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The Race for Iran


U.S. Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro, whose relationship with President Obama dates back to Obama’s days in the Senate, made headlines this week with his statement, in an address to Israel’s bar association, that America’s military option against Iran is “not just available,” but “ready.  The necessary planning has been done to ensure that it’s ready,” see here.  Commenting on these remarks, State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said today, see here,

“Let me just make clear that Ambassador Shapiro’s comments were designed to reflect completely what the President has said all along, which is that even as we move forward with the P5+1 discussions with Iran and hope that we can settle these issues through diplomacy, that we nonetheless take no option off the table.”     

Against these remarks by Ambassador Shapiro and Ms. Nuland, we juxtapose one of the more striking pieces of commentary we have read since last month’s nuclear talks in Istanbul between the Islamic Republic and the P5+1 countries—an article from Mehdi Mohammadi, published in Kayhan.  Mohammadi has written important and insightful pieces in the past.  We provide below an English translation, titled “What Did Not Take Place,” below.  For the original text, see here.

Mohammadi’s analysis is especially interesting with regard to the U.S. military option against Iran.  In the middle of his analysis, he also makes an arresting factual claim:  that President Obama, “in a letter written to Iran this past winter, announced openly that the military option from his country’s perspective is not on the table.” 

–Flynt Leverett and Hillary Mann Leverett 

What Did Not Take Place

By Mehdi Mohammadi,  domestic political analyst and contributor to Kayhan

A useful way of truly understanding what took place in the Istanbul talks [in April] is to analyze these talks through the lens of “what did not take place.”

From about six months before these negotiations and with the memories of the Istanbul I talks still on the Westerner’s minds, the primary concern of the P5+1 was that of how to force Iran to end its perseverance and to adjust its strategic calculus.

First of all, the most immediate issue for the United States and Israel was to halt Iranian uranium enrichment from progressing any further than where it currently stood. Therefore, a wave of “semi-hard power” operations in the form of cyber attacks, assassinating nuclear scientists, restricting the imports of certain materials and components to Iran, and most important of all, the cutting off what the Americans call the “source of funding” for the nuclear program has been undertaken. However, if we use the criterion of the expansion of installations and the amount of nuclear materials produced by Iran as a measure for the acceleration or deceleration of Iran’s nuclear program, these operations have achieved none of their goals. Scientists have been assassinated, but this affair has only convinced other scientists that they must work harder and take revenge for their martyrs. Cyber attacks were carried out against nuclear facilities but the only result was that not only did Iranian specialists learn defensive technological skills, but they quickly became capable of carrying out widespread cyber attacks in enemy territory. The sanctions prompted Iranian producers to search for new methods and in a short time this lead to self-reliance in certain areas which prior to the sanctions were dependent on imports. The financial resource for Iran’s nuclear program has not been cut off, since the increased oil revenue due to the psychological effect of the sanctions – keep in mind that the oil sanctions neither from Europe nor America have been enacted so far and it is all talk until now — has been much greater than the effect of the tiny amount of reduction Iranian oil exports have experienced.

Therefore, Iran was supposed to enter the Istanbul 2 negotiations with its nuclear program on the verge of bankruptcy. However, Iran entered the negotiations with the Fordo [plant] on the verge of operations, it had produced more than 100 kilos of 20% enriched nuclear materials and a few thousand reserve kilos of 5% enriched uranium, it had loaded the domestically produced fuel into the Tehran reactor and tested it successfully, and the determination of new nuclear sites had been completed and programs for the increase in nuclear production had been announced.

Western “semi-soft power” operations neither stopped nor slowed Iran’s nuclear progress, instead they had only resulted in the deepening, quickening, and immunization of the program and this was the first pillar upon which Iran’s negotiation strategy in Istanbul was founded upon. 

Secondly, before the Istanbul talks, all of the West’s efforts went into convincing Iran that if negotiations did not go forward as some of the P5+1 members wished, the military option was firmly on the table. Based on a division of labor between America and Israel, Israel was supposed to threaten Iran with military attacks if it did not relinquish its nuclear program, and America was supposed to back up these threats. The Israeli theory was that if America did not approve of the threats, Iran would not take them as being credible, and the threats would not be taken seriously. However, was it really intended for someone to attack Iran? It has in fact been revealed that such a plan was not in the works from the very beginning.

The objectives of the American and Israeli military threat project were twofold:

First, the analytical consensus for the Israelis and Americans was that Iran would only cease its nuclear program when it felt that the pressure on its program was morphing into a threat to the existence of the Islamic Republic. The result of this Israeli presumption was that in order for Iran to cease its nuclear program, Iran must foresee the threat to its own existence, which is not possible unless Iran feels that the West is willing to even go as far as militarily attacking Iran in order to prevent its nuclearization. The reason that Barack Obama stated in his speech at the last AIPAC conference that his government’s policies in regards to Iran was not one of containment or prevention but rather intended to stopping Iran’s nuclear program, was precisely to send the message to Iran that America saw the risks associated with military confrontation with Iran as being less than that of the risks associated with Iran’s nuclearization. In sum, Israel wanted America to explicitly announce that all options, especially the military one, were on the table and to make the criterion for the use of such options very clear to Iran.

Second, the Israelis believe that the world would not accept the tightening of sanctions against Iran unless it felt that resisting against these sanctions may lead to the ignition of a new war in the region. The threat of attack, in essence, is a tool to force countries such as members of the European Union to tighten sanctions, and thus the analysis of some Western strategists is completely accurate that the most extreme option America and Israel can take against Iran is sanctions. The evaluation is that an attack is basically not one of the possible options, it is strictly a tool through which to make effective the sanctions option, a tool which they imagine furthers the effects of sanctions on Iran and also forces various countries to take the enforcement of sanctions more seriously.

Very well, so what has become the fate of this grand project of psychological warfare, and have the Westerners been able to bake any bread out of this oven they have built for the Istanbul talks? The fate of this project to create a credible military threat is truly quite full of lessons. At the beginning the Americans accepted the argument that if Iran sees a credible military threat on the table — and from America, not Israel — it will have a reason to back down. Therefore, American officials began threatening Iran by stating that their military capability for confronting Iran’s nuclear facilities is sufficient, that their plans for attack were almost complete and that no option has been excluded. However, astonishingly, the effects of this rhetoric were not at all what America had envisioned nor what Israel had predicted.

First of all, Iran quickly responded and conducted special military operations which demonstrated that not only could it defend itself against any attack, but if necessary, that it could carry out preventive operations before the enemy takes action and at a stage when threats are still being made. Subsequently, the Americans saw that their activities which were intended to keep tensions with Iran at a controlled level, could quickly slip out of hand and at any moment there was a possibility that a self-confident Iran could move America towards a deadly, albeit unwanted, conflict. The reason why Barack Obama, in a letter written to Iran this past winter, announced openly that the military option from his country’s perspective is not on the table, was exactly because the Americans saw that Iran was not afraid but in fact was preparing for war!

Secondly, the repeated threats against Iran drove up the price of oil (and as a result Iran’s revenues) sharply, doubling the stagnation of the the half-alive world economy, and with the unprecedented rise in gasoline prices, brought about serious domestic political problems for America and European countries. Indeed, the Americans felt that this ridiculous rhetoric is producing an opposite effect, it has not actually harmed Iran but instead it might at any moment bring about their own downfall and it was for this reason that Barack Obama stated visibly this past Isfand month (March) that whomever talks of attacking Iran are nonsensical fools who are lying to the American people about the potential cost of such an act.

The delectable result is this: while the project for creating a “credible military threat” was meant to make Iran scared and passive, it has unexpectedly and in a short time revealed the secret that the biggest opponent of this option is the American government itself, meaning the same government which was supposed to make the threats seem credible by putting on a show! Not only was the military threat without credit, but it was taken off the table not by the Iranians but by the Americans with unprecedented clearness, and the American representatives came to Istanbul knowing that the threats of attacking Iran were regarded by Iran as nothing but a bad joke and it was for this reason that neither the Americans nor the other members of the P5+1 even came close to expressing such threats [during negotiations].

Up until this point I have only discussed two of the factors which were supposed to occur at Istanbul but did not. There are at least three other factors which can be discussed but there is not enough opportunity to do so at this point. When these three factors are discussed properly and the arguments as to why these factors that the Americans wanted did not come into being are reviewed, then can it be clearly understood why the P5+1 participated in the Istanbul II talks from a weak position.

We are grateful to Mohammad Sagha, a senior in political science and economics at DePaul University for this translation.



  1. fyi says:

    James Canning says: May 25, 2012 at 6:40 pm

    That is fine but the reciprocal steps from P5+1 were evidently lacking.

    In business, we have a saying: “Give the Customer what he wants.”

    P5+1 refused to do so in Baghdad.

    P5+1 repeatedly come to these meetings after sanctions have been imposed, expecting to find Iranians malleable.

    They have been disappointed so far, over 6 years.

    May be they thought they would get lucky this time.

  2. Neo says:

    Unknown Unknowns says: May 25, 2012 at 11:57 am


    I may have ‘commitment issues’, but you don’t half send mixed signals!

    I respect your wish to suspend the conversation. Just something I ‘have to’ add, and I promise it’s the last:

    You are right that I misunderstood your gist. I don’t even see how time comes into it. I am not sure that ‘time’ is any more ‘real’ than ‘distance’, i.e. a measuring tool that is essential, same way that a metre is. But I am not sure that time in itself ‘exists’ any more than distance (length) does. So ‘the river’ could be caused by motion, not the passage of time.

    All of this points to an interesting possibility: that the world just ‘is’ the same way that God ‘is’, without time, no beginning and no end. This should be plausible to most mindsets, as most people have no trouble believing it about God.

  3. Neo says:


    Setting aside the sequence of events and likely outcomes etc for a moment: what is the rationale for the demand to halt 20% enrichment? To me, ‘fear’ is not a rational justification, and I hope you agree. In this moment in time, is there a legal requirement or a moral imperative to this demand? I can’t see what it can be.

  4. Neo says:

    fyi says: May 25, 2012 at 12:16 pm

    “You have to have faith that this world of Samsara and Appearances and Change is not purposeless.”


    Being a ‘purposeless’ existentialist can be a happy experience, even if risky. I know that would sound absurd to many, but it’s all to do with managing expectations and egos. Humanity knows what is before it and within its capabilities to know, and the rest is highly speculative. But we are all growingly aware of how insignificant we are in this universe. I don’t know why this revelation is so frightening to so many people. It does (should) not challenge ethics or morality for these have an essential function in human society, and would have to be retained in some form. It just makes us less important in our own, auto-constructed world-views.

    One of the main challenges this perspective poses is to perceptions of personal responsibility. One’s ‘significance’ becomes the sum of one’s personal effort within a relatively short period. Everyone would have to take full responsibility for their own actions and beliefs.

    And this fully agrees with your assertion: “you must have the conviction to exert your outmost effort in all that you engage in”.

    A dedicated existentialist would not waste the little time they have! They’d come up with a ‘purpose’ to get on with. But this can change. And just as well.

  5. Neo says:

    kooshy says: May 25, 2012 at 12:30 pm

    Excerpt from Kooshy’s link:

    “Iran is saying something logical which is possessing peaceful nuclear energy is the right of every nation, particularly the Iranian one and this (Iranian) nation will not give up its right…”

    too right!

  6. James Canning says:


    The P5+1 leaked enough information prior to the meeting in Baghdad, for Iran to know it had to agree to suspend enriching to 20 percent, as an opening move. A “confidence-builder”.

  7. James Canning says:


    European countries are for the most part very rich. The average Italian family has a net worth much higher than the average American family.

    I don’t think Romney’s religion will handicap him as much as it should.

    Romney in the White House would be a very bad thing for Iran.

    The election will turn on the outcome in a mere handful of states. Maybe seven or eight.

  8. ToivoS says:

    fyi says:
    May 25, 2012 at 2:44 pm

    “You are all reading too much into Baghdad.

    This is just the start of the endless negogiating process that is designed to be cease-fire.

    The primary aim of these negogiations is the removal of threat of war.”

    Now this is quite sensible. Obama got a huge fright last winter that the US was going to get sucked into a war started by Israel. But Obama cannot really make any concessions in the negotiations without riling AIPAC who controls Congress at this point. However, if we can make it to November, I do believe that there will be a successful conclusion to these talks.

  9. fyi says:

    James Canning says: May 25, 2012 at 2:04 pm

    Mr. Romeny, due to his religion, will not be elected President of the United States.

    And economic malaise in US is not going to get the population to automatically vote for a man who was a beneficiary of the Financial Economy in US; Mr. Romney is very vulnerable on that score.

    The demise of US-EU Financed-based economy in 2011 makes waging wars more difficult; how are they to be financed.

    Attacking Iran will indeed be the economic suicide of the Axis States.

    For consider: EU has spent $ 1.35 trillion dollars trying to stanch financial bleeding in Greece – yet Greece is on her way out of Euro zone.

    Likely followed by Spain, Portugal, and even Italy.

    The incrased poverty and misery in EU is in the national interest of Iran and general interest of the Shia everywhere.

    God Willing.

  10. fyi says:

    James Canning says: May 25, 2012 at 2:02 pm

    That will not happen.

  11. fyi says:

    Arnold Evans says: May 25, 2012 at 12:52 pm

    The strategic situation is changing in the Middle East as Sunni Fundamentalist popular forces are going to gain power among very many Arab states.

    US-EU authority and power is rapidly diminishing.

    The US-EU vassals have not been able to affect any of their projects over the last 10 years in the Middle East.

    They are truly in state of disarray – with or without US-EU posture against Iran.

  12. fyi says:

    James Canning says: May 25, 2012 at 2:22 pm

    “Hope” is not a strategy.

    You are all reading too much into Baghdad.

    This is just the start of the endless negogiating process that is designed to be cease-fire.

    The primary aim of these negogiations is the removal of threat of war.

    Iranian leaders did not expect sanctions to be removed in this venue.

    But that was their opening negogiating position.

    The P5+1 also stated – verbally but not in writing – the Israeli position as their negogiating position.

    There is sufficient distance between the two positions to keep the diplomats busy for many months if not years.

    Iranians are prepared to go through financial sanctions, this is understood in all capitals.

    When the sanctions are dropped – across the board and from US, EU, and UNSC – then that would be equivalent to Peace.

    Right now, Iran and Axis States are in a state of economic warfare.

    The interests of China and Russia are not harmed in this warfare.

    China and Russia are neutrals who have very little incentive for ending this war as they can “sell” to both sides.

    Just like Turkey during Iran-Iraq War.

    No blame is assigned.

  13. James Canning says:

    Financial Times today reported that diplomats involved in the Baghdad meeting say that they hoped to get, as a minimum, Iran’s suspension of 20 percent enrichment.

  14. James Canning says:


    If Iran is able to “absorb” the sanctions, but continues to stockpile 20% U, there will be more sanctions. And still more sanctions. “Absrobing” the sanctions will accomplish ZERO, unless Iran on its own motion suspends enriching to 20%.

  15. James Canning says:


    I doubt very many Americans even mention Iran a single time in the course of a normal week, or month for that matter.

  16. James Canning says:


    As things stand today, Obama very definitely is vulnerable. FYI apparently would welcome further economic weakness in the EU but this works against Obama’s re-election chances. Mitt Romney in the White House would be a very bad thing for Iran.

  17. James Canning says:


    I agree. Iran suspends 20%, and gets something worthwhile in exchange. Head of nuclear programme said Iran was considering suspension in any event, once enough was on hand.

    Exporting the 20% U if TRR fuel is provided would make good sense too.

  18. kooshy says:

    new test

  19. Karl says:

    Is a deal likely on Iran’s nuclear programme?


    Some general arguments from the show.

    – Moscow meeting critical
    – US may not end sanctions, EU could maybe do this
    – Obama during an election year will have a hard time getting a deal
    – No deal is possible if no concessions is made, easing/ending sanctions.

  20. Arnold Evans says:

    The only thing new for me in this round is that I now feel that the Obama administration has been offered and rejected enough opportunities for a graceful climbdown that I no longer have hope that he ever will. I no longer blame the upcoming elections, his staff, or other political considerations.

    Barack Obama sees the world, or at least the Middle East primarily through the prism of Israel and while he can and I think will be deterred from a direct attack on Iran as George W. Bush was, hopes or expectations that he could redirect US policy to reach mutually beneficial agreements with Israel’s rivals were unfounded.

    From now, at least until Obama is out of office, I consider the US/Iran relationship stable. The US will get as tight sanctions on Iran as possible. Iran will steadily build its nuclear program. Iran’s military will maintain and try to develop means to retaliate against US interests. If the US continues to judge Iran’s military as successful in maintaining the ability to retaliate, the US will continue not to attack. Israel was never going to attack by itself.

    I don’t see a deal, even to suspend 20% enrichment happening ever. Unless a new US president comes to power who is more independent than Obama.

    I, sadly, am more in agreement than before with fyi’s idea of a US-led siege that will last indefinitely.

  21. kooshy says:

    Here is another translation of Friday prayer’s sermon by PressTV

    Iran will not give up 20 percent uranium enrichment: Cleric


  22. fyi says:

    This is a sound assessment – in my opinion.


  23. Neo says:


    Onto the subject of the first Matrix movie’s relation with existentialism: I do not challenge your comments on Gnosticism or World-as-Crypt. I simply don’t know enough about them. In fact, I wish you would explain what you mean by world-as-crypt, as I find it cryptic.

    But the reason I saw Matrix I as anti-theistic and existentialist was twofold. First, the movie was all about breaking rules, structures and enslavement tools in general. This logically seemed like a challenge to the concept of God too. Man-made machines ended up controlling the minds of men, similar to how man-made gods end up controlling the lives of men. Then there was the very last line in the movie when Neo gives his main and final message on the phone to an unknown listener. Something to the effect of: “I am going to show you a world without rules, borders” etc, and “I’ll show you how it starts” (as in I won’t/can’t show you how it ends).

    Existentialism, as this haqir understands it, is precisely about breaking artificial, man-made bonds – the Matrix – and confronting the meaninglessness of life honestly and wisely. This can be done positively in the sense that if there is no God, and if there is no meaning, and we have short lifespans that are there for living (often filled with potential suffering and misery, but also joy and happiness), then I am going to have to create my own meaning without resorting to the metaphysical. Traditionally, I’d guess, meaning was created by man in a religious fashion.

    Neo’s meaning is in struggling for freedom from domination and control. This is how I understand existentialism too.

  24. kooshy says:

    As I suspected and wrote in my earlier post and now according to influential Tehran’s Friday prayer ayatollah Khatami the disagreement in Baghdad was on Iran’s right to enrich to 20% which Iran would not agree to abandon, he also mentions Iran’s willingness to participate on these kind of gathering since Iran has a logical point to make.

    Here is what today Ayatollah Khatami told the Friday prayers



    Iran will not forfeit her right of enrichment to 20%

    Tehran- Today’s Friday prayer preacher pointing to the 5+1 demand from Iran to stop enriching to 20% said Iran will not back out of her right to enrich to 20%.

    Ayatollah Syed Ahmad Khatami in second sermon of Friday prayer which was commenced in University of Tehran pointing to the negotiation between Iran and 5+1 in Baghdad said, the other sides demand in this round of negotiations was for Iran to stop enriching uranium to 20%, this is what the Europeans promised three years ago, to supply us with enriched uranium which is needed to save one million patients, but they didn’t and broke their promise, now that Iran relying on her own scientist was able to master 20% enrichment she will not back out of her right.

    Preacher of Friday prayer continued: Iran will go to (all this international) gatherings because she has a logical point to say which is every nation especially Iran, has the right for peaceful nuclear energy which is the right of all nations, this nation will not abandon her rights.

    خطیب جمعه تهران:

    ایران از حق غنی سازی 20 درصدی اورانیوم عقب نشینی نمی كند

    تهران- خطیب جمعه امروز تهران با اشاره به درخواست گروه 1+5 از ایران مبنی بر توقف غنی سازی 20 درصدی اورانیوم گفت كه ایران از این حق خود عقب نشینی نمی كند.

    آیت الله سید احمد خاتمی در خطبه دوم نماز جمعه كه در دانشگاه تهران برگزار شد با اشاره به مذاكرات ایران و گروه 1+5 در بغداد گفت: حرف گروه مقابل در این دور مذاكره این بوده كه غنی سازی 20 درصد اورانیوم را متوقف كنید. این همان چیزی است كه سه سال پیش اروپایی ها وعده دادند كه اورانیوم غنی شده را كه برای نجات یك میلیون بیمارمان نیاز داشتیم به ما بدهند كه ندادند و زیر قول شان زدند. حال كه ایران با اتكا به دانشمندان داخلی توانست به توان غنی سازی 20درصد برسد، عقب نشینی نمی كند.

    . خطیب نماز جمعه امروز تهران در ادامه گفت: ایران یك حرف منطقی دارد و در تمام مجامع حاضر می شود و این حرف را می گوید كه داشتن انرژی هسته ای صلح آمیز حق همه ملتها بخصوص ملت ایران است و این ملت از حق خود صرفنظر نمی كند

  25. fyi says:

    Neo says: May 25, 2012 at 10:45 am

    You have to have faith that this world of Samsara and Appearances and Change is not purposeless.

    Anterior to yourself, you must have the conviction to exert your outmost effort in all that you engage in – even though you do not know and can never know where your volition ends and that of God’s begins.

    Put in other words: Islam means accepting that God’s Will could thwart all your best efforts regardless of their apparent merit to you.

    Like this young man in Bam in 2005 said: “God willed that my daughter and my wife be dead in earthquake. Please Sir, pass us by and so not take pictures.”

  26. Unknown Unknowns says:


    And no, the commitment issue has nothing to do with science and everything to do with the sins of the fathers who took a wrong turn by rejecting the apostolic mission of the Last Prophet (with whom be peace), which caused the heart of your community to cloud up, loose transparency, darken, and harden. This process closes the aperture of that high faculty of understanding I referred to earlier, faith, sometimes referred to as the third eye. You moderns are Third Eye Blind is all.

  27. Neo says:


    Onto the subject of the Matrix’s relation with existentialism: I

  28. ExposingNeoConWarmongeringStooges says:

    And yet another nation refuses to follow the sanctions…

    “the Japanese government is considering taking on the liability exposure for tankers that bring Iranian oil to the country and to continue importing crude even after the full enforcement of the European Union’s oil sanctions.

    The Japanese business daily the Nikkei has said that most of this liability coverage has been offered by the Japan Shipowners’ Mutual Protection & Indemnity Association (JPIA).”


  29. Unknown Unknowns says:


    You misunderstood the drift of my critique. Time is an element that is assumed to be a constant in the discourse of science, for which assumption the only option offered on that dern table is William of Occam’s rusty razor, for which in turn no evidence is offered.

    As to your question about how a spiritual person copes with the river, I am going to have to plead ignorance on that one. You will have to ask someone from California or some other flaky left-coast state. But if I may be so bold as to reword your question, substituting religious for spiritual, that’s easy: a religious person relies on that special trans-rational kind of (certain) knowledge known as revelation, using a higher faculty of intellection aka faith. How is this special knowledge vouchsafed after the passing of the Prophets and Imams who brought the revelation in the first place and interpreted it through time for the community of believers? Well, I guess the answer differs from community to community, but in Shi’a Islam, it has been vouchsafed by the ulama, the scholars of religion, who had also taken on certain functions of the Imams through the centuries, and now, thanks to Imam Khomeini’s revolution, are in it to the hilt.

    You will forgive me, I hope, if time does not allow me to continue this conversation.

  30. fyi says:

    Jay says: May 25, 2012 at 10:39 am

    Suspension of 20% enrichment for some useful sanction-relief is a good cease-fire deal.

    A strategic deal is not in the cards – a Peace deal as opposed to only a cease-fire.

    I agree with you on that.

  31. Photi says:

    fyi says:
    May 25, 2012 at 10:15 am

    fyi, your predictions into decades makes you sound like our friend hans. events and perceptions move too quickly to predict that far into the future for things as ephemeral as diplomatic relations.

    “sanctions relief” is what is preventing the relationship from moving forward as of Baghdad. whose idea are the sanctions? whose tactic, or actually, whose strategy is it to starve and keep a population down? Clearly this is Israel’s negotiating line, it seems they should be a direct party to these talks.

