The Iran & Syrian Threats.Gates said the US could deal with Iranian meddling med·dle
intr.v. med·dled, med·dling, med·dles
1. To intrude into other people's affairs or business; interfere. See Synonyms at interfere.
2. To handle something idly or ignorantly; tamper. in Iraq without attacking Iran and that the US was intently watching Syria and North Korea after reports of possible nuclear co-operation by Pyongyang with Damascus. Such co-operation, Gates said, "would be a real problem".
In an interview, French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner on Sept. 16 said the world must prepare for the worst in the negotiations with Iran. When asked what the worst could be, he answered: "It is war". But he stressed there was no sign that war was imminent, adding: "We must negotiate right to the end". He said his government had asked France's biggest companies not to invest in Iran, as the tension mounted over Tehran's nuclear and regional ambitions. He said France's newly elected government had joined forces with Washington to solicit a sort of unofficial boycott of Iranian projects. He said: "We have asked a certain number of our big companies not to respond to Iranian tenders [in the petroleum sector]. I think this has been heard and we are not the only ones to have done so".
Kouchner's comment has put pressure on Total, the giant oil group deadlocked over investment in one of the world's most promising gas fields, the offshore South Pars project in Iran. Since late 2006, Total has been hesitating about a massive integrated gas E&P/LNG venture based on a phase of the South Pars development, not only because of Tehran's nuclear stand-off with the West but also in view of a rapid rise in project costs (see omt13SaudiProspSep24-07).
Under President Jacques Chirac, Paris had resisted US pressure to encourage a boycott of investing in Iran, although it supported a tough line on Iranian nuclear ambitions. Washington has called on the world's big powers to discuss a fresh raft of sanctions against Iran This article outlines economic, trade, scientific and military Sanctions against Iran, which has been imposed by the U.S. government, or under U.S. pressure. Currently the sanctions include a total embargo on dealings with Iran by Americans, threatening the world's oil and gas . Although Tehran has offered to respond to a series of questions posed by the International Atomic Energy Agency International Atomic Energy Agency: see Atomic Energy Agency, International.
International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
International organization officially founded in 1957 to promote the peaceful use of nuclear energy. (IAEA IAEA International Atomic Energy Agency. ) about its nuclear activities, it refuses to suspend uranium enrichment, the central demand of UN Security Council (UNSC UNSC United Nations Security Council
UNSC United Nations Space Command (gaming)
UNSC United Nations Staff College ) resolutions. Kouchner said that, while negotiations continued, the EU would prepare for sanctions of its own. These would target financial sectors and Iran's "big fortunes and banks", rather than the ordinary population (see news13-IranUnderNewPressrSep24-07).
Gates refused to confirm the veracity veracity (vras´itē),
n of leaked US intelligence reports suggesting that North Korea may be helping Syria build a nuclear weapons facility. Gates added: "But all I will say is we are watching the North Koreans very carefully. We watch the Syrians very carefully. If such an activity were taking place, it would be a matter of great concern because the president has put down a very strong marker with the North Koreans about further proliferation efforts and obviously any effort by the Syrians to pursue weapons of mass destruction Weapons that are capable of a high order of destruction and/or of being used in such a manner as to destroy large numbers of people. Weapons of mass destruction can be high explosives or nuclear, biological, chemical, and radiological weapons, but exclude the means of transporting or would be...a real problem".
Petraeus was asked on Fox News on Sept. 16 about US complaints that Iranians were providing highly lethal weapons and training to Iraqi insurgents Insurgents, in U.S. history, the Republican Senators and Representatives who in 1909–10 rose against the Republican standpatters controlling Congress, to oppose the Payne-Aldrich tariff and the dictatorial power of House speaker Joseph G. Cannon. . The general said: "We believe that we know where some of the training camps are", and where weapons were coming from. But he declined to say if he had been weighing attacks on those sites.
On Sept. 14, Gates said the US presence in Iraq could be brought down to 100,000 by end-2008. That went beyond, but did not contradict, Bush's plan to move from the 169,000 troops now in Iraq to 130,000 by July; Gates was looking, tentatively, to a farther horizon.
The US military on Sept. 20 said its forces had arrested an officer of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC IRGC Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (Iran)
IRGC International Risk Governance Council
IRGC Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission
IRGC International Rice Germplasm Center ) accused of smuggling smuggling, illegal transport across state or national boundaries of goods or persons liable to customs or to prohibition. Smuggling has been carried on in nearly all nations and has occasionally been adopted as an instrument of national policy, as by Great Britain powerful roadside bombs into Iraq. It he was a member of IRGC's Quds Force The Quds Force (Persian: نیروی قدس, translit. nirui-e-quds, Quds is the Arabic name for Jerusalem), is a special unit of Iran's Army of the Guardians of the Islamic Revolution (often and had been seized at a hotel in the Kurdish city of Sulaimaniya. He had also been involved in the infiltration of foreign fighters in Iraq.