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Iran War Weekly - July 15, 2012

Iran War Weekly

July 15, 2012

Hello All – Negotiations about Iran’s nuclear program are on pause while the United States and its European allies assess the impact of the new round of sanctions – in reality, of economic warfare – against Iran. In this week’s good/useful reading linked below, NB especially the overview article by Conn Hallinan on sanctions; an excellent article by Mohammad Ali Shabani about the impact of sanctions, and a packet of articles about the next round of sanctions just unveiled by the Obama administration.

Three Oklahoma City billboards call for ‘No War on Iran’


Oklahoma City - Oklahoma activists from the group Americans Against the Next War (AANW) are working to prevent military action or war against Iran.  They have contracted with a local outdoor advertising company for three billboards, now on display in the metro area, carrying their message: “Tell Congress: No War on Iran.”  
A news conference scheduled for 9:30 a.m., Tuesday, July 10, will be held in the State Capitol 4th floor pressroom, #432B, to announce the billboards, the Oklahoma City metro area locations, and to present the coalition of churches, organizations and individuals cosponsoring, endorsing and funding the project. 


AANW is a group of concerned citizens that has met weekly since February in central Oklahoma to take actions expressing concern about increasingly inflammatory rhetoric that could spark military action and war against Iran.  AANW’s projects have been endorsed or cosponsored by a growing number of Oklahoma churches, organizations and individuals lending their voices to calls for restraint and patience to let the negotiations process go forward.  
“We are especially concerned that a constant state of war now seems normal to a whole generation of Americans,” said Nathaniel Batchelder, Director of the Peace House in Oklahoma City.  “We hope that our advocacy for non-military solutions to international disagreements will resonate with other war-weary Americans who will contact Congress with that message, too.” 


Speakers at the news conference are to include Dr. Katherine Scheirman, Col. USAF (ret); Rev. Bruce Prescott, Executive Director, Mainstream Oklahoma Baptists; Bob Lemon, Oklahoma City philanthropist and human rights activist; and John Scripsick, Gold Star father whose son was killed in Iraq.  Batchelder will emcee the news conference.
“The same people who were cheerleading for the Iraq War are now fear-mongering about the threat from Iran, said Dr. Scheirman. “The reality is that Iran is a second rate military power, with an economy being crippled by poor management and international sanctions. It is isolated in the Middle East and surrounded by US military bases. I agree with Ron Paul who said that the threat to US national security is not Iran, but endless wars.”
Oklahoma City resident and donor to the billboards project Bob Lemon said, “I oppose war.  I see men and women dying, children losing arms, legs, and eyes, and I oppose another war.”
Rev. Bruce Prescott said, "Frankly, I am opposed to nuclear weaponry in any nation's arsenal.  As long as the world turns a blind eye to nuclear weapons in Pakistan and Israel, it is hypocritical to be alarmed about the possibility that Iran might acquire them. We need to be working for the nuclear disarmament of all nations."
“Our generals and Secretary of Defense confirm that Iran is not building nuclear bombs,” said Jalal Farzaneh, AANW member and resident of Norman, Oklahoma. “We ask Congress to say no to a war on Iran based on faulty intelligence, and to not put our troops in harm’s way. This war will not serve America's interests,” he said.

Iran War Weekly - July 8, 2012

Iran War Weekly

July 8, 2012

Hello All – Nuclear diplomacy stepped into the background this week.  The focus of the US-Iran standoff is now the new round of economic sanctions against Iran and the possible effect/non-effect of these sanctions on Iran’s negotiating positions about its nuclear program.  Iran views the sanctions as economic warfare, and an indication that the US-led diplomacy in the UN Security Council and with its European partners is aimed at regime change, and not simply Iranian compliance with the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.  The discourse in “the West” seems to be shifting from “diplomacy or sanctions?” to “sanctions or military action?”

Unresolved Iran Nuclear Talks

  Unresolved Iran Nuclear Talks


by Stephen Lendman


Multiple rounds have been held. Istanbul technical talks just concluded.


Breakthroughs haven't happened. How can they when Washington blocks them.


How a Nonexistent Bomb Cylinder Distorts the Iran Nuclear Issue

By Gareth Porter, Truthout

For many months, the most dramatic media storyline on Iran's nuclear program has been an explosives containment cylinder that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) says was installed at Iran's Parchin military base a decade ago to test nuclear weapons. The coverage of the initial IAEA account of the cylinder in its report last November has been followed by a steady drip of reports about Iran refusing to allow the agency's inspectors to visit the site at Parchin and satellite photos showing what are said to be Iranian efforts to "sanitize" the site.

