A new approach to Iran

President Barack Obama has issued a video appeal to Iran - its government and people. Time will tell what results from this approach but it is certainly a change from the Bush era rhetoric.

Glenn Greenwald on the issue.

"Loving Our Enemies, the People of Iran"

Now let us keep track of developments.


  1. Hi Bob
    It certainly didn't take long for the neocons to respond. And so predicatable.

  2. And predicted ... Kristol had to get in early. He keeps saying things, perhaps in the hope that one day he gets something right.

  3. Worth noting as well that Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov has told reporters that Moscow did not believe Iran was attempting to develop a nuclear-weapons program.

  4. That puts in context Kristol's lie that Iran has a "program for developing nuclear weapons" which it must stop "in return for such constructive ties [as offered by President Obama]."

  5. On the alleged Iranian nuclear weapons program, Stephen M Walt on how to do with the situation IF it exists.

    A good bit:

    First and foremost, the United States has to take the threat of military force and regime change off the table. Why? Because that's the main reason why Iran might like a nuclear deterrent in the first place. From Tehran's perspective, they have three nuclear powers in their neighborhood (Pakistan, India, and Israel), and U.S. troops on two sides (in Iraq and Afghanistan). U.S. naval forces patrol the Iranian Sea and Persian Gulf, and it is the stated policy of the U.S. government -- the world's strongest military power -- to seek the removal of the current Iranian regime. Indeed, we are reportedly engaged in various covert operations there already. Iranians can see that Saddam Hussein is dead and buried but Kim Jong Il is not, and they know one of the reasons why. They also know that Muammar al-Qaddafi agreed to give up his own WMD programs only after the Bush administration agreed not to try to overthrow him. Under these circumstances, it would be surprising if Iran wasn't interested in its own deterrent.

  6. The headline reads:

    Iran's Supreme Leader Dismisses Obama Overtures

    An extract:

    In his most direct assessment of Obama and prospects for better ties, Khamenei said there will be no change between the two countries unless the American president puts an end to U.S. hostility toward Iran and brings "real changes" in foreign policy.

    Seems reasonable and a caution others have expressed.

    On Iran and the media.

    Philip Giraldi - Iran: A Way Forward.

  7. G'day fellow -libre's.

    This thread on Iran intrigues me. When will people ever learn - America cannot be trusted.

    I recommend reading "From Wounded Knee to Iraq: A Century Of U.S. Military Interventions” by Zoltan Grossman viz: http://academic.evergreen.edu/g/grossmaz/interventions.html It will do your heart a lot of good.

    It appears that between the years 1890 and 2008 the US military have only been inactive for 11 years! Those being 1897 - 1934-1941 [7 years post depression] - 1955 - 1957 and 1959 that is eleven years of inactivity out of 118!

    I once wrote in WD that I believed that while the U.S. claimed a foreign policy of warlike isolation but that only applied to their home security. And I added that IF the Indonesians invaded Australia and it was in the financial or otherwise interests of the US administration – I believe they would do an “Israel” for peace at any price.

    The real policy has been to cause military episodes [large and small] for "what suits us" - or "your are either with us [on our terms] or against us".

    This while they use some 50% of the world's resources while being only 6% of the population.

    So, getting back on topic - if you were Iran - would you trust any pact with the United States of America?


  8. G'day Ern, as far as trusting the US, perhaps ask the Native-Americans. However, if other considerations were put aside and a a more realistic approach was made then perhaps an agreement could be reached that would be amenable to both sides and would last. Ut would, while it lasted, avoid the action that some are promoting - which would have dire consequences. Recall the 2003 Iranian letter to the US. Ignored ny the US but could have been a good basis for negotiations.

    See also my new thread "Pipelinestan" for related matters.

  9. For convenient click thru to Ern's suggested reading: From Wounded Knee to Iraq: A Century Of U.S. Military Interventions by Zoltán Grossman.

    Thanks, Ern.

    Thanks for your links as well, Bob.

  10. All part of the service, Orana. Here's another article - Kaveh L Afrasiabi on the Europeans being out of step with Obama as exampled by Gordon Brown:

    Iran is a test case for this new philosophy of the right to civil nuclear power with sanctions for rule breakers. Let me be unequivocal: Iran has the same absolute right to a peaceful civil nuclear program as any other country. Indeed the UK and international community stand ready to help Iran achieve it - as the opening of the Bushehr nuclear plant already shows. But let me be equally clear that Iran's current nuclear program is unacceptable. Iran has concealed nuclear activities, refused to cooperate with the IAEA [International Atomic Energy Agency], and flouted UN Security Council resolutions. Its refusal to play by the rules leads us to view its nuclear program as a critical proliferation threat.

    Iran therefore faces a clear choice: continue in this way and face further and tougher sanctions, or change to an UN-overseen civil nuclear energy program that will bring the greatest benefits to its citizens. I hope that Iran will make the right choice and take advantage of the international community's willingness to negotiate, including President Obama's offer of engagement, rather than face further sanctions and regional instability. So I urge Iran, once again, to work with us rather than against us on this. The opportunity to do so remains on the table; the choice is theirs to make.

    There are some problems wuth Brown's comments:

    First, Brown gives the false impression that Iran has stopped cooperating with the IAEA and that the UN atomic agency has virtually no "overseeing" capability over Iran's nuclear program. This is false. IAEA inspectors have conducted unprecedented inspections of Iran's facilities since 2003, also making 21 unannounced visits at the enrichment plants since March 2007. They have put Iran's nuclear fuel under their seal, and put in place robust surveillance mechanisms whereby their cameras record every minute of activity at the enrichment plants.

    This whole issue was brought to the EU's attention by Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, at a recent meeting in Brussels. Lavrov admitted that "there is no proof that Iran even has decided to make a nuclear bomb" and added "as long as the IAEA works in Iran, the IAEA monitors all the centrifuges which are producing low-enriched uranium for the fuel purposes. To change it to weapons-grade uranium you need to do manipulations which would be immediately noticed by IAEA cameras, or if cameras are switched off we will also know that something took place which is wrong."

    Second, in addition to forgetting the IAEA's own findings, such as the absence of any evidence of diversion of nuclear material, let alone any smoking gun, Brown is equally guilty of omitting any reference to the US intelligence finding that, at least since 2003, Iran's nuclear program has no weaponization component. This is a conclusion that the new heads of the US intelligence community, including Dennis Blair, have stood by. This in light of Blair's recent congressional testimony and his admission that Iran has not produced any weapons-grade uranium. In other words, Iran has produced only low-enriched uranium, which is perfectly legal under the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) to which it is a signatory.

    Someone please explain it to the UK PM.

  11. Quite a list; really makes one go "Hmmm."

    G'day Ern, I had a list like that once - and it's still there. (I found it quite some time ago. I have to smile a bit here, because 'there' is on the Workers' Communist Party of Denmark website - a 'typical' place for lefties to look - just Joe King, eh?) Here's another list, this time from Blum, United States bombings of other countries, it 'only' lists after WW2.

    Going back to your Dr. Zoltan Grossman citation, I started reading the text after the list - and came to an abrupt halt - at the 2nd use of the word "rebel."

    This is a classic "Lakoffian slip," using the Pentagon's language to refer to whatever the Pentagon's 'enemy of the moment' might be - and therefore entering the Pentagon's carefully designed 'frame,' wherein the Pentagon is the goody. Almost always wrong!

    Reagan slipped up a bit, when he showed us the way:

    Straight talk on terrorism
    Monthly Review , Jan, 2002 by Eqbal Ahmad
      «Until the 1930s and early 1940s, the Jewish underground in Palestine was described as "terrorist." Then something happened: around 1942, as news of the Holocaust was spreading, a certain liberal sympathy with the Jewish people began to emerge in the Western world. By 1944, the terrorists of Palestine, who were Zionists, suddenly began being described as "freedom fighters." If you look in history books you can find at least two Israeli Prime Ministers, including Menachem Begin, appearing in "Wanted" posters saying, "Terrorists, reward this much." The highest reward I have seen offered was 100,000 British pounds for the head of Menachem Begin, the terrorist.
    In 1985, President Ronald Reagan received a group of ferocious-looking, turban-wearing men who looked like they came from another century. I had been writing about the very same men for The New Yorker. After receiving them in the White House, Reagan spoke to the press, referring to his foreign guests as "freedom fighters." These were the Afghan mujahideen. They were at the time, guns in hand, battling the "Evil Empire." For Reagan, they were the moral equivalent of our Founding Fathers.»

    [Eqbal Ahmad/Straight talk on terrorism]

    Well, of course, some of the mujahideen may now be the Pentagon's 'enemy of the moment:' the Taliban!!?

    Fazit: Watch any TV news (including AusBC, to their undying shame); see how any current 'enemy' is/are referred to as Muslim extremists, radical Palestinians, etc. - the list is looong - and mostly, *emotionally-charged* - and propagandist.

  12. Well, if not Taliban then possibly worse: Al-Qaeda.

    But who is more likely to be correct, the invader or the home-defender? Like recently in Gaza?