    “Sanctions relief” should be where America pivots from Israel. Keeping the sanctions alive is an unreasonable burden on the global economy.

    As to your prediction about the doom, Zionism in America benefits from wealthy activist-type constituents who have had quite a head start in the manipulation of the American system. However, as the internet has reduced many of the obstacles to efficient networking and publication , counter-interests to Zionism will now more effectively involve themselves in the American political process. These new internet-based power structures might still be developing, but developing they are and in the decades to come the force of Zionism will dramatically dwindle in American politics as fact- and reason-driven narratives towards the Middle East gain traction in American political debate. Zionist absurdities (eg, perpetual war) are giving Zionism a short shelf life in the information age where facts are easy to come by.

  32. Castellio says:

    If you want proof that the US administration is truly in a world of its own:


    “A blog visited mainly by UN insiders announces that US Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs Jeffrey Feltman is up for a very important UN job. Former UN Assistant Secretary General for Public Information Samir Sanbar’s blog, UN Forum, notes that UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon is set to replace B. Lynn Pascoe with Feltman in the post of UN Under-Secretary General for Political Affairs. The office was created in 1992 to help identify and resolve political conflicts around the world. Pascoe ran at least a dozen missions in Africa, Asia and the Middle East, notably in Burundi, Somalia, Iraq, Lebanon and Libya. The longest running mission is in Somalia (since 1995) and the most recent is in Libya (since September 2011). With a budget of $250 million and funds for special political missions that amount, this year, to $1 billion, the post allows its leader to intervene in political crises around the world.”

  33. Neo says:

    Unknown Unknowns says: May 24, 2012 at 11:14 pm


    I think we are agreed that the ‘commitment issue’ of modernism (or moderns) Is scientific. But you raise a fascinating caveat about the scientific method: it “assumes the possibility of the restoration of initial condition… which is not, alas, possible.”

    Seems to me that the assumption you are referring to is more of a description of physical challenges that must be taken into account by the scientific method. This does not constitute a fundamental challenge to its veracity nor does it imply a serious weakness in the sense that the same challenge exists for all human endeavour.

    Put differently, your warning about the method can be said to be related to the fact that the universe we know is in (perpetual?) motion. Like a river. But this only adds additional factors (often also encountered in the notion of relativity) to the measurements.

    More importantly, the same challenge is posed to all human analysis, material or metaphysical. The bigger challenge to the metaphysical is not just that the river is in constant motion, but that the metaphysical has to deal with the unseen and the unknown on top of the problems posed by motion. So, Jesus (seems he’s a soft target for me, but then he does insist on turning the other cheek!) may have had totally different revelations if he had gone out to the desert for 40 days in a different season. So, the question is, how does a spiritual human being cope with the river?

  34. Jay says:

    fyi says:
    May 25, 2012 at 10:05 am

    Fair enough!

    The overall sanctions impact (aside from lost opportunity cost) will last beyond the time period I stated. My statement was mostly focused on oil.

    On realignment planning, the questions being addressed is not whether but how. It is generally agreed that a de facto realignment has already happened. The question for the political elite is a question of strategic management and planning of what is already taking shape in the M.E.

    On Mr. Obama’s reelection chances, we may differ. I think Mr. Obama remains vulnerable on several fronts. A large spike in oil, Greece, and the Euro situation will have direct and tangible economic consequence for average Americans before the election. Although I agree that Romney is not a strong opponent. The US public opinion on war can be shaped.

    I remain skeptical about a deal with Iran. Suspending 20% for sanctions relief is not a deal – in fact, it is not the deal to look for. The deal in its essence is the acceptance of the realignment. I think you agree. What does realignment mean for the US policy, her client states, her bases, her free wheeling drone attacks, and the US deep business influence and money making enterprise, etc. in the entire region?

  35. fyi says:

    Photi says: May 25, 2012 at 2:58 am

    That option has been eviscerated due to the sanctions that cannot be unwound anytime soon.

    That is what I am trying to communicate – Americans in their zeal – have destroyed their bridges to Iran.

    Only a war of conquest of Iran can alter their situation vis a vis Iran on their terms.

    Sometime, decades from now, there will be US leaders who will quietly start dismantling these sanctions and restrications.

    But not now – US is too degenerated to do any thing positive.

  36. fyi says:

    Pirouz says: May 24, 2012 at 6:18 pm

    You, like many other Friends of Obama, are cutting him too much slack.

    He is the man most responsible for bringing the world to war this past February and March.

    So, please do not write about lack of political capital – he spent his capital on constructing the coercive diplomacy against Iran.

  37. Unknown Unknowns says:

    Karl-khan (and also of possible interest to Arnold-san):

    Methinks that the Brothers in the Hood will get the presidency.

    But that is only because the Junta boss-men let them run.

    And that is only because *their* weasel paycheck-masters told them it’s OK.

    And that’s only because they started making the right noises about Israel and Camp David on their trip to Massa’s big white House, currently under Oreo occupation.

    And *that* is only because they listened to their Iranian PR consultants (further to Empty’s insightful observations on the delegation of Egybtians to Iran when Dr. Hasan Rahimpour Azghadi burst their revolutionary bubble by telling them that they did not YET *have* a revolution – and had to tread gingerly, and not like their usual stupid Arab ways, like a bull in a china shob.)

    Bide your time and remember: Yessir, No sir, Three bags full, SIR! Allahu Akbar, Khamenei Rahbar, SIR!

  38. fyi says:

    Jay says: May 24, 2012 at 5:58 pm

    I do not think you and I are in disagreement at all.

    I never thought that Mr. Obama could do create any fundamental change unless and until US planners were willing to acknowledge the increased Iranian power.

    And to this day, I have not seen any evidence of that.

    What I have seen, is a concerted effort by US, EU and their dependencies, vassals, and satrapies to try to put the “genie back into the bottle” – in American parlance.

    While I agree with you that Iranian leaders have made a strategic choice to absorb the sanctions, I think it will take longer than 4 years for Iran to work through them.

    Perhaps the effect of oil sanctions can be mitigated during the time frame that you have suggested but there are a lot of other sanctions – sanctions on cokking oil , as it were – that will take longer.

    The results of the realignment scenarios that you have mentioned, in my opinion, are dated.

    Over the last 10 years, neither Saudi Arabia nor Israel have been able to achieve any of their goals.

    Iran has.

    The “Realignment Studies” only serves to show the extent to which US-EU policy is untenable – both un-grounded in the realities of the regions and devoid of positive content.

    I differ with you on Mr. Obama’s chances for re-election; I think he will be re-elected for reasons largely due to domestic US ethnic/social divisions and the weakness of his opponents (who are vulnerable on to the charge of seeking more wars abroad).

    US can still make deals with Iran but for that she will have to do 2 things –

    1. Drop opposition to all of Iran’s nuclear projects that are within NPT.
    2. Give absolute iron-clad guarantees that Iran will not be attacked by Israel with nuclear weapons.

    If US cannot, then no deals are possible.

    This was the gist of their coercive diplomacy towards Iran since 2007.

  39. fyi says:


    Please kindly re-read the statement made by Mr. James Canning says @ May 24, 2012 at 5:25 pm.

    The Siege Warfare aimed at economic strangulation of Iran is evident to me.

    Am I wrong; am I missing something here?

    Am I so emamoured of my own ideas that I do not understand that US and EU are not aiming – in fact – to overthrow the Islamic Republic through economic strangulation?

  40. Karl says:

    How convenient!

    Some days after the good talks between Iran and IAEA and just one day after the P5+1 talks this 27% uranium all of a sudden shows up? And now, in the media? And with unsourced diplomats?

    Sure it could be true but then we must ask ourself, who stand to gain from this incident? Who will use this to destroy the diplomacy track and start to steer the discussion into the warmongering mode again?

    Also some years ago this earlier and it where then established that the uranium came from a state that Iran made business with (Pakistan?). So this could be one reason.

    Another reason could be that someone with malicious intent (inspectors etc) just placed this uranium. But they keep the enriched percentage low because finding 90% uranium would be to obvious. To find 27% uranium is enough for people to doubt on Iran and get more suspcious which I think would be the intent if this alternative is correct. Suspicion so that Israel could say that Iran cannot be trusted.

    It could also be a slight overenrichment or experimentation.

    And no matter how much the warmongers going to use this as an argument, 27% is not weapongrade.

    Regadless prepare for a headache….

  41. Karl says:

    Unknown Unknows,

    On Egypt, I wouldnt be so sure about an MB outcome.

    Anyway, the second election will be just the days before the next Iran and P5+1 meeting. The outcome of the election will surely have atleast some impact on the P5+1 (atleast on the americans) and their general strategy on the middle east at whole. Even though the pro-american military clique in Eqypt will still have some power.

  42. Unknown Unknowns says:

    From what Press TV is reporting, it looks like MOrsi (25%) vs. Shafi (23%), which is the “dream” runoff for the Brotherhood.

  43. Photi says:

    Now there’s an idea…

    The Nixon Option for Iran?

    William H. Luers, Thomas R. Pickering


  44. kooshy says:

    Here is an interesting report on what a senior US official told Reuters reporter in Baghdad after the talks which to me is more credible of what made the talks fail


    Iran says it will not exceed 20 percent and the material will be made into fuel for a research reactor.

    Iran has hinted at flexibility on higher-grade enrichment but Iranian media said it would not give away its most potent bargaining chip without significant concessions on sanctions.

    “We never expected to get that agreement (on 20 percent) here in Baghdad,” said a senior U.S. administration official who declined to be identified due to the sensitivity of the subject.

    But, he said “there is agreement to address all aspects of 20 percent as we put it on the table”.

    A significant difference between the two sides is Iran’s insistence on what Jalili called “an undeniable right of the Iranian nation” to enrich uranium.”

    Here I rearranged the above sentences based on related points this senior US official told Reuters.

    Basically this senior US official told Reuters – “Iran has hinted at flexibility on higher-grade enrichment” which “there is agreement to address all aspects of 20 percent as we put it on the table”. But “Iran says it will not exceed 20 percent and the material will be made into fuel for a research reactor.” Which means Iran wants to continue enriching to 20% and convert to TRR fuel. Insisting on her NPT rights

    Then he concludes “We never expected to get that agreement (on 20 percent) here in Baghdad,” said a senior U.S. administration official who declined to be identified due to the sensitivity of the subject.

    A significant difference between the two sides is Iran’s insistence on what Jalili called “an undeniable right of the Iranian nation” to enrich uranium.

    “Obviously (that) was not something we were prepared to do,” the official said, echoing the U.S. view that Iran does not automatically have this right under international law because, it argues, Iran is in violation of its obligations under counter-proliferation safeguards.

    My conclusion is that the disagreement was on the 20% not the 3.5% which I don’t think it was even touched on, just like what he told Reuters Iran as NPT member state expects to enjoy her full rights including enriching to 20% , but Iran says she will produce and make to fuel rods for TRR under the IAEA supervision.

    US has cornered herself and her European allies in a way that whatever they agree to or not to agree to, they are at lost on this international debate, this is the reason Iranians go to this talks, since in their own constituency seating down with 6 of major world countries makes them be a real contender.

    When I and Arnold did a similar exercise a while back, we didn’t move past the 20% since he wanted to get some of that 20% out, I thought
    he only has two choices to make, one is to cooperate with me to make the U to fuel for TRR and the other is to reject a deal, which meant if he agreed to cooperate he has lost face and has technically accepted my enrichment rights, and if he doesn’t my position in my own constituency will be elevated since my political posture is based on preserving my rights and resistance to pressure from international hegemony.

  45. Unknown Unknowns says:

    Neo-ji says: “But the scientific method is trial and error, inherent doubt and no absolute truths, absolutely! Progress is made when an existing axiom is proven imperfect.”

    “The scientific method is trial and error…” Allow me to complete your sentence for you: “… which assumes the possibility of the restoration of initial condition… which is not, alas, possible :)” Heraclitus said that you cannot step into the same river twice. What he should have said is that you cannot step into the same river *once*. There is no “same” river. In fact, there is no river, only God.

    The Popperian criterion of falsifiability is a step forward, as far as it goes, but it still clings on to *some* sort of epistem, and is scientistic to the extent that it does so. If we think of the scientific method as a tool (rather than a method by which a description of ultimate reality can be approached), then we are on firm ground. However, we must be sure that this tool remains firmly in the hands of the Sorcerer and not his Apprentice.

  46. Rehmat says:

    Iran rejects Israeli demands at Baghdad meeting

    I hate to repeat myself. Iran’s nuclear program has never been a problem for the West. That’s just a pretext and cover to bring a pro-Israel regime change in Tehran – as was done in Iraq, Libya and Sudan in the past. Now the same lies are being spread against independent regimes in Tehran and Damascus. So, what’s the point in discussing “a common ground” if the pro-Israel western powers have no intention or desire to compromise but in fact specifically want “not to compromise“. There are just too many fundamental, structural problems to these talks which haven’t been overcome, namely, that the USrael has still basically not given up the plan to bring regime-change in Tehran.


  47. ExposingNeoConWarmongers says:

    Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    May 24, 2012 at 6:48 pm
    Arnold Evans says:
    May 24, 2012 at 4:24 pm

    And as a result of those elections Egypt will have a government that is much more friendly to Iran. Yet another gap in the US attempt to “isolate” Iran will appear.

  48. Pirouz says:

    Well, it’s on to Moscow.

    It’s still all about the nuclear fuel cycle. It’s times like these, I think the German peace terms to Britain following the success of ‘Case Yellow’ were more generous and potentially flexible than those presented by the U.S. to Iran.

    We just have to face facts: with an election forthcoming, our President Obama lacks the political capital to be flexible and compromise. Hopefully, rounds of talks will be pursued past the November election. Perhaps then, Obama could show some Nixon-like backbone. But I admit, it would be uncharacteristic for him to do so.

  49. Neo says:

    James Canning says: May 24, 2012 at 1:50 pm


    That’s so unrealistic!

    It’s the infamous Economist we are talking about. Not exactly a respectable journal. Was cheerleader for Iraq war and didn’t see the financial crisis coming. Rather useless, wouldn’t you say? Seems they don’t know anything about anything, and that’s why they write their unsolicited opinion about everything under the sun. Who is the incompetent Economist to make such vacuous judgements about Iran’s nuclear intentions? You know the funniest part is, the actual ‘judging’ is not done by the pompous Economist, but by warmongers and assorted nuclear weapons proliferators.

  50. Jay says:

    fyi says:
    May 24, 2012 at 2:33 pm

    I am largely in agreement with a number of your conclusions, but perhaps we disagree on one key issue.

    As I suggested before the start of this round of negotiations, the drawl of negotiations will continue.

    We agree that the war option is on hold for now and perhaps for several years. We also agree that the sanctions machinery, having been set in motion, will take a long time to reverse. What is being played out at this time amounts to short term tactical maneuvers.

    Here is where we perhaps disagree. Mr. Obama is unable to change the situation!

    The strategic dilemma for the US relates to the issue of “realignment” in the M.E. An acknowledgement of Iran’s independence and its influence in the “neighborhood” by the US will impact Israel, SA, Qatar, Jordan, Turkey, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Egypt, Syria, … and by extension, the US.

    After the January 2012 simulations that put the lid on war, three (possibly more) major US institutions (2 major university centers), were tasked with a large scale exercise on “realignment options” and “realignment contingencies”. Current options point to a weakened Israel, a sidelined SA, and an enlarged Iranian sphere of influence. Israeli worries stem from the potential for “realignment”. At the present, this is not acceptable to the elite policymakers (nationality is irrelevant!).

    Work on realignment needs time. Time is needed to plan for a “contained” Iran – a restrained independence model with some elements borrowed from the Chinese version. Latest economic estimates that I have heard suggest that a 20%-25% impact on the Iranian oil economy will be absorbed by Iran’s countermoves by September (reduced to ~10% oil revenue) – and further reduced by December. Therefore, time is not on Obama’s side in playing the “Sanctions are working card” during the election season.

    I must say, if I were a member of Obama’s reelection planning group, I would be very nervous!

  51. Neo says:

    Unknown Unknowns says: May 24, 2012 at 6:26 am


    That’s a lot of topics in one (superb) post! Taking commitment issues of ‘moderns’ first, i’d say it is the way of science. And science has served us well. Of course depends who and why, but still, science in itself has been one of greatest life enhancers. But the scientific method is trial and error, inherent doubt and no absolute truths, absolutely! Progress is made when an existing axiom is proven imperfect. The speed of light was seen as an absolute truth somehow. That too is in doubt now. And that’s a good thing, no? It’s all about recognizing there are too many unknowns for certainty to be rational.

  52. James Canning says:


    Yes, idiot neocon warmongers and other supporters of Israel want to overthrow the government of Iran. But this is not the object of the UK or the US, or France, Germany, Russia, China.

  53. James Canning says:


    Obama does not want war. But if you were in charge of Iran’s foreign policy, Obama would be forced to attack Iran.

  54. James Canning says:


    The P5+1 may accept Iranian enrichment to 5% or lower. Netanyahu either is adamant in his opposition to any Iranian enrichment, and is just pretending – – or he in fact opposes any Iranian enrichment.

  55. James Canning says:


    There was a report that Ehud Barak had told Obama Israel could accept Iranian enrichment to 3.5%. Maybe Obama intermediaries have tried to arrange something along these lines (tacit Iraeli acceptance, so P5+1 can accept).

  56. fyi says:

    Arnold Evans says: May 24, 2012 at 4:24 pm

    I expect the Ikhwan to win in Egypt and usher in another Islamic Disaster compared to which the Iranians will look like ultra-liberals.

    It will benefit Iran – no doubt.

  57. fyi says:


    As I have stated repeatedly – the confrontation of Axis States and Iran is not about nuclear weapons.


  58. Arnold Evans says:

    I’m not calling the Baghdad discussions bad news yet. It looks like they are agreeing to more talks later. The US has a right to sanction Iran’s central bank if it wants, but if it does, it’ll cost a more robust Iranian nuclear program by the time it is serious about negotiations.

    I also don’t think the Obama White House is capable of reaching an agreement that would slow Iran’s nuclear development, so either in 2013 or 2017 a different US president will have to decide whether or not to abandon the idea that Iran can be forced to suspend all enrichment.

    But regardless of that, there is a very exciting election in Egypt happening. We’ll see what the results are and then we’ll see how the constitution is handled. I do not expect that the military will be able to beat the pro-religious parties. But we’ll see. It will be very hard to fabricate election results because Egypt has committed to publish the results of all of the ballot boxes as Iran did.

    More than Iran’s nuclear program which is in more of a flashy equilibrium, Egypt’s elections are the most important strategic events happening in the Middle East right now.

  59. Karl says:

    Iran complain that negogiator sounds like the israelis

    They are of course right.

    Another newstitle reads:
    “Head U.S. negotiator in talks with Iran headed to Israel to meet with Netanyahu”

    US need to pick up the new assignment and notify the master about the progress.
    The demands US have put on Iran is the exact same that netanyahu have professed the past months.

  60. fyi says:

    Cyrus_2 says: May 24, 2012 at 3:15 pm

    Americans know that they cannot “resolve” this by war.

    Otherwise they would have done that already.

    By doing so they would have shredded NPT, CTBT, UN Charter, Energy Security, Security of Israel and still could not prevent a nuclearized Iran.

    [A zero-output natural uranium reactor moderated by graphite or heavy water that can be easily hidden is something that Iranians could build quickly now – they have all the ingredients.]

    The Americans will continue with their Siege War against Iran since their planners and leaders are unwilling to face the brutal fact (for them) that their revolutionary project of destroying the Ba’ath State in Iraq enhanced Shia/Iranai Power.

    The first Muslim state with strategic autonomy in almost 100 years.

  61. fyi says:


    Why sanctions will not be lifted (“until the late stages” – Heaven knows when that would be.)


  62. fyi says:

    Karl says: May 24, 2012 at 3:05 pm

    Not possible.

    No international actor wants a war in the Persian Gulf.

    All international actors – including Iran – would like to have good relations with US.

    To wit: International actors will help Iran withstand US-EU Siege War mostly because they do not want Iran to be forced into igniting a war in the Persian Gulf – instigated by US.

    That takes care of sanctions against Iranian oil, its shipping, its sales, its insurance as well as Central Bank of Iran sanctions.

    These arrangements can be maintained indefinitely as the world outside of Axis States adjusts to their Siege War against Iran.

    I expect business-as-usual in a few more years.

    EU leaders (if not US) know all of this.

    But they have lost control of the dynamics of this conflict when they escalated to the strategic nowhere.

    But, Russia, China and others can make money off this conflict; “selling” to both sides in effect.

  63. Cyrus_2 says:

    @ fyi

    “Everyone can live with that arrangement, the Americans, the Iranians, the Russians, the Chinese, and others.”

    But at a certain moment, the sanctions policy will be exhausted.
    US Senate just slapped another round of sanctions on Iran, but how long can they continue this?
    Perhaps at the end of this year already the US will “conclude” that there’s nothing left to sanction Iran with and that only war will resolve this.

  64. Arnold Evans says:

    Do we have details of the US proposal?

    I have a couple of observations so far:

    1) The US has not publicly presented a “take it or leave it” offer. The US has a bad habit of doing that, and Iran always leaves it when a US offer is presented that way in public.

    2) The earlier exercise involving me and Kooshy and others led me to believe a while ago that it would be harder for the US to get 20% LEU out of Iran than even I had thought previously.

    I still consider the 20% stock at its present size to be more a matter of principle than a strategic asset over the time period where Iran’s nuclear program is strategically relevant. But if it is moral then either side can be flexible, and the US can be as flexible as it can ask Iran to be.

    The fact is that Iran is the side whose scientists have died producing this stock.

    3) We’re still following the basic outlines I, Eric and most people expected before the meeting started. Nothing concrete and a negotiating process that can be stalled until 2013.

    I also expected, based on what the US side has been saying for months, that the US intends to go ahead with central bank sanctions.

    This is really typical US/Barack Obama administration negotiating habit. I had hoped that this was just a message for public consumption but that effectively the US would express willingness to hold these sanctions until 2013 when it could go for an agreement. It looks too much now like the US really effectively holds this position.

    So the US now seems to be saying Iran will stop 20% enrichment and export its LEU for nothing, not even a real guarantee that TRR fuel will be delivered, then the US will offer to lift the sanctions including central bank sanctions in exchange for suspending 5% enrichment.

    In 2012, that is breathtaking. It is such a stupid position that I had assumed or at least hoped the US couldn’t have been serious when it presented it. It may be that I assumed or hoped wrong.

    If the US is not going to, effectively if not on paper, stall the central bank sanctions in exchange for Iran suspending 20% enrichment, then we are pretty likely to see Iran expand its production of 20% LEU and quite possibly announce new locations.

    In 2013, the US will still be able to talk, but once Iran reaches 250 kgs of 20% LEU then getting it under 120 will no longer be possible. This new set of sanctions makes it very likely that the facts of the ground will have deteriorated by the next time the US is actually prepared to reach an agreement.

    I thought before that if the US is willing to accept 5% enrichment it should have reached an agreement last year, and not had to worry about election-year pressure. Now it is more clear that the US was not willing to accept 5% enrichment last year for the same reasons it is not willing this year.

    It looks now like the only people in the world who have a practical aim of preventing Iran from enriching to 5% are in the Barack Obama White House. That is very disappointing and even pathetic. Barack Obama is probably worse in his position on Iran’s nuclear program that George W. Bush was.

  65. Karl says:

    Maybe Iran should to job/connect more with Russia, China and EU thus bringing a wedge between those and Israel/US on the other side?

  66. fyi says:

    Humanist says: May 24, 2012 at 2:43 pm

    The diplomatic strategy for P5+1 – certainly for US – is to keep the taks going until the Press and the Wider World loose interest in them.

    Iranians, being pragmatic, will participate in this diplomatic dance.

    Per chance, there could be small agreements that will be trumpeted as major gains (for this side or the other).

    Like their analogues for the War in Palestine, these will go on for years without progress towards a settlement.

    Everyone can live with that arrangement, the Americans, the Iranians, the Russians, the Chinese, and others.

    Iran has to work through the financial sanctions of US and EU – and other states are joining in mitigating the effects of the more egregious sanctions such as the insurance and the reinsurance one.

    The strategic situation will work on Iran’s behalf as the so-called “Financial Meltdown” of US-EU works its corrosive effects in the international system.

