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The Race for Iran


We have periodically taken stock of Turkey’s rising importance as a player in Middle East politics and “The Race For Iran”.  Charlie Rose has continued his series of interviews with important Middle Eastern leaders (including Syrian President Bashar al Assad and Hamas political chief Khalid Mishal) with a new interview of Turkish Prime Minister Erdoğan.  Click to view the interview, here.

–Flynt Leverett and Hillary Mann Leverett



  1. Mr. Canning: Of course, I’m not arguing that Russia wants another war. In fact, I don’t know one way or the other and it would be irrelevant if they did – what matters is what the US and Israel wants since they control the discussion. What I’m saying is that Russia (and China) is playing to its own interests vis-a-vis the US as well as Iran. Anything they do with regard to voting for or against sanctions is done with regard to their OTHER ongoing negotiations with the US over economic and military matters, such as the US “missile shield” in Europe and the like.

    Some people think that Russia would aid Iran in the event of a US attack. This is naive. Russia might well provide a “heads up” if their surveillance satellites saw an Israeli or US strike headed toward Iran, and they might provide intel to the Iranians on some matters, but that would be the extent of it. Russia did this sort of thing during the Iraq war, if I remember correctly, which is why the US attacked the Russian convoy leaving Baghdad with the Russian ambassador, if you remember that event.

    But Russia in general is not going to put itself out over Iran. Neither is China, although China has a greater stake given its investments in Iran and its need for Iranian oil and gas. Those two countries have to deal with the EU and the US and those geopolitical entities are far more important than Iran is to either country.

    Therefore, what they do with regard to Iran cannot be taken as symptomatic of what their views might be of Iran in the absence of those considerations.

  2. James Canning says:

    Mr. Hack,

    Are you arguing that the Russians, in calling for Iran to suspend enriching U to 20%, to allow diplomacy to proceed, are doing this with a view toward promoting yet another dangerous and idiotic war in the Middle East? Russia tried to prevent the insane US/UK attack on Iraq.

  3. Mr. Canning: See my response in the next Leverett post. Russia and China have their own reasons for wanting to do what they did vis-a-vis the sanctions. It is not in Iran’s best interests to bow to that extortion. Nothing Iran does will change the US’s approach and the sanctions are irrelevant. Russia and China know this. It’s all a facade leading up to war and regime change, exactly as the US dealt with the Taliban in Afghanistan prior to 9/11 and also Iraq. Iran can see this clearly. Russia and China may think that persuading Iran to make an empty gesture by suspending 20% enrichment would help delay the inevitable, but the only result would be the US upping the demands to full enrichment suspension and thus ACCELERATING the worsening of the situation. Russia and China SHOULD know THAT as well. Everybody else does.

  4. James Canning says:


    Iran right to enrich U to 5% or lower, for operation of nuclear power plants, is recognized by many many countries. If the Obama administration is intentionally subverting the NPT in order to set up yet another idiotic war in the Middle East, this fact should be trumpeted around the globe.

    I think Iran should cooperate with Turkey, Brazil, Russia and China, and engage sensibly in diplomacy in order to isolate the warmongers in the US who are trying to “protect” Israel by setting up murderous military adventures in the Middle East.

  5. James Canning says:

    Mr Hack,

    The neocons surely do not control Russia or China. Both apparently want Iran to suspend enrichment of U to 20%, and to obtain the fuel from France (for Tehran reactor).

    You are encouraging Iran not to act in its own best interests.

  6. Alan: The notion that the US is “keeping an eye on Israel” to prevent them from attacking Iran is speculative at best. More likely they are coordinating the careful ratcheting up of tensions and the manipulation of the public to accept an eventual attack on Iran. Certainly that is no more speculative than the opposite notion. You simply can’t accept Mullen’s view of the situation.

    Mr. Canning: I’m sorry, but Iran has no obligation to treat the US as a legitimate negotiating partner in opposition to its actual needs. The US is going to complain about ANY enrichment whatsoever. “If you have the Devil’s name, play the Devil’s game.” Iran should continue to engage in whatever diplomatic maneuvers, such as with Turkey and Brazil, that it can. But trying to assuage the neocons and Zionist fanatics by suspending 20% enrichment is just a pure waste of time which will gain it no advantage whatsoever. The volte face Obama did over the swap proposal should make that clear to everyone.

