Will It Take 130,000 More Dead Syrians for the Obama Administration to Engage Iran in a Serious Effort to End the Syrian Conflict?

A week ago, in analyzing the Obama administration’s unwillingness to let Iran take part, in any sort of remotely normal way, in the Geneva II conference on January 22, we noted that Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov would meet to discuss the matter on January 13.  We flagged the outcome of this discussion as an important indicator whether “the Obama administration can actually decide that it wants to resolve the conflict in Syria, rather than prolonging it further.”

Well, Kerry and Lavrov have had their meeting—and the Obama administration’s position on Iranian participation in Geneva II remains effectively unchanged.  For nearly three years, America and its so-called allies have been arming, training, funding, and goading ever more al-Qa’ida-aligned fighters to overthrow the recognized government of a United Nations member state.  Their efforts have not come anywhere close to removing Syrian President Bashar al-Assad from office but have killed 130,000 Syrians.  Nevertheless, the administration would rather keep the conflict going than pursue a plausible political settlement that would, in all likelihood, leave Assad in power and strengthen those who have refused to back another U.S.-instigated effort at coercive regime change in the Middle East.

Earlier this week, in the wake of the Kerry-Lavrov session, Hillary assessed U.S. policy on the issue for RT.  For a video, see here.  Her interview was also published on RT’s Op-Edge page; see here or the text appended below.

We Need Iran in Geneva to Stop Spread of Terror Throughout Middle East

RT Op-Edge, Jan. 15, 2014

“Iran could bring to Geneva-2 its good relations with Assad, Iraq and Turkey, which are necessary for a political solution, Hillary Mann Leverett, author and expert on Iran, told RT.

RT:  The UN Secretary-General has just reiterated his support for Iran being at Geneva-2.  Since its an UN-sponsored event, is that enough to make that happen or not?

Hillary Mann Leverett:  Unfortunately, at this point it’s not.  At this point both Russia and the United States have veto power on who may attend, on which delegations may attend.  [Russia is for Iran] but the US is not.  At this point the US is blocking Iran’s participation.

RTYesterday the US Secretary of State John Kerry as good as invited Iran to take part.  Yet back home a few hours later, the State Department laughed off any such invitation. Why the mixed signals, do you think?

HML:  I don’t know [if] he messed up.  I think what it demonstrates is the real incoherence in strategy and policy coming out of Washington, London and Paris, which seeks to somehow not just have a negotiation, but to have essentially a table where Syria just comes to surrender.  And that’s not something Syria is going to do, it’s not something Iran is going to support.  I don’t think that’s something Russia or the vast majority of the countries around the world would support, but that iss essentially what Washington, London and Paris are trying to do.  But it tends to be incoherent because it’s just not possible.

RT: Weve had the significant thaw in the US-Iran relations:  theres a good progress between them on the nuclear program.  So why is Washington so hesitant to work with Tehran on Syria?

HML:  It’s very strange.  When I was at the White House and the State Department with the US government, I negotiated with the current Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif over Afghanistan.  We negotiated with the Iranians, with the Russians very effectively to deal with the Taliban and Al-Qaeda in the Afghanistan.  So there is a real track record of the US being able to work with Iran, with Russia on a really difficult problem.

It doesn’t make sense that the US doesn’t want to solicit Iran’s participation and work with Iran on this issue, except that America’s so-called allies, particularly in Saudi Arabia and others in the Gulf, don’t really want to see Iran’s participation there because they don’t want Assad to be able to consolidate his authority in his country.

RT:Let’s look at the practical side of this.  Why is Irans presence seen by some as crucial for the success of Geneva talks?

HL:  Iran brings not only a deep long-standing relationship with the sitting government in Syria, the government of Bashar Assad, but also brings an ability to work with countries around Syria as well.  It has a very good solid relationship with the current government in Iraq.  The Iranian foreign minister has a good working relationship with the Turkish foreign minister, and Turkey has been heavily involved in the conflict in Syria.

Right now the Iranian foreign minister is doing a regional tour, visiting all of the countries surrounding Syria—Turkey, Lebanon, Iraq, Jordan.  The Iranian foreign minister is very, very active and focused on using international law and conflict resolution to actually come to a political solution to a range of issues, especially on Syria.  That’s incredibly important because there is no military solution to the problem in Syria.  You cannot kill the Assad government, you cannot kill all those who support it.  There is no military solution.

If we want to have a political solution, if we want to stop the killings, if we want to stop the spread of the radical jihadist terror throughout the Middle East, and even beyond the Middle East, then we need a political solution and that means we need Iran at the table.

RT:Your forecast—will it happen?  Will we see Iran among the participants?

HML:  There is an inevitability to Iran’s participation because there is no military solution.  I’ve been saying this, unfortunately, for three years and over a 130,000 dead Syrians later, now Washington is trying in some ways to think about whether or not maybe in some way, shape and form Iran could help, maybe from the sidelines.  That’s not good enough but that’s progress.  I just hope it doesn’t take another three years and another 100,000 dead Syrians before we come to reality, come to some sort of sanity and work with Iran and the key players for the political solution.”

Beyond Syria, the Obama administration’s participation in Geneva II is, as Flynt told RT, “a bad indicator that the administration is not serious about building a new kind of relationship with IranThey won’t be able to accept the Islamic Republic of Iran as an important regional player, as a legitimate actor representing legitimate national interests that is really crucial to dealing with a number of regional problems.”

–Flynt Leverett and Hillary Mann Leverett

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103 Responses to “Will It Take 130,000 More Dead Syrians for the Obama Administration to Engage Iran in a Serious Effort to End the Syrian Conflict?”

  1. fyi says:

    The Leveretts:

    The answer is “No”.

    And I doubt that Iranians will be forthcoming in any case; they might feel that their side is prevailing and thus not particularly open to cooperation with US and EU.

    I would like to point out that in Afghanistan, Iranians have ignored repeated feelers from Russia for cooperation – likely because they feel that they do not need Russia as well as not caring to work with Russia any longer.

    The picture that emerges is a government that is not in the mood for cooperating with her adversaries at the geopolitical level under duress.

  2. Karl.. says:

    130000?

    In Iraq it died atleast 500’000 kids due US sanctions in the 90s. These people dont care how many people that die.
    Obama dont even have a plan for peace with Iran, simply because he/Israel doesnt want peace.

  3. James Canning says:

    At the American Conservative site, Philip Giraldi has an interesting report on how American intel analysts are helping the effort to work out a deal with Iran.

  4. James Canning says:

    Karl..,

    Israel wants to continue to scr*w the Palestinians, and Israel thinks it has a better chance of doing this if the US continues to have poor relations with Iran.

  5. James Canning says:

    At Lobelog.com, Jim Lobe has an interesting piece: “So Harry Truman wasn’t so big on Israel after all”.

  6. Rehmat says:

    German journalist, editor and blogger, Dr. Ludwig Watzal claimed on his blog on January 17, 2014 that Iran is not yet off the AIPAC hook.

    “The sponsors of the bill propose that the Congress put the lives of US servicemen in the hands of a foreigner, Israel’s leader Benjamin Netanyahu. Thus, under item (b) (5) of the Bill, the Congress is asked to pledge unconditional military, diplomatic and economic support to Israel, should its government feel “compelled to take military action in legitimate self-defense against Iran’s nuclear weapon program.” How politically deranged Netanyahu is, shows his outrageous historic analogy; he suggests we are now in 1938, and Iran is equivalent to Nazi Germany. As a German, I wish Germany would have been in 1938 in a situation that Iran is in today: World War II would have never happened,” wrote Dr. Watzal.

    http://rehmat1.com/2014/01/19/is-jewish-lobby-power-on-decline/

  7. Unknown Unknowns says:

    fyi:

    re: the link you posted to the short article in the Economist.

