Jun 042013


IRAN has dismantled a “terror network” backed by Israel’s Mossad intelligence services which planned to disrupt the upcoming presidential election in the Islamic republic, the state broadcaster says.

“The intelligence ministry has identified and arrested the members of this terror network, and confiscated their weapons,” IRIB said on its website on Sunday, quoting a statement by the ministry.

It said the arrested group was made up of 12 members, but did not say when it had been busted.

The ministry neither identified any of those arrested nor mentioned their nationality, but said the cell leader originated from an unnamed “regional Arab” country.

On June 14, Iran is to hold its first presidential election since massive street protests, stifled by a brutal state crackdown, marred the disputed re-election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in 2009.

Iran accuses its arch foes Israel and the United States of waging a deadly campaign of sabotage against its disputed nuclear program, announcing from time to time the arrest of suspected Israeli or US spies, but provides little or no public evidence supporting the accusations.

The statement on Sunday said the group had been instructed “to conduct terrorist acts ahead of, and in particular, on election day” as well as “creating ethnic and religious divisions” in restive areas of Iran.

It said the group had already “hit several targets in a town,” and that “its main culprit was in contact with a headquarters in Britain”. It did not elaborate.

Last month the Islamic republic said it had hanged two convicted spies, one found guilty of working for Israel, and the other for the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).

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Feb 082013


US Vice President Joe Biden (file photo)


The US claim that it is ready to hold direct talks with Iran is utterly preposterous as America’s deep-rooted policy of anti-Iran pressures contradict the very tenets of reciprocal interaction, political analysts tell Press TV.

At the 49th annual Munich Security Conference in Germany on February 2, the US Vice President Joe Biden said Washington was ready to hold direct talks with Iran over the country’s nuclear energy program.

However, he noted that “there will be continued pressure and isolation,” insisting that if Iran abandons “the illicit nuclear program and your support for terrorism, there will be meaningful incentives.”

In a strong response, the Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei lashed out at the idea of any talks with the United States under pressure and threats.

“I am not a diplomat. I am a revolutionary and speak frankly, honestly, and firmly. An offer of talks makes sense only when the side [that makes the offer] shows its goodwill,” Ayatollah Khamenei said in a Thursday meeting with the officials and commanders of Iran’s Navy.

“You (the Americans) point the gun at Iran and say either negotiate or we pull the trigger! You should know that pressure and negotiations don’t go together, and that the [Iranian] nation will not be intimidated by such things,” the Leader added.

Analysts believe that Biden’s repeated allegations of Iran’s “illicit nuclear program” come while the Islamic Republic has categorically rejected such allegations. On the other hand, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has never found any evidence during its inspections of Iran’s nuclear facilities to support the US and Israel’s claims that Tehran is pursuing non-civilian objectives in its nuclear energy program.

Moreover, as a signatory to the Non-Proliferation Treaty and a member of the IAEA, Iran is entitled to develop and acquire nuclear technology for peaceful purposes.

Political analysts also argue that Biden has adopted a diversionary tactic by portraying Iran’s support for Lebanon’s Hezbollah, the Palestinian resistance groups and the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, as Tehran’s “support for terrorism.”

They say by resorting to an ambiguous concept such as “terrorism,” Biden seeks to compel Iran to salvage the US from the quagmire it is facing in Syria, Afghanistan, Gaza, etc.

“We, of course, understand their (the Americans’) need for negotiations, because the Middle East policy of the Americans has failed, and in order to compensate for this failure, they need to play a trump card,” Ayatollah Khamenei said in his Thursday speech.

The Leader noted that taking Iran to the negotiating table is the trump card that the US needs, adding that Washington seeks to tell the world it has good will. “However, no one sees any goodwill.”

Biden has also claimed that, even according to Iranian officials, the sanctions imposed by the UN Security Council have been “the most robust sanctions in history.” This is while political observers have repeatedly noted that the most “barbaric” and “inhuman” pressures and sanctions against a nation have been actually imposed on Iran not by the UN, but by the US and the European Union.

“We’ve also made clear that Iran’s leaders need not sentence their people to economic deprivation and international isolation,” Biden added.

Following the West’s sanctions on Iran’s banking sector, the import of more than 50 types of medicines required for people who suffer from certain diseases such as cancer, children’s cancer, thalassemia, multiple sclerosis (MS), as well as respiratory and heart diseases, has drastically declined.

