Obama Begins Meaningful Engagement With Iran

(Robert Naiman | Truthout | 8 October 2009) - The relationship between the United States and Iran with respect to Iran’s nuclear file is playing out at two levels. One level revolves around formal obligations and agreements and diplomacy. The second level is the long-running contest between the United States and its allies and Iran and its allies for power and influence in the region. The contest at the formal-obligations level on the nuclear program is a proxy for the contest for power and influence, and accommodation on the nuclear program likely implies some acceptance of Iran’s power and influence in the region. Read the rest of this entry »



Iran Continues to be Attacked by Imperialist Powers of the West During G20

Armed with the disclosure of a secret Iranian nuclear facility, President Barack Obama and the leaders of France and Britain demanded Friday that Tehran fully disclose its nuclear ambitions “or be held accountable.”

(Ed Hale | Transcendence Diaries | 25 September 2009) - CNN the most rusted name in fake-news reported today that the United States, France and Britain have presented “detailed evidence” to the U.N.’s nuclear watchdog that “Iran has been building a covert uranium enrichment facility,” President Obama said Friday before the start of the G-20 economic summit here.”

What’s ironic of course about this sudden announcement is that those same three countries — in a covert CIA-led coup d’etat never reported by Western media but largely known about now after the fact — invaded and then ousted Iran’s democratically elected president, Mosaddeq, in 1953 after they became a democracy in the early nineteen-fifties. Those same three countries — United States, France, Great Britain — then installed ‘the Shah’ as a puppet leader against the people’s will and split Iran’s oil up three ways for themselves, paying the Iranians pennies a barrel for it for nearly thirty years; they called their new “company” British Petroleum, or BP – you might have heard of it. This led of course to the extreme ‘Islamic revolution’ of 1979. (Religious fervor as the powers that be would have dumbed-down TV guzzlers believe had nothing to do with the American Embassy hostage “crisis,” but rather thirty years of rage and frustration over imperialist domination and their oil being stolen from them.)

Next up came the eight year US-led Iran-Iraq war where the Reagan administration funded a young CIA operative named Saddam Hussein, giving him millions of dollars and chemical and biological weapons to use against the Iranian people, where over 20 million of them died. And then when Iraq proved unable to defeat the strongly proud and patriotic Iranians, Reagan decided to play both sides against the other in the infamous Iran-Contra Affair and started illegally selling weapons of mass destruction to Iran as well, thinking one assumes that if both countries destroy each other in the process with US money and weapons that the US and Britain could walk right in and grab at all the oil in the region. Of course the plan didn’t work. The United States added yet another fallen hero to its shelf of publicly shamed and sham presidents. Iran and Iraq eventually called a truce.

The Iranian people sit at a crossroads now. Read the rest of this entry »



Sep
23
Filed Under (diplomacy, nuclear, Peace, U.S. Relations, Videos) by admin2 on 25-04-2007

Obama charts new world order

(Mike Hanna | Al Jazeera English | 23 September 2009) — US president, Barack Obama, outlined his vision of a new world order in which the US would participate fully – during his first address to the UN General Assembly meeting in New York. His vision was rooted on four basic principles: Non proliferation and disarmament, the promotion of peace and security, the preservation of the planet, and a global economy that advances opportunity for all people. Among the speakers that followed was the leader of Libya – Muammar Gaddafi, and the UN secretary-general, Ban Ki-Moon.

Al Jazeera’s Mike Hanna reports from New York on the days events.



united-for-peace-and-justice

Statement and Call to Action

July 9, 2009

Dear Friend of United for Peace and Justice,

Over three weeks ago, Iranians held a presidential election. What followed remains unclear, but one thing is for certain: the Iranian government engaged in the suppression of the rights of Iranians to protest their government. Read the rest of this entry »



Iran’s Clenched Fist Election:  What’s next for US policy

The Carnegie Endowment For International Peace

Policy Discussion held on June 25, 2009 in Washington D.C.

With demonstrations across Iran subsiding under a brutal security crackdown, and opposition leaders hoping to turn protests into strikes and other acts of civil disobedience, Carnegie hosted leading Iran experts Ambassador Nicholas Burns, Abbas Milani, and Karim Sadjadpour to discuss the aftermath of the election and its implications for U.S. foreign policy in the region.  David Ignatius moderated the discussion.

Read the rest of this entry »



Jun
19
Filed Under (Activism, human rights, Islam, U.S. Relations, Videos) by admin2 on 25-04-2007

Gary Sick from Columbia University and founder of the Gulf/2000 Project and Afshin Molavi of the New America Foundation and author of “The Soul of Iran” discuss the elections and the “Green Movement” in Iran.

