Leveretts Discuss Going to Tehran at the Carnegie Council

To offer an in-depth presentation of the key drivers underlying Going to Tehran,  we appeared in New York at the Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs this week.  A transcript and edited video and audio recordings will be available on the Carnegie Council Web site soon.  In the meantime, for an unedited video of the event, including both our presentation and the subsequent discussion with the audience, click here.

–Flynt Leverett and Hillary Mann Leverett

 

57 Responses to “Leveretts Discuss Going to Tehran at the Carnegie Council”

  1. Pirouz says:

    Just started reading “Going to Tehran”. Have to say, I had high expectations upon having my subscribed library systems ordering it. Even so, at page 72 I am blown away. Book review in the works.

  2. kooshy says:

    So much for Mr. Obama’s reset, after all this will be welcomed around the world , who knows , it could be the US elites are thinking of making more money with the situations they are now in with Russia

    Russia Responds to U.S. Blacklist With ‘Guantanamo List’
    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-01-18/russia-responds-to-u-s-blacklist-with-guantanamo-list-.html

  3. fyi says:

    Fiorangela says:

    January 19, 2013 at 10:16 am

    This is war by other means.

    In wars, people die.

    For now, Iran and her allies are fighting a defensive war.

    That is not sufficient; they need to initiate offensive operations.

    Once the “fronts” in wars against Iran, Syria, and Iraq are stablized, I expect the initiation of offensive operations.

    Then many more people will die.

  4. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    What “war” is being “waged against Iraq”? Are you referring to Sunni terrorism?

  5. Fiorangela says:

    Giandomenico Picco’s remarks several years ago at a Wilson Center forum are even more meaningful in light of his questions/comments at the Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs event. http://www.wilsoncenter.org/event/us-iran-lessons-the-past-for-the-present-and-future

    In the earlier event, Picco discussed his part in negotiating the cease fire to Iran-Iraq war; his part in negotiating release of hostages in Lebanon; and his role in a debacle involving 13 Jews in Shiraz.

    The most remarkable thing Picco explained is how Rafsanjani agreed to a two-part deal in Lebanon, on the strength of Picco’s word for the first part, and based on the words of then-Pres. George H. W. Bush for the second part. Picco emphasized that Rafsanjani retained no leverage on the pact: he made the agreement, and was to deliver, and did deliver his part of the bargain BEFORE he had received any part of what Iran was to receive.

    Iran received only half of what was promised. Elements of the hostage taking in Lebanon involved Iran’s sense that its “narrative” was not acknowledged by the international community: Iran had been aggressed upon by Iraq, and Iran was the victim of aggression. That narrative was not acknowledged by the international community. Rafsanjani asked for an international conference to assign responsibility for the war (my impression — something like a Versailles treaty clause assigning responsibility). Picco negotiated that to the promise of a paper to be written by three scholars that would examine and assign such responsibility. The paper was to be delivered AFTER the hostages were released. Apparently the paper was written.

    The second promise was contained in a speech by Pres. Bush’s — “Good will begets good will.”

    Unfortunately, said Picco, that promise never materialized.

    So Khameini’s response to Obama’s rhetoric of “an outstretched hand,” is eminently reasonable: the Iranian leader when you change your behavior, we will change our behavior.

  6. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Very precise and comprehensive exposition of the engagement position. Again, if you could just get an hour on some mainstream media shows to do the same.

    Or even call Jon Stewart’s booking people – ten minutes with him to refute the myths about Iran would be better than hours on Al-Jazeera.

    Noted the Iranian woman who immediately asked about Iran’s civil rights and arms sales. Another indication of how these things detract from the points which are important. Your response about China’s Cultural Revolution costs in lives and how Nixon did not allow this to dissuade him is very good, a hard realist position without being confrontative or defensive.

    I’m always impressed by the articulateness and preparation of the Leveretts.

