Is the IAEA Undermining Nuclear Talks with Iran?

amanojalili

It has become a social fact in the West that Iran must have something to hide about its nuclear program because it is “refusing to cooperate” with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) by barring Agency inspectors from visiting the military production complex at Parchin.  More specifically, as part of the IAEA’s efforts to explore what its current director general, Yukiya Amano, calls “possible military dimensions” of the program, the IAEA wants access to a particular part of Parchin.  The Agency says it wants such access to investigate claims that the Iranians carried out high-explosives testing there, supposedly related to the development of nuclear weapons.

A number of recent pieces—including by Yousaf Butt, a nuclear physicist who is professor and scientist-in-residence at the Monterey Institute of International Studies’ James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies, and Robert Kelley, an American nuclear engineer who worked for 30 years in the University of California’s nuclear weapons laboratories before serving for nine years at the IAEA as a senior inspector—offer a meticulously detailed corrective to the prevailing, ill-informed Western narrative.  We will unpack this corrective by looking at two sets of issues:  1) the IAEA’s authority to access Parchin, and 2) whether there is actual evidence of nuclear weapons-related activity at Parchin, either in the builing on which the Agency is presently focused or more generally.

In an article in Foreign Policy and a post on Dan Joyner’s blog, armscontrollaw.com, Yousaf Butt explains that the IAEA wants access to Parchin “because of secret evidence, provided by unidentified third-party intelligence agencies, implying that conventional explosive testing relevant to nuclear weaponization may have taken place a decade or so ago at Parchin.  The agency has not showed Iranian officials this evidence, which has led Iran to insist that it must have been fabricated.”  (Butt aptly notes that “in the past, forgeries have been passed along to the IAEA,” as in the run-up to the 2003 Iraq War; “if recent leaks that the IAEA is using mathematically flawed graphs in its case against Iran are to be believed, the IAEA’s case is further weakened.”)

Moreover, “there is no evidence of current nuclear work” at Parchin.  On this point, Butt reminds that, in fact, “the IAEA has already visited Parchin twice in 2005 and found nothing—although they did not go to the specific area they are now interested in.  However, the IAEA could have gone to that area even in 2005—they simply chose to go to other sites on the military base.  As the IAEA report at the time summarized:

‘The Agency was given free access to those buildings and their surroundings and was allowed to take environmental samples, the results of which did not indicate the presence of nuclear material, nor did the Agency see any relevant dual use equipment or materails in the locations visited.’”

Butt buttresses this important point by quoting Olli Heinonen, the Agency’s former head of safeguards who led the Parchin inspections:

“At the time, [Parchin] was divided into four geographical sectors by the Iranians.  Using satellite and other data, inspectors were allowed by the Iranians to choose any sector, and then to visit any building inside that sector.  Those 2005 inspections included more than five buildings each, and soil and environmental sampling.  They yielded nothing suspicious, but did not include the building now of interest to the IAEA.  The selection [of target buildings] did not take place in advance; it took place just when we arrived, so all of Parchin was available.  When we drove there and arrived, we told them which building.”

As Butt writes, “Would the Iranians really have risked exposing some nefarious nuclear weapons-related work at Parchin by making all of Parchin available to the IAEA in 2005?”  But beyond this history, Butt notes that there are real limits to the IAEA’s legal authority to access Parchin—and serious questions about its intentions in seeking to do so now.  As to the law, Butt points out,

“Normally the IAEA does not have the legal authority to inspect undeclared non-nuclear-materials related facilities, in a nation—like Iran—that has not ratified the Additional Protocol.  The IAEA can call for ‘special inspections’ but they have not done so.  They can also choose arbitration, as specified in the Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement, but again they have not done that.

In fact, the Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement between Iran and the IAEA states quite clearly that its ‘exclusive purpose’ is to verify that nuclear material ‘is not diverted to nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices.’  Nothing else—that is its exclusive prupose.  It does not cover conventional explosives testing, as suspected at Parchin (according to secret information given by a third-party intelligence agency).  The IAEA itself has admitted that ‘absent some nexus to nuclear material the Agency’s legal authority to pursue the verification of possible nuclear weapons-related activity is limited.”

In other words, “Iran has been more cooperative than other countries would be in the same situation”—a judgment affirmed by former IAEA director general Hans Blix—“and indeed more cooperative than it legally needs to be.  It has shown great goodwill by allowing the IAEA’s visit to Parchin in 2005.  And let’s not forget that, in 2004, Brazilian authorities refused to give the IAEA inspectors access to the Resende uranium enrichment facility with nary a peep out of the ‘world community.’”

As to the IAEA’s intentions, it is hard to dispute Butt’s provocative assessment that “the IAEA’s insistence to get into Parchin to verify long-ago non-nuclear issues is nothing more than a tempest in a teapot, but by continuing to cast Iran in a negative light—when, in fact, Iran is within its rights to refuse IAEA entry—the agency is poisoning the atmosphere” for future nuclear talks between the P5+1 and Iran.”  This disturbing judgment is reinforced by the way in which the IAEA says it wants to conduct any subsequent inspections of Parchin.

On this point, Butt quotes Heinonen once again, who points out that, by specifying, in advance and publicly, the building it wants to visit, the Agency’s approach would not resolve international concerns, but would almost certainly “yield doubts about the credibility” of any eventual inspection:

“Let’s assume [inspectors] finally get there and they find nothing.  People will say, ‘Oh, it’s because Iran has sanitized it…But in reality it may have not been sanitized…I don’t know why [the IAEA] approached it this way, which was not a standard practice.”

Heinonen’s critique of his former employer’s current approach to the Parchin issue is trenchant, but it also assumes that there may, in fact, be something to “sanitize” there.  As to whether there is actual evidence that Iran conducted nuclear weapons-related work at Parchin, a short paper by Robert Kelley for the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute offers a compelling assessment that

“less has been going on at the site of interest than meets the eye.  The allegations that Iran carried out hydrodynamic experiments related to nuclear explosives in a large steel containment vessel there have questionable technical credibility.  Moreover, recent reports picked up in the mainstream media may have misinterpreted unrelated construction or renovation work at the site as indicators that Iran was ‘sanitizing’ the site to remove evidence of uranium contamination.  This suggests that the case for visiting the Parchin site—a matter on which the IAEA continues to insist—is not as clear-cut or compelling as some experts and officials portray it.”

To lay out this assessment, Kelley addresses a series of relevant questions, including:  “Does Iran need a large conventional explosion containment chamber to develop nuclear explosives?”, “What do we know about the alleged explosion chamber?”, “Would Iran need to do experiments involving uranium and conventional high explosives in a chamber if it wanted to develop a nuclear weapon?”, “Has Iran carried out any suspicious experiments?”, “Has Iran demolished the building at Parchin that the IAEA wants to visit?”, “Do IAEA collectors usually collect soil samples to detect traces of uranium experiments?”, and “Is Iran bulldozing the site and covering it with earth to prevent the IAEA from detecting uranium contamination?”

Kelley’s answers, which merit reading in their entirety, show (among other things) that the kind of explosives test Iran is alleged to have conducted in a containment vessel at Parchin is normally (and best) “done in the open or in a tunnel,” and that sites where high explosives tests with uranium have been carried out can’t really be sanitized.  Kelley also agrees with Butt that “the IAEA is stretching its mandate to the limit in asking for access to a military site based on tenuous evidence.”  And we simply cannot resist reproducing in its entirety Kelley’s answer to the question, “Did Iran tear down buildings while shrouding them under bright pink tarpaulins?”:

“In the summer of 2012 Iran began major renovations at the site.  Workers decreased perimeter security by tearing down fences, demolished one outbuilding and began renovation of two buildings.  They covered both buildings with pink styrofoam insulation, which can be seen in Figure 5.  One building is completely covered with insulation and the other is about 60 per cent covered.  Raw materials can be seen on the ground nearby.  The buildings were then reroofed and are at different stages of renovation even today.”  Then, to undercut those who might refuse to believe the evidence before their eyes in Figure 5, Kelley—in the ultimate rebuff to fantasies about pink tarps at Parchin—includes this photo:

Sometimes a picture really does say it all.

 

–Flynt Leverett and Hillary Mann Leverett

 

147 Responses to “Is the IAEA Undermining Nuclear Talks with Iran?”

  1. Smith says:

    It is all semantics. Useless and waste of time. There is no UN. There is no IAEA. There is no LAW. It is the jungle. Until and unless, Iran pulls out of NPT which has given Iran nothing but pain and misery, no improvement can be expected. This treaty has become a national security liability for Iran. Instead of protecting Iran’s rights and investments, it is having the opposite effect. People are suffering because of it. Such allegations are never going to end. IAEA is just another spy agency, spying on Iran. They are giving Iran nothing while demanding Iran to “open up” which is an obscene word in English language (urban dictionary). IAEA even refused to cooperate with Iran on Bushehr nuclear plant atomic safety. They even refused to help Iran train its nuclear power station fire brigade, let alone matters related to reactor safety. All under pressure from US and other masters of IAEA.

  2. Sineva says:

    So long as you have someone like amano “running the show” ie taking orders from washington instead of a blix or elbaradei the iaea is no more to be trusted than unscom was.I think iran should only provide the most basic of cooperation anything beyond that like parchin for instance must be negotiated and agreed on beforehand and iran must receive something in return for any cooperation above and beyond the legal minimum

  3. Smith says:

    fyi says:
    January 26, 2013 at 9:12 pm

    Thank you for your elaborate comment in the previous thread. Could you please recommend me a reading list for these ideas specially your idea of jus gentium and the relationship between Islam and science but otherwise generally as well about these state of affairs.

  4. fyi says:

    Smith says:

    January 26, 2013 at 10:20 pm

    Muslim Thought does not have any relationship with modern empricial sciences.

    Muslim Thought’s relationship with physical sciences ended around 1200 AD.

    A good synposis may be found @

    “Why the West Has Science and Islam Does Not” @

    http://www.amazon.com/Islam-Science-Religious-Orthodoxy-Rationality/product-reviews/1856490254/ref=dp_top_cm_cr_acr_txt?ie=UTF8&showViewpoints=1

    which is a review of the book:

    http://www.amazon.com/Islam-Science-Religious-Orthodoxy-Rationality/dp/1856490254/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top

    Muslim scientifc thought must be built from ground-up; one can starts with Ibn Sina, or Suhrewardi, or Mullah Sadar – but one must start somewhere. Only Iran, Turkey, and Pakistan – in principle – among all Muslim polities could possibly undertake suc a task.

    My introduction to the ideas of European scholars on jus gentium came from the book: “The Nomos of Earth” by Carl Schmitt:

    http://www.amazon.com/Nomos-Earth-International-Publicum-Europaeum/dp/0914386301/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1359259408&sr=1-1&keywords=the+nomos+of+earth

  5. fyi says:

    Smith says:

    January 26, 2013 at 10:20 pm

    Muslim Thought does not have any relationship with modern empricial sciences.

    Muslim Thought’s relationship with physical sciences ended around 1200 AD.

    A good synopsis may be found @

    “Why the West Has Science and Islam Does Not” @

    http://www.amazon.com/Islam-Science-Religious-Orthodoxy-Rationality/product-reviews/1856490254/ref=dp_top_cm_cr_acr_txt?ie=UTF8&showViewpoints=1

    which is a review of the book:

    http://www.amazon.com/Islam-Science-Religious-Orthodoxy-Rationality/dp/1856490254/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top

    Muslim scientifc thought must be built from ground-up; one can starts with Ibn Sina, or Suhrewardi, or Mullah Sadar – but one must start somewhere. Only Iran, Turkey, and Pakistan – in principle – among all Muslim polities could possibly undertake suc a task.

    My introduction to the ideas of European scholars on jus gentium came from the book: “The Nomos of Earth” by Carl Schmitt:

    http://www.amazon.com/Nomos-Earth-International-Publicum-Europaeum/dp/0914386301/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1359259408&sr=1-1&keywords=the+nomos+of+earth

  6. clint says:

    And puh-leeeez, why *would* Iran use PINK tarps, even if they were tarps?

    Is that a stealthy colour?

    Where is David NotAllThatBright to answer that?

