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Obama’s Iran Dilemma

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Posted on Jun 21, 2009

By E.J. Dionne, Jr.

    Protesters hit the streets demanding freedom and fair elections. A repressive government strikes back and denounces the dissidents as unpatriotic subversives. Change, even revolution, is in the air.

    Liberals and progressives should be natural allies of those trying to overturn the existing order. They stand for democracy, equality and freedom, or they stand for nothing. In principle, it’s conservatives who preach prudence.

    But there is a tension in the progressive worldview. Usually, the left also favors restraint in foreign policy. It typically prefers negotiation to war, advises caution in the use of American power, and recoils at what it sees as the trigger-happiness of parts of the right. Iraq is Exhibit A for the dangers of presuming that American power can easily remake the world.

    As Iranians battle in the streets to transform their nation, President Obama finds himself caught squarely in this liberal dilemma.

    Before the election, he had set the United States on a path to negotiation with Iran’s government—the very government whose legitimacy was crumbling over the weekend as it cracked down hard on the opposition. As a foreign policy realist, Obama knew that at the end of the current struggle the United States would still have to deal with Iran on the issue of its nuclear program and other matters related to our “long-term interests.”

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    Moreover, it’s true that if the United States government embraced the courageous partisans of Iran’s opposition too warmly, it could discredit them and create a rationale for the repression their foes hoped to unleash anyway.

    But as the protesters gained strength and their valor seized the world’s imagination, the president began realizing that discretion was insufficient. Slowly, the administration’s line has toughened, though not nearly enough to satisfy the many conservatives who were against Obama’s Iranian engagement policy in the first place.

    For Obama’s critics, this one is a no-brainer. Their counsel: Stand tall for freedom and human rights, trash the repressive mullahs, and let the chips fall. If the opposition wins, everybody wins. If the regime cracks down and manages to survive, engagement is dead. That, from the point of view of Obama’s critics, is win-win.

    In fact, Obama was right to exercise caution, both because the United States should not imply false promises to the regime’s opponents that we won’t be able to keep, and because our embrace could, indeed, hurt them. And, paradoxically, European political leaders have been outspoken in support of the Iranian democrats precisely because Obama’s restraint gave them room to act independently.

    But if Obama, as the leader of the U.S. government, has to exercise great care in calculating his moves, rank-and-file progressives and liberals outside the government should be unwavering and unabashed in championing the Iranian push for freedom. Writing last week in The New Republic about how to deal with Iran’s repressive ruling class, the political philosopher Michael Walzer nicely summarized the proper division of labor: “For liberals and leftists—opposition and nothing else; for state diplomats—handshakes and negotiation.”

    Yet events over the weekend were spinning beyond this sensible approach. If the Iranian regime simply suppresses its political adversaries, it will be impossible anytime soon to resume diplomacy as if nothing has happened. And even if the present government survives in the short term, we now know that its hold on power is shaky. There is more opposition in Iran than we—and probably Iranians themselves—knew existed, and thus more opportunity for change.

    That’s why Obama had to toughen his rhetoric. He sent a clear message on Saturday when he called on the Iranian government “to stop all violent and unjust actions against its own people” and warned that it could not expect “the respect of the international community” if it failed to “respect the dignity of its own people and govern through consent, not coercion.”

    The president, in concert with our allies, is now telling the Iranian regime that it will pay a price for repression. The bottom line of American policy must be that no matter how committed we are to negotiation, we are also committed democrats.

    Obama’s initial caution served the interests of freedom by making clear that the revolt against Iran’s flawed election is homegrown. As the struggle continues, we cannot pretend that we are indifferent to its outcome.

    It’s not easy to walk the progressive path. But Obama has always said that he knows how to deal with complexity. This is his chance to prove it.
   
    E.J. Dionne’s e-mail address is ejdionne(at)washpost.com.
   
    © 2009, Washington Post Writers Group


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By ardee, October 31, 2009 at 7:56 am Link to this comment

Shingo, October 30 at 6:57 am

Let the lovefest continue….wink

Most of those who posit far right absurdities are either using sledgehammers or are so absurd as to be easily ignored. There are many on the left so infected as well, dialogue and discernment are rare qualities indeed.
I give you the most flagrant here Martha/Thomas and Outraged,thus the left is far from guiltless.

But Marshall has a special place, along side the Cheney’s of this world, unprincipled ideologues who are quite deft at inserting a lie usually as an assumption so seamlessly into a post as to make one think and return to reread before finding the lie. His efforts were aptly described as “poisonous” for just this reason, he makes it so easy to fall into his trap.

That is why posters like you are so necessary to truth and honest opinion, and I ,once again, thank you for it.

Great editorial cartoon by the way.

Report this

By Shingo, October 30, 2009 at 3:57 am Link to this comment

Thanks ardee,

I do enjoy smacking down these right wing extremists, who are so deft at ignoring the elephant in the room.  Whenever I read Marhsall’s arguments I am reminded of this wonderful cartoon

http://desertpeace.files.wordpress.com/2009/07/israel-nuclear1.jpg?w=477&h=341

Comments like yours make it all more rewarding.

Report this

By ardee, October 30, 2009 at 3:40 am Link to this comment

Shingo, October 30 at 6:29 am

You are so much better at refuting the absurdities of this “poisonous poster” that I bow to your skill. It is certainly futile to believe you can change the mind of this opinionated and ideological person but that is, I understand, not your purpose here.

Marshall has a certain skill at burying a lie within a reasonable sounding effort and then building an entire edifice upon that lie. He is a neocon of course, and thus hopelessly outdated insofar as the solutions to twenty first century political and sociological problems is concerned.

The real key, and the reason I am grateful for your efforts, is that you show the rest of us the truth about what Marshall distorts so very well.

Thanks again and I hope you will continue to struggle against lies, hatreds and empire building.

Report this

By Shingo, October 30, 2009 at 3:29 am Link to this comment

>> later outraged canada. 

What has Canada, a non nuclear power, got to do with India’s nuclear weapons program?  The fact is that India and Pakistan were able to develop nuclear weapons because they were NOT signatories to the NPT and were NOT subjected to the most intrusive inspection in history, as is the case with Iran.

In other words, your example fails miserably.

Oh and BTW, your hero, John Bolton argued, when he was US Ambassador to the UN, that India’s nukes were legitimate because they had not signed the NPT. 

>>  NNPT can be violated and discarded at a moment’s
notice as NK and Libya did for example. 

Rubbish.  An NPT withdrawal would be an unambiguous signal that nukes were on the agenda, which is why your fellow traveler, wingnut extraordinaire, John Bolton was so disappointed that Iran didn’t take the bait and withdraw.

>> so why won’t iran sign it?

Iran are already open to intrusive inspections and as I have said countless times. Iran are getting NOTHING, absolutely NOTHING from the NPT thus far.  You are so myopic and blinkered that you ignore the fundamental principal guaranteed by the NPT…the inaliable right to nuclear power and the nuclear fuel cycle.  The West denying Iran those fundamental rights, and you’re asking why Iran won’t go the extra mile?  Your blinkeredness is mind numbing.

Iraq, Syria and Libya all have one this in common.  None of them produced a nuke. And speaking of the AP, what other countries have agreed to them?

>> there are legit scenarios under which Iran could
short circuit the process for example by
delaying inspections while diverting LEU to undeclared facilities for rapid HEU

Your talking out of your hat.  Any delay would be immediately detected and what’s more, the amount of LEU that would need to be diverted would be so large as to be impossible to miss.  Israel, argued that Iran MIGHT have enough LEU to make a nuke by the end of the year.  That means that Iran would have to divert ALL of their LEU, which would be impossible for the IAEA, who have accounted 100% of Iran’s LEU under their eye, to miss.

Given that impossible scenario, Iran would then need to enrich the LEU to HEU and manufacture a bomb, which would take at least a few more years, so no, it would never be too late before a response could be organized.  In fact, there would be more than enough time.

>>  You didn’t say invaded you said attacked and it clearly has.

Your ignoring the fact that Hezbollah and Israel were exchanging fire with each other since 2000.  Your ignoring the fact that Olmert admitted to the Wonigrad Commission, that the war with Hezbollah had been planned at least a year earlier.  You’re such a sucker for propaganda.

>> it withdrew AP support in ’06, stopped supplying centrifuge data and later announced more efficient IR-2 and IR-3 designs.

The AP was never ratified by Iran’s parliament, but in any case, provide the reports that Iran stopped providing centrifuge data.  The IAEA know the whereabouts of 100% of Iran’s nuclear stockpiles, so whatever centrifuges they are using is irrelevant anyway.

>>  It’s how IAEA guages scope and direction of enrichment capabilities and why AP requires it.

Direction?  There’s only one direction.  Feedstock goes in, LEU comes out.  The scope of the enrichment capabilities comes down to what the cascade is capable of once it is operational and as I have pointed out many times, the IAEA know where every granule of LEU is at any one time.

Continued…

Report this

By Shingo, October 30, 2009 at 3:28 am Link to this comment

>> indeed these could all happen very quickly as for example ISIS analysis makes clear.

The ISIS analysis, a product of right wing propagandists,  stated no such thing.

The term “breakout” is a meaningless term used to conflate the argument.  Iran’s “breakout” capability is already known based on how long it takes them to produce a given quantity of LEU. Furthermore, Iran’s “breakout” capability is seriously limited by the fact that Iran’s uranium sources are contaminated with molybdenum, meaning that if Iran cannot enrich to HEU without destroying their centrifuges.

>> Iran is being denied nothing but is denying full transparency.

You can’t possibly be that ignorant. Did you miss the part about Iran having the inaliable right to enrich uranium?  The UNSC passed a resolution demanding that Iran stop doing it, while remaining bound by the NPT. That’s a denial of their rights.

>> This is not a negotiating ploy it’s a scuttling ploy but you choose to believe as you will.

You’re such a bigot and so blinded by your obsession with Iran that you will never believe anything they say.

No country that has singed the NPT has ever produced a nuclear weapon.  None.  Thus there is no basis to your argument that only the AP is a guarantee against nukes.

>> not irrelevant so long as Iran avoid full transparency by refusing AP.

Absolute nonsense.  It’s clear you are a blatantly dishonest and refuse to see facts.  If you had any genuine concerns for nuclear proliferation, you would spend less time obsessing about a country that has no nukes, and against whom there is no evidence of nuclear weapons proliferation, and actually propose a meanhow to disarm those that do have them. 

Pakistan has 80 nukes, India over a hundred and Israel over 200, yet your mentality is to give those countries a pass and punish Iran for something is hasn’t done.

Until you demonstrate euqal concern for those that do have nukes, you have no credibility.

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By Marshall, October 30, 2009 at 1:13 am Link to this comment

By Shingo, October 29 at 9:52 pm #

<<If you believe that Iran, or Pakistan, developed a nuclear weapons under
cover of a civilian program, and that this came as a surprise to the West, then
you probably believe in the tooth fairy.>>

My claim was about India … yes I’m saying that smiling buddha was disguised
as a civilian program abetted by a hoodwinked and later outraged canada. 
India even billed its first test as a “peaceful nuclear test”.  I believe even tooth
fairy scoffed.  You’re disputing this?

<<Of course, your logic (using the term very loosely) ignores the simple fact
that neither of these countries signed the NPT or allowed inspectors in.>>

NPT is an agreement not a guarantee (which didn’t exist when India was
developing its nukes).  NNPT can be violated and discarded at a moment’s
notice as NK and Libya did for example.  NPT without AP is just inspections and
thus insufficient.

<<The AP does not offer any panacea for those with an irrational hatred of
Iran.>>

so why won’t iran sign it?  …not because its feeling are hurt as you claim but
because AP allows intrusive inspections which IAEA believes would provide
crucial insight into its intentions and make it far more difficult to deceive.  Iraq,
Syria and Libya all evaded detection of nuke programs under traditional
inspections but no country has under AP.

<<When all of the LEU is safeguarded and the IAEA is stating with 100%
certainty that none of it is being diverted.>>

Agreed it provides certainty that declared LEU is safeguarded but there are legit
scenarios under which Iran could short circuit the process for example by
delaying inspections while diverting LEU to undeclared facilities for rapid HEU
enrichment before a response could be organized.

<<Hezbollah have never invaded Israel>>

You didn’t say invaded you said attacked and it clearly has.

<<My question was, if Iran was providing information about their centrifuges
before, when what evidence do you have that they are not now?>>

When Iran agreed to comply with AP in ’03 it supplied r&d and manufacturing
data to IAEA for its P1 centrifuges as stipulated by AP.  it withdrew AP support
in ’06, stopped supplying centrifuge data and later announced more efficient
IR-2 and IR-3 designs.

<< what difference does it make what the centrifuge design is anyway?>>

It’s how IAEA guages scope and direction of enrichment capabilities and why
AP requires it.

<<I’ve explained them already but here goes.?1.Withdrawl from the NPT?
2.Removal of the IAEA inspectors?3.Detonation test>>

indeed these could all happen very quickly as for example ISIS analysis makes
clear.  There’s no claim Iran is diverting declared material at this moment, but
its lack of transparency leaves huge unknown about how close it is to break-
out if it chose to divert.  This is the entire point.

<<Seeing as WE are denying Iran it’s basic rights under the existing NPT>>

Iran is being denied nothing but is denying full transparency.

<<it has proposed amendments to the proposal.>>

This is not a negotiating ploy it’s a scuttling ploy but you choose to believe as
you will. you believe in blind trust and I believe in trust but verify.  Without AP
we have no real verify.

<<The continued expansion of its enrichment capabilities is entirely irrelevant
so long as the IAEA continues to verify the non diversion of nuclear
material.>>

not irrelevant so long as Iran avoid full transparency by refusing AP.

Report this

By Shingo, October 29, 2009 at 6:52 pm Link to this comment

>> It’s a good example of a country that developed nuclear weapons under cover of a civilian program

If you believe that Iran, or Pakistan, developed a nuclear weapons under cover of a civilian program, and that this came as a surprise to the West, then you probably believe in the tooth fairy.  Of course, your logic (using the term very loosely) ignores the simple fact that neither of these countries signed the NPT or allowed inspectors in.