    By the way, anyone else notice Hillary has lovely hair? :-)

  7. fyi says:

    Fiorangela says:

    January 19, 2013 at 3:38 pm

    Iran is not part of the so-called International Community.

    The International Community most charitably may be considered as Jus gentium Americum.

    Iran was used as an instrument by it, she was never part of it.

    There is no non-Western state that is part of Jus Gentium Amricum – South Korea and Japan are semi-sovereign states controlled by US.

    Turkey, begging for 40 years to be admitted into it has been consistently denied entry; regardless of her services to it and conformance to its wishes.

    Mr. Rafsanjani did not understand any of this, the late Mr. Khomeiniy did and so evidently has Mr. Khamenei.

    The only relationship possible between the so-called International Community (jus gentium Americum) and jus gentiunm Islamicum is transactional ones.

    This must be understood by Muslim leaders before anything else.

    International treaties and instrument negogiated since 1945 must be reconsidered since they preusppose a jus gentium universum that clearly does not exist and will not exist.

  8. Rustam says:

    I cannot hear the video!, Is it the same for you? I can hear other videos, but not
    this one.

  9. Sineva says:

    Heres an interesting development,might we be seeing more seizures of iranian shipping sort of an attempt to blockade iran without the risks of a physical blockade.I`m glad the ship got away unscathed
    http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4334021,00.html

  10. ToivoS says:

    Rustum, I too had trouble with the audio. But it came through after multiple attempts.

    I listened to the whole hour of Leverett’s presentation. That was one impressive talk. I have to say that I have embarrassed myself with some of my comments here on their blog. This was one powerful case for realist American foreign policy.

    The Islamist Republic of Iran is legitimate. The US must recognize that fact. Even if Iran is ruled by what I consider intolerant religious fanatics that suppress rights the Western world have accepted since the reformation, it is not our right to deny them right to be ruled that way. It is clear that a majority of Iranians accept that rule. If 60% of the people want that type of government then we should let them have it.

    The important thing is that the US does not need to go to war to change Iran. We should just accept them for what they are. Their system is no threat to us and if that is what the people of Iran desire then so be it.

  11. hans says:

    @FYI
    For now, Iran and her allies are fighting a defensive war.

    That is not sufficient; they need to initiate offensive operations.

    Once the “fronts” in wars against Iran, Syria, and Iraq are stablized, I expect the initiation of offensive operations.

    The defensive war has started and it is being fought in Syria. Iran will never allow Syria to be overrun my NATO, Iran is determined this is the red line.

  12. Fiorangela says:

    One of the most important things the Leveretts said was, We LISTENED to Iran; we tried to understand Iran’s perspective on the world.
    http://goingtotehran.com/leveretts-discuss-going-to-tehran-at-the-carnegie-council

    For all its talk about ‘equal justice under law,’ and the symbol of blind justice holding TWO pans in balance, the United States and jus gentium Americum (h/t fyi) load what they perceive to be universal values on one side, and jgA perquisites on the other side, pat themselves on the back for their righteousness and deride other states for their backwardness in failing to measure up.

    Without intending to engage in personal attack, I observe that Toivo’s comment falls into this pattern: reality-based aspects of Iranian society and culture that the Leveretts discussed did not find their way into the balance of Toivo’s assessment of Iran, in preference for the notion that Iran is ruled by “intolerant religious fanatics that suppress rights” whom the majority of a, presumably deluded, populace support. The conclusions stated in the comment at January 20, 2013 at 4:44 am was simply not based on the facts and reality of the Other side.

    The Leveretts offered numerous examples of the ways in which Iran’s government is representative and attempts to distribute the resources of the state equitably — for example the Iranian people and their government have extended health care to Iran’s rural villages and have even created a model for providing health care that has been imitated by people in the jgA state of Mississippi, whose very name signifies that place that is held in least regard, and wallows in the most abject poverty and neglect, in the United States of America, the jgA that prides itself on being established on post-reformation principles of enlightenment.

