram district, part of the semi-autonomous tribal belt where US drone strikes target Taliban and al Qaeda-linked bully boyz in what Washington considers the world's largest international terror hub.

According to an AFP tally, Islamist bombers and gunnies have killed more than 4,800 people across Pakistain since July 2007.

President Asif Ali President Ten Percent Zardari
... sticky-fingered husband of the late Benazir Bhutto ...
strongly condemned the Parachinar bombing and said the country was suffering the scourge of terrorism which, he said, needs to be eradicated at priority.

In a message, the president prayed for the departed souls and directed the authorities to provide the best possible medical treatment to the injured. He said the perpetrators of such heinous crimes would not be spared.
Posted by: trailing wife || 02/18/2012 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [403 views] Top|| File under:


Pakistan Suicide Attack Kills 19, Wounds 54
A jacket wallah attacked a market in a largely Shiite Moslem area of northwest Pakistain on Friday, killing at least 19 people and wounding 54 others in the deadliest attack for a month.

The bomb went kaboom! near a mosque as the main Friday prayers took place in Parachinar, a flashpoint for sectarian violence between majority Sunni and minority Shiite Moslems in Pakistain's tribal badlands on the Afghan border.

Parachinar is the main town in Kurram district, part of the semi-autonomous tribal belt where U.S. drone strikes target Taliban and al-Qaeda-linked faceless myrmidons in what Washington considers the world's largest international terror hub.

It was the deadliest attack in Pakistain since a remote-controlled kaboom killed at least 35 people in the Khyber tribal district on January 10.

"At least 19 people were killed and 54 others were maimed when a suicide bomber on a cycle of violence went kaboom!" in a crowded market," top regional administrator Sahibzada Mohammad Anees told Agence La Belle France Presse.

Fourteen of the maimed were in a critical condition, he added, fuelling fears that the corpse count could rise further.

A splinter group that broke away from Pakistain's umbrella Taliban faction grabbed credit for the attack.

"We sent the suicide bomber following attacks on Sunni Moslems by the Shiite tribes in the area," Fazal Saeed told AFP by telephone, claiming to be the leader of the so-called Tehrik-e-Taliban Islami.

"We caught a man yesterday who was planting a bomb at a petrol station owned by a Sunni. We did it in response," he added.

Since the late 1980s more than 4,000 people have been killed in outbreaks of sectarian violence between Sunni and Shiite jihad boy groups in Pakistain.

Residents said the bombing destroyed at least eight shops in the city's crowded bazaar.

Telephone links broke down after the attack and news of the elevated corpse count was slow to arrive via radio, Anees said.

Officials had earlier said eight people died in the blast, which struck as locals visited a special Friday market.

"A curfew has been imposed in the area after some people tried to hold a demonstration. Security forces have sealed the area," Anees said.

According to an AFP tally, Islamist bombers and gunnies have killed more than 4,800 people across Pakistain since July 2007.
Posted by: trailing wife || 02/18/2012 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [283 views] Top|| File under:


Indian bomber likely linked to Shi'ite terrorists
New Delhi intelligence zeroing in on the possibility of an Iranian hand in the targeted "sticky bomb" attack.

NEW DELHI -- India's intelligence agencies are zeroing in on the possibility of an Iranian hand in the targeted "sticky bomb" attack on Tal Yehoshua-Koren, wife of the Israel defense attaché, in New Delhi on February 13. A motorcyclist had planted the bomb on Yehoshua- Koren's car at a traffic light, a short distance from the Israeli embassy and the Indian prime minister's residence.

Top intelligence analysts, briefing bigwigs on their assessment of the incident thus far, expressed the view that the attack was definitely carried out by a "foreign bomber" who could be "an Iranian affiliated to a Shi'ite terrorist group." Thursday's briefing was attended by India's National Security Adviser Shivshankar Menon, Home Secretary R.K. Singh, and officials from the Research and Analysis Wing, India's external intelligence agency, and the Intelligence Bureau, its domestic intelligence agency.

According to the assessment, logistical support was provided to the "foreign attacker" by "local contacts," said a bigwig who insisted on anonymity. The bomber is believed to be an Iranian, with the plot thought to have been put into action some six months ago, once the contacts were secured. Investigators are now focusing their efforts on identifying these local contacts.

