Category Archives: iran

Echar un pulso con la muñeca rota

Demoledor artículo en TIME en relación a las revelaciones de la inteligencia americana sobre el dosier iraní

The President looked awful. He stood puffy-eyed, stoop-shouldered, in front of the press corps discussing the stunning new National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) that Iran halted its nuclear-weapons program in 2003. He looked as if he’d spent the night throwing chairs around the Situation Room. A reporter noted that he seemed dispirited, and the President joked, “This is like — all of a sudden, it’s like Psychology 101, you know?” He added, “No, I’m feeling pretty spirited, pretty good about life, and I made the decision to come before you so I can explain the NIE.” And then, defiantly, “And so, kind of Psychology 101 ain’t working. It’s just not working. I understand the issues, I clearly see the problems, and I’m going to use the NIE to continue to rally the international community for the sake of peace.” And then he walked out.

In truth, Bush seemed as befuddled as everyone else about how and why the nation’s intelligence community — the 16 federal agencies charged with spying — had issued an NIE that so profoundly undermined his provocative rhetoric toward Iran. As recently as Oct. 17, the President had said Iran’s bomb-building program could be a precursor to “World War III.” It was a statement that was both outrageous in its extravagance and very strange. Bush acknowledged that he had first heard in August that a new intelligence analysis of Iran’s nuclear-bomb program was imminent, but — and here comes the strange part — he hadn’t bothered to ask the Director of National Intelligence, Mike McConnell, what it might contain. “If that’s true,” Senator Joe Biden opined soon after, “then this is … one of the most incompetent Presidents in modern American history.”

The moment certainly seemed historic. This was, quite possibly, the most assertive, surprising and rebellious act in the history of the U.S. intelligence community. The Administration seemed to have lost control of its secrets. Gone were the days when spymasters would come to the White House for morning coffee and whisper the latest intelligence to the President, and the rest of the world would find out decades later, only after numerous Freedom of Information requests had prized the buried treasure from the CIA vault. Now the latest intelligence evaluations were being announced worldwide, nearly in real time. “It’s just mind-boggling,” a former CIA officer told me. “The impact of the Iraq WMD fiasco is coming home to roost. The intelligence community was badly burned by that. And the various players never want it asked of them again, ‘Why didn’t you stand up to the Administration and tell it the truth?”’

el artículo Sigue


If you can read this, you are not in Iran…

Iran’s internet ‘filter’
It is a familiar phrase to millions of web surfers in Iran, the second-largest internet user in the Middle East behind Israel: “You Are Not Authorized To View This Page!” From RFE/RL.

The original piece was published by ISN

It is among the most familiar phrases to the roughly 8 million-11 million web surfers in Iran, the second-largest Internet user in the Middle East behind Israel.

“You Are Not Authorized To View This Page!”

More than 10 million websites are currently being “filtered” in Iran, according to the state Information Technology Company.

The range of blocked websites includes a handful of pornographic, political or human rights-related addresses and even some forum websites.

Underground counter effort
At a time when the country suffers from what human rights defenders describe as a severe “information crackdown,” a group of young Iranians inside the country is determined to battle the dominant policy of online censorship imposed by the Iranian leadership.

The group Iran Proxy is formed by some Iranian youngsters who believe that this “new dictatorial barrier” must be fought from inside of the country – and that they must remain underground to be able to do so.

Iran Proxy describes itself as the first anti-filtering group inside Iran. It says it is focused on introducing and promoting simple – and yet technologically advanced – ways of helping Iranian users skirt web filters.

“Iran Proxy tries to teach to the Iranian users the advanced methods of getting around this new dictatorial barrier, which is the result of false policies of governments and religious extremists, in a simplified and understandable way through publication of a series of articles, one of the underground group’s members tells Radio Farda on condition of anonymity. “We also plan to introduce the new anti-filter software and proxies to users.”

Iran Proxy has so far created tens of proxy websites with search ability and also featuring fixed links to news websites that are currently being blocked by the Iranian government. The proxies, which get updated constantly and can be e-mailed to users, help surfers to enter the restricted pages.

International critics
Reporters Without Borders ranks Iran’s press situation as “very serious,” the worst ranking on the nongovernmental group’s five-point scale. Iran’s Internet censorship policy is described as “pervasive” by the OpenNet Initiative’s global Internet-filtering map, the worst ranking it assigns to countries.

