CNN Debate: Hillary Mann Leverett and Alan Dershowitz on an Iran Deal

In the lead-up to Prime Minister Netanyahu’s speech before the U.S. Congress this week, and the controversy it has engendered, CNN asked Hillary Mann Leverett to debate renowned Harvard Law School professor, celebrity defense attorney, and hawkish supporter of Israeli policies Alan Dershowitz, over two separate segments, on the merits of an Iran deal and the Obama Administration’s differences with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu on this subject.

Hillary has worked in the Middle East and in U.S. policy making institutions (the National Security Council and State Department) for twenty-five years.  From 2001-2003, she negotiated for the U.S. government directly with Iranian counterparts—including then Deputy Foreign Minister Javad Zarif—over Afghanistan, al-Qaida, and Iraq, in what were the most constructive and productive negotiations U.S. and Iranian officials had with each other since the 1979 revolution.  In 2003, she drafted a ground-breaking memo to then Secretary of State Colin Powell advocating that the United States further engage the Islamic Republic in a “grand bargain” to deal with their areas of disagreement.  In 2006, with her husband, Flynt Leverett, she again broke ground with an op-ed in the New York Times taking that case public: that, instead of targeting Iran as part of an “axis of evil,” America needed to strike a “grand bargain” with it.  In 2013, they published the book, Going To Tehran: Why America Must Accept the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Alan Dershowitz is a Harvard University emeritus professor of law, world-renowned celebrity attorney, and, according to his website, “Israel’s single most visible defender – the Jewish state’s lead attorney in the court of public opinion.”  His most recent book is Terror Tunnels, The Case for Israel’s Just War Against Hamas.

It is important to note that the debate was extremely time limited and that Hillary, at times, had to make her points over Mr. Dershowitz’ screaming interruptions.  Nevertheless, the debate aired over two days in America’s premier news network, in one of their most viewed and listened to time slots.

Here is an edited transcript of their debate:

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: Secretary of State John Kerry says it is too soon to judge a deal that would restrict Iran’s nuclear activities for at least ten years. But it’s not too soon for him to say the bottom line is that Iran won’t get nukes, I guess, for ten years and that raises the issue of whether or not this is a good move at all.

There are two very different sides to this we have both represented. Hillary Mann Leverett, CEO of STRATEGA, Middle East analyst, and co-author of Going to Tehran: Why America Must Accept the Islamic Republic of Iran and Professor Alan Dershowitz, emeritus professor of Law at Harvard Law School and author of Terror Tunnels, The Case for Israel’s Just War Against Hamas.

We will start with the proposition that if the U.S. wants to make a deal, it should be a good thing. You represent that, Hillary, why as a citizen should I be happy about this deal?

HILLARY MANN LEVERETT, Going to Tehran:

First, the Islamic Republic of Iran is not going away—it is a critically important rising power, a huge hydrocarbon power, with a sophisticated, educated population—in some of the same ways the People’s Republic of China was a rising power in the early 1970s and just as then President Nixon came to understand that the United States, for its own interests, had to accept this rising power in Asia, the United States now needs to accept this pivotal and rising power in the Middle East.

It is imperative for the United States to do so now because, after a decade of counter-productive military adventures in the Middle East, our strategic position there is in free fall and we need a more constructive relationship with Iran to enable us to stop this strategically self-damaging pursuit of dominance in the region and instead pursue a balance of power approach that recognizes all of the important powers in the region and has constructive relationships with each of them.

CUOMO: So what is the counter, the basic theory there is that Iran is now like China was, do you agree, Professor?

ALAN DERSHOWITZ, Harvard Law School: Absolutely not, China is a rational calculating, secular government. Iran is a suicide nation. It’s sent thousands of its own children to die in the war against Iraq, with little tokens promising them paradise.

Rafsanjani, one of the former leaders, said if Iran gets nuclear weapons and bombs Israel, it will kill 3 million to 5 million Jews. Israel will retaliate to kill 10 million to 20 million Muslims, and the tradeoff would be worth it because it would destroy Israel and it would leave Islam untouched.

So the idea of comparing rational China to Iran, the greatest exporter of terrorism in the world is absurd. Iran is determined to get a nuclear weapon. There is no good resolution to this. We are talking about worse, worser and worsest.

This is a bad deal because it has a sunset provision. It allows Iran after ten years to develop nuclear weapons. Now if you believe The New York Times, in its editorial this morning, The New York Times says after the deal runs its course, Iran would be able to pursue nuclear enrichment for energy and medical purposes without constraints.

If you believe that, that Iran wants to simply pursue medical and energy purposes, you should favor this deal. But if you think Iran is going to cheat, if you think it already has cheated, for example the Iran resistance movement yesterday revealed there’s a secret hide-out facility called Laza Van 3.

They’re going to cheat their way into a nuclear bomb. It will be a game changer as President Obama acknowledged when he earlier said he would never allow Iran to develop nuclear weapons. He’s now that policy.

CUOMO: OK, so let’s leave the politics of flip-flopping aside and address the main point, which is you are giving the most dangerous weapon to someone who has proven again and again they want to do dangerous things, Hillary, how does that make sense?