Intelligence and security agencies have yet to reach a decisive conclusion. They are looking into the possibility that the bomber may have been a Shi'ite jihad boy from Leb, a Paleostinian or a Jordanian, and are scrutinizing records from the Bureau of Immigration and the Foreigners Registration Office.

Iranian, Lebanese and Paleostinian students and visitors to New Delhi and other cities are also being investigated. Agencies are examining their activities and movements over the past few months, and are believed to be questioning some travel agents.

Information communicated by Thai authorities investigating the Bangkok kabooms, who confirmed Iranian involvement in the Thai bombings, was utilized by the Indian agencies while preparing their initial assessment report. They are awaiting a detailed report from Georgia on the attempt to bomb an Israeli embassy staffer's car in Tbilisi.

Forensic experts have determined that the sticky bomb used in the attempt on Yehoshua-Koren's car was a "sophisticated device" that has not been used by Islamic fascisti in India until this point. They have not yet concluded whether it was similar to the Bangkok bombs, although in both cases magnetic components have been identified.

The bomb used to attack Yehoshua-Koren would have had a "devastating impact" had it been "planted in the right place" in the car, such as below the fuel tank, say forensic experts.

India's External Affairs Ministry and Home Ministry have not officially acknowledged the involvement of a "foreign hand," or commented on the possible identity or nationality of the bomber. In official briefings for journalists, they stated it was too early to comment.
Posted by: trailing wife || 02/18/2012 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [293 views] Top|| File under:


Israel-Palestine-Jordan
Gaza terrorists attack IDF
Paleostinian gunnies fired RPG rockets at an IDF force patrolling the Gazoo Strip border Friday evening and detonated an bomb near the troops.
 
No injuries were reported in the incident but the border fence in the area was damaged.

IDF troops at the site directed tank fire at the terrorists.
 
Earlier Friday, two rockets fired from Gazoo went kaboom! in the Eshkol regional council and south of Ashkelon, causing no injuries or damage.
 
'Hamas, always the voice of sweet reason, responsible for escalation'
Following the escalating violence in the Gazoo region, the IDF Spokesman's Office issued the following statement: "The IDF considers these to be grave acts of terror, which aim to harm residents and communities in the State of Israel."
 
"The Hamas terror organization, which carries out acts of terror against the State of Israel, is jeopardizing Gazoo Strip residents and will bear the responsibility for any future operation executed by the IDF in order to lift the threat of terror and restore the relative calm in the area," the army said.
 
Meanwhile,
...back at the chili cook-off, Chuck and Manuel's rivalry was entering a new and more dangerous phase...
Paleostinian sources reported that the IDF directed tank fire at an open area east of the al-Bureij refugee camp in the central Gazoo Strip. No injuries were reported in the incident, the sources said.
 
Earlier Friday, the Color-Red rocket alert was activated in several southern Israel communities after gunnies fired Qassam rockets from Gazoo.
 
Four other rockets were fired at Israel earlier this week, prompting Air Force gunships to strike open areas in Gazoo. Later, the army struck two more targets in the northern and central Gazoo Strip.
Posted by: trailing wife || 02/18/2012 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [283 views] Top|| File under:


Southeast Asia
Philippine government endorses MILF autonomy in Mindanao
The Philippine government has reportedly agreed to the Muslim autonomy proposed by the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.

The Oman Tribune quoted chief MILF negotiator Mohagher Iqbal as saying that President Benigno Aquino has approved the proposal through a parliamentary form of government similar to that of Malaysia, which is brokering the peace negotiations. Mohagher Iqbal said, "No less than His Excellency President Benigno Aquino 3rd agreed to the MILF proposal."

The MILF proposal calls for the direct election by the people of the leaders of the autonomous region to be led by a chief minister similar to the parliamentary government in the federal states of Malaysia, according to Iqbal.

Iqbal said the proposed government would replace the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, composed of the provinces of Basilan, Sulu, Tawi-Tawi, Lanao and Maguindanao. But it was not immediately known how many more provinces would be included in the proposed expansion of Muslim autonomy.

