Kenneth Waltz, Noam Chomsky, and America and Israel’s Real Concerns about Iran’s Nuclear Activities


Kenneth Waltz, who was for decades a professor of political science at the University of California at Berkeley and is widely acknowledged as one of the most important modern theorists of international relations, died last week.  Neither of us ever studied at Berkeley, but anyone who studied international relations in the West (or in many non-Western venues) during the past half century was at least indirectly a student of Waltz.

There are a growing number of tributes to Waltz, by his students (see, for example, Steve Walt’s remembrance, here) and by others (see, for example, here).  We want to focus on Waltz’s relatively recent role in the American/Western debate on how to deal with Iran’s nuclear program.

Of course, the Islamic Republic denies that it is pursuing or wishes to obtain nuclear weapons, and even U.S. and Israeli intelligence agencies acknowledge that the Islamic Republic is not currently trying to build them.  Nevertheless, most Western discussion simply assumes that nuclear weapons are the ultimate goal of Iran’s nuclear program—and that Iran’s acquisition of such weapons would further “destabilize” the Middle East.

In “Why Iran Should Get the Bomb,” published last year in Foreign Affairs, Waltz stood this discussion on its head.  Reviving an argument he first laid out over thirty years ago, Waltz posited that nuclear deterrence between competitive or even antagonistic states (think the United States and Soviet Union during the Cold War) is uniquely stabilizing.  In his view, power that is unbalanced by countervailing power is the ultimate source of instability in international affairs, and nuclear deterrence is a very effective form of balancing.  Updating this assessment for the present-day Middle East, in his July/August 2012 Foreign Affairs article Waltz wrote that what is truly destabilizing for the region is unchecked Israeli power, especially Israel’s nuclear weapons monopoly.  From this perspective, he argued that Iran’s acquisition of nuclear weapons would actually enhance strategic stability in the Middle East.

Unlike Waltz, we do not assume that the Islamic Republic is trying to develop nuclear weapons—nor do we believe that Tehran should do so.  In our book, Going to Tehran, and in other venues, we put forward an alternative reading of the purposes of Iran’s nuclear program—a reading much more congruent with the way in which the program has actually been conducted, with strategic and religious debate in the Islamic Republic, and with Iranian public opinion.  We think, however, that Waltz’s argument highlights important aspects of what’s wrong with American and Western debate about the Islamic Republic’s nuclear activities.

Much of the negative reaction to Waltz’s Foreign Affairs article has focused on the Islamic Republic’s alleged “irrationality.”  To work, deterrence requires instrumental, cost-benefit-calculating rationality.  The “mad mullahs” who run the Islamic Republic, it is held, hardly meet this standard.  No less than Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu expressed this view, telling NBC’s Meet the Press in September 2012,

“I think Iran is very different.  They put their zealotry above their survival.  They have suicide bombers all over the place.  I wouldn’t rely on their rationality…Since the advent of nuclear weapons, you had countries that had access to nuclear weapons who always made a careful calculation of cost and benefit.  But Iran is guided by a leadership with an unbelievable fanaticism.  It’s the same fanaticism that you see storming your embassies today.”

Building on this polemical characterization, Netanyahu in the same interview directly attacked Waltz and his argument:

“You want these fanatics to have nuclear weapons?  I mean, I’ve heard some people suggest, David, I actually I read this in the American press.  They said, well, you know, if you take action, that’s a lot worse than having Iran with nuclear weapons.  Some have even said that Iran with nuclear weapons would stabilize the Middle East—stabilize the Middle East.  I think the people who say this have set a new standard for human stupidity.”

But even senior Israeli national security officials acknowledge that Netanyahu’s polemical characterization of Iranian decision-making is a caricature.  As former Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak said in 2010, “I don’t think the Iranians, even if they got the bomb, [would] drop it in the neighborhood.  They fully understand what might follow.  They are radical but not totally crazy.  They have a quite sophisticated decision-making process, and they understand reality.”

What, then, are the real reasons for the strongly negative reactions among American elites to Waltz’s argument?  In his remarks at our event at MIT last week, Noam Chomsky goes to the heart of this question.  Commenting on the regular briefings that U.S. intelligence agencies and the Pentagon provide to Congress, Prof. Chomsky noted,

“Of course, they talk about Iran as ‘the Iranian threat.’  And they point out that the threat is not military.  Iran has very low military spending, even by the standards of the region (of course, miniscule as compared to the United States).  It has a strategic doctrine, which is defensive, designed to deter invasion long enough for diplomacy to set in.  And they say that, if Iran is developing nuclear weapons—for which they have no evidence, but if it is—it would be part of their deterrent strategy.

And that’s crucial.  The U.S. cannot tolerate a deterrent strategyIsrael, incidentally, is exactly the same.  You read a couple of weeks ago that Israel bombed military sites in Syria.  And the reason that was presented was because they might help a deterrent to an Israeli attack on Lebanon—namely that they might go to the only force that deters an attack:  Hizballah.

States—which are technically called ‘rogue states’—that believe they have the right to use force freely everywhere cannot tolerate deterrence, for obvious reasons.  That’s what the threat is.”

Prof. Chomsky’s explanation why the United States and Israel cannot tolerate deterrent strategies on the part of other Middle Eastern players is critical.  As we have written before, this is why the United States and Israel portray purely defensive prospective military preparations by the Islamic Republic—such as the acquisition of more sophisticated air defense systems—as somehow “threatening.”  It also highlights the real reason for American and Israeli concern over Iran’s nuclear activities—that an Iran with even a latent, theoretical capacity to develop a nuclear deterrent would rein in the ability of the United States and Israel to use force freely anywhere they want in the Middle East.

Those realities should prompt everyone to reconsider just what are the real threats to strategic stability in the region.

–Flynt Leverett and Hillary Mann Leverett

 

368 Responses to “Kenneth Waltz, Noam Chomsky, and America and Israel’s Real Concerns about Iran’s Nuclear Activities”

  1. BiBiJon says:

    Could this be George Jahn?
    ========================

    From http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/diplomats-iran-expands-nuke-technology-19230931#.UZynhWcqcr0

    … the U.S. and its allies fear it may enrich to levels used for nuclear bombs. The Islamic Republic is under U.N. Security Council and other sanctions for refusing to stop enrichment and the International Atomic Energy Agency is attempting to probe suspicions it may have worked on nuclear weapons.

    But other countries say there is no proof that Iran intends to use the technology for weapons, and they support Iran’s claim that Security Council sanctions because of its refusal to stop enriching are illegal.

    ————–
    Among the possiblities for this change in ‘journalistic’ behavior:

    a) At some point, sooner (for Jahn) or later (for Michael Gordon) folks take stock of the financial devastation, credibility evaporation, and basic human moral ruination their hate mongering has caused to their own country.

    b) JD’s wiretapping of AP has put the skids on how much censorship AP accepts from a certain foreign country’s agents if that is likely to wind up in FBI files.

  2. nico says:

    All,

    http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/MID-02-220513.html

    “Even if all this “prevention system” works; and even if the Supreme Leader has his way (and winning candidate, possibly Qalibaf), the outlook is not pleasant. The post-Ahmadinejad incumbent will inherit an ultra-fragmented political landscape; a lot of people blaming the government’s appalling management as well as international sanctions for their plight; and the same hardcore hostility displayed by the US, Israel and the Sunni axis. Hangin’ on in quiet desperation seems to be the popular Iranian way.”

    What is your take on the vetting process for the upcoming presidential election in Iran ?

    Is it necessary in the current situation with west hostility to firmly drive the the results of the next election by sidelining serious contenders ?
    Does such decision fragilize the Iranian power structure in Iran by putting the next administration in a difficult position ?
    Is the current foreign relation situation used as an excuse to put firmer grip on power by the clerical elite ?
    Is it a mix of the above stated speculations ?

  3. BiBiJon says:

    Liz says:
    May 22, 2013 at 3:36 am

    An interesting article in the Lebanese ‘Daily Star’, which from my understanding is usually very hostile towards Iran:

    Iran bars Rafsanjani, Mashaei from election

    http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Middle-East/2013/May-22/217940-iran-bars-rafsanjani-mashaei-from-election.ashx#axzz2TvGrdVIH

    ————

    Liz, to add to Prof. Marandi’s analysis, I thing the GC did Rafsanjani’s reputation a favor. Another bout of election debates would have destroyed what he has left. That cannot be a good thing for someone who is revered as one of the founders of the revolution.

    On Mashaei, at this juncture, if inexperience, and not being popularly regarded as a political heavy weight does not disqualify Mashaei, then how would you justify disqualifying at least a hundred other applicants?

  4. Rd. says:

    James Canning says:

    “Has anyone else noticed that the reformist president of Burma, Thein Seen, is being wined and dined in Washington this week? Very interesting.”

    and yes, WITH A LEASH around his neck!!!! This is how you look and feel when you are a sell out and being dressed down before an audience as a client!! Note to Sajadpour, parsi, milani et al..

    http://atimes.com/atimes/Southeast_Asia/images/aung220513.gif

  5. BiBiJon says:

    Hague’s polygamous love affair with Iranians, Syrians, and logical consistency
    ===============================================================================

    Quote from http://www.voanews.com/content/british-top-diplomat-stresses-need-for-syria-confence/1665888.html

    British Foreign Secretary William Hague says the Syrian government is “increasingly dependent” on foreign support, marking a threat to regional security that shows the urgency of talks to find a political solution to the country’s crisis.

    End quote
    ————-

    This from the man who has been the staunchest advocate of foreign support for the jihadi ragtags whose ranks include huge numbers of non-Syrian Wahabi jihadis, whose most effective fighting/cannibalizing force, al-Nusra has sworn allegiance to al-Qaeda. This from the man who at the same time is threatening to veto an EU expiration of material support for the caibals.

  6. Rd. says:

    BiBiJon says:

    “This from the man who has been the staunchest advocate of foreign support for the jihadi ragtags “

    and he now refers to those same ragtags jihadi terrorists as moderates!!!!! to promote the so called ‘political solution’. Of course, when the sun sat in the empire, darkness took over and navigating the landscape became a challenge, to say the least.. and the Americans have a handicap in international relations to begin with. So now you have a blind leading a blind trying to charter international affairs. Unfortunately, this mess will continue till his Highness is DE-throned.

    http://friendsofsyria.wordpress.com/

  7. nico says:

    Following my last post regarding depletion of natural ressources, below a link of extrapolation on hydrocarbon energy profuction at world stage.
    It shows that meak oil already happened or will hampen in the years to come, with fast decline to follow suit.

    http://cassandralegacy.blogspot.fr/2013/02/the-twilight-of-petroleum.html

  8. nico says:

    http://greenecon.net/update-on-oil-consumption/energy_economics.html

    And here you have tarrthe trend of Chinaand India oil consumption.

    “China’s oil consumption rate has grown from 4.8 million barrels per day (MBPD) to 9.6 MBPD amounting to half of the total US consumption. In 2010 the growth in oil demand in China is up 17%.The demand for oil in India is also increasing. Oil consumption in India is up 58% in the last ten years and up 8% in 2010.”

    Cumulative oil demand from china and india grew from around 7 mbd in 2000 to 13 mbd in 2010.

    Now taking the IEA official figures, the oil production including oil variants will only grow 15 million between 2010 and 2035. Such figures being widely exagerated.

    Taking into account that market balance shall be maintzined through price/consumption elasticity it is to see why there will be no addition economic growth in the west in the forseeable future.

    The debt level being unsustainable, much less without growth, defaults or hyperinflation inevitable.

  9. nico says:

    Now couple the oil production figures with the worldwide population growth.
    http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_population
    Then even without peak oil, it means that misery will widespread in the coming decades.

    The conclusion : guess why the US is after Iran.
    Nuclear proliferation – Not.

  10. nico says:

    If you take the population growth and compound it with economic growth it is even worst scenario.

  11. Don Bacon says:

    I’m surprised that the Leveretts, talking about deterrence, are stating this political situation, which involves Iran’s intransigence to US Middle East hegemony, in military terms. I thought they recognized that “Iran’s nuclear ambitions” was simply a concocted strategy for ‘regime change” in Tehran. IOW this issue existed before Iran even had an enrichment program, didn’t it?

  12. Don Bacon says:

    So I think that Waltz did Iran a disservice by stating the issue in nuclear terms and by suggesting that Iran is seeking nuclear weapons.

  13. nico says:

    Don Bacon says:
    May 22, 2013 at 11:08 am
    “So I think that Waltz did Iran a disservice by stating the issue in nuclear terms and by suggesting that Iran is seeking nuclear weapons.”

    Does it really make a difference ?
    Who cares ?
    It has been demonstrated for 20 years that US is not interested by nuclear proliferation management but containment or regime change.
    Iran offered several time to cap its enrichment and find an agreement to guarantee the continued peacefull nature of its program. To not avail.
    The US is after colonialist policies in the region and world dominance.
    All they want is to control oil and gaz.

  14. Pirouz says:

    Waltz was a cut above the political science professor we studied under during that mid-70s, at a different University of California campus. I don’t even remember our professor’s name. What I do remember is reading our professor’s book on USA-USSR relations as an undergraduate and thinking to myself “this man has obviously not made a personal tour by automobile of countries behind the so-called iron curtain, as I have”.

  15. Joanna says:

    @BiBiJon
    May 22, 2013 at 9:14 am

    Thank you so much for the link! We have featured this insight by Dr. Marandi. bit.ly/10TMVpS

  16. BiBiJon says:

    Don Bacon says:
    May 22, 2013 at 11:08 am

    I agree with you.

    a) Indeed as Chomsky says the aggressor naturally prefers defenseless targets. The issue is that Iran proved it is not defenseless in 81-88, and in 2006 etc. Despite all the nuclear hoopla since 2002, western military brass have repeatedly warned the consequence of an attack to be “catastrophic.” In short, Iran has successfully deterred aggression. So, it must already possess deterrence. She is a large, populous, self-sufficient country that has the industrial capacity to fight a defensive war for a great many years, and ultimately prevail. An important part of that deterrence is being perceived to be on the right side of international law; NNPT prohibits proliferation.

    b) Self projection of a deeply insecure polity of the west (and the westernized) makes it incapable of understanding how a supremely confident polity thinks and acts. Just consider what it means to, on the one hand, spout ad nauseum Judeo-Christian values, and, on the other hand build weapons, and train people to fire those weapons which will ‘uncreate’ your God’s creation. It wouldn’t be putting too fine a point on it if I described that level of insecurity as leading to disappearance of that polity up its own spiritual asshole.

    However, Waltz’s argument is academic and meant for western establishment FP mavens; it begins with ‘even if.’ That discredited group is already convinced Iran is after nukes, indeed they convinced themselves. Of course, all indications are that Iran is after world-class mastery of nuclear technology, and will achieve that in a way that supremely confident people go about achieving their goals.

  17. James Canning says:

    I entirely agree with the Leveretts that Iran is not trying to build nukes, as Waltz Sr. claimed. Nor should Iran try to build nukes, as Waltz Sr. in effect encouraged.

  18. James Canning says:

    Nico,

    The US has no need to “control” the oil and gas of the Middle East. Full stop.

  19. James Canning says:

    Nico,

    You actually believe the US “is after Iran” in order to gain control of Iraanian oil and gas?

    Why would China and Russia back a plan to give the US control of Iranian oil and gas? The notion is ludicrous.

  20. James Canning says:

    New York Times report today, on efforts to bring about a conference in Geneva, to seek solution to civil war in Syria, argues that Iran’s backing of the Syrian gov’t “complicates” the situation. In fact, Iran’s backing makes the situation easier to deal with. In my opinion.

  21. James Canning says:

    Ahmadinejad has said that Iran would have little use for a nuke of two, even if Iran built them.

    Israel attacks a truck convoy in Syria, in apparent effort to stop missiles from being delivered to Hizbollah in Lebanon. What use would a nuke or two be in that situation?

  22. Rd. says:

    James Canning says:

    ” What use would a nuke or two be in that situation?”

    A man (soldier) has been killed in a machete attack and two suspects shot by police in Woolwich, south-east London.

    You agree Hague’s continued support for the terrorist in Syria has brought terror to UK?
    Perhaps Hague is trying to give a taste of his own disease to the Brits.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-22630303

  23. Karl.. says:

    #1 Warmonger in the UK, mr Hague today:

    Condemned Iran for its support for Assad.
    Pushed EU to arm terrorists in Syria
    Pushed EU to label Hizbollah terrorists

    But James Canning will of course keep saying that UK want good relations with Iran/Syria/Hizbollah…

  24. nico says:

    Mister canning,

    http://edition.presstv.ir/iphone/detail.aspx?id=304915

    Who is isolating who ?
    While the west tries to isolate Iran, China and Russia call it stupid.
    Not only the west will not crack the Iranian nut, but Iran will be imposed upon them.
    My take is that it is likely the US and croonies military presence shall be kicked out of the region eventually.

    Actually when the time is right a chinese military base shall be also needed near London.
    Obviously to protect the UK against US bullying. You know like forcing UK to remain part of the EU.
    You know such human right thing and power balance you support like in old days persia/russia/uk.
    Not that UK really need to provide their opinion, that is obviously pointless and such opinion matter not. It for UK good after all !

    Not that any citizen would miss UK in EU for all the good the limitless solidarity shown by UK in such undemocratic and useless superstructure.

  25. James Canning says:

    Nico,

    Persia would have been incorporated into the Russian empire, during the 19th century, if Britain had not prevented that from happening. Full stop. Apparently you agree.

    By “cracking the Iranian nut”, do you mean a suspension of enrichment of uranium to 20 percent? Please be more specific.

  26. James Canning says:

    Karl..,

    I think you are well aware I argue that Iran wrecked William Hague’s plan to improve Britain’s relations with Iran, Syria, Hezbollah (and Hamas), that Hague formulated when the new gov’t came into power after defeat of Labour.

  27. James Canning says:

    Nico,

    I strongly agree with Russia and China, that “western” efforts to isolate Iran are “stupid” (as you call them).

  28. James Canning says:

    Karl..,

    ZERO chance of improvement of Britain’s relations with Iran, if Iran continues to stockpile 20 percent uranium. ZERO. I would not even suggest such a move.

  29. James Canning says:

    Rd.,

    When passions are excited by large-scale slaughter in one place, there can easily be a sort of spillover in another place.

    I take it you agree with Ahmadinejad that Iran would have no use for a few nukes.

  30. James Canning says:

    Nico,

    You might find it useful to read Gideon Rachman’s comments this week in the Financial Times, regarding his own personal views on whether Britain should remain in the EU.
    (FT.COM)

  31. nico says:

    James Canning says:
    May 22, 2013 at 1:45 pm
    “Nico,
    You actually believe the US “is after Iran” in order to gain control of Iraanian oil and gas?Why would China and Russia back a plan to give the US control of Iranian oil and gas? The notion is ludicrous.”

    As you obviously missed to notice Russia and China jumped out of the P5+1 bandwagon push against Iran some time ago.

    The west is alone and isolated against all NAM countries. The Brics.
    Yep they got wallis and futuna island with them.
    And yes some sheikdom banana republics and the apartheid state.

    As you failed to notice, it is my pleasure to bring it to your attention and to wake you up from your dreamland.

  32. Don Bacon says:

    Actually, the US is providing its own deterrence to an attack on Iran, as I have commented before. This includes its stationing of ships in the Gulf and its bases around the Gulf. Wait, there’s more:

    recent news report:

    Five more US Patrol Ships Heading to the Gulf —
    Each ship has a crew of about 30. . . The shift will allow sailors to take their families with them to the Persian Gulf if they choose, an option that “alleviates the significant strain placed on the crews and their families while ensuring capacity and capability,” a Navy release said.

    http://www.defensenews.com/article/20130520/DEFREG04/305200013/1001/DEFSECT?utm_source=feedly

    US military families going to the Persian Gulf — a deterrent better than nuclear weapons, if you ask me.

  33. nico says:

    James Canning says:
    May 22, 2013 at 4:09 pm

    “You might find it useful to read Gideon Rachman’s comments this week in the Financial Times, regarding his own personal views on whether Britain should remain in the EU.”

    I have not be watching or reading MSM for at least 10 years.
    I am not interested by the presstitute other than to know what BS and nonesense the elite want me to swallow.

    The presstitue and corporatocracy constituencies are totally discredited in my view in the west.
    To much lies, to many times repeated.
    Only the german political class still keep some common sense even if they are quite dogmatic.

  34. nico says:

    Don Bacon says:
    May 22, 2013 at 4:26 pm

    You are right.
    There is no chance for the US to military attack Iran without significant arm and loss be it human or economic with the closure of the PG and destruction of the banana republics oil and desalination facilities as well as US military assets.

    That is the why we have the proxy war in Syria.
    Direct confrontation is not an option.

    But the US have nukes and a single bomb dropped on tehran and it will be over.
    Such crime would not be without consequences, thus obviously not a desirable option for the US.
    The use of nuke it case of the situation getting out of control is not to be excluded.

    I posted I link few threads ago, with Jalili stating that even with the threat to be nuked by the US, Iran will not bow to western pressure.
    It says it all.

  35. Karl.. says:

    James,

    How surprising you like Hague blame Iran for every ill.
    How many times have you been debunked by this time? Why do you keep using the same arguments like you are some kind of bot?

    http://goingtotehran.com/flynt-leverett-on-anti-iran-sanctions-and-americas-dirty-war-against-the-islamic-republic#comment-6608

  36. James Canning says:

    Karl..,

    I “blame Iran for every ill”? Of course not. How many times have I said that ISRAEL is the country posing the greatest threat to the peace of the Middle East?

  37. James Canning says:

    Karl..,

    I was very specific, when I said Iran’s ANNOUNCEMENT of a trebling of production of 20% U was a huge mistake.

    This is hardly saying I claim Iran “is the source of every ill”.

  38. James Canning says:

    Nico,

    The vicious civil war in Syria does seem a direct result of fears in the Persian Gulf that war with Iran was a possibility.

  39. James Canning says:

    Nico,

    You claimed the US would coerce Britain into remaining in the EU. I suggested gently this was wide of the mark.

    Your rejection of comments by some of the best in the business, world-wide, is not helping you to gain understanding.

  40. James Canning says:

    Nico,

    What gives you the idea Russia and China have changed their position regarding Iranian enrichment of uranium to 20%? They have not.

  41. Smith says:

    All,

    Very important,

    During British Raj, the British government had implemented laws in India and other colonies which was for punishment of family and relatives of any person who rose up against British slave rule. For example if a person did not recognize the British colonial rule, not he would be punished but also his wife, children, grand children, aunts, uncles, mother etc etc.

    Today US has unveiled a bill under which all relatives of any Iranian that is deemed by US government to be involved with Iranian government or in circumventing sanctions are AUTOMATICALLY punished without any investigation or due process (British actually investigated the Indian slave and gave due process of law). The punishment is going to be harsh. About this slavery colonial imperial law, read more here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/05/22/tom-cotton-corruption-of-blood_n_3322251.html

    This is from a nation that claims to be a nation of law and a “friend” of Iran.