Prominent international lawyers such as Francis Boyle contend that Iran is entitled to file a lawsuit with the International Court of Justice against the US, France, the UK and their allies, on behalf of all Iranian citizens being harmed by illegal and political economic sanctions.

Elsewhere in his remarks, Biden noted that the US policy with regard to Iran’s nuclear energy program “is not containment,” but is aimed at preventing “Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon.”

He made the comments while, according to UN figures, the US — which is the only country that has ever used atomic bombs against human beings — has conducted 1,032 nuclear tests since 1945.

The United States also plans to treat its 5,113-strong arsenal of nuclear warheads to the costliest modernization process ever, with a projected expenditure estimated to stand at USD352 billion.

The stockpile houses seven types of weapons while upgrading only the B61 thermonuclear bombs is likely to cost USD10 billion over five years, while Washington would have to lavish USD110 billion to build 12 replacements for the aging Ohio-class submarines.

At the Munich conference, the US vice president also stated that “There is still space for diplomacy, backed by pressure, to succeed. The ball is in the government of Iran’s court.”

Ayatollah Khamenei, however, refuted Biden’s remarks, and noted, “The ball is in your court, because you should answer the question of whether speaking of negotiations at the same time as continuing pressure and threats makes any sense at all.”

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Dec 182012
Global Research
Patrick Henningsen

schoolI remember my history lessons in school. Among many things, I can recall Patton’s march through France and the Battle of the Bulge, and how we learned about the millions of deaths on, as well as off, the fields of battle throughout history.

All in all, it was a tale of battles won and lost, and as was rightly put by my junior high school teacher – a tale of caution for future generations. But as young students, we were never taught to idiosyncrasies of ‘war-gaming’ a conflict in the future.

Nor can I recall getting lessons in school about using various aspects of asymmetrical warfare to encircle an enemy, or how admirable and clever it is to deploy terrorist units to bomb a country in order to ‘soften it up’ from within.

Unbeknownst to many people, there are school teachers who are delivering pro-war propaganda, indoctrinating young children with violent globalist military stratagem selling the concept of an inevitable war on the people of Iran as well as anyone else deemed as ‘Axis’ powers in relation to western central planning.

Interestingly, and quite horrific in fact, when challenged by his young (and extremely bright) female student over the idea of western pre-emptive intervention against Iran, the teacher addressing these students laid down a nonnegotiable maxim stating:
“… one of the rules (in this discussion) – you can’t do nothing”.

The female student followed his NLP intellectual diversion by rightly pointing out to him:
“But we (the US) are the only country in the world that’s ever used nuclear weapons”.
To which the teacher replies sharply:

“That’s irrelevant.”

It appears also towards the end of the video, that the class was being monitored by the principal’s office, who then summoned the student in question to the office. Orwellian – in the extreme.

This is the generation of children who may be asked – or drafted in to fight a coming war with Iran and others – so is this part of the indoctrination of future soldiers? Maybe.

Certainly here, it’s safe to say that teachers are grooming the next generation of compliant consumer spectators.

Watch the classroom exchange recorded by the student:


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Dec 122012

Jason Ditz

AP Refuses to Confirm, But Diplomats Suspect Mossad

A late November Associated Press report by George Jahn revealed a “nuclear graph” allegedly from Iran by way of an IAEA investigation, sparking a flurry of responses centering on the graph’s incorrect math and leading experts to conclude it was an amateurish hoax.

But who’s hoax? Western diplomats are pointing the finger squarely at Israel’s Mossad spy agency, saying they believe that the leaks were part of an effort to implicate an assassinated Iranian in a weapons program. The diplomats also say Mossad is increasingly active in Austria, the home of the IAEA, looking to drive support for an Israeli war on Iran.
The AP has declined to comment further on where the graph came from, only saying it was an unnamed country who has been critical of Iran’s nuclear program. Israel has refused to comment at all on the matter.

After experts announced that the original AP story had the look of an “amateurish hoax,” Jahn released a second article attempting to defend the findings and speculating that Iran might have deliberately made a bad graph just to throw people off, claiming that the graph’s wrongness “supports suspicions” about Iran.

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Dec 052012

Edith M. Lederer

The U.N. General Assembly has overwhelmingly approved a resolution calling on Israel to quickly open its nuclear program for inspection and backing a high-level conference to ban nuclear weapons from the Middle East which was just canceled.

