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UFPJ Statement on “No War on Iran”

UFPJ

As we approach the 9th anniversary of the U.S.-led war on Iraq, we are once again seeing American politicians claiming that an oil-rich nation in the Persian Gulf might soon build nuclear weapons. Top U.S. and many Israeli intelligence and military leaders, and all 16 U.S. intelligence agencies agree that Iran does not have a nuclear weapon, is not building a nuclear weapon and has not even made the political decision of whether to move in the direction of a nuclear weapon. And yet politicians are ratcheting up calls for military threats and even military strikes, this time against Iran – and the result could lead to war.

Join Us in DC on the 19th

A number of organizations have gathered to mark the tenth year of the Iraq invasion on March 19 at 6:30 pm at the 14th and V St Busboys & Poets.
You can find out details for the event here:
http://washingtonpeacecenter.net/node/6912.  
RSVP via Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/events/194107337360924/

The evening event will include time for participants to reflect on what the many years of anti-Iraq war organizing has meant to us, our communities and the movements.
 
As part of this reflection we are inviting many individuals to prepare and present a 3 to 5 minute personal story about organizing against the war, lessons learned and transformation.  Would you be interested in telling a story? 

Below are questions and guidelines to help you prepare. Please let us know if you wish to tell your story no later than Wed, 3/14.

Many thanks in advance for generously considering our request.
 
Possible story ideas:
  • tell a story from anti-iraq war organizing about a moment that made you realize why you were doing this work
  • tell a story from anti-iraq war organizing about something that made you realize a lesson about how to organize/movement build/create the world we want. 
  • how have you felt the impact of the war and the organizing in your own life
  • how has organizing against the war changed you and your life.
  • where were you during “shock and awe” – March 19, 2003?
  • what was the moment you came out against the war and why?  
  • how did the Feb 15, 2003 protests happen?
While thinking through your stories (of which we all have so many!), ask yourself “So what?”  Why do people care about this story? What can we learn and take with us? 
 
If you're interested in sharing a story, please fill out this form here: http://washingtonpeacecenter.net/iraqstories

As mentioned, below are more guidelines for thinking through your story:
 

 “A community that loses its stories loses its memory” ~Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Our history is kept alive when we bear witness to our significant life experiences—recalling and honoring our stories in the presence of the community.

________________________________________________________________________

Storytelling Guidelines (By Candace Wolf, Storyteller)

CHOOSING A STORY – follow these two principles:

The ‘one suitcase’ principal—

Imagine that you were suddenly ordered into political exile and allowed to take only one small suitcase. You would have to think deeply about what was most important to pack. Now, imagine that you were allowed to share ONE—and only ONE STORYfrom your anti-war/peace work. Be sure to tell a story that has great personal meaning, so that you can tell it with passion and conviction. Ask yourself: ‘Why is this story important to tell?’ Choose a story that you feel will INSPIRE in some way. ‘Inspire’ means to breathe again. Stories have the power to encourage us to take one more breath—to swim up to the surface, above our despair, above disappointments and failures—to go forward with our life and work with greater courage and determination.

The ‘personal’principle

Tell a story about something that you experienced firsthand—not just heard or read about. The story might be about a personally transformative encounter or event that is unforgettable—that still grips your soul and memory. Remember that folks listen with keen interest to compelling stories about authentic and dramatic lived experiences.

SHAPING YOUR STORY– follow these two principles:

The ‘sense of immediacy’ principle—

In order to tell your story effectively, you must reach back and reconnect with the sensations, images and emotions of the memory, so that you can take the listener on a journey through the landscape of your experience. Relive the experience in your memory and then paint a picture using vivid descriptions in order to bring the story to life for the listener.

The ‘lessons learned’ principle—

Reflect on the larger significance of your personal experience. Figure out what you want people to understand; a story ismore satisfying if the listener takes away fresh insights.

Speak from your heart....and please keep your story fairly brief: 3-5 minutes

www.washingtonpeacecenter.org

Alleged Photos of "Clean-up" at Iran's Parchin Site Lack Credibility

By Gareth Porter, IPS

WASHINGTON, Mar 12, 2012 (IPS) - News stories about satellite photographs suggesting efforts by Iran to "sanitise" a military site that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has said may have been used to test nuclear weapons have added yet another layer to widely held suspicion that Iran must indeed be hiding a covert nuclear weapons programme.

10 Myths About Iran -- And Why They're Dead Wrong


1. Iran does not have a nuclear weapon.

According to the Iranian government, the International Atomic Energy Agency and American intelligence assessments, the common assumption that Iran already has a nuclear bomb is wrong. Even Israeli intelligence agrees.