  42. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Stuxnet May Have Been a Flop, Report Says
    http://www.securitybistro.com/blog/?p=7466

  43. Richard Steven Hack says:

    House Committee Passes New Iran Sanctions
    Senate Unanimously Pledges Support Of Israeli Attack on Iran
    http://www.uskowioniran.com/2013/05/house-committee-passes-new-iran.html

  44. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Stephen Walt on What is the U.S. REALLY doing in Syria?
    http://walt.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2013/05/22/what_is_the_us_really_doing_in_syria

    Walt still doesn’t get it, as does nearly no one “analyzing” the Syria crisis. It should be obvious to anyone with a brain that there is a strategy being applied here: to weaken Syria and Hizballah prior to an Iran war.

    But since everyone appears to be afflicted with “cognitive dissonance”, no one wants to deal with the fact that the US and Israel fully intend to attack Iran at some point – and that it is necessary to take out Syria and Hizballah before doing so.

    But at least Walt realizes that Obama is a “buck passer” who’s afraid of tarnishing his undeserved Nobel Peace Prize by being too obvious about any of this.

  45. Karl.. says:

    James,

    Correct you blame Iran for every ill, and now you do it once again.

  46. Karl.. says:

    “Friends of Syria” urge Iran and Hizbollah to move out of Syria, talking about desperate hubris! Hah.

  47. imho says:

    nico says:
    May 22, 2013 at 10:23 am

    The peak oil story is really amazing. During the past century, from time to time (probably to justify geostrategic politics) someone came up with a study to predict the end of oil in the coming years. Yet, the oil is still flowing, new wells are discovered, new types of oil are emerging and a number of important gas fields are found (recently off the Israel, Lebanon, Syria and Cyprus costs).

    Actually, most of those stories references other older stories as a proof that hydrocarbons are not limitless. Yet, no one has ever been able to prove scientifically that oil comes from dynasors and thus is a finite resource while some argue that hydrocarbon resources are the result of natural transformations of matter beneath Earth.

    I posted some days ago an interesting paper (long but worth reading) on the future of oil and gas:

    http://www.nationaljournal.com/energy/what-if-oil-lasts-forever-20130425

    This is not to say that controlling the flow of oil (limited or not) is not strategically important

  48. imho says:

    James Canning says:
    May 22, 2013 at 1:43 pm

    “Nico,

    The US has no need to “control” the oil and gas of the Middle East. Full stop.”

    If the US wants to blackmail its allies, which it did and will do with Europe and Japan and it has always been against Europe’s energy independence, then it has to control the flow of oil.
    With huge oil discoveries in US and Canada, US does not need the Persian Gulf oil but other nations do so to control them it has to control their source of energy. This control is paramount in war as it determines the winner (e.g. WWII) and also in peace time because it defines who is dictating the rules.
    Thus China without securing its energy resources would never dare to start a war and Europe lacking the military means to secure its oil&gas would never dare to become independent.
    Above that, by controlling the flow of oil, US has great leverage on setting the price. BTW oil is only sold/bought in NYSE or in London. And the price of oil determines the amount of dollars practically all nations need to purchase in order to pay their oil bill.

    Are you suggesting that US is in ME for humanitarian goals ?

  49. fyi says:

    Smith says:
    May 23, 2013 at 12:18 am

    The English, wherever they went abroad, took with them a high commitment to the Rule of Law (but not representative government).

    In Raj India, in Hong Kong, in Barbados they applied the Law and, at the same time, without any delusions or illusions went about extracting wealth out of their possessions.

    And when they left India, or Uganda, or Malaysia, the Rule of Law left with them.

    The Americans, on the other hand, historically stood neither for the Rule of Law nor for Representative Government. Their self-delusion – and that which they want foreigners to believe – is that wherever they went, they improved things.

    Nothing can be further from the Truth.

    That Manila is not another city like Singapore or Hong Kong attests to that. The University of San Marcos is a 400-year old institution of higher learning, established by the Spaniards – it was no better in 148 than in 1899 when Americans kicked Spain out – in another war of choice. And when push came to shove, they could not defend the people of the Philippines against Japanese and their atrocities against civilians.

    In Cuba, which they got also from Spain, they passed the control of the country to the Mob/Mafia until Dr. Castro kicked US and the Mob out together.

    In Iran, they were there for 25 years – from 1953 to 1978 – and both Representative Government and the Rule of Law regressed under their control.

    Likewise in Korea, Vietnam, Chile, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Iraq, and in Afghanistan.

    The United States is incapable of what the English could do, it seems, establishing and enforcing the Rule of Law – if not Representative Government.

    They do not have that capability and Japan and Germany after World War II are exceptions that proves the point.

    Yet their myth is that they are the indispensable country that can do anything.

    It behooves them, I should think, to accept their limitations; that they can win wars but not build the peace tha inevitably must follow that war.

  50. Smith says:

    fyi says:
    May 23, 2013 at 9:50 am

    I agree. Thank you for the very deep observation. But “corruption of blood”? They are regressing to dark ages.

  51. Goli says:

    In the article Liz links to (previous thread) in Lebanon’s Daily Star, Professor Marandi is quoted as saying “[b]ut I think most importantly what would lead to [Mashaei’s] disqualification is the fact that he and the president used government funding for his unofficial campaign in numerous provinces and in Tehran over the past two or three months. And that definitely goes against the spirit of the law.”

    With all due respect for Professor Marandi (and I do have respect for him), he is full of it when he tries to justify Guardian Council’s disqualification of Mashaei by linking it the bogus and unsubstantiated accusations of appearance of impropriety and misuse of government funds in Mashaei’s political campaign by claiming that they went “against the spirit of the law.” Marandi knows very well that a substantial and powerful establishment force is out to get Ahmadinejad and his supporters and associates. Mashaei was disqualified because his candidacy and possible presidency represent the only real reformist challenge to the Conservatives and Pragmatic Conservatives.

    We get it Mr. Marandi, you don’t like Ahmadinejad and his policies, but perhaps you could display some objectivity and independence of thought by not so compliantly justifying the Guardian Council’s every action.

  52. nico says:

    imho says:
    May 23, 2013 at 5:17 am

    “Actually, most of those stories references other older stories as a proof that hydrocarbons are not limitless. Yet, no one has ever been able to prove scientifically that oil comes from dynasors and thus is a finite resource while some argue that hydrocarbon resources are the result of natural transformations of matter beneath Earth.”

    Thanks for your reply.
    Oil is a raw material. Thus by definition limited.
    Therefore it is inevitable that it will one day be exhausted.
    That is scientificaly proven.

    Only new discovery could offset the decline of existing reserves.
    However oil is by now consumed four times faster than it is consumed.
    It is empirically proven.

    Thus it is scientifically proven that only oil pumping increase on existing reserves explains the overall production increase when possible.
    Actually it is not always possible as empirically proven in Mexico or in UK north sea with sharp decline experienced by those countries.
    When it is still possible to increase output, it only implies that the remaining reserves are being depleted faster.

    Concerning non conventional oil it is subject to controversy.

  53. nico says:

    Imho,

    Obviously such situation is aggravated by the exponential increase of world population and again by economic growth that is mandatory by the modern materialist paradigm.

    Thus it could only result in fight for oil and deepening of world inqualities and distribution of wealth.

  54. fyi says:

    Goli says:
    May 23, 2013 at 11:23 am

    Not, their dislike for Dr. Ahmadinejad and Mr. Mashaei is not due to their policies; rather due to their anti-mullah utterances and deeds which were aiming squarely at weakening the Nekbat Islami in Iran.

    Evidenly, we need to wait for another decade for another attempt in that direction.

  55. Smith says:

    fyi says:
    May 23, 2013 at 11:56 am

    If Iran’s coming presidents remain non-clerical, it would be inevitable. But ultimately Iran’s constitution has to be amended eventually for a true progress towards betterment. I do not think though this would happen before the death of Mr. Khamenei.

  56. BiBiJon says:

    fyi, smith:

    Shi’e Islam itself will evolve if the constitution is not changed.

    Goli, GC obviously has decided to go for ‘no drama.’ At least in Iran we can point to an actual organ, GC, whose 12 members are known. But, frankly I have no idea who, where, under what rules decides to give us the candidates we vote for in the US. E.g. Ron Paul was running against his primary opponents as well the entire MSM. The whole sorry episode could have been avoided if say the Supreme court just disqualified Ron Paul (and Newt Gingrich for balance and for avoiding a moon base); it would have been less divisive on the electorate; it would have been transparent; etc.

  57. nico says:

    Goli,

    In France, presidential must be vetted as well.
    They need to gather 500 signatures of already elected local politicians.
    No need to say that the laters are subject to much pressure by the main stream constituencies to provide signature to those only “deemed worthy”…

  58. James Canning says:

    Financial Times reports today the dismay within Iran’s business community, at disqualification of Rafsanjani.

  59. James Canning says:

    Nico,

    Tom Friedman has an interesting piece in The New York Times this week, regarding how uncontrolled population growth in Yemen and Syria helped bring about civil war. I take it you agree with him.

  60. James Canning says:

    More rubbish from the editorial pages of the Wall Street Journal today (“How to stop Assad’s slaughter”, by Jack Keane and Danielle Pletka):

    A quote: “Play this out: Assad wins and Iran’s most important Arab alliance is preserved. with terrorist groups like Hezbollah and Palestinian Islamic Jihad back on the gravy train of international terrorism.”

  61. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    You accuse the US of being unable to defend the Philippines from Japanese aggression.

    Is it possible that the fact Japan launched a surprise attack, helped cause this problem?

  62. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    The US needs to ensure that China has continuing access to oil in the Persian Gulf. Relying more on China to ensure the sea lanes are not closed, is the obvious strategy the US should follow.

  63. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Do I take it you agree Iran was wise not to attack the Soviet forces that occupied northern Iran for a number of years in the 1940s.

    Even if that occupation infringed somewhat on Iranian sovereignty.

  64. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    I am sure you are aware that India was conrolled by the British East India Company, with increasing levels of British governmental direct control in the last decades of Company rule.

    In 1772, for example, the Company informed the Government “that only an immediate loan of one millions pounds could prevent bankruptcy.” [Clemeny Canning, page 29.]

    The last years of Company rule saw bankruptcy looming ever larger.

  65. James Canning says:

    imho,

    Just as it is in the best interests of the US to ensure unimpeded access to the Persian Gulf, for China, the same applies to Japan. And both China and Japan should be urged to do what they can to keep the sea lanes open.

  66. James Canning says:

    imho,

    One reason the government of Burma decided to implement reforms and get rid of the sanctions was the simple fact that the sanctions were causing too mcuh of the Burmese economy to come under the control of China. Do you think Burma acted wisely?

  67. Smith says:

    BiBiJon says:
    May 23, 2013 at 12:50 pm

    Constitutional amendment is inevitable after Mr. Khamenei dies (May he have a long life) even if he does not implement such a change during his life time. You see when he dies, there will be a formidable amount of political will in the form of people and institutions that do not want to see a single person hold on to enormous power for another quarter of century or 40 years or etc etc. Chief among them will be people like Rafsanjani and other clerics. Now, both Mr. Khomenei and Khamenei have acted very wisely but there is no guarantee that others who replace supreme leader will be so. After all an Ayatullah is not infallible. The only way is to back to the roots of Shia ideology of beyyat and ijmah.

    When the current supreme leader dies, the situation can move in two different direction as per my prediction (since I believe Iran needs a supreme leader). One is the Chinese model, in which after Mao’s death the whole political establishment was so afraid of the rise of a tyrant that they converted the position of Mao to a council. In this scenario, Iran will have a supreme council. This situation is bad for Iran, since such a council is going to be another form of tyranny, though a kind that its tyrant never dies as a council is a legal entity not a person. The second option which is the best for Iran is to make the seat of Supreme leader a more democratic one by amending the constitution so that it would have a term. I think a good term span would be 8 years as opposed to the presidency term of 4. SL gets elected by assembly and upon completion of the term there will be another election, much like in a parliamentary system. The number of terms can be limited too eg. 3 terms per person max.

    Overall, Iranian constitution demands so many amendments which is natural with accumulation of experience over the past 2 decades. For example age limits, election procedures and even the exact parameters under which GC works. Right now GC disqualifies candidates upon their personal opinion rather than the exact codified law. Also there is no requirement for candidates to bring signed petition of let’s say 50,000 people in the proof that they have the public standing to run for presidency. Any Mash Ali/Haj Naqi goes and registers himself for candidacy. That is hilarious. And even so many more other changes which should be made to the constitution as Iran has matured now and needs it.

  68. James Canning says:

    Smith,

    FYI claims that the late Shah of Iran failed to perform his greatest duty, which was to promote the interests of Shia Islam. Do you agree with FYI on this point?

  69. Smith says:

    Saudi Arabia about to give a 15 billion dollar loan to Pakistan for its electricity and energy sector: http://beta.dawn.com/news/1013070/15-billion-saudi-bailout-likely

  70. nico says:

    Smith says:
    May 23, 2013 at 3:01 pm

    Nice move from the oceanic powers against Asia unity.

  71. nico says:

    http://www.globalresearch.ca/did-9w11-justify-the-war-in-afghanistan/19891

    Very good demonstration regarding why the Afghanistan war was truly an illegal and criminal war of choice of the same magnitude as the Irak war.
    It also shows when coupled with the wesley clark confession about the neocons plans regarding war against several countries in the ME just after 9/11 as well as the PNAC policy document urging a catalizing event for the US to wage war long before 9/11, that the 9/11 event was at least a Let it happen conspiracy and more probably a make it happen conspiracy by radical minds in th US.

  72. Nasser says:

    Smith says:
    May 23, 2013 at 3:01 pm

    This is really big news. Hopefully Iran takes notice and has the political courage to make counters.
    Note: If Iran can persuade Pakistan to accept bribes from both sides while staying neutral and having a quiet understanding on Afghanistan, it would be beneficial to both Pakistan and Iran.

  73. James Canning says:

    Nico,

    I think William Dalrymple has it right about the military adventure in Afghanistan after “9/11”. He says public opinion probably forced some sort of military response by the US.

    But that response subsequently was perverted by one blunder after another.

    Dalrymple agrees with Iran, that the focus should have been on economic development, improvements to infrastructure, etc etc etc.

  74. James Canning says:

    Nico,

    Neocon conspiracy after “9/11” attacks was (and is) one of the greatest criminal conspiracies in American history, in my view.

  75. Smith says:

    Nasser says:
    May 23, 2013 at 4:27 pm

    I do not think it will happen. Iran’s foreign policy is one of defense and not offense in this regard. Furthermore Iran does not have dollars anymore. The only thing it could do was to provide Pakistan 20,000 tonnes of furnace oil for free and made sure that all the media in the world knew that it was for free. This would have solved Pakistan electricity problem to a large extent with lots of good will for Iran in Pakistan.

    Another news that has come out is, Mr. Rafsanjani has said Iran had transferred its foreign exchange reserves amounting to 100 billion dollars to China and converted it to Yuan. Now Chinese are saying that Iran should only buy Chinese products with this and only those products that Chinese government wants to sell which means grave stones and cheap toys. Very stupid decision. Iran should have over the years emptied its entire foreign exchange converting it to gold and paper dollars and euros shifting them inside the country. No money should have been kept in overseas accounts. Another blunder of huge proportions specially as US is about to enact a law that would freeze all of Iranian overseas accounts.

    Even if Iran had kept all these money in 100 dollar paper notes inside the country, it would have given Iran much more benefit now than keeping it outside and in frozen accounts. Russia holds the largest horde of paper dollars in the world after US. They are not doing it for fun. They know what is at stake and why you should not put all your trust in foreign bank and the electronic dollar.

  76. James Canning says:

    Smith,

    Saudis will do well to loan as many billions of dollars as needed, to build power plants etc etc in Pakistan.

  77. James Canning says:

    Smith,

    Gold has declined in value by 20% or more in recent months. Not a sure thing for safety.

    I take it you agree Burma was wise to be concerned about too much control of its economy being taken by China, due to the sacntions.

  78. James Canning says:

    Smith,

    Yes, fantastic sums of US currency are held by other countries. Dollar has done fairly well past year or so, relative to other major currencies.

  79. Nasser says:

    Smith says: May 23, 2013 at 5:34 pm

    “I do not think it will happen. Iran’s foreign policy is one of defense and not offense in this regard.”

    – I sadly agree with you that it will probably not happen. There is still time to implement your suggestion regarding furnace oil but that won’t happen either I am sure.

    “Furthermore Iran does not have dollars anymore.”

    – I have to say something regarding the other issue. I of course agree with you regarding Iran’s mistakes in banking and of its squandering of its foreign currency reserves on buying toys and cheap watermelons. But still, should Iran decide (it won’t, unfortunately), it still has the means of bribing countries, including Pakistan. For Iran, foreign currency is a scarcer resource than oil and gas. But this is not so for other countries like Pakistan, North Korea etc. In fact these countries need the dollars to import energy. Iran’s direct energy assistance would be equivalent of billions of dollars in aid.

    – Some other things that I have touched on before but I would like to reiterate. One, Iran has all this excess capacity because of the sanctions. Meaning, giving out these energy assistance wouldn’t result in any loss of income. Second, and even more importantly, there is a deeper level of sanctions and export controls which prevents Iran from buying what it really needs; like industrial equipments, turn key plants, other technologies etc etc. So Iran uses its oil income to mostly bring in useless imports, discourage local production and fuel wasteful consumption patterns at home. So it is oil for Chinese toys and cheap watermelons! It would be so much better if Iran used its hydrocarbon wealth to purchase something really worthwhile; geopolitical leverage in important countries like Pakistan. Alas, as you said several times before, the strategic maturity is not there yet in Iranian voters to understand this.

  80. Nasser says:

    fyi,

    Would you fundamentally disagree with this article’s thesis?

    http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2013/05/qom-najaf-anxiety-competition-shiite.html

  81. Sakineh Bagoom says:

    The propaganda machine is – what’s the word – revving up.

    First there was the criminal hostage taker in 2005. Now, before they are even in office, two AMIA bombing suspects running for Iranian president.
    http://www.jpost.com/Headlines/Article.aspx?id=314126

    I am surprised these stories didn’t get much more traction in recent days, or, the race is still young?

    Oops, I spoke too soon. Two of Iran’s Presidential Candidates Are Wanted for Murder
    http://www.theatlanticwire.com/global/2013/05/iran-presidential-candidates-bombing/65531/

    Are all Iranians criminals, or just the presidential candidates?

  82. fyi says:

    Nasser says:
    May 23, 2013 at 7:36 pm

    Yes, I disagree.

    Najaf was already in decline in 1940s; the Ba’ath only accelerated that.

    I agree that there is competition between Najaf and Qum but I do not think that there are very deep implications in there that could threaten the ascendancy of Qum or harm the religious foundations of the Islamic Republic.

    That Iranians are spending vast sums of money in Najaf could also be attributed to the state’s desire to promote Shia learning.

    A more analytical approach would have been to supply quantitative measures for expenditures from Iranian sources on all such schools and not just Najaf – in Isphahan, in Mashad, in Herat and elsewhere.

    And finally, one must keep in mind the effort by the Iranian Government to create the Shia Vatican in Qum, let us see how successful that will be.

  83. fyi says:

    Smith says:
    May 23, 2013 at 5:34 pm

    I seriously doubt the veracity of Mr. Rafsanjani’s statement regarding foreign exchanges in China etc.

  84. Pirouz says:

    Goli,
    I’ve been monitoring residential and commercial construction taking place inside Iran, as well as infrastructure construction. Mirandi’s right: Ahmadinejad and Meshaei have been in campaign mode, at railroad inauguration ceremonies, public housing openings, etc., all over the country.

    This is well documented on IRNA website photo galleries.

    I’m not saying I agree with the GC decision–I don’t think it’s any of my business, really, a non-resident of Iran–but there is plenty of evidence for Mirandi’s observations.

  85. jay says:

    Smith says:
    May 23, 2013 at 5:34 pm

    Mr. Rafsanjani’s statement is a misdirection – he is very crafty!

    I think it would be reasonably correct to say that Iran has “laundered” (and continues to “launder”) a large sum of her foreign reserves through banks connected to China.

  86. jay says:

    Sakineh Bagoom says:
    May 23, 2013 at 7:47 pm

    The two media outlets are one and the same!!

  87. Goli says:

    Pirouz,

    Thanks for your feedback, but I was hoping no one will come at me with the company-line.

    I have also been closely monitoring the news on the accusations against the President and Mashaei and I can tell you that the accusations are just that and nothing more. Without getting into the details of each incident giving rise to each accusation—the day off to register with Mashaei, the Azadi assembly, trips around the country—there is no evidence that Ahmadinejad violated any campaign laws, engaged in illegal use of any government funds, or did anything that in some form or another had not been done in the past by others without any objection. In short, there is no evidence that the spirit of any law was violated, or the letter of any law broken. Now of course, politics are above the law, in Iran or elsewhere.

  88. Goli says:

    Nico,

    I wasn’t critical of the vetting process per se. In fact, I think the presidential vetting process in Iran is in many ways more just and democratic and less influenced by money and power than many so called Western democracies, including France and the US.

  89. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Sakineh Bagoom: “Are all Iranians criminals, or just the presidential candidates”

    Have you seen the arrest records of most of the former leaders of Israel – invariably prosecuted for corruption and even rape?

    How about the US Congress? Ever seen the list of criminal offenses attributed to them which is periodically published?

    Capital Hill Blue published this list:

    Quote

    Can you imagine working for a company that has a little more than 500 employees and has the following statistics:

    *29 have been accused of spousal abuse
    *7 have been arrested for fraud
    *19 have been accused of writing bad checks
    *117 have directly or indirectly bankrupted at least 2 businesses
    *3 have done time for assault
    *71 cannot get a credit card due to bad credit
    *14 have been arrested on drug-related charges
    *8 have been arrested for shoplifting
    *21 are currently defendants in lawsuits
    *84 have been arrested for drunk driving in the last year Can you guess which organization this is?

    GIVE UP YET?????

    IT IS THE 535 MEMBERS OF THE UNITED STATES CONGRESS. The same group of Idiots that crank out hundreds of new laws each year designed to keep the rest of us in line. You gotta pass this one on!

    End Quote

    Truth or Fiction, the Web site that exposes “urban legends”, says it can’t disprove this one…

  90. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Pepe Escobar on the Iranian elections…

    And the winner is – Khamenei
    http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/MID-02-220513.html

    Who cares? I don’t live there.

    Speaking of which, in the last post, in the video, the Leveretts had to defend yet again against the charge of being uninterested in Iran’s “civil rights record”.

