Working for International Dialogue and Peace


Former Weapons Inspector in Iraq Questions Claims that Iran Hiding Nuclear Tests

by ROBERT KELLEY: (interview with AMY GOODMAN) (source: Democracy Now ) October 24, 2014

We are broadcasting from Vienna, where the six world powers leading nuclear negotiations with Iran have set a November deadline to reach a deal to constrain Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for easing Western sanctions. Earlier this month, a report by the International Atomic Energy Agency found Iran is meeting its commitments under a temporary deal. But Western diplomats say Iran has refused to provide information about alleged experiments on high explosives intended to produce a nuclear weapon. Information on the experiments is reportedly contained in an intelligence document the IAEA is investigating, but the document itself remains unverified, and at least one member of the IAEA community has raised concerns about its authenticity. Our guest, Robert Kelley, was part of the IAEA’s Iraq Action Team in 2003 and says he is speaking out now because "I learned firsthand how withholding the facts can lead to bloodshed." Prior to his time in Iraq, Kelley was a nuclear weapons analyst based at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico. ››read more


        Editor's note: Robert Kelley, associate senior research fellow at the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, former director at the IAEA for the Iraq Action Team. Prior to that, he was based at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico.

How a US and International Atomic Energy Agency Deception Haunts the Nuclear Talks

by Gareth Porter (source: Truth-Out) October 22, 2014

In 2008, the Bush administration and a key IAEA official agreed on a strategy of misrepresenting Iran's position on the authenticity of intelligence documents, which they used to establish an official narrative of Iran "stonewalling" the IAEA investigation. That narrative continues to shape Obama administration policy in the nuclear talks. ››read more


The United States is No. 1 – But in What?

by Lawrence Wittner (source: History News Network) October 20, 2014

American politicians are fond of telling their audiences that the United States is the greatest country in the world. Is there any evidence for this claim?

Well, yes. When it comes to violence and preparations for violence, the United States is, indeed, No. 1. In 2013, according to a report by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, the U.S. government accounted for 37 percent of world military expenditures, putting it far ahead of all other nations. ››read more


History of Key Document in IAEA Probe Suggests Israeli Forgery

by Gareth Porter (source: Antiwar.com) October 18, 2014

Western diplomats have reportedly faulted Iran in recent weeks for failing to provide the International Atomic Energy Agency with information on experiments on high explosives intended to produce a nuclear weapon, according to an intelligence document the IAEA is investigating.

But the document not only remains unverified but can only be linked to Iran by a far-fetched official account marked by a series of coincidences related to a foreign scientist that that are highly suspicious.

The original appearance of the document in early 2008, moreover, was not only conveniently timed to support Israel’s attack on a U.S. National Intelligence Estimate on Iran in December that was damaging to Israeli interests, but was leaked to the news media with a message that coincided with the current Israeli argument. ››read more


From Pol Pot to ISIS: “Anything that flies on everything that moves”

by John Pilger (source: JohnPilger.com) October 11, 2014

As a witness to the human consequences of aerial savagery - including the beheading of victims, their parts festooning trees and fields - I am not surprised by the disregard of memory and history, yet again. A telling example is the rise to power of Pol Pot and his Khmer Rouge, who had much in common with today's Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS). They, too, were ruthless medievalists who began as a small sect. They, too, were the product of an American-made apocalypse, this time in Asi ››read more


EU Court Orders End to Sanctions on Iran Oil Shipping Company

by Jason Ditz (source: Antiwar.com) October 8, 2014

After the deadline for appeal to a July ruling lapsed, the General Court of the European Union has once again ordered that the block immediately lift all sanctions on the National Iranian Tanker Company (NITC).

NITC is the largest oil tanker company in Iran, and successfully challenged EU sanctions on the grounds that they are a private company owned by a privately-run pension company, not a state-run entity covered by sanctions on the Iranian government. ››read more


Iran’s Film Directors Launch Internet Campaign 'No2NoDeal' On Nuclear Program

by Christl Leong (source: China Topix) October 4, 2014

Six of Iran's top filmmakers have launched an international campaign with the slogan "there is no deal that is worse than no deal" aimed at bringing an end to the decade-long deadlock over Tehran's nuclear program.

