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Bush Wrongfooted as Iran Steps up International Charm Offensive

By Simon Tisdall, Guardian / UK

Bush administration officials like to describe Iran as a country isolated from the outside world. Its outlaw government's policies, and especially its nuclear activities, have earned it the distrust of the international community, the fear of its neighbours and, they say, the rightful label of a "rogue state".

But in recent weeks, as Tehran's uranium enrichment dispute with the US, Britain and other western European countries has moved towards a denouement, Iran's president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, has launched an energetic diplomatic counter-offensive. Defying US containment efforts, Iran is pursuing its own policy of regional engagement. And to Washington's growing unease, it seems to be working.

Albright: Iraq Invasion Encouraged Others

Associated Press

Moscow - Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright criticized the U.S. invasion of Iraq, saying Monday it had encouraged Iran and North Korea to push ahead with their nuclear programs.

Albright, who served under President Clinton, said "the message out of Iraq is the wrong one."

"The message out of Iraq is that if you don't have nuclear weapons, you get invaded. If you do have nuclear weapons, you don't get invaded," she said after an investors' conference in Moscow.

A Negotiated Solution to the Iranian Nuclear Crisis is Within Reach

The US must take three basic steps to defuse this confrontation. The consequences of not doing so could be grim
By Noam Chomsky, Guardian/UK

The urgency of halting the proliferation of nuclear weapons, and moving toward their elimination, could hardly be greater. Failure to do so is almost certain to lead to grim consequences, even the end of biology's only experiment with higher intelligence. As threatening as the crisis is, the means exist to defuse it.

Iranian Peace Offers

Institute for Public Accuracy
915 National Press Building, Washington, D.C. 20045
(202) 347-0020 * http://www.accuracy.org * ipa@accuracy.org

Sunday's Financial Times story "Iran 'Ready To Limit Nuclear
Programme'" reports that "Iran's leadership is ready to limit its
nuclear programme but will not suspend uranium enrichment as a
precondition for talks, two regime insiders have told the Financial

Rep. Duncan Hunter Says Congress Irrelevant, Attack on Iran OK

From Hardball

MR. MATTHEWS: Let me ask you gentlemen both to look forward, not back, for a second here. A lot of Americans are worried about Iran and what we're going to do over there, if anything.

Does the president have to come to Congress for approval in advance if he's planning to attack Iran's nuclear potential?

Congressman Hunter.

REP. HUNTER: I think absent an absolute emergency he's got to have a heavy consultation with Congress --

Kanab rally decries possible risks of blast

Divine Strake: Locals say the Nevada weapons test may create a new group of downwinders
By Mark Havnes, The Salt Lake Tribune

KANAB - St. George resident Michelle Thomas was born at the beginning of nuclear-weapons testing at the Nevada Test Site in 1951. She has seen friends and family members die from what she attributes to the effects of radiation fallout from those explosions.

She talked about her experiences - and those of her mother, who never trusted the government's assurances of safety - at a rally Saturday at the Kanab City Library. She opposes plans for a non-nuclear blast - known as Divine Strake - planned for the test site later this year.

"Divine Strake" Blast Possible By September

KBCI News, ID
By Editorial Staff

Boise, ID -
If the U.S. Government plans to reschedule a controversial explosion at a remote government test site, it won't happen before September.

That is what a lawyer for the U.S. Department of Justice told a federal judge in Las Vegas about the proposed test blast of 700 tons of explosives at the Nevada Test Site.

The government wants to conduct the test to improve the weapons in the U.S. arsenal aimed at destroying hardened underground targets. The test blast, called "Divine Strake" has generated protests from Native American Indian Tribes, anti-nuclear groups, as well as "down-winders." They have all expressed concerns that detonation of that much explosive material could throw radioactive debris, left over the 1950's atomic bomb tests, into the atmosphere.

Letter: Nothing ’divine’ about this test

The Westborough News, MA

To the Editor:

In the midst of media attention to possible war crimes in Haditha, the continued war in Iraq, and publicity about Iran, an upcoming event of serious import is largely being missed.

On June 23, the oddly named Divine Strake, is scheduled at the Nevada Test Site. While the test is non-nuclear, 700 tons of chemical explosives will be detonated at the site, an area heavily contaminated from years of previous nuclear testing. The purpose of the test is to simulate a low yield nuclear weapon. Although proclaimed "safe," there is a real risk of spewing radioactive contamination into the atmosphere.

Government: September or later for mushroom cloud blast in Nevada

By Ken Ritter, ASSOCIATED PRESS

LAS VEGAS – A non-nuclear explosion expected to cast the first mushroom cloud over the Nevada desert in decades won't happen at least until September, a government lawyer told a federal judge Friday.

The “Divine Strake” defense experiment “will not occur due to weather reasons during July or August,” Justice Department lawyer Carolyn Blanco in Washington told U.S. District Judge Lloyd George in Las Vegas during a telephonic hearing.