  13. And now Iran?

    “Do as I say not what I do”

    A credit to Marilyn Shepherd on WD to revive the most disgraceful acts of barbarism committed by the Zionist new Israel.
    When I was young, my Father didn’t appreciate the vitriol between the Catholic Weekly and The Rock. Propaganda by Catholicism and Protestantism respectively. His idea was to hear both sides before you make a judgement. The trouble with WD is that one side is cultivated on false rules of what free speech is and what is “allowable” to the editors. The same principle as that which I believed Margo was originally trying to avoid. The more things change the more they remain the same.
    As usual the Zionists in WD answer their critics with the typical capitalist method of implying that the murders, massacres and use of horrendous weapons like cluster bombs, bunker busters and phosphorous weapons against the Palestinian people is “not as bad as say Zimbabwe”? – fair dinkum. But then that was ER wasn’t it.
    Another Zionist wrote something with which I entirely agree except – the description fits the Zionist military in new Israel perfectly: I quote:
    “They do not assume that everything published that is intensely hostile to a particular civilised society, or its military, is true. Especially when it has been proven over and over again that the source is unreliable and that terrorists especially ,coldly, deliberately and calculatingly fight their wars in part with lying, slanderous, misleading, and racist propaganda. Buckets of it.” How delightfully capturing the terrorist methods of the Zionist lobby in the US?
    Of course new Israel does not comply with any rules, regulations, policies, charters, laws, morals or anything that may hinder their mad murderous efforts to take over the entire Middle East – and then?
    Since 1948 there have been 101 UN Security Council resolutions against the uncontrolled and vicious attacks against Tunisia; Iraq; Syria; Jordan; Lebanon to mention a few plus – the British; the Red Cross; and the U.N.
    Now that is the behaviour of a good world citizen and a carer of human rights and the demonstration of what the Zionists call “civilised”!
    Next post I will list just some of the United Nations’ resolutions which new Israel has ignored – are they saying that non-one will tell them what they can do?
    Didn’t Hitler have the same policy?
    This will be cross-posted with http://yourdemocracy.net.au/

  14. "With all due respect" is my code for "You may not like, less appreciate, what's coming next."

    Sooo, without further ado (but 1st recalling that most propaganda is lies, pushed for some evil, criminal and possibly murdering cause (like killing to steal Palestinian land and water)), this:

    1. Propagandists usually do not care for the truth; any truth.

    2. It is then pointless to attempt 'debating' any propagandist, but (much!) worse:

    3. Continuing a dialogue with a (lying!) propagandist merely allows the propagandist to continue spilling his/her lies.

    Q1: What happens, when someone (over there), with presumably the best will in the world, relates wicked facts about Zionists?

    A1: One or more of the Z-trolls takes the opportunity provided to trot out more Z-supporting lies.

    More due respect: of course, anyone should be free to say what they wish - also Xxx, and good on her, but as some have found out to their cost, over there is not so free. Specifically, the pro-Zs are favoured, and anti-Zs may be censored or ejected.

    Q2: Given that almost every comment from Xxx is met with ever more pro-Z propaganda, how smart is providing these propagandists ever more opportunities/attention? Is there not some better way?

  15. Ahem! Explanation: my frustration is directed at so-called 'progressives' exactly like the ones over there; they keep on pointlessly arguing with trolls, looong after all possibility of any progress resulting from such arguing has expired, and as I say (looping as ever), keeping it up allows now only for ever more damage by the liars. I'll now get back to 'real' work.

  16. Now the thuggish Zionist liars are ganging up on Xxx over there. Four rwdbs vs one progressive.

    Says it all ... about the rwdbs, about the WD 'management' team that supports them, about the murdering thieves that together they cheer on and support.

    They're all disgusting.

    IDHolm is entirely correct.

  17. While television cameras focused on President Obama in Washington during the unveiling of his strategy for Afghanistan, US and Iranian diplomats were holding a meeting in Moscow.

    At the table with Ban Ki-moon, the United Nations secretary-general, Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi foreign minister of Pakistan, and Dr. Rangin Dadfar Spanta, foreign minister of Afghanistan, was both Patrick Moon, the US diplomat in charge of south and central Asia, and Mehdi Akhundzadeh, Iran’s deputy foreign minister.

    Watch out for the propaganda from PNAC signatories and their ilk. They'll be trying to undermine this move toward bridge-building by the Obama administration.

  18. An ilk by any other name ...

    What do you do if your previous organization — and the ideology behind it — has become inextricably bound in the public’s imagination to one of the worst foreign policy blunders in American history? Obviously, shut it down, and start a new organization with a new name.

    The Foreign Policy Initiative lists Robert Kagan, Bill Kristol, and Dan Senor on its board of directors, so no prizes for guessing what they’re about (more power, less appeasement, stronger wills.) Kagan and Kristol need no introduction, they’re the Tick and Arthur of disastrously counterproductive military adventurism. Given the staggering costs in American blood, treasure, security, and reputation incurred by their boundless enthusiasm for blowing stuff up, you might think they’d have had the decency to retreat to a Tibetan monastery by now, but sadly no. The way it works in Washington is, if you’re willing to argue for more defense spending, you’ll always find someone willing to fund your think tank.

    I think that's the ilk you might mean, orana. And some have already been active, as we have seen above.

    Why do they think a name change will help? That seems to lack finer aspects of the thought process. Bot unlike the process that produced the following over at WD:

    This place is always going to be a place where points of view are going to be contested.

    First they have to publish points of view or the contesting responses. There are inconsistencies in how they decide what to publish. And a lack of openness - has Ern ever received an explanation for his deregistration?
    And for Tonkin, who was challenged to contest ideas, ie., back up his allegations with specifics and evidence and failing to do so, to make such statements as above, is both untrue and hypocritical.

    Meanwhile, back on the topic - and some history between the US and Iran.

  19. G'day Bob. Tonkin would have felt compelled to write that lie in an attempt to deal with the cognitive dissonance created by their current position as chief censors, banning people left and centre (not right). No doubt he does realise that he's lying. He knows full well that the only censors over there stuffing comments down their memory hole are he and his peer/s in the 'management team.' And the issue that they're most censorous about - any critique of WD and how it is 'managed.'

  20. And here's an example of the propaganda coming from the Jewish Telegraphic Agency:

    Iranian official: No dialogue until build bomb

    Next they'll make the ludicrous claim that Israel will be justified in using any US-Iran dialogue as a trigger for attacking Iran.

  21. Note that the JTA article names Wahied Wahdat-Hagh as source of the 'translation' offered as 'evidence' of the allegedly 'official' line.

    Wahied Wahdat-Hagh is "a Senior Fellow with the European Foundation for Democracy in Brussels." Check that flimsy Foundation. Nothing published by it since 2007.

    Though Wahied Wahdat-Hagh has been published since then. Specifically by pro-Baha'i Iran Press Watch.

    Trustworthy source, then?

    No, I'd want a better, clearly non-biased source before believing any Iranian official has stated that 'no-dialogue' line.

    Bet that some MSM outlets feel fine about recycling this JTA story. Keep a keen eye out for it.

  22. The road to Damascus - Seymour Hersh on the prospects of peace between Israel and Syria. Not, of course, isolated from other issues in the region. A caution - the map meme raises its ugly head and from a predictable source.

    Some American thoughts on Iran.

    Good to see that they are aware of the IAEA:

    U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said on Sunday that economic sanctions would be more effective than diplomatic overtures in bringing Iran to the negotiating table over its nuclear program.

    "Perhaps if there is enough economic pressure placed on Iran, diplomacy can provide them an open door through which they can walk if they choose to change their policies," Gates said on Fox News Sunday.

    "I think the two go hand in hand, but I think what gets them to the table is economic sanctions," he said, commenting on diplomatic efforts to neutralize the nuclear plans of Iran and North Korean. Gates clarified the Pentagon's view that Iran may have enough low-enriched uranium from centrifuges at the Natanz nuclear facility, but it does not have the capability to enrich the material further to weapons grade.

    The U.S. government suspected Iran could be "clandestinely" building an enrichment capability, he said, but added:

    "We do not believe they are doing enriching beyond a low level at Natanz, and the [International Atomic Energy Agency] is in there, so we will know if they tried to do that."

    What they know ... and what they suspect. Or want to suspect.

  23. There might be talk of a new approach - but some things never change, such as the lack of a sense of irony. Or, in harsher wards, gross hypocrisy.

    President Shimon Peres on Monday said a "sophisticated and devious" Iranian regime has managed to hide the Islamic Republic's nuclear ambitions from the world.

    Speaking to a group of visiting U.S. members of Congress, Peres also said the United States must enlist Europe in its efforts to thwart those ambitions.

    Surely there is no need to explain the hypocrisy in the above statements.

    Further on in the article:

    ran welcomed on Monday a proposal to set up a global nuclear fuel repository, part of a U.S.-backed plan to put all uranium enrichment under strict international control.

    President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, in Kazakhstan on a visit, said he supported a proposal to host the nuclear bank in the fellow Caspian nation, which is accessible from Iran by sea

    "We think that [Kazakh President] Nursultan Nazarbayev's idea to host a nuclear fuel bank is a very good proposal," he told reporters after talks with the Kazakh leader.

    Meanwhile, the Obama administration and the new Israeli government haven't coordinated their stories.

  24. To be or not to be ... Old approach? Mew approach? Kaveh L. Afrasiabi on Obama's Iran policy ... or policies.

    Obama twists and turns on Iran
    By Kaveh L Afrasiabi

    "We will support Iran's right to peaceful nuclear energy with rigorous inspections." Of all of United States President Barack Obama's repeated references to Iran during his near flawless, message-wise, European tour this week, this was undoubtedly the most important, as it signified a new willingness on the US's part to consent to Iran's controversial nuclear fuel cycle.

