Rohani’s Inauguration, Iran’s Political System, and America’s Strategic Suicide in the Middle East

Hassan Rohani will become the Islamic Republic’s new president this weekend.  In anticipation of his inauguration, Al Jazeera published our article, “Rouhani’s Inauguration and the West’s Strategic Suicide,” see here; we also append the text below.  As always, we encourage readers to leave comments on the Al Jazeera site as well as here.      

 Rouhani’s Inauguration and the West’s Strategic Suicide

Flynt Leverett and Hillary Mann Leverett

 As Hassan Rouhani approaches his inauguration this weekend, there is self-referential optimism in Western policy circles about what his accession might portend.  A substantial quorum in these circles sees Rouhani as perhaps someone with whom the West—to recall Margaret Thatcher’s 1984 assessment of rising Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev—“can do business.”   

The traits these observers cite to justify their optimism—Rouhani’s deep knowledge of the nuclear file, his history of seeking creative diplomatic solutions, an easier rhetorical style for Westerners than outgoing President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, fluency in English—are real. 

But the focus on them suggests that Western elites still look for Tehran to accommodate the West’s nuclear demands—above all, by compromising Iran’s right, as a sovereign state and signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, to enrich uranium indigenously under safeguards.  This motivates them to interpret Rouhani’s election as evidence of Iranians’ growing weariness with sanctions and, by extension, with their government’s policies that prompt escalating international pressure on Iran’s economy.        

If this assessment shapes Western policy toward Tehran after Rouhani’s inauguration, America and its European partners will not only squander yet another chance to realign relations with Iran.  They will also ensure further and far more precipitous erosion of their standing and influence in the Middle East.

Such an interpretation, first of all, misreads who Rouhani is and what he represents.  Rouhani is not an “ultra-Green” radical, out to deconstruct the Islamic Republic into some secularized alternative; properly speaking, he is not even a reformist.  He is a conservative cleric, from what Iranians call the “modern right,” launched in the 1980s by former President Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, Rouhani’s mentor and patron. 

Far from being an antagonist to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei, Rouhani enjoys Khamenei’s confidence.  In 2005, after newly-installed President Ahmadinejad replaced Rouhani as the Supreme National Security Council’s secretary-general, Khamenei kept Rouhani on the Council as his personal representative.    

From a Western perspective, Rouhani’s diplomatic record might seem relatively accommodating; when he was Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator in 2003-2005, Tehran suspended enrichment for nearly two years.  Rouhani’s approach has been criticized in Iran, for Western powers offered nothing significant in return for suspension. 

In his presidential campaign, though, Rouhani strongly defended his record, arguing that, far from betraying Iran’s nuclear rights, his approach let it avoid sanctions while laying the foundation for subsequent development of its enrichment infrastructure.  In his first post-election press conference, he made clear that the days when Iran might consider suspension “are over.”   

Beyond misreading Rouhani, reigning Western narratives prevent Western powers from accepting and dealing with the Islamic Republic as a system.  Alongside other indicators, Rouhani’s election should tell Westerners this system is more resilient than they recognize. 

Unlike the Shah’s Iran, Mubarak’s Egypt, or Jordan’s Hashemite monarchy, the Islamic Republic doesn’t operate in service of the United States or any other foreign power.  It has endured decades of U.S.-instigated military, clandestine, and economic pressure, yet still produced better results at alleviating poverty, boosting health and education outcomes, and improving the social status of women than either the Shah’s regime or any of its neighbors, including American allies like Saudi Arabia and Turkey.      

More fundamentally, the Islamic Republic’s core project of integrating Islamic governance with participatory politics continues to command the support of most Iranians living in their country.  The election Rouhani won showed that the nezam (system) works as designed, letting candidates who accept its constitutional framework to compete vigorously by advocating divergent approaches to domestic and international issues. 

Iranian voters—more than 70 percent of whom took part—acted like they believed they had meaningful choices and that their votes mattered. High-quality polls and the election results show that Rouhani (the only clerical candidate) won for good reason:  he ran an effective campaign, did well in three televised (and widely watched) debates, and broadened his base through adroit politicking. 

Rouhani’s inauguration might also remind Westerners of something they should already know:  Iranian presidents are neither all-powerful nor powerless.  The presidency is an important power center in a system that balances multiple power centers—e.g., the Supreme Leader as well as parliament and the judiciary—against one another.  America and its partners should stop trying to play Iran’s public against its government, or one power center against others, and instead engage the Islamic Republic as a system. 

This is especially important on nuclear matters—for, in Tehran, terms for an acceptable nuclear deal are set by consensus among the Leader, the president, and other power centers.  After Rouhani becomes president, that consensus will continue to rule out surrendering Iran’s right to safeguarded enrichment; Western powers will still need to accept this right as the basis for an agreement.   

Just as unwillingness to deal with the Islamic Republic as a system warps Western diplomacy with Iran, it also undermines the Western position in the Middle East more broadly.  For this system’s animating idea—integrating Islamist governance and participatory politics—appeals not just in Iran, but to Muslim societies across the region.  Iran is the only place where this idea has had sustained, concrete expression, but it is what Middle Eastern Muslims choose every time they are allowed to vote on their political future. 

America and its European partners disdain coming to terms with this reality, in Iran and elsewhere.  Disingenuous rhetoric notwithstanding, Washington still prefers secular authoritarianism—as in its support for the Egyptian coup, a naked effort to restore Mubarakism without Mubarak.  Alternatively, the United States works with Saudi Arabia to promote anti-Iranian—and, in the end, anti-American) takfeeri militants, as in Libya and Syria, witlessly disregarding the inevitably negative consequences for its own security.  Either way, American policy systematically undermines prospects for moderate and popularly legitimated political Islamism to emerge in Sunni-majority Arab states.    

Today, with Middle Eastern publics increasingly mobilized and their opinions mattering more than ever, this amounts to strategic suicide for America and its allies.  To begin recovering its regional position, Washington must come to terms with the aspirations of Middle Eastern Muslims for participatory Islamist governance.  And that can only start by accepting the uniquely Islamist and fiercely independent system bequeathed by Iran’s 1979 revolution—the legitimacy of which is powerfully affirmed by Rouhani’s accession.

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207 Responses to “Rohani’s Inauguration, Iran’s Political System, and America’s Strategic Suicide in the Middle East”

  1. Smith says:

    Another wonderful article.

    I have stopped commenting on Aljazeera since its bloody role in incitement for terror in Syria.

    I sincerely and humbly advise Leveretts to stop contributing there. There are other good non-American places to contribute with much more effect eg. Indian outlets, Japanese outlets, South Korean outlets etc etc. I would even put outlets in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil and Argentine above a Qatari outlet.

  2. Karl.. says:

    Smith

    No need to reject Al jazeera, while I agree on your criticism (just look at the comments btw, very anti-Iranian), this message of Leveretts need every space available.

  3. Smith says:

    Empty says:
    August 1, 2013 at 3:06 pm

    As I had said, there was a movement in Iranian medical community appealing to Ayatollahs for their support in this matter and as I had written I did not know what came of it. My statements are accurate though they might be outdated. But as per your information, things have improved which is really positive and commendable. I also found this: http://msc.sagepub.com/content/12/2/55.full.pdf

    Though not uptodate from ministry of health, but it says, the incident rates have dropped by 70% and that Ayatollahs have allowed medical abortion subsequent to positive prenatal tests.

    Which only proves the point that public pressure and expert appeal does work and that Shia Islam is the only truly adaptive and self reforming religion. After all if you can make peace with theory of evolution and accept abortions, then what is left to say. Try beating that. Don’t you agree?

  4. Smith says:

    Empty says:
    August 1, 2013 at 2:50 pm

    fyi says:
    August 1, 2013 at 10:05 am

    I think it is more about ethical corruption than anything else. What I have seen, basically is that it was mostly the weak moral culture and inherent desire to lie that caused such instances of lying to patients. The welfare of patient was not central to those decisions, otherwise the emphasis would have been to provide extra care to patient which was not the case. And it goes deeper. Nowadays, before they admit the patient to hospital, they require upfront payments. Such things have to go. Even if Iran doubles its health spending it would come to something around 50 billion dollars (PPP). That would be less than 5% of Iran’s GDP. Iran should move to a completely free universal healthcare system. It would greatly improve Iran’s standard of living.

  5. Smith says:

    Karl.. says:
    August 1, 2013 at 4:30 pm

    I think it would be more worthwhile to be read in places more receptive to this message (with far more influence than Qatar). Aljazeera is no more such a place (specially post Syria in a very sectarian environment).

    Take the example of an Indian newspaper. More read it and in a far more influential nation which is incidentally democratic too.

    The comments are of course full of bigotry. One of them has tried in vain to debunk Leveretts by bringing up some figures for Iranian women. Quite ridiculous. Much like a publication about status of women by World Economic Forum in which they had put Iran at the bottom. Upon further reading into the ranking, you would find out that eg. they had this scoring for legal protection of females and the score would be between 0 and 1. So naturally they had scored themselves and their friends high like 0.998. But Iran had been scored as 0. That is there is not legal protection for women in Iran. None. As per that western report you can go to Iran a rape, torture, kill, dismember, cook and eat an Iranian women and there will be no repercussions. That is what zero means. And then based on such scores they rank nations. It is pretty much ridiculous.

  6. James Canning says:

    Jack Straw was invited to Rouhani’s inauguration but cannot make it. He intends to visit Tehran later this month.

  7. James Canning says:

    Is it worth noting that a moron occupied the White House, 2003-05, during Iran’s suspension of enrichiment?

  8. James Canning says:

    Tom Pickering and Bill Luers, former US ambassadors, and Joe Hoar, the general who headed Centcom, argue against latest effort for more US sanctions against Iran. And an analyst at Winep (Aipac offshoot), Mehdi Khalji, supports them. What a surprise.

  9. Fiorangela says:

    Alan Grayson, Democratic representative from Florida and member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, was asked by C Span moderator Paul Orgel,

    “What do you think about Iran these days” in light of the House’s 400-to-20 vote in favorl of “tougher sanctions… the toughest sanctions yet,” against Iran, to “cripple Iran’s disputed nuclear program?”

    Grayson responded: “I voted in favor of it. In fact, I offered five amendments to that specific bill in order to strengthen it, but honestly, I don’t think it’s enough.
    I’m not one of those people who thinks we should water these things down. I think that we should strengthen them even more than the bill that we already passed because what we’re doing is not working. Iran IS proceeding with getting nuclear weapons. I don’t want Iran to have a nuclear weapon.
    You know there is this theory that, well, Pakistan has one, India has one. Why can’t Iran have one? And that’s just not an experiment I want to run. I don’t think that every country deserves nuclear weapons, I don’t believe that at all. I think that it’s a question of, Are we willing to take the risk?
    You know, there was a great debate about whether we should allow the Soviet Union to get nuclear weapons. When we had nuclear weapons the Soviet Union did not. The same debate occurred after China got a nuclear weapon. I think that in the case of Iran, their public statements, they want to destroy Israel, they hate America, I don’t know why we should take the chance. And in that light I am pleased that we have cut back substantially on Iran’s oil income, but I don’t see any direct evidence of that pain that we are inflicting on the Iranian economy, which is real, and substantial, is having any impact on the decision making of the people in charge in regard to their nuclear program.”

    http://www.c-spanvideo.org/program/DFLon

    = = =
    Dr. Dan Joyner’s and former Ambassador Richard Butler’s presentations at the Penn State Symposium last February offer authentic expert information on the meaning of the NPT.

    Grayson’s interpretation is entirely wrong; in fact, Grayson represents that interpretation that Joyner and Butler argued would destroy the Nonproliferation regime.

    NPT is not a cudgel in the hands of the “have” states to wield against the “have nots;” it is a Grand Bargain, resting on three pillars:
    “Nonproliferation
    Nuclear disarmament
    And the Right to Nuclear Science and technology.”

    Butler next commented on the negotiating history of the NPT, and warned that

    ” At the CORE of that negotiating history was … a Grand Bargain. And people, states, remember that. A Grand Bargain was done. And every step that is subsequently taken AWAY from that Bargain to attempt to suggest that, No, it wasn’t quite like that, it was something else, is a step that leads to disaster. Remember, the nuclear nonproliferation treaty has three parts; that was the deal then and for the overwhelming number of states in the world today, that should remain the deal today, because that’s how it was done.”

    Grayson’s statement is a blase attempt to renege on a contract.

  10. Karl.. says:

    James

    With your logic there must have been “morons” in UK, Russia, China, France too, since you are the one always implying that the policy by the US is shared by the rest of P5+1.

  11. Unknown Unknowns says:

    The Bussed-in Professor says: “What you suggest is not even Bahai stuff, it’s second-rate freemason rubbish.”

    I had to laugh at that one.

    You also said:

    “Any “religion” and “God” and “Truth” which only “resides” in an individual and not in a community is the epitome of egoism, injustice and evil. Don’t be its advocate.

    A God/Truth who/which doesn’t care about laws and society- and yes COMMUNITY- is morally reprehensible- “rationally”. I don’t think you get it.

    Of course Truth resides within individuals AND within communities. You have a mental barrier to understanding the matter is “AND” not “OR”. (Others have pointed out your logically flawed argumentation which you use to derive fallacies about community actions from your premises.)

    You are brain-washed in the Thatcherite notion that “there is no such thing as community- only individuals” and you are gonna follow your imam to where she is today after death.”

    Teh common thread here is what I also tried to point out: that there is a large swath of humanity which simply does not have *the moral vision* to see God’s will and religion, His welaya, for what it is: He wants us to behave as brothers towards each other, not like some atomized supra-individuated freaks.

    This is what I had said earlier in the same vein to Neo-ji:

    The failure to achieve sacred consensus which dooms the denizens of said communities to tyranny is a result of their flawed and refractory moral vision. Ka-fa-ra means to cover up. These retrogrades fail to appreciate (= cover up) God’s Welaya. Verily they are foolish and unjust (33:72).

    *

    And although I did not want to go there, it is clear and you have rightly said it before: anyone who does not own to the tenet that the laws of the sharia are binding upon all Moslems is, by definition, not a Moslem. This is how it has been from the very beginning (of the be’sat), this is the way it is now, and this is the way it will remain until the advent (zohur) of the Lord of the Age. Needless to say, most of the laws of the shari’a wither have to do with mo’amelaat (pertain to dealings between persons, i.e. have to do with non-individual matters), or require islam-e velaai (waliyic islam) in order for them at all to obtain.

    To conclude: the moral vision of Islam is at variance with the moral vision of atomized, alienated, “spiritual” – and yes, (cognitively) unhygienic – “individuals”.

  12. Neo says:

    fyi says: August 1, 2013 at 10:31 am

    “Everyone is a Muslim and Men cannot Judge who is and is not a Muslim.”

    Very well put fyi, even though I’d reject the first clause.

    Although I’m not a Muslim, it still baffles me how individuals (and their ‘marja’) take on god’s role in deciding who is and is not worthy of being called a ‘believer’ in this or that area related to god. Surely god does not need man’s protection or guidance. But then again, what do I know as an atheist…!

  13. Sineva says:

    Another excellent article

  14. Neo says:

    Unknown Unknowns says: July 31, 2013 at 2:52 pm

    UU-ji,

    I don’t see a problem at all with contradictions between individuals and communities. They can still co-exist and last in relative stability in a condition of incoherence, even in seeming contradiction.

    It is the same natural duality and complexity of life that makes a whole out of opposites: men and women; cold and hot; dark and light; and individuals and societies.

    There is Nothing wrong with inherent contradictions between individuals and collectives. And we can be individualistic and communal at the same time and for differing purposes.

    To believe that there has to be such a coherence between individuals and collectives is to adopt an unrealistic and extremist position that runs against the very nature of our world that is founded on such contradictions and even depends on them for the universe to hold together.

    I’m afraid the cosmic conflict that you and B-i-B subscribe to is little more than an ego trip that is destined to be of little relevance to how the world operates. Were you to succeed, the balance would be lost, and it would all fall apart anyhow.

    The Yin and yang are both needed.

    Am sure god would agree with me if she existed. :)

  15. Neo says:

    nico says: July 31, 2013 at 2:56 pm

    nico,

    You raise so many important points. I will only tackle your depiction:

    “The subject is the Iranian model and universality against the US one.”

    Universality of either would be a problem rather than a solution to this conflict.

    I’m sure you would agree that Iran is not the first or only country with a theocracy in human history. The idea has been tried, and even in Iran, the clergy were at the heart of state power during the Safavid period, especially in the latter period of their rule.

    Similarly, the US has not invented any new system, and is hardly secular in reality.

    So I would reject the notion that these 2 countries represent ‘the’ struggle over ideas in the world. Only at the level of today’s geopolitics, I could agree with you that the 2 systems represent a clash of ideas – at least on the surface of things.

