The Strategic and Moral Bankruptcy of U.S. Sanctions Policy Toward Iran—Flynt Leverett and Trita Parsi on HuffPost Live

The Obama administration and other sanctions advocates claim that U.S.-instigated sanctions against the Islamic Republic are meant to achieve a range of objectives (changing Iran’s “nuclear calculus,” getting Iran “back to the negotiating table” and making it “negotiate in good faith,” strengthening the “credibility and leverage” of “pro-engagement camps” inside Iran, preventing military action by the United States and Israel, “political signaling” at home and abroad, and maintaining “unity” within the P5+1).

 
Appearing on HuffPost Live earlier this month, click here or on the above video. Flynt pointed out that, in fact, U.S.-instigated sanctions against Iran are achieving virtually none of the objectives sanctions proponents claim they are intended to achieve:  “Other than, possibly, sanctions as a stand in for military action by the United States or Israel, other than that I don’t think the sanctions are working to achieve any of the objectives.”
 
More pointedly, Flynt took on the analytic conclusions and policy recommendations regarding U.S. sanctions policy advanced by National Iranian American Council (NIAC) president Trita Parsi—who also appeared on the HuffPost Live segment with Flynt—and a recent NIAC study on sanctions.  We have long criticized NIAC’s position on sanctions—favoring “targeted sanctions” against the Iranian government while claiming to oppose broad-based sanctions that impact ordinary Iranians—as an intellectually incoherent and politically hypocritical posture that enables the Obama administration’s illegal, morally offensive, and strategically counter-productive sanctions policy.  Now Parsi and NIAC are trying to help the administration figure out how to make this illegal, morally offensive, and strategically counter-productive policy more “effective.”
 
More specifically, Flynt pushed back against Trita’s argument that, while sanctions have put “a tremendous amount of pressure on [the Iranian] economy,” they have not “changed the calculus of the Tehran regime” on the nuclear issue, because Supreme Leader Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei has a “strong and dominant narrative” that “depicts the West as being invariably against Iran’s development, that this is actually not about the nuclear program—it’s about the West trying to subdue Iran, making it dependent.”  For sanctions to alter Tehran’s nuclear calculus, Parsi holds, the Obama administration needs to shape “a countervailing narrative to this.”

Responding to this argument, Flynt notes,

“Trita has framed it in terms of the Supreme Leader having a ‘narrative’ about what sanctions say about U.S. intentions toward Iran and that there needs to be some sort of countervailing narrative.  In fact, there’s not a countervailing narrative because, in many ways, the Supreme Leader’s narrative about the nuclear issue and about America’s ultimate intentions toward the Islamic Republic [is] not wrong.

The Supreme Leader has said, just within the last couple of weeks, if the United States wants a diplomatic solution to the nuclear issue, it’s very easy:  recognize Iran’s right to safeguarded enrichment, stop trying to get them to suspend, stop trying to get them to go to zero enrichment and we can have a nuclear deal.  But the Obama administration, even though it’s had multiple opportunities to make clear that that’s where it wants to go, refuses to do that.  Its stated position is it still wants to get Iran to a full suspension—stop enriching uranium.  And as long as that’s the case, there is no countervailing narrative that can be had; the Supreme Leader’s narrative is actually validated.”

Flynt goes on to underscore that “the way the sanctions have been drawn up, and the fact that whereas even just a few years ago, most of them were imposed by executive orders (which are more or less at the discretion of the White House), but now most of the sanctions have been written into law,” belies the proposition that sanctions are somehow intended to promote a diplomatic solution:

“If you actually look at the language in the bills—that these are the conditions Iran would have to meet in order for the President to be able to say ‘we’ve satisfied these conditions and I’m therefore lifting sanctions’—the Islamic Republic could allow the U.S. government to come in, dismantle every centrifuge in Iran, cart them back to [the U.S. nuclear laboratory at] Oak Ridge (like Qadhafi in Libya did), and there would still not be a legal basis for lifting the sanctions.  [The Iranians would also] have to stop talking to, dealing with groups like Hizballah and HAMAS, that we want to call terrorist groups, and they basically have to turn themselves into a secular liberal democracy in order to meet our standards on ‘human rights.’  The President can’t lift them, even if the Iranians surrender to him on the nuclear issue.  So the idea that this is somehow meant to encourage a diplomatic outcome…that’s just not real.”

With regard to the impact of sanctions, another HuffPost Live panelist—Sune Engel Rasmussen, a Danish journalist who has reported from Tehran—points out that, “in living standards, Iran is not a developing country, and it’s a lot more affluent than many of the neighboring countries…If you were in Tehran for a week, for example, except when you changed your money you might not get a sense of this insane inflation.  Because you still have big billboards advertising clothes stores, you still have a lot of cars in the streets, people are still shopping, you still have people drinking three or four dollar cappuccinos in north Tehran.  That doesn’t mean the average Iranian is not suffering…But then when you talk about whether that leads to civil unrest, for example, then we also have to remember that many Iranians still remember an eight-year war with Iraq, when they were living on food stamps.  So they’ve seen a lot more suffering than they’re seeing now.”

Picking up on Sune’s observations, Flynt elaborates on the impact of sanctions—including their indirect contribution to Iranian economic reform:

“Anyone who has been in Tehran recently, you can talk to people and definitely get a sense of how sanctions are making daily life harder for more and more people.  But the idea that the economy is collapsing is just not borne out by on-the-ground reality.

It’s also worth pointing out—and I’ve had any number of Iranians, official and otherwise, say this to me—that sanctions, in some ways, actually help Iran, in that they give the government a kind of political cover to take some steps toward what you might call economic reform, that would be politically difficult otherwiseIran has done more to expand non-oil exports, it is less dependent on oil revenues for both its government budget and to cover its imports, than any other major oil-exporting country in the Middle East.  It has done far more in that kind of diversification than Saudi Arabia or any of the states on the other side of the Persian Gulf

[Take] the issue of the devaluation of the currency:  the Iranian riyal has been overvalued for at least a decade, but no Iranian government has been able or willing actually to let the riyal come back to something like its natural value.  Now, because of sanctions, this has happened.  And as a result, Iran’s non-oil exports have become much more competitive, and are growing.  In percentage terms, they can now cover 50-60 percent of their imports with non-oil exports.

Finally, on the question of whether sanctions amount to economic war against Iran, Flynt says, “We’re at war, and it’s not just an economic war.  We’re engaged in cyber-attacks against high-value Iranian targets, we’re sponsoring covert operations by groups inside Iran that, in any other country in the world, we would call terrorist operations.  We are definitely waging war against the Islamic Republic.”

–Flynt Leverett and Hillary Mann Leverett  

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126 Responses to “The Strategic and Moral Bankruptcy of U.S. Sanctions Policy Toward Iran—Flynt Leverett and Trita Parsi on HuffPost Live”

  1. nico says:

    http://edition.presstv.ir/iphone/detail.aspx?id=298577

    Given Iran achievement since Iran-Irak war in military equipments manufacturing, when Iran was under sanction all along, only shows that Iran policy is driven by deep and long run strategies and goals.

    The same could be said about nuclear energy.

    http://www.politico.com/story/2013/01/chuck-hagel-stumbles-on-iran-question-87001.html
    US containment policy could only slow Iran progress while indigenize the know how in the same time.

    However the bottom line is, are the US able to arm twist enough other importants players for the sanctions to be relevant and efficient.
    The answer is clear by now, the US failed in bringing Iran to her knees and it is difficult to see how such sanctions could be intensified when the central bank of Iran is already cut from the US and EU financial systems.

    Only a naval blockade could worsen Iran position, however such option is not viable at this juncture as it would spin the situation out of control.

    It is clear that the US are not ready/able to go to war with Iran, even if Iran quits the NPT.

    Time is on Iran side.
    Let the US leave Afghanistan, the Pak and Irak gas pipelines get online, and the arab spring unravel.
    Only the Syrian situation could somehow undermine Iran position. However, Syria loss would not be a game changer for Iran and the fall of Assad is not sure.

  2. nico says:

    Beyond economic propaganda emanating from all countries domestic statistics, the true figures of economic growth are always related to a country electricity generation and consumption.

    When a country official assert economic growth without electricity demand growth it is a sign of faked figures.
    The reverse is true as well.
    http://tehrantimes.com/economy-and-business/106890-irans-electricity-exports-up-29-year-on-year

    ” Iran has constructed power plants twice as many as the average number of power plants which have been constructed in the world during the past decade, the Mehr News Agency quoted deputy energy minister Mohammad Behzad as saying. The power generation capacity in Iran has grown by 7 percent annually during the past 10 years, he said, adding that the figure has averaged 3.5 percent in the world.”

  3. James Canning says:

    Some sources claim France is the member of the P5+1 most opposed to any enrichment of uranium by Iran. (This may not be correct.)

    Why doesn’t Obama openly say the US would accept Iranian enrichment to low levels? “Domestic political reasons”? We know the White House prevented any decent P5+1 offer from being made to Iran last year, due to domestic politics. “We were just trying to get through the year”, said a former Obama administration official. [Financial Times March 18th]

  4. Neo says:

    Shame on this Trita character, utter shame…

    Dear BiB and UU (nice to see you back UU-ji),

    It’s been a nice discussion, and I’ll be back soon to continue. Just been tied up work wise.

    It’s always been my purpose here to see how far an atheist Iranian like me might be able to engage with you, and whether we might be able to come to some understanding. One of these being the need for all Iranians of all creeds to be able to live and let live, and to be allowed to be politically active and free. Peacefully and respectfully.

    Do you think this can ever happen under the Islamic Republic?

  5. nico says:

    James Canning says:
    April 16, 2013 at 3:55 pm

    Why do you insist about US domistic policies and 20% matters ?

    The US is after imperialism and world dominance for decades (from US cicil war according to fyi).
    The US are still in their unilateral moment since the fall of USSR.

    Iran is denying the US full dominance over the PG. That is the reason of the enmity. Period.

