Mullahs Threaten Global Oil Crisis

ayatollah-ali-khamenei-450x330by :

A few days after the Obama administration signed the nuclear deal with the Islamist state of Iran, after the easing of sanctions on the ruling cleric and Iranian authorities began to take off, the Mullahs initiated their first hegemonic ambition to reclaim and regain its No.2 position in OPEC, threatening to trigger an oil price war if the other 12 countries oppose Iran’s plan. In addition, Iran has put forward a candidate for the position of OPEC secretary general, considered to be the voice of the OPEC organization between meetings.

If the next time you stopped to fill up your car at a gas station, or to buy any other product, and you notice a sudden increase in prices, this can be attributed to the tireless efforts of the Obama administration to start lifting sanctions on Iran, easing pressure on the nation and integrating the Islamists of Iran into the international community, legitimizing them, giving them credibility, calling them rational actors, and pushing for the recent nuclear deal with the ruling cleric in the Iranian regime.

Last week, ahead of the upcoming OPEC meeting, Iran threatened to trigger a price war in the global oil markets. Iranian authorities warned OPEC’s 12 members that Tehran will ratchet up its oil output, no matter what the consequences would be, in an attempt to gain its former influential position. Bijan Zangeneh, Iran’s Oil Minister, said before going into the closed meetings that “we will not give up our rights on this issue.” The sanctions, accumulated through many years in the international community, reduced Iran’s leverage to disrupt and control the world economy through managing oil prices. However, the recent agreement with President Obama gave the Iranian Ayatollah and leaders a freedom to more aggressively reclaim and reassert their Islamist ambitions in the region and on the international scale.

There is a special quota assigned for each main oil exporter at OPECIranian leaders stated that they will not comply with that quota. This will result in a disruption in supply and demand, which will ultimately create uncertainty in the market and lead to the rising of oil prices. For industrial countries, this will affect the prices of many other goods, because oil is used as a primary source for fuel. If Iran does not respect individual targets of oil sales in the global market and the quotas of OPEC members, Tehran’s attempts can definitely result in oil glut. In addition, this will lead to an increase in geopolitical tensions in the region and particularly among OPEC members.

Read more at Front Page

Dr. Majid Rafizadeh, an Iranian-American political scientist and scholar, is president of the International American Council and he serves on the board of Harvard International Review at Harvard University. Twitter @majidrafizadeh

Iran: Number of Executions Skyrocket Under Rouhani

Iran executionThe number of executions in Iran has significantly increased since President Hassan Rouhani took over the office from Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in August 2013.

According to statistics provided by the Iran Human Rights Documentation Center – which lists those executed by name, date, location and crime — Iran has put to death 529 people this year, 300 alone since Rouhani assumed office in August.

Belying his image painted by the Western as a “moderate,” Rouhani has now catapulted his country into the position of being the world’s leader in executions per capita.

The most common charge garnering the punishment of death was drug trafficking, followed by rape, murder and apostasy.

Reports of the statistics come in conjunction with the first visit in six years by the European Parliament’s delegation for relations with Iran scheduled for December 12-17. During the delegation’s last visit in 2007, Iran publicly executed a number of prisoners while the Europeans were in Tehran.

Read more at Clarion Project

 

The Middle East Now Has Three Alliances: None Are With the U.S.

Iran's navy

U.S. policy is a fatal contradiction: The White House favors both the Muslim Brotherhood and Iran, which has alienated all U.S. allies.

BY RYAN MAURO:

Turkey and Iran’s move to form an Islamist super-bloc is changing the balance of the Middle East. Egypt and Saudi Arabia have chosen to lead an Arab bloc of their own, rather than capitulate to their enemies’ dominance.

Our last analysis of this development explained that three distinct blocs were formed since the Muslim Brotherhood was toppled in Egypt:

1. The Shiite bloc consisting of Iran, Hezbollah, Iraq and the Syrian regime.

2. The pro-Muslim Brotherhood Sunni bloc, consisting of Turkey, Qatar, Tunisia, Hamas and some Syrian rebels.

3. The anti-Iran/anti-Brotherhood Sunni bloc consisting of Saudi Arabia, Egypt, other Syrian rebels and other Arab countries.

The first two blocs are on opposite sides in the Syrian civil war, but are hoping to negotiate a ceasefire that allows them to mend ties. The third bloc feels so threatened by the other two that Saudi Arabia is widely rumored to be offering Israel access to its airspace to strike Iran’s nuclear facilities.

