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H.J.Res. 10, introduced in the House just as the new Congress began at the beginning of this month. The title of the bill tells the tale: a bill "To authorize the use of the United States Armed Forces to achieve the goal of preventing Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons." This legislation, introduced by Rep. Alcee Hastings (D-FL), is as it appears: an authorization for the President to use military force against Iran. But it is much worse than that. Why so? Because it specifically authorizes the president to launch a pre-emptive war on Iran at any time of his choosing and without any further Congressional oversight or input. The operative sentence in the resolution reads, "The President is authorized to use the Armed Forces of the United States as the President determines necessary and appropriate in order to achieve the goal of preventing Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons." ››read more
Given these contradictory signals, when and if Trump, Flynn, Mattis, et al. trigger a confrontation with Iran, they will also create an enormous point of conflict with Russia, too. To be sure, both Trump—who, the CIA says, received covert election support from Russia’s intelligence service—and his designee for secretary of state, Exxon Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson, have business and personal ties to Russia’s elite. But the chance of a US-Russia entente will evaporate if the Trump administration seeks to build an anti-Iran alliance in the Middle East. And the same goes for Syria: Although Trump has hinted that the United States might ally with Russia against ISIS, that doesn’t square with the views of Flynn, Mattis, and Pompeo that Russia, Iran, and Hezbollah are engaged in an anti-American crusade in the region in defense of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. ››read more
Trump appears ready to break away from Washington’s anti-Russia consensus, but he remains a prisoner of the anti-Iran consensus. This is the central contradiction of his emerging foreign policy. He wisely insists that fighting Islamist radicalism must be America’s priority in the Middle East, and that since the Russians agree, we should cooperate with them. Yet Iran is more militantly opposed to ISIS than any country on earth. That makes sense, since most Iranians are Shia Muslims and ISIS wants to kill every Shia. A consistent anti-ISIS policy would be based on cooperation with Russia and Iran. If the time has come to try reconciliation with one, the same is true for the other. ››read more
A shadowy advocacy group called the 45 Committee has begun running television ads hyping the Iran threat as well, urging viewers to call President Obama to support the Iran Sanctions Act Extension, which was also passed in the House this week. That bill, sponsored by Rep. Ed Royce, would extend US sanctions on Iran for another 10 years. The passage of the Caesar Syrian Civilian Protection Act, then, should be seen as part and parcel of a broader attempt by congressional and incoming administration hardliners (encouraged by the Likud and Sunni Gulf state lobbies inside the Beltway) to contain what they perceive as Iranian expansionist designs in the Middle East. ››read more
Two seemingly contradictory trends have been dominant with respect to Iran’s nuclear question. First, for decades Iran has been accused of not just developing nuclear weapons but being a short time away from actually using them . Second, non-political nuclear experts, including those at the United Nations, American and Israeli intelligence agencies have consistently disproven these accusations . The western media hardly discusses the latter point, and the irresponsible hype around the former creates the impression of constant imminent danger that needs to be addressed by force . ››read more
The latest NCRI revelations of a new "Lavizan 3" facility has been sent to the right wing media and has been playing in the US non-stop. It is a total fabrication.
The photo that NCRI claims to have smuggled out of an underground nuclear facility has been exposed as a product advertisement photo from an Iranian safe manufacturer called GMP. ››read more
The U.S. government may be considering military action in response to chemical strikes near Damascus. But a generation ago, America's military and intelligence communities knew about and did nothing to stop a series of nerve gas attacks far more devastating than anything Syria has seen, Foreign Policy has learned. ››read more
In 2006, Prof. Francis A. Boyle was asked by the Iranian government to help file a lawsuit against the United States and its European allies over the illegal and unilateral economic sanctions they have imposed on Iran. He agreed to cooperate and submitted his proposal to the Iran, but his cooperation didn’t continue for some reasons. In this interview, we will be discussing Prof. Boyle’s proposal and also his viewpoints regarding the reasons why he thinks the anti-Iran sanctions are illegal and criminal. ››read more
The immediate filing of an Iranian action before the ICJ has been proposed over the past couple of years, and most recently by, among others, Professor Francis Boyle and Mohammad Nahavandian, head of Iran Chamber of Commerce, Industries and Mines. Iran taking the sanctions case to the world court would also advance accountability under international law and because the ICJ would likely grant Iran’s Petition for Interim Measures of Protection the sanctions could be suspended during the course of the years of litigation which would directly and positively affect the lives of suffering Iranians while giving the parties a chance to settle their differences peacefully using diplomacy. ››read more
The coverage of the initial IAEA account of the cylinder in its report last November has been followed by a steady drip of reports about Iran refusing to allow the agency's inspectors to visit the site at Parchin and satellite photos showing what are said to be Iranian efforts to "sanitize" the site.