    The comment at January 20, 2013 at 4:44 am indicates the profound cultural shift that must take place before the Leveretts’ journey to Tehran will be realized.

    Richard Nixon also confronted that cultural barrier. He chose to confront it head-on. It must be recognized that Nixon paid a price for his assault on jgA — alone among all the presidents of the United States, Richard Nixon was forced to resign in disgrace. The Righteous Ones of the USA weighed Nixon’s actions in the balance and decreed that he had flaunted the mores of righteous society: he was guilty of overzealously pursuing victory, and of attempting to hide the evidence of his overzealousness. Never mind that these acts take place every day of the week in every political capitol of the world, not least in Washington, DC.

    Perhaps those were not Nixon’s real crimes against the jgA. Perhaps Nixon’s real crime was to have treated the Chinese people as absolutely equal human beings, worthy of being listened to in their own voices, and whose culture was as worthy of respect as that of the jgA.

    Is there an American leader who will have the courage that Richard Nixon had: the courage to listen to and respect the culture of another peoples as being equally worthy as his/her own culture? When Obama made statements about American exceptionalism, and stated that every other culture also considers itself exceptional, his words were denounced by America’s media mosquitos. Will he venture into that swamp again?

  13. BiBiJon says:

    ToivoS says:
    January 20, 2013 at 4:44 am

    “… Iran is ruled by what I consider intolerant religious fanatics that suppress rights the Western world have accepted since the reformation, it is not our right to deny them right to be ruled that way.”

    Out of concern that you might dislocate your shoulder prematurely patting yourself on the back because you think you recently found tolerance of others, I suggest you read what you wrote, quoted above.

    Labeling people “religious fanatics,” and attributing to them “intolerance,” the will, and the capacity to “suppress rights” does not bespeak of the the ‘acceptance’ the Leveretts have in mind. At best you’re advocating benign neglect as a result of the same jaundiced outlook you continue to display towards others’ lore.

    So, you’ve learned how to hold your nose. Commendable. Looking forward to your further evolution.

  14. Unknown Unknowns says:

    Neo-ji:

    If you want to get a completely different take on The Matrix, I recommend “Hollywood’s War on God”.

    http://hollywoodswar.com/home.html

  15. James Canning says:

    hans,

    You haven’t noticed that Nato is rather reluctant to intervene in Syria direclty?

  16. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    You actually are claiming Turkey is not a member of the “international community”? Amazing.

  17. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    I take it you do not agree with Iran’s policy, as stated yet again recently by Ali Akbar Salehi: Iran benefits from the NPT and wants to strengthen it.

  18. Bizhang in Sohrab says:

    Love the way Hillary looks at the hypocrite old man at 57:00. The most beautiful feminine anger I have ever seen in ages. May I add, very Iranian too if you know how angry Iranian ladies look down at their victims.

    To the hypocrite old man:

    Iran has abided by the agreement of NPT to the letter. US, EU and other nations have not. So do not try to teach Iranians, “ethics”. We know ethics much better than you will ever know. The only country that has ever used nukes on civilian population of women and children is United States. Twice. And it would have continued to use its nukes if it was not for other nations developing their own nukes. Now it is time for Iran to join those nations too, leaving NPT behind using Iranian ethical right under article X(a) of the dysfunctional and humiliating treaty of NPT.

  19. Bizhang in Sohrab says:

    Rustam says:
    January 20, 2013 at 12:50 am

    I can hear fine. Make sure your Adbode Flash is updated to ver 11 or more. Also make sure the volume is on max both in Flash on screen video control as well as in your audio control. Also check your Wave volume. If still not working trying to download it and watching it from file.

  20. James Canning says:

    Bizhang,

    The US did use nukes to end the war with Japan. But the US did not use nukes when it had a nuclear monopoly.

