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Iran to resume uranium enrichment despite Turkey deal
By the CNN Wire Staff | CNN
Iran appeared to make a concession in its long-running dispute with the international community Monday, only to throw a potential spoiler into the mix soon after.
Tehran said it had agreed to send thousands of pounds of low-enriched uranium, which was produced in Iran, to Turkey in exchange for highly-enriched uranium.
But then Iran said it intended to continue enriching uranium to the level that can sustain nuclear reactions, a move the United States and its allies do not want Tehran to make.
"We are not planning on stopping our legal right to enrich uranium," Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast told CNN by telephone.
The deal between Iran and Turkey had been designed to answer international concerns that Iran was secretly trying to build nuclear weapons -- a charge it has long denied.
Mehmanparast said the United States and its allies should accept the proposal. Read more.
Super Surprising Facts About 'Our Enemy' Iran Remind Us That We Don't Know Squat | Alternet
26 basic questions about Iran with answers that might surprise you.
It cannot be argued that Iran is an aggressive state that is dangerous to its neighbors, as facts do not support this claim. It cannot be relevant that Iran adheres to Islamic fundamentalism, has a flawed democracy and denies women full western-style civil rights, as Saudi Arabia is more fundamentalist, far less democratic and more oppressive of women, yet it is a U.S. ally. It cannot be relevant that Iran has, over the years, had a nuclear research program, and is most likely pursuing the capacity to develop nuclear weapons, as Pakistan, India, Israel and other states are nuclear powers yet remain U.S. allies—indeed, Israel deceived the U.S. while developing its nuclear program.
The answer to the above-posed question is fairly obvious: Iran must be punished for leaving the orbit of U.S. control. Since the Islamic Revolution in 1979, when the Shah was removed, Iran, unlike, say, Saudi Arabia, acts independently and thus compromises U.S. power in two ways: i) Defiance of U.S. dictates affects the U.S.'s attainment of goals linked to Iran; and, ii) Defiance of U.S. dictates establishes a “bad” example for other countries that may wish to pursue an independent course. The Shah could commit any number of abuses—widespread torture, for example—yet his loyalty to the U.S. exempted him from American condemnation—yet not from the condemnation of the bulk of Iranians who brought him down.
The following quiz is an attempt to introduce more balance into the mainstream discussion of Iran. Read more.
Mothers: ending war is the source of Mother’s Day. War is illegal. Mothers: demand justice, peace
By Carl Herman | LA County Nonpartisan Examiner | Hat Tip to Joe Azar
Ending unlawful US wars is similar to the work of the Civil Rights Movement: both are functions of transformative civic education inside and outside of classrooms, transformative media communication, and transformative political education and policy. Both are founded upon honor and enforcement of historical legislative victories. For Civil Rights, the 1868 14th Amendment to the US Constitution promised equal protection under the law and was willfully ignored.
Ending war is founded upon the 1945 legislative victory of the United Nations Charter (UN). War is illegal, except under a narrow legal definition of self-defense from another nation’s armed attack until the UN Security Council (UNSC) can act. I cite expert testimony to explain the "emperor has no clothes," and cite the law compared with the evidence for everyone to understand here. Obviously, the US is in violation.
The UNSC issued two Resolutions requiring international cooperation under the law to discover, arrest, and bring to full justice the criminals who executed the terrorist act of 9/11. The US refused Afghanistan’s request for evidence of Osama bin Laden’s complicity before extradition could begin, and initiated war upon Afghanistan.
The US violated a standing UNSC Resolution of ceasefire in Iraq that only the UNSC has authority to lift, and initiated war upon Iraq. For those concerned with UN authority, know that the UN Charter is legally binding in one area only: Wars of Aggression, are unlawful. For detailed explanation of this legislative victory of World War 2, read the above two links.
The National Iranian Drilling Company (NIDC) has offered to assist the US in efforts to prevent an ecological disaster caused by the spreading oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
Following an explosion on a BP-operated oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico last month, at least 210,000 gallons (5,000 barrels) of crude oil are thought to be spilling into the water every day.
