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The Race for Iran

UNDER THE THREAT OF WAR, IRANIANS AFFIRM THEIR SUPPORT FOR THE ISLAMIC REPUBLIC

Iranians vote in Tehran, March 2, 2012

As we have discussed in multiple posts, major Western media outlets brought an agenda-driven and intellectually sloppy approach to their coverage of the Islamic Republic’s 2009 presidential election.  From their coverage of the Islamic Republic’s recent parliamentary elections, it would seem that there has not been much of a learning curve. 

One all-too-typical example is The New York Times’ main “analytic” piece about the parliamentary elections, see here; the article, entitled “Elections in Iran Favors Ayatollah’s Allies, Dealing Blow to President and his Office,” was filed by Neil Macfarquhar from Beirut.  This specimen of bad journalism cites a former reformist parliamentary now living in the United States, an editor for the opposition Rooz online, and the Washington commentator Karim Sadjadpour (who favors the Islamic Republic’s overthrow), to assert that the elections were carefully stage managed (by Ayatollah Khamenei’s son, Mojtaba, working on behalf of his father) as part of an ever increasing dictatorship to abolish the presidency and turn the Islamic Republic into a parliamentary-based, prime ministerial system.  One can find these themes in many other Western media stories about the elections. 

To re-introduce a note of terrestrial reality into international discussion of Iran’s parliamentary elections, we asked our colleague, Seyed Mohammad Marandi of the University of Tehran, to offer his observations.  We are pleased to present Mohammad’s article below. 

–Flynt Leverett and Hillary Mann Leverett

**********

UNDER THE THREAT OF WAR, IRANIANS AFFIRM THEIR SUPPORT FOR THE ISLAMIC REPUBLIC

By Seyed Mohammad Marandi

Most of the Western so-called reporting on the Islamic Republic’s recent parliamentary election displayed very limited direct knowledge about Iran and often, as its authors’ acknowledged, derived its their information primarily from Western-backed opponents of the Islamic Republic.  As long as this goes on, Western countries will continue to miscalculate about the Islamic Republic’s internal politics and foreign policy—and then be left wondering, again and again, why they always get things wrong. 

Five points of fact illustrate the shortcomings in this approach to “understanding” Iranian politics.  First of all, contrary to unsubstantiated “green” propaganda intended to damage the Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Khamenei’s son Mojtaba is not an important political figure.  Claims of this sort that are recycled in the Western media have little effect inside Iran.  Regardless of what they think about his policies and beliefs, Ayatollah Khamenei is recognized even by his opponents (like Ataollah Mohajerani) as super clean.  Moreover, people recognize that, if Mojtaba had such an important role, he would be seen regularly involved in politics and high-level decision-making processes and institutions.  He isn’t. 

Second, changing the structure of government by removing the presidency would require a change in the Constitution, a process that has little to do with this year’s parliamentary elections.  It would require a referendum—not a decree from Parliament.  The current parliament has had somewhat poor relations with the incumbent President; if the parliament to be formed out of this year’s elections also turns out to be critical of the President, this will neither be new nor have anything to do with changing the Constitution.  And, in any case, Ayatollah Khamenei never spoke about any imminent change in the Constitution.  A few months ago, in a question-and-answer session with students and academics, he said in response to a question that there could be changes in the constitution in the distant future if it were concluded that a different governmental structure would work more effectively.  He then gave the example of the current presidential system. 

It is also inaccurate to suggest that eliminating the presidency would make the elected branches of government weaker.  If Iran were to have a prime minister it would make the parliament even more powerful.  Either way, it would have no effect on the combined scope of authority of the executive and legislative branches. 

Third, the turnout was very high in the recent parliamentary election, around 65 percent.  In fact, the turnout in Iran was much higher than in analogous off-year congressional elections in the United States (for example, turnout was just under 38 percent in the 2010 American congressional elections), and higher even than in U.S. presidential elections (turnout was just under 57 percent in the last American presidential election, in 2008). 

The decisions of former Presidents Khatami and Rafsanjani to participate, along with other reformists like Majeed Ansari, Seyed Mehdi Emam Jamarani, Kazam Mousavi Bojnourdi, and Ayatollah Khomeini’s grandson Hassan Khomeini, reflect this.  If turnout had been low, why would they vote and increase the “legitimacy” of the voting process and of the election results?  (This assumes, of course, that they are opposed to the current political order as implied by much of the Western media, for which there is no evidence and which I don’t agree.)  If turnout had been low, why would they want to be seen standing apart from the majority who did not vote? 

In fact, they knew that turnout was going to be high; they also recognized that such high turnout shows that the public trusts the voting process, that people feel their votes count, and that they are deeply committed to the Islamic Republic.  By casting their ballots these reformist leaders have stated that they accept the accuracy, validity, and legitimacy of the voting process and that they have no link to the “greens.”  If they believed the results were unreliable, why would they vote, thereby strengthening a “corrupt” system?  Instead, they have effectively stated that they do not accept claims that the 2009 presidential election or any previous presidential election was fraudulent, even though the voting process has not changed.  Merely through their participation, they have given the voting process a clear vote of confidence. 

Other major reformists who campaigned to win seats had different calculations.  People like Mostafa Kavakebian (who lost), Mohammad Reza Khabaz (who lost), Masoud Pezeshkian (who won), and Mohammad Reza Tabesh (who won) wanted a high turnout from the very start.  While they are Reformists, they wanted a display of unity and strength among Iranians against what is widely seen in Iran as Western acts of war against ordinary Iranians through embargos and sanctions.  Indeed, there is evidence from polls and follow-up panels that the publication on election day in Iran of President Barack Obama’s interview, in which he proclaimed “I don’t bluff” in the context of a military attack on the Islamic Republic, may have driven up turnout, at least in Tehran, among those who might otherwise have stayed home. 

Fourth, the fact that Ahmadinejad’s sister participated and lost (by a small margin), that many independents won seats, that reformist candidates stood for seats, and that there were numerous “principlist” coalitions taking part in the elections (e.g., Jebheye Motahed, Jebheye Paydari, Jebheye Eestadegi, Sedaye Edalat, each with a different list of candidates) and that many independents won seats shows that the elections were meaningful.  There was a broad choice of candidates and the counting process is trusted and reliable. 

Fifth, I do not know who will be the next speaker of parliament.  But, contrary to uninformed Western speculation, Ayatollah Khamenei never involves himself in such issues.  If, as many Western analysts and reporters claim, the Leader is out to have a subordinated parliament under the speakership of Gholam Haddad-Adel, then based on this logic he would have told Ali Larijani four years ago not to stand against then-parliament speaker Haddad-Adel and, as Mr. Larijani is an ally of the Leader, he would have acceded.  In fact, the reason why the majority of parliamentarians voted to make Mr. Larijani their speaker four years ago was their perception that he would be more critical of President Ahmadinejad.  If, as Western pundits now commonly assert, the Leader wants to weaken Ahmadinejad, he should support Mr. Larijani’s continuation as speaker.  The logic underlying such speculation is clearly flawed—in no small part because it is based on information produced in the imaginary world of Western-based and funded greens and anti-government commentators.

Despite sanctions and other forms of international pressure, the Islamic Republic has the strong support of the public.  In contrast to many countries allied to the West, it has meaningful elections that include candidates with very different political views.  In my view, there is no doubt that the Islamic Republic is here to stay and that it will outlast the dying dictatorial regimes on the other side of the Persian Gulf.

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658 Responses to “UNDER THE THREAT OF WAR, IRANIANS AFFIRM THEIR SUPPORT FOR THE ISLAMIC REPUBLIC”

  1. son of iran says:

    its good to see the wast majority of Iranians still supporting the Islamic revolution after 33 years. This is truly a slap in the face of all foreign aggressors to our beloved iran and to the sell outs like sassan who wish to see iran fail in every endeavor.

    the iranian peoples resistance to the western aggression is a badge of honor for every proud red blooded iranian that has not sold his soul to the devil.

  2. Iranian@Iran says:

    This is an excellent article by Professor Marandi and it really breaks the last component of a longstanded illusion created in western countries by the dishonest greens.

  3. James Canning says:

    Neo,

    Israel’s security is significant, in that much if not most of the anti-Iran hysteria is generated by Israel and supporters of Israel.

    If Israel is undermining its own security by its foolish colonisation of the West Bank, this is an important fact that most if not all major American newspapers refuse to point out to their readers.

  4. James Canning says:

    Neo,

    The FT makes a concerted effort to establish the facts regarding foreign policy issues, developments, etc. I do not think this can be said of very many other major English-language newspapers.

    Has any major American newspaper argued that Iran will almost certainly insist on continuing to enrich uranium to 3.5%-5%, and this will have to be accepted by “the West”?

  5. Neo says:

    James,

    Re. your comment on FT’s position on Israel’s security, does the FT ever discuss Iran’s security and its concerns in this area? What’s so special about Israel?

    Or should I say, what’s special about the FT’s ideology and approach?

  6. James Canning says:

    Neo,

    Editorially, the FT says that Israel’s biggest security problem is its failure to get out of the West Bank and make peace with an independent Palestine. This clearly is true.

  7. James Canning says:

    Neo,

    Did you read Larijani’s comments made March 13, 2012? He was not revealing something previously concealed; that Iran started enriching to 20% because “the West” refused to sell Iran the fuel for the TRR was widely known (and completely obvious in any event).

  8. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    I agree with you that Iranian leaders who have tried to compromise with the US to achieve better relations, have suffered politically in Iran due to abject stupidity of the US. Reason for that abject stupidity? ISRAEL LOBBY.

  9. James Canning says:

    R S Hack,

    Why don’t you provide a short quote from a leading newspaper regarding what the P5+1 will expect from Iran in the negotiations?

  10. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Given that more Jews in the US marry non-Jews rather than other Jews, one can see that Jews readily integrate fully when conditions allow.

    The so-called threat that is trumpeted by Jewish annexationists, is largely a hoax intended to give cover to ongoing thefts of land and water in the West Bank.

  11. Sassan says:

    fyi: The vast majority of Jews (particularly in Israel) are non-religious Jews and do not ascribe to the nonsense you spout. 15-30% of Jews in Israel are estimated to be atheist Jews which is a much higher % than atheists even in the United States and many European countries.

  12. fyi says:

    Onward Christian Soldiers says: March 24, 2012 at 9:32 pm

    But, in effect, Jewish leaders in US and UK certainly failed in their policy agenda.

    For I do not believe any sane person would consider the death of so many millions of their coreligionists all over Europe as a triumph.

    Unfortunately, since Shoah and its political exploitation by Israelis, one is left with the conclusion that Jews will never be safe on this planet.

    Which means that either all the non-Jews have to leave this planet or Jews must.

    So, one could imagine some future time in which trans-stellar travel has become feasible.

    Would then the countries of the world each select an Earth-like planet for immigration leaving the Earth to Jews (per some interpretation of the Old Testament)?

    Would other countries of the world each take advantage of living their national lives in splendid isolation from all the other nations?

    Or will they implicitly acknowledge the veracity of Quran: “wa ja’alnakom sho’uban wa qabiyele-hee…”; that is, nations of the world need one another’s diverse features…

    I wonder if the Jews of the world would like to live, all 10 or 12 million of them, on Earth all by themselves?

    Or would they prefer to be with other Men?

    {Just speculation – Gedanken Experiment}

  13. Onward Christian Soldiers says:

    toivos,
    OCS concedes this– ‘white people’ is an inappropriate label, ie one would prefer ‘western’ or ‘European’ which many consider to mean the same thing. In a speech in London Danny Ayalon said So our interest is that this tumult, or this development in the Arab World, will consummate in – I’m not ashamed to say – European-style democracy.” If “European-style democracy” is so desirable that the Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister of Israel urged a British audience to impose it on Israel, Iran, and the Arab world, what is racist about those who originated “European-style democracy” seeking to preserve their heritage?

  14. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Well, I haven’t read one post here since the last time I posted due to the spam from Sassan and his opponent and the general waste of time that is Canning.

    I agree with the others. Sassan needs to be banned and his opponent warned to keep his posts to not full articles. The latter hasn’t been as bad as Sassan, but he should be warned.

    I would also ask Karl to stop engaging Canning – it’s a complete and total waste of time and space in the thread. A slew of one and two line posts is nearly as bad as Sassan’s pages long posts.

    Otherwise this site has lost much of its previous appeal due to its valuable content.

  15. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Nothing new here but some pithy quotes…

    America’s Obsession With Israel and Iran
    http://www.counterpunch.org/2012/03/23/americas-obsession-with-israel-and-iran/

    Quotes

    US Secretary of State Clinton has made it clear that Pakistan will be punished if it continues to engage with Iran about construction of a natural gas pipeline. She cares not a fig that the people of Pakistan urgently need natural gas and, indeed, any sort of fuel that can assist the economy and make their lives easier. The Los Angeles Times records that “more than half of Pakistan’s manufacturers use natural gas to power their factories,” and 21 percent of Pakistani vehicles run on compressed natural gas, but “Pakistan produces only 30% of the natural gas it needs.” The Iran-Pakistan pipeline would provide the country with over 750 million cubic feet of gas per day.

    It was reported in February that water levels in Pakistan’s two main power-generating dams are dangerously low. This, and the shortage of natural gas, leads to power cuts all over the country that make people’s lives utterly miserable, but means nothing to Secretary Clinton or anyone else in Washington. The fact that Pakistan’s entire economy is under threat because there is not enough fuel for power stations and industrial plants matters not a bit to the jet-setters of international affairs. They will never experience the slightest inconvenience to their luxurious lifestyles because they are cocooned from the problems experienced daily by so many millions of ordinary people.

    Clinton is on record as saying that if Pakistan dares to try to improve its parlous economic state by “beginning the construction of such a pipeline either as an Iranian project or as a joint project . . . it would be particularly damaging to Pakistan because their economy is already quite shaky.” This putrid piece of perambulating filth was then reported as saying that “the US is working to find alternative solutions to the deficit that do not necessitate the building of the proposed pipeline.” Her “solution” to Pakistan’s appalling energy crisis involves a pipeline from Turkmenistan running through Afghanistan : “We think that that is a better alternative, both in terms of predictability and to avoid doing business with Iran.”

    Anyone who imagines a pipeline could be built through Afghanistan belongs in the funny farm. But that is no reason to roll around the floor, laughing at the monocular moron who is US Secretary of State. She presents the policies of the most important country on earth and must to be listened to, if only because her statements give a good indication of just where that great nation is heading : down the moral plug-hole.

    The US pawn-poodle pollies deserve some crackers, and they’ll get them, of course, in the shape of lots of lovely money from all the Israel-supporting squillionaires who buy politicians like they’re hamburgers.

    Just listen to the Obama speech made at the beginning of this month to AIPAC, the America Israel Public Affairs Committee, and you’ll realize, between gagging at the oleaginous drivel he mouthed, that mighty America is in thrall to a bunch of murderous, land-grabbing avaricious thugs with an enormous arsenal of nuclear weapons.

    General Schwartz’s senior civilian adviser until recently was Dr Lana (Ilana) Kass, who was born and raised in Israel and served as a major in the Israeli Air Force. Her three children were born in Israel. According to the now-deleted entry on the US Air Force website she was Schwartz’s “principal adviser on policy and strategy and formulates, develops, implements, and communicates the policies, programs and goals of the Air Force.”

    End Quotes

  16. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Malaysia to stop oil imports from Iran
    http://en.trend.az/regions/iran/2006399.html

  17. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Has Syrian President ‘outfoxed’ Ankara?
    http://www.middle-east-online.com/english/?id=51361

    Quotes

    Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan raised the stakes sharply on March 6 when he called on Damascus to allow for the “immediate” opening of humanitarian corridors.

    While his words matched international calls from western powers, the demand lacked substance. It was not clear if Turkey would gear up for the task, given its 910-kilometre (560-mile) common border.

    The creation of a buffer zone is another issue that Ankara has not been clear on, since it implies sending troops to secure the area.

    But it is still on the agenda as Turkey already houses 17,000 Syrians, and its Red Crescent organisation says it is preparing for half a million.

    “We are determined to consider every possible measure,” Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said Monday, adding that the move would aim at ending the suffering of Syrians, but also at securing the border.

    Critics however say the buffer zone would be an “interventionist policy” that could prove Ankara too reckless, and too adventurous.

    End Quotes

  18. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Exclusive: Iran ramps up food imports via Turkish banks: trade
    http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/03/23/us-iran-ports-food-idUSBRE82M0R520120323

  19. Richard Steven Hack says:

    They’re running out of ammo – probably because they’re killing so many civilians – that they’re turning to IEDs.

    Use of IEDs by regime opposition in Syria rises sharply
    http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/story/2012-03-04/syria-ieds/53357110/1

    Quote

    “If they can sustain this trend, that indicates some external support,” Army Lt. Gen. Michael Barbero, commander of the Pentagon’s lead organization to combat improvised explosives, told USA TODAY.

    End Quote

    Of course they have external support – British and French Special Forces and CIA are on hand to teach them…

  20. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Turkey blames Syria for supporting Kurdish rebels, inches closer to military action
    http://www.haaretz.com/news/middle-east/turkey-blames-syria-for-supporting-kurdish-rebels-inches-closer-to-military-action-1.420424

    Quote

    Turkey and Syria stood on the brink of a military crisis in 1998, when Turkish forces – including tanks – were deployed on the border with Syria and threatened to invade the country. In light of that threat, Syrian President Hafez Assad (Bashar’s father) decided to distance the country from the PKK and stop any assistance, thus diminishing the chances of a war.

    Turkey now supports the establishment of security zones for Syrian refugees inside Syrian territory, yet it is refraining from doing so on its own without an international umbrella that will allow entry of foreign troops to these zones. At the same time, Turkey has declared in recent weeks that it may have to act on its own if the Syrian uprising threatens its national security. Freedom of movement and operation of PKK operatives in Syria might serve as a Casus belli, especially since the Turkish military is currently engaged in heavy fighting with Kurdish rebels within its own borders.

    End Quote

    Another excuse…

    Trust me, all these clowns definitely intend a war with Syria, no matter what “negotiations” they claim to favor.

  21. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Iran sanctions bring unintended, unwanted results
    http://www.trust.org/alertnet/news/iran-sanctions-bring-unintended-unwanted-results/

    Of course they were intended. Anyone think the oil companies DON’T want higher gas prices at the pump? They made record profits in the ’70′s with an oil embargo. They had oil tankers circling in the Atlantic and oil barges parked in the Mississippi River.

  22. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Special Report: Intel shows Iran nuclear threat not imminent
    http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/03/23/us-iran-usa-nuclear-idUSBRE82M0G020120323

    DUH!

  23. Richard Steven Hack says:

    The Syria situation may become complicated.

    Russia nudges Syria to move on
    http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/NC23Ak01.html

    Quote

    A core issue remains, namely, the absence of a sustained diplomatic engagement of Iran so as to bridge the huge gulf of distrust. It means clearing the air that the West’s agenda is actually to force regime change in Iran. The West must manifestly show the willingness to engage Iran comprehensively on the range of regional security issues that affect its core interests.

    End Quote

    I stand by my opinion that the West – or at least Israel – wants Syria weakened militarily as an avenue toward weakening Hizballah in Lebanon. Israel will start an Iran war without those two countries being weakened, but Netanyahu won’t like it because it will probably cost the Likud Party the government.

    Therefore I still believe negotiations on Syria will go nowhere, regardless of what Russia pressures Assad to do. There are limits to what Assad will agree to and I don’t see any limits on what the insurgents want. Nor do I see any way Iran can be pressured to pressure Assad to give in. Therefore there can be no ceasefire.

  24. ToivoS says:

    omg raceforiran is now being spammed by racist christian soldier. Note the disclaimer at the end of one of his cut and paste jobs:

    “This site is about information and education of White people and the preservation of our unique Heritage”

    This is getting serious. Sasson is certainly a nuisance, but if every hate site out there feels they have free band width here at this successful site, it will be ruined. The Leverett’s really need to do something now. They have created a valuable and valued resource: it would be a shame to see it lost.

  25. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Pepe Escobar on Pipelanistan connections to Iran
    Russia rules Pipelineistan
    http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Central_Asia/NC23Ag04.html

    Russia is happy to see Iran cut out of supplying gas to Europe because it increases Russia’s stranglehold on Eurogas.

  26. Onward Christian Soldiers says:

    Watchmen Bible Study Group
    Judea Declares War On Germany

    Below is a facsimile[1] of the front page of Britain’s Daily Express, March 24, 1933. (Full text of article follows.) Bear in mind that this was some six years before the start of WWII (1939-1945)!

    Full text of news story:

    Daily Express. London, March 24, 1933, pp. 1-2.

    J U D E A D E C L A R E S W A R O N G E R M A N Y

    [A composite photo with Hitler before a presumably Jewish court]

    JEWS OF ALL THE WORLD UNITE

    BOYCOTT OF GERMAN GOODS

    MASS DEMONSTRATIONS

    “Daily Express” Special Political Correspondent.

    A strange and unforeseen sequel has emerged from the stories of
    German Jew-baiting.

    The whole of Israel throughout the world is uniting to declare
    an economic and financial war on Germany.

    Hitherto the cry has gone up: “Germany is persecuting the Jews.”
    If the present plans are carried out, the Hitlerite cry will be:
    “The Jews are persecuting Germany.”

    All Israel is rising in wrath against the Nazi onslaught on
    the Jews. Adolf Hitler, swept into power by an appeal of
    elemental patriotism, is making history of a kind he least
    expected. Thinking to unite only the German nation to race
    consciousness, he has roused the whole Jewish people to
    national renascence.

    The appearance of the Swastika symbol of a new Germany has
    called forth the Lion of Judah, the old battle symbol of
    Jewish defiance.

    Fourteen million Jews, dispersed throughout the world, have
    banded together as one man to declare war on the German
    persecutors of their co-religionists. Sectional differences
    and antagonisms have been submerged in one common aim – to stand by the
    600,000 Jews of Germany who are terrorised by Hitlerite
    anti-Semitism and to compel Fascist Germany to end its
    campaign of violence and suppression directed against its
    Jewish minority.

    ——————————————————————–
    P l a n s F o r A c t i o n M a t u r i n g

    I n E u r o p e A n d A m e r i c a
    ——————————————————————–

    World Jewry has made up its mind not to rest quiescent in
    face of this revival of medieval Jew-baiting.

    Germany may be called on to pay a heavy price for Hitler’s
    antagonism to the Jews. She is faced with an international
    boycott in commerce, finance, and industry.

    The Jewish merchant prince is leaving his counting-house,
    the banker his board-room, the shopkeeper his store, and
    the pedlar his humble barrow, to join together in what has
    become a holy war to combat the Hitlerite enemies of the Jew.

    Plans for concerted Jewish action are being matured in Europe
    and America to strike back in reprisal at Hitlerite Germany.

    In London, New York, Paris, and Warsaw Jewish merchants are
    waiting for a commercial crusade.

    Resolutions are being taken throughout the Jewish business

    ——————————————————————–
    B R I T I S H J E W S P R O T E S T
    A T N A Z I T A C T I C S

    MERCHANTS AND FINANCIERS RALLY TO MOVEMENT

    GERMAN LINERS AFFECTED?
    ——————————————————————–

    world to sever trade relations with Germany.

    Large numbers of merchants in London have resolved to stop
    buying German goods, even at the cost of suffering heavy loss.

    A meeting of the Jewish textile trade in London has been called
    for Monday to consider the situation and to determine what steps
    should be taken.

    Germany is a heavy borrower in foreign money markets, where
    Jewish influence is considerable. Continued anti-Semitism in
    Germany is likely to react seriously against her. A move is on
    foot on the part of Jewish financiers to exert pressure to force
    anti-Jewish action to stop.

    The Organisation of Jewish Youth in Britain are organizing
    demonstrations in London and the provinces during the weekend.

    The Board of Deputies of British Jews, representing the entire
    Jewish community of Great Britain, are meeting in special
    session on Sunday to discuss the German situation, and to decide
    on what action should be taken to counteract the attacks on
    their German fellow-Jews.

    World-wide preparations are being made to organise demonstrations
    of protest.

    EMBARGO IN POLAND

    A concerted boycott by Jewish buyers is likely to involve grave
    damage to the German export trade. Jewish merchants all over the
    world are large buyers of German manufactured goods, chiefly
    cotton goods, silks, toys, electrical fittings, and furniture.

    In Poland, the trade embargo on Germany is already in operation.
    In France, a proposed ban on German imports is being widely
    canvassed in Jewish circles.

    German Transatlantic shipping traffic is likewise threatened.
    The Bremen and the Europa, the German crack liners, may suffer
    heavily from a Jewish anti-German boycott. Jewish trans-ocean
    travellers form an important part of the patrons of these liners
    because of their extensive part in international trade. The loss
    of their patronage would be a heavy blow to Germany’s Atlantic
    trade.

    In New York yesterday 10,000 Jewish ex-soldiers marched to the
    City Hall to hold a protest demonstration.

    Large crowds watched the men, some of whom wore old British
    uniforms, petition the mayor to support them in a boycott of
    German goods.

    Another petition was handed in at the British Consulate-General
    requesting that Palestine should receive refugees from Germany
    without restriction.

    Members of the American House of Representatives are introducing
    resolutions protesting against the anti-Jewish excesses in
    Germany. The American trade unions, representing 3,000,000
    workers, have also decided to join in the protest.

    A rabbinical decree in New York has made the next Monday a day
    of fasting and prayer over the Hitler campaign.

    Fasting will begin on Sunday at sunset and finish at sunset on
    Monday.

    All Jewish shops in New York will be closed on Monday during a
    parade.

    Apart from a monster meeting in Madison-square Garden, meetings
    are to be held in 300 American cities.

    Madison-square Garden will see the remarkable sight of Bishop
    Manning speaking from a Jewish platform appealing for an end of
    the Hitler “terror.”

    DAY OF SERMONS

    It had been arranged to charge a shilling admission and 5 s.
    for box seats, but a public-spirited Jew, Frank Cohen, an
    insurance broker, gove [sic] a personal cheque for L 1,000 to
    cover all expenses, so admission will be free.

    Every rabbi in the city of New York has been placed under a
    sacred obligation by rabbinical decree to devote Saturday’s
    sermon to the plight of Jews in Germany.

    Representative Jewish organisations in the European capitals
    are understood to be making representations to their various
    Governments to use influence with the Hitler Cabinet to induce
    it to call a halt in the oppression of the German Jews.

    The old and reunited people of Israel are rising with new
    and modern weapons to fight their age-old battle with their
    persecutors.[2]

    Footnotes:
    [1] Facsimile of front page of The Daily Express, London, March 24, 1933. Source: :http://litek.ws/k0nsl/detox/Judea1.html
    [2] Source of transcription: :http://www.nizkor.com/ftp.cgi/orgs/british/ftp.py?orgs/british/daily-express/judea-declares-war

  27. Rehmat says:

    Abraham Foxman, national directer Israel lobby group, Anti-Defamation League (ADL) has described a Turkish TV shamooo advertisement with archive footage of Adolf Hitler, as repulsive and an insult to the 140,000-strong Turkish Jewish community. On March 23, in a letter to Ankara’s ambassador in Washington, Namik Tan, he demanded that the advertisement should be removed. “There can never be a justifiable purpose for using the images of Hitler, Nazis or any other depiction of the Nazi killing machine to sell product or service,” wrote Abe Foxman.

    I suggest Abe Foxman should study Canadian Rabbi Wolf Gunther Plaut’s (d. 2012) book ‘The Man Who Would Be Messiah’ in which he claimed that Frankist Jews were behind the murders of millions of Christians, Gypsies and Jews under Adolf Hiter’s regime……..

    http://rehmat1.wordpress.com/2012/03/25/turkish-hitler-shampoo-ads-angers-jewish-groups/

  28. fyi says:

    Karl says: March 24, 2012 at 7:49 pm

    It was all about regime change in Iran.

    US-EU leaders took the world to the edge of WWIII in the pursuit of their misguided policy.

    Internally, those in Iran such as Mr. Ahmadinejad, Ambassador Mousavian, Mr. Khatami and others who had been advocating a policy of detente or rapprachment with US, EU and others have been marginalized.

    Look to a religio-nationalistic collection of personages to dominate the Iranian state for the next 2 decades.

    Iranian foreign policy, in the future, will almost certainly will be an even more hardnosed and transactional with a robust defensive and offensive elementns.

  29. Neo says:

    Karl,

    Interesting how the narrative has shifted in Iran’s favour in the build up to the coming talks. Someone, somewhere decided it’s time to put Israel in its place, for once. netanyabu and his neocon ilk have been outmaneuvered from within. at least it seems that way now.

  30. Karl says:

    Iranian Nuclear Danger Not Immediate: Intel

    “We are very confident that there is no secret site now,”

    http://www.nti.org/gsn/article/western-israeli-intel-plays-down-iranian-nuclear-danger-report/

    what the heck is all about then?! There is not a single proof according to intelligence that Iran is nor having nor creating nuclear weapons!

  31. Karl says:

    Interview with the hasbara spokesman dennis ross.

    Ross: Diplomatic Hopes Increase for Iran, But Force May be Needed
    http://www.nti.org/gsn/article/ross-diplomatic-hopes-increase-iran-force-may-be-needed/

  32. Neo says:

    James,

    I was an FT reader for a long time. On Iran, however, I find them objectionable and it’s a reason I have stopped appreciating them. They support sanctions against Iran, and are blatantly false on issues like the 2009 elections. If they don’t support the oil sanctions it’s because of the harm it does the world economy. not because they would care about Iran’s legal rights.

    And I don’t believe Larijani or any other Iranian politician with any sense would announce to the world what Iran’s internal calculations have been. My sense of it is that in whatever Iran does in its long running rivalry with the West, it is careful to bolster its negotiating position, especially as Iran started from a very weak position immediately after the revolution. When the West shot itself in the foot by refusing to take Iran’s offer of a fuel swap, Iran used the opportunity to up the ante by going up to 20% with very clear justification. So the 3-5% has ceased to be debatable. it’s off the table. Kind of clever of Iran, don’t you think? Now the West is clamouring over the 20%, a bit like you, if I may be so cheeky!

    Now, the question is, what is Iran’s next move? That depends on their real intentions. A country that does not intend to actually build a bomb would negotiate away the 20%, having already wiped the ‘no enrichment’ discourse and Israel’s position on this off the map. (sorry, couldn’t resist…) So Iran has gained all its wishes on the nuclear front before coming to the notorious ‘table’.

    what will Iran demand in return for this 20% concession (or any other offer Iran chooses to make – for the situation does not bind Iran into giving up the 20% necessarily)? and what will the West be prepared to concede? The way things look now, Iran can dictate at least some of the terms, and the West will have to work hard. For Iran does not need a deal with the West right now.

  33. Karl says:

    James,

    You have earlier stated that Iran should not be allowed to enrich at 20%, therefore you are denying Iran its right as a sovereign state.

  34. James Canning says:

    Karl,

    I take it that if I offer my assessment of what the Six Powers require, you take it as my personal denial of Iran’s rights as a sovereign nation.

    You appear to be saying you would prefer an inaccurate statement from me, regarding what the P5+1 are requiring.

  35. James Canning says:

    Karl,

    You objected to the FT’s support for Iranian enrichment to 3.5%-5%.

    I am not the one who is insisting Iran stop enriching to 20%. This is position the P5+1 are taking.

  36. James Canning says:

    ToivoS,

    Yes, the latest sanctions were a direct response to Iran’s statement of intent to treble production of 20% U.

  37. Karl says:

    James,

    That would be you, who deny Iran the rights according to the NPT (or even recognizing Iran as sovereign nation).

  38. Karl says:

    The Seoul nuclear security summit will occur 26-27 of march.
    A pro-western bloc meeting where the main bullied parties (Iran and North Korea) are not invited and the only nuclear weapons regime in the middle east – Israel are ignored for discussion.
    http://www.thenuclearsecuritysummit.org/eng_main/main.jsp

  39. James Canning says:

    Karl,

    Are you objecting to support for Iranian enrichment?

  40. Karl says:

    “Clearly you do not read the FT and have little understanding of the FT approach to the problem. FT says Iran will almost certainly have to be allowed to enrich to 3.5%-5%.”

    ….which clearly prove Neo’s point. Iran “to be allowed” you say…, here we go again, when will you, Tony Blair and other irrational bystanders understand that all states are equal and wont be dictated by others?

  41. James Canning says:

    Neo,

    Clearly you do not read the FT and have little understanding of the FT approach to the problem. FT says Iran will almost certainly have to be allowed to enrich to 3.5%-5%.

  42. James Canning says:

    Neo,

    Larijani said this month that Iran commenced enriching to 20 percent because “the West” was refusing to sell the fuel needed for the TRR. And “the West” continues to be so foolish as not to sell the needed fuel to Iran. Foolish, stupid, or even worse.

  43. James Canning says:

    Neo,

    The Financial Times reporters were providing the FT’s readers with information obtained from diplomats connected to P5+1 negotiations. What better source would there be?

    Did you read the March 7th piece in the FT?

    Editorially, the FT opposed the sanctions against Iranian oil and gas exports.

  44. Neo says:

    James,

    You seem to have a lot of faith in the wisdom and credibility of the FT. But they have often been wrong on Iran, and they take a rather biased anti-iranian position regularly. That they state something about Iran ‘having to’ negotiate the 20% ‘away’ means very little. Didn’t Iran really start all that to use as a bargaining chip if/when needed in the first place? So what’s the logic of turning Iran’s own strategy around and calling it some kind of obligation for Iran? The FT is, as always, clutching at straws. The day the FT openly admits that Iran has to be respected and treated as an equal will be the day when the FT can be taken seriously. Till then, I wouldn’t use them as a credible source.

  45. Neo says:

    Persian Gulf,

    I agree with you about the pretentious ‘Persian’ expats..

    but my reading of the Persian New Year thing is that it’s more related to the much larger geographic area that used to be Persia and still celebrates Norooz.

    To all the dedicated and righteous contributors of RFI,

    Albeit rather late, I wish you all a very happy Norooz. There is some room for optimism this year. Let’s hope it all bears fruit.

  46. Smith says:

    fyi says:
    March 24, 2012 at 4:16 pm

    That is true. Iranians have to work more. Cant argue with that one.

  47. fyi says:

    Smith says: March 24, 2012 at 4:11 pm

    That is the only way.

    License the Russians’ technology.

    But you have to also appreciate the pernicious sense of entitlement among very many Iranians; they want everything, they want it now, but they do not want to either wait or to work hard for them.

    It is quite frustrating at time.

    [The way they are, they would drive a government like that of Denmark out of office in no time.

    The Hidden Imam's Government will find no support among Iranians: "Why has not he brought Paradise to Earth? Why do I still have to go to the toilet to relieve myself? etc.]

  48. Smith says:

    fyi says:
    March 24, 2012 at 2:18 pm

    I partially agree with you. There are Americans who sing bomb bomb Iran and have supported or directly killed hundreds of thousands of Iranian. The point here is not whether Iran is entitled to civil aviation. The point is all this talk about human rights is BS. If you care about human rights in Iran, you would not sanction Iranian civilians.

    That said, Iran should indeed develop its own civil aviation industry and Russia indeed makes some good aircraft like Tu-234 and IL-96. Iran had made the mistake to rent some old Tu-154 which crashed in Iran so Russians have suffered a bad image in Iran. But I guess it is possible for Iran go give a few billion dollars to Russians and set up a air craft factory in Iran producing Tu-234 and likes.

  49. fyi says:

    masoud says: March 24, 2012 at 3:02 pm

    Complaining about the violations of this or that international instrument is useless.

    Great Powers do so all the time.

    Iran should igore all these violations and assume that none of these instruments will protect her interests.

    Only power and cunning will.

  50. Rehmat says:

    Sassan – Israeli poodle, Abraham Foxman could be more credible source than the lebanese Zionist Christian Islamophobe Joseph Farah.

    http://mysteryworshipers.wordpress.com/tag/joseph-farah/

  51. masoud says:

    fyi says:
    March 24, 2012 at 2:18 pm

    The sanctions against Iranian airline industry are in direct violation of the Chicago convention on civil aviation whcih the US and Wester Europe are bound by. This is an important convention which is key to providing a framework for international air travel.

    Russian planes are shit. Iran’s safety record with respect to Western planes is not bad. They are able to maintain their existing fleet well enough, but the sanctions make it impossible for impossible for Iran to procure and maintain significant ammounts of additional Western planes. They ended up relying on Russian planes, which lead to disaster after disaster.

    It seems Iran is going to be relying on a budding parternship with Ukraine’s Antonov to meet it’s aviation needs.

  52. fyi says:

    ToivoS says: March 24, 2012 at 2:28 pm

    Threat of War is over.

    US backed down.

  53. ToivoS says:

    James Canning says:
    March 24, 2012 at 1:02 pm

    What you say is correct. If that is all there is nothing to negotiate. Isn’t that what the threat of war and sanctions are trying to accomplish.

  54. fyi says:

    Smith says: March 24, 2012 at 2:05 pm

    That is a contemptible passive-aggressive appeal.

    The Majlis, often breaks into loud cheers of “Death to America”.

    Likewse crowds during sermons – from to time – at Tehran University do so.

    Iranians are not entitled to civil aviation, certainly not from a country or collection of countries that are Iran’s enemies.

    Iranians should stop whining and get on with developing their own civil aviation industries – alone eor in partnership with other countries such as Russia.

    Russian, in fact, have an airplane that they would like to build but do not have the money.

    They ould accept Iranian partnership for that airplane.

    This hero captan shod shut-up; he is an embarassment.

  55. Smith says:

    Iranian hero pilot who landed an aircraft without a landing gear has appealed to international community for help: http://capt-shahbazi.com/files/English.pdf

  56. Karl says:

    James,

    Yes Iran made that offer… Is there anyone denying that?

  57. James Canning says:

    Karl,

    At 6.12pm March 23rd you claimed: “Iran will not be dictated [to] by others [P5+1] to make unilateral moves. Do you understand?”

    And you understand that last September Iran offered to stop enriching to 20 percent, provided “the West” sold Iran the fuel for the TRR.

    Iran in effect repeated this offer just this month. Do you understand?

  58. James Canning says:

    ToivoS,

    I have said many times that any negotiated resolution of the Iranian nuclear dispute will almost certainly oblige “the West” to accept Iranian control of nuclear fuel cycle for nuclear power plants in Iran. And that Iran will have to end enrichment to 20%.

    The original proposal for an “exchange” of nuclear fuel was wrecked, in effect, by Iran’s commencing enrichment to 20%.

    Financial Times front page report March 7th said Iran will have to agree, up front, to end enriching to 20% if the nuclear talks are to succeed. FT calls this the “critical test”.

    I suggest you bring my attention to a statement by a leading newspaper that more clearly sets out what needs to happen NOW.

  59. James Canning says:

    Rehmat,

    What a surprise: US alone, of 47 countries, votes against a report on Israel’s illegal colonies in the West Bank and the damage those illegal colonies inflict on non-Jews.

  60. Rehmat says:

    Nathaniel Raymond is director of George Clooney’s the Satellite Sentinel Project (SSP, who is not ashamed to admit his job description: “I count Sudanese tanks from space for George Clooney.

    The satellite surveillance of southern Sudan went live on December 30, 2010. According to TIME magazine (December 28, 2010), the Satellite Sentinel Project – a joint experiment by the UN’s Operational Satellite Applications Programme, Harvard University, the Enough Project and Clooney’s posse of Hollywood funders – will hire private satellites to monitor troop movements starting with the oil-rich region of Abyei.

    The collection of satellite imagery were devised by Jewish Trellon and Google. The Harvard Humanitarian Initiative run by Jennifer Leaning and Michael Van Rooyen will be in charge of deciphering them, while the Enough Project headed by Gayle Smith and John Prendergast (who formerly steered the South Sudan separation project within the US National Security Council) will supply the political analysis.

    The campaign against the government in Khartoum run by organizations like ‘Save Darfur’, ‘Not On Our Watch’, etc. are loaded by pro-Israel Jews and Christians. Israeli media has admitted that the ‘Save Darfur’ organization is a brain-child of 15 Jewish organizations in America which wants to save the lives of Christians (5%) and Pagans (20%) in Southern Sudan but not the victims of their fellow Jews in Palestine, seven million of whom are forced to live in refugee camps or as immigrants in foreign lands. Furthermore, funds (US$50 million) from the ‘Save Darfur’ have already been used to to settle foreign Jews on Arab lands in occupied Palestine.

    Both Clooney and John Prendergast, another Zionist Israeli poodle, have sneaked repeatedly into the country to stir up propaganda lies over Khartoum’s bombing of civilians and other atrocities. However, neither of these two Zionist idiots ever tried to monitor Jewish human rights violations against Muslim and Christian Native Palestinians.

    Last week, George Clooney along with two anti-Christ Zionist Rabbis, was arrested for participating in an illegal protest in front of Sudanese embassy in Washington DC.

    http://rehmat2.wordpress.com/2012/03/24/clooneys-satellite-over-sudan-spies-for-israel/

  61. Reza Esfandiari says:

    Massoud:

    I am happy for Sassan to seriously debate and engage with the RFI community but it is clear he is not interested in doing that. He just wants to spam this site with full-length articles (which he has not even bothered to read properly) and which are irrelevant to the subject of the thread.

    I second that Sassan should be suspended for at least one month.

  62. hans says:

    @Massoud says:
    March 24, 2012 at 9:01 am

    For the first time this morning I felt that it is not worth coming to the site because of Sassan’1s and his distractor’s long,
    meaningless and irrelevant postings. I think Sassan is succeeding in eliminating RFI as a meaningful source of info on Iran. Please ban him or just show the first 3 lines of his posting so we can scroll past it easily.

    Same here, I have also started to come less frequently.

    Any truth to the Le Monde quotes a French military source in Afghanistan as saying that Merah was known to have visited Iran. The French counter-terrorist agency, the DCRI, would say nothing more to the paper about that.

  63. Massoud says:

    This has been the main site I have gone to several times a day to enjoy the great analysis by Leveretts. I don’t post any comments and am happy to follow the generally insightful discussion by participants. For the first time this morning I felt that it is not worth coming to the site because of Sassan’s and his distractor’s long, meaningless and irrelevant postings. I think Sassan is succeeding in eliminating RFI as a meaningful source of info on Iran. Please ban him or just show the first 3 lines of his posting so we can scroll past it easily.

  64. Rehmat says:

    Netanyahu: ‘UNHRC is anti-Israel’

    On March 22 – the UN Human Rights Council voted to appoint a panel charged with evaluating the effects of illegal Jewish settlements on the civil, political, economic, social and cutural rights of native Muslim and Christian Palestinian in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. United States was the only country in the 47-member UNHRC which opposed the decision while ten members abstained……

    http://rehmat1.wordpress.com/2012/03/24/netanyahu-unhrc-is-anti-israel/

  65. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    “I have a dream…”

    Atheists and nonbelievers rally for political change at The Mall…God bless them.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/atheists-nonbelievers-to-rally-for-godless-us-political-change-on-national-mall/2012/03/24/gIQAljyWXS_story.html

  66. Karl says:

    It time to ban Sassan now. Spamming the board and refuse to participate in any serious conversation only making a mess of this valuable site.

  67. ExposingWarmongeringNeoConStooges says:

    By the way Identity, you do realize that Syria is a sovereign nation and what some small group of Syrians in the US may or may not want does not substitute for the will of the vast majority of Syrians who actually live in Syria, right?

  68. Pirouz says:

    ToivoS says:
    March 23, 2012 at 10:58 pm

    I don’t think Sassan should necessarily be banned. He and his counterpart should be warned over breaking the rules, such as spamming entire articles or making defamatory comments, with the offending text removed.

    Another of the same infraction results in a two week ban. Four weeks for a second, similar infraction. And attempting to circumvent the suspension resulting in a permanent ban.

    Professor Landis over at Syria Comment has instituted this arrangement over at the blog Syria Comment, and he uses a team of two or three trusted volunteers working in assigned shifts. It was really needed over there (even more so than here), and it would work here.

    Sassan’s main offense is spamming entire articles. If he were to write his own brief summary with chosen quotes and a link, it wouldn’t be a big deal.

    Actually, his counterpart using defamatory language is a worse offender, but his counter comments would certainly be scaled back were Sassan be confined to such rules of posting.

    The Leveretts would need people who have the time and are trustworthy for it to work.

    Have a look over at Syria Comment to see for yourselves how it works over there.

  69. ToivoS says:

    Dear humanist:

    Humanist says:
    March 23, 2012 at 7:44 pm
    About Sassan:

    Quite correct. Don’t blame Leveretts. They should simply ban this fool. But realize that this kind of moderation requires someone who spends their time filtering out the dreck. Sasson is definitely dreck. But to purge him requires someone to look at each comment. That is time consuming.

  70. fyi says:

    Persian Gulf says: March 23, 2012 at 9:34 pm

    In US, I think that is mostly to protect themselves aganst massively negative views of teh larger population.

    There is an Azeri Society in US too; although it really has no solid identity – another group of lost souls.

  71. Persian Gulf says:

    Rehmat says:
    March 23, 2012 at 7:42 pm

    At least I, for one, feel very uncomfortable by “Persian” identity that the Iranian diaspora is trying hard to make. having received a master’s degree in Iran, I was never told that you are Persian! I think, it’s the obsession of the diaspora to make a different identity than the official one, may be as a pragmatic move, due to the very bad image that Iran currently has in the west. probably it’s the left over of the monarchies. and it’s perhaps sexy too. I would also add that the majority of Iranian youth abroad are not conscious of the implications of this over emphasis on terms like “Persian New Year”….

  72. Rehmat says:

    Sassan – So Iranian help to Syaria bothers the Zionazi world – but not the US-Israel-Saudi help to illegal governments in Bahrain, Yemen, Tunisia, Egypt and Morocco, eh!

  73. Humanist says:

    About Sassan:

    In this thread, in just 1 hour & 13 minutes (from 8:14pm to 9:27pm) there are 25 comments all are either by Sassan or his supposedly opponent with the long name.

    No one else in this period has posted any comments.

    Over 5000 words are in the above mentioned segment. Timewise they have entered 70 words per minute!.

    Most probably they are accomplishing, among other ill-objectives, turning onlookers away from this site. As I’ve said before I very strongly suspect these two characters are sent here to sabotage RFI. Originally I was against censoring them but now I am for it since boycotting or ignoring them doesn’t seem to be working.

    Isn’t time to do something serious about this nuisance? Ban them similar to Scott?

    I wonder what kind of options are in the minds of Leveretts?

  74. Rehmat says:

    Nowrouz: an Iranian gift for global peace

    http://usa.mediamonitors.net/content/view/full/94802

  75. Karl says:

    Iran crisis with no nuclear energy ‘disastrous’ for Japan: Tanaka
    http://www.platts.com/RSSFeedDetailedNews/RSSFeed/ElectricPower/8095662

    Washington ban threats to adversely affect Indo-US ties: Official
    presstv.com/detail/232951.html

  76. fyi says:

    ToivoS says: March 23, 2012 at 7:00 pm

    Americans and Europeans need some sort of public “concession” from Iran to save their own faces from the political and diplomatic disaster that their corecive Iran diplomatic policy has created.

    Iranians will oblige them.

    Then there will be a long process of negogiations over months and years that will be used by US and EU to neutralize the Israelis and their fellow travellers in these polities.