  21. Sineva says:

    James Canning says:
    January 20, 2013 at 5:40 pm
    Because the usa had that monopoly for only a relatively short time,it did not know how close to the bomb the soviets were,it also took a couple of years for the cold war to start in earnest,but do not make the mistake for one second of thinking that there were not very powerful voices both military and political that thought the bomb should be used or at least that its use should be threatened to get the soviets out of eastern europe

  22. Sineva says:

    James Canning says:
    January 20, 2013 at 1:33 pm
    What pray tell are these mythical benefits of which you speak james??
    I see only disadvantages for iran,at the moment the only thing worse than staying with the npt would be the political costs of leaving it.At the moment iran is expected to abide by the very letter of it while its enemies do not live up to their most basic requirements indeed I could not think of a better example of western hypocrisy and double standards than irans treatment under the npt.Irans only benefit is that the endless talks help to delay the prospect of war/military strikes,but as for anything of real tangible value coming from this..well dreams are free.So long as the west refuses to acknowledge irans rights uder the npt and live up to its end of the bargain its value to irans nuclear program is almost nil,its only real value is that it keeps the sides talking and that gives iran more time to build up its capabilities both military and nuclear so that if iran ever does need to take that final step it will be able to do so without the west being able to do a damn thing about it,perhaps these were those benefits you were talking of??

  23. fyi says:

    Sineva says:

    January 20, 2013 at 9:18 pm

    The late Bernard Baruch – and a group of like-minded men – were proposing to attack USSR in 1948 (if I reacall correctly).

    The late General Marshall told him it was a very bad idea.

    The late Kurchatov was already working on the nuclear weapons in Siberia – a nuclear attack on USSR would have been followed almost certianly in time by nuclear attacks on the United States.

  24. fyi says:

    Sineva says:

    January 20, 2013 at 9:53 pm

    The Axis Powers confrontation with Iran is not tied to the nuclear case; this will go on for decades.

  25. James Canning says:

    Sineva,

    You should be asking Ali Akbar Salehi what the advantages to Iran flow from the NPT. That the US has cheated, regarding Iran’s rights under the treaty, do not negate the treaty’s benefits to Iran.

  26. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Once again you show your instincts for helping the enemies of Iran. Many if not most European businessmen do not like the sanctions against Iran. And you like to forget the fact Iran’s announcement of its intent to treble production of 20 percent uranium brought into play the most damaging sanctions.

  27. James Canning says:

    Sineva,

    You appear to be claiming Iran is stockpiling 20 percent uranium as a way station in its preparations to be able to build nukes more quickly. Is this your contention?

  28. James Canning says:

    Sineva,

    So we agree the US had a monololy on nukes for three years and did not employ them.

    Are you aware that some leaders in the Soviet Union wanted to attack China with nukes?

  29. fyi says:

    Dr. Friedman on US Strategy:

    http://www.stratfor.com/weekly/avoiding-wars-never-end

    And Middle East Policy Council on US Grand Strategy in the Middle East.

    http://www.mepc.org/hill-forums/us-grand-strategy-middle-east-0

    Clearly, US is applying the Cold War strategy to Iran while, in her war against neo-Salafis and other Jihadist she is revising her strategy and delegating to her juniors. Thus, without US, there will be no Cold War against Iran and the entire structure of containment against Iran will fall apart – including the recent one in EU that bars Iranian citizens to be admitted into Ph.D. or Master’s degree programs in Science and Engineering (need to keep Iran down.)

    This was late Richard Nixon’s strategy; grooming the Shah of Iran to be the local junior US deputy.

    Note that Ambassador Freeman agrees with Mr. Khamenei that the Arab Awakening is a (Salafi) Muslim Awakening.

    If and when Pakistan is overrun by the Salafis, then US and Iran could revise their current position vis a vis each other – together with that aspiriant imperialists called Indians. Barring that, US will not relent against Iran.

    It is interesting that per Dr. Friedman’s observations, US is essentially being forced into strengthening one of chief strategic aims of Iran; the creation of a multi-polar world.

