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The Race for Iran

AMERICA’S ON-AGAIN / OFF-AGAIN LOVE AFFAIR WITH IRAN’S NUCLEAR PROGRAM

Above is an advertisement for America's nuclear industry, from the 1970s.

Seymour Hersh, the acclaimed journalist who, in 1970, won a Pulitzer Prize for uncovering the My Lai massacre in Vietnam and has subsequently broken many other important stories dealing with America’s foreign and national security policies (e.g., prisoner abuse at Abu Ghraib), has published his most recent article, on U.S. intelligence assessments of Iran’s nuclear activities, in The New Yorker.  The piece focuses, in particular, on the 2011 updated National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) on the Iranian nuclear program.    

The story merits reading in its entirety, but we will highlight the bottom line here.  According to Hersh’s sources—who include current and former U.S. government officials with access to the updated NIE in various stages of its preparation—the document, “representing the best judgment of the senior officers from all the major American intelligence agencies”, comes to the same conclusion as its 2007 predecessor does—namely, that “there is no conclusive evidence that Iran has made any effort to build the bomb since 2003.” 

As Hersh elaborates on this fundamental point: 

“Despite years of covert operations inside Iran, extensive satellite imagery, and the recruitment of many Iranian intelligence assets, the United States and its allies, including Israel, have been unable to find irrefutable evidence of an ongoing hidden nuclear-weapons program in Iran, according to intelligence and diplomatic officials here and abroad…The NIE makes it clear that U.S. intelligence has been unable to find decisive evidence that Iran has been moving enriched uranium to an underground weapon-making center.  In the past six years, soldiers from the Joint Special Operations Force, working with Iranian intelligence assets, put in place cutting-edge surveillance techniques, according to two former intelligence officers.  Street signs were surreptitiously removed in heavily populated areas of Tehran—say, near a university suspected of conducting nuclear enrichment—and replaced with similar-looking signs implanted with radiation sensors.  American operatives, working undercover, also removed bricks from a building or two in central Tehran that they thought housed nuclear-enrichment activities and replaced them with bricks embedded with radiation-monitoring devices. 

High-powered sensors disguised as stones were spread randomly along roadways in a mountainous area where a suspected underground weapon site was under construction.  The stones were capable of transmitting electronic data on the weight of the vehicles going in and out of the site; a truck going in light and coming out heavy could be hauling dirt—crucial evidence of excavation work.  There is also constant satellite coverage of major suspect areas in Iran, and some American analysts were assigned the difficult task of examining footage in the hope of finding air vents—signs, perhaps, of an underground facility in lightly populated areas.”  

So, after all of this effort, recounted by Hersh in well-sourced reporting, the U.S. Intelligence Community has once again collectively concluded that there is still no evidence the Islamic Republic is trying to build nuclear weapons

You might think, as we did, that this is, to use the term of art, a “policy-relevant” conclusion.  But, then, with an attitude like that, you are not likely to be working for the Obama Administration anytime soon.  For, once Hersh’s story was released, two senior Administration officials dished to POLITICO’s Jennifer Epstein in an effort to discredit it, see here.  One of these officials said that Hersh’s article prompted “a collective eye roll” at the White House.  A senior intelligence official—who, we would wager, was speaking to POLITICO at the White House’s instigation—dismissed it as “a slanted book report on a long narrative that’s already been told many times over.” 

None of this, of course, directly challenges the substance of Hersh’s reporting.  The senior intelligence official seems unwilling to let himself  or herself be completely politicized by the White House, noting that “we’ve been clear with the world about what we know about the Iranian nuclear program:  Tehran is keeping its options open despite the fact that the community of nations demands otherwise.”  Exactly.  Tehran may well be “keeping its options open.”  But there is no evidence it is actually working to build nuclear weapons, or that it is doing anything it is proscribed from doing as a non-weapons-state party to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.  That has been the case for years.  And as long as this is the case, it does not really matter what “the international community” demands. 

But one need not have the kind of access to senior U.S. officials with high-level security clearances and access to sensitive intelligence documents as Hersh does to figure this out.  The International Atomic Energy Agency has never found any evidence that the Islamic Republic is diverting nuclear material or trying to fabricate nuclear weapons.  And, recently, a former senior Iranian nuclear negotiator during the Khatami presidency publicly described the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program as not aimed at weaponization. 

Seyed Hossein Mousavian is currently in the United States as a visiting scholar at Princeton University and gave a public lecture at Princeton, reviewing the Iranian nuclear issue and offering his thoughts on how the current impasse might be resolved.  While Hersh’s article received considerable attention in the United States and elsewhere (and deservedly so), Ambassador Mousavian’s lecture is also an important contribution to public discussion; we post it here.

As is noted in Ambassador Mousavian’s introduction and presentation, he is hardly an apologist for the Ahmadinejad government.  In his lecture, Mousavian noted a critical bit of history:  Iran’s nuclear program started under the Shah, with considerable U.S. assistance and input—even though the Shah said openly that he was out to acquire nuclear weapons.  As he put it, “if the Shah had not been overthrown by the Islamic Revolution in 1979, and were in power today, Iran would have a large nuclear arsenal.  The West thus owes a debt of gratitude to the Islamic Republic because Iran has neither produced a nuclear bomb nor diverted its nuclear program toward military purposes.” 

That is—and should be—the real bottom line where Iran’s nuclear program is concerned. 

–Flynt Leverett and Hillary Mann Leverett

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158 Responses to “AMERICA’S ON-AGAIN / OFF-AGAIN LOVE AFFAIR WITH IRAN’S NUCLEAR PROGRAM”

  1. Maybe you’re right, but I still have my own opinion about this.

  2. pirouz_2 says:

    Masoud;
    Just to clarify some important points in order not leave any room for any possible misunderstanding:
    I don’t consider your posts as a “challenge”, I consider them as an excellent exercise in exchanging points of views and learning from each other.
    As a result my point in addressing your comments is not to challenge you, but more along the lines of expressing my own personal opinion.
    By the way I am not as pessimistic as you are regarding our differences being magnified and our common grounds being ignored:

    I think we have established a good deal of common grounds (eg. Turkey’s -and for that matter the vast majority of the countries’- foreign policies being opportunistic rather than being based on principles, or the fact that the opposition in Syria in all likelihood has dirtier hands than the regime itself).

    As for our differences should you be interested in my opinion, I will be more than glad to share them with you and even more glad to hear your opinion which obviously contradicts mine.

    One last comment though: My comments on October Surprise were more based on Robert Parry than on Gary Sick. The last thing I read from Robert Parry by the way was “Ahmadinejad won; get over it!”. If you have time I recommend it to you. It is -in my opinion- a very interesting article.

  3. James Canning says:

    masoud,

    There is no question that American leaders took a good deal of satisfaction in seeing the USSR get itself bogged down in a quagmire in Afghanistan.

    However, we should bear in mind that Jimmy Carter negotiated the SALT II arms treaty with the Soviet Union, which was foolishly defeated by Republicans in the US Senate. This in turn helped drive the political decision in Moscow to intervene militarily in Afghanistan.

  4. fyi says:

    Persian Gulf says:June 12, 2011 at 2:08 pm

    About higher education in Iran: this has been a political demand by the population at large. They wanted access to higher education for credentials. And you know how Iranians are obsessed with credentials.

    So the Islamic Govrnmnt set up all these colleges and universities that were nothing more than bigger high-schools except that they issued “License” degrees.

    In US, after World War II, there was also the same political demand for access to higher education. So Americans turned teacher’s colleges (Normal Universities) into full fledged universities, turned Colleges into Universities and so on. But since US is a better educated country and wealthier than Iran, they actually could do a better job of maintaining quality.

    Nevertheless, just like Iran, or India, or Saudi Arabia, the Americans also have flooded their societiy with worthless degrees in Humanities, in the Arts, in Business etc.

    Somethings are the same the world over.

  5. masoud says:

    Pirouz_2,

    I tend to find the all out online slug fests that sometimes occur a little excessive, which is why i don’t like posting point-by-point rebuttals, they don’t usually go anywhere. But let me go into some more detail about some of the points you brought, not because I think these are necessarily wholes in your logic or because I’m trying to issue a challenge. They just don’t make sense from my point of view. I’m sure they do from yours, and that at some point in the future you can make take all this into consideration and make me another pitch.

    1. Arms dealers are all bad people. When we stopped dealing with the west, we started dealing more with the Russians, the Chinese, and the North Koreans. Hardly choir boys either. It was a necessity, and practically everyone we supposedly betrayed doesn’t see it that way. Our counterparts also didn’t get much in return. The Israelis were hoping their cooperation would leave the door open to the reestablishment of ties later, it didn’t. The Americans were interested in achieving specific goals, like releasing the hostages, in the case of political deals, the lower level arms deals, the deals were a result long standing ties between military institutions that our counterparts didn’t want to see go up in flames overnight. The money was hardly an issue, it’s the US we are talking about. Also, who gives a damn if Iran did screw Carter over, as Gary Sick claims?(and Gary Sick does talk out of his ass a hell of a lot) No one owes Carter anything.

    2. Iran had every right to pursue Saddam to the bitter end, even if Iraq had withdrawn from Iranian territory. He simply couldn’t be trusted not to rip up the peace deal at a time of his convenience. I don’t understand how this decision could be painted as morally illegitimate. Indeed, I would argue that in the end, the Iranian war effort even ended up paying large material dividends as well. If a peace had been signed in 1982, Iraq would have regrouped restocked, and rearmed, and returned to finish the job before the decade was out. The prolonged war effort, and the costs Iraq and it’s supporters incurred repelling it was led to the breakdown of the Iraq/Persian Gulf Sheikh alliance. The rest is history. I genuinely don’t believe that it’s necessary to invoke ulterior motives on Iran’s part for the continuation of the War.

    3. Israel is probably regretting trying to play off Hamas against the PLO today. Iran’s reasons for turning a cold shoulder to the PLO likely revolve around Arafat’s decision to send some of his forces to fight for Saddam.

    I think agreeing to disagree wouldn’t be a bad idea in this case. It’s a shame we can’t narrow our differences, which are probably larger than our current exchange would indicate. I think forums like these have an unfortunate effect of highlighting disagreements and minimizing areas of agreement.

  6. hans says:

    A IAEA qA session

    Q: How does the situation at Fukushima compare with the 1986 disaster in Chernobyl, Ukraine, and 1979 Three Mile Island accident in Pennsylvania?

    A: The International Atomic Energy Agency has rated the seriousness of the nuclear situation at the Fukushima reactors as 4 on a scale of 7. Three Mile Island was rated as 5/7 while Chernobyl was rated 7/7. Each additional point on this scale represents a factor of ten, so the situation at Fukushima is 1/10th as serious as that at Three Mile Island, and 1/1000 that at Chernobyl.

    You see how the IAEA is capable of lying.

  7. Pirouz_2 says:

    Masoud;

    Well then I guess we will have to disagree; because for the life of me I don’t understand how you can fight USA and Israel by buying weapons from them, especially when it goes without saying that the proceeds from such a trade would become more bombs on the head of Palestinians, or as the case maybe Nicaraguans.

    So Iran was essentially buying the US imperialism’s weaponry –from under the table- to beat Imperialism’s stooge (ie.Saddam) and by the US weapons that we bought from US and brought from Israel we were supposed to liberate first Iraq and then beat Israel and liberate Palestine (ie. the road to Al-Quds passes through Karbala)?

    By the way, again based on the direct words of Mr. Rezaei Iran was ready to sell out Hezballah, it is just that USA was not willing to pay the price (this one goes back to the Lebanon hostage crisis). In fact Hezballah fighters were so pissedn off that they attacked IRGC head-quarters in Lebanon with RPGs (again source: Mr. Rezaei).

    Also it is worth mentioning that fairly soon after revolution the relationship between Iran and PLO went very sour. Iran started to support Hamas against PLO (and this was when PLO was very different from the PLO we have today, they were actively fighting Israelies at the time) and very interestingly another state which from under the table supported Hamas at the time was guess who?? Israel!!

    Needless to repeat that at the time neither Hamas was what it is today nor PLO had been reduced to what it is today. I am talking about a very different time.

  8. masoud says:

    Pirouz_2,

    Again, I would have to disagree with your esteemed opinion.

    I would argue that Iran’s foreign policy during this period was actually more of a reflection of it’s principled approach to world affairs than it’s duplicity. Iran’s army was up until 1979 completely based on Western technology, and because of this, it’s military had very close ties with the US and Israel’s. While there were some hardware deliveries that were worked out on a political level, most were actually the result of the exploitation of those long standing institutional ties(Trita Parsi actually documents this in his book). I see these arms deals as a necessary evil. What is quite notable about this period, to me at least, is that Iran never, at any point, stopped it’s support for(or really, it’s creation of) the resistance in Lebanon during this period, or even the Palestinian cause, or became less hostile to US policy in the world, or faltered in it’s support of the ANC who were battling the Apartheid Regime in South Africa, from which Iran was also sourcing important arms. In a perfect world, Iran wouldn’t have had to rely on these regimes, but even when it had to, it never stopped working against them. Reviewing the events of that time a quarter century later, that’s what stands out most to me.

    Again, none of this is to suggest that Iranian leaders can be ‘trusted’, i don’t think politicians anywhere should. But at the same time, you’ve got to give credit where credit is due.

  9. pirouz_2 says:

    Masoud;
    Regarding October surprise:
    It is about the shady deals between those who over took the US embassy (most of whom were the ones who are the most radical reformists), to not to go to a deal with the Carter administration until when Reagan had secured his electoral victory. The hostages were released as Reagan was swearing in.

    Regarding Iran-Contra:
    I am quoting Mr. Mohsen Rezaei, word by word, in an interview with PressTV:
    “Q[PressTV]: Since the US is important in Iranian politics and Iran is important in the US, do you think it is important who becomes the Iranian president? Do you think there will be a change in the two countries’ relations at all?

    A[M. Rezaei]: So far, I have not witnessed a courageous president in the US beside Mr. Reagan, who took a bold risk by sending McFarlane. McFarlane brought TOW missiles for us when we were involved in a war with Iraq. Since then, I have not seen any brave politicians in the US. ”

    This was happening when Shah was being blamed for having bogout US military junk and made US Capitalists prosper at the cost of Iranian petro-dollars.
    This was happening when one in every two sentence of the Iranian Statesmen was “Death to the grand Satan”.
    This was when the most important slogan was: “The way to Al-Quds passes through Karbala”, and anyone who uttered any word suggesting an end to the war was being treated as a traitor. And this was happening when most while most of those weaponry entered Iran via Israel!
    So under slogans of “Death to USA” and “Death to Israel” and “Saddam is the lackey of the US and Israel”, we were importing US made weaponry through Israel to continue a war which we were doomed to loose and in which around a million Iranians lost their lives.
    By the way where did the Iranians think their money to the US government would end up?
    In the Red Cross?!?!?! Where does any profit from weapons purchases from the US military-industrial complex would possibly end up? Do you seriously believe that Iranians thought the profit from these purchases would go to some benign cause?
    If we had no problem in fighting meaningless wars (at the time all Iranian territory had already been liberated and on the contrary we were holding some Iraqi territory) so that the US military-Industrial complex would prosper at the expense of our peoples Petro-dollars then what was our problem with Shah???