    I doubt that the US-EU leadeers expected to be where they are today when they chose to escalate back in 2007.

  77. ToivoS says:

    James Canning seems to be obsessed about the 3%-20% enrichment issue. The fact is that it is a simple distraction from the real political issues. If the US was willing to acknowledge the legitimacy of the Islamic Republic and if it were to cease its policy of regime change, then the 20% enrichment problem would be solved. Iran previously agreed in the Brazil-Turkey brokered negotiations to do that, but as soon as they agreed Obama moved the goal post on them.

    It is Israel that wants war, it is the US and UK that empower’s Israel and the rest of the bunch really do not have enough influence over the world’s only super-power to force a change. I happen to believe that Obama does not want war but he has trapped himself into his current position. I suspect he has secret lines of communication to Iran and is desperate to find a face saving way to a diplomatic solution. What that could look like at this point, I have no idea.

  78. Karl says:

    James,

    “US & UK are not the entire P5+1. The P5+1 are requiring that Iran stop enriching to 20%, according to the diplomats the Financial Times talked to.”

    Now you are just repeating without reading my response.
    Its very simple. Iran will not be dictated by others to make unilateral moves. Do you understand?

  79. James Canning says:

    BiBiJon,

    I take your comment to mean you do resent any dictating of terms to Iran, even if Iran already offers to do what it has in effect been told it must do.

  80. James Canning says:

    Karl,

    US & UK are not the entire P5+1. The P5+1 are requiring that Iran stop enriching to 20%, according to the diplomats the Financial Times talked to.

  81. James Canning says:

    “Pivoting from the military option back to diplomacy”, by Barbara Slavin March 23rd:

    http://arabnews.com/opinion/columns/article592417.ece?service=print

    She mentions Larijani’s March 15th interview with Christiane Amanpour but does not mention Larijani’s statement that the West should provide the nuclear fuel for the TRR.

  82. BiBiJon says:

    James Canning says:
    March 23, 2012 at 5:37 pm

    “BiBiJon,

    What planet did you say you lived on? The P5+1 say Iran must stop enriching to 20 percent. MUST.”

    O.K. Great. Thank you very much James for the info.

  83. Karl says:

    James,

    Not sure what you are talking about. You seems to belive that what UK, US says is the law that must be followed. This “we are superior”-talk is something you must put down, it isnt 1850 anymore.

  84. James Canning says:

    Karl,

    I think you have your finger on the problem: Iran resents seeming to be told what it must do. You resent it, even if Iran offers to do what it has been told must be done.

  85. James Canning says:

    Karl,

    I am quoting the front page story in the Financial Times March 7th! You call that “irrational”! Five reporters talked to some of the diplomats involved in P5+1 negotiations. Give me a better source if you think you have one.

  86. James Canning says:

    “Iranian Brash Talk Demands World Recognize Their Nuclear Expertise” (March 20th):

    http://beyondthecusp.wordpress.com/tag/nuclear-expertise

  87. Karl says:

    James,

    “You are quite wrong. Iran needs to agree to stop enriching to 20 percent, as an opening move. Iran in fact already made the offer.”

    Please man, Iran is not going to be dicatated by anyone. Your rhetoric is as irrational as Tony Blair on Iraq or now Hague on Iran.

  88. James Canning says:

    BiBiJon,

    What planet did you say you lived on? The P5+1 say Iran must stop enriching to 20 percent. MUST.

  89. James Canning says:

    Karl,

    Bear in mind that Iran virtually demanded that more sanctions be brrought against Iran. This was poor strategy on Iran’s part, but one that arose from fractious politics in Iran, apparently.

  90. James Canning says:

    Karl,

    You are quite wrong. Iran needs to agree to stop enriching to 20 percent, as an opening move. Iran in fact already made the offer.

  91. James Canning says:

    Sassan,

    William Hague has made clear since last June that Iran cannot stockpile 20% uranium. A number of people who post on this site think Iran in fact can stockpile whatver amounts it choses.

  92. James Canning says:

    BiBiJon,

    What is “Iran’s nuclear programme”, in your view. Iran offered in Sept. 2011 and this month, to stop enriching to 20 percent. You apparently do not like that fact.

  93. BiBiJon says:

    From http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/sns-rt-us-iran-sanctions-consequencesbre82m0wx-20120323,0,3135373,full.story

    Western sanctions have so far failed to deter Iran from pursuing its nuclear program and their unexpected and unintended side-effects are producing a new collection of challenges.

    The expected loss of Iranian crude production has helped push oil prices to levels seen threatening the global economy.

  94. Karl says:

    Sassan,

    Only prove UK trying to ruin any possible success in the coming talks. Iran must obey UK or they will be punished is the logic by Hague, its prejudice and imply that UK think they are superior Iran, a logic that Iran staunchly reject.
    Hague is like the US driven by irrational steps, one thought UK learnt something by the failure in Iraq. UK could keep coming with threats and sanctions and prove its desperate actions and its unwillingness to change its aggressive attitude, Iran however will not move and will also embolden Iran, thats why US cant find any opposition inside Iran that pursue UK policy on Iran.

  95. BiBiJon says:

    James Canning says:
    March 23, 2012 at 2:03 pm

    “BiBiJon,

    Iran largely created the latest crisis, by blundering regarding its nuclear programme. There was no valid reason to treble enrichment to 20 percent. This mistake was a huge gift to haters of Iran.”

    On behalf of all plants, animals, human beings, and inanimate objects I here by declare that I am persuaded by you, James Canning, that your statement above is absolutely, irrefutably, totally, and completely TRUE.

    Now will you leave us alone?

  96. fyi says:

    Karl says: March 23, 2012 at 2:02 pm

    I think after his near disaster Iran policy fiasco due to the deep Iran policy psychosis in the United States, Mr. Obama is almost certainly communicating through secret channels with Iran.

    I also think he is carefully laying out the blame for oil prices on Axis Powers confrontation with Iran.

    Then he will make the case, to the American people, that if they want cheaper fuel US needs to reduce it tensions with Iran.

    The Jewish and schismatic Christian Champions of Israel in US will then have to oppose him on the “pocket book” issue.

    They have to tell, in effect, to the American people to suffer on behalf of Israel.

    They will fail – Americans will vote their pocket book, no doubt.

    But US sanctions on Iran cannot be revoked; US has degenrated too much for that.

    You have to wait for US to get out of her Iran psychosis – if ever.

  97. Karl says:

    James,

    The Israel lobby works on behalf of the ruling politics of Israel.
    Using P5+1 group only push the solution further away since this is something between US/Israel and Iran.

  98. James Canning says:

    Karl,

    The rich and powerful Jews, who will no allow Obama to make a deal with Iran, think they are “protecting” Israel.

  99. James Canning says:

    Karl,

    RICH AND PWERFUL JEWS WILL NOT ALLOW OBAMA TO MAKE A DEAL WITH IRAN. Is this hard for you to comprehend?

  100. James Canning says:

    BiBiJon,

    Iran largely created the latest crisis, by blundering regarding its nuclear programme. There was no valid reason to treble enrichment to 20 percent. This mistake was a huge gift to haters of Iran.

  101. Karl says:

    James,

    This goes beyond any “nuclear dispute”.
    Therefore US should sit down with Iran to solve the grand quetions, only then a solution would be possible. If US are sincere in dealings with Iran.

  102. James Canning says:

    BiBiJon,

    Name another highly respected source of information about what the P5+1 expect from Iran, if there is to be any chance of success for negotiations. Financial Times says Iran will have to stop enriching to 20 percent. Apparently you regard this as offensive.

  103. James Canning says:

    Karl,

    FACT: Russia wants the UNSC to keep control of the Iranian nuclear dispute. No room here to “disagree”.

  104. Karl says:

    James,

    I think we have to agree to disagree because this debate wont led anywhere.
    My point is that this is a manufactured conflict between Israel/US vs Iran and therefore P5+1 group is unescessary. I understand your point but disagree.

  105. BiBiJon says:

    James Canning says:
    March 23, 2012 at 1:07 pm

    “BiBiJon,

    Do you approve of Larijani’s offer this month, for Iran to stop enriching to 20 percent?”

    James I’d be willing to travel to the 4 corners of this world; I’d be willing to take inter planetary voyages to find out how your question is relevant to what is being discussed.

    Here’s a suggestion: change your name to 20%….
    that way you won’t have to squirt your 20% rubbish every chance you get.

  106. James Canning says:

    Karl,

    You should be able to see it is important for the P5+1 to be taking the lead in working toward a resolution of the nuclear dispute. American politics do not allow Obama to speak fairly on matters pertaining to Iran and Israel.

    Have you heard even one word from Obama, regarding Iran’s Sept. 2011 and March 2012 offers to stop enriching uranium to 20 percent?

  107. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    You would understand the inner workings of American foreign policy better if you simply studied a table showing source of political funding over the past 40 years. For Democrats, more than half comes from Jews. So, Jews give more money than the other 98% of the American people combined, to Democrats for national political campaigns.

  108. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    I was not suggesting Obama would be impeached. The idea is preposterous. Obama would lose the White House, and the Democrats would lose control of the Senate, if Obama spoke openly and fairly about Iran and Israel. This is the core problem. And the reason the P5+1 are so important.

  109. fyi says:

    James Canning says: March 23, 2012 at 1:14 pm

    There is zero chance of US Senate removing Mr. Obama from power.

    There is zero chance of US Congress impeaching him.

    That will be national suicide for US as Black anger would convule the United States.

    Mr. Obama only got Iran right when he brought US to the verge of war due to major miscalculation of himself and his administration.

    He may yet be able to salvage something out of that fiasco; we shall see.

    The events of the last 6 months have been extremely damaging to Mr. Obama, the United States, and her allies.

    What astonishes me – just like the most recent US War against Iraq – is that no one has been fired.

    I mean, at a minimum, one would have expected the US officials in the White House, the National Security Council, and elsewhere to have been forced to resign.

    Could it be that the belligerent and brain-damaged policy of US-EU was Mr. Obama’s own brain-child?

  110. Karl says:

    James Canning, Yes and thats because of the pressure from Israel. No solution is possible if US keep get its manual on how to deal with Iran from Israel.

  111. kooshy says:

    BiBiJon says:
    March 23, 2012 at 9:30 am

    BiBi/Eric

    On the contrary, I think, like during the last US presidential campaign when Mr. Obama against the tide said, he will be willing to seat down with Iranian and negotiate (which it actually forced the seating administration unlike before to actively participate in the talks by sending Mr. Burns to Geneva) this time again any last minute break through can be spooned and be positively presented to US public to boost Mr. Obama’s current reelection campaign.

    I think at the end of the day any deal possible, can and will be spooned to have a positive public opinion effect, if the media is made to agree and be willing to participate no matter how much the other side rants. On the other hand obviously at first any negotiated deal will not be taken positively by the lobby, like Mr. Obama’s last campaign rhetoric, in the beginning was not taken well, and media tried to make that a point against him but at the end the public opinion due to continued wars and economic decline prevailed and made that as a matter of fact a positive point of Mr. Obama’s last campaign. For Obama’s administration to subside the lobby’s campaign for a possible deal is enough to once again send out the generals approving the deal as a positive point for reducing chance of a possible new war, military’s positive opinion will contain republican and lobby’s possible media campaign against it. After all I think Mr. Obama has more problems convincing his inside administration operatives likes of HRC to accept a deal than the US public.

  112. James Canning says:

    Karl,

    Why do you think Hillary Clinton ignored Iran’s offer last September to stop enriching to 20 percent? Answer: Democrats rely on Jewish campaign finance.

  113. James Canning says:

    Karl,

    Russia and China have tried for years to improve US relations with Iran. Of course they would not object!

    Israel would not threaten the peace of the Middle East in the way it does, if the Democrats did not depend almost entirely on Jewish funding for national political campaigns in the US.

  114. James Canning says:

    Karl,

    The Financial Times said March 7th that the “critical test” is whether Iran agrees to stop enriching to 20 percent. Clearly this is the situation that obtains.

    You seem to have little interest in underscoring Iran’s clear willingness to compromise on this issue. Why is that?

  115. Karl says:

    James Canning,

    This is a manufactured conflict driven by Israel through the power of the US.

    Lets put it simple, if US would become friends with Iran tommorow, Russia, China would not protest.

  116. James Canning says:

    Karl,

    The uncertainty and instability is not simply “because of Israel”. The problem includes the fact Obama and the Democrats are forced to listen (and substantially comply with) demands of rich and powerful Jews. Or lose control of the Senate, and have Obama removed from the White House.

  117. James Canning says:

    Karl,

    Russia and China want to keep P5+1 unity regarding Iran, even if this is difficult. You are quite mistaken to say the viewpoint of the other five powers does not matter.

  118. Karl says:

    fyi,

    Yes what we basically have and will have more and more is economic instability just because of Israel. Something is very very wrong when world is dicatated by this crazy, threatening regime.

  119. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    The Financial Times today reports that China bought substantially less Iranian oil last month due to a pricing dispute, but that future purchases should increase. China is stockpiling large amounts of oil.

  120. James Canning says:

    BiBiJon,

    Do you approve of Larijani’s offer this month, for Iran to stop enriching to 20 percent?

  121. fyi says:

    Karl says: March 23, 2012 at 12:58 pm

    That is not a problem for Iran but for US, her allies and other states in the world.

    The substantial increase in the global oil prices harms all non-oil producers.

    These states will not – and I am stating this with metaphysical certainity – tolerate US-EU geopolitcal agenda against Iran.

    As I stated before, the Axis Powers escalated to the strategic Nowhere and now need to find their way back.

    You see, people will sign any tissue paper condemning this or that state for X or Y or Z to curry favor with US and EU.

    They will not be happy, however, when they are hurt at their pocket books with no relief in sight.

    And this is just the start.

    “God will turn their tricks against them.”

  122. Karl says:

    fyi,

    “The key thing that is driving higher gas prices is actually the world’s oil markets and uncertainty about what’s going on in Iran and the Middle East, and that’s adding a $20 or $30 premium to oil prices,”

    Should have been.

    “The key thing that is driving higher gas prices is actually our misscalculated policy on Iran, our sanctions, threats have driven the price up. For what one may ask, well the only democracy in the middle east and our friend Israel want to maintain the illegal annexation and military power in the region and Iran is this troublemaker that trying to stop that and since this should be the goal – to help Israel commit its crimes – world economy is going to be hurt, but its worth it beause its Israel. Israel first(er)!”

  123. BiBiJon says:

    Kathleen says:
    March 23, 2012 at 12:17 pm

    Rachel Maddow’s assertion entirely depends who she’s been talking to.

    From http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/03/23/us-iran-usa-nuclear-idUSBRE82M0G020120323

    The United States, European allies and even Israel generally agree on three things about Iran’s nuclear program: Tehran does not have a bomb, has not decided to build one, and is probably years away from having a deliverable nuclear warhead.

    Those conclusions, drawn from extensive interviews with current and former U.S. and European officials with access to intelligence on Iran, contrast starkly with the heated debate surrounding a possible Israeli strike on Tehran’s nuclear facilities.

  124. fyi says:

    All:

    Mr. Barack Obama said:

    “The key thing that is driving higher gas prices is actually the world’s oil markets and uncertainty about what’s going on in Iran and the Middle East, and that’s adding a $20 or $30 premium to oil prices,”

    in an interview with the American Automobile Association (AAA) published Friday.

  125. Kathleen says:

    Eric do you think Maddow was wrong to post Iran up on a map as having nuclear weapons? Go watch that clip

  126. Kathleen says:

    Eric A. Brill says:
    March 22, 2012 at 1:12 pm
    Kathleen,

    You quoted Rachel Maddow:

    “Let’s also add an outline around Iran because even though Iran says they neither have them or want them. There are international concerns that Iran is not only working on having nuclear weapons. But they may be close to that.”

    I’ll venture a guess that she spoke the second and third sentences as just one sentence. If so, all she’s saying is that some people (whoever it is that has these “international concerns”) think Iran is working on a bomb and that it may be close to having one. She’s not saying that what they believe is true — merely that that’s what they believe. That sounds entirely correct to me.

    Eric what Maddow had to say about the international communities concerns (based on questionable intelligence that El Baradei would not allow in the prvious IAEA report on Iran because the claims could not be verified) may be accurate. What is not accurate is that Rachel and her team posted Iran on a large yellow map of the world that says at the top “nations with nuclear weapons” This was irresponsible, inaccurate and dangerous. Fuels the dangerous, endlessly repeated and unsubstantiated claims about Iran. Maddow was terribly wrong to do this. Again not the first time Maddow has been irresponsible and inaccurate about Iran

  127. Karl says:

    In fact I think P5+1 is very overrated since it comes down to what US in the end thinks. Therefore talks should really be between US and Iran with a unbiased mediator.

  128. Karl says:

    fyi,

    True, not much to add to really.

    I agree with you that the constant misscalculations not only on Iran but on the greater middle east is much to blame and here is where sanctions come in because what the imposition of sanctions by the US really say is this: “We will punish you until you follow OUR demands”. They think they could use sanctions with their demands because they think their demands are legitimate and in their own interests while as you also said, they are not.

  129. Smith says:

    Anglo-Iranian oil company has come back on Iran. This time its name is Rio Tinto and the commodity they are stealing from Iranians is not oil but the fuel of future: Uranium. Since 1975, Iran has had a 15% in world’s largest open pit Uranium mine, the Rössing Uranium Mine in Namibia.

    But in these 37 years, Iran has not received even a single gram of Uranium from that mine while all the mine is being sucked out and shipped to Europe and United States for use in their nuclear power plants and nuclear bombs. Now with western sanctions they are trying to kick Iran out of the ownership of the mine too: http://www.newera.com.na/articles/43753/R-ssing-Uranium-nervous-about-Iran-sanctions

  130. fyi says:

    Karl says: March 23, 2012 at 10:45 am

    This is not about absence of trust and misunderstanding.

    It is about massive miscalculation over 30 years; Axis Powers failed to grasp that one of the oldest 4 existing Muslim state has become strategically autonomous.

    They have spent the last 33 years trying to limit or eliminate that strategic autonomy.

    But on the broader sanctions I agree with you.

    The sanctions will remian in place.

    Axis Powers cannot admit neither defeat nor mistake.

    Do yoy seriously think they can go and tell other states that they are sorry for bringing the world to the edge of disaster once in 2006 and once in 2012?

  131. fyi says:

    BiBiJon says: March 23, 2012 at 9:15 am

    Axis Powers also destroyed their “All options are on the table” negogiating position.

    That is now gone.

    Truly, God turned their tricks against them.

  132. Karl says:

    What could Iran get in return in talks? Frankly I cannot come up with one thing.

    One could argue that Iran getting access to IAEA member states knowledge/material and such, and that Iran could be allowed entrance in this ‘spehere’ to further develop its nuclear program. However since Iran is virtually self-sufficient on what they are doing (3,5 enrichment 20% enrichment – they control the nuclear program), I dont really see this offer being of importance for Iran if it were ever offered by the US.

    On sanctions, its very easy to impose sanctions but ending them is much harder, if not out of the questions, since the veiled intention by the US/Israel are regime change. If any sanctions would be to be reset, it would only be sanctions that doesnt really matter for Iran anyways, just symbolic.

    US/Israel could make clear that they are not seeking regime change is not possible neither and even if such offer were to be offered by the US, Iran would rightly not trust them.

    I think one step forward is to build trust for each other, that is free talks openly, Iran say what kind of problems they see with American/Israel policy and US say what they think are the problems Iran pose to them. And then you try to find a compromise, meet half ways. Its very simple.

    Some problems is that the imposed sanctions making such path to take, hard if not impossible.
    Sanctions imposed on Iran regarding the nuclear issue is nowhere to be lifted, same goes for sanctions on the human rights. US arent just going to backtrack on these issues. Every time US or any other part impose sanctions, they always escalate the conflict by moving the goalposts further and further away and changing the facts on the ground to their benefit.

    What US and Iran should be doing is to restart their relationsship on a blank sheet, its of course easier said than done but the threats, sanctions, hostility must end from the US/Israel if they are sincere about diplomacy and peace.

  133. Rd. says:

    This ought to pour cold water on all the war rethoric on Syria and Iran for some time..

    Turkey under fire for failed policy on Syria

    “Turkey had better revise its policy toward its southern neighbor, ahead of the second gathering of the Friends of Syria group on April 1 in Istanbul, by placing diplomatic efforts in front of all other options,” wrote Serkan Demirtas in the Hurriyet Daily News.

    ;http://english.al-akhbar.com/content/turkey-under-fire-failed-policy-syria

    Turning Point on the Syrian Front:
    Dealmaking in Search of a Face-Saving Exit
    by Sharmine Narwani

    http://mrzine.monthlyreview.org/2012/narwani220312.html

  134. BiBiJon says:

    Eric A. Brill says:
    March 23, 2012 at 8:25 am

    “Almost any deal with Iran — and certainly any deal that Iran would consider acceptable — would be political suicide for any US candidate seeking higher office (or seeking to hold onto higher office).”

    I’d like to register a disagreement here. Contemporary history is chock-full of bold peace initiatives that have allowed an incumbent hang on to the Oval office. Nixon managed to after his China policy, Clinton managed to after his N. Korea policy, etc.

    Obama’s own 2009 election shows resolving conflicts peacefully, and dialoging with demonized adversaries is not automatically unattractive to the electorate, even guy with Hussein as a middle name.

    I think Eric needs to elaborate a bit more before I’m convinced.

  135. BiBiJon says:

    “Final Status” must be the last agenda item
    =========================================

    Karl @ March 23, 2012 at 5:56 am
    Eric @ March 22, 2012 at 4:22 pm
    James @ various times

    P5+1 negotiations slated for April 13th can come a cropper in minutes if it starts to discuss the ‘final status’.

    I have a strong hunch that Russia & China and to a lesser but still significant degree, Germany, do not want to see tensions persist at this level. The only avenue open to them is to insist that some variation of Russia’s “step-by-step” plan become the modality and drive the agenda.

    Russia and China will be pleading with/threatening Iran to put her best foot forward, recognizing it may require spending substantial domestic political capital. In return they may offer Iran political support for future steps, and a promise that U.S. will not get away with blaming Iran if an initial deal fails.

    All sides to this saga have their own cost/benefit analysis.

    For Iran, the tensions have some quantifiable benefits: high oil prices. The intangibles for Iran are the kudos of defying ‘arrogant powers’, and the higher probability of creating disunity among P5+1 with ongoing/increasing tensions, as opposed to the more probable unity that would ensue from an overly relaxed atmosphere. For instance, if Iran’s ‘best foot forward’ winds up exporting all enriched material, and slowing down/suspending further enrichment would create such a convivial atmosphere among the P5+1 that the rest of the negotiations will be conducted with much more unity, and much less willingness to compromise. In short Iran must strive to keep a respectable quotient of tensions in place all the time.

    The United States has put so much into play that backing down will not come naturally. Obama himself referred to US being neck-deep in the confrontation policy. Just one measure of how deep are the threats issued to India to toe the line. Forget about an outstretched hand, the fist is clenched and cocked, and the POTUS would like all to know he is “not bluffing”; he shall hit. Counter-intuitively, it is the US that is most interested in an outcome that avoids the diplomatic/economic/military disasters her body language telegraphs are imminent, but every synapse in her brain cautions against.

    Russia has way too much to benefit from a carefully managed but ongoing tensions between US and Iran. So long as it does not descend into all out war, what is there not to like? Until that is, US declared economic war, and readiness/preparation for actual war, and Iran, unbowed, said ‘bring it on!’ It is this escalation that moved Russia to come up with a step-by-step plan as a bid to put the tensions back into the ‘manageable’ track.

    China and Germany have a distinctly unRussian motivations. They gain absolutely nothing by continuing tensions, let alone war.

    Britain and France are too busy competing with one another to be US’ super-special partner for their policies/motivations to require independent exploration.

    Based on above suppositions, and on balance, I think the odds are better than even that a paradigm-shifting change in atmosphere can be expected: de-escalation, and ultimate resolution.

  136. fyi,

    Thanks for your thoughtful response of March 22 at 4:30 pm. I’ve saved it and intend to reply, but I may take a break from Sassan Land for a while.

  137. Neo says:

    Dear ‘Exposer’,

    The best thing to do with the devil is to ignore him.

  138. Karl,

    Your points are well put. I nevertheless think talks in April (and maybe through June, as you say) will be advisable (and are almost certainly going to happen, in any case, whether advisable or not) as long as expectations and efforts stick to what the intended purpose of the talks is: to lay the groundwork for more substantive talks later. I acknowledge that not everyone agrees their intended purpose is limited to that, but that was initially their intended purpose, and it would be risky (especially for Iran) to expect or even hope that they’ll yield an actual agreement. As you point out, if no agreement is reached, the US will inevitably blame Iran, and those pressing for war will argue, once again, that “diplomacy doesn’t work.”

    Some have argued that the US will be more likely to strike a deal before the November election, because the American people are tired of arguing with Iran. As I’ve made clear, I think just the opposite. Almost any deal with Iran — and certainly any deal that Iran would consider acceptable — would be political suicide for any US candidate seeking higher office (or seeking to hold onto higher office).

  139. Karl says:

    Eric Brill March 22, 2012 at 4:22 pm,

    About talks I think the US only accepted talks because that will atleast do two things.

    1. Since Israel bellicose statements the last months about threats of attacking Iran have worried not only the US but the world in general I think one reason for having fals is to block any attack on Iran for the moment by Israel, because Israel wouldnt attack during talks.

    2. Another reason is the price of oil that have soaring, to have talks is a way to ease the situation and escalation and therefore lower the oil price. When the month of July comes and the EU ban the oil price will start the oil price will go up, so with talks US are trying to keep the price down as much as possible before the EU block.

    US, at the table, will probably provide the same old demands to Iran, when Iran refuse, then they will say that Iran is defiant and wouldnt accept this “great deal” the talks will end and the conflict would go on worse and worse. Also there is something weird with having talks because if the talks are going to be within a period of 3 months (april-may-june), when the talks are finished, well then Iran would get its penalty (EU ban in July). Unless US/EU would cancel EU block which is more than unlikely, so why talks whats in it for Iran?

  140. ToivoS says:

    Dear ExposingWarmongeringNeoConStooges

    I was not trying to say you are irrational. But you have become a foil for the idiot Sasson. Sort of ‘don’t feed the trolls’ sort of thing. If Sasson is going to spam the site there might not be anything we can do about it. The most we can do is ignore him. It might overly optimistic that that will be sufficient to see him go away.

  141. Pirouz says:

    I said this a few posts before: the site requires comment moderation.

    Sassan and his nemesis should be free to post here at RFI but they and everyone else must follow the comment guidelines, to the letter.

    I recommend RFI follow the example of Syria Comment, which has a comment count similar to RFI, where passions have definitely come into play since the war, and they have instituted multiple assigned moderators.

    There should be no more spamming of entire articles, no use of long defamatory names and no violations of the comment guidelines.

  142. Dan Cooper says:

    A Third War: The Threat of War With Iran, Hammer Forum

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cbVbIx7ZRFY&feature=related

  143. Castellio says:

    I don’t intend to read the threads or post here anymore, at least not for a good while. I understand that is buckling in to Sassan, but so be it. I have moved my intentions and attentions elsewhere.

    My last post was to give RSH the name of a book that I thought very relevant to the discussion of the American intentions in Iran. I admire the information he has consistently worked to present. There are others, too, who have ‘worked’ to share insights and to change my perspective, and have been willing to change their own perspectives, all through dialogue and reaching for new information. I genuinely thank those among you.

    I have no grudge against Sassan’s worthy shadow. He actually does present information, as best he can, to counter the repetition and bad faith of Sassan’s claims.

    Sassan’s clear desire is to disrupt the site. He is not interested in dialogue, but disruption. He has proven it numerous times, and is given the bye. The Leveretts have a responsibility to those who post on the site, and they have not met it.

  144. Dan Cooper says:

    I would put the blame entirely on Sassan.

    It is Sassan who has deliberately hijacked this forum to glorify Israel and to demonise the Islamic republic.

    If there was no Sassan, there would not have been a “ExposingWarmongeringNeoConStooges”.

  145. Rehmat says:

    An Israeli minister gloated recently that Israeli propaganda of Iran’s nuclear program being ‘existential threat’ has diverted world’s attention from Israel-Palestinian conflict. He was proven right during Obama-Bibi White House meeting on March 5, when both men only talked about Iran and Obama did not raise the illegal Jewish settlement as he did during his last year meeting with Benji Netanyahu.

    http://rehmat1.wordpress.com/2012/03/23/irans-nuclear-hoax-is-good-for-us-and-israel/

  146. ToivoS,

    As you know, I’m not usually in favor of censorship. But I have to say I agree with you about banning these two posters. It has gotten out of hand.

  147. ToivoS says:

    Race for Iran has many sensible discussions on US policy towards Iran. There are a number of intelligent commentators that respond to the initial posts with people who have relevant knowledge about what is going on inside Iran.

    Unfortunately, each thread seems to become dominated by “Sasson” and his nemesis “ExposingWarmongeringExposingWarmongering” that make it almost impossible to inject a note of rationality. I think this site would be greatly improved if both were simply banned. I realize this is not a simple request because such moderation requires someone to spend precious time sorting out the nonsense.

    However you sort out this problem, I remain in great respect for the Leveretts in their efforts influence US policy towards a rational Iranian US policy.

  148. Dan Cooper says:

    Iran is a Superpower! 3/3 ایران قدرت بزرگ منطقه

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Smede6Rki1U

  149. Dan Cooper says:

    Iran is a Superpower! 2/3 ایران قدرت بزرگ منطقه

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sWFLVK6mJzs&feature=related

  150. Dan Cooper says:

    Iran is a Superpower! 1/3 ایران قدرت بزرگ منطقه

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y3wYJAPheF8&feature=related

  151. Karl says:

    Details of Talks with IAEA Belie Charge Iran Refused Cooperation
    http://www.campaigniran.org/casmii/index.php?q=node/12372

  152. James Canning says:

    “IAEA chief accused of pro-western bias over Iran”, by Julian Borger:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/mar/22/nuclear-watchdog-iran-iaea

  153. James Canning says:

    Sassan,

    Do you think Israel should GET OUT OF THE WEST BANK? Out of the Golan Heights too?

  154. James Canning says:

    Karl,

    The US very easily overthrew Saddam Hussein in a matter of weeks. But then the idiot neocons (and the moron in the White House) dissolved the Iraqi army and security services, producting extended civil war – - as had been predicted by Iran and Saudi Arabia. And France.

  155. James Canning says:

    Karl,

    Or, is “military nuclear capability” something different from actually having nukes? In the mind of Ehud Barak, of course.

  156. James Canning says:

    Karl,

    Isn’t is simply the case that Ehud Barak is lying when he says Iran wants nukes?

  157. ExposingWarmongeringNeoConStooges says:

    Warmongering Stooge says:
    March 22, 2012 at 6:45 pm

    So when will you support appointing a human rights investigator for Saudi Arabia and Bahrain you dishonest blood thirsty warmonger.

  158. Sassan says:

    UN gives Iran human rights investigator second year
    March 22, 2012 10:00 PM
    By Stephanie Nebehay
    Reuters

    GENEVA: The United Nations renewed the mandate of its human rights investigator for Iran on Thursday, but Russia and China voted against the resolution that expressed “serious concerns” about a country said to have the highest per capita execution rate in the world.

    As Western nations tighten sanctions on Iran over its nuclear programme, Thursday’s vote at the U.N. Human Rights Council added to the pressure by extending the one-year term of the investigator who has been denied entry by Tehran.

    Just as they opposed the economically crushing U.S. and EU sanctions on Iran and twice vetoed Security Council resolutions against Syria, Russia and China were among the five countries that voted against the human rights resolution that was backed by 22 countries with 20 abstentions.

    The vote means that former Maldives Foreign Minister Ahmed Shaheed retains for another year the role of looking into human rights in the Islamic Republic.

    After his first year in the job he issued a report earlier this month showing a rapidly increasing rate of executions in Iran, with some 670 people put to death last year, most of them for drug crimes that do not merit punishment under international law and more than 20 for offences against Islam.

    According to rights group Amnesty International, only China, with a much bigger population, executes more people.

    Shaheed also voiced concern about the abuse of minorities and the persecution of homosexuals and labour unions.

    The delegate for Sweden, which sponsored the resolution, urged Tehran to work with the investigator, an unlikely prospect as Iran says his appointment was merely part of the West’s manoeuvres against it.

    “The deteriorating situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran continues to be of great concern. We regret that the special rapporteur, Dr. Shaheed, has not been given access to the country,” Sweden’s diplomat, Irina Schoulgin Nyoni, told the meeting.

    “We strongly encourage the Iranian authorities to engage in dialogue and cooperation with this important mechanism of the Human Rights Council,” she added.

    Sayed Mohammad Reza Sajjadi, Iran’s ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva, said human rights were being used as a pretext to advance the political interests of specific states.

    Read more: http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Middle-East/2012/Mar-22/167610-un-gives-iran-human-rights-investigator-second-year.ashx#ixzz1pt950WRi

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  160. Karl says:

    Another absurd comment by ehud barak.

    Israel says threat of strike on Iran is working

    http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2012/03/22/israel-says-threat-of-strike-on-iran-is-working/

    ““We are seeing with our own eyes the reason why Iran, which really wants to achieve a military nuclear capability, is not taking some of the steps defined by the IAEA as breaking the rules, why it is not breaking out,” he told public radio, referring to the UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency.”

    Ok, so now ehud barak say that Iran doesnt even have the capability, apparently Iran doesnt even break any obvious rules according to ehud barak.
    Taking in regard what Israel lately have said + clapper + panetta we get this

    1. Iran does not have a nuclear weapons capability nor is there any proof they are working to get this.
    2. Iran does not a have nuclear weapons program nor is there any proof they are working to get this weapons.
    3. Iran is not breaching its obligations.

  161. ExposingWarmongeringNeoConStooges says:

    Karl says:
    March 22, 2012 at 6:30 pm

    Yes, that article exposes the hypocrisy of most of the Western governments involved as well as the Western government supporting MSM.

  162. ExposingWarmongeringNeoConStooges says:

    Sassan says:
    March 22, 2012 at 6:20 pm

    By the way since you are here I would advise looking around online and finding a portrait for your profile that more closely resembles a normal human being. The one you are currently using is not convincing.

  163. ExposingWarmongeringNeoConStooges says:

    Zionist Stooge says:
    March 22, 2012 at 6:20 pm

    Proving that Christopher Hitchens is a warmongering neo con Stooge.

    http://coreyrobin.com/2011/12/16/christopher-hitchens-the-most-provincial-spirit-of-all/

  164. Karl says:

    Israel push more threats against Iran.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/middle_east/israeli-defense-minister-says-israel-and-us-disagree-on-timetable-for-effective-iran-action/2012/03/22/gIQArjFBTS_story.html

    What makes Israel think its ok to threat states with force (its against the UN charter and any attack would be ‘crime against peace’ something ironically Nazi Germany was waging)?
    Just note how ehud barak casually and not shameful at all talk openly about starting a war. I mean, thats bizarre, thats not healthy. Their obvious hatred for international law is a threat to the whole world. Just imagine if it were North Korea or Iran who used such threats?

    QUOTE>

    “In a separate interview with German television, Barak said that 2012 is a “highly important” year for a possible strike and speculated that the timeframe for a “surgical intervention” — a precision hit on Iranian targets — is not a matter of weeks, but it is not a matter of years either.”

    <END QUOTE

    Also note how ehud barak think it will be over within weeks…no wonder Israel level warmongering threats with such absurd fantasy scenarios. US also thought they could manage Iraq 'within weeks', ended up with 10 year occupation. Stop this hubris!

  165. Sassan says:

    Christopher Hitchens – The Indifference of Heaven : http://youtu.be/3vhoP2YPbyI

  166. Karl says:

    James,

    Indeed (about the Eban comment) clearly shows what a ‘unbiased’ mediator US are playing (not), shes already preoccupied with myths, predjudice.

    I forgot another statement by Clinton, the myth that Israel offered such a grand bargain in the Oslo peace process. What Barak offered was of course not a palestinian/israeli peace based on the 1967 borders (that is what international law, UN resolutions ‘demand’) something Finkelstein and others have showed.

    http://www.zcommunications.org/distorting-camp-david-by-norman-finkelstein

    Even Shlomo Ben Ami, part of the israelis at Camp David said this:

    “Camp David was not the missed opportunity for the Palestinians, and if I were a Palestinian I would have rejected Camp David, as well. ”

    NOW Clinton even admit that Israel probably will never go beyond that so called grand bargain. So why have talks unless it would be based on international law?

    “MRS CLINTON: Well, it was. And again, I came at it from my own experience. We had two tragic missed opportunities in the 90s—the assassin of Rabin knew exactly what he was doing, and then the Camp David Accords, when [Ehud] Barak laid on the table the most far-reaching Israeli settlement offer that I think is, even today, imaginable. That was rejected by [Yasser] Arafat who then, some months after my husband left office, called him and said I’m ready to take the deal now.”

  167. James Canning says:

    “Iran Official Offers Nuclear Grand Bargain”, by Steve Hynd (March 18th):

    http://www.uruknet.info/?new=86636

  168. James Canning says:

    Eric,

    Diplomats associated with the P5+1 side (in talks with Iran) say Iran must give up enriching to 20 percent. Iran obviously should do so, provided it is allowed to buy the TRR fuel from “the West”.

  169. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Ataturk expelled Cappadocian Christians from central Anatolia, who were not “Greek” but were sent to the mountains of Crete where apparently the locals still regard them as “Turks”. William Dalrymple had interesting comments on this fact in the Financial Times recently.

  170. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    US & EU policy is to support territorial integrity of Russia, China, India, Iran, Iraq, Turkey, etc etc etc etc.

    Woodrow Wilson had a “bee in his bonnet” about monarchy, and this contributed to his determination to allow destruction of Austro-Hungarian Empire.

    The Ottoman Empire recklessly forced war on Britain, France and Russia and thereby sealed it own doom.

    France is composed of a number of what were indedepndent states centuries ago, with strong customs, language etc. Unitary state forged over long period of time.

  171. James Canning says:

    Karl,

    The ISRAEL LOBBY promotes the MEK terrorists on Capitol Hill. Small wonder they would party in the US Congress.

  172. James Canning says:

    Reza,

    The Queen is head of the Church of England while she is in England, but when she is in Scotland, she is head of the Church of Scotland, which is Presbyterian rather than Anglican.

  173. James Canning says:

    Karl,

    Hillary Clinton comes acrosss as a stooge of the Israel-firster crowd. Which of course is true.

  174. James Canning says:

    Karl,

    How typical that Hillary Clinton would repeat that grossly untrue comment by Abba Eben.

    But she knows the rich Jews she is courting for campaing funds do not want to heare that Israel bungled its opportunity to take Saudi peace plan when offered it in 2002. The moron was occupying the White House at that time.

  175. Karl says:

    Hillary Clinton interview in the Economist.

    http://www.economist.com/blogs/lexington/2012/03/foreign-policy

    Some things that stand out:

    She use xenophobic and flawed myth by saying:

    “MRS CLINTON: But that’s because everybody is preoccupied. Abba Eban was absolutely right, right? “They never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity.” ”

    Shes trying to portray the uprsings in the arab world as not directed towards Israel nor America. While true atleast prima facie, the leaders that have fallen have all been supported by the US, the people thus rejected the policy US have driven for decades.

    “MRS CLINTON: I would never understate the importance of the issue to the people of the Arab world. But if you go back and you look at the demonstrations in Tunis, in Tripoli, in Tahrir Square, you don’t see any posters about that. You don’t see even any anti-Israeli, anti-American posters, because the overwhelming need was to free themselves.”

    Clinton say without any proof that Hizbollah is running wild in Latin America, that Iran is behind the Saudi/carseller-plot.

    “It used to be fair to say that [although we cared] about what went on in other parts of the world, we didn’t have to be as focused on nearly every part as we are now. I mean, when the Iranians are trying to kill the Saudi ambassador using what they think of as a drug runner, and you know Hizbullah has operatives all throughout Latin America, all throughout West Africa,”

    And now she reject a Hamas/Fatah deal, something the world have pushed palestinians to do for decades. What a fraud she is.

    “And then the whole reconciliation issue with Hamas came up and people aren’t sure what that means. So there are still lots of issues to be sorted out. But we remain absolutely committed to this.”

  176. Reza Esfandiari says:

    Kooshy,

    Be aware that in the United Kingdom there is an established religion. The head of state is also the “defender of the faith” who reigns by divine right. The national anthem is “God save the Queen.” Clerics sit in the unelected Upper House. Many pubic schools, not just private schools, are run by churches. Even though religion is less important in the U.K than in America, there are many theocratic aspects about the political system.

    Reza

  177. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    Link to Shashan’s page on the opposing team’s website…I thought of directly linking a picture of you for our fellow bloggers in this site, but you were just too damn ugly…

    http://atheistuniverse.net/profile/SassanKDarian?xg_source=profiles_memberList

  178. Smith says:

    Here is an article about US sanctions that are actually hurting Iranian internet activists: http://news.cnet.com/8301-31921_3-57402034-281/how-u.s-sanctions-hurt-iranian-internet-activists/

  179. kooshy says:

    Eric A. Brill says:
    March 22, 2012 at 4:30 pm

    I recognize there are different views among individuals, and in different parts of the world, on the wisdom of mixing religion and government. As you probably know, the “Western” view is that they don’t mix very well, and I agree strongly with that view.

    Eric- in this regard I don’t think that you can treat all the western nations with a same strong argument as you made, I believe this is very objective, based on socio cultural mosaic of each country, like it’s very difficult for a European politician to talk of god, never less his or her religion, which the same is quite necessary for a US politician although the state claims that her politics is detached of any religion.

  180. Karl says:

    Another misstep.

    Terrorist group’s supporters throw party in U.S. Congress
    http://thecable.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2012/03/22/terrorist_group_s_supporters_throw_party_in_us_congress

    We are talking about grown men, top politicians! Whats wrong with these people? And US wonder why Iran dont trust the US?

    Its like if Iran would have invited Al-Qaeda to throw a party in Majlis.

  181. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    Funniest quote from Shashan:
    “In fact I will move to Iran once liberated”

    Kos-khol, the whole point is that those who liberated Iran from the US-Israeli backed Shah and the US-Israeli backed Saddam, are ruling Iran and have earned the right to do so- unlike losers like you. Until you make a “personal” commitment to liberating Iran, you’re just talking out of your ass.

    And when you do make that commitment, I’ll be waiting here to “greet” you…

    Most pathetic quote “…vast majority of Iranians are not religious…”
    Earth to Shashan…anyway I’m praying to God for your mental health which is ironic considering you don’t believe in Him. Like I said, don’t waste your life fighting Shiaism in Iran. Just ask anyone who unlike you has actually lived in Iran… in Iran, the Mullah always wins. Always.

  182. fyi says:

    Eric A. Brill says: March 22, 2012 at 4:30 pm

    The Western model is based on the conclusion of centuries of blooshed and ethnic cleansing in Europe.

    During that process, the current configuration of European states – based on ethno-linguistic identity and destruction of the other communities – emerged.

    During and after WWII, the victors of that war ethnically cleansed many European states of their ethnic minorities.

    During World War I and afterwards, multi-ethnic and cosmopolitan states were destroyed by the victors: Austro-Hungarian Empire, the Ottoman Empire comes to mind.

    According to Western model, Iran, Afghansitan, Pakisan, India, Burma, Thailand, Russia, and China must be broken up; they cannot exist.

    In Iran, you have significant ethno-linguistic minorities that are part of the same state – do they have the right to remain in that state by virtue of religious commonality?

    Specifically, do Azeri Kurds, whose culture is more similar to the Central Asian Turkic peoples, have a right to remain in Iran?

    Or should Azeris, Kurds, Arabs, Baluchis, Bakhtiaris be expelled from Iran in order to create a Puer Persian state that conforms to Western Models?

    The hero of Western people, the late Ataturk, expelled millions of Pontic people from their ancestral lands by the Black Sea; where they have lived for more than 2500 years.

    Needless to say, he was trying to create his Pure Turkic state based on European models.

    I find Western people talk a good talk when what is at stake is the destruction of other states – with the attendant death and destruction – but when it comes to themselves, they never will let that happen.

    I am waiting for Spain to grant independence to Cataloonia, the Basque Country – I am waiting for Free Quebc, for Free Wales, for Tyrol to rejoin Austria etc.

    West is not normative.

  183. fyi writes:

    “The desire of an individual for complete freedom of conscious, and absolute freedom of association and organization, against Shia religion, is a form of sedition in the Iranian context.”

    I recognize there are different views among individuals, and in different parts of the world, on the wisdom of mixing religion and government. As you probably know, the “Western” view is that they don’t mix very well, and I agree strongly with that view. You’ve made clear that your view is exactly the opposite, and I credit you for making that crystal clear. We’ll just have to agree to disagree on this.

  184. BiBi Jon and James,

    BiBi Jon writes:

    “Can structuring the talks around low hanging fruits be a a way of injecting some purpose to continuing the talks into June and beyond. If not why not?”

    To answer James’ question first, I certainly don’t think negotiations will be pointless — quite the contrary. The first round of talks are intended to be only preliminary “framing” talks, however — just to lay out an agreed scope and process for later talks that will (one hopes) turn to more substantive matters. That’s typical, and I hope and expect those talks will be productive if we keep that limited purpose in mind.

    My only point is that I don’t think it’s wise to expect any actual agreement to emerge from the April talks. That would be true even if they weren’t intended to be merely preliminary, but it’s especially likely because we’re in an election year.

    Nonetheless, if Iran considers it important and feasible for this first round of talks to yield an actual agreement on something or other (and I’ll emphasize that I don’t know that Iran does think this — frankly, I doubt it does), the “20% uranium” issue is probably the best approach to reach such an agreement. It’s the “low hanging fruit,” if you will. I suppose it can’t hurt to try but, if I were Iran, I wouldn’t try very hard unless the US shows a great deal more receptivity than I anticipate the US will show. Absent that (unlikely) US receptivity, any effort to reach a narrow deal on the 20% uranium would probably fall short, and Iran might suffer for having made the unsuccessful effort if the US blames Iran for the parties’ failure to reach a 20% uranium deal. (What do you suppose the odds are that the US would blame Iran in those circumstances?)

    I just can’t imagine that, during this first round of talks, either side will be even close to ready to yield on the broader enrichment issue (i.e. including enrichment to 3-5%, not just 20%), and I have a strong hunch that the US will not agree to any deal on the 20% uranium without insisting that that broader enrichment issue be resolved at the same time. Nor will the US agree to ease any sanctions until such a broader deal has been reached.

    If that’s so, I can’t foresee any deal on the 20% uranium that would be acceptable to Iran. What form could such a deal take, after all — what could the US offer that would be sufficient? Can you imagine what the Iranian people would say if Iran’s negotiators were to come back and report: “We’ve struck a brilliant deal with the US. We’ve agreed to stop refining uranium to 20% and they’ve agreed to sell it to us. They still insist we’re not allowed to enrich to 3-5%, or to any other percentage, and they refuse to ease any of the sanctions.” Wouldn’t the Iranian people probably respond: “Why would you agree to such a deal? You’ve been telling us we can make this stuff ourselves, without any help from the West. Now you’ve given up that right to do so in exchange for a promise from the West to do it for us — and nothing else? No recognition of our right to enrich fuel for our nuclear energy reactors? No easing of the sanctions? Is that a step forward?”

