Iran’s Future Will Be Prosperous: A 150-Year Fight for Sovereignty From Oil to Nuclear Energy

Iran's Future Will Be Prosperous: A 150-Year Fight for Sovereignty ...

Cynthia Chung July 28, 2020

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This is Part 3 of the series “Follow the Trail of Blood and Oil”.

 Part 1 is a historical overview of Iran’s long struggle with Britain’s control over Iranian oil and the SIS-CIA overthrow of Iran’s Nationalist leader Mosaddegh in 1953. 

Part 2 covers the period of the Shah’s battle with the Seven Sisters, the 1979 Revolution and the Carter Administration’s reaction, which was to have immense economic consequences internationally, as a response to the hostage crisis.

In this article it will be discussed why, contrary to what we are being told, Iran’s fight for the right to develop nuclear energy will create stability and prosperity in the Middle East rather than an “arc of crisis” scenario.

From Arc of Crisis to Corridors of Development

Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani became President of Iran on August 16th 1989 and served two terms (1989-1997). Rafsanjani, who is considered one of the Founding Fathers of the Islamic Republic, began the effort to rebuild the country’s basic infrastructure, after the ravages of the Iran-Iraq War and launched a series of infrastructure projects not only domestically but in cooperation with neighbouring countries. Following the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, Rafsanjani moved to establish diplomatic relations with the newly independent Central Asian Republics, forging economic cooperation agreements based on building transportation infrastructure.

The major breakthrough in establishing this network came in May 1996 (after a 4 year construction) with the opening of the Mashhad-Sarakhs-Tajan railway, which provided the missing link in a network connecting landlocked Central Asian Republics to world markets, through Iran’s Persian Gulf ports.

At the historical launching of the railway, Rafsanjani was quoted as saying the expansion of communications, roads and railway networks, and hence access to world markets can “enhance amity, confidence and trust among governments and lead to mutual understanding and greater solidarity…The recent global developments demonstrate the world is moving toward greater regional cooperation, and regionally coordinated economic growth and development will consolidate peace and stability and pave the way for enhancement of international relations.

In addition, at the end of Dec 1997, a 125 mile pipeline between Turkmenistan and northeast Iran was opened, gaining access to one of the largest untapped energy reserves in the world, the Caspian Sea Basin, designed to carry 12 billion cubic feet of natural gas a year.

Rafsanjani was fully aware of the Arc of Crisis prophecy that the U.S. was trying to convince the international community of, that basically, the Middle East was full of savages and would become a hot-bed for Soviet terrorism if left alone. It was also understood that Iran’s geographic location was the linchpin in determining not only Middle East geopolitics, but Eurasian relations.

To counteract this “prophecy”, which was in fact a “vision” for the Middle East, Rafsanjani understood that economic development and cooperation with Iran’s neighbours was key to avoiding such chaos.

In 1996, Rafsanjani founded the Executives of Construction of Iran Party, along with 16 members of cabinet, dedicated to Iran’s increasing participation in world markets and industrialization with emphasis on progress and development. The party’s view is that economic freedom is linked to cultural and political freedom.

Rafsanjani publicly supported Khatami as the next president- a highly influential and significant move.

Khatami’s Call for a “Dialogue Amongst Civilizations”

Mohammad Khatami became President of Iran on the 3rd August 1997 and served two terms (1997-2005). He was elected by an overwhelming majority (69% in 1997 and 77.9% in 2001) with a record voter turnout and was extremely popular amongst women and young voters. There was much optimism that Khatami’s presidency would not only bring further economic advances for Iran, but also that Iran’s international relations could begin to mend with the West and end Iran’s economic isolation.

It was Khatami who would first propose the beautiful concept “Dialogue Amongst Civilizations” and delivered this proposal at the UN General Assembly in September 1998 with the challenge that the first year of the millennium be dedicated to this great theme. It was endorsed by the UN.

You may be inclined to think such a concept fanciful, but Khatami was actually proposing a policy that was in direct opposition to the “crisis of Islam” and “clash of civilizations” geopolitical theories of Bernard Lewis and Samuel P. Huntington. Khatemi understood that to counteract the attempt to destabilise relations between nations, one would have to focus on the common principles among different civilizations, i.e. to identify a nation’s greatest historical and cultural achievements and build upon these shared heritages.

This is the backbone to what China has adopted as their diplomatic philosophy, which they call win-win cooperation and which has led to the creation of the BRI infrastructure projects, which are based on the recognition that only through economic development can nations attain sustainable peace. Italy would be the first in Europe to sign onto the BRI.

In 1999 Khatami would be the first Iranian president, since the 1979 Revolution, to make an official visit to Europe. Italy was the first stop, where Khatami had a long meeting with Pope John Paul II and gave an inspiringly optimistic address to students at the University of Florence.

Khatami stated his reason for choosing to visit Italy first was that they shared in common renaissance heritages (the Italian and Islamic Renaissances). Since the two nations had made significant contributions to contemporary civilization, an immense potential existed for a strategic relationship. It was also significant that Italy had never had a colonial presence in the Middle East. During his visit, Khatami had suggested that Italy could function as the “bridge between Islam and Christianity”.

Khatami further elaborated on the concept of a “bridge between Islam and Christianity” in an interview published by La Republica:

To delve into past history without looking at the future can only be an academic diversion. To help human societies and improve the condition of the world, it is necessary to consider the present state of relations between Asian, in particular Muslim, countries, and Europe…Why do we say, in particular, Muslim? Because Islam is Europe’s next door neighbor; unlike individuals, nations are not free to choose or change neighbors. Therefore, apart from moral, cultural, and human reasons, out of historical and geographical necessity, Islam and Europe have no choice but to gain a better and more accurate understanding of each other, and thus proceed to improve their political, economic, and cultural relations. Our future cannot be separated from each other, because it is impossible to separate our past.

In June 2000, Khatami made a state visit to China with a 170 member delegation. In a lecture delivered at Beijing University Khatami stated:

Even if one were to rely solely on historical documents we can still demonstrate the existence of uninterrupted historical links between China and Iran as early as the third century BC. [The historic Silk Road was the vehicle of cultural exchange where] we can observe a striking spectrum of cultural and spiritual interchanges involving religions, customs, thoughts, literature and ethics, which on the whole, added to the vitality and vivacity of eastern culture and thought…[and that] the Chinese outlook has been instrumental in opening up the way to the fruitful and constructive historical discourses throughout the ages, due to its emphasis on the intellectual over the political, in an attempt to epitomize wisdom, temperance and parsimony…Emphasis on our long standing close historical ties and dialogue among the great Asian civilizations, is a valuable instrument for the regenerating of thought, culture, language, and learning…in Asian civilizations, culture has always been the core of the economic and political process…[and] therefore, we are compelled to give a more serious thought to the revival of our cultures…

Khatami concluded with “The future belongs to the cultured, wise, courageous and industrious nations.

Dr. Strangelove and the “Islamic Bomb”

The U.S. was not always so antagonistic to Iran’s right to sovereignty. In 1943, President Roosevelt created the Iran Declaration which was signed by both Stalin and Churchill at the Tehran Conference, effectively ending Iran’s occupation by foreign powers.

In 1957, following Eisenhower’s “Atoms for Peace” initiative, the U.S. and Iran signed the “Cooperation Concerning Civil Uses of Atoms” which led to the 1959 creation of the Tehran Nuclear Research Center. And in 1960, first generation Iranian scientists were trained at MIT. In 1967, the U.S. supplied Iran with a 5 megawatt research reactor and enriched uranium fuel!

The reason why the relationship went sour, as Washington incessantly repeats, is that Iran is no longer trustworthy after the hostage crisis debacle shortly after the 1979 Revolution. The U.S., confident on their high horse, has felt justified ever since to dictate to Iran how they should run their nation.

Funny that it is hardly ever mentioned in the same breath that the U.S. was directly involved in the illegal removal of Iran’s Prime Minister Mosaddegh in 1953 who had successfully nationalised Iran’s oil and purged the nation of its British imperialist infestation.

Iran had proceeded in accordance with international law and won the case for nationalising Iran’s oil at The Hague and UN Security Council, against the British who were claiming their company “rights” to Iran’s resources. When Britain humiliatingly lost both high profile cases, Britain and the U.S. proceeded to implement TPAJAX and illegally overthrew the constitutional government of Iran, removing Mosaddegh as Prime Minister and installing an abiding puppet in his place.

Despite this, the U.S. acts as if it were justified in its incredibly hostile 40 year foreign policy towards Iran, largely over a hostage crisis (to which all hostages were safely returned home), and which was likely purposefully provoked by the U.S. as a pretext to sabotaging the European Monetary System (see my paper on this).

If Iran can forgive what the U.S. did to throw their country into disarray and keep their beloved leader Mosaddegh locked away as a political prisoner for the rest of his life, who was even refused a proper burial (1), then the U.S. government is in no position to harbour such distrust and hatred over the distant past.

Although Iran is also incessantly accused of alleged terrorist activity, there is not one international court case to date that has actually provided evidence to follow through with such charges. What is standing in the way of this occurring if Iran’s crimes are apparently so immense and far reaching and are a matter of international security, as the U.S. government frequently protests?

These alleged terrorist accusations seem to be based in the same form of “reasoning” behind the incessant accusations that Iran is planning on building an “Islamic Bomb”. In 2007, under the fanatical neoconservative Dick Cheney (via operation Clean Break), the U.S. came very close to invading Iran on the pretext that Iran was actively working towards such a goal.

These threats occurred despite the Director of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), ElBaradei, insisting that Iran was cooperating with the IAEA demands in accordance with NPT standards and that there was no evidence to support that Iran was working on nuclear weapons. In fact, ElBaradei was so upset over Washington’s threats of war that he took to the press daily to emphasise that Iran was cooperating fully and there was no evidence to justify an invasion.

However, it wouldn’t be until the release of the National Intelligence Estimate on Dec 3, 2007 that Cheney’s fantasy was finally dashed against the rocks. Within the NIE report, which was produced by American intelligence agencies, it was made crystal clear that Iran in fact had no military nuclear program since at least 2003 but possibly even further back. It was also no secret that the only reason why the report was made public was because members of the American intelligence community made it known that they were willing to go to the press about it, even if it meant ending up in prison.

Incredibly, Bush’s response to the press over this news was “Iran was dangerous, Iran is dangerous, and Iran will continue to be dangerous…”

Looking past the absurdity of Bush’s statement that Iran is dangerous, only 5 years after the illegal invasion of Iraq, justified by cooked British Intelligence, and the very real attempt to invade Iran in turn over fabricated accusations, the issue is in fact nothing to do with what Washington is claiming is their problem with Iran.

Atoms for Peace or Nuclear Apartheid?

The real “problem” with Iran is that it has become a great thorn in the “arc of crisis” game-plan. Despite Iran once being flooded with MI6, CIA and Israeli Mossad operatives, the Iranians have been largely successful in purging their nation of this infestation. Iran is thus refusing to be the west’s geopolitical linchpin. The more autonomous and prosperous Iran becomes, the greater the thorn.

The assassination of Gen. Maj. Soleimani in Jan 2020, was meant to be nothing less than a blatant provocation, as Bolton giddily tweeted, to cause Iran to take a misstep that would have justified a U.S. invasion and allowed for a reboot of the “arc of crisis”, flooding the country with actual terrorist groups, following the Iraq and Libyan models.

The real “threat” of Iran was expressed clearly when then President Bush Jr. visited the Middle East in Jan 2008 in an attempt to organise Arab states to offer their territory for U.S. military aggression against Iran. What he received as a response whether in Kuwait, Bahrain, UAE or Saudi Arabia was a resounding no.

The Al-Riyadh newspaper, which represents the views of the Saudi government, went so far as to state “We refuse to be used to launch wars or tensions with Iran…If the president [of the U.S.] wants to obtain the solidarity of all the Arabs…he must focus, rationally, on the most important issue which is the question of peace.

Overlapping Bush’s visit, the Foreign Minister of Iraq joined with the Iranian Foreign Minister at a Tehran press conference to announce: “My country knows who is our friend and who is our enemy, and Iran is our friend.

It is clear that despite the attempts to bring these nations to each other’s throats, the jig is up, and the tyrannical presence of the U.S. military in the Middle East is only going to unite these countries further. There will be no T.E. Lawrence organising of a Bedouin tribe this time around.

It is understood that if Iran were permitted to enter the world markets unhindered and to develop nuclear energy to sufficiently provide for its people, then Iran would become one of the top countries in the world. And as their Arab neighbours recognise, this would bring not only wealth and prosperity to their nations in turn, but the very much desired peace and security.

Iran as an economic powerhouse would also certainly align itself with Russia and China, as it has already begun, due to their common philosophy oriented in a multipolar governance frame emphasised by a win-win idea of economic cooperation. This alliance would naturally draw India, Japan and notably western Europe into its economic framework like the gravitational pull of a sun, and would result in the termination of the NATO-U.S. military industrial complex by ending the divide between east and west politics.

The fight for nuclear energy has always been about the fight for the right to develop one’s nation. And economic development of regions, such as the Middle East, is key to achieving sustainable peace. The reason why most countries are not “granted” this right to use nuclear power is because they are meant to remain as “serf” countries under a unipolar world order. Additionally, amongst the “privileged” countries who have been given the green light to possess uranium enrichment facilities, they are being told that they now need to shut down these nuclear capabilities under a Green New Deal.

This unipolar outlook was made evident by the Bush Administration’s attempt to assert guidelines that no country should be allowed to enrich uranium even to the low levels required for fuel for nuclear electric power plants, unless it is already in the U.S. dominated “Nuclear Suppliers Group”. All other nations would only be permitted to purchase power plant fuel from these “supplier” countries…with political conditions of course.

Everyone knows that oil revenues are not reliable for financing economic growth and Venezuela is a stark example of this. By limiting countries in the Middle East to oil as the main revenue, an incredibly volatile economic situation for the entire region is created, in addition to a complete subservience to “oil geopolitics”. Every nation has the right to defend itself against economic warfare by diversifying and stabilising its economy, and nuclear energy is absolutely key.