    By the way, the reason I called Karzai (and I am NOT talking about Maleki) corrupt is because he has come to power through a fraudulent election, and his close relatives and supporters are in drug-dealing business. Karzai’s is one of the most corrupt regimes in this region (perhaps second to S. Arabia only)

  10. masoud says:

    Pirouz_2,

    I would have to largely disagree wit you about some of the mis-behavior of the Iranian Government you cite. I’m not sure what exactly you mean by the ‘October Surprise’, but if it has anything to do with Iran-Contra, the only improper behavior there was with the US Administration funneling the proceeds to the Contra’s. Iran had nothing to do with that. Manuel Ortega, the then and current leader of Nicaraugua, would agree with that. Also, with regards to Iran’s support of Maliki and Karzai, which is often criticized, what people all too often overlook is that to the extent that these figures rely on Iran, they can defy the US. I mean, Karzai’s been threatening to join the Taliban for God’s sake. He wouldn’t do that if the US was his only patron. The same is true in Iraq.

    What I agree with you more on is that if left unchecked, certain factions in Iran would be willing to negotiate away it’s principled stand in the Middle East in exchange for ‘Normalization’ with the West. But these factions have never been able to come to a deal, or even to start negotiations with the US. And more importantly, haven’t demonstrated that they would be able to get a critical mass of Iran’s establishment on board for such a final deal. More importantly though, they have been checked. Temporarily at least.

    Whether the ‘principlists’ are indeed principled is an open question. I think the safest assumption is to assume they are not to be trusted. That’s pretty much a safe bet with any one in power. At the same time, I find it hard to be completely cynical about Iran. My bet is that this is because I live in Canada, and I’ve got whole different set of politicians to hate on a day to day basis.

  11. pirouz_2 says:

    By the way Masoud;
    In my previous post I forgot to mention that I agree with you 200% on the subject of Turkey’s complete lack of principle when it comes to shaping its foreign policy. Right now I cant write a detailed message but either later on tonight or perhaps tomorrow I’ll write a more detailed message explaining why -in my opinion- Turkey (and Brazil for that matter) can NOT move beyond any meaningful limit in its support for any progressive movement in this region.

  12. pirouz_2 says:

    Masoud;
    First allow me to thank you for the article that you posted. It was a good piece.

    On the subject of the Iranian foreign policy and how “principled” it actually is I would like to add to the examples that you gave, the following:
    “Iran-Contra” and “October Surprise” as well as the fact that after the hostage crisis in Lebannon Iran actually came very close to selling out Hezballah, in fact Iran did ty to sell’em out but the US administration would not pay the price to buy Iran’s offer!!
    In my opinion the single most important difference between the two sides in the elections of 2009 (in fact perhaps the ONLY difference) was foreign policy with the reformists leaning towards US/Israel (and hence the full support of the US and Israel) which resulted in disgusting slogans such as “neither to Ghaza nor to Lebannon my life is dedicated to Iran”. Now whether the other side (ie. the principalists) actually support the curent foreign policy based on principle or just for tactical reasons is a matter which could be discussed; personally I don’t believe they are acting on principles all that much. You can see a similar trend in their support for the Libyan “revolutionaries” or their warm hearted support for Mr. Karzai’s corrupt government.

  13. masoud says:

    Pirouz,

    I think Nasr was an Iranian before he became an American. I mean, It’s not like his last name is Leverett. I believe Nasr was actually working directly for the Obama administration, as an advisor to Hoolbroke, before Hoolbroke bit the big one. I’ve never tried to write him, or anyone else we’ve mentioned, but i’ve read a lot of what he’s had to say. I think he is mostly wrong, but not unintelligent. That’s what sets him apart from clowns like Sadjadpour and Takeyh. I think fundamentally he and Parsi are cut from the same cloth, and if Parsi is becoming less affable, it’s because he’s got a tougher job.

    Pirouz_2

    Sure, it’s a truism that foreign policies of all states are opportunistic. But some are less so than others. I think our very own Iran is more or less quite principled, especially when compared with other countries of the world. There are some glaring exceptions, Kashmir for instance. Or to site another episode which is shameful but no one ever really talks about, Iran was a key supplier of arms and training to the Sri Lankan government that brutally crushed it’s Tamil separatists. But all in all, I believe Iran when it says it could save itself from all this scrutiny on it’s Nuclear Program and Sanctions, if it would just play nice with Israel, and turn a blind eye to the injustices perpetrated on the wider middle east.

    I think too many people get way too pumped up about Turkey. It’s still a country that has full diplomatic relations, and military ties, with Israel, a member of Nato, a participant in the Invasion of Afghanistan, host to American Nuclear weapons etc.. I think what we are seeing from Turkey today, with it’s Muslim Brotherhood conferences and the conflicts in towns right on the Turko-Syrian Border, is Turkey’s willingness to turn on an erstwhile ally just as soon as an opportunity for self advancement comes along, something I don’t think I can see Iran doing.

    I posted this on the previous thread, but it’s really the best piece I’ve read on the present Turkish/Syrian dynamic.

    “Turkey’s Not-So-Subtle Shift on Syria”
    (my title would have been “Feast of The Turkish Dogs”)
    http://mrzine.monthlyreview.org/2011/bhadrakumar080611.html

  14. Pirouz says:

    Masoud,

    I’m actually easier on Nasr. While I don’t agree with everything he says, he remains approachable and provides well explained positions. Everyone is fallible, and he was a bit duped by the Coalition PR on one of his last Iraq trips before signing on formally to the USG. Also, he is an American.

    Trita is perplexing in that he is not an American, yet leads an organization representing Iranian-Americans. I agree, NIAC heavily invested in the so-called Green movement and now appears schizophrenic (not really to “have its cake and eat it, too). Not only that, since the Green thing didn’t pan out and a lot of discrediting evidence has surfaced over claims of a rigged election, NIAC can’t or won’t recalibrate itself. As such, what was once a fresh and youthful enterprise has now become just another group representing the typical interests of the self-exiled and malcontented.

    You could almost say I’m as disappointed with NIAC as of late, as I am of Obama.

  15. pirouz_2 says:

    Masoud;
    There are two parts of your message which seem very interesting to me:

    1) “While were on the subject i’m getting more and more pessimistic about the Turks. I think their behavior as of late confirms what I’ve been saying about them all along. Their foreign policy is not principled, it opportunistic, though it is based on the principles of mediation.”

    I must say that pretty much all countries (with the possible exception of some Latin American countries) have “opportunistic” foreign policies and not “principled” ones. Our own country is one example (just like Turkey). However, opportunistic or not, we have to be pragmatic and analyze each individual move of any government and support those individual moves which are progressive, even if it is based on opportunistic motives and oppose those of the very same government which are reactionary.

    2)”Dirty hands are at work in Syria, some even dirtier than the Regime’s.”

    EXCELLENT COMMENT. I couldn’t agree with it more. Indeed that is the problem with many of such “movements” (best example would be the coloured revolutions). For people like me, it is not our love for the status quo which makes us take our positions, it is rather the fact that the alternative is way worse than the status quo.

  16. masoud says:

    Has anyone been following the ‘A Gay Girl In Damascus’ story?

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/jun/13/syrian-lesbian-blogger-tom-macmaster

    It’s basically Taraneh Mousavi 2.0.
    They caught the guy behind this whole fiasco red-handed. He claims he’s not able to any media interview because he his ‘On Vacation’ in Turkey. Apparently, ‘On Vacation’ has become a euphemism for ‘On Assignment’. While were on the subject i’m getting more and more pessimistic about the Turks. I think their behavior as of late confirms what I’ve been saying about them all along. Their foreign policy is not principled, it opportunistic, though it is based on the principles of mediation.

    Anyway the whole thing is super interesting. The man,(or his team rather), was quite convincing. This was a professional job, not a one off prankster. His older posts are still up for now, I had found them quite convincing. I’ll admit that I myself was pretty much fooled, and thought that this was a real person.

    Dirty hands are at work in Syria, some even dirtier than the Regime’s.

  17. masoud says:

    Has anyone been following the ‘A Gay Girl In Damascus’ story?

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/jun/13/syrian-lesbian-blogger-tom-macmaster

    It’s basically Taraneh Mousavi 2.0.
    They caught the guy behind this whole fiasco red-handed. He claims he’s not able to any media interview because he his ‘On Vacation’ in Turkey. Apparently, ‘On Vacation’ has become a euphemism for ‘On Assignment’. While were on the subject i’m getting more and more pessimistic about the Turks. I think their behavior as of late confirms what I’ve been saying about them all along. Their foreign policy is not principled, it opportunistic, though it is based on the principles of mediation.

    Anyway the whole thing is super interesting. The man,(or his team rather), was quite convincing. This was a professional job, not a one off prankster. His older posts are still up for now, I had found them quite convincing. I’ll admit that I myself was pretty much fooled, and thought that this was a real person.

    Dirty hands are at work in Syria, some even dirtier than Regime’s.

  18. masoud says:

    James,
    Brezinski has actually bragged, on the record if not actually on camera, that the US was able to mislead the Soviet Union into believing it was turning Afghanistan, in collusion with it’s government, into a base for anti-Soviet activities, and bait the Soviet Union into a Vietnam like quagmire. He believed it to be a strategic coup. That’s his rendering, i’m sure if you Google around enough you can find a reference.

  19. James Canning says:

    masoud,

    Brzezinski opposed the illegal and idiotic US invasion of Iraq. In 2002, when Obama gave a speech attacking the idea of going to war with Iraq, his ideas came from Brzezinski.

  20. James Canning says:

    masoud,

    Brzezinski generally makes good sense about US-Iran relations. Brzezinki mis-interpreted the meaning and purpose of the Soviet Union’s invasion of Afghanistan in 1979. He thought, quite mistakenly, that it was an opening move in a larger scheme of trying to take control of the Persian Gulf.

  21. masoud says:

    James,

    I have no idea what Zig’s position on Iran-US relations is. It may well be ‘comparatively sane’, but even so, he’s an odious character. as Carter’s NSA he presided over the military aid to the Central American junta that killed millions, as well as what he himself calls the US’s baiting and trapping of the USSR in Afghanistan. He and his boss were firm supporters of the Shah, and when the uncerimoniously dumped him, it was only to ingratiate themselves with Iran’s new leaders. If he doesn’t have any objectionable opinions today, that’s only because it’s hard to look particularly stupid(or amoral) when Obama’s in office. Even for Brezinski.

  22. James Canning says:

    masoud,

    Fallon’s comments to Al Jazeera in late 2007 are worth repeating: “This constant drumbeat of conflict is not helpful and not useful. I expect that there will be no war and that is what we ought to be working for.” [Quoted in Esquire magazine, April 2008]

  23. James Canning says:

    Masoud,

    Yes, Admiral Fallon’s resignation was related to Iran, and the war party. Fallon said war with Iran would be insane. He was of course quite right.

  24. James Canning says:

    masoud,

    What do you not like about Zbig Brzezinski’s viewpoint on US/Iran relations?

  25. masoud says:

    Pirouz,

    About Trita. There’s a lot of very nice things to say about him. He’s obviously very smart, and his book ‘Treacherous Alliance’, was very well researched and informative. The man had very good things to say all throughout the Bush administration, and when Obama was first elected, Trita, whith what retrospectively looks to be almost prophetic wisdom, publicly urged Obama to act quickly to resolve the Iran issue, because the future was unpredictable and no one knew what the elections would produce. After the elections though, the NIAC seems to have snapped and become one of the premiere obstructionist entities in the US. To give Trita credit, he has on occasion attempted severe contortions in order to exonerate the Human Rights narrative(“The US must agree to negotiate with the IRI in order to put Human Rights on the table”), but this is at best an attempt to have his cake and eat it too. I

    All that said, the back of his book is blurbed by the likes of Brezinski and Kissinger. Indeed the man who supervised his his Thesis Paper on which the book is based is Francis ‘The End Of History’ Fukuyama. I think that pursuing an academic career in American-Centric ‘Security Studies’ and seeking to curry favor with such men at the very least introduces a conflict of interest, if one is also seeking to represent the interests of the Iranian-American, and indeed since June 2009, the wider Iranian people to the USG and World Media. I will never be able to understand the likes of Vali Nasr, and Parsi, who genuinely seem intelligent erudite analysts(as opposed to ignorant propagandists like Sadjadpour or Ray Takeyh), in their choice to serve America.

  26. Persian Gulf says:

    Iranian says:
    June 12, 2011 at 3:09 pm

    “I live in Iran and I don’t agree.”

    so what? more than 70 million people live in Iran including my family members and friends. what do you mean by stating that you live in Iran? as if staying there per se would be a proof of my wrong saying.

    “In any case, I think we should all refrain from abusive language.”

    what abusive language you are referring to exactly? is thing like “stupid”…abusive? and, why didn’t you say this in Farsi? as if you wanted to show non-Farsi speakers of this forum that I am merely using abusive language.

    as always in the Islamic Republic of Iran, you guys change the subject and delete the questions instead of addressing them properly. there is an obvious reason for this action, i.e. you shall no longer be in the positions of privilege that you are at the moment. and that story is true pretty much for everyone on the top.

    what I said about Majles is a very sad, and of course true, story. so is the story of our educational system. that most of our MPs are bunch of fools with disputed credential is nothing you can deny. that they are there bc of having obvious links, your dear SL’s wishes, bootliking, candidates’ censorship… is the fact well established on the ground. I gave you a few actual examples so you guys could not be able to deny them all. many more names like that could be disclosed. people that their best fit-able job is to be a shepherd, with all due respect to shepherds that making the living with their actual work not the stolen one, are now members of parliament. so to call that parliament an “stable” is using abusive language?

  27. Pirouz says:

    Masoud,

    I think what we can take away from Fallon’s statement is that he is advocating conflict resolution, and not get bogged down on the details of his own. perceptions. Dreyfus had additional commentary made by Fallon of a military nature, that was also interesting.

    Regarding “a sane version of NIAC.” I’m starting to agree. They’ve actually stopped replying to my correspondence.

    Here is the text of my most recent letter to Trita Parsi, dated June 9:

    ————–

    Trita,

    I’ve been in a personal quandary over my continued backing of NIAC. I haven’t made up mind yet but I’ll tell you my thoughts.