    There will be no deal below 20%, 3.5% or any other level worth it for the US as long as Iran is a strategic competitor in the region.

    The US policy is containment and they will use any tool at their disposal.

    France case is pathetic.
    After France resistance against the Irak war the french polities have been totally normalized and pacified by the US.
    France has as much independence from the US as have UK and is a US satellite.
    The french leaders are corrupt to the bone and have abandoned any semblance of integrity and sovereignty.

    The best case in point is the Lisbon treaty which was submitted to referedum and voted against by french citizens.
    However it was signed all the same by the french government.
    There is no worse example of treasonous behaviour.

    The EU project is not supported anymore by any people in each individual country.
    It is forced upon the people and it has not one ounce of democratic legitimacy.

    The idiotic EURO project was born dead, it will disappear and be soon forgotten.

  6. kooshy says:

    nico says:
    April 16, 2013 at 3:43 pm

    nico -

    For Iran’s political and economic security the best policy Iran can implement is to use her energy wealth to improve the economic situation of her energy starved poorer neighbors, so they become more wealthy and productive and more possible to be consumers of Iranian energy products, electricity and cheaper agricultural and consumer goods, in return Iran should offer her neighbors regional collective security agreements, Iran’s interest is not to send her raw energy to western European countries. Iran should discount her energy products, electricity and petrochemicals to her regional neighbors or whom they are willing to sign a bilateral security agreement with Iran. Iran should start using her energy and petrochemicals wealth strategically this will change the region, Iranian worldly status as well as international geopolitics.

  7. Nasser says:

    kooshy says: April 16, 2013 at 5:10 pm

    “Iran’s interest is not to send her raw energy to western European countries. Iran should discount her energy products, electricity and petrochemicals to her regional neighbors or whom they are willing to sign a bilateral security agreement with Iran.”

    Fully agreed. The biggest opportunity for this exists in Pakistan. Pakistan is severely energy starved and looking for alternatives to its Saudi American relations. Iran should step in Big.

    Money gained from selling oil and gas is worthless to Iran if that money can’t be used to purchase what it needs. And the West (and the East) is determined to not sell Iran anything that can truly industrialize and fuel long term development in Iran. Instead oil income goes towards importing “cheap watermelons.” What a waste! It would be much better if Iran does what you propose and use its oil and gas wealth to purchase geopolitical influence in the region. Again the biggest potential for this lies in Pakistan.

  8. Nasser says:

    An interesting article: The U.S. in a Time of Change: Internal Transformations and Relations with Russia

    http://eng.globalaffairs.ru/number/The-US-in-a-Time-of-Change-Internal-Transformations-and-Relations-with-Russia-15927

  9. Pirouz says:

    Trita is intellectually corrupt.

    How can he be trusted to put forth reliable assessments in America’s interest when he isn’t even an American? Answer: he can’t!

    It’s all about pleasing his disgruntled patrons: Iranian expats with an axe to grind. Or as the Leverett’s correctly refer to ‘em: the loser narrative.

    Sad but true.

  10. nico says:

    kooshy says:
    April 16, 2013 at 5:10 pm

    The idea is interesting.
    Though, I am not convinced on how it could work.
    Subsidized economies are not sustainable.
    It generates corruption, sumuggling, economic unbalance and people passiveness.

    It could maybe work on small scale but difficult to extend massively.

    I also feel it could maybe work if there was a kind of shared ideology, like in the Eastern Block in Soviet times with Ukraine or Belarus getting their energy needs from Russia at discount price.
    However, now that the ideology is no more shared in those countries, the discount is finished as well. That is despite Russia geopolitical interests in those countries.

    I do not see shared ideology between Iran and her neighbours.

  11. Unknown Unknowns says:

    Neo-ji says, “One of these being the need for all Iranians of all creeds to be able to live and let live, and to be allowed to be politically active and free. Peacefully and respectfully. Do you think this can ever happen under the Islamic Republic?”

    No, I do not. And it is because an atheist’s process of individuation has progressed (in the clinical/ pathological not moral sense of the term) to the point of atomization (separation from the hive) so that his self-identity and definitions, his anthropology and psychology, do not share sufficient common ground for consensus to obtain on the definition of freedom, acceptable political activity, etc. You are not part of this hive, Neo-ji. Unfortunately, one of the characteristics of the culture of your hive, being sterile, is a constant desire to explore and want to impose the rules of your hive on others. Misery enjoys company.

    From our perspective, “peace and respect” means live and let live. It does not mean allowing the virus of atheism, together with the schizophrenia of the separation of church and state and other such nasty diseases to enter into our ecosystem.

    Incidentally, the Red Pill (al-haqq) increases the resonance of your *fetra* or Primordial Disposition, which is oriented toward *towhid*, the unicity of God, or the instinctual recognition of the monotheistic nature of ultimate reality. Its affect on those stuck in atheistic paradigms is spiritual dissonance.

  12. Sineva says:

    kooshy says:
    April 16, 2013 at 5:10 pm
    I agree,these are excellent ideas

  13. fyi says:

    All:

    Keep in mind the practical impossibility of removing these crippling sanctions against Iran works to undermine in the Iinternational arena.

    Inidans, when voting in 2006 against Iran, expected for a quick Axis Powers victory.

    When that did not materialize, they had to absorb the additional costs to them in terms of trade, oil sanctions, as well as strategic exclusion from their Near Abroad (Western & Central Asia).

    Likewise, just like the case of UNSC sanctions against Iran, as it has become clear that United States is either incapable or unwilling to remove stringent sanctions against Iran and as the hope for quick victory against Iran fades, other states are looking to circumvent these sanctions.

    The rigidity of the United States and her allies on this matter is what is causing the sanctions to erode.

    Korea, Japan, Sri Lanka, UAE, France, Germany, Italy, and Spain have all incurred losses due to these sanctions in the hope that they would be removed once Iranians have capitulated.

    Since that is not likely and since there are no countervailing mechanisms to compensate for their losses, they will be forced into finding creative ways to by-pass these sanctions.

    No doubt.

  14. Sineva says:

    nico says:
    April 16, 2013 at 3:32 pm
    Pressure is a two way street,if the west doesn`t like 20% then it`ll like 50% or 90% even less,iran needs to make it clear to the west that the window is closing on iran voluntarily limiting itself to 3.5% if the west does not say yes at the next round of talks iran should make it clear that it will begin enriching to 50%.The actions of the waest make it clear that they are still not willing to accept iranian enrichment

  15. nico says:

    Sineva says:
    April 17, 2013 at 10:15 am

    That is an option left open to Iran and that is considered by Iran top officials as stated in their press interviews.

    Both options, enriching above 20% are keeping the 20% enrichment grade are somehow similar.

    By keeping at 20% Iran is edging her soft power tactic in negotiation as it demonstatres to the world how Iran is reasonable and how the US have a demented policy. The backdrop being the US claiming success in their containment approach.

    By enriching above 20% it would show that Iran is ready to escalate the situation.
    However it would somehow reinforce the US hand with regard to Russia and China.

    Iran is in the driver seat and such decision as to expend enrichment level is a card to be played at the right time and under the relevant circumstances. It should not be wasted uselessly or at whim.

    It is somehow related to the overall negoatiation and relation posture between Iran and the US. As when the SL rebuked the US offer of direct talk.
    It is relation posturing and chest beating.

    All in all Iran could have had direct talks with the US without droping her position. As Iran could keep a principled position on the level of enrichment by keeping the level at 20% or below.

    A possibility is that the SL rebuke came because of the timing just before Iran presidential election as it would have polluted the presidential race debate. And maybe that was the US goal.

  16. nico says:

    fyi says:
    April 17, 2013 at 10:10 am

    Interesting insight that seems right in the intent.
    Howevere, that those countries would be able by-pass, and especially the weakests ones as Sri Lanka or the US satellites as Japan or Corea remain to be seen.

    I guess the way China and India react as well as the financial system that the BRIC is trying to implement would play a role if successfull.
    But again that reamains to be seen.

  17. Fiorangela says:

    kooshy says: April 16, 2013 at 5:10 pm

    Smart move for Iran to use the resources it has to aid, and thereby befriend — its resource dependent neighbors, all the smarter since it reflects moral, spiritual integrity, in contrast to the Economic Hitman imposed consumerism of US/Israel/EU schemes.

    Dig a little deeper, though. In the US/Israel, and by extension EU, the national religion is propagated by Hollywood and other media, not least, a plethora of novels and thrillers. Iran could dominate these fields if it chose to do so: I would suggest that Iran use its wealth & gifts to create popular literature, such as novels, graphic novels, film, even teevee series, that celebrate Persian culture.

    Whether they are conscious of it or not, what most Americans know about Israel and their own so-called Judeo-Christian (a contradiction in terms) culture is based on movies and television programs, buttressed by popular fiction. I’ve not done a statistical study, but it’s a safe bet that more Americans have impressions about Israel that are influenced by Exodus by Leon Uris rather than Exodus from Hebrew scripture. Similarly, more Americans draw their knowledge of holocaust from Stephen Spielberg than from critical analysis of documents and evidence. American and some European fiction writers (Simon Winchester and Henning Mankell come to mind) who achieve fame almost inevitably produce fiction works that reinforce the Uris and Spielberg narratives.

    The Zoroastrian/Persian/Iranian narrative is almost completely obscrued by the sheer density of the “Uris-Spielberg” hasbara dump. Moreover, hasbarists seek to take control of the Iranian narrative as well. Iran would do well to stop complaining about the anti-Iran propaganda films such as Argo and start producing its own popular culture fiction, creative non-fiction, and film.

    My knowledge of Iranian film is limited to the movies I saw on an Iran Air flight from Frankfurt to Tehran; their themes revolved around (rather tedious) extended family domestic conflicts. If I were half as old and twice as smart as I am, I would produce popular fiction and film that celebrates Persian history; the Shahnameh; Persian poets; Persian empire; Cyrus; Zoroaster; Iran in World War I; Iran in World War II. I would mimic authors such as Donna Leon who applies her ironic-to-sarcastic and quirky high-brow humor to Italian and Venetian politics and family life — and food — don’t forget Iranian food!