    Here is how I would have done it:

    It is not the United States duty to be the handmaiden of every ex-pat from every country who has a grievance against his own country. If the ex-pats of the world cannot generate enough political will in the population of their own country to overthrow their government, they cannot come crying to the United States to do it for them. We tried that in Iraq and the result was over a million Iraqis killed, of whom at least 300,000 were directly killed by US military action according to the Lancet study, and another four million displaced, and the country is still in tatters both in terms of infrastructure and political stability. Do Iranian ex-pats want that to happen in their country? Because that is the only way the US can do anything in a country’s internal political structure – coups and war.

    And the end result is virtually never a real democracy in any event. It’s a sham democracy of corruption which is indistinguishable from the previous dictatorial corruption.

    Finally, it is not the business of the US population or the US government – with US taxpayer money – to be dictating behavioral norms to the rest of the world. Again, a people gets the government they deserve. If the US were to engage in such a business, there are plenty of other countries that would come ahead of Iran in the line to be overthrown. In fact, an argument could be made that the US itself would be ahead of Iran in that line.

    The Leveretts must be aggressive in denouncing claims that a concern for civil rights in Iran should overshadow proper US foreign policy concerns.

  91. Richard Steven Hack says:

    US moves toward full Iran trade embargo
    http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/MID-01-230513.html

    And what happens after a trade embargo fails?

    A naval blockade.

  92. Pirouz says:

    Goli, here are two examples of which there are a number during the past 60 days (you’ll need to replace the [dot] with a period to see the images, done to not effect a spam filter):

    At an opening ceremony for a commercial trade center complex in Tabriz:

    http://3.bp.blogspot [dot] com/-8Q7pZydl1Sw/UX8gCfT7KGI/AAAAAAAAG20/qLI0puHKXbM/s1600/80633937-3900831.jpg

    And at a railroad line inauguration in East Azarbaijan province:

    http://2.bp.blogspot [dpt] com/-F1E9O_I0WyA/UYc5eufR9II/AAAAAAAAG40/5NoVlvQ04Ag/s1600/1101166-2046857.jpg

    I can’t remember such brazen political campaigning/political patronizing from an outgoing president leading up to an election before the lawful commencement date. Perhaps you can?

    In any event, there were folks that took offense to this kind of thing– that is beyond dispute.

  93. Pirouz says:

    Goli, here are two examples of which there are a number during the past 60 days (you’ll need to replace the [dot] and [colon] to see the images, done to not effect a spam filter):

    At an opening ceremony for a commercial trade center complex in Tabriz:

    http [colon] //3.bp.blogspot [dot] com/-8Q7pZydl1Sw/UX8gCfT7KGI/AAAAAAAAG20/qLI0puHKXbM/s1600/80633937-3900831.jpg

    And at a railroad line inauguration in East Azarbaijan province:

    http [colon] //2.bp.blogspot [dot] com/-F1E9O_I0WyA/UYc5eufR9II/AAAAAAAAG40/5NoVlvQ04Ag/s1600/1101166-2046857.jpg

    I can’t remember such brazen political campaigning/political patronizing from an outgoing president leading up to an election before the lawful commencement date. Perhaps you can?

    In any event, there were folks that took offense to this kind of thing– that is beyond dispute.

  94. jay says:

    Clayton Williams, a rich Republican who ran for office in the 80’s in Texas, is infamous for a remark in which he suggested that rape is like weather and “if it is going to happen you might as well lay back and enjoy it”.

    Clayton Williams never understood how ignorant, bigoted, and sexist that remark is.

    Racists and Imperialists continue to argue for “if Iran could only lay back and enjoy it”! The Americans and the British will take care of her. Just be a “good boy”. They keep repeating the old tired line that they have “saved” Iran before – just be a good boy!

    Racists and Imperialists will never understand how ignorant and bigoted their position is.

  95. imho says:

    nico says:
    May 23, 2013 at 11:30 am

    ” Oil is a raw material. Thus by definition limited.
    Therefore it is inevitable that it will one day be exhausted.
    That is scientificaly proven.”

    Nico, although I agree with you about the rising population and demand on oil, I don’t think your above statement is scientifically correct.
    Oil is not a raw material the same way as iron or gold are. We know that oil is a result of some transformation beneath the earth (dynosors?). Pros and cons of peak oil theory all agree with that. What we don’t know is what material is needed for and how this transformation happens.
    Therefore, short of proving anything scientifically on what exactly happens there, it is quite possible that oil may be the result of transformation of some matters in some conditions beneath earth and as long as this process continues there will be oil in some form or another.
    The peak oil story is as old as the oil itself and during all the period since oil has been found, there have been population growth, economic problems, etc. Even if exhausting oil can be a reality, it is hard to trust anyone stating that it will be exhausted in some 10, 20 or 30 years, specially after they tried to swallow us that fear a good number of times in the past. Scientists also can get paid to say anything.

  96. BiBiJon says:

    http://www.policymic.com/articles/44201/proest-germany-is-the-world-s-most-popular-country

    Also guess what. Israel is neck-n-neck with Iran, North Korea, and Pakistan at the bottom of Globescan’s latest survey.

    However, it is even worse for Israel than it seems. Only 25 countries were polled, mostly the G20 + 5 other countries. In Egypt, Indonesia, and Turkey, the only Muslim-majority countries surveyed, rural populations were ignored.

    So, despite the wall-to-wall MSM worshipful praise, and apologia for Israel in the G20 countries, and conversely despite the non-stop demonization and vilification of Iran with every breath that MSM exhales, guess what: Iran and Israel are equally unpopular.

    What I’m saying is this. While, Iran’s poor showing can be explained by the fact that Mid East and developing countries were largely excluded, and Iran receives a persistent bad press in most of the countries surveyed, Israel’s poor showing can only be explained by a stench that no amount of good press can cover up.

  97. imho says:

    nico says:
    May 23, 2013 at 11:35 am

    “Obviously such situation is aggravated by the exponential increase of world population and again by economic growth that is mandatory by the modern materialist paradigm.

    Thus it could only result in fight for oil and deepening of world inqualities and distribution of wealth.”

    I agree there will be fight for oil or any other precious/strategic matters (energy is one of them, water isn’t less important) but not because of its scarcity. If tomorrow someone finds a free source of abundant energy, I bet either it will not be known or it will also be controlled in some way to have leverage on who needs it.

  98. fyi says:

    Pirouz says:
    May 24, 2013 at 4:19 am

    This is storm in a tea cup.

    There is such a thing called the power of incumbency; I do not think it is very important.

    Much more important was the silencing of Mr. Mashaei; he was never permitted to defend himself and his views while accusations against him has been made consitently for years.

    In a way, this is similar to the Second Majlis that silenced, excluded, and otherwise disenfranchised the non-religious – as opposed to the outwardly “Motedayan” and planted the seeds of the political crisis of 2009.

    Mr. Ahmadinejad and Mr. Mashaei tried to partly address that crisis of 2009 by floating the idea of “Iranian School”, the existence of which had been maintained by the martyred philosopher Suhrewardi – a man who was extrememl familiar with the Quran.

    If the mullahs in Iran were smart they would try to build on that, but evidently so many of them are extremely doctrinaire people who do not seem to be able to distinguish between Arabism and Islam.

  99. imho says:

    James Canning says:
    May 23, 2013 at 1:43 pm

    “Just as it is in the best interests of the US to ensure unimpeded access to the Persian Gulf, for China, the same applies to Japan. And both China and Japan should be urged to do what they can to keep the sea lanes open.”

    Sure, Japan and China want sea lanes to be open, so what ?
    Germans also wanted sea lanes open. More, they wanted rival UK in controlling sea lanes by building their own fleet so to not be subject to blackmail and huge insurance tariffs while Her Majesty’s commercial fleet were escorted for free by Royal Navy. They also wanted to build Berlin/Baghdad railway which was one step too far resulting in war as UK couldn’t see Germany no more dependent on them.

    In the event of hostilities between US and China, one would be blind to not see that US (not Iran) would cut the flow of oil to them. US could do that simply because it is already controlling the flow. Thus the importance of controlling the oil, not necessarily possessing it.

    All I am saying is that if you’re addicted to heroine, then if I can control the distribution of heroine, then I can control you. I can’t say it simpler than this.

  100. imho says:

    James Canning says:
    May 23, 2013 at 1:45 pm

    Whether under the control of China or US doesn’t make any difference. The point is how much control. Trade between two countries make them somehow dependent on each other. Is that a reason to not trade?

  101. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    Well like I predicted, Mash and Raf rightfully disqualified. God bless Aghaye Jannati and his enormous bayzatayn.

    Let’s see, we have a nice cross-section of usulis, eslahis and “independents”.

    Jalili is 47 year old war veteran, Aghaye Gharazi is 71 old rabble-rouser from the good ol’ days- who thought we would see him again! Aref was Khatami’s First VP, Rohani is Rafsanjani, Qalibaf is the CIA’s candidate (you heard it here first nudge nudge wink wink), Haddad and Velayati need to eat some lunch (way too skinny to be Prez) and of course Baradar Mohsen perennial candidate inshallah will get more than the 1.5% of last time, maybe 1.6 or 1.7% this time, fingers crossed.

    And hey, everyone gets EQUAL AIRTIME on IRIB (Ron Paul would have loved that, right?)

    Now if this isn’t “democracy”, I don’t know what is…really.

    Looking forward to a great election with large turnout.

    Winner: Jalili in round 2.

    Also concerning reform of VF, let me assure you that no such thing will occur. The constitution says that SL is either one person or a leadership council of 3- with preference for one individual. Remember Rahbar was 48 years old when he became SL- over older and more senior clerics.

    The whole point of SL is as head of state as a force of stability in a republican system where administrations and parliaments change. Term limits is a non-starter.

    Allah (swt) will bless us with another good one and the enemies will bite their hands and cringe in pain like the last time…and keep concluding their “expert” analyses, articles, reports and comments about the Islamic Republic of Iran with:

    “In conclusion, barring a catastrophic earthquake in Tehran, real change will only occur when the current SL Ayat. [fill in the blank] will pass away, at which time…”

    “Ali is with al-Haq and al-Haq is with Ali”
    “By Allah, whoever loves you is ibn halal and whoever resents you is ibn zinna”
    Prophet Muhammad (sawas)

    Congratulations on the birthday anniversary of our beloved Moula Ameerul Mo’meneen Ali ibn Abi Talib (as).

  102. James Canning says:

    Financial Times report today: “Israeli-Palestinian business talks held”, by John Reed.

    Quote: “Many CEOs and family owners in Tel Aviv’s business elite are left-leaning and favour peace with the Palestinians, but most have steered clear of taking public political stances.”

  103. James Canning says:

    Bussed-In Basiji,

    I agree Jalili is likely to be the winner.

    You think the Iranian business leaders were wrong to think Rafsanjani would have a better chance of achieving detente with the West?

  104. James Canning says:

    imho,

    Perhaps you would be kind and explain your point to me? The US has not taken control of Burma’s economy, and obviously could not possibly achieve anything of the sort. But, the Burmese gov’t saw that continuing the sanctions was in fact putting ever-larger parts of the Burmese economy under the control of Chinese corporations.

    Don’t you think Burma acted wisely?

  105. James Canning says:

    imho,

    Britain was a friend of Germany, prior to idiotic effort by Germany to build a High sEas fleet sufficiently strong to threaten Britain’s national security.

    Admiral Tirpitz was one of the most dangerous men in Europe, as far as the national security interests of the Erman Empire were concerned, in in the years leading up to the First World War. Sadly, Tirpitz was head of the Imperial German Navy.

    You don’t comprehend that Tirpitz was a stooge of the armaments manufacturers?

  106. James Canning says:

    imho,

    Your suggestion that the US would wish to impede China’s access to oil and gas in the Persain Gulf, is unrealistic.

    Yes, some warmongers in the US promote the notion of China as a “threat”. Many of these warmongers are stooges of arms manufacturers.

  107. James Canning says:

    imho,

    The most likely threat to keeping shipping lanes in the Persian Gulf open, to China and Japan, OBVIOUSLY comes from Iran. Not the US. The US needs those lanes to be kept open.

  108. James Canning says:

    imho,

    Isn’t the real problem uncontrolled population growth, in a numberr of countries?

    China’s increasing wealth owes a very great deal to its ability to stop population growth. Full stop.

  109. nico says:

    Imho,

    The origin of oil is not the issue.
    Peak discovery of new oil reserves was experienced in the 60′ from there on new oil layers discovery stedadily and continuously decreased in size and quality. The new discoveries do not cover the current oil consumption.
    Actually the current rate of consumption is 4 time the volume of new oil discovery.
    Thus the end of oil is certain within a timeline which is not so certain.

    You could argue that depending on oil origin the reserves could be increased.
    This is not the trend experienced for more than 50 years.
    Therefore your assumption need to be put on hold until some change is noticed.

    Non conventional by all official projection will not offset the decrease of conventional oil.

    Within the current state of of overall energy ressources only gaz could give some breathing space in the coming decades.
    Guess who has both conve tional and gaz and has 1st world proven reservs when combined.
    And guess who is on the route of the needed pipelines and currently experiencing foreign backed terrorism.

  110. James Canning says:

    Nico,

    The US has gigantic gas reserves. ZERO need for any gas from Iran. Or from any other country, over the longer term.

  111. Pirouz says:

    Thinking back to the ’04 presidential election and my voting for Kerry, it turns out the man is just as big a dufus as GW:

    http://news.yahoo.com/kerry-blasts-iranian-election-maneuvering-110824279.html

  112. James Canning says:

    Jay,

    Are you actually arguing that if Iran stops enriching uranium to 20 percent, as demanded by China and Russia, it is equivalent to Iran “being raped by the UK and the US”?

    AMAZING CONTENTION.

    Acting in Iran’s own interest is “being raped”!

    Apparently you think Iran should have attacked the troops from the Soviet Union that occupied northern Iran for a number of years during the 1940s.

  113. James Canning says:

    Jay,

    Tell me this: Was Iran being “raped” when Soviet troops occupied northern Iran during much of the 1940s?

  114. James Canning says:

    Jay,

    Was Burma “raped” by the Western powers, when it agreed to some reforms and arranged for the dropping of sanctions against Burma (Myanmar)?

  115. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    Oh Jimmy,
    You can put “detente” where the sun don’t shine.

    Why do you- arrogantly- assume that anyone other than the business representatives of western corporations in Iran would want detente? Yes “busniess leaders” has such nice ring to it. Detente? At what price? Who benefits?

    Certainly not “the people”.

    Ah yes of course I forgot, this business class is the class that the British political system is created to serve. You have so internalized this that you think this is the most natural thing in the world and is the same everywhere. Well hard luck Jimmy, your candidate is out and out for good this time.

    Come on, sing along: “Nana na na, nana na na, hey hey hey, say good-bye…”

    Hashemi was the prime agent of western corporate and political influence in Iran after the revolution and he is, well, “on his last leg” as they say. Gonna have to look for a new geriatric old sheikh- you know like the ones in Saudi- to bribe in Iran.

    Remember Jimmy: the less contact with the west- business and otherwise- the better for Iranian economy and industry- who know kinda like what the Germans, USA and Japan did in the 19th and early 20th century vis-a-vis Britain.

    But you have consistently shown that you don’t get this…I don’t know why I’m even wasting my time with you…

  116. nico says:

    Mister Canning,

    No, the US have no so much gaz and oil.
    http://en.rian.ru/infographics/20130320/180136761.html

    Compare US and Iran reserves and output.
    Please let me kniw which reserves will be depleted first and how fast.
    Now tell me what is the share of US in the world hydrocarbon and the share of their reserves…

    Venezuela and Russia reserves need to be adjusted as such reserves may be difficult to extract being respectively non conventional extraheavy oil and near arctic circle reserves.

  117. Rd. says:

    jay says:

    “Racists and Imperialists will never understand how ignorant and bigoted their position is.”

    This one fits that bill….

    A Modest Proposal Concerning the Rights of the Inhabitants of Persia

    “The “modest proposal” that he put forward was that each year 120,000 Irish infants should be slaughtered upon reaching their first birthday and offered as a delicacy for the nourishment of Ireland’s Anglo-Irish land-owners and administrators as well as for export to England.”

    http://www.lobelog.com/a-modest-proposal-for-the-rights-of-the-inhabitants-of-persia/

  118. James Canning says:

    Rd.,

    I too am a great admirer of Jonathan Swift. I think Swift would have seen the nuclear dispute as preposterous.

  119. James Canning says:

    Nico,

    The US has ZERO nned for oil or gas from the Middle East.

    Nigeria? Perhaps. Angola? Perhaps. ZERO nned for oil or gas from Middle East.

    Yes, there are environmental issues that flow from developing colossal oil sands deposits in Canada.

  120. James Canning says:

    Bussed-In Basiji,

    Yes, you are quite right: Iran can elect Jalili, and likely will do so. And scr*w detente.

    After all, Iran really does not need to export oil. Better to diversify the economy.

  121. James Canning says:

    Bussed-In Basiji,

    Perhaps you can kindly elaborate on the understanding Iranians have, of relations between US, UK, Germany and Japan, prior to First World War?

    US friendly with UK, Germany and Japan.

    UK allied with Japan.

    You admire the astounding stupidity on the part of Germany, by which it turned Britain into an enemy? Stunning idiocy meets with your approval?

  122. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    Jimmy,
    No I admire high tariffs and import bans so that nascent domestic industries can adjust to global competition without getting crushed.

    This Jimmy-jan stands in direct contrast to US-UK strategy of opening the Iranian market for their corporations- the old “you sell us cheap oil, we’ll sell you expensive products and services” scam- see Saudi Arabia for most recent manifestation.

    It’s a zero-sum game. The sanctions have finally forced the issue, thank God.

    Kicked out the Americans 34 years ago, wish we had done the same with the evil British at that time.

    Don’t forget, having the English as enemies is our pride and part of our DNA.

    We’ll decide on the Scottish when they become independent in 2014- we own a few joint oilfields in the North Sea together.

  123. fyi says:

    James Canning says:
    May 24, 2013 at 3:18 pm

    There is no possibility of “detente” with the Axis Powers regardless who is the President of Iran.

    Until and unless US and other Axis Powers planners are willing to acknowledge the incrased power of Iran since 2006, there can be no changes.

    There is zero indications that Axis Powers are ready for that step; on the contrary, they are piling on more pressure. For example, their latest offer on Syria is to gain what they could not achieve through military power through diplomatic track – still aiming for the head of Mr. Assad.

    That is not going to happen.

    The sense that I have of Iranian leaders is that they are confidenly going around waging the wars that the American Block has thrown at them in Syria and in the economic sphere – they feel that they do not need “detente”.

  124. Neo says:

    Goli says: May 23, 2013 at 11:23 am

    “Mashaei was disqualified because his candidacy and possible presidency represent the only real reformist challenge to the Conservatives and Pragmatic Conservatives.”

    Absolutely agree. Don’t think I’ll be voting this year. Really is not much point. Bad enough that it’s run by so many superstitious nut-cases. Now they won’t even allow the slightest challenge to absolute clerical rule just as they need the people behind them in times of severe trouble. Madness.

  125. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Saudi Arabia and Qatar have pressed Britain to seek ouster of Bashar al-Assad.

    Neocons and some liberal interventionists press the US to back ouster of Syria’s president.

    Obama clearly is concerned that there may be years of chaos ahead, in Syria.

    I think we should be frank, and admit that the civil war in Syria grew partly out of the nuclear dispute with Iran.

  126. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    It may be the case that stability is more likely if the Syrian gov’t defeats the rebels. But extensive reforms would be necessary, to open the economy to people outside the inner circle.

  127. Rd. says:

    James Canning says:

    “I think we should be frank, and admit that the civil war in Syria grew partly out of the nuclear dispute with Iran.”

    Are you suggesting the sun setting down in the empire had its roots in the Iran nuke dispute (aka independence) as well??

    Give it up james… The Iran dream is way too big to fit in the grave of the empire..

  128. fyi says:

    James Canning says:
    May 24, 2013 at 5:02 pm

    Any good Muslim (or Catholic) knows that God created Hell before creating Adam.

    And to be equally frank with you, the civil war in Syria grew out of the creation of Adam and the murder of Abel by Cane.

    Reform in Syria is decades into the future; those who stood with Mr. Assad’s government will benefit and those who supported his enemies will be punished.

    In fact, creating refugees from rural districts that supported the anti-government forces could be an excellent policy choice for Mr. Assad – uproot the internal enemies and expell them to Turkey and Jordan – let them contend with them.

    That is what the late General Franco did in Spain – I expect nothing less here.

  129. kathleen says:

    So Israel and the U.S. can not accept a “deterrent strategy” They can not accept that Iran as a signatory to the NPT has the legal right to enrich uranium up to 20%. Turns down all deals offered by Iran and continue to try to back them up into a corner with no foreseeable way out. Such a deal

  130. James Canning says:

    Kathleen,

    Iran wants its right to enrich urnaium acknowledged. Enrichment to 5% likely would suffice, according to the interview Saeed Jalili gave the Financial Times recently.

  131. jay says:

    Rd. says:
    May 24, 2013 at 2:33 pm

    On the mark!

    Southern racists in the deep south of the US before the Civil War argued that they were doing the slaves a favor by protecting them against homelessness, starvation, …

    It is an argument that has survived in many form to this day. Variants of this “Would it not be better for the Iranians to simply comply with the demands of the master?!” continues to be proposed on this very board!!

  132. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    I think your expectation Bashar al-Assad can win the civil war and refuse any reforms, for decades, is unlikely to be the opinion of the Iranian foreign ministry.

  133. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Qatar put huge sums into Syria in recent years, hoping to encourage some changes of policy. Qatar decided to back the insurgency only when it became too clear the Assad regime was not interested in genuine reforms and would do whatever it took to keep in power.

    BUT a very big factor was expectation of possible war in the Gulf.
    In this way, Iran actually helped to bring civil war to Syria, although this obvioiusly was not the intention of the Iranian gov’t.

  134. James Canning says:

    Rd.,

    Top sources in Saudi Arabia and Qatar say potential war with Iran helped prompt the backing of Saudis and Qataris of effort to overthrow gov’t of Syria.

    If you fail to comprehend this unchallenged fact (unchallenged by those who try to be well-informed), you simply do not understand unfolding events in the Gulf.

  135. James Canning says:

    Rd.,

    You tell me what is this “Iranian dream” that you think I find objectionable.

  136. fyi says:

    James Canning says:
    May 24, 2013 at 7:30 pm

    I think you or whosoever that is feeding you these opinions has been, as is usual for Euro-Americans, tricked by the Arabs.

    In effect, you are asking your readers that a family-run oil-business, an absolutist monarchy in the Southern Persian Gulf in which all work is performed by contingent foreign workers, has been desirous of “reform” in another country with 20 times its population.