In British-based financial oligarchism, which is what runs the City of London (the financial center of the world for over 400 years to this day), the essential policy outlook which lurks behind the international oil cartels, is that who controls the oil, gas, strategic minerals, and food production will ultimately control the world, after the mass of paper values of a dying financial system have been swept away.

Also by this author

Cynthia Chung is a lecturer, writer and co-founder and editor of the Rising Tide Foundation (Montreal, Canada).

How to Take Back Control of Your Mind

A Historical Reminder of What Defines the United States, As Told by a Former Slave

The Enemy Within: A Story of the Purge of American Intelligence

The Sword of Damocles Over Western Europe: Follow the Trail of Blood and OilTo Understand Iran’s 150-Year Fight, Follow the Trail of Blood and Oil

The author can be reached at cynthiachung@tutanota.com

In tortured logic, Trump begs for a do-over on the Iran nuclear deal

Source

Written by Tyler Cullis and Trita Parsi

Even the Trump administration seems to grudgingly have concluded that breaching the Iran nuclear deal (JCPOA) was a mistake. More than two years after the U.S. exit, the deal still stands while the Trump administration is running out of options to force a re-negotiation. It is now so desperate it is seeking to convince the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) that it never quit the deal in the first place. The lesson to the U.S. is clear: Diplomatic vandalism carries costs — even for a superpower. The lesson to a prospective President Joe Biden is more specific: Rejoin the nuclear deal, don’t try to renegotiate it.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo claims that UNSC Resolution 2231 defines the term “JCPOA participant” to be inclusive of the United States, and nothing the United States could do or has done can change this supposed legal fact.  According to Pompeo, even though the Trump administration repeatedly referred to its “withdrawal” from the JCPOA as a “cessation of its participation” in the agreement, UNSCR 2231 continues to define the United States as a “JCPOA participant” that can invoke the resolution’s sanctions snapback mechanism. 

The snapback permits a “JCPOA participant” to provide notification to the Security Council of a case of significant non-performance by a party to the agreement, triggering the automatic re-institution of former Security Council sanctions resolutions targeting Iran. No Russian or Chinese veto can prevent the reimposition of the sanctions contained in those resolutions. Only a resolution agreed to within 30 days that would undo the snapback — but the U.S. has the ability to veto such a resolution.

This is why the Obama administration cherished the snapback — if Iran were to renege on its nuclear commitments, the reimposition of sanctions would be swift and automatic. 

But this leverage was lost when Trump abandoned the deal in 2018 (the Presidential memoranda announcing the decision was even titled “Ceasing U.S. Participation in the JCPOA”). A senior Iranian diplomat told us at the time that Tehran was shocked that Trump would forgo this advantage. 

Now Trump is begging for a do-over. Despite the legal debate over Pompeo’s interpretation of UNSCR 2231, Trump’s gambit will prove less a legal question than a political one. The issue is not so much whether the United States remains a “JCPOA participant,” but whether the other members of the Security Council — and most prominently, its permanent members — will recognize the United States as such and allow Trump to issue a reverse veto to ensure the full re-imposition of U.N. sanctions on Iran. 

That is less likely to happen — and for an obvious reason: the Trump administration has spent the last three years squandering any international goodwill towards the United States, abandoning international agreements, strong-arming allies, and cozying up to dictators. It has threatened and cajoled its European allies to abandon legitimate trade with Iran or risk the wrath of punishing U.S. sanctions — all for the purpose of killing a fully functioning nuclear agreement that Europe views as essential to its security. Trump will need the sympathy of Europe’s permanent members to the Security Council. But no sympathy is likely to be forthcoming.

But even if Europe were to succumb to Trump’s pressure, it is unclear what objectives stand to be achieved. If, as Trump and his allies fear, a Biden administration would rejoin the nuclear accord, the snapback of U.N. sanctions is unlikely to pose a significant impediment to doing so, other than raising the cost to the United States for a return to the JCPOA. Nothing would prevent a President Biden to support the immediate reinstitution of UNSCR 2231. 

The danger, instead, is that Iran, having witnessed the malicious use of the snapback, will demand that any future resolution drop the snapback procedure. Considering that Iran will be weighing the merits of leaving the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) and terminating its safeguards agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) as a result of the U.N. snapback, the Biden administration would likely be forced to choose between eating that cost or escalating militarily against Iran in its first months in office. 

This underscores the real reason for Trump’s move: the U.S. is out of leverage when it comes to Iran. While U.S. sanctions have decimated Iran’s economy, they have not forced Iran to accede to Trump’s demands. Iran has neither begged for talks nor abandoned the JCPOA. Its posture remains essentially the same, immune to Trump’s best efforts to cause it to lash out to international approbation. 

Though immense pain, Iran has sapped the U.S. of its leverage while keeping its own intact. Tehran can (and has) scale back its commitments to the JCPOA in response to Trump’s actions, it can abandon the JCPOA or even withdraw from the NPT and terminate its safeguards agreement with the IAEA. These, and other options, remain in Iran’s arsenal, unused for the time being but ready to be deployed should the U.S. continue on its path of diplomatic vandalism. 

This is why Biden must dispel with any illusion that he can seek a renegotiation of the JCPOA on the back of Trump’s sanctions. If a Biden administration were to signal to Tehran that it will not seek a clean return to the JCPOA, then Iran will begin using the leverage it has kept in store.

If Trump succeeds in snapping back U.N. sanctions, Biden would not even be able to leverage the risk to Iran in international isolation, as Iran would be already isolated internationally by virtue of the U.N. sanctions. Biden’s sole recourse would be to threaten war with Iran — a terrible prospect for an incoming administration that will be fighting off a deadly pandemic, resuscitating a depressed economy, and operating under the promise of being different from Trump.

Trump overplayed his hand by thinking he could renegotiate the nuclear deal and is now begging for a do-over. Candidate Biden should take note and signal clearly already now that he does not intend to repeat this mistake.

Nonbelligerent Iran v. Nuclear Armed and Dangerous Israel

By Stephen Lendman

Source

The agenda of both countries are world’s apart. Iran is the region’s leading advocate of peace, stability, and mutual cooperations with other nations.

It fully observes its JCPOA and NPT obligations. It resists major power pressures, maintains its sovereign independence, and opposes neocolonialism, especially US-led Western domination.

It’s been a Non-Aligned Movement member since its 1979 revolution. At the NAM summit in Havana that year, Fidel Castro said the following:

The NAM’s purpose is to ensure “the national independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity, and security of non-aligned countries (in their) struggle against imperialism, colonialism, neocolonialism, racism, and all forms of foreign aggression, occupation, domination, interference or hegemony as well as as against great power and bloc politic.”

Like Cuba, Bolivarian Venezuela, and other nations unwilling to abandon their sovereign independence to a higher power in Washington, the Islamic Republic of Iran’s adherence to these principles made it a prime US target for regime change — notably because of its world’s third largest oil reserves and second largest natural gas deposits, along with being Israel’s main regional rival and challenging its revanchist aims.

Israel is nuclear-armed and dangerous, developing these weapons since the mid-1950s, its well-known open secret the official narrative conceals.

Its ruling authorities refused to sign the NPT or abide by its provisions. Nor do they permit IAEA inspections of their nuclear facilities.

According to the Federation of American Scientists and other experts, its nuke warheads can be launched by air, ground, sea, or sub-surface — able to strike targets in the Middle East and elsewhere.

It’s believed the Jewish state also has 100 or more laser-guided mini-nuke bunker-buster bombs — able to penetrate and destroy underground targets.

According to the establishment front organization Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), “US inspections of Israeli nuclear sites in the 1960s proved largely fruitless because of restrictions placed on the inspectors.”

The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace’s Joseph Circincione earlier said (e)veryone knows about Israel’s bombs in the closet.”

Yet the West fails to contest their threat to regional peace and security.

Iran’s nuclear program has no military component and never did, its ruling authorities wanting these weapons eliminated everywhere.

Unlike the US and Israel, permitting no inspections of their nuclear weapons sites, Iran’s legitimate nuclear facilities are the world’s most heavily monitored, its ruling authorities fully cooperating with IAEA inspectors.

Iran’s ballistic, cruise, and other missiles are solely for self-defense, its program fully complying with its obligations under Security Council Res. 2231, unanimously affirming the JCPOA nuclear deal.

No Iranian ballistic or other missiles are designed to carry nuclear warheads, conventional ones alone. No evidence suggests otherwise.

Neither SC 2231 or any other SC resolutions prohibit Tehran’s legitimate ballistic missile development, testing and production. 

The right to self-defense is inviolable under international law, UN Charter Article 51 stating:

“Nothing in the present Charter shall impair the inherent right of individual or collective self-defense if an armed attack occurs against a Member of the United Nations, until the Security Council has taken measures necessary to maintain international peace and security.”

The right of self-defense pertains solely to deterring armed attacks, preventing future ones after initial assaults, or reversing the consequences of enemy aggression.

At the same time, force must conform to the principles of necessity, distinction, and proportionality — what US-dominated NATO and Israel ignore when waging preemptive wars.

Necessity permits only attacking military targets. Distinction pertains to distinguishing between civilian and military ones.

Proportionality prohibits disproportionate force, likely to damage nonmilitary sites and/or harm civilian lives.

A fourth consideration requires prevention of unnecessary suffering, especially affecting noncombatants.

Anticipatory self-defense is permitted when compelling evidence shows likely imminent threats or further attacks after initial ones.

Iran hasn’t attacked another country in centuries — what US-dominated NATO and Israel do repeatedly.

According to Israeli media Friday, the IDF conducted a missile test, launched from a military base in central Israel, a statement saying:

“The defense establishment (sic) conducted a launch test a few minutes ago of a rocket propulsion system from (its  Palmachim airbase south of Tel Aviv). The test was scheduled in advance and was carried out as planned.”

The Times of Israel reported the following:

“Israel does not publicly acknowledge having ballistic missiles in its arsenals, though according to foreign reports, the Jewish state possesses a nuclear-capable variety known as the Jericho that has a multi-stage engine, a 5,000-kilometer range and is capable of carrying a 1,000-kilogram warhead.”

According to Haaretz, Friday’s test came “amid increasing tension between Israel and Iran and was intended to send a clear message.”

Iranian Foreign Minister Zarif slammed Israel’s test, saying the following:

“Israel today tested a nuke-missile, aimed at Iran. E3 (UK, France, and Germany) and US never complain about the only nuclear arsenal in West Asia – armed with missiles actually DESIGNED to be capable of carrying nukes.”

The West has “fits of apoplexy over our conventional and defensive” missiles, capable of carrying conventional warheads alone.

In response to Britain, France, and Germany falsely accusing Iran of breaching SC Res. 2231 by developing “nuclear-capable ballistic missiles” by letter to UN Secretary General Guterres, Zarif responded sharply, tweeting:

“Latest E3 (Britain, France and Germany) letter to UNSG on missiles is a desperate falsehood to cover up their miserable incompetence in fulfilling bare minimum of their own #JCPOA obligations.”

“If E3 want a modicum of global credibility, they can begin by exerting sovereignty rather than bowing to US bullying.”

On Monday, he tweeted: “@SecPompeo once again admits that US #Economic Terrorism on Iran is designed to starve, and in the case of medical supplies, kill our innocent citizens.”

Earlier to the E3 and EU, he tweeted: “To my EU/E3 Colleagues 

“Fully upheld commitments under JCPOA…YOU? Really?

Just show ONE that you’ve upheld in the last 18 months”

On Wednesday, US under secretary of war for policy John Rood falsely accused Iran of building up a “hidden arsenal of short-range ballistic missiles in Iraq,” adding:

“We also continue to see indications, and for obvious reasons I won’t go into the details, that potential Iranian aggression could occur.”

A Wednesday NYT report, reading like a Pentagon press release, said:

“Iran has used the continuing chaos in Iraq to build up a hidden arsenal of short-range ballistic missiles in Iraq (sic), part of a widening effort to try to intimidate the Middle East and assert its power (sic)” — citing unnamed US military and intelligence officials, adding: 

Iran “pose(s) a threat to American allies and partners in the region, including Israel and Saudi Arabia, and could endanger American troops (sic).”

Phony claims about any Iranian nuclear and regional threat posed by the nation were debunked time and again.

Tehran has military advisors in Syria and Iraq at the behest of their ruling authorities. They’re involved in combatting US-supported ISIS and likeminded jihadists.

The Islamic Republic threatens no other nations. US-dominated NATO and Israel threaten humanity.

 

Iran: IAEA’s inspector had explosive nitrates

Tehran says an IAEA inspector who was barred from entering a nuclear facility in central Iran had tested positive for explosive nitrates.

Thu Nov 7, 2019 04:44PM

Iran’s ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) says he has communicated Tehran’s concerns about security of the country’s nuclear facilities to the agency, especially with regard to an IAEA inspector who was prevented from entering an Iranian nuclear site for carrying “suspicious” materials.

Kazem Gharib-Abadi said on Thursday following an extraordinary meeting of the Board of Governors of the IAEA that he had offered a lengthy report on this issue to IAEA’s board, detailing everything that happened from entry of the aforesaid inspector to Iran till the time she left the country.

“I emphasized that Iran has security concerns in this regard and does not intend to violate immunity of IAEA’s inspectors, because we have not violated their rights and are aware of the stipulations of international law and our commitments.”

Iran’s IAEA envoy noted that detectors at Iran’s Natanz nuclear facility had issued alarms with regards to this inspector, showing that she was carrying dangerous materials, saying, “Various measures were taken later and detectors were used at various locations, giving the same result, even when they were applied to her handbag.”

Noting that an investigation is underway on this issue in cooperation with the agency, Gharib-Abadi said, “We told members of the IAEA that in view of the past record of acts of sabotage against our nuclear facilities, we will under no circumstances compromise our national security and security of our nuclear facilities, and we insist that the agency must offer us full cooperation to carry this investigation until its final stage.”

