Olbermann: Timeline for Iran’s nuclear ambitions was clear, but he kept on
Few events have so encapsulated the Funhouse Mirror aspect of
American political debate as Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s visit to New York. According to the Chicken Little Brigade in Vice President Dick Cheney’s office, the bearded little fellow in the bad suit is only the latest in a succession of freedom-hating madmen bent upon destroying what the old Superman comics called “Truth, Justice and the American Way.”
There’s a raging debate within the Bush administration, the punditocracy, and the blogosphere about whether or not it is time to bomb Iran. While this conversation scares small children (and other sane people), most of the focus has been on (1) whether President… oh, excuse me… Vice President Cheney truly is moonbat-crazy enough to do so, and (2) whether anyone else in America (including the military) would go along with the idea. But not enough attention is being paid to what happens after we rain death from the skies down on Iran. Which is a shame, because that’s what we ignored during the ramp-up to war with Iraq. And we all know how that turned out.
Why do I feel like the proverbial skunk at a Labor Day picnic? Sorry; but I thought you might want to know that this time next year, there will probably be more skunks than we can handle. I fear our country is likely to be at war with Iran — and with the thousands of real terrorists Iran can field around the globe.
It is as though I’m back as an analyst at the CIA, trying to estimate the chances of an attack on Iran. The putative attacker, though, happens to be our own president.
by Ray McGovern
Western governments continue to insist that Iran must suspend enrichment as a precondition for negotiations, because of the deep mistrust stemming from the country’s 18-year concealment of the most sensitive aspects of its nuclear programme.
By Anne Penketh in Esfahan, Iran
By NICHOLAS D. KRISTOF
Published: July 19, 2007
The U.S. vice president and Iranian president, each the No. 2 in his country, certainly seem to be working together to create conflict between the two nations. Theirs may be the oddest and perhaps most dangerous partnership in the world today.
· Military solution back in favour as Rice loses out
· President ‘not prepared to leave conflict unresolved’
Iran has agreed to allow inspectors to visit its Arak nuclear plant after talks on how to resolve questions about Tehran’s disputed nuclear programme, the UN’s nuclear watchdog said.
Iran has slowed the expansion of its uranium enrichment work in a move that could herald a breakthrough in the international crisis over its nuclear ambitions, UN nuclear chief Mohamed ElBaradei said Monday. “We have seen a fairly slow development in commissioning new cascades,” ElBaradei told reporters, referring to the installation of centrifuges which enrich uranium into fuel for civilian reactors or, in its highly refined state, atom bomb material.
The sudden flurry of digging seen in recent satellite photos of a mountainside in central Iran might have passed for ordinary road tunneling. But the site is the back yard of Iran’s most ambitious and controversial nuclear facility, leading U.S. officials and independent experts to reach another conclusion: It appears to be the start of a major tunnel complex inside the mountain.
The leader of an al Qaeda-linked group in Iraq vowed in an audio tape on Sunday to attack Iranians unless Iran cut off its support for the Iraqi government within two months. “We give the … Persians in general, and leaders of Iran in particular, two months to withdraw their support and presence in Iraq,” Abu Omar al-Baghdadi, leader of the self-styled Islamic State in Iraq, said in the 50-minute audio tape posted on Islamist Web site which has often carried al Qaeda statements.
By Trita Parsi
US Senator Joseph Lieberman’s call for cross-border bombing raids into Iran appears to be the culmination of a two-week campaign by proponents of war to put the military option center-stage in the US debate over Iran once more.
“By agreeing to such moves, you are making it harder for yourselves,” Ahmadinejad was quoted as saying today by the state-run Iranian Students News Agency. “Don’t act in a way so that no one in the region will want to help you get out of Iraq,” he said in a speech in the province of Semnan, according to ISNA.
Conn. Senator Says The U.S. Should Strike If Tehran Keeps Helping Anti-U.S. Forces In Iraq
June 6, 2007
By THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN
RAMALLAH, West Bank
The Middle East has gotten itself tied into such an impossible knot that Biblical references or Shakespearian quotations simply don’t suffice anymore to describe how impossibly tangled politics has become here. Shira Wolosky, a Hebrew University English scholar, suggested to me that maybe Dr. Seuss, in “The Cat in the Hat,” offered the best way to sum up the Middle East today.
by Larisa Alexandrovna
Stephen Barr, Washington Post, June 4, 2007
In a bid to help prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons, Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) is sponsoring a bill that would authorize state and local governments to direct divestiture from companies with investments of more than $20 million in Iran’s oil and gas industry.
May 30, 2007
By THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN
Man, was I wrong about Iran.
I thought this regime was powerful and self-confident, and actually felt strengthened since we destroyed its two main enemies — the Taliban and Saddam. That could not be further from the truth. This Iranian regime is afraid of its shadow. How do I know? It recently arrested a 67-year-old grandmother, whom it accused of trying to bring down the regime by organizing academic conferences! (more…)
Inspectors for the International Atomic Energy Agency have concluded that Iran appears to have solved most of its technological problems and is now beginning to enrich uranium on a far larger scale than before, according to the agency’s top officials.
She’s better informed and sourced than just about anyone writing on Iran, and consistently breaks news and offers smart analysis. Ken Silverstein recently asked her six questions about the Bush Administration’s Iran policy.