    Interesting what it says in the end about the possible Iranian strategy of extending the “interim” agreement every six months. But more interesting to me, at the beginning of the article, was the use of the term “seizing” Iranian assets in Western banks.

    Has $100 billion ($120 b.?) really been “seized”. Is it out of our control? Or is it just that we cannot transfer it via SWIFT etc.? (Can we, say, buy gold with it and move the gold to Iran??) Is the world financial system so completely dominated by the West that we are basically powerless, and the West can crush us (financially – our ability to carry out any sort of international trade) if and when it wants to???

    I think understanding this aspect is key, because if the answer is affirmative, talk of the sanctions regime “collapsing” is irrelevant wishful thinking.

  8. Castellio says:

    The funds are out of Iranian control. They can’t be transfered by Swift, nor can they be accessed any other way. Iran can’t buy gold with them. The funds are, for all intents and purposes, lost and non-existent until ‘refound’ through negotiation.

    (Money is, after all, only a reflection of accepted social relations among the participants.)

    You are right, the sanctions regime disappearing is an irrelevancy and wishful thinking, short of regime change and massive policy change either in Iran or the US/Israel.

    Iran can’t ‘break’ the sanctions, it can only ‘weather’ them.

  9. Fiorangela says:

    UU, Castellio –

    So in effect, the USA and its accomplices are robbing Iran of its property.

    Doesn’t the vaunted Judeo-Christian value set have something to say about that, something about not coveting one’s neighbor’s goods, that was carved in stone some years ago? Or has the goal of secularization — i.e. eradication of fundamental and unifying cultural norms — that Ephraim Sneh demanded for Iran already been achieved in the USA?

    http://goingtotehran.com/iran-the-united-states-and-the-middle-east-in-2014#comment-32378

  10. fyi says:

    Unknown Unknowns says:

    January 18, 2014 at 11:07 pm

    The funds cannot be transferred in dollars or in Euros, other mechanisms must be found – such as gold or yens or barter trade.

    Alternatively, funds (in Euros or Dollars) have to be physically put into airplanes and send to their destinations.

    This is cumbersome but can be done.

    Mr. Khamenei had been correct 20 years ago when he urged Iranian officials to find a way to live without exportation of oil.

    And I never thought that the sanctions will be removed or even could be removed in less that 40 years.

    Mr. Rouhani’s rentiere supporters will be disappointed that they cannot go to status quo ante of 2009.

    There are 2 silver linings in this:

    1: exposure of the extent that Axis Powers are willing to go to crush other states using financial leverage – causing other independent-minded states to set up alternatives

    2: the re-structuring of the Iranian economy from crude oil exports and finished goods imports – this will have the same impact, over the next 30 years, as the Iran-Iraq War had on military technology development in Iran.

    I note here that Russia, China, India did nothing to help Iran; they also wanted to prevent the emergence of a nuclear capable Iran.

    I do not believe that there could be an indefinite extension of this 6-month mechanism.

    My sense of it is that Iranians will walk out of these arrangements by this time in 2015.

  11. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    Castellio, UU, Fio,

    Well in that case we’ll have to then “seize” some US assets around the globe as compensation, right?

    Two can play this game.

    Castellio,

    Still waiting for the Leveretts to comment on the suggestion that all this hoopla is about keeping the tasty, juicy morsel called Iran within western corporate hegemony and away from BRICs…

  12. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    Hallelujah!

    Good to see fyi repeating everything I said two years ago.

    I think the war analogy might even be a direct quote…

    (Maybe he’s been hanging out with Shia LeBoeuf)

  13. Fiorangela says:

    Michael Singh of WINEP was on C Span Washington Journal to push back — with some desperation — against any sense of optimisn regarding a deal with Iran and the prospect that it might lead to a final solution that opens Iran to engagement with Iran’s former trading partners.

    I say “desperation” because that’s the signal I interpreted as I watched Singh’s eyes flash, and his Adam’s apple struggle to remain inside his throat as Steve Scully recited the list of European government leaders who have formed trade delegations and have or will soon travel to Iran in a bid to tap Iran’s resource-rich, dynamic, educated, young market. “It’s irresponsible!” Singh pleaded; “such actions will unravel the sanctions regime that brought Iran to the table!”

    “Italy, Great Britain, Poland, Ireland, France — they are all sending government and corporate delegations to Iran,” Scully read.

    Gulp gulp gulp gulp went Singh’s voice box.

    How can this be happening?

    “The White House is going to have a very difficult time working with Congress to carry out its part of the deal, which is to ease sanctions,” Singh assured his audience. “So don’t exaggerate, don’t be too optimistic about the possibility of a rapprochement. There’s still Hezbollah and Iran is state sponsor of terror, and Israel …”

    Singh’s talking points were a one-to-one match with some of the points Joseph Cirincione made in his comments to an audience in Charlotte, NC while discussing his recent book, “Nightmare.” But perhaps unintentionally, Cirincione drove home this point: The USA is not in control of sanctions — not Congress, not the White House. Here’s what Cirincione said (the quote is as long as it is to show how Cirincione changed his position 180 degrees):

    “I also believe this [final solution] is going to happen because that’s what the other nations of the world want. And you see a United Nations that’s united — A UN Security Council that has unity and seriousness of purpose — history tells us when the UN security council is united very few countries can buck it. It’s only when the Security Council splinters as it did for example in the run up to the 2003 Iraq war when Saddam used divisions to splinter it, it’s only then that you’ll see the sanctions regime dissolve. And that’s why it’s very important that we not wreck that unity by imposing sanctions now.

    And here’s another thing you should pay attention to, the debate in Congress about whether we should pile on sanctions. There are some very well meaning senators who believe that now is the time to squeeze Iran more. I’m telling you if you pile on new sanctions you will not only break the interim agreement, which agrees that no new sanctions will be put on until we negotiate a final agreement, you will break the unity of the UN security council. We will be seen as wrecking a deal that Iran wants.

    And if we’re seen as wrecking a deal, then those sanctions you hoped to strangle Iran with? They will rapidly unravel. Because remember what sanctions are: we are penalizing other countries who are trading with Iran.

    We are penalizing other countries who are trading with Iran who are buying Iran’s oil. We say if you do business with Iran you are not allowed to do business with the USA. You’re not allowed to do business with out financial institutions.

    So if we pile on more sanctions and the deal falls apart, [are we] going to put sanctions on South Korea, and Japan, and Europe? and China? That’s just not gonna go down.

    So when you think this out, what sounds like a good idea — if sanctions brought them to the table let’s pile more on until they give us the deal we want — is actually a self-defeating strategy, it kills the sanctions regime and you’ll see Iran choose NOT to make a deal with the west, choose NOT to make a deal with the west but shift the other way. and go back to the hard line position that a good part of the Iranian regime wants to pursue anyway.”

    Cirincione’s shift from “historical unity” to the dawning realization that nations that the US is punishing — blackmailing, really, and in contravention of law and treaty agreements — may swiftly revert to protecting their own interests, was but one of the numerous volte faces in his presentation. His head spun from side to side as desperately as Singh’s larynx throbbed in his throat.

