مفاوضات فيينا: بين التراجع الأميركي والقلق الصهيوني وتوازن القوى الجديد The Vienna Negotiations: Between American Retreat, Zionist Anxiety, and the New Balance of Power

* Please scroll down for the ADJUSTED English Machine translation *


مفاوضات فيينا: بين التراجع الأميركي والقلق الصهيوني وتوازن القوى الجديد


 حسن حردان

ارتفع منسوب القلق في كيان العدو الصهيوني، مع توارد الأنباء عن قرب توصل مفاوضات فيينا الى اتفاق على العودة المتزامنة من قبل الولايات المتحدة والجمهورية الإسلامية الإيرانية إلى الالتزام بالاتفاق النووي كما نص عليه عام 2015، وهي الصيغة التي يجري وضع اللمسات الأخيرة عليها وتقضي بأن تقوم واشنطن برفع كلّ العقوبات عن إيران والعودة إلى الالتزام بالاتفاق وتأكد طهران من هذا الالتزام، وفي المقابل تقوم إيران بالعودة عن خطواتها التي اتخذتها بالتخلي عن التزاماتها بموجب الاتفاق، انْ لناحية وقف التخصيب بنسبة 60 بالمئة والعودة إلى التزام نسبة 3,67 بالمئة، أو لناحية السماح لمفتشي وكالة الطاقة الدولية بالعودة الى ممارسة عملهم في مراقبة البرنامج النووي.

هذا التطور أحدث صدمة وقلقاً داخل كيان الاحتلال الصهيوني، وأثار انقساماً في اجتماع الكابينيت، المجلس الوزاري المصغر، حول طريقة التعامل مع هذا التطور الذي اعتبر «إسرائيلياً» بأنه يشكل تنازلاً أميركياً أمام إيران، يلحق الضرر بـ «إسرائيل» وحلفائها من بعض الحكومات العربية… ولهذا حذّرت مجموعة كبيرة من المسؤولين السابقين في الاستخبارات «الإسرائيلية» والجيش وهيئات إنفاذ القانون، بايدن من التسرّع في إبرام اتفاق نووي مع إيران.

المجموعة التي ضمّت 2000 مسؤول رفيع المستوى، قالت في رسالة إلى بايدن، إنّ «التسرّع في التفاوض مع إيران يعرّض «إسرائيل» وحلفاءها العرب الجدد للخطر بشكل مباشر».

وأفاد موقع «واشنطن فري بيكون» أنّ الرسالة التي صاغها «منتدى الدفاع والأمن الإسرائيلي»، تُعدّ إشارة واضحة على أنّ «إسرائيل» وحلفاءها العرب في المنطقة متحدون في معارضة جهود إدارة بايدن للانضمام مرة أخرى إلى الاتفاق النووي. واعتبروا أنّ الاتفاق النووي الإيراني معيب ويعد تهديداً مباشراً للاستقرار الإقليمي…

لكن الأسئلة التي تطرح في هذا السياق هي:

أولاً، لماذا قرّرت واشنطن العودة إلى الاتفاق النووي كما وقع عام 2015 طالما انه يشكل ضرراً لحلفاء أميركا في المنطقة وفي المقدمة الكيان الصهيوني؟

وثانياً، لماذا يعتبر المسؤولون الصهاينة عودة العمل بالاتفاق النووي يلحق ضرراً بالكيان الصهيوني وحلفائه من الأنظمة العربية؟

وثالثاً، ما هي النتائج التي ستترتب على التوصل لهذا الاتفاق وفق الشروط الإيرانية؟

أ ـ انّ قرار إدارة الرئيس الأميركي جو بايدن العودة إلى الاتفاق النووي وقبول شروط إيران برفع كامل العقوبات بالتزامن مع عودة طهران للالتزام بالمثل بنصوص الاتفاق، حسب الأنباء الواردة من مفاوضات فيينا، لم يكن ليتمّ لو كان لدى الإدارة خيارات أخرى أفضل… بل انّ واشنطن تقدم على التراجع أمام ايران، حسب ما يرشح من مفاوضات فيينا، نتيجة انسداد الخيارات الأخرى أمامها ووصولها إلى قناعة بأنّ خيار العودة إلى الاتفاق وعدم الاستمرار في محاولات الضغط لتعديله أو تجزئة رفع العقوبات المفروضة على إيران، إنما يشكل أقلّ الخيارات سوءاً بالنسبة للسياسة الأميركية… لماذا؟

لأنّ خيار مواصلة سياسة الحصار والعقوبات لم يعد يجدي نفعاً بعد أن نجحت إيران في إجهاض أهداف الحصار، من خلال :اعتماد سياسات اقتصادية تنموية عزّزت…ـ الاكتفاء الذاتي… وإقامة علاقات اقتصادية مع دول ترفض سياسة الهيمنة الأميركية، لا سيما روسيا والصين، والتي كان آخرها الاتفاقية الاستراتيجية بين طهران وبكين والتي شكلت ضربة موجعة لسياسة الهيمنة الأميركية وأسقطت الحصار الأميركي على إيران بالضربة القاضية كونها أمّنت لإيران تصدير نفطها بكميات كبيرة ومنتظَمة على مدى 25 سنة واستثمارات صينية في شتى المجالات تناهز الـ 450 مليار دولار، هذا إلى جانب توطيد علاقات التنسيق والتعاون الاقتصادي والأمني مع روسيا وإقامة علاقات اقتصادية مع دول جمهوريات آسيا الوسطى لا سيما، دول جوار بحر قزوين مما أدّى إلى تحرّر إيران من تأثير العلاقات مع الغرب، وأوجد بدائل جديدة تجعل طهران قادرة على تأمين احتياجاتها وتصدير منتجاتها من دون الخضوع للابتزاز الذي تمارسه الدول الغربية…

أما الخيار العسكري فإنّ إدارة بايدن تدرك جيداً بأنه محفوف بالمخاطر الكبيرة على الوجود والمصالح الأميركية في المنطقة وعلى أمن الكيان الصهيوني… بسبب القدرات العسكرية الرادعة التي تملكها إيران وحلفائها في محور المقاومة…

في حين انّ خيار الحرب الأمنية غير المباشرة لتعطيل البرنامج النووي الإيراني لإضعاف موقف طهران وفرض الشروط عليها، لم يحقق أهدافه، بل أدّى إلى نتائج عكسية، حيث ردّت إيران على الهجوم الصهيوني التخريبي الذي استهدف مفاعل «نطنز»، بالعمل سريعاً على وضع جيل جديد متطوّر من أجهزة الطرد المركزي بدلاً من الأجهزة التي تضرّرت، ورفع نسبة تخصيب اليورانيوم من 20 بالمئة إلى 60 بالمئة مما عكس جاهزية إيران للمواجهة ونجاحها في تطوير قدراتها النووية وامتلاكها الاحتياطات اللازمة للتصدي لأيّ استهدافات أمنية للبرنامج النووي… وكان من الطبيعي أن يؤدّي هذا النجاح الإيراني إلى تعزيز موقف إيران ورفع سقف وشروط التفاوض من قبلها مع مجموعة 4  + 1 من ناحية، وانسداد أيّ أفق أمام واشنطن لتحسين شروط عودتها إلى الالتزام بالاتفاق النووي من ناحية ثانية… وبالتالي اضطرارها إلى التراجع وإبداء المرونة أمام إيران بالتخلي عن الرهان لتعديل شروط العودة للاتفاق والقبول بالعودة المتزامنة غير المشروطة المقرونة برفع العقوبات دفعة واحدة كما تطالب طهران…

ب ـ انّ قلق المسؤولين الصهانية من عودة واشنطن إلى الاتفاق النووي بالشروط التي ترضى إيران، إنما مردّه إلى جملة أسباب:

