The Iranian defense minister says the Islamic Republic will by no means negotiate on its defense prowess and missile program in nuclear talks.
Brigadier General Hossein Dehqan made the statement in reaction to comments by top US nuclear negotiator Wendy Sherman who said that Iran’s ballistic capabilities should be addressed as part of a comprehensive agreement in nuclear talks between Iran and the P5+1 group.
“Iran’s missile might is our concern. We are the ones in charge and we will not brook interference from anyone [in this issue],” Dehqan said Wednesday.
The official stressed that the issue is not up for talks under any circumstances.
He said that the West claims that Iran may acquire nuclear warheads for missiles, thus insisting that the issue of the country’s missile program be part of the talks, but he reiterated that nukes have no place in the country’s defense doctrine.
Dehqan said that Iran by no means seeks nuclear arms, citing a fatwa by Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei on the prohibition of building and using such weapons.
Iran and the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council – the US, France, Britain, Russia, China – plus Germany wrapped up their latest round of the talks aimed at reaching a comprehensive deal on the Islamic Republic’s nuclear energy program last week. Iran and the six countries agreed to meet again on May 13.
The two sides had reached an interim deal in the Swiss city of Geneva on November 24, 2013. The deal took effect on January 20
Seven months after the end of the Syrian chemical weapons crisis, the Syrian army is making progress in the Damascus countryside and the opposition is exerting all its military might to achieve a strategic victory in Aleppo. Recently, news of the regime using poison gas against the opposition has reemerged with Israel leading the charge.
All the voices calling for organizing the Geneva III conference for negotiations between the Syrian government and the opposition have faded. The circumstances on the ground that allowed the regime not to give concessions at Geneva II still hold. The Syrian army continues, with its allies, to make progress on the ground. This allows the regime, once again, not to give any serious concessions in any negotiations that will take place in the foreseeable future. It is on this basis that the opposition’s latest battles in Quneitra, Daraa, Kassab, Idlib and Aleppo have been waged.
Until now, it appears that of all the battles, the battle of Aleppo stands in a class of its own. In the battles of Damascus, its countryside (Eastern Ghouta and Qalamoun), Homs and its nearby surroundings, the opposition forces acknowledged their loss. They put up a strong fight just to make the other side pay a heavy price. All the other battles do not make up, in military or moral terms, for losing in Damascus and the central region, except the battle for Aleppo. That is why we see the opposition forces’ massive mobilization in the economic capital of Syria.
The opposition is not merely talking about making progress in Aleppo but is promising to take complete control of the largest city in the north. Based on its discussions, the opposition wants to achieve a quick victory in Aleppo before the regime and its allies finish their battles in Damascus and Homs. Achieving stability in the capital and the central region for the regime will free up a large segment of the elite forces and will allow the Syrian army and its allies to move towards other active fronts. It would then be very difficult for the opposition to achieve progress of any strategic value in the north or the south. Until today, the al-Qaeda-inspired fighters have not been able to make a strategic breakthrough in the north. In Aleppo, the war is led by Jaish al-Muhajireen wal-Ansar (Army of Foreign Fighters and Supporters) which includes mostly Caucasian fighters who are well-trained and have combat experience.
Against this background, news has emerged once again that the Syrian army has used chemical weapons. Last August, the Syrian government asked for an investigation of an incident whereby militants used chemical weapons in Khan al-Asal in Aleppo. But after the attack on Eastern Ghouta, the regime was accused by Western forces of using poison gas against the opposition. Washington led a campaign threatening an attack on Syria until Russia proposed a solution that required Syria to give up its chemical arsenal. This time, the Syrian government sent a letter to the United Nations on March 25 saying that it monitored communications between the opposition in Jobar, which is adjacent to the capital, indicating that “the terrorist organizations are going to launch attacks by using poison gas with the aim of framing government forces.”
While the opposition has remained silent, Israel this time led the charge of accusing the regime of using chemical weapons. On April 7, the Israeli Channel 10 website reported a “major Israeli security source” saying that the Syrian army has gone back to using chemical weapons against the opposition forces. It used it at least in one case on March 17 in Harasta, eastern Damascus. According to the Israeli security source, the material used was not deadly chemical weapons found on the list of prohibited materials based on the agreement with the West, but rather substances that cripple those exposed to it for several hours.