All the Arab nations and Iran had planned to attend the conference in mid-December in Helsinki, Finland, but the United States announced on Nov. 23 that it wouldn’t take place, citing political turmoil in the region and Iran’s defiant stance on nonproliferation. Iran and some Arab nations countered that the real reason for the cancellation was Israel’s refusal to attend.

The resolution, approved Monday by a vote of 174-6 with 6 abstentions, calls on Israel to join the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty ‘‘without further delay’’ and open its nuclear facilities to inspection by the International Atomic Energy Agency. Those voting ‘‘no’’ were Israel, the U.S., Canada, Marshall Islands, Micronesia and Palau.

Resolutions adopted by the 193-member General Assembly are not legally binding but they do reflect world opinion and carry moral and political weight.

Israel refuses to confirm or deny it has nuclear bombs though it is widely believed to have a nuclear arsenal. It has refused to join the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, or NPT, along with three nuclear weapon states — India, Pakistan and North Korea.

The Arab proposal to create a weapons-of-mass-destruction-free zone in the Mideast, and to pressure Israel to give up its undeclared arsenal of perhaps 80 nuclear warheads, was endorsed at an NPT conference in 1995 but never acted on. In 2010, the 189 parties to the 1970 treaty called for convening a conference in 2012 on the establishment of a WMD-free zone in the Middle East.

The resolution, which was approved by the assembly’s disarmament committee before the conference was cancelled, noted the decision to hold it ‘‘with satisfaction.’’

But Israel has long said there first must be a Mideast peace agreement before the establishment of a Mideast zone free of weapons of mass destruction. The region’s Muslim nations argue that Israel’s undeclared nuclear arsenal presents the greatest threat to peace in the region.

The Israeli government had no immediate comment on Monday’s General Assembly vote.

Last week, the General Assembly upgraded the Palestinians to that of a nonmember observer state, endorsing an independent Palestinian state in the West Bank, east Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip.

Just before Monday’s vote, Iranian diplomat Khodadad Seifi told the assembly ‘‘the truth is that the Israeli regime is the only party which rejected to conditions for a conference.’’ He called for ‘‘strong pressure on that regime to participate in the conference without any preconditions.’’

Israeli diplomat Isi Yanouka said his country has continuously pointed to the danger of nuclear proliferation in the Mideast, singling out Iran and Syria by name.

‘‘All these cases challenge Israel’s security and cast a dark shadow at the prospect of embarking on a meaningful regional security process,’’ he said.

‘‘The fact that the sponsors include in this anti-Israeli resolution language referring to the 2012 conference proves above all the ill-intent of the Arab states with regard to this conference,’’ Yanouka said.

Syrian diplomat Abdullah Hallak told the assembly his government was angry that the conference wasn’t going to take place because of ‘‘the whim of just one party, a party with nuclear warheads.’’

‘‘We call on the international community to put pressure on Israel to accept the NPT, get rid of its arsenal and delivery systems, in order to allow for peace and stability in our region,’’ he said.

The conference’s main sponsors are the U.S., Russia and Britain. British Foreign Office Minister Alistair Burt has said it is being postponed, not cancelled.

While the United States voted against the resolution, it voted in favor of two paragraphs in it that were put to separate votes. Both support universal adherence to the NPT, and call on those countries that aren’t parties to ratify it ‘‘at the earliest date.’’ The only ‘‘no’’ votes on those paragraphs were Israel and India.

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Oct 292012

Iran Review
Afsaneh Ahadi
Expert on Strategic and US Affairs

Iran’s nuclear issue has been a focus of attention for both the Republican and Democrat candidates during 2012 election hustings. In fact, Iran was among issues to which both rival candidates have paid special attention since the beginning of election campaigns. As election campaigns close to their end, the two rivals are paying even higher attention to Iran and how to deal with it. The focus on Iran has been so intense that other foreign policy issues have been discussed by presidential hopefuls in the light of Iran issue and the candidates use it to barrage each other’s positions. The Republican candidate, Mitt Romney, and his Democrat rival who is also the incumbent US president, Barack Obama, have been trying throughout their election debates and also in their other public addresses to depict Iran as a major threat to national security of the United States.

