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Author Topic: Iran  (Read 133854 times)
DougMacG
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« Reply #700 on: September 01, 2014, 08:17:42 AM »

http://www.the-american-interest.com/blog/2014/08/29/is-obama-rethinking-his-trust-the-mullahs-strategy/
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ccp
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« Reply #701 on: September 01, 2014, 11:10:45 AM »

What I really don't understand is why does Obama think he is the only who can and does lie?

Bottom line.  He knows this.  He just doesn't care.  He plays "American" just enough to prevent a liberal slaughter at the next election.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #702 on: September 15, 2014, 11:37:10 AM »


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Iran Prepares for a Leadership Transition
Analysis
September 15, 2014 | 0436 Print Text Size
Summary

Though Iran has been broadcasting pictures and videos of top state officials and noted foreign dignitaries visiting Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in the hospital, the health of the man who has held the most powerful post in the Islamic Republic remains unclear. The unusual public relations management of what has been described as a prostrate surgery suggests Tehran may be preparing the nation and the world for a transition to a third supreme leader. Iranian efforts to project an atmosphere of normalcy conceal concerns among players in the Iranian political system that a power vacuum will emerge just as the Islamic republic has reached a geopolitical crossroads.

Analysis

Any transition comes at the most crucial time in the 35-year history of the Islamic Republic due to unprecedented domestic political shifts underway and, more importantly, due to international events.

Pragmatic conservative President Hassan Rouhani's election in June 2013 elections led to a social, political and economic reform program facing considerable resistance from within the hard-right factions within the clerical and security establishments. The biggest issue between the presidential camp and its opponents is the ongoing process of negotiations with the United States over the Iranian nuclear program.

Nuclear Talks and Syria

After an unprecedented breakthrough in November 2013 that saw an interim agreement, the negotiation process has hit a major snag, with a final agreement not reached by a July 20, 2014, deadline, though the deadline for negotiations was extended to Nov. 24, 2014. Some form of partial agreement had been expected, with talks kicking into high gear ahead of the opening session of the General Assembly of the United Nations in New York on Sept. 18.

A mood of pessimism in Tehran has since been reported, however, with senior Foreign Ministry officials prepping the media for the eventuality that the talks might fail. The risk of failure comes from the fact that Rouhani can only go so far in accepting caps on Iran's ability to pursue a civilian nuclear program before his hawkish opponents will gain the upper hand in Iran's domestic political struggle. Stratfor sources say Rouhani did not want to attend this year's General Assembly, but Foreign Minister Mohammad-Javad Zarif reportedly convinced the president that his visit might help the negotiating process.

As if the negotiation itself was not enough of a problem for Rouhani, the U.S. move to support rebel forces in Syria that would fight both the Islamic State and Iran's ally, the Assad regime, is a major problem for Tehran. U.S. and Iranian interests overlapped with regard to the IS threat in Iraq. But in Syria, the United States must rely on anti-Iranian actors to fight IS and the Obama administration seeks to topple the Assad regime. Accordingly, less than a year after the two sides embarked upon a rapprochement, tensions seem to be returning.

A New Supreme Leader

On top of this stressor, uncertainties surrounding Khamenei's health have shifted Iran's priorities to the search for a new supreme leader. The unusual manner in which Tehran continues to telegraph Khamenei's hospitalization to show that all is well -- while at the same time psychologically preparing the country and the outside world for the inevitable change -- coupled with the (albeit unverified) 2010 release by WikiLeaks of a U.S. diplomatic cable reporting that the supreme leader was suffering from terminal cancer suggests the political establishment in Tehran is preparing for a succession. Khamenei himself would want to prepare a succession before he can no longer carry out his official responsibilities.

Before Khamenei was elected supreme leader in 1989, the idea of a collective clerical body was in vogue among many clerics. The country's second-most influential cleric, Ayatollah Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, on several occasions has proposed a "jurisprudential council" consisting of several top clerics as an alternative to the supreme leader's post. His proposal has not gained much traction, but with succession imminent, it might seem more attractive as a compromise should the competing factions prove unable to reach a consensus.

Constitutionally, an interim leadership council takes over should the incumbent supreme leader no longer be able to carry out his duties until the Assembly of Experts elects a successor. Considering the factionalized nature of the Iranian political elite, it is only normal to assume that the process to replace Khamenei will be marred by a major struggle between the various camps that make up the conservative establishment. After all, this is an extremely rare opportunity for those seeking change and for those seeking continuity to shape the future of the republic.