After four days, the Syrian opposition grabbed the accusation and ran with it. The Syrian National Coalition issued a statement asking the international community to investigate the use of poison gas by the regime in Harasta. The Western press started again to play the tune of the regime using chemical weapons. Yesterday, the regime and the opposition exchanged accusations about using poison gas in the town of Kfar Zita in the Hama countryside.
Washington has distanced itself from this debate so far. The State Department’s spokesperson, Jennifer Psaki, said yesterday that her country does not have proof of chemical weapons use. The British and the French seem more excited than others to take up the issue. Western diplomatic sources in Paris say that since the failure of the Geneva II conference, the French authorities have been talking about the possibility of the Syrian regime using chemical weapons that are not internationally prohibited and that the international community must act to deter the regime.
The source likened this claim to the audio recording of a secret meeting of the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s work team published on March 27 in which they talked about creating a pretext that would allow Turkey to intervene militarily in Syria. But intervention does not seem possible at this point. According to a source close to the regime in Syria, the goal of “this intimidation is twofold. Exonerating the opposition of what it is doing and a desperate attempt to draw red lines in front of the the Syrian army and its allies in their battle in the Damascus countryside so the opposition can make some progress in the north.”
GAZA CITY – The military wing of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine said it fired mortar shells at Israeli military vehicles that entered Gaza early Monday.
According to the statement, the group responded by firing three mortar shells at the Israeli vehicles.
No injuries or damages were reported.
“National resistance will remain the only path to restore Palestinian rights,” the Brigades’ statement said.
An Israeli military spokeswoman said she was not familiar with the incident.
The shells were fired two days after the DFLP said the National Resistance Brigades targeted an Israeli military jeep near the Kissufim military base east of the Gaza Strip.
A statement said that on Saturday “the military site Kissufim was also targeted with three mortar shells in response to the ongoing Israeli attacks on unarmed Palestinians.”
An Israeli military spokeswoman said on Sunday that “there was alarm in the area overnight,” and an explosion was heard, but she said that Israeli forces were still searching the area.
On Friday, five Palestinian medics suffered from excessive tear gas inhalation after Israeli forces fired a tear gas canister at their ambulance in the northern Gaza Strip, a day after Israeli forces shot four Palestinians in two incidents near the border fence.
Palestinian journalist and political activist Majd Kayyal
Israel’s security services secretly arrested Palestinian activist-journalist Majd Kayyal. The arrest is under gag order
I received an urgent message from Jamil Dakwar of the ACLU that Palestinian journalist and political activist, Majd Kayyal, age 22, was arrested on his return to Israel from a trip to Lebanon and Jordan. I’ve checked with an Israeli source who tells me he was arrested as a national security suspect. The combination of his trip to Lebanon, where he attended an event celebrating the 40th anniversary of As-Safir (considered a pro-Hezbollah publication), his participation in a 2011 flotilla voyage to break the Gaza siege, and his activist role in Adalah (where he was the website editor) and Balad (Hebrew), made him a ready target.
At midnight Saturday Israel-time, a few hours after his arrest, the security police raided his Haifa home and confiscated his computer and other electronic devices and materials. Jamil reports he has been denied access to an attorney, which is standard procedure for Israeli Palestinian security suspects. A judge will be asked to extend his remand tomorrow and will automatically do so, again as is standard for the Only Democracy in the Middle East. Majd can also expect abuse and even torture from his security service interrogators just as Ameer Makhoul did.
For those with good memories, who’ve been reading this blog for several years, you’ll recall his case. He was also a Palestinian community activist from Haifa who founded the Ittijah NGO. He too returned from a trip to Jordan, where he allegedly met a fellow activist Hassan Jaja at an environment conference. The Shabak made Jaja out to be a key Hezbollah operative, when in reality he owned a landscaping business in Amman. My guess is that Shabak discovered a similar meeting Kayyal had with a suspect individual who the security forces can turn into an Islamist bogeyman.
This persecution is part of the ongoing effort by Israeli secret police to criminalize Israeli Palestinian nationalism. As I’ve reported here, Yuval Diskin, then Shabak chief, said in 2007 that any such political expression would be viewed as sedition and criminally prosecuted by the State. That is what is happening in this case. Nothing more. [...]
This arrest, which constitutes a severe assault on press freedom, since Kayyal is an Israeli Palestinian journalist, is under gag order in Israel. It has not been reported in Israeli media. I hope this publication will poke a hole in the shroud of opacity that favors such assaults by the security apparatus. An international group of activists joined together to fight on Ameer’s behalf. I’ve begun a process which I hope will lead to the same support for Majd.
