Iran News: Condensed and Highlighted 014


Iran News: Condensed and Highlighted 014
by Mohammad Alireza

(The better informed everybody becomes the greater the chance that war can be prevented and propaganda can not distort reality. With a couple of clicks you can do your part by simply forwarding this to others.)

Iranian dissidents don’t want war

By Ramin Jahanbegloo and R.N. Khatami


There is one more risk that hasn’t received the attention it deserves: that’s the serious risk of the undermining of the democracy movement in Iran. Any attack on Iran would feed the Islamic Republic’s propaganda machine and tilt the Iranian public’s opinion in its favor. Already, the drumbeats of war are beginning to silence the voices of human rights activists and civil society actors in Iran.

They have suffered long to bring about democratic change through nonviolent means. It would be an absolute tragedy to undo their hard work for reforms with a single senseless action.

Iran and the IAEA



The first detailed account of negotiations between the International Atomic Energy Agency and Iran last month belies earlier statements by unnamed Western officials portraying Iran as refusing to cooperate with the IAEA in allaying concerns about alleged nuclear weaponisation work.

The detailed account given by Iran’s permanent representative to the IAEA, Ali Asghar Soltanieh, shows that the talks in February came close to a final agreement, but were hung up primarily over the IAEA insistence on being able to reopen issues even after Iran had answered questions about them to the organisation’s satisfaction.

From My Lai to Kandahar



(This is an article that Iranian-Americans must read so to understand how things will be after a war starts between America and Iran.)

(After reading this article it got me wondering about America and it's culture of violence. There are within society psychopaths and sociopaths but what would you call a nation if it had the same affliction? Read the article and you will understand my question.)

(On the same topic make sure to check out Nima Shiraz's: )

American Morlocks: Another Civilian Massacre and Savagery of our Soldiers


(And related but in larger context make sure to check out John Pilger's:

The World War on Democracy


American historian William Blum published his "updated summary of the record of US foreign policy". Since the Second World War, the US has:

- Attempted to overthrow more than 50 governments, most of them democratically-elected.

- Attempted to suppress a populist or national movement in 20 countries.

- Grossly interfered in democratic elections in at least 30 countries.

- Dropped bombs on the people of more than 30 countries.

- Attempted to assassinate more than 50 foreign leaders.

In total, the United States has carried out one or more of these actions in 69 countries. In almost all cases, Britain has been a collaborator. The "enemy" changes in name - from communism to Islamism -- but mostly it is the rise of democracy independent of western power or a society occupying strategically useful territory, deemed expendable.

The sheer scale of suffering, let alone criminality, is little known in the west, despite the presence of the world's most advanced communications, nominally freest journalism and most admired academy. That the most numerous victims of terrorism - western terrorism - are Muslims is unsayable, if it is known. That half a million Iraqi infants died in the 1990s as a result of the embargo imposed by Britain and America is of no interest. That extreme jihadism, which led to 9/11, was nurtured as a weapon of western policy ("Operation Cyclone") is known to specialists but otherwise suppressed.

The Challenge of Selling a War With Iran

Micah Zenko


(War as a marketing issue. There are things about America that really make you sick to your stomach and this title for this article is one of them.)

Iran, domestic tension and foreign policy

By Omid Memarian


The prospect of a military attack on Iran to disable the country's nuclear facilities is being intensively considered in Tehran. But the internal tensions between rival factions - especially supporters of the supreme leader and of the president - are an obstacle to a coherent response.

Whether any assault succeeded in this, Iran's more extreme factions could use it to concentrate power in their hands, to suppress dissidents even further, and to reach out to public opinion in the region. It is at least certain that they would be strengthened by an attack.

Iran Sanctions Put Wrinkle in Turkish Trade

By Joe Parkinson


Turkish exports to Iran, which surged 12-fold in the past decade to top $3.5 billion last year, plunged 25% in January from December, as sanctions pushed the real value of Iran's currency, the rial, as much as 55% lower against the dollar.

All Turkish banks but one have stopped processing payments for Iranian customers, while higher costs have seen the number of Iranians visiting Turkey tumble.

Turkey's trade with Iran has been lopsided—Iranian exports of natural gas to Turkey made up more than 70% of the $12.5 billion total last year. But that ratio has declined in recent years as strengthening diplomatic ties and visa-free travel boosted trade in everything from textiles to flat-screen televisions.
Data published Thursday show that trend accelerating, as Turkish imports of crude oil from Iran plunged 40% on the month in December, partially offset by an 86% rise in purchases from Saudi Arabia.

Anti-Iran Embargo Exacting a Heavy Price on US Companies
by Jason Ditz


Iran Drumbeat Watch: 'March of Folly' Redux?

By James Fallows


When Barbara Tuchman coined the phrase March of Folly, she meant self-destructive behavior on a collective, organizational scale, as a group walked into a disaster it could easily have avoided.To qualify as epic-scale folly, by her standards, a ruinous decision had to:

-arise from a sustained set of policies, not just one instantaneous wrong choice;

-involve many people's agreement and collaboration, not just the excesses of one madman;

-prove clearly destructive to the long-term interests of the group involved; and

-have been warned against in real time, before the bad consequences happened, not just in retrospect.