Peace negotiators ended three-day talks in Malaysia on February 15 and a joint media statement said they would meet again next month to continue the discussion on substantive issues, among them governance and the reserved powers of the national government as contained in their respective draft. The MILF said the issues that most concerned the negotiators were issues on power-sharing, wealth-sharing, and interim mechanism.

chief government peace negotiator Marvic Leonen said, "The peace process with the MILF has moved forward. Now, we have moved at least a few feet. The day will come, I hope very, very soon that we will be able to sign a peace agreement."
Posted by: ryuge || 02/18/2012 05:07 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [289 views] Top|| File under:

#1  bad move
Posted by: Frank G || 02/18/2012 8:27 Comments || Top||

#2  And the Christians affected say what?
Posted by: tipover || 02/18/2012 12:46 Comments || Top||


Roadside bomb leaves Thai soldier seriously wounded
A solider was seriously injured when his team, patroling a local road for teachers' protection in Yala province, was struck by a roadside bomb yesterday morning.

Private Jakkrit Raksanual, 21, and five other soldiers were patroling a local road on foot when the bomb went off at 8:15 a.m. Jakkrit, who sustained serious shrapnel injuries to his arm and leg, was rushed to the hospital. Police suspect terrorists insurgents had launched the attack.
Posted by: ryuge || 02/18/2012 04:57 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [296 views] Top|| File under:


Thai police: 2 more suspects in terror case
Thai police say they are searching for two more suspects in a botched terror plot against Israeli diplomats that has been blamed on Iran.
 
Bangkok police commissioner Lt. Gen. Winai Thongson says one of the two new suspects may have been providing training in the use of explosives to three Iranian men who were jugged in Thailand and Malaysia this week.
Posted by: trailing wife || 02/18/2012 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [286 views] Top|| File under:


#2  Israel says they're Iran's Al Quds people. Definitely linked to terrorism, even if that realization will affect Thailand's tourism industry.
Posted by: trailing wife || 02/18/2012 6:14 Comments || Top||


Syria-Lebanon-Iran
SWIFT To Cut Off Iran - No Financial Telecommunications
The Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication, known as SWIFT, the financial clearinghouse used by virtually every country and major corporation in the world, agreed Friday to shut out Iran from its network, effectively barring it from every form of international electronic finance and commerce based on electronic money transfer.
In February 2012, the U.S. Senate Banking Committee unanimously approved sanctions against SWIFT aimed at pressuring the Belgian financial telecommunications network to terminate its ties with blacklisted Iranian banks. Expelling Iranian banks from SWIFT would potentially deny Iran access to billions of dollars in revenue.

SWIFT transports financial messages in a highly secure way, but does not hold accounts for its members and does not perform any form of clearing or settlement.

SWIFT does not facilitate funds transfer, rather, it sends payment orders, which must be settled via correspondent accounts that the institutions have with each other. Each financial institution, to exchange banking transactions, must have a banking relationship by either being a bank or affiliating itself with one (or more) so as to enjoy those particular business features.

SWIFT is a cooperative society under Belgian law and it is owned by its member financial institutions. SWIFT has offices around the world. SWIFT headquarters are located in La Hulpe, Belgium, near Brussels.
Posted by: Anonymoose || 02/18/2012 07:50 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [948 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Iran will have no choice but to react to this, as otherwise their entire economy will collapse. They will no longer be able to import or export anything, unless they have physical cash on the barrel head.
Posted by: Anonymoose || 02/18/2012 8:02 Comments || Top||

#2  Pretty much every international bank to bank funds transfer goes thru SWIFT.

AS Moose says this is a big problem for Iran.
Posted by: Phil_B || 02/18/2012 8:46 Comments || Top||

#3  How trade works in Asia, is a buyer gets a letter of credit from his bank that basically says he is good for $x.

The bank is obligated to honour that LofC.

Normally the transfer happens thru SWIFT but in principle the seller could rock up in person to the buyers bank with the LofC.