Worldwise: Witnessing History in Iran
Deep divisions within the Iranian regime (09:37)
Moussavi, the “accidental leader” of the opposition (03:39)
Eroding legitimacy and expanding repression (06:10)
Obama’s huge challenge (06:57)
Afshin: What viewers can do (01:23)
Political Islam: It’s not easy being green (05:00)



Apr
08
Filed Under (U.S. Relations) by admin on 25-04-2007

From our friends at NPR comes this potentially disturbing article about the arrest and detainment of American/Iranian Journalist Roxana Saberi. Though the world community has not been able to confirm or deny that the charges against her are true or have any validity to them, we hope that this matter will be sorted out quickly and that Saberi will be released from jail if she is innocent. At this time it is not known whether she is or not. There has been a moderate uproar (though less than one would expect) amongst some in the United States that Iran is holding and American in jail. But when viewed from a bigger picture perspective that focuses on real peace and equality among our two nations – as newly elected President Obama claims he wishes for the US and Iran – it would be perfectly legitimate for the United States to hold a foreigner from any country – Iran included – if they were suspected of or charged with espionage. So to be fair, fair IS fair. Let us hope in the meantime that Ms Saberi is innocent and that this eventually come out and that she will be released from jail if that is what she deserves. American or not, she did break the law in Iran. These little facts, though the idea of having one of our own in foreign prison is disturbing to any of us of conscience must also recognize international law and also come to terms with the fact that the United States is currently holding hundreds of people from other Nations in our own prisons – many of whom are given no rights at all, much to the shock, horror, and dismay of Human Rights Groups and other countries all over the world. As fellow human beings, our hearts are with Ms. Saberi.

Ed Hale :: Peace With Iran

Roxana Saberi with former Iranian President Mohammad Khatami.

Journalist Roxana Saberi, who has been held for more than two months in Iran, has been charged with espionage, her lawyer said Wednesday.

Saberi, who has been a freelance reporter for NPR, ABC News, the BBC and other news organizations, was born in the United States and holds dual citizenship. She was told of the charges against her just two days after receiving a visit from her parents at Tehran’s Evin prison, according to her lawyer, Abdolsamad Khorramshahi.

Under Iran’s penal code, Saberi, 31, faces possible execution.

Iran’s ISNA quoted a judge Haddad as saying Saberi “had been carrying out espionage activities…under the cover of a journalist…and she has accepted the accusations.” The news agency only gave the judge’s last name.

“She has been charged and a branch of the Revolutionary Court is reviewing her case now,” Haddad said, according to ISNA.

The move to charge Saberi after weeks of uncertainty over her fate was certain to complicate the Obama administration’s efforts to thaw relations between Washington and Tehran. The two nations cut ties nearly three decades ago, after Iran’s 1979 Islamic revolution. But President Obama has offered to extend a hand of peace if Iran “unclenches its fist”.

At the time of Saberi’s arrest Jan. 31, Iranian officials said she was working with expired press credentials. However, Saberi’s father, told NPR in February that his daughter was detained for buying a bottle of wine. Purchasing alcohol is banned under Iran’s Islamic law.

“She said that she had bought a bottle of wine and the person that sold it had reported it and then they came and arrested her,” Reza Saberi said, adding that she believed the incident was a pretext to arrest her.

The journalist’s father confirmed that her credentials had been revoked in 2006, but said the government had tolerated her reporting short news stories out of the country. He said she had stayed in Tehran to pursue a master’s degree and was performing research for a book about Iranian society, but was planning to move back to the United States later this year.

Saberi’s parents, who live in Fargo, N.D., visited her Monday in Tehran. Khorramshahi said she was in good physical and mental health. Last month, her parents appealed to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei for their daughter’s release, saying she was in a “critical” mental condition.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said last week that Washington was pushing for Saberi’s release. In February, Clinton called publicly for the journalist’s release “to return home to her family in North Dakota as soon as possible.”

From NPR and wire service reports



Dr. Hooshang Amirahmadi BROOKS SUNDAY GLOBAL REVIEW – NEWSMAKER INTERVIEW 

March 14, 2009

 

Dr. Hooshang Amirahmadi, President of American Iranian Council Discusses 

White Paper on President Obama’s Iran Strategy 

 

To Hear Interview click on www.brooksreview.wordpress.com 

 

Hartford, Connecticut — On Sunday March 8, Dr. Hooshang Amirahmadi, President of the American-Iranian Council (AIC) and America?s foremost expert on Iran conducted an in-depth interview on the Obama administration and the future of U.S.-Iran relations on the Brooks Sunday Global Review. Under Amirahmadi?s leadership the AIC gained a rare approval from the U.S. government to establish an NGO lobbying group in Tehran, Iran. The AIC has been a leading non-profit/non-partisan organization promoting the renewal of diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Iran. Dr. Amirahmadi is also a professor of Middle Eastern Studies at Rutgers University.

