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Lift the cruel, unfair sanctions on Iran, and you can close the nuclear dossier

Israel/Palestine
on 87 Comments
Catherine Ashton

Catherine Ashton

With the recommencement of nuclear talks between Iran and the six world powers, hopes have been revived that more than a decade of conflict and dispute between the two sides can finally come to an end and the concerns over the possible diversion of Iran’s nuclear activities toward an atomic weapon will be completely allayed.

The international observers hailed the latest round of nuclear negotiations between Iran and the P5+1 (Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United States) on October 15 and 16 in Geneva as constructive, calling it a step forward on the path of finding a conclusive and definite resolution for Iran’s nuclear standoff.

The Iranian negotiators demanded that the contents of the talks remain undisclosed until an agreement is reached. Their demand sounds reasonable as it will prevent the mass media from spreading falsehoods regarding the details of the agreement yet to be reached and also impede the efforts made by the extremist and neo-conservative elements in the Western governments to bring the negotiations to a dead-end.

During the talks, Iran presented a three-phased PowerPoint proposal in English entitled “Closing an Unnecessary Crisis, Opening New Horizons” which drew a roadmap for the future of the talks. According to the proposal, Iran would remove the concerns of the P5+1 group of world countries through confidence-building measures and increased transparency in its nuclear activities, and in return, the Western powers will offer incentives to Iran by lifting the unilateral and multilateral sanctions on a step-by-step basis.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif told the reporters following the conclusion of talks in Geneva that “the negotiations will be done in the negotiating room, and not in the press.” He said that Iran is not after creating some kind of media hype over its proposal and rather, takes a down-to-earth and practical approach toward the talks.

Iran’s presentation was welcomed by the P5+1. According to Reuters, Michael Mann, the spokesman for EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, said Iran made a “very useful” presentation during the talks. Even the United States, which usually expressed disappointment over the nuclear talks with Iran in the past, couldn’t hide its tacit satisfaction with the Iranian proposal. “The Iranian proposal was a new proposal with a level of seriousness and substance that we had not seen before,” White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters.

A senior U.S. State Department official also praised the negotiations, saying that “for the first time, we had very detailed technical discussions”

Ashton, who became the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy for the European Union in 2009 and who took the lead as the coordinator of P5+1 in talks with Iran, also underlined her “cautious optimism” but “a real sense of determination” toward the new round of negotiations with Iran.

Since the details of the Iranian proposal didn’t leak out and Iran has rejected allegations made by the Israeli military intelligence website, Debka File, which had claimed to be possessing information on the contents of the Iranian proposal, it’s not sensible to make suggestions and gossip on what Iran has offered to the West. But what is clear is that Iran will be making reasonable compromises, in a balanced manner, that will not sacrifice its nuclear rights under the Non-Proliferation Treaty, but ease the tensions with the West; and this is something which seems to be completely logical and fair. On the other side, what the Iranian nation expects to be high on the agenda of the P5+1 is the complete removal of the economic sanctions that have caused serious damage to Iranian lives.

The sanctions which were imposed upon Iran after the Islamic Revolution of 1979, especially following the escalation of controversy over Iran’s nuclear program in the past decade, are so diverse and extensive that it’s virtually impossible to elaborate on all of them in a single article, but it is worth alluding to some of them in passing. These sanctions have had such devastating impact on the Iranian people that even a large number of American officials, think tanks and advocacy groups have called on the U.S. government and its European allies to freeze them.

As an instance, the banking sanctions, which disrupt and block Iran’s access to international financing systems, have prevented the Iranian companies from importing vital medicine for chronic disorders, and the Iranian patients suffering from different types of cancer, hemophilia, thalassemia, hepatitis, multiple sclerosis, diabetes and psychiatric disorders are struggling with dire conditions resulting from their inability to find medicine for their diseases.

According to a report released by the U.S. Department of Commerce last February, the exports of pharmaceutical products to Iran had decreased by half. This is while the United States claims that it doesn’t block the exports of medicine to Iran and that it has issued some licenses for the sale of medical goods and foodstuff to Iran; however, there have been several reports of deaths as a result of the scarcity or shortage of foreign-produced medicine in Iran. Even those patients who can find the medicine they need must buy them at extremely high prices, because they are being imported through intermediaries and third parties. This is the direct, undeniable impact of the anti-Iran sanctions.

The U.S.-based news, analysis website Al-Monitor published a report last July, detailing the pain and suffering of the Iranian patients who are grappling with the problem of finding medicine for their diseases.

Hessam, a 27-year-old veterinary student with MS told Al-Monitor, “I have managed to buy Rebif every month, but the price has tripled over the past year.” He added, “Those who need to use other Western-made medicines, like Avonex and Betaferon, have been facing extremely serious problems buying them. Betaferon’s price has risen from 980,000 rials [$40] to 16,000,000 rials [$649] a box. You cannot find them even at this price at any drugstores.”

The insufficiency of medicine and pharmaceutical products in Iran as a result of the sanctions is a fact reflected in different outlets. Joy Gordon wrote in an article for Foreign Policy on October 18, that the sanctions have complicated the health conditions of the Iranian patients and are leading to a kind of humanitarian crisis, one the International Crisis Group has also verified in a detailed, 70-page report published in February 2013 about the consequences and impacts of the anti-Iran sanctions.

“The most effective medicines to treat cancer and AIDS, which are manufactured only by Western pharmaceutical companies, can no longer be gotten within Iran. Ordinary commerce, as a matter of necessity, is now deeply dependent on the international criminal network in order to function at all,” Gordon wrote.

Citing reports published by Iran’s major pharmacies, BBC Persian published a report in November a year ago that a 350% increase in the price of imported medicine had taken place at that time, and the majority of experts and analysts attribute this surge to the sanctions.

The human costs of the sanctions are not limited to medical shortages. The devaluation of Iran’s national currency, rial, as a result of the sanctions, has made it extremely difficult for thousands of Iranian students studying in the foreign universities to afford their tuition and accommodation fees. Their families in Iran are not able to deposit into their accounts considerable amounts of financial assistance needed, and many of such students have chosen to return to Iran to continue their education. The depreciation of the rial has also made it quite unreachable for Iranian citizens to travel abroad for personal purposes– since the air fares have increased almost threefold in the past 3 years and many European carriers have stopped their flights to or from Iran.

These are the ordinary Iranian citizens who bear the brunt of the sanctions against their country, and one of the country’s major demands is the complete lifting of all the unilateral, multilateral and private sanctions. This demand was echoed in their election of Dr. Hassan Rouhani as the Iranian President who had promised to work toward persuading the West to lift all the sanctions.

