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US still sizing Iran up?
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ramonmercadoOffline
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PostPosted: 23-09-2012 18:47    Post subject: Reply with quote

We're back in James Bond territory.

Quote:
Spy rock explodes near secret Iranian nuclear compound - report
http://rt.com/news/iran-spy-rock-nuclear-777/
Published: 23 September, 2012, 14:09

Iranian troops patrolling the perimeter of a secret uranium enrichment site have reportedly found a monitoring device disguised as a rock. The spy gadget exploded when disturbed, probably on a self-destruct trigger.

The incident happened last month, although no link to espionage operations was known before The Sunday Times newspaper broke the news.
At the time Iranian Revolutionary Guards were checking terminals connecting communication links at Fordo, an underground site near Qom in northern Iran, the British newspaper reported Sunday citing intelligence sources.

Iranian experts who examined the scene after the explosion believe that the spy device was capable in intercepting data from computers at the plant.

Tehran did not report discovering the device. But last week Iranian Vice-President Fereydoun Abbasi, who heads the national atomic energy agency, said the explosion on August 17 damaged power lines at Fordo.

Inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), who visited Fordo the day after the explosion, did not mention any disruption in their report.

The newspaper’s sources did not indicate which country’s intelligence service planted the rock at the Iranian nuclear facility. Israeli, British and American agents are reportedly actively operating in the country, monitoring its military and nuclear programs. Some Western countries say Iran is trying to build a nuclear weapon under the guise of its civilian nuclear energy projects, an allegation Tehran firmly denies.

Disguising spy equipment as elements of landscape is far from unusual. In 2006 a major scandal erupted in Russia, after a controversial documentary said British secret services used a transmitter disguised as a rock to communicate with some non-governmental organizations working in Moscow.

This year British officials admitted that they did use such a device disguised as a rock for monitoring and secret communication with intelligence informants.
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PostPosted: 23-09-2012 18:55    Post subject: Reply with quote

It'll be an Ace Ventura style rhino next. What do you mean there are no rhinos in Iran?
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ramonmercadoOffline
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PostPosted: 05-10-2012 12:38    Post subject: Reply with quote

Full text at link.

Quote:
Iran Tribunal: ‘Impossible to continue support’

Norman Paech, a prominent member of the German left party, Die Linke, has joined others in withdrawing his support for the Iran Tribunal after approaches from supporters of Hands Off the People of Iran, reports Tina Becker. This is an edited version of an article recently published on the website of the German magazine Hintergrund1

The Iran Tribunal continues to divide the Iranian left. Yassamine Mather’s articles in the Weekly Worker have been hotly debated in Iran, across Europe and the United States. Since she started to expose the links of the organisers to the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), a number of organisations and individuals have withdrawn their support. Other groups and parties have split over the issue.

It is therefore timely to take a closer look at the tribunal, its gestation, its corruption - and the fallout from Hopi’s scathing criticism.
Supportable aims

During the 1980s, tens of thousands of political activists in Iran were arrested, tortured and sentenced to death. Many leftwingers fled abroad and around 20,000 dissidents were murdered. The worst massacre was in the summer of 1988, when between 5,000 and 7,000 political prisoners were systematically executed in a matter of weeks, their bodies dumped in anonymous mass graves.

Since then, the relatives and former comrades of those killed have fought for justice. But how to do that in today’s world? That is the question that has sparked heated debates amongst the Iranian left. They are united in the view that a first, important step should be the publication of the details of the massacre. After all, the government in Teheran has never admitted these crimes and continues its cover-up. Many of those responsible remain in power.

“For many years, we have been fighting for an independent commission to examine the horrific murders and name the guilty parties. Our model is the Russell Tribunal, which was established by Bertrand Russell and Jean-Paul Sartre in 1967 and which exposed very effectively the crimes committed by the US military in Vietnam.” says Yassamine Mather, who has been living in exile in London for almost 30 years and today is chair of Hands Off the People of Iran. After dozens of her comrades were executed in the early 80s, comrade Mather and other members of her organisation - Fedayeen (minority) - fled to Kurdistan to continue their struggle. From exile, she watched in horror as many more of her comrades and political friends were murdered.

