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February 27th
2:19 PM
Via
crisisgroup:

New Talks on Iran Nuclear Program Offer Slim Hope | TIME World
By Lara Jakes and Peter Leonard
World powers began a new round of high-level talks with Iranian officials Tuesday, trying to find a way out of a yearslong tussle over Tehran’s nuclear program and its feared ability to make atomic weapons in the future.
Few believe the latest attempt to forge a compromise will yield any major breakthroughs, but negotiators are optimistically casting it as a stepping stone toward reaching a workable solution.
Officials described the latest diplomatic discussions as a way to build confidence with Iran as the country steadfastly maintains its right to enrich uranium in the face of harsh international sanctions.
FULL ARTICLE (AP via TIME World)
Photo: yeowatzup/Flickr

crisisgroup:

New Talks on Iran Nuclear Program Offer Slim Hope | TIME World

By Lara Jakes and Peter Leonard

World powers began a new round of high-level talks with Iranian officials Tuesday, trying to find a way out of a yearslong tussle over Tehran’s nuclear program and its feared ability to make atomic weapons in the future.

Few believe the latest attempt to forge a compromise will yield any major breakthroughs, but negotiators are optimistically casting it as a stepping stone toward reaching a workable solution.

Officials described the latest diplomatic discussions as a way to build confidence with Iran as the country steadfastly maintains its right to enrich uranium in the face of harsh international sanctions.

FULL ARTICLE (AP via TIME World)

Photo: yeowatzup/Flickr

February 19th
8:42 AM
Via

Iran stops oil sales to British, French companies | Reuters

“Exporting crude to British and French companies has been stopped … we will sell our oil to new customers,” spokesman Alireza Nikzad was quoted as saying by the ministry of petroleum website.

The move appeared to be in retaliation for a decision by the European Union in January to stop importing crude from Iran from July 1 over its disputed nuclear program […]

Iran’s oil minister said on February 4 that the Islamic state would cut its oil exports to “some” European countries.

“We have our own customers … The replacements for these companies have been considered by Iran,” Nikzad said.

January 11th
3:00 PM

Iran Hype undermined by Obama Administration Admissions

Juan Cole »

The announcement of the Iranian government that it will activate its Fordow nuclear enrichment site has predictably drawn forth a new round ofwar propaganda from the Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. In contrast, the Chinese media accurately report Iran’s affirmation that the new site will be subject to UN inspections and so is perfectly legal.

Ironically, what Clinton says is diametrically opposite from the repeated assurances given by Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, that Iran is not trying to construct a nuclear warhead. True, he put it in a misleading way, saying that Iran
“is not yet building a bomb,” as though it is only a matter of time. But in order to build a bomb, Iran would have to deny access to UN inspectors and, well, initiate a program to build a bomb. That it has not done so is covered up in mainstream US political and journalistic discourse, to the point where the NYT had to apologize for stating (contrary to Panetta) that Iran has a nuclear weapons program (it does not, as far as anyone can tell).

And now, it turns out, the Obama administration is even willing to admit the truth. The sanctions regime on Iran is not even primarily about the civilian nuclear enrichment program (to which Iran has a right under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty), but about causing the regime to collapse.(Apparently the appearance in print with its admission of illegal motives provoked a sharp set of phone calls and a revision of the statement to merely a collapse of the nuclear program. I believe WaPo got it right the first time.)

I think blockading a civilian population for the purpose of instituting regime change in a state toward which no authorization of force has been issued by the UN Security Council may well be a war crime. Even advocating a war crime can under some circumstances be punishable, as happened at the Nuremberg trials.  >continue<

December 28th
1:53 PM
Iran sees Sanctions, raises Strait of Hormuz

Iran is preemptively responding to threats of escalating sanctions by conducting a big naval exercise, Vilayat-90, in the Straits of Hormuz at the mouth of the Persian Gulf. Iran is making the point that if it wants to, it can close the straits, through which about 17% of the world’s petroleum exports flow. Any interruption in that flow would cause a global energy crisis. An Iranian admiral has said that closing the straits would be as easy as “drinking a glass of water.”&#8230;The problem with imposing an embargo on Iran’s petroleum exports, which the US Senate wants to do by sanctioning Iran’s central bank, is that it is like cutting off your nose to spite your face. It would be South Korea, Japan, India and Italy that would suffer, i.e. US allies (along with China, which wouldn’t be happy and is not without resources to fight back).  &gt;continue&lt;

Oil threats over sanctions row  |  Winners &amp; losers
Arabian Gauntlet  |  Accelerating Spiral | ZeitVox Iran coverage

Iran sees Sanctions, raises Strait of Hormuz

Iran is preemptively responding to threats of escalating sanctions by conducting a big naval exercise, Vilayat-90, in the Straits of Hormuz at the mouth of the Persian Gulf. Iran is making the point that if it wants to, it can close the straits, through which about 17% of the world’s petroleum exports flow. Any interruption in that flow would cause a global energy crisis. An Iranian admiral has said that closing the straits would be as easy as “drinking a glass of water.”

…The problem with imposing an embargo on Iran’s petroleum exports, which the US Senate wants to do by sanctioning Iran’s central bank, is that it is like cutting off your nose to spite your face. It would be South Korea, Japan, India and Italy that would suffer, i.e. US allies (along with China, which wouldn’t be happy and is not without resources to fight back).  >continue<

Oil threats over sanctions row  |  Winners & losers

Arabian Gauntlet Accelerating Spiral | ZeitVox Iran coverage