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> U.S. Raids Iranian Consulate in Iraq!, Prompting a diplomatic incident


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Posted: Jan 11 2007, 12:35 PM
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US north Iraqi raid angers Iran

US forces have stormed a building in the northern Iraqi town of Irbil and seized six people said to be Iranians, prompting a diplomatic incident.

Iranian and Iraqi officials said the building was an Iranian consulate and the detainees its employees.

The US military said it was still investigating, but that the building did not have diplomatic status.

The troops raided the building at about 0300 (0001GMT), taking away computers and papers, according to local media.

AFP news agency quoted Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman as saying he did not know the nationality of the six but said they were "suspected of being closely tied to activities targeting Iraq and coalition forces".

"I can confirm for you through our forces there that this is not a consulate or a government building," he said.

However, Tehran said the attack violated all international conventions. It has summoned ambassadors from Switzerland, representing US interests, and Iraq.

A spokesman for Iran's foreign ministry described the raid as an attempt to sabotage Tehran's relations with Iraq. One Iranian MP said it showed America's cruelty and meanness.

The raid comes amid high Iran-US tension.

In a major speech on Wednesday, President George W Bush said the US would take a tough stance towards Iran and Syria, whom he accused of destabilising Iraq.

The US also accuses Iran of seeking nuclear arms. Iran denies both charges.

Tehran counters that US military involvement in the Middle East endangers the whole region.

Pressure

A local TV station said Kurdish security forces had taken over the building after the Americans had left.

Irbil lies in Iraq's Kurdish-controlled north, about 350km (220 miles) from the capital Baghdad. Reports say the Iranian consulate there was set up last year under an agreement with the Kurdish regional government to facilitate cross-border visits.

One Iranian news agency with a correspondent in Irbil says five US helicopters were used to land troops on the roof of the Iranian consulate.

It reports that a number of vehicles cordoned off the streets around the building, while US soldiers warned the occupants in three different languages that they should surrender or be killed.

In December, US troops detained a number of Iranians in Iraq, including two with diplomatic immunity who were later released.

Thursday's raid came as US President George W Bush unveiled his new strategy in Iraq, which included increasing troop numbers and a commitment to stop Iranian support for "our enemies in Iraq".

BBC Diplomatic Correspondent Jonathan Marcus says the raid could signal a ratcheting-up of pressure on the Iranians, in line with the rhetorical thrust of his speech.

Meanwhile in the Iraqi capital, the five off-duty policemen were killed in an ambush in the western al-Khadra neighbourhood, hospital officials said

Security sources said another man was killed wounded in an attack on a money changer in downtown Baghdad.

In the restive Anbar province, the US military said that one of its troops was killed on Tuesday by a roadside bombing.

Other violence was reported in Mosul, where gunmen killed a professor driving home from work, and Samarra where a suicide truck bomber attacked the mayor's house, killing three people and wounding 33, including the mayor.

Story from BBC NEWS:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/hi/midd...ast/6251167.stm

Published: 2007/01/11 18:43:31 GMT


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Posted: Jan 11 2007, 01:41 PM
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QUOTE
"It would be in the interest of the world and most particularly of the Iranian people to have a regime change in Iran."
starofdavidspin.gif ~ U.S. Sen. Joseph Lieberman (2003)





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Posted: Jan 11 2007, 09:13 PM
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President Bush Says We Are Effectively At War With Iran

Added: Jan 11th, 2007 7:06 AM

Bush Warns Iranians

By ELI LAKE
Staff Reporter of the Sun
January 11, 2007

WASHINGTON — President Bush says we are effectively at war with Iran.

Mr. Bush, in a much-anticipated televised speech to the nation last night, accused the Islamic Republic of "providing material support for attacks on American troops." Eschewing advice from his father's secretary of state, James Baker, to open a dialogue with Iran and Syria, the president said American forces in Iraq would "disrupt" attacks from Syria- and Iran-backed terrorists, "interrupt" the supply lines reaching back to those countries, and "seek out and destroy the networks providing advanced weaponry and training to our enemies in Iraq." That last sentence is the closest Mr. Bush has come to announcing attacks on Iranian territory, where American intelligence and military leaders have said the most destructive improvised explosives used against American convoys are made.