When U.S. Attorney for Massachusetts Carmen M. Ortiz unsealed the indictment of a Chinese citizen in the UK for violating the embargo against Iran, she made what appeared to be a new U.S. accusation of an Iran nuclear weapons programme.
The press release on the indictment announced that between in November 2005 and 2012, Sihai Cheng had supplied parts that have nuclear applications, including U.S.-made goods, to an Iranian company, Eyvaz Technic Manufacturing, which it described as “involved in the development and procurement of parts for Iran’s nuclear weapons program.”
The text of the indictment reveals that the reference to a “nuclear weapons program” was yet another iteration of a rhetorical device used often in the past to portray Iran’s gas centrifuge enrichment programme as equivalent to the development of nuclear weapons.
Reuters, Bloomberg, the Boston Globe, the Chicago Tribune, and The Independent all reported that claim as fact. But the U.S. intelligence community, since its well-known November 2007 National Intelligence Estimate, has continued to be very clear on the pubic record about its conclusion that Iran has not had a nuclear weapons programme since 2003.
Something was clearly amiss with the Justice Department’s claim.
The indictment doesn’t actually refer to an Iranian nuclear weapons programme, as the Ortiz press release suggested. But it does say that the Iranian company in question, Eyvaz Tehnic Manufacturing, “has supplied parts for Iran’s development of nuclear weapons.”
The indictment claims that Eyvaz provided “vacuum equipment” to Iran’s two uranium enrichment facilities at Natanz and Fordow and “pressure transducers” to Kalaye Electric Company, which has worked on centrifuge research and development.
But even those claims are not supported by anything except a reference to a December 2, 2011 decision by the Council of the European Union that did not offer any information supporting that claim.
The credibility of the EU claim was weakened, moreover, by the fact that the document describes Eyvaz as a “producer of vacuum equipment.” The company’s website shows that it produces equipment for the oil, gas and petrochemical industries, including level controls and switches, control valves and steam traps.
Further revealing its political nature of indictment’s nuclear weapons claim, it cites two documents “designating” entities for their ties to the nuclear programme: the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1737 and a U.S. Treasury Department decision two months later.
Neither of those documents suggested any connection between Eyvaz and nuclear weapons. The UNSC Resolution, passed December 23, 2006, referred to Iran’s enrichment as “proliferation sensitive nuclear activities” in 11 different places in the brief text and listed Eyvaz as one of the Iranian entities to be sanctioned for its involvement in those activities.
And in February 2007 the Treasury Department designated Kalaye Electric Company as a “proliferator of Weapons of Mass Destruction” merely because of its “research and development efforts in support of Iran’s nuclear centrifuge program.”
The designation by Treasury was carried out under an Executive Order 13382, issued by President George W. Bush, which is called “Blocking Property of Weapons of Mass destruction Proliferators and Their Supporters.” That title conveyed the impression to the casual observer that the people on the list had been caught in actual WMD proliferation activities.
But the order allowed the U.S. government to sanction any foreign person merely because that person was determined to have engaged in activities that it argued “pose a risk of materially contributing” to “the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction or their means of delivery”.
The Obama administration’s brazen suggestion that it was indicting an individual for exporting U.S. products to a company that has been involved in Iran’s “nuclear weapons program” is simply a new version of the same linguistic trick used by the Bush administration.
The linguistic acrobatics began with the political position that Iran’s centrifuge programme posed a “risk” of WMD proliferation; that “risk” of proliferation was then conflated with nuclear proliferation activities, when than was transmuted into “development of nuclear weapons”.
The final linguistic shift was to convert “development of nuclear weapons” into a “nuclear weapons program”.
That kind of the deceptive rhetoric about the Iranian nuclear programme began with the Bill Clinton administration, which argued, in effect, that nuclear weapons development could be inferred from Iran’s enrichment programme.
Although Cheng and Jamili clearly violated U.S. statutes in purchasing and importing the pressure transducers from the United States and sending them to Eyvaz in Iran, a close reading of the indictment indicates that the evidence that Eyvaz provided the transducers to the Iranian nuclear programme is weak at best.
The indictment says Cheng began doing business with Jamili and his company Nicaro in November 2005, and that he sold thousands of Chinese parts “with nuclear applications” which had been requested by Eyvaz. But all the parts listed in the indictment are dual use items that Eyvaz could have ordered for production equipment for oil and gas industry customers.