Although a similar trend has been rife in previous US presidential elections, during the current campaigns, both candidates are trying to draw more public attention to Iran issue, by putting too much emphasis on and giving urgency to Iran issue. In fact, the only way to get the American voters believe that there is an issue in the country’s foreign policy which is more pressing than economic issues is to aggrandize the threat posed by that issue to the United States national security. This is being done while the American people’s concern about gravity of their country’s economic situation is growing and various opinion polls have shown that economic programs offered by both candidates have been treated coldly by the American people. A comparison between the impressions made on the American people by either candidate’s economic program clearly proves that none of them have been considered attractive by the general public. In a recent poll conducted by the Gallup Institute, 48 percent voted for Obama while 47 percent took sides with Romney’s economic program.

At any rate, the main issue which is of utmost urgency to both rival candidates is to attract the so-called ‘swing’ votes which are cast by people in a number of states whose final vote cannot be forecasted up to the eleventh hour. Traditionally, a certain part of the US population votes for Democrat candidates, while another part supports the Republicans and their candidates. However, there is also a part of the population with no special allegiance for either party in some US states, which are known as ‘swing states.’ Such undetermined votes account for about 23 percent of all votes during this year’s presidential polls, which is quite considerable. As a result, both candidates are doing their best to win the votes of this part of the population.

Therefore, stressing on the critical nature of an issue and reiterating the necessity of taking a serious stance on it will be a good ploy in order to put a cap on the weak performance of a candidate in other fields. Iran is now in the center of the crisis theme chosen for this year’s presidential elections in the United States. This is quite similar to what happened during the US presidential polls in 1980. At that time, due to hostage taking crisis related to the American diplomats in Tehran, the American people paid special attention to political stances of both candidates.

Although the Americans saw Iran threat more tangible then, the ongoing negative propaganda against the Islamic Republic has once more brought the alleged Iran threat to the fore. As a result, the republican candidate is accusing Obama of having adopted futile and ineffective policies in order to stop Iran’s nuclear activities and is calling for a more serious treatment of Iran which may even include a military option. Polls conducted so far show that despite too much emphasis, which has been put on the serious nature of Iran’s nuclear energy program, the American people are not in favor of a military option against Iran and the beginning of a new war. This is truer taking into account that the American people are currently grappling with a major economic crisis and they believe that the main cause of the crisis is their country’s engagement in two major wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Therefore, the Republican candidate is trying to show that sanctions have not been of enough effect against Iran and have failed to produce a major impact on the Islamic Republic. Therefore, he has called for further escalation of sanctions against Iran. Romney has already questioned Obama’s position of considering the capability to build nuclear weapons as the red line for Iran’s nuclear energy program, and believes that any form of nuclear capability in Iran will pose a serious threat to security of both Israel and the United States.

Many experts believe that any sudden development in relation to Iran’s nuclear issue can have a great impact on the situation of the US presidential candidates and even a development with an ephemeral effect can be consequential. Perhaps this is why a few days before the last election debate between Obama and Romney, the New York Times daily reported that the United States and Iran have reached an agreement to launch direct talks and the negotiations are to be started following the US presidential election. Although the report was rejected by both the Iranian and American officials, in short term, it can leave its mark on the US presidential contest in favor of Obama and can improve his standing compared to his Republican rival. The Republican candidate, on the other side, has noted that any kind of negotiations with Iran will be ineffective and has slammed Obama for showing unacceptable weakness in the face of Iran. Critics believe that despite international sanctions against the Islamic Republic, Iran’s nuclear program in ceaselessly progressing. On the other hand, experience has shown that even in the case of direct talks between the two sides, they are very probable not to achieve any clear-cut result just in the same way that direct talks between the United States and North Korea over the latter country’s nuclear program failed to produce a tangible result.

Therefore, despite all efforts made by both Democrats and Republicans to highlight a foreign policy issue, polls show that most voters do not agree with either candidate in believing that the United States is facing an urgent foreign threat. One of such polls conducted by the Pew Research Center showed that only 7 percent of the American people actually believe that the United States is facing a serious threat in the field of foreign policy. This stands in stark contrast to a previous poll, which was conducted in 2008, and which showed that 25 percent of people felt such a threat and was also very different from a 2004 poll which put that figure at 41 percent. Perhaps, worsening situation of the United States beyond its borders and growing unemployment inside the country are major reasons, which have taken the attention of the American people further away from foreign policy issues. Moreover, another poll conducted by the same institute quite recently, ranked issues which were considered important by the American people. The results clearly showed that out of 18 important issues, which are of essence in this year’s presidential election, the Iran issue ranked 12. In fact, 86 percent of respondents believed that economic issues were the most important concern. There was another noteworthy point on the same poll. Asked which candidate would be able to manage Iran’s nuclear issue in a better way, 40 percent named Obama while 54 percent preferred Romney. This shows that the stern and categorical position taken by Romney on Iran’s nuclear issue has appealed more to the American people, which is most probably a result of intense negative propaganda against the Islamic Republic.

