(The better informed everybody becomes the greater the chance that war can be prevented and propaganda can not distort reality. With a couple of clicks you can do your part by simply forwarding this to others.)
Iran rules out conditions to talks: Salehi
Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi said Iran would not agree to world powers imposing pre-conditions ahead of the resumption of nuclear talks later this week, Iranian media reported on Monday.
(The question is what were the objectives of the Obama Administration's public declarationg of pre-conditions if they knew they would be rejected?)
(My guess would be that this is part of the pre-game show; laying down more foundations for the selling of a war, a tough sell during an election year.)
(Am I being "alarmist", or "pessimistic", or "negative"? Maybe but below is somebody that puts the whole thing into the type of words that I could never do.)
US to Iran: Surrender Dorothy!
By Justin Raimondo
With Israel playing the part of the unhinged pit-bull, Obama’s assigned role is that of the statesman, who is going to give the Iranians one “last chance,” as he put it.
In any case, the results of Netanyahu’s mission were unveiled on Saturday, when the New York Times revealed the opening negotiating position of the US and its European allies in the upcoming talks with Iran: the Western alliance is demanding the dismantling of the heavily fortified Fordo facility and the unconditional surrender of their entire stock of 20 percent enriched uranium.
That Iran has every right to enrich uranium to 20 percent under the terms of the Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT), is considered irrelevant by the West: as in the case of Iraq under Saddam Hussein, the Iranians are considered guilty until proven innocent. They must somehow prove they aren’t building weapons: the logical impossibility of proving a negative is also considered irrelevant.
The official position of the US intelligence community remains the same: that the Iranians stopped work on a weapons program in 2003, haven’t resumed it, and there is no evidence they’ve decided to go that route. But why should a US President listen to his own intelligence agencies when the Israelis – and the British – are demanding action? We are apparently a prisoner of our own “allies,” and it is they who are pushing us to war with Iran. That is what this administration’s vaunted “internationalism” is all about.
That the push for war is happening in the context of a presidential election season is all the more cause for worry: you’ll note Obama has taken to invoking Republican icons of late, from Eisenhower to Reagan, in order to justify his domestic policies, and there’s no doubt he wants to move to the “center” on the foreign affairs front, too. This means more than just toughening his rhetoric: as the issuing of this ultimatum shows, it means making real moves toward what seems nearly inevitable at this point – armed conflict with Iran.
For all this administration’s alleged attempts to “engage” the Iranians, there were never any serious efforts to come to any kind of agreement: unconditional demands, exemplified by this latest ultimatum, were always at the core of various Western “peace” proposals. Now that the Iranian drama is coming down to the wire, virtually all pretenses at real negotiations have been rapidly discarded.
(That's just a sample, I suggest you read the whole thing as Raimondo is firing on all pistons on this one. And if you are an Iranian and don't get the part about Dorothy then go watch "The Wizard of Oz".)
Report: U.S. trained terror group
By Glenn Greenwald
When the U.S. wants to fund, train, arm or otherwise align itself with a Terrorist group or state sponsor of Terror — as it often does — it at least usually has the tact to first remove them from its formal terrorist list (as the U.S. did when it wanted to support Saddam in 1982 and work with Libya in 2006), or it just keeps them off the list altogether despite what former Council on Foreign Relations writer Lionel Beehner described as “mounds of evidence that [they] at one time or another abetted terrorists” (as it has done with close U.S. allies in Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, along with the El Salvadoran death squads and Nicaraguan contras armed and funded in the 1980s by the Reagan administration). But according to a new, multi-sourced report from The New Yorker‘s Seymour Hersh, the U.S. did not even bother going through those motions.
In February, NBC News‘ Richard Engel and Robert Windrem reported, based on two anonymous “senior U.S. officials,” that MEK was the group perpetrating a series of “sophisticated” assassinations of Iranian nuclear scientists (using bombs and rifles). NBC also reported that Israel — specifically its Mossad intelligence service — is “ financing, training and arming” MEK: in other words, that Israel is a state sponsor of this designated Terrorist group. Various reports have also indicated that the MEK, with Israeli support, was responsible for a string of explosions on Iranian soil.
So let’s review what we have here. If this report is true, it means the U.S. Government actively trained a group that the U.S. Government itself legally categorizes as a “foreign terrorist organization,” a clear felony under U.S. law.
That alone compels serious DOJ and Congressional investigations into these claims. Worse, this reportedly happened at the very same time that the U.S. aggressively prosecuted and imprisoned numerous Muslims for providing material support for groups on that list even though many of those prosecuted provided support that was far, far less than what the U.S. Government itself was providing to MEK. Meanwhile, right at this moment, America’s closest ally — Israel — is clearly a state sponsor of this designated Terrorist organization, providing training, funding and arms to it, and the U.S. may very well be as well (independent of all else, given that Israel is the largest recipient of U.S. aid, the U.S., at the very least, is financing a state sponsor of Terror).
At the same time, a glittering bipartisan cast of former Washington officials is receiving large payments from this designated Terrorist group, meeting with its leaders, and then advocating on its behalf — again, providing far more material support than many powerless, marginalized Muslims who have been and continue to be prosecuted under this law. All of this appears to be clearly criminal regardless of whether MEK belongs on the list — once a group is placed by the State Department on the list, whether justifiably or not, it is a felony to provide material support to it — but MEK appears to be doing exactly that which is typically considered Terrorism: assassinating civilian scientists (and severely wounding their wives) with bombs and causing other civilian-killing explosions on Iranian soil in order to induce fear.
In the above-linked LA Times Op-Ed by CFR’s Lionel Beehner, he derides the U.S. list of state sponsors of terrorism as ”one of the biggest farces of U.S. foreign policy.” Indeed it is, but that’s equally true of the pervasive, righteous use of the term “terrorist” or “terrorism supporter” in our political and media discourse generally. Anyone in government, media and think tank circles who routinely and angrily accuse others of being “terrorists” or “supporters of terrorism” without recognizing that the U.S. and its closest allies are plainly and routinely guilty of that is just a rank propagandist. That the U.S., in the midst of its vaunted War on Terror, directly trained a group on its own Terrorist list — while its closest ally and Washington’s venerated former officials continue to provide ample support to that group even as it escalates its violent acts – is about as conclusive a demonstration of that fact as one could have conjured.
(As an Iranian living in Iran that has been watching this build up to war over the past eleven years my reaction to these "pre-conditions" is that it makes it clear that a deal is not what the Americans are after. They want the regime to totally give in. They want them to say, "Gooh khordam", "Ghallaat kardam", and that is simply not going to happen. They are forcing Iran to say, "To hell with it, if war is what you want then let's have war." And that would mean missiles slamming into oil installations all around the Persian Gulf because that is where Iran's real power lies; the ability to take down the entire world economy within just a couple of weeks. And Iran does not need a nuclear weapon to do that with because it's conventional missiles are sufficient to do the job. Now if that is not a deterrent more powerful than ten nuclear weapons I don't know what is.)
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