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By Frida Berrigan and William D. Hartung, www.tompaine.com
Frida Berrigan and William D. Hartung are senior research associates at the World Policy Institute’s Arms Trade Resource Center.
The game of nuclear diplomacy between the U.S. and Iran continues, with the ball squarely in the Iran’s court. Last week, the United States abruptly shifted tactics and began to engage directly with European-led negotiation efforts aimed at convincing Iran to limit or end its nuclear activity. This week U.S. and European officials revealed that the U.S. has even offered Iran nuclear technology. In what is being viewed as an upset for administration hawks, the U.S. promised that Iran will be allowed to continue its enrichment program, as long as it agrees to first suspend all activity, so that it can “prove”—presumably through IAEA inspections—that its intentions are entirely civilian.
Sankichi Toge: Hibakusha (A-bomb survivor)
Sankichi Toge was born in Japan in 1917. He started writing poems at the age of eighteen. He was twenty-four when the A-bomb was dropped. He died at age thirty-six, a victim of leukemia resulting from the A-bomb. His first hand experience of the bomb, his passion for peace and his realistic insight into the event made him the leading Hiroshima poet in Japan.
By U.S. Labor Against the War
In the face of mounting international isolation, eroding popular support and growing discontent even within the U.S. political and corporate elites, the Bush Administration has put the nation and the world on a collision course with Iran. This new diversionary effort to manufacture a crisis could well lead to another act of military aggression that will needlessly sacrifice thousands more innocent civilian lives in Iran, result in hundreds or thousands of additional deaths among U.S. military forces, and raises the risk of escalating into a war that could spread across the Middle East and beyond to a confrontation with Russia, China and other major powers.
By GEORGE JAHN, Associated Press
VIENNA, Austria (AP) — In a major concession, the United States is prepared to provide Iran with some nuclear technology if it stops enriching uranium, diplomats said Tuesday.
The offer was part of a package of incentives presented to Tehran Tuesday by European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana, said the diplomats, who were familiar with the proposals.
UFPJ Talking Points 41
By Phyllis Bennis, Institute for Policy Studies
** The Bush administration's "offer" to join direct talks with Iran reflects Washington's international isolation on the Iran issue; the offer itself is simultaneously very significant and entirely fake.
** The U.S. is still trying to ratchet up international pressure against Iran - proposing an "antimissile shield" for Europe, still threatening a return to the UN Security Council and calling for a "coalition" to impose economic sanctions - but the split between the U.S. and Europe is rising, and the Bush administration looks increasingly desperate.
It is absurd to demand that Tehran should have made concessions before sitting down with the Americans
By Jonathan Steele, The Guardian
It is 50 years since the greatest misquotation of the cold war. At a Kremlin reception for western ambassadors in 1956, the Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev announced: "We will bury you." Those four words were seized on by American hawks as proof of aggressive Soviet intent.
By SCOTT SONNER, ASSOCIATED PRESS
RENO, Nev. (AP) - Tribal leaders were among about 50 protesters who rallied Saturday against an experiment at the Nevada Test Site they fear will produce a massive explosion that will spread radioactivity across the West.
The protest is aimed at the federal government's proposed "Divine Strake" project, the detonation of 700 tons of explosives in an experiment designed to study ground motion and shock waves set off by bombs.
By Andrew Lichterman via DisarmamentActivist.org
Sunday, I was at the Nevada Test Site, speaking at a demonstration against Divine Strake, a high explosive test that will detonate 700 tons of high explosive to simulate the effects of a low-yield nuclear explosion. One of the main points of my talk there was that mainstream debate about U.S. weapons programs remains largely confined to how best to pursue military dominance in service of what really is a global empire. Whether either empire or the use of overwhelming violence to sustain it are acceptable remains well outside the realm of “reasonable” discussion.
By Ed Kociela, http://www.thespectrum.com
The talking heads on the news channels seemed stunned at the announcement that the United States has agreed to meet, face-to-face, with Iran over its nuclear program if it first agrees to put its development programs on the shelf.
What happened, quite simply, is somebody walked into the Oval Office, tapped the president on the shoulder and offered him the simple math: one plus zero equals a coalition of one.
By Warren Hoge, New York Times
United Nations - Hans Blix, the former chief United Nations weapons inspector, said today that American unwillingness to cooperate in international arms agreements was undermining the effectiveness of efforts to curb nuclear weapons.
Saying it was essential that Washington act to end the stagnation of arms limitation, Mr. Blix said: "If it takes the lead, the world is likely to follow. If it does not take the lead, there could be more nuclear tests and new nuclear arms races."