Another important issue about the focus on Iran issue during the US election campaigns is the way Iran may influence the results of the election. In the past and during election contest between the former US president, Jimmy Carter, and his Republican rival, Ronald Reagan, the issue of Iran was of import to the American voters due to continuation of hostage taking crisis in Iran. If the American hostages had been released before the election, it would have been a major point for Carter administration and could have even led to his victory. However, release of the hostages after the election, was construed by some analysts as a sign of Iran’s willingness to see Carter lose the election. During this year’s election, as well, any position or action taken by Iran can have a major influence on the US presidential election. In fact, adoption of a calculated policy or taking an appropriate measure during this election will have a relative impact on its result. This is especially true because positions taken on Iran by the Republican candidate are much sharper than his Democrat contestant, and he is very probable to adopt tough anti-Iranian policies if he wins the election. However, silence has been the most notable reaction shown by Iranian authorities to developments in US presidential election and even to positions taken on Iran by either presidential candidate. On the other hand, under current political conditions there is no obstacle to taking anti-Iranian positions by presidential candidates. Other countries have influential lobbies or interest groups there, which can react to challenges posed to their countries, and this can make taking any position against their countries quite costly. On the contrary, efforts made in the United States to aggrandize Iran’s nuclear energy program have not received a categorical answer. This hurtful silence has let both candidates loose in order to launch unbridled attacks against Iran and easily talk about further escalation of sanctions and even the possibility of a military attack against the Islamic Republic.

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Oct 182012

Iran Review

Gareth Porter

Although the place and time of the next round of talks on Iran’s nuclear programme have not yet been announced, the manoeuvring by Iran and the United States to influence the outcome has already begun.
Iran sought support for a revised proposal to the talks during the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) last month, according to a New York Times report Oct. 4. Then, only a few days later, the Barack Obama administration launched a preemptive attack on the proposal through New York Times reporter David Sanger.

The officials suggested the Iranian proposal would give Iran an easier route to a “breakout” to weapons grade uranium enrichment. But that claim flies in the face of some obvious realities.

An Oct. 4 story by Sanger reported that Iran had begun describing a “9-step plan” to diplomats at the UNGA and quoted administration officials as charging that the proposal would not “guarantee that Iran cannot produce a weapon”. Instead, the officials argued, it would allow Iran to keep the option of resuming 20-percent enriched uranium, thus being able to enrich to weapons grade levels much more quickly.

Iran’s nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili issued a denial that Iran had “delivered any new proposal other than what had been put forward in talks with the P5+1″. But that statement did not constitute a denial that Iran was discussing such a proposal, because the Times story had said the proposal had been initially made to European officials during the P5+1 meeting in Istanbul in July.

Obama administration officials complained that, under the Iranian plan, Iran would carry out a “suspension” of 20-percent enrichment only after oil sanctions have been lifted and oil revenues are flowing again.

That description of the proposal is consistent with an Iranian “five-step plan”, presented during the talks with P5+1, the text of which was published by Arms Control Today last summer. In that proposal, the P5+1 would have ended all sanctions against Iran in steps one and two, but Iran would have ended its 20-percent enrichment only in the fifth step.

In that same final step, however, Iran also would have closed down the Fordow enrichment plant and transferred its entire stockpile of 20-percent enriched uranium to “a third country under IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) custody”.
Iran has made clear that it intends to use the 20-percent enrichment as bargaining leverage to achieve an end to the most damaging economic sanctions.

Ambassador Seyed Hossein Mousavian, the spokesperson for Iran’s nuclear negotiating team from 2003 to 2005 and now a visiting scholar at Princeton University, told IPS, “Iran is prepared to stop 20-percent enrichment and go below five percent. The question is what will the P5+1 provide in return. As long as the end state of a comprehensive agreement is not clear for Iran, it will not consider halting enrichment at 20 percent.”