NIDC managing director Heidar Bahmani announced the firm's readiness to use its decades-long expertise to fight the oil slick, the company's public relations office told Press TV.
"Our oil industry experts in the field of drilling can contain the rig leakage in the Gulf of Mexico and prevent an ecological disaster in that part of the world," Bahmani said. Read more.
Loose Lips on Iran Can Sink America
By Ray McGovern
The omnipresent World War II-era posters with the words “Loose Lips Sink Ships” served as a warning to members of the U.S. military to take heed lest they divulge information that could tip off the enemy and result in defeat in battle.
I believe we need a new poster, because loose lips can also sink whole countries — including our own.
This is a lesson that members of Congress and Washington's media honchos should have learned from the disastrous invasion of Iraq; especially the ones whose lips helped President George W. Bush portray Saddam Hussein as a monster bristling with “weapons of mass destruction.”
In that time frame, of course, cooperating with Bush was “the smart play” for one’s career, even for many Democrats and liberal opinion leaders. But those politicians and pundits now should share responsibility for having allowed Bush to mislead the nation into a war that has maimed and killed thousands of American soldiers, not to mention hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians, with millions more driven from their homes into fetid refugee camps.
The complicit lawmakers also helped sail the American ship of state into a vast iceberg of debt.
In Washington, however, holding such powerful people accountable has become what former White House counsel and then Attorney General, Alberto Gonzales, would call “quaint” or “obsolete” — like adhering to the Geneva Conventions.
But wait; unless our Constitution has been relegated to the same status, we do have a chance every two years to make a judgment about politicians, whether they should continue to represent us or be driven from office. (Sadly, there’s less public leverage over the fate of pundits.)
Recently I have been looking on in disbelief as some of the same Democrats (and media personalities) who helped grease the skids for the unnecessary, unprovoked attack on Iraq, are doing a reprise — changing the script from Iraq to Iran.
Using war propaganda to effect the public opinion in favor of a war of choice
An analysis of the war propaganda used by the Bush administration before, during and after the military intervention in Iraq and a comparison with the war propaganda used on Iran.
This paper discusses the effect of propaganda on public opinion in gaining support and legitimacy before, during and after military interventions in a ‘war of choice.’ The main subject of this paper is the use of propaganda by states in order to introduce a political narrative with which governments can gain public support in waging a ‘war of choice’, even when the political narrative is not based on facts.
The case of the Iraq war is used to support this argument. The main question posed in this paper is whether the US is using the same type of propaganda to gain public support in case of a possible military intervention in Iran. Studies of the US public opinion and theories on propaganda, such as Anne Morelli’s ‘Elementary principles of war propaganda’ is used in order to analyze the current political and military strategy on influencing public opinion in favor of a war of choice. Read more.
You won't like the reason. This story was one of several that James Risen printed in the same book that forced the Times to finally print his warrantless spying story. And now the DOJ is demanding to know Risen's sources. This was actual journalism, unlike Judith Miller's war propaganda. It will be interesting to see if it plays out the same way.
Correction from Marcy Wheeler: "They mentioned the Merlin story the LAST time Risen was subpoenaed in 2008 (story by Shenon)."
But that's the same reason for finally touching the story; I just missed that one.
Iran a Threat? I Mean, Really?
By Ray McGovern
With all the current hype about the “threat” from Iran, it is time to review the record—and especially the significant bits and pieces that find neither ink nor air in our Israel-friendly, Fawning Corporate Media (FCM).
First, on the chance you missed it, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has said publicly that Iran “doesn't directly threaten the United States.” Her momentary lapse came while answering a question at the U.S.-Islamic World Forum in Doha, Qatar, on Feb. 14.
Fortunately for her, most of her FCM (Fawning Corporate Media) fellow travelers must have been either jet-lagged or sunning themselves poolside when she made her unusual admission. And those who were present did Clinton the favor of disappearing her gaffe and ignoring its significance. (All one happy traveling family, you know.)
But she said it. It’s on the State Department Web site. Those who had been poolside could have read the text after showering. They might have recognized a real story there. Granted, the substance was so off-message that it would probably not have been welcomed by editors back home.
