Working for International Dialogue and Peace

Iran Urges Global Anti-Terror Fight After Munich Attack

(source: Huffington Post) July 23, 2016

“Today, fighting terrorism, in any form and place, is an urgent demand of the world community... that should be considered as the top priority by all countries in an international consensus,” Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qasemi was quoted as saying by state news agency IRNA. “The killings of innocent and defenseless people have become another stain on human history,” Qasemi said. ››read more

Iran deal is still imperilled by deep state– hardliners, Israel lobby, Hillary Clinton

by Phillip Weiss (source: Mondoweiss) July 18, 2016

Szubin’s portfolio is managing and maintaining the Iranian sanctions inside Treasury. As we have reported, there has been an amazing continuity in his office. Founded in 2004, there have been three under secretaries for terrorism and financial intelligence, and all three were obvious nods to the neoconservative/Israel lobby base of the D.C. establishment, and all of little apparent interest to President Obama, asleep at the switch. Szubin’s predecessor as under secretary of the treasury for terrorism and financial intelligence was David S. Cohen, whose predecessor was Stuart A. Levey. Cohen and Levey had been associates in the same law firm. Szubin had served as Levey’s counsel. It’s an unbroken chain. Levey wrote his thesis at Harvard under Marty Peretz, about saving the Zionist “dream” from Kahanists. While David Cohen had the approval of Alan Dershowitz. Szubin’s ideology is not at all transparent, but his father was a Holocaust survivor, and AllGov notes his establishment and Orthodox Jewish credentials. ››read more

The Saudis Did 9/11: That's what the 28 pages tell us

by Justin Raimondo (source: July 18, 2016

News reports about the recently released 28 pages of the Joint Inquiry into the 9/11 attacks are typically dismissive: this is nothing new, it’s just circumstantial evidence, and there’s no “smoking gun.” Yet given what the report actually says – and these news accounts are remarkably sparse when it comes to verbatim quotes – it’s hard to fathom what would constitute a smoking gun. ››read more

Investigations Find Fraud, Bribery in USAID Program for Syria

by Jason Ditz (source: July 17, 2016

Though Barr didn’t get too deeply into this aspect, she also revealed that about one-fifth of all complaints about the Syria programs related to shipments being diverted into the hands of various militant groups. USAID suspended six programs already related to this. Barr denied any aid was diverted to ISIS, but admitted a growing amount was ending up in the hands of al-Qaeda’s Nusra Front. ››read more

The Arguments Change, but the Effort to Kill the Iran Nuclear Agreement Continues

by Paul Pillar (source: National Interest) July 17, 2016

The one-year anniversary of the Iran nuclear agreement, known formally as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), is naturally an occasion for stock-taking, as such anniversaries commonly are. Much spinning is mixed in with the stock-taking, and it is worthwhile to take stock of the spinning as well as of the reality that is relevant to the agreement.

The most obvious and noteworthy part of the reality is that Iran has fully observed the extensive, very limiting and intrusive, provisions of the agreement regarding its nuclear program. The Iranian record of compliance actually extends back significantly longer than a year. Before the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action there was a preliminary agreement, the Joint Plan of Action, which came into effect in January 2014 and included most of the limitations on Iran that also would enter into the later agreement. Iran now has been in compliance for two and a half years with stringent restrictions on its nuclear program agreed to in multilateral negotiations. ››read more


by Murtaza Hussain (source: The Intercept) July 16, 2016

The report also mentions that numbers found in the phonebook of Abu Zubaydah, a detainee currently held in Guantánamo, could be traced to a company in Denver, Colorado, connected to former Saudi ambassador to the U.S. Prince Bandar bin Sultan. One of the most notable figures mentioned is Omar al-Bayoumi, alleged by the report to have likely been a Saudi intelligence agent. Al-Bayoumi was in close contact with hijackers Nawaf al-Hazmi and Khalid al-Midhar, providing them financial assistance during their time in the United States and even helping them find an apartment. Bayoumi in turn is believed to have been on the payroll of the Saudi Ministry of Defense and was regularly in receipt of large lump sums of money from the Saudi Ministry of Finance and other undisclosed arms of the government. ››read more