    I find it hard to reconcile the fact that on the one hand NIAC makes motions toward being anti-war against Iran, while on the other it contributes toward the demonization campaign against the country in the name of HRs. Moreover in realistic terms all this HR policy serves to perform is greater confrontation between the U.S. and IRI. Greater confrontation is the opposite of conflict resolution. Conflict resolution, in my opinion, is the key for a better life for ordinary Iranians and Americans, where contributing to greater confrontation serves the interest of war advocates and sanctioneers.

    Something else: I have a problem with NIAC’s explicit partisanship in Iranian politics. I certainly wouldn’t like it if a Chinese council in China began strategizing and lobbying in the interest of a specific political group in the US, so it would be hypocritical of me to support such activities as applied to Iran. Besides, the goal should be conflict resolution with the Iran that we have, not the Iran we wish we had. In effect, let’s be real about it.

    I was impressed by the recent forum hosted by the American Iranian Council that included Admiral Fallon and Colonel Crist. The intended object was conflict resolution. NIAC’s recent forums have been HR related or based on internal Iranian political partisanship. In my opinion, the consequences of such are simply greater confrontation and heightened security measures in Iran, which are quite counter-productive to your intended purpose.

    I haven’t made up my mind yet, Trita. But these are my thoughts.

  28. masoud says:

    http://american-iranian.org/content/keynote-speech-admiral-william-j-fallon-ret-aic-conference

    Interesting speech by Willam ‘Fox’ Fallon, former CENTCOM commander to the AIC which seems to be a sane version of the NIAC. Fallon’s resignation at the time was attributed to his resistance to the Bush administration’s Iran Hawks. As defective as his understanding of Iran is, it is miles ahead of any on in power at the time. His most important comment is in the last paragraph:
    “Clearly there are common interests in the region and the world. Improvement in relations will likely occur with the realization that the interests of each people are better addressed with engagement and cooperation rather than antagonism and hostility. ”

    I wonder if anyone present provided a check against some of Fallon’s more misguided statements?

  29. James Canning says:

    Rehmat,

    I think it is clear that Hillary Clinton is willing to help Netanyahu “kick the can further down the street” – - meaning stall, stall, and stall some more. I see no practical alternative to UN recognition of Palestine with 1967 borders.

  30. Iranian says:

    PG

    I live in Iran and I don’t agree. In any case, I think we should all refrain from abusive language.

  31. James Canning says:

    Rehmat,

    As you may have notice from earlier posts I made on this strand, Martin Indyk of the Brookings think tank and Jackson Diehl (neocon opinion writer for Washington Post) both have claimed that Mahmoud Abbas agreed to drop his insistence on a freeze of all Israeli contstruction in the illegal colonies in the West Bank, as a precondition for negotiations.

    Yes, it seems clear that Juppe is trying to help the neocons and Israel to derail the Palestinian drive for UN recognition later this year. Indyk called that prospect a “train wreck”!

  32. Persian Gulf says:

    Liz says:
    June 12, 2011 at 1:14 pm

    حرف زشت کجاست؟ من که چیزهای زشت رو خودم سانسور کردم. بقیه چیزها هم حرف زشت نیست ولی ممکنه زننده باشه که اونم مهم نیست چون حرف بی ربطی نیست. کاملا برازنده کسایی که بهشون اشاره شد می باشد.

    میشه یکم از اطلاعات تکمیلیون ما رو بهره مند بفرمایید؟ شما بگین کجای حرف من غلطه، چرا یه حرف کلی رو هی تکرار می کنید؟ من حرف بی انصافی نگفتم، واقعیت جامعه رو گفتم. یه خیل عظیمی داریم با مدرک که به درد هیچ کاری نمی خورند. یا حداقل دانششون اصلا به مدرکشون نمی خوره.مسابقه برای مدارک بالاتر که اخیرا چندین برابر شده. یه سیاست شکست خورده در این حجم به این بزرگی نیاز به انتقاد نداره؟

    اینجا هم میبینی شما این مسائل رو. طرف دکترا می گیره ولی روش تحقیق بلد نیست. ولی اینقدر هم غاراشمیش نیست. اون آدم “معمولا” به جایی هم نمی رسه ولی تو ایران ممکنه بشه وزیر،مدیر بخش مهم….بابا طرف شده شده نماینده مجلس. چرا؟ چون در طول دوران دانشجوییش چند بار بچه یکی از بزرگان رو تو محلش مهمون کرده، یه چندتا بوقلمون داده اون خورده!! به محضی که درسش در دانشگاه نا کجا آباد تموم شده اومد و شد نماینده مجلس. جدیدا هم شنیدم بهش میگن دکتر(در حینی که نماینده مجلس هست). این مشتی از خروار هست. اصل قضیه در همین تفاوت های اندک هست. وگرنه انسان ایرانی با انسان غربی،شرقی…فرق ماهوی که نداره.

  33. James Canning says:

    Rehmat,

    Holocaust has developed into a secular “religion” in the way Marxism-Leninism became a secular religion in the Soviet Union, hugely profitable for certain insiders. As with many religions, there are elements that are more scam than anything elese.

  34. James Canning says:

    Rehmat,

    It certainly is true that the US encouraged the Shah of Iran to act as the pre-eminent power in the Gulf and beyond. And why? As you say, because he was friendly toward Israel.

    A number of Americans tried to persuade the Shah to spend less money on weapons etc, and they warned him as best they could that he was undermining the stability of Iran by going so far overboard on weapons acquisition etc.

  35. Arnold Evans says:

    Eric, I copied the segment outlining a hypothetical Iranian presentation to the arbitrators to my website, of course with attribution and a link to the original.

    http://mideastreality.blogspot.com/2011/06/eric-brill-us-lawyer-analyzes-legal.html

  36. Liz says:

    تکرار می کنم دانشگاه های ایرانی بسیار خوب هستند و اطلاعات شما بسیار ناقص و حرفهای شما بسیار بسیار زشت. لطفا انصاف و ادب داشته باشید. از شما انتظار نداشتم

  37. Arnold Evans says:

    MHF:

    Of course what you wrote is nonsense, but I think it may be entertaining for many here if you flesh out your argument more.

    I’m most interested in this statement:

    On the other hand, the intention to build nuclear weapons in today’s Iran cannot be hidden– beyond all physical facts discovered since 2002

    What physical fact can you point to regarding Iran that Japan has not either openly done or is widely expected to have done though unchallenged?

    The answer is going to end up being nothing. Even if you try to present something, I or someone here will give you a link to “worse” behavior from Japan, at least activities that give Japan far more effective nuclear weapons potential than whatever Iranian activity you point to.

    That will lead to my next question, have you redefined “intention to build nuclear weapons” in some way that Japan has an intention to build nuclear weapons?

    Here’s the issue with that. By plain English Japan, (also Canada, Brazil, Germany, South Africa and many other “threshold” nuclear states) does not have any intention to build nuclear weapons. When you redefine terms as you are without telling anybody, you are lying.

    So MHF, my final question is going to be, why are you lying about Iran?

  38. Persian Gulf says:

    Liz says:
    June 12, 2011 at 11:35 am

    “دانشگاه های ایرانی بسیار خوب هستند”

    والا من منکر این قضیه نشدم. ما یه چند تا دانشگاه خوب داریم تو ایران(20% حداکثر). اتفاقا من از ایران مدرک دارم. یه اکثریتی هم مفت نمی ارزند. در واقع فارغ التحصیلانشون فقط یه تیکه کاغذ دستشونه، چیزی بلد نیستند وتخصصی ندارند که به درد جایی بخوره. اینو حتی مسئولین صنعت جمهوری اسلامی هم گفتند. و این فقط برای رشته های مهندسی بود در دانشگاههای سراسری. علوم انسانی رو که نگو و نپرس. دانشگاههای آزاد،‌پیام نور و غیر انتفاهی که جای خود دارند.

    یه خاطره بگم: یکی ازدوستان بستگانمون دانشجوی سالهای آخر دکترای “روابط بین الملل” بود تو یکی از دانشگاههای آزاد تهران. چند سال پیش که من داشتم می اومدم خارج از من چیزهای ساده ای مثل معنی وکیل تو انگلیسی رو می پرسید. این شده بود زمینه خنده تو خانواده. این آدم الان شده استاد دانشگاه و چندجا درس میده. من از این دست زیاد مثال دارم. طرف لیسانس کامپیوتر داره اطلاعات کامپیوتری و برنامه نویسیش هیچیه. و این دست آدمها افراد متوسط اون دانشگاهها هستند. اینا چه جوری مدرک میگیرند؟ وقتی هم که مدرک رو دادی دست کسی دیگه خدا رو بنده نیست، کاریش نمی تونی بکنی. دیگه انتظاراتش تمومی نداره.

    و من خیلی از خواهر زاده ها و برادرزاده هام(که اتفاقا تعدادشون کم نیست!) دارن تو همه این دانشگاهها درس می خونند و به همین درد تا حدی دچاریم. چندتا از دوستام هم دارن تو دانشگاههای مختلف تدریس می کنند.

    “و اطلاعات شما بسیار ناقص”

    هاها، این دیگه آخرش بود. خندیدیم با این حرف شما. من عمیقا امیدوارم همینطور باشه. من اصلا خوشحال نیستم که وضع اینجوریه ولی خیلی ناراحت می شم می بینم آدمهایی مثل شما ماست مالی می کنند قضیه رو. این مدرک بازیها کل سیستم رو به گند کشیده. وقتی وزیر علوم اونجوریه – تو خود حدیث مفصل بخوان از این مجمل

  39. Liz says:

    و حرفهای شما بسیار زشت…

  40. Liz says:

    دانشگاه های ایرانی بسیار خوب هستند و اطلاعات شما بسیار ناقص

  41. Persian Gulf says:

    http://www.irna.ir/NewsShow.aspx?NID=30428026

    به نظر من اصلا من مهم نیست اون طویله دیگه چه جوری پر میشه. یک اکثریت(بجز عده معدودی) خا×××× و دستمال بدست رو آقا کرده تو حالا دارن ماله میکشند که با این قانون جدیدی که خودمون وضع کردیم همین ابلهان هم نمی تونند شرکت کنند.

    “…برابر قانون فقط براي جانبازان، آزادگان و كساني كه يك دوره سابقه نمايندگي مجلس را دارند، برخورداري از مدرك كارشناسي كفايت خواهد كرد.”

    والا من برای جانبازان و آزادگاه احترام زیادی قایلم(بماند که جدیدا چه جوری جانبازی می گیرند و اصلا اون واقعی ها دنبال این کارها نیستند)،‌ولی قرار نیست اونا تهی از مغز باشند و باز هم بتونند برن تو مجلس. کسی که 22 سال بعد از جنگ هنوز تو اون مملکت نتونسته با این همه دانشگاههای آبکی و درپیت(و با سهمیه تا 45% دانشگاههای سراسری) یه مدرک فوق لیسانس حتی از رشته ای ک×××شر بگیره اصلا صلاحیت نشستن رو اون صندلی ها رو داره؟(اصلا خیلی از رئیسان دانشگاهها،مخصوصا پیام نور و غیر انتفاهی…،خودشون جانبازهستند و دوستانشون به راحتی آب خوردن مدرک می گیرند از اون جاها. من خودم یه چند نفر رو شخصا میشناسم) البته وقتی آقا دست چین کنند حتما داره که باید بچپونن تو اون طویله به هر قیمتی که شده.

  42. Rehmat says:

    James Canning – King Reza Shah was not “just friendly” with the Zionist regime – he was the first Muslim ruler to bless the Jewish occupation of Muslim-majority Palestine, followed by Turkey – his CIA, the SAVAK was trained by Mossad and SAVAK’s last head was an Israeli military personnel.

    It’s was Israel-US plan to establish Iran’s nuclear program in order to build an Israel-friendly ‘Muslim Bully’ in the Middle East. Tehran received its first 2 mW research reactor from USA. The Iran’s research program was monitored and run by US-Israeli scientists and technicians.

    Jewish Lobby did raised ‘Red Alert’ against Brazil’s nuclear program.

    http://rehmat1.wordpress.com/2009/11/25/ahmadinejad-meets-lula/

  43. Rehmat says:

    Unknown Unknowns – Judaism doesn’t exist anymore. Holocaust is the new Jewish religion. It’s not me – but Israeli professor Yeshyahu Leibowictz, who has defined his Jewish religion that way…..

    http://rehmat1.wordpress.com/2009/11/02/holocaust-is-new-jewish-religion/

  44. Sala says:

    haha look at this, the ugly, hypocrite, warmongering hag hillarious clinton have once again proved to be…a real hypocrite. She..that represent america warn AFrica..for the so called “chinese neolcoloinalism”?!

    http://www.thechinatimes.com/online/2011/06/154.html

    this just proves once more that this hag have really lost the grip of reality because we know what US have done in Latinamerica, middle east, asia since the 40s!

  45. Iranian@Iran says:

    MHF

    You are being absurd. However, you well represent the US/Israeli position.

  46. Unknown Unknowns says:

    This is what Judaism has become:

    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article28280.htm

  47. Dan Cooper says:

    MHF

    June 11, 2011 at 4:31 pm

    You have spewed out nonsense.

    Your post is absurd.

  48. TheDonkeyInTheWell says:

    I’m curios MHF

    You say

    “On the other hand, the intention to build nuclear weapons in today’s Iran cannot be hidden– beyond all physical facts discovered since 2002,”

    What are these facts? Are they mentioned in the NIE (if not, why?), or are you thinking about the IAEA rapport or any other evidence? And how do you relate these facts with eg the article written by Hersh?

    More importantly, what is the criteria you hold to prove that someone has a specific intention?

    You continue

    “logic tells you that mullahs have no other way to guarantee them staying in power for, perhaps, the next 50 years, except if they could hold a few nuclear weapons, to enable them to also hold Iranian population as hostages.”

    How do you reason? Are you saying the government of Iran will threaten to use nukes on Iranians? I can understand the prestige of nuclear power as political capital, but you specifically use the word “hostage”. What exactly do you mean with that?