    Or maybe they used pink cause they love Paris Hilton — One ISIS report mentioned chihuahuas too didn’t it?

    It may as well have given the rest of the crap in ISIS reports!!!

  7. Sakineh Bagoom says:

    “Butt buttresses this important point by…” — nice phraseology!

    Iran will not allow IAEA back into Parchin unless it receives iron clad guarantee that once access is provided (as you mention it was provided back in 2005) there won’t be any other sites which they will ask to be inspected. Another words, an end game. Iran in its contact with the IAEA has been asking for all the sites that IAEA is interested in, up front. As such, it’s a cat mouse game to drag this out just smear Iran (e.g. no end game in site yet)

  8. clint says:

    Sakineh Bagoom 100% correct:

    Iran will not allow IAEA back into Parchin unless it receives iron clad guarantee that once access is provided (as you mention it was provided back in 2005) there won’t be any other sites which they will ask to be inspected. Another words, an end game. Iran in its contact with the IAEA has been asking for all the sites that IAEA is interested in, up front. As such, it’s a cat mouse game to drag this out just smear Iran (e.g. no end game in site yet)

  9. John says:

    Please also talk about the issue that last time Iran complied with all the requests made by IAEA and provided all the info, it included names of scientists who were working on nuclear project.
    Five of the Iranian scientists were killed.

    “In a January 2012 article in Salon magazine, Glenn Greenwald noted the killing of at least five Iranian nuclear scientists during 2010 and 2011, by unknown attackers, with no apparent outcry in the Western media.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_program_of_Iran

    The life of current Iranian Chief of Nuclear program was also attempted. Now, how can you expect Iran not to try to resolve this issue in a comprehensive manner.

  10. James Canning says:

    Clearly, there are powerful forces hoping to block any P5+1 deal with Iran, in order to facilitate continuing illegal colonisation programme in the West Bank.

    Let’s hope John Kerry will support acceptance of Iranian enrichment to 5%.

  11. James Canning says:

    Sineva,

    Isn’t part of the solution simply getting Hillary Clinton out of the State Dept.? And having John Kerry come in?

    Kerry: “Everybody’s very hopeful that we can make some progress on the diplomatic front now”, he told the Senate hearing on his confirmation as Sec. of State. (From Financial Times Jan. 25th)

  12. k_w says:

    Any news about Fordo? Or is it sheer propaganda?

  13. James Canning says:

    Nasser,

    You actually believe Iran can fail to make a deal with the P5+1 and simply proceed to build nukes? Amazing. And of course dead wrong.

  14. Smith says:

    fyi says:
    January 26, 2013 at 11:07 pm

    Thank you for the list.

    So it is clear that Iran must strive to become a world power economically, technologically and militarily with nuclear capability for such ideas to become feasible and implementable. It is interesting that you note, we might not see this new world order in our life time. In effect, all Iranians today have to expect to sacrifice with no expectation of return in their life time. That is a bit sad.

    Regarding jus gentium islamicum, do you think there are religious researchers and other intellectuals in Iran, of the caliber needed to make a theoretical framework for such a jus gentium? Since Iran is the only Shia power in the world of any significance, and personally having noted that the sunni “gentium” are no fan of Shia “gentium” with almost all Sunnis, regarding Shia as “defective” in faith in one way or another, do you think such a theoretical framework made by Iran and led by Iran, would be of interest to sunni “gentium”?

    Because the sunni “gentium” idea of a jus gentium islamicum is the old and failed concept of Caliphate in which Shias do not have much place in it, if at all allowed to live. This brings a whole set of other problems such as how Iran is going to maintain such a just gentium and leading it with sunnis in it? Can an Iran economically and technologically superior to rest of the Islamic world maintain its leadership role in jus gentium islamicum, similar to how US is leading the gentium of master races?

    Except for Pakistan which already has some nominal independence, nuclear/missile technology and some minimal sci-tech capabilities, only Iran remains in the Islamic world with these capabilities or the desire for such capabilities. Which arises another question, how Pakistan can be made an ally of Iran in such a frame work given its Wahabi Arabophile power centers?

    Then there is the question of egg and the chicken. Without such a jus gentium and a military organization to defend the interests of its participants, it appears the gentium islamicum or at least gentium iranicum are not going to be able to improve at least economically since the master races will not allow them under the current world order to do so. But to implement jus gentium islamicum a minimum critical mass of economic and technological sophistication with enough military power to defend it, is needed. Of course the master races are not going to sit and twiddle their thumbs while a competing jus gentium contrary to their colonial imperialist desires is forming. So which is to come first? The economic and technological sophistication or the frame work for a jus gentium islamicum?

  15. Smith says:

    k_w says:
    January 27, 2013 at 2:29 pm

    It is irrelevant whether Fordow is damaged or not. Iran already has mastered the technology and Fordow is/was not an imported factory. Iran can build many more Fordows. Already a covert war is taking place and will continue till either Iran is defeated and capitulates completely or Iran develops nuclear weapons and pulls out of NPT. There is simply no other option. Only nuclear weapons will guarantee Iranian national security.

  16. Smith says:

    fyi and Nasser,

    That is an interesting proposition from last thread. Of course as noted, still Iran would need huge improvements in its technological level, economy and also possession of nuclear weapons. If such a crescent is to work, of course its constituents will look to Iran as their core ally to provide them with physical and security products that are now provided by master races from passenger planes to military and medical hardware. You name it. But for the sake of discussion let’s say, Iran makes such a frame work, and it becomes a successful pole in the world. Do you think it would force increasingly failing sunni nations to join it since they would have in effect no alternatives and accept Shia supermacy? Or would it force them to make their own jus gentium (with a saudi core!)?

  17. kooshy says:

    humanist says:
    January 27, 2013 at 11:56 am

    “Iran’s fordo nuclear plant extensively damaged by sabotage?”

    “A highly-placed Israeli source informs me that Iran’s uranium enrichment facility at Fordo has been extensively damaged by an explosion. The bomb was the work of a joint Israeli-U.S.-MEK sabotage operation codenamed Achilles, which used a Trojan horse to infiltrate the plant.”

    All I hope is the west accepts this valuable information from the usually anonymous “highly-placed Israeli official” and at take the Fardo issue off the agenda, since according to this information Fardo is now “badly damaged”
    There should be no need to continue bargaining with this backward Iranians on Fardo anymore.

  18. Sineva says:

    James Canning says:
    January 27, 2013 at 1:59 pm
    I guess that all depends by what he means by progress,personally I`m pessimistic about the chances for any change in us policy towards iran

    humanist says:
    January 27, 2013 at 11:56 am
    I have real doubts about this story,its one thing to smuggle a bomb into a missile base thats full of rocket fuel/munitions,its another thing to smuggle a bomb big enough to do anything into fordow where there are no munitions or rockets kept,I also imagine that the iaea would leak the news right away if this did happen,I have no doubt that the cia/mossad are using local terrorist groups like jundallah probably because theres no one else they can use probably because of the effectiveness of iranian counter intel
    http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/ML01Ak01.html

  19. Smith says:

    “……..The Nigerian American novelist Teju Cole rightly named Kristof part of “the fastest growth industry in the U.S. [that] is the White Savior Industrial Complex.”

    Kristof evidently is an ardent believer in Kipling’s “white man’s burden.” For him, the Iranians are “fluttered folk and wild — / Your new-caught, sullen peoples, / Half-devil and half-child………”

    Read more about anonymous AK-47 blank shells and white industrial complex: http://www.japantimes.co.jp/opinion/2013/01/28/commentary/west-never-tires-of-the-burden-of-baiting-iran/#.UQWmkx31qDQ

    White Savior Industrial Complex: http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2012/03/the-white-savior-industrial-complex/254843/

  20. fyi says:

    Smith says:

    January 27, 2013 at 3:51 pm

    I cannot answer your questions since I lack sufficient familairity with the Iranian intellectual scene.

    There almost has to be an army of researchers and scholars that take Ibn Sina, Suhrewardi, Mullah Sadar seriously as well as another one that really and deeply researches the Christian thinkers of the 9-th to 12-th centuries and tries, over decades and perhaps centuries and multiple times, to effect a synthesis.

    As is, neither Reason nor Christian thought is much appreciated and will take years to build momentum for it.

    I think Turkey has been trying to distance herself from Axis Powers but her weakness economically makes her operational range limited. As you saw, in case of Syria, she had to what Axis Powers, specidically US, told her to do.

    You are right that the Eastern Khaliphate, at its time, served as form of jus gentium Islamicum on the lands of Eastern Khaliphate (but not in the Maghreb). But since Islam has no centre of authority, the Khalophate cannot be revived. The closest thing is the Qum-Najaf Axis – the nascent Shia Vatican and even that one’s future is in the air.

    As long as Muslim thinkers and leaders believe in the normativeness of Europe nothing will change. As long as Muslim thinkers and leaders are obsessing with the religious tax of three-year-old camel ( a fine point in Shira regarding its zakat) nothing will change. Thanks to the United States, Iranians have been taught and being taught very very useful lessons – however brutal – in the Realities of the world. Just like the Shia of South Lebanon were taught by Israelis over 25 years. One could only hope for the continuation of such lessons by Axis Powers so that Iranians in particular and Muslims in general are disabused of their misconceptions. Delusions such as Islamic Economic & Banking must be put to rest, for example.

    The critical thing for Iranians is to incrase the labor productivity at all levels of their society – that is what contributed to the collapse of the Soviet Union – their productivity stopped growing in 1950s.

  21. Richard Steven Hack says:

    So now we know who Richard Silverstein is using as a “highly placed Israeli source”. The Fordow story comes from – wait for it – World Net Daily and our old “friend”, Reza Kahlili! This guy regularly makes up stuff and is considered a “serial fabricator” by the CIA. The story is undoubtedly bullcrap, but Silverstein has taken it seriously. It is possible that Kahlili’s story is being passed around by Israeli sources as well, so maybe that’s where Silverstein got it.

    Iran denies mystery explosion in Fordow facility
    :http://www.jpost.com/IranianThreat/News/Article.aspx?id=301198

    Meanwhile, Israel is once threatening to attack Syria if Syria gives Hizballah “chemical weapons” – which of course is not happening and will not happen.

    Israel Girds For Attacks As Syria Falls Apart
    :http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/28/world/middleeast/refugee-crisis-grows-as-violence-flares-across-syria.html

    Worse, DebkaFile is now exposing Israel’s and the US/NATO’s real agenda with the following story that claims IRAN is actively trying to promote that agenda! There is no other word for this but chutzpah!

    Iran actively weighs Syrian-Israeli clash. Iron Dome posted in N. Israel
    http://www.debka.com/article/22716/Iran-actively-weighs-Syrian-Israeli-clash-Iron-Dome-posted-in-N-Israel

    Once again, my prediction that the US/NATO/Turkey/Israel will attack Syria – and Israel will attack Lebanon – this year is being supported by an increasing number of events and threats. Within days of the Israeli elections being over, Netanyahu is ramping up the threats. Once Obama has completed shuffling his cabinet, we can expect the same from him – and the Hagel nomination will also be used to ramp up the threats on Iran.

  22. fyi says:

    Smith says:

    January 27, 2013 at 4:06 pm

    I think there could be various theoretical constructions with different starting points by the different scholars of different mazhabs.

    For example, I think a conception of jus gentium Islamicum that somehow generalizes the melliyat system of the late Ottoman Empire to sovereign Muslim and non-Muslim states could be a starting point.

    Schalors, of course, could argue it back and forth while statemsmen will use some or all of those ideas and schema to construct semi-durable political arrangements.

    A jus gentium Islamicum would, by definition, help eliminate what Tureky-Qatar-Saudi Arabia are doing in Syria, or what Syria was trying to do to Joran back in 1955, or Egypt to Saudi Arabia in 1960s.

    In time, Greece, Armenia, and Israel could be admitted to this jus.

    It is a fact that neither US, nor the Axis Powers, nor any other power can bring about such a thing among Muslims.

    [You could see the beginnings of a jus gentium (sud)-Americum already.]

    Could Sunni Muslims adopt Iranian ideas? Yes, but without acknowledging them.

    Could Shia adopt Sunni ideas? Yes.

