Tag Archives: Iran

Russia to build 2 nuclear power plants in Iran

Russian experts will help the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) construct two new nuclear power plants in the country’s southern city of Bushehr, according to Iran’s Energy Minister Hamid Chitchian.

“The contract has been signed between the AEOI and Russia, and includes building two 1,000-megawatt nuclear power plants, the construction of which is about to start,” said Chitchian.

can use Iranian military bases ‘on case by case basis,’ confirms https://www.rt.com/news/382523-russia-iran-bases-use/?utm_source=browser&utm_medium=aplication_chrome&utm_campaign=chrome#.WNoi8dXwm_U.twitter 

Photo published for Russia can use Iranian military bases ‘on case by case basis,’ Tehran confirms — RT News

Russia can use Iranian military bases ‘on case by case basis,’ Tehran confirms — RT News

Russia can use Iranian military bases for airstrikes targeting terrorists in Syria on a “case by case basis,” Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif told Reuters.

rt.com

Russian energy major Gazprom has sealed a cooperation agreement with its Iranian counterpart for the development of local gas deposits.

During his visit to Moscow last month, Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani highlighted the importance of the energy sector in bilateral relations and the possible creation of a free trade zone between Iran and the Eurasian Economic Union that includes Russia, Belarus, Armenia, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan.

From RT

Posted by The NON-Conformist

Netanyahu calls nuclear deal ‘mistake of historic proportions’

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called the nuclear deal announced by world powers and Iran on Tuesday a “mistake of historic proportions” and vowed to keep Iran from getting a nuclear weapon.

EPA ISRAEL NETANYAHU PRESSER POL GOVERNMENT ISR
Image: Ahikam SerI, EPA

“I call on all of Israel’s leaders to set aside petty politics and to unite around the most fateful issue for the security of the state of Israel,” Netanyahu said.

Speaking to reporters in Jerusalem later Tuesday, the Israeli leader said his nation is not bound by the deal and reserves the right to defend itself.

The deal makes the world a “much more dangerous place,” Netanyahu said, adding it will free up billions of dollars that Iran can use to support terrorism.

More from USA Today

Posted by Libergirl

Netanyahu’s Great Fear: Iran Will Comply With Nuclear Deal

Image: newsantiwar.com

Israeli officials have loudly and repeatedly condemned the Iran deal as insufficient, but those familiar with the situation have revealed Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s great fear is not Iran violating the deal, but rather them abiding by it.

“Netanyahu said at the meeting it will be impossible to catch the Iranians cheating simply because they will not,” noted one of the officials. This is in direct contrast to his repeated claims Iran could not be trusted on the deal.

The big problem from the Israeli perspective is that this changes the status quo over the last 35 years, where new sanctions were easy and Israel could threaten to attack Iran all it wanted.

More from Newsantiwar.com

Posted by The NON-Conformist

Netanyahu, the other Israelis and Bobby Burns

Apart from inadvertently making the case for equal time by his Israeli pre-election opposition, the spectacle of Benjamin Netanyahu’s wild diatribe at the joint session of Congress amidst the feral cheers of his congressional yahoos will be remembered as a textbook case of propaganda unhinged from reality.

Starting from his preposterous premise that Iran, a poor country of 77 million people with an economy nearly the size of Massachusetts’, is planning a caliphate to conquer the world, Mr. Netanyahu builds his case on belligerent words by Iranian leaders, who believe they are responding to Israeli belligerence backed by its ultra-modern, U.S. equipped military machine and its repeated threats of preemptive attacks against Tehran.

Unwilling, unlike his Israeli opponents, to subject himself to questions before congressional committees, this three-time soliloquist at joint congressional sessions (1996, 2011 and 2015) was received with hoopla quite different from his reception in a much more critical Knesset. The Prime Minister’s 42 minute speech was punctuated by 23 standing ovations and sitting applauses that took up 10 minutes.