    Some would say that they are just playing power games, which is the oldest problem in social history.

    But you know, two strong teams playing football do not define football in its totality. Football is much bigger and more exciting than any particular team. All it takes is for a better and more imaginative set of players to come up with new and more effective strategies.

  16. Sakineh Bagoom says:

    Empty,
    A handy way to search the content of a site would be to use google.
    In the search box of google type the following:
    site:raceforiran.com search_string search_string
    where search_string is any number of search words you are looking for.
    You could also use the advance search to exclude any items.

  17. Karl.. says:

    Rohani statement on israel

    Sigh – Ok here we go again…does anyone have an iranian source about what he said verbatim?

  18. BiBiJon says:

    Statecraft ain’t for everyone everyday
    ===============================

    One day you pass HR850 400:20. Next day, China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs faxes to Reuters that “China has long advocated resolution through dialogue and negotiations and opposes unilateral sanctions from one nation based on its domestic laws. In particular, it opposes sanctions that will hurt the interests of a third party.”

    One day you say ‘Assad must go.’ Two years later his popularity has increased in tandem with his government’s chances of outright victory over cannibals.

    One day you claim “we came, we saw, he died” and the next day we don’t know if you meant Daffy, or Stevens.

    One day you promise not to torture or execute, and the next day Russia grants asylum anyway.

  19. Karl.. says:

    Ok this is the interview by Rohani, http://presstv.com/detail/2013/08/02/316839/occupation-of-palestine-an-old-wound/

    Rohani hasnt even been elected but western media couldnt just hold themselves.

    In west he allegedly said that Israel was a “sore” and must be removed. Listening to Rohani himself, he said nothing of that, what he said was that the occupation was a sore for the region/muslim world and must be removed.

  20. Aletho says:

    It’s too bad that Al Jazeera discredited itself so spectacularly warmongering for the destruction of Libya. Many excellent journalists such as Allison Weir had just been taken on by the rising “news” outlet and had to do an about face and quit.

    The simple fact is that Al-Jazeera, almost single handed, steered the course toward war in Libya. It provided the propaganda cover that the Western MSM was too discredited to succeed at after the massive lies about Iraq.

    By producing “left” or other types of analysis and commentary that fall beyond the establishment discourse for Al-Jazeera one produces the bait that draws in the skeptical or thoughtful audience. The switch is often hard to spot, such as when corrupted pilots fly to Malta and falsely claim that they were ordered to bomb demonstrators. Outlets like Democracy Now can then cite Al-Jazeera’s pro-war lies as representing the opposite side of the spectrum from FOX etc…

    Propagandizing the potential dissidents is far more important for the warmongers than preaching to the choir.

    Better to boycott. If people wish to find an alternative view they need to go to sources that are not controlled by Emirs who rule at the pleasure of imperial military power.

    I don’t see why we should allow Al-Jazeera to play the all important role of determining what constitutes news and analysis. If nothing else, we must create our own media organizations.

  21. KTrader says:

    Leveretts please apply—–Stanford to boost Middle East studies faculty http://www.stanforddaily.com/2013/08/02/stanford-to-boost-middle-east-studies-faculty/ via @Stanford Daily

  22. Sakineh Bagoom says:

    “If this assessment shapes Western policy toward Tehran after Rouhani’s inauguration, America and its European partners will not only squander yet another chance to realign relations with Iran.”

    It appears nowadays that to paraphrase Abba Eban: Americans don’t miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity. And since total capitulation is not in the cards, they don’t miss an opportunity.

  23. fyi says:

    Unknown Unknowns says:

    August 2, 2013 at 2:43 am

    Your wrote:

    “anyone who does not own to the tenet that the laws of the sharia are binding upon all Moslems is, by definition, not a Moslem.”

    So, before Sharia was codified, before the First Doctor of Religion came into existence, Sumayyah and Abu Sofian were both Muslims.

    And today, the rapist is still a Muslim, he goes to jail, but the Governor of Punjab deserved to be murdered.

    Shame, shame, shame…

  24. Unknown Unknowns says:

    fyi and Neo-ji:

    No comment, I guess. We’re not getting anywhere. But I will say in advance of your rude wake-up call when you enter death’s door: I told you so :D

  25. Ataune says:

    @fyi

    As far as I know “being formally a muslim” does not necessarily and automatically direct you to the gate of heaven at Judgement Day. Your deeds in the earthly world count a lot in the balance which will decide the fate of your soul. Obviousely, if you have been thought the muslim way and still refused Islam you will end up going to hell anyway. While in the Christian eschatology, the simple belief in Christ will suffice to get you to the heaven.

    I continue to believe that the former bring an improvement in the social life of the human communities compared to the latter.

  26. fyi says:

    Ataune says:

    August 2, 2013 at 10:54 am

    Thank you for your comments.

    Neither you, nor I nor anyone else living or dead has ever known who would be condemned to Hell.

    That is God’s determination.

    In many religions, orthopraxy defines membership in good-standing in the Community of Believers; ancient Romans were lke that, Catholics, Orthodox Jews, Muslims, Sikh and very many sects of Hinduism conform to this observation.

    That is all fine but orthopraxy does not – in my judgement – shed any light on what is fundamentally an issue of the interior life of a person.

    For this reason, human beings are incapable of passing Judgements; it is metaphysically impossible as well as morally reprehensible.

    As for your references to Muslim Way – there is no consensus on that.

    In the 19-th century, the fellow would marry a woman in Samarghand and sell her into slavery in Bukhara; was that the Muslim Way?

    Or take the widespread sexual use of pre-pubescent boys all over the Muslim Near East over the last 1400 years – almost certainly a consequence of the insistance on the segregation of the sexes – was that also the Muslim Way? [In Greece it is called the "Ottoman Way".]

    I do not think it useful to engage in a discourse that neglects history; as though nothing has happened since the First Century after Hijra – no Omavids, no Abbasids, no Bhuids, no Seljuks etc.

    Now I ask you this:

    According to Islamic Tradition, all the Prophets have been Muslims.

    Which Law did they conform to?

    In other words, where they Muslim by virtue of their conformance to certain rules and regulations?

    If so, what were those rules and regulations?

    If not so, in what manner they were Muslims?

  27. James Canning says:

    Ataune,

    Roman Catholics were taught that they would be damned to hellfire for eternity, for engaging in sexual relations with a woman outside marriage. (In event of death without confession.)

  28. James Canning says:

    Sakineh,

    The issue seems to be whether Obama is sufficiently cowed by Aipac et al, so that he blocks any P5+1 deal with Iran.

  29. James Canning says:

    Karl..,

    I most defintely do not say that Russia, China, France, UK, and Germany have the same approach as the US, in P5+1 negotiations with Iran. Provide a single example supporting your contention.

    I have said many times that the Israel lobby tries to block any P5+1 deal with Iran, on unstated grounds that Iran is not friendly toward Israel.

    I think Russia and China have made clear Iranian enricment to low levels is fine with them. As it should be with the US.

  30. James Canning says:

    Karl..,

    I use the term “moron” to refer to the occupant of the White House for eight years beginning in 2001.

  31. Karl.. says:

    James

    You have repeatedly said that P5+1 have the same goal and that is to end 20% enrichment, you have changed your mind now suddenly?

  32. James Canning says:

    Fiorangela,

    I think we can assume any US Congressman from Florida will be a stooge of Aipac. Including Alan Grayson, of course. More claims Iran “wants to destroy Israel”.

  33. nico says:

    http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/MID-01-020813.html
    Afrasiabi articles are usually very weak.
    But surprise, this one is quite good.

  34. nico says:

    James Canning says:
    August 2, 2013 at 1:41 pm
    “Sakineh,The issue seems to be whether Obama is sufficiently cowed by Aipac et al, so that he blocks any P5+1 deal with Iran.”

    Wrong and clueless statement.
    Obama is a liar criminal and a warmonger.

    The issue is that the US putting pressure on Iran has no immediate adverse consequence for the US.

    Should Iran has nukes the situation would be much more stable and the risk of war non existent.

    Rohani needs speak with soft words and keep hard power option palatable.

  35. James Canning says:

    “The vote [for more sanctions] was rushed. . . because AIPAC. . . wants to short circuit any chance of meaningful negotiation”.

    – - Scott McConnell, August 2, 2013

    http://www.theamericanconservative.com/israels-iran-agenda/

  36. James Canning says:

    Nico,

    You are simply DEAD WRONG. Read Scott McConnell’s piece I just linked. Aipac is doing all it can to block any improvement in US-Iran relations.

  37. James Canning says:

    Nico,

    Your notion that “if Iran had nukes” thus and such would obtain fails to consider the fact the US will not allow Iran to build nukes.

  38. nico says:

    James Canning says:
    August 2, 2013 at 3:51 pm

    The imposition of idiotic sanctions by the US is pushing Iran toward nukes.
    Exactly as was the case with NK.

    Wait and see.

  39. Karl.. says:

    James

    August 2, 2013 at 3:51 pm

    Well, if you support what US thinks or demands, what are you doing here?

  40. James Canning says:

    Karl..,

    What possibly gives you the idea I agree with US policy toward Iran? I think I have given no statement indicating that.

  41. James Canning says:

    Nico,

    I agree that American stupidity in its dealings with Iran has in effect encouraged Iran to stockpile etc etc.

  42. fyi says:

    All:

    Pope Francis’ Ramadan Greetings For Id Al-Fitr:

    To Muslims throughout the World

    It gives me great pleasure to greet you as you celebrate Id al-Fitr, so concluding the month of Ramadan, dedicated mainly to fasting, prayer and almsgiving.

    It is a tradition by now that, on this occasion, the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue sends you a message of good wishes, together with a proposed theme for common reflection. This year, the first of my Pontificate, I have decided to sign this traditional message myself and to send it to you, dear friends, as an expression of esteem and friendship for all Muslims, especially those who are religious leaders.

    As you all know, when the Cardinals elected me as Bishop of Rome and Universal Pastor of the Catholic Church, I chose the name of “Francis”, a very famous saint who loved God and every human being deeply, to the point of being called “universal brother”. He loved, helped and served the needy, the sick and the poor; he also cared greatly for creation.

    I am aware that family and social dimensions enjoy a particular prominence for Muslims during this period, and it is worth noting that there are certain parallels in each of these areas with Christian faith and practice.

    This year, the theme on which I would like to reflect with you and with all who will read this message is one that concerns both Muslims and Christians: Promoting Mutual Respect through Education.

    This year’s theme is intended to underline the importance of education in the way we understand each other, built upon the foundation of mutual respect. “Respect” means an attitude of kindness towards people for whom we have consideration and esteem. “Mutual” means that this is not a one-way process, but something shared by both sides.

    What we are called to respect in each person is first of all his life, his physical integrity, his dignity and the rights deriving from that dignity, his reputation, his property, his ethnic and cultural identity, his ideas and his political choices. We are therefore called to think, speak and write respectfully of the other, not only in his presence, but always and everywhere, avoiding unfair criticism or defamation. Families, schools, religious teaching and all forms of media have a role to play in achieving this goal.

    Turning to mutual respect in interreligious relations, especially between Christians and Muslims, we are called to respect the religion of the other, its teachings, its symbols, its values. Particular respect is due to religious leaders and to places of worship. How painful are attacks on one or other of these!

    It is clear that, when we show respect for the religion of our neighbours or when we offer them our good wishes on the occasion of a religious celebration, we simply seek to share their joy, without making reference to the content of their religious convictions.

    Regarding the education of Muslim and Christian youth, we have to bring up our young people to think and speak respectfully of other religions and their followers, and to avoid ridiculing or denigrating their convictions and practices.

    We all know that mutual respect is fundamental in any human relationship, especially among people who profess religious belief. In this way, sincere and lasting friendship can grow.

    When I received the Diplomatic Corps accredited to the Holy See on 22 March 2013, I said: “It is not possible to establish true links with God, while ignoring other people. Hence it is important to intensify dialogue among the various religions, and I am thinking particularly of dialogue with Islam. At the Mass marking the beginning of my ministry, I greatly appreciated the presence of so many civil and religious leaders from the Islamic world.” With these words, I wished to emphasize once more the great importance of dialogue and cooperation among believers, in particular Christians and Muslims, and the need for it to be enhanced.

    With these sentiments, I reiterate my hope that all Christians and Muslims may be true promoters of mutual respect and friendship, in particular through education.

    Finally, I send you my prayerful good wishes, that your lives may glorify the Almighty and give joy to those around you.
    Happy Feast to you all!
    From the Vatican, 10 July 2013

  43. Avg American says:

    @ nico, excerpt from article you posted in Asia times below:

    “Indeed, one reason why the US policy-makers have no qualm about dishing out more sanctions without hesitation is that they lead a one-way process that does not yield any perceived backlash from the other end. US lawmakers in particular have wasted no time in slapping Iran with new sanctions, convinced that the presidential election was a referendum on the nuclear policy and that Rouhani is bound to show more flexibility than his predecessor. The US politicians take as their logic that more pressure will increase the likelihood of better results at the negotiation table. This “compellence strategy” is in full swing nowadays, with virtually no sign of any potential re-direction in the proximate future. ”
    Forgive me if this sounds idiotic, but when I read this excerpt- first, I think this is the way the US plays ball – they are so brutal and rude. It’s unbelieveable they need to apologize for their behavior but we are way beyond that. Second, you state that “The imposition of idiotic sanctions by the US is pushing Iran toward nukes.
    Exactly as was the case with NK.”
    Is this what the US wants so they have a reason to attack Iran? Or do they just think that Iran will eventually give in to the US? I am confused – I not clear what congress are trying to accomplish by rushing around slapping new sanctions on Iran- I’m beginning to think they are trying to create a hostile situation instead of working toward diplomacy. What a joke- When will America wake up and realize it is being used by congress.

    But if they do this

  44. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    fyi said,

    “The criterion was established by the Prophet: utter “Shahadatin” and be done with it.”

    Wrong. No sorry let me be more precise, in the “Islam according to fyi” true, in the “Islam according to the Quran and Holy Prophet” false. Sorry haji.

    You might want this to be the criterion, but this has historically, actually never been the criterion- Sunni, Shia and most other groups in Islam. I hope you get that.

    So good luck with your new interpretation of Islam for the rest of us, but I’m not holding my breath. I’ll stick with the Ahlul Bayt version of Islam- with your permission.

    In response to your top-notch gibberish please re-read Ataune’s beautiful, rational and logical comment which triggered your flash of brilliance:

    “In a purely speculative way: If the criteria for being muslim cannot be established normatively in the community, as you seem to indicate. And, as a consequence, the only open way for salavation to a muslim individual is at the time of the judgement day, how will you go to call this religion of yours Islam. Unless obviousely, if you claim like Soroush a new interpretation of it or as other minority sects have professed during the previous centuries another religion altogether.”

    You have now been re-christened (oops, no pun intended) Ayat. Haj fyi al-Mujadid.

    Also please re-read this insightful and on-target contribution by Empty-jan:

    “The problem is not that he is Christian. The problem is when he (as someone whose salvation is through Jesus Christ) writes (non-logical) prescriptions for Muslims how to be a good Muslim; for Doctors of Islamic Religion how to be good scholars of their own book and religion, what to think and what to say and do. He lives outside of Iran and has a very dated view for Iranians inside Iran but he definitely writes prescriptions for them how to run their affairs. He is a man and if you recall, a while back he was writing a prescription for Fiorangela about how to be a good woman.

    As someone who could not take the heat of the revolution and ran away a long time ago, never actually fought to defend Iran (based on his own admition) and as soon as things got tough, the tough got going, he writes prescriptions for the Iranian leaders (who have successfully withstood all the pressures and preserved Iran’s independence) how to be good leaders and make nuclear bombs yesteryear.

    As a man who has fallen and cannot get up, he sure knows how to advise others on getting up.”

    Hmmm, lovely…Elahi allow us to become so “empty”!, Elahi ameen. Haji reflect on these words a little.

    You responded:
    “As for “Salvation Through Jesus Christ” – the Quran does not rule that out.

    Now, pay attention here:
    Jews, Christains, Zoroastrians, Sunnis, Hindus, Sabeans, Alevis, and others are not your enemies.

    Your enemies are Ignorance, Poverty, Arrogance, Fear, Stupidity, Intolerance (a Son of Fear), Prejudice, Bigotry and a bunch of Others such as Them.
    Please now remmber that you heard this from me in this forum.”

    Haji, your smarter than that…when the Quran talks about these things it is a matter of DEGREES not absolutes, you get that? As I explained to you before, there are levels of realities in the afterlife in which those who follow the revealed religions are in a better state than those who oh, let’s say for example, don’t believe in God’s mercy (you know just as an example). And the one’s who accept the final revelation- even if they were previously following the revelation sent to Hazrat Isa (as)- are in a better state.

