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Search Tags: Iran
It's a Pashto term for "grand council" and the Afghan government has invited the Taliban to attend one. A Loya Jirga is a consultative system that Afghans have used for more than 1,000 years to settle affairs of the nation or to rally people behind a particular cause. The first Jirga was held near Kandahar in 1709 to oust an brutal governor appointed by Iranian conquerors. The last was 2006 in Qalat to discuss the rights and sovereignty of Balochistan. They are often conducted to promote unity.
Is Iran providing weapons to the Taliban? The U.S. military thinks so. The Pentagon has recovered evidence in western Afghanistan, near the border with Iran, of weapons and explosives bearing markings indicating they were made in Iran. These are the same types of weapons that flowed into Iraq during the height of the war. Experts think the weapons actually come from Iran's Revolutionary Guards and their Quds force. The question under examination now is the extent to which the Iranian government is involved.
Iran, whose nuclear facilities are under threat of possible Israeli military strikes, proposed Wednesday that a 150-nation conference convening in the fall bans such attacks. Iran says the proposal, revealed to The Associated Press by diplomats and confirmed by a senior Iranian envoy, is not linked to veiled threats by Israel of an attack as a last resort if the international community fails to persuade Tehran to freeze its nuclear activities. Instead, all of the diplomats said the Iranian initiative seeks support for a generally worded document prohibiting all armed attacks against nuclear installations anywhere, when 150 nations convene for the September general conference of the International Atomic Energy Agency.
The U.S. military detained several Iranian officials in Iraq two years ago accusing them of arming Shi-ite Muslim militias. Their arrest raised the level of tension between Washington and Tehran, already simmering because of back and forth over nuclear weapons to new heights. Iranian State TV claims three of the men were diplomats detained in a 2007 U.S. raid in Iraq's northern city of Arbil, while the rest were kidnapped in other areas. The prisoners were turned over to Iraqi government officials and then transfered to Iranian custody.
War games next month for the Missile Defense Agency. The game --simulate a missile attack from Iran. The Pentagon says the agency will use its newest missile-killing technology. The test reportedly will involve a fake intercontinental ballistic missile launch from Iran. The fake missile will actually take off from the Missile Defense Agency's launch facility in the Marshall Islands in the South Pacific, while the interceptor will be launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.
The concern about the Iranian nuclear program in Israel is growing. Israeli sources say there's a possibility of some type of conflict in the near term. Most observers have been talking about an Israeli strike against Iran, but a source in Israel says the likelihood is greater that Iran will launch a pre-emptive strike in Israel using Hezbollah and Hamas. Hamas now has rockets that can reach Tel Aviv, so does Hezbollah. The thinking among some top Israelis strategists appears to be, Iran will launch this war via remote control as a distraction.
Where is former Iranian President Mohammed Khatami? The Iranian claims that he tried escape to a European county but was stopped. In a statement to Al-Arabiyah soon afterward, sources close to Khatami denied this report and stressed that the former president is in his home in Tehran. Khatami has been one of the leaders of the uprisings in Iran and has been rumored to be one of several high-level former Iranian officials pushing against the Ahmadinejad government.