The new strategy yesterday also eschewed the advice of the outgoing general in charge of Central Command, John Abizaid, and committed America to a two front war to save Iraq from Shiite death squads and Al Qaeda.

The new war strategy will focus on defeating Al Qaeda forces gathered predominantly in the Anbar province of Iraq and will officially end the American-brokered talks with Sunni insurgents in Amman. A new surge of 20,000 troops, predominately for securing Baghdad, will for the first time consider members of the Shiite Mahdi Army legitimate targets in the quest to win back Iraq's capital.

The strategy is in sharp contrast to the counsel of General Abizaid, who warned against the prospect of opening a two front war in Iraq that was narrowly avoided in 2004 when American troops faced down Mahdi Army political leader, Moqtada al-Sadr. Mr. Bush said that the plan to secure Baghdad would be developed by Iraq's leaders. But he also announced that as part of the plan, American soldiers would be embedding with the Iraqi national army units sent out around Baghdad to establish regular patrols.

A Power Point summary of the new Iraq strategy released yesterday by the White House notes that Iran has been "burrowing" Iranian actors inside the Iraqi government. Yesterday a senior administration official told reporters that members of Mr. Sadr's Mahdi army would no longer be off limits. The new war strategy also contradicts the most prominent recommendation of the Iraq Study Group, co-chaired by former Secretary of State James Baker, which called for opening new negotiations with Iran and Syria and also for pressing negotiations with Israel. Indeed, Mr. Bush did not specifically mention the Arab-Israeli conflict, only referencing in passing the Middle East mission this week from Secretary of State Rice as a quest for Middle East peace.

Just as the president announced yesterday the new war plan to reinforce American soldiers in the country, America's closest ally, British prime minister Tony Blair, said he saw no need to send new troops to his country's contingent stationed in Basra. The Telegraph is reporting today that later this year the British would begin to withdraw their soldiers. Mr. Blair has long advocated for new a new Israeli-Palestinian peace initiative as part of the strategy to secure the Middle East.

On the domestic front, Mr. Bush faced a Democratic Congress in near rebellion after the leaders of both chambers announced plans to hold at least a symbolic vote on his new strategy, though it is unlikely Congress will vote to cut funding for a new troop surge through the annual budgeting process.

In the speech he announced that he would form a bipartisan working group to meet regularly on strategy for the war on terror. He credited the recommendation to Senator Lieberman, the Independent from Connecticut who was defeated by a challenger in his state's primary this September.

A growing number of Republicans have come out against a surge in troops. Yesterday, Senator Brownback, a Kansas Republican hoping to win his party's nomination for the 2008 presidential contest, said in Iraq that he did not favor a troop surge. One of Mr. Brownback's rivals for the nomination, Mayor Giuliani, yesterday said he supported increasing the troop presence in Iraq. Senator McCain and Governor Romney, other 2008 Republican hopefuls, also supported Mr. Bush's decision.

In the speech delivered from the White House library, the president said the current situation in Iraq was unacceptable. He also laid out how he believed last year's military offensive to secure Baghdad had failed. "There were not enough Iraqi and American troops to secure neighborhoods that had been cleared of terrorists and insurgents. And there were too many restrictions on the troops we did have," he said.

The new plan for Baghdad, however, is different, Mr. Bush said. "In earlier operations, political and sectarian interference prevented Iraqi and American forces from going into neighborhoods that are home to those fueling the sectarian violence. This time, Iraqi and American forces will have a green light to enter these neighborhoods — and Prime Minister Maliki has pledged that political or sectarian interference will not be tolerated."

The president yesterday hammered home his view that the struggle in the Middle East was not so much sectarian as it was ideological. "On one side are those who believe in freedom and moderation," he said. "On the other side are extremists who kill the innocent, and have declared their intention to destroy our way of life." Nor did the president yesterday abandon the goal of defending an Iraqi democracy. But unlike other speeches on the war, the president was careful not to raise expectations. "Even if our new strategy works exactly as planned, deadly acts of violence will continue and we must expect more Iraqi and American casualties," he said.