    And to expect the United States, a country that is historically demonstrated its utter disregard for the Rule of Law or the Representative Government among her vassals and satrapies to support for reform is not even laughable.

    Here is what happened: Qatar, US, Saudi Arabia were offering huge sums of money to Syrians to cut their ties with Iran.

    Syrians were not going to go that far, since they did not trust not be left alone to face Israel some time in the future.

    When the bribes did not work, threats started (the actually overlapped).

    Syrian leaders did not budge.

    When the protests started in Syria, the Axis Powers and their local allies moved in.

    And yes, the idea was to chip away at the Shia/Irani power, first in Syria and later in Iraq to be followed by a possible war in the Persian Gulf when Iran would be bereft of any (Arab) allies.

    The way Iraq was supposed to go was through the SOFA, which was scuttled – Americans expected it to be signed until the very end!

    Well, 2 can play these silly games – Iranians and Russians moved in to advise Syrian military and the rest is history.

    Qatar, Turkey, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Axis Powers have failed in Syria – they failed when their expectation of quick collapse of the Ba’ath government in 3 months was not realized.

    Iranians told Southern Persian Gulf Arabs that they would be attacked if they are hosting US-Axis forces in the event of attack on Iran several years ago.

    That is when the idea of chipping away at Iran started.

    The alternative was strategic settlement with Iran; which was the road not taken.

  137. Smith says:

    fyi says:
    May 24, 2013 at 8:15 pm

    I do not think they are “tricked”. Arabs do not have such capability. Since the time of Col. Lawrence (a wicked man) and maybe even before that, an orchestrated effort by British empire was initiated to impose a British designed/created backward Islam over the Muslim world. They literally created new sects from Islam. For example you can see that in the Qadiani movement in Indian subcontinent or even the deobandi movement, both started under supervision and fetish support of British government. Some of these movements were more successful than the others but non reached the success that the British got by installing an obscure and almost unheard micro-sect of wahabism in Saudi Arabia.

    The few wahabis at the time, were confined to a remote corner of Najd desert and were despised by all Muslims. They were a shunned small tribal community. British imposed them on Muslim world at the point of a gun and to this day they are protecting them like crazy by means of military, diplomatic cover, access to markets etc etc. This is one of the few western policies that has remained same over the past century. I expect their support for wahabis to increase even further.

    The British are on a mission to convert as many muslims they can to wahabism. And they have been very successful in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Europe, Americas, Indonesia, Central Asia etc etc. The places that they expect to resist conversion to wahabism will be terminated militarily eg. Syria. It is an old British game that is going on in Syria and that is why you see the British government going crazy to the point of extreme fetish to support the wahabi terrorists there. It is their babies there that are being killed by Assad. The British government goes mofu crazy when it hears the cries of its babies under fire by Assad tanks.

  138. Richard Steven Hack says:

    New propaganda push…

    Iran Hacks Energy Firms, U.S. Says
    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323336104578501601108021968.html

    Not a shred of evidence provided, of course. Worse:

    “In response, U.S. officials warn that Iran is edging closer to provoking U.S. retaliation. ‘This is representative of stepped-up cyber activity by the Iranian regime. The more they do this, the more our concerns grow,’ a U.S. official said. ‘What they have done so far has certainly been noticed, and they should be cautious.'”

    Given that Pentagon policy allows for “kinetic” responses to cyber intrusions, this means the US could use alleged cyber attacks to justify a military response. However restrained, such a response could trigger a war.

    This fits in with Obama’s clear intentions to provoke Iran into doing something which would “justify” the US starting a war, thus avoiding tarnishing his undeserved Nobel Peace Prize.

  139. Fiorangela says:

    http://www.iranreview.org/content/Documents/Israel-and-Syria-Crisis.htm

    Iranian analyst: If Bashar Assad falls, Israel may attack Syrian military facilities in order to annihilate them and keep them out of Islamist hands.

  140. Smith says:

    Nasser,

    For your interest, there is chatter in Pakistani media among their analysts that, the 15 billion dollar oil loan is being given to Nawaz Sharif (a pro-Saudi guy) on the condition that Pakistan should stand by and if need be, provide troops to an “international force” for Syria. As you know Saudis themselves are impotent so they always need to hire an army.

  141. Persian Gulf says:

    Goli:

    I wish we could have both Mashaei and Rafsanjani in the upcoming election. I do not think their disqualification was really necessary, however it was legal. none of these would have been elected, in my view.

    and I wish Mashaei was a better man. I wish using public money for his campaign did not happen. on the hand in some occasions Mahmood used public money to get this guy elected. this was completely against what somebody like Mahmood would stand for, one assumes. That it had been done in the past is not an acceptable excuse for Mahmood to repeat wrongdoing. if so, why then bother having election and criticizing elected officials?

    you said:

    “without getting into the details of each incident giving rise to each accusation—the day off to register with Mashaei, the Azadi assembly, trips around the country—there is no evidence that Ahmadinejad violated any campaign laws, engaged in illegal use of any government funds, or did anything that in some form or another had not been done in the past by others without any objection.”

    The Azadi assembly was solely for election purposes. it was a ridiculous thing to do. that a government wanted to bring 100,000 around the country to Azadi stadium to thank them for their work during public holiday (and just for this year, if you noticed). first of all, those people just did their jobs. secondly they got the appreciation in their own provinces. Mashaei didn’t show up simply because the criticism was too much. that contrary to the government’s expectation, they could not get even 40% of the stadium filled. and that by not showing Mashaei there, they wanted to show a finger to the opponents while at the same time their purposes of making him known for election was achieved. It was actually an embarrassment. when Mahmood started to talk, there were not that many people left in the stadium.

    Mahmood’s admin, suddenly started to have provincial trips to the populated capitals in a very short period of time. without actually doing much work there. it was mostly a one day show off in the capitals of the populated provinces to show Mashaei.

    basically people like Baghaei and Mashaei alike should get arrested for Kish incident. just in one case, 450 million Euro is being allocated to a company that was given birth 3-4 days before.

    and many more.

    I think Mahmood’s support for Mashaei as a president is not illegal. but his response for his appearance in Mashaei’s registration is again ridiculous. he said I am in vacation!! He can be in vacation to enjoy. but I don’t think he can be in vacation with the title of a president to support someone like the way he did. at the same time, IRNA reported “the president” showed up with Mashaei for registration. so, he was not just an individual over there. he was “the president” supporting Mashaeil. My point is, even as the president, publicly saying I am for this guy shouldn’t be a problem because the president himself can stand for the second term. he didn’t need to say I am in vacation. or if he was in vacation, he shouldn’t have been there with his title.

    I still think Mahmood made a fatal mistake. He should have had another person in the race. someone like SamarehHashemi. Mashaei’s election would have been very polarizing (way more than Mahmood himself) and extremely dangerous at this critical juncture.
    Rafsanjani would have not stood up against Khamenei, had he been elected president in an unlikely scenario. After all they are both Akhund and won’t go after each other much.

    apart from all of these, it’s funny to see few disqualified candidates thanked GC for their disqualification.

    آخر مسخره است یکی رو رد کنند تشکر کنه که این وظیفه رو از دوششن برداشتن واون رو دراین حدواندازه ها ندیدن.
    عملا گفتند تشکر که به ما رید**. لول

    I am not sure how someone like Gharazi gets qualified, but Mottaki or SaeeidiKia are disqualified. Some of GC’s decisions look very strange to me.

  142. Smith says:

    Fiorangela says:
    May 24, 2013 at 9:59 pm

    Assad would never fall completely unless NATO goes in. Even if Assad dies tomorrow in a bomb attack or heart attack, the Alawites, Shia, Seculars, Chritians, Druze etc etc have to keep fighting since complete capitulation to wahabis means their mass genocide. In worst case scenario they will end up in Mediterranean shore region and some other small places they can defend. Much like Ahmad Shah Massoud in Afghanistan when US/EU/Saudi/UAE/Pakistan were supporting Taliban.

  143. Sineva says:

    James Canning says:
    May 24, 2013 at 7:30 pm
    It wasnt iran who brought the insurgency to syria that was all the work of the arab puppets,next you`ll be saying iran was responsible for the saudis crushing the bahrani revolution
    James Canning says:
    May 24, 2013 at 7:26 pm
    So long as the west cant say “yes” this isnt going to happen,so far there hasnt been the slightest shred of evidence that the west has abandoned the goal of total capitulation/regime change for iran
    James Canning says:
    May 24, 2013 at 7:33 pm
    If this is true then once again the arabs have f##ked up big time,I suppose you could chalk this one up to the state of desperation/paranoia that would have prevailed in the arab capitals after the down fall of mubarak

  144. Sineva says:

    fyi says:
    May 24, 2013 at 4:29 pm
    I agree,detente would be nice but it is not essential as irans power continues to grow while the the western backed status quo continues to crumble,time is on irans side.
    fyi says:
    May 24, 2013 at 5:28 pm
    Indeed let them spend the next decade in a refugee camp wondering if in the middle of the night they might be grabbed and shipped back to syria as part of some backroom deal to restore diplomatic relations,either that or the “lucky” ones wind up as exiles living in the west hoping for any sign that they can one day return home all the while maintaining that the collapse of the government is just around the corner

  145. Smith says:

    Sineva says:
    May 24, 2013 at 11:37 pm

    They wont go back. They love it in those “refugee” camps in which old Saudi pedophile men buy their virgin teenage daughters for a few nights of rape at an astonishing cheap rate: http://www.channel4.com/news/syria-women-rape-marriage-refugee-camp-jordan

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-22473573

    http://www.thestar.com/news/world/2013/03/22/young_brides_displaced_by_syria_conflict_sought_by_older_grooms.html

    In short the British ally pedophile Saudis are having huge fun there. Thanks to British military support.

  146. Smith says:

    There are other links too.

  147. Smith says:

    Sineva says:
    May 24, 2013 at 11:37 pm

    They wont go back. They love it in those “refugee” camps in which old Saudi peedophile men buy their virgiin teenage daughters for a few nights of rape at an astonishing cheap rate: http://www.channel4.com/news/syria-women-rape-marriage-refugee-camp-jordan

  148. Smith says:

    And even more:

    http://www.thestar.com/news/world/2013/03/22/young_brides_displaced_by_syria_conflict_sought_by_older_grooms.html

    In short the British ally peedophile Saudis are having huge fun there. Thanks to British military support.

  149. Sineva says:

    James Canning says:
    May 24, 2013 at 3:15 pm
    I think anyone with half a brain would see it as preposterous,indeed I think you could say that about western policy in the middle east in general
    James Canning says:
    May 24, 2013 at 2:17 pm
    Once again you try and spin appeasement as somehow being in irans interests,only when the west acknowledges that its goal of iranian capitulation is unachievable will there be any chance of a deal,and by a deal I mean give and take on both sides not one side gives while the other side takes and gives nothing in return,that is the sort of “deal” you propose is in irans best interests
    James Canning says:
    May 24, 2013 at 2:17 pm
    The west is demanding a halt to all enrichment not just the 20% as you well know and being forced to make choices with a gun to your head is no kind of choice at all

  150. Smith says:

    All the while the rest of Syrians are resisting the western supported terror under the leadership of Dr. Bashar Assad (Ophthalmic Surgeon): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MiudLZ_JKbY

  151. Nasser says:

    From Stratfor:

    Syria: Outside Patronage and a New Offensive for the Regime

    Summary

    The battle for the Syrian city of Al-Qusayr, which came under regime artillery fire May 19, is actually part of a larger battle for the highly coveted Homs governorate. As we noted in 2012, the battle has wide-reaching ramifications for the Syrian rebels since Al-Qusayr sits along a major transit point for rebel supplies and reinforcements coming in from Lebanon. But it is equally important to loyalist forces. If the Syrian regime loses control of the Orontes River Valley and its major road junctions, Damascus will be largely cut off from Aleppo and the Alawite-dominated coast, which would limit the regime’s access to supply lines from port cities.

    The regime’s renewed offensive against Al-Qusayr was made possible by support from Iran, Russia and Hezbollah. However, geography will determine which side holds the advantage. In northern and eastern Syria, the regime remains on the defensive; in the core, the advantage clearly belongs to the loyalists. With the country squarely divided, the Syrian civil war will continue to be a protracted conflict — even as the regime prevails in Al-Qusayr.

    Analysis

    Supported by Hezbollah fighters, loyalist forces began their offensive against Al-Qusayr with a barrage of artillery fire. Given that the rebels are entrenched in static positions throughout the city, massed artillery fire can have a particularly devastating effect. Regime forces are largely deployed to the north and east of the city, while fighters affiliated with Hezbollah are reportedly advancing on the city from the south and west.

    Hezbollah has long been involved in the fight over Homs, but the May 19 offensive marks a clear escalation in Hezbollah’s involvement. Tensions in Lebanon have grown alongside this increased involvement. For example, rebels struck the Lebanese town of Hermel with rocket artillery on May 19. And the anger Lebanese Sunnis feel toward Hezbollah threatens to spill over into a full-blown armed conflict.

    External Support

    Al-Qusayr is not the only theater in which al Assad has received considerable external support. Iran and Russia continue to deliver much-needed material and equipment, including spare parts needed to maintain the regime’s critical advantage over the rebels: the air force. Tehran and Moscow also have reportedly played a major role in giving economic support, which is used to fund the war effort and pay hefty salaries to security forces.

    External help also enabled Syria to create a new militia, known as the National Defense Force, to offset the losses incurred by the army. With the help of Iranian and Hezbollah advisers, the regime was able to rapidly train and deploy members of this militia. The National Defense Force has brought reliable manpower to the loyalist cause, but equally important, it has helped free up the conventional army to execute difficult offensive operations.

    Bolstered by this external aid, the loyalist forces have been increasingly able to crack down on rebel positions within the Syrian core, which extends from Damascus to the Alawite coast and passes through the Homs governorate. This division creates problems for both sides. Al Assad’s forces are currently incapable of launching comprehensive offensives to relieve their positions in the north and the east. For their part, the rebels are also finding it almost impossible to relieve their beleaguered comrades in Homs city and Al-Qusayr.

    In fact, over the past few months, fighting has regressed to battles of exhaustion and campaigns of attrition. Instances where the rebels could quickly seize a major city in only a few days — as they did in Raqqa — are the exception rather than the norm.

    Controlling Homs

    In the battle for Homs, external support gives the regime the military edge. But despite this superiority, the regime probably will not stamp out the rebel resistance entirely, even if it retakes Al-Qusayr. Time and again the rebels have demonstrated a talent for retreating from areas in which the regime musters overwhelming force. The regime has been careful to surround Al-Qusayr from all directions, but the rebels will continue to escape through regime gaps into the countryside or to other rebel strongholds in Homs, such as Rastan and Talbiseh.

    However, thanks to considerable Hezbollah aid, the regime has largely subdued rebel operations in the Homs governorate, a goal it has tried to achieve since the early stages of the rebellion. Control over Homs will enable al Assad to rapidly move forces from the north to the south to meet emerging rebel threats. It will also provide a key avenue of retreat to the Alawite coast in the event that he needs to flee Damascus.

  152. Nasser says:

    From Stratfor:

    Lebanon: Hezbollah’s Next Battle After Al-Qusayr

    Summary

    As Hezbollah and Syrian loyalist forces have stepped up an offensive in the Syrian city of Al-Qusayr to strengthen their grip on the vital Homs crossroads, it is no coincidence that the volatile district of Tripoli in northern Lebanon is also witnessing a flare-up between Alawites and Sunnis. With backing from Salafists in Tripoli, Syrian rebels routed from Al-Qusayr could attempt to draw Hezbollah’s attention away from the city by triggering sectarian clashes in Lebanon. Meanwhile, Hezbollah will pick its battles carefully to preserve its strength and to pre-empt Sunni attempts to disrupt northern Lebanese supply routes into Syria. Both agendas point to increased violence in northern Lebanon.

    Analysis

    Tripoli entered its sixth day of sectarian clashes May 22. At least 17 people have been killed, two of who were Lebanese soldiers while the rest were civilians, and more than 100 have been wounded so far. Sniper fire on both sides of the conflict has largely halted traffic on the main highway from Tripoli east to the district of Akkar. The Lebanese army, heavily prone to sectarian fragmentation and thus highly reluctant to intervene forcefully, is doing little to contain the violence, but it has been causing considerable collateral damage with its own machine gun fire against suspected snipers.

    The violence is centered on two warring neighborhoods, the predominantly Sunni Bab al-Tabbaneh district and the Alawite enclave of Jabal Mohsen.

    For decades, residents of these neighborhoods have traded fire periodically. During the Lebanese Civil War from 1975 to 1990, Alawites in Jabal Mohsen sided with Syrian troops who had entered Lebanon to take on the al-Tawhid Movement, a Sunni Islamist group based in Bab al Tabbaneh. The neighborhoods have remained heavily armed since then, and their periodic battles have been in many ways microcosms of the region’s broader sectarian conflicts.

    So far, the latest flare-up in Tripoli has not surpassed the levels of violence typical in these neighborhoods. Reverberations from Hezbollah’s successful offensive against Sunni rebels in Al-Qusayr, however, could lead to greater instability in Lebanon’s northern rim.

    Located in the Orontes River Valley, Al-Qusayr sits astride a supply route that is highly coveted by Syrian rebels and loyalists alike. Control over the city is critical to controlling the Syrian city of Homs, the vital crossroads linking Damascus to the Alawite-dominated coast and the Syrian city of Aleppo. The success of Hezbollah and loyalists so far in reducing Sunni resistance from Al-Qusayr is thus a major blow to the rebels. With loyalist forces and Hezbollah working to consolidate control of the main northern approach to Damascus (while loyalists also steadily regain strength along the main southern approaches to Damascus), the rebels’ momentum is ebbing quickly.

    The Syrian rebels understand that Hezbollah’s steady buildup in Al-Qusayr over the past year played a key role in reinforcing the ability of Syrian President Bashar al Assad’s regime to hold Homs. Dismayed by their losses at Al-Qusayr, some rebels may adjust their strategy to try to weaken Hezbollah’s ability to reinforce Syrian troops. Rumors are circulating in the region that many fighters with Jabhat al-Nusra, a Syrian Islamist rebel group, in Al-Qusayr have retreated to northern Lebanon and that plans are brewing for an attempted Sunni offensive on the Alawite enclave of Jabal Mohsen. Lebanese Sunni fighters who joined the battle for Al-Qusayr are also reportedly returning home to fight.

    Hezbollah fears that at least some Syrian rebels will try to draw on Lebanese Salafist support to open another front with Hezbollah in Lebanon and thus deflect the group’s attention from the Syrian front. These concerns have been amplified by the recent fighting in Tripoli and by renewed attempts by Salafist cleric Sheikh Ahmad al-Assir to rile up resistance against Hezbollah in the southern Lebanese city of Sidon. Tripoli, a stronghold for Salafists and a sectarian powder keg as illustrated by the Bab al Tabbaneh and Jabal Mohsen clashes, is the logical place to attempt to trigger a sectarian showdown. But Hezbollah will be careful to avoid being drawn too deeply into a fight to reinforce Alawites in Tripoli and look instead to fighters from the Syrian Social Nationalist Party, a Lebanese pro-Syrian political party, to help Tripoli’s Alawites strand their ground if fighting escalates.

    Hezbollah is well aware of the risks to its operations in Syria. The dozens of casualties the group has suffered in the fight for Al-Qusayr have generated debate among Hezbollah supporters over whether they should remain heavily invested in al-Assad’s fight, considering the losses of young fighters needed at home to defend against an emboldened Sunni community. Hezbollah has thus carefully avoided provocations by Lebanese Salafists, preferring to preserve its strength for future clashes with its Sunni adversaries.

    But maintaining control over key Lebanese supply routes into Syria will remain high on Hezbollah’s list of priorities. As the group maintains its position in Al-Qusayr, it will devote attention to securing the Lebanese approaches to the city. There are two main supply routes that run through northern Lebanon into Syria. One extends northward from Hezbollah’s stronghold in the Bekaa Valley through Baalbek district and up to Al-Qusayr. Another, more tenuous route stretches eastward from the port of Tripoli along the main highway through Akkar and onward to Al-Qusayr.

    Hezbollah’s next task is to prevent the Sunnis from disrupting these supply routes into northern Lebanon. While Syrian loyalist forces focus on retaking the Syrian city of Talkhalakh just north of the Lebanese border, Hezbollah — with backing from Shiite fighters from the sizable al-Jaafar clan in the Lebanese district of Hermil — will try to concentrate their forces on Akroum, a Sunni village that sits on the route through Akkar district. The battle over these supply lines will drive the Syrian spillover of violence into Lebanon, particularly in the wake of rebel losses at Al-Qusayr.

  153. BiBiJon says:

    Geneva II
    =========

    From http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/05/25/us-syria-crisis-opposition-idUSBRE94M17420130525

    Syrian opposition talks aimed at presenting a coherent front at an international peace conference to end the civil war faced the prospect of collapse after President Bashar al-Assad’s foes failed to cut an internal deal, opposition sources said on Friday.

    —–

    But, hey, the Arab league thinks the ‘group’ who cannot decide who among them adequately represents the ‘group’, nevertheless represents the Syrian people as a whole.

  154. M.Ali says:

    I’ve been thinking a lot about Mashaei in the race. I mean, it was obvious to everyone that he was going to be disqualified. I mean, with the all the noise the clerics had made in the last 1-2 years, it would have looked stupid if Mashaei somehow had been qualified. It was obvious he wouldn’t pass through.

    So why did Ahmadenijad place all his eggs in that one basket? I’m almost sure he did it so that he could get disqualified and garner a certain support for the team for being too against the status qua to be qualified. I think they were able to strengthen their rebel status and their “us against the elites” image they have been fostering for themselves last few years. If they actually HAD run in the elections, is doubtful Mashaei would have received votes to win, and if he had lost the race, or any of Ahmadenijad’s chosen candidate had lost the race, thn that would have been a blow to Ahmadenijad’s group.

    But by doing this, they haven’t lost because they weren’t allowed to run, and by not being allowed to run, they can proudly carry the rebel mantle for the next four years, getting more and more support from society.

    What does everyone think?

  155. nico says:

    What a joke of a diplomat.
    Western politician do not even hide their criminal and evill nature anymore, like Obama with drones policy.
    http://news.yahoo.com/france-rules-iran-taking-part-syrian-peace-talks-152349466.html

    “France’s foreign minister on Saturday ruled out Iran taking part in a proposed Syria peace conference, saying Tehran was involved in the conflict and had no desire for peace.

    Speaking aboard a French aircraft en route to Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates, Fabius said there was no “magic wand” to get warring parties to the negotiating table even though it appeared Assad’s government had agreed to attend.”

    So, Iran should not attend because they are involved in the conflict.
    Then the peace conference should be held without the involved parties !

    Everyone understood that the war shall be won on the ground and that nothing is to be done for peace by the colonial axis or the resistance axus. The No need to play game about a fantasy peace conference.