Clarion Project was recently told by an intelligence source that the Saudis and Israelis have moved “beyond talking” and there will likely be on-the-ground preparations for this scenario soon.

The Syrian civil war had put Turkey and Iran at odds, but the prolonged stalemate is compelling the two governments to look for a way forward. The Turkish Foreign Minister was recently in Tehran, where he said they agreed to push for a ceasefire. He also saidTurkey and Iran will “join hands” to be “the backbone of regional stability.”

Read more at Clarion Project

White House ‘Prepared’ to Let Iran Keep Enriching Uranium

Hassan RouhaniBy Adam Kredo:

The White House confirmed late Tuesday that it is “prepared” to let Iran keep a “limited” uranium enrichment program under any final nuclear accord reached with Tehran in the next months.

Iran’s so-called right to enrich uranium has been a key sticking point in ongoing negotiations between the regime and Western nations.

The Iranians insist that they have an inherent “right” to keep enriching uranium, the main fuel for a nuclear weapon, for peaceful purposes. However, many in the West believe that Tehran would use this technology to clandestinely build a bomb.

The White House first told the Washington Free Beacon that it is currently exploring ways to preserve some of Tehran’s enrichment activities and confirmed that position late Tuesday after multiple media outlets requested clarification.

“We are prepared to negotiate a strictly limited enrichment program in the end state, but only because the Iranians have indicated for the first time in a public document that they are prepared to accept rigorous monitoring and limits on level, scope, capacity, and stockpiles,” the White House said in a statement provided to the Free Beacon.

“If we can reach an understanding on all of these strict constraints, then we could have an arrangement that includes a very modest amount of enrichment that is tied to Iran’s practical needs and that eliminates any near-term breakout capability,” the White House said.

This announcement by the White House came on the same day that Iran announced that it is in talks with the Russians to build two new atomic power plants.

Read more at Free Beacon

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Is the US changing sides in the regional conflict between Iran and its enemies?

allianceby Jonathan Spyer
The Jerusalem Post
November 30, 2013

A report by respected Washington-based journalist Hussein Abdul Hussein in the Kuwaiti Al-Rai newspaper this week revealed details of an indirect US channel with Hezbollah.

The report comes, of course, close on the heels of the interim agreement concluded in Geneva between the P5 + 1 world powers and Iran, allowing the latter to continue to enrich uranium.

News items are also surfacing suggesting a stark split between the US and Saudi Arabia over regional policy in general, and policy toward Syria in particular. Saudi officials are going on the record expressing their alarm at the direction of American policy.

Happily stirring the pot, some Iran-associated outlets have suggested that Washington is actively seeking to rein in Saudi intelligence chief Prince Bandar bin Sultan, who favors a hardline against Iranian interference in the region.

Meanwhile, agreement has now been reached over the long-postponed “Geneva 2″ conference, to discuss the war in Syria.

The conference will go ahead because US-backed Syrian opposition representatives abandoned their demand that President Bashar Assad could have no part in any transitional phase of government in the country.

What does all this add up to? There are an increasing number of voices which perceive a shape behind all these details: Namely, an effort by the current US administration to turn the Iranian regime from an adversary into a partner. The method: Acceding, in part or whole, to key Iranian demands.

Let’s take a look at each item in more detail.

The usually reliable Abdul Hussein’s report details the mechanism by which the US is speaking to Hezbollah, in spite of that organization being a US-designated terrorist group. British diplomats are the ones doing the talking.

The channel of communication between UK officials and the “political wing” of the movement was recently revived, in tune with the improving relations between London and Tehran.

It is now serving to transfer messages between Washington and Tehran.

An unnamed diplomatic source quoted by Abdul Hussein explained that this dialogue is “designed to keep pace with the changes in the region and the world, and the potential return of Iran to the international community.”

The official went on to explain that because the US does not concur with the (British, entirely fictitious) division of Hezbollah into “political” and “military” wings, direct dialogue is currently not possible.

The report goes on to outline moments in recent months when the US has found itself on the same page as Hezbollah. One of these, very notably, was the occasion in June when the Lebanese Army, together with Hezbollah fighters, fought against the partisans of the pro al-Qaida Salafi preacher Ahmad al-Assir in the Lebanese town of Sidon. The US backed the army, without reference to the key role played by Hezbollah fighters in the action, which resulted in al-Assir’s defeat.

