What You Will Not Hear About Iraq

What You Will Not Hear About Iraq

By Adil E. Shamoo, August 20, 2010

Iraq has between 25 and 50 percent unemployment, a dysfunctional parliament, rampant disease, an epidemic of mental illness, and sprawling slums. The killing of innocent people has become part of daily life. What a havoc the United States has wreaked in Iraq.

UN-HABITAT, an agency of the United Nations, recently published a 218-page report entitled State of the World’s Cities, 2010-2011. The report is full of statistics on the status of cities around the world and their demographics. It defines slum dwellers as those living in urban centers without one of the following: durable structures to protect them from climate, sufficient living area, sufficient access to water, access to sanitation facilities, and freedom from eviction.

Almost intentionally hidden in these statistics is one shocking fact about urban Iraqi populations. For the past few decades, prior to the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003, the percentage of the urban population living in slums in Iraq hovered just below 20 percent. Today, that percentage has risen to 53 percent: 11 million of the 19 million total urban dwellers. In the past decade, most countries have made progress toward reducing slum dwellers. But Iraq has gone rapidly and dangerously in the opposite direction.

According to the U.S. Census of 2000, 80 percent of the 285 million people living in the United States are urban dwellers. Those living in slums are well below 5 percent. If we translate the Iraqi statistic into the U.S. context, 121 million people in the United States would be living in slums.

If the United States had an unemployment rate of 25-50 percent and 121 million people living in slums, riots would ensue, the military would take over, and democracy would evaporate. So why are people in the United States not concerned and saddened by the conditions in Iraq? Because most people in the United States do not know what happened in Iraq and what is happening there now. Our government, including the current administration, looks the other way and perpetuates the myth that life has improved in post-invasion Iraq. Our major news media reinforces this message.

I had high hopes that the new administration would tell the truth to its citizens about why we invaded Iraq and what we are doing currently in the country. President Obama promised to move forward and not look to the past. However problematic this refusal to examine on the past — particularly for historians — the president should at least inform the U.S. public of the current conditions in Iraq. How else can we expect our government to formulate appropriate policy?

More extensive congressional hearings on Iraq might have allowed us to learn about the myths propagated about Iraq prior to the invasion and the extent of the damage and destruction our invasion brought on Iraq. We would have learned about the tremendous increase in urban poverty and the expansion of city slums. Such facts about the current conditions of Iraq would help U.S. citizens to better understand the impact of the quick U.S. withdraw and what are our moral responsibilities in Iraq should be.

Adil E. Shamoo is a senior analyst at Foreign Policy In Focus, and a professor at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. He writes on ethics and public policy. He can be reached at: ashamoo@umaryland.edu.

Recommended Citation:

Adil E. Shamoo, “What You Will Not Hear About Iraq” (Washington, DC: Foreign Policy In Focus, August 20, 2010).

Adil E. Shamoo, Ph.D., CIP

Editor-in-Chief,

Accountability in Research

Professor, University of Maryland School of Medicine

e-mail: ashamoo@umaryland.edu

http://medschool.umaryland.edu/facultyresearchprofile/viewprofile.aspx?id=3462

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‘Indian agencies communalising liberation movement’

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‘Indian agencies communalising liberation movement’

Srinagar, August 22 (KMS): In occupied Kashmir, the Chairman of All Parties Hurriyet Conference, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and other pro-movement leaders and organisations have deplored that Indian intelligence agencies are trying to give a communal colour to Kashmiris’ liberation movement.

The APHC Chairman in a media interview in Srinagar lashed out at the forces bent on branding the liberation struggle as Islamist. “The letters urging Sikhs to embrace Islam were a part of this game plan. The indigenous nature of the ongoing uprising has unnerved some forces, which have started conspiring against the movement,” he said.

He said that the letters were the handiwork of Indian intelligence agencies. “This is part of the deliberate strategy to float the letters and blow the news story about them in a section of media,” the Mirwaiz said. He pointed out that when it came to reporting on the ongoing unrest, media was generally not so enthusiastic. The APHC Chairman said that Sikhs were an inalienable part of the valley’s cultural fabric and assured them of safety. He also urged Hindus, Sikhs and other minority community members not to pay attention to such letters or warnings.