Among those spearheading the internet campaign are Asghar Farhadi, who won a Golden Globe in 2012 for Best Foreign Language Film for "A Separation," and Rakhshan Bani-E'temad, lauded as the "first lady of Iranian cinema, she won the Best Screenplay Award for her film "Tales" at the 2014 Venice International Film Festival.

The campaign maintains that the crippling sanctions imposed against Iran have only functioned to hurt its people and not the nuclear program. It urged world leaders to deal with the issues rather than on "special interest."
››read more


        Editor's note: The URL of the campaign is: http://no2nodeal.com/

Biden: Turks, Saudis, UAE funded and armed Al Nusra and Al Qaeda

(source: Mid East Shuffle) October 4, 2014

When Joe Biden gets candid, he really lets rip. The US vice president, speaking at the John F. Kennedy Jr Forum at Harvard University’s Institute of Politics, on Thursday told his audience – point blank – that America’s Sunni allies are responsible for funding and arming Al Qaeda-type extremists in Syria.

And he named names: Turkey, Saudi Arabia and the UAE, specifically. Others – like Qatar – are undoubtedly complicit too, but Biden’s comments were made off-the-cuff during the question and answer period following his prepared statement. ››read more


Netanyahu finds himself increasingly alone on Iran

by Dimi Reider (source: Reuters) October 3, 2014

NetanhanyuNetanhanyuIn insisting that Iran and ISIS are essentially the same enemy, Netanyahu broadcast his isolation among world leaders and underscored the jadedness of the idea that he has championed for most of his political career: the imminence of an Iranian nuclear bomb and the apocalyptic threat it would pose to the free world.

After all these years, Netanyahu still calls for every nook and cranny of Iran’s nuclear program to be demolished by military force, though preferably not Israel’s alone. ››read more


Barack Obama, the Islamic State, and America’s Never-Ending War in the Middle East

by Flynt Leverett and Hillary Mann Leverett (source: World Financial Review) October 2, 2014

While President Obama continues—at least for now—to resist redeploying large numbers of U.S. soldiers to fight the Islamic State on the ground, the military components of the anti-Islamic State strategy he has laid out effectively recommit the United States to its post-9/11 template for never-ending war in the Middle East. In the end, such an approach can only compound the damage that has already been done to America’s severely weakened strategic position in the Middle East by its previous post-9/11 military misadventures. ››read more


The Wall Street Journal misrepresents Iran nuclear negotiations

by Cyrus Safdari (source: Iran Affairs) September 30, 2014

As part of what appears to be a concerted campaign in the Right-wing and pro-Israeli media outlets in the US against US nuclear negotiations with Iran, which have a consistent theme of portraying the Obama administration as somehow "caving in" to Iranian demands, the Wall Street Journal today goes far out of its way to misrepresent the state of affairs in an article about President Rouhani's speech at the UN. ››read more


Obama’s Syria Strategy and its Regional Implications

by Flynt Leverett and Hillary Mann Leverett (source: Going to Tehran) September 28, 2014

The Syria policy that the United States and its partners in the region have been pursuing since the spring of 2011 has helped, in a big way, to create the situation in Iraq, with this dramatic ascendance of the Islamic State. We have created this problem, and now we’re coming up with pseudo-solutions that are only going to make the problem worse…The one thing that could come of this is that you’re going to create more channels for the Islamic State to get hold of Western weapons and military equipment than it already has. Having the Saudis train these so-called moderate fighters is just going to augment the problem that we’re supposedly trying to deal with. ››read more


General Assembly Speech of Iran’s Rouhani at U.N. General Assembly

by Hasan Rouhani (source: President.ir) September 26, 2014

Arriving at a final comprehensive nuclear agreement with Iran will be a historic opportunity for the West to show that it does not oppose the advancement and development of others and does not discriminate when it comes to adhering to international rules and regulations. This agreement can carry a global message of peace and security, indicating that the way to attain conflict resolution is through negotiation and respect not through conflict and sanction. ››read more


        Editor's note: The video of this speech is available on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JUWx9X8ykCk

Coalition of the Clueless

by Sharmine Narwani (source: RT) September 26, 2014

Down the road, we will discover that the only coalition able and willing to fight extremism does indeed come from inside the region, but importantly, from within the conflict zone itself: Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Iran. For starters, they are utterly vested in the outcome of their efforts – and would lead with political solutions alongside military ones. Those elusive boots-on-the-ground that everyone is seeking? They live it. Pit that group against Obama’s Coalition-of-the-Clueless any day and you know which side would win handily. ››read more