Yet 71 percent of Americans said “Yes” to the question, “Do you think Iran currently has nuclear weapons, or not?” in the last poll to ask that question. The question was asked a little over two years ago and public opinion could have become more accurately informed. Then again, when widely read newspapers like the Wall Street Journal publish weekly pieces suggesting that “evil” Iran is “building a nuclear bomb” (while justifying terrorism against Iranian citizens), and when Republican presidential contenders like Mitt Romney write that Iranian “Islamic fanatics” are “racing to build a nuclear bomb,” the truth can understandably become muddied for the average person.

READ THE REST.

Evidence of War Lies Public Pre-War This Time

When President George W. Bush was pretending to want to avoid a war on Iraq while constantly pushing laughably bad propaganda to get that war going, we had a feeling he was lying.  After all, he was a Republican.  But it was after the war was raging away that we came upon things like the Downing Street Minutes and the White House Memo

Now President Barack Obama is pretending to want to avoid a war on Iran and to want Israel not to start one, while constantly pushing laughably bad propaganda to get that war going.  We might suspect a lack of sincerity, given the insistence that Iran put an end to a program that the U.S. government simultaneously says there is no evidence exists, given the increase in free weapons for Israel to $3.1 billion next year, given the ongoing protection of Israel at the U.N. from any accountability for crimes, given the embrace of sanctions highly unlikely to lead to anything other than greater prospects of war, and given Obama's refusal to take openly illegal war "off the table."  We might suspect that peace was not the ultimate goal, except of course that Obama is a Democrat.

However, we now have Wikileaks cables and comments from anonymous officials that served as the basis for a report from the Israeli newspaper Haaretz:

"Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu requested the United States approve the sale of advanced refueling aircraft as well as GBU-28 bunker-piercing bombs to Israel during a recent meeting with Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, a top U.S. official said on Tuesday.  The American official said that U.S. President Barack Obama instructed Panetta to work directly with Defense Minister Ehud Barak on the matter, indicating that the U.S. administration was inclined to look favorably upon the request as soon as possible. During the administration of former U.S. President George Bush, the U.S. refused to sell bunker-penetrating bombs and refueling aircrafts to Israel, as a result of American estimates that Israel would then use them to strike Iran's nuclear facilities.  Following Obama's entrance into the White House, however, the United States approves a string of Israeli requests to purchase advance armament.  Diplomatic cables exposed by the WikiLeaks website exposed discussion concerning advanced weapons shipments. In one cable which surveyed defense discussions between Israel and the United states that took place on November 2009 it was written that 'both sides then discussed the upcoming delivery of GBU-28 bunker busting bombs to Israel, noting that the transfer should be handled quietly to avoid any allegations that the USG is helping Israel prepare for a strike against Iran.'"

Why supply Israel with the weapons to attack Iran more forcefully if you don't want Israel to attack Iran?  The Israeli newspaper Maariv claims to have the answer.  Apparently people in the know are spilling the beans earlier this war cycle:

"The United States offered Israel advanced weaponry in return for it committing not to attack Iran's nuclear facilities this year, Israeli daily Maariv reported on Thursday.  Citing unnamed Western diplomats and intelligence sources, the report said that during Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's visit to Washington this week, the US administration offered to supply Israel with advanced bunker-busting bombs and long-range refuelling planes.  In return, Israel would agree to put off a possible attack on Iran till 2013, after the US elections in November."

One point can be little doubted here, namely that this would be the biggest damn story in U.S. "progressive" circles if Obama were a Republican.  But even though he isn't, there could conceivably be SOME interest in the fact that a serious news outlet is reporting that Obama has taken steps to facilitate an attack on Iran and to delay it until after his own hoped-for reelection.

Even Reuters has noted this development:

"A front-page article in the Israeli newspaper Ma'ariv on Thursday said Obama had told Netanyahu that Washington would supply Israel with upgraded military equipment in return for assurances that there would be no attack on Iran in 2012."

Now, the usual handful of progressive Congress members has just introduced a bill that would compel the U.S. government to talk to the government of Iran.  Seems sensible enough (even if it frames it as an effort to prevent Iran acquiring a nuclear weapon).  We do ask that much of our children when they become involved in disagreements.

But Congressman John Conyers, one of the cosponsors of that bill, had another trick up his sleeve when Bush was in the White House.  Nobody believed him, of course, but for what it was worth, after refusing to impeach Bush for countless offenses, Conyers swore that if Bush attacked Iran, then he Conyers would launch impeachment proceedings.  Now, Conyers is back in the minority party in the House, but even minority members can raise the threat of impeachment efforts.  And at the moment they could join a member of the majority in doing so.  That's because Congressman Walter Jones has introduced H. Con Res 107, which reads:

"Resolved by the House of Representatives (the Senate concurring), That it is the sense of Congress that, except in response to an actual or imminent attack against the territory of the United States, the use of offensive military force by a President without prior and clear authorization of an Act of Congress violates Congress's exclusive power to declare war under article I, section 8, clause 11 of the Constitution and therefore constitutes an impeachable high crime and misdemeanor under article II, section 4 of the Constitution."