The Grand Mufti of occupied Kashmir, Mufti Bashirud-Din, has asked the Sikhs not be afraid of such threatening letters. Chairing a joint meeting of Muslim Personal Law Board and Nudwat-ul-Ulema Jammu and Kashmir, the Grand Mufti said that the threatening letters and their publication by Indian media was sheer propaganda against Islam and its followers in Kashmir.

The spokesman of Jammu and Kashmir Tehreek Hurriyet in a statement said that the Muslims of Jammu and Kashmir always considered it part of their religious duty to protect the interests of the Sikh and other minority groups living in Kashmir. He said that circulation of such letters and posters was the handiwork of Indian Intelligence agencies, who are hell bent to portray the ongoing struggle as communal.

Meanwhile, the President of Sikh United Front, Sudershan Singh Wazir addressing mediamen in Jammu said that such acts were the handiwork of agencies to vitiate the communal harmony in the occupied territory.

Turkmenistan Tips Its Hand On Future Energy Exports

Turkmenistan Tips Its Hand On Future Energy Exports

An oil platform in Turkmenistan's Caspian Sea territory. The president indicated that Turkmenistan is willing to open up Caspian development to U.S. and other companies.An oil platform in Turkmenistan’s Caspian Sea territory. The president indicated that Turkmenistan is willing to open up Caspian development to U.S. and other companies.

August 22, 2010
By Bruce Pannier
Turkmenistan, so key to the energy plans of so many, had long shown its readiness to break Russia’s stranglehold on its gas and oil exports. But Ashgabat has offered few hints as to who it prefers as an alternative.

That changed last week, when President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov gathered energy officials together on August 12 and outlined, in much more detail than usual, the country’s export-diversification policy.

It’s a strategy that is pioneering in its calls for increased cooperation with Western companies, unambiguous in its preference for deals with China, and surprising for its failure to even mention traditional energy partner Russia and the EU’s Nabucco gas-pipeline project.

The general idea, according to Turkish energy analyst Mehmet Seyfetdin, is for Turkmenistan to increase its pool of energy partners without angering Moscow. “Turkmenistan wants to show a counter-balance policy in its foreign relations, and we see that Turkmenistan wants to prevent Russia’s pressure on it,” Seyfetdin says.

Seyfetdin says that if Turkmenistan wants leverage in its dealings with Russia, “it needs the Western countries — especially the United States.” But Ashgabat is being cautious not to appear to be leaning too far toward the West. “To prevent misunderstandings, [Turkmenistan] also signed some agreements with the Gulf countries, which also are in close relationships with U.S. companies,” the Turkish analyst explains.

Italy Gets A Foot In The Door

The most sensational news may have been Berdymukhammedov’s instructions for a new production-sharing agreement to be worked out that would allow a foreign company in on the development of the Nebit-Dag oil and gas field in western Turkmenistan.

Upon inking the deal, the Italian company Eni would become only the second foreign company — after the China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC) — to have an onshore contract in Turkmenistan.

It is not unheard of for Turkmenistan to work with foreign entities on the development of offshore resources, but for Western companies, securing such contracts has traditionally been difficult.

Discussing the development of Turkmenistan’s Caspian shelf, Berdymukhammedov indicated a willingness to loosen things up, saying bids from the U.S. companies Chevron, TX Oil, and ConocoPhilips, as well as the United Arab Emirate’s Mudabala, were being considered.

Berdymukhammedov also made clear that in terms of export routes, Turkmenistan was looking south.

Officials were instructed to “take all necessary measures” to ensure that arrangements for gas to be sold via the proposed TAPI (Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India) pipeline will be worked out by the end of the year. Those plans would have to overcome the instability in Afghanistan that has thwarted the TAPI project for the past 15 years, however.

The need to boost gas supplies to Iran was also mentioned, although Berdymukhammedov did not specify if he was talking about new gas exports or fulfillment of existing contracts.

The biggest consumer of Turkmen gas to the east — China — was by no means forgotten.

The Turkmen president named China, already contracted to purchase some 40 billion cubic meters (bcm) of gas annually, as his preferred source for a $4.18 billion loan that would allow for the development of the country’s largest gas field, South Yolotan. With estimated reserves of 4 trillion-14 trillion cubic meters, South Yolotan could potentially meet the European Union’s gas needs for more than 20 years.

The Turkmen government has yet to say who, if anyone, it would involve in developing the field or which direction the gas would flow, but China would appear to have the inside track.