LEVERETT: Iran is not pursuing nuclear weapons, the entire U.S. national security and intelligence establishment and the entire Israeli national security and intelligence establishment say Iran is not pursuing nuclear weapons and has not even taken a decision to do so—which is one reason why diplomacy is the most effective course here.

But Prime Minister Netanyahu, as Professor Dershowitz just repeated, has been telling us this canard—that Iran has or is pursuing nuclear weapons—for years.  Two years ago, Prime Minister Netanyahu stood in front of the American public at AIPAC and gave Professor Dershowitz’s fact-free argument verbatim, that if you believe the Iranians are pursuing nuclear energy or medicine, I have a bridge to sell you–

CUOMO: Do you think Israel is lying about the Iranian threat?

LEVERETT: That is basically what the United States government is now saying. The White House spokesman came out and specifically said we are no longer sharing information about the negotiations with the Israelis because they are distorting it and putting out not accurate information.

Prime Minister Netenyahu and his friends here are destroying the U.S./Israel relationship for a canard, for something that is not true.

CUOMO: Look, the idea that Israel feels threatened by Iran is not a canard. The basis on which they feel threatened is what you’re speaking to, Professor, your point on that?

LEVERETT: Well —

CUOMO: Hold on, Hillary.

DERSHOWITZ: If you really think that Iran has no interest in developing nuclear weapons then you should, you don’t even need a deal. Just let them pursue their biological and medical facility. Everybody in the world, with any common sense, knows that Iran wants to develop nuclear weapons.

Whether they have made the ultimate theological decision or not, is how many angels on the head of a pin. If out there you think Iran is not interested in developing nuclear weapons at all, then you should be on the side of my —

CUOMO: Susan Rice —

DERSHOWITZ: If you believe that Iran is trying to develop nuclear weapons, they have to be stopped. President Obama said that. John Kerry has said that. Everybody has said that—that Iran is trying to develop nuclear weapons—except my distinguished opponent.

CUOMO: The thinking goes back and forth. The intel is soft about it, which makes it more confusing, let’s get where Susan Rice, the national security defense adviser, is on this. On this and as it relates to the Israeli prime minister. Let’s take a listen.

(Video Clip of) SUSAN RICE, National Security Advisor: What has happened over the last several weeks by virtue of the invitation that was issued, by the Speaker and the acceptance of it by Prime Minister Netenyahu two weeks in advance of his election is that on both sides, there has now been injected a degree of partisanship, which is not only unfortunate, I think it’s, it’s destructive of the fabric of the relationship.

CUOMO: All right, so that is obviously a segue way into how this is going to affect U.S./Israeli relations, which could not be more important and vital to everything that’s going on in the region and, obviously, to domestic interests as well. Final point, we have one minute. Hillary, one point on that?

LEVERETT: Prime Minister Netanyahu and his supporters are peddling a false case that could get us into yet another strategically damaging war—just as they did with Iraq and other places in the Middle East. What the Obama administration is now doing, in an unprecedented way, is calling a spade a spade by saying Netanyahu and his supporters here in the United States are putting out a false story, which will lead the U.S. to yet another war.

CUOMO: That’s your point. What’s your final point, Professor?

DERSHOWITZ: Well, that’s what Neville Chamberlin argued, that it was a false narrative that Hitler really meant what he said. I have to take very seriously what Iran has said, what they’ve threatened to destroy Israel. They’ve threatened to destroy the United States. We’ve discovered secret facilities for nuclear weapons.

You must believe that Iran is trying to develop nuclear weapons, and if they are trying to develop nuclear weapons, there can’t be a sunset provision. They have to be permanently stopped from doing so. This is a bad deal.

CUOMO: Hillary Mann Leverett, Professor Alan Dershowitz, thank you very much, two very intelligent people who understand the situation laying it out for you. Now you decide. Let us know.

Part II:

Well, President Obama and dozens of fellow Democrats do not like it, but Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is coming to Washington for a speech to Congress [tomorrow]. How will this affect U.S./Israeli relations? We’ll have a debate on that next.

(Video clip of) SUSAN RICE, National Security Advisor: There has now been injected a degree of partisanship, which is not only unfortunate; I think it’s destructive of the fabric of the relationship.

ALISYN CAMEROTA CNN ANCHOR: Well, that was National Security Adviser Susan Rice earlier this week, calling Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s upcoming speech before Congress, quote, “destructive.” Now the White House plans to send Rice and U.N. Ambassador Samantha Power to a pro-Israel lobbying conference. Will that ease the tensions?

Let’s debate this. Let’s bring in Hillary Mann Leverett. She’s a former National Security Council official under presidents Clinton and Bush. She’s also the co-author of Going to Tehran.  And Alan Dershowitz, emeritus professor of law at Harvard Law School and the author of Terror Tunnels: The Case for Israel’s Just War Against Hamas.

Hillary, let me start with you. Do you agree with Susan Rice’s assessment that Benjamin Netanyahu’s visit will be destructive to the relationship between U.S. and Israel?