    This is how people in the West learn about other cultures — not through dense history texts, many of which have been whitewashed anyway, but through exposure through popular culture.

    The best defense is a good offense. Iran would be well advised to take control of its own narrative and cultural legacy by propagating it — massively promoting it! — using the forms of popular culture, and beat Hollywood at its own game.

  18. nico says:

    Elites ask Washington to drop Iran gun
    By Jim Lobe
    http://atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/MID-01-170413.html
    It is not a call to respect Iran rights but a call for a ceasefire (as put by fyi) and a call to stop the escalation at this point.

  19. fyi says:

    nico says:
    April 17, 2013 at 2:04 pm

    Americans are quite good at propaganda and management of perception.

    They have, for example, indicated that their shale oil & gas will address any shortages due to Iran oil embargoe.

    That the infrastructure to so is years into the future has been obfuscated.

    These states and others can take as many of these Pie-in-Sky promises from US, but when it is hot and humid in Pakistan or in Korea and you are facing an 18 or 8 hour long blackout, those promises won’t suffice.

    To this must be added the slow motion economic depression in EU states as Euro begins to disintegrate.

    There is excess oil tanker capaicty in the world.

    There is excess container ship capacity in the world.

    There is excess spare parts and component systems in the world.

    Does anyone seriously think that these producers and service providers who are hurting are going to permanently say no to Iranian business?

    I think not.

    Really, what saved Iran was the collapse of Axis Powers Financed-based Economy in 2011 and the inablility of those states to compensate for the losses they have inflicted on themselves and on their allies as well as neutral states.

    But, per your post, let us wait and observe.

  20. nico says:

    fyi says:
    April 17, 2013 at 10:47 am

    Thanks for the link.
    I jumped directly to the 1 page conclusion out of the 55.
    The policy recommendation is that no additional pressure would compel Iran to capitulate and that a more balanced US policy in the ME with open relation with Iran woulb be beneficial.
    Meanwhile there are risks with current client states in the ME being outraged.
    However it recognizes that Iran support is mandatory for US to keep influence in Irak and Afghanistan.
    It is right in line with the Leveretts position.

    Well let s see how the US diplomat would manage to implement such policy.
    Obviously the report avoid the true stake.

    Obviously there would be a price to pay, as at this juncture I am not sure that Iran needs relations with US anymore.
    The outcome of 20 years blunder by the US in the ME will not be a statu quo ante.

  21. James Canning says:

    Nico,

    Domestic politics caused Obama to arrange for P5+1 to offer weak proposal to Iran last year. You may think the negotiations should not be driven by political calculations of the White House, but this is what obtains.

    Iran would be even stronger, and more dominant in the Persian Gulf, if it had not brought on the sanctions. The notion Iran is able to dominate the PG because it enriches uranium to 20% is in my view preposterous.

  22. James Canning says:

    Wall Street Journal today has a report by Jay Solomon who claims Obama is trying to ascertain what are the intentions of Khamenei.

    Didn’t Khamenei offer to stop enriching uranium to 20%? Did the US respond to that offer? No.

  23. James Canning says:

    Nico,

    You have a tendency to ignore the fact the most powerful countries on the planet want Iran to stop enriching to 20%. Your belief Iran can stockpile as much 20U as it wishes, is simply dead wrong.

  24. Fiorangela says:

    nico says:
    April 17, 2013 at 2:20 pm

    The Iran Project is run, through intermediaries, by Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Lobe has allowed himself to be seduced/deceived.

    Besides, don’t Americans bray about being a democracy? I don’t recall voting for any of the think-tankers from The Iran Project, CNAS, or Carnegie Endowment.

    Only if we, the People, and people like Jim Lobe, endow such organizations with elite status will they be able to function as such. Think tanks are generally tax-exempt organizations; I am not. As long as I am paying the bills — i.e. taxes — I do not cede my informed voice on how US conducts its foreign policy, nor give my consent to think tankers to overly influence foreign policy.

  25. Karl... says:

    James,

    You make no sense first you say Iran must stop 20% enrichment of some illegit reasons, mostly because “others says so”. But then, you acknowledge yourself that Obama didnt respond to iran’s offer to end 20% enrichment.

  26. nico says:

    James Canning says:
    April 17, 2013 at 3:34 pm

    “Nico,

    You have a tendency to ignore the fact the most powerful countries on the planet want Iran to stop enriching to 20%. Your belief Iran can stockpile as much 20U as it wishes, is simply dead wrong.”

    They can wish all they want.
    Their desires will be disapointed

  27. nico says:

    James Canning says:
    April 17, 2013 at 3:30 pm

    “Domestic politics caused Obama to arrange for P5+1 to offer weak proposal to Iran last year. You may think the negotiations should not be driven by political calculations of the White House, but this is what obtains.”

    BS.
    The US is locked in their relation with the Banana republics.
    The Banana republics exclusivly accept USD as payment for oil/gas and they recycle all their gains in western useless weapons and western bank coffers.
    Guess what would happen to the US the day oil is not sold in USD anymore and the PG money is not invested in western economy ?
    You know that is called the petrodallar system.
    Domestic politic does not matter, it has some influence only when the true stakes are not challenged.

    “Iran would be even stronger, and more dominant in the Persian Gulf, if it had not brought on the sanctions. The notion Iran is able to dominate the PG because it enriches uranium to 20% is in my view preposterous.”

    BS.
    Iran was already under sanctions before the nuclear file.

  28. nico says:

    Fiorangela says:
    April 17, 2013 at 4:07 pm

    Whether you pay taxes is irrelevant.
    You are an individual and in the US system of governance the citizens have 0 power.

    In western liberal capitalist democracy policy is made by networks of people connected to powerfull interests which are publicly represented by think tanks.

    Unfortunately your opinion as US citizen in US policy making is worthless to US leaders, while the lobe article show powerfull interests taking a position concerning the Iran subject.

  29. fyi says:

    nico says:
    April 17, 2013 at 3:20 pm

    The time for cooperation on Afghanistan and on Iraq are over; Iranians do not need US in Iraq and in Afghanistan there seems to be some sort of understanding with Pakistan.

    The fact is that the United States and the European Union have no positive inducements for Iran (barring possibly Technology-Transfer agreements – which Axis Powers will loath to agree to and Iranians probably won’t have the money to pay for.)

    The gradual or even quick removal of sanctions are only of tactical value to Iran as that state will never go back to the status quo ante of 2006 when so much of her economy was exposed to US & EU maleficence.

    With an Economic War waged against her, and a proxy war against her allies in Syria, I cannot see any possibility but cease-fire.

    Evidently, no cease-fire agreement was reached on the nuclear front, perhaps the agreement must be across the board.

    Peace is decades into the future.

  30. fyi says:

    James Canning says:
    April 17, 2013 at 3:32 pm

    In his Noruz speech, Mr. Khamenei explicitly urged US to change her policy towards Peaceful Coexistence (with Iran).

    He conditioned that on the results of Almaty-2.

    US, EU, China, and Russia failed to deliver an acceptable repsonse to him.

    The confronation and war will continue.

  31. nico says:

    fyi says:
    April 17, 2013 at 2:52 pm

    I agree with you that the sanction regime will crumble eventually.
    But that is not that easy and the timeline is not clear.

    You can not compare Japan and Corea, with Pak and Irak or with China and BRICS.

    Each have their interests, are more or less sovereign, more are less powerfull and dependent on US trade and western financial system.

    Obviously at this juncture, Iran stability and ecenomic outreach gave her an undeniable advantage in her near abroad.

    For other countries far away the situation is more nuanced.
    China will resist pressure.
    Corea and Japan are not sovereign and depend on US for security, trade relations and balance of power with China.
    EU and US are in the same boat.
    On the short/medium term what is left is the BRICS and the alternate financial system they could implement to counter balance the USD and EURO system.

    Industrialized countries could possibly smuggle and do business under the counter but I am not sure it could be massive and have a significant impact.

    At the end of he day Iran economy is an energy superpower with the 1st or 2nd world combined reserve of oil and gas if by price of extraction and accessability.
    With the world hydrocarbon reserves depletion, time is with Iran.

  32. Karl.. says:

    Israel going to Boston, go figure who they will tie the bombings to.

    http://rt.com/usa/police-israel-investigation-boston-009/

  33. nico says:

    James Canning,

    If you want to know what is happening in France and Europe, As a French national, I agree 100% with what is stated in the following link.
    That exactly explains the feeling of deshumanization of the society.
    The anger is deep.

    http://www.counterpunch.org/2013/04/17/the-french-spring/

  34. Sineva says:

    James Canning says:
    April 17, 2013 at 3:34 pm
    And what can the west do to stop iran??,absolutely nothing,apart from sanctions that also hurt it and empty threats,had the west been able to do something militarily it would have already

  35. Sineva says:

    Fiorangela says:
    April 17, 2013 at 2:06 pm
    An excellent idea propaganda is an essential part of any war effort,iran has been to passive in these areas

  36. kooshy says:

    James Canning says:
    April 17, 2013 at 3:30 pm

    Gav-

    As I understand the Iranian planers including the leader of Iran, think if these negotiations will keep the western dogs limited to just barking and showing teeth, that it’s great, they will keep giving them as much negotiations as they want with continued change in flavors so they don’t become tasteless. So let’s give them the negotiations they want and have them sanction themselves away from Iran, it’s a swell deal. But if the westerner’s expectation from these negotiations is to get a legal binding unlimited concession on Iran’s treaty rights that I am sure will not happen. Gav, as I understand in this current time even the leader of Iran does not have the power for that type of concessions.