Like other exiled Iranians, she initially supported the preparations for the Iran Tribunal. She even supplied it with evidence. An impressive range of international politicians and lawyers were won to the project - for example, from Germany Norman Paech, a prominent member of the leftwing party, Die Linke, and respected professor of law.

http://www.hopi-ireland.org/c/iran-tribunal-%E2%80%98impossible-continue-support%E2%80%99
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ramonmercadoOffline
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PostPosted: 19-10-2012 12:35    Post subject: Reply with quote

How the sanctions are hitting ordinary people in Iran.

Quote:
Iran: Sanctions mean war on the people

Hands Off the People of Iran remains true to its slogan, ‘No to imperialism, no to the Islamic regime’. Yassamine Mather describes the devastation and hunger inflicted on Iranians

If you want to find out what economic chaos looks like, forget about Athens or Madrid: Tehran is the capital to study.

In 2009-10 there were already signs of a serious economic crisis in Iran - low wages, mass unemployment, spiralling inflation, all helped along by privatisation. That was when we saw mass protests against fraudulent elections results, dictatorship and repression. Those demonstrations were suppressed and a number of factors, including the threat of war and the reformism of the self-appointed leaders of the green movement, contributed to the defeat of the protests.

Since then Iran has not been much in the news - until the protests of early October, when angry crowds took to the streets of Tehran. Sanctions have crippled the country to such an extent that for most Iranians day-to-day life is becoming impossible. It is true that not a single shot has been fired, but sanctions are indeed a form of warfare, imposing hunger and destitution on the population. And if the US presidential race remains close in these last days before the poll, the Obama administration could yet consider a military strike.

Of course, Iran’s economy is not crippled just because of sanctions. Decades of obedience to the International Monetary Fund have left the country with a privatised, corruption-riven economy. The gap between rich and poor is wider than at any time in living memory. Food and fuel subsidies have been abolished by Islamic clerics - to the applause of the IMF and World Bank. In other words, even without sanctions Iran would have had all the features of a third-world capitalist country suffering from the effects of the global economic crisis. But sanctions have made life so intolerable that people will tell you that hunger and poverty, combined with this constant fear of military conflict, is worse than war itself. ...
http://www.hopi-ireland.org/c/iran-sanctions-mean-war-people
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PostPosted: 26-10-2012 00:58    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:

9 Big Myths We're Being Peddled to Scare Us About Iran
The truth about Iran's nuclear designs is almost nowhere to be found in the corporate media.


1. Iran’s civilian nuclear enrichment program is alleged by Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to be a stealth nuclear weapons program. But there is no evidence at all for this allegation, and it was contradicted by Netanyahu’s own Defense Minister, Ehud Barak, who admitted that Iran has not decided to initiate a nuclear weapons program. Israel’s chief of staff, Benny Gantz, has also admitted that Iran has not decided to build a bomb .

2. It is often argued that Iran does not need nuclear power. But it uses some petroleum for power generation, and Iranians are driving more and more. There is every prospect that what happened to Indonesia, which now uses all its own oil in addition to importing some, will happen to Iran. Iran’s energy exports provide a crucial financial cushion, allowing the country to remain independent. Other oil giants, such as Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, are also building nuclear power plants. There is nothing illogical or unusual about Iran going in this direction.

3. It is alleged that Iran has threatened to annihilate Israel. It has done no such thing. Iran has a ‘no first strike’ policy, repeatedly enunciated by Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. Iran’s president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, has expressed the hope that the ‘Zionist regime over Jerusalem” would ‘vanish from the page of time.’ But he didn’t threaten to roll tanks or missiles against Israel, and compared his hopes for the collapse of Zionism to the collapse of Communism in Russia. Iran has not launched a conventional war of aggression against another state in all of modern history. Israel aggressively invaded Egypt in 1956 and 1967 and Lebanon in 1982 and 2006. The list of aggressive wars fought by the US, including the 2003 invasion and occupation of Iraq, is too long to detail. So why is Iran being configured as the aggressor?

4. Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei has given a formal ruling or fatwa against nuclear weapons, saying

“The Iranian nation has never pursued and will never pursue nuclear weapons. There is no doubt that the decision makers in the countries opposing us know well that Iran is not after nuclear weapons because the Islamic Republic, logically, religiously and theoretically, considers the possession of nuclear weapons a grave sin and believes the proliferation of such weapons is senseless, destructive and dangerous.”

5. Some have alleged that Khamenei is lying in his fatwa, in accordance with a Shiite doctrine that allows pious dissimulation. The permission to lie about religion does not apply where there is a Shiite state able to protect Shiites .

6. No, the International Atomic Energy Agency, on inspecting Iran, did not alleged evidence for bomb-making. It certified that no uranium has been diverted to a weapons program.

7. It is often argued that Iran’s nuclear program might spur an arms race in the Middle East. But it is Israel’s arsenal of 400 nuclear warheads that has spurred the arms races. Iraq’s experiments with enrichment in the late 1980s until 1991 were a direct result of knowledge that Israel was given the bomb by France, Britain and the US. If a non-nuclear Iran is so important, why won’t Israel respond to repeated requests by Middle Eastern countries for a nuclear-free zone in that region?

8. Iran has actually reduced its stockpile of low-enriched uranium at 19.75% , turning it into plates to fuel its medical reactor (which is what Iran has all along said it was doing with that uranium). Iran lost its source of uranium fuel for the medical reactor when Argentina ceased producing and supplying it. (Note that no one put sanctions on Argentina or threatened to bomb it when *it* was enriching uranium to that level).


Source: http://www.alternet.org/world/9-big-myths-were-being-peddled-scare-us-about-iran?akid=9420.150287.pLyPyC&rd=1&src=newsletter713446&t=16
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PostPosted: 26-10-2012 06:49    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Iran’s civilian nuclear enrichment program is alleged by Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to be a stealth nuclear weapons program. But there is no evidence at all for this allegation,


Very Happy Wouldn't be much of a stealth programme if there was, would it?!
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ramonmercadoOffline
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PostPosted: 07-12-2012 13:39    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Iran coup: Tudeh’s inglorious role

Torab Saleth reviews: Ervand Abrahamian, 'The coup: 1953, the CIA and the roots of modern US-Iranian relations', New Press, 2013, pp304, £16.84

With the continuing efforts made by the self-proclaimed global imperial power, the USA, to achieve ‘regime change’ in Iran, it is timely that a book about the 1953 coup - in which the US, with the help of the British government, carried out exactly such regime change - has been published. The coup was aimed against Mohammad Mosaddegh’s National Front1 government, which had nationalised the British-controlled Iranian oil industries.

If Los Angeles-based Iranian TV stations or Facebook campaigns have given the imperialists a false impression that a nation is waiting to be liberated by the US and its allies, this book should remind them why there is in fact still a deep and widespread hostility in Iran towards the USA and Britain: precisely because of this event.

The historical irony is that the forefathers of the current dictators in Tehran were indeed part of the very same ‘pro-democracy’ coalition of forces that helped the US in its 1953 coup. The Shi’ite hierarchy was instrumental in it. Indeed the coup succeeded at the second attempt because of the help accorded by Shi’ite rent-a-crowd mullahs. The same rabble-rousers who were instrumental in helping the CIA save the shah in 1953 organised riots two decades later in support of ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. Indeed, the whole calamity called the ‘Islamic Republic of Iran’ would not have come into existence if it had not been for that coup. ...
http://www.hopi-ireland.org/c/iran-coup-tudeh%E2%80%99s-inglorious-role
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ramonmercadoOffline
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PostPosted: 03-01-2013 12:41    Post subject: Reply with quote

Full text at link.