>> Delivering to whom, the US mainland? 

There is no way of delivering a nuke against any US interests without inflicting harm on itself.

>> HEU can be produced quickly by direct feed of LEU into centrifuges.  Look it up.  One reason AP is so important.

The AP does not offer any panacea for those with an irrational hatred of Iran.

When all of the LEU is safeguarded and the IAEA is stating with 100% certainty that none of it is being diverted.

>> Your opinion of Hezbollah’s motivations, but nonetheless an admission of Iranian support for a group which attacks Israel despite your earlier claim to the contrary.

Hezbollah have never invaded Israel, while Israel have occupied Southern Lebanon for 18 years and invaded 5 times.
Marshall. As far as I know you have no special relationship with the Israeli regime nor insight into its intentions yet you portray it as an innocent, beleaguered victim of Iranian aggression hegemony whose only interest is peaceful
coexistence with its neighbors and those it occupies. 

This emotion-based defense leaves me with the presumption that your hatred for Iran and the Arab world are of more importance to you than a legitimate effort to achieve non-
proliferation, because selectively holding Iran’s feet to the fire to, while giving states that have developed nukes while refusing to sign the NPT, is a guaranteed path to destroying the NPT.

You’re mired in an ideological spin cycle, while avoiding facts, lack of evidence and technical arguments, while obsessing about whether Iran will accept AP, when it has already been established that there is not evidence of an Iranian nuclear weapons program and that the IAEA is 100% certain that Iran has not diverted any nuclear material.

You are simply clutching at straws and hoping that any doubt or conflation you sew will suffice as proof that Iran as bad and evil and you believe them to be.

Report this

By Shingo, October 29, 2009 at 6:35 pm Link to this comment

>> Because it’s only required under AP which Iran does not subscribe to.

That’s not what I asked you.  My question was, if Iran was providing information about their centrifuges before, when what evidence do you have that they are not now?

Secondly,  what difference does it make what the centrifuge design is anyway?

>> Which indicators are those? 

I’ve explained them already but here goes.
1.Withdrawl from the NPT
2.Removal of the IAEA inspectors
3.Detonation test

Simply arguing that non existent “Undeclared facilities”, could develop break-out capability in secret is hyperbolic speculation.  There can be no secret break-out capability without diversion of nuclear material and the IAEA repeatedly confirms, with 100% certainty, that this is not happening.

Diverting declared LEU would immediately raise flags with the IAEA.  You are clutching at straws, yet again.

>> AP conformance is what we’re asking here; the most crucial and, conspicuously, the primary missing cooperative element.

Seeing as WE are denying Iran it’s basic rights under the existing NPT, what incentive is there for Iran to subject itself to even more scrutiny?  Does someone who is being denied food ask that you also withhold water?

>> No – it SAYS it is; a likely delaying tactic it’s used numerous times. 

Likely?  What you mean it that as someone with an irrational hatred of Iran, you don;t believe them.  No, the news does not indicate the response was negative, it has proposed amendments to the proposal.  That’s why they are called negotiations. In know how you hate that concept when it concept to Iran.

>> Yes I know – it’s the West’s fault. 

Yes it is.  When you enter into a contract/treaty and then move the goal posts with respect to one country, while given others carte blanche, you lose credibility.

The fact is that the so called “concern and consequences” are not real. The IAEA and the 2007 NIE explicitly stated that there is no evidence of a nuclear weapons program, therefore, any “concern and consequences” are purely manufactured.

>> Which parts of it do you object to?

The devil is always in the details.

>> I’m saying that behavior like Iran’s failure to institute AP along with the continued expansion of its enrichment capabilities and LEU production gives many countries the

impression it is seeking nukes.  No misinformation or propaganda here - just facts.

There’s nothing factual about it. All you are doing is repeating alarmist propaganda.  The   continued expansion of its enrichment capabilities is entirely irrelevant so long as the IAEA continues to verify the non diversion of nuclear material.

The only facts we have are that there is no evidence that Iran is making nukes.  Everything else is fear warmongering.

Report this

By Marshall, October 29, 2009 at 6:04 pm Link to this comment

By Shingo, October 28 at 7:41 am #

Part 1

<<What makes you believe that Iran no longer provide centrifuge research info
to IAEA?>>

Because it’s only required under AP which Iran does not subscribe to.

<<even if it chose to, there would be far too many indicators that would give
away their intent.>>

Which indicators are those?  Undeclared facilities (which might otherwise be
caught under AP), could develop break-out capability in secret.  Once they’ve
produced enough declared LEU, they could divert it to these facilities for direct
feed into covert centrifuges for rapid HEU production.

<<Iran has gone well out of its way to dispel any misconception about its
program.>>

AP conformance is what we’re asking here; the most crucial and,
conspicuously, the primary missing cooperative element.

<<Iran is considering outsourcing enrichment>>

No – it SAYS it is; a likely delaying tactic it’s used numerous times.  Today’s
news indicates response was negative as I predicted and you poo-poo’d.

<<but Iran have been burned by the West for too long… Iran have every reason
to be cautious.>>

Yes I know – it’s the West’s fault.  And though I appreciate your ability to read
the Mula’s minds, fact is we’re talking about simple compliance with additional
protocol because the concern and consequences are real.

<<You would have us believe that the UN proposal is somehow impeccable and
entirely reasonable>>

Which parts of it do you object to?

<<Your argument is completely erroneous. What you’re saying is that because
enough doubt, misinformation, propaganda and lies have been labeled at Iran,
then Iran should suffer for it.>>

Nope – you’re restating my point incorrectly.  I’m saying that behavior like
Iran’s failure to institute AP along with the continued expansion of its
enrichment capabilities and LEU production gives many countries the
impression it is seeking nukes.  No misinformation or propaganda here - just
facts.

Report this

By Marshall, October 29, 2009 at 6:02 pm Link to this comment

Part 2

<<you are arguing that Iran’s mistake is that it didn’t develop nukes in time to
avert this scruitiny al la Pakistan and India.>>

Glad you mentioned India, albeit while mangling my logic.  It’s a good example
of a country that developed nuclear weapons under cover of a civilian program,
thus pressuring neighboring Pakistan to follow suit… a perfect argument for
preventing Iran from doing same.  Or is this not obvious?

<<There is no point in Iran making a gun type bomb the size of the Little Boy
because Iran has no possible means of delivering such a massive weapon with
any chance of success.>>

Delivering to whom, the US mainland?  That’s not required to threaten US
interests and regional stability.

<<Wrong again.  HEU is a continuous, uninterrupted process.>>

HEU can be produced quickly by direct feed of LEU into centrifuges.  Look it up. 
One reason AP is so important.

<<Iranian support of these groups which have both resisted occupation by
Israel.>>

Your opinion of Hezbollah’s motivations, but nonetheless an admission of
Iranian support for a group which attacks Israel despite your earlier claim to
the contrary.

<<The nuclear weapons argument is just another canard being used by Israel
to try and put the genie back in the bottle.>>

I’m sorry – by “genie” are you referring to Iranian nukes?

Shingo – As far as I know you have no special relationship with the Iranian
regime nor insight into its intentions yet you portray it as an innocent,
beleaguered victim of Western hegemony whose only interest is peaceful
coexistence with its neighbors and its own people.  This emotion-based
defense leaves me with the presumption that your hatred for Isreal and the
West are of more importance to you than a legitimate effort to achieve non-
proliferation by holding Iran’s feet to the fire to accept AP.  You’re mired in an
ideological spin cycle and technical arguments that have little to do with the
larger issue of why Iran won’t accept AP in the interest of reaching the non-
proliferation goals of the treaty to which it is a signatory.

Report this

By Shingo, October 28, 2009 at 4:41 am Link to this comment

I gotta give you credit for determination Marshall, if not for intelligence.

What makes you believe that Iran no longer provide centrifuge research info to IAEA? There is no cover for any military program.  Arguing that it could if it chose to is ludicrous. I have explained repeatedly, even if it chose to, there would be far too many indicators that would give away their intent.

Iran has gone well out of its way to dispel any misconception about its program.  For example, it declared the existence of the Qom facility a good 18 months earlier than it was required to.  Iran is considering outsourcing enrichment, but Iran have been burned by the West for too long.  They have been denied materials that should otherwise have been made readily available to them as part of the NPT agreement. Iran have every reason to be cautious.

Iran is not scuttling anything.  You would have us believe that the UN proposal is somehow impeccable and entirely reasonable, when in fact, it has been authored by the same participants who have been insisting that Iran give up it’s rights.  Who knows what political shenanigans are at play here?

“And your earlier contention that no country has shared nuclear weapons with another is incorrect.  Several have, like USSR which shared technology and
weapons with China, and I’d guess you believe US has shared with Israel.”

Did USSR provide China with nukes?  No.

Has the US provided Israel with nukes?  Perhaps in the form of nuclear tipped bunker busters, but then again, Bush did deny the Israelis permission to attack Iran last year, so maybe not.

“Not the point.  If Iran is perceived as pursuing nukes this pressures regional neighbors to do the same regardless of its NPT status.  And current lack of AP conformance leaves enough wiggle room for perception as it is.  Pakistan/India are treated differently because they already have nukes and are allies.”

Your argument is completely erroneous. What you’re saying is that because enough doubt, misinformation, propaganda and lies have been labeled at Iran, then Iran should suffer for it. And even more absurdly, you are arguing that Iran’s mistake is that it didn’t develop nukes in time to avert this scruitiny al la Pakistan and India.

You really haven’t thought this through have you?

“Once again you’re confusing plutonium with uranium bombs.”

Not at all.  Whether plutonium or uranium, the only feasible detonation devices are implosion devices.  There is no point in Iran making a gun type bomb the size of the Little Boy because Iran has no possible means of delivering such a massive weapon with any chance of success.  That leaves missile delivery and Iran has no missile or re-entry vehicle that could possibly carry such a large payload.

“Enrichment is a continuum and LEU is simply a stage on the way to HEU, so it is indeed required.”

Wrong again.  HEU is a continuous, uninterrupted process.

“I assume you believe Iran would have declared its existence voluntarily?”

We will never know, but Iran did not violate the NPT with regard to Natanz.  Again, Natanz was an empty facility when the so called revelation of it’s existence was made to the IAEA.

“Ridiculous.  Only by THEIR definitions.  Few aggressors define themselves as such.  We’re not
litigating the Israel/Pal.”

What is ridiculous is the degree of your ignorance.  Of course few aggressors define themselves as such.  When we were supporting the Mujahadeen, we didn’t call them terrorists, we called the freedom fighters.  In fact, Ronald Reagan said that the Mujahadeen represented the same values as Americas founding fathers.

Now we call them terrorists.

Iranian support of these groups which have both resisted occupation by Israel.  Have you noticed that the only time Israel and Hezbollah fight one another is when Israel enters Lebanon?

Of course, there is the Goldstone Report that exposed Israel for committing war crimes.

Continued…

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By Shingo, October 28, 2009 at 4:38 am Link to this comment

“You seriously pose this as a justification for Iranian nukes?”

You argued that Iran is responsible for a nuclear arms race in the region, and I simply pointed ou the obvious fact that it started many years ago.

“Then Iran’s logic is sadly flawed since Israel is already chomping at the bit to do just that. Increased transparency starting with AP compliance is the most likely path to preventing this.”

Wrong again.  The nuclear weapons argument is just another canard being used by Israel to try and put the genie back in the bottle.  Israel has never been satisfied merely with being able to defend itself, but to maintain military dominance in the region.

Indeed, that was one of the arguments given for the murderous siege on Gaza, for the IDF to re-establish it’s deterrence capacity.

“Do you have a link to this?”

Here is the quote from the audio file.  It makes you re-think who the real extremists are.

“I think the Iranian reaction to the (UN)sanctions resolution has been very telling in that respect, although they’ve passed a resolution in parliament to re-evaluate their relation with the International Atomic Energy Agency, they have not rejected the sanctions resolution, they have not done anything more dramatic, such as withdrawing from the nonproliferation treaty, or throwing out inspectors of the International Atomic Energy Agency, which I actually hoped they would do – that that kind of reaction would produce a counter-reaction that actually would be more beneficial to us.”

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=385x19043

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By ardee, October 28, 2009 at 3:59 am Link to this comment

For the reasearch minded:

http://www.irantracker.org/nuclear-program/overview-irans-nuclear-program

According to IAEA sample tests, Iran’s uranium appears to be of the low-enriched (LEU), or non-weapons grade, variety with a U-235 concentration of less than five percent.[15] A narrow focus on this current lack of weapons-grade uranium (HEU), however, does not consider LEU’s broader significance to a weapons capability.  That is, the potential weapons diversion of enriched uranium remains a timely concern because obtaining an adequate stock of LEU “consumes approximately 70 percent of the work and time required to enrich it to HEU.”[16] Similarly, obtaining enough HEU takes more time than finishing the “weaponization” portion, which is “unlikely to be a significant bottleneck” on the path to a nuclear weapon.[17] 

Iran’s main enrichment facilities, the principal Fuel Enrichment Plant (FEP) and the test Pilot Fuel Enrichment Plant (PFEP), both at Natanz, form the core of the uranium enrichment program. As of November 2008, the International Atomic Energy Agency confirmed that enrichment activities, including advanced component testing and expansion of centrifuges, continued at these two facilities.[18]

The November 2008 IAEA estimates indicate Iran is operating a module with 3,000 first-generation centrifuges and building out a second module of with 3,000 additional centrifuges.[19]  According to the June 2009 International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) report, Iran’s Natanz enrichment facility now houses more than 7,000 total centrifuges – 5,000 of which actively enrich uranium.[20]  In November 2008, according to an Iranian media report, the head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization (IAEO) claimed that Iran had a plan to “install 50,000 centrifuges in the next five years.”[21] 

A weapons program does not need necessarily need enriched uranium, however: plutonium can serve as an alternative source of the fissile material necessary for a nuclear weapon. A reprocessing plant must separate plutonium from a nuclear reactor’s spent fuel to make the material usable in a weapon. The American intelligence community assesses with high confidence “that Iran will not be technically capable of producing and reprocessing enough plutonium for a weapon before 2015.”[22]

The heavy water production plant and heavy water reactor currently under construction at Iran’s Arak facility could support plutonium reprocessing activities. The ostensible purpose of the site—production of medical isotopes—is difficult to verify.  Burton Richter, a Nobel Laureate physicist and Department of Energy Nuclear Energy Advisory Committee member, notes that the facility under construction at Arak is far more complex than what is necessary for producing medical isotopes and, further, that there is relatively little demand for medical isotopes in Iran and the Middle East.[23]

The use of heavy water at Arak makes the reactor a potential source of the plutonium needed for building a nuclear weapon.  A heavy water reactor, fueled with natural uranium, uses the deuterium isotope instead of the hydrogen isotope used with light water reactors.[24]  A heavy water reactor’s deuterium is significant because of its use in a “boost gas” which produces a more efficient plutonium-fueled nuclear warhead.[25]  A light water research reactor, on the other hand, makes more sense for the type of civilian use Iran claims as being Arak’s purpose. In June 2006, Iran rebuffed an offer by the U.K., France and Germany to help it construct a light water research reactor as an alternative to the heavy water reactor.[26]

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By ardee, October 28, 2009 at 3:52 am Link to this comment

AAAHH the return of Marshall

I will never scrutinize a post by this worthy without recalling the eloquence of one poster who noted how “poisonous” are his efforts.