China provided Turkmenistan with a $3 billion loan last year for developing South Yolotan, and the provision of another $4 billion for the completion of the project’s first stage would put China in an enviable position when the time comes for Ashgabat to decide on consumers and partners for the project.

Russia Left Out In The Cold?

The most glaring absence from Berdymukhammedov’s plans is Russia, which has extensive control of the Soviet-era export pipelines on which Turkmenistan depends, and which just two years ago was buying some 40- 50 bcm of gas, accounting for about 90 percent of Turkmenistan’s exports.

That, however, was before Russian-Turkmen gas relations soured at the start of 2009 due to a price dispute, and took a nasty turn in the spring when the main pipeline carrying Turkmen gas to Russia exploded. After that, supplies stopped completely, and the blame game began.

Russia eventually worked out a new deal, but it called for only a quarter of what Turkmenistan used to supply.

Berdymukhammedov’s failure to mention Russia can be taken as a sign that relations have not improved and that Turkmenistan is looking beyond Russia for customers.

Aleksandr Yakovlev of the RosBusiness Consulting Agency suggests, however, that this is just business as usual. “The suppliers, the owners of the minerals, owners of the resources are inviting a significant number of transcontinental, transnational corporations, world megagiants, into partnerships,” Yakovlev says.

The same is true for those seeking to buy energy resources, he says. “The consumers are trying to find among these numerous suppliers, on a competitive basis…those suppliers of resources who are offering more advantageous conditions,” Yakovlev says.

Another key player left out of Berdymukhammedov’s plans was the European Union-backed Nabucco pipeline project, a 3,300 kilometer initiative intended to bring some 31 bcm of gas to the EU annually. Many believe the project is not possible without Turkmenistan’s participation as a supplier. But none of the companies Berdymukhammedov mentioned were shareholders in the Nabucco project.

Just a day after Berdymukhammedov’s speech, however, came a sign that the Turkmen president intends to make good on his calls for diversification, and that Europe’s energy needs would not be forgotten.

In Baku on August 12, the first Turkmen oil was loaded into the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline. The oil came from Turkmenistan’s Cheleken field in the Caspian Sea, and most of it will eventually reach the EU. It was a modest start, just 36,500 barrels, but plans call for supplies to increase to nearly 1 million barrels monthly.

Guvanch Geraev and Gozel Khoudaiberdiyeva of RFE/RL’s Turkmen Service contributed to this report.

IRAN AND THE CONTRAS–December 11, 1986

IRAN AND THE CONTRAS. Arms affair: puzzles wrapped in enigmas

By Warren Richey and George D. Moffett III, Staff writers of The Christian Science Monitor / December 11, 1986

Washington

It has been five weeks since a pro-Syrian Lebanese weekly, Ash Shiraa, broke the news that the United States was secretly shipping arms to Iran. Since then, the controversy has broadened to include reports that profits from the arms sales were funneled to a secret Swiss bank account to aid rebel groups fighting against Nicaragua’s Sandinista government.

In the coming weeks the Justice Department, several congressional committees, and the nation’s news media will be seeking answers to a growing list of unanswered questions. Among them:

How much did President Reagan and his senior advisers know about the Iran-contra operation?

Questions persist about when President Reagan knew about and authorized the arms sales. (Related story, Page 10.) Reagan has denied knowing about the diversion of profits from the arms sale to aid the Nicaraguan contras until being told by Attorney General Edwin Meese on Nov. 24. So far no one has directly contradicted the President. But some in Congress say it is unlikely that Mr. Reagan would have been unaware of the funds transfers.

Attorney General Meese says information about the operation was confined to three National Security Council officials: former NSC chiefs Robert C. McFarlane and Vice-Adm. John M. Poindexter and a former staff member, Lt. Col. Oliver L. North.

But questions have been raised about the possible knowledge of other top White House officials. Both White House chief of staff Donald Regan and Vice-President George Bush have denied knowledge of the contra connection. But skeptics question whether Mr. Regan, who holds tight control over the operation of the White House staff, could have been ignorant of the activities of subordinates like Admiral Poindexter, Colonel North, and Mr. McFarlane.

Meanwhile, Mr Bush, a former director of the Central Intelligence Agency, has been linked in news reports to a secret contra resupply operation through contacts with a former CIA official who now serves as Bush’s principal national-security adviser.

Secretary of State George Shultz, who opposed the Iran arms shipments, says he was only “sporadically” informed of the shipments and knew nothing of the Swiss bank accounts until the story became public two weeks ago.