    The United States and its dog-wagging co-conspirators may be in the process of learning a hard lesson about Getting Along Well With Others. It’s not done by stealing, strangling, choking, forcing, punishing, blackmailing, assassinating. Or sanctioning.

  14. fyi says:

    Fiorangela says:

    January 19, 2014 at 11:00 am

    Sanctions will not unravel.

    EU has been consistent in her attempts at destroying the Iranian economy.

    These trade delegations are the natural response to perception, among some in US and EU, that the Iranians have surrendered.

    So they go to Iran to cash in their chips since the rebuilding of Iranian economy after these wars was what US had promised to EU states.

    Once it becomes clear that Iranians have not surrendered these visits will peter out and by 2015, I should expect, we would be in the same place as we are today.

    In Persian parlance: “I would open no account on BRICS” – itself an idea originated from a Western analyst.

    We know that India is squarely in US camp and will be of little help to Iran; and she has little to offer anyway.

    We know that Russia is playing hard ball with Iran; they closed their land transport corridor through Southern Russia to Iranian trucks while having it open to Turkey.

    Russians are also full of promises to Iran in case of Iranian surrender – that is destruction of the current Iranian nuclear capabilities by Iran herself.

    Which won’t happen.

    Brazil is too close to US and too far from Iran, they will do nothing for Iran nor are they capable – mentally – to stand up to US or EU. They have accepted their junior position and will remain an insignificant geopolitical player in the world trade of manufactured goods.

    South Africa’s inclusion among the BRICS must be attributed to some residual White-Black romanticism and not based on any of that state’s capabilities.

    That leaves China – where Iranians might be able to get something with a lot of effort but without direct help from the Chinese government.

    In my opinion, the path forward for Iran is quite clear – the Shia Crescent must, by hook or crook, industrialize and produce industrial goods.

    For the next few decades, the Axis Powers opposition to independent Iranian power will persist as well as Russia’s attempt at containing that power.

    The Shia are on their own and will receive only what they have been receiving so far from EU and US: Hostility and Enmity.

    This will not change any time soon.

  15. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    “In my opinion, the path forward for Iran is quite clear – the Shia Crescent must, by hook or crook, industrialize and produce industrial goods.”

    Amen!

  16. Fiorangela says:

    fyi says:
    January 18, 2014 at 12:13 pm

    fyi, I ran the BBC review through google translate and could figure out what that said.

    I’m having a problem translating English to English in the first pages of the book (the Amazon link). What is it about political scientists (or is it Iranians?) that compels them to use words like “ontological” and “essentialist,” to introduce a topic? Aren’t there ordinary words that communicate the idea less abstractly? I’m Italian. Italians carve stones and pour concrete. We don’t do no stinkin’ ontology.

  17. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    In Praise of Hard Industries: Why Manufacturing, Not the Information Economy, Is the Key to Future Prosperity

    by Eamonn Fingleton

    http://www.amazon.com/Praise-Hard-Industries-Manufacturing-Information/dp/0395899680/ref=la_B001IQZIN4_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1390150676&sr=1-1

  18. fyi says:

    Fiorangela says:

    January 19, 2014 at 11:56 am

    Well, he is a professor and thus he deals with ideas.

    But the late G.E. Brown once observed that Iranians are fond of metaphysical discussions.

    It must be the legacy of hundreds of years of studying in Islamic Schools that were based on the Platonic Trivium.

  19. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    “The U.S. Defense Science Board’s report High Performance Microchip Supply ranks as probably the most devastating ever account of the speed and extent of American decline. Why therefore has it been completely overlooked, or should I say suppressed, by America’s mainstream media?…”

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/eamonnfingleton/2013/05/12/if-you-trust-murdochs-fox-news-or-wsj-heres-a-thought-experiment/

  20. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    Now They Tell Us: The Story Of Japan’s ‘Lost Decades’ Was Just One Big Hoax

    “Few “facts” of modern history have become so firmly established as the idea that the Japanese economy flamed out in the early 1990s. This story has greatly discombobulated other nations’ policymaking, not least, as we will see in a moment, policymaking in the United States.

    Yet the “lost decades” story is not just a hoax but one of the most absurd and transparent hoaxes ever promoted in the English-language media. You don’t have to take my word for it…”

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/eamonnfingleton/2013/08/11/now-for-the-truth-the-story-of-japans-lost-decades-is-the-worlds-most-absurd-media-myth/

  21. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    Apocalypse Soon: The U.S. Dollar’s Grim Future — And How To Prepare For It

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/eamonnfingleton/2013/07/15/apocalypse-soon-the-u-s-dollars-grim-future-and-how-to-prepare-for-it/

  22. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    Na gharbi, na sharqi- Jumhuriye Eslami!

  23. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    Actually the correct order is “na sharqi, na gharbi…”

    You get the idea…

  24. nico says:

    Bussed-in Basiji says:
    “Apocalypse Soon: The U.S. Dollar’s Grim Future — And How To Prepare For It”

    Precisely.
    The US are doomed.
    Not matter how.
    My guess is that Wall street will collapse in 2014 or 2015.
    And that the US will be out of the ME by 2020.

  25. James Canning says:

    “Iranian participation at the [Syrian] peace conference is essential; the prize of having its regional role recognised is important for moderates in Iran.”
    Sir Roger Tomkys, in letter to the editor of The Times (London) Jan 3rd
    He was British ambassador to Syria 1984-86

  26. Kathleen says:

    Great segment. Hillary Mann Leverett is a clear, calm, fact based expert with direct experience. When will the Obama administration listen?

    “RT:Let’s look at the practical side of this. Why is Iran’s presence seen by some as crucial for the success of Geneva talks?

    HL: Iran brings not only a deep long-standing relationship with the sitting government in Syria, the government of Bashar Assad, but also brings an ability to work with countries around Syria as well. It has a very good solid relationship with the current government in Iraq. The Iranian foreign minister has a good working relationship with the Turkish foreign minister, and Turkey has been heavily involved in the conflict in Syria.

    Right now the Iranian foreign minister is doing a regional tour, visiting all of the countries surrounding Syria—Turkey, Lebanon, Iraq, Jordan. The Iranian foreign minister is very, very active and focused on using international law and conflict resolution to actually come to a political solution to a range of issues, especially on Syria. That’s incredibly important because there is no military solution to the problem in Syria. You cannot kill the Assad government, you cannot kill all those who support it. There is no military solution.

    If we want to have a political solution, if we want to stop the killings, if we want to stop the spread of the radical jihadist terror throughout the Middle East, and even beyond the Middle East, then we need a political solution and that means we need Iran at the table.”

    What a concept using international law and conflict resolution. The Leveretts keep plugging a way. The least we can do is share their work. Share this wherever you can fb, etc

  27. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    I doubt Russia thinks Iran is “surrendering ” anything of value, if it makes the proposed deal with P5+1.

  28. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    China and Russia are helping Iran, by trying to make sure Iran does the deal with the P5+1.

  29. Karl.. says:

    If obama wanted peace with Iran he should have let them into the talks, but no, goal is to destroy the Islamic republic of Iran.
    What is p5 talks worth with a snake like obama involved?