  49. http://brillwebsite.com/writings/Irannuclear.html

    A shameless plug my essay at the link above, but I think it lays out the analysis well, in the form of arguments by the IAEA and Iran, respectively, in a hypothetical arbitration proceeding brought under Article 22 of Iran’s Safeguards Agreement:

    EXCERPT FROM “THE IRAN NUCLEAR DISPUTE – A NEW APPROACH:

    From these assumptions, the IAEA’s argument probably would proceed essentially as follows:

    Our essential duty under Iran’s Safeguards Agreement is to determine whether Iran has diverted nuclear material – declared or undeclared – to non-peaceful uses. We cannot perform this duty because Iran’s concealment, until late 2003,[37] of nuclear material, facilities and activities that it was obligated to report has left us justifiably uncertain even today whether Iran has declared all of its nuclear material. The suspicion created by Iran’s past disclosure violations will remain until Iran cooperates fully to help us dispel it. Additional information uncovered during our investigations, and in the “alleged studies”[38] later revealed to us by third parties, have raised still more questions that must be answered to satisfy us that Iran’s nuclear material is being used exclusively for peaceful purposes. Because Iran was responsible for creating our suspicion, it now must take reasonable confidence-building measures necessary to dispel it – even if those measures go beyond Iran’s Safeguards Agreement obligations. Among other things, Iran must comply with the Additional Protocol and revised Code 3.1, suspend enrichment and reprocessing, and answer more questions about the “alleged studies.”

    We have authority to refer Iran’s non-compliance to the UN Security Council, and we have done so. Accordingly, the Security Council has authority to compel Iran to comply with our requests, and it has done so. Iran unjustifiably refuses to comply with our requests and the Security Council’s demands.

    Iran’s Arbitration Argument. Iran’s argument predictably would open with a focus on the text of its Safeguards Agreement:

    Iran’s Safeguards Agreement states clearly what it must do and may not do. That is what Iran agreed to – no more, no less – and it is in full compliance with its obligations.

    The IAEA learned in 2003 that Iran had made incomplete disclosures about its nuclear program during the last two decades of the twentieth century, ending in 2003. The IAEA did not claim that any of the activities involved had been prohibited by the NPT or Iran’s Safeguards Agreement[39] – only that Iran should have disclosed them. Even so, Iran’s disclosure violations were exaggerated by its critics. For example, despite numerous press reports that Iran had illegally concealed its Natanz and Arak facilities, the IAEA never agreed.[40] Nearly all of Iran’s disclosure violations involved a small amount of uranium (.13 effective kilogram, as measured under Iran’s Safeguards Agreement – 4.6 ounces) that Iran had purchased from China in 1991.[41]

    Over the next several years, Iran voluntarily answered hundreds of questions from the IAEA, permitted more extensive inspections than any other country in the world, and disclosed far more about its nuclear program than its Safeguards Agreement calls for. It still does. The IAEA eventually finished its investigation[42] and verified that Iran had not diverted any declared nuclear material. It has routinely verified the same thing in every report since then.

    Contrary to the IAEA’s assertions, it is not “required by the Safeguards Agreement… to verify that all nuclear material in Iran is in peaceful activities.”[43] It is required only to determine whether or not it can make such a verification, and to do so if it can. If it cannot, the IAEA has authority to take certain actions and make certain reports, and it must report to the Security Council, among others, if it finds Iran is in “non-compliance” with its Safeguards Agreement.

    Only once, in February 2006, has the IAEA reported Iran’s “non-compliance” to the Security Council. Although the IAEA Statute also required the IAEA Board to “call upon [Iran] to remedy forthwith any non-compliance which it finds to have occurred,” the IAEA Board did not do so – for a very good reason: Iran’s reported “non-compliance” was based entirely on disclosure violations that, according to the IAEA itself, had ended more than two years earlier.[44] Although those violations have led the IAEA to examine Iran much more carefully ever since, it has never found “non-compliance” based on Iran’s conduct of its nuclear program since 2003.[45] Instead, it misrepresents to the Security Council that Iran is “required” to take various actions that the IAEA itself acknowledges are entirely voluntary. The IAEA asks the Security Council to transform these voluntary steps into obligations by insisting that Iran’s long-ago disclosure violations now require it to provide whatever information, and to accept whatever restrictions, the IAEA deems necessary to verify the absence of undeclared nuclear material.

    The IAEA has no such authority under Iran’s Safeguards Agreement – nor does the Security Council or anyone else. Although the IAEA now insists it is unacceptable, indefinite uncertainty about undeclared nuclear material is not only an acceptable outcome under Iran’s Safeguards Agreement, but one that plainly was contemplated when the Agreement was drafted by the IAEA decades ago. Article 98(O), for example, explicitly excludes uranium “ore” from the definition of “nuclear material” that must be declared, and Article 33 states: “Safeguards under this Agreement shall not apply to material in mining or ore processing activities.” Such exclusions would never appear in an agreement whose purpose was to detect undeclared nuclear material. Undoubtedly that is why the IAEA sought to remove them when detection of undeclared nuclear material became important to the IAEA many years later. Article 2(v) of the Additional Protocol, for example, requires extensive disclosures about uranium mines.

    Iran’s obligations under its Safeguards Agreement may not be increased without its consent merely because the IAEA decided, many years later, to place greater emphasis on detecting undeclared nuclear material and devised a more burdensome inspection scheme to accomplish its new goal – including, for example, the Additional Protocol and revised Code 3.1. Much less does the IAEA’s belated emphasis on detection entitle it to venture even beyond the Additional Protocol to ask unending questions about the so-called “alleged studies” files delivered to the IAEA by third parties several years ago. As the IAEA itself acknowledges, even if those files were not entirely fabricated, none of them suggests that Iran has diverted or failed to declare nuclear material, the subject matter of Iran’s Safeguards Agreement. Although Iran nevertheless has answered many questions about those files, it is not willing – much less obligated – to reveal sensitive information about its conventional military capabilities merely because the IAEA considers this necessary to satisfy itself about the “alleged studies.”

    Iran does not dispute that it must declare its nuclear material as required under its Safeguards Agreement, and it has declared all of it. If the IAEA is not persuaded, Article 19 of Iran’s Safeguards Agreement requires it “to afford the Government of Iran every reasonable opportunity to furnish the [IAEA] with any necessary reassurance” that Iran has not diverted nuclear material to non-peaceful purposes. The IAEA has afforded many such opportunities to Iran since 2003, and Iran has availed itself of many of them. But Article 19 does not require Iran to continue accepting every opportunity the IAEA may choose to offer. At some point – and that point was reached long ago – Iran fairly may ask that the IAEA accept the same inescapable fact it has accepted for many other countries: No matter what more Iran might disclose, it can never prove that it has no undeclared nuclear material, just as no other country can ever prove this. For dozens of countries, the IAEA has concluded that it cannot determine whether undeclared nuclear material exists. It claims to have reached the same conclusion for Iran. Just as for other countries, such a determination does not mean that Iran has violated its Safeguards Agreement, nor does it give the IAEA a right to impose additional obligations on Iran.

    Iran’s Safeguards Agreement authorizes the IAEA to report certain matters to the Security Council, but it does not authorize the Security Council to enforce or interpret the Agreement. Only the IAEA,[46] and now this arbitration panel,[47] has that authority. Iran acknowledges that the Security Council may act under the UN Charter if it determines Iran’s nuclear program is a Peace Threat. When the Security Council next considers that threshold question, it should be told clearly what has been kept obscure in the past: Except for the parties’ Code 3.1 disagreement, the IAEA does not claim that Iran’s nuclear program has failed to comply with its Safeguards Agreement since late 2003, and Iran has no obligation to implement the Additional Protocol or to suspend enrichment or reprocessing. Nor, in Iran’s opinion, is it required to observe revised Code 3.1. The arbitrators should now decide who is correct and their binding decision should promptly be reported to the Security Council. If the arbitrators rule as we expect, the Security Council will be obliged to acknowledge that it has no basis for demanding that Iran do any of these things.

    END OF EXCERPT FROM “THE IRAN NUCLEAR DISPUTE – A NEW APPROACH.

  50. James Canning says:

    Persain Gulf,

    The MEK terrorists are still on the list of terrorists kept by the US State Dept. Numerous warmongering neocons, other radical elements of the Israel first group, stooges of the ISRAEL LOBBY, etc., are trying to get the MEK terrorists off the list.

    I think Obama favored better relations with Iran but simply did not have the knowledge and experience to go forward with the effort needed to get the job done. He has to cope with numerous stooges of the ISRAEL LOBBY in his own party, in the US Congress. And he has to raise huge sums from rich and powerful Jews, to get himself and as many Democrats as possible elected in 2012.

  51. James Canning says:

    Persian Gulf,

    the Shah of Iran was friendly toward Israel so the ISRAEL LOBBY said little about his nuclear weapons programme.

  52. James Canning says:

    Eric,

    I think the UK, France, Germany, and Italy are spending enough on defence. The US has been extremely foolish to double the percentage of the economy poured into armaments etc since the election of George W. Bush in 2000. The Europeans should not emulate American stupidity.

  53. James Canning says:

    Arnold Evans,

    We can be sure Obama will be foolish enough to offer inducements to Maliki, in effort to keep US troops in Iraq.

  54. Persian Gulf says:

    MHF says: (or most probably Mr.Mojadeh Khalghi, we say monafegh in Iran)
    June 11, 2011 at 4:31 pm

    Even Zahedi said it openly that the intention of Shah’s nuclear program was to build a nuclear devise within 18 months. you can check it online. Or ask Mr. Ray Tekeyh, turned to a neocon. he can give you more references.

    One should seriously ask you hidden agenda, Mr.informed!

    your days have past number Mr. you have nothing back there. even a full fledged revolution would not give you the chance to have a credible public life in Iran. you are hated to the hilt in Iran, if in case you are not that informed about it.

  55. MHF says:

    Flynt and Hillary-
    I am pretty sure that neither one of you folks are very stupid. However, being a wishful person, I am not sure. You have spent several years in U.S. foreign corps, which as far as I know, does not hire stupids, but I know for a fact that there are plenty of naives among them– there is a difference between those two terms, you know!

    As a very informed person in the subject of Iranian Nuclear issues (then,) I can tell you that your, and the gangster-turned-diplomat-turned-researcher Mr. Mossavian are wrong in the “miss-information” you have presented above. In your case, probably from naivety; in the case of Mr. Mossavian, under the orders of his masters in Tehran.

    Why I am saying this, you ask? There was NONE, no program or intention before Khomeini’s coming, to create any system, or pursue nuclear weapons building in Iran. The intention was to only create a network of power stations to take over electricity generation, and reduce contribution of hydrocarbons in power generation in Iran. I am not discussing here the rightfulness of this policy, just the facts. On the other hand, the intention to build nuclear weapons in today’s Iran cannot be hidden– beyond all physical facts discovered since 2002, logic tells you that mullahs have no other way to guarantee them staying in power for, perhaps, the next 50 years, except if they could hold a few nuclear weapons, to enable them to also hold Iranian population as hostages. Mr. Mossavian knows this; perhaps one of this policy’s original architects. When he talks about U.S. and Iranian “cooperation,” he is only repeating those words under the direction of his masters in Tehran, trying to fool the naive foreign corps members in U.S., the same way that he organized dozens of hits and assassinations of Iranian activists in Europe when he was “ambassador” in Germany for just under a decade in the 1990′s. Has anyone asked him how he did it?

    I am sure that you, as experienced foreign corps officers, must know and understand these issues. Hence, when I saw this article, I asked myself: what is Flynt and Hillary’s “line” here? It cannot be outside one of the following three alternatives; (1) Do you like to be known as “stupid;” (2) Do you have a hidden agenda; or (3) Do you hope your readers will assume the stupidity?

  56. Castellio,

    “How did that change of government work out?”

    Not so well, but the alternative was John McCain. I think that would have worked out even less well.

  57. Castellio says:

    Eric, you’re happy with the “push back” in the comments section against the NYT’s endorsement of NATO’s continuous wars. Is this the same push back that elected Obama with a majority in both houses?

    How did that change of government work out?

  58. Having often mentioned how easy the US government finds it to whip the American public into a war-like frenzy — perhaps to be aimed at Iran some day — I feel obliged to mention some impressive evidence to the contrary in response to today’s New York Times editorial entitled “Talking Truth to NATO.” The editorial’s essential point was that Europe is not footing its share of the bill for NATO’s defense of Europe, and that the US should insist that Europe start doing so or else let Europe twist slowly in the wind.

    Though a few commenters kept their remarks within this narrow frame, most commenters argued instead that NATO has no business doing what it’s doing regardless of who pays for it, or even remain in existence.

    America’s (excuse me: NATO’s) misadventures in Afghanistan and Iraq — and now in Libya — may be a blessing in disguise for Iran. They may finally wear out the American military, or at least (and at long last) make Americans understand just how foolishly their government has been behaving.

    http://community.nytimes.com/comments/www.nytimes.com/2011/06/11/opinion/11sat1.html?sort=oldest

  59. I recognize that few others probably care about the following, or even remember it. Nonetheless, I’ve been worried that my comment reproduced below, which I posted here several months ago, may have been misinterpreted by the Leveretts and others. I’ve decided I should make clear that that was not at all my intent. My comment was a response to Pak’s suspicion that the Leveretts were declining to post one of his comments because they disagreed with what he had to say. While anyone who follows this website knows that the Leveretts do not do that sort of thing, I’d recently pointed out on the same thread that Juan Cole routinely does, rendering his Informed Comment website an almost useless echo chamber.

    I’d added that one who disagrees with Juan Cole might get past his censorship by heaping praise on him before launching into the substance of one’s critical comment. It was with that observation in mind that I responded to Pak’s expressed frustration – with what I intended to be a humorous comment, not one that expressed my actual view of how the Leveretts run this excellent website.

    If the Leveretts and/or others interpreted my comment to mean that I believe the Leveretts behave like Juan Cole, I apologize for creating that mistaken impression. Nothing could be further from my actual belief.

    Here is the earlier comment I’m referring to:

    I’ve got a suggestion, Pak. Whatever it was you wanted to say, put something like this in front of it:

    “Flynt and Hillary: As many others have pointed out so often that you must tire of hearing it, the English language lacks the superlatives necessary for me to properly describe my awe at your intellectual radiance. I rarely go to the bathroom – much less order a meal or refinance my mortgage – without checking your website for guidance. Though I had thought it impossible, your most recent piece was an even more sparkling jewel than the hundreds of brilliant essays that had come before it – just as I am certain your next essay will outshine even this one. Though I feel inadequate even to bask in the glow of your eminence, I hope you will deign to consider just one question that has come to my mind …”

    I can’t guarantee that preface will get your comment posted here, Pak. But if it doesn’t work, just change “Flynt and Hillary” to “Professor Cole,” and give it a try on Juan Cole’s website.

  60. Persian Gulf says:

    James Canning says:
    June 11, 2011 at 2:03 pm

    Isn’t openly funding government in exile, let alone applying crippling sanctions, helping militants, creating TVs for propaganda purposes, “actively pursuing regime change”? what is it then? or has the term recently changed due to !Israel lobby!?

    does the U.S dare to do a minor version of the above actions with respect to countries like China, Russia, India, France, Turkey,….

    could you please tell us, in a simple term, what the difference between pursuing regime change and not pursuing it is? forget about the effect of a third party.