    Could Iranians accept Arab ideas in this regard? A moot question, Arab’s oral culture will not give rise to any ideas in this regard (beyond the trite idea of Khaliphate).

    Persoanlly, however, I believe these are futre items.

  23. fyi says:

    Richard Steven Hack says:

    January 27, 2013 at 8:31 pm

    In the event of a foreign attack on Syria; Iran will intervene directly.

  24. f says:

    Smith says:

    January 27, 2013 at 5:33 pm

    In the first URL that you had included we read:

    “Nicholas Kristof, the Times’ “liberal interventionist” columnist, took a 2,700-km road trip through Iran last year to conclude: “with apologies to the many wonderful Iranians who showered me with hospitality, I favor sanctions … to pressure the regime” to relent on the nuclear issue and to ease its grip on power.” (“Pinched and Griping in Iran,” June 16, 2012.)”

    This is one of those brutal lessons that Iranians – specially the members of professional classes in Iran – are being taught.

    Many more are in store for Iranians – just like during the Iran-Iraq War – as their confrontation with Axis Powers continues.

    If the Axis Powers leaders were smart, they would have left Iranians alone to wallow in their emotional and chaotic millieu, getting nothing doe; like Pakistn. As is, they tried to first crush the Iranian Revolution and now the Iranian power, beating Iran and Iranians into a more productive path and destroying their delusions – like Mr. Kristof above.

  25. Nasser says:

    Smith says January 27, 2013 at 4:06 pm,

    “Do you think it would force increasingly failing sunni nations to join it since they would have in effect no alternatives and accept Shia supermacy? Or would it force them to make their own jus gentium (with a saudi core!)?”

    – My guess would be neither happens. I don’t think any dramatic realignment of the other countries will happen if Iran does what I propose – form a closer bloc with its existing allies, backed with nuclear weapons. I think a lot of things stay the same. But Iran and its friends would be a lot safer and more powerful.

    I don’t think the Americans would be able to replicate their success in Europe against the Russians and form a large disparate regional coalition with a Saudi core against an Iranian Shia super state. Furthermore, the Americans no more want a Sunni coalition than they want a Shiite one.

    But Iran too, at least in the near term, wouldn’t be able to provide enough inducements to draw everyone to their cause and “buy” everyone away from the Americans.

    Most likely, Egypt continues to be a rentier state that is far away enough not to be a threat to Iran. Pakistan and Turkey will maneuver between Iran and the West and they would not be openly hostile to a nuclear Iran. They will probably try to stay neutral as best possible and draw whatever benefits they can from both sides.

    The US of course will continue to support the Israelis and the Persian Gulf monarchies. But it is simply wishful thinking to assume other Sunnis would join forces with the Shias against these mutual enemies. I mean just look at Syria.

    Ejecting extra regional powers and their local deputies would have to be a long term project for Iran. But I say first things first. First Iran must focus on ensuring security for itself and its allies and increasing its power. My proposal I think does only this. It does not create a new regional order. It would be more like the unification of Germany under Prussia.

  26. Nasser says:

    fyi,

    What are the internal obstacles within Iran and Iraq that is preventing the creation of the Qom-Najaf Axis/Shia Vatican?

    I understand that external powers are doing and will do all they can to keep this from happening and that Iran needs nuclear weapons to protect itself from their efforts. American nightmares are made of exactly this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Executive_orders

    I also understand segments of both societies – the Sunnis of Iraq, and the secularists within Iran are very firmly opposed to such a thing.

    But other than these, what other obstacles are there for such a thing to happen?

  27. ToivoS says:

    “humanist says:
    January 27, 2013 at 11:56 am
    Irans fordo nuclear plant extensively damaged by sabotage?”

    This is one thing I do not understand. Israeli and American military installations seem to be completely invulnerable to sabotage. Yet Iran military sites are continuously being blown up or penetrated by internet worms. What is wrong with that country? It sounds like there must be many Iranians who are willing to work with that nation’s enemies. Now why is that?

  28. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    fyi,
    The greatest barrier to an Islamic bloc (whatever one wants to call it) is the existence of the takfiri Ale Saud.

    The other problems that you raise exist but are less acute than you imagine and ultimately manageable.

    Sunni-Shia rift is overrated.

    Ayatollah Sistani: Sunnis not only our brethren, but our souls
    http://www.mehrnews.com/en/newsdetail.aspx?NewsID=1800912

    Ayatollah Khamenei’s fatwa hailed by Al-Azhar rector
    http://www.taqrib.info/english/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=298:ayatoll

    It’s a great blessing to have wise leaders like the Supreme Leader and Ayat. Sistani, may God protect them.

  29. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    fyi,
    All the so-called strategic, political and diplomatic “advantages” that exist with the possession of nuclear weapons also exist with nuclear latency- without many of the costs.

  30. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    Also

    Ayatollah Makarem Shirazi Calls for Comparative Jurisprudence
    http://abna.ir/data.asp?lang=3&Id=385540

  31. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    Promotion of Islamic Unity Top on Iran’s Agenda
    http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.php?nn=9107139113

    Ahmadinejad: “All disputes over ethnic, factional and tribal issues were caused by the Devil”.

    Gotta love him.

    Salehi Meets Al-Azhar Sheikh: Islamic Unity Major Concern
    http://www.almanar.com.lb/english/adetails.php?eid=79636&frid=21&seccatid=19&cid=21&fromval=1

    Salehi: “If being a Sunni means following Prophet Mohammad’s Sunnah, than all the Iranian people are Sunnis; and if being a Shiite means loving the Prophet and his Household, than I believe that all the Egyptian people are Shiites”

    Beautiful

  32. Sineva says:

    James Canning says:
    January 27, 2013 at 3:03 pm

    James Canning says:
    January 27, 2013 at 3:01 pm
    And what exactly can the p5+1 do to stop iran,they don`t have very many sticks left to beat iran with and the big stick of war would inflict a lot of damage on them as well and the outcome would be far from certain,if the west was going to attack ian it would have done it by now the longer it leaves it the stronger iran becomes militarily and the higher the costs of an attack to the aggressor,the way things stand now the west is stuck between a rock a hard place it cannot say yes to a deal and it cannot bear the costs of a war the only option left to it is to maintain as best it can the status quo of cold war

  33. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    Meantime in the (Dis)United Arab Emirates

    UAE to try 94 over ‘plot to seize power’
    Authorities say the suspects were secretly plotting to seize power in the Gulf state.

    http://www.aljazeera.com/news/middleeast/2013/01/2013127181953441679.html

    Like I said, the main fear of the old smelly emirs is the MB.

  34. hans says:

    The critical thing for Iranians is to increase the labor productivity at all levels of their society

    As Iran moves from its Bazaar economy mentality to an industrial one no religion will hold back workers emancipation just like what happened to the west during the industrial revolution. As the amount of women enter the workplace they will organize and demand equal rights similar to the suffrage of early women struggles. No religion can hold back this, Islam is no different.

  35. BiBiJon says:

    From http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/28/world/americas/argentina-and-iran-to-investigate-jewish-center-bombing.html?_r=0

    President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner hailed the accord as “historic.”

    “The attack was followed only by failures and scandals. The trial ended up a farce,” Mrs. Kirchner wrote on social networks. “We will never allow the A.M.I.A. tragedy to be used like a chess piece in geopolitical affairs,” she said, referring to the Argentine Mutual Aid Association, the center that was bombed in 1994.

    ———–

    There could well be a few more “historic” accords, with India, Germany, indeed anyone who’s tired of being used as a pawn in somebody else’s interminable chess game.

  36. BiBiJon says:

    Smith says:
    January 27, 2013 at 5:33 pm

    Teju Cole’s words will awaken the down-trodden, but will never get Kristof to examine himself.

  37. BiBiJon says:

    ToivoS says:
    January 28, 2013 at 12:23 am

    “What is wrong with that country? It sounds like there must be many Iranians who are willing to work with that nation’s enemies. Now why is that?”

    Good question. I suspect there are people anywhere who’d do anything for money. So the question could be asked who does and doesn’t supply money for acts of sabotage, and why, according to what worldview, world order, international norms, morality and providence?

    Another words, what is wrong with countries who abet acts of murder and sabotage?

  38. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    hans,
    I think you will find that many of the virtues of an “industrial civilization” are in fact Islamic values for example high labor productivity and active participation of women in all social, political and economic areas.

    In other words, it is in fact with implementation of Islam that Iran will progress out of its lingering feudal “oriental despotism”.

    34 years of the Islamic Republic is itself the best proof of this.

    And of course Islam is different than the other bankrupt religions.

    http://www.ieg-ego.eu/en/threads/models-and-stereotypes/the-wild-and-the-civilized/rolando-minuti-oriental-despotism

    http://english.khamenei.ir//index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1714&Itemid=4

    Quote:
    “There is a fallacy in this regard, which I would like to discuss with you dear youth. A few western pseudo-philosophers proposed the idea of “de-ideologization”. In intellectual articles, you sometimes see de-ideologization. The claim is that it is not possible to run a society on the basis of ideology. This idea has been put forth by a few western philosophers or pseudo-philosophers, and a number of people repeat it in our country without understanding the depth of it, without understanding the dimensions of what they are repeating thoughtlessly.

    No nation that wants to build a civilization can do so in the absence of ideology. No nation can build a civilization without following an ideology, a school of thought. The nations that have built materialistic civilizations in the world have done so through an ideology, and they have openly announced this. They announced that they believed in communism. They announced that they believed in capitalism. They announced that they believed in capitalist economy. They announced their ideology and made efforts on the basis of their ideology. Of course, they had to face certain troubles and pay the price in certain cases. Without a school of thought, without having an ideology, without making efforts and paying the price for following a particular school of thought, it is not possible to build a civilization.”

  39. fyi says:

    hans says:

    January 28, 2013 at 4:03 am

    I agree with you and you do not know the extent of frustration of Iranian women with foolish men of Iran.

    And Iran is one of the better countries among Muslim polities.

  40. fyi says:

    BiBiJon says:

    January 28, 2013 at 5:25 am

    None with Germany or India.

    You do not know who much both countries are dominated by anti-Muslim sentiment; it is pathetique.

  41. Neil M says:

    When I checked last week there were 8 countries possessing nuclear arsenals.
    Each of them developed and manufactured their own arsenals and delivery systems.
    Those countries were:

    China
    France
    India
    North Korea
    Pakistan
    Russia
    United Kingdom
    U.S. of A.

    Gullible people with compromised reasoning skills choose to believe that “Israel” has nuclear weapons but there is no evidence that this belief is anything other than an illusion. On the other hand, one only need examine Israel’s tiresome and prolonged anti-Iran “existential threat” rhetoric to conclude, with a high degree of certainty, that Israel has no nuclear weapons.

    It should surprise no-one that, of the 8.0001 nuclear powers listed above, none has allowed the anachronistic IAEA, aka Iraq/Iran Atomic Espionage Agency anywhere near its nuclear facilities. To describe the IAEA as the absolute antithesis of an independent international regulatory body (with a fuzzy logic mandate and zero clout) would be to damn it with faint praise.

    It’s apparently easy to forget that the IAEA can be, is, and has been, ignored with impunity by every country on earth except Iraq and Iran.

  42. Richard Steven Hack says:

    By the way, looking at that picture of the building with the pink whatever – that sure strikes me as a building I’d like to be in conducting dangerous radioactivity and explosion tests! :-)

    Looks more like an outhouse to me…

  43. James Canning says:

    Neil M.

    France was deeply involved in helping Israel develop nukes, when France was fighting what it regarded as a civil war in Algeria. Israel was giving assistance to France in fighting that war.

  44. James Canning says:

    Sineva,

    Surely you are aware that Ali Akbar Salehi said Iran will be willing to stop enriching to 20%, and that John Kerry “hinted” last week he is willing to accept Iranian enrichment to 5%.

    Are you arguing that Ali Akbar Salehi should not try to make a deal with the P5+1 feasible?

  45. lysander says:

    Re: “explosion” at Fordo, isn’t it under iaea cameras? If so wouldn’t any explosion be too obvious to hide? I call B.S.

    Re: Sunni-Shia’ sectarianism. In it’s current form it is a very recent phenomenon. I recall my visits to Egypt in the 80s and how all my relatives were pro-Khomeini and were convinced the failed hostage rescue attempt was a sign if divine intervention.