How much did US intelligence agencies know about the Iran-contra connection?

The CIA arranged air transportation for at least one Israeli arms shipment to Iran in November 1985. After the President signed a “finding” in January 1986 authorizing direct US arms shipments to Iran, the agency acted as middleman, arranging the transfer of US arms from American stockpiles to Israel for transshipment to Iran.

The CIA has admitted handling certain financial aspects of the Iranian arms sales, including collecting funds to reimburse the Pentagon for the initial $12 million cost of weapons sold to Iran. But questions remain about whether the CIA helped funnel some $10 million to $30 million in profits from the sales to a Swiss bank account maintained to fund the Nicaraguan contras.

A reference by Attorney General Meese in a Nov. 25 White House press briefing to “a number of intercepts” concerning the Iran arms deal has stirred speculation that other US intelligence agencies – particularly the National Security Agency, which intercepts and decodes electronic transmissions and signals worldwide – may have known of the Iran-contra arrangement before it became public.

CIA Director William Casey says he learned of the contra connection only after it became public, but he has admitted to hearing “gossip” about secret sources of funding for the contras. News reports say Mr. Casey may have learned of the contra connection from intelligence sources a month before it was publicly disclosed by Meese but apparently failed to inform any senior administration officials.

Casey is said to have learned of the contra connection as a result of analysis conducted at the CIA based on intercepted messages of unknown origin. The messages are said to quote Iranians involved in the US arms deals as saying they had been significantly overcharged for the weapons. It is unclear whether these intercepts were the same ones referred to by Meese on Nov. 25.

What quantity of arms actually reached Iran?

In a televised address to the nation two weeks ago, Reagan said that “everything that we sold [Iran] could be put in one cargo plane and there would be plenty of room left over.”

At least four direct shipments from the US and, according to Iran expert Gary Sick of the Ford Foundation, as many as 12 indirect shipments from Israel (sent on behalf of the US as part of the arms-for-hostages deal) have gone to Iran since last fall. US shipments reportedly included over 2,000 TOW antitank missiles and 235 Hawk surface-to-air missiles, plus radar equipment.

Attorney General Meese has estimated the value of the direct shipments at $12 million. But Mr. Sick estimates that the total value of all arms sent to Iran could range from $500 million to $1 billion. Pentagon officials have not specified the quantity of US arms transferred directly to Iran or indirectly through Israel.

Have US laws been violated in the Iran-contra affair?

The Justice Department has applied to a federal court for the appointment of an independent counsel, or special prosecutor, to direct an investigation into whether federal laws have been broken.

Legal experts point to two laws that may have been violated by sending arms to Iran: the Export Administration Act, which prohibits the export or sale of goods to countries, including Iran, that participate in state-sponsored terrorism; and the Arms Export Control Act, which regulates the commercial export of arms. At issue here is whether the President’s January 1986 “finding” took precedence over these laws.

Some members of Congress say the President violated the National Security Act of 1947 by not providing “timely” notification of the arms sale to congressional leaders.

Meanwhile, legal experts say using profits from the Iran arms sales to fund the Nicaraguan contras could violate the Boland amendment, which barred US intelligence agencies, including the NSC, from helping the contras wage their war against Nicaragua’s Sandinista government. The Boland amendment was in effect from May 1984 to September 1986, when Congress lifted the ban.

Who controlled the Swiss bank accounts?

One CIA bank account, which may have received contributions from Saudi Arabia, was apparently set up to assist Afghan rebels fighting Soviet occupation forces. The CIA has said it was involved in the transfer of funds from the Iran arms shipments but denies involvement in funneling profits from the arms deals to the contras.

In addition, State Department officials have acknowledged that they persuaded the Sultan of the Southeast Asian nation of Brunei to contribute several million dollars to a Swiss bank account to help the contras. It is unclear whether other countries may have contributed to the fund and who managed the account.

Questions have also been raised about an account mentioned by Colonel North in instructions to financier H.Ross Perot. Mr. Perot agreed to provide $2 million in secret payments in an attempt to help secure the release of American hostages in Lebanon. The plan, allegedly organized by North, never bore fruit.

Reports have also discussed a series of financial transactions and bank accounts controlled by businesses and associates of retired Air Force Maj. Gen. Richard V. Secord. General Secord has been identified as a close associate of NSC staff member North and has been linked to a secret effort to supply the contras through air drops of weapons and ammunition.