  61. James Canning says:

    Sakineh,

    As a bit of background, a number of Jewish leaders in the US, prior to the illegal invasion of Iraq, called upon the Jewish community in the US to take a low profile publicly, so that if the illegal scheme blew up badly, the Jewish community would not be blamed. And in fact, most American Jews opposed the invasion of Iraq. But warmongering neocons, most of whom were and are Jews, carried through the conspiracy and subsequently ensured protection for the perpetrators.

  62. James Canning says:

    Sakineh,

    Great story by Robert Dreyfuss you linked. Everyone posting on this site should read it.

    I also recommend, for film-goers, “Fair Game” (about the retaliation of the Dick Cheney regime against Joe Wilson and his wife, for calling the attention of the American public to the falsification of intelligence, by the Bush administration, to set up the illegal invasion of Iraq).

  63. James Canning says:

    Persian Gulf,

    Is the US “actively pursuing regime change” in Iran, or is the reality that Obama for domestic political reasons, including fund-raising among rich and powerful Jews, needs to pretend to be more hostile than he actually is?

  64. fyi says:

    hans says: June 11, 2011 at 11:08 am

    I agree with you.

    I doubt very much that the perpetrators will be punished.

    I think US, Israel, and Germany have gravely harmed themselves and the international security by this cyber-attack on Iran.

    The ramifications were clear even when that worm was being designed; a cyber act of war that could cause physical harm, say by creating nuclear contamination, is an act of war and thus open to physical retaliation.

    US Ministry of War acknowledged as much last month.

    Which implies that they had not been consulted about this cyber-attack.

  65. Persian Gulf says:

    Liz says:
    June 11, 2011 at 1:19 pm

    YES, it is indeed disgusting, more than that laughable. it made me laugh to see her saying something like that, exactly what the U.S has being doing over the past 5-6 decades.

    btw, this one is laughable too!

    http://www.farsnews.net/newstext.php?nn=9003210911

    “البته رسانه‌هاي !متعادلي! مانند خبرگزاري فارس نيز وجود دارد كه با تحليل درست و به‏جا اين جريان انحرافي را به جامعه معرفي مي‌كنند. ” !!!

    خود گویی و خود خندی؟ عجب مرد هنرمندی!!!

  66. Persian Gulf says:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oFmy12R7spI

    I am wondering if this was the reason George Soros foolishly predicted Islamic Republic will be toppled within one year!

    I think we are still far away from the normalization of the U.S-Iran relation. the fact that the U.S actively supports regime change further confirms that she does not recognize as a sovereign country adding more to the disproportionality, or the perception thereof, of their power status.

    Liz:

    Is this the whole movie?

  67. Rehmat says:

    Yesterday, Zionist media fired its latest smoking gun “UN Report: Iran caught smuggling to terrorists”. Agend, to provide more ammunition to UNSC to expand its current four sanctions against Islamic Republic. The “Report” cites that Tehran, in recent years, has tried to supply arms to Islamic Resistance groups Hamas and Hizbullah, and Taliban. However, the ‘Report’ conveniently ignored to mention that Washington has been providing $3 billion worth of most deadly arms on annual basis, for decades – to an entity created and maintained on terrorism against its Arab neighbors and around the world.

    Israel caught in terrorism in 25 nations
    http://rehmat1.wordpress.com/2011/06/11/israel-caught-in-terrorism-in-25-nations/

  68. hans says:

    STUXNET Iran was an inside job!

    Does it matter, STUXNET was probably designed by Zionist with the help if Siemans of Germany. This is a crime which could have got out of control. Amazing no condemnation or hot air from the UNSC. I hope the perpetrators of this crime will be severely punished. This could have been a major incident.

  69. TheDonkeyInTheWell says:

    Rd

    I agree with you that western media fabricate news but I would still maintain that it falls within the concept of “propaganda”. The fabrication of news is just one way of spreading propaganda.

    I like Greenwald too, mostly because he is one of the few that thinks outside of the narrative of left/right and seems to have understood that it’s all about power and those subservient to it.

    I looked at the link you provided, though I didn’t have the stomach to stay on that site more than a few seconds.

    I frankly do not bother with western mainstream news anymore. I have neither the time nor patience with their nonsense.

    For those interested I can also recommend: http://www.projectcensored.org/.

  70. Fiorangela says:

    news flash!

    STUXNET Iran was an inside job!

    http://c-span.org/Live-Video/C-SPAN/

  71. Kathleen says:

    Rehmat and Fio do you mind if I bring up your banning over at Mondo and publicly ask why over there?

  72. Rd. says:

    TheDonkeyInTheWell says “Speech on media propaganda”

    Propaganda is a form of communication that is aimed at influencing the attitude of a community toward some cause or position so as to benefit oneself. …

    Greenwald is a good guy, but I think he is way behind. The media propaganda is the old story. MSM has now turned into MFM..

    Mass Fabricating Media… to save the miserable empire, along with leo panetta as the new mafia boss, we are in for some good ol’ time..

    Anyone watch that useless icon of progressive liberal media, PBS Mass News Fabrication Friday nite? The first few second was enough to see their intent. It is incredibly amazing to see the extent they are willing to fabricate anything and everything to save themselves…

    http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/world/jan-june11/iranianwomen_06-10.html

  73. TheDonkeyInTheWell says:

    http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/glenn_greenwald/2011/06/09/media_speech/index.html

    Speech on media propaganda

    By Glenn Greenwald

    The 30-minute speech I gave last month at the Symphony Space in New York is now available on video, and is posted below in three YouTube segments (the first segment also contains the 4-minute introduction of my speech). The speech pertains to the evolution of my views on media criticism, the nature of media propaganda and what drives it, and what can be done to combat it.

  74. BiBiJon says:

    Regarding David (livid) Sanger (anger)’s reply to Kathleen.

    In reply David said there are no “conclusive” evidence, but lots of “circumstantial” evidence.

    David Sanger, Daniel Luban, and others who are busy spinning Sy Hersh’s article by emphasizing all that is missing is “incontrovertible” evidence seem to have resonance.

    As a nation we are swayed by circumstantial evidence. As a nation we take the defendant’s denials as being unapologetic for the fear and disgust the defendant has brought upon us by virtue of being accused. Thus, the defendant’s indignation at the charges are taken to be another circumstantial evidence promoting ‘guilty’, to unrepentantly guilty. We, the hysteria-prone nation of the Salem Witchcraft Trials of 1692, demand perversion of “proof beyond reasonable doubt” as a mischievously satisfying abrogation of justice offered as an occasional sacrifice to our worst societal demons. It is not without a silver-lining. After the ritual burning at the stake, or whatever barbaric punishment we only reserve for this type of convicts, our nation produces the world’s most moralizing essays, and commentary lamenting our past cruelties.

    David Sanger is not just holding his left arm out in front of him, and swinging his right arm side to side. Look closely, he is playing a violin. Look closer. That violin is us.

  75. Unknown Unknowns says:

    Fiorangela says:
    June 10, 2011 at 7:59 pm

    A-men, sister. A-men. Telling it like it is, as usual. You GO girl! :D

  76. Persian Gulf says:

    Low wages and revolutions
    By Henry C K Liu

    http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Global_Economy/MF10Dj01.html

  77. Rehmat says:

    Both the US and Israel may be forced to accept a new regime in Yemen – but like in Tunisia and Egypt – they would like the new regime to be a continuation of Saleh’s submission to US-Israel. Israel-Firster Sen. Joe Lieberman had made that clear last year.

    Washington, on behlaf of Israel, have been creating fear of Tehran among its neighboring countries since the collapse of USSR influence in the region in 1990. Yemen’s Bab el-Mandab site, is very important strategically to Israel, China and Iran. The site, between Yemen, Djibouti, and Eritrea connects the Red Sea with Gulf of Aden and the Arabian Sea. Oil and other exports from the Persian Gulf must pass through Bab el-Mandab before entering the Suez Canal. A very good reason for US/NATO to petrol the waters and control oil supply to China and protect Israel from its hostile neighbors.

    http://rehmat1.wordpress.com/2011/06/11/tawakkol-karman-%e2%80%93-yemen%e2%80%99s-woman-revolutionary/

  78. Fiorangela says:

    Kathleen, Phil has banned me from Mondo as well; the day after the banning he printed an article we had been discussing and refining via email over a period of several days. He was very happy to get my article, and it was well received on Mondo.

    Since then, I have asked him twice to reinstate my account, but Phil has not responded to THOSE emails.

    re the Jewish kid who got roughed up and arrested: I thought the Mondoweiss celebration was obnoxious. The kid got roughed up and arrested; that does not make him presidential material.

    The meme that “this is what Jews stand for” is obnoxious also. If the behavior of one 19 year old Jew with a kaffiyeh around his neck is to generalized to, “This is characteristic of all Jews,” then why is it not even more rational to generalize that the behavior of 600,000 settlers who steal and humiliate is characteristic of “all Jews?”

    As well, the statement that “Jews give more to philanthropies” is bogus. Catholic Charities, Lutheran Services, Methodist Ministries, all support and have supported for over a hundred years the greatest outreach to the poor and dispossessed, regardless of religious allegiance. In a speech to a Hillel group at U of Chicago in the 1970s, Milton Friedman commented that the greatest hospitals in England and the US were built by private groups, not government. Catholic nuns, priests, and brothers, and confessants of numerous Protestant denominations, established many of those institutions. Many are still functioning; some have been swallowed up by a medical industry that has commodified the healing arts. Since the late 1960s, Israel has become THE central tenet of Jewry, which Jews support philanthropically. As Gilad Atzmon pointed out in an interview with Michael Coniff, Jews also have invested in think tanks, media, university departments that give to Jews ideological leverage.

    The very fact that Phil picks and chooses who comments, and what they say, on his blog, makes Mondoweiss little more than a cheering section for a specific point of view, that censors any POV that deviates from the promulgated narrative — Phil is J Street to Jonah Goldberg’s AIPAC.

    When non-Jews in the United States of America can create a robust and well-financed and promoted blog like Mondoweiss that represents NON Jews and NON Jewish opinions and grievances without fear of retribution or of being censured by the US State Department office that monitors “antisemitism,” THEN we will be functioning in the way that the US was intended to function. When David Irving can appear on C Span without Deborah Lipstadt, Abe Foxman, CAMERA, and Mitchell Bard having hissy fits and pulling all the levers that Jewish “philanthropy” makes it possible for them to pull, and censor Irving out of mind, THEN we will be engaging in open debate and THEN we will be telling truth to power. Right now, Jews are exerting and exercising privilege, as Phil reminds his readers on a regular basis.

  79. James Canning says:

    hans,

    Are you arguing that Tony Blair helped set up the illegal invasion of Iraq for future economic gain for himself? Do you think Blair was duped about Iraq’s non-existent WMD or that he just pretended to be duped?

  80. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    It is not clear to me what you believe Iran should be doing to prepare for the possibility of war, even if war seems unlikely.

  81. James Canning says:

    hans,

    Yes, Tony Blair saw the way Bill Clinton quickly grew rich after leaving office, and followed his lead.

  82. James Canning says:

    Cyrus,

    I agree with you that the US has not acted in good faith. The question is how best to deal with this problem, with a view toward avoiding greater problems. The ISRAEL LOBBY virtually guarantees the US will not act in good faith.

  83. BiBiJon says:

    Kathleen says:
    June 10, 2011 at 3:28 pm

    Kathleen,

    Absolutely well done!

    The answer you got was from David (livid) Sanger (anger) who fits the description:

    Begin Quote
    =========

    Other People’s Fears and Fantasies Become America’s

    Israeli politicians are addicted to the Iran threat. Iran serves, alongside the Palestinians, as the latter day ruthless anti-Semite who would destroy the Jews. Zionists seem to need this kind of “existentialist” enemy. This is the equivalent of the Islamic fundamentalist taking the place of the hateful communist as the great enemy that the United States also seems to need. The Israeli lobby is more influential in formulating U.S. foreign policy toward Iran than all of the nation’s intelligence services put together. Hence our politicians from the president on down, chase shadows. Not just verbally, mind you, but in terms of definable policy (like sanctions against Iran).

    End Quote http://mwcnews.net/focus/editorial/11329-iran-nuclear-weapons.html
    ========

    David (anger) Sanger of course lied again in response to your question, as he had earlier …

    Begin Quote
    =========

    a New York Times report (24 May 2011) stating “the world’s global nuclear inspection agency [IAEA]…revealed for the first time…that it possesses evidence that Tehran has conducted work on a highly sophisticated nuclear triggering technology that experts said could be used for only one purpose: setting off a nuclear weapon.” Hersh quickly pointed out the that the word “evidence” never appeared in the IAEA report and, it turns out, the type of nuclear trigger the New York Times was referring to is so fraught with technical problems that, according to Hersh, “there is no evidence that anybody in their right mind would want to use that kind of a trigger.” So, what in the world is the New York Times telling us?

    End Quote (From the same link as above)
    ========

  84. Cyrus says:

    James – Iran has shown more than adequate transparency. It has on several occasions far exceeded its legal obligations, even going as far as to suspend enrichment for 3 years. In return, all it got was moving goalposts and demands that it prove a negative. There’s no point providing transparency when the other side is simply acting in bad faith.

  85. hans says:

    @James Canning
    I think Tony Blair actually was duped into believing Iraq had WMD.

    This is what drove TB $ ₣ ¢ £ ¤ ¥ ฿ ₠ ₡ ₢ ₣ ₤ ₥ ₦ ₧ ₨ ₩ ₫ ₪ €
    what was his first job outside politics? he knew exactly what he was doing. Remember what the Zionist offer you is what eventually the USA tax payer will have to pay. So look soon to see the statements “The deficit for the month of XXX has increased by YYYY” that means somebody has used the FED to bribe the UN especially regarding Syria and Iran!

  86. Kathleen says:

    Rehmat I am sorry you were banned over at Mondoweiss. Try again. Where else do we see the kind of opening to cover some of the facts on the ground in the conflict in the US world?

    I have followed almost everything Ray McGovern has written and said since before the invasion. Have a great deal of respect for the man

  87. Kathleen says:

    This morning I was able to get a question about Iran and Sy Hersh’s recent article “Iran and the Bomb” through during the Diane Rehm show international round up hour (have done this hundreds of times, folks should give it a try, millions are listening. Ask the questions the host and guest are avoiding or challenging.
    http://thedianerehmshow.org/shows/2011-06-10/friday-news-roundup-hour-2

    my comment and question about Iran’s alleged nuclear weapons program comes at 48:10. Would like to hear what people think about one of the guest response to the question. I asked why members of Aipac, congress and guest on MSM news outlets keep getting away with repeating unsubstantiated claims about Iran. Hope you listen

    Of course they cut me off when I was bringing attention to the fact that they had spent almost a full hour focused on international issues and did not whisper anything about the I/P conflict. Like the ever expanding illegal settlements

  88. Valle says:

    presstv.com/detail/184085.html
    Amr Moussa call for tighter collab between Iran and arab world. Seems like a better president than Mubarak..thats for sure.