In a rambling comment, Clinton had charged (incorrectly) that, despite President Barack Obama’s reaching out to the Iranian leaders, he had elicited no sign they were willing to engage:
“Part of the goal -- not the only goal, but part of the goal -- that we were pursuing was to try to influence the Iranian decision regarding whether or not to pursue a nuclear weapon. And, as I said in my speech, you know, the evidence is accumulating that that [pursuing a nuclear weapon] is exactly what they are trying to do, which is deeply concerning, because it doesn't directly threaten the United States, but it directly threatens a lot of our friends, allies, and partners here in this region and beyond.” (Emphasis added)
U.S. Nuclear Option on Iran Linked to Israeli Attack Threat
By Gareth Porter | IPS
The Barack Obama administration's declaration in its Nuclear Posture Review (NPR) that it is reserving the right to use nuclear weapons against Iran represents a new element in a strategy of persuading Tehran that an Israeli attack on Iranian nuclear sites is a serious possibility if Iran does not bow to the demand that it cease uranium enrichment.
Although administration officials have carefully refrained from drawing any direct connection between the new nuclear option and the Israeli threat, the NPR broadens the range of contingencies in which nuclear weapons might play a role so as to include an Iranian military response to an Israeli attack.
A war involving Iran that begins with an Israeli attack is the only plausible scenario that would fit the category of contingencies in the document.
The NPR describes the role of U.S. nuclear weapons in those contingencies as a "deterrent". A strategy of exploiting the Israeli threat to attack Iran would seek to deter an Iranian response to such an attack and thus make it more plausible. Read more.
Pentagon Claims Iran ‘Continues’ Nuclear Weapons Program
Admits No Evidence They Have Even Decided to Make Them
By Jason Ditz | AntiWar
Accusing Iran of working on a nuclear weapon is something done with very little ceremony, its almost a matter of course for most US officials when discussing the nation. So much so, it seems, that they don’t even proof their own reports to make sure they’re internally consistent in that regard.
So it seems a bit strange when the Pentagon made the usual accusations and simultaneously insisted that they haven’t even determined if Iran has decided to make such a weapon.
Iran has been working to expand their civilian nuclear program for quite some time, and it is this program which is being cited exclusively in the claims about Iran’s non-existent “nuclear weapons” ambitions. Yet the IAEA continues to verify the non-diversion of nuclear materials from this program, and none of this uranium is being enriched beyond 20 percent, with most only being enriched to 3.5 percent. Nuclear weapons, to compare, would require 90+ percent enriched uranium. Read more.
Iran's role in the reconstruction and development of Afghanistan has gained significance after delivering more than $350 million in aid on civil projects.
Since 2001 Iran has provided more than 350 million dollars in aid to Afghanistan. These contributions made Iran one of the major donor states after the removal of the Taliban in 2001, a Press TV correspondent reported Thursday.
Most of the aid has been spent on building roads across the country. The Dogharun-Herat trade route is one of Iran's major projects. The 123-kilometer road was built at an estimated cost of 60 million dollars. The road is now a major trade route between Iran and Afghanistan.
“Our construction efforts are under way. We are investing heavily in road building projects as well as welfare and energy,” Iran's Ambassador to Kabul, Fada Hossein Maleki, said.
The contribution of Iran has always been welcomed by the Afghans. However, experts say some of the projects have not been implemented well because of inexperienced Afghan workers. Read more.
By Dave Lindorff
Just yesterday, the Wall Street Journal had a lead story about Israeli planning to possibly “go it alone” in an attack on Iran if the US were not to “succeed” in its diplomatic efforts to get Iran to “stop” it’s alleged attempts to develop a nuclear weapon capability.
Aside from the fact that there is no hard evidence that Iran is trying to make a nuclear bomb or even to refine uranium to obtain nuclear-grade material, the paper ignored one crucial point: Israel cannot “go it alone” in any strike on Iran, since its key weapons--American fighter-bombers--are supplied to it, and kept flying, thanks to the equipment and spare parts provided by the United States. Indeed the entire Israeli military machine is largely financed and armed by the US.