السبب الأول، إدراك تل أبيب بأنّ الجمهورية الإسلامية الإيرانية ستحقق انتصاراً جديداً في معركتها لتكريس استقلالها والحفاظ على برنامجها النووي والحصول على المنافع الاقتصادية التي ينص عليها الاتفاق من دون إدخال أيّ تعديلات على الاتفاق سعت إليها حكومة بنيامين نتنياهو دون جدوى.. وهذا يعني أنّ إيران الثورة ستصبح في وضع أقوى داخلياً وخارجياً حيث سيتحسّن الوضع الاقتصادي الإيراني بشكل كبير وينعكس ذلك بتحسين قيمة العملة الإيرانية وبالتالي تحسّن الوضعين الاجتماعي والمعيشي للشعب الإيراني الأمر الذي يزيد من التفافه حول قيادته، ويضعف الجهات المرتبطة بالخارج التي كانت تسعى الى استغلال الضائقة الاقتصادية نتيجة الحصار لتأليب الناس ضدّ نظام الجمهورية الإسلامية… ومن الطبيعي انّ تَحسّن الوضع الاقتصادي ومستوى معيشة الشعب سوف ينعكس بتعزيز موقف إيران السياسي واستطراداً دورها على الساحتين الإقليمية والدولية…

السبب الثاني، إدراك المسؤولين الصهيانية أنّ تنامي قوة إيران الاقتصادية واستعادتها لوارداتها النفطية، والاستثمارات الخارجية التي ستحصل في إيران، وارتفاع معدلات النمو في الاقتصاد والدخل على حدّ سواء، سوف تمكن إيران من زيادة قدراتها على دعم حلفائها في محور المقاومة، مما يقوّي من قدراتهم في مواجهة قوى الإرهاب المدعومة أميركياً، ومن الاحتلال الصهيوني…

السبب الثالث، قلق الصهاينة من التحوّل الذي ستحدثه عودة واشنطن إلى الاتفاق النووي بالشروط الإيرانية، على صعيد موازين القوى الإقليمية، في مصلحة المحور المناهض للهيمنة الأميركية، على حساب المحور الموالي لهذه الهيمنة والذي يضمّ الكيان الصهيوني وحلفاءه من الأنظمة الرجعية التابعة والتي بات يرتبط بعضها باتفاقيات مع كيان العدو… مما يضعف هذه الأنظمة ويجعلها مضطرة إلى التوقف عن مواصلة سياسة العداء لإيران والبحث عن سبل تطبيع العلاقات معها، وفي هذا السياق يمكن وضع الأنباء التي تحدّثت عن بدء حوار سعودي إيراني برعاية عراقية.. والذي تزامن مع الأنباء عن قرب التوصل إلى اتفاق في فيبنا لإعادة العمل بالاتفاق النووي… وتفاقم المأزق السعودي في اليمن بفعل نجاح المقاومة اليمنية في مواصلة توجيه ضربات موجعة القواعد والمنشآت الحيوية العسكرية والنفطية في قلب المملكة.

ج ـ انّ إنجاز الاتفاق بالشروط الإيرانية المدعومة روسياً وصينياً، سوف يكرّس المعادلات الجديدة على الصعيد العالمي، والتي تأتي نتيجة فشل الحروب الأميركية في تحقيق أهدافها لناحية إضعاف إيران وإسقاط الدولة الوطنية السورية والقضاء على قوى المقاومة وإعادة إخضاع العراق للهيمنة الأميركية، وصولاً إلى عزل إيران والعمل على تطويعها، ومحاصرة روسيا والصين، وإحباط تطلعاتهما لإقامة نظام دولي متعدّد الأقطاب…

انّ إخفاق الحروب الأميركية وفشل أهدافها المذكورة، أدّى إلى خروج دول وقوى محور المقاومة أكثر قوّة وقدرة، والى تعزيز قوة إيران السند الأساسي لهذا المحور، وعودة روسيا بقوة إلى الساحة الدولية كلاعب أساسي انطلاقاً من انتصار سورية ومساهمتها في هذا الانتصار في مواجهة الحرب الإرهابية الكونية التي شنّتها أميركا بوساطة جيوش الإرهاب القاعدي والداعشي…

 انّ هذا التحوّل سوف يجعل الكيان الصهيوني محاصراً ببيئة استراتيجية جديدة من محور المقاومة الممتدّ من لبنان مروراً بسورية والعراق وغزة واليمن وصولاً إلى إيران، فيما الولايات المتحدة الداعم الأول للكيان الصهيوني تتراجع هيمنتها في المنطقة وعلى الصعيد الدولي ولم تعد قادرة على شنّ حروب جديدة فيما هي تنسحب مهزومة من أفغانستان بعد أطول حرب خاضتها… واستطراداً فإنّ هذا التحوّل سوف ينعكس بتعزيز موقف روسيا والصين في السعي الى إقامة نظام عالمي جديد يقوم على التعددية القطبية بديلاً عن نظام الهيمنة الأميركي الأحادي القطب.. الذي لم يعد ينسجم مع موازين القوى الجديدة في العالم…


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The Vienna Negotiations: Between American Retreat, Zionist Anxiety, and the New Balance of Power

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Hassan Hardan

The level of concern in the Zionist entity has risen, with reports that the Vienna negotiations have reached an agreement on the simultaneous return by the United States and the Islamic Republic of Iran to compliance with the nuclear agreement as stipulated in 2015, a formula that is being finalized and requires Washington to lift all sanctions on Iran and return to compliance In return, Iran is backing away from its steps to abandon its commitments under the agreement, with a 60 percent suspension of enrichment and a return to a 3.67 percent commitment, or allowing IAEA inspectors to return to their work monitoring the nuclear program.

This development caused shock and anxiety within the Zionist occupation entity, and sparked a split in the meeting of the cabinet, the mini-ministerial council, on how to deal with this development, which considered “Israeli” as a U.S. concession to Iran, hurting Israel and its Arab allies. That’s why a large group of former Israeli intelligence, military and law enforcement officials warned Biden not to rush into a nuclear deal with Iran.

The group of 2,000 senior officials said in a letter to Biden that “rushing to negotiate with Iran directly puts Israel and its new Arab allies at risk.”

According to the Washington Free Beacon, the letter, drafted by the Israel Defense and Security Forum, is a clear indication that Israel and its Arab allies in the region are united in opposing the Biden administration’s efforts to rejoin the nuclear deal. They considered the Iran nuclear deal flawed and a direct threat to regional stability…

But the questions asked in this contextare:

First, why did Washington decide to return to the nuclear deal as it signed in 2015 as long as it is harmful to America’s allies in the region and at the forefront of the Zionist entity?

Secondly, why do Zionist officials consider the return of the nuclear agreement to harm the Zionist entity and its Arab regime allies?

Thirdly, what are the consequences of reaching this agreement in accordance with Iranian conditions?

A: U.S. President Joe Biden’s administration’s decision to return to the nuclear deal and accept Iran’s terms of lifting all sanctions in conjunction with Tehran’s return to similar compliance with the terms of the agreement, according to reports from the Vienna negotiations, would not have been possible if the administration had other better options… Washington is even pushing back against Iran, as nominated from the Vienna negotiations, as a result of the blockage of other options before it and its conviction that the option of returning to the agreement and not continuing to try to pressure it to amend it or fragment the lifting of sanctions against Iran is the least bad option for U.S. policy… But why?

Because the option of continuing the policy of embargoes and sanctions no longer works after Iran succeeded in aborting the objectives of the embargo, by: Adoption of economic and development policies that have strengthened…- self-sufficiency, and the establishment of economic relations with countries that reject the policy of American hegemony, especially Russia and China, the latest of which was the strategic agreement between Tehran and Beijing, which constituted a painful blow to the US policy of hegemony and brought down the American blockade on Iran by a knockout because it has secured Iran to export its oil in large and regular quantities over a period of 25 years, and Chinese investments in various fields amounted to about 450 billion dollars, in addition to strengthening coordination relations and economic and security cooperation with Russia and establishing economic relations with the countries of the Central Asian republics, particularly the Caspian neighbors, which led to Iran’s liberation from the influence of relations with the West, and created new alternatives that would make Tehran able to secure its needs and export its products without being subject to blackmail by Western countries…

As for the military option, the Biden administration is well aware that it is too risky for U.S. presence and interests in the region and for the security of the Zionist entity, because of the deterrent military capabilities of Iran and its allies, while the option of indirect security war to disrupt Iran’s nuclear program to weaken Tehran’s position and impose conditions on it, did not achieve its objectives, but backfired, as Iran responded to the Zionist sabotage attack on the Natanz reactor, working quickly to develop a new generation of centrifuges instead of damaged devices, and raising uranium enrichment from 20 percent to 60 percent, reflecting Iran’s readiness to confront and its success in developing its nuclear capabilities and having the necessary precautions to counter any security targets of the nuclear program. It was only natural that this Iranian success would strengthen Iran’s position and raise the ceiling and conditions of its negotiations with the 4+1 group on the one hand, and block any horizon for Washington to improve the terms of its return to compliance with the nuclear agreement on the other. Thus, it has to back down and show flexibility for Iran to give up the bet to amend the terms of the return of the agreement and accept the simultaneous unconditional return coupled with the lifting of sanctions at once, as Tehran demands.