The U.S. Israeli lobby has made Congress a rubber stamp for lopsided policies in the Middle East.

Only about fifty Democrats boycotted his address.

It is as if Israel doesn’t frighten Iran with its 200 nuclear weapons and its rejection of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty whose international inspections are required for all other signatory nations on Earth, including Iran.

It is as if Israel has not threatened Iran with annihilation, sent spies to sabotage and slay Iranian scientists and worked with its Arab allies to undermine the Iranian regime;

It is as if Iranians do not remember that the United State overthrew their popularly elected Prime Minister Mossadegh in 1953 to reinstate the Shah’s dictatorship for 26 years;

It is as if the Iranians do not mourn the loss of hundreds of thousands of soldiers and civilians killed by Saddam Hussein’s brutal invasion of their country from 1980 to 1988 with the military, intelligence and diplomatic support of the United States;

It is as if Iranians are not frightened into thinking they’re next when George W. Bush named Iran as part of the “axis of evil” (along with Iraq and North Korea), and proceeded to destroy Iraq and surround Iran with U.S. armed forces that are still in place to this day;

It is as if the Iranian people are not suffering from economic boycotts which, by impacting disproportionately civilian health and safety there, (See Public Citizen’s Health Letter) violate international law;

It is as if Iran should accept a wide sphere of influence by the U.S. and not try to expand its sphere of influence for its own defense;

It is as if Iran had not proposed a serious plan to George W. Bush over ten years ago to settle disputes and establish a nuclear-weapons free zone in the Middle East, which Mr. Bush completely ignored;

It is as if Iran is not, in the words of former Obama adviser, Vali R. Nasr, carrying “most of the weight” in the “battles on the ground” against ISIS in Iraq, thereby saving the U.S. from committing again U.S. soldiers to avert a complete rout of those left behind after our deadly debacle in Iraq since 2003;

It is as if Iran is not claiming it is building nuclear power plants for electricity (a foolishly dangerous move for its own people) and not building an atomic bomb, has not been in full compliance with the Geneva interim accord (November 2013) with the P5+1 countries, as these parties, led by the United States, strive to conclude a complete agreement this year;

It is as if Israel has not illegally occupied, colonized and stolen Palestinian land and water over the decades (including regularly invading a blockaded Gaza, invading Lebanon five times and attacking other nearby countries pre-emptively) and caused hundreds of thousands of civilian casualties;

It is as if Israel, while complaining about Iranian behavior, does not continue their Palestinian policies that violate several United Nations’ resolutions, while goading the U.S. toward war against Iran;

It is as if the Arab League, with 22 member nations, has not offered repeatedly since 2002 a comprehensive peace treaty in return to Israel returning to its 1967 borders that was also rejected by Israel;

It is as if Iran has forgotten the shooting down of a scheduled Iranian civilian Airbus by the U.S. Navy in 1988 with a loss of 290 innocent lives, including 66 children;

It is as if Iran, a country that hasn’t invaded any country for over 250 years, should remain cool in the face of such attacks, threats, infiltrations, boycotts, U.S. Navy in the Persian Gulf, and not engage in any military alliances; and

It is as if Iran’s authoritarian leaders are not preoccupied enough with pressures inside their country that are both internally and externally driven without also planning to conquer the world.

The pop-up lawmakers in Congress on Tuesday have not shown any interest in their own government’s causal responsibility for Iranian animosities. The priority for many in Congress is marching to the drumbeat of whatever the U.S. Israeli lobby wants from the Pentagon, the State Department and the American taxpayers. (Some members of Congress have spoken up in the past, notably Republican Congressmen Ron Paul and Paul Findley and Senators Chuck Percy and James Abourezk.)