Now, this does not clearly cover an attack with U.S. weapons and advice carried out by another nation, but it does cover the question of U.S. entry into a war started by Israel, even if U.S. troops and bases abroad have been attacked in retaliation.  And it covers possible U.S. war making in Syria.  And it covers over 100 nations where U.S. Special Forces are now operating.  And it covers our current and prospective drone attacks in various parts of the world.

Of course, such an impeachment effort is also treasonous, given Obama's membership in the Democratic Party -- unlike the completely non-treasonous acts of openly "legalizing murder," or lying to the nation about efforts to avoid a war.

An Iranian Parable

Letter to the Editor

A Neighborly Dispute

Here is my problem. I'm well known in my neighborhood. Ask anybody. They know me as "the guy who keeps a tank hidden in his garage." (Maybe I do. Maybe I don't.)

Anyway, I've got a problem with this guy up the street. I don't think he likes me much and, frankly, the feeling's mutual.

He's got this workshop in his garage where he builds bicycles.

My problem is: I suspect he's secretly building a tank. That makes me feel threatened.

He tells the neighbors all he wants to do is build bicycles. He even says building tanks is against his religion!

The neighborhood cops (and even some close members of my own family) say there's absolutely no evidence this guy is building a tank. They tell me to chill; get a grip.

But, the way I see it, as long as he has that bicycle workshop, there's always the possibility that he could someday build a tank.

So here's my question: Don't I have a sovereign right, as a homeowner, to walk over and burn down that guy's house?

Really, it's the only way I'll ever feel safe.

Gar Smith

Berkeley, California

Prevent Iran from Acquiring Nuclear Weapons and Stop War Through Diplomacy Act (Introduced in House - IH)

112th CONGRESS

2d Session

H. R. 4173

To direct the President of the United States to appoint a high-level United States representative or special envoy for Iran for the purpose of ensuring that the United States pursues all diplomatic avenues to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon, to avoid a war with Iran, and for other purposes.

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

March 8, 2012

Ms. LEE of California (for herself, Mr. JONES, Mr. CONYERS, Ms. WOOLSEY, Mr. KUCINICH, Ms. WATERS, Mr. STARK, Mr. ELLISON, Mr. FILNER, and Ms. JACKSON LEE of Texas) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Foreign Affairs


A BILL

To direct the President of the United States to appoint a high-level United States representative or special envoy for Iran for the purpose of ensuring that the United States pursues all diplomatic avenues to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon, to avoid a war with Iran, and for other purposes.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

This Act may be cited as the `Prevent Iran from Acquiring Nuclear Weapons and Stop War Through Diplomacy Act'.

SEC. 2. FINDINGS.

Congress finds the following:

(1) In his Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech on December 10, 2009, President Obama said, `I know that engagement with repressive regimes lacks the satisfying purity of indignation. But I also know that sanctions without outreach--and condemnation without discussion--can carry forward a crippling status quo. No repressive regime can move down a new path unless it has the choice of an open door.'

(2) In his address to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee on March 4, 2012, President Obama said, `I have said that when it comes to preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon, I will take no options off the table, and I mean what I say. That includes all elements of American power. A political effort aimed at isolating Iran; a diplomatic effort to sustain our coalition and ensure that the Iranian program is monitored; an economic effort to impose crippling sanctions; and, yes, a military effort to be prepared for any contingency.'

(3) While the Obama Administration has rejected failed policies of the past by engaging in negotiations with Iran without preconditions, only four of such meetings have occurred.

(4) Official representatives of the United States and official representatives of Iran have held only two direct, bilateral meetings in over 30 years, both of which occurred in October 2009, one on the sidelines of the United Nations Security Council negotiations in Geneva, and one on the sidelines of negotiations brokered by the United Nations International Atomic Energy Agency (referred to in this Act as the `IAEA') in Vienna.

(5) All of the outstanding issues between the United States and Iran cannot be resolved instantaneously. Resolving such issues will require a robust, sustained effort.

(6) Under the Department of State's current `no contact' policy, officers and employees of the Department of State are not permitted to make any direct contact with official representatives of the Government of Iran without express prior authorization from the Secretary of State.

(7) On September 20, 2011, then-Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen, called for establishing direct communications with Iran, stating, `I'm talking about any channel that's open. We've not had a direct link of communication with Iran since 1979. And I think that has planted many seeds for miscalculation. When you miscalculate, you can escalate and misunderstand.'