    Knowing this leaves no good alternative for the poor westerners other than the good old repetitive attempts for regime change, which we know has been tried many, many times with various types and tools which Includes but not limited to proxy war, various assassinations, cope, insurgency, ethnic uprisings, various economic, scientific, political containments, various sanctions and limiting, various attempted color revolutions, etc. etc. etc. we know so far none has worked. Now, the question westerners like yourself need to ask is, why the damn think don’t work?

    The answer is simple which I didn’t know myself till I traveled inside Iran a few years back, the answer I got is that Iranian people are more informed than what you think of them, they know what is going on and what and where their best long term interest is, especially in regard with Iran’s relations with the west. Iranians, like many westerners may have some dispute on social and economic issues with their elected governments, but have zero disputes; debut or mistrust on their government’s handling of Iranian international rights or affairs.

    To change that side of the Iranian mindset with experience and mistrust they have on western countries including yours, is and would be tough, it will not happen with just a nice smile, new year greetings and reading them Hafez and Sadie poems, they have seen that movie before.

    Please don’t hesitate to ask me to supply references for past western attempted regime change types, tools and times.

    Vasalam

  37. fyi says:

    nico says:
    April 17, 2013 at 5:44 pm

    There is no sense of distress in Tehran among the Iranian leaders.

    The sanctions against the Ba’ath State in Iraq were crumbling in 2000; I expect those against Iran to crumble even earlier.

    The fact is, as long as US planners are unwilling to admit the brutal fact of Iran’s rising after the destruction of the Ba’ath state in Iraq, there will be only more of the same from them.

    No cooperation with Iran – even on common tactical issues – is any longer possible.

    That game is over.

    In 2014 there might be another attempt at cease fire, but not until then.

  38. kooshy says:

    Fiorangela says:
    April 17, 2013 at 4:07 pm

    As long as I am paying the bills — i.e. taxes — I do not cede my informed voice on how US conducts its foreign policy, nor give my consent to think tankers to overly influence foreign policy.

    Fior- I fully agree that’s the starting point for a civil disobedience even if it doesn’t make an immediate effect. One should not stay quiet just because his voice is not allowed to be heard, especially now and as long as the internet is not regulated one should raise his voice.

  39. kooshy says:

    One can just imagine how hard is for Mr. Obama and his supporters to argue with this man from their position? so when one like Mr. Obama can’t debate and argue from his unjust and illogical position he will resort to I can’t hear what you say.

    “What kind of logic is this, that if children and women are killed by Americans in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and by US-backed terrorists in Iraq and Syria, it is not a problem, but if a bombing happens in the US or another Western country, the whole world should pay the cost?” Khamenei said today.

    Such “contradictions,” “coercions and lack of care for human principles,” Khamenei asserted, indicated that “Western civilization is on the verge of collapse and downfall.”

    http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Middle-East/2013/0417/Iran-s-Khamenei-condemns-Boston-Marathon-attacks-but-takes-jab-at-US-policies

  40. imho says:

    nico says:
    April 17, 2013 at 2:20 pm

    Thank you for Lobe article but it is hardly convincing.

    The good cop (diplomatic elites) is saying let’s have a minimum agreement (ceasefire) otherwise the bad cop (congress) will go on with more sanctions.

    If this is not holding a gun in negotiations then what is it ?

    The game didn’t begin with this one; we have seen other reports and recommendations in the past including from Brzezinski suggesting a more conciliatory approach.

    Let’s see what this ceasefire means. Iran will have to stop enriching to 20%, reduce its stockpile and stop plutonium production under strict IAEA monitoring (strict IAEA monitoring is itself a visa to spy on sensitive sites prior to their bombings Iraq style). And what is the prize ? Well, since the good cop (US administration) is unable to lift sanctions without the bad cop approval, the only award is just a “promise” to not put more sanctions forward.
    They can’t be serious!
    And we have a taste of what the new sanctions are about. It begins with the senate committee’s resolution to come to Israel’s aid if they attack Iran. Then comes the trade embargo and then why not a naval blockade.
    Well, if the good cop wanted those sanctions, that is a war, and was ready for it, then what’s the point to give Iran a chance to avoid it ?
    With this so-called cease-fire, Iran will get nothing, not even the recognition of its rights on enrichment because if that was the case, the main “official” reason for sanctions which is enrichment would be gone. That is why new congress resolutions are emphasizing on other subjects such as human rights, political prisoners, free elections and so on.
    The cops are just playing a Hollywood script

  41. imho says:

    Unknown Unknowns says:
    April 17, 2013 at 8:08 am

    “From our perspective, “peace and respect” means live and let live. It does not mean allowing the virus of atheism, together with the schizophrenia of the separation of church and state and other such nasty diseases to enter into our ecosystem.”

    Live and let live is not bad for a start.
    What would be your reaction if in a (far) future election, Iranians vote in majority to separate church and state ? Will you accept the rule of the majority provided your rights are preserved to practice freely your religion and to fight peacefully against the secular system you consider a disease ?

    Please understand that I’m not talking about the possibility of such outcome; it’s just an assumption.

    Thank you in advance for your response.

  42. fyi says:

    All:

    Dr. Cordesman on current nuclear “hot-spots”

    http://csis.org/files/publication/130416_Thinking_the_Unthinkable.pdf

    I generally agree with this analysis but differ on two, perhaps minor, details:

    1 – I do not believe Israel has thermonuclear weapons (which need heavy water production facilities as well as specific lithium isotopes).

    2 – On at least 2 separate occasions, Israel’s leaders had thereatened US leaders with using nuclear weapons against Arabs. So I think the scenario of Iran first attacking Israel is not likely; it is much more likely that Israel will attack Iran with a nuclear weapon.

  43. Sineva says:

    fyi says:
    April 17, 2013 at 10:47 am
    Equal parts ignorance and arrogance,it makes depressing reading

  44. Sineva says:

    imho says:
    April 18, 2013 at 3:59 am
    I agree,there seems to be nothing to irans advantage in such a deal

  45. Unknown Unknowns says:

    imho says: What would be your reaction if in a (far) future election, Iranians vote in majority to separate church and state ? Will you accept the rule of the majority provided your rights are preserved to practice freely your religion and to fight peacefully against the secular system you consider a disease?

    Waliyic Islam is premised on the participation of the majority of the people. Without this, it has no legitimacy, and would in theory become just as illegitimate as the plutocratic kleptocracy entrenched over there is Amerikkka. Fortunately, as two plebicites and 30+ national elections have shown, the participation of the electorate here in the Islamic Republic exceeds that of Western countries (not that we use that as any sort of criterion). It is not possible for people to vote in a candidate whose agenda is to overturn the constitution, so that question is mute. But in the event that participation in voting generally falls to dismal levels and it is evident that people do not want the present constitution, it would be morally incumbent on the Supreme Leader to call for a referendum. I am not certain, but I imagine there are provisions for this in the Constitution itself. That, however, thank God, is not a real possibility, much to the dismay of Voice of America and BBC Persian and other organs of Western interference in our internal affairs.

  46. imho says:

    Fiorangela says:
    April 17, 2013 at 2:06 pm

    This is a good idea, the problem is how to bring them to the intended audience.

    I think musics and movies made in Iran after the revolution whether underground or not as well as art in general have witnessed great progress and success.

  47. Darya says:

    Iranians never trust or support any stooges from NIAC who call themselves, “green stooges”, such as Trita Parsi, Ghaemi, Hamid Dabashi, or Payam Akhavan, a lawyer in the service of the empire and its war crimes against humanity.
    Trita parsi, like others is a CIA asset who has close cooperation with Israel lobby, Jstreet like AIPAC, where this zionist lobby repeatedly put its signature for MORE SANCTIONS AGAINST IRAN.

    http://www.niacouncil.org/site/PageServer?pagename=Resources_conference_reports

    “Israelbehindthenews” site is not pleased that Jstreet cooperate with Parsi to bring thousands of dollars from Trita Parsi who received from NED(CIA), thus writes:

    {It is difficult to find on J Street’s web pages the name of Genevieve Lynch, one of nine members of the board of the National Iranian American Council, a group that allegedly echoes the positions of the Iranian regime. Buried in Lynch’s NIAC biography is the fact that she serves on J Street’s elite 50-member Finance Committee (with its $10,000 contribution threshhold). Why would the NIAC board member give at least $10,000 to J Street PAC and another NIAC leader give at least $1,000? Perhaps it is because of the very close relationship between the two organizations.}

    NIAC claims:

    And NIAC is not the only target. J Street, the Jewish-American group who supports a two-state solution and opposes a US-Iran war, has been targeted by these same elements – right-wing blogs, elements associated with the Mujahedin as well as neo-con lobbyists turned journalists. They have even attacked J Street for working with us.
    so NIAC said:

    {NIAC is proud to work with Jewish-American organizations like J Street. We share a vision for peace and stability in the Middle East, achieved through diplomacy and not warfare.}

    Trita Parsi is lying to you when says Jstreet is against the war. Jstreet like George Soros, who gives financial support to Jstreet is supporting regime change through “Green Revolution” but if Obama comes with military action they will not reject it. You must be fooled to believe otherwise. The following shows who are the supporters of NIAC and their stooges are:

    http://pdmi.org/2011/08/trita-parsis-mek-and-green-resurrection-gimmicks/

    NIAC is competing against Mujahedeen therefore they are willing to do anything for CIA (NED) support. The US government is using both, for different task. Both are US puppets.
    Iranian people never support foreign agents to go against the interest of Iranian people where NIAC board advisors are British agent Scott Lucus.

  48. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    I of course disagree with your contention Israel might attack Iran using nukes. In fact, I think Israel is unlikely to attack Iran at all, as long as Obama is president.
    Use of nukes by Israel would truly be insane.

  49. James Canning says:

    Does anyone else remember the foolish claim by the warmongers who pushed for the invasion of Iraq in 2003: “The road to Jerusalem runs through Baghdad”?

    This week in the Wall Street Journal, there was a report that Obama is being told that Khamenei is blocking a deal to resolve the Israel/Palestine problem. This is a reprise of the contention by the warmongers that to settle Israel/Palestine problem it was necessary to invade Iraq.