“According to the results of the worldwide research carried out between the years 2004 and 2005 by the OpenNet Initiative, Iran was filtering around 30 percent of the target websites,” Iran Proxy tells Radio Farda. “The results revealed that Iran was practicing one of the strictest methods of Internet filtering.”

The filtering in Iran primarily focuses on Persian-language websites, including numerous weblogs. In recent years and under circumstances in which writers, activists, and others complained of the absence of a free speech platform in the country, the phenomenon of blogging quickly found a place among the growing number of Iranian web surfers.

Rising demand meets with official intolerance

Weblogs rapidly earned a reputation as an electronic replacement that featured two basic and necessary characteristics of the desired political and social platforms for Iranians: capability to interact and security. The popularity of the platform reached a point that – with around 700,000 enthusiast writers – Persian language has become the fourth most-blogged language on the Internet.

But tolerance for the new phenomenon did not last long.

Shahram Rafizadeh, Sina Motallebi, Arash Sigarchi, Mojtaba Sami Nejad, Ruzbeh Mir Ebrahimi and Omid Memarian were among the journalists and bloggers who were arrested and prosecuted for their online writings. Along with the suppression, limitations were imposed on accessing websites, most of which included Persian news and analytical websites and weblogs.

“The statistics provided by OpenNet’s research back in 2004 and 2005 showed that around 5 percent of English news websites were blocked at the time,” an Iran Proxy member says. “As for the Persian websites, the blocked-pages figure totals something above 50 percent. Access to 100 percent of the pornographic websites and 95 percent of the proxy websites are restricted, too. This, of course, [was the case] three years ago.”

Two-way superhighway

Many Iranian officials have strongly defended the concept of “having control over the internet” by highlighting what they described as the “necessity of preventing the access to pornographic sources.” That point, which might win the support of concerned parents, later got overshadowed by features of the later versions of the Microsoft Windows operating system that provide its users with a chance to arrange their own restrictions and basically rule out the need for any external monitoring.

However, the new facilities to block pornography do not appear to have had much impact on Tehran’s determination to keep – and even broaden – its surveillance over the use of the World Wide Web.

“In recent months, the Iranian state-run telecommunications center has begun the launch of an entirely new filtering system that includes a software robot able to observe viewed web pages and block them after drawing a comparison with the defined algorithms,” Iran Proxy tells Radio Farda. “The new supervision system has got additional features that add to the country’s filtering ability,” the source adds. “The ability to block pages that link to filtered websites is one of the features of the new method that is currently being applied. Given these facts, if OpenNet repeats the research now, it will encounter blocking results so much higher that they might even be unimaginable.”

In one of its latest unexpected policy actions, Iran’s Internet service providers (ISPs) have been banned since late 2006 from providing Internet connections faster than 128 kilobytes per second (kbps) to homes and cafes. It is a move that critics regard as part of a media clampdown.

Experts believe that the decision is much broader in scope than the previous policy of suppression. It can also be considered among the first times that the Iranian government has openly denied its people access to “technology” in favor of censorship.

Human rights groups accuse Iran of launching an accelerating crackdown on information sources, including the Internet, in an effort to silence critics. They charge that the process has intensified since Mahoud Ahmadinejad became Iran’s president two years ago.

Tehran denies the charges.

Iran: The geo-strategy of oil

Mapa en AsiaTimes
Even with its strength as one of the world’s largest oil producers, Iran is dependent on foreign energy and is taking stiff measures to rectify the situation.

By Kamal Nazer Yasin
Fro Tehran for ISN Security Watch (18/07/07)

To many, Iran is an energy giant. The country possesses over a quarter of the world’s known oil and gas reserves. It is the second largest oil producer among OPEC countries and it has abundant natural resources which make it ideal for producing electricity.

Vast inefficiencies and abnormalities, however, mar this idyllic picture. Iran’s oil production has been declining steadily from its pre-revolution peak of 6 million barrels per day (bpd) to its present 4 million bpd – below its OPEC quota – due to war, sanctions, low investment and depletion. Iran’s consumption of petrol has increased at 11 percent per year. If the present trend continues, by 2015, Iran will have become a net importer of petrol.