The other was the US condemnation of the recent al-Qaida-linked bombing at the Iranian Embassy in Beirut. The condemnation, well-noted in Lebanon, did not contain any reference to the presence of Iranian and Hezbollah fighters in Syria.

The Abdul Hussein report also tells us the US “outreach” to Iran has not been on the nuclear file alone. Rather, even before any comprehensive agreement was reached, Washington appears to have begun to dismantle the carefully assembled diplomatic structure seeking to contain Iranian regional ambitions.

Even Tehran’s proxy Hezbollah, which killed 241 US Marines in Beirut in 1983, is evidently now a fit subject for communication, as part of Iran’s return to the international community.

Reports suggesting American efforts to contain Bandar are somewhat less reliable, coming as they do from pro-Iran and pro-Hezbollah media outlets (al-Manar and the Iranian Revolutionary Guards-associated Fars News Agency). But certainly, the deep Saudi frustrations with the direction of US policy are not an invention of pro-Iran propagandists.

Nawaf Obaid, a senior adviser to the Saudi royal family, this week accused Washington of deceiving Riyadh over the Iran nuclear deal. “We were lied to, things were hidden from us,” Obaid told an audience in London, as quoted in The Daily Telegraph. He went on to vow continued Saudi resistance to Iranian machinations across the region. In particular, he expressed Saudi determination to turn back the Iranians in Syria.

“We cannot accept Revolutionary Guards running around Homs,” the adviser said. But this defiant tone appears in stark contrast to the developing US position.

The Geneva 2 conference is now scheduled to take place on January 22. It is a US-sponsored affair. It is not yet clear if Iran itself will be there. But what is clear is that the conference will take place entirely according to the agenda of the Assad regime and its backers.

That is – the US-backed Syrian National Coalition will directly face the regime, while the regime now flatly rejects any notion of its stepping down.

In a statement issued on Wednesday, humming with the old Ba’athist rhetoric, the Syrian Foreign Ministry said, “The official Syrian delegation is not going to Geneva to surrender power… The age of colonialism, with the installation and toppling of governments, is over. They must wake from their dreams.”

The armed rebels will not be sending representatives to the conference.

They, financed and armed by Saudi Arabia and Qatar, have formed a new “Islamic Front” that is battling the regime around Damascus, in Aleppo and in the border region of Qalamoun this week. The military advantage continues to ebb and flow.

But the stark contrast between the US-led diplomacy and the events on the ground is another clear reminder of the extent to which Washington’s position has moved away from confrontation, away from Riyadh – and toward Tehran.

Assad has revived his fortunes in the course of 2013, mainly because of the massive Iranian assistance he has received. Washington, which officially backs the opposition, appears to be sponsoring a conference which will crown this achievement.

So is the US in fact changing sides in the contest between Iran and those regional forces seeking to contain and turn back its advance?

Michael Doran of the Brookings Institute suggested this week that Washington is in the first phase of seeking a “strategic partnership” with Iran, an “entente cordiale” which would see a US-Iranian alliance forming a lynchpin of regional stability.

If this is truly what the welter of evidence detailed above portends, then the Middle East is headed into a dangerous period indeed. As Doran also notes, there is no reason at all to think that Iranian designs for regional hegemony have been abandoned.

The effect of US overtures to Tehran and undermining of allies will be to build the Iranians’ appetite. This will serve to intensify their continued efforts at expansion.

The corresponding efforts by other regional powers, Israel and Saudi Arabia chief among them, to resist this process will also increase.

That, in turn, is likely to mean greater instability across the region – and an eventual direct collision could result.

Jonathan Spyer is a senior research fellow at the Global Research in International Affairs(GLORIA) Center, and a fellow at the Middle East Forum.

The Iranian Resistance Movement & Their Guiding Principles

MEKBY CLARE LOPEZ:

The Iranian opposition group, The Mujahedeen-e Khalq (MeK), and the larger coalition of which it is a member, the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), were removed from the Department of State Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTO) list in September 2012.

Despite this important step, many Americans remain largely unaware of who they are and what they stand for. A June 2013 Clarion Project interview with an NCRI official, Ali Safavi, highlighted some of the key issues confronting the Iranian opposition movement.