HILLARY MANN LEVERETT, AUTHOR, GOING TO TEHRAN: U.S.-Israel relations are certainly at an historic low point. But in fact, it may be a clarifying moment, a very important moment. It may not be quite as destructive as the rhetoric out there portends it to be.

I think it will be important to clarify that Prime Minister Netanyahu holds a position that is essentially fact-free, that U.S. officials have described on background to the Washington Post as “fictional,” that Netanyahu is living in a “fantasyland.”

CAMEROTA: Meaning that you don’t believe that Iran is as close to getting nuclear weapons as he will say they are.

MANN LEVERETT: It’s not just me—it’s almost the entire Israeli national security establishment, 200 Israeli generals came out this week to say that Netanyahu’s claims are not accurate. It’s also the White House spokesman saying Netanyahu’s claims are not accurate. It’s the entire U.S. national security establishment, all 16 of our intelligence agencies saying Iran is not pursuing nuclear weapons…

CAMEROTA: Right.

MANN LEVERETT: … saying that Netanyahu is not accurate. What is critically important here is that the administration is saying that the Israelis and Netanyahu, in particular—and Kerry said this to Congress—cannot come here yet again, as Netanyahu did in 2002 on the eve of the Iraq war, to give us a false story that will help lead us into war. They’re saying we’re not going to do that again.

CAMEROTA: OK. Alan, do you agree with that assessment?

ALAN DERSHOWITZ, AUTHOR,TERROR TUNNELS: Absolutely not. This is, at bottom, not about the Israeli-American relation. It’s a great constitutional and foreign policy debate about whether we trust Iran, whether we are prepared to allow them to become a nuclear weapon power. This is the most extensive exporter of terrorism in the world today.

And it’s not between Israel and the United States. It’s between the Obama administration and Congress, Senator Menendez and other leading Democrats. The Washington Post editorialized against this deal. Today David Brooks has a brilliant article in the New York Times calling it a bad deal, saying it’s a bad bet, because it accepts my distinguished opponent’s view that Iran is not really trying to develop nuclear weapons, that it can be brought into the fold of the western world. It’s a very bad bet.

It’s the bet that Chamberlain made in 1938 when he said that he could deal with Hitler. All Hitler wanted was Sudetenland and if we give them that, there will be peace in our time.

CAMEROTA: But Alan, do you…

DERSHOWITZ: This is a great debate that shouldn’t be reduced to a personality dispute between Netanyahu and Obama.

CAMEROTA: Sure. But do you agree that it is possible that Prime Minister Netanyahu has overhyped some of his claims about what Iran is capable of?

DERSHOWITZ: Absolutely not. Iran is capable of and wants to develop nuclear weapons. Everybody knows that. There is a dispute among intelligence communities. All intelligence communities have disputes about how close they are.

If you’re Israel, and you’ve been told that Iran’s goal is to destroy the nation state of the Jewish people, you want to always err on the side of caution. And the worst you can say about the Israeli government is that it is erring on the side of caution. It cannot take a risk to its own survival—a risk that the United States seems to be prepared to take.

It’s a bad deal, particularly the sunset provision, which allows Iran to become a nuclear weapon power within ten years, which really means six years, which means the end of nuclear proliferation. Saudis will try to get nuclear weapons. This is bad deal. And…

CAMEROTA: OK. Hold on, Alan.

DERSHOWITZ: Everybody should be listening to Prime Minister Netanyahu and not walking out on his speech. That’s a terrible mistake.

CAMEROTA: OK, Hillary, Professor Dershowitz has just laid out the case for, you know, they want nuclear weapons at some point. So why not fight against that?

MANN LEVERETT: First of all because it’s a completely fact-free case. There is no dispute among the intelligence communities. The entire U.S. intelligence community and the entire Israeli intelligence community, all of them say, all of them hold that Iran has not even taken a decision to pursue nuclear weapons.

Now the problem with Professor Dershowitz’ case, which is critical…

DERSHOWITZ: That’s nonsense. That’s just false.

MANN LEVERETT: The critical problem with his case that is absolutely critical, is that he wants us to take his word for it. He wants us to take Prime Minister Netanyahu’s word for it, rather than neutral monitors and inspectors on the ground.

This is the perilous course people like this helped put us on with the invasion of Iraq. Instead of taking inspectors and monitors credible information…

DERSHOWITZ: Israel was against — Israel was against the invasion of Iraq.

CAMEROTA: OK, so…

MANN LEVERETT: What this means is that instead of having objective information that we can all evaluate, we have to take the word of one Israeli prime minister, over the facts and case of even his own intelligence community. This is very dangerous, and that’s why the Obama administration…

DERSHOWITZ: That’s just not true.

MANN LEVERETT: … is risking such a rift with Israel, with its erstwhile ally. That’s why they’re taking this big domestic political risk.

CAMEROTA: OK, hold on, Hillary.

DERSHOWITZ: That’s just not true.

CAMEROTA: Alan, is there a rift between Prime Minister Netanyahu and his intelligence community?