  7. James Canning says:


    Let’s remember that Admiral Mullen was brought in to replace Admiral Fallon, sacked for openly saying a US or Israeli attack on Iran would be insane.

  8. James Canning says:

    Bussed-in Basiji,

    I have William Simpson’s excellent biography of Prince Bandar next to me just now. I recommend it highly.

  9. James Canning says:

    Down with enemy of Iran,

    Most of the rich, well-connected Americans I talk to about the Middle East, favor normal US-Iran relations. And most of them do not like the way the Israeli tail wags the American dog, year in and year out.

  10. James Canning says:

    Richard Steven Hack,

    I assume you are aware that many of those hoping for a US attack on Iran, want Iran to continue to enrich U to 20%! You are encouraging Iran to play into the hands of its worst enemies.

  11. Alan says:

    Richard – I don’t think the meetings between the US and Israel on Iran are annual – they’re bi-monthly. They were set up as a concession to Israel early in the Obama presidency, and predated the ruptures in US/Israeli relations. Even then, Mullen I think was quoted as saying the primary purpose of them was for the US to keep an eye on what Israel was up to.

  12. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    Check it out, it’s hilarious

  13. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    James Canning
    Where is Prince Bandar?

  14. New Chomsky article:

    The Iranian Threat


    “The Obama administration has been rapidly expanding its offensive capacity in the African island of Diego Garcia, claimed by Britain, which had expelled the population so that the US could build the massive base it uses for attacking the Middle East and Central Asia. The Navy reports sending a submarine tender to the island to service nuclear-powered guided-missile submarines with Tomahawk missiles, which can carry nuclear warheads. Each submarine is reported to have the striking power of a typical carrier battle group. According to a US Navy cargo manifest obtained by the Sunday Herald (Glasgow), the substantial military equipment Obama has dispatched includes 387 “bunker busters” used for blasting hardened underground structures. Planning for these “massive ordnance penetrators,” the most powerful bombs in the arsenal short of nuclear weapons, was initiated in the Bush administration, but languished. On taking office, Obama immediately accelerated the plans, and they are to be deployed several years ahead of schedule, aiming specifically at Iran.

    “They are gearing up totally for the destruction of Iran,” according to Dan Plesch, director of the Centre for International Studies and Diplomacy at the University of London. “US bombers and long range missiles are ready today to destroy 10,000 targets in Iran in a few hours,” he said. “The firepower of US forces has quadrupled since 2003,” accelerating under Obama.

    The Arab press reports that an American fleet (with an Israeli vessel) passed through the Suez Canal on the way to the Persian Gulf, where its task is “to implement the sanctions against Iran and supervise the ships going to and from Iran.” British and Israeli media report that Saudi Arabia is providing a corridor for Israeli bombing of Iran (denied by Saudi Arabia). On his return from Afghanistan to reassure NATO allies that the US will stay the course after the replacement of General McChrystal by his superior, General Petraeus, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Michael Mullen visited Israel to meet Israel Defense Forces Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi and senior Israeli military staff along with intelligence and planning units, continuing the annual strategic dialogue between Israel and the U.S. in Tel Aviv. The meeting focused “on the preparation by both Israel and the U.S. for the possibility of a nuclear capable Iran,” according to Haaretz, which reports further that Mullen emphasized that “I always try to see challenges from Israeli perspective.” Mullen and Ashkenazi are in regular contact on a secure line.”

    Tell me again Obama isn’t planning for war with Iran.

  15. Down with enemy of Iran says:



  16. Down with enemy of Iran says:

    The document advocates: (1) ethnic cleansing, to facilitate territorial expansion without absorbing large populations; and (2) “balkanising” (or, as this paper puts it, “Lebanonising”) and de-stabilising militarily consequential (or even potentially consequential) neighbours, along ethnic and confessional lines, in order both (i) to cut off support to populations of occupied territories (targeted for expulsion, or killing), and (ii) to eliminate potential military rivals.


  17. Down with enemy of Iran says:

    According to zionist project:

    Yinon is clear about the strategy. “Every kind of inter-Arab confrontation will assist us in the short run and will shorten the way to the more important aim of breaking up Iraq into denominations as in Syria and in Lebanon.” [165] The United States and the Saudi monarchy (which also supports Syria with a $10 billion subsidy) have coordinated an arms blockade of Iran and the massive supply of arms to Iraq. The Egyptian and Jordanian regimes lead the way in support for Iraq. Meanwhile the Soviet Union and the United States each arm Iraq, as the Soviet bureaucratic leadership seeks to use its influence on the Arab regimes to position itself to make sphere of influence arrangements with U.S. rulers – at the expense of the Arab masses who continue to live in poverty.