Iran and the P5+1 are slated to meet once again on November 7 and 8. Before the main meeting, nuclear and sanctions experts from the two sides will hold technical meetings to reach a consensus over a systematic framework for putting into practice the agreements reached in the first meeting in Geneva.

It’s not in the interests of the six world powers to continue pushing for new sanctions, as some Republicans in the U.S. Congress have urged, or leaving the previous sanctions in place. It will not contribute to the positive course of negotiations, and will simply add to the suffering and economic woes of the Iranian people and further complicate the dispute.

The most rational decision the United States and its European allies can take is to lift the sanctions, for two reasons: first, to respect the demands of the Iranian people who feel it’s not righteous and justifiable to be under the pressure of unfair and cruel sanctions that are violating their basic rights according to the Fourth Geneva Convention, and second, because the lifting of the sanctions will be a great step on the path of striking a deal with Iran to close the nuclear dossier forever.

This piece was also posted at Dissident Voice.

Kourosh Ziabari
About Kourosh Ziabari

Kourosh Ziabari is a journalist in Iran.

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87 Responses

  1. mondonut
    mondonut
    October 29, 2013, 1:25 pm

    Complete and utter nonsense. Iran has complete control over the exercise of the sanctions, simply stop the activities that are generating the sanctions. Problem solved.

    • Woody Tanaka
      Woody Tanaka
      October 29, 2013, 3:16 pm

      Nonsense. First, why should Iran stop doing what it has every right to do? Second, even if it did, no doubt the zionists would get their puppets in Washington to impose other, new conditions. Because the Iranian people are suffering because the israeli are trying to impose a regional hegemony. (The same reason why all the American soldiers died in Iraq.)

      • Shingo
        Shingo
        October 29, 2013, 5:15 pm

        It’s not just that Woody. After all, there were sanctions against Iran long before they began hyping nukes. The sanctions are also tied to political reform and all manner of crap that is no one’s business but Iran’s.

        The fact is that the sanctions are now law, so Obama has no way to lift the sanctions without Congress agreeing to it. And we know Congress will not budge because AIPAC won’t let them.

      • Woody Tanaka
        Woody Tanaka
        October 31, 2013, 12:04 pm

        Good points, Shingo.

      • mondonut
        mondonut
        October 31, 2013, 2:37 pm

        Shingo says: The sanctions are also tied to political reform and all manner of crap that is no one’s business but Iran’s.
        ===================================================
        Political reform is no one’s business but Iran? Are you willing to extend that same courtesy to Israel?

      • Woody Tanaka
        Woody Tanaka
        October 31, 2013, 4:52 pm

        “Are you willing to extend that same courtesy to Israel?”

        I’m sure if you people stopped preying on the natives, got the hell out of Palestine all the way back to the green line, then most people would treat you no worse than you deserve to be treated.

      • Shingo
        Shingo
        October 31, 2013, 6:51 pm

        Are you willing to extend that same courtesy to Israel?

        Israel yes, not the occupied territories.

      • mondonut
        mondonut
        November 1, 2013, 10:00 am

        Shingo says: Israel yes, not the occupied territories.
        =============================================
        Really? So both Woody and Shingo are on record for having no desire to put an end to Zionism?

      • Shingo
        Shingo
        November 2, 2013, 8:31 am

        So both Woody and Shingo are on record for having no desire to put an end to Zionism?

        If Israel wants to have a racist, fascist, apartheid society, they are free to do so, within their borders.

        But I still think racism, fascism, apartheid should end.

    • bilal a
      bilal a
      October 29, 2013, 3:28 pm

      The real issue is Iranian Energy production, increased nuclear energy production allows offset of domestic consumption thereby increasing opportunities for export, a major threat to BP Shell Aramco’s maintained high price floor. Moreover cheap nuclear energy has competitive benefits for Iranian manufacturing expansion threatening the entire GCC-MENA non oil sector as well.

      This is the real nuclear issue.

      • Shingo
        Shingo
        October 29, 2013, 5:17 pm

        I disagree Bilal.

        The nuclear issue is just a ruse. The real issue is Iran becoming a regional power, economically and politically, and Saudi Arabia and Israel don’t want to see that happen.

      • bilal a
        bilal a
        November 1, 2013, 11:41 am

        We agree, but I see nuclear energy and technology being the Iranian route to a broad middle class and from this to regional leadership. This is the real threat to the Israeli-Gulf model of development (a tiny elite , a small group of courtiers, and a massive serf class).

    • Krauss
      Krauss
      October 29, 2013, 3:34 pm

      Sanctions rarely, if ever, work. What does work is a credible military threat – but that isn’t available because the world economy would tank, Obama would become worse than Bush after Katrina and finally, it’s doubtful that a military strike, should it occur, would help beyond a few years anyway.

      (Of course, an armchair expert like yourself probably disagrees; after all, why listen to the military and intelligence establishment when you can have Zionist talking points?).

      I do believe that Iran is developing a nuclear weapon. But the notion that they will use it is hilarious. The reason why Israel want to stop them is because of a power play. Being the only nuclear power in the Middle East gives them a strategic advantage. As usual, Israel wants the U.S. to do its heavy lifting.
      When they find out that Obama won’t bend his back, they realize they have no plan B. They’ve been overreliant on the 5th column called AIPAC. Now it’s biting them in the ass.

      • Shingo
        Shingo
        October 29, 2013, 5:18 pm

        No Krauss,

        A military threat would have the opposite effect. Look at what happened when Israel stupidly bombed Osirak. It was that attack that incited Saddam to pursue nukes.

      • MRW
        MRW
        October 30, 2013, 9:56 am

        I do believe that Iran is developing a nuclear weapon.

        Based on what? A feeling? Nuclear weapons-grade material has a signature that can be determined by satellite. That is absolute fact. The equipment to enrich uranium to 92% is highly regulated, and none of that equipment is present in Iran, again visible to satellites by design. Further, Iran is using centrifuges to develop nuclear power grade enriched uranium, and the output of a centrifuge is a gas. You cannot develop a nuclear weapon from a gas. It must be metal, and the equipment to do that, which would take years is, again, highly regulated. They know where every piece of that equipment is in the world; it was decided by international treaties.

        Sixteen US intel agencies said in the 2007 and the 2011 National Intelligence Estimates (NIE) that Iran is not developing a nuclear weapon. Only the the Israelis in the entire world claim that Iran is developing nuclear weapons, and even it knows that’s not true.

