Leveretts, doosti e khaleh kherseh


Ari Siletz
by Ari Siletz

The greatest potential conflict of interest between the US and the IRI is over the control of Middle East oil. Flynt and Hillary Leveretts' recent research has shown that this conflict is a reality not just a potential. Furthermore, the Leveretts have argued that the IRI is the only viable Iranian regime, the Green movement being inconsequential. A simple 2 plus 2 argument adds up to a US war with Iran. 

War is about control of Middle East oil:

A quote in a recent Atlantic Magazine article explains Iran’s threat to US oil interests:

“…if America allowed Iran to cross the nuclear threshold, the small Arab countries of the Gulf would have no choice but to leave the American orbit and ally themselves with Iran, out of self-protection. “There are many countries in the region who, if they lack the assurance the U.S. is willing to confront Iran, they will start running for cover towards Iran,”...”

This hawkish statement sets up a scary threat. But is it a likely threat? Don’t worry, some could say, the Arabs would never line up behind Iran. This is where the Leveretts swoop in to spike the setup. Their research claims that the Arabs would do exactly that. They give poll data to back up the following statement:

In six Arab countries where the ruling authorities have devoted a lot of effort in recent years telling their people that the Islamic Republic aspires to regional hegemony, is seeking nuclear weapons, and that this would be a bad outcome for Arab interests -- local Arab populations are not buying the argument.

In other words, if Iran goes nuclear the US supported ruling Arab elite would fall and the new Arab regimes would be Iran influenced. A nuclear Iran really does mean that the US no longer controls the Middle East. To spell out what this means to the US: dominance over the world’s energy supply is at the heart of the American financial and military empire. Lose this control, lose the empire. This is an existential threat paralleling the one claimed by Israel.

Where the Green movement comes in:

To have a chance at rescuing Iran from this war, Iranians need to show that the Leveretts are wrong about the Green movement being unimportant. We need to show that there is an alternative to the IRI. And very importantly we have to show that Green governments will not rely on international conflict for survival the way the IRI does. In particular, the movement needs a well thought out, peaceful, and clearly articulated Israel-Palestine policy, and it needs to let the whole world know it. The Green movement was at first about votes, then about civil rights, now it is about our country’s survival.


Recently by Ari SiletzCommentsDate
چرا مصدق آسوده نمی خوابد.
Aug 17, 2012
This blog makes me a plagarist
Aug 16, 2012
Double standards outside the boxing ring
Aug 12, 2012
more from Ari Siletz


by benross on

He doesn't buy it because he has already chosen his flag, and it's not the Iranian flag. That's what I mean by clarity.

marhoum Kharmagas

repackaging U.S/AIPAC view!?

by marhoum Kharmagas on

Ari, you have done a good job of repackaging AIPAC/U.S view, and you are a cool salesman, but I don't buy it, cover it with as many green wrappers as you want!


To keep it green, to keep it alive

by benross on

A good friend of mine's perception of 'Green' was a movement in which you join the street protest with your family, holding your baby in your arms.

This is so beautiful, and for a fraction of our history that lasted a blink of an eye, it seemed real. Nevermind that even during that blink, the content of discontent could only be expressed in forms such as 'allah-o-akbar' or 'yaa hossein' etc.

But the imagery of joining a street protest holding your baby, is the imagery of a FREE Iran that eludes all of us. Because it's the destination, not the great green illusion.

To get there, the protest songs never left us to make a comeback. They just don't mix the destination with the process. That's unsettling!

Choose your flag first to tell us which country you are talking about. That is a good start.

Ari Siletz

Many thanks Pialechi

by Ari Siletz on

I wish protest songs would make a comeback. This passage would become a hit:

All hope isn’t lost,
Not for life.
As many souls
Amidst the strife
Haven’t lost the drive
To keep it green
To keep it alive.



by Piyalechi on

The moment of reckoning
Is drawing nigh.
Prepare, we must,
To tell the truth, not a lie.

Ari jaan,


I must say that I
Haven’t read a bit from you
That didn’t please,
Didn’t justify…

I see very clearly what you are saying.
There is time, but no delaying.