  30. fyi says:

    All:

    An Iranian response to Mr. Obama (and his supposed entreaties to the Iranian leaders)

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/shortcuts/2013/jan/20/iran-obama-billboard-tehran-propaganda

    The billboard is clearly meant to damn Mr. Obama – akin to identifying him with Judas.

  31. James Canning says:

    Geoff Dyer, writing in the Financial Times today: “If [Obama] chooses to avoid the [Israel/Palestine] peace process, it will cast long shadows over his pretensions to be restoring US global leadership.”

  32. Bizhang in Sohrab says:

    James Canning says:
    January 20, 2013 at 5:40 pm

    Sineva says:
    January 20, 2013 at 9:18 pm

    fyi says:
    January 20, 2013 at 11:35 pm

    We have to remember that US had that theoretical monopoly for a short period of time from the time of its loud, audacious and inhuman announcement in Hiroshima till 1949 when Soviet Union officially ended that theoretical monopoly. Why theoretical? Because US had almost exhausted its entire stock of enriched uranium when it used its nukes on Japan. Enriching uranium and producing plutonium are not easy tasks, specially with the technology of that time. US did not have centrifuge technology then, and had to use extremely inefficient, time consuming and expensive electromagnetic technique for isotope separation of uranium.

    And though the power of nuclear weapons were much larger than conventional weapons and their effects on Japan had shocked the world, once the nuclear dust settled, it became clear that a couple of nukes did not have any strategic value, unless followed by couples of more. US could not invade Soviet Union just by using two nukes. That is why they started to make thermonuclear weapons and Soviet Union followed. Left unchecked by Soviet Union, US would have committed nuclear genocide around the world. Even today, US threaten non-nuclear nation like Iran with nuclear weapons.

    The apologetic Japan story has been concocted to benefit US hegemony around the world. In reality nukes were dropped on the world not to win the war but to shock the world. Even Nazi Germany despite having invented and stockpiled nerve gas, never used it on battle field and chose defeat than using WMD’s. Americans chose otherwise. Today, Iran has no choice but to follow what Soviet Union, China and India did to contain US hegemony and protect their national interests.

  33. Khurshid says:

    Have bought going to tehran book and going to start reading it from tomorrow. Table of contents looks good so far.

    I suggest readers of this blog, those who are reading the book, post their insightful analysis here.

  34. Persian Gulf says:

    Just ordered the book. The regular readers of this website probably know most the materials in the book.

  35. Sineva says:

    James Canning says:
    January 21, 2013 at 1:19 pm
    You still have yet to tell us what these mythical benefits are james,tell you what why don`t you list them for us in order of importance,did you know that the us even passed laws that effectively prevented the iaea from providing iran with almost any technical assistance even in the one field that would have been to everyone’s advantage nuclear safety,to me the only real advantage iran gets is to stall for time to further build up its capabilities and watch as the wests power and influence in the region degrades,now there is always the faint hope of a deal but short of western capitulation on most bargaining points it just isn`t going to happen

  36. Sineva says:

    James Canning says:
    January 21, 2013 at 1:25 pm
    Actually james iran could easily bargain away its 20% capability and still have a good japan option with its existing 5% capabilities thats why the west wants no enrichment,its the size of the stockpile as much as its level of enrichment,personally I happen to think that with the current level of western aggression the japan option is the best for iran,if however the west increases its aggressions then an israeli style don`t ask don`t tell might be the way to go whether iran chose to leave the npt or not before doing this would depend on the political/military costs

  37. Pirouz says:

    Finished reading “Going to Tehran” over the weekend. My, the Leveretts sure have courage.

    Been thinking about what I’ve read at different periods of the day. I was particularly struck by their identification of those groups and agendas responsible for the false mythology we Americans have been force fed all these years.

    Was annoyed upon hearing what Scott tried to pull. Can you imagine finding yourself a student of his? I’d want my money back.