    And, given the policy disarray in Saudi Arabia – evident over the last 10 years – I would not be surprised for the Iranians to gain there as well in the coming years.

  67. Cyrus_2 says:

    @ Karl

    The Moscou summit won’t produce any meaningful results as well, I fear.

    You have a point concerning rising gasoline prices.
    However, at the G8 summit France and US suggested to open up the strategic oil reserves in june.
    And while this is a short term solution, it may be enough to keep oil prices from rising higher and thus safeguarding Obama’s re-election bid.

  68. Castellio says:

    At least Cyrus_2 is awake.

  69. fyi says:

    Castellio says: May 24, 2012 at 2:36 pm

    That fellow, Dror, lives in a dream world.

    He think he can attack Islamic Iran and at the same time, negogiate a peace with Arabs.

    I do not put much credence on Israelis and their analysts – they are singularly unqualified to speak about Iran or Arabs.

  70. Humanist says:

    On recent P5+1 talks with Iran:

    Today Internet essays characterize the result of the talks as a ‘Failure” Christian Science Monitor’s article is entitled “Hope Fading….”

    This is no surprise for those who yesterday read M.J. Rosenberg’s essay in Huffington Post.

    These are some of the relevant highlights of that essay:

    – This president is likely to only go as far as AIPAC (or the Israel lobby at large) will permit him to go.

    U.S. demands [in the talks] are AIPAC’s (ultimately Prime Minister Netanyahu’s) demands.

    The Israel lobby’s influence poses a threat to world peace now.

    – [The Israeli lobby] is uninterested in the interests of the United States as compared to their parochial interests.

    – The Israel lobby is the cloud hanging over the Iran talks.

    – Of course, there are other signs…. indicating that the U.S. will not be negotiating in good faith.

    – The bottom line is that U.S. Iran policy is made by and for Netanyahu and the lobby. No matter what progress comes out of the Baghdad negotiations, Congress — at the lobby’s bidding — will immediately move to thwart it.

    Rosenberg is somehow like Victor Ostrevsky, a conscientious, disillusioned guilt stricken Mossad agent who wrote “By Way of Deception” revealing the crimes of the notorious agency he was working for. Rosenberg was also working for AIPAC and amply knows how the lobby functions. In an interview with Scott Horton of Antiwar.com he disclosed an alarming secret that: often the anti-Iran bills passed by Congress are exact and unaltered version of scripts written by lobby’s personnel. Also, among many other disclosures, Rosenberg’s revelations on Bill Clinton’s relations with those who pull the strings in the Israeli lobby are hot stuff for future historians.

    So, no wonder why talks with Iran are failing.

    Among dozens of articles I browsed this morning the following sentence in Star.com stands out:

    “Giving up 20 per cent enrichment levels in return for plane spare parts is a joke,” said [the Iranian] Abedini . “The package is unbalanced and therefore unacceptable.”.

    Amazing offer! All respected analysts have branded US sanctions on spare parts of Iranian passenger planes as “Sadistic”.

    Now US is saying “Iran must abandon Fordo, 20% enrichment etc, in response we’ll allow Iran to buy only the spare parts for its passenger planes but we’ll keep all of the previously imposed crippling sanctions in place”.

    Possibly in Rosenberg’s view, no one can come with a better insult to Iranians than daring to offer the above…. why?…just to send a message of total servitude to a lobby which is threatening the world peace?

    Amazing world! One wonders how come Chinese and Russians went along with countries who unambiguously support such a truly dangerous lobby?

  71. Cyrus_2 says:

    @ James

    According to the WSJ, the proposal says nothing specifically about fuel for the TRR.
    Furthermore, the West also demands from Iran to close Fordo.

    In short the Wests proposal comes down to this: Iran should give something up which is perfectly legal under the NPT (20% uranium enrichment and an enrichment facility) in return for something of which Iran is entitled to as well (nuclear assistance and spare parts for civilian airliners)!
    Can’t you see how ridiculous this is?

    Furthermore, from 2003 to 2005 Iran already imposed confidence-building measures such as the implementation of the Additional Protocol and suspension of its uranium enrichment activities while getting nothing in return.

    And while it’s true that it’s difficult for Obama to strike a deal in a US election year, I don’t believe this is his intention at all.
    If he really wants to resolve this, he should have said immediately after his inauguration that he stands 100% behind the NIE conclusions of 2007 and that he would act conformily.
    Or he could have agreed with the deal Brazil and Turkey struck with Iran.
    He has had enough opportunities to settle this but failed miserably thus far.
    He’s just executing Dennis Ross’s transcript which comes down to fake, meaningless negotiations to “prove” those pesky Iranians don’t want a solution at all and that ultimately only war can resolve this.
    Obama and Clinton knew in advance that Iran would turn down this proposal so they can justify imposing more sanctions on Iran and ultimately, war.

  72. Castellio says:

    Let’s try this again.

    It wasn’t Woody’s comment that interested me, but rather the idea of a prominent Israeli ‘tactician’ arguing to twin an attack on Iran with a ‘grand bargain peace proposal’.


  73. fyi says:

    James Canning says: May 24, 2012 at 2:16 pm

    I am pointing out to you that the Fuel Exchange deal is a dead letter; it cannot be revived.

    Iranians most likely will suspend 20% enrichment at a price.

    That is the most that can be achieved in these cease-fire negogiations.

    And yes, I expect Iranians to continue pursuing their strategic interests – short of war – regardless of the costs.

    As I have stated numerous times – Axis Powers cannot unwind their sanctions in timely enough manner for the purposes of these negogiations.

    Iranian negogiators are trying to minimize damage to Iran knowing that Iran faces 5 to 6 years of hard slug as she works through the financial sanctions of US and EU.

    The wild-card is Mr. Obama – there are things that he can do to advance the negogiations that do not require US Congressional approval. Let us see if he come through with his “Audacity of Hope”.

    [As a man most responsible for the near-war with iran, he should have the decency to do something positive; I should think.]

    In Lady Ashton’s text of her new conference tonight in Baghdad, she still demands Iran’s compliance to UNSC diktats.

    Those diktats not only cover uranium enrichment but alos ballistuc missile development as well as Arak Heavy Water plant among other things.

    So Iranians will be creating facts on the ground by reaching their aims/goals in missile development (nothing with a range exceeding 2000 km) and by completeing the Arak plant and putting it into operation.

    At that point, UNSC provisions covering Arak and missile development in Iran will become irrelevant.

    I expect that point to be reached sometime in 2014.

    If and when UNSC is ready to send back the Iranian nuclear case to IAEA, Iranians could agree to suspend uranium enrichement for a few months (the length is not specified).

    But, given that US is in a degenrated state and her agreement is needed for that, I expect the Iranian file to remain in UNSC for next few decades.

  74. James Canning says:


    The post by “Woody” you linked is wide of the mark. Netanyahu thinks Israel can do as it wishes in the West Bank, and that so doing strengthens Israel’s security position. Mofaz thinks Netanyahu is seriously mistaken.

    The P5+1 have made it clear beyond any doubt they want Iran to suspend enrichment to 20 percent. This position will not change.

  75. James Canning says:


    Iran brought on the latest sanctions by blundering so badly (by trebling production of 20 percent uranium). It appears Iran has slowed the production of 20% U. Why, if Iran is allowed to buy fuel for the TRR, do you oppose Iran’s exporting its 20% U?

    Your assumption Iran could just do as it pleases for years to come, is wildly incorrect.

  76. James Canning says:

    The Economist May 19th: “If Iran really has no intention of getting nuclear weapons, it has a respectable way out. Whether Iran’s tough and experienced negotiators are authorised to seek it will quickly become apparent.”

    This seems a realistic assessment, made before the latest talks began.

  77. fyi says:

    James Canning says: May 24, 2012 at 1:29 pm

    The dispute with Iran cannot be resolved.

    It is a permanent marker on the international arena.

    Consider this: it can only be resolved if UNSC sends the Iranian file back to IAEA.

    Do you seriously believe that will happen within the next generation (20 years)?

    I think not.

  78. fyi says:

    James Canning says: May 24, 2012 at 1:31 pm

    I do not believe that under UN sanctions it is possible to sell anything nuclear to Iran.

    Under US and EU sanctions, the same thing obtains.

    That is just on the legal side.

    On the technical side, I think only France and Argentina can produce that type of fuel assembly.

    They will NOT supply those to Iran for political as well as legal reasons I mentioned above.

    Furthermore, Iranians have now achieved their self-sufficiency goal in this respect; why should they, in effect, pay double for these fuel assemblies?

    It was very clear, even in 2008, that US-EU do not have sufficient incentives for Iran.

    They have even less now.

    The demand that they have of Iran and what they are willing or able to put on the table are not commensurate.

    It matters not what you, Axis Powers analysts and writers say.

    What matters is what Iranian negogiators say.

    If the deal is unacceptable to them that is the end of that offer.

    [The (Iranians’) offer in 2003 was not available in 2005, the offer in 2005 was not available in 2008 and so on.]

  79. James Canning says:


    The FT reporters talk to the diplomats and pass along what the diplomats are saying or suggesting.

    The Financial Times opposed any energy sanctions against Iran.

  80. James Canning says:


    Apparently part of the proposal is for TRR fuel to be sold to Iran. What would be the reason Iran would wish to keep its 20 percent uranium in that event?

  81. James Canning says:


    Lady Ashton clearly is sincere in her wish to resolve the dispute with Iran.

  82. James Canning says:


    What do you mean by “the sanctions are a bluff”? Are you arguing that the sanctions are not intended to convince Iran to suspend enriching to 20 percent?

  83. fyi says:

    James Canning says: May 24, 2012 at 1:15 pm

    Export of 20% enriched uranium is not going to take place.

    If FT writers believe that they are mistaken.

    If that is the P5+1 final offer, I suggest you buy oil future stock as war will become inevitable – US will cause Iran to go to war.

    May be Axis Powers will like the war better.

  84. James Canning says:


    What do you think Russia and China should do differently, in order to help resolve the dispute with Iran?

  85. James Canning says:


    James Blitz of the Financial Times, in Baghdad, writes today in the FT: “[W]hile Amano’s breakthrough was important, the critical issue was to get an agreement on confidence-building measures.” Those measures include suspending enrichment to 20 percent.

  86. James Canning says:


    Financial Times reports today the P5+1 want a quick pace to the talks. Get the job done. Iran has to suspend enriching to 20%, and ship its 20% U out of the country. The immediate need is to establsih that Iran is not trying to be able to build nukes quickly.

  87. James Canning says:


    You are quite right that Obama is not free to act, given the elections later this year.

    The Economist reports (May 19th) that Iran has enough 20 percent uranium to fuel the TRR for eight years. What difference would it make if Iran exports the 20% U and obtains TRR fuel?

  88. Karl says:


    They should play along like they are doing today, next meeting is in June (in Russia), before embargo that will kick the oil price up some notch, this time will US probably be more respective and serious about talks. Not to mention world in general that doesnt want oil price to explode in the middle of the summer when people drive their car the most so it will be more pressure.
    There is really no alternative for Iran, if they show weakness we know it will only play in the hands of these warmongers. Play tough and clever but at the same time be serious about talks if US change its ways.

  89. Cyrus_2 says:

    The Iranian negotiator rightfully called the Western proposal what it is: “a joke”.

    Spare parts for planes and nuclear assistance?
    How pathetic is that.
    This is more or less exactly the same what they offered 7-8 years ago.
    Why should Iran accept something of which it is already fully entitled to (aviation nspare parts and nuclear assistance)?

    I didn’t expect a meaningful breakthrough but this is very disappointing.

    I believe Obama wouldn’t mind to continue these fruitless negotiations, at least until he has been re-elected.
    I am not sure which course Iran should follow now: continue this sharade or end it altogether?

  90. Karl says:


    I belive you are correct.
    I must admit that awhile ago I thought your anlysis were often too confident but I must admit that you have probably been more correct than anyone else here on what going on/whats going to happen next.

    Check btw this AP article.

    Iran rejects West’s proposal on nuclear curbs

    Not biased? Why then dont we fins articles entitled “West reject Iran’s offer to solve crisis”?
    Once again its portrayed that Iran rejected, were defiant, non-negogiatable and west the logical, peace making, generous-offer makers.

  91. fyi says:


    These talks are designed for being talks.

    That is, a process that substitutes for substance.

    They will go on for months.

    That was to be expected.

    As I have stated repeatedly; this knot cannot be untied any time soon.

    Consider: Americans are too degenerated, EU states too arrogant, Russians do not care one whit, and the Chinese make pious noises while Iranians have been readying for war for the beter part of 10 years.

    Peace is not in the cards – only cease-fire.

  92. Karl says:


    More obvious that the talks are just a delay for the US. Just a way to lower the oil price, ease the tensions temporary and block any israeli attack.

    The fact that IAEA and Iran supposedly more or less reached a deal should have put an end to this issue. Instead these half efforts and stressed talks only prolong it.


  93. Karl says:

    More obvious that the talks are just a delay for the US. Just a way to lower the oil price, ease the tensions temporary and block any israeli attack.

    The fact that IAEA and Iran supposedly more or less reached a deal should have put an end to this issue. Instead these half efforts and stressed talks only prolong it.


  94. BiBiJon says:

    It is all in in the hands of Russia and China

    No. Not by demonstrating some spine, but by prostrating themselves sufficiently to western whims (the more whimsical the greater the effect) only Russia and China hold the key to Iran’s nuclear impasse.

    As soon as the two ‘powers’, Russia and China, have exhibited adequate subservience to western global hegemony, then suddenly Iran’s offers of “full transparency”, “limits to enrichment”, etc. will be more than enough to clinch a deal.

    So, dear Russia & China, genuflect already! No more whimpers of distension. Next time you’re told to sign up to a war resolution, please just sign the darn thing, otherwise they’ll start the war for no reason other than to show your resistance is futile, just as they impose additional sanctions for the sole reason that one of you mumbled something about “only dialogue would resolve the problem.”

    Look, why do you two even think you’re in the P5+1? Sorry to have to break it to you. It is so your noses are close at hand for the purpose of rubbing it in the dirt publicly.

    BRICS my foot! You’re just a bunch of bricks in the wall.

  95. Rehmat says:

    Brig. Gen. Itay Baron, head of Israel Occupation Forces (IOF) Military Intelligence research section told Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee on Tuesday that Lebanese Islamic Resistance Hizbullah has 60,000 rockets and missiles as compared to 6,000 during the 34-day war in 2006. Baron also claimed Hizbullah is developing drones and sea-to-air missiles.


  96. Photi says:

    I sure hope President Obama does not scuttle this opportunity for progress with Iran in order to appease the Israelis.

    The sanctions are a bluff, Iran is right to demand relief.

    Is Obama really going to go into the election this fall with oil at $150 a barrel?

    I don’t think so.

    The sanctions will amount to a self-imposed embargo on the global economy. Americans should thank the Iranians for sticking on the point of sanctions relief.

  97. Karl says:

    UK show its commitment to Israel. Even begin to steer up participation by UK troops in a war.

    British ‘Contingency Plans’ For Israeli Strikes On Iranian Nuclear Facilites Hinted At

    Liberman asks UK counterpart to root out anti-Israel activities on campuses


  98. Unknown Unknowns says:

    Neo, Tovio, et al: rest assured the troll problem is being worked on. The “madmullah appeasers” are being helped by the madmullah-engineers who disabled that other Israeli-American virus, Stuxnet.

    I can’t speak to the religious or spiritual views of our hosts (other than to say that they are fighting the good fight, and to wish them Godspeed), but I believe their foreign policy approach is called Realist (though polisci is not my bag, baby).
    As far as your commitment issue, *I* was talking about your whole general category of moderns who cannot commit to *any*thing thanks to the Skepsis word virus. And I would also take issue with your characterization of Matrix 1 as existential rather than spiritual. When you get to know the (really messed up) mindset and cosmology of the pre-Christian and early Christian gnostics, you will see that the movie is completely gnostic in its major themes, especially the World-as-Crypt theme I mentioned earlier, but also the Pauline-Christian themes of the Fall, the need for a Savior, and the One (your namesake) – all of which are gnostic borrowings from the syncretism which is Pauline Trinitariansim.

    BiBiJon: My Firefox spellchecker redlined syncretism and suggested cretinism instead; an offer which, while tempting, I declined :)

    Neo-san: as far as discussing the elementary issues at hand, I think what I might do is post all or part of my introduction to this book I mentioned, which will be a summary of its main themes. The thing is that our first principles are probably widely at variance with each other, so no fruitful discussion of the problems of modernity can obtain before a clear exposition of first principles that are at odds with the whole current that has lead to that dead-end. Anyway, stay tuned :)

  99. Unknown Unknowns says:

    Enduring American Weaselity Reports:

    Mir Hosein Mousavi has been reported (by our usual “well-placed” source) to have eluded his house arrest guards and reached Cairo where, having jettisoned his electronic monitoring anklet in de-Nile, has apparently proclaimed that he is the “clear” winner of the Egyptian election as well!

    When asked why he had again made such a premature ejaculation, and whether he had not learned the lesson from his failed coup attempt in Iran, he said that he did not realize that the election was a two-day affair and thought if he waited till this morning, the polls would be closed.

  100. Neo says:

    A clear sign of goodwill?

    “The EU delegation does not expect to reach a final deal with Iran regarding its nuclear program during the 5+1 meeting in Baghdad, but aims to reach a settlement that satisfies Tehran and the international community, a spokesman for EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said May 23, All Iraq News reported. The spokesman added that the EU delegation wants a timetable to implement an agreement with Iran, and that the Iranian delegation showed flexibility and progress during the meeting.”

    Source: Iran: Final Deal Will Not Be Reached In 5+1 Meeting – EU Spokesman | Stratfor

  101. Neo says:

    Suggestion to the Leveretts:

    Why not give administrative privileges to one or two of your dedicated and trusted posters here to delete comments that are designed to insult people and ruin the discussion?

  102. Neo says:


    To be fair to James, the 20% issue is an important one in the ongoing talks. Though I remain of the view that it was built up to this status artificially by both sides in order to give the impression of ‘give and take’, while the main issue at hand is Western recognition of, and accommodation to Iran’s rising power. In this, the West has no choice.

    It’s also about letting Israel fall gently.

  103. Neo says:

    Unknown Unknowns says: May 23, 2012 at 11:44 am


    I knew I was asking for too much! But perhaps we can talk about the elementary issues at hand instead? Anyhow, I checked out the Jonas source, and it looked promising. Hopefully I will devote time to reading it… And you are correct: I’m a big Matrix fan, even though it turned out spiritual and ‘sacrificial’ in the end, which was a big surprise after the first episode, which seems very anti-theistic and existentialist.

    The commitment issues was/is partly related to a desire to contribute usefully rather than regurgitate what others can state better than me in this place.

    I asked a question from contributors here some time ago, but got no response. Perhaps you can help me, and I will start from a different position this time: I am wondering what one would call the Leveretts’ school of thought. Are they traditional ‘conservatives’? Also, are they religious/spiritual?

  104. ToivoS says:

    ExposingNeoConWarmongering… etc wonders about the latest spamming troll.

    This recent infestation is serious. The troll is using up the Leverett’s band width and if they can’t purge this nuisance their comments section here will be destroyed. Of course they have been attacked before and have purged the trolls. This time the problem seems to be popping up with a different handle each post. Perhaps this can be solved by automatically banning the IP address but maybe it will require more active comment section monitoring. In any case it is becoming very difficult to peruse comments. It is hard to find the occasional interesting comment in the torrent of James Channing nonsense and this latest idiot.

  105. Karl says:

    “What we heard in Istanbul was more interesting… We believe the reason P5+1 is not able to reach a result is America,”


    Which is a correct analysis just like MJ Rosenberg stated some days ago. P5+1 cant progress due israeli/lobby pressure on american envoys.

  106. Neo says:

    it’s amusing to watch warmongering Israeli poodles pulling their hair out with ‘you are so naive’ being the latest desperate act.

    after 1 day of Iranian negotiations with the warmongering faction (aka p5+1), the price of oil has fallen and european markets have rebound. what will the picture be tomorrow?

    Even the most gung ho of all media, Reuters, is keeping its propaganda mellow these days. So I would guess that those mujahed turncoats who are on mossad’s payroll are the most angry and screaming – in bold – because their despicable livelihood is threatened :)

  107. ExposingNeoConWarmongeringStooges says:

    May 23, 2012 at 10:47 pm

    Now that is an odd one. Don’t you mean you are?

  108. Rehmat says:

    Turkey seeks life for 4 Israeli generals

    An Istanbul court is set to decide on 10 aggravated life imprisonment sentences for former Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) Chief of General Staff Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi, Naval Forces commander Vice Adm. Eliezer Marom, Israel’s military intelligence chief Maj. Gen. Amos Yadlin and Air Forces Intelligence head Brig. Gen. Avishai Levi.


  109. Karl says:


    Check my message again at 7:00. Ashton isnt even interviewed, why do you make up all these things?!

  110. James Canning says:


    She was cordially greated by the Iraqi foreign minister, etc (but this may not be terribly relevant).

  111. James Canning says:


    You can view the video at huffingtonpost.com [go to world ]

  112. Karl says:


    So the video which only showed Ashton greeting iraqis “said simply that the P5+1 want to have Iran stop enriching to higher levels [20%], so that it would take longer for Iran to build nukes should it choose to try to build them.”?

  113. kooshy says:

    Empty says:
    May 23, 2012 at 6:12 pm

    Based on specifications which you mentioned in your comment, west is requiring for future Iranian scientists, I think, already I can identify one such western molded Iranian here in RFI, unfortunately it’s becoming more difficult to name this person, the reason is not his identity but rather is his name, since the name is constantly changing, becoming longer and longer, which makes me wonder is it his name I am reading or is it his cut and paste revolving comment. All this makes me think that Iranians who allow themselves to be casted in western molds will end up needing medical help in a scientific scale, which eventually can only become available to them from where else, Iran.

  114. James Canning says:

    The Reuters video footage of the arrival of Lady Ashton in Baghdad for the talks said simply that the P5+1 want to have Iran stop enriching to higher levels [20%], so that it would take longer for Iran to build nukes should it choose to try to build them.

  115. James Canning says:


    I think the P5+1 is willing to accept Iran’s enriching to 5%. This would be a signficant concession by the US. Obviously, too much clarity on that point during this election season in the US might be better to avoid.

  116. ExposingNeoConWarmongeringStooges says:

    Note to troll: Just repeating the same false statement or lie again and again does not make it true.

  117. Empty says:

    Since the demand is for Iran not to have the “capability”, then any and all activities that might initiate, promote, and help with Iran’s nuclear know-how capabilities must also be eliminated. They include but are not limited to:

    1. Iranian atoms have no nucleus – Science books in Iran must be revised for the young elementary school children that shows Iranian atoms have no nucleus. That would be the first step for the next generation to not even think about fiddling with that which does not exist.

    2. Fusion is an exotic drink and fission is a energy boosting drink – Nothing more, nothing less.

    3. Nuclear scientists – All Iranian nuclear scientists must be identified, arrested, and killed. IAEA must have the first hand access to the list and the body of the scientists before and after they are killed to verify that indeed they are all dead. In return, the United States house and the UN security council in their condemnation of alleged human rights abuses in Iran will enter an exception clause for the human rights demands not to be applied to the nuclear scientists.

    4. Nucleus-related books and educational material – All physics books at all levels from elementary school to the higher education must be collected and burned. Iran must grant access to IAEA to verify this in all schools, universities, libraries, etc. all over Iran.

    5. Delivery and transportation of nucleus-related information – All educational material that either directly or indirectly reference nuclei of atoms are banned from delivery to Iran (be they via email, digital copies, or regular mail).

    6. Teaching about the nucleus Anyone caught aiding and abetting any Iranian in learning about the structure of atoms will be immediately arrested and held indefinitely without a trial.

    7. Those with traditional education that asserts atoms have nuclei – All current Iranian teachers and university professors and students must be immediately arrested and sent to a 3rd country to allow access to US for interrogation to determine their level of knowledge about nucleus and appropriate action to be taken to eliminate the problem (use of mind-altering drugs, lobotomy, and execution if needed).