He said that America's commitment in Iraq is "not open-ended," and said, "Where mistakes have been made, the responsibility rests with me."

In response to the speech, Senator Durbin, a Democrat of Illinois, said the president's plan was to send more Americans into the "crossfire of a civil war." A statement released last night from Mr. Durbin; the Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid of Nevada, the House speaker, Rep. Nancy Pelosi, a Democrat from California, and Rep. Steny Hoyer, the House Majority leader from Maryland said the president's plan "endangers our national security by placing additional burdens on our already over-extended military."

Senator Hagel, an anti-war Republican from Nebraska, said last night the president's new strategy would "sink us deeper into the bog of Iraq making it more difficult to get out."

Senator Clinton issued a statement saying she "cannot support" what she called Mr. Bush's "proposed escalation of the war in Iraq." She said the president's Iraq policy "has been marred by incompetence and arrogance."

A former chairman of the Defense Policy Board, Richard Perle, said, "It was a pretty good speech. The big question in my mind is whether we can implement some practical and prudent measures. I don't know if we can. It will depend significantly on the command in the country."

Mr. Perle said, "I don't think the additional troops are the key to the strategy he has announced, it is how effectively those troops are managed."

He said, "Bush has a decent chance of improving public opinion on this because the Democratic response was so feeble and sniping."

© 2006 The New York Sun, One SL, LLC. All rights reserved.

http://www.raidersnewsnetwork.com/full.php?news=1910


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Posted: Jan 11 2007, 09:20 PM
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1/11/07
US forces raid Iran's consulate in Iraq, arrest 5

Baghdad, Jan 11, IRNA - US forces raided the Iranian consulate in the Iraqi northern city of Erbil and arrested five of its staff, it was announced Thursday. After disarming the consulate's guards and breaking open its gate, the US troops entered the consulate building, reliable sources told IRNA this morning.

The US forces stormed the building at about 5 am (local time), arrested its five staff members and confiscated computers and documents, the sources added.

The Islamic Republic of Iran set up its consulate in Erbil in response to the official request of the government in this Kurdish region in order to facilitate traffic of the two countries' nationals.

Erbil is a city in the Kurdish-controlled north of Iraq, 350 kilometers (220 miles) from Baghdad.

The Iranian embassy in Baghdad sent a letter to the Iraqi Foreign Ministry this morning protesting the US' illegal move.

In its protest letter, the Iranian embassy called on the Iraqi government to help obtain the immediate release of its five detained staff.

US occupying forces had previously detained two Iranian diplomats entering Baghdad at the official invitation of the Iraqi president.


Iran's FM spokesman says US wants to continue the occupation of Iraq

Tehran, Jan 11, IRNA - Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Mohammad-Ali Hosseini on Thursday said US President George W Bush's new strategy for Iraq announced Wednesday was intended to continue the US occupation of that country.

Condemning the new strategy, he said Bush's decision to increase the number of its troops in Iraq comes as "an unpleasant present to the American people for the new Christian year."

Bush's decision to increase the number of US military troops in Iraq will only result in further insecurity and tension in that occupied country, he said, adding that an increase in troops will not solve the Iraqi problem.
Alluding to Bush's accusations of Iranian and Syrian interference in Iraq's domestic affairs, the spokesman said Washington was seeking pretexts for its failed policies in the country.

He said an immediate withdrawal of US troops from Iraq would be the only way of solving the US' numerous problems in that country.

He said Washington's decision to deploy Patriot missiles over Iraq is intended to bolster its support for the Zionist regime purportedly to protect the Islamic state. "We and all world Muslims condemn such a move," Hosseini added.

He further criticized the appointment of a coordinator for Iraqi affairs by Bush as an indication of Washington's open interference in Iraqi domestic affairs.

In other developments, US forces raided the Iranian consulate in the Iraqi northern city of Erbil, arrested its five staff members and confiscated computers and documents early Thursday morning.