The Justice Department has reportedly asked Swiss authorities to assist in an investigation of two bank accounts and three individuals: North, Secord, and Secord’s business partner, Albert Hakim.

Who set up and ran the secret contra resupply operation?

The downing of a transport plane over Nicaragua on Oct. 5 has exposed an elaborate secret air resupply operation staffed by former US intelligence officials and operatives. Investigators are looking into the possibility that the profits from the Iranian arms deals may have been used to fund the supply network. They are also trying to discover whether US officials were directly involved in the supply operation during the time the Boland amendment was in effect.

Both North and Secord have been directly linked to the Iran arms deal and to continued efforts to assist the Nicaraguan contras. Secord has been tied to the supply effort by former crew members involved in secret resupply flights and by records of frequent telephone calls from a “safe house” in El Salvador to Secord’s business and home.

North has been identified by Meese as the prime operative in the Iran-contra affair. He is said to have planned and run the shipping of arms to Iran and the funneling of profits from those sales to Central America.

Why Not?–“Neo-Contras” In Nicaragua?

In Nicaragua, a return of the contras?

A former commando known as ‘Comandante Jahob’ says he is rearming a group of contras to oppose the reelection of President Daniel Ortega. Former contra leaders and ex-military intelligence tell the Monitor it would be a mistake for the military to dismiss the threat.

A man walks past a painting of Nicaragua’s President Daniel Ortega in Managua August 7. Ortega returned to power in 2007 in his fourth attempt at reelection – a campaign he ran on promises of ‘peace and reconciliation.’

Oswaldo Rivas/Reuters

By Tim Rogers, Correspondent / August 20, 2010

Managua, NicaraguaHidden somewhere in the rugged mountains of Estelí, in northern Nicaragua, a former contra commando with CIA training says he’s organizing an armed rebellion against President Daniel Ortega.

José Gabriel Garmendia, a former counterrevolutionary special forces commander known by the codename “Comandante Jahob,” is reportedly leading a group of rearmed contras that promise to “remove Ortega from office with bullets” if the president tries to sidestep the constitution to get himself reelected next year.

US-backed counterrevolutionary forces, or “contras,” battled the left-wing Sandinista government in decade-long civil war in the 1980s, which claimed more than 36,000 lives. When Mr. Ortega and the Sandinistas were voted out of office in 1990, tens of thousands of contras – including Jahob – handed in their weapons and tried to return to civilian life.

Ortega returned to power in 2007 in his fourth attempt at reelection – a campaign he ran on promises of “peace and reconciliation.” But three-and-half years into his second term, Nicaraguan society has become increasingly polarized by Ortega’s government, which critics claim is pushing the country back toward dictatorship.

Ortega’s actions have allegedly forced some contras to return to clandestine struggle, according to Jahob. In a rare phone interview with a local newspaper earlier this month, the mysterious comandante said he and his men are looking for weapons and munitions and are prepared to remain in the mountains as long as they feel it’s necessary to ensure Ortega’s ouster.

Military dismisses threat

Nicaraguan authorities are downplaying Jahob’s rebellion. Gen. Julio César Avilés, Nicaragua’s military chief, said the Army has gathered intelligence that Jahob has been crossing into Honduras to make contacts with other “delinquent groups” north of Nicaragua’s border, where the contras created training bases with CIA support in the 1980s. Still, the military brass insists Jahob is nothing more than a common criminal hiding behind a false political cause.

“The war has ended; there are no conditions for armed groups to operate here,” General Avilés told reporters last month.

But former contra leaders and ex-military intelligence warn that it would be a mistake to dismiss Jahob’s incipient uprising.

One ex-contra who says he worked with Jahob in the 1980s says he remembers the former commando leader as being a “specialist in ambush and kidnappings,” and someone who is “very capable of doing convert operations anywhere, anytime.”

Former contra leader Luis Fley, better known as “Comandante Jhonson,” told the Monitor that Jahob is not a common outlaw, but rather a highly trained solider with strong political convictions and lingering resentment toward the Sandinistas, who killed his father – an evangelical preacher – and brothers during the war in the 1980s. Mr. Fley says Jahob – who is now 47 – was trained in covert operations by the Argentines and Americans in the 1980s, and is probably working to “build a social network with collaborators in the mountains.”  [Sure he is.]