 

Among the topics Dr. Amirahmadi discussed with host Webster Brooks are Iran?s nuclear program, the June 2009 presidential elections, Iran?s regional involvement in the Middle East and the prospects of improved relations between the U.S. and Iran under President Obama?s administration.*****

 

Webster Brooks is a Senior Fellow for Foriegn Policy at the Center for New Politics and Policy at the University of Denver.  

www.newpolicycenter.org

 



Jun
08
Filed Under (Articles, U.S. Relations) by admin on 25-04-2007

Originally Published in truthdig here

The failure by Barack Obama to chart another course in the Middle East, to defy the Israel
lobby and to denounce the Bush administration’s inexorable march toward a conflict with
Iran is a failure to challenge the collective insanity that has gripped the political leadership
in the United States and Israel.

Obama, in a miscalculation that will have grave consequences, has given his blessing to
the widening circle of violence and abuse of the Palestinians by Israel and, most
dangerously, to those in the Bush White House and Jerusalem now plotting a war against
Iran. He illustrates how the lust for power is morally corrosive. And while he may win the
White House, by the time he takes power he will be trapped in George Bush’s alternative
reality.

“Humanity Does Not Change”

There is nothing in human nature or human history to justify the idea that we are
progressing morally as a species.

We need to get out of Iraq and Afghanistan. We need to stay the hand of Israel, which is
building more settlements—including a new plan to put 800 housing units in occupied
East Jerusalem—and imposing draconian measures to physically break the 1.5 million
Palestinians in Gaza. We need, most of all, to prevent a war with Iran.
House Judiciary Chairman John Conyers, in a letter to President Bush on May 8, threatened
to open impeachment proceedings if Bush attacked Iran. The letter is a signal that
planning for strikes on Iran is under way and pronounced.

“Our concerns in this area have been heightened by more recent events,” Conyers wrote.
“The resignation in mid-March of Admiral William J. ‘Fox’ Fallon from the head of U.S.
Central Command, which was reportedly linked to a magazine article that portrayed him as
the only person who might stop your Administration from waging preemptive war against
Iran, has renewed widespread concerns that your Administration is unilaterally planning
for military action against that country. This is despite the fact that the December 2007
National Intelligence Estimate concluded that Iran had halted its nuclear weapons program
in the fall of 2003, a stark reversal of previous Administration assessments.”

The administration, in rhetoric that is eerily similar to that used to build the case for a war
against Iraq, asserts that the Iranian Quds Force is arming anti-American groups in Iraq
and providing them with high-tech roadside bombs and sophisticated rockets. It
dismisses the National Intelligence Estimate conclusion that Iran suspended its nuclear
weapons program. The White House has not provided evidence to back up its claims. I
suspect it never will. And when Israel’s Deputy Prime Minister Shaul Mofaz tells the Israeli
newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth an attack on Iran is “unavoidable” if Tehran does not halt its
alleged nuclear weapons program, what he is really telling us is we should prepare for war.
Conyers’ threat is too little too late, especially if the Bush White House, possibly assisted
by Israel, launches airstrikes on some or all of 1,000 selected Iranian targets in the final
weeks of the administration. But it is an effort. Conyers tried.

This is more than we can say for the presumptive Democratic nominee. Obama went
before the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) on Wednesday and said he will
stand with the right-wing Israeli government, even if this means backing an attack on Iran.
“As president I will use all elements of American power to pressure Iran,” he said. “I will
do everything in my power to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. Everything in
my power to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. Everything.”
Obama went on to blame the Palestinians for the conflict, although the ratio of
Palestinians to Israelis killed in 2007 was 40 to 1. This is an increase from 30 to 1 in 2006
and 4 to 1 in 2000-2005.

“I will bring to the White House an unshakable commitment to Israel’s security. That starts
with ensuring Israel’s qualitative military advantage, …” Obama told AIPAC. “I will ensure
Israel can defend itself from any threat, from Gaza to Tehran. …”
Obama spoke about Israelis whose houses were damaged by the crude rockets, most
made out of old pipes, fired from Gaza on Israeli towns. He never mentioned the Israeli
siege of Gaza, the world’s largest open-air prison, or that Israel was deploying fighter jets
and helicopters to attack densely crowded refugee camps with missiles and iron
fragmentation bombs or that it had cut off food and fuel. He ignored the steady expansion
of Jewish settlements on Palestinian land. He called for Jerusalem to become the
“undivided capital” of the Jewish state, erasing Arab East Jerusalem from the map in
contravention of international law. East Jerusalem, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip are
internationally recognized as occupied Palestinian territories, which Israel took over in
1967. Obama’s stance is the moral equivalent of assuring the Johannesburg government
during the apartheid era that one would support their repressive efforts to punish the
restive blacks in the townships.

