Archive for the ‘Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’ Category

In short supply in dictatorships: “Shampoo. Soap. Vitamins. Tylenol.”

Thursday, September 27th, 2012

A friend had a relative who owned a pharmacy in the former West Berlin that hit a bonanza selling consumer goods (“Shampoo. Soap. Vitamins. Tylenol.” Plus toilet paper, Kleenex, and tampons) when the wall came down.

Thousands of people traveling to Cuba take “Shampoo. Soap. Vitamins. Tylenol.” The island-prison doesn’t have a good supply.

Now it’s the Iranian delegation’s turn:
While Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad soaks up Manhattan high life, his underlings go on shopping spree at discount chains Payless, Costco, Walgreens and Duane Reade
Visiting delegation rack up on shampoo, soap and vitamins. One visitor debated dropping $40 for kids’ shoes at Fifth Ave. Payless

Bargain-hunting members of the huge visiting delegation eagerly visited a Costco, a Payless shoe store, a Walgreens and a Duane Reade in recent days while hunting for discount products in short supply back home:
Shampoo. Soap. Vitamins. Tylenol.

The trip to a Harlem Costco secured an assortment of wholesale shampoos, while a drugstore visit brought more than a dozen bottles of vitamins and Tylenol.

Good thing he didn’t try to stock up on Benadryl or he may have been busted. But moving right along, Mahmoud continues to imitate his fictional counterpart,

While the Iranians scrambled for the staples of most Western bathrooms, their Holocaust-denying boss remained comfortably ensconced in midtown’s posh Warwick Hotel.”
Three personal chefs were at Ahmadinejad’s beck and call, and the Iranians booked two full floors in the luxury hotel, where suites can go for $1,600 a night, according to a hotel employee.
The cooks brought in their own food, and the president’s men dined on the second floor.

As I write this post, Netanyahu is asking to “draw a clear red line” as the only peaceful way left to prevent Iran from having nuclear weapons.

Let’s hope the world does.

[video added]

UPDATE,
In the Shadow of Ahmadinejad’s Hotel, via Instapundit.


The Lid has the full speech,

Life imitates art: Ahmadinejad in New York

Monday, September 24th, 2012


Yum!


Last month I posted a brief review of Gary Buslik’s book, Akhmed and the Atomic Matzo Balls: A Novel of International Intrigue, Pork-Crazed Termites, and Motherhood. In it, the title character – who bears more than a passing resemblance to Ahmadinejad – loves to indulge in Jewish deli fare while on his junkets to the UN.

The NYPost must have hired Mr. Buslik, or perhaps they read his book:

The anti-Semite’s special welcome basket — from New Yorkers with love — included such locally procured goodies as Gold’s Borscht, Manischewitz Gefilte Fish and smoked whitefish from the world-famous Murray’s Sturgeon House on the Upper West Side.

If Ahmadinejad (pronounced: I’m a dinner jacket) needed midnight munchies during his visit to this infidel city, there were also plenty of H&H bagels, onion bialys and Zabar’s cream cheese.

There’s also a bobblehead Statue of Liberty to keep on his night table, a teddy bear to cuddle with during those cold Persian nights and a 9/11 American-flag refrigerator magnet that he can stick on the minibar.

For the (dic)tator who has everything!

Related,
Pass the bialy! Piers Morgan: Ahmadinejad would have ‘no problem’ if one of his children dated a Jew.

Venezuela and Iran prepare for war?

Monday, June 25th, 2012

El Nuevo Herald has obtained a copy of a contract (link in Spanish) signed in 2010 by Asdrúbal Chávez, Hugo Chávez cousin, by which the Venezuelan government contracted Iranian Offshore Engineering & Construction Company (IOEC) to enlarge the Astinave shipbuilding facility in the state Falcón which had previously been seized by Chávez’s government. (My translation: if you use it, please credit me and link to this post)

Astinave is located in Venezuela’s geographic point nearest to the USA and the Panama Canal, while the peninsula was identified by Western intelligence sources quoted in two reports by German daily Die Welt as the location chosen by Iran to locate some of its medium-range missiles.

According to Venezuelan military sources, Iran is using Astinave to unload its container ships.

Another report states that (emphasis added)

Venezuela has transferred at least one F-16 fighter to Iran in an attempt to help it calibrate its air defenses, in preparation for a possible Israeli or U.S. strike on its nuclear facilities, reports Spanish newspaper ABC.