  50. James Canning says:

    kooshy,

    We both know that Iran offered in the past to stop enriching to 20%. And there have been reports Iran has more recently thought this concession will not be made.

    Does stockpiling 20% U help Iran, when it undermines Iran’s contention it does not want nukes?

  51. Karl.. says:

    Did anyone see James Clapper questionere today? He basically admitted that the iran sanctions intent are to bring regime change he pretty much spelled that out. Nothing new of course but now even admitted by highest ranking officials. And people blame Iran for not trusting the US…
    With this talk of regime change, there is no reason at all to have these meaningless p5+1 talks for Iran.

  52. Karl.. says:

    Fyi,

    I know Israel tried that 1973, you mentioned two times, which time were the other one Israel threatened US with that option?

  53. Rd. says:

    kooshy says:

    “One can just imagine how hard is for Mr. Obama and his supporters to argue with this man from their position?”

    Obama statement on Boston;

    “Any time bombs are used to target innocent civilians it is an act of terror. “

    http://www.news-gazette.com/news/nationworld/2013-04-16/obama-statement-boston-bombings.html

    According the commander in chief, US is a state sponsor of terror.. And Mr. Obama is the Commander in Terror. It is peculiar for someone who is ‘supposed’ to be smart and a good orator, he let that one slip out!!! of course, the arrogance is given, or the pressure of too many lose ends is taking its toll.

  54. nico says:

    imho says:
    April 18, 2013 at 3:59 am

    Sineva says:
    April 18, 2013 at 10:58 am

    I agree wit both of you.

    The notable point is that we see more mainstream and think tanks articles advocating US rapprochment with Iran and the end of enmity.
    However each time I read the analysis I feel it is empty with invocations and whishfull thinking.

    After reading several of such articles I came to the conclusion that the US are still lost and in state of denial. I dare few hypotetical explanations

    Actually, I understand the message in those articles as the US being exhausted and the US elites recognizing that the tide is against the US position in the ME.
    The major problem is that the US would like to freeze their geopolitic position as it obtains today. I guess the US would be ready to accept their previous loss as in Irak, but no more. I mean they would just be happy to keep their authority upon the Arabian Peninsula and the Apartheid state.

    For that they absolutely need Iran to actively support the current statu quo.

    However the first issue is the “tide”.
    I mean the current process in the ME is of historical proportion. It is part of the wider change of balance from the western hemisphere to the eastern one.
    The US tried to avoid that to happen with their clash of civilization project.
    However that failed miserably and even speed up the process.
    Do the US hope now to freeze their demise and not have to pay their 20 years blunder ?
    The problem is that such process is a natural one, like gravity.
    Even by just doing nothing special and just defending her right, Iran allow the process to take place.

    Here resides the 2nd issue.
    Why Iran would help western powers to keep ground in the ME ?
    Iran does not recongize their presence in the ME as having the beginning of the start of the smallest legitimacy.

    So the final questions are still the same.
    What have the US to offer to Iran ?
    What would be an acceptable offer for Iran to support the US in their illegitimate presence in the ME ?
    And why the US do not change strategy and just leave the ME ?

    The answer to the last question is the petrodollar and the world economic situation with the currency war.
    The US need the petrodollar for their economy to survive and avoid a major correction with a major USD devaluation and the standard of living of US citizens cut by 2 or 3 folds.
    Such discussions and bargain over currency and world economic affairs are not for Iran but for the security council and G8 members to negotiate.
    Well they have been discussing for 5 years without results.
    And maybe a war would be necessary to find an agreement as such negotiation will definitely result in a new world order. But not one in line with the US wet dreams.

  55. nico says:

    Yep China trumped India.
    Like in the IP pipeline.
    Too bad for India, I guess the US will offer to ship shall gas India for her loss !
    http://blogs.rediff.com/mkbhadrakumar/2013/04/17/china-trumps-india-in-kashagan-deal/

  56. fyi says:

    imho says:
    April 18, 2013 at 9:07 am

    There is a deep and abiding weakness in the heart of very many Muslims; indeed the religious people everywhere that God, in fact, does not exist and all their beliefs are just lies.

    It is the existence of this weakness in the hearts of men that accounts for their intolerance.

    A millenia ago, Muslims were secure in their belief in God and in the truths of Islam. So much so that this athiest would attend Iman Sadiq’s circle of students and engage him about the existence and non-existence of God.

    Intolerance is a sign of fear and lack of confidence.

  57. fyi says:

    James Canning says:
    April 18, 2013 at 1:05 pm

    Best Axis Powers can do is to occupy Israel and disarm her.

    It is best for them, for Jews, and for everyone else.

  58. fyi says:

    Karl.. says:
    April 18, 2013 at 2:35 pm

    I do not know.

  59. Persian Gulf says:

    I just watched the movie Argo online (of course didn’t want to help the industry and pay for a movie like that :) ). I read too many things about this movie that made me even hesitated to watch it.

    first of all I am not sure if the whole story of rescuing 6 Americans through Canadian embassy ,the way that was shown in movie, was right or not.

    Obviously, there are scenes that are offensive. things like public hanging, real time execution and so on. but overall, I found it not too bad (news channels are worse than this). I mean, it was normal for that time putting it into the context. somebody that sees it will most probably make the judgment that it was 33 years ago and events should be put into their own context. I assume the American side does not make much sense for an audience today either. and surprisingly it shows the revolutionaries are logical, well informed. it even gives justification for taking the embassy and it shows the main demand of the people is from the U.S to return the Shah for trial. it somehow puts the onus on the U.S for making a crisis like this.

    why is IR that much angry about this movie? most of the blame is on the previous regime and it clearly says that the 1953 coupe was the root cause of all these, particularly Shah’s dictatorship and torture machine as an American ally. it got up to Iranian people’s head. so, a fair game.

    I think the main problem with this movie was to give it such an award and give it that much coverage. this was an average movie at best. overall, given there is already a very negative image of Iran in the west, this is not going to add anything to that picture. instead it clears up some of the negative images of the revolution and the animosity toward the U.S. is this the reason expats are more angry about the movie than the Iranian government? I would say Persepolis gave way more negative image than this. and expats just love that movie!

    I really expected something very different than what I saw, even to the last minute of the movie.

  60. Smith says:

    Nasser says:
    April 13, 2013 at 8:26 pm

    Currently I do not, beside here. Though I have to let you know that I do not have any formal education in religion. Let me know where you want me to come and I will join the forum there. Otherwise you can do it here too.

  61. Smith says:

    imho says:
    April 15, 2013 at 8:08 am

    The application of religion as unifying political ideology to advance a society is one of the oldest strategies in the history. Without a core ideology no society can have the capability for advancement. Such an ideology must have home grown elements in it and must be unique to that society if it wants to remain independent while advancing. With respect to Iran, secularism/communism/capitalism do not have any chance. The only ideology that will work in Iran is the IRI’s ideology. Some might not like that, but it does not change the equation. The advancement in technology is actually an easy part, as IRI has discovered already. The difficult part and the challenge for IRI will be creating an ideology in which “Philosophy of Science” can take root. Without this, being capable of making some screws and “repair” planes, is nothing special nor should be the goal. I and fyi had a discussion over this issue a while back.

    You read through that discussion for further learning. Islamic societies (or for that matter almost all non-western societies) have been impotent in the past several centuries to contribute to “Philosophy of Science”. IRI’s goal appears and should be the creation of a pro-science society based on an acceptable core ideology. This is the only thing that can benefit Iran in the long term. Not secularism. Not human rights. Not Christianity. Not Evangelicalism. Not zionism. Not communism.

    Iranians are religious than Saudis. It is only a misconception that they are not (myth in Leverettian jargon). What Saudis believe in is not per say Islam. They have reverted back to paganism of their pre-Islam ancestral society. The whole concept of wahabism is the exclusion of thinking and worshiping their forefathers (wahabis believe in literal following of first three generation of Muslims). This used to be the critical element of the pre-Islamic paganic religions. Following the forefathers without self-thinking.

    There is no such thing as Arab spring. It is what western media has tried to categorize and hijack it. It is actually an Islamic political awakening in colonial Arab lands. As has been described by Mr Khamenei. And this political awakening had started long time ago just after Iranian revolution. The recent events though have been more dramatized and eruptions more visible. It will not stop till colonial administrations in these lands fall or reform themselves to be more independent.

  62. Smith says:

    Over the past 110 years, Iran has received a total amount of 1000 billion dollars for its oil exports (not including the oil stolen by BP). Half of this amount has been earned in the past decade. A study of the Iranian imports for the past 110 years, clearly shows that most of this money was used to import yeh mosht ashghal and very few capital products or technologies (you can literally see this in custom reports which detail the products imported ranging from grave stones to luxury consumer products such as Porsche sports vehicles, with almost no industrial machines, raw materials and technologies).

    In current situation, I do not think Iran can expect to be able to import any kind of technology or capital value products for foreseeable future. Selling oil for continued import of ezafeh toolideh bonjol from other countries should be stopped. Unfortunately Iran had become too dependent addicted on oil to kick the habit by itself. Now, thanks to sanctions, Iran will be able to finally cure its chronic “Dutch disease”. Long over due. But better late than never. In the next post, I put some interesting links in this regard. Iran should reform its economic basis and find a better use for its oil as a strategic weapon.

  63. Smith says:

    Is time on Iran’s side: http://denmarktimes.dk/is-time-on-irans-side/

    TEDxTehran talk by Iran’s top stock investor Rouzbeh Pirouz: Go to youtube and add this to its url after the com domain /watch?v=02n8Zb39pHA

    PS sorry for the inconvenience with the video url because otherwise system does not allow me to post it in full.

  64. Smith says:

    fyi says:
    April 18, 2013 at 10:14 am

    Dr. Edward Teller (father of thermonuclear weapons) does not agree with your point. He himself had helped Israel with its nuclear weapons program and had publicly said that Israel has thermonuclear weapons.