        Exclusive Report: Evidence of Iran Nuclear Weapons Program May Be Fraudulent
        U.S. still believes Iran not on verge of nuclear weapon

      • Shingo
        Shingo
        October 31, 2013, 5:44 am

        Only the the Israelis in the entire world claim that Iran is developing nuclear weapons, and even it knows that’s not true.

        Correction. Only Netenyahu is claim that Iran is developing nuclear weapons. The Israeli intelligence agencies agree with US intelligence that they are not and have not decided to even try.

    • Shingo
      Shingo
      October 29, 2013, 3:54 pm

      Cut the crap MNut.

      Nothing short if self imposed regime change will lead to sanctions being lifted. Many have demands that have nothing to do with nuclear technology.

    • Justpassingby
      Justpassingby
      October 29, 2013, 4:23 pm

      How surprising how our mondonut love sanctions on Iran but would kick and scream like a baby if the same sanctions were put on his israeli regime instead..

      • Kathleen
        Kathleen
        October 30, 2013, 12:50 am

        And that is exactly where sanctions should be imposed on Israel. For being unwilling to sign the IAEA’s Non Proliferation treaty while sitting on a massive stockpile of nuclear, biological and chemical weapons. Israel is the real threat. Israel needs to sign the NPT, open up to inspections and sign the Chemical Weapons Convention. Enough of these very serious double standards. Height of hypocrisy

    • Donald
      Donald
      October 29, 2013, 5:15 pm

      The depressing thing is many Westerners simply take it for granted that we can impose lethal forms of pressure on Iranians and others, but find it outrageous if Western civilians are targeted. If harsh sanctions were imposed on the US or Israel (hard to imagine, of course) they would be called a form of terrorism by the same people who casually advocate their use on Iranians.

    • lysias
      lysias
      October 29, 2013, 5:40 pm

      When Iran offered Bush/Cheney a grand bargain in 2003, Bush/Cheney turned a deaf ear, did not reply, and even complained to the Swiss government because the Swiss ambassador had had the gall to relay the Iranian offer to them.

      When Iran accepted the deal offered by Turkey and Brazil — a deal whose terms were identical to those the U.S. had up to then been demanding — in 2009, Obama turned a deaf ear and did not accept the deal. Read Trita Parsi’s A Single Roll of the Dice.

      With respect to Iran, the U.S. has been unwilling to take yes for an answer.

      • Shingo
        Shingo
        October 29, 2013, 6:16 pm

        Even worse is that Ovama rejected the deal after asking Brazil and Turkey to revive the deal.

        Brazil were so incensed that they published Obama’s letter asking them to work out a deal with Iran.

    • thankgodimatheist
      thankgodimatheist
      October 29, 2013, 7:06 pm

      Iran doesn’t have the right to nuclear armament but Israel does. And not a single Zionist warmonger can see the double standards in this and raise a voice against it. Charming people! Tfooh.

      • Ecru
        Ecru
        October 30, 2013, 2:49 am

        @ thankgodimatheist

        “…not a single Zionist warmonger can see the double standards…”

        I have to disagree with you there. I firmly believe that the Zionist warmongers DO see the double standard – it’s just that a double standard is exactly what they believe in. One standard for Jews, another standard for non-Jews. It’s just part and parcel of the whole Jewish-supremacist thing they’ve got going on in their warped little minds.

      • mijj
        mijj
        October 30, 2013, 5:56 am

        > “I firmly believe that the Zionist warmongers DO see the double standard”

        Zionists feel that standards which apply when dealing with each other, don’t apply when dealing with inferior beings or animals. Ie. as superior beings, they actually don’t believe it’s a double standard.

  2. talknic
    talknic
    October 29, 2013, 1:52 pm

    Be prepared for a flood of speculative drivel from the warmongers

    • piotr
      piotr
      October 29, 2013, 6:19 pm

      Is it “late warning system” or something”? If you keep your head under the rock, you could miss speeches of Netanyahu, the today’s op-ed by Ross, Makovsky and Edelman, and enough neo-con comments to seriously dent Canadian boreal forests.

      • talknic
        talknic
        October 29, 2013, 9:09 pm

        @piotr LOL. I meant on Mondo

  3. pabelmont
    pabelmont
    October 29, 2013, 1:54 pm

    The cruelty of these sanctions — and of those who impose them — is unforgivable. We did similarly with Iraq after 1990. Perhaps some of those responsible for imposing the sanctions do not know what they have done. This is likely. But it is not likely that those at the top of the various governments are ignorant of what the sanctions have been doing — and the impact of the sanctions on world opinion of the rich-and-powerful who’ve imposed them. Al Qaida, for instance, must know and must be telling the people of the world in which it operates. They are likely to agree with me that the sanctions are unforgivable.

  4. ivri
    ivri
    October 29, 2013, 2:34 pm

    Let us not forget that the sanctions were an alternative to war. Iran is also in effect a military dictatorship cum theocracy ans threatened Arabs and Israel (with which it conducted proxy wars for decades) – all that is the main cause of the problem, not the sanctions – those are just reactions and quite mild at that, given the extensive maliciousness of the regime there.

    • Shingo
      Shingo
      October 29, 2013, 5:23 pm

      Let us not forget that the sanctions were an alternative to war.

      Wrong. They are a ore cursor to war

      Iran is also in effect a military dictatorship cum theocracy ans threatened Arabs and Israel (with which it conducted proxy wars for decades)

      Rubbish. Iran threatens their regional ambitions, but threatens neither militarily. As for proxy wars, Israel and Saudi Arabia have conducted their own for decades, with US complicity.

      Israel and Saudi Arabia are undoubtedly the most vile and dangerous threat to the region and the world. Iran has not attacked or invaded anyone in 300 years.

      Hasbara fail.

      • just
        just
        October 29, 2013, 7:19 pm

        These and other cruel and punishing “sanctions” cause death of innocents.
        They are the actions of warmongers, and acts of war. Look how desperately the Zionists are opposing BDS when really, thus far, BDS is just raising their ire, rather than killing any Israeli Jewish person.

        Iran has an important role to play on the world stage as an ancient and productive, educated culture, and we should seize the opportunity yesterday to normalize relations.

      • piotr
        piotr
        October 29, 2013, 10:07 pm

        Obama made a strange impression on me during his original campaign for president. In an interview, he said that the most important for a politician is the capability for surprise. It is a bit difficult to fathom his behavior: opportunism or deep strategy.

        He started with a rather smart plan for achieving piece in ME, with a “gentle squeeze” on Israel in the form of settlement freeze. Then, when faced with opposition, he folded. Was it a faint, or true intention? Clearly, putting pressure on Israel is very tricky given the power of the lobby. So Obama either gave up or resorted to “oblique approach”. One should also observe that it is very hard to be a popular head of state in times of economic crisis.