ABC, one of the three largest Spanish dailies and aligned with the ruling rightist party, wrote that the transfer, in 2006, was supervised by one of Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez’s closest aides. The paper’s Washington correspondent, Emili J. Blasco, said the story was based on both sources in Venezuela’s air force and classified documents, following a tip- off by a non-Western intelligence agency.

Specifically,

At least one F-16 was transferred to Iran in 2006. According to the report, the jet was disassembled and packed in several sealed and unmarked wooden containers. These were loaded on a Boeing 707 Venezuelan air force plane that took off from the El Libertador Air Base, stopping in Brazil and Algeria before landing in Tehran, where it was reassembled. Venezuelan pilots instructed Iranian pilots and technicians as to the jet’s capabilities.

According to the news report, the F-16 was given to Iran so it could test its antiaircraft radar systems and become familiar with its capabilities, in preparation for a possible strike.

The trial flights in Iran were used to calibrate the Iranian air defense systems. Iranian officers also studied the speed of the F-16 on the radar screens.

We all know Chávez is a buffoon, but, as Roger Kimball said, the Ridiculous Is no Laughing Matter

here’s the thing to remember. We often assume that someone who is ridiculously contemptible is therefore not dangerous. History shows that, on the contrary, the ridiculous can easily cohabit with the malevolent.

The photo above was taken during Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s visit to Caracas last week.

Cross-posted in The Green Room.

Curly, Larry & Mahmoud go to G20

Sunday, June 17th, 2012

Hollande, Putin and Ahmadinejad confirm presence at Rio 20

From June 20 to 22, the UN Conference on Sustainable Development, Rio 20, in Rio de Janeiro, will highlight the presence of more than 115 heads of state and government. They will focus on discussions on the defense of the environment with sustainable development and social inclusion. Attention will be focused on the presidents François Hollande (France) Vladimir Putin (Russia) and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (Iran), among others.

Ahmadinejad’s also stopping by Bolivia and Venezuela to call on his friends Evo and Hugo. Hugo has visited Iran nine times in the past 13 years.

No word on whether Chavez will attend the G20.


Ahmadinejad rolls through Latin America

Thursday, January 12th, 2012

After Venezuela and Nicaragua, he headed to Cuba, on his fifth trip to the region since 2005,

In Nicaragua,

Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega lashed out at Israel and condemned the killing of former Libyan dictator Muammar Qaddafi while being sworn into office yesterday alongside Iran’s president.

From Cuba, A’jad headed to Ecuador. The WaPo editorial board calls it a meeting of international pariahs.

The Economist speculates, and concludes it may all be political theater:

The Obama administration, to the ire of many in the Republican Party, has downplayed the potential threat posed by Venezuela’s alliance with Iran. It gently warned that “now is not the time to be deepening ties.” But it also chose the occasion to expel the Venezuelan consul in Miami, Livia Acosta, who was accused in a documentary aired last month by Univision, a Spanish-language American channel, of involvement in an alleged cyber-plot against the United States featuring Iranian diplomats and Mexican computer hackers.

Mr Chávez called the report “lies” and the expulsion “bullying”. As ever, he and Mr Ahmadinejad swore eternal friendship. What does that amount to? The two governments have signed hundreds of agreements, on everything from agriculture to tourism. But the most visible initiatives have flopped. Typical is a cement factory in the eastern state of Monagas. Due to open in 2007 and produce 1m tonnes a year, it is still under construction. Mr Chávez claims Iran has built 14,000 prefabricated houses. Not for the workers building the cement plant, who this week staged a protest over claims by a chavista union leader that they were well housed.

Suspicion attaches to agreements under which Venezuela might potentially help Iran evade sanctions over its nuclear programme. After Iran’s Export Development Bank set up a subsidiary in Caracas in 2007, the United States’ Treasury department imposed sanctions on it. Last year the Treasury applied largely symbolic sanctions against PDVSA, Venezuela’s state oil company, for exporting refined products to Iran. (The United States continues to be PDVSA’s main export market.) Venezuela denies that it is mining uranium or exporting it to Iran.

The murkiest areas are military and intelligence links, including the alleged presence in Venezuela of the Quds force, the foreign arm of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard. Some American analysts claim that Lebanon’s Hizbullah, an Iranian ally, is involved in cocaine trafficking from Latin America. Under Mr Chávez, Venezuela’s armed forces have adopted the doctrine of “asymmetric warfare”, which explicitly endorses acts of terrorism in the event of an American attack.

But there is little reason to believe that Mr Chávez would risk international isolation by allowing Iran to launch attacks against American targets from Venezuela.

Isolation? By whom? Certainly Chávez has a lot to lose if the US stops being its primary oil customer. But beyond that, Chávez will do whatever Chávez thinks will consolidate power around himself.