This interview, conducted by Clarion Project senior fellow Clare Lopez, with Soona Samsami, U.S. NCRI Representative, recalls the early history of the MeK/NCRI and how their foundational principles continue to guide its members’ struggle for the liberation of the Iranian people today.

The NCRI-U.S. is registered under the U.S. Foreign Agent Registration Act (FARA) but remains independent from its coalition partners in Paris, France and receives no funding from them.

Clare Lopez: Who are the Mujahedeen-e Khalq (MeK) and the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI)?

Soona Samsami: The founders of the MeK were middle class Iranian university students in the 1960s who sought a truly representative republic for Iran in place of the repressive monarchy then led by Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi.

Although these students resented what they viewed as unquestioning U.S. support for the Shah, they were educated and modern in outlook, and would never have supported a clerical theocracy such as that envisioned by the Ayatollah Khomeini. They participated in the anti-Shah revolution of 1979 because, then as now, the MeK hoped for a more democratic, pluralist and tolerant government, and not a religious tyranny that has flung Iran back to the 7th century.

Much as the U.S. government of the era, however, both key MeK leadership figures such as Massoud Rajavi and the rank and file students who made up the movement, viewed the newly-established clerical regime as backward, repressive and totalitarian, but underestimated the depth and extent of the barbarism Khomeini was prepared to commit, based on his ideology, called Velayat-e Faqih(absolute clerical rule).

Khomeini essentially took advantage of the imprisonment of MeK leadership and hijacked the 1979 revolution. Instead of a democratic republic, which was the rallying cry of the majority of the Iranian people, he installed a theocracy centered around absolute clerical rule.

The democratic forces that were gradually sidelined and suppressed by Khomeini rallied around the largest opposition, the MeK, which eventually led to the formation of the coalition National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) in July 1981 in Tehran.

Lopez: What is the policy platform of the NCRI?

 Samsami: As early as the first months after the revolution (early 1979-June 1981), Massoud Rajavi (the only original MeK leader who survived the Shah’s prisons), began to articulate the principles of secular, democratic governance they believed should form the foundation of the post-monarchic system in Iran. Rajavi called for a freely elected constituent assembly to draft a new constitution and entered the political process to run for president in January 1980.

In a famous speech on June 12, 1980 in Tehran’s Amjadieh soccer stadium, with several hundred thousand supporters in attendance, Rajavi called for freedom of speech, association and gatherings. But seeking to monopolize power, Khomeini was beginning to consolidate his own position as “Supreme Leader” and sent his street thug followers to attack the political events, rallies, headquarters and newspaper offices of other political parties and forces which had brought about the anti-monarchic revolution.

Although Khomeini had promised not to intervene in presidential elections, when faced with Rajavi’s growing popularity, he unilaterally rejected Rajavi’s candidacy and filled his jails and morgues with MeKand others who refused to relinquish ideals of freedom and human rights.

The final showdown came on June 20,1981, when Khomeini’s newly-formed Revolutionary Guards opened fire on a peaceful MeK-led march of nearly half a million people in Tehran alone, killing hundreds of innocent protestors in the process. A slew of executions, including girls as young as 13, ensued. The following month, Rajavi left Iran for Paris.

There, the NCRI coalition that had already been established in Tehran, organized a parliament-in-exile and welcomed the participation of ethnic and religious groups from across Iran, including Armenians, Baluchis, Jews, Kurds and Zoroastrians as well as atheists, Christians and Muslims.

Today, women comprise 50 percent of the NCRI’s membership and Maryam Rajavi is the President-elect of the NCRI. Her “Ten-Point Plan for the Future of Iran” defines the policy positions of the NCRI today. Those policy positions are also adopted by the MeK as a member of the NCRI.

Among the Ten-Point Plan’s most important provisions is a commitment to a secular, democratic, republic of Iran based on separation of religion and state, gender equality, universal suffrage, minority protection, a free market economy, and a nuclear-free Iran devoid of weapons of mass destruction.

The Ten-Point Plan explicitly commits the NCRI to the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This means that Iran would have to withdraw from the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) because of the OIC’s 1990 abrogation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in favor of the Cairo Declaration which states that the only human rights recognized under Islam are those granted by Islamic Law (Sharia).

The NCRI’s Ten-Point Plan explicitly calls for the abolition of the death penalty and moreover rejects the Iranian regime’s sharia law and draconian punishments in favor of an independent judiciary based on modern legal principles.