    The stronger Iran becomes the more people will rally around the resistance front.

  46. James Canning says:

    I continue to see it as very curious indeed, that John Kerry’s apparent willingness to accept Iranian enrichment to 5% or less gets virtually no coverage in American newspapers, and that this fact seems insignificant to most of those who post on this site.

  47. James Canning says:

    The religious fanatic from Texas, the Rev. John Hagee, was able to pay for 200 of his followers to travel to Washington in effort to derail Chuck Hagel’s nomination for Defence. Or arrange for payment.

    Christians United For Israel (CUFI). Who want Israel to bring about the end of the world by expelling the Christians and Muslims from “the Land of Israel”.

  48. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    fyi,
    The majority view among Iranian men today is that “Mollah-a zana-ro po-ru kardan”.

    So let’s hear it for the Mullahs who emancipated women in Iran and through mandatory hijab opened up the public space to the majority of Iranian women- who are religious and wear hijab- who otherwise would still be stuck at home like in the time of the secular shah.

    However, I doubt that you will ever acknowledge, understand or admit this reality for reasons we have discussed extensively.

  49. BiBiJon says:

    Calling Phantom Menace …. Its now winter of 2016
    ===============================================

    Intelligence briefings given to McClatchy over the last two months have confirmed that various officials across Israel’s military and political echelons now think it’s unrealistic that Iran could develop a nuclear weapons arsenal before 2015. Others pushed the date back even further, to the winter of 2016.

    Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/01/28/v-fullstory/3205199/israel-iran-slowing-nuclear-program.html#storylink=cpy

  50. Sineva says:

    James Canning says:
    January 28, 2013 at 2:10 pm
    In order for any deal to be made the us needs to come out and clearly state its position and personally I think its done that loudly and clearly on numerous occasions and that is ZERO enrichment,if the us is going to change this policy then it needs to come out and state this loudly and clearly not with ambiguous “hints” that could mean anything or for that matter could just be wishful thinking on your part james.Until the us and its allies come out and clearly say “we acknowledge and accept irans right to enrich uranium” without any “buts” attached then the only real thing to come from these talks is time,time for iran to further build up its military,time for the west to suffer further economic damage,time for iran to grow stronger and the west to grow weaker and for the west to realize these facts.I have no doubt that the west is using these talks for exactly the same purpose in the hope that if iran is weakened enough economically it will surrender or better yet a regime change/color revolution might happen.that the chances of these things happening are virtually nil just goes to illustrate how utterly bankrupt the west is when it comes to policy in the middle east

  51. kooshy says:

    Revolution in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia?

    By Bruce Riedel

    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article33746.htm

    “For the United States, revolution in Saudi Arabia would be a game changer. While the U.S. can live without Saudi oil, China, India, Japan, and Europe cannot. Any disruption in Saudi oil exports—whether due to unrest, cyberattacks, or a new regime’s decision to reduce exports substantially—will have a major impact on the global economy.”

    Why is it that Mr. Riedel thinks “US can live without Saudi Oil “unless he thinks after a possible Arabian revolution never mind the other city states the oil will still be denominated in petro dollars and US as usual prints what she wants and buy as much oil as she wants at any price without consideration for real value of dollar, this does not make sense. If eventually the Saudi regime goes down the US will have to pay for oil import from whoever its purchased with real valuable products and services not just paper money which currently is only valuable for products and services by a third party

  52. Neil M says:

    James Canning @ January 28, 2:06 pm

    Despite all the rhetorical evidence for an Israeli nuclear arsenal, the fact remains that a ‘secret’ arsenal/deterrent is a contradiction in terms – as Stanley Kubrick emphasised in Dr Strangelove.
    The 8 entities listed in my comment each had multiple viable delivery systems before developing nukes. Israel did not and still lacks the means to safely deliver all but a tiny fraction of its rumour to a target beyond its borders (wherever they happen to be on any given day).

  53. humanist says:

    ToivoS

    Re: your January 27, 2013 at 11:56 am post

    You write “It sounds like there must be many Iranians who are willing to work with that nation’’s enemies. Now why is that?”

    Not “…there must be…” but definitely there are many and there have been many all over Iran’s past and present history. It was a Persian who guided Alexander to back of Persian Army causing its grand defeat. It was an Iranian who, serving the English, paved the way for a 90 year old OIL contract with Britain for a one time payment of 20000 pounds plus ridiculously meager royalty fees. In the last century it was a large group of profiteers, mullahs and other stooges who for very little money sold themselves to foreigners …and so on.

    The question you have posed has been in my mind for a long long time. I believe the answer for that question is not simple at all. It probably embodies myriads of complex issues of “who we are, our weak and strong features”, “clash of timely and archaic cultures” and dozens of other fundamental realities regarding the interaction of different people and different cultures.

    Maybe astute anthropologists in collaboration with other Bio scientist can shed light on why cultures decay and why different categories of societies become “cheap (or free) prostitutes” for their own foreign enemies.

    Right now a number of relevant stories, expressions and statements cross my mind. I just cite the following:

    Decades ago I posed the question (the subject of this comment) to an Iranian scholar. He tried to answer it in a “Cultural Wrapper”. He, in proper details, explained how in ancient times the invading tribes to Iran were all accepting the merits of the Iranian culture, abandoning their own and habituating ours. He then said something like “…but the new cultural invasion of the Europe has completely crazed Iranians….we are both fascinated and appalled….under such a setting finding traitors is not as hard”. He then rushed to say ”…of course as we all know many of us are not for sale irrespective of the magnitude of the price, that is why I am sure Iran and wise parts of its culture are bound to survive annihilation”.

    I was not convinced… I then thought and now think the issue is more complex than “cultural” alone.

    Now I have grown to believe “tribalism” is a principal cause of the problems of our humanity. Superiority or inferiority of “other”cultures are excuses used by stronger pillagers to start wars and cause colossal pains and destructions.

  54. humanist says:

    Sineva,

    Re: your January 27, 4:18pm post.

    I entirely agree with you. For variety of reasons it is hard to believe that, after Karaj incident, IRGC (and the entire Iranian security system) once again let all its guards down.

    Also, IAEA has sophisticated cameras installed in every corner of Iranian nuclear installations. If the story is true and over 200 technicians are trapped in Fordo. The infrared segment of the cameras would have recorded something and White House would’ve known it immediately.

    White House doubts the credibility of the explosion story. I am an overly skeptical person yet in this case I believe in what WH is saying.

  55. Richard Steven Hack says:

    So much for Reza Kahlili…

    How Israeli Government Officials Fueled A Conspiracy Website Story About Iran
    http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2013/01/28/how-israeli-government-officials-fueled-a-conspiracy-website-story-about-iran.html

    BUT will the US main steam media point out that Israeli officials lied about this? Will Richard Silverstein now realize his “Israeli source” is full of crap?

    Of course not.

  56. Richard Steven Hack says:

    OK, my last two posts have disappeared… Moderator might want to look at the spam filter, it’s acting up…

  57. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    kooshy,
    Key sentence in the Riedel article:

    “But we should plan very quietly for the worst.”

    Translation:

    “Let’s make contact with dissidents now- especially takfiri Wahabis so that we can have an anti-Iran/Iraq/Bahraini people/Hezbollah/Shia regime in the peninsula post-revolution- but don’t let the Ale Saud find out.”

  58. fyi says:

    humanist says:

    January 28, 2013 at 9:54 pm

    You only need to look at the histroy of UK over the last 500 years to see very many instances of such behavior. Likewise in France or in Italy.

    There were a group of young Ox-Bridge-Educated men who went on to spy on behalf of USSR for decades – out of conviction for communism.

    In US, there have been many such cases over time as well, both for profit and for reasons of political conviction.

    A more reliable assessment would have to look at statistics of such behavior over many decades and centuries and then try to rank and tabulate those results.

    As is, such observations are not conclusive one way or another.

  59. Unknown Unknowns says:

    Persian Gulf-san:

    Correction: Long live Iran and Kenya!

    At the NAM conference a few months back, there was a very impressive display of Iran’s Aerospace industry technological achievements. Many delegates present were impressed, and the Kenyan delegate particularly so. When he heard that we were on the cusp of sending a mammal into space, he expressed his country’s wish to cooperate with us in our space endeavors. When asked what they could contribute, he said: “We’ll provide the monkey.”

  60. James Canning says:

    Sineva,

    The Financial Times reported that John Kerry hinted (during Senate hearing) that he might be willing to accept Iranian enrichment to 5%. Meaning, of course, that Obama might be willing to accept such enrichment.

    Have you heard of “trial balloons”?

  61. James Canning says:

    Sineva,

    You actually expect Germany to “grow weaker” while Iran “grows stronger”? German economy is performing quite well, and it is far far stronger than that of Iran.

    Iran needs to make a deal with the P5+1. Meaning, make a deal with Russia and China, and the other four powers.

  62. James Canning says:

    Neil M.

    Israel has ZERO need to deliver any of its nukes to any target. In fact, Israel should get rid of its nukes, sign the NPT, etc etc.

  63. James Canning says:

    Sineva,

    I doubt many European diplomats actually think “regime change” in Iran is a likely event, due to the sanctions.

  64. James Canning says:

    John Bolton, writing in the Wall Street Journal Jan. 28th, falsely claiming Iran has never offered to stop enriching to 20%. Bolton also condemned the P5+1 for offering early last year to allow Iranian enrichment to 4%.

    Sineva, note the above. Bolton, the neocon warmonger, is complaining the P5+1 offered to allow Iranian enrichment to low levels, a year ago.

  65. James Canning says:

    JOhn Bolton, in Wall Stret Journal Jan. 28th: “Senators should probe [Chuck Hagel] if he endorses the dangerous step [of John Kerry, and P5+1] of letting Iran enrichment [to low levels].”

  66. ToivoS says:

    Hacks writes: “Will Richard Silverstein now realize his “Israeli source” is full of crap?

    Of course not.”

    He has retracted his story and acknowledges that he erred badly and it was a hoax.
    http://www.richardsilverstein.com/2013/01/28/was-fordo-a-hoax-if-so-why/

  67. BiBiJon says:

    Spreading Hoaxes has spread to Daily Beast’s Dan Ephron
    ======================================================

    Check it out http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2013/01/29/white-house-debunks-iran-nuclear-explosion-but-iran-denies-planting-story.html

    “Iran denies planting the story?”

    In the article, not a single sentence refers to why Iran would plant the hoax, who made the allegation, or who was contacted to issue a denial. Nothing. Just the headline to subliminally plant yet another hoax: Iran was behind it!

  68. Ataune says:

    Toivos says:

    Even though I generally disagree with RSH’s predictions, I would say that he was correct here and you are wrong again. Nowhere in his “retraction” Silverstein accept that “his Israeli source is ‘full of crap'”. The strongest sentence in the article for the unreliable and untrustworthy Israeli source is:

    “…[I would] say my source was likely wrong”

  69. James Canning says:

    BiBiJon,

    The story said Iran denied the explosion, not that Iran denied planting the story. The caption of the story was incorrect.

  70. James Canning says:

    Smith,

    Where do you get the idea “there is no UN”? Why would fanatical supporters of Israel in the US be so keen to punish the UN, if there is no UN?

  71. Sineva says:

    James Canning says:
    January 29, 2013 at 1:48 pm
    I think you know very well that its not the europeans who are the real problem,they`ll do what they`re told to
    James Canning says:
    January 29, 2013 at 1:40 pm
    Germany is no threat to iran,the only real european military threat,such as it is,comes from france and england and economically things for them and germany will only get worse before they get better,none of them can afford the consequences of a war with iran,militarily iran is only getting stronger and its uranium stockpile grows ever larger giving it a more credible potential nuclear capability
    James Canning says:
    January 29, 2013 at 1:57 pm
    yes and I`m sure there were plenty of “buts” attached to this offer that all but guaranteed its rejection,boltons real problem is that the west is even talking to iran at all,as far as he`s concerned the west should be dictating terms for an iranian surrender

  72. humanist says:

    Smith,

    On January 27, 2:29pm in a response to k_w you express a belief that puzzle me.