The indictment insinuates that Eyvaz was ordering the parts to pass them on to Iran’s enrichment facility at Natanz, but provides no real evidence of that intent. It quotes Jamili as informing Cheng in 2007 that his unnamed customer needed the parts for “a very big project and a secret one”. In 2008, he told Cheng that the customer was “making a very dangerous system and gas leakage acts as a bomb!”
The authors do not connect either of those statements to Eyvaz, but they suggest that it was a reference to gas centrifuges and thus imply that it must have been Eyvaz. “During the enrichment of uranium using gas centrifuges,” the indictment explains, “extremely corrosive chemicals are produced that could cause fire and explosions.”
That statement is highly misleading, however. There is no real risk of gas leaks from centrifuges causing fires or explosions, as MIT nuclear expert Scott R. Kemp told IPS in an interview. “The only risk of a gas leak [in centrifuge enrichment] is to the centrifuge itself,” said Kemp, “because the gas could leak into the centrifuge and cause it to crash.”
On the other hand, substantial risk of explosion and fire from gas leaks exists in the natural gas industry. So even if the customer referred to in the quotes had been Eyvaz, they would have been consistent with that company’s sales to gas industry customers.
Pressure transducers are used to control risk in that industry, as Todd McPadden of Ashcroft Instruments in Stratford, Connecticut told IPS. The pressure transducer measures the gas pressure and responds to any indication of either loss of pressure from leaks or build up of excessive pressure, McPadden explained.
The indictment shows in detail that in 2009 Eyvaz ordered hundreds of pressure transducers, which came from the U.S. company MKS. But again the indictment cites no real evidence that Eyvaz was ordering them to supply Iran’s enrichment facilities.
It refers only to photographs showing that MKS parts ended up in the centrifuge cascades at Natanz, which does not constitute evidence that they came from Eyvaz.
Press TV – April 11, 2014
Israeli officials have unveiled the model of a Jewish temple near the al-Aqsa Mosque Compound in East al-Quds (Jerusalem).
Palestinian activists say the model of the so-called third Jewish temple has a big hall and can accommodate hundreds of visitors each day.
Israeli authorities hope the project could attract tens of thousands of local and foreign tourists every year.
The al-Aqsa Foundation for Endowment and heritage says the move is a direct threat to the mosque.
The organization argues that the project is aimed at building enough support to make a Jewish temple on al-Aqsa site.
Palestinian groups have already warned of large-scale Israeli excavations near al-Aqsa’s southern gate.
On February 25, the Israeli parliament, Knesset, discussed a plan to annex al-Aqsa Mosque Compound.
The Organization of Islamic Cooperation has condemned the debate as a “dangerous escalation,” calling it part of Israel’s goal to “Judaize Jerusalem.”
The Israeli Knesset is set to discuss a proposal later this week to place the so-called Temple Mount, where Al-Aqsa Mosque is located, under Israeli sovereignty.
Palestinians have denounced the plan as desecration. They say it is part of the Israeli regime’s ongoing attempts to distort Arab and Islamic history.
Over the past decades, Israel has tried to change the demographic makeup of al-Quds by constructing illegal settlements, destroying historical sites and expelling the local Palestinian population.
Israeli and Palestinian officials held fresh US-mediated talks Thursday, but the crisis-hit peace process was dealt a new blow as Israel unveiled sanctions against the Palestinians.
Israel, which collects about $111 million in taxes on behalf of the Palestinian Authority – two-thirds of its revenues – has decided to freeze the transfer of that money, an official told AFP.
Israel was also suspending its participation with the Palestinians in developing a gas field off the Gaza Strip and putting a cap on Palestinian deposits in its banks, the Israeli official said, asking not to be named.
However, the official said “discussions under the aegis of the United States to overcome the talks crisis will continue.”
Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erakat lashed out at the move, calling it an act of “Israeli hijacking and the theft of the Palestinian people’s money.”
The decision is a “violation of international law and norms by Israel” in revenge for the Palestinians’ move to join a raft of international treaties as a state, Erakat told AFP.
Earlier State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki confirmed a new round of talks between the Israeli, Palestinian and US negotiators had been held Thursday. But she downplayed reports of a deal in the works.
“The gaps are narrowing, but any speculation about an agreement are premature at this time,” said Psaki.