For the hardliners, already deeply unnerved by what they see as an extremely troubling moderate path adopted by Rouhani, it is imperative that the next supreme leader not be sympathetic to the president. From their point of view, Khamenei has given the government far too much leeway. For his part, Rouhani knows that if his opponents get their way in the transition, his troubles promoting his domestic and foreign policy agenda could increase exponentially.

Possible Successors

The country's elite ideological military force, the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, will no doubt play a key role in who gets to be supreme leader. Likewise, the religious establishment in Qom will definitely have a say in the matter. The revolutionary-era clerics who have long dominated the political establishment are a dying breed, and the Assembly of Experts would not want to appoint someone of advanced age, since this would quickly lead to another succession.

Stratfor has learned that potential replacements for Khamenei include former judiciary chief Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi, a cleric close to Khamenei and known for his relative moderate stances. They also include Hassan Khomeini, the oldest grandson of the founder of the republic, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. He is close to the president's pragmatic conservative camp and the reformists, but pedigree may not compensate for his relatively left-wing leanings and his relatively young age of 42. Finally, they include current judiciary chief Mohammed-Sadegh Larijani, the younger brother of Speaker of Parliament Ali Larijani who some believe is the preferred candidate of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps.

The key problem that has surrounded the post of the supreme leader since the death of the founder of the republic is the very small pool of potential candidates to choose a replacement from: Most clerics either lack political skills, while those that do have political savvy lack requisite religious credentials. Khamenei was a lesser cleric to the status of ayatollah shortly before assuming the role of supreme leader, though he has demonstrated great political acumen since then. Khomeini was unique in that he had solid credentials as a noted religious scholar, but also had solid political credentials given his longtime leadership of the movement that culminated in the overthrow of shah in 1979. Since Khomeini fell out with his designated successor, Ayatollah Hossein-Ali Montazeri, in 1987, no one has had both qualities. Whoever takes over from Khamenei will be no exception to this, even though he will need to be able to manage factional rivalries at one of the most critical junctures in the evolution of the Islamic Republic.

Read more: Iran Prepares for a Leadership Transition | Stratfor
Follow us: @stratfor on Twitter | Stratfor on Facebook
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #703 on: October 05, 2014, 04:23:09 PM »

http://pamelageller.com/2014/10/irans-supreme-leader-khamenei-calls-for-muslim-unity-for-israels-annihilation.html/
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #704 on: October 06, 2014, 04:01:10 PM »

Did Iran's Crackdown on Dissidents Include Nuclear Scientists?
by Paul Alster
Special to IPT News
October 2, 2014
http://www.investigativeproject.org/4598/did-iran-crackdown-on-dissidents-include-nuclear
 
 A four-month extension granted by the P5+1 to the Islamic Republic of Iran to comply with the nuclear arms deal brokered in late-2013 and negotiate a final deal ends Nov. 24. Iran has been required to fully account for its nuclear development activities and offer all assistance to international inspectors, in return for the lifting of crippling international sanctions.

Iran welcomed the easing of financial and other sanctions, but many in the international community believe that Iran has failed to keep its end of the bargain.
"No deal is better than a bad deal," President Obama is on record as saying, but with the not-insignificant distraction of the ISIS terror sweep into Syria and Iraq, there are fears that the notoriously smooth-tongued Iranian negotiators will pull another fast one and wriggle out of their commitments.

"In order to understand what could go wrong, all one has to do is to carefully reflect upon the past decade and note everything that actually has gone wrong: how Iran was able to progress from having several hundred centrifuges to 19,000 of these machines, and to accumulate a stockpile of LEU [Low Enriched Uranium] in an amount that if enriched to higher levels could produce fissile material for 6 or 7 nuclear devices," Emily B. Landau, senior research fellow and head of the Arms Control and Regional Security Program at the Tel-Aviv-based Institute of National Strategic Studies (INSS) points out in a recently published study, 'Principles and Guidelines for a Comprehensive Nuclear Deal with Iran.'

Against this background this week came renewed allegations from Iranian dissidents that the high-profile slaying of a senior Iranian nuclear scientist in January 2007 may have been carried out by the regime itself, and not by Israel's Mossad intelligence service, as has been widely assumed.