Quote:
Iran tribunal: What a legalistic shambles.

In the good old days of the Moscow trials it was customary for fallen members of the Soviet leadership to disappear from group photographs, their image wiped out of history, as they fell out of favour with Stalin. How ironic that the 21st century unholy alliance between Iran’s soft left and neo-conservatives in what is known as the Iran Tribunal seems to have adopted the same method in dealing with the embarrassing outcome of its second phase.

The Farsi version of the long-awaited final resolution never made it to the IT website and the English version1 has been either removed or hidden away somewhere where it is difficult to find.2 As the embarrassing clauses were translated into Farsi, the organisers were confronted with a barrage of criticism. The soft left has attempted to justify the disappearance of the final statement with the claim that the ‘findings’ were temporary resolutions - although the ‘prosecutor’, Payam Akhavan, and his allies consider the job done and deny the ‘temporary’ nature of the findings.

...When we warned the Iranian left about the dangers, we were not acting in a sectarian manner. We were saying that, contrary to their claims, they are not part of the ‘third force’ confronting both the Iranian regime and imperialist forces. Once we give free rein to the likes of Akhavan and so accept the hegemony of bourgeois forces, including those who are proud of their association with the National Endowment for Democracy, we are no longer defending the Iranian working class. On the contrary, such forces are allies of the ‘first force’ - the imperialist powers and world capitalism - irrespective of whether this betrayal is carried out consciously or not. In the same manner, apologists of one or other faction of the Islamic regime, those who refuse to call for its overthrow, should be counted within the ranks of the ‘second force’.

Far from being sectarian, Hopi was acting in a responsible way, trying to stop comrades from falling into a dangerous trap.
http://www.hopi-ireland.org/c/iran-tribunal-what-legalistic-shambles
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ramonmercadoOffline
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PostPosted: 06-01-2013 13:12    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
HOPI: We stand by our principles

Hands off the People of Iran re-iterates its core principles

Hands Off the People of Iran has been accused by some forces in the orbit of the Iran Tribunal of abandoning its central political slogans and effectively becoming an apologist for the Tehran regime. Hopi categorically rejects these accusations. Our opposition to the IT flows precisely from the principles embodied in our founding statement - principles that uphold implacable opposition to both imperialism and the theocratic regime. At the same time we were - and remain - crystal-clear about where change must come from: the struggles of the working class and the social movements.

Our criticism of the Iran Tribunal and the left organisations that have collaborated with it flows from this. The refusal of this body to stand against sanctions and the threat of war against Iran makes its condemnation of the regime's crimes - accurate though they are in the abstract - an aid to imperialism's plans and manoeuvres in the region. Quite apart from murky questions to do with the tainting of the IT through funding or indirect support, its silence on US threats and the possibility of an Israeli attack provide a damning indictment of the whole initiative.

Despite protestations to the contrary, some of those on the `left' who have cooperated with the IT have effectively given up on the ability of the working class to win fundamental change in Iran. Their political decay and disorientation is illustrated by the agency they now look to in order to defeat the theocratic regime: the stance of the IT proves that, for these people, that force is now imperialism. Others who have given their support in hope of raising awareness of the crimes committed by the theocratic regime have done so at a political cost that is too high. Whatever media interest has been gained has been placed within the framework of strengthening the imperialist arguments for deeper sanctions and the possibility of a military strike.

In stark contrast, Hopi stands proudly by the founding principles we adopted at our first conference in 2007:

No to any imperialist intervention. The immediate and unconditional end to sanctions on Iran.
No to the theocratic regime.
Opposition to Israeli expansionism and aggression.
Support to all working class and progressive struggles in Iran against poverty and repression.
Support for socialism and democracy in Iran and therefore solidarity with all democratic, working class, socialist and secular movements in that country.
Opposition to Israeli, British and American nuclear weapons. For a Middle East free of nuclear weapons as a step towards worldwide nuclear disarmament.

http://www.hopi-ireland.org/

http://hopoi.org
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PostPosted: 18-01-2013 14:41    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
US general warns over Iranian cyber-soldiers
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-21075781

Iran's nuclear programme has been hit by viruses that targeted industrial machinery

Cyber-attacks on Iran are turning it into a "force to be reckoned with" America's top cyber-soldier has warned.