  118. ExposingNeoConWarmongeringStooges says:

    James Canning says:
    May 23, 2012 at 6:01 pm

    Yes it is “nothing”, because the US and associates seem to think that Iran will just accept vague promises for giving up its sovereign rights. The US will of course than violate all those promises and than scream threats and impose yet more sanctions when Iran rightly points that out and begins enriching uranium again.

  119. Karl says:


    Yes of course its nothing since Iran TODAY have the legal right not only under the NPT but as a soverign state to enrich at any number for peaceful uses. What Iran get in such a deal is nothing. What Iran get is “allowance” by the US not to enrich, thus breaking international law. This US tells Iran what it can do is really tiresome to debate, US aren the police of the world nor is UK, regardless of what you may think. If it wasnt for this bias this issue wouldnt be a problem to begin with.

  120. James Canning says:


    Let’s remember that the CIA blocked the neocon warmongers who wanted to attack Iran in 2006-07.

  121. James Canning says:

    Voice of Tehran,

    Remind me what the meaning of “having my cake and eating it too” is. In context of P5+1 negotiations.

  122. ExposingNeoConWarmongeringStooges says:

    Two pieces of evidence that Reza Kahlili is demented.

    1. Iran has developed smaller submarines to “lurk” off the coast of the US!?!?!?!
    Err…those submarines cannot operate outside of shallow waters (will be used defensively in the Persian Gulf in the case of US aggression).

    2. SUPER EMP WEAPONS (Run for your lives folks, Iran is REALLY SCARY!!!!). EMP “weapons” do not exist apart from very high yield nuclear warheads, and the EMP effect of those warheads has been substantially exaggerated by the MSM.

    In conclusion, Kahlili does not have the slightest idea of the truth or falsity of what comes out of his own mouth, which come to think of it is a key requirement for working for the CIA…hmmmm.

  123. James Canning says:


    Are you claiming that a tacit acceptance by P5+1 of Iranian enrichment to 5% is “nothing”? Important insurance issue also would likely be part of the deal (liability for oil tankers).

  124. James Canning says:


    Iran may very well be able to obtain P5+1 approval for enriching to 5% or less. This would be a significant achievement for Iran and would not constitute “surrender”.

  125. ExposingNeoConWarmongeringStooges says:

    kooshy says:
    May 23, 2012 at 4:03 pm

    “Iran would also surrender control of uranium already processed and dismantle an underground bunker where it is being refined.
    In return, the six-nation bloc would hold off on further sanctions against Iran and would provide incentives including assistance with Iran’s civilian nuclear program.”

    Once again showing that the incredible arrogance of the West continues unabated and yet more evidence that the US will resist ever removing any of its international treaty violating sanctions until such time as Iran completely surrenders to it (which will never happen).

  126. BiBiJon says:

    Further to my Solstice bet,

    I would like to thank Mr. Netanyahu whose appearance in AIPAC conference ….


    blaming America’s “greatest generation” for the Holocaust has made my winning the bet all but certain.

  127. Karl says:


    A clear deal-breaker if information your link provided is correct. Tragic that after all these years, US cant offer Iran anything.

    So Iran must according to the deal put forward:
    *End 20% enrichment
    *Ship any such enriched material out of Iran
    *Sign the Additonal Protocol

    In return:

  128. kooshy says:

    Arnold, others

    See how the wording in western press on shipping out the current stock pile of 20% U has changed since yesterday

    “The talks on Iran’s nuclear program opened at an imposing guest house in Baghdad’s international zone at midday with a group session led by Catherine Ashton, the European Union’s foreign policy chief. The group is expected to outline a proposed interim deal under which Iran would halt production of 20% enriched uranium, which can be purified relatively easily to material that can be used in a nuclear bomb. Iran would also surrender control of uranium already processed and dismantle an underground bunker where it is being refined.

    In return, the six-nation bloc would hold off on further sanctions against Iran and would provide incentives including assistance with Iran’s civilian nuclear program.”


    Now no longer is asked to be ship out, exported but they are asking SURRENDER CPNTROL, they may mean in Iran but under IAEA custody. In return Iran will get western assistance with processing into fuel rods. Apparently the holdup is on a set timing and an end goal
    Which US is not willing to commit and that is causing a split in the group of 6 against Iran.

    Similar to what I negotiated with Arnold, he wanted to take the 120KG of U20% out I proposed we will make it to TRR fuel together and will go on dry run in Fardo since don’t need no more 20% for now, as long as you stick to making the fuel with us or selling the fuel which in that case the 120KG becomes my backup to hold you to your commitment.

  129. Pirouz says:

    Apparently two plans were presented at Baghdad. One, a comprehensive one from the P5+1. the other a comprehensive 5 point plan from Iran.containing a range of nuclear of non-nuclear issues. [ISNA]

    Keep our fingers crossed for tomorrow.

  130. Voice of Tehran says:

    May 23, 2012 at 3:11 pm

    James , our ZioNazi , IDF boy-friend seeking , resident troll Sa$$an shows sympathy for you , I wouldn’t be charmed in your place.


    I like you James Canning but stop being so closed minded and trying to have both ways. No, Jews don’t control America. I like you but you tend to be a bit anti-Semitic.

  132. fyi says:

    Humanist says: May 23, 2012 at 2:27 pm

    It is silly.

    At any rate, the time for war has come and gone.

  133. Karl says:


    Read my messages instead of talk about something else.

    Again very simple.

    2 sides. US and Iran.

    US say this.
    Iran say that.

    According to yourself, we must solely accept what US says, this as a fact.

  134. James Canning says:


    M J Rosenberg, as an American Jew who worked for years at Aipac, knows how Aipac largely controls the US Congress in matters pertaining to Israel. Iran should help the P5+1 work around this very large problem.

  135. James Canning says:


    I understand France was even more strongly opposed to continued Iranian enrichment of uranium, than was the US. Hollande may change that stance.

    You seem to be saying that as a matter of national pride, Iran should continue to do as it pleases with its nuclear programme, and the P5+1 can go get stuffed?

  136. James Canning says:


    Yes, Iran has shown it can enrich to 20 percent, and apparently manufacture fuel rods that allow continuing operation of the TRR. No need for Iran to prove this.

    I of course would accept conversion of all 20 percent uranium into fuel rods/plates, assuming this would tend to if not almost enusre that further enrichment would be impossible.

    I would acept Iranian production of nuclear fuel for power plants.

    P5+1 apparently will insist on ending 20 percent production, and export of much of the stockpile.

  137. Karl says:


    Thats exactly what I am trying to tell you. US could for example say Iran must change its colors in their flag because US doesnt like green, white and red. That doesnt make US demands a paragraphic law that must be followed. Obviously you support this stance, that any state must follow US demands. Sorry but these times are way past behind us. As soon as people realize this the solution will be near to this issue.

  138. Humanist says:

    A must read article by M.J. Rosenberg on Huffington Post.

    Iran Should Call the Pro-War Lobby’s Bluff:


    Is Obama forced to do whatever AIPAC wants?

  139. Reza Esfandiari says:


    If a mechanism is established whereby any enriched uranium (5% or 20%) is immediately converted into material for fuel rods, then I don’t see how there can be any proliferation concerns. Iran has already mastered the art of enrichment.


  140. James Canning says:


    Apparently you think the P5+1 will accept Iranian enrichment to 20 percent, when there is no credible press report that says this?

  141. James Canning says:


    There is nothing “hostile” about the apparent insistence of the P5+1 that Iran stop enriching to 20 percent. Why do you even give a fig?

  142. Karl says:


    …and the reason WHY US are demanding that is exactly what I pointed out and obviously something you think to.

    “When you say that Iran shouldnt be allowed to enrich above 3,5% you like neocons, obama, netanyahu imply Iran seek nuclear weapons. You also imply that iranians or muslims cant be trusted.”

  143. James Canning says:


    Russia and China do not want Iran to build nukes. Russia and China see that and end to Iranian enrichment to 20 percent lessens any worry that Iran would try to buld nukes quickly.

    Obama will get hammered if the P5+1 accept Iranian enrichment to 5%. But he appears willing to take the hit. Obfuscation of one sort or another is in the interest of Iran and those who would prefer not to see another Republican moron in the White House.

  144. James Canning says:


    Wrong. I say that the best press reports I see indicate the P5+1 will insist that Iran stop enriching to 20 percent. Which seems certianly to be the case, correct?

  145. Karl says:


    You are giving the warmongers a great push in their hostile, warmongering stance against Iran. You are giving them good publicity with your arguments here.

    When you say that Iran shouldnt be allowed to enrich above 3,5% you like neocons, obama, netanyahu imply Iran seek nuclear weapons. You also imply that iranians or muslims cant be trusted.

  146. BiBiJon says:

    Summer Solstice … a bet

    By June 21st Clinton and Salehi will hold a bilateral meeting in Dubai.

  147. Karl says:

    I think the talks will result in US will kick the can further down the road. Obama probably want to bury this but cant due election and pressure from Israel/lobby.
    We will hear that Iran either offered nothing new or didnt accept a “great” deal and the issue will live on, with further talks during 2012. More sanctions will be applied by both US and EU.

    EU want even more to bury this, they are probably more than fed up with israeli warmongering and talk about Iran.

    Russia/China playing along, while being the most anti-US stance, they wont do anything

  148. fyi says:

    James Canning says: May 23, 2012 at 1:55 pm

    You do not seem to be reading my statements, do you?

  149. fyi says:

    James Canning says: May 23, 2012 at 1:56 pm

    If “export of existing stocks” is the P5+1 position, they might as well pack up and go home.

    That will not happen.

  150. fyi says:

    James Canning says: May 23, 2012 at 1:51 pm

    You are dreaming if you think non-proliferation was the objective.

    If it were so, in 2007, after the US NIE ware leaked, the P5+1 would have taken a different tack with Iran.

    When they did not, it was clear that non-proliferation was not the issue.

    All of that, of course, is now water under the bridge – as the English would say.

    Preventing a new staretically autonomous state from emerging has failed; there is now an emittered state that will deal with the world according to her strategic objectives – ignoring Russia, EU, US, India and assorted others.

    The P5+1 will come to rue that path not taken in 2007.

  151. James Canning says:

    Front page fo the Financial Times today: “West shifts stance on Iranian sanctions”.

    Suggests the US wants an end to production of 20 percent uranium, and export of existing stocks.

  152. James Canning says:


    You claimed Iran would not stop enriching to 20 percent, and not long afterwards, Iran offered to stop enriching to 20 percent.

    How many years’ worth of fuel for the TRR do you think Iran should try to stockpile?

    Enriching to 20 percent contributes ZERO to the wealth and power of Iran.

  153. James Canning says:


    Russia has a larger concern about the drug problem in Afghanistan, than does the EU.

    Are you arguing that Iran should continue to stockpile 20 percent uranium?

  154. fyi says:

    James Canning says: May 23, 2012 at 1:49 pm

    Iranians will stop 20% enrichment when they have enough for TRR.

    Fuel exchange, spare parts of airplanes etc. are not going to entice Iranians.

    20% is not germiane any longer.

  155. James Canning says:


    Nonproliferation is the primary objective, by a very wide margin.

    Israel wants Iran hurt so Israel can continue to f*ck the Palestinians. This is not hard to understand, surely.

  156. fyi says:

    James Canning says: May 23, 2012 at 1:43 pm

    Well, may be when WWIII has ended Mr. Ross could be tried as one of its instigators.

    Until then, I am sure, he will be enjoying his life knowing that he did all he could for Israel.

  157. fyi says:


    I think Mr. Mousavian, in his opinion in FT “There is an alternative to the impasse between Iran and the west” is clearly being a wishful thinker if he thinks US and Iran have any common interests.

    Iran and US do not share common interests in Iraq, in Afghansitan, in Lebanon, in the Levant, and in Palestine.

    Drug trafficking is more of a common issue with EU than with the United States.

    There is only a single common item between Iran and US – free flow of oil out of the Persian Gulf.

    And neither US nor Iran need bilateral relations for that.

  158. James Canning says:


    I think many if not most European businessmen would welcome a richer and stronger Iran. Iran’s enriching to 20 percent contributes ZERO to the wealth and power of Iran.

  159. James Canning says:


    My understanding is that Dennis Ross blocked the proposed nuclear exchange in 2010 by convincing Obama to trash that proposal so more sanctions could be imposed. Ross is a key link between Obama and the very rich and very powerful Jews who largely control American foreign policy in the Middle East. Many of these very rich and very powerful Jews want Israel to feel free to continue the effort to steal large parts of the West Bank from the Palestinians.

  160. James Canning says:


    Clearly Netanyahu diverts attention from Israeli oppression of the Palestinians, by making noises about a “threat” from Iran. Equally clear is that Netanyahu wants to be able to continue to make these noises, and to do so he needs to prevent an improvement in relations between the US and Iran. If he can.

    “US officials reportedly said the US might agree to enrichment to 5% if Tehran agreed to intrusive inspections and halted 20 percent enrichment.” (From “There is an alternative to the impasse between Iran and the west”, in the Financial Times May 23rd.)

  161. fyi says:

    James Canning says: May 23, 2012 at 1:30 pm

    If that were the case, why did they took Iran to UNSC and voted against her?

    Non-proliferation within NPT was not the aim of these states.

    Keeping Iran down was.

    Cease-Fire Yes, Peace No.

    Not now and not for another generation.

  162. James Canning says:


    Russia and China have said time and again they did not think Iran was building nukes or getting ready to build them quickly. Maybe Russia and China should have called more attention to Khamenei’s fatwa.

  163. fyi says:

    James Canning says: May 23, 2012 at 1:15 pm

    US has gone too far to be able to redeem her relationship with Iran.

    That is at least a generation away as US leaders who have brought their country to this juncture are out of power.

  164. fyi says:

    James Canning says: May 23, 2012 at 1:26 pm


    And then war instigated by the so-called “Peace President”.


  165. fyi says:

    James Canning says: May 23, 2012 at 1:21 pm


    At the state level, Iranians had make their presentations and were ignored.

    Non-proliferation within NPT was not the issue.

  166. James Canning says:


    Obama’s re-election team saw that rising petrol prices in the US threatened the president’s continuing tenure of the White House. That they apparently were unable to see this in advance, is worrying.

  167. James Canning says:


    You are mistaken for the reason Khamenei’s fatwa against nukes and WMD was ignored to a large degree in “the West”. News about Iran is slanted against Iran, day in and day out. The fatwa made Iran look good. Having Iran look good is a “bad thing” to those who largely control the news media, to ensure Israel can continue to oppress the Palestinians.

  168. James Canning says:


    Iran can enjoy “expanded power”, and stop enriching to 20 percent.

    Writing in the Financial Times today, Hossein Mousavian says the US and Iran need to normalise their relations. Obviously this is true.

  169. fyi says:


    This is sound advice


    But it is again dependent on the acceptance of the expanded Iranian power by the planners of Axis Powers.

    I doubt that Axis Powers or Mr. Obama will be able to act on this advice.

    They are not Nixons.

  170. Castellio says:

    I suggest the following article is worth reading.


  171. fyi says:

    fyi it is time for your namaz says: May 23, 2012 at 11:16 am

    I am touched by your concern about my namaz; please rest assured that I am in constant state of prayer.

    Mr. Khalili is not contradicting what I had stated:

    A diplomatic strategy based on obfuscation and end-less process is what all sidea have agreed to as the mechanism of the cease fire deal.

    The Fatwa, oral or written, was issued in 2005 and ignored by US, EU, Russia, and China.

    It remians the public commitment of the higest state authority in the Islamic Republic of Iran to non-proliferation.

    That it was ignored by P5+1 was indicative that non-proliferation was never the concern of Iran’s interlocuters.

    [If one does not credit the veracity of the statements of the highest state authority in a country, then one ought to have the decency to go to war, overthrow that government, destroy that state, and create one more to one’s own liking.]

    When war became alomost certain this past Febrary and March, Mr. Obama – all of a sudden – found religion as it were, he clutched at the 7 year-old Fatwa, just like a drowning man clutches at straws.

  172. Unknown Unknowns says:


    Thank you for your interest. I thought about it, and unfortunately, the book is not conducive to snipets as the arguments build on each other (to an explosive – and Divine! – climax), and I can’t post the whole first chapter, as it is close to 50 pages. But inshallah the book will come out before too long :)

    And yes, like all moderns, you have commitment issues :))

    By the way, if you liked the Matrix, you might want to check out Hans Jonas’ “The Gnostic Religion” which is still the best book on the subject of the people who came up with that deeply pessimistic notion of the World as Crypt. Be sure to get the second edition which has an added chapter on gnosticism and existentialism. The book is incredible because Professor Jonas wrote it *before* all the discoveries of the gnostic texts in the second half of the 20th century (He put the whole thing together using early Church Father heresiographies. A true tour de force, and better than the Kurt Rudolph respectable effort.

  173. fyi says:

    BiBiJon says: May 23, 2012 at 9:03 am

    I think Ambassador Dalton is the only one who actually has some understanding of Iran and the strategic situation.

    Which is this:

    A new Shia/Irani power with strategic autonomy has emerged in the Levant & Persian Gulf.

    Axis States wish that were otherwise and acting on their wishful thinking.

    Ambassador Dalton’s views have been ignored by successive UK governments.

    The other contributors – I agree with you – still operate as though US margin of error is infinite and her capacities unlimmited and undiminshed.

    They have not yet grasped what happened in 2011.

  174. BiBiJon says:

    fyi says:
    May 22, 2012 at 4:29 pm




    Thanks for that link. Reading it I noticed something missing. A reality-based assessment of US’ power/influence relative to other actors. The essays on engagement, deterrence and containment sounded more like a lecture on the meaning of those terms if one had unlimited power that one could wield completely unopposed. While the introduction says the purpose of the volume is to inform policy makers for the next ten years, I would say the volume is promoting delusion for the next ten years.

  175. BiBiJon says:

    Arnold Evans says:
    May 22, 2012 at 2:59 pm

    “Arnold, what is in it for the current occupant of the White House to kick the can down the road?

    I’m just guessing. But the choices are escalation, maintaining the status quo – which is the same as kicking the can down the road – and concession. Of those three, kicking the can down the road is less damaging and less likely to result in a nuclear armed Iran than escalation, while it is less potentially politically damaging to Obama than is concession.”


    Thanks for the response yesterday. I don’t mean in any way to help Mitt (“atta girl”) Romney with any talking points. But ….

    Obama’s defense for kicking the can down the road would be to tout his success at putting together an international coalition and imposing the severest set of sanctions on any nation since the medieval siege warfare.

    However, Romney can counter that Obama has failed to execute Congress’ will; has been soft on Iran, and soft on what he calls his assembled coalition who in reality are sanction busters. That Obama’s softness is destroying US’ influence and credibility.

    Romney, will back up this line of attack by pointing out how Iran has been able to thumb its nose at western demands by expanding the number of centrifuges, the number of enrichment sites, expanding the stockpile of fissile material, and continued work on a heavy water reactor. Unfortunately for Obama, Romney will be able to justify these charges with hard, indisputable numbers.

    Whereas ….

    Getting and trumpeting concessions from Iran while downplaying any concessions the US made in getting Iran to agree, will enable Obama to show a concrete result for his approach.

    In balance, I would advise Obama to go for concrete results: either a shooting war, or secure concessions from Iran by quietly conceding to Iranian wishes.

  176. Neo says:

    James Canning says: May 22, 2012 at 5:58 pm


    So far so good. Netanyabu is unhappy with the whole world, as he suffers from a siege mentality underpinned by a supremacist ideology, exasperated by actual weakness against a superior Iran.

  177. Neo says:


    “This fellow with his shouting here at RFI appears to be incensed…”

    Yeah, it’s fun watching this type banging their heads against the wall. Luckily for them, there is little brain matter to damage.

  178. Fiorangela says:

    Fiorangela says:
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    May 23, 2012 at 2:09 am

    Natalie Dessay on Wolfgang Gussman’s minimalist set for La Traviata {http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0vF0xd9h63Y&feature=endscreen&NR=1
    Fiorangela says:
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    May 23, 2012 at 2:02 am

    Natalie Dessay is the opposite of an egotistical diva. She’s a splendid actress, powerful enough to bring dynamism to the minimalist set of Met’s 2011 La Traviata.

    Dessay marshalls every ounce of her petite body to produce an astonishing range; what she lacks in full bodied sound is more than compensated for by her spirit; the woman has heart. Her supporting cast loves and supports her; it was charming to see the cohesiveness of the singers as they shared their curtain calls.


  179. Fiorangela says:


  180. M. Ali says:

    Its amusing, Pirouz.

    Whats also amusing, if somewhat unrelated here, is comparing Iranian films that are based by the diaspora with Iranian films inside Iran. I just wathed “Circumstance”, yet another Iranian diaspora film that is garbage. These are filmmakers that supposidly gratudated from well known film schools, have strong financial backings, better equipment, and their always sought after holy grail, “freedom”, that poor folks in Iran don’t have. So how come they never come up with anything that rivals domestic films? It was only two weeks ago that I saw “At the End of 8th Street” in the cinema, one of the best domestic films I have seen in a while.

  181. Voice of Tehran says:


  182. Pirouz says:

    This fellow with his shouting here at RFI appears to be incensed that a deal between the West and Iran is in the offing. How else to explain the rabid commenting?

  183. M. Ali says:

    Now our good friend Sasan is posting photos which are close to child pornography….!

  184. ExposingNeoConWarmongeringStooges says:

    Since Kahlili advocates an attack on Iran and claims (falsely) to have spied on Iran for the US he in fact meets the classical definition of a traitor. Apparently being a traitor is a pre condition for “hero” status in our resident troll’s bizarre worldview.

  185. Fiorangela says:

    of course, the final scene of Gotterdammerung. is also compelling, but Wagner packed in sensory overload. There were so many experiences to take in — Brunnhilde bidding farewell to her ever loyal lover and spouse, Siegfried; would Grane be frightened by the pyre and bolt? What stagecraft would be employed to dramatize the scene?

    A friend told me he saw Gotterdammerung in Germany years ago, and could still hear the music from the powerful closing. I can’t remember the music from last Saturday! I’m eager to hear the music again.

    Germans produce plays, theater, and opera as art, for their beauty, not for commercial purposes. In the USA, a film is evaluated on the basis of its box office draw, a tribute to the culture of consumption and aesthetic bankruptcy.
    Marc Ginsberg’s next project with Layalina is to teach young Arabs how to be entrepreneurs. In other words, he seeks to reduce the Arab world to an economic function. Humanity replaced by a dollar sign.

    Beautiful music — music, the gift of the gods.
    An antidote to ugliness and hate.

  186. Rehmat says:

    Fiorangela is a NAZI – Calm down Zionazi dude. The Iranian military commander said “annhilation of Zionist regime”. My advice – stop believing Israeli MEMRI’s Farsi translations.

  187. Rehmat says:

    Israel daily YNet reported on May 22, 2012 that Israel Police’s National Fraud Unit has arrested ten Israelis on Tuesday including one physician for allegedly part of an organ harvesting network operating in Israel’s two Muslim allies – Azerbaijan and Kosova.


  188. Jay says:

    Humanist says:
    May 22, 2012 at 3:44 pm

    I remain optimistic in the short term. However, the long term picture remains murky.

    Obama’s acknowledgement of nuclear right and the follow up vocal mimeograph by Europe was a tactical move, I believe. War of agression was deemed “not an option” at the time, doing nothing was not politically viable, therefore an opening was needed. Leaks to the usual stenographers of NYT and WashPo was prepared, ground was paved and the opening was created.

    The tactical move served several purposes. Chief among them was to create the impression that “the administration is doing what is needed”, and to buy time to see: a) how Syria turns out, b) can Lebanon be destabilized, c) can the oil damage to Europe be dealt with, and d) can an insurrection of some type be promoted along some border of Iran.

    In order for the US to accept Iranian influence in Iran’s neighborhood the US must resolve to a diminished Israeli/Arab influence. There are serious and significant strategic implications to such a shift. There is little support from the US elite for such a shift partly because of lack of imagination and partly because of ill political influence.

    Additionally, after two decades of acting like an Uber-power, and feeling no need for strategic thinking on the global scale, the US political and diplomatic machinery seems to have lost the talent pool necessary for this kind of thinking. The US is simply ill-prepared not just on the Iranian issue, but also on the China issue, and the developments in India and Russia.

  189. Fiorangela says:

    The last few minutes of La Traviata offers beautiful music.
    I especially like how Violetta and Alfredo repeat, “rifiorira,” — Violetta’s cheeks, and their love will “bloom again.”