Right Against War with Iran

Coalition for a Realistic Foreign Policy Presents:

Right Against War with Iran

The speakers include:

Chuck Pena (Coalition for a Realistic Foreign Policy):
"Refocusing the War on Terrorism"

Ivan Eland (Independent Institute)
“The United States Might Have to Accept a Nuclear Iran.”

Phil Giraldi (former CIA officer, contributing editor, The American Conservative):
"Iran: Same Bad Intelligence, Same Catastrophic Results"

The Iran Crisis: Fact vs. Fiction

Event in New York on June 21, 2006
Organized by Campaign Against Sanctions and Military Intervention in Iran

Three years ago we were misled into an invasion of Iraq, with 2500 US soldiers and hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians killed. The drums are beating yet again as the Bush Administration relentlessly pursues a new crisis with another oil-rich Middle Eastern nation, Iran.

Two Very Encouraging Steps in the Senate Last Week

www.unitedforpeace.org

-- A dangerous amendment on Iran, introduced by Sen. Santorum was defeated. It supported the concept of regime change in Iran. The vote was 45-54. All Democrats voted against it except: Wyden, Nelson, Lieberman, Conrad, Bayh
15 Republicans voted against it: Alexander, Bennett, Chafee,Cochran, Enzi,Gregg, hagel, Lugar, McCain, Shelby, Smith, Specter, Thomas, Warner

WOULD WAR WITH IRAN HELP OR HURT U.S. NATIONAL SECURITY?

Congressional Progressive Caucus
“64 Strong and Growing”

PROGRESSIVE CAUCUS CO-CHAIRS AND MEMBERS TO HOST SECOND IN SERIES OF PUBLIC FORUMS AND AD HOC HEARINGS: WOULD WAR WITH IRAN HELP OR HURT U.S. NATIONAL SECURITY?

Who: Progressive Caucus Co-Chairwomen Barbara Lee and Lynn Woolsey, and U.S. Representatives Peter DeFazio and Dennis Kucinich, and additional Progressive Caucus Members hosting:

Pentagon confirms Iranian directorate as officials raise new concerns about war

By Larisa Alexandrovna, http://www.rawstory.com

Current military and former intelligence officials remain concerned about a US-led strike on Iran, despite the recent appearance of diplomacy on the part of the US State Department and the offer of an incentives package to Iran.

Officials point to new developments, such as a recent meeting in Rome between an Iranian arms dealer and controversial neoconservative Michael Ledeen and the March creation of the Iranian directorate inside the Pentagon, as examples of recent events similar to the lead up with war in Iraq.

US Seen as a Bigger Threat to Peace Than Iran, Worldwide Poll Suggests

Published on Thursday, June 15, 2006 by the Guardian / UK
· Findings also show fall in support for war on terror
· Decline in America's image 'all to do with Iraq'
By Ewen MacAskill

George Bush's six years in office have so damaged the image of the US that people worldwide see Washington as a bigger threat to world peace than Tehran, according to a global poll.
The Washington-based Pew Research Centre, in a poll of 17,000 people in 15 countries between March and May, found more people concerned about the US presence in Iraq than about Iran's alleged nuclear weapons ambitions.

The Tripolar Chessboard, Putting Iran in Great Power Context

From Tomdispatch today, Michael Klare's "The Tripolar Chessboard, Putting Iran in Great Power Context" http://www.tomdispatch.com/index.mhtml?pid=92161

For months, the American press and policy-making elite have portrayed the nuclear crisis with Iran as a two-sided struggle between Washington and Tehran, with the European powers as well as Russia and China playing only supporting roles. Energy and geopolitical expert Michael Klare suggests in his latest piece for Tomdispatch that our media focus is far too narrow. "An informed reading of recent international diplomacy surrounding the Iranian crisis suggests," he writes, "that another equally fierce -- and undoubtedly more important -- struggle is also taking place: a tripolar contest between the United States, Russia, and China for domination of the greater Persian Gulf/Caspian Sea region and its mammoth energy reserves."

Right Against War with Iran

Coalition for a Realistic Foreign Policy Presents:
Right Against War with Iran

The speakers include:
Chuck Pena (Coalition for a Realistic Foreign Policy):
"Refocusing the War on Terrorism"

Ivan Eland (Independent Institute)
“The United States Might Have to Accept a Nuclear Iran.”

Phil Giraldi (former CIA officer, contributing editor, The American Conservative):
"Iran: Same Bad Intelligence, Same Catastrophic Results"

Pentagon confirms Iranian directorate as officials raise new concerns about war

By Larisa Alexandrovna, http://www.rawstory.com

Current military and former intelligence officials remain concerned about a US-led strike on Iran, despite the recent appearance of diplomacy on the part of the US State Department and the offer of an incentives package to Iran.

Officials point to new developments, such as a recent meeting in Rome between an Iranian arms dealer and controversial neoconservative Michael Ledeen and the March creation of the Iranian directorate inside the Pentagon, as examples of recent events similar to the lead up with war in Iraq.