Erbil, a main city in the Kurdish-controlled north of Iraq, is 350 kilometers (220 miles) from Baghdad.

The Iranian embassy in Baghdad has sent a letter of protest to the Iraqi Foreign Ministry for the illegal move.

It has called on the Iraqi government to help obtain the immediate release of its five detained staff.


US troops had no legal right to enter Iran's consulate: Iraqi security official

Baghdad, Jan 11, IRNA- An Iraqi Kurdish security official said Thursday that US forces who raided the Iranian consulate in the Iraqi northern city of Erbil had no right to conduct the raid.
Talking to IRNA on condition of anonymity, he said the government of Iraqi Kurdistan is responsible for maintaining security in the entire region.

The government of Iraqi Kurdistan was in no way informed of the storming of the Iranian consulate by US forces, he said, adding that the region's security forces were cognizant of the legal activities of the Iranian consulate.

The Islamic Republic of Iran set up its consulate in Erbil upon the request of the province's governor-general to facilate exchanges of the two countries' nationals two year ago and was under the supervision of the government of this Kurdish region, the the official added.

Kurdish security forces are responsible for guarding the Iranian consulate, he said, adding that the US forces disarmed the Kurdish guards of the consulate and used force to enter the building.

US forces stormed the consulate at about 5 am (local time), arrested its five staff members and confiscated computers and documents, reliable sources said.

Erbil, a city in the Kurdish-controlled north of Iraq, is 350 kilometers (220 miles) from Baghdad.

There is still no news about the whereabouts of the Iranian consulate staffers who were forcibly taken by the US forces after their raid.

The Iranian embassy in Baghdad has sent a letter to the Iraqi Foreign Ministry protesting the US' illegal move.

In its protest letter, the Iranian embassy called on the Iraqi government to help obtain the immediate release of its five detained staff.

US occupying forces had previously detained two Iranian diplomats entering Baghdad at the official invitation of the Iraqi president.


Iraq calls for best relations with Iran, Syria, US

Baghdad, Jan 11, IRNA- Spokesman for the Iraqi government, Ali al-Dabagh on Thursday declared his country's call for most favorable relations with Iran, Syria and the US.

Speaking to reporters, he said that Iraq's ties with Iran and Syria will never be affected by Iraq-US relations and the ongoing tensions observed in the US relations with Syria and Iran.

Meanwhile, he said that the instability in Iraq is related to tensions in the US relations with some regional states, adding that Iraq is paying for such tension between its neighboring countries and the US.

The Iraqi official added that his country will do its best to improve the US relations with Iran as well as Syria and converge their views.

Al-Dabagh said, "The Iraqi government hopes that none of the neighboring states will interfere in Iraq's internal affairs, just as Iraq avoids such interference."

Concerning the new strategy of President George W. Bush on Iraq, he said that it underlines ceding the responsibility for the security to Iraqi forces, adding that Iraq welcomes such a strategy by the US.

Turning to the rotating tour of the US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to the Middle East as one serving the interests of Washington, he said, "She will undoubtedly remind the regional states that the security of the region is interconnected with that of Iraq.

"The US secretary of state will call on the regional countries to help the Iraqi government promote stability and security."

http://www.payvand.com/news/07/jan/1131.html


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Posted: Jan 11 2007, 10:23 PM
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The wars with Iraq and Afghanistan were both merely staging and military prepping grounds for the coming war against Iran and its allies.

I recall that the USA helped install and then arm Saddam Hussein as he waged war with Iran for 8 years in the 1980s causing an estimated 1.5 million deaths and he was definitely a useful puppet for the Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld gang. So long as Saddam waged war with Iran, he was in the good graces of the criminals who seem to control the US govt.

Donald Rumsfeld and Saddam Hussein in the 1980s
user posted image

Here's an old image of 2 criminals in the US govt...

Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld
(When they were young)
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Posted: Jan 12 2007, 09:13 AM
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Added: Jan 12th, 2007 7:36 AM

Rice won't rule out military actions on Iran

By Farah Stockman, Globe Staff | January 12, 2007

WASHINGTON -- Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice refused yesterday to rule out cross-border US military action against Iran, a day after President Bush pledged in a major speech to "seek out and destroy" Iranian and Syrian networks providing weapons and training to anti-American forces in Iraq.