  65. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Benjamin Netanyahu: ‘Only military threat can stop Iran’
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-22201107

  66. Richard Steven Hack says:

    As predicted…

    McManus: Inching closer to entanglement in Syria
    http://articles.latimes.com/2013/apr/14/opinion/la-oe-mcmanus-column-syria-slippery-slope-20130414

  67. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Officials in Israel Stress Readiness for a Lone Strike on Iran
    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/19/world/middleeast/israeli-officials-stress-readiness-for-lone-strike-on-iran.html

    Which is meaningless because the only reason for an Israeli attack on Iran is to get the US into the war.

  68. Karl.. says:

    James,

    Well thats my point, it doesnt matter obviously since when Iran offered to stop the offer was ignored.

  69. Sineva says:

    nico says:
    April 18, 2013 at 4:29 pm
    I agree the disconnect between the reality on the ground and the american perception of it is stark and depressing,the us still thinks that even in the worst case scenario ie having to negotiate with iran,that it will still be able to dictate terms that will be far more favorable to it than to iran and of course the iranians will be grateful for it,one only has to look at the nuclear issue to see that

  70. Karl.. says:

    The boston suspects sure does look iranian, this does not bode well..

  71. imho says:

    Richard Steven Hack says:
    April 19, 2013 at 1:51 am

    Sure. Now that the senate committee pledges support if Israel strikes Iran, what would you expect otherwise ?
    However I’m not sure if this pledge can be law without Obama signing it

  72. imho says:

    Persian Gulf says:
    April 18, 2013 at 11:06 pm

    Light and subtle propaganda has more chance to go deep in the mind of people.

    There are many inaccuracies in this movie you can just google to find them. I take it not as a historical movie but as an entertainment fiction based on some historic realities. Something like what Fiorangela suggested for Iran to produce (I guess)

    Now, the fact that it won Oscar is part of the propaganda I believe, because as you said it was just an average movie (I’d say even below average).

    What I didn’t like (but of course I didn’t expect otherwise) is the way it shows peace and happiness in an American family when he came back to find his son as this kind of things could not exist on the other side. But hey, this is a typical Hollywood character. Unnecessary to complain

  73. fyi says:

    Smith says:
    April 19, 2013 at 1:31 am

    Under US Law, Dr. Teller would have committed treason to share any information with Israelis on thermo-nuclear weapons.

    I doubt the veracity of reports very much.

    And then there is the issue of testing; which has not been done.

    This part of Israeli propaganda – just like “2000 warhead” myth (France, a richer country, having 300).

  74. fyi says:

    Smith says:
    April 19, 2013 at 1:18 am

    Those numbers have to be adjusted for inflation.

    I think Mr. Khamenei and a few others have been exhorting Iranians to Reason, it will take decades of continuous propagadna and education to make it stick.

    I think capital and machines goods from US, EU, Japan, the Russian Federation, and Korea will not be coming to Iran anytime soon.

    I think used equipment, however, can be obtained and usefully employed.

    I think stuff will come from China, no doubt.

    The Iran-Iraq War alienated Iran from the Sunni Arab World, the Economic War against her by Axis Powers will alienate Iran from EU, for certain.

    Perhaps that was what was needed anyway, marginalization of all those Iranians who were well-disposed to US & EU.

  75. imho says:

    Smith says:
    April 19, 2013 at 12:59 am

    I agree with you in regard of “philosophy of science”. It is part of the evolution the Islamic Republic is expected to bring to all Muslims. I said some threads ago: “For, Iran wants, aspires and must lead Muslims in evolving in that direction”.

    Western secularism in its present form has lost too much human values to be able to last in the future without serious rethinking, for money became God and Wall Street, the City, Free Trade doctrine, banking and finance, the religious forces to lead people. Respect, duty, good thoughts, good words, good deeds become more and more meaningless and are not taught in schools. Reality tv shows in which no limit exists in human animosity rule and people are happy watching them as in gladiators time.

    Rest assured, I’m not advocating such evolution because it is even not one but a copy and past of a failed model. And I’m a bit surprised that I am misunderstood again. I don’t know what will be the new model but it can’t be the current capitalism system nor the too-young-IRI system for this system is moving ahead fast.

    Regarding Arab Spring, I agree with you that there is no such thing but I disagree with your statements on what it is.
    Looking at the chronology of events may help a lot. It began as the MSM wants us to know with Tunisia when a poor vegetable vendor sets himself on fire with a domino effect from north Africa to the ME. Wow! I don’t know how many times I heard the same kind of events in South Korea in the past, asking US to get out and they’re still there.

    Never mind, various NGOs as Freedom House and NED operating years before in those “awakened” countries. Never mind the Brzezinski’s Arc of Instability doctrine from North Africa to the ME in conquest of Eurasia. Never mind the US and UK relationship with Brothers. Never mind Obama’s Cairo speech giving the GO. I just don’t believe in coincidence.
    Articles abound on forces letting this to happen and for what. Here you have one of the main propaganda tool of the western MSM having to admit it:

    U.S. Groups Helped Nurture Arab Uprisings:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/15/world/15aid.html?_r=4&pagewanted=1&emc=eta1

    If I remember Iranian reaction on those events was not immediate. But I admit that Mr Khamenei in a very smart move relabeled it Islamic Awakening. That was genius. Not everything can be said in public. It remains that it is best described as Sunni awakening in line with US plans to divide Muslims between Shia and Sunni and to set the ME on fire among other reasons.

    This is again on Iran’s shoulder to be wise enough to not let such well-known divide and conquer tactic to lead the future events.

  76. Don Bacon says:

    nico says:
    April 18, 2013 at 5:55 pm

    No IP pipeline yet. Watch this space.

  77. kooshy says:

    Karl.. says:
    April 19, 2013 at 5:40 am

    “The boston suspects sure does look iranian, this does not bode well..”
    …. come to think of it so do some Arabs , Kurds, Afghans, Mongols, Turkmens, Turks, Bloch, Germans (we even have a few famous Iranian German soccer players) French, jolly good Brits, and my own American cousins who love eating Kabab but can’t speak Persian or ever have been there.

    Karl, to me they actually resemble and look like a German Turk, or a German Dagestany.

  78. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Israel lobby will ensure Israel keeps its current position as the country with the strongest offensive military striking power in the Middle East.

    Yes, I very much agree the US should pressure Israel to sign the NPT and get rid of its nukes. Zero need for them.

  79. James Canning says:

    Sineva,

    The sanctions hurt the EU, the US, Japan, other countries. The White House sees sanctions as being better than war. Which in itself is a fair assessment surely.

  80. fyi says:

    kooshy says:
    April 19, 2013 at 1:01 pm

    US and Saudi Arabia worked together to posit Wahabi Islam as the authentic form of Islam against that of the late Mr. Khomeini.

    Americans, clueless as they are with respect to Islam, supported that Saudi position for 34 years.

    First in Afghanistan and then elsewhere including among Chechen (a foolish people, no doubt).

    The old Sufi ways – already atrophying under communism – could not compete with the Wahabis and their money.

    At the present time, the only intellectual opposition within Islam to Wahabis and their ilk comes from the Shia and from the mullahs in Iran.

    Of course, Sunni religious leaders can get together and apply the dcotrine of Ijma’a can pronounce anathema on the Wahabis, neo-Salafis and others. Just like what happened to Khwaraj.

    But they won’t for multiple reasons.

    In the meantime, the Americans think that they can manage neo-Salafis.

    I think the events in Boston demonstrates the contrary.

    It does not have to be this way.

  81. fyi says:

    James Canning says:
    April 19, 2013 at 1:59 pm

    In 2007, the Axis Powers, China, and Russia had the political cover to take a different atck with Iran.

    They did not since War was Cheap and Peace Expensive.

    Now chickens have come home to roost.

  82. Neo says:

    Unknown Unknowns says: April 17, 2013 at 8:08 am

    “From our perspective, “peace and respect” means live and let live. It does not mean allowing the virus of atheism, together with the schizophrenia of the separation of church and state and other such nasty diseases to enter into our ecosystem.”

    UU-ji,

    Please take a close look at your statement there, and I hope you can see how convoluted and self-defeating your ideology has become. First you claim that you perspective means ‘live and let live’, and then immediately move describe my beliefs as a ‘virus’ and resembling ‘nasty diseases’ that you cannot allow to ‘enter into our ecosystem’. mashallah! good for a laugh, but surely you can’t be serious!

    I know you won’t like it, but I’m sure the affinity of your ideology with zionism and american exceptionalism must be quite clear to all objective observers.

    Just so that you know, I have no problem with any religion or form of belief as long as it adheres to ‘live and let live’ principle and lets me and others like me to live. And to live means to be political.

    We (all of us, you included) can’t ask for more, and no one should be allowed to take our rights to free thought away from us. The Islamic Republic included.

  83. Neo says:

    Persian Gulf says: April 13, 2013 at 10:42 pm

    Persian Gulf,

    Thanks for your comment (on previous thread), and apologies for the late response.

    Regarding Iranian resistance and whether this was nationalist or religious, my point precisely is that the religious ideology was serving a nationalist purpose. And still does so today. After all, the mobilised Iranian ‘muslims’, were fighting other muslims. It was hardly a real jihad in the true meaning of the word. In fact, the great majority of the Iraqis are Shia too. So let us not so easily dismiss the proposal that Iran’s islamic ideology essentially served a nationalist project during the war. Frankly, had the war been truly religious in character, then Iran would have made a serious attempt at annexing Karbala. But no such claim was ever feasible, because nation states and nationalism determine such realities today, not religions.

    Look at it from another angle: imagine that Saddam had invaded Iran at a time when there was no clerical leadership in charge before the revolution. Do you honestly think that the Iranian response would have been any less determined? Its overarching resistance ideology would have been different for sure, but I doubt that Iranians would not have fought back. I can even go further and suggest that the establishment of a theocracy may have dissuaded many marginalised secularists from resistance, and led them instead to opt for exile. Sadly, some went as far as joining the Iraqis – and these were not even secularists. They were MEK Islamist-Marxists. Whatever that means. I’ve never even tried to understand!

