Working for International Dialogue and Peace

It’s pointless to be the last country sanctioning Iran

by Tyler Cullis and Trita Parsi (source: Washington Post) July 13, 2016

The good news is that the current administration has signaled a subtle shift in U.S. policy, publicly stating that it will no longer stand in the way of legitimate business activities involving Iran and businesses around the world — a significant break with the recent past. But if Obama is, indeed, breaking with the past and no longer committed to fencing Iran off from the world, he should consider completely lifting the embargo to boost America’s ability to meaningfully influence the Iranian regime. And, unlike America’s Cuba embargo, he has the power to lift the Iran embargo without Congress’s approval. ››read more

Politicians, diplomats pen letter urging stronger ties with Iran

by LOUIS NELSON (source: Politico) July 12, 2016

In a letter to President Barack Obama shared with POLITICO, more than 75 high-profile signatories praise the controversial nuclear accord and urge the president to bring the U.S. and Iran even closer together. Spearheaded by The Iran Project, a group dedicated to improving U.S.-Iran relations while preventing Iran from developing nuclear weapons, the letter’s signatories include retired Sens. Tom Daschle (D-S.D.), Mark Udall (D-Colo.), Carl Levin (D-Mich.), J. Bennett Johnston (D-La.) and Nancy Kassebaum (R-Kan.), as well as former Rep. Lee Hamilton (D-Ind.). The list of signers also includes former Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Merrill McPeak and Nobel Prize winners Leon Cooper and Burton Richter. “The U.S. should develop policies that increase the chances of cooperation with Iran, minimize confrontation, and influence Iran’s actions in the region,” the letter reads. ››read more

House Votes to Block Civilian Aircraft Sales to Iran, Threatening Boeing Deal

by Jason Ditz (source: July 11, 2016

Though the Congressmen pushing the bill presenting it as aimed at presenting Iran from acquiring aircraft “for military purposes,” the amendment forbade the Office of Foreign Asset Control to license any sales of any aircraft. This would not only block Boeing’s $25 billion sales, but European maker Airbus, whose planes include some American-made parts and subsequently need a US OFAC license as well. In effect, this would forbid Iran from buying any planes for their effort to modernize a dangerously outdated civilian fleet. ››read more

Iran Criticizes Saudi Prince for Joining Opposition Rally

(source: ABC News / AP) July 11, 2016

Rajavi and SaddamRajavi and SaddamPrince Turki currently holds no official capacity within Saudi's government, but his comments are widely seen as reflective of the government's thinking. The National Council of Resistance of Iran is the political affiliate of the exiled Mujahedeen-e-Khalq group. Ramazan Sharif, spokesman for Iran's elite Revolutionary Guard, said Prince Turki's participation in the rally demonstrated "longstanding ties" between Saudi Arabia and MEK. He also accused Saudi of giving "support to terrorism in the region and beyond." ››read more

The war in Iraq was not a blunder or a mistake. It was a crime

by Owen Jones (source: The Guardian ) July 7, 2016

Tony Blair is damned. We have seen establishment whitewashes in the past: from Bloody Sunday to Hillsborough, officialdom has repeatedly conspired to smother truth in the interests of the powerful. But not this time. The Chilcot inquiry was becoming a satirical byword for taking farcically long to execute a task; but Sir John will surely go down in history for delivering the most comprehensively devastating verdict on any modern prime minister.

Those of us who marched against the Iraq calamity can feel no vindication, only misery that we failed to prevent a disaster that robbed hundreds of thousands of lives – those of 179 British soldiers among them – and which injured, traumatised and displaced millions of people: a disaster that bred extremism on a catastrophic scale. ››read more

Is AIPAC a Toothless Tiger After Iran Deal Supporters Survive Unscathed?

by Nathan Guttman (source: ForwardI) July 6, 2016

AIPACAIPACI Nadler’s decision to back the deal came after weeks of pressure from pro-Israel activists to join other Jewish New York politicians, including Schumer and Reps. Steve Israel and Nita Lowey, in opposing the agreement. His primary challenger, Oliver Rosenberg, did his best to cast the race as a showdown over Nadler’s decision. But Nadler won easily, with nearly nine of 10 voters choosing to keep him as the Democratic candidate. True, Nadler fared poorly among ultra-Orthodox voters in his district, in part because of his Iran vote, but the backlash was not even close to putting a dent in the congressman’s re-election bid. ››read more