Since 2010, Iran has come under attack many times by malicious viruses written specifically to target key industrial installations in the country.

The repeated attacks have provoked Iran to improve its cyber-capabilities, said Gen William Shelton who oversees US cyber-operations.

It meant Iran was becoming a growing force in web-based attacks, he said.

Gen Shelton issued the warning during a briefing given to reporters about the US Air Force division he heads that includes America's cyber-troops.

He said the 2010 Stuxnet virus attack on Iran's Natanz uranium processing plant had generated a "reaction" by Iran that had led it to rapidly improve its defensive and offensive cyber-capabilities. Since then Iran has been hit again and again by viruses. In December 2012, the Stuxnet virus returned and hit companies in the southern Hormozgan region.

That improved capability had helped it protect itself against subsequent attacks on oil terminals and other manufacturing plants. Its capability might well be turned against Iran's enemies in the coming years, he said.

"They are going to be a force to be reckoned with," said Gen Shelton, "with the potential capabilities that they will develop over the years and the potential threat that will represent to the United States."

Web war
Gen Shelton's comments come soon after a senior Iranian commander said it had growing "electronic warfare" capabilities that it planned to use to disrupt what it called enemy communication systems. The nation is known to have carried out web-based military exercises at the same time as other troops were on manoeuvres.

Currently, said Gen Shelton US cyber-forces were about 6,000 strong but would add another 1,000 people in the next 12 months. These workers were successfully fending off the vast majority of the millions of attacks aimed at military networks every day, he added.

In addition, he said, the cyber-forces could gather intelligence and were developing the ability to carry out hack attacks in support of more traditional military operations.
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ramonmercadoOffline
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PostPosted: 24-02-2013 13:40    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
...There is no doubt that sanctions are hitting hard and a recent poll showed 70% of Iranians blamed the US, Israel, the European Union and the United Nations. This could be misleading, of course - perhaps Iranians are too scared of their government to express their true feelings, even when they respond to anonymous polls. But, whatever the case, the results have certainly given Khamenei a boost. In a defiant response to the latest US offer of ‘negotiations’ the supreme leader said: “The Americans point the gun at Iran and say, either negotiations or we pull the trigger! You should know that pressure and negotiations don’t go together, and the Iranian nation will not be intimidated by such things.” Borrowing a phrase from the left, Khamenei also commented on the USA’s decline as a world power.4

Of course, there are those on the left who still defend the first ‘anti-imperialist’ Islamic state and even encourage voting for similar forces in the Arab world. However, for millions of Iranians who have to suffer in the hell on earth created by Shia clerics, Islamic capitalism has nothing to commend it.

As Iranians try to get by with their valueless currency, expensive food and shortage of medicine, they are adopting desperate measures in order to survive. It is no longer just prescription drugs and kidneys that are for sale: adverts are appearing from “healthy” young Iranians offering any part of their anatomy for sale, while unscrupulous Islamist bazaaris, those staunch supporters of Islamic fundamentalism, have found new ways of making a profit - through buying and selling human organs. ...
http://www.hopi-ireland.org/c/iran-towards-barbarism
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PostPosted: 21-03-2013 15:18    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Close shave: How the US almost gunned down Iran’s president
http://rt.com/news/us-almost-shoot-ahmedinejad-579/

A US agent accidentally fired his gun at a UN assembly in 2006, narrowly missing Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, a new book reveals. The incident was kept under wraps for fears Iran would accuse the US of attempted assassination.

A Secret Service agent readjusting a shotgun mounted on a vehicle in former President George W. Bush’s motorcade discharged the weapon by accident as President Ahmadinejad left the InterContinental Hotel in New York.