    Heck, Hazrat Isa (as) is following the revelation sent to Prophet Muhammad (sawas) as we speak! Funny how that works, isn’t it.

    And then you make comment about Islam, Christians, Jews and Chinese (which I will not repost) that is at the level of a middle-schooler- not even sophomoric- which then Ataune gives this excellent response to (mashallah):

    “Christian salvation is almost a matter of simple declaration: ultimately you need only to state your belief in Christ to be saved (either through the Church or individually), while your deeds are empiricist and pragmatic in their root. In Islam, at least when sticking to its principles, Reason and your deeds toward the community, both count a lot. This sounds to me as a much improved, and preferable, way of living in a civilized society. It has a much bigger potential of avoiding corruption.”

    And Empty-jan says:
    “As for being enemies, etc., dude, one can disagree completely with another person’s view without wanting to behead him. Why do you suppose that just because someone takes a firm stance against your statement they just want to destroy you? Or is this one of your tactics to divert attention when you are short in logic?”

    Apparently you “read” the things addressed to you, but do you also “think” about them?

    Then UU- as always- beautifully restates some points and you respond with this “gem”:

    “So, before Sharia was codified, before the First Doctor of Religion came into existence, Sumayyah and Abu Sofian were both Muslims.
    And today, the rapist is still a Muslim, he goes to jail, but the Governor of Punjab deserved to be murdered.
    Shame, shame, shame…”

    No haji, shame, shame, shame on you for being so simplistic! First of all nobody said the governor of Punjab deserved to die- so stop implying that I or anybody else condoned that. Got that?

    Sumayya or Abu Sufiyan have nothing to do with our sharia/who is a Muslim debate. At the time of her shahadat Sumayya was a believer according to the standards of what was revealed at that time. That doesn’t mean THAT’S the standard when the revelation was complete. The Quran was announced in stages for a reason- like I said read the Quran it’s in there. But then there came a point where God said “I have completed today your religion for you” at the end of the Prophet’s life. And guess when that was? Right! When the Imamat and Wilayat of Ali (as) was announced at Ghadeer. Get it?

    And Abu Sufiyan, well if you know Islamic history- and you do- then you also know why the Prophet (sawas) forgave his enemies after the conquest of Makka. Nice try but no cigar.

    In response to Ataune you offer these “bezels of wisdom”:

    “Neither you, nor I nor anyone else living or dead has ever known who would be condemned to Hell.”

    Wrong again. You know it’s funny that’s exactly what the Ummayids used to say to justify killing Imam Hussein (as). God judges by CLEAR STANDARDS which we know in this world as revealed in the Quran and explained by the Holy Prophet (saws). In other words haji, WE CAN KNOW who will be condemned to Hell with near certainty.

    I’ll give you an uncontroversial hadith example: The Holy Prophet said: “Any Muslim who does not care about the affairs of the Muslims IS NOT A MUSLIM!”

    Wow, that one had all of it! Defining what makes you a Muslim and yes COMMUNITY…I’m afraid the Holy Prophet (sawas) disagrees with your definition of Islam.

    “That is all fine but orthopraxy does not – in my judgement – shed any light on what is fundamentally an issue of the interior life of a person.”

    And wrong again. Praxis is a reflection of the interior life of person. Your actions reveal your inner self. You got it ass-backward, but thank you for conditioning your sentence with- “in my judgement”. In my judgement and those who are commanded to announce Islam by God- your judgement is incorrect. Got it?

    “For this reason, human beings are incapable of passing Judgements; it is metaphysically impossible as well as morally reprehensible.”

    That’s pretty funny coming from somebody who has been doing exactly that for more than 4 years now on this forum.

    “As for your references to Muslim Way – there is no consensus on that.”

    Wrong again. There is near complete consensus all Muslim sects and scholars currently and historically that anyone who denies sharia is not a Muslim.

    And then you repeat the same unreasoned comments about previous Prophets and which me and others have explained to you a thousand times before how they are “Muslim”- but which doesn’t seem to sink in. Won’t repeat because it’s of no use.

    Then you conclude with the Pope’s message. A beautiful message indeed. I will also add that as somebody very familiar with Catholicism I find Pope Francis to be a breath of fresh air, I like his simple lifestyle and his focus on the poor and weak. All things to be very supportive of (he is a Jesuit aka “Catholic mullah” after all). I genuinely pray that he is able to do something about these animals in priests’ clothing. (And notice I didn’t judge Catholics or the Pope by the “historical” action of some- unlike you which is what you have been doing with Muslims.)

    Again of course, Pope Francis better than Thatcher or Baker, but that doesn’t mean that trinity is rational or that monkery and nunnery is anything but egoism and flight from one’s social responsibilities- i.e. MARRYING AND PROCREATING and reaching the highest levels of spirituality as God instructs humanity in the final revelation. God in the Quran says that Christians are good but that this trinity thing and the monkery stuff is stuff they made up themselves. Go read it.

    Like Imam Khomeini (ra) said to the Pope’s representative when he came to negotiate about the American spies and “patronized” (hey again no pun intended) him: “Were where you when the CIA was torturing our youth?”

    Like I told, I came to the rational conclusion as an adult that the Islam of Ahlul Bayt is the Truth and other religions and philosophies are illusions and delusions after living and working in all corners of the world and being educated in the best educational institutions and most importantly RATIONAL THINKING- called “tafakor” in the Quran. You see that’s exactly the opposite of what you seem to “imagine” about me and others.

    Try to understand that you misjudged and committed that thing that you call morally reprehensible.

    This conclusion also doesn’t mean that I want to kill whoever doesn’t agree with me or that I don’t respect them as humans cause you know Ali (as) said “they are either your brothers in religion or your partners in humanity”. But I not only have the right but more so the duty to tell them about the Islam of Ahlul Bayt- the “warning” and the “good news” as it says in the Quran. And I have the right to point out when people try to re-interpret Islam according to their wishes like you.

    Like I said it’s also irrelevant whether you agree or disagree with my rational conclusion. The only thing I can say to you is that some of the main reasons that I came to this rational conclusion is that Islam advocates unity and rejects trinity, it teaches that one can reach the highest levels of spiritual enlightenment while being engaged in the normal affairs of human beings rejecting monkery-nunnery and some of the crap we see in eastern religions in this regard and it reveals a God that cares about his creatures as individuals and as societies and communities.

    These are some of the reasons why Islam is better, has more value, is more complete and perfect than other religions and philosophies.

    I hope that if you are not Muslim that you are Christian or something else because nothing who have said has been as devastating as your denial of God’s mercy.

    Have hope in God’s mercy…la athiqu illa bi rahmatik…

    In Sura Bani Israel it says:”…the day when all peoples will be called/raised with their Imam…those who are blind here, are blind in the next world…”

  45. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    UU,

    I was debating a Bahai once and he kept saying “all religions are the same, Judaism, Christianity, Islam are the same yadda yadda yadda etc etc…”

    He kept repeating and repeating this so I finally snapped back: SO PICK ONE ALREADY FOR GOD’S SAKE!

    This is one the clearest things that proves Bahaism is a thing made-up to cause division in Iran and among Shias.

  46. Karl.. says:

    James

    You keep saying “US wont allow this US wont allow that”, apparently you approve US demands and say that they should be obeyed.

  47. Empty says:

    Sakineh Bagoom,

    Thank you so very much for the tip on searching. I am using it to find a particular statement. Meanwhile, I am running to some old time comments. It just amuses me how some things never change. Example:

    From: http: // http://www.raceforiran.com/egypt-iran-and-the-shifting-balance-of-power-in-the-middle-east

    fyi says:

    Empty says: February 1, 2011 at 11:30 am

    Silly, for I suppose it implies that you know what Islam is.

    The Shia Tradition asserts that when the Hidden Imam appears, he will preach Islam.

    But people shall think that he is preaching a new religion for True Islamhas been lost by that time.

    In the absence of a central authority in Islam, each man’s understanding is as good as another man’s.

    The best you can do is to invoke the work of scholars of yore as guides to the intellect and to understanding.

    I do not object; I will be the last person to discard Tradition.

    But I also believe that Tradition, as it exists today among Muslims, has to be subject to critical analysis.

    And, furthermore, as I have tried to demonstrate, there is great scope for enlargement and enrichment of the Islamic Tradition by providing for Muslim repsonses to the Judaic and Christian Revelations.

    Facile responses that they are corrupted etc. is insufficient.

    Facile support for Islamic Law is unprofitable (where are the slave markets? Are they not permitted by the Quran, the Hadith, the Islamic Law)?

    Mulsims need more from their intellectual leaders than answers to such questions as “What is the Zakat of a 3-year old female camel?”
    Aytollah Kashani has stated that Republicanism is not essential to Islamic Government. Then what is: Is Saudi Arabia Islamic? Or un-Islamic?

    So, please tell me and others what is Islam.

    Empty responds:

    fyi,

    That a specific person, groups, or nation does not have monopoly in and perfect understanding of Islam is accurate, legitimate, and required for an ongoing and ever-evolving scholarship which is part of Ejtehad. To refuse to consider, design, and implement specific clear programs based on what are considered “Mohkamat” in Quran under the guise that “no one knows what Islam really is” is a cop out no matter who does it if one professes that in fact one has a particular belief. Beliefs have models, theories, and constructs. Each model, each construct is supposed to provide a blueprint for something. Just as you have a blueprint for a building, a structure, or a house. If you want to build an ecologically sustainable house with renewable resources, energy efficient, and lasting, then, you cannot say, “okay, I will use plastic for the linings, asbestos for insulation, lead paint for its gloss, and 20-gallon flush tank in its toilet but will call it green and sustainable. It is the very definition of hypocrisy (to say one thing and to do another).

    I have noted that Quran is one of several tools but not the only one. In our exchanges, I have only referenced specifics from Quran with chapters and verses. If you disagree with the translations/interpretations or if you believe I am falsely citing that, please do correct me. However, if my understanding of your statements is correct, you’re arguing something entirely different.

    then fyi writes:

    In my opinion, the “cop out”, in fact is practiced by yourself.

    For you decline to answer my questions.

    Islam only has one single requirement: Shahada; models, theories, and constructs come afterwards when Human Reason attempts to understand the Revelation.

    And my position is very clear: all these constructs must be subject to re-evaluation and re-adjustment because they are not Revelations themselves but Human Reason’s response to the Revelation itself.

    Furthermore, as I have tried to point out, once you admit the Principle of Unitarity of Revelation, then many precepts of the Islamic Law itself will be found to be against the Revelations of Jesus, the Blessed Son of Mary, for example and therefore must be discarded.

    Allameh Tabatabai opened a door through which wonderful vistas are clear to the mind’s eye.

    Why are you afriad of walking through it?

  48. Empty says:

    I found this “filter” fyi uses to decide what should be kept and what should be discraded in Islam rather intersting:

    “Furthermore, as I have tried to point out, once you admit the Principle of Unitarity of Revelation, then many precepts of the Islamic Law itself will be found to be against the Revelations of Jesus, the Blessed Son of Mary, for example and therefore must be discarded.”

  49. Empty says:

    fyi,

    I cannot recall. However, perhaps the following comment by you may have given me the impression that you felt your path to be through Jesus (as). Perhaps I misunderstood?

    http: // http://www.raceforiran.com/best-regards-from-the-leveretts#comment-46660

    fyi says:
    April 30, 2011 at 7:20 pm
    Empty says: April 30, 2011 at 6:12 pm

    Quran explicitly mentions the Torah, the Injil (of Jesus – Gospels), and Zebor-e Davoud. These “Books” are authentic Revelations although they may or may not conform to the style of Quran.

    The Torah contains:

    1. Five Books of Moses
    2. Prophets
    3. Writings

    Jews also state that there has been an oral part Torah which was finally written down 1800 years ago which is called Mishna.

    It is the task of Muslim scholarship to evaluate and retrieve the True Revelations of God from this body of scriptures.

    Facile assertions to the contrary are indications of intellectual laziness. I know that very many Muslims do not wish or like to think; but that is no longer possible for them.

    <b.For myself, my only claim to any originality is the explicit identification of Injil with the Deeds, Acts, and Words of Jesus.

    However, even this understanding I owe to the Sufis who first explicated the idea of the Perfect Man whose Deeds and Acts are those of God’s; that the Perfect man could be participating with God in the sacred Life of the Universe.

    It became clear – at least to me – then that the Spirit of God, born to the Virgin, was the Immaculate Perfect Man and Injil was his Deeds, Acts, and Words as he participated, with God, in the Life of the Universe.

    I do not think that it necessarily follows that all of God’s Revelations ought to conform – stylistically – to those of the Quran.

  50. Empty says:

    fyi,

    In any case, it matters very little to me in what you believe or don’t believe. I wouldn’t want to falsely attach things to you. If I misunderstood, I apologize.

  51. BiBiJon says:

    fyi says:
    August 2, 2013 at 11:19 pm

    When Pope Benedict XVI’s lecture had hurt a lot of feelings because it included the quote from the Byzantine Emperor Manuel II Palaiologos in a 1391 dialogue with an “educated Persian”: “Show me just what Muhammad brought that was new and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached.”

    To tamp down widespread denunciation of such artless, insulting crap, the director of the Vatican press office issued a statement that the Pope’s address was in fact “… a warning, addressed to Western culture, to avoid the contempt for God and the cynicism that considers mockery of the sacred to be an exercise of freedom.”

  52. Rehmat says:

    On Friday afternoon, Netanyahu admitted that he lied by claiming that Hassan Rouhani called state of Israe CANCER while attending International Quds Day rally in Tehran on Friday.

    http://rehmat1.com/2013/08/03/netanyahu-admits-lying-about-irans-rouhani/

  53. fyi says:

    Mr. BiBiJon, Mr. Bussed-in-Basiji, and Mr. Empty:

    I stand by what I have stated the gist of which is the Principle of Unitarity of Revelations and the inability of Men to Judge what is in the hearts of one another.

    But I pleased that you have at least been exposed to a very different point of view; I would have been more pleased if you had seriously considered the positive implications of what I have espoused.

    Perhaps you will someday.

    ————-

    President of the United States: Mr. President, let me be clear that as a church-going man, I find you religion offensive and think you are condemned to Hell.

    President of Iran: Mr. President, let me also be clear that I find your religion to be deviant and only partially True – I expect you and others to be Jehenna.

    President of the United States: That is fine, now we in US have agreed to take the Nuclear File off the table as long as you stay within NPT and ratify the Additional Protocol.

    President of Iran: Thank you Mr. President but there is still the matter of Palestine.

    President of the United States: I am willing to discuss the West Bank but I am not giving anything away.

    President of Iran: That is acceptable to us, but now there is this little issue of direct flight between New York and Tehran – my back is killing me…

    President of the United States: We can discuss it over lunch, we have qormeh sabzi, which I understand is your favorite….

  54. fyi says:

    Empty says:
    August 3, 2013 at 3:41 am

    You asked:

    “Tell me and others what Islam is.”

    I will answer this in spite of the fact that you refused to supply explicit answers to my own questions.

    My answer is that we no longer know what Islam is.

    In fact, there is Shia Tradition that when the Hidden Imam emerges from his Occultation, he preaches Islam. Yet those people who hear him will think that he is preaching a new religion.

  55. nico says:

    There will be no grand bargain and it seems neither a very limited deal.
    The US are pushing an extremist policy.
    Obviously there is zero chance flr an agreement.
    Well it seems we will see if Iran will withdraw from npt and build nukes.
    And subsequently will see if the US will go to war.

    It will be interesting to see how Russia and China react to that.

    http://edition.presstv.ir/iphone/detail.aspx?id=317001

    “The letter, signed by 76 senators, calls for stiffer sanctions against Iran and insists that the window for diplomacy “is coming to an end.”
    Senator Robert Menendez, Democrat of New Jersey and chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and Senator Lindsey Graham, a hawkish Republican from South Carolina, spearheaded the letter.”Iran has used negotiations in the past to stall for time,” the letter reads.

    The senators also assert that the US must reinforce the credibility of Washington’s option to use military force against Iran.
    The senators’ move is in contrast to the Obama White House that has said it favors diplomacy with the Islamic Republic.
    The letter was sent to Obama on the last day of the Senate session before summer recess and just a day before the House of Representatives approved a bill of sanctions targeting Iran’s oil exports and other economic sectors including mining and automobile industries. The bill, which overwhelmingly passed 400-20 late on Wednesday, would cut Iran’s oil exports by one million barrels per day over a year. The bill must be approved by the Senate and signed by President Obama to become law.”

  56. James Canning says:

    Nico,

    Senators Graham and Menendez are leading stooges of Aipac, and determined to prevent an improvement in America’s relations with Iran. To “benefit” Israel.

  57. James Canning says:

    Karl..,

    I seek to obtain the best information available, and to make informed comments.