    Meanwhile, 4 day visit by Canada pm to Israel.
    http://presstv.com/detail/2014/01/19/346558/canada-pm-in-fourday-visit-to-israel/

  30. James Canning says:

    US intel community “makes peace with Iran”, by Philip Giraldi:

    http://www.theamerican conservative.com/articles/intel-community-makes-peace/

  31. James Canning says:

    Karl..,

    Obama took a great deal of flak for even suggesting Iran participate along the sidelines (in Syrian peace conference).

  32. James Canning says:

    Karl..,

    The American intelligence community thinks the White House in fact wants a deal with Iran. Read Philip Giraldi’s article that I linked.

  33. fyi says:

    James Canning says:

    January 19, 2014 at 2:42 pm

    Then you would be doubting wrongly.

    For it remains a fact that both India and Russia deliberately reneged on their commitments to the North-South Corridor in order to squeeze Iran.

    Indians expected quick resolution of the Iran-P5+1 confrontation on Axis Powers terms, when that did not happen as they expected, nevertheless, they continued on their dead-end policy with respect to Iran.

    Indian middle class as well as elite are in awe of “Amrika” – they do not have it in themselves to chart an idependent foreign policy when it comes to Iran – they are Hindu-Zionists, almost.

    The Russians, on the other hand, played the Iran card against Axis Powers, against Iran and against everyone else – trying to squeeze the last ounce of geopolitical advantage out of their relationship with Iran.

    Would the passage of Iranian trucks through Daghestan and Chechniya pose a threat to Russia? I think not; it is just another way of pressuring Iran.

    US, EU, Russia, China, India policy vis-à-vis Iran has been a failure since the premise of quick Iranian surrender – defined in terms of dismantling of Iran’s ability to quickly field nuclear weapons – was never realized.

    And when, in 2007, P5+1 and India followed the path of confrontation and containment of Iran, it left no doubt that in my mind, and perhaps in the minds of Iranian leaders and planners, that the destruction of independent geopolitical power of Iran is the major objective of these states.

    Since these states did not comprehend the depth of the Will-to-Power among Iranians – from the peasant to Paris-based intellectuals to the planners and leaders – they set themselves against the Iranian people.

    And they lost the Iranian people; which is something quite welcome by the more traditionalist folks in Iran; it weaned Iran from the ideological hegemony of the West – something that even Russians have not escaped.

    So, I think the Axis Powers wars against Iran and Syria – and against Shia in general – has had the beneficial consequence of discrediting the political ideas of these states.

    Iranians and indeed the Shia Crescent will continue to learn and copy from US, EU and others in this world; but the days of slavish imitation is gone. These wars, just like the one between Iran and Iraq that separated the Sunni Arab world from the Shia/Irani world, have separated the Shia Crescent from her Near-Abroad: EU, Russia, India.

    We shall see the impact on Pakistan.

    All-in-all, Axis Powers have been beating Iran and later the Shia in general and have thus disabused them of their quaint notions of International Human Rights Norms, Peace of Westphalia, International Law, UN, justice, and all other such clap-trap. This is a great achievement, the “Mullahs” could never have hoped to convince the Iranian people of this through their sermons.

  34. fyi says:

    James Canning says:

    January 19, 2014 at 3:07 pm

    He is mis-informed.

  35. James Canning says:

    Bussed-In Basiji,

    David Pilling’s new book about Japan dispels much of the nonsense about “lost decades”. Chris Patten had a good review of the book in the Financial Times Jan 12th.

    I think the quality of life in Japan obviously goes up as the population slowly declines.

  36. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Philip Giraldi has a better sesne of what American intelligence is thinking than any other writer or commentator that I read.

    The White House wants a P5+1 deal with Iran. But obviously does not want to incur too much political damage in pursuing the deal.

  37. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Fair statement, that the ten most powerful countries on the planet want a deal between P5+1? Provided it requires Iran give up any ability to build nukes quickly?

  38. Kathleen says:

    James for some reason your link to Giraldi’s piece was not working

    Intel Community Makes Peace
    http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/intel-community-makes-peace/

  39. Khomeini says:

    Bussed-in Basiji says:
    January 19, 2014 at 10:34 am

    “…Iran within western corporate hegemony and away from BRICs …”

    I have a different theory for Iran’s attempt to attract western energy companies. It’s to do with “Iran’s divide and rule strategy”. Iran is using this strategy to entice primarily European oil and gas companies in order to keep European regimes from forming any solid anti-Iran sanctions under US pressure. Interestingly this strategy was adapted before by Iran from 2001-2006 and did had its success in terms of delaying US engineered sanctions and in instances where sanctions were imposed they were watered down to protect European interests. Up to 2006, generally EU did show on the surface political unity with US but had tense relations underneath. After 2006 US did manage to manipulate Ahmadinijad’s holocaust and Israel remarks to bring EU firmly under its wing.

    I have been reading this topic lately and there is a clear pattern how Iran’s divide and conquer strategy kept US sanctions ineffective from 2001-2006. Back then Italy was a key country for Iran since Italy was very keen to do business with Iran. Two weeks ago Italy’s foreign minister visited Tehran and just like 2001-2006 showed keen interest in doing business with Iran. It is a rerun of recent past !!!

    Iran knows very well that US will impose more sanctions – it’s just a matter of time. However, when sanctions are imposed Iran wants to ensure they are rendered ineffective.

  40. Fiorangela says:

    fyi says: January 19, 2014 at 12:01 pm

    Of course my comment was childish, but your response made me reflect that the USA, as a nation of immigrants, does not yet have the consistent and settled maturity necessary to contemplate metaphysical topics. Immigrants must commit more time and energy to understanding the new environment, indeed, to creating a new environment.

    In addition, the who purpose of reading professorial topics is to develop new vocabulary and concepts, so my comment was doubly childish.

  41. Fiorangela says:

    the WHOLE purpose …

  42. BiBiJon says:

    UN chief Ban Ki-moon has invited Iran to take part in preliminary Syrian peace talks this week in Switzerland, an offer Tehran has accepted.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-25804848

  43. Smith says:

    fyi says:
    January 19, 2014 at 11:43 am

    That 120 billion dollars is by far, should be considered gone. The people who kept Iran’s wealth in foreign banks past 2010, when it had become clear, the west is to strangle Iran are all corrupts guilty of treason.

    The last chance was in 2010 to physically move that money into Iran and establish a global debt and money transfer clearing bank, using that money. By 2010 gold prices, it would have been more than three thousand metric tonnes of pure gold or about 400 million standard Bahar Azadi Gold Coins.

    But now, it is all gone. The more time it passes the more deep that money is going to sink into accounting books of the haram-khor foreign banks until it disappears into American economy. The only use for that money is now for its application in a carefully game theory designed plan of action (with a success rate below 10%: http://goingtotehran.com/is-obama-trying-to-resolve-or-prolong-the-conflict-in-syria#comment-33393

    At any rate, Iran now has to build a knowledge based economy, something I have been advocating for a long time. Alas, the cargo cult followers can not understand. A nation like Iran should be spending over 30 billion dollars on R&D. Right now Iran spends about a billion and that also mostly goes into corrupt pockets. Without R&D, there is no modern economy. It is only import mafia and their cronyism/nepotism.

  44. Karl.. says:

    US/SNC of syria refuse Iran participation,

    Lets see what ban ki moon do now.

  45. M. Ali says:

    Its so easy to critisize Iran’s problems and offer quick solutions. This is done by every politician looking to be elected or every taxi driver or every college student.