All hope isn’t lost,
Not for life.
As many souls
Amidst the strife
Haven’t lost the drive
To keep it green
To keep it alive.

Says the man with the Gun,
A year is left before,
The Devil can be sure
That he’s got the Gat.
He ain’t nobody’s cat!
To be the John , then,
A whore, no more…

That’s a long time, a year
When thing are happening so fast
There won’t be a blast
The shadow of evil
Will not be cast
O’er the land of the Green
Life will rule therein
Carrying on at last…



Khamenei we're all going to die anyway so foget it all?

by Anonymouse on

Everything is sacred


All Worries have no basis- I expected more sense from Ari

by i_support_khamenie on

Ari (aka Penn Teller)   and others,

 WHy are you guys so worried about things.  Everyone will die someday and somewhere and somehow.

What makes you think that when you were concieved, your life and soul moments before your conception were not removed from another body?

Do you even remember that other body?  Do you even feel sad for the relatives that body left behind?  Do you feel the loss of those relatives when your soul left your previous body?

Heck No.  Same way when you die, it's bye bye amigos- no memory, no feeling.


Ari Siletz


by Ari Siletz on

What you list are the realities that prevent an ME solution. However floating the idea seriously by Iran is a way to reduce the war pressure. With the threat of war, the Greens have an opportunity to differentiate themselves from the Khamenei faction. With war looming the Greens trying to redefine Islam in democratic terms doesn't seem that big a deal. Big national shrug to that when bombs are falling.


Aynak, Iran can be a key if it chooses to. It has enough resources to handle the job. At the very least, as you say, it can stop being part of the problem. As for Israel or others, they can take the job or not. It seems they have not. 


With all due respect to Ari and Aynak,

by Bavafa on

But it seem both have forgotten about one minor issue, that is America's long term interest and influence in ME.

Aynak's plan has been on the table for a number of years now from the Arab league, that is full recognition of Israel with lots of golab be rooton in exchange for those Ayak listed, yet no buyers on Israeli side.

And Ari jaan has forgotten that US will do what it can just to prevent " Death to America" does not becomes "Who's America?" in the Middle East.

What we all wish and hope for a democratic, free, peacefull and prospress societies in ME would be very counter and dangerous to US interest, not only in ME but also globally and they do what it takes to prevent such.



If War ever happened, the Greatest thing that could happen

by i_support_khamenie on


If and that 's a big IF, war broke out between US and Iran, the greatest thing that will happen is:

 IRAN will be featured on COOOOOL War Video Games......Yeay

I just hope they make them for Playstation too and not just the Xbox.

In the Game, it will show US Generals planning war strategies and war games , meanwhile Iranian Generals are digging holes to "Scare" -woooo- the enemy, the same way Iraqi soldiers scared Americans when they bit off the head of a cat.


Only politcal juveniles think there will be war

by i_support_khamenie on

Y'all are too naive and inexperienced to know there will be no war with Iran.




by vildemose on

MUST READ article:


However, the article,  

The article fails to point out that this horrific scenario involving
thousands of casualties, many American, is exactly what is
desired by the neo-conservatives, who will then argue, probably successfully
that there is “no alternative” to all out war with Iran.




no alternative seen in 31 years

by seannewyork on

the problem we have that is caused by us (iranians)and the regime is a lack of alternative.

the reformists have failed as the iranian population know they are a part of the regime, exiles have failed becuase the fight each other and have shown now platform, and internal opposition has been crushed and executed.  The regime is good at causing arguements between all of us, assasinating any potential opposition.

if we had something to show as an alternative we would not have a war on our steps.

No Fear

Many good comments

by No Fear on

In my opinion, the government ( whether reform or not ) in Iran has No bearing to US long and short term policy in the middle east. Infact, the threat of war was at its highest probability during the reformist Khatami era. ( Both Israel and US threatened to hit bosheher power plant during Khatami era ). And this is when Iran had one of the most friendliest government who was willing to make huge compromises on our nuclear rights.

Ahmadinejad is right when he says it is US that has never tried to work out a deal and has always tried to dictate their will over Iran. The united state wants a complete halt to enrichment and they have always insisted on this.