        Right now it seems that “the road to Jerusalem” may lead through Damascus and Tehran. Perhaps confirmation of Hagel was a prequel. On the issue of intervention in Syria the lobby was discombobulated, successful with the Congressional leadership and seemingly, with Obama and then .. blindsided by the popular and Congressional opposition to which Obama yielded with his usual smoothness. A popular agreement with Iran in the face of vehement, but impotent opposition of the lobby would truly cut the lobby down to size. It reminds me the history of the Jesuit mission in Paraguay I read years ago where the final chapter started with the following quote: Pius fathers, accustomed for so many years to praise the Lord for his bounties realized with terror that they will be praising inscrutable greatness of His decisions.

    • lysias
      lysias
      October 29, 2013, 5:36 pm

      A “malicious” government of a country that has not waged an aggressive war in centuries. Unlike some other countries that one could name.

    • Mayhem
      Mayhem
      October 29, 2013, 6:00 pm

      The Iranian people are suffering because of the bloody mindedness of the Iran regime. Iran is diverting a huge amount of money and weaponry to support other regional conflicts as it pushes hard for regional hegemony. If the Iranian government wasn’t providing military aid to the Syrian dictator and to Hezbollah terrorists and most recently resuming aid to Hamas – read http://www.timesofisrael.com/iran-reportedly-resumes-backing-of-hamas/ there might be something left for its own people.

      • Shingo
        Shingo
        October 29, 2013, 7:11 pm

        The Iranian people are suffering because of the bloody mindedness of the Iran regime. Iran is diverting a huge amount of money and weaponry to support other regional conflicts as it pushes hard for regional hegemony

        Rubbish. That might be true of the US and Israel, not Iran.

        It’s not lack of money that is causing the suffering, it’s the embargo on free trade and the ban on Iran’s ability to purchase and sell goods through international currency transfers.

      • Mayhem
        Mayhem
        October 30, 2013, 3:46 am

        @shingo, that might be your opinion but it’s wrong. Go read “How Iran Plans to Fight America and Dominate the Middle East” by Gabriel G. Tabarani (refer http://books.google.com.au/books?id=KjyekdipAcAC&pg=PA427&lpg=PA427&dq=iran+wants+to+be+power+broker+in+middle+east) from which I quote:
        “Buoyed by high energy prices, emboldened by continuing American challenges in Iraq and Afghanistan, encouraged by consistent, unimpeded progress in its nuclear program and the increased influence of its extremist allies – Hamas and Hizbollah – Iran has its eye on becoming the regional hegemony.”

      • Shingo
        Shingo
        October 30, 2013, 5:22 am

        Go read “How Iran Plans to Fight America and Dominate the Middle East” by Gabriel G. Tabarani

        My opinion is correct.

        Not only is Tabarani a hack talking out of his hat, but that quote does not support your own argument.

        1. Tabarani’s quote says nothing about Iran’s people suffering because of money being spent on weaponry to support other regional conflicts as it pushes hard for regional hegemony.

        2. Secondly, Tabarani is wrong about Hamas’s influence. It has diminished, not grown.

        3. Energy prices are of little benefit to Iran with it’s oil exports curtailed by sanctions.

        4. To suggest Iran’s nuclear program has been unimpeded is the epitome of ignorance. Clearly he has never heard of Stuxnet, assassinations of scientists not to mention the technical problems Iran has faced.

        5. If Iran is to become the regional hegemon, it is by default rather than strategy.

        It’s no wonder you come up with such pathetic arguments given the superficial crap you are reading.

      • RoHa
        RoHa
        October 30, 2013, 5:24 am

        “Iran has its eye on becoming the regional hegemony.”

        That should be “becoming the regional hegemon.”

        Aside from that, why shouldn’t Iran be the regional hegemon?

      • piotr
        piotr
        October 30, 2013, 9:22 pm

        The quote is from the book published in 2009, hence written in 2008 when it was closer to the truth. I would not so readily dismiss Tarabani as a hack, I think it is more useful to view his writing as a “perspective”. I am guessing that he is descendant of Jordanian Beduins — Wiki informs about “Tarabin Beduins” and he hails from Jordan so he seems to be “an official intellectual” of the Hashemite Kingdom. He is old enough to remember good old days where Shia were cheerfully living in their bucolic villages while Sunni elites (and the Shah) competently ruled. Then, most lamentably, Shah was overthrown. The preface takes us to Amman, 1982, where the Sunni elite was receiving, with dread, the news about the Persian advances into Iraq.

        My impression is that for the “Sunnis of the region” the Shia are weird and heterodox people. Snippets of my friendly conversations with orthodox Sunnis.

        “I heard that you Muslim can eat shrimp, unlike the Jews” “Oh no, only Shia eat shrimp.”

        “Are you coming for the hike today” “Sorry, I have a splitting headache.” [further conversation establishes the causes, piotr advises aspirin and ample water to rehydrate the body, the hike and further conversation moved by 3 hours] “So two nights ago I got guests, some radical students, so we sat for a long time, discussing and drinking milk” “Surely this does not cause headache” “But yesterday other friends came, two Shia, and they had a Johny Walker, so I had to pull out my tequila [apparently not shown to the radical friends] and we also had some beer.” [piotr is seriously horrified, it is one thing to mix sects, but hard liquor and beer?]

        The bottom line is that unlike our domestic neo-cons who live in a lala land created yesterday, Tarabani represents a very clear and a very real agenda. This does not mean that what he writes should be believed literally, instead there is a rather transparent key how to translate it into our language. For example, what Saudis and GCC do is “stability” (e.g. restored in Bahrein), and what Iran is doing is “hegemony”. Heaven forfend to consider hegemony of USA, that does not happen, instead, USA is “a force for good”, but I think not in Tarabani writings. For “Sunni elites”, USA is a useful mercenary, but sometimes a rather dense one and one has to waste time to explain the obvious.

      • just
        just
        October 29, 2013, 7:21 pm

        The Iranian people are suffering because of the bloody mindedness of the Israeli and US regime(s).

        There.

        It’s fixed. Now, all Zionists need to mind their own bloody business as they continue to expose themselves and, PS– don’t interfere in US politic or corrupt our foreign policies while pretending to be our best friend, m’kay?

      • Mayhem
        Mayhem
        October 29, 2013, 11:18 pm

        @just, you have contributed nothing more than your own unsubstantiated opiniations.