B:. The concern of Zionist officials about Washington’s return to the nuclear deal on the terms that satisfy Iran is due to a number of reasons:

The first reason is Tel Aviv’s realization that the Islamic Republic of Iran will achieve a new victory in its battle to consolidate its independence, maintain its nuclear program and obtain the economic benefits provided for by the agreement without any amendments to the agreement. This means that Iran revolution will become in a stronger situation internally and externally where the Iranian economic situation will improve significantly and this is reflected in the improvement of the value of the Iranian currency and thus improve the social and living situation of the Iranian people, which increases its rallying around his leadership, and weakens those associated abroad who were seeking to exploit the economic hardship as a result of the embargo to turn people against the regime of the Islamic Republic… It is natural that the improvement of the economic situation and the standard of living of the people will be reflected in strengthening Iran’s political position and increasing its role on the regional and international arenas.

The second reason, Zionist officials realize that Iran’s growing economic strength and recovery of its oil imports, foreign investment in Iran, and high growth rates in both the economy and income, will enable Iran to increase its capabilities to support its allies in the axis of resistance, strengthening their capabilities in the face of U.S.-backed terrorist forces, and the Zionist occupation…

The third reason, the Zionists are concerned about the transformation that Washington’s return to the nuclear agreement on Iranian terms will bring, in terms of regional power balances, in the interest of the anti-American axis, at the expense of the axis loyal to this hegemony, which includes the Zionist entity and its reactionary allies, some of which are now linked to agreements with the enemy entity… Weakening these regimes will forces them to stop hostility and look for ways to normalize relations with Iran, and in this context the news of the start of a Saudi-Iranian dialogue under Iraqi auspices which coincided with the news that an agreement was reached in Vienna to reintroduce the nuclear agreement. Moreover the Saudi impasse in Yemen has been exacerbated by the success of the Yemeni resistance in continuing to strike vital military and oil bases and facilities in the heart of the kingdom.

C:. Achieving of the agreement on Iranian terms backed by Russia and China will perpetuate the new equations globally, as a result of the failure of the U.S. wars to achieve their goals in terms of weakening Iran, overthrowing the Syrian national state, eliminating the forces of resistance and re-subjecting Iraq to American hegemony, leading to isolating Iran, the main support of resistance axis, and besieging Russia and China, and thwarting their aspirations to establish a multipolar international order.

The failure of the American wars and the failure of their aforementioned goals led to the strengthening Iran, and the emergence of the countries and forces of the axis of resistance more powerful and capable, and to the strong return of Russia to the international arena as a key player based on the victory of Syria and its contribution to this victory in the face of the global terrorist war that America launched it through the armies of al Qaeda and ISIS terrorism

This transformation will make the Zionist entity besieged by a new strategic environment from the axis of resistance extending from Lebanon through Syria, Iraq, Gaza and Yemen to Iran, while the United States, the first supporter of the Zionist entity, is retreating its hegemony in the region and internationally and is no longer able to wage new wars as it withdraws defeated from Afghanistan after the longest war it has fought… Furthermore, this shift will be reflected in strengthening Russia and China’s position in seeking a new multipolar world order as an alternative to America’s unipolar hegemony.


Related

Iran Won’t Hand Over Data to IAEA Until Sanctions Lifted – AEOI

Iran Won’t Hand Over Data to IAEA Until Sanctions Lifted - AEOI

By Staff, Agencies

Spokesman for Atomic Energy Organization of Iran [AEOI] Behrouz Kamalvandi said on Monday that Iran will not hand over data to the International Atomic Energy Agency [IAEA] until the US sanctions are lifted.

He made the remarks in briefing to the parliament National Security and Foreign Policy Commission hearing.

Kamalvandi said that some representatives had questions about the agreement between
the AEOI and the IAEA and that he gave explanation on the issue in the hearing.

The spokesman added that the agreement with IAEA was compliant to parliament’s legislation requiring the government to halt Additional Protocol and inspections beyond the IAEA Safeguards Agreement.

Kamalvandi added that Iran gave three-month moratorium to end the voluntary acceptance of the IAEA Additional Protocol and IAEA agreed that Iran would save nuclear information by itself until three months later and then, if sanctions were lifted, the information would be handed to the IAEA; otherwise, all the information would be deleted.

During the three-month moratorium, according to Kamalvandi, no access, inspections or protocol statement would be provided by Iran.

The spokesman stressed that the agreement with the IAEA is for three months, adding that if other parties to the JCPOA fulfilled their obligations under the deal in the above-mentioned period, the government would inform the parliament through a report so that the legislature could make a decision.

Continuation of sharing information is in the interest of both sides, because the IAEA needs to have the information to be able to make verification and broad evaluation, Kamalvandi added.

He said that the IAEO offered members of parliament to visit nuclear sites to watch the process of enforcing the law in question closely.

On the possibility that three European parties to the JCPOA would cooperate with the US to pass an anti-Iran resolution in the next IAEA Board of Governors session, Kamalvandi underlined that the European Troika has made a non-constructive move that must stop.

Is the Iran nuclear deal (JCPOA) a ‘dead letter’?

First Batch of Iran’s 20% Enriched Uranium Products Ready

First Batch of Iran’s 20% Enriched Uranium Products Ready

By Staff, Agencies

Iran says it has produced its first UF6 [uranium hexafluoride or hex] product a few hours after restarting the enrichment of uranium up to a purity level of 20 percent at Fordow nuclear facility.

Behrouz Kamalvandi, the spokesman for the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran [AEOI], announced late Monday that the first UF6 product was prepared a few hours ago.

The process of injecting gas into the centrifuges and resuming uranium enrichment up to 20% started earlier in the day after informing inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency [IAEA], the spokesman said.

“Considering the previous experience of enrichment in Fordow facility, the new production line for enriching uranium to 20% was prepared very quickly,” Kamalvandi said.

He also noted that the country is prepared to enrich uranium at purity levels beyond 20 percent.

According to the AEOI, the resumption of uranium enrichment at this level of purity came in line with the legislation earlier passed by the Iranian Parliament, which obliges the administration of President Hassan Rouhani to expand the country’s nuclear activities in a bid to have the sanctions lifted.

Earlier in the day, Iran’s government spokesman announced the beginning of the process to enrich uranium to 20 percent purity at Fordow nuclear facility.

“President [Hassan Rouhani] had ordered the beginning of 20-percent enrichment a couple of days ago, and the process of injecting gas [into centrifuges] has started after informing the International Atomic Energy Agency [IAEA] … and the first UF6 product will be out a few hours from now,” Ali Rabiei said.

Following Iranian government spokesman’s announcement, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif also took to Twitter, saying that resumption of 20% uranium enrichment by Iran is totally legal and based on a recent legislation by the country’s Parliament while keeping the IAEA fully abreast of Tehran’s decision.

“We resumed 20% enrichment, as legislated by our Parliament. IAEA has been duly notified,” Zarif said in his tweet.

He emphasized that the move is in conformity with Paragraph 36 of the JCPOA, once again reiterating that all Iran’s measures are reversible if other signatories to the landmark nuclear deal remain committed to their obligations.

“Our remedial action conforms fully with Para 36 of JCPOA, after years of noncompliance by several other JCPOA participants. Our measures are fully reversible upon FULL compliance by ALL,” the top Iranian diplomat tweeted.

Zarif’s deputy Abbas Araqchi later echoed his remarks in a televised interview, and said the 20-percent uranium enrichment at Fordow is not going to kill the 2015 nuclear deal, and is in conformity with the multilateral accord.

“The 20-percent enriched uranium is what Tehran’s atomic reactor needs, and we restarted the process based on the Parliament’s legislation. If the other parties return to their commitments, we can also get back to our JCPOA commitments. We started enrichment to 20 percent in 12 hours,” Araqchi said.

He said the law recently passed by the Parliament says the country can technically enrich uranium at purity levels beyond 20 percent, but Iran enriches its uranium based on its need, and does not believe in nuclear weapons.