It is highly recommended that one read his efforts very carefully, it is difficult sometimes to trace the lies that alter the course of his tales.

Just my opinion of course, all are open to their own interpretations.

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By Marshall, October 27, 2009 at 4:46 pm Link to this comment

Reposting the previous post due to screwed up formatting…

<< A lot of “ifs” >>

Just one really - whether they decide to high enrich or not.  But since Iran
added 1000 centrifuges in two months and now claims it is readying more
advanced models that will enrich faster, and Iran no longer supplies centrifuge
research info to IAEA as it used to, there’s more riding on that “if”. Since civilian
R&D is mostly duel-use, Iran has ideal cover for its military program.  This
doesn’t prove Iran is actively developing them now, but it puts it much closer if
it decides to.  Given the widespread sensitivity to a nuclearized iran, it ought to
be going well out of its way to dispel any misconception about its program - at
the very LEAST outsourcing the enrichment.  Iran is in the process of scuttling
that opportunity by requesting deal-killer changes to the UN proposal.  Mark
my words.

And your earlier contention that no country has shared nuclear weapons with
another is incorrect.  Several have, like USSR which shared technology and
weapons with China, and I’d guess you believe US has shared with Israel.

<<Except that neither of them ever joined the NPT nor subject to
inspections.>>

Not the point.  If Iran is perceived as pursuing nukes this pressures regional
neighbors to do the same regardless of its NPT status.  And current lack of AP
conformance leaves enough wiggle room for perception as it is.  Pakistan/India
are treated differently because they already have nukes and are allies.

<<If it were simple, Pakistan would not have to import their detonators.>>

Once again you’re confusing plutonium with uranium bombs.

<<Enrichment of HEU does not require LEU to be produced first.>>

Enrichment is a continuum and LEU is simply a stage on the way to HEU, so it is
indeed required.

<<Natanz was NEVER a clandestine site>>

I assume you believe Iran would have declared its existence voluntarily?

<<Hamas/Hezbollah are resistance groups who by definition. are not
aggressors.>>

Ridiculous.  Only by THEIR definitions.  Few aggressors define themselves as
such.  We’re not litigating the Israel/Pal. conflict here suffice to say that Iranian
support of these groups which attack Israel refutes your contention that Iran
neither threatens nor attacks anyone.

<<Israel, India, and Pakistan are already providing incentive to follow suit.>>

You seriously pose this as a justification for Iranian nukes?

<<They know that pulling out is exactly what hawks in the US and Israel want
them to do as it would be the ideal pretext to bomb Iran.>>

Then Iran’s logic is sadly flawed since Israel is already chomping at the bit to
do just that.  Increased transparency starting with AP compliance is the most
likely path to preventing this.

<<Bonkers Bolton said he wished Iran would withdraw from the NPT.>>

Do you have a link to this?

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By Marshall, October 27, 2009 at 4:38 pm Link to this comment

<<A >>

Just one really - whether they decide to high enrich or not.  But since Iran
added 1000 centrifuges in two months and now claims it is readying more
advanced models that will enrich faster, and Iran no longer supplies centrifuge
research info to IAEA as it used to, there’s more riding on that “if”.

Since civilian R&D is mostly duel-use, Iran has ideal cover for its military
program.  This doesn’t prove Iran is developing them now, but it puts it much
closer if it decides to.  Given the widespread sensitivity to a nuclearized iran, it
ought to be going well out of its way to dispel any misconception about its
program - at the very LEAST outsourcing the enrichment.  Iran is in the process
of scuttling that opportunity by requesting deal-killer changes to the UN
proposal.  Mark my words.

And your earlier contention that no country has shared nuclear weapons with
another is incorrect.  Several have, like USSR which shared technology and
weapons with China, and I’d guess you believe US has shared with Israel.

<<Except that neither of them ever joined the NPT nor subject to
inspections.>>

Not the point.  If Iran is perceived as pursuing nukes this pressures regional
neighbors to do the same regardless of its NPT status.  And current lack of AP
conformance leaves enough wiggle room for perception as it is.

Pakistan/India are treated differently because they already have nukes and are
allies.

<<If it were simple, Pakistan would not have to import their detonators.>>

Once again you’re confusing plutonium with uranium bombs.

<<Enrichment of HEU does not require LEU to be produced first.>>

Enrichment is a continuum and LEU is simply a stage on the way to HEU, so it is
indeed required.

<<Natanz was NEVER a clandestine site>>

I assume you believe Iran would have declared its existence voluntarily?

<<Hamas/Hezbollah are resistance groups who by definition. are not
aggressors.>>

Ridiculous.  Only by THEIR definitions.  Few aggressors define themselves as
such.  We’re not litigating the Israel/Pal. conflict here suffice to say that Iranian
support of these groups which attack Israel refutes your contention that Iran
neither threatens nor attacks anyone.

<<Israel, India, and Pakistan are already providing incentive to follow suit.>>

You seriously pose this as a justification for Iranian nukes?

<<They know that pulling out is exactly what hawks in the US and Israel want
them to do as it would be the ideal pretext to bomb Iran.>>

Then Iran’s logic is sadly flawed since Israel is already chomping at the bit to do
just that.  Increased transparency starting with AP compliance is the most likely
path to preventing this.

<<Bonkers Bolton said he wished Iran would withdraw from the NPT.>>

Do you have a link to this?

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By ardee, July 30, 2009 at 5:10 am Link to this comment

I apllaud the patience, diligence, accuracy and zeal of Shingo. I also understand that he speaks, not to his neocon opponent in this debate, but to the rest of us in search of truth.

Thank you Shingo.

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By Shingo, July 30, 2009 at 3:10 am Link to this comment

Marshall,
>> And they’re adding centrifuges all the time so time to additional bombs shrinks if they decided to enrich - and that’s assuming no undisclosed sites.<<
A lot of “ifs”.  The additional centrifuges are no secret and will become part of the existing cascade the IAEA have under surveillance.  Switching to high enrichment is not a simple matter of flicking a switch. It requires reconfiguring the cascades.
>> Why do you keep assuming Iran would produce one then stop? <<
Because that’s all they would theoretically have enough for by the end of the year.  That is of course, IF they withdrew from the IAEA AND kicked out the inspectors AND reconfigure the cascades. Do you think the US and Israel will sit on their hands and do nothing?
>> Glad you mentioned them; a perfect example of proliferation resulting from an arms race which simply makes my point, and finds you once again justifying a nuclearized Iran.
Except that neither of them ever joined the NPT nor subject to inspections.  The US rewarded both of them for their clandestine activities.  John Bolton argued that the India’s nukes were legitimate BECAUSE it was developed them outside of the NPT.
How’s that for double standards?
>> Detonator for gun type uranium bomb is rather simple.  The bomb itself is higher tech.  Do some research.<<
If it were simple, Pakistan would not have to import their detonators. The machining of the cores is another major technical hurdle.  There are only a handful of people left in the US who know much about machining.
>> Untrue. Centrifuge enrichment is an iterative process (hence the cascades) whereby LEU is repeatedly run through the extraction process to obtain tiny amounts of HEU until enough HEU is extracted.  HEU starts as LEU.<<
Rubbish. Centrifuge cascades are configured differently for the two outcomes.  Enrichment of HEU does not require LEU to be produced first.
>> That’s pretty much the definition of an undeclared site isn’t it?  Natanz itself was a clandestine, undeclared site until intelligence discovered it.  Same with Arak.<<
Natanz was NEVER a clandestine site because it conformed to the IAEA specifications of declaring a site or facility when fissile material in introduced.  When Natanz was “discovered”, it was a hole in the ground.  The IAEA were put out that they weren’t told about it ahead of time, but Iran were not required to.  Same thing with Arak.
>> Yet you admitted they support Hamas/Hezbollah so you contradict yourself even as you excuse their support on moral grounds.<<
Hamas/Hezbollah are resistance groups who by definition. are not aggressors.
Hezbollah leave Israel alone when Israel stays on it’s side pf the border.  Hamas will leave Israel alone when Israel pulls out of the occupied territories and stops strangling Gaza.
>>...And to the growing list of nuclear countries you seem all to happy to add Iran and the others that will feel compelled to follow suit. <<
Israel, India, and Pakistan are already providing incentive to follow suit.
22 Arab States have signed a peace initiative to recognize Israel and normalize relations.  Israel has rejected it, so if the is ongoing enmity, they’re the ones to blame.

The NPT is only sustainable so long as it remains credible.  The greatest threat to the NPT is the nauseating double standards being applied by the West. 
I came across this cartoon the other day that is priceless:
http://desertpeace.files.wordpress.com/2009/07/israel-nuclear1.jpg?w=477&h=341
I am amazed that Iran is still in the NPT.  Since day 1, it has been required to incur all the liabilities while being denied any of the benefits. 
The fact that Iran has stuck with the NPT shows how sensitive they are to the cost benefit of the whole nuke path.  They know that pulling out is exactly what hawks in the US and Israel want them to do as it would be the ideal pretext to bomb Iran. Bonkers Bolton said he wished Iran would withdraw from the NPT. .

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By Marshall, July 30, 2009 at 12:45 am Link to this comment

<<It has taken 3 years for Iran to accumulate breakout capability ie. Enough LEU to make one bomb if they decided to enrich to HEU.>>

And they’re adding centrifuges all the time so time to additional bombs shrinks if they decided to enrich - and that’s assuming no undisclosed sites.

<<No bomb has ever been sold or shared and no country would ever sell or share it’s only nuclear device.>>

Why do you keep assuming Iran would produce one then stop?  And why are we arguing proliferation, which I thought you were against?  You try to have it both ways; defending the concept of non-proliferation, but making excuses for Iran should it decide to nuclearize.  Odd logic to me.

<<Neither Pakistan, India, nor even Israel control any region, and they all have multiple bombs.>>

Glad you mentioned them; a perfect example of proliferation resulting from an arms race which simply makes my point, and finds you once again justifying a nuclearized Iran.

<<They would still need a detonation device, which itself is a technology that Iran have not acquired.>>

Detonator for gun type uranium bomb is rather simple.  The bomb itself is higher tech.  Do some research.

<<There is no requirement for LEU to be produced first.  In fact, centrifuge cascades are either configured for one or the other.>>

Untrue. Centrifuge enrichment is an iterative process (hence the cascades) whereby LEU is repeatedly run through the extraction process to obtain tiny amounts of HEU until enough HEU is extracted.  HEU starts as LEU.

<<Which the IAEA has no evidence exists either. [undeclared sites]>>

That’s pretty much the definition of an undeclared site isn’t it?  Natanz itself was a clandestine, undeclared site until intelligence discovered it.  Same with Arak.

<<Iran has not attacked or threatened anyone.>>

Yet you admitted they support Hamas/Hezbollah so you contradict yourself even as you excuse their support on moral grounds.

<<The international community has been only too happy to trust India and Pakistan because of political expediency.>>

...And to the growing list of nuclear countries you seem all to happy to add Iran and the others that will feel compelled to follow suit.  A dangerous wager I suspect is born more of a hatred of Israel than a love of Iran.

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By Shingo, July 11, 2009 at 7:08 pm Link to this comment

Marshall,

>> Nope – specifically said there are clandestine projects, but NO PROOF they’re actually working towards a nuclear bomb. 

Wrong,  the ’05 NIE claimed that Iran was aggressively pursuing a bomb.

>> ’07 NIE, a “reexamination of the issues in the May 2005 assessment” goes further and claims these programs ARE in service of a nuke program. 

Rubbish.  The ’07 NIE said there was no evidence of the program the ’05 said existed, a complete contradiction.

>> There will always be consequences to a bomb not working which is why you’d make several.

That required several time the inventory that Iran have.  It has taken 3 years for Iran to accumulate breakout capability ie. Enough LEU to make one bomb if they decided to enrich to HEU. 

>> And nukes can be delivered in numerous other ways, through other groups, as extortion devices, sold, shared <<

Ridiculous argument.  No bomb has ever been sold or shared and no country would ever sell or share it’s only nuclear device.

Declaring ones self a nuclear power without a nuclear device is a contradiction.  It’s akin to a tyrant declaring his state a democracy.  Your logic is backward. 

One bomb does not enable any state to control any region.  Neither Pakistan, India, nor even Israel control any region, and they all have multiple bombs.  You are not thinking clearly at all.

>> You just acknowledged that no testing was needed for U.S. uranium bomb

They would still need a detonation device, which itself is a technology that Iran have not acquired.  Even AQ Kahn acquired their detonators from the US.

>> No one’s claiming they’ve gotten to that
enrichment level yet – the whole point is to prevent that scenario. 