But unknown to consumers of corporate news, the story of the Parchin bomb test cylinder has been quietly unraveling. A former IAEA expert on nuclear weapons has criticized the story as technically implausible; the account itself turns out to be marked by a central internal contradiction, and even satellite images published to the IAEA account have been found by experts to contradict it.


The evidence detailed below leaves little room for doubt that the whole story of an explosives cylinder designed with the help a former Soviet nuclear weapons scientist was a falsehood, foisted on the world by a state that is never named, but with an obvious political interest in promoting the idea of a covert Iranian nuclear arms program.  However, the IAEA, which is supposed to be a politically neutral organization, appears to be committed to the storyline as part of the political commitment to the anti-Iran coalition that was pledged by its Director General Yukiya Amano. The tale of the bomb test cylinder is an essential backdrop for the coming confrontation with Iran.


Read the Rest.

Iran War Weekly - July 2, 2012

IranWar Weekly

July 2, 2012

Hello All – It seems now that negotiations to resolve the conflicts in/around both Iran and Syria will be put on hold until more “facts on the ground” alter the relative power of the contending forces.  Regarding Iran, the failure of the recent negotiations in Moscow indicates to many analysts that the United States has decided to see if the new round of economic sanctions against Iran and its oil will weaken Iran’s negotiating stance on its nuclear program.  And the lack of progress on Syrian issues at last week’s meeting in Geneva, along with the rejection by the Syrian armed resistance of any negotiated outcome that would not banish the Assad family from power, indicates that fighting will continue to escalate, with potential dangers for the entire region.

New Israeli Deputy PM Undercuts Strategy of Pressure on Obama

By Gareth Porter, IPS

WASHINGTON, Jun 30 2012 (IPS) - By staking out a policy line on Iran reflecting the views of the Israeli national security leadership, Deputy Prime Minister Shaul Mofaz has undercut the Benjamin Netanyahu government’s carefully planned strategy to get U.S. President Barack Obama to threaten war against Iran if it doesn’t give up its nuclear programme.

It could be the beginning of a process by which Netanyahu begins to climb down from a militarily aggressive policy that has provoked unprecedented dissent from high-ranking active and retired military and intelligence officials.

One Nobel Laureate Blasts Another -- And They’re Both Americans


By Dave Lindorff

There are two US presidents who have won the Nobel Peace Prize. Now one of those Nobel laureate leaders is accusing the other, though without naming him, of actions that qualify as war crimes and impeachable crimes against the US Constitution.

An "Aardwolf" - Iranian Intelligence Field Assessment for Tehran (alas, notional)

How Iran Might See the Threats

June 28, 2012
Editor Note: Hard-headed realism and outside-the-box thinking might be needed to avert another catastrophe in the Middle East, this time an Israeli attack on Iran and the unpredictable consequences. In that light, ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern imagines a bleak report that an Iranian intelligence officer might report back to Tehran.

By Ray McGovern  

In CIA jargon, “Aardwolf” is a label for a special genre of intelligence report from field stations abroad to headquarters in Washington. An Aardwolf conveys the Chief of Station’s formal assessment regarding the direction events are taking in his or her country of assignment – and frequently the news is bad.

Drones of Love


By Gary Lindorff


Let us bomb your neighborhood,

Let us target your neighbor

Out of our love and concern –


Not you, not your children.

Drones of love!


Won’t you love us

After the dust settles?

After the evil has been exploded?

After the crater in the market-place

Has been filled in and paved

We will explode our way into your hearts!


We might miss our intended target;

We've Been Warned

From Haaretz:

A senior Israeli official recently told Reuters that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has decided to attack Iran before the U.S. elections in November.

Iran War Weekly - June 24, 2012

IranWar Weekly

June 24, 2012

Hello All – As expected, the talks between the Iran and the US-led “P5+1” in Moscow last week produced nothing that could be called “progress.”  Neither side changed their positions from those offered at the equally inconclusive talks in Baghdad last month.  Yet it cannot be said that the talks “broke down,” as the parties agreed to meet in two weeks for lower-level, “technical” talks.  What is going on?

The Vietnam War and the Struggle For Truth


By John Grant

Vietnam, a story of virtually unmitigated disasters that we have inflicted on ourselves and even more on others.