      • Shingo
        Shingo
        October 30, 2013, 3:38 am

        So are you, as you readily demonstrate.

      • just
        just
        October 30, 2013, 6:03 am

        Gee, really Mayhem? Thanks so much.

        What’s an ‘opiniation’?

  5. Walid
    Walid
    October 29, 2013, 3:28 pm

    Something strange has been happening at CNN for the past few weeks. On an almost daily basis, it has been presenting reporting out of Iran that is concentrating on showing the kinder and human side of Iranians. Today’s report is about the American football coach that has been with the Iranian national team for 3 years and how he was successful in getting his team to qualify for the Mondial. In his CNN interview, he explained at length how the Iranians had been demonized by the West and that they are not at all as they have been presented. This is so unlike of CNN to be presenting such positive sides to the Iranian people and as I said, it has been ongoing on an almost daily basis. It’s a nice refreshing change at CNN.

    • Taxi
      Taxi
      October 29, 2013, 4:18 pm

      Obama likes Rohani. He likes him a lot more than he does Netanyahu. And CNN being an old established White House mouthpiece, is making nice on Obama’s behalf.

      Cuz the times they are a-changing.

      • lysias
        lysias
        October 29, 2013, 5:35 pm

        Well, if CNN does this, it is indeed a sign that the times, as you say, are changing.

      • RoHa
        RoHa
        October 29, 2013, 11:26 pm

        “I like him more than I like Netanyahu”.
        Pretty feeble compliment.

      • Mayhem
        Mayhem
        October 30, 2013, 4:16 am

        Will Obama be fooled by Rouhani?
        Banafsheh Zand-Bonazzi, an Iranian writer and filmmaker, said she agrees wholeheartedly with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that her native country can’t be trusted – refer http://www.newsmax.com/NewsmaxTv/iran-netanyahu-zand-israel/2013/10/01/id/528745.
        Listen to the excerpt from the Steve Malzberg show where she unreservedly supports the Israeli position regarding Iran:
        “Israel won’t be alone because there will be a lot of Iranians who want to see a free Iran, whose brains work and are logical and rational individuals who stand with Israel”.

      • Shingo
        Shingo
        October 30, 2013, 5:31 am

        Banafsheh Zand-Bonazzi, an Iranian writer and filmmaker, said she agrees wholeheartedly with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

        Newsmax? Hahhhahhah hahhah hahhaha hahahha.

        I love how the best these right wing neocon nutters can do is produce a fake film maker who writes diatribes for David Horowitz’s bile duct at frontpagemag.com.

        You should start a comedy routine Mayhem. You’re a natural.

      • Woody Tanaka
        Woody Tanaka
        October 30, 2013, 7:47 am

        “refer link to newsmax.com.”

        LMAO!!! Newsmax??? It’s the official newsletter of Camp Crazytown.

      • Mayhem
        Mayhem
        October 30, 2013, 6:21 pm

        @woody, is Mondoweiss any different? No, it’s just the perspective from the other side.

  6. Justpassingby
    Justpassingby
    October 29, 2013, 4:21 pm

    Sanctions on Iran are illegal, but dont be naive to think they will be lifted, Israel want the war.
    Put sanctions on the nuclear armed Israel.

    • OlegR
      OlegR
      October 29, 2013, 6:02 pm

      You forgot to take your medicine.
      Again.

      • Shingo
        Shingo
        October 29, 2013, 7:37 pm

        I’m pretty sure Zioncaine has no medicinal properties.

      • amigo
        amigo
        October 29, 2013, 8:04 pm

        You forgot to take your medicine.
        Again.oleg.

        Seems to me, you took someone else’s.

      • FreddyV
        FreddyV
        October 30, 2013, 7:14 am

        @Amigo:

        Oleg took what? Medicine?

        Oh, sorry, I thought you said ‘country’.

        Ha!

      • thankgodimatheist
        thankgodimatheist
        October 29, 2013, 8:34 pm

        If I were a Zionist, “god” forbid, I’d shut the f* up about Iran’s nuclear ambitions. Why would I draw in the process the fact that Israel has ALREADY those weapons that Iran doesn’t. But then again I’m not a Zionist. I’m a rational person.

      • thankgodimatheist
        thankgodimatheist
        October 29, 2013, 10:23 pm

        “Why would I draw in the process the fact that…”
        Why would I draw in the process the attention* to the fact that….

      • Ellen
        Ellen
        October 30, 2013, 1:12 am

        Oleg, are you able to address Justpassingby’s comments and call, or only spew sophmoric sarcasim?

        Israel has been asking for war, beating the drums of war against Iran, and Israel does have undeclared nukes in violation of treaties within the international community.

        So reason might conclude, why is it that there are no sanctions against Israel for illegal nuclear arms, which remain hidden.

        What do you think?

  7. lysias
    lysias
    October 29, 2013, 5:33 pm

    OT (although sanctions and an embargo are related topics,) today the UN General Assembly voted 188-2 (with three abstentions) voted to condemn the U.S. embargo of Cuba. Only Israel voted with the U.S. The abstaining nations were Micronesia, the Marshall Islands, and Palau.

  8. OlegR
    OlegR
    October 29, 2013, 6:05 pm

    No military nuclear program = no sanctions.
    Military nuclear program = sanction and/or something more unpleasant.
    It’s that simple.

    If it weren’t for those sanctions there would be no negotiations right now.
    Sanctions work and they are way more preferable to direct military action.

    • Woody Tanaka
      Woody Tanaka
      October 29, 2013, 6:20 pm

      “No military nuclear program = no sanctions.”

      And there is no evidence of any such program. yet the sanctions continue. And meanwhile, your abomination of a state has such a program. Let’s start the sanctions and start hurting you people.

      “If it weren’t for those sanctions there would be no negotiations right now.”

      There should be no negotiations at all. Iran is fully entitled to its program under international law.

    • justicewillprevail
      justicewillprevail
      October 29, 2013, 6:25 pm

      What ‘military nuclear program’? And why is Israel lobbying for sanctions even for peaceful nuclear research for medical and energy programs? simple, eh?

    • thankgodimatheist
      thankgodimatheist
      October 29, 2013, 6:43 pm

      “No military nuclear program = no sanctions.
      Military nuclear program = sanction and/or something more unpleasant.”

      As long as it doesn’t apply to Israel. It’s that simple.

      • OlegR
        OlegR
        October 29, 2013, 7:27 pm

        And the USA and Russia and France and Britain and India and Pakistan.
        You want to be fair either give every country a bomb or disarm all of them ,good luck.