The deterioration of the conflict in Israel, which would be accelerated by airstrikes on Iran
and an ensuring regional war, will propel us into the Armageddon-type scenario in the
Middle East relished by the lunatic fringes of the radical Christian right. And so, with
Obama’s enthusiastic endorsement, we barrel toward a Dr. Strangelove self-immolation.
No one will be able to say we did not go out with a spectacular show of firepower, gore
and death. Our European and Middle Eastern allies, who are numb with consternation over
our death spiral, are frantically trying to reach out to Tehran diplomatically.

The instant we attack Iran, oil prices will double, perhaps triple. This price increase will
devastate the American economy. The ensuing retaliatory strikes by Iran on Israel, as well
as on American military installations in Iraq, will leave hundreds, maybe thousands, of
dead. The Shiites in the region, from Saudi Arabia to Pakistan, will see an attack on Iran as
a war against Shiism. They will turn with rage and violence on us and our allies. Hezbollah
will renew attacks on northern Israel. And the localized war in Iraq will become a long,
messy and protracted regional war that, by the time it is done, will most likely end the
American empire and leave in its wake mounds of corpses and smoldering ruins.

The Israeli leadership, like the Bush White House, is increasingly bellicose and threatening.
The Israeli prime minister, after a 90-minute meeting with Bush in the White House on
Wednesday, said the two leaders were of one mind. “We reached agreement on the need to
take care of the Iranian threat,” Ehud Olmert said. “I left with a lot less questions marks
[than] I had entered with regarding the means, the timetable restrictions and American
resoluteness to deal with the problem. George Bush understands the severity of the Iranian
threat and the need to vanquish it and intends to act on the matter before the end of his
term in the White House.”

This time around, unlike about the war with Iraq, the Washington bureaucracy, loathed by
the Bush White House, did not remain silent and complicit. The National Intelligence
Estimate on Iran’s nuclear program released last Dec. 3 distinguished Iran’s enrichment of
uranium at Natanz and Arak from its formal nuclear weapons program, which it said had
halted in 2003 after the American invasion of Iraq. Adm. Fallon, who put his country and
his integrity before his career, spoke out against a war with Iran, tried to stop it and lost
his job as the head of CENTCOM. He has been replaced with Gen. David H. Petraeus,
whose devotion to his career admits no such moral impediments.

” … There is no greater threat to Israel or peace than Iran,” Obama assured AIPAC. “This
audience is made up of both Republicans and Democrats. And the enemies of Israel should
have no doubt that regardless of party, Americans stand shoulder to shoulder in support
of Israel’s security. … The Iran regime supports violent extremists and challenges us
across the region. It pursues a nuclear capability that could spark a dangerous arms race
and … its president denies the Holocaust and threatens to wipe Israel off the map. … [M]y
goal will be to eliminate this threat.”

Barack Obama, when we need sane leadership the most, has proved feckless and weak.
He, and the Democratic leadership, is as morally bankrupt as those preparing to ignite our
funeral pyre in the Middle East.

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama on screen receives applause during
his address before the American Israel Public Affairs Committee Policy Conference 2008 in
Washington.



So in less than 24 hours after seemingly – though not officially – winning the democratic nomination for president of the United States of America, Barack Obama stands in front of the largest pro-Israel lobby (read “bribery, extortion, and blackmail experts” for the Cliff Notes definition of “lobby” — at least as it is practiced in the US) in the world today, AIPAC, and tells the crowd that he will impose tougher and even more stringent sanctions against Iran if they continue to enrich uranium as a means to create nuclear energy to fuel their fast-growing country. Says the New York Times, “Mr. Obama appeared before the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, where, tacking to the right, he described a far tougher series of sanctions he would be willing to impose on Iran than he had outlined heretofore.”

Already starting to change colors right before our eyes? Well one isn’t quite sure yet. But how utterly and typically “political” this most recent stunt has made Obama appear. He failed to have either the knowledge or the courage – right now we aren’t sure which – to remind the crowd that Iran is legally entitled under international law to be working on researching nuclear energy under the Nuclear Proliferation Act – they currently have approximately one-hundred and twenty-thousand citizens employed and working at various plants around their country in this program – nor did he mention that they were given authorization from and originally purchased their nuclear energy knowledge and many materials to do so from the United States as far back as the Eisenhower administration.

How on earth can this man be talking about more sanctions against Iran and trying to stop them from enriching uranium when it is absolutely none of his business is the question that is begged to be answered here.

Read the rest of this entry »