Iran War Weekly – February 26, 2013

From Frank Brodhead’s Iran War Weekly which appears at WarIsACrime.Org.

After a six-month delay, representatives Iran and the “P5+1” met in Kazakhstan today to renew negotiations about Iran’s nuclear program. Early news reports say that “the West” offered Iran a very modest lifting of sanctions if Iran would take steps to halt or alter significant parts of its nuclear program. Iran is expected to make its reply tomorrow, during a second day of talks. As indicated in pre-meeting analyses linked below, Iran is expected to reject the West’s proposal as trivial and insincere, wanting instead for the P5+1 to recognize Iran’s rights to enrich uranium under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and to lay out an offer that would quickly remove all the economic sanctions against it.

The negotiations between the P5+1 and Iran are complicated by several issues, most recently the hiatus imposed by the US presidential election and another one coming soon by Iran’s presidential election, which will take place in June. But the larger question is why the P5+1 – or for practical purposes, the United States – is reluctant to offer significant reductions in economic sanctions, knowing full well that Iran will not accept the baby-step reductions now on offer. Is it because the United States thinks that sanctions “are working”? While there is abundant evidence that sanctions are causing hardship to ordinary Iranians, the sanctions have not and do not seem likely to alter the Iranian leadership’s nuclear positions. So, what is the plan?
Continue reading “Iran War Weekly – February 26, 2013”

Stop doing what you’re not doing? AGAIN?

Iran’s imaginary nukes and other war-lies: Take 83  – – –

It’s the sort of bureaucratic lying-by-obfuscation below which caused the U.S. to unnecessarily nuke Japan twice in three days, attack North Vietnam for an incident which Defense Sec. Robert McNamara admits “didn’t happen,” and invade Iraq based on weapons of mass destruction it didn’t have — and at least 935 other documented lies – – –

You have said a couple of times that you did not believe the Iranians were pursuing a nuclear weapon … are you still confident they’re not pursuing a nuclear weapon?  —Moderator Chuck TODD,  Meet The Press, February 3, 2013

What I’ve said, and I will say today, is that the intelligence we have is they have not made the decision to proceed with the development of a nuclear weapon.  —U.S. Defense Secretary Leon PANETTA, Meet The Press, February 3, 2013

The “innies” — like Mr. Panetta for example — know perfectly well Iran’s government has no nuclear weapons program. But almost certainly because the U.S. Government often marches to Israel’s drumbeat, it’s clear Mr. Panetta is reluctant to reveal that inconvenient truth. Chuck Hagel did reveal it. Which is one reason his appointment as Defense Secretary is being held up.

[PANETTA:] They’re developing and enriching uranium. …

TODD: Why do you believe they’re doing that?

MR. PANETTA: I think– I think the– it’s a clear indication they say they’re doing it in order to develop their own energy source. I think it is suspect that they continue to– to enrich uranium because that is dangerous, and that violates international laws… —Meet The Press, February 3, 2013

Mr. Panetta, apparently giving in to his political experience and training, is out-and-out lying. This does NOT “violate international laws” as Mr. Panetta asserts. Unlike Israel, for example, not only has Iran signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) — which allows the enrichment Iran is doing — but, despite Israel’s own clandestine nukes — and its intensive anti-Iran disinformation operations — Iran’s government has allowed much more stringent inspections than other NPT signatories.

And it’s no more dangerous for Iran to enrich uranium this way than for any other country which wants to produce nuclear-electric power. The U.S. for example.

TODD: And you do believe they’re probably pursuing a weapon, but you don’t– the intelligence doesn’t know what…

(Cross talk)

MR. PANETTA: I– no, I can’t tell you because– I can’t tell you they’re in fact pursuing a weapon because that’s not what intelligence says we– we– we’re– they’re doing right now. But every indication is they want to continue to increase their nuclear capability. And that’s a concern, and that’s what we’re asking them to stop doing.  —Meet The Press, February 3, 2013

So, exposed to even the feeble light of U.S. Main Stream Media, Mr. Panetta had to tell the truth. Again. So he reluctantly admits, “I can’t tell you they’re in fact pursuing a weapon because that’s not what intelligence says.” That would be all 16 official branches of the U.S. Intelligence Community, including his own C.I.A. that are telling him that — with unanimous “high confidence.”