If Netanyahu's team goes ahead, they will have met those tests.

An Exchange With Jeffrey Goldberg on 'Bluffing,' Israel, and Iran

By James Fallows


Solve Syria, leave Iran alone

By Jason Pack and Martin van Creveld


The Israeli government has vastly exaggerated the threat that a nuclear Iran poses to its security, as well as its own capacity to halt it. Disabling the Iranian nuclear program by aerial bombardment is probably impossible due to its size, dispersion, lack of actionable intelligence, and, above all, the fact that the element of surprise has long since been lost. Iran's potential acquisition of the bomb, on the other hand, could bring increased stability to the region, as the doctrine of Mutual Assured Destruction demonstrated in the Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union.

Understood in this light, the real threat is not Iran's pursuit of a nuclear weapon, but Israel's attempts to halt it, which would surely incur Iranian retaliation via the Strait of Hormuz.

Netanyahu threatens to upend Obama's carefully constructed international consensus concerning sanctions and containment of Iran. This consensus averts regional mayhem.

Most sane people - even inside Israel itself - grasp that an unprovoked Israeli attack on Iran could have catastrophic consequences. It would push the Arab Spring movements in a decidedly anti-Western direction, unifying Islamists and secularists in a renewed hatred for Israel and provoking a spate of terror attacks both inside Israel and on Western interests in Arab countries with Shia populations.

Acknowledging the virtual armageddon that could flow from an ill-conceived attack on Iran is not appeasement. It is simply recognition of the reality that Israel and the West have little to fear from Iran - even an Iran with limited nuclear capacity.

Now is not the time to provoke Iran, but rather to tend to Syria's troubles before it is too late - for example, by publicly offering Assad a way out of the country that would safeguard the minority Alawite community if he were toppled or forced to flee. If the Syrian situation is ignored, its spill-over may inadvertently provoke Israeli or Iranian action, inciting a regional war and a global depression.

How a War With Iran Would Cause $7 Gas


Forecasting firm IHS Global Insight has run a detailed scenario on how a war with Iran would affect oil prices and the global economy, with disconcerting takeaways for anybody sensitive to oil and gas prices—including politicians. The forecast says that if a military campaign over Iran's nuclear program prompted Tehranto lay mines in an attempt to shut down the Strait of Hormuz, Brent crude prices could soar from current levels of about $125 per barrel to a peak of roughly $240. Gas prices would rise by the same magnitude—pushing them above $7 per gallon.

'Paid' to support Iranian terrorists

Aljazeeras "Inside Story"


(A very good discussion on streaming video regarding the following question: )

"Why are top US officials openly lobbying for Mujahedin-e Khalq despite its designation as a terrorist group?"

(Patrick Clauson tangles himself up into legal contortions in an attempt to not call his pals criminals while Greenwald and Marashi listen and smile. It's fun to watch.)

How bad would Iran be with the bomb?

By Walter Pincus


Which would be worse if sanctions and diplomacy fail: the aftermath of an Israeli or U.S. attack on Iran to set back its nuclear program, or the Tehran regime having the bomb?

If you measure the level of public discussion, hands down the worst would be having Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and/or President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad armed with nuclear weapons.

However, within the intelli-gence community and among its retirees there are some ex-perienced analysts who believe that Iran’s leaders with nuclear weapons wouldn’t be much different than they are today, with their first concern being holding on to power, not using a weapon to wipe out Israel and thereby bring about their own destruction.

That approach has been sensibly argued by Paul Pillar, a former senior CIA intelligence analyst and a national intelligence officer for the Near East and South Asia from 2000 to 2005.

“An Iran with a bomb would not be anywhere near as dangerous as most people assume, and a war to try to stop it from acquiring one would be less successful and far more costly than most people imagine,” Pillar writes in the current issue of Washington Monthly.

Pillar, who teaches at Georgetown University, points out that despite all the “belli-cosity and political rhetoric” about the issue, the idea of an Iran with the bomb “has been subjected to precious little careful analysis.”

He cites the repeated stereotyping that Iran’s rulers are “religious fanatics who value martyrdom more than life, cannot be counted on to act rationally and, therefore, cannot be deterred.” Pillar notes that the past 30 years have proved that although they promote martyrdom to defend the homeland, “they have never given any indication of wanting to become martyrs themselves.”

Pillar also questions why the argument that any Israeli/U.S. attack on Iran to set back its nuclear program uses the “best case” scenario that Tehran’s response would be limited, while only a “worst case” analysis is made of Iran getting the bomb. If the armed attack by Israel or the United States is analyzed under “worst case” scenarios, Pillar says, “we would be hearing about a regional conflagration involving multiple U.S. allies, sucking in U.S. forces beyond the initial assault.”

He said such an attack also “would be an immediate political gift to Iranian hard-liners.”



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