    I understand Obama is not bluffing, from sources in the White House. A number of people who post on this site think Obama is bluffing, and that Iran is free to build nukes should it so choose.

    I have said many times American policy is the Middle East often is not sensible or in the best interests of the American people.

  58. James Canning says:

    Karl..,

    As you probably are aware, Dean Acheson in early 1950 did not include South Korea within the “defence perimeter” that the US would defend in the Western Pacific. Do you think this statement helped to bring on the invasion of South Korea by North Korean forces later that year?

  59. James Canning says:

    Avg American,

    Israel lobby does its best to injure Iran because Iran is not friendly toward Israel.
    This is the key fact you need to grasp, to understand what actions the US Congress takes in the Middle East.

  60. yemi says:

    Dear All,

    At this juncture, it should be lucidly clear to everyone
    that no matter how brilliant or intelligent or smart you are,
    you can never change or rephrase the words of God Almighty (SWT) to
    suit your worldly agenda or endeavors or wish.

    However, if you are so inclined by your ability (evil or good genius), please
    do try to produce few chapters like the ones in Holy Quran! instead of you trying
    to change or rephrase the unchangeable words of an unchangeable Almighty Allah(SWT).

    Lastly, if we see anyone who continues on this aforementioned way/path, he/she can only wish or gone crazy and he/she is nothing but HYPOCRITE!

    Thanks.

  61. nico says:

    James Canning says:
    August 3, 2013 at 1:03 pm
    “Karl..,I seek to obtain the best information available, and to make informed comments.I understand Obama is not bluffing, from sources in the White House. A number of people who post on this site think Obama is bluffing, and that Iran is free to build nukes should it so choose.”

    So what ????

    Do you think Iranian leaders are bluffing ?
    Did the events of the last 10 year give this impression ?

    So what ????

    Whatever the US rational they still are the criminals.
    Iran is merely defending itself.

  62. James Canning says:

    Nico,

    Have you forgotten that Khamenei says Iran does not want nukes, and supports Middle East free of nukes? As do I, of course.

    What do you think I suggest Iran is “bluffing” about?

    Is the question, how to achieve a deal in which Iran operates nuclear power plants and controls fuel for those plants?

  63. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    Watched the tanfiz ceremony for our new president live on TV.

    Brilliant. May God help him.

    The Islamic Republic of Iran is not just the standard bearer of Islam today.

    It has also become the global standard bearer for democracy, civilization, regional justice and peace, people-centered economic development and technological growth and hope for the future.

    The torch has been passed by God to a nation more deserving than the (Protestant) Anglo-Americans- after all the killing, lying and destruction they caused.

    “Exceptional” nations only as far as the global mayhem they have caused.

    Secular western democracy, governance and civilization is the past and is dying.

    Long live Islamic democracy, the Islamic Republic of Iran and Islamic civilization.

  64. James Canning says:

    Bussed-In Basiji,

    Are you aware there is not even ONE white WASP on the Supreme Court in the US? Three Jews.

  65. James Canning says:

    Bussed-In Basiji,

    Aipac is not a WASP organisation. But Aipac and the neocons brought about the illegal invasion of Iraq in 2003. Full stop.

  66. nico says:

    James Canning says:
    August 3, 2013 at 2:03 pm

    You refuse to recognize the US policies to be criminal and imoral.

    Thus I condider you quite the same actually.

    That is the issue.

    Clear enough ?

  67. fyi says:

    yemi says:
    August 3, 2013 at 1:33 pm

    Per the Islamic Law; how many slaves do you own?

    Should slavery be restored?

  68. Karl.. says:

    James

    Well if you are against US policies why do you keep saying “US wont allow this or that”? We already know US policies, we are trying to counter them here.
    For example if this or that state ever try to get nukes, it doesnt matter which stance US have on that issue.

  69. nico says:

    Karl.. says:
    August 3, 2013 at 4:04 pm

    The issue is that Mr Canning is at worst supporting the criminal and imoral behavior of the US and at very best a coward who refuse to regognize the US to be criminal and imoral.

    He always has an excuse.
    The zionist this, the evangelical protestant that.
    The US and UK are victims of lobbies and their own stupidity.
    If not their own idioticy, then the idiocy of others.

    Midter Canning,

    Do you recognize that the US, UK and other western policies as stated by THEIR OFFICIAL REPRESENTATIVES are criminal and imoral ?

    Please answer to that simple question.

    Now please could you congirm whethet Iran policy is eithet criminal or imoral ?

    Not that I expect some answer from a coward.

  70. nico says:

    James Canning says:
    August 3, 2013 at 3:01 pm
    “Bussed-In Basiji,
    Are you aware there is not even ONE white WASP on the Supreme Court in the US? Three Jews.”

    Thank you for your comment.
    But as usual your intellectual cowardice do not allow you to provide the conclusion.

    Your are implying here (and it is not new in your various posts)
    One that the jews are over represented in the US institutions.
    Two that the US jews are not pursuing the interest of the US.

    Mmmh.

    There are two option then.

    The first option being to assert that it is normal in a democracy to access high positions without origin or religion being taken into account. In this option you have ABSOLUTELY no right to claim to dissociate

  71. nico says:

    James Canning says:
    August 3, 2013 at 3:01 pm
    “Bussed-In Basiji,Are you aware there is not even ONE white WASP on the Supreme Court in the US? Three Jews.”

    Thank you for your comment.
    But as usual your intellectual cowardice do not allow you to provide the conclusion.

    Your are implying here (and it is not new in your various posts)
    One that the jews are over represented in the US institutions
    Two that the US jews are not pursuing the interest of the US.

    Mmmh.

    There are two option then.
    The first option being to assert that it is normal in a democracy to access high positions without origin or religion being taken into account. In this option you have ABSOLUTELY no right to claim to dissociate or excuse the USG for their criminal and imoral policies because of jewish influence.

    The second option is to claim that the US are not a democracy and that the over representation of the jewish minority in the US institutions is some kind of dictatorship imposed against the majority.
    As a conséquence the Iranian theological democracy with its numerus clausus, should be considered more a democracy than the US system.

    Which option do you prefer ?

    Sure you have not the gut to answer such question.
    At the end of the day for you history has no direction and morality is useless.

    Well I would even claim that for you logic is useless.

    By the same occasion it provides a nice rebutal to fyi “secular” democracy.
    See what are the consrquences ?

  72. James Canning says:

    Nico,

    I have probably stated that the US invasion of Iraq in 2003 was illegal and idiotic.

    I also have said the US obviously is not allowing Iran to exercise its full rights under the NPT. Immoral? Stupid? How many times have I described American policy in the Middle East as foolish, in one way or antoher?

  73. James Canning says:

    Nico,

    My point re: membershi pf US Supreme Court was simply that Jews have taken positions of power at all levels of the US Government, and of course totally out of proportion to their relative population.

    I think much of the idocy of American policy in the Middle East owes a very great deal to the great wealth and power of Jews in the US. Who would deny this is true?

  74. James Canning says:

    Nico,

    Idiocy, of American policy.

  75. James Canning says:

    Nico,

    And yes, Aipac does not push policies because they are in the best interests of the American people. Full stop.

  76. Empty says:

    nico,

    I think you’re misunderstanding entirely Jame Canning’s position and sentiment. When he speaks of the idiocy of American policies in the wars, Middle East, and with respect to Iran, he genuinely believes (from his own country’s first hand experience) that there are much smarter, far more intelligent, and less idiotic ways to be immoral and criminal.

  77. Empty says:

    James Canning,

    RE: “I think much of the idocy of American policy in the Middle East owes a very great deal to the great wealth and power of Jews in the US. Who would deny this is true?”

    Let’s suppose that’s true. How do you explain the idiocy of the British colonial policies? How many Jews have infiltrated there?

  78. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Wow…Comments on this site have devolved to:

    1) Religious arguments with fyi.
    2) Still pointless arguments with Canning.

    How this site has fallen from the heady days of me, Eric Brill and Arnold Evans…

    Truly pathetic…

  79. fyi says:

    Richard Steven Hack says:
    August 3, 2013 at 8:16 pm

    Not at all and for 2 reasons:

    There is no separation of Politics and Religion in Islam; thus the clarification and understanding of religious Truth is of fundamental interest to a Muslim Polity.

    Secondarily, the Axis Powers confrontation with Iran has a significant religious dimension in which the religious fantasies of Protestants & Jews in being rejected – over 4 generations so far – by Muslim states.

    Until and unless the American planners acknowledge this fact – that they are in partial religious confrontation with Islam (all of Islam and not just Iran) no improvements are possible.

    The other wing of this bird is for the US planners to acknowledge the increased power of Iran and moving on from that basis.

    There is not sign of such understanding among the cliques that run the United States.

  80. Persian Gulf says:

    Mahmood Ahmadinejad is now and ex-president of Iran.

    He did not finally wipe israel out from the map in his time in power! and the corporate media is silent about this fact. it looks like the media can shape anything policy makers want, and make the population believe too in this part of the world.

    I don’t even know what public opinion means here anymore. the media directionally feeds the population whatever it wants, for subjects like Iran, and then we have this crap talk of public opinion.

  81. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    fyi says,

    “Per the Islamic Law; how many slaves do you own?

    Should slavery be restored?”

    Haji I explained this to you a couple years ago. Like then it won’t sink in but might benefit others who might be interested.

    What I will explain to you is not my view but what the fuqaha have discussed thoroughly in 2nd-3rd years of usul-e fiqh studied by the young talabehs- may God protect them.

    Now if you had spent a little time in your life actually reading what the Doctors of Law- may God protect them and increase their numbers- had written you would notice that none of the issues you have raised are new and they are thoroughly discussed by the Islamic scholars. Been there, done that, got the t-shirt…(I doubt you get these hip little references the youngsters use…)

    Instead of having researched a little and realized most of your utterances have been responded to decades- sometimes centuries- ago you instead acted on your prejudices and judgements of what Islam and Muslims and scholars are.

    As you like to say: shame, shame, shame.

    In other words nothing new or revolutionary about anything you have raised in Islam. Sorry haji.

    Like I explained to you a few years ago you fail to distinguish between “j’al” and “maj’ul”, the initial legislation of the hukm and it’s “fe’liat”- it becoming current. Are you with me?

    The example used by the fuqaha is the hukm of going to haj. The initial legislation of haj exists until Day of Judgement and never changes even if not a single person has the necessary legal prerequisites to go on haj (like having the material means or health to travel etc.)

    The hukm of haj becomes fe’li when a person acquires the legal prerequisites. At this stage the hukm can be addressed as a sanavi matter or as a hukm velayati as happened in the mid 1980s when Imam (r) forbid going on wajib haj for a few years after the Saudis massacred the Iranian pilgrims.

    Get it haji? No?

    OK it’s exactly the same thing with the legislations on slavery. The initial legislation exists until the Day of Judgement and never changes but it is not current at the moment. And if one day it becomes current again, we have the guidance of how to deal with it. I don’t think this is sinking in, is it?.

    So what about the initial legislation of slavery? I mean “morally reprehensible” right? No, not really haji.

    I explained to you slavery in Islam was about war and prisoners of war not antebellum cotton plantation slaves- so please go scare some young impressionable Americans with your use of the word “slavery”, not us.

    In the early wars the conquered people would becomes slaves and they would teach the Muslims their sciences and skills for which they would be freed and they would be exposed to Islam. If they chose Islam they were no longer slaves. See how beautiful that is and most did cause that was the whole point of the legislation in the first place- not pickin’ cotton.

    And yes the 2nd and 3rd one didn’t follow this rule and kept many conquered people as slaves even if they had converted to Islam- or in many cases discouraged conversions to Islam to collect head tax of the Ahle Kitab.

    And that’s why we don’t like #2 and #3 and love Ali (as) because he ruled according to real Islam. Right haji?

    So to answer your question to yemi-jan, no slavery shouldn’t be “restored” but if it becomes fe’li again we will know exactly what to do.

    Just a little reality check for you amidst your “imaginations”- during the Sacred Defense our prisoners of war were unfortunately fellow Muslims and so this issue was not fe’li but who is to say that if we get attacked by an army of barbarian westerners we might not consider “restoration”.

    Hmmm, something to ponder haji…

  82. fyi says:

    Bussed-in Basiji says:
    August 3, 2013 at 10:23 pm

    Thank you for your comments that establish 3 things:

    1. Islamic Law is subject to change

    2. Islamic Law has been abused (used in an evil manner) by the many Muslims

    3. You are – as American say- are pussy-footing around the Quran’s mention of slaves.

    This is sufficient.

    I would like, nevertheless, to draw your attention to the so-called Hadji Firouz (Hadji Pirouz) with his broken Persian and clownish behavior – a prime cultural example of the intelligent negro taken into slavery trying to survive among alien people as a slave by acting like a clown seeking security and protection under humor.

    You are, once again, taking refuge in some imaginary legalism that has nothing to do with the historical experience.

  83. Sineva says:

    James Canning says:
    August 3, 2013 at 2:03 pm
    Its simple,you dont.Any deal that would allow iran any enrichment is unacceptable to the us,its already made that clear.For the us any deal that acknowledged and accepted irans rights would be a defeat no matter how the us tried to spin it.You seem to think iran has no other choice but to accept us demands,that its only hope is appeasement or it will be attacked

  84. nico says:

    Mr Canning,

    “I also have said the US obviously is not allowing Iran to exercise its full rights under the NPT. Immoral? Stupid? How many times have I described American policy in the Middle East as foolish, in one way or antoher?”

    You are either a coward or a supremacist.

    Would you have two neighbors using a single public road.
    And one of the neighbors threatening to kill the other because he considers the public road to be his own exclusivly.
    And when the bully cut the water and block the road to the other neighbor.
    Such bully is rightly called mad, criminal and imoral.

    You just call it idiot but do not condemn it and do not take position.
    Well in real life such third party as you is called complicit in crime or an imoral coward.

  85. Persian Gulf says:

    Anonymous Lurker says:
    August 4, 2013 at 10:19 am

    Disappointing. As if a combination of Hashemi and Khatami admins is back to power. The old gang is back.

    No room for new generation (average age is almost 58 with no one below 53 in a country with 70% of its population below 35). As if only people like Zangeneh, Hojjati, Najafi, Nemat Zadeh, Torkan… can run high level job in Iran. looks like there is a shortage of capable people in that country.

    and no one from Ahmadinejad’s admins except Pourmohammadi. not even Salehi could stay in his post.

    We miss you Mahmood.

  86. Sakineh Bagoom says:

    Richard Steven Hack says: August 3, 2013 at 8:16 pm

    why don’t you come back and post here, so that, we can argue “THERE WILL BE WAR!”
    Would add to the flavors, no?

  87. James Canning says:

    Nico,

    Can we agree on what your specific point is? You think that if the US is not allowing Iran its full rights under the NPT, the best course for Iran is war? And that blame for the war should be put on the US? So, the purpose of this site is to assign blame before the war, on the US?

  88. James Canning says:

    Sineva,

    I will say this again: I think Iran has a good chance of supplying its own nuclear fuel to its own nuclear power plants, with P5+1 approval.

    Neocons and other supporters of Israel right or wrong will of course try to prevent this.

    Some people try ot help the neocons, by making a huge deal about the “defeat” Iranian enrichment would be, for the US. Which in my view is nonsense.

  89. James Canning says:

    Empty,

    Qatar and Saudi Arabia pressured David Cameron to provide arms to insurgents in Syria. Cameron was willing to so so. But Parliament is unwilling to back this acheme.

    Is this the “British colonialism” to which you refer?

  90. James Canning says:

    Empty,

    I assume you are not questioning the power of Aipac to influence the US Congress in matters related to Israel. Correct?

  91. James Canning says:

    Empty,

    What would be the “moral” position for P5+1 to take with Iran, at this time?

  92. masoud says:

    Anonymous Lurker says:
    August 4, 2013 at 10:19 am
    Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance: Ali Jannati

    These idiot reformists. They vote a mullah into office, go into the street and dance about it, and are rewarded appropriately.

    They get screwed on the culture debate immediately, and in return have handed over the country to to Rafsanjani era neo-cons who are now going to proceed immediately to dismantling the state-centered economy.

    Thank god for the sanctions, which will make it difficult for these clowns to surrender large swathes of the economy to foreign multinationals, and smuggle the wealth outside of Iran.

    I think we’re just beginning to miss Mahmoud. It’ll be a long four years.

  93. masoud says:

    Anonymous Lurker says:
    August 4, 2013 at 10:19 am

    Not even one woman nominated.
    Disgusting.

  94. masoud says:

    Anonymous Lurker says:
    August 4, 2013 at 10:19 am

    Vice President for Political and Security Affairs: Ali Younesi

    Well,this is turning out to be quite the greeny love in, isn’t it?