    Difficulties in resolving problems is only understood when one gets involved in attempting it. Intelligent Iranians can assist in trying to resolve Iranians problems is by first realistically (and not sensationally or by exagerrations) lay down Iran’s internal problems, and then try to formulate solutions that are realistic and achievable, and then try to sell that solution to the society as much as possible, taking into account any objections that may arise to either evolve the solution or put it aside for a better one.

    For example, its very easy to talk about how come Iranians dont come up with their own facebook and then insult Iranian’s for not being able to do this, without one realizing that this is not a new idea. Its talked about constantly in Iran, internal Iranian solutions has been the fad in Iran since, at least a couple of years, if not since the revolution.

    But obviously its not that easy, the biggest obstacle being the same reason that Google can’t replace Facebook, no matter how hard they have tried since their many attempts. Google’s Orkut didn’t even come close to reaching Facebook, Orkut has 33 million users against Facebook’s 1.2 BILLION. Google then has tried very hard with Google Circle which became Google Plus, and using its many services at its disposal such as Gmail, Youtube, etc, was able to be more successful than Orkut, but it still hasn’t been able to beat Facebook.

    The biggest reason is the social network effect, people won’t move to a network that their friends aren’t on, and their friends won’t move there when their friends aren’t on, and so on.

    That is why, according to this link (http://vincos.it/world-map-of-social-networks/) Facebook is the dominant social network site in 127 countries out of 137.

    Iran is one of those 10 countries, with Cloob, launched in 2004, has been able to appeal to a large segment of the population. Cloob is currently the 17th most visited site from Iranian internet users according to Alexa site.

    Facenama another social networking site, which was launched much more recently, is the 7th most visited site from Iranian internet users.

    In terms of sites like Youtube, Aparat has had a decent impact with it being the 16th visited website.

    Innovations can be found everywhere. When Google Play was inaccessible to Iranians, the Bazaar app quickly came up as a replacement to Google Play with free non-Iranian apps and loads of Iranian apps, both free and paid.

    In terms of Blogging, Iranians provided alternatives to Blogspot and WordPress from the get go, making sites that offer free blogs to Iranians high on the top lists, Blofa being second, Mihanblog being 6th, and Persianblog being 8th.

    Iranian alternative to image hosting websites is Picofile.

    Actually, looking at the Alexa rankings and compare the ratio of Iranian websites to Non-Iranian websites. Number 1 and 2 are non-Iranian (Google and Yahoo), 4 is non-Iranian (ask), and 10, and the rest are Iranian up to 26 where we have Bing, again all Iranian up to 55 which is Microsoft, and so on.

    Of course, blocking sites like Facebook contributes to this, which itself has its own set of complicated problems & solutions.

    So, while some arm chair critics find it easy to hurl insults at Iranians, there are those that with their own efforts are able to contribute to the development of their country.

  46. Unknown Unknowns says:

    Thank you all for your responses to my questions. But alas, I am none the wiser, as there were contradictory positions. I guess my first question is: How much Iranian money has been “seized”/ is frozen/ or in some other status that is more accessible, but still subject to sanctions such as SWIFT use restrictions, etc. Is it $100 billion? $120 billion? Something other that those two numbers? What is the source of this knowledge (googling does not help much; or at least, I was not able to come up with anything much). (by the way, these figures are bandied about in the Iranian press, who, repeating the Rowhani government’s mouthpieces, claim that the Iranian treasury coffers were empty when they took over from the Ahmadinejad administration. These same newspapers say that the latter party says that upwards of $100 billion is in various overseas accounts. One such account, they claim, is in China, in a bank owned by Babak Zanjani (the recently indicted Iranian multi-billionaire). That account alone is said to house $40 billion.

    Another question that would necessarily follow if it were true that this huge amount of money had been seized (= basically stolen) would be what Iran has done or is doing about it? Are they, say, preparing to take the US to court?

    It seems to me that the nitty gritty of this issue is very important, and I have not seen anything about it in the press.

    Any links to articles that shed light on this issue would be appreciated.

  47. Unknown Unknowns says:

    Nice post, M. Ali. Clearly demonstrates the difference between talking intelligently and talking out of one’s a$$ (@ 147 miles per hour). And you are right, of course. Agent Smith is not a paid agent. But he is an Agent nonetheless. An unwitting agent, serving the interest of Da Man (who he so waxes and riles indignant about) without even realizing it.

  48. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    Khomeini-jan,

    I don’t deny that it may be the justification that some are using. The problem is that such a strategy falls apart when the Germans, Italians and French retreat from Iran when they get a “stern warning” from US/Israel- which is what always happens.

    I’m not saying that Iran should therefore run into the arms of BRICs (as some seem to think).

    What I’m saying is that:

    1. The starting position has historically been Iran’s vassal status in global corporate hegemony as supplier of cheap crude oil and consumer market of western products- industrial and cultural (like films, music, etc.)

    2. Imam Khomeini’s demand- as a reflection of our real experiences in Iran- that we become independent and strong domestically in terms of industry and culture rather than being simply a vassal in global corporate hegemony.

    3. What the western lobby in Iran around Rafsanjani have been doing since the beginning of the revolution is contrary to Imam’s demand and practically a return to the vassal status under the guise of “development”, “prosperity”, “jobs”, “normal country”- the same bullshit that corporate capitalism tells people around the world wherever it wants to maximize profits and extreme consumerism.

    And of course the Rafsanjani crew happen to be the ones who get the percentages and commissions as representatives of western corporations- and all the “prosperity” this allegedly brings to Iran- in Iran and all of it with an Islamic veneer.

    All and any excuse will be brought to justify the presence of western corporations in Iran- and it’s all certified bullshit.

    It’s all about and has always been about western corporations profiting from/in/through Iran and the gentlemen getting their commissions and retiring/fleeing to a city in Europe or North America after a life of “hard work” bringing “prosperity” to Iran and establishing academic and cultural networks in Iran that “westernize” Iranian identity.

    Call it “velayate sarmaye”.

  49. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    Who knew that under that stoic functionary facade, there was set of balls.

    UN chief invites Iran to Syria peace talks

    http://www.aljazeera.com/news/middleeast/2014/01/un-chief-invites-iran-syria-peace-talks-2014119233625836230.html

  50. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    US promptly shits itself

    U.S. Tells U.N. to Withdraw Iran Invitation to Syria Talks

    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/21/world/middleeast/syria.html?_r=0

  51. Smith says:

    Again, the mofo hypocrites have come here talking nonsense. These mofo’s do not get it. Iran’s internal internet structure is almost non-existent. Many of so called Iranian sites are actually housed on foreign servers outside of Iran. These mofos should learn how internet works before talking crap out of their lying teeth.

    In Russia or China, no body talked about what these stupid mofos talked. They invested a few billion dollars, bought all necessary servers, storage space, internet switches and built up their own internet services. While these corrupt mofos gave 120 billion dollars of Iranian money to most corrupt banks on planet earth. Now the same mofo’s have the audacity to come here and make lame excuses in order to let facebook and twitter to be allowed into Iran. These mofos are traitors and should be treated as such.

    Iran still does not have its own email service. These mofos should know that giving only half of Iranians an email with 10 GB of storage would come at more than 400 million GB of soft clean storage required. These mofos should also know that such a system would require at least a tripple back and mirror system which push the physical hard storage required to 1.6 billion GB. At an average of 1 TB of server quality hard disk, it would come to over 1.6 million hard disks installed an powered up. That is only for emails and only for Iranians. Things like facebook, youtube and search engines would require even more massive and gigantic amounts of storage (email is by comparison has a low requirement for storage space).