By Stephen Lendman
It may be a new month, but it's the same old Wall Street Journal trumpeting the latest US gambit designed to hide its real intentions toward Iran. Again it was in a front page feature story on June 1 headlined: "In Shift, U.S. Offers to Talk to Iran, Aiming to Bolster Allies' Cohesion." The WSJ is never up to explaining the real motive behind the latest ploy and instead falsely claims it's "a nod to European allies' desire to offer carrots as well as sticks to steer Iran away from its efforts to produce weapons-grade uranium." So to achieve that supposed end, the US has now said it will join with the European-led "negotiations" currently ongoing and actually talk to the Iranians. One has to be impressed with such professed generosity, which, in fact, is just more barely disguised US audacity with a heavy dose of mendacity.
The Spectrum, UT
When trust has been broken, restoring it can be an astronomical feat as Southern Utah residents and the federal Defense Threat Reduction Agency have jointly discovered.
Anti-nuclear activists, Downwinders, the Winnemucca Indian Colony and Utah and Nevada congressional lawmakers diligently pressed the government to address health and safety concerns surrounding the detonation of the non-nuclear, 700-ton ammonium nitrate and fuel oil bomb called Divine Strake.
By Dilip Hiro
George Bush described Washington's decision to join the European Union troika - Britain, France and Germany - in its talks with Iran on the nuclear issue provided Tehran suspended its enrichment and reprocessing activities, as "robust diplomacy".
In reality Bush's move is more an example of spin rather than a grand diplomatic gesture.
For over a year the US has been actively involved in the EU Iran talks. It was at Washington's insistence that the EU troika reneged on its promise to include supply of a light water civilian nuclear power plant to Tehran in the package that it offered Iran last August. The Iranians were so angered by the reneging on this issue they concluded that the Europeans were negotiating in bad faith.
The Guardian, Letters
John Pilger notes that Diego Garcia is likely to be involved in any US attack on Iran (Out of Eden, G2, May 29). The point is worth expanding.
The US bases on Diego Garcia and in Fairford, Gloucestershire, are two of only four bases worldwide that possess the specialised servicing equipment needed by the B2 bombers that would play a key role in any such attack. The infamous July 2002 "Downing Street memo" concerning US war plans for Iraq noted that the US "saw basing in Diego Garcia" as "critical". And this March, B2 bombers were spotted at Fairford in what was likely an exercise to familiarise crews with the details of combat operations from a new base.
By GEORGE JAHN, Associated Press
VIENNA, Austria - Six world powers agreed Thursday on a "significant" package of incentives to convince Iran to halt its uranium enrichment program, British Foreign Secretary Margaret Becket said.
"I am pleased to say we have agreed (on) a set of far-reaching proposals," she said. "We believe they offer Iran the chance to reach a negotiated agreement based on cooperation."
Cosponsors: Conyers, Baldwin, McGovern, and Payne
HRES 846 IH
H. RES. 846
Requesting the President and directing the Secretary of State to provide to the House of Representatives certain documents in their possession relating to strategies and plans either designed to cause regime change in or for the use of military force against Iran.
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
By BRIAN PASSEY, The Spectrum, UT
ST. GEORGE - When nearly 40 protesters crossed onto the Nevada Test Site during a Sunday demonstration against Divine Strake, James P. McMahon of Brookside was among those temporally detained and cited for trespassing on federal land.
"I think that crossing the line at the Nevada Test Site is the most important thing I've done in a long time," he said Monday. "There comes a time when you have to stand up for what you believe in and what your principles are."
By Robert C. Koehler, Tribune Media Services
That "perfectly safe" mushroom cloud that was supposed to rise 10,000 feet over the Nevada Test Site this month will have to remain a mere gleam in Donald Rumsfeld's eye for the time being.
The security state, which had planned to jump-start its WMD program with a supposedly conventional explosion large enough to mimic the effects of a small nuclear weapon, has run smack into the ghosts of its own fraudulent past. The citizens downwind of the test site, the furious sons and daughters of the victims of earlier testing and earlier lies, have forced the government to regroup.
Monterey, California - Iran does not pose an immediate nuclear threat and the world must act cautiously to avoid repeating mistakes made with Iraq and North Korea, the head of the U.N. nuclear watchdog agency said on Tuesday.
Mohamed ElBaradei, director of the International Atomic Energy Agency, said the world shouldn't "jump the gun" with erroneous information as he said the U.S.-led coalition did in Iraq in 2003, nor should it push the country into retaliation as international sanctions did in North Korea.
By Deanna Taylor
See links to photos below each heading. See link to Salt Lake solidarity vigil here.