But obviously a serious inconvenience.
Posted by: Phil_B || 02/18/2012 8:53 Comments || Top||

#4  When they rock up in person, what will they get? A check. How will they clear it? I believe we will shut down the clearing mechanisms for Iran through western central banks if we have not already. It's going to be hard for Iran to trade with anybody except Russia and China. And how much will the mullahs want to leave on deposit there?
Posted by: Nimble Spemble || 02/18/2012 11:00 Comments || Top||

#5  What's the likelihood that shutting Iran out of SWIFT will result in a shutdown of their nuke weapons program?
Posted by: JohnQC || 02/18/2012 11:03 Comments || Top||

#6  Another lovely kick to the nuts, which they will feel.
Posted by: Fat Bob Unotch3711 || 02/18/2012 11:09 Comments || Top||

#7  I wonder - does Iran have access to the "hawala" funds transfer system?
Posted by: Lone Ranger || 02/18/2012 11:19 Comments || Top||

#8  Was it at Rantburg, or somewhere else, that I read that China was working out a semi-barter system with Iran for oil? Maybe with an eye towards something like this?
Posted by: Mizzou Mafia || 02/18/2012 12:12 Comments || Top||

#9  It means the Iranians will trade some oil in the local currency and leave the proceeds in those countries banks to pay for imports. Iran has a huge trade surplus and can spread their money around as needed. India will be the prime beneficiary.

Exports $131.8 billion (2011 est.): China 19%, India 14.8%, Japan 11.6%, Turkey 8%, South Korea 6.7%, Italy 6.2%, Spain 4.7% (2010)

Imports $76.1 billion (2011 est.): China 17.4%, UAE 16.7%, Germany 7.6%, South Korea 6.3%, Russia 5.7%, Turkey 4.8%, Italy 4.2% (2010)
Posted by: Shimble Guelph5793 || 02/18/2012 12:19 Comments || Top||

#10  Mizzou-------I read the same thing last week. Iran was to barter petro installations with China for oil. But China has been looking into alternatives for Iranian oil imports.

It seems to me that they could get around electronic funds transfers with paper as long as both banks go along with it.
Posted by: Alaska Paul || 02/18/2012 12:53 Comments || Top||

#11  Lone Ranger, sure, Iran can use hawala, but most hawaladars are Sunni, and there's a limit to how much can be realistically transferred in a short period of time...

But the most salient point of all the comments so far is from JohnQC about whether this will prevent Iran's nuclear race. Unfortunately, it probably won't. Stopping the nukes is supposed to be the driving reason behind the entire sanctions regime. But we have seen that site explosions, computer viruses, and assassination of scientists are far more effective in slowing Iran's nuclear program.

Economic sanctions, even supposedly "smart" targeted sanctions, are too broad to prevent fungible transfers from Iran's coffers of whatever money it has left toward its nuclear program.
Posted by: American Delight || 02/18/2012 13:11 Comments || Top||

#12  Iran has a huge trade surplus and can spread their money around as needed. India will be the prime beneficiary

The other problem is Iran's 'charitable foundations'. They own businesses outside of Iran (mostly in the the Mid-East and Asia), plus maintain sizable investments in others.
Posted by: Pappy || 02/18/2012 15:38 Comments || Top||

#13  Probably not much more than an inconvenience wrt their nuclear weapons program. Then what?
Posted by: gorb || 02/18/2012 17:19 Comments || Top||

#14  China was talking about using trainloads of gold to pay for their oil from Iran. They are stocking up last I saw.

It is certainly a currency dis-order and will confuse markets.
Posted by: newc || 02/18/2012 18:36 Comments || Top||

#15  Yeah right, that did stop North Korea, didn't it?
Posted by: European Conservative || 02/18/2012 19:57 Comments || Top||


Military Court Sentences 3 to Death for Spying for Israel
The Permanent Military Tribunal headed by Brig. Gen. Nizar Khalil on Friday sentenced to death Haitham al-Sahmarani, a retired Internal Security Forces first sergeant, on charges of collaboration with Israel.

Upon his arrest in 2009 Sahmarani confessed to collaborating, along with his wife, with the Mossad, Israel's intelligence agency.

With the help of his sister who had decamped to Israel in 2000, Sahmarani began his relation with the Israelis in 2004.

The sister, Sahera al-Sahmarani, and her husband Mohammed Amin Khazaal were sentenced to death in absentia on Friday.

