Going to Tehran’s Person of the Year for 2013

This is the season when a number of internationally prominent media outlets select a “Person of the Year.”

TIME did better than usual this year with its selection of Pope Francis, one of the most interesting religious leaders of our day.

The Guardian, Huffington Post, and the Washington Post’s “The Switch” blog all chose Edward Snowden, whose disclosure of documents related to National Security Agency eavesdropping activities has rocked much of the world.

–The Washington Post’s “World View” blog chose Russian President Vladimir Putin.  (With all due respect to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, we think that Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping should have received this year’s Nobel Peace Prize for their governments’ use of international law and international organizations like the United Nations Security Council to constrain an outlaw superpower—the United States.  But that’s another matter.)

While these are all worthy choices, as 2013 draws to a close we want to offer our own selection for “Person of the Year.”  Our pick is…Glenn Greenwald, who had the courage to take on a personally risky battle with the American national security state by reporting on and writing about the Snowden documents, enabling them to have their extraordinary impact.

We have long admired Glenn’s work as a columnist and author.  As we wrote in April 2013 (before the Snowden story broke), when we posted a podcastinterview about our book, Going to Tehran, that Glenn did with us for The Guardian, “We admire Glenn deeply for all he has done and continues to do to bring reality and principle back into America’s ongoing debates about national security and about civil liberties…If our children inherit a republic still even marginally worthy of the name, it will be, in no small part, because enough people were motivated by Glenn to demand that American elites stop eviscerating our country’s international position through a counter-productive quest for imperial dominance, and stop shredding the Constitution in pursuit of an illusory notion of ‘security.’”

But Glenn’s reporting and commentary on the Snowden documents took Glenn’s contributions to a new level.  As we wrote to him directly in June 2013, after the Snowden story broke, “As two former U.S. government officials who once swore to defend the Constitution, we simply want to say thank you—for it is increasingly difficult to discern that Constitution in the way our government operates.”

Internationally and in the United States, the Snowden revelations have prompted a more fundamental debate about the nature of the American state and its role in the world than we’ve seen before.  We do not know how far the consequences of this debate will extend—but there already are some consequences.

–European governments (with, undoubtedly, no small measure of hypocrisy) are beginning to question publicly their long-standing intelligence cooperation with the United States—not because these governments have suddenly decided to have truly independent foreign policies, but because the outrage among European publics over Snowden’s revelations is so great.

–In the United States, we suspect that the Snowden revelations have contributed to President Obama’s plummeting poll numbers.  More significantly, it is doubtful that, absent the Snowden revelations, the American public would have reacted so decisively against Obama’s call for U.S. military strikes in Syria following the use of chemical weapons there in August 2013This episode is important—for it underscored that, after strategically failed military interventions in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya, the United States cannot now credibly threaten the effective use of force for hegemonic purposes in the Middle East.  And that has potentially profound ramifications for American policy toward the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Just a few days ago, a Federal judge appointed by President George W. Bush declared from the bench that the NSA wiretapping programs disclosed by Snowden are probably unconstitutional.  This statement is far from the last legal word on the subject—but it is notable all the same.  See here and here to watch interviews that Glenn Greenwald gave (to BBC Newsnight and Al Jazeera America, respectively) about it.

–Flynt Leverett and Hillary Mann Leverett

 

422 Responses to “Going to Tehran’s Person of the Year for 2013”

  1. Neil M says:

    Good choice, Leveretts!
    Greenwald has certainly attracted more than his fair share of attention from the folks whose lives appear to be devoted to smearing anyone and everyone deemed to be incompatible with America’s dubious ambitions.

  2. M. Ali says:

    Offtopic:

    How fast things change. It seemed everything was going perfectly for Turkey. They were on good terms with the west and were becoming darlings of the Islamic world, and didn’t even have much problems with Syria & Iran.

    In only a few years, they screwed it all up. They couldn’t do a damn thing in Syria except create some extremists. And now with all the corruption charges against the government, Erdogan will soon be forgotten.

    “Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan threatened to expel foreign ambassadors on Saturday, blaming them for a vast corruption and bribery investigation mounting against people close to his government. Riot police, meanwhile, stood guard as hundreds protested against Erdogan’s government.”

    “Pro-government newspaper, Yeni Safak, wrote on Saturday: “Get out of this country,” a headline that was apparently directed at US Ambassador Francis Ricciardone.

    The U.S. Embassy denied accusations as “lies and slander.””

    So,who are your friends now, Mr Zero-Problem Erogan? You didn’t need Syria & Iran as friends, and now you accuse your buddy USA? Does Zero-Problem mean Zero-Friends?

    If you had joined Iran & Syria to help in strengthening the Axis of Resistace, we could slowly have pushed the western influences out of the middle east. With three powerful Middle East countries, and with Iraq, Lebanon, and Afghanistan, in our sphere of influence, that would have just left the Gulf countries, Jordan, and Egypt. With your support, instead of your kindling of the fires, we could all supported Morsi, and saved them from falling back into the arms of the generals, and you could have been the voice of reason for the emotionally retarded Muslim Brotherhoods and their other sunni brethen that are incapable of running anything, and are only able to make a lot of noise so that their bank accounts will be filled with Gulf oil money for a few months, until they are cast aside.

  3. Karl.. says:

    I agree, Glennwald is couragous. However how did he anything to do with US not going to war with Syria?

  4. Khomeini says:

    My person of the year for 2013

    I select “Hassan Nasrallah” for 2013 person of the year. His wise and courageous decision to assist liberate Syria’s Qusair from the hands of terrorists.

  5. nico says:

    Canning is happy about Putin pardoning the oligarch crook.
    He should say that to the oligarch victims.

    “Widow of assassinated mayor says she cannot hear anything about Mikhail Khodorkovsky’s pardon

    19.06.2008

    Vladimir Petukhov, the mayor of the city of Nefteyugansk, was killed ten years ago on Mikhail Khodorkovsky’s birthday. The investigation of the case continued for seven years in spite of the fact that local citizens immediately named the malefactors.

    In May 1998 Petukhov accused Yukos (Russia’s oil giant chaired by now-jailed Mikhail Khodorkovsky) of tax evasion, which resulted in the shortage of funds in the local budget to pay wages to employees of state-run enterprises. The mayor went on a hunger strike demanding chairmen of municipal and district tax offices be dismissed from their positions and a criminal case against Yukos be filed on counts of tax evasion.

    Vladimir Petukhov was shot dead on June 26 on his way to work.”

    ttp://english.pravda.ru/russia/politics/19-06-2008/105538-khodorkovsky-0/

  6. Persian Gulf says:

    M. Ali

    I think the biggest loser of Arab spring is Hamas. Its opportunistic approach to the Syrian crisis effectively sent Palestinian cause to the backburner with no hope of a revival for the foreseeable future. Unless something big happens, the Palestinian issue is gone for the time being.

    Turkey can just have a retreat, probably much like 80s & 90s. It doesn’t lose much.

    MB still has a chance in Egypt, imho. For them the ideological struggle became sharper. Hamas perhaps needs a decade and a big event like Iraq war for a come back. Having the experience of Iraq-Iran warthey should not have made the same strategic mistake in less than 25 years.

  7. M.Ali says:

    PS,

    The ideological groups should realize that Iran is the only country they can depend on. There have been two real partners of Iran, that being Syria & Hezbollah, and neither have ever been sold out, and neither have disappeared. While other groups have come and gone.

  8. Castellio says:

    Nico: I am glad you mention the Petukhov murder. The western-allied “oligarchs” were, and are, the worst kind of criminal class that had absolutely no remorse or limit to coercion and violence.

  9. fyi says:

    M. Ali says:

    December 22, 2013 at 2:04 am

    One thing that Turkey can do, which she has not done, is to cutoff the supply of men and materiale to the anti-government forces in Syria.

    She has not done so yet and until she does the war in Syria will continue.

    Axis Powers, Turkey, Saudi Arabia are still pursuing their war in Syria to wound Iran.

    That has not changed and will not change – they have no other policy choices since they clearly are not ready for strategic settlement with Iran.

    Notice that all these Europeans showing up in Iran have no new proposals; every thing they state and present is contingent on Iranian surrender.

    The upshot of all of this is that the wars in Syria and the economic war against Iran will continue.

  10. fyi says:

    Persian Gulf says:

    December 22, 2013 at 10:56 am

    Turkey cannot retreat; her economy is dependent on bank loans from EU.

    One independent move by Turkey and Axis Powers will wreck her economy in short order – at a minimum, they will plunge her into a severe recession.

    No, Turkey – the nowkar – will continue down this current path until her masters in Axis Powers decide otherwise.

    The late Mr. Khomeini told them and other Muslim leaders like them to come back to Islam; it fell on deaf ears.

  11. Bibijon says:

    Mr. Greenwlad,

    Thank you for raising your voice against xenophobia, sectarian bigotry, and big brother abuse of people’s rights.

    Compared to other journalists, and columnists with a far more secure tenure than you have ever had, your selfless courage stands out.

  12. James Canning says:

    Nico,

    If you are arguing that the virtual war between rival organised criminal gangs in Russia, in the years following collapse of USSR, was deeply unattractive, I of course agree with you. But I think Khodorkovsky’s pardon is a good thing.

  13. James Canning says:

    Nico,

    Curious thing, you seem to think it best to ignore the role played by Bibi Netanyahu in the conpsiracy to set up the illegal US invasion of Iraq. Some might well argue Netanyahu’s crimes put those of Khodorkovsky into the shade.

  14. James Canning says:

    Should one note here the very high prices currently asked for prime waterfront houses in Istanbul? According the the Wall Street Journal, the lowest price is $20 million, and the highest is $115 million.

  15. Castellio says:

    For those who want to access an article which goes into the Cheney-Khodorkovsky alliance, an article from 2006 has much information:

    http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Central_Asia/HJ25Ag01.html

    Below is a quote, but the whole article is worth one’s time. It’s amazing how much can be forgotten so quickly.

    “The Putin-Khodorkovsky showdown signaled a decisive turn by the Putin government toward rebuilding Russia and erecting strategic defenses from the foreign onslaught led by Cheney and friend Prime Minster Tony Blair in Britain. It took place in the context of a brazen US grab for Iraq in 2003 and of a unilateral Bush administration announcement that the US was abrogating its solemn treaty obligations with Russia under their earlier Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, in order to go ahead with development of US missile defenses, an act which could only be viewed in Moscow as a hostile act aimed at her security.”

  16. James Canning says:

    Castellio,

    The Daily elegraph reports that Khodorkovsky will focus on seeking release of political prisoners in Russia. A good programme, surely.

  17. James Canning says:

    Castellio,

    Khodorkovsky favoured introduction of western business and political models in Russia.
    Not such a bad programme to have had?

  18. Bibijon says:

    Castellio says:
    December 22, 2013 at 3:38 pm

    “It’s amazing how much can be forgotten so quickly.”

    My problem is I can’t forget fast enough.

    Karl Rove in 2004:

    “guys like me were “in what we call the reality-based community,” which he defined as people who “believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality.” I nodded and murmured something about enlightenment principles and empiricism. He cut me off. “That’s not the way the world really works anymore,” he continued. ”We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you’re studying that reality — judiciously, as you will — we’ll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that’s how things will sort out. We’re history’s actors . . . and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.

    From http://www.nytimes.com/2004/10/17/magazine/17BUSH.html?_r=0

    Today’s realities, be it “the world needs to de-Americanize”, or Russia’s Putin-led nationalistic resurgence, or public opinion in the Muslim world, or the failures in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Syria, and the consequences of India/Brazil/Germany’s revulsion at limitless spying, etc. were all bequeathed by Karl Rove’s reality-based community which very much included Tony Blair.

  19. fyi says:

    Castellio says:

    December 22, 2013 at 3:38 pm

    Yes.

    During the so-called Unilateral Moment, the Americans and EU leaders went about dismantling all structures that were bequeathed to them with the Peace of Yalta – out of Hubris as well as Ignorance.

    Now that we have – thanks to the Axis Powers – entered the early stages of a new age of barbarism – Warring States Period at the planetary scale – some of the Axis Powers leaders have found religion – so to speak.

    Of course, it is too late. The English Baron has been told repeatedly by the King to shut-up and do not advocate sensible positions; for example.

    This is a long story and will end with the dissolution UN and what is left of the Peace of Yalta.

  20. fyi says:

    James Canning says:

    December 22, 2013 at 4:00 pm

    “What is wrong with that?”, you ask.

    Nothing and Everything.

    Was it the business and legal norm of the West to eviscerate the savings of tens of millions of people in short order – as was done by May-God-Curse-Him the late Igor Gaidar – and throw people on the street selling any and all that they had?

    Was it the Western model to pauperize pensioners?

    Was it the Western model to steal state assets under the guise of privatization?

    Was it the Western norms to hire thugs-with-guns to enforce contracts?

    Was it Western standard to try to gain control of the state – which was finally resisted and crushed?

    Russia is not a Western country – never was and never will be – regardless of what Peter the Great, Katherine the Great, Alexander II, Lenin, Stalin, and Gorbachev tried.

    [It will never be part of Europe – just look at the map of Roman Empire at 400 AD to see for yourself.]

    Throughout all these centuries of Russia’s interaction with West, her people have suffered from autocratic rule and change from the above forced down their throats. The transition from socialist structures to capitalist ones not being exceptions.

    None of the rich people after the collapse of communism has stood for the rule of law and democracy as understood in say, Spain or Italy.

    None.

  21. Richard Steven Hack says:

    No doubt he knows, but I tweeted this post to Glenn. I’ve been following Glenn’s reports, first at Salon, then at the Guardian, for some time. He’s unquestionably the most principled and precise journalist operating these days. He should be a model for all journalists.

    Greg Palast is another top-notch journalist who exposed the fact that the Iraq war WAS about oil. He has a new book out called “Vulture’s Picknic”. Here he is on The Young Turks:

    Greg Palast on Vultures’ Picnic
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=imUoSSQ5-hc

  22. Richard Steven Hack says:

    They’re trying to fast track the new round of sanctions in January…

    U.S. Senate makes move toward vote on new Iran sanctions bill
    http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/12/20/us-iran-nuclear-congress-idUSBRE9BJ1DC20131220

  23. Richard Steven Hack says:

    U.S. blocking Iranian role in Syrian peace talks next month
    http://www.haaretz.com/news/middle-east/1.564633

    That sure sounds like “rapprochement” with Iran to me…not…

  24. Photi says:

    New York: A US appeals court on Thursday revived claims by families of victims of the September 11, 2001, attacks who alleged that Saudi Arabia provided material support to Al Qaida.

    http://gulfnews.com/news/gulf/saudi-arabia/us-court-revives-case-implicating-riyadh-for-911-1.1269198

  25. hans says:

    My person(s) of the year is ?The Syrian Arab Army (SAA), they have saved the ME from absolute catastrophe. God bless the SAA, the IRGC, Hezbollah.

    My prediction is the this current Iranian foreign minister will not last 2014, either he will be imprisoned or humiliated and fired from his job.

  26. Don Bacon says:

    Richard Steven Hack says:
    December 22, 2013 at 8:40 pm

    They’re trying to fast track the new round of sanctions in January…

    “News” that isn’t news.
    The Senate is not “trying to fast track the new round of sanctions.”

  27. James Canning says:

    hans,

    That Iran has a foreign minister viewed as reasonable in the West, makes it easier for a tacit acceptance by the West of retention of power by the Syrian government.

  28. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Rule of law in Russia would not be a good thing? Or, at least an improvement in the rule of law?

  29. James Canning says:

    The Financial Times this past weekend had an interesting report on the birthrate in Iran, living standards, etc, and it noted the birthrate was 1.2 between 2007 and 2011. South Korea has the same low rate. Japan’s is very low too.

  30. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Are you in effect suggesting that Sweden and Poland are not parts of Europe, because they were not part of the Roman Empire in AD 400?

  31. Dan Cooper says:

    A major stumbling block to any US-Iran agreement is from the well-entrenched Zionist strategists and advisers among policy-makers, especially in the Executive Branch, including such Department heads and Secretaries as Treasury Undersecretary (for ‘Terrorism’) David Cohen, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew, US Trade Representative Michael Froman, ‘Special Adviser for the Persian Gulf’ Dennis Ross among others.

    An even greater obstacle to the agreement comes from the Zionist-controlled US Congress, which acts more on behalf of Israel ’s regional ambitions than for US interests.

    Israel ’s megalomaniacal rulers seek military, political and economic supremacy throughout the Middle East (from Sinai to the Gulf) and have so far successfully used the US military to destroy and weaken its adversaries at no cost to Israeli soldiers or economy.

    Israel has taken a direct hand in setting the terms, which the US will demand from Iran . According to the Financial Times (12/8/13, p. 4), “A team of senior Israeli officials led by Yossi Cohen, national security adviser, is due to visit Washington … to begin detailed discussions with the Obama Administration to use its influence in shaping the negotiating agenda.”

    Secretary of State John Kerry has already caved in to Israeli pressure stating, “We will be stepping up on enforcement (of existing sanctions) through the Treasury Department,” (FT 12/18/13, p. 4).

    Israel and its top Zionist agent within the Obama Administration, Dennis Ross, are pushing for a joint Israeli-US “working group” to discuss tightening sanctions on Iran and punishing any government or business which tries to do business with Iran during the “interim agreement”, a position pursued by David Cohen and Treasury Secretary Jack Lew (FT 12/ 13/13).

    Israel is behind the US demand that Iran convert its Arak Facilities from a heavy water into a light-water reactor and reduce its centrifuges by 95% from 19,000 to 1,000.

    In other words, Israel dictates terms to the US negotiators that will effectively sabotage any possible agreement and put the US on a course toward another war for Israel .

    Surprisingly, Israel ’s hardliners and its agents within the US Administration have an important and unlikely ally – Iran ’s Foreign Minister Mohammed Javid Zarif, the chief negotiator in Geneva , who has downplayed Iran ’s military capabilities and exaggerated US military capabilities and seems quite willing to dismantle Iran ’s peaceful nuclear program.

    In justifying his far-reaching concessions and meager returns, Foreign Minister Zarif publicly declared that ‘the US could destroy the country’s ( Iran ’s) defense system with one bomb!” (FT, 12/10/13, p. 2) Zarif, in effect, is preparing to sell out Iran ’s nuclear industry, in advance, without any objective consideration of Iran ’s military power or recognition of US strategic weaknesses.

    Saudi Arabia’s rulers influence US policy through their contracts with the military – industrial complex – amounting to over $20 billion dollar arms purchase in 2013.

    In addition, the Saudi Monarch has allowed the construction of US military bases on its territory and maintains close ties with Wall Street investment houses. Saudi opposition to any US – Iran rapprochement arises from Riyadh ’s fear of Iranian influence over its oppressed Shia minority and Tehran ’s critique of the absolutist monarchy.

    The positive gains, in terms of US strategic military and economic interests from an agreement with the liberal Iranian regime, are offset by the negative pressures from Saudi and Israeli-Zionists interests. As a result, Washington ’s policy oscillates between peaceful, diplomatic overtures to Iran and bellicose threats to appease Israel and Saudi Arabia .

    Washington is desperate to avoid being dragged into another “war for Israel ”, in order to secure its hegemony in the Persian Gulf region and avoid a major domestic political and economic crisis.

    The Obama Administration has yet to exhibit the high degree of statesmanship necessary to restrain and neutralize the deeply embedded Zionist Power Configuration, within its ranks and in the Congress, which places Israeli interests over those of the US .

    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article37182.htm

  32. Richard Steven Hack says:

    U.S. will seek triggers to reimpose sanctions on Iran: Rice
    http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/12/23/us-usa-iran-sanctions-idUSBRE9BM00D20131223

    And we’re supposed to believe that everyone EXCEPT Obama wants to do this…

    Suckers.

  33. Irshad says:

    Mr Moussavian takes on Prince Turki at a security conference held in Germany in November this year:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vVbqHyLYISw

  34. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Will Obama Sabotage the Geneva II Syria Peace Talks?
    The Last Chance for Peace in Syria?
    http://www.counterpunch.org/2013/12/23/the-last-chance-for-peace-in-syria/

  35. James Canning says:

    R S Hack,

    Susan Rice was pressured by a reporter for 60 Minutes, on issue of whether Iran could simply pretend to make a deal, get rid of the sanctions, and the US would not be able to get them back in place. Obama does want a deal.

  36. James Canning says:

    Dan Cooper,

    Are you actually arguing that Iran should try to keep 20,000 centrifuges?

  37. Dan Cooper says:

    James Canning says:
    December 23, 2013 at 5:12 pm

    Which international law says that the criminal Zionist regime can have 400 illegal nuclear bombs but Iran should not keep 20,000 centrifuges?

  38. Rehmat says:

    On December 17, 2013, Israeli daily ‘Jerusalem Post’, posted another anti-Iran Hasbara (propaganda) lie. It claimed that Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatullah Ali Khamenei compared Zionists with the Nazis by quoting French philosopher Roger Garaudy’s book in French, Les mythes fondateurs de la politique israélienne, with the English version, The Founding Myths of Modern Israel.

    According to the Post, Khamenei posted a picture to mark the anniversary of the trial of Roger Garaudy with the said quote on the Tweet, allegedly belongs to Ayatullah Khamenei. Interestingly, the Post admitted that the message posted on Monday, was ignored by most of the Western media. The same Western media, which is controlled by Zionist Jews, especially in America and Canada.

    http://rehmat1.com/2013/12/24/khamenei-zionists-are-just-like-the-nazis/

  39. Castellio says:

    Improvement of the rule of law in any jurisdiction is a good thing, James. That is a truism – given that you don’t define what you might men by ‘improvement’.

    However, demonstrably, historically, as a matter of fact, Khodorkovsky’s presence and actions have had no relation to any improvement of law in any jurisdiction. Quite the opposite.

    I do understand that he will have the best public relations team working on his behalf to “position” him as a valid anti-Putin foe fighting for western ‘values’, freedom of investment and so on – but only a fool would believe the whitewash, which is being coordinated as we speak.

    Why are you trying to whitewash him?

  40. Castellio says:

    mean, not men.

  41. Empty says:

    Castellio,

    Asked and answered…..

    “Why are you trying to whitewash him?”

    In order to “’position’ him as a valid anti-Putin foe fighting for western ‘values’, freedom of investment and so on”

    James Canning works in “public relations”. Currently dealing with the Russians, Khodorkovsky is too du jour as far as Not-so-great Britain is concerned.

  42. Empty says:

    “tool du jour” that is.

  43. M. Ali says:

    Its great watching James Canning here. He is like a minature version of all the western politicians,

    “James Canning says:
    December 23, 2013 at 5:12 pm
    Dan Cooper,

    Are you actually arguing that Iran should try to keep 20,000 centrifuges?”

    Everything he posted prior to the agreement was the 20%. Now that Iran has decided to stop the 20%, now James Canning is talking about the 20,000 centrifuges.

