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From Al Jazeera
The man some describe as an Iranian nuclear scientist, Shahram Amiri, has left the US.
The man had vanished over a year ago. Then he had suddenly reappeared with two completely contradictory stories about the events of his past year, triggering a propaganda war between the US and Iran.
By Gareth Porter, IPS
WASHINGTON, Jul 15, 2010 (IPS) - U.S. officials are explaining Iranian scientist Shahram Amiri's return to Iran as the result of a defector having a change of heart because of his concern about Iranian government threats to his family. Iran and Amiri himself have insisted that it is a simple case of a victim of abduction escaping his captors.
But several features of the story of Amiri's defection suggest that Amiri may have been acting on Iranian government orders to defect temporarily in order to embarrass the U.S. government.
|By Al Jazeera|
A nuclear scientist that the Iranian government claims was abducted by US agents has taken refuge in the Pakistan embassy in Washington DC, Iranian state media has reported. "A few hours ago Shahram Amiri took refuge at Iran's interest section at the Pakistan embassy in Washington, wanting to return to Iran immediately," Iranian state radio said on Tuesday. "Amiri has asked for a quick return to Tehran," the website of Iranian state television reported.
A nuclear scientist that the Iranian government claims was abducted by US agents has taken refuge in the Pakistan embassy in Washington DC, Iranian state media has reported.
"A few hours ago Shahram Amiri took refuge at Iran's interest section at the Pakistan embassy in Washington, wanting to return to Iran immediately," Iranian state radio said on Tuesday.
"Amiri has asked for a quick return to Tehran," the website of Iranian state television reported.
by Jim Lobe
WASHINGTON, 9 Jul (IPS) - "From a marketing point of view, you don't introduce new products in August," explained then-White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card back in September 2002, in answer to queries about why the administration of George W. Bush had not launched its campaign to rally public opinion behind invading Iraq earlier in the summer.
And while it's only July - and less than a month after the U.N., the European Union (EU) and the U.S. Congress approved new economic sanctions against Iran - a familiar clutch of Iraq war hawks appear to be preparing the ground for a major new campaign to rally public opinion behind military action against the Islamic Republic.
Gee ya think! that's why we the Brits and others condemn other countries for their Human Rights and much more, then we joined that same gutter thrash and expect to be justified, because well we're the righteous!!
7 July 2010 William Hague is right to put human rights at the heart of the UK's foreign policy – for practical as well as ethical reasons
The foreign secretary William Hague said last week that human rights should be the "irreducible core" of the UK's foreign policy. But he did not spell out why, or what that would mean in practice.
One of the many parts of the start to the countries present day situations on many fronts!
From United States v. Oliver L. North, Office of the Independent Counsel (OIC) Papers, National Archives & Records Administration, College Park, Maryland.Former National Security Council aide Oliver North received a $150,000 fine and a suspended prison term for his part in the Iran-Contra scandal. The scandal was a secret arrangement directed from the Reagan White House that provided funds to the Nicaraguan Contra rebels (despite specific congressional prohibition) from profits gained by selling arms to Iran (at war with Iraq at the time) in hopes of their releasing hostages, despite Pres. Reagan’s claim that he would never negotiate with hostage-takers.
Iran remembers victims of airliner shot down by US
By Ali Akbar Dareini (AP) | Google News | Submitted by Michael Munk | www.MichaelMunk.com
A statement from President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was read out at the ceremony, saying the "disaster was not an understandable accident, but a declaration of war against humanity" and claiming it was carried out "with the covert planning of White House leaders."
Iranian helicopters scattered flowers into the Persian Gulf waters on Saturday as family members and relatives remembered the 290 passengers killed when a U.S. warship shot down an Iranian airliner 22 years ago.
About 250 relatives of victims and officials sailed from the southern port city of Bandar Abbas to the spot where the Iran Air A300 Airbus was downed on July 3, 1988 — just a month before the end of the Iraq-Iran war.
The USS Vincennes shot down the airliner shortly after it took off from Bandar Abbas for Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. Washington said the Vincennes mistook the airliner for a hostile Iranian fighter jet. Iran maintains it was a deliberate attack. Read more.
