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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
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
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
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
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
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."
Editor's note: The URL of the campaign is: http://no2nodeal.com/
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
In 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
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
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
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
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
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
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 —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’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
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.
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
There 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
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
According to reporter Matt Apuzzo, Judge Ramos finds the government involvement "very curious." Apuzzo subtly poses the question of why the Obama administration Justice Department is not indicting UANI under its zero tolerance policy wielded against whistle-blowers and journalists if UANI in fact possesses classified information. However the Justice Department intervention is no surprise to those who have watched Israel lobbying organizations twist and turn their way out of public accountability before warranted civil and criminal processes for decades. ››read more