Middle East Newsline reports that Iranian Defense Minister Brigadier General Mustafa Mohammad Najjar said over the weekend that “the enemies’ sanctions” on his country have helped the growth of Iran’s aerospace and electronics industries.
Addressing the 6th conference of Iran’s Aerospace Association in Tehran on Saturday, Najjar stressed the significance of the aerospace industry, and said, “At present, the aerospace industry has turned into a scene of competition in terms of science and technology.”
He continued, “the enemies’ sanction on Iran’s aerospace and electronics industries made our experts more decisive to continue the path of progress and reach the peaks of glory and honor in these fields,” he said, adding, “Following the stage of research and development, we have come to the stage of mass production to provide for the needs of our armed forces.”
Najjar said that some of Iran’s products in these fields include the manufacture of ‘Iran-140’ passenger plane, ‘Azarakhsh’ fighter, multipurpose and flying targets, 16 varieties of helicopters, fling boats, and various types of long and medium-range, anti-armor and Cruise missiles and torpedoes.
He said acquisition of the aerospace technology serves as a lever in helping reduce the enemies’ power of threat, and is viewed as a source of national pride and a symbol of technological growth.
The general said that his ministry has laid the needed grounds for the manufacture of modern aerospace systems guiding the movement of vessels, armors and helicopters, rapid and precise missile-launching systems, integration of the battle space and space navigation systems.
The Kuwaiti newspaper Al-Siyasa reported yesterday that three Arab states in the Persian Gulf would be willing to allow the Israel Air Force to enter their airspace in order to reach Iran in case of an attack on its nuclear facilities.
According to the report, a diplomat from one of the gulf states visiting Washington on Saturday said the three states, Qatar, Oman and the United Arab Emirates, have told the United States that they would not object to Israel using their airspace, despite their fear of an Iranian response.
Al-Siyasa further reported that NATO leaders are urging Turkey to open its airspace for an attack on Iran as well and to also open its airports and borders in case of a ground attack.
According to a British diplomat who spoke to an Al-Siyasa correspondent, Turkey will not repeat the mistake it made in 2003, when it refused to open its airspace to U.S. Air Force overflights en route to attacking Iraq.
British newspaper The Daily Telegraph reported Saturday that Israel is negotiating with the U.S. over permission for an “air corridor” over Iraq, should an attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities become necessary.
Deputy Defense Minister Ephraim Sneh on Saturday denied the reports and said Israel has no such plans.
Conditions For Palestinian
In an official statement issued last week, the Israel Minister of Foreign Affairs stated that, “The Hamas-Fatah agreement reached at Mecca does not meet the requirements set out by the Quartet for any Palestinian government. To the contrary, this agreement, as well as Hamas’ statements and actions, indicates that Hamas continues to seek to gain international legitimacy without compromising on its fundamentalist ideology, including its goal of the destruction of Israel.”
Last week, however, Egypt issued an official statement, saying that [it was] “opposing any conditions on the new Palestinian unity government and said it was up to the Palestinians to convince key international mediators to end the U.S.-led financial sanctions.”
Jordan’s King Abdullah was more supportive of the Israeli position, saying that there was common Arab ground that the unity government must adhere to the demands of the Quartet of Middle East mediators: recognize Israel, renounce violence and accept interim peace deals.
The king’s remarks in an interview broadcast on Saturday cast doubts on the willingness of major Arab donors to sidestep a U.S.-led embargo of the Hamas-led government.
Egyptian presidential spokesman Suuleiman Awad responded to Jordan, saying that “there is always consultation between Egypt and Jordan but the Egyptian position is that … we cannot set preconditions … . The policies that the new government will adopt is an internal Palestinian affair, and Egypt has not and will not interfere to impose stances,” he told a news conference.
Palestinians Return Israeli Toddler Walking Alone In Hebron
For hours this past Friday, residents of the Jewish community in Hebron together with security forces searched for a 3-year-old girl who had wandered over to the Palestinian side of the city. Before the Sabbath began, Palestinian police returned the child to her home, safe and sound.
Friday afternoon the child was playing outside of her home in the “Avraham Avinu” Jewish neighborhood of Hebron, but during the game, she went over to the Palestinian side of Hebron.
Her parents noticed her absence, and residents were preparing for widespread searches for her. However, she was found by a Palestinian near one of the mosques in the city; the person noticed her wandering around alone. Using the mosque’s loudspeaker system, they searched for her parents, but no adult came to collect the girl. Then the Palestinians understood that it was a girl from the Jewish community, and they transferred her to the Palestinian police.
Meanwhile, Israeli security officials from the Civil Administration made contact with their Palestinian counterparts and reported the missing child. Then came a calming announcement that the child was safe and sound and was eating snacks at the police station. A short while later, she was accompanied by Palestinian police to the Police Square, which is often a point of friction in Hebron.
The father thanked the Palestinian police after they gave him his daughter.
Also arriving at the site was the Hebron doctor, Dr. Yaakov Ben Taria.
After they transferred the frightened child to her father’s arms, one of the Palestinian police officers approached the doctor and shook his hand. He said to him: “Twelve years ago, you saved my daughter’s life. Now I am saving your daughter.”
The Palestinian policeman reminded the doctor that his daughter had fallen from a window of his home on the second floor and had lost consciousness. Dr. Ben Taria revived her and saved her life.
David Bedein can be reached at Media@actcom.co.il.
©The Bulletin 2007