Working for International Dialogue and Peace


As Israel Lobby Pushes Full-Access Inspections, US Makes False Claims on Iran Nuclear Deal

by Gareth Porter (source: TruthOut) May 2, 2015

Senior US officials have been claiming that Iranian negotiators had agreed in Lausanne to accept a demand that Iran allow the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to inspect any site it considered suspicious anywhere in the country, including military bases. Such a provision would have given Israel license to make an endless series of bogus intelligence claims such as the ones that had been labeled "possible military dimensions" aimed at preventing the lifting of sanctions against Iran. ››read more


American Voters Back Iran Deal By Wide Margin

(source: Quinnipiac University) April 28, 2015

American voters support 58 - 33 percent the preliminary agreement with Iran to restrict that country's nuclear program, according to a Quinnipiac University National poll released today. ››read more


Syria’s Nightmarish Narrative

by Robert Parry (source: Consortiumnews) April 28, 2015

With military and political help from Saudi Arabia and Israel, the nightmare scenario of an Al-Qaeda and/or Islamic State victory in Syria may be coming true, as the army of the more secular Syrian government retreats and as President Obama seems frozen by indecision. ››read more


Embracing the Saudi War on Yemen

by Robert Parry (source: Consortiumnews) April 27, 2015

Fearful of further offending the powerful Saudi-Israeli alliance, President Obama is deploying the U.S. Navy to seal off poverty-stricken Yemen so the Saudi air force has free rein to pummel its regional rivals from the air while the population faces a humanitarian crisis on the ground, reports Robert Parry. ››read more


Saudi “Disorientation,” the Yemen War, and America’s (Self-Imposed) Decline in the Middle East

by Hillary Mann Leverett (source: Going to Tehran) April 25, 2015

On CNN, Hillary recounted how “Saudi Arabia has been militarily involved and trying to manipulate political outcomes in Yemen for decades.  The last time they did this in 2009, they lost militarily to the Houthis.”

So why is Saudi Arabia once again intervening militarily in Yemen.  As Hillary put it on RT’s CrossTalk:

“This can largely be explained in terms of Saudi Arabia reeling since the 2011 Arab Awakening, pursuing disastrous policy after disastrous policy:  helping to overthrow the government in Libya, trying to overthrow the government in Syria, trying to impose a military dictatorship in Egypt and now in Yemen.  I think what we’re seeing is a product of Saudi disorientation and terror at a region that could become more representative in terms of its governance, more independent in terms of its foreign policy.  The Saudis are trying to prevent that kind of independence in foreign policy from emerging in Yemen, and they have yet again gone down this road with the United States to a war that has no end.  And it’s a disaster both for the Saudis and certainly for the Americans.”

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Our Enemies, the Saudis: They’re invading Yemen to empower Al Qaeda

by Justin Raimondo (source: Antiwar.com) April 20, 2015

Let’s get this straight: Saudi Arabia is Al Qaeda. If there was any doubt about that, the Kingdom’s invasion of Yemen makes it plain as day.

The Los Angeles Times reports:

“A brazen territorial grab by Al Qaeda militants in Yemen – together with a $1-million bank heist, a prison break and capture of a military base – has given the terrorist group fundraising and recruitment tools that suggest it is following the brutal path blazed by Islamic State militants in Syria and Iraq.

“Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, which was long forced into the shadows by US drone strikes and commando raids, has taken advantage of the growing chaos in Yemen’s multi-sided war to carve out a potential haven that counter-terrorism experts say could help it launch terrorist attacks.” ››read more


Iran Slams Senate Bill: Says Deal With Six Countries, Not Just US

by Jason Ditz (source: Antiwar.com) April 16, 2015

With a Senate compromise ensuring that the US Congress will be given effective veto power over any nuclear deal negotiated with Iran, Iranian officials are reminding the US that they are only one of six nations being negotiated with.

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A Shifting Narrative on Iran: Iran will always be the enemy

by Philip Giraldi (source: UNZ) April 16, 2015

For more than twenty years the world has been hearing from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his friends in the United States that Iran is a global threat because it is developing nuclear weapons. Netanyahu’s warning has been framed around his repeated prediction that if nothing were done to intercede in the process the Mullahs would have a weapon of mass destruction in their hands within six months or a year. Since that time numerous time spans of six months or a year have passed and no weapon has appeared, even though Israel did its best to provide forged intelligence to muddy the waters about what was actually occurring. In a notable scam, a lap top prepared by Mossad and delivered by an Iranian dissident group half convinced the International Atomic Energy Agency that Iran was up to something. Israel has also been adept at floating false “intelligence based” allegations that the Iranians were carrying out uranium enrichment in hidden, secret facilities.

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U.S. Congress Torpedoes the Iran Deal

by Kaveh L. Afrasiabi (source: Iran Review) April 16, 2015

The buzz word in Washington around the Iran Nuclear Review Bill that was approved unanimously by a Senate committee is "compromise," parroted even by the White House spokesperson who has let it known that President Obama will endorse it despite some reservations. But, in reality, "compromise" is a code word for "concession," i.e., appeasement of the anti-Iran hawks in U.S. Congress, as well as Israel. ››read more


Iran calls for global nuclear disarmament timetable

(source: Aljazeera) April 9, 2015

Non-Aligned MovementNon-Aligned MovementIran has accused the world's five largest nuclear powers of failing to take concrete action to eliminate their stockpiles and called for negotiations on a convention to achieve nuclear disarmament by a target date.