April 29, 2007
By NICHOLAS D. KRISTOF
In May 2003, Iran sent a secret proposal to the U.S. for settling our mutual disputes in a “grand bargain.”
It is an astonishing document, for it tries to address a range of U.S. concerns about nuclear weapons, terrorism and Iraq. I’ve placed it and related documents (including multiple drafts of it) on my blog, http://www.nytimes.com/ontheground.
Putting the Iran Crisis in Context
By Noam Chomsky
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran announced that 15 captured British sailors and marines would be released today.
By Patrick Cockburn
A failed American attempt to abduct two senior Iranian security officers on an official visit to northern Iraq was the starting pistol for a crisis that 10 weeks later led to Iranians seizing 15 British sailors and Marines.
Iran’s most senior diplomat, Ali Larijani, called for a “delegation” to rule on whether a British naval patrol entered Iranian waters last month before his government would release the 15 marines and sailors it is holding captive.
Laying out what appeared to be a vague road map for the freeing of the British personnel, Mr Larijani said that, if it was found they had crossed into Iranian territory, there should be an apology and they would then be released.
‘ The capture by Iranian Revolutionary Guards of 15 British sailors and marines on March 23 has set off a diplomatic crisis and mobilized the public in both Britain and Iran… Why would the Iranian leadership risk such a confrontation over a minor issue?…
With Iran facing huge challenges at home (an economy in tatters) and abroad (mounting pressure over its nuclear program), Ahmadinejad and his reluctant patron, the Supreme Jurisprudent Ali Khamenei, desperately needed a diversion. . .
A Pakistani tribal militant group responsible for a series of deadly guerrilla raids inside Iran has been secretly encouraged and advised by American officials since 2005, U.S. and Pakistani intelligence sources tell ABC News.
One of the least endearing features of Washington’s political/media hierarchy is its propensity for selective outrage, like what is now coming from George W. Bush about the “inexcusable behavior” of the Iranian government in holding 15 British sailors whom Bush has labeled “hostages.”
The United States will be ready to launch a missile attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities as soon as early this month, perhaps “from 4 a.m. until 4 p.m. on April 6,” according to reports in the Russian media on Saturday. According to Russian intelligence sources, the reports said, the US has devised a plan to attack several targets in Iran, and an assault could be carried out by launching missiles from fighter jets and warships stationed in the Persian Gulf.
Iran said on Monday it wanted to resolve the row over 15 British sailors and marines seized in the Gulf through diplomacy and there was no need for a trial. The 11-day dispute centers on where the sailors were seized by Iran. Britain insists they were in Iraqi waters on a routine mission authorized by the United Nations and the Iraqi government, but Tehran says they were in its territory.
No hoods. No electric shocks. No beatings. These Iranians clearly are a very uncivilised bunch
Iran is planning to stop using the U.S. dollar to price oil, with less than half of its oil income now paid in the U.S. currency, Iran’s central bank governor said.
Though the Bush administration finds itself preoccupied trying to fend off congressional pressure to withdraw U.S. troops from Iraq, the drumbeat for countering Iran is likely to grow louder again soon, especially with the faceoff between Iran and the United Kingdom over the capture of British naval personnel. In this guest essay, Ivan Eland warns that escalating sanctions against Iran may hurt more than help.
The “debate” over whether to withdraw our troops constantly highlights the dangers of leaving but almost completely ignores the dangers of staying.
March 24, 2007
By RORY STEWART
Afghanistan is now both more and less than a nation. Dialects of its official language are spoken from Iran to India. Its greetings and rituals are recognizable in Chechnya. Kabuli woodwork incorporates motifs from Syria, the Mughal Empire and pre-Islamic Uzbekistan. On Tuesday, I heard a song from a mystical order, founded in Afghanistan, which was played by musicians from the borders of Nepal. (more…)
Iranian naval vessels seized 15 British sailors in Iraqi waters on Friday, the Ministry of Defense said.
Author of the upcoming book “The Iran Agenda: the Real Story of U.S. Policy and the Middle East Crisis”, due for release in September from Polipoint Press, Reese Erlich recently spent three weeks investigating Kurdish resistance organisations in Iran and Iraq’s Kurdish region. He tells IPS that “the United States is officially funding armed groups to overthrow the Islamic government” in Tehran.
IRAN is threatening to retaliate in Europe for what it claims is a daring undercover operation by western intelligence services to kidnap senior officers in its Revolutionary Guard.
Iraq’s deadly assault on the town of Sardasht continues to color the debate about Tehran’s defenses.
While the Bush administration works to stop Iran from meddling in Iraq, Iranian air-conditioners fill Iraqi appliance stores, Iranian tomatoes ripen on the windowsills of kitchens here and legions of white Iranian-made Peugeots sit in Iraqi driveways.
March 20, 2007
By NICHOLAS D. KRISTOF
If an 18-year-old American soldier were caught slipping obscure military paperwork to Iranian spies, he would be arrested, pilloried in the news media and tossed into prison for years.
But in fact there’s an American who has provided services of incalculably greater value to Iran in recent years. So you have to wonder: Is Dick Cheney an Iranian mole?
From Libya to Egypt to fuel-strapped Jordan, Arab countries have signaled their desire to develop nuclear power, even amid a concerted attempt by the United States to tighten the noose around Iran lest it join the nuclear club. These new players are entering a nuclear race in an unstable zone, dominated by two regional powers, Iran and Israel.