He emphasized that the agency has announced in writing that it is ready to cooperate with Iran in the investigation of the incident regarding its inspector and this issue has been welcomed by the Iranian side.

The Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) on Wednesday announced that an inspector of the International Atomic Energy Agency, who was prevented from entering a nuclear site of the Islamic Republic, has left the country.

The AEOI added that the female monitor left her mission unfinished and flew out of Iran after security staff at the Natanz uranium enrichment facility didn’t let her in.

“As it is protocol, all of the IAEA inspectors’ belongings are closely inspected and scanned before they enter any of the country’s nuclear facilities,” read the AEOI statement.

“Upon this lady inspector’s entry, the security control machines sounded the alarm and denied her entry,” it said, adding that Iran had reported the issue to the IAEA.

Iran also told the international agency in the report that the inspector’s previous admissions at various sites were all scrapped and as a result, she decided to abort her mission and go back to the Austrian capital of Vienna.

Iran Keeping Window of Diplomacy Open – AEOI

By Staff, Agencies

Spokesman of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran [AEOI] Behrouz Kamalvandi said on Monday that the reduced commitment to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action [JCPOA] is not made out of pertinacity, rather it aims to open a window to diplomacy and awaken the other states parties to the deal to honor their obligations.

“The JCPOA was a trading deal that what Iran gave was much more than what it received, because the other side, particularly after the US withdrawal from the deal, forgot their obligations,” Kamalvandi said.

“What Iran is doing in terms of nuclear measures is aimed at reminding the signatories with their obligations,” Kamalvandi said.

Recently, Tehran said that at the second phase of its measures to preserve the nuclear deal, it officially launches enriching uranium beyond the 3.67 percent limit that is set by the deal. The first stage came on the anniversary of the US withdrawal from the JCPOA in May 2018 when Iran announced the reduction of its commitments to the deal.

Referring to President Rouhani’s letter to the signatories to the deal, Kmalavandi said, “The president has reminded that if the chances given by Iran are not used, the Islamic Republic will reduce its commitments based on the content of the deal through two-month periods.”

He added that at the end of the first period, Iran exceeded the 300 kg ceiling for stockpiling enriched uranium and heavy water, breaking the limit of 3.67 percent in enrichment and producing enriched fuel for nuclear power plant with a purity of 5.4 percent.

The measures are not taken out of stubbornness, rather it is meant to keep the window of diplomacy open for the other side, he said.

“If the European signatories and the US do not stick to their commitments, we will strike a balance in the deal by reducing our own commitments and roll back the situation to what it was in four years ago,” Kamalvandi explained.

“In the meantime, let’s keep in mind that Iran has fulfilled all its obligations, as the reports of the International Atomic Energy Agency [IAEA] also verified,” he stressed.

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Zarif Mocks US for its Defeat at Yesterday’s IAEA Meeting – General Suleimani: US Administration Inherently Brings Insecurity

July 11, 2019
Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif

The US requested a meeting of the Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Board of Governors against Iran, but it ended up in its own isolation, according to the Iranian foreign minister on Thursday.

Speaking at a conference attended by Iranian governors from across the country in Tehran on Thursday, the Iranian top diplomat Mohammad Javad Zarif referred to the yesterday’s meeting of International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Board of Governors, which was held on Wednesday at the request of the United States to discuss the latest developments in Iran’s nuclear program, saying that “the US held a meeting of the Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Board of Governors but it ended up in its own isolation. The world superpower failed to gain even a ‘one single line statement’ from the Board of the Governors at the presence of all its allies.”

The foreign minister also said that the US has held four UN Security Council meetings against Iran since last year, one of which was chaired by its president, but they failed to gain a ‘single-word statement’ or a resolution from the Security Council.

Zarif referred to the US National Security Adviser John Bolton who had predicted that the Islamic Republic would not see its 40th anniversary two years ago, saying  “the United States miscalculated that the Islamic Republic would collapse…and conveyed this belief to its allies that if they kill time, the Islamic Republic would collapse.” He added that “but with reliance on the people, the Iranian nation have proven the Westerners and the US calculations to be wrong.”

July 11, 2019

Iran's Quds Force Chief, Major General Qassem Suleimani

Commander of the Quds Force of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Major General Qasem Suleimani stressed that security destabilization is part and parcel of the US administration’s nature.

“The U.S. government inherently brings insecurity. You can’t find any region where they could have brought security by their force and presence,” Suleimani said via Twitter.

Source: Al-Manar English Website

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Zarif Describes US-Called Meeting of IAEA Ironical

Zarif Describes US-Called Meeting of IAEA Ironical

Wed Jul 10, 2019 5:48

TEHRAN (FNA)- Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said it was paradoxical that the IAEA Board of Governors is holding a meeting on Tehran’s compliance with the nuclear deal upon a request by the US while Washington has repetitively voiced contempt against it and breached the deal.

In a tweet on Wednesday, Zarif reminded that the US government was the first country which violated the nuclear deal of 2015 between Iran and the Sextet, five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council plus Germany, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), adding that it was ironical that the Board of Governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) was holding a meeting on Iran’s compliance with the deal at the request of the US.

Referring to the remarks made by US President Donald Trump who has described time and again the JCPOA as the worst deal ever signed by the US, the Iranian diplomatic chief underlined that the “US abhors [the] JCPOA”.

He then stated that the White House not only discarded the agreement and acted in violation of its terms, but also levied sanctions on every entity trying to honor it.

According to Zarif, the White House is unfit to object any matter in regard with the JCPOA, as the US has withdrawn from the agreement and is no longer a party to it.

Zarif stressed that 15 reports by the IAEA verified and attested Tehran’s full compliance with the agreement.

He articulated that his country’s new measures were in line with the terms under the paragraph 36 of the nuclear accord.

Earlier on the day, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani derided the US move to call for an emergency meeting of the Board of Governors of the IAEA as an unprecedented event in the world, mocking at the US alleged concerns about Iran’s performance under the nuclear deal.

“On one side, Americans described the JCPOA as the worst possible deal and withdrew from it without any excuse and on the other side, when Iran reduces its commitments to the deal, they all express concern; while all should concern about the US that has violated the whole deal,” said Rouhani in a Wednesday cabinet session.

“They have called for an emergency meeting of Board of Governors [of the International Atomic energy Agency (IAEA)], asking why Iran has abandoned some of its JCPOA commitments. This is a funny story that US is following and such measures are rare in the world’s political history,” he added.

Upon the US request, the IAEA Board of Governors will hold a meeting today to discuss the latest status of Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. Iran says US request for a BoG session is a ‘sad irony’ as it was the United States who ruined the deal in the first place.

Americans say that Iran’s uranium enrichment is a bad measure but they don’t elaborate that why they do it themselves as the sole country in the world which has used nukes, Rouhani said.

“Does enrichment which leads to the construction of fuel for a power reactor, satisfies people’s needs for water desalination or electricity, leads to the production of radiopharmaceuticals for the treatment of illnesses, and has thousands of other peaceful applications bad for Iran and good for others?” he framed.

Iran has announced cuts to its JCPOA commitments after other signatories to the deal failed to comply with their obligations. Iran is asking other signatories to shield its economy from US unilateral sanctions which were imposed after Washington withdrew from the deal in 2018.

Tehran says all its current measures to reduce its JCPOA commitments are according to paragraphs 26 and 36 of the deal.

Washington withdrew from the internationally-endorsed 2015 nuclear deal with Iran on May 2018, reimposed the toughest-ever sanctions against the country and started a plan to zero down Tehran’s oil sales.

Under the nuclear agreement reached between Iran and six world powers in July 2015, Tehran undertook to put limits on its nuclear program in exchange for the removal of nuclear-related sanctions.

Yet, Iran continued compliance with the deal, stressing that the remaining signatories to the agreement, specially the Europeans had to work to offset the negative impacts of the US pullout for Iran if they want Tehran to remain in compliance. The Iranian officials had earlier warned that the European Union’s failure in providing the needed ground for Tehran to enjoy the economic benefits of the nuclear deal would exhaust the country’s patience.

Almost a year later, however, the EU failed to provide Tehran with its promised merits. Then, the US state department announced that it had not extended two waivers, one that allowed Iran to store excess heavy water produced in the uranium enrichment process in Oman, and one that allowed Iran to swap enriched uranium for raw yellowcake with Russia.

Until May, Iran was allowed to ship low-enriched uranium produced at Natanz to Russia before it hit the 300-kg limit and the US measure leaves no way for Tehran other than exceeding the ceiling for storing the enriched uranium in violation of the 2015 nuclear deal.

Also, the United States would no longer waive sanctions that allowed Iran to ship heavy water produced at its Arak facility beyond a 300-ton limit set in the 2015 nuclear deal to Oman for storage which again forces Tehran to store it inside country in violation of the nuclear deal.

In return, Iran’s Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) announced in a statement on May 8 that the country had modified two of its undertakings under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action in return for the US abrogation of the deal and other signatories inability to make up for the losses under the agreement, warning that modifications would continue if the world powers failed to take action in line with their promises.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran declares that at the current stage, it does not any more see itself committed to respecting the limitations on keeping enriched uranium and heavy water reserves,” the statement said.

Then Iran gave Europe 60 days to either normalize economic ties with Iran or accept the modification of Tehran’s obligations under the agreement and implement the Europe’s proposed Instrument in Support of Trade Exchange (INSTEX) to facilitate trade with Iran.

Iran set up and registered a counterpart to INSTEX called Special Trade and Financing Instrument between Iran and Europe (STFI) to pave the way for bilateral trade.

Then on June 28, Secretary General of the European External Action Service (EEAS) Helga Schmid announced that INSTEX has become operational.

“INSTEX now operational, first transactions being processed and more EU Members States to join. Good progress on Arak and Fordow projects,” Schmid wrote on her twitter account after a meeting of the Joint Commission on JCPOA ended in Vienna following three and a half hours of talks by the remaining signatories to the deal (the EU3 and Russia and China).

It was the 12th meeting of the Joint Commission on JCPOA in Vienna.

Meantime, seven European countries–Austria, Belgium, Finland, the Netherlands, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden–in a joint statement expressed their support for the efforts for implementation of the INSTEX.

Later, Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Seyed Abbas Araqchi described the nuclear deal joint commission meeting with the Europeans as “a step forward”, but meantime, reminded that it did not meet Iran’s expectations.

“It was a step forward, but it is still not enough and not meeting Iran’s expectations,” said Araqchi, who headed the Iranian delegation at the JCPOA joint commission meeting in Vienna.

Despite their non-commitment to undertakings under the JCPOA, the Europeans took a step against Iran’s interests last Thursday by seizing an Iranian oil tanker by Britain at the US request.

Acting Spanish Foreign Minister Josep Borrell said Gibraltar detained the supertanker Grace 1 after a request by the United States to Britain.

Borrell was quoted by Reuters as saying that Spain was looking into the seizure of the ship and how it may affect Spanish sovereignty as it appears to have happened in Spanish waters.

Spain does not recognize the waters around Gibraltar as British.

Experts believe that the measure taken by the British government in seizing the Syria-bound Iranian tanker is illegal and can have serious consequences for the government in London as it would mean a lethal blow to the JCPOA.

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Iran says next option is 20% uranium enrichment

An Iranian security official in protective clothing walks through a uranium conversion facility in 2005.

An Iranian security official in protective clothing walks through a uranium conversion facility in 2005.

Iran has warned its next step in reducing commitments under the 2015 nuclear deal will be stronger, with a senior nuclear official saying that 20% uranium enrichment is an option. 

Spokesman for Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization Behrouz Kamalvandi said Monday Tehran has passed the 3.67% uranium enrichment cap set by a 2015 nuclear deal and reached about 4.5%.

“Twenty percent is not needed now, but if we want we will produce it. When we’ve put aside 3.67% enrichment we have no obstacle or problem with this action,” Kamalvandi said.

Options for enriching at higher levels have been discussed with the Supreme National Security Council, the spokesman said.

“There is the 20% option and there are options even higher than that but each in its own place. Today if our country’s needs are one thing, we won’t pursue something else just to scare the other side a little more. But they know it’s an upward trend,” he said.

Kamalvandi said increasing the number of centrifuges is an option for Iran’s third step in reducing its commitments to the nuclear deal, noting that restarting IR-2 and IR-2 M centrifuges is an option.

The remaining European signatories to the nuclear deal, he said, should act quickly to fulfill their promises because Iran will continue reducing its commitments to the deal until it achieves a result.

China blasts US ‘bullying’

China said “unilateral bullying” by the United States was the cause behind Iran’s measures.

“The facts show that unilateral bullying has already become a worsening tumor,” said Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang at a press briefing in Beijing Monday.

The US withdrew from the nuclear deal in May 2018 and began reimposing sanctions on Iran in August 2018, targeting crucial sectors including oil exports and the banking system.

“The maximum pressure exerted by the US on Iran is the root cause of the Iranian nuclear crisis,” Geng said.

The 2015 deal was reached between Iran and six world powers — Britain, China, France, Germany, the United States and Russia — and saw Tehran agree to drastically scale down its nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief.

France, Germany and Britain — the remaining Europeans partners of the international deal — have urged Tehran to halt its advance towards higher enrichment and warned the country of unspecified consequences.

Iran warns Europeans against ‘strange’

Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi warned European countries on Monday against any “strange” response to its move.

The diplomat noted that any action Iran takes next would be within the legal framework set by the JCPOA, “unless some countries want to take strange actions, in which case we will skip the third step and jump to the critical one.”

Asked if Tehran could withdraw entirely from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), as the nuclear deal is called, Mousavi said “all the options” are possible but “no decision has been taken.”

“We will take the third step in 60 days and are still weighing (our options), but if the remaining countries, particularly the Europeans, fail to honor their commitments…we will take the third step stronger,” Mousavi said.

On the possibility of reversing the decisions as the Europeans have demanded, Mousavi said Iran would only consider a reversal once the Europeans “meet our expectations and demands.”