    You write Already a covert war is taking place and will continue till either Iran is defeated and capitulates completely or Iran develops nuclear weapons and pulls out of NPT. There is simply no other option. Only nuclear weapons will guarantee Iranian national security.

    You always sound ‘very well informed’ yet don’t you know bombing nuclear installations of a NPT member country can be legally a ‘supreme’ war crime? I remember couple of years ago I was reading an article written by a hardcore warmonger. He (she?) was talking about ways to entice Iran to annul its NPT membership. Can you envision why warmongers wished and hoped Iran never was member?

    Don’t you know your ‘only two options’ are the worst possible options? Don’t you know for a simple international conflicts like the dispute over Iran’s nuclear program there must be half a dozen peaceful solutions that benefit both sides? (Provided both sides are civilized, rational and fair)

    In the following I copy a slightly edited comment I wrote in a blog about the issue of Iran and its nuclear program:

    During its eight year war with Iraq, Iran suffered horrendously by Chemical weapons. Iranians were fully capable to retaliate similarly but they DIDN’T (as UN report proved later). This at the time caught the attention of Olaf Palme (the Swedish Prime Minister). Apparently he was touched, he arranged the treatment of many Iranian soldiers who were subjected to Saddam’s dreadful chemical agents (since Iranian hospitals had ran out of their capacities) and (illegally?) supplied Iran with surface to air missiles to destroy Iraqi planes capable of dropping chemical bombs.

    I am not sympathetic at all to the archaic Iranian theocratic constitution and its mediaeval justice system yet I believe Iranian rulers when they claim they’ll never build any type of weapons of mass destruction.

    For someone who is repeatedly exposed to poems of Rumi, Saadi, just the thought of roasting men, women, children and other forms of life by using an atomic bomb is unexplainably appalling. The refusal of Iranians to avenge with chemical weapons in 1980s is a grand historical event of our time……Iranians should be proud of themselves for confronting the heinous Saddam in a civilized humanistic manner…..by this Iranians gained another bright spot in the human history..

    Recently I have become convinced that Khomeini’s decision of not retaliating similarly was overwhelmingly influenced by Doctors and essays published in Iranian papers calling Iraqi use of dreadful chemical weapons that burn the body and lungs of the defenders as the grosses and most barbaric act imaginable.

    Anyhow, you puzzle me since by stating only acquiring a-bomb can get Iran out of this brutal situation you portray yourself as if you have no idea how ruthless the enemies of Iran are, as if you don’t know the moment Iran cancels its NPT membership warmongers, metaphorically, will open lots of overly expensive champaign bottles…..anticipating very soon they’ll get what they wanted for years…..ie taking Iran back to the stone-age.

  73. Smith says:

    humanist says:
    January 29, 2013 at 8:57 pm

    You do not know what you are talking about. You are a secularist/humanist. It is not your fault. Even though I waste my time explaining it to you, but I doubt you would be able to understand. Some others attacked me personally on the other site over this issue as well, so it is nothing new. But here are some facts, though it will be difficult for you to digest them since you secularists dread the day Iran tests its nuclear weapons, since that day, your dreams of Iran ever becoming a slave and puppet nation again is going to die:

    1) Attacking nuclear installations of a NPT member is NOT a war crime. You should go and read more about war crime and its laws. In fact allies during world war II, attacked several nuclear installations of axis and it was never considered war crime and to this day allies are proud of it. Iran itself attacked the nuclear installation of Iraq (NPT member) and no one considered it a war crime. Even Saddam did not consider it a war crime. Israel has attacked nuclear installations of several countries and no one has accused it of war crime. Iranian nuclear installations have come under attack (unconventional=bombings,sabotage,assassination, cyberwar) but no one including Iran have accused the attackers having committed acts of war crime.
    So attacking a nuclear installation is not a war crime, let alone of supreme variety. In effect you are lying, concocting one figmentation after another figmentation.

    2- Sweden never helped Iran. Do not lie so big here. Sweden was one of the principal provider of specialized artillery shells used to deliver nerve and mustard gas on Iranian soldiers. The Swedish system you are talking about is a short range low altitude system by the name of RBS-70. It was never given to Iran because the “good hearted” Swedish prime minster was so much in love with Iranians. Not at all. Iran obtained a few of those systems in black market and bought them probably in the same way from Afghan Mujahedin who also had sold some of their US supplied Stinger missiles to Iran. At any rate, those missiles proved to be useless, since the bulk of Iraqi air assets were shot down by Iranian fighters and I-Hawk batteries.

    There is absolutely no evidence whatsoever, not even claimed by Bofors that a single air asset was shot down by RBS-70, which I consider an inferior weapon system as it is not even a fire and forget system, so crucial on a battle field. Your concocted story simply does not stand up against the facts. The Iranian soldiers who were being sent to Europe for treatment with Iran paying top dollars for their treatment and this was not being permitted there for humanitarian reasons. But rather Iranians were being experimented on by NATO. To this day, Iranian researchers and doctors have not been able to account for all the chemicals used in that war and many instances of chemical attacks remain, whose agents, officially as per Iranian government remains of unknown composition (actually they could not even determine if the agent was chemical or viral).

    You are trying to white wash the sins of your secular gods here. You might fool a few here, but not me. You see, most of the Iraqi chemical attacks on Iranians were not air launched. Almost all of them were by artillery shells against concentrated Iranian troop movements at battle front. Chemicals such as mustard and VX needed special shells for the purpose of delivery with artillery guns, which Bofors was providing to Saddam. Your claim that Bofors gave RBS-70 to Iran, is not ridiculous but a charlatan attempt to falsify history. Sweden was firmly on the side of Saddam under its guise of “neutrality”. After all they had even supplied Nazi army. Saddam was nothing compared to Hitler. If Swedes could supply Hitler why not Saddam.

    3- War mongers dread the day, Iran tests its nukes. Since on that day, their dream of invading Iran and putting a secular puppet regime in Iran will come to an end. Forever. This is what neo-cons, seculars/humanists and war mongers dread. This is what keeps them awake at night. You see, war mongers are only good at war mongering when the opposite side is disarmed and incapable of defending itself. They never go to war with a well armed and well equipped nation. And they never even dream of going to war with a nuclear armed nation. They want Iran to become like Iraq, impoverished and divided with no nukes, ready for invasion. I am sure, there are very good Generals in Iranian military who fully understand these fine points and the entire implications of game theory.

    And I am sure, if Iran could have gone to North Korea in 1980’s and bring Scud-B missiles which are huge in size, then they have already brought in stocks of HEU and plutonium which can be transported in briefcases. I would be very surprised if Iran does not have nuclear weapons. As per my own extrapolation, it is only a matter of time before Iran tests nukes and pulls out of NPT. It will make people like you very angry. As you will never see Iran become a secular nation again after that. But that is what is going to happen. Because if it does not, then Iran will become Libya with drunkard gun totting MEK and seculars roaming in streets raping women and children and announcing their sexual freedom to the world.

    4- Iranians did not respond to Iraqi chemical weapons because the Iraqi invasion never became a threat to the IRI itself. Despite the war having become horrible, it never threatened the IRI, rather it strengthened it. The war caused the seculars to escape to west and start up TV/Radio channels and/or becoming realtors in effect leaving IRI in charge. Also Iraq never used chemical weapons on major civilian population centers. If Saddam had strapped VX or mustard gas on its Scuds and sent it to Tehran, the situation would have become different. Iran would have changed policies then.

    Saddam used its chemical weapons in a tactical way against the numerical superiority of Iranians soldiers. As has been documented, when Iranians were retreating from Faw, they had to retreat slowly in order to wear down the newly supplied Iraqi army and prevent its newly gained tactical momentum to be used for deep penetration inside Iran. So the commanders had ordered the Iranian soldiers under chemical attack to retreat very slowly. The result was devastating human cost for Iranian soldiers. As Iraqis used to take Iranian positions, there was one item among bullet casings, shells and empty ammo containers littering the ground that showed the bravery of Iranians as well as the humanity of Sweden/Germany etc etc. That item was the huge amount of empty syringes and used atropine ampules on the ground.

    You see, the Iranian soldiers were injecting each other with atropine after atropine in order to remain alive alittle longer to slow down Iraqi onslaught. The fumes from Swedish made artillery shells were perfumed to make it easier for inhalation. The smell of poison was sweet. The atropine on the other hand is a nasty drug. Upon injection the subject immediately starts to feel intense abdominal pain, with severe cramps and tachycardia. The extra few moments the soldiers would gain by auto-injecting atropine were painful but the soldiers were doing it since they had to defend their namoos. Something the secular people will never understand. All these were horrible. But it was at the front. Every one understood that. Khomeini above all.

    It was a self containing sacrifice. Something both militarily and religiously acceptable. If Saddam had even tried to target a major Iranian city with chemical weapons, then you could have bet Iran start using chemical weapons too. So your analogy is useless and moronic. Nuclear weapons not only vaccinate Iran against any foolishness by regional countries and US/NATO but also will boost the morales of almost all Iranians (some Iranian sell outs may feel ashamed). But that is ok. As you noted above in your reply to some one else, it is because of their acceptance of “humanism” from west into their culture.

    I do not mind that. And I do not even call them traitors. After all I believe they are still Iranians and I do not agree with British method of dealing with traitors which until recently, speaking in historical terms, used to be by punishing their perceived traitors by calling for the victim to be “hanged, drawn and quartered”. Or how Americans dealt with Nazi and Communist sympathizers who were against US being the sole owner of nuclear weapons (and by extension world): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j3pRlXS-KHQ

    PS. Congrats every one here for the space launch. Love live Iran.

  74. fyi says:

    Mr. Smith:

    Pathetic:

    http://malaysia-today.net/mtcolumns/newscommentaries/54163-the-road-to-renewal

    The other Noblist – the late Mohammad Abdus Salam, was driven out of Pakistan since he was an Ahmadi.

  75. fyi says:

    All:

    Amputation of a thief’s fingers in Shiraz:

    http://www.akhbargoo.com/?p=21402

  76. Sineva says:

    humanist says:
    January 29, 2013 at 8:57 pm
    You make an excellent point “Don’t you know for a simple international conflicts like the dispute over Iran’s nuclear program there must be half a dozen peaceful solutions that benefit both sides?”
    and then you show why this is very unlikely to happen with your next sentence
    “Provided both sides are civilized, rational and fair”
    So what happens when one side is the exact opposite of these things ie uncivilized,irrational and unfair yet thinks itself to be none of these things and that it is the other side who is guilty of all these things??
    That is the situation we now find ourselves in and sadly there is nothing simple about it and much as I dislike it at some future point in time iran may have to become a nuclear armed state in order to guarantee its continued existence,I would hope that just having the capability to do this would be enough to dissuade irans enemies from any foolish acts but sadly the history of the west in the middle east,post ww2 at least,has been foolish act after foolish act a cycle that despite the cost it seems unable to break,perhaps this standoff may force the west to recognize this fact and start to act rationally but we have yet to see any sign of this sad to say

  77. Richard Steven Hack says:

    fyi: “In the event of a foreign attack on Syria; Iran will intervene directly.”

    You really think the Supreme Leader is that stupid, eh? OK, we’ll see.

  78. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Silverstein’s “retraction” is all over the place. All I had to hear was the words “Reza Kahlili” and I knew it was BS. The fact that NO ONE else knew anything about it was the tip-off. The alleged Israeli support boiled down to simple reports in the Israeli press all of which cited Kahlili and some Israeli officials saying it would be “nice if it were true.”

    Silverstein relied on his own Israeli sources – or at least one source – who clearly had an agenda. That was the point I was making. So the question he does not answer in his “retraction” remains: Does he realize his source had an agenda and is thus unreliable?

    Any source backing Reza Kahlili has to be questioned as to the source’s reliability because everyone knows Kahlili makes up crap all the time – and the other Iranian who was involved (not Kahlili, which I made a mistake about) was labeled a “serial fabricator” by the CIA.

    Also, Silverstein suggests that maybe he was the target of the hoax, but admits he’s too small to justify that notion.

    The suggestion that Israel wanted to plant doubt in the minds of Iran that they could sabotage Fordow makes little sense either. Iran would obviously already know the site is a target for Israeli sabotage.

