Saturday, October 20, 2007

Iran Inches Closer to Confrontation with the West

Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani resigned today and was swiftly replaced by Saeed Jalili. The change is seen by Iran analyst as a clear victory for President Ahmadinejad and the extremists.

Jalili was an academician and a foreign service officer before joining the office of the supreme leader Ayatollah Kahemenie as the director general in 2001. He holds a doctorate degree in political science. Dr. Jalili was said to be Ahmadinejad’s first choice as foreign minister, but Ahmadinejad settled for Manouchehr Mottaki. Jalili became Motakki’s deputy for European and American affairs in 2005.

Jalili is a veteran of Iran-Iraq war and an IRGC alumnus. His selection clearly indicates Khamenie’s tilt toward Ahmadinejad and a nuclear policy favored by the extremists.

In a related development, IRGC Brig. Gen. Mahmoud Chaharbaghi, the commander of IRGC missile force, said today that Iran will fore 11,000 rockets at US and allied targets within the first minute of a US attack on Iran.

“We have identified our targets and with a close surveillance of targets, we can respond immediately,” Gen. Chaharbaghi added.

Today Iran has moved closer to a military confrontation with the US and the West over its nuclear program and as a result of consolidation of power in the hands of Islamist extremists.

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