Commenting on Russia and China’s position on recent developments, Mousavi said, “Iran has not pinned hope on any country, neither friendly ones such as Russia and China, nor the European countries. What is important is their commitment to their obligations under the deal.”

Iran will not play into the hands of others either, he asserted, arguing that the Islamic Republic “will decide independently on the basis of its national interests and security.”

The Iranian official said any further negotiations on the JCPOA will only concern the implementation of its provisions and Tehran will not take part in talks for a new deal or changing the terms of the current agreement.

He said Iran does not “roll out a red carpet for the US, but its return to its [JCPOA] commitments will be a welcome step.”

He described as “bizarre” a recent request by Washington for an emergency meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on Iran, saying if such a meeting is ever held Iran “will bring up all the broken promises” by the other sides.

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طهران تقلّص التزاماتها في الاتفاق النووي وترفع نسبة تخصيب اليورانيوم

الميادين نت

إيران تقلّص التزامها بالاتفاق النووي وتجاوز معدل تخصيب اليورانيوم لأكثر من 3.6٪ وصولاً إلى 5%، وتعطي مهلة 60 يوماً جديدة للأوروبيين قبل اتخاذ خطوات أخرى، مؤكدةً “القدرة على استعادة العمل في مفاعل” آراك” للماء الثقيل وانها ستتحرك بناء على احتياجاته”.

ايران تعلن رفع معدل تخصيب اليورانيوم لأكثر من 3.6٪

ايران تعلن رفع معدل تخصيب اليورانيوم لأكثر من 3.6٪

قلصّت إيران التزامها بالاتفاق النووي، معلّنة تجاوز معدل تخصيب اليورانيوم لأكثر من 3.6٪، أملاً بالتوصل إلى حل مع الأوروبيين خلال مهلة الـ60 يوماً الجديدة، قبل اتخاذ خطوات أخرى، منها تفعيل محطة “آراك” اذا لم تنفذ الالتزامات، معلنةً أنها سترفع تخصيب اليورانيوم إلى أي درجة تراها مناسبة وإلى أي كمية تحتاجها.

وأعلن المتحدث باسم الحكومة على ربيعي عن تطبيق إيران للخطوة الثانية في خفض تعهداتها في اطار الاتفاق النووي وقال “سنبدأ اليوم رسمياً بتجاوز مستوى 3.67 % في تخصيب اليورانيوم”.

ربيعي أوضح أن “قرارنا اليوم يصبّ في مصلحة الحفاظ على الاتفاق النووي ولسنا ملزمين بالبقاء فيه”.

وجاء الإعلان عن القرارات الجديدة في مؤتمر صحفي للمتحدث باسم الحكومة الإيرانية علي ربيعي اليوم الأحد ومساعد وزير الخارجية للشؤون السياسية عباس عراقتشي والمتحدث باسم منظمة الطاقة الذرية الإيرانية بهروز كمالوندي.

وذكر عراقتشي أن بلاده “أعطت فرصة للالتزام بالاتفاق النووي وتخفيض التزاماتنا لا يعني الخروج من الاتفاق”، مشيراً إلى أن طريق الدبلوماسية ما زال مفتوحاً وربما يكون هناك أفكار فيما يخصّ بيع نفط إيران واستعادة أمواله.

وقال إن “قرارنا اليوم لا يعني توقف المحادثات والاتصالات مع (لجنة 4+1) لانقاذ الاتفاق النووي”، مشيراً إلى أن “لا مانع لدى طهران في مشاركة الأميركيين في اللجنة المذكورة لكنهم باتوا خارج الاتفاق”.

وإذ أكد “قدرة إيران على استعادة العمل في مفاعل” آراك” للماء الثقيل وأنها ستتحرك بناء على احتياجاته”، أوضح في هذا الاطار أن  “مفاعل بوشهر يحتاج إلى يورانيوم مخصّب بنسبة 5% ليعمل بقدرته الحالية”.

وفي وقتٍ أعلن فيه أن بلاده ستقدم شكوى ضد أميركا لنقضها التزاماتها تجاهها، لم ينس التذكير بأن”هناك رغبة من قبل الصين وروسيا ودول أوروبية في التوّصل إلى حل”.

كمالوندي أوضح أن “قرار اليوم هو خطوة تهدف إلى توفير الوقود للمحطات النووية وسيتم تسريعها، وسنقوم في الساعات المقبلة برفع مستوى التخصيب “.

من جانبه، رأى وزير الخارجية الإيراني محمد جواد ظريف أنه ليست لدى الدول الأوروبية أي ذريعة لتجنب اتخاذ موقف سياسي حازم ومواجهة الاحادية الأميركية.

ظريف اعتبر أنه على الأوروبيين دعم السياسية الإيرانية على الأقل بعد فشلهم في تنفيذ اتفاقاتهم بموجب الاتفاق النووي، مشيراً إلى أن ايران مستعدة للتراجع عن تقليص التزاماتها النووية إذا احترمت الجهات التزاماتها.

Javad Zarif

@JZarif

Today, Iran is taking its second round of remedial steps under Para 36 of the JCPOA. We reserve the right to continue to exercise legal remedies within JCPOA to protect our interests in the face of US . All such steps are reversible only through E3 compliance.

Javad Zarif

@JZarif

Having failed to implement their obligations under JCPOA—incl after US withdrawal—EU/E3 should at minimum politically support Iran’s remedial measures under Para 36, incl at IAEA.
E3 have no pretexts to avoid a firm political stance to preserve JCPOA & counter U.S unilateralism.

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وكانت طهران قد أمهلت في 8 أيار/ مايو الماضي، الموافق للذكرى الأولى لانسحاب الولايات المتحدة من الاتفاق النووي مع إيران، الدول الأوروبية المشاركة فيه، (بريطانيا وفرنسا وألمانيا)، 60 يوماً للوفاء بتعهداتها تجاه إيران بموجب الصفقة، وإيجاد آلية للتبادل التجاري في ظل العقوبات الأميركية المفروضة ضد طهران.

وهذا يعني أنه بانتهاء مدة المهلة ستخفّض إيران التزاماتها الواردة في الاتفاق النووي، ما لم تؤكد تلك الدول الأوروبية وفاءها لالتزاماتها إزاء إيران بموجب ذلك الاتفاق، بغضّ النظر عن انسحاب الولايات المتحدة منه.

وكان الرئيس الإيراني حسن روحاني قد اعتبر أن العقوبات والضغوط الأميركية على إيران “إجراء إرهابي وحرب اقتصادية سافرة”.

وفي اتصال هاتفي تلقاه من نظيره الفرنسي إيمانويل ماكرون مساء أمس السبت رأى روحاني  أن “استمرار العقوبات الأميركية يمكن أن يؤدي إلى تهديدات أخرى في المنطقة والعالم”.

بدوره، أکد علي أكبر ولايتي مستشار المرشد الإيراني أن بلاده لن تبادر إلى الانسحاب من الاتفاق النووي، بل سيكون لديها رد فعل مقابل كل خطوة تنتهك الاتفاق.

وقال ولايتي إن طهران ستبدأ الخطوة الثانية غداً الأحد وسترفع نسبة التخصيب إلى 3,67 %، معلّناً أن أوروبا منحت فرصة طويلة للالتزام بتعهداتها إزاء الاتفاق بعد الانسحاب الأميركي منه.

كما أشار إلى أنه لا توجد نيّات لإيران للاعتداء على أحد لكنها لن تتنازل بشـأن الدفاع عن نفسها.

 وكان الرئيس الأميركي دونالد ترامب حذّر الخميس الماضي إيران مما سمّاه “عواقب تخصيب اليورانيوم إلى أعلى من السقف الذي يحددّه الاتفاق النووي”.

وكان الأخير أعلن في 8 أيار/ مايو 2018  انسحاب بلاده من الاتفاق النووي، معللاً ذلك بأنه”لا يمكن منع إيران من امتلاك قنبلة نووية استناداً إلى تركيب هذا الاتفاق”، بحسب قوله.

ويعقد مجلس حكام الوكالة الدولية للطاقة الذرية اجتماعاً طارئاً الأربعاء المقبل، بناء على طلب الولايات المتحدة لعرض ما سمتّه انتهاكات إيران للاتفاق النووي.

وتعليقاً على الطلب الأميركي، قالت بعثة إيران في الوكالة إنها لـ”مزحة مرة” أن تطلب واشنطن عقد الاجتماع وهي التي نقضته بخروجها منه بصورة غير قانونية وأحادية.

عراقتشي: ناقلة النفط لم تكن متوجهة إلى سوريا

وفي رد على سؤال، أكد أن ناقلة النفط الإيرانية المحتجزة في جبل طارق لم تكن متجهة نحو سوريا، بخلاف الادعاءات البريطانية.
ووصف عراقتشي احتجاز ناقلة النفط الايرانية في المياه الدولية بأنه “قرصنة بحرية، ولا يوجد اي قانون يسمح لبريطانيا باحتجازها”، مطالباً لندن بالإفراج عنها بسرعة.

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Iran Will Take Second Step to Reduce JCPOA Commitments

By Staff, Agencies

Iran will definitely take the next step to reduce certain commitments under the 2015 nuclear deal given the unsatisfactory results of the latest meeting of the JCPOA joint commission in Vienna.

A June 28 meeting of the JCPOA joint commission in Austria gave rise to speculation that Iran may refrain from or postpone scaling down its commitments to the nuclear deal following promising signs that the Instrument in Support of Trade Exchanges [INSTEX] may ease Tehran’s foreign trade ties.

However, an informed source told Tasnim news agency that Iran will definitely carry out the second step to reduce its JCPOA commitments in due time, most likely on July 7, given that its conditions have not been met and the INSTEX has proved totally insufficient for Iran’s needs.

The reason why Iran has not announced the result of first moves to scale down the JCPOA commitments is that the International Atomic Energy Agency [IAEA] will probably declare the issue in the coming days, the source noted.

In its first step, Iran announced the decision to stop selling any 3.67% enriched uranium above the 300-kg limit and also decision to stop selling its heavy water above the limit of 130 tons.

As regards China and the UK’s plan to continue cooperation with Iran in redesigning the Arak heavy water reactor, the informed source said those two countries have announced in the final statement of the JCPOA joint commission meeting in Vienna that they will finish redesigning the Iranian reactor in due time.

If this process goes on correctly, another subject will replace the issue of Arak reactor in the second step of reduction in Iran’s commitments to the JCPOA, the source added.

Iran and the Group 5+1 [Russia, China, US, Britain, France, and Germany] on July 14, 2015, reached a conclusion over the text of the 2015 nuclear deal.

The accord took effect in January 2016 and was supposed to terminate all nuclear-related sanctions against Iran all at once, but its implementation was hampered by the US policies and its eventual withdrawal from the deal.

On May 8, 2018, US President Donald Trump pulled his country out of the nuclear accord.

Following the US withdrawal, Iran and the remaining parties launched talks to save the accord.

However, the EU’s failure of ensure Iran’s economic interests forced Tehran to stop honoring certain commitments under JCPOA in May 2019.

Iran has also set a 60-day deadline for the remaining JCPOA parties to fulfill their undertakings.

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Iran Quadruples Production of 3.67% Enriched Uranium

By Staff, Agencies 

Iran announced on Monday that it has quadrupled the low level uranium enrichment.

Spokesman of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran [AEOI] Behrouz Kamalvandi quoted the director of Natanz uranium enrichment facility, stating that the decision was made by the country’s Supreme National Security Council [SNSC].

“Iran has increased production of 3.67 enriched uranium by fourfold from today,” he announced.

Kamalvandi at the same time noted that the issue “does not mean an increase in enrichment level or a boost in the number of centrifuge machines or a change in the type of centrifuges”.

He said Iran has quadrupled the rate of the 3.67 enriched uranium only by utilizing the existing production capacity.

The spokesman also noted that the Islamic Republic of Iran has informed the International Atomic Energy Organization [IAEA] about the development.

He further stated that the country can easily achieve 190 thousand of SWUs capacity, adding that the move was a message to other parties to the nuclear deal, also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action [JCPOA].

So, they had better carry out the necessary measures already asked by Iran [SNSC] as soon as possible, he added.

“We will reach the cap of 300 kilograms within few weeks. Our technical requirements and orders by senior officials will determine our next measures.”

He said Iran stops selling any enriched uranium above the 300-kg limit in exchange for yellow cake and also stops selling its heavy water above the limit of 130 tons.

The president also announced that the JCPOA parties will have 60 days to come to the negotiating table and fulfill Iran’s main interests under the nuclear deal, especially regarding oil sales and banking interaction.

If Iran does not achieve the desired results after 60 days, it will take two more measures and stop observing the limit on uranium enrichment to 3.67 percent purity, he added.

Why Only Fools Trust America’s Mainstream ‘News’ Media After the 2003 Invasion of Iraq

Source

March 04, 2019

Why Only Fools Trust America’s Mainstream ‘News’ Media After the 2003 Invasion of Iraq

by Eric Zuesse for The Saker Blog

Here will be yet another current example to demonstrate that all U.S. mainstream ’news’ media hide from their respective publics that the U.S. Government is lying, when the U.S. Government lies — i.e., that all of the mainstream ’news’ media in America hide the truth, when the Government itself is lying. In other words: the U.S. mainstream ’news’ media are propaganda-organs for the U.S. Government.