(8) On November 8, 2011, the IAEA issued a report about Iran's nuclear program and expressed concerns about Iran's past and ongoing nuclear activities.

(9) On December 2, 2011, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta warned that an attack on Iran would result in `an escalation that would take place that would not only involve many lives, but I think it could consume the Middle East in a confrontation and a conflict that we would regret.'

SEC. 3. STATEMENT OF POLICY.

It should be the policy of the United States--

(1) to prevent Iran from pursuing or acquiring a nuclear weapon and to resolve the concerns of the United States and of the international community about Iran's nuclear program and Iran's human rights obligations under international and Iranian law;

(2) to ensure inspection of cargo to or from Iran, as well as the seizure and disposal of prohibited items, as authorized by United Nations Security Council Resolution 1929 (June 9, 2010);

(3) to pursue sustained, direct, bilateral negotiations with the Government of Iran without preconditions in order to reduce tensions, prevent war, prevent nuclear proliferation, support human rights, and seek resolutions to issues that concern the United States and the international community;

(4) to utilize all diplomatic tools, including direct talks, targeted sanctions, Track II diplomacy, creating a special envoy described in section 4, and enlisting the support of all interested parties, for the purpose of establishing an agreement with Iran to put in place a program that includes international safeguards, guarantees, and robust transparency measures that provide for full IAEA oversight of Iran's nuclear program, including rigorous, ongoing inspections, in order to verify that Iran's nuclear program is exclusively for peaceful purposes and that Iran is not engaged in nuclear weapons work;

(5) to pursue opportunities to build mutual trust and to foster sustained negotiations in good faith with Iran, including pursuing a fuel swap deal to remove quantities of low enriched uranium from Iran and to refuel the Tehran Research Reactor, similar to the structure of the deal that the IAEA, the United States, China, Russia, France, the United Kingdom, and Germany first proposed in October 2009;

(6) to explore areas of mutual benefit to both Iran and the United States, such as regional security, the long-term stabilization of Iraq and Afghanistan, the establishment of a framework for peaceful nuclear energy production, other peaceful energy modernization programs, and counter-narcotics efforts; and

(7) that no funds appropriated or otherwise made available to any executive agency of the Government of the United States may be used to carry out any military operation or activity against Iran unless the President determines that a military operation or activity is warranted and seeks express prior authorization by Congress, as required under article I, section 8, clause 2 of the United States Constitution, which grants Congress the sole authority to declare war, except that this requirement shall not apply to a military operation or activity--

(A) to directly repel an offensive military action launched from within the territory of Iran against the United States or any ally with whom the United States has a mutual defense assistance agreement;

(B) in hot pursuit of forces that engage in an offensive military action outside the territory of Iran against United States forces or an ally with whom the United States has a mutual defense assistance agreement and then enter into the territory of Iran; or

(C) to directly thwart an imminent offensive military action to be launched from within the territory of Iran against United States forces or an ally with whom the United States has a mutual defense assistance agreement.

SEC. 4. APPOINTMENT OF HIGH-LEVEL U.S. REPRESENTATIVE OR SPECIAL ENVOY.

(a) Appointment- At the earliest possible date, the President, in consultation with the Secretary of State, shall appoint a high-level United States representative or special envoy for Iran.

(b) Criteria for Appointment- The President shall appoint an individual under subsection (a) on the basis of the individual's knowledge and understanding of the issues regarding Iran's nuclear program, experience in conducting international negotiations, and ability to conduct negotiations under subsection (c) with the respect and trust of the parties involved in the negotiations.

(c) Duties- The high-level United States representative or special envoy for Iran shall--

(1) seek to facilitate direct, unconditional, bilateral negotiations with Iran for the purpose of easing tensions and normalizing relations between the United States and Iran;

(2) lead the diplomatic efforts of the Government of the United States with regard to Iran;

(3) consult with other countries and international organizations, including countries in the region, where appropriate and when necessary to achieve the purpose set forth in paragraph (1);

(4) act as liaison with United States and international intelligence agencies where appropriate and when necessary to achieve the purpose set for in paragraph (1); and

(5) ensure that the bilateral negotiations under paragraph (1) complement the ongoing international negotiations with Iran.

SEC. 5. DUTIES OF THE SECRETARY OF STATE.

(a) Elimination of `No Contact' Policy- Not later than 30 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary of State shall rescind the `no contact' policy that prevents officers and employees of the Department of State from making any direct contact with official representatives of the Government of Iran without express prior authorization from the Secretary of State.