Washington remains in “intensive negotiations” with both sides, she told reporters.
“We’re working, as you know, to determine what the path forward is for these negotiations, and that is up to the parties.”
The talks hit a new impasse last week after Israel refused to release a final batch of Palestinian prisoners and the Palestinians retaliated by seeking accession to several international treaties.
US Secretary of State John Kerry blamed Israel this week for the deadlock as Washington mulled how much more time and effort to put into the faltering negotiations.
American envoy Martin Indyk presided over Thursday’s meeting in Jerusalem between Israel’s chief negotiator, Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, and her Palestinian counterpart, Saeb Erakat, said a Palestinian source close to the talks.
Also present were Palestinian intelligence chief Majed Farah and Yitzhak Molcho, a confidant of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
The Palestinian side was pushing for the release of a final batch of prisoners, a commitment Israel reneged on in a move that sparked the crisis.
Israeli television reported that the two sides were on the verge of a deal to extend peace talks beyond their April 29 deadline.
The deal would see the Palestinian prisoners released in return for Washington freeing American-born Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard, Channel 2 television said.
But insisting there was no deal yet, Psaki said “no decision has been made about Jonathan Pollard,” who is eligible for release next year.
Meanwhile Israel’s Economy Minister Naftali Bennett, who heads the far-right Jewish Home party, threatened to pull his party out of the coalition if there was a deal on the release of Palestinian prisoners.
“If the government proposes this deal to us, the Jewish Home party will pull out of the coalition,” he said.
The Israelis have repeatedly asked Barack Obama and previous US presidents to release Pollard, sentenced to life in 1987 for passing US secrets on Arab and Pakistani weapons to Israel.
Psaki revealed that Indyk would return to Washington this week for consultations with Kerry and the White House.
He would then go back to the region some time next week.
A Palestinian official also denied any deal was yet on the table, telling AFP there was still a “deep chasm” between the two sides.
When Israel refused to release 26 long-time Palestinian prisoners, it went back on a pledge it made at the launch of the peace talks.
The Palestinians responded by abandoning their own commitment not to seek international recognition until the nine months of talks ended, applying for accession to 15 treaties.
The United Nations said Thursday it had accepted the deposit of the request, but Psaki said that was merely “a technical step… so I don’t think it changes, necessarily, what we’re negotiating now.”
Australians have been witness to a remarkable conflict in recent days in which their former Foreign Minister Bob Carr denounced the Jewish Lobby and his former Prime Minister Julia Gillard, over the whole series of questions re Australian policy and the demands of Israel and the local Jewish Lobby.
Nothing quite like it has ever been seen or heard before in Australia.
Carr has just published his dairy as Foreign Minister during 2013.
He came to that office in the last year of a sorely troubled Labor Government inheriting the job from Kevin Rudd,a former Prime Minister who took over the Foreign Minister’s portfolio after he, Rudd, was deposed as P.M, but then resigned after more turmoil in the Labor Party.
Carr was no newcomer. Once Premier for 10 years of NSW, the largest state, and seen as a smooth operator if fairly right-wing in his policies and his views, he was seen by many as a likely winner in the new job, in a Government in deep trouble.
A scholar of note, he has written much on one of his favourite topics, American History, with a very good book on the origins of the American Republic.
He came to the Senate, after several years in retirement, as the Government of Julia Gillard lurched from crisis to crisis. It was a job he craved and he got a seat in the Senate and then joined Gillard’s cabinet, where much was expected of him.
The crisis came in the last months of Gillard’s term when the question of Palestinian membership of UNESCO came up for consideration. Gillard was a notorious Zionist from the very inception of her 3-year term, and she was well know for her great support, without any conditions, for Israel. She had links with the Israeli Embassy in Canberra and the Zionist Lobby which also had a fifth column inside the Labor Party, which too has, like it’s US counterpart the Democrats, always had links with the Jewish Lobby.
When Deputy Prime Minister after 2007 Gillard went with a delegation to Israel as guest of a Melbourne Jewish millionaire who organises such events and who provided a job for her hairdresser partner as a salesman for his property empire.
She made no effort while there to visit or see the conditions of the Palestinian people… and one may surmise that her Israeli hosts would have seen to that aspect of her visit. In 2010 she replaced the disastrous Rudd as PM in a” palace coup”, and narrowly won power in a closely divided Parliament.
