Saturday, November 30, 2013

Bushehr Nuclear Plant Not Damaged by Quake


The IAEA has confirmed that Friday’s earthquake in Bushehr did not damage the Bushehr nuclear power plant. The earthquake measured at 5.7 on the Richter scale, shook Berazjan in Bushehr Province, leaving eight dead and dozens injured. Aftershocks measured at 4.1 and 3.7 followed the quake. (ISNA/Radio Zaman, 30 November)

File photo: Bushehr Nuclear Plant (IRNA)

Basij 'Ashura Corps' exercise, Tehran

Basij marksman equipped with Steyr LG 110 MATCH air rifle aiming from open-top cupola position, aboard SWAT-modified Toyota Land Cruiser 70 series.

Another view of Steyr LG 110 MATCH air rifle. Note ACU-inspired Iranian battle uniform.

Motorized Basij on what may be Iranian-built "Gelände/Straße" type motorcycles

Motorized Basij Ashura equipment details, including riot control body armor and helmets

Basij Ashura drill,  providing another view of riot control equipment, including shield

Basij demonstrating hand-to-hand combat training

Basij Ashura training under simulated civil unrest conditions

Basij Ashura issue gas mask fitted under riot control helmet

Far left: diminutive female Basij donning woodland camo BDUs beneath chador

Female Basij member demonstrating specialized PT

 
Formal review by IRGC brigadier general and brigadier general 2nd class

Photos: Majid Haghdoust at FARS News Agency

Friday, November 29, 2013

Three IRIN ships reportedly refurbished, expected to rejoin fleet

According to FARS News Agency:
The Iranian Navy plans to expand its fleet by launching three [renovated] warships later this week, a senior Navy commander announced on Wednesday.
“Two missile-launcher warships, namely Neyzeh and Tabarzin, as well as Sirjan logistic warship will join the Navy’s military fleet on December 1 (Sunday),” Commander of Iran’s Second Naval Zone Rear Admiral Mohammad Reza Abbasian told reporters, addressing a press conference in the Southern city of Bushehr...
That would comprise:

- IRINS Sirjan (472) Delvar class (AEL: ammunition ship capable of underway replenishment, small )

- IRINS Neyzeh (P 231) Kaman class (PGGF: =/>76 mm gun, force guided missile system, speed >35 kt)

- IRINS Tabarzin (P 232) Kaman class (PGGF: =/>76 mm gun, force guided missile system, speed >35 kt)

File photo: Delvar class replenishment ship, small (IRINS Delvar)

File photo: Kaman class guided missile patrol boat (IRINS Falakhon)

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!


Photo source: @yqz13: Happy Thanksgiving Iranian style (with shole' zard)!http://t.co/bOmoCc4Xme



IRIN unveils Asr phased array 'long-range' 3D radar

Iran on Wednesday publicly unveiled its Asr phased array "long-range" 3D radar

Deputy Commander of Artesh Brigadier General Abdolrahim Mousavi and Commander of Iran Navy Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari inspecting Asr related radar console equipment.

Model of navy vessel fitted with Asr rader antennae

Video:

Photos: Amir Pourmand at ISNA, Siamak Ebrahimi at Tasnim News Agency and Mahdi Marizad at FARS News Agency 
Video: IRIB News

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

American public opinion supports Iran nuclear deal by 2-1 margin

 
According to Reuters:
Americans back a newly brokered nuclear deal with Iran by a 2-to-1 margin and are very wary of the United States resorting to military action against Tehran even if the historic diplomatic effort falls through, a Reuters/Ipsos poll showed on Tuesday.
[...]
According to the Reuters/Ipsos survey, 44 percent of Americans support the interim deal reached between Iran and six world powers in Geneva last weekend, and 22 percent oppose it.
Good news for President Obama, and persons interested in peace.

The difficult part is coming: acceptance of uranium enrichment in Iran for purposes of fueling civil nuclear power plants.

Persian Parley: Milani on Geneva Agreement


Mohsen Milani, professor of political science and the executive director of the Center for Strategic & Diplomatic Studies at the University of South Florida, in his latest piece in Foreign Affairs discusses the interim nuclear agreement signed by P5+1 and Iran.

