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Global Crisis Watch Podcast - Feb 5, 2007   
Monday, February 05 2007


Global Crisis Watch
February 5, 2007 | Episode #43
The looming crisis over Iran's nuclear weapons program, Washington's
mixed response over Iran's proxy war in Iraq, State Department's
ineffective Somalia policy, and the elimination of a key al Qaeda

Global Crisis Watch calls to Washington, Buffalo and Bangkok to dissect
the alarming signals coming from Iran ahead of its "Nuclear Festival"
on Feb 11 and the deadline to halt nuclear enrichment activities on Feb
21, the mixed signals coming from Washington amidst the release of the
National Intelligence Estimate, the State Department's insistence for
Somalia to negotiate with Somali Islamists, the mysterious murder of
Usama bin Laden's brother-in-law in Madagascar and the situation in the
southern Philippines with Alireza Jafarzadeh, Strategic Policy
Consulting and author of "The Iran Threat: President Ahmadinejad and
the Coming Nuclear Crisis," Eli Lake of the New York Sun, Dr. Abdiweli
Ali, Niagara University, and Dr. Zachary Abuza, Simmons College and the
Counterterrorism Blog.

Link: http://www.GlobalCrisisWatch.com/gcw/gcw_070205.mp3
50:00 minutes | 23.4 Megs


Transcript of interview with Alireza Jafarzadeh
Nick Grace: We are watching multiple events... A mysterious murder in
Madagascar, Usama bin Laden's brother-in-law and known al Qaeda
financier, Mohammed Jamal Khalifa... Increasing violence in Somalia and
the release of a top leader of the al Qaeda-backed Islamic Courts
Union... The looming crisis over Iran's nuclear weapons program and the
mixed messages coming out of Washington over Iran's proxy war in Iraq.
We are watching two important dates: February 11 and 21. The Iranian
regime is engaged in celebrations and sabre-rattling as it heads toward
Islamic Revolution Day, the 28th anniversary of the Ayatollah
Khomeini's return to Tehran. The Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps is
engaged in nationwide wargames,

The Grand Prophet military maneuvers, displaying its defense
capabilities and rallying domestic support for the regime. Meanwhile,
February 11, Islamic Revolution Day. The Iranian press has dubbed the
event "the nuclear festival." Sources that we speak to anticipate the
announcement of at least 6 new centrifuge cascades, a significant leap
for Iran's nuclear weapons program and a direct slap against the
international community in advance of February 21st, the deadline under
UN Resolution 1737 for Iran to halt its enrichment and research

Joining us from Washington is Alireza Jafarzadeh, President of
Strategic Policy Consulting and author of the important book The Iran
Threat: President Ahmadinejad and the Coming Nuclear Crisis. That the
international community is even aware of the extent of Tehran's
previously secret nuclear program is thanks to Alireza, whose sources
have provided verifiable evidence and documentation. Alireza, welcome
to Global Crisis Watch and thanks for joining us.

Alireza Jafarzadeh: Thank you very much and it is a great pleasure to
be on your show.

NG: As we look forward, right now Iran is now involved in its Islamic
Revolution celebrations and there is a date, February 11, which is
Islamic Revolution Day and I have been hearing from my sources that
there is anticipation of a major announcement to unfold on that date.
Do you have any information about the anticipation of this

AJ: That's right, Nick, the information that I am getting also suggests
that the Iran regime is planning to make a major announcement that is
most probably nuclear related and they would hold what is being called
a "nuclear festival" to rally as much domestic recognition as possible
but also internationally to show that they are moving forward, that
they are going to defy the international community, they're not going
to back down and try to force the international community to further
negotiate with the Iranian regime obviously from a weaker position now
supposedly that they have this nuclear victory.

NG: There have been report in the open source about increased activity
around Natanz, an underground nuclear facility. They're saying that
hundreds of centrifuges have been unloaded and are being placed inside
of Natanz. Natanz is just one underground nuclear facility. You have
come up with a number of other sites. How many underground nuclear
facilities does Iran have?

AJ: Even though I am the person who has been able to reveal a good
portion, if not all, of the major nuclear sites of Iran thanks to the
network of Iran's main opposition, the National Council of Resistance
of Iran, inside the country. Nevertheless, you never know what else
Iran has because none of those sites has been declared by the Iran
regime to begin with. What we know already, the most significant site
is the uranium enrichment facility in Natanz that has a pilot facility
that can house as many as 1000 centrifuges in it. Already a few hundred
are installed in an operational phase. There are two large cascade
halls, Cascade Hall A and Cascade Hall B, that are intended to house as
many as 60,000 centrifuge machines. The information I'm getting from my
sources suggests that the construction of these two underground
facilities have been nearly completed. At least one of the cascade
halls has all the foundation done.