As we have discussed, that scenario requires that Iran withdraw from the NPT and remove the inspectors.
>> Low enrichment is a necessary prerequisite to high enrichment (i.e. you need an abundance of low enriched uranium to produce weapons grade uranium).
Rubbish.  There is no requirement for LEU to be produced first.  In fact, centrifuge cascades are either configured for one or the other.
>> You left out that the agency “has not been able to verify that Iran has not diverted undeclared nuclear materials”.
That’s because the agency has no evidence that undeclared nuclear materials exist.
>> And NIE judges Iran would likely carry out weapons development at undeclared sites.
Which the IAEA has no evidence exists either.
>> Who’s denying Iran’s right to nuclear power?  And there is no “inalienable” right to nuclear anything.

Even heard of the NPT, which specifically declares that all signatories have the “inalienable” right to nuclear power, including enrichment.  The only reason Iran is being judged a risk and a security, is based on political pressure. Iran has not attacked or threatened anyone.

>> There is no question that Iran funds Hezbollah and Hamas, so I’m not sure why you’d wanna deny this. 

So what?  Hezbollah and Hamas are resistance organizations, (who resist Israel occupation as is their right) who we arbitrarily describe as terrorist organizations because we have no influence over them.  We happen to support terrorist groups like the MEK (listed by the State Department as a terrorist organization) and the Ql Qaeda affiliated , jihadists Jundullah ( Kaleid Sheik Mohammed’s old gang) as they set off bombs in Tehran, so arguing who supports terrorists is completely lame.

>> Debunks nothing.  How do you know what Iran sees as benefit?

Ask the 16 US intelligence agencies who made that conclusion.

>>  The international community will only trust an Iran willing to do what’s requested on transparency, which Iran has failed to do.

Rubbish.  The international community has been only too happy to trust India and Pakistan because of political expediency.

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By Marshall, July 11, 2009 at 5:26 pm Link to this comment

By Shingo, June 30 at 8:57 pm #

<<’05 NIE claimed that Iran was aggressively pursuing a bomb.>>

Nope – specifically said there are clandestine projects, but NO PROOF they’re actually working towards a nuclear bomb.  ’07 NIE, a “reexamination of the issues in the May 2005 assessment” goes further and claims these programs ARE in service of a nuke program.  No contradiction.

<<True, but those circumstances were different…. there are major consequences to a bomb not working f they were to use it. >>

There will always be consequences to a bomb not working which is why you’d make several.  And nukes can be delivered in numerous other ways, through other groups, as extortion devices, sold, shared….  The bottom line is that if Iran declares itself a nuclear power (using whatever technology), it will be immune from interference in continuing and perfecting its bomb tech going forward.  Something I suspect you support.

And Iran need only HAVE a bomb to control the region, which is likely a huge part of the benefit that may outweight the cost.

<<Furthermore, if testing was not critical to weapons development, then Israel would not have needed to carry out their own tests in South Africa.>>

You just acknowledged that no testing was needed for U.S. uranium bomb, so it doesn’t make sense for you to try and justify why testing is required in the next sentence.

<<Iran were not even able to reliably enrich to 3% until 2006, so your claim is completely false.>>

No one’s claiming they’ve gotten to that enrichment level yet – the whole point is to prevent that scenario.  Low enrichment is a necessary prerequisite to high enrichment (i.e. you need an abundance of low enriched uranium to produce weapons grade uranium).

<<“The Agency has been able to continue to verify the non-diversion of declared nuclear material in Iran.”>>

You left out that the agency “has not been able to verify that Iran has not diverted undeclared nuclear materials”.  Diversion of declared nuclear material is only one avenue of development, and its absence does not guarantee no nuclear program.  And NIE judges Iran would likely carry out weapons development at undeclared sites.

<<End of story.>>

Implement additional protocol and I’d mostly agree with you.

<<the fact that we have denied Iran’s inalienable right to nuclear …>>

Who’s denying Iran’s right to nuclear power?  And there is no “inalienable” right to nuclear anything.  If the world judges you enough of a risk, you will be stopped – because countries have an equal “inalienable” right to guarantee their security.

<<Russia is motivated by it’s own self interest.  If the US offers a large enough carrot, then why would Russia no accept it?>>

Great – What do you propose?

<<Rubbish.  Israel is the very reason Hezbollah and Hamas even exist. They are both resistance groups fighting for their own cause.  Neither are Iranian proxies.  More right wing propaganda.>>

There is no question that Iran funds Hezbollah and Hamas, so I’m not sure why you’d wanna deny this.  Not gonna dive into the Israel vs. Palestinian blame-game argument with you.  These armies do attack Israel which was my point.  You may support those attacks, but the fact is they happen.

<<The critical conclusion of the 2007 NIE was that: “Tehran’s decisions are guided by a cost-benefit approach…”  This certainly debunks your suggestion that Iran can’t wait to roll out nukes and pass them on to it’s so called “proxies”.>>

Debunks nothing.  How do you know what Iran sees as benefit?  And however Iran intends to use them, the same NIE you cite also confirms the past existence of a clandestine nuclear program which casts legitimate suspicion on Iran’s future intent.  The international community will only trust an Iran willing to do what’s requested on transparency, which Iran has failed to do.

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By Shingo, June 30, 2009 at 6:09 pm Link to this comment

One more thing Marshall,

The critical conclusion of the 2007 NIE was that:

“Tehran’s decisions are guided by a cost-benefit approach rather than a rush to a weapon irrespective of the political, economic, and military costs.”

This certainly debunks your suggestion that Iran can’t wait to roll out nukes and pass them on to it’s so called “proxies”.

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By Shingo, June 30, 2009 at 5:57 pm Link to this comment

Marshall,

>> No – ’05 NIE did not claim a program.

The ’05 NIE claimed that Iran was aggressively pursuing a bomb.  The 2007 NIE directly contradicted findings from 2005.

>> The Trinity test had nothing to do with the Little Boy uranium gun-type bomb.

True, but those circumstances were different.  No other nation in the world with nuclear capability, so there was no consequences to a uranium bomb malfunctioning.  In Iran’s case, even if you believe the absurd rhetoric that the Mullah’s collectively have a death wish, there are major consequences to a bomb not working f they were to use it. 

Furthermore, if testing was not critical to weapons development, then Israel would not have needed to carry out their own tests in South Africa.

>> Not related to my point that Iran’s two decades of R&D through 2003 were enough to develop the technology to the point that virtually all that was left was the addition of machined u-235 itself.<<

There is no evidence of that, in fact, the evidence suggests the contrary.  Machining of enriched U-235 can only take place once a critical mass of U235 has been enriched (ie. 90% +).  Iran were not even able to reliably enrich to 3% until 2006, so your claim is completely false.

So the question this begs is what nuclear technology did Iran achieve over 2 decades?  What re-entry vehicles have been tested?  Long range missiles have only appeared to have become viable in the last 2 years, none of which have been deemed capable of carrying a nuclear warhead.

>> From Feb. 09 IAEA report:

Mohamed ElBaradei,  has just reported to the IAEA Board of Governors for the umpteenth time that;

“The Agency has been able to continue to verify the non-diversion of declared nuclear material in Iran.”

Furthermore;

“The Agency has finalized its assessment of the results of the physical inventory verification (PIV) carried out at Fuel Enrichment Plant (FEP) on 24–26 November 2008, and has concluded that the physical inventory as declared by Iran was consistent with the results of the PIV.”

Finally;

“The (PIV) results also showed that the enrichment level of this low enriched UF6 product verified by the Agency was 3.49% U-235.”

So, that’s that. ElBaradei has just verified for the umpteenth time that Iran continues to be in complete compliance with its NPT-obligations.

End of story.

>> Saddam had a nuke program through the early 90s <<

Saddam’s nuclear program was retired after Desert Storm in 1991.

>> You think Iran has been sufficiently transparent, but the many including IAEA differ.<<

The board of the IAEA, which is a political entity does, but as ElBaradei tells us, the findings of IAEA inspectors do not differ,

>> NPT’s primary goal is non-proliferation; preventing non-nuclear nations from going nuclear, so that’s where the focus is.<<

Rubbish.  The NPT is inconsequential because it relies entirely on voluntary membership.  Like I said, the fact that we have denied Iran’s inalienable right to nuclear power while demanding that they incur all the liabilities is an advertisement for rejecting the NPT.

>> I think you credit the U.S. with too much influence over Russia’s policies.<<

Russia is motivated by it’s own self interest.  If the US offers a large enough carrot, then why would Russia no accept it?

>> They attack Israel regularly through their proxy armies, Hamas and Hezbollah.

Rubbish.  Israel is the very reason Hezbollah and Hamas even exist. They are both resistance groups fighting for their own cause.  Neither are Iranian proxies.  More right wing propaganda.

There would be no Hezbollah ( a nationalist resistance group) had Israel not invaded and occupied Southern Lebanon for 18 years.  Hezbollah leave Israel alone so long as Israel stay on the Israeli side of the border.
Hamas are a Palestinian resistance group, who are opposed to Israel’s occupation.  Under international law, occupied populations have every right to resist occupation.

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By Marshall, June 30, 2009 at 4:47 pm Link to this comment

By Shingo, June 29 at 7:43 am #

<<The NIE claims that the 2003 program is based in new evidence, whereas the 2005 one claimed a program still existed.  They contradict one another.>>

No – ’05 NIE did not claim a program.  It only claimed intent (a judgement you say isn’t possible, but you’re overruled by the NIE), whereas ’07 NIE confirmed an actual military program through ’03.  Since intent is a requirement of an actual program, but not visa-versa, there’s no contradiction.  And even if there had been, what difference would it make?  The last NIE represents the most current consensus of our intelligence community.  fyi: There’s also a new NIE underway so we’ll see what it says.

<<Intent can mean anything, including second guessing the use of dual use technology>>

Yes it could – which is why the “highest confidence” rating is important.  Document is also clear that it does not start out with the assumption that Iran is pursuing nukes.

<<The trinity test took place before the Little Boy was detonated.>>

For someone who accuses others of “not knowing very much about this stuff”, you sure don’t know much about this stuff.  The Trinity test had nothing to do with the Little Boy uranium gun-type bomb.  Trinity tested a Plutonium implosion device later used on Nagasaki as Fat Man.  Little boy was never tested – we didn’t even have enough u-235 to test it anyway.  Two entirely different types of bombs.
<<The IAEA have investigated the case and did not regard the inadvertent inclusion of some documents to constitute “help”.>>

Not related to my point that Iran’s two decades of R&D through 2003 were enough to develop the technology to the point that virtually all that was left was the addition of machined u-235 itself.

<<The unverifiable aspects of Iran’s nuclear program are not key to a nuclear weapons program.>>

From Feb. 09 IAEA report: “as a result of the continued lack of cooperation by Iran in connection with the remaining issues which give rise to concerns about possible military dimensions of Iran’s nuclear programme, the Agency has not made any substantive progress on these issues”

<<Saddam pretended to have WMD, but that did not make it true.>>

Saddam had a nuke program through the early 90s (similar to Iran through 2003), then pretended to have one until he was removed from power.  The lesson here should be clear: If a country is committed to non-proliferation, it should be completely transparent in its effort to demonstrate that no such WMD programs exist including stopping enrichment to establish proper monitoring regime.  You think Iran has been sufficiently transparent, but the many including IAEA differ.

<< punishing Iran, while other states like India, Pakistan and Israel are rewarded is nauseating hypocrisy.>>

NPT’s primary goal is non-proliferation; preventing non-nuclear nations from going nuclear, so that’s where the focus is.  The nations you mention already went nuclear long ago and there’s little immediate likelihood of changing that.  NK (which you don’t mention), is still a candidate for de-nuclearization, hence our attention, though there’s been little progress in achieving that.  Therefore the real, time critical focus is on preventing Iran.

<<The Russian option might be a consideration, except for the fact that Iran’s agreements are readily broken with enough political pressure from Washington.>>

I think you credit the U.S. with too much influence over Russia’s policies. 

<<they have never attacked or invaded another country.>>

They attack Israel regularly through their proxy armies, Hamas and Hezbollah.

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By Shingo, June 29, 2009 at 4:43 am Link to this comment

Marshall,

>> 2008 NIE claims it refined its conclusion based on additional evidence.<<

The NIE claims that the 2003 program is based in new evidence, whereas the 2005 one claimed a program still existed.  They contradict one another.

>> One definition we can be sure both NIEs meant is the intent to create a weapon.  <<

Intent can mean anything, including second guessing the use of dual use technology,  ie.  aluminum tubes in Iraq.  Intent could mean heresay from defectors with names like “curveball” or half truth like citing Kamal Hussein’s testimony that he saw Iraq’s WMD’s, while deliberately omitting that he also overseen their destruction.

>> The only testing that preceded the detonation of the “Little Boy” <<

The trinity test took place before the Little Boy was detonated.

>>  I consider sourcing hardware, along with receiving instructions (for things like machining the cores) to be “help”. <<

What you consider is irrelevance. The IAEA have investigated the case and did not regard the inadvertent inclusion of some documents to constitute “help”.  The documents were sent to Iran by accident.  Pakistan verified that the documents were mistakenly included and that was the end of it.

>> Cool, but we’re discussing Iran’s intent.<<

True and the beat up on Iran is one of the many lies and propaganda stunts.

>>  even a test would be proof they’ve gone nuclear so it really doesn’t matter. <<

Perhaps in your mind it doesn’t, because your psychotic obsession with Iran has led you to believe that Iran is already a nuclear power.

>> As a matter of fact, Iran simply SAYING they’ve got the bomb (given the unverifiable aspects of their nuke program) .<<

Completely incoherent and is not factual at all.  The unverifiable aspects of Iran’s nuclear program are not key to a nuclear weapons program. 

Saddam pretended to have WMD, but that did not make it true.

>> …ergo Iran should be allowed to develop nukes.  So who needs a forged NIE if you’re good with a nuclear Iran anyway? <<

Iran should be allowed it’s rights as per the NPT, but punishing Iran, while other states like India, Pakistan and Israel are rewarded is nauseating hypocrisy. 

