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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.
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
by Stephen Lendman
Multiple rounds have been held. Istanbul technical talks just concluded.
Breakthroughs haven't happened. How can they when Washington blocks them.
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.
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.
By Gareth Porter, 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.
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.
How Iran Might See the Threats
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.
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;
A senior Israeli official recently told Reuters that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has decided to attack Iran before the U.S. elections in November.
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?
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
by Stephen Lendman
According to senior Iranian legislator Esmayeel Kosari:
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
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 UNACpeace@gmail.com and we will include your action on the UNAC web site at www.UNACpeace.org.
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 UNACpeace@gmail.com 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.
Joe Lombardo and Marilyn Levin,
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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.