Iran is supplying weapons to "liberation armies" in the Middle East, a top Revolutionary Guards commander said, offering the first official confirmation the country provides weapons to armed groups in the region.
Gen. Hossein Hamedani, deputy commander of a volunteer militia that is part of the elite Revolutionary Guards, did not provide specific details in the report on the state-run Borna news. The U.S. military has accused Iran of arming Shiite militias in Iraq, and Iran is widely believed to provide weapons to Lebanon's militant Shiite Hezbollah group.
"Not only are our armed forces self-sufficient, liberation armies of the region get part of their weapons from us," Hamedani said, according to the report on Borna's Web site late Sunday.
In the past, Iran — a majority Shiite country — has denied arming Hezbollah, saying it only provided political and financial support. The Iranian government has also denied providing weapons or financial support to Shiite militants fighting U.S. forces in Iraq.
But the U.S. military has said it has evidence that elements of the Mahdi army, an Iraqi militia loyal to anti-American Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, have been armed by Iran.
Hamedani also said Iran has no shortage of advanced missile systems. "Our chemical engineers have upgraded Iran's missile capability," he was quoted as saying.
Hamedani didn't elaborate, but Iranian officials have said they successfully tested a solid fuel motor for the medium-range Shahab-3 ballistic missile, a technological breakthrough for Iran.
Experts say solid fuel increases the accuracy of missiles in reaching targets. But many in the West have expressed doubt about Iran's professed military accomplishments.
Iran launched an arms development program during its 1980-88 war with Iraq to compensate for a U.S. weapons embargo. Since 1992, Iran has produced its own tanks, armored personnel carriers, missiles and a fighter plane.
Internet Hate describes the rapidly expanding practice utilized by racists and extremists to place anti-Semitic, racist, and other hateful material on the World Wide Web. The growth of the Internet has enabled bigoted and sometimes violent messages to reach a much wider and broader audience than ever before. Consequently, these messages of hate have become widely accessible online - in homes, offices, schools, and libraries.
For years extremists have used printing of every kind -- books, pamphlets, posters, newspapers, magazines -- to get their message out. They have also tried to use modern inventions such as movies. radio, television, recorded audio and video tape and even telephone messages to spread their beliefs. So it is not surprising that they have decided to take their hate to the Internet. The Internet lets them reach millions with a click of a mouse.
Haters use the World Wide Web with its colorful web pages, sounds, and images to push propaganda attacking their enemies. Some of these pages suggest that violent action is needed. Old lies are reprinted and new ones are created. Neo-Nazi Skinheads try to sell the latest CDs filled with calls for "racial holy war."
It is fairly easy to create a simple Web page. Many bigots have. They often try to create the false impression that many people are involved in their activities. This frightens their targets and encourages supporters.
The number of racists and anti-Semites is small compared to the rest of the population; in addition, they are fairly spread out. Yet, on the Internet, they can find people who think like them, which strengthens their beliefs and makes them feel less isolate.
Because extremists on the Internet can hide their real identity behind screen names and addresses (like anyone else), they feel free to attack those they hate. They realize there is no way for anyone to know who they are.
This blog was created to shine a light on who these haters are, where they hang out on the web, and the methods they employ to try and intimidate their victims.