Talks Continue as US Insists Iran Sanctions ‘Urgent’
Iran to Press US, Britain on NPT Violations
by Jason Ditz | Reprinted in entirety courtesy of AntiWar.com
Another round of P5+1 talks on Iran sanctions was held today, with French officials touting the talks as “moving forward” and insisting that all the nations were “on board.”
The claim was of course in direct contradiction to comments made by China only yesterday that they most assuredly are not in favor of sanctions, and they reiterated today that all they came out of the meeting with was an understanding of the other nations’ positions.
The US State Department reiterated its position today that the need for sanctions was “urgent” and the Obama Administration has indicated that they must have them in place within a matter of weeks. Despite this alleged urgency, officials concede Iran would likely not be able to produce a single deliverable atomic weapon for as many as six years, and that they still are not even attempting the production of any weapons grade uranium.
The US claims that Iran is in violation of the nuclear non-proliferation treaty (NPT), a claim which it has yet to support with concrete evidence. But Iran appears poised to use the upcoming NPT talks to show that these issues work both ways. Reportedly, Iranian officials are planning to press allegations that both the US and Britain are in violation of their own NPT commitments.
Iran has urged the United Nations to undertake a probe to find out the actual reasons for the U.S.-led Western military intervention in Iraq and Afghanistan, the U.N. Secretary- General's office said on Tuesday.
Ban ki-Moon's office confirmed that it had received a letter from Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad urging the world body to set up a fact-finding team for the purpose, but declined comment.
Ahmadinejad sought to portray the military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan against a historical backdrop saying invasions only served to victimise people in the region and alleged that U.S. and NATO tactics used in fightng terrorism were a resounding failure. Read more.
By Dave Lindorff
If you’re like me, now that we’re in the week that federal income taxes are due, you are finally starting to collect your records and prepare for the ordeal. Either way, whether you are a procrastinator like me, or have already finished and know how much you have paid to the government, it is a good time to stop and consider how much of your money goes to pay for our bloated and largely useless and pointless military.
The budget for the 2011 fiscal year, which has to be voted by Congress by this Oct. 1, looks to be about $3 trillion, not counting the funds collected for Social Security (since the Vietnam War, the government has included the Social Security Trust Fund in the budget as a way to make the cost of America’s imperial military adventures seem smaller in comparison to the total cost of government). Meanwhile, the military share of the budget works out to about $1.6 trillion.
Israel’s Netanyahu Blows Off Obama’s Nuclear Summit
By Juan Cole | Informed Comment | Submitted by Michael Munk | www.MichaelMunk.com
The audience at the Southern Republican Leadership Conference is said to have gone wild with applause when Liz Cheney announced the decision of Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu not to attend next week’s nuclear summit, called by President Barack Obama....
Netanyahu’s government recently humiliated Vice President Joe Biden when he was on a state visit to that country recently by announcing the building of 1600 new household units on Palestinian West Bank territory that Israel had unilaterally annexed to its district of Jerusalem. The announcement scuttled the talks with the Palestine Authority, the beginning of which Biden had come to celebrate. The Palestinians, have sensibly decided that they will refuse to negotiate with people who are actively stealing from them the very territory that is at stake in the negotiations. The Israeli slap in the face to Biden caused a subsequent Netanyahu visit to Washington to turn into a fiasco, with President Obama making forceful demands on the wily Netanyahu, and then leaving him on his own devices for dinner....
But there is another possible explanation for Netanyahu staying away from a summit on nuclear security issues in Washington. It is that the Israeli prime minister is protesting a new White House policy of refusing visas to Israeli scientists, engineers and technicians who work at the Dimona Reactor/ nuclear bomb factory. Up until recently they had been free to attend technical and scientific conferences and pursue advanced classes at US universities. The visa denials were reported in the Israeli newspaper Maariv by Uri Binder on Wednesday April 7: “Nuclear Reactor Workers Not Wanted in United States.” It was translated by the USG Open Source Center. The article reports that Israeli workers at the Nuclear Research Center Negev (NRCN) in Dimona are complaining bitterly at the humiliation of being excluded from the US, saying the turn-downs are an “offense” against them “and their families.” (???) Moreover, the Dimona bomb plant is suddenly finding it difficult to import technical components and equipment from the United States. The restrictions, they say, are unprecedented. They also claim a double standard, alleging that the Obama administration is being “lenient” toward Iran. Read more.
