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Many reporters and non-proliferation experts have been busy lately arguing over the protocols used for taking samples at the Parchin military site in Iran. They may have missed the elephant in the room. This might be excusable since there is no elephant in the room: the enormous explosion chamber that was supposed to be there was not seen by the IAEA in their latest visit to their latest building of interest at Parchin.
Rouhani's UN message has opened the door on engagement with the US but insists that cooperation on resisting IS is the priority in Syria ››read more
For well over three years, heavy doses of propaganda have created a myth about a purported steel cylinder for testing explosives located on a site at Iran’s Parchin military testing reservation. Iran was refusing to allow the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to inspect the site while it sought to hide its past nuclear weapons-related work, according to that storyline.
Now Iran has agreed to allow the IAEA to visit the site at Parchin and environmental samples have already been collected at the site. However, the politically charged tale of the bomb test chamber of Parchin is beginning to unravel. IAEA director general Yukiya Amano entered the building in which the explosives chamber had supposedly been located on Monday and announced afterward that he found “no equipment” in the building. ››read more
The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) outlines the agreement between Iran and the countries of 5+1. The 5+1 is dominated by the United States and its European allies (Britain, France, and Germany), which are Iran’s main adversaries. As JCPOA is being reviewed for approval or rejection by the United States House and Senate, we the undersigned state and demand the following: ››read more
In a recent policy speech on Iran, the Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton announced her support of the nuclear deal with Iran as well as her determination to stand up to Iran and deter the Iranian threat in the Middle East as the next US president. Clinton compared Iran to ISIS and accused Tehran of fomenting chaos and supporting terrorism beyond its borders, and portrayed the Islamic Republic as a “brutal regime”. This while vowing to take military action if Iran's leaders were to decide to move towards nuclear weapons in the future. ››read more
The British establishment just doesn’t get it: democracy has spoken, with the stunning election victory of socialist candidate Jeremy Corbyn to take the leadership of the Labour Party. Yet, immediately, the democratic mandate of his supporters was dismissed by the predominantly rightwing British media.....
Corbyn’s radical agenda is equally applicable to foreign policy. He is against Israeli occupation of Palestine, opposes Britain’s membership of the American-led NATO military alliance, and he is against the creeping British military involvement in Syria. Corbyn wants to normalise relations with Russia, and he is campaigning to disarm Britain’s nuclear arsenal. ››read more
The U.S. State Department is trying to block Russian supplies going to Syria’s embattled government despite the risk that collapsing the regime would create a vacuum filled by the Islamic State or Al Qaeda, another nightmare dreamt up by the neocons and liberal hawks, writes Robert Parry. ››read more
Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei, has instructed the Parliament (Majlis) to review and vote on the nuclear deal reached between Iran and the world powers in July, and has also questioned the parts of the deal, known as Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) that refer to the suspension rather than annulment of Iran sanctions. ››read more
New evidence has now surfaced from former Israeli defense minister Ehud Barak that Israel came close to attacking Iran three times over the past few years – if you believe what major news media reported about the story.
But you shouldn’t believe it. The latest story is only a continuation of the clever ploy that has been carried out by Israeli administrations from Ehud Olmert to Benjamin Netanyahu to convince the world that it was seriously contemplating war against Iran in order to pressure them toward crippling sanctions against Iran, if not military confrontation with it. ››read more
Television stations across the country are being flooded with $6 million of advertisements from a group called the “American Security Initiative” urging citizens to call their U.S. Senators and oppose the nuclear deal with Iran.
Though the American Security Initiative does not reveal donor information, the president of the new group, former Sen. Norm Coleman, R-Minn., is a registered lobbyist for Saudi Arabia. Coleman’s firm, Hogan Lovells, is on retainer to the Saudi Arabian monarchy for $60,000 a month. In July 2014, Coleman described his work as “providing legal services to the Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia” on issues including “legal and policy developments involving Iran and limiting Iranian nuclear capability.” ››read more
The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) is a strong, long-term, and verifiable agreement that will be a net-plus for international nuclear nonproliferation efforts ››read more
Editor's note: Seventy five arms control and nuclear nonproliferation experts have signed a statement endorsing the Iran nuclear deal, the latest salvo in a lobbying campaign battle ahead of a congressional vote next month on President Barack Obama’s landmark agreement with Tehran.
Those paying attention both to the Israeli government's implacable opposition against the agreement restricting Iran's nuclear program and to the issue of Iran's other activity in the Middle East might take note of some background that several analysts, including Shibley Telhami and Aaron David Miller, have noted: that Israeli agitation about the Iranian nuclear program was a principal impetus for negotiating the agreement on that subject that was finalized in Vienna last month. ››read more
The US didn’t interfere with the rise of anti-government jihadist groups in Syria that finally degenerated into Islamic State, claims the former head of America’s Defense Intelligence Agency, backing a secret 2012 memo predicting their rise.