  18. Down with enemy of Iran says:

    Hassan Nafaa writes:

    {Yinon was clearly convinced that no strategy to divide the Arab world would succeed without first weakening the one country that has one-third of the Arab population and that is the region’s acknowledged leader. So Yinon makes a point of proving that Egypt is weak, divisible, and nothing more than a paper tiger. Egypt, he maintains, won’t be able to protect the Arab world against dismemberment and ultimate downfall. To prove his point, Yinon proffers three assumptions.}


  19. Down with enemy of Iran says:

    {The US wants regime change in Iran.}

    This is true, but this is ISRAEL’S POLICY ACCORDING TO ODED YINON that has been sold to US elite. Since Clinton administration, Israel Lobby, a fifth column, runs foreign policy of the United States. Are people familiar with Oded Yinon? If not, I suggest that you read it immediately otherwise you cannot connect the dots. Zionist project is to destabilize and partition countries in the region based on ethnic and religious divide to create non Arab ‘states’ like Kurds, Azeri, Berber in Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Sudan, Iraq (partition of Iraq has been Israel’s policy since its erection to create an Israel’s PAWN, the Kurds).


  20. Humanist says:

    BEWILDERING NESW on missing Iranian nuclear scientist!

    Today a video appeared on YouTube showing Shahram Amiri telling he has escaped US confinement and is now in hiding. ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GSr8ck7Pqj4 )

    Since the video is in Farsi, herewith I post an English interpretation of what he is saying:
    In the name of God

    Today is June 14, 2010. I Shahram Amiri citizen of Islamic Republic of Iran. I .succeeded in escaping [fleeing] from the custody of US security agents in State of Virginia. Right now I am in a safe place….[indecipherable].. [expecting ?] to get captured [arrested] by US security agents.

    In this brief moment I wanted to talk to my people about the two videos already broadcasted. The first video which was shown on Iranian TV is completely genuine [true] in which I addressed my people from Tucson and no false points are in it while the second video which was prepared by American Government and was sent to YouTube is not truthful and my statements in it regarding being free and have come to US for further education are total lies. I being free here is a complete falsify I am not allowed to contact my family or other individuals.

    In case I confront a complication or do not return to my country alive the direct responsibility lies on the side of the Government of the United States then none of my [claimed] written or verbal declarations are true and they are blatant lies.

    I am asking the officials of the country or Human Rights establishments to accelerate [their activities] and pressures towards my freedom before something happens to me allowing me to return to my beloved country…Iran.

    Finally I address my endearing family. If I did not return alive I want them to be [strong, resisting], irrepressible and patient. I want them to know until my last breath I never betrayed my country and none of US threats or promises of prizes compelled me for any treasonous act, I was honorably [proudly] killed in service to my country submitting to the will of God.

    [God willing] wishing success for all……thanks.

    In his previous video Amiri had claimed he was kidnapped, tortured etc. I posted the translation of its Farsi text here in raceforiran.com along the interpretation of an opposing video which appeared a day later. (One or two days before the UNSC’s 4th sanction…are all these coincidences or something absorbing is ongoing?)

  21. I agree with Scott Ritter. It is VERY clear that Obama, just like George Bush, is not negotiating in “good faith”. The idea is laughable.

    Iran definitely should not agree to suspending its 20% enrichment. It has a legitimate, legal need to do so, and under the NPT, the US should be HELPING Iran do so.

    Bowing down to the US on ANY point is not going to matter, because the goal is regime change in Iran. The nuclear “crisis” is TOTALLY manufactured and completely without basis. The worst Iran could be accused of based on the available evidence is of having a nuclear weapons research database which ANY military threatened by nuclear powers would have. And which Iran stopped in 2003.

    That is the bottom line. The US wants regime change in Iran. The nuclear issue is just an excuse to impose further sanctions in order to weaken the regime (which of course it will not do.)

    And as the Leveretts have pointed out, this course must lead to a war at some point – unless, as I’ve said, somebody blinks. You CANNOT pursue regime change against a functioning state unless it turns military at some point.