    Nor would such a narrow deal be easy for the US to sell to its public, who would probably respond to Obama: “Iran starts making 20% uranium, and your response is “Please, please, please stop making that 20% uranium. We’ll make it for you, we promise — all you can possibly want. Just please, please, please stop making it yourself.’ Get a backbone, Barack.”

    In short, I don’t foresee anything remotely approaching a deal emerging from the April talks, for two reasons: (1) that’s not what the talks are intended for; and (2) the parties are nowhere close to ready to agree on several broader issues — notably, Iran’s enrichment rights, and the sanctions — that would need to be resolved before a deal could be reached even on the 20% uranium issue that would be attractive to either side.

  185. ExposingWarmongeringNeoConStooges says:

    Here is an article about Iran’s rapidly increasing non oil exports. They exceeded $45 Billion last year (up 28% from the previous year) and the government is planning to increase that to $70 Billion this year. Yet another obvious indication that the sanctions have failed.

    http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.php?nn=9012152487

  186. fyi says:

    Eric A. Brill says: March 22, 2012 at 1:42 pm

    The scenario you have outline already has taken place 3 times:

    With Babais, then with Bahais, and then with MKO.

    Each case has been considered one of sedition and suppressed.

    You have to understand that Iran cannot exist without Shia Islam – that is what keeps that country together.

    The desire of an individual for complete freedom of conscious, and absolute freedom of association and organization, against Shia religion, is a form of sedition in the Iranian context.

    The State will cease to exist.

  187. kooshy says:

    Not a good news for turkey’s stupid Syrian policy

    Kurd militants threaten Turkey if it enters Syria

    Turkish Kurd militants threatened on Thursday to turn all Kurdish populated areas into a “war zone” if Turkish troops entered Syria, a sign the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) which has allies in Syria may be taking sides in the conflict there.

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/03/22/us-syria-turkey-kurds-idUSBRE82L0UH20120322

  188. BiBiJon says:

    Eric,

    James Canning, after a million tries, has finally asked his question on topic.

    “Are you claiming Larijani has not in effect offered for Iran to cease production of 20% U?”

    Can structuring the talks around low hanging fruits be a a way of injecting some purpose to continuing the talks into June and beyond. If not why not?

  189. Liz says:

    James Canning – Iran may offer to suspend 20% enrichment in talks but only if they get something in they want in return. You seems to belive that Iran will end 20% enrichment as a precondition or something.

  190. James Canning says:

    Eric,

    I did not take your comment that BibiJon just referred to, as indicating you think negotiations are pointless.

  191. James Canning says:

    BiBiJon,

    Are you claiming Larijani has not in effect offered for Iran to cease production of 20% U?

    Do you think Larijani’s offer of Marcch 15th was sensible?

  192. James Canning says:

    “Barak: Israel, US Disagree on Iran Timetable”, March 22nd:

    http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News?News.aspx/154045

    Quote: “Larijani…has signaled Iran may be willing to halt its uranium enrichment program.”

    As to enriching to 20 percent, cleary this is on offer.

  193. BiBiJon says:

    Eric A. Brill says:
    March 22, 2012 at 1:44 pm

    Thanks. I take that as there is no way to hide the poinlessness of ‘negotiations’.

    So, then couple follow-ups come to mind.

    Was Obama’s “shrinking window”, apparently a tad longer than “one or two weeks”, and “one or two months” referring to a time frame for surrender to be acceptable?

    What will be Obama’s next move (unless he outsources the next move to Netanyahu) after April 18th?

  194. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Off-topic (like Sassan and everyone engaging with him aren’t) but relevant…

    Obama’s Creepy Executive Order: Permanent War Economy
    http://www.progressive.org/permanent_war_economy.html

    If you don’t believe Obama has a dictator’s mind, read this stuff. He basically declares he owns America and everything in it.

  195. James Canning says:

    R S Hack,

    And the two foreign ministers are quite right, that infighting in Iran helped wreck the nuclear exchange. But at that time, there was too much acceptance by the White House of Israeli demands Iran cease all enrichment.

  196. James Canning says:

    R S Hack,

    Very sensible comments by the foreign ministers of Sweden and Finland.

    The moron in the White House in 2003 lacked a capacity to think strategically. And he was controlled by warmongering neocons.

  197. James Canning says:

    R S Hack,

    As a practical matter, the greatest danger to Israel from a nuclear attack likely would be something coming out of Pakistan, and in a non-governmental way. Nuclear-armed submariness do nothing to counter that sort of threat.

  198. Richard Steven Hack says:

    The foreign ministers of Sweden and Finland on diplomacy vs war.

    The Only Option on Iran
    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/21/opinion/the-only-option-on-iran.html?_r=2&scp=1&sq=iran&st=Search

    Quotes

    Serious analytical reports say that Iran had a nuclear weapons program until the end of 2003. We should not forget that these were years when it was widely assumed that Saddam Hussein, who had launched a devastating war against Iran, also had such a program. The years since then have been a period of hardened positions and strengthened sanctions, but also of missed diplomatic opportunities.

    There is little doubt that there was an open Iranian attitude in 2003 and in the immediate period thereafter, but U.S. policy at the time barred exploration of the possibilities. There is little doubt that infighting in Iran after the 2009 election blocked its acceptance of a generous and constructive offer related to its research reactor. And there is, in our opinion, little doubt that we would be in a better position now had we further explored the diplomatic opening made by Turkey and Brazil in the spring of 2010.

    End Quotes

  199. James Canning says:

    R S Hack,

    What conceivable reason would cause Israel to launch a first-strike nuclear attack on any country?

  200. James Canning says:

    Pirouz,

    Iran quite sensibly sought another round of negotiations now, and not after the November elections in the US. I agree with you on this.

  201. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Israel thanks Germany’s Merkel for sixth Dolphin submarine
    http://en.trend.az/regions/met/israel/2005928.html

    I predict the day will come when Germany REALLY regrets selling Israeli advanced subs that can launch nuclear cruise missiles…

    Israel wants these subs so they can threaten countries OTHER than the Arab countries…

  202. James Canning says:

    Larijani in March 13th interview: “For the nuclear reactor in Tehran. . . obviously we should be able to buy 20 percent enriched [uranium].” Obviously indeed. So who in the White House is so stupid as to be unable to grasp this simple fact? Everyone in the place?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cwipRsIK1O0

  203. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Preparing Israel for War
    Recent Raids on Gaza were not Just About Allocating More Money to Defense – They were Also About war With Iran.
    http://www.counterpunch.org/2012/03/22/preparing-israel-for-war/

  204. Pirouz says:

    I think it was Afraisiabi who pointed out it might be a better idea for the Iranians to wait for talks to take place after the November election, as a reelected president would have a better position with which to negotiate and compromise.

    I don’t think so. I think the majority of Americans would welcome an easing of tensions with the Islamic Republic. And it would help Obama’s reelection chances.

    For me, it would be yet another fingers-crossed moment that relations between the two countries will improve.

  205. BiBi Jon asks:

    “I have a question. How would the April talks be structured that it will manage to hide the incompatible non-negotiable positions of the two sides long enough for the talks not be abandoned by June?”

    You’re making it tough, BiBi Jon. I understand the talks are to begin April 13. If you’ll be kind enough to rephrase your question by changing “June” to, say, April 18, I can probably think of an answer. But “June” will require more imagination than I can muster at the moment.

  206. fyi writes:

    “Any Muslim can decide for himself or herself what Islam is. Or what Muslim response to this or that situation ought to be.”

    What if an Iranian Muslim decides for himself that “what Islam is” corresponds almost exactly to what Sunni Muslims believe, and accordingly rejects conflicting beliefs held by Shia Muslims? What if he even incorporates some core beliefs of the Bahai faith into his personal view of Islam, beliefs that you feel strongly are entirely incompatible with “what Islam is”? What if this Iranian Muslim’s new view of “what Islam is” includes a duty to persuade others that one’s views are correct, that he persuades thousands of other Iranian Muslims, and they start holding weekly services all over Iran to practice his new version of “what Islam is?”

    Would the Iranian government allow this to happen? If not, do you think it should?

  207. BiBiJon says:

    Eric,

    “Nevertheless, I harbor no illusions that the US will seriously consider any deal that acknowledges Iran’s enrichment rights at all – during the April talks, or at any other time prior to the November election.”

    I have a question.

    How would the April talks be structured that it will manage to hide the incompatible non-negotiable positions of the two sides long enough for the talks not be abandoned by June?

  208. James,

    I agree. Without intending to criticize his ability to come up with independent ideas, I’ll mention that Roger Cohen has always struck me as a good barometer of opinion on the liberal Washington cocktail-party circuit. His suggestion that the US will need to accept Iranian enrichment as part of a deal with Iran indicates that the subject is being broached in conversations on that circuit, and not just in whispered tones. This suggests to me, in turn, that we probably will soon see similar statements in articles penned by other writers.

    In any case, it’s an encouraging departure from the current “no enrichment” official position of the US government — though it’s worth noting that even that “no enrichment” position itself is a recent welcome departure from the US government’s previous position: “we won’t even talk to you unless you first stop enriching.”

  209. kooshy says:

    fyi says:
    March 22, 2012 at 11:20 am

    Very well put, I can add without the Shih ejthad doctrine anyone and everyone can claim to be the authority of the religion (Omaiehs, Abbasi,Otoman etc.), and anyone can claim one is not a true Muslim, like the Sunni’s claim against the Shih but the reverse is not possible. It’s was because of the Shih doctrine of religious authority that a unified Iran once again became possible since the Sfavids Iranian dynasty (Similar to Byzantine). So an Iran without Shih Islam can be easily divided, every well informed Iranian is aware of this fact, it was due to the unity only possible by authority of a Shih Marja that a unified revolution for independence in 1979 become possible. Same was true back in revolution of 1906 or any recent history political undertaking since the tobacco protest of 1890.

  210. Kathleen,

    You quoted Rachel Maddow:

    “Let’s also add an outline around Iran because even though Iran says they neither have them or want them. There are international concerns that Iran is not only working on having nuclear weapons. But they may be close to that.”

    I’ll venture a guess that she spoke the second and third sentences as just one sentence. If so, all she’s saying is that some people (whoever it is that has these “international concerns”) think Iran is working on a bomb and that it may be close to having one. She’s not saying that what they believe is true — merely that that’s what they believe. That sounds entirely correct to me.

  211. Cyrus_2 says:

    Looks like Amano is finally feeling some heat:
    Nuclear watchdog chief accused of pro-western bias over Iran

    [quote]
    “Amano is falling into the Cheney trap. What we learned back in 2002 and 2003, when we were in the runup to the war, was that peer review was very important, and that the analysis should not be left to a small group of people,” Kelley said.

    “So what have we learned since then? Absolutely nothing. Just like [former US vice-president] Dick Cheney, Amano is relying on a very small group of people and those opinions are not being checked.”

    Other former officials have also raised concern that the current IAEA is becoming an echo chamber, focused on suspicions over Iran’s programme, without the vigorous debate that characterised the era of Amano’s predecessor Mohamed ElBaradei.

    They point to Amano’s decision, in March last year, to dissolve the agency’s office of external relations and policy co-ordination (Expo), which under ElBaradei had second-guessed some of the judgments made by the safeguards department inspectors.
    [/quote]
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/mar/22/nuclear-watchdog-iran-iaea

  212. James Canning says:

    Kathleen,

    I will go on to see Rachel Maddow’s contribution to the large-scale conspiracy in the US to deceive the American public.

  213. James Canning says:

    Eric,

    Roger Cohen is virtually certainly correct, that Iran will continue to produce fuel for Bushehr power plants with Western acceptance, if there is to be a negotiated resolution of the dispute.

  214. Kathleen says:

    James Canning says:
    March 22, 2012 at 12:57 pm
    Kathleen,

    Has Rachel Maddow even mentioned Larijani’s March 15th offer for Iran to stop enriching to 20 percent? Obviously, if Iran is willing to cease enriching to 20 percent, Iran has no present intention of building nukes.

    NO

    Hope you go watch that March 19th Maddow program. Look at the map she just irresponsibly throws Iran up on. So dangerous. Just fueling the fire. Not the first time for her.

  215. James Canning says:

    Sassan,

    I asked you if you think Israel should get out of the West Bank and the Golan Heights. Easy question.

  216. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/23/opinion/the-false-iran-debate.html?_r=1

    BiBiJon cited the same Roger Cohen column earlier. It strikes me as reflecting a hopeful and practical view, especially this sentence:

    “The fundamental question the West must answer is how to satisfy Iran’s pride and usher it from historical grievance while capping its enrichment at a low, vigorously inspected level far from weapons grade (I can see no solution that does not allow some enrichment.)”

    Bear in mind that this is the very same writer who, for quite some time, has made largely subjective pronouncements about Iran – notably his “smell and breathe” impressions that the 2009 election was stolen – and has offered little in the way of realistic suggestions. This is a step in the right direction.

    Nevertheless, I harbor no illusions that the US will seriously consider any deal that acknowledges Iran’s enrichment rights at all – during the April talks, or at any other time prior to the November election. While Cohen is on the right track, and eventually Obama will probably reach that track too, it is all but inconceivable to me that a candidate for election or re-election as president of the United States would acknowledge that he is even considering a deal that acknowledges Iran’s enrichment rights, much less sign one. I still think it’s worthwhile trying to parlay the “20% uranium” scare into an Iran/US deal, but any such deal broad enough in scope to acknowledge Iran’s enrichment rights for 3-5% uranium will need to wait until next year at the earliest.

  217. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Osama bin Laden also regarded Saddam Hussein as an enemy of Islam. Lying warmongering neocons in the US did their best to suppress this fact.

  218. James Canning says:

    Kathleen,

    Has Rachel Maddow even mentioned Larijani’s March 15th offer for Iran to stop enriching to 20 percent? Obviously, if Iran is willing to cease enriching to 20 percent, Iran has no present intention of building nukes.

  219. James Canning says:

    Kathleen,

    Rachel Maddow deserves a hard kick up her backside, so she flies across the room.

  220. Kathleen says:

    oops that was Monday march 19th

  221. Kathleen says:

    This past Tuesday March 19th MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow aired a one hour program focused on Mexico choosing to be relieved of all weapons grade nuclear material. A great show in many ways. But within five minutes (4:07 in the first segment) of the program Rachel and her team put up a map of all countries known to have nuclear weapons. The US, UK, Russia, China, France (all signatories of the Non Proli…(tharr be more)feration Treaty) As well as Israel, Pakistan, India and North Koria (all non signatories of the NPT) What Rachel and her team chose to do next is inexcusable, irresponsible and very dangerous. They put Iran up on that map which says in the caption above the map “Countries with Nuclear Weapons” Rachel states “Let’s also add an outline around Iran because even though Iran says they neither have them or want them. There are international concerns that Iran is not only working on having nuclear weapons. But they may be close to that.” This is not only false but terribly irresponsible on Rachel Maddows part. While the international community does have concerns about what may be but has not been proven to be a plan for a nuclear weapons plan Iran is no where near having nuclear weapons. Rachel Maddow should be hammered (please contact her program) for being so irresponsible and repeating unsubstantiated claims about Iran and posting them on her map of “Countries with nuclear weapons” This is one more example of how our MSM has been repeating unsubstantiated claims about Iran starting very soon after the invasion of Iraq. First Segment March 19th ” Mexico relieved of all weapons useable nuclear material” At 4:07) Rachel Maddow Showwww.msnbc.msn.com/id/26315908/Peer into the depths

    Hope folks go watch the Maddow show on March 19th especially that first segment

  222. k_w says:

    Sassan says:
    March 22, 2012 at 3:49 am

    “Israel moves into West Beirut

    [...]

    The decision to move into West Beirut was taken by Prime Minister Begin and Defence Minister Sharon although it constituted a violation of the cease-fire and the agreement which governed the PLO evacuation. It was also a breach of Israel’s word to President Reagan not to enter West Beirut after the PLO’s departure. On the morning of 15 September the IDF moved into West Beirut and completely occupied it by the following day, notwithstanding the protests of the Lebanese and US Governments. The IDF, however, did not enter the Sabra and Chatila refugee camps, but encircled and sealed them off with troops and tanks.

    As to the decision for the entry of the Lebanese militiamen into the Sabra and Chatila camps, it appears from the testimony of Rafael Eitan, Israel’s Chief of Staff, before the Israeli Commission of Inquiry that it was taken by him and by Defence Minister Ariel Sharon on 14 September 1982. This was followed by meetings
    between these two military chiefs and Phalangist commanders to co-ordinate the operation of the militiamen’s entry into the camps. The decision to allow the militiamen’s entry into the camps was approved by the Israeli Cabinet on 16 September after it began to be put into execution.

    The massacre

    The discussions between Israeli military chiefs and their Lebanese allies regarding their entry into the camps having been completed, three units of 50 militiamen each stood ready in the afternoon of Thursday 16 September 1982 at the edge of the Sabra and Chatila camps awaiting orders from the Israeli military command. At 5.00 p.m. they were sent into the refugee camps in accordance with the agreed programme of action and they then commenced an orgy of killing which lasted until the morning of Saturday 18 September.” (Henry Cattan: “The Palestine Question”, p. 172.)

    And so on and so forth …

    You seem to have forgotten the prelude.

  223. BiBiJon says:

    Iran is NOT China of 1970s
    =========================

    Mao’s China comes up with nauseating regularity in discussing the possibility, practicality, and potential benefits of US-Iran rapprochement.

    Roger Cohen did it again today. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/23/opinion/the-false-iran-debate.html

    For crying out loud, go visit Iran, will ya? Go read Iranian press. Go look at the televised presidential election debates. You cannot walk a 100 meters before you bump into ‘foreigners’ that several jumbo jets disgorge on a daily basis in Iranian airports. You cannot walk a hundred meters in any world capital and not bump into Iranian tourists, businessmen, students, government officials, etc. In what way was Mao’s China similar?

    This China metaphor itself has become a way of masking the real Iran from view. There’s absolutely nothing in Iranian society/economy/government/military doctrine/etc that resembles 1970s China. Nor is the world order of today has any resemblance to the 1970s world. Frankly, you couldn’t manufacture a better fit for a reliable partner than Iran for mid eastern nations, for the BRICS and for the self-acclaimed ‘world powers’ than Iran of today, as is currently constituted. Rapprochement with Iran requires no greater leap than simply quitting lying to oneself. It’s Spring. Try honesty for a couple months.

  224. fyi says:

    Eric A. Brill says: March 21, 2012 at 6:00 pm

    Jesus has stated: “On you (Peter) I will build my Church.”

    Which has been the source of the spiritual authority of the Catholic and Orthodox Churches since then.

    Islam does not have an intrinsic central spiritual authority like that.

    Any Muslim can decide for himself or herself what Islam is.

    Or what Muslim response to this or that situation ought to be.

    That was the reason that the late Osama bin Ladin could decide for himself that US an enemy of Islam.

    In Shia Islam, due to the Doctrine of Imamat, the Doctors of Religion have, over the centuries, defined what Islam is.

    The authority to redefine Islam – perhaps more accurately: Islamic Practice – does not inhere in individual Shia Muslims.

    They have delegated that authority, implicitly and over the centuries, to the Mujtahids and Source of Emulation.

    It is for this reason that you do not find very many individual suicide bombers who have been Shia.

    The Shia Doctors of Religion have not issued a legally binding religious opinion that has designated the United States (for example) as the enemy of Islam.

    I would think that you would welcome this type of constraint.

  225. fyi says:

    Smith says: March 21, 2012 at 6:49 pm

    I think in US there is no referendum mechanism, you almost have to bring back the Continental Congress.

  226. BiBiJon says:

    State of Play: nuff is nuff
    ==============================

    First a few tidbits.

    Australian Foreign Minister Bob Carr says international sanctions against Iran are working and threats of military strikes should be taken off the table.
    ,http://news.smh.com.au/breaking-news-national/take-iranian-strikes-off-the-table-carr-20120322-1vmc2.html

    Indian Foreign Minister S.M. Krishna, maintained India’s position that trade with Iran won’t be affected by the sanctions imposed by the U.S. and the European Union against the Middle Eastern country. This comes just two days after the U.S. State Department said 12 countries—including India and China—risk facing financial penalties this year because of their continued purchases of Iranian oil.
    ,http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304636404577297150722980994.html?mod=googlenews_wsj

    China’s top newspaper on Thursday slammed U.S. moves to restrict Iran’s oil trade which could see Chinese banks sanctioned, saying such unilateral action was not only wrong but could exacerbate the stand-off over Iran’s nuclear programme…
    “One stand-out feature of unilateralism is this: that one’s own rules become the world’s rules. Everyone must respect them, and if you don’t, then you will be punished,”
    ,http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/03/22/china-iran-idUSL3E8EM0OT20120322

    —————-

    I don’t need to delve into gas-price shock and war fatigue which are creating deep fissures in American, European, and British public sentiments, because frankly it is as obvious as it is undeniable.

    So what we get is a stampede for a negotiated solution. And, here Trudy Rubin sets the scene. Iran was at fault, Iran has capitulated to pressure, and therefore all is going to turn out just fine.
    ,http://www.philly.com/philly/insights/143756856.html

    The meme that ‘Iran caved’ is a necessary sugar coating to help the medicine go down. I do not wish to deny a bunch of adolescents their excuses. But, I do hope that once this is all resolved and forgotten by this Summer, that folks will draw a lesson in not betting their entire credibility on picking fights. All the “loose talk” about the military option has only left people searching for reasons that would explain the hesitancy. All the talk about “crippling sanctions by the world community” have left unanswerable questions about the lack of coalescence of the coalition. And, in combination people have to ask, as I do, that if non-proliferation was the goal, then why act so rouge as to convince everyone on the planet to get their hands on a nuke or two to protect themselves from the mass hysteria that appears to flare with some regularity in the West?

    Every celebrated “unprecedented” self-destructive measure to penalize Iran is now firmly a precedent that every non-western state has to factor into their outlook for potential perils of any type of future political/economic interdependence with the West.

    Seriously. Was this face-off with Iran worth all the crap?

    Tis Spring, a time of renewal. Everyone can choose to cut the crap today, rather than pile up more. I hope Iran will answer India, China, Russia, Australia, Finland, and Sweden with an unconditional commitment to the various confidence-building proposals she has previously tabled. I expect in return, the above countries will demand Amano’s resignation from IAEA to give the goal of non-proliferation a chance.

  227. fyi says:

    Rehmat says: March 22, 2012 at 8:50 am

    Taliban deserved and deserve no moral support.

    Taliban was fools.

    I still recall them blowing up Buddhas in Bamiyan while Afghan peasants were freezing to death in the mountain passes of Western Afghansitan on their way to Iran; fleeing draught.

    And then there was their neat approach to female education – females do not need education.

    The day Taliban come back is a morally bad day for Islam and for Afghans.

  228. fyi says:

    Eric A. Brill says: March 21, 2012 at 6:00 pm

    The answer is that the government of any Muslim polity that you wish to name is understood to be responsible for upholding and defending Islam, its honor, and its Laws.

    In that sense, no Muslim polity can ever sustain a secular government; such a government will invariably be opposed to Islam – Kemalist Turkey and post-Soviet Muslim states come into mind.

    In Christianity, the secularism has been traced, by Western Thinkers, to the famous Hadith of Jesus who stated: “Give that which is God’s to God….”.

    The reality has been more complex; secular governments emerged during a historical process in which the national states were first posed as junior partners of God and later supplanted God and themselves became gods.

    An analogous historical process has not taken place among Muslim polities and I doubt that it ever will. There are only 4 Muslim states with any claim to historical longevity: Moroco, Egypt, Turkey, and Iran. And none of these states are in any way, shape, or form conform to the late 20-th century Western secular mould.

  229. fyi says:

    James Canning says: March 21, 2012 at 5:51 pm

    Yes.

  230. Rehmat says:

    On Wednesday, US District Judge Paul Friedman, sentenced Dr. Stewart David Nozette (born 1957) to 13 years in prison for trying to sell US secrets to America’s ‘only friend in Mideast‘, Israel.

    Now, compare this with US-Pakistani Dr. Aafia Siddiqui who was sentenced to 86 years in prison by the Jewish Judge Richard Berman in 2010. Her crime was not involved in espionage against the US, but she gave moral support to Taliban.

    http://rehmat1.wordpress.com/2012/03/22/jewish-american-convicted-for-spying-for-israel/

  231. Reza Esfandiari says:

    It is clear that Sassan is just spamming this site. I think we have been more than patient with him. Isn’t it time he was suspended, if there is such a policy on this site,at least until he can behave and restrain himself?

  232. ExposingWarmongeringNeoConStooges says:

    Indeed, Galloway kicks Hitchens ass and shows him to be a demented warmongering stooge. Good to know that about Hitchens before you accept anything else he says.

  233. Sassan says:

    I urge everyone to watch that George Galloway – Christopher Hitchens debate.

  234. I am no longer positive the place you are getting your info, however great topic. I needs to spend a while learning much more or figuring out more. Thank you for magnificent info I used to be searching for this information for my mission.

  235. ExposingWarmongeringNeoConStooges says:

    By the way, when are you going to provide that source we were discussing yesterday? I have already mentioned this several times and you have not provided it. I am still waiting…

  236. ExposingWarmongeringNeoConStooges says:

    Sassan says:
    March 22, 2012 at 4:37 am

    Ah I see, so any thing that disagrees with your preconceived notion is “idiotic.” If they are so “idiotic” why can you not prove they are by actual arguments and by using sources. Oh, that’s right, because they disprove your assertions, and you cannot dispute what they actually say. (By the way it is obvious you never read a single link that anyone else provides, because you just ignore it and continue with your previous claims). And since I am not a child, I am not going to respond to you last childish insult.

  237. Sassan says:

    lol you are an utter idiot. No more responding to a fool like you. You think you make arguments but your arguments and links you provide are all so idiotic and do nothing to prove some imaginary point that you think you are making. I think you must be 18-19 years old.

  238. ExposingWarmongeringNeoConStooges says:

    Sassan says:
    March 22, 2012 at 4:30 am

    And you my friend, support brutal dictatorships when they suit your purposes such as in Saudi Arabia and Bahrain. And you support the deaths of millions when you believe that a “greater good” will be accomplished. So you do indeed support terror, dictatorship and murder. And note, I and not going to stop pointing this out either.

  239. ExposingWarmongeringNeoConStooges says:

    Sassan says:
    March 22, 2012 at 4:30 am

    And you my friend support serial liars and fraudsters like Ayaan Ali and Reza Kahlili who want to wage war, and support killing and torturing countless numbers of people based on lies. Yes, it is clear who has the superior moral position here.

  240. ExposingWarmongeringNeoConStooges says:

    And here is the truth about Hitchens. Note how the Stooge celebrates someone who took pleasure in the brutal slaughter of innocent people. Yes this is a role model everyone should follow.

    http://www.salon.com/2011/12/17/christohper_hitchens_and_the_protocol_for_public_figure_deaths/singleton

  241. Sassan says:

    LMFAO @ the scum George Galloway. A man that works for PressTV and has praised all the terrorists and tyrants of the world and has been a guest for many of them such as Saddam Hussein and Bashar al-Assad. lol!

  242. ExposingWarmongeringNeoConStooges says:

    Zionist says:
    March 22, 2012 at 4:06 am

    And I will respond to this again because it is worthy of response. You do not represent all Iranians, and your personal desires do not reflect them. Unlike you, I have encountered Iranians in real life, and I have read their opinions on this blog, and I may say that virtually without exception they do not hold any of the extreme views that you do.

  243. Sassan says:

    Christopher Hitchens Confused by Obama’s Iran Policy: http://youtu.be/JX_VK_QSGLI

  244. Sassan says:

    Christopher Hitchens on Iraq and Iran: http://youtu.be/_ke2OLLlPho

  245. ExposingWarmongeringNeoConStooges says:

    It is funny how the Stooge praises someone for supposedly changing his outlook in response to facts when he refuses to admit his claims are constantly disproved and he cannot ever be bothered to respond in any coherent way when they are.

  246. ExposingWarmongeringNeoConStooges says:

    And here is a good article about him.

    http://www.mrdestructo.com/2011/12/burn-in-hell-christopher-hitchens.html

  247. ExposingWarmongeringNeoConStooges says:

    So the Stooge belives it is good that Hitchens became a ranting neo con that delighted in innocent people’s deaths later in life. How wonderful.

  248. ExposingWarmongeringNeoConStooges says:

    And here is George Galloway showing what a fraud he was.

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

  249. Sassan says:

    It is just interesting what a mind Hitch was and he evolved. Usually minds stay fixed but Hitch always took knowledge and changed his views accordingly.

  250. Sassan says:

    This one is very important to watch too: http://youtu.be/Zp7g9enxFKY

  251. Sassan says:

    Watch the video I just posted and reply on the contents. It is a very short video clip 2-3 mins long.

  252. ExposingWarmongeringNeoConStooges says:

    Hypocritical Zionist says:
    March 22, 2012 at 4:08 am

    Once again, I am going to call out your arrogance. Responding to your lies is the right of everyone who comments on this blog. You seem to assume you have a right to lie and not be challenged on it. When anyone does you immediately either ignore it, respond with an unproven assertion, or resort to insults. You than repeat the propaganda later. So, as I said before, it is you who engage in behavior that is typical of a “stalker”. Confronting your bullying behavior is not stalking.

  253. Sassan says:

    Watch Christopher Hitchens on the Islamic Republic (different video from the one I had posted before): http://youtu.be/gkr_SxLckKw

  254. ExposingWarmongeringNeoConStooges says:

    Sassan says:
    March 22, 2012 at 4:09 am

    You like good old fashion imperialism, the kind that wrecks and impoverishs nations and subjects there populations to misery and corruption while Western controlled corporations loot their natural resources. And no, Iran has never invaded another nation, unlike the countries you hypocritically adore and whose every abuse of human rights and freedom you excuse.

  255. ExposingWarmongeringNeoConStooges says:

    Sassan says:
    March 22, 2012 at 4:06 am

    You are the bottom feeder here my friend. You support aggressive war that would kill millions of people and destroy the world economy. You cannot engage in rational debate. You constantly insult people and villify them while deliberately disrupting this blog. And no, you do not get to lecture any country about what it’s supposed “duty” is. No nation has a duty to fulfill your personal fantasies, no matter how much you wish the opposite was the case. Just because you personally say someone is evil does not make it true. In fact this is a mainfestation of your bizarre hypocritical outlook. And in addition, why does the West not have a duty to free Bahrain and Saudi Arabia? Yes, you are a hypocrite.

  256. Sassan says:

    You seem to like imperialism as long as it is Islamic Imperialism as is the core foundations of the Islamic Republic.

  257. Sassan says:

    I made the mistake of even interacting with my stalker. Just remember: Khomeini had two chances to make peace early on during the Iran-Iraq war. Once very early on and another time before the war had reached its bloodiest apex but NO, Khomeini declared, “On to Karbala, Saudi Arabia, Jerusalem, & the west!” This son of a bitch animal sacrificed up to a million Iranian lives in which two ceasefires were brokered in which the useless war could have stopped early in its tracks but instead he refused due to his fanatical religious beliefs.

  258. Sassan says:

    Grow a brain. It is the duty of the free world to assist people in oppression and tyranny, particularly when those maniacs pose grave threats to the rest of the civilized world. Again – this website consists of bottom feeders including self-proclaimed Basijis. IF you knew anything of Iranians or have ever come into contact with Iranians in real life, you would know that Iranians are overwhelmingly united against this terrorist regime. And even more so inside of Iran than outside.

  259. ExposingWarmongeringNeoConStooges says:

    Blood thirsty arrogant Zionist says:
    March 22, 2012 at 3:53 am

    You are the one that wants to kill Iranians, not the other way around. The legitimate government of Iran protected the Iranian people from a Western funded and motivated invasion from Iraq. The government of Iran has heroically protected the people of Iran from imperialism for the last 33 years and it will continue to do so, regardless of your vicious, vindictive, desires to the contrary.

  260. ExposingWarmongeringNeoConStooges says:

    Sassan says:
    March 22, 2012 at 3:56 am

    You are a hypocritical cowardly warmongering Stooge. Your arrogance is staggering. How dare you say that you have the right to decide that one nation should invade another based on your arrogant assumptions and delusions. And yes, Stooge imperialism still exists and is the reason that Iraq was invaded and pro US and Israeli dictatorships still rule many countries in the world.

  261. ExposingWarmongeringNeoConStooges says:

    Zionist says:
    March 22, 2012 at 3:53 am

    Let me contradict your arrogant propaganda again. You do not get to decide what all Iranians feel. Your personal thoughts do not represent, in any way, what Iranians feel. You are one person who has consistently lied and misrepresented facts as part of a propaganda campaign. You do not have the right to speak for a single Iranian, inside or outside of Iran. You have never presented any evidence, of any kind that your claims are true. Under no circumstances, regardless of the truth of your claims, does that justify your desire to kill millions of Iranians, to sacrifice the lives of 100,000s of US soldiers, and to destroy the world economy. The US does not have the right to invade, attack, or occupy Iran in any way. Any such act would be an act of aggressive war, which is recognized as a crime against humanity and a war crime. So let’s see, Mr. “Rationalist” Universalist” “atheist” supports the commission of the most serious type of war crime and crime against humanity possible.

  262. Sassan says:

    And for my politics, you can label me a liberal interventionist.

  263. Sassan says:

    News flash: imperialism no longer exists. Join the rest of the world into the 21st century.

  264. ExposingWarmongeringNeoConStooges says:

    Let’s look at what this ignorant Stooge just posted.

    This release is distributed by Saylor Company Public Relations Counsel under the direction of Tom Fay and Steve Perles, Legal Counsel.

    SOURCE Saylor Company Public Relations Counsel under the direction of Tom Fay and Steve Perles, Legal Counsel

    So rational people can tell from this that this is a PRESS RELEASE from a PR FIRM. Yeah, that is something that should be believed.

  265. Sassan says:

    This is a regime that will kill every LAST Iranian to keep power. These maniacs are not like the Shah to pack up their bags and leave. With military intervention, Iran will not be like Iraq. The problem with Iraq was not the initial liberation but the post-war terror which was fueled in a large part by Arabs that flooded in from neighboring countries. With Iran, this simply won’t be the case for numerous reasons. As Iranians always say, President Bush liberated the wrong country. Iraqis (except for their Kurds) are still Arab, religious, and quite primitive in contrast to Iranians who have an overwhelmingly modern pro-western populace.

  266. ExposingWarmongeringNeoConStooges says:

    Zionist says:
    March 22, 2012 at 3:49 am

    I think it is past time to; at a minimum, require that this propagandist stop posting whole articles on this blog in a blatent attempt to disrupt discussion.

  267. ExposingWarmongeringNeoConStooges says:

    Yes, you are so willing to sacrifice your life you want others to die for what you want to accomplish. And than you think after that you have a right to just move into the independent sovereign nation of Iran. Once again, disgusting.

  268. Sassan says:

    Beirut Bombing Victims Urge Congress, President to Hold Iran Responsible for Murder of 241 American Servicemen

    By Saylor Company Public Relations Counsel under the direction of Tom Fay and Steve Perles, Legal Counsel

    Posted: 10:24am on Mar 21, 2012; Modified: 10:28am on Mar 21, 2012

    WASHINGTON, March 21, 2012 — /PRNewswire/ — The National Spokesperson for the Beirut Families, Ms. Lynn Smith Derbyshire today made the following statement:

    “The survivors and families of those killed in the 1983 Beirut bombing express our gratitude to Members of Congress for backing our efforts to punish Iran for sponsoring terrorism, and we urge them to pass S. 2101 and H.R. 4070 to ensure justice is finally realized.

    “Our families and survivors urge the full Senate to follow the leadership of Senators Menendez (D-NJ) and Kirk (R-IL) and the unanimous, bipartisan support of S. 2101, the Iran Sanctions Act, by the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs. We encourage them to bring the bill to the floor and pass it quickly. By doing so, the Senate will communicate forcefully to Iran that it can no longer fraudulently invest in the United States financial system.

    “We also implore Members of the House of Representatives to co-sponsor H.R. 4070, sponsored by Rep. Robert Turner (R-NY), and support this crucial legislation through the committees considering it, and ultimately in a floor vote.

    “We ask the Senate and House Conferees to ensure these two bills are merged— without any alterations that may help Iran—into bipartisan legislation which will protect Americans from terrorism. This bill will stop Iran from using shell games to hide theinvestment of its funds in the US financial system to further fund terrorism, avoid its legal responsibilities, and pay for its programs of regional dominance.

    “Finally, we appeal to President Obama and his Administration to support our group of 1300 American families from across our nation by enhancing our Country’s ability to hold Iran responsible for its actions. If Iran truly wants to be a responsible member of the international community, it needs to meet its legal and moral obligations.

    “We have met with dozens of Members of Congress and they have been supportive, almost without exception. However, somepowerful interests in Washington remain opposed to us, because they benefit from the status quo, which allows Iran to employ fraud and invest its assets in the United States to fund terrorism and its nuclear weapons program. They contend that S. 2101 and H.R. 4070 will disrupt the United States financial system. This is not the case. These bills merely clarify existing laws governing American banks that are holding Iranian assets. S. 2101 and H.R. 4070 provide clarification of current law governing penalties on state sponsors of terrorism with respect to intermediated securities and bonds.

    “Our group of survivors, parents, spouses, siblings and children has worked for almost 30 years to attain justice against Iran, which murdered my brother, Marine Captain Vincent Smith, and 240 other brave American servicemen in Beirut in 1983 and injured hundreds more. Similarly, victims and families of those killed in the 1996 Khobar Towers bombing in Saudi Arabia also deserve justice.

    “Our government has an opportunity to do what is right. Passing this legislation brings accountability to a murderous regime. 1300 American families urge the entire Congress and the President to stand its ground against Iran and hold this rogue nation responsible for its pre-meditated murderous rampage against our nation by making sure that the provisions in S. 2101 and H.R. 4070 become the law of the land.

    “Anything less is unacceptable. We need to send a clear signal to Iran that it cannot continue its national policy of terrorism and murder. The survivors and families of those slaughtered in the Iranian-sponsored 1983 Beirut Bombing believe that Americans everywhere would agree.”

    This release is distributed by Saylor Company Public Relations Counsel under the direction of Tom Fay and Steve Perles, Legal Counsel.

    SOURCE Saylor Company Public Relations Counsel under the direction of Tom Fay and Steve Perles, Legal Counsel

    Read more here: http://www.bradenton.com/2012/03/21/3952916/beirut-bombing-victims-urge-congress.html#storylink=cpy

  269. ExposingWarmongeringNeoConStooges says:

    Hypocritical Stooge says:
    March 22, 2012 at 3:41 am

    Than why are you not there fighting now you hypocritical, warmongering, cowardly Stooge. Yeah, you are so brave you want millions of Iranians to die so that the vile imperialist powers you support can destroy Iranian independence and freedom and subject all the people of Iran to poverty and misery under a corrupt Western imposed government. At this point I do not think there is a single rational person on this blog that does not find you to be disgusting.

  270. Sassan says:

    *grammar mistake. I stand united against the enemies of Cyrus the Great and with the Iranian people. And I will indeed move back to Iran once my homeland is liberated.

  271. Sassan says:

    I stand united with the enemies of Cyrus the Great. There is nothing more that I would not my sacrifice my life for than a free Iran. In fact, I will move to Iran once liberated.

  272. ExposingWarmongeringNeoConStooges says:

    By the way, to expose that last site for the joke it is, I could just say that the Israelis had used their diplomatic channels to smuggle in the explosives and given them to the MEK members they used to coordinate the bomb attacks they staged on their own embassies to demonize Iran.

  273. ExposingWarmongeringNeoConStooges says:

    By the way the agenda of that last site is transparently obvious. Lots of biased reports and not a shred of evidence that actually supports them. Yep, the Hypocritical Biased Identity strikes again.

  274. masoud says:

    Eric A. Brill says:
    March 21, 2012 at 11:38 am

    Eric, I found that unconvincing. For reference sake, here is article 26 again:

    The formation of parties, societies, political or professional associations, as well as religious societies, whether Islamic or pertaining to one of the recognized religious minorities, is permitted provided they do not violate the principles of independence, freedom, national unity, the criteria of Islam, or the basis of the Islamic republic. No one may be prevented from participating in the aforementioned groups, or be compelled to participate in them.

    I’ve highlited both the phrase you had earlier, and the word fifth word in this translation of Article 26, which is the word I was reffering to in my previous post. As can plainly be seen unqualified societies are granted the exact same status as recognized religous societies by this article. To be more precise, jamiatha are accorded the same status as anjomanhaye dini ya eslami.
    Genrally speaking the second expression gives the idea of some kind of organizational framework while the first is more akin community. There is no reason why jamiatha couldn’t be considered to cover religious communities. But in any case, your position is either:

    1. The six categories enumerated are the only categories covered by the article and non-recognized religious minorities are an additional category, and since the article says nothing about them, that must mean they are banned.
    2. The article applies to more than just the enumerated groups, but for some reason if that other group happens to be non-recognized religious minorities, instead of granting limited rights, the effect of the article is to ban that category.

    Either track is unconvincing for the following reason: ask yourself why whatever logic you apply to ban non recognized religious groups with under this article does not apply to say student associations or sporting societies or proffesional organizations or narcotics anonymous chapters etc.. I don’t think you’ll be able to come up with a very good answer. And that will mean you have just banned all form of human organizations except for the six specific categories just mentioned, which can’t be what that article means, and isn’t how Iran works.

    I agree that Iran has taken too hard a line on non recognized religious communities, but interferance with them is still the exception rather than the rule. The problem is that you only hear about it when they make a decision to take action against one of these groups, and the cases where they just figured ‘these people are harmless’, or ‘it’s not worth are time’, or ‘theres nothing wrong with what their doing’ are not news.

  275. ExposingWarmongeringNeoConStooges says:

    Hypocritical Anti Social Zionist says:
    March 22, 2012 at 1:52 am

    First this Identity copy pasted pro sectarian totalitarian dictatorship propaganda that is brutally supressing freedom of religion, speech, and assembly in Bahrain and the very next article is a biased attack again Iran for allegedly doing the same thing. Once again, it becomes clear that the purpose behind this is pure malevolence and a wish to cause as much trouble as possible, rather than to actually engage in any debate or exchange of ideas.

  276. ExposingWarmongeringNeoConStooges says:

    Zionist says:
    March 22, 2012 at 1:47 am

    Really, I think it is becoming increasingly clear that this individual is only here to disrupt debate. What purpose, useful or otherwise does his continuing presence here serve? Once again, I will point out the disgusting hypocrisy of this assumed Identity’s publication of pro totalitarian dictatorship supporting media from Bahrain whose government has actually engaged in the tyrannical suppression and terrorization of the peaceful people of Bahrain. Really, when the Identity publishes spam that is based on literally nothing, what he is trying to accomplish becomes transparently obvious.

  277. Interested says:

    Sassan

    You are not hostile towards the Islamic Republic, your childish propoganda shows your mad hatred towards all Iranians and everything Iranian.

  278. Sassan says:

    Israel Embassy car blast: Iranian diplomat smuggled explosives?

    Source: Dailybhaskar.com | Last Updated 14:29(21/03/12)

    Israeli embassy blast: Kazmi scouted venue, says Delhi Police Share

    New Delhi: In a freshtwist to the investigations into the Iranian Diplomat’s car blast, reports say that diplomatic channels may have been used to smuggle explosives into India.

    Diplomats and embassy officials are exempted from security checks and it is possible that these channels might have been used to bring in the explosives from Iran.

    Reports have also not ruled out the involvement of Iranian diplomats who could have used this secured channel to carry explosives into India.

    Three Iranian nationals have allegedly been suspected to carry out the blast in the Israeli diplomat’s car on February 13, in New Delhi.

    Delhi Police Commissioner BK Gupta had earlier said that Iranian citizens had collected the inside information about the Israeli Embassy through a journalist Syed Ahmad Kazmi. Kazmi was later arrested on March 6.

    http://daily.bhaskar.com/article/WOR-SCR-israel-embassy-car-blast-irans-diplomatic-channels-in-collusion-2999676.html

  279. Sassan says:

    Scientists call for release of Baha’i educators imprisoned in Iran

    Source: Baha’i World News Service (BWNS)

    COLLEGE PARK, MARYLAND, U.S.A., 21 March 2012, (BWNS) – An international body that monitors the human rights of scientists around the world, and assists those in need, is urging the Iranian authorities to free imprisoned Baha’i educators.

    In a letter addressed to Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the Committee on International Freedom of Scientists of the American Physical Society is appealing to the Iranian government to “immediately and unconditionally release” all imprisoned individuals affiliated with the Baha’i Institute for Higher Education (BIHE) and to “allow the Baha’i Institute to freely operate, and to ensure that all Iranian students have access to higher education.”

    “Those arrested are not political or religious leaders. They were lecturers in subjects ranging from accounting to dentistry…” the letter states. “The Committee believes it is a human right for educators to educate a younger generation…”

    “We urge the Iranian government to reconsider its policy and realize that barring a group of Iranians from education and economic advancement will ultimately be to the detriment of Iran’s economy and progress for all its citizens.”

    The condemnation of the imprisonment of Baha’i educators has spanned the world. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon has led the criticism of their sentences, along with such prominent figures as Nobel Peace Prize laureates Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Jose Ramos-Horta.

    Set up as an informal community initiative, BIHE offered education to young Baha’is barred from university because of their religion. “This policy of excluding the largest religious minority in Iran, places the Baha’is on the margins of society…” the Committee wrote on 29 February.

    Some 39 homes of Baha’is associated with BIHE were raided in a coordinated attack in May 2011. Lecturer Kamran Mortezaie is now serving a five-year jail term. Mahmoud Badavam, Noushin Khadem, Farhad Sedghi, Riaz Sobhani and Ramin Zibaie are each serving four year prison sentences. The judgments against them cast their activities in support of BIHE as crimes and as “evidence” of their purported aim to subvert the State. Two psychology teachers – Faran Hesami and her husband Kamran Rahimian – have also been sentenced to four years in prison.

    … Payvand News – 03/21/12 … –

    http://www.payvand.com/news/12/mar/1199.html

  280. Sassan says:

    We have the proof

    Thursday, March 22, 2012

    This is in reply to Jim from Canada’s letter stating that as per Professor Bassiouni’s report, Iran had nothing to do with Bahrain’s unrest!

    Jim’s statement was shocking in many ways. He is either so naive or badly read in local and regional politics.

    Iran’s desire to take over Bahrain has been alive for as long as any Bahraini knows. It has an empty seat in its parliament, reserved for Bahrain considered its 14th province!

    The truth is that Bahrain’s government didn’t allow Prof Bassiouni to review files considered highly classified and chooses not to share them for the time being.

    However, we don’t need Prof Bassiouni to tell us what we have lived with for as long as we can remember. Iran’s desire to topple Bahrain’s rulers and occupy it has manifested itself in more than one way.

    Let’s go into the past 30 years to make it simple.

    There was an attempted coup in 1981 by Iranian sleeping cells in Bahrain. It was Dubai border authorities which discovered hundreds of readymade suits, ready to be used by military personnel bound for Bahrain. This led to the discovery and foiling of the coup plan and unearthing of a massive pile of weapons.