    The colonialists declared war to syria and beyond to the axis of resistance.
    They are simply telling that they will continue their move. No surprise.

  156. James Canning says:

    John Kerry told reporters in Tel Aviv yesterday “that it was becoming urgent for Israeli and Palestinian governments to make dificult decisions on peace, and that the US wouldn’t force such decisions on either side.” WSJ May 25-26.

    I assume Kerry understands that Israel will have to be forced to get out of West Bank.

  157. James Canning says:

    Russian foreign ministry says Syrian gov’t has agreed to attend a conference seeking ways and means to end civil war in Syria. (WSJ today.)

  158. James Canning says:

    Nico,

    I entirely agree with you that the French foreign minister is seriously foolish, when he argues Iran should not be a participant in conference seeking to end civil war in Syria.

    Very large and powerful Israeli lobby in France.

  159. James Canning says:

    Sineva,

    I think ALL SANCTIONS against Iran should be dropped. ALL SANCTIONS. You seem to have difficulty understanding this is my position.

  160. James Canning says:

    New York Times today reports that China has told North Korea: Get rid of your nukes. Via diplomacy.

  161. James Canning says:

    Sineva,

    Do me a favour: What is your notion of the “capitulation” you think “the West” demands from Iran? Bowing and scraping at the feet of Bibi Netanyahu? Something else?

  162. James Canning says:

    Sineva,

    Are you arguing the the gov’t of Burma “capitulated” to “the West”, and thereby injured the true best intersts of the people of Burma?

  163. James Canning says:

    Sineva,

    YES, I do know the P5+1 have publicly stated that Iran must stop all enrichment of urnaium.

    I continue to believe the P5+1 will accept Iranian enrichment to 5% or lower.

  164. James Canning says:

    Sineva,

    You and FYI both argue Iran’s benefits from the sanctions. Correct?

  165. James Canning says:

    Sineva,

    According to the lengthy report in the Financial Times recently, about reasons Qatar supported rebellion in Syria, the Qataris assumed the US, UK and perhaps France would intervene militarily, in the manner of Libya.

    Some who post on this site were very confident this would happen.

  166. James Canning says:

    Sineva,

    Sources close to ruling circles in Qatar and Saudi Arabia confirm that fears of possible war in the Persian Gulf contributed to their decision to back the rebellion in Syria.

    Surely you are not claiming war in the PG is unlikely, even if Iran refuses to make a deal with P5+1? Or, are you?

  167. nico says:

    James Canning says:
    May 25, 2013 at 1:41 pm

    True about the jewish lobby in France.
    The most numerous population of jews in Europe is in France.
    But the Lobby as in US think itself more powerfull than they really are.
    Those jewish lobbies are first truly arrogant, and the polticians with their sugar coated words and their lies like to let them in their foolish selfdelusion.

    Regarfing Syria the colonialists with their blunder are truly of great service to Iran.
    What will happen if Assad win the “civil war” ?
    I guess the relation with Iran would be ce.ented for decades to come.

  168. James Canning says:

    Sineva and FYI,

    Is it fair to say you both do not like to acknowledge that Iranian blunders regarding its nuclear programme helped bring civil war to Syria?

  169. fyi says:

    James Canning says:
    May 25, 2013 at 2:03 pm

    No.

  170. nico says:

    James canning,

    Actually, currently in France, the foreign minister is jewish (fabius), the education minister is jewish (peillon), the finance minister is jewish (moscovici), the wife of the interior minister is jewish (valls).

    Should the former jewish head of the IMF (dominique strausskhan) who is a french national had not slipped on his own d×ck, it is 99% sure he would be today president. He was favorite and way above the current one (hollande).

    Not that really makes a difference, the current president (hollande), is a member of the french-american fundation and is sold to foreign interests.

    Could you believe that even the current INTERIOR minister (valls) was a spanish national born in barcelona (spain) and get french nationality only at 18 !

    It is widely known today in France that the country is under first anglo-saxon occupation and second under zionist occupation.

  171. James Canning says:

    Victoria Nuland will obtain high-leval position in US State Dept. Groan. She is, of course, married to Robert Kagan – – one of the most aggressive proponents of perpetual war in the greater Middle East.

  172. James Canning says:

    Nico,

    Interesting post. And, of course, there are between 600,000 and 700,000 Jews in France, and many of the richest people in the country are Jewish. As, of course, is what obtains in the US.

    BUT, let’s remember the Iranian blunder in threatening Saudi Arabia and Qatar, and the UAE for that matter. GIANT mistake. And very sad for Syria, its people, its ancient culture etc etc etc.

  173. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    To clarify, you do accept Iran’s blunders in its nuclear programme, that have made it more difficult to achieve a deal with P5+1?

  174. James Canning says:

    Nico,

    In what sense is France “occupied” by the US and the UK?

    You may recall that France was the country keenest to intervene militarily in Libya.
    Thanks in large part to Bernard-Henri Levy.

  175. James Canning says:

    Nico and FYI,

    Do we agree China has acted wisely in making it clear to North Korea it must get rid of its nukes?

  176. fyi says:

    James Canning says:
    May 25, 2013 at 2:26 pm

    No.

  177. fyi says:

    James Canning says:
    May 25, 2013 at 2:30 pm

    Yes in that China made some public noises for the benefit of her relation with US.

    These noises are irrelevant – North Korea will not disarm.

    And yes, there were several huge blunders here, but they were by the United States under Mr. Clinton (we-will-drag-our-feet-until-they-collapse), under Mr. Bush (axis-of-evil), and under Mr. Obama (Libya-and-Qaddafi).

    In essence, you cannot make a deal with the United States and her allies – you cannot do business with them.

    No détente with Axis Powers is possible until we have regime change there among key states.

  178. Sineva says:

    James Canning says:
    May 25, 2013 at 2:03 pm
    James I`m not even going to dignify that fantasy with an answer
    James Canning says:
    May 25, 2013 at 1:54 pm
    Time and again you have made these blind faith assertions but not once have you ever been able to produce even a tiny shred of evidence to back up your fantasies,the west has made it crystal clear that it wants ALL enrichment halted
    James Canning says:
    May 25, 2013 at 1:51 pm
    Capitulation is exactly what it means james ie iran becomes just another vassal state like most of the arab states,a giant leap backwards to the good old bad old days of the shah,putting the interests of the west and israel ahead of irans interests,are those clear enough definitions for you
    James Canning says:
    May 25, 2013 at 1:45 pm
    So do I but as others have stated and I`m sure you well know even if iran completely scrapped its nuclear program that would still not be enough to get most of the sanctions lifted,because the nuclear program is just one small part of it
    James Canning says:
    May 25, 2013 at 2:01 pm
    As I said once again the arabs f@@ked up,they really do seem to make a habit of it,as for a war I think it unlikely the west is in no shape politically or economically for yet another war in the ME especially against someone as strong as iran,had the west wanted a war it would have started one by now,instead it tries sanctions and syria and any other dirty trick it can think of
    James Canning says:
    May 25, 2013 at 1:52 pm
    Burma and iran are so different theres little comparison,the junta decided to appease the west and made some token democratic “reforms” that satisfied the west but still left the balance of power in its hands,it was appeasement rather than complete capitulation
    James Canning says:
    May 25, 2013 at 1:55 pm
    It can be an opportunity to develop irans non oil related economy,tho` not without cost but then its also costing the west and at a time it can afford it the least

  179. Sineva says:

    fyi says:
    May 25, 2013 at 3:11 pm
    I agree

  180. nico says:

    James Canning says:
    May 25, 2013 at 2:28 pm

    “Nico,In what sense is France “occupied” by the US and the UK?”

    Does NATO speak to you ?
    France was out of the central command for decades.
    10 years ago the orevious president (Sarkozy) made France to be lart if the central command.
    See the guy nice glasses and tee-shirt !

    http://boymottard.files.wordpress.com/2011/06/sarkozy.jpg

  181. nico says:

    James Canning,

    Basically, all states part of NATO are as much US satellites as were to Russia the contries part of the Varsaw pact.

  182. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Jordan and Israel ‘as one’ over Syria and Iran attack
    http://www.thejc.com/node/107832

    Jordan is allowing Israel to send drones into and attack Syria over its airspace – and is working on plans for allowing Israel to attack Iran over its airspace.

  183. Richard Steven Hack says:

    More “justification” for US military intervention…

    Iranian troops are fighting in Syria, says US
    http://www.thejc.com/news/world-news/107835/iranian-troops-are-fighting-syria-says-us

  184. Sakineh Bagoom says:

    BiBiJon,

    Do you think Jahn’s breaking out of the propaganda cycle has anything to do with wire tapping of AP “journalists?”

  185. James Canning says:

    Nico,

    You are simply quite wrong. The US would like so see many Nato countries spend double on “defence” that currently is spent. ZERO chance the US can impose its wishes on other Nato counries on this score.

  186. James Canning says:

    Nico,

    That France rejoined the Nato command structure did not mean France was “occupied” by the UK or the US. The idea is silly, frankly.

    BTW, are you glad China is being more open in its demands that North Korea get rid of its nukes?

  187. James Canning says:

    Sineva,

    You simply do not know what you are talking about. Re: what P5+1 would likely accept in a deal with Iran.

    NOT, however, an initial deal. Yes, Iran may have to stop enriching any uranium. MAY HAVE TO. Temporarily.

    I think the deal will have to be piecemeal. Otherwise, no deal. And more sanctions.

  188. James Canning says:

    Sineava,

    Once again you are simply DEAD WRONG. As is FYI.

    US and EU do not want war with Iran. Question is whether Iran forces a blockade. Which in turn might trigger hostilities.

    US and EU all along have not wanted war with Iran. Only an idiot would “want” war with Iran.

  189. James Canning says:

    Sineva,

    Yes, I of course agree with you the sanctions against Iran cost the West many billions of dollars per year, one way or another.

  190. James Canning says:

    Sineva,

    I assume you agree the Burmese gov’t was wise to make a deal, get rid of sanctions, and avoid having too much control of the country’s economy passing into the hands of the Chinese.

  191. James Canning says:

    Sineva,

    I think the civil war in Syria comes more from the Persian Gulf than from the US. Why? Because Iran made threats that seemed credible.

  192. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    China wants North Korea to make a deal with China and Russia. Get rid of NK nukes.

    This is NOT a PR ploy, as you seem to think.

  193. BiBiJon says:

    Richard Steven Hack says:
    May 25, 2013 at 5:58 pm

    “Jordan and Israel ‘as one’ over Syria and Iran attack”

    ———

    And if not a complete fantasy, Richard, do you think the Jewish Chronicle would let the cat out? Are you serious?

  194. Goli says:

    Persian Gulf says : May 24, 2013 10:17 pm

    Persian Gulf,

    Your unambiguous characterization of the disqualifications by the Guardian Council as “legal” is quite a leap in analytical reasoning. You have unequivocally come to the conclusion that their decision was legal based only on pure speculation about what led them to this decision. (The GC’s decision making process is not the epitome of sunshine as you seem to agree in your closing comments.) Yet, you have also come to the unequivocal conclusion that actions by the President and Mashaei were illegal while you have absolutely no proof that they violated any laws. Perhaps, you ought to reflect on this paradox.

    Whether an official of the government, including the president, has engaged in an act in his official capacity is an entirely sound legal question. The President said he had taken a day off work which means that his action was not conducted in his official capacity and not on government time. That’s a perfectly legitimate explanation. Not as simple as carrying or not carrying the title as you put it. And yes, what has been done in the past does not justify the same wrongdoing, but when politics are involved, this maxim only applies to those who are in the opposite camp.

    While I am a strong supporter of the President, I don’t believe he can do no wrong and I am sure he has made mistakes. However, without hard proof and indisputable evidence, I cannot accept that someone with Ahmadinejad’s integrity and intelligence would jeopardize his values and reputation by intentionally or negligently misusing government funds. I suppose one could criticize the President for not being extra cautious, in light of the hostile circumstances, by refraining from doing what he is legally entitled to. I suppose he could have, in the last 6 months of his presidency, discontinued his and his staff’s (Mashaei and others) trips to the provinces (which have indisputably characterized both terms of his presidency and constitute a major factor in the efficacy of his policies). But even if he were to do that, inevitably, there would have been other accusations and attempts to disqualify Mashaei. There are no laws against a sitting president endorsing a candidate. Ahmadinejad believes Mashaei is the right candidate to continue his policies and lead the nation, and his activities related to Mashaei’s candidacy within legal boundaries, were precisely the appropriate and ethical political course of action.

  195. BiBiJon says:

    Sakineh Bagoom says:
    May 25, 2013 at 6:11 pm

    Well, Sekineh jan, you never know, but we haven’t had other reporters suddenly discover ‘journalism’ or religion, except one AP reporter, Jahn. AP as you know was being wiretapped as part of the Obama open whistleblower hunting season. Maybe it is payback. If you wiretap us, we will stop being government propaganda stenographers.

    Or, possibly, Jahn was going way beyond the government line. Folks must realize their conversations, their contacts, etc. could wind up in FBI files. Therefore, if they push too hard in the w(a)rong direction, justice department could remind them stay close to the line or else.

    penultimately, it could just be that Jahn couldn’t pretend to be all misty eyed when the war he helped start actually starts, and write AP exclusive BS about ‘intelligence failure,’ if his own disgusting malfeasance was known all over FBI.

    Finally, to cut Jahn some slack, maybe he always writes balanced articles, it just gets completely unbalanced once it goes through the editors. So, perhaps an editor was asleep at the censor switch, nothing to do with wiretaps; A one off; an awful accident; will never happen again Sir.

  196. Sineva says:

    James Canning says:
    May 25, 2013 at 6:22 pm
    If there is a war it would be the west who would start it,not iran,if the west really wanted one it would find an excuse no matter how flimsy and no matter what iran might do to try and prevent one,in the event of a war the blame would fall squarely on the west not iran for “forcing the west”.Once again you propose that iran should do what ever it takes to appease the west in order to avoid a western initiated war,the problem with appeasement that you seem utterly unwilling to accept is that far from discouraging the aggressor it only encourages him.You continually seek to justify the actions of the west and to blame iran for the poor choices the west has made/will make
    James Canning says:
    May 25, 2013 at 6:20 pm
    Iran has already gone down that path it led nowhere,the west has to acknowledge irans rights before serious negotiations can even commence,the west has not done this nor will it,even in the event of a deal there will be no halt to enrichment the most the west will get is a cessation of 20% enrichment and frankly the longer the west takes the less need on irans part for a deal

  197. fyi says:

    James Canning says:
    May 25, 2013 at 6:28 pm

    I believe that you are simply dead wrong to think that China will lift a finger to force North Korea to de-nuclearize.

    That will not happen.

    I also think you are dead wrong to think that there is an acceptable deal for Iran by p5+1.

    We are past that; I think within a decade or so we shall see the splendidly harmful results of the wanton wars against Syria and Iran both in the Middle East and in the global area.

    Simply put, the lessons are this: states must arm themselves with long range nuclear munitions.

    That is what is required for international security; blockade of Iran, etc. will not alter the strategic situation.

    Axis Powers, China, and Russia expected Iranians to fold quickly.

    Just like the way Axis Powers expected Syrian government to collapse quickly.

  198. Sakineh Bagoom says:

    “Question is whether Iran forces a blockade”

    Could you please flesh this out James? How will Iran do this?

  199. Takfiri says:

    These are the terrorists that monsters like Obama, Erdogan, Cameron, and Holland support:

    http://www.mashreghnews.ir/fa/news/217783/تصاویر-همه-اتفاقات-هولناک-در-سوریه-18

  200. Nothing but the Truth says:

    @ ALL

    So far 202 comments in this thread , out of which 80 are from Mr. JC , write it down 80 BS comments !!! , just wanted to remind every one regarding this fact.

  201. Neo says:

    M.Ali says: May 25, 2013 at 1:21 pm

    Ali (and Goli),

    I’ve been wondering about this whole saga about Mashaei’s disqualification and what was behind his participation in the first place. My conclusion is that we should take Ahmadinejad at face value. His challenge to the clerical order is quite clear. He tries to undermine the grip of clerical power with a blatant appeal to popular support in the name of the revolution (its Republican goals) and nationalism, as an alternative to Islamism. He also undermines the Supreme Leader’s institution by holding up the Mahdi as the true ‘marja’. It is a potent strategy. And Khamenei would not have it.

    I think Ahmadinejad’s idea was that the Supreme Leader and the Guardian Council could be forced to back down from their anti-revolutionary stance, and yield to demands to another faction (no matter which). This would have been a great outcome for the revolution and Iranians in general. Had Ahmadinejad demonstrated that this could be done, Iranians would have been emboldened to challenge clerical rule and their counter-revolutionary (anti-Republican) domestic policies more and more.

    You mention that Mashaei would not have enjoyed popular support anyhow. So what was the Guardian Council’s motivation for blocking him in the first place? They should (and would) have allowed him to run and lose in such a scenario, if only to discredit the noisy faction he represents.

    Marandi’s (and our Persian Gulf’s) argument that the disqualification of 2 of the most popular candidates was also somehow related to ‘legality’ is not just unconvincing, it is dishonest.

    How can a body like the ‘Guardian Council’ headed by an 87 year-old man claim that a 79 year-old candidate is too old to hold public office? Had they taken a ‘legal’ approach, they would have barred him for questioning the electoral system during the last elections. But by barring him on grounds of age, they have actually proven his criticism of the electoral process right.

    Similarly, the apologists for disqualifying Mashaei claim that he did not have the experience needed. But you look at Jalili’s ‘experience’, and you will see no government experience of note, especially not as compared to Mashaei. He has been a foreign affairs person, and a mere mouthpiece at that. He has no policy setting or implementation experience of note.

    The other thing that truly disappoints me about these apologists – like Marandi – for Iran’s anti-Republican clerics is that they keep referring to failures elsewhere as if these were even relevant. You can’t on the one hand constantly criticise the US for its outright fascism and warmongering nature on the one hand, and then uphold its anti-deomcratic reality as somehow justification for Iran’s lack of freedom of speech. So what if Chomsky is sidelined in the US? So what if the American electoral system is a total sham designed to mask a corporate fascist regime? Surely these are the reasons we are all so passionately against US policies and folly both at home and elsewhere.

    Whatsoever has all this got to do with the fact that popular candidates are publicly being humiliated and barred from standing in the Iranian elections? What was the value of the Iranian revolution then? What was it about if candidates who would have a good fighting chance with substantial popular support are being barred? And at a time when national unity is badly needed over the coming period. I think the Guardian Council has badly miscalculated, and we may yet see the consequences. I wonder if Khamenei will overturn their decision. If he does, he is extremely shrewd.

  202. Neo says:

    Nothing but the Truth says: May 26, 2013 at 12:55 am

    Don’t tell me you actually read those comments… :)

  203. Karl.. says:

    Bibijohn,

    Why would it be so impossible for Israel and Jordan to collaborate on Iran and Syria?

  204. Liz says:

    Rafsanjani loses all the elections that he participates in and Mashaei can’t even get a few hundred people to attend campaign rallies held in the presence of the country’s president. They are definitely not popular.

    Also, they both broke the law. Mashaei through illegal campaigning with public funds and Rafsanjani by not accepting Ahmadinejad’s win four years ago and now running himself! If the system is rigged, why did Rafsanjani want to run for presidency? If it isn’t, why did he allow young people to riot because of a lie promoted by the Mousavi camp? You can’t have your cake and eat it too. He has disqualified himself.

  205. Liz says:

    Rafsanjani loses all the elections that he participates in and Mashaei can’t even get a few hundred people to attend campaign rallies held in the presence of the country’s president. They are definitely not popular.

    Also, they both broke the law. Mashaei through illegal campaigning with public funds and Rafsanjani by not accepting Ahmadinejad’s win four years ago and now running himself! If the system is rigged, why did Rafsanjani want to run for presidency? If it isn’t, why did he allow young people to riot because of a lie promoted by the Mousavi camp? You can’t have your cake and eat it too. He has disqualified himself.

    It’s clear that they cannot stand as candidates. Also if Rafsanjani loses, who is to say they will not claim fraud again without providing evidence?

    Ultimately, the Iranian people will give the final verdict. If the turnout is higher than the latest US presidential elections, then American apologists should shut their mouths. However, I’m pretty sure the turnout will be quite high and perhaps even above 70%.

  206. Liz says:

    As someone pointed out today, these are the terrorists that monsters like Obama, Erdogan, Cameron, and Holland support:

    http://www.mashreghnews.ir/fa/news/217783/تصاویر-همه-اتفاقات-هولناک-در-سوریه-18

  207. BiBiJon says:

    GC did the right thing, methinks
    ===============================

    I’m with Liz, and M.Ali.

    As far as I know, GC does not have to cite reasons for its decisions. They might have leaked ‘old age,’ but I think most folk regard that as face saving for Rafsanjani. Their silence on Mashaei, is precisely because they are not in the business of ruining careers.

    Take a step back. What is GUARDIAN council’s job? Foremost, methinks, is to guard the system, and the nation. On the one hand, the system’s legitimacy depends entirely on elections, on the other hand, elections can be abused as a venue for complete chaos if not wisely ‘managed.’ E.g. a 78 year-old billionaire runs, spend oodles, and wins. How’s that good for “democracy,” the GC may ponder to itself. Similarly, Mashaei’s run is guaranteed to include Ahmadinejad campaigning for him, and constantly threatening to reveal sordid secrets. Add to that the unseemly nature of a sitting president campaigning for his own son’s father-in-law. How does that contribute to an healthy atmosphere for elections?

    Mr. Rafsanjani is free to promote anyone of the reformist candidates. Mr. Ahmadinejad can throw his weight(and sordid secrets threats) behind the one and only independent, who needs some support, trust me.

    Imho, GC has done its constitutionally mandated (therefore “legal”) job. Voter turn out will indirectly vindicate GC, or crucify them. We’ll see.

  208. BiBiJon says:

    Karl.. says:
    May 26, 2013 at 3:21 am

    “Why would it be so impossible for Israel and Jordan to collaborate on Iran and Syria?”

    Nothing is impossible, of course, Karl. But I am skeptical that the Jewish Chronicle would urinate all over IAF’s advantage of surprise by letting Syria know exactly where to point their anti-aircraft guns. Similarly, I’m certain that if the Hashemite King ruling over a population made up of mostly Palestinians decided to “act as one” with Israel, then it would be with the caveat that the deal be kept a secret.

    What surprises me, is that RSH quotes such completely unreliable news sources. There’s only one reason that I see why Jordan should be punished in Arab public opinion by being painted as an Israeli collaborator. It is because Jordan has vociferously backed a political (not military) solution to the Syrian crisis.

    http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/2/8/72277/World/Region/Jordan-king-calls-for-urgent-solution-in-Syria.aspx

  209. nico says:

    James Canning says:
    May 25, 2013 at 2:30 pm
    “Nico and FYI,
    Do we agree China has acted wisely in making it clear to North Korea it must get rid of its nukes?”

