Last month, negotiators from the United States, its P5+1 partners (China, France, Germany, Russia, and the United Kingdom), and Iran agreed to a framework for talks on a “comprehensive solution that would ensure Iran’s nuclear programme will be exclusively peaceful.”
The Barack Obama administration has demanded that Iran resolve “past and present concerns” about the “possible military dimensions” of its nuclear programme as a condition for signing a comprehensive nuclear agreement with Tehran.
An inflow of Russian-made weapons. Political and military support from Iran and the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah. Sharp dissension among fractious rebel groups. And the unyielding loyalty of the armed forces.
The Barack Obama administration's insistence that Iran discuss its ballistic missile programme in the negotiations for a comprehensive nuclear agreement brings its position into line with that of Israel and senators who introduced legislation drafted by the pro-Israel lobby group AIPAC aimed at torpedoing the negotiations.
Thirty-five years ago today, millions of Iranians embraced a religious leader promising freedom from a corrupt monarchy and national independence. Now many want a better standard of living and improved civil rights.
When Western intelligence agencies began in the early 1990s to intercept telexes from an Iranian university to foreign high technology firms, intelligence analysts believed they saw the first signs of military involvement in Iran’s nuclear programme. That suspicion led to U.S. intelligence assessments over the next decade that Iran was secretly pursuing nuclear weapons.
Last week at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, President Hassan Rouhani tried to persuade world business leaders to invest in Iran, especially in its hydrocarbon and automobile sectors.
In a radio broadcast in October 1939, Winston Churchill described communist Russia as "a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma.” Many people in the West today have the same feeling about Iran under the ayatollahs. One hears many pundits refer to Iranian politics as mysterious, inscrutable, baffling and unpredictable.
Even as the United States and European Union begin to lift some sanctions on Iran, U.S. law continues to prohibit some businesses that provide non-controversial services, such as online education, from operating in Iran and other countries.
The subtitle of Gareth Porter’s new book, "The Untold Story of the Iran Nuclear Scare," is well-chosen. Large parts of "A Manufactured Crisis" are indeed untold till now. They amount to what the author terms an “alternative narrative”.
Iran’s pushback against statements by Secretary of State John Kerry and the White House that Tehran must “dismantle” some of its nuclear programme, and the resulting political uproar over it, indicates that tough U.S. rhetoric may be adding new obstacles to the search for a comprehensive nuclear agreement.
Eight years ago, Stephen Rosen, then a top official at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) and well-known around Washington for his aggressiveness, hawkish views, and political smarts, was asked by Jeffrey Goldberg of the New Yorker magazine whether some recent negative publicity had harmed the lobby group’s legendary clout in Washington.
After 34 years of enmity, Tehran and Washington are heavily invested in the success of a deal over Iran’s nuclear programme achieved through teamwork. Now the political future of Iran’s new moderate president, Hassan Rouhani, depends on this issue.
In what looks to be a clear victory - at least for now - for President Barack Obama, a major effort by the Israel lobby and its most powerful constituent, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), to pass a new sanctions bill against Iran has stalled in the U.S. Senate.
There are conflicts old and new crying for solution and reconciliation, not violence, with reasonable, realistic ways out.