“These weapons have no position in our security and defense doctrine. Our programs are based on on-the-ground needs, and we don’t need enrichment beyond 20 percent,” he clarified.

His comments came after the IAEA confirmed in a statement that Iran had started the process of enriching uranium to 20 percent.

“Iran today began feeding uranium already enriched up to 4.1 percent U-235 into six centrifuge cascades at the Fordow Fuel Enrichment Plant for further enrichment up to 20 percent,” the statement said.

It added, “IAEA inspectors were present at the site to detach the Agency’s seal from a cylinder with the feed material” and that “the cylinder was then connected to the feeding line to start the production of uranium enriched up to 20 percent.”

A total of 1,044 IR-1 centrifuges were being used in the process, the IAEA said.

Biden and the inevitable return to the nuclear understanding بايدن وحتميّة العودة للتفاهم النوويّ

**Please scroll down for the English Machine translation**

بايدن وحتميّة العودة للتفاهم النوويّ

ناصر قنديل

تمتلئ الصحف العربية والأجنبية والقنوات المموّلة من دول الخليج بتحليلات وتقارير ومواقف لخبراء، تركز على تعقيدات تعترض طريق عودة إدارة الرئيس الأميركي المنتخب جو بايدن، تبني عليها الاستنتاج بأن بايدن سيجد طريقاً آخر غير العودة للاتفاق، وجوهر التعقيدات التي يجري استعراضها التي تتوزّع بين مستجدات الملف النووي نفسه، ما يستدعي بعد الخطوات التي اتخذتها إيران منذ الانسحاب الأميركي من التفاهم، ما هو أكثر من مجرد إعلان إيران عن العودة للالتزامات، وهو ما قاله مدير الوكالة الدولية للطاقة الذرية، بالإضافة لاعتبار ملف الصواريخ الإيرانية البالستية والملفات الإقليمية الملتهبة في اليمن وسورية والعراق أسباباً إضافية لتعطيل فرص العودة للتفاهم.

معلوم أن إيران ترفض أي مراحل انتقالية، تتضمن تفاوضاً يسبق العودة للتفاهم، وتصرّ على اعتبار العودة الأميركية المطلوبة بلا شروط لتقابلها عودة للالتزامات من جانب إيران، وعندها ينعقد لقاء الخمسة زائداً واحداً، الذي تشارك فيه الأمم المتحدة والوكالة الدولية للطاقة الذرية، والاتحاد الأوروبي كشركاء مع الدول المعنية، وفي هذا الإطار الراعي للتفاهم يتم التداول بكل القضايا التقنية التي أراد مدير الوكالة مطالبة إيران بها عبر تصريحاته التي رفضتها إيران، أما في شأن الملفات الأخرى التي يتحدّث عنها الأوروبيون والأميركيون سواء ملف الصواريخ الإيرانية أو ملفات النزاع الإقليمية، فهي قضايا سبق وكانت مطروحة قبل التوقيع على الاتفاق النووي، وفي النهاية بقيت قضايا خلافية وتقرّر السير بالاتفاق رغم بقائها.

السؤال الذي يواجه بايدن، هو الذي واجهه مع الرئيس باراك أوباما عام 2015، أنه في ظل وجود قضايا عالقة مع إيران، ما هي الطريقة الفضلى للتعامل مع الملف النووي، مواصلة الرهان على العقوبات أم الذهاب للحرب أو الاحتكام لقواعد التفاهم، وكان قرار ثنائي أوباما بايدن يومها، الاحتكام للتفاهم، وهذا ما شرحه أوباما مراراً بقوله إنه يدرك أن الاتفاق سيئ، لكنه يدرك أن البديل الذي يمثله الرهان غير الموثوق على العقوبات، مخاطرة كبرى بإضاعة الفرصة، وصولاً لاكتشاف لحظة تمتلك فيها إيران قنبلة نووية، شارحاً كيف أن واشنطن كانت تكتشف مع كل توقف للتفاوض وعودة للعقوبات أنها عندما تعود للتفاوض أن الملف النووي زاد تعقيداً وقدرات إيران زادت نمواً، بينما الحرب مغامرة أشد خطورة، ولا تزال ردود أوباما على رئيس حكومة الاحتلال بنيامين نتنياهو يومها، بنظر فريق بايدن صالحة اليوم، وفقاً لنتائج تجربة الرئيس دونالد ترامب.

يقول فريق بايدن إذا كانت الحرب خياراً، فلماذا لم يلجأ إليها ثنائي ترامب ونتنياهو، أما عن العقوبات فيستعرض فريق بايدن، حصيلة السنوات الأربع لمشروع ترامب نتنياهو، بالخروج من الاتفاق النووي والرهان على العقوبات، التي تسببت بالكثير من الخسائر لإيران، لكنها لم تخل بنظام الحكم ولا فرضت على القيادة الإيرانية التنازلات المطلوبة، وبالمقابل خسرت واشنطن وحلفاؤها الكثير في هذه السنوات، سواء في تطور مقدّرات إيران النووية وغير النووية، أو في تراجع وضع حلفائها وتقدم حلفاء إيران، ففي هذه السنوات تحققت الانتصارات الكبرى لسورية، وامتلك حزب الله الصواريخ الدقيقة، وتحوّل أنصار الله إلى قوة عظمى تمسك بأمن الخليج.

فريق بايدن يقول إن التفاهم الذي كان خياراً سيئاً في عام 2015، هو خيار أشد سوءاً في 2020، لكن الرهان على العقوبات كان مخاطرة كبرى عام 2015 وصار حماقة كبرى وانتحاراً في العام 2020، والحرب التي كانت خياراً على الطاولة عام 2015 لم تعد خيار مطروحاً للنقاش في 2020.

Biden and the inevitable return to the nuclear understanding

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Nasser Qandil

Arab and foreign newspapers and gulf-funded channels are full of analysis, reports and positions of experts, focusing on the complexities of the return of President-elect Joe Biden to JCPOA, They concluded that  Biden will find a way other than to returning to the agreement, And the essence of the complications being reviewed that are distributed among the developments of the nuclear file itself, which calls for, after the steps taken by Iran since the US withdrawal from the understanding, more than just Iran’s announcement of a return to commitments, the director of the IAEA said, in addition to considering the file Iranian ballistic missiles and the and the inflamed regional files in Yemen, Syria, and Iraq as additional reasons for disrupting the chances of a return to understanding.

It is known that Iran rejects any transition, including negotiations prior to the return of the understanding, and insists on considering the return of the U.S. unconditionally required to be met by a return to the commitments of Iran, and then the meeting of the P5+1, in which the UN and the IAEA participate, and the European Union as partners with the countries concerned, As for the other issues that the Europeans and the Americans are talking about, whether the Iranian missile file or the regional conflict files, they are issues that were previously discussed before the signing of the nuclear agreement, and in the end they remained contentious issues and it was decided to proceed with the agreement

The question Biden faces, is what he faced with President Barack Obama in 2015, that with the outstanding issues with Iran, what is the best way to deal with the nuclear file, continue to bet on sanctions or go to war or invoke the rules of understanding, and the decision of the Obama-Biden duo on that day, invoking understanding, and this is what Obama has repeatedly explained by saying that he realizes that the deal is bad, but he realizes that the alternative represented by the bet on the sanctions are a great risk of wasting opportunity, explaining how Washington was discovering with every pause for negotiations and a return to sanctions that when it returns to negotiations that the nuclear file has increased complexity and Iran’s capabilities have grown, while the war is a more dangerous adventure, and Obama’s responses to the prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu today, in the eyes of the Biden team, are valid today, according to the results of President Donald Trump’s experience.

Biden’s team says if war is an option, why didn’t the Trump and Netanyahu duo resort to it, but as for the sanctions, Biden’s team,  the outcome of the four-year Trump-Netanyahu project, is reviewing the outcome of the nuclear deal and betting on sanctions, which caused a lot of losses to Iran, but did not disturb the regime or imposed on the Iranian leadership In these years, the major victories of Syria have been achieved, and Hezbollah has possessed precise missiles, and Ansar Allah has turned into a superpower that holds on to Gulf security.

Biden’s team says that understanding, which was a bad choice in 2015, is a worse option in 2020, but betting on sanctions was a major risk in 2015 and became a major folly and suicide in 2020, and the war on the table in 2015 is no longer an option for debate in 2020.