    This is what happened with Afghanistan. The US planned an attack on the Taliban government in Afghanistan quite some time BEFORE 9/11, according to a Pakistani diplomat, and was engaged in sanctions against the Taliban as a known fact. The EXACT SAME scenario is being applied to Iran. The end result is inevitably a war.

  22. Down with enemy of Iran says:


    Scott Ritter writes:

    {The U.S. policy objective was never to provide Iran with 19.5 percent enriched uranium fuel rods, or to lock Iran in at a 3.5 percent enrichment threshold, but rather to get the majority of Iran’s existing stocks of 3.5 percent enriched uranium out of the country, thereby eliminating any scenario that had Iran using this low-enriched uranium as feedstock for any breakout nuclear weapons production capability, no matter how farfetched such a scenario might be. This is why the Obama administration never paid much attention to the details of such a swap, since these details simply didn’t matter. The U.S. approach was never about facilitating a swap so much as it was about facilitating a kidnapping. The policy objective was to get the majority of Iran’s enriched uranium stocks under international control. Once Iran no longer had access to 1,600 kilograms of its 1,800-kilogram stockpile of low-enriched uranium, the Obama administration could blunt the fear-driven concerns over the immediacy of any Iranian nuclear capability. It would take Iran several months to reconstitute its low-enriched uranium stocks to the level needed to produce its hypothetical nuclear bomb. During this period, the U.S. would redouble its demands for suspension of uranium enrichment and develop a comprehensive package of stringent economic sanctions that would be imposed on Iran should it fail to cooperate.}

  23. James Canning says:

    Down with enemy of Iran,

    Surely the best way forward for Iran, is to identify the countries most favorably disposed toward Iran, and to work with those countries to ameliorate problems with other countries that are less favorably disposed toward Iran. It does not make sense to be angry with every country trying to work out a reasonable solution.

    I have done a good deal of reading over of number of decades, on Persian history going back 25 centuries or more. Obviously Iran is one of the great civilizations on the planet. I think it would be good thing for more of the people in “the west” to be aware of this fact.

  24. James Canning says:

    Down with enemy of Iran,

    I am keenly aware of the remarkably long time it is taking to finish Bushehr #1. And I deplore the delays that seem to have arisen, after Iran made the appropriate application to the IAEA for the 20% fuel for the Tehran reactor.

    I happen to be among those who welcome growing wealth and stature of Iran, in the context of peace in the Middle East. And pressure on Israel to sign the NPY and get rid of its nukes, is most desireable in my view.

    Nonetheless, it seems to be clearly in Iran’s best interests, to work with Russia in an effort to resolve the dispute over Iran’s nuclear programme. Personally, I do not think Iran is trying to build nukes on the sly (in secret).

  25. Down with enemy of Iran says:

    James Canning:

    I am sorry to tell you that it is better to follow the news more carefully. Do you know that Russia should have completed the reactor 11 YEARS AGO AND HAS NOT DONE THAT SINCE HE KNOWS RUSSIA CAN USE IRAN CARD TO GET MORE CONCESSIONS FROM THE STOOGES IN WASHINGTON THROUGH THE ZIONIST LOBBY. Why has Russia voted for illegal sanctions against Iran NOT ONE TIME BUT FOUR TIMES? Was Iran enriching to 20% when Russia voted against Iran LEGAL ENRICHMENT PROGRAM OF 3%? Russia voted with the war criminals against enrichment of 3%. Aren’t you aware of these basics?

    Iran started enriching to 20% when the war criminals refused to sell Iran 20% rods needed for cancer patients and in medical research. Why Iran should beg for something that is paying a lot of money for It.? The war criminals cancelled Iranian investment in uranium enrichment program in France and Germany. Why Iran should be begging all the time and pay for it? Why Iran should beg for something that can produce herself cheaply with its own resources, Uranium and Iranian experts? Our scientists need JOB. Why do you demand from a sovereign nation to follow your illegal orders?

    Due to stupid policy makers in Washington, Iran has been turned into a trump card for Russia, China, and Now Turkey to squeeze US for more concessions with Israel Lobby as the mediator. Why have the stooges left policy decisions to the Zionists?

    As long as Obama is not going to stand up against Israel Lobby, nothing good is going to happen for Iran. Iran is the NATURAL ALLY OF US NOT ISRAEL. Israel is a BURDEN, according to MOSSAD, yet the ‘leaders’ do pay attention because they have been given a job to serve Israel’s interest not Americans’ interest.