      • Shingo
        Shingo
        October 30, 2013, 3:37 am

        And the USA and Russia and France and Britain and India and Pakistan.

        The USA and Russia and France are signatories to the NPT, so no, you are wrong.

      • thankgodimatheist
        thankgodimatheist
        October 29, 2013, 8:22 pm

        In fact, I have no problem whatsoever in that Iran acquire the nuclear weapon. It’s rather desirable. The only way to put in check warmonger, power-drunken Israel and bring it to sobriety. If you do not want that to happen just dismantle Israel’s nuclear arsenal. It’s that simple.

    • Shingo
      Shingo
      October 29, 2013, 6:52 pm

      No military nuclear program = no sanctions.

      False. Iran has no military nuckear program. All 16 US and Israeli intelligence agencies have stated that repeatedly.

      In other words:
      No military nuclear program = sanctions.

      It’s that simple.

      If it weren’t for those sanctions there would be no negotiations right now.

      Bullshit. Iran gave been negotiating it offering to negotiate since 2003 – 6 years before the sanctions appeared.

      Sanctions do not work.

    • just
      just
      October 29, 2013, 7:28 pm

      You quite obtuse, aren’t you?

      The Iranians have no “nuclear program”. You and your buddies do have an undeclared arsenal of nukes and other WMD’S.

      Ready for sanctions and/ or “something more unpleasant” yet?

      • OlegR
        OlegR
        October 29, 2013, 7:42 pm

        /The Iranians have no “nuclear program”./
        Really they don’t, non at all ?
        Not even a little one ?
        No centrifuges no facilities nothing ?
        No experiments with detonators ?

      • just
        just
        October 30, 2013, 4:32 am

        They have no nuclear weapons program……… no nuclear weapons program….. no nuclear weapons program.

      • amigo
        amigo
        October 30, 2013, 6:15 am

        Oleg, just to let you know .I made a donation on your behalf to the MW CAMERA FUND.(No oleg , not that CAMERA fund)

        So next time Adelson or one of his ziojerks is caught calling for genocide, you can say,”I helped get that story out in the open”.

        “http://mondoweiss.net/2013/10/adelsons-moment-stories.html

        Have a nice day oleg and keep up the good work.

      • Cliff
        Cliff
        October 30, 2013, 8:34 pm

        OlegR,

        They have no nuclear weapons program. YOU do though.

        Your Jewish terrorist State should be sanctioned.

    • JennieS
      JennieS
      October 30, 2013, 12:33 am

      According to the western security agencies (including Mossad) Iran does NOT have a nuclear weapons programme. As signatories to the NNPT they have the right to pursue all aspects of nuclear technology other than weapons production. They also have good reasons for wishing to be able to enrich their own uranium for energy and medical isotope production – to wit they cannot trust countries such as the US not to impose sanctions on them at a whim.

    • Bumblebye
      Bumblebye
      October 30, 2013, 8:23 pm

      OgleR
      “No military nuclear program = no sanctions.”
      What military nuclear program?
      I told an acquaintance of mine there was none, and hope to be confirmed correct after said person puts eyes on – can’t wait for (their) next visit back to Blighty.

    • talknic
      talknic
      October 30, 2013, 9:50 pm

      OlegR “No military nuclear program = no sanctions”

      Netanyahu wants no nuclear program at all, not even peaceful

      “Military nuclear program = sanction and/or something more unpleasant.
      It’s that simple”

      There’s no evidence of any military nuclear program. Accusations are not evidence, it’s that simple

      “If it weren’t for those sanctions there would be no negotiations right now”

      There were negotiations between the IAEA and Iran BEFORE the sanctions.

      Even in negotiations the Iranians have no legal obligation to forgo their legal rights to a peaceful nuclear industry

  9. Keith
    Keith
    October 29, 2013, 8:48 pm

    Concern over Iran’s nuclear program by US/Israel is a pretext for destabilizing the Iranian government. The US continues to have the means to resolve this US/Israel created conflict. For some background, I provide a 5 paragraph quote from Noam Chomsky:

    “The real issue is what will happen in the United States. The way the issue is presented in the United States, and most of the West, the problem is Iran’s intransigence and its rejection of the demands of the international community. There is plenty to criticize in Iran but the real issue is quite different. It’s the refusal of the West, primarily of the United States, to enter into serious diplomacy with Iran. And as far as Iran violating the will of the international community, that depends on a very special definition of international community which is standard in the West where the term means the United States and anybody who goes along with it. So if the international community includes the world then the story is quite different. For example the non-aligned countries, which is most of the world’s population, have vigorously supported Iran’s right to enrich uranium – still do.

    The nearby region, in the Arab world, Arab’s don’t like Iran it’s quite unpopular there are hostilities that go back very far. But they do not regard Iran as a threat, a very small percentage regard Iran as a threat. The threats they perceive are the United States and Israel, so they are not part of the world as far as “international community” is concerned but it’s a western obsession. Are there ways to deal with it, whatever one takes a threat to be? Sure, there are ways.

    So for example in 2010 there was a very positive advance that could have mitigated whatever the threat is supposed to be. Turkey and Brazil reached a deal with Iran in which Iran would ship out its low-enriched uranium in exchange for storage in Turkey, and in return the west would provide isotopes for Iran’s medical reactors. As soon as that was announced Brazil and Turkey were bitterly condemned by Washington and by the media, which more or less reflexively follow what Washington says. The Brazilian government was pretty upset by this, so much so that the Brazilian Foreign Minister released a letter from President Obama to the president of Brazil in which Obama had proposed this assuming that Iran would turn it down. When Iran accepted, of course he had to denounce it and Obama went right to the Security Council to try to get harsher sanctions.

    There’s a more recent one that is even more interesting. Last December there was supposed to be an international conference in Finland to carry forward longstanding efforts to establish a zone free of nuclear weapons, all weapons of mass destruction in fact, in the Middle East. This is under the auspices of the proliferation treaty, basically the UN. Well it was to be in December, it didn’t happen. The first thing that happened is that Israel announced they wouldn’t participate. Then everyone who was interested was waiting to see if Iran would participate. Iran said they would participate with no conditions. Immediately Obama called off the conference….