  95. James Canning says:

    “Israel. . . prefers, understandably, weak rivals. So Israel works overtime to scare Americans to death about Iran. Credit AIPAC for effectiveness – - it has Congress eating out of its hand.”
    – - Scott McConnell, in the American Conservative Aug. 2nd

  96. masoud says:

    Anonymous Lurker says:
    August 4, 2013 at 10:19 am

    Head of Presidential Office’s Inspection Bureau: Hossein Fereidoun.

    Well isn’t that cute? I’m sure Rohani’s brother got the post because he’s chalk full of competence and integrity.

    The gall off this man in appointing his dadash to a high ranking position the day he gets inaugurated, after making so much hay of his intention to use only ‘professionals’ in contrast to Ahmadinejad’s ‘political appointments’ will tell you pretty much everything you need to know about how this bum is going to operate in office over the next four(god forbid, eight?) years.

  97. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    fyi,

    No haji, thank you for your comments.

    As always you mixed haq with batel and got some things wrong:

    “1. Islamic Law is subject to change”

    Yes it’s implementation is subject to change as a sanavi or velayati matter. The original ja’l is not. Got that?

    “2. Islamic Law has been abused (used in an evil manner) by the many Muslims”

    Exactly and never denied this. You see when I- not you- point out the historical abuse, I’m not taking refuge in anything. See how that works.

    “3. You are – as American say- are pussy-footing around the Quran’s mention of slaves.”

    Not at all haji-jan. Slavery is allowed in Islam under certain circumstances that I described, and that is a very good thing. It is mentioned in that context in the Holy Quran which is the final and perfect revelation of God to his creatures.

    You see just because you don’t like it doesn’t make it “wrong”. You understand that God is wiser than you, right, you do get that, don’t you?

    Like I told you, go scare some Americans with the word “slavery”, not us.

    As always you take refuge in your “imaginations”- tavahom va takhayol- which have nothing to do with historical experience or legal realities (for example that laws are considered “real” things philosophically- I doubt you get that).

    This is sufficient.

  98. Persian Gulf says:

    One of the main problem that I have with Rohani, political taste aside, is he is just too fat! for that post. he does not look energetic. Even someone like McCain, in that age, looked more energetic than him. I can’t imagine him moving from one meeting to another and having the courage to be deeply involved in the topics at hand.

  99. James Canning says:

    New York Times today has interesting story on Iran, focusing on the Iranian economy. Some Iranians are not pleased Iran is obliged to take payment in ovverpriced goods, for Iranian oil shipped to China.

  100. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    masoud-jan and others,

    Very weak start for Rohani with this list of has-beens. Like I said before, we wanted to wait and see if he was going to be smarter than Mahmud-jan in these affairs, but apparently he isn’t.

    Zarif and Zanganeh will have very contentious confirmations.

    Nematzadeh as industries minister is a real disappointment.

    Akhundi and Rabei are also problematic. Akhundi was part of the Moussavi delegation that came to Agha after the 88 elections and admitted that there was no fraud. Agha recently made a reference to that in one of his speeches about these fools admitting to no fraud privately but not apologizing publicly to the people taking the country “lab-e partgah”.

    Also notice the amazing weaseling abilities displayed by Pour-Mohammadi- wow!

    It will all depend how much bayzatayn the principalists in Majlis have to stand up to Rohani.

    I’m not holding my breath- whatsoever.

  101. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    James,

    There is a movement starting among Iranians to begin investigating and possibly prosecuting the British govt under international law for the great famine and genocide in Iran 1917-1919- which according to the reports by the British officials stationed in Iran at that time was caused by your ancestors…

    Forget China (and Russia). We’re coming to get you…

  102. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    The Great Famine and Genocide in Persia, 1917-1919 [Paperback]
    Mohammad Gholi Majd (Author)

    amazon.com/Great-Famine-Genocide-Persia-1917-1919/dp/0761826335/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1375641946&sr=1-1&keywords=great+iranian+famine

    Great Britain and Reza Shah: The Plunder of Iran, 1921-1941 [Hardcover]
    Mohammad Gholi Majd (Author)

    amazon.com/gp/product/0813021111/ref=cm_cr_asin_lnk

    Persia in World War I and Its Conquest by Great Britain [Paperback]
    Mohammad Gholi Majd (Author)

    amazon.com/gp/product/0761826785/ref=cm_cr_asin_lnk

  103. nahid says:

    I already missed mahmood jan . He is like my grand daddy_real man .

  104. Empty says:

    James Canning,

    RE: “Qatar and Saudi Arabia pressured David Cameron to provide arms to insurgents in Syria. Cameron was willing to so so. But Parliament is unwilling to back this acheme.”

    Well, let’s see……what is the Parliament’s motivation and rationale for not backing this scheme? Could you shed some light on that?

    RE: “I assume you are not questioning the power of Aipac to influence the US Congress in matters related to Israel. Correct?”

    I consider AIPAC to be a nothing consisting of nobodies working for nowhere land. I consider the US Congress to consist of elected representative with actual responsibilities toward their respective constituencies. When one doesn’t want to live up to ones responsibility, one can even find an excuse in a tight underwear not to do so.

    RE: “What would be the “moral” position for P5+1 to take with Iran, at this time?”
    I am not part of P5+1. I reckon you should pose that question to P9 minus 4 plus 3 minus 2 who is currently their spokesperson. Make sure you remind them that a “moral” position is timeless. Let me know what you find out though. I’m curious.

  105. Smith says:

    Greenies have come to power as was suspected.

    Do not expect anything from the corrupt Majles (and even judiciary). As is evident by now, the corrupt Majles was only good at stabbing Ahmadinejad while he was hard at work.

    There is only one worry now. That these clowns might hand over Iran’s nuclear rights to west in return for their children being able to live in west spending their ill gotten wealth. It is the real danger as these people use “beautiful” language and media spins to make such surrender look like the best deal for Iran.

    The corrupts in the rank of conservatives must be happy now. Instead of supporting Ahmadinejad they had started supporting greenies. This is the result now.

  106. Smith says:

    And uh, BBC Persian has shed its skin. It has come out full in support of Rouhani. In fact, nowadays, BBC Persian reads more like a reformist publication printed in Iran. Such is the level of support from the old fox.

    Nothing good will come out of Rouhani if God does not steer events in His own mysterious way to make benefit for Iran out of this loss. The only hope now is for divine intervention.

  107. Karl.. says:

    The crackdown on the brotherhood in Egypt is quite disgusting, now they are being sent to court on nonsense accusations. El-baradei is silent as usual and so are the west backing the dictators in Egypt.

  108. fyi says:

    Bussed-in Basiji says:
    August 4, 2013 at 1:34 pm

    Very good Mr. Bussed-in-Basiji; so we can now arrive at the conclusion that the Revelations in the Quran does not bestow Absolute Rights on individuals; that the exercise of such Rights are condition (by Law).

    An application of which, would mean, that Men do not have an absolute right to marry 4 wives.

    Do admit this much?

    That the Majlis in effect, can condition the ability of men to marry more than one woman?

  109. fyi says:

    Smith says:
    August 4, 2013 at 4:55 pm

    The Axis Powers are salivating since they need to get a deal this year.

    When they realize that there is no deal to be had, they will revert to type.

  110. humanist says:

    Some deep thinkers believe true objectivity is beyond the capability of human beings. Yet at times when numbers coincide one might think 2+2, under any circumstances, must be 4.

    On the case of Iran for example, statistically there is a clear correlation (coincidence) between the times when there was a chance of some sort of agreement between US and Iran (such as when Iran accepted West’s demand to ship its LEU out of the country) and dates of subtle or blatant subversive actions of Israel to torpedo the intended accord.

    Once, based on the above reality, when there was talks about the possibility of success between Iran and P5+1, I sensed the danger and on RaceForIran begged the imaginary Israeli saboteurs not to murder any Iranian scientists anew, yet a day (or 2 days?) later they assassinated another beneficent Iranian.

    When Rohani was elected and there were talks about possible improvements in US-Iran relations I thought ‘wow, this a big one, what would the Israelis do this time to counter such a big obstacle?”

    As expected the answer to the above q surfaced quickly. They are revealingly described by M.J.Rosenberg in his another historical article:

    http://mwcnews.net/focus/politics/29211-strangle-iran-bill.html

    Now we have to wait to see how this is going to play out. M.J foresees they are going to ‘box in’ Obama. (Who has been, as many Israelis believe, the best friend of their state ever).

    From all this one might conclude:

    Extremely powerful Likudnks who pull the major string are getting crazier, more assertive, more disrespectful of and contemptuous to the opinion of rational people of the world.

    Question is for how long the world can tolerate such abusive arrogance?

    History proves the blood-thirsty, revenge crazy tribes are bound to face the gloomy end time of their demise. Unless the Israeli case is unique in history, or zealous Israelis culturally evolve, humanity will decisively reject the racist ideology of the likes of Likudniks.

    When? Couple of years ago I read CIA believes Israel’s apartheid system will collapse in about 20 years.

    No doubt the passage of this new moronic sanction bill will shorten such end time no matter if that is reckoned in years or in decades.

  111. James Canning says:

    Empty,

    Opinion in Parliament is simply that arming the insurgents will only increase the death toll, chaos, etc etc And risk greater UK involvement in the civil war.

    US Senators and Congressmen look first to their own re-election. Those who fail to cooperate with Aipac can expect problems of various sorts.

  112. nahid says:

    http://armanha.com/?p=7915

    دست روی دست نمی گذاریم

  113. Sineva says:

    James Canning says:
    August 4, 2013 at 12:36 pm
    Irans nuclear program is not subject to western approval.It is not up to them to approve ANYTHING for iran period!,iran may voluntarily limit its enrichment but only in return for the west lifting all sanctions,so far the west has shown so sigh that it wants anything other than surrender.Its a sad fact that you still seem to think that the west has some inherent right to dictate to iran as it sees fit and that iran has no choice but to accept this.The problem here is the western governments and most of them are not run by neocons or zionists,the real problem is their inability to tolerate independent nations in the middle east.You either seem to support western policy in the region or seek to excuse it

  114. A-B says:

    On a positive note; the misquotation of Rohani’s speech by Netanyahu was a good thing. It is further proof (of the obvious to many) that the campaign against Ahmadinejad (incl. of course the Green insult to Iranians) was a deliberate and malicious assault from the West on Iran (with Russian and Chinese tacit agreement). The reality of this insolence of the West cannot have escaped Rohani; that the hostility of the Arrogant was not because of Ahmadinejad, the legitimate president elect of Iran. They expected a war during Ahmadinejad’s tenure; they didn’t get one (see footnote); would you then believe their ‘let’s be friends’??

    Actually, when the war drumming subsided, I expected that the Global Arrogance would give the credit to Israel; that it was because of Israel’s ‘magnanimity’ that the Iranians were spared from the ‘wrath of the gods’ … for the time being, that is. But then Netanyahu, this anti-social moron, went Loony Tunes on everybody with his bomb chart in the UN. I’m sure all the leaders in the West just shook their heads in disdain and said “here we try our best to promote our racist-fascist creation in the region and legitimize its savagery; now look at this clown!” I guess, that’s when they decided to instead make Obama champion of ‘peace’!! Now, the ‘shrewd’ (LOL!) nut-case is at it again! No doubt; the time for Israel is over, AND it is NOT thanks to ANY European/Westerner or Russian. Again, this is best time to cleanse the MENACA of Western imperialism; to squander this opportunity is unforgiveable.

    *** Footnote ***

    Three major signs, IMHO, that signaled that ‘The War’ was postponed:

    1- The wave of phony terror attacks against the West didn’t stick to Iran and instead blew in the face of Israel/US/UK. This was while acts of true terrorism against Iranians, especially the assassination of Iranian scientists, could not be blamed on anyone else than those same three arch-Terrorists.

    2- The total perplexity of the P5+1 in this charade that is called negotiation only indicated that they REALLY didn’t expect it to come this far.

    3- The ‘miraculous’ saving of the collapsing global financial system: Gold prices plunged; stock markets recovered; all the hype of ‘Euro-crises’ (what will happen if Greece defaults, oh me oh my…), the fiscal cliffs, the financial abysses, fault-lines, canyons, tectonic plates, etc. Don’t get me wrong; the economical situation was and remains a mess, but the way the financial head of the Fascist Hydra (or Cerberus) saved the day when they realized there cannot be a war (at this juncture) was pretty impressive.

    Undoubtedly, the fact that these very tangible events were used as pretext to start an unjust war is proof enough of the reality of a vicious conspiracy against Iran, even if the war never materialized (a syzygy did not occur, say, in December 2012!!!). In light of this, the Israeli crybaby’s temper tantrum was/is quite ‘rational’. However, it was and still is funny how the ‘alarmists’ , ‘truthers’, ‘conspiracy theorists’ in alternative media totally short-circuited: “Buy gold … sell gold … buy bitcoin … sell [naked] shorts … no, not your underwear … aw, sell that too … buy new one with bitcoin; it’s a safer investment”. Suddenly the ‘mighty’ Bilderbergers are just a little chummy advisory group of old megalomaniacal mass-murdering farts like Kissinger. So, who said their dictates would always materialize? Well, the WESTERN alternative media did!! (HOWEVER, apparently the Bilderbergers DID prefer to have Rohani as Iran’s president … but then again, I’m sure they much preferred to have a ‘Shah’ on the Iranian throne.)

    So, is the conspiracy or risk of War over? NO! Am I saying that all ‘alarmists’ , ‘truthers’, ‘conspiracy theorists’ are wrong or tools of the Establishment? Not necessarily. This reminds me of Jewish prophets saying: it is not easy to prophesize in troubled times. Not for some, apparently!!

  115. fyi says:

    Smith says:
    August 4, 2013 at 4:50 pm

    There is no chance of that; the Axis Powers sanction cannot be removed in any meaningful way and in any useful time frame to make any difference; it will take decades to unravel them.

    One must, nevertheless, pray for the continued steadfast leadership of Mr. Khamenei and others such as him.

  116. kooshy says:

    A-B says:
    August 4, 2013 at 7:26 pm

    In her 65 years of illegitimate existence no one has damaged Israel/west in wars of propagandas more than the legendary president of Iran Dr. Ahmadinejad, with just raising 2 questions that could not be reasonably replied to he destroyed the entire 60 years of western planning to make the occupation of Palestine legitimate, justified and a worldly reasonable response.

    Bravo Ahmadinejad

  117. Unknown Unknowns says:

    Basiji-jan:

    Extra points for re-Christening you know who.

  118. fyi says:

    humanist says:
    August 4, 2013 at 6:01 pm

    You are cutting Mr. Obama too much slack; he is not capable of strategic or tactical understanding with Iran – he is not “boxed in” by anyone; he has been in the “box” from the get-go.

    Look, the man gave carte-blanche to Mrs. Clinton, Dr. Slaughter, Mr. Danilon to craft an anti-Iran strategy that was leading to war in February-March of 1012; at which time he had to intervene and beat a hasty retreat.

    The best one can hope under Mr. Obama is no overt war.

    That is all.

  119. fyi says:

    nahid says:
    August 4, 2013 at 7:06 pm

    You need a real political party – something not built around Mr. Ahmadinejad but around some or all of his ideas, policies, and practices that could outlast him.

    Right now, there is no political party in Iran; this could be a start.

  120. A-B says:

    kooshy says:
    August 4, 2013 at 7:57 pm

    I am fully aware of and do agree with what you say. My intention was to be more specific on this ‘morbid’ ability of the Western MSM to ‘misunderstand’ a vibrant Indo-European language that is Persian; and I directed it to Rohani’s supporters, who, WRT foreign affairs, blame Ahmadinejad’s manners for the Western hostility.

    In other fora, I was very fast pointing out the importance of Ahamdinejad’s speech in the UN, where he asked for investigation of the 9/11 events. Those opposed to his questioning were: the Western powers, ‘Al-Qaeda’, and the Greenies!!

    And I have pointed out that when the Muslim identity was deliberately and maliciously insulted by the West, he replicated by questioning what the cult of Western ‘secular democracy’ holds holy. For this blasphemy the ‘secular’ West was/is prepared to go to holy war.

  121. Unknown Unknowns says:

    All I was trying to say (before I was ridiculously accused of takfir) was that there *IS* such a thing as Islamic identity, which consists of a set of commonly held beliefs, which leads to a certain set of practices we have in common, all of which in turn leads to a certain *character*. Here (this is for Empty, who enjoys formulaic formulae: (independent studying and attaining to faith and belief in) osul -> (practicing) ahkaam + ebaadaat -> (elevation of) akhlaaq.

    To say that someone who does not hold to the osul tenets or does not hold that the ahkaam and ebaadaat are a mandatory and integral part of Moslem identity is simply historically inaccurate and just modernistic pig-headedness. It’s like saying you have sex with both genders but are not really gay. Like I said: its so gay.