    Please stop the language of “Iran should negotiate NOW. Or Iran should do that”.
    Iran is an ancient and sovereign nation who follows international law and is bound to instructions of Tehran agreement. Other than this, Iran like other countries will follow her own interest. Please respect that.
    Ahmadinejad has already said WE NEGOCIATE IN FEW WEEKS. Now, the enemy of Iran wants to fool others, like in fuel swap, ordering Iran to come to the table ‘immediately’ otherwise is ‘too late.’ Stop threatening Iran.
    Iran is coming back soon enough. Iran followed orders many times in the past and gained nothing but insults. Iran is tired of your double standard policy and insulting behavior. Iran has done that many times and is coming in few weeks time, but has received NOTHING BUT HUMILIATION, frame as AXIS OF EVIL, SANCTIONS, NUCLEAR THREAD, Nuclear extermination and worse.
    The United States and others, including RUSSIA, are trying to strangulate Iran through so many illegal sanctions and mischievous policy against Iran to force Iran to stop her LEGAL ENRICHMENT PROGRAM.
    IRAN WILL NEVER STOP HER ENRICHMENT IN IRAN AND IS HER RIGHT UNDER NPT. On the other hand Japan, South Korea, Israel, Norway, Canada, India, and many other countries have enriched to weapon grade and no one said a DAMN thing. Turkey is using the opportunity to have nuclear weapon. They have enrichment program and NO FOOL IS BOTHERING THEM. WHY IS THAT? WHAT KIND OF WORLD IS THIS?

    It is UNWISE for you to say Iran must stop 20% enrichment. How Iran is going to obtain 20% enriched Uranium? You should read Scott Ritter who exposed the fuel swap HOAX of Obama. Apparently you don’t know, otherwise you wouldn’t order Iran to do this and that.
    Iran like every other country has a right to develop its own technology and benefit from nuclear energy. Iran has done nothing against International law. It is US, Russia, China who have sided with the war criminals and voted for illegal sanction not once but FOUR TIMES ILLEGALLY. They want Iran violate the INTERANATIONAL LAW AND STOP HER ENRICHMENT PROGRAM.



    {I Cairo June 30th, Sergei Lavrov reiterated Russia’s opposition to sanctions because they usually do not work.}

    I AM SORRY TO SAY YOU ARE SIMPLE MINDED TO BELIEVE LAVROV’S LIES. I DON’T KNOW HOW OLD ARE YOU? YOU SHOULD NOT BE DECIEVED BY HIM, he is following Russians’ interest, that’s why he lies all the time .
    Russians’ style is familiar to everyone. First, they say they are against sanction to squeeze the highest concession out of Washington. Then, they spread the rumors that “sanction can be done”. After they voted for sanction, in order to fool Iranians, they say we are against more sanctions by the Congress, and start saying more lies. IRANIANS PAY NO ATTENTION TO THESE LIARS. ایرانیان برای دروغگویان تره هم خرد نمی کنند. ما ایرانیان به دروغ های روسیه آشنا هستیم.
    I am sorry to see that they have deceived you 100 percent. I have nothing to add except to pray that you don’t fall for these lie next times. Every Iranian is familiar with Russians lies and pays NO ATTENTION TO THESE LIARS.

  26. James Canning says:

    Down with enemy of Iran,

    I Cairo June 30th, Sergei Lavrov reiterated Russia’s opposition to sanctions because they usually do not work.

  27. James Canning says:


    I very much agree with Ahmadinejad that the countries wishing to negotiate with Iran regarding Iran’s nuclear programme, should also be pushing for a nuke-free Middle East. Is it a good idea, however, not to engage soomer rather than later, in the negotiations?

  28. James Canning says:

    Down with enemy of Iran,

    Erdogan wants Turkey to emerge in years to come as one of the top ten economies in the world. I should think he would see a similar goal as achievable by Iran, assuming peace can be maintained. Why would this be against Iran’s best interests?

    Russia was not calling for an end to enrichment of LEU, but only for a suspension of enrichment to 20%. Why is this against Iran’s interests?

  29. R.d. says:

    ” James Canning says:
    Ahmadinejad would make a sustantial mistake if he does not pursue the opening that is presently available.”

    perhaps he is already ahead of that opening..