    Tehran wanted to instal itself as the government in charge of Bahrain through its agents – religious clerics or agents of Welayat Al Faqih.

    It is important to note that the man leading the coup was royal adviser Hadi Al Mudarasi. He still calls for the downfall of the Ruling Family from wherever he is in the Gulf through 30 plus Iranian-funded channels designed to spew lies and fabrications about Bahrain, in cohort with their supporters here like Mushaima and Al Shehabi from his base in London, etc.

    Ali Salman is regularly reporting on Bahrain with no shame for having done so much damage to the government and country which gave him a seat in parliament.

    He and his ilk will not rest until they give Bahrain as a gift to Iran which is paying them handsomely – the reason why they have and never will enter into dialogue.

    In the 90s, Mr Salman, who became head of Al Wefaq, started chaos to overthrow the government under the leadership of cleric Abdulamir Al Jamri.

    Hizbollah cells, heavily funded by Iran, became very active during the mid-90s and bloody clashes took place between them and police forces, bombs were planted all over Bahrain and villages became like castles with citizens as human shields.

    My small farm was burnt with one of their Molotov cocktails. We should not forget the horrific crime committed by Al Wefaq-Hizbollah thugs when eight poor Asians were locked in a restaurant in Sitra and burnt alive.

    For many years the Shi’ite opposition (Al Wefaq) has been heavily trained by Iranian Hizbollah. Thousands over the years have undergone training, mainly in Lebanon and Iran via Syria and Iraq. Under the pretext that they are visiting holy sites, they are handed passes to travel to training camps where they earn their Hizbollah titles.

    Because today almost all villages in Bahrain are controlled by this Shi’ite branch, these people trained by Hizbollah returned and opened training centres in farms and villages.

    Any resident who refused their orders was either killed, injured or his property damaged. We have seen many cases over the past year alone.

    I was riding a taxi the other night and the driver said they would be threatened if they didn’t turn off lights when asked! Shi’ites are mostly living in terror because of Hizbollah members who have infiltrated all villages.

    Iran will not rest until it takes over Bahrain just like it took Iraq with the blessings of America. With its support to the brutal regime of Bashar Al Assad in Syria and Al Houthis in Yemen and control of the Lebanon government through Hizbollah, Tehran’s aim is to complete what it calls the Shi’ite Crescent.

    Saudi Arabia’s Eastern Province, which saw bloody clashes over the past year, is part of the land Iran dreams of annexing.

    But it will not get its wish fulfilled as the Muslim world, particularly Arabs, will no longer be fooled by the claims of Hizbollah or Iran.

    If anything, they are on the way out and Iran is burning from within. The Bashar government will soon be toppled by the Syrian revolution.

    When the news of Peninsula Shield forces came through to Mr Salman in mid-March last year, he said if the government called them, he will call Iran! Mushaima returned to Bahrain last March after having been pardoned by His Majesty. He made a stop in Beirut to get orders from Hizbollah.

    He arrived in Bahrain and declared in his infamous speech at the former GCC (Pearl) roundabout that Bahrain had become an Islamic republic!

    There are thousands of proofs that unequivocally support Iranian interference in Bahrain through its locally installed Hizbollah. The ones above are just a few. Um Fahad

    http://www.gulf-daily-news.com/NewsDetails.aspx?storyid=326318

  281. ExposingWarmongeringNeoConStooges says:

    BiBiJon says:
    March 22, 2012 at 12:17 am

    By the way this is a good post that should not be buried by the usual suspect’s spam. Note that this article makes it more clear that the vicious, illogical demagogue and Islamophobe King is the main reason these absurd charges were raised and spread at this time.

  282. ExposingWarmongeringNeoConStooges says:

    Zionist says:
    March 22, 2012 at 12:33 am

    You are now completely confused and illogical. Your Islamophobia and adoration of Israel has lead you to justify the extra judicial murder of innocent Palestinian civilians. You hate Hamas and everything it stands for. And now you want us to believe you care about reconciliation between Hamas and other Palestinian factions. Is their any absurd statement that you are not willing to make in your attempts to disrupt this blog? The farcical joke that causes the rational people who read this blog to laugh at his absurdity, ladies and gentlemen.

  283. ExposingWarmongeringNeoConStooges says:

    BiBiJon says:
    March 22, 2012 at 12:32 am

    My advice, look earlier in the thread where the context of this was discussed. Note that the NYPD has just been outed for illegal spying. Thus, they will of course try to make up absurd charges that justify their violation of citizen’s rights and attempts to intimidate citizens that engage in their constitutionally protected rights to free speech and assembly.

  284. ExposingWarmongeringNeoConStooges says:

    Zionist Stooge 2 says:
    March 22, 2012 at 12:28 am

    So since the Stooge continues to engage in his deliberate, calculated anti social attempts to disrupt this blog and also refuses to respond in any way when his ideas are shown to be the lies they are I will repeat part of my previous post on this.

    “When most rational people see these kind of paranoid claims (that filming a public landmark is “terrorism”) they rightly dismiss them as government paranoia, designed in this case to justify authoritarian government spying and destruction of civil liberties”

    “The Stooge supports democracy, meaning, he supports demonizing anyone who he disagrees with and depriving them of all basic constitutional rights. Like say, conducting surveillance on private citizens while they exercise their constitutionally protected right of free speech.”

  285. Sassan says:

    Fatah accuses Iran of payoffs to block Palestinian unity deal

    By NIDAL AL-MUGHRABI and ALI SAWAFTA, Reuters March 21, 2012

    Iran paid the Islamist group Hamas to block a deal with the rival Fatah movement that would have ended a five-year rift between the two main Palestinian factions, Ahmed Assaf, a Fatah spokesperson, said Tuesday.

    He said Tehran recently resumed financial aid to Hamas, which it had suspended six months ago over the Palestinian movement’s failure to back their mutual ally, Syrian President Bashar Assad, in his military campaign to crush dissent.

    Hamas has since turned overtly against Assad. But, according to Fatah, Iran is more concerned with supporting the armed Palestinian movement that is ready to challenge Israel from its Gaza Strip stronghold, under Israeli blockade.

    “We have information that Iran paid tens of millions of dollars to Zahar and Haniyeh in their visits to Iran,” said Assaf, referring to Hamas leaders Mahmoud al-Zahar, who visited Tehran last week, and Ismail Haniyeh, who was there in February.

    Assaf was responding to a comment by Zahar that Palestinian political reconciliation “is in the freezer now,” despite a unity deal signed last month.

    “Reconciliation is in the freezer because Zahar was the one who put it there and he got the price from Iran,” Assaf told Reuters.

    “Zahar, Haniyeh and Hamas’s Gaza leadership were paid by Iran to freeze reconciliation.”

    Hamas rejected the charges.

    “The Fatah government did not implement any of their obligations (under the unity deal) and they prefer American money to nationalist agreements,” spokesperson Taher al-Nono said.

    Assaf said that by visiting Tehran, the Palestinian officials aimed to send a message to Hamas’s exiled supreme leader Khaled Meshaal, who had agreed to the reconciliation deal, that the Gaza Strip leaders of Hamas were the ones now in control of the movement.

    Meshaal abandoned his Damascus headquarters months ago as it became politically impossible for him to ignore the fact that Assad’s crackdown was killing thousands of fellow Sunni Muslims.

    Backed by Egypt, he signed a long-awaited Hamas-Fatah reconciliation agreement last month with Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas, the Western-backed Palestinian president.

    But it was denounced by hardliners who said Meshaal was making unnecessary concessions to the secular faction at a time when Islamism was on the rise in the Arab world.

    “Iran has an interest in the division continuing. Iran realizes the importance of the Palestinian cause from the religious, political and geographic status and, therefore, it wants to control it,” Assaf said.

    If unity was restored and the Palestine Liberation Organization or any legitimate leadership ruled Gaza, Iran would lose its influence, he said.

    Hamas forces seized control of Gaza in 2007 and ousted those loyal to Abbas, a year after sweeping parliamentary elections that ended decades of Fatah dominance.

    The open rift split the Palestinian national movement politically and geographically, between Fatah in the West Bank and Hamas in Gaza.

    Hamas is regarded in the West as a terrorist organization which refuses to recognize Israel and forswear violence.

    As such, it remains isolated with no formal role in the Middle East peace process, unlike Abbas’s Fatah.

    Leaders of both sides have been trading blame over the responsibility for the stalemate, while taking no substantial steps to end the divide.

    Analysts say neither faction is really interested enough in reconciliation to make it happen.

    “Reconciliation stands no chance of being achieved because the obstacle that long prevented it remains in place, and that is the absence of real will by both sides, especially Hamas,” said Hani Habib, a Gaza-based political analyst.

    West Bank commentator Hani al-Masri said the reconciliation project was as good as dead “unless a miracle happens.”

    Read more: http://www.montrealgazette.com/news/Fatah+accuses+Iran+payoffs+block+Palestinian+unity+deal/6334063/story.html#ixzz1pohy2Ft1

  286. BiBiJon says:

    “Iranian snoops have been taking pictures of sensitive sites around New York City, a congressional panel is told”

    stories like this hurt us credibility. the sanctions are hurting americans. is anybody at the wheel?

  287. Sassan says:

    Iranian snoops have been taking pictures of sensitive sites around New York City, a congressional panel is told

    Brooklyn Bridge, Grand Central Terminal are among the sites authorities say were snooped

    By Joseph Straw / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
    Wednesday, March 21, 2012, 10:08 PM

    WASHINGTON — Cops have caught “hostile” Iranian snoops shooting pictures and video at key city sites at least six times since 9/11 — twice the number previously reported.

    NYPD intelligence boss Mitchell Silber disclosed the cases Wednesday to the House Homeland Security Committee, which is looking at the growing threat posed by a cornered Iran and its proxies in the U.S. — chief among them Hezbollah.

    “We believe this is neither an idle nor a new threat,” Silber told the panel, calling them incidents “we struggle to categorize as anything other than hostile reconnaissance of New York City.”

    In May of 2005 six men on an East River sightseeing cruise raised the crew’s suspicion when they paired off with maps and cell phones, talking on them “in an unusual manner” while they shot video and photographed landmarks including the Brooklyn and Manhattan bridges.

    Tipped off, the NYPD determined all of the men were on the Iranian government payroll, one of them at the rogue nation’s mission to the United Nations.

    During the UN General Assembly in September 2008, cops responded to reports of men photographing MTA railroad tracks inside Grand Central Terminal. The shooters, members of the Iranian delegation, denied any suspicious intent, but one man’s camera also held photos of the Brooklyn Bridge.

    Then in 2010, federal air marshals saw four men at the Wall Street heliport photographing and videotaping the facility’s waterline and structural supports.

    One of them held a camera at waist level.

    The camera crew turned out to work for Iranian state television, in town for the UN General Assembly.

    In each case, Silber said, the individuals were released and the NYPD shared the information with federal counterparts.

    Committee Chairman Pete King (R-L.I.), who called the hearing, was unsurprised by the revelations.

    “That’s life in New York,” said King, a top supporter of the NYPD’s aggressive counterterrorsim efforts.

    In 2004 two Iranian mission guards were thrown out of the country after the third case of security staff videotaping city infrastructure, including subway tracks and city landmarks.

    Last year the feds broke up a game-changing plot in which they claim Iran’s Qods Force sought to hire a Mexican drug cartel to assassinate the Saudi ambassador to the U.S.

    The brazen scheme called for the lunchtime bombing of a Washington restaurant favored by the diplomat, with no regard for civilian casualties.

    Neither the State Department nor the Justice Department would say if any of the Iranians were expelled from the U.S. as a result of their suspicious activities.

    Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/iranian-snoops-pictures-sensitive-sites-york-city-a-congressional-panel-told-article-1.1048576#ixzz1pogeSQ2D

  288. BiBiJon says:

    It’s a relative world
    ====================

    An exhibition of angst in Israel
    ——————————–
    “An atmosphere of hysteria reigns in Israel, the organisers pointed out. The leaders of the country look for an enemy at times: today ”the hero of this psychosis” is Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad (”small and unshaved”). But that is just the next in a row of enemies to be dealt with, like Gamal Abdel Nasser, Yasser Arafat, Saddam Hussein and many others. Entering the ‘gallery’ (in reality a small apartment of penniless students), there is a small puppet that looks like Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak, who is presented as ‘The most dangerous man in the world – 2012′. The puppet representing Barak – who is considered to be a supporter of the military option against Iran’s nuclear infrastructures – is locked in a glass case, perhaps suggesting that he is as dangerous as a virus. Another item in the room is a poster that was created years ago by the late satirical artist Dudu Gheva. Under the title ‘Operation Tehran’, it was drawn in the style of posters announcing Hollywood films in the ’60s. The organisers of the ‘exhibition’ also show several, not very high-level, short films. One of them shows two Iranian scientists on a study mission in the streets of Tel Aviv, armed with a magnifying glass.”

    ,http://www.ansamed.info/ansamed/en/news/sections/politics/2012/03/21/visualizza_new.html_154960658.html

    An exhibition of angst in washington d.c.
    —————————————

    “King said there are 84 Iranian diplomats in New York at the United Nations and in Washington, some of whom he said are likely to be spies.

    One of the witnesses to the panel, Mitchell Silber, is the New York Police Department’s director of intelligence analysis. He said since 2005, New York law enforcement officers have interviewed at least 13 people with ties to Iran’s government who were seen taking pictures of New York City landmarks. Police consider the activity to be pre-operational surveillance.” [It's a relief Iranian diplomats have not yet heard of google image search].

    ,http://www.voanews.com/english/news/usa/143709036.html

    An exhibit of calmness in Iran
    —————————

    According to pres obama’s nowruz message, Iranians are on vacation for 2 weeks for the holidays. And, Ayat. khamenei has urged Iranians to buy Iranian products, calmly.

  289. ExposingWarmongeringNeoConStooges says:

    Liz says:
    March 21, 2012 at 6:31 pm

    This is a great article that finally begins to tell the truth about the terrorists supported by our favorite local Zionist. No wonder he tried to bury it with his usual arrogant and fact free spam blast.

  290. ExposingWarmongeringNeoConStooges says:

    And yes, of course no one here has noticed the fact that the Stooge was able to parachute onto this site and post his usual blast of demented propaganda, but now three days later, has been unable to respond to the arguments that disproved his lies. Yes, he has been unable to do that, but he has been able to blast the board with another arrogant and uneccessary collection of copy pasted spam that discuss the opinions of extreme neo conservative ideologues like Peter King. By the way, where is that article that you were going to link to? Oh that’s right you can’t link to it because it does not exist.

  291. ExposingWarmongeringNeoConStooges says:

    Zionist Stooge says:
    March 21, 2012 at 6:07 pm

    This absurd claim shows just how desperate the Stooge is. Note that when most rational people see these kind of paranoid claims (that filming a public landmark is “terrorism”) they rightly dismiss them as government paranoia, designed in this case to justify authoritarian government spying and destruction of civil liberties. And oh, what a surprise that the Stooge supports such activities. Oh yes, the Stooge supports democracy, meaning, he supports demonizing anyone who he disagrees with and depriving them of all basic constitutional rights. Like say, conducting surveillance on private citizens while they exercise their constitutionally protected right of free speech. Yep, you just keep you arrogant lies coming, and I keep revealing them to be what they are.

  292. ExposingWarmongeringNeoConStooges says:

    Zionist Stooge says:
    March 21, 2012 at 6:11 pm

    You have already been proven to fufill the definition of someone who is an extreme idealogue and someone who refuses to accept facts that disagree withe their delusional worldview. In particular, you endorse brutal dicatorships that support Israel, and you endorse terrorist attacks against Iran and Syria. Thus, by your own definition, you are irrational and a “madman.”

  293. ExposingWarmongeringNeoConStooges says:

    Zionist Stooge says:
    March 21, 2012 at 5:59 pm

    Oh yes, Peter King, the person who used to support what many describe as a terrorist organization (IRA) and now charmingly opposes terrorism, because apparently the wonderful intellectually consistent and honest Mr. King doesn’t like views that oppose his own and considers that to be equal to terrorism. How wonderful that the Stooge quotes a person who has been accurately compared to Joseph McCarthy. And does that person actually provide any evidence for his delusional claim? Why no he does not. So according to our morally consistent Stooge, it is fine for someone to support a terrorist organization as long as that person agrees with his campaign to demonize Muslims and Iran. Yep, just keep it up.

    Interesting Article analyzing key terms in both men’s speeches. http://flattauassociates.com/blog/is-peter-king-the-next-joe-mccarthy/

  294. ExposingWarmongeringNeoConStooges says:

    Zionist Stooge says:
    March 21, 2012 at 6:20 pm

    Guess what, Iran as a soveriegn state has the right to provide as many weapons as it desires to the sovereign state of Syria, and Syria has the right to buy as many weapons as it desires from the sovereign state of Iran. Note that the Stooge who supports vast weapons sales to the disgusting and corrupt dictatorship of Saudi Arabia by Western imperialist powers is not in a position to make sanctimonious complaints and claims about Iran.

  295. ExposingWarmongeringNeoConStooges says:

    Zionist Stooge says:
    March 21, 2012 at 6:40 pm

    Whereas you are a traitor that wants Iran to be invaded and destroyed and to have millions killed just like Iraq. Fortunately, the brave Iranian people will thwart your viciously evil design.

  296. ExposingWarmongeringNeoConStooges says:

    “Smith, don’t even start. Iran is ruled by a Supreme Animal who is only “answerable to god”.

    I literally just posted this response to this arrogant lie days ago. Wikipedia, Assembly of Experts.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Assembly_of_Experts

    “is a deliberative body of 86 Mujtahids (Islamic scholars) that is charged with electing and removing the Supreme Leader of Iran and supervising his activities. Members of the assembly are elected from list of candidates by direct public vote to eight-year terms.” So another stupid lie that can be disproved by a 2 second google search down. And note too Zionist, that just because you oppose someone does not make them an “animal.” I really am amused by your absolutist and radically intolerant views. Yep, you who read Pajamas Media and Jihad Watch really have a right to lecture other people about supposed intolerance (not).

  297. ExposingWarmongeringNeoConStooges says:

    Zionist Stooge says:
    March 21, 2012 at 6:11 pm

    So the Zionist Stooge blasts out the lie that the Iranian government executes “all who disagree with it” and than posts a message from a person who does indeed disagree with it and does that openly. Yep, your crediblity is now at -1,000,000,000%. What a joke you are and continue to be.

  298. Rehmat says:

    Baroness Catherine Ashton, EU foreign policy chief got into trouble with leaders of the Zionist regime for comparing the shooting death of four French Jews by a serial killer at Toulouse with Jewish army’s killing of over 1200 civilians in Gaza during ‘Operation Cast Lead‘ in December 2008.

    http://rehmat1.wordpress.com/2012/03/22/comparison-of-gaza-and-french-school-attack-irks-israel/

  299. ToivoS says:

    James your statement is correct based on what Europe and Obama say. You are wrong based on what they do. They support and are in a de facto alliance with Israel that conducts sabotage and assassination and they actively support sanctions. Their words mean nothing if they do not do more to distance themselves from Israeli crimes.

  300. Smith says:

    @ Sassan,

    Evidently you have strong emotions. But we live in a relative world. US also has killed, tortured and mutilated lots of human beings. All governments have, each as to their fate. Iranian government is no different. The process of on going evolution, with maturity of the public helps to make a better system. Wars and revolutions do not. Pick up a history book and read through wars and revolutions to find it for yourself. Now I know Iranians had a revolution but their revolution by comparison was very civil and sophisticated. They did not suffer as much as Russians and French and others did. Yes, Iranians also had their war, but again they did not suffer as much as others did. Only during one battle on eastern front between Russian and German forces, more people people were killed than the entire Iran Iraq war. So as I said, we live in a relative world. Iran can not be made into a sexually liberated Sweden. This expectation should stop. Not atleast in a century or two. They have a different culture, religion and history. But they can become a scientific and technological power with a modern economy and social structure within their own bounds of values. This is very critical to understand. Any war, revolution or agitation will roll back Iran decades and will cause death and destruction on massive scale and Iranian public will suffer for it for a long time to come. This should not happen. The only way forward is to amend the constitution for the post of the leader to be a fixed term though a longer one than a president. Almost all of Iran’s current problems will go away with this change. And all credible western polls, also indicate that Iranian people would want the position of Iranian leader to be directly electable, much like president and I am sure Iran is not short of Ayatullahs who would want to stand for that election. So theoretically there is support for this constitutional change. This is the only immediate (5-10 years) step that Iran can take. Expecting to make out of Iran a sexually liberated European nation in the next few months is a folly and will backfire. And probably will never happen either even either through foreign enforcement or through inward evolution. Iranian culture is different from European culture or Arab culture. They have their own system.

    As for US relation with Iran. US is at fault and must accept this fault. What ever Iranians do, it is their business in their country. US has no right to tell them what to do. In fact US meddling in Iran has slowed down Iran’s evolution to a more democratic system than it already is. Iran is not North Korea and is evolving. But US meddling has imposed a war time like situation on Iran and has caused understandable defensive strategies on part of Iran to protect itself which as during war time is not conductive to sociocultural evolution.

  301. Liz says:

    Sassan – You said you are against Islam, Karoubi is an islamist, in fact your views resonate well with Flynt’s video saying that iranians support the system while some people want reform, not bring down the system. Your views are confusing.

  302. Smith says:

    @ Sassan,

    Vilayat Faqh, is actually indirectly elected by people by a kind of parliament. So the comparison to Shah is wrong. Iranian constitution is actually a very advanced and sophisticated one which has put limits on power of Veliat Faqh (Leader), and he is free to do what he wants, though it has one flaw. It has not put a term limit on this elected post. It is understandable though that Iran would want to have such a system of mixed theocracy and for long term stability would benefit from a post like that of the leader but, this can be done by having a long term limit on the post. For example the constitution can be amended to have a 8 year term for the leader and a maximum two term limit in office. Every 8 years the assembly of expert will vote again on supreme leader and elect a new one. This would be both fully democratic as well as would give long term stability to system. Though this constitutional amendment would be very useful for Iran, I do not think so, in this hostile environment it would be possible to do it. Maybe in 5 or 10 years time when Iran is more stable for a referendum and possibly after the death of current leader it would be possible for such a thing to happen. But certainly some day it will be done.

  303. Sassan says:

    Smith, don’t even start. Iran is ruled by a Supreme Animal who is only “answerable to god”. In America, we have a democracy. In Iran, the rulers rule with impunity, terror, torture, rape, murders and executions. Stop with the failed moral equivalency of a secular democracy to a totalitarian and fascist society. Iranians simply want to live in freedom and opportunity.

  304. Smith says:

    @ Sassan,

    Iranians have actually endorsed their constitution in a referendum and its subsequent revision. If there is any amendment to constitution, it will be put to referendum again. Without that normal elections in which significant portion of population takes part is the re-affirmation of people’s loyalty for the system as has been regularly happening in Iran.

    By the way, I do not remember US constitution has ever been put into a referendum or indeed a referendum on the “system” is even allowed in US, despite the fact that elections in US have been suffering from rigging and low turn outs for decades now.

  305. Sassan says:

    He has even called the Velayet-e-Faqih worse than the Shah! He has also said Bahais and even non-believers should have equal rights in Iran and not be persecuted.

  306. Smith says:

    In the news:
    “Obama tries to fool Iranians by sending a norouz message to Iranian public and demand them to submit to the American slavery at once and threatening them in a subtle way. In the speech he brings up a newspeak word: electronic curtain.”

    “US military demands more funds to develop new weapons against Iranian capabilities since it deems current US equipment not effective against advancing Iranian capabilities. In effect accepting Iran as a growing power.”

    With regard to electronic curtain, US has imposed sanctions which bar electronic manufacturing equipment to be exported to Iran in particular those equipment used in setting up ISP’s and cell phone networks. Iranian government buys these stuff from black market to serve its citizens with these basic needs. Not only that, but also US has sanctioned Iran and has blocked any Iranian attempts to buy geostationary satellites to broadcast TV and radio around the world. Iranian government is trying to offset this by building a geostationary satellite launcher. So it is actually the US that is trying to stifle Iranian voices and imposing an electronic curtain on Iran. Hopefully Iranian scientists and engineers will be able to break this siege.

    As with regard to US military redesigning itself, much like during cold war, it will become an ongoing process. As those new US systems become operational, Iranians would have built more systems to counter a US invasion, which causes US military again to go to drawing boards. Welcome to the new cold war.

  307. Sassan says:

    Liz: Karubi is the only respectful man I respect. He has called for a referendum of the system and said that he would respect whatever the people vote in the referendum including getting rid of the Velayet-e-faqih. He is the only Patriot in Iran despite being a Mullah. He has also called for a separation of religion and politics.

  308. Liz says:

    Sassan – So the opposition is the one you support in Iran? Arent you against the Islamic Republic? How come you then support it? Kouroubi is part of this government structure.

  309. Sassan says:

    Iran: Opposition Leader Sends Message Of Resistance

    Written by: Radio Zamaneh
    March 21, 2012

    Detained opposition leader Mehdi Karroubi was allowed a visit from his family on the occasion of Iranian New Year celebrations.

    Karroubi, who was visited by his sons and wife after four months of complete isolation, has been under house arrest since February of 2011 and is currently being held in a small apartment where the visit took place, according to Saham News.

    Hossein Karroubi wrote about the visit on his Facebook page, saying they spent about 12 hours with his father on Tuesday, the first day of the New Year.

    According to Hossein Karroubi, this was the first visit with his father that was not supervised by security officials. He also indicates that they discussed several issues around the country’s political situation.

    Hossein Karroubi reports that his father’s morale is still high despite the isolation from his family and the outside world.

    Karroubi has reportedly told his family that he still stands firmly by his political convictions, adding that “the higher the costs, the more we will appreciate our accomplishments later and will work harder in preserving our achievements.”

    Mehdi Karroubi together with MirHossein Mousavi, another reformist presidential candidate, challenged the results of the 2009 presidential election and accused the state of vote fraud. Those allegations led to mass demonstrations, which were met with severe violence by the Islamic Republic establishment. Many deaths and arrests culminated in the house arrest of Karroubi and Mousavi along with their wives, Zahra Rahnavard and Fatemeh Karroubi.

    Fatemeh Karroubi was denied the right to stay with her husband after he was moved to a smaller apartment.

    Karroubi reportedly sent a message of congratulations to the Iranian people on the occasion of the New Year and conveyed his hope to see the “people and the country’s success and victory in the near future.”

    http://www.eurasiareview.com/21032012-iran-opposition-leader-sends-message-of-resistance/

  310. Liz says:

    Sassan – Hilarious, western support for arab autocrats, weapons to rebels commiting executions, torture. Another way to demolish any success in upcoming talks.

    Syria rebels committed serious abuses, Human Rights Watch says
    http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-syria-rights-report-20120321,0,3882780.story

  311. James Canning says:

    “Iran Offers ‘Permanent Human Monitoring’”:

    http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/153824

    March 16th, re: Larijani’s offer of March 15th.

  312. Sassan says:

    Iran accused at UN of shipping weapons to Syria

    Wed Mar 21, 2012 3:04pm EDT

    * U.S., Britain say Syria uses Iranian weapons on protesters

    * France says reports confirm Iranian arms supplies to Syria

    * U.N. sanctions on Iran nuclear program ban weapons exports

    By Michelle Nichols

    UNITED NATIONS, March 21 (Reuters) – The United States and Britain accused Iran at the United Nations on Wednesday of shipping weapons to Syria that are being used by the Syrian government against their own people.

    U.S., British and French diplomats voiced alarm over reports from governments that Iran has been violating U.N. sanctions and is illegally supplying weapons to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s government for its bloody year-long crackdown on pro-democracy protesters.

    The accusation was made during a U.N. Security Council briefing on the reported sanctions violations by Tehran.

    “We are alarmed that a majority of the violations … involved illicit transfers of arms and related material from Iran to Syria, where the Assad regime is using them to violently repress the Syrian people,” U.S. Deputy Ambassador to the United Nations, Rosemary DiCarlo, told the council.

    Under U.N. sanctions imposed on Iran for refusing to halt its nuclear enrichment program, Tehran is banned from exporting weapons. A 2011 U.N. report accused Iran of smuggling arms to Syria, but at the time Western diplomats said those weapons were being passed on to Lebanese and Palestinian militants.

    Iran and Syria have denied charges of arms trade.

    The United Nations says over 8,000 civilians have been killed during the Syrian government’s crackdown. The U.N. Security Council voiced support on Wednesday for U.N.-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan’s bid to end violence that has brought Syria to the brink of civil war.

    “We are seriously concerned by evidence of systematic Iranian activity to provide weapons illegally to the Syrian government. Weapons which, as we speak, are being used to violently suppress the people of Syria,” Britain’s U.N. Ambassador Mark Lyall Grant told the council.

    French Deputy U.N. Ambassador Martin Briens said many detailed reports of weapons deliveries to Syria from Iran had been made to the Security Council committee that monitors violations of the sanctions on Tehran.

    “The scope of this confirms the existence of a deliberate and continued policy of the illicit transfer of arms and related material between Iran and Syria,” he told the council, adding that France was “extremely concerned.”

    The Security Council first imposed sanctions on Iran in 2006. Western powers suspect Iran is developing the capability to produce nuclear weapons under cover of a civilian atomic energy program. Iran insists its only aim is the peaceful generation of electricity and refuses to halt its enrichment program.

    The council has adopted several rounds of sanctions against Iran. The recent sanctions resolution was approved in June 2010.

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/03/21/syria-iran-un-idUSL1E8ELSYD20120321

  313. James Canning says:

    kooshy,

    I was suggesting that perhaps Obama thinks morality is consigned to the rubbish bin when the question is what measures Israel will take in a given situation. I think morality continues to be important, including Khamenei’s fatwa against WMD possession by Iran on moral grounds..

  314. James Canning says:

    kooshy,

    Do you approve of Larijani’s March 15th offer for Iran to stop enriching uranium to 20 percent?

  315. Sassan says:

    Eric A. Brill: This is the nature of the terrorist regime of the Islamic Republic. This is the reason why the vast majority of Iranians are turned off by Islam in their everyday lives. This is a regime that after all rape our young sisters before executing them so that they don’t “die as virgins” as virgins go “straight to heaven”. This is why a regime that hangs gays, stones women to death, and executes all whom they disagree with either politically or religiously should never be afforded apocalyptic weaponry. This is a regime at its core is operated on the “return of the hidden imam” – hence, mutually assured destruction plays no deterrent with these madmen.

  316. kooshy says:

    James Canning says:
    March 21, 2012 at 5:51 pm

    Do you think Obama approves of Israel’s murder of Iranian scientists?

    Do you think the UK admires Saudi policy toward women?

    Gav-

    Since you asked, I don’t think either one cares a bit or gives a damn on both this issues, UK included, as you earlier said “Morality IS GONE into the rubbish bin” instead HIPOCRACY IS UP FRONT AND CENTERED.

  317. Sassan says:

    Iran Diplomats Cased NYC Landmarks, Police Official Says

    By Jeff Bliss on March 21, 2012

    Iranian diplomats may have carried out “hostile reconnaissance” of sites in New York as many as six times, a warning sign that the city might be targeted for terrorist attack, according to a police official.

    The incidents occurred between 2002 and 2010 and involved videotaping or photographing landmarks, rail service and bridges, said Mitchell Silber, director of the city police department’s intelligence analysis unit, in testimony before a U.S. House panel today.

    Hezbollah, a militant group allied with Iran that has been designated a terrorist organization by the U.S. State Department, also has ties to the New York region, he said.

    “The city remains the most likely venue for global tensions with Iran to spill over onto American soil,” Silber told the House Homeland Security Committee.

    Tensions with Iran have increased over the country’s unwillingness to scale back its nuclear program.

    Last month, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said she was concerned that Hezbollah would attempt a terrorist attack on American soil and that she had been in touch with U.S. Jewish groups. Napolitano said she wasn’t aware of any specific threats to the groups or other U.S. targets.

    Operatives in U.S.

    Government officials estimate “hundreds” of Iranian and Hezbollah operatives are in the U.S., said Representative Peter King, a Republican from New York who is the homeland security panel’s chairman.

    “We have a duty to prepare for the worst,” he said.

    Representative Bennie Thompson of Mississippi, the panel’s senior Democrat, complained that Obama administration officials weren’t among the witnesses at the hearing.

    “I am concerned about whether the testimony we received will be based on current information,” said Thompson. “We should not engage in a public discussion that creates fear and delivers misinformation.”

    New York police are facing criticism for conducting surveillance of Muslim communities. The New York-based Human Rights Watch yesterday requested in a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder that the Justice Department formally investigate the city department’s actions.

    Economic Sanctions

    The U.S. and Europe have tightened economic sanctions on Iran since a Nov. 8 United Nations atomic inspectors’ report raised questions about Iran’s nuclear program. The sanctions are meant to pressure Iran’s leaders to abandon weapons-related work and head off a potential conflict in the Persian Gulf region that holds more than half the world’s oil reserves.

    The Iranian surveillance has been going on for years, Silber said. In February 2010, federal air marshals found four people who said they worked for the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting Co. videotaping and photographing the Wall Street heliport, he said. One person held a camera at waist level, focusing on the structure and not the helicopters in the air, he said.

    Several members of the Iranian delegation to the United Nations in 2008 were seen taking pictures of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority train tracks inside Grand Central Station, Silber said. In the early to mid-2000s, police interviewed people with ties to the Iranian government who were taking pictures and videotaping infrastructure, he said.

    Terror Plots

    Police have been examining recent terrorist plots in India, Georgia, Azerbaijan and Thailand that may be connected to Iran, Silber said.

    An alleged Iranian plot last year to assassinate the Saudi Arabian ambassador to the U.S. shows that Iran doesn’t fear conducting American operations, said Matthew Levitt, director of the Stein Program on Counterterrorism and Intelligence at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy in Washington.

    “America and its allies are already involved in a shadow war with Iran,” he said.

    Hezbollah’s presence in the New York region has been uncovered in investigations, Silber said. Twenty-six people, including a former Brooklyn resident, were indicted in 2009 for conspiring to provide material support to Hezbollah by obtaining weapons, and raising money through the sale of fraudulent passports and other schemes, Silber said.

    Past cases have shown that Hezbollah operatives, whose primary purpose was to raise money and provide supplies to the group, can have a “potential lethal nature,” said Chris Swecker, a former assistant director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

    Intelligence officials have told the committee’s staff that “Hezbollah is the group most capable of flipping its nationwide network of criminal fund-raising cells into an operational terror force capable of great violence,” King said.

    http://www.businessweek.com/news/2012-03-21/iranian-diplomats-cased-landmarks-police-official-says

  318. Liz says:

    James Canning, I refuse to debate with you since you ignore the basics.

  319. Sassan says:

    NYPD says Iran has conducted surveillance in NYC

    By EILEEN SULLIVAN, Associated Press – 3 hours ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Authorities have interviewed at least 13 people since 2005 with ties to Iran’s government who were seen taking pictures of New York City landmarks, a senior New York Police Department official said Wednesday.

    Police consider these instances to be pre-operational surveillance, bolstering their concerns that Iran or its proxy terrorist group could be prepared to strike inside the United States, if provoked by escalating tensions between the two countries.

    Mitchell Silber, the NYPD’s director of intelligence analysis, told Congress that New York’s international significance as a terror target and its large Jewish population make the city a likely place for Iran and Hezbollah to strike. Silber testified before the House Homeland Security about the potential threat. Much of what Silber said echoed his previous statements on the potential threat, but he offered new details Wednesday about past activities in New York.

    In May 2005, Silber said, tips led the NYPD to six people on a sight-seeing cruise who were taking pictures and movies of city landmarks like the Brooklyn Bridge. In September 2008, police interviewed three people taking pictures of railroad tracks. And in September 2010, federal air marshals saw four people taking pictures and videos at a New York heliport. Interviews with law enforcement revealed that all were associated with the Iranian government, but they were ultimately released and never charged, Silber said.

    U.S. officials long have worried that Iran would use Hezbollah to carry out attacks inside the United States. And Iran was previously accused in a disrupted plot to assassinate the Saudi ambassador to the U.S. here last year, a plan interpreted in the U.S. intelligence community as a clear message that Iran is not afraid to carry out an attack inside this country.

    In January, James Clapper, the top U.S. intelligence official, said some Iranian officials are probably “more willing to conduct an attack in the United States in response to real or perceived U.S. actions that threaten the regime.”

    But government officials have said there are no known or specific threats indicating Iranian plans to attack inside the U.S.

    http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5j-lHi9ht2Ia9XACe4y13eyggbFTw?docId=365b220a2c5349aabb17ab386703ff77

  320. fyi writes:

    “Iranians are making a distinction between religions sanctioned by the Quran – the Uncreated Word of God – and all other claimants to designation of religion.”

    Each “Iranian” should be free to make whatever distinction he or she may want to make. But why does the Iranian government have to insist on the right to do this on behalf of each “Iranian?” Why not let each Iranian decide for himself or herself what he or she will believe, and how he or she will practice those beliefs?

  321. Sassan says:

    US Lawmaker: Iran May Have Hezbollah Operatives in US

    Cindy Saine | Capitol Hill

    The Republican chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, Peter King, said the Iranian-backed militant group Hezbollah may have hundreds of operatives based in the United States, and he said Hezbollah, and not al-Qaida, poses the greatest terrorist threat to Americans. King held a hearing Wednesday with former government officials testifying.

    House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Peter King of New York takes U.S. national security very seriously, and he says the terrorist threat to the United States may be shifting.

    “Now, as Iran moves closer to nuclear weapons, and there is increasing concern over war between Iran and Israel, we must also focus on Iran’s secret operatives and their number one terrorist proxy force, Hezbollah, which we know is in America,” said King.

    King said there are 84 Iranian diplomats in New York at the United Nations and in Washington, some of whom he said are likely to be spies.

    One of the witnesses to the panel, Mitchell Silber, is the New York Police Department’s director of intelligence analysis. He said since 2005, New York law enforcement officers have interviewed at least 13 people with ties to Iran’s government who were seen taking pictures of New York City landmarks. Police consider the activity to be pre-operational surveillance.

    Another one of the witnesses, former FBI official Chris Swecker, agreed that Hezbollah poses a real threat.

    “While al-Qaida has gained attention and notoriety with a series of sensational attacks, Hezbollah has quietly and strategically operated below the radar screen by avoiding overt terrorist attacks in the U.S.,” said Swecker. “But, nevertheless, Hezbollah is responsible for the deaths of hundreds of U.S. citizens, and including 241 Marines in the bombing of the Beirut barracks” [in 1983].

    A former drug enforcement official, Michael Braun, said he fears the confluence of terrorist groups such as Hezbollah and global drug cartels. He said Hezbollah and members of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard are working with cartels.

    “They are now operating and working in close proximity and collaborating with Mexican and Colombian drug trafficking cartels, not only in the Western Hemisphere, but other locations such as Guinea Bissau in West Africa,” Braun said.

    Several witnesses said Tehran may now be prepared to carry out proxy attacks on U.S. soil. They cited a failed plot, allegedly by Iran, to assassinate the Saudi ambassador to the U.S. last October in a Washington restaurant.

    The ranking member on the committee, Democrat Bennie Thompson of Mississippi, urged caution, especially addressing those lawmakers who are calling for tougher action on Iran’s nuclear program. He said, “But we should not engage in a public discussion that creates fear and delivers misinformation.”

    Thompson said if lawmakers have concerns about Iran, they should invite National Intelligence Director James Clapper to testify in front of them in a classified setting.

    http://www.voanews.com/english/news/usa/143709036.html

  322. James Canning says:

    kooshy,

    Do you think Obama approves of Israel’s murder of Iranian scientists?

    Do you think the UK admires Saudi policy toward women?

  323. James Canning says:

    Liz,

    Iran supports a Middle East free of nukes. So does the UK.

    Many in Iran would like to see Israel out of the West Bank and Golan Heights. So would the UK.

    Iran wants minimal stability in Afghanistan, and foreign troops out. So does the UK.

  324. kooshy says:

    Gav- I was reading your last two consecutive “related” comments to Liz and couldn’t help not thinking that you are perfect fit for Haji Firouz (a Norooz Jester personality who brings laughter), on the other hand there is a related Iranian proverb that says “death is acceptable long as is the neighbor’s”

    James Canning says:
    March 21, 2012 at 5:22 pm

    “Liz,

    Does Britain accept Saudi Arabia? Of course. Is Britain an admirer of the approach the Saudis take toward the rights of women? Not really, but what does this matter?”

    James Canning says:
    March 21, 2012 at 5:18 pm

    “Liz,

    I doubt Obama approves of Israeli murders of Iranian scientists, though he may tell himself Israel will do what it thinks it needs to do. Morality can go into the rubbish bin.”

  325. James Canning says:

    Liz,

    William Hague wanted to improve relations between the UK and Iran, Hamas, Hezbollah, and Syria. This is fact.

    Iran blundered by enriching uranium to 20 percent, especially by trebling production of it.

    Do you approve of Larijani’s March 15th offer for Iran to stop enriching to 20%?

  326. Interested says:

    The NYT is the official newspaper of the one percent.

  327. Interested says:

    Could you ever imagine an article like this being published in the New York Times?

  328. Liz says:

    James Canning – Dont bring Saudi Arabia into this. You could compare the two (Iran / Saudi Arabia) if U.K. actually sanctioned Saudi Arabia too. But since they dont your argument is dead wrong.

    I forgot one more part that U.K. got a problem with on Iran on – their foreign policy, making U.K. having problem with every vital part of the Islamic Republic. U.K. accept Iran, yeah dream on.

  329. James Canning says:

    Liz,

    Do you approve of Larijani’s March 15th offer for Iran to cease production of 20% U?

  330. James Canning says:

    Liz,

    Does Britain accept Saudi Arabia? Of course. Is Britain an admirer of the approach the Saudis take toward the rights of women? Not really, but what does this matter?

    Britain can accept the government of Iran and still offer criticism of policies of that government.

    Britain accepted the government of the Soviet Union but obviously offered a great deal of criticism of Soviet policies.

  331. James Canning says:

    Liz,

    William Hague in fact did try to improve British relations with Iran. Iran’s insistence on stockpiling 20 percent uranium impeded or wrecked his efforts.

    I doubt Obama approves of Israeli murders of Iranian scientists, though he may tell himself Israel will do what it thinks it needs to do. Morality can go into the rubbish bin.

  332. Rd. says:

    Eric A. Brill says:

    That’s not correct. The US constitution not only protects religious freedom, but also freedom of assembly and freedom of expression. Put all those “freedoms” together and you end up with a constitutionally protected right of religious groups to assemble and express themselves.

    ==========

    Except, if their “religion” happens to be Occupy Wallstreett? Don’t mess with the elites/

  333. ExposingWarmongeringNeoConStooges says:

    By the way, since you are not averse to renewing discussions that ceased 12 hours ago, when are you going to find and provide the proof for the assertions you made earlier. Remember them? The website that is online and supposedly the source of the allegation you made but, strangely you were unable to link to the original source article for the allegation? Well…I’m waiting…

  334. ExposingWarmongeringNeoConStooges says:

    So, by now the two longest pieces of writing on this thread, by far, are two copy pasted pieces of the same spam. First was copy pasted on March 21, 2012 at 3:32 am
    and the same piece (without the ridiculous bold text) was copy pasted on March 21, 2012 at 4:40 pm. The same piece, word for word copy pasted on the same thread just a little over 12 hours apart. What is funny is that the resident Zionist apparently thinks his agenda to disrupt this blog and refuse to engage in rational argument is not obvious to 99.90% (or everyone except him) of the readers of this blog.

  335. ExposingWarmongeringNeoConStooges says:

    Sassan says:
    March 21, 2012 at 4:40 pm

    I am really getting tired of the same thing being spammed again and again. At this point this is simply aggresssive and anti social behavior designed to disrupt discussion on this blog. You could have easily referred to your previous post instead of copy pasting this spam again. Once again, this illustrates your own bullying tactics and attempt to intimidate people which unfortunately for you are not effective on this blog. And note, your assertions made in the piece have not magically become truth just because you say them. I already debunked your absurd assertions about this, but I am happy to do so again if necessary.

  336. Sassan says:

    July 14, 2010
    Apostasy in Iran

    The question about apostasy situation in Iran has been asked from me through times, so I am going to discuss it in the following.

    First let’s see who is apostate in Islamic republic of Iran? An apostate is the former follower of Islam (or known to be a Muslim) that now rejects Islam. Conversion from Islam to another religion or belief makes you an apostate because that means you basically “abandoning Islam” which called apostasy in Islamic law. There is a detail definition of apostates in Shiite school perspective at end of this article.

    What is the punishment of apostasy in Islamic republic of Iran? Death penalty but there is not a crime specified about apostasy in Penal Code. Faraj Sarkouhi, an Iranian journalist explained the situation:

    “Tens of people have convicted of apostasy and sentenced to death in Iranian courts during past 3 decades but there are not crimes specified about apostasy in Penal Code, judges are required to use their knowledge of Islamic law and Islamic Jurisprudence in cases where no codified law exists.” 1

    Amil Imani, an Iranian columnist shed lights on how Iranian judges manage to legitimize execution of apostates:

    At present, apostasy is illegal in most Islamic countries. Although execution of the apostate is not common, it does take place from time-to-time by frequently buttressing the “crime” with additional charges. The Islamic Republic of Iran, for instance, often adds the charge of mohareb (one who wars with God) to further legitimize its execution of apostates. A case in point pertains to the treatment of the religious minority Baha’is by the Islamic Republic. A number of Baha’is have been charged as apostates and mohareb, executed and some secretly buried in unmarked graves. 2

    But, authorities in Islamic republic of Iran have tried to avoid media frenzy about this sensitive Islamic punishment so they take this stuff to their own militia. This militia has acted like judge, jury and executioner, most of the time only executioner. Paul Marshall, a senior fellow at Freedom House’s Center for Religious Freedom makes crystal clear that situation has been worsening:

    In the 1990s, the Islamic Republic of Iran used death squads against converts, including major Protestant leaders, and the situation is worsening under President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. The regime is currently engaged in a systematic campaign to track down and reconvert or kill those who have changed their religion from Islam. 3

    If we go back and study history of Islamic republic and development of Islamic militia with it, we can come to conclusion that the death squads started since the early revolution. First, they have been used to terror political opponents and purging dissidents and then enemies of Islam that Khomeini, himself was very sensitive to apostates. In fact, Islamic establishment have grown out of these death squads and terrorists.

    Although between 1980 until 1989, during Khomeini era, Islamic establishment had openly punished apostates to death but still there were cases and people that they couldn’t afford the public embarrassment to take them to court so Khomeini’s clan used death squads to get rid of them. Victims of this kind of terror campaign usually found stabbed to death with multiple stab wounds in their body.