    Parigi, o cara, noi lasceremo,

    La vita nniti trascorremo,

    De’ corsi affanui compenso avrai

    La tua saluterifflorire.

    Sospiro eluce tu mi sarai,

    Tutto il futurone arridera^

    Parigi, o cara, noi lasceierno j

    La vita uniti tra seorreremo.

    De’ corsi affanni compenso avrai-

    La mia s lute rifiorira.

    Sospiro e luce tu mi sarai,

  190. Jay says:

    James Canning says:
    May 22, 2012 at 1:18 pm

    James, you seem to advocate interpreting plain english in any which way you wish. That would be very foolish.

  191. Fiorangela says:

    Castellio, my own thinking is that Old Testament is NOT essential to an understanding of Jesus; my understanding of Jesus is that he is sui generis. But in a group that maintains more conventional ways of thinking, I try to listen rather than talk. The lack of logic in my comment is, thus, a result of being of two minds in the same conversation.

    Based upon the writing of Amy Jill Levine, my suspicion is that today, as perhaps two millenia ago, a strenuous attempt is now and was then being made to cement Jesus firmly in the Jewish tradition. The clumsiness of the effort suggests to me that it was not an authentic fit. What does Jesus have in common with Esther?

    The Christian and Judaic notion that god speaks in history and history is interpreted a priori as god’s will has a kind of mirror image manifestation: Christians and those from the Judaic tradition see only that history that is centered on them, as history. I suppose that’s what narcissism is. I’ve been studying creation myths from all over the world, and as old as 30,000 years; among the items I’ve read was Feurbach’s critique of the Old Testament creation stories. Feuerbach writes:

    “THE doctrine of the Creation sprang out of Judaism; indeed, it is the characteristic, the fundamental doctrine of the Jewish religion. The principle which lies at its foundation is, however, not so much the principle of subjectivity as of egoism. The doctrine of the Creation in its characteristic significance arises only on that stand-point where man in practice makes Nature merely the servant of his will and needs, and hence in thought also degrades it to a mere machine, a product of the will. Now its existence is intelligible to him, since he explains and interprets it out of himself, in accordance with his own feelings and notions. The question, Whence is Nature or the world? presupposes wonder that it exists, or the question, Why does it exist?”

    Feuerbach was apparently unaware of the vast diversity of creation myths, but the insight is stunning that the creation stories that have been the foundation of Western culture are actually an enshrinement of the ego.

    When one recognizes that there was a whole lotta history going on in the years between 536 BC and 315 AD –>, the world is turns out to be much larger than two sets of people worshiping what amounts to a snapshot or two of a few moments frozen in time.

    I imagine Jesus as having traveled the Silk Road, his mind like a digital camera absorbing ideas from Timbuktu to Isfehan to Milan to China. In much the same way as today’s news, publishing, teaching, and interpretations of history are severely filtered to reveal only a defined narrative, the New Testament canon shows evidence of the hand of a censor, or of an attempt at political aggrandizement and appeasement. Many manuscripts remained hidden for 2000 years. What will the next years bring to light — evidence of Jesus’ Zoroastrian priesthood? Or of his tenure in a Buddhist monastery?

    Jesus’ vision encompassed far greater diversity than only those few photographs, and was sufficiently detached from ego to acknowledge beauty in faces other than his own image in the pond.

  192. James Canning says:


    I very much doubt Obama likes any continuation of the dispute with Iran. But Obama clearly is not free to act as he would prefer.

  193. James Canning says:


    Netanyahu appears to be unhappy with Amano. This would seem to indicate strongly Amano did a good job in Tehran, and afterward.

  194. ToivoS says:

    ExposingNeoConWarmongeringStooges says:
    May 22, 2012 at 3:38 pm

    “Reuters in particular has been openly lying about oil exports from Iran”

    That is called lying for peace. Obama needs to convince the American voters that the sanctions are working and that this is what forced Iran to negotiate. Afterwards he can say that the sanctions forced Iran to capitulate on its nuclear “weapons” program.

    We must all agree that this is preferable to war. As objectionable as it seems Reuters is doing all of us a favor.

  195. Rehmat says:

    On Tuesday, the IAEA chief Yukiya Amano on his return from Tehran announced in Vienna that a deal has been reached between IAEA and the Islamic Republic under which IAEA inspectors will be allowed to visit the so-called ‘disputed sites’.

    The announcement shocked Israel and its western backers who are scheduled to meet with Iranian officials in Baghdad tomorrow. It seems Yukiya Amano, who was put in that position by the United States to act as its agent against Iran’s nuclear program, has failed his sponsor.

    On Monday, a fuming Netanyahu urged the P5+1 group lead by EU’s Baroness Catherine Ashton not to make any concessions to Iran on its nuclear program.

    “Iran threatens Israel, peace and the entire world. Against this malicious intention, the world’s leading countries must show determination, not weakness,” ranted Netanyahu.

    I bet the Jewish bigot doesn’t believe that anyone know Israel has not only ‘wiped off 5,000-year-old Palestine’ but also have terrorized, threatened and invaded all its neighboring countries.

    What worries Israel and its western-backers, is that a compromise between P5+1 and Iran will put an end to their excuse to demonize the Islamic Republic and its leaders.

    The P5+1 hope the talks will result in an agreement by the Islamic Republic to stop enriching uranium to a higher level that could be turned quickly into the fissile core of nuclear arms.

    Several Iranian lawmakers have threatened that any progress at Baghdad meeting depends on the removal of all western sanctions against Iranian banks and oil industry.

    In order to kill any Zionist propaganda lies – Iraqi foreign minister Hoshyar Zebari told reporters that no direct meeting between Iranian and American official has been arranged on the sidelines of Baghdad meeting on Wednesday.

    Tehran’s chief negotiator Saeed Jalili is due to head the Iranian side, and EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton will lead the delegations of the world powers.

    Mohandas Gandhi, a blogger, had this to say about Yukiya Amano.

    “Former IAEA Director General Mohamed ElBaradei almost single-handedly established the program’s credibility by refusing to capitulate to the Bush administration’s assertion that Iraq maintained and/or was creating nuclear weapons. The IAEA is now headed by a new gentleman named Yukiya Amano. His appointment to his position was heavily backed by the United States. Furthermore, a 2010 Wikileaks cable revealed that in a meeting with Glyn Davies, the U.S. IAEA rep, Yukiya Amano “reminded [the] Ambassador on several occasions that he would need to make concessions to the G-77 [the developing nations], which correctly required him to be fair-minded and independent, but that he was solidly in the U.S. court on every key strategic decision, from high-level personnel appointments to the handling of Iran’s alleged nuclear weapons program.” The IAEA no longer maintains the credibility that ElBaradei built“.


  196. Neo says:

    James Canning says: May 22, 2012 at 1:21 pm


    I’m happy it went well. Had predicted as much. Real point was that it’s a blight on our international negotiating mechanisms when the head of such an agency is a poodle to one side. His actions are not just embarrassing to watch, they seriously dent chances of success because he cannot be relied upon to handle his ‘honest broker’ role with integrity, rationality or credibility. If he can be told to keep his mouth shut though, the parties concerned know how to handle the situation. That’s what seems to be happening.

  197. Neo says:

    Unknown Unknowns,

    been showing commitment issues, have i?!

    Would be great to get snippets of the translation if and when you feel in the mood. To me, it’s The topic of the day.

  198. kooshy says:

    The disingenuous debate on Iran
    Suvrat Raju

    “About hegemony

    Neither Israel — the most belligerent state in the region — with hundreds of nuclear weapons, nor the U.S. with thousands can expect to be taken seriously when they claim that Iran threatens their security. However, Iran does threaten their hegemony in West Asia. So, Iran’s nuclear programme has become a pretext to pressurise a recalcitrant regime. The concomitant demonisation of Iran in the popular media, including an Orientalist debate on whether Iran is a “rational actor,” is part of a push towards an ultimate objective of “regime-change.”

    Unfortunately, the discourse in India has been defined by short-term realist considerations including the country’s immediate business interests and oil needs. However, India’s long-term interests are crucially reliant on the principle that is at stake here: is the international system based on the equity of nations, or is international law a tool that powerful states can use to impose their will on others?

    (Suvrat Raju is a theoretical physicist at the Harish-Chandra Research Institute, Allahabad.)”


  199. fyi says:

    A concerned world citizen says: May 22, 2012 at 4:23 pm

    Israel and US are the only 2 countries left in the world that wish to continue the Iran Nuclear Saga.

    The rest of the world want this issue settled and closed.

  200. A concerned world citizen says:

    The US senate like to pass Iran sanction resolution because it’s the ONLY thing they really know how to do. It doesn’t really require much thinking. Just the odd call from Bibi to AIPAC and the ball starts rolling from there. It’s also self serving. Any vote for anti-Iran sanctions will secure more cash from AIPAC to the congressman/woman.

    Want proof? How long did it take them to pass a resolution on healthcare for their own American citizens?

  201. A concerned world citizen says:

    Looks like the US is going to be left behind to her own devices..While everyone else is getting off or looking for ways to get off the bus, the US have decided to sit on the bus and go the long haul.

    U.S. official: IAEA, Iran nuclear deal doesn’t spell end of American pressure


    I think there’ll come a time when Europe and the rest of the world will become sick of US irrationality and simply ignore them. The importance of the Baghdad talks to most EU states plus Russia and China is immense..They just need some agreement so that they can use that to sidestep sanctions and resume trade with Iran – there’s money to be made here. The past few days have shown the US is in no way interested in a positive outcome for the talks. This is the extent to which AIPAC has/is damaging American security and interest.

  202. ExposingNeoConWarmongeringStooges says:


    Yes, looks like Sri Lanka has already gotten the US to back down by making vague promises that it may reduce oil imports in the future. The sanctions are more and more of a joke.

  203. Castellio says:

    Fiorangela writes “and any suggestion that Jesus represented a departure or even radical reform of Jewish practice as represented by Old Testament is utterly rejected — politely, because these are, after all, good Christians, but behind closed doors, the very notion that Old Testament is not absolutely essential to Christianity is discussed with shock and condemnation.”

    Aren’t you confusing something? Isn’t the Old Testament (Torah) absolutely essential to Christianity so that the radical change of Jesus can be better understood?

  204. ExposingNeoConWarmongeringStooges says:

    In conclusion, what matters is the yearly average of oil purchases, not month on month declines and increases. If at the end of the year AVERAGE oil imports have declined substantially than sanctions may be “successful.” But if the average increases or stays the same (Which is what is actually happening so far), than sanctions will have failed completely.

  205. ExposingNeoConWarmongeringStooges says:

    Oh and someone else seems to be using the same tactic…


    So why did Taiwan buy three times as much oil as it usually does for several months? Could it be stockpiling oil so that it can loudly announce it is “following US sanctions” in July and than quietly resume oil purchases several months later when its uses up its reserve?

  206. ExposingNeoConWarmongeringStooges says:

    And let’s look at South Africa. In January it cut oil imports from Iran to much triumphant fanfare from Reuters and others. But in February it increased its imports to a higher level than its average, and in March it increased them even more.


    But now Reuters tells us that it will cut its imports again…hmm after importing substantially more than the average for two solid months…I wonder what will happen several months from now, will South Africa once again be importing a higher than average amount of Iranian crude?

  207. Karl says:

    Could EU really afford oil embargo? And for what? A non-issue triggered by Israel.

    OECD warns risk of ‘severe recession’ in eurozone

  208. ExposingNeoConWarmongeringStooges says:

    And here is Reuters itself ironically exposing its own lies.


    Note that this is after Turkey dramatically increased imports of oil in March and that the figure for April is only slightly below the average, so that the average imports to Turkey for the whole year have in fact not declined.

  209. BiBiJon says:

    From India, also with love …

    “Amidst the ominous discussions on proliferation that surrounded U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s visit to India earlier this month, most people could be forgiven for having missed a simple fact: Iran is not making a nuclear bomb.”


  210. ExposingNeoConWarmongeringStooges says:

    Example 5

    Increasing production 8,000 BPD.


    “Iran set to produce 30,000 bpd of crude oil from Hengam field.”

  211. ExposingNeoConWarmongeringStooges says:

    Example 4:


    More oil field development.

  212. ExposingNeoConWarmongeringStooges says:

    Example 3:

    More new fields being developed


    Now why would Iran be investing substantial amounts of money in new field development if its oil revenues were declining dramatically and current production is not being sold?

  213. Fiorangela says:

    random thoughts.

    I’ve been spending a bit of time in bible studies with various Christian groups. Among these mainstream (Anglican/Episcopal and United Methodist) Christians, belief in the literal truth of the bible is absolute and unshakable, and any suggestion that Jesus represented a departure or even radical reform of Jewish practice as represented by Old Testament is utterly rejected — politely, because these are, after all, good Christians, but behind closed doors, the very notion that Old Testament is not absolutely essential to Christianity is discussed with shock and condemnation.

    Jews at least can articulate and also criticize their view or the relationship between history and Torah; namely, as David Ruderman stated, the events of history are the working out of god’s will. Events in history are not to be examined and understood in terms of the political, economic dynamics at play but in terms of god’s will for the JEWISH people. Yahweh is not a universal god in a real sense; Yahweh is the god of the Jews, whose universality consists only in the fact that Yahweh uses non-Jews to work out his plan for Jews.

    Christians seem to be fine with this notion: no problem being the people god uses to work out his will toward the people god chose. Here’s an example of how that notion works out in present real-world terms, from the writings of a Presbyterian who writes on a Roman Catholic blog: http://ncronline.org/blogs/small-c-catholic/archaeology-expedition-creates-hope-gods-plan-all-us as well as his own blog, — :http://billtammeus.typepad.com/my_weblog/2012/04/4-2829-12.html

    The biblicism of the people I am studying with imposes this time line on their understanding of history/bible: The Old Testament covers the creation of the universe to the book of Malachi, which is assumed to have been written around 300 BC. Then there is a gap of 400 years, called the ‘IT’ – inter-testamentary period: god’s prophetic voice was silent for those 400 years. History did not stop happening, mind you, but it was not written about in books that are part of the canon of scripture, so it is a non-biblical period. The New Testament period begins with the gospel of Matthew, written in about 100 AD (or Christian Era, CE).

    What has intrigued me, as I considered that division of time/history/biblicism, is that Persia plays a dominant role in the historical books of the Old Testament, and with the jarring exception of the Book of Esther, Persian influence on emerging Judaism is overwhelmingly positive and praised.

    Persia is almost completely absent from the New Testament.

    Obviously, Persia did not disappear from the face of the earth, and Persians still interacted, both positively and negatively, with Jews, Romans, and Greeks who dominate the New Testament, but except for mention of the Three Magi, Persia plays no role in the New Testament nor, apparently, in the thinking/moral life of Jesus. (On the other hand, Jesus does not really play a major role in the thinking/moral life of United Methodists: the other day, it was explained to my study group that “the four pillars of Methodist analysis are, in this order: Scripture, Tradition, Experience, and Reason. But no reference to the life and example of Jesus. I’ve never read Quran, but what I find most captivating from the seminars on Quran/Islam that I’ve participated in, is that the life and example of the Prophet Mohammed is central to the teachings of Islam. That strikes me as very human and accessible.

    The realization that Persia has been erased from the New Testament has struck me like a ton of bricks. I know that numerous of the core concepts of Judaism and of Christianity are based on the teachings of Zoroaster, but Zoroaster is not visible in the Gospels.

    This morning, Marc Ginsberg was a guest on C Span to discuss his video production company, Layalina. http www dot layalina dot tv/ The mission of Layalina, based in Washington, DC and in Dubai (?) is to produce television content targeted to young Arabs to form a cultural bridge between the United States and the Arab world. Arabs and Americans compose the Layalina production team. They made cartoons, documentaries, and reality-type programming that is picked up by Arab TV networks for broadcast on Arab channels.

    Layalina has no outreach to Iran, nor does it have Iranians among its production staff.

    I find the Layalina project troubling.

    Over five years ago, at the time of the Annapolis Conference attempt to resolve the Israel/Palestine conflict, Jennifer Mizrahi’s Israel project hosted a panel discussion featuring David Wurmser and others. I recall that Wurmser made a long and lugubrious speech about how Iranian Islam was empowering Muslims throughout the region to stand up for themselves. Wurmser noted that Iranian clerics were forcing, i.e. Palestinian Muslims to recognize that they were being humiliated, and that they should “man up” and resist being humiliated. Wurmser thought this an extremely dangerous trend.

    I see the mission of Layalina as an attempt to splinter the Islamic world, to once again write Iran out of the history of the region as Persia was written out of Christianity.

    Tomorrow I will come up with a plan to change the entire dynamic. ( ! )

  214. Humanist says:


    Re: your May 22, 2012 at 11:16 am Post

    In my view, except a few minor points, your analysis of possible outcome of tomorrow’s talks makes lots of sense. This is regardless of the fact that no prediction at this point should be relied on since some players are not rational and respectful of other side’s rights.

    In other terms, you write about “…. the pressure and influence of powerful elites demanding submission by Iran as the only resolution”. Most of those elites, over and over, are proving themselves to be, among other depravities, self-righteous and irrational. They consistently try to achieve their goals via deception, bribery, coercion or brute force. In such a semi-schizophrenic atmosphere predictions, even those derived from game theory or simulation are bound to be less reliable.

    However like you and Arnold, months ago, I also cautiously ventured to do a prediction based on why I thought this time the outcome might deviate from the norm.

    On January 21, 2012 here in RFI, in my response to RSH I wrote “…about Oba,ma’s acknowledgment of Iran’s right to nuclear technology I don’t know why I, as an unusually skeptic person, am kind of optimistic”

    I still maintain my vague optimism since the insanities surrounding the issue of “Iranian nuclear weapon capability” are so outstanding eventually they are bound to get stopped, else as you have said a “lose/lose” situation is definitely in the works…and I am sure some influential, cool-headed patriotic Americans are well aware of the whole picture.

  215. ExposingNeoConWarmongeringStooges says:

    Example 2

    Iran extends contracts with Asian and African Refineries


    “one-year contracts had been signed with Asian and African refineries.

    Qamsari added that none of the refineries have reduced or halted Iranian oil imports, saying, “If a refinery, for instance in Japan, has reduced its Iranian oil import another refinery in the same country has signed a new contract to increase oil purchase in 2012.”

  216. ExposingNeoConWarmongeringStooges says:

    kooshy says:
    May 22, 2012 at 3:15 pm

    Reuters in particular has been openly lying about oil exports from Iran and basing its lies on anonymous “firms” that it always refuses to identify. Reuters in particular seems to have an agenda that requires it to loudly claim that “sanctions are working” regardless of the fact that they are not. Meanwhile we can examine publicly available information from a variety of sources that shows these are lies.

    Example 1: If Iran’s exports have in fact dropped so much why is it still developing new fields and increasing production at existing fields?

    http://www.businessweek.com/news/2012-04-26/iran-doubles-output-at-reshadat-oil-field-press-tv-reports (Over 10,000 BPD increase).

  217. kooshy says:

    This how the editors at Reuters are required to write a headline about Iran, they know that they are not supposed to let their readers understand that western sanctions haven’t worked as it was originally intended.

    “Iran’s oil exports halt decline in May”

    What this supposedly cleaver editor of Reuters wants to say but is hoping you get it wrong is that “the decline in Iran’s oil exports was halted in month of May”

    “LONDON, May 22 (Reuters) – Iranian oil exports have not dropped further in May after falling sharply since March, industry sources said on Tuesday, because core customers in Europe and Asia continue to buy ahead of European sanctions aimed at slowing Tehran’s nuclear program.

    Crude exports from Iran appear to be holding steady at around 1.5 million barrels per day (bpd), according to a firm that tracks oil shipments. A source at a leading European oil company and another industry source also said shipments were little changed so far this month.”


  218. Karl says:

    Is there any nation that will get away with continued bombing of states?

    Sudan says car blast bears hallmarks of alleged Israeli missile strike

    …and Israel/government wonder why people dont like them.

  219. Voice of Tehran says:

    BiBiJon says:
    May 22, 2012 at 2:39 pm
    James Canning says:
    May 22, 2012 at 2:21 pm

    “”You remind me of the guy in a restaurant who sent back the food not because it was a pile of bull crap on a platter, but because it had a hair on it.

    Quit it man.””

    Really James , please spare us with this 20 % stuff.
    Gavner another thing.
    Through David Icke I came to know that the Royals and ruling elites ( Rothschild Zionists etc.) in the Uk are reptilian humanoids.
    My question would be that if this is true and these people including the QUEEN are really Reptilians , why do they look so ugly when we see them on TV.

  220. Arnold Evans says:

    Arnold, what is in it for the current occupant of the White House to kick the can down the road?

    I’m just guessing. But the choices are escalation, maintaining the status quo – which is the same as kicking the can down the road – and concession. Of those three, kicking the can down the road is less damaging and less likely to result in a nuclear armed Iran than escalation, while it is less potentially politically damaging to Obama than is concession.

    No US president has ever _benefited_ from the Iranian nuclear issue. It is a burden the US carries out of a sense of obligation to keep the region safe for Israel, because the US political establishment believes that is the right thing to do.

    By the same token, Iran doesn’t benefit from supporting the Palestinians, nor would an independent Egypt. Nor would any of the rest of the US colonies/protectorates in the region, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Kuwait, UAE and others if they were to become accountable to their own people rather than to the US Presidency. It is something they would do out of a sense of obligation to support people because their political establishments, if they were accountable to their people, would believe it is the right thing to do.

  221. BiBiJon says:

    James Canning says:
    May 22, 2012 at 2:21 pm

    I think Obama has been quite clear that the can cannot be kicked down the road. At least as to enriching to 20 percent. One can easily see why Obama would be reluctant to say openly the US will accept Iranian enrichment to 3.5%. (Unless Israel says this is OK.)


    James, I object to your exposing us to your 20% nonsense. Take a look around you for crying out loud. Iraq’s gone, Afghanistan is going, half of mid-east is in turmoil, the other half is hanging by a thread. Look, Iran’s entire nuclear issue is a red herring, any individual aspect of it is a double red herring.

    You remind me of the guy in a restaurant who sent back the food not because it was a pile of bull crap on a platter, but because it had a hair on it.

    Quit it man.

  222. James Canning says:


    I think Obama has been quite clear that the can cannot be kicked down the road. At least as to enriching to 20 percent. One can easily see why Obama would be reluctant to say openly the US will accept Iranian enrichment to 3.5%. (Unless Israel says this is OK.)

  223. James Canning says:


    Yes, you underline the continuing stupidity of the Obama administration is refusing to allow Iran to buy TRR fuel. I assume we can thank Dennis Ross and Hillary Clinton for this continuing stupidity.

  224. BiBiJon says:

    You’re just a-nother rod in the core


  225. BiBiJon says:


    Arnold Evans says:
    May 22, 2012 at 12:47 pm

    Arnold, what is in it for the current occupant of the White House to kick the can down the road? Will Obama not expose himself to charges of wasting a year engaging, and since then failing miserably to execute the Congress-mandated sanctions sufficiently cripplingly on the right, and on the left, charges of halfhearted engagement, and draconian, snactions hurting ordinary people, and peeing off American allies such as Japan, India, South Korea, etc?

  226. BiBiJon says:

    Arnold Evans says:
    May 22, 2012 at 12:47 pm

    Here is how it looks to me that the Baghdad conference and the nuclear issue for the short term will develop:

    No specific public commitments on either side at this month’s Baghdad conference
    An agreement to continue discussions through the year, possibly for an agreement of some sort to be announced early in 2013


    Arnold, what is in it for the current occupant of the White House to kick the can down the road? Will Obama not expose himself to wasting a year engaging, and since then failing miserably to execute the Congress-mandated sanctions sufficiently cripplingly?

  227. fyi says:

    Arnold Evans says: May 22, 2012 at 12:47 pm

    Iranians will use up the 20% enriched fuel to supply TRR; that much is certain.

    There is no legal way for any state to supply Iran with nuclear-related materials, components, and expertise.

    Iran is on her own for the foreseeable future for her civilian nuclear needs.

  228. James Canning says:


    Apparently quite a few young Israelis do not like the idea of serving in the occupation of the West Bank, promoting illegal settlements, etc etc etc.