HAVANA, Cuba, Jul 2 (acn) The Cuban ambassador to France, Orlando Requeijo, said
in Paris on Thursday that forces of Israel and the North Atlantic Treaty
Organization (NATO) continue advancing toward Iran and that an eventual outbreak
of war is more tangible than ever.
The Cuban diplomat was the first speaker during a colloquium organized by the
Mayor's Office of District 11 in Paris under the topic 'Peace Culture in Latin
America and the Caribbean' that was attended by Latin American diplomats and
representatives in the French capital.
Requeijo noted that the preservation of life, the most important of all human
rights, is in danger and he added the Korean Peninsula could be involved in an
armed conflict soon as well.
He warned that, given the current serious international economic crisis, the
industrial military complex and its allies could lead the world to war.
Others who warned about the danger of an imminent war were the First Secretary
Heinonen Pushed Dubious Iran Nuclear Weapons Intel
Analysis by Gareth Porter | IPS
Olli Heinonen, the Finnish nuclear engineer who resigned Thursday after five years as deputy director for safeguards of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), was the driving force in turning that agency into a mechanism to support U.N. Security Council sanctions against Iran.
Heinonen was instrumental in making a collection of intelligence documents showing a purported Iranian nuclear weapons research programme the central focus of the IAEA's work on Iran. The result was to shift opinion among Western publics to the view that Iran had been pursuing a covert nuclear weapons programme.
But his embrace of the intelligence documents provoked a fierce political struggle within the Secretariat of the IAEA, because other officials believed the documents were fraudulent.
Heinonen took over the Safeguards Department in July 2005 - the same month that the George W. Bush administration first briefed top IAEA officials on the intelligence collection.
The documents portrayed a purported nuclear weapons research programme, originally called the "Green Salt" project, that included efforts to redesign the nosecone of the Shahab-3 missile, high explosives apparently for the purpose of triggering a nuclear weapon and designs for a uranium conversion facility. Later the IAEA referred to the purported Iranian activities simply as the "alleged studies". Read more.
IN CONGRESS, JULY 4, 2010
The unanimous Declaration of the fifty united States of America, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico, Guam, Guantanamo Bay, Assorted Offshore Oil Rigs, and the U.S. Servicemen and Women serving the Homeland in 177 nations around the globe, as drafted by the President
When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to bomb the bejesus out of another people and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and hegemonic station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's Christian God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to employ the most awesome military force the poor corrupt Muslim bastards have ever seen.
TomDispatch: Stephen Kinzer: BP in the Gulf -- The Persian Gulf, How an Oil Company Helped Destroy Democracy in Iran
From TomDispatch today: From a well-known author, a powerful reminder of just what a reckless company BP has been, the almost forgotten story of how BP's great political "spill" of 1953 helped slime our world -- Stephen Kinzer, "BP in the Gulf -- The Persian Gulf, How an Oil Company Helped Destroy Democracy in Iran."
"To frustrated Americans who have begun boycotting BP," writes Stephen Kinzer, author of Reset: Iran, Turkey, and America's Future, "Welcome to the club. It's great not to be the only member any more!"
In a bracing reminder of the historical recklessness of BP that no one has yet explored, even as the Gulf of Mexico is being destroyed for generations, Kinzer, well known for his work on the CIA in Guatemala (Bitter Fruit) and the U.S. record of "regime change" (Overthrow), points out that he's been driving past BP stations long before this year's oil spill. "My decision not to give this company my business," he writes, "came after I learned about its role in another kind of 'spill' entirely -- the destruction of Iran's democracy more than half a century ago."
Here he tells just how, in 1953, BP, then known as the Anglo-Persian Oil Company and in possession of all Iran's oil, in conjunction with the CIA overthrew a democratic Iranian government eager to nationalize its own oil supplies. It was the first government the CIA ever toppled and the reckless decision of the company and the Agency would change our world in devastating ways which, like the present spill in the Gulf of Mexico, reverberated for generations.
This is an event that should have, but hasn't, come to mind in the midst of BP's latest disaster. Kinzer brings it back powerfully. He concludes:
"The oil company re-branded itself as British Petroleum, BP Amoco, and then, in 2000, BP. During its decades in Iran, it had operated as it pleased, with little regard for the interests of local people. This corporate tradition has evidently remained strong. Many Americans are outraged by the relentless images of oil gushing into Gulf waters from the Deepwater Horizon well, and by the corporate recklessness that allowed this spill to happen. Those who know Iranian history have been less surprised." Read it now.