    One of the hallmarks of the modern age is that people think that they can do whatever they want. Well, maybe that’s true. But then, I can say what I want too, which is that if you don’t hold to the core beliefs of the community but identify with that label anyway, then that’s gay. That’s all.

  122. A-B says:

    Minor – but important – addition to my previous post (August 5, 2013 at 3:42 am)
    :
    :
    And I did point out, early on, that when the Muslim identity was deliberately and maliciously insulted by the West, he replicated by questioning what the cult of Western ‘secular democracy’ holds holy, using his right of freedom of expression. For this blasphemy the ‘secular’ West was/is prepared to go to holy war.

  123. M. Ali says:

    I guess the old dinasours are back.

    Ahmadenijad did a lot of good and I wish he was there for another four years. But he also made a few mistakes.

    But hey, it’s summer now. Spring will come.

  124. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    fyi,

    First of all, change your tone when you are addressing me, got it.

    Second the right to marry 4 wives has never been absolute. You’re barking up the wrong tree. Only in your “imagination” it was and maybe that is because you secretly would like to marry 4 wives.

    What the Majlis can do is define the misdaq of a hukm- for example what hijab is, but it cannot overturn the original hukm of hijab. That’s why we have the honorable Guardian Council in the Islamic Republic.

    Or the Majlis can determine the punishments in case a husband doesn’t pay mahriye- as it recently did by saying that husbands who don’t pay the mahriye after a court order no longer go to jail in cases above 110 gold coins. But it can cannot the original hukm of mahriye.

    You can twist and turn as you like- halal Muhammad is halal-e Muhammad and haraam Muhammad is haraam-e Muhammad ela yaum al-qiyamah (until the day of judgement).

  125. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    Good news…

    Supreme Leader appoints Dr. Ahmadinejad to Expediency Council!

    (See khamenei.ir website in Farsi, doesn’t let me post any links)

    You just gotta love Rahbar…

  126. M. Ali says:

    With all respect, guys (BiB, Smith, fyi, uu, etc), do we always need some kind of outside enemy? Should we invite Sassan & Scott Lucas back?

    Because once those guys are gone, I see the members attacking each other on any excuse.

    The discussions are interesting to read, but the insults aren’t.

  127. M. Ali says:

    I’m watching the ex-President’s final interview and I like how he talks all the different cities in Iran (the Tehranis, the Fars, the Kords, etc, etc) and how he then thanks all the religious groups (the Zorastarians, the Jews, the Christians, etc).

  128. fyi says:

    Bussed-in Basiji says:

    August 5, 2013 at 8:28 am

    Excellent Mr. Bussed-in-Basiji; we are now getting somewhere; the Rights in the Revelations are thus contingent upon further elaboration by the Law; in this particular case the Majlis.

    While I agree with this position, I note here this is a very very tiny group of people who think so.

    Expounding these veiws in Pakistan will get you killed.

    And in almost all Sunni Muslim countries this is considered an Absolute Right given to Men – just like beating one’s wife(wives).

    I am led to conclude that there is no Consensus across a fractrured Ummah – thus one’s faith cannot be predicated on the Community.

  129. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    fyi,

    Again as always you mix haq with batel.

    What I said is this and it is the view of the Jafari usuli school, nothing new nor “now we’re getting somewhere”. It has always been the case but it is just now that you are starting to understand after 4 years:

    There is an initial ja’l of the hukm which is so until Day of Judgement. Then there is a maj’ul when the hukm becomes fe’li. At this stage sanavi and velayati considerations CAN BE applied, but they do not HAVE TO be. And in most cases they are not because of the nature of the hukm itself.

    In an Islamic government, if there is a Majlis it can address the implementation of the ahkaam but cannot overturn the original ja’l. It can also consider maslahat issues.

    This is what Shia Islam is and I’m happy you finally have gotten understanding it.

    The stuff you mention about Sunnis and Pakistan should be addressed to them, not me.

    If the community are the Muslims who follow the teachings of Ahlul Bayt- whatever there label- than there is a consensus and faith can be predicated on that community. That’s the whole beef between Sunni and Shia for all these years isn’t haji-jan.

    But again that’s not what me or UU are claiming. We are saying that there are clear standards of a what Muslim is and it is accepted as such by the majority of those who practice it. Thus faith is not ONLY predicated on the individual bit also on the community.

    Now we’re getting somewhere.

  130. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    Maybe Mahmud-jan will run for the presidency in 4 years…you know, just a thought…

  131. Karl.. says:

    humanist says:
    August 4, 2013 at 6:01 pm

    I also wonder how long these psychopaths (I dont say psychopath as a slur, I say it because these people really are psychopaths – these are people working full time to achive war and that by proxy – for Israel) could go on.

    Every week there are some dumb statement or act by these warmongers. Unfortunately these people would most likely achive their goals, whatever that may be for the moment due their power.
    If something is going to stop them it is either:
    1. The ignorant mass of this world wake up and start countering these groups of people.
    2. That the acts by themselves (sanctions, war etc) comes back as a backlash that really hurt them.

    While its not looking good, we shouldnt give up, however the most important thing, Iran shouldnt give up, they shouldnt lower their guard either, not one step.

    The new sanctions came RIGHT after netanyahu urged more pressure on Iran, meaning it doesnt matter whose in charge in Iran and it also means that aipac and similar groups are the problem.

  132. nico says:

    James Canning says:
    August 3, 2013 at 7:42 pm
    “Nico,
    My point re: membershi pf US Supreme Court was simply that Jews have taken positions of power at all levels of the US Government, and of course totally out of proportion to their relative population.
    I think much of the idocy of American policy in the Middle East owes a very great deal to the great wealth and power of Jews in the US. Who would deny this is true?”

    I think I made my point clear.
    Do you have the gut and the courage to answer my questions ?

    I think not.

    Whitout answering those questions all your “reasoning”, “rationale”, remarks and comments are useless and impotent.

  133. fyi says:

    Bussed-in Basiji says:

    August 5, 2013 at 9:42 am

    Right, and that we owe to late Mr. Khomeini and no one else; until him, the Hawza was wallowing in a dead end.

    Thus we are led to the inescapable conclusion that, that which obtains in Iran is inapplicable to the rest of Sunni Muslim World; they will go hither and tither in a historical dead-end.

    That is, an amalgamation of the Principles of Republicanism and Principles of Islam – however desirable it might be – is unreachable for the Sunni World.

    This much now is certain.

    Therefore, I sumbit to you, there is no Universal Ummah worth that name; there could only be a an alliance of like-minded Muslims who are supporters of Ahl Beit. In practice that would mean Iran, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, parts of Afghanistan and Pakistan.

    Once we accept that there is no Ummah, it follows that the fractured communities of Shia and Sunni cannot be the basis of Muslim-ness; there is no argument that could be made that is metaphysically certain.

  134. Rd. says:

    James Canning says:

    “I will say this again: I think Iran has a good chance of supplying its own nuclear fuel to its own nuclear power plants, with P5+1 approval.”

    Really!!!!! Can we eat out cake too… LOL

    Take a good look at your own ‘thinking’, if you can call it thinking… a mirror into the past…

    @@ British Jane’s Defense in 1984: Iran will have an atom bomb within two years! @@

    3/1/2006
    Associated Press (AP)
    February 27, 2006

    Iran ever a “threat”, never an atomic power!

    Iran points up challenges of nuclear technology

    Charles Hanley

    The Iranians may have an atom bomb within two years, the authoritative British Jane’s
    Defence Weekly warned. That was in 1984, two decades ago!

    Four years later, the world was again put on notice, this time by Iraq, that Tehran
    was at the nuclear threshold, and in 1992 the CIA foresaw atomic arms in Iranian
    hands by 2000. Then U.S. officials pushed that back to 2003. And in 1997 the Israelis
    confidently predicted a new date – 2005.

    Now, as 2006 wears on, and a global focus sharpens on Iran’s nuclear ambitions, the
    coming of any Iranian doomsday arsenal looks to be years away, experts say. Those
    past predictions consistently underplayed the technological challenges of a bomb
    program.

    Iran itself, which said Tuesday it has begun enriching small amounts of uranium,
    denies its enrichment program is intended to produce anything beyond weaker fuel for
    civilian nuclear power plants, not the highly enriched uranium that can fuel a bomb.

    The United Nations Security Council is expected to take up the issue next month, when
    skeptics may push for sanctions against Tehran. But few specialists view a potential
    Iranian bomb as an imminent threat. In fact, the latest estimate from the CIA and
    other U.S. intelligence agencies sees no Iranian bomb before the next decade. Israeli
    defence experts agree, speaking of a 2012 date.

    The technology involved – uranium gas centrifuges – guarantees delays, said
    Washington analyst Corey Hinderstein.

    “It’s a very complicated process requiring precision from design and engineering to
    manufacture and installation, and there’s a lot of room for problems”, said Corey
    Hinderstein, who for a decade has tracked Iranian nuclear developments with the
    Institute for Science and International Security
    (http://www.isis-online.org/about/staff/chinderstein.html).

    http://epic-usa.org/_pics/_forum/hinderstein.jpg
    Corey Hinderstein

    Enrichment occurs in vast arrays of centrifuges, thin-walled cylinders of strong but
    superlight materials – typically three to six feet tall and several centimetres
    wide – into which uranium gas is fed. Each of these “rotors”, with just a few
    milligrams of gas, spins on its axis at up to 70,000 revolutions per minute,
    separating the heavier uranium-238 from the rarer U-235, the isotope whose nucleus
    can “fission” to produce energy.

    Pumped through thousands of “cascading” cylinders, the mixture’s content is gradually
    boosted to over three per cent U-235, the level needed for power generators. If
    extended, the process can produce 90% enriched uranium, the stuff of bombs.

    But centrifuges vibrate, shatter, fail regularly, because of imprecise machining,
    slight imbalances magnified at superhigh speeds, imperfect bearings.

    “A vast percentage of centrifuges have to be rejected in testing, up to 60%
    rejection”, said Frank Barnaby (http://www.granta.com/authors/2190), a former British
    weapons scientist, now with the Oxford Research Group
    (http://www.oxfordresearchgroup.org.uk/aboutus/staff.htm).

    The Iranians plan to install 50,000 centrifuges in huge underground halls at Natanz,
    Iran. But fewer than half the 1140 machines they had assembled by 2004, using
    ultrathin aluminum, were good enough to use in cascades, the UN nuclear agency has
    reported. And problems develop not only with materials, said a retired U.S.
    centrifuge specialist.

    “There are also problems with scoops and other things on the inside. You have to
    design the electronics that give you variable frequencies. You have to lubricate them
    properly, hook them together properly, maintain the vacuum,” said this scientist,
    speaking on condition he not be named because of his sensitive former government
    position.

    Hinderstein’s ISIS calculates that at its last known assembly rate of about 100 per
    month, Iran would take years to emplace thousands of centrifuges at Natanz, a plant
    that theoretically could eventually produce highly enriched uranium for dozens of
    bombs a year.

    The ISIS experts suggest Iran could speed things up with a basic small plant of 1500
    centrifuges, to produce enough bomb fuel for one weapon. Even then, the assembly,
    testing and production process would take the project into 2009, they estimate.

    And, asked Frank Barnaby, “who do you deter with just one weapon?”

    Even before the centrifuge stage, however, Iran must overcome another technical
    problem.

    Too many impurities remain in the gas produced from processed uranium ore, or
    yellowcake, at Iran’s uranium conversion facility, the magazine Science reported last
    month, quoting an unidentified U.S. government official.

    The gas conversion facility was built on a Chinese design, but Beijing backed out of
    the project in 1998, leaving the Iranians without Chinese expertise to ensure the
    best product.

    Contaminants in the uranium hexafluoride gas can block valves and piping. “Those
    impurities do muck up your centrifuges”, Frank Barnaby said
    (http://www.granta.com/audio). “It’s not a problem if you want 3.5% enriched uranium
    for power plants, but if you go to 90% these impurities are a major problem”.

    Few specialists doubt that the Iranians, with years of work, could overcome such
    engineering problems. But are they seeking a bomb?

    Mustafa Kibaroglu (http://bcsia.ksg.harvard.edu/person.cfm?program=CORE&item_id=861),
    of Ankara’s Bilkent University
    (http://catalog.bilkent.edu.tr/current/instructor/i2087.html), told The Associated
    Press nine years ago that Iran was incapable of building a nuclear weapon earlier
    than 2012. Now that his is a widely accepted timetable, this Turkish expert, who has
    consulted with Iranian leaders, says politics, more than technology, will be the
    deciding factor.

    “Having the capability to build weapons doesn’t mean that they will build nuclear
    weapons”, he said. “This is an issue yet to be decided by Iran’s (Muslim) clerical
    leadership. This issue is not to be discounted”.

    http://www.canada.com/montrealgazette/news/story.html?id=8367e0e9-149b-4a1e-9c74-1a979bd3e325&k=72529

  135. fyi says:

    Mr. Richard Steven HacK;

    I hope you have been paying attention to the conversation between myself and Mr. Bussed-in-Basiji.

    This conversation, however religious it may be from your point of view, has had certain geopolitical ramifications; the chief among them is that Iran – as a state – will remian geopolitically lonely for decades to come in her own area of the world.

    That is, there will be no Muslim state of any geopolitical weight that can even be remotely cosntrued – at an even more remote time – to join Iran in a close alliance; not Egypt, not Pakistan, not Turkey, and not Indonesia.

    If you accept this conclusion, it then follows that Iranian can only rely on themselves for their security and the security of their allies – largely Shia but with a sprinkling of others off-shoots of Islam.

    In practical terms, that means a common security architecture for the Persian Gulf or the Levant is not in the cards – even if the maliscious machinations of the Axis Powers are removed from the scene.

    All of this will obtain, it seems to me, until and unless the Sunni World goes through a Revolution of Outlook like what the late Mr. Khomeini carried out within Shia Islam.

  136. James Canning says:

    “While Secretary of State John Kerry is investing in a sidewhow – - the Israeli-Palestinian peace – - Moscow and Tehran are securing a foothold on the Mediterranean.”
    - – Josef Joffe, in Wall Street Journal today

    Vivid illustration of effort by some to distract attention from Israel’s oppression of the Palestinians by trying to scaremonger re: Russia and Iran.

  137. James Canning says:

    Seneva,

    Iran’s deal must be made with Six Powers (including Russia and China), but you claim time and again the issue is “western” demands. P5+1 is “western”, in your view?

  138. James Canning says:

    Nico,

    Obama entered the White House intending to improve America’s relations with Iran and Syria, and hoping to stop growth of illegal Jewish colonies in Palestine.

    Who blocked Obama’s programme, in your view?

    Most informed observers agree it was the ISRAEL LOBBY.

    You appear to doubt this.

  139. James Canning says:

    Has anyone noticed reports that Sheldon Adelson put $150 million into his effort to put Mitt Romney into the White House last year? Previous figure was $100 million.

    Adelson wants the Palestinians to disappear.

  140. James Canning says:

    Karl..,

    I of course agree with you that Aipac was quick to seek to block any improvement in relations between Iran and the US, after Rouhani won the election.

    I wonder of Nico agrees with us?

  141. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Re: Tom Donilon. After Donilon’s November 2011 Brookings speech, the Leveretts wrote: “Donilon’s. . . remarks provide as comprehensive and authoritative testimony as it is possible to find as to the strategic vacuity – - and duplicity – - of the Obama administration’s Iran policy.” (Nov. 28, 2011)

    Donilon predicted that Assad gov’t would soon be overthrown.

    I think it fair to say that Aipac demands “strategic vacuity and duplicity” in America’s policy toward Iran. White House insiders told the Financial Times Obama was just trying to get past the 2012 US elections.

  142. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    I think Aipac would not tolerate a National Security Advisor for a Democratis president in the White House, who thought and spoke clearly, strategically, regarding Israel, Iran and the Middle East.

  143. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    fyi,

    Again don’t mix things up and reach conclusions from premises that don’t warrant them.

    It’s ironic- wouldn’t you agree- that you are preaching to me about IMAM Khomeini (I don’t know who this “Mr. Khomeini” guy you keep mentioning is, maybe Imam’s cousin or something).

    Like I told you I stayed in Iran and have remained- thank God- loyal to the bayat that I gave him. Others did other things. So thanks for the pointing out something to me that I knew all those years ago when you were sending books to Tehran University library and others were doing other things.

    The issue is not theoretically understanding this, the issue is living your life according to that- you know “orthopraxy”- not “imaginations” and personal “inner states” which have no manifestation in the outside world.

    And yes the Sunnis are in a crappy state currently and will remain so as long as they follow those three and do not follow Ali and ale Ali. That’s all what we’ve been saying for 1,400 years.