While some American news-media are Democratic Party propagandists, and others are Republican Party propagandists, and therefore all of them eagerly expose lies that are of only a partisan naturenone of them will expose lies that both Parties share — such as, in 2002 and 2003, the central fact at that time. They hid that George W. Bush and his Administration were outright lying to the public in each and every instance in which they said they possessed conclusive evidence that, as Bush himself put it on 7 September 2002 (and no mainstream and only one alt-news medium exposed as being a lie): “a report came out of the Atomic — the IAEA that they [Iraq] were six months away from developing a [nuclear] weapon. I don’t know what more evidence we need [before invading].” That was his answer when he was asked at a press conference on 7 September 2002, “Mr. President, can you tell us what conclusive evidence of any nuclear — new evidence you have of nuclear weapons capabilities of Saddam Hussein?” Immediately, the IAEA said then that there was no such “new report,” and that the last they were able to find, there was nothing at all left of WMD, nor of an ability to make any, in Iraq. The American news-media simply ignored the IAEA’s denial that they had issued any new report at all such as Bush had alleged they had issued. Republican ’news’-media hid that Bush’s allegation was a lie, and Democratic ’news’-media likewise hid it. And, so, the American people trusted Bush, and destroyed Iraq. (Anyone who says that America’s invasion didn’t vastly harm the Iraqi people is either a liar or else ignorant of the realities, such as the last two links document.)

The example this time will be taken from The Week magazine, which is a compendium of summaries of the week’s ’news’ from America’s major ‘news’-media. The 1 March 2019 issue has this, on its page 8:

Aid for Venezuela: U.S. military planes delivered more than 180 tons of humanitarian aid for Venezuela to the Colombian border city of Cucuta this week, setting up a showdown with Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, who has vowed to block the supplies. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) made a surprise visit to Cucuta and told Venezuelan troops stationed at the border that it was their patriotic duty to let aid through. ‘Will you prevent the food and medicine from reaching your own people?’”

The presumption there is that readers are simply too stupid to wonder, “Why should I trust that this military plane doesn’t also carry weapons for supporters of a coup to overthrow Venezuela’s President and to replace him with Trump’s choice, Juan Guaido — trust that weapons aren’t included in the cargo of ‘food and medicine’? Is Trump really so kind a person as to care about the Venezuelan people? Or is this instead yet another U.S. set-up for a brutal coup, such as the U.S. did in 1953 to Iran, and in 1954 to Guatemala, and in 1973 to Chile, and, more recently, in 2014, to Ukraine?”

That ‘news’-report, since it’s from The Week, is about what other U.S. propaganda-agencies are saying, and it’s true about that (they actually are saying this), but it’s summarizing from two very un-trustworthy ‘news’-media, one being a tweet from Senator Rubio on 18 February 2019 that was immediately posted at sites such as ABC News, and the other being a ‘news’-report from the Miami Herald, which added that this shipment came from USAID — and yet they ignored  that USAID is a major part of almost every U.S. coup.

Here’s more context about this incident of ‘aid’-shipments: On 6 February 2019, Britain’s Daily Mail, which is less dishonest about the U.S. Government than U.S. ‘news’-media are, headlined “Venezuelan officials accuse the US of sending a cache of high-powered rifles on a commercial cargo flight from Miami so they would get into the hands of ‘extreme right fascist’ groups looking to undermine Maduro’s regime”, and reported that,

Officials in Venezuela have accused the US of sending a cache of high-powered rifles and ammunition on a commercial cargo flight from Miami so they would get into the hands of President Nicolás Maduro’s opponents.

Members with the Venezuelan National Guard [GNB] and the National Integrated Service of Customs and Tax Administration [SENIAT] made the shocking discovery just two days after the plane arrived at Arturo Michelena International Airport in Valencia.

Inspectors found 19 rifles, 118 magazines and 90 wireless radios while investigating the flight which they said arrived Sunday afternoon. 

Monday’s bust also netted four rifle stands, three rifle scopes and six iPhones.

And here’s yet more context: the independent American journalist Aaron Mate, tweeted on 18 February 2019:

https://twitter.com/

Aaron Mate

Page 136 [near end of Ch. 4of [Andrew G.] McCabe’s new [and only] book [THE THREAT, which was published on 19 February 2019], recounting a [July] 2017 Oval Office meeting: “Then the president talked about Venezuela. That’s the country we should be going to war with, he said. They have all that oil and they’re right on our back door.” [Stated there by the authoritarian McCabe, in order to prove how crude Trump is, and McCabe was not condemnatory of such international thefts of Venezuela’s natural resources, but only of Trump’s crudity.]

12:59 PM – 18 Feb 2019 

Furthermore, yet another independent journalist, Ben Norton, at “The GrayZone Project,” headlined on 29 January 2019, “Corporate Interests – Militarist John Bolton Spills the Beans”, and he provided a complete transcript of a brief interview that John Bolton had done with Fox Business Channel five days before, on January 24th. That interview wasn’t publicized by Fox, and its headline was as dull as possible, “Venezuela regime change big business opportunity: John Bolton”, and the ‘news’-report posted below it was empty of anything important, but Ben Norton captured the entire interview, and on January 29th he posted it to youtube and to The GrayZone Project as a news-report, with the full interview-segment also being transcribed there by Norton. In it, Bolton had said, on January 24th:

We’re looking at the oil assets. That’s the single most important income stream to the government of Venezuela. We’re looking at what to do to that. … We’re in conversation with major American companies now that are either in Venezuela, or in the case of Citgo here in the United States. … It will make a big difference to the United States economically if we could have American oil companies really invest in and produce the oil capabilities in Venezuela.

Of course, that’s an attempt at theft of the property of another sovereign nation — theft of natural-resources assets of Venezuela, from the people who live in Venezuela — it’s a huge theft-attempt, which is being bragged about by the U.S. regime. Though they’ve done this type of heist in many instances during the past few decades (including in Iraq, where U.S. oil companies now extract), Bolton’s outright bragging about it is certainly extraordinary, and thus is major news. This was major news that however hasn’t been focused upon except in the few honest sites, all of which are non-mainstream (most non-mainstream sites are just as dishonest as America’s mainstream ones are — they’re fake ‘alt-news’ instead of authentically against false ‘news’, but all mainstream national news-sites routinely report lies stenographically, as if what the Government says is always true, and so they’re propaganda). The GrayZone Project is one of the few honest sites, and Norton luckily discovered this huge news-break from the blunder by Fox Business Channel to have aired it — that revelation having been a freak event by America’s major media, a rare slip-up.

And, finally, the great investigative journalist Wayne Madsen, at the Strategic Culture Foundation, headlined sarcastically but truthfully on 1 March 2019, “Military Intervention and Mercenaries, Inc. (MIAMI)”, and he (a journalist whose trustworthiness I have checked and verified for many years — he’s really one of the best) opened with:

The city of Miami, Florida may have started out as a retirement mecca for winter-worn pensioners from northern climes. However, after the beginning of the Cold War and US military and Central Intelligence Agency intervention in Guatemala, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Chile, Nicaragua, Venezuela, Guyana, the Bahamas, and other Western Hemisphere nations, Miami became a refuge for exiled wealthy businessmen escaping populist revolutions and elections in South and Central America and spies. The retirement and vacation capital of the United States quickly became the “Tropical Casablanca.”

Now home to thousands of limited liability corporations linked to the CIA, as well as private military contractors, sketchy airlines flying from remote Florida airports, the interventionist US Southern Command (SOUTHCOM), and exiled oligarchs running destabilization operations in their native countries, Miami – or MIAMI, “Military Intervention and Mercenaries, Inc.” – serves as the nexus for current Trump administration “regime change” efforts. …

Earlier, on February 18th, President Trump had delivered a lengthy speech in Miami, titled “Remarks by President Trump to the Venezuelan American Community”, and this was obviously aimed at passionate enemies of Venezuela’s Government. Here is a typical passage, with accompanying documentations of the actual truth regarding his lies as stated there. Trump’s allegations are in boldface italics, and my commentaries are in regular type within brackets, and linked there to my sources:

Not long ago, Venezuela was the wealthiest nation, by far, in South America. [The allegation that Venezuela’s economy has done less well since Hugo Chavez became President on 2 February 1999 is disconfirmed by World Bank data showing that Venezuela reached its all-time-high economic-growth rate in 2004, 5 years after Hugo Chavez became democratically elected and took office as the country’s President. The economy rapidly declined as soon as the U.S. started its coup-attempts. Furthermore, a scientific study of the data showed in 2017 that: “Mexico’s and Venezuela’s numbers on this question [[of ‘Where would you place our country ten years ago?’”]] with a 1 to 10 scale, from absolutely democratic, to not democratic, throughout the period of 2013-2017, compared to those of other countries in the region, clearly show Venezuela as the country where the highest percentage of people believed that democracy had increased during the 2003-2013 decade. Mexico ranked in twelfth place, out of eighteen surveyed countries. “This comparison helps to dimension the solid sense that Venezuelans had about the strength of their democracy during the Chávez administration, and the weak one that Mexicans had.”] But years of socialist rule have brought this once-thriving nation to the brink of ruin. [That too is false — socialism wasn’t the cause of Venezuela’s economic come-down. Venezuela’s boom-time was the period of massive public-debt buildup prior to the exceptionally high oil prices in 1973-1985, as shown in “Figure 4: Venezuela Real GDP per Capita”. Moreover, as the CIA-edited and written Wikipedia says about Venezuela: ”The election in 1973 of Carlos Andrés Pérez coincided with an oil crisis [[the OPEC oil-embargo]], in which Venezuela’s income exploded as oil prices soared; oil industries were nationalized in 1976. This [oil-nationalization and oil-production investment all at the worst possible time] led to massive increases in public spending, but also increases in external debts, which continued into the 1980s when the collapse of oil prices during the 1980s crippled the Venezuelan economy.“ That “oil crisis” was actually the period of exceptionally high oil prices resulting from Israel’s 1973 invasions and OPEC embargoes, but it was actually hell for Venezuela because Venezuela was losing money on each barrel of oil sold because only the Arabic countries and Iran were able to sell profitably their oil after the period of OPEC”s oil-embargo. Venezuela, seller of the world’ dirtiest oil, after 1976 was losing money on each barrel, when they had to repay all those foreign loans amassed during the boom-period.]  That’s where it is today.

The tyrannical socialist government nationalized private industries and took over private businesses.  They engaged in massive wealth confiscation, shut down free markets, suppressed free speech, and set up a relentless propaganda machine, rigged elections, used the government to persecute their political opponents, and destroyed the impartial rule of law.

In other words, the socialists have done in Venezuela all of the same things that socialists, communists, totalitarians have done everywhere that they’ve had a chance to rule.  The results have been catastrophic.

In conclusion, then, no country in the world has a press that’s more dishonest than the United States of America does. “More dishonest” than this press would even be a ludicrous concept. Though the particular lies that are being promoted elsewhere might happen to be different, they can’t be worse. America’s having destroyed Iran and Libya, etc., is proof of this.

Consequently: Only people who possess a thoroughly scientific orientation toward confirming and disconfirming allegations, are capable of extracting from such ‘news’ a realistic understanding of what’s actually happening. The vast majority of people can be fooled, and they can be fooled constantly and even for (as in the instance of America, since at least 2003) decades, and yet still trust the institutions that have deceived them so mercilessly through all of those decades. This is the major reason why the United States is a dictatorship, not a democracy — and why any ‘news’-site which calls the U.S. a ‘democracy’ is thereby clearly demonstrating its untrustworthiness. But, of course, only honest news-reporting organizations are publishing this report. And there will probably be very few that will do that, though all are receiving it for publication.

—————

Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of  They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of  CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.

PHILIP GIRALDI: “ATTACKING IRAN”

Written by Philip Giraldi; Originally appeared at The Unz Review

Observers of developments in the Middle East have long taken it as a given that the United States and Israel are seeking for an excuse to attack Iran. The recently terminated conference in Warsaw had that objective, which was clearly expressed by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, but it failed to rally European and Middle Eastern states to support the cause. On the contrary, there was strong sentiment coming from Europe in particular that normalizing relations with Iran within the context of the 2015 multi party nuclear agreement is the preferred way to go both to avoid a major war and to prevent nuclear weapons proliferation.

Philip Giraldi: "Attacking Iran"

There are foundations in Washington, all closely linked to Israel and its lobby in the U.S., that are wholly dedicated to making the case for war against Iran. They seek pretexts in various dark corners, including claims that Iran is cheating on its nuclear program, that it is developing ballistic missiles that will enable it to deliver its secret nuclear warheads onto targets in Europe and even the United States, that it is an oppressive, dictatorial government that must be subjected to regime change to liberate the Iranian people and give them democracy, and, most stridently, that is provoking and supporting wars and threats against U.S. allies all throughout the Middle East.

Dissecting the claims about Iran, one might reasonably counter that rigorous inspections by the United Nations International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) confirm that Tehran has no nuclear weapons program, a view that is supported by the U.S. intelligence community in its recent Worldwide Threat Assessment. Beyond that, Iran’s limited missile program can be regarded as largely defensive given the constant threats from Israel and the U.S. and one might well accept that the removal of the Iranian government is a task best suited for the Iranian people, not delivered through military intervention by a foreign power that has been starving the country through economic warfare. And as for provoking wars in the Middle East, look to the United States and Israel, not Iran.

So the hawks in Washington, by which one means National Security Adviser John Bolton, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and, apparently President Donald Trump himself when the subject is Iran, have been somewhat frustrated by the lack of a clear casus belli to hang their war on. No doubt prodded by Netanyahu, they have apparently revived an old story to give them what they want, even going so far as to develop an argument that would justify an attack on Iran without a declaration of war while also lacking any imminent threat from Tehran to justify a preemptive strike.

What may be the new Iran policy was recently outlined in a Washington Times article, which unfortunately has received relatively little attention from either the media, the punditry or from the few policymakers themselves who have intermittently been mildly critical of Washington’s propensity to strike first and think about it afterwards.

The article is entitled “Exclusive: Iran-al Qaeda alliance May Provide Legal Rationale for U.S. military strikes.” The article’s main points should be taken seriously by anyone concerned over what is about to unfold in the Persian Gulf because it is not just the usual fluff emanating from the hubris-induced meanderings of some think tank, though it does include some of that. It also cites government officials by name and others who are not named but are clearly in the administration.

As an ex-CIA case officer who worked on the Iran target for a number of years, I was shocked when I read the Times’ article, primarily because it sounded like a repeat of the fabricated intelligence that was used against both Iraq and Iran in 2001 through 2003. It is based on the premise that war with Iran is desirable for the United States and, acting behind the scenes, Israel, so it is therefore necessary to come up with an excuse to start it. As the threat of terrorism is always a good tactic to convince the American public that something must be done, that is what the article tries to do and it is particularly discouraging to read as it appears to reflect opinion in the White House.