DERSHOWITZ: No. One of the people running against him who is campaigning against him is the former head of the Mossad, who has always been at odds with him. But everybody in the Israeli establishment, particularly those in the know, believe that Iran is trying to develop nuclear weapons. And that they will get nuclear weapons under this deal.

Don’t try to pose this as the Israeli intelligence against Netanyahu. The vast majority of Israeli intelligence is against this deal. They’re against Iran developing nuclear weapons. Almost everybody except my distinguished opponent here believes that Iran has already decided to develop nuclear weapons.

And here’s my offer to you out there. If you believe her and believe that Iran has peaceful intentions and wants to develop nuclear energy for energy and medical purposes, then accept the deal. But if you believe as I do and almost everybody in the intelligence community that Iran is determined to get nuclear weapons, then reject this deal…

CAMEROTA: OK.

DERSHOWITZ: … which has a sunset provision and will allow the greatest exporter of terrorism to become a nuclear weapon exporter of terrorism…

CAMEROTA: Alan…

DERSHOWITZ: … with ICBMs that can reach the shores of the United States.

CAMEROTA: Alan, Hillary, thank you for the debate. Obviously, we will be watching what happens in Congress with Benjamin Netanyahu next week. Thanks so much for being on CNN’s NEW DAY.

Flynt Leverett and Hillary Mann Leverett

 

33 Responses to “CNN Debate: Hillary Mann Leverett and Alan Dershowitz on an Iran Deal”

  1. Rehmat says:

    Debating on Israel with Alan Dershowitz is like talking to the 9-ft thick Wailing Wall. Dr. Finkelstein learned that years ago.

    I have always found Dershowitz’s “claims” hilarious. For example, in his column at the Wall Street Journal (March 29, 2011), entitled ‘Norway to Jews: You’re Not Welcome Here’ – that it’s the State of Israel the Norwegian hate the most. Why? Because, the Dean of the Law Faculty at Bergen University told Dershowitz that he would be honoured to have him present a lecture on the O.J. Simpson case – as long as he was willing to promise not to mention Israel. An administrator at the Trondheim school told Dershowitz that Israel was too ‘controversial’ to talk at Campus.

    http://rehmat1.com/2011/04/06/dershowitz-jews-are-not-welcomed-in-norway/

  2. Rehmat says:

    In order to expose West’s double standards over ‘freedom of speech’, Iran’s House of Cartoon and the Sarcheshmeh Cultural Complex have announced to hold a second ‘Holocaust Cartoon’ contest in protest against French anti-Muslim weekly Charlie Hebdo’s recent publication of the cartoons insulting Prophet Muhammad (pbuh).

    Ron Prosor, Israeli ambassador at the United Nations wrote a letter over the weekend to Ban Ki-moon, Washington’s agent at the UN, urging him and global delegates to publically condemn Iran’s anti-Jew cartoon contest.

    “This contest legitimizes Holocaust denial and encourages Holocaust deniers to continue their incitement. It ridicule one of the darkest event in human history and it cheapens the death of millions of Jews,” claimed Prosor.

    http://rehmat1.com/2015/02/28/iran-to-host-international-holocaust-cartoon-contest/

  3. A-B says:

    Now, this would’ve been the perfect occasion to show this neurotic-psychotic zio-swine [Dershowitz] that aw-shaddap card I was talking about! Who the hell is ‘Chamberlin’?? We have mass-murdering criminals like several American Presidents and Western PM’s, including those of the sh*t that is ‘Israel’, talking and walking around and this repugnant creep, and an alleged pedophile at that, is acting paranoid over fairy tales.

    K1-N

  4. yk says:

    From the interview it’s obvious that any madman can have is point accepted and have free access to airtime so long he’s ready to wail on behalf of the zionist state of Israel. This is simply a form of madness that is incurable, the man is beyond redemption and this clearly demonstrate the power of the zionists in US.

    Even the president of America is almost standing alone in his own country when the issue is Israel. Honestly I seriously doubt that we can have a comprehensive deal if it has to be ratified by the Congress at the end.

  5. Karl.. says:

    Republicans, along with some democrats should move to Israel, obviously they value Israel above their own country.
    Netanyahu could say whetever he wants since he basically owns POTUS, and POTUS makes this possible since he doesnt dare smacking this warmonger down.

  6. Rehmat says:

    On Saturday, Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, executive director Simon Wiesenthal Center, put an ad in Jew York Times ridiculing Obama’s senior security advisor and former US ambassador to United Nations, Dr. Susan Rice, a Zionist crusader. The ad calls Rice being blind to (Israeli Jews at the hands of a nuclear Iran) genocide – comparing it with Rwanda “genocide”. See the ad below.

    The ad was in response Susan Rice’s criticism of Benjamin Netanyahu for standing in the way of Obama administration’s plan to sign a final deal with Iran by parroting lies about Iran’s nuclear ambitions.

    Incidentally, in September 2014, both Elie Wiesel and Rabbi Shmuley Boteach honored Rwanda president Paul Kagame, who was responsible for the Rwanda genocide. Paul Kagame happens to be a close African ally of the Zionist regime.