A new book entitled ‘Deep State: Inside the Government Secrecy Industry’ by Marc Ambinder and DB Grady has lifted the lid on the Secret Service blunder and the reasons it was covered up.

“A US Secret Service agent, in an apparent accident, discharged his shotgun as Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was loading his motorcade at the InterContinental Hotel yesterday,” wrote Bush’s daily intelligence brief the day after the incident according to an official cited in the book.

U.S. President George W. Bush speaks at the 61st U.N. General Assembly in New York, September 19, 2006 (Reuters / Mike Segar)

“Everyone just stopped,” the official said.

“The Iranians looked at us and we looked at the Iranians. The agent began to apologize. Ahmadinejad just turned his head and got into his car.” The book proposes that some Washington officials interpreted the Iranians’ silence as evidence that Tehran was acting cautiously and strategically.

The incident was quickly swept under the rug by the Bush administration which was, at that time, discussing how to deal with Tehran’s alleged atomic weapons program. The gunshot issue had the potential to spark a major international scandal, but was confined to an item in one of the president’s daily intelligence briefs.

Iran’s supposed nuclear weapons program has been a significant obstacle to US-Iranian relations over recent years. The Obama administration has sought to curtail Tehran’s nuclear ambitions by ratcheting up economic sanctions on Iran, while US ally Israel has made numerous calls for a preemptive strike on its nuclear facilities.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (L) meets United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan before addressing the 61st General Assembly of the United Nations at the U.N. Headquarters in New York, September 19, 2006 (Reuters / Jeff Zelevansky)

Ahmadinejad has repeatedly insisted to the international community that Tehran’s nuclear program is purely for civilian purposes. In February, he signaled his readiness to sit down and negotiate with the US regarding the issue and urged the world to cooperate with Iran.

“[Israel] wants to attack Iran, but we’re not preparing any attack against them because the purpose of our program is purely defense,” he said in an interview with Al-Ahram newspaper.
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PostPosted: 01-10-2013 12:20    Post subject: Reply with quote

Talks, but looks as if the US are on top. Full text at link.

Quote:
Iran: Edging towards a settlement

US sanctions appear to have produced results for imperialism, writes Yassamine Mather

As Iranian president Hassan Rowhani addressed the UN general assembly on September 25, there seemed to be no end to the charm offensive unleashed by the new government in Tehran. Following a number of conciliatory articles in US papers1 and a TV interview during which he emphasised Iran’s commitment to “peaceful nuclear development”, the Iranian president arrived in New York, accompanied by Iran’s only Jewish MP - apparently a supporter of the new government.

Two days into the UN’s 68th general assembly, Iran’s foreign minister had already met William Hague, Rowhani had shaken hands with French president François Hollande and it was announced that Iran will take part in negotiations with the ‘five plus one’ countries on September 26, along with US foreign secretary John Kerry. The proposed meeting between Kerry and Iran’s new foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, will be the highest-level US-Iran contact for more than 30 years and, according to media reports,2 the UN was buzzing with rumours that there might be a Rowhani-Obama handshake in the corridors of the United Nations.

The ‘accidental’ meeting would not have been the first time the US administration had used the general assembly for communicating with moderate Iranians. According to Bruce Riedel, who was a senior director at the National Security Council and adviser to Bill Clinton on Iran, in September 2000 Clinton instructed aides to arrange a face-to-face encounter with Iran’s president, Mohammad Khatami. At the secretary general’s lunch, the two presidents were supposed to be seated not too far from each other so that an ‘accidental’ meeting could be arranged. Thirteen years later, the Americans apparently made very similar efforts.
http://www.hopi-ireland.org/c/iran-edging-towards-settlement
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PostPosted: 03-10-2013 12:54    Post subject: Reply with quote

More analysis. Full text at link.