Why does a large majority of Congress block the viewpoints and policies that could lead to peace as advocated by many former chiefs of Israel’s security, intelligence, military and political institutions? They have spoken up repeatedly in Israel but are never allowed to testify before congressional committees. This entrenched anti-Semitism on Capitol Hill against the “other Israeli” Jews needs to be challenged by peace and justice-loving Americans who want to avoid future blowbacks and war quagmires for our soldiers.

A way to clarify jingoistic biases in foreign policy is to ask the questions: who was the initial aggressor? Who is the invader, the occupier, the ever hovering armed drone operator? Who has backed and armed dictators to repress their people who want no more such nation-building by the U.S.?

For a century, is it we, with the British and French, who have been over there or is it they who have been over here? Brutish conditions breed brutish behavior in all directions.

The poetic wisdom of the great Scottish poet Bobby Burns teaches the crucial empathy: “O would some power the giftie gie us to see ourselves as others see us.”

By Ralph Nader

Posted by The NON-Conformist

Disrespecting the Oval Office

Just when you thought congressional Republicans’ disdain for President Barack Obama couldn’t be any more apparent, scores of GOP senators upset about the still-developing nuclear agreement with Iran took it to an unprecedented level last week: They went over Obama’s head. To Iran.

Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., speaks during a news conference in the Capitol's Senate studio on the possibility of arming the Ukrainians in their conflict with Russian-backed rebels, Feb. 5, 2015.
Image: Tom Williams CQ/Roll Call

Throughout history, Congress has sparred with the sitting president – though mainly on domestic policy matters. Foreign policy has traditionally been a White House-driven mission, with Congress weighing in officially when members’ role is specifically defined, and unofficially as critics or cheerleaders for executive branch policies being contemplated or implemented.

But at no time in history, lawmakers and experts say, have members of the legislative branch done something quite as audacious as 47 Republican senators recently did. Unhappy about what they believe will be a bad deal for the U.S. and its ally Israel, the lawmakers sent an open letter to the leaders of Iran, basically warning that any deal reached might have a short shelf life. In a brief (and academically sketchy, experts say) explainer of the U.S. Constitution, the senators informed Iran that any deal struck could be undone with the stroke of a pen by the next president.

More from USN

Posted by Libergirl

Netanyahu: Speech Not Intended to Disrespect Obama

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expressed “regret” Monday that his address to a joint session of Congress has become politicized, but pledged to continue to criticize the emerging Iran nuclear agreement.

Addressing the American Israel Public Affairs Committee in Washington, Netanyahu was greeted by the friendly audience with multiple standing ovations, saying he appreciates all that President Obama has done in support of his country.

“My speech is not intended to show any disrespect to President Obama or the esteemed office which he holds,” he said. Republicans invited Netanyahu to address Congress Tuesday without first consulting the White House in an breach of diplomatic protocol. The White House responded by refusing to meet with the Israeli leader, citing proximity to this month’s Israeli elections.

Netanyahu appeared to acknowledge that his address has become a distraction from the very talks he aims to criticize.

“You know never has so much been written about a speech that hasn’t been given,” he quipped. Even attendance at the Tuesday speech has become controversial, with a number of Democratic lawmakers pledging to boycott.

More from Time.com

Posted by Libergirl

 

Why Bin Laden’s Son-In-Law is in New York City, Not Gitmo

The arrest and detention of Osama Bin Laden’s son-in-law, Suleiman Abu Ghaith, has reopened the question of whether top al Qaeda figures captured by the U.S. should be tried in civilian courts or in military commissions at Guantanamo Bay.

By law, Abu Ghaith should have been transferred to military detention under the provisions of the Fiscal Year 2012 National Defense Authorization Act, which requires all members of al Qaeda or associated forces to be taken into military custody at least temporarily. But the NDAA provides a wide carve out for the commander-in-chief’s discretion in war time. And the President is authorized to waive the requirement entirely if he certifies to Congress that end-running the law is in the national security interests of the United States.