           -Bernard Brodie, 1973

Western Hypocrisy on Iran's Nuclear Rights

  Western Hypocrisy on Iran's Nuclear Rights


by Stephen Lendman


According to senior Iranian legislator Esmayeel Kosari:


Apple Should “Think Different” on Sanctions

By Bitta Mostofi

The continued nuclear negotiations between Iran and the P5 +1 in Moscow ended yesterday
with no sign of sanctions relief for ordinary Iranians. A spokesperson for Catherine Ashton, the
European Union’s foreign policy chief and lead negotiator for the six powers, was quoted by
The New York Times as stating that there is no question that EU sanctions will go into effect as
scheduled on the first of July.

Over the past three years we have witnessed a tremendous escalation of sanctions against Iran.
Sanctions expert Dr. Joy Gordon, author of Invisible War: The United States and The Iraq
Sanctions, has described the sanctions against Iran as overbroad and indiscriminate. They will
likely fail to achieve their objective, in this case curtailing Iran’s nuclear program, and instead
will add to the suffering of ordinary Iranians who are already suffering under a repressive

Emergency Actions Against War on Syria or Iran

From UNAC:

Last night’s emergency national conference call on the mounting war crisis was a huge step forward. More than 80 people registered on line to participate in the call. As of last night's call we already know of coordinated antiwar actions in 19 cities during the week of June 23 to July 1.

The actions will be organized around the demands of “Hands off Syria and Iran,” “End the Drone Wars” and “We Need Jobs, Education and Healthcare, Not Endless War.” If you are planning a protest in your area, Please send the information to and we will include your action on the UNAC web site at

The growing threats of war against Syria are alarming. Recently, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton warned Russia not to get in the way of US backed efforts to force out the government of President Assad. The corporate media is making every effort to overwhelm us with calls for another "Humanitarian War". The drum beat of aggression against Iran grows daily as well. The threat of new war is real while US drone attacks are an expanding form of anonymous war.

Please join us by organizing demonstrations, vigils, forums and other actions on the growing threats of war during the period from June 23 through July1.  Send UNAC the information at so we can post if on the web site. 

We will be organizing a second conference call on Sunday, June 23 at 9 PM eastern time. Call-in information will be sent out soon.

In Solidarity,

Joe Lombardo and Marilyn Levin,

UNAC co-coordinators

Report: Massive War Game Planned by Iran, Russia, China, Syria

From The Blaze:

Iran, Russia, China, and Syria plan to stage a massive war game over the next few weeks with the participation of 90,000 troops, 400 warplanes and 1,000 tanks making it the “biggest joint war game in [the] Mid-East,” the semiofficial Iranian Fars News Agency reported Tuesday.

The news agency writes from Tehran:

The Iranian, Russian, Chinese and Syrian armies are due to stage joint amphibious exercises along the Syrian costs [sic] in coming weeks, informed sources revealed on Monday.

According to informed sources, 90,000 forces from the four countries will take part in the land and sea wargames due to be held in Syria.

Ground, air and sea forces as well as air defense and missile units of the four countries will take part in the exercises.

Sources also said that Egypt has acceded to grant passage to 12 Chinese warships to sail through the Suez Canal, adding that the military convoy is due to dock at the Syrian harbors in the next two weeks.

Read the Rest.

Iran War Weekly - June 17, 2012

Iran War Weekly

June 17, 2012

Hello All – The third round of negotiations re: Iran’s nuclear program begins tomorrow in Moscow.  They are scheduled to last two days.  Though the initial round in Istanbul produced lots of optimism, the second round in Baghdad was viewed by all parties as a failure.  While “the West” maintained that the negotiations failed because of Iran’s intransigence, most analysts not associated with “Western” governments thought that the inflexible and ungenerous bargaining position of the P5+1 (the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, plus Germany) was the reason for failure. 

Iran War Weekly - June 10, 2012

IranWar Weekly

June 10, 2012

Hello All – The third round of negotiations about Iran’s nuclear program – between Iran and the “P5+1” (the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, plus Germany) – is scheduled to resume in Moscow on June 18-19.  The apparent success of the first meeting in Istanbul was followed by the failure of the second meeting (in Baghdad) to produce even the most minimal agreement.  While the United States and the EU – and the mainstream media – blamed Iran for the failure of the Baghdad negotiations, many observers felt that the responsibility for failure lay with the inflexible US negotiating position, which failed to offer Iran any incentives for cooperation.

David Sanger's War on Iran

  David Sanger's War on Iran


by Stephen Lendman


Sanger is New York Times chief Washington correspondent. Previously he held other posts. He's reported on foreign policy, globalization, Asian issues, and nuclear-related ones.


Cooperatively with other Times correspondents, he won two Pulitzer Prizes. Its board might consider retracting them.