But the administration’s portrayal of the Iranian proposal as offering a sanctions-free path to continued 20-percent enrichment is highly misleading, according to close observers of the Iran nuclear issue. It also ignores elements of the proposal that would minimise the risk of a “breakout” to enrichment of uranium to weapons grade levels.

The Obama administration criticism of the proposal, as reported by Sanger, was couched in such a way as to justify the U.S. refusal to discuss lifting the sanctions on Iranian oil exports during the four rounds of talks with Iran. A senior administration official was quoted as saying that Iran “could restart the program in a nanosecond,” whereas “it would take years” to re-impose the sanctions.

Paul Pillar, national intelligence officer for Near East and South Asia from 2000 to 2005, noted in a commentary in The National Interest that it is “far easier to impose sanctions on Iran than to lift them” and that if Iran reneged on a nuclear agreement, “it would be easier still.”

Peter Jenkins, British permanent representative to the IAEA from 2001 to 2006, noted in an e-mail to IPS that it took the EU only two months to agree to impose oil sanctions, and that “political resistance among the 27 (EU member states) to imposing oil sanctions would probably be less if re-imposition were required by an Iranian breach of a deal with the P5+1.”
Jenkins pointed out that EU oil purchases from Iran now have experience in getting supplies from other countries which could make re-imposing sanctions even easier.

One U.S. official was quoted by Sanger as complaining that the Iranian proposal would allow Iran to “move the fuel around, and it stays in the country”. That description appeared to hint that the purpose is to give Tehran the option of a breakout to weapons grade enrichment.

But the biggest difference between the proposal now being discussed by Iranian diplomats and the one offered last summer is that the new proposal reflects the reality that Iran began last spring to convert 20-percent enriched uranium into U308 in powdered form for fuel plates for its Tehran Research Reactor.
The conversion of 20 percent enriched uranium to U308, which was documented but not highlighted in the Aug. 30 IAEA report, makes it more difficult to use that same uranium for enrichment to weapons grade levels.

The new Iranian proposal evidently envisions U308 uranium remaining in the country for use by the Tehran Research Reactor rather than the entire stockpile of 20-percent enriched uranium being shipped to another country as in its previous proposal.

Former State Department official Mark Fitzpatrick of the International Institute of Strategic Studies, who has argued in the past that the only purpose Iran could have in enriching to 20 percent is a nuclear weapon, told the Times that the conversion “tends to confirm that there is civilian purpose in enriching to this level”.

But Fitzpatrick told the Times that the Iranians know how to reconvert the U308 powder back to a gaseous form that can then be used for weapons grade enrichment. “It would not take long to set it up,” Fitzpatrick said.

In an interview with IPS, Dr. Harold A. Feiveson, a senior research scientist at Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson’s school and a specialist on nuclear weapons, said “it would not be super hard” to carry out such a reconversion.

But Feiveson admitted that he is not aware of anyone ever having done it. The reconversion to 20 percent enrichment “would be pretty visible” and “would take some time,” said Feiveson. “You would have to kick the (IAEA) inspectors out.”

Even Israeli policymakers have acknowledged that Iran’s diversion of 20-percent enriched uranium represents a step away from a breakout capability, as Haaretz reported Oct. 9.

Defence ministry sources told the Israeli daily that the Iran’s reduction of its stockpile of medium-enriched uranium had added “eight months at least” to what the Israeli government has cited as its “deadline” on Iran. The same sources said it was the justification for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s dropping the threat of attack on Iran in his U.N. speech.

The deep reduction in Iranian oil revenues from sanctions and the recent plunge in the value of Iran’s currency may well have made Iran more interested in compromise than when the talks with the P5+1 started in April.

Mousavian told IPS, “I am convinced that Iran is ready for a package deal based on recognition of two principles.” The first principle, he said, is that “Iran recognises the P5+1 concerns and will remove all such concerns”; the second is that the P5+1 “recognises the rights of Iran and gradually lifts sanctions”.
But Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has expressed serious doubts about whether the Obama administration is willing to end the sanctions on Iran under any circumstances. In an Oct. 10 speech, Khamenei said the Americans “lie” in suggesting sanctions would be lifted in return for Iran giving up its nuclear program.

U.S. officials “make decisions out of grudge and aversion (toward Iran)”, Khamenei said.
*Gareth Porter, an investigative historian and journalist specialising in U.S. national security policy, received the UK-based Gellhorn Prize for journalism for 2011 for articles on the U.S. war in Afghanistan.