    But, if only Obama could remain consistent and withstand the mounting pressures from various corners, above all Israel and its supporters in the US. These aim to prevent what is increasingly appearing as a logical and necessary adjustment in the US's policy toward Iran in the absence of any evidence of the military diversion of its nuclear program.

    Close scrutiny of Obama's speeches and actions with respect to Iran during his European visit leads one to conclude that the administration's policy may be winding down, Yet it is not completely over, and that as a result it is best to describe the US's current Iran policy as a contradictory hybrid in which elements of novelty coexist uneasily with policy continuity with the past.

    What is beyond doubt, however, is that by repeatedly referring to Iran in his major foreign policy speeches, such as in Prague and in the Turkish parliament, Obama has prioritized the country and is determined to fulfill his promise of a "new beginning" in relations expressed in his new year message to Iran in March.

    A new beginning by relying on old and empirically untenable assumptions is difficult and has the potential to neutralize the new elements in the US's Iran policy. Worse, this may adversely impact US-Russia relations, soured by the US's missile shield in Eastern Europe, which is considered anathema to Russia's national-security interests.

    Can he choose the sensible path by resisting the pressure from the usual suspects?

  25. US willing to talk.

    WASHINGTON — The Obama administration said Wednesday it will participate directly in group talks with Iran over its suspect nuclear program, marking another significant shift from former President George W. Bush's policy toward a nation he labeled a member of the "Axis of Evil."

    The State Department said the United States would be at the table "from now on" when senior diplomats from the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council and Germany meet with Iranian officials to discuss the nuclear issue. The Bush administration had generally shunned such meetings, although it attended one last year.

    "We believe that pursuing very careful engagement on a range of issues that affect our interests and the interests of the world with Iran makes sense," Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton told reporters. "There is nothing more important than trying to convince Iran to cease its efforts to obtain a nuclear weapon."

    Well, it is a change and better late than never. Worth putting up with the usual spin. Has the SoS not seen the NIE?

    "If Iran accepts, we hope this will be the occasion to seriously engage Iran on how to break the logjam of recent years and work in a cooperative manner to resolve the outstanding international concerns about its nuclear program," he said. "Any breakthrough will be the result of the collective efforts of all the parties, including Iran."

    Wood said the administration wants a diplomatic resolution to the nuclear issue and believes that requires "a willingness to engage directly with each other on the basis of mutual respect and mutual interests."

    "We hope that the government of Iran chooses to reciprocate," he added.

    Six years ago the Iranians hoped for the same from the IS. It didn't happen.

  26. Some new rhetoric exampled in the previous post, but the same old elsewhere - such as the POTUS visits a particular part of Iraq And talks of success. And says the time has come for the Iraqis to take responsibility for their own country.

    On the visit and "success" we have Pepe Escobar:

    United States President Barack Obama's up-to-the-last-minute secret Iraq drop-in was as virtual as a Nevada-based Predator drone pilot's visit to the tribal areas in Pakistan. Iraqis have every reason to say the president did not see Iraq - but the Pentagon in Iraq.

    The date couldn't be more pregnant with meaning. Baghdad under Saddam Hussein fell to the US Marines Corps under George W Bush exactly six years ago this Thursday - light years of death and devastation ago. To prove his point, made rhetorically in Ankara at the Turkish parliament, that "the United States is not, and will never be, at war with Islam", Obama could have hit the definitive home run by going to Firdous Square and delivering a rousing speech to real, flesh-and-blood suffering Iraqis, Sunni and Shi'ites alike. Meeting a joyous 600 among the 139,000 US troops still occupying Iraq doesn't even come close.

    From the minute Air Force One landed at Baghdad International at 4.42pm local time this Tuesday, the whole stunt spelled out "security ops". Air Force One only touched down after the whole airport was shut down. Amid ultra-hardcore security, Obama met with General Ray Odierno, the top US commander in Iraq, entered a SUV and stepped down at Camp Victory, the top US military base in Iraq, which happens to be contiguous to the airport. Not even a glimpse of real-life, messy, dangerous Red Zone Baghdad.

    Obama was then supposed to board a helicopter to visit the Green Zone citadel. But even the Green Zone was deemed a supreme security risk. According to White House spin, the trip was canceled because of a "sandstorm". Instead of flying to the Green Zone, Obama was greeted with a no-risk wait for Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's motorcade to visit him at Camp Victory. The highway linking the Green Zone to the airport was, of course, totally blocked.

    And Dahr Jamail:

    One week after Iraqi government forces arrested an Awakening Group (commonly referred to as Sons of Iraq, al-Sahwa) leader, Adil al-Mashhadani, head of a patrol unit in central Baghdad's Fadhil neighborhood in Baghdad, sparking gun battles that raged for hours between US-backed Iraqi forces and US-allied Sunni militiamen that killed three people, militiamen have once again been detained, widening concerns that sectarian violence may once more engulf Baghdad. There are 50,000 Sahwa fighters in Baghdad alone.

    Om responsibility and other matters, Chris Floyd.

    This is the line that national Democrats such as Obama, Hillary Clinton, and the gaggle of gormless bagmen, blue dogs and corporate shills in Congress have been pushing for years. The American invasion itself was "an extraordinary achievement," as Obama had the shameless brass to announce in Baghdad this week. "You have given Iraq the opportunity to stand on its own as a democratic country." And now it's up to these ungrateful, lazy, shiftless creatures to take advantage of the magnificent gift America has given them -- or else.

    The moral depravity of this stance is breathtaking. Invade a country for no reason, kill a million of its people, drive four million into exile, destroy its infrastructure, plunge it into civil war, abet its "ethnic cleansing," loot its wealth, put it in the hands of religious extremists, unleash disease, poverty and social breakdown: this is an "extraordinary achievement," says the progressive paladin. And now the Iraqis must "take responsibility" for the hell on earth created by their invaders.

    More on responsibility - Vincent Bugliosi on trying Bush for murder.

    Drones were mentioned, so - Tom Engelhardt on drone wars.

    What chance a new approach really being taken?

  27. A new approach could look very much like this - a piece that I highly recommend.

  28. Further on frames - Iran’s ‘Outlawed’ Nuclear Program.

    Whereas in reality:

    The NPT obligates signatories to “undertake to accept safeguards” under the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). These safeguards are “for the exclusive purpose of verification of the fulfillment of its obligations assumed under this Treaty”. Iran’s obligations are to employ its nuclear technology only for the production of energy. Any effort to develop nuclear weapons is strictly forbidden.

    The safeguards, the NPT states, “shall be implemented in a manner designed to comply with Article IV of this Treaty, and to avoid hampering the economic or technological development of the Parties”. Sanctions, needless to say, hamper Iran’s economic and technological development.

    Article IV states that “Nothing in this Treaty shall be interpreted as affecting the inalienable right of all the Parties to the Treaty to develop research, production and use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes….” (emphasis added). In other words, no one can tell Iran that it can’t enrich uranium for a civilian nuclear program.

    The key U.N. resolution in question is 1696 of July 2006, which notes “with serious concern” that “Iran has not taken the steps required of it by the IAEA Board of Governors, reiterated by the Council in its statements of 29 March and which are essential to build confidence, and in particular Iran’s decision to resume enrichment-related activities….”

    Notice the word “resume” there. Iran had voluntarily suspended its research and development of enrichment technology on a temporary basis as a show of good faith. Iran engaged E.U. member states, but when nothing came of the talks and negotiations over Iran’s program stalled, Iran resumed its activities, which it had every right to do under the NPT.

    Furthermore, the NPT does not obligate Iran to halt research and development in order to “build confidence”. Iran must allow the IAEA to monitor and inspect its nuclear program under the safeguards system, but under no circumstances is required to suspend activities that are not shown to be undertaken towards the development of a nuclear weapon.

    More on possibilities.

  29. More background - Gordon Prather "Return to What Negotiations?"

    From Tomdispatch Roane Carey on whether Israel will attack Iran.

    Among the links included is one on the activities of the Administration's special envoy for Iran Denis Ross. Ross is busy doing t his nest to advance ... Israel's agenda despite:

    It should go without saying that an Israeli attack on Iran would have disastrous consequences. No matter what Washington might claim, or how vociferously officials there denounce it, such an attack would be widely understood throughout the Muslim world as a joint U.S.-Israeli operation.

    It would, as a start, serve as a powerful recruiting tool for extremist Islamist groups. In addition, an outraged Iran might indeed send commandos into Iraq, aid armed Iraqi groups determined to attack U.S. and government forces, shoot missiles into the Saudi or Kuwaiti oilfields, and attempt to block the Straits of Hormuz though which a significant percentage of global oil passes. Washington would certainly have to write off desperately needed cooperation in the war against the Taliban and al-Qaeda in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Any attack would only strengthen the reign of the mullahs in Iran and reinforce the country's determination to acquire a nuclear deterrent force that would prevent future attacks. And keep in mind, Iran's nuclear program has overwhelming public support, even from those opposed to the current regime.

    The consequences seem not to concern some people.

  30. The fact an Israeli government with someone like Lieberman in it possesses "city-busting" wmd and could decide to "introduce" them is certainly cause for concern.

    What to do about it, is what we need to figure out.

  31. Promoting and supporting sensible approaches such proposed by William deB. Mills linked above (( Apr 8.47 am) is something we can do. Exposing the lies and hypocrisy that us far too common is another. Such as.