As I have been writing quite critically about the CIA and the Middle East for a number of years, I am accustomed to considerable push-back from former colleagues. But in this case, the calls and emails I received from former intelligence officers who shared my experience of the Middle East and had read the article went strongly the other way, condemning the use of both fake and contrived intelligence to start another unnecessary war.

The article states that Iran is supporting al Qaeda by providing money, weapons and sanctuary across the Middle East to enable it to undertake new terrorist attacks. It is doing so in spite of ideological differences because of a common enemy: the United States. Per the article and its sources, this connivance has now “evolved into an unacceptable global security threat” with the White House intent on “establishing a potential legal justification for military strikes against Iran or its proxies.”

One might reasonably ask why the United States cares if Iran is helping al Qaeda as both are already enemies who are lying on the Made in U.S.A. chopping block waiting for the ax to fall. The reason lies in the Authorization to Use Military Force, originally drafted post 9/11 to provide a legal fig leaf to pursue al Qaeda worldwide, but since modified to permit also going after “associated groups.” If Iran is plausibly an associated group then President Trump and his band of self-righteous maniacs egged on by Netanyahu can declare “bombs away Mr. Ayatollah.” And if Israel is involved, there will be a full benediction coming from Congress and the media. So is this administration both capable and willing to start a major war based on bullshit? You betcha!

The Times suggests how it all works as follows: “Congressional and legal sources say the law may now provide a legal rationale for striking Iranian territory or proxies should President Trump decide that Tehran poses a looming threat to the U.S. or Israel and that economic sanctions are not strong enough to neutralize the threat.” The paper does not bother to explain what might constitute a “looming threat” to the United States from puny Iran but it is enough to note that Israel, as usual, is right in the middle of everything and, exercising its option of perpetual victim-hood, it is apparently threatened in spite of its nuclear arsenal and overwhelming regional military superiority guaranteed by act of the U.S. Congress.

Curiously, though several cited administration officials wedded to the hard-line against Iran because it is alleged to be the “world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism” were willing to provide their opinions on the Iran-al Qaeda axis, the authors of the recent Worldwide Threat Assessment issued by the intelligence community apparently have never heard of it. The State Department meanwhile sees an Iranian pipeline moving al Qaeda’s men and money to targets in central and south Asia, though that assessment hardly jives with the fact that the only recent major attack attributed to al Qaeda was carried out on February 13th in southeastern Iran against the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, a bombing that killed 27 guardsmen.

The State annual threat assessment also particularly condemns Iran for funding groups like Hezbollah and Hamas, both of which are, not coincidentally, enemies of Israel who would care less about “threatening” the United States but for the fact that it is constantly meddling in the Middle East on behalf of the Jewish state.

And when in doubt, the authors of the article went to “old reliable,” the leading neocon think tank the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, which, by the way, works closely with the Israeli government and never, ever has criticized the state of democracy in Israel. One of its spokesmen was quick off the mark: ““The Trump administration is right to focus on Tehran’s full range of malign activities, and that should include a focus on Tehran’s long-standing support for al Qaeda.”

Indeed, the one expert cited in the Times story who actually is an expert and examined original documents rather than reeling off approved government and think tank talking points contradicted the Iran-al Qaeda narrative. “Nelly Lahoud, a former terrorism analyst at the U.S. Military Academy and now a New America Foundation fellow, was one of the first to review documents seized from bin Laden’s hideout in Abbottabad, Pakistan. She wrote in an analysis for the Atlantic Council this fall that the bin Laden files revealed a deep strain of skepticism and hostility toward the Iranian regime, mixed with a recognition by al Qaeda leaders of the need to avoid a complete break with Tehran. In none of the documents, which date from 2004 to just days before bin Laden’s death, ‘did I find references pointing to collaboration between al Qaeda and Iran to carry out terrorism,’ she concluded.”

So going after Iran is the name of the game even if the al Qaeda story is basically untrue. The stakes are high and whatever has to be produced, deduced or fabricated to justify a war is fair game. Iran and terrorism? Perfect. Let’s try that one out because, after all, invading Iran will be a cakewalk and the people will be in the streets cheering our tanks as they roll by. What could possibly go wrong?

Philip M. Giraldi, Ph.D., is Executive Director of the Council for the National Interest, a 501(c)3 tax deductible educational foundation that seeks a more interests-based U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East. Website is www.councilforthenationalinterest.org, address is P.O. Box 2157, Purcellville VA 20134 and its email is inform@cnionline.org.

British Spy Chief Makes Secret ‘Israel’ Trip amid Fears of New Iran Nuclear Activity

British Spy Chief Makes Secret ‘Israel’ Trip amid Fears of New Iran Nuclear Activity

By Staff, Agencies

‘Israeli’ Channel 13 reported that Britain’s MI6 intelligence chief secretly visited the occupied territories this week for talks with ‘Israeli’ counterparts about fears that Iran may be breaking out to a nuclear weapons capability.

The TV said MI6 chief Alex Younger arrived in the ‘Israeli’-occupied territories on Monday and met with the head of ‘Israel’s’ Mossad intelligence agency, Yossi Cohen, and other ‘Israeli’ intelligence chiefs.

The Zionist assessment is that Iran is “making preparations” within the provisions of the 2015 deal, and “getting ready,” but has not yet made the political decision to break out to the bomb, the TV report claimed.

Citing Western intelligence sources, it said the issue was also discussed by participants at last week’s Munich international security conference.

Iran, the report added, has recently renewed its production of centrifuges, “and is gearing up for the renewal of uranium enrichment” within the provisions of the deal.

The report described Iran’s current activity as “preparing the infrastructure… in an accelerated fashion” should the regime take the political decision to breach the accord.

Hours before the TV report, the UN’s nuclear watchdog in Vienna said Iran was continuing to comply with the 2015 nuclear deal, despite the United States withdrawing from the pact and re-imposing sanctions.

In a confidential quarterly report distributed to its member states, the International Atomic Energy Agency stressed that Iran has been abiding with key limitations set in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action [JCPOA].

The U.S. Government’s Plan Is to Conquer Russia by a Surprise Invasion

December 11, 2018

by Eric Zuesse for The Saker BlogThe U.S. Government’s Plan Is to Conquer Russia by a Surprise Invasion

The following combination of articles explains — and they link to conclusive evidence proving — that the United States Government is actually designing its nuclear forces now with the intention to win a nuclear war against Russia (World War III), and no longer (if they ever really were) adhering to the idea (“Mutually Assured Destruction”) that WW III would produce unacceptable catastrophe for both sides, and must therefore be prevented. The U.S. Government is definitely set upon winning WW III, not avoiding WW III. Nuclear weapons are thus being built and deployed by the U.S. Government with the intention to conquer Russia, and this goal has become NATO’s mission, and its only remaining core function, though this fact is not publicly acknowledged. Here are these articles, and their key quotes, showing this:

1:  https://fas.org/blogs/

“Back in 2011, before the B61-12 development program had progressed to the point of no return, FAS sent a letter to the White House and the Office of the Secretary of Defense pointing out the contradiction with the administration’s policy and implications for nuclear strategy. They never responded.”

2:  http://www.voltairenet.org/

As from March 2020, the United States will begin to deploy in Italy, Germany, Belgium, and Holland (where B-61 nuclear bombs are already based), and probably also in other European countries, the first nuclear bomb with precision guidance in their arsenal, the B61-12. Its function is primarily anti-Russian. This new bomb is designed with penetrating capacity, enabling it to explode underground in order to destroy the central command bunkers with its first strike. How would the United States react if Russia deployed nuclear bombs in Mexico, right next to their territory?”

3:  http://www.unz.com/article/

The US nuclear forces modernization program has been portrayed to the public as an effort to ensure the reliability and safety of warheads in the US nuclear arsenal, rather than to enhance their military capabilities. In reality, however, that program has implemented revolutionary new technologies that will vastly increase the targeting capability of the US ballistic missile arsenal. This increase in capability is astonishing — boosting the overall killing power of existing US ballistic missile forces by a factor of roughly three — and it creates exactly what one would expect to see, if a nuclear-armed state were planning to have the capacity to fight and win a nuclear war by disarming enemies with a surprise first strike.”

4:  https://off-guardian.org/2017/

The U.S. government’s plan to conquer Russia is based upon a belief in, and the fundamental plan to establish, ‘Nuclear Primacy’ against Russia — an American ability to win a nuclear war against, and so conquer, Russia.”

CONCLUSIONS

The U.S. Government’s statements to the public, alleging that Russia is the ‘aggressor’, and that the U.S. Government designs its nuclear program only for ‘defense’ against Russia and other nations, is as much of a lie as was the U.S. Government’s statement in 2002 that Iraq needed to be invaded because the IAEA had found (which it never did) that Iraq was within six months of having a nuclear bomb. The U.S. Government is not to be trusted — no more now than it was then. And also the U.S. regime invaded and destroyed Libya, and Syria, and Yemen, on the basis of lies. No such serial liar should be trusted.

The U.S. regime’s real goal is conquest and control of the entire world — including especially Russia. After the end of the Soviet Union, and of its communism, and of its Warsaw Pact military alliance that had been established in order to defend against America’s NATO military alliance, there is no excuse for this. The U.S. regime’s guilt here is especially outrageous regarding Russia, because invading Russia would destroy the entire world.

The U.S. regime’s craving to control the entire world is sheer evil, and is ‘justified’ entirely on lies (such as the lie that Putin had “seized” Crimea — this being the alleged ‘justification’ for NATO’s ramping up troops and missiles on and near Russia’s borders).  One of these lies is that “Putin wants to conquer Ukraine”Only the grossest of fools could believe that. But it’s not just the Crimea-Ukraine issue where the U.S. regime lies: All U.S. sanctions against Russia are based on clearly proven lies.

Furthermore, the U.S. regime’s increasing moves towards a police-state if not toward ultimately military law for Americans, are drastically reducing Americans’ own freedoms, and this is extremely bad for the American people. The increasing percentages of the U.S. Government’s spending that go to the military have also been spreading poverty and concentrating wealth in the aristocracy; so, only America’s billionaires are benefiting from this imperialism, even within the U.S.

The United States Government is no ‘democracy’, and it has now become the enemy of the entire world, except of the regimes that rule its allied countries, but even its allied countries will be immiserated by such a war as America’s rulers are preparing, on behalf of the owners of Lockheed Martin and other such corporations.

The U.S. regime is the enemy of publics everywhere. It is the biggest threat to the world in all of human history, if Hitler’s regime wasn’t that. And it will be worse even than Hitler’s regime, if its military bases and personnel aren’t expelled from every country before the secretly planned blitz-invasion of Russia ultimately occurs. Only doing that could now prevent such an attack. If this won’t be done, then NATO’s invasion of Russia will. It has come down to that choice, for each and every nation.

On 20 October 2016, NBC News bannered “Philippine Leader Duterte Ditches U.S. for China, Says ‘America Has Lost’”.

On 1 May 2017, Global Research headlined an opinion-article, “No More Crimes Against Peace: Why Canada Must Leave NATO Now”.

Europe’s emerging competitor to America’s NATO is called “Permanent Structured Cooperation”, a dull name so as to avoid especially the U.S. public’s attention. It was announced on 8 September 2017, and then established on 11 December 2017, with a list of “Ambitious and more binding common commitments” and with 25 EU Member States (all of the 28 EU members except: UK, Denmark, and Malta), signing onto those commitments. Its creation was the start of the end of NATO. This has been inevitable ever since the U.S. coup in Ukraine in February 2014 and installation there of a nazi regime, which the U.S. regime had planned to become a member both of NATO and of the EU.

On 9 November 2019, U.S. President Donald Trump tweeted,

“President Macron of France has just suggested that Europe build its own military in order to protect itself from the U.S., China and Russia. Very insulting, but perhaps Europe should first pay its fair share of NATO, which the U.S. subsidizes greatly!”

Perhaps Macron wants to keep France out of WW III. Perhaps, also, Macron wants France to be free to determine its own international policies without needing to adhere to the demands of America’s billionaires, especially the demands which America’s billionaires share with Saudi Arabia’s royal family and Israel’s billionaires,* such as to conquer Syria so as to install there a leader who would be chosen by King Saud and cooperate with America’s billionaires. For example: on December 7th, Al Masdar News headlined “Syria accuses US Coalition of completely destroying hospital in Deir Ezzor”. Deir Ezzor is Syria’s oil-producing region, and the U.S. regime and its allies want to steal Syria’s oil and they’ve therefore been trying for years to destroy the Government’s infrastructures and grab control there.

To understand the broader geostrategic context in which these daily events are happening, click here.

NOTE: There is a possibility that Ukraine might, on December 14th, invade its former Donbass region and provoke there a Russian response that the U.S. regime might use as a pretext to invade Russia, but I doubt that the U.S. regime yet feels confident enough that it possesses “Nuclear Primacy” so as to invade Russia at the present time. So, if such a Ukrainian invasion occurs, the Ukrainian regime, which was installed by the American regime, might turn out to be disappointed.

——

* On November 27th, “President Trump’s full Washington Post interview transcript, annotated” included Trump’s fullest explanation, to-date, on why he will not blame Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman al-Saud for Khashoggi’s murder:

“They’ve been a great ally. Without them, Israel would be in a lot more trouble. We need to have a counterbalance to Iran. … It’s very, very important to maintain that relationship. It’s very important to have Saudi Arabia as an ally, if we’re going to stay in that part of the world. Now, are we going to stay in that part of the world? One reason to is Israel. Oil is becoming less and less of a reason because we’re producing more oil now than we’ve ever produced. So, you know, all of a sudden it gets to a point where you don’t have to stay there” (other than to do the will of Israel’s billionaires, and of America’s billionaires who also share in the control of Israel’s Government). An astute observer noted about that comment from Trump:

As Trump explains now that he holds not only the relations with the Saudis, in order to serve Israel’s interests, but that Israel is “a reason” for the US and its troops remain in the region. With that, Trump has broken a long-standing taboo, because the simple information that Israeli interests are the reason that the US and its troops are in the region, has so far tried to suppress the Zionist lobby with great force and quite successfully. After all, the naked truth does not sound good to the Zionist regime and its henchmen: rows of bombed and destroyed countries, thousands of dead US soldiers and many more cripples, trillions of dollars in costs, and what this all is about: Israel.