Iran’s calls for N-free Mideast should be backed
From April 17-18, Iran intends to host a nuclear disarmament summit just four days after Washington concludes a nuclear security summit to which Tehran was not invited. Under the banner “Nuclear energy for everyone, nuclear arms for no one”, Iran calls for a nuclear-free Middle East and an end to nuclear proliferation globally.
Instead of singling out Iran, the world should rally behind this effort and give Iran the benefit of the doubt.
It’s ironic that the only nation that has ever used its nuclear weapons on an enemy, the US, in tandem with Israel, that refuses to disclose its own, is leading the charge against Iran’s fledgling program. As you know, in 1945, America dropped atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki killing up to 80,000 and leaving 230,000 injured or suffering from the effects of radiation.
In readjusting U.S. policy on when to launch a nuclear strike, President Barack Obama has repudiated the use of nukes against non-nuclear states with the exception of Iran, which he termed an “outlier” along with North Korea.
However, since North Korea already possesses at least a limited nuclear arsenal, Obama’s exception singles out Iran as the only non-nuclear-weapons state that faces a threatened nuclear attack from the United States.
“The Nuclear Posture Review states very clearly, if you are a non-nuclear weapons state that is compliant with the NPT [Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty], you have a negative assurance we will not be using nuclear weapons against you,” Obama told the New York Times on Monday, outlining his changes in American policy toward the use of nuclear weapons.
Iran is a signatory to the NPT and has vowed to use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes only, but has not complied with some punitive resolutions that the United States has pushed through the United Nations Security Council. Iran also is in apparent technical violation of some requirements of the International Atomic Energy Agency.
For instance, Iran has been criticized for failing to disclose a planned enrichment site near Qum before construction began. Iran revealed the site last September, arguing that the disclosure was adequate since the plant was not operational, but the delay appeared to fall short of the IAEA rules.
Thus, In Obama's view, Iran is not "compliant" and can still be targeted for nuclear annihilation by the United States. Read more.
Normally, if two countries with powerful nuclear arsenals were openly musing about attacking a third country over mere suspicions that it might want to join the nuclear club, we’d tend to sympathize with the non-nuclear underdog as the victim of bullying and possible aggression.
You might think that – unless you were told that the two nuclear-armed countries are Israel and the United States and the non-nuclear country is Iran. Then, different rules apply, especially it seems in leading American news outlets like the New York Times.
In what reads like a replay of the run-up to the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, the Times and other major U.S. news media appear onboard for war, again happy to make the likely aggressors the “victims,” and to turn the prospect of a bloody conflict in a Muslim country into a parlor game.
Indeed, the New York Times on March 28 presented the idea of “imagining a strike on Iran” as “Washington’s grimmest but most urgent parlor game,” assessing how a military strike by Israel, “acting on its fears that Iran threatens its existence,” would play out. Read more.
by Linda Milazzo
(This article is based on one that will appear in the upcoming May/June 2010 issue of the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs: http://www.wrmea.com)
Sunday, March 14, 2010, ushered in two welcome events to Southern California: the inauguration of the headquarters of the bustling Winograd For Congress primary campaign, and an extra hour of daylight to help Marcy Winograd’s swarm of supporters evict Jane Harman, the wealthiest Democrat in Congress, from her eight-term seat in the House.
Photo by Linda Milazzo
United for Peace of Pierce County published alarming news of US military preparations for an attack on Iran's nuclear facilities.