Read more at Clarion Project

The Iranian Nuclear Threat – Nearing Breakout

download (33)According to media reports, representatives from Iran and the so-called P5+1 who met in Geneva last week were very close to signing a deal which would ease the economic sanctions on Iran without dismantling Tehran’s nuclear military infrastructure — including its growing stock of highly enriched uranium. With the sides meeting again on Nov. 20, it is crucial that the public understand the extremist ideology of the Iranian regime, their unrelenting quest for nuclear weapons and their use of deceit to advance their goals.

Clarion Project is making its critically-acclaimed film Iranium available to the public to allow for a serious public debate to take place prior to any easing of sanctions.

 

Rouhani’s Deceptive Negotiations: We’ve Seen This Play’s Rehearsal

Saeed Jalili

When he was Iran’s the nuclear negotiator, he bragged about how skillfully he manipulated the West to advance the program.

BY RYAN MAURO:

By striking a nuclear deal with the U.S., the Iran’s so-called “moderate” President Rouhani is hoping to take one step back so he can take two steps forward. When he was the nuclear negotiator, he bragged about how he skillfully and deceptively manipulated the West so the program could advance. We’ve already seen the rehearsal for this play.

In a September 2005 speech, Rouhani pointed to Pakistan as an example of how Iran can succeed in forcing the West to accept it as a nuclear power. His proposed strategy had three pillars:

1. Deception: “No, we have not lied … But in some cases, we may not have disclosed information in a timely manner,” Rouhani said.

2. Using diplomacy to prevent the West from having a common front, especially in the United Nations.

3. Advancing Iran’s nuclear capabilities to the point where the West accepts it as irreversible. He said, “If one day we are able to complete the [nuclear] fuel cycle, and the world sees that it has no choice … then the situation will be different.”

There is also video of Rouhani gleaming in an interview as he talks about the tremendous progress his tactics produced. He explicitly states, “We needed time.”

The current engagement with Iran is based on a misinterpretation that Islamists cannot be both pragmatic and radical. In fact, many Islamists have rational strategies in pursuit of goals that the Western mind would see as irrational.

The regime is not trying to obtain nuclear weapons capability as quickly as possible, but as smartly as possible. The Iranian regime is under immense financial stress; stress that threatens both the stability of the regime and the viability of the nuclear program.

Much like a business investment, Rouhani is betting that a freezing or even a rolling back of Iran’s nuclear program will result in profit and long-term growth. Again, it is taking one step back in order to take two steps forward.

Read more at Clarion Project

 

Iranian Negotiator: Tehran Will Not Give Up Right to Enrich Uranium

SWITZERLAND IRAN NUCLEAR TALKS

  • Western sources suggest that a nuclear deal could be reached as early as Friday
  • U.S. lawmakers and the Israelis argue that Iran will continue its nuclear weapons work
  • Skeptics on Capitol Hill are already declaring the deal a mistake for the United States

BY: :

Iran will not agree to halt its nuclear enrichment rights under any deal with the West, according to the country’s lead negotiator, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran makes no deal over its right,” Zarif told reporters after daylong negotiations with the West in Geneva over Iran’s disputed nuclear program, according to Iran’s state-run Fars News Agency.

Zarif’s insistence on Iran’s right to enrich uranium, the key component in a nuclear bomb, comes as Western sources suggest that a nuclear deal could be reached as early as Friday.

The debate over Iran’s enrichment rights has been a key sticking point for negotiators on both sides.

U.S. lawmakers and the Israelis argue that Iran will continue its nuclear weapons work if it retains the right to enrich uranium. The Iranians say they will not give ground on the issue.

Zarif’s remarks indicate that Iran could be getting most of what it wants in the deal. He and other officials have praised the talks and the progress each side is making.

Iranian negotiator Seyed Abbas Araqchi revealed on Thursday that the West had accepted Tehran’s proposed framework for a nuclear deal.

Read more at Free Beacon

 

PM Netanyahu’s Statement Prior to Meeting with US Sec of State John Kerry – 8/11/2013:

 

PM Benjamin Netanyahu’s statement following his meeting with US Secretary of State John Kerry:

 

 

TIMMERMAN: Holding the line on Iranian nuclear weapons

10292013_b1-timmerman-timebo8201_s640x248By Kenneth R. Timmerman:

Secretary of State John Kerry said on Monday that negotiations with the Islamic Republic of Iran will “test” Tehran’s nuclear intentions, and impose “fully verifiable” steps to ensure that Iran does not develop nuclear weapons. And yet, he has already given in to Iran’s most significant demand: that they be allowed to continue enriching uranium.