Quote:
Telephone diplomacy riles Israeli hawks and Iranian conservatives
Immediate results from the thaw in US-Iran relations will be few and far between, warns Yassamine Mather

Last week’s phone conversation between the presidents of the United States and Iran, the first direct talks between the two heads of state in more than 30 years, has been the cause of major controversy amongst conservatives both in the US and the Islamic Republic.

Although both countries have declared a willingness to work together to “break the deadlock” over Iran’s nuclear programme, in hindsight it is easy to understand why Hassan Rowhani avoided a handshake or a ‘casual meeting’ in the corridors of the UN with Barack Obama. He did not have permission for a face-to-face meeting and there is some dispute as to whether or not he had the supreme leader’s blessing even for the now (in)famous phone call. According to Javad Zarif, Iran’s foreign minister, supreme leader Ali Khamenei approved of everything he and Rowhani did, and Hossein Naghavi, a ‘reformist’ spokesperson on foreign policy in the majles (parliament), claimed the president had received “the necessary permission from the system” for his telephone diplomacy with Obama. “System” is considered by most commentators to be code for ‘supreme leader’.

Khamenei’s foreign affairs representative was at the airport to welcome back Rowhani - another sign that overall the supreme leader was happy with the outcome. State TV only showed pro-Rowhani demonstrators at the airport, so the Iranian people only found out about the eggs and shoes thrown at the presidential vehicle from the western press and media. Having said that, Khamenei is a complicated character and it is possible that those voicing opposition to Rowhani might also have been prompted by the supreme leader’s office.

Khamenei is making sure that, whatever happens, he will not be blamed if things go wrong. That is why general Mohammad Ali Jafarione, the commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards and a close ally of Khamenei, said on September 30 that the telephone diplomacy was “a tactical mistake”. Probably the same can be said about Hossein Shariatmadari, a notorious rightwinger and editor of the Tehran daily Kayhan. He was derisive: “Mr Rowhani has not achieved anything in New York ... the telephone conversation with Mr Obama was the most regretful part and the biggest advantage Iran … gave to the rival.”1 ...
http://www.hopi-ireland.org/c/telephone-diplomacy-riles-israeli-hawks-and-iranian-conservatives
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PostPosted: 20-10-2013 12:17    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
...If Iran’s apparent agreement to scale down its nuclear programme was predictable, there is a lot of speculation about the reasons for what looks like a softening of the US position. A comrade in Hands Off the People of Iran has offered a possible explanation. Having traditionally relied on Saudi Arabia, Qatar and their Sunni allies, the US might be concerned that these countries have no control over Islamic military groups they finance in the region, Libya and Syria being obvious example of this phenomenon. So the US might be pursuing a twin-track policy of establishing better relations with Shia Iran (a country that has firm control of the Islamist groups associated with it), while maintaining its links with the Sunni states.

In Iran speculation about US inconsistencies dominate sections of the media. The state TV network, Jaam-e-Jam, has gone so far as to quote this writer on its website, when it reproduced part of what I had said on the weekly news/analysis programme of the BBC Persian service.5 (Incidentally it describes the Persian service as a den of spies, part of a Zionist conspiracy and paid for by MI5 on other pages of its website). Inevitably only those sections of the programme where I referred to the US and the effect of sanctions are reported: the rest of the discussion, when I talked about Iran’s ambitions in the region and the regime’s need for crises in order to survive, did not make it onto Jaam-e-Jam’s web pages. This in itself shows the desperation of the Iranian regime - it is not as though it is unaware of my life-long opposition.

And the battle between conservatives and ‘reformists’ has moved up a gear, with foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif claiming that false reporting of his comments about president Hassan Rowhani’s visit to New York has caused him so much stress that he was almost paralysed on the eve of the Geneva talks. To prove it, Zarif tweeted a picture of himself lying in bed with backache. But our Twitter-using foreign minister is a firm believer in secrecy. No details of Iran’s presentation in Geneva have been made available to the Iranian people. ...
http://www.hopi-ireland.org/c/iran-step-solidarity
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