An interview with retired Lieutenant General Michael Flynn, former head of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), given to Al Jazeera’s Mehdi Hasan, confirms earlier suspicions that Washington was monitoring jihadist groups emerging as opposition in Syria.
General Flynn dismissed Al Jazeera’s supposition that the US administration “turned a blind eye” to the DIA’s analysis.
Flynn believes the US government didn’t listen to his agency on purpose.
“I think it was a decision. I think it was a willful decision,” the former DIA chief said. ››read more
LEFT LABOUR MP Jeremy Corbyn, who has been nominated to stand in the Labour leadership campaign, is also the chair of the Stop the War Coalition.
He has been a supporter since we began back in 2001, has spoken on virtually all of our demonstrations big and small, and has been a consistent anti-war voice in parliament. ››read more
Editor's note: How to vote for Jeremy Corbyn as Labour leader. Anyone can vote in the Labour Party leadership election, which is now run on the basis of one-person-one vote. The election is not restricted to Labour Party members but open to the new category of Labour supporter. Registration as a supporter costs just £3 but the deadline for registration is Wednesday 12 August.
As the political battle over the Iran nuclear deal rages on in United States, the supporters of the deal led by President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry have repeatedly followed a questionable script that can easily backfire in both the short and long run. We may call it "Iran nuclear alarmism" for purely heuristic purposes. In essence, this consists of a simple bifurcation of alternatives to "diplomacy or war" which has been repeated ad infinitum by U.S. officials since the Vienna "Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action" (JCPOA) on July 14th. Confronted by a sea of opposition at home and in Israel, the White House's strategy has focused on a dualistic discourse that, in fact, raises the prospect of war with Iran while ostensibly defending the deal and praising the diplomatic path. ››read more
Two seemingly contradictory trends have been dominant with respect to Iran’s nuclear question. First, for decades Iran has been accused of not just developing nuclear weapons but being a short time away from actually using them . Second, non-political nuclear experts, including those at the United Nations, American and Israeli intelligence agencies have consistently disproven these accusations . The western media hardly discusses the latter point, and the irresponsible hype around the former creates the impression of constant imminent danger that needs to be addressed by force . ››read more
Russia, Iran and China are identified as the current obstacles to America's everlasting quest for full spectrum dominance of the world. ››read more
Turkish policies towards the Middle East have been in wild oscillation over the past many weeks, even months. Ankara has now finally and begrudgingly initiated military action against ISIS in cooperation with the US. But it has also initiated air attacks against its former Kurdish negotiating partners. Just what is going on? There may not be any coherent strategy, but the following seem to me to represent the key issues driving policy.
At the top of the list is President Erdoğan and his quest for political survival. After the rebuff to the ruling AK Party in the June elections that caused it to lose its majority in parliament, Erdoğan is now desperately trying to recover, find a reliable partner for a coalition government and, in its absence, to force new elections next month in the hopes of recouping his majority. Given the growing impression of growing loss of coherency at the top levels of the Turkish government, it is something of a gamble that the AKP could achieve a better electoral outcome next month. Indeed the AKP may well emerge yet weaker. ››read more
Iran’s foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, has called on Israel and the world’s eight other states with nuclear weapons to begin disarming, in response to his country’s acceptance of strict curbs on its nuclear programme in an agreement reached earlier this month.
Writing in the Guardian, Zarif argues that by agreeing to the Vienna deal, titled the joint comprehensive plan of action, Iran was honouring the spirit of the nuclear non-proliferation treaty (NPT), in which states without nuclear weapons promise not to acquire them. But he says the nuclear weapons states are not keeping their side of the bargain by disarming. ››read more
We – Iran and its interlocutors in the group of nations known as the P5+1 – have finally achieved the shared objective of turning the Iranian nuclear programme from an unnecessary crisis into a platform for cooperation on nuclear non-proliferation and beyond. The nuclear deal reached in Vienna this month is not a ceiling but a solid foundation on which we must build. The joint comprehensive plan of action, as the accord is officially known, cements Iran’s status as a zone free of nuclear weapons. Now it is high time that we expand that zone to encompass the entire Middle East.
Iran’s push for a ban on weapons of mass destruction in its regional neighbourhood has been consistent. The fact that it precedes Saddam Hussein’s systematic use of WMDs against Iran (never reciprocated in kind) is evidence of the depth of my country’s commitment to this noble cause. And while Iran has received the support of some of its Arab friends in this endeavour, Israel – home to the Middle East’s only nuclear weapons programme – has been the holdout. In the light of the historic nuclear deal, we must address this challenge head on. ››read more