    In June 2009, with the beginning of Obama’s first term, Jewish Saban Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution, one of America’s most influential advocacy group, published a strategy study, entitled Which Way to Persia, outlining the ways to bring a pro-Israel regime change in Tehran. One of study’s chapter is entitled, Leave it to (Netanyahu) Bibi: Allowing or Encouraging an Israeli Military Strike.

    Netanyahu wants nothing less than a pro-western regime in Tehran. However, his problem is he wants Americans to do his dirty work. America, on the other hand, sees attack on Iran, another proxy war for Israel, a disastrous military adventure after facing humiliation in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Somalia.

    http://rehmat1.com/2015/03/02/jewish-lobby-tightens-knot-over-us-iran-nuclear-deal/

  7. fyi says:

    Rehmat says:

    March 2, 2015 at 2:57 pm

    Stop publishing lies, Mr. Kagame emphatically was not responsible for the Rwandan genocide; perpetrated by Hutus.

    If you want to indict anyone, start with the late Mr. Mitterrand.

    As for Mr. Netanyahu, he wants US to destroy Iran.

  8. Kathleen says:

    Hillary…Netanyahu/Dershowitz present a “fact free case” So great that CNN had Hillary on to debate Dershowitz. Cannot find a video clip. Wonder why?

    Too bad MSNBC Chris Matthews does not have the guts to have an expert on like Hillary or Flynt. Tonight he had a panel of Kathleen Parker, Eugene Robinson and Connie Schults on to discuss the Netanyahu speech and negotiations with Iran All three guest including the host Chris could not roll over fast enough and kiss Israel on ass as many times as they could in 10 minutes. It was a pathetic display of obedience.

    Why is it that we constantly hear this issue should not be “bipartisan” Why not?

  9. Karl.. says:

    Yep, this is what they have been talking about..

    Obama demand 10/yr nuclear stop for Iran
    http://www.i24news.tv/en/news/international/63023-150303-iran-rejects-us-demand-for-10-year-freeze-on-nuclear-program

    Seriously, is this what US offer Iran after all these talks?

  10. M. Ali says:

    I don’t even know what the fuck is happening in the negotiations. In public, USA is saying that they will NOT remove the sanctions in the short term & Iran, in public, is saying that no deal with the sanctions not being removed immediately removed is acceptable, so what small details are they negotiating about? This is such a huge gap, that its pissing me off, because it seems both sides are just bullshitting the public.

  11. POTUS says:

    All these facts and points and issues aside – the is no moving someone like Dershowitz through reason or logic. Its not even worth debating. Even Bibi is a by-line to all that is happening. The only real issue of any importance is the fact that a foreign leader is coming to the USA and speaking to congress about the foreign policy direction of the sitting president of the US. The fact that its possible is absurd, the fact that it was initiated by the republicans is obscene, the fact the the president is powerless to stop it is telling. The USA is leaderless – when congress is setting foreign policy and inviting world leaders to joint sessions without consulting the president – thats a democracy starting to fall apart.

  12. fyi says:

    POTUS says:

    March 3, 2015 at 11:10 am

    Correct on all accounts.

    But did you also notice what he said: “Israel can stand alone.”

    Then one naturally could ask:

    “Then why are you in US, Mr. Netanyahu?”

    “Why don’t you attack Iran, Mr. Netanyahu?”

  13. M.Ali says:

    There was something absurd about the politicians standing up and applauding every fucking sentence of the Israeli prime minister. It was such a farce.

    If I was an American, not only would I feel ashamed but I’d feel angered.

  14. Castellio says:

    M. Ali – absurd, yes, as a value judgment, but more importantly – telling.

    This is the functional reality of the US today: two heads of government: The Israeli PM and the President.

  15. masoud says:

    One would have hoped that the speech Netenyahu made today and congress, and the multitude of rapturous clowns applauding his every will open the eyes of the idiots who think a deal is actually achievable. But we all know it won’t.

    I’m sure Hillary did as well as she could against the known fraudster and probable pedophile she was debating on CNN. Truth is I can’t say anything intelligent about it because I am still holding up hope that someone will post a video, so I put off reading the transcript for the moment.

    Let’s hope they have her for a bit of post speech analysis. It is unmistakeable that the media has sensed that a part of elite opinion is moving towards at least negotiating honestly with Iran, and is trying to give some airtime to the champions of this approach. Personally, I don’t think the North Korean media could outdo American Journalism in the extent of it’s slavish servility to power. But in any case, this quite a significant milestone. Well done Hillary. Well done Flynt. It’s been a long slog, but you guys have almost singlehandedly pushed the domestic US conversation quite a long ways towards something approaching sanity, though were quite not there yet. It really is a remarkable accomplishment.

  16. Kooshy says:

    masoud says:
    March 3, 2015 at 4:04 pm
    I second that, very well said, it’s been almost a ten year long road to where we are now, where in this country, after all this years, and so many panels and debates, one can even discuss a possible negotiated approach to the reality of Iran instead of a military all options one.