  89. James Canning says:

    BiBiJon,

    Yes, it can be difficult to judge the sincerity of a politician’s belief in a given matter, even when one has a chance to discuss it directly with the person or persons.
    Many leaders do not take the time to read the material that is “out there”. Full stop. They act based on the sound bites put out by talking heads on TV, and in opinion pieces in major newspapers.

    I think Tony Blair actually was duped into believing Iraq had WMD. The best information I have is that George W. Bush was also duped, but that Dick Cheney knew there was very little likelihood Iraq had WMD. He had seen the raw intel at the CIA and had ensured it stayed out of the White House.

  90. James Canning says:

    Cyrus,

    It is to Iran’s benefit for the US to be exposed as being hostile to Iran, not because of the Iranian nuclear programme, but because stooges of the ISRAEL LOBBY in the US Congress want to help Israel keep much of the West Bank, and much if not all of the Golan Heights. Iran interferes with this programme of a GREATER ISRAEL.

  91. James Canning says:

    Writing in the Financial Times today, Martin Indyk of the Saban Center at Brookings claimed that Abbas had agreed to drop his demand that Israel stop growing the illegal colonies in the West Bank, before the Palestinians agree to resume negotiations. Abbas did not agree to do this. Indyk is trying to head off the recognition of Palestine as independent (by UN later this year).

  92. James Canning says:

    Cyrus,

    Adequate transparency would resolve the problem of Iran’s nuclear programme to a considerable degree. Yes, neocons warmongers et al. would still seek to pressure Iran, as a way of helping Israel continue its insane effort to keep much of the West Bank permanently.

  93. Cyrus says:

    RE: definition of “objective guarantees” – Roberto Toscano, Italy’s ambassador to Iran later defined what that term meant in a discussion on Gulf2000 Project: it meant zero enrichment.

    (Quoted with Amb Toscano’s permission)

  94. Cyrus says:

    Incidentally I recommend reading that several former European ambassadors to Iran have written: “Iran is not in breach of international law”
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/jun/09/iran-nuclear-power-un-threat-peace

    However these ambassadors still make the mistake of thinking that the issue can be resolved through more IAEA inspections and they ignore underlying political nature of the conflict.

  95. Cyrus says:

    Furthermore, if Iran wanted to “keep options open” then why was it willing to limit its enrichment program to only a symbolic number of centrifuges, as ElBaradei noted?

    The problem is not Iran’s nuclear program. That is just a pretext. The US needs to keep that pretext alive, and that’s why the US has consistently ignored perfectly reasonable compromise offers by Iran, and has instead insisted on the unachievable “zero-enrichment” standard. The US is deliberately making this into a standoff. Thus, no amount of compromises by Iran on its nuclear program will ever suffice, because the US is simply not really interested in resolving this issue. And in fact no amount of IAEA inspections can resolve it either, since the IAEA can’t prove that Iran won’t potentially make a bomb in the indefinite future.

    In short, those who talk about technical solutions to the standoff by coming up with various scenarios involving heightened inspections etc, are simply missing the point. The issue is not Iran’s nuclear program. The issue is an underlying US/Israeli hostility to Iran per se.

  96. Cyrus says:

    Hersh still fell for a lie. “Keeping options open” is a nonsense charge. Any country with any nuclear program can be similarly accused since the technology for a civilian and a military nuclear program is identical. The entire reason for the existence of the IAEA is to ensure that 1-countries receive the benefits of civilian nuclear energy, and 2- not use the same for military purposes by diverting nuclear material to non-peaceful uses.

    In the case of Iran, the IAEA has repeatedly verified that no nuclear material has been diverted. Thus, Iran is in full compliance with its NPT obligations. The IAEA has no authority to demand anything more of Iran. Indeed, the very first sentence of Iran’s standard safeguards agreement with the IAEA spells this out clearly: the safeguard is for the EXCLUSIVE purpose of ensuring that no nuclear material has been diverted. That means Iran’s missile programs etc all fall OUTSIDE of the IAEA’s jurisdiction especially since the IAEA itself has stated that it has no evidence that any nuclear material was involved in the “alleged studies” and an IAEA report itself clearly stated that absent some “nexus” with nuclear material, the IAEA has no legal basis to press Iran on non-nuclear activities such as missile development etc.

  97. BiBiJon says:

    James Canning says:
    June 9, 2011 at 6:27 pm

    You wrote:

    “I can assure you there is a very genuine concern on the part of a number of leaders of the UK and the US, that Iran is secretly gearing up to build nukes quickly.”

    ====

    James,

    I am not endowed with the ability to gauge people’s sincerity or lack there of. I console myself about this personal shortcoming by dismissing voyeurism’s importance, e.g. who cares how sincere flat earth believers had been; Surely all that matters is that they were wrong, and necessarily, holding on to their arguably sincere albeit wrong convictions led to actions that historians will forever condemn.

    One cannot talk about convictions and sincerity without considering a certain affable Tony. Tony Blair has made professed ‘conviction’, and contrived ‘sincerity’ into a political art form. In the process, not only has Tony trashed the centrality of knowledge, skill, and empirical data, not only has he hollowed out the foreign office and MI-6 to function as stationary supply depot providing blank sheets of paper for a PM to write whatever he feels like, Blair has managed to destroy the imperial order in the Mid East which for centuries allowed the empire to fleece the locals.

    Anyway, James, I ask you to explain how a genuine concern about Iranian nuclear weapons jibes with the following excerpt:

    ============
    SPIEGEL: …and the Iranians continued to develop their technology and played for time by conducting half-hearted nuclear talks with the Europeans.

    ElBaradei: The Americans thought they could threaten Iran with a big stick and force it to back down. But the arrogance of treating a country like Iran like a donkey led to a hardening of positions. But there were two times when we were close to a solution, brokered by countries I cannot identify.

    SPIEGEL: You are referring to the secret plans of the Russians and the Swiss…

    ElBaradei: …I can’t comment on that. Under one of these proposals, Iran would stop when it reached a scale of 31 uranium enrichment centrifuges. That’s enough for research purposes, but not nearly enough for bomb production. In any case, they already have the know-how. What worries me is when a country reaches an industrial capacity that could enable it to turn this knowledge into weapons production. The United States immediately rejected the proposal because it believed that Iran should not have a single centrifuge. Later, in 2005, when the Iranians were already much further along, there was a plan drawn up by a European country that called for limiting the number of centrifuges to 360.

    SPIEGEL: Were you involved in the negotiations?

    ElBaradei: I was in North Korea when the Iranian chief negotiator, Ali Larijani, called me to say that this would be a very good basis for negotiation. But Washington’s answer was again “no.” Now that it appears that the Iranians have more than 5,000 to 6,000 centrifuges, it looks as though Obama is prepared to negotiate without preconditions because he knows that there is no other solution than a political one.
    ========= http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/0,1518,625600,00.html

    I ask you James, how anyone harboring “genuine concern” of Iranian nuclear weapons would say “NO” to an experimental-level cap on number of centrifuges? I can only imagine that those with a genuine concern had/have absolutely zero input in the negotiations (or lack thereof) with Iran. For those who are running the show, the nuclear issue is a pretext, a red herring, an excuse for maintaining the cold war.

    From Iran’s perspective, while developing a deterrence makes a lot of sense, but embarking on a 20+ year project that is yet to yield any fruit seems preposterous. surely, when anyone feels insecure, they would want to have that deterrence in place yesterday. Indeed, the fact is Iran for many years has had the ultimate deterrence.

    “Iran believes that the new form of warfare it developed in Lebanon can fight a conventional army to a standstill. Iran also believes it is now a global power, inasmuch as its advanced Silkworm missiles positioned along the Persian Gulf can shut off Gulf oil exports in a matter of minutes. The chief of staff’s message was clear: The game has changed.”

    From ,http://goatmilkblog.com/2008/10/11/excerpt-the-devil-we-know-dealing-with-the-new-iranian-superpower/

    ‘The Devil We Know: Dealing With The New Iranian Superpower’ by Robert Baer.

    You said:

    “An important question, of course, is why the nuclear fuel exchange did not succeed, and another important question is why did the US interfered with Iran’s application to refuel the TRR? The short answer is: ISRAEL LOBBY.”

    I believe even a shorter answer is: “red herring.”

  98. Arnold Evans says:

    Most of what the US is doing regarding Iraq it is doing behind closed doors. The United States prefers to operate in secrecy regarding the Middle East (because the US has an agenda that goes against the sensibilities of almost every non-Jewish person in the region).

    Seeing these statements surface to US public outlets indicates at least confidence that the US’ secret efforts have been effective. These statements also demonstrate that contrary to the official position, secret efforts to pressure Iraq to lengthen the US occupation have been and are going on.

    Maybe (and hopefully) Iraq will rebuff US pressure, but it is now clear that this US pressure is being applied.

  99. Rehmat says:

    Kathleen – Mondoweiss is an Israeli apologetic website. It accepts criticism of the Zionist regime, its US support – but cannot stand the truth that Palestine belongs to its native Palestinians and not the alien Jews. I have been there and got banned for asking the question.

    Ray McGovern 71, former CIA analyst for 27 years – staged a ‘silent protest’ during the Israel-Firster Hillary Clinton’s talk on the importance of freedom of speech in the internet age at George Washington University on February 15, 2011. Ray, who is an American war veteran, was left ‘bruised and bloodied’ after being violently dragged out of the hall while hypocrite Zionist Hillary Clinton was lecturing governments in the Middle East, especially the Islamic Republic, on how people should be allowed to protest in peace without fear of threat or violence. She also condemned governments who arrest protesters and do not allow free expression……

    http://rehmat1.wordpress.com/2011/02/19/freedom-of-speech-us-vs-iran/

  100. Kathleen says:

    Check out this arrest of a young American Jewish man who was protesting the Israeli occupation by aggressive and violent Israeli police. If this is what they do in the day light in front of cameras it is not hard to imagine what they do in private to prisoners.
    http://mondoweiss.net/

  101. Fiorangela says:

    The US Marshal’s service is in the Department of Justice, but a friend who is a marshal was shifted to State Department payroll and deployed to Iraq to train “security” for the US embassy in Baghdad. I suspect he is not alone.

  102. Irshad says:

    Whilsy FIFA are busy banning Irans female footballers, I saw on France 24 yesterday the foreign minster of UAE meeting Hilary Clinton and kissing her on both her cheeks….!!!!

    I looked for a picture but couldnt find one – b ut hey is this now the new game in town, to seduce Hilary in selling PG Arab statelets more advanced weaponery that they will never use except when putting down their own popoluation..!

    Also, whats peoples views re: France 24 caught with its pants down when it reported the Syriam ambasador to Paris has resigned live on air..?

    fyi, Arnold Evnas et al. re: the referral of Syria to the UNSC re: its alleged nuclear site?

  103. BiBiJon says:

    Pirouz says:
    June 10, 2011 at 2:11 am

    Pirouz, and Arnold,

    Boston Globe’ editorial today takes a big hedge against the possibility/likelihood of Nouri al-Maliki insisting on US holding fast to a full withdrawal by end of 2011.

    BG’s plan B — leave American police trainers and administrators in Iraq to counter Iran’s influence — seems a little dodgy to me. I cannot imagine operating in Iraq in a civilian capacity without the security umbrella of a large occupation force.

    Putting the infeasibility aside, BG’s editorial is the first churn of spin to make palatable the bitter pill: Trillion$, 5000 dead, 30,000 injured for precisely nothing.

    http://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/editorial_opinion/editorials/articles/2011/06/10/with_or_without_troops_us_has_options_for_keeping_iraq_stable/

  104. Fara says:

    Off topic;

    “Saudi police have arrested six women for practicing driving in an empty car lot in the capital city of Riyadh, calling in their male guardians.”

    http://www.presstv.ir/detail/183979.html

    What is laughable is that, if I remember correctly, Saudi Arabia was elected as the head of the UN branch for ‘women’s rights’ last year.

  105. Pirouz says:

    Arnold,

    Hasn’t actually happened yet. And we don’t know the particulars. And if and when it does happen, we don’t know what the repercussions will be.

    So there’s a lot more to it than simply “the US expects” in a heavily biased media.

  106. Arnold Evans says:

    As some expected, the US is offering secret inducements to Maliki for him to ask for US troops to remain in Iraq.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-13722786

    Iraq will ask the US to keep troops in the country beyond an end-of-2011 pullout deadline, says the nominee to be the next US defence secretary.

    In April, outgoing Defence Secretary Robert Gates said that American troops could, if required by Iraq, stay in the country beyond the withdrawal date.

    Mr Gates had also expressed hope that Baghdad would make such a request.

    The BBC’s Andrew North in Washington says it seems likely that the US has offered Iraq some inducements to maintain its troop presence.

  107. Persian Gulf says:

    with the Arab states leaning toward anarchy, Iran has got a unique opportunity to go full nuclear. I don’t expect these dusts to settle down in the short term. probably takes more than 1-2 year at least. there is no solid opposition in the Arab front against the idea of nuclear Iran now and there won’t be for the foreseeable future. Turkey showed an unreliable ally specially with what it has started to do with Syria. She already accepted the idea of a nuclear Iran anyhow. and Syria looks very shaky. probably by a de jure nuclear status, Iran can drop Syria too and ally with the oppositions; the most important of which is Muslim brotherhood. they seem to be the future of Syria, and probably Jordan…. Iraq is weak now, but she might come to resist this idea in a few years time in which Iran would inevitably need to go nuclear.

    I got really happy to see the Gerdab’s article. it is at the right moment, definitely. the sanctions are applied already; the bogymen that people like Mousavian were afraid of is being in the house for long. it was mostly the fear of sanctions, not war, that led to that ridiculous compromise on the part of reformists. anybody with limited understanding of today’s world affairs would grasp that the war talk is an empty one. Lybia with 5 million people, location…comes to our mind. the U.S economy is at the verge of total collapse, so is Europe locked in the growing debt circle. obviously, job is number one priority in the U.S.

    and we are demonized to the hilt. we say in Farsi:
    بالاتر از سیاهی رنگی نیست

    there is no color above black!

  108. Pirouz says:

    Thanks for doing my homework for me, Richard. I owe ya.

    I’d say this is something akin to President Reagan’s “We begin bombing in five minutes ,” only this is just some anonymous writer on a second rate site and not a head of state.

    Still, it makes one think if it is indeed calculated, especially since it’s drawn Western attention and has not been withdrawn.