  30. Down with enemy of Iran says:

    James Canning

    With due respect, mind your own business.
    People who are not familiar with all aspect of dirty game designed by US, Turkey and Zionists, are better to be careful.

    The United States, Turkey and the Zionists in the background are playing a dirty game on Iran. Iran always was ready to negotiate and is willing to negotiate soon, in a few weeks. It has been the war criminals who are using “negotiation” to bring Iran down. They have lied to Iran and targeted Iran sovereignty. They demanded Iran to take certain measures that NO IRANIAN LEADER CAN TAKE AND NEVER WILL.

    Now, US, Israel with the knowledge of Turkey designed and implemented 9/11 Turkey style, FLOTILLA, to bring Arab public opinion and the ‘world’ on board to support Erdugan, to paint Erdugan as pro Palestinians and against Israel which is bullshit. This game has been design for the interest of US, Israel, and Turkish elite and NO ONE ELSE. EVERYONE WITH MORE THAN TWO BRAIN CELLS KNOWS IT EXCEPT ignorant people.

    Erdugan so far has been engaged in nothing BUT given few cheap SLOGANS. TURKEY paid nothing to paint herself as pro Palestinians but a few cheap words. It is very interesting to see the Turkish 9/11, designed by US/Israel like September 11, unfoled right on TV screen in front of us to buy not only ARAB public opinion butthe WORLD. According to the zionist media 9 TURKISH MEN who were killed:

    {Nine Turkish men on board the Mavi Marmara were shot a total of 30 times and five were killed by gunshot wounds to the head,…..}

    With so many people on board ONLY TURKS WERE SACRIFICED IN 9/11 TURKISH STYE WHICH WAS DESIGNED AND IMPLIMENTED BY Israeli who have the 9/11 experience on their resume according to many evidence gathered by many scientists around the world.
    We tell them you are a FOOL NOT US.

    Turkey is not going to break its ties with the enemy of Muslim, Israel, but is expecting the following demandeds to be fullfilled to fool Turkish population in order to resume the relations with Israel again. Turkey expects the following:

    1- Turkey wants an apology
    2- Turkey wants compensation for the victims’ family
    3- To ease Gaza blockade

    These demands are not a burden on anyone including Turkey and can be achieved in the shortest and cheapest way. The irony is that Turkey along with the war criminals is willing to sacrifice so many innocent lives for their LUST FOR POWER. People of the region including Turks must be united against the enemy of the people and the region.

    Turkey, except cheap slogan, has paid nothing to present herself, against Iran, as “solution” to the problem regarding Israel and the US occupiers. Turkey and Erdugan, the US stooge, has no disagreement with either US or Israel, rather Turkey is playing a dirty game against Iran and people of the region to promote Turkey as the power to negotiate on behalf of the region, which no one can and will accept. TURKEY’S INTEREST IS NOT IRNA’S INTEREST. TURKEY’S INTEREST IS NOT ARAB’S INTEREST. We have seen how empty and shallow offer to Syria was and was presented by Turkey. TURKEY IS NOT A SOLUTION, IS RATHER A PROBLEM IF TURKEY HAS SIDED WITH THE WAR CRIMINALS TO BRING THE REGION UNDER CONTROL WITH THE ‘LEADERSHIP’ OF TURKEY WHERE **NO ONE WILL EVER ACCEPT** of course except the defeated ‘Arab moderate states” where have already are hiding themselves behind the ass of Turkey because these “leaders” have no respect among their own population and the greater population of the region.

    US MAY HAVE TO ACCEPT ISRAEL’S INTEREST AS US INTEREST BUT no one in the region is willing to take the same path as the puppets in Washington have taken.
    Turkey’s game was exposed long time ago and came to the fore with the latest DESIGN as Flotilla SET UP.

    Please stop telling Iran what she should do. Iran is following her interest which is based on international law. Iran said is going to continue the negotiation despite so much betrayal and dirty game against IRAN in a few weeks time. Therefore, we say to all including Turkey stop you propaganda garbage and follow the direction of Tehran agreement. EVERYONE MUST RESPECT IRAN’S DECISION SINCE IS IRAN THAT A VICTIM OF ZIONIST, US AND WAR CRIMINALS LIKE RUSSIA, BRITAIN, GERMANY, FRANCE AND THE REST OF THE WAR CRIMINALS.