The Islamic Republic’s official GDP is approximately US$196 billion. Yet, according to the newspaper Hamshahri, each year, the government spends roughly US$55 billion for the country’s energy needs including US$35 million in direct subsidies. In other words, 28 percent of the economic output is spent on basic energy needs. These huge and cheap energy inputs are needed to run the largely inefficient state-owned enterprises, to placate the public with dirt-cheap utility rates and to help out Iran’s strategic friends around the world.

Without any doubt, petrol wastage occupies the prime place among all of the various economic distortions in Iran. Despite its enormous oil reserves, Iran imports 43 percent of its petrol needs from other countries due primarily to huge domestic demands as well as lack of sufficient refining capacity.

The country’s average daily use is around 70 million liters per day, roughly equal to China’s daily consumption, but the latter’s population is 18 times larger. Economists attribute several factors for this situation. These include gas-inefficient automobiles, high population growth, the voraciousness of consumers and its super cheap petrol prices.

Until 27 June, petrol was 9 cents a liter, making it among the cheapest in the world. It takes no more than US$5 to fill up a car in Iran, compared to US$40 on the average in the US and US$90 in neighboring Turkey.

With Iran’s highly protected automobile industry and cheap financing – spurred on by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s encouragement of car sales – manufacturers have no incentive to produce gas-efficient cars. According to a study by the financial newspaper Donay-e Eghtesad, 30 percent of the cars currently in use, consume 3 times more petrol than the international average.

Smuggler’s paradise
One of the most glaring by-products of the abnormally cheap gasoline prices is crossborder smuggling. According to the newspaper Siasat-e Rooz, smuggled petrol from Iran accounts for 10 to 14 percent of Pakistan’s fuel needs.

Iran shares vast border areas with Iraq, Pakistan, Turkey and other states; too vast for law enforcement forces to fully patrol. Mules, pick-up trucks, and tankers line up at major crossing points each day to carry Iran’s heavily subsidized gasoline to other countries.

The arbitrage could be quite huge. Iran’s anti-traffiking chief has been quoted in reports as saying that petrol smuggling is more profitable – and much less risky – than narcotics trafficking. According to an 8 July report in the newspaper Iran, petrol prices are more than 20 times higher in Turkey, 10 times higher in Pakistan and northern Iraq and 7 times higher in Afghanistan .

Using oil as geo-strategic weapon

“Oil is both Iran’s strategic strong point and its strategic weak point,” an Iranian political scientist told ISN Security Watch on the condition of anonymity. “It has given the state an unrivaled ability for maneuvering in both the domestic and the global spheres.

“But because of the same reasons, if the present structural distortions are not corrected, it can pose major security problems for the government.”

Aside from these factors, the academic pointed to the looming threat of economic sanctions should Iran’s relations with the US and the international community deteriorate further.

US President George W Bush recently renewed a bill imposing sanctions on international companies that invest more than US$20 million in the Iranian energy sector.

More ominously for Iran, in June, the US House of Representatives proposed legislature designed to curtail Iran gasoline imports through punitive measures against financial and business entities that assist Iran. If signed into law, these companies would be denied access to the US market.

According to the academic, Iran’s leadership has belatedly come to take note of these dangers and take action to remedy the situation.

A crash course in rationing

On the night of 27 June, with three hours notice, the Iranian government announced that automobiles would be allowed only 100 liters per month and the price would be raised to 11 cents per liter. The announcement was followed by rioting – complete with angry mobs burning down several gas stations and looting some government-owned stores – and motorists lining up to take advantage of the last few hours of cheap petrol.

Despite these missteps, the measure seems to have worked. In the first week after the new rationing program was introduced, traffic was down by 25 percent and petrol consumption was reduced by 28 percent. For the first time in years, it was possible to drive in Tehran without being affected by its notorious traffic jams and air pollution.

Fatemeh Vaez Jafari, one of Iran’s several vice presidents, said in an interview after the rationing: “Since our enemies have realized they couldn’t stop our nuclear program by force, they have started to focus on targeting us by going after gasoline imports.” She added: “The rationing has dismayed them completely. This was so important we can even call it a real revolution.”

As far as smuggling, the news daily Ressalat reported that in northern Iraq, petrol prices had gone up from 950 dinars (77 cents) per liter to 1,300 dinars.

“The government realizes it is in a race against time,” said the academic. “Other than this [petrol rationing], there are crash programs for increasing refining capacity and for converting cars to natural gas.”