They have all the steel plates they needed to have the centrifuge
machines erected on them; they're done. And they were ready to go ahead
and install the centrifuge machines. The information I got a few months
ago suggests that as many as 5000 centrifuge machines are ready to be
installed at the Natanz underground facility and, as you said earlier,
the report coming from Natanz today pinpoints the direction that those
centrifuge machines are already installed, at least a few hundred of
them. Now there is another facility that is near Tehran known as
Parchin Military Complex. It is a huge facility and they have a number
of underground locations in Parchin. There is another site that was
revealed, again by the network of the National Council of Resistance of
Iran from inside Iran, which is near Tehran, northern part of Tehran.
That site has not been inspected by the IAEA. Then you have the
underground facilities in Isfahan, where the uranium conversion
facility is, and they have some of the most sophisticated underground
facilities there. Then the latest information coming from these sources
suggests that in the outskirts of Tehran, somewhere near Parchin -
between Lavizan and Parchin District - is a huge area of roughly about
120 square kilometers that is filled with underground tunnels and
facilities that are used for nuclear purposes as well as the missile
program. And some of these underground tunnels were built with the help
of North Korea.

Sasha Eckstein: Regarding North Korea, have you received any
intelligence about reinforced concrete that has been used in assistance
for bunker busters and what other assistance has North Korea given to

AJ: North Korea has had a very close relationship with Tehran over the
years on a range of issues from the missile program to the nuclear
technology and also providing expertise. There have been a number of
nuclear experts from North Korea who have been either based in Iran or
been traveling back and forth providing nuclear assistance on a range
of issues. And then you have the experts on the missile program, which
is very similar to the North Korean missile program. Then the issue of
underground buildings and tunneling, which the North Koreans have
mastered. They have been extremely helpful to the Iranian regime
specifically in one case that I know for sure are these underground
tunnels near Parchin in Tehran.

It is strongly believed that when the nuclear test was done in North
Korea, Iranian experts were present there. Also when there were missile
tests done by North Korea, again you saw Iranian missile experts
present at the site. That's a very significant level of cooperation,
knowing that these are very sensitive activities and North Koreans are
willing to provide access to the Iranian regime's Revolutionary Guards
experts to those sites and to that kind of technology. And also in
terms of the construction technology, yes, the North Koreans have been
involved in providing construction of concrete buildings that can
sustain very strong attacks, perhaps, in military strikes or any kind
of explosive shaking of the foundation, clearly showing that the North
Koreans know exactly what they are doing, what program they are
helping, anticipating some kind of attacks that could happen and
they're trying to help the Iranian regime protect its program.

NG: Alireza, we have many listeners who are in diplomatic circles. Many
diplomats nowadays are touting the line that denial of nuclear
technology to Iran constitutes a double standard. They say that the
nuclear program in Iran is peaceful. What do you say to those who
continue to tout that line of thought?

AJ: Well, this is not an intellectual argument. We're not talking about
a country like the Netherlands. We're not talking about a democracy
that simply wants improved technology for energy purposes. We are
talking about a regime that has a very destructive ideology, has
already been involved in terrorism in the most deadly way, is already
the world's leading state sponsor of terrorism. Even without nuclear
weapons has been proven to be involved in the bombing of the Jewish
community center in Argentina, in the Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia, in
the marine barracks bombing in Lebanon, in taking Americans hostage for
44 days in Tehran, taking hostages in Beirut, and a whole host of other
activities. Right now they are heavily involved in the most violent way
in Iraq, sending explosives, IEDs. So this is not, you know, a nation
genuinely trying to develop a nuclear energy program. Second, for any
country who is a member of the Non-proliferation Treaty, they have to
abide by all the rules.

They cannot violate the first article, that is you have to comply, you
have to be transparent and you have to be committed. Lying to the
international community, hiding the program for 18 years, violating
every commitment that they have had, and then finally come up with this
idea that, well, we have all the rights in the world to develop our
nuclear technology. They cannot cheat. The double standard has been
used by the Iranian regime because they hid their program, they have
defied the international community. The IAEA has been trying to inspect
those sites and has been barred from sites. The sites in Lavizan, which
the Iranian opposition revealed, at least 11 activities has gone on
there, has not been available for inspection by the IAEA. There are a
number of significant unanswered questions that the IAEA has raised and
Iran has not responded. That's why Iran's file was referred to the
United Nations Security Council because Iran is not complying. So I
tell to those who make this argument by saying obviously that that
argument would work if you are talking about a nation that acts on a
rational basis and is not engaged in terrorism.

NG: February 11th, Iran's Nuclear Festival and a major announcement...
February 21st, the deadline for Iran to halt its enrichment activities
under Resolution 1737... Tehran should take notice. Washington has
positioned two aircraft carriers in the Persian Gulf. Its proxy war
against the U.S. in Iraq may have tied the hands of the U.S. ground
forces but it is not a ground invasion that the Iranian regime should
watch out for. Alireza Jafarzadeh, Strategic Policy Consulting and
author of The Iran Threat: President Ahmadinejad and the Coming Nuclear
Crisis, thank you. This is Global Crisis Watch.

Iva Davies - The Battle
Shigeru Umebayashi - 2046
Rupert Gregson-Williams - Ambush
Thomas Newman - Drive Away
Ar-Ruhul Jadid - Janji


Global Crisis Watch is an independent 30-minute current affairs and
news podcast focusing on the Global War on Terror, the War of Ideas,
and indigenous pro-democracy efforts around the world. Hosted by Nick
Grace and Sasha Eckstein in Washington, DC, the show features
interviews with brave activists and journalists about terrorism,
democratization, and indigenous efforts to promote freedom and liberty.
Appears on Mondays and Wednesdays.


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