>> They’ve been given options, like Russia doing the enrichment since they’re already getting other help from them.  I have little sympathy for poor mistreated, soon to be nuclear Iran.<<

There is no evidence what Iran will to be nuclear, but your position is purely ideological.
The Russian option might be a consideration, except for the fact that Iran’s agreements are readily broken with enough political pressure from Washington.  Today, the Russian leadership might be happy to uphold such agreements, but tomorrow, who knows?  Iran were supposed to be receiving Russia anti aircraft missiles, but those never arrived, no doubt due to strong arming from Washington.

The Bushier Reactor should have been finished years ago due to countless delays, most of which have been the result of political pressure.

Iran were in discussions with Switzerland over such an arrangement, but that went nowhere. 
There’s no need for a solution because there is no problem.  It is entirely manufactured.  Policy towards Iran should be consistent with policies towards all nuclear states, beginning with those that HAVE developed nuclear weapons.  Iran has no nukes and no nuclear program.  It’s that simple.

I’m not concerned about a nuclear Iran for a number or reason, namely, they have no nukes and they have never attacked or invaded another country.  If you want the NPT to remain viable, then we have to stop rewarding those that refuse to enter into the agreement and punishing those that do.

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By Marshall, June 29, 2009 at 2:47 am Link to this comment

By Shingo, June 27 at 10:02 am #
<<The 20078 NIE contradicts the 2005 NIE.>>

2008 NIE claims it refined its conclusion based on additional evidence.  If there’s contradiction in that, you’ve failed to show it.

<<the definition of what constitutes an R&D programme can mean anything without further deatails.>>

One definition we can be sure both NIEs meant is the intent to create a weapon. But since you dismiss both NIEs as frauds, why do you even need to call into question the definition of “program”?

<<Rubbish.  You are just guessing.  The Hiroshima bomb WAS tested during the Manhattan Project.>>

The only testing that preceded the detonation of the “Little Boy” uranium bomb used on Hiroshma was in the lab, and it was simply to confirm the underlying assumptions (which would no longer even be required).  They were certain the gun-type design would work, but also had only enough u-235 for one device anyway so it was a moot point.  And it obviously did work.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manhattan_project#Uranium_bomb

<<Iran received NO help from AQ Kahn.  They sources second hand hardware but no help.  NONE.>>

I consider sourcing hardware, along with receiving instructions (for things like machining the cores) to be “help”.  Call it what you want – it expedited the R&D whether “accidentally” or not.

<<BTW.  The exposure of AQ Kahn is another lie about the benefits of the Iraq war>>

Cool, but we’re discussing Iran’s intent.

>> What would constitute a smoking gun?  The bomb itself?  <<<<HEU?A detonation test.?Withdrawl from the NPT and removal of IAEA inspectors.>>

As we’ve seen, no need for a detonation test of a uranium bomb… but even a test would be proof they’ve gone nuclear so it really doesn’t matter.  As a matter of fact, Iran simply SAYING they’ve got the bomb (given the unverifiable aspects of their nuke program) would quite possibly be enough to give them nuclear credibility.  But then it sounds like you’d support that.

<<The BIW was leaked by CIA operatives who wanted to make this information known to the public because Cheney wanted to bury it.>>

I suspect another one of your unverifiable claims made by some ex-CIA guy turned book author.  I can’t very well disprove someone’s unproven statement, so we’ll have to leave it at that.

<<I am not OK with anyone having a nuke, but Israel, Pakistan and India have been allowed to develop them without signing the NPT, and continue to be rewarded for doing so.>>

…ergo Iran should be allowed to develop nukes.  So who needs a forged NIE if you’re good with a nuclear Iran anyway?

<<you cannot insist that Iran incur all the obligations under the NPT while forgoing all the benefits.>>

They’ve been given options, like Russia doing the enrichment since they’re already getting other help from them.  I have little sympathy for poor mistreated, soon to be nuclear Iran.

But I still haven’t heard you propose a solution to this problem.  What specifically should Obama’s and UN’s policy be towards Iran going forward?  What exactly should we provide Iran to come into full compliance so the world can rest easy?  Or since you aren’t concerned about a nuclear Iran, should we forego Iranian participation in NPT altogether?

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By Shingo, June 27, 2009 at 7:02 am Link to this comment

Marshall,

The logic is simple.  The 20078 NIE contradicts the 2005 NIE.  And BTW,  and as we have seen in the Duelfer Report, the definition of what constitutes an R&D programme can mean anything without further deatails.

>> Intent can be devined, for example, from intercepts of directives, conversations, documents, defectors, etc…  <<

Intercepted conversations were used in the case against Iraq and were deliberately cheery picked to fit a pre determined conclusion. 

>> Correct…. It’s the most difficult aspect, but can be the last thing supplied once you’ve acquired and assembled the other necessary parts in advance. <<

Rubbish.  You are just guessing.  The Hiroshima bomb WAS tested during the Manhattan Project. Iran received NO help from AQ Kahn.  They sources second hand hardware but no help.  NONE.

BTW.  The exposure of AQ Kahn is another lie about the benefits of the Iraq war, because the CIA have known about AQ Kahn for decades earlier. You clearly know nothing about this stuff.  There was no knowledge shared on how to machine bomb core spheres.  The IAEA concluded that paperwork relating to the hemispheres was accidentally included in paperwork forwarded to Iran by Pakistan.

Get your facts straight before citing cases you have no knowledge of.

>> What would constitute a smoking gun?  The bomb itself?  <<

HEU
A detonation test.
Withdrawl from the NPT and removal of IAEA inspectors.

Like I said,  intercepts of conversations have been shown to be easily manipulated.

>> Not true - declassified NIE summary was released at request of Congress. <<

Wrong.  The BIW was leaked by CIA operatives who wanted to make this information known to the public because Cheney wanted to bury it.

>> Does this mean you’re okay with Iran getting the bomb?  If not, what do you recommend Obama and UN do next?<<

I am not OK with anyone having a nuke, but Israel, Pakistan and India have been allowed to develop them without signing the NPT, and continue to be rewarded for doing so.

The question is, do you want the NPT to continue as viable.  If so, then you cannot insist that Iran incur all the obligations under the NPT while forgoing all the benefits.

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By Marshall, June 26, 2009 at 11:46 pm Link to this comment

By Shingo, June 26 at 5:39 am #

<<07 NIE disproves the 2005 NIE’s “high confidence that Iran currently is determined to develop nuclear weapons”, because all activity attributable to nuclear weapons development ended in 2003.>>

Doesn’t logically follow - again read the ‘07 NIE comparison table on page 9.  ‘05 conclusion claimed intent, whereas ‘07 conclusion goes further in claiming actual R&D program, later halted.  Both can be true.

<<In fact, arguing what someone wants is pretty futile, seeing as we don’t have the technology to read minds.>>

Intent can be devined, for example, from intercepts of directives, conversations, documents, defectors, etc…  And this conclusion was given highest confidence with agreement from all 16 agencies.

<<it ultimately comes down to the fissile component.>>

Correct…. It’s the most difficult aspect, but can be the last thing supplied once you’ve acquired and assembled the other necessary parts in advance.  For example, the U.S. Hiroshima bomb was never tested operationally before detonation because scientists were so sure of their design.  We know Iran received help from AQ Kahn nuclear network as early as ‘85 including how to machine bomb core spheres.  The almost 2 decades they worked in secret were enough time to acquire/develop everything but the u-235.

<<If the NIE has smoking gun evidence, it would have been leaked.>>

What would constitute a smoking gun?  The bomb itself?  There was enough evidence for their highest confidence rating.  And some evidence was leaked; e.g. Iranian communications intercepts referring to the nuclear weapons program.  NIE claims over 1000 pieces of evidence used to support the conclusion of a past program.

<<After all, the very reason we know of the 2007 NIE is because it was leaked by CIA sources.>>

Not true - declassified NIE summary was released at request of Congress.


All the technical and NIE issues aside, I’m interested in understanding your thinking on the issue of whether Iran should have the bomb.  I’m trying to reconcile these statements of yours:

- Iran’s intentions are Iran’s business.
- I do not assume Iran’s pristine intentions
- U.S. should do nothing if Iran were to develop nukes.
- Even if they want a nuke, they are 5-10 years away from achieving one.

Does this mean you’re okay with Iran getting the bomb?  If not, what do you recommend Obama and UN do next?

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By Shingo, June 26, 2009 at 5:23 am Link to this comment

ITW,

>> I actually LIKE Shingo a lot—we don’t have much common ground but we do have some—and mutual respect.<<

You’re wrong ITW.  Haha.

I actualy think we have quite a deal on the ground.  Our only discrepancy has been issues regarding Israel, and having listened to your vision of Israel, I find it compelling.

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By Inherit The Wind, June 26, 2009 at 4:52 am Link to this comment

Marshall, June 26 at 2:16 am #

By Inherit The Wind, June 25 at 9:59 pm #

Thanks Inherit - glad I can reach through the oxygen tent and deflect some of the hard knocks you’ve been taking from those faux progressives.  Don’t get me wrong, i’ll do my best to continue the deluded dogmatic neo-con schtick by substantiating cogent arguments and refraining from ad hominem in an effort to help you demean “TC”.  I have posted on “TD” for some time so I’m familiar with their dastardly tactics… so pull that lower lip back in and let’s go get ‘em!!

************************************************

Great!  And then we can rip each others arguments apart because I don’t agree with much of what you say…but as I said, we NEED a true variety of positions here.

BTW, you’ve taken on Shingo, who, by dint of his brains and flexibility I do NOT consider part of “The Contingent”.  Consequently, he is one of the most serious and effective proponent of the views he shares with “TC” because he’s not a dogmatic deny-reality-type-troll.  He’s far brighter than most of them.

I actually LIKE Shingo a lot—we don’t have much common ground but we do have some—and mutual respect.

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By Shingo, June 26, 2009 at 2:39 am Link to this comment

Marshall, June 26 at 5:08 am

No Cheney meddling does not boil down to the sources, but to the fact that he was obsessively hands on throughout the Bush administration.

There’s no question that this NIE is claiming solid evidence of a past covert Iranian nuke program.

Also, the 07 NIE disproves the 2005 NIE’s “high confidence that Iran currently is determined to develop nuclear weapons”, because all activity attributable to nuclear weapons development ended in 2003.  In fact, arguing what someone wants is pretty futile, seeing as we don’t have the technology to read minds.

The 2005 conclusion is clearly flawed.  Why would I not refute it? 

Yes, a lot of technology goes into a nuclear weapons development program, but it ultimately comes don to the fissile component.  Delivery systems and re-entry vehicles are not single-use technology.  If the NIE has smoking gun evidence, it would have been leaked.  After all, the very reason we know of the 2007 NIE is because it was leaked by CIA sources.

>> I’m really confused here – no evidence of what? <<

Of a nuclear weapons program.

>> What would you have us do if we were to discover incontrovertible evidence of an Iranian nuclear weapons program?<<

Nothing.  Israel celebrates it attack on the Osirak reactor as a great coup, but as it turns out, all they did was destroy a civilian reactor, which had no weapons application, and drove Saddam’s program underground, and probably incited his to pursue nukes as a deterrent to further attacks.

You made a flawed comment a while back that Iran could surprise everyone by one day rolling out it’s nukes.  As I pointed out to you, there are many steps that Iran need to achieve before getting even close to a nuclear weapon:

1.The would have to withdraw from the NPT
2.Remove the inspectors
3.Reconfigure their centrifuge cascades to achieve the 90% required.  It took them years to achieve 3% and moving to 90% is not a simple case of flicking a switch.  It gets increasingly more difficult the closer you get to 90%.
4.They would have to conduct a test, which would pretty much use everything they have enriched to date.
5.They would have to perfect the machining of the core
6.They would have to produce an effective detonation system.  Even Pakistan have to illicitly import their detonators.

Even if they want a nuke, they are 5-10 years away from achieving one.

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By Marshall, June 26, 2009 at 2:08 am Link to this comment

By Shingo, June 25 at 10:36 pm #

Obviously the “Cheney meddling” issue boils down to a battle of the sources.  You’ve cited your guys (who can be neither corroborated nor refuted), and I’ve cited mine, as well as the NIE itself which you dispute.  I can’t prove the NIE anymore than you can disprove it – it’s still classified anyway.

While you can certainly accuse Cheney of altering its conclusions, there are still several things you’ve said which I have to dispute.

<<Given that the 2007 NIE could only state with “high confidence” that Iran had a nukes program, then it clearly had NOT been established in the 2004 NIE>>

“high confidence” is as high as an NIE gets.  They never claim to “prove” anything – but do ascribe a level of confidence which reflects the quality of the evidence and level of agreement among the various intelligence agencies.  There’s no question that this NIE is claiming solid evidence of a past covert Iranian nuke program.

Further, page 9 of the ’07 NIE compares its assessments to those of its previous, 2005 IC estimate which claimed “high confidence that Iran currently is determined to develop nuclear weapons”.  Unless you’re also disputing this 2005 conclusion, it too would refute the Mullah’s supposed philosophical opposition to nuclear weapons – whether or not they had an active program.  I think you’d also need to show that political pressure was responsible for that assessment and I know of no such claims about the 2005 estimate.

<<Iran could not possibly have had such a program in 2003 when they only mastered low level enrichment in 2006>>

Enrichment is one component of what you need to finally PRODUCE a bomb, but it’s only one part of a nuclear weapons DEVELOPMENT program.  Much preliminary, single-use R&D goes into developing nuclear weapons technology - obviously the NIE has evidence of that since it specifically excludes civilian enrichment from its definition (pg. 6 footnote).

<<The conclusion stated that there was NO evidence. NONE.>>

I’m really confused here – no evidence of what?  Would you please cite a page number or reference a quote?

<<Iran’s intentions are Iran’s business and no one else’s.>>

Which perhaps gets to the heart of this discussion and prompts this question: What would you have us do if we were to discover incontrovertible evidence of an Iranian nuclear weapons program?