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Sep 302012

From the Whatreallyhappened.com website, written by Mike Rivero: “VIRTUAL 9-11: Will Israel Hack The US Banking System Computers and Falsely Blame It On Iran?” http://whatreallyhappened.com/WRHARTICLES/virtual9-11.php

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Sep 292012

Justin Raimondo

It’s no wonder the  initially held back from releasing a transcript of Prime Minister ‘s speech to the : Bibi’s wackiness doesn’t bear close scrutiny. Perhaps “wacky” isn’t quite the right word for his 40-minute peroration, during which he pulled out a bomb “diagram” and a red marker to illustrate where he would draw a “red line” defining the outer limits of ‘s nuclear program. Cartoonish is more like it. The cartoonish quality of the bomb drawing underscored the content and tone of the speech, which was the jeremiad of a radical ideologue rather than anything one would expect from a statesman:
“Today a great battle is being waged between the modern and the medieval.  stands proudly with the forces of modernity. We protect the right of all our citizens, men and women,  and Arabs, Muslims and Christians, all are equal before the law.”
Israel, which privileges its priestly caste, has a state religion, and bases its national mythology on a “promise” from G-d, is as medieval as any of its neighbors. Aside from being a lie, however, this statement is interesting because it evokes the very same supremacist spirit that animates the controversial pro-Israel public relations campaign launched by the  state’s extremist American supporters. Posters in the public transport system, from New York to San Francisco, proclaim:
“In any war between the civilized man and the savage, support the civilized man. Support Israel. Defeat jihad.”
No wonder the Israeli consulates in New York and San Francisco won’t disavow those vile subway posters:  is the new public face of Israel.
Yes, Israel protects the rights of all citizens – unless they’re Palestinians who happen to own property coveted by the “settlers,” in which case it doesn’t. And the key word here is citizens: of course, the Palestinians in the occupied territories are not citizens, but helots, with no rights, and no protection from fanatical Jewish fundamentalists who have launched hundreds of attacks on their homes, and sought to displace them at every opportunity, with the active complicity of the Israeli government.
This idea that Israel represents “modernity” is rich, considering that every day Israeli society is sinking lower into the morass of religious and cultural fundamentalism, a regression that has not gone unnoticed in the West. Bibi opened his speech with biblical references, describing Jersusalem as the “eternal capital” of Israel and declaring that “the Jewish state will live forever.” Yet as we secularists know, nothing lives “forever,” and the idea of a city being the “eternal” capital of anything is a metaphor, at best, at worst a dangerous delusion. If this is the “modern” then one wonders how much it differs from the “medieval.” But let’s not linger too long over the obvious. Bibi rants on:
“Militant Islam has many branches, from the rulers of Iran with their revolutionary guards to al-Qaeda… but they’re all rooted in the same soil. It’s not whether this  will be defeated, but how many lives will be lost before it’s defeated. Nothing could emperil my country more than arming Iran with nuclear weapons. To imagine what the world would be like with a nuclear Iran, imagine what the world would be like with a nuclear al-Qaeda. There’s no difference.”
The Israeli Prime Minister may have been addressing the UN , but he was really talking to the Americans, whose fear and loathing of the perpetrators of the 9/11 attacks can always be counted on to raise them to new levels of hysteria. Outside that context, however, equating the Iranians with Al Qaeda makes about as much sense as likening the late unlamented  to – and, hey wait, didn’t we hear that equation made endlessly in the run-up to the invasion of Iraq? Yet this was not a time for subtlety from the Israeli Prime Minister – the cartoon “bomb” ended all hope of that – but for the crudest sort of propaganda, which is, of course, war propaganda.
Imagine if Palestinian leader , who addressed the UN that day minutes before Netanyahu took the stage, had said: “Militant  has many branches, from the Washington officesof  to the center of Jewish power in Tel Aviv – but they’re all rooted in the same soil” of intolerance? Picture him conjuring images of violent Jewish “fanaticism” – not a hard task, given what is happening in Israel today. If he had done so, Abbas would have been denounced in every Western capital as the 21st century incarnation of Hitler.

