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Iran nuke program sputters as Hizbullah readies for Ahmadinejad visit

Tehran blames West for Russian failure to deliver coveted S-300 missile system

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Iran nuke program sputters as Hizbullah readies for Ahmadinejad visit

The Sunni terrorist group Jundallah (Soldiers of God) announced on Saturday that it has kidnapped a clerk from Iran's uranium conversion facility in the city of Isfahan and is threatening to reveal secrets gleaned from the clerk about Iran’s renegade nuclear program if the regime in Tehran does not release over 200 Jundallah members held in Iranian prisons.

Deputy Interior Minister Ali Abdollahi confirmed the kidnapping but claimed that the victim, Amir Hossein Shirani, was a low level worker at Isfahan who in any case had been fired for incompetence in 2005. Other Iranian officials gave their own conflicting stories about Shirani and his relative importance.

Jundallah is a Sunni-Iranian terror militia which has claimed responsibility for several attacks against Iranian security forces in the past.

In related news, Iranian nuclear chief Ali Akbar Salehi admitted on Saturday that several Iranians working in nuclear facilities had been compromised by Western intelligence agencies but assured his government that the problems had been taken care of. Despite his assurances, his admission is highly unusual for an Iranian official and points to serious breaches of security.

Meanwhile, Hizbullah chief Hassan Nasrallah gave credit to Iran on Saturday for funding the rebuilding of infrastructure in Lebanon following the 2006 war his Shi'ite terror militia fought with Israel. His words came ahead of a highly anticipated  visit by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Wednesday.

“Hizbullah does not trust Lebanese government bureaucracy, therefore the Iranians paid in cash,” Nasrallah said in a televised broadcast. “The Iranian president is arriving as a guest of Lebanon, and he was invited by Lebanese President Michel Suleiman himself. The recent reports that Ahmadinejad intended to visit the Lebanon-Israel border in order to throw stones across were ridiculous.”

Finally, Iranian Minister of Defense Brig.-Gen. Ahmad Vahidi complained on Monday that Western leaders were to blame for his military not receiving the contracted batteries of the Russian built S-300 air defense system two years ago, as scheduled, while also insisting that the system is not covered by recently passed UN sanctions on the Islamic Republic.

"The S-300 missile is not in contradiction with any international commitments of the two sides (Iran and Russia) and the issue is clearly emphasized in the deal. On the other hand the date of delivery of the missile system was two years before the adoption of the UN Security Council recent resolution against Iran," Vahidi told Azerbaijan's Trend News Agency. "The resolution does not involve air defense systems and the issue is reiterated by many political figures of the US and Russia."

Vahadi is wanted by Interpol in connection with the 1994 car bomb attack on the AMAI Community Center in Buenos Aries, Argentina.


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