Inside the Plan to Undo the Iran Nuclear Deal

by INDIRA A.R. LAKSHMANAN (source: Politico) July 15, 2016

Mark Dubowitz was back on Capitol Hill testifying for 90 minutes before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee alongside Richard Nephew, the former Obama administration sanctions negotiator. Nephew stressed that Iran has partially dismantled and significantly restricted its nuclear activities as promised – in other words, the deal is working. Dubowitz focused on Iran’s long-term pathway to a nuclear weapon after the deal expires, and he and Nephew agreed that Iran is engaged in ongoing terrorism and missile development. Obama’s threat to veto any measures that undermine the deal leaves Dubowitz and his allies undaunted. In a report out Thursday, he made 16 recommendations on how to wield non-nuclear sanctions against Iran, presenting them to Senate and House committees. Back in his office near Dupont Circle after leaving the Senate, he was sketching out suggestions for bipartisan legislation on a white board and adding notes to two black ring binders dedicated to the deal. His group is giving advice, he says, to both presidential candidates’ campaigns. ››read more

It’s pointless to be the last country sanctioning Iran

by Tyler Cullis and Trita Parsi (source: Washington Post) July 13, 2016

The good news is that the current administration has signaled a subtle shift in U.S. policy, publicly stating that it will no longer stand in the way of legitimate business activities involving Iran and businesses around the world — a significant break with the recent past. But if Obama is, indeed, breaking with the past and no longer committed to fencing Iran off from the world, he should consider completely lifting the embargo to boost America’s ability to meaningfully influence the Iranian regime. And, unlike America’s Cuba embargo, he has the power to lift the Iran embargo without Congress’s approval. ››read more

Politicians, diplomats pen letter urging stronger ties with Iran

by LOUIS NELSON (source: Politico) July 12, 2016

In a letter to President Barack Obama shared with POLITICO, more than 75 high-profile signatories praise the controversial nuclear accord and urge the president to bring the U.S. and Iran even closer together. Spearheaded by The Iran Project, a group dedicated to improving U.S.-Iran relations while preventing Iran from developing nuclear weapons, the letter’s signatories include retired Sens. Tom Daschle (D-S.D.), Mark Udall (D-Colo.), Carl Levin (D-Mich.), J. Bennett Johnston (D-La.) and Nancy Kassebaum (R-Kan.), as well as former Rep. Lee Hamilton (D-Ind.). The list of signers also includes former Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Merrill McPeak and Nobel Prize winners Leon Cooper and Burton Richter. “The U.S. should develop policies that increase the chances of cooperation with Iran, minimize confrontation, and influence Iran’s actions in the region,” the letter reads. ››read more

House Votes to Block Civilian Aircraft Sales to Iran, Threatening Boeing Deal

by Jason Ditz (source: July 11, 2016

Though the Congressmen pushing the bill presenting it as aimed at presenting Iran from acquiring aircraft “for military purposes,” the amendment forbade the Office of Foreign Asset Control to license any sales of any aircraft. This would not only block Boeing’s $25 billion sales, but European maker Airbus, whose planes include some American-made parts and subsequently need a US OFAC license as well. In effect, this would forbid Iran from buying any planes for their effort to modernize a dangerously outdated civilian fleet. ››read more

Iran Criticizes Saudi Prince for Joining Opposition Rally

(source: ABC News / AP) July 11, 2016

Rajavi and SaddamRajavi and SaddamPrince Turki currently holds no official capacity within Saudi's government, but his comments are widely seen as reflective of the government's thinking. The National Council of Resistance of Iran is the political affiliate of the exiled Mujahedeen-e-Khalq group. Ramazan Sharif, spokesman for Iran's elite Revolutionary Guard, said Prince Turki's participation in the rally demonstrated "longstanding ties" between Saudi Arabia and MEK. He also accused Saudi of giving "support to terrorism in the region and beyond." ››read more

The war in Iraq was not a blunder or a mistake. It was a crime

by Owen Jones (source: The Guardian ) July 7, 2016

Tony Blair is damned. We have seen establishment whitewashes in the past: from Bloody Sunday to Hillsborough, officialdom has repeatedly conspired to smother truth in the interests of the powerful. But not this time. The Chilcot inquiry was becoming a satirical byword for taking farcically long to execute a task; but Sir John will surely go down in history for delivering the most comprehensively devastating verdict on any modern prime minister.