Netanyahu went on to cite the nonexistent “record of Iranian aggression without nuclear weapons” – an odd claim, since Iran hasn’t attacked a single one of its neighbors since the Battle of Thermopylae. The country did fight one war in modern times, when it was attacked by Iraq, which was being backed by the United States. However, it’s necessary to remember that war propaganda has no need of facts: only emotionally-charged evocations of rage – and fear:
“Given this record of Iranian aggression without nuclear weapons, just imagine an Iran with nuclear weapons. Who among you would feel safe in the ? Who’d be safe in Europe? Who’d be safe in ? Who’d be safe anywhere?”
That this alleged champion of “modernity” should base his case on fearmongering should come as no surprise: hasn’t fear been the leitmotif of all the “modern” ideologies of aggressive nationalism? Fear of the Other, of the barbarian at the gates – the “savage” who, at the first opportunity, will tear your throat out with his bare teeth – is what keeps ideologues like Netanyahu and his American co-thinkers in business.

Those Eye-ranians, says Bibi, aren’t like the rest of us, which is why deterrence won’t work. “Iran’s apocalyptic leaders” are awaiting the return of the Mahdi, a holy man, whose reappearance is supposed to occur after a devastating war:

“Militant jihadists are not secular Marxists. Militant jihadists behave very differently. There were no Soviet .”

Correct me if I’m wrong, but aren’t the Israelis also awaiting the return of Someone Special, a Messiah who will lead them out of the wilderness and establish the Kingdom of Jerusalem as His earthly domain? Militant jihadists may not be secular Marxists – but then again, militant Zionists aren’t, either. I would no more trust nuclear bombs in Bibi’s hands than I would in Ahmahdinejad’s – the difference being that the former is actually in possession of such weapons.

Which brings us to the absurdity of this lecture by the leader of the only nuclear-armed country in the region: here is a nation which refuses to even admit it acquired  long ago, and which disdains the Nonproliferation Treaty, making the case for war against a neighbor that has indeed signed the NPT and is abiding by its requirements.

That treaty gives  the right to develop nuclear power. Furthermore, there is zero evidence Iran is embarked on a nuclear weapons program: our own intelligence community tells us they gave that up in 2003 and show no signs of resuming it. Their own religious and political leaders have denounced the possession of nuclear weapons as sinful: the Israelis, on the other hand, haven’t bothered reassuring us they would never use the  they won’t admit they have.
In a rational world, Israel would be in the dock, answering for its unwillingness to come out of the nuclear closet and admit what the whole world knows by now. Indeed, Bibi could give us some insight into exactly how Israel
stole acquired the materials to build its formidable nuclear arsenal – since, according to recently declassified documents, he was directly involved.
In the world in which we are living, however, in which the innocent are put on trial and the guilty sit in judgement, the situation is quite different. In that world, the leader of a tiny nation entirely dependent on US largesse takes to the UN podium to issue his marching orders to Washington. Here is my “red line,” says Bibi – daring not only the Iranians but also the Americans to cross it.
Think of Netanyahu’s UN oration as just another Romney campaign speech, in which the GOP presidential candidate says Tehran must not be allowed to get “one turn of the screwdriver away” from joining the nuclear club. According to Netanyahu, Iran is nearly at that point today, and will have a nuclear weapon in less than a year if the US fails to act.
This is technical nonsense, but then again the truth has nothing to do with war propaganda: to the average American, the mere possession of weapons-grade uranium means all the Iranians have to do is plug it in and hurl it, slingshot style, in the general direction of Israel. This is an impression Israeli propagandists would dearly love to inculcate in the American public, and they have the great advantage of relying on general ignorance of the technical details. Good luck explaining to Mr. Average American why it would take a good four years [PDF] after they’ve weaponized their nuclear material for the Iranians to create a useable nuke.
The ticking-bomb theme, which has been used to justify everything from torture to the invasion of Iraq, permeates Israeli propaganda in the US and was a cental theme of Bibi’s speech. His message was clear: “the hour is getting late.” We must act without giving too much thought to the possible consequences. Don’t delay, don’t think, act now – before the fraud is exposed, and we discover that – as in the case of the Iraqis – those “weapons of mass destruction” were just a figment of our easily manipulated collective imagination.
Justin Raimondo is the editorial director of Antiwar.com, and a senior fellow at the . He is a contributing editor at The American Conservative, and writes a monthly column for Chronicles. He is the author ofReclaiming the American Right: The Lost Legacy of the Conservative Movement [Center for Libertarian Studies, 1993; Intercollegiate Studies Institute, 2000], and An Enemy of the State: The Life of  [Prometheus Books, 2000].

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