Response to Fakhrizadeh’s assassination in Iran time الردّ على اغتيال فخري زاده بتوقيت إيران

Response to Fakhrizadeh’s assassination in Iran time

Munther Suleiman and Jafar al-Jaafari

Security experts agreed that the operation required high-level intelligence and professionalism capabilities that only professional states possessed for “state terrorism” operations.

Immediately after the assassination of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh (November 27th), Siham accused the Israeli-Mossad intelligence service of u.S. cooperation, not only from the Iranian side concerned, but also from the “semi-official” U.S.side.

The scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh has been at the top of the u.S. most wanted list since the time of former President George W. Bush, Jr., and “Israeli”, evidence that Israeli intelligence officials acknowledged that an earlier attempt on his life had been prepared and delayed at the last minute. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu reviewed Dr. Mohsen Fakhrizadeh’s name at a media festival in 2018, boasting: “Remember that name:Fakhrizadeh.”

We can say that the United States also acknowledged the “unofficial” words of President Trump himself during the first hours of the assassination, by posting a tweet on his official account conveying the news about “Israeli” sources, and in Hebrew, which he did not master at all.

He soon recalled the man’s history in the media, as “the father of the nuclear bomb, and in recent years he has been working on a project to reduce the size of the nuclear warhead and enable it to maintain its effectiveness in the phase of the entry of the carrier ballistic missile into the atmosphere towards the target”.

The reasons for the assassination and the more likely possibilities for how it occurred remain subject to the availability of accurate operational information, which is unlikely to be completed soon for reasons of confidentiality, and we have a return below to discussit.

Later on the day of the assassination, the New York Times revealed what a “high-ranking U.S. source” told her, saying that “Israel is responsible for carrying out the assassination,” without explaining his identity or why he was sure of the perpetrator.

The assassination coincided with the U.S. mobilisation of additional military resources, with the Navy announcing the movement of the Nimitz nuclear aircraft carrier stationed in the region, as the decision to withdraw a number of U.S. troops from Afghanistan matured, u.S. commanders said.

Moving the nuclear carrier into the region may not be sufficient to conclude that a military attack is about to take off, assuming u.S. operational experience and military doctrine and requiring the movement of a number of other naval pieces, reinforced by missile-carrying submarines, destroyers and cruisers.

The weapon of assassination of scientists entered active service with political decision makers since the beginning of the era of nuclear technology in the early 1940s, with an American plan to “kidnap or assassinate” German physicist Werner Heisenberg in 1942, given the scientific gap at the time between the progress of German technology and the inevitability of its success in the manufacture of a nuclear bomb, and parallel U.S. efforts in the “ManhattanNuclear Program”.

William Toby, an American nuclear energy expert at harvard University, said that “the most important thing to achieve is to postpone, not stop, the nuclear program of the. adversary, and perhaps form a deterrent to the accession of other minds and competencies to the program” (November 27, 2020).

Toby stressed the “denial of responsibility” space provided by the weapon of assassination of scientists to the aggressor, given the complexities of any state’s nuclear programme, as well as the nature of direct military action and its crucial identity. He also warned of the short- and medium-term adverse consequences of the effectiveness of the assassination, as the attacking party would lead to a reduction in the ceiling of cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and “possibly an end to cooperation with it altogether”.

After the assassination, there was unprecedented confusion in the narrative of the Iranian authorities, and the multiplicity of officials who gave their opinions, but the most prominent common factor is the detection of a security gap in The Iranian agencies, not the first in the targeting of their scientists, which led to what led to it.

It is certain that since 2007 we have witnessed a series of bombings that killed four Iranian scientists and failed another operation. Their activities were said to have been in the process of developing Iran’s nuclear program, ranging from “toxic gas possibly the real source of an accident at the facility, to remote-controlled explosion, and direct shooting at a car carrying the person concerned.” Now, a new narrative is echoed by the use of a marching aircraft and infrared surveillance devices also controlled by remotes.

The successive Iranian statements were not based on a specific narrative, except that the assassination is considered a war decision, but we witnessed 3 interpretations or jurisprudence that simulate the mechanisms of carrying out the operation: the car Of Fakhrizadeh was subjected to a barrage of bullets, in conjunction with the explosion of a locomotive before his arrival, which slowed down his movement, a human ambush reinforced by about 12 elements, including snipers, and the firing of a “remote-controlled machine gun” prayers of bullets.

The latest theory – remote-based machine gun – is not entirely excluded as electronic technologies advance, especially “sophisticated weapons. through the use of robots,” according to The Forbes Weekly (November 30, 2020).

The magazine, quoting its military sources, confirmed that an innovative weapon for remote shooting and firing was used in Syria “through the Free Syrian Army in the vicinity of Idlib city in 2013”, and the prototypes of it moved to the control and use of Kurdish forces and elements of “ISIS”, according to a 2016 U.S. army report, entitled “Remote control of sniper weapons and machine guns by terrorists and insurgents.”

With an intense targeting of the U.S. tank tower in Afghanistan and Iraq, u.S. military command replaced the human element in the tower through the CROWSsystem, which allows remote control ofa weapons center, and provided the Norwegian company Kongsberg with some 200,000 such systems for the U.S. Army, a system reinforced with thermal camera technologies, introduced to service on U.S. combat vehicles..

Infrared landscape technology is available in the U.S. commercial market, albeit with relatively low specifications for military models, manufactured by the American Network of Technology(ATN),supplied by U.S. Special Forces. One of its features is remote control of night binoculars, which is reinforced by a ballistic computer to ensure accuracy..

One of the most prominent conclusions of the report of the magazine mentioned what it described as the “positive advantages” of that weapon, namely, reducing the element of adventure by killing or arresting the control of the weapon to zero, and the impossibility of monitoring and tracking the coordinates of the source of the attack.

The magazine suggested that the use of remote weapons left no trace of Iranian investigators, despite one of the official narratives that indicated that there was evidence at the site linking the attack to Israeli agencies, and that the “concealment of the identity” of the executor was the main motive behind the use of this technology by a number of countries using drones, for example.

Security and military experts agree that this operation “constitutes a major security breach that necessitated high-level intelligence and professionalism capabilities that are possessed only by professional states for “state terrorism” operations, and that the perpetrator discovered a loophole in the internal security system in Iran, and exploited it and was able to carry it out, enabling it to succeed,” which refutes one of the Iranian narratives that its intelligence services were “aware of an imminent attack.”

In a purely political dimension, since wars are the application of politics with other tools, according to Carl von Klaus Fitz, the centre of gravity for the objectives of the process is shifting to the conflict between American politicians, given president-elect Joe Biden’s conciliatory statements that he will resume U.S. membership in the international nuclear agreement, “with some conditions tightened and others added.”

From this perspective, U.S. observers specifically emphasise the “postponement” of iran’s promised response, leaving time for the next administration to deal positively with the international agreement, and possibly a return to the elimination of some U.S. sanctions imposed by the outgoing Trump administration.

In this regard, the fact of the official U.S. hostility to the Iranian regime and its roots should not be. overlooked, and from time to time the incident of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran and the detention of its employees for several years with the victory of the Iranian revolution in 1979.

At the same level, one recognizes the consensus of U.S. decision makers not to allow Iran to possess nuclear knowledge and weapons, based on the commitment of the ruling institution in its entirety and currents “to maintain Israel’s superiority over all countries in the region” with qualitative weapons that are forbidden to other parties, individually or collectively, to acquire, Indeed, some senior U.S. strategists argue: “Regardless of the identity of the U.S. president, hostility will continue in relations with Iran as we have seen and seen over the past four decades, and Iran will continue to blame the United States and Israel for any incidents they face in the foreseeable future, whether or not they are found to be involved.”

With these lines written, the possibility of postponing the Iranian retaliatory strike, not the possibility of its cancellation, is reinforced by the view of the internal interactions in the israeli crisis entity, and the flexible statements of President-elect Biden on the Iranian nuclear file, accompanied by an argument at home iran about the tactic and the short-term strategy for the best response to the assassination, as factors that will not make Tehran rush a military/security response, to keep it a margin of movement and appropriate options, depending on the schedule, not the schedule ofothers.

الردّ على اغتيال فخري زاده بتوقيت إيران

منذر سليمان   جعفر الجعفري

خبراء أمنيون أجمعوا على أنّ العملية استلزمت قدرات استخباريّة واحترافاً عالي المستوى لا تملكه إلا الدول المحترفة لعمليات “إرهاب الدولة”.