  17. paul says:

    What I find fascinating is that Obama is now posing as the voice of reason after six years of working hard to demonize Iran and rejecting at least one very reasonable deal that was worked out between Iran, Turkey and Brazil and just needed him to sign on, a deal that he had claimed to want just six months earlier. And what is this immensely reasonable deal that Obama is supposedly defending? Basically it is that Iran shut down its nuclear program indefinitely. They can include all the sunset stipulations they want. They mean nothing. All the US has to do is say, in ten years, we still don’t trust you. And that’s IF they agree to remove the sanctions, which they most likely won’t do. All this is really just a show of force. It’s the US demonstrating to the world that it can make up a bunch of lies about any country and then make those lies stick in order to get that country to kneel to US authority. The bottom line here is that the US is claiming authority over Iran’s domestic energy policies, and Iran seems to be on the verge of ceding exactly that. So Obama’s negotiations are just a game of good cop vs bad cop. Either way, Iran is to be beaten into submission.

  18. paul says:

    As an observer of world events over the past decade or so, one does – I think – have to see a bit of delicious irony in the fact that Russia, which has helped the US subject Iran to sanctions based on a pack of lies, is now suffering from its own back-breaking slate of US-pushed sanctions based on a pack of lies. If there is any justice to be found in world events, it may be that kind of karmic justice. But if karma really does play a role in world events, as Russia seems to have discovered, we in the US should tremble … if what goes around does come around, dear God …

  19. fyi says:

    paul says:

    March 3, 2015 at 7:13 pm

    Nah, the parameters of an armistice is being negotiated – if at all.

    The Iranian offer is the division of the Near East into spheres of influence.

    US is not yet ready for that and I suppose plans on coming back after 10 years and resume harassing Iran – all the while hoping to have settled other issues globally.

  20. M. Ali says:

    If this deal falls apart (which I hope it does, given how one-sided it is), then Iran has fallen right in the trap that USA has prepared for it. To the west, the narrative has been that Obama has given a deal so good, that Israel, Saudi, and the congress ALL were against it, but Iran STILL DID NOT AGREE TO IT. There can be no more doubt then, Iran does not want any deal.

    Shame on Rohani & Pals for acting so amateurish.

  21. kooshy says:

    Paul

    That’s not what the talks are about, since Jennie is been out for the while now, the talks is not about to put it back in the box see what DNI said bellow. We are where we are and there is no going back, IMO these talks are about how we can respect each other’s foot without stepping on it, that’s why these talks are taking so long and so many details to come to an agreement, it truly will determine the future of ME.

    “CBS News/March 3, 2015, 3:16 PM

    James Clapper on Iran’s capacity to produce nuclear weapons

    “President Obama’s Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said Iran has the capability to make a nuclear weapon “right now,” but at this point, the country’s leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has “not made a decision to obtain a nuclear weapon.”

    “It’s a political decision for them. Not that they don’t have the technical wherewithal, the technical competence, because they do,” Clapper said Monday on PBS’ “Charlie Rose.”

    According the CBS News correspondent Margaret Brennan, the deal emerging from talks in Switzerland, between Secretary of State John Kerry, among other allies, and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif would eliminate Iran’s ability to produce enough uranium and plutonium to build a weapon for at least a decade. In exchange, sanctions on Iran would be gradually lifted.
    Obama: Iran should freeze nuclear activity for 10 years

    Unlike Israel, whose Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke to Congress Tuesday lobbying against the negotiations with Iran, the U.S. is prepared to strike a deal that would fall short of forcing Iran to completely dismantle its existing nuclear program.

    “They will maintain the expertise and the capability in all the realms it takes to produce nuclear weapons and deliver them,” Clapper said”

    http://www.cbsnews.com/news/director-of-national-intelligence-james-clapper-on-iran-nuclear-capability-negotiations/

  22. M. Ali says:

    s an Iranian, one of the worst parts of Netenyahu’s speech, and well, others such speeches from Israelis is that they desperately want to turn the issue into a Muslim/Judaism one, even though Iran desperately tries to separate the issue of Israel & Judaism.

    By having Zionists constantly equate the two, THEY are the one who are doing a great disservice to the Jews. They constantly seem to be telling the world, that if you are against Israel, than you hate Jews, ergo, if a person listens to this enough, he thinks, “hmm…I do hate Israel, so I guess I hate Jews too.”

    This is extremely dangerous, in the long term, for Jews. If they keep doing that, than more & more people can’t separate Israel & Jews in their mind, and anyone who hates the former, will hate the latter. Then in in 50 years, Jews will say (just like now), why does everyone hate ussssss??

    Maybe, dear Jews around the world, there is a insane Prime Minister of Israel, giving a speech about Iran, and using a sentence like, “We’ll read of a powerful Persian viceroy named Haman, who plotted to destroy the Jewish people some 2,500 years ago. “. What is this telling Iranians? Hey, Iranians, you guys ALWAYS hated Jews, even before Islam! You still hate us!

    This is so wrong, that it actually makes me feel heartbroken. Cyrus the Great helped free the Jews, so why not bring that up? Why instead talk about Queen Esther, who was MARRIED to A PERSIAN KING! But that wasn’t mentioned in the speech.