  44. Photi says:

    not perfect, but you have to start somewhere…

    http://nationalinterest.org/commentary/israeli-iranian-the-way-forward-9606

    “Although the difficulties in the Iran-Israel relationship are clear and the criticism, from either side against the other, has for the most part not developed out of completely thin air, rapprochement between these two states should not be discarded as an irrelevant possibility. We are not expecting our two countries to engage in bilateral and direct relations or to walk hand in hand into the sunset any time soon, as we ourselves have done, and many others from across the chasm. However, some steps can be taken, even in the troubled time we are currently in, to alleviate the situation and move toward better relations. In the following, we propose some such steps, in the hope that they will inspire others to think constructively about the issue and to develop further ideas, which could lead toward substantial and sustained progress.

    Understanding that direct and formal cooperation is still some ways away, our goal is to present realistic yet constructive steps, and hence such that can be undertaken independently, without bombastic announcements of rapprochement that are still unlikely. The unilateral measures discussed below could be implemented independently by Iran and Israel, thus contributing to threat reduction, the enhancement of security and ultimately a bilateral rebuilding of trust.”

  45. Bibijon says:

    Pepe wishes RSH a Happy New Year
    =================================

    Don’t miss http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/MID-03-231213.html

    There is such a thing as ‘going [way] out on a limb, but also there is such a thing as a prior agreement over detente being rolled out in dribs and drabs to avoid indigestion.

    see ttp://www.reuters.com/article/2013/12/23/us-iran-usa-rouhani-idUSBRE9BM0DQ20131223

  46. Bibijon says:

    Photi says:
    December 24, 2013 at 3:23 am

    One only realizes how natural ‘amity’ is when you see the meticulously constructed edifice of enmity fall apart like a house of cards by nothing more than a few considerate words, a smile, and a handshake.

    Thank you for sharing.

  47. Karl.. says:

    M Ali
    December 24, 2013 at 2:38 am

    Nice catch on Canning’s, indeed he argue like his idol Cameron, Obama.

  48. Rd. says:

    Dan Cooper says:

    “James Canning says:
    December 23, 2013 at 5:12 pm
    Which international law says that the criminal Zionist regime can have 400 illegal nuclear bombs but Iran should not keep 20,000 centrifuges?”

    I think canning is suggesting there should be no international law.. amazing, but uniquely breetish elitish.

  49. paul says:

    I think we need to keep first and foremost, with clarity, the recognition that this whole crisis over Iran is a fake, made-up thing, basically invented by the US and Israel. That means that the US can achieve detente any time it chooses, of course. Also of course, Iran’s position is drastically weakened now that Rouhani and Co. have essentially pled guilty, and attempted to blame everything on Rafsanjani.

    Canning does sound like he gets talking points from some semi-official source, doesn’t he? Most striking to me, amongst his recent claims, is what looks to be an attempt to revive that ancient curse, the ‘white man’s burden’. Russia, he seems to believe, should look fondly upon western attempts to bring the light of ‘rational economy and law’ to benighted parts of the world, apparently including Russia. One might suppose that ‘benighted’ parts of the world might not appreciate the chaos and destruction that seems to precede and accompany and follow all that rational economy and law, but then again, the winner always writes the history, so what does that matter?

  50. paul says:

    I meant that Rouhani attempts to blame everything on Ahmadinejad, of course…

  51. Bibijon says:

    paul says:
    December 24, 2013 at 9:22 am

    Par for the course, I’d say. Kerry’s reference to the ‘ignored’ 2003 fax is also a blame-it-on-the-legacy tactic. But, as you say, this is an attempt by both sides to ignore the past, and justify turning their relations on a dime from intractable hostility to modus vivendi.

  52. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    hans,

    Yes all of the events that are unfolding are based on the sacrifices of Syrian people, Hezbollah, and Iranian support of Syria at a time when Putin and Russia were sitting on the fence.

    Like I said previously, the Russians got the “courage” to stand up to the US after Iran had done all the heavy lifting initially.

    Also as I said previously, Zarif and Co. have very little to show for their detente and when the economic “miracle” that they promised as a result of “better” relations with the west doesn’t happen, what will they have left to say?

    Maybe Zarif will go begging Kerry to give him something so the reformists are not obliterated in the next elections- they way he begged El Baradei back in the day.

    Rohani might have to eventually sacrifice Zarif to maintain Majlis’ good will.

    That will be a heavy blow because certain reformists are hoping to run Zarif as a presidential candidate after Rohani.

    The reformists fighting amongst themselves. Aref announced that he will be running his own list for the next Majlis elections, separate from the other reformists.

    We’re still in the period of “quiet patience” by the right-wing- as ordered by SL.

    When it’s over…that’s when it’ll get exciting.

    Remember their are powerful people in Iran whose income and status is dependent on being corporate and ideological represenatives of the west- Rafsanjani clan, Zarif, Sarioghalam, Adeli, Moussavian and many in “Sazandegi” faction.

    They will always whistle the tune of western “detente” and “alliance”- no matter damage will be done to Iran as result of this economic and ideological dependency and even when history repeatedly shows that Iran can’t trust US-UK-West.

    Remember that during the fitna of 88 some of the chants were “Death to Russia” and “Death to China”. Why? Obviously these chants originated in the British embassy.

    There are powerful business interests in Iran who don’t want Iran to be closer to BRICS and want Iran remain an economic vassal of West- cause that’s were they get there percentages and commissions. All of this theft sold to the public under the heading of “a better life”. Some would say that the Iranians were “gullible” (I’m being polite) enough to believe it.

    Rafsanjani admin, the economic team of Khatami admin, and Rohani admin are the political representatives of these business interests in Iran.

    And of course Ahmadinejad admin and movement- at least the first term- was the polar opposite of this and not only had to be defeated in the elections but had to be crushed ideologically and in the eyes of the public.

  53. Bibijon says:

    How you slice it, matters not. Rapprochement is Good Short & Long Term
    =================================================================

    http://www.usnews.com/opinion/blogs/world-report/2013/12/24/nixons-breakthrough-with-china-is-a-lesson-for-obama-and-iran

  54. James Canning says:

    Bussed-In Basiji,

    The Russians very sensibly proposed a way to avoid a US attack on Syria, and for getting rid of Syrian CW.

  55. James Canning says:

    Paul,

    Vladimir Putin said recently that a huge problem for Russia, is “flight capital”. $65 billion this year. Why does capital flee? Because those who own that capital do not trust rule of law in Russia. You think this is not the case, and that the capital flees even though the owners trust Russian law and the courts?

  56. James Canning says:

    Paul,

    PS: I welcome a richer and stronger Russia.

  57. James Canning says:

    Paul,

    You think that “the US can achieve detente with Iran any time it chooses”? Nonsense.
    You are ignoring the Israel lobby, Aipac, etc.

  58. James Canning says:

    Rd.,

    I want heavy pressure on Israel to get rid of its nukes.

    You apparently think Iran should in effect insist on having its oil exports stopped entirely.

  59. James Canning says:

    Karl..,

    You think Obama is my “idol”? You must be joking.

  60. James Canning says:

    Karl..,

    And you forget I opposed British military intervention in LIbya.

  61. James Canning says:

    Castellio,

    I was simply stating what I understand Khodorkovsky hoped to do, when he was put in prison, and what he now hopes to do, given his release. No “whitewash”.

  62. nico says:

    James Canning says:

    “I was simply stating what I understand Khodorkovsky hoped to do, when he was put in prison, and what he now hopes to do, given his release. No “whitewash”.”

    Canning is simply a liar and a propagandist.
    Khodorkovski was about to sell Yukos to western interests when he was thrown in jail.
    Yukos was at the time the second if not the Russian biggest oil company.
    If the sell occured, the crook would have been experiencing an easy life in London among other oligarch crooks.

    The issue with Canning is that he is a typical western liberal freemason doctrinaire.
    That is, ultra liberal economy is good even if supported by oligarch crooks.
    According to them such ultra liberal economy goes against the power of the state to oppose (powerfull) minorities interests. And by extension the so called individual Natural rights.

    Such freemasonic thought is not based on critical thinking or a case by case study and applicability to specific country according to each one culture and history.

    As I said it is a doctrinaire thinking.
    As much doctrinaire and extremist as the late communist ideology. And it will lead to collapse all the same.

  63. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    Bibijon-jan,

    Keep whistling that tune…

  64. Bibijon says:

    If only Obama was half a Nixon he could manage half a China
    =======================================================

    http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2013/12/thinking-about-iran-in-2013-by-thinking-about-china-in-1971/282645/

  65. James Canning says:

    Nico,

    Putin would have had little concern about Khodorkovsky, had the latter chosen simply to live a life of luxury in London, Paris, Rome etc etc etc. Khodorkovsky was seen as a threat to the power of the group around Putin.

  66. James Canning says:

    Nico,

    What on earth is “doctrinaire” about rule of law? Nonsense.

  67. nico says:

    James Canning says:

    “What on earth is “doctrinaire” about rule of law? Nonsense.”

    Canning is a disgusting perfidious liar (that is a sophist).
    Claiming the rule of law. But being against the materially and morally criminal Khodorkovsky trial.
    Whose nonsense ? Who is doctrinaire and idelogically driven ?

    Please anwer to the question. Are you a freemason ?

  68. nico says:

    “Freemasonry prides itself on its transparency. Not only are Freemasons completely free to acknowledge their membership, they are encouraged to do so.”

    http://www.ugle.org.uk/

  69. James Canning says:

    James W. Antle III has a fine piece today, regarding Democrats in Washington, and their differences of opinion regarding how to deal with Iran.

    http:///www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/democrats-at-war/

  70. James Canning says:

    Nico,

    My comments about Khodorkovsky focus on the merits of Putin’s releasing him from prison. I think this was a very good move by Putin. You object?

    And what would you advise Putin to do, to lessen the amount of “flight capital” leaving Russia each year?

  71. nico says:

    Are you a freemason ? Yes or no.

  72. James Canning says:

    Nico,

    You seem rather hostile to the concept of rule of law. I wonder, do you think judges should take bribes, to influence their decisions in legal cases? What about litigants who make knowingly false statements under oath, to affect outocme of legal cases? OK with you?

  73. nico says:

    Well, you are not obliged to answer.
    However in absence if denial I shall consider that you actually are a freemason.
    It could also explains much about your so called “insider” information and your nonsensical ideoligically driven positions.
    For to be that much illogical and idiot, you should be influenced by some sort if powerfull ideology and quasi-religion.

  74. Bibijon says:

    Crocker says fyi was right about Assad all along
    ==============================================

    Hear it for yourself http://www.npr.org/2013/12/24/256890102/crocker-assad-is-brutal-beyond-belief-but-better-than-rebels

  75. nico says:

    James Canning says:

    “You seem rather hostile to the concept of rule of law. I wonder, do you think judges should take bribes, to influence their decisions in legal cases? What about litigants who make knowingly false statements under oath, to affect outocme of legal cases? OK with you?”

    Ahah. You are rudiculous.

    You mean like the rule of law applicable to the Al Yamalah case ?

    http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Al-Yamamah_arms_deal

  76. Dan Cooper says:

    Diplomacy, Not War with Iran

    By Hillary Mann Leverett

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LHOuzrbAqdQ

  77. James Canning says:

    Nico,

    The problem Putin sees, is that $5 billion leaves Russia each month, on average, due in part to concerns by very rich Russians that they cannot trust the courts in that country. You apparently have no recommendations for Putin, as to how best to deal with the problem?

  78. James Canning says:

    Bibijon,

    Ryan Crocker apparently has concluded that it might be better if Bashar al-Assad wins the civil war in Syria. This is the viewpoint of the great Taki too. (Takimag.com)

  79. James Canning says:

    Nico,

    I did not notice you wondered if I am a Freemason. No, I am not.

  80. James Canning says:

    Nico,

    What on earth is “ideological” about rule of law? You favour corruption in the courts?

  81. Bibijon says:

    James Canning says:
    December 24, 2013 at 7:48 pm

    “Ryan Crocker apparently has concluded that it might be better if Bashar al-Assad wins the civil war in Syria. This is the viewpoint of the great Taki too. (Takimag.com)”

    James, listen to the NPR interview. Amb. Crocker’s assessment is NOT that “it might be better if Bashar al-Assad wins the civil war in Syria”. Also his assessment is there are NO ifs in Assad winning.

    Amb. Crocker says IT IS BETTER, and that HE WILL WIN. He regards these as FACTS.

  82. Smith says:

    The story of super corruption continues while the country is under threat from outside forces: http://www.farsnews.com/newstext.php?nn=13920927001357

  83. M. Ali says:

    Bussed-in-Basij, do you think Ahmedinijad will come back to the political arena? Will he be allowed in by the elites?

    I mean, during the last 1-2 years of his administration, his enemies did all they could to show in a negative light, and since Rohani’s been elected, not only have they verbally and loudly denounced his every action (even world-wide celebrated plans such as subsidy cuts) and they have stopped all projects (they completely scrapped bar codded shabnam labels that was to reduce smuggling).

    I’m very disappointed by the way Rohani is handling the country, and would like to count the days, but I think the old dinasours will not let anyone like Ahmedinijad in anymore.

  84. M. Ali says:

    “Saudi Arabia added to 9/11 lawsuit”
    http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/12/24/3836133/saudi-arabia-added-to-911-lawsuit.html

    Is everyone finally getting tired of Saudi Arabia?

  85. Sammy says:

    This is really going to be a crazy scenario….

    By William Engdahl an excellent energy expert :

    http://www.veteranstoday.com/2013/12/21/281848/

    …Little-noticed by the rest of the world amid the negotiations on Iran’s nuclear program and the collapse of the Free Syrian Army is the clear emergence of an entirely new global energy giant in the volatile Middle East. For the first time since the founding of the State of Israel in 1948, that country has discovered what seem to be huge reserves not only of natural gas but now also of oil. Not only does it appear that Israel no longer will need to depend on Saudi Arabia and other Arab oil suppliers. Israel seems set to be in direct competition with its Arab OPEC neighbors as well as Iran for world oil and gas markets. This is a huge new geopolitical complication few have even taken into account.

    In November this year, the Israeli oil company, Givot Olam, announced that it had confirmed far larger reserves of oil at its Meged 5 site than previously believed. The company estimates that the field contains 3.5 billion barrels of crude oil. There is one problem with that discovery. The well is located on the Green Line, the armistice line of 1948 that formally separates Israel from the occupied Palestinian territories. Hence, it is unclear how much of the new-found oil wealth actually belongs to Israel. The Israelis claim the Meged site is a few dozen meters inside the Green Line. [1] At today’s oil price, the oil would have a market value of almost $400 billion, enough to have a good fight over…

    A new Saudi Arabia?

    ….However the real news regarding Israeli energy is the discovery of a mammoth reserve of oil and gas onshore in Israel. Israel has prospective oil shale fields with estimated unconventional oil reserves of more than 250 billion barrels. If that is economically recoverable it would equal the oil reserves of Saudi Arabia. The principal oil share deposits are located southwest of Jerusalem in the Shefla basin….

    …The main Israeli developer of the Shefla Basin is a company called Israeli Energy Initiatives (IEI). IEI is owned by a US based company with the intriguing name, Genie Energy Corporation, a division of IDT Corporation. Among the major shareholders of the mother company of IEI are Jacob Lord Rothschild, the former business partner of just-released Russian oil oligarch Mikhail Khodorkovsky, and scion of the Rothschild banking dynasty. It also includes major Israel supporter, Rupert Murdoch of the News International Corp. And, to add real spice to the cocktail, the new International Advisory Board of the IEI’s parent Genie Energy also includes Dick Cheney, architect of the Iraq war and former CEO of Halliburton, the company that made shale oil and gas technologies feasible about a decade ago. [5]

    The exploitation of the Shefla Basin is a major operation. Israel Energy Initiatives has enlisted some of the top people in the global oil industry including a former president of Mobil Oil, Eugene Renna, a former president of Occidental Oil Shale in addition to Halliburton’s Dick Cheney. But the key person is said to be Harold Vinegar, who was Shell Oil’s chief scientist and, with some 240 patents to his name over his 32 years at Shell, who revolutionized the shale oil industry….

  86. nico says:

    James Canning says:

    “The problem Putin sees, is that $5 billion leaves Russia each month, on average, due in part to concerns by very rich Russians that they cannot trust the courts in that country. You apparently have no recommendations for Putin, as to how best to deal with the problem?”

    That is easy.
    Rusdia could simply control the fliw of capital.
    Like what obtained in France until the 70s. Capital was not allowed to flow out of the country without government authorization.

    How is it that (in France for instance), I am not allowed to purchase beyond 5000EUR with Cash (the parliament is discussing for years to reduce the bar to 2000 or 3000 EUR).
    The government say it is to avoid money laundering…
    But when financial crooks avoid tax and use Anglo tax havens by the hundred of billions, it is legally authorized !

    Well you understand my point.
    Rule of law does not lean anything by itself. That us good but not enough
    The rule of law first and firemost depends on the laws.

    Perdonally I do not have consideration for such laws that forbid me above 5000EUR tax transaction but allow tax havens.

  87. Sineva says:

    Bibijon says:
    December 24, 2013 at 12:37 pm
    We`re not even at detente yet let alone reproachment,we have a limited deal on one issue that has not yet been implemented,indeed the talks on implementation are still continuing.I think you need to take off those rose tinted spectacles.

    Bussed-in Basiji says:
    December 24, 2013 at 12:17 pm
    I agree well said

  88. Sineva says:

    James Canning says:
    December 24, 2013 at 1:50 pm
    Yeah,and all it cost syria was its national deterrent,the only winner there was israel.Why didnt the russians instead supply the weapons they had promised,a few batteries of s300`s may very well have made the americans think twice,the russians once again demonstrated what poor untrustworthy allies they are

  89. Sineva says:

    M. Ali says:
    December 24, 2013 at 2:38 am
    Nothing like a little shifting of the goal posts,well said

    James Canning says:
    December 23, 2013 at 5:12 pm
    So james just how many centrifuges do you think iran should be “allowed” to have?

  90. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    M Ali-jan,

    Of course the old dinosaurs won’t let him back in.

    That’s why Pour Mohammdi has become justice minister so he can find a nice parvande to stick to Mahmud-joon so he will be “faqedul sharaet” and can be disqualified by Guardian Council if he decides to run for the presidency.

    It’s about billions and billions of dollars, power and keeping Iran within the western economic sphere and preventing Iran from joining up with the BRICS.

    Anything that has to be done to achieve this will be done.

    Any lie and spin that has to be said- “a better life”, “jobs for the youth”, “a normal country”- will be said.

    Remember how one of the pillars of US presence in Persian Gulf is “strategic denial”. Well, in this case it’s about “strategically denying” Iran to BRICS.

    The funny thing is that Iran’s economy is now officially at $1 trillion- and as I have argued because of a culture of not reporting economic activities to the government I estimate the Iranian economy to be around $1.8-2 trillion.

    That would place Iran in the top 10-12 economies of the world in terms of GDP PPP.

    Such a prize has to be kept at all costs.

    Enter Shaitan…

  91. Don Bacon says:

    Sammy says:
    December 25, 2013 at 2:33 am

    Thank you for uncovering (to me) that VT website that I’ve now bookmarked. . Good stuff.
    http://www.veteranstoday.com/

  92. Don Bacon says:

    One article in VY had an interesting hypothesis, or claim:

    –The withheld classified portion of the 9/11 Report points the finger at Israel, not Saudi Arabia. Makes more sense.

  93. Unknown Unknowns says:

    I wanted to be the first to wish fyi and other Christians on this site a Merry Christmas and a Prepro$perous New Year. And I’d like to give a special shout-out to my favorite Rajavi-bot, Agent Smith. Be sure to give generously of your bonus check. Tis the season… And give my love to Pak and Scotty-Boy. They need it. They bit the big one.

    Yeah, I knew you’d be surprised.

  94. Bibijon says:

    Sineva says:
    December 25, 2013 at 5:37 am

    “We`re not even at detente yet let alone reproachment,we have a limited deal on one issue that has not yet been implemented,indeed the talks on implementation are still continuing.”

    Yes. I agree. Don’t take it badly, but it is rather obvious that “We`re not even at detente yet let alone [rapprochement].” Nevertheless, thank you for pointing it out, plainly obvious as it is.

    To make sense of my angle on this, you need to consider the ‘logic’ of detente/rapprochement that I think is driving the secret US-Iran meetings since March of 2012 (and possibly earlier), whatever agreements were reached, and the public theater now on display for public consumption.

    See http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/wireStory/low-key-obama-aide-center-secret-iran-talks-21311259

    That logic is predicated on Iran’s strength and her ability to drive a hard bargain for her interests and it is predicated on US’ best way to advance her interests at the current juncture. At that level, i.e. the logic that is driving both sides to detente, if you wish to engage, then by all means…

  95. James Canning says:

    Bussed-In Basiji,

    If all sanctions against Iran are dropped, Iranian oil and gas will in a sense hurt Russia, by increasing supply and lowering prices of Russian oil and gas. China and Japan would benefit, as of course would India. And South Africa.

  96. James Canning says:

    Unknown Unknowns,

    Merry Christmas. Great post too.

  97. James Canning says:

    Sineva,

    My opinion is not important, as to number of centrifuges that P5+1 will accept, if a deal is achieved. How many are needed for fuel cycle of the nuclear power plants?

  98. James Canning says:

    Sineva,

    The Russians may well have had concerns that anti-aircraft missiles would get into the hands of terrorists, in Syria. Syrian government does not need them.

  99. James Canning says:

    Nico,

    I was focusing on relative lack of corruption in the courts, in some countries, compared to significant corruption in the courts in other countries. (Rule of law)
    Rather than on the content of individual laws.

    Many rich Russians fear they can lose their fortunes in corrupt cases brought in the courts in that country.

  100. James Canning says:

    Bibijon,

    The key element of the equation, is that Obama and others (including Crocker) see that there is no way for the US to determine the outocme of the civil war in Syria, if sufficient backing were provided to the insurgents to overthrow Bashar al-Assad.

  101. James Canning says:

    Bibijon,

    You may recall that all along I have not hoped for an overthrow of the Syian government. +You might enjoy Taki’s take on the matter (takimag.com).

  102. Sakineh Bagoom says:

    Merry Christmas to all.
    May there be peace on earth.

  103. fyi says:

    Unknown Unknowns says:

    December 25, 2013 at 11:48 am

    You may wish to consult the Quran:

    إِذْ قَالَتِ الْمَلآئِكَةُ يَا مَرْيَمُ إِنَّ اللّهَ يُبَشِّرُكِ بِكَلِمَةٍ مِّنْهُ اسْمُهُ الْمَسِيحُ عِيسَى ابْنُ مَرْيَمَ وَجِيهًا فِي الدُّنْيَا وَالآخِرَةِ وَمِنَ الْمُقَرَّبِينَ

    “Behold! the angels said: “O Mary! Allah gives thee glad tidings of a Word from Him: his name will be Christ Jesus, the son of Mary, held in honor in this world and the Hereafter and of those nearest to Allah”

    If I were you, I would rejoice also in the birth of Jesus the Blessed son of Mary.