    I think the reason for the Israeli support of the hoax was simply to plant more disinformation about Iran into the public mind. “There’s no such thing as bad PR”, as the Church of the SubGenius used to say. They could always point at Kahlili as the instigator while still achieving the aim of implanting another bad view of Iran in the media, so it was cost-free to them. A few journalists have pointed out that it was Israeli reporting of the hoax that got it out there and without that the story probably would have gone no where since World Net Daily isn’t exactly CNN. But no else has noticed and no else is likely to care.

    BiBiJon: I agree that the Daily Beast’s Dan Ephron just looks like an idiot for suggesting Iran had been behind the hoax. I don’t know anyone who even suggested that as a possibility.

  79. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Humanist: As I’ve argued repeatedly here, against fyi and others, Iran has absolutely no strategic or tactical use cases for nuclear weapons.

    It really boils down to two things:

    1) If Iran tries to make nuclear weapons, it will be attacked before it can do so. This is a near certainty.

    2) Iran will not be capable of making nuclear weapons while under attack. This too is a near certainty.

    Ergo, Iran can not and will not make nuclear weapons ever.

    Beyond that, there is the fact that the Iranian leadership is well aware of this and the fact that nukes would do them absolutely no good strategically or tactically and has repeatedly stated they will not do so because there would be no point to doing so.

    Apparently a lot of people haven’t bothered to think it through, merely assuming that having any kind of a nuke is some sort of “deterrent” against a superpower. It isn’t.

    I do think Iran would withdraw from the NPT in protest if attacked – given that membership obviously did them no good at all under that circumstance. But Iran will never make nuclear weapons, barring both a serious change of leadership and some circumstance that prohibits a US attack once Iran began doing so.

    Of course, we have idiots here who hallucinate that Iran already HAS a deterrent – while simultaneously suggesting Iran ALSO needs nukes to have a deterrent. An obviously contradictory position. If you already have a deterrent, you don’t need nukes. If you don’t have a deterrent, trying to make a nuke will get you attacked.

    The desire for Iran to have nukes is just an emotional expression of the fear that Iran isn’t strong enough to deter attack on its own coupled with a nationalistic desire for Iran to be stronger than it is. There’s no military strategy or geopolitical theory basis for the belief whatsoever.

    And this is true for just about every “pundit” out there. I’ve yet to see anyone other than myself point out that if Iran is attacked it will NOT make nukes. The consensus opinion is that it will, but there is NEVER ANY evidence produced to support the assumption – except the Iraq Osirak case which can’t even remotely be compared to the Iranian model because the two countries political models and the two sorts of attacks are totally different.

  80. BiBiJon says:

    For everyone’s sakes
    ===================

    The other day there was a thoughtful piece by Heather Hurlburt about Chuck Hagel. Well worth reading in full at
    http://www.usnews.com/opinion/blogs/world-report/2013/01/28/public-opinion-is-on-chuck-hagels-side

    Here’s a quote:

    “The extent to which the United States can control the international order, and unilaterally shape it to our ends, has been in some ways the disagreement underlying the politics of foreign policy for at least eight years now. President Obama won two national elections with the argument—and the second time, with four years of evidence—that trading unilateralism and efforts at control for (still muscular) engagement and influence could provide for U.S. security as well and in fact are better than the failed efforts at “control” that had been on display in Iraq and the Middle East.”

    Keery/Hagel nominations, compounded by Clinton/Ross departures, herald a sea change in US thinking, methinks. On the domestic front, the changes afoot will not be confrontational. John Kerry’s ‘diplomacy’ will be mostly targeted at the Senate Foreign Relations committee in order to educate, cajole, and otherwise gently drag along the cold-war fossils into a new paradigm.

    As always, Iran has the misfortune of being at the center of, a testcase for, and harbinger of the likely direction of the paradigm shift. US relations with Iran, or lack of it, will act as food or poison for the promoters/detractors of the changes being contemplated.

    Iran appears to have gotten wind of the change and is trimming her sales accordingly. Debating whether to show Argo in Iran, chastising hooliganism in ransacking the British embassy, etc. could all be interpreted as donning velvet gloves on the iron fist ready for a handshake.

    Iran will be a space exploring, nuclear capable country in a very short time. Indeed, it isn’t too much of stretch to categorize her as such already. The political costs to US for this eventuality to occur while the US is openly, and strenuously militating against it is enormous. The perceived US influence, competence, relevance etc will redline at near zero.

    Conversely, burying the hatchet with Iran, face-savingly portraying it as the fruit of multilateral tough sanctions, will be precisely the shot in the arm the new world order paradigm needs. Commensurately, a great many concessions towards Iran will seem worth making.

    Hagel’s confirmation hearing tomorrow will do much to define the for and against ranks. We shall see.

  81. fyi says:

    Richard Steven Hack says:

    January 30, 2013 at 12:56 am

    You wrote:

    “The desire for Iran to have nukes is just an emotional expression of the fear that Iran isn’t strong enough to deter attack on its own coupled with a nationalistic desire for Iran to be stronger than it is. There’s no military strategy or geopolitical theory basis for the belief whatsoever.”

    My advise to you is to study some more before making silly statements like those above.

  82. k_w says:

    @Smith: No war crime? Of course it is. It is a crime against peace, it is starting a war of aggression. The allied powers did so because they were at war with Germany. However, there is no state of war between USrael and Iran. Have a look at UNSC resolution 487.

    AFA HEU goes: The Iranians handed their weapons-grade uranium (20 kg, TRR) to the IAEA although they would have been allowed to keep it according to the NPT. They maade a principle decision not to obtain and use WMDs. This might have been a mistake but HEU they had. The Iranians got their knowledge how to produce chemical weapons from Moshe Regev alias Regenstreich alias Keller though they never used them in the Iraq-Iran war.

  83. James Canning says:

    Sineva,

    You actually believe Iran is stronger, militarily, for having stockpiled too much 20% uranium. Amazing.

  84. James Canning says:

    Sineva,

    Many people who post on this site claim the P5+1 will never offer Iran an acceptance of enrichment to 5%. Yet John Bolton is deeply unhappy that this offer already was made a year ago.

    Yes, Bolton wants Iran to tell Israel it can oppress the Palestinians for decades to come, grow the illegal colonies of Jews in the West Bank, etc etc etc.

  85. James Canning says:

    R S Hack,

    I agree with you that Iran would be unlikely to build nukes even if it is attacked.

  86. Smith says:

    Sineva says:
    January 30, 2013 at 12:15 am

    The fine point here is what you call rationality, is not necessarily how the west defines it. The entire western civilization is built on three things. Science, Christiandom derived philosophy of life and war. Read “Guns, germs and steel”.

  87. James Canning says:

    BiBiJon,

    Is there a “political cost to the US” from Iran’s ability to send a monkey into space?
    What would be that “cost”?

    Iran should be congratulated.

  88. Smith says:

    fyi says:
    January 29, 2013 at 11:00 pm

    Unfortunately that is very much true. The muslim world can not separate its social and personal prejudices from the work at hand. Leg pulling is a familiar sight in all muslim work places even it be a nuclear research center.

    Dr. Salam, was a genius. I know his case, quite in detail. He was a very poor kid who had done his PhD. from UK in theoretical physics by a village charity in which all the household of his village had contributed towards the funds for his overseas education. Upon his return the government of Pakistan made him a physics teacher at Lahore Government College (?) and he being a young and enthusiastic theoretical physicist full of nationalism, accepted the post. After a few months of teaching physics in that college, he finds the work monotonous so he decides to do more than simply teaching by starting research projects in theoretical particle physics or anything else so he goes to the chairman of the college and requests for additional tasks.

    The chairman thinks for a while, seeing the enthusiastic young lecturer and then makes him the coach of the hockey team of the college. You see a match was coming up and the college did not have a coach. Dr Salam resigns in protest. Then he was driven out and I have even heard that even his citizenship was revoked by Pakistani government. He had requested the governments of Pakistan, Iran and Egypt to help him set up centers for advanced research in theoretical physics, biological sciences and chemistry in Pakistan, Iran and Egypt respectively. He begged them but no reply came from these countries after all people like Bhutto and Shah had more important things to do. At last Italy offered him a place for an advanced research in theoretical physics and funded his idea and that is why we have Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics in Italy.

    The article you have linked, quotes Dr Pervez Hoodbhoy, who is a fairly famed and learned Pakistani physicist. He is very critical of the way only the applied sciences are welcomed in Islamic lands with no love for theoretical and critical thinking. I have read some of his articles. Though he mentions in a short article that Iran is improving and is a bit of an exception but I have to say, even if so, still Iran has a very very very very very very very very very long way to go before it reaches the minimum optimum situation. As per him, you can say bye bye to the rest of the Muslim world and the future of science in them. You see in Muslim lands they want to use best cars, best cell phones and best medicines without ever developing critical thinking and free thought processes needed for production of these materials. Basically there are two groups of people in the Muslim world. One is the traditional mullah, who is illiterate and incapable of thinking. The other is a mullah rejecting iphone totting “modern” self professed “humanist” and civil society member whose free thought processes do not go beyond alcohol, cheap arts and sex. The antithetical living mirror of typical Akhond. As per these guys both, the theoretical particle physics and second of law of thermodynamics is for west. It does not apply to them. Akhond thinks they are fantasies of decadent western mind and the “modern” guy thinks they are things better left to specialists to west while they enjoy their short miserable lives.

    PS. I will come back to this in my upcoming post. But for the fun of it listen to this secularist, Americanized Turkish mullah who is furious with rage after Iranian ministry of education deported him from Iran after he tried to preach for creationist ideas and build a creationist museum in Iran. Also in subsequent video please watch how he was behaving to Iran before Iran had deported him (Also note, he is a modern mollah and wears modern Armani pants and has no issue with Hijab):

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UoTrG-zze3Q

    Before he got deported: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KiTdeEjx1Rg

  89. Smith says:

    k_w says:
    January 30, 2013 at 12:24 pm

    Again you are mixing things up and bring in rumors such as about this single guy teaching Iran about chemical weapons. I mean are you kidding? Iran had full access to North Korea the biggest reservoir of chemical weapons on planet earth who would have been only happy to provide three factories of chemical weapons to Iran if only Iran had sent them six months supply of furnace oil for the harsh Korean winter. Moshe, no moshe. There was no need for any moshe or choshe. Get a life.

    Also aggression is a completely different thing than war crime. War crime is when Sweden was providing special artillery shells for blood and nerve agents to good old Saddam. That is war crime. Abugharib was war crime. Aggression is a completely different thing under rules of war. Educate yourself before commenting. And the point is moot since Iran’s nuclear program is directly under attack as we speak and and the entire nation has been taken hostage and targeted for it. And remember this, war crimes happen during the war. Not before it.

    Regarding TRR fuel, that was a big and huge mistake made by Iran. But now that is past. Actually Iran made many such mistakes and God has been kind on Iran, protecting it all along. When Saddam used chemical weapons against Iranians, the Iranian military commanders reached the conclusion that Iran must have nuclear weapons to protect itself in future. But after the war, every one forgot it and they went back to their old ways. Until Pakistan detonated its nukes and Iran went and bought some equipment and blue prints from Pakistan (or it was other around, Pakistan being under sanctions sold these to Iran and Libya etc). But still, Iranians were asleep until 9/11 happened and Iranians thought Americans now are going to become friendly to Iranians. Again these simpletons were disappointed.

    So they started a small scale nuclear program that could have military dimensions. At the time, North Korea knowing US having bogged down in two wars and incapable of attacking it, went full ahead with its nuclear program testing its first weapon in 2006. Iran was still a sleep but got its lesson from North Korea. But the Arab awakening woke up Iran to the fact that they will never be safe without nuclear weapons, specially with what happened in Libya and Syria. It is only a matter of time. Iran will be a nuclear armed nation before Americans withdraw from Afghanistan. That is guaranteed now.

  90. Smith says:

    fyi says:
    January 29, 2013 at 11:06 pm

    He is a causality of economic war going on in Iran. It could have been completely unnecessary if more people were working in industrial production instead of working in speculator markets. Right now due to the glittery consumerist culture promoted by import mafias, young people are forced to steal to keep up their “image” in society in addition to pressures of poverty causing national security issues through increasing crime rate which necessitates such harsh actions in order to keep a minimum level of law and order.