Maryam Rajavi — MEK Propaganda Queen — Advertises Her Serives For Iran’s Enemies

by Massoud Khodabandeh (source: Huffington Post) July 6, 2016

RajaviRajaviMaryam Rajavi cannot get support from Iranians unless it is paid for. Nor can Maryam Rajavi deign to share a platform with any other Iranian opposition personality. So this year Maryam Rajavi will again do what she does best; pay audience and speakers alike to give the illusion of support. So, back to the recent advertising campaign. Any publicity campaign will be successful if it is newsworthy. Maryam, however, simply churns out the same scenario ad infinitum. Starting with describing a terrible situation in Iran - based on news items that can be gleaned from any serious reporting outlet - she then proposes a ten-point plan for Iran, approved this year by Italian parliamentarians. And then she promises regime change ››read more

Intelligence files support claims Iraq invasion helped spawn Isis

by Patrick Wintour (source: The Guardian) July 6, 2016

Allegations that the invasion of Iraq increased the terrorist threat to the UK and helped spawn the terror group Islamic State are supported by intelligence documents released as part of the Chilcot report.

Top-secret reports from the joint intelligence committee, some of which were released for the first time, make clear security services’ concern about the increasing power in Iraq of jihadi groups, some of which were linked directly to al-Qaida. ››read more

I read the Chilcot report as I travelled across Syria this week and saw for myself what Blair's actions caused

by Robert Fisk (source: Independent) July 6, 2016

I guess a Nuremburg trial might have been a better place to sort out the minutiae of the Blair-Bush crimes we committed to go to war in the Middle East. We brought about the deaths of up to half a million people, most of them Muslims who were as innocent as Blair was guilty. A Nuremburg-style court might thus have concentrated more on the mass Arab victims of our criminal expedition than the heinous guilt and “profound regret” – his words, of course – of Lord Blair of Kut al-Amara. ››read more

Chilcot’s judgment is utterly damning – but it’s still not justice

by George Monbiot (source: Guardian) July 6, 2016

Little is more corrosive of democracy than impunity. When politicians do terrible things and suffer no consequences, people lose trust in both politics and justice. They see them, correctly, as instruments deployed by the strong against the weak. ››read more

Words That Continue to Deceive (and Kill): Britain, Tony Blair, and the Iraq Deception

by Patrick Cockburn (source: CounterPunch) July 6, 2016

In the aftermath of the invasion there have been many conspiracy theories about how and why it began, but the main contours of what happened have been long established and are damning enough in themselves. The most interesting part of the Chilcot report will not be to discover how the British and American governments deceived others, but how and why they deceived themselves and with such disastrous consequences. ››read more

Is Coup Against Corbyn a Plot to Spare Blair from War Crimes Probe?

by Nika Knight (source: Common Dreams) July 5, 2016

And just over a month ago, the Labour leader reiterated his willingness to have Blair tried for war crimes after the Chilcot Report is released. In a recent interview, Salmond again pointed out to a reporter that the "Chilcot Report is coming out next week and by all accounts it's going to be a damning indictment of Tony Blair and his warmongering. And most of the people who are now gunning for Corbyn were Blair's closest supporters." ››read more

New film blames Israel for failure of Iran malware

by Joe Uchill (source: The Hill) July 4, 2016

Gibney alleges that, without American approval, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had the code rewritten to be more chainsaw than surgical scalpel. It began crashing the wrong computers, bringing it to antivirus companies’ attention. The wounds caused by Stuxnet were not mortal ones, and Iran was able to continue its nuclear program. “What the United States liked about the Stuxnet code was that it subtly creating delays and had the peculiar result of undermining the psychological stability of the Iranian scientists at the time, to destroy their confidence in their own attempt,” said Gibney. “They liked the subterfuge. Bibi Netanyahu just wanted to blow more stuff up. It dramatically backfired” ››read more

IS paid to stage bomb attacks in Iran

(source: AAP) July 4, 2016

A team of militants linked with Islamic State were paid 600,000 euros ($A897,000) to carry out a bombing campaign at 50 locations in Tehran and other big cities in Iran, according to a documentary aired on Iranian state TV.