This is a fatal negotiating mistake, which could have deadly consequences.

Iran enriches uranium hexafluoride gas in fast-spinning centrifuges. Spin the centrifuges for a certain period, and you get low-enriched uranium, which can fuel a nuclear power plant. Spin them a bit longer, and you get weapons-grade uranium to make a bomb.

As long as they have the centrifuges and the enrichment plants, there is no inherent stopping point in the technology to prevent Iran from spinning up to weapons-grade uranium. It’s a bit like giving a teenager the keys to the Mustang on a Saturday night and asking him not to push it beyond 30 mph. Are you kidding?

Just like the teenager, all the Iranians have to do is step on the gas, and they will turn the corner to becoming a nuclear weapons state in little time. They don’t need to make any changes in their existing technology.

Over the past two years, Iran has made great strides in its enrichment capabilities. According to the latest report from the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna, the regime now has 19,000 centrifuges, including several thousand high-performance, new-generation machines they are still testing.

To date, they have produced more than 10,000 kilograms (22,000 pounds) of low-enriched uranium. With further enrichment, by most estimates, that is enough for roughly 10 bombs (or “significant quantities,” as the agency calls the amount of highly enriched uranium needed to make a crude, Hiroshima generation weapon). If Iran used a more efficient bomb design, it would be enough for many more.

One of the most respected nongovernmental experts on Iran’s nuclear programs, former Atomic Energy Agency inspector David Albright, has consistently argued that technological and management bottlenecks have slowed the Iranian bomb program considerably. Just two years ago, he questioned whether Iran’s main enrichment plant at Natanz was for real, or just an expensive “boondoggle.”

Now Mr. Albright thinks the program is for real, and that Iran has the capability of producing enough uranium hexafluoride for a bomb in less than one month.

Read more at Washington Times

 

Two Decades of “Negotiations” and “Talks” with Iran

017159092_30300-450x253By :

The two-day nuclear talks between Iran and the West, which are the first formal negotiations since the election of Hassan Rouhani, the Iranian president, resumed this week in Geneva. The talks in Geneva, which were held on Tuesday and Wednesday, involved representatives of Iran (primarily  Including  Javad Zarif, Iran’s foreign minister and Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi) and the permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, plus Germany – the so-called “P5+1″ group — Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States plus Germany.

The predominant mainstream and liberal media — which has abandoned professional and nuanced journalism and analysis when it comes to its coverage on US foreign policy towards the Islamic Republic of Iran — has naively projected a “positive” result of meeting with the Iranian nuclear team, showing trust towards the Islamic Republic of Iran’s nuclear enrichment, and revealing assurance of the advancment in the nuclear negotiations. In that regards, the coverage of these two-days talks have been very shallow and rudimentary.

Even the Obama administration’s delegation and the European representatives issued remarks that showed their satisfaction with the path that the Islamist leaders are taking in Tehran regarding spinning centrifuges and enriching uranium.

The US delegate and European representatives were pleased and contend with the presentation of the shrewd Iranian foreign minister, Javad Zarif, who used the English language and power points to outline Tehran’s classic position through his presentation titled “Closing an unnecessary crisis: Opening new horizons.”  He insisted that Iran has the right to enrich uranium.

According to Reuters news, a senior State Department official said on condition of anonymity “The discussion was useful, and we look forward to continuing our discussions in tomorrow’s meetings with the full P5+1 (six powers) and Iran” several Western diplomats and representatives including a US State department official and Michael Mann, a spokesman for Catherine Ashton, the European Union’s top foreign policy official and the lead negotiator in the talks with Iran, pointed out that the Iranian proposal had been “very useful…. For the first time, very detailed technical discussions continued this afternoon.”

Without doubt, the Iranian Islamist and radical clerics and Ayatollah view this as scoring a significant victory against the West and Israel. Iranian leaders are probably even astonished at how easily it was to delude the West- with some nice words, exchanges of pleasantries, presenting a power point in the English language, and using a softer tone. What the leaders and the Ayatollahs of Islamic Republic of Iran really needs and are anxious bout, is one thing: Buy a little bit more time. Iranian leader are very anxious to have a year or less than year more time to achieve their hegemonic dream.