Scars of war could reopen

Retired Gen. Hugo Torres, a former Sandinista guerrilla hero who later worked as head of the military’s state intelligence in the mid-1990s, warns that Jahob could find fertile ground to develop a following in the mountains.

“The wounds from the military conflict in the ‘80s still hadn’t finished scarring when Ortega returned to power (in 2007). And instead of working to heal those wounds, Ortega did just the opposite: he is reopening wounds by polarizing and dividing the population,” says Mr. Torres, who is now a member of the left-wing dissident Sandinista Renovation Movement (MRS).

The former general warns that Jahob’s movement could grow if he proves to be a strong leader and if people think Ortega is repeating the oppressive Sandinista policies of the 1980s.

Though Torres says it’s too soon to predict how Jahob’s adventure will end, at this point it is “important to not magnify this, nor minimize it.”

For many of the older ex-contras who demobilized 21 years ago, returning to armed conflict is unthinkable. Yet many were just teenagers when they handed in their guns. They are now in their 30s or 40s and – in the words of Torres – “still have energy.”

War unwanted among many civilians

But many who experienced the battlefield horrors in the 1980s say a return to armed violence is unacceptable.

Former contra commando “Comandante Jehu,” a close friend of Jahob, says his comrade simply wants to work and live in peace. Jehu, who sits in a wheelchair after being crippled during the war in the 80s, says Jahob has no intention of returning to armed struggle, but was forced to go on the run because he was being “persecuted” by the Army for a murder he insists he didn’t commit.

“Jahob is not rearmed, he’s just hiding because he feels cornered,” Jehu said. “There are no conditions for a guerrilla war here. People don’t even have enough money to buy food, much less guns.”

Jehu says Jahob’s threats have been exaggerated by Managua politicians trying to manipulate the situation for their own benefit. He says Nicaragua’s political right wing fantasizes about a Rambo-like character that declares war on Ortega, while the left wing fantasizes about war as an excuse to crack down harder on society and cancel next year’s elections.

But the majority of Nicaragua’s poor who fought in the civil war – people like Jahob – know that war doesn’t fix anything, Jehu insists.

“War is horrible,” the disabled veteran says. “Those of us who fought for 10 years have no desire to return to war.”

Related:

Iranian Karrar Drone

Vodpod videos no longer available.

iranian Karrar Drone, posted with vodpod

[Notice that there is no propeller on this drone. From the actual flight footage, you can see just how fast this thing moves, making it no more useful than a jet plane for monitoring anything on the ground.   If the idea of “drones” is that of nearly silent, slow-moving, small aircraft, which can linger over site for hours on end, then by these standards, this in NOT a “drone;” it is a cruise missile with bomb-dropping capability.  From the look on Ahmadinejad’s face in the photo below, he understands that he was up there putting on a show with his large golden phallic symbol, for the Western media.  Iran’s leaders are so full of bullshit, that they often pretend to be a world-class armaments maker.  Take for example the recent shoot-down of an Iranian Phantom F-4 over Bushehr by an Iranian ABM system which couldn’t identify friendly aircraft from “foes” (SEE: Iranian Phantom Fighter Crash Near Bushehr Was Friendly Fire ABM Test Failure).  ]

President Mahmud Ahmadinejad introduced the Karrar aircraft on national television.
August 22, 2010. Photo from Radio Free Europe

Iran inaugurates its first bombing drone

Iran inaugurates its first bombing drone
Iran inaugurates its first bombing drone
15:42 22/08/2010
© REUTERS/ STRINGER/IRAN

Iran unveiled on Sunday the country’s first domestically-built unmanned bomber, Iranian Press TV reported.

The 4-meter long-range drone, dubbed as Karrar or striker, was inaugurated by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad at a ceremony marking Defense Industry Day in the Islamic Republic, Press TV said.

The presentation of the bombing drone took place a day after Iranian and Russian specialists started fuelling Iran’s first nuclear power station.

The construction of the Bushehr nuclear power plant in Iran Iran’s first nuclear plant was begun in 1975 by several German construction companies. They pulled out following a U.S. embargo on hi-tech supplies to Iran after the 1979 Islamic Revolution and the subsequent U.S. Embassy siege in Tehran.

Russia signed a contract with Iran to complete construction in February 1998.

Western powers suspect Iran of seeking to build nuclear weapons under the guise of its nuclear program, which Tehran says is aimed at the peaceful generation of civilian energy.

MOSCOW, August 22 (RIA Novosti)