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By Marshall, June 25, 2009 at 11:16 pm Link to this comment

By Inherit The Wind, June 25 at 9:59 pm #

Thanks Inherit - glad I can reach through the oxygen tent and deflect some of the hard knocks you’ve been taking from those faux progressives.  Don’t get me wrong, i’ll do my best to continue the deluded dogmatic neo-con schtick by substantiating cogent arguments and refraining from ad hominem in an effort to help you demean “TC”.  I have posted on “TD” for some time so I’m familiar with their dastardly tactics… so pull that lower lip back in and let’s go get ‘em!!

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By Shingo, June 25, 2009 at 10:34 pm Link to this comment

niloroth,

>> Oh, so you agree with that?

No, but I do believe people, or societies, in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.

>>Again, you have no idea what my background is, all we can judge each other on is this event.  You come down on the side of a repressive theocracy that is choking democracy and killing it’s own people.<< 

I am a believer in leaving our noses out of the affairs of other countries, especially when both sides of the conflict are telling us they don’t want our help or intervention.

Look niloroth, if I’ve misread your intentions, then I apologise.  I want to see democracy in Iran as much as anyone, and I would love to see the theocracy toppled, but after the so called revolutions in the Urkaine, Georgia, and the fact that the Western Media has piled on this like a pack of forwards, I still think the smoke needs to clear.

And let’s face it, while the election results are indeed full of holes, there has been a lot of weird stuff going on.  The BBC only reticently implemented a Farsi version of the news program (how convenient) and all the so called eye witnesses as the upper Middle Class English speaking variety, so we are probabyl only getting one side of the story.

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By niloroth, June 25, 2009 at 10:15 pm Link to this comment

By Shingo, June 25 at 4:18 am #

Apparently.

The American Civil Liberties Union reported June 10 that “Anti-terrorism training materials currently being used by the Department of Defense (DoD) teach its personnel that free expression in the form of public protests should be regarded as ‘low level terrorism’.”

Oh, so you agree with that?  Wow.  Well, you called me a terrorist, so i guess you do.  As i mentioned before, i believe in the right of people to protest, and vote.  I guess you don’t.  You sure you don’t want to be on some fascist website?

Like I keep saying, and you keep avoiding, unless you were this vocal about people are dying for their rights and freedom in Palestine or Egypt, then you have no moral authority to be lecturing to others about anyone else’s inaction.

Again, you have no idea what my background is, all we can judge each other on is this event.  You come down on the side of a repressive theocracy that is choking democracy and killing it’s own people.  I think that that is the wrong side to take.  Again, i wonder how you pass a mirror without throwing up.

For all I know, you could have a sterling track record of activism, but I suspect that you are another Islamophobe jumping on this bandwagon because it feeds some desire to throw rocks at Iran.  I imagine others on this forum suspect the same, which is why no one is taking you seriously.

Oh sure, islamophobe, necon, whatever you want to call me.  It’s not true, and it’s petty.  It’s a shame, you don’t come across like an idiot, but you also aren’t seeming so smart here.

Have fun slandering me if it helps you feel better.  I can sleep okay without it.

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By Shingo, June 25, 2009 at 7:36 pm Link to this comment

Marshall,

part 1 of 2

>>White House had the report for less than a week before releasing it.<<

Given that Cheney, the pathological liar,  was renowned for having been all over the Iraq NIE like a rash, it beggars belief that he had no involvement in the production of the NIE, let alone no idea what was contained.

The Washington Post article you linked to does not refute whether Cheney delayed the NIE’s release, only that the concerns that it had “appeared to dissipate”, along with the usual WH sources.
FYI. I’m not concerned with whether you consider antiwar.com a credible link or not. Gordon Prather is a physicist who has worked for the Federal Energy Agency, the Energy Research and Development Administration, the Department of Energy, the Office of the Secretary of Defense and the Department of the Army,  and thus is far more qualified to comment in these matters than any stenographer at the Washington Post.

Ray McGovern is a former CIA analyst who personally presented PDB’s to the likes of Gerald Ford.  Philip Giraldi is a former CIA officer.

While you’re so called “credible links” were spouting government propaganda about Saddam’s WMD without questioning it, antiwar.com were debunking those lies pre, during and post Iraq invasion.

And speaking of the Washington Post, they just fired their only left wing blogger, and replaced him with another pathological liar in Paul Wolfowitz, so no, we don’t have a deal Marshall.

The left wing equivalent of Rush Limbaugh would be John Stewart, not antiwar.com.

Now getting back to Cheney and the NIE. 

In October 2006,Giraldi wrote in The American Conservative (not la left wing source) that the NIE on Iran had already been completed, but that Cheney’s office had objected to its findings on both the Iranian nuclear programme and Iran’s role in Iraq.

In Feb 12, 2007, he wrote:

“Negroponte was predictably fired for his unwillingness to alter the intelligence, and the NIE is unlikely to see the light of day unless it is rewritten to conclude that Iran is an immediate threat.”  This was before the NIE had been released.
If he knew that, how could Cheney not have known?
Giraldi, “told IPS that intelligence analysts have had to review and rewrite their findings three times, because of pressure from the White House.”

http://ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=39978

and…

“The White House wants a document that it can use as evidence for its Iran policy,”

Now given that the only assertion in question that favored Chaney’s agenda was the claim of a nuclear program in 2003, it’s clear that this was the section that intelligence analysts were forced to rewrite under duress.

Prather continues:

“A former CIA intelligence officer who has asked not to be identified told IPS that an official involved in the NIE process says the Iran estimate was ready to be published a year ago but has been delayed because the director of national intelligence wanted a draft reflecting a consensus on key conclusions - particularly on Iran’s nuclear programme.”

“The draft NIE first completed a year ago, which had included the dissenting views, was not acceptable to the White House, according to the former intelligence officer. “They refused to come out with a version that had dissenting views in it,” he says.

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By Shingo, June 25, 2009 at 7:35 pm Link to this comment

part 2 of 2

>> Help them prove Iran had a nukes program? This had already been established in previous NIE’s (e.g. 2004).  2007 NIE actually amplified this claim by giving it “high confidence”.<<

Given that the 2007 NIE could only state with “high confidence” that Iran had a nukes program, then it clearly had NOT been established in the 2004 NIE.

>> Which elephant is that?<<

That there is ZERO evidence of an Iranian nuclear program and that Iran could not possibly have had such a program in 2003 when they only mastered low level enrichment in 2006.

>>  “High confidence generally indicates that our judgments are based on high-quality information, and/or that the nature of the issue makes it possible to render a solid judgment.”<<

Colin Powell told the UN in 2003 that the information they had was impeccable too.  He told the UN that Iraq had acquired aluminum tubes that would only be used for nuclear programs, when your own source, the Washington Post, had already debunked that lie a year earlier.

>> Completely untrue, as shown in the NIE itself. All its conclusions, unless otherwise stated, are based on evidence.<<

Wrong again.  The conclusion stated that there was NO evidence. NONE.  Let me repeat that again.  NO EVIDENCE.

>> Off topic. What does this have to do with Israel fear of Iranian nukes? <<

You made the argument that Iran massacres people and that this has some relevance to their right to nuclear power, yet the same rules have not been applied to Israel or Pakistan.

>> As the saying goes, “past performance is not indicative of future results”.

The other saying goes, a leopard never changes his spots.

Iran’s intentions are Iran’s business and no one else’s.  Intentions change and are subject to circumstance.  Given the fact that Iran has been denied it’s rights under the NPT for over 20 years and been constantly vilified,  I am surprised they haven’t withdrawn from the NPT, which is what deranged neocons like John Bolton wants to see happen.  Iran has been determined, focused and disciplined.

There is a common misconception that Lybia gave up it’s nuclear program because of 2003 also, but the fact is that Lybia’s WMD programs were virtually non existent.  It gave up nothing in return for some carrots.

I am not dismissing all contrary evidence and assume Iran’s pristine intentions, but no country in the history of the NPT has been subjected to the degree of scrutiny that Iran has.  Any nuclear state that had been inspected to the same degree as Iran, would be in found in violation of hundreds of Safeguard Breeches.

>> US policy must be formulated with this intelligence in mind along with Iran’s public statements, etc… To do otherwise would be derelict.<<

I would agree if there were any truth to this, but the reality is that this is another blatant example of the nauseating hypocrisy of our foreign policy.  Our track record has shown that we use false pretexts to put pressure on those who refuse to dance to our tune, while making outrageous excuses or exceptions when it suits us. 

When asked why we were supporting India’s nuclear program, and not Iran’s, John Bolton, our UN Ambassador at the time, argued that India’s was legitimate because they’d never signed the NPT, and therefore,  could not have violated it.  Does that sound to you like a policy formulated with intelligence in mind? Would Iran’s program become legitimate if they withdrew from the NPT?

What the West is demanding of Iran, is that it accept all the obligations of the NPT while forgoing any of the benefits.  If anything, this has become a ringing endorsement for why states should reject singing the NPT.  That is derelict in the extreme.

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By Inherit The Wind, June 25, 2009 at 6:59 pm Link to this comment

Marshall:

Welcome. We don’t get many true Bush neo-cons here and it’s important that “The Contingent” see the vast difference between a true neo-con like you, and me, whom they call one.  See, I’m a liberal, perhaps even a TRUE progressive but because I’m not an Israel-hater, and, as a Jew, I’m not a self-hating Jew, they see only their hatred of Israel, “Zionism” (as they define) and, in fact Jews as the acid test definition of a “progressive”.

Marshall, don’t get me wrong: I think you are a deluded dogmatic neo-con.  But we NEED someone like that here to give us and especially “The Contingent” some perspective that isn’t hermetically sealed from the real world.

However, you’ve gotten into it with Shingo, whom I don’t actually see as part of “TC” because Shingo actually uses his brain.  “TC” is actually exactly the same as you just they have a different context. They think the same, they intellectually cheat the same, and they all parrot the same crap, like the neos all spouting out that Sotomayor was racist, just ‘cuz it made good propaganda (they thought).

So, have fun and don’t take any of it too personally, because you WILL get personal attacks.  A fav of “The Contingent” is to accuse you of being another poster they don’t like…so plan on that one!

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By ardee, June 25, 2009 at 2:45 pm Link to this comment

Ed Harges, June 24 at 5:51 pm #

Ive a suggestion as to where you can put that box, but, sadly, you wont be able to see it twinkle.

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By ardee, June 25, 2009 at 2:43 pm Link to this comment

Shingo

As you have apparently not learned yet that any facts you present to Marshall will be refuted as left wing propaganda, followed immediately by his right wing propaganda heres a link showing that th eintelligence community knew Cheney was trying to block that NIE report:

The issuance of the National Intelligence Estimate on Dec. 3, could be compared to the historic “shot heard round the world;” but, perhaps the characterization given by Barbara Slavin, author of a new book on Iran, is more to the point. As she put it in mid-December at a conference of the Center for American Progress in the U.S. capital, the NIE report was ” a preemptive surgical strike by the intelligence community against the war party” of Dick Cheney et al, those who have been building for a military attack against Iran.

Since the publication of the report’s findings, that the Islamic Republic of Iran has not had a military nuclear program at least since 2003, a plethora of reports and leaks have appeared, relevant to the process leading to its publication. Among the most clamorous was the account that, faced with the commitment by Vice President Dick Cheney and others, to block release of the report, members of the intelligence community expressed their willingness to go to the press to leak it, even if that meant they could end up in prison as a result (“Behind the Annapolis Meet and the Iran NIE Shock,” EIR, 12.12.07). The French newsletter Reseau Voltaire hinted that the timing of the release of the report had to do with a brief visit by Cheney to the hospital for his recurring heart disorders (http://www.voltairenet.org/article153871.html).

http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=7722

Im certain you can find many other such refutations of that creepy neocon’s attempts to distort history…....

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By Marshall, June 25, 2009 at 2:14 pm Link to this comment

By Shingo, June 25 at 6:14 am #

<<Dick Cheney blocked the release of the NIE for the better part for 12 months>>

Bogus claim trumpeted by the usual anti-Bush sources (commondreams, etc…).  White House had the report for less than a week before releasing it.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/12/03/AR2007120300846_2.html?sid=ST2007120300896

FYI antiwar.com is not a credible link.  I won’t post links to Rush Limbaugh or NewsMax if you agree not to cite Gordon Prather or private left-wing “news” sites.  Deal?

<<never did it occur to any of them to declassify any evidence from the 2007 NIE that might have helped them?>>

Help them prove Iran had a nukes program? This had already been established in previous NIE’s (e.g. 2004).  2007 NIE actually amplified this claim by giving it “high confidence”. 

<<How long are you going to ignore the elephant in the room?>>

Which elephant is that?

<<the NIE had high confidence, as opposed to evidence>>

You might try reading the NIE itself, specifically its definition of terms: “High confidence generally indicates that our judgments are based on high-quality information, and/or that the nature of the issue makes it possible to render a solid judgment.” 

<<I am pointing out that it’s only factually based conclusion is that there is no evidence that Iran is pursuing nuclear weapons.>>

Completely untrue, as shown in the NIE itself. All its conclusions, unless otherwise stated, are based on evidence.

<<Israel also supported the mass murder of 1400 Palestinians in Gaza.>>

Off topic. What does this have to do with Israel fear of Iranian nukes?

<<Iran hasn’t attacked or invaded any other state in 300 years, so arguing that it’s waiting for a nuke to launch against Israel is clearly bogus.>>

As the saying goes, “past performance is not indicative of future results”.  Regardless, the point is that Iran’s intentions are not known, but what is agreed by all 16 US intel agencies is that Iran was covertly trying to develop nuclear weapons through 2003 and likely stopped due to international pressure.  Why they wanted them is unknown but extremely troubling.  Rather than dismiss all contrary evidence and assume Iran’s pristine intentions as you’ve done, US policy must be formulated with this intelligence in mind along with Iran’s public statements, etc… To do otherwise would be derelict.