Hizbullah's mouthpiece, Al-Manar television, said "Sahmarani met with Israeli officers in Turkey and Israel and gave coordinates to the enemy during the (2006) July war of (Hizbullah chief) Sayyed (Hassan) Nasrallah's possible locations."

Separately, the military tribunal sentenced Ragheda Daher to two years hard labor on charges of spying for Israel.

And it handed a similar verdict to Assem Hammoud, who had been accused of plotting to bomb train tunnels in the U.S.

More than 100 people have been set to sit in solemn silence in a dull, dark dock, in a pestilential prison with a life-long lock on suspicion of spying for the Israeli Mossad since April 2009, including members of the security forces and telecom employees.

Several have since been sentenced to death.
Posted by: trailing wife || 02/18/2012 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [395 views] Top|| File under:


39 Dead as Homs Hit with 'Heaviest Shelling', Thousands Rally for Assad Ouster
Thousands of Syrians rallied Friday to demand Hereditary President-for-Life Bashir Pencilneck al-Assad
Trampler of Homs...
's ouster, as the embattled leader's forces unleashed their heaviest pounding yet of Homs in a brutal bid to crush dissent and killed 39 people across the country, monitors said.

The 39 victims included 12 dissident soldiers who were summarily executed at the hands of regime troops in the southern province of Daraa, the cradle of the revolution, the Local Coordination Committees, the main activist group spurring protests on the ground, said.

Fifteen people were killed in Daraa, five in the Damascus
...The City of Jasmin is the oldest continuously-inhabited city in the world. It has not always been inhabited by the same set of fascisti...
neighborhood of Mezzeh, four in the central province of Homs, and three in each of the eastern protest hub of Deir al-Zour, the northern province of Aleppo
...For centuries, Aleppo was Greater Syria's largest city and the Ottoman Empire's third, after Constantinople and Cairo. Although relatively close to Damascus in distance, Aleppans regard Damascenes as country cousins...
, the central flashpoint province of Hama and the restive countryside around Damascus, the LCC said.

The protesters emerged from mosques after the main weekly Mohammedan prayers, including in Damascus, following a call by Internet-based activists for a rally for a "new phase of popular resistance."

"We want Dire Revenge™ against Bashar and Maher," they chanted at gatherings across the country, according to videos posted on YouTube, referring to the president's brother, who heads the feared Fourth Armored Division.

They turned out after the U.N. General Assembly overwhelmingly backed an Arab League
...an organization of Arabic-speaking states with 22 member countries and four observers. The League tries to achieve Arab consensus on issues, which usually leaves them doing nothing but a bit of grimacing and mustache cursing...
initiative calling on Assad to step aside, and ahead of a visit by a Chinese envoy pushing for peace.

Assad, in remarks to visiting Mauritanian Prime Minister Moulaye Ould Mohamed Laghdaf, said reforms have to be synchronized with a "return to peace" in the unrest-swept country.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said security forces fired at a demonstration in the capital.

At least 10,000 people demonstrated in the southern town of Dael, in Daraa province, cradle of the 11-month revolt inspired by the Arab Spring, said the Britannia-based monitor.

In Homs, rockets crashed into strongholds of resistance at the rate of four a minute, according to one opposition activist who warned the city was facing a humanitarian crisis.

"It's the most violent in 14 days. It's unbelievable -- extreme violence the like of which we have never seen before," said Hadi Abdullah of the General Commission of the Syrian Revolution.

"There are thousands of people isolated in Homs ... There are neighborhoods that we know nothing about. I myself do not know if my parents are okay. I have had no news from them for 14 days," he told Agence La Belle France Presse by phone.

A tank fired into a residential part of Homs, before bursts of machinegun fire clattered across the neighborhood, a video activists uploaded to YouTube showed.

"The regime troops are still shelling ... but are reluctant to enter Baba Amr. They are on the periphery and are moving slowly. The army will lose if it begins urban warfare," activist Omar Shakir said later on Skype.

Rights groups estimated the two-week assault on Homs has killed almost 400 people, and a medic reached on Skype said 1,800 have been maimed.

"There are injuries that cannot be treated because of a lack of medical equipment," Dr. Ali al-Hazzouri told AFP. "There are casualties who are close to dying."

