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

by Jason Ditz (source: 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.

››read more

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.

››read more

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.
››read more

Iran Won Upfront Sanctions Relief, but With Potential Snags

by Gareth Porter (source: 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.

"US hegemonial policies hindering Iran nuclear talks"

(source: Press TV) April 1, 2015

The “hegemonial” policies of the United States and the influence of the Israel lobby are hindering the nuclear talks with Iran in order to reach a comprehensive agreement, American historian and investigative journalist Gareth Porter says. ››read more

Yemen: A war between a colonial past and a post-colonial future.

by Sharmine Narwan (source: RT) April 1, 2015

There is media confusion about what is going on in Yemen and the broader Middle East. Pundits are pointing out that the US is looking schizophrenic with policies that back opposite sides of the fight against al-Qaeda-style extremism in Iraq and in Yemen.

But it isn’t that hard to understand the divergent policies once you comprehend the underlying drivers of the fight brewing in the region.

No, it isn’t a battle between Shia and Sunni, Iranian and Arab or the much-ballyhooed Iran-Saudi stand-off. Yes, these narratives have played a part in defining ‘sides,’ but often only in the most simplistic fashion, to rally constituencies behind a policy objective. And they do often reflect some truth. ››read more

Iran Demands Lifting of Sanctions for ‘Irreversible’ Moves, Says Insider

by Gareth Porter (source: April 1, 2015

As the P5+1 and Iran agree to continue talks on a possible joint statement past a midnight deadline into Wednesday, the most contentious issue in Lausanne still appears to be how and when sanctions on Iran will be lifted. ››read more

US helped Israel with H-bomb - 1980s report declassified

(source: RT) March 31, 2015

Conceding to a federal lawsuit, the US government agreed to release a 1987 Defense Department report detailing US assistance to Israel in its development of a hydrogen bomb, which skirted international standards. ››read more

Yemen, Saudi Arabia and the crisis of US imperialism in the Middle East

by John Rees (source: STWC) March 30, 2015

The new war in Yemen, led by the most reactionary state in the Middle East, can only end in disaster ››read more

Snatching Defeat from the Jaws of Victory—The Case for U.S.-Iranian Rapprochement That Obama Must Still Make

by Flynt and Hillary Leverett (source: Going to Tehran) March 28, 2015

As the Iran nuclear talks reach a critical juncture and Saudi Arabia invades yet another neighboring in its increasingly desperate efforts to contain the Islamic Republic’s rising regional influence, The National Interest has published our latest article, “Busted Stuff: America’s Disastrous Iran Policy,” see here; we’ve also appended the text below. The piece explains how the Obama administration, because of its continuing unwillingness to engage the Islamic Republic as a truly rising power, risks turning a possible nuclear deal with Tehran—which should be the greatest triumph of American diplomacy since the U.S. opening to China in the 1970s—into something that actually “ends up exacerbating America’s ongoing marginalization in the Middle East.” ››read more