Daily Brief–July 15, 2010
CIA paid Iranian scientist $5 million for nuclear intelligence The Iranian nuclear scientist who headed back to Tehran yesterday was paid $5 million to provide the U.S. intelligence on Iran’s nuclear program, according to U.S. officials cited by the Washington Post. Upon returning to the airport in Tehran, Shahram Amiri says the CIA offered him ...
CIA paid Iranian scientist $5 million for nuclear intelligence
The Iranian nuclear scientist who headed back to Tehran yesterday was paid $5 million to provide the U.S. intelligence on Iran’s nuclear program, according to U.S. officials cited by the Washington Post. Upon returning to the airport in Tehran, Shahram Amiri says the CIA offered him $50 million to stay in the U.S.
Amiri says he also experienced severe mental and physical torture while in the states, where he says Israeli agents were present during some of his investigations. “I was threatened to be handed over to Israel if I refused to cooperate with the Americans,” he said. A U.S. official tells the Washington Post that Amiri will likely be unable to access any money he was given by the CIA, now that he has left the U.S. “Anything he got is now beyond his reach, thanks to the financial sanctions on Iran,” he said. “He’s gone, but his money’s not. We have his information, and the Iranians have him.”
- A video of a press conference Amiri held recaps his story.
- Alleged Jewish terrorist suspected of killing four Palestinians is arrested.
- An Iraqi car bomb kills at least six people.
- Palestinian Fatah party says it’s too soon for direct negotiations with Israelis.
- New poll says 77 percent of British Jews favor a two-state solution in Israel.
- Al Qaeda beefs up its attacks in Yemen.
Members of the Palestinian Shawamreh family sit on the rubble of their house after it was demolished by Israeli army machinery in the West Bank village of Abu al-Arqan, west of Hebron, on July 15, 2010 (Hazem Bader/AFP/Getty Images).
Arguments & Analysis
‘Military action against Iran: Impacts and Effects’ (Paul Rogers, Oxford Research Group)
While the chances for direct U.S. military action on Iran are very low, the same cannot be said for Israel. A new report (pdf) lays out the specifics of how an Israeli attack on Iran would be a strategic nightmare–the start of a protracted and extremely destabilizing conflict that would reverberate throughout the region. Even on a tactical level, any strike is unlikely to prevent Iran’s acquisition of nuclear weapons, and would probably only encourage such a move.
‘Obama’s Middle East Challenge: Trying to Look Busy’ (Tony Karon, Time)
Given the status of the ongoing indirect talks between Israelis and Palestinians, combined with a multitude of domestic and foreign policy issues ahead of mid-term elections, President Obama’s next move on Middle East peace is as difficult to guess as progress on the conflict is difficult to imagine.
‘Arabs, Israel’s second class minority’ (Raja Kamal, The Daily Star)
Though they make up about 20% of Israel’s citizens, the plight of Arab Israelis is often ignored in the country and the broader region. Yet their ongoing second class status also presents a serious problem for a country so keen on demonstrating its democratic legitimacy.
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