    It’s also worth remembering that every day the United States and Israel are violating international law on this issue. The UN charter, if anybody cares, bans the threat or use of force in international affairs. Every time an official says “All options are open,” that is a criminal act. Here nobody cares.” (Noam Chomsky)
    http://www.zcommunications.org/chomsky-to-rt-all-superpowers-feel-exceptional-inflate-security-myth-for-frightened-population-by-noam-chomsky.html

  10. Truthbug
    Truthbug
    October 30, 2013, 9:15 am

    What puzzles me the most about this issue is, Why doesn’t Iran simply pull out of the nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty (NPT), then do what it wants in developing a bomb, if indeed that’s what it wants to do? Isnt it NPT obligations that provide the basis for all the demands the West is making on Iran’s nuclear program? What penalties would Iran face with its nullification of this agreement? I’ve never seen an adequate analysis of this possibility. Can anyone here enlighten me?

    • Shingo
      Shingo
      October 30, 2013, 3:53 pm

      It’s not in Iran’s interests to pull out of the nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty. Israel and the hawks want them to do that, as was revealed by John Bolton’s statements to AIPAC. It would give them the perfect excuse to push for war.

      • Truthbug
        Truthbug
        October 30, 2013, 7:58 pm

        Yeah, I heard of such a reason, but if this is really true, isn’t the hypocrisy of the West laid bare? We have Israel that did just that – get the bomb without signing the treaty – yet no nation is drumming up war against it, just because of that fact. We also have N. Korea and India. I don’t recall talk of war against these countries for doing that same thing. No, the whole thing doesn’t compute. I also can’t see Israel pushing for war with Iran more than it already is now, with Iran a signatory of the treaty. So the Iranians are damned if they do, damned if they don’t, by nations that reek with hypocrisy. All in all, I have a hard time understanding such an explanation, and I think it’s a subject that deserves some good analysis, and especially, interviews with government officials – especially level headed officials, if they exist – on just what’s going on.

    • piotr
      piotr
      October 30, 2013, 10:10 pm

      Ultimately, Iran has to follow the balance of power, and there are some parameters that are very expensive to cross. Eurasian powers, Russia, China, India and Pakistan all have complex dealing with USA and something to loose if USA is alienated, but they emphatically do not wish USA to simply issue demands and being heeded simply on the account of military and financial power, especially that the latter are getting a bit stale.

      As long as Iran is perceived as a team player rather than loose cannon, it will get a sufficient support that the noose of sanctions will not close. And if USA were foolish enough to attack militarily, or condone an attack by Israel, “the sanction regime can break”, presumably Administration and other western governments get ample discrete warning (and public speeches too). It could get quite humiliating for USA — attacked Iran with diplomatic and material support can do a lot of damage, and USA could be even forced to pay formal reparations. But if Iran overplays its hand, the sanctions can become quite complete.

      It is a bit complicated why Iranian leaders chose to play the nuclear card, I think that the prime reason is that they suffered from sanctions regardless so they decided to prepare a confrontation that they can win and finish with the sanctions. The beauty of the Iranian nuclear program is that it is diffuse and hard to define, and also pretty disposable if a good deal is offered — they do not really need it.

      Because revolutionary Iran was an automatic enemy of USA, it was forced to cobble a coalition of regional malcontents, and being the only one with serious funds (and population, military and industrial potential and so on), it is automatically the head of this rather smallish group. That irritates immensely Israel and “Sunni elite” that longs for the “stability”: everybody else in ME is kept in the proper place, by force if needed, and all conflicts can be settled by sufficient bribes in USA. By its very existence, Islamic Republic deserves economic sanctions, a good Shia is a very lean Shia.

      For a number of years this was a very harmonious situation for USA, with a lot of importance, military bases, huge contracts for military hardware and so on. However, there are problems outside the confines of the western end of Asia. Why should Russian Empire (a.k.a. Russian Federation) listen to instructions from bribable barbarians where it is allowed to sell weapons, power stations etc.? Why should Chinese Empire (a.k.a. People’s Republic) listen where they can invest and buy oil? To some degree USA can cajole them, but not without a cost — we constantly negotiate this or that with those big states, and rather than protecting some other interests we have to keep them in line on the subject of Iran which is not inherently important to USA but rather to our vassals/bribers.

      Worst of all, both Israel and the “Sunni elite” lately got totally contumacious. For example, it is not that USA cares about Palestinians, but in your face contempt from GoI is almost humiliating. And Saudis started to go truly bonkers with their open support for terrifying terrorists in Syria and Iraq. So American elite started to warm up to the idea of re-balancing, and we see quite a bit of it in our media.

      • Shingo
        Shingo
        October 30, 2013, 10:22 pm

        It is a bit complicated why Iranian leaders chose to play the nuclear card, I think that the prime reason is that they suffered from sanctions regardless so they decided to prepare a confrontation that they can win and finish with the sanctions.

        Ali Garib has suggested that the nuclear card is one big card they created to be able to bargain with. I think that’s far too simplistic. Given that oil is the main export, it makes sense to reduce Iran’s own dependency on oil and gas and export as much of it as possible.

  11. subconscious
    subconscious
    October 31, 2013, 1:24 am

    The author is sympathetic to the Iranian gov’t’s demand that the contents of the current negotiations be kept confidential until an agreement is reached, arguing that the media would distort such disclosure to the detriment of the results. It’s rather odd for a journalist to prefer to be kept in the dark about his gov’t’s activities and to express distrust in his own institution. But this is not really surprising given that Ziabari is a state-sanctioned Iranian journalist, meaning that he only publishes and advocates points of view that happen to be compatible w/ those of the Iranian authorities, as evidenced by the articles he’s published at the site linked to at the end of his article. Therefore, he prefers not to be informed and keep his readers in the dark on certain issues, if that’s how his gov’t likes it. In other words, the name of the online journal he’s published at notwithstanding, a “dissident voice” he is not. Maybe the author does not trust himself w/ handling the information properly, but he may wanna refrain from blanket accusations against the media in general, such as his prediction of “spreading falsehoods.”