Officials in predominantly Shi'ite Iran have have said in recent weeks that Sunni militants from Islamic State are targeting the country.
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Israeli Intelligence chief: We do not want ISIS defeat in Syria

(source: Almasda Nnews) June 22, 2016

Israeli intelligence Chief, Major General Herzi Halevy, said that the last three months have been the most difficult for ISIS since its inception.

In a speech delivered at “Herzliya” conference yesterday , Halevy explicitly said “Israel” does not want the situation in Syria to end with the defeat of ISIS “, the Israeli NRG site reported. ››read more

Pick Your Poison: Clinton Vs. Trump on Foreign Policy

by Stephen Zunes (source: Huffington Post) June 18, 2016

In their remarks to the nation following the Orlando massacre, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump made their differences—and disturbing similarities—crystal clear.

Trump attacked Hillary Clinton for refusing to label the violence carried out by a mentally-disturbed American-born gunmen of Muslim background as a manifestation of “radical Islam,” leading her to begin using the less-inflammatory but still problematic term “radical Islamism.” More seriously, he reiterated his call to ban Muslims from entering the United States and to subject American Muslims to special surveillance and restrictions. ››read more

        Editor's note: Stephen Zunes is a professor of politics and coordinator of Middle Eastern Studies at the University of San Francisco.

Why our nuclear deal with Iran is turning to dust

by Robert Fisk (source: The Independent) June 16, 2016

Many of Europe’s largest banks won’t do business with Iran for fear of breaching other US sanctions, which have nothing to do with the nuclear agreement – but a lot to do with US agencies and prosecutors ››read more

Iran files lawsuit against US at IC Justice over seized assets: Rouhani

(source: Press TV) June 15, 2016

Iran has filed a lawsuit against the United States at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) demanding compensation over the seizure of USD 2 billion worth of the country's assets by a top American court. ››read more

Muhammad Ali Understood the Racist Roots of War and Militarism: And he called them out fearlessly.

by Phyllis Bennis (source: Foreign Policy in Focus) June 12, 2016

Muhammad-AliMuhammad-AliIn the history of our movements for peace and for justice, the most strategic activists, analysts, and cultural workers were always those who understood the centrality of racism at the core of U.S. wars. They grasped the ways in which U.S. militarism relied on racism at home to recruit its cannon-fodder and to build public support for wars against “the other” — be they Vietnamese, Cambodians, Nicaraguans, Iraqis, Syrians, Libyans, Somalis, Yemenis, Afghans, or anyone else.

It was Muhammad Ali who first described the Vietnam-era draft as “white people sending black people to fight yellow people to protect the country they stole from the red people.” He said no to the draft, refused to step forward to accept the legitimacy of the coerced registration, and was convicted of felony draft resistance. Even though he faced years in prison, he insisted, “Man, I ain’t got no quarrel with them Vietcong.” ››read more

What Blair accidentally revealed about Iraq during his criticism of Jeremy Corbyn was very interesting indeed

by Patrick Cockburn (source: Independent) June 10, 2016

Cameron claimed that Corbyn’s opposition to airstrikes showed he was a terrorist sympathiser and the Shadow Foreign Secretary Hilary Benn made a much-lauded speech full of bombast about supporting British airstrikes against Isis in Syria as being equivalent of battling Franco in Spain in 1936 and Hitler in 1940. The degree to which this was phony posturing on the part of Cameron and Benn is highlighted by the fact that neither has shown concern that the RAF’s actions against Isis in Syria in the six months since the famous House of Commons’ vote have been very limited. Out of 3,787 airstrikes by the US-led coalition of air powers in Syria up to 1 June, only 237 were carried out by non-US aircraft. ››read more