    The subject is multi-layered.
    The most important one being that the US benefit from the situation by implementing the typical devide and rule policy.
    The situation enable the US to keep the military occopation of SK and Japan going and they have the nice excuses and interfere in sovereign rights and decisions of those nations.
    My take is that the US interests and goal is to keep the situation as rotten as possible.
    The alternate solution being for the US full capitulation and capitulation and occupation of NK.
    The later is not going to happen.

    As for China I guess a denuclearized NK is desirable. But it is of second order of importance.
    The Chinese are not stupid and the US imperial game is fully clear to them.

    Therefore, I do not expect a solution for the NK case in the next decade.

    As was put by fyi, the problem is the imperialism and unilateral moment of the US.
    The US are faithless and do not condider themselves accountable.
    The US would need to experience the collapse of their power fir the situation to change.
    Till now they cling on to it !

  210. nico says:

    James Canning,

    Besides, under the current circumstances of power struggle between China and tge US, having nukes, is to some degree the only warantee for NK to be able to stay independznt from both sides.
    Sure, Would Perdia had nukes 150 years ago, it would had not be subject to UK and Russia imperialism !
    By itself the US demanding Iran full denucleariztion while themselves are keeping and uograding them is very suspicious and unacceptable.

  211. nico says:

    fyi says:
    May 25, 2013 at 9:17 pm

    “Simply put, the lessons are this: states must arm themselves with long range nuclear munitions”

    Maybe, but how much will be able to do so ?

    Obviously the BRICS as well as much of the western countries are nuclear, nuclear capable or may achieve the status quickly.
    Pak and NK are already nuclear.
    Remain weak countries or countries fully under an axis control, which would have difficulty to achieve a nuclear status whatever their will.

    NK and Iran are special cases, ad they have intellectual ressources, they are independant and they have another than the other powers.

    Iran is more special still, as Iran have plenty energy ressources in a era of scarcity and its geopolitical location
    Among poor but populous and rich but low population countries.

    Iran couple large polpulation, large territory, fabulous geological riches, intellectual capacity, and an independant model.

    No need to say that it is unacceptable to other powers, specially the unilateral one !

    The rest may be cohere

  212. Karl.. says:

    US have started their public interference on the iranian elections.

    http://angryarab.blogspot.se/2013/05/sen-kerry-calls-on-iran-to-emulate.html

  213. nico says:

    Fyi,

    Iran would consider possibility of NPT withdrawal

    http://old.mehrnews.com/en/newsdetail.aspx?NewsID=1822478

    Does it represent Iran top leaders views ?

    Obviously, being part of the NPT is less usefull by the day and the time to withdraw due to western faithless behaviour come closer. The proxy war in Syria is a point in case. There is nothing to discuss with the US.
    Should Assad win the war, the time may be ripe for Iran to whithraw and maintain a nuclear ambiguity posture.

    It would be interesting to see what would remain of this worthless treary then.
    It may be that all non nuclear brics countries will withdraw and the various sheikdom ?

    Do all those countries by then develop a military nuclear program is another matter yet.

  214. Nothing but the Truth says:

    A meaningful summary of the zio-fascist agenda of the leaders in London/Paris/Washington/Tel Aviv/Riadh/Doha/Ankara etc.

    By Finian Cunningham

    http://goingtotehran.com/kenneth-waltz-noam-chomsky-and-america-and-israels-real-concerns-about-irans-nuclear-activities#comments

    1. US, Britain and France arming up for peace
    2. Western unelected minions make demands on sovereign Syrian government
    3. EU funds al­-Qaeda
    4. Israel provides air force for al-Qaeda
    5. West goes to war in Africa, but supports same terrorists in Syria
    6. West accuses Russia of “destabilizing” Syria and the region
    7. Blame it all on Iran and Hezbollah
    8. Invisible American, British and Israeli troops
    9. Turkey and Jordan appeal for help over refugee crisis… that they themselves created
    10. Violence ‘spills over from Syria into Iraq’

  215. Goli says:

    Neo says:

    May 26, 2013 at 2:17 am

    Well said.

  216. kooshy says:

    BiBiJon says:
    May 26, 2013 at 6:36 am

    I also completely agree at this stage Iran doesn’t need more drama like the 88 elections. This time rightfully and justifiably the guardian to prevent a repeated 88 like action at the time the country and the region is much more venerable to outside interference, justifiably and for the reason of national security eliminated main candidates from the opposing sides of the 88 postelection conflict.

    Actually now one can argue, that the Ahmadinejad camp and the Rafsanjani/Khatami camp have found something in common to unite and make up. That would be good for them and good for the security of Iran.

    I have nothing against Mr. Mashaie and I like Mr. Ahmadinejad, and I do have a lot of inherited Iranian nationalism in me, but I believe Mr. Mashaie’s ideas are dangerous for Iran and wouldn’t work for Iran’s long-term security. Iran’s long-term national security is only possible by maintaining favorable street opinion in neighboring countries not by agitating and alienating them by Iranian nationalism and a kind of Islam unfamiliar to moderate Sunni sect.

  217. Persian Gulf says:

    Goli:

    Please read my last comment again. I didn’t say his appearance for the registration was illegal. The way it was conducted was not right. And he is not short of lie. It was about 6 PM anyhow.

    http://irna.ir/html/1392/13920221/80652724.htm

    Look at the dates for his “4th round of provincial trips” in the following links. Obviously he had many working trips to the provinces in between or before these dates, but the so called “4th round of provincial trips” started almost 2 months (2 months and 2 days to be exact) before the election day and he was busy going from one capital to another in a matter of few days.

    http://irna.ir/html/1392/13920122/80609821.htm

    http://irna.ir/html/1392/13920201/80622780.htm

    http://irna.ir/html/1392/13920204/80627792.htm

    http://irna.ir/html/1392/13920215/80643909.htm

    http://irna.ir/html/1392/13920211/80637701.htm

    http://irna.ir/html/1392/13920218/80648103.htm

    As you can see in the link below, the last trip of his “3rd round of provincial trips” was almost one year before the start of the first trip of “4th round of provincial trips”. We say in Farsi:

    جناب محمود ملت رو خر فرض کردند

    http://www.khabaronline.ir/detail/145155/

    After almost a year of wasting time in fighting this or that group (aka: Larijani and brothers), he suddenly remembered that he needs to go for the fourth round of provincial trips. I think he rightfully got the eggs in the face for this deceitful behavior this time around, as the turn out of his last trips show. As much as the other trips were intended to do good, the last series were only for election purposes.

  218. Persian Gulf says:

    Neo,

    First of all, I am not happy that these guys are not in the race. But I can’t say GC’s job was illegal. It rather looks legal. Legitimacy is another issue, if you are talking about that aspect of GC’s work.

    “Marandi’s (and our Persian Gulf’s) argument that the disqualification of 2 of the most popular candidates was also somehow related to ‘legality’ is not just unconvincing, it is dishonest.”

    Neo, it seems you have fallen in the propaganda machine of these two camps. Who said they are the most popular candidates? Rafsanjani got 6 million back in 1384 which 4 million less than his second term. I expected a similar outcome as Karroubi for him this time. Probably not as bad as Karroubi. May be in the range of 3-4 million. This time his entire family was exposed to corruption. What has changed for him, not the country, that you think he is popular?

    “How can a body like the ‘Guardian Council’ headed by an 87 year-old man claim that a 79 year-old candidate is too old to hold public office?”

    I think Rafsanjani publicly declared that he is not healthy enough to run for presidency few months ago. How can you trust someone with that degree of uncertainty about his health to run the country? GC’s aggregated work is probably for 2 months in a year, it’s not a very intensive work. Presidency is a tough job. How can you trust a 79 year old man that himself thinks he is not energetic enough to run for presidency of a country like Iran?

    Liz’s argument also makes sense. Rafsanjani did not accept the election results four years ago. And the same government is running the election this time around, and the same GC is observing it. What has changed since then that he suddenly got faith in the process?

    As for Jalili, the question is what was Ahmadinejad’s political experience back in 1384? He had ZERO experience in foreign policy. Yet he was approved to be in charge of the most political position in the country.

    And for Mashaei to be popular, you must be kidding us. It’s a pity that he is not in the race so that we could see the end of Mashaei and friends. You should look at the pics of Mahmood’s recent provincial trips.

    Mahmood has a candidate this time, if he can be considered the same Mahmood as 8 or even 4 years ago. That guy is called Saeed Jalili. And I have seen in IRNA that Mahmood is leaning toward him.

  219. Persian Gulf says:

    this one didn’t go through initially:

    Persian Gulf says:
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    May 26, 2013 at 11:39 am

    Goli:

    Please read my last comment again. I didn’t say his appearance for the registration was illegal. The way it was conducted was not right. And he is not short of lie. It was about 6 PM anyhow.

    :http://irna.ir/html/1392/13920221/80652724.htm

    Look at the dates for his “4th round of provincial trips” in the following links. Obviously he had many working trips to the provinces in between or before these dates, but the so called “4th round of provincial trips” started almost 2 months (2 months and 2 days to be exact) before the election day and he was busy going from one capital to another in a matter of few days.

    :http://irna.ir/html/1392/13920122/80609821.htm

    :http://irna.ir/html/1392/13920201/80622780.htm

    :http://irna.ir/html/1392/13920204/80627792.htm

    :http://irna.ir/html/1392/13920215/80643909.htm

    :http://irna.ir/html/1392/13920211/80637701.htm

    :http://irna.ir/html/1392/13920218/80648103.htm

    As you can see in the link below, the last trip of his “3rd round of provincial trips” was almost one year before the start of the first trip of “4th round of provincial trips”. We say in Farsi:

    جناب محمود ملت رو خر فرض کردند

    :http://www.khabaronline.ir/detail/145155/

    After almost a year of wasting time in fighting this or that group (aka: Larijani and brothers), he suddenly remembered that he needs to go for the fourth round of provincial trips. I think he rightfully got the eggs in the face for this deceitful behavior this time around, as the turn out of his last trips show. As much as the other trips were intended to do good, the last series were only for election purposes.

  220. Persian Gulf says:

    Persian Gulf says:
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    May 26, 2013 at 11:39 am

    Goli:

    Please read my last comment again. I didn’t say his appearance for the registration was illegal. The way it was conducted was not right. And he is not short of lie. It was about 6 PM anyhow.

    :http://irna.ir/html/1392/13920221/80652724.htm

  221. Persian Gulf says:

    Goli:

    Look at the dates for his “4th round of provincial trips” in the following links. Obviously he had many working trips to the provinces in between or before these dates, but the so called “4th round of provincial trips” started almost 2 months (2 months and 2 days to be exact) before the election day and he was busy going from one capital to another in a matter of few days.

    :http://irna.ir/html/1392/13920122/80609821.htm

  222. Persian Gulf says:

    Goli

    http://irna [dot] ir/html/1392/13920204/80627792 [dot] htm

    http://irna [dot] ir/html/1392/13920215/80643909 [dot] htm

    :http://irna [dot] ir/html/1392/13920211/80637701 [dot] htm

    http://irna [dot] ir/html/1392/13920218/80648103 [dot] htm

    As you can see in the link below, the last trip of his “3rd round of provincial trips” was almost one year before the start of the first trip of “4th round of provincial trips”. We say in Farsi:

    جناب محمود ملت رو خر فرض کردند

    :http://www [dot] khabaronline [dot] ir/detail/145155/

    After almost a year of wasting time in fighting this or that group (aka: Larijani and brothers), he suddenly remembered that he needs to go for the fourth round of provincial trips. I think he rightfully got the eggs in the face for this deceitful behavior this time around, as the turn out of his last trips show. As much as the other trips were intended to do good, the last series were only for election purposes.

  223. Goli says:

    Persian Gulf,

    Time to agree to disagree.

  224. Persian Gulf says:

    Goli:

    As you wish.

  225. James Canning says:

    John Darwin has an excellent review in The New York Times today, of William Dalrymple’s new book on the First Afghan War (1839-42). “The Men Who Would Be King”, 26 May. (Lord Auckland was not viceroy, however.)

  226. James Canning says:

    Nothing,

    German intelligence is saying Syria may become more unstable if Assad is overthrown.

  227. James Canning says:

    Nico,

    If your wish is that a blockade be imposed on Iranian oil exports, your suggestion Iran withdraw from the NPT is a good way to achieve this.

  228. James Canning says:

    Nico,

    Obama actually favors getting rid of US nukes.

    Russia and China do not want a nuke-armed North Korea on their doorstep. Who can blame them? Surely you agree NK acts agressively, from time to time.

  229. James Canning says:

    Nico,

    Surely you are aware the US liked the idea of a strong, prosperous Iran, back in the 1970s. Why would you think the US now would not want a strong, prosperous Iran?

    YES, some of the fanatical supporters of Israeli oppression of the Palestinians, want Iran harmed. And they want Iran poorer, rather than richer.

  230. James Canning says:

    Nico,

    You need to learn to distinguish between AIPAC, and US. They are not the same thing.

  231. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    Mashaei was fired from the intel ministry back in the day in Raf admin. He also is a “perennialist” in the mode of Hossein Nasr- “philosopher” and former chief of Farah’s office.

    Mash- like Raf and others before him- when in power tried to illegally appropriate companies and other “raant” but he was confronted by the old intel guys now in charge of the govt audit org (Pour Mohammadi).

    When Mahmud tried to make him VP, the SL personally intervened to prevent it, when they tried to fire Moslehi, SL intervened again.

    All-in-all a slam dunk for being disqualified.

    So why bother? To force the GC’s hand on Raf like I said before.

    In general Mahmud abandoned each and every person who supported him (including his own brother, nearly all ministers etc.) for Mash. God knows why…maybe Mash has some pictures of him with a onager (wild Iranian donkey).

  232. James Canning says:

    Nico,

    Reason for the Anglo-Persian War in 1857 was British concern the Persian shah was letting Russia gain too much influence. Persian shah wanted to capture Herat, and he thought the Russian could make this happen.

  233. James Canning says:

    Sineva,

    I agree with you, and with the Financial Times, that no deal between P5+1 and Iran is possible, unless Iran’s right to enrich to 5% or lower is accepted.

    WE DO NOT DISAGREE ON THIS POINT. Correct?

  234. James Canning says:

    Sineva,

    Do you agree with FYI that Iran has no vital need to export oil via the shipping lanes of the Persian Gulf?

  235. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    I consider Ahmadinejad to be the best Prez we had in terms of the many great things his admins did for the country. Unfortunately his behavior concerning Mashaei ended up repelling even the closest to him.

  236. James Canning says:

    Nico,

    The US in fact is NOT engaged in a “power struggle” with China. A number of foolish foreign-policy commentators, politicians, etc in the US, make this claim. But it obviously is not true.

  237. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Contrary to your contention, Russia and China DID NOT expect Iran “to fold”. In fact, Russia and China correctly said that the sanctions would prove counter-productive.

    I wonder how many who post on this site agree with you that Iran has no vital need to export oil by sea.

  238. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    China has been fairly subtle, in its efforts to persuade North Korea to get rid of its nukes. You mistake this subtlety for lack of desire. Or lack of willpower, to get the job done.

  239. Nasser says:

    James Canning says:

    “I wonder how many who post on this site agree with you that Iran has no vital need to export oil by sea.”

    – Well you can add me to that list Mr Canning.

    A blockade will not happen! Even if it did (it won’t) Iran still has options. It can still get its oil to China via Russia or Central Asia or Afghanistan or Pakistan. Iran can then offer free energy to Pakistan and sell energy for very cheap to Russia to continue having international trade relations. And on top of this one must realize Iran naturally is pretty sanction proof as it is not much reliant on imports.

    You should realize that sanctions, blockade and what ever the hell ever else are meaningless without the participation of Russia and China. (For example I would like to see US ships blockade Chinese vessels from entering Iranian ports.) And these states very much prefer Washington waste its energy in the Middle East and not on them.

    – In summary, you are gonna have to do a whole lot better if you want to scare the Iranians into capitulating!

  240. James Canning says:

    Nasser,

    I am not trying to “frighten” anyone. And what in the manner of “capitulation” do you contend I seek from Iran? An end to enriching 20 percent uranium?

  241. James Canning says:

    Nasser,

    OBVIOUSLY, the US would not seek to prevent China from uplifting Iranian oil, if China wants to uplift Iranian oil. For shipment by sea.

  242. James Canning says:

    Nasser,

    Saeed Jalili indicated to the Financial Times that enriching to 20 percent is not a big issue for Iran. Do you agree with Jalili? (FYI has same opinion, BTW.)

  243. James Canning says:

    Nasser,

    You might benefit from dong a bit more reading about the miscalculations on the part of various European statesmen and generals (and admirals), that helped to bring on the catastrophe of the First World War. MISCALCULATIONS.

  244. Neo says:

    Persian Gulf says: May 26, 2013 at 11:46 am

    PG,

    I didn’t say that the 2 barred candidates were the most popular ones. I said they were 2 of the most popular candidates. Of this there is no doubt.

    I would never vote for Rafsanjani myself, as I don’t trust him or his family. I think his personal agenda is to replace Khamenei. And I would not have expected him to have a chance of winning either, especially with his last performance. I do agree also that his behaviour when Ahmadinejad won before makes him a hypocrite for participating this time. But the point was that the GC didn’t use this as the reason, and leaked something about his age as the problem.

    Most people here are saying that Iran’s unity is important at this difficult juncture in the region and globally. But my point was precisely that a more inclusive election would have secured that. Now all kinds of risks have been opened up, and foreign enemies will try their best to exploit this. Even Patrick Cockburn has announced that the election is basically over. I hope they are wrong.

    What is the reason for your view that Jalili would be Ahmadinejad’s candidate this time? Can you elaborate?

    And did you see STATFOR’s prediction? They think Ghalibaf is a sure winner. They are often wrong on Iran and Syria though.

  245. BiBiJon says:

    Syria is Hezbullah’s (B)eeswax, Not US’
    =================================

    If the U.S. were sure about a positive outcome should the insurgency win it would certainly do more to help them. Instead it presses European countries to deliver weapons to them. If one, like Nasrallah, is convinced of ones case, one will use all ones own might to win and not ask proxies for help. That the U.S. is doing such is telling

    From http://www.moonofalabama.org/2013/05/syria-hizbullah-joins-the-fight.html

  246. Iranian @Iran says:

    Persian Gulf,

    Regarding Rafsanjani, Professor Marandi said nothing about legality. He said what Liz also repeated:

    “I think one of the most important arguments that’s being put forward against him is that four years ago he and his supporters questioned the validity of the presidential results, to say the least,” Marandi said.

    “If the mechanism for this electoral process in Iran is so deeply flawed then what is the justification for his candidacy? Critics also believe that his standing for the election means he accepts the legitimacy of the electoral process and that this undermines the position he took four years ago which caused the people of Tehran so much grief.”

    “Four years ago he failed to accept the legitimacy of Ahmadinejad’s victory. … So if he loses this election, who is to say his followers are not going to cause trouble? We already have an experience with him where his side lost and yet he failed to accept the democratic process. That is what his critics say,” Marandi added.

    ——————————————————————————
    With regards to Mashaei Professor Marandi says that his unofficial campaign went against the spirit of the law:

    With regard to Mashaei, Marandi said his lack of qualifications would have been the most likely factor that contributed to the Guardian Council’s decision to bar him from the election.

    “He’s not a political heavyweight, he’s never had a high ranking official position, meaning for example as a government minister,” Marandi said.

    “But I think most importantly what would lead to his disqualification is the fact that he and the president used government funding for his unofficial campaign in numerous provinces and in Tehran over the past two or three months. And that definitely goes against the spirit of the law,” he added.
    ————————————————————————
    It was clear as day that Mashaei/Ahmadinejad were hopping from one province to another over the past few weeks, at the public’s expense, as a part of a presidential campaign that only legally began 2 days ago. Personally I am really disappointed in Ahmadinejad’s behaviour.

    http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Middle-East/2013/May-22/217940-iran-bars-rafsanjani-mashaei-from-election.ashx#axzz1vtNlWFVP

  247. BiBiJon says:

    Blix on the blight of international law
    ======================================

    “But it may be asked what weight does international legal rule have per se? We have to admit that in the current cases of Iran and Syria there is astonishing little attention paid to the legality of armed intervention.”

    He warned that current threats by the US and Israel of armed action against Iran were not based on international legal structures adding, “we hear about possible unilateral armed action to eradicate what: intentions, that may or may not exist.”

    From http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/may/26/hans-blix-trident-abandon-britain-nuclear

  248. James Canning says:

    Nasser,

    You might do well to bear in mind I personally favor lifting of ALL sanctions against Iran. As I favored lifting all sanctions against Myanmar (Burma).

  249. Nasser says:

    James Canning says:

    “You might benefit from dong a bit more reading about the miscalculations on the part of various European statesmen and generals (and admirals), that helped to bring on the catastrophe of the First World War. MISCALCULATIONS.”

    – And you might benefit from reading Patrick Buchanan’s book “Hitler, Churchill and the unnecessary war.” Britain is as much to blame for the world wars as Germany. (Not that I am complaining, Europe’s loss of empire benefited the rest of the world)

    “Saeed Jalili indicated to the Financial Times that enriching to 20 percent is not a big issue for Iran. Do you agree with Jalili? (FYI has same opinion, BTW.)”

    – I think Iran should enrich to even greater levels, ostensibly for marine reactors. It is their sovereign right!

    – And you still haven’t explained to me how the US would enforce a blockade if Russian or Chinese or Indian vessels try to make their way to Iranian ports. I will argue that they haven’t tried a blockade yet because they know they can’t. US Navy can harass Iran on the seas but that’s about it – that is not much of a blockade.

  250. Nasser says:

    fyi,

    “We are past that; I think within a decade or so we shall see the splendidly harmful results of the wanton wars against Syria and Iran both in the Middle East and in the global area.”

    – What do you foresee? Further proliferation of nuclear weapons or something much greater? I of course with your claim that Western powers have done their utmost to undermine international institutions that they themselves created. But why hasn’t there been any push back yet?

  251. Nasser says:

    fyi,

    http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2013/05/nasrallah-hezbollah-syria-speech-rockets.html

    Do you continue to believe Lebanese leaders will stop any resumption of a civil war in that country?

  252. fyi says:

    James Canning says:
    May 26, 2013 at 1:26 pm

    The Shah was trying to reclaim Herat not to capture it.

    The loss of Herat was worse, in many ways, that the loss of Calais.

    God Willing, someday Herat will also revert back to the Motherland, just like Talesh.

  253. fyi says:

    James Canning says:
    May 26, 2013 at 1:39 pm

    When the first threats against Iran were issued by P5, the aim was to frighten Iranians into giving up their sovereign rights.

    That did not work.