The allegation has been made by Mahboobeh Hosseinpour, the sister of the late Ardeshir Hosseinpour, who died in suspicious circumstances after apparently expressing deep concern at the direction of the Iranian nuclear program.

Hosseinpour was contacted in 2004 by government agents with "a direct message" from Iran's supreme leader, a statement from the opposition group The New Iran said, summarizing the sister's story.

The agents "sought to enlist Dr. Hosseinpour to work on increasing the IRI's capabilities in uranium enrichment for the purpose of building atomic weapons with a secondary goal of teaching and supervising Russian and North Korean scientists in order to accelerate this project. In order to incentivize Dr. Hosseinpour, he was offered the rank of a two-star general in the IRI's Revolutionary Guard apparatus along with ownership of three factories related to manufacturing of parts for the nuclear projects. This offer received a harsh and negative reaction from Dr. Hosseinpour who promptly ridiculed and rejected it."

Mahboobeh Hosseinpour believes her brother's "persistent resistance against the IRI regime and its nuclear intentions that led Ali Khamenei to order his assassination on January 15, 2007."

It's a powerful claim, but one without evidence. On its own, it would be hard to accept that – like a classic James Bond villain – Iran killed one of its leading nuclear scientists. But similar allegations in recent years appear to reflect the Iran's zero tolerance view of any internal dissent.

In 2012, Britain's Daily Mail reported claims by London-based dissident Potkin Azarmeh that Iranian intelligence agents, and not a man paraded by the regime as an Israeli spy and apparently executed 50-year-old Masoud Ali Mohammadi, another senior Iranian scientist allegedly working on the nuclear development project.

"Some Iranian dissidents believe that [Iran] has used the cover of its war with Israel to crack down on internal opponents, with some saying that Mr Mohammadi was killed because he was a supporter of reformist candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi," the Daily Mail reported. "Ali-Mohammadi died in January 2010 when a remote-controlled bomb attached to a motorcycle outside his home in Tehran went off."

This week's allegations are clearly designed by Iranian dissidents to plant questions in the mind of the public and of international politicians prepared to accept the benign smile of President Hassan Rouhani as a genuinely moderate new face in Iran. The potential double-bluff of killing its own sharpest nuclear brains, they intimate, is not far removed from the ruse being performed under the noses of the international community who have failed to understand the extent to which Iran's nuclear program continues to develop, even with IAEA inspectors in the country at the behest of the P5+1.

Any potential extension to negotiations, argue regional experts such as Ephraim Asculai, who worked 40 years with Israel's Atomic Energy Commission (IAEC), could be a fatal mistake. "Iran is... interested in buying time," Asculai believes, "because the window of opportunity for breaking out – making an explosive nuclear device – narrows with each passing day."

International negotiators seem to have given up on dismantling Iran's nuclear program, Landau warns. "Rather, at this point they seek only to slow it down, with the hope that they will be able to prevent in time an Iranian rush to concretize its military nuclear capability."

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made it clear at the United Nations General Assembly earlier this week that Iran remains the biggest threat to world peace. The international community should not be distracted by the ISIS issue, Netanyahu warned. Iran remains the major supporter of Syrian President Assad's disgraced regime, bankrolls Hizballah in south Lebanon and now inside Syria, and continues to do all it can to support the terror regime of Hamas in Gaza.

A glance at Iran's brutal repression of internal dissent and its endemic corruption appears to add weight to the view that Tehran will indeed go to any lengths to silence questioning voices and should not be trusted.

Ranked a dismal 144th of 177 nations in the 2013 Transparency International corruption index, Iran has long found ways of getting around international sanctions, flagrantly violating human rights, and ruling through fear.

"The new administration has not made any significant improvement in the promotion and protection of freedom of expression and opinion, despite pledges made by the president during his campaign and after his swearing in," U.N Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon observed as recently as March.

Leaders in the opposition Green Movement, which attempted to bring about reforms in Iran and still argues that they were robbed of election victory in 2009 due to widespread government orchestrated fraud, have long since been rounded up. Former Prime Minister Mir Houssein Musavi has been confined to house arrest. Critics of the Iranian regime suggest that many of those arrested and summarily tried for offences such as drug dealing are in fact Green Movement supporters and supporters of other opposition groups. Some have been executed.