But unknown to consumers of corporate news, the story of the Parchin bomb test cylinder has been quietly unraveling. A former IAEA expert on nuclear weapons has criticized the story as technically implausible; the account itself turns out to be marked by a central internal contradiction, and even satellite images published to the IAEA account have been found by experts to contradict it. ››read more
Addressing the Asymmetry in Negotiations between Iran and P5+1: a critical review of Oxford Research Group’s briefingby Mehrnaz Shahabi (source: CASMII) June 22, 2012
The Oxford Research Group’s briefing, Iran’s Nuclear Impasse: Breaking the Deadlock (1 May 2012) , published before the second round of negotiations between Iran and P5+1 (permanent Security Council and Germany) in Baghdad on 23 May, whilst proposing some positive principles for a successful outcome of the negotiations - such as Iran’s right to enrichment, “reciprocity”, “defining endgame”, and “taking regime change off the table” - suffers serious drawbacks, which have become even more glaringly clear with the result of the recent Moscow negotiations
The Russian scholar and independent analyst Dr. Nikolay Kozhanov shares his in-depth insight into the Russian approach towards the upcoming Moscow negotiations between P5+1 and Iran with Shirin Shafaie. Dr. Kozhanov was an attaché at the Embassy of the Russian Federation in Tehran from 2006 to 2009, where he worked on Iran's nuclear issue among other socio-economic and energy-related issues. He is currently a visiting fellow at the Washington Institute, a scholar at the nongovernmental Institute of the Middle East and a visiting lecturer at the School of Economics of the St. Petersburg State University. Dr. Kozhanov's monograph, Economic Sanctions Against Iran: Aims, Scale and Possible Consequences, was published in Moscow in June 2011. This is part 2 of 2. Read Part 1 here. ››read more
The Russian scholar and independent analyst Dr. Nikolay Kozhanov shares his in-depth insight into the Russian approach towards the upcoming Moscow negotiations between P5+1 and Iran with Shirin Shafaie. Dr. Kozhanov was an attaché at the Embassy of the Russian Federation in Tehran from 2006 to 2009, where he worked on Iran's nuclear issue among other socio-economic and energy-related issues. He is currently a visiting fellow at the Washington Institute, a scholar at the nongovernmental Institute of the Middle East and a visiting lecturer at the School of Economics of the St. Petersburg State University. Dr. Kozhanov's monograph, Economic Sanctions Against Iran: Aims, Scale and Possible Consequences, was published in Moscow in June 2011. ››read more
Missing from the Times article was any reference to Iran's refusal to retaliate with chemical weapons for Iraq's repeated chemical weapons attacks on Iranian cities, based on U.S. intelligence on Iranian troop concentrations, killing 7,000 immediately and severely injuring at least 100,000. ››read more
Jenkins: I fear Western mis-handling of this problem could lead to a war, involving the loss of many innocent lives and a detrimental effect on global living standards. I am far too unimportant a person to prevent that. But at least, if I speak my mind, drawing on all the knowledge and experience I have had a chance to acquire through my service as a diplomat, a few important people may notice and start to think again about whether existing Western policies are as wise as they could be.
I am also reacting against the twisting of truth and the indifference to reason that I see in certain influential quarters. I believe that truth and reason lie at the heart of our civilisation, and that they must be fought for (metaphorically) if our civilisation is to survive and prosper.
Editor's note: Peter Jenkins was the UK Permanent Representative to the IAEA in Vienna from 2001 to 2006. All three parts of this interview are published in one piece here.
Such nonchalant talk and campaign trail knee-slappers about the "annihilation" and "obliteration," of murder and war crimes, of tightened nooses - the execution of a death sentence - and of deliberately hurting a nation of 74 million human beings, along with chest-thumping boasts about destroying the internationally safeguarded nuclear facilities of a sovereign country, would be unequivocally condemned were it directed toward the United States or its allies.
After thirty years of warmongering, threats, and propaganda, it's clear that American and Israeli discourse about Iran is starving for humanity. ››read more
But a review of the evidence uncovered thus far makes the link to Iran begin to look very dubious. Instead, it points to the distinct possibility that the Israelis planned a carefully limited bomb attack that was not intended to cause serious injury to Israeli diplomatic personnel, but that would advance the larger Israeli narrative on the need to punish Iran ››read more
Iran's Envoy to the IAEA, Ali Asghar Soltani stressed that “Iran is not ruling out access to any military sites, including Parchin". But there are conditions that Iran wants the IAEA to follow. “I just want to tell you that last week, perhaps this is the first time I am telling you, we, in fact, offered the agency to go to another site which the director general in his report has referred to as a large scale high-explosive test. We offered, but the team was instructed by the director general to go back to Vienna. Therefore we don’t have any hesitation that every activity we have has nothing to do with nuclear weapons.” ››read more
In January 2005, an IAEA team visited Parchin and investigated the five areas they had chosen, taking environmental samples, but found nothing suspicious. In November 2005, Iran allowed the IAEA to do the same thing all over again on five more buildings of its own choice. The Iranian military and nuclear establishment would never have agreed to such terms for IAEA inspection missions at Parchin - not once but twice - if they had been concealing a hydrodynamic test facility at the base.
“The Iranian nation has never pursued and will never pursue nuclear weapons,” said Ayatollah Khamenei.
“There is no doubt that the decision makers in the countries opposing us know well that Iran is not after nuclear weapons because the Islamic Republic, logically, religiously and theoretically, considers the possession of nuclear weapons a grave sin and believes the proliferation of such weapons is senseless, destructive and dangerous.” ››read more