To reduce its dependence on imported fuel, the government is seeking US$14 billion to build new refineries and modernize the existing nine in operation. Although US pressures may make it very difficult to come up with the entire sum, there are a few willing partners that may ignore or side step this.

In addition to these measures, the Iranian Oil Ministry is encouraging the conversion of cars to run on natural gas, which the Islamic Republic possesses in great amounts.

Iran is also using its global relationships with friendly countries like Venezuela and Indonesia to counter the effects of sanctions and ensure that the flow of petrol would not be stopped.

“There is a race for time in Tehran to prepare the country for the sanctions,” said the academic. “Only time will tell if these measures were effective enough or not.”

The charade on Iran

Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh shaking hands with the King of Saudi Arabia Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz al Saud during his departure ceremony, in New Delhi on January 27,2006.

C Raja Mohan
Posted online: Friday, May 11, 2007 at 0000 hrs

India’s challenge in South West Asia is not about saving Iran from the US. It is protecting its interests in a region where the most important trend is the unfolding Saudi rivalry with Iran

In India, as in the United States, it is now a well-established tradition that the debate on the Middle East is more about domestic politics than the regional realities. The US Congressmen who are asking India to stop its engagement with Iran, and the Indian parliamentarians who demand that New Delhi stand up against American pressures, are responding to internal pressure groups. Having dealt with this before, Washington and New Delhi are now adept at deflecting the fire from their domestic lobbies.
The Bush Administration will assure the Congressmen that it is taking up America’s Iran concerns with New Delhi. The UPA ministers will thunder that the Indian foreign policy will be made in New Delhi and not anywhere else.
As American opponents of the Indo-US nuclear deal clutch at any straw in their final political onslaught against it, every half-baked news report from India on cooperation with Iran is whipped up in Washington as “evidence” of New Delhi’s bad faith.
Both governments, however, know that there is less than meets the eye in the proclaimed strategic partnership between New Delhi and Tehran. Yet persistent posturing has created a potent set of political myths.

Pipeline Myth: Despite all the political emotions it has whipped up, the Iran-Pakistan-India pipeline is hardly strategic from New Delhi’s perspective. When he reversed years of the Indian establishment’s opposition to the IPI pipeline, Manmohan Singh saw it as an Indo-Pak political confidence building measure rather than as an answer to India’s energy problems. If Iran was incidental to this pipeline, Tehran has now made it difficult by quoting an exorbitant price for the gas. Pakistan, too, is demanding unreasonable transit fee.

Even if we can settle on the price, is the pipeline secure against the Baloch people’s threat to blow it up? Would India want to invest in downstream industries without reliable security guarantees from Pakistan?

With Iran under an expanding sanctions regime, it will be near impossible or too costly to raise the much needed international finance for the pipeline. In any case, India can always import liquefied natural gas from the Gulf, including Iran, in ships. Meanwhile, every time any American says ‘no’, India will have to say ‘yes’ to a pipeline that might not take off in the near future.

Energy Security Myth: This myth is built on a simple proposition that Iran is a major source of oil for India. According to some estimates, India now imports about 7 per cent of its annual oil requirements from Iran. Saudi Arabia, in contrast, supplies nearly 30 per cent of India’s supplies and has promised to do more to meet India’s energy security requirements. Iran today is not ‘strategic’ in any sense for India’s hydrocarbon imports. It could be in the future, if and when Tehran modernises its hydrocarbon policies and finds itself at peace with the region and the world. That is some distance away.

Afghanistan Myth: Realists are right in recognising that Indo-Iranian political interests converged in their opposition to the Taliban and support to the Northern Alliance in Afghanistan during the late 1990s. That was then. Now, India’s Afghan eggs are in the Hamid Karzai basket and New Delhi will have no reason in the future to abandon the Pushtuns to the mercy of Pakistan.

Central Asia Myth: Although Iran could be India’s gateway to Eurasia, Tehran today has returned to the pitiful slogan of self-reliance rather than emphasise regional and global economic integration. India’s natural corridors to Afghanistan and Central Asia are through Pakistan. If the US, instead of complaining against New Delhi-Tehran ties, can agree to overland trade between India and Afghanistan, Iran’s weight in New Delhi’s geopolitical calculus would be much less salient.