  109. fyi says:

    James Canning says: June 9, 2011 at 6:33 pm

    If I am wrong, Iran will be shielded nevertheless by preparing for war – by any means necessary.

    She would be in a comfortable position.

    If I am right, Iranians will have protected themselves by setting up the necessary elements for waging war.

    Iran would be prepared.

  110. Fiorangela says:

    compare and contrast:

    http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.php?nn=9003194139
    FM: IAEA Informed of Transfer of Iran’s Enrichment Program to Fordo
    “Iran has informed the UN nuclear watchdog of transferring enrichment process from its nuclear site in Natanz to Fordo site, Foreign Minister Ali-Akbar Salehi said Thursday

    “Iran informs the International Atomic Energy Agency of any move it has made in its peaceful nuclear activities,” Salehi told reporters on the sidelines of an ECO meeting here.

    He stressed that transferring Iran’s 20 percent uranium enrichment process from the Natanz nuclear site in Isfahan province to Fordo site in Qom province has been earlier reported to the IAEA and “there is no specific talk about it”.

    Tehran on Wednesday announced plans to expand its nuclear fuel production capacity in a move to triple production of 20-percent-enriched uranium to supply fuel to its Tehran research reactor which produces radioisotopes for medicinal use.

    “This year, we will transfer the 20-percent-uranium enrichment (installations) from Natanz (in central Iran) to the Fordo plant (near the holy city of Qom) under the supervision of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and will triple its (production) capacity,” Head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Fereidoon Abbasi told reporters here in Tehran.

    Meantime, Abbasi reiterated that the activities in Natanz enrichment plant will not stop until “we, under the IAEA supervision, make sure of tripled 20-percent fuel production”.

    ::

    :http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/n/a/2011/06/07/international/i074259D64.DTL

    “TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran will soon install more advanced centrifuges at its new uranium enrichment site, the country’s nuclear chief said Wednesday, underscoring Tehran’s continued defiance in the face of international sanctions imposed over its controversial nuclear program.

    Vice President Fereidoun Abbasi also announced that Iran plans to triple its output of the higher enriched uranium in 2011 and move the entire program to the new, secretly-built facility.

    {snip}

    13th paragraph:

    The U.N.’s nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency, would monitor the transfer, he said.”

  111. Pirouz says:

    Need assistance from Persian readers.

    Regarding this story on Western newswires:

    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/n/a/2011/06/07/international/i074259D64.DTL

    I checked Gerdab.ir this morning and couldn’t find the article “The Day After the First Iranian Nuclear Test — a Normal Day.” Can someone check the site and see if they can find it, and provide the URL? I’d be much obliged.

  112. Rehmat says:

    Yukiya Amano, Secretary General of the IAEA, by repeating US-Israeli old propaganda lie that Islamic Republic has deviated from its peaceful program – has brought IAEA in line with P5+1 Zionist agenda against Islamic Republic. Frustrated by the failure of their existing four sanctions against Iran to stop its civilian nuclear program – the P5+1 are gearing up for expanding the range of those failed sanctions, hoping to increase their effectiveness.

    http://rehmat1.wordpress.com/2011/06/10/iaea-joins-p51-war-against-islamic-republic/

  113. James Canning says:

    A little off-topic, but illustrative of “spin” efforts by neocons in Washington, this time by Jackson Diehl of the Washington Post:

    http://electronicintifada.net/blog/ali-abunimah/saeb-erekat-denies-washington-post-claim-palestinians-dropped-settlement-freeze

  114. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    I think you make a strategic mistake to equate the desires of warmongering neocons et al. with the wishes of the US. This is what radical elements of the ISRAEL LOBBY want to achieve.

  115. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    I think you are dead wrong to say the EU wants to destroy Iran or to overthrow the government of Iran. There is no doubt that warmongering neocons and other radical elements of the ISRAEL LOBBY, and even a number of foolish so-called “liberals” or “Liberal interventionists”, want to injure Iran, and they use the nuclear programme as a pretext for taking measures intended to prevent restoration of normal relations between the US and Iran.

  116. James Canning says:

    BiBiJon,

    I can assure you there is a very genuine concern on the part of a number of leaders of the UK and the US, that Iran is secretly gearing up to build nukes quickly.

    An important question, of course, is why the nuclear fuel exchange did not succeed, and another important question is why did the US interfered with Iran’s application to refuel the TRR? The short answer is: ISRAEL LOBBY.

  117. Fiorangela says:

    Iran made them do it.

    http://www.kansascity.com/2011/06/07/2931817/palestinian-mosque-vandalized.html#storylink=misearch

    “Arsonists torched a West Bank mosque early Tuesday and scrawled Hebrew graffiti on one of its walls.

    . . .

    No one claimed responsibility, but suspicion fell upon Jewish settlers, both because they have carried out similar acts in the past and because the graffiti read, “Price tag, Aley Ayin.”

    “Price tag” is a settler practice of attacking Palestinians in revenge for Israeli government operations against settlers. Aley Ayin is a small, unauthorized settler outpost that was evacuated by security forces last week.”

  118. BiBiJon says:

    On the très chic Iran’s women soccer team

    “Those who bleat that “sports and politics” should be kept separate when an athlete dares express an opinion, should turn their outrage toward Blatter, Kissinger and FIFA’s decision to see soccer as a tool to sideline Muslim women. We should call upon FIFA to revoke the forfeits and adhere to the three words that should bind all leagues, all countries and all people who believe that sports can reflect the best of our species: let them play.”

    From http://www.npr.org/2011/06/09/137078804/the-nation-a-marriage-of-sports-and-politics

  119. fyi says:

    James Canning says: June 9, 2011 at 2:19 pm

    The President of the United States issued an executive order barring US entities in conducting business with Iran.

    This was in response of Mr. Rafsanjani’s overture.

    The United States and the European Union are bent on the destruction of Islamic Iran.

    Regime change is what they seek and they latch to any excuse for that.

    Mr. Rafsanjani, Mr. Khatami, and Mr. Ahmadinejad each tried – in their own way – to change this.

    They all failed for the same reason; US is not interested in acknowleding sovereign Iranian power.

    The next President of the Islamic Republic of Iran will not make any overture towards Axis Powers.

    That game is over.

  120. BiBiJon says:

    James Canning says:
    June 9, 2011 at 2:26 pm

    With reference to Seyed Hossein Mousavian’s Princeton lecture where he says in the all the years he was involved in negotiating with the EU3, they did not produce a single line [sentence] defining what they meant by “objective guarantees.”

    James, once you digest the notion that Iran’s nuclear issue is pretextual, a red herring, an excuse … then everything else falls into place. And, you’ll be able to answer the following questions:

    Why have they not reached a compromise yet?
    Why was the reaction to Tehran Declaration imposition of more sanctions?
    Why keep threatening Iran with military action, when inducing such insecurity may well nudge a nation to ‘break out’?

    The answer: Because the issue is a red herring. The West is not scared of Iran in possession of nuclear weapons. Knowing that Iran has no use of the “shameful and disgusting” weapons, the West is trying its utmost to provoke Iran into abrogating NPT. Failing that, the West hopes to provoke Iran into some military adventure, a shooting incident, anything to serve as an excuse. Meanwhile, again as per Mousavian, “thickening the wall of mistrust,” serves the purpose of ensuring no future set of circumstances will be sufficient to tear down that wall.

  121. James Canning says:

    Galen Wright,

    And let’s remember it was American stupidity that in effect forced Iran to enrich U to 20%. One wonders whether warmongering neocons and other radical “supporters” of Israel, wanted this to happen.

  122. James Canning says:

    Rehmat,

    Yes, American taxpayers have spent many trillions of dollars, “supporting” Israel. And the Arab Oil Embargo was direct result of such “support”. True cost to Americans, for “supporting” Israel, is many trillions of dollars. Some might argue that Israel in effect is a giant tapeworm inside the body politic of the US.

  123. James Canning says:

    Elisa,

    Bill Clinton tried to restore normal relations with Iran, during his first term. ISRAEL LOBBY wrecked the effort. Blocked it. Deliberately injured the interests of the American people, to benefit radical Jews trying to steal land, water etc in occupied Palestine.

  124. Galen Wright says:

    Speaking of nuclear developments:

    http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.php?nn=9003194139

  125. Rehmat says:

    James Canning – The Zionist entity has cost the US taxpayers more than $3,000 billion since 1970s. However, no American politician has the moral courage or patriotism to declare such a ‘high-way robery’.

    In an interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer (a radical Zionist Jew) on January 25, 2011 Senator Ron Paul (Tea Party’s Republican representative) said that “Reuters did a poll, and 71 percent of American people agree with me that when we’re short of money, where we can’t do the things we need to do in our country, we certainly shouldn’t be shipping the money overseas.”

    When asked by Blitzer if he wanted to halt an annual $3 billion that go to Israel, Paul replied affirmatively, explaining that Egypt recieves almost the same amount. “You have to ask yourself, are we funding an arms race on both sides? I have a lot of sympathy and respect for Israel as a democratic nation, as, you know, a fountain of peace and a fountain of democracy within the Middle East. But at the same time, I don’t think funding both sides of the arm race, particularly when we have to borrow the money from China to send it to someone else. We just can’t do it anymore. The debt is all- consuming and it threatens our well-being as a country,” Paul added.

    The above statement clear proves that Ron Paul is no ‘Jew hater’ or friend of Arabs – but a self-denying Crypto-Zionist like Noam Chomsky. Paul did not refute Wolf Blitzer’s lie about USAID to Israel. Israel receives annual military USAID$3 billion plus another US$3-14 billion annually in soft loans. The Christian Science Monitor (December 7, 2002) had claimed that since 1973, Israel had cost the US taxpayers US$1,600 billion – which some independent economists believe could be as high as US$3 trillion.

    http://rehmat1.wordpress.com/2011/01/30/ron-paul-irks-jewish-lobby/

  126. James Canning says:

    BiBiJon,

    Any consideration of the image of the Shah of Iran in American should take into account the pervasive influence of the ISRAEL LOBBY in shaping the perceptions of the American people.

  127. James Canning says:

    Reza,

    Sir Richard Dalton’s article you linked (in Guardian June 9th) is well worth reading by those following this matter.

  128. James Canning says:

    Rehmat,

    the scores of billions given to Israel by the US taxpayers is only a tiny fraction of the actual cost to the American taxpayers of supporting Israel right or wrong. Warmongering neocons wanting to “protect” Israel conspired to set up and carry out the illegal invasion of Iraq. Cost: trillions of dollars, and still counting.

  129. James Canning says:

    Reza,

    I agree the sanctions are counter-productive. Is Ahmadinejad seeking to increase Iran’s enrichment of U to 20%, for internal political reasons?

  130. BiBiJon says:

    A legal philosophy question:

    According to AP, “In case of (nuclear) safeguards, absolute proof is not needed,” Amano said.

    http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5hbeA_gpRd-2S6X_DnKEqaqhr8Yhw?docId=f6130218db1a46c0bc6df10ff5df64e3

    How close to absolute proof does one need to get before imposing collective punishment on a population?

    Sy Hersh, other than with reference to Elbaradei’s “no shred of evidence”, repeatedly used adjectives such as “irrefutable”,”decisive”, “hard”, etc. to describe that evidence which he reports is missing. Thereby, Hersh has given Daniel Luban of LobeLog[dot]com the opportunity to hammer home the same message of “paralyzing ambiguity.” Namely:

    “Nor did the NIE claim that it’s inconceivable that the Iranian regime ultimately seeks a nuclear weapon. It’s quite plausible that the regime does (not least, to deter U.S. or Israeli military action). What the NIE claimed was that there was no hard evidence or smoking gun proving that this was the case. Thus the relevant question is not whether we believe in our heart of hearts that Iran is seeking nukes, but whether there is any incontrovertible evidence that it is. This question is particularly salient in the wake of the Iraq war intelligence fiasco. In the runup to war, most people (including many war opponents) suspected that Saddam Hussein had WMD programs of some kind, but the U.S. would have been better served to put less weight on such suspicions and more weight on the actual evidential record.”

    Problem is 2 fold.

    1) Guilt by the pound
    =====================

    How many kilos of controvertible evidence equals a single solitary shred of incontrovertible evidence?

    2) Inversion of futility to that of an actual goal
    ==================================================

    As RSH just pointed out, Iran could be motivated to build nuclear weapons for any reason except, as Luban wrongly claims, “to deter U.S. or Israeli military action”, because it is plainly futile. Actually, I think worse than futile — Iran’s possession of handful of nukes would legitimize, hasten and compel US/Israel military action rather than deter it.

  131. Castellio says:

    This is worth watching to the end… because Wilkerson is speaking openly and frankly in an informed manner about America’s decline… he’s putting it out there.

    http://therealnews.com/t2/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=31&Itemid=74&jumival=6872

  132. Fara says:

    It seems that they learned the lesson.

    Russia and China opposed the US-UK-France UN resolution against Syria.

    http://www.presstv.ir/detail/183916.html

  133. I’m going to break my silence for a moment to comment on two points which Sy Hersh’s article raises which appear to have been ignored by the antiwar community.

    Point One: I have repeatedly said that Iran does not have a nuclear weapons program because such a program would be useless to them. In Hersh’s piece, he mentions that the DIA (Defense Intelligence Agency) was responsible for holding up the NIE because it claimed that Iran’s only motivation for a nuclear weapons program was the result of the exposure of Iraq’s nuclear weapons program subsequent to the 1991 conflict. The DIA believes that Iran was never interested in a nuclear weapons program because of Israel or the United States arsenals, but solely as a deterrent to a potential Iraqi nuclear weapon program.

    This clearly supports my view that Iran KNOWS that a nuclear weapons program would be absolutely useless to them.

    Point Two: The DIA also suggested that Iran’s “nuclear weapons program” prior to 2003 never amounted to much more than “paper studies”. This is also precisely what I have argued for some time – that Iran has NEVER had a nuclear weapons DEVELOPMENT AND DEPLOYMENT program, but more likely a mere nuclear weapons “research database”, i.e., a study by the Iranian military (or IRGC) to determine HOW to build a nuclear weapon should the leadership ever decide to do so. This would be “due diligence” for any nation’s military threatened by a foreign nuclear power.

    Strangely, it never occurred to me that the motivation would be Iraq’s nuclear weapons program! And yet, clearly this would be the most logical motivation, because of my very argument that Iran could never compete with Israel, let alone the US, in a nuclear arms race.