Scotland's Sunday Herald published "Final Destination Iran" reporting that "Hundreds of powerful U.S. 'bunker-buster' bombs are being shipped from California to the British island of Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean in preparation for a possible attack on Iran." -- "Contract details for the shipment to Diego Garcia were posted on an international tenders’ website by the U.S. Navy," Rob Edwards said. -- "A shipping company based in Florida, Superior Maritime Services, will be paid $699,500 to carry many thousands of military items from Concord, California, to Diego Garcia. -- Crucially, the cargo includes 195 smart, guided, Blu-110 bombs and 192 massive 2000lb Blu-117 bombs. -- 'They are gearing up totally for the destruction of Iran,' said Dan Plesch, director of the Centre for International Studies and Diplomacy at the University of London, co-author of a recent study on US preparations for an attack on Iran." -- Iran's Press TV summarized the report on Monday but added no new information. ...
Around the world, anti-war activists are preparing for major protests this spring to oppose the continuing U.S.-led occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan. Meanwhile, a storm of developments is dramatically increasing tensions between the United States and the Islamic Republic of Iran. In response, the Campaign Against Sanctions and Military Intervention in Iran (CASMII) is issuing this appeal to the anti-war movements in the United States, United Kingdom and other countries to raise the demands of “No war, no sanctions, no internal interference in Iran!”
Iran is a country that hasn’t attacked a neighbor in more than 200 years. Even when Saddam Hussein invaded Iran after the 1979 Revolution and, with support from the West, used chemical weapons against both civilians and combatants, the Islamic Republic did not retaliate in kind. And yet the U.S. government claims that Iran represents a serious threat to the Middle East region and the entire world. Without a shred of evidence, the U.S. charges that Iran's program to develop nuclear power for peaceful energy purposes is just a cover to develop nuclear weapons. Never mentioned is the fact that, as a signatory to the U.N.'s Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, Iran's right to develop nuclear energy is enshrined in international law. Just a few months ago, the U.N's International Atomic Energy Chief, Mohammed ElBardai, the person responsible for monitoring compliance with that treaty, stated that “Nobody is sitting in Iran today developing nuclear weapons. Tehran doesn’t have an ongoing nuclear weapons program. But somehow, everyone in the West is talking about how Iran’s nuclear program is the greatest threat to the world.” (Interview with the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, Sept. 2009) Instead, warning of world disaster if Iran should succeed in its imaginary goal of obtaining nuclear arms, Washington argues that Iran must be forcefully brought to its knees, through a combination of increasingly crippling sanctions, taking advantage of Iran's internal divisions and preparing for a possible military attack.
Consider these recent developments:
• The U.S has been pressuring the permanent members of the U.N. Security Council to impose a fourth and more severe round of sanctions against Iran. The only real holdout has been the People's Republic of China, which in January held the council's revolving presidency. On Feb. 1, however, the president's seat passed to France, which is nearly as hostile to Iran's nuclear program as is the U.S. (France itself, by the way, relies on nuclear power for 80 percent of its own energy needs.) The Security Council’s permanent members, including China and Russia, have never been a real barrier for the US. Not only has the council already approved three rounds of sanctions against Iran, but the Obama Administration is now talking of “bypassing” the U.N. in its latest push for sanctions. While sanctions are often promoted as an alternative to war, the world now knows that the sanctions imposed by the U.N. against Iraq during the first Persian Gulf War resulted in the deaths of up to 1.5 million Iraqis, a third of them children.
Taboo Thwarts Candor on Israel/Iran
By Ray McGovern
Participants at an otherwise informative discussion on “Iran at a Crossroads” at the Senate on Wednesday seemed at pains to barricade the doors against the proverbial elephant being admitted into the room — in this case, Israel.
This, despite the fact that the agenda virtually dictated that the elephant be allowed in. The cavernous hearing room also could have accommodated it — however awkward and untidy the atmosphere might have become.
Otherwise, as was entirely predictable, the discussion would be lacking a crucial element. Which is exactly what happened. Which is exactly what always happens.
The tongue-tied impediment displayed by some of the presenters can be chalked up mostly to the all-too-familiar timidity on Capitol Hill to countenance candid discussion of any issue on which Israel can be revealed to be a fly in the ointment.
Sen. Carl Levin, D-Michigan, obtained use of the hearing room for the organizers of the discussion, the thoroughly professional National Iranian American Council headed by Professor Trita Parsi. This is to Levin’s credit, in my view.