    But that would probably be too much for you and your kind:

    به سر جام جم آن گه نظر توانی کرد که خاک میکده کحل بصر توانی کرد
    مباش بی می و مطرب که زیر طاق سپهر بدین ترانه غم از دل به در توانی کرد
    گل مراد تو آن گه نقاب بگشاید که خدمتش چو نسیم سحر توانی کرد
    گدایی در میخانه طرفه اکسیریست گر این عمل بکنی خاک زر توانی کرد
    به عزم مرحله عشق پیش نه قدمی که سودها کنی ار این سفر توانی کرد
    تو کز سرای طبیعت نمی‌روی بیرون کجا به کوی طریقت گذر توانی کرد
    جمال یار ندارد نقاب و پرده ولی غبار ره بنشان تا نظر توانی کرد
    بیا که چاره ذوق حضور و نظم امور به فیض بخشی اهل نظر توانی کرد
    ولی تو تا لب معشوق و جام می خواهی طمع مدار که کار دگر توانی کرد
    دلا ز نور هدایت گر آگهی یابی چو شمع خنده زنان ترک سر توانی کرد
    گر این نصیحت شاهانه بشنوی حافظ به شاهراه حقیقت گذر توانی کرد

  104. fyi says:

    All:

    December 25, 2013; Baghdad:

    Two separate bomb attacks in a Christian quarter of Baghdad Wednesday left at least 37 dead. One went off near a church during Christmas Mass, the other ripped through an outdoor market.

  105. Smith says:

    Axis of resistance/”Shia crescent” is giving birth to a security arc in South West Asia. The first time a new security paradigm being developed by the locals since the white man set shop here more than a couple of centuries ago: http://english.al-akhbar.com/blogs/sandbox/security-arc-forms-amidst-mideast-terror-0

    This security arc would surely need the protection and deterrence of nuclear weapons.

    Such deterrence can not be brought about with hanging from American phallus by the mouth as so many here including some self proclaimed basijis are trying to rationalize.

    US should not have any business in this area. The only way to do business here would be by begging a nuclear armed Iran. And the only strategic understanding is possible when US president begs to go to Iran and falls to the feet of the supreme leader begging for forgiveness while transferring trillions of dollars worth of business/technology/jobs into Iran as US had done when Nixon bowed to the feet of communist god Mao promising and delivering him American wealth, technology and jobs.

  106. Smith says:

    fyi says:
    December 25, 2013 at 2:32 pm

    In his ultimate ignorance, he is committing the big sin of tohmat for which he shall be held accountable by God himself. Of course he and people like he are true hypocrites of our age. While wearing the garbs of Islam they do not adhere even to its most basic rules. They go about, raping, torturing, murdering, spreading corruption and even raping their own daughters and mothers. Even Christ (PBUH) and his mother is not safe from their ridicule as evident in his post. More than it being an insult to me who is just an insignificant creation of God, it is an insult to God and his prophet and the mother of that prophet. Being called profanities by such corrupt misogynist hypocritical enemies of God, one knows that one is on the right path. May God curse them all for their corruption on earth and their insult to Mary and her son. Amen.

  107. Smith says:

    Since a corrupt ignorant, jahel and monafeq person insulted God’s prophet and his mother by trying to ridicule them and associate them as a form of tohmat, it would be nice to read some beautiful verses from Quran.

    fyi, provided one, here are more:

    “O Mary! Allah hath chosen thee and purified thee- chosen thee above the women of all nations.”

    Note that she is chosen by God above all the women. Not a light rank to say the least.

    Now this fool here has tried to turn her into a kind of insult for a poster here. Even the unbeliever jahel during Mary’s time were not as insulting to her than he has insult her in his post. See how Quran says about those who were trying to indirectly insult the unmarried Mary when she showed up with a baby:

    “Then she brought him to her people, carrying him. They said, “O Mary, you have certainly done a thing unprecedented. O sister of Aaron, your father was not a man of evil, nor was your mother unchaste.”

    Look that even they did not have the courage to directly insult Mary. They referred to nobility of her father and mother. Now this jahel fool has tried not only to insult them but to turn Mary and her son as a form of insult for fyi here.

    And then Christ says as per Quran:

    “And peace is on me the day I was born and the day I will die and the day I am raised alive”

    Note the importance of the day of His birth from his own mouth as per God’s words. Now this corrupt monafeq has tried to make it into an insult.

  108. nico says:

    James Canning says
    “I was focusing on relative lack of corruption in the courts”

    Sheer lie.
    You were content with Khodokorvsky release because of his, according to you, supposed support for western standard of governance. That position being basically BS.

  109. Sineva says:

    Bibijon says:
    December 25, 2013 at 12:03 pm
    If thats the case then why even mention reproacment at all,unless of course you think its an item on the agenda of those “secret talks” that you`re sure iran and the west are having

  110. Sineva says:

    James Canning says:
    December 25, 2013 at 12:26 pm
    When you make statements like the one at 5:12 pm what is one to think,it certainly sounds like you dont think iran should have that number,in fact from what I`ve read irans current number of cascades wouldnt even be able to supply bushehr,tho given enough time to build a large enough stockpile that might not matter,so iran far from needing fewer centrifuges would probably need more or would need to replace its existing models with more advanced ones

    James Canning says:
    December 25, 2013 at 12:28 pm
    The government still controls substantial amounts of territory,there would be plenty of sites that would be safe to operate the systems from.You seem to be ignoring those israeli airstrikes on syrian targets,the syrian government could certainly use these systems not just to make any western aggressors think twice but also any israeli ones,tho it doesnt surprise me that you would support the nato/israeli line on syria as you do on iran

  111. Rehmat says:

    Since the P5+1 and Iran interim Geneva deal on Iran’s civilian nuclear program, Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatullah Ali Khamenei is being equated with Hitler and Geneva with Munich. Thomas Lifson at the Jewish American Thinker, called it “Sellout to Iran at Geneva worse than sellout to Hitler at Munich“. Mark Steyn (a Jewish convert to Christianity), claimed at the Jewish National Review Online that the deal was a “surrender to Iran”. Bret Stephens at the Ziocon Wall Street Journal, argued that Geneva deal is worse than Munich deal with Hitler in 1938.

    In fact, it was the spook-terrorist, Benjamin Netanyahu, who first compared Khamenei to Adolph Hitler during his visit to Moscow in 2011. “Hitler first began conguering the world and then started to develop nuclear arms. Khamenei is going the opposite way,” said Netanyahu ahead of meeting with then Russian president Dmitry Medvedev. Naturally, the Jewish-controlled western media ignored the rant because Israel has already done both things; developed 400 nuclear bombs and invaded all of its neighboring countries.

    http://rehmat1.com/2013/12/26/jewish-lobby-compares-khamenei-with-hitler/

  112. Smith says:

    For Syrian people after all US allied takfiri criminals have been killed: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iaQZ_j8nios

  113. Empty says:

    Bussed-in-Bassiji,

    RE: I estimate the Iranian economy to be around $1.8-2 trillion.

    You underestimate. In the past year, I’ve come to see things that defies logical explanation. Events that would be considered major high-cost events for which an average American family would have to save at least 3 to 5 years are happening several times a year across all strata without a flinch. The only conclusion I can draw is that most people (I’m talking about ordinary people) somehow have an oil well underneath their homes.

  114. Empty says:

    Sammy,

    RE: “This is really going to be a crazy scenario….By William Engdahl an excellent energy expert….”

    I hope you are not too impressed by the uncritical (and very likely propaganda) article re; these oil/gas reserve pronouncements. Since 1987, the classification definitions for oil and gas reserves (worldwide) have been changed and used as political tools for oil and gas price manipulation, sales of extremely expensive oil and gas technology and services (read snake oil) to unsuspecting countries in the world.

  115. Empty says:

    Sammy (part II),
    Please take the time to review a chronology of the definition changes and motivations for these changes undertaken by Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) and the World Petroleum Congresses (WPC) mainly and a few others following — remove the spaces and visit the link www dot spe dot org slash industry slash reserves dot php … Then, follow the world events and what was happening (psychological marketing, price manipulation, and military interventions) right before, during, and then after each of these redefinitions (1965 – original definitions; 1981 minor changes to original definition; 1987 – major revision under the guise of standardizing; 1994 another change (Emerging markets in Central Asia and after the fall of the Soviet Union); 2000, 2001, 2005, and 2007)

  116. Empty says:

    Sammy (Part III),

    Here are simple statements to just accept:

    Fact No.1) There has been NO significant qualitative and quantitative changes in the amount of tangible, measurable, and logically extractable reserves since the first definition in 1965 worldwide. At the rate we are burning these fuels and turning them into irreversible energy forms (heat and pollution), we’ll end our own physical existence and the reserves at the same time and very soon (follow the “fracking” practices and their consequences in the US and Canada.

  117. Empty says:

    Sammy (Part IV) — [Sorry, it is not allowing me to post in one chunk. Not sure why]

    Fact No.2) The technology and expertise (read snake oil) that the western companies sold to south American and then newly independent Central Asian countries after each “redefinition” to “help” them extract all those “newly discovered” resources all came to a bunch of hot air (no pun intended) and a whole bunch of social, economic, and environmental disasters for each of those countries and the regions as a whole.

  118. Empty says:

    Sammy (Part V),

    Fact No.3) Because of 3 decades of sanctions (a true blessing) the only country that has an estimated oil/gas reserves very close to its actual reserves is Iran thus a hot target for attack. As we say in Farsi, دیر و زود داره ولی سوخت و سوز نداره “it might be sooner, it might be later; that is not definite. But it definitely WILL BE without an iota of change in substance.

    Those of us who know, know it and are waiting to act with “heroic silence”.

  119. Empty says:

    RE: “Those of us who know, know it and are waiting to act with “heroic silence”.

    Fortunately, the leader whom we follow is under no illusion and he is also commander in chief.

  120. Empty says:

    Happy and Merry Immaculate Birth of Jesus Son of Mary to all the free and justice seeking people of the world!

  121. Empty says:

    Oh, noooooooooooo….I’ve turned into James Canning, the trickle poster. How awful. I need to fix whatever is causing the propblem with one-chunck posting. Apologies.

  122. Smith says:

    A step in the right direction. Not every one is impressed by a false promise of 55 dollars in the future: http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/12/25/us-iran-nuclear-bill-idUSBRE9BO07C20131225

  123. nico says:

    Why that constant Russia bashing?
    http://www.currentconcerns.ch/index.php?id=2581

    Simple enough.
    Because Russia is a sovereign country defending the nation, religion and family.
    “Unlike in the West, where  a increasingly utilitarian and materialistic policy is quite bluntly being pursued, the policy of the Russian government seems to be rooted in a personal concept of man and world view which resembles that of the Christian churches. Where do you still find in the West that the importance of family, religion and the nation is held up for the good of the people and the progress of the country? Who in the West is still aware of the fact that a free development of the personality is impossible without secure bonding and clear identity in the family and might degenerate into the void of postmodern superficiality and indifference?”

    And it succeeds in doing so.

    “Comparing the years 2000 and 2010, the results of the Russian path are considerable: The Russian domestic product has doubled, foreign trade has quadrupled, the debts abroad amount to only one-sixth of the initial value, the wages rose – inflation-adjusted – by a factor of 2.5, pensions increased by more than three times, the poverty rate fell by more than half, unemployment fell from 10 to 7%, the birth rate increased by 40%, deaths declined by almost 10%, the infant mortality fell by 30%, life expectancy rose by 5 years  the crime rate fell by 10%, the number of murders even by 50 %, the suicide rate fell by 40% and the number of alcohol poisonings by more than 60%.

  124. Matt says:

    Hi and best regards – I am a big fan of your very important work.

    In the last paragraph, you say:

    “Just a few days ago, a Federal judge appointed by President George W. Bush declared from the bench that the NSA wiretapping programs disclosed by Snowden are probably unconstitutional.”

    After reading news reports on the ruling (as well as the ruling itself) which you refer to, it is my strong impression that Judge Richard John Leon was talking about the bulk phone records collection program only.

    I hope you will find my comment useful.

  125. Fiorangela says:

    Nomination for Going to Tehran citizen activist of the year goes to Kathleen, who effectively addressed a nationwide C Span audience to nominate
    Flynt and Hillary Mann Leverett for Political Hero [Heroine] for the Year 2013
    15 min – 19:30 min

    Kathleen agreed with an earlier caller that “Elizabeth Warren may be able to push Hillary Clinton to apologize for her stupid vote for the Iraq war resolution …”

    Kathleen continues:

    “My two political heroes are Hillary Man Leverett and Flynt Leverett. They were both in the Bush administration, they both stood against the invasion of Iraq. Hillary has negotiated directly with Iran, and Flynt was a … CIA Middle East analyst.

    “They have a website called Going to Tehran, and they have tried their best at informing the American public about the facts having to do with the situation in Iran.”

    Moderator: “They’re out of government now?”

    Kathleen: “They both are … He teaches at, I think, University of Pennsylvania [sic]; she is at a think tank, I think …

    “On their website, Going to Tehran, they stand against any kind of military intervention in Iran, based on facts. … They try their best to inform the American public about the facts that Iran has the right to enrich uranium because they are signatories to the Nonproliferation Treaty … So I think they have done so much work in trying to let the American public know the facts.

    “I wish you guys would have them on, of course. They’re heroes to me. They’re Republicans and they’re standing up against another unnecessary military action with a country that has not done anything to us.”

    Moderator asks Kathleen’s opinion about Hillary Clinton’s chances in 2014, and about alternatives to Clinton.

    Kathleen’s response is nuanced and sophisticated. She acknowledged that Clinton is “humanitarian” but reasonable on domestic issues, but, while Elizabeth Warren “stands up to the ‘banksters,’ ” Clinton is supported by the banksters. Further, Kathleen emphasizes that Clinton is “very aggressive … a warmonger,” whose foreign policy is “not much different from Bush-Cheney.”

    Kudos to Kathleen.

    nb. Flynt Leverett is a professor at Pennsylvania State University’s School of International Affairs and is a Visiting Scholar at Peking University’s School of International Studies.
    “Dr. Leverett has spoken about U.S.-Iranian relations at foreign ministries and strategic research centers in Canada, China, France, Germany, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates. He has been a visiting professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Yale University.

    Dr. Leverett holds a Ph.D. in politics from Princeton University and is a life member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the International Institute for Strategic Studies.”

    “Hillary Mann Leverett is a Senior Professorial Lecturer at the American University in Washington, DC and a Visiting Scholar at Peking University in Beijing, China. She has also taught at Yale University, where she was a Senior Lecturer and inaugural Senior Research Fellow at Yale University’s Jackson Institute for Global Affairs. She is also CEO of Strategic Energy and Global Analysis (STRATEGA), a political risk consultancy.

    “Mrs. Leverett holds a Juris Doctor from Harvard University and a Bachelor of Arts in Near Eastern Studies from Brandeis University.”

    (from the Leveretts’ profiles on the Going to Tehran website)

    Their book, Going to Tehran: Why the United States Must Come to Terms with the Islamic Republic was named a “Foreign Policy magazine Book to Read” shortly after its publication in January 2013, and will be released in paperback under a slightly different title, Going to Tehran: Why America Must Accept the Islamic Republic of Iran, on December 31, 2013

  126. James Canning says:

    Bravo, Kathleen (as noted by Fiorangela).

  127. James Canning says:

    Empty,

    In a conversation, short comments going directly to the point are often the most effective way to communicate.

  128. James Canning says:

    Sineva,

    The Russian “line” on Syrian civil war is that giving Syrian government anti-aircraft missiles would be dangerous. I agree.

  129. nico says:

    James Canning says:

    “In a conversation, short comments going directly to the point are often the most effective way to communicate.”

    short comment going directly to the point : ahah.

  130. James Canning says:

    Sineva,

    My understanding is that 3000 centrifuges could produce enough fuel for Bushehr #1 (and #2). After Russian contract expires in 2015.

  131. BiBiJon says:

    Sineva says:
    December 25, 2013 at 7:18 pm

    “why even mention reproacment at all,unless of course you think its an item on the agenda of those “secret talks” that you`re sure iran and the west are having”

    They’ve had their secret talks. After all the reporting to that effect by AP, I think it is past time to get over this fact.

    As to “why even mention rapprochement”, again it is not just me, there are a lot of ‘opinion makers’ who are now broaching the idea, and even detailing its benefits for both sides. While opinions are well and good, some rightly might want to follow the money. If you are one of those, then take a peek at

    http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/428530ea-6997-11e3-aba3-00144feabdc0.html#axzz2obcpG5y5

    It strikes me that perhaps you, and a few others here cannot fathom how anyone can give up something of value to get something they desire, but I find mutually satisfying ‘transactions’ to be the natural outcome of most conflict situations. We all, multiple times a day, part with money and purchase something we think is worthwhile. The buyer and purchaser always view one another with a degree of mistrust, they do not transact out of kinship, or friendship.

    When you get lots of transactions, you can call it ‘rapprochement’, or you can call it Kentucky Fried Chicken, but you won’t however alter the underlying reality of the atmosphere that makes those transactions possible.

  132. James Canning says:

    Nico,

    You seem not to notice a primary point that I make: that Russia and the US have numerous interests in common, and that working together is a good thing. So, freeing Khodorkovsky is a good thing, as it helps get rid of an irritant.

  133. James Canning says:

    The NYT reports today that the US is supplying Iraq with dozens of Hellfire missiles, plus some drones. Due to al-Qaeda problem fueled by civil war in Syria.

  134. nico says:

    James Canning says:

    “You seem not to notice a primary point that I make: that Russia and the US have numerous interests in common, and that working together is a good thing. So, freeing Khodorkovsky is a good thing, as it helps get rid of an irritant.”

    Irritant ?
    Surely you meant Anglo supremacism.
    What is basically the Anglo concern for Russian internal affairs ?
    Does Russia meddles in Anglo internal political and legal affairs ?

  135. nico says:

    BiBiJon says:December 26, 2013 at 1:36 pm

    “It strikes me that perhaps you, and a few others here cannot fathom how anyone can give up something of value to get something they desire, but I find mutually satisfying ‘transactions’ to be the natural outcome of most conflict situations. We all, multiple times a day, part with money and purchase something we think is worthwhile. The buyer and purchaser always view one another with a degree of mistrust, they do not transact out of kinship, or friendship.”

    True.
    However, as in all negociations, mutually acceptable terms must overlap at some point.
    Overlapping mutually acceptable terms is actually the issue.
    The major qualitative leap has been made.
    The US expressed their acceptance of Iran nuclear program including Japan option
    Mastery of enrichment provide automatically such option.
    Once that is a given, then there is no point to deny the Arak reactor with adequate safeguard.

    From the very start the nuclear issue has been to deny Iran knowledge and capability.
    Well, Iran has created fact on the ground with no going back.

    As Obama said, the only way forward for the US if they insist on zero enrichment is war.
    Indeed the f

    Iran

  136. James Canning says:

    Nico,

    Iran obviously has the knowledge (nuclear). But yes, the issue is “denying” Iran the “capability” of building nukes quickly.

  137. James Canning says:

    Nico,

    You appear to argue that the Russian people should not seek greater integrity in the courts of their country. Curious position to have.

  138. nico says:

    James Canning says:
    “You appear to argue that the Russian people should not seek greater integrity in the courts of their country. Curious position to have.”

    I happen to argue that it is none of your (Anglo) business to judge Russia internal affairs.
    And you are even less justified to be somewhat irritated (sic).

  139. nico says:

    James Canning says:
    “Iran obviously has the knowledge (nuclear). But yes, the issue is “denying” Iran the “capability” of building nukes quickly.”

    The issue is the combo of three factors
    – Iran being powerfull and having the potentatial to be a world power
    – Iran being independent and sovereign
    – Iran being in a political configuration to expel and marginilize the US influence from the region

    From the very start the US goal has been to kill Iran’s ideological ambitions.
    However, the past decades Iran truly muted in the US rival in power in the ME.
    Partly because of the US blunders in Iraq and Afghanistan and partly because of Iran self reliance and endogenous independent economical ane knowledge growth.

    The nuclear issue is only the emerged part of the Iran political clout “iceberg”.

    The nuclear issue has been managed masterfully by Iran.
    As stated previously the nuclear issue has been used by Iran to break the US and western political siege experienced since the revolution.

    Basically Iran is demanding and forcing the US to lift the siege, that is the containment policy.
    The US tried to break up Iran with their economical warefare without success.
    Meanwhile Iran has been and still will be upping the ante by accelerating the nuclear program in order to force the US to make a decision. Either war or acceptance of Iran independent power as China or Russia.
    The containment policy is not acceptable as seen by Iran and as proven by past policies. And Iran will make sure to up the ante as long as the containment policy is in place.

    The US has now only 3 options to play out
    – The NK option. That is isolate a nuclear armed Iran.
    – The current nuclear deal option
    – War

    Actually the regime change option is not viable. As the Iran leadership will make sure to be nuclear armed before it happens. And it failed miserably with the green movement.
    The rhetoric of the US and the zionist do not allow them to accept the NK option.
    By stating that all option is on the table the US uselessly painted themselves in a corner.

    Obviously the current nuclear deal translation in real geopolitical terms is the acceptance of Iran as nuclear capable and world power.
    There is no middle ground.
    Maybe that would not obtain immediately.
    But the strategic decision will lead inevitably to that situation in few years time with
    – Iran gas and oil booming and flushing the region and othe part of the world as well as development of the knowledge based and industrial economy.
    – Iran will have 10s of NPP. By then the limitation of Iran capability shall be pointless.

    My understanding of the current negociation is that the US would be willing to let Iran to keep a limited program but with the economical containment still going on.
    That is the US do not want war, do not want a nuclear armed Iran and want to maintain the containment policy…
    That is the US is unable to constrain the nuclear program and would like to limit it for the cheap…

    Obviously such deal is not in Iran interest and will not fly.
    Only full lifting of the containment will be the accepted by Iran with ensuing geopolitical consequences.

    That is basically why Israel and KSA are kot happy.
    KSA know they are a weak and slave minded country and obviously prefer to have a master far away and not on the other shore of the PG.
    As for Israel, it is obvious that on the long run Iran clout in the region is not specially zionist compatible.

    The Obama declaration that no deal will lead it seems credible.
    And what is currently at play is the decision to go to war or not.

  140. M.Ali says:

    Surreal comedy as its finest:

    “In his ultimate ignorance, he is committing the big sin of tohmat for which he shall be held accountable by God himself.”

    Someone who hates “tomat” so much, what does he say next?

    “Of course he and people like he are true hypocrites of our age. While wearing the garbs of Islam they do not adhere even to its most basic rules. They go about, raping, torturing, murdering, spreading corruption and even raping their own daughters and mothers. ”

    I don’t think Smith is a paid agent. No one would pay for this. I think he is a comedy writer, who will will release a book next year with the title “Trolling Iranians”

  141. James Canning says:

    Nico,

    What is the “ideology” of Iran that you think the US would like to “kill”? Shia Islam?

    Iran would be much stronger today if it had never re-started its enriching of uranium.
    That programme has actually resulted in a lessening of Iranian power.