    Peres added: "Sooner or later, the world will discover that Iran has the aspiration to take over the Middle East and that it posses colonial ambitions."

    Coming from Peres ... mmmm ...


    "The people of Israel want peace," Peres told the Palestinian leader by phone. "On the eve of the festival of Pesach, we are all praying for peace and freedom for every people in the region, and one must not lose hope on the way to peace."

    Yes, well ...

  32. Roger Cohen has recently put forward this US-Iran relations "normalization scenario":

    "Iran ceases military support for Hamas and Hezbollah; adopts a “Malaysian” approach to Israel (nonrecognition and noninterference); agrees to work for stability in Iraq and Afghanistan; accepts intrusive International Atomic Energy Agency verification of a limited nuclear program for peaceful ends only; promises to fight Qaeda terrorism; commits to improving its human rights record."

    "The United States commits itself to the Islamic Republic’s security and endorses its pivotal regional role; accepts Iran’s right to operate a limited enrichment facility with several hundred centrifuges for research purposes; agrees to Iran’s acquiring a new nuclear power reactor from the French; promises to back Iran’s entry into the World Trade Organization; returns seized Iranian assets; lifts all sanctions; and notes past Iranian statements that it will endorse a two-state solution acceptable to the Palestinians."

    No doubt that the Lobby will do its utmost to derail "normalization" along those lines because of the "Malaysian approach". And it would probably take US adoption of a micro-"Malaysian approach" to enable Iran to take a "Malaysian approach".

  33. And, orana, a report on what the US might be considering as a basis for negotiations.WASHINGTON — The Obama administration and its European allies are preparing proposals that would shift strategy toward Iran by dropping a longstanding American insistence that Tehran rapidly shut down nuclear facilities during the early phases of negotiations over its atomic program, according to officials involved in the discussions.

    The proposals, exchanged in confidential strategy sessions with European allies, would press Tehran to open up its nuclear program gradually to wide-ranging inspection. But the proposals would also allow Iran to continue enriching uranium for some period during the talks. That would be a sharp break from the approach taken by the Bush administration, which had demanded that Iran halt its enrichment activities, at least briefly to initiate negotiations.
    That won't please Israel which is still in "stop or we bomb" mode. And what of Israel under the "Malaysian approach"? They might be tempted to take advantage. So the US would need to be tougher on Israel. More than hints, which I take comments such as the following to be:

    Defense Secretary Robert Gates
    said Monday that any sort of pre-emptive strike on Iranian nuclear facilities would create a disastrous backlash and that only tough economic sanctions will convince the country to abandon a nuclear weapons program, which it insists it is not pursuing but which administration officials say is well underway.


    The president needs the “full range of options,” Gates said. But, he said, as he has previously, “There is a way potentially for Iran to have a civilian nuclear power program without proceeding to highly enriched uranium and weaponization. And I think we need to look at every way we can to increase the cost of that program to them, whether it’s through economic sanctions or other things.”

    Some of the same old still, such as:

    And, he added, “I think there also needs to be more discussion of the fact that nuclear weapons could detract from Iran’s national security than contribute to it, particularly if it launches a nuclear arms race in the Middle East.”So, is a one-horse race OK?

  34. Better if he'd said: I think there needs to be more discussion of the fact that nuclear weapons do detract from every nation's security, particularly when, as per Israel's undeclared nuclear weapons, it could launch a nuclear arms race in the Middle East.

  35. Always and of course IMHO, it should be pointed out, why not to the actual point just this side of ad nauseam, that Iran or N.Korea etc. could only ever deploy a nukular device in self defence. End of story; such countries could fully, 101% justify possessing such a defence - exactly because the US and Israel make the vicious threats that they do. The threats of attack, as in 'normal' law, are just as illegal as the attacks themselves would be. True defensive actions are more than a right, they are a must. Iraq would probably not have been attacked, had it had an effective defence (naturally enough, that illustrates how cowardly the illegal US invasion of Iraq actually was, just as cowardly as the Israeli attacks on their neighbours are.) It is these true rogue regimes, that the US under Bush was, and Israel under all govts since 1948 are, that need to be brought to justice. The world must see an end to the vicious acts/threats made by Bush, and continuously by Israel. If Obama can rescue his regime from rogue status, and curb the rabid Israelis - permanently - then more power to him.

  36. Israel is a convenient, uncontrolled murderer in the Middle East.

    There is just no legal or logical reason for the US/Israel unholy alliance to continue to build fear and hatred about Iran – unless they are going to do an “Iraq” which was also supposed to benefit the Israeli murderers.

    Iran is a signatory to the Non-proliferation Treaty but three US supported nuclear states, Israel, India and Pakistan are not. If Iran’s signature means nothing, then neither does that of all other nations, including the US? If the signature means something then the dangers to the world peace would be Israel, India and Pakistan?

    Commonsense would dictate that the three “rogue” states - by definition as far as the Treaty is concerned - can now expand their weapons program? Isn’t that as good a reason to attack Israel, India and Pakistan as it was to invade Iraq? Are the Zionist occupiers of Palestine a threat to peace in the Middle East since in every case they have been the aggressor?

    Now we have India and Pakistan on the brink of war and new Israel at war with the world – no matter who – no matter where. The fingers of the CIA/Mossad must be in each of those pies.

    It is fast becoming a situation where either the US/Israel criminals have to subdue, suppress and enslave the Arab states or the Arab and Afro-Asian states have to destroy the new Israel and push the US back to their own country for self protection if not for self esteem.

    It was reported in the Information Clearing House that the Iraqi war and occupation has cost the US $660,529,530,503 and caused the slaughter of 1,320,110 Iraqis.

    Now that the same people who control the US foreign policy are hand in glove with the guilty Wall Street financial blunderers – how long can the US continue their blood lust for world domination?

    We – the people – can only hope.


    This will be cross-posted in http://yourdemocracy.net.au/ Objectivity to Terrorism.

  37. well spotted ...

      .. totally agree ...

        .. g'day Ernest W


    The US 'Manhattan Project' «eventually employed more than 130,000 people and cost nearly $2 billion USD ($24 billion in 2008 dollars based on CPI).» In these days of off-the-planet multi-trillion-dollar bail-outs, of course, that could be seen as 'chicken feed' - but nevertheless, nothing that Israel alone could have ever contemplated. Oh, no - they were 'given' the bomb, either by the UK or US alone, or both acting together. (Note the formal definition of conspiracy[1].)

    Note that if one is intelligent and clever, no force is needed to win any argument. I have read that it is the considered opinion of many of those who really should know (appeal to authority), that the A-bombing of Japan was not to settle any old argument, but was actually used to start a new one; we now call the argument thus started 'the cold war.' The US sent a message to Russia "See what we can & will do? - Done." 'Only' a few lousy (mainly innocent!) Japs; cheap!

      «The bombs killed as many as 140,000 people in Hiroshima and 80,000 in Nagasaki by the end of 1945,[4] roughly half on the days of the bombings. Amongst these, 15 to 20% died from injuries or illness attributed to radiation poisoning[5]. Since then, more have died from leukemia (231 observed) and solid cancers (334 observed) attributed to exposure to radiation released by the bombs[6]. In both cities, the overwhelming majority of the dead were civilians.[7][8][9]»[wiki/Atomic bombings]

    If you, dear reader, take the time yourself to research the end of WW2, you will probably find - as I did - that the Japs were screaming out to surrender. The US simply didn't want to hear them, and when it did hear, it ignored them. The $2bio had been spent - and the US was determined to threaten/undermine the Russkies.

    Then, there's this:

    On being asked: «"Prime Minister, ... if ever Israel was in danger of being defeated on the battlefield, it would be prepared to take the region and the whole world down with it?"»Golda Meir did say: «"Yes, that’s exactly what I’m saying."»[ICH/Alan Hart/Zionism: The Real Enemy of the Jews]


    The facts of the matter are, that the US and Israel both murder for spoil, as the US in Iraq (oil), the US in Afghanistan (pipeline) and Israel in sadly now mostly ex-Palestine (land and water).

    There's no word I can think of, to adequately qualify this level of criminality, both from the US and Israel. Both claim to be democracies, yet no matter which party is elected, it's a militaristic regime that is not just prepared to but actually carries out murder of mostly innocents.

    What I find that is even more incomprehensible, is why the rest of the world's regimes submit to the US/Israeli coercion. A-bombs can't be deployed just as an adjunct to/enforcer of some coercive threat, no matter how 'good' (actually, of course, how bad) the propaganda they push at us is. We can observe the current and continuous propaganda-push vis-à-vis Iran, with both the both the US and Israel threatening to attack. Just making such threats is both illegal and immoral; one thing is for sure, that if Iran actually had one single deliverable nuke, these threats would not, could not result in any attack against Iran - since Israel is a single-bomb target. (BLAM! All over - for them; dare I say that'd be good riddance to bad rubbish?)

    The only credible conclusion I can think of, is that most of the rest of the world's regimes are also run by similar crooks, getting some sort of hand-outs/bribes from the prime criminals. We are supposed to be civilised moral humans, our so-called 'leaders' act like anything but. Boo! Hiss! We want the truth, we want justice!