Amnesty International's 2013 report on Iran pointedly included the following statements:

1) The [Iranian] authorities maintained severe restrictions on freedoms of expression, association and assembly. Dissidents and human rights defenders... were arbitrarily arrested, detained incommunicado, imprisoned after unfair trials and banned from travelling abroad. Torture and other ill-treatment were common and committed with impunity ... They took steps to create a controlled, national internet, routinely monitored telephone calls, blocked websites, jammed foreign broadcasts and took harsh action against those who spoke out.

2) Government critics and opponents were arbitrarily arrested and detained by security forces. Tens were sentenced to prison terms after unfair trials. Dozens of peaceful government critics detained in connection with mass protests in 2009-2011 remained in prison or under house arrest throughout the year. Many were prisoners of conscience.

3) Political and other suspects continued to face grossly unfair trials before Revolutionary and Criminal Courts. They often faced vaguely worded charges that did not amount to recognizably criminal offences and were convicted, sometimes in the absence of defence lawyers, on the basis of "confessions" or other information allegedly obtained under torture. Courts accepted such "confessions" as evidence without investigating how they were obtained.

4) Hundreds of people were sentenced to death. Official sources acknowledged 314 executions. Credible unofficial sources suggested that at least 230 other executions were also carried out, many of them in secret, totaling 544. The true figure may have been far higher, exceeding 600. There were at least 63 public executions.

The Mujahedeen el-Khalq (MEK) is one of a number of Iranian opposition movements that have attempted to challenge the rule of the Ayatollah's since 1981. These movements have been under sustained assault from the regime and have been forced out of the country, even though Iran publicly scoffs at them and insists they are of no consequence. The MEK was granted sanctuary by the U.S. at Camp Ashraf in neighboring Iraq in 2004, even though it was at that time still officially a designated terrorist organization. It was de-listed in 2012, despite furious protests from the Iranian government.

Why, then, did the U.S., EU, and UK designate a pro-democracy Iranian group?

"The MEK was put on the terrorist list solely because the mullahs insisted on such action if there was to be any dialogue between Washington and Tehran," Lord Alex Carlile, former independent reviewer of British anti-terrorism laws, explained in The Guardian in October 12, 2012. "This was all part of a misguided effort to reach out to 'moderates' in the regime, an effort that accomplished nothing but gave Iran the time it needed to commence and advance its nuclear development."

Carlile accurately predicted what would happen next at Camp Ashraf. By September 2013 the Shi'ite government of former Iraqi Prime Minster Nouri Al-Malaki had grown increasingly close to the Iranian leadership. Al-Malaki constantly called for the Iranian dissidents at Camp Ashraf to be removed. In an apparent show of loyalty to Iran it is alleged that on September 1, Iraqi forces entered the camp and murdered not less than 52 members of the MEK, a massacre that drew furious responses from the international community, including the U.S.

"In reality," Carlile observed, "far too much attention has been paid to disinformation disseminated by Tehran and its lobbyists in an effort to make the western countries conclude that there is no viable opposition and no chance of change from within – leaving the west to choose between making concessions to Iran or going to war, both very unpleasant choices."

Given all of the above, just a taste of the huge number of dossiers on Iran's scheming, murderous regime that consistently seeks to mislead and misinform, surely the P5+1 will not allow the Islamic Republic another opportunity to buy time for its nuclear program and potentially further de-stabilize an already toxic situation in the region. Or will it?

Paul Alster is an Israel-based contributor to FoxNews.com and The Jerusalem Report and blogs at paulalster.com. He can be followed on Twitter: @paul_alster
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #705 on: October 17, 2014, 12:03:38 PM »



http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2014/10/16/when_the_ayatollah_said_no_to_nukes_iran_khomeini
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G M
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« Reply #706 on: October 18, 2014, 12:12:10 AM »


http://cnsnews.com/news/article/patrick-goodenough/iranian-nuclear-fatwa-cited-obama-may-not-exist
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #707 on: October 21, 2014, 03:12:56 PM »

Oy , , ,  tongue angry rolleyes cry
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #708 on: November 02, 2014, 01:08:42 AM »