Speaking before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Rice said the United States plans to target the networks inside Iraq, but added, "obviously the president isn't going to rule anything out to protect our troops."

Her comments followed questioning from three senators, including a high-profile Republican, on whether Bush believes he has the authority to conduct military missions in Iran without congressional approval. Rice said she wanted more time to study the question and would answer in writing. The three senators expressed fears that Bush's new initiative might escalate into a wider regional conflict.

Senator Chuck Hagel, a Nebraska Republican, compared the idea of pursuing Iranian networks to the secret 1970 expansion of the Vietnam War into Cambodia.

"Some of us remember 1970, Madame Secretary, and that was Cambodia, and when our government lied to the American people and said we didn't cross the border going into Cambodia. In fact we did," he said. "So, Madame Secretary, when you set in motion the kind of policy that the president is talking about here, it's very, very dangerous."

In recent weeks, the US government has stepped up accusations that Iran is responsible for American military deaths in Iraq. Yesterday, US-led forces raided an Iranian government building in the northern city of Erbil, arresting six people and confiscating computers. The Pentagon said they were suspected of being closely tied to attacks on US and Iraqi forces.

In late December, a pair of raids on alleged insurgents elsewhere in Iraq resulted in the arrests of two Iranian diplomats, who were later released, and an unknown number of Iranian military officials who remain in custody.

Iraq has normal diplomatic relations with Iran. But the United States accuses Iran of using spies and covert operations to smuggle bomb-making equipment into the country and of bankrolling militants.

Analysts said yesterday's raid and the comments by Bush and Rice reflect a new resolve to crack down on Iraq's troublesome neighbors.

"I think a decision has been made to get a lot tougher," said Michael Rubin, a former Pentagon adviser on Iran now at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington.

"It is sending a message to Iran that, 'We can hurt you, too, in Iraq,' " said Kenneth Katzman, a specialist on Iran and an analyst at the Congressional Research Service. "As part of an overall policy of trying to knock Iran down a peg, there is an effort to show that Iran can be dealt with."

Katzman said that minor cross-border actions had already occurred, including the US bombing of insurgents on the border in Syria, but that he did not think they were part of a larger plan to provoke a full-scale conflict. Earlier this year, The New Yorker reported that the United States has been secretly flying surveillance drones over Iranian territory since 2004.

Bush's tough language on Iran and Syria runs contrary to the advice of the bi partisan Iraq Study Group, which recommended last month that the United States engage the two countries diplomatically.

Tensions between Iran and the United States were already high over US pressure to halt Iran's nuclear-enrichment program. The United States accuses Iran of trying to produce a nuclear weapon. Iran maintains it is doing research for civilian power generation.

Yesterday, Iran's Foreign Ministry summoned the Iraqi and Swiss ambassadors to demand an explanation for the raid. Switzerland represents the United States in Iran because Washington has no diplomatic ties. Iran's state-run news service, Islamic Republic News Agency, said that the raided building was a consulate set up two years ago at the request of the Kurdish provincial government and was under their supervision.

Gordon Johndroe, a spokesman for the National Security Council, declined to give details on the Erbil operation but said it was in line with the president's pledge.

"The president made it clear last night that we will not tolerate outside interference in Iraq," he said. "And that's what the Iranians are up to. And if we get information that is actionable that the Iranians are interfering with Iraq, with Iraqis, or in any way going to harm Americans then we're going to take action."

Johndroe, responding to questions from reporters, said the actions would be taken inside Iraq -- not across the border. His comments echoed those earlier in the day by General Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who told reporters the US military can do "the business we need to do inside of Iraq."

But Rice appeared to leave the president's options open. When Delaware Democrat Joseph R. Biden Jr., the committee chairman, asked Rice , "Do you believe the president has the constitutional authority to pursue [those networks] across the border into Iran or Syria," Rice replied that the president's powers were "broad."