    It is really a sorry state of affairs that almost half of Iran’s working force are shopkeepers. That is right. Half of Iranian families are selling something to the other half. This is the result of economic policies of arts loving Khatami and Moderate Rafsandjani with lots of Basiji importing cartels killing Iran’s industries. As I said, before on RaceforIran, Iranian government instead of investing in industrial production, buying/stealing/developing technologies and aggressively exporting its products, had chosen to import every thing from grave stones to Samsung touch phones all through malijak license system employed by Iranian banks and import regulating authorities. Here is an expert economic view point on this issue: http://tinyurl.com/9w9p86z

  91. BiBiJon says:

    Argentine gets a green light to go for a “truth commission” with Iran, and Israel does a cowardly raid in Syria. Coincidence?

  92. Smith says:

    fyi says:
    January 30, 2013 at 1:25 pm

    I used to think positively of that until I realized that EU is no more as powerful as it once was in middle of cold war. During the cold war, US tried in vain to stop EU from buying Russian gas. At the time Europeans knew where their interests lied. Today the situation is different. Not only Europe is increasingly losing its industrial production base to Asia but also it is more and more involved in an American/Israeli led religious war against middle east. Complicating the matters is the fact that the western leaders believe as a matter of an article of faith that regime change will happen Iran in near future with pro-western puppet secular and free sex totting government forming in Tehran taking care of western interests.

    Then there is of course Russia which will do everything possible to prevent Iranian gas from reaching Europe since it would take away its monopoly over Europe. Russia has the same policy over Iran’s gas exports to China and that is why no gas pipeline from Iran to China through Pakistan or Central Asia is ever talked about. The sorry state of affairs of countries like Iran becomes apparent in such areas, that they can not even their economic interests due to their weak military nature. As you already know, I believe the solution to all these problems is for Iran to become nuclear armed. Only then Iran will be able to defend its economic and national interests. Right now, west believes they can have all the Iranian gas and oil if they implement a regime change policy whether by hook or crook.

  93. fyi says:

    Smith says:

    January 30, 2013 at 2:33 pm

    This is true; they have no Tao – no balance.

    On the other hand, China, which had tao, became so crystalized that it shattered when confronted by the Western states.

  94. Smith says:

    fyi says:
    January 29, 2013 at 9:09 am

    Traitors are every where. When Alexander invaded Iran, the Iranian king DariusIII run away and his queen Stateira along with his daughters became the “family” of Alexander. This is something you seldom hear mentioned by Iranians. Even the mother of the king renounced her son and publicly announced that Alexander is her true son, all the while the young Alexander was “comforting” Stateira and Stateira II at the same time. According to Greek historians he treated them “well”. Though they did not define what they meant by “well”. That is what a single traitor can do. Just like today. I believe as per my own estimation if Iran is invaded by US forces, more than one million Iranian girls and women will offer themselves as sexual slaves to invading soldiers just like the 400,000 Vietnamese women who had played that role during Vietnam war resulting in more than hundred thousand babies born to Vietnamese women whose father was the US army. It did not happen in Iraq and Afghanistan because these countries have an ultra-conservative culture. In Iran it is going to be completely different. With technological advancement seen in digital photography, the historical evidence will remain vivid for thousands of years to come.

    You can find such examples all through world history. There were Russian/French/American/British and German traitors. And lots of times, certain segment of people like the traitors too. You can find ample examples of this in Iran. But the important thing is to have a governance system that can survive traitors.

  95. Smith says:

    fyi says:
    January 28, 2013 at 10:04 am

    It was a wonderful article you had linked. It is amazing to see at least they have reached the maturity to accept some thing is wrong despite having done nothing to correct it. In Sunnism, they do not even accept this. So it is an improvement I say. As I had said above, devout Muslims specially those subscribing to Sunnism see science only as an applied discipline that they can learn and probably apply to their lives. They do not accept notion of freedom of thought.

    The modern secular muslims on the other hand think of science as belonging to west and they want to benefit from the fruits of the science while accepting the fact that they will never become as scientifically advanced so they see modernity not in thinking about composition of cosmos or sub-atomic particles but spending their slave lives defending sexual freedom and the right to drink alcohol and having a “westernized, secular, puppet regime” serving the interests of the modernists and their masters. It is a sorry state of affairs. But the article you linked had a positive effect on me. Because before I used to think of ourselves as a more sophisticated variation of “Cargo Cult”. Now at least with that article I can officially say, Iran is not part of cargo cult though it is still far behind the science and technology developing nations. That is comforting. At least Iran is progressing. Finally.

    More on cargo cult;
    Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dlnxPOeyTbk
    Cargo Cult: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cargo_cult

  96. Ataune says:

    BiBiJon says:
    January 30, 2013 at 11:14 am

    I wouldn’t expect much change in US’ Iran policy, even with Hagel/Kerry in the security cabinet. US has set herself up for a long-term cold war style policy and won’t relent on that yet, as fyi would say.

    The one main rational in Hagel choice (which I find a smart tactical move) is to better tackle his adversary’s opposition to the incoming cuts in the DOD budget. This republican from the soldiers rank and file, perceived as straightforward and trustworthy, is for sure a better choice to face the Pentagon staff and the whole US military and make them swallow the bitter pills of money shortage than any other officer or civil servent considered alien to their problems and, usually, corrupt.

  97. Smith says:

    hans says:
    January 28, 2013 at 4:03 am

    Oh, dear hans, please let women be women. If Iran starts to build men out of women then Iran is doomed. In North America it is a taboo for a lady to breatfeed her child in public. It is such a strong taboo that even health care professionals fear talking about it. The baby cries him/herself to death in the bus or metro but the mommy can not feed him/her. It is because the society gets shocked when they see a man (modern woman) is feeding a baby. After all the brain can not accept that males can produce milk. A society that has not yet come to terms with the fact that we are the only species on planet earth whose females have permanently enlarged breasts (females of other species get augmented breast only after pregnancy), for a reason and that reason is beautiful and nothing to be ashamed of, has nothing to offer to Iranian women. Please stop telling how women should be or not be. Please stop talking about breasts and uterus if you do not have functional ones just like me (males also have breast and uterus but they do not work). Let Iran find its own way. Read a short history of gynecology to understand why: http://www.earthmotherbirth.org/HistoryofChildbirth.html

  98. Smith says:

    BiBiJon says:
    January 28, 2013 at 5:36 am

    It is unimportant what Kristof thinks. He is a nobody. What is important as fyi, has said, is for Iranians to understand that these guys are enemy and are on a religious war against Iran. The religion of whites and oprah. There can be no peace or reconciliation. The best case scenario is a balance of powers. The worst case scenario is total war.

  99. Smith says:

    BiBiJon says:
    January 28, 2013 at 5:25 am

    It is not historic. Argentina screwed up and now they are learning where the screw is. It is historic for them but not for Iran. Basically they have learned that Iran was not involved and it was some one else with vested interest that had done that bombing. You know who.

  100. Smith says:

    Nasser says:
    January 27, 2013 at 11:43 pm

    Your theory is beautiful. But it has one problem, that the alliance is already here with almost all the Shias in the world looking up to Iran for leadership. I have not met a single practicing serious Shia anywhere who disagrees with Iran. In fact most look at Iran with such an affection that Iranians themselves do not look at IRI with same affection. This is what I have seen myself. But the thing is Iran is not able to project any power globally so these Shia populations can not be mobilized under Iranian leadership to the extent desirable.

    One chief limitation is that Iran is not nuclear armed. But anyways, the question is whether Iran can also lead Sunnis since that would be a game changer. The same way, US leads catholic nations. Though thinking about it in last couple of days, I have reached the conclusion that it would be possible if Iran reaches the military strength necessary for global power projection something no other sunni state is capable of.

  101. Smith says:

    fyi says:
    January 27, 2013 at 10:26 pm

    That is a key point. I am sure more and more Iranians are waking up to the truth. The way the western media continuously ridicules Iranians must also be a good lesson for thinking Iranians. The recent Iranian space launch was heavily ridiculed not only by western press but also by almost all commentors and analysts in west. A quick google search testifies how they see Iranians.

  102. Smith says:

    fyi says:
    January 27, 2013 at 8:29 pm

    Thank you for your elaborations. I will read the books and see where it goes from there. But it is a very important issue.

  103. Richard Steven Hack says:

    fyi: “My advise to you is to study some more before making silly statements like those above.”

    Struck a nerve, have I?

  104. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Tell me again Israel isn’t trying to get a war started with Syria and Lebanon…

    Arms Shipment Was Target as Israel Bombed Syria, U.S. Says
    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/31/world/middleeast/syria-says-it-was-hit-by-strikes-from-israeli-planes.html?_r=0

    Anyone see Iran retaliating? Thought not.

  105. Richard Steven Hack says:

    At the same time, another Israeli Lobby front issues a “report” claiming Hizballah’s “threat” to the West is “rising”. More propaganda to link Hizballah to the Syria crisis and “justify” Israel attacking Lebanon in the near future once Syria is under attack by the US and NATO and Israel.

    Report: Iran, Hezbollah terror threat rising
    http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2013/01/30/report-iran-hezbollah-terror-threat-rising/1876623/

  106. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Well, Hagel has now done a complete flip-flop on Iran. So much for Justin Raimondo’s nonsense that his nomination is a “victory” for the the antiwar movement because it would “stop an Iran war.” Raimondo has been ranting for weeks that the Hagel nomination was ultra-important. Why he has drunk the Hagel and Obama Kool-Aid is unknown, but it’s been ridiculous to watch.

    Hagel says ‘window is closing’ for Iran and diplomacy if it pursues nuclear weapon
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/hagel-says-window-is-closing-for-iran-and-diplomacy-if-it-pursues-nuclear-weapon/2013/01/30/f4c543c8-6afe-11e2-9a0b-db931670f35d_story.html

  107. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Sanctions clearly failing which will result in renewed sanctions efforts following by more military threats.

    Iran oil exports rise to highest since EU sanctions
    http://www.jpost.com/IranianThreat/News/Article.aspx?id=301553

  108. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Some success for Iran in defeating the illegal unilateral sanctions regime in the EU.

    EU Court Rules Against Sanctions on Iran’s Bank Mellat
    http://www.foxbusiness.com/news/2013/01/30/eu-court-rules-against-sanctions-on-iran-bank-mellat/

  109. Richard Steven Hack says:

    More ratcheting up of rhetoric now that Obama is getting his administration in order. Expect massive propaganda push against Iran in the spring in the media once Hagel is confirmed.

    Clinton: Iran’s Nuclear Push ‘Unacceptable’
    http://www.newsmax.com/Newsfront/clinton-iran-military-action/2013/01/30/id/488066

  110. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Point of interest here is the US has sent six more F-22 stealth fighters to the United Arab Emirates on an apparently “permanent” basis after previously claiming it was “temporary”. Demonstrates a continuous military upgrade in the region preparatory for an Iran war.

    The Iran Nuke “Threat”
    http://www.counterpunch.org/2013/01/30/the-iran-nuke-threat/

  111. Smith says:

    All:

    As having become evident under huge pressure of sanctions, even Khamenei is powerless when it comes to import mafia and vested interests of deqyanoosi bazaar of Iran. This is the latest statement of Khamenei regarding the president and speaker of majles:

    “اگر در قیامت خداوند از من بپرسد چه کردی؟ من می‌گویم که کسی جز اینها را نداشتم”

  112. Sineva says:

    James Canning says:
    January 30, 2013 at 1:50 pm
    Actually james its main value is as a deterrent and a bargaining chip,but an iran with the capability to build a bomb quickly is a far more formidable military threat than an iran with no capability to build one quickly or otherwise,this threat only becomes more credible with the increasing size and purity of the stockpile.Sadly I can see were this is going you`ll start trotting out your appeasement “arguments” again,ie if iran just shuts up and does as its told everything will be fine,and I really don`t feel like restating everything I`ve already written in regards to that theory I think the historic record of appeasement speaks well enough for itself

  113. fyi says:

    Smith says:

    January 30, 2013 at 6:56 pm

    I think you misunderstand him.