The Justice Department Claims This Defamation Case Will Reveal State Secrets—But Won't Say How

by Molly Redden (source: Mother Jones) September 20, 2014

In an unprecedented move, Attorney General Eric Holder has intervened in a defamation lawsuit, seeking to have the case thrown out on the grounds that it will reveal state secrets [1]—without publicly explaining how it would do so. On Wednesday, a lawyer for the plaintiff in the case, a Greek business mogul accused of doing business with Iran, fired back at Holder in a letter to the court that essentially says: Prove it. ››read more


OBAMA, THE ISLAMIC STATE, AND AMERICA’S NEVER-ENDING WAR IN THE MIDDLE EAST

by Flynt Leverett and Hillary Mann Leverett (source: Going to Tehran) September 16, 2014

Obama’s speech on the Islamic State provides damning testimony as to how little he has done to challenge the foreign policy orthodoxies embodied in the “bipartisan commitment to dominance” described by Hillary. In his initial presidential campaign, Obama seemed, to some extent, to run against those orthodoxies, which have done so much to weaken America’s international position since it came out of the Cold War as the most powerful state in history. Now, the public presentation of his Islamic State “strategy” makes all too clear just how thoroughly Obama has embraced them. ››read more


‘US failure to look into Saudi role in 9/11 has helped Isis’

by Patrick Cockburn (source: The Independent) September 14, 2014

Senator Graham maintains that there is a “dark side” to Saudi Arabia exemplified by 9/11 and its aftermath that the American public need to know about and which has hitherto been concealed. The US and other Western governments have yet to explain why their “war on terror” has so demonstrably failed with the rise of Isis, but tolerance of Saudi complicity in 9/11 will surely be part of the answer. ››read more


        Editor's note: ‘The Jihadis Return: Isis and the New Sunni Uprising’ by Patrick Cockburn has been published.

Book review: The Jihadis Return: ISIS and the New Sunni Uprising

by Belen Fernandez (source: Middle East Eye) September 5, 2014

As Cockburn documents, the current predicament has much to do with the refusal to properly assign blame in the aftermath of 9/11: the Saudis and Pakistanis were exempted from accountability despite their essentially parental roles for various Islamic extremist movements. Twenty-eight pages of the 9/11 Commission Report, for example, were excised because they contained details about the links between Saudi Arabia and the perpetrators of the attacks.

The reason is simple:

“Saudi Arabia is an enormous market for American arms, and the Saudis have cultivated, and on occasion purchased, influential members of the American political establishment. Pakistan is a nuclear power with a population of 180 million and a military with close links to the Pentagon.” ››read more


        Editor's note: Belen Fernandez is the author of The Imperial Messenger: Thomas Friedman at Work, published by Verso. She is a contributing editor at Jacobin magazine. - See more at: http://www.middleeasteye.net/culture/book-review-jihadis-return-isis-and-new-sunni-uprising-patrick-cockburn-2027905245#sthash.01Ff76lb.dpuf

A FORMER MEK MEMBER TALKS ABOUT THE EXTREMIST IRANIAN 'CULT'

by Adam Forrest (source: Vice News) September 3, 2014

Rajavi and SaddamRajavi and SaddamThere was a charismatic leader, Rajavi. There was a black-and-white world view imposed: followers cutting themselves off from family, followers losing their personality. There was mind manipulation. At Camp Ashraf in Iraq there were talks lasting for days on end. I remember one task where we had to write down our old personality in one column on a board, and the new personality in a different column. I remember a guy who said, “My brother works in the Iranian embassy in London. Before I loved him as my brother, now I hate him as my enemy. I am ready to kill him tomorrow, if necessary.” And everyone applauded. ››read more


To really combat terror, end support for Saudi Arabia

by Owen Jones (source: The Guardian) September 1, 2014

The so-called war on terror is nearly 13 years old, but which rational human being will be cheering its success? We’ve had crackdowns on civil liberties across the world, tabloid-fanned generalisations about Muslims and, of course, military interventions whose consequences have ranged from the disastrous to the catastrophic. And where have we ended up? Wars that Britons believe have made them less safe; jihadists too extreme even for al-Qaida’s tastes running amok in Iraq and Syria; and nations like Libya succumbing to Islamist militias. There are failures, and then there are calamities. ››read more