Iranian nuclear scientists’ deaths no mystery A covert war between Iran and the West burst to the surface Wednesday on the fashionable streets of northern Tehran when two men on a motorcycle attached a magnetic bomb to the car of a 32-year-old nuclear scientist, killing him and his bodyguard.
University professor Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan was a chemistry expert who also worked as a director of the Natanz uranium enrichment plant, a key facility in Iran’s suspected nuclear arms program.
The assassination, the fourth of its kind in two years, appears to be part of an undeclared campaign to target top Iranian scientists to delay or degrade the nuclear program — something diplomacy and economic sanctions have been unable to do. (Photo: AFP PHOTO/FARS NEWS; REUTERS/IIPA/Sajad Safari)
Hamas set to reject violence: report In the Middle East what happens in the shadows is frequently more important than what occurs in bright daylight and Wednesday’s 24th anniversary celebrations in Gaza of the founding of Hamas were no exception.
The dusty Palestinian enclave by the sea was an ocean of green flags as more than 300,000 people attended a Hamas rally in the centre of Gaza City.
Masked men, armed with AK-47s, formed a ceremonial guard for Gaza’s de facto prime minister, Ismail Haniyeh, who mounted a stage shaped like a ship and decorated with a model of Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa mosque, as a 10-man vocal group led the crowd in chanting, “We will not recognize Israel.”
Beneath the surface, however, something else may be going on.
The same day as Hamas’s Gaza celebration, IHS Jane’s, the well-respected defence and security intelligence analysis agency, published an exclusive report claiming Hamas was on the brink of renouncing armed resistance and moving to a policy of non-violent resistance to Israel. (Mahmud Hams/AFP/Getty Images)
Italy says 1,000 killed in Libya Muammar Gaddafi’s increasingly desperate attempts to crush a revolt against his four-decade rule have killed as many as 1,000 people and split Libya, Italy’s Foreign Minister said on Wednesday.
Gaddafi’s speech: Decoding a tyrant’s words At a rambling 75 minutes long, with threats of violent reprisals against “greasy rats” and vague promises of reform to a Libyan constitution he ignores anyway, Muammar Gaddafi’s attempt to save himself through his dubious speaking abilities on Tuesday looked like “vintage Gaddafi” to some observers.
Goodbye, Hosni. Hello, Hamas! The dark ages are staging a comeback via the age of enlightenment. Democracy is opening the door to theocracy. It has in Gaza, and seems about to do so in Egypt. Who would have thought that our cherished political system could be so mischievous?
No one knows for sure if President Franklin D. Roosevelt really said, of the U.S.’s support for the corrupt Nicaraguan dictator, Anastasio Somoza Garcia, “He may be a son of a bitch, but he’s our son of a bitch.”
Most likely he didn’t. It hardly matters. The fact the quote has, for 72 years, taken on a life of its own — it has been held up as the defining, cold-hearted mentality behind U.S. foreign policy — does.
Resignation would bring chaos, Mubarak claims President Hosni Mubarak said he wanted to quit but that he feared his resignation would bring chaos to Egypt, as protesters demanding an end to his 30-year rule confronted his supporters on Cairo streets.
More violence in Egypt protests Gunmen fired on anti-government protesters in Cairo, where fighting killed six and wounded over 800 and prompted new calls on Thursday from Western powers for President Hosni Mubarak to start handing over power immediately.
Jonathan Kay: Israel and Egypt have more in common than ever The modern nation of Israel is only 63 years old. But the relationship between Israelites and Egyptians goes back more than three millennia — surely one of the most venerable bilateral relationships known to humankind. To this day, the defining narrative of Jewish historical identity — the Exodus, retold every year at the Passover Seder — takes place in Egypt.
‘We strongly urge all Canadians to leave Egypt’: Cannon Any Canadians remaining in Egypt should leave as soon as possible, Foreign Minister Lawrence Cannon said in a statement issued Thursday as the North African country geared for a tenth consecutive day of increasingly violent protests.
Graphic: Egyptian protests turn bloody At least three people died and more than a 1,000 were injured as Cairo’s Tahrir Square exploded in clashes between anti-Mubarak protesters and government supporters.
We may be witnessing the final days of Hosni Mubarak’s 30 years in power, but it isn’t the end of six decades of military control in Egypt.
The only actors with the power, prestige and experience to temporarily resolve the crisis are the country’s armed forces.
Neither the aged and faltering Egyptian President, nor the disparate ad hoc coalition of opposition groups, united only in their opposition to the aging leader, have the wherewithal to end Egypt’s days of rage.
But its army, the largest in the Arab world and the 10th largest worldwide, has been a central force in Egyptian politics ever since officers staged a coup and overthrew the monarchy in 1952.
Mubarak suggested he will cling to power until September and personally oversee preparations for elections.
That’s unlikely to be welcomed by the crowds that have paralyzed Cairo for eight days, calling for his resignation and demanding reforms.
In the face of continued opposition, Mr. Mubarak could cut his lame-duck presidency short by suddenly leaving the country for medical treatment. The 82-year-old has not been well and had emergency gall-bladder surgery in Germany last spring.
So many unknown factors surround Egypt’s stunning week-long revolution that all predictions amount to guesswork.
But two basic elements can be counted on: the armed forces, which have been a pillar of the state since 1952, are not about to surrender their influence and power; and the changes that have occurred in Egypt will have broad ramifications throughout the Middle East.