  38. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    fyi,
    Would you classify Ghannouchi and Morsi as Salafist?
    What about AK Party and Saadet Party in Turkey or Tahir-ul Qadri in Pakistan?

    Supreme Leader has repeatedly made the important distinction between Salafist takfiris and what in the west would be called “moderate” Sunni Islamists.

    Quandt and Freeman seem to get the strategic need for the US to come to terms with Iran.

    Quandt also says that the US can live with Iranian “nuclear latency” and Iran has the right to the full fuel cycle (of course not the current US policy).

    Nevertheless as Freeman says it’s all about “Access, Transit and Strategic Denial” in the Mid East and as long as that remains, things will not move significantly.

  39. Irshad says:

    fyi Thank you for providing the link to mepc conference. It was very interesting toread Amb.Freeman’s, Prof. Quandt, Mr Anthony and Amb. Marwan.

    Amb.Freeman says it as it is – he seems to be a realist on the issues of the M.E. He mentions about the religious and emotional bonds that tie America to the “Jewish settler state” – I presume he is alluding to Protestannism’s love affair with the Isreal, and its unspoken war against Islamdom by arming Isreal to the teeth to keep the sons of Ismhael out of the promised land. This fact cannot be denied, no matter how untenable it may be.

    Its interesting that he mentions that the Arab Awakening is actually a struggle within Islam between Salafist and “conservative modernisers” – I saw this and have mentioned about it on this and other sites – as this is crystal clear in the struggle in Syria where you have salafi takfirist on one side and traditional islamic scholars and supporters on the other side backing the govt. as the ulama in Damascus have realised this themselves. If Syria falls, it will be the triumph of Salafi Islam over traditional Islam. There are many religious shrines to destroy for takfirist thugs – but suprisingly (or not) Turkey is supporting them – a country based on the Hanafi madhab and sufism (two things salafis do not accept).

    What I could not fathom was the premises of Amb.Marwan – especially when it came to Iran – he seems to accept US policy of threat and containment and ensure Iran doe not obtain nuclear weapon, find ways of supporting the “opposition” in Iran(who is he thinking of ?), Iran been the biggest “loser” in the Arab Awakening due to supporting Assad in Syria etc, but when it comes to the Isreal/Palestine conflict – he talks abut the need for the US to resolve this crisis as its in Isreals interest otherwise the demographic factor will make the concept of a “Jewish” state (and the Arab spring) will change that situation for the worse.

    So in other words, keep threathening and containing Iran, support the Iranian “oppostion” but, please Mr USA goad Isreal to make beace withe PA because its in isreals interest.

    This is one thing of Arabs – esp. the Gulf Arabs and Amb Marwan – that I dont understand – threathen Iran but please do something to get Isreal to make peace. The language of violence and hardship for Iranians (who are fellow Muslims) but proding and pleading for Isreal to make peace (Jewish settlers who probably have more damage to the Arab world since its inception – way more then any other nation). Whats with this mindset? Is this negative outlook and feeling towards Iran because it is largely Shiah? Are the Arabs really gona ride the anti-Shiah card in the 21st century or is it for this Jordanian, the bitterness of the realisation that his govt and that of the Gulf Arabs in supporting Bush Jnr to destroy Saddam’s iraq, allowed the empowerment of the Shiah and hence in to the fold of Tehran?

    I will like to hear other people’s views on these two issues. Thank you

    p.s. – I have not ordered the book, as the book is due to be sold in the UK in February – really looking forward to reading it.

  40. fyi says:

    Bussed-in Basiji says:

    January 22, 2013 at 9:23 am

    Mr. Khamenei’s statements was an attempt to put the Islamic republic on the right side of these new developments.

    For myself, I am very pessimistic about the capacity of Arabs in particular and Sunni Muslims in general, to be able to get out of the rut and rot of the last 1000 years.