  229. James Canning says:

    I recommend “$1 Trillion for Defense”, by Chris Hellman and Mattea Kramer:


    US spends more than one trillion dollars every year on “defence”. Preposterous. But all too true.

  230. Rehmat says:

    Israeli soldiers are welknown for hunting down Palestinian youth throwing rocks on them and sometime using these young natives as ‘shield’ to capture the so-called ‘Arab terrorists’. However, the Zionist-controlled mainstream media will never report that Israeli army have long been hunting down thousands of Jewish male and female deserters and draft-dodgers.

    Israel daily YNet reported on May 18, 2012 that Jewish military police arrested 474 Israelis in the course of six days in Israel’s largest ever manhunt of military deserters and draft-dodgers. It also reported that the Israel Occupation Force (IOF) is searching for the 4500 known active soldiers and new recruits who have gone into hidding to avoid serving in the Zionist ‘killing machine’.


  231. James Canning says:


    You are unhappy that Amano’s meeting in Tehran with Jalili went well?

  232. James Canning says:


    You seem to advocate that Iran “play hardball beneath the surface”. This would be extremely foolish.

  233. James Canning says:


    Lady Ashton speaks for the EU, and for the P5+1. So, indirectly, she does “speak for the US”.

    I do not think there is any doubting lady Ashton seeks a diplomatic resolution of the dispute so that relations between Iran and the EU can improve. Aipac, of course, does not want any improvement in US relations with Iran.

  234. James Canning says:


    I think it is actually in the best interests of Israel, that video footage of illegal Jewish setters shooting Palestinians in Palestine gets maximum publicity.

  235. James Canning says:


    The New York Times reports today that Israel may be prepared to accept Iranian enrichment to 3.5%. Possibly because it has no choice in the matter.

  236. Kathleen says:

    Of course the footage of illegal settlers beating, firing upon Palestinians will never make Rachel Maddows program. It has to be gay rights or some other selective human rights issues that her owners approve of for it to be a human rights issue for Rachel etc. pathetic and oh so telling who owns her

  237. Kathleen says:

    James Canning says:
    May 21, 2012 at 6:32 pm
    “Israeli settlers filmed firing guns at Palestinians”


    With all of the footage coming out of the area of the illegal activities of illegal settlers etc awareness is growing although it seems the situation is getting worse on the ground for the Palestinians. Finally footage of illegal actions by ILLEGAL Israeli settlers etc that have taken place for decades

  238. James Canning says:


    Iran’s stockpile of 5% U (or lower) may well be seen now as presenting less of a problem. This is not true as to the 20% U.

  239. James Canning says:


    The head of Iran’s nuclear programme said Iran would stop enriching to 20 percent once it had enough on hand. He sugggested the centrifuges producing 20% U would possibly be reconfigured.

    Increasing production of 20% U would be lunacy.

  240. Arnold Evans says:

    Here is how it looks to me that the Baghdad conference and the nuclear issue for the short term will develop:

    No specific public commitments on either side at this month’s Baghdad conference
    An agreement to continue discussions through the year, possibly for an agreement of some sort to be announced early in 2013

    The US and EU will impose sanctions the central bank as scheduled
    Iran will continue, until there is an agreement, to enrich, including 20% LEU at least at the rate that it is enriching now

    (In fact, I’d expect the new sanctions to be met with an increase in the rate and/or number of centrifuges enriching to 20% – unless there is an agreement such as that the sanctions will be on the books but for now not further enforced)

    Where this might lead us is that by January, Iran may be approaching 200 or more kgs of 20% LEU, so that if Iran insists that it will not stop enriching until TRR fuel is delivered, by that time it may well have enough to export 120kgs and still have 120kgs in its domestic stock.

    But the West seems like it may be de-emphasizing stocks of LEU as a threat in exchange for prohibiting specific weapons development activities.

    Iran would have seen a first draft of the list of activities to be prohibited, but it has not come public as far as I’ve seen. Depending on the list it may well be acceptable to Iran.

    But if in 2013 the West declares that Iran has ended or is ending its “nuclear weapons program” while it still has several tons of 3.5% LEU and over 100kgs of 20% LEU, then the doctrine of preventing “nuclear capability” is just dead. If there is a crisis, such as an attack on Tehran, of course Iran can leave its agreement and build nuclear weapons with material and technology already in its domestic possession.

    If the US really moves away from presenting both enrichment and domestic stocks of LEU as a threat that should be stopped that is a huge retreat from its previous position.

    On the other hand, if the US was going to concede enrichment, this could and should have happened last year without the complications of an election campaign.

  241. Unknown Unknowns says:


    It has been good to see you posting more frequently of late than had been your norm.
    The spiritual solution is of course Islam and specifically Shi’a Islam and its latest adumbration as realized by Imam Khomeini – the theory and practice of Velayat-e Faqih (The Guardianship of the Jurisprudent). The answer to your question is too long to go into, but I have started working on the translation of a very important book in this field (written by a Grand Ayatollah), whose first chapter frames the *problem* of the dead-end of modernity and puts it in its proper context. Perhaps I will share parts of it with you here on this forum a little later, if there is an interest and no objection from our hosts.

  242. Karl says:

    If IAEA and Iran have indeed have almost reached an agreement, that must mean that the solution is very near and the talks with P5+1 shouldnt be a long process. In fact this ‘nuclear-issue’ is solely between Iran and the IAEA, albeit hijacked for political purposes by the US, its the deal between IAEA and Iran that matters (although as we all know IAEA and Amano himself is pro-american-israeli stance).

  243. Jay says:

    Predictions are always dangerous!

    Having said that, I suggested back in March that the US will avoid a war with Iran at this juncture because all “models” point to a loss-loss scenario.

    On the eve of the upcoming talks in Baghdad, I will step out on a limb once again and suggest that “models” predict that a “stall” strategy is the most likely approach to be adopted by the US and her representative Ashton. This view, I suspect, is not controversial here.

    The pace of progress, engineered and maneuvered by Iran’s diplomatic core, is a cause for concern in Washington (and London by proxy). The rapid reassembly of the sanctions package by US congress, the issuing of permission for Amano to go to Tehran to test the waters, and the discussions regarding a new package to replace the “Russian step-by-step” model that was the basis of discussions in the last round, are indications of a “rewriting the rules in the making” in the diplomatic game front.

    It appears that the earlier “model” scenarios predicting a loss-loss outcome in war had been used to promote a “stall” and “regroup” strategy rather than a “rapprochement” – although the “stall” seems to have been sold under the “label” of “rapprochement”. Having recognized the severe limitation of the sanctions strategy and its continuing erosion in the future, and the potentially large losses that could result from a military response on the one hand, and the pressure and influence of powerful elites demanding submission by Iran as the only resolution on the other hand, the adopted approach was to “kick the can down the road” and see what happens.

    US (UK/EU by extension) are likely to walk in to the Baghdad meeting with a new package and a new set of demands (contrary to their agreement in the previous meeting). Iran in unlikely to agree to this new package. In order to continue the stall and give the appearance of progress, which is necessary to salvage the EU from early demise, keep energy prices down, stop further slide of Euro, slow the bankruptcy and unrest in Europe, help Obama’s reelection bid, etc., Ms. Ashton will announce a future round of talks. In the meantime, more sanctions and pressure will be engineered. Iran is likely to go along on the surface – I suspect Iran will begin to play hardball beneath the surface. Given the deft responses and reaction by Iran so far, I would be willing to wager that planning is already underway!

  244. Neo says:

    Unknown Unknowns says: May 22, 2012 at 8:54 am

    “…we are undoubtedly in the right and Godless modernity is undoubtedly in error.”


    i loved that line!

    can you tell me please the Real difference between ‘Godless modernity’ and ‘the evil side of modern capitalism and its flawed relations’?

    It’s not like spiritual solutions solve economic problems. Jesus for example said pay your taxes, especially if it has the face of foreign invaders on the money in your pocket, and rest assured that the rich can’t get into heaven any more than camels can get through pin holes. Clearly, Islam and Judaism are more sophisticated with their economic structures, at least some of which is outdated now. Still, they too have presided over injustice and suffering throughout the ages.

    So, what’s the spiritual solution to ‘godless modernity’?

  245. Neo says:

    IAEA to pen nuclear agreement with Iran: Amano

    “We had very good talks with [Yukiya] Amano today and, God willing, we will have good cooperation in the future,” Jalili said after his meeting with Amano in Tehran on Monday.”

    “A decision was made by me and [Iran’s top nuclear negotiator] Mr. [Saeed] Jalili to reach an agreement on the structured approach,” Yukiya Amano said in Vienna on Tuesday after returning from his visit to Iran.”

    Notice how Amano emphasizes ‘decision was made by me…’, as in he was ‘not’ instructed by his masters…honest!


  246. BiBiJon says:

    The endgame forest

    The endless accusations leveled against Iran, the punishment for punishment’s sake, the “loose talk of war,” etc. constitute the trees that have obscured the forest: the endgame.

    Various parties to the confrontation with Iran have had ever changing endgames in mind, which have all turned out to be unachievable. The costs have risen, realities have changed, and the minds have been concentrated on the ‘doable.’

    If one looks at individual trees, e.g. the freshly passed Senate resolution further sanctioning Iran, and its incongruous timing (the P5+1+Iran will be meeting in Baghdad tomorrow), it is easy to miss the overall trajectory which I maintain is de-escalation, modus vivendi; detente, and even rapprochement, which all hinge on fyi’s cease fire.

    When the BRICS issued a statement from New Delhi objecting to US’ unbridled extraterritorial, unilateral sanctions on them if they don’t squeeze Iran, or Medvedev’s nuclear war warning recently, are all indications of acceptance of a reality that is playing out in the Mid East.

    The region has one, and only one power center. A country whose growth in every imaginable field has reached the unstoppable category. That country is Iran, and she has paid dearly for her achievements and has grown despite western enmity, suggesting she will continue to grow regardless of western venom and animus daily thrown in her general direction.

    The Arab Spring, and the ‘Islamists’ that are coming to power, the Talibanization of SW Asia under NATO’s nose and seal of approval, and the demonstrated impotence of Israel/Saudi Arabia in shaping events have created a dilemma for the White House. Continued western opposition to Iran’s system of government is now over and beyond the oath of hypocrisy that office holders take.

    There’s only one reason why the Leveretts are not invited to the White House. It is because the white House is executing their ‘grand bargain’ to the letter.

  247. Unknown Unknowns says:


    We are not concerned about the US doing Israel’s bidding on the oil war front, even if we were to lose such customers such as India and Japan (which isn’t in the cards anyway): we would rather feed the crude to our newly emerging petrochemical sector and sell the value add as gasoline, diesel, pvc, fertilizer, etc. And we are certainly not interested in the S-300 system anymore, as our own improved version has been in the prototype production stage since last December, and might well be in the mass-production stage as we speak.

    The military and economic fronts are stalemated, which means that we have won. There only remain the cultural/ intellectual front which, sadly, we are doing miserably in, as usual, which is too bad for humanity, as we are undoubtedly in the right and Godless modernity is undoubtedly in error.

  248. Karl says:

    Another thing, what if Iran and US/P5+1 reach a deal which include lifting sanctions?
    Even so, US have already been busy with getting buyers of iranian oil to get it elsewhere and have reached deals with other oil producing states. My argument is, where will Iran gets it revenue back since majority of buyers have already left Iran and will of course not come back easy (since they have as stated, already signed new deals with other states?).

    Same goes for UN resolutions on weapons ban. Will these be lifted? Could Iran get the S-300 for example? If not, then obviously US havent buried the “nuclear issue”.

  249. Karl says:

    Apparently IAEA and Iran have negogiated in a positive atmosphere and reached somewhat of an agreement that are more or less done from what I understand.

    Do you think that Iran have intertwined IAEA talks with the talks with P5+1? That is, Iran wont give into to pressure for free with IAEA (since IAEA cant give Iran something back), thus Iran making a deal rather between P5+1 AND IAEA?

  250. Unknown Unknowns says:

    Bussed-in Professor:

    You are right: koonesh hanuz dare misuzeh :)

  251. Voice of Tehran says:

    “…is a madar gende says:
    May 22, 2012 at 4:35 am”

    MF , ‘gende’ in Farsi is written with a ‘j’ ; if you don’t believe me ask your mother or your sisters , they know for sure.

  252. Unknown Unknowns says:


    Further to the excellent comment you pasted (sic) yesterday, I remember reading that the French actually flew missions with their mirages for Saddam. Unfortunately I do not remember the source, but perhaps Pirouz can enlighten us, after he has finished counting the change (if any) from his trip to the gas station.

  253. Unknown Unknowns says:


    I’m pretty sure there is a law against what S a$$ an is doing if you have banned him and blocked several of his IP addressed and that he has somehow found a way to get around this by using different proxies.

    Methinks you should give him a formal warning by email that if he does not stop this cyber attack on your property, that you will sue him for damages in addition to getting a restraining order issued on his sorry ha$bara a$$.

  254. Unknown Unknowns says:

    Blast from the Past Presents:
    Imam Khomeini’s Address to Monsignor Bugnini, Papal Nuncio
    November 12, 1979

    I’m sorry for the length of the letter, but I just had to paste the whole thing for all the boys and girls out there who have not read it. Those who are squeamish about relevance, etc. can skip down to the last paragraph or two which I have enboldened. That section I think is particularly relevant to the talks in Baghdad.

    The translation is by, who else?, Professor Hamid Algar, and can be found along with a bunch of other goodies in pdf form on the web. Enjoy!


    Imam Khomeini gave this address in Tehran eight days after the occupation of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran by the Muslim Students Following the Line of the Imam, setting forth the demands and grievances of the Iranian people. Source: text supplied by the Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Washington, D.C.

    IF OTHER AUTHORITIES HAD SOUGHT a meeting with me at this critical juncture in order to discuss the matter, I would not have granted their request. But given the respect that the Christian clergy and the Pope enjoy, I have acceded to this
    particular request, and I am indeed glad that the Pope has sent me a message, for it
    gives me an opportunity to bring certain matters to his attention. There is a question in the minds of myself and my people, and indeed in those of all oppressed peoples, whether Muslims or Christians or the followers of other faiths, and I would like to voice this question now. The ears of thirty-five million Iranians, who suffered for fifty years beneath the yoke of imperialism and repression— particularly American imperialism, most recently under the direction of Mr. Carter— as well as the ears of millions of oppressed people throughout the world, have constantly been straining to hear some expression of sympathy on the part of the Pope, or at least some indication of paternal concern for the state of the oppressed, coupled with an admonishment of the tyrants and oppressors, or a desire to mediate between the oppressed peoples and those superpowers that profess to be Christian. But our ears have never heard any such expression of sympathy or concern. Our people were massacred for fifty years, and the best sons and daughters of our nation were thrown into inhuman prisons where they died under brutal tortures, yet the question of mediation never arose, nor did it ever occur to His Eminence, the Pope, to show any concern for our oppressed people or even to mediate with the plea that oppression cease.

    Yet now he wishes to mediate, now that the young people of our nation, after
    long years of oppression and misery, have decided 279 to hold in that nest of spies a few individuals who were spying on our nation and conspiring against it, or rather, against the whole region. The proofs of their activity are extremely numerous, but the greatest proof is the fact that they reduced to powder, as far as they were able to, all the files and equipment they had. If those files and equipment had been of a purely diplomatic nature and not related to conspiracies against our people, there would have been no need for their destruction.

    Now that the existence of a conspiracy has been proven to our nation, it
    unanimously supports the action of our youths (only a few perverted individuals do
    not support it). Their action represents the will of the entire nation, not the arbitrary whim of a small group. It is a truly humanitarian desire that conspiracies directed against human welfare, against our Muslim countries and Iran in particular, should be uncovered; it is also the right of our people to have them uncovered. Embassies have no legal right to engage in espionage or conspiracy, but this place, as far as our experts have been able to determine, was a center for espionage and a center for conspiracy. How is it that it has now occurred to His Eminence, the Pope, to entertain the humanitarian impulse of intervening with us to make sure we do not mistreat those detained there?

    Islam treats its enemies well, and our Muslim youths have treated them well and
    humanely, as far as I have heard; there is no cause for anxiety. As for their release, we must see what we want to do, what the nation wants to do. Is the desire of our nation illegal or inhuman? Is the act of our youths in occupying this center and preventing the conspiracy from being implemented a humane or an inhumane act?
    What our nation wants is for that man who is now in the U.S., under whom it suffered for about thirty-seven years, who betrayed it continuously for thirty-seven
    years, who deprived our young people of freedom for thirty-seven years, who stifled
    our country and people with his all-embracing repression for thirty-seven years, who
    killed many people with his own hands or had them killed under his direction on
    Khurdad 15, and whose orders since then resulted in the killing of more than one
    hundred thousand people and the wounding and maiming of hundreds of thousands of others— what our nation wants is for that criminal under whom it has thus suffered to be returned to face a just trial.

    If he is found guilty, the money he has stolen from us should be returned. Huge
    amounts of money have been taken out of the country by him and persons associated
    with him and now fill the banks in America and other Western countries. People of
    my age know, and those younger than us have heard from others or read in history,
    that when his father enacted his coup d’etat, he had nothing. He was an empty-handed
    soldier when he gained control of this country, but immediately, he began to
    confiscate the property of the people. He gained title to the best and most fertile land in Mazandaran, in the north of our country, by means of force and the pressure his agents exerted. Many who owned land, as well as many religious scholars who
    expressed themselves on the subject, were arrested, imprisoned, and sometimes

    I myself remember the massacre enacted in the time of Riza Shah at the Gauhar
    Shad mosque in Mashhad.98 People of my age remember how this mosque, this center
    of Muslim worship and prayer, was assaulted and how a number of victims of op
    pression who had sought refuge there were massacred. When Riza Shah left Iran— or
    more accurately, when he was expelled— he stuffed as many of the crown jewels of
    Iran as he could into his numerous suitcases, only to have the English steal them from him on the high seas!

    Then his rule came to an end and his son succeeded him— that is, the allies
    imposed his criminal son upon us, despite our unwillingness to accept him because of
    what we had suffered under his father. Since he owed his throne to the allies, he was obliged to put blindly at their disposal whatever they asked for. We have no time to enumerate all the acts of treachery he committed during his period of rule. We can give only a few examples of his so-called service to his country, in reality the mission entrusted to him by the allies. His mission became essentially to purchase arms and equipment from America in exchange for the oil he exported there, in order then to use the arms and equipment on their behalf and to build up bases for them! He gave them our oil and then built bases for them with the money he received!

    The acts of treachery he committed during these last ten to fifteen years in
    particular— the slaughter and imprisonment of our young men and women—are too
    numerous to recount. During this period, we would have liked some foreign spiritual
    authority, particularly the supreme authority of the Christians, to have shown some
    concern for our defenseless people. I cannot believe that the Vatican was unaware of
    what was happening, and if our people ask me whether the Vatican was in agreement
    with all the crimes that were being committed, I will not know what answer to give

    The Christian clergy know that the Noble Qur’an champions Jesus and Mary, the
    virtuous and chaste, and explicitly defends Mary against various unjust accusations.
    Indeed, the Qur’an goes so far as to champion the scholars, monks, and saints of the
    Christians. 99 This being the case, we would have welcomed a soothing expression of
    concern on the part of His Eminence, the Pope, or an attempt by him to discover why
    our nation has acted as it has. Let him ask Carter why he enabled a man like the Shah to keep ruling us; let him inquire of Carter why he has brought to America, under his protection, the man who blatantly committed so many crimes and acts of treachery for more than thirty years, and why he now wishes to hatch conspiracies with that man.

    I am not surprised at Carter’s antics, because he is a politician— not in the sense
    of healthy politics, but rather the sort of politics that Carter and his kind understand. He is willing to do anything— to commit any crime, to try any trick— in order to protect his personal interests, or what he imagines are the interests of his nation. His real concern is to prevent certain matters from becoming known by means of the people our youths are now holding.

    But why is the Pope concerned? Why does he wish to intervene with an
    oppressed nation that wishes to uncover some small portion of the miseries it has
    suffered and thus enable other oppressed people to understand how they are being
    caused to suffer? If we were able to put this treacherous oppressor on trial in another country and bring before a foreign court all the manifold evidence of his criminal wrongdoing, we would certainly take the initiative doing so. But it was here that he committed his crimes, here that all the relevant dossiers are to be found, and here that several million witnesses against him reside. He oppressed the peasants, he oppressed the workers, he oppressed the religious scholars, he oppressed the university students and teachers: all of them are our witnesses. We cannot possibly transport more than twenty million of our citizens abroad to testify against him.

    In view of the respect we entertain for the Pope, however, we are ready for him, if
    the Shah is brought to Iran, to delegate whomever he wishes as representatives to
    observe the trial. The Shah could be tried in the presence of not only the Pope’s
    representatives, but also those whom anyone else cares to send, even Carter, our
    worst enemy. The nation and I would abide by whatever verdict the court delivered.
    The Pope should realize that this is not a question I can solve personally. I have
    no authority to impose anything on my people, for Islam does not permit me to act as
    a dictator. I follow the wishes of the people and I am bound to comply with whatever
    the people decide in this matter. As a servant of the nation, I may advance some
    humble request every now and then, but the solution of this matter does not lie in my hands. It lies in the hands of the people, and the people have declared their support for this act. As you may know, the radio has been reading out messages of support from different groups of people, and the messages are so numerous that it becomes tedious to listen to them.

    In any event, our demand is a humanitarian one, dictated by the concern for
    humanity that is a characteristic of our Muslim nation. Since you profess Christianity, you too ought to follow Jesus Christ and become humanitarians. The same love of humanity that inspired Jesus Christ now impels our nation to demand an investigation of the Shah’s crimes, with a particular view to discovering who it was that encouraged him in the commission of his crimes. It is thus that the world will come to know who the enemy of humanity is. Who was it that made the Shah devote all his power to the oppression of his people, commit all sorts of crime, and plunder our natural resources? If the answer to this question is known, it will be a salutary lesson for all people.

    What conclusion, then, does the Pope wish to draw? I request him to contact
    Carter, who appealed to him, so that the whole matter may be investigated. Let the
    whole matter be explained, both here and abroad, and let them send their representatives. Then the Pope will have to decide whether it was just and proper for our people to be oppressed in this way, for all those massacres to be enacted, for the resources of our defenseless people to be plundered and hoarded in foreign banks, so that numerous city-dwellers, even here on the edge of Tehran, continue to go without housing, food, and work (of course, it is just possible that the Pope has not been informed of these things, in which case I am informing him now). Now, if despite all this, the Pope still feels we should arrange for the departure of those detained at the nest of spies without the Shah’s being surrendered to us and without their agreeing to his being placed on trial, then let him announce this quite unambiguously. Naturally, we do not expect him to make such an announcement, for as a human being, he must be opposed to crimes such as those the Shah committed.

    Our cause, in any event, is a legitimate one. It is intolerable to us that out of all the places in the world, the Shah should be taken to America, to be close to Carter.

    They have taken our criminal away from us and are keeping him. Hand the man over
    to us— that man who slaughtered our young people, who tortured them by burning
    them and sawing off their feet! Hand him over to us to stand trial! He will have a fair trial that can be attended by representatives from abroad. If what we say is untrue, let him come back and mount the throne again and all the people will obey him! But if it is the Shah and Carter that have spoken and acted unjustly, then use your moral influence to call Carter to account.

    The Pope should realize that certain people claim to be Christians while acting in
    a manner contrary to the precepts of Jesus Christ, and they succeed in deceiving some of their own people. The Pope should show some concern for the honor of
    Christendom; if the policies of those individuals are carried out in the name of Christ and Christianity, the name of Christianity will be tarnished. The Pope should show some concern for all the oppressed people and their view of Christianity, and he should proclaim to all Christendom the crimes that Carter has committed and reveal his true identity to the world, just as we did with Muhammad Riza. Of course, our people knew the true nature of the Shah, but we still exerted ourselves to make sure that no doubt remained. If the Pope acts in similar fashion, we will be grateful to him.

    As an oppressed nation, we request of him, then, that he save Christianity by
    condemning those leaders of the great powers who commit crimes while claiming to
    be Christian and acting in the name of Christianity. This is not good. Their conduct is not beneficial for Jesus (upon whom be peace) and it harms the reputation of all Christians. Let me inform the Pope that if Jesus Christ were here today, he would call Carter to account and deliver us from the clutches of this enemy of humanity. Since the Pope is the representative of Jesus, he must act in the same way that Jesus would.