Several senior administration officials tell TIME Obama exercised the waiver in Abu Ghaith’s case after consulting his top aides, opting to send Ghaith to trial in the Southern District of New York rather than to Gitmo. “The President’s national security team – including the Defense Department and members of the Intelligence Community, the Department of Homeland Security, the State Department, and the Department of Justice – unanimously agreed that prosecution of Ghaith in federal court will best protect the national security interests of the United States,” one senior official said.

Congressional leadership was informed of the decision, the administration officials say. Why did the administration choose civilian courts? “The Administration is seeking to close Guantanamo, not add to its population,” says one administration official. Says another, “There was no reason to try him anywhere but an Article III Court. That’s the best and most efficient way to bring him to justice, and that’s why there was unanimity in the government on that point.”

The history of civilian vs. military trials for al Qaeda figures has been politically difficult for the administration. In late 2009, Attorney General Eric Holder announced that the U.S. would transfer the mastermind of 9/11, Khalid Sheikh Mohammad to the Southern District of New York for trial. After months of political pushback from Congress, Obama relented and KSM remained at Guantanamo Bay. Despite Obama’s promise to close the prison at the base, it’s use as a terrorist jail has been prolonged indefinitely.

In the case of Abu Ghaith, the administration seems to have avoided the political trap by presenting Congress with a fait accompli. Abu Ghaith had been wanted by the U.S. since he emerged as the face of al Qaeda days after the attacks on the U.S. on Sept. 11, 2001, appearing frequently in videos with Bin Laden and his deputy Ayman al Zawahiri.

In 2002, after the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan, Ghaith was smuggled successfully into Iran, according to the indictment filed early this month in the Southern District of New York and unsealed Thursday. There he remained in circumstances that are unclear: some reports say he was under house arrest, others under more direct detention.

In early February, the CIA tipped off Turkish authorities that Ghaith was in Ankara, staying at a luxury hotel, according to the widely-read Turkish newspaper Hurriyet. Turkish media first reported Abu Ghaith’s arrest.

Turkish authorities arrested Ghaith, and the U.S. worked through intelligence channels in an attempt to arrange Ghaith’s handover to the U.S., a senior administration official tells TIME.

But things were not so easy. Reports Hurriyet:

A Turkish court decided to release Abu Ghaith after 33 days in detention on the grounds that he had not committed any crime in Turkey.

Ankara considered Ghaith a “stateless” person, as he was stripped of his Kuwaiti nationality after appearing in videos defending the 9/11 attacks and threatening further violence.

Turkish police also found no criminal record for Abu Ghaith, who entered the country illegally from Iran; he could therefore be deported to Iran or to another country of his choice. After Iran did not accept him, Turkey decided to send him to Kuwait via Jordan. Abu Ghaith was sent to Jordan on March 1, the same day U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry visited Turkey.

The Kerry visit was a coincidence, according to a senior administration official. The credit for arranging the transit through Jordan belongs to U.S. intelligence officials who helped negotiate it, a senior official tells TIME. The CIA has close relations with Jordan’s intelligence services, which made snatching him there possible.

Ghaith was flown from Jordan to New York where he will appear before a district judge Friday.

Senators Kelly Ayotte and Lindsey Graham immediately decried Abu Ghaith’s transfer to New York as a breach of the spirit of the 2011 law that required all senior Al Qaeda figures to be tried in military commissions. “The Congress has tried to tell the administration that when it comes to people like this we want them to go to Gitmo to be held for interrogation purposes,” Graham said at a press conference Thursday after news of the arrest broke.

But other Republicans have been muted in their criticism and some, like GOP New York Rep. Peter King, have come out in support of the administration’s handling of the case. “I commend our CIA and FBI, our allies in Jordan, and President Obama for their capture of al-Qaeda spokesman Sulaiman Abu Ghaith,” King said in a statement. “I trust he received a vigorous interrogation, and will face swift and certain justice.”

 

By Massimo Calabresi/Timemag

Posted by The NON-Conformist