The only way i see this happening is with a new reformist government in three years time. Reformists will have no problem halting our nuclear program so their leaders can be received warmly for dinner parties in European capitals. Maybe then the Iranian diasporans can feel better about themselves that a civilized government is representing Iran and there is no more bad publicity.

Since the US has never showed any indications that it will accept Iran's enrichment rights, the question you should ask yourselves is whether you want your government to compromise and accept US non compromising terms ( complete surrender ), or would you rather see a hardline approach which stands up to US hegemony in the region?

I don't see a third option.




The idea is good, but

by aynak on


I think you are falling for the notion that Iran is the key to the solution, where as i believe the current regime is just using a bad situation for its political gains, but is not the cause of it.    What for instance prevented this from coming true during Shah time, when Iran had friendly relationship with Israel?

Here's my plan:

1-A just and peaceful settlement to the Palestinian-Israeli issue, as well as Arab Israeli issue (to make all happy) which includes reverting back to 67 borders, East Jeruslem return to  Palestinian (I think carter has enumerated what was agreed upon in his book).   Gaza and West Bank should be a connected entity, water rights etc.

2-Full recgonition of Israel

3-The region starts a trade zone, to compete with Euro.   With the know how and resources between Iran, Turkey and Israel and Iraq, the region can turn to a heaven. Imagine fast trains connecting the many regions from Tajikestan to Turkey and from Afghanestan to Lebanon.  All passing through Iran :)

4-There will be a single regional army that would spend its time building roads and improving water access :)

5-Have a single currency in this zone.

6-Create a economic plan, based on sustainablity and protection of environment instead of cancerous growth.

7-Environment cleanup of Persian Golf and Sea of Oman and region


You may say I am a dreamer, but I hope I am not the only one, I hope one day the whole region will join us ........


Niloufar Parsi


by Niloufar Parsi on

you have tackled a very big subject in a small piece. it is difficult to see exactly where you are coming from on a number of the issues. however, and with a risk that i might have misunderstood you, pls note the following:

first, a nuclear iran will have no such effect on the arab (or other) neighbours. a nuclear soviet union did not draw europe or the greatest part of the middle east to itself despite the proximity. western europe and many arab countries remained under american influence and military protection. likewise, a nuclear india has not drawn any country under its wings, nor has pakistan or israel for that matter. so why would iran have such an effect on her neighbours?

the point about iran 'crossing the nuclear threshold' is just scaremongering. it is not credible analysis. several countries have and more will cross the threshold, but none will be a real threat to america or israel. the weapons are only defensively useful - as deterrents.

the conflict with iran is not about nuclear weapons at all. it is about oil and the balance of power, and more about iraq, lebanon and afghanistan than such weapons. and iran has shown no interest in taking control of our neighbours' resources. instead iran has been engaged in undermining us and israeli influence to change the balance in her own favour.

second, the point the leverettes make is not so much that war is coming or inevitable (i can't see the logic of your first paragraph), but that the us should recognise iran's current government as the only viable iranian partner to enter into negotiations with. not the greens. and that the current impasse or a future war with iran would be against us interests. therefore, usa should recognise ahmadinejad's victory in the elections, and enter into negotiations with iran instead of the sanctions-war option. this, they hold, would protect us interests better.

and i would agree with them fully.


Ari Siletz


by Ari Siletz on

How about this sci-fi idea for a Green Israeli policy:

Iran, with its huge resources, recognizes Israel and establishes full economic relations with her, but only through Palestinian import-export companies. Furthermore Iran takes leadership in convincing the Arabs to do the same thing, arguing the following merits:

1. Palestinians are no longer day laborers living off of international aid and the crumbs of Israel's economy, but are in a position of economic respect relative to Israelis (an easy sell to the average Iranian Muslim who really is intersted in helping his/her Umma brethren/sisteren).

2. Creates economic interdependence between Israel and Palestine through trade--always a powerful incentive to work hard to keep the peace. Now the Palestinians can negotiate their own issues with Israel instead of always needing brokers. 

3. Obsoletes Israel's beligerent and aggresive right wing because now there's a huge amount of money to be made off the Palestinians, and also the edge is taken off the "existential threat" argument. 