(b) Office of High-Level U.S. Representative or Special Envoy- Not later than 30 days after the appointment of a high-level United States representative or special envoy under section 4(a), the Secretary of State shall establish an office in the Department of State for the purpose of supporting the work of the representative or special envoy.

SEC. 6. REPORTING TO CONGRESS.

(a) Reports- Not later than 60 days after the high-level United States representative or special envoy for Iran is appointed under section 4, and every 180 days thereafter, the United States representative or special envoy shall report to the committees set forth in subsection (b) on the steps that have been taken to facilitate direct, bilateral diplomacy with the government of Iran under section 4(c). Each such report may, when necessary or appropriate, be submitted in classified and unclassified form.

(b) Committees- The committees referred to in subsection (a) are--

(1) the Committee on Appropriations, the Committee on Foreign Affairs, the Committee on Armed Services, and the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence of the House of Representatives; and

(2) the Committee on Appropriations, the Committee on Foreign Relations, the Committee on Armed Services, and the Select Committee on Intelligence of the Senate.

SEC. 7. AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.

There are authorized to be appropriated to carry out this Act such sums as may be necessary for each of fiscal years 2012 and 2013.

Obama Offered Israel Weapons to Postpone Attack on Iran

The administration may have bribed Israel to hold off on Iran war until after the 2012 presidential elections

by John Glaser, Antiwar.com

The Obama administration offered Israel advanced weaponry in return for putting off a possible attack on Iran until after the 2012 presidential elections.

The Israeli daily Maariv reported on Thursday citing anonymous diplomats and intelligence sources that the Obama administration meeting with Israeli leaders earlier this week offered them advanced bunker-busting bombs and long-range refueling planes if he promised to postpone a preventive war on Iran until at least 2013.

The Obama administration had for months been pressing Israel to calm its calls for war on Iran, primarily because the consensus in the U.S. military and intelligence community is that Iran is not developing nuclear weapons and has demonstrated no intention to do so. An attack is therefore wholly unnecessary, but fears ran high that Israel might attack anyway.

The White House has denied the validity of the reports. “In meetings the president had there was no such agreement proposed or reached,” White House press secretary Jay Carney told reporters. ”We have obviously high-level cooperation between the Israeli military and the U.S. military, and at other levels and with other agencies within their government and our government”, Carney said, adding: “That was not a subject of discussion in the president’s meetings.”

But Ha’aretz also quoted an Obama official saying Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had specifically asked Defense Secretary Leon Panetta for the GBU-28 bunker busting bombs as well as for the advanced refueling aircraft.

Netanyahu told Israeli news media on Thursday that a strike of Iran’s nuclear facilities is not a “matter of days, weeks, but not a matter of years,” adding: “If I don’t make the right call [on Iran] maybe there won’t be anyone to explain to.” This of course completely ignores U.S. intelligence which says Iran is very far off from even deciding to begin development of nuclear weapons.

Whether or not the Obama administration’s deal-cutting was sincere in its attempts to deter reckless Israeli aggression against Iran, it seems clear that giving Israel better capability to unilaterally attack increases the likelihood of it happening.

Unlike Bush, Obama Is Selling Israel the Planes and Bombs to Attack Iran

Netanyahu asked Panetta to approve sale of bunker-busting bombs, U.S. official says

Top administration source says Obama instructed Defense Secretary to work with Defense Minister Barak, to give all due consideration to the request for purchasing GBU-28 bombs, advanced refueling aircraft.

By Barak Ravid

Haaretz

WASHINGTON - Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu requested the United States approve the sale of advanced refueling aircraft as well as GBU-28 bunker-piercing bombs to Israel during a recent meeting with Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, a top U.S. official said on Tuesday.

The American official said that U.S. President Barack Obama instructed Panetta to work directly with Defense Minister Ehud Barak on the matter, indicating that the U.S. administration was inclined to look favorably upon the request as soon as possible.

During the administration of former U.S. President George Bush, the U.S. refused to sell bunker-penetrating bombs and refueling aircrafts to Israel, as a result of American estimates that Israel would then use them to strike Iran's nuclear facilities.

Following Obama's entrance into the White House, however, the United States approves a string of Israeli requests to purchase advance armament.

Diplomatic cables exposed by the WikiLeaks website exposed discussion concerning advanced weapons shipments. In one cable which surveyed defense discussions between Israel and the United states that took place on November 2009 it was written that "both sides then discussed the upcoming delivery of GBU-28 bunker busting bombs to Israel, noting that the transfer should be handled quietly to avoid any allegations that the USG is helping Israel prepare for a strike against Iran."

Another issue raised during Obama's Monday meeting with Netanyahu was the Syrian crisis. Netanyahu pointed out that Israel feared that chemical and biological weapons from Syrian army stockpiles could end up in the hands of Hezbollah or other terror groups.