Jaime Darenblum sees Iran differently,
Iran Seeks Lifeline in Latin America
An increasingly desperate regime hunts for friends

Much like its Syrian ally, Iran becomes more and more of a global pariah every day. Outside of Venezuela, it has hardly any true allies. The Islamic Republic clearly views Latin America as a region that can provide an economic lifeline amid global sanctions and also enhance its perceived diplomatic legitimacy. If the radical, anti-American regimes in Venezuela, Bolivia, Cuba, Ecuador, and Nicaragua want to help the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism, that’s one thing. But no respectable Latin American democracy should join them.

A former Venezuelan ambassador points out which countries Ahmadinejad did not visit:

As Darenblum said, there are two key words: respectable, and democracy. On that hinges the future of our hemisphere.

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Related:
The Fantasy World of Hugo Chavez And the Story of the Expelled Miami Consul
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Today’s update re: two crazy tyrants in Venezuela

Tuesday, January 10th, 2012

Hugo & A’jad: Two wild and crazy guys!
‘We’ll set our sights on Washington’: Chavez and Iran’s Ahmadinejad JOKE about attacking U.S. with ‘a big atomic bomb’
‘That hill will open up and a big atomic bomb will come out’
Meeting in Caracas comes on day Iran sentenced a man to death for allegedly spying on the country for the U.S.
(h/t Pamela)

As you can see, Hugo’s still bloated.

Iran in LatAm: tour of tyrants?

Ahmadinejad’s Latin America “tour of tyrants”

Ahmadinejad in the Americas—What Is Iran Up To?

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Ahmadinejad is in Venezuela

Monday, January 9th, 2012

making a triumphant tour of our hemisphere, while using Venezuela to bypass UN sanctions (h/t GoV):


Ahmadinejad arrives in Venezuela

It’s no coincidence that Venezuela is Ahmadinejad’s first stop. Despite their cultural differences, Venezuela and Iran have found significant common ground: both are among the world’s top crude oil exporters, and their leaders have become strong allies united by a fierce opposition to what they view as U.S. imperialism.

Ahmadinejad arrived at 6:30PM Sunday. Hugo didn’t make it to the airport.

From there A’jad’s heading to Nicaragua, Ecuador and Cuba.

Iran announced it’s on the verge of starting production at its second major uranium enrichment site.

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The Carnival of Latin America and the Caribbean

Monday, September 19th, 2011

LatinAmerLATIN AMERICA
India Eyes Latin America
The South Asian giant’s burgeoning presence in the Western Hemisphere is unambiguously good for both Latin America and the United States.

ARGENTINA
Cristina, Guevara, la patria liberada

Big Fears on Big Food Prices

BOLIVIA
Evo Morales llegará a Cuba el domingo para reunirse con Raúl Castro
El presidente de Bolivia, Evo Morales, llegará el domingo a Cuba para una visita de trabajo de dos días durante la que se reunirá con el gobernante Raúl Castro, informó este sábado un comunicado oficial.

BRAZIL
Bush, Bismarck and Brazil

Brazilian politics
A packed chessboard

The Road to Rio is America’s Road to Ruin

CHILE
Rescued Chilean miner in rehab

New Chilean telescopes push the boundaries of astronomy
With two gigantic telescopes coming in the next decade, Chile is gaining a reputation as one of the best places in the world for stargazers.

COLOMBIA
Libyan rebels execute 10 Colombians thought to be FARC mercenaries

Paramilitaries and Colombia’s government
The biggest fish so far
: Jorge Noguera

Six Months for Letting Grandma Do His Laundry

Colombian mountain cyclists try to pedal out of poverty toward glory in Europe

CUBA
Bill Richardson went to Cuba to intercede on Alan Gross’ behalf and was resoundedly turned down: Alberto de la Cruz writes on how the Obama State Dept. authorized Richardson to offer concessions in exchange for Gross

Taxes in Cuba
Get used to it
The Castros’ subjects get acquainted with that other sure thing

Trips Back to Cuba Draw Fire

GUATEMALA
Big Labor’s Yanqui Imperialism
The U.S. trade representative is trying to deny due process to Guatemala in defiance of free-trade agreement rules.

MEXICO
Good news: ATF’s Gunwalker may have helped Mexican cartels buy rocket launchers

Cloward-Piven: The Ultimate Goal of Gunwalker?
It’s hard to think of a more logical reason for Gunwalker to exist.