Looking ahead, India’s challenge in South West Asia is not about saving Iran from the United States, but protecting New Delhi’s mounting interests in the Arab Gulf.

Amidst the floundering American intervention in Iraq, the single most important regional trend is the unfolding Saudi rivalry with Iran. Thanks to the American empowerment of the Shia majority in Iraq, the Sunni Arab regimes are now determined to balance the growing Iranian influence in Baghdad.

In the new struggle between Riyadh and Tehran, Arabs and Persians, and the Sunni and Shia, you could bet your bottom dollar India will inevitably gravitate towards the former. India has barely 300 families living in Iran, while nearly five million Indians work in the Arab Gulf, who save and remit home billions of dollars. India’s trade with GCC is nearly six times larger than that with Iran and growing much faster.

Together the six countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council constitute India’s single biggest source of imported oil, one of the top destinations for India’s exports, and increasingly important source of foreign direct investment. India’s expanding defence ties with the Arab Gulf are far more consequential than the nominal security engagement with Iran.

In the current domestic play on Iran, few will take New Delhi to task for neglecting the Arab Gulf. Would any one ask why six long years have elapsed between Foreign Minister Jaswant Singh’s visit to Saudi Arabia in January 2001 and the one now planned by Pranab Mukherjee? Or, why hasn’t Prime Minister Manmohan Singh found time to visit the Arab Gulf even once in the last three years? When domestic politics envelops a foreign policy debate, facts cease to be important.

By its sheer location, resources, and history, Iran will always be the prize of the Gulf. But until it changes the current internal orientation and finds external harmony, Iran’s relations with India will remain underwhelming.
Many in Washington and New Delhi, for their own particular reasons, will continue to exaggerate the significance of the Indo-Iranian engagement. The absurdity of Indo-US word play on Iran is redeemed, however, by its irrelevance to the new power play in the Gulf.

The writer is professor at the Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore

Power and Interest News Report

Un bon article, que serveix alhora, per presentar un bon think tank independent dels EEUU. Tenen una secció dedicada específicament a l’Àsia (també a la central, amb Pakistan i Afganistan com a focus), a la que es pot accedir des d’aquí

”Intelligence Brief: U.S. Moves to Regain Leverage over Iran”

n September 2004, PINR released an in-depth report on Iran’s foreign policy objectives. According to the report, the “best-case scenario for Iran is that the U.S. military is forced to withdraw from Iraq, leaving Iran with a dominant sphere of influence over a Shi’a-dominated Iraq or a breakaway Shi’a mini-state in the south, and that Iran is able to achieve nuclear weapons capability. Were this outcome to occur, Iran would be the dominant power in the Persian Gulf, displacing the United States.” Iran’s worst-case scenario, according to the report, “is that the United States or Israel launches a preemptive strike on Iran’s nuclear complex, possibly associated with American military efforts at regime change.” [See: “Iran’s Bid for Regional Power: Assets and Liabilities”]In the two years that have passed since the report’s release, developments have clearly moved in a direction closer to Iran’s best-case scenario. Not only has the U.S. intervention in Iraq deteriorated to the point where some form of withdrawal is a likely outcome, but Iran’s influence in southern Iraq has increased; Iranian-supported Hezbollah managed to defend its positions against an Israeli invasion; Afghanistan has grown increasingly unstable; North Korea tested a nuclear weapon without significant repercussions; and Iran’s pursuit of nuclear technology has not been thwarted despite threats and economic sanctions.All of these developments have proved positive for Iran and explain its aggressive posture on the world stage. Tehran sees developments in the Middle East moving rapidly in its favor and it considers the United States to be in a weak position strategically. As a result, Tehran believes that its window of opportunity to increase its regional power — which formed with the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003 — remains open. As a result, it has not backed down on any of its foreign policy ambitions despite mounting pressure.