  142. James Canning says:

    Nico,

    Interesting point of view that you express. Putin notes his concern that too much flight capital is leaving Russia each month. (% billion) Those who would welcome a lessening of that flight of capital suggest one way to achieve that is to improve the integrity of the courts in Russia.

    Do I take it you agree this is needed, bur you object to anyone from the UK commenting on this matter?

  143. James Canning says:

    $5 billion (flight capital leaving Russia each month).

  144. fyi says:

    All:

    A good overview of the main currents in thought/ politics in the Arab world since c.1850: colonialism/imperialism, liberalism/secularism and Westernization, nationalism/ socialism (and the impact of wars fought and lost against Israel), and Islamism. The focus is on Syria and Egypt.

    BBC Radio 4: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b03m359l/episodes/guide

  145. BiBiJon says:

    Nico,

    Well said.

    I think Iran’s rise and US’ ebb are at an intersection point. As a practical matter, this means Iran no longer has to prove anything, and the US’ further pretensions are pointless. In both cases, allowing their respective trajectories to pass through the point of convergence without a settlement will only cost both sides precious resources needlessly.

  146. Empty says:

    James Canning,

    RE: “In a conversation, short comments going directly to the point are often the most effective way to communicate.”

    Whatever you have to tell yourself to feel better…..go ahead.

  147. Sineva says:

    James Canning says:
    December 26, 2013 at 1:34 pm
    3000 ir1 type centrifuges wouldnt even come close to providing the fuel load for bushehr 1 never mind for 2,its estimated that irans centrifuges could put out around 8-17000 SWU per year, a reactor like the bushehr 1 would require around 125,000 – 140,000 kg SWUs or to put it another way the fuel load in a large reactor is measured in the tens of tons[one estimate says around 20 tons],iran has so far produced around 10 tons of leu max and it has taken it years to achieve this,now if it had all 20,000 of its centrifuges operating it could no doubt do a better job but at the moment only around half are actually enriching

  148. Sineva says:

    that should be 125-140,000 swu not kg

  149. Mohammad Reza says:

    I like Leveretts much but think they could do better: Person of Year must be President Assad for defending justice freedom & safety of Syria from takfiris & imperial US.

  150. Sineva says:

    BiBiJon says:
    December 26, 2013 at 1:36 pm
    We have not even had one transaction yet.I have nothing against reproachment or its potential benefits to both sides but before you can have that you must have detente ie an acceptance of the iri its sphere of influence and its legitimate concerns and interests,it seems to me that we are still many years away from even this let alone something like reproachment,indeed before we start talking about either of those things we should wait and see if the current deal can even be implemented and if it is whether it will stick,there are very powerful interests on both sides who do not want it to succeed.At the moment any talk of reproachment or grand bargains is at best utterly premature

  151. Sineva says:

    James Canning says:
    December 26, 2013 at 1:31 pm
    Of course you do,but dangerous for who exactly?,israel?,the nato forces?,certainly not dangerous for syria,once again the russians have shown how worthless they are as allies but then I think the syrians already knew this

  152. Smith says:

    “its estimated that irans centrifuges could put out around 8-17000 SWU per year”

    Putting that into context, just a single Western enrichment plant by the name of Eurodif had the capacity of 11 million SWU per year. Iran owns 10% of that plant which means one million SWU, but French denied giving even a single gram of enriched uranium to Iran from that plant despite being entitled to.

    All over western world there are hundreds such enrichment plants working or idling with a capacity of billions of SWU.

    Iran should compete with them and let the british arse burn.

  153. nico says:

    Sineva says:

    “We have not even had one transaction yet.”

    History is not written yet.
    The current deal may be interpreted in several ways.
    – The US strategically blinking.
    – Or a US deception in order to build up the case for reinforced containment policy or even war.
    – Or a way for Iran to surrender

    I guess the final deal will tell.
    However I do not see Iran surrender as shown in various Iranian official statements.
    Besides the hardliners and principlists seem to be much powerfull and would never let that happen.

    Again I think the Obama statement was accurate.
    It is either war or the US strategic blink pushed by Iran upping the ante.

    The point being Iran remaining true to its principled positions and the containment policy to be lifted.
    The nuclear issue is a used as a leverage by both sides like a catalyst and a question of principle.
    However both sides realistically should be able to make concessions on that matter.

    My personal opinion is that the US is not in shape to carry out another war.

    That is why some nut cases in the US are speaking about nuking Iran.
    And I believe that such option is discussed behind closed doors by extremists supremacists.
    But it would have tremondous geoplitical consequences and I believe it shall not be used.

    All in all my opinion is that the US have no much choice in the matter and has been positionned in a strategic funnel by Iran and their own blunders.

  154. Karl.. says:

    So another bomb in Beirut. Obama, Cameron, Israel, Saudiarabia, France must be so happy about their syrian policies.

  155. Rd. says:

    nico says:

    “The point being Iran remaining true to its principled positions and the containment policy to be lifted.
    The nuclear issue is a used as a leverage by both sides like a catalyst and a question of principle.
    However both sides realistically should be able to make concessions on that matter.”

    The points BiBiJon and nico argue, reminds me of the words spoken by the late Nelson Mandela, in the context of heroic flexibility.

    “We are an organization which, from its foundation, committed itself to building a nation through peaceful, nonviolent, and disciplined struggle. We were forced to resort to arms by the regime, and the lesson of history is that for the masses of the people, the methods of political action which they use are determined by the oppressor himself. If the oppressor uses peaceful means, the oppressed would never resort to violence. It is when the oppressor – in addition to his repressive policies – uses violence, that the oppressed have no alternative but to retaliate by similar forms of action. And, therefore, the pains, the blood that was spilled, and the responsibility for that lies squarely on the shoulders of the regime.
    Source: Interview with Charlie Rose, September 30, 1993”

    one has to appreciate Ay. Khamenei’s foresight to view reality from all sides. Even if this effort were to fails, the approach taken will only further the strength of unity which would be essential if the ‘oppressor’ were to use non peaceful means.

  156. Castellio says:

    Good post, Rd.

  157. James Canning says:

    Nico,

    The US and other countries obviously are able to prevent Iran from exporting oil by sea. You omitted this fact in your strategic assessment.

  158. James Canning says:

    Sineva,

    The Syrian government is not in need of the ability to shoot down aircraft operated by the insurgents. This is the Russian assessment.

  159. James Canning says:

    Sineva,

    I assume the P5+1 will accept an Iranian capacity to enrich uranium, sufficient for Bushehr #1. And, presumably, for Bushehr #2 when it is built. I think this is fairly basic.

  160. James Canning says:

    Empty,

    I assume your comment in reality is directed at yourself?

  161. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    Bibijon, nico,

    I don’t think that the secret negotiations are evidence that the US has come to a strategic decision to acknowledge the new power relations between itself and Iran.

    For the US, these “secret” talks are tactical and a continuation of the policy of finding “moderates” in revolutionary Iran who will be US allies within the Iranian political elites.

    Even if “reality” and “rationalism” would demand US elites to “accommodate” Iran, doesn’t mean that they will.

    As I have explained before, one shouldn’t overestimate the capacity of US elites- especially liberals and Democrats- and one shouldn’t underestimate the stranglehold of Israel and Saudi Arabia on the US Mid East policy.

    In other words, just because it “makes sense” for US and Iran to come to a strategic accommodation doesn’t mean that they will.

    It’s about strategically denying an Iranian and BRICS alliance and the “moderates” in Iran are the west’s allies in this project.

    Call me a realist…

    Empty-jan,

    Yes, it’s amazing the “purchasing power” that one can witness some days in Tehran…and I don’t mean north Tehran…

    If we take my higher estimate of $2 trillion GDP PPP that would place Iran in the top ten economies.

    Our problem is not the economy- which we are among the top ten in the world- or sanctions or corruption (or kuft or zahremar…pardon my French)

    It’s that we ourselves don’t have the courage to acknowledge that we are a top ten economy and a global super power- right now, in fact and currently as we speak.

    That’s our biggest problem Empty-jan.

    I hear the voice of that great soul calmly saying “…ma mitavanim…amrika hich qalati…” you know the rest.

  162. nico says:

    James Canning says:

    “The US and other countries obviously are able to prevent Iran from exporting oil by sea.”

    By specifically stating “sea” you imply that such prevention would obtain through enforcement of naval blockade.
    Well that is an act of war that would lead to hot war.
    Surely should the US elect for hot war, then they would find a pretext or an enabler.
    Blockade surely is one.

  163. James Canning says:

    At the Financial Times today, David Garnder has a grim by accurate assessment of the situation in Lebanon. (FT.COM)

  164. James Canning says:

    Nico,

    I think you have it backwards. Theblockade would be an effort to avoid war. Remember JFK and the embargo on Cuba (Oct 1962)?

  165. nico says:

    Bussed-in Basiji says:
    “Even if “reality” and “rationalism” would demand US elites to “accommodate” Iran, doesn’t mean that they will.”

    Maybe not yet.
    They can obviously kick again the can down the road and Iran again up the ante.
    Surely the US could apply additional sanction and Iran could enrich at 60%.
    But at the end of the day there is no so many options for the US other than war or accommodation, eventually.
    At least as far as can be told in the current circumstances.

  166. James Canning says:

    Bussed-In Basiji,

    You seem not to grasp the fact Russia and the US have significant interests in common, in dealing with the Middle East incl Iran.

  167. nico says:

    James Canning says:
    “Theblockade would be an effort to avoid war. Remember JFK and the embargo on Cuba (Oct 1962)?”

    Ahah.
    Are you sure Iran leadership will feel that way ?
    Anyway a blockade is defined as an act of hot war as per international and widely recognized laws.
    And it rightly allow “hot” and proportionate retaliation.
    To paraphrase you I am sure the Iran leadership would forcefully try to “avoid war” by “maybe” blocking the SoH.

  168. Smith says:

    US is not yet ready to send its president to Iran falling to the feet and beg for forgiveness. Too much hubris: http://pri.org/stories/2013-09-24/iran-and-us-learn-how-flirt-diplomatically

  169. Karl.. says:

    nico

    You are right but just ignore that clown, you are wasting your time.

  170. Rd. says:

    James Canning says:

    “Bussed-In Basiji,
    You seem not to grasp the fact Russia and the US have significant interests in common, in dealing with the Middle East incl Iran.”

    The reality you are avoiding is, the sun sat long ago All those around the world who were oppressed by your elites, finally kick them out. That sun sat and will NEVER rise again. I think someone must have played a cruel joke on you buy painting a sun on the lens of your glasses.

    The S. Africans brought down your other ‘apartheid’ cousins. And in the words of Marwan Barghouti in a letter to Mandela; “You carried a promise far beyond the limits of your country’s borders, a promise that oppression and injustice will be vanquished, paving the way to freedom and peace.” Hence your other ‘apartheid’ cousins who are occupying Palestine, too will vanish from pages of history. As for ‘these’ other cousins of yours, well they are good at shooting themselves in the foot. Dread naught and carry on, or some such thing.

  171. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    Jimmy,

    Like I said, the chants of “Death to Russia” and “Death to China” during fitna of 88 …straight out of UK embassy.

    Russia and US have divergent interests in Middle East and Iran.

    And after your Najdi john Bandar threatened Vladi P with “terrorism” during Olympics, Russia would like nothing better than to get rid of Ale Saud and have Iranian hegemony from Hindukush to Med. Ditto China.

    Let’s see Jimmy, do you consider Saudi policy in Syria designed by Prince Bandar:

    A. Reasonable and successful
    B. A strategic “blunder”
    C. Barbaric
    D. B and C

    Hint: the correct answer is “D”.

    Just watch how he will avoid upsetting his john…gotta keep the customers coming…if you know what I mean…

  172. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    nico,

    I already explained to old Krusty the Klown that a UK naval blockade would be considered an act of war by Iran, which would entail a response in the UK homeland…

    He seemed “shaken, not stirred” when he understood what a “blunder” such a move would be…(cue James Bond theme music)

    He’s old and he forgets recent conversations…or it’s somebody elses shift at the GCHQ and they forgot to tell the previous “James Canning”.

    http://www.gchq.gov.uk/Pages/homepage.aspx

  173. Castellio says:

    Bussed writes “It’s about strategically denying an Iranian and BRICS alliance and the “moderates” in Iran are the west’s allies in this project.”

    I’d like to read the Leveretts take on this thought.

  174. Jay says:

    James,

    You may be thinking that it is still the the 1950s when the UK navy engaged in a naval blockade of Iran.

    What you may wish is not advisable. This is according to US and UK military strategists, that have studied the options regarding a naval blockade of Iran. Every analysis so far suggests that an ultimate win for the West carries with catastrophic economic losses.

    You should also be advised, based on all publicly available data, that Iranian assets in the Gulf and elsewhere have full authority to exercise decentralized, asymmetrical, variable reprisal methods to paralyze economic activities in the event that US/UK decide to commence hostile action.

  175. James Canning says:

    Jay,

    I was simply stating the obvious: that if no deal with Iran is achieved, a blockade of Iranian oil exports by sea is likely result. And, as you suggest, Iran may feel the need to bring disaster down on its head, if a blockade is imposed.

  176. James Canning says:

    Bussed-In Basiji,

    Surely you are aware the US Congress is foolishly considering imposing more potential sanctions on Iran, with a view toward ending all Iranian oil exports (if no deal is achieved). I think this indicates any blockade would primarily be an American effort.

  177. James Canning says:

    Bussed-In Basiji,

    Yes, I do view the Saudi effort to overthrow Bashar al-Assad as a mistake, blunder, whatever you like on that score. I have never supported it.

  178. James Canning says:

    Rd.,

    You appear to forget I am a vigorous opponent of continuing Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Golan Heights.

  179. James Canning says:

    Nico,

    China has told Iran not to block the sealanes in the PG or the S of H. I assume you know this.

  180. Smith says:

    Now that Iran has allowed spies to inspect all Iranian facilities even beyond the mandate of Additional Protocol, one should expect more such attacks of even deadlier nature in future as the enemy learns about even the most secret stuff: http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2013/11/19/spy_copters_lasers_and_break_in_teams_fbi_spies_on_diplomats

  181. Smith says:

    Increasingly, all Roads run through Iran (Damascus, Baghdad, Asia): http://www.juancole.com/2013/12/increasingly-damascus-baghdad.html

  182. Smith says:

    Another cool contribution of Iranian Christian community: http://www.juancole.com/2013/12/iranian-armenian-isfahan.html

    (This is in addition to almost every thing being used in Iran and in the world that have either been invented or perfected by the Christian West from medicines to food). The Islamic contribution to the world in the past several centuries has been nil, on the other hand.

  183. Smith says:

    American Troops Are Protecting Afghan Opium. U.S. Occupation Leads to All-Time High Heroin Production: http://www.globalresearch.ca/drug-war-american-troops-are-protecting-afghan-opium-u-s-occupation-leads-to-all-time-high-heroin-production/5358053

  184. Jay says:

    James Canning says:
    December 27, 2013 at 6:15 pm

    Not obvious at all!! Perhaps wishful.

    The West may choose to bring disaster upon the world economy out of sheer foolishness. However, the obvious is that the West will not choose to do so because even hardcore neocons have understood that blockade is not a viable strategy against Iran.

    It is simply silly talk!

  185. Jay says:

    James,

    if you are a fan of negotiating tactics and strategic thinking you should read the recent remarks of the former FM and current AEOI director Dr. Salehi. It should convince you that Iranians are not at all concerned about a blockade.

  186. Smith says:

    Meanwhile in United States each year near to 18 thousand children get shot: http://www.research.chop.edu/blog/one-year-sandy-hook/

    Some one should take this to UN or something and put some sanctions on this mass slaughter of human children. Or even better invade and occupy them under this very valid context. Even Saddam and Qaddafi combined were not killing children at this rate.

  187. Empty says:

    James Canning,

    “I assume your comment in reality is directed at yourself?”

    If that assumption soothes you, go ahead.

  188. Empty says:

    Bussed-in-Bassiji,

    I am not too much into those sorts of rankings about top this or below that. I think the indictors with which they determine those rankings are nonesense and worthless. I believe Iran has all the natural, human, intellectual, cultural, and religious resources to build a genuinely lasting and worthwhile society and it will. Ensha’allah.

  189. Castellio says:

    http://www.egyptindependent.com//news/interior-ministry-brotherhood-protest-leaders-will-be-executed

    “Interior Ministry spokesperson Hani Abdel Latif said in a press statement issued Thursday that the penalty for leading a Muslim Brotherhood demonstration will be the death sentence, even if it is a woman.

    The harsh move comes in accordance with yesterday’s declaration of the Broterhood a terrorist organization, which was issued after the car bombing in Mansoura that killed at least 15 people. Though an unaffiliated terrorist group, Ansar Bayt al-Maqdes, claimed responsibility for the attack, the newly empowered political establishment has decided to ride the wave of fear and take the opportunity to further squash the only viable political opposition to their rule. Meanwhile, the interim government has yet to produce evidence linking the Brotherhood to the attack.

    Following the ouster of Brotherhood President Mohamed Morsy, his opponents have pushed forward their democratic roadmap, which will supposedly bring the country closer to democracy. The latest move, however, seems to be further evidence that the new path set forth by the interim government is not one of a democracy, but rather a step back to the Mubarak-era police state that ruled with an iron fist and snuffed out all political opposition.

    The next step in the roadmap, which is the most challenging one, is to approve the newly amended Constitution in a referendum to be held on 14 and 15 January. In defiance, the Brotherhood has vowed to block the referendum by protesting.

    Abdel Latif added that those who take part in such demonstrations or is a part of the group’s leadership will also be imprisoned.

    “Anyone who promotes verbally or in writing the ideas of the group or possesses leaflets or recordings of those ideas will also be sentenced for five years imprisonment,” he said. “And anyone who will assume a leadership position within the group or provide it with funds or information will be sentenced to life imprisonment.”

    He said the interior minister is holding an emergency meeting with his aides on Thursday to devise a plan to secure all schools and Egyptian streets in general, and to discuss ways to implement the cabinet’s declaration of the Brotherhood a terrorist group.

    “They will also discuss the Nasr City bombing that wounded five people,” he said.

    The prosecutor general announced Tuesday that those who were implicated in the recent terrorist acts were referred to the criminal court for belonging to a terrorist group that intends to harm national unity and social peace.”

  190. Sineva says:

    James Canning says:
    December 27, 2013 at 1:29 pm
    Did you even bother reading my posts?,the enemy in question is not the jihadis who lack any air power but the israelis and us/nato air forces,these are the ones who need to be deterred.

    James Canning says:
    December 27, 2013 at 1:31 pm
    Well you know what they say about assuming James.I cant see the west agreeing to iran doubling its numbers of centrifuges especially when the west has insisted that its goal all along is zero enrichment for iran and that under the current deal irans numbers of centrifuges are frozen.Once again you make these assumptions about western “reasonableness” without a single shred of evidence to back them up,in fact when one looks at the wests past history with iran “reasonable” is not a word I`d ever use.

  191. Karl.. says:

    Casteillo

    Egypt is lost. MB terrorists? Nonsense. But obama and Israel of course support the egyptian leaders.

  192. nico says:

    James Canning says:

    “China has told Iran not to block the sealanes in the PG or the S of H. I assume you know this.”

    Have you a source to link here to support such claim ?
    Anyway, I guess China told the US that a blockade would be unacceptable.
    Actually China receive a big chunk of its oil needs from Iran.

    Besides , knowing the consequences, it is China responsibility to forbid the US to enter into an act of war, internationally recognized as such.

    Maybe as a realpolitik matter it would be easier for China to take side with the US because of the US power.
    However that remains to be seen.
    And I believe China has a much more balanced policy than doing so.
    As a matter of fact that would be the end of the UN and what remains of international laws.
    And China has demonstrated that it support those ones.

    You and your supremacist kind believe that international laws are worth nothing.
    But Russia and China resist the Anglo push for such unilateral moves.
    They actually condemned the Anglo led unliateral economic warefare.
    And they will condemn in principle and in action such unilateral embargo.

    The alternative to Iran in the region is KSA led and US supported salafism.
    Surely Russia and China will not let that happen through UNSC.

    Blockade without UNSC would be a tremondous breach to the world order and will be condemned as such.
    I guess China and Rusdia would even send their fleet to deter such measure.
    As Russia detered the US in Syria.

    The Anglo lost the narrative and are finished.
    The only options they have is open war or accomodation.
    No need to say that another US led war against Iran would be the last nail in the coffin of the Anglo empire.

  193. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    Empty-jan,

    I agree in principle however its good to be “real” according to the enemies own standards. In that case Iran is among the top ten economies of the world. Why hide it?

    The enemies- CIA, Treasury Dept. know it- why hide it from Iranian public?

    And of course you wouldn’t believe it if you looked at Agha Mohsen’s shameless campaign…when do we get to slap him for such display of idiocy…and he is supposed to be an “economist” (he said choking in a fit of sarcastic laughter).

    Yes I would also get a PhD in economics if I started a university as former commander of Sepah- may God bless him for his sacrifices during the war and may God spank him for his political idiocy after- elahi ameen.

    If one supposedly has a PhD in economics, at least put it to good use, figure the crap out properly and don’t hide the good news…that’s all I’m saying.

    Jay-jan,

    Krusty the Klown doesn’t understand that the best thing that could happen to Iran is a total blockade of its oil by US-UK navy. What can I say, he just doesn’t get it.

    Castellio-jan,

    Yes, I would also like to see what they think about this, but it might be too close to home for them…

  194. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    Well, you can always count on the WSJ to defend Israel’s interests in the US- even if it means exposing US military secrets…

    Pentagon Probes Firm for Violation of Iran Rules

    Investigation Is Over Whether U.S. Military Supplier in Afghanistan Moved Supplies Through Iran

    http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303290904579276710603978166

    Quote:

    “An article in The Wall Street Journal in September, which prompted the investigation, disclosed that Anham relied on the Iranian port of Bandar Abbas and on Iranian supply routes to move steel, tractors and refrigeration panels into Afghanistan to build warehouses and other logistical centers.

    Anham’s actions may have violated strict U.S. sanctions laws that prohibit American entities from conducting trade with Iran or Iranian companies by moving materials through the country, Obama administration officials said.”

    “Senators Mark Kirk (R., Ill.) and Kelly Ayotte (R., N.H.) pressed the Pentagon’s Inspector General to open an investigation into Anham due to concerns the company may have directly done business with Iran’s elite military unit, the Revolutionary Guard Corps. The corps controls some of the container ports at Bandar Abbas, the U.S. Treasury says.”

  195. Unknown Unknowns says:

    This one’s for Kooshy-san and the Bussed-in Professor, and for all others who can appreciate the statistical density of this little ditty (in its basic form).

    Saheb James Canning does Bahrain (around minute 0:55 ff.): http://sdrv.ms/1g9RG8i

    Yes, boys and girls, I have unearthed archival audio footage of our very own Gaav-e Nar reminiscing about his exploits in Bahrain circa the time of the Boer War. Enjoy!