فور تنفيذ عمليّة اغتيال محسن فخري زاده (27 تشرين الثاني/نوفمبر)، توجّهت سهام الاتهام إلى جهاز الاستخبارات “الإسرائيلي – الموساد”، بتعاون أميركيّ، ليس من الجانب الإيرانيّ المعنيّ الأوّل بذلك فقط، بل من الجانب الأميركي “شبه الرسمي” أيضاً.

العالم محسن فخري زاده كان على رأس قائمات المطلوبين أميركياً منذ عهد الرئيس الأسبق جورج بوش الابن، و”إسرائيلياً”، بدليل اعتراف مسؤولي استخبارات “إسرائيل” بأنّ محاولة سابقة لاغتياله تم إعدادها وتأجَّل تنفيذها في اللحظات الأخيرة. أما رئيس الوزراء بنيامين نتنياهو، فقد استعرض اسم الدكتور محسن فخري زاده في مهرجان إعلامي عقده في العام 2018، متبجّحاً: “تذكّروا هذا الاسم: فخري زاده”.

 بوسعنا القول إنَّ الولايات المتّحدة اعترفت أيضاً بكلام “غير رسمي” على لسان الرئيس ترامب نفسه خلال الساعات الأولى للاغتيال، بنشره تغريدة في حسابه الرسمي ينقل فيها الخبر عن المصادر “الإسرائيلية”، وباللغة العبريّة التي لا يتقنها مطلقاً.

وسرعان ما استُحضر تاريخ الرجل في الإعلام، بوصفه “أب القنبلة النووية، وأنه انكبّ يعمل في السنوات الأخيرة على مشروع تصغير حجم الرأس الحربي النووي وتمكينه من الاحتفاظ بفاعليته في مرحلة دخول الصاروخ الباليستي الحامل إلى الغلاف الجوي نحو الهدف”.

 حيثيات الاغتيال والاحتمالات الأكثر ترجيحاً لكيفية وقوعه، تبقى مرهونة بتوفر معلومات عملياتية دقيقة، وهو أمر يستبعد إنجازه قريباً لدواعي السرّية، ولنا عودة أدناه لمناقشة الأمر.

في وقت لاحق من يوم الاغتيال، كشفت صحيفة “نيويورك تايمز” عما أخبرها به “مصدر أميركي رفيع المستوى”، قائلاً “إن إسرائيل هي المسؤولة عن تنفيذ الاغتيال”، من دون أن توضح هُويته أو سبب يقينه من الفاعل.

 تزامن الاغتيال مع حشد الولايات المتحدة موارد عسكرية إضافية، بإعلان سلاح البحرية عن تحرك حاملة الطائرات النووية “نيميتز” للمرابطة في المنطقة، مع نضوج قرار سحب عدد من القوات الأميركية من أفغانستان، بموجب تصريحات القادة الأميركيين.

 ربما لا يشكّل تحريك الحاملة النووية إلى المنطقة عاملاً كافياً للاستنتاج بأنَّ هجوماً عسكرياً على وشك الانطلاق، إذ تفترض الخبرة العملياتية والعقيدة العسكرية الأميركية وتتطلَّب تحريك عدد من القطع البحرية الأخرى، تعززها غواصات حاملة للصواريخ ومدمّرات وطرادات.

 سلاح اغتيال العلماء دخل الخدمة الفعلية عند صناع القرار السياسي منذ بدء عصر التقنية النووية مطلع عقد الأربعينيات من القرن الماضي، بمخطط أميركي “لخطف أو اغتيال” عالم الفيزياء الألماني فيرنر هايزنبيرغ في العام 1942، نظراً إلى الفجوة العلمية آنذاك بين تقدم التقنية الألمانية وحتمية نجاحها في صنع قنبلة نووية، والجهود الأميركية الموازية في “برنامج مانهاتن” النووي.

 الخبير الأميركي في الطّاقة النووية لدى جامعة “هارفرد” العريقة، ويليام توبي، اعتبر أنَّ “أقصى ما تطمح إلى تحقيقه الجهة المنفّذة لاغتيال علماء الطاقة النووية هو تأجيل وليس إيقاف سير البرنامج النووي للخصم، وربما تشكيل عامل ردع لانضمام عقول وكفاءات أخرى إلى البرنامج” (27 تشرين الثاني/نوفمبر 2020).

وشدّد توبي على ما يوفّره سلاح اغتيال العلماء من مساحة “إنكار المسؤولية” للطرف المعتدي، نظراً إلى تعقيدات البرنامج النووي لأيّ دولة، وإلى طبيعة العمل العسكري المباشر وهويته الحاسمة أيضاً. وحذّر أيضاً من النتائج العكسية على المديين القصير والمتوسط من فعالية الاغتيال، إذ سيقود الطرف المعتدى عليه إلى خفض سقف التعاون مع الهيئة الدولية للطاقة النووية، “وربما إنهاء التعاون معها بالكامل”.

في بُعد ساحة الاغتيال، لوحظ ارتباك غير مسبوق في سردية السلطات الإيرانية، وتعدّد المسؤولين الذين أدلوا بدلوهم، لكنَّ العامل المشترك الأبرز هو الكشف عن ثغرة أمنيّة في الأجهزة الإيرانيّة، ليست الأولى في استهداف علمائها، أدّت إلى ما أدت إليه.

 الثّابت أمامنا أننا شهدنا منذ العام 2007 سلسلة عمليات تفجير أدت إلى مقتل 4 علماء إيرانيين وفشل عملية أخرى. وقد قيل إن نشاطاتهم كانت في سبيل تطوير البرنامج النووي الإيراني، وتراوحت الآليات بين “غاز سام ربما مصدره الحقيقي حادث عرضي في المنشأة، إلى التفجير بالتحكم عن بُعد، وإطلاق النار مباشرة على سيارة تُقلّ الشخصية المعنية”. والآن، تتردّد سردية جديدة عبر استخدام طائرة مسيّرة وأجهزة مراقبة تعمل بالأشعة تحت الحمراء أيضاً يتم التحكم بها عن بعد.

التصريحات الإيرانية المتتالية لم تستند إلى سردية معينة، سوى أن الاغتيال يعتبر قرار حرب، بل شهدنا 3 تفسيرات أو اجتهادات تحاكي آليات تنفيذ العملية: تعرض سيارة فخري زاده لوابل من الرصاص، بالتزامن مع انفجار قاطرة قبل وصوله، ما أدى إلى إبطاء حركته، وكمين بشري معزز بنحو 12 عنصراً، من ضمنهم قناصة، وإطلاق “رشاش بتحكّم عن بعد” صليات من الرصاص.

النظرية الأخيرة – رشاش عن بعد – ليست مستبعدة تماماً في ظل تقدم التقنيات الإلكترونية، وخصوصاً “أسلحة متطورة عبر استخدام الإنسان الآلي”، بحسب أسبوعية “فوربز” الأميركية (30 تشرين الثاني/نوفمبر 2020).

أكّدت المجلة، نقلاً عن مصادرها العسكرية، أن سلاحاً مبتكراً للتصويب والإطلاق عن بُعد استخدم في سوريا “عبر جيش سوريا الحر في محيط مدينة إدلب في العام 2013″، وانتقلت النماذج الأولية منه إلى سيطرة واستخدام القوات الكردية وعناصر “داعش”، بحسب تقرير للجيش الأميركي في العام 2016، بعنوان “التحكّم عن بعد لأسلحة قناصة ورشاشات من قبل الإرهابيين والمتمردين”.

ومع استهداف مكثّف لاصطياد برج الدبابة الأميركية في أفغانستان والعراق، استبدلت القيادة العسكرية الأميركية العنصر البشري في البرج عبر نظام “CROWS”، الذي يسمح بالتحكّم عن بعد بمركز أسلحة، زوّدت الشركة النرويجية “كونغزبيرغ” بنحو 200،000 نظام من هذا النوع للجيش الأميركي وهو نظام معزّز بتقنيات الكاميرا الحرارية، تم إدخالها الخدمة على العربات القتالية الأميركية.

تقنية المناظر الليلة العاملة بالأشعة تحت الحمراء متوفرة في السوق التجاري الأميركي، وإن بمواصفات متدنية نسبياً عن النماذج الحربية، وهي من صناعة شركة “الشبكة الأميركية للتقنية” (ATN)، زوّدت بها القوات الخاصة الأميركية. ومن ميزاتها التحكّم عن بعد بالمناظير الليلية، وهي معزّزة بحاسوب “باليستي” لضمان الدقّة.