    May God Almighty acquaint us all with our religious and divine duties so that we
    may become champions of the oppressed. We hope that the Pope will show some concern for the state of our oppressed people and forgive us for being unable to comply with all his requests. As for his first request, concerning good treatment of those detained, the prisoners are already enjoying good treatment, and I would like you, as the Pope’s representative, to go see them in order to inspect their living conditions and talk to them. Have no anxiety that they are being mistreated.
    Of course, Carter is trying to do a number of different things; he is grabbing for
    anything, like a drowning man. First he tries to intimidate us with the threat of
    military intervention, and then he talks of imposing an economic embargo.
    Unfortunately, a certain individual100 (who calls himself an Iranian and even says,
    “I am an Iranian before I am a Muslim,” although it is uncertain that he is either
    Iranian or Muslim) is requesting that Carter impose an economic embargo on Iran.
    This individual, who is now living in England, claims to be a nationalist, and his
    claim is proof of something I once said years ago. I said that the superpowers will
    often keep someone in reserve in a given country for twenty or thirty years, in order to use him as their servant at the proper time, and it will be part of his mission to put on the garb of a nationalist. So Bakhtiar associated with Musaddiq and claimed to be a nationalist, and after being held in reserve for twenty years, he finally saw the day his service was to begin. For many years, he had been a member of the National Front, and he claimed to be an Iranian before he was a Muslim (which itself is contrary to religion). But on the day his patrons wished to put him to use, they were not disappointed in their expectations. He took the place of the worst of God’s creation, Muhammad Riza, and started massacring the people in his stead. Ultimately, however, the army refused to obey his orders to carry out slaughters. This is the same person now calling for an economic boycott of Iran!
    It is my duty to inform everyone, however, that we fear neither military action
    nor economic boycott, for we are the followers of Imams who welcomed martyrdom.
    Our people are also ready to welcome martyrdom today. Let us suppose that Mr.
    Carter were able to land his troops here— in reality, he can do no such thing— or
    even to launch a joint military expedition with other superpowers. We have a
    population of thirty-five million people, many of whom are longing for martyrdom.
    All thirty-five million of us would go into battle and after we had all become martyrs, they could do what they liked with Iran. No, we are not afraid of military
    intervention. We are warriors and strugglers; our young men have fought barehanded
    against tanks, cannons, and machine guns, so Mr. Carter should not try to intimidate
    us. We are accustomed to fighting and even when we have lacked weapons, we have
    had our bodies, and we can make use of them again.

    As for economic pressure, we are a people accustomed to hunger. We have
    suffered hardship for about thirty-five or fifty years. Assuming that the Americans
    can impose an economic embargo on us by persuading all nations to sacrifice their
    own interests— which is nothing more than an idle dream, something that will never
    happen— we can always fast, or content ourselves with the barley and corn that we
    sow on our own land. That will be enough for us. We eat meat only one day a week,
    and in fact, it is not good to eat meat. If necessary, we can even restrict ourselves to one meal a day. So they should not try to intimidate us with economic pressure. If we are faced with the choice of preserving our honor or filling our stomachs, naturally we will prefer to go hungry and keep our honor.

    Please convey my greetings to the Pope and tell him that he and I both, as men of
    religion, have a responsibility to give moral counsel. We ask that he assist our weak people by giving all the superpowers fatherly advice or by summoning them to
    account for their deeds.

  255. A concerned world citizen says:

    It seems the US has just killed any chance of a deal in Baghdad..Congress has just extended sanctions on Iran. As if we didn’t see this coming?

    The US is not interested in any deal so the charade will continue…But have they considered the economic cost with this latest action? Oil price will definitely sky-rocket again this summer to stupid heights. All this, just to please Netanyahu and his AIPAC gang.


    Oh, what a tangle web we weave when we first learn to deceive…

  256. James Canning says:

    “Israeli settlers filmed firing guns at Palestinians”


  257. James Canning says:

    Israeli foreign minister unbearable: Austrian defense minister


  258. James Canning says:


  259. fyi says:

    Arnold Evans says: May 21, 2012 at 1:59 pm

    They are not colonies; those states that you mentioned: Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt (for now), UAE, Kuwait and others.

    They are protectorates.

    Among them, the Persian Gulf Arabs states have zero strategic vision.

    They live in day-to-day strategic enviornment.

    [They could revoluionize their relationship with Iran and the Iranian people by calling themselves the Persian Gulf Cooperation Council and invite Iran to join it.

    But they won’t.

    50 years of hostility to Iran has got them exactly what? (I would like to know.)]

  260. BiBiJon says:

    kooshy says:
    May 21, 2012 at 3:49 pm

    Do you recall this alarming headline: “Iran said to have enough nuclear fuel for one weapon”


    That was a (livid) David Sanger (anger) warmongering piece back in October 2008.

    I recall thinking then that right beneath my feet there is enough naturally occurring uranium in the ground for a few bombs. I chose not to alert and anger Sanger further.

  261. kooshy says:

    How do you deal with this suggestive paragraph in a new LA Times article just published?

    “The Iranian media posture suggested that if Iran is willing to make any concessions in its nuclear programs, such as reducing its uranium enrichment levels below what would be suitable for weapons production, that it would be done through the U.N. auspices in the talks in Baghdad, not in response to U.S. pressure.”


    The cream of the crop is this sentence “such as reducing its uranium enrichment levels below what would be suitable for weapons production” I didn’t know Iran is currently producing enriched uranium suitable for nuclear weapons did you Gavner James? One wonders what level of enriched uranium is not suitable for nuclear weapons do you know Gavner?

  262. fyi says:

    BiBiJon says: May 21, 2012 at 3:16 pm

    The Americans are too degenerated now to be able to address the concerns raised by Dr. Walt.

    Experience in the coming years will educate them.

  263. kooshy says:

    US to Pakistan: reopen supply route and we can leave Afghanistan faster


    After so much Rambo stuff, one wonders which direction these poor “Natonians” want to move, in Afghanistan or out it. It all sounds like these poor bastards are becoming more desperate to leave by the day, at least the Russian could leave Afghanistan crossing the border, fortunately for the region the Netonians will have to beg around, to find a passage to leave.

  264. BiBiJon says:

    From Istanbul with love


    One of the more vivid impressions I [Steven Walt] took from the conference [the Istanbul World Political Forum] was the prevailing wariness — if not outright suspicion — with which the United States was viewed by many of the attendees. Virtually any statement that cast even mild doubt about U.S. policy (on Iran, Middle East peace, past interventions, Iraq, etc.) drew spontaneous approval from the audience, even if the statements weren’t especially provocative, penetrating, or anti-American. For example, in the panel on a possible war with Iran, I suggested that if the U.S. wanted to dissuade Iran from building nuclear weapons, it might make sense to stop threatening Tehran with regime change. The audience immediately burst into loud applause. Similar statements by journalist and professor Stephen Kinzer and Juergen Chrobog of the BMW Stiftung Herbert Quandt elicited much the same response. And most of the questions (or diatribes) from the audience were either explicitly or implicitly critical of the U.S. position. I had a similar experience in my other panel as well.


  265. BiBiJon says:

    De-escalation by April Fools’ Day?

    Lady Ashton’s March 31st announcement that the Istanbul meeting was on, happened just before the bell.

    And, now we have:

    “In recent weeks, the crisis temperature has cooled. The estimated 37 percent chance of a U.S. or Israeli strike is down from a figure of 42 percent in April, and 48 percent in March. This decline is consistent with the betting site i1ntrade.com, which predicts a roughly 30 percent chance of war by the end of the year.”


  266. Karl says:


    Israel will do anything in their power to spoil a possible solution. Making clear that Israel want to see islamic republic removed from the map because Israel obviously wants war on Iran.

  267. fyi says:

    Karl says: May 21, 2012 at 1:22 pm

    This is a God-send for the Iranian leaders.

    They will use it as a very potent propaganda tool against US within Iran and in the international arena.

    If I were an Iranian leader, I would pray to God that Americans de-list MEK as soon as possible.

    The MEK is not a threat to Iran; it is a spent force – its cadre are in their late 50s and new recruits are hard to come by.

    Their socialism and their Islamism has no cache in Iran anymore.

  268. Humanist says:

    About 10 am I noticed a post here in RFI (by REALIST1?) on the astonishing news item that according Islamic regime’s military chief of staff “Iran is dedicated to annihilating Israel”

    He(she?) also had branded Leveretts as the stooges of the mullahs.

    At noon time I decided to appraise his post and make a comment about my findings. I spent sometime doing just that and wrote the following comment..

    Moments ago I noticed that for an obvious valid reason RFI has deleted that post. However I thought I better post what I had already written, hoping it could ignite a timely discussion here and in other similar sites about the overly critical issue of indoctrination.

    As I was reading it three suspicions crossed my mind:

    1- Before any serious diplomatic dialogue with Iran, one has to expect Israel perpetrating stunts to block the talks that potentially could resolve the ongoing disputes between Iran and the West. In the past some of these stunts have been atrociously deadly such as, just after Iran agreed ‘in principal’ to swap its LEW for TRR fuel, the killing of over 40 Iranians when among them there were five IRGC generals.

    2– This is another big Goebellsian style lie

    3- If true, since in Iran there are plenty of agents and stooges of Israel, West and East, they have concocted this using Iranian hands just before the Amano visit.

    I decided to spend some time and find out if there are any other possible reasons behind this sensational feat.

    First I searched Yahoo News. The story was dramatized over many dozens of websites. Close examination showed NONE of the Big anti-Iran Liars such as Wapo, NYT or WSJ have reported the story. The hoopla was trumpeted ONLY by zealous Zionist or anti-Iran entities. I found the distribution of ‘dates’ of the posts (or dates of comments made by Likudniksa) interesting.

    Using Google Search and random examination of the sites reporting the story showed similar results as the Yahoo Search.

    In both of the above quick analyses, while I was trying to find out the SOURCE of the news I came across only with one name, ie Reza Khalili.

    Khalili is a joke. He has written a book entitled “A Time to Betray”. The book is filled with outrageously gross lies about Iran and its nuclear program. The book is written (most probably by Israelis) only for the mindless ignorant sheeple since the claims made in the book are so absurd no astute analyst can consider them seriously.

    I pity and feel sorry for the likes of REALIST1. The rabbis or his (her?) Zionist parents have played a malignant deadly number on him. They, metaphorically, have killed the empathizing angel residing in his existence when he was born and had replaced that beauty with an appalling ugly medium that is incapable of sympathy for human pain, especially humans who do not belong to his own tribe.

    Now he has become a despicable self-righteous, deceptive, blood-thirsty, ruthless, remorseless warmongering liar who might really believe in the gross lies manufactured in ancient times of darkness and in the recent Likud factories.

    I wonder what the type of him would say after reading ‘By Way of Deception’. In it an ex-Mossad agent , among myriad of deplorable stories, explains how Mossad was training Tamil fighters in one compound and in the next neighboring compound the Sri Lankan government soldiers were getting the same kind of dreadful training to kill Tamils…and….Israel was selling arms to both sides.

    It will be interesting to hear how he would defend such Israeli actions. I bet many of us who hear his defensive arguments would recommend sending him to a mental hospital for a difficult yet timely de-brainwashing treatments.

  269. Arnold Evans says:

    James Canning says:
    May 21, 2012 at 1:04 pm

    Iran almost certainly will accept Israel WITHIN ITS PRE-1967 BORDERS.

    That matters a lot more in your mind than it does in real life.

    Iran almost certainly would accept Israel’s occupation of the territories if two plus two equaled five.

    So what?

    Israel is not going to voluntarily retreat to its pre-1967 borders. Two plus two is not five.

    It doesn’t matter what Iran would accept in your counter-factual scenario.

    In real life the people of Iran, unlike you but like the people of every Muslim-majority state in Israel’s region, reject Israel and consider Israel an illegitimate state that should not exist.

    You think Israel should exist, but you don’t and should not have any impact on Iranian policy. Unfortunately Westerners who think like you control the policies of Western colonies in Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt (for now), UAE, Kuwait and others.

    I do find it interesting to see this dispute acknowledged as the core of the supposed dispute over Iran’s nuclear program.

  270. James Canning says:

    “Leader fatwa offers great capacity for N-disarmament: Jalili”


  271. James Canning says:


    Keep in mind the simple fact that Mitt Romney boasts of his close friendship with Bibi Netanyahu and virtually pledges to have Netanyahu help run American foreign policy. Obama has a strong dislike of Netanyahu.

  272. James Canning says:


    Neocon warmongers and a large part of the ISRAEL LOBBY favors American support for terrorists operating in Iran. Obama has been trying to prevent US support for MEK terrorists, to some extent obviously.

  273. Karl says:

    How should one read this?


    That US push for regime change for Iran and that this group will lead the role? If US delist its just another sign about US grand intention for Iran.

  274. James Canning says:


    US senators and congressmen have many objectives. In their view, why should they throw away their positions of power? Aipac demands that Aipac objectives must be given the highest priority, but the senator or congressman is free to do what he or she wants on other issues (not bearing on Israel in one way or another).

  275. James Canning says:


    Iran almost certainly will accept Israel WITHIN ITS PRE-1967 BORDERS. Why would you help a neocon warmonger in his effort to convince the world that Iran needs to be smashed in order to “protect” Israel?

  276. James Canning says:


    David Frum is a neocon, though he denies it. He was one of the fools who encouraged the moron in the White House to denounce Iran as “evil” when Iran had helped the US to overthrow the Taliban in Afghanistan and was offering to help assess any “threat” posed by Saddam Hussein.

  277. fyi says:

    Arnold Evans says: May 21, 2012 at 12:52 pm

    For me, the interesting thing was the acknowlegement by all these experts that they did not have a useful conceptualization of the Iranian state.

    That is, the concept of Iran as a Shia religious state, for the Shia, by the Shia has completely escaped these experts.

    I think Dr. Perkovich, as he sometimes does, did make some useful comments.

  278. Arnold Evans says:

    Interesting quote from Karim Sadjadpour in FYI’s link:

    MR. SADJADPOUR: Ray, you made a reference to domestic politics in the conclusion of your comments. And there’s a quote from David Frum, who was President Bush’s former speechwriter, that I think really captured the conundrum of U.S. policy toward Iran. And he said that –he said, a country can enrich uranium and it can reject Israel’s existence, but it can’t do both at the same time. This is the reality of domestic American politics.

    Just interesting to see this explicitly connected by a mainstream US commentator.

    Supporters of the US position typically spend a lot of energy flat out lying about this connection.

  279. Rehmat says:

    US top Islamophobe and Israel-Firster David Horowitz’s website FrontPage Magazine has claimed that Francois Hollande could be “the first Muslim-elected president of France“. Why? Because while majority of 500,000 French Jews voted for Hollande’s opponent Sarkozy – a majority of seven million French Muslims voted for Hollande. Furthermore, Hollande’s Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault has appointed three Muslim members (one minister and two junior ministers) in his 34-member (17 male + 17 female) cabinet in addition to three Zionist Jew ministers.

    Elliott Abrams, a Zionist Jew and former National Security Council Advisor, who was convicted for lying to Congress – wrote in the CFR’s magazine (May 14, 2012) that Hollande will not follow “France’s tough position on the Iranian nuclear program“.


  280. fyi says:


    Text of Negotiating with Iran: Istanbul and Its Aftermath


  281. BiBiJon says:

    “China’s imports of Iranian crude oil recovered in April after sharp drops earlier this year, suggesting Beijing remains a steady customer despite U.S. efforts to tighten sanctions on Tehran.

    China’s April crude imports from Iran, at 1.6 million metric tons or about 390,000 barrels a day, were down almost 24% from a year earlier—but up more than 48% from March.”

    From http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303610504577417803213035894.html

  282. fyi says:

    M. Ali says: May 21, 2012 at 8:55 am

    That is true – the quoatation that you had.

  283. fyi says:

    Neo says: May 21, 2012 at 4:25 am

    Let us just wait and see – by Thursday we would know.

  284. BiBiJon says:

    A case in point


    Mr. Kelley, a nuclear engineer who worked in the American bomb program for more than three decades, disparaged the idea that Iran could cleanse a blast chamber of weapon clues, as some Western experts have recently suggested.

    ¶ But he also expressed doubts that the Parchin chamber, if real, ever played a role in Iranian research on atom bombs.

    ¶ “They’re not indicative of nuclear weapons development,” Mr. Kelley said of blast chambers. He added that the atomic agency, in pressing for access to Parchin, was “going out on a limb.”

    William J Broad http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/22/world/middleeast/international-agency-resumes-talks-with-iran-on-nuclear-program.html#h%5B%5D


    “We know a round of nuclear negotiations between Iran and the P5+1 is imminent when we hear an upsurge in not only straightforward analysis of the issues but also proactive efforts to spin whatever the talks may yield. Much of the straightforward analysis has a tone of optimism, against the background of a positive tone in the previous meeting between the parties last month in Istanbul.”

    Paul Pillar ,http://nationalinterest.org/blog/paul-pillar/spinning-baghdad-6937

  285. fyi says:

    James Canning says: May 20, 2012 at 6:29 pm

    Then they should kindly resign and go home and let Tel Aviv run their affairs.

    At any rate, I pointed out that P5+1 is 2.3 billion souls strong and cannot be concieved to be influenced by Jews.

  286. Photi says:

    Fiorangela, was that you calling into Washington Journal this morning?

    The caller “Alice” made the point to Mr. Shah of USAID that the US policies seem to be to first starve a population, then destroy their infrastructure, and then to allow the private companies in with their copyrighted seeds to present their brand of development and progress. Alice further explained that this is what occurred in Iraq and is what certain people in the US want to do to Iran. To which Mr. Shah replied “War has consequences.”

    Our culture is one sickened by the belief that the ends justify the means. Mr. Shah seems oblivious to the fact the he and his agency enter the arena only after the American Military Machine has tilled the soil with blood and metal.

    USAID, the face of America after the war.

  287. M. Ali says:

    “On Khomeini not accepting cease fire, let me just say that if even one day of Iran not being attacked since 1981 is attributable to Iranian demonstration of the costs to a would-be aggressor, I would say god bless the patriots for that one day’s worth of security.”


    For many hundreds of years, Iran was constantly attacked by foreign powers. We’ve lost territory after territory. But since the Iraq war, when Iran, frankly, took on the whole world, and martyr after martyer, from all of Iran’s regions and religions, fell to the ground, who has dared set foot in Iran’s soil? When Iran faced the world, it did not lose one inch of land, something the Pahlavis and the Qajars should learn from.

    Iran has many internal problems. But these are OUR problems. Its the crisis that exist in a household, family fueds, sibling conflicts, and son. But these problems remain in the family, in the household, among us Iranians. The doors are finally closed to foreign intervention and foreign boots. The land is Iranian (not “Persians”, not “Aryans”, but Iranians). Every inch is sacred. Every inch is ours.

    Talk to the basijis of Iran. Talk to the javads. Talk to the drug addicts. Talk to the prostitutes. Talk to the students. Talk to the (actual Iranian) Greens. Talk to the feminists. Talk to the non-religious. Talk to the Sunni. Talk to the Shia. Talk to the Kord. Talk to the Baluch. Talk to the Iranian. Most, if not all, do not want anyone attacking Iran. Most, if not all, will once again walk over mines, if need be, to save their nation.

    Sasan, the era of a weak-willed, backward Iran is gone.

  288. BiBiJon says:

    Karl says:
    May 21, 2012 at 7:08 am

    “Chief of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces Major General Hassan Firouzabadi said threats and pressures cannot deter Iran from its revolutionary causes and ideals, and stressed that the Iranian nation will remain committed to the full annihilation of the Zionist regime of Israel to the end.”

    From http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.php?nn=9102112759

    So, once again annihilation (Webster dictionary: ‘total destruction’) of a regime rhetoric gets sooooooooooo under the skin of the spewers of “regime change”, “axis of evil”, “will totally annihilate them”, “think Amalek.”

    On Khomeini not accepting cease fire, let me just say that if even one day of Iran not being attacked since 1981 is attributable to Iranian demonstration of the costs to a would-be aggressor, I would say god bless the patriots for that one day’s worth of security.

    And, as for the officer core steeling the nerves of their troops, well, how unusual is that?

    To be liberated by a foreign army is a bit of an oxymoron. No?

  289. Karl says:


    You were banned from this site and now you change your nick and keep spamming.

  290. Unknown Unknowns says:

    IRIB @ 14:00 reports – With the coming on line of the Alvand petrochemical plant today, Iran becomes the largest producer of PVC in the world, and becomes self-sufficient and a large exporter of this strategic material. The plant is capable of producing all grades of pvc, including medical grade. Rostam Qasemi, the Minister for Oil, stated in the commencement ceremony that by the end of the year (1391; March 2013 – sorry Hans-sahn, the world will not end on December 21st, alas), 70 petro-chemical projects will come online, which will “bring about a fundamental shift in the country’s economy.”

  291. Neo says:

    “Iran nuclear talks gaining traction

    Iran’s leadership is confidently reassuring the public that any nuclear deal with the “Iran Six” in Baghdad talks on Wednesday will not sacrifice the national interest. Tehran has calculated that France’s presidential change and the eurozone crisis have sapped Europe’s fighting spirit, with the need to keep oil prices stable before November’s election also cooling hawkish sentiment in the United States. – M K Bhadrakumar”

    Sounds right!


  292. Neo says:

    James Canning says: May 20, 2012 at 1:44 pm

    Whatever the West thought at the time of the Iranian leaders’ “calling for the overthrow of numerous governments of other countries in the region”, it turns out that the Iranian leaders were correct in that call, ‘merely’ 3 decades ahead of time. So this too questions the wisdom of the West.

  293. Neo says:

    fyi says: May 20, 2012 at 11:22 am


    I’d largely agree, though there is a little bit of an inconsistency in expecting that the “US, EU, and Russia are going to put an offer on the table that Iranians will not find attractive” and at the same time believing that “US, EU and Russia will need a success more than Iran.”

    Unless of course one is doubtful of the p5+1’s rationality, which is not all that far from the truth given their past performance.

    My expectation would be for the 2 sides to create an impression that would make them look like they are engaging positively and making progress, but will actually drag the negotiations on for some time with no real results other than keeping the crazy hawks at bay.

    At some point after the Iranian presidential election next year, there may be a real breakthrough. I can’t see them making a deal with Ahmadinejad, but what do I know! They already sent a letter to Khamenei months ago, and there is some reason to believe that this would have been a highly conciliatory one.

  294. Voice of Tehran says:

    James Canning says:
    May 20, 2012 at 6:26 pm
    Voice of Tehran,

    “”Western support for Iraq’s attack on Iran had nothing to do with obtaining access to Iran’s oil.””

    James , James I am not in the mood for jokes.
    Saddam was promised whole of Khusistan by the West if not more.

  295. Voice of Tehran says:

    ToivoS says:
    May 20, 2012 at 5:06 pm
    Mehdi Mohammadi’s article is very interesting….

    Where is his article ? I admire this man , he is a brilliant thinker , straightforward and to the point. I first saw him on IRIB 2 , 4 years ago and from time to time I saw him on other news channel as well , as mentioned a brilliant strategist.
    Can you provide any link to his articles ?

  296. Unknown Unknowns says:

    To put it slightly less eloquently: You toucha my car, I breaka you spigot!

  297. Unknown Unknowns says:

    [50:16] NOW, VERILY, it is We [the Shi’a of ‘Ali] who [are sitting on the oil he so covets to quench his insatiable concupiscence], and We know what [weasel-words] his innermost self whispers within him: for We are closer to him than his neck-vein.

  298. Rehmat says:

    Boycott Israel – Save India!!

    India’s veteran diplomat, M.K. Bhadrakumar, claimed the other day that India cannot be US’ poodle.

    However, he was proven wrong by Mumbai police which raided Madanpura office of Jama’at-e-Islami on the behest and instructions of the Israeli consulate in Mumbai. The police not only confiscated the pro-Nakba Day posters but also the office staff were called over the police station for investigation into their anti-Israel activities.


  299. ToivoS says:

    James Canning says:

    20%, 20% 20%, there is no other reality, do not talk about anything else, 20%, 20%, 20% ….