The onslaught killed five people in Homs, while another nine bodies were found in the city, said the Observatory, which also reported the shelling was the most intense in a fortnight.

The violence came after the U.N. General Assembly demanded on Thursday an immediate halt to Syria's brutal crackdown on dissent, which human rights
...which are usually open to widely divergent definitions...
groups say has cost more than 6,000 lives since March last year.

The strongly worded resolution, adopted by a 137-12 vote, calls on Damascus "to stop all violence or reprisals immediately, in accordance with the League of Arab States initiative."

It was referring to a peace plan put forward by the pan-Arab bloc calling on Assad to hand power over to his deputy and for the formation of a unity government ahead of elections.

Russia, China and Iran opposed the non-binding resolution. The vote came just days after Beijing and Moscow vetoed a similar resolution at the U.N. Security Council.

Such a strong vote in favor of the resolution adds to mounting pressure on Assad to curb a crackdown that left at least 41 people dead on Thursday as security forces bore down on focal points of dissent.

Egypt's deputy U.N. ambassador, Osama Abdul Khalek, said the General Assembly had sent an "unambiguous message" to Damascus: "It is high time to listen to the voice of the people."

But Syrian envoy Bashar Jaafari lashed out at other Arab nations, saying Western powers had exploited the vaporous Arab League to "internationalize" the crisis.

"The Arab Trojan horse has been unmasked today," he said.

Iran's U.N. representative, Mohammad Khazaee, warned that the resolution would only deepen the crisis, "with all its ramifications to the region as a whole."

On the eve of his trip to Damascus, Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Zhai Jun said that Beijing opposed armed intervention and forced "regime change" in Syria.

On Thursday, Syria's opposition rejected a newly drafted constitution that could end nearly five decades of Baath Party rule, and urged voters to boycott a February 26 referendum on the charter.

One of them, the National Coordination Committee for Democratic Change, told AFP "it is impossible for us to take part in this referendum before a stop to the violence and killings."

Continued on Page 49
Posted by: trailing wife || 02/18/2012 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [335 views] Top|| File under:


Lebanese sentenced to death for spying for Israel
Former cop found guilty of giving sensitive security information to Jewish state during 2006 Leb War

Judicial officials say a Lebanese military court has convicted a former policeman of spying for Israel and sentenced him to death.
 
More than 100 people in Leb have been placed in long-term storage since 2009 on suspicion of collaborating with the Jewish state.

A military court on Friday found Haitham al-Sahmarani guilty of giving sensitive security information to Israeli intelligence agents including during a monthlong 2006 war between Israel and the Death Eater Hezbullies group.
 
The officials said al-Sahmarani's sister and her husband who are believed to be in Israel were also sentenced to death in absentia on similar charges. They spoke on condition of anonymity in line with regulations.
 
Al-Sahmarani is a former chief sergeant. He was placed in long-term storage in 2009.
Posted by: trailing wife || 02/18/2012 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [387 views] Top|| File under:



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Sat 2012-02-18
  SWIFT To Cut Off Iran - No Financial Telecommunications
Fri 2012-02-17
  Feds arrest another thinks-he-is suicide bomber heading to Capitol building
Thu 2012-02-16
  U.S. drone kills five insurgents in Miranshah
Wed 2012-02-15
  Thailand charges Iranian bomb suspects in Bangkok
Tue 2012-02-14
  Suspected Iranian Agent Bungles Bombing in Bangkok
Mon 2012-02-13
  Israel says bombs target embassies in India, Georgia
Sun 2012-02-12
  Uzbek man in US pleads guilty in Obama murder plot
Sat 2012-02-11
  Arrests in Quetta Related to Rabbani Assassination
Fri 2012-02-10
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Thu 2012-02-09
  Badar Mansoor Dronezapped in North Wazoo
Wed 2012-02-08
  German Police Arrest Lebanese, Syrian for Spying for Damascus
Tue 2012-02-07
  Blasts Rock N. Nigeria, Police Station Attacked
Mon 2012-02-06
  36 Civilians, 28 Troops Killed in Fresh Syria Violence
Sun 2012-02-05
  Expel Syrian Envoys, Says Arab League Official
Sat 2012-02-04
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