At least 15 people were killed during massive anti-government protests in Tehran when opposition supporters clashed with security forces in the streets, Iranian state television reported Monday.
The report said 10 people killed during Sunday’s fierce clashes in the Iranian capital were members of “anti-revolutionary terrorist” groups, apparently referring to opposition supporters.
The other five who died were killed by “terrorist groups” in a “suspicious act,” the report said, without elaborating.
Iranian security forces stormed a series of opposition offices on Monday, rounding up at least seven prominent anti-government activists in a new crackdown against the country’s reformist movement, opposition Web sites and activists reported.
In the six months that have followed, Barack Obama’s high-risk engagement strategy has simply encouraged more repression from the Mullahs, as well as ever greater levels of defiance over Iran’s nuclear weapons programme. As Con Coughlin noted in an excellent piece for The Wall Street Journal last month, Obama’s Iran diplomacy isn’t working:
“Iranian human-rights groups say that since the government crackdown began in late June, at least 400 demonstrators have been killed while another 56 are unaccounted, which is several times higher than the official figures. The regime has established a chain of unofficial, makeshift prisons to deal with the protesters, where torture and rape are said to be commonplace. In Tehran alone, 37 young Iranian men and women are reported to have been raped by their captors.”
Now once again huge street protests have flared up on the streets of Tehran and a number of other major cities, with several protesters shot dead this weekend by the security forces and Revolutionary Guards, reportedly including the nephew of opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi, and dozens seriously injured. And again there is deafening silence from the Commander-in-Chief as well as his Secretary of State. And where is the president? On vacation in Hawaii, no doubt recuperating from his exertions driving forward the monstrous health care reform bill against the overwhelming will of the American public and without a shred of bipartisan support.
Iran is also attempting to import 1350 tons of uranium – enough to make many weapons of mass destruction. (H/T ECM)
Iran is close to clinching a deal to clandestinely import 1,350 tons of purified uranium ore from Kazakhstan, according to an intelligence report obtained by the Associated Press on Tuesday. Diplomats said the assessment was heightening international concern about Tehran’s nuclear activities.
…Iraq’s dwindling Christian communities are still being targeted on the basis of their faith. That is especially the case in Mosul, long the most lawless and violent place in Iraq. By an unhappy coincidence, Mosul is also located in the ancestral heartland of Iraqi Christianity, and is thus the last refuge (short of exile) for Christians fleeing targeted violence in Baghdad, Basra, and other places.
Mosul is therefore a target-rich environment. In December alone, at least seven churches, convents, and schools have been bombed, claiming dozens of lives, including the latest holy innocent, an eight-day-old baby girl. Iraq’s central government deserves credit for dispatching some 3,000 additional police after a similar spate of bombings and attacks in October, but their presence has brought little improvement as Christians continue to flee Mosul for overcrowded and underdeveloped villages such as Qaraqosh in the adjacent Nineveh plain. Meanwhile, the situation around Kirkuk, also in northern Iraq, remains nearly as dire for Christians caught up in the Arab-Kurdish struggle for control of the area’s oil fields.
While the Iraqi government has belatedly taken some modest steps to ease the suffering of Iraqi Christians, the U.S. government’s consistent policy of studied and shameful indifference forms rare common ground between the Bush and Obama administrations. It is an indelible stain on American honor that two administrations did nothing to assist, much less protect, a beleaguered religious minority.
It’s a dangerous world. This is not the time for playing golf in Hawaii.