Moving right along… 13 June 2010Posted by marisacat in Afghanistan War, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, Iran, Iraq War, Israel/AIPAC, Pakistan, Riyadh, Turkey, WAR!.
A diver feeds a turtle at an aquarium in Hefei, Anhui province, China [REUTERS]
An Iranian relief convoy is getting closer to leaving for Gaza:
Iran aid ships for Gaza awaiting ministry nod
(AFP) – 3 hours ago
TEHRAN — An Iranian Red Crescent official said in a report on Sunday that two aid ships organised by the humanitarian group were ready and awaiting foreign ministry approval to leave for Gaza.
”We are ready but are awaiting permission from the foreign ministry given the political, military and security conditions in the region,” Mojtaba Majd, a senior Red Crescent official, was quoted as telling Mehr news agency.
Separately the Red Crescent said that of the two ships, the one carrying foodstuffs and medicines was expected to leave this week.
Majd said more than 100,000 Iranians have registered to go to Gaza as volunteers on the second ship, but added only those “who have some expertise” would be sent to the Palestinian territory. snip
And the CSM helpfully tells us why…
[A]nalysts say that Iran’s reaction – including Ahmadinejad’s repeated reminders that the Islamic Republic has championed the Palestinian cause since the 1979 Islamic revolution – is designed to recapture from Turkey part of its self-declared role as the regional bastion of militant resistance that fights for the oppressed.
“The Iranians are trying to say, ‘We can still talk the talk,’ ” says Meir Javedanfar, an Iran specialist in Israel. “This is Iran trying to say that it’s still in charge of the Palestinian issue, to milk the international backlash against Israel after the flotilla incident.”
And, so the article says, too many children in Gaza being named for Tayyip Erdogan… too few for Mahmoud A.
This from the previous thead…
Saudi Arabia has conducted tests to stand down its air defences to enable Israeli jets to make a bombing raid on Iran’s nuclear facilities, The Times can reveal.
In the week that the UN Security Council imposed a new round of sanctions on Tehran, defence sources in the Gulf say that Riyadh has agreed to allow Israel to use a narrow corridor of its airspace in the north of the country to shorten the distance for a bombing run on Iran.
To ensure the Israeli bombers pass unmolested, Riyadh has carried out tests to make certain its own jets are not scrambled and missile defence systems not activated. Once the Israelis are through, the kingdom’s air defences will return to full alert.
“The Saudis have given their permission for the Israelis to pass over and they will look the other way,” said a US defence source in the area. “They have already done tests to make sure their own jets aren’t scrambled and no one gets shot down. This has all been done with the agreement of the [US] State Department.”
Sources in Saudi Arabia say it is common knowledge within defence circles in the kingdom that an arrangement is in place if Israel decides to launch the raid. Despite the tension between the two governments, they share a mutual loathing of the regime in Tehran and a common fear of Iran’s nuclear ambitions. “We all know this. We will let them [the Israelis] through and see nothing,” said one. ….
I guess we will know when the sabre rattling ends and the shooting war begins…