Wednesday, June 18, 2003

Iran's 'future president' arrested in Paris

I saw a report about this on Newsworld International last evening. What this article doesn't mention is the 1.something million in US currency seized during the raid.

It also doesn't mention an Iranian man setting himself on fire in protest of this crackdown.

Update: Here's a link to a current article that includes information about the protestor and the money.

Straw warns against interference in Iran

The foreign secretary, Jack Straw, today gave Washington's hawks notice that Britain would not back interference in Iran, but also urged the Iranian government to let weapons inspectors investigate suspicions that it is developing nuclear weapons.

Mr Straw told BBC Radio 4's Today programme that the government's approach to Iran was different from the US administration in that "it is one of constructive and conditional engagement with the government of Iran".

Rumsfeld Adviser Urges Support for Iran Protests

An influential adviser to Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld urged support on Monday for pro-democracy demonstrators in Iran and said a new regime in Tehran might be less likely to develop nuclear weapons. Richard Perle, a Pentagon adviser and an architect of the U.S.-led campaign to topple Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, said the best way to deal with the Iranian nuclear program would be to "liberate the Iranian people."

"There may be change in Iran because the regime in Iran is miserably unpopular," Perle said at the German Council on Foreign Relations.

"Young Iranians will find better uses for their limited resources than building nuclear power in a country so rich in oil. We can already see signs that Iranians... would like to see regime change. They should be encouraged."

And one would think that in a country so dependent upon oil money should be spent on alternative/renewable energies, not nuclear plants. You know, like the ones Dick and George use in their homes.

A group of senators, both Republicans and Democrats, tried to strip a broad energy bill of a provision that would give loan guarantees for construction of six next-generation nuclear power reactors. Their amendment was rejected narrowly 50-48.

Sen. Pete Domenici, R-N.M., the architect of the package of subsidies for the nuclear industry, said their approval will determine whether nuclear power remains a vital part of the nation's energy picture. Nuclear reactors currently provide 20 percent of the country's electricity.

"The time has come to quit playing around with energy and say wherever we can we are going to produce more energy" and that includes nuclear, argued Domenici. He maintains that nuclear power long has been neglected and that that has been "a giant mistake."

Opponents questioned why nuclear power should be singled out for such a largess, which they said could cost taxpayers $14 billion to $16 billion should the future power reactors fail and be abandoned.

It's "not a question about whether someone is pro-nuclear or anti-nuclear," said Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., one of the provision's sharpest critics, but whether "to put at risk the taxpayers of this country" if the reactor projects flop.

In the most aggressive attempt to spur nuclear power development in decades, the legislation would have the government underwrite with loan guarantees construction of six next-generation power reactors.

Taxpayers wouldn't pay a dime if the plants should succeed but would be liable for billions of dollars should they fail.

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