    This is the story in short. A Persian minister, Haman, was offended by some Jew, Mordecai, and he wanted to get his revenge by killing all the Jews in that area. The Queen went to the King & defended her people. The King agreed with his wife and hanged Haman instead. He then made Mordecai (the Jew) into his Prime Minister. He also made a edict that Jews could take up arms and defend themselves or something, which resulted in a massacre of 75,000 non-Jews, which is what’s celebrated to this very day.

  23. Dan Cooper says:

    “In Israel, a country stolen from the Palestinians, fanatics control the government. One of the fanatics is the prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu. Last week Netanyahu called for “crippling sanctions” against Iran.

    The kind of blockade that Netanyahu wants qualifies as an act of war. Israel has long threatened to attack Iran on its own but prefers to draw in the US and NATO.

    Why does Israel want to initiate a war between the United States and Iran?

    Is Iran attacking other countries, bombing civilians and destroying civilian infrastructure?

    NO. THESE ARE CRIMES COMMITTED BY ISRAEL AND THE US.

    Is Iran evicting peoples from lands they have occupied for centuries and herding them into ghettoes?

    No, that’s what Israel has been doing to the Palestinians for 60 years.

    WHAT IS IRAN DOING?

    Iran is developing nuclear energy, which is its right as a signatory to the Non-Proliferation Treaty. Iran’s nuclear energy program is subject to inspections by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), which consistently reports that its inspections find no diversion of enriched uranium to a weapons program.

    The position taken by Israel, and by Israel’s puppet in Washington, is that Iran must not be allowed to have the rights as a signatory to the Non-Proliferation Treaty that every other signatory has, because Iran might divert enriched uranium to a weapons program.

    In other words, Israel and the US claim the right to abrogate Iran’s right to develop nuclear energy. The Israeli/US position has no basis in international law or in anything other than the arrogance of Israel and the United States.

    THE HYPOCRISY IS EXTREME.

    Israel is not a signatory to the Non-Proliferation Treaty and developed its nuclear weapons illegally on the sly, with, as far as we know, US help.

    As Israel is an illegal possessor of nuclear weapons and has a fanatical government that is capable of using them, crippling sanctions should be applied to Israel to force it to disarm.

    PALESTINE: PEACE NOT APARTHEID

    Israel qualifies for crippling sanctions for another reason. It is an apartheid state, as former US President Jimmy Carter demonstrated in his book, Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid.

    The US led the imposition of sanctions against South Africa because of South Africa’s apartheid practices. The sanctions forced the white government to hand over political power to the black population. Israel practices a worse form of apartheid than did the white South African government. Yet, Israel maintains that it is “anti-semitic” to criticize Israel for a practice that the world regards as abhorrent.

    What remains of the Palestinian West Bank that has not been stolen by Israel consists of isolated ghettoes. Palestinians are cut off from hospitals, schools, their farms, and from one another. They cannot travel from one ghetto to another without Israeli permission enforced at checkpoints.

    The Israeli government’s explanation for its gross violation of human rights comprises the greatest collection of lies in world history. No one, with the exception of American “christian zionists,” believes one word of it”

    Interesting article:
    http://www.rense.com/general87/usisrael.htm

  24. fyi says:

    Dan Cooper says:

    March 4, 2015 at 8:14 am

    Mr. Obama spent the first 6 years of his presidency in trying to crush Iran. In that effort he was supported to the hilt by EU.

    When the expected evisceration of Iran’s social fabric did not take place and Iranians, having absorbed the blows of US and EU, went about their business, and only after that, US and EU became interested in diplomacy.

    Americans still think that they can enshrine JPOA of 2013 as the final settlement parameters of the Iran Nuclear file.

    In that, they will be disappointed.

    I think the way things are going, these negotiations will fail on the subject of sanctions removal.

    I expect sometime later this year, after the failure of negotiations, Mr. Netanyahu trying to initiate a war with Iran to get US to destroy Iran.

    I think the current negotiations are the only chance that Axis Powers, Russia, China and India have in coming to terms with a resurgent Shia/Irani power within NPT.

    I think once the negotiations fail, Iran will likely exit NPT.

    There are too many threats against Iran and there is no indication that such threats are diminishing; notice that US and EU are still in support of regime change in Syria, and there also noises being made – discreetly – to remind Iran of the potential of Pakistan being used against her.

    That the Mad King and the Persian Gulf Arabs, in the face of ISIS, still are unwilling to settle with Iran is an indication of the seriousness with which they consider the Iranian strategic autonomy.

  25. kooshy says:

    IMO all along Iranian nuclear program was about to prove to the world that they (Iran) have the capability and technical knowhow to become a nuclear armed state if necessary. They have done that now, again I think the decision came after Iran’s repeated tries for reengagement with west was blocked and denied by the US/West. At some point (may be after 2003 Swiss letter) Iranian decision makers decided that the only way that the US will be willing to accept a settlement with Iranian independence will be a need for a proof of Iran’s strength. Again I think without having the nuclear capability within the rights of NPT US/West wouldn’t have come to negotiation table accepting the Iranian revolution. That is what is going on now.