    Like many in leadership positions, once must learn to work with the human material that is at hand.

    One thing about Mr. Ahmadinejad that may have appealed to Mr. Khamenei it was his fealesssness.

  114. fyi says:

    Richard Steven Hack says:

    January 30, 2013 at 6:00 pm

    Silly!

    Stick to use cases and pre and post conditions and invariants thereof.

  115. fyi says:

    Smith says:

    January 30, 2013 at 3:47 pm

    I think there is nothing wrong with small shop-keepers.

    We have too many people all over the world that are not needed for the actual process of production or, elese, they cannot be usefully employed because they lack aptitude, skill, or education.

    Rather than putting them on state subsidies, it is best to create these “make-work” jobs for them to eek out an existence and to maintain human dignity,

    South Korea, Spain, Uruguay, Turkey, Iran, India all have these hole-in-the-wall shops that supports small families in a humble way.

    The Americans and Europeans addressed the surplus labor problem through a combination of un-necessary and un-needed clerckships until 2008. Now, they have to try to cultivate these small shops.

    Sort of like Lenin’s New Economic Policy.

    But I do agree with the thrust of your argument.

    [In Spain, under both Socialist and Conservative governments, each year there has been fewer and fewer of these shop as the taxes and regulations eviscerated their profit margins. Truly deplorable and foolish.]

  116. Sineva says:

    Richard Steven Hack says:
    January 30, 2013 at 6:12 pm
    This guy totally cracks me up
    “Iran needs to demonstrate it is prepared to negotiate seriously.”
    and no doubt there was not even a hint of irony as he said it,kind of funny when you consider that the last “serious” offer the west made to iran was to give up its enrichment program in return for some aircraft parts,just who is being serious here?
    Richard Steven Hack says:
    January 30, 2013 at 6:32 pm
    I watched an intersting piece on the bbc the other day,because of the high price of oil a lot of people in greece have gone back to burning wood to keep warm this has led to a lot of illegal logging which is starting to have an environmental impact

  117. hans says:

    Smith says:
    January 30, 2013 at 5:10 pm

    Give your commenting a break maybe you “think too much”, I said that the Iranian woman workforce will not accept the status quo as is today in the male dominated Iran. Nothing will stop this, Islam is in need of modernising to take into effect woman will play a greater role in a country economy, if they share the same burden of the country then they must and they will eventually fight to get the same rights.

  118. Neo says:

    “Iran’s crude oil exports in December leapt to their highest level since European Union sanctions took effect last July, analysts and shipping sources said, as strong Chinese demand and tanker fleet expansion helped the OPEC member dodge sanctions.”

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/01/31/us-iran-oil-exports-idUSBRE90U01Y20130131

  119. Neo says:

    Smith says: January 29, 2013 at 10:45 pm

    Smith,

    That’s a really disturbing comment. For years I’ve been trying to find an opening to discuss matters that concern us Iranians as one people, but again and again I come across fundamentalist drivel like yours and others like you who basically and truly leave no room for co-existence with secular and humanist Iranians.

    I know that secular leaders completely failed the region for over a century. But just look at what your type has done to the region within a few decades. You lot are a bit of a disaster too. More than just a bit.

  120. Fiorangela says:

    BP in Caspian Sea = BP in Gulf of Mexico?

    Iran Alleges BP Polluting Caspian Sea with Oil Waste
    http://www.iranaifc.com/public1.php?id_news=1544

    ” Iran is threatening to sue BP Plc (BP/), accusing the London – based energy company of polluting the Caspian Sea, the Mehr news agency reported, citing an Iranian environmental official.

    BP produces oil offshore in neighboring Azerbaijan and discharges waste into the Caspian instead of injecting it underground, said Abdolreza Karbasi, the deputy head of Iran’s Department of Environment, according to the state – run agency. The waste forms oily patches that foul Iran’s coast and kill marine life, Karbasi said in the report today. . . .

    Karbasi, the environmental official, noted frequent oil slicks from Azerbaijan in recent years. The latest occurred four months ago and required authorities to clean up some 25 metric tons of crude oil from Iranian shores . . .”

  121. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Saudi Arabia ups the ante by directly supporting Israel’s claims.

    ‘Assad transferred chemical weapons to Hezbollah’
    http://www.jpost.com/MiddleEast/Article.aspx?id=301624

  122. Neo says:

    Richard Steven Hack says: January 30, 2013 at 6:12 pm

    “Well, Hagel has now done a complete flip-flop on Iran…Hagel says ‘window is closing’ for Iran and diplomacy if it pursues nuclear weapon”

    Richard,

    You know that the last clause (if it pursues nuclear weapon) shows that Hagel is not talking about war at all. Everyone – including the intelligence services of the US and Israel – knows that Iran is not developing nuclear weapons. Most people also believe that the appointment of Hagel reflects an imperative for the US to reduce its military expenditure precisely because USA realises it is not longer a sole ‘super’ power. The ‘super’ is gone. It is a tired and fading power that realises it lives in a multipolar world. On top of all that, Iran poses no military threat whatsoever. So why do you subscribe to this idea that a war with Iran is planned when all signs point to the contrary?

  123. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Israel faces repercussions of air strike on Syria
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jan/31/israel-air-strike-syria-repercussions

    Hah! There will be zero repercussions. Hizballah will not retaliate for a single strike on Syria becauae Nasrallah knows Israel is itching to attack Lebanon. Neither will Syria because the last thing Assad wants right now is a war with Israel, because he knows that’s exactly what Israel wants.

    Iran will do nothing overtly regardless of the mutual defense treaty because there is little they can do.

  124. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Another leak from the IAEA deliberately intended to ratchet up “concern” over Iran’s program.

    Diplomats say Iran plans to install modern machinery that will vastly speed up nuclear program
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/middle_east/diplomats-say-iran-plans-to-install-modern-machinery-that-will-vastly-speed-up-nuke-program/2013/01/31/c75ad2e0-6b85-11e2-8f4f-2abd96162ba8_story.html

  125. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Geniuses at work…Pays for Afghan fuel which is almost certainly from Iran! LOL

    U.S. Purchases Fuel for Afghanistan, Possibly Undermines Own Iran Oil Sanctions
    http://swampland.time.com/2013/01/31/u-s-purchases-fuel-for-afghanistan-possibly-undermines-own-iran-oil-sanctions/

  126. James Canning says:

    Sineva,

    Once again you claim the P5+1 did not offer to allow Iran to enrich to 5% or less. But John Bolton complains the P5+1 did make that offer. Bolton, of course, is a leading neocon warmonger.

  127. James Canning says:

    Sineva,

    You call it “appeasement” for Iran to stop stockpiling 20% U. On the other hand, such stockpiling likely will bring on a blockade at some point.

  128. James Canning says:

    R S Hack,

    I don’t think Hagle “flip-flopped” on Iran. Hagel does not want an unnecessary war. Key point is the necessity of any blockade, if Iran continues to stockpile 20% U as urged by many people who post on this site.

  129. James Canning says:

    Smith,

    Apparently very few European diplomats see “regime change” in Iran as a likely event. Yet you claim they do. Basis for your contention?

  130. James Canning says:

    Has anyone else noticed the very high murder rate in Venezuela? Many times higher than that in the US. And even higher than in Iraq, apparently.

  131. James Canning says:

    During his confirmation hearing today, Chuck Hagel said he was “not sure” the “surge” in Iraq was necessary. Bravo. G W Bush should have foolowed advice of the Iraq Study Group, to make deals with Iran and Syria and pull all US troops out of Iraq asap.

  132. Nasser says:

    Stratfor makes the comparison of Syria to Afghanistan

    “The Consequences of Intervening in Syria”
    http://www.stratfor.com/weekly/consequences-intervening-syria

  133. Sineva says:

    James Canning says:
    January 31, 2013 at 1:16 pm
    I`m sure that any such offer would have had unacceptable preconditions attached that would all but guarantee its rejection,which was the whole point of the exercise in the first place the best example of this was the aborted fuel swap,its about giving the appearance of being reasonable and honest with none of the actual substance of reasonable and honest

  134. kooshy says:

    Richard Steven Hack says:
    January 31, 2013 at 12:27 pm

    “Geniuses at work…Pays for Afghan fuel which is almost certainly from Iran! LOL”

    What would or should one expect, a morally, financially and logistically bankrupt hegemonic military force that don’t belong there do to get its logistics necessities?

    Option 1 – To import and truck badly needed fuel via Pakistan knowing over 50 % plus the containing trucks would be lost with Taliban’s attack during transportation.
    Option 2 – Air transport the fuel via $ 400 per gallon air delivery.
    Option 3 – Buy at market price from next door drink the cool aid and hope no one will find out, in the mean time enjoy lot less cost of transportation and zero chance of losing do to safety of delivery only and unless you refuse or make game when it comes to pay.
    Option 4 – like in Greece and now also parts of UK start cutting trees and see if you can run Humvees like the old western movie choo-choo trains.

  135. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Neo: “So why do you subscribe to this idea that a war with Iran is planned when all signs point to the contrary?”

    NO signs point to the contrary. None. Zero. Nada. Zip.

    Hagel has completely and totally flipped on his prior positions: on Iran, on Israel, on the Israel Lobby – the whole nine years. Read the Mondoweiss article on that over there.

    Meanwhile, Justin Raimondo continues to rant that Hagel’s confirmation spells “doom for the War Party”. I can only assume he’s high on some San Francisco delicacy. He glossed over Hagel’s flip-flop completely with one sentence. Amazing.

  136. Sineva says:

    James Canning says:
    January 31, 2013 at 1:21 pm
    If the west truly wants a war it will find an excuse for one,aggressors throughout history have always done this claiming that they were left with no choice and no amount of appeasement on the part of the chosen victim will make a damn bit of difference,personally I think the west has left it pretty late in the day to start a hot war with iran indeed everything seems to point to a continuation of the status quo ie cold war

  137. Sineva says:

    kooshy says:
    January 31, 2013 at 10:17 pm
    It is ironic isn`t it,I can remember at one point the iranians embargoed fuel sales to afghanistan until the government guaranteed that the fuel would not be being used by the occupation forces,also don`t forget the iranian produced antivenin that those same forces use while ordinary iranians have to go without medicines thanks to western sanctions,personally I think if the west is going to sanction iran iran should sanction western interests,even if its only symbolic it sends a message

  138. Rd. says:

    Blow Back!!!

    Terrorist pay back US-Turkey! When will they ever learn…

    At least two dead in US Embassy suicide bombing in Ankara

    http://www.todayszaman.com/news-305776-at-least-two-dead-in-us-embassy-suicide-bombing-in-ankara.html

  139. BiBiJon says:

    Ataune says:
    January 30, 2013 at 5:08 pm

    Richard Steven Hack says:
    February 1, 2013 at 12:34 am

    ————–

    While I agree the Hague’s promise of a forever-cold-war is and will be the shape of things to come, the style of that cold-war can have many different hues, a spectrum ranging from realist (allowing for all manner of ‘transactions’ for mutual benefit) to ’emotional’ (regarding shooting one’s own foot as a ritual of orthodoxy).

    Hagel said he regrets his past choice of words, he didn’t express any reservations about the underlying sentiments that led to those words. Indeed, he repeatedly declared that his litmus test is to gauge if policy objectives are worth the sacrifice. Without explicitly saying so, he is suggesting to have Maleki ensconced in Iraq was not worth 35000 dead and injured Americans. It is difficult to see how such a litmus test will not continue to regard “a military strike against Iran, a military option, [as] not a viable, feasible, responsible option.”

    A very different 4 years is ahead. Europe will be clamoring for Iranian gas, Syria will start an interminable set of negotiations and fall off the ‘news’ radar, etc. Iran will continue to be demonized, but in practice the thrust will be to reduce tensions. Methinks.

  140. fyi says:

    All:

    Mrs. Maloney’s assessments:

    http://www.brookings.edu/~/media/Research/Files/Articles/2013/01/iran%20maloney/iran%20maloney.pdf

    I agree with much of what she has written; it is also clear that she does not expect any resolution to the confrontation between Axis Powers and Iran.

    That is the correct assessment; in my opinion.

    So she rests her hope on the demise of the Islamic Repubic – which will not happen any time soon.