    We are fed up. Your policies have shown to the world that you CANNOT BE TRUSTED.

  31. James Canning says:

    Turkey has made clear it wants Iran to proceed with negotiations with Russia, France and the US, regarding the nuclear exchange. Ahmadinejad would make a sustantial mistake if he does not pursue the opening that is presently available.

  32. Pirouz says:

    I was thinking the same thing, PG.

  33. Persian Gulf says:

    I am curious to know how is Dr.Afrasiabi right now (probably he is one the commentators over here):


    I have followed his articles in Asia Times Online over the past 4-5 years. he hasn’t written there for almost 12 days which is quite rare for his case.

  34. Persian Gulf says:

    can someone please explain these videos and his situation? does anyone have more info about this guy?


  35. paul says:

    More like punishing someone who claims he has the right to have metallic objects in his house.

  36. JohnH says:

    Former Israeli foreign minister Shlomo Ben-Ami: Turkey is no Iran.

    “Iran and Turkey are bound to assert their Islamic credentials more and more as they reach out to the Arab masses. That a pan-Islamic discourse has now replaced the cause of pan-Arabism is a major setback for moderate Arab regimes.

    Yet, despite Erdogan’s creeping Islamic revolution, Turkey is not a second Iran. The AKP remains a progressive, heterogeneous party that sees no contradiction between Islam and democracy.”

  37. Arnold Evans says:

    A lot here.

    Erdogan says a Lebanese no vote (I’m pretty sure he’s talking about the sanctions resolution) would have caused a crisis in government.

    Now Lebanon, in Lebanon there could have been a crisis in the government, but we prevented that from happening. We said no to the sanctions and the government, the party in the government in Lebanon wanted to say no, but we ensured that they would abstain so that in the last 30 minutes we were able to prevent a government crisis in Lebanon.

    And a new crisis with the government in Lebanon would have aggravated further the problems in the Middle East.

    Turkey on Israel/Palestine, especially regarding Gaza:

    Would it be possible for the Palestinians to engage in some sort of an arms race with the Israelis? It’s inconceivable because all the gates, entry and exists, are controlled by the Israelis. And how can you then seek off a big military force in that area? And I ask you please to broadcast what I just said, don’t edit it out.

    So rockets are being fired, then I ask, and I asked many of the officials in Israel how many people died as a result of the rocket attacks? No more than a couple tens.

    But what about all the phosphate bombs, weapons of mass destruction, tanks, artillery, and 1,500 people were killed in 15 days, 5,000 people were wounded. If you go back in the streets, thousands of Palestinians were killed.

    Is that territory, that land, yours? No. Those people, the Palestinians are fighting to protect their land, their territory. And the United Nations has also declared that Israel is an occupier on the territory that it occupies.

    And at least as importantly, about the US rejection of the 2006 Palestinian election results.

    There was a democratic election held in the Palestinian territory, and Hamas won the election, and there was no opportunity given to Hamas to act as a government. The ministers and the speaker of the parliament, more than 30 people were put in prison because they were called terrorists.

    And then the question asked is why was this not discussed before the election? And why is it coming up after the election? Then we engage in anti-democratic action. This is not easy to explain. If we are defending democracy, we have to be honest the way we defend democracy.

    Lastly for me, Turkey is very unsympathetic to the Israeli/US/Western idea that Iran must be prevented from being having a nuclear weapons capability:

    CHARLIE ROSE: Do I hear you saying you trust the Iranians, and if they say they will do this, they will do this. If they say their program is for peaceful uses, you believe them?

    RECEP TAYYIP ERDOGAN: Are we to speak on probability or are we to speak on what is there? Is it there? It’s not there right now. What are we talking about? We’re talking about the possibility that it may happen. It’s not there yet, or at this moment. But it there’s in Israel, but we’re not talking about that. But we’re talking about the possibility and we are punishing the Iranians for the possibility. But it’s not there.

    Let’s say somebody says they will kill you and you punish them, but you don’t punish the ones who kill. It’s that kind of an analogy. So it’s a very inappropriate evaluation. So when we make assessments, we must look at international politics and international law.

    The analogy is even worse than Erdogan presents. Iran isn’t being punished for saying it will build a weapon. Iran is being punished for saying it will not build a weapon, but insists on having technology that could in theory also be used to make a weapon. More like not punishing a killer but punishing someone who claims he has a right to own a knife.