    [1] conspiracy n. (pl. -ies) 1 secret plan to commit a crime; plot. 2 conspiring. [Latin: related to *conspire] [POD]

  38. The coward suffers a thousand quailing deaths - the hero dies but once.

    It's pretty easy to see - that all in Israel, whether cruel & dedicated, murdering Zionists - or just so-called 'peaceful' kibbutzim - that they all fear instant immolation - because they are all so bad, having stolen the land they occupy by force of arms, mercilessly murdering any hapless prior, now sadly, violently dispossessed legal owner that got/gets in their criminal way. I think I could understand, if someone ... with a nuke ... preferably, an *H*-nuke ...

    All those utter murdering, thieving cowards over there, quivering in mortal fear, as they die their squillion deaths... each day, each minute. Suffer? Some may hope so - fervently - on the grounds that (filthy, lying) cheats may never prosper.

  39. Selections from:

    Apr 28, 2009
    US promotes Iran in energy market

      «"We [US] reached out to Iran, we want to engage with Iran, but it also takes two to go to the dance and we are hoping that there will be positive responses from Iran," Morningstar said. He reportedly said Nabucco could well exist without Iranian gas, but the US was really trying to reach out to Tehran. He was hopeful about the prospects since a possible "carrot" would be the development of Iran's energy sector with Western technology if there is a thaw in US-Iran relations. He implied that Iran stands to hugely benefit as the Obama administration is deeply committed to Europe's energy security.
    Washington thereby hopes to build US-Iran relations as well. Tehran badly needs to modernize its energy industry and develop its liquefied natural gas sector, which provides highly lucrative business opportunities for hi-tech American oil companies. No doubt, it is a “win-win” situation for Washington and Tehran.»
    Could this mean that some options are going *off* the table?

  40. How much better the situation is without Bush/Cheney and ilk constantly pointing to their nastiest option *on* the table. How much better could it be if some options were taken *off* the table? Better, much better.

  41. Interesting extract you posted, ID, it raised a smile:

    We [US] reached out to Iran, we want to engage with Iran, but it also takes two to go to the dance ...Morningstar must have forgotten about the 2003 Iranian approach. The US at the time was not at all interested in dancing but rather more unfriendly forms of engagement.

    Cross-referencing with "Pipelinestan", my how energy resources have such an impact on the Great Game.

    More cross-referencing in this article by Kaveh L Afrasiabi."On the one hand the US president [Barack Obama] gives a message with an acceptable vocabulary and on the other hand [Secretary of State Hillary] Clinton says they are ready for negotiations, but besides that they are preparing crippling sanctions against Iran."
    - Iranian Ayatollah Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani
    What options are on which table depends on who is doing the talking.

    Some optimism:

    Despite their strong misgivings, Iran's politicians are still hopeful that a real and meaningful breakthrough in relations with the US is possible, based on "common interests", to paraphrase Alaedin Boroujerdi, the head of the Iranian parliament's National Security and Foreign Policy Commission. Both Ahmadinejad and Boroujerdi have referred to Iran's new package of proposals about to be unveiled, one that would ostensibly address Iran's position on the nuclear standoff.

    According to Boroujerdi in an interview with IRDiplomacy, "The basis of our talks with the 5+1 is a package which concerns the Middle East's security issues, Europe's demands, energy, nuclear disarmament, the fight against terrorism, drug trafficking and many other issues which are a mutual concern of Iran and the six powers. Common interests can be a firm basis to start negotiations. In fact, the possibility of an agreement between the seven countries sitting at the table is high." The six nations referred to are the United States, France, China, Russia, Britain and Germany.
    There are complexities:

    This is connected, in turn, to the bad advice given to Obama by a number of "Iran experts" who have repeatedly dismissed Ahmadinejad as a mere "noisemaker" and without significant input in the foreign policy of the country. This is sheer error and the sooner the US government stops listening to such defective analyses of Iran's complex foreign policy decision-making process, the better. Otherwise, the possibility of another failed chapter in US diplomacy toward Iran remains rather high.

    Within Iran's concentric circles of power, Iran's president is an important fount of foreign policy action and behavior and by all accounts has been able to stamp his political will on various issues, including the nuclear one. This aside, it is equally wrong to attribute to Iran a homogenous foreign policy mindset when, in fact, the opposite is true, as the present debates and stinging criticisms of Ahmadinejad's performance in Geneva by various politicians and media pundits clearly demonstrate.
    The other extreme used by those pushing a particular agenda is that the Iranian president is a modern day Hitler. That approach is designed to sway those who have difficulty with complexity, subtlety and, yes, irony. I add that last to enable a reference to this piece, which might be a digression but, given my "lack of a sense of irony" theme, I couldn't resist posting.

    Last week, Stephen Colbert revisited a segment he had done on Florida Representative Bill Posey, who sponsored a bill that "would require future presidential candidates to provide a copy of their original birth certificate," in order to put insane rumors of President Barack Obama's birthplace to bed.

    Colbert thought a similar measure should be taken to end the whisperings that Posey was a human-alligator hybrid. Posey, in response to Colbert, said, "I expected there would be some civil debate about it, but it wasn't civil...There is no reason to say that I'm the illegitimate grandson of an alligator." And one wondered, "Does Posey not realize that Colbert is not speaking in earnest? His reaction seems uniquely stupid!"

    Stupid, yes. But apparently it's not unique at all, according to a study from The Ohio State University, which proves, with math and stuff, that lots of conservatives seem to not understand the intrinsic, underlying joke of The Colbert Report ...
    The last para is a hoot.

    But what do some make of the yes/no/maybe/jhesaid/shesaid/readbetweenthelines etc way the game is played?

    The "us good, them bad, let's bomb the bejasus out of them" has an audience that is too readily exploited.

    So, orana, we must hope for a better - and more intelligent - approach.

  42. it's not so much what they say ...

      .. but what they do that counts...

        .. g'day (once today; sooo little time)


    BobW/atimes/Afrasiabi: «Despite their strong misgivings, Iran's politicians are still hopeful that a real and meaningful breakthrough in relations with the US is possible ...» 

    I would recommend to Iran or any other current owner of a resource coveted by the mad-dog US or its illegitimate tail Israel, not to trust a word those two (criminal!) regimes ever uttered, but to prepare ASAP for the absolute worst.

    It's a measure of how far from peace/justice we are, that all Iran wants - seems to me - is to be left alone. Yes, I saw that Ms Clinton was making effectively the same-old same-old threats: «to make the sanctions regime as tight and as crippling as we would want it to be."» and in the same piece: «Clinton's vision is also confirmed by Secretary of Defense Robert Gates.» If it were to count for anything, Clinton looks like death warmed up personified; no significant improvement on the previous office-holder, either from the looks (who cares), the sound or the significance. And not just BTW, how far US/Israel has crippled the UN.


    Then, Q: How do I rate Obama's 1st 100 days?

    A: Fail. He hasn't made any significant change from GWBush on fixing Iraq, as many US troops as the Pentagon wants will stay (murder for oil). He hasn't made any significant change from GWBush on Afghanistan, in fact he's revving it up; ever more drones, ever more innocent collaterals murdered - for a pipeline. He hasn't made any significant change from GWBush on Iran, as we see. Then, there're the 'torture memos;' IF Obama doesn't prosecute THEN he makes himself an accessory after the fact. I could go on. And on. And on.

    Well, realistically, Obama'd have to stop the evil US empire in its tracks (prosecute the evil lot!) - and despite however much one may have yearned/hoped, that was never really on: so much for "change we could believe in," so much for "Yes, we can" - so much for "hope."

    What they say vs. what they do. Boo! Hiss!

  43. Proof of the pudding:The Iran Sanctions Enhancement Act, introduced by a bipartisan group of US senators, states in its preamble that its purpose is "to enhance US diplomatic efforts with respect to Iran by expanding economic sanctions against Iran to include refined petroleum, and for other purposes".So much for the new approach. Abd see the link at the bottom of the article for involvement of the usual suspects - and they have a conference coming up.

    More on them and the bill etc. from Justin Raimondo.He ends on a good note. We can hope it comes to pass.

  44. same-old same-old (evil!) empire - change? what change?
    .. what's in a name (AIPAC) ...
      .. what's in a word (chutzpah) ...
        .. sorry Bob, can't agree
    The Lobby Wants War 
    With Iran 
    by Justin Raimondo, May 01, 2009
      «As the Lobby jeers at and otherwise disrespects our laws and our nation’s security, sooner or later popular revulsion against this faction of brazen fifth columnists is bound to give AIPAC and its allies a monumental slapping down.» 
    Unfortunately - not 'just' for Iran, but for the wide-world right down to you, me and ours, what the Israel Lobby wants, it usually gets. Proof: 60+ years of vicious, murdering-to-thieve crime; genocide directed at the hapless Palestinian folk; no possible end in sight.
    Where Raimondo goes wrong is two; "popular revulsion," if it were to occur at all (unlikely, with the vast majority of our 'dumbed-down' sheople slack-jawed comatosing in front of their w/f-screen TVs), any popular revulsion would almost instantly evaporate - confronted with the red-hot treachery of the US legislature, captive as it Oh, so obviously is - to the (criminal!) I/J/Z-plex via AIPAC & other 5th columns.
    That may be a Raimondo error in 'situational awareness,' but he also makes a *grave* tactical error in deploying "chutzpah;" this invokes a Lakoffian frame desired by 'the enemy,' the I/J/Z-plex in general and AIPAC in particular. It's the same class of error far too often (just once would be too many!) - committed by (insufficiently aware) progressives; they should leave I/J/Z-plex (gutter!) talk entirely out of all discussions. Another erring example is to refer to any (criminal!) person by 'nickname' i.e. referring to Netanyahu as 'Bibi' (spit!) We've still got a looong way to go.