Iran offers settlement as Bush prepares nukes

By the War and Law League
http://www.warandlaw.org/files/index.html

I. Iran renounces bomb and offers nuclear concessions, but Bush keeps threat of atomic attack ‘on the table’

A representative of Iran’s supreme leader has renounced nuclear weapons and offered extensive concessions in a document ignored by Bush and his subordinates, who seem hellbent to carry out war plans against Iran.

Will the White House Moron Bring On Armageddon?

By Paul Craig Roberts
http://www.antiwar.com

John Bolton, a notorious neocon warmonger who could not be confirmed as America's ambassador to the UN by even the compliant and corrupt U.S. Senate, got the job as a recess appointment. He is using the platform to push America into war with Iran.

Bolton told the Financial Times (June 9) that the Bush Regime has no intention of reaching an agreement with Iran. Time is running out for diplomacy, Bolton told the Financial Times. Iran has a short time remaining in which it can give up its right under the nonproliferation treaty to enrich uranium for nuclear energy or be attacked. Bolton said that U.S. security guarantees for Iran "were not on the table."

Bush Iran Strategy Suffers Major Diplomatic Defeat

By Gareth Porter
http://www.antiwar.com/orig/porter.php?articleid=9128

Despite claims that U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has
regained the diplomatic initiative from Iran with a conditional offer
to join multilateral talks with Tehran, the real story behind the
policy shift is that the administration has suffered a decisive defeat
of its effort to get international sanctions for possible military

82nd Airborne Going to Iran?

Received from a soldier's mother-in-law:

"My son-in-law has had orders for a 7/27 deployment to Iraq for several months. He's with the 82nd airborne at Ft. Bragg. Today his orders for Iraq are "on hold" for 2 - 12 months and he was advised his Apache helicopter units are being held now for deployment to IRAN....Just wanted to alert you to this startling announcement that won't be seen on any evening news show."

Nonaligned Nations Prepare to Back Iran

By Associated Press

Vienna, Austria - Western countries at a 35-nation U.N. meeting pushed Tuesday for consensus on the need for Iran to freeze uranium enrichment, but diplomats said that most nonaligned countries were preparing to endorse Tehran's right to continue the work.

The diplomats, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were divulging confidential information, said the 16 International Atomic Energy Agency board members from the Nonaligned Movement were likely to issue a joint statement at odds with Western efforts on enrichment.

The Other Cheney Behind the Scenes

By Robert Dreyfuss, The American Prospect

At the very heart of U.S. Middle East policy, from the war in Iraq to pressure for regime change in Iran and Syria to the spread of free-market democracy in the region, sits the 39-year-old daughter of Vice President Dick Cheney. Elizabeth "Liz" Cheney, appointed to her post in February 2005, has a tongue-twisting title: principal deputy assistant secretary of state for Near Eastern Affairs and coordinator for broader Middle East and North Africa initiatives. By all accounts, it is an enormously powerful post, and one for which she is uniquely unqualified.

Iranians and Americans Say No to War

How to dismantle an atomic crisis
http://www.enoughfear.org

Seymour Hersh writes an article in the New Yorker. President George W. Bush makes a statement to the press in Washington. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad issues a letter from Tehran. But there is something missing from this debate: the voices of the people with the most to lose.

This is a campaign to bring the voices of Iranians and Americans into a discussion that is being dominated by extremists on both sides and bringing us closer to the unthinkable: nuclear war. Our leaders continue to rattle their sabers and spread fear, but we're ready to talk, and if they won't take that first step, we will take it for them. We've had enough. Enough posturing. Enough threats. Enough fear.

Idaho activists want test at Nevada nuke site canceled

EMMETT, Idaho --A group of Idahoans who attribute their health problems to radioactive fallout from open-air nuclear tests in Nevada rallied to demand medical compensation and a stop to a massive non-nuclear explosion that is currently on hold.

About 80 Idaho downwinders gathered Sunday, including many who said they had lost family members to cancer caused by exposure to radiation from the fallout and some who said they were fighting cancer themselves.

Reid Presses to Keep Administration Honest on Iran

Reid Presses to Keep Administration Honest on Iran, Unveils Intelligence Oversight Legislation at YearlyKos Convention

LAS VEGAS, June 10 /U.S. Newswire/ -- Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid today delivered the keynote address at the YearlyKos Convention in Las Vegas, announcing a new initiative to ensure the Bush Administration speaks honestly and accurately to the American people about the challenge Iran poses. With the Bush administration stepping up its public and private diplomacy with Iran, Reid announced that Democrats would take new steps to hold senior Bush administration officials accountable for their statements on Iran, just like they have fought to hold them accountable for their misleading statements about the Iraq war.

How to slow the spread of the bomb

New pressures from the Third World are straining non-proliferation efforts.
By Peter Grier, Christian Science Monitor, http://www.csmonitor.com

WASHINGTON - The world may be teetering on the edge of a worrisome new phase in the sixty-year-old age of atomic weapons.

North Korea now has the bomb, probably. Iran may seek nuclear devices of its own. India's stockpile of weapons-grade fissile material could soon grow larger - thanks to a controversial new treaty with the US.

Bush's Atomic Two-Step

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.

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