4. Iranian and Arab economies benefit from Israel's state of the art technologies.

5. Israel can start acting like a Middle Eastern country with the region's interests at heart. The US is less relevant to the newly structured Israeli interests." Death to America" becomes "Who's America?" in the Middle East.


6. Iran's economy makes money instead of lose money helping the Palestinians.


One could go on.

So here are some questions:

1. specifically what realities keep Iran from floating this proposal to her population? 

2. Whatever these realities are, are they more powerful than the need to avoid another devastating war? As in, couldn't Khomeini have drunk his jaam e zahr a few thousand deaths earlier?


Why should the Greens be thinking about this? Because once a war starts the issues of democracy, freedom of the press etc. that differentiate the Greens as an alternaive will temporarily become moot and they really won't have anything to offer in the way of furthering Iran's progress. War makes current Green irrelevant.


Ari, not sure why you put

by aynak on

the responsibiliity of finding a creative solution to Israeli-Palestinian conflict or at least Irans current position on the Green movement?

In my view, Israel as an aggressor country, is always using scapegoats.   Islamic Regime happens to be enemy dejour.

Of course the greens can stop the empty rethorics that Ahamdi Nejad uses, but I hope you realize, a big part of stalemate in advancement of democracy in the region is the state of Isreals policy of land grab, assasination, racism and I can go on.

Some of the rulers are there mostly because they are friendly with Israel.   Look at Egypt, which has had a 30 year old corrupt "president" or King of Jordan.   These leaders have found a fine cushin by bending backward to Israel, and having the backing of U.S.   I specifically named these two, becaause neither is exporter of oil.

The problem with current policy of Islamic Regime, is that they are against Israel not against Israeli policies.     Not saying that issue should undermine Irans interest, just trying to point out, Israel needs to change its policies as well.   

A potential Iran-Israel conflict  will not just destroy Iran, and I hope Israelis will understand U.S is 9000 miles away, but they are not, so they should also reverse their current support for their governments misguided policies.   They have to live in that region, and building bigger walls will not solve te problems.

The other side is, a just solution to this conflict will be the biggest stab at the heart of extrimism, including Islamic Regimes.





dear mehdi

by shushtari on

you said it brother.....


these two imbeciles are definitely on the payroll of the akhoonds.....

leverrett is even trying to have a tah rish!!!


like you said, the brave people of iran are just waiting to the right moment to crush the akhoonds.


if the shah had destroyed khomeini and feyzeeye qom, we would not have had these problems 


Two Buffoons still have no Clue about What Iranian people want

by mehdi2009 on

Ari-e Aziz,

Excellent article as always, and let me tell you from a person who has visited Iran 5 times in the last one and a half year that these 2 Buffoons of a husband and wife have NO CLUE what so ever about the current situation in Iran.

Their position and actions all point to their desire for an all out war with Iran. This is same as Ahmadinejad who is supposedly Anti-Zionist, however any time World Community is ready to Condemn Israel Defense Force (IDF) for their incursions into GAZA Strip, uses one of his IDIOTIC ASSERTIONS about wiping them off the map, and the whole thing will be swept under the rug.


These Two BUFFOONS are playing a Cold War Era game of mis and disinformation played by both West and East at the time. This was perfectly illustrated even before the start of World War II by MI6 Operative and famous Covert Soviet Spy "Kim Philby", who was posing as an ardently Overt NAZI Sympatizer attending many parties in Support of Fascism, and Nazi Germany in Particular. He was doing that CHARADE while at same time covertly providing detail intelligence information about the west intentions to his Soviet Masters.

Now I am not saying that these 2 buffoons are as sophisticated as "Kim Philby", however the premise is very similar: They are Wolves in Sheep Clothing.

Salutations to All the True Sons and Daughters of Iran.


Ari Siletz


by Ari Siletz on

You're comment takes a tangent on the point of this blog. The truth of what Goldberg or Leveretts say as two ostensibly opposed viewpoints is not the issue of discussion. The proposal here is that their combined efforts add up to a US decision to go to war with Iran. 