Click here to watch: How to prevent a nuclear Iran

On November 4, American voters will be facing a monumental and high stakes moment in which they will decide whether control of the US Senate will continue to be in Democratic Party hands or be turned over to the Republicans. American voters should be warned that the continuance of a Democratic-controlled Senate led by Harry Reid will guarantee that Iran will end up being the first Islamist jihadist state with a nuclear weapon. Only a Republican-controlled Senate and House of Representatives will be able to stop President Barack Obama from capitulating to the Iranians and signing a bad deal which will allow the country to become a nuclear threshold state. A bill proposed by fellow Democratic Senator Bob Menendez and Republican Mark Kirk, which threatens additional harsher sanctions than those originally imposed on Iran in 2011 if no final agreement to dismantle their nuclear enrichment program is reached by the November 24 deadline, failed to even come to a vote on the Senate floor this last winter. The resolution, which at the time had the votes to pass with 43 Republicans and 16 Democrats cosponsoring it, was blocked from coming to a vote by Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid at the request of the White House. While only two Republicans did not support the bill, many of the Senators from the Democratic Party were against it including many Jewish Senators. Only if the Republicans take control of the Senate, it is likely that Obama will find himself presented with a new sanctions bill whether or not he signs a final agreement with Iran.

Watch Here

The blocking of this legislation by the White House is flabbergasting when one remembers that Iran only came to the negotiating table in large measure because of the original crippling economic sanctions drafted by Senators Mark Kirk and Robert Menendez in 2011 which was reluctantly signed into law by Barack Obama. Those sanctions reduced Iran’s oil exports and cut it off from the global, dollar dominated financial system. Consequently, Iran’s currency lost three quarters of its value and inflation and unemployment rose greatly. As senior Treasury Department officials told Reuters in an interview, "Iran’s economy today is about 25% smaller than it would have been if we had not imposed the oil and financial sanctions." On October 19, the New York Times reported that Obama was planning on bypassing the Congress by not bringing a future final agreement to a Congressional’ vote which will include suspending the enforcement of the sanctions passed in 2011. Such a plan is worrisome because it implies that the agreement the US is pushing so hard for, is a bad one. Otherwise, why not bring it to the Congress which could then simply vote to rescind the sanctions or ratify the treaty after a full congressional hearing, disclosure and debate. The Los Angeles Times on October 20 reported that conservative Iranian lawmaker Javad Qoddoushi said that he was briefed by Abbas Araqchi, Iran’s deputy foreign minister and a nuclear negotiator, who stated that the Obama Administration has sweetened its offer again in the ongoing negotiations, saying that it might accept Iran operating 4000 centrifuges, which are used to enrich uranium, up from the previous 1300. This news came a week after we learned that the Obama administration has agreed to let the Iranians disconnect their remaining operating centrifuges, rather than dismantle or destroy them as Obama originally promised. These US concessions are the latest in a long line of concessions. In November 2013, the US and five other world powers signed the Geneva Interim Agreement in which they tacitly endorsed the Iranians "right" to enrich and gave them sanctions relief worth more than $7 billion just for willing to engage in talks. Then, after six months of negotiations in which the Iranians conceded nothing, the US extended the negotiations another six months despite the fact that Iran has still not implemented all the nuclear transparency measures it had agreed to carry out in the interim agreement. The only way now to pressure Iran to agree to dismantle their nuclear program is if the Iranians fear that the new elected Congress will be determined to override any possible Obama veto and shut down their economy again with much worse crippling sanctions. Voting for a Republican Senate majority this November will give a message to Iran that the American public does not support Obama’s agenda of appeasement and that the Republicans with the support of few righteous Democrats have the public mandate to take the fight to Obama and undermine any possible weak or bad final agreement. As the leading Republican critic of the negotiations, Senator Mark Kirk, said: "Congress will not permit the president to unilaterally unravel Iran sanctions that passed the Senate in a 99 to 0 vote."
Source: Ynet

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ccp
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« Reply #709 on: November 02, 2014, 09:43:12 AM »

Crafty,

I tried to look up more information concerning this bill.  Different takes come up with MUCH confusing reports of political jockeying involved.  Interesting to note that Senator Bob Menendez D NJ co-sponsored this since he is normally a big liberal.  One site implies that this is because he accepts  political donations  from "Jewish" donors.  Another site points out the AIPAC completely changed course in first backing the bill than being against it.  As for the 13 Jewish Senators it sounds around  four (?) were against the bill including Levin and Feinstein.   Others like Bennett and Schumer and Blumenthal were supporters.

http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z?d113:SN01881:@@@P

I am really not clear what the rush by Obama is to get some sort of "deal" with Iran is all about if the deal means caving in to most of Iran's demands.

The thought of a sponsor of Terror being able to make nuclear weapons.


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