من أبرز استنتاجات تقرير المجلّة المذكورة ما وصفته من “ميزات إيجابية” لذاك السلاح، وهي تقليص عنصر المغامرة بمقتل أو اعتقال المتحكّم بالسلاح إلى الصفر، واستحالة رصد وتعقّب إحداثيات مصدر الهجوم.

ورجَّحت المجلّة أنَّ استخدام السلاح عن بُعد لم يترك أي أثر يستفيد منه المحقّقون الإيرانيون، على الرغم من إحدى السرديات الرسمية التي أشارت إلى توفّر أدلة في الموقع تربط الهجوم بالأجهزة الإسرائيلية، بل إن “اخفاء هوية” المنفّذ هو الدافع الرئيسي وراء تسخير عدد من الدول لتلك التقنية باستخدام الطائرات المسيّرة، على سبيل المثال.

الخبراء الأمنيون والعسكريون يجمعون على أنّ هذه العملية “تشكل خرقاً أمنياً كبيراً استلزم قدرات استخباريّة واحترافاً عالي المستوى لا تملكه إلا الدول المحترفة لعمليات “إرهاب الدولة”، وأن الفاعل اكتشف ثغرة ما في المنظومة الأمنيّة الداخليّة في إيران، فاستغلَّها واستطاع أن ينفذ منها، ما مكّنه من النجاح”، وهو ما يفنّد إحدى السرديات الإيرانية بأن أجهزة استخباراتها كانت “على علم بهجوم وشيك”.

في البعد السياسيّ الصرف، بما أنَّ الحروب هي تطبيق للسياسة بأدوات أخرى، وفق كارل فون كلاوس فيتز، ينتقل مركز الثقل لأهداف العملية إلى الصراع الدائر بين الساسة الأميركيين، في ظلّ تصريحات مواربة للرئيس المنتخب جو بايدن، بأنه سيستأنف عضوية الولايات المتحدة في الاتفاق النووي الدولي، “مع تشديد بعض الشروط وإضافة أخرى”.

ومن هذا المنظار، يؤكّد المراقبون الأميركيون تحديداً “تأجيل” الرد الإيراني الموعود، كي يترك فسحة زمنية للإدارة المقبلة للتعامل إيجابياً مع الاتفاق الدولي، وربما العودة إلى إلغاء بعض العقوبات الأميركية التي فرضتها إدارة الرئيس ترامب المنتهية ولايته.

في هذا الصدد، لا يجوز إغفال حقيقة العداء الأميركي الرسمي للنظام الإيراني وتجذّره، والتذكير بين فترة وأخرى بحادثة السفارة الأميركية في طهران واحتجاز موظفيها لعدة سنوات مع انتصار الثورة الإيرانية في العام 1979.

وفي المستوى عينه، يدرك المرء إجماع صنّاع القرار الأميركي على عدم السماح لإيران بامتلاك المعرفة النووية وصنع الأسلحة، استناداً إلى التزام المؤسّسة الحاكمة بكامل أجنحتها وتياراتها “بضرورة الحفاظ على تفوّق إسرائيل على جميع الدول في المنطقة” بأسلحة نوعية ممنوع على الأطراف الأخرى، منفردة أو مجتمعة، اقتناؤها، بل يذهب بعض كبار الاستراتيجيين الأميركيين إلى القول: “بصرف النظر عن هوية الرئيس الأميركي، فسيستمرّ العداء في العلاقات مع إيران كما رأينا وشهدنا خلال العقود الأربعة الماضية، وستستمرّ إيران في لوم الولايات المتحدة وإسرائيل على أيّ حوادث تتعرض لها في المستقبل المنظور، سواء ثبت تورطهما فيها أم لا”.

مع كتابة هذه السّطور، تتعزّز إمكانيّة تأجيل الضّربة الانتقامية الإيرانيّة، وليس إمكانية إلغائها، إذ ينظر إلى التفاعلات الداخلية في الكيان الإسرائيلي المتأزّم، والتصريحات المرنة للرئيس المنتخب بايدن حول الملفّ النووي الإيراني، مصحوبة بجدال في الداخل الإيراني حول التكتيك والاستراتيجية القصيرة المدى للرد الأفضل على جريمة الاغتيال، باعتبارها عوامل لن تجعل طهران تتسرع برد عسكري/أمني، لتبقي لديها هامشاً من الحركة والخيارات المناسبة، بحسب جدولها، وليس جدول الآخرين.

محسن فخري زادة

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Assassination of top Iranian nuclear scientist sparks a blame game in Tehran

Killing of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh prompts accusations of lax security and incompetence

Iranian scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh (right) during a meeting with the Iranian supreme leader in Tehran (AFP)

By Rohollah Faghihi in Tehran

Published date: 28 November 2020 15:54 UTC

It was around 4:30pm in Tehran that reports emerged about the assassination of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, a top nuclear scientist, by an armed group suspected of links to Israel.

Fakhrizadeh, who wasn’t a publicly well-known figure, was a physics professor at University of Imam Hussein, the defence minister’s deputy and the head of the Research and Innovation Organisation for the ministry.

His death has been seen in some quarters as linked to the victory of Joe Biden in the US presidential elections. Biden has promised to return America to the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran, which has alarmed Israel and pro-Israel politicians in the US.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, a former Iranian official told MEE: “It is obvious that [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu is striving to kill two birds with one stone. On one hand, he wants to create an excuse for a US-led attack on Iran’s nuclear sites, and on the other hand he wants to put an unremovable obstacle in the way of Iran-US de-escalation and Biden’s rejoining the [nuclear deal].

“The obstacle will be at least raising pressures on [Iranian President Hassan] Rouhani’s administration by the emboldened hardliners and the establishment to decrease the level of cooperation with the IAEA [International Atomic Energy Agency] and not to adopt a new posture towards the future administration of the US for detente.”

How was he assassinated?

According to the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps-affiliated Tasnim news agency, the attack occurred at 2:30pm, while Fakhrizadeh was in Aabsard county, close to Tehran. As his car was passing a pick-up truck, the truck exploded and a group of armed men opened fire on him, leading to his bodyguard being shot four times.

However, Fars, another IRGC-affiliated news agency, published a slightly different and likely more accurate account of the incident. At first, Fakhrizadeh’s car and two cars of his bodyguards were stopped as a group of men started constant shooting, and then a pick-up truck full of timber exploded in front of the car.

“After the explosion, the terrorists who had ambushed [them] began shooting at the car of the nuclear scientist from an unclear point,” reported Fars, adding that one of the bodyguards put his car in front of the gunmen to protect Fakhrizadeh, leading to his “martyrdom”.

Fakhrizadeh was soon taken to hospital, but his wounds proved fatal.

Iran’s state TV said that “based on unconfirmed reports,” one of the gunmen had been captured.

‘Remember that name’

According to General Amir Hatami, Iran’s defence minister, Fakhrizadeh was “in charge in the field of nuclear defence in the Ministry of Defence, and the issue of nuclear defence and his [ties] with nuclear scientists had made him famous as a [nuclear scientist]”.

He added that the use of “lasers in air defence or the detection of intruding aircraft by means other than radar” was also among his work. Fakhrizadeh, who was called “Mr Mohseni,” was also active in missile programmes too.

Hatami said a rapid Covid-19 test kit was produced under the supervision of Fakhrizadeh and claimed he was also successful in developing a coronavirus vaccine, which is in the first phase of human trials.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivers a presentation about Mohsen Fakhrizadeh
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivers a presentation about Mohsen Fakhrizadeh (AFP)

While relatively little known within Iran, Fakhrizadeh had gained a reputation in foreign intelligence circles.

In 2018, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu claimed that Iran has designed a nuclear payload on Shahab 3 missiles and was expanding its range for nuclear-capable missiles that could reach Riyadh, Tel Aviv and Moscow but were planning for a much further reach. He identified Fakhrizadeh as the head of the project and told his audience to “remember that name”.

In an interview with Kan TV in 2018, former Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert also warned that Fakhrizadeh would “have no immunity”.

Prior to this, in 2017, Saudi Arabia’s Al-Arabiya covered a summit of the exiled Mojehedin e-Khalq (MEK), a controversial opposition group once on the US terrorism list, at which the organisation claimed Fakhrizadeh was behind Iran’s project for producing a nuclear weapon.