They have been very successful at achieving this method for over a decade since their clandestine nuclear activities in cities of Natanz and Arak were revelead by a Iranian oppositional group based outside the Islamic Republic of Iran. The meetings this week definitely indicated that Obama’s administration and European Union leaders are more than willing to buy the argument of the Islamic Republic of Iran to do more negotiations and more talks, and to give Tehran want it desires. They have been doing these talks and negotiations for 14 years and no result have been yielded. However, for the theocratic and Islamist leaders of the Islamic Republic of Iran, many crucial  outcomes have resulted since they started playing around with the negotiations and talks -over its nuclear clandestine activities- with United States and the West 14 years ago.

First of all, by being able to buy time and delude the West, International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the West, the Ayatollahs, Islamists, Imams and clerics in the Islamic Republic of Iran have been capable of reaching a 20 percent of Uranium which is considered to be a relatively technical short step from obtaining weapons-grade material and arms. Secondly, only in the last year, Iran’s nuclear abilities have advanced considerably in comparison to 2011-2012.  The Islamic Republic of Iran has increased thousands of advanced centrifuges which are continuing to spin as well as more Iranian engineers have been added to work on a plant that will produce plutonium. Increasingly number of  nuclear experts points out that Tehran is short step from having the capacity to quickly produce a nuclear weapon.

Read more at Front Page

U.S. Gov’t Abandons Iranian Dissidents in Iraq

Iranian dissident2By Clare Lopez:

The Iranian regime’s predilection for hostage-taking as a tool of foreign policy dates back to the earliest years following Khomeini’s 1979 revolution. Unfortunately, so does the U.S. government’s apparent willingness to let them get away with it.

Today, the fate of thousands of defenseless Iranian dissidents belonging to the Mujahedeen-e Khalq (MeK), to whom the U.S. government pledged protection, depends on American action in fulfillment of solemn promises.

These pro-democracy Iranian patriots have been left stranded as virtual hostages in two camps inside Iraq, which have been attacked repeatedly with lethal force by the armed forces of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, a Tehran regime puppet.

Dozens of MeK members have been killed, hundreds injured and seven remain actual hostages after being seized by Iraqi troops in an attack on Camp Ashraf on September 1, 2013. It is time to welcome these MeK members into the U.S. as political refugees who share the American commitment to liberty.

Unfortunately, the U.S. record of standing up to the mullahs’ regime is not encouraging. In fact, if truth be told, there is no such record, even on behalf of Americans, never mind allies like the MeK, whose members assisted U.S. forces in Iraq after the 2003 invasion.

The craven failure of President Jimmy Carter in 1980 to respond immediately and forcefully to the seizure of the U.S. Tehran Embassy and subsequent holding of American mission personnel by Iranian thugs for more than a full year set the pattern of U.S. administrative quailing before this rogue regime for decades to come.

The 1980s in Lebanon featured a parade of Iranian-directed Hezbollah kidnappings, torture and murder of Westerners, including American citizens, for which no official retribution was ever exacted. Many would agree that President Ronald Reagan’s panicked withdrawal of the U.S. military from the Multinational Force in Lebanon after the October 1983 Marine barracks bombing set an image of U.S. weakness that persists to this day.

As Admiral James “Ace” Lyons has explained, he personally drew up the plans to obliterate Hezbollah’s Sheikh Abdullah Barracks, above Baalbek in the Beka’a Valley with a swift aerial strike. It was U.S. Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger, whose spineless fretting about what the Arab world might think, who ultimately prevailed on President Reagan to hold back.

Read more at The Clarion Project

Related Story: See Clarion Project’s Interview with Shahriar Kia, press spokesman  for the Iranians being held at Camp Liberty.

 

Why Israelis See Shi’ite Axis as a Greater Threat Than Syrian Jihadis

by Yaakov Lappin:

The Pros and Cons of Attacking Syria

Rouhani1

My thoughts: If there is going to be a strike, it should be against Iran’s nuclear sites with the goal of regime change there. A limited strike on Syria may indeed provoke a response from Iran that would cause Israel to do just that. 

by David P. Goldman
PJ Media
August 28, 2013

Go after the dog’s master, not the dog.

Kudos to Michael Ledeen for explaining that the road to Damascus starts in Tehran. As Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu explained on Aug. 25, “Assad’s regime isn’t acting alone. Iran, and Iran’s proxy, Hezbollah, are there on the ground playing an active role assisting Syria. In fact, Assad’s regime has become a full Iranian client and Syria has become Iran’s testing ground. … Iran is watching and it wants to see what will be the reaction to the use of chemical weapons.”