  196. Empty says:

    Unknown Unknowns,

    I wish him luck, too……:)

  197. Khomeini says:

    To All

    Mr Hashemi Rafsanjani and his supporters, since the election in June 2013, have been bragging that it is they – the eslahtalaha (the reformist) – who have made west to respect Iran. In the eyes of reformists any sort of lip service from west is a recognition and earned respect from west.

    That turned out to be very myopic. Head of the European parliaments Delegation for Relations with Iran refused to stand up and show respect to Rafsanjani. This is hilarious – koch bar sare QARB-ZADEH-GON. Watch the video in the link.

    http://www.farsnews.com/media.php?nn=13921001000804

  198. Unknown Unknowns says:

    Bussed-in Bro:

    Continuing of Beating a Dead Horse theme: bonus points for Krusty the Klown!

  199. kooshy says:

    UU Jaan

    Salam – I think instead of ant the squatter (Gav-e-nar) is encountering a storm of “GharibGazz”

  200. James Canning says:

    Bussed-In Basiji,

    Transit through Iran, to support operation in Afghanistan, makes (and made) good sense. Israel lobby opposes good sense, if any benefit to Iran results.

  201. James Canning says:

    Bussed-In Basiji,

    You are not the only one who posts on this site, who argues Iran should stop exporting oil. And that a stoppage of Iran’s oil exports by sea would benefit Iran.

  202. James Canning says:

    Nico,

    No blockade of Iranian oil exports would be imposed, without prior agreement of Russia and China (and rest of P5+1).

  203. James Canning says:

    Sineva,

    Of course I read your posts. Russia (and Obama, for that matter), think a US military intervention in Syria could not ensure stability in wake of overthrow of Syrian government.

    My hunch is that Russia would not like anti-aircraft missiles to get into the hands of Hizbollah, or Sunni fanatics in Syria.

  204. James Canning says:

    Nico,

    China’s oil imports from Iran are much smaller than China’s oil imports frrom other Persian Gulf countries. Much smaller.

  205. James Canning says:

    Sineva,

    Obama has made it clear the US (and P5+1) will accept limited Iranian enrichment of uranium, to supply Bushehr #1 after the contract with Russia expires.

    Do we agree on this?

  206. nico says:

    James Canning says:
    “No blockade of Iranian oil exports would be imposed, without prior agreement of Russia and China (and rest of P5+1).”

    Not going to happen anytime soon then.

    The issue is that you consider Iran as a third rate country.
    However the US blundered badly the last 20 or so years.
    And recent history shows that Iran will squeeze the US out of strategic concessions until the last drop.
    Whether you like it or not

  207. James Canning says:

    Nico,

    Wrong. I have a very high regard for Iran and its history.

  208. James Canning says:

    Nico,

    You apparently fail to comprehend I have long sought a much-reduced US military presence in the PG.

  209. James Canning says:

    Nico,

    I take it you concede China imports far more oil from countries other than Iran, in the PG, than from Iran itself.

  210. James Canning says:

    Nico,

    I had (and have) tremendous respect for the history of Iraq too. Which is one reason I so strongly opposed the idiotic and illegal US invasion of Iraq in 2003.

  211. Smith says:

    Iran is begging more from France: http://www.farsnews.com/newstext.php?nn=13921007000811

    Its the same story, fyi said about the Cyprus donkeys.

    Until these hypocrite shameless corrupt smuggler families are in charge of economic planning of the country, nothing is going to change.

    Only support for internalization of science, technology and innovation can save Iran.

  212. James Canning says:

    Smith,

    Iran would be able to buy major stakes in French and other car manufactorers. If it got rid of sanctions. China has obtained significant technology in this manner.

  213. Jay says:

    James Canning says:
    December 28, 2013 at 1:10 pm

    You apparently fail to comprehend the dynamics of energy and oil market and the significant challenges that would result from a blockade in the PG.

    As I have stated earlier, based on numerous studies, a blockade is not feasible. Perhaps you are out of your depth in this arena and need to consult experts before insisting on a silly position that you seem to be taking.

  214. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    During Rafsanjani admin we had to “choose” between Toyota and Peugeot.

    Anyone in their right mind would have chosen Toyota for so many reasons, for example unimportant things like better quality and access to better technology (he said with a bitter, ironic tone).

    Of course Peugeot got the contract…and of course not a single centimes of bribes was paid…really, I promise.

    That’s the famous “technocrats” working for you…

  215. James Canning says:

    Jay,

    You assume Iran would try to close shipping lanes in the PG and S of H, in event of a blockade?

    Of course Iran can inflict substantial damage on China, India, Japan, South Africa, etc etc. By temporarily closing the S of H. A good idea for Iran to pursue?

  216. James Canning says:

    Jay,

    Do I assume you think too much damage would be inflicted on the global economy, in event of blockade of Iranian oil exports? Precision in your response would be welcome.

  217. Jay says:

    James Canning says:
    December 28, 2013 at 4:25 pm
    James Canning says:
    December 28, 2013 at 4:27 pm

    In forming my opinion with regards to this matter, I rely on the analysis of US military, think-tanks, analysis of Iran’s military, and numerous simulations.

    I do not advocate or oppose a particular response by Iran to a war declaration – a blockade. Based on available and public information, I reckon that Iran’s response will be the only logical response: to make the “game” supremely expensive for the West. It is logical since Iran’s capitulation to the blockade will have the same consequences for the government and the people of Iran as does a robust response.

    This is supremely simple at this point, and my personal opinions do not change these calculations – neither does your personal opinions. There are only two logical responses to a blockade: a) surrender, and b) maximize costs to the enemy while you can. Do you think Iran will surrender?

  218. Castellio says:

    I wondered why Peugeot.

    But it wasn’t that particular company waking up (which briefly occurred to me), it was members of that country’s elite cashing in.

    I’m just too slow.

  219. Fiorangela says:

    Ping-ponging Israeli central banker Stanley Fischer, eyed to take Janet Yellin’s Fed chair, is architect of Stuart Levey’s US Treasury department anti-Iran sanctions.

  220. Sakineh Bagoom says:

    James Canning says: December 28, 2013 at 1:10 pm

    “No blockade of Iranian oil exports would be imposed, without prior agreement of Russia and China (and rest of P5+1).”

    Well James, I didn’t think we’d have to come back and game this again.

    Russia and China have given their approval. Russia, because a blockade would skyrocket the hydrocarbon prices and Russian oil companies would have a stranglehold on EU. China, because she holds over $2 trillion of American paper. She loves nothing more than to cash that paper in.

    It’s day 35 of the blockade, children in Toxteth (East) Liverpool to Shaw Road, Oldham are dropping left and right because the food prices are soaring. The children in South Shore, Blackpool were found frozen to death due to heating oil shortages. Their parents have decided to march on Whitehall with machetes.

    Your move.

  221. fyi says:

    James Canning says:

    December 28, 2013 at 4:27 pm

    Naval blockade of Iran is another path to war with Iran.

    Neither UK nor France will participate in that war – they cannot afford it but they will do everything else within their power to help US inflict harm on Iran.

    That goes for the rest of EU.

    US is not prepared to wage war against Iran at the present time; Mr. Obama had his chance in Spring of 2012 and she backed out.

    While I agree with Mr. Richard Steven Hack that US plans to attack Iran in the most opportune moment, I also believe that we are not in that period of time; it lies in the near future.

    Furthermore, the United States is not in a position to initiate such a war at will, Iranians can and will be able to engage US in escalation ladder and in multiple war theatres.

    As I have stated in this forum 2 years ago; war against Iran will be prolonged and will almost certainly result in permanent occupation of Southern Iran as well as reinforcement of Iran by Russia to stabilize the front lines.

    At that point, when Russian intervene to reinforce Iran, the Mad King has the strategic choice of attacking Russian Merchant Marines across the Caspian Sea and trigger World War III.

    World War I started with less provocation.

    The leaders of US and EU do not seem to understand that they cannot make Israel safe in the Middle East.

    One can look not further than South Sudan – the country that they created out of a bunch of illiterate pagans – to see that.

  222. Castellio says:

    A must read article, Fiorangela. He also played a role in the stripping of Russia of assets and infrastructure.

  223. nico says:

    James Canning says:

    “I take it you concede China imports far more oil from countries other than Iran, in the PG, than from Iran itself.”

    My point is that as matter of secured world trade and respect for China interests, China will not allow the US to blockade Iran while China has major interest within Iran.
    Call it a matter of principle in world relation or pride.

    If China agree with the US to increase pressure on Iran then China will just need to wind down oil imports from Iran.
    Thus the blockade option would be anyway pointless in such case.

    Well for the last few years China resisted the US to increase pressure on Iran.
    As Russia did.

    As a conclusion your point is flawed.

  224. nico says:

    Besides, as long as China imports oil from Iran it incidentally signals that China will oppose war on Iran.
    For exactly the same reason as stated above.

    Maybe the US had the power to ignore that reality a decade or so ago.

    It does not obtain anymore.

    As proven by Russia’s fleet move in Syria which aborted the western plan there.

  225. nico says:

    Castellio says:

    “I wondered why Peugeot.”

    While the bribs may be one reason it cannot explain everything.
    Anyway, bribs are common practices near everywhere for “great” export.
    And Japan would be fool for not knowing that reality.

    Another explanation is that as a geopolitical matter France has long been relatively independent from the US.
    While Japan has been and still is a semi-sovereign country and US client state. Like SK.
    When the Peugeot decision was made, China was not in the economical shape as of today.
    Thus geopolitical consideration should have had played a major role.

    France changed macro policies less than a decade ago that is (I guess) well after the Peugeot decision was made.
    Actually France reintegrated the NATO central command only about 7 years ago.
    France has been out of NATO central command for decades following and according to the late General De Gaulle decision.
    Actually, if you remember well France opposed Irak invasion at the UNSC as long as possible under US pressure in 2001.
    Only in last few years France became another US client states.
    I guess under US heavy pressure and ideological influence of French neocons and zionists.

    Besides my interpretation of France during the last Iran – P5+1 Geneva deal, is nuanced.
    Obviously France is currently neocon dominated and zionists infiltrated.
    However a secundary explanation is that France is pettily taking revenge over the US.
    In 2001 France announced that the US policies will lead to blunders and was subject to “french bashing”.
    Well now that the US are trying to extricate themselves from their fifficult position.
    France is basically stating that the US shall gulp down the poison chalice in full by making the talks more difficult.
    In addition it provide big weapon contracts with KSA.

    I personnaly believe it to be a bad calculus as well as short sighted and humiliating policy.
    But what could be expected from a sold out and incompetent leadership ?

  226. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    nico-jan,

    I agree, there was always a view in Iran that France is “independent” from the US and this was more so in the early 1990s than now.

    That’s why the SL on a number of occasions has pointed out how France used to be independent and now no longer is- especially after Sarkozy.

    Anyway I previously posted a summary of French strategic mistakes as it relates to Iran after the revolution.

    The relevant question is why French (and German) leaders like Sarkozy and Merkel failed to take advantage of the bad relations between Iran and US-UK and “fill the void”? And why would Hollande continue this strategy after Sarko?

    Why did they sacrifice their own national interests in favor of US-UK-Israel?

    Is really just that they are all neocon-Zionist-Anglophile-freemasons or did the US twist their nuts?

    Or are they just idiots?

    Maybe all of the above.

    Would be interested to hear your analysis.

  227. nico says:

    Bussed-in Basiji says:
    “The relevant question is why French (and German) leaders like Sarkozy and Merkel failed to take advantage of the bad relations between Iran and US-UK and “fill the void”?”

    For Germany it is pretty simple.
    They lost 2 world wars against Anglo interests and are still a semi-sovereign state.

    For France it is slightly more complex but not that far.
    France lost the race for world domination against England.
    First during the 7 years wars in 1757.
    Would France have experienced victory then India, US and Canada would officialy speak French today.
    Pondichery in India, Quebec in Canada and Louisina in the US are the remnant of that struggle.
    http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seven_Years'_War

    And then at Waterloo in 1815 which was the end of the Napoleonic wars defeated by England again.

    From those event forward the Anglo empire gained worldwide dominance.
    With France as a junior partner.

    There are many other reasons which would take pages to expose. Ideological, historical or circumstancial.
    But the one above is the main explenation.

  228. James Canning says:

    Nico,

    Germany is the strongest country in Europe. You appear to have difficulty grasping that fact.

  229. James Canning says:

    Nico,

    The Russian ships sent to Syria were for the purpose of evacuating Russians and others, in necessary. They played little or no role in Obama’s decision to avoid hitting Syria with missiles as “punishment” for Aug. 21 CW event.

  230. James Canning says:

    Nico,

    I assume you concede the US has the capability to end Iran’s oil exports by sea. I doubt the US would do this without at least tacit approval from entire P5+1.

    China and Russia want a resolution of the nuclear dispute with Iran that does not leave Iran in a position to build nukes quickly. Fair statement?

  231. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Obama wants to avoid war with Iran. Repeat, Obama wants to avoid war with Iran. Blockade of Iranian oil exports would be part of effort to AVOID war with Iran.

    Haven’t you argued Iran would benefit from an end to its oil exports?

  232. James Canning says:

    Sakineh,

    Russia wants the sea lanes to the PG kept open even if this means lower oil prices than would obtain if those lanes are closed.

    I take it you think those who claim Iran would benefit from an end to its exports of oil, are dead wrong?

  233. nico says:

    Canning, if you believe those child stories then good for you.

  234. James Canning says:

    Jay,

    Are you arguing that China and Russia want Iran to “surrender”? I think you are, even though this obviously is not true.

    Iran can have a limited nuclear programme. Full stop. If Iran in effect demands that this not be allowed, that would be Iran’s choice.

  235. James Canning says:

    Nico,

    You actually argue it is “childish” to say the US obviously has the power to end Iran’s oil exports by sea? Or, “childish” to think the US would obtain support from entire P5+1 before imposing a blockade? Be specific.

  236. nico says:

    James Canning says:
    “You actually argue it is “childish” to say the US obviously has the power to end Iran’s oil exports by sea? Or, “childish” to think the US would obtain support from entire P5+1 before imposing a blockade? Be specific.”

    The US enforced unilateral economig warfare for years without support from China and Russia and even against their will.
    Actually the US did so because they were not able to secure additional UNSC resolution.
    Thus it is pretty obvious the US will be unable to secure a support for a blockade, let alone to carry it out.

  237. kooshy says:

    nico says:
    December 29, 2013 at 9:53 am

    Nico

    The main reason that you didn’t mention is that the French are and always were known to be political
    Prostitutes that’s the fact. Specially since WWII when Germans walked through France with little resistance, France was saved only because of the Americans.they are not fully sovereign state as long as morally and financially they have to fallow American foreign policy dictates.

  238. Sakineh Bagoom says:

    James,
    Is this one of your “short comments going directly to the point are often the most effective way to communicate.” Moments?

    What did you actually say? Russia wants the sea-lanes in PG open? Why? Are they sending materiel, troops, ships, etc through? Why would Russia benefit from lower oil prices?

    Also, what does a blockade have to do with ending oil exports?
    I claim Iran would benefit from processing the raw material, then exporting.

    Come on James, the children of Toxteth (East) Liverpool are waiting for your response.
    Their parents will soon march.

  239. Sammy says:

    Too much garbage coming from the british ‘cabbage head’ here on this forum , he is destroying the quality of this site , too bad….

  240. Smith says:

    The ignorant cargo cult now thinks that if only it could have Japanese cars/planes instead of the French cars/planes then all will be “ok” and the gifts will flow from “paradise”. Their stupidity has no bound. Malaysian car maker Proton that has been working with Japanese companies is in no better shape than the Iranian car makers. They still have to beg foreign companies for design documents, engines, critical parts etc etc.

    These ignorants can not understand that the only way to achieve material gain is not by begging another “independent” country but by rising up and encouraging/supporting/investing in scientific thinking and innovation. Without systemic advancement of a knowledge based economy based on local scientific and technological capabilities, the society will always live the life of a cargo cult.

    But the the stupid people who do not even know what GDP is and claim that Iran has a GDP output close to Germany’s are running the country in a cargo cult fashion with their brains on autopilot. They stopped thinking 8 centuries ago.

    That is why no economic theory has come out of Islamic lands. GDP is a purely western economic concept now adapted by United Nations. It estimates using statistical tools all monetarily numerated economic activities both legal and illegal/ registered and unregistered in a country. Its PPP exchange rate compensated counterpart is then used for comparison across countries. Alas the cargo cult believers can never understand these western developed notions. They live in the world of their sick dreams of cargo cult.

    Personally I believe one of the factors hindering the development of alot of nations around the globe is the “imposition” of western GDP by UN on these countries since GDP also adds in things which have no benefits for a developing country (teaching to play guitar, serving in a restaurant and the telecom industry carrying the text messages of teenage lovers) as opposed to real things like truly indigenous industrial/agricultural output. For Iran a country inhabited by cargo cult followers and in the absence of an indigenous economic theory and philosophy, a better measure would be something like the Net Material Product (NMP) which in the case of Iran, I would estimate to be something around the range of 100 billion dollars or even lesser. This is the true economic output of Iran, which is very much compatible with people’s actual life standards on the ground (bar a few percentage of very rich corrupt monafiq and rapist segment of the society).

    Always remember that Tehran is not Iran. There are other part of Iran as well and these parts of Iran do not look like Germany at all: http://www.asriran.com/fa/news/144429/%D9%88%D8%B3%DB%8C%D9%84%D9%87-%D9%86%D9%82%D9%84%DB%8C%D9%87-%D8%A7%DB%8C-%DA%A9%D9%87-%D8%A8%D8%AC%D8%A7%DB%8C-%DA%A9%D8%B1%D8%A7%DB%8C%D9%87-%D8%A7%D9%86%DA%AF%D8%B4%D8%AA%D8%A7%D9%86-%D8%AF%D8%B3%D8%AA-%D8%B1%D8%A7-%D9%85%DB%8C-%DA%AF%DB%8C%D8%B1%D8%AF%D8%B9%DA%A9%D8%B3

  241. Smith says:

    And yeah, it does not hurt to review the cargo cult mentality here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c7RA4UnEuQ0

    Oh, yeah, lets wait for Japanese planes now, oh, no the French are more “independent” oh, yes, lets suck the American penis and let their planes to bring our cargo ….

    This is their mentality.

    They never think that it is the indigenous people that have to be encouraged to think and supported to design, develop, test and mass manufacture, engine control units, microprocessors, automatic transmissions and ABS braking components instead of waiting for this or that cargo plane.

  242. Jay says:

    James Canning says:
    December 29, 2013 at 1:17 pm

    James,

    you demonstrate a dogmatic devotion to ideas that are demonstrably false! Why?

    For 30+ years the US/UK have been working diligently toward ending Iran’s independence. At the height of militarism under Ronald Reagan and Maggie Thatcher, the West, with the aid of Saddam, tried to disrupt Iran’s use of sea lanes in the PG. The Western allies even resorted to conflict that included the shooting down of a civilian airline. This was during the time that Iran was, relatively speaking, weak.

    It did not work!

    20+ years later, you and the most extreme elements of the neocons have joined voices in suggesting that a blockade is a viable option – despite simulation after simulation and study after study suggests that it is not. Even the sane Israelis don’t think so.

    What is your explanation for you insisting on holding on to a bankrupt idea?

    Are you pushing an ideology?

    Point to a single respectable study that suggests blockade as a rational and viable idea.

    Are you able to?

  243. Jay says:

    Fiorangela says:
    December 28, 2013 at 10:32 pm

    Thank you for the post.

    I agree with a number of point regarding the history of Mr. Fischer’s work.

    He is a “fix it” guy.

    However, I believe that Mr. Fischer is coming to town in order to fix the ills of Israeli economy on the backs of US taxpayers. If it simply was more aid, the Congress would have taken care of it! It turns out that the Israeli problems are entangled with US stock and bond assets that have been “packaged” by the “too big to fail”. I have heard these whispers from a few people – no media outlet here dares touch this.

    Israel has been suffering massive deficits, exodus of professionals, lowered scientific output, and increased military spending. Israel has been funding part of its large expenses through a very similar “packaging” of the real-estate scheme that caused the collapse of 2008. A couple of “too big to fail” are nervous – because the Israeli economy outlook is poor and if the issue comes to light…well, the banking folks think it won’t be good. Netanyahu’s attempt to control the widening problem by raising taxes earlier this year did not work as promised, and the fiscal situation in Israel is structurally unstable.

    Mr. Fischer is here to “fix this” and to give it a cover. Maybe Glen Greenwald wants to expose this!

  244. nico says:

    kooshy says:
    “French are and always were known to be political Prostitutes”

    Thank you for this insightfull comment. Not sure it explains anything.

    Regarding France defeat in WWII, well obviously Germany would have conquered all Europe save for Russia and the US. That being said, Russia carried out the heavy lifting not the US nor UK.

  245. Smith says:

    Edge of the cliff: http://raztv.ir/video+4meoosuxl9

    Alot of care is needed since big number of unrepentant greenies are being inducted into various machineries of the government. This will have serious consequences in future. Basically the time has come for the greenies to be treated exactly like MKO. These guys will hurt Iran from within in near future as they are now being allowed to go into decision making of the government. Their impact is going to be even bigger than the corruption by rapist/smuggler families.

  246. James Canning says:

    Nico,

    Yes, Soviet Union supplied the manpower. BUt US & UK provided essential war supplies.

  247. James Canning says:

    Jay,

    The US obviously has the naval and other assets necessary to stop any Iranian oil exports by sea.

    One can argue that Iran may well try to close the S of H, in event of a blockade. That is a seaparate issue, but connected of course.

  248. James Canning says:

    Jay,

    I have denounced American stupidity in the policies of the US and other countries toward Iran.

    But, in effort to avoid war, I would favour a blockade (as a last resort). If alternative is an attack on Iranian nuclear facilities.

  249. James Canning says:

    Sakineh,

    Russia seeks stability in the Middle East. Such stability would not be available, if Iran tries to close sea lanes in the PG. Not a difficult concept.

  250. James Canning says:

    Sammy,

    Are you one of those who argue Iran must block any deal with P5+1 that precludes a quick procession to building Iranian nukes, should Iran so choose. Easy question.

  251. nico says:

    James Canning says:
    “Soviet Union supplied the manpower. BUt US & UK provided essential war supplies.”
    Anyway. Germany lost the WWII on its eastern front.
    Surely the US has a major role in WWII.
    However people need sometime be reminded that the US propaganda about them being the world savior, the chosen people and so on is only urban legend.

  252. Smith says:

    After begging Japanese for about three decades, another cargo cult nation is getting tired of waiting for its “gifts from heaven”. Such is the fate of a cargo cult nation: http://www.malaysia-chronicle.com/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=194921:youre-wrong-dr-m-proton-is-better-dead-than-alive&Itemid=2#axzz2otzJXT6k

  253. Smith says:

    Top products exported by cargo cult nation of Iran: http://countries.bridgat.com/Top_Products_Exported_by_Iran.html

    Note that after the rent earned from exporting sorted natural resources, the largest export item is literally the “nuts”.

  254. Smith says:

    Compare it with top products exported by Germany: http://countries.bridgat.com/Top_Products_Exported_by_Germany.html

    Do their economic output seem even a bit close to each other as the stupid ignorant cargo cult followers are trying to imply by lying?