As unconfirmed reports of an imminent Israeli strike on Iran's nuclear facilities pick up steam in the Middle Eastern media, a US-based strategic intelligence company has released a chart showing US naval carriers massing near Iranian waters.
FIVE PARTS VIDEO:
Anchors aweigh. The United States Navy is sending an aircraft carrier and nearly a dozen other warships through the Suez Canal and into the Red Sea, according to the British Arabic Language newspaper Al-Quds Al-Arabi, which reported that the ships carry infantry troops, armored vehicles, and ammunition.
The report was taken very seriously in Israel, where two major newspapers gave it headline coverage -- perhaps because the U.S. fleet is joined by at least one Israeli ship, according to eyewitnesses who saw it pass through the Canal.
Iran’s Press TV claims that the Defense Department has confirmed the movement of American ships. However, neither the U.S. nor the Israeli governments have made any statement about the fleet’s destination or purpose. So we’re left to speculate.
Can it be just coincidence that this is happening precisely when “two Iranian vessels are due to set sail for Gaza in the coming week,” according to Al Jazeera, sponsored by the Iranian Red Crescent, carrying food, medicine, and clothing? And when Iran is promising more aid flotillas after this first one?
When the Iranian flotilla was first announced, State Department spokesman Philip Crowley said: "I don't think that Iran's intentions vis-a-vis Gaza are benign." Since then, the U.S. has remained silent. Read more.
[ Iran has not invaded another country in 200 years & the now the armada is on the way ]
More than twelve U.S. and Israeli warships, including an aircraft carrier, passed through the Suez Canal on Friday and are headed for the Red Sea.
“According to eyewitnesses, the U.S. battleships were the largest to have crossed the Canal in many years,” reported the London-based newspaper al-Quds al-Arabi on Saturday.
The Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported Egyptian opposition members criticized the government for cooperating with the U.S. and Israeli forces and allowing the passage of the ships through Egyptian territorial waters.
The Red Sea is the most direct route to the Persian Gulf from the Mediterranean. Read more.
Iran is sending two aid shipments towards Gaza, officials said today, a move likely to further heighten tensions with Israel.
One ship left on Sunday and another, carrying food, construction materials and toys, was due to depart later this week, Iranian state radio said. According to the country's ISNA news agency, the shipment is being organised by the Society for the Defence of the Palestinian Nation, which insists it is not connected to the Iranian state. "Until the end of the Gaza blockade, Iran will continue to ship aid," an official from the organisation was quoted as saying by Reuters.
Israel has maintained a three-year blockade of Gaza, and two weeks ago intercepted an international flotilla of ships attempting to break this. Nine Turkish activists died in the military assault. A spokesman for the organisers of the flotilla said the Iranian ships had no connection with his group and he had no information about Iran's plans.
Israel would view a similar action by Iran as particularly provocative, as it accuses the nation of supplying weapons to Gaza's Hamas rulers, something denied by Tehran. Read more.
By Robert Parry, consortiumnews.com
When Americans wonder how their country has ended up in so many pointless and seemingly endless conflicts around the world, like the meandering Afghan War and the bloody mess in Iraq, a good place to start would be the “prestige” newspapers, the Washington Post and the New York Times.
And, they are now engaged in a replay regarding Iran.
On Saturday, the Post’s editorial writers joined their counterparts at the Times in a new Establishment chorus demanding “regime change” in Iran through the ouster of the country’s Islamic-directed government by supporting the opposition Green Movement, which lost last year’s presidential election and then mounted public protests.
Saudi Arabia gives Israel clear skies to attack Iranian nuclear sites
By Hugh Tomlinson | Times Online
Saudi Arabia has conducted tests to stand down its air defences to enable Israeli jets to make a bombing raid on Iran’s nuclear facilities, The Times can reveal.
In the week that the UN Security Council imposed a new round of sanctions on Tehran, defence sources in the Gulf say that Riyadh has agreed to allow Israel to use a narrow corridor of its airspace in the north of the country to shorten the distance for a bombing run on Iran.