    But execution of apostates is not new in Islamic history, in fact it was born with Islam itself. Islam means surrender and when someone chooses or forced to surrender to Islam then he/she loses everything and there is no way back out. Amil Imani put together a great collection of verses from Quran and Hadithes about punishment for apostates:

    Apostasy is defined both in the Quran as well as the Sharia and its punishment is clearly stipulated:

    “Those who blasphemed and back away from the ways of Allah and die as blasphemers, Allah shall not forgive them.” [Qur'an 4:48]

    Islamic law does not allow the freedom to choose one’s religion:

    “Let there be no compulsion in the religion: Clearly the Right Path (i.e. Islam) is distinct from the crooked path.” [Qur'an 2:256]

    The Quran also specifically addresses the issue of murtad milli:

    “But those who reject faith after they accepted it, and then go on adding to their defiance of faith, never will their repentance be accepted; for they are those who have (of set purpose) gone astray.” [Qur'an 3:90]

    The Hadith further restates the provision of the Quran regarding punishment of the apostate:

    “Kill whoever changes his religion.” __Sahih al-Bukhari 9:84:57

    “The blood of a Muslim who confesses that none has the right to be worshiped but Allah and that I am His Apostle, cannot be shed except in three cases: In Qisas for murder, a married person who commits illegal sexual intercourse and the one who reverts from Islam (apostate) and leaves the Muslims.”__ Sahih al-Bukhari 9:83:17

    This public condemnation of apostates and inciting hate towards them doesn’t stop here. Islamic clerics have frequently mentioned “apostates don’t deserve to live the life and they should be killed”. During Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini in Iran, Judges had order to punish apostates, non-believers, blasphemous people to death penalty without any discretion. Ayatollah Khomeini to guide Muslims wrote in his book:

    “If an innate apostate repents, his repentance is not acceptable and his punishment is still intact and has no effect in regaining his property and his wife. His possessions that divided between the heirs, he won’t get them back either, even though if he claims he is a Muslim at heart. And punishment for the [innate] apostasy is that if the apostate is a man, he should be killed, and if the apostate is a woman, she will get life imprisonment and during five daily prayers, she should be lashed. They have to give her hard time on her life, water and food to push her to repent, and because her repentance is acceptable. Then if she repents, she will be free. But a milli apostate should be given chance to repent, if he refuses to repent, he should be killed. A word of caution, it is better to ask the apostate to repent and should be killed on the fourth day.” 4

    Ayatollah Khomeini in his speeches frequently used to threat apostates or people who ridicule mullahs with death penalty. He talked about apostates quite often. i. e.

    “Whoever insults Prophet, whoever insults sacred Imams, there is an obligation for Muslims to kill him” 5

    “If anyone ridicules a mullah, he ridicules Islam. If he does it intentionally (he is sane, not crazy) then he is an innate apostate. His wife is forbidden to him. His possessions must also be given to heirs. He should be killed.” 6

    Ayatollah Khazali said:

    “Jihad means slaying enemies’ blood when he weakens people’s belief. Commanding the just means, lady cover your face. Why some would say let people decide on their own? Who the hell are people? People fulfill god’s wishes. People are respected and precious only to carry out god’s wishes, not to disturb it.” 7

    Mullah Hasani, Supreme Leader’s representative in West Azerbaijan and leader of Friday Prayer in Urmia city said:

    “According to Islamic tradition, anyone who heard of apostasy, it is an obligation to kill him [the apostate]. During recent five-six years, how much chain newspaper committed apostasy.” 8

    Now that we established that apostasy is already punishable by death in Iran, the question is why did Islamic Iran propose to make the death penalty for apostasy part of the penal code? Amil Imani answers that:

    “Apostasy — or the formal renunciation of religion — is already punishable in Iran with death. But now, Iran wants to make the death penalty for apostasy part of the penal code. The European Union is concerned and has asked Iran to reconsider.” Who is an apostate according to the legislation? Anyone in the world, not just Iranians, born to a Muslim parent; also, any convert to Islam who leaves it. Only one parent needs to be a Muslim at the time of conception for Islam to own that child for life. Islam is Ummahist. Islam doesn’t recognize nationalities and national boundaries. And these Islamist zealots are very serious and have no sense of humor. Some say they have no sense at all, and they may be right. What they certainly have is a thirst for blood, particularly for the blood of infidels and apostates.”

    How about two reformists that charged with apostasy?

    This is the question that many have asked me because it publicized in Wikipedia too and unfortunately it is not well updated. In recent years, there have been only two apostasy cases that have become public in Iran. Hashem Aghajari and Hassan Youssefi Eshkevari – both reformists – have been arrested and charged with apostasy in the Islamic Republic of Iran. The only motive behind their apostasy charges were solely political, not for self-professed conversion to another faith or abandoning Islam. Both of them have been committed Muslim and they have never claimed otherwise. Later their charges were overturned and they convicted on minor offences.9 None of these two high-profile reformists were executed.

    On the case of Hashem Aghajari, specifically Ayatollah Khamenei, Islamic Iran’s Supreme Leader and Ayatollah Hashemi Shahroudi who was then head of the judiciary intervened and rejected the apostasy allegation:

    “According to Islamic jurisprudence, Hashem Aghajari’s case is not apostasy.” 10

    Martin Luther said “Reason is the enemy of faith” and apostasy law is the medieval law, there, only to limit mankind by slaving his mind and so his life. Apostasy laws are there to advance idiotic religious authority over masses and sadly, to kill them when people reject the religious idea. Apostasy law is a gross violation of human rights. For now, I am hoping less people would be sacrificed with these barbaric doctrine in Islamic Iran.

    Detail definition:

    There are two types of apostates according to Shitte Islamic school: 11

    1. Innate apostate (Murtad Fitri) means a person who is born of a Muslim parent and then he rejects Islam. “Fitrah” means creation. The term Innate apostate implies that the person has apostated from the faith in which he was born (In Islamic belief, “created” is the right word).
    2. Milli apostate (Murtad Milli, translated as voluntary apostate) means a person who converted to Islam and then later on he rejects Islam. Milli is from millat which means religion. The term Milli apostate implies that the person has apostated from his religion and the Muslim community.

    Sunni Islamic school does not differentiate apostates in this regard.

    http://www.iranianatheist.com/2010/07/apostasy-in-iran.html

  337. ExposingWarmongeringNeoConStooges says:

    Our friendly local Zionist says:
    March 21, 2012 at 1:31 pm

    Has your credibiliy just completely vanished with your last failure to respond to the fact that the latest set of unproven assertions you made were debunked with reason and logic? Why yes it has. And I note that the Identity’s ability to make assertions about things he has no personal experience with and has no knowlege of continues unchecked. I already said this, but it bears repeating. When you publish things in bold text they do not magically become true. Instead, it only makes your unproven and unfact checked assertions look more absurd.

  338. Liz says:

    Mohammed El Baradei speaks out against war.
    You can bomb their facilities, but you cannot bomb their knowledge

    http://www.businessweek.com/news/2012-03-21/elbaradei-says-iran-to-develop-atomic-weapons-if-israel-attacks

  339. BiBiJon says:

    Richard Steven Hack says:
    March 21, 2012 at 2:56 pm

    “Yeah, planted articles like this bode real well for new negotiations…”

    Richard, this strictly local stuff. Has nothing to do with P5+1 nuclear dossier.

    As I wrote earlier:

    “NYPD, and NY state get extra monies allocated from Homeland Security. Thanks for the pictures!”

  340. Liz says:

    Richard Steven Hack – That pro israeli nypd worker – Silber, referenced in the link, is probably the reason for this path taken by NYPD.
    http://mondoweiss.net/2012/02/praying-while-shia-the-nypds-latest-religious-profiling-scandal.html

    Doing a Google search on him leaves many Iran and Israel/jewish related statements done by him.

  341. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Yeah, planted articles like this bode real well for new negotiations…

    NYPD: Iran Has Done Surveillance In New York City
    http://www.npr.org/2012/03/21/149080630/nypd-iran-has-done-surveillance-in-new-york-city?ft=1&f=1001

  342. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Al Jazeera Journalist Explains Resignation over Syria and Bahrain Coverage
    http://therealnews.com/t2/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=31&Itemid=74&jumival=8106

    Relevant Quotes:

    As for me, late in—before, in May, I had a problem with the channel when I—you know, we were on the borders with Syria and there were a lot of armed men, militants, tens of guns, and they were with weapons and just moving along the border from Lebanon to Syria.

    At that time, you know, everyone was talking about the revolution in Syria, that it’s peaceful revolution, it’s not using arms. But, you know, what we saw, it was really interesting and kind of—if it was any other channel, this should be a breaking news, it should be a big story. But, actually, Al Jazeera, let me say, the policy and the channel itself, maybe the journalists inside, you know, they went back to, maybe, the owners, and then it was kind of—it’s not allowed, and I was asked to go back to Beirut, and those footage weren’t ever aired on Al Jazeera.

    HASHEM: Actually, I can’t identify who’s really supplying the arms, but actually we saw armed men just crossing the river, the great northern river, which is the only, you know, natural barrier between Lebanon and Syria. They were just crossing that barrier and going into Syria, and then clashing with the Syrian Army. That was in May. And even something similar happened in April, but it wasn’t on camera. But in May it was on camera and we had the footage, and, you know, no one wanted to have them on air.

    HASHEM: Actually, you know, it was clear the protests started peacefully, but it seems that quickly it went into militarizing. Some external factors or factions wanted the resolution to be militarized and they wanted to face al-Assad’s crackdown with weapons. And maybe this was bad for the revolution. Maybe if this revolution stayed peaceful it might have achieved a lot.
    But what happened is that—you know, I’m not sourcing or quoting; I just saw with my eyes, and it was in the beginning of the revolution, it was just, like, one month and a half from the revolution. And things were—you know, I was seeing a lot of weapons, people with RPGs, people with Kalashnikovs, you know, just crossing from the borders. And they were not one or two; they were a big number; they were just dominating the whole village that we were on the borders with. So, you know, the militarization of the revolution started early, and it may be those who were trying, maybe, to push and to—you know, they want al-Assad to fall as soon as possible. Those wanted to say that al-Assad is facing the peaceful crackdown with weapons, while the others on the revolution side are kind of peaceful people, are not holding weapons.

    JAY: And you have no—you weren’t able to ascertain who those people were crossing the river, those fighters.
    HASHEM: No, actually. That was impossible. You can’t ask, you know, who are those people, because, you know, you are just seeing armed men. And, you know, we were just beside them, we were just beside them. So it was clear that those people are fighting for the Syrian revolution. But who are they? Some of them were Lebanese, some of them were Syrians. But, you know, you can’t—you know, at that time it wasn’t clear. There were no umbrella they were fighting under. You know. After, like, six or seven months, we started hearing about the Free Syrian Army, but at that time, we didn’t hear about anyone. It was just, like, you know, those are armed men just crossing the borders and fighting against al-Assad’s army. But it wasn’t clear who are they and are they backed by, who is giving them the weapons, who is really pushing them to do this and that.

    JAY: And what is that politics? What does Qatar want in Syria?

    HASHEM: Actually, it’s really strange. You know that—or everyone knows that the Qatari regime used to be one of the strongest and the closest allies of the Syrian regime. And that wasn’t for one year or three years; that was for the last, at least, six years. They were really close allies. They had even, you know, family visits between each other.

    Actually, things changed after the Egyptian Revolution, and things started to be really strong. Really, something changed in the Qatari politics. Some will say that they had a kind of a deal with the Americans in this regard. Actually, I’m not here to—maybe, to analyze what happened, really, but it was something, you know, strange.
    In my resignation letter, I was telling the executive or the executives of my channel that the first 15 days of the Syrian revolution, it was like nothing was happening in Syria. Al Jazeera wasn’t covering. And in case there was any kind of coverage of what’s going on there, we were, you know, referring to the uprising over there—it’s kind of demonstrations asking for reforms. It’s the same way the pro-Assad media was dealing with the revolution. But when the relation, the bilateral relations between the Qataris and the Syrians was kind of exploded, for a reason—we really don’t know why things changed—and we started, you know, dealing with the revolution in Syria as the priority of the channel, and that there is no other revolution but this revolution.

    End Quotes

  343. BiBiJon says:

    If Iranian and on an official junket to NY, don’t take pictures to show off back home. Or maybe you should, cuz NYPD, and NY state get extra monies allocated from Homeland Security. Thanks for the pictures!

    http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5j-lHi9ht2Ia9XACe4y13eyggbFTw?docId=365b220a2c5349aabb17ab386703ff77

  344. kooshy says:

    Unknown Unknowns says:
    March 21, 2012 at 6:15 am

    “Good luck with Homeland Security on the way back! Lol”

    FYI

    Fortunately never had any problem with HS, but two packs of salt roasted dry Tabriz watermelon seeds bought from Tavazo were taken away by the US customs, although the Akbari pistachios and all my Yazdi pastries and dry Yazdi breads were permitted to pass. I was also told that dry fruits (packed by Tavazo) are not permitted; US custom agents are very familiar with Tavazo and immediately ask you if you have any Tavazo item with you.

  345. kooshy says:

    Unknown Unknowns says:
    March 21, 2012 at 6:15 am

    “I just realized that the Arman Center does not have an outlet in Tehran (they are out of Mashhad). But there is a store in chahar-rah-e Callege that carries a lot of their stuff”

    UU JAN-

    Thanks for all your suggestion, although I am now back in LA (since last week), incidentally I did end up going to “chahar-rah-e Callege” which it is a famous Tehran intersection and it means (Collage Crossroad), I should add it was named “Callege” because the current nearby Alborze High Scholl was originally “American Collage of Tehran” headed by Dr. Samuel Jordan till the 1940, I end up going there because that’s where I was born and raised till I was 14 although it resembles nothing similar to what I remembered it was. For some strange reason the more Iran living family members I lose the more I am becoming attached to my place of birth, for me there exists an air of belonging that I would immediately feel as I step out of the plane and on to Iran. I would never forget the words of late great Iranian poet Fraydoon Moshiri who I had the pleasure of knowing “من اینجا ریشه در خاکم” “I am rooted in here”. As Arnold our previous adulter governor of state (and a cross road neighbor) said “I will be back”.

  346. Liz says:

    James Canning – Gosh you are naive. Dont know where to start,,,

    You said that Britain accept Iran, thats bullocks.
    If Britain accept Iran, whats the fuss about then? Say one vital topic that Britain hasnt either condemned or sanctioned. Its Human Rights, Its their political system, its their nuclear program, its sanctions against the people, its assassinations and various provocations.

    What do you suppose Obama is going to tell the public? “Yes we support assassination, and Israel did it”? You expect him to say that? For crying out loud man,,,

  347. BiBiJon says:

    James Canning says:
    March 21, 2012 at 1:50 pm

    “The issue of enriching to 20 percent is NUMBER ONE ITEM ON THE AGENDA OF THE SIX POWERS. Why is this hard for you to understand?”

    When Ahmadinejad put that offer on the table last year in NY, all THE SIX POWERS were in NY. They could have whisked off to a meeting, and coordinated a subsequent technical meeting in Geneva and be done with it.

    That is not to mention this NUMBER ONE ITEM ON THE AGENDA would not be on the agenda at all if they hadn’t blocked Iran buying fuel for TRR, and later scrap the swap deals.

    Other than saying ‘I have said before they made blunder’, what part of this don’t you understand?

    You made the blunder. You live with it. And, if you choose to die with it, that is fine too, just start a war.

  348. James Canning says:

    ToivoS,

    Where do you get the idea that the Six Powers (and the EU) are somehow not accepting the existence of the government of Iran, if they demand Iran stop enriching to 20 percent?

  349. James Canning says:

    ToivoS,

    Obama has not approved of Israel’s assassination of Iranian scientists. Britain condemns those killings.

  350. Fiorangela says:

    Happy NoRooz to BiBiJon and All

    I am Your reed, sweet shepherd glad to be
    Now if You will, breathe out Your joy in Me
    And make bright song
    Or fill me with the soft moan of Your love
    When Your delight has failed
    To call or move Your flock from wrong

    Make children’s song or any song
    To fill Your reed with breath of life
    But at Your will, lay down the flute
    And take repose while music infinite
    Is silence in Your heart
    And laid on it Your reed is mute.

    -Caryll Houselander
    http://www.hangad.org/our-music/179-pastoral

  351. James Canning says:

    ToivoS,

    Britain HAS MADE CLEAR IT ACCEPTS THE GOVERNMENT OF IRAN. William Hague could not be more clear in his several statements on that issue.

    The issue of enriching to 20 percent is NUMBER ONE ITEM ON THE AGENDA OF THE SIX POWERS. Why is this hard for you to understand?

  352. James Canning says:

    kooshy,

    I agree with you that $100 oil is high. If Brent quote drops to $100, US oil price likely will be $90 or lower. Which of course is still high. The Saudis previously had thought $70-$75 was sustainable.

  353. James Canning says:

    R S Hack,

    Britain has been much more robust in defence of the Palestinians than the US, even if this annoys the Israel lobby in the US.

  354. Sassan says:

    All us freedom lovers can embrace one great achievement of this regime: Islam has no future inside of a free and future Iran. Particularly, as any sort of political force. Why? The vast majority of Iranians are no longer religious or practice religion in any way. In addition, a very sizable minority no longer even self-identify as Muslims in their own lives and we have a great deal of atheists behind closed doors. Surely, this is something tremendous afforded to us by the Islamic Republic. Thank you for this.

  355. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Mutually Assured Madness
    British Ambassador Peter Jenkins on the alternatives to bombing Iran.
    http://www.inthesetimes.com/article/12845/mutually_assured_madness

    Quotes

    There is a fascinating document in the National Security Archives at George Washington University. It’s a declassified memo, written in June 1968, from the director of the Policy Planning Council in the State Department to Secretary of State Dean Rusk. It points out that under the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT), states would be able, legally, to reach a state of what the author calls “nuclear pregnancy,” i.e., this latent capacity that I’ve been talking about. I stress that the word “legally” appears in that section.

    My reading of the NPT is entirely consistent with that. Provided a state does not cross the threshold and start manufacturing or otherwise acquiring nuclear explosive devices, then it is staying within the letter of the NPT. To conduct the kind of basic research into how to put together a weapon may not be entirely consistent with the spirit of the NPT, but it is not against the letter – and by the way, Iran is not the only NPT non-nuclear-weapon state that has conducted such research.

    [MY COMMENT: This is interesting. Apparently Jenkins agrees with me that under the NPT Iran could conduct nuclear weapons research and still be "legal" - albeit against the "spirit" of the NPT. - RSH]

    The British Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the British Diplomatic Service have become very subservient to the United States, and people are reluctant to voice any opinion that could be construed as a criticism. This is partly the fault of our political leaders who, at least since the time of Tony Blair, have been over-awed by the United States and reluctant to say or do anything that might possibly put at risk what they like to refer to as the “special relationship.” Things were different when I served in Washington in the 1980s.

    End Quotes

  356. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Iran nuclear claims test good faith
    http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/NC22Ak01.html

    Quotes

    The first detailed account of negotiations between the International Atomic Energy Agency and Iran last month belies earlier statements by unnamed Western officials portraying Iran as refusing to cooperate with the IAEA in allaying concerns about alleged nuclear weaponization work.

    The account given by Iran’s permanent representative to the IAEA, Ali Asghar Soltanieh, shows that the talks in February came close to a final agreement but were hung up primarily over the IAEA insistence on being able to reopen issues even after Iran had answered questions about them to the organizations’s satisfaction.

    It also indicates that that the IAEA demand to visit Parchin military base during that trip to Tehran reversed a previous agreement that the visit would come later in the process, and that IAEA Director General Yukia Amano ordered his negotiators to break off the talks and return to Vienna rather than accept Iran’s invitation to stay for a third day.

    Soltanieh’s account suggests that Amano may have switched signals to the IAEA delegation after consultations with the United States and other powerful member states which wanted to be able to cite the Parchin access issue to condemn Iran for its alleged failure to cooperate with the IAEA.

    End Quotes

  357. BiBiJon says:

    Eric A. Brill says:
    March 21, 2012 at 12:52 pm

    You ask so what?

    The difference is that a Jewish member of Iranian parliament, in his capacity as MP, can write President Ahmadinejad and chastise him for his Holocaust remarks.
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/4705246.stm

    But the >2 millions of Muslims in the US as a group do not have constitutionally mandated representation in Congress to write a similar letter in a similar official capacity.
    ,http://www.usatoday.com/news/religion/2008-08-05-muslim-jew-census_N.htm

  358. Richard Steven Hack says:

    The latest from Kaveh Afrasiabi.

    Swift blows to Iran and nuclear talks
    http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/NC21Ak02.html

  359. fyi says:

    Eric A. Brill says: March 21, 2012 at 12:43 pm

    Iranians are making a distinction between religions sanctioned by the Quran – the Uncreated Word of God – and all other claimants to designation of religion.

    Thus Zoroastrians, Jews, Sabeans, and Christians are officially recognized as those sanctioned by the Quran and therefore a species of “Islam” (the one True Religion of Adam, Moses, Abraham, Jesus and Mohammad).

    As such, these religious communities are free to practice their rites and are also guaranteed representation in Majlis.

    These were codifications of actual practices both in Persia and in the Ottoman Empire (Melliyat Syste as it was called there.)

    [This last item is not possible under US Constitution which treats all religions equally.]

    Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, Shin-Taoism, Jainism are not “Islamic” religions as they are not mentioned in the Quran.

    And the syncretic sects of Islam are what they are: heresies that can never be recognized as legitimate religions.

    The Iranian Constitutions always granted equal protection of basic rights to all Iranian citizens.

    But the actual practice of “Benign Neglect” has been dependent on the whims and the political atmosphere of the country.

    I know very many Bahais, for example, consider the late Shah of Iran to have been an enlighened ruler when it came to the treatment of Bahais; they seem to forget the 1950s campaigns against Bahais that took place under his rulership.

    Fundamentally, Shia Vatican will not reconcile to Babais, Bahais, Hindus, Sikhs, and others.

    This has to be accepted as a fundamental and unalterable characteristic of Iranian polity.

    I wonder, in fact, if there is any Muslim polity that would do anything any differently than the Iranians.

    Where is this Western-conforming “Moderate” democractic Muslim Utopia?

  360. Richard Steven Hack says:

    WikiLeaked: Ex-Blackwater ‘helps regime change’ in Syria
    http://rt.com/news/stratfor-syria-regime-change-063/

  361. BiBiJon says:
    March 21, 2012 at 12:32 pm

    “Thanks for the correction. Would it sound more accurate if I’d said: ‘Freedom of religion is an individual’s right. The group of individuals practicing such religion, as a group are not accorded any ‘group’ rights in the US constitution that is not already accorded to individuals in terms of freedoms pertaining to speech and assembly, etc.’”

    COMMENT:

    Yes, it would sound more accurate. But would it mean anything other than the very opposite of what you intended by your original statement? You originally wrote that religious “groups” have no constitutional rights. I pointed out that they do. You acknowledge this now, but note that this results from a combination of constitutional “freedoms,” not merely freedom of religion. But so what? The result is the same, regardless of what “freedoms” it is based on, and that result is the opposite of what you first stated: People who believe in a particular religion have a constitutional right to assemble publicly and to express themselves as a group.

  362. fyi says: 
March 21, 2012 at 12:04 pm


    fyi writes:

    “There can never be freedom of religion in Iran – she is a country of Shia for the Shia by the Shia.
While Sikhs, Hindus, Buddhists may live and work in Iran, their religions will never ever be recognized as official religions.
Likewise for syncretic sects of Islam such as Druze, Alawites, Ahmadiyah, Babis, and Bahais.
The best you can hope for is official benign neglect.”

    COMMENT:

    The “religious freedom” granted by the US constitution actually has two distinct parts. One part states that there shall be no “official” religion in the US. The second part essentially states that people are free to practice whatever religion they like, or no religion at all. While those two parts are often distinguished in constitutional jurisprudence, the drafters of the US constitution undoubtedly recognized a connection between them: If an official state religion is established, it is predictable that members of other religious groups will end up NOT being free to practice whatever religion they want, no matter what the constitution may say on that second point. Many of the early settlers in the US had personally experienced just that.

    Be that as it may, I suspect that several religious minorities in Iran accept that Shia Islam is the official state religion of Iran. They ask only that they have a right to the “official benign neglect” that you say they instead can merely “hope for.”

    Do you think such groups should have a right to that “benign neglect?”

  363. BiBiJon says:

    Eric A. Brill says:
    March 21, 2012 at 11:58 am

    Thanks for the correction. Would it sound more accurate if I’d said

    “Freedom of religion is an individual’s right. The group of individuals practicing such religion, as a group are not accorded any ‘group’ rights in the US constitution that is not already accorded to individuls in terms of freedoms pertaining to speech and assembly, etc.”

  364. BiBiJon says:

    April 13th, Geneva
    =================

    Haaretz is reporting that that P5+1 will meet at above date and place to start what Lady Ashton has described as the first of many negotiating sessions with Iran.

    ,http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/former-mossad-chief-israel-will-know-before-iran-begins-producing-nuclear-weapons-1.419978

    Yukia Amano, Director General of IAEA, once again did the dirty deed of trying to cast a shadow on the upcoming negotiations by leaking falsely that Iran was being uncooperative back in January and February of this year.

    See ,http://original.antiwar.com/porter/2012/03/20/details-of-talks-with-iaea-belie-charge-iran-refused-cooperation/

    Having been caught, Amano is in the dog house, and will not attempt any other neocon initiatives for the next several months.

    PTUS, Barack Obama’s Nowruz message to Iranians about the electronic curtain was translated in full behind the electronic curtain. Thanks Kooshy @ March 20, 2012 at 8:17 pm. But, heart-warningly the president also said he wants to be pals.

    Between now, and April 13th, there are enough weeks for the Israel Lobby to derail the negotiations. Except for the Treasury Department’s MEK subpoenas threatening to drag the Lobby into some serious hot water. In effect Obama has carved out enough space for elbow room at the (all options are on) table. He is looking forward to April 13th as the day when oil prices start to come down which will effect this Summer’s gas prices, which could be the make-or-break for his reelection in Fall.

    On the international scene, the Iranian nuclear saga is way past its due date. The exemptions were handed out to preempt open defiance ala India/China by the 11 exemptees. Basically the financial blockade of Iran lost traction before its July rendezvous with the road.

    The nuclear file will be closed by August. Expect impressive compromises by Iran made possible by Chinese/Russian guarantees that they won’t be abused like they were in 2004/5.

    By September, expect Obama to issue a whole non-nuclear tirade against Iran as a new set of excuses will be unfurled to justify continuing US hostility towards Iran. Having won the election in November, expect Boeing to be exempted from selling passenger planes to Iran.

    BTW, no war, no way, Jose.

  365. ExposingWarmongeringNeoConStooges says:

    fyi says:
    March 21, 2012 at 10:16 am

    I don’t believe I made the claim that there was. I was merely quoting what the source said and pointing out that “Sassan” was distorting what the source said in order to push his usual propaganda.

  366. fyi says:

    Eric A. Brill says: March 21, 2012 at 11:38 am

    This is correct.

    There can never be freedom of religion in Iran – she is a country of Shia for the Shia by the Shia.

    While Sikhs, Hindus, Buddhists may live and work in Iran, their religions will never ever be recognized as official religions.

    Likewise for syncretic sects of Islam such as Druze, Alawites, Ahmadiyah, Babis, and Bahais.

    The best you can hope for is official benign neglect.

  367. BiBi Jon writes:

    “Freedom of religion is an individual’s right. The group of individuals practicing such religion, as a group are not accorded any ‘group’ rights in the US constitution.”

    That’s not correct. The US constitution not only protects religious freedom, but also freedom of assembly and freedom of expression. Put all those “freedoms” together and you end up with a constitutionally protected right of religious groups to assemble and express themselves.

  368. Rd. says:

    James Canning says:

    Support should be give Israel when Israel is in the right, not when it is in the wrong. This is the crux of the problem posed by ISRAEL LOBBY in the US.

    ====

    James, how does that work in UK?

    “London has once more humiliated itself before Tel Aviv repeating “all options [are] on the table” for Iran after withdrawing support for any military action by the Israeli regime against the country. ”

    http://alethonews.wordpress.com/2012/03/20/uk-bows-to-tel-aviv-after-warning-it-against-attack-on-iran/

  369. I had written to Masoud:

    If an organization practices a non-recognized religion, it isn’t allowed to operate at all, regardless of whether it violates “the criteria of Islam.” Its mere existence is prohibited.

    Masoud replied:

    I don’t see it that way at all. Where in article 26 does it say that organizations of type not listed are strictly prohibited? Article 26 does mention ’societies’ as a kind of general catch-all category, under which we might file unrecognized religious minority instututions. But even if we can’t do that, Article 26 is merely silent on what rights they do or don’t enjoy.

    COMMENT:

    Let’s start with the text of Article 26:

    The formation of parties, societies, political or professional associations, as well as religious societies, whether Islamic or pertaining to one of the recognized religious minorities, is permitted provided they do not violate the principles of independence, freedom, national unity, the criteria of Islam, or the basis of the Islamic republic. No one may be prevented from participating in the aforementioned groups, or be compelled to participate in them.

    COMMENT:

    You’re correct that Article 26 does not explicitly say that “non-recognized” religious minorities are prohibited from forming and operating. That prohibition is nonetheless clear, even though implicit, as I hope you’ll agree once you’ve read the rest of my comment.

    There is an expression often used in legal contracts: “including but not limited to,” sometimes written “including, without limitation” or in other forms. The phrase is invariably followed by a list of people or acts or things that are meant to be non-exclusive examples of a category that has just been defined in more general terms. Notwithstanding the use of such a phrase, careful lawyers recognize that such a list of examples may be interpreted as limiting the “non-exclusive” category to people or acts or things that are similar to the examples given, even if the categorical description that preceded those examples, considered without the examples, is broad enough to cover people or acts or things that are not similar to the examples. In that light – and keeping in mind that Article 26 does not even include such a phrase or any other language to signify that its examples are intended to be non-exclusive, even though you are insisting it must be read as if it does – suppose a court were asked this question (using your phrasing):

    “Should Article 26 be interpreted as “a kind of general catch-all category, under which … unrecognized religious minority institutions [are permitted to form and operate]?” Or, at worst, is “Article 26 … merely silent on what rights they do or don’t enjoy?”

    I would argue in response that, in the first part of your question, you are really posing this question:

    Does the phrase “religious societies, whether Islamic or pertaining to one of the recognized religious minorities” really mean “religious societies, whether or notIslamic or pertaining to one of the recognized religious minorities?”

    I am quite confident that a court would agree with me that your position amounts to asking the question as I just phrased it. And I am equally confident that the court would rule that “religious societies” entitled to the protections of Article 26 include only religious societies that are either “Islamic or pertaining to one of the recognized religious minorities.” You are a lawyer too. After considering this analysis, do you really disagree with me on this?

    Moving on to the second part of your question above: Can Article 26 at least be said to be “silent” on the rights of “unrecognized religious minority institutions,” leading to the conclusion that they are allowed to form and operate (presumably based on the unstated argument that “anything not expressly prohibited is implicitly permitted”)?

    Here, another rule of contract interpretation probably would come into play. That rule states, in essence, that when a law (or a contract) expresses one thing – such as permissible activities for certain types of “religious societies” – there is a presumption (rebuttable, but usually difficult to rebut) that things not included in that expression were intended to be excluded. For example, the statement that “People wearing yellow hats are allowed to enter this room” would probably be interpreted to mean “People wearing blue hats are not allowed to enter this room,” even though the first statement was entirely “silent” on blue hats. If that principle were applied to the interpretation of Article 26, as I believe it would be, I doubt that any court would interpret Article 26 as being “silent” on the rights of “unrecognized religious minority institutions” to form and operate. Quite the contrary, I am confident a court would say that Article 26′s listing of “protected” religious societies amounts to an implicit but clear declaration that religious societies not on the “approved” list – i.e. “unrecognized religious minority institutions” – are not permitted to form and operate, even if they observe the restrictions that apply to “approved” religious institutions.

    For what it may matter – a great deal, in my view – I believe my view has prevailed in real life in Iran. The official enforcement of religious restrictions on “non-approved” religious groups certainly varies among those groups, but whenever a “non-approved” religious group is overtly restricted, its position “outside” the approved circle typically is cited as a justification for imposing those restrictions. The fact that other groups outside that circle may not be quite so restricted does not help a group that is.

    Finally, let’s assume the religious organization in question is on the “approved list” – Christian, Jewish or Zoroastrian. Even then, under Article 26, the organization may be restricted if it violates “the principles of independence, freedom, national unity, the criteria of Islam, or the basis of the Islamic republic.” I have no clue what the outer limits of those restrictions are, but I can assure you that any constitutional lawyer would find them dangerously vague – better than not being allowed to form and operate at all, to be sure, but very far from “religious freedom.” For example, if a born-again Christian were to don a long white robe and walk back and forth on a Tehran sidewalk, holding a sign reading “Jesus Christ is the Son of God,” I have a strong hunch that some person of authority would quickly put an end to that expression of religious freedom on the ground that it violated “the criteria of Islam.”

    I recognize that these restrictions – both the implicit but clear exclusion of “unrecognized religious minority institutions” from the constitutionally protected right to form and operate, and the explicit constitutional restrictions on activities of even “recognized religious minority institutions” – strike many Iranians (and others) as permissible, perhaps justified reactions to the Shah’s prior secularization of Iranian society. It’s everyone’s right to believe what he wants about that or other matters. What I object to is “interpreting” the Iranian constitution as if these significant restrictions on religious freedom were not there. They are there, plain and simple. If you think that’s OK, so be it. All I ask is that you acknowledge it.

  370. Liz says:

    Israel furious since EU Lady Ashton mentioned – killed children in Gaza, Syrian casualties, bus accident with the killings in france.

    Anger in Israel over EU comments on school shooting

    http://news.yahoo.com/anger-israel-over-eu-comments-school-shooting-040326445.html

    Seems like Israel trying portray themselves as the sole victim. Such a regime should NOT possess nuclear weapons.

  371. fyi says:

    ExposingWarmongeringNeoConStooges says: March 21, 2012 at 1:52 am

    There is no school of Shia Religious studies in Turkey.

    Never has been.

    Shia (Kaferis) had to go to Iran or Iraq to be trained as mullahs.

  372. fyi says:

    Karim says: March 20, 2012 at 11:18 pm

    Because US-EU will use liberal democracy to destroy it; that is hat they did in Iran in 1953 and in Chile in 1973.

    Until and unless their war against Islamic Iran stops, liberal dispensation is a pipe-dream in Iran.

  373. Humanist says:

    Didn’t the large army of experts in the US government know that “tightening the noose (Suzan Rice’s)” on Iran (to please Israel?) can backfire in different ways?

    IMF’s finding:

    Iran Supply Disruption may push crude oil prices by-30%

    http://profit.ndtv.com/News/Article/iran-supply-disruption-may-push-crude-oil-prices-by-30-imf-300178

  374. fyi says:

    James Canning says: March 20, 2012 at 6:44 pm

    You are defending the indefensible.

    Mr. Obama was given selection of options and he and EU leaders chose the one – given the US Iran policy psychosis – that would lead to war.

    Perhaps Mr. Obama and EU leaders thought otherwise when they escalated to the strategic Never-Never Land but that is not an excuse for responsible leaders.

    In less than 6 years, US-EU policy twice brought Iran, the Middle East, and the World to the brink of disaster.

    I would have recommended impeachment had the potential replacements of the current leaders of US and EU could have been an improvement.

    As is, chalk it up as another politico-diplomatic victory for Iranians.

    I am also certain very many statesmen outside of US-EU Fantasy World sent warning messages to US and EU leaders regarding war with Iran; that they would oppose it and will not go along with it.

  375. Reza Esfandiari says:

    It would be good if Sassan actually learned to read Persian so he could check original sources for himself. But he chooses to spend his free time looking for any report he can find in order to smear the Iranian authorities.

    He accuses people like myself of “not being true Iranians”, but we can actually speak and read the official language of Iran (as well as several other Iranian languages).

  376. An Iranian View says:
    March 21, 2012 at 4:59 am

    Well put.

  377. Rehmat says:

    Mossad, Iran, Syria and India’s Muslim journalist

    Zionist media is so excited in reporting the arrest of an Indian Muslim journalist in connection with Mossad false flag operation of Israeli embassy car bombing on February 13, 2012. The incident injured wife of an Israeli staff and her driver. The suspect is Syed Mohammed Ahmed Kazmi, a 25 year veteran freelance journalist who has been an outspoken critic of USrael wars in the Middle East and unlawful activities of Israeli Mossad in India……

    http://rehmat1.wordpress.com/2012/03/21/mossad-iran-syria-and-indias-muslim-journalist/

  378. BiBiJon says:

    masoud says:
    March 21, 2012 at 3:31 am

    ” Where in article 26 does it say that organizations of type not listed are stirctly prohibited? Article 26 does mention ’societies’ as a kind of general catch-all category, under which we might file unrecognized religious minority instututions. But even if we can’t do that, Article 26 is merely silent on what rights they do or don’t enjoy.”

    This is a very important point. Freedom of religion is an individual’s right. The group of individuals practicing such religion, as a group are not accorded any ‘group’ rights in the US constitution.

    Iranian constitutional guarantees and rights are accorded to recognized ‘groups’. Rights such as Jewish representation in parliament does not have an equivalent stipulation in US constitution. These are apples and oranges.

    In the same way as one could argue the US constitution has bestowed no tangible benefit by the overarching ‘right’ of an individual to practice any religion, one could argue Iranian constitution has discriminated against any and all religious groups it has neglected to mention as enjoying guaranteed rights. But, such criticisms are from a jaundiced pov. I choose to be happy for American apples, as well as be happy about Iranian oranges.

  379. Unknown Unknowns says:

    Kooshy-san:

    I just realized that the Arman Centerdoes not have an outlet in Tehran (they are out of Mashhad). But there is a store in chahar-rah-e Callege that carries a lot of their stuff. There is also a bookstore on the NE corner of Meydun-e Felestin that has DVD’s (and religious books in English) on the second floor. While you are there, you can mosey on up Felestin Street about 100 meters on the left, where there is a good bookstore called Marja’. If you go *down* Felestin, just before you reach Enqelab Street (NE corner of Enqelab and Felestin) there is a fellow there (dast-foroush) who sells multi-DVD collections of movies by the great film directors. For example, you can get 33 Ingmar Bergman films for 50,000 tomans, or you can get 18 John Huston films for 25,000. He has cntemporary directors such as Ridley Scott and Woody Allen and Oliver Stone and George Lucas as well. If you want to make sure he is there, here’s his cell: 0919/ 171-9173 (Mohammad Reza). But for revolution-themed DVD’s and books and paraphernalia, the best place that I am aware of is a “passazhe” about 200 meters south of Maydun-e Enqelab (on Kargar-e Junubi Street). It is on the right as you go down from the maydun, or on the West side, opposite the big bus station. There are two or three stories of stores all with the revolutionary theme. Or you might want to call the Arman people in Mashhad (# on website) and ask them where their distributor in Tehran is.

    Good luck with Homeland Security on the way back! lol

  380. hans says:

    A very good article The Lebanisation of Syria. This is just as applicable to Iran, Pakistan many of the CIS states, South America.

  381. ExposingWarmongeringNeoConStooges says:

    By the way, since it is a news website, the source should be able to provide a link to that website, and specifically to the particular page where that news was published, no?

  382. ExposingWarmongeringNeoConStooges says:

    Sassan says:
    March 21, 2012 at 5:46 am

    Provide evidence that report was published in that newspaper. Also provide evidence that the report published in the newspaper was reliable.

  383. ExposingWarmongeringNeoConStooges says:

    Sassan says:
    March 21, 2012 at 5:39 am

    Now I have to quote myself in a post that I made 20 minutes ago “the extreme Christian source that you yourself quoted itself admitted that, by its own biased and unreliable interpretation, no one had been executed in Iran for apostasy for over 20 years. No one meaning in this case, not one single individual.”

  384. Sassan says:

    Iranian news website Mashregh news today

    This is a newspaper operated out of Iran.

  385. ExposingWarmongeringNeoConStooges says:

    That source does not even link to the original supposed source of the article, get the problem?

  386. ExposingWarmongeringNeoConStooges says:

    Sassan says:
    March 21, 2012 at 5:39 am

    Sigh…Ummm…let’s see… It really is incredible that I have to keep explaining this. When you cite a source on the internet it needs to provide some evidence to be believed. That source does not. I can say that you just executed someone and put it on a blog. Do you understand why that would be questionable?

  387. Sassan says:

    One man was executed in Iran for apostasy

    Monday 31 January 2011

    [English] [فارسى]

    Iran Human rights, January 31: One man was hanged in the southwestern Iranian town of Ahvaz convicted of apostasy, reported the Iranian news website Mashregh news today.

    According to the report the man who was identified as “Ali Ghorabat” also known as “Saed”, was convicted of apostasy for “claiming to have contact with the God and the 12th Shiite Imam”. he was executed on Wednesday January 26. in the Karoun prison of Ahvaz, said the report. The title of the report in Mashreghnews was “The bald God was hanged”.

    More details will follow later.

    http://iranhr.net/spip.php?article1975

  388. Sassan says:

    lmfao, apostates are routinely executed in Iran. It is not a matter of a case here and there. Why do you think atheists don’t come out in Iran as “open”? They DIE.

  389. ExposingWarmongeringNeoConStooges says:

    Zionist says:
    March 21, 2012 at 5:30 am

    And I will say this again, the extreme Christian source that you yourself quoted itself admitted that, by its own biased and unreliable interpretation, no one had been executed in Iran for apostasy for over 20 years. No one meaning in this case, not one single individual. Get it?

  390. ExposingWarmongeringNeoConStooges says:

    Zionist says:
    March 21, 2012 at 5:30 am

    My sources disprove yours. So…let’s see…that means that you are…using completely unverified and unproven sources to advance an argument that is, as a result…an unproven assertion. See that Washington Post piece oh World Net Daily and Pajama Media reader?

  391. Sassan says:

    You’re an idiot. You dispute on things which are not even indisputable. Please learn about the power of fatwas in Iran. You are an utter ignoramus.

  392. ExposingWarmongeringNeoConStooges says:

    “In order to write a book and be interviewed for media sources, it is a requirement for the CIA to verify you provided your services for them and this was done with Mr. Kahlili.” Err…no it is not, the CIA merely has to be able to review your book before you publish it if you either previously worked for them in some capacity OR if you publish information that could be classified. It is not a fact checking organization, and it never verifies any claim made in any book it reviews. Really, your misperceptions of certain issues are hilarious.

  393. ExposingWarmongeringNeoConStooges says:

    Starting to laugh at yourself, good, that is a hopeful sign.

  394. ExposingWarmongeringNeoConStooges says:

    And oh yes this is one of the sources that routinely lies about the number of people executed in Iran by using completely unidentified and unproven sources, so we should really believe it in this case.

  395. Sassan says:

    lol

  396. ExposingWarmongeringNeoConStooges says:

    Sassan says:
    March 21, 2012 at 5:23 am

    Still digging it deeper eh…what were we just saying about made up reports that do not site any evidence or rely on mistranslations?

  397. ExposingWarmongeringNeoConStooges says:

    Zionist says:
    March 21, 2012 at 5:19 am

    Washington Post, quote already given, read it and weep.

  398. Sassan says:

    One man was executed in Iran for apostasy

    Monday 31 January 2011

    [English] [فارسى]

    Iran Human rights, January 31: One man was hanged in the southwestern Iranian town of Ahvaz convicted of apostasy, reported the Iranian news website Mashregh news today.

    According to the report the man who was identified as “Ali Ghorabat” also known as “Saed”, was convicted of apostasy for “claiming to have contact with the God and the 12th Shiite Imam”. he was executed on Wednesday January 26. in the Karoun prison of Ahvaz, said the report. The title of the report in Mashreghnews was “The bald God was hanged”.

    More details will follow later.

    http://iranhr.net/spip.php?article1975

  399. ExposingWarmongeringNeoConStooges says:

    Zionist says:
    March 21, 2012 at 5:15 am

    Article 23 of the Iranian Constitution: “The investigation of individuals’ beliefs is forbidden, and no one may be molested or taken to task simply for holding a certain belief”

    AND “The sentence of Apostasy in Sharia is death, but Apostasy is not explicitly mentioned in the new IPC”

    So no, the penalty for the “crime” of apostasy is not death, since the crime is not explictly mentioned.

    Bottom line.

  400. Sassan says:

    Reza Kahlili is a hero for all of humanity. In order to write a book and be interviewed for media sources, it is a requirement for the CIA to verify you provided your services for them and this was done with Mr. Kahlili. In addition, he provides training and advice for the U.S. Department of Defense’s Joint Counterintelligence Training Academy.

  401. ExposingWarmongeringNeoConStooges says:

    Zionist Stooge says:
    March 21, 2012 at 5:15 am

    Bottom line, you are still lying and refusing to admit your lies have been exposed. And by the way, with respect to that Raelian “leader” their is no evidence that Iran was even trying to extradite her, for any reason at all. She was detained for illegal entry into Turkey (heard of that?) and rather obviously used that detention as a ploy to be admitted into the US when she would not have been eligible otherwise.

  402. Sassan says:

    Bottom line: the death penalty is the crime for Apostasy under the Islamic Republic. And an apostate is any individual who leaves Islam.

  403. ExposingWarmongeringNeoConStooges says:

    Zionist Stooge says:
    March 21, 2012 at 5:11 am

    And here we go to the next stage, which is to distract attention by diverting the discussion onto another topic. We have already been through this before, and this time I am not in an accomadating mood.

  404. ExposingWarmongeringNeoConStooges says:

    Zionist Stooge says:
    March 21, 2012 at 5:04 am

    You need to admit that Reza Kahlili is a fraud before anyone else makes any admission. So let’s see, that disreputable Washington Post, they must be engaged in that nasty conspiracy to support the totalitarian dictatorship of Saudi…oh sorry I meant Iran.

  405. ExposingWarmongeringNeoConStooges says:

    Oh and “supporters” say this, without of course presenting any evidence.

  406. ExposingWarmongeringNeoConStooges says:

    Yes, the BBC does sometimes tell the truth, here we find that this is what the person claims. Is there any independent evidence to support these claims, why no there is not. And I somehow think that if this person had actually been executed we would have heard something about from somewhere…

  407. ExposingWarmongeringNeoConStooges says:

    This will be the last comment from me for a while but I just cannot resist as it shows what the “atheist” considers to be a reliable source. He found this on Jihad Watch and just copy pasted the article without double checking the source that the article linked to:

    http://www.jihadwatch.org/2009/11/turkey-iranian-atheist-risks-death-penalty-for-apostasy-if-he-is-sent-back-to-iran.html

    Note that if you actually click on the link it gives a 404 error. Obviously he did not even bother to click on the link before he copied the source. And he did not even want to acknowledge where he got the claim from.

  408. Sassan says:

    Turkey considers fate of detained Iran Raelian leader
    By Jonathan Head
    BBC News, Istanbul

    Raelian founder Claude Vorilhon (known as Rael) with model of spaceship – file photo
    Raelians believe humans were created by extra-terrestrials

    The Turkish authorities say they are discussing what to do with an Iranian atheist who says she fled persecution in Iran.

    Negar Azizmoradi, who is the leader of the Raelian movement in Iran, was arrested after she arrived in Turkey last week.

    Supporters say she faces the death penalty for her beliefs if she returns.

    Turkey gives only limited recognition to refugees, and has in the past sent back Iranian asylum-seekers.

    With their libertarian attitude to sex, and their belief that humans were created by extra-terrestrials, Raelians inevitably fall foul of the religious authorities in Iran.

    The crime of apostasy – rejecting religious faith – carries the death penalty there, and supporters of Negar Azizmoradi say that is what will happen to her if the Turkish government sends her back to Iran.