  45. Looking for the 'bright side,' this may contain a ray of hope (still not a good tactic; 'hope:')
      «Speaking of Obama, this campaign to isolate Iran is aimed at him just as much as it is at the Iranians, and the Swiss — it is a shot across the bow, a flexing of legislative muscle on the part of the Lobby that shows the newly-elected American president even he can’t stand up to the Lobby’s power. If he tries to reach out to the Iranians, and short-circuit the march to war, he’ll be subverted, opposed, and reined in by the American Congress, which is, as Pat Buchanan famously — and accurately — observed, "Israeli-occupied territory." » 
    [BobW/antiwar/Raimondo, ibid.]
    What the above shows, is that it just mi-i-ight be possible, for a US president to stand up to the I/J/Z-plex.
    But I won't be holding my breath.

  46. We might refer to Netanyahu as 'Nut the Yahoo', but perhaps a particular use of his preferred nickname would be better. Some analysts already are calling his regime full of right wing nutjobs the "Biberman administration".

  47. Bibi's Mission ... Gordon Prather follows up a report in Haaretz.

    A dangerous nutjob.

  48. Coming back to this thread somewhat ironically as there is nothing new in the articles featured, but rather more of the same old ...

    Shahir Shahidsaless.The Iranian government has a history of being punished for cooperation with the United States and for that feels deeply betrayed. In a recent story in the New York Times titled "Have we already lost Iran?", two ex-US officials familiar with Iranian politics were quoted as saying, "The real reason Iran leaders have not responded to the new president more enthusiastically" is that "the Obama administration has done nothing to cancel or repudiate an ostensibly covert but well-publicized program, begun in president George W Bush's second term, to spend hundreds of million of dollars to destabilize the Islamic Republic."

    As reconfirmed in the same New York Times story, Iran helped the US topple the Taliban government in Afghanistan in 2001, but in return Iran was rewarded by being included in Bush's "axis of evil".

    The story about the covert operations against the Iranian government was detailed in 2007 in an ABC News Exclusive called "The Secret War Against Iran". The news revealed that the group Jundallah's "guerrilla raid inside Iran has been secretly encouraged and advised by American officials since 2005" and had been indirectly funded "through Iranian exiles" to avoid "congressional oversight".

    Jundallah is featured in this article by Kaveh L Afrasiabi.If Tehran won't halt its nuclear program, Israel may have better results in exploiting the tensions in the ethnically and religiously mixed border provinces of Iran, the scene to terrorist attacks in recent weeks.

    The finger of suspicion points to the activities of Israel and its secret service, Mossad, instigating instability among Iran's ethnic populations, particularly the vulnerable and economically deprived Balochis in the province of Sistan and Balochistan bordering Pakistan, where many of the country's minority Sunnis live.

    Here, there has been a spate of Sunni-Shi'ite violence. In the most recent incident, a Shi'ite mosque was bombed on May 28 in the city of Zahedan, with 25 people killed and 125 injured.

    This has had an unnerving effect on the government as Iran edges closer to presidential elections on June 12. Jundallah (Soldiers of Allah) claimed responsibility for the mosque attack. Jundallah has launched other attacks in the area, including a 2007 bombing in which more than 10 members of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps were killed.

    "The Israelis have said that they are willing to enter a pact with the devil himself against Iran and Mossad's signature is all over Jundallah," a Tehran political analyst told the author on condition of anonymity. He said that in his opinion, Israel could be receiving assistance from some regional actors.

    Iran's Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has said, "There is no doubt that the political architects of some interventionist forces and their spy apparatuses were involved in this bloody incident [in Zahedan]."

    Given the above articles, is it any surprise that Khamenei's response to Obama's New Year message calling for a new approach was cautious?

  49. Continuing the theme - and to be read in read in relation to the Pipelinestan thread - two more articles on Jundallah and how it fits in ....

    M K Bhadrakumar 

    he timing of the attack on the Ali ibn Abi Talib mosque in the eastern Iranian city of Zahedan in the Sistan-Balochistan province bordering Pakistan was by no means casual. Zahedan is a Sunni city. And Shi'ites were mourning the anniversary of Hazrat Zahra, granddaughter of Prophet Mohammad. Over 25 worshippers were killed in last Thursday's attack on the Shi'ite mosque, and 125 injured.

    But there are three other reasons why a high-profile, cross-border terrorist attack on Iran from Pakistan took place. One, Iran-Pakistan relations are passing through a period of cordiality and warmth and a cross-border strike was just the right thing to do to dissipate the newfound bonhomie. Two, US President Barack Obama's much-awaited address to the Muslim world on June 4 raises expectations in the region that a momentous period is at hand in which Iran could be the focal point.

    Three, the most crucial presidential election, arguably, in Iran's post-revolution 30-year history will be held on June 12, and marring it will be sweet revenge against the government headed by the "Holocaust-denying", "Israel-hating", "America-bashing" Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad.

    Pepe Escobar 

    Just when Iran and Pakistan had reached a key Pipelineistan breakthrough, regional violence exploded involving, once again, "the greatest prize" Balochistan (Please see Balochistan is the greatest prize, May 9, 2009, Asia Times Online.)

    The key question to ask is, as usual, cui bono?, or "Who profits?" What's behind this new, bloody intersection of Pipelineistan and the former "global war on terror" - a key theme US President Barack Obama would not dare touch in his Cairo address on Thursday to the "Muslim world"?

    On May 22 in Tehran, Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari and Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad finally signed a preliminary agreement, after 14 long years of negotiations, to build the Iran-Pakistan (IP) pipeline, formerly the Iran-Pakistan-India (IPI), or "peace pipeline". (The final deal should, in theory, be sealed in less than two weeks.) The decision brazenly defied Washington's diktat. (Please see Pipelineistan goes Iran-Pak, May 29, 2009, Asia Times Online.)

    On May 28 in Zahedan, in Sistan-Balochistan province in Iran, the Pakistan-based, hardcore Sunni, ultra-anti-Shi'ite outfit Jundallah ("Soldiers of God") claimed responsibility for a suicide bombing inside the Amir al-Momenin mosque that killed 25 people and wounded 125.

    The timing and the circumstances could not be more suspicious. Tehran simply cannot understand how Islamabad could not contain Jundallah after it has been offered key, on-the-ground intelligence.

    Tehran had told the Pakistani ambassador, M B Abbasi, that three Pakistanis - Haji Noti Zehi, Gholam Rasoul Zehi and Zabihollah Naroui - had confessed to smuggling explosives into Iran from Balochistan and passing them over to the suicide bomber. The trio was subsequently hanged in public in Zahedan on May 30.

    As for the Iranian ambassador to Pakistan, Mashallah Shakeri, already on March 20 he had publicly accused Islamabad of allowing Balochistan to be a Jundallah base for the destabilization of Iran. Islamabad said "it ain't so", but facts on the ground spelled otherwise. Now it's even more serious, as the future of the IP pipeline is on the line.

    The usual question, the usual suspects.

  50. Reason to mention a certain laptop, and what looks like a dirty trick from, well, ot looks like one of the usual suspects.

    Gareth Porter. 

    A report on Iran’s nuclear program issued by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee last month generated news stories publicizing an incendiary charge that U.S. intelligence is underestimating Iran’s progress in designing a "nuclear warhead" before the halt in nuclear weapons-related research in 2003.

    That false and misleading charge from an intelligence official of a foreign country, who was not identified but was clearly Israeli, reinforces two of Israel’s key propaganda themes on Iran – that the 2007 U.S. National Intelligence Estimate on Iran is wrong, and that Tehran is poised to build nuclear weapons as soon as possible.

    But it also provides new evidence that Israeli intelligence was the source of the collection of intelligence documents which have been used to accuse Iran of hiding nuclear weapons research.

  51. when confronting (lying!) propagandists ...

     .. we have learnt, that truth ...

       .. "doesn't matter" (to them) ...

         .. but what of any 'clever' adults?


    Quick preamble: My eyes were opened (wide!) by the wicked, murdering-to-steal lies - of B, B & H in the 'run-up' to the (illegal!) invasion of Iraq, now morphed into a (brutal!) occupation; murder for oil. Such crimes were not new then - just not (as well!) noticed (at least, not by me). One thing that fairly quickly became apparent, was that the US is a 'serial & serious' offender - starting with the genocide of their own indigenes, with hardly a pause right down to today, as is Israel - the latter now 61+ years long mass-murdering (mainly) Palestinians for Palestinian land and water. That Israeli criminality was long concealed (from people like me, say - by misleadingly deploying the "Poor little Israeli 'David' bravely confronting the Arab (now Muslim) 'Goliath'" outright lie), which is proof (if any *more* were needed), of AusBC (depraved!) perfidy.

    Now, we can do some 'binary splits' - nooo, not 'banana' splits; too many calories!

    1. There are the (criminal!) perpetrators, and others. The criminals are a) beyond help, b) will never stop (unless stopped), and c) total rotters; they all belong in gaol (forever), if not 'strung up.'