Operation Samson: Israel's Deployment of Nuclear Missiles on Subs from Germany

Many have wondered for years about the exact capabilities of the submarines Germany exports to Israel. Now, experts in Germany and Israel have confirmed that nuclear-tipped missiles have been deployed on the vessels. And the German government has long known about it.


U.S. Rejected 2005 Iranian Offer Ensuring No Nuclear Weapons

By Gareth Porter

WASHINGTON, Jun 5, 2012 (IPS) - France and Germany were prepared in spring 2005 to negotiate on an Iranian proposal to convert all of its enriched uranium to fuel rods, making it impossible to use it for nuclear weapons, but Britain vetoed the deal at the insistence of the United States, according to a new account by a former top Iranian nuclear negotiator.

Seyed Hossein Mousavian, who had led Iran's nuclear negotiating team in 2004 and 2005, makes it clear that the reason that offer was rejected was that the George W. Bush administration refused to countenance any Iranian enrichment capability, regardless of the circumtances. 

Iran: Facts vs. Fantasy

Sorting Out the Facts about Iran

By Ray McGovern

Editor Note: Neocons, including the Washington Post’seditors, keep playing games with the facts regarding Iran’s nuclear program. The plan apparently is to guide the United States into a military confrontation whether President Obama and the American people want one or not.  McGovern will discuss these issues at 6:00 PM Thursday, June 7, at Random Row Books, 315 West Main St., Charlottesville, Virginia.

On the issue of Iran’s “nuclear ambitions” you hear one thing on Monday, a different thing on Tuesday. “It’s a puzzlement!” to quote Yul Brunner’s famous line in The King and I. But in this case, the confusion is hardly insignificant.

Iran War Weekly - June 4, 2012

IranWar Weekly

June 4, 2012

Hello All – With two weeks to go before the next round of negotiations with Iran about its nuclear program, the “P5+1” shows no sign of making the accommodations necessary for some kind of deal.  Instead, the US-led P5+1 has refused to consider lifting sanctions and reiterated its threats of military action.  The pessimism that followed the unsuccessful talks in Baghdad has only deepened.  It looks like the US-led coalition wants to wait and see whether the European Union anti-Iran oil embargo, due to go into effect on July 1, will cause Iran to agree to US/Israeli demands to end its nuclear program.

A Killer In the White House


By John Grant

“No, Charlotte, I’m the jury now. I sentence you to death.”
The roar of the .45 shook the room. Charlotte staggered back a step.
“How c-could you?” she gasped.
“It was easy.”
- Mickey Spillane, I, The Jury

House Adopts Amendment Mandating Report On Consequences Of Iran Attack

By ThinkProgress

The House or Representatives today agreed by voice vote to include an amendment to the Intelligence Authorization Act that would require the Director of National Intelligence to submit a report “containing an assessment of the consequences of a military strike against Iran.” Reps. John Conyers (D-MI), Keith Ellison (D-MN), and Barbara Lee (D-CA) introduced the amendment. Conyers and Ellison, among others, also used the amendment process to tag the Defense authorization — another big appropriations bill likely to pass — with language stating that Congress was not authorizing war with Iran.


Today on the House floor before the vote, Conyers noted that former and current U.S. and Israeli military and intelligence officials “have raised concerns that an attack on Iran could possibly result in serious harm to the global economy and potentially ignite a regional war and even push Iran into building a nuclear weapon,” adding, “With consequences as serious as these being raised by outside and former national security experts, it’s critical that the expertise and collective wisdom of our intelligence community be added to this debate.” Watch the clip:


In a statement, J Street Director of Government Affairs Dylan Williams applauded the House voice vote adopting the Iran amendment. “Today’s vote reaffirms that Congress is hearing the warnings of American and Israeli security experts who believe that a military strike on Iran would not only fail to stop its nuclear program, but could actually trigger its acceleration,” Williams said. “Members of Congress ultimately don’t want to enter into a conflict which fails to achieve its objectives and results in devastating losses to our troops and our allies.”

Iran War Weekly - May 27, 2012

Iran War Weekly

May 27, 2012

Hello All – Last week’s meeting in Baghdad – the second round in renewed negotiations between Iran and the P5+1 (the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, plus Germany) – had few silver linings.  The only clearly positive outcome was that the parties agreed to meet again in Moscow on June 18; in terms of substance, the meeting was a failure, as the US-led coalition offered Iran little, while demanding that Iran essentially agree to end its nuclear program. The front-burner question is, why did the United States choose to put forward demands certain to end in no agreement?  I’ve listed some more questions below, as well as insightful essays and reviews of the conference and its outcome.

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