"The American people, and I assume the Congress, expect the president to do what is necessary to protect our forces," she said.

Biden told Rice that the 2002 Congressional authorization of the use of force in Iraq did not extend to other countries. After the hearing, he wrote a letter to Bush asking the president whether he believes he has the power to enter Iran without Congressional approval, saying that Rice did not provide a direct answer to the question.

Anne Barnard of the Globe staff contributed to this report.


http://www.raidersnewsnetwork.com/full.php?news=1945


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Posted: Jan 19 2007, 12:28 PM
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1/19/07

US raided consulate to sever Iran-Iraq relations: Iranian Official

Tehran, Jan 19, IRNA-An Iranian official said here on Friday that the US raided Iranian consulate in Iraqi city of Erbil to sever Iran-Iraq ties as a means to impose its condition on Iraq and the region.

"Only through severing ties between Iranian and Iraqi governments, the US would be able to impose its condition on Iraq and the region," said Iran's deputy head of Supreme National Security Council for Internal Security Affairs Mohammad Jaafari in an interview with reporters here on Friday.

Jaafari, who was on a visit to Erbil heading a delegation prior to US capture of Iranian diplomats after storming the consulate, said the US air and ground attack on the consulate had been concurrent with the Iranian delegation's official meetings with Iraqi president Jalal Talabani and president of Iraqi Kurdistan Masood Barzani.

"The US had no justification to show such a behavior; whatever raised during meetings with the Iraqi president were in line with the Iranian and Iraqi nations' interests."

When asked whether Jaafari was the main target of the consular attack, he said, "I don't know what they were looking for. The question should be asked from Americans. I too have heard the rumours that you are now speaking about." He said the Iranian consulate has been operating in Erbil for 17 years.

"The Iranian consulate was established in Erbil 17 years ago. It had a tableau and the Islamic Republic of Iran's flag was hoisted atop it." The Islamic Republic of Iran has consulates in Erbil, Suliymanieh, Basra and Karbala, he added.

Jaafari said the Iraqi officials would do their best to secure release of Iranian diplomats captured by the US.

Elsewhere in the interview, Jaafari said the US wants to blame Iran for insecurity in Iraq to cover up its failure in the country, while that's not true.

"The US wants to hold Iran responsible for insecurity in Iraq, while knowing it quite well that Iran is not accountable for the issue because it would not be logical for Tehran to support the Iraqi government strongly on the one hand and cause troubles for it on the other hand."

He said that those committing suicide operations in Iraq are Arabs.

"Has there been any Iranian among those committing suicide operations in Iraq? Aren't those committing the operations from some Arab states? Those being behind the operations are from the countries that are the US allies but Bush's administration is not willing to tell his own people why the youth from the US ally states are launching suicide operations to kill the US soldiers," he noted.

He said it is a very difficult question which the US is refraining to answer and due to the same reason it blames Iran for insecurity in Iraq.

He went on to say that in fact, Iraqi people, who held elections, drew and compiled constitution and formed government, parliament, army and police, are responsible for the US failure. "The US can not do anything in the face of the Iraqi nation's resistance." Jaafari said Iran is willing to maintain good relations with the Iraqi government and nation irrespective of the issue.

"We would definitely maintain our good relations and ties with the Iraqi government."

He also ruled out claims that he had during his visit to Saudi Arabia carried a message to Saudis in connection with the Iran-US talks.


http://www.payvand.com/news/07/jan/1226.html


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Posted: Jan 19 2007, 10:29 PM
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I've read that the Persian Empire (Iran) has not been conquered since Alexander "The Great Homosexual" invaded it about 3000 years ago.

No wonder it's such a valued prize to the greedy ones. starofdavidspin.gif

THEY have already raped, pillaged and robbed Rome, Greece, Egypt, Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine, Cambodia, Viet Nam, India, South America, North America, Australia and so many other nations of their natural resources, gold, silver, treasuries and ancient artifacts.




--------------------
QUOTE
"Ye shall know them by their fruits"
~ Matthew 7:16

"Believe nothing. No matter where you read it, or who said it, even if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense."
~ Buddha
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