Those of us who marched against the Iraq calamity can feel no vindication, only misery that we failed to prevent a disaster that robbed hundreds of thousands of lives – those of 179 British soldiers among them – and which injured, traumatised and displaced millions of people: a disaster that bred extremism on a catastrophic scale. ››read more

Is AIPAC a Toothless Tiger After Iran Deal Supporters Survive Unscathed?

by Nathan Guttman (source: ForwardI) July 6, 2016

AIPACAIPACI Nadler’s decision to back the deal came after weeks of pressure from pro-Israel activists to join other Jewish New York politicians, including Schumer and Reps. Steve Israel and Nita Lowey, in opposing the agreement. His primary challenger, Oliver Rosenberg, did his best to cast the race as a showdown over Nadler’s decision. But Nadler won easily, with nearly nine of 10 voters choosing to keep him as the Democratic candidate. True, Nadler fared poorly among ultra-Orthodox voters in his district, in part because of his Iran vote, but the backlash was not even close to putting a dent in the congressman’s re-election bid. ››read more

Maryam Rajavi — MEK Propaganda Queen — Advertises Her Serives For Iran’s Enemies

by Massoud Khodabandeh (source: Huffington Post) July 6, 2016

RajaviRajaviMaryam Rajavi cannot get support from Iranians unless it is paid for. Nor can Maryam Rajavi deign to share a platform with any other Iranian opposition personality. So this year Maryam Rajavi will again do what she does best; pay audience and speakers alike to give the illusion of support. So, back to the recent advertising campaign. Any publicity campaign will be successful if it is newsworthy. Maryam, however, simply churns out the same scenario ad infinitum. Starting with describing a terrible situation in Iran - based on news items that can be gleaned from any serious reporting outlet - she then proposes a ten-point plan for Iran, approved this year by Italian parliamentarians. And then she promises regime change ››read more

Intelligence files support claims Iraq invasion helped spawn Isis

by Patrick Wintour (source: The Guardian) July 6, 2016

Allegations that the invasion of Iraq increased the terrorist threat to the UK and helped spawn the terror group Islamic State are supported by intelligence documents released as part of the Chilcot report.

Top-secret reports from the joint intelligence committee, some of which were released for the first time, make clear security services’ concern about the increasing power in Iraq of jihadi groups, some of which were linked directly to al-Qaida. ››read more

I read the Chilcot report as I travelled across Syria this week and saw for myself what Blair's actions caused

by Robert Fisk (source: Independent) July 6, 2016

I guess a Nuremburg trial might have been a better place to sort out the minutiae of the Blair-Bush crimes we committed to go to war in the Middle East. We brought about the deaths of up to half a million people, most of them Muslims who were as innocent as Blair was guilty. A Nuremburg-style court might thus have concentrated more on the mass Arab victims of our criminal expedition than the heinous guilt and “profound regret” – his words, of course – of Lord Blair of Kut al-Amara. ››read more

Chilcot’s judgment is utterly damning – but it’s still not justice

by George Monbiot (source: Guardian) July 6, 2016

Little is more corrosive of democracy than impunity. When politicians do terrible things and suffer no consequences, people lose trust in both politics and justice. They see them, correctly, as instruments deployed by the strong against the weak. ››read more

Words That Continue to Deceive (and Kill): Britain, Tony Blair, and the Iraq Deception

by Patrick Cockburn (source: CounterPunch) July 6, 2016

In the aftermath of the invasion there have been many conspiracy theories about how and why it began, but the main contours of what happened have been long established and are damning enough in themselves. The most interesting part of the Chilcot report will not be to discover how the British and American governments deceived others, but how and why they deceived themselves and with such disastrous consequences. ››read more

Is Coup Against Corbyn a Plot to Spare Blair from War Crimes Probe?

by Nika Knight (source: Common Dreams) July 5, 2016

And just over a month ago, the Labour leader reiterated his willingness to have Blair tried for war crimes after the Chilcot Report is released. In a recent interview, Salmond again pointed out to a reporter that the "Chilcot Report is coming out next week and by all accounts it's going to be a damning indictment of Tony Blair and his warmongering. And most of the people who are now gunning for Corbyn were Blair's closest supporters." ››read more

New film blames Israel for failure of Iran malware

by Joe Uchill (source: The Hill) July 4, 2016

Gibney alleges that, without American approval, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had the code rewritten to be more chainsaw than surgical scalpel. It began crashing the wrong computers, bringing it to antivirus companies’ attention. The wounds caused by Stuxnet were not mortal ones, and Iran was able to continue its nuclear program. “What the United States liked about the Stuxnet code was that it subtly creating delays and had the peculiar result of undermining the psychological stability of the Iranian scientists at the time, to destroy their confidence in their own attempt,” said Gibney. “They liked the subterfuge. Bibi Netanyahu just wanted to blow more stuff up. It dramatically backfired” ››read more