As reported via phone post, the Stop the Divine Strake Action is over and is considered to have been a highly productive and successful event. People came from as far away as Pennsylvania to attend the action.
MERCURY, Nev. (AP) - About 300 anti-nuclear demonstrators gathered at the Nevada Test Site to celebrate the indefinite postponement of a massive explosion that they feared would spread radioactivity across the West.
About 70 people were cited for trespassing during Sunday's gathering, said Peggy Maze Johnson, executive director of the Nevada environmental group Citizen Alert, which co-sponsored the event.
KLASTV.com Las Vegas
A huge test explosion was set to take place next month, 90 miles north of Las Vegas. But the project was pushed back and finally indefinitely postponed. Today, opponents celebrated.
Opponents said the 700-ton blast would send a mushroom cloud into the sky and possibly spread radioactive dust from previous nuclear experiments. Today was supposed to be a protest against the test. But instead it was a low key celebration.
Hundreds gather in Nevada desert in further protest of Divine Strake
Some demonstrators cross the boundary Sunday into the Nevada Test Site in protest of Divine Strake. More than 200 people protested against the planned bomb test and what they say is a violation of a treaty with the Western Shoshone. Pierre Morton, 3, of Las Vegas, yells, "Don't drop the bomb," Sunday during a protest against the Divine Strake bomb test on the border of the Nevada Test Site at Mercury, Nev.
By Laura Rozen, Los Angeles Times
Washington - Amid concern that the US is drifting toward eventual confrontation with Iran, a growing number of influential statesmen, Republican senators and foreign policy experts are stepping up pressure on the Bush administration to consider doing what no US administration has done in 27 years: talk directly with Iran.
In recent congressional hearings, think-tank conferences, op-ed essays and media appearances, Republican heavyweights - including former Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger, Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Richard G. Lugar (R-Ind.) and Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.) - have publicly urged the administration to leave the current path of escalation and join European allies in direct talks with Tehran.
By Associated Press
The federal government has indefinitely postponed a planned explosion that was expected to generate a mushroom cloud over the Nevada desert.
Officials say the delay will allow more time to answer questions about the blast -- which opponents fear would kick up radioactive fallout left from nuclear weapons tests conducted at the Nevada Test Site (about 85 miles northwest of Las Vegas).
By Will Dunham, Reuters
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Pentagon's plan for a massive detonation of conventional high explosives in Nevada to test the effectiveness of weapons against deeply buried targets has been postponed indefinitely, officials said on Thursday.
The National Nuclear Security Administration, part of the Energy Department, said it was withdrawing its finding that the planned detonation of 700 tonnes of ammonium nitrate and fuel oil in the Nevada desert would cause "no significant" environmental impact, the agency said.
Feds postpone test indefinitely to double-check the risks
By Robert Gehrke, The Salt Lake Tribune
WASHINGTON - Divine Strake, a massive explosives test originally planned for next month at the Nevada Test Site, has been put on hold.
The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) said Friday it was postponing the test - which entails detonation of 700 tons of explosives - so it can reassess the potential for radioactive contaminants left in the ground from earlier nuclear tests becoming airborne.
Tom Barry, http://rightweb.irc-online.org
At a time when the Republican Party is divided on immigration reform and when the Democrats and the Republicans are positioning themselves for the mid-term elections on such issues as gay marriage, Congress is demonstrating alarming bipartisan unity on Iran.
On April 27 the House of Representatives passed the Iran Freedom Support Act by a vote of 397 to 21. The bill tightens sanctions imposed on Iran under the Iran Libya Sanctions Act (ILSA) of 1996 and tightens sanctions on companies that invest in the country's energy industries. The bill would make U.S. sanctions against Iran under ILSA permanent unless there is a change of government in Iran.
Le Nouvel Observateur, translation www.truthout.org
The IAEA director deems that the great powers must choose between renouncing nuclear weapons and accepting eventual proliferation.
The United States and the other powers refusing to renounce their nuclear arsenals thus encourage other countries to follow their example, and the world could soon have to face a multitude of countries endowed with nuclear weapons, Mohamed ElBaradei warned Thursday, May 26.
Ambassador says Iran must be part of solution on nuclear issue.
United Nations - Iran's ambassador to the United Nations said Tehran wants to work directly with the United States on an "easily attainable" resolution, if Washington drops "the intimidation tactics."
Ambassador Mohammad Javad Zarif's statement came the day after the International Atomic Energy Agency pleaded with Iran to continue talks with European nations that want to offer it incentives in exchange for ending its nuclear-enrichment program.