“The interim nuclear agreement signed by Iran and the P5+1 world powers (China, France, Germany, Russia, United Kingdom, and United States) is a momentous first step toward a final resolution of the Iranian nuclear impasse. It is not a perfect deal -- and the parties involved can reverse its every provision. Yet it is probably the best that anyone could hope for at this point in history, and it should be seen as a victory for all its signatories,” writes Milani.

To read Milani’s article on today’s issue of the Foreign Affairs, please click here.

File photo: Professor Mohsen Milani (University of South Florida)

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Bargaining Theory and Iran Deal


Erik Voeten, a professor at Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service, has written a noteworthy piece in The Washington Post on challenges ahead in getting final deal between Iran and P5+1. It applies political science bargaining theory to the nuclear talks.

“It seems like there is no overlap in bargaining positions. Yet, everyone knows that there is an agreement that both would prefer to war. Indeed, the Iranian government probably prefers no enrichment to war, given that they would almost certainly lose a violent contest badly. But it may also believe that the U.S. would prefer a deal that allows some enrichment facilities over going to war. Such a deal would be better for Iran than simply conceding. Neither side has an incentive to reveal precisely how much it is truly willing to compromise and even if it did, the other side might not believe it,” Voeken writes. (The Washington Post, 24 November)

To read the article, please click here.

File photos: Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif (L) and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (AFP/AP)

Chinese manufactured metro trains arrive, bound for Shiraz

Chinese manufactured metro trains arrive in-port, destined for Shiraz

Unreported as to whether these trains are part of the barter for oil deal heard about last June

Reported metro train type in finished form at the Chinese manufacturer

Photos: Shiraz1400.ir

Monday, November 25, 2013

Iran Nuclear Deal Could Revolutionize Oil Market - Report


Iran’s nuclear agreement with the West could allow more Iranian oil on the world market in the coming months. McClatchy’s Sean Cockerham, quoting a senior energy analyst, reports today that consequences for global energy will be huge if the negotiations eventually lead to an end of international sanctions against Iranian oil.

“If Iran really gets back to producing its oil and expanding capacity, the potential is almost as big as the shale gas revolution in the United States,” said Phil Flynn, senior energy analyst for the Price Futures Group. (McClatchy DC, 25 November)

To read Cockerham’s piece, please click here.

File Photo: Iran’s oil export terminal at Kharq Island (Getty Images)

New York Times’ Erdbrink on Reactions in Tehran to Nuclear Deal


The New York Times Tehran Bureau Chief Thomas Erdbrink told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour today residents of Tehran were ecstatic this weekend when Iran and world powers struck a nuclear deal.
“These people have been living under incredible pressures over the last years,” Erdbrink said. “They had to face sanctions, high unemployment, high inflation, and basically they have grown so accustomed to hearing only horrible news that this is the first time in almost a decade that they’re hearing something positive.” (CNN, 25 November)
That elation, though, had died down a bit by Monday.
“People today were a bit more subdued,” he said, “and they were telling me, ‘Sure, we made this deal and we are happy, but we’ve been tricked so many times. Maybe this time we’ll be tricked again.
“One young man came up to me and he told me, ‘Thomas, I am now 30 years old. When Ahmadinejad came to power I was 22. Why were those eight years of my life wasted? Why am I still without a job? Why do I hold a university degree but don’t have a future in this country?”
Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamanei, who has backed President Hassan Rouhani in the negotiations, is “widely seen as the architect behind the scenes,” Erdbrink said.
“We don’t know what prompted him to make this deal, but he has clearly given the go-ahead to President Rouhani to go out there and start trying to repair those broken relations with the West.”
Khamanei said yesterday that he supported the interim deal that had been reached, but with “one caveat.”
“He said, ‘The way you present the deal to me sounds like a success.’ So he left a kind of way out in case the deal doesn’t work in the future for him to say, ‘Well this is not working out, I haven’t totally backed this deal to the maximum.’”
Nonetheless, Iran’s hard-line clerics and Revolutionary Guard commanders, Erdbrink said, “have been very, very silent on this deal.”
“Most factions in power are in full support of the deal as it is now. Will they still support it after a week? After a month, when maybe some issues will be raised, some problems will start? We don’t know.”

File photo: The New York Times Tehran Bureau Chief Thomas Erdbrink (Twitter)