A top U.S. official indicated that the United States recently discussed the issue with Turkey, Israel, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia, in an attempt to prepare for the possibility that a collapse of the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad would endanger the country's WMD stockpiles.

At this point the American administration does not possess information that indicates that chemical or biological weapons were passed from Syria to Hezbollah.

Netanyahu and Obama also discussed the ongoing diplomatic crisis between Israel and Turkey. The United States feels that, amid ongoing unrest, that there existent a supreme interest to rehabilitate Jerusalem-Ankara ties. Obama told Netanyahu at the meeting that an effort should be exerted to reconcile between the two states.

Read this article in Hebrew

Goebbels Would Stand in Awe: The US Corporate News Media are Rank Propagandists on Iran

 

By Dave Lindorff

 

The sorry state of American journalism is on full display in the coverage by the corporate media of the ongoing crisis surrounding Iran’s nuclear fuel program.

 

The leaders of both Israel and the U.S. have publicly threatened to attack Iran -- Israel saying it could do so within weeks, President Obama warning that he would consider attacking Iran militarily if he were convinced that that nation was building an atomic bomb. 

 

Carl Levin Occupied

Occupy AIPAC Video



AIPAC Occupied

Who was behind the Delhi bombing?

By Gareth Porter, Al Jazeera

Washington, DC - The magnet bomb that exploded on an Israeli Embassy diplomat's car in Delhi on February 13 seemed on the surface to be consistent with an Iranian-sponsored action. 

It was carried out with same method by which Israel's Iranian proxy, the Mujahedin-e Khalq, had assassinated an Iranian scientist in mid-January. It occurred on the anniversary of the 2008 assassination of Hezbollah operations chief Imad Mugniyeh, which Hezbollah had vowed to avenge. And it happened at the same time as what appeared to be attempted bombings in Bangkok and Tbilisi.

Israel Lobby Beats the Drums For War

 

By John Grant

 

The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (or AIPAC) is having its three-day annual meeting in Washington DC beginning Sunday March 4th. AIPAC is arriving in an atmosphere of beating war drums and rattling sabers against Iran.

Israel preemptively starting a war with Iran would be bad enough, but the assumption that the United States will be part of that war should be very disturbing to Americans -- who are just getting over one misguided, costly war in Iraq and are still involved in another in Afghanistan.

New York Times Promoting War on Iran

  New York Times Promoting War on Iran

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

Longstanding Times policy supports imperial US wars against nonbelligerent countries posing no threats. 

 

It backed American-led NATO aggression against Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya. Using scandalous language like "Assad's butchery," it wants killer gangs armed and greater Western intervention.

Voices of Conscience Against War on Iran

Aggressive war, against a country that has not attacked the aggressor country, is the supreme war crime.  We said it on February 4 across the nation.  I talked about it outside the US Mission to the UN (see video).

We won't stop saying it.  Here's another chance:

Sunday March 4 in Washington, D.C., when President Obama speaks at the 2012 Convention of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, we'll be there, with a visible anti-war protest, along with Code Pink, Veterans for Peace, and the Occupy movement.

Openly Lying Us Into War With Iran

From A Tiny Revolution

This is from p. 84-5 in Which Path to Persia?: Options for a New American Strategy toward Iran, a June, 2009 book edited and co-authored by Kenneth Pollack of the Brookings Institution:

...absent a clear Iranian act of aggression, American airstrikes against Iran would be unpopular in the region and throughout the world...it would be far more preferable if the United States could cite an Iranian provocation as justification for the airstrikes before launching them. Clearly, the more outrageous, the more deadly, and the more unprovoked the Iranian action, the better off the United States would be. Of course, it would be very difficult for the United States to goad Iran into such a provocation without the rest of the world recognizing this game, which would then undermine it. (One method that would have some possibility of success would be to ratchet up covert regime change efforts in the hope that Tehran would retaliate overtly, or even semi-overtly, which could then be portrayed as an unprovoked act of Iranian aggression.) ... [T]he use of airstrikes could not be the primary U.S. policy toward Iran...until Iran provided the necessary pretext.

You may remember Pollack from The Threatening Storm: The Case for Invading Iraq, the 2002 book cited by all the nice liberals who sadly and reluctantly supported war. What you don't remember—because none of the nice liberals mentioned it—is that on p. 364-5 of The Threatening Storm Pollack presented exactly the same option regarding Iraq:

Assembling a [] coalition would be infinitely easier if the United States could point to a smoking gun with Iraqi fingerprints on it—some new Iraqi outrage that would serve to galvanize international opinion and create the pretext for an invasion...