    It’s not about countries or regions, it’s about following the Islam as taught by Ahlul Bayt or not. Most Sunnis love the Ahlul Bayt and it is in fact a tiny tiny minority of takfiri nasebis that do not. And thank God they are showing there real face today in Syria, Iraq, Pakistan, India, Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia and the majority of the UMMAH recognizes this. Just ask Lysander on this forum who recently starting following the school of Ahlul Bayt. Notice I didn’t say “converted” cause a Muslim doesn’t need to convert to Islam.

    I’m sure you also know about Shaykh Shaltut’s fatwa that proclaimed Shiaism and the Jafari school of law as acceptable schools to follow for any Muslim…

    Like I told you, the revolution that Imam Khomeini (ra) started in Iran will engulf all Muslims because it was not about sectarian labels- which you seem to love contrary to your “universalist” rhetoric.

    Imam’s revolution is about fitrat and many thousands of Sunni brothers and sisters have come towards the school of Ahlul Bayt- like Qardawi’s own son for example- and others who are also well known.

    We will witness an exponential growth in the followers of the Islam of Ahlul Bayt in the next 20-30 years as Sunnis are faced with choosing between being vassals of western imperialism or being vassals of takfiri nasebi Saudis.

    The majority will rather choose to be followers of Ali and ale Ali.

    And maybe me and you will be dead to see this all and will have to make do with the choices we made in the times and in the time Allah (swt) gave us in this world.

    So much is “metaphysically certain”.

  144. fyi says:

    Mr. James Canning:

    US, UK, France, and Germany cannot deal with Islamic Iran; they made that decision years ago and they are sticking to it.

    That is all.

    But, evidently, God has had away of turning their machinations against them – Syria is a an example of how the Axis Powers strenghtened Iran.

  145. fyi says:

    Bussed-in Basiji says:

    August 5, 2013 at 2:51 pm

    I am not objecting to you wishing to live your life as you see fit; Shah Sultan Hussein was also living his life according to the best understanding of (Shia) Islam that was available to him at the time; under the guidence of no less that the late Mullah Muhammad Majlesi.

    And all throughout the Qajar period people were living the Orthopraxy of Shia Islam – the Shah and his court would attend Takyeh Dowlat’s Ashura passion plays and shed tears at the appropriate times during the play.

    That excellence in orthopraxy – that living a way of life as you state – led to a disaster under Shah Sultan Hussein and was a slow-motion disaster during Qajar’s.

    I hope you fare better than them.

  146. nico says:

    James Canning says:
    August 5, 2013 at 1:46 pm

    “Nico,Obama entered the White House intending to improve America’s relations with Iran and Syria, and hoping to stop growth of illegal Jewish colonies in Palestine.Who blocked Obama’s programme, in your view?
    Most informed observers agree it was the ISRAEL LOBBY.You appear to doubt this.”

    Not only are you a supremacist.
    But by focusing all faults on the jews and do not considering the US polity as a whole.
    You seem to be an antisemitic supremacist.

    As for Obama he never had the intention to settle the ME or iran issue.
    He had Ms Clinton, Dennis Ross, in his team.
    Today he has Kerry and Indik.

    Obama is at worst a criminal and best a failure.

  147. fyi says:

    nico says:

    August 5, 2013 at 3:06 pm

    He is not a supermacist; he thinks that due the the strategic disparity obtaining between Axis Powers (and Russia) on the one side and Iran on the other, Iranians cannot resist and win.

    He is also beholden to the quaint notions of International Law – specially in case of Palestine – that are dead. [He does not extend the same observation of “Strategic Disparity” to the cae of Palestine which he extends to Iran.

    There was a global order – post 1945 – that is now gradually dissolving and various states are jockeying for power.

    A global zero-sum game until and unless the Peace of Yalta is rengogiated.

  148. Rd. says:

    James Canning says:

    “I will say this again: I think Iran has a good chance of supplying its own nuclear fuel to its own nuclear power plants, with P5+1 approval.”

    Really!!!!! Can we eat our cake too… LOL

    Take a good look at your own ‘thinking’, if you can call it thinking…

    @@ British Jane’s Defense in 1984: Iran will have an atom bomb within two years! @@

    3/1/2006
    Associated Press (AP)
    February 27, 2006

    Iran ever a “threat”, never an atomic power!

    Iran points up challenges of nuclear technology

    Charles Hanley

    The Iranians may have an atom bomb within two years, the authoritative British Jane’s
    Defence Weekly warned. That was in 1984, two decades ago!

    Four years later, the world was again put on notice, this time by Iraq, that Tehran
    was at the nuclear threshold, and in 1992 the CIA foresaw atomic arms in Iranian
    hands by 2000. Then U.S. officials pushed that back to 2003. And in 1997 the Israelis
    confidently predicted a new date – 2005.

    Now, as 2006 wears on, and a global focus sharpens on Iran’s nuclear ambitions, the
    coming of any Iranian doomsday arsenal looks to be years away, experts say. Those
    past predictions consistently underplayed the technological challenges of a bomb
    program.

    Iran itself, which said Tuesday it has begun enriching small amounts of uranium,
    denies its enrichment program is intended to produce anything beyond weaker fuel for
    civilian nuclear power plants, not the highly enriched uranium that can fuel a bomb.

    The United Nations Security Council is expected to take up the issue next month, when
    skeptics may push for sanctions against Tehran. But few specialists view a potential
    Iranian bomb as an imminent threat. In fact, the latest estimate from the CIA and
    other U.S. intelligence agencies sees no Iranian bomb before the next decade. Israeli
    defence experts agree, speaking of a 2012 date.

    The technology involved – uranium gas centrifuges – guarantees delays, said
    Washington analyst Corey Hinderstein.

    “It’s a very complicated process requiring precision from design and engineering to
    manufacture and installation, and there’s a lot of room for problems”, said Corey
    Hinderstein, who for a decade has tracked Iranian nuclear developments with the
    Institute for Science and International Security
    (http://www [dot] isis-online.org/about/staff/chinderstein.html).

    http://epic-usa [dot]org/_pics/_forum/hinderstein.jpg
    Corey Hinderstein

    Enrichment occurs in vast arrays of centrifuges, thin-walled cylinders of strong but
    superlight materials – typically three to six feet tall and several centimetres
    wide – into which uranium gas is fed. Each of these “rotors”, with just a few
    milligrams of gas, spins on its axis at up to 70,000 revolutions per minute,
    separating the heavier uranium-238 from the rarer U-235, the isotope whose nucleus
    can “fission” to produce energy.

    Pumped through thousands of “cascading” cylinders, the mixture’s content is gradually
    boosted to over three per cent U-235, the level needed for power generators. If
    extended, the process can produce 90% enriched uranium, the stuff of bombs.

    But centrifuges vibrate, shatter, fail regularly, because of imprecise machining,
    slight imbalances magnified at superhigh speeds, imperfect bearings.

    “A vast percentage of centrifuges have to be rejected in testing, up to 60%
    rejection”, said Frank Barnaby (http://www [dot]granta.com/authors/2190), a former British
    weapons scientist, now with the Oxford Research Group
    (http://www [dot] oxfordresearchgroup.org.uk/aboutus/staff.htm).

    The Iranians plan to install 50,000 centrifuges in huge underground halls at Natanz,
    Iran. But fewer than half the 1140 machines they had assembled by 2004, using
    ultrathin aluminum, were good enough to use in cascades, the UN nuclear agency has
    reported. And problems develop not only with materials, said a retired U.S.
    centrifuge specialist.

    “There are also problems with scoops and other things on the inside. You have to
    design the electronics that give you variable frequencies. You have to lubricate them
    properly, hook them together properly, maintain the vacuum,” said this scientist,
    speaking on condition he not be named because of his sensitive former government
    position.

    Hinderstein’s ISIS calculates that at its last known assembly rate of about 100 per
    month, Iran would take years to emplace thousands of centrifuges at Natanz, a plant
    that theoretically could eventually produce highly enriched uranium for dozens of
    bombs a year.

    The ISIS experts suggest Iran could speed things up with a basic small plant of 1500
    centrifuges, to produce enough bomb fuel for one weapon. Even then, the assembly,
    testing and production process would take the project into 2009, they estimate.

    And, asked Frank Barnaby, “who do you deter with just one weapon?”

    Even before the centrifuge stage, however, Iran must overcome another technical
    problem.

    Too many impurities remain in the gas produced from processed uranium ore, or
    yellowcake, at Iran’s uranium conversion facility, the magazine Science reported last
    month, quoting an unidentified U.S. government official.

    The gas conversion facility was built on a Chinese design, but Beijing backed out of
    the project in 1998, leaving the Iranians without Chinese expertise to ensure the
    best product.

    Contaminants in the uranium hexafluoride gas can block valves and piping. “Those
    impurities do muck up your centrifuges”, Frank Barnaby said
    (http://www [dot] granta.com/audio). “It’s not a problem if you want 3.5% enriched uranium
    for power plants, but if you go to 90% these impurities are a major problem”.

    Few specialists doubt that the Iranians, with years of work, could overcome such
    engineering problems. But are they seeking a bomb?

    Mustafa Kibaroglu (http://bcsia [dot] ksg.harvard.edu/person.cfm?program=CORE&item_id=861),
    of Ankara’s Bilkent University
    (http://catalog [dot] bilkent.edu.tr/current/instructor/i2087.html), told The Associated
    Press nine years ago that Iran was incapable of building a nuclear weapon earlier
    than 2012. Now that his is a widely accepted timetable, this Turkish expert, who has
    consulted with Iranian leaders, says politics, more than technology, will be the
    deciding factor.

    “Having the capability to build weapons doesn’t mean that they will build nuclear
    weapons”, he said. “This is an issue yet to be decided by Iran’s (Muslim) clerical
    leadership. This issue is not to be discounted”.

    http://www.canada.com/montrealgazette/news/story.html?id=8367e0e9-149b-4a1e-9c74-1a979bd3e325&k=72529

  149. nico says:

    James Canning says:
    August 5, 2013 at 1:51 pm
    “Karl..,I of course agree with you that Aipac was quick to seek to block any improvement in relations between Iran and the US, after Rouhani won the election.I wonder of Nico agrees with us?”

    So what ?

    Are you an US citizen to criticize that ?

    Or are you just another antisemitic British supremacist who believe that the US should follow the white british perfidious way rather than the jewish ruthless way ?

    Truly disgusting.

  150. nico says:

    fyi says:
    August 5, 2013 at 3:12 pm

    I think you are totally wrong.
    Mister Canning is a british antisemitic supremacist.

    Actually Mister Canning think the world management follows might makes right.
    I agree with that.

    But the issue is that he does not criticize the US stance morally speaking.
    Not only morally, but also as defined as right or wrong if he refered HONESTLY to all acceptable international laws, morms/standard, etc.
    For Mister Canning the US OFFICIAL way of behaving is normal. And it is as it should be.

    Actually Mr Canning think that history has no direction and that morally speaking the UK in the early 20th century was actually helping Iran against the Russian empire !

    The only LOGICAL conclusion is that he is a supremacist. After all that is the definition.
    “advocate of the supremacy of a particular group, especially one determined by race or sex.”

    Then he criticizes the jews as being the source of all US woes and idiotic policies in the ME.
    Not that supremacy is a problem for Mr Canning. Obviously it is not. And evidently when history has no direction, for him it should even be encouraged.
    But when it is coming from some jews. That is an issue for Mr Canning.

    That is disgusting.

    Shame.

  151. Karl.. says:

    fyi

    How is Iran strengthened by the crisis in Syria?

  152. fyi says:

    Karl.. says:

    August 5, 2013 at 4:32 pm

    They have demonstrated at a practical level and in a concrete manner that:

    1- They stand by their allies.
    2- They are capable of helping their allies financially, economically
    3- They have the military capability to help their allies
    4- They have an informal alliance that is working across 4 countries (Iran, Iraq, Syria and Lebanon)
    5- That their analysis and understanding of the situation in the Middle East has been superior to Axis Powers and Arabs of Persian Gulf
    7- That with some relatively small expenditures, they have been able to thwart the (mis-guided) policies of US, EU, and Arabs
    8- That their stand is the one which leads to peace and stability while those of their opponents only lead to more war, more bloodshed, more insecurity and with no end in sight.
    9- The further shredding of the Principles of Peace of Westphalia by Axis Powers, politically strengthens Iran as Axis Powers are portrayed – accurately, I might add – as Mad Men.

    There are probably a few more benefits that I have missed enumerating.

  153. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    fyi,

    Obviously orthopraxy is not just attending azadari. Orthpopraxy is rising up against the Shah, fighting against Saddam’s invasion and conducting elections and building your country under the severest sanctions and psychological war in human history.

    All of it because we follow the teachings of our Moula Ali and ale Ali- and nothing else.

    And we already have fared better.

    Never in the history of Iran has this land been so prosperous, educated, powerful, conscious of the world and active as during the Islamic Republic. Never. And it’s getting better as the years continue.

    As Imam Khomeini (ra) said, I can leave this world with a tranquil soul- because of the actions I sent ahead for my next life- especially the services I was privileged to render to my community.

  154. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    fyi,

    For the record Mullah Mohammad Majlesi was an akhbari, we are usulis- you know the difference, right?

    They didn’t understand aql, we base our entire scholarship on it.

    Indeed their misguided akhbarism was their downfall and our usulism is one of the main elements of our success.

    Don’t compare apples to oranges.

  155. fyi says:

    Bussed-in Basiji says:

    August 5, 2013 at 5:12 pm

    Yes, Mr. Bussed-in-Basiji; all of what you have written hinged on the presence of a single individual and his interior life; the Community was asleep for 300 years, having put its collective mind on auto-pilot – but what a magnificient sight it must have been – from Herat to Basra wallowing in orthopraxy while the Euro-Americans were eating their lunch.

  156. Empty says:

    fyi,

    Surely Imam Ali and the remaining 11 Imams, magnificent individuals as they were, were far more qualified than Imam Khomeini to create what Imam Khomeini did. What gives? Why do you suppose that was? About our 12th Imam, surely he is far more qualified, as an individual, to lead than Ayatollah Khamenei. Why do you suppose he is still in occultation? What needs to change for that to happen?

  157. James Canning says:

    Nico,

    You apparently contend that AIPAC has little or nothing to do with Israel or with Jes in America (and other countries).

    Amazing.

    Or, are you claiming Aipac does not largely control American policy in the Middle East, related to Israel?

  158. James Canning says:

    Nico,

    Give me ONE example of what you think supports your contention I “blame all US woes on the Jews”. Preposterous. Beyond absurd.

  159. James Canning says:

    Nico,

    Without opposition from Britain, the Russian Empire would have absorbed Persia. During the 19th Century. Full stop.

  160. James Canning says:

    Has Jeff Bezos of Seattle (Washington State) bought the Washington Post? News reports are that he is paying $250 million.

  161. James Canning says:

    Front Page of the Wall Street Journal today has story headlined: “Iran’s New Path to a Bomb”. Front page story, of course.

  162. Empty says:

    James Canning,

    RE: “Without opposition from Britain, the Russian Empire would have absorbed Persia. During the 19th Century. Full stop.”

    1. If we assume the Russian Empire was the frying pan during the 19th Century, which country, do you think, could be assumed to have been the fire?

    2. On what grounds did Britain oppose the alleged absorption of Persia by the Russian Empire? Did they want to “save” more Persians so that the 1917-1919 genocide of Persians to be worth their whiles?

  163. Sakineh Bagoom says:

    “Without opposition from Britain, te Russian Empire would have absorbed Persia. During the 19th Century. Full stop.”

    James,
    Without opposition from Britain, twenty more million Iranians would have been alive to see the next generation. Full stop. Do you get that?

  164. James Canning says:

    Sakineh,

    Britain killed 20 million Iranians? Wahen?

    I take it you agree Persia would have been annexed by Russia. W/o British opposition.

  165. James Canning says:

    Empty,

    Famines in Turkistan (Turkmenistan). Same period. Britain’s fault?

    Famine in Mount Lebanon. Britain’s fault?

  166. James Canning says:

    Empty,

    Britain wanted to protect its Indian Empire, and thus did not want a Russian occupation or annexation of Persia. Is that the “fire” to which you refer?

  167. James Canning says:

    Empty, Sakineh,

    Russia would have annexed the Straits and perhaps all of Anatolia, and Greater Syria, but for British opposition.

  168. fyi says:

    Empty says:
    August 5, 2013 at 6:00 pm

    You have to ask God.

  169. Empty says:

    James Canning,

    “Famines in Turkistan (Turkmenistan). Same period. Britain’s fault? Famine in Mount Lebanon. Britain’s fault?”

    Red Herring & Association Fallacy & Inductive Fallacy in in one breath. You go, James!

  170. Empty says:

    fyi,

    RE: “You have to ask God.”

    Right.