  255. Smith says:

    As clearly demonstrated, it is not oil, gas, fart that has the economic value. The only economic value is that of a human brain allowed to think and produce ideas. Until and unless countries like Iran do not understand this most basic thing, they should not hope their economic situation to improve.

    Remember that cargo cult followers can never deliver what they promise. Remember that it is the unrestrained capabilities of human mind that propel a nation forward. Keeping the brains on autopilot will only stagnate a nation.

  256. James Canning says:

    Nico,

    I agree with you that the Soviet contribution to Allied victory in the Seond World War, often gets indadequate credit in the west.

  257. Smith says:

    MRI machines use helium canister cartridges. Japan produces these cartridges (as well as MRI machines).

    When total sanctions were put on Iran in 2012, Iran could no more import them and there were wide spread shortages of these cartridges in Iranian hospitals. Neurosurgeons no more could see the brain and had to operate blindly. Oncologists were suddenly pushed back a century and had to resort to use old fashioned X-rays. This continued until some smugglers offered to smuggle the cartridges in as long as the patients were ready to pay the exorbitant prices the smugglers were demanding.

    Helium is one of the most rare elements on earth. And it is the most finite (upon release helium leaves earth forever).

    Japan does not have any helium reserves.

    Iran has the world’s largest helium reserves (mixed with natural gas, with its biggest reservoir being the South Pars natural gas field).

    The cargo cult and their smuggler friends are destroying Iran.

  258. BiBiJon says:

    Don’t miss
    ==========

    http://www.debka.com/article/23558/US-and-Iran%E2%80%99s-First-Joint-Military-Venture-Fighting-al-Qaeda-in-Iraq

    And

    ttp://www.livemint.com/Opinion/xBXXsUtXwudOvz1YWruktN/What-Iran-wants–Hassan-Rouhani.html

    And

    ttp://www.livemint.com/Opinion/XeG46m24CeMWfiEA0WejMK/Has-Iran-changed–Turki-bin-Faisal-AlSaud.html

  259. fyi says:

    James Canning:

    Well let us see how the process of creating near-war situation will prevent war; “We rape to preserve chastity.”

  260. Sineva says:

    James Canning says:
    December 28, 2013 at 1:18 pm
    Your post makes no sense,the americans have said no such thing indeed they have publicly said that their goal is zero enrichment for iran which was their demand from the beginning,the current deal freezes irans numbers of centrifuges,the idea that they would agree to a doubling or tripling of irans centrifuges is just not credible,you seem to be one of these people who are under the delusion that the west is an honest and impartial player in the middle east and that if iran would just be “reasonable” and agree to western demands everything would be fine,for the west that is,but when it comes to irans nuclear program the one thing that the west has never been by any standard is “reasonable”

    James Canning says:
    December 28, 2013 at 1:14 pm
    Answered on December 25, 2013 at 9:14 pm

  261. BiBiJon says:

    Obama says Iran could be allowed a modest nuclear enrichment program
    =================================================================

    President Obama says that it isn’t realistic to try to force Iran to dismantle its entire nuclear complex, but that strong monitoring would be needed.
    December 07, 2013|By Paul Richter

    From http://articles.latimes.com/2013/dec/07/world/la-fg-obama-us-mideast-20131208

  262. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    nico-jan,

    I think Sarkozy’s loyalties to France- as a son of Jewish immigrants- is conditional and he is never 100% sure of France’s loyalty to him and people of his background.

    His real sympathies are more with Israel and US rather than France.

    Merkel as the daughter of a Protestant preacher in East Germany- whose grandfather was a Polish Catholic convert to Protestantism and who fought in WWI against Germany in a French military unit made up of ethnic Poles from German lands- well I think she is very sympathetic to the global hegemony of US-UK protestants.

    She went out of her way to personally participate in the awards ceremony of one these clowns who drew caricatures of the Prophet (sawas)- who cares what the millions of Muslims in Germany think.

    Hollande? Well, he’s just an party functionary idiot…

    Hollande in Saudi Arabia for talks on Mideast crises, trade ties

    http://www.france24.com/en/20131229-hollande-saudi-arabia-talks-mideast-crises-trade-ties/

  263. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    Jay, Fio,

    One the stories that the mainstream media avoids like the plague is the awful state of the Israeli economy.

    Also they always talk about how many people immigrated to Israel each year but they never talk about how many more leave Israel for good each year.

    I don’t see any major journalist in the US or west having the courage to expose these stories.

    Maybe Jon Stewart (Leibowitz) will make a movie about it…

  264. Jay says:

    Bussed-in Basiji says:
    December 30, 2013 at 8:12 am

    Mr. Fischer is in the US to “fix” this “Israel” problem. The solution will involve another massive transfer of wealth from US citizens – one that would not be identified for another decade. By the time it is recognized, “another reality”, in the words of Karl Rove, will be created and the problem will be attributed to this “new reality”.

    I also doubt any major outlet or journalist would touch this.

  265. Jay says:

    On a cheery note…. I see that Mr. Cameron has declared “Mission Accomplished” in Afghanistan!

    Now, that’s dry sense of humor for you!!

  266. nico says:

    Bussed-in Basiji says:
    “I think Sarkozy’s loyalties to France- as a son of Jewish immigrants- is conditional and he is never 100% sure of France’s loyalty to him and people of his background.His real sympathies are more with Israel and US rather than France.”

    I am not sure that it is related to only one person.
    The leadership also reflect the people somehow.
    The people cannot always be excused even if tye people is not entirely responsible.

    My take is that France like Germany by being defeated in wars has lost belief in its own “manifest destiny”.

    As was
    To the contrary that is something that obtains in Iran or the US.
    Hovever, obviously within different ideologies.

    Charles De Gaulle had still belief in France “manifest destiny” the leaders after him lost that as the people did.

    Power and indepedence come first from Will Power.

  267. hans says:

    Smith says:
    December 29, 2013 at 5:30 pm

    Smith, Islam can never be productive as long as 50% of its population is “second class” under the eyes of the religion.

    I see your Foreign minister, having less of that Cheshire cat grin, my prediction is that 2014 he could be arrested or demoted out of government. As to USA attacking Iran, forget it it will never happen as of now, Iran knows asymmetrical warfare far better then USA/NATO/Israel, their client states would be destroyed. Iran has been the main instigator of the NDF in Syria, which has helped roll back the NATO led apes. Their strategy against the rats show how poor NATO infantry is without air firepower. Give Iran some credit. As to what Iran’s capabilities are, nobody really knows. Did you ever envisage Iran’s ability to capture the RPQ drones!

  268. fyi says:

    hans says:

    December 30, 2013 at 10:17 am

    No that is not it – that is just a Christian/Western canard.

    Japan is a counter-example.

    The legacy of 800 years of refusal to think for oneself and to ask questions cannot be overcome in 35 years of the nationalistic Islamic Republic rule.

    But the bright side for Iran and Iranians has been that the a collection of states comprising of one billion people have been inflicting pain and harm on them for decades, thus teaching them searing lessons that has awakened them from their slumber.

    Thank you Axis Powers!

  269. Smith says:

    hans says:
    December 30, 2013 at 10:17 am

    Your hypothesis is not right on multiple levels. First, Iranian women are not “second class citizens”. I admit that there are problems (as are anywhere) but not second class citizens. In fact Iranian women have benefited alot more than men during these past decades. They did not have to go to clear mines and stand up to Saddam’s chemical weapons. Then they were given advantages in education that were unfair to men eg. after the revolution, by law, 50% of all medical students were made female and usually due to technicalities this percentage would even go higher.

    Then a female medical graduate could start her specialty training and residency immediately, but the men graduates had to go and serve the rural areas for 10 years before they could even be considered for specialty training. Most men by that time, would have grown too old to continue studying. Great amount of talents were lost this way. If you were a male Iranian doctor, you would certainly feel like a “second class” citizen. This is also true for many other areas and also true in a vice versa manner. The problem is poor management, poor legislation and poor outlooks for society (common to all cargo cult nations).

    Then there is the issue that when women in western societies were truly a second class citizen, say in 1907 and only the chalk white aristocratic male was considered human, the science and technology was still flourishing in western society. In fact at the time in Europe the foundations for all modern sciences of today were being laid from the atomic theory to quantum mechanics to modern biosciences.

    Iran’s problem is not your hypothesis. Iran’s problem is as fyi has termed it: “the 800 year slumber”. It might come as a surprise to you, but in Iran, thinking and producing ideas is considered a wasteful activity. The Iranian society and culture does not value innovation and invention. It values outsmarting/lying/outmaneuvering others in a market place in the most unethical ways.

    As for Zarif, to be arrested, I do not agree. I do not think that is possible in Iranian political system. In Iran too outright arrest and worse to prosecute and punish people who have been in high political offices, alot of political capital has to be spent. Even those who tried to bring down the state in a coup in 2009 still have not been brought to any court and are living in their own houses comfortably issuing statements. In any country country they might have been imprisoned or even outright executed. In Iran when pass a certain level in politics, then you become almost untouchable and this is one of the roots of corruption in Iran. Such politicians in Iran are not more politicians but become kind of western celebs with die hard fans. Try to put that foreign minister in prison and see what will happen on university campuses.

    Asymmetric warfare has its own limitations. And when US decides to attack Iran, they will not go in at the first stage. There will be a prolonged period of aerial attacks, cruise missile strikes, total physical embargo and selective occupation of certain areas such as the oil producing Khuzestan and Iranian islands in Persian Gulf and Sea of Oman. In a long term scenario the only thing that can guarantee Iran’s unity and provide its state with sufficient independent deterrence is possession of nuclear weapons. Take the favorite petite whore hostage and then reap the benefits. This favorite petite whore has such an influence on the mad king that Iran’s prosperity in security matters thereafter is guaranteed.

    But even more necessary is for Iranian nation to wake up and start thinking.

  270. Smith says:

    They are all the same as they always were: http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/security/2013/12/france-saudi-relations-replace-washington-arms.html#

    Independent France? WTF. The same France was the main supplier to Saddam during the war.

    “Now let’s go and suck the French/Japanese/American dick and beg them for the cargo/cars”, say the smugglers and cargo cult priests.

    Until Iranian nation does not start to think/innovate/invent, nothing is going to change. A nation that does not think/innovate/invent is a slave nation and can never be sovereign, independent or free.

  271. Kathleen says:

    Fio thanks for catching this and linking.
    “Fiorangela says:
    December 26, 2013 at 11:03 am
    Nomination for Going to Tehran citizen activist of the year goes to Kathleen, who effectively addressed a nationwide C Span audience to nominate
    Flynt and Hillary Mann Leverett for Political Hero [Heroine] for the Year 2013 –
    15 min – 19:30 min

    Kathleen agreed with an earlier caller that “Elizabeth Warren may be able to push Hillary Clinton to apologize for her stupid vote for the Iraq war resolution …”

    Kathleen continues:

    “My two political heroes are Hillary Man Leverett and Flynt Leverett. They were both in the Bush administration, they both stood against the invasion of Iraq. Hillary has negotiated directly with Iran, and Flynt was a … CIA Middle East analyst.”

    Just catching up at Going to Tehran lost in the holidaze shuffle with a very large Catholic family here in Dayton Ohio. Did get that call in on Christmas Day. Yes the Leverett’s are two of my heroes along with Greenwald, Snowden, Ray McGovern, Mandela, Peggy and Art Gish and so many others. Have been after Washington Journal for some time to have the Leverett’s back on their program to discuss the situation with Iran. I believe it’s been a long time. I always try to keep in mind how many millions of people one can communicate with by calling into Washington Journal etc.

    Happy New Years to all at Going to Tehran and thanks for all everyone at this site does for peace and justice. Especially the Leveretts

  272. James Canning says:

    hans,

    I assume you are not contending that the US would ignore an Iranian attack on US naval vessels in the PG or S of H.

  273. James Canning says:

    Bussed-In Basiji,

    Philip Weiss “exposes” many facts about Israel, that most US newspapers try to ignore.
    (Mondoweiss.net)

  274. James Canning says:

    Sineva,

    Again: Obama has made clear he is willing to accept Iranian enrichment to low levels. Full stop. Even if Aipac opposes ANY Iranian enrichment.

  275. James Canning says:

    Sineva,

    Are you aware it would take many months of training, for Syrian soldiers to be able to operate the S-300 system (if Russia supplied it)?

    Israeli air strikes are of relatively little consequence, in overall picture of civil war in Syria.

  276. James Canning says:

    Wall Street Journal today has an interesting report on the Sultan of Oman and his role as intermediary in the PG. Mentions Oman’s interest in achieving a gas pipeline from Iran.

  277. James Canning says:

    Harold Simmons is dead, at 82. He spent $2 million on the vicious smear of John Kerry in the 2004 US presideential election. (“Swift Boat” BS) Very likely cost Kerry the election, and put the moron back into the White House for four more years.

  278. Smith says:

    Compare this to Qajars: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rangaku

    Iran also needs a major government sponsored effort to translate western books to Farsi, specially those related to science, engineering, philosophy and overall thinking matters as part of a large program to kick start a thinking movement in Iran.

    Cargo cult promises can not solve Iran’s persistent economic problems. Neither can the proponents of phallus sucking.

  279. Sakineh Bagoom says:

    “No blockade of Iranian oil exports would be imposed, without prior agreement of Russia and China (and rest of P5+1).”

    “Russia seeks stability in the Middle East. Such stability would not be available, if Iran tries to close sea lanes in the PG. Not a difficult concept.”

    Perhaps this is more of a difficult concept for a hare-brain like you.

    Canning logic:
    There will be a blockade if Iran is not good girl and does not behave like she is told.
    The West will require permission from Russia for the blockade.
    Russia does not want the sea lanes closed since she wants stability in PG.

    Round and round and round we go to the music of The Brothers Karamozov.

  280. James Canning says:

    Sakineh,

    If Iran does not achieve a deal with P5+1, possibly Iran can avoid a cutoff of oil exports by stopping enrichment to 20, suspending construction at Arak, etc.

    You fail to understand how serious Russia is, about making sure Iran gives up any ability to build nukes quickly.

  281. Smith says:

    What people want around the world: http://www.myworld2015.org/#?page=results

  282. James Canning says:

    Sakineh,

    China has told Iran not to obstruct the sea lanes in PG. Even if Iran’s oil exports are cut off, is implied.

  283. James Canning says:

    Sakineh,

    Curious thing: you appear to see it as mere bluster, by a number of politicians in the US Congress, re cutting off all Iran’s oil exports if no deal with P5+1 is achieved?

  284. Smith says:

    What the people want around the world (fixed broken link): http://www.myworld2015.org/index.html?page=results

  285. James Canning says:

    Voice of Russia reports meeting today of technical nuclear experts in Geneva, re: P5+1 negotiations with Iran.

  286. Cyrus_2 says:

    From ZeroHedge:

    – Day After Saudi Arabia Gives Record $3 Billion To Lebanese Army, Lebanese Troops Fire At Syrian Warplanes
    – The only question is whether this time Putin, instead of simply diffusing the Syrian confrontation once again, will have an incendiary present or two for the Saudi princes, in part as gratitude for the string of recent Saudi-inspired terrorist attacks in Volgograd.
    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2013-12-30/day-after-saudi-arabia-gives-record-3-billion-lebanese-army-lebanese-troops-fire-syr

  287. Jay says:

    James Canning says:
    December 30, 2013 at 3:34 pm
    James Canning says:
    December 30, 2013 at 3:36 pm

    No and No!

  288. James Canning says:

    Jay,

    Wrong. China has warned Iran not to close shipping lanes in PG and S of H.

    I assume Russia has same position as China.

  289. James Canning says:

    INRA quoted Abbas Araqchi, deputy Iranian FM, as saying he expected a deal with P5+1 by end of January.

  290. Smith says:

    hans says:
    December 30, 2013 at 10:17 am

    Oh, I forgot to say the reason for his not smiling: his mother has died.

  291. Jay says:

    James Canning says:
    December 30, 2013 at 6:07 pm

    Wrong.

  292. Dan Cooper says:

    Off Topic but very interesting

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=etXAm-OylQQ

    Please watch the video in its entirety.

    Miko Peled was born in Jersusalem into a famous and influential Israeli Zionist family. His father was a famous General in the Israeli Army, of which Miko also served his time. When Miko’s niece was killed by Palestinian suicide bombers, you may have expected the family to put Palestinians at fault, but surprisingly they blamed the state of Israel, and their violent torturing and persecution for driving people to such sadness that they would take their own lives.

    Through his father’s deep knowledge of the Israeli war of terror, together with his own research, Miko Peled ruins the myths surrounding the Israel and Palestine situation, and delivers a truth so damning that many Jews and Israel supporters will not be able to bear it. He reveals facts such as the original expelled Jews are not the ones returning, and they are not their descendants either, covers the double standards regarding the right of return, which doesn’t apply to Palestinians, and dispels the myth that there has been a conflict for ages by producing proof that it was peaceful up until 1947 when Israel launched their illegal attacks.

    Miko is just one of the many modern day Jews against Zionism and the state of Israel, and with the information he delivers in this astounding talk, it is not difficult to see why more and more Jews are rejecting Zionism and calling for the dismantling of Israel. It is a true eye-opener for anyone who has for too long been blinded by the fake misinformation given by the mainstream media, and the truths come straight from the heartland where he has spent many years documenting the real story.

  293. Sineva says:

    James Canning says:
    December 30, 2013 at 1:55 pm
    Syrian and iranian Air Defence personnel were trained to use and maintain these systems in russia several years ago prior to any delivery of them,in addition thanks to the use of cots these systems are very easy to operate.The russians are just continuing their stupid game of extracting as many concessions as possible,they may think they`re being clever but they`re only showing friend and foe alike just how utterly untrustworthy they are

    James Canning says:
    December 30, 2013 at 1:52 pm
    No hes willing to accept irans current levels because he has no choice,but these would be insufficient to refuel bushehr in the event that the unreliable russians reneged on their obligations to supply fuel never mind supply the fuel demands of irans future nuclear industry,the choice for the west is a simple one:either supply iran with the fuel it needs or accept iranian enrichment on a commercial scale

  294. Karl.. says:

    Cyrus_2

    Why would a mostly anti-saudiarabian gov. in Lebanon follow orders by Saudiarabia?

  295. Cyrus_2 says:

    @ Karl

    It was the first time the Lebanese shot back at Syrian airplanes, a day after KSA donated 3 billion to Lebanon.
    The Lebanese army is going to use the money, which far exceeds Lebanon’s annual defense budget, to buy French arms (which probably includes some Rafales the French recently failed to sell to Brazil).
    Last week Hollande visited KSA.
    All this is not a coincidence.

  296. Cyrus_2 says:

    @ Karl

    It was the first time the Lebanese shot back at Syrian airplanes, a day after KSA donated 3 billion to Lebanon.
    The Lebanese army is going to use the money, which far exceeds Lebanon’s annual defense budget, to buy French arms (which probably includes some Rafales the French recently failed to sell to Brazil).
    Last week Hollande visited KSA.
    All this is not a coincidence.

  297. nico says:

    Bussed-in Basiji,

    To further elaborate on France foreign policy in more recent history, that is after WWII, one need to take into account 2 factors.

    The first factor I already stated previously and is related to will power and “manifest destiny”.
    On the long run (from the 18th century) France has been a junior partner of the Anglo empire.
    Even if there still has been strategic competition and infighting.

    In more recent history but for decades now, French leadership put France destiny in the hands of the EU project.
    This project is basically an ultra liberal and Atlantist related project that was fought by De Gaulle but accepted by following leaders.
    As long as this EU project is rolling it would be difficult for France or other European countries to take an independent stance from the US.
    We are experiencing a very deep crisis in the EU construction project and a reconfiguration of international relations concommitently with the implosion and reconfiguration project is not excluded in the decade to come.
    My take is that the reconfiguration of the EU project shall be triggered by France and/or Germany denunciation of the project as it obtains today.
    Such reconfiguration may lead to rapprochment with Russia at the expense of US.

    However currently the political momentum goes to the contrary as you maybe know that the transatlantic treaty is being discussed to create a US-EU free trade zone and leading to further integration. It is pushed hard by EU administration and planned to be implemented in the next few years.
    However it is subject it criticisms about loss of democratic rights (well on the exactly same model as the EU)
    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/nov/04/us-trade-deal-full-frontal-assault-on-democracy
    The economic crisis as well as the EU institutional and moral crisis may abort that plan.

    The second factor for France current policy is the end of the Soviets and the US unilateral moment.
    During the cold war France played with the balance of power between Russia and the US in order to keep room for a RELATIVE independence.
    After the fall of communism France lost that room and fought for an multipolar order.
    That is why France took position in 2001 against the US intervention in Irak and tried to convince the US not to take their suicidal hegemonistic path.
    That position was based on France interest but also on moral principles.
    Once the US made their decision and fully embarked in their full spectrum dominance project then France acknowledge that reality and the new world order and balance of power.
    Thus France took side with the US.
    With that change, neocons and atlantists took ground in the MSM, administration and government, chasing away their oponents with witch hunt like methods.
    Foreign policy does not change overnight and the current momentum in French policy will take time to be modified.
    And it will need a massive clean up of incrusted neocons in MSM, administration and political parties.

    The economic ane moral crisis currently experienced in France and EU might bring that in the not so distant future.

  298. BiBiJon says:

    From Russia, with love, of course, but directed at whom?
    ===================================================

    Remember how Bandar threatened Putin with terrorism, and oil price disruptions:

    “…I can give you a guarantee to protect the Winter Olympics in the city of Sochi on the Black Sea next year. The Chechen groups that threaten the security of the games are controlled by us…”

    AND

    “we understand the importance of the Russian gas pipeline to Europe. We are not interested in competing with that. We can cooperate in this area … What’s important is to conclude political understandings on a number of issues, particularly Syria and Iran.”

    Read more: http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/politics/2013/08/saudi-russia-putin-bandar-meeting-syria-egypt.html##ixzz2p2zd3BqC

    I doubt Putin’s answer for the bombings in Volgograd will target the Saudis directly. Putin is likely to take US, UK, and France to task: Either do something about the sociopaths of Hejaz, or else.

  299. nico says:

    Bussed-in Basiji,

    As for the most recent move from France regarding the Iran nuclear deal.
    Another explanation is that the US by reshaping there relation with Iran is alienating KSA.
    As a consequence strategic room is left open to develop ties with KSA.
    Such room was not available beforehand.

    In the hypothesis the US come to terms at some point with Iran then it can be foresaw that KSA and other Arab PG neighbor will need to diversify their security and by way of consequence their economic relations from the US.

    France elected a opportunistic and short sighted approach to (very) partially fill the void and play its card in the rebalancing of powers in ME.

    Actually, Iran would surely chose China, Russia, the US or Germany to support the development of nuclear, oil and other industries in Iran. Surely UK and France will not benefit from rapprochement as much as the laters. Save maybe for the oil industry.