    One last point about Obama can be made:

    1) If we know that 16 US intelligence agencies have agreed that Iran does not have a nuclear weapons program, and at least ONE US intelligence agency argues that Iran has NEVER had a nuclear weapons program (in the sense of a deployment program);

    2) and if we can assume that Obama has been apprised of these conclusions,

    3) and if we can assume that any war with Iran would cause a major economic shock to the US economy based, if nothing else, on a spike in the oil price;

    4) and if we can assume Obama has been apprised of that possibility,

    5) and if we can assume that despite these facts, Obama continues to pursue a course of action which entails conflict with Iran via sanctions, threats, etc.;

    6) then we can come to two conclusions:

    a) Obama does not CARE that a current or future war with Iran will negatively impact the US economy;

    b) and therefore Obama is lying about ANY concerns he has for the US economy.

    If Obama is lying about Iran, and if a war with Iran will be a disaster for the US economy, then how we can believe Obama about ANYTHING AT ALL?

    Another side point Hersh makes about Obama: he says Obama is “isolated”, more so than most Presidents. Apparently no one with an opinion different than the Pentagon or his closest advisers (Biden, Clinton, other pro-Israel pro-war anti-Iran sorts) can get to him. I don’t know what to make of this claim. We KNOWN Obama is owned and operated by the Crown and Prizker families. We KNOW what Obama’s foreign policy intentions were prior to election based on his statements during the campaign. Are we now to believe that Obama is so stupid that he has prevented himself from hearing alternative opinions? He can’t Google? He doesn’t read the media?

    Or is this just another excuse to cover up the fact that Obama is doing EXACTLY what he intends to do and has always intended to do?

    How blatant does his lying have to be before people stop believing this guy is “change we can believe in?”

    I now return you to your regularly scheduled bullshit.

  134. Photi says:

    Pmr9,

    How about the following passage, is it an ironic way of “legitimating” the Iranian “regime.”

    Or, is it a deceptive way of legitimating the West’s too numerous to count but too brutal to forget human rights abuses?

    “Of course, a dilemma lingers in the minds of most of our leaders. Why offer the Iranian regime an opening that could help it restore its internal and international legitimacy? Should we not wait for a more palatable successor before making a new overture?

    This is a legitimate question, but we should not overestimate the influence of a nuclear negotiation on internal developments in Iran. Ronald Reagan used to call the Soviet Union the “evil empire,” but that did not stop him from negotiating intensely with Mikhail Gorbachev on nuclear disarmament. Should we blame him for having slowed down the course of history?

    The five permanent members of the Security Council and Germany should certainly keep the focus on matters of political and human rights, but they should also try harder to solve a frustrating and still urgent proliferation problem. By doing so, we would reduce a serious source of tension in a region that longs more than ever for tranquility.”

  135. hans says:

    Pope Benedict XVI has probably many things from his involvement with the Nazi youth movement that he wishes to hide. The Zionist probably have some “dirty material” regarding him, remember when he was first made a Pope the Zionist were out to get him. ask yourself why have they been quite and why the sudden change from Benedict. As they say Que Bono.

  136. pmr9 says:

    Photi

    Dalton’s use of the word “virtuous” is obviously faint mockery: no British diplomat would use this word other than ironically.

  137. BiBiJon says:

    Focusing on the image of his majesty, Mohammadreza Pahlavi, King of Kings, torturer of Aryans, the Robin Hood in reverse, … I couldn’t help but observe the long standing American pop culture: devoted adulation for royals, despot or not.

    I’m looking at an ad devised by a powerful industry whose market research presumably convinced them Americans tend to associate the Shah with grandeur; He is adored as a benevolent authority, and a more trustworthy arbiter of what is good for Americans than any native political/academic figure.

    At the time of this ad, progressive/liberal/left publications carried news of his majesty’s human rights violations. Among the large number of Iranian students in American universities a large majority seemed to be anti-shah. As is the case today regarding other friendly despots, progressives knew full well what the shah was all about. But, this awareness did not penetrate the general population’s sense of awe at His Majesty’s majesty.

    Why is that?

  138. Photi says:

    Rehmet,

    Note the use of the word ‘virtuous’ in the second to the last paragraph of the LA Times ambassador article:

    “Either we trust IAEA’s ability to supervise all its member states, including Iran, or we do not. And if the answer is that we do not, then we must ask why, if the organization is effective only with its most virtuous members, we should continue to maintain it.”

    How exactly is virtue being defined? Those who are virtuous enough to nuke Japan? Those who are virtuous enough to lay siege to Gaza? Those who are virtuous enough to indiscriminately bomb Lebanon?

    The West is severely delusional about its prestige and impact in the world.

    ‘Virtue’ in this case is just another word for imperial tyranny.

  139. Rehmat says:

    Once again, Pope Benedict XVI has proved his loyalty to Zionism. He has installed David Maria Jaeger 56, an Israel-born Zionist Jew converted to Catholism, as a prelate auditor of the Roman Rota, a papal law court that serves as the chief appellate court of the Catholic Church.

    http://rehmat1.wordpress.com/2011/06/09/pope-appoints-israeli-zionist-to-vatican%e2%80%99s-highest-court/

  140. Rehmat says:

    Arnold Evans – The foreign policies of Europe and the US, are governed by Israel through local powerful Jewish and Zionist lobby groups. The rants of your former six ambassadors representing Zionist Occupied Governments (ZOG) in those six countries is laughable. Allow me to include the official WARNING from my own Canadian ZOG: “An attack on Israel is an attack on Canada”.

    http://rehmat1.wordpress.com/2010/02/18/kent-attack-on-israel-is-an-attack-on-canada/

  141. Reza Esfandiari says:

    Here is a comment by former ambassador to Iran, Sir Richard Dalton, in the UK’s Guardian newspaper:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/jun/09/iran-nuclear-power-un-threat-peace

    He claims Iran is not in breach of international law and the present negotiating strategy has created the present stand-off.

  142. pirouz_2 says:

    I hope everyone will forgive me for making an irrelevant comment at such an early stage in a thread when usually the thread has not been diverted to other topics. I just want to clarify my own perspective on a few issues, just so that I am on the record.

    But before that I want to express my disappointment in the lack of activity of three of the people who write comments on this site: Kooshy, Arnold Evans and Eric A. Brill. They used to make frequent comments which I enjoyed a lot and nowadays I am lucky if I see any comment from these people once in two weeks!

    As for the issues about which I wanted to talk:

    1)The death of Mr. Sahabi and Ms. Haleh Sahabi:
    First and foremost my condolences to all of their friends. Secondly I want to express my sorrow at how Ms. Haleh Sahabi and all people going to that funeral have been treated. A lot of people keep talking about Haleh Sahabi having been beaten, in my opinion that is not really relevant. Having been beaten or not, she was mistreated and mistreating a person with heart problems at her own fathers -completely peaceful- funeral is an extremely shameful act.

    2)Regarding Libya, as the dust settles it is easier to see that the so-called revolutionaries in Libya have most likely less poppular support than Mr. Gazzafi. If despite several “liberated” regions, an abundant amount of weapons and the full support of NATO’s air force and even colse air support of jets and helicopter gunships they still cannot overthrow Gazzafi, this -in my opinion- strongly suggests that in terms of numbers and popular support they are significantly inferior to Gazzafi.

    3)Regarding Syria: A similar argument (but not quite as strongly) applies to Syria. I am not condoning what the syrian government has been doing in supressing the opposition; however, I am skeptic about opposition being:
    a) any more democratic than the government and b) that the opposition has any more poppular support than Bashar Assad.

    I believe that the BEST comment regarding Syria has been given by Mr. George Galloway in the following:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dVYWGHgygVs

    I “partially” agree with his comments on Libya, and 200% agree with him on his view about Obama and the elections in the USA (the Burgeois democracies in general) and his views about Syria. I would specifically recommend everyone to pay attention to part from 6:14 to the end of the clip.

  143. Arnold Evans says:

    http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/commentary/la-oe-ambassadors-iran-20110609,0,2564096.story

    This piece was written by six former ambassadors to Iran from European countries: Richard Dalton (United Kingdom), Steen Hohwü-Christensen (Sweden), Paul von Maltzahn (Germany), Guillaume Metten (Belgium), François Nicoullaud (France) and Roberto Toscano (Italy)

    In terms of international law, the position of Europe and the United States is perhaps less assured than is generally believed. Basically, it is embodied in a set of resolutions adopted by the U.N. Security Council authorizing coercive measures in case of “threats to the peace.”

  144. Persian Gulf says:

    I forgot to talk about the following issue and I don’t know if it was discussed already or not.

    On Obama’s speech to AIPAC, he said:
    “Second, technology will make it harder for Israel to defend itself in the absence of a genuine peace. ”

    The Leveretts explained it different than what I initially thought. always, Israel’s massacre of Palestinians has been defined as defending itself. I thought, Obama meant, with new technologies, it would be harder for Israel to kill more or have freedom to kill; what a pity. we know for the fact that since 2006′s war, Israel has seen a changing public opinion against itself in the western countries. this was particularly emphasized after the Gaza war. I heard, there was time in the U.S that you could not say anything about Israel’s disgusting actions.

    technology has definitely had a great impact on this new development. so, naturally, one would think Obama implicitly told Israel’s supporters about this changing reality in American public. I am surprised the Leveretts did not offer an alternative analysis of the point Obama made.

  145. Persian Gulf says:

    he is still there. at the time of my last trip to Princeton toward the end of 2009, he gave the same speech, I suspect.

    apparently, it was the strategic mistake of Mousavian’s clan that made this nuclear issue a deadlock. had these idiots made the mushroom cloud, we would have seen this issue being resolved by now. these idiots were busy showing nonsense goodwill and building confidence building for nothing in response. they had lost few years of golden opportunity….and were foolishly making hard for Ahmadinejad’s gov. to move ahead once they were kicked out of their comfortable offices. btw, his master, Mr.Rouhani, has been silent for sometimes now. does anybody know what that charlatan is doing these days in the office of so called strategic thinkers, read bunch of fools, under the mandate of Godfather?

    anybody following the U.S-Iran standoff just for a few years would know by heart that this dispute is not gonna be resolved peacefully unless Iran makes that lovely mushroom cloud. I am willing to bet for this point. the U.S will not recognize Iran with the current trend. there is an obvious disparity in their power status otherwise the U.S wouldn’t go on again off again, as the Leveretts like to say, to Iran’s nuclear program.

  146. Elisa says:

    Unfortunately, for the past 32 years various U.S Administrations. have demonized Iran as a pariah State:. “Iran the Axis of Evil”; “Iran The greatest threat to the peace and security of the region and the world”, “Iran that wants to build nuclear weapons”, “Iran that wants to take over the Middle East “; “Iran that wants to wipe Israel off the map” ..blah, blah, blah…

    What does history show?:

    Iran who has not invaded any country for over 300 years;

    Iran whose democratic leader was over-thrown in a 1953 coup by the CIA and MI6 and replaced with a puppet dictator who ruled the country with an “iron fist”;

    Iran whose rights under the Algiers Accord have been abrogated by the U.S.

    Iran who has been under severe sanctions for 32 years and the sanctions are still coming with far greater strength in order to choke and cripple Iran economically – in the hopes of provoking an internal up-rising to overthrow the Islamic Republic and if that does not work use the repeated lies about a nuclear weapons program to yet again invade another innocent country.

    How many are aware of these statistics about Iran:

    Iran is the second most afflicted country by weapons of mass destruction only after Japan due to WMDs used by Saddam Hussein against Iranian civilian & military population; Iran did not retaliate even though it was capable of doing so; There have been friendly meetings between Japanese and Iranian victims of WMD; Saddam used over 101,000 chemical munitions against Iranians during the war.

    Iran is the most afflicted country in history of mankind by Chemical and Biological weapons; Iranian civilian population is also the first victim of Chemical weapons in history; Estimated 100,000 Iranian civilians and military personnel were killed and another 100,000 were injured during Iran-Iraq war by biochemical weapons; Today Iran is at the forefront of treatment sciences for chemical injuries.

    The defensive war which Iran fought when Iraq tried to invade Iran is the 18th most bloody war in history of mankind; Iran has not been engaged in an offensive war since the Battle of Karnal in 1739.

    Which countries in the so called “Civilized World” inflicted such savagery against a people and a country who has simply wanted to remain independent and not under the yoke of any imperial power?

  147. Rehmat says:

    Seymour Hersh being already declared a “Self-Hating Israel Threatening (S.H.I.T)” cannot be trusted at the Capitol Hill. White House may change its propaganda lies only once the Americans start saying “Where are my votes dude?”

    It was Imam Khomeini who had ordered the termination of Iranian nuclear program for which US sold a 5 mW nuclear research reactor to Shah of Iran. The research was done under the supervision of American and Israeli personnels. As result of 8-year Iraqi invasion, the nuclear program was restarted for the medical research. The Spiritual Leader, Ayatullah Ali Khamenei, follwing Imam Khomeini’s fatwa against WMD – ordered that the research remain non-military.

    On February 9, 2010 – the Intelligence Squared Forum held a debate in New York City (home to country’s largest Jewish population). The topic of discussion was “Should the US step-back from its special relationship with Israel?”. The result of a poll taken of the audience after the debate was – 49% in favour, 47% against and 4% undecided. Roger Cohen, The New York Times columnist in his speech in favour of “step-back” told the audience:

    “What also makes the relationship special is incredible largess that United States shows toward Israel, over the past decade, US$28.9 billion in economic aid. And on top of that, another US$30 billion in military aid, that’s almost US$60 billion. That’s 10 times the GNP of Haiti that is being gifted to a small country. Now I ask you, to what end this money is being used. Ladies and Genrlemen, we would submit that its end often inimical to the American interest”.

    http://rehmat1.wordpress.com/2010/02/17/nukes-hoax-and-reality/

  148. Reza Esfandiari says:

    There is a mistaken belief in the West that Iran does not need a nuclear program because of its huge hydrocarbon resources. But the irony is that sanctions on the oil/gas sector are forcing Iran to look to nuclear and renewables in order to free as much limited crude production for export.

    The United States offered to invest in India’s oil sector to dissuade it from pursuing a nuclear program whereas it has done the opposite in the case of Iran.

    U.S policy has only made the nuclear energy program more valuable and useful to Iran.

    If the U.S offered Iran a massive investment package in its hydrocarbon sector, in exchange for mothballing the nuclear industry, then this would almost certainly cause
    divisions in the ruling elite. Sanctions only unifies everyone against such policies.

  149. James Canning says:

    Are the two “senior Obama administration officials” who attacked Hersh, worried about fundraising among rich and powerful Jews? Who want continuing pressure on Iran, so that Israel can try to keep East Jerusalem, the Golan Heights, etc etc etc?

  150. James Canning says:

    Yes, not a small bit of irony that the world can thank Khomeini for terminating the nuclear weapons ambitions of the Shah of Iran.

    I wonder how many members of the US Congress will read Seymour Hersh’s article, and then continue to claim in public that Iran is building nukes?