    Ziabari talks about the long history of sanctions on the Islamic Republic and their “devastating impact on the Iranian people.” Although the effects of the sanctions on the Iranian public have been the most dire in the past year or two, the most significant failings of the Iranian economy prior to that period have been the results of mismanagement and corruption. As http://www.iranhumanrights.org/wp-content/uploads/A-Growing-Crisis.pdf puts it, “The purpose of this study is to alert the international community to the mounting costs inflicted on the Iranian population by the current sanctions regime. To be sure, as the study has shown, regime policies have contributed significantly to the economic hardships of the Iranian people. Indeed, during the bulk of the existence of the Islamic Republic, poor government policies and inefficient and corrupt institutions far outweighed the impact of sanctions in impeding economic growth, producing a dysfunctional and vulnerable economy, and undermining the economic well-being of Iranians. Moreover, the Iranian government’s continued economic mismanagement, which reflects either a willful exacerbation of the sanctions’ effects for political gain or the result of managerial incompetence, has magnified the impact of the 2012 sanctions. Yet the fact remains that sanctions have now combined with regime policies to cause a severe deterioration in the living conditions of Iranians. Increasingly, the Iranian people have become unable to pursue their basic economic and social rights to employment, food, shelter, healthcare, and employment.” During the last year or so of Ahmadinejad’s administration, it was routine for various officials outside his faction to lay significant blame for the economic condition on mismanagement and corruption: http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2013/09/ahmadinejad-leaves-rouhani-economic-problems.html

    The article’s claim that the nuclear dossier can be closed once the sanctions are lifted, remains to be seen. While the opening presented by Rouhani’s overtures should be pursued, there are hawkish forces w/in Iran that are not happy w/ agreements that may come out of these talks and seek to derail them. It remains to be seen how such factionalism plays out domestically in Iran.
    http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Latest-News-Wires/2013/1005/Iran-Rouhani-faces-push-back-from-Ayatollah-hard-liners
    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/19/world/middleeast/as-iran-shifts-hard-liners-see-threat-to-battle-cry.html

    • Shingo
      Shingo
      October 31, 2013, 5:55 am

      It’s rather odd for a journalist to prefer to be kept in the dark about his gov’t’s activities and to express distrust in his own institution.

      He made no such claim. He is explaining the reason for Iran insisting the deal be kept confidential.

      You seem to have created an entire narrative about Ziabari based on nothing you’ve actually read.

      the most significant failings of the Iranian economy prior to that period have been the results of mismanagement and corruption.

      That may or may not be true, but what is clear is that the sanctions have made things far worse. Chemo therapy patients were not denied access to medication prior to sanctions as they are now.

      Moreover, the Iranian government’s continued economic mismanagement, which reflects either a willful exacerbation of the sanctions’ effects for political gain or the result of managerial incompetence, has magnified the impact of the 2012 sanctions.

      That’s debatable, seeing as the World Bank predicts the Iranian economy will grow in 2014. In fact, the sanctions have lead to improved efficiencies and diversification of the economy, namely reduced reliance on imports.

      While the opening presented by Rouhani’s overtures should be pursued, there are hawkish forces w/in Iran that are not happy w/ agreements that may come out of these talks and seek to derail them.

      Sorry, but the drek from al-monitor.com is nauseatingly pro Washington. The hardliners do not call the shots in Iran, the Supreme Leader does, and for decades, his fatwa against nukes has remained unchallenged. The hard liners may be opposed to Rouhani’s willingness to compromise on the nuclear program, but that doesn’t mean they are pushing for nukes.

      There are no nukes being developed or pursued in Iran and there never have been.

      • subconscious
        subconscious
        October 31, 2013, 4:30 pm

        He [Ziabari] made no such claim. He is explaining the reason for Iran insisting the deal be kept confidential.

        Ziabari is simply deferring to state authority as to why details of a process that the public everywhere is highly interested in should be kept secret, projecting future blame on Iran’s official enemies, “extremist and neo-conservative elements in the Western gov’ts.” This is even less credible than Western analysts reiterating the state’s claim that Assange, Manning & Snowden’s revelations harm national security. Ziabari is just following the familiar pattern of state-approved journalists deferring to state authority whenever it demands so on the grounds of national interest or security. (It may be that Rouhani’s side is also partly worried about the reaction of its own extremists, hence demanding secrecy, but cannot openly say so.)

        That’s debatable, seeing as the World Bank predicts the Iranian economy will grow in 2014. In fact, the sanctions have lead to improved efficiencies and diversification of the economy, namely reduced reliance on imports.

        Just referring to an analysis as “drek” is not a logical rebuttal. Al-Monitor is “drek” when I cite it, but you don’t have objections when Ziabari refers to it for support in the article. Al-Monitor is “pro Washington,” but you find The World Bank, part of the so-called “Washington Consensus” and a promoter of neoliberalism, as reliable. The kind of prediction you mention, had been made previously by other neoliberal outfits, such as the IMF, and Ahmadinejad himself. Even the current Rouhani administration doesn’t buy it.

        The hardliners do not call the shots in Iran, the Supreme Leader does, and for decades, his fatwa against nukes has remained unchallenged. The hard liners may be opposed to Rouhani’s willingness to compromise on the nuclear program, but that doesn’t mean they are pushing for nukes. There are no nukes being developed or pursued in Iran and there never have been.

        The SL, Khamenei, is generally considered in the hardliner camp, although there’s variation w/in each of these factions. The “hardliners” are generally the most loyal to and espouse the most extreme unwavering support for Khamenei. I didn’t claim that Iran is trying to develop nuclear weapons, or even that the hardliners/Khamenei intend as such; just that they don’t necessarily want areas of confrontation w/ the US completely patched over.

      • Shingo
        Shingo
        October 31, 2013, 7:02 pm

        Ziabari is simply deferring to state authority as to why details of a process that the public everywhere is highly interested in should be kept secret, projecting future blame on Iran’s official enemies, “extremist and neo-conservative elements in the Western gov’ts.

        No that is not what Ziabari is doing and there is no evidence to support that. Reporting on Iran’s strategy is not deferring to state authority. The details of the talks between Israel and the PA are also being kept secret. Are reporters who are reporting that also deferring to state authority?

        Your premise is BS. Are they also following the familiar pattern of state-approved journalists deferring to state authority whenever it demands so on the grounds of national interest or security.

        You’re clearly an Israeli shill.

        Just referring to an analysis as “drek” is not a logical rebuttal.

        True, but I was not referring to analysis I was referring to an op-ed.

        Al-Monitor is “pro Washington,” but you find The World Bank, part of the so-called “Washington Consensus” and a promoter of neoliberalism, as reliable.

        Sure why not? The World Bank gave a prediction about Iran’s economy, which one would assume was based on analysis rather than politics. After all, it doesn’t serve their interests to be wrong.

        The kind of prediction you mention, had been made previously by other neoliberal outfits, such as the IMF, and Ahmadinejad himself. Even the current Rouhani administration doesn’t buy it.

        Based on what statement? Has Rouhani made any public statements about Iran’s economy in 2014? No. So why make that up unless you’re trying to spread misinformation?

        I didn’t claim that Iran is trying to develop nuclear weapons, or even that the hardliners/Khamenei intend as such; just that they don’t necessarily want areas of confrontation w/ the US completely patched over.

        Not really. It’s more a case of not wanting to give Washington more than the absolute minimum. Such sentiments are not driven by a desire to see confrontation rather than national pride.

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