    As for the drama queen “cargo cult Iran will be raped” why not just shut down any relation with the world and develop Iran from scratch ?
    Surely it would take many times longer to develop Iran that way rather than with smart relation with the rest of the world.
    Ask Japan or Germany if their knowledge economy is based upon being shut to the world.
    The drama queen is a self-hating Iranian who thinks that dumb Iranians should be educated whith a stick.

  300. Karl.. says:

    Bibijon
    December 31, 2013 at 5:47 am

    That is most likely a rumour, chechen activities are purely homegrown.

  301. nico says:

    Karl.. says:

    “That is most likely a rumour, chechen activities are purely homegrown.”

    US/Saudi covert operations in Chechnya: Ricin, diamonds, Stingers
    http://english.pravda.ru/opinion/columnists/30-04-2013/124461-usa_chechnya-0/

  302. Fiorangela says:

    Speaking of courageous, cutting-edge journalists — Hedrick Smith acquired a Pulitzer some years ago for his reporting from USSR and a book he produced on his tenure working for New York Times in Moscow.

    Smith was a guest on C Span’s Washington Journal this morning, offering C Span’s listeners insights to enable them to engage in the world of the mid-20th century, updated to kowtow to the monitors of- and for- neoconish propaganda.

    Smith lamented Putin’s failures this year to “open Russia to the West.” Putin had two choices, Smith opined: conduct himself like the KGB thug that he is, or function like the Putin who, as a KGB agent in East Germany, sneaked into West Germany and observed how to a successful western-style economy is conducted. Unfortunately, Smith said, Putin is choosing to operate like a KGB thug, rather than hitch Russia’s star to the economic model that has produced so much prosperity for 1% of the American population. (An earlier segment of the Washington Journal program surveyed the sharp gap between rich and poor in the USA. Perhaps Smith was in a green room and unable to hear the many callers, and the numerous news articles, that reported on the growing discontent over the American wealth gap and economic situation. What is further puzzling, however, is that Smith himself mentioned that the USA spent or will spend close to $4 trillion on wars in the Middle East. Did he leave his brain in the green room, such that he failed to relate USA’s economic distress due to imperial ambitions and military adventurism to Russia’s policy as stated by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov; namely, to aid in keeping the peace and providing humanitarian assistance, but not to choose sides or pre-empt the right of people in sovereign states to select their own governments. see http slashes www dot abc dot net dot au/lateline/content/2012/s3420041 htm)

    Smith did toss Putin this bone: Putin DID persuade Syria to divest itself of chemical weapons. Putin realized that the major cache of those weapons, and the target of the USA’s cruise missiles, was very close to Assad’s residence, so Putin agreed to Obama’s plan in order to protect Assad. http://www.c-spanvideo.org/program/Stoleth

    This is the kind of nonsense the American people hear from C Span, the media outlet they repeatedly call “the most fair and balanced” in the USA today.

  303. Fiorangela says:

    Sergei Lavrov’s conversation with Australia’s Emma Alberici in Jan. 2012 still informs and, dare I say, inspires —
    http://www.abc.net.au/lateline/content/2012/s3420041.htm

    the link offers a video as well as full transcript.

    Happy New Year. May 2014 see some change we can believe in.

  304. Sakineh Bagoom says:

    Empty,
    I don’t know if you caught what just happened.
    It took three squirts (er, posts) and a mix of metaphors (20% vs. blockade) to get to the heart of canning logic (er, response).
    This must be a new high (low?) for “comments going directly to the point are often the most effective way to communicate”
    That takes a lot of attention span – Squirrel — http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HxoWHeoYU3g

  305. James Canning says:

    Sineva,

    The Russians are correct in seeing little need on part of Syrian government for S-300 system, and considerable risk those missiles could end up in hands of al-Qaeda.

  306. James Canning says:

    Fiorangela,

    Surely the Russians were quite right to seek a way to get rid of Syrian CW.

  307. James Canning says:

    Sineva,

    Russia would prefer to supply all the nuclear power plants that would be build in Iran, with nuclear fuel. The grossly incompetent G W Bush administration failed to back Russia’s effort to control the fuel cycle for the Bushehr plants.

    And I agree, Iran should be sold fuel for Tehran reactor. Sheer idiocy, by G W Bush admin, in blocking Iran’s IAEA application on that score.

  308. James Canning says:

    Jay,

    You are ill-informed on this score. China warned Iran not to block shipping lanes in S of H. Obviously, China has a huge stake in keeping those lanes open.

  309. James Canning says:

    The Financial Times today has a good report on the success Russia has enjoyed in suppressing much of the Islamic insurgency in the Caucasus. Bigger problem is the radicalisation of many young Muslims in that area (and beyond).

  310. Jay says:

    James Canning says:
    December 31, 2013 at 2:02 pm

    Proof?

  311. James Canning says:

    Sakineh,

    Are you actually in effect arguing that China would welcome a global recession? I think so.

  312. James Canning says:

    Jay,

    It is not in the style of the Chinese leadership, to make loud noises on this score. (Warning Iran not to block sea lanes in S of H)

  313. James Canning says:

    Jay,

    Read “China urges stability in Strait of Hormuz” (Reuters Dec 29, 2011).

  314. James Canning says:

    “CIA freelancer disappears in Iran – – and Russian and Israeli gangsters are among the suspects.” Philp Giraldi, “Where is Robert Levinson?”:

    http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/where-is-robert-levinson/

  315. fyi says:

    James Canning says:

    December 31, 2013 at 2:16 pm

    They may wish for stability as much as they like but all bets are off with the Mad King running around.

    The Mad King has no excuse whatsoever to be in the Persian Gulf or in the Levant in any capacity – ask the ghost of the late Lord Curzon.

    But the King is as mad as a hatter and that is the lesson absorbed by Mr. Putin as well as other leaders in the world.

  316. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    I think the Russians were pleased to have a way open up for getting rid of Syrian CW.

  317. fyi says:

    James Canning says:

    December 31, 2013 at 3:47 pm

    The Russians understood the war US War in Syria to be the prelude to War with Iran and thus a direct threat to them.

    While they could have stood aside and let the Mad King spend another decade in another quagmire in the Middle East, they understood the far greater danger of World War III which the pervasive madness in the King’s Court was very likely to unleash.

    Just like the Cuban Missile Crisis, the Russians again saved the world – after the English Peasants revolted.

  318. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    nico,

    Unfortunately there is no such thing as a real Gaullist left in France.

    I think the idiocracy started with Mitterand- the ultimate vain petty functionary.

    The worst neocon today is that interior minister- very much in the Sarkozy mold, just the PS version. You can be sure that the US wants him to run for President in the future- of course with a stint as PM before.

    There are fundamental and structural socio-economic problems in France that have not been addressed and that no politician wants to address regardless of left or right wing.

    Even FN is losing its edge and getting “respectable”.

    Dieudonne is the only one left to vote for…if they don’t crucify him before.

    Easier than to deal with the structural problems is to turn “Europe” and the “European project” into the new state religion and engage in (mis)adventures in Africa and the Middle East to keep the corporations (nuclear, oil and mining industry) happy.

    Anyway, the youth unemployment is averaging 40% and in some places above 60%. Many industries are shutting plants and of course Hollande wants to raise the tax on the rich to 75%.

    In other words, insanity.

  319. Fiorangela says:

    James Canning says:
    December 31, 2013 at 1:51 pm

    quite so, James, quite so.

    What I was trying to emphasize was the humble wisdom of the Russian president in following the superior leadership of the American grand pooh bah in acquiescing to the policy that the Russian foreign minister explained in an international telecast over a year before the American grand pooh bah and his pooh-bah-ette Secretary of State reached out and grasped the lifeline that the Russians — er, American president — offered.

    or something.

  320. James Canning says:

    Fiorangela,

    Right result (elim of Syria CW), even if way it was achieved was a bit jerky.

  321. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    The Russians were wise to be concerned about a spreading of the war from Syria, if the US intervened in that country directly.

    And they are wise to want an end to the Iranian nuclear dispute.

  322. Jay says:

    James Canning says:
    December 31, 2013 at 2:10 pm

    No proof?! I thought so!!

  323. Jay says:

    James Canning says:
    December 31, 2013 at 2:16 pm

    Nope! Right answer: http://belfercenter.ksg.harvard.edu/publication/18409/closing_time.html

  324. Smith says:

    One of the great things about growing up in Iran was the fact that the Iranian TV used to feed children alot of world class stories from Les Miserables to Great Expectations to Oliver Twist to Rascal: A Memoir of a Better Era etc etc etc (instead of the garbage they feed the children in the rest of the world).

    One such story was this one: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yUSzQBaWq0Q

    As we are entering a new year, let’s not forget that alot of children in the world today are living in conditions worse than in this story. The conditions created for those children by powerful countries mostly led by white men who think that they own the world.

    The element of cold war was which system would be better to lead the humanity into prosperity using the newly found powers of science and technology. It is now clear that neither system were. Look at Syrian children today who have to suffer because of the malign desires of United States.

  325. Smith says:

    So by the same token, I nominate these children as the person of this finishing year. The children who have to be slaughtered at the temple of the white men so that his desire for the total and unconditional control of the world is met. It is really shameful.

  326. BiBiJon says:

    Karl.. says:
    December 31, 2013 at 8:13 am

    “chechen activities are purely homegrown.”

    Quite right Karl.

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2002/dec/05/chechnya.nickpatonwalsh

    ttp://english.pravda.ru/opinion/columnists/30-04-2013/124461-usa_chechnya-0/

    ttp://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5jMT_z67yCprJiKkcoXjpu8PmezWQ?docId=CNG.5f43976215a4ebfacd060086f8b2176e.3b1

    ttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ibn_al-Khattab

  327. Sakineh Bagoom says:

    What say you?

    Have the sheeple given their consent?
    Have Americans largely forfeited their say?

    Andrew Bacevich ‘s point of view — http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/one-percent-republic/

  328. Empty says:

    Sakineh Bagoom,

    Funny video… I wonder what the botton on the left does to Dug…

    As for James Canning’s posts, I find his statements repeatedly dishonest and dishonestly repetitive. So, I mostly skip over them and only sometimes read one or two to see if I observe a change hoping that if it is a robot typing, it malfunctions; if it is a human posting, he has evolved. I have not noticed a significan change yet.

  329. Smith says:

    New documents show that even Australia was about to come to help Saddam against Iran as if US, USSR, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, UK, France, Germany, Japan, Kuwait, and the rest of the world except North Korea and Syria were not enough: http://www.skynews.com.au/politics/article.aspx?id=938532

  330. BiBiJon says:

    When in conflict, most would adopt a good cop, bad cop dual stance
    ===========================================================

    Israel, on the other hand, has developed an off-the-charts-deranged, modestly-rational binary approach.

    http://thinkprogress.org/security/2013/12/31/3107561/report-israeli-military-intelligence-disagrees-netanyahu-iran/

  331. nico says:

    Bussed-in Basiji says:

    “There are fundamental and structural socio-economic problems in France that have not been addressed and that no politician wants to address regardless of left or right wing.”

    What are the specific issue of France ?
    My opinion is that it is not related to one specific country.
    All OECD countries are hit by the phenomenon.
    – All countries used the debt to face the issue and US or Japan still use it.
    – Some countries use currency devaluation (i.e. currency war)
    – Others are squeezing tge wages and working conditions (ie Germany or UK)

    The real issue is the GDP growth.
    – France average yearly GDP growth rate between 2001 and 2012 is 1.1%
    – UK is 1.6 %
    – Germany is 1.1%
    – Spain is 1.6%
    – Italy is 0.15%
    – USA is 1%
    – Japan is 0.8%

    Below 1.5 or 2%, growth rate wthout the stunt of debt, currency war or degradation of wages and working conditions (call it “reform”…) then unemployement is set to grow as a consequence of yearly productivity/efficiency gains.

    Obviously other factors like the demographic change are also impacting the economy (retirement benefits, …)

    Now what is the issue of Southern Europe and France ?
    Well, in Southern Europe it is unacceptable politicaly to degrade the wages conditions with, you know, the so called “structural reform”.
    Historically Southern Europe use the tool of the currency devaluation to regulate the gap of productivity between countries, the balance of trade / protection of national industry and by the way consequences the wages, etc…
    That is why Southern Europe has reputation to have “weak currency”.

    To the contrary, in Northern Europe like in Germany, they like their “hard currency”, they have a better productivity increase over the years and if necessary they squeeze the wages and benefits (the so callee fuidity of employment market).

    The issue in Europe is that the Euro is pegged on the German economy fir extra-European exchange and in addition there is not possibility of devaluation in intra-European exchange.
    To blame southern countries to not mute in German people is pointless and stupid.
    That is simply impossible and utopy out of doctrinaire and technocratic ultra-liberal minds.

    Well you noticed that Germany growth rate is not that good and that Germany economic health is only urban legend.

    In addition, Germany benefits from the Euro for the reasons stated above and others do not.
    Basically Germany is sucking the economic blood out of southern Europe.

    A solution for the Euro to be sustainable would be fir Germany to transfer 10% of its GDP each year to others European country (official estimates).
    As much an utopy as the other countries in Europe to mute overnight in Germany.

    As a conlusion the Euro currency is dead.

    Now why the OECD countries are in so bad an economic shape ?
    Many factors explain that.

    First the ultra liberalism with open borders, job offshoring, transfer of technology to the so called Low Cost Countries (or the politically correct Best Cost Countries) and absence of control in borders transfer of capital (is it social and moral justice for a country to produce billions in capitals that is sucked out of country in the dark of the night ?)
    That is basically the current ultra liberal, 1%ers and financialized economic order.

    Second the demography with the overall population getting old.

    Third the capitalist system is becoming breathless. How do you want to grow condumption in spite of massive ads when one familly already has 2 cars, 5 cell phones, 3 tv sets ?

    Fourth the cost and rarity of energy and raw materials.

  332. Karl.. says:

    Bibijon

    Yes I am right, chechen isnt in need of anyone else and nor did your links show that. Besides you seems to be naive if you really believe that saudi diplomats would threat russians like that, thats now how it works.

  333. nico says:

    BiB says :

     “Many industries are shutting plants and of course Hollande wants to raise the tax on the rich to 75%.”

    I think Hollande is a traitor to the Nation and a coward.
    A freemason, Atlantist, Ultraliberal and zionist doctrinaire.

    However regarding the 75% tax, I am not shocked.
    See the highest income marginal tax rate history in the US
    http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Historical_Mariginal_Tax_Rate_for_Highest_and_Lowest_Income_Earners.jpg
    I do not think the US ever were communists

    Only the current ultra liberal ideology victory over the people mind push people to think that 75% is shocking.
    Whereas I am shocked when income for richer individuals is 1000, 100000 or more times the average wage.

  334. BiBiJon says:

    Karl.. says:
    January 1, 2014 at 4:52 am

    “chechen isnt in need of anyone else and nor did your links show that.”

    Do explain, link by link, if you don’t mind.

  335. BiBiJon says:

    Apparently this not how it is supposed to work
    ===========================================

    https://twitter.com/lrozen/status/417705080323072000
    “Contempt expressed for US in this interview by interviewer & interviewee striking”

    She is talking about an interview Ex-Israeli-ambassador to the US, American-born Michael Oren, gave to David Horovitz.

    ttp://www.timesofisrael.com/iran-doesnt-take-obamas-military-option-seriously-says-oren/

    And, it definitely should not work like this brazenly, either
    ———————————————————-

    See ttp://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/saudiarabia/10524721/Saudi-Arabia-warns-it-will-act-against-Wests-policy-in-Middle-East.html

  336. nico says:

    Karl,

    Who is the most mad ? The mad king or his mad clients KSA and Israel ?

    “Putin Orders S. Arabia “Destroyed” after Volgograd Terror Strikes”
    http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13921011000510

  337. BiBiJon says:

    nico says:
    January 1, 2014 at 8:13 am

    The part I don’t understand in Saudi/Israeli hysteria over the thaw in Iran-US relations, is why don’t they contain themselves a little.

    I imagined Israel and KSA would announce their disapproval, sound off a few warnings, and then lay low. But the extremes they are going to, which will potentially destroy their relationships with the US, and the other members of the P5+1, and anybody else eager to make money out of a ‘de-sanctioned’ Iran can only be explained by extreme risk taking. That in turn can only be explained in terms of feeling totally abandoned.

    True, US and Iran met one-on-one for many months to figure out a way of burying the hatchet. True, those meetings did sideline UK, France, KSA, and Israel. However, it wasn’t as if the US needed a constant reminder of what her allies position on Iran is. “cut off the head of the snake”, and “on Iran, think Amalek” tend not to require further emphasis every five seconds.

    So why don’t KSA and Israel take page out of UK/France book. Be displeased by all means, but the buttered side of the bread surely is your continuing relationship with the US. Actually, it is what sustains you. So, why risk that?

  338. Karl.. says:

    nico
    January 1, 2014 at 8:13 am

    Get that nonsense lies off this site.

  339. fyi says:

    Smith says:

    December 31, 2013 at 8:01 pm

    Yes, Mr. Smith; there are 11 million AIDS orphans in Africa – and we and the Mad King and his Cohorts are engaged in a Life and Death Struggle for power.

    Truly, Mankind is in the State of Fall.

  340. BiBiJon says:

    Karl.. says:
    January 1, 2014 at 9:49 am

    Tell us the truth, will you? The first few pages of About 1,800,000 results from a google search for “Saudi Chechnya” comes up with articles, books, etc perporting to show Saudi support for Chechen rebels. This is an outgrowth of Saudi support for the Afghan Mujahedin during the 80s.

    However, regardless of the ‘facts’, perceptions are plenty enough to lead to recriminations, hostilities and war. Remeber Tony Blair got UK to invade Iraq because Blair ‘perveived’ Saddam as capable of attacking UK with CW in 45 minutes. Whether or not Bandar was as blunt as he is alleged to have been with Putin, the fact is that the leaks to Russian press of the contents of Putin-Bandar meeting clearly show what the Russians’ interpretation of the ‘conversation’ was.

    Cite one article that says there is no such link between Chechnya and the Saudis. Otherwise, follow your own advice: “Get that nonsense lies off this site.” Please.

  341. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    nico-jan,

    Agree with most of what you said.

    The crisis of fifth-rate leadership in France/Europe cannot be explained by structural economics alone.

    I think the US and UK are very happy to have a bunch of clowns ruling on the Continent.

    Wherever there is strong leadership in the world, US-UK-Israel have problems.

    SL in Iran and Putin in Russia are the best examples of this, and De Gaulle is a historic example.

    I think Europe needs better leadership and many of its problems would be reduced- independent of the issue of economic structures and the deficiencies of capitalism- which of course are also factors.

    Looking across Europe, not a single politician worth anything. The only one who is competent is Alex Salmond in Scotland.

    This itself is a major problem independent of other factors.

    Mark my words, they want Manuel Valls and they will get him…

    They were grooming Guttenberg in Germany and even after the plagiarism fiasco German state TV and conservative forces are talking about his “comeback”.

    The US embassy in France has a program in which it goes out the suburbs and finds young Muslim youth to give university scholarships to the US so that they will be future pro-US leaders in France.

    Anyway no better way to dominate a society than by manipulating its leadership…

  342. Karl.. says:

    Bibijon

    It is YOU that need to show the evidence!
    Show me the evidence that:
    1. Saudiarabia the state, support chechen rebels
    2. That Saudiarabia is behind the bombs in Russia
    3. That Putin threatened to bomb Saudiarabia
    4. That Saudiarabia have threatened Russia explicitly.

    So again, take that nonsense lies out of here.

    Goingtotehran have been lucky to have none of that nonsense lies/conspiracy theories posted here. This is a serious site for serious debate.

  343. Don Bacon says:

    The US policy has been clear — terrorism unleashed by one country upon another must result in attacks upon the terror-supporting country.

    Why should Russia be different. There can be no doubt, since the Volgograd trolley bomber is linked to Saudi Arabia, as a Wahhabi fighter in Syria, that Saudi Arabia as we know it will not continue to exist.

  344. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    You give’em $3 billion and then this…

    Lebanese intelligence questioning Saudi militant, security source says

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/01/01/us-syria-crisis-azzam-idUSBREA000CD20140101

  345. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    Vladi P vs. Bandar B.S.

    Vladi P winner by knockout in Round 2.

    Any doubts about it?

  346. nico says:

    BiBiJon says:
    “The part I don’t understand in Saudi/Israeli hysteria over the thaw in Iran-US relations, is why don’t they contain themselves a little.”

    Well my take is that they have are extremists.
    As their position is unprincipled as per widely held moral standards, it seems mad.
    Besides Israel has nukes and can blackmail everybody.
    And KSA has the oil WMD.

    My take is that both have a wrong understanding of the balance of power.
    Israel could be demonized, isolated and embargoed.
    And KSA could be invaded overnight.
    Should the US decide to pull back military and/or political support.

  347. nico says:

    BiB says :
    “The crisis of fifth-rate leadership in France/Europe cannot be explained by structural economics alone.”

    I think it is entirely explained by economics.
    Who would complain against such leadership if economics were truly good ?

    The leadership and political crisis come from the economic crisis.
    That is the illness of the US led ultra liberal model.

    The issue is that the leaders are totaly unable to challenge or adapt the model.
    Thus the political crisis.

    Why are they impotent ?
    Because they are sold out, ideological doctrinaire and “midget” leaders.

  348. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    Bibijon, nico,

    It’s a zero-sum world where there are absolute winners and losers.

    Contrary to what Dr. Rohani and Dr. Zarif claim there is no such thing as “win-win”.

    For Israel and Saudi, a world where the US would be their friend and Iran’s friend at the same time- is literally inconceivable.

    It’s kinda like when men tell women that they are capable of loving them and loving another woman at the same time…and then the man is shot, castrated, etc.

    The man could actually be right but the woman just “doesn’t see it the same way”.

    The best thing that could ever happen to the world is that Israel and Saudi has two certified lunatics like Bibi and Bandar B.S. running their affairs.

    Just sit back and watch as they eff their respective countries…al-hamdulillah rabb al-aalameen.

  349. James Canning says:

    Bussed-In Basiji,

    Notion of “zero-sum world” is nonsense. China benefits hugely when US economy is humming. If Iran gets rid of the sanctions, the EU will benefit. So will China, Japan, India, South Africa. And the US.

  350. James Canning says:

    Nico,

    The age of retirement in France needs to be raised. This, though essential, is difficult politically.

  351. James Canning says:

    Nico,

    The euro had a good year in 2013.

  352. James Canning says:

    Empty,

    You find it “dishonest” for me to state emphatically that China has warned Iran not to close the Strait of Hormuz? I think you are simply unhappy that Iran needs to make a deal with P5+1.

  353. James Canning says:

    Empty,

    Sakineh argues that China would prevent the US and other countries from cutting off all Iranian oil exports by sea, if no deal is made with P5+1 and Iran continues to stockpile enriched uranium etc etc etc etc. She is simply mistaken. In my view.

  354. James Canning says:

    Sakineh,

    I am of course a great fan of Andrew Bacevich.

    I think resolving the nuclear dispute with Iran would foster economic growth globally.

    Most Americans have very little interest in foreign affairs generally, or the Middle East particularly.