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Ed Harges's avatar

By Ed Harges, June 25, 2009 at 9:22 am Link to this comment

Speaking of NIE reports: true, a recent NIE stated “with high confidence” that Iran had “abandoned development” of nukes a few years back — meaning that the compilers of the NIE believed that before then, there was such a program. The latter is what Marshall likes to emphasize.

But what about the IAEA? The IAEA’s reports have a better track record of accuracy than US intel, and the IAEA says there is no proof that Iran has ever had a nuclear weapons program. Look at the run-up to the Iraq war. Who was right, US intel, or the IAEA?

Given the intrusiveness of IAEA inspections, the proven integrity of El-Baradei, and the proven dubiousness of US intel, any Iranian nuclear weapons program that ever existed must have consisted of little more than some drawings on napkins.

Of course, if Israel had its way, Muslims wouldn’t be allowed to have slide-rules.

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By Shingo, June 25, 2009 at 3:14 am Link to this comment

Marshall,

>>Yet somehow you’re attempting to discredit intel that’s still classified.<<

Dick Cheney blocked the release of the NIE for the better part for 12 months because it’s findings were damaging to his deranged policies.  The necons squealed in protest, claiming that it was the work of a cabal in the CIA who were trying to undermine the Bush Administration.

In the lead up to the Iraq war, we were presented with stories about aluminum tubes, Iraq trying to procure uranium from Africa and a mountain of other BS that was declassified for the purpose of drumming up public support.

Yet, never did it occur to any of them to declassify any evidence from the 2007 NIE that might have helped them?

How long are you going to ignore the elephant in the room?

>> What part of “Iranian military entities were working under government direction to develop nuclear weapons” says there is no evidence? <<

The part that came before that sentence which says the NIE had high confidence, as opposed to evidence .

>> One bad NIE does not invalidate all NIEs.<<

Try telling that to the Bush administration, and the neocons, who all argued that the NIE could not be trusted because the previous one on Iraq was so flawed.  In any case, I am not invalidating the 2007 NIE, I am pointing out that it’s only factually based conclusion is that there is no evidence that Iran is pursuing nuclear weapons.

>> Nope – still called “Additional Protocol” by IAEA.  Your stated points were: a) AP was invented only for Iran, and b) no other countries are subject to it.  Both wrong based on supplied links.<<

I was mistaken as I was referring to additional guarantees that went above and beyond the AP.
For the AEA Board of governors to “deem it necessary” for a sovereign state to promptly ratify the Additional Protocol to its existing Safeguards Agreement – a treaty – is an egregious violation of the IAEA UN-proscribed charter, yet Iran agreed in return for guarantees from the E3.

The links mentioned nothing about Iran rejecting the AP or that Iran was obliged to accept the AP.  As I pointed out, Iran accepted not only the AP but the additional guarantees and the E3 dropped the ball.

>> Credible link please.<<

http://original.antiwar.com/prather/2009/04/10/return-to-what-negotiations/
You can read Gordon Prather’s credentials in the margin. 

>> Never said NPT - just IAEA Safeguards, which you (and IAEA) have already acknowledged was violated.<<

Wrong.  Neither 1737 nor 1696 cite violations of IAEA Safeguards agreements.  The UN resolution was politically motivated.

>>Obviously I was referring to Israeli public policy, not an Israeli public opinion survey; which also found that 52 percent support pre-emptive Israeli attacks on Iran, with 35 percent opposing. <<

Israel also supported the mass murder of 1400 Palestinians in Gaza.

>> It’s also inconsistent that you earlier dismiss Blaire’s comments due to being a personal opinion, then turn around and cite personal opinion of Livni.<<

That’s a fair call, but is gives an important insight into the political nature of the posturing on Iran.  The policy is driven by regime change, and thus the nuclear weapons issue is being hyped to further that aim.  Iran hasn’t attacked or invaded any other state in 300 years, so arguing that it’s waiting for a nuke to launch against Israel is clearly bogus.

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By Marshall, June 25, 2009 at 2:09 am Link to this comment

By Shingo, June 24 at 11:44 pm #

“The NIE produces no evidence that Iranian military entities were working to develop nuclear weapons. None.”

Of course not – it’s still classified.  Only the conclusions have been released.  Yet somehow you’re attempting to discredit intel that’s still classified.

“the NIE concludes it has NO EVIDENCE.”

What part of “Iranian military entities were working under government direction to develop nuclear weapons” says there is no evidence? 

“The NIE on Iraq was also confident of the existence of WMD, in case you’ve forgotten.”

One bad NIE does not invalidate all NIEs.

“My point exactly,  the Additional Protocol of 1997 has replaced the existing protocols, thus they are no longer considered Additional Protocols.”

Nope – still called “Additional Protocol” by IAEA.  Your stated points were: a) AP was invented only for Iran, and b) no other countries are subject to it.  Both wrong based on supplied links.

“Not only would Bush not let the EU accept the offer, which had been made in private, he wouldn’t even let them acknowledge receipt of it.”

Credible link please.

“You claim that Resolution_1737 is evidence of Iranian non-compliance with it’s IAEA and NPT obligations”

Never said NPT - just IAEA Safeguards, which you (and IAEA) have already acknowledged was violated.

“What this demonstrates is that Israeli public statements, like those from Olmert, are nothing more than public posturing.”

What this demonstrates is that you again use a single source (in this case a university poll) to extrapolate your own personal conclusions.  Obviously I was referring to Israeli public policy, not an Israeli public opinion survey; which also found that 52 percent support pre-emptive Israeli attacks on Iran, with 35 percent opposing.  It’s also inconsistent that you earlier dismiss Blaire’s comments due to being a personal opinion, then turn around and cite personal opinion of Livni.

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By Shingo, June 25, 2009 at 1:18 am Link to this comment

niloroth,

>> So, if the Iranian government takes down their own peoples websites, shuts off their phone access, shuts down opposition news stations and newspapers, and threatens anyone spreading info they don’t like, then that is okay, but if the outside world strikes back against that it is terrorism?<<

Apparently.

The American Civil Liberties Union reported June 10 that “Anti-terrorism training materials currently being used by the Department of Defense (DoD) teach its personnel that free expression in the form of public protests should be regarded as ‘low level terrorism’.”

Like I keep saying, and you keep avoiding, unless you were this vocal about people are dying for their rights and freedom in Palestine or Egypt, then you have no moral authority to be lecturing to others about anyone else’s inaction.

For all I know, you could have a sterling track record of activism, but I suspect that you are another Islamophobe jumping on this bandwagon because it feeds some desire to throw rocks at Iran.  I imagine others on this forum suspect the same, which is why no one is taking you seriously.

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By niloroth, June 25, 2009 at 12:03 am Link to this comment

Shingo:

Every day it’s become more obvious that this is another one of the exports faux color coded revolution that we saw in Ukraine and Georgia.

...

Iran does not have to make the case that the US is to blame this.  Bush policies for toppling the regime were reported more than 2 years ago.

...

While your intentions admirable, it hasn’t even occured to you that the Iranians don’t want your help or your brand of freedom.

...

So while I do support the right of free speech, I do find it a tad nauseating and suspicious when those who were silent on previous occasions suddenly discover an appreciation for these values.

Well, who is the one being silent here?

And here is my favorite from you.

That’s called terrorism.

So, if the Iranian government takes down their own peoples websites, shuts off their phone access, shuts down opposition news stations and newspapers, and threatens anyone spreading info they don’t like, then that is okay, but if the outside world strikes back against that it is terrorism?  Again, have fun knowing that people are dying for their rights and freedom on the other side of the planet, and the best you can do is bitch and moan about people who want to help them in their fight. 

You can’t know anything about what i did in regards to egypt, or the 2000 US voting, or anything else.  But i sure as hell know what you are doing now, and that is even less than nothing.

Just some advice, don’t walk by any mirrors any time soon, you might not like the reflection.  I sure as hell wouldn’t if i was you.

So sad.

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By Shingo, June 24, 2009 at 10:29 pm Link to this comment

niloroth,

I asked you before if you were as concerned or involved when the same outrages were taking place in Egypt or when thousands of protesters were being rounded up in NY during the 2004 Republican Convention?

So while I do support the right of free speech, I do find it a tad nauseating and suspicious when those who were silent on previous occasions suddenly discover an appreciation for these values. 

>> Ah, so it is just an outlet for the crazy right wingers to go to?  Funny, there is a lot of crazies here as well. <<

It was you who described it as such, so I took your lead.

>> Funny what happens when you even put truthdig up against sites like dailykos, huffington post, and democratic underground. <<

Why is it funny?  Huffington Post is one of the most successful around.  Daily Koss is also very high profile. 

>> I forget, was it you or someone else who mentioned those sites had succumbed to the zionist agenda as well? <<

It wasn’t me, but neither site is renowned for being controversial.

>> Don’t worry, you can get back to blaming the US and Israel for everything in the world soon.<<

Don’t worry, I am sure both will continue to provide ample fodder to fuel those sentiments.

But go ahead and make hay while the sun shines.  here is your golden opportunity to back an Islamic state and pretend you care about the people you probably wanted to bomb only a few weeks ago.

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By niloroth, June 24, 2009 at 9:39 pm Link to this comment

By Shingo, June 24 at 6:57 pm #

niloroth,

While your intentions admirable, it hasn’t even occured to you that the Iranians don’t want your help or your brand of freedom.

Uh, you do realize what this whole protest is about right?  I mean, not the reasons that exists in your imaginary zionist paranoia world, but in the actual real world? 

Well, it’s about the right to protest, to challenge authority, to be free to communicate, and to not have your head beaten in for standing up for your rights.  See, i support that, and i support the Iranian citizens who want that.  You don’t out of some irrational fear of jews.  Sad.

No but apprently you do.  That graph shows that the traffic is the same today as it was in February, and August and December of 2008.  Hardly proof that traffic if falling.

well, certainly not it’s lowest points, but certainly not it’s highest either.  which brings us to the next point.

Based on this graph worldnetdaily has laways had more traffic, which in itself proves nothing.  With information technology being so pervasive, there are fewer and fewer safe havens where right wingers can seek safe haven from reality, so these sights attrat more traffic.

Secondly, based on the trend, the traffic at worldnetdaily has been falling steadily since OIctober 2008.”

Ah, so it is just an outlet for the crazy right wingers to go to?  Funny, there is a lot of crazies here as well.  I can’t wait till you all just dispense with politics and just get to congregating together.  Funny what happens when you even put truthdig up against sites like dailykos, huffington post, and democratic underground.  I forget, was it you or someone else who mentioned those sites had succumbed to the zionist agenda as well?  Well, no mater, i keep forgetting how much of a haven this place is for the insane, and eventually tire of the drivel and wander off for greener pastures.  Don’t worry, you can get back to blaming the US and Israel for everything in the world soon.

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By Shingo, June 24, 2009 at 8:44 pm Link to this comment

Marshall,

Part 1 of 2

Marshall,

The NIE produces no evidence that Iranian military entities were working to develop nuclear weapons. None.

As I keep repeating, and you keep ignoring, Iran could not possibly have been working to develop anything remotely connected to nuclear weapons, when they were still 3 years away from being able to enriching uranium to 3%, which falls massively short of the minimum 90% required for nuclear weapons development.

The reason I mentioned the NIE was because the NIE concludes it has NO EVIDENCE.  Thus I am under no obligation to stand by the unsubstantiated conclusions the NIE might include.  All I am concerned with is the evidence that it has produced – which is NONE.

So no, the NIE does not contradict Kameni’s (not mine) claim that nukes are incompatible with their theocratic beliefs.  They are not denying a fact either because the NIE does not produce any facts, except for the one that it has no evidence. It produces an opinion based on “high confidence”.  The NIE on Iraq was also confident of the existence of WMD, in case you’ve forgotten.

“The Additional Protocol of 1997 is slowly replacing these requirements”.

My point exactly,  the Additional Protocol of 1997 has replaced the existing protocols, thus they are no longer considered Additional Protocols.  That’ not too hard to grasp now is it?

As for Iran, the additional guarantees were unique to the inspections of Iran. The terms of the agreement were based on the E3 coming up with a proposal. Now, why would Iran agree to provide additional guarantees, above and beyond those required by the NPT?

Iran was to receive, in return, equally “firm guarantees on nuclear, technological and economic cooperation” with the EU as well as firm commitments on certain “security issues.”  For more than 20 years, Iran’s rights under the NPT had been grossly and systematically violated, while major state parties to the Treaty failed to meet many of their NPT obligations to Iran, so it was not Iran that has violated the NPT, but the other members who are placing these demands on them.

“It’s also important to note that as a result of Iran not implementing the AP, confidence-killing events like these will continue.  So much for the “go anywhere” inspections”.

You are confusing AP with additional guarantees.  The agreement to implement the additional guarantees (above and beyond those required by the Treaty on Non-Proliferation) was subject to the E3 coming up with a proposal, which they failed to deliver.  Iran was under no obligation to agree to the AG unconditionally.

Iran offered to voluntarily suspend for the duration of the negotiations, to include all enrichment related and reprocessing activities. In return:

“The E3/EU recognize that this suspension is a voluntary confidence building measure and not a legal obligation.”
http://www.iaea.org/Publications/Documents/Infcircs/2004/infcirc637.pdf

In 2003,  Iran made, suggested by an advisory panel of European and US scientists and experts, voluntarily restricting certain of its alienable rights. The offer included:

1. Foregoing reprocessing of spent fuel and recovery of plutonium;
2. A low ceiling on the level of enrichment;
3. A limitation on the capacity of the enrichment program to that needed to meet the contingency fuel requirements of Iran’s power reactors;
4. Immediate conversion of all enriched Uranium to fuel rods to preclude even the technical possibility of further enrichment;

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By Shingo, June 24, 2009 at 8:44 pm Link to this comment

Part 2 of 2

Furthermore, Iran offered to allow continuous on-site presence of IAEA inspectors at uranium conversion and enrichment facilities to provide unprecedented transparency, above and beyond even that required under the Additional Protocol.  Do you get it now Marhsall?  Iran not only offered to accept the AP, they were offering access above and beyond the AP.
Not only would Bush not let the EU accept the offer, which had been made in private, he wouldn’t even let them acknowledge receipt of it. 