    2. Of the others, there are those in the know, and those not. Those *not* in the know are largely the (ignorant!) sheople, whether ignorant by choice (slobs!) or by convincing (idiots!) But, in their defence, it must be pointed out that the propaganda that they are drowning in is often pretty 'clever' - but always, note, criminal.

    3. Of those 'in the know,' there are a) those who help the criminals, either directly (accomplices; military, industrialists, politicians, journalists - the M/I/C-plex), or indirectly (accessories; moral (actually, of course, immoral) supporters, and filthy, lying blog-trolls, say.) Then, b) there are those 'in the know' - who do - ta ra! Nothing. SFA! (There are some in the middle, like _libre bloggers, say - who know - and speak out. Loudest! Hooray, honest bloggers!)

    Sooo, exactly what about those 'in the know' - and who do - nothing? Not 'just' nothing, that is, but nothing - to stop the wicked, murdering-to-steal crimes?

    Are such knowing inactives adults? Or just cowards? What?


    G'day Bob, and thanks, as usual, for great citations. I draw strength from imagining our once jewel-like planet free of all this ghastly, mainly US/Israeli criminality.

  52. black or white minstrel show (Obummer) ...

     .. two-tone comedy ...

       .. or two-tonged subversion ...

         .. standard advice: follow the (blood!) money


    Explication: My use of "black or white," whilst *apparently* racist, is of course, nothing of the sort. What I'm referring to is the "say one thing, do another," 'black is white' hypocrisy of Obama. He promised "Change we can believe in," (say one thing ...) but then announced *even more* force to be deployed to "AfPak" ( .. do another; in fact the exact opposite of his 'promise') - and note that the eternal US war against the world, truth and decency has been widened once again, now adding Pakistan to Iraq and Afghanistan - and what's (shudderingly!) worse, is Obama sending a 'dark side' commander to 'boss' the bleeding in AfPak. (7.30 this week: «98 per cent collateral damage», i.e. mostly innocent civilian casualties.)

    I nearly choked on my wheaties this morning, when AM began its article on Obummer with US martial music. This, on the AusBC. (Hellooo Aunty! This is *our* wide-brown Aus, *not* the detested US!)

    Khamenei slams US as Obama reaches out
    Posted June 4, 2009 23:00:00
      «Mr Obama, who broke with former US policy of isolating Tehran, said it would be hard to "overcome decades of mistrust", but he had made clear to Iran's leaders that Washington was prepared to move forward in relations with Tehran.» 

    There is sufficient evidence in this thread alone to put the lie to the AusBC report:

    1. Clinton: «to make the sanctions regime as tight and as crippling as we would want it to be.»

    2. The president needs the “full range of options,” Gates said.


    I have only one thing to say to Obummer: "Put your (blood) money where your (lying) mouth is!"

    Or, in detested US-speak: "Shit, or get off the pot!"

    Well, of course, I could be wrong; if so, it's up to Obama to *prove* me wrong - like completely and instantly stopping the vicious US murdering for spoil, say. Could it happen?


    Q: How much time will it take? A: Hopefully not "Until the 12th of never..."


  53. one other thing (Aunty, Obummer) ...

     .. actually, two (of many dastardly crimes) ...

       .. the US is the invader in the ME (as is the I/J/Z-plex) ...

         .. and *NO!* - no 'god' gave Palestine to anyone


    1. I just mentioned a 98% "AfPak" collateral casualty rate, mostly innocents, mostly pink-mist slaughtered, not to put too fine a point on it.

    2. Somewhere on Aunty's TV (horror!) show, I saw some woman, reportedly in Israel, saying something like this: "(Some people) say that this is Arab land. Well, it's not - god gave it to us, the Jews!"

    As in my headline, the US is the invader, in Iraq, Afghanistan, and moving (moved?) into Pakistan, and from the evidence given in this blog (selected from lots of elsewheres), running under-cover subversions in Iran, and most probably (99.999%) all points East of the old iron-curtain line (or South America - or Oceania; wherever). My point here, is whether 2% - or 4, 8 - whatever, the people the US is slaughtering are all natives of the area - that the US is invading! The US may have abrogated the 'right' to genocide their own indigenes, but who on the planet can 'excuse' the US genocide against foreign nationals?

    Then, as to the preposterous claims of the lady in the AusBC report - representing *WORLD JEWRY* as she does - and what/who else? If world Jewry wanted to stop the vicious murder for Palestinian land and water, wouldn't it have been stopped long ago - in fact, never even started?

    A *real* question for us, here in our very own wide-brown, is why does the AusBC give airtime at all, not to mention obvious preference, to such preposterous - propagandistic - claims?

  54. Ummm, 'abrogated' is the wrong word. Please substitute 'arrogated.'

  55. A"new beginning" says Obama but Hillary sounds all too familiar:

    Citing the disastrous 2003 US invasion of Iraq as an example, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton today warned that by continuing to refuse to abandon its civilian nuclear program, Iran was risking the possibility of an invasion by the US or “some other enemy that would do that to them.”

    The comments came during an interview on ABC’s “This Week” program, and when asked by interviewer and former Clinton-era official George Stephanopoulus, Secretary Clinton reiterated “that’s right, as a first strike.”

    The bulk of the interview emphasized US opposition to the Iranian program, along with unquestioned claims that the nation was pursuing nuclear weapons. Secretary Clinton also extended the American nuclear umbrella over Israel in the event that Iran attacked them.

    Considering it was no more than 72 hours ago that President Obama made his historic call for a “new beginning” to US relations with the Muslim world, it seems incredible that his administration is already raising the prospect of an Iraq-style invasion of Iran.

    And an ever expanding umbrella. 

    Spending yet more time publicly railing against a nuclear weapons program which both US intelligence and the International Atomic Energy Agency insist doesn’t exist, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton today insisted that the American nuclear umbrella in fact extends over Israel, as well as “a number of nations” and that the US would retaliate “massively” in the event of an Iranian nuclear attack on Israel.

    Missing from the interview and the warning is any mention of the fact that Iran has no nuclear weapons with which to attack Israel, even if it hypothetically wanted to. Perhaps more alarming is the rate at which the US is spreading its nuclear umbrella.

    Just days ago, the South Korean government reportedly got a written guarantee for the US to expand the nuclear umbrella over that nation. Now it seems the administration is following through on previous reports that it would do the same with Israel, even though Israel has a massive, undeclared nuclear arsenal of its own.

    Will be watching for the resposes.

  56. Double talk and driving forces. 

    More evidence of the US involvement in the terrorist activities inside Iran came to light recently when the head of the Jundallah gang, Abdulmalik Rigi, “admitted receiving assistance from the terrorist group Mojahedin Khalq Organization (MKO),” a terrorist gang of Iranian expatriates under US protection in Iraq. There have been persistent intelligence reports of collaborations between the MKO and Jundallah in the past. But, in a significant admission, Rigi told a US-based satellite TV station…on June 2, "They [MKO] have had good intelligence collaborations with us and have provided us with much information about the activities of the Iranian regime” [5].

    MKO, sheltered and armed by the Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, have killed thousands of Iranians in their decades-old campaign of bombings and other terrorist activities against Iran. After the fall of Saddam Hussein, the MKO came under the protection of the occupying US power in Iraq. Although the US State Department officially lists MKO on its list of terrorist organizations, it nonetheless refuses to turn them in to Iranian authorities, as frequently requested. Nor has the US, as the MKO custodian, put an end to its terrorist activities against Iran.

    That’s why it is safe to argue that the US is playing a crucial (though largely submerged) role in the terrorist collaboration between Jundallah and MKO against Iran.

    It is not surprising, then, that Iranians are not thrilled by President Obama’s rhetoric of “peace and dialogue,” as they can easily see who is pulling the strings of the Jundallah-MKO terrorist activities from behind the scene. “What’s going on in Iran today – a sustained campaign of terrorism directed against civilians and government installations alike – is proof positive that nothing has really changed much in Washington, as far as U.S. policy toward Iran is concerned” [6].

    Words are one thing ... actions another.

  57. convergence ...

    Within two minutes, Bob (g'day!) and I cited the same article. That could be called 'coincidence,' although we do tend to frequent the same 'waterholes.' We quoted different parts of the item, but the whole should be read - IMHO, and as usual.


    The convergence is more sinister; not that Bob and I are converging on the same or similar articles, but that for years now, we - truth-seekers - have been converging on the source of the problems - illegal invasions, brutal occupations; murder for spoil by mainly the criminal US with illegitimate side-kick Israel.

    We truth-seekers can see all these depressing, murdering to steal depredations - but the *real* problem is not us seeing it - but our so-called 'free press' (including publicly funded broadcasters) and worse, our so-called 'leaders' - who all must be far better informed than we can ever hope to be - our so-called 'free press' and so-called 'leaders' not just seeing all the depredations, but obviously *accepting* the US/Israeli crimes.

    They *must* be accepting the vicious, murdering crimes - because to a wo/man, they say no (effective/audible) word in objection.

    This, at most generous, is a so-called 'sin of omission' - when not outright criminal accessory - before, during (Howard) and after (Rudd) the fact - just of Iraq; then there's Afghanistan, where after Howard, Rudd is currently active. But in fact, as the crimes continue and are continuous (since '45, say - but also looong before), it means that the AusBC, and every Aus PM (since but not perhaps including Gough - he was essentially 'knocked-off' by a (CIA directed?) coup d'état); every Aus PM at least since Gough has been 'up to their bottom lips' in it. (No prizes for guessing what 'it' is.)