    She is being detained in Istanbul for not carrying a proper passport when she arrived in Turkey last week.

    The authorities are now discussing her fate. Large numbers of Iranians cross the border into Turkey, many in search of work, but some also fleeing political or religious persecution.

    Turkey does not normally recognise asylum seekers from neighbouring countries – thousands are kept in detention centres, pending possible re-settlement in third countries – most are trying to reach the European Union.

    Some, including Iranians, have been forced back over the border.

    The Raelian movement is now campaigning to prevent that happening to its one-time leader in Iran.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/8381385.stm

  409. Sassan says:

    An Iranian View: Your username should be an “Islamic Republic stooge view”. You should be more honest with yourself as well as everyone else on this site on the plight of the Iranian people and the terror and tyranny they live with under the Islamic Republic of primitives.

  410. Sassan says:

    Here is a valid link for the last article: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/8381385.stm

  411. ExposingWarmongeringNeoConStooges says:

    Zionist Copy Paster says:
    March 21, 2012 at 4:58 am

    At this point you have put out so many lies and so much deliberately distorted misinformation that you are not trustworthy. Thus, when you put up random websites that make claims that are not independently verified your information can safely be assumed to be false unless you present overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

  412. An Iranian View says:

    It would be better if people like Sassan were a bit more honest with themselves. 80 million Iranians are constantly threatened (I would say terrorized, but we do not live in fear) by a ruthless American regime with war. The US and its allies also actively attempt to prevent Iran from even importing food and they have stated that their objective is to wreck the economy (they have failed). They also, use the language of racists when referring to Iran (“tighten the noose” and “carrots and sticks”). Anyone who cares about human being and who has any courage would stand up against such injustice and shameless behaviour.

  413. Sassan says:

    ‘Turkey: Iranian Atheist Risks Death Penalty If Repatriated,’ from ANSAmed, November 30

    (ANSAmed) – ANKARA, NOVEMBER 30 – ‘Turkish authorities will be announcing their decision in the coming days over whether or not to repatriate an Iranian citizen who – having escaped from her country after publicly declaring she was an atheist – could be sentenced to death for apostasy if sent back. Negar Azizmoradi, Iranian leader of the controversial International Raelian Movement, was arrested just over a week ago in Istanbul on her arrival in the city with an “irregular” passport, and since then has been held in a refugee centre in the Turkish metropolis. Raelians are part of a sect founded in 1974 by the former sports journalist Claude Vorilhon, 63, as known as Rael. His followers believe that human beings were created on Earth by extraterrestrials with biogenetical engineering, and therefore consider themselves to be atheist and support human cloning, which they believe to be the key to eternal life. Appeals to help the thirty-something Iranian woman have been launched by both the Raelian movement and Iranian refugee groups abroad. In them, Turkish authorities have been asked to release the woman – who reportedly has caught a lung infection in jail – and allow her to go to a European country.(ANSAmed).’”

    Originally from: http://www.ansamed.info/ansamed/en/news/ME03.XAM10470.html

  414. ExposingWarmongeringNeoConStooges says:

    This post says a lot about what kind of reasoning our local Zionist finds persuasive. Note the complete lack of any sources in this article. Instead, he just prefers to imagine what he believes will happen and he doesn’t consider that he needs to bother to present facts to support or justify his belief. Let’s see, what kind of people usually do that?

  415. ExposingWarmongeringNeoConStooges says:

    Zionist Copy Pasting Spammer says:
    March 21, 2012 at 4:44 am

    Note that when someone debunks your claims as I just did it does not add to your credibility to continue to spam the board with huge walls of text. What about just including a link and letting others read or not as they wish do you not understand? And once again I notice you have fallen into the pattern of just ignoring opposing arguments when they disprove your views.

  416. Sassan says:

    July 7, 2010
    A price too high

    Three years ago, I was thinking with myself why shouldn’t Iranian atheists have a platform? Granted, Iranian atheists can not come out of closet as long as there is Islamic Sharia law in our laws that considers apostasy and atheism a crime punishable by death penalty. So of course we do not want any harm to anyone but there might be some way that we could communicate, build a virtual community and present our ideas.

    First I started PersianAtheist.com to write in Persian language and using reason and science to tackle issues and Islamic ideology that is the root cause of our problems in Iran. I noticed that there are many Iranian atheists out there in cyberspace, hidden behind pseudonyms and all of them acknowledging this is the way to go. But the problem is that rarely anyone offered to take part in development of such a community.

    it is not that they are lazy or something, It is a tough call, it is choosing between life and death. You can not publicly run around in Iran and speak out in favour of Atheism. Probably you wouldn’t understand what I am saying, okay, let me draw you a picture here. Let’s say you are insane enough to publicly announce that you are an atheist or an agnostic, here, this is going to happen. Authorities will arrest you, put you in prison and beat the hell out of you until you say you made a mistake and you believe allah is there and you are a believer of some sort. Still they punish you for your first point of view because you might have been corrupted some young Muslims.

    Let’s say they beat the hell out of you but you are so determined that authorities can not make you to change your mind and they can not coerce you to false confession. Let’s say you are that firm person that you thought that you will go through this all the way and at all costs. Authorities will take you to an Islamic court and after you insist on being an atheists or infidel or non-believer, judge will punish you to death penalty.

    In a nutshell, in Islamic society that rules by Sharia law, an atheist is considered a corrupted part of society and to preserve the Islamic society from corruption, Islamic rulers have to get rid of corrupted elements and of course set an example out of them in a barbaric way. So when you question why there are not much Iranian atheists out there? because the price an Iranian atheist pays is way too high. They pay the price with their life, that’s the everything one have and one will have. But this is not going to stop us, for the time being maybe we crawl but we are still on the move and that counts something.

    Now, what you can do to help? Simply lodge a petition with UN and ask Iranian authorities to recognize atheists and respect their rights. That might be a good start.

    http://www.iranianatheist.com/2010/07/price-too-high.html

  417. Unknown Unknowns says:

    Kooshy-san:

    I remember reading that you were going to be visiting Iran on the anniversary of your father’s passing, and I thought I’d write you a little note. But first, please accept my condolences on the passing of your father, who was a great man. May his soul rest in peace.

    I thought you might be interested in taking back some DVD’s with you so that you can get a better idea of the political discourse that is taking place here. Here are my recommendations:

    ,armancenter.com
    Diruz, emruz, farda (1388 & 1389)
    Khomeini-e bot=shekan
    Be su-ye nur (sahifeh-ye nur)
    Ney nava (navaha-ye defa’e moqaddas)
    Mahak (sokanranihaye piramun-e enqelab)
    Raz (series of 6 DVD’s each with 5 of Nader Talebzadeh’s interviews)
    Ayn-e Ammar (2 DVD’s with everything on the 1388 elections, including the debates)
    Fetne-ye ashrafiat (Ayatollah Khamenei on the sedition)
    ,http://armancenter.net/index.php?route=product/category&path=49
    ,http://armancenter.net/index.php?route=product/category&path=51

    ,jadid.ir
    Khotbeha-ye maqaam-e moazzam-e rahbari

    ,noorozahra.com
    Hasan-e Rahim-pour-e Azghadi

    ,tahoornet.com
    Allameh Ja’fari

    Kayhan Bookstore (enqelab, ruberu-ye daneshgah, janb-e Bank-e Mellat; 6646-9475; Mobile: 0912/ 551-0152)
    Hasan-e Rahim-pour-e Azghadi DVD’s

    If you are interested in taking a couple of books back with you:
    Rasul Ja’farian: Jaryan-ha va sazman-ha-ye mazhabi-siasi-ye Iran is good for jaryanshenasi up to and including the revolution. Kayhan carries it. Anything else by him is also good, as well as books by Hojjatoleslam Resai, who responds to the theoretical edifice presented by the Kian Circle (Kadivar, Shabistari, Soroush, Khoiniha, etc. – the theorists of the 2nd of Khordad/ Green movement)

    I hope you have a good visit here :)

  418. ExposingWarmongeringNeoConStooges says:

    The extreme source provided by our friend whose author has been proven to systematically distort facts to villify Muslims.

    http://barnabasfund.org/UK/News/Archives/Iran-Death-Penalty-for-Apostasy-May-Be-Dropped-from-Bill.html

  419. ExposingWarmongeringNeoConStooges says:

    And this is the person who runs the “Barnabas Fund” and the nonsense he published. Note that even thought this review is somewhat sympathetic to this person, not even it tries to conceal how absurd his claims are. After reviewing this, we can at least demand independent fact checked sources to support any claims this person makes. Note that this is the kind of source that our friendly local Zionist finds to be reliable. Once again, it reveals quite a bit about him. It is also fascinating how this “atheist” is able to produce radical Christian sources so quickly.

    http://www.fulcrum-anglican.org.uk/page.cfm?ID=380

  420. masoud says:

    Eric A. Brill says:
    March 21, 2012 at 2:04 am

    To the contrary, in my view, every constitution should guarantee complete religious freedom. That freedom is expressed clearly and unequivocally in the US constitution, and it generally is enforced zealously by American courts.”

    I think complete freedom of any sort is unattainalbe in modern society, and ultimately a dangerous illusion. If you think different, I invite you to vote for Ron Paul for the rest of your life. If he ever becomes president, maybe he can put it in a good word for the many innocent Rastafari who are arrested imprisoned in America because their religion requires the use of a substance the US had determined should be illegal.

    The American constituion bars the state form interfering in religion, and if I was a refugee from a country whose monarch had banned all churches except for the one he himself is the head of, I may have written a something very similar. In Iran, a pupet monarch with no moral standing had devoted much of time in power to belittling, disenfranchising, and marginalising the religion of over 90% of his citizens in the name of secularization, ‘tolerance’ and ‘progress’ in an effort to consolidate his power. It’s only natural that the revolutionaries who deposed him would write a constition that emphasises that nothing of the sort would be allowed to happen again. It’s silly to try and debate which one is ‘correct’, but that’s almost inevitable when you try to look at and understand documents like this outside of the social contexts they exist in.

  421. ExposingWarmongeringNeoConStooges says:

    And a general discussion about Apostasy is not what we were having, so your huge copy paste wall of text spamathon is misplaced here.

  422. ExposingWarmongeringNeoConStooges says:

    Note that even the extreme Christian website that the Zionist relies does not provide any way to independently check its claims (Not not a good thing to rely on when you make such claims) and that site later admitted that the law was reconsidered. Further, even that extreme website did not claim anyone was executed for apostasy in the last 20 years. Unfortunately I cannot link to those reports on that website because it also seems to be very buggy and my browser is having trouble displaying it. However, I will as soon as it is capable of being displayed. Note that when you make such claims, you should really read the rest of what the website that you rely on to support those claims says. And since you are capable of linking to that report in the first place, you should also be capable of reading other articles on the website as well.

  423. Sassan says:

    July 14, 2010
    Apostasy in Iran

    The question about apostasy situation in Iran has been asked from me through times, so I am going to discuss it in the following.

    First let’s see who is apostate in Islamic republic of Iran? An apostate is the former follower of Islam (or known to be a Muslim) that now rejects Islam. Conversion from Islam to another religion or belief makes you an apostate because that means you basically “abandoning Islam” which called apostasy in Islamic law. There is a detail definition of apostates in Shiite school perspective at end of this article.

    What is the punishment of apostasy in Islamic republic of Iran? Death penalty but there is not a crime specified about apostasy in Penal Code. Faraj Sarkouhi, an Iranian journalist explained the situation:

    “Tens of people have convicted of apostasy and sentenced to death in Iranian courts during past 3 decades but there are not crimes specified about apostasy in Penal Code, judges are required to use their knowledge of Islamic law and Islamic Jurisprudence in cases where no codified law exists.” 1

    Amil Imani, an Iranian columnist shed lights on how Iranian judges manage to legitimize execution of apostates:

    At present, apostasy is illegal in most Islamic countries. Although execution of the apostate is not common, it does take place from time-to-time by frequently buttressing the “crime” with additional charges. The Islamic Republic of Iran, for instance, often adds the charge of mohareb (one who wars with God) to further legitimize its execution of apostates. A case in point pertains to the treatment of the religious minority Baha’is by the Islamic Republic. A number of Baha’is have been charged as apostates and mohareb, executed and some secretly buried in unmarked graves. 2

    But, authorities in Islamic republic of Iran have tried to avoid media frenzy about this sensitive Islamic punishment so they take this stuff to their own militia. This militia has acted like judge, jury and executioner, most of the time only executioner. Paul Marshall, a senior fellow at Freedom House’s Center for Religious Freedom makes crystal clear that situation has been worsening:

    In the 1990s, the Islamic Republic of Iran used death squads against converts, including major Protestant leaders, and the situation is worsening under President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. The regime is currently engaged in a systematic campaign to track down and reconvert or kill those who have changed their religion from Islam. 3

    If we go back and study history of Islamic republic and development of Islamic militia with it, we can come to conclusion that the death squads started since the early revolution. First, they have been used to terror political opponents and purging dissidents and then enemies of Islam that Khomeini, himself was very sensitive to apostates. In fact, Islamic establishment have grown out of these death squads and terrorists.

    Although between 1980 until 1989, during Khomeini era, Islamic establishment had openly punished apostates to death but still there were cases and people that they couldn’t afford the public embarrassment to take them to court so Khomeini’s clan used death squads to get rid of them. Victims of this kind of terror campaign usually found stabbed to death with multiple stab wounds in their body.

    But execution of apostates is not new in Islamic history, in fact it was born with Islam itself. Islam means surrender and when someone chooses or forced to surrender to Islam then he/she loses everything and there is no way back out. Amil Imani put together a great collection of verses from Quran and Hadithes about punishment for apostates:

    Apostasy is defined both in the Quran as well as the Sharia and its punishment is clearly stipulated:

    “Those who blasphemed and back away from the ways of Allah and die as blasphemers, Allah shall not forgive them.” [Qur'an 4:48]

    Islamic law does not allow the freedom to choose one’s religion:

    “Let there be no compulsion in the religion: Clearly the Right Path (i.e. Islam) is distinct from the crooked path.” [Qur'an 2:256]

    The Quran also specifically addresses the issue of murtad milli:

    “But those who reject faith after they accepted it, and then go on adding to their defiance of faith, never will their repentance be accepted; for they are those who have (of set purpose) gone astray.” [Qur'an 3:90]

    The Hadith further restates the provision of the Quran regarding punishment of the apostate:

    “Kill whoever changes his religion.” __Sahih al-Bukhari 9:84:57

    “The blood of a Muslim who confesses that none has the right to be worshiped but Allah and that I am His Apostle, cannot be shed except in three cases: In Qisas for murder, a married person who commits illegal sexual intercourse and the one who reverts from Islam (apostate) and leaves the Muslims.”__ Sahih al-Bukhari 9:83:17

    This public condemnation of apostates and inciting hate towards them doesn’t stop here. Islamic clerics have frequently mentioned “apostates don’t deserve to live the life and they should be killed”. During Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini in Iran, Judges had order to punish apostates, non-believers, blasphemous people to death penalty without any discretion. Ayatollah Khomeini to guide Muslims wrote in his book:

    “If an innate apostate repents, his repentance is not acceptable and his punishment is still intact and has no effect in regaining his property and his wife. His possessions that divided between the heirs, he won’t get them back either, even though if he claims he is a Muslim at heart. And punishment for the [innate] apostasy is that if the apostate is a man, he should be killed, and if the apostate is a woman, she will get life imprisonment and during five daily prayers, she should be lashed. They have to give her hard time on her life, water and food to push her to repent, and because her repentance is acceptable. Then if she repents, she will be free. But a milli apostate should be given chance to repent, if he refuses to repent, he should be killed. A word of caution, it is better to ask the apostate to repent and should be killed on the fourth day.” 4

    Ayatollah Khomeini in his speeches frequently used to threat apostates or people who ridicule mullahs with death penalty. He talked about apostates quite often. i. e.

    “Whoever insults Prophet, whoever insults sacred Imams, there is an obligation for Muslims to kill him” 5

    “If anyone ridicules a mullah, he ridicules Islam. If he does it intentionally (he is sane, not crazy) then he is an innate apostate. His wife is forbidden to him. His possessions must also be given to heirs. He should be killed.” 6

    Ayatollah Khazali said:

    “Jihad means slaying enemies’ blood when he weakens people’s belief. Commanding the just means, lady cover your face. Why some would say let people decide on their own? Who the hell are people? People fulfill god’s wishes. People are respected and precious only to carry out god’s wishes, not to disturb it.” 7

    Mullah Hasani, Supreme Leader’s representative in West Azerbaijan and leader of Friday Prayer in Urmia city said:

    “According to Islamic tradition, anyone who heard of apostasy, it is an obligation to kill him [the apostate]. During recent five-six years, how much chain newspaper committed apostasy.” 8

    Now that we established that apostasy is already punishable by death in Iran, the question is why did Islamic Iran propose to make the death penalty for apostasy part of the penal code? Amil Imani answers that:

    “Apostasy — or the formal renunciation of religion — is already punishable in Iran with death. But now, Iran wants to make the death penalty for apostasy part of the penal code. The European Union is concerned and has asked Iran to reconsider.” Who is an apostate according to the legislation? Anyone in the world, not just Iranians, born to a Muslim parent; also, any convert to Islam who leaves it. Only one parent needs to be a Muslim at the time of conception for Islam to own that child for life. Islam is Ummahist. Islam doesn’t recognize nationalities and national boundaries. And these Islamist zealots are very serious and have no sense of humor. Some say they have no sense at all, and they may be right. What they certainly have is a thirst for blood, particularly for the blood of infidels and apostates.”

    How about two reformists that charged with apostasy?

    This is the question that many have asked me because it publicized in Wikipedia too and unfortunately it is not well updated. In recent years, there have been only two apostasy cases that have become public in Iran. Hashem Aghajari and Hassan Youssefi Eshkevari – both reformists – have been arrested and charged with apostasy in the Islamic Republic of Iran. The only motive behind their apostasy charges were solely political, not for self-professed conversion to another faith or abandoning Islam. Both of them have been committed Muslim and they have never claimed otherwise. Later their charges were overturned and they convicted on minor offences.9 None of these two high-profile reformists were executed.

    On the case of Hashem Aghajari, specifically Ayatollah Khamenei, Islamic Iran’s Supreme Leader and Ayatollah Hashemi Shahroudi who was then head of the judiciary intervened and rejected the apostasy allegation:

    “According to Islamic jurisprudence, Hashem Aghajari’s case is not apostasy.” 10

    Martin Luther said “Reason is the enemy of faith” and apostasy law is the medieval law, there, only to limit mankind by slaving his mind and so his life. Apostasy laws are there to advance idiotic religious authority over masses and sadly, to kill them when people reject the religious idea. Apostasy law is a gross violation of human rights. For now, I am hoping less people would be sacrificed with these barbaric doctrine in Islamic Iran.

    Detail definition:

    There are two types of apostates according to Shitte Islamic school: 11

    1. Innate apostate (Murtad Fitri) means a person who is born of a Muslim parent and then he rejects Islam. “Fitrah” means creation. The term Innate apostate implies that the person has apostated from the faith in which he was born (In Islamic belief, “created” is the right word).
    2. Milli apostate (Murtad Milli, translated as voluntary apostate) means a person who converted to Islam and then later on he rejects Islam. Milli is from millat which means religion. The term Milli apostate implies that the person has apostated from his religion and the Muslim community.

    Sunni Islamic school does not differentiate apostates in this regard.

    http://www.iranianatheist.com/2010/07/apostasy-in-iran.html

  424. masoud says:


    Eric A. Brill says:
    March 21, 2012 at 2:20 am

    If an organization practices a non-recognized religion, it isn’t allowed to operate at all, regardless of whether it violates “the criteria of Islam.” Its mere existence is prohibited.

    I don’t see it that way at all. Where in article 26 does it say that organizations of type not listed are stirctly prohibited? Article 26 does mention ‘societies’ as a kind of general catch-all category, under which we might file unrecognized religious minority instututions. But even if we can’t do that, Article 26 is merely silent on what rights they do or don’t enjoy.

  425. ExposingWarmongeringNeoConStooges says:

    Sassan says:
    March 21, 2012 at 3:19 am

    Wow, insults, and from a kind, rational atheist like you!!! How surprising since you are usually such a measured, rational debater that always responds with well reasoned arguments when challenged. Must be a temporary slip, in which case, I forgive you.

  426. Sassan says:

    Friday, October 03, 2008
    Iranian Parliament provisionally approves death penalty for leaving Islam

    Barnabas Fund reports,’The Iranian Parliament has given provisional approval, by a majority of 196 to seven, to a bill that mandates the death penalty for apostasy from Islam. Until now Iranian judges could impose the death penalty in such cases only on the basis of Islamic law and fatwas, not on the basis of Iranian law.

    The bill prescribes a mandatory death sentence for any male Muslim who converts from Islam to another religion, and lifelong imprisonment for female converts from Islam. It also gives the Iranian secular courts authority to convict Iranians living outside the country of crimes relating to Iranian national security. It seems likely that this could be used against the many Iranian Christians who live outside Iran but are involved in evangelism within it. Apostasy from Islam is viewed by most Muslims as equivalent to treason.

    The bill, which was drafted earlier this year, is now being reviewed in parliament, giving MPs the opportunity to amend it. Before it becomes law the bill will also be vetted by the Council of Guardians, a twelve-member legislative body with the power to veto any bill that does not conform to Islamic law and the constitution.

    Article 23 of the Iranian constitution states that “the investigation of individuals’ beliefs is forbidden, and no one may be molested or taken to task simply for holding a certain belief”. Iran is also a signatory of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which guarantees freedom of belief.

    “The provisional approval of this bill has serious implications for Iranian Christian converts, who already face much persecution from the authorities,” says Dr Patrick Sookhdeo, International Director of Barnabas Fund. “It seems that the Iranian government is willing to continue on its course of complete Islamisation at the expense of the most basic human rights and in contradiction to Article 23 of the Iranian constitution. The Iranian Church needs our prayers more than ever.”

    The progress of the bill coincides with the formal charging of two Christian converts from Islam, Arash Basirat and Mahmood Matin-Azad, with apostasy at the beginning of August. Some Iranian Christians fear that the authorities are seeking to make an example of the two Christians, or to give the prospective law a “test run”.

    The persecution that Christian converts from Islam face under shari’a law is often not recognised by Western governments. Immigration officers frequently fail to distinguish between Christians who come from a Christian background and those who have converted from Islam. The latter may face real danger to their lives, either from their country’s law enforcement agencies or from their community and family, even if Christians from a Christian background are not at risk. A number of Christian converts from Islam have been refused asylum in Western countries, including Iranians. In the light of this it is encouraging that on 29 September a Syrian Christian couple, both converts from Islam, were granted asylum in Britain. The couple had fled Syria after receiving death threats from their families.

    Western ignorance of Muslim attitudes to apostasy can have serious consequences for asylum-seeking converts even without their being deported to their home countries. According to reports last weekend, a Libyan Christian convert from Islam was beaten almost to death by Muslims while at West Drayton Removal Centre in the UK. Twenty-eight-year-old Moftah Abdulghani, who had fled Libya after converting to Christianity, was awaiting a review of his case following the failure of his application for asylum in the UK. His Christian faith became known to the hundreds of Muslim detainees at the same Removal Centre, who began to abuse and threaten him. The assault, allegedly at the hands of Yemeni and Somali detainees, came as Moftah left the makeshift church at the Removal Centre. He is to be moved to another detention centre and kept in solitary confinement for his own safety.’

    http://barnabasfund.org/UK/News/Archives/Iranian-Parliament-provisionally-approves-death-penalty-for-leaving-Islam.html

  427. ExposingWarmongeringNeoConStooges says:

    Zionist Stooge says:
    March 21, 2012 at 3:22 am

    Ah, claims spread by Fox News and an organization headed by Pat Robertson. You do know how Fox News is regarded by most thinking, rational people don’t you?

  428. ExposingWarmongeringNeoConStooges says:

    By the way, since our local Zionist fact checker only accepts mainstream media sources (apparently World Net Daily falls under that category, which I was previously unaware of) here is what the Washington Post has to say about Kahlili.

    “Three former CIA officers who ran Iranian operations in the ’80s and should have been knowledgeable said they had never heard of such a significant penetration of the Guard during this period,” The Washington Post’s veteran spy-watcher, David Ignatius.” Oh dear, how inconvenient that three former spies who would have known Kahlili if he had been a spy where and when he claimed have no memory of him in the role he claimed he held.

    http://voices.washingtonpost.com/spy-talk/2010/07/reza_kahlili_self-proclaimed_ex-cia_spy_makes_new_iran_claims.html

  429. Sassan says:

    Case in point: Pastor Nadarkhani

  430. masoud says:

    Eric A. Brill says:
    March 21, 2012 at 2:20 am

    Masoud writes:

    “Article 13, while not enforced as it should be, is shocking in how much it formally limits what the state can do.”

    What I find remarkable is that it not only restricts prosecution based on beleif, but that is also bars the state from investigating whether or not someone holds a certain beleif(religious or otherwise). This would, for example, automatically invalidate all this new-fangled ‘Hate Crime Legislation’(eg. thoughtcrime) which is now all the rage in Europe and North America. I think alot of Western governments try and profile subjects to determine whether or not they are ‘radicalized’ and therefore appropriate targets for further investigation, which they would not be able to do if they had to adhere to such a rule.

  431. Sassan says:

    You idiot. EVERYONE knows you can’t leave Islam or you get the noose.

  432. ExposingWarmongeringNeoConStooges says:

    Zionist Stooge No 2 says:
    March 21, 2012 at 3:11 am

    Once again, Article 23 of the Iranian constitution. Read it, and learn.

    “The sentence of Apostasy in Sharia is death, but Apostasy is not explicitly mentioned in the new IPC” note your claim is based on questionable analysis (to say the least)and is not backed up with any actual proof. And once again, Article 23 forbids any “investigation” of private belief. So tell me, oh wise Zionist, when the authorities cannot “investigate” any change of belief or what an individual’s privately held belief is, how can they accuse someone of apostasy?

  433. Sassan says:

    Apostasy:

    The sentence of Apostasy in Sharia is death, but Apostasy is not explicitly mentioned in the new IPC. However, the new law makes it easier for judges to issue the death penalty for Apostasy because the new article 220 states: “If the present law is silent about any of the “hodoud” cases, the judge is referred to article 167 of the Constitution.” Article 167 of the Constitution states: “The Judge is bound to attempt to rule on each case, on the basis of the codified law. In case of the absence of any such law, he has to deliver his judgment on the basis of official Islamic sources and authentic fatwa.” The reference to article 167 was previously made in the Civil code but now it is also included in the Penal Law.

    http://www.nl-aid.org/domain/human-rights/annual-report-on-the-death-penalty-in-iran-2011/

  434. masoud says:

    Eric A. Brill says:
    March 21, 2012 at 2:04 am

    I think violating ‘Islamic Criteria’ in the context of Article 26 means much the same thing as violating ‘freedom’ or ‘unity’: nothing in particular, but something that would be ‘obviously’ recognizable when it happens. “I can’t define it, but I’ll know it when i see it”, an American justice once said in relation to a similar issue.

    I agree with you about article 26(actually, I think I was making the same point you made), and I meant to praise article 23(which, incidentally, is the article I actually quoted) as opposed to article 13 in my earlier post.

    While we’re talking about Article 13, I’ve always read it as limiting the various types of religious schools the state has to fund, and alternative legal systems the state is to accomadate, as opposed to being an explicit grant of rights of any sort.

    I think the main two articles that deal with ‘religious freedom’ are the two I’ve pointed out. Belief is sacrosanct, while practice is no more free from government monitoring and interference than any other mass-based social activity. Lack of religious freedom in Iran used to bother me much more than it does at present. I think organized religion is a dangerous thing, a fact which would have been all too apparent to the framers of the IRI constitution, and not something they could merely ignore.

    On the one hand, I am disturbed by that Iran sometimes goes after sufis and other small unacknowledged religious groups. At the same time, Iran simply can not afford to be complacent about any potential vector of foreign meddling. The 2009 riots could perhaps be regarded as the result of foreign religion(Western Liberalism) beeing allowed to run amok. A much more direct example of the possible carnage unchecked organized religion can wreck are the Babi riots of the 1800, which took the lives of tens of thousands of Iranians before they were finally put down.

  435. ExposingWarmongeringNeoConStooges says:

    Zionist No 2 says:
    March 21, 2012 at 2:58 am

    Yep, I know it is hard to have your propaganda disproved, but a post that was already made when you posted your usual lies did it. It is hard to have people who can actually quote facts around when you want to spread propaganda, I know, but those are the breaks when you actually encounter people who can use facts and logic rather than presuppositions that are not based on fact. My advice, which is intended in the kindest way possible, is to get used to it.

  436. ExposingWarmongeringNeoConStooges says:

    Here is another wonderful claim from our brilliant local Zionist’s favorite fake former spy.

    http://www.iranaffairs.com/iran_affairs/2011/09/reza-khalili-and-the-fake-emp-threat-from-iran.html?cid=6a00d83420523653ef0153919c3839970b

    Note the most important quote: “Aside from the ridiculousness of the idea that Iran is about to launch an intercontinental ballsitic nuclear missile to explode over the US to cause an EMP pulse, a lightining strike puts out much more EMP than a nuclear bomb.” The source our local rationalist finds reliable and worthy of incessent quotation and reptition, ladies and gentlemen.

  437. Sassan says:

    LMFAO. Once again, any individual leaving Islam under Islamic law is deemed an Apostate and their penalty is death.

  438. ExposingWarmongeringNeoConStooges says:

    Actually the source for what was published on that blog was an Anti War radio interview with a real expert on Iran. Note that unlike the fraud Kahlili, Antiwar.com is a widely respected source and adheres to the highest journalistic standards. So let’s see, that blog post was backed up by facts and evidence, when did Kahlili make a blog post that was supported by anything other than his statements, which, as has just been proven, are lies?

  439. ExposingWarmongeringNeoConStooges says:

    Zionist Stooge says:
    March 21, 2012 at 2:42 am

    Oh yes Zionist RFI stalker, yep “Pajamas Media” is not a “blog” is it. NOOOO, it is a fount of truth and wisdom that distributes unquestioned truth. And of course, “Reza Kahlili” is not an individual and always publishes his wonderful truth telling wisdom in the New York Times and is a senior correspondent for CBS right?

  440. ExposingWarmongeringNeoConStooges says:

    Zionist Stooge No 2 says:
    March 21, 2012 at 2:32 am

    Did our favorite local Zionist just make a claim that was already debunked. Why yes he did!!!

    Courtesy of masoud: “Article 13 of the Iranian Constitution: The investigation of individuals’ beliefs is forbidden, and no one may be molested or taken to task simply for holding a certain belief.” So guess what; friendly local Zionist, you can convert to any religion from Islam, and you can privately hold those beliefs in Iran. Note that is different from, for example, the dictatorial state of Saudi Arabia which our dear Zionist friend supports fully.

  441. Sassan says:

    What reputable sources my stalker provides. “Blogs” of people. lol

  442. ExposingWarmongeringNeoConStooges says:

    And note I am not reluctant to link to that article again if Kahlili is brought up as a credible source by our favorite local Zionist.

  443. ExposingWarmongeringNeoConStooges says:

    Time to prove that Kahlili is a vicious fraud once and for all.

    And note this is just one of many sources:

    http://theuglytruth.wordpress.com/2012/02/08/did-the-ayatollah-really-say-kill-all-jews-annihilate-israel/

    First the piece discusses outright lies told by Kahlili in his ongoing attempt to demonize Iran. The “piece by Reza Kahlili is based entirely on an article by Alireza Forghani, who is described by Kahlili as “an analyst and a strategy specialist in [Ayatollah Ali] Khamenei’s camp.”

    But “Kahlili provides no proof of this and expects the reader to take his word for it. In response, Sahimi says that Alireza Forghani is nothing more than an “Iranian blogger” who has “no ties to the Iranian government…no official post anywhere…doesn’t even have a job.” Well what a surprise, someone who our friendly Zionist supports provides no proof of his allegations.

    Note what Kahlili claims and than note the response that debunks it: “As for Kahlili’s assertion that Forghani’s article contains quotes from Ali Khamenei that calls for the killing of all Jews, and the annihilation of Israel, Sahimi says, “There are no quotes from Khamenei—the current Supreme Leader—but there are two quotes from Khomeini, the leader of the [Iranian] Revolution.” So another outright lie from someone the Zionist supports.

    Next lie “Notice that Kahlili does not put full quotations around part of this sentence: no opening quotation>> to kill all Jews and annihilate Israel, and in that, the Islamic government of Iran must take the helm.”<<only a closing quotation
    That’s because Forghani never wrote that, according to Sahimi" So, another lie from Kahlili.

    Note the piece also points out that demonization of Iran over the piece is absurd. It notes that extreme Israelis have written things that are far worse repeatedly.

    Here is Kahlili's claim to fame "Kahlili claims to have been a member of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard in the 1980’s, and that he worked as a double agent for the CIA, but decided to leave Iran in 1989." Of course as the piece points out the IRGC today is completely different from what it was in 1989, and Kahlili has no way of knowing what has been taking place in Iran since than. Thus every statement he has made since than about "nuclear weapons programs, etc" is a lie since he has no way of knowing what is going on in Iran at the current time.

    Oh and guess who supports Kahlili, did you guess Glenn Beck? Well if so you were right. Yes, so the Zionist thinks that we should pay attention to someone who has been interviewed by Glenn Beck. By the way this also exposes the source of the Identity's previous absurd claims in previous threads that he did not want to disclose.

  444. Sassan says:

    You want religious freedom…go back to the time of Cyrus the Great: http://youtu.be/QpmsftF2We4

  445. Sassan says:

    Eric, it should be noted that anyone “born” a Muslim and no longer deciding to be Muslim or to convert to any other religion or become an atheist is deemed a “Kafar” (Apostate) and is deemed to die. This is the so called “religious freedom”.

  446. Sassan says:

    *Pahlavi

  447. Sassan says:

    In Farsi, the honorable Reza Pahlivi wishing Iranians a happy Nowruz: http://youtu.be/2RqLgKhxJnU

  448. Masoud writes:

    “Article 13, while not enforced as it should be, is shocking in how much it formally limits what the state can do.”

    Shocking? What do you think it should allow?

    Incidentally, my earlier reply was a bit too charitable in its description of what religious organizations may exist, much less what they can do. The restrictions in Article 26, such as not violating “the criteria of Islam,” apply to organizations practicing one of the three recognized religious minorities. If an organization practices a non-recognized religion, it isn’t allowed to operate at all, regardless of whether it violates “the criteria of Islam.” Its mere existence is prohibited.

    Does that strike you as appropriate? If so, why?

  449. Sassan says:

    Reza Kahlili on Fox News Channel: http://youtu.be/-SLwTvMN8Ec

  450. ExposingWarmongeringNeoConStooges says:

    Zionist Stooge No 2 says:
    March 21, 2012 at 1:59 am

    Oh how nice!!! Two days after he said he would respond and has not we now receive another dispatch of copy pasted spam with another assurance he will at some point in the near future “respond” which apparently means he will copy paste more spam!!! And of course, no commentary or reason why the whole article needs to be reproduced on the site rather than just providing a link. Stay tuned folks, on March 20, 2014 I am sure we will read something that constitutes a “response”, meaning another copy pasted article from our friendly local Zionist.

    And now we are copy pasting Zionist talking points from the war criminal Condolezza Rice. Yep, more commentary from war criminals, that is just what this blog needs.

  451. masoud says:
    March 20, 2012 at 11:36 pm

    Article 13 of Iran’s constitution explicitly recognizes only three religious minorities: Christians, Jews and Zoroastrians. They are granted considerable freedoms, though even those freedoms are limited by “the law,” the meaning of which is undefined and dangerously vague in this context.

    Worse, if a person isn’t in one of those three recognized minorities, he may be free to “believe” what he likes, but he’d better be very careful about doing his “believing” in public, especially as part of an organized group. It’s hard to know, for example, how one can safely engage in Buddhist rituals, much less stand on a street corner and profess atheism, without violating “the criteria of Islam” under Article 26. Do you have any idea what that restriction means in practice? I sure don’t, but I have little doubt that it could be interpreted broadly enough to interfere with the free practice of Buddhism, not to mention the preaching of atheism on a street corner.

    It has always been unclear to me, and I expect it will always be unclear to me, why a state feels it has any right or need to restrict a person’s practice of religion. To the contrary, in my view, every constitution should guarantee complete religious freedom. That freedom is expressed clearly and unequivocally in the US constitution, and it generally is enforced zealously by American courts.

    As I wrote earlier, the Iran constitution includes many praiseworthy features. But this is not one of them.

  452. Sassan says:

    I will respond to yesterday’s posts in a short while but here is Condi back in the fray! The Iranian people miss her leadership greatly as she has always been a great friend to the Iranian people:

    Condoleezza Rice suggests Iran plan for White House

    Rice said it’s important to send Iran ‘a very strong message’ about nuclea weapons.
    By MJ LEE | 3/20/12 8:49 AM EDT

    Condoleezza Rice jumped into the debate about Iran on Tuesday, saying the country must never be allowed to develop nuclear weapons and warning that President Barack Obama must avoid sending “mixed signals” about the United States’ willingness to use military force.

    “The most important thing is to make very clear to the Iranians that we really will not allow them to get a nuclear weapon. That means that you have to have a military option that you are prepared to use and that the Iranians know that you are prepared to use. And you can’t send mixed signals about that,” the former secretary of state said on “Fox & Friends.” “It’s got to be a very strong message and it’s got to be unequivocal.”

    Asked to explain what she meant by the “mixed signals” coming out of the Obama administration, Rice noted, “The president has said he has a military option and he means he will use it, but then you do get the back stories and the whispers here and there and occasionally someone questioning whether or not the military option is a real option — and the Iranians just eat that up.”

    She added, “So let’s have one message from the president that we will use military force if necessary.”

    Obama has said that all options remain on the table, including the use of military force.

    Rice, who was hitting up a round of morning TV shows to promote the findings of an education report released by a Council on Foreign Relations task force, said in an earlier interview with CBS that the potential use of military force against Iran will obviously come with “a lot of risk and a lot of consequences.”

    Still, she insisted that Obama, like his predecessor President George W. Bush, was “correct” to believe that the world cannot risk seeing a nuclear-armed Iran.

    “No one can afford a nuclear weapon in Iran. It will unsettle the Middle East tremendously,” she warned.

    Meanwhile, Rice was also asked if she would consider being on the GOP ticket as a vice presidential nominee – a possibility that she quickly swatted away on Fox News.

    “Look, we’re going to have a lot of great candidates for vice president and it’s going to be a terrific ticket for the Republican Party, but that’s not my strong suit. I really love policy, not politics, but they’ll find the right person,” she said.

    Pressed about the possibility of an Obama-Biden versus Romney-Rice general election, she responded, “I think we should go another direction and find somebody who really wants to be in elected office … How many ways can I say it? Not me.”

    Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0312/74223.html#ixzz1pjDIiarb

  453. ExposingWarmongeringNeoConStooges says:

    Here is the source it was copy pasted from without attribution:

    http://www.rferl.org/content/explainer_politics_of_norouz/24522181.html

    Here is some more information about the holiday in the source that our reliable narrator strangely failed to mention.

    “The celebration of Norouz was only legalized in Turkey in 2000″ in other words, while in Iran the celebration was never banned, it was in “secular, nationalist” Turkey.

    “The tensions surrounding the holiday in Turkey descended into violence on March 20 when Kurdish protesters clashed with police trying to prevent Norouz festivities in two southeastern towns. At least nine people were hurt when people in the Turkish capital, Istanbul, and another city tried to mark the holiday.”

    Hmm…I don’t remember hearing about any violence in Iran, how odd.

    “In Central Asia’s former Soviet republics, Norouz has been a recognized official holiday. But even times of celebration can take on an authoritarian hue, as in Uzbekistan, where President Islam Karimov has declared that he alone can decide when the holiday should start.”

    Yep, wonderful Uzbekistan, a true totalitarian dictatorship, supported of course, by our friendly local Zionist.

  454. ExposingWarmongeringNeoConStooges says:

    Zionist Stooge No. 2 says:
    March 21, 2012 at 1:40 am

    So out favorite Zionist is now copy pasting material without attributing the source. You do know that is considered (at least) plagiarism right?

  455. Sassan says:

    “Pre-Islamic Iran is the cradle of Norouz, where it is believed to have been a holiday of the ancient Zoroastrian religion. It is so deeply rooted in the Iranian tradition and has such a powerful influence that even the Islamic Revolution of 1979 could not ban it. An official six-day holiday in Iran — and 14-day vacation for schools — Norouz has nevertheless been under constant fire from Muslim clerics, who call it un-Islamic.

    Iran’s official attitude, however, is more ambiguous toward Norouz. While the supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has issued repeated fatwas, or religious edicts, saying that Norouz “has no religious basis and will create a lot of damage and [moral] corruption,” he is also the first to officially mark the beginning of Norouz with a national address.”

  456. Happy New Year says:

    Ramin Jahanbegloo NED(CIA) agent doesn’t want war!! Now, all Iranian trained NED agents should write a letter to confess the same….

    http://www.progressive.org/iranian_dissidents_do_not_want_war.html

  457. Happy New Year says:

    {Mr. Marandi should try his hand at fiction. Either he lives in la la land, or the country that I just visited was not Iran. I wonder why a regime so popular and so much in control should jail lawyers, trade union activists, religious minorities, journalists, etc. Just wondering.}

    The idiots should remember that if Iran like US runs a campaign of lies and deception against the United States and spends millions of dollars to train agents using Iranian traitors, transferring $$$ to her agents through phony ‘awards’, using the UN, a whore house, and its petty chairman to put pressure on other countries to follow Iran’s demonization of US and strangulation of its economy, to give bribes to countries that vote against the United States, to promise the Iranian minority terrorist groups the phony ‘federalism’ if they fight against the government to destabilize, to conduct a TERROR campaign against Iranian citizens and scientists, form so many terrorist groups such as MEK, PEJAK, Jundollah, and many others for terror campaign, gives many AWARDS for shitty job to traitors who pose as ‘journalists’ and gives ‘noble’ prize to manufacture phony ‘leaders’, to use Iranian agent from Bahia faction to establish ‘documentation center’ to fabricate ‘evidence’ against Khamenaie by giving them millions of dollars through NED (CIA), transferring millions of dollars more to agents who are called NGOs for destabilization and regime change, THEN THE UNITED STATES WOULD HAVE BEEN DIVIDED IN 100 PIECE, AND STOP TO EXIST.

    You should be happy to see that Iranian people have managed to neutralize many vicious acts of terrors forced upon them.

    Long live Iran with more than 6000 years of civilization. This fact alone burns the enemy’s koon.

  458. masoud says:

    Eric A. Brill says:
    March 20, 2012 at 10:27 am

    “I forgot to mention the religion that Nowruz is based on! Zoroastrianism. It still exists today although in small numbers.”

    COMMENT:

    The Iranian constitution has many strong features. The guarantee of religious freedom certainly is not one of them

    That’s actually tricky territory. Formal rights of ‘belief’, as stated in the Iranian constitution, are stronger than in any other bill of rights I’ve seen.


    Article 23

    The investigation of individuals’ beliefs is forbidden, and no one may be molested or taken to task simply for holding a certain belief.

    However, rights of ‘organizations’, religious or otherwise, are quite explicity limited:


    Article 26

    The formation of parties, societies, political or professional associations, as well as religious societies, whether Islamic or pertaining to one of the recognized religious minorities, is permitted provided they do not violate the principles of independence, freedom, national unity, the criteria of Islam, or the basis of the Islamic republic. No one may be prevented from participating in the aforementioned groups, or be compelled to participate in them.

    I beleive article 26 too broad in limiting rights of association, and that it should also explicitly cover non-recognized religious minority rights. Article 13, while not enforced as it should be, is shocking in how much it formally limits what the state can do.

  459. ExposingWarmongeringNeoConStooges says:

    Karim says:
    March 20, 2012 at 11:18 pm

    Strange that others who have visited Iran recently who have also commented here give different accounts. What is your assessment of the total support the Iranian government enjoys among the population, inside and outside of Tehran?

  460. Karim says:

    Mr. Marandi should try his hand at fiction. Either he lives in la la land, or the country that I just visited was not Iran. I wonder why a regime so popular and so much in control should jail lawyers, trade union activists, religious minorities, journalists, etc. Just wondering.

    Large segments of the population, especially outside of Tehran, do support this regime. But it is far less popular than portrait here and people are far more critical of Khamenei than before. You would have never seen anti Khamenei graffiti 3 years ago. These days, you would see them if you drive around town (not just Tehran), especially early in the morning before they are covered.

  461. Persian Gulf says:

    I think Mojtaba Khamenei’s case is related to Hashemi’s cohort and their interest in having a counterweight for his kids’ too much involvement in almost everything in Iran. otherwise, even a layperson in Iran would know Mojtaba Khamenei has zero chance of acceptability. He is an unknown person in Iranian society. in my view, it’s unimaginable to even contemplate the idea of his leadership (at least for a decade to come).

  462. Persian Gulf says:

    سال نو مبارک!

    and

    happy Noruz!

  463. kooshy says:

    Mr. Obama in his Norooz message complained that Iran is blocking and jamming satellite and internet websites, one needs to tell him that for sure his Norooz message for sure not only is not blocked but it rather was translated and published entirely on some of Iran’s news sites

    http://jahannews.com/vdccx0qi12bqsp8.ala2.html

  464. kooshy says:

    Israel Killing Wrong Iranian Scientists?
    March 19, 2012

    “A suspected Israeli-sponsored assassination campaign has claimed the lives of five Iranian scientists supposedly linked to the country’s nuclear program. But the evidence implicating some scientists in nuclear research may be as murky as the suspicions that a weapons program even exists, writes Gareth Porter at Truthout.”

    By Gareth Porter

    http://consortiumnews.com/2012/03/19/israel-killing-wrong-iranian-scientists/

  465. kooshy says:

    Gav-

    Correction

    And if you think it is, wouldn’t that still sink EU/UK deeper in recession?

  466. kooshy says:

    James Canning says:

    March 20, 2012 at 6:47 pm

    Gav-

    Why would you think $100/PB is a good number which you say the SU is seeking? And if you think it is, wouldn’t that still sink EU/UK deeper in recreation.

    Most economist agree that $100/PB oil is not even bearable more than a few months by US economy which controls the printing machines, one wonders how could it be bearable by UK and EU.

  467. ToivoS says:

    This endless 3% or 20% enrichment debate is absurd. That is NOT the issue. The issue, from the Iranian perspective: does the US (and hence Europe) accept the current Iranian government?

    Obama’s actions over the last 3 years has strongly signaled that it does not. We reserve the right to sanction, sabotage their industry and assassinate their scientists. If we were to give a strong signal that we accept them for what they are and will not conduct these acts of war then I suspect the 20% issue would be resolved immediately. After all, they already agreed once but as soon as they did Obama rebuffed them.

  468. James Canning says:

    Expose,

    I have said I thought Obama blundered when he did not respond to Iran’s Sept. 2010 offer to stop enriching to 20 percent.

    Global recession would bring oil prices down. Maybe ten or so years ago, oil was under $20 per barrel.

    The Saudis want oil to be around $100. They likely will succeed in this.