Free speech in Mexico
Be careful what you Tweet

PANAMA
Time for Another Reminder

Panamanian politics
With friends like these

PUERTO RICO
Masked intruders rob casino in Puerto Rico

Officials: Teen goes on rampage at Puerto Rico school, stabbing 37 classmates with needle

VENEZUELA
Venezuelan government providing support to terrorist Carlos the Jackal

Human Rights Court rules in favor of Leopoldo Lopez, slaps Chavez tactic of illegally disqualifying opposition

Chavez is in Cuba for a 5th round of chemo, instead of going to the UN this week. He claims it’s “the last round.” Evo Morales stopped in Caracas and they both flew together.

Since Chavez is not going to NY, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will visit him in Caracas on his way back from the UN Assembly.

Smoke and Mirrors in the Chavez Revolution: Oil and Research

This is the lawyer of Chavez defending what cannot be defended

The week’s posts:
The AFL-CIO vs. Guatemala
Mexico’s cartels vs bloggers, part 3
Mexican cartels now going after bloggers, part 2
Venezuela to withdraw from the International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes

At The Green Room,
Mexican cartels now going after bloggers

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Ahmadinejad to visit Caracas, Venezuela to move its gold

Wednesday, August 17th, 2011

Chávez and Ahmadinejad to meet in September in Caracas
Caracas and Tehran have established a close relation in recent years

President Hugo Chávez and his Iranian counterpart Mahmoud Ahmadinejad pledged to strengthen political and economic cooperation after they convened a meeting of delegates of both countries that will be held in September in Caracas, the Venezuelan Foreign Ministry said Tuesday in a statement.

In a telephone conversation, the two Heads of State welcomed the progress of bilateral cooperation and “agreed to convene the 7th meeting of the bilateral joint committee (…) in order to broaden and deepen the complementation for the independence and welfare of people,” said the text released by the Venezuelan Foreign Ministry, as quoted by AFP.

A’jad is scheduled to be in New York on September 11.

Hugo’s back in Caracas, from his latest round of Cuban chemo, and looking bloated,

Meanwhile, Venezuela Plans to Move Reserve Funds (emphasis added)

Venezuela plans to transfer billions of dollars in cash reserves from abroad to banks in Russia, China and Brazil and tons of gold from European banks to its central bank vaults, according to documents reviewed Tuesday by The Wall Street Journal.

The planned moves would include transferring $6.3 billion in cash reserves, most of which Venezuela now keeps in banks such as the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland, and Barclays Bank in London to unnamed Russian, Chinese and Brazilian banks, one document said.

Venezuela also plans to move 211 tons of gold it keeps abroad and values at $11 billion to the vaults of the Venezuelan Central Bank in Caracas where the government keeps its remaining 154 tons of bullion, the document says.

Interestingly,

Venezuela is unusual among countries of its kind in holding so much gold, with the 13th largest gold reserves in the world, according to the World Gold Council (most of the countries ahead of it are in the G10). But this has certainly served Venezuela well: the consistent rise in gold prices has effectively papered over a fall in its reserves this year, despite high oil prices.
Moreover, for Venezuela, whose government rather remarkably seems to be capable of “losing” $29bn, $5bn is small change.

Why the move?

Analysts said the planned move made little economic or financial sense, since Venezuela would be taking its money out of secure banks in safe countries and putting it in countries that are not as safe and perhaps in currencies such as the Chinese yuan or the Russian ruble, which are not reserve currencies. “It’s a big risk,” said José Guerra, a former official at Venezuela’s central bank. Mr. Guerra said he also had heard about the documents whose authenticity was confirmed to him by Central Bank officials.

Could be that Hugo’s getting more desperate as the chemo continues,

Neither Mr. Chávez’s type of cancer nor Mr. Chávez’s prognosis has been made public. Moving the reserves may signal that Mr. Chávez and his associates could be preparing some drastic political moves—such as canceling elections—that could incur international condemnation and perhaps trigger sanctions.

Therefore – since he knows he’s running out of time, he needs the gold and cash right now.

Miguel Octavio is unfazed. One of his commenters speculates,

Is it possible that they are trying to get these reserves into a place where the new government can’t get at them?

Everything is possible.

Cross-posted in The Green Room.

UPDATE,
Roger Noriega,

This precipitous decision to take Venezuela’s international reserves out of secure accounts in Europe and the United States and move them to China and Russia will likely lead global capital markets to conclude that Venezuela is not a reliable country. Venezuela will no longer have the “international reserves” that are required to sustain any modern economy. The ability of the state-owned oil company, PDVSA, and the Republic to generate capital and attract investment will be seriously affected. And, placing these precious reserves in banks belonging to Venezuela’s biggest creditors in China and Russia may suit Chávez’s friends in those countries, but it is an unacceptable risk for the Venezuelan people.