    For Arabs, that is a very very oral culture – much more so than Iran – and they just do not read. And if they do not read, that means that they will not be exposed to new ideas (new to them – ideas that have been around for 400 years).

    Furthermore, Arab and non-Arab Sunnis are breft of philosophical and rationalistic thought. That makes it even more difficult for them to innovate their way out of the dead-end that they currently are in.

    The pattern of governance of Muslim states over the last 100 years has been dictatorships – monarchies – or military dictatorships where monarchy has been overthrown – excepting Iran.

    In effect, the way Mamlukes governed Egypt is the way Algeria, Egypt, Turkey, Pakistan, Indonesia, Bengladesh have been governed for much of the last 60 years. There is no Rule of law and no Representative system and no ability to articulate even a theoretical vision of a durable political order in which a Muslim could be safe and secure in his person, in his property and in his namus.

    Unless and until Muslims – Shia and Sunni – acknowledge that the ideas of the late Mr. Khomeini is the only progressive path forward for Muslims, we will be arguing about shades of Salafism and not substabtive changes, in my opinion.

    To be concrete, his thoughts were based on:

    – Asfar of Mullah Sadra
    – Usul of Kafi
    – Fiqh of Sahib al Jawaher

    It also implicitly rejects Akhbaris and assorted others who had decided to stop thinking for themselves a 1000 years ago (like this Mullah in Iran who was really upset about even the possibility of appointing a female as a governor).

    Or, again in Iran, the revision of the Law of Islamic Punishments, still include Stoning as a “Sharia” punishment but not as a Legal punishment. Stupid.

  41. fyi says:

    Irshad says:

    January 22, 2013 at 10:04 am

    Amb. Marwan is saying what Americans want to hear so that he could get the best deal possible for Jordan.

  42. James Canning says:

    Sineva,

    Where do you get the notion that “the West” wants no enrichment of uranium by Iran? The Financial Times says a deal between Iran and the P5+1 will almost certainly require acceptance of Iranian enrichment to 5% or lower. As offered by Ali Akbar Salehi in his New York interview.

  43. James Canning says:

    Sineva,

    The wishes of the numerous Aipac stooges in the US Congress, are not synonomous with the wishes of “the West”.

  44. James Canning says:

    Sineva,

    I think Ali Akbar Salehi set out a reasonable assessment of how a P5+1 deal with Iran can be achieved.

    And yes, the numerous stooges of Aipac in the US Congress will be a problem that needs to be bypassed in some way.

  45. James Canning says:

    Irshad,

    Surely Ambassador Marwan is quite right to urge the US to force Israel out of the West Bank.

  46. James Canning says:

    Sineva,

    Ali Akbar Salehi thinks a secular document should be adopted by Iran, incorporating the fatwa against nuclear weapons propounded by Khamenei. Do you?

  47. fyi says:

    All:

    An opinion piece by a Mr. marc Lynch on Syria, titled: “Debating Syria”.

    http://lynch.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2013/01/13/learning_from_mistakes_on_syria?wp_login_redirect=0

    Please note the last sentence as well:

    “…contribute to a serious debate about what realistically can be done.”

    And here is the nub: the dead and wounded in Syria as well as the destruction of her economy are just matters for debate by the commentators of Axis Powers. They have no empathy for people who live in Syria – for the name of the game was “Wound Iran”.

    This man, who confesses publicly the inadequacy of his analytical frameowrk, has a tribune to spread more of his faulty analysis – the inadequqcies of which were plain in sight to anyone who knew a little about the Middle East and Syria.

    As I stated numerous times before, the influence of Axis Powers and their local allies, for the benefit of the people of Middle East – specially the young people – must be ejected from that part of the world. All that they are capable of doing is more death and more destruction.

  48. BiBiJon says:

    Can the fatwa be the nexus?
    =========================

    Prof. Dan Joyner on http://armscontrollaw.com/2013/01/17/international-lawifying-the-supreme-leaders-fatwa/

    “I really don’t know what practical dividends such an action would pay for Iran, in terms of changing the minds of those who currently distrust Iran’s nuclear intentions. Maybe it could have a persuasive effect on open minded people, who don’t have an ideological or other bias.”