The United States, on the other hand, remains at a loss over how to deal with Iran effectively. Washington’s recognition that the intervention in Iraq may not be salvageable, however, has recently caused it to look down the road strategically. It now appears to be pursuing new actions aimed at preventing Iran from achieving its best-case scenario. One such action was the recent U.S. decision to move a second aircraft carrier fleet — the U.S.S. John C. Stennis — into the Persian Gulf, joining the U.S.S. Dwight D. Eisenhower carrier group. The U.S. Navy has called this development a “warning to Syria and Iran.” In addition to this tactical move, U.S. forces recently arrested six Iranians in the northern Iraqi city of Irbil, accusing them of being part of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards and having an active role in the insurgency. Also, there were reports from Turkey that the United States moved 16 F-16 fighter aircraft into the Incirlik airbase in southern Turkey; the official reason is that they are there for exercises with Turkish and N.A.T.O. forces, but combined with these two other developments, the action has greater significance.These moves are clearly attempts to change perceptions that the United States is in a position of weakness and that it is unwilling to further embroil itself in conflict. Eliminating this perception is critical for the United States in order to regain geopolitical influence in the Middle East.

Perceptions of U.S. weakness — which PINR has warned of since 2003 — were recently confirmed by U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates. On January 15, Gates confirmed that “the Iranians clearly believe that we are tied down in Iraq, that they have the initiative, that they are in a position to press us in many ways. They’re doing nothing to be constructive in Iraq at this point.” Gates went further, admitting, “I think that our difficulties have given them a tactical opportunity in the short term…” Gates, however, added that “the United States is a very powerful country.” This caveat is a military reality that Iran must carefully take into account. While the United States is reluctant to further embroil itself in conflict, it retains the ability to attack Iran. In fact, it is possible that Washington’s latest moves are in preparation for a strike on Iran, even if such a course of action would not be in the interests of the United States.Nevertheless, even if the United States did not achieve its objectives in an attack — such as ending Iran’s nuclear research program permanently and eliminating its influence in Iraq — it would prove detrimental to Iran’s regional ambitions. For this reason, Iran will make efforts to avoid this outcome and it is here where the United States retains the most leverage. Indeed, there are reports that forces within the Iranian government are pressuring President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to tone down his aggressive posture so as not to invite a U.S. or Israeli attack.

Shi (Iran) vs Sunni (Pakistan) Atomic Bomb

Very good article by Raman in SAARG. Best excerpts:

As I have been pointing out repeatedly since November, 2000, the ideology of International Islamism, which provides the motivating force of Al Qaeda and other jihadi organisations allied to it, was born in the mosques and madrasas of Pakistan. It is a typical “Made-in-Pakistan” product.

2. One of the important components of this ideology is the religious right and obligation of Muslims to acquire Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) and use them, if necessary, to protect Islam. When the jihadi ideologues in the mosques and madrasas of Pakistan talk of the possible use of a WMD to protect Islam, they mean to prevent the occupation of a Muslim “homeland” by non-Muslims, the “liberation” of a historic Muslim “homeland” which is now occupied by non-Muslims and to avenge insults to Islam. Thus, they advocate the possession and use of a WMD as an act of self-defence for the Muslims as well as to commit an act of reprisal.

3. Does it mean all Muslims or only the Sunnis? Do the Shias too have a right and obligation to acquire and use, if necessary, a WMD in order to protect their sect? The jihadis of Pakistan describe its Atomic Bomb as an Islamic bomb, which belongs not just to Pakistan, but to the entire Islamic Ummah. If Iran acquires an A-bomb, will they also characterise it as an Islamic bomb belonging to the entire Ummah or will they describe it purely as a Shia A-Bomb? Is a Shia A-Bomb good or bad for Islam? Are the Americans right or wrong in opposing Iran’s emergence as a military nuclear power? What should be the attitude of the Sunnis if the Americans invade and occupy Iran?

4. Surprisingly, one hardly finds these questions being posed and debated by Al Qaeda and other Sunni-Wahabi organisations based in the Pakistan/Afghanistan region. Not a day passes without these jihadi organisations criticising the US for something or the other. They blame the US for all the evils in the world. They list out in their propaganda the causes for the Muslim anger against the US. The US policies towards Iran and its opposition to an Iranian A-Bomb do not figure in this list. There is an intriguing silence of Al Qaeda and pro-Al Qaeda organisations on reports of a possible American or Israeli air strike on Iran’s uranium enrichment capability. The only conclusion possible from an analysis of this silence so far is that the wahabised Sunnis of Pakistan and Afghanistan are as much worried over the dangers of Iran acquiring a military nuclear capability as the US and Israel are. They look upon it not as an Islamic bomb, but as a Shia bomb. Pakistan’s is an Islamic bomb, but not Iran’s.