Like many traditionalists, that observer refuses to consider that the royal Saud family might be dominant over the Jewish billionaires, instead of vice-versa such as is the case because the Sauds control the exchange-rate of the dollar and the Jewish billionaires don’t even control much oil at all. But that’s a relatively minor disagreement, in the present context.

Furthermore, on December 8th, The Atlantic bannered “The U.S. Is Paying More Than It Bargained for in the Yemen War” and reported that the Pentagon had written to The Atlantic that (as they quoted from the Pentagon), “Although DoD has received some reimbursement for inflight refueling assistance provided to the Saudi-led coalition (SLC), U.S. Central Command recently reviewed its records and found errors in accounting where DoD failed to charge the SLC adequately for fuel and refueling services,” and the Pentagon refused to indicate just how much of that expense had been charged to U.S. taxpayers — that is, added to the federal debt. However, the Pentagon had to have known the answer to that question because otherwise the Pentagon wouldn’t now be demanding from Crown Prince Salman al-Saud this reimbursement. You don’t demand reimbursement unless you know precisely how much the demand is for. The likely reason why Trump makes this demand at the present time would be that with the public information now known about the murder of Khashoggi, Trump now has a vastly better bargaining-position to demand this money. Trump’s bargaining-position against al-Saud has been greatly improved. He represents both America’s billionaires and Israel’s billionaires. He does not represent the American public. In effect: he negotiates here for those billionaires, against al-Saud.

—————

Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of  They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of  CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.

From Turquzabad to Dimona (and a little fun on the way!)

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Prime walks with his stage props to the podium at the 73rd session of the United Nations General Assembly, at UN headquarters in New York, the United States, on September 27, 2018. (Photo by AFP)

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Prime walks with his stage props to the podium at the 73rd session of the United Nations General Assembly, at UN headquarters in New York, the United States, on September 27, 2018. (Photo by AFP)

By Hossein Jelveh

(Hossein Jelveh is an independent Iranian journalist based in Tehran. He has graduated with a master’s degree from the Faculty of World Studiesat the University of Tehran. You can follow him on Twitter @hossein_jelveh)

 

Let’s be fair. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu asks for it.

He has been exposed to the Iranian people’s unrelenting mockery of his foolishness before. So when he took his stage props up to the podium at the United Nations General Assembly on September 27, 2018, showing the picture and map coordinates of what he said is a “secret atomic warehouse” in a suburb of Tehran called “Turquzabad,” Mr. Netanyahu must have known that there would be verbally barbed consequences.

In the speech, Mr. Netanyahu claimed he was “disclosing” the site “for the first time,” and said Iran was keeping “massive amounts of equipment and material” there for future use in its “nuclear weapons program.” He said the site was just 100 meters from “the Kalishoi” — which by the way sounded like a Japanese martial art the way he said it — as if that style of direction-giving would be more accurate than longitudes and latitudes.

At one instant, he pointed to the picture of the building and said, “How about inspections right here, right now?” At another, with a triumphal look about him, he said,“[L]adies and gentlemen, rest assured […] what Iran hides, Israel will find.”

The Iranian people wouldn’t let that circus come and go without adequately making fun of Mr. Netanyahu. And they were sure up to the task. Naturally, tongue-in-cheek stuff flooded the social media.

Let me just quickly offer here my picks of the top two jokes and move on (and please excuse the colorful language — Mr. Netanyahu brought it upon himself):

“Yesterday, we had lentil stew for lunch and red kidney bean side dishes for dinner [both of them highly intestinal gas-inducing food]. Today, we warmed the leftovers [from both] and had them for lunch. I’m thinking Netanyahu will find our house and ask for ‘inspections right here, right now!’”

And second place goes to:

“Dude! That’s where we throw [off-the-radar] parties. Good luck screwing that with those map coordinates!”

*

The word “Turquzabad” itself, while referring to a real place, has somewhat humorous, local connotations for Iranians. In Persian, it is something like “John Doe,” except that is used to refer to places, not people.

Abbas Araqchi, Iran’s deputy foreign minister and a former nuclear negotiator, repeatedly attempted not to chuckle when he spoke about it following Mr. Netanyahu’s remarks.

“Seriously, seriously, I think someone is sending Netanyahu on a wild-goose chase. This time, they have referred him to Turquzabad!” Mr. Araqchi said, with Foreign Minister Javad Zarif — also laughing and visibly speechless with amusement — next to him.

Mr. Netanyahu can speak about Iran all he wants. But wouldn’t he be better off running things by somebody before he speaks them? Seriously.

‘What a showman!’

It was not the first time Mr. Netanyahu was staging a show. His past performances include

(1) an appearance, also at the United Nations General Assembly in 2012, during which he famously held up a cartoon bomb that looked pretty much like the ones in Wile E. Coyote and the Road Runner and that the White House later trolled;

(2) a speech at the US Congress in March 2015, which served well to deepen a schism between him and then-President Barack Obama; and

(3) a closed-door meeting with 22 US lawmakers in August 2015, after which one stunned lawmaker said of Mr. Netanyahu, “What a showman!”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu prepares to display a photograph as he addresses the 73rd session of the United Nations General Assembly, at UN headquarters, in New York, the United States, on September 27, 2018. (Photo by AP)

And then there was his appearance on early-morning live TV beaming into President Donald Trump’s bedroom in April 2018, revealing what Mr. Netanyahu claimed was nuclear-related material from an Iranian “atomic archive.”

But Mr. Netanyahu’s showing at the General Assembly on September 27 this year was certainly the first time he was drawing the most embarrassing rebuttal of his oft-repeated anti-Iran allegations.

“I have a message to the head of the IAEA, Mr. Yukiya Amano. I believe he’s a good man. […] Well, Mr. Amano […] Go inspect this atomic warehouse, immediately, before the Iranians finish clearing it out,”

the Israeli prime minister said, at least implying that he thinks the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency “goes inspecting” sites himself.

Anyway, Mr. Amano must have been watching the speech over pizza because it didn’t take him long to show up to, essentially, demolish Mr. Netanyahu.

In an October 2 statement that read like an adult’s solemn reminder to a child yet to fully develop his cognitive capabilities, the IAEA chief said,

“It should be noted that under the existing verification framework the Agency sends inspectors to sites and locations only when needed. […] The Agency […] has conducted complementary accesses under the Additional Protocol to all the sites and locations in Iran which it needed to visit.”

Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Yukiya Amano (C) is flanked by Secretary General of the European Union External Action Service (EEAS) Helga Schmid (to his left) and Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi during a special meeting of the parties to the Iran nuclear deal at Coburg Palace in Vienna, Austria, on May 25, 2018. (Photo by AFP)

When Iran and originally six world powers plus the European Union (EU) struck a nuclear deal in 2015 — the very deal that all of Mr. Netanyahu’s theatrical gimmicks have been aimed at derailing — they agreed to put the organization under Mr. Amano’s watch in official charge of monitoring the implementation of the technical aspects of the deal.

The IAEA’s October 2 statement was a clear sign that, for all of their drama, Mr. Netanyahu’s attempts are falling flat.

But, in the futile Israeli attempt to dramatize the Iranian nuclear program, there is not just absurdity. There is also irony:

Iran is a member of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). Israel is not.

Iran has no military nuclear program. Israel does.

Iran has, under the nuclear deal, allowed enhanced monitoring by the IAEA of all of its nuclear activities. Israel has allowed no inspections at all of its covert nuclear program.

Still, there is more Israeli behavior that flies in the face of the international world.

For one thing, Mr. Netanyahu on August 29, 2018 issued a threat of a nuclear attack against Iran from inside an Israeli nuclear facility in the Negev Desert — formerly known as Dimona.

This file photo, taken on March 8, 2014, shows a partial view of a nuclear facility, formerly known as Dimona, in the southern Israeli Negev Desert. (By AFP)

Israel is believed to have at least 200 nuclear warheads in a military nuclear program active since decades ago. According to The Washington Post, the United States initially opposed and worked to stop that program.

‘Quite simply, they were lying’

“So the Israelis turned to France, which […] in 1957 secretly agreed to help install a plutonium-based facility in the small Israeli city of Dimona. Why France did this is not settled history. French foreign policy at the time was assiduously independent from, and standoffish toward, the United States and United Kingdom,” according to the 2013 article on The Washington Post.

While working together, Israel and France kept everything secret from the US.

“When U.S. intelligence did finally discover Israel’s nuclear facility, in 1960, Israeli leaders insisted that it was for peaceful purposes and that they were not interested in acquiring a nuclear weapon. Quite simply, they were lying, and for years resisted and stalled U.S.-backed nuclear inspectors sent to the facility,” the article reads.

Ultimately, however, Washington made some sort of an unspoken deal with Tel Aviv, agreeing to an Israeli nuclear program over the pretext that Israel lacked conventional means for protection at the time.

That happened during a September 1969 White House meeting between US President Richard Nixon and Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir.

According to The Washington Post, which cited the Nixon administration’s “meticulous records,” the bargain was that Israel would “make no visible introduction of nuclear weapons or undertake a nuclear test program” in return for the US keeping mum.

But since, the Israeli regime’s conventional military power has increased. And “[s]ome scholars are beginning to ask whether the old deal is outdated,” according to the Post.

Speculation came up (unnecessarily) when US National Security Adviser John Bolton met with Israeli nuclear officials in August. Mr. Bolton, who likes to present himself as a wild pro-Israeli hawk, dismissed all such speculation.

“‘I don’t think there is anything out of the ordinary or unexpected,’ Bolton said of the meeting. Asked to elaborate, he added only: ‘No change in policy,’” Reuters reported later in August.

When Mr. Netanyahu less-than-tacitly brandished nuclear weapons against Iran at the Israeli facility in Negev in late August, he basically violated even that purported agreement with the US.

Israel’s Sorek nuclear reactor center is seen near the central town of Yavne, on July 5, 2004. (File photo by AP)

Bahram Qassemi, spokesperson for the Iranian Foreign Ministry, said on Monday that international inspections of the Israeli nuclear program had to be put on the global agenda and that the current inaction on the matter was not sustainable.

There is no questioning of the fact that that should happen.

But at one point or another, Israel’s shameless even if laughable attempts to derail the Iranian nuclear accord with the remaining five parties will have to be addressed, too.

All the derision that the Turquzabad remarks sparked, and the fact that Israeli accusations against Iran are being taken increasingly less seriously, in no way remove the need to confront Israeli cheekiness against the greater part of the world that is both law-abiding and civilized.

Related

IAEA Chief Refutes Netanyahu’s Big Lies on Iran

By Stephen Lendman

Last May, in response to numerous times Netanyahu falsely accused Iran of seeking nuclear weapons, notably his latest Big Lie at that time, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman  Bahram Qassemi slammed him strongly, saying:

He’s a “broke and infamous liar who has had nothing to offer except lies and deceits,” adding:

“Netanyahu and the notorious, child-killing Zionist regime must have reached the basic understanding that the people of the world have enough awareness and cognizance.”

He long ago lost credibility. Many Israelis despise him, venting their anger in occasional large-scale street protests against him remaining prime minister.

His shameful accusations against Iran are never supported by credible evidence because there is none. 

Its legitimate nuclear program has no nuclear component. It’s combatting terrorism, not supporting or proliferating it.

It neither threatens or attacks other nations like Washington, NATO and Israel do repeatedly.

Qassemi called Israel an “illegal regime…using battered charlatanism of the ignorance age, (mindless) of world public opinion.”

In response to Netanyahu’s false claim about a “secret atomic warehouse” in his UN General Assembly address, IAEA chief Yukiya Amano refuted the accusation, saying:

“The agency sends inspectors to sites and locations only when needed. The agency uses all safeguards relevant to information available to it but it does not take (so-called intelligence) at face value.” 

Without mentioning Israel or Netanyahu by name, Amano added that “(a)ll information obtained, including from third parties, is subject to rigorous review and assessed together with other available information to arrive at an independent assessment based on the agency’s own expertise.”

“In order to maintain credibility, the agency’s independence in relation to the implementation of verification activities is of paramount importance.”

Since Security Council Resolution 2231 made the JCPOA nuclear deal binding international (and US constitutional law under its Supremacy Clause), Washington alone breached it – straightaway by Obama, notably by Trump’s unlawful pullout.

The IAEA affirmed Iran’s full compliance with JCPOA provisions 12 consecutive times. No nation is more intensively monitored, none more scrupulously in compliance with Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) provisions and its other nuclear obligations.

US use of radiological material in war theaters, along with deploying nukes in Europe and elsewhere flagrantly violate NPT’s letter and spirit.

Moscow slammed its “joint nuclear missions” with NATO imperial allies, saying “this is a direct violation of (NPT) Articles I and II…”

It expressly prohibits transfer of nuclear weapons from one nation to another.

According to the Federation of American Scientists, Italy, the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany and Turkey currently host 150 US nukes at six bases.

B61 nukes are the Pentagon’s oldest in its arsenal, in 2020 to be replaced by B61-12 bombs, costing over $10 billion, according to the National Nuclear Security Administration’s Office of Cost Estimating and Program Evaluation.

Moscow’s complaint to Washington about illegally deploying nukes was ignored.

The Trump regime plans an unprecedented nuclear upgrade – unjustifiably justified by a “Russian threat (and) troubling” behavior that doesn’t exist.

Russia’s Foreign Ministry warned that US behavior “significantly lowers the threshold (for) use of nuclear weapons,” adding:

The “baseless allegations of a growing ‘Russian nuclear threat,’ peddled by Americans, look particularly cynical.”