To ensure the Israeli bombers pass unmolested, Riyadh has carried out tests to make certain its own jets are not scrambled and missile defence systems not activated. Once the Israelis are through, the kingdom’s air defences will return to full alert.
“The Saudis have given their permission for the Israelis to pass over and they will look the other way,” said a US defence source in the area. “They have already done tests to make sure their own jets aren’t scrambled and no one gets shot down. This has all been done with the agreement of the [US] State Department.”
Sources in Saudi Arabia say it is common knowledge within defence circles in the kingdom that an arrangement is in place if Israel decides to launch the raid. Despite the tension between the two governments, they share a mutual loathing of the regime in Tehran and a common fear of Iran’s nuclear ambitions. “We all know this. We will let them [the Israelis] through and see nothing,” said one.
The four main targets for any raid on Iran would be the uranium enrichment facilities at Natanz and Qom, the gas storage development at Isfahan and the heavy-water reactor at Arak. Secondary targets include the lightwater reactor at Bushehr, which could produce weapons-grade plutonium when complete. Read more.
Until quite recently, it seemed that Turkey had a clearly defined role in the Middle East, from the standpoint of U.S. policy. They were the "good Muslims," who were part of NATO, who contributed troops to U.S. wars, and who had good relations with Israel.
Has the United States Kidnapped and Tortured This Man? Probably, But How Would We Know? Whom Do We Ask?
Mystery of Iranian Nuclear Scientist and the Duelling YouTube Videos
Aljazeera English reports on the two contradictory videos that have surfaced, in one of which Dr. Shahram Amiri, an Iranian nuclear scientist, maintains that he was kidnapped while on pilgrimage to Mecca and is being held against his will in Arizona (an irony, since he would then be an involuntary illegal alien in a state that seems to mind the latter). The second video, also put up at YouTube, contradicts the allegations the first.
WaPo cites retired CIA sources who allege that it is not US practice to kidnap people. But there is such a practice, and it is called rendition, and some allies such as Italy are angered that we do it on their soil. Another CIA source says that if Amiri were imprisoned by the US in Tucson, he wouldn’t be free to contact people by video.
There are many scenarios that can explain this odd turn of events.
1. The first video alleging kidnapping is an Iranian government forgery
2. The first video is valid but the second one is a US government operation
New at DontAttackIran.org
June 2010 Statement of Hudson Valley Peace Organizations:
We the undersigned, as representatives of key peace groups in the Lower Hudson Valley, wish to vehemently, strongly oppose both sanctions and military action against Iran.
Further, we urge that the United States immediately begin working toward making the Middle East a nuclear weapons free zone. To this end, the United States should ask Israel to join the UN Non-Proliferation Treaty.
We urge all US appointed and elected officials to end verbal assaults against Iran. We encourage our neighbors in the Lower Hudson Valley to support a peaceful resolution to the controversy around Iran¹s nuclear program.
Frank Brodhead - Concerned Families of Westchester
Don DeBar - Peace Train Coalition
Debra Kair - NoWarWestchester
Nada Khader - WESPAC Foundation
Nick Mottern - Church Peace Visitors
Ardeshir Ommani - Co-Founder, American Iranian Friendship Committee
Michael Sussman - Democratic Alliance (Orange County, NY)
David Swanson - WarIsACrime.org
Debra Sweet - World Can't Wait
Iranian state television showed a video Monday of a man it identified as a missing nuclear scientist, who said he had been abducted and taken to the United States.
The scientist, Shahram Amiri, disappeared while on a pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia in June 2009. U.S. media reports in March said he defected to the U.S. and is assisting the CIA in efforts to undermine Iran's nuclear program. Iran has repeatedly said Amiri was abducted by the U.S.
The U.S. State Department did not immediately responded to a request for comment Monday.
The man in the video was wearing headphones and appeared to be speaking through a webcam on the Internet. The television showed the video next to a photograph of Amiri and the man bore a close resemblance. He said the video was recorded on April 5 in Tucson, Arizona.
He claimed Saudi intelligence cooperated with U.S. intelligence in his abduction. He said Saudi intelligence officers abducted him in the city of Medina on June 3, 2009, and took him to an unknown location and injected him with a tranquilizer.