Fereidoun Abbasi, an Iranian MP, said that Fakhrizadeh had survived a similar attack 12 years ago.

In recent years, five other top nuclear scientists have been assassinated in Iran. The latest assassination happened only a few days ahead of the anniversary of the killing of nuclear scientist Majid Shahriari in 2010.

Criticisms of Iran’s security apparatus reaches its peak

While many in Iran believe that Israel was behind the assassination of Fakhrizadeh, on social media many Iranians slammed the security apparatus for its failure to protect their country’s nuclear scientists.

Some complained that the intelligence forces were wasting their time arresting innocent journalists and researchers while the real spies are wandering freely in Tehran.

“I’m more angry with the security apparatus, which is arresting university professors, lawyers and journalists while the wolves are committing assassination in broad daylight,” wrote Sharare Dehshiri, an Iranian user, on Twitter.

Another user under the name of “elsolito” tweeted: “The intelligence organisations must answer to the public about what are they doing exactly? What happened to all your claims of having intelligence monitoring?

“When you are searching for spies among environment activists, journalists and protesters, the result is today’s catastrophe, when the country’s [top people] get assassinated in the heart of the country in the broad daylight.”

Meanwhile, retired General Hossein Alai, a reform-minded figure and former commander of  the IRGC Naval force, called for a reassessment of the performance of the security apparatus.

“We should [study] what weakness there is in the structure of Iran’s security apparatus, which despite the possibility of assassinating people like Fakhrizadeh and providing bodyguards for them, the Israeli operation still succeeds,” argued Alai.

He emphasised that “the assassination of Dr Mohsen Fakhrizadeh by Israel indicates that the Israeli spy and operational circle is still active in Iran”.

Simultaneously, Hesam Ashena, a senior adviser to Iran’s president and a former top intelligence official, called for an “Integrated Intelligence and Security Command” and “synergy of abilities instead of low-yield competitions [between intelligence agencies of Iran]”.

Hardliners point at President Rouhani

Iran’s hardliners have accused President Hassan Rouhani of complicity in Fakhrizadeh’s death after his administration allowed Yukiya Amano, a former head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, to meet the slain scientist.

Javad Karimi Ghoddousi, an Iranian MP, tweeted: “Mr Rouhani, during your presidency over the executive branch, and with the insistence of the enemy and the emphasis of you, Dr Mohsen Fakhrizadeh met with Amano.”

However, Raja News, close to hardliners, denied the allegation brought up by Karimi Ghoddousi. Hassan Shojaie, another MP, claimed that Fakhrizadeh was asked by “pro-western” officials in Iran to meet Amano but the supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, did not allow it.

In a report published on the hardline Mashregh News site in 2014, the IAEA had urged Iran to provide them a meeting with Fakhrizadeh.

Impeding diplomacy

“The reason for assassinating Fakhrizadeh wasn’t to impede Iran’s war potential, it was to impede diplomacy,” tweeted Mark Fitzpatrick, a former senior US diplomat.

That seems to be working to some extent, as the hardliners have already raised pressure on the Iranian government. Hamid Rasai, a hardline activist and former MP, wrote that Rouhani’s administration was putting pressure on Iran’s state TV not to call Fakhrizadeh a nuclear scientist, as they see this assassination a “blow” to their “negotiation project” with US President-elect Joe Biden.

Moreover, Raja News argued that “it is not clear why the pro-West [administration of Rouhani] which is serving their last months, is still emphasising … the failed strategy of compromise”.

“What is clear is that the current strategy of the government has portrayed Iran as weak [in front of] enemies and have persuaded them to commit crimes against people of Iran.”

Iran is due to hold a presidential election next June. 

In the meantime, reformists and conservative newspapers have both called for retaliation.

Headlines used by Iran’s newspapers include: “Eye for an eye,” “If don’t hit them, we will get hit,” “Trap of tension,” and “The cowardly assassination of Fakhrizadeh”.

Prominent reformist and former political prisoner Mostafa Tajzade tweeted: “I unconditionally condemn the assassination of Dr Mohsen Fakhrizadeh. Netanyahu is the first person accused in this crime and seemingly he has no goal other than lighting the fire of war and conflict and preserving the sanctions. Iran can and must expose and isolate the Israeli regime by mobilising global public opinion against state terrorism.”

What will Iran do?

In reaction to Fakhrizadeh’s assassination, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei issued a statement calling for investigation of “this crime” and firm prosecution of “its perpetrators and its commanders”.

The statement contained no vow of revenge, however, suggesting “strategic patience” was still the plan.

Hossein Kanaani-Moghaddam, a former IRGC commander who headed Iran’s forces in Lebanon for period in the 1980s, told MEE: “Iran’s reaction to this act of terrorism will be shown based on prudence and in the right time and place.”

He added: “Iran will not be influenced and affected by Zionists and will not fall in the trap of Zionists who want Iran to do something that would create a war.

Kanaani-Moghaddam emphasised: “Iran will take revenge from those who ordered this assassination in intelligence organizations of Israel and US.”

Meanwhile, Fereidoun Majlesi, a former Iranian diplomat in the US before the 1979 Islamic Revolution, believes that Netanyahu and US President Donald Trump’s joint efforts to prevent a de-escalation between Tehran and the incoming Biden administration will continue.

“It is crystal clear that Israel was behind this assassination as they seek to provoke Iran to give them an excuse for military attack or a full-scale war before the end of Trump’s presidency,” added Majlesi.

However, it seems Iran will continue its “restraint” policy, as Ali Rabie, the spokesperson for Iranian government, has stated that Iran will avenge the assassination, but “not in the game field the [enemy] has designated”.

Read more

JCPOA-phobia! ‘Israelis’, Saudis ‘Express Views’ on US Return to Iran Nuclear Deal

JCPOA-phobia! ‘Israelis’, Saudis ‘Express Views’ on US Return to Iran Nuclear Deal

By Staff

In yet another futile joint attempt to hurdle the growing Iranian might in defense and science, ‘Israeli’ and Saudi efforts met once again, this time to fight the Iran nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action [JCPOA].

With rumors that the upcoming US administration of President-elect Joe Biden will rejoin the Iran nuclear deal that was signed in 2015 with the P5+1 world powers, Zionist Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned that “There must be no return to the previous nuclear agreement.”

Claiming that there is a “military” aspect to Tehran’s nuclear energy program, Netanyahu added: “We must stick to an uncompromising policy to ensure that Iran does not develop nuclear weapons.”

Hebrew media outlets, meanwhile, said Netanyahu’s remarks were clearly addressed at Biden, who has signaled to return to the nuclear accord.

Many inside the Zionist occupation entity believe Netanyahu’s policy of playing hardball against Iran is a tactic to deflect attention from his current political problems as he is facing probe over several corruption cases and frequent protests which have drawn people in tens of thousands taking to the streets to also denounce his mishandling of the coronavirus pandemic.

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to the United Nations Abdallah Al-Mouallimi said on Sunday that the incoming US administration is not “unexperienced enough” to return to the JCPOA

He then called for negotiations for a new deal with the Islamic Republic involving his country.

Al-Mouallimi dismissed the idea that the United States would re-enter the nuclear deal with Iran under Biden’s administration.

He said nobody would be “naive enough” to go back to a deal that has “proven its failure to the entire world.”

Speaking during an appearance on Fox News’ ‘America’s News HQ’, al-Mouallimi said he did not believe Biden’s administration would pivot from the Gulf states back to Iran and the nuclear deal.

“No, I think that the Iran nuclear deal has proven its failure to the entire world. And I don’t think that anybody is going to be naive enough to go back to the same deal,” he claimed.

“If there is a new deal in which Saudi Arabia is involved in the discussion and which covers the shortcomings of the previous deal … then we will be all for it.”

Relatively, Iran’s nuclear program has been subject to the most intensive inspections ever in the world, and the International Atomic Energy Agency [IAEA] has repeatedly verified the peaceful nature of the activities.

Meanwhile, the Islamic Republic has clearly distanced itself from pursuing non-conventional weapons, citing religious and humanitarian beliefs. According to a fatwa issued by Leader of the Islamic Revolution His Eminence Imam Sayyed Ali Khamenei, acquisition of nuclear weapons is haram or forbidden in Islam.

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.

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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.

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