Which is why keeping Iran from producing a nuclear weapon may be Mr. Obama’s most easily kept campaign promise.

None the less, Mr. Panetta insists that “every indication is they want to continue to increase their nuclear capability?” So, Mr. Panetta, your HUNCH is better than the carefully evolved high confidence conclusions of all 16 U.S. intelligence agencies? Really?

And Mr. Panetta goes on, “that’s what we’re asking them to stop doing.” In other words, “we’re asking them to stop doing what we know they’re not doing.”

It’s this sort of obtuse double talk that gets politicians elected, bureaucrats like Mr. Panetta into lofty positions — and Chuck Hagel’s appointment as Defense  Secretary held up by Senators Lindsey Graham, John McCain, and the rest of Israel’s Amen Corner.

As already suggested, it’s also this sort of bureaucratic lying-by-obfuscation that caused the U.S. to unnecessarily nuke Japan twice in three days, attack North Vietnam for an incident which Defense Sec. Robert McNamara admits “didn’t happen,” and invade Iraq based on weapons of mass destruction it didn’t have — and at least 935 other documented lies.

So, will “we the people” allow our public servants to once again lie us into war? Squeak up!

Iran War Weekly – February 11, 2013

From Frank Brodhead’s Iran War Weekly:

After a long slumber, diplomacy about Iran’s nuclear program has awakened. Yet none of the factors that stymied agreement in the past has significantly changed. The United States still couples diplomacy with its “all options are on the table” bravado, a stance that precludes a climate conducive to negotiations. And the United States still refuses to recognize Iran’s right to enrich uranium under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty or to consider lifting or suspending economic sanctions in exchange for concessions by Iran. Moreover, the window for negotiations, which was closed during the US election campaign, will soon close again, perhaps as soon as March, as Iran prepares for its own presidential election.

There are now three arenas of negotiations. One arena is that of the P5+1 (the five permanent members of the Security Council, plus Germany), who will meet with their Iranian counterparts in Kazakhstan on February 26. This set of negotiations was broken off at the June meeting in Moscow in disarray. It is in this arena that the suspension of parts of Iran’s nuclear program, and the lifting of UN Security Council sanctions against Iran, will be negotiated. Continue reading “Iran War Weekly – February 11, 2013”

Iran War Weekly – January 27, 2013

From Frank Brodhead of Concerned Families of Westchester:

As President Obama puts his new national security team into place, the likelihood is increasing that no meaningful negotiations about Iran’s nuclear policy will take place before Iran’s presidential election in June. There are several reasons to think this. During his testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, John Kerry gave no indication that President Obama’s policy towards Iran was deviating from “all options are on the table,” and there is no indication that the administration was about to relax its (to Iran, unacceptable) negotiating position. Second, as noted in some articles linked below, it is becoming clear that, in separate talks between Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Iran is not about to allow an inspection of its military base at Parchin (an IAEA demand) until a more comprehensive negotiating framework is developed in the parallel negotiations between Iran and the P5+1.

If there are no negotiations between the Iran and the P5+1 (the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, plus Germany), there is little likelihood that sanctions against Iran will be lessened. I’ve linked essays below about the recently augmented sanctions, with several essays stressing the terrible effect that the sanctions are having on supplies of medicine, and thus health.
Continue reading “Iran War Weekly – January 27, 2013”

Iran War Weekly for January 20, 2013

When putting together links for activists or our weekly newsletter, one excellent resource is the Iran War Weekly featured at WarIsACrime.org by Frank Brodhead.

Iran’s nuclear program, and the possibilities of war against Iran, will likely be prominent in the Senate confirmation hearings of President Obama’s new national security team, particular in the case of the proposed Secretary of Defense, Chuck Hagel. While Hagel, Kerry (State), and Brennan (CIA) are all expected to be confirmed, Senate Republicans have served notice that (especially in the case of Hagel), the nominees will be scrutinized to see if they are prepared to keep the sanctions screwed on tightly against Iran and, if necessary, go to war.

What I think we should watch for is how the nominees characterize the present state of Iran’s nuclear program (is this a nuclear weapons program?), whether sanctions are helping or hurting the possibilities of a negotiated resolution to outstanding issues in dispute, and whether Iran is a threat to Israel. It will also be interesting to see if the existence of Israel’s nuclear arsenal is acknowledged.

Please visit the rest of this issue and the archive at WarIsACrime.