Iran's deputy UN ambassador Gholam Hossein Dehghani on Wednesday told the UN Disarmament Commission that "a comprehensive, binding, irreversible, verifiable" treaty was the most effective and practical way to eliminate nuclear weapons. ››read more


Obama’s Fateful Indecision

by Robert Parry (source: .Information clearing house) April 8, 2015

With Israel and Saudi Arabia siding with the Islamic State and Al-Qaeda versus Iran and its allies, President Obama faces a critical decision – whether to repudiate those old allies and cooperate with Iran or watch as Sunni terrorist groups possibly take control of a major country in the Mideast. ››read more


Regional Security Dimension Of Iran Nuclear Deal

by Kaveh Afrasiabi (source: Eurasia Review) April 8, 2015

Although the Iran nuclear talks are narrowly-focused on the nuclear issue, the non-nuclear issues such as regional security issues are bound to be impacted both directly and indirectly by the evolution of those talks — that has yielded a framework on the general principles together with some specific details in the form of Lusanne statement. ››read more


The Iran deal should be cautiously celebrated

by Matt Carr (source: Infernal Machine) April 8, 2015

Given the unfolding mayhem that is currently devouring the Middle East, yesterday’s framework agreement over Iran’s nuclear program is a positive development that should be cautiously celebrated. Ordinary Iranians have special reason to celebrate, because they are the ones, as always, who have borne the brunt of sanctions that should never have been imposed in the first place, to the point when Iran is not even able to repair its fleet of passenger planes. ››read more


Reality Check: America Needs Iran

by Flynt and Hillary Leverett (source: National Interest) April 7, 2015

Since the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) was announced last week, the Obama administration—echoing previous pledges that nuclear talks with Tehran do not presage a U.S.-Iranian “grand bargain”—has assiduously reaffirmed that progress on the nuclear issue does not signal a wider diplomatic opening.

Such a posture ignores an overwhelming strategic reality: America’s position in the Middle East is in free fall, and the only way out is to realign U.S. relations with the Islamic Republic of Iran. Washington must do this as purposefully as it realigned relations with the People’s Republic of China in the 1970s, when it struggled to extricate America from the self-inflicted debacle of the Vietnam War and to renew its diplomatic options, for the Cold War’s last phase and beyond. By not using nuclear diplomacy as a catalyst for broader, “Nixon to China” rapprochement with Iran, Obama and his team ensure further erosion of America’s standing as a great power, in the Middle East and globally. ››read more


The Great Convergence With Iran

by Richard Javad Heydarian (source: Foreign Policy In Focus) April 6, 2015

A final, comprehensive agreement is yet to be drafted and signed, but by all indications negotiators have finally achieved a breakthrough in the decade-and-a-half-long Iranian nuclear negotiations.

The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPA) framework agreement, announced in Lausanne, Switzerland, after days of grueling 11th hour haggling between Tehran and the major world powers led by the United States, is the closest we can get to a “win-win” deal. It paves the way for an end to the Iranian nuclear hysteria and a decisive rollback of punitive Western sanctions, which have collectively punished tens of millions of ordinary Iranian citizens.
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Iran Won Upfront Sanctions Relief, but With Potential Snags

by Gareth Porter (source: Antiwar.com) April 5, 2015

The framework agreement reached on Thursday night clearly gives the P5+1 a combination of constraints on Iran’s nuclear program that should reassure all but the most bellicose opponents of diplomacy. It also provides the basis for at least a minimum of sanctions relief in the early phase of its implementation that Iran required, but some of the conditions on that relief are likely create new issue between Iran and the Western powers over the process. The agreement’s dependence on decisions by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the penchant of Israeli intelligence for discovering new evidence of illicit Iranian activities will encourage moves to delay or obstruct relief of sanctions. ››read more


Outline for Iran deal marks a new milestone

by Kaveh Afrasiabi and Nader Entessar (source: Boston Globe) April 5, 2015

Iran and the world powers have reached a new milestone by agreeing to a new framework for a final deal that would end the Iran nuclear crisis and put Iran on a new path in its relations with the international community. ››read more


Iranian president: World powers accept Tehran's right to enrich uranium

(source: RT) April 3, 2015

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has said Iran will keep its promises if the other side does, referring to Thursday’s preliminary nuclear agreement.

“The world has acknowledged Iran is pursuing its peaceful objectives,”he said during a press conference on Friday.

Rouhani said Tehran’s nuclear enrichment issue “is not a threat” to any other nation, and if the other sides keep their promises under the deal Iran will too. ››read more


Iran, P5+1 Reaches Historic Nuclear Deal: Full Text of Joint statement

(source: Iran's View) April 3, 2015

Iran and the group of P5+1 have adopted a joint statement after long and complicated talks in the Swiss city of Lausanne calling, among other things, for the removal of UNSC resolutions and sanctions against the Islamic Republic.

The statement was read out in a joint press conference in the Swiss city by the EU high representative, Federica Mogherini, and Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Thursday. ››read more


Saudi War in Yemen Amid Malaise and Confusion

by Emile Nakhleh (source: Lobelog) April 1, 2015

Much has been written about the reasons behind the Saudi military strikes against Yemen, and many pro-Saudi writers have touted the so-called Arab and Muslim coalition against the Houthis of Yemen. No clarity, much confusion, and a touch of mystery have surrounded the launching of the so-called Operation Decisive Storm. Unfortunately, media reports indicate that the United States—for equally vague and incomprehensible reasons—has supported the strikes by providing the Saudis with intelligence and targeting information. ››read more


        Editor's note: Emile Nakhleh is an expert on Middle Eastern society and politics and on political Islam. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and a Research Professor at the University of New Mexico.