    These mofo’s should know that all these structures, whether storage or processing power costs money and in Iran few corrupt mofo’s like these would like to invest in such things and the normal Iranian public do not have the money for investment in these areas. The only entity that could have done it, was the government of Iran. Instead of using 10 billion dollars of that 120 billion dollars, these mofos and sisfo’s kept that money in foreign banks so that their daughters could receive their kickbacks in Europe and Malaysia going around fvcking a dozen boys per night in orgies of sex and drunkness. This is the truth and reality.

    What these mofo’s do not understand that Iran needs to invest in R&D. It needs to invest in well tailored and well targeted apprenticeship programs. What these mofo’s do not understand is that Iran’s business environment has to be improved for private entrepreneurship, innovation and efficiency in production areas of the country. What these mofo’s do not understand that the era of sucking the dick of Arab sheik in Dubai and begging to be allowed importing a few items into Iran is gone.

    What these mofo’s do not understand that in almost all areas of R&D and certain areas of business, it is the government that has to invest. What these mofo’s avoid to tell, is the laughable amounts these mofo’s and their cronies had allocated to Iran’s “national email” program (I think it was a million dollars or something). With a million dollar you can not even set up the most simple email system for a university campus.

    What these mofo’s do not say is why Iran’s money was kept outside of Iran and not allocated to R&D for production of medicines in the country. What these mofo’s can not answer for is the fact that why Iran’s of governance is so much opaque and non-transparent that it protects all shades of thieves and corrupt criminals, so much so that the mofo, hypocrite and corrupt liar should himself should come here and demand answers on Iran’s baitulmal from some one who lives in United States.

    These are the questions. Why France’s Sanofi can go to a bank holding Iranian money and get a 6 billion dollar fast loan, using Iran’s money and invest it in their R&D for producing medicines, while Iran’s total R&D budget for 2014 is merely a paltry and shameful amount of 1 billion dollars (out of that mostly goes to corruption too)?

    Can any mofo here answer this?

  52. fyi says:

    James Canning says:

    January 19, 2014 at 3:33 pm

    They can ask a state to put herself on the path that would lead to her destruction.

    The state in question has no reason to obliged them.

    They are welcome to go to war – as they already have, which will not get them what they want.

  53. Unknown Unknowns says:

    Alright, let me add an update to my own posed questions, to the best of my knowledge/ “educated guess”.

    The amount in question is $100 billion. It is the sum total of sales from oil and gas that have taken place (to countries such as China, India, South Korea, Japan, etc.) after the unilateral sanctions were imposed by the Mad King (Uncle W 3@$*l is a censored term, alas) on third parties and exemptions were not granted/ extended. The sanctions mean that these countries would be subject to the Wrath of Uncle $cam if they used the greenback, Euros and/ or precious metals to pay for said oil purchases. They do NOT mean that they cannot pay in, say, Rupees or Yuan. But this, of course, means that, as no other country accepts, say Indian Rupees except India, that Iran would have no choice but to accept Indian goods in return for oil. Not the end of the world as Agent Chicken Little Smith has made a fool of himself yelling, but not the flexibility Iran deserves and would like to have.

    Meanwhile, back at the ranch, Ban Ki Moon has finally admitted that he was wrong when 20 years ago he referred to Magic Johnson as “Coon Die Soon”. It is unclear whether the admission had to do with his possible regret for his aids-phobic and racist ways or because the passage of two decades has put the lie to the subtle message in his moniker ;-D

  54. Unknown Unknowns says:

    Agent Chicken Little asks: “Can any mofo here answer this?”

    Yeah, here’s my answer:

    Go back to Camp Ashraf where you belong. But ah, wait a minute, that locale is not available anymore, is it? Hmmm, maybe you should go back to Managua. You would go unnoticed in such a place…

    http://vianica.com/nicaragua/managua

  55. Smith says:

    Yeah, the mofo, sisfo, hypocrite who rapes his daughter every night and works for smuggling mafia has usual has no answer and can only use his skills in paranoia to label some one as khalqi, shahi etc and torture them to death. This is their lives. As any normal Iranian who has lived in Iran can tell you. The government is not answerable to the public. The moment you try to ask question, they kill you.

    But then these are the mofos have screwed up things. They love to rape their sisters and give Iran’s wealth to Americans so that they spend it on their R&D program. I really think this mofo is working for MEK inside Iran. Some one should keep an eye on him.

  56. Khomeini says:

    Bussed-in Basiji says:
    January 20, 2014 at 12:31 pm

    Thank you for your post. I agree with you, Rafsanjani and the web of characters around him are no good – they want ties with US at any cost.

    EU will also follow US on sanctions, as you pointed, but it will take a longer time for EU to follow US footsteps this time. EU is desperate now, their economies are in big mess. This article sheds some light on EU’s eagerness to do business with Iran (http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13921029000251).

    Overall, Iran should engage all parties – EU, BRICS, China, Japan, Africa, Latin America, and so on. In short more corporation with the world means reducing US position vis-a-vis Iran. I bet, if US sees that world is doing lot of business with Iran than congress will impose sanctions before six months expires. This will also mean US is not serious about negotiated settlement of Iran’s nuclear case. Iran will gain the upper hand. For the time being lets wait and see how this plays out.

  57. M.Ali says:

    Whats with Smith’s use of mofos? Is he trying to act black out of sudden? Is it to disguise his inherit super whiteness?

    Since he can’t understand logic and sense, maybe two can play that game!

    Yo niggaz dat koroosh da nigga king is some bad ass mofo yo ah think da east will smoke da west honkey azz an’ da ayatollahz of rock n rollaz will win in da end brace yo’self foo’! diz here iz from me big mo ali the iranian stallion the dragons mouth from da south da looney sunni da nut from ahl sunnat from da hoodz of tehran
    peace bitches

  58. M.Ali says:

    Reply to:

    “Unknown Unknowns says:”

    I don’t know why Iran never shouts about their money so much? They should have talked about their seized assets from when it happened 30 years ago up to now. Any excuse, any interview, any speech, they should have directly or indirectly talked about how their money has been stolen by the west.

    With enough mentions, it would have been part of people’s reality, even some Americans would think of their government as thieves.

    I don’t understand why we don’t do PR better. Maybe its some of Iranian politeness that is part of most Iranians’ upbringing.

  59. M.Ali says:

    It takes only a psychopath to want a government full of daughter and mother rapists, hypocrites, smugglers, thieves, crooks, intolerant torturers and murderers, to have nuclear weapons.

    Are there even pills for such level of insanity?

  60. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    The strongest countries on the planet do not want Iran “destroyed”. This is the reason they push for Iran to make the deal with P5+1.

  61. Smith says:

    Now this other mofo who can understand the difference between national strategic requirements and internal corruption and who works for rigi group and they should also keep an eye on him too. You want to put me in danger. I will put you in danger. agent of sunni rigi.

  62. James Canning says:

    Kathleen,

    Thanks, and I obviously think Giraldi’s article should re read by those posting on this site who believe Obama does not want a deal with Iran. To me, it is obvious the White House wants a deal, if one can be achieved. FYI clearly does not want a deal, bor does Smith.

  63. Smith says:

    You mofos want to play danger game, huh? Take this.

    http://www.farsnews.com/newstext.php?nn=13921030001287

    They should really know about Unknown Unknowns who works for MEK and M.Ali who works for rigi.