  469. kooshy says:

    Here is another piece of the puzzle

    Well in regard to the exemption that Mr. Obama was forced to offer to the other ten nation I posted earlier, here the Indians in away are telling Mr. Obama to take your exemptions and shove it. They are not asking for one, I wonder what would be the china’s reaction.

    India Facilitates Iran Oil Shipments With New Rupee Payment System

    India just made bypassing Iranian oil embargo easier.

    India Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee said he will allow for a tax exemption on rupee payments made to Iranian oil companies. The move would help set up a full-fledged implementation of non-dollar oil transactions with Iran despite U.S. and European sanctions, The Economic Times of India reported on Tuesday.

    According to the ET, Iranian oil companies would deposit their rupee earnings in India’s UCO bank, which will be used to pay Indian exporters to Iran after their papers are vetted by Iran’s Bank Parisan. The oil companies will be paid the equivalent value in their local currency by designated Iranian banks who will be paid in local currency by Iranian importers of Indian goods.

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/kenrapoza/2012/03/20/india-facilitates-iran-oil-shipments-allows-for-non-dollar-deals/

  470. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    The 2010 NIE on Iran reiterated the conclusions of 2007. Over strenuous objections from neocons and other “pro-Israel” types.

    Obama is attacked daily in the US for being “soft” on Iran, for “appeasing dictators”, etc etc etc. And he has fanatical supporters of Israel in his own party, up on Capitol Hill. And many of them want Israel allowed to do as it wishes with the non-Jews in the West Bank.

  471. ExposingWarmongeringNeoConStooges says:

    James Canning says:
    March 20, 2012 at 6:39 pm

    And we have still not established that such oil sanctions would work in the first place, as I was just discussing. Note that if oil prices soared by that much, the sanctions would fail anyway as such an abrupt rise would seriously damage the world economy. And of course, Iran would profit from the increased price of crude to those it would still sell to.

  472. fyi says:

    James Canning says: March 20, 2012 at 6:34 pm

    Nonsense.

    US-EU regime change policy was taking them to war.

    That is all.

    A major miscalculation pursuing apsychotic policy course.

  473. James Canning says:

    Karl,

    I of course am not making the call. I would think Iran’s production of 20% U could be monitored. But the prevailing opinion within P5+1 seems to be Iran must stop producing 20% U. And Iran has offered to stop producing it.

  474. fyi says:

    James Canning says: March 20, 2012 at 6:30 pm

    Perhaps not.

    But the policy that he initiated – with the belligerent speech of Mr. Danilon last November, was rapidly bringing the United States into war with Iran.

    He is responsible for that fiasco in which he, and members of his administration – including Mr. Danilon – had to go on TV and essentially exonerate Iran from the charge of building nuclear weapons.

    When US NIE in 2007 came out, Mr. Ahmadinejad stated: “A few more such things and we will not have any probles (with the United States).”

    US and EU, however, decided to keep the problem alive and use it to cause regime change in Iran.

    These statements of US President and US officials could have been made in 2010 – with equal veracity.

    That they were not indicated the aims of US-EU policy’ regime change in Iran.

    Now, that game of repeating the experience of Chile under Allende and Iran under Mossadeq are not repeatable.

    Attempts at doing so will only bring war.

  475. James Canning says:

    Expose,

    Obama’s re-election chances would sink if gas prices in US went to $6 or $7 per gallon. Global recession due to oil at $125 or higher also is grave risk to him.

    So, it was important to Obama, at this juncture, for sanctions not to bite too effectively.

  476. Karl says:

    James,

    “US and the EU were making clear that there would be war if Iran tried to build nukes or seemed getting very ready to build them. They made clear they did not want war.”

    And you would be the first to accept a war? Your approval leads me to belive you think such a war is right to wage.

  477. James Canning says:

    Karl,

    It is not a good thing for Israel to receive support no matter how injurious Israeli policies are to the US and even to Israel itself.

    Support should be give Israel when Israel is in the right, not when it is in the wrong. This is the crux of the problem posed by ISRAEL LOBBY in the US.

  478. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    US and the EU were making clear that there would be war if Iran tried to build nukes or seemed getting very ready to build them. They made clear they did not want war.

    Larijani appears to be speaking for Khamenei, and ending enrichment to 20 percent likely is something Iran will accept.

  479. ExposingWarmongeringNeoConStooges says:

    James Canning says:
    March 20, 2012 at 6:32 pm

    Possibly, but the end result is that they have failed.

  480. Karl says:

    James,

    I often see you write “right or wrong”.

    “Plus, some foolish “liberals” who support Israel right or wrong, ”

    Isnt that obvious? That something is either right or wrong…?

  481. James Canning says:

    Expose,

    Obama did not want the oil sanctions to succeed, at this time. He may not have thought the thing through as well as one would have liked.

  482. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    I do not think Obama has wanted war with Iran at any time, since he was elected to the Seante in 2004.

    Idiot neocon warmongers wanted war with Iran, during the George W. Bush administration. Or, at least some of the idiot neocon warmongers wanted such a war.

    Plus, some foolish “liberals” who support Israel right or wrong, wanted war with Iran.

  483. fyi says:

    Richard Steven Hack says: March 20, 2012 at 6:15 pm

    You are wrong about absence of de-escalation.

    The last 3 weeks have all been an attempt at de-escalation by US government and EU states on the path to war.

    You are right that there will be very little chance of de-escalation in their Siege War.

    In regards to naval blockade – not a chance.

    Axis Powers were again confronted – by their own policies – with the choice of going to war with Iran and declined.

    Twice in 6 years have threatened war with iran and when Iranians stated that they are ready for war, they have backed down.

    It is a testament to the obduracy of US planners and their political leaders that the same failed policy is tried with the same result twice in 6 years.

    These are not sane policy choice; these are indicative of deep policy psychosis within US and EU strategists.

    But I agree with you that with each such threat, followed by Iranian acceptance of War, the chances of any sort rapproachment with Iran goes lower and lower.

  484. ExposingWarmongeringNeoConStooges says:

    Richard Steven Hack says:
    March 20, 2012 at 6:15 pm

    I have yet to see any evidence that any further sanctions can be applied. The US has already severed all financial ties with Iran, and its attempt to force other countries to follow suit has already failed. What other sanctions do you think could be applied since the US has already failed on the oil purchase embargo?

  485. fyi says:

    James Canning says: March 20, 2012 at 6:04 pm

    The only thing EU-US can get out of Iran is an offer not to enrcih 20% beyond the needs of TRR.

    I think you are underestimating how much the events of the last 2 months has weakened the negogiating position opf US-EU specifically and P5+1 generally.

    They threatened war but when challenged by Iranians they backed down.

    They have exported the geopolitical costs of their Siege War against Iran to other states; they cannot go back now on that.

    That is, they cannot remove their own sanctions without incurring heavy political/diplomatic costs.

    And for what? To force Iranians to stop 20% enrichment that they Iranians themselves had offerred in September of 2011?

  486. ExposingWarmongeringNeoConStooges says:

    James Canning says:
    March 20, 2012 at 6:07 pm

    Saudi Arabia announced plans years ago to increase production to 12 mbpd, etc. The whole point of the article I reposted is that they have failed. Note that Saudi Arabia recently acknowledge this in a roundabout way when they said they would not increase production because “the oil market already had sufficient supply.” With oil prices being what they are this is obvious nonsense, so this provides further proof that they cannot.

  487. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Everyone knew the oil sanctions would fail, and be made up for by an increase in the price, which Saudi Arabia would not be able to beat back completely.

    For PR purposes, the West will let the situation stand until June when the sanctions officially kick in, and then wait until December after the US elections to declare that they’ve failed and thus a new round of Iran sanctions will be sought next year.

    Preparation for that is likely to be done this year, however, with propaganda being produced arguing for a naval blockade.

    As for the negotiations, none of the articles so far have said anything with substance at all, just the usual diplomatic blather. The bottom line: until the negotiations begin, we have no idea what the positions will be. What we can be sure of is that the West’s position will be unacceptable to Iran and the West will not be flexible in moderating its position.

    One hint is that Ashton claims “the window of opportunity is closing” – which is code for unless Iran surrenders completely, the West will shift to more sanctions and then war.

    So the talks will go no where and contribute to the propaganda that another round of sanctions are needed – just like 2009-2010.

    There will be no “de-escalation” and no agreements made, on 20% uranium or anything else. This is just the last round of talks before a complete breakdown and a shift to the final push for war.

  488. Karl says:

    Oil price spike would have ‘serious consequences,’ IMF warns
    http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/story/2012/03/20/oil-prices-warnings.html

    Whole world put in harms way just so Israel could keep it nuclear hegemony, occupation, annexation.

  489. fyi says:

    James Canning says: March 20, 2012 at 6:09 pm

    2003 – US is indifferent to Iran offer.

    2006 – War is threatened and Mr. Khamenei – in return – threatens to destroy oil facilities in Southern Persian Gulf.

    2007 – US NIE Come out – US/EU decide to escalate nevertheless.

    2011 – US-EU Escalate to the Point of War.

    02/2012 – Iranian state that they will go to war.

    03/2012 – Cease-fire is declared yet

    Let us see what Axis Powers will do next.

  490. ExposingWarmongeringNeoConStooges says:

    James Canning says:
    March 20, 2012 at 6:06 pm

    The issue is not refineries in the US (Which does not buy Iranian oil anyway) it is refineries in Europe and Asia. Those are the refineries in question which cannot process heavy oil. And note that as I stated before, their is no evidence that Saudi Arabia can increase its production at all. That is the whole point of showing an increase in domestic consumption that is not matched by an increase in production (as the article does). Saudi Arabia has to pay to import oil refined into various products that it cannot produce itself. If it could do so, it would at least increase production so that its own exports stay at the same level, considering the substantial increase in the oil price during the period. It did not, thus the logical conclustion to draw from that is that it cannot.

  491. fyi says:

    James Canning says: March 20, 2012 at 6:04 pm

    We shall see.

    It is clear the P5+1 are experiencing internal politico-technical difficulties.

    One would hope that they would continue being so – it would be a huge political gain for Iranians.

    “they beat us and beat us to get to the negogiating table – but had nothing to say to us.”

    Let us hope so…

  492. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    any reference to events of 2003 should include passing comment that a moron occupied the White House and this moron was being duped by neocon warmongers who support Israel right or wrong.

  493. James Canning says:

    Expose,

    The Financial Times today had a good article on Saudi plans to increase oil production capacity by substantial margin.

  494. James Canning says:

    Expose,

    I doubt the Saudis would charter 11 giant tankers (2 million barrel capacity, for each of them), to take oil to the US, if they expected the US to be unable to use that oil.

    Modifying oil refineries is expensive, to be sure.

  495. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    I think it is clear Iran will have to offer explicitly to stop enriching to 20 percent. P5+1 will have to assure Iran it can buy TRR fuel (as per IAEA application).

  496. ExposingWarmongeringNeoConStooges says:

    James Canning says:
    March 20, 2012 at 5:59 pm

    The whole point of the article is (1) It can’t (2) Even if it could it does not matter because the refineries in question cannot process the additional heavy oil that it would produce.

  497. James Canning says:

    Expose,

    If Saudi Arabia wants to increase its production of oil by a million or two million barrels per day, it will achieve its object.

  498. ExposingWarmongeringNeoConStooges says:

    tExasExes says:
    March 20, 2012 at 1:49 pm

    http://www.theoildrum.com/node/9034#comments_top

    This is a very important article that explains why Saudi Arabia is not going to be able to “make up” the oil production that would be lost by an oil purchase embargo on Iran.

    Key quotes:

    “Not all these fields have oil of equivalent quality, and this is a point that often fails to be understood when there is a global shortage, and the KSA offers more crude to the market. If that crude is sufficiently sour (i.e. too much sulfur) and heavy (low API gravity) then it cannot be refined by some refineries that may be hurting the most.”

    In other words, it doesn’t matter if Saudi Arabia produces 10 million barrels of heavy oil, because refineries cannot use it. The refineries that would be hit with the recently waived sanctions are those type of refineries. They cannot process heavier oil.

    “The BP data base shows that annual Saudi total petroleum liquids production has been below their 2005 rate of 11.1 mbpd for five straight years, and I suspect that the 2011 data will show the same pattern. Meanwhile, as I have, on occasion, opined, what really counts is their net oil export number.”

    Contrary to what is reported in the MSM which is the total export number, what really matters is the NET export number, for reasons which should be obvious.

    “they have shown declining net oil exports, relative to their 2005 annual rate of 9.1 mbpd, as annual Brent crude oil prices doubled again, from $55 in 2005 to $111 in 2011.”

    In other words, Saudi Arabia does not have sufficient capacity to increase production to bring down oil prices in any significant way.

    “*I estimate that their 2011 net exports were between 7.5 and 8.1 mbpd, versus the 2005 level of 9.1 mbpd; the graph shows a midpoint estimate of 7.8 mbpd.”

    As oil demand in Saudi Arabia has increased, Saudi production has not been able to increase to meet it. Another sign that they cannot increase production on demand as they say they can.

  499. ExposingWarmongeringNeoConStooges says:

    Cyrus_2 says:
    March 20, 2012 at 5:13 pm

    Because it is clear that the attempt to find alternate oil supplies has failed and they will continue buying oil anyway. Note the inclusion of Greece on the list which has been buying over 30% of its oil from Iran. In addition, countries such as Germany have significant trade relations with Iran and it is clear they refused to end those ties at the demand of the US.

  500. ExposingWarmongeringNeoConStooges says:

    kooshy says:
    March 20, 2012 at 3:47 pm

    First sign that the new sanctions have completely failed and that the oil cannot be replaced. I expect that China, India, South Korea, Sri Lanka, etc. will shortly follow. Note that the statement by Clinton is complete propaganda and an obvious and desperate attempt to maintain the fiction that the sanctions are working. If those nations had really been able to “significantly reduce” their dependence on Iranian oil, than they would not have needed an exemption from the sanctions in the first place. Note also that European nations such as Germany and Poland which import very little Iranian oil anyway are exempted. This is an acknowledgment that trade between those nations and Iran apart from oil is too important to their respective governments to give it up on the whim of the US. And once again, those confident predictions by Reuters and others that the sanctions would have a significant effect or that a significant portion of Iranian oil exports would be “cut off” are proven to be untrue. In addition, it really is amusing to see US officials trying to portray something that is a clear concession of defeat as a victory. The only thing this exemption will do is make it clear to China and India that they will also receive a similar exemption.

  501. Cyrus_2 says:

    Why do these 10 EU states need exemptions when they’ll stup buying Iranian oil within a few monthes anyway?

  502. kooshy says:

    As an old Persian proverb says “If one don’t want to be exposed, should change to match the color of crowd”

    U.S. Exempts 11 Nations From Iran Oil Sanctions on Banking

    “By Indira A.R. Lakshmanan – Mar 20, 2012 11:47 AM PT

    The Obama administration is granting Japan and 10 European Union nations exemptions from new U.S. sanctions that will hit financial institutions in nations that don’t reduce their Iranian oil purchases by June 28, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said.

    The decision reflects that the countries have already “significantly reduced” their crude oil imports from Iran this year, Clinton said today in an e-mailed statement. Under a U.S. law enacted Dec. 31, the president must cut off access to the U.S. financial system for any foreign bank that conducts oil transactions with Iran’s central bank unless its country receives an exemption for reducing Iranian oil imports.

    The countries exempted today are Belgium, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain, and the United Kingdom.”

    “The actions taken by these countries were not easy,” Clinton said. “They had to rethink their energy needs at a critical time for the world economy and quickly begin to find alternatives to Iranian oil, which many had been reliant on for their energy needs.”

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-03-20/u-s-exempts-11-nations-from-iran-oil-sanctions-on-banking.html

  503. fyi says:

    James Canning says: March 20, 2012 at 2:34 pm

    Baroness Ashton’s testimony today (http://www.eubusiness.com/news-eu/iran-nuclear-talks.frb) seems to indicate that there is no “give” in these negogiations.

    That is, either Iran is not willing to make any concession – icnluding 20% suspension – or else the P5+1 cannot agree among themselves on a negogiating position.

    It might yet turn out to be a repeat of 2003 – Iran was forced to the table but the other side was not interested.

    If that be the case, the strategic implications will be quite obvious.

  504. Karl says:

    http://video.msnbc.msn.com/up-with-chris-hayes/46697229#46696821

    MSNBC pro-israel panel on Iran, Palestine.

    Hideous woman in red, using obvious propaganda.

  505. Karl says:

    James,

    “The P5+1 have communicated that Iran needs to make that offer, as a “confidence building measure”. Without getting anything specific in return, at least openly”

    Yes? No one denying that west only look for its own interest, thats not a dialogue, thats no engagement, that is a unjust demand. Something that Iran have made clear that it is repeatedly.

  506. James Canning says:

    Karl,

    Idiotic US blocking of Iran’s IAEA application to buy TRR fuel obviously needs to be sonsigned to the rubbish bin.

  507. James Canning says:

    Karl,

    The P5+1 have communicated that Iran needs to make that offer, as a “confidence building measure”. Without getting anything specific in return, at least openly.

    Remember, the FT opposes sanctions on energy deals by countries. For good reason.

  508. James Canning says:

    Happy New Year,

    I agree Obama blundered when he ignored Iran’s offer last September to end production of 20 percent uranium. Or, Obama made the situation worse by failing to respond in good faith. And domestic politics clearly was the reason Obama ignored the offer.

  509. Karl says:

    James,

    Yes you are right Iran should not give in unless it gets something in return. Thats a fundamental part of diplomacy.

  510. BiBiJon says:

    Karl says:
    March 20, 2012 at 2:20 pm

    “From a goodwill perspective, Larijani was offering a good deal yes.”

    I guess you didn’t hear about the emergency meetings convened immediately to explore this, and Larijani’s other offer about ‘permanent human monitoring.’

    The meetings are goin quite well. The Treasury department has temporarily suspended Cohen’s trip to UAE to drum up more sanctions, and Geikner has cancelled his trip. This all to show the seriousness of how they want a peacful negotiated settlement. Non of these gestures would be complete without CENTCOM announcing a moratorium on further deployment of warships to the Persian Gulf.

    I’m kidding of course. Larijani’s proposals were answered the same way as Iran’s past proposals. James Canning and his FT schtick is amusing.

  511. James Canning says:

    Karl,

    Yes, Larijani was doing the right thing, in offering to have Iran buy the TRR fuel from the West and implicitly end production of 20% U.

    Remember that the FT opposed sanctions on Iranian oil and gas exports.

  512. Happy New Year says:

    {In regards to Mr. Larijani’s views: I do not have any objection to Iranians agreeing to this or that temporary arrangement to reduce tensions with Axis Powers.}

    This is not Larijani’s offer. Mr. Ahmadinejad offered it long time ago where was ignored by ZIONIST STOOGE, OBAMA.

    Corrupt Larijani family with his extension Ahmad Tavakolli, have eyes on the presidential election AGAIN are resorting to any propaganda to bring down Ahmadinejad camp but have not been successful. These corrupt family is the darling of the war criminal since they are considered PART OF THE MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD who have become agent of war criminals in the region.

    Iranians DO NOT SUPPORT OR TRUST THIS CORRUPT FAMILY AND its CHAINED DOG, AHMAD TAVAKOLI. They are MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD OF IRAN. Muslim brotherhood has turned into war criminlas agents everywhere in the region including Turkey.

    They want to steal the presidency. Larijani got only 1% of the votes last time in 2005 election. Tavakkoli was DEFEATED badly IN 2005 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION. They want to run again. Defeat them harder this time.

    LARIJANI is CALLED KENNEDY family of Iran by zionist media.

    http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1917720,00.html

  513. James Canning says:

    Karl,

    It appears you do not like the idea that Iran would offer to stop enriching to 20 percent without a quid pro quo. Or, a specific return to Iran in exchange for the ending of 20% U production. This is understandable.

    The political realities are simply that Iran needs to stop stockpiling 20 percent uranium. And “the West” needs to back off from the latest sanctions.

    I can assure you a top-left front page story in the FT is a very big deal indeed.

  514. Karl says:

    James,

    From a goodwill perspective, Larijani was offering a good deal yes.

  515. Karl says:

    James,

    Nothing confusing at all, I responded that your source is insignificant, or do you deny that Iran earlier this decade suspended its enrhciment on a goodwill gesture, temporarily and volontary? Now you tell us why Iran should do it again and getting ZERO in return.

  516. James Canning says:

    Karl,

    You think a top-left front page story in the Financial Times main section “is not significant”! What could be more significant?

  517. James Canning says:

    Karl,

    I take it you do not approve of Larijani’s offer March 15th for Iran to stop enriching to 20 percent. Correct?

  518. James Canning says:

    Karl,

    You claim you do not understand why I would tell you what the P5+1 want, when what the P5+1 want is communicated to the Financial Times, and I read it there and provide you with the FT report of those conversations. What is confusing to you about this?

  519. Karl says:

    James,

    On FT, I havent seen the article but that doesnt matter since its insignificant, if you remember Iran suspend its enrichment on a temporary basis, only to be pressured to end it permanently and on top of that sanctions. You really think Iran is going in the same trap twice?

  520. Karl says:

    James,

    No why would Larijani be stupid to do such an offer?

  521. James Canning says:

    Karl,

    According to the FT, the P5+1 WANT AN END TO IRANIAN ENRICHMENT TO 20 PERCENT. The diplomats want an end to the 20% enrichment. The P5+1 want an end to Iranian enrichment to 20%. These diplomats communicate via FT reporters. Do you comprehend?

  522. James Canning says:

    Karl,

    The DIPLOMATS with whom the FT reporters spoke SIAD THE IMMEDIATE PROBLEM TO BE ADDRESSED IS IRAN’S ENRICHMENT TO 20 PERCENT. This is what the diplomats connected to the P5+1 negotiations say. Is this hard for you to understand, for some reason?

  523. James Canning says:

    Karl,

    Do you think Larijani was wise to make the offer for Iran to stop enriching to 20 percent?

  524. Karl says:

    James,

    I have made not mention of FT journalists, I am not sure why you are using that argument. I am talking about the P5+1 (US) view that is what the lobby/Israel wants.

  525. fyi says:

    James Canning says: March 20, 2012 at 1:57 pm

    The current tensions were initiated by Axis Powers in a coordinate manner since they were not satisfied by the status quo that Mr. Obama had achieved vs. Nuclear Iran.

    The stratehic situation had deteriorated since 2010 UNSC sanctions as US had been kicked out of Iraq without SOFA, the Arab Spring was eroding their allies, and their war in Afghanistan was not going well.

    They had to do something further about Irant to weaken her.

    I think they miscalculated on 2 areas:

    The effect of their escalating Siege warfare against Iran on oil prices and the deep psychosis in US and EU on Iran policy.

    When they put their plan of attack together, I imagine that they expected Iranian surrender to Iranian regime change within a period of months and years.

    What happened, however, was a rapid descent towards war with Iran; a war which they did not want at the time.

    We are in the cease-fire state.

    Like all cease-fires it is unstable.

    Axis Powers have to disengage and de-escalate else they will get the war that they do not want.

    They have no strategic choices left to them – rapproachment with Iran is no longer possible in the near future.

    The P5+1 need to get something in the coming negogiations to proclaim as a sort of victory to de-escalate in a face-saving manner.

    Even today, Mr. Khamenei declared Iran’s military doctrine – proportionate retaliation.

    So war is still in the air.

  526. James Canning says:

    Karl,

    FIVE FINANCIAL TIMES REPORTERS in the March 7th front page story said the ISSUE IS IRANIAN ENRICHMENT TO 20 PERCENT. Not enriching to 3.5%. Why is this hard for you to grasp?

    Yes, whores of the ISRAEL LOBBY will try to manipulate the P5+1, to try to stop all enrichment, in hopes of setting up the war they want, so Iran can be smashed and Israel can continue ETHNIC CLEANSING PROGRAMME in the West Bank.

  527. James Canning says:

    Karl,

    Let me repeat the words of the FT report March 7th: “The critical test [for P5+1} will be whether Iran agrees to what diplomats call confidence building measures, such as a decision to stop enriching [to 20%].”

  528. Karl says:

    James,

    Right and thats the way P5+1, or rather, US is pushing.

  529. James Canning says:

    Mort Zuckerman, the Jewish billionaire and friend of Bibi Netanyahu, on McLaughlin Group (PBS TV in US) last week once again tried to convince the viewers that Iran is in fact building nukes or very near to building nukes. No mention, of course, of Iran’s offer to stop enriching to 20 percent.

  530. James Canning says:

    Karl,

    Wrong. Israel wants ZERO ENRICHMENT. Zero. The FT report March 7th FOCUSED ON ENRICHMENT TO 20 PERCENT.

  531. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Your contention that Iran’s trebling of production of 20 percent uranium did not contribute to the currently elevated levels of tension in the Gulf, is weak. In fact, it was Iran’s announcement of its intention to treble production of 20% U that brought on the latest round of sanctions.

    I am glad you see the merits of Larijani’s proposal.

    Does it not seem peculiar that CBS News, NBC News, and other major US news organisations have not reported Larijani’s offer? Or, is this obvious editing of content just a further reflection of a conspiracy to deceive the American public?

  532. Karl says:

    fyi,

    Regarding the P5+1, its runned by the interests of Israel/Lobby.

  533. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    The Financial Times indicated in a front page story March 7th that the starting point for P5+1 negotiations will be Iran’s agreement to stop enriching to 20%.

  534. tExasExes says:

    Saudi Arabia is scraping the bottom of the barrel
    http://www.theoildrum.com/node/9034#comments_top

    UAE is building nuclear reactors to fuel its lifestyle of excess
    htt www dot nationaljournal dot com/magazine/the-choice-on-nuclear-power-20120202

  535. fyi says:

    James Canning says: March 20, 2012 at 1:13 pm

    Evidently, the Axis Powers have not been able to come to an agreement among themselves and with China and Russia as to what to do in the coming negogiations.

    That no precise date in April (or venue) has been established indicates a major disagreement among the P5+1.

    Mr. Obama must bear major responsibility for bringing the Middle East and the World to the edge of disaster.

    May be he understands both the Strategic situation and the nuclear file better; let us see what he can do to salvage this disaster in the making.

    You cannot seriously threaten a country twice within 5 years with war and expect to recover your position quickly.

  536. fyi says:

    James Canning says: March 20, 2012 at 1:18 pm

    Nevertheless, in the face of deep psychosis about Iran in the United States, that is his only responsible course of action.

    I mean, Chinese are making inroads into Central Asia, connecting their railroad system to those of Central Asian states and Iran and what is America doing?

    Nothing; too far gone into her Iran psychosis to even notice what is going on there; pursuing the fantasy project of SOFA in Afghansiatn!

    In regards to Mr. Larijani’s views: I do not have any objection to Iranians agreeing to this or that temporary arrangement to reduce tensions with Axis Powers.

    The Axis Powers have brought the world to edge of disaster; it is their burden to move it back.

    Iran has no responsibility for that. None whatsoever.

  537. fyi says:

    Karl says: March 20, 2012 at 1:27 pm

    Iranians have to change.

    The speech today in Mashad, by Mr. Khamenei, emphasized domestic production and (indirectly) capital formation.

    The Islamic Economics is now gone, thanks to US-EU sanctions.

    This was another quaint and fanciful notion of the Islamic Revolution that now has finally recached its just status – garbage heap of history.

    We have entered something analogous NEP of the Soviet Union in Iran, or the late Deng Shiao Ping’s observation: “I do not care if a cat is black or white, it must be able to catch mice.”

    Axis Powers are teaching Iranians how to reorganize, learn, endure, and fight back.

  538. Karl says:

    fyi,

    Not sure how Iran could become stronger from their current position with harsher and harsher sanctions are imposed.

  539. BiBiJon says:

    fyi says:
    March 20, 2012 at 1:02 pm

    Conversely I see a possibility that the next set of P5+1 negotiations will unravel the coalition of the willing. The idiocy, the ‘psychosis’ has gone far enough to most peoples’ tastes.

    I take my cue from your reasoning. As Iran divests herself from western financial houses, insurance companies, and interbank messaging services; as Iran deepens her bilateral trade with neighboring countries; as she becomes more self-sufficient, productive and thrifty; and as she continues to stand firm morally her prospects look positively gleaming compared to the coalition of assholes confronting her.

  540. Parviziyi says:

    @ Rehmat: Newroz is the biggest festival of the year among the Kurds of eastern Turkey. Therefore I say it is wrong to call it “Persian”, though I can call it “Iranian”. Here’s a nice Newroz song in the Kurmancî Kurdish of Turkey, sung live, where you can hear they pronounce it “Neh-rouz” and spell it “Newroz”: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SpYp6UjZyRI

  541. James Canning says:

    Sheldon Adelson, the billionaire casino magnate and friend of Bibi Netanyahu, no longer supports Aipac. Why? Aipac is not sufficiently extreme! Adelson wants Israel to step up its ethnic cleansing programme in the West Bank, apparently.

  542. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Obama would be removed from the White House if he tried to bury the Iran “nuclear file”.

    What is your opinion of the comments made by Larijani in his interview with Christiane Amanpour March 15th?

  543. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Basis for what you call “war pyschosis” in the US is simply the false contention, presented as fact, that Iran has refused to compromise about its nuclear programme. This false contention about Iran, strangely enough, is actually promoted by some of Iran’s supporters on this site.

  544. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Obama could respond to Mohammad Javad Larijani’s offer last week for Iran to buy 20 percent uranium from the West, and thereby not need to produce it itself.

  545. James Canning says:

    Saudi Arabia will try to bring price of oil down to $100 per barrel in coming months. Extra 22 million barrels is being shipped to US.

  546. fyi says:

    BiBiJon says: March 20, 2012 at 12:47 pm

    Mr. Obama’s coercive diplomacy towards Iran was degenerating very quickly into war psychosis in the United States.

    He had to back-track once the Iranians stated that they were willing to go to war.

    His action also destroyed his “All Options on the Table” position.

    This has left Axis Powers with very little diplomatic flexibility; almost certainly no letup in Siege War against Iran could be expected during the current Iranian calendar year – 1391.

    EU states are harming Iran, hoping for regime implosion and change.

    They cannot wage war against Iran – they do not have that ability – otherwise.

    When regime change does not take place, inertia will take their policy forward for a few more years.

    The way things are, I do not expect substantial change in US-EU policies towards Iran in the near term (<3 years).

    Mr. Obama might have finally undertsood the strategic situation but he is powerless to alter US policy which is in deep state of psychosis when it comes to Iran.

    The best he could do is to remove the nuclear file as a source that feeds US policy psychosis.

    But even that is more of a hope than a certainity.

  547. kooshy says:

    Eric A. Brill says:
    March 20, 2012 at 10:27 am

    Eric-

    It’s also worth to mention that this article of Iranian constitution has been remained from the pre Islamic Iranian constitution of 1906, which is driven from Islamic belief of accepting Abrahamic religions with an accepted moderation to fit the Iranian socio-cultural narrative. I should add, I myself was sent to a Zoroastrian school not because of religious reasons but rather because it was ran by Yazdies, I remember while Zoroastrian classmates were attending religion classes Muslim, Christians and Jews were playing outdoors in the yard. In my recent trip to Tehran I was told that still the same situation exist.

  548. fyi says:

    Karl says: March 20, 2012 at 12:23 pm

    There can never be an end to the conflict until and unless US-EU planners accept the irrversible and major enhancement of the Iranian power since 2006.

    They are not used to dealing with a Muslim state with strategic autonomy.

    Significantly, as Iranian leaders repeatedly have made the decision to absorb the cost of their “Strategic Defiance” (as Axis Powers see it), it has made the power of Iran deeper and more enhanced.

    Therefore I expect us to find Iranian power more enhanced a few years from now as the results of the current (2011-2012) sanctions come in.

  549. Kathleen says:

    During a conversation on Chris Matthews Hardball last evening about oil prices and production Congressman Markey closing statement was blaming Iran for rising prices. He said “Iran as they rattle the markets” Essentially blaming Israel’s endless saber rattling and threat to attack on Iran and oil speculation taking place as a result on Iran. Markey kissed Israel right on the ass last night.

    On MSNBC’s Rachel Maddows she did a one hour show on non proliferation and Mexico agreeing to take out all nuclear weapons grade fuel. Good show. But when Rachel and her team put up a map of countries with nuclear weapons Russia, China, US, France, UK, Israel, India, Pakistan and NOrth Korea. She and her team chose to put up Iran as having nuclear weapons on the map. Talk about irresponsible, inaccurate and dangerous. Fueling the endlessly repeated and unproven claims that Iran not only has a nuclear weapons plan but they have nuclear weapons. Rachel Maddow needs to be pounded for doing this. Shameful and dangerous

  550. BiBiJon says:

    Karl says:
    March 20, 2012 at 12:23 pm

    Ordinarily, I’d agree with you. But, these are not ordinary times. Carl Bildt and Erkki Tuomioja ARE going against the grain. The talk in Paris, London, Washington and Tel Aviv is exclusively the military option. It is under the dark shadow of a war of aggression that they sell punitive sanctions as more humane than bombing them.

    If Bildt-Tuomioja succeed in getting war off the table, then sanctions by themselves are obviously inconducive to negotiations, leaving only the lifting of sanctions as a measure of building trust.

    On the other hand, I agree it is all too little, too late. As you say they could have vetoed the European sanctions in the first place to great applause from Greece, Spain and Italy. They know war is coming, and they are hoping not to get blamed.

    Having thrashed her enemies to a pulp, Iran will celebrate the next Nowruz with acts of magnanimity befitting the heirs of Cyrus. No need for Bildt and Tuomioja to suck up in advance.

  551. Parviziyi says:

    I have been closely following the political sitution in Syria. Not in Iran. I don’t have the time for both. Syria is going to have parliamentary elections on 7 May 2012. The previous parliamentary election was in 2007, when many independents and goverment critics were elected in addition to the Baath Party majority. I have copied following sentences by Seyed Mohammad Marandi speaking above about Iran, and changed the name to “Syria”. These sentences can also be fairly said about Syria’s 7 May elections: “Most of the Western so-called reporting on the Syrian Arab Republic’s recent parliamentary election [i.e. the upcoming 7 May 2012] displayed very limited direct knowledge about Syria and often, as its authors’ acknowledged, derived their information primarily from Western-backed opponents of the Assad regime. As long as this goes on, Western countries will continue to miscalculate about Syria’s internal politics, and then be left wondering, again and again, why they always get things wrong. Despite sanctions and other forms of international pressure, the Assad regime has the strong support of the public in Syria. In contrast to many countries allied to the West, it has meaningful elections that include candidates with very different political views.” For evidence that Assad’s Baath Party is going to be the clear winner in Syria’s upcoming elections see http://www.moonofalabama.org/2012/03/open-thread-2012-07.html#c6a00d8341c640e53ef0168e90185c0970c

    My thanks to “RaceForIran.com” for its sanity. I might’ve thought that thanking and complimenting someone for being sane would be to damn them with faint praise. But on the contrary, sanity is in scarce supply.

  552. Karl says:

    Bibijohn,

    The article started good but gave into the usual “Its Iran not us that is the problem”. If these FM’s are so concerned about warfare why then have they voted for sanctions every time thus escalating the conflict? Because in the EU every state have a veto and could stop furhter sanctions etc.

    “Iran need to do this, Iran need to do that”. Same old song we heard for decades and the reason why there is no end of the conflict. A solution will only come when both sides are on satisfied. Now US/EU refuse to acknowledge that Iran have legitimate goals with diplomacy/talks too.

  553. Rehmat,

    Thanks for clarifying the origin of Nowruz, though I wasn’t claiming anything different. I was merely quoting what someone else had written.

  554. Happy New Year says:

    Hillary Mann Leverrett:

    Please ask Gordon Duff to make a correction on its latest post.

    http://www.veteranstoday.com/2012/03/19/video-what-role-does-aipac-play-in-us-elections/

    He has presented the picture of a reactionary and CIA agent, Geneve Abdo,
    as Hillary Mann Leverrett.

    This Arab agent was the ‘organizer’ of the latest meeting in Stockholm to unite the Iranian ‘opposition’ terrorists against Iranian people. Iranian people told her

    GO TO HELL STOOGE. She is an agent who pose as ‘journalist’. He was forced out of
    Iran accusing her of being an spy.

    Obama who bow in front of the most reactionary Arab puppet, Abdullah, has been using Arab agents among ‘opposition’ traitors.

  555. Humanist says:

    Eric,

    If you Search for “Zoroastrian influence on old testament” you might find some well-researched articles. I can list many European books on the same subject published from early19th to late 20th century.

    For those curious ‘Georges’ these books are good references:

    1- The influence of Iran upon early Judaism and Christianity. By A.V.W Jackson & F.J Foaks published by Oxford in 1933.
    2- Zoroastrian Influence on the New Testament by J.H. Hinnels published in 1973.

    Too bad the three basic rules of Zoroastrianism which are:

    1- Good compassionate BEHAVIOR.
    2- Good compassionate DIALOGUE
    3- Good compassionate THOUGHT.

    were overlooked by the old time rabbis who were influence by other sides of Iranian culture of the time.
    In my view, as far dogmatism and divine myths are concerned, Zoroastrianism is no different from any other religion. I strongly believe in ‘far’ future they will be all replaced by non-dogmatic (flexible) science-based rational ideologies guaranteeing the prevalence of civilized peaceful coexistence all over the world..

    That is why I strongly believe in future times WARS, especially unprovoked and unjustifiable hegemonic wars, will be considered as the most vicious and the most absurd characteristics of ‘ancient’ human societies!

    And in my view, the Freedom of Religion is not the only major flaw of the constitution of IRI. Although I fully understand why Bahais were excluded…their founder got a Victoria Cross from Britain!

  556. fyi says:

    Rehmat says: March 20, 2012 at 11:20 am

    Yes, Noruz was a pre-Zoroastrian festival which was for the Rite of Ancestor Worship.

    The traditional Haft-Sin Table was meant as a spread for the Dead (of the family) – useful for their sustenance in after-life.

    Zoroastrians and later Muslims accepted that and succeeded in obliterating its overt Ancestor Worship elements.

  557. Karl says:

    Its amazing that US, Israel and some other nations that want to harm Iran still use the Novruz-speeches trying to persuade iranians to somehow love the states, people who threat, assassinate them.
    Not to mention that these statements rings of course hollow. Today we read this:

    Obama: No reason for U.S. and Iran to be divided
    http://www.haaretz.com/news/middle-east/obama-no-reason-for-u-s-and-iran-to-be-divided-1.419771

    I must admit Peres Novruz speech was really breahtaking, really, the fact he have his sight fixiated outside the camera really make a powerful messaging…not.
    youtube.com/watch?v=Du1ixVZ6bqg

    Another news from today:
    US looking for more ways to pressure Iran-Geithner
    reuters.com/article/2012/03/20/usa-geithner-iran-idUSW1E8EK0020120320

    Enough said, no one buy into these hollow propaganda videos. Playing nice in public, stabbing them in the back with more sanctions, threats.

  558. Rehmat says:

    Eric A. Brill – Nowruz (Persian Spring Festival or the begining of a New Year) is an ancient Persian national event and doesn’t belong to any religious group. Before the arrival of Islam in Persia in 630 CE – Nowruz was celebrated by all Persians, Parsees, Christians, Jews and the Pagans.

    In fact, the festival of Nowruz has been celebrated for millinnia by people in Persia, Balkans, Middle East, Caucacus, Black Sea Basin and Central Asia.

    http://rehmat1.wordpress.com/2010/03/23/international-day-of-nowruz/

  559. Rehmat says:

    The Swedish Foreign Minister and former prime minister, Carl Bildt, has said that the Zionist entity is the main danger regarding the diplomatic negotiations with the Islamic Republic of Iran on its nuclear program.

    http://rehmat1.wordpress.com/2012/03/20/swedish-fm-the-danger-is-not-iran-but-israel/

  560. “I forgot to mention the religion that Nowruz is based on! Zoroastrianism. It still exists today although in small numbers.”

    COMMENT:

    The Iranian constitution has many strong features. The guarantee of religious freedom certainly is not one of them, and this absence appears as a serious shortcoming to Americans, who are used to constitutional protection of religious freedom (even though we acknowledge that some official discrimination nevertheless occurs, along with a great deal of private discrimination). Nonetheless, it’s worth noting that Zoroastrianism is one of the three explicitly recognized religious minorities in Article 13 of Iran’s constitution:

    “Zoroastrian, Jewish, and Christian Iranians are the only recognized religious minorities, who, within the limits of the law, are free to perform their religious rites and ceremonies, and to act according to their own canon in matters of personal affairs and religious education.”

  561. Interested says:

    The article is completely accurate.

  562. ExposingWarmongeringNeoConStooges says:

    kooshy says:
    March 20, 2012 at 3:40 am

    Very interesting article. Zogby’s pro Arab monarch views have been well documented in many sources. The fact that Zogby is seen as a “leading” voice of the Arab American community by the US MSM is just another sign of how intellectually bankrupt it is. And I cannot but laugh at the claim about “regional hegemony.” Really? Seriously?

  563. kooshy says:

    Happy Norooz

    A new very well written article by Dr. Hossein-zadeh debating Dr. Zogby’s HP article

    Zogby and the Old Divide-and-Conquer Ploy

    Dealing With Iran
    by ISMAEL HOSSEIN-ZADEH

    http://www.counterpunch.org/2012/03/16/dealing-with-iran/

    “Since Dr. Zogby does not tell his readers why or how Iran is “the real danger to its neighbors,” let me offer an explanation for his allegation. The “threat” he is talking about is not a military threat. Nor is it a threat to Arab people or their territory—Iran has no territorial ambitions. It is, rather, the threat to the autocratic Arab rulers; a threat that results from Iran’s example or model of national sovereignty, not its “aspirations for regional hegemony,” as Dr. Zogby claims. As Iran’s policies of national independence and resistance to external pressure make the client Arab regimes look bad in the eyes of the Arab people, they tend to discredit and threaten their dictatorial rulers. And as those policies earn respect from the Arab people, they also earn the wrath of the Arab leaders. This means that Dr. Zogby’s arguments against the Iranian government reflect the views of the dictatorial Arab leaders, and their imperialist backers, not those of the Arab people.”

  564. ExposingWarmongeringNeoConStooges says:

    Dan Cooper says:
    March 20, 2012 at 12:01 am

    This is a powerful and moving demand for justice for the Palestinian people. Great post.

  565. ExposingWarmongeringNeoConStooges says:

    Richard Steven Hack says:
    March 20, 2012 at 2:28 am

    It was previously claimed in the Western MSM that exports had dropped in January…

  566. ExposingWarmongeringNeoConStooges says:

    Stooge No 2 says:
    March 20, 2012 at 1:51 am

    Ah!!! Another religion that the “atheist” likes. Yep, seems like the “atheist” worships every religion that is not Islam. Yep, that sure is a common attitude for a real “atheist.”

  567. ExposingWarmongeringNeoConStooges says:

    Zionist Stooge No 2 says:
    March 20, 2012 at 1:23 am

    Indeed, the evil forces that you support in Syria and Iran will be defeated once again by the heroic people of Syria and Iran just like they were last year thus frustrating your disturbing fantasies that wish death and destruction on those heroic people.

  568. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Israel’s Netanyahu pestered SWIFT to stop services to Iran: Israel official
    http://presstv.com/detail/232393.html

  569. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Iran plans to enhance air defense capabilities: Commander
    http://presstv.com/detail/232399.html

    No details, however.

  570. Richard Steven Hack says:

    ‘Iran oil exports increase in January despite sanctions’
    http://presstv.com/detail/232439.html

    Figures are for January, before China and other countries reduced their imports, note. So this is more spin than reality.

  571. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Iran increases oil storage capacity to foil EU sanctions
    http://presstv.com/detail/232470.html

  572. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Rd: Re the author’s statement as follows:

    “The moment that it becomes clear that the Obama Administration has acted to prevent any war with Iran by opening various diplomatic back-channels and that Netanyahu is merely trying to use the war threats to enhance his tactical position to horse trade with an Obama Administration he despises, the price of oil is poised to drop like a stone within days.”

    He is yet another person who doesn’t understand the fundamental motives of the players and has taken surface appearances – especially the former – as underlying reality.

    This will become quite clear once the new Iran negotiations go nowhere and another round of sanctions are imposed this year beyond even the oil and SWIFT sanctions.

    Anyone who thinks Obama is seriously trying to prevent a war through negotiations is simply delusional. What Netanyahu’s immediate motivations for his immediate rhetoric are is unclear, but the bottom line for Israel as well is a destroyed Iran.

    There can be NO resolution of the situation without war. The US and Israel will never back down and neither will Iran. Therefore the only course is escalation to war and not either a retreat OR a steady state “Cold War” on either side.

    The current situation between the US/Israel and Iran is like the state of play between the US and Iraq in early 2002. The acknowledged goal is war but the game must be played out as if it isn’t. Bush was talking up war but claiming Iraq could avoid it by “somehow” certifying that Iraq didn’t have “WMDs” despite the fact that the UN inspectors weren’t finding any. A year later the US invaded on the very eve of the UN inspectors being ready to claim Iraq had no WMDs.

    The politicians will claim Iran has a “way out” right up to the day before the bombs start dropping.

  573. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Eric: “Re Silverstein’s reply to Peter Beinart. I haven’t given the BDS movement the attention it deserves and, frankly, don’t feel qualified or inclined to do so.”

    I haven’t bothered either since I view it as highly unlikely to result in anything definitive regarding the state of Israel’s existence, certainly not in the next couple decades.

    “Pick your “Original Sins” carefully, and be prepared for others to claim you’re being hypocritical in your choice.”

    As an anarchist, I view Israel and the US as both having “original sin” by being STATES. Both started as colonial projects intending to establish themselves on lands held or controlled by others. Both allegedly started by trading with the indigenous people but quickly shifted to a stance of violent takeover based mostly on racism and religious fanaticism.

    However, in the case of the US, there is the complication that native Americans didn’t recognize the notion of “ownership of land” (for the most part, if I’m not mistaken.) They may have controlled territory based on their relationships with neighboring tribes, but their conflicts were mostly about controlling other tribes people and personal resources and the resources of the territory in terms of hunting grounds, not land ownership per se.

    That was the fundamental conflict between native Americans and the Europeans. The Europeans operated out of a notion of “nations” and “states” which were fundamentally at odds with the notion of “tribes” and “territories”.

    The same can be said of Israel vs the Palestinians to some degree. But the two are not entirely identical as the Arabs did have some notion of land ownership and the state as well as the Europeans. This allowed them to see the intent of the Zionists fairly early which resulted in the early friction between the two sides.

    I’ve often said that if Europeans Jews had come to Israel intending to buy up land to establish an ENCLAVE, rather than a STATE in control of ALL the land, they might have succeeded to some degree.

    But that was never the intent. The intent was ALWAYS colonial and imperialist from the start. The initial goal was to take back Palestine from the Arabs and then expand to some historical fantasy of Israel as controlling much of the Middle East.

    At least in America, some of the first European colonies “went native” and joined the existing native American tribes, abandoning some of the early settlements. I’m not aware that anything like that, developing respect for the indigenous culture, ever occurred with the Zionists.

    In any event, “original sin” is a religious concept. In my view, the only “original sin” is being human. And in virtually every religious context, the concept of “original sin” is fundamentally a recognition of that fact, despite being distorted to make a case for guilt as a fundamental ploy to gain control of the believer.