  171. Empty says:

    James Canning,

    RE: “Britain wanted to protect its Indian Empire, and thus did not want a Russian occupation or annexation of Persia. Is that the “fire” to which you refer?”

    And that’s what we call “ozr bad tar az gonah” [Rationale for the sin worse than the sin itself].

  172. Empty says:

    James Canning,

    RE: “Russia would have annexed the Straits and perhaps all of Anatolia, and Greater Syria, but for British opposition.”

    So, are you trying to suggest that Britain could not allow Russia to outperform her in crimes and imperial ambitions and adventures?

  173. Sineva says:

    James Canning says:
    August 5, 2013 at 1:43 pm
    The majority of those making the demands and the main driving force behind them is the west as I`m sure you very well know,so yes the p5+1 is western,its a western creation and follows a western agenda,but sadly you seem to believe that they are quite within their rights and totally justified in making these demands and threats and that iran has no choice but to comply with them

  174. Lysander says:

    Bussed-in Basiji says:
    August 3, 2013 at 1:22 am

    Ramadan Kareem, BiB, fyi and to all the Going to Tehran community. If I may borrow from your learning regarding this exchange”

    “Neither you, nor I nor anyone else living or dead has ever known who would be condemned to Hell.”

    Wrong again. You know it’s funny that’s exactly what the Ummayids used to say to justify killing Imam Hussein (as). God judges by CLEAR STANDARDS which we know in this world as revealed in the Quran and explained by the Holy Prophet (saws). In other words haji, WE CAN KNOW who will be condemned to Hell with near certainty.”

    Visiting Egypt as a child, I was told that standards of judgment can vary depending upon circumstances. A Muslim abstaining from alcohol in Saudi Arabia is different than one doing so in a western country where drinking alcohol is treated as a social requirement. If it is true that God takes into account a person’s circumstances, then how could we know for sure who is going to hell? Since only God is aware of each person’s circumstances. Only God can know if one’s prayers are sincere or are done to impress others.

    Thanks and any insight would be appreciated.

    Still doing some reading and study on the internet. It would normally be a good idea to find a local mosque, but I’m convinced (perhaps I’m paranoid) that mosques in the US are crawling with FBI informants, so I have to avoid them.

  175. Lysander says:

    kooshy says:
    August 4, 2013 at 7:57 pm

    I too miss Pres Ahmadinejad. Looking back, he was exactly what Iran needed at the time. After multiple rejected attempts at reconciliation, it was very refreshing to see an In-your-face, not-afraid-of-anybody president who wouldn’t budge. Watching him deal with hostile American interviewers and twist them into pretzels was simply a delight. The way he handled with total composure that ambush at Columbia university by that clown of a president looking to preen and posture for his Zionist doners was a classic.

    Still, I have no doubt that President Rohani will do an excellent job, and maybe what Iran needs now is someone who will conduct the same policies but with a smile and handshake. I think Russia and China are finally realizing that they are going to have to stand up to the US whether they want to or not, and it will be a lot easier to do if Iran is on their side. And it would be easier for them if the rhetoric from Iran was toned down.

    I also note that Bibi’s attempt to paint Rohani with the “wiped of the map” label, simply didn’t stick. It was the top of the news on Yahoo one day, and totally forgotten the next.

  176. Rehmat says:

    On Monday, Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatullah Ali Khamenei, appointed Dr. Ahmadinejad to country’s powerful Expediency Council.

    http://rehmat1.com/2013/08/06/ahmadinejad-im-back/

  177. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    fyi,

    No you don’t have to “ask God”.

    God will keep him in occultation until the COMMUNITY can physically protect him with normal tools of military and security. Nothing mysterious or “ghaybi” involved. That’s why God sent them into occultation in the first place because the community couldn’t physically protect them.

    That’s also why the establishment of the Islamic Republic of Iran is so significant in human history. We are starting to get to the point where we can physically protect him. Your comments show that you get this part.

    “all of what you have written hinged on the presence of a single individual and his interior life; the Community was asleep for 300 years, having put its collective mind on auto-pilot”

    Wrong again, Imam (ra) came out of the traditional howza community of central Iran- Khomein, Arak, Qom- which you hate so much. No foreign trips or languages, no university studies. Just azadari, azadari, azadari. The difference is that unlike many of us he actually “lived” the message of Imam Hussein (as), not just cried about it. This is called “orthopraxy”.

    You desperately have tried to portray “orthopraxy” as just azadari and daily prayers and I told you that orthopraxy is what we did in the last 40 years and more importantly what our ancestors did for “300 years” and more when fighting for justice because of the supreme example of Imam Hussein (as). They were executed, tortured, imprisoned, maimed and exiled.

    Where do you think we learned all this? It it didn’t just drop out of the sky into our “inner self”. We saw our grandfathers and mothers and great-grandfathers and mothers LIVING according to the example of Imam Hussein (as). We learned it form our COMMUNITY and from communal wisdom.

    This is the community that Imam came out of and which shaped him. And what’s more there would have not been any Imam or revolution without the community to support and implement it.

    Imam himself said, never has anybody had such good companions as me except Imam Hussein in Karbala. No community, no Imam, no revolution, no Iranian renaissance.

    Were have you been living? You have detached yourself from your community and it’s history- or more precisely you decided on a particular interpretation of that history 40 years ago and you are stickin to it no matter how much evidence to the contrary you are presented.

    Your problem is that when you identified the problems and pathologies of your community instead of staying to help build and improve your community who sneaked away in the dark- arrogantly and cynically- and sought refuge with those that had “eaten our lunch”. Instead of staying and fighting and building you sought refuge with the Bakers, Thatchers and Reagans of the world.

    And that’s because of you didn’t consider yourself as part of this community of illiterate peasants whose lunch was being eaten. No, you are better than that and deserve a different and better community- the community of Baker and Thatcher and Reagan, not these dirty sub-humans from the villages. That in a nutshell is your basic problem.

    Some who were more privileged in this community because of their family background or education or hard work decided to stay and build and help and improve the community. And with God’s help they were successful.

    This world is quickly coming to an end for me and you. You are always welcome to return to your community before Hazrat Izrael visits and you are forced to be buried in the cold, damp, lonely, foreign soil of where you live today.

  178. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    Lysander-jan,

    God judges by clear standards so it is incorrect to say that “we don’t know”. For 98% of the cases we know because it is clearly stated as such in the Holy Quran and Sunnah.

    Many of the things that are called “greater sins” with things like adultery, habitual drinking alcohol, lying and fraud as a habit or things like, you know- killing the Imam of the Age for example- we definitely know.

    In the ayat or in the hadith it is either directly mentioned that these are major offenses and/or that they are punishable by fire in the next world.

    And yes we also say that one is always hopeful of God’s infinite Mercy and one should never loose hope in God (as some apparently have) and God says that he forgives those you repent- even if they committed murder- but repentance has conditions and rules and not every repentance is always accepted.

    It also doesn’t mean that a murderer should not be punished legally for committing murder, even if he has repented. These are different matters.

    Historically there was an attempt by the school of the khalifah (as Allamah Askari calls them) to say that we don’t know who will go to heaven or hell in order to cover their crimes which obviously went against the clear instructions of the Quran and Sunnah.

    I recommend Sayyid Tijani’s and Allamah Askari’s books on Sunni-Shia debates.

    No need to rush to the mosque now, if you have questions find good scholars online and keep in touch with them. If you speak Arabic there are some great Iraqi and Lebanese scholars from whom you can benefit greatly (I will not mention names here for obvious reasons).

  179. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    Lysander-jan,

    Keep us in your prayers.

  180. fyi says:

    Bussed-in Basiji says:

    August 6, 2013 at 8:59 am

    I will attempt to respond to your points; disregarding your personal verbal onslaught – not even attacks – against myself.

    Let me get this straight: you have a direct line to God Almighty and he has communicated to you who is and is not going to Hell.

    Well, I disagree; your assertions to the contrary makes no sense; is God’s will constrained by your understanding?

    And you know when the Hidden Imam in going to emerge?

    Good, I never persumed to know the Mind of God.

    But it seems to me that the Community must be equipped with long range survivable nuclear weapons to be able to guarantee the safety of the Hidden Imam.

    And be not incomplete; Jesus is supposed to accompany the Hidden Imam as well; i.e. the Second Coming will also take place at the same time.

    Know this, for 300 years, while Euro-Americans were rising; Muslims were sinking. And all those generations of Muslims, considered themselves to be Muslims in Good Standing with God and surely expecting to go to Heaven.

    Yet, they guaranteed future misery to themselves and their progeny.

    The late Shah Sultan Hussein, by his indulgence in Religious Studies and Fine Arts, guaranteed 40 years of immediate misery to actual human beings from Hindu Kush to Euphrates.

    His disregard of his Kingly duties led to the creation of that miserable place called Afghanistan and all that has subsequenlty followed.

    Yet, that man, when questioned, most likely would have passed muster as a True Muslim – he outwardly conformed to all that was required of him by orthopraxy.

    Or take many of the Qajar Kings – shedding tears for Imam Hussein in Takyeh Dowlat when that “Dowlat” was decaying and sinking under their watch.

    They were excellent in listening to Qum and Najaf but ignorant of the ways of the World that Euro-Americans had been building.

    Even when some external power, like England, for her own interest, was trying to help them, they could not act on that – but all the time they were the most orthproactical Muslims.

    I am sure, given their beard etc., they would have had no problem getting elected to Majlis.

    Piety, Mr. Bussed-in-Basiji, cannot be measured the way you propose.

    And your claim that “orthopraxy is what we did in the last 40 years ” would mean that all those generations prior to your time were what exactly; ignorant, bad Muslims?

    You write as though the Prophet had died just a forthnight ago and Imam Huseesin was murdered today; disregarding the entire historical development since then.

    I believe that to be a mistaken approach to comprehend the current historical moment – it is incomplete and ultimately weak.

    It is incomplete because it ignores rational understanding of why Muslims are were they are today; fighting among themslves with certain Muslim countries being – if not the anus of the world – very clode to it.

    It is weak because it cannot formulate an adequate response to the Challenge of the Euro-American (God-less) Modernity; which were Hawza so far has failed.

    Personal attacks against me will not alter these.

    Death, when it comes to me, would be irrelevant to the arguments that I have made.

  181. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    fyi,

    As usual you misrepresent what I said. Very petty of you.

    I never claimed to have a “direct” line to God, only a direct line to his revelation the Holy Quran and the Sunnah of his Final Prophet. If me and you and other humans couldn’t understand the revelation in normal and clear language- called “zuhure kalaam”- there would be no point of sending a revelation.

    This you fail to understand- the basic point and the logical, rational consequences of it.

    Nor do I know when the Imam will appear, only that it will not happen until we can protect him physically. Again very petty of you to misrepresent what I said, but maybe you don’t know what else to do when confronted by new arguments you hadn’t thought of 40 years ago when concluding everything there is to know about “Gott und die Welt” as they say in German.

    And maybe having borderline nuclear capability is enough for our strategic purposes and openly brandishing them isn’t. That’s the strategic decision that those leaders you have been extremely successful in turning Iran from a vassal to strategic pivot in history in the last 34 years have to make, not me or you.

    And like I told you don’t compare apples and oranges. Don’t equate Qajar religiosity with what we did in the revolution and in the Islamic Republic. Apples and oranges. That the Qajar (and Pahlavi) failed- one religious the other secular- is the reason we had the revolution, remember? Go tell it to the Qajar and Pahlavi pretenders living in the US today.

    And all that stuff about “modernity” and “history” as if these are not debatable concepts themselves. You are like the Wahabi cleric who stands by the Prophet’s grave and says that his walking cane is more valuable to him than the Prophet because the Prophet is dead.

    Well for us the Prophet (sawas) is alive and when 15 million people go to Karbala on Arbaeen and tens of millions around the world mourn on Ashura that indicates to me that Imam Hussein (as) is alive and well. Just depends on your definition of “alive” and “dead”.

    The only one with limited understanding is the one who would assume that “death” is a problem for beings such as the Prophet and the Imams (sawas) and that the connection would be lost because of the that. I doubt you even can begin to understand what I’m saying. BTW, ditto for Hazrat Isa (as) on this point and maybe you should consider that those who genuinely follow the path of Hazrat Isa (as) today- i.e. the Muslims- also might have access to him. Again, probably goes over head.

    So it is in fact the very communal orthopraxy of the Islam of Ahlul Bayt that allowed us to rise from the oppressed we were previously and become the object of inquiry, fascination, discussion, fear, strategic confrontation, admiration, revulsion…etc. that we are today. You probably didn’t think you would have to deal with religion- much less Islam- for much longer 40 years ago when you were analyzing the world. Well it seems to have turned out differently, didn’t it.

    And death- mine and yours- are very relevant because it is at that time when “reality” is distinguished from “imagination”.

    As Ali (as) said: this world is the place of action and not reckoning, the next world is the place of reckoning where there is no more action.

  182. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    fyi,

    …And if I didn’t care about you, I wouldn’t spend so much time debating with you.

  183. Empty says:

    fyi,

    RE: “It is weak because it cannot formulate an adequate response to the Challenge of the Euro-American (God-less) Modernity”

    We are not in the habit of kicking someone when they are already down. By the end of 20th century, “The Euro-American (God-less) Modernity” had dug its grave. In the first decade of the 21st century, it has been crawling into it.

    Don’t take my words for it. Update your mental archive and explore their own celebrated and noble prized experts’ opinions and musings: http: // http://www.josephstiglitz.com/

  184. Empty says:

    fyi,

    RE: “It is weak because it cannot formulate an adequate response to the Challenge of the Euro-American (God-less) Modernity”

    We are not in the habit of kicking someone when s/he is already down. By the end of 20th century, “The Euro-American (God-less) Modernity” had dug its grave. In the first decade of the 21st century, it has been crawling into it.

    Don’t take my words for it. Update your mental archive and explore their own celebrated and noble prized experts’ opinions and musings: http: // http://www.josephstiglitz.com/

  185. fyi says:

    Empty says:

    August 6, 2013 at 1:01 pm

    That might be but its demise will not bring any thing superior; certainly Muslim Thinkers are not there in producing a vision of a plausibly better world order.

  186. James Canning says:

    Lysander,

    Bravo, for reminding us of the grace and composure Ahmadinejad showed at Columbia University, when he was so sigracefully ambushed by the president of the insitution, Lee Bollinger. Who was acting under orders of powerful Jews in New York.

  187. James Canning says:

    disgracefully ambushed, by Bollinger

  188. James Canning says:

    Sineva,

    Where do you get the idea that I think the P5+1 has acted in the most sensible manner, in the nuclear negotiations with Iran? Where?

  189. James Canning says:

    Empty,

    Do I take it you are unhappy with the history of the world over the past several centuries?

  190. James Canning says:

    Sakineh,

    I am of course very much aware of a number of terrible famines that were made possible by the catastrophe generally known as the First World War.

    I think your apparent belief that Britain would go out of its way to enable the deaths of millions of Persians to take place, is simply quite wrong.

  191. James Canning says:

    Sakineh,

    You may recall the Britain desperately wanted to keep Russia in the war, after the overthrow of the tsar in early 1917. Events in Persia reflected this fact.

  192. James Canning says:

    Empty,

    I think Britain’s empire in India was a very good thing indeed. And of course Britain wisely wished to protect that empire.

    Maybe you would prefer France had consolidated control of India, during 18th Century?

  193. James Canning says:

    Empty,

    Do you think Russia needs to get out of Daghestan?

  194. Sakineh Bagoom says:

    James Canning says: August 6, 2013 at 2:10 pm

    You reminded me of the words of Brigadier-General Reginald E.H. Dyer when asked in front of the commission re: Jallianwala Bagh massacre.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jallianwala_Bagh_massacre#The_Hunter_Commission

    Setalvad:
    “supposing the passage was sufficient to allow the armoured cars to go in, would you have opened fire with the machine guns?”

    Dyer:
    “I think probably, yes.”

    Setalvad:
    “In that case, the casualties would have been much higher?”

    Dyer:
    “Yes.”

    You can’t whitewash the crimes of the empire James. They have a way of coming back to bite you in the beeehind.

  195. James Canning says:

    Sakineh,

    Who is “trying to whitewash the crimes of empire”?

    Simple fact: Persia was able to maintain its independence, from Russia, due to Britain’s wish to protect its Indian Empire.

    Benefits of empire, for Persia.

  196. Sineva says:

    James Canning says:
    August 6, 2013 at 1:29 pm
    You seem to support their policies james,you said iran should seek their “approval”,so you obviously think they have the right to dictate and that iran must comply with their demands

  197. lysander says:

    Bussed-in Basiji says:August 6, 2013 at 9:33 am

    Without a doubt. Thanks for the insight as always.

  198. James Canning says:

    Sineva,

    I tend to question some policies of P5+1 while understanding the need for all six powers to maintain unity as far as possible.