    But to come back to the point about nationalism versus religion in war mobilisation: there are plenty of examples of determined, ferocious and self-sacrificing wars fought in history with and without religiosity attached. There is Nothing special about this kind of mobilisation, and the Iranian clerics’ (or our own Bussed-in-Basiji’s) claims to something special (even ‘holy’) about how Iranians were mobilised just isn’t true. From Japan, China and Vietnam to Nazi Germany, Algeria and All sides during WWI, soldiers gave their lives without hesitation or choice. All gods are the same in this regard. Some are religious gods, some are secular ones. They all serve the same purpose in war. But our Islamic Republican friends here would like us to believe that they’ve got the cosmic conflict truly sussed with Allah on their very own side. Truly ahistorical and self-centred, and predictably similar to so many other self-assured ideologues.

    Regarding mandatory military service, this is a standard problem in any country with such a system at war. Many soldiers in such wars are there because they have to be because it just happened to be that they were serving their time in the military when the war started. We can imagine that a very large portion of Iraqi soldiers were in this category in all of Saddam’s wars.

  84. Smith says:

    fyi says:
    April 19, 2013 at 10:06 am

    Maybe. But we have to remember that US is the oldest proliferator in nuclear and missile techs. Even today they are proliferating to UK. So it is not inconceivable if they have done the same to Israel as well. I do not think the number is more than 200. Based on the estimate of maximum plutonium production capability of the reactors given to Israel by western countries and the time they have been running. And they probably do not need to test at all, since US/France have already tested them. Even UK uses the American designs which Americans used to test. I think it is a folly if Iran comes to think, the Israeli nukes are a myth. As for as Iran is concerned, the Israel nukes are real. And we have to remember that almost all of theoretical physicists in the past century were either Jews or had strong sympathy for Jews. This fact has helped Israel alot.

  85. Smith says:

    fyi says:
    April 19, 2013 at 10:12 am

    I agree. The numbers are back of the envelope. I have used it as a representative description. Germans export 1500 billion dollars each year. That is more than what Iran has earned from oil in the past century. Iran should focus on manufacturing and a knowledge based economy. It is time for Iran to set up a “Deutscher Werkbund” and revolutionize its manufacturing. Iran actually has no other way under sanctions.

  86. Neo says:

    Castellio says: April 14, 2013 at 12:34 am

    Castellio,

    I agree with you that it is not quite as simple as nationalism, but please also remember that ‘popular sovereignty’ and resistance against colonialism are the hallmarks of nationalism in most countries. Still, I have used the term in a very broad sense, and your point about economic policies is well taken. The affinity between socialism and islamic welfarism is most clear in economic policies, especially in relation to redistribution, public education and public health, as you mention. This is what Chavez, Castro and Ahmadinejad had in common. And they also had the West’s imperial hegemonic designs as a common enemy. If anything, the Islamic side of things hinders Iran’s influence, particularly outside of Islamic countries – which are the great majority of countries in the world. Even within Islamic countries, Iran’s minority Shia status does not necessarily help its potential influence. Greater emphasis on economic issues and commonalities could strengthen Iran’s influence more. I believe this is what Mashaei would like to achieve. Interesting elections coming up in June…

  87. Persian Gulf says:

    imho says:
    April 19, 2013 at 8:51 am

    If the subtlety of a propaganda is too much, people won’t get it particularly in a low context culture like the U.S one. To me the Iranian lady working in the embosser’s house was sort of an MEK character. what did it mean to show her entering into Iraq? even myself didn’t get it.

    The movie had a lot offensives scenes, for sure. things like showing that old shop keeper arrogant (why no subtitle for conversation in Farsi?!), or showing that revolutionary guard guy in the airport unsophisticated even though he was smart enough to make a call to LA from the airport and check the validity of the business card (would anybody expect a U.S guard be that smart?). it was a mixed feeling. and overall, it wasn’t all too bad. I mean, we are demonized to the bone anyway, subtlety won’t make it any worse! I don’t think our image can be more negative than what it is currently. This is the bottom line, nothing left as an image to be worried about. we say بالاترازسیاهی رنگی نیست

    What I said was the movie had a lot of positive scenes as well. that can put an average citizen in the west in a contradictory position. they would be confused if they should believe the news channels fully when offered with some historical facts that we see in the movie. I remember somebody here posted Argentina’s economic history over the past few decades. by far this movie was better than that. and it doesn’t blame the revolutionizes or the revolution per se. most of the blame is on the Shah or the U.S being unreasonable. what else do you expect from Hollywood? if Iran wants a completely different image, she has to come up with her own sophisticated movies. overall, I think IR should be happy about this movie. The movie has somehow vindicated the early days of the revolution.

    In fact, Iran’s government should translate it and show it to her own population over and over again, specially to the youth. and I am serious about it. it would remove some of the doubts about the early days of the revolution for people that have not experienced that period.

    what I have read so far is that the non-Iranians blame the director from a different angle. They say the story is not the way Affleck presented (Canada’s ambassador had a dominant role and British and New Zealand’s embassy did not turn those 6 people away), and surely CIA was not the mastermind of the episode.

  88. Richard Steven Hack says:

    No Agreement Reached with IAEA for New Talks: Iran
    http://www.uskowioniran.com/2013/04/no-agreement-reached-with-iaea-for-new.html

    So much for the reported agreement reported by the Associated Press.

  89. Richard Steven Hack says:

    More U.S. Help for Syrian Rebels Would Hinge on Pledges
    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/20/world/middleeast/more-american-aid-to-syrian-rebels-with-conditions.html

    “its delivery will hinge in part on pledges by their political leaders to be inclusive, to protect minorities and to abide by the rule of law.”

    Seriously? This is why Obama looks like an idiot sometimes – or thinks everyone is.

  90. kooshy says:

    One can only hope that once again the regime in US will not use the Boston’s Marathon terrorism, to attack other innocent countries like what they did back in 2001- 2012, Now if these kids were from Russia (Chechnya and Daghistan are parts of Russian Federation) then by all mean we should immediately demand Putin to surrender his office to the US ambassador in Moscow or face our mighty military forces, this I will support.

  91. fy says:

    kooshy says:
    April 19, 2013 at 9:59 pm

    No, they will now increase the surveillance of Muslim communities in North America, reduce and curtail Muslim immigration to North America and exclude Muslims from certain jobs an positions.

    [Used to be that if your parents where from Eastern Block, your path in aerospace industry was pretty much blocked, in the United States.]

    On the other hand, the extremism of Taliban, Al Qaeda, and assorted other fellow travelers has had a profoundly moderating effect on extremist religiosity of Iranians; gone are the days of lauding Islamic Justice under Taliban etc.

    No, now Shia/Irani religiosity is claimed to be the Rationalist Islam which other Muslims must emulate.

    It is progress – I think.

  92. fy says:

    Persian Gulf says:
    April 19, 2013 at 8:05 pm

    This is a remake of a made-for-television movie broadcast in US in early 1980s.

    Not a big deal.

    I thought the reaction of the mullahs was funnier to the movie “300″; complaining that it was a conspiracy to smear (ancient) Iranians!

    Imagine one of the ayatollahs during sermon at Tehran University, essentially defending the honor of the Zoroastrian King of Kings.

    The world is a funny place Mr. Persian Gulf.

  93. fy says:

    Smith says:
    April 19, 2013 at 8:04 pm

    The late Dr. Fardid was a fraud and a charlatan, I doubt that understood anything of Heidegger.

    The late Jalal Ale Ahamd once characterized mullahs as being authentic (Shia Muslim Iranians). Yet he also understood that these authentic Iranians cannot address Modernity’s challenges to the Iranian way of Life and Thought. Nor could he or others come up with an answer.

    The late Mr. Khomeini correctly all these authentic Iranians as “stupid mullahs”; he understood that nothing worthwhile would come from that corner.

    The late Heidegger was a man who should have been executed for the his contribution to NAZI Thought. He was a criminal mastermind, no doubt.

  94. Castellio says:

    Neo says: April 19, 2013 at 7:23 pm

    I agree with you, Neo.

    We need to find another terms for “Islamic welfarism”, which doesn’t do justice to the values within it.

  95. Nasser says:

    Smith,

    Can I reach you at a temporary email address then? I am sorry to be such a bother but I want to ask some personal questions regarding religion and beliefs and am a little embarrassed to do it on a public forum. Also, since it doesn’t relate to Iran I don’t see how others here can benefit from viewing such a discussion. Thanks.

  96. Smith says:

    fy says:
    April 20, 2013 at 2:08 am

    Thank you for the analysis. The more I read, I have to realize that Khomeini’s contribution to Iran and Shiaism is profound and unmatched.

  97. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    George W. Bush relied heavily on very poor advice tendered to him by Condoleezza Rice.
    Zero strategic thinking ability on her part. Very little on Bush’s part.

    And Dick Cheney was the vice president, with his gang of warmongers. Ergo, no deal to restore normal relations with Iran in 2007.

  98. James Canning says:

    fy,

    Do US immigration laws provide for discriminating on grounds of religion? I doubt it.

  99. James Canning says:

    I recommend Coleen Rowley’s comments on American neocon warmongers who have supported the terrorists in Chechnya: “Chechen terrorists and the neocons”.

    http://readersupportednews.org/opinion2/357-europe/17036-chechen-terrorists-and-the-neocons

  100. Smith says:

    Nasser says:
    April 20, 2013 at 1:14 pm

    Ok. As you wish. Tell me your email address and I will get in contact with you.

  101. fy says:

    James Canning says:
    April 20, 2013 at 2:17 pm

    Evidently, you have not dealt with a bureaucracy; there are subtle ways to discourage and otherwise reduce Muslim immigration to North America, both in US and Canada.

    These communities are sources of threats, that must be faced.