“The provisions of our military doctrine concerning the use of nuclear weapons are deliberately distorted.”

“The western public is being continuously told that Russia appears to review its stance on the place and the role of the nuclear weapons and focuses more and more on that. This does not correspond to the reality.”

Trump reportedly wants America’s nuclear arsenal increased 10-fold. US nuclear policy under Bush/Cheney, Obama, and Trump assert America’s preemptive right to unilaterally declare and wage future wars using first strike nuclear weapons.

Nuclear armed and dangerous Israel likely has a similar unstated policy.

Iran deplores these weapons, wants them all eliminated. As long as they exist, using them eventually remains an ominous possibility.

Source

Nutty Netanyahu Goes Off On One Again, Claims Iran Has Secret Nuclear Warehouse

Netanyahu Claims Iran Has Secret Nuclear Warehouse

Refuses to say if site would violate nuclear deal

Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu shows an atomic warehouse in Tehran during his address at the 73rd session of the United Nations General Assembly on Thursday.

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu shows an atomic warehouse in Tehran during his address at the 73rd session of the United Nations General Assembly on Thursday.  (AP)

Jason Ditz

Speaking at the UN General Assembly, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu focused, as usual, on Iran, this time showing an aerial photograph he claimed showed a secret “atomic warehouse” in the Iranian capital of Tehran.

He provided no evidence, and details were scant. Netanyahu claimed the site may have contained as much as 15 kg in radioactive material at one point, and demanded the UN go there with Geiger counters. He also demanded the world in general do more against Iran.

Iranian officials were quick to reject the allegations, saying that no such facility exists. The IAEA has yet to say what they intend to do about the claim, which comes with no actual evidence. If anything, this is likely to raise more concerns that Israel is constantly keeping secrets from the international community about not just their own nuclear weapons program, but what they think that they know about others as well.

The P5+1 nuclear deal gives the IAEA virtually limitless access to Iranian sites, but the IAEA may be unwilling to go on a likely wild goose chase where, even in the event they find nothing, Israel will continue to castigate them for not being more hostile toward Iran.

Turning Sanctions to Iran’s Own Advantage: Opportunity vs. Crisis

Nour Rida

When the US began a series of sanctions against the Islamic Republic of Iran in the 1980s, Iran replied with a multiple track strategy, turning sanctions to the country’s own advantage by strengthening its indigenous production capabilities and its sovereignty. Today, and after a few months from Trump’s tearing up the nuclear deal, Iran’s currency sees a sharp decline in value and suffers economic woes. Iran is not the only country to suffer from US sanctions, however, the most vicious and longest of US economic wars has been against Iran; a nation which has been under US pressure for decades for not complying with America’s dictates. Today, according to some analysts, Iran can turn the sanctions and US economic war into an opportunity to stand in a stronger position and try its best to carry out reforms in the country.

Meanwhile, the US with a national debt of $21 trillion (which has been growing at a rate of a trillion dollars per year) has been targeting nations over the years, including China, Russia, Iran, Venezuela, Pakistan, Turkey, Cuba, Sudan, Zimbabwe, Myanmar, the Democratic Republic of Congo, North Korea as well as others. With such aggressive foreign policies, the US, according to some analysts, seems to bring a sooner than expected end to the dollar hegemony with its unwavering commitment to remain as a supreme power. With new emerging powers, mainly China and Russia, the US might create a dollarless market in the future that is out of its reach.

Iran political winner in n-deal

Iran recently plunged into harsh economic woes, especially after Trump’s harebrained attitude towards Iran and the nuclear deal. However, such an economic incline cannot be attributed only to the US ending of the deal and the new sanctions, but rather because of other reasons that combined altogether leading to this situation.

According to Political economist Dr. Elaheh Nourigholamizadeh, the US’s withdrawal from the deal is nothing but a continuation of the same previous US regime’s sanctions and aggressive policies towards Iran. The analyst said their effects on Iran’s economy are pretty negative. However, she explained that

“economically speaking, although the JCPOA was a step for protecting Iran’s economy against sanctions, the deal, from the beginning has not defined a clear strategy or certain policies for countering the negative effects of US sanctions imposed on the Islamic Republic of Iran or for bringing prosperity to the country.”

Accordingly, Nourigholamzadeh told al-Ahed news that even before the temporary relief of the nuclear sanctions, many countries were still skeptical about investing in Iran or signing economic agreements with the country.

“For example, as we see in the airlines sector as well as the banking and financial sectors, these all remained under sanctions. In many cases, these sanctions in the banking and financial sectors even increased. From the beginning, the JCPOA was more of a political, legal and technical deal rather than an economic one.”

So the deal was not meant to bring about real change on the economic level. However, the analyst pointed out that

“politically speaking, we cannot say that Iran did not have any gains from the deal. The Western viewpoint on Iran as an allegedly nuclear threat and their rhetoric on the matter has changed. Iran being allegedly a threat to world order is also not part of their narrative anymore.”

Nourigholamzadeh underscored that

“Nowadays, the West talks about Iran’s compliance of the terms and conditions of the nuclear deal and the IAEA on the one hand, and about the US’s unilateral and unethical position on a deal which is internationally respected.”

The deal has also shown the US’s inconsistency and deception on the international arena, she reminded.

“It must be considered that from the beginning, the US’s behavior has shown that the JCPOA is not supposed to resolve Iran’s economic problems and its withdrawal from the deal reveals the untrustworthy nature of the US and its hostility against the Iranian nation,” the scholar pointed out.

Many European officials see the Trump administration’s foreign policy as a dangerous “mix of unilateralism and isolationism” that he combined into “unisolationism.”

Measures for a better economy

To talk about the measures that Iran could take to manage its actual situation, the economist said these measures can be divided into two aspects, domestic and international.

“Domestically speaking, Iran must pay more attention to its economic affairs. It should be focused on improving and reforming the economic management of the country, strengthening its economic infrastructure and supporting its national producers, especially in sectors such as agriculture and manufacturing.”

According to the expert on economic affairs, the country has to provide opportunities for the proper use of its human assets, who are mainly educated, talented and skilled. Importantly they could encourage the economic activities of the country.

“Internationally speaking, I think that Iran should not let the unfair regime of sanctions hurt its international position and its bilateral or multilateral relations with other countries of the world, because Iran believes in an economically interdependent world and that countries need each other in order to satisfy their economic needs,” Nourigholamzadeh further explained.

“Therefore; I think that Iran should increase its economic relations with new emerging economies such as Russia and China. It also needs to improve its relation with regional economic partners such as Turkey, Qatar and India. I also think that Iran should pay more attention to the point that it needs to decrease its economic dependency on oil and the result of this kind of thinking is focusing more on non-oil exports and diversification as well as adopting policies that could help Iran’s economy such as having other ways than oil to increase its internationally presence in economic sectors,” the economist told al-Ahed news, pointing out that these measures in fact are in line with the resistance economic policies that Imam Khamenei had introduced.

Iran deserves to be independent

Commenting on the leader of the Islamic Republic Imam Ali Khamenei’s clear message when he said that Iran will not go to war with the US and will not sit for talks either, the analyst said

“Iran has nothing to do with an untrustworthy power like the US. As long as it tries to dictate Iran and denies the inalienable rights of its people in terms of growing their economy in a way they deserve, the message is clear; the US should not interfere in the domestic affairs of the Islamic Republic of Iran.”

She assured that “historically speaking, Iran has not initiated any war against any other country in the world and has respected the sovereignty of all nations of the world. Iran has been going on with these anti-war policies so it does not intend to do so. Iran will also not sit for talks with a country that has become famous for deceit and untrustworthiness.”

Harmonizing economic behavior, internal economic policies

Furthermore, Dr. Nourigholamzadeh told al-Ahed news that despite the fact that the sanctions and outside pressure does have an effect on the situation in Iran, however she underscored that currency devaluation is not a new problem in Iran that could be attributed to new economic phenomena or new economic reasons.

“I think this is not the perfect place for economic theories, however, I think that impossible trinity or unholy trinity, which means it is impossible for a country to have free exchange rate, free capital flow and sovereign monetary policy at the same time is a concept we should keep in mind.”

To explain it in simple terms, Dr. Elaheh said that when the economy is free, the main reason for currency fluctuation is the difference between domestic interest rate and foreign interest rate; this means that when the people of a country try to maintain their economic power purchase (the international power purchase), they assess the difference between domestic interest rate and foreign interest rate and prefer to buy assets that are more profitable to them.

“Indeed, in case of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Iranians prefer to buy foreign assets because they find it more profitable. Also, unfortunately in the country the principle of foreign asset available to the people is fine money, in this case dollars and euros. So, Iranians see the currency fluctuations a chance to buy dollars or euros in order to maintain their international power purchase, which in turn increases currency devaluation.”

Touching on the economic situation and currency devaluation, the economist clarified that despite the US unfair sanctions, there are many different economic reasons to the problem.

Nevertheless, she pointed out that

“the main answer to why is the economy in such shape would be that there are many factors such as sanctions in first place, people economic mal behavior and economic mismanagement of the country which is mainly dependent on oil combined together to create Iran’s actual economic situation.”

The best solution, she concluded,

“is not to rely solely on one factor (by that meaning oil), it is rather better to find a way to harmonize people’s economic behavior with internal economic policies, or finding a way to manage the negative economic effects imposed by sanctions. By that, she assured that internal policies on economics should be reformed, which has already began to see light in Iran.

Iran’s parliament has voted to remove Minister of Economic Affairs and Finance Masoud Karbasian from office. A total of 137 MPs voted for Karbasian’s removal while 121 voted in favor of him remaining in office. He followed Ali Rabiei, Iran’s former minister of labor and social welfare, who was voted out by the parliament early August. MPs sought impeachment for the minister over a range of issues that included the inability to manage the country’s economic affairs, failure to implement policies for bolstering resistance economy, lack of proper supervision of financial transactions and the inability to promote economic transparency.

Dollar decline inevitable

Finally, touching on the end of a dollar era, the analyst said that despite the fact that some systematic issues slow down this declining process (since almost 65 per cent of world monetary reserves held in central banking systems are in dollars and almost 40 per cent of world debt is issued in dollars), however the decline of the dollar and its market is inevitable in the future.

“First of all, the dollar is in competition with Euro and Yuan in international markets, and there are increasing cross-border and financial activities of new emerging powers like China and Russia.”

“Second of all, the end of dollar domination is an enduring process, when talking about the end of dollar domination, we talk about alternatives such as precious metals and natural resources since these are considered as national wealth. But there are details that need to be discussed in terms of these factors. For example, although the US has a significant gold reserves, however we do not live anymore in the cold war era, which means there is no communist trade anymore and actually many countries such as Germany are repatriating their gold reserves and this shows there is an economic shift in the world system,” she explained.

“Now when we talk about oil and gas, Iran and Venezuela are the main suppliers of oil but they have sanctions imposed on them by the US. When we talk about natural gas, it is Russia that is the main supplier of natural gas and its main market is the EU, but the US intends to bring EU in support to its sanctions against Russia which in turn affects Russian gas export to the EU,” Dr. Nouri elaborated.

She highlighted that these systematic factors of US hegemonic attitude serve as a hindrance to the end of dollar domination. However, its attitude ironically also serves to isolate it on the international level and this might help in the acceleration of the dollar declination.  So the dollar dominant position is declining, but the present systematic obstacles slow the process down.

Dr. Elaheh finally concluded that

“the arrogant attitude of the US has also contributed in making major world players wary of the future with a US having hands in every state actor across the globe, and emerging economies such as China and Russia are trying their best to provide an alternative to the dollar in global banking and financial market.”

Source: News Agencies, Edited by website team

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Iran to Inform IAEA of Starting to Boost UF6 Production Capacity

05-06-2018 | 11:07

Iran’s national nuclear agency said it is starting a process to boost the capacity of the country’s uranium enrichment within the framework of the 2015 nuclear agreement, and will notify the International Atomic Energy Agency [IAEA] of the decision.
 
Iran

In this regard, the spokesman for the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran [AEOI], Behrouz Kamalvandi, told ISNA news agency on Tuesday that Iran will inform the IAEA of the start of the process to increase the production capacity of uranium hexafluoride [UF6], a chemical compound which serves as feedstock for centrifuges.

“In a letter that would be delivered to the International Atomic Energy Agency by the Iranian mission in Vienna, it has been announced that we will begin the process of increasing the capacity for the production of UF6 and UF4 gases on Monday as well as the manufacturing and assembly of centrifuge rotors,” Kamalvandi said.

Kamalvandi’s comments came just hours after Leader of the Islamic Revolution His Eminence Imam Sayyed Ali Khamenei ordered the AEOI to get prepared for uranium enrichment up to a level of 190,000 SWU [separative work unit] within the framework of the 2015 nuclear deal.

SWU is the standard measure of the effort required to separate isotopes of uranium during an enrichment process. 1SWU is equivalent to 1 kilogram of separative work.

Under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action [JCPOA], Kamalvandi said, Iran was supposed to achieve an enrichment capacity of at least 190,000 SWU by the end of the 15th year since the deal’s enforcement in January 2016.

“We had earlier estimated that we could reach about 250,000-SWU capacity by the end of the 15th year, but given the Leader’s call for us to pursue a 190,000-SWU capacity, we need to take measures for this to be realized faster,” the official added.

Achieving the 190,000-SWU enrichment capacity means increasing efforts to set up workshops and factories and providing the infrastructure and other arrangements necessary for moving forward at a high speed and capacity, he added.

On May 8, US President Donald Trump announced Washington’s pullout from the nuclear deal, vowing to reinstate nuclear sanctions on Iran and impose “the highest level” of economic bans on the Islamic Republic.

He also said Iran was in “pursuit of nuclear weapons,” a claim that contradicts numerous reports by the UN nuclear watchdog confirming the peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear work and the country’s full compliance with the accord.
Source: News Agencies, Edited by website team
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