    So they took Iran to USNC hoping to achieve their aims in that manner.

    P5, Germany, and India all expected that to suffice.

    Likely, they were listening to Mr. Rafsanjani and his ilk within the Iranian establishment.

    They all expected to wrap up the Iranian nuclear case by 2006.

    That did not happen, Iranians did not budge and US threatened war.

    That is, when expectation of quick victory through UNSC did not materialize, US threatened war.

    At that time, Mr. Khamenei told US that Iran is ready for war.

    In August of 2007, someone in US Establishment, leaked the US NIE on Iran and the war train was derailed.

    At that time, P5+1 could have taken a different tack with Iran but they did not.

    The P5 were jealous of their prerogative under NPT, they had to take sovereign rights from Iran.

    On that they all agreed.

    What they could not agree on was the costs.

  254. fyi says:

    James Canning says:
    May 26, 2013 at 1:40 pm

    And pray tell me how would China denuclearize North Korea?

    There is no practical way for China to do so.

    And then why?

    What is in it for China?

    US is pinned down in Northeast Asia; just like she is pinned down in Persian Gulf.

    That means that her response capacity to any crisis elsewhere is the world is diminished.

    Why would China help alter that?

  255. fyi says:

    Nasser says:
    May 26, 2013 at 4:50 pm

    Yes.

    And I read that Lahoud is flying to Tehran.

  256. fyi says:

    Nasser says:
    May 26, 2013 at 4:45 pm

    There is no reason for “push-back” since the potential proliferators know that NPT is dead but UNSC is still in position to harm them.

    That is, they know that they cannot revive NPT and that there is no chance of negotiating some sort of jus gentium universal with the “Arrognat Powers” – nothing like Peace of Yalta is in the cards.

    So, they are going to expand their nuclear industries within NPT, but keeping the nuclear option open.

    And in the NPT conferences, they will make sure that no additional provisions that would limit their sovereign rights could be agreed to. NPT Review Conference have been failures and will continue to be so.

    There is also no margin in opposing US or others; do it openly, do it consistently, and do it thoroughly – like Brazil.

  257. Richard Steven Hack says:

    BiBiJon: If you didn’t like that, try this which is even more unlikely – but not impossible.

    ‘Saudi Arabia Funds Mossad Anti-Iran Operations’
    http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/161407#.UaH-UNLWMc3

    As Arnold Evans used to point out here, these countries do what the US tells them to do. Jordan is allowing training of Syrian insurgents, so why is it a surprise that they would allow Israel to fly drones over their territory or even allow Israel to fly over Jordan to attack Iran? Note that this was also alleged of Saudi Arabia in the past, albeit denied by them (of course they would deny it.)

    This could all be Israeli propaganda of course, no doubt about that. But these stories are equally possible.

  258. fyi says:

    Nasser says:
    May 26, 2013 at 4:41 pm

    Chinese and Russian vessel will not try to run any potential blockade of Iranian ports, but there are also a lot of things that Iranians could do.

    Like mining the Straits of Hormuz repeatedly: Qatar, Kuwait, UAE, and even Iraq depend on maritime traffic for their re-supply.

    Blockade means a form of war of attrition – a siege if you will – on their societies and economies – for the Southern Persian Gulf states – no doubt.

  259. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Syrian rebel groups plan to attack Hizbollah in Lebanon
    http://www.thenational.ae/news/world/middle-east/syrian-rebel-groups-plan-to-attack-hizbollah-in-lebanon#full

    As I’ve said, the goal of the Syria crisis is to take out BOTH Syria and Hizballah. So now the Syrian insurgents are directly attacking Hizballah. This plays into the hands of the US and Israel who want both supporters of Iran taken out before an Iran war can be started.

  260. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Rockets hit Hizbollah’s Beirut stronghold with warning: ‘Keep your hands off Syria’
    http://www.thenational.ae/news/world/middle-east/rockets-hit-hizbollahs-beirut-stronghold-with-warning-keep-your-hands-off-syria

    The more Lebanon is drawn into the Syrian war, the more likely foreign military intervention will be initiated.

  261. Nasser says:

    fyi,

    “Chinese and Russian vessel will not try to run any potential blockade of Iranian ports…”

    – I was making the argument that US wouldn’t be able to by itself choke Iran off from the rest of the world like it was able to do with Iraq in the early 90s.

    – Iran’s 15 or so neighbors including the Russian Federation and Turkey (reliant on energy imports) will have to cooperate with US for there to be any meaningful “blockade”. And why would Russia or China want US to succeed; they would very much prefer Washington continue to waste its energy and resources in the Middle East.

    – But really all this talk is meaningless; I continue to assert Iran needs to take Israel and Saudi Arabia hostage ala North Korea if it wants to insure its survival.

  262. Smith says:

    So much serious discussion. Here is some relief for you guys: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JGKYi8TOzeY

  263. khurshid says:

    Takfiri says:
    May 26, 2013 at 12:07 am

    Those were disturbing pictures. I don’t know how these guys and their supporting regimes sleep at night. Do they see nightmare for their actions?

    The picture with a young man pretending to make barbeque with a human head was very painful to see. The young man can’t be more than 23. When I saw the picture, host of questions rushed through my mind. What was the upbringing of this young man – and others like him ? Didn’t he have anyone to teach him any moral values ? Did he not have anyone teach him to show basic respect to the dead? Did he not have anyone to teach him slightest of respect to fellow human life? In which society was he raised? what were the teaching of that society’s education system?

    At time like this i loose hope for fate of humans on this planet.

  264. khurshid says:

    Bussed-in Basiji says:
    May 26, 2013 at 1:24 pm

    “In general Mahmud abandoned each and every person who supported him (including his own brother, nearly all ministers etc.) for Mash. God knows why…maybe Mash has some pictures of him with a onager (wild Iranian donkey).”

    For years I had this going through my mind. Only difference is, I thought Mashie has NAKED PICTURE of Ahmadinejad !!!

    Mashie: You listen to me or else I will show this picture to the world.

    Ahmadinejad: yes boss, I am at your service. Your command is my wish master.

  265. Nasser says:

    Smith,

    This is way funnier! I haven’t LOL’ed so hard in a long time:
    “Syria opposition says Hezbollah fighters should defect”

    http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Middle-East/2013/May-26/218366-syria-opposition-says-hezbollah-fighters-should-defect.ashx

  266. fyi says:

    Nasser says:
    May 26, 2013 at 5:45 pm

    If Russia wanted Iran to succeed she would have not had acted in ways to harm Iran during the past 10 years.

    Nor would she comply with Axis Powers economic warfare against Iran.

    With China, there is only so much that US can push them.

    Neither state will directly challenge Axis Powers in the Persian Gulf.

    In regards to Saudi Arabia – the water desalination plant for Riyadh is across Iran from Persian Gulf.

    Al Aqaqiyah and Ras Al Tanur cannot be defended against saturation bombing.

    The Southern Persian Gulf state cannot survive without resupply of food, medicine, and spare-parts over any length of time exceeding 1 year.

  267. Nasser says:

    fyi says:

    “In regards to Saudi Arabia – the water desalination plant for Riyadh is across Iran from Persian Gulf.

    Al Aqaqiyah and Ras Al Tanur cannot be defended against saturation bombing.”

    – This is not sufficient long term deterrent. You must have listened to the link you once provided on Ambassador Pickering where he stated Iran shouldn’t feel as secure as North Korea.

    I believe the only way for Iran to be secure is by pointing nuclear missiles at Tel Aviv, Haifa, Riyadh, Doha, Kuwait City and Abu Dhabi. Anything less doesn’t really deter but merely dissuades Iran’s enemies.

  268. Nasser says:

    fyi,

    Did you not make the argument that Russia is not willing to concede Iran to Washington and expose its whole Southern underbelly in the process?

    I believe what Russia and China wants is for the present situation to continue as long as possible. What they want is for neither side to win and neither side to come out on top. (That is how I read Syria.) Russia particularly doesn’t want Iran to get too strong as it borders it. But they aren’t willing to throw Iran to the wolves either (not unless for a very high price).

    But yes I agree with your fundamental point that neither China nor Russia will go too far in challenging Axis Powers in the Persian Gulf. Thus Iran cannot rely on anyone at the end of the day but itself. And thus the need for nuclear weapons.

  269. BiBiJon says:

    Richard Steven Hack says:
    May 26, 2013 at 5:26 pm

    Richard, I agree “This could all be Israeli propaganda of course, no doubt about that.” Israel does not need anyone’s permission to fly through their airspace(s) especially if the targets are Shiites. These BS ‘news’ flashes published in English is just to normalize the concept of war for a very reluctant public and military brass. whether or not you realize, linking to this crap raises their google search ranking.

    But I cannot subscribe to the simplistic notion of “these countries do what the US tells them to do” even if Arnold encapsulated it that way. The heads of these governments do what they are told. Often they do it, and more, before they’re told just to get a pat on the head. There was a time a few decades ago when that was all the master needed.

    The people have woken up. Times have changed.

    It is not surprising that UK is behind much of this tension, and agitation for war. She has always been. http://mondoweiss.net/2013/02/british-foreign-policy.html

    Also it is not surprising that the US refuses to go along.

  270. James Canning says:

    BiBiJon,

    Yes, let’s remember how furious George W. Bush and Dick Cheney were with Germany and France, in the weeks prior to idiotic US invasion of Iraq. Their anger demonstrates beyond any doubt the US could not control France or Germany.

  271. James Canning says:

    Nasser,

    Are you not aware that the US supports the territorial integrity of the Russian Federation? Where do you get the notion that Russia needs to worry about its “underbelly” if Iran stops enriching uranium to 20 percent?

  272. James Canning says:

    Nasser,

    You are dead wrong about Russian and Chinese attitudes toward civil war in Syria. They want a negotiated resolubion of the civil war. ASAP.

  273. James Canning says:

    Nasser,

    You call for Iran to build nukes and threaten many of its neighbors? Amazing.

  274. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Russia and China WANT IRAN TO STOP ENRICHING URANIUM TO 20 PERCENT. You seem to have great difficulty comprehending this fact.

  275. James Canning says:

    Nasser,

    China and Russia want Iran to stop enriching uranium to 20 percent. If a blockade becomes necessary, one might expect cooperation from China and Russia. Maybe China could continue to uplift Iranian oil, and make use of open sea lanes.

  276. James Canning says:

    R S Hack,

    It does seem apparent that certain Sunnni interests in Lebanon saw Syria civil war as offering potential for later reductions in power of Hezbollah in Lebanon.

  277. Smith says:

    khurshid says:
    May 26, 2013 at 5:55 pm
    Takfiri says:
    May 26, 2013 at 12:07 am

    “Didn’t he have anyone to teach him any moral values?”

    You seem not to have met any wahabi/salafi community, yet. Such is their norm.

  278. BiBiJon says:

    James Canning says:
    May 26, 2013 at 7:23 pm

    UK delivered EU to Cheney.

  279. fyi says:

    Nasser says:
    May 26, 2013 at 6:37 pm

    You are pointing to a fundamental problematic of the Russian foreign policy in regards to Iran – they do not want Iran to fall under the control of the Axis Powers; they do not want for her to be too powerful to someday oppose Russia.

    They erred in 2010 in supporting Axis Powers, evidently based on certain promises made to them that was not later honored.

    So, now they are doing a minimal course correction.

    Iranian leaders, on the other hand, treat Russia as an equal power to Iran, which does not go well with the Russians’ self-image.

    The fact of the matter is that, as you have observed, the Axis Powers are pinned down in the Middle East and that suits the Russians well.

  280. fyi says:

    Nasser says:
    May 26, 2013 at 6:26 pm

    The other alternative, in the absence of strategic understanding with US, is for Iran to reach a strategic understanding with Saudi Arabia.

    That is not possible either at the moment.

    Iran has been shabbily treated for over a 100 years, her people and leaders are meaning to redress that.

  281. fyi says:

    James Canning says:
    May 26, 2013 at 7:28 pm

    All right, let us suppose Iran stope 20% enrichment tomorrow – say for 8 months.

    Then what?

    Will the war against her allies in Syria terminate?

    Will the economic war against her?

    Will that even matter? [Since Iranians have to try to plugin the strategic holes in their ship of state – as it were – so that such holes cannot be exploited again.]

    I think not.

    20% was relevant in 2010 – it matters not any longer.

    You have to understand that once war is joined, economic, proxy or otherwise, the status quo ante will never ever be recaptured in less than 5 generations.

  282. Nasser says:

    fyi says:

    “The other alternative, in the absence of strategic understanding with US, is for Iran to reach a strategic understanding with Saudi Arabia. That is not possible either at the moment.”

    – Have you not advocated a third alternative for a long time? An Iran led regional order that keeps outside powers outside Muslim lands?

    I do believe that is possible with broadly speaking, four things:
    – One: Nuclear weapons. The Western World loves Israel and they thus make for a superb hostage.
    – Two: A larger more technologically advanced economy.
    – Three: An actual Shia Crescent
    – Four: An alliance with Pakistan; secured through generous energy assistance.

    Let the narrow minded Arabs enjoy their subjugation.

  283. Nasser says:

    fyi says:

    “They erred in 2010 in supporting Axis Powers, evidently based on certain promises made to them that was not later honored.”

    – This has been my sense as well. The overall theme I hear from Russian officials is that of repeated betrayals. They feel any deal with Washington is meaningless, will never be honored and the US will only pocket the concessions and renege on its promises.

    I think this is good news for Iran as Russians would be very hesitant to deal on Iran with US? At the least they are to ask for a very high price that Washington will never be willing to pay (or trusted to pay).

    This interview is from 2009. I guess this is what went down: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yRt3iajdWo4

  284. Persian Gulf says:

    Neo says:
    May 26, 2013 at 3:00 pm

    well, I saw a link in IRNA that Ahmadinejad was talking about Jalili favorably few days ago. Can’t find the link now.

    Yes, I saw the STATFOR’s analysis when it became available. Ghalibaf is a sure bet in Tehran, and Khorasan as well. Not sure of the rest of the country. That would make him one of the two main candidates in the second round. The rest of it is hard to predict. He was very hopeful in 1384 too. But lost the race in the last week of election. He is not good at all in public speech (below average I would say). and he wants all the votes apparently. he might end up upsetting everyone at the end. A lot also depends on the faith of Velayati and Haddad’s campaigns, and if leaving the race, who they endorse.

    In a week or two, once election debate is heated up in the society, these disqualifications will be part of distant history. I guess, whoever wanted to vote for Mashei will vote in the upcoming election anyway. Those who wanted to vote for Hashemi and because of his disqualification would stay away are, I dare say, are the trouble makers. That segmented wanted Hashemi to make the crack wider and possibly bring down the system. The rest of Hashemi voters will find their candidates among the available cases.

    I personally think disqualification has very little effect on the turn out. If the turn out is going to be low (for any reason), it would have been low had these two gentlemen were qualified.

    We will have to wait and see. a lot can change in the remaining 17 days.

  285. Goli says:

    khurshid says: May 26, 2013 at 6:04 pm
    Bussed-in Basiji says: May 26, 2013 at 1:24 pm (last paragraph)

    Thank you for your enlightening comments. They truly elucidate the issue for the community here and add value to the discussion. Who are you people!

  286. masoud says:

    Ahmadinejad is a nothing less then a savior of the Islamic Revolution in Iran. Anyone who pretends any difference is asking for a firm kick in the ass.

    The idea that the nezam could disregard him like this is far more than disturbing. The GC has for too long been then weakest point of the System. A full 50% of the candidates they apporoved four years ago ended up in full rebellion, and Rezaei was not far behind. Now, they have the gall to call out Ahmadinajad’s camp as being unreliable? It’s time to replace the whole bunch. They are operating far outside their constitutional remit, and don’t even have the decency to do that much with some form of integrity. They are simply supposed to vet prospective candidates, not serve as the first round of the election process.

    I trust Jalili to carry on Ahmadinejad’s foreign policy(hopefully he’ll hang on to Salehi, who is the best foreign minister we’ve ever had), but he’s a complete blank on the Economy. And from the way he speaks, I wouldn’t be surprised if he went scouring the Ahaadith for advice on how to control inflation. In any case I wouldn’t trust any candidate would go as far as he has in distancing himself from the current administration.

    This election will represent the first instance since elections were established to determine the head of the executive were the incumbent admin had no candidate in the race. It will be a dark chapter in the history of the IRI.

    It’s great that the Larijani’s have been shut up for the past couple of months. I hope Ahmadinejad goes berserk and takes down two or three more of these gangster families before he’s through. Maybe when he’s freed from the bounds of power, and free to take up other pursuits, such as editing newspapers, some of these tough talking douche bags will regret their current unalloyed greed and ambition.

  287. imho says:

    James Canning says:
    May 24, 2013 at 1:38 pm

    “Britain was a friend of Germany, prior to idiotic effort by Germany to build a High sEas fleet sufficiently strong to threaten Britain’s national security.”

    That is hilarious !

    This kind of thinking is so profound that gets out naturally.
    So you’re saying that no country should try to come close to Britain’s naval strength. Why so ? Wait a minute, it reminds me something about hegemony that looks like the current PNAC objectives.
    Well, this is how you see things. I see them differently.
    Strengthening the German naval force in order to protect the German commercial ships (not to threaten Britons) was a big threat to Britain because Germans would have been not only a greater industrial nation but also with the means to protect their exportation that would have make them completely out of Britain control. Here is why control is important.
    Britain accepted Germany to exceed in industrial power as long as they were still under Britain control for protected maritime routes and payed heavy price to insure them. In that period also it was called Free Trade

  288. khurshid says:

    Smith says:
    May 26, 2013 at 7:47 pm

    “You seem not to have met any wahabi/salafi community, yet. Such is their norm.”

    I have seem salafis before. In fact I was talking to one yesterday. Despite knowing them I have always been horrified to see such acts of barbarism. How can a human be so mindless?

  289. M. Ali says:

    To: masoud says:
    May 26, 2013 at 11:58 pm

    I sort of agree with what you say but not fully. I think Ahmadenijad had a full 8 years to build up some successors but he couldn’t. I know many people who are fans of Ahmadenijad but not of Mashaei. And I’ve not met any who were fans of Mashaei but not of Ahmadenijad. That means, not that big of a fan base for Mashaei.

    But that’s the problem with all governments so far. They never really think about the next election. Khatami made the same mistake. His term was over and they had no successor.

    Of course, one major problem we seem to have in Iran is that we really dont seem to have strong, charismatic characters all that much. I mean, its not even the problem of claiming that Iran’s political system is not free bla bla, because we don’t have any charismatic potential leaders in diaspora either, even though they have millions of western money at their disposal.

    That was the problem with the reformists’ plan 4 years ago. No matter how much the Greens bury their head in the ground, the truth is that Mousavi had zero charisma. It made you kind of fall asleep when he talked.

    Anyway, PG says, “We will have to wait and see. a lot can change in the remaining 17 days.” and that is most true in Iran. We Iranians are an emotional people, and this is again why the west has such a hard time predicting things in Iran. They look at past data and estimate the future, and when it doesn’t add up, they are sure something fishy must be going on. But Iranians sort of decide not on past experience or actual data, but sort of their gut feeling.

    All it would take is for one candidate to sort of say something that resounds with the Iranian people for whatever reason, and suddenly, he is their new hero.

  290. BiBiJon says:

    Pepe (the sillier man) vote or else, and other myths
    ==============================================

    ” Voting in Iran is compulsory; if you don’t vote, your chances of getting a job in government or a semi-official organization is in jeopardy. This means goodbye to a precious steady job, with free housing, no utility bills, decent salaries and benefits.”

    http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/MID-02-220513.html

    So, by logical extension to Pepe’s myth, non voters will be barred from earning a living at anything associated with, run by, or contracted to perform services for “the military dictatorship of the mullahtariat.”

    Well, Pepe, you have to admire the civic zeal of those non-voters who in their hoards of 10,20,30, an at times more than 40% of the eligible voters choose unemployment rather than choose the best candidate. Sillier and sillier. Better not come down with the flue on election days, and be very careful what you ingest the night before; diarrhea is Pepe’s exclusive excuse.

    Pepe is telling us voter turn out ain’t a data point for assessing the system’s legitimacy. Uncle Pepe will tell you what is/isn’t legitimate.

  291. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    Goli-jan,
    I don’t know what your specific problem is but let’s try it one more time…

    I explained Mashaei’s history, ideology and behavior while in power, which meant that he would never pass GC- something Pres Ahmadinejad knew. So why would you insist Mahmud-jan?

    The only reason is that he wanted to pressure GC to disqualify Hashemi because if they disqualified Mashaei and not Hashemi he could- rightly- point out the unequal application of the law in both cases. And guess what? Hashemi was also disqualified.

    So on the narrow issue of Mashaei and Hashemi running in these elections, the matter has ended and thank God that both these nekbat-ha are no longer relevant.

    The larger issue Goli-jan, is why Mahmud Ahmadinejad abandoned everyone who supported him in the beginning and then during fitna for Mashaei? Who supported him more than SL and Aghaye Jannati in the Friday sermons at that time?-

    He abandoned his own brother- Davud- God’s sake. Lankarani, Fattah, Mahsuli, Dastgerdi, Prof Khoshchehre, Prof Hamid Mowlana etc. etc…

    MJ Larijani came a week after the elections during the fitna- live on primetime TV- when all the aghayoon were sitting on the fence or in open rebellion- and addressed Mahmud as ‘rais jumhure mohtaram baradare azizam jenab Aghaye Doctor Ahmadinejad’. That changed the situation for many people.

    If Ali and Fazel and the other clowns are up to no good, wouldn’t it have been better to have a little chat with their big bro instead of the b.s. that happened in parliament? It’s called judgement and politics.

    And there are many other mistakes he made…

    Why sacrifice your great legacy of these 8 years of the best admin we have had- for Mashaei? For what Aghaye Doctor?

    Mahmud Ahmadinejad’s undying devotion to Esfandiar Rahim Mashaei is one the great mysteries of modern Iranian history.

    It shows a complete lack of political and ethical judgement and is a major personality flaw. Why treat the people who defended you and campaigned for you and who were insulted and physically assaulted because of their support for you so badly Mahmud-jan?

    Like I said as somebody who voted for Ahmadinejad in the first and second round 8 years ago and also last elections- as somebody who has seen with my own eyes the fundamental positive revolution these 2 admins caused in the lives of millions- especially outside of Tehran, but even for the poor in Tehran- as somebody who believes with all my heart that these two administrations have done more for Iran and Iranians than any others in the last 500 years- why screw it up like this because of some third-rate intel agent from Ramsar?

  292. BiBiJon says:

    PS Pepe (the sillier man) vote or else, and other myths
    ==============================================

    “Vote, or else…
    In the coming elections, the Supreme Leader badly needs numbers to boost the system’s legitimacy. Thus municipal and rural elections will be held for the first time on the same day as the presidential poll.”