  102. Sineva says:

    Richard Steven Hack says:
    April 19, 2013 at 9:19 pm
    I don`t know whether to laugh or vomit,of course the absence of these guarantees wont stop the flow of arms,more typical bloodthirsty hypocrisy from the west

  103. Persian Gulf says:

    Neo says:
    April 19, 2013 at 6:29 pm

    The question of which one of nationalism or religion serving one another can easily get into a chicken and egg argument. I did not talk about that aspect of it.

    What we saw in Iran during 1980s was relatively simple, that the ones sacrificing the most were religiously inspired and probably had less regard for nationalism. I also didn’t talk, and care, about who takes credit of this and for what. Saddam’s army was depicted as an evil and anti-Islam. So, it was a war against infidels indeed. Karbala was seen as hostage into Saddam’s hands.

    you said:
    “imagine that Saddam had invaded Iran at a time when there was no clerical leadership in charge before the revolution. Do you honestly think that the Iranian response would have been any less determined?”

    Yes I really do. I would tell you the same thing if I see you face to face. and the evidences are just in front of our eyes. a lot of those secularists that you are talking about either escaped to safe heavens (probably blaming the Mullahs) or were sending their kids, often illegally, out while Iranian troops were gassed or going over mines. There could have been a very small group of secular people resisting had it not been the rule of Islamic Republic dominant. but I see it negligible and insignificant. there is another clear example from recent history in front of us. look at Reza Shah’s army’s reaction to an invasion. and I assume his son was a joke compared to him. non-religious armies might have fought aggressively in different places of the world and in different cultures. but we are not talking about them. we are talking about Iran and Iranians. that’s why we are here in this forum. I can assure you those secular young Iranians ranting here and there nationalistically won’t go to fight if another war erupts.

    I think MEK people are not religious. I did not have any contact with them in Iran. but my experiences abroad made me firmly believe that these people don’t have any religion. they are just mad. I would put them as Marxists at best.

    I think more than this we just have to agree to disagree.

  104. Persian Gulf says:

    fy says:
    April 20, 2013 at 1:48 am

    yes, it is, indeed.

  105. fy says:

    All:

    War as Axis Powers’ first, second, and last vision:

    http://www.danielpipes.org/12724/support-assad

  106. Sineva says:

    James Canning says:
    April 19, 2013 at 1:59 pm
    The better solution would be for the west to accept irans rights under the npt that way you wouldn`t need sanctions or war

  107. Robert Fisk: Beware wishful thinking. Assad isn’t going soon
    http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/robert-fisk-beware-wishful-thinking-assad-isnt-going-soon-8578513.html

    Notable Quote:

    But Hezbollah’s involvement is important because Iran and its allies are also part of the reason for this conflict. And it remains a fact, even though Assad did not – could not – mention this in his independence day speech, that Iran is the target of the Syrian war, the overthrow of Assad part of our plan to destroy his Iranian ally – just as it was part of Israel’s plan to deconstruct Iran by fighting Hezbollah in Lebanon in 2006. Israel lost its war. Will Assad’s enemies lose, too?

    End Quote

    Precisely. The goal of the Syria crisis is to get Hizballah and Syria out of the Iran war in advance. And with regard to losing, the case is different as both Israel and the US/NATO intend to attack Syria directly – and may well attack Hizballah as well as part of the deal.

  108. James Canning says:

    John le Carre, writing in The Times (London) January 2003: “How Bush and his junta succeeded in deflecting America’s anger from bin Laden to Saddam Hussein is one of the great public relations conjuring tricks of history.”

    [Quoted today by Dwight Garner in The New York Times magazine]

  109. James Canning says:

    fy,

    Large numbers of Muslims enter the US each year, with a view toward staying permanently.

    If you are aware of any specific examples of discrimiation on grounds of religion, by immigration authorities, please let us know.

  110. nico says:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/iran/10007603/Iran-how-the-West-missed-a-chance-to-make-peace-with-Tehran.html

    It should answer Mr Canning claim about the 20% BS.
    Up to now “No Enrichment” on Iran soil is the West Goal.
    Iran has every rights to 20% and above.
    The West is and was blundering badly. Not Iran.

    The West wanted Iran humiliated.
    At the end of this stand off that is the west that will be defeated and humiliated.

    I came to the conclusion that the SL rebuff of the US offer for direct talk is simply a message stating that the US is defeated in their sanction policy and that nothing shall be deemed worth good for Iran short of West surrender and humiliation (the west acceptance of the end of their colonial policies with Iran which would in the same time unravel the end of the western dominance over the whole ME)- or war.

    Well, war is not in the card for now.
    And the west shall be kicked out of the ME by 2020.

  111. fy says:

    James Canning says:
    April 21, 2013 at 1:30 pm

    INS has no internal constituency which could, in principle, correct its errors and mistakes.

    One way of restricting the flow of Muslims into North America is by under-funding INS or sections of it that deal with immigration from Muslim states.

    The fact remains that in UK, in France, in Spain, in US there have been terrorist attacks that are traced to Muslims.

    States will react to these events – almost always negatively.

    In Iran, terrorist attacks in Sistan & Baluchistan provinces traced to Sunni Muslims resulted in the expulsion of foreign nationals from that province. And that was just the tip of the iceberg.

  112. nico says:

    Karl.. says:
    April 21, 2013 at 8:16 am

    Erdogan loves Israel.
    http://presstv.com/detail/2013/04/21/299454/israel-seeks-turkey-airbase-for-iran-war/

    That is propaganda and solid BS.
    Russia is not allowing western intervention in Syria.
    Never mind in Iran !
    Should Turkey help Iran agressors, Turkey import of gas and oil from Iran and Russia shall stop immediatly and Turkey will be broken down.

    There is 0 chance of Turkey being involved in a direct war with Iran.
    All Turkey can do is to play its little sectarian games.

    There is 0 chance of war with Iran (and strike on nuclear program).

    The West lost their gambit in the nuclear negotiation. That is finished.

    See my last post.

    8 yeas ago (an eternity!) the West was not even ready to accept 1 centrifuge…
    See where we are today.

  113. nico says:

    Richard Steven Hack says:
    April 21, 2013 at 12:14 pm

    http://www.islamicinvitationturkey.com/2013/04/21/hezbollah-secretary-general-sayyed-hasan-nasrallah-to-visit-iran/

    “A Lebanese daily has claimed Hezbollah Secretary General will visit Tehran for negotiations with Iranian officials.
    Al-Nahar, closely associated with March 14 Alliance, quoted informed sources that Seyyed Hassan Nasrallah would soon visit Tehran for negotiations with Iranian officials. Al-Nahar did not provide details of the visit, but claimed that the visit would soon be realized.

    This newspaper also reported that Nasrallah would talk to Iranians about region’s developments especially in Syria.”

  114. nico says:

    Karl.. says:
    April 21, 2013 at 8:16 am

    http://www.eia.gov/countries/cab.cfm?fips=TU

    Share of Turkey oil import in 2012 (september)
    - Iran 44%
    - Irak 15%
    - Russia 10 %

    Share of Turkey gas import in 2011
    - Russia 59%
    - Iran 19%

    “Oil
    Concurrent with Turkey’s economic expansion, its crude oil consumption has increased over the last decade. With very limited domestic reserves, Turkey imports nearly all of its oil supplies.”

    Gas “Exploration and production
    Turkey produces a very small amount of natural gas”

    Gas “Consumption and imports
    Turkey is increasingly dependent on natural gas imports as its domestic consumption rises each year. Natural gas is used domestically mainly in the electric power sector.”

  115. Karl.. says:

    What kind of disgusting display is going on the middle east?

    Kerry and Hagel is visiting Israel once again, level same threats against Iran, and now officially drag Turkey into against Iran.

    “US, Israel, Turkey share security interests in ME : John Kerry”
    http://presstv.com/detail/2013/04/21/299518/us-israel-turkey-share-me-interests/

    Kerry cant just wait to get Israel/Turkey together so the war could start.

  116. James Canning says:

    Nico,

    If you are aguing that Iran can stockpile 20U in whatever amounts it chooses, and no end up with a blockade, I think you are very mistaken.

  117. James Canning says:

    fy,

    Thanks for linking Peter Oborne’s important piece in the Daily Telegraph, about the botched opportunity to resolve the nuclear dispute with Iran in 2005.

  118. roberto antonio says:

    I just can’t believe Obama/Hagel/Kerry may send us again into a war. Turkey/Israel ? So slowly, Turkey/Israel/Qatar/SaudiArabia/France/England/USA + AlQuaeda against the entire world ? Again ?!! It looks crazy…

  119. Sineva says:

    I don`t know how many times I`ve said this james but a blockade for iran means a blockade for all,do you really think iran would allow the western allied despots to sell oil when it cant,and if the western navies then have to try and force irans blockade to try and secure their oil shipments they run the risk of heavy loses,not to mention that there are a great many countries that depend on middle eastern oil who would not be happy in the least over any blockades by anyone,and of course the really big hurdle for the west would be getting un approval for such an action,I can tell you now that is not going to happen indeed I would imagine there would be a great deal of condemnation of the west for any such acts.The simple truth is that there is very little the west can do to stop iranian enrichment at ANY level and it knows it

  120. Avg American says:

    Regarding Obama sending us to war again- I think Obama does not want that at all – but it looks like someone is foiling his agenda of no war in the ME. He is relying on Kerry and hagel and obama’s priority is with domestic problems currently. Well, hagel and kerry are not doing a great job at all then if they can’t stop another war. I mean hagel looks like he has a migraine when he sits before the senate – they keep passing him notes correcting his jargon regarding Iran/Israel. Hagel and Kerry just need to own up and put the brakes on Any potential Israeli attack on Iran and stop pussy- footing around with both sides. Israel is just so mad they can’t stand it because a legitimate government like Iran is playing the game so well just as they (Israel) would do if it were in Iran’s shoes. It is very scary to think of another war. I would protest myself personally. If Israel wants war so bad they can do it alone –
    Time to immigrate away from USA may be near if war ensues.