Her support for Israel never faltered, but when Carr became Foreign Minister in 2013 he had a wider view of the whole Middle East.
We know now that the conflict between Gillard and Carr arose over Israeli matters and appropriate policies in the UN.
Carr was told not to make any criticism of the Settlements on the West Bank, which he wished to do, and when the UNESCO issue arose, he was told to vote (as always) with the USA and Israel. Carr knew the widespread support of Europeans elsewhere in the Asian region for seating the Palestinians in UNESCO. Gillard insisted that he vote with Israel.
Carr demurred and challenged Gillard and then took the matter to the Labor Party Caucus… all members of the federal parliament were then to vote on the matter. Gillard was angry, and a bitter conflict developed.
Carr won out when a majority of the Labor Caucus voted for an Australian abstention in the UN. Carr would have preferred a YES vote but this was a compromise that Gillard, even as P.M. was forced to except she still wanted a NO vote against Palestinian admission, but failed to carry the party.
The Jewish Lobby was outraged and condemned the decision, and Carr for bringing it on. Carr went ahead and abstained, and the vote admitted the Palestinians with a huge margin anyway. The rift between Gillard and Carr was never healed.
Now after the Labor Government’s defeat, Carr is once again in retirement, and his published diary tells the whole story re UNESCO, and the power of the Zionists over Gillard, albeit she was their willing ally.
Not surprisingly he has infuriated the Jewish Lobby and Carr has been denounced in the harshest terms by the very Zionists who run the Lobby, who have described him as “Gillard’s worst appointment” and as “Australia’s worst Foreign Minister.” Carr is known as a tolerant and outgoing man, but none-the-less a Lobby critic has described him as a “bigot”, all in line with the usual Zionist tactics in such cases.
He has replied in kind, saying the Lobby was virtually contracted by Gillard to run Australia’s Middle East policies.
Carr a robust politician has fired back with a furious blast to the Lobby, saying it’s very right-wing and intrusive, and the battle rages now in the media. The Lobby must regret all this as for the first time a senior Labor politician has let the cat out of the bag, re the Lobby.
It will be difficult to get it in that bag again.
There is no word on all this from ex-PM Gillard. She, at the moment, is in Israel.
Brian McKinlay is an Australian Labor Historian who lives in Melbourne and has written widely on Australian history, notably of the Labor Movement, being the author of a 3- volume documentary history of Australian Labor and trade union and radical groups.
Press TV – April 11, 2014
A political analyst says the Israeli lobby is seeking to scuttle efforts aimed at reaching a final comprehensive deal between Iran and the P5+1 over the Islamic Republic’s nuclear energy program, Press TV reports.
In an interview on Thursday, Fo’ad Izadi, a professor at the University of Tehran, pointed to the nuclear talks between Iran and the P5+1 and said the Israeli lobby is hell bent on spoiling attempts at reaching a final agreement. “The Israeli lobby has been working very hard to sabotage this agreement and the people in the US Congress are under a lot of pressure to pass new sanctions laws and create difficulties for this process,” he said.
The analyst also rejected the idea that the ant-Iran sanctions have brought the country to the negotiating table over its nuclear work.
“It would be a mistake for the other side to think that Iran is negotiating because of sanctions. Iran has shown for the last thirty-some years that it has some objectives in terms of its foreign policy, in terms of its scientific advances and Iran will not give up its rights under pressure,” he said.
Full article: http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2014/04/…
Read this so-called “primer” on Iran’s nuclear talk over at Jim Lobe’s website.
Note that there’s no mention whatsoever that the US had until now demanded that Iran first give up enrichment, and had used that demand to prevent any talks from moving forward?
Yes, that’s a bit of fact that they would rather you forget. Just like how they’d rather you forget precisely why the Iranians restarted enrichment — notice no references to the “empty box in pretty wrapping” that killed the EU3 negotiations with Iran under the Paris Agreement. Remember, that deal died, according to Peter Osborne, because the US demanded that the EU3 never acknowledge Iran’s right to enrichment, again.
In fact this particular author over at Lobe’s website totally erases Khatami from history books* and claims that negotiations began in 2003 under president Ahmadinejad… who was elected in 2005. In 2003, the negotiations were undertaken by Khatami.