  64. M.Ali says:

    This is how to make a Smith response.

    Take these words, add some verbs, and you have a complete Smith post:

    Rapists, rape, mofos, cargo cult, Mad king, hypocrites, smugglers, raping

    Can be used for any topic and any conversation. Mix and match! Enjoy!

  65. M.Ali says:

    Smith,
    “You mofos want to play danger game, huh? Take this.”

    ah nah u didnt

  66. Smith says:

    Imagine if in UK, they put BBC in charge of making internet services: http://www.tabnak.ir/fa/news/372663/%D9%85%D8%AA%D9%88%D9%84%DB%8C-%D8%B1%D8%A7%D9%87%E2%80%8C%D8%A7%D9%86%D8%AF%D8%A7%D8%B2%DB%8C-%D8%A7%DB%8C%D9%86%D8%AA%D8%B1%D8%A7%D9%86%D8%AA-%D9%85%D9%84%DB%8C-%DA%A9%DB%8C%D8%B3%D8%AA

    But then when the corruption is so high that the corrupt managers want to make a project to fail and simultaneously make fun of a nation, this is what happens.

  67. BiBiJon says:

    After the August 21 event …
    =============================

    fyi never did specify what that event was, only that it was huge enough for him to “reluctantly” concur with RSH’s daily war predictions.

    “The Event” in my estimation is yet another sign of hegemonic ambitions “failing and flailing,” as Flynt puts it, in the face the Eurasian potted plants, Iran, Russia, and China being ‘forced’ to act in concert to draw a line in the sand, and at long last counter US policies in the Middle East, currently rearing its ugly head in Syria.

    Ban Ki-moon would not have invited Iran to Geneva II, without US’ acquiescence. NYTimes may say the State department was surprised; LA Times, and the Guardian may take the SNC angle that the invitation has scuppered the Geneva II conference, but reality is elsewhere.

    SNC, according to NPR’s Margret Warner, had so many walk out of their conference, that whether or not there was quorum to decide on going to Geneva II became a sticking point. SNC, of course is a fig leaf. They control none of the combatants on the ground, indeed they are routinely derided by the cannibals. Geneva II is (and always was) a meeting between Assad, US, Russia, Saudis and now Iran to formulate a way for various war criminals to retreat. It is an inevitability that the Syrian tragedy will be re-branded as a war on terrorism, funding and supplies to Takfiris will end, and KSA, Turkey and Jordan will be hailed for their anti-terror efforts, while Assad will be the indispensable general leading the ‘good fight.’

    However, only those who imagine diminution of US’ international clout portends heaven on earth, should celebrate US’ failures. I am certain, even Putin is working hard to retain some semblance of global respect for ‘Amrika.’ e.g. the lifeline CWT on Syria. Two reasons for this:

    a) Any vacuum left by the US, will leave the world in uncharted waters.
    b) To envision no role for the US may encourage a lot more destructive flailing.

  68. Smith says:

    Another stupid mofo who has been put in charge of an important decision making place: http://www.tabnak.ir/fa/news/372671/%DA%AF%D8%A7%D8%B2%DA%A9%D8%B4%DB%8C-%D8%AA%D9%87%D8%B1%D8%A7%D9%86-%DA%A9%D8%A7%D8%B1%DB%8C-%D8%BA%D9%84%D8%B7-%D8%A8%D9%88%D8%AF

    This mofo does not know that energy conversion to a different form is always inefficient and takes the actual rate of energy consumption higher because of the inefficiency in conversion. And what this mofo will not say is that the pollution in Tehran is mostly due to cars and this can be solved simply by mandating all cars to have catalytic converters. Nothing else will do. But the mofo is either clueless or is stupid.

  69. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    M Ali,

    Oh yes he did…

    Super-duper extra points for you.

    Yes he’s definitely progressing towards full-on insanity. The rape obsession thing is particularly disturbing…

    “…you mofo bitch-ass sand-nigga!” (how was that, good? Sorry, I meant to say: “how was dat”?)

    Just imagine how embarrassed he will feel about what a “mofo bitch-ass fool” he was the moment after the first time he has relations with something other than his pillow.

  70. nico says:

    BiBiJon says:

    “However, only those who imagine diminution of US’ international clout portends heaven on earth, should celebrate US’ failures. I am certain, even Putin is working hard to retain some semblance of global respect for ‘Amrika.’ e.g. the lifeline CWT on Syria.”

    The US are lost.
    The financial crisis and the reshufling of the international monetary system are to come sooner than later..
    The US are in a desperate situation.
    The era of US dominance is to finish accordingly.
    Like the old soviet navy, the US navy will all be rusting before things could get better.
    And the US are far away from everything that is Eurasia and Africa…

    No matter the face saving stunts, the US is experiencing hard landing and the end of their ME restructuring day dreams.

    http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2014/01/17/hows-whys-gold-price-manipulation/

    And for those not convinced and thinking Mr Roberts is some kind of conspiracy theorist…

    ttp://mobile.reuters.com/article/idUSL5N0KR19G20140117?irpc=932
    “Bafin reiterated in December that besides benchmark interest-rate LIBOR and Euribor rigging by banks, it had been looking at other benchmark-setting processes such as gold and silver price fixings at individual banks.”

    Ahah… it seems the German Government is not happy not getting its gold back…

    ttp://www.mining.com/the-fed-only-gave-germany-back-5-tonnes-of-gold-in-over-a-year-82989/

  71. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    In the meantime Oxfam reports:

    The 85 richest people on earth own the same amount as the ENTIRE BOTTOM HALF OF THE GLOBAL POPULATION!

    http://www.oxfam.org/en/policy/working-for-the-few-economic-inequality

    Holy shit…

  72. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    nico-jan,

    I agree, this craziness can’t continue like this for much longer.

    Let’s get some friends together and go “seize” some gold (and whatever other “stuff” we can find) where it’s being hoarded by the satans of our time: New York, London, Tel Aviv, Riyadh…etc.

  73. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    Khomeini-jan,

    I agree, Iran should be strong and independent and deal with everyone in the world.

    But remember we can never equate “dealing with BRICs and assorted others” with “dealing with western corporations”.

    There is no “dealing” when it comes to western corporations, there is only submission and being a vassal.

    Also, get ready for the disgusting display of a Shia cleric going to the Swiss Alps as representative of the Islamic Republic and Imam’s movement- and let us never ever forget that it was none other than this very Mr.Rohani himself who coined the term “Imam” Khomeini for the first time ever in his eulogy of Haj Mustafa before the revolution- who will be vigorously placing his lips on the derriers of the 85 richest people on earth to “sway” them to give us some of the crumbs.

  74. nico says:

    Bussed-in Basiji says:

    “Let’s get some friends together and go “seize” some gold (and whatever other “stuff” we can find) where it’s being hoarded by the satans of our time: New York, London, Tel Aviv, Riyadh…etc.”

    I could have enjoyed the ride.
    However most of the world physical gold already is in east asia countries coffers.
    Guess why the FED is unable to give back the Germans their gold ?
    The Fed is not respecting the schedule even when the Germans accepted to get their gold over 20 years time period!
    While France got its gold back in the 60′s in a single batch…

  75. BiBiJon says:

    Bussed-in Basiji says:
    January 20, 2014 at 3:44 pm

    What should the representative of a Shi’a Iran say at The World Economic Forum? Should he even attend?