    So, claims the Sillier Man.

    Clearly Pepe skipped math classes when the subject was sets and subsets. Presidential elections garner more voter turn outs than municipal elections for universally obvious reasons. Almost all folk that can be bothered to vote in rural and municipal elections also vote in presidential elections. Another words Pepe, or should I say Epep, you got it backwards; if anything, they are trying to increase voter participation for rural and municipal elections on the coattails of presidential elections; the other way round makes no statistical or set theory, sense.

  293. Nothing but the Truth says:

    BiBiJon says:
    May 27, 2013 at 8:00 am

    Brilliant observation dear BBJ , as usual.
    It’s a pity to see another biased Iran article by ‘Epep’ , I even bother to read the thing.
    In the tristesse of western journalism there is no hope I guess , as usually I liked the atimes articles of PE.

  294. fyi says:

    Bussed-in Basiji says:
    May 27, 2013 at 7:12 am

    Not in the last “500” years, but last 2500 years.

  295. Nothing but the Truth says:

    Sorry , …I didn’t even bother to read the thing…

  296. A-B says:

    BiBiJon says:
    May 27, 2013 at 7:10 am & 8:00 am

    Yes, great posts!

    Obviously, Pepe ‘The Joker’ IS still infatuated with Mir Hossein Mousavi and hasn’t gotten over him. AND, I thought Rafsanjani “The Shark” (‘koose mahi’ in Persian) is called ‘koose’ because of his scarce facial hair!! But, hey, that would be too subtle for our joker journalist to notice!! :-)

  297. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    fyi,
    I agree- the basic infrastructural development alone- completely unprecedented in Iranian history.

  298. khurshid says:

    To ALL

    What I have watched so far of Iran’s presidential candidates on Iranian TV, I would say Saeed Jalili has performed better then other candidates (bearing in mind that not all candidates have appeared yet; in next few days hopefully one cycle of coverage will be covered).

    I expected Ali Akbar Valeity do better but his age seems to have constrained his full potential. He seemed to be lacking full concentration at times and answered in rather long way without addressing core of the question.

  299. Nasser says:

    fyi says:
    May 27, 2013 at 12:33 pm

    That was a surprisingly lucid article given the source. Do you read it to mean the Saudis rethinking things regarding Syria and Iran?

  300. khurshid says:

    Syria gaining ground strategically. Ground balance of power shifting in favour of syria. In Geneva 2 Russia will have stronger hand over US and its sheikh-doms.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/syria/10077046/Is-Bashar-al-Assad-winning-the-civil-war-in-Syria.html

  301. James Canning says:

    Khurshid,

    Russia simply is not seeking “a stronger hand” to play against the US at a conference intened to end civil war in Syria.

    Russia’ position was, and is, sound: Syrian gov’t cannot be forced to abandon power, as a “pre-condition” for negotiations.

  302. James Canning says:

    imho,

    The German Empire in the early 20th century was SECURE, and rapidly growing in wealth and power. No conceivable coalition of enemies could challenge Germany, on land.

    And you think Germany was wise to squander FANTASTIC SUMS on useless battleships, in order to frighten Britain! Amazing.

    You APPLAUD Germany for bringing catastrophe to tens of millions of people.

  303. James Canning says:

    imho,

    You do realise, I assume, that Admiral Tirpitz was a stooge of German armaments manufacturers.

  304. James Canning says:

    imho,

    Britain’s Royal Navy posed ZERO threat to Germany’s fast-expanding international trade, in years leading up to outbreak of First Worldd War.

    The frntastically expensive German battleships were not even used during the war.
    (One foray, in 1916.)

  305. James Canning says:

    imho,

    Are you actually arguing that Germany was wise to bring upon itself a catastrophic war, the loss of its entire navy, the deaths of millions of Germans, etc etc etc?
    This, in your view, was a sensible way forward?

  306. James Canning says:

    Nasser,

    You claimed Russia would accept Iranian oil exports, so that a blockade of Iranian oil exports by sea would fail.

    Do you still think this likely? Even possible, from an engineering standpoint?

  307. Rd. says:

    fyi says:

    “They erred in 2010 in supporting Axis Powers, evidently based on certain promises made to them that was not later honored.

    So, now they are doing a minimal course correction.”

    The moment the cork on vodka bottle is popped, the russian bear comes dancing. There is no counting on that lil’ course correction.

    ruski elites think of themselves as part of the whitey colonials, even though they are often excluded. The next few weeks may high light how little their course correction may be, at least as far as Syria. Even if they are throwing a bit of tantrum against US, me thinks they are just haggling for a better seat in the whitey round table.

  308. James Canning says:

    Nasser,

    Is it fair to say you now argue, that Russia, although wanting Iran to stop enriching uranium to 20 percent, would try to defeat any further effort to encourage Iran to stop enriching uranium to 20 percent?

    You think Russia does not mind if Iran builds nukes, and targets neighboring countries, as you advocate?

  309. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    An Iranian announcement that enrichment of uranium will be suspended indefinitely, would help undermine those in “the West” who claim Iran is intent on building nukes.

    This, in turn, would lessen pressure on Obama to give stronger support to the rebels in Syria.

  310. Nothing but the Truth says:

    A ‘Reptilian Humanoid’ in his element :

    http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2013/05/27/305769/hague/

    “The British Foreign Secretary has hinted that the UK government was ready to go it alone as long as the issue of arming foreign-backed terrorists in Syria is concerned.”

  311. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Your study of history surely reveals numerous instances where “enemies” fighting a war one year, were allies the next year, or maybe two or three years.

    Where do you get the notion “five generations” are needed?

    European history is a history of reversals of alliances.

  312. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    The Russians do not celebrate the so-called “pinning down of Axis Powers” in the Middle East.

    Russians see that NATO troops will have to leave Afghanistan, but the Russians worry about what comes next once the troops are gone.

  313. fyi says:

    Nasser says:
    May 27, 2013 at 1:42 pm

    Not at all; Saudis are committed to their struggle against Iran.

  314. fyi says:

    James Canning says:
    May 27, 2013 at 2:22 pm

    So, for major strategic concession by Iran, Mr. Obama gets to develop a back-bone?

    I hope it is not just I who sees this as ludicrous.

    But, then again, those who are used to wielding power, often think mere flashing of the eyelids is sufficient rewards to others.

    The war in Syria is being won by the Syrian state; no amount of arming of the dis-organized rebels will change that.

    Mr. Assad, for example, has 1500 light tanks – and to that must be added heavy caliber machine guns, airplanes, helicopters, towed artillery etc.

  315. fyi says:

    Rd. says:
    May 27, 2013 at 2:15 pm

    That certainly has been the case since the time of Peter the Great.

    In a way, they are like all the non-European peoples who have tried – with varying levels of success – to emulate Europeans.

    The ironic thing is that they have twice been attacked by Europeans – first under Napoleon and then under Hitler.

    They lack thinkers who can chart a separate course from the Western Christians – they do not have it in them.

    On the other hand, I think that they are completely disabused of their delusions about US – a benign City of the Hill etc.

    The estrangement is permanent and no concession on Syria will be given to Axis Powers short of a re-negotiation of Peace of Yalta.

  316. fyi says:

    All:

    I believe that the reply by Mr. James Canning on May 27, 2013 at 2:22 pm clearly indicates that the suspension of 20% enrichment would bring zero tangible benefits to Iran.

    In other words, as I had maintained, 20% enrichment is now irrelevant.

    I pray to Lord God Almighty that Mr. Canning would kindly spare us about “20%”.

  317. fyi says:

    James Canning says:
    May 27, 2013 at 2:25 pm

    European History, since the emergence of post Medieval order of states, has been one of constant warfare – excepting the period between the Congress of Vienna to 1914.

    In a way, it is analogous to what is known in China as the Warring States Period.

    On two occasions, a ruler emerged who, like Shi Hwang-Ti, could unify Europe and thus end the wars there – once under Napoleon and another time under Hitler.

    What finally ended the Warring States Period were the Russian and American Hegemony.

    However, with the dissolution of the Peace of Yalta, war resumed – against Yugoslavia.

    Let us wait and see if Europe will revert back to the period of Warring States.

    [Shi Hwang-Ti did not have extra-regional powers that could interfere with his hegemonic program. Napoleon and Hitler did.]

  318. Nasser says:

    James Canning,

    I think you are wrong about Russia. They are balancing complex and contradictory objectives regarding Iran.

    Please read this article by Fyodor Lukyanov from Russia in Global Affairs to somewhat understand Russian motivations towards Iran. The article was written in 2009 but I think it shows Russian thinking regarding Iran.

    A passage reads: “The economic and political fallout for Moscow would be enormous if Tehran and Washington even partially normalize relations.”

    Another reads: “For the sake of argument, let’s consider the improbable scenario in which Moscow, in an effort to stop Iran from developing nuclear weapons and destabilizing the region, sides with Washington by supporting sanctions against Tehran. Few people seriously believe that international sanctions are capable of preventing Iran from developing its nuclear program.”

    Another reads: “Iran is a problem for Russia regardless of which direction Tehran goes. A nuclear-armed Iran would greatly destabilize the region. It is difficult to predict the extent and aim of Iran’s ambitions. Any attempt by the United States to apply force against Iran would mean that the military conflict would be brought to Russia’s southern border.”

    http://eng.globalaffairs.ru/redcol/n_12756

  319. James Canning says:

    Nasser,

    I think the Russian foreign minister would welcome improved relatioons between the US and Iran. For very good reasons. I suggest you follow what he has to say about what is in the best interests of the Russian Federation.

  320. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Ottoman Empire was one of the European powers, that shifted alliances as current needs and objectives indicated.

    Persia did the same thing.

  321. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Financial Times reports IRAN MUST STOP ENRICHING TO 20 PERCENT, OR NO DEAL WITH P5+1.

    No deal with P5+1 likely means blockade of Iranian oil exports.

    No benefit to Iran? Silly claim, frankly.

  322. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Name ONE tangible benefit for Iran, from stockpiling 20% U and making it easier for Iran’s enemies to work against Iran.

  323. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Good grief, FYI. Putin would prefer good relations with the EU and the US. He has said so many times. No reason to doubt these statements.

    Putin is keenly aware of Israel lobby in US, idiot neocons, etc etc etc.

  324. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    You have said that ending enrichment to 20% would be no big deal for Iran. Same thing was indicated to Financial Times by Saeed Jalili recently.

  325. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Saudis have concerns about Shia unrest. In PG. Valid, in your view?

    Some who post on this site keep calling for Shia power, Shia crescent, etc etc etc. True?

  326. Persian Gulf says:

    M. Ali says:
    May 27, 2013 at 4:34 am

    I think people everywhere are emotional. I do not really see much difference between Iranians and others when it comes to voting. Even Iran’s factional infighting is somehow a reflection of what segment of the society each faction represents. That has been the case during Iran’s modern history. It might look chaotic from the outside, but when you go deeper into the competition, there is a huge degree of integrity in what they really represent.

    The fact is, actual campaigning in Iran takes only about 3 weeks. It’s only at this time that the whole society, not just the elites, is exposed to the presidential candidates. An average Iranian does not probably see a couple of hours of a presidential candidate talking. Not that I like the U.S system of almost 2 years campaigning, but in such a short period of time as Iran’s system of campaigning, it’s only personality that matters. In a situation like this one big incident would change the whole game. I would say it would be the same anywhere in the planet, if they were to have Iranian model of campaigning.

  327. Persian Gulf says:

    khurshid says:
    May 27, 2013 at 12:38 pm

    Jalili looks promising. He has so far performed far better than my own expectations. However, time might not be enough for his message to diffuse in the society unless he gets the sort of support that Ahmadinejad got 8 years ago. I think Jalili as the president and Ghalibaf as the first vice president is the best scenario.

  328. Sakineh Bagoom says:

    “In other words, as I had maintained, 20% enrichment is now irrelevant.
    I pray to Lord God Almighty that Mr. Canning would kindly spare us about “20%”.”

    Not in the cards fyi. I have maintained that the percentage issue is irrelevant since 2010.
    This site will not be spared of this pet project. World peace is more likely though.

    Where are you Empty? Are you watching?

  329. Persian Gulf says:

    Smith,

    I think Rouhani has no chance of even being in the second round, let alone winning the election. He is not the smiling Seyyed that Khatami was. I think Aref’s chance would have been higher, had the whole reformist camp supported him from the very begging of his run few months ago. But as always reformists are strategy-less when it comes to election, if any. Their victory in 1376 was a mere luck and since then they were dreaming of repeating that episode mindlessly.

  330. Sineva says:

    James Canning says:
    May 27, 2013 at 7:49 pm
    So long as the west refuses to acknowledge irans nuclear rights iran has no incentive to agree to limits on its enrichment,to unilaterally halt 20% enrichment without a deal in place would be seen as a victory for the threats and sanctions approach and would only encourage more of the same.Before there can be any talk of a deal the west must acknowledge irans nuclear rights,the west has made clear it will not do this because its goal is zero enrichment,the talks are a sham and both sides know this

  331. fyi says:

    James Canning says:
    May 27, 2013 at 7:55 pm

    The overriding concern of the Muslim states must be, in my opinion, development so that the young people in those states have something positive to look forward to.

    Saudi Arabia has been consistently trying to promote Whabis as True Islam. They wish to gain control of Levant.

    That is not going to happen.

    The Shia of Saudi Arabia wish to get a fair deal; they want to improve their lot. They are not agents of Iran and the current King know it and has gone someway to redress their grievances.

    In that, he has been opposed by others within Saudi government who hate Shia and what Shia stand for.

    Unfortunately, there is not practical way of helping Shia in Saudi Arabia except through getting the ear of the Monarch.

    Furthermore, the demise of Saudi rule on the Arabian peninsula will not necessary improve the lot of the Shia; the other tribes will be fighting one another to gain control of the Eastern province and the oil fields.

    As longs as Americans are committed to defense of Saudi Arabia, there is no cause for them to be concerned about Iran. Their fight is not with Iranian power; their fight is with the late Mr. Khomeini’s break with 1000 years of I-do-not-know-what-to-do and I-do-not-want-to-think-either Muslim intellectual history.

    They funded mosques staffed by Wahabis all over the world and for the wretched Axis Powers as long as it was against the late Mr. Khomeini’s ideas and ideals it was just dandy.

    All sunny until Wahabis attacked the United States in 09/11/2001 and so many Muslims cheered them, in UAE and elsewhere.

    Now Saudi Arabia is fighting to inflict Wahabis on the Levant – with explicit support of US and EU; ostensibly to wound Iran but really to wound the ideals of Islamic Revolution in Iran and the alternative path it represented for Muslims.

    Clearly, the Muslim Brothers in Egypt and the Muslim Brothers in Turkey also agree with that program of the Saudis. They hide behind this or that slogan or state that they want to limit Iranian power.

    The issue is not Iranian power, the issue is the new ideas coming out of Shia Iran.

    They – Saudis, Qataris, Muslim Brothers in Egypt, AKP (Muslim Brothers) in Turkey are willing to destroy Syria to oppose what Shia Iran represents.

    The only silver-lining in all of this has been the exposure of the utter intellectual bankruptcy of the Traditional Islam, Wahabis, and Muslim Brotherhood in dealing with the world.

    In Syria, they demonstrated that they – like the Axis Powers – can only bring death and destruction to Muslim people – that they are completely devoid of a positive program for Muslim Youth.

  332. Nasser says:

    fyi,

    What more would it take for Iran to create the Shia “Vatican”?

  333. fyi says:

    Nasser says:
    May 27, 2013 at 10:59 pm

    I am not familiar with the details of what the Iranian Government is doing in Qum – they are organizing a Council of Scholars and trying to control the Hawza there.

    It is the task of decades and centuries perhaps.

    The issue is that delineation of the relationship between pronouncements of Doctors of Religion and those of the Guardians Council, the Expediency Council, and the Office of the Supreme Jurisprudent.

    What relationship or bearing will the pronouncements of new legal doctrines in Qum (or Najaf, or Isphahan, or elsewhere) can have on the Islamic State.

    I will demonstrate by an example.

    Let us envision that someone will take the principle of the Truth of the Immaculate Ones (i.e. that the statements of the Immaculate are Divine) formulated by the Shia Doctors and apply it to the previous prophets – among them Jesus.

    It follows then that since Jesus was Immaculate, his words have religious finality. Invoking then the Injil (Gospels), that someone can maintain that Jesus has forbidden Stoning as Punishment for Adultery.

    Now then the Islamic State is at the horns of a dilemma: admit that 1400 years of Muslim Jurisprudence has been in error as well as the current Laws of Islamic Punishments or claim that that scholar is wrong.

    And many more such cases can be constructed.

    There is a theoretical limit it to how far the Islamic State can go in creating a para-Vatican for the Shia since the Vatican derives its authority from Jesus: “On you [Peter] I will build my Church.”

    Nothing like that exists in Islam.

  334. Sineva says:

    James Canning says:
    May 27, 2013 at 2:22 pm
    Are you seriously suggesting that iran halt all enrichment in return for nothing?!,I can imagine what the wests next demand would be:that iran would have to ship all its enriched uranium out of the country probably to the west or some other pro western country and after that the next demand would be the destruction of its long range missile detterent.It seems you dont just favor appeasement but outright capitulation

  335. fyi says:

    All:

    As I said before – God turns their tricks against them –

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/28/opinion/in-syria-go-big-or-stay-home.html

  336. Nasser says:

    fyi says:
    May 27, 2013 at 11:19 pm

    Thank you for your comment.

  337. imho says:

    James Canning says:
    May 27, 2013 at 2:02 pm

    “The German Empire in the early 20th century was SECURE, and rapidly growing in wealth and power. No conceivable coalition of enemies could challenge Germany, on land.”
    That is correct. This is why Britain felt threatened; being an isle Britain had to divide and rule in the continental Europe.

    “And you think Germany was wise to squander FANTASTIC SUMS on useless battleships, in order to frighten Britain! Amazing.”
    You say it, not me. Britain cannot see a new challenging power in Europe (as US in regards to the rest of the world)

    “You APPLAUD Germany for bringing catastrophe to tens of millions of people.”
    No. Britain could have accepted Germany as a new power. So the responsibility of that catastrophe was on the Britain’s shoulder

    James Canning says:
    May 27, 2013 at 2:06 pm

    “Britain’s Royal Navy posed ZERO threat to Germany’s fast-expanding international trade, in years leading up to outbreak of First Worldd War.

    The frntastically expensive German battleships were not even used during the war.
    (One foray, in 1916.)”

    You seem to not understand what I said. Please read again. Germans had to pay prohibitive insurance tariff and couldn’t expand their trade unless Britain was willing to let them. Again this was an independence question.

    James Canning says:
    May 27, 2013 at 2:11 pm

    “Are you actually arguing that Germany was wise to bring upon itself a catastrophic war, the loss of its entire navy, the deaths of millions of Germans, etc etc etc?
    This, in your view, was a sensible way forward?”

    So you agree with me that Britain wanted that war not Germany. And you’re arguing like in the case of Iran, that is, Iran must capitulate to the West to avoid the West attacking it. All is said

  338. James Canning says:

    imho,

    Purpose of German High Seas fleet was to enable Germany to threaten Britain. Lunacy.

    Britain DID NOT WANT THE WAR.

  339. James Canning says:

    imho,

    Where have I said that Iran must “capitulate” to the West? WHERE?

  340. James Canning says:

    imho,

    Are you actually claiming the idiotic decision by Germany to build fantastically expensive battleships, in the years prior to 1914, was forced on Germany because tariffs were “too high”?

    Building useless battleships was the response by Germany to tariffs you claim were “too high”?

  341. James Canning says:

    imho,

    You apparently are not aware Britain told Germany, prior to First World War, that Germany could have an army as large as it wished. With no objections from Britain.

    Your contention Britain wanted to “hold Germany down” is simply DEAD WRONG.

  342. fyi says:

    James Canning says:
    May 28, 2013 at 1:38 pm

    imho is not “DEAD WRONG”, you are.

    Preventing the emergence of a hegemon in Europe has been the essential plank of English policy since before the time of the Armada.

    That policy was successful until World War I, when it bled England white in order to prevent the German Empire to become the hegemon of Europe and caused her to eventually lose her empire in 1947.

    US is now the European Hegemon, and UK has made a decision to make herself the most valuable vassal of the hegemon.

    Blaming German Empire for World War I is like selectively blaming one particular Mafia Don for a Mob War.

  343. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Britain DID NOT object to the rising power of Germany.

    Obviously, Britain could not allow Germany to crush France, and annex Belgium.

    Are you sorry Germany did not win the war? And annex Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Ukraine?

  344. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    You think Germany was wise to spend a fantastic sum on useless battleships? Amazing.

  345. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    The Prussian General Staff quite literally conspired to bring about a European War, in 1914. You think this poses no moral issue?

  346. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    I think you are angry at the UK because it objects to any Iranian nukes. When you have hopes Iran will be able to build nukes, counting on Obama only pretending to insist Iran not do so.

  347. Nasser says:

    James Canning,

    All the non European peoples of the world thank the Gods for the two world wars and the subsequent end of European but particularly British imperialism.

    And Britain could have easily stopped German naval build up by promising to stay neutral in a future conflict between Germany and France/Russia. Likewise, they could have prevented the second world war had it not been for their zeal to enforce the Versailles Treaty in the 20s. Deny as much as you like but Britain was as much to blame for what befell Europe as the Germans were.

  348. James Canning says:

    Nasser – – You think the destruction of the Ottoman Empire was a good thing?

    You think Britain would have bben wise to allow Germany to crush France and annex Belgium?

    I don’t think the Japanese consider the Second World War as a great blessing for them and their empire.

  349. James Canning says:

    Nasser – – I imagine not all that many Chinese think the Second World War (and the years of war that preceded it) was a good thing for China.

  350. James Canning says:

    Nasser – – You apparently are not aware Britain was making plans for independence for India, years before the Second World War erupted.

    British empire would have largely come to an end, without either First or Second World War.

  351. James Canning says:

    Nasser – – I might add that I think France blundered badly by trying to restore its colonial rule in Indo-China, after the Second World War.

  352. James Canning says:

    Nasser – – Quite a few Iranians think the Second World War was a very bad thing for Iran.

  353. Nasser says:

    James Canning says:

    “You apparently are not aware Britain was making plans for independence for India, years before the Second World War erupted. British empire would have largely come to an end, without either First or Second World War.”

    – You are hopeless! And it hasn’t ended; America simply inherited it.

  354. James Canning says:

    Nasser,

    Are you actually claiming the US controls India, and that India never achieved independence? Pakistan is also not independent, in your view? Iraq? Not independent?

  355. James Canning says:

    Nasser,

    In your view, is Ukraine still part of the Soviet Union? Azerbaijan?

  356. Nasser says:

    James Canning,

    The Middle East is still suffering from Anglo American imperialism.