The “timeline” he links to by the Arms Control Association is similarly selective: the entire EU “empty box in pretty wrapping” affair which is the subject of Peter Oborne’s book is left out as is the fact that the Iranian negotiations were always stymied by the US “zero enrichment demand” but instead the author promotes the false narrative that it was Iran’s election Rouhani that allowed the current negotiations to happen, rather that the US giving up the zero enrichment demand. And also left out is the fact that Iran approached AQ Khan only after the US interfered with numerous legal Iranian nuclear contracts, in violation of Iran’s rights as recognized by the NPT. And also left out is the fact that the allegations against Iran turned out to be largely from Israel. The author pretends that the IAEA somehow endorsed the NIE’s conclusion that Iran had a nuclear program prior to 2003 — whereas El Baradei was explicitly clear that the IAEA had no evidence that Iran EVER had a nuclear weapons program. And finally this piece misrepresents the Additional Protocol issue — the IAEA does not verify the exclusively peaceful nature of ANY country’s nuclear program unless the Additional Protocol is in force, and in that Iran is no different than Argentina Brazil Egypt and many other nations — except that Iran not only voluntarily implemented the AP but exceeded it for more than 3 years with no evidence of any nukes found. The author is missing the entire point as he has not read Gareth Porter’s book: the nuclear issue was always just a pretext for regime change. It was never about trying to “prevent breakout” — 40 nations already have breakout capability, meaning that Iran has joined 1 out of 4 nations on the planet.
Jim Lobe should know better.
*Aletho News notes that the Lobelog post has been revised to correct the mistaken Iranian presidential terms. A Google cached version of the paragraph that was revised is posted below:
Iran has been negotiating on and off with the European Union (specifically the UK, France, and Germany) and on related but separate issues with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) since 2003, under then-President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. In 2006, the talks were widened to include the US, Russia, and China, though the US refused to fully participate until Iran met certain pre-conditions like an indefinite halt to its uranium enrichment program.
An online video has emerged, showing Israeli police forces battering a Palestinian before attacking a protesting bystander.
Ali Talhami suffered a broken arm and ribs after police officers repeatedly slammed a police car door on him, the Israeli daily Haaretz reported on Thursday.
The video shows a police officer forcing Talhami into the police van with blows and then walking over to Majdi Dabah, who was standing nearby, before throwing him at the vehicle.
Talhami was subjected to the acts of violence for refusing to pay up a heavy fine imposed on him by an inspector for leaving a refrigerator outside his store in East al-Quds (Jerusalem).
“I explained the refrigerator was outside because we were returning it to the company, but the inspector started swearing at me,” Talhami said, adding that he was then attacked by a police officer accompanying the inspector before other police officers arrived and joined in on the beating.
“After we reached the police station, they continued beating me,” said Talhami.
“The policeman started beating Ali, and I told him not to,” Dabah said. “So he pushed me with my head into the window and then knocked me to the ground and beat me.”
“My shoulder was dislocated and my head hurts,” Dabah said.
German authorities on Tuesday raided the offices of a charity organization that allegedly has ties to Lebanon’s Hezbollah movement, accusing it of raising money for the group.
Around 150 police officers searched premises across six states and confiscated cash, computers and around 40 boxes of files.
Two bank accounts with a total of around 60,000 euros were frozen but no arrests were made, the German interior ministry said.
The ministry said it had outlawed the “Waisenkinderprojekt Libanon” (Orphan Children Project Lebanon) with immediate effect.
“The name of the group masks its actual purpose,” ministry state secretary Emily Haber said in a statement.
She said the organization based in the western city of Essen had raised 3.3 million euros ($4.5 million) in donations between 2007 and 2013 for the Lebanese Shahid Foundation, which supports families of fallen Hezbollah fighters.
Haber claimed the funds were used to recruit fighters “to combat Israel, also with terrorist measures” and compensate the families of suicide bombers.
The statement did not cite its evidence. Hezbollah used to carry out suicide missions against Israeli occupation forces in South Lebanon prior to their retreat in 2000.
The group has not used that tactic since Israel pulled its army from Lebanon 14 year ago.
“Organizations that directly or indirectly from German soil oppose the state of Israel’s right to exist may not seek freedom of association protection,” Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere said in the statement.
He said the group’s goals violated Germany’s constitution.
The European Union in July last year also listed Hezbollah’s so-called military wing as a “terrorist organization.” But the EU said it would continue to deal with Hezbollah as a political entity.
The German interior ministry said it had put Waisenkinderprojekt Libanon, which has about 80 members, under surveillance since 2009.