  300. Dan Cooper says:

    In the week Barack Obama received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2009, he ordered bombing attacks on Yemen, killing a reported 63 people, 28 of them children.

    When Obama recently announced he supported same-sex marriage, American planes had not long blown 14 Afghan civilians to bits.

    In both cases, the mass murder was barely news.

    What mattered were the cynical vacuities of a political celebrity, the product of a zeitgeist driven by the forces of consumerism and the media with the aim of diverting the struggle for social and economic justice.

    The width of a cigarette paper separates the Democratic and Republican parties on economic and foreign policies.

    Both represent the super rich and the impoverishment of a nation from which trillions of tax dollars have been transferred to a permanent war industry and banks that are little more than criminal enterprises.

    Obama is as reactionary and violent as George W. Bush, and in some ways he is worse.

    His personal speciality is the use of Hellfire missile-armed drones against defenceless people.

    Under cover of a partial withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan, he has sent US special forces to 120 countries where death squads are trained.

    He has revived the old cold war on two fronts: against China in Asia and with a “shield” of missiles aimed at Russia.

    The first black president has presided over the incarceration and surveillance of greater numbers of black people than were enslaved in 1850.

    He has prosecuted more whistleblowers – truth-tellers – than any of his predecessors. His vice-president, Joe Biden, a zealous warmonger, has called WikiLeaks editor Julian Assange a “hi-tech terrorist”. Biden has also converted to the cause of gay marriage.

    Never Forget That Bradley Manning, Not Gay Marriage, Is The Issue

    By John Pilger


  301. Rehmat says:

    In an interview with the Austrian daily Die Presse on Saturday – Austrian defense minister Norbrt Darabos claimed that the Zionist regime is running its vicious anti-Iran campaign to divert public attention from country’s social problems. He also described Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman as “unbearable.”

    Not only Israel’s one-third child population is living below poverty line – Israel has one of world’s highest rape crime. According to NationMaster report, Israel is eighth in the world in the numbers of reported rape cases, with a rate of 17.6 rapes to 100,000 residents. Lesotho topped the list with a rate of 91.6 rapes to 100,000 – while Egypt is 55th, with a rate of 0.1 rapes to 100,000 residents.

    Darabos also called Israel’s military threat to Iran as foolish while claiming that there was not proof that Tehran is in the process of making a nuclear bomb.

    Darabos warned the Zionist regime that an Israeli attack on Iran “would spark an uncontrollable fire in the region and will create solidarity and empathy for Iran in the Arab world and the world at large.”

    On Friday, Austrian finance minister Maria Fekter was slammed by Jewish groups for her comparing the current vilification of bankers with Nazis’ treatment of Jewish communities during the 1940s. Even Defence Minister Norbert Darabos said he had not expected words like this to come from a high-ranking representative of a Christian-Social party and government member.


  302. James Canning says:

    Bibi Netanyahu, in Prague: “I see no evidence whatsoever that Iran is serious about ending its nuclear program.” Of course not, Bibi. Is Bibi a horse’s arse for trying to suggest the purpose of the negotiations is to have Iran “end its nuclear programme”?

  303. James Canning says:


    Mere excuse? For what? What can Americans or Brits do about the fact Aipac controls the US Congress?

  304. James Canning says:

    Voice of Tehran,

    Western support for Iraq’s attack on Iran had nothing to do with obtaining access to Iran’s oil.

  305. James Canning says:


    Surely you are aware Iranian leaders have recently said the West should sell Iran fuel for the TRR.

  306. James Canning says:


    Of course the Russians are well aware that if Iran continues to stockpile 20 percent uranium, Iran will likely or virtually certainly be attacked.

  307. James Canning says:


    Obama does not want war with Iran, but he does insist on Iran’s stopping enriching to 20 percent. I infer this from the position of the P5+1 leaked to the press. For Obama to achieve his object of avoiding war while making sure Iran is not trying to build nukes quickly on the sly, is sheer common sense.

  308. ToivoS says:

    Mehdi Mohammadi’s article is very interesting. We will see how accurate in the next few weeks. It is impressive the degree of Iranian self confidence he expresses. This plus is consistent with the fact that the US now seems willing to agree for Iran to enrich U for nuclear power. If Obama actually told Iran that the military option is off the table it could signal a major capitulation by the US. Then again, Mehdi Mohammadi might just be providing some prenegotiation posturing. All the major players are trying to spin their stories to show that the other side is making major concessions. I can go with that. If the US abandons its failed policy towards Iran and gives up its absurd demands it should be OK for Obama to present it as Iranian capitulation and a US diplomatic victory so he can save a little face before the American electorate.

    But thinking people across the world will see it as a major reversal of US efforts to rule the world. Hopefully, our leaders will learn a little humility from this.

  309. Karl says:

    Russia “confirm” what people here say, the talk about military action hasnt ended, in fact if its true what Russia said, the military option have in fact soared in western capitals.

    Western countries still considering military strike on Iran, says Russian deputy FM

  310. A concerned world citizen says:

    There will be no solution with the talks on wednesday, if anything, at minimum the conflict will go on as today or will worsen (incread pressure, propaganda against Iran).

    Karl, I agree with that point to some degree..Axis powers pretty much have nothing on the table for Iran at this moment – they’ve boxed themselves in by their own policies. They can’t take away the sanctions they’ve imposed and don’t have any meaningful incentive that Iran may be interested in. The 20% swap deal is now officially dead as Iran has no need for it anymore. They produce the damn thing themselves now.

    What they hope to achieve, however, is some form of “concession” from Iran in order for them to show their electorates that their madness, sorry, policies have actually forced Iran to concede.Think of it as a face saving strategy :)

    Obama has been busy assuring his EU puppets on releasing US strategic oil reserves in case of an oil shortage due to their Iran sanctions in June/July. To my understanding, US strategic oil reserves can only last for up to 2 – 3 months(I don’t know the exact number). What happens when the strategic reserves runs out? The Saudis don’t seem to be forthcoming with their promised increment in output either.

    If they don’t get what they want from Iran,ie: suspension of enrichment etc, they’ll revert back to their old self destructive position of propaganda and threats of war. I don’t believe they’re serious about going to war with a broken economy and war-weary population.

    Those countries that have some sense will ignore the sanction and countries that aren’t independent enough will keep towing Washington’s line until it becomes politically suicide to continue such policies in their home countries.

    My two cents…

  311. Voice of Tehran says:

    Interesting post on following article in CNN:

    “Iran finance minister: ‘Rest assured’ record oil prices over nuclear sanctions”


    “”The negotiation will never yield anything. There is a huge trust deficit and this can not go away by one or two meetings. Let’s go over some of these trust deficits to understand the situation better:
    1- Western countries led by UK started to steal Iran’s hydrocarbon reserves specially oil from 1901 and this oil was the only oil UK used during world war I and world war II. All royal navy ships and planes and trucks running in Europe, Africa or South Asia was being fueled by Iranian oil which Iranians never got paid for. Infact UK had nationalized Iranian oil in 1914 and all Iranian oil and gas had become property of British crown forever. After Iranians tried to get it back, UK with US help orchestrated operation Ajax. After this color revolution brought about by operation Ajax, Iran got some small share in oil revenues but still the biggest share holders in Iranian oil remained British, French and Americans.
    2- Western countries after the revolution in Iran, which cut their access to Iranian oil greatly, supported Saddam to invade Iran and play havoc with its economy through sanctions. This was more than a revenge. It was being done to make sure, Iran would remain a poor country despite its oil wealth and stop Iran’s technological progress. US directly sided with Saddam and militarily attacked Iran on behalf of Saddam and since Saddam did not have a navy, US navy was used to support him to the point that US shot down an Iranian civilian airliner killing 266 people including 66 children.
    3- Iran had paid tens of billions of dollars to American and British companies in 1970’s to supply it with numerous weapon systems eg. Kidd class frigates, submarines, tanks and war planes etc etc. None of them reached Iran and neither the money was returned. US and France continued to supply Saddam with helicopters and war planes and holding back Iranian purchased weapons during the war.
    4- Iran had paid 3 billion dollars to Germany in 1976 to build two nuclear power reactors for Bushehr plant which Germans never completed despite Germans being under obligation to complete under IAEA rules and NPT mandate which calls for nations with nuclear technology to help NPT members with all their needs. Germans only erected some buildings and refused to work any further. Germans never returned the money and Iranians had to literally beg the Russians for the technology. Russians took advantage and got maximum benefits from both Iranians and western countries by procrastinating the project. Finally the project which was supposed to be finished by Russians in 1999, is to become fully operational in 2012, that is 13 years later.
    5- Iran had paid billions of dollars to France in 1970’s for France to build a nuclear reprocessing plant in Iran which they never did. Iran had also paid France to build Darkhovin nuclear power plant, which of course French never did. The Iranian paid reactors were instead installed in a French nuclear power plant and are now working there. Iran had also shared the costs of building Eurodiff Uranium enrichment plant which Iran owns 10% share of, to this day and France had agreed to provide Iran with enriched Uranium from that plant as well as the transfer of technology for Uranium enrichment. Iran never got even one gram of enriched Uranium from France neither got its share money.
    6- Iran in 1970’s had invested in Rössing uranium mine, the world’s third largest Uranium mine and to this day owns 15% of the mine with government of Namibia holding 3%, South Africa holding 10% of shares and the Anglo-Australian corporation Rio Tinto having 69% of the shares. But as is the case, Iran still has not received a single gram of Uranium or any of the profits of the mine due to western pressures. Almost all of the Uranium taken out of this partly owned Iranian mine goes to US and EU and used in their nuclear power plants or used to manufacture nuclear bombs with which they threaten Iran.
    7- The west is supporting terror inside Iran and despite the Algiers agreement of US with Iran, which had called for US to stop interfering in Iran’s internal matters, US has kept interfering inside Iran. Now with unfair sanctions, US is trying to arm twist other independent countries that are trading with Iran too.

  312. Karl says:

    There will be no solution with the talks on wednesday, if anything, at minimum the conflict will go on as today or will worsen (incread pressure, propaganda against Iran).

  313. fyi says:

    James Canning says: May 20, 2012 at 1:46 pm

    Mere excuses.

    Baghdad is the lithmus test for the near future of the world.

    The Peace of Yalta ended in 1991 with no replacement.

    The economic pre-ponderance of US-EU ended in 2011 with no replacement.

    Politically, economically, militarily, every state is on its own.

    Let us eee the so-clled World Powers are going to do in Baghdad.

  314. James Canning says:


    Russia wants Iran to stop enriching to 20 percent. So does China. And Germany. France. The UK. The US.

  315. James Canning says:


    Read M J Rosenberg’s comments about how Aipac controls the US Congress. Rosenberg is a Jew and formerly worked for Aipac. He knows what is talks about.

  316. James Canning says:


    It is all about the MONEY. Not numbers of Jews. MONEY of Jews, deployed in politics in America and elsewhere. How do you think Aipac controls the US Congress? MONEY.

  317. James Canning says:


    Could “the West” have embraced the Iranian revolution when Iranian leaders were calling for the overthrow of numerous governments of other countries in the region?

  318. James Canning says:

    Ehud Olmert says the Old City of Jerusalem should be under separate administration. Even if Bibi Netanyahu does not like it.

  319. fyi says:

    James Canning says: May 20, 2012 at 1:25 pm

    The P5+1 represent 2.3 billion human beings.

    The meeting in Baghdad this week – per your statement above – will be their moment of Truth.

    Either they will do whatever it takes to remove a conflict that potentially could escalate to World War III or they will not.

    They cannot hide behind Jews (10 million people at the most).

    [May be the Russians still think that they can leverage Iran & Syria against Missile Defense in Europe.

    That will also be a mistake.

    But we shall see.]

  320. James Canning says:


    The US, Russia, China, Britain, France, Germany, and the entire EU, want an end to the confrontation with Iran. But certain very rich and very powerful Jews in the US, and other interest groups allied with them, want to pressure Iran to accept Netanyahu’s insane “Greater Israel” scheme.

  321. James Canning says:

    “Israel uses claims on Iran to cover up domestic woes: Austrian [defence] min.”


  322. fyi says:

    My prediction is this:

    Baghdad talks will fail with probability of 55% – due to weak offer of the P5+1 to make a cease-fire possible.

    Therefore, the P5+1 & Iran negogiations will move into monthly or bi-monthly meetings in which nothig will be decided.

    The meetings will become the cease-fire agreement.

    This is the most likely scenario.

    The less likely scenario – less than 45% probaility – will be fpr P5+1 to make an offer as a starting point in which the Iranians could see a credible end to this confrontation.

    I doubt that US, EU, Russia and China will be desirous of ending this confrontation.

  323. James Canning says:


    Obama does not want to attack Iran. The issue is whether ardent “supporters” of Israel can coerce him into attacking Iran. The agenda for most of these ardent “supporters” of Israel is to enable Netanyahu to continue his insane “Greater Israel” programme.

  324. James Canning says:


    Robert Gates mentioned Iran’s “nuclear weapons programme” during his inerview by Charlie Rose on PBS TV in America. There may be an agreement or sorts, for this statement to be made.

  325. James Canning says:


    I think you assume that more sanctions would not be brought into play. And more sanctions. And more.

    Iran has to make clear it does not want to build nukes or even be able to build nukes quickly.

  326. James Canning says:


    You predict that Iran will refuse to stop enriching to 20 percent?

  327. BiBiJon says:

    Thanks Fiorangela. The firefox spell checker keeps putting words in my mouth!

  328. fyi says:

    Rehmat says: May 19, 2012 at 8:56 pm

    Not Israel in this case – but US, EU and Russia.

    Iranains should let all sanctions come into play, survive them, and wait for a better deal.

  329. fyi says:

    Neo says: May 20, 2012 at 6:42 am

    I think US, EU, and Russia are going to put an offer on the table that Iranians will not find attractive – even for a cease fire.

    Israel’s threat is for now neutralized as Kadima and Mr. Mofaz – an Iranian – are in the government of Israel.

    Mr. Obama cannot attack and won’t before November elections – he bears global responsibility in his Iran policy.

    Iranians can afford to let Baghdad fail; US, EU and Russia will need a success morre than Iran.

    We shall see if my prognostications are correct.

  330. Fiorangela says:


    re: “impeccable foes ”
    respectfully suggest you meant to write “implacable foes.”

    impeccable is from the Latin, meaning without sin.

  331. BiBiJon says:

    In 72 Hours … the beginning of the end of what never was

    It turns out Condi Rice was right about “birth pangs”, except it was Condi-the-midwife who was giving birth to a new world order.

    The fix is in. Designed in the capitals of the BRICS+T countries, a process is underway for the empire’s soft landing. The central feature of that design is of course Iran.

    Yes Eric, US/EU, not in eons will utter the sentence “we respect Iran’s right to enrich.” But, they won’t have to. They will just just say “NPT”, or “within NPT”, or “NPT framework.”

    And, I agree with Arnold that Ashton’s remark about “Iran’s nuclear weapons programme” is a positive slip of the tongue. She is hoping for the beginning of the end of something that does not exist. Her ‘hopes’ are pre-fulfilled, her wishes pre-granted, and hence, the outcome is pre-ordained.

    It is nice to see fyi’s diagnosis/prognosis is shared by Mehdi Mohammadi. I only diverge from fyi’s prediction that Iran will quarantine herself for generations from her current impeccable foes and unreliable fair-weather friends. Iran is smarter, and more flexible than that. In among the qualities that keeps a nation survive for millennia is to drink from he poison chalice. Iran will be part of the solution. It is as much in her interests as the BRICS to let the empire land …. softly.

  332. Neo says:

    Dan cooper,

    Very well said.

    I’ve always thought that friends can influence each other, but enemies just drive the wedge deeper. From day 1, the West should have embraced the Iranian revolution. It would have been better for all concerned.

  333. Neo says:


    That’s great news. Israel’s isolation is clearly getting more and more severe. Amazing what an economic crisis can do for Western rationality…

  334. Neo says:


    I’m curious: what would constitute a ‘failure’? Isn’t it likely that Obama would want this fire put out for his reelection? Why would he want to walk away with a failure?

  335. A concerned world citizen says:

    Seems the house of cards built by Israel over Iran’s nuclear program is now falling apart.

    Austrian Defense Minister calls Liberman ‘unbearable’

    Here’s an excerpt from the article….

    Austria’s Defense Minister Norbert Darabos called Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman “unbearable” in an interview published Saturday, downplayed the Iranian threat, and accused Israel of using that threat – and the Palestinian issue – to divert attention from domestic woes.


    This defense minister has cut throught the BS..Truth is, Iran’s NEVER been a threat to Europe or the West for that matter. Israel has invested billions in dubious politicians to paint Iran as a threat to Europe but that picture never washes with anyone.

    Also check this out..Denmark and South Africa have effectively sanctioned Israeli made products from Palestinian occupied territories.



    It was only going to be a matter of time before people saw through the charade..Obama just announced at the G8 meeting that the number one issue facing them at the moment was Europe’s economic crisis. Iran’s nuclear program was only marginally mentioned. I think there’ll be a deal in Baghdad and Israel, Saudi Arabia and her assorted minions will be left out in the cold. Can someone spell isolation to Bibi???

  336. A concerned world citizen says:


  337. Pirouz says:

    We observers already witnesses Iran’s reaction in ’07, where it appeared the U.S. was going to attack Iran, at least Cheney and the neocons were strongly advocating it take place. What happened? Iranian intelligence picked up on it, and Iran prepared for war. Just one visible preparation was the resumption of construction work at Fordo.

    The Iranians didn’t blink then, Bush blinked.

    So why do some folks in DC continue to believe still that Iran can be made to blink? We Americans have about as much cause to believe that Iran will blink as did German expectations with regards to British resistance in 1940.

    Of course Iran has been further preparing military responses to a U.S./Israel attack. That is government’s responsibility in providing for the defense of its citizens. That, they should be expecting.

    And yes, because of all this nonsense, we ordinary Californians are now paying 60 cents more a gallon at the pump. And it will only go up more if tensions aren’t reduced.

  338. Photi says:

    for more on the big bluff, see

    Myths of a limited Israeli-Iranian War by James Petras from a few weeks ago at al-ahram weekly:

    “The Israeli view of re-ordering the balance of power in the region, which is prevalent in leading Israeli war circles, overlooks the likelihood that war will not be decided by Israeli air strikes and anti-missile defences. Iran’s missiles cannot be easily contained, especially if they arrive at a rate of several hundred a minute from three directions — Iran, Lebanon, and Syria — and possibly also from Iranian submarines.

    Secondly, the collapse of its oil imports will devastate Israel’s highly energy dependent economy. And thirdly, Israel’s principal allies, especially the US and the EU, will be severely strained as they are dragged into Israel’s war and find themselves defending the Straits of Hormuz, their army garrisons in Iraq and Afghanistan, and their oil fields and military bases in the Gulf. Such a conflict could ignite the Shia majorities in Bahrain and in the strategic oil-rich provinces of Saudi Arabia. The generalised war that results will have a devastating effect on the price of oil and the world economy. It will provoke the fury of consumers and workers everywhere, as factories close and powerful shocks throughout the financial system result in a world depression.

    Israel’s pathological “superiority complex” results in its leaders consistently overestimating their own intellectual, technical and military capabilities, while underestimating the knowledge, capacity and courage of their regional (in this case Iranian) adversaries. They ignore Iran’s proven capacity to sustain a prolonged, complex multi-front defensive war and to recover from an initial assault and develop appropriate modern weaponry to inflict severe damage on its attackers. And Iran will have the active support of the world’s Muslim population, and perhaps also the diplomatic backing of Russia and China, which will obviously view an attack on Iran as another dress-rehearsal to contain their growing power.”


  339. Rehmat says:

    fyi – That’s no news Moshe. Whosoever has studied Zionist history of the past 64 years – would know that Israel will try its best to create more hurdles and blame the failure of Baghdad meeting on Iran.

  340. Rehmat says:

    Obama doesn’t have a Table of his own. He works in the AIPAC office. Poor chap has failed to isolate Iran from China, Russia, Lebanon, Syria and Iraq – and until that’s achieved – Obama has told Netanyahu to have some medication to cool his Zionist nerves.

    Remember Netanyahu’s shrink Moshe Yatom, who committed suicide in June 2010 – and left a note for Netanyahu, saying: “You sucked the life right out of me”….. “I can’t take anymore”.


  341. fyi says:


    Baghdad talks are likely to fail.

    We shall see if I were wrong.

  342. fyi says:

    James Canning says: May 19, 2012 at 7:49 pm

    I think you are treating Mr. Obama too gently.

    He is responsible for bringing the world to the edge of a war that could lead to World War 3.

    He, more than anyone else, will bear the responsibility for the failure of talks in Baghdad.

    The next President of the United States – be it Mr. Romeny or Mr. Obama – will have to preside on the dismantling of the US-EU economic position on this planet.

    We shall see what they will do then.

    As of no, the Baghdad talk are more likely to fail than to succeed.

  343. James Canning says:

    I think it is fair to say the Obama team failed to foresee that allowing Israel to make noises about attacking Iran, plus resulting tensions in the Gulf, put up gas prices in the US and posed a threat to Obama’s re-election chances.

    But it would be a very bad thing for Iran, were Mitt Romney to get into the White House.

  344. James Canning says:

    Let’s remember that Iran offered to stop enriching uranium to 20 percent, just last September.

  345. Dan Cooper says:

    The article below is addressed to Mr. Greve

  346. Dan Cooper says:

    It seems you are spending a lot of time and putting a lot of efforts in advertising the idea that the puny Zionist state of Israel is a formidable “super power” which demands respect and should not be challenged by the anti-imperialist countries.

    Recently Iran ’s oil tankers carried Syrian oil to other destinations in open seas. If the gangsters of Tel Aviv did not notice or if they did notice but raised no finger when the oil tanker of Iran loaded the Syrian oil and passed through the Mediterranean Sea and the Suez Canal all the way through the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden, then what you refer to as a super power is not more than a paper tiger that received a whammy from the small irregular army of the Hezbollah of Lebanon. I have noticed that in the name of peace worker you do more to advertise the power of Israel beyond its capability. Apparently, within the U.S. peace movement you intend to promote respect for Israel by grossly exaggerating its military power.

    The power of a nation is not defined by what it could do in a short period of time militarily, but does it have the economic capability, the size of population that could support its military adventure for many years to come. A large segment of its population are either Europeans or are born in Brooklyn , New York , who would abandon the Zionist state of Israel as soon as the living gets tough. It can be said that Israel cannot fight for more than 6 months in any long war; besides, Israel is far from Iran and cannot afford losing many jet fighters on their way to Iran .

    Even counting the Palestinians among them, the population of Israel does not exceed 7,233,000, which is only 9.04 percent of Iran ’s 80,000,000 people. Secondly the Gross Domestic Product of Israel, $202.1 billion, is less than 24 percent of Iran ’s $843.7 billion GDP at parity. For eight years, Iran fought against Iraq and secured its sovereignty from the imperialists’ designs. It is inconceivable that Israel could fight for less than one-tenth of that period, losing 100,000 Israelis in 6 months!

    More than military might, what determines the final outcome is the character of the war – the purpose for which a war is fought; in a just war, of a defensive nature, the people fight for their independence and sovereignty to the death. Conversely, the armies that are engaged in aggressive colonizing wars whose final aim is plundering other peoples’ land, water and resources – the way Israel has done to the Palestinians – cannot stand on strong moral principals and finally give up and run away from the center of the theater of war – the way a million American soldiers left for the cities of Frankfurt, Germany and Montreal, Canada, from the jungles of Vietnam. These armies do not believe in the cause they are fighting for because in the case of Israel , it serves the interests of the Zionists in Tel Aviv and New York . Have you asked yourself how was it that the people of Vietnam, armed with light weaponry, were able to defeat and oust the biggest army with the most sophisticated weapons, B-52 bombers, naval aircraft carriers, chemical poisons, etc. that the world had at that time. Please do not try to frighten us from Israel ’s drone capability. You many know that Iran brought down one of the U.S. spy drones not too long ago….

    “ Israel is the regional super power, thanks to receiving the most advance US weapons and enormous military aid. They also make 40% of of the world’s drones, and have atomic weapons.”

    Mr, Greve, you may brag about the viciousness of the Israeli state, but you have very little idea about the determination of the masses of people in the Middle East and the isolation of Israel all around the world.