"When I became conscious, I found myself in a plane on the way to the U.S.," he said. "Since I was abducted and brought to the U.S., I was heavily tortured and pressured by U.S. intelligence," he said. Read more.
By Robert Parry
From Consortiumnews.com | Original Article
Hawks in the United States and Israel appear set on “regime change” in Iran, pursuing a game plan similar to the run-up to war in Iraq, ratcheting up tensions while frustrating opportunities for a peaceful settlement.
In the latest example, the New York Times on Tuesday published a leaked account of an order signed by U.S. Central Command chief, Gen. David Petraeus, expanding “clandestine military activity in an effort to disrupt militant groups to counter threats in Iran, Saudi Arabia, Somalia and other countries in the region.”
In most of those countries, the secret U.S. military operations would be intended to help U.S. allies combat anti-government militants. However, in Iran, the goal would be to make contact with opposition forces, according to the Times article by Mark Mazzetti.
By David Swanson
I'd guess roughly 3% of the Americans who watch the new Disney movie Prince of Persia have any idea that Persia and Iran are the same place. A similar number are probably aware of Iranians' demonstrations of sympathy following 9-11 and of Iran's assistance to the United States in Afghanistan in 2001. But surely an even smaller percentage of Americans know that Iran, Turkey, and our own country all fought revolutions against British colonialism, and developed democracies, our own serving as an inspiration for the others, our nation serving as a friend and ally to them. And you could probably fit into one football stadium every American who knows that Turkey's democratic advance succeeded where Iran's failed, principally because Teddy Roosevelt's grandson, working for the CIA, overthrew Iran's elected leader and installed a dictator, whom the United States proceeded to support and arm for decades.
Fuel Swap Shakes Sanctions Draft, Prods U.S. on New Iran Talks
Analysis by Gareth Porter | IPS
Although the Barack Obama administration continued to dismiss the May 17 Iranian fuel swap agreement Friday, there are indications that Iran's move has shaken the agreement among U.N. Security Council members on sanctions, and is bringing Russian diplomatic pressure on the United States to participate in new talks with Iran on the swap arrangement - something the administration clearly wished to avoid.
In a hastily arranged conference call with reporters Friday afternoon, three "senior administration officials" assailed the new swap agreement, brokered by Brazil and Turkey, for failing to address what was described as Iran's decision to continue enrichment of uranium to 20 percent, the increase in Iran's low-enriched uranium (LEU) stocks since last October, or U.N. Security resolutions demanding a suspension of all enrichment.
In a telltale sign that the Iranian move has shaken the previous unity among the permanent Security Council members on sanctions, however, one of the officials sidestepped a question about the present stance of Russia and China on sanctions.
Far from expressing confidence that the agreement still held, the official would only say, "We've been working with the full Council to resolve any outstanding issues." Read more.
By Dave Lindorff
It’s Memorial Day Weekend and I am sick to death of the glorification of war in America.
And I am even sicker of politicians who wrap themselves in the bloody flag and try to rub off some of the stench of death from the bodies of those who have died, mostly in vain for worthless causes, in hopes that taking on some of the odor will cause them to be perceived as admirable patriots themselves.
President George W. Bush, who dodged danger in the Vietnam War by signing up for the Texas National Guard and then ducked even that domestic duty, and Vice President Dick Cheney who used five different excuses to duck military service, morbidly rubbed themselves with that flag for eight long years, even as they sent hundreds of thousands of young men and women into harm’s for their own personal political advantage.
Dirty Linen Gets Intel Chief Fired
By Ray McGovern
The Senate Intelligence Committee’s investigation of how 23-year-old Nigerian Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab soiled his underpants with a makeshift bomb over Detroit last Christmas hung out so much dirty linen on the crowded clothes line of the U.S. intelligence community that it was an easy call to get rid of Director of National Intelligence, Dennis Blair.
The Senate committee’s findings released on Tuesday showed the community in all-too-familiar disarray — adrift with no helmsman strong, savvy and courageous enough to bang heads together to get the far-flung intelligence bureaucracies to cooperate. The report is a damning catalogue of misfeasance and mistakes.