You say, "There is nothing in their [Leveretts] analysis that suggests a nuclear Iran would pull the small Arab states away from the US orbit." No, the analysis is in Goldberg's article. What the Leveretts have done is give data to support Goldberg's analysis. It is the volleyball set up and spike (or arithmetical 2+2) that is being discussed in this blog.


Ari jaan remember 'advice' that were given to W in 2003 re Iraq?

by Anonymouse on

There were many advices of course but one of the main ones given by these same Arabs that Leverettes are talking about, was that do not under-estimate the chasm between Shiites and Sunnis and that this chasm will explode when Saddam is removed.

Of course they didn't listen and compounded that mistake by many more substantial mistakes, but the one thing that was worse and it is still going on is the Sunni and Shiite's divide, so much so that they can't even form a Govt.

So when I say it is ludicrus to think Arabs would ever go under an Iranian umbrella, this should be a given now.  It's not coming from you and me, it should be coming from policy makers at the very top from Iraq lessons learned.  Lesson 1!

So anyone saying that should be at the bottom list of credible views.   Now if the scare tactic is to say Iran will blow up Arab's oil fields then yes I can see that type of fear mongering.

Everything is sacred


Very Poor Judgment ...

by R2-D2 on

The Leveretts have exhibited very poor judment regarding the dealings of the Western Powers with IRI ...

I have to say that before last year's Fraudulent Presidential Election, I had some respect for Flynt Leverett's views on how to deal with IRI ...

However, after the farce that we call the Presidential Election, and IRI's brutal treatment of our Brothers and Sisters in Iran afterwards, it essentially indicated that this regime is beyond any hope of reform ...

Pure and Simple :) - !




ari and his idol

by i_support_khamenie on

who does ari want be


penn teller

Veiled Prophet of Khorasan

Neocon to core

by Veiled Prophet of Khorasan on


Finally Leverett and Mann show their true colors. I never trusted those two. When they came out with their nonsense a lot of IRI supporters jumped on it. They were quoted and treated as Prophets. Oh they knew what was good for Iran and we did not. 

People like SP trash JJ but praise Leverett and Mann. Now we see that this has always been a prelude to attacking Iran. Very simple:

  1. Make it look appears that Iranians love IRI. Use false "polling" data.
  2. Marginalize any democracy movement.
  3. Set up for war.

Pretty demented and evil. But that is what these two pigs are.

When do we learn to tell the difference of friend and enemy.

Hint: JJ is good; IRI is bad! DK is good SP does not know what he is talking about.

Ari Siletz


by Ari Siletz on

I share your sentiments.

Somehow I imagine you as a poor mom called Iran trying to calm her kid's tantrum saying, "Sweetheart we can't afford the shiny bicycle you want; why don't we just fix your old tricycle for now until better times. O ghorboonesh beram."


Ari- I agree with your assessment of Leveretts

by Onlyiran on

While I do not mind their efforts, if genuine, to counter warmongering propaganda against Iran (and have even posted their response to the Goldberg article in the news section), I do have a serious problem with their undermining of the opposition in Iran.  In effect, they are advocating a totalitarian system by constantly beating the drum of the notion that the opposition in Iran is dead and is irrelevant, which is obviously not the case.

PS- very funny about the "donbak" ad.  I constantly get it as well, and even mentioned it on SP's blog that accuses JJ of being a ....sigh...."Zionist agent" of some sorts. :-)) 

Darius Kadivar

Indeed Ari Jaan

by Darius Kadivar on

That detail did not escape me ;0)

A Daughter Of Kermanshah Nobelized by Darius KADIVAR

Look forward to your take on the subject. I am sure as a read it will be anything but idiotic ... ;0)

Ari Siletz


by Ari Siletz on

There is a darbuka ad in my blog. Would you kindly have it replaced with donbak ad? 

Ari Siletz


by Ari Siletz on

A very famous useful idiot mentioned in your link is Dorris Lessing (born in Iran--this keeps coming up a lot lately) and she has beat me to it in her The Goldent Notebook. But since you ask, I'll keep a lookout for inspiration for a story where the narrator is duped by the party. As a twist, this narrator will be duped not by idealism but by realpolitik. As with any romance, there's an endless supply of dupe worthy seductions in the love of one's country.