  26. Karl.. says:

    US keep supporting syrian rebels.
    http://www.moonofalabama.org/2015/03/rebranding-alqaeda-into-moderate-rebels.html#comments

    Remember Syria got rid of its WMD, so predictable outcome.

  27. Rehmat says:

    @ Karl…..

    Removal of president Bashar al-Assad has always an Israel’s proxy war conducted by the US and its absurd allies.

    Until 2011, Bashar al-Assad, in spite of his moral support for Hamas and Hizbullah against the Zionist entity, was considered an ally by the US, Britain and France against the rise of the so-called Political Islam in the Muslim World. The West saw Syria as a bridge between the Arab Middle East and Europe and the US. Tony Blair government considered offering him an honorary knighthood. The Queen received al-Bashar and his British-born wife Asma in London.

    The Zionist-controlled Western governments have several reasons (Bashar’s unshaking alliance with Iran and Lebanese Hizbullah, criticism of Israel, close friendship with Russia, China and Latin American countries, thrashing US dollar, etc.) to make another Qaddafi out of him. However, the most important factor behind the western bloodshed in Syria is preparation the groundwork for war with Iran in the future.

    In 2013, former Israeli ambassador in Washington, Michael Oren, a close friend of Benjamin Netanyahu was quoted by Reuters : “We always wanted Bashar Assad to go, we always preferred the bad guys who were not backed by Iran to the bad guys who were backed by Iran.”

    http://rehmat1.com/2015/02/16/syrian-bashar-al-assad-talks-to-zionist-media/

  28. Rehmat says:

    @fyi…..

    Tell us, why you and other Israeli Jews want America to destroy Iran, while you people have 240-400 Jewish bombs under belt? Doesn’t that prove that the so-called world’s fourth most strong army, is nothing but a bunch of cowards who could not defeat 1500 Hizbullah fighters in Summer 2006.

    Israeli daily Ha’aretz reported on August 3, 2012 that Israeli prime minister speaking at a close meeting slammed his military Generals of being affraid to face an inquiry commission as result of Israeli attack on Iran. Netanyahu was referring to the Winograd Commission established by the Zionist regime to investigate how Lebanese Islamic resistance Hizbullah defeated Jewish Army in Summer 2006. The Winograd Commission in its report released on April 30, 2007 – harshly criticized the Zionist regime and Jewish military leadership – while praised Hizbullah leader Sheikh Nasrallah.

    http://rehmat1.com/2012/08/06/netanyahu-israeli-generals-are-pussies/

  29. fyi says:

    Rehmat says:

    March 4, 2015 at 1:48 pm

    How is it that almost all Muslims on this site cannot refrain and control their tongues?

    Why is it that only Muslims – on this site – are always impolite and uncouth?

    Those who are Iranians, have they forgotten the spiritual exercises of Prophet Zoroaster: “Master the Tongue”, “Master the Deed”, “Master the Thought”?

    I will add your name to the list of those who have insulted me on this site whom I will no longer address until personally and publicly apologizing to me.

  30. Rd. says:

    fyi says:

    “I think once the negotiations fail, Iran will likely exit NPT.”

    That may be one approach, but perhaps, one would hope, that Iran ‘could’ promote thru NAM and other countries a new approach to IAEA. For a truly an independent IAEA, all member countries to pay an equal share, an specific % of each member states GDP (to pay according to ea member ability) to support IAEA as well as providing the expert personnel where they all have the right to inspect other member states. Now granted IAEA is man handled by US and west and lesser extent by the nuclear haves.. perhaps a long term project to bring about a divide between the haves and have nots as well as the west and the rest. AT a very minimum, one would hope that Russia and China should want to have a better management of npt and its ultimate goal to eliminate wmds.

  31. Nico says:

    fyi says:
    March 4, 2015 at 2:01 pm

    There is nothing to discuss with your kind.
    There is irreconcilable difference.

    Your disgusting ideology and intellectual position under your soft (but arogant) language is nothing to be proud of.

    The ideological violence of your words is thousand folds more disturbing, disgusting and shocking than wahetever strong words that could be used by others.

  32. fyi says:

    Rd. says:

    March 4, 2015 at 3:02 pm

    I think that would be a long shot.

    I specially do not think NAM can do much or be influential not when its 3 most powerful members – China, India, and Brazil – are loath to undertake any actions that could put them on a collision course with US.

    You saw what happened to Brazil and Turkey, in any case, when they tried to mediate between Axis Powers and Iran.

  33. Kooshy says:

    fyi says:
    March 4, 2015 at 2:01 pm
    Well, at the rate your holly zio is doing on this site, soon the only one you will be addressing will be the ever raciest, denier of the empire’s sunset, the one and only Gav James the viceroy of her majesty’s (what ever left of) empire to this site.

    Never less, how you are doing here on this site is very much in line with what your prime minster NutnYaboo is doing ,pissing everyone off with his Zionist ideas.

    Honestly In my opinion (for your future) it will be very tough uphill struggle to secure Israel in that neighborhood with the way US and EU are struggling keeping their positions.

    When did before Israel did find the need to come to US by pass the Pres. And beg the congress for security/ protection, and why now.