At the same time, Sen. Levin holds the all-time-high record for PAC contributions from groups affiliated with the self-described “America’s Pro-Israel Lobby” — the powerful American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). I’m guessing that Levin’s office may have asked that some caution be exercised, so that it would be difficult for Fox News to misrepresent the proceedings as “Israel bashing.”
Setting the Stage
Iran's hard-line President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Saturday called the official version of the Sept. 11 attacks a "big lie" used by the U.S. as an excuse for the war on terror, state media reported.
Ahmadinejad's comments, made during an address to Intelligence Ministry staff, come amid escalating tensions between the West and Tehran over its disputed nuclear program. They show that Iran has no intention of toning itself down even with tighter sanctions looming because of its refusal to halt uranium enrichment.
"September 11 was a big lie and a pretext for the war on terror and a prelude to invading Afghanistan," Ahmadinejad was quoted as saying by state TV. He called the attacks a "complicated intelligence scenario and act." Read more.
By Ray McGovern
Adm. Mike Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, came home with sweaty palms from his mid-February visit to Israel. He has been worrying aloud that Israel will mousetrap the U.S. into war with Iran.
This is of particular concern because Mullen has had considerable experience in putting the brakes on such Israeli plans in the past. This time, he appears convinced that the Israeli leaders did not take his warnings seriously—notwithstanding the unusually strong language he put into play.
Upon arrival in Jerusalem on February 14, Mullen wasted no time in making clear why he had come. He insisted publicly that an attack on Iran would be “a big, big, big problem for all of us, and I worry a great deal about the unintended consequences.”
Michael Munk remarked about the article below: "This is a serious consequence of the hysterical coverage of Iran in the US MSM, it's just like most Americans were similarly bamboozled into believing about Iraq before the invasion."
Seven in 10 Americans believe that Iran currently has nuclear weapons, according to a new national poll.
Friday's release of the CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey comes just hours after Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said the Islamic republic isn't seeking and doesn't believe in pursuing nuclear weapons. Khamenei was responding to a draft United Nations report that said that Iran may be working to develop a nuclear weapon.
The poll indicates that 71 percent of the public says Iran has nuclear weapons, with just over one in four disagreeing. More than six in ten think the U.S. should take economic and diplomatic efforts to get Iran to shut down their nuclear program, with only a quarter calling for immediate military action. Full results (pdf). Read more.
MS. CLINTON SAYS IRAN HEADED FOR “MILITARY DICTATORSHIP”
By Sherwood Ross
Well may Secretary of State Hillary Clinton warn students in Qatar that “Iran is moving toward a military dictatorship.” She is, after all, an authority on the subject, representing a country where the Pentagon has long been ascendant. Her comment was followed up by Robert Gibbs, President Obama’s press secretary, who, at a February 16th news conference refused to deny the possibility of the U.S. taking military action against Iran, stating, “I wouldn’t rule out anything.” As anti-war activist David Swanson of AfterDowningStreet points out, this is “a public threat to engage in aggressive war...” The Charter of the United Nations forbids such threats, of course.
Writing for “Truthout,” Mark Weisbrot of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, of Washington, D.C., believes Ms. Clinton’s intent “is to promote conflict and to convince Americans that Iran is an actual threat to their security.” This has long been Clinton’s policy. During her presidential bid in 2008 she said she would be willing to use nuclear weapons against Iran if that country launched a nuclear attack on Israel.
Ms. Clinton finds it convenient to ring the fire bell warning that Iran is developing its first nuclear device when the U.S. is sitting on a stockpile of 12,000 such bombs, and ally Israel----which has rejected international monitoring and controls of its atomic arsenal---has an estimated 200 nukes. Former President Jimmy Carter writes “the United States has become the prime culprit in global nuclear proliferation”---yet, incredibly, Ms. Clinton is threatening Iran on this very issue.
Does Ms. Clinton expect gullible Americans to believe Iran might commit national suicide if it actually did make a nuclear weapon (Iran claims the development is for peaceful purposes) and then launched it in a war against Israel? Not only does Israel’s military power dwarf Iran, which has a military budget is $18 billion, but USA with an annual warfare budget of $700 billion, arms, equips, and stands right behind Israel.