There are probably [] courses the United States could take that might prompt Saddam to make a foolish, aggressive move, that would then become the "smoking gun" justifying an invasion. An aggressive U.S. covert action campaign might provoke Saddam to retaliate overtly, providing a casus belli...

What matters about this is that Pollack is right at the heart of the Democratic Party's foreign policy establishment, and he's completely comfortable proposing that he and his friends lie the world into war after war in the mideast. (The other authors of Which Path to Persia? are Daniel L. Byman, Martin Indyk, Suzanne Maloney, Michael E. O’Hanlon and Bruce Riedel.) No one he hangs around with will find anything jarring about this. And he knows he can count on the media to never mention this option is being openly kicked around before the war starts. (Pollack is Ted Koppel's son-in-law.)

READ THE REST.

President Barack Obama and His Key Advisors are a Gang of War Criminals

 

By Dave Lindorff

 

If a bunch of street toughs decided to gang up and beat the crap out of some guy in the neighborhood because they feared he might be planning to buy a gun to protect his family, I think we’d all agree that the police would be right to bust that crew and charge them with conspiracy to commit the crime of assault and battery. If they went forward with their plan and actually did attack the guy, injuring or killing him in the process, we’d also all agree they should all be charged with assault and battery, attempted murder, or even first-degree murder if he died.

 

Pressure Israel, Not Iran

By Marjorie Cohn

Neocons in Israel and the United States are escalating their rhetoric to prepare us for war with Iran. Even the infamous John Yoo, architect of George W. Bush’s illegal torture and spying programs, is calling on the Republican presidential candidates to “begin preparing the case for a military strike to destroy Iran’s nuclear program.”

Under the 1968 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), Iran has the legal right to produce nuclear power for peaceful purposes. The United Nations International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has found no evidence that Iran is developing a nuclear weapons program. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta recently said on CBS that Iran is not currently trying to build a nuclear weapon.

Nevertheless, the United States and Israel are mounting a campaign of aggression against Iran. The United States has imposed punishing sanctions against Iran that are crippling Iran’s economy, and pressuring other countries and strong-arming financial institutions to stop buying oil from Iran, the world’s third largest exporter. The Obama administration is also preparing new punitive measures that target the Central Bank of Iran. And the House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly to pass the Iran Threat Reduction Act of 2011 which would outlaw any contact between U.S. government employees and some Iranian officials.

Debunking the Spurious Iranian Nuclear Threat

  Debunking the Spurious Iranian Nuclear Threat

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

Previous articles debunked claims of Iran's alleged nuclear threat. For months, major media scoundrels regurgitated official lies.

 

Yet at least since 2007, America's annual intelligence assessment found none. Media reports ignored it. Suddenly old news is new news.

Pentagon Thinks The End of the Year May Be the Time for War With Iran - Why? - Will Something Be Over in November?

From the Telegraph:

Reflecting Pentagon fears that the US could be sucked into a war by the end of the year, the Central Command told Congress that it wanted the new systems in place by the autumn.

Iran Holds Up Access to Parchin for Better IAEA Deal

http://ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=106863

 


Analysis by Gareth Porter*


WASHINGTON, Feb 23, 2012 (IPS) - The failure of a mission by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to get Iranian permission to visit a military testing site mentioned in its latest report has been interpreted in media coverage as a stall to avoid the discovery of confirming evidence of past work on nuclear weapons.

But the history of Iranian cooperation with the IAEA on carrying out inspections at the Parchin military testing centre, as well as a previous IAEA-Iran work programme agreement, suggests that Iran is keeping permission for such a visit as bargaining leverage to negotiate a better deal with the agency. 

The IAEA statement Wednesday emphasised the fact that the mission to Tehran had been denied permission to visit the site at Parchin. That prompted Associated Press correspondent in Vienna George Jahn to called Iran's refusal to agree to an IAEA visit to Parchin "stonewalling" and evidence of "hard line resistance" to international pressure on its nuclear programme. 

International Herald Tribune blogger Harvey Morris wrote that Iran's strategy was to "play for time". 

But access to Parchin was discussed as part of broader negotiations on what the IAEA statement called a "document facilitating the clarification of unresolved issues" in regard to "possible military dimensions" of Iran's nuclear program. The negotiations were focused on what cooperation the IAEA is demanding and what the agency is ready to offer in return for that cooperation. 

Judging from past negotiations between Iran and the IAEA, Iran is ready to offer access to Parchin as well as other sites requested by the agency as part of an agreement under which the IAEA would stop accusing Iran of carrying out covert nuclear weapons experiments. 

The IAEA's position in the negotiations was revealed by the AP's Jahn, who reported that the agency mission had hoped to get Iranian agreement to meetings with "scientists suspected of working on the alleged weapons program" and to "inspect documents related to nuclear weapons work". 