  58. Out of the mouths of Veeps ... Joe Biden made some comments in an interview that have generated discussion. Biden stated that Israel had the right to attack Iran if it determined that Iran was an existential threat to Israel. He extended that right to any sovereign state if it determined that another posed such a threat to it:

    STEPHANOPOULOS: And meanwhile, Prime Minister Netanyahu has made it pretty clear that he agreed with President Obama to give until the end of the year for this whole process of engagement to work. After that, he's prepared to make matters into his own hands.

    Is that the right approach?

    BIDEN: Look, Israel can determine for itself -- it's a sovereign nation -- what's in their interest and what they decide to do relative to Iran and anyone else.

    STEPHANOPOULOS: Whether we agree or not?

    BIDEN: Whether we agree or not. They're entitled to do that. Any sovereign nation is entitled to do that. But there is no pressure from any nation that's going to alter our behavior as to how to proceed.

    What we believe is in the national interest of the United States, which we, coincidentally, believe is also in the interest of Israel and the whole world. And so there are separate issues.

    If the Netanyahu government decides to take a course of action different than the one being pursued now, that is their sovereign right to do that. That is not our choice.

    STEPHANOPOULOS: But just to be clear here, if the Israelis decide Iran is an existential threat, they have to take out the nuclear program, militarily the United States will not stand in the way?

    BIDEN: Look, we cannot dictate to another sovereign nation what they can and cannot do when they make a determination, if they make a determination that they're existentially threatened and their survival is threatened by another country.

    Reference to the UN Charter and the rights of states to take military action is recommended.

    The responses to Biden's comments have ranged from him (as he is known to be, too often) being clumsy to giving a green light to Israel. As ever, how words are interpreted is vital regardless of what might have been meant. And clumsy is not good in that regard.

    Now for some reponses - Glenn Greenwald comments and provides some links in an update attached to a piece on Uighurs. One of the links is to Chris Floyd.

    It is of course well known that Israel possesses a formidable nuclear arsenal -- which it developed illegally, in secret, "rogue-state" style. It is also well-known that an Israeli attack on Iran is a constant, open topic of discussion -- and advanced planning and war-gaming -- at the highest levels of the Israeli government and military.

    Given the fact that a nuclear-armed nation is openly discussing and planning an attack on their country, the Iranians could quite logically "make a determination that they are existentially threatened and their survival is threatened by another country."

    Thus, by Biden's logic, it would be quite legitimate for the Iranians to mount an attack to "take out the nuclear program" in Israel, given the ever-present existential threat this poses to their survival. And the United States, according to Biden, would not do anything to stop such an attack, because Washington "cannot dictate to another sovereign nation" what it can do when it feels threatened to such a degree.

    Lack of logical thought might well accompany a lack of a sense of irony as hallmarks of empire.

  59. A new approach? Justin Raimondo sees the same old method as used in re Iraq but a change in the last letter, ie., from Q to N.

    The process in action (in addition to Hillary's efforts).

    There's the "mad mullah" argument. 

    Has a deal been done? 

    The Times of London is citing unnamed Western diplomats as saying that the deal between Israel and the West on the issue of Palestinian statehood is taking shape, and that Western officials are offering to back an Israeli attack on Iran in return for certain concessions, including the recognition of some of the Palestinians’ land claims. 

    There should be no concessions for aggression.

    Some Israeli muscle flexing. 

    Gordon Prather has more on Hillary. 

    From "Bonkers" to "dim bulb" - what's wrong with a sane, sensible and constructive approach? Well, there's an agenda ...

  60. Time to catch up with the latest drum beating .,..

    Strike first, then tell the Merkins.

    Dick would not have minde.

    Perhaps when he wants to have people killed he should be given a weapon and sent into battle. Given his record ...

    They're doing it again.

    Harsh response from Jerusalem: The Foreign Ministry slammed Saturday the latest United Nations report on Iran's nuclear program, claiming that the International Atomic Energy Agency is holding back some information.

    "The report is harsh, yet at the same time it does not reflect all the information available to the IAEA regarding Iran's efforts to progress with its military program, as well as its ongoing concealment and deception efforts," Jerusalem said.

    Before making such criticisms Israel should ratify the NNPT, allow full IAEA inspections and dismantle its own nuclear arsenal. As the credibility of Israel's claims, well, they have been known to be lessd than honest.

    On the IAEA report the NYTimes has its own interpretation.

    The "paper of record" doing the bidding for the dark forces.

  61. When will we learn?

    I recall the Bush method of conning the American people into supporting the invasion of Afghanistan. The media shouted his propaganda to a people, still shocked by 9/11 and thirsting for revenge. They are now aware that Bush’s intel knew about the pending attack and, some say, was involved in it.

    Due to this state of mind, facts were released after the invasion of Afghanistan and not in chronological order. Examples are as I remember them:
    1. It was reported that the Saudi Arabians were the major perpetrators of 9/11 and yet, the Royal family of Saudi was allowed to leave America on 10/11 when all other flights were forbidden.
    2. Tower No. 7 collapsed without any direct attack but a wealthy Jew had bought that tower some months before and insured it for billions. Additionally, it was claimed that 4000 Jews employed in the twin towers were absent on 9/11 as it was supposedly a Jewish holiday. Osama bin Laden denied being involved, but he was convenient.
    3.. It was revealed that the Taliban had offered to surrender Osama bin Laden provided that he received a fair and independent trial – Bush refused and invaded.
    4. The Zionists had been lobbying Bush for action against Afghanistan/Iran and Iraq who they claimed were training troops to attack them. This fitted nicely into the most heinous of modern lies – The Bush War on Terror! i.e. Terrorists calling patriots “terrorists”.
    5. Afghanistan was invaded (ho hum, yet again) by foolish coalition forces who believed the Bush lies. And a puppet government was set up claiming to be a democracy.
    6. Then came the betrayal of the US dictator ally, Saddam Hussein. The US had supplied Iraq and Iran with the weapons to fight each other in a war that had no winner. New “Israel” lobbied for an invasion of Iraq on the pretext that they were making weapons of mass destruction. This was known by the Bush mob to be untrue.
    The rest is history and still in the making.

    Now the fascist regime calling themselves “Israel” has warned the new US President that if he didn’t deal with Iran the Zionists would. So what is the excuse now?

    The Zionists of “Israel” have already launched unprovoked attacks against their Middle East neighbours and since the US have made them a nuclear identity, they feel powerful enough to threaten even their own “Frankenstein”.

    So now the Zionists that control the entertainment industry are making sure that the holocaust and/or some wonderful act by the Jews is mentioned in each TV serial like NCIS, CIS, CIS NY, CIS MIAMI and LAW & ORDER to mention a few. Even that wonderful series of Foyle’s War was tainted by this attempt at more mind control.

    What will the Jew Murdoch do about an attack on Iran – he is after all the major media mogul in Australia? Why the same as he did about Afghanistan and Iraq of course! And bear in mind his son’s speech that nothing is as important as profit.

    Just WHY are the Jews so powerful?


  62. A question of race?

    Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, June 2003, pages 24-26
    Neocon Corner
    Rupert Murdoch and William Kristol: Using the Press to Advance Israel's Interests
    By Richard H. Curtiss
      «Rupert Murdoch: Despite Affairs Worldwide, His Heart Stays With Israel

    Press lord Rupert Murdoch was born in Melbourne, Australia, on March 11, 1931. His grandfather was a Protestant minister who immigrated to Australia from Britain. Rupert's father, Sir Keith Murdoch, was a newspaper publisher, and his mother an Orthodox Jew, although Murdoch never offers that information in his biographies.»

    Then, there's this:

    September 1, 2009
    Gross Violations of Human Rights
    Why Not Sanctions for Israel?
      «In Israel, a country stolen from the Palestinians, fanatics control the government. One of the fanatics is the prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu. Last week Netanyahu called for “crippling sanctions” against Iran.

    The kind of blockade that Netanyahu wants qualifies as an act of war. Israel has long threatened to attack Iran on its own but prefers to draw in the US and NATO.

    Why does Israel want to initiate a war between the United States and Iran?

    Is Iran attacking other countries, bombing civilians and destroying civilian infrastructure?

    No. These are crimes committed by Israel and the US.

    Is Iran evicting peoples from lands they have occupied for centuries and herding them into ghettoes?

    No, that’s what Israel has been doing to the Palestinians for 60 years.»

  63. The game continues ... and it's rigged. From Gareth Porter.

    Then comes some urging.

    Sept. 15 (Bloomberg) -- The U.S. should begin preparing crippling sanctions on Iran and publicly make clear that a military strike is possible should the Iranian government press ahead with its nuclear effort, a bipartisan policy group said.

    “If biting sanctions do not persuade the Islamic Republic to demonstrate sincerity in negotiations and give up its enrichment activities, the White House will have to begin serious consideration of the option of a U.S.-led military strike against Iranian nuclear facilities,” said the study from the Bipartisan Policy Center in Washington.

    Let's continue to overlook Iran's right to pursue enrichment, shall we?

    The report echoes the Obama administration’s conclusion that Iran’s atomic work is approaching a destabilizing point at which it may be able to build a bomb. 

    Cause economic and even physical harm because Iran might be able to do something? And where is the bipartisan urging for sanctions (or worse) against nuclear armed Israel? Oh, here they go again! Hypocrisy warning - do not read whilst eating.