    I didn’t read Beinart’s piece but the quotes in Silverstein’s piece make it clear that Beinart is merely trying to defuse the BDS movement. Buying from “good Israel” to stop the settlements strikes me as an idiotic tactic and probably a scam to instead derail the BDS movement.

    Personally I suspect there will be no “peaceful” resolution of the Palestinian issue. Israel’s government is going to have to be destroyed militarily somehow (by nuclear terrorism or other conventional conflict) to achieve any resolution that doesn’t involves Palestinian ethnic cleansing or genocide.

    And I don’t see that coming for the next decade or so – unless the outcome of the Iran war is significantly more extensive than I predict. I suppose during the Iran war that some Arab terrorists may find a way to nuke Tel Aviv. The problem with such an approach is that the remaining Israeli military might then execute their “Samson option” and nuke most of the Arab states. You have to take down Israel’s nuclear arsenal as part of any project to take down the Israeli state. How doable that is I don’t know.

    On the other hand, it might be possible to nuke Tel Aviv (via a terrorist act) and then get the international community to step in and prevent Israel from retaliating against the Arab states and then force Israel to disarm. But it would require either a change of attitude on the part of the Western powers or some serious blackmail of those powers. I don’t see anyone on the scene capable of that.

  574. Sassan says:

    OMG! I forgot to mention the religion that Nowruz is based on! Zoroastrianism. It still exists today although in small numbers.

  575. Sassan says:

    Happy Nowruz to all the people throughout the world who celebrate the ancient New Year based on pre-Islamic Solar culture in which it ushers in the first day of the Spring and the celebration of “freshness” for humanity. This includes people as far ranging as Iran, to Afghanistan, to Azerbaijan, and a whole slew of countries throughout the world which was once a part of ancient Persia; and includes ethnic groups/religions ranging from Persians/Persian Jews/Armenians/Azeris/Kurds/Bahais & I’m sure that I am missing a whole bunch of people. Bottom line: may freedom prevail in the next year against the forces of evil – particularly in Syria & Iran. Nowruz-e-ton Pirooz!

  576. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Castellio: “RSH, this quote is for you.”

    Yup. Things are moving a bit more slowly on the Syria front than I expected given the initial fast tracking to the UNSC. Russia’s and China’s veto apparently forced things to slow down. But I’m not sure that means anything more than that the initial “exuberance” of the “humanitarian intervention” crowd didn’t work out well given the lack of organized resistance on the ground in Syria and the problem of the UNSC veto.

    Not that the HI crowd are the leaders in this. But they are the ones the war mongers are using as “front men” to get a war with Syria started.

    So things are still getting organized for a bombing campaign on Syria. We still have months left before I expected it to start anyway. This is just more proof that one can’t get a war started willy-nilly on just any day. There has to be some real prep work done even if your “contingency plans” are continually updated. “Contingency” plans aren’t “operations” plans…

    We’ll see how things stand in June. I didn’t expect the war before summer or even fall. I’m not privy to how the ruling elites want these things timed. But my guess is still sometime this summer if the goal is to start it before the domestic election conventions or fall if after.

    There’s no doubt that things will stay bad in Syria as long as the insurgents have outside support and a safe haven in Turkey. So the casus belli isn’t going anywhere. The only way the Syria thing could die down is if the insurgents basically gave up – which isn’t likely to happen.

  577. Dan Cooper says:

    Sassan says:
    March 19, 2012 at 1:29 pm

    Sassan, do me a favour; Send a copy of my post to your paymaster and the war criminal SHIMON PERES, tell him the international community will not be fooled again by his cunning and brainwashing tactics. soon or later, it will be the Iranians who will put an end to his genocide and military occupation in Palestine and the new year message that he sent to the Iranian people will bounce back on him…lol

    “Occupation and ethnic cleansing is a crime, and the criminals who commit these atrocities must be brought to justice.

    Israel without a doubt is the biggest existing terrorist nation and the greatest threat to world peace.

    Ahmdinejad is the only leader in the world who has the guts and vision to publicly condemn this racist and apartheid regime and I truly admire him for that.

    65 years ago, Palestinians were happy because there was no Israel.

    Suddenly, Israel brought people from all over the world to Palestine and terrorised the indigenous Palestinian people, stole their land, forced them out of their homes and established this raciest and apartheid state of Israel that we see today.

    The entire world is aware that occupation is a crime, the Israelis are the aggressors and perpetrators of this crime and the Palestinians are the victim.

    So many decent Jewish people in Israel are totally against their governments murderous atrocities in Palestine.

    More than 80 Israeli students announced their refusal to serve in the Israeli military because of what they call their nation’s track-record of oppression in the occupied territories.

    The conscientious objectors issued a letter declaring their determination not to join up during a news conference in Tel Aviv in protest against the government’s policies towards Gaza and the West Bank.

    They publicly declared that:

    “We cannot ignore the truth –

    The occupation is a violent, racist, inhumane, illegal, undemocratic, and immoral.

    “We, who were educated on the values of liberty, justice, honesty and peace, cannot accept it.”

    It was signed by 84 high school students.

    The biggest problem facing the world and the Middle East peace process are the powerful Israel lobby organisations in USA.

    The US media is a complete mouthpiece for the Israel Lobby. Never a critical word is heard against Israel.

    James Petras is a Bartle Professor (Emeritus) of Sociology at Binghamton University, New York, He wrote: http://petras.lahaine.org/todos.php

    “The great majority of the world’s people are sickened and incensed by Israel’s mass murder of the citizens of Gaza.

    Israel’s embargo, the daily ‘targeted’ assassinations of Palestinians, the ‘targeted’ missile attacks against civilians, the land, sea and air blockades and the blatant ‘targeted’ destruction of the infrastructure of Gaza.

    No government, indeed a democratically elected Hamas government, can stand by while its people are starved and murdered into submission.

    According to the respected Congressmen Bermans, only the lives of Jews matter, not the growing thousands of murdered, dismembered and mutilated citizens of Gaza – they do not count as people!

    Until we neutralize the pervasive power of the Zionist Power Configuration in all of its manifestations – In American public and civic life – and its deep penetration of American legislative and executive offices,

    We will fall short of preventing Israel from receiving the arms, funding and political backing to sustain its wars of ethnic extermination.

    Israel will continue its barbaric ethnic cleansing.

    Israel objective is to obliterate Palestinian civilization and to wipe Palestine off the map.”

    Avi Shlaim is a professor of international relations at the University of Oxford wrote;

    How Israel brought Gaza to the brink of humanitarian catastrophe.

    ,http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/jan/07/gaza-israel-palestine,

    “A wide gap separates the reality of Israel’s actions from the rhetoric of its spokesmen.

    It was not Hamas but the IDF that broke the ceasefire. It did so by a raid into Gaza on 4 November 2008 that killed six Hamas men.

    Israel’s objective is not just the defence of its population but the eventual overthrow of the Hamas government in Gaza by turning the people against their rulers.

    And far from taking care to spare civilians, Israel is guilty of indiscriminate bombing and of a 6-year-old blockade that has brought the inhabitants of Gaza, now 1.5 million, to the brink of a humanitarian catastrophe. ”

    Israel has imprisoned 1.5 million Palestinians in Gaza strip.

    They have caged them in like animals, and control their food, water, electricity and more importantly their freedom, and when Hamas tries to defend its people and resist this illegal occupation, Israel call them terrorist.

    Hamas is a democratically elected government.

    Israel wants us to believe Hamas is a terrorist organization, but the truth is that Hamas is a democratically elected government.

    In January 2006, President Carter together with UN and British observers monitored Hamas’s election and categorically confirmed that the election was free and fair.

    I have lost counts of how many times Israel has deliberately massacred the innocent Palestinian civilians during the past 64 years.

    This makes Israel is a terrorist state and the biggest threat to world peace.

    There is no doubt in my mind that the Israel’s leaders are guilty of crimes against humanity and must be brought to the international court of justice and tried as war criminals.

    The most destructive power in the world is the Israel lobby in America, they control the media and they are the reason why Israel kills with impunity.

    Israel disregard for justice & human rights will have far-reaching consequences for mankind

    We already know that Israel genocide in Palestine has created terrorist and fundamentalism around the world, which will indirectly, effects all of us one way or another.

    The whole world is suffering because of Israel desire to exist by force and occupation.

    Why do we all have to suffer because Israel wants to exist by force and occupation?

    When is it going to sink in, that Israel has never wanted peace, it wants the West Bank and Jerusalem without Arabs, and of course, it requires continued hostility to justify the charity and sympathy it receives!

    Israel is a serial killer and will continue to kill until and unless the international community collectively make the leaders of Israel accountable for their crimes.

    Until we neutralize the pervasive power of the Zionist Power Configuration in all of its manifestations – In American public and civic life – and its deep penetration of American legislative and executive offices,

    We will fall short of preventing Israel from receiving the arms, funding and political backing to sustain its wars of ethnic extermination.

    I cannot understand how the world can stand by and make excuses for an Israeli government hell bent on instigating aggression. It’s unfathomable that the people, who were victims of unspeakable crimes in World War 2, are now the perpetrators of equally heinous acts.

    Israel encourages their supporters to hijack public opinion in forums.

    The supporters of Zionist terrorists believe in Brainwashing the international public opinion by playing “the self-defence” card, “rockets”, “Human shield”, “cover ups” and blaming the victim.

    In the age of satellites and television, This does not work anymore, and the international community have called their bluffs.

    Just remember, we are defending the justice and fairness for the innocent and defenceless Palestinian women and children but you are defending Israel’s military and illegal occupation and 65 years of atrocities.

    In the carnage in Gaza, we all witnessed with horror how Israel brutally massacred more than 700 innocent and defenceless Palestinian women and children.

    The Zionist leaders of Israel did not even let the international press inside Gaza because they knew that their atrocities & genocide would be revealed and their propaganda machine would collapse.

    In a sick attempt to brainwash the public opinion in this forum and others, the supporters of this apartheid state are still trying to portray that the aggressor (Israel) is the victim, how low and sick can you get.

    It is time the international community get together and put sever pressure on this apartheid and racist state, as they did to South Africa.

    Those of us who condemn Israel’s atrocities believe in Love, justice, fairness and the rule of law in this world and we cannot tolerate to see the criminal and terrorist leaders of Israel to get away with murder”

  578. Reza Esfandiari says:

    Mohammad:

    Unfortunately, Iranians have a hard time knowing of political views other than their immediate family, friends and vicinity. People who live in Shemiran are quite unlike people from Pakdasht in terms of their political preferences and priorities. I got a sense after the 2009 vote that some people thought that Ahmadinejad couldn’t have won simply because they didn’t support him, ignoring the fact that they were just one of 40 million voters across a country of 31 provinces and 366 districts.

    Sassan is just one example of this. But he does not even live in Iran and so cannot judge what Iranians there think and believe.

  579. Humanist says:

    Fiorangela

    Please find my response to your post on the previous thread.

  580. Rehmat says:

    Noam Shalit: ‘Hamas has the right to capture Israeli soldiers’

    “They want us to recognize the Israeli occupation and cease resistance but, as the representative of the Palestinian people and in the name of all the world’s freedom seekers, I am announcing from Azadi Square in Tehran that we will never recognize Israel. The resistance will continue until all Palestinian land, including al-Quds (Jerusalem), has been liberated and all the refugees have returned,” Ismail Haniyeh, democratically elected prime minister of Palestinian Territories, February 11, 2012.

    http://rehmat1.wordpress.com/2012/03/20/noam-shalit-hamas-has-the-right-to-capture-israeli-soldiers/

  581. kooshy says:

    Let’s call this another field report on recent trip to Tehran

    Since I know Dr. Kazam Mousavi Bojnordi and his name was mentioned on this article by professor Marandi, I thought I mention who he is and what he does. Dr. Bojnordi is an important cultural personality in today’s Iran, he is the founder and chairman of the “Center for Great Islamic Encyclopedia” a prominent center focusing on Iranian studies where many recent famous Iranian scholars have placed their libraries to be in trust of this center, this all became possible due to personal trust each and every one of these scholars found and developed with Dr. Bojnordi and his genuine efforts for preserving Iran’s pre and post Islamic history.

    He previously was head of the Natioanl Lioberary of Iran (Khatami administration). I came to know this very decent well informed person a few years back when my father was alive, ever since I had the pleasure of meeting him in my travels to Iran because my father’s Research library Trove on Iranian studies was placed in trust of the Center for Great Islamic Encyclopedia and Dr. Bojnordi.

    Dr. Bojnordi born into a prominent religious family was jailed for 14 years during the shah’s era and was released on the day of the revolution, he told me that ever since he was released from shah’s jail he turned his focus on establishing a center for research on history and culture of Iran and that’s how he came to know my father and many other recent and past Iranian scholars focusing on subject of Iranian studies.

    The research center that he has accomplished to establish is now one of the most important and largest centers for research on Iranian studies, when this month as a guest I attended the end of year review meeting chaired by Dr. Bojnordi, I learned that the volume 19th of the Great Islamic Encyclopedia was published as well as a host of other encyclopedias being researched and published on various specific subjects related to Iran, he also reported numerous other books and publication by various researchers on the study of Iran related subjects.

    The center encompasses several large modern buildings in large campus in northern Tehran it now has a library with 500000 books and employee’s several hundred libertarian and researchers.
    http://cgie.org.ir/showbuilderB.asp?id=160

  582. Mohammad says:

    Reza & Kooshy,

    Have you seen this report (in Farsi):
    http://www.rajanews.com/detail.asp?id=40610

    It is the story of a University of Tehran student who was [apparently] a Green movement supporter who had voted for Karroubi and who says he is still “deeply opposed to Ahmadinejad”, and when Mohammad Hosein Saffar Harandi (a principlist/conservative politician and former Culture Minister in Ahmadinejad’s first cabinet), faced with booing by UT students in a post-election public meeting in UT, offered sponsoring a trip to underdeveloped remote areas in the Kerman province to show Ahmadinejad’s broad support base to the Tehran-based students who were skeptic about the 2009 election result, this student (Hassan Salari) volunteered to take the trip.

    Saffar Harandi initially said that Ahmadinejad had 90% support in these areas, but Salari, when returned from the area, said that the support seemed actually 100%, as a result of unprecedented infrastructure investment by Ahmadinejad’s first administration in that severely underdeveloped area.

    I think it would be good that Sassan meets Hassan Salari. Maybe he can also take a trip to Qal’e Ganj (the remote area Salari went to).

  583. Rd. says:

    kooshy says:

    “In the end, the war game reinforced to military officials the unpredictable and uncontrollable nature of a strike by Israel, and a counterstrike by Iran, the officials said.”

    =====

    To add;

    “Let me go on record stating categorically my firm conviction that Israel will not engage in a direct war against Iran nor will Washington. But the effect of the war rhetoric is to create the ideal backdrop for a massive speculative spike in oil. Some analysts speak of oil at $150 by summer.”

    http://www.boilingfrogspost.com/2012/03/16/behind-oil-price-rise-peak-oil-or-wall-street-speculation/

  584. kooshy says:

    As is by now normal on western media reported stories on Iran, one can expect contradictory statements on this new NYT article

    Pentagon Finds Perils for U.S. if Israel Were to Strike Iran

    By MARK MAZZETTI and THOM SHANKER

    “In the end, the war game reinforced to military officials the unpredictable and uncontrollable nature of a strike by Israel, and a counterstrike by Iran, the officials said.”

    “Yet these specialists continue their work, saying that any insight on how the Iranians will react to an attack will help determine whether the Israelis launch a strike — and what the American position will be if they do.”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/20/world/middleeast/united-states-war-game-sees-dire-results-of-an-israeli-attack-on-iran.html

  585. Karl says:

    James Canning,

    You obviously think sanctions are legal to begin with.
    That prism you use to decipher and analyze middle east doesnt benefit your arguments in my opinion. Your views does in fact correlates with the one that Israel Lobby have, the only thing I see differ is the statements where the lobby is far more hawkish and warmongering.

  586. James Canning says:

    Scott Lucas posted the Mohammad Javad Ardeshir Larijani interview with Christiane Amanpour, at his EA site March 16th, but he did not mention Larijani’s offer to buy the needed 20% U from the West, rather than for Iran to enrich its own.

  587. Reza Esfandiari says:

    Kooshy:

    Forget Tehran, I was thinking of sending him to Chaharmahal va Bakhtiyari province where one seat remains to be decided. According to the figures, the province had the highest turnout in the first round. I am tired of reading reports about the country based on the capital alone. Sassan must venture deep into the Zagros mountains.

    Reza

  588. James Canning says:

    Karl,

    I personally have little difficulty with Iran’s enriching to 20 percent.

    I doubt the wisdom of stockpiling 20% U when that is taken as strong evidence of intent to build nukes.

    Iran in effect brought on the latest round of sanctions by unwisely deciding to treble production of 20% U from 3 to 5 kg per month, to the present 14 kg per month.

    Five reporters from the Financial Times say diplomats tell them Iran will need to offer to stop enriching to 20%. Iran has now made that offer, though informally.

    ISRAEL LOBBY will try to bury the offer, and keep it out of US news reports.

  589. James Canning says:

    AllenBee,

    Israel runs the world’s largest open-air prison in Gaza. The wonder is that the long-suffering residents make do so well with comparatively little.

    Israel is trying to convert the West Bank into an even larger prison camp, for non-Jews.

  590. James Canning says:

    “Is anyone around here interested in peace?”:

    http://xpostfactoid.blogspot.com/2012/03/is-anyone-around-here-interested.html

    Quote: “[W]hat seems to me an important overture from Mohammad Javal Larijani. . . isn’t getting much media attention. . .”

    Very true. I can see what the ISRAEL LOBBY wants to bury the offer or overture, but it is fascinating to see proponents of Iran wanting it ignored.

  591. AllenBee says:

    James Canning says: March 19, 2012 at 1:20 pm
    and Sassan, and all –

    Laila Shawa, native of Gaza, speaks of her experience of being dispossessed.
    Many points of importance, but especially compelling were her repeated statements than by various means Israel has polluted the land, air, and water of Gaza, to the extent than Gaza has the highest cancer rate in the region, and many infants are born with undiagnosable cancers and abnormalities such as four arms, two heads, three legs. The land — the place — that, in Shawa’s childhood was fertile, redolent of oranges and graced with sparkling white beaches, has been despoiled for generations to come.

  592. kooshy says:

    Reza Esfandiari says:
    March 19, 2012 at 3:14

    Reza-

    Per my recent experience, considering current private cab fees in Tehran( 8 hrs. $40), I don’t recommend making an offer like that to Samson, unless he’s willing to have his conversation with a broader group in bus rides (10 cents) or in metro trips (also 10 cents per ride). Never less I am sure at the end of the trip, with his pre-determined agenda, riding in a private cab of his choosing, he will be back with same conclusion, and a big cab fee for you. You may also want to inform the Iranian scientists not to take their kids to preschools while he is in Tehran since he believes they are a fair game.

  593. Reza Esfandiari says:

    Sassan clearly has mental and emotional issues.

    2 journalists working for the Financial Times of London, and based in Iran, themselves confirmed a high turnout – especially in the smaller cities of the country.

    Iran parliamentary polls see high turnout

    http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/5b4836be-6448-11e1-b50e-00144feabdc0.html

    Moreover, the candidates and their representatives monitored the vote count and they have not disputed the figures because they know how many votes they received.

    I suggest we send Sassan to Iran to cover the second round of the elections, to be held on May 4th, as our special RFI correspondent.

  594. Karl,

    Thanks for the link to Richard Silverstein’s reply to Peter Beinart. I haven’t given the BDS movement the attention it deserves and, frankly, don’t feel qualified or inclined to do so.

    Just one anecdotal observation here, on the following passage in Silverstein’s article:

    “As I’ve argued here before, the Nakba is Israel’s Original Sin, just as slavery is America’s. Allowing the return of those refugees who wish to will help turn Israel into a truly moral, democratic state.”

    Silverstein here illustrates the importance of the following guideline in such debates:

    Pick your “Original Sins” carefully.

    If one declares that “slavery” was American’s “Original Sin,” as Silverstein does here, then America looks pretty good today. After all, it got rid of slavery 150 years ago. Having thus cleansed itself, America certainly must be entitled to lecture others who are still tainted with their own Original Sin.

    But what if Silverstein were to declare instead — as many people do — that American’s “Original Sin” was not slavery (or at least not ONLY slavery), but rather the taking of land from Native Americans? Would American then be sufficiently “cleansed” to be justified in lecturing others?

    The point again, elaborated a bit:

    Pick your “Original Sins” carefully, and be prepared for others to claim you’re being hypocritical in your choice.

  595. Karl says:

    Richard Silverstein gives a response to Beinart.

    Beinart’s Buy Israel, ‘Zionist BDS’ Reverse Boycott
    http://www.richardsilverstein.com/tikun_olam/

  596. kooshy says:

    Thanks for posting the link to Peter Beinart NYT artoicle

    Here is another Article by Peter, I must add that Peter’s opinion has become more moderate in recent years compering to when he was a senior fellow in CFR a few years back, when we had a few back and forth emails on some historical misunderstanding of Iran’s past events.

    Stop the Press on ‘Preemptive’: Media Adopt Pro-War Rhetoric on Iran
    by Peter Beinart Mar 19, 2012 4:45 AM EDT

    Unchastened by Iraq misinformation, the media are passing on pro-war statements as fact again. This time, it’s Iran.

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/03/19/stop-the-press-on-preemptive-media-adopt-pro-war-rhetoric-on-iran.html

  597. Karl says:

    “ABC News reported March 15th:

    “Mohammad Javad Larijani, who serves as Secretary-General of Iran’s Human Rights Council and key foreign policy adviser to Ayatollah Khamenei, said the West should sell Iran 20 percent enriched uranium…”

    Sensible proposal, but apparently not very welcome by at least some who post on this site?

    That would be you right? Since you think Iran have an ambigous program running and that they shouldnt be allowed to enrich at 20% and therefore have themselves to blame if they are attacked.

  598. BiBiJon says:

    India’s Iran Defiance – Analysis
    By P. R. Kumaraswamy

    http://www.idsa.in/idsacomments/IndiasIranDefiance_prkumaraswamy_190312

  599. James Canning says:

    Castellio,

    Surely Peter Beinart is aware that Arab leaders recognise Israel would never allow more than a few thousand Palestinians to return to their homes (or what were once their homes) in Israel (within pre-1967 borders).

  600. Sassan says:

    Mohammad: I will respond to you in detail as well as anyone else (minus my stalker) later on tonight when I get home.

  601. James Canning says:

    ABC News reported March 15th:

    “Mohammad Javad Larijani, who serves as Secretary-General of Iran’s Human Rights Council and key foreign policy adviser to Ayatollah Khamenei, said the West should sell Iran 20 percent enriched uranium…”

    Sensible proposal, but apparently not very welcome by at least some who post on this site?

  602. James Canning says:

    Expose,

    China has disputes with Russia over energy pricing, and India obviously tries to bargain agressively. No need for coaching from the Eurasia Group.

    Their point was that Obama hurts his re-election chances by applying effective sanctions against Iran’s oil exports. But Obama hurts his chances by not applying them.

  603. James Canning says:

    CNN has breif report March 15th: “Top Iran official calls for cooperation from West in return for ‘transparency’”. Brief reference to Christiane Amanpour but no mention of Iran’s offer to stop enriching to 20 percent if the West sold it the needed fuel for the TRR.

  604. ExposingWarmongeringNeoConStooges says:

    James Canning says:
    March 19, 2012 at 1:30 pm

    Obama and the commentators involved need to understand they do not dictate the policy and diplomatic relations of the sovereign states involved, whatever their delusions to the contrary may be.

  605. ExposingWarmongeringNeoConStooges says:

    Zionist Stooge No 2 says:
    March 19, 2012 at 1:29 pm

    Wow the Zionist spam is just pouring out of our favorite Zionist today. What next, a Nowruz greeting from debkafile?

  606. James Canning says:

    Writing in the Financial Times March 7th, Ian Bremmer, Clifford Kupchan and David Gordon argued that Obama “must maintain tough public rhetoric on sanctions while privately signalling to China and India – - and only China and India – - that they should continue buying Iranian oil, but at a large discount from market price.”

  607. Sassan says:

    Special Holiday Greeting for Nowruz to the Iranian People: http://youtu.be/Du1ixVZ6bqg

  608. Mohammad says:

    Sassan,

    Even if there were some independent confirmation of the announced turnout rate, you still wouldn’t believe it since it wouldn’t fit your narrative of “the evil, unpopular Islamic Republic”. Why? Because you already resisted accepting that the results of the 2009 election were confirmed by numerous Western-conducted opinion polls with remarkable consistency.

    By the way, it’s good to remember that the officially announced turnout in June 2009 was 85%. In TFT’s pre-election poll 89% said they would vote. In GlobeScan’s opinion poll right after the election, 86% said they voted. In WPO’s September 2009 poll, 87% said they voted. Still one year later in September 2010, 86% of respondents told IPI’s pollsters that they had voted in the election.

  609. James Canning says:

    BiBiJon,

    The ABC News report March 15th, by Christian Amanpour, clearly showed Iran is willing to stop enriching to 20 percent. Did this report get any amplification in US MSN that you have seen?

  610. Reza Esfandiari says:

    I should point out that the “pro-Khamenei” United Front of Principlists (UFP) has failed to win a majority of the 225 seats declared, even if you include those members of the Constancy Front that were also endorsed by the UFP. Many independents, and some reformists, won the rest of the seats along with those from the more “pro-Ahmadinejad” Constancy Front. Of course, the 2nd round, to be held in May, will prove to be decisive.

    I hope RFI does keep a watch on the internal politics of Iran which it has not been covering as much as the nuclear issue.

  611. James Canning says:

    Sassan,

    Do you think Israel should get out of the West Bank and the Golan Heights? Much of the vitriol against Iran is stirred up and otherwise promoted by zealous “Greater Israel” supporters, who want to keep both territories and see Iran as an impediment.

  612. kooshy says:

    March 19, 2012 at 12:51 pm

    “Any reports like that out there?”

    No, unless you consider the Washington DC observers likes of Reza Khalili (Samson’s best source), Mohammad Sahimi and Juan Cole, one wonders why the long distance overseas poll monitors are more credible than the 700000 local Iranian poll observers living in the country who freely can complain to Samson in the taxies and busses but rather be quite on when it comes to protecting their candidates at ballots.

  613. James Canning says:

    AllenBee,

    Ahmadinejad has been keener to restore normal relations with the West, than Khamenei. But Khamenei obviously backed Ahmadinejad last September when he offered for Iran to stop enirching uranium to 20 percent, in a sensible effort to forestall another round of sanctions.

  614. ExposingWarmongeringNeoConStooges says:

    The Zionist Stooge No. 2 says:
    March 19, 2012 at 1:00 pm

    Note the dichotomy here. On one hand the Stooge starts out with a ridiculous blast of propaganda and a vicious, irrational ad hominem attack. He than ignores the responses that completely disprove his irrational rant. He goes on to post two pieces that have absolutely no relation to the demented rant he originally posted, and that in fact have no relation either to the article itself or the broader discussion. Note to Stooge: posting articles that have nothing to do with your original debunked irrational hate filled rant does not distract attention from it.

  615. ExposingWarmongeringNeoConStooges says:

    Eric A. Brill says:
    March 19, 2012 at 12:51 pm

    Good point, this is also why we know that the claims of election fraud in 2009 are in themselves fradulent since not a single observer of the 40,000 from the opposition came forward with any claim of fraud.

  616. “Were there international observers in Iran? NO.”

    Iran is very much like the US in this respect, and like nearly every other country in the world.

    Iran does have one extra protection that many countries don’t have. It allows candidates to station an observer at polling places. The observer gets to watch the voting and the vote-counting. If the government later reports that 500 people voted at Polling Station 123 in Tabriz, 300 for Candidate A, 200 for Candidate B, and Candidate B’s observer knows that wasn’t true, he can expose the fraud. He might say, for example:

    “Wait a doggone minute here. I was at Polling Station 123 in Tabriz on election day as an observer for Candidate B. Only 400 people voted, not 500. And 300 of those 400 people voted for Candidate B.”

    Any reports like that out there?

  617. Kathleen says:

    “Third, the turnout was very high in the recent parliamentary election, around 65 percent. In fact, the turnout in Iran was much higher than in analogous off-year congressional elections in the United States (for example, turnout was just under 38 percent in the 2010 American congressional elections), and higher even than in U.S. presidential elections (turnout was just under 57 percent in the last American presidential election, in 2008). ”

    We can be sure we will not be hearing any of Seyed Mohammad Marandi or the Leveretts views or statements about Irans recent parliamentary election on Rachel Maddow’s or any other MSm outlet. Maddow and other MSM host of shows repeated the collective MSM mantra that Iranian elections were fraudulant. Bet they will not have any accurate perspectives on this election either

  618. BiBiJon says:

    Mohammad says:
    March 19, 2012 at 10:11 am

    One of novelties of Obama era is that the mass media have developed their own hawkish/negative view of Iran and anything Iranian almost completely independent of (and at times in opposition to USG; e.g. see Gen Dempsey’s dressing down for daring to call Iran a rational actor.’) of US government.

    Especially the trash talk about Iranian elections is really exclusively carried out by MSM. The state department for example confined itself to criticizing how authorities were handling the 2009 post-election disturbances. The words fraudulent, illegitimate, etc where MSM inventions.

    At times it is by omission. Obama, and Pentagon made clear many times that the act of developing a weapon, which they said Iran currently was not doing, would trigger a military response. And, they made clear that current punitive sanctions are to persuade Iran to negotiate, as opposed to anything else. MSM has remained silent on these salient pronouncements, and instead gone on reporting about likelihood of war.

    I’m at a loss to figure out why. Whatever happened to the ‘stenographers’ of USG?

  619. fyi says:

    ToivoS says: March 18, 2012 at 7:17 pm

    An Iranian ex-patriat – having lived in US for 46 years – recently told me that he felt personally insulted with the Axis Powers posture – that Iranians should have no knowledge of Nuclear Technologies.

  620. fyi says:

    AllenBee says: March 18, 2012 at 8:34 pm

    He was willing to work with Axis Powers if they were willing to treat Iran as a power with strategic autonomy.

    They were not interested in that; instead tried to destroy Iranian strategic autonomy.

    Axis Powers thus confirmed the veracity of Mr. Khamenei’s basic posture to various Iranian factions.

  621. BiBiJon says:

    hans says:
    March 19, 2012 at 10:24 am

    “what is the illiteracy rate in Iran? I doubt it is as high as the USA or many European countries.”

    You’re right, it isn’t as high. It is higher.

    http://www.unicef.org/infobycountry/iran_statistics.html

  622. hans says:

    A very powerful speech by Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, in it he covers literacy, knowledge and the role of knowledge in today’s Iran. He also covers the Arab world and the high percentage of illiterates.

    Read the Full speech here

    BTW what is the illiteracy rate in Iran? I doubt it is as high as the USA or many European countries.

  623. Mohammad says:

    What Marandi says is sound and well, obvious. In a perfect world it would not take an Iranian scholar on American Studies to tell Western foreign policy observers these obvious Iranian political realities; every ordinary Western journalist would echo them. But unfortunately we live in world where mass media are not simply independent and objective observers reporting the bare truth and providing neutral analysis, where multi-year international PR campaigns succeed in distorting the perception of reality (even among intellectuals) and where you would be scoffed at, or called a partisan or Iranian intelligence operative or whatever else, if you simply report what you see in Iran – if it’s at odds with the mainstream view. This is where, ironically in the age of information, truth does not simply stand out by itself, or it does so too late (think WMDs in Iraq 2003). This is why we Iranian people (who actually live in Iran) with knowledge of English, should speak out and connect with the outside world to offset the media distortions on Iran. We should also educate and pressure our own officials to better understand the international media landscape and its impact on Iran, and accept responsibility for better representing the truth of Iran’s intentions and realities.

    On the issue of this stupid “Khamenei wants to abolish presidency” talk, I have to say that it has been one of most blatant misrepresentations of the remarks of Iranian officials in recent years (perhaps the worst after “Ahmadinejad wants to wipe Israel off the map”). It could be cited as a textbook example of taking out of context. To understand the extent of this misrepresentation, I ask everyone just to read the transcript of Khamenei’s talk itself:
    http://english.khamenei.ir//index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1577&Itemid=4
    Or if you know Persian, you can watch the video of his speech here:
    farsi DOT khamenei DOT ir/video-content?id=17623
    (the specific passage begins in 32:28)

    Basically he was trying to convey the message that mechanisms should not be mistaken for essential values, and that we should not be rigid if a change in mechanisms is needed, as far as the basic values are adhered to. He urged the intellectuals to actively debate the mechanisms to evolve and improve the Islamic Republic system according to the the environment, situation and its ideals. Then he used this somewhat extreme example (among others) to better convey what he means. This is the specific passage:
    “…
    For example, there was a day when we had a position for both a president and a prime minister in our Constitution. Later on, we learnt from experience that this is not right. Imam Khomeini (r.a.) ordered a group of experts, academics, clerics, MPs and outstanding personalities to sit down together and change whatever that needed to be changed [**MY NOTE: the revised constitution was later put to a popular referendum before taking effect, as Eric Brill noted. END OF MY NOTE**]. And this was exactly what they did. The same thing was done with judicial matters. These things can be changed in the future as well.

    Today our system is a presidential system. That is to say, our presidents are directly elected by public vote and this has proven to be a very good and successfully tested system. There will be no problem if one day in the near or distant future – probably in the distant future – it is felt that a parliamentary system is more favorable than a presidential system, which is common in certain countries in the world. The Islamic Republic will be able to change its structure, which will not make a difference [as far as the goals and ideals are concerned].
    …”

  624. Fiorangela says:

    Karl says: March 19, 2012 at 5:23 am

    It is useful to view US foreign policy through the Netanyahu prism. –

    1978 – :http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lixYEZ9M_dU
    1979 – Jonathan Institute

    and

    “International Terrorism: Challenge and Response; Proceedings of the 1979 Jerusalem Conference on International Terrorism,” Benjamin Netanyahu, editor. :http://books.google.com/books?printsec=frontcover&vid=ISBN0878554564&vid=LCCN83101603#v=onepage&q&f=false

  625. BiBiJon says:

    India-Iran trade bid sets example to West
    By Vijay Prashad.

    http://www.atimes.com/atimes/South_Asia/NC15Df01.html

  626. Karl says:

    correction:

    That you still use the western hegemonic glasses to watch events in the middle east wont help you a bit in your analyzing, in facts its the same usless, naive, irrational and out-of-reality assessment that have led to the reckless american policy in the middle east.

  627. Karl says:

    James,

    “There will be no need to attack Iran if Iran refrains from building nukes or appearing ready to build them. The Six Powers want a negotiated solution, and one that obviously does not include an Iran on verge of building nukes.”

    1. This issue is not about Iran building nukes or not. Have you completely missed Leveretts analysis?

    2. Even if you accept that Iran should be bombed nor the book of law, nor a majority of people would be against that. That you still use the western hegemonic glasses to watch events in the middle east wont help you a bit in your analyzing, in facts its the same usless, naive, irrational and out-of-reality assessment.
    In fact Iran surely already got a casus belli against aggressive states like Israel, US, EU and UK since their actions, threats indeed pose a real threat to them.

  628. Castellio says:

    Pirouz writes that he is amazed “that one of the only sources for mainstream, inside-Iran political perspectives is here on a U.S. foreign policy advocacy blog”?

    Why are you amazed?

  629. Castellio says:

    RSH, this quote is for you.

    It’s from 34 Days: Israel, Hezbollah and The War in Lebanon, written by Amos Harel and Avi Issacharoff. Published way back in 2008. Get thyself to a library and read it (if you haven’t already).

    Israel had already started its extensive bombing of Lebanon in 2006.

    “In Washington, the Saudi’s criticism of Hezbollah, Iran, and Syria was interpreted as a great change. Senior figures in the administration, especially the hawks – Vice President’s Dick Cheney’s staff and the National Security Council – viewed the war as an opportunity to dispose of Bashar Assad’s regime in Damascus. This direction had already been brought up on the day after the abduction when President George W. Bush stated, “Syria is responsible for what’s happening and must be dealt with.”

    … “In a briefing to journalists, she [Rice] claimed that the war offered an opportunity to remove Syria from the axis of evil.”

    That was 2006, in 2011 the rebels in Syria are paid for, armed, and co-ordinated by outside interests. The situation continues to evolve according to Western, Israeli and Saudi plans. This is clearly an escalation, as are the ever-tightening sanctions on Iran.

    There is no sign I can see of anything but the on-going desire to break Hamas, Hezbollah, Syria and Iran, although wth a strategic timetable more suitable to the Democrats.

    Cutting Iran off from Swift is part of a war strategy, not a negotiation strategy.

  630. Pirouz says:

    The worst thing I can say about Dr. Mirandi is that by his own admission he was a Dallas Cowboy fan. That said, one of the best things I can say about him is he is a former Dallas Cowboy fan.

    Fun aside, it still amazes me that one of the only sources for mainstream, inside-Iran political perspectives is here on a U.S. foreign policy advocacy blog. I’ve mentioned this more than few times over at the PBS site.

  631. Richard Steven Hack says:

    I can see this thread descending into another back and forth between two idiots with long names, like the last one…

  632. Someone with one of those long screen names writes:

    “Marandi is rumored to be an Iranian intelligence operative which would explain a lot.”

    Dr. Marandi indeed is Iranian, and intelligent, and he seems quite “operative.” But I’m not sure what all that “explains.”

    I have a hunch you don’t know either, and that you know very little about Dr. Marandi. If my hunch is correct and you’d like to learn more about him, start with a YouTube search. You’ll find he appears often on TV, typically on panels with other Iran experts. He’s usually easy to distinguish from the other panelists — just look for the grown-up.

  633. Castellio says:

    Well, for Iranians on the blog, what to make of this example of American-Iranian culture?

    http://blog.chron.com/bookish/2012/03/the-bricklayer-a-houston-opera-about-iran/

  634. ToivoS writes:

    “The only Iranians I have ever met who supported outside intervention in Iran’s internal affairs had direct connections to the Western puppet family of the former Shah. As far as can be seen these people are mostly concentrated in LA.”

    When the former Shah’s son committed suicide a year or so ago, there was, as there should have been, a great outpouring of condolences from Iranian expats to his family, a great number of which were delivered publicly, on-line, to his mother (the wife of the former Shah). I was struck by how many of those condolences turned into wistful reminiscences of the good old days of the Shah’s reign. This occurred often enough that I got the impression it was ordinarily considered bad form among Iranian expats to engage publicly in such reminiscing, but that it was considered socially acceptable to do so on such an occasion (or so these writers had persuaded themselves).

    Socially acceptable or not, it appeared clear to me that a substantial number of expats — far more than I’d ever suspected — support neither the current Iranian system nor the present-day opponents of that system. What they support is an ever-more-distant past that at least some of them still hope can be restored.

  635. The esteemed author offering “terrestrial reality” is hardly a non-partisan actor:
    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Seyed Mohammad Marandi, a graduate of Birmingham University and associate professor of English Literature at University of Tehran, is the founder and director of Institute for North American and European Studies (INAES). Marandi, born in 1966 in Richmond, Virginia, is the son of the former Iranian Health Care Minister and present Iranian Member of Parliament, Alireza Marandi, and a solid supporter of the Islamic Republic and its leader, Seyed Ali Khamenei. He also used to be a frequent interlocutor at international news networks such as CNN, BBC, Al Jazeera, and Press TV, where he frequently supported the policies of the Islamic Republic with regard to its nuclear program and the pacification of the Iranian domestic demonstrations following the presidential elections of 2009. However, recently, he has generally and most frequently appeared only in Russia Today to defend the stance of the Islamic Republic establishment against a probable joint American-Israeli invasion of Iran’s nuclear facilities.

    In the world of academy, Marandi’s main focus of concern has been the project INAES. This institute, starting as a subsidiary arm to the Faculty of Foreign Languages and Literature of University of Tehran just a few years ago, is now a full-fledged independent center essentially concerned with post-colonial studies with a particular concentration on the critique of Orientalism, as promoted by such figures as Edward Said, Ziauddin Sardar, and Bill Ashcroft.

  636. Smith says:

    @ James Canning;
    March 18, 2012 at 7:45 pm.

    Ah, I see. Is that why Iranian hero Rais Ali Delvari and his men used to hunt down British in Iran with their Persian Mauser Carbines? The same arguments today are being made when Uranium from Iranian owned Rössing Uranium Mine is being shipped to US and Europe without giving any share to Iranians whatsoever. Talk about history. The same Persian Mauser Carbines have found another use in Iran. They are issued to Ayatollahs and used at Friday sermons as a symbolic gesture and the Ayatollah delivers his sermon while holding on to the same Persian Mauser Carbine in his hand. This is called continuation of history. They have not forgotten. They still remember that British used to steal their oil.

  637. Rehmat says:

    AllenBee – Both Ahmadinejad and Ayatullah Khamenei are not pro-American. Ahmadinejad is technocrat and politician while Ayatullah Khamenei is both an Islamic scholar of Islamic theology and politician. He was the most popular Iranian President during his 8-year term.

    However, both Ahmadinejad and Ayatullah has one thing in common – both hate the Zionist regime.

  638. AllenBee says:

    Is Ahmadinejad more favourably inclined toward the west than Khamenei?

  639. James Canning says:

    Smith,

    You might brush up on your history, especially of Anglo-Persian Oil Co. Often, prior to the Second World War, Iran was unhappy that Britain was not taking more oil.

  640. James Canning says:

    Karl,

    There will be no need to attack Iran if Iran refrains from building nukes or appearing ready to build them. The Six Powers want a negotiated solution, and one that obviously does not include an Iran on verge of building nukes.

  641. ToivoS says:

    This is very educational. As one who was cheering for the Greens 3 years ago much of this is quite an eye opener. I have a number of Iranian expatriot acquaintances (post 1979 immigrants) so that has been a big influence.

    However, I was really struck by the complexity of Iranian politics from an event in 2007. Shirin Ebadi visited our town and I was invited to a reception that consisted mostly of Iranian Americans. I asked the people attending their position on nuclear power. There was not a single voice in opposition. About half argued that Iran should have the right to nuclear weapons. This was a very wealthy and seemingly secular gathering. It seemed very clear that their respect for Iranian nationalism trumped their dislike of the current government. The only Iranians I have ever met who supported outside intervention in Iran’s internal affairs had direct connections to the Western puppet family of the former Shah. As far as can be seen these people are mostly concentrated in LA.

  642. Karl says:

    The talks accepted by EU/US offered by Iran, should be seen as an attempt to ease tensions TEMPORARILY to stop the rising of the oil prize which will rise this summer due EU oil ban. I think US have talked Israel somewhat straight to keep the most inflammatory threats against Iran down also that Israel doesnt commit more terror/assassinations inside Iran before EU oil ban kicking in, maybe Israel understand that US will not at this point give Israel a green light to attack and now Israel understand that they must pay attention and listen more to the will of teh US, if they want to get their help.

  643. Cristopher Zellner says:

    Highly useful data! A great benefit and great for review! Congratulations!

  644. Neo says:

    Seyed Mohammad Marandi keeps growing in stature. Great read.

    Eric, really enjoyed reading your first comment on this page.

  645. nahid says:

    Eric A. Brill says:
    March 18, 2012 at 4:04 pm

    dear Mr Brill
    thank you very much,

  646. Voice of Tehran says:

    Eric A. Brill says:
    March 18, 2012 at 4:04 pm

    Eric thanks for your post.
    It is always good to have the opinion of a first class lawyer such as yourself :-)
    this leaves little room for wild speculations.
    Both my wife and took part in the elections and it was a wonderful and joyful day all over Tehran ( and across the country )
    People like Sajadpour are daydreamers ( at best ) and actually I am very happy that they are never able to sense the realities in Iran and consequently mislead themselves and those who pay them.

  647. Smith says:

    @ Eric Brill;

    Previously in another post I had proposed the idea that you write a book, about Iranian election and refute all the allegations against alleged fraud in order to set the historical record straight. I wonder if you have thought about it.

    As for my comment here, I would like to say, any kind of deal with Iran has to take into account to win Iranian trust and their full consent. I had run into this on the net which I am pasting it here, a short history; clearly shows west has to do more in order to win Iran’s trust and sanctions and war threats are not the way to win that trust:

    [B][COLOR="#FF0000"]1- [/COLOR][/B]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.

    [B][COLOR="#FF0000"]2-[/COLOR][/B] 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.

    [B][COLOR="#FF0000"]3- [/COLOR][/B]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.

    [B][COLOR="#FF0000"]4-[/COLOR][/B] Iran had paid 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 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.

    [B][COLOR="#FF0000"]5-[/COLOR][/B] Iran had paid billions of dollars to France in 1970′s for France to build a 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. Iran had also shared the costs of building Eurodiff Uranium enrichment plant 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.

    [B][COLOR="#FF0000"]6-[/COLOR][/B] Iran had invested in the world’s largest Uranium mine in 1970′s and to this day owns 10% of the mine. 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.

    [B][COLOR="#FF0000"]7-[/COLOR][/B] 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 countries that are trading with Iran as well in order to affect a regime change internally in Iran.

  648. “Second, changing the structure of government by removing the presidency would require a change in the Constitution, a process that has little to do with this year’s parliamentary elections. It would require a referendum—not a decree from Parliament.”

    COMMENT:

    When I first started following Iran/US relations very closely, I read the Iranian constitution very closely, and have read it many times since. What I noticed then, and ever since, is that, despite the standard Western media statement that “the Supreme Leader has final say in all matters of state” (whatever that means), the actions of Iran’s government always seem to me to follow the Iranian constitution.

    For example, it’s often written that the Leader has discretion to remove the president. Iran’s constitution makes clear that this is not the case. No president has ever been removed, nor has the Leader ever suggested he has this power.

    Nor, as Professor Marandi points out, does the Leader have any power simply to change the Constitution to eliminate the presidency — or to make any other change, for that matter. Period.

    For another example, it’s often written that the Leader could have nullified the 2009 election results, or even that his Friday prayer sermon after the 2009 election amounted to a decree that Ahmadinejad had won. While the Leader’s constitutional duties call for him to “certify” the election results, it is clear that this is nothing more than a ministerial duty, and he has never claimed otherwise — much less purported to nullify any election. His post-election Friday prayer sermon was not a “decree” that Ahmadinejad had won. He was saying merely, in essence: “Look, like it or not, Ahmadinejad won this election — not by 500,000 votes, not by 1,000,000 votes, but by a whopping 11,000,000 votes. His opponents claim it was fraudulent, but they’ve declined all requests to provide evidence of this alleged fraud. Those who are disappointed in the result have been protesting for the past week, often very violently, but it’s time they faced reality. If they want to continue to complain, so be it, but any more violence or destruction of property will be dealt with as violence and destruction of property is usually dealt with. Civilized societies allow peaceful protests, but they don’t allow protesters to hurt or kill other people or destroy property.”

    Simple as that. If Obama had won by 11,000,000 votes, and a week later McCain supporters were still out in the streets lighting police cars on fire, beating up soldiers and policemen (and killing them, according to many reports), I guarantee George Bush (still president until Obama’s inauguration) would have given essentially the same speech.