    An Iranian parliament-ratified statement registered at the United Nations declaring, and binding the nation to not producing, procuring, stockpiling, nor using nuclear weapons can have dividends.

    a) Security from first strike, and preventive wars.
    ————————————————

    It would be rather difficult to justify nuking a country that has made such a legally binding unconditional declaration.

    b) saving face
    ————–

    If there is to be a deal with P5+1, any Iranian compromise can be portrayed as pursuant to the declaration at the UN, as opposed to caving in to P5+1 demands.

    c) From ‘isolation’ to nuclear role model
    —————————————

    Places Iran as the vanguard of rational morality, and moral rationality in the international context.

    d) Sa’adi
    ——–

    It will be in US’ interests, and in keeping with Obama’s zero-nukes vision to cite Iran’s declaration as an exemplar. The Libya example certainly needs burying. Sa’adi set a precedent. His poem is on the entrance of the hall of nations as well as on Obama’s lips.

    e) A flower blooms from under tons of manure
    ——————————————-

    At least one good thing would have come out of years of injustice for injustice’s sake that has been meted out to Iranians.

  49. ToivoS says:

    Irshad wonders: “This is one thing of Arabs – esp. the Gulf Arabs and Amb Marwan – that I dont understand – threathen Iran but please do something to get Isreal to make peace.”

    I think there has been much evidence over the past decade that the Gulf Arab leaders have been siding with Zionist forces against both the Palestinians and Iranians. In 2007 there were some fairly substantial rumors that SA had agreed to allow Israel over-flight rights if they were to attack Iran. These were officially denied, of course, but some fairly sober analysts thought they were true.

    The rulers of the Gulf Arabs are so thoroughly part of Western imperialist circles that we shouldn’t be surprised by where their loyalty is.

  50. Sineva says:

    James Canning says:
    January 22, 2013 at 1:28 pm
    Are you serious??

  51. Sineva says:

    James Canning says:
    January 22, 2013 at 1:34 pm
    James a blind man could see the way to a deal,the problem is that the west wants iranian capitulation not a “deal” in which both sides would get some of the things they want,now short of some sort of grand bargain break-thru I would expect the status quo[cold war] to remain or even intensify.The west cannot say yes to any deal unless it is an iranian surrender and iran will not say yes to any deal that does not acknowledge its npt rights and removes sanctions.

  52. Sineva says:

    James Canning says:
    January 21, 2013 at 1:19 pm
    I`m still waiting for you to tell me what those mythical npt benefits are

  53. fyi says:

    Sineva says:

    January 22, 2013 at 8:41 pm

    I agree with you.

    Mr. Moussavian, on 01/21/2013, stated the following:

    (see http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/jan/22/iran-wants-nuclear-deal-not-war)

    “The demands on capping and exporting go beyond the treaty, and even the additional protocol. More than 70 countries have not yet signed up to the protocol; and certain member states of the IAEA enrich uranium to 96%, with tonnes of uranium stockpiled beyond domestic needs. Moreover, the IAEA requires Iran to give access beyond that required by the additional protocol in order to address the “possible military dimension”. ….

    Nevertheless, those familiar with the realities of nuclear negotiations know very well that Iran has both publicly and in private meetings with the P5+1 indicated its readiness to accept all the above major demands. In return Iran expects recognition of its legitimate right to enrichment under the NPT and the lifting of sanctions – but unfortunately the western powers among the P5+1 have not signed up to such a deal.”

    Iranian leaders know that there is no deal to be had; so they are going about dealing with the wars on their hands – the war in and for Syria, the war in and for Palestine, the one in Iraq, and the economic war against Iran herself.

    This is going to be a long thread with years of struggle ahead for the Axis of Resistance.