We are at war with Iran, and I have little to add to Michael’s excellent summary. As he reiterates, we have been at war with Iran for decades. The only distinction is that Iran knows this and the Obama administration pretends it’s not happening. Because the American public is disgusted with the miserable return on our investment of 5,000 lives, 50,000 casualties, and $1 trillion in Iraq and Afghanistan, Republicans are too timid to push for decisive military action to stop Iran’s nuclear program — although air strikes rather than ground troops would be required.

I made a similar case on March 29:

It’s pointless to take potshots at Obama for failing to act on Syria. What we should say is this: “Iran is the main source of instability in the Middle East. Iran’s intervention in Syria has turned the country into a slaughterhouse. By showing weakness to Iran, the Obama administration encourages its murderous activities elsewhere in the region.”

I also recommend Ed “Give War a Chance” Luttwak’s Aug. 25 op-ed in the New York Times, “In Syria, America Loses if Either Side Wins.” Victory for Assad would be victory for Iran. “And if the rebels win, ” Luttwak wrote, “moderate Sunnis would be politically marginalized under fundamentalist rulers.” The whole region is paralyzed and ripe for destabilization. Saudi subsidies are keeping Egypt from starving, literally. “Turkey has large and restless minority populations that don’t trust their own government, which itself does not trust its own army. The result has been paralysis instead of power, leaving Mr. Erdogan an impotent spectator of the civil war on his doorstep.” I would add that Turkey also is at economic free-fall with its stock market down by 40% in dollar terms since April.

Luttwak argues that the U.S. should favor “an indefinite draw.” Here I disagree: the chemical attack shows how easily Iran can manipulate events in Syria to suit its strategic objectives. The best solution is Yugoslav-style partition: an Alawite redoubt in the Northwest including Latakia (where Russia has its naval station), and a Sunni protectorate in the rest of the country, except for an autonomous zone for Syria’s Kurds. Everyone wins except the Turks, who understandably abhor the idea of an independent Kurdish entity. Someone has to lose, though. What has Turkey done for us lately?

Obama probably will choose the worst of all possible alternatives. Daniel Pipes warns that this course of action “will also entail real dangers. Bashar al-Assad’s notorious incompetence means his response cannot be anticipated. Western strikes could, among other possibilities, inadvertently lead to increased regime attacks on civilians, violence against Israel, an activation of sleeper cells in Western countries, or heightened dependence on Tehran. Surviving the strikes also permits Assad to boast that he defeated the United States. In other words, the imminent attack entails few potential benefits but many potential drawbacks. As such, it neatly encapsulates the Obama administration’s failed foreign policy.”

If the problems of the Middle East look intractable now, consider what they will look like if Iran can promote mass murder from under a nuclear umbrella. The hour is late. If we Republicans can’t summon the courage to advance fundamental American national security issues in the midst of crisis, we will deserve the voters’ contempt.

Mr. Goldman, president of Macrostrategy LLC, is a fellow at the Middle East Forum and the London Center for Policy Research.

Arguing against “Limited” Strikes on the Assad Regime

By Daniel Pipes:

Warfare is a very serious business whose first imperative is to deploy force to win – rather than to punish, make a statement, establish a symbolic point, or preen about one’s morality.

Bashar al-Assad, strongman of Syria.

Yet, these latter are precisely what several Western states will accomplish if they respond to the Syrian government’s apparent use of chemical weapons against civilians with “limited” strikeslasting one or two days against fewer than fifty sites. Briefly lobbing American, British, and other missiles against the regime without a concomitant readiness to deploy ground troops will neither overthrow the government nor change the course of the war. It will, however, allow Westerners to feel good about themselves.

It will also entail real dangers. Bashar al-Assad’s notorious incompetence means his response cannot be anticipated. Western strikes could, among other possibilities, inadvertently lead to increased regime attacks on civilians, violence against Israel, an activation of sleeper cells in Western countries, or heightened dependence on Tehran. Surviving the strikes also permits Assad to boast that he defeated the United States.

In other words, the imminent attack entails few potential benefits but many potential drawbacks. As such, it neatly encapsulates the Obama administration’s failed foreign policy. (August 28, 2013)