Why notoriously corrupt leaders would want to get their hands on billions in gold is not a very complicated question. However, it is important to note that one of the reasons cited explicitly by Chávez’s decision document is the possibility that Venezuelan funds or dollar-denominated transactions could be frozen by the United States. Surely, Chávez’s advisors know that U.S. laws allow such sanctions only in the case of narcostates, sponsors of terrorism or mass murderers. We know that Chávez’s brother has pledged an armed struggle to keep power and his army chief has said he would never accept the election of an opposition president next December 2012. But, are Chávez’s would-be successors planning Gaddafi- or Assad-style massacres? If they would go that far, why would they even run the risk of holding a campaign and elections?

The idea that Chávistas would resort to brutal repression or would cancel next year’s presidential elections is unthinkable to many. But, just yesterday, few would have imagined that Chávez and his cronies would have risked the country’s economy and people for his own political advantage and selfish personal interests. If Chavez succeeds in treating the country’s international reserves as a petty cash box or pension fund for his inner circle, Venezuela’s fate will be forfeited to another generation of dangerous leaders.

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Will there be an Iranian missile crisis?

Thursday, May 19th, 2011

At the Jerusalem Post, ‘Die Welt’: Iran building rocket bases in Venezuela
German paper says Iranians paid cash to build mid-range missile launch pads on Paraguana Peninsula; Iranian engineers visited site in Feb.

Iran is building intermediate-range missile launch pads on the Paraguaná Peninsula, and engineers from a construction firm – Khatam al-Anbia – owned by the Revolutionary Guards visited Paraguaná in February. Amir al-Hadschisadeh, the head of the Guard’s Air Force, approved the visit, according to the report. Die Welt cited information from “Western security insiders.”

The rocket bases are to include measures to prevent air attacks on Venezuela as well as commando and control stations.

The Iranian military involvement in the project extends to bunker, barracks and watch tower construction. Twenty-meter deep rocket silos are planned. The cost of the Venezuelan military project is being paid for with Iranian oil revenue. The Iranians paid in cash for the preliminary phase of the project, which amounted to “dozens of millions” of dollars, Die Welt wrote.

The Paraguaná Peninsula is on the coast of Venezuela and is roughly 120 kilometers from America’s main South American partner, Colombia.

According to Die Welt, the clandestine agreement between Venezuela and Iran would mean the Chavez government would fire rocket at Iran’s enemies should the Islamic Republic face military strikes.

The Daily Caller also has the story, which you can find in the original German here.

Doug Mataconis has questions as to how “serious a project” this is, while Ron Radosh asks Are We Facing an Iranian Missile Crisis?

Writing at the Fox News website, Reza Kahili notes that Die Welt’s report:

Confirms that the bilateral agreement signed in October [between Venezuela and Iran] was for a missile installation to be built inside Venezuela. Quoting diplomatic sources, Die Welt reports that, at present, the area earmarked for the missile base is the Paraguaná Peninsula, located 120 kilometers from the Colombian border. A group of engineers from Khatam Al-Anbia, the construction arm of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, covertly traveled to this area on the orders of Amir Hajizadeh, the commander of the Revolutionary Guard Air Force.

Even more shocking is the following:

Die Welt writes that the Iranian delegation had been ordered to focus on the plan for building the necessary foundations for air strikes. The planning and building of command stations, control bases, residential buildings, security towers, bunkers and dugouts, warheads, rocket fuel and other cloaking constructs has been assigned to other members of the Revolutionary Guard Corps of Engineers. The IRGC engineers will also be interfacing with their Venezuelan counterparts in fabricating missile depots that are said to go as deep as 20 meters in the ground.

The Iranian-Venezuelan deal evidently also includes housing of Hezbollah cells and Quds forces in the new facilities, ready to expand their activity in Latin American in conjunction with drug cartels in the region, including those causing so much trouble now in Mexico.

Indeed, as long-term readers of this blog may recall, Iran and Venezuela have had secret flights between the two countries for years now, Iran is actively recruiting in Latin America, Venezuela has embarked on an arms race, and both the Iranians and Venezuela are involved with the drug trade.

Now, here’s an important point: The missiles, once they are operative, do not have to be fired at the USA or its territories to cause chaos and death here in the USA. In strategic terms, an attack on the Panama canal, US navy ships in the Caribbean, and military installations manned by US personnel would be enough.

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