    The World Economic Forum (WEF) is a Swiss non-profit foundation, based in Cologny, Geneva. It describes itself as an independent international organization committed to improving the state of the world by engaging business, political, academic and other leaders of society to shape global, regional and industry agendas. The Forum is best known for its annual meeting in Davos, a mountain resort in Graubünden, in the eastern Alps region of Switzerland. The meeting brings together some 2,500 top business leaders, international political leaders, selected intellectuals and journalists to discuss the most pressing issues facing the world, including health and the environment.

    From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_Economic_Forum

  76. Karl.. says:

    Bibijon

    About IRan/ban ki moon -
    Could it be that US “made” this so they have a reason to walk away from the diplomacy/talks in Syria?

    As for Davos, I have a bad feeling that there is no point for Rouhani to be there of some reason, whats your take?

  77. BiBiJon says:

    Karl.. says:
    January 20, 2014 at 4:15 pm

    “Could it be that US “made” this so they have a reason to walk away from the diplomacy/talks in Syria?”

    Yea. It could also be dysfunction in US government. That Ban could not be persuaded not to invite Iran beforehand tells me there is a lot of confusion.

    “As for Davos, I have a bad feeling that there is no point for Rouhani to be there of some reason, whats your take?”

    Whether it is the NPT, UN, or Davos, I think Iran should be there and say reasonable things. Iran has as much right as anybody else to influence the direction of world affairs, methinks.

  78. Karl.. says:

    Bibijon
    January 20, 2014 at 4:37 pm

    That was obvious and shows again US dont want peace with Iran (nor with its allies).
    Still Assad will act according to what benefit Iran/Hezbollah in those “talks”.

  79. kooshy says:

    BiBiJon says:
    January 20, 2014 at 4:37 pm

    Oh, well ……….. This is a good indication that US policy for Syria, Iran and the entire ME is completely and totally in a big pile of mess.

    It’s unthinkable to imagine that SG Ban of UN would have dared to make a special media appearance late in Sunday to announce he has invited Iran to an Arab affair conference without prior approval by his instructors in US government.

    I think this mess is due to internal US disputes and policy incoordination. But I also think last week’s 3 FM meeting in Moscow was to setup and show the gap among US and her allies with regard to what they want in Syria. it’s a big mess.

  80. BiBiJon says:

    Karl.. says:
    January 20, 2014 at 4:44 pm

    “That was obvious and shows again US dont want peace with Iran (nor with its allies).
    Still Assad will act according to what benefit Iran/Hezbollah in those “talks”.”

    Probably “US” is too big a term to apply any “wants” or “don’t wants” to her. There are various factions within US struggling at opposite directions. The net of it is what we have today, neither peace, nor war.

    Some say that this is only tactical ploy while US gathers the strength for a death blow. Others, including me see it in terms of an internal struggle within the US, akin to what Disraeli and Gladstone had in Victorian times.

    However, I don’t think the world is waiting for the outcome of US’ internal food fight. Every country, big or small is busy charting their own path not waiting to see if Obama quits his ‘on the one hand this, and on the hand that’ paralysis and comes down with a decision.

  81. BiBiJon says:

    kooshy says:
    January 20, 2014 at 5:02 pm

    Agreed. And I wonder who’s going to thow a lifeline this time. Ban could have been an ideal decoy. That is why he was being used: see! no hands!; Ban did it, honest!

    But, it seems they changed their mind. To think all this public washing of US-Russia relations dirty laundry, and then adding the UN as the bleach over something as supifyingly inconsequential as Geneva II, just takes the breath away.

  82. Karl.. says:

    Bibijon
    January 20, 2014 at 5:15 pm

    With US I mean the US gov/administration which have publicly refused iranian (real) participation on Syria.
    Obama have had many years to show he wanted peace, compared to Bush, obama is worse on Iran. If US somehow manage to get their will through in Syria US will be even more warmongering on Iran. Thats why they dont want any iranians in the syrian talks.

  83. BiBiJon says:

    Karl.. says:
    January 20, 2014 at 5:25 pm

    Yep. Quite possibly.

  84. BiBiJon says:

    kooshy says:
    January 20, 2014 at 5:02 pm

    Mind you, with Luxemburg, Brazil, and South Korea going, perhaps having Iran go to Geneva II might have been superfluous.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geneva_II_Middle_East_peace_conference#Participants

  85. BiBiJon says:

    Also on Syria Geneva 2
    ===================

    Russian U.N. Ambassador Vitaly Churkin disputed suggestions that Ban’s decision to invite Iran had been made hastily, making clear all key players had been consulted ahead of time.

    Asked if Ban had notified Russia and the United States in advance of announcing the invitation, Churkin told reporters: “Of course, everybody was consulted.”

    From http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/01/20/us-syria-un-iran-idUSBREA0J01K20140120

  86. kooshy says:

    BiBiJon says:
    January 20, 2014 at 5:39 pm

    Can you imagine Bahrain is invited ? Bahrain needs a conference of her own this thing is not serious, I don’t see anybody wants this resolved not yet, it’s better not to go and go and not agree with the western agenda so the western media get more reasons to demonize Iran as the only reason for the failure of the conference.

    Now it will be the opposition and their Arab and western backers that will be blamed for failure because they blocked attendance of a key player that could have helped to end peacefully , I think our Mr Z made a fool of Ban and Kerry. Dirty politics.

  87. kooshy says:

    I think Mr Z told Ban and possibly Kerry that Iran agrees the need for a transition but can’t publicly announce but if announced by Ban when invited will not dispute.

    But once Iran was officially invited Iran disputed any private understanding Mr Ban got from his conversation with Mr Z and Iran reinstated their stand that since they were not part of G1 it’s natural they not to accept its result ( another political unconfirmed stand)
    Nice fly to Moscow

  88. Sineva says:

    UN withdraws invitation to iran for geneva 2
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-25820373

  89. James Canning says:

    William Hauge has praised Iran for suspending enrichment to 20% and said the work toward a permanant deal will move ahead soon.

  90. James Canning says:

    Sineva,

    The problem was with the Syrian insurgents, who apparently do not want Iran to attend the peace conference.

  91. M. Ali says:

    I havent been following this very closely but I just looked at the participant list, and 39 nine countries are attending. Are they finding new ways to waste tax payers money all the world over? How is Luxembourg going to add value to the meeting? Does Spain have strong contacts with either side? Was Mexico invited so they can bring some tacos and tequillas with them for the shots they will be doing off Hiliary Clinton’s belly? Is Sweden going to be responsible for popping in some death metal mp3s when everyone gets tired and bored? Algeria? Belgium? Norway? Denmark? Is there a hot night club in Geneva, and these guys didn’t want to stay home doing nothing?

    I bet tomorrow night Zarif will be at home in his boxers, eating pofak, on his laptop, and browsing all the foreign minister’s facebooks, and they’ll be adding party pics at Geneva 2 and tagging each other and he’ll feel like a loser for not being invited.

    Sometimes I think the whole world needs to have a revolution and overthrow all their leaders, but then I think, replace them with what?

  92. Karl.. says:

    M Ali
    January 21, 2014 at 3:17 am

    Good summary.
    Syrian talks are as pathetic as the Israel/Palestine talks. Led by the same irrelevant western states..

  93. James Canning says:

    Karl..,

    The “relevant” non-Western countries that should lead the Israel/Palestine talks are:________? In your view.