  355. James Canning says:

    Sakineh,

    Bacevich says that war, as currently engaged in by the US, “corrupts and putrifies” the Republic. Hard to disagree. I have made thqt point for years.

  356. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    nico-jan,

    I think we have to define what “good economy” means.

    There was a period from the late 1960s to 1980s where western (not necessarily southern) Europe had a sustained period of general welfare- in other words were most adult men had jobs and where able to support their families plus a generous welfare state to help out whenever it became necessary.

    This for many was the “golden era” with which they judge today’s mess.

    All of it based on the US underwriting European security and economic stability as a political-strategic decision in the Cold War. That’s why Spain, Portugal and Greece where forced into EC in the early 1980s when they were not economically up for it.

    Same logic was used later after collapse of eastern bloc to push eastern European states into EU and same thing is used right now in Ukraine- again without these being economically up for it (maybe Czech Rep was exception).

    Since the early 21st century, the US is no longer in reality able to underwrite the security and economic stability of Europe- even when it pays lip service to it.

    The “golden era” has really and truly ended- but none of the mainstream European politicians want to break the bad news.

    A good leader would do this and would also figure out ways to build a new general social framework.

    The left is stuck in old bullshit Marxist thoughts and the right- the majority of them- is stuck in pseudo-fascist, racist thought.

    What would be interesting is a right-wing conservative/nationalist in Europe trying to appeal to Muslim voters who are usually more conservative and “natural” conservative voters.

    They could do this and try to build new majorities instead of trying to outdo each other in racist and anti-Muslim rhetoric (a la Sarkozy) and appealing to marginal groups like LGBT to get over 50% in elections.

    The SNP in Scotland is very smart and from the beginning they had an inclusive, non-racial nationalism which directly appealed to Muslims in Scotland. That’s a good example.

    In every major European country- France, UK, Germany, etc.- there are very significant numbers of Muslim voters which the idiot conservative/nationalist are not tapping because of their racism or Christian prejudice.

    We will see if these fifth-rate clowns can develop a non-racist conservatism/nationalism which is what Europe needs.

    Otherwise it will be unending “sacrifices” for the new ultra-liberal, politically correct, Israel-and-LGBT friendly goddess “Europe from Atlantic to Ural”- underwritten by Starbucks and Disney.

  357. nico says:

    James Canning says:

    “The age of retirement in France needs to be raised. This, though essential, is difficult politically.”

    Ahah.
    Thanks for your brilliant analysis, I will go to sleep smarter tonight thanks to you.

  358. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    Krusty the Klown,

    “China” benefits?

    Your problem is that you are incapable of understanding that a nation of nearly 2 billion doesn’t “benefit” in a uniform fashion as it relates to anything.

    Typical upper-class aristocratic elitist view that equates the “benefit” of elites with the “benefit” of an entire nation.

    Like I said, you are incapable of even understanding what I’m referring to.

  359. nico says:

    BiB says :

    “maybe Czech Rep was exception”

    Yes, Czech Rep greatly benefits from their common border and job offshoring with Germany.

    “In every major European country- France, UK, Germany, etc.- there are very significant numbers of Muslim voters which the idiot conservative/nationalist are not tapping because of their racism or Christian prejudice.”

    That is mainstream parties in power which are politicking to demonize nationalist parties with false pretense of racism and extremism.
    Be not fooled by the mainstream discourse.
    The mainstream political parties have the same policies of internationalism and ultra liberalism.
    Be it the left wing or the right wing.

    “We will see if these fifth-rate clowns can develop a non-racist conservatism/nationalism which is what Europe needs.
    Otherwise it will be unending “sacrifices” for the new ultra-liberal, politically correct, Israel-and-LGBT friendly goddess “Europe from Atlantic to Ural”- underwritten by Starbucks and Disney.”

    Agreed.
    The FN in France is pretty much doing that.
    It is estimated that they will be the biggest recipient of votes at the next election. That is the European parliament election in Q1 2014.

  360. James Canning says:

    Bussed-In Basiji,

    I think China’s population is somewhere around 1.4 billion.

    Export industries are essential, in China, to provide employment for the millions of Chinese who are leaving “the farm”. So, China benefits from global economic growth, in a way essential to staiblity in China. Your apparent anger that too many Chinese gain immense riches as a result, is beside the point.

    Are you claiming China would prevent a blockade of Iran’s oil exports, if no deal is made with P5+1 (and Iran continues to stockpile etce etc etc)?

  361. James Canning says:

    The Financial Times reported this week that 400,000 Rumanians now live in Rome. I wonder how many Pakistanis would relocate in Tehran, if given the chance. One million? Two milion? More?

  362. James Canning says:

    Jay,

    See also “China warns against shutting Strait of Hormuz” (NDTV Jan. 12, 2012).

  363. BiBiJon says:

    Karl.. says:
    January 1, 2014 at 11:55 am

    Thank you for letting us know that Israel is now extremely worried about Russia’s reaction to Saudi Arabia. I guess you are saying that if the Russians get green light for even an “unbelievably small” attack on the Saudis, then it will be harbinger for the kind of (lack of) support Israel might get for her next misadventure.

    Again, thank you. You really are a valuable canary in the mine.

  364. Jay says:

    Bussed-in Basiji says:
    January 1, 2014 at 1:47 pm

    James has permanently inoculated himself against any line of rational thought that could counter his view.

    A marginally intelligent analysis would have asked: if the solution for the West was as simple as a “blockade”, why have they not done it?!

    We know the West can bomb a country to dust (Afghanistan, Iraq), can destroy targets on the ground and see (Libya, Yugoslavia, Sudan, …), can use drones to patrol (US, UK, KSA, Oman, Afghanistan, …).

    The reason is simple: They know that in practice a “blockade” is like an “exploding gun” – it will blow up in the face of the aggressor.

    James prefers to live in the fantasy of blockade, which makes him impervious to the simple observation that it matters not what the Chinese say or want, “blockade” is simply not a practicable option.

  365. Jay says:

    James Canning says:
    January 1, 2014 at 2:16 pm

    Irrelevant!

  366. Smith says:

    fyi says:
    January 1, 2014 at 10:26 am

    Shameful. Even more instructive is the fact that the countries with highest child mortality rate, maternal mortality rate, infant mortality rate and neonate mortality rate are all Muslims (Chad, Afghanistan, Somalia).

  367. Karl.. says:

    Bibijon
    January 1, 2014 at 2:18 pm

    Why do you become so angry if you still have no answers (to my questions at ttp://goingtotehran.com/going-to-tehrans-person-of-the-year-for-2013#comment-31539)? Either you have evidence and should provide them or you shouldnt post at all especially if you belive in stupid conspiracy theories.

  368. Smith says:

    fyi says:
    January 1, 2014 at 10:31 am

    That, as well as the economies of US, UK, Japan, Germany etc etc should be irrelevant to cargo cult nations of Iran, Turkey, Pakistan, Afghanistan etc etc. Even if the whole western economies collapse tomorrow, it will have no positive effect on countries like Iran, infact it will have negative effects (where they are going to get the helium cartridges for their western designed and built MRI machines?)

    From the perspective of an Iranian, it should be ridiculous to even comment on how these more sophisticated nations are about to fall and die. More so when one is doing it on a computer, conceived, designed and manufactured by these same countries (Note that a country like Iran still can not conceive, design and build a computer even for a technology demonstration purpose, forget about continuous innovative manufacturing). Such smuggler cum mafia, psychics/astrologer/cargo cult priests commenting on scientific societies are just ridiculing themselves.

    They say that a French princess during very harsh economic conditions in France had told the hungry French peasants to eat cake if they can not find bread. The economic conditions then were certainly even harsher than today’s and their rulers more indifferent to the plight of their peasants than today. But, let’s not forget that while that French princess spoke those stupid words and while economic and political upheavals shook France to its core, there were scientists like Lavoisier who were working hard to push the boundaries of science and technology.

    Eventually sooner or later the science and technology compensates for economic and political failures, as it has numerous times during human history specially in western societies. Compare it to Iran at the time eg. during Qajar then Pahlavi and then IRI. An Iranian guy making fun of France during Qajar time looks as stupid as an Iranian guy making fun of France now.

    Today France still remains one of the world’s largest pharmaceutical producer. Iran plus the entire third world countries together can not even dream about competing with one French medicine maker, Sanofi. Only this one French pharma company spends more on research and development than Iran spends on ALL of its R&D projects. There is no comparison. Their drugs for treatment of female infertility, prostate/colon cancer, myocardial infarction and epilepsy are sold like hot cakes in Iran with people literally begging for Sanofi medicines on black market, crying for a tablet or two. And that is not all, Sanofi has dozens of new medicines in pipeline that will be released in years to come. This is just one French company, we are talking about.

    You can be sure, that even if tomorrow French go so hungry that their president instructs them to eat cake, the French will again rise up with the help of science and technology. The same can not be said about a cargo cult nation like Iran. As always they will again go and beg France to give them a few more medicines for their sick kid/sister/mother/wife and beg even more for French aircraft engines, car engines etc etc.

  369. James Canning says:

    Smith,

    Given that Iranian-Americans are the best-educated group tracked by US Census Bureau, among nearly 60 groups, some of them likely would be keen to return to Iran if conditions were more favourable. This might help address the problem. And Iran could buy western companies to gain access to current technology of highest order. (If sanctions were lifted)

  370. James Canning says:

    Jay,

    A blockade would be a LAST-DITCH effort to AVOID war.

    Utter nonsense to propose it should be employed when negotiations might well succeed.

  371. James Canning says:

    Jay,

    You in effect claimed that China had not warned Iran not to block the S of H. You clearly were mistaken. Correct?

  372. Don Bacon says:

    James Canning says:
    January 1, 2014 at 1:14 pm

    Bussed-In Basiji, . .Notion of “zero-sum world” is nonsense. China benefits hugely when US economy is humming.

    I guess you didn’t get the memo about China whipping the US everywhere in respect to finances and natural resources, with China amassing a huge current balance while the US daily deficit is about three billion dollars every day of the week. The US giveth and China taketh.

    In politics, when Russia or Iran wins (as currently is the case) the US loses. No doubt. Both can’t win, it’s zero-sum.

  373. Don Bacon says:

    James Canning says:
    January 1, 2014 at 3:14 pm

    Do you have a reference for the China warning to Iran that you allege?

  374. Don Bacon says:

    An officer in Iran has stated that if Iran is attacked the Strait might be blocked. That’s all. Nothing to see here.

  375. nico says:

    Don Bacon says:

    “An officer in Iran has stated that if Iran is attacked the Strait might be blocked. That’s all. Nothing to see here.”

    And a blockade could be rightly interpreted as an act of war. That is an attack.

  376. nico says:

    Bibijon,

    Here another good reason of KSA madness.

    “These countries believe that in case of warmer relationship between the Islamic Republic of Iran and the West, the West would no longer count on them and given their numerous social and political problems and the extent of human rights they violate they would not be able to survive… and they would be unseated by any social movement,”

    http://presstv.com/detail/2014/01/01/343198/ksa-stonewalling-iranwest-rapprochement/

  377. BiBiJon says:

    nico says:
    January 1, 2014 at 4:14 pm

    I think this is closer to the cause. The extremist behavior is a symptom of not having any practicable agenda let alone actual solutions to the real (existential) problems KSA and Israel face. The root of divorce from reality is the dysfunction at home.

  378. BiBiJon says:

    Karl.. says:
    January 1, 2014 at 2:32 pm

    I cannot thank you any more profusely than I already have. If it is repetition you desire, then, thank you, again, and again . . . and again.

  379. James Canning says:

    Don Bacon,

    I have posted references to two articles covering China’s warning to Iran, one from Reuters at the end of 2011, and another from NDTV from Jan. 12, 2012. Google china iran strait of hormuz and you will get other stories on same subject.

  380. James Canning says:

    Don Bacon,

    JFK’s blockade or quarantine on Cuba, in Oct. 1962, was an “act of war” arguably, even though its purpose obviously was to AVOID war.

  381. James Canning says:

    Bibijon,

    Israel PRETENDS to have an “existential” problem. Dangerous delusion on Israel’s part.

  382. Don Bacon says:

    James Canning says:
    January 1, 2014 at 4:32 pm

    Don Bacon, …I have posted references to two articles

    I don’t doubt that at all, so re-post one or both, if you can.
    IOW I don’t believe you on the facts, w/o proof.

  383. Don Bacon says:

    nico says:
    January 1, 2014 at 3:54 pm

    No, nico, you’re wrong. A blockade in response to an armed attack wouldn’t be an attack. In any case, there has been no blockade.

  384. Don Bacon says:

    James Canning says:
    January 1, 2014 at 4:34 pm
    Cuba is irrelevant to an Iranian officer stating that the Strait might be blocked in response to an armed attack. I’m surprised you would suggest otherwise.

  385. James Canning says:

    Don Bacon,

    You in effect are arguing that the US “loses” when China buys vast amounts of US Government debt.

    If China refused to buy such debt, the interest cost to the US would be much higher.

    Foolish American consumer culture (including squandering fantastic sums on importing oil to fuel large cars, etc) is damaging to the US, obviously. American consumption of so much oil also hurts China, by keeping oil prices higher.

    But, no “zero-sum” game.

  386. Karl.. says:

    Bibijon
    January 1, 2014 at 4:29 pm

    Are you a drama queen?
    If you had any evidence you would have posted them by now, this is just awkward. Enough of this.

  387. James Canning says:

    Don Bacon,

    You appear to discount too much, the simple fact that a military officer may well adopt a stance or pose, that in fact does not reflect what actually would transpire.

  388. James Canning says:

    Don Bacon,

    In late 1990, the FM of the USSR visited Saddam Hussein in Baghdad, with a view toward convincing him to get out of Kuwait while he had a chance to do so. No success. Conclusion on part of Soviet FM? Saddam was a stubborn fool.

  389. James Canning says:

    Don Bacon,

    I of course hope a deal can be achieved between Iran and the Six Powers. Or, if no deal, that Iran on own motion suspends enough of its nuclear programme to avoid a US blockade. But Iran would do well to consider such a blockade as an effort to AVOID war.

  390. nico says:

    http://rt.com/news/iran-ready-block-strait-hormuz-361/

    Clear enough I guess.
    Iran blocking the SoH in case of a blockade is in the Iranian military doctrine as validated by Iran top leadership.
    No matter what say China, Canning or anyone else…

    “Tehran’s leadership has decided to order a blockade of the strategic Strait of Hormuz if the country’s oil exports are blocked, a senior Revolutionary Guard Commander said as reported by Iranian press.

    The strategic decision was made by Iran’s top authorities, Ali Ashraf Nouri said, as cited by the Iranian Khorasan daily.

    “The supreme authorities … have insisted that if enemies block the export of our oil, we won’t allow a drop of oil to pass through the Strait of Hormuz. This is the strategy of the Islamic Republic in countering such threats,” Nouri said.”

  391. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    nico,

    FN has too much racist baggage to do it, although some of the younger ones in FN could do it eventually.

    FN is still too reliant on old racist voters and can’t alienate them.

    Jay,

    The guy is hopeless…he doesn’t understand what a blockade would mean and he is completely bought into the whole “global free markets is good for everyone” bullshit.

    Just watch, he will now ask: “So you are saying that free markets don’t benefit everyone in the world?” as if that’s such an obvious point and saying otherwise is the height of folly.

    What a douche…

    Bibijon,

    The Israelis have a “final solution” (pardon the pun) for their predicament. It’s called building a wall around themselves and allowing Mahmud Abbas a Swiss-cheese bantustan which will be christened (again, pardon the pun) “Palestine”.

    The interesting thing is that the majority of Israeli voters have democratically chosen this solution when they voted for Bibi. Call it “democratically endorsed” madness if you like. What’s worse is that the majority of US elites are also in on it and will not challenge Israel- leaders and voters- on this.

    You take this US strategic shift towards Iran that you say is evidenced by secret talks and other things to be a real thing and it is only that the Israelis haven’t accepted it yet. Well its debatable- not an established fact- that the US has decided to shift relations with Iran strategically.

    As far as Saudi is concerned same deal they have a solution and its called maintaining rule of Ale Saud by any means necessary- domestically and abroad.

    So it’s not as simple as the US has shifted, why don’t Israel and Saudi just get with it…

    The problem is in the US itself and it’s inability to make a strategic shift away from a racist colonial state like Israel and a medieval absolute monarchy like Saudi towards an Islamic Republic like Iran.

    The reason is the Zionist control the US political process and without them nobody can be elected to the Presidency or to Congress and that the Saudis have the US by the balls because of US dollar denominated oil sales which is the real backing of the dollar.

    Nothing- absolutely nothing- that Obama or Kerry has said since the agreement indicates that the US has made a “strategic” shift towards Iran and away from Israel and Saudi. In fact the statements might indicate the opposite.

    It would be good if you could directly address the issues Zionists control of US elections and US dependence on Saudi oil sales to maintain global dollar demand.

    Actually contrary to what Aghaye Ahmadi says, warmer relations between Iran and west has very little to do with whether the US or west pressure Israel and Saudi on social and human rights. What Aghaye Ahmadi says makes no logical sense.

    Whether there is a revolution in Saudi Arabia or not is not related to whether the Iran and west have relations or not. When/if the people in Saudi Arabia rise up in a major way, the uprising will crushed by Ale Saud and they won’t give a damn what the US says.

    If there is another intifada or if there is a war in the West Bank/Gaza Israel will attempt to crush it- regardless of whatever the Americans say.

    Do you (or Mr. Ahmadi) really think that the US would not support Ale Saud or Israelis in the mentioned scenarios because it has “good” relations with Iran?

    Anyway, one can’t run away from the basic matter which is about American domestic politics and not about Iran, Israel or KSA.

  392. Jay says:

    James Canning says:
    January 1, 2014 at 3:13 pm

    Irrelevant nonsense!

    James Canning says:
    January 1, 2014 at 3:14 pm

    Incorrect!

  393. Jay says:

    Bussed-in Basiji says:
    January 1, 2014 at 5:43 pm

    I am inclined to believe that James’ dogmatic boundaries are constraining his ability to analyze reality.

  394. BiBiJon says:

    Karl.. says:
    January 1, 2014 at 4:44 pm

    Karl, are you now implying that Israel is worried Bandar will claim Israel put him up to fooling around with the bear?

    You really are taking this further than most would dare.

    For what it is worth (not much) I expect Putin has already talked to Obama, and has accepted US ordering the closure of Turkish, and Jordanian borders to any further arms/mercenary traffic allowing SAA to finish off the Rebellion. Putin has accepted this as a price for not firing on KSA, presumably because he knows soon after the Syrian rebels are routed, Bandar will be in very bad shape and may well meet his end at his own cousins hands — where possible, Russia prefers delivering indirect retributions.

  395. James Canning says:

    Jay,

    You expressed doubt Iran had been warned by China not to close S of H. When you see China did make that warning, you argue it is irrelevant. I obviously do not agree with you.

  396. James Canning says:

    Jay,

    What “dogmatic realities”? I simply say Iran needs to make a deal, in order to enjoy a limited nuclear programme. Alternative is no programme.

  397. Jay says:

    James Canning says:
    January 1, 2014 at 7:06 pm

    a) China did not issue a warning to Iran as you claim. Therefore, irrelevant to your point.

    b) blockade is not practicable. Therefore, irrelevant implied threat

    Keep insisting on nonsense!

  398. BiBiJon says:

    Bussed-in Basiji says:
    January 1, 2014 at 5:43 pm

    Just to be clear, I don’t think the US’ new strategic alignments (if any) involves distancing herself from KSA or Israel. Only vis-a-vis Iran, if there were to be US-Iran detenete, would US have any issues with KSA and Israel, or more aptly put, KSA/Israel would have a bone to pick with the US.

    Again, (BIG) if there is to be a US-Iran detente it will not involve anything that Israel/KSA could reasonably regard as trespassing their traditional spheres of influence.

    In other words, US has an open hand if it wished to improve relations with Iran.

    In an ideal world, and independent of US-Iran relationship, US would distance herself from Wahabistan and the apartheid state, but for the very reasons you mentioned tis not the time.

    Rueters is upping the ante against Associated Press by reporting that a higher up, Burns, has been dilly dallying with Iranians even sooner than AP managed to scoop.
    http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/01/01/us-iran-nuclear-burns-idUSBREA000AD20140101

    I would not characterize these meetings at whatever level, and for however many years as proof of anything, other than proof of the meetings themselves. I.e. whereas participants might have tip-toed into the initial pow wows out of curiosity, their attendance at subsequent meetings indicates increasing levels of enticement. My hunch is that the interim agreement over the nuclear pretext is both an opportunity for both sides to test intentions/capabilities of one another, and it is a small enough of an increment of thaw in relations for public/allies’ consumption.

    The two sides’ rhetoric, public musings, etc. I think mean very little. The tone has certainly lost its sharper edges, but I agree that softer tones alone is not enough straw to hang on for the optimist, nor to make a straw man out of, for the pessimist.

  399. BiBiJon says:

    P.S.

    That oxymoron, “dual track” turns out to have been actually pursued. They were poking one another in the eye at the same time ss they were talking about the price for stopping the belligerence. That alone, must have shown the two sides to have multiple dimensions, and the maturity to conduct the dual track. That both were able to keep it a secret, must have engendered some level of mutual trust, methinks.

  400. Sakineh Bagoom says:

    James Canning says: January 1, 2014 at 1:31 pm

    Please stop putting words in my mouth. Apparently you have difficulty reading and comprehending English, all the while accusing others of the same.

    I am on to you James. This diversion tactic of yours, first/still it was 20% BS. Now it’s blockade, like it is an actual reality based scenario.
    What you are saying is to take your eyes off the ball. Like a magician doing tricks.
    Telling us to think about what is non-essential, diverting the conversation from the real ills of the world.

    “Iran would do well to consider such a blockade as an effort to AVOID war” says only one thing. You are incapable of rational thought. You just don’t see the contradiction of what you are proposing. Your hare-brain cannot comprehend that a blockade IS an act of war.

    You can quote me on the following anytime you like. Iran will do what’s in the interest of Iran and Iranians’. Blockade, 20%, nukes, whatsoever. No other state has a say in that. Got it?

    Go ahead; ask your silly leading questions now.

  401. fyi says:

    James Canning says:

    January 1, 2014 at 7:07 pm

    That alternative – no Iranian nuclear program – does not exist no matter what the fly-boys tell you.

    The power to undo the nuclear Iran does not exist in the international arena.

    This fact is evidently not accepted by you or by US planners.

  402. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    You continue to overlook the fact Russia and Chian want an end to the nuclear dispute with Iran, and that this means substantial limitations on Iran’s nuclear programme.

  403. James Canning says:

    Sakineh,

    A choice of blockade rather than direct attack on Iran, surely is a good thing. But apparenlty not in your view.

  404. James Canning says:

    Jay,

    If you prefer the US simply attack Iran, that is your choice.

  405. James Canning says:

    Jay,

    China in fact DID WARN IRAN, not to block the S of H. And this warning is not “irrelevant”, as you argue.