The September 2008 IAEA report said the agency had "proposed discussions with Iranian experts on the contents of the engineering reports (on the Shahab-3 missile) examining in detail modeling studies…." 

Iran has rejected such demands as threatening its legitimate national security interests, in violation of the IAEA statute. 

The scientists that the agency is demanding to see are publicly known officials of Iran's military research institutions. Even before Israel had begun assassinating Iranian scientists, Iran had made it clear it will not give the IAEA physical access to any individual scientists. 

The IAEA wants to visit a specific site at Parchin because of information from an unnamed member state, cited in its November 2011 report, that Iran had "constructed a large explosives containment vessel in which to conduct hydrodynamic experiments" – tests of nuclear weapons designs without the use of fissile material. 

The report said the construction had been carried out at Parchin military complex in 2000 and that the IAEA had satellite imagery that was "consistent with" that information, meaning only that there were structures that could have housed such a vessel at Parchin in 2000. 

The previous history of IAEA inspections at Parchin make it clear, however, that Iran knew it had nothing to hide at Parchin after 2000. 

In 2004, John Bolton, the point man in the George W. Bush administration on Iran, who coordinated closely with Israel, charged that satellite imagery showed a bunker at Parchin appropriate for large-scale explosives tests such as those needed to detonate a bomb that would use a neutron trigger. 

Bolton put heavy pressure on the IAEA to carry out an investigation at Parchin. A few months later, Tehran agreed to allow the agency to select any five buildings and their surroundings to investigate freely. 

That gave U.S. and Israeli intelligence, as well as IAEA experts, an opportunity for which they would not have dreamed of asking: they could scan satellite imagery of the entire Parchin complex for anything that could possibly suggest work on a nuclear weapon, including a containment vessel for hydrodynamic testing, and demand to inspect that building and the grounds around it at their leisure. 

In January 2005, an IAEA team visited Parchin and investigated the five areas they had chosen, taking environmental samples, but found nothing suspicious. In November 2005, Iran allowed the IAEA to do the same thing all over again on five more buildings of its own choice. 

The Iranian military and nuclear establishment would never have agreed to such terms for IAEA inspection missions at Parchin - not once but twice - if they had been concealing a hydrodynamic test facility at the base. 

Other information suggests that no such vessel ever existed at Parchin. The November report claimed the IAEA had obtained information on the dimensions of the containment vessel from the publication of a foreign expert identified as someone who worked "in the nuclear weapons program of the country of his origin". 

That was a reference to Vlachyslav Danilenko, a Ukrainian scientist who has acknowledged having lectured in Iran on theoretical physics and having helped the country build a cylinder for production of nano-diamonds, which was his research specialty. However, Danilenko has firmly denied ever having done any work related to nuclear weapons. 

The claim that the dimensions of the putative bomb test chamber at Parchin could be gleaned from a publication by Danilenko is implausible. 

The report said the bomb containment chamber at Parchin was "designed to contain the detonation of 70 kilograms of high explosives". Danilenko's patented 1992 design for a cylinder for nano-diamond production, however, was built to contain only 10 kg of explosives. 

Former IAEA weapons inspector and nuclear weapons expert Robert Kelley has pointed out, moreover, that a container for only 70 kg of explosives could not possibly have been used for hydrodynamic testing of a nuclear weapon design. 

The negotiations on a "framework" for Iran's cooperation with the IAEA recall the negotiation of a "work programme" in August 2007 aimed at resolving a series of issues on which the IAEA Safeguards Department suspected links to nuclear weapons. The issues included experiments involving the extraction of polonium-210, plutonium experiments and possible military control of the Gchine uranium mine. 

In previous years, Iran had failed to provide sufficient information to overcome those suspicions. But after the negotiation of the "work programme", Iran began to move with dispatch to provide documentation aimed at clearing up the six remaining issues. 

The US and Its Dark Passenger, Part II: Act of Valor

 

By John Grant

 

The United States is finding the occupation of other nations more and more challenging. Consider the burning of Korans in Bagram Air Force Base in Afghanistan, the bombing deaths of 24 Pakistani soldiers and a host of other recent disasters. Economic challenges at home only add to the difficulty.

In such a frustrating quandary, Washington and Pentagon leaders are falling back on what they feel the US does best: Secret killing.

Irresponsible Anti-Iranian Fear-Mongering

  Irresponsible Anti-Iranian Fear-Mongering

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

Irresponsible anti-Iranian political and pack journalism rhetoric sound ominously like spurious Iraqi WMD threats in the run-up to the 2003 war.

 

In his January State of the Union address, Obama said:

 

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