Iranians waited four months and when no response to their offer had been received, notified the IAEA that the Paris Agreement negotiations – and the suspensions of activities associated with them – were off.

There was nothing illegal about Iran’s actions and they violated no treaties or agreements.

You claim that Resolution_1737 is evidence of Iranian non-compliance with it’s IAEA and NPT obligations, but that clearly false.  1737, imposed sanctions against Iran for failing to stop its uranium enrichment program following resolution 1696 , which in turn demanded Iran halt its uranium enrichment pro gramme.

Note that neither of the resolutions cites any violation of the NPT. In fact, both 1737 and 1696 are in themselves violation of the NPT, which guarantees all signatories the inalienable right to nuclear power and fuel enrichment.

You clearly have no understanding of the difference between safeguards agreements, NPT obligations and UN resolutions.

“You also claim, inexplicably, that Israel is not concerned about an Iranian nuclear threat”

It’s not inexplicable at all:
http://www.reuters.com/article/worldNews/idUSTRE55D0DR20090614

“Asked how a nuclear-armed Iran would affect their lives, 80 percent of respondents said they expected no change.”

and ...

http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/916777.html
“Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni said a few months ago in a series of closed discussions that in her opinion that Iranian nuclear weapons do not pose an existential threat to Israel, Haaretz magazine reveals in an article on Livni to be published tomorrow.”

What this demonstrates is that Israeli public statements, like those from Olmert, are nothing more than public posturing. Israel’s determination to attack Iran’s IAEA inspected facilities is nothing more than a strong arm tactic, much like the bombing of the Osirak reactor, another facility that had no connection or application whatsoever for the production of nuclear weapons.

In future, may I suggest you wait for evidence to emerge before making claim that none of the 16 US intelligence agencies are willing to support?

Like I said, there is NO EVICENCE.  That’s all there is to is Marshall, and in spite of all your links, and your sophistry,  you have produced absolutely none.

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By Inherit The Wind, June 24, 2009 at 7:34 pm Link to this comment

I really don’t give a shit what people call each other in this thread.

But it’s really weird to have come from a completely different direction as EH and come to the same conclusion:

We need to NOT interfere and let the Iranians work it out themselves.

I’m not sure why EH thinks this, but my reasoning is that Obama did what should have been done YEARS ago—reached out to Iran to at least start TALKING!

Whether Mousavi takes over, or Ahmedinejad retains his seat, Obama’s plan to open dialogue CANNOT change.  We have to recognize that WHOEVER ends up on top won’t really change Iran’s needs for their own national security in this anarchic world.  And we have to be able to talk to them.  So we need, as EH puts it, to stay the fk out.

As I said, it’s really weird to come to the same conclusion from such a different direction.  Must be the broken clock syndrome.

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By Marshall, June 24, 2009 at 6:39 pm Link to this comment

By Shingo, June 24 at 8:37 am #

Shingo - NIE judged with “high confidence” that “until fall 2003, Iranian military entities were working under government direction to develop nuclear weapons”.  The word “program” (which you dispute) isn’t even used.

Clearly this contradicts your claim that nukes are incompatible with their theocratic beliefs.  They continue to deny this fact and are therefore lying.

You attempt to discredit what you allege to be the source of the NIE’s conclusion by using a single, uncorroborated opinion piece that includes references to numerous unnamed sources.  I therefore dispute the veracity of your evidence.

I’ll also document several of my other points that you dispute:

Me: “IAEA does issue conclusions for other countries, but only those that implement the additional protocol, which Iran refuses to do.”

You: “Wrong. No other country has been subjected to such a protocol, because these additional protocols were implemented specifically for Iran.”

Truth: IAEA Bulletin 46/2 which states “IAEA inspection requirements negotiated in the early 1970s were shown to be inadequate by Iraq’s success in hiding its nuclear-weapon efforts before and during the Gulf War of 1991. The Additional Protocol of 1997 is slowly replacing these requirements”.

http://www.iaea.org/Publications/Magazines/Bulletin/Bull462/nonproliferation_regime.html

List of other states subject to Additional Protocol:

http://www.iaea.org/OurWork/SV/Safeguards/sg_protocol.html


Me: “IAEA has indeed reported Iran in non-compliance which has triggered UN resolutions.”

You: “Wrong. The UN resolution had nothing to do with non-compliance by Iran.”

Truth: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Nations_Security_Council_Resolution_1737


It’s also important to note that as a result of Iran not implementing the AP, confidence-killing events like these will continue.  So much for the “go anywhere” inspections:

http://www.stratfor.com/sitrep/20090611_iran_additional_iaea_inspections_rejected


You also claim, inexplicably, that Israel is not concerned about an Iranian nuclear threat.  This is easily refuted by numerous Israeli public statements (e.g. Olmert), along with the revelation that Israel requested permission to launch air strikes on Iranian nuclear facilities in 2008.

In the future, you’re welcome to document your claims with credible links as I’ve done.  Failure to do so, and accusing me of making things up, is hypocritical.

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By Shingo, June 24, 2009 at 3:57 pm Link to this comment

niloroth,

While your intentions admirable, it hasn’t even occured to you that the Iranians don’t want your help or your brand of freedom.

You don’t even realise that you are just another necon. 

>> Do you need help reading graphs?<<

No but apprently you do.  That graph shows that the traffic is the same today as it was in February, and August and December of 2008.  Hardly proof that traffic if falling.

>> And to put it in perspective, lets compare truthdig to worldnetdaily, the right wing “news site” that is just as overrun by right wing conspiracy theorists.<<

Based on this graph worldnetdaily has laways had more traffic, which in itself proves nothing.  With information technology being so pervasive, there are fewer and fewer safe havens where right wingers can seek safe haven from reality, so these sights attrat more traffic.

Secondly, based on the trend, the traffic at worldnetdaily has been falling steadily since OIctober 2008. 

Oh Damn.

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Ed Harges's avatar

By Ed Harges, June 24, 2009 at 2:51 pm Link to this comment

Re: By ardee, June 24 at 3:53 pm:

You call another poster a “beyatch” in the course of bragging to me of your superior seriousness?

Ardee, you’re just precious. I will place your shining seriousness in a little velvet box, and treasure its twinkle with all my heart.

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By KDelphi, June 24, 2009 at 1:51 pm Link to this comment

the Wall St Journal—sure, they have no dog in the dominate the Middle East Oil race…must be objective.

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nefesh's avatar

By nefesh, June 24, 2009 at 1:40 pm Link to this comment

By niloroth, June 24 at 4:29 pm #

By nefesh, June 24 at 3:53 pm #

>>>>>Cute.
And it means what, exactly?<<<<<

i think it is a insult aimed at anyone who supports the twitter sponsored protests in iran.  Obviously we aren’t smart enough to know about the new trend of websites disrupting mid east nations.

I have asked the same question on a parallel thread today. Go have a look and see if they can define their own favorite terms used to bash anyone or anything they disagree with. So far they are batting .000
http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/20090623_irans_revolution_ends_in_dictatorship/
============================

I think you might find Edward Luttwak’s analysis reasoned and cogent:
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124580553688545019.html

Excerpts:

*The current protests could be repressed, but this is not a regime that can last many more years. The unity of the ruling elite established by Ayatollah Khomeini that allowed the regime to dominate the Iranian people for almost 30 years has now been shattered.

*Huge numbers of Iranians haven’t been demonstrating at risk of beatings and worse for the only marginally moderate Mousavi. His courage under pressure has certainly raised his popularity, but he is still no more than the accidental symbol of an emerging political revolution.

*After years of humiliating social repression and gross economic mismanagement, the more educated and the more productive citizens of Iran have mostly turned their backs on the regime.

*Had Mousavi won the election, modest steps to liberalize the system would only have triggered demands for more change, eventually bringing down the entire system of clerical rule. In the Soviet Union, Mikhail Gorbachev’s cautious reforms designed to perpetuate the Communist regime ended up destroying it in less than five years.

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By niloroth, June 24, 2009 at 1:29 pm Link to this comment

By nefesh, June 24 at 3:53 pm #

Cute.
And it means what, exactly?

i think it is a insult aimed at anyone who supports the twitter sponsored protests in iran.  Obviously we aren’t smart enough to know about the new trend of websites disrupting mid east nations.

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By ardee, June 24, 2009 at 12:53 pm Link to this comment

Ed Harges, June 22 at 8:56 pm #


re: By Virginia777, June 22 at 8:05 pm:

LOL! It’s hard work 2 B R D, eh?

........................

Do you not see how stupid you paint yourself with juvenile crap like this? The comments of the beyatch bother me not at all as she has yet to demonstrate any particular depth or breadth of knowledge, only flies around this forum on her broomstick trying to annoy the folks.

You should really be embarrassed for yourself , childish little fool….

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By nefesh, June 24, 2009 at 12:53 pm Link to this comment

By KDelphi, June 24 at 3:34 pm #

nefesh—pssst…neolibcon is a secret communist code word..dont tell anybody, ok?

Cute.
And it means what, exactly?

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By KDelphi, June 24, 2009 at 12:52 pm Link to this comment

ardee—thanks. Shingo already did that, but this thread is getting long.
I read it and agreed.

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By ardee, June 24, 2009 at 12:49 pm Link to this comment

KDelphi, June 23 at 8:25 pm #


Shingo—I agree with most of your post, but, do you have a link as to where Livni said that Israel could live with Iranian nukes? Because I thought I had heard her say something quite different. I am not saying that I know, ok?

..........................................


http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article18615.htm

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By KDelphi, June 24, 2009 at 12:34 pm Link to this comment

nefesh—pssst…neolibcon is a secret communist code word..dont tell anybody, ok?

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By KDelphi, June 24, 2009 at 12:26 pm Link to this comment

nilroth—You need to back off of my as#!!! I posted what I believe (“freedom”?) and you had the nerve to call me a coward! YOu know NOTHING about me!

I went to your sites, which is more courtesy than you seem probable to give anyone else here. If you dont like the opinions, go to one of your numerous blogs. I’m sure you’ll agree with yourself and others who would like to see more US involvement in other countries affairs.

Stop being a child—way to win people over, guy!

Synmpathy for protesters who were sucked into this: 100. Sympathy for nilroth: 0

I fight for causes that I believe in. Yours is simply not one of them. If you dont like it, that is just too bad. That doesnt make your google groups any more accurate.

If I thought that this was a true, popular Revolution, I might be at a protest today. I dont. And nothngn that you have said has convinced me that it is anything more than a bourgeoise rebellion—which is fine. If you feel so strongly, you should be there.

I call for a US Revolution of getting out of the Middle East. I’m allowed to do that. It is part of your beloved “freedom”.

Hell, I saw plenty of people disagreeing with you within your own “cause”—work on that first.

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By nefesh, June 24, 2009 at 12:17 pm Link to this comment

By niloroth, June 24 at 2:13 pm #

Is there a complex for people sitting around pushing conspiracy theories on websites and putting down people doing what they can in the name of freedom?

There is indeed, and it is characterized, in part, by scammers pushing terms like “neolibcon”, “pseudo-Prgressive (sic) mainstream truthers”, and “truth consensus” without ever being able to provide concise and unambigious definitions when challenged.

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By niloroth, June 24, 2009 at 11:13 am Link to this comment

Shingo:

“You really believe that your pathetic rants are going to save the Iranians?”

no, i think my ACTIONS can provide a conduit for Iranians who want democracy to communicate with each other and the outside world.  But you keep on sitting on your ass, that will make you proud in the future i am sure.

“It seem to me that it is you that lives the sad sad life.  That Walter Mitty complex may just send you over the edge.

No complex, just doing what i can.  Is there a complex for people sitting around pushing conspiracy theories on websites and putting down people doing what they can in the name of freedom?  Maybe we could call that the kdelphi complex?

“You’re also a bit of a BA artist it seems. The Google trends profile for Truthdig for the past 12 months have remained constant. Jealousy is so unbecomming.”

LOL.  Do you need help reading graphs? 
http://www.google.com/trends?q=truthdig&ctab=0&geo=all&date=ytd&sort=0

And to put it in perspective, lets compare truthdig to worldnetdaily, the right wing “news site” that is just as overrun by right wing conspiracy theorists.

http://www.google.com/trends?q=truthdig,+worldnetdaily&ctab=0&geo=all&date=ytd

oh damn.

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By Shingo, June 24, 2009 at 5:53 am Link to this comment

Marhsall,

As I pointed out previously, your other conclusions are flawed:

You stated that:

1. Iran’s leders have said they want nukes, when the oppsite is true.
2. That Iran could spring it’s nuclear program on the world, when this is impossible without very obvious signs such as:
a) withdrawing from the NPT
b) removing the IAEA inspectors
c) conducting a detonation test

None of which sould be pulled of in secret.

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By Shingo, June 24, 2009 at 5:37 am Link to this comment

Part 1 of 2

Marshall,

The truth is simple.  There is NO evidence whatsoever of an Iranian nuclear weapons program.  That’s all there is to it.  Scratch around as you might, your desperate efforts don’t change that.

Your argument comes down to a series of what ifs, and the position that you can’t prove a negative.

Your agenda is obvious. You are determined to demonize Iran because you want to see another Islamic country bombed.  You would have swallowed the whole Iraq BS hook, line and sinker.

Just look at the absurd hyphenations you quoted and consider what “covert uranium conversion-related” and “uranium enrichment-related work” actually means. 

Has the gratuitous use of the word RELATED not rung a bell yet?  When no WMD were found in Iraq, the language shifted from WMDs, to WMD related programs to WMD related program activities.  Do you see the pattern emerge yet? 

As for Hayden’s own statement from 2009 (not 2008), there is no evidence.  How in the world could Iran have been weapon zing in 2003, when they couldn’t even enrich to 3% until 2006?

There is no contradiction with citing the 2007 NIE conclusion that there is no evidence of a nuclear weapons program,  while challenging the conclusion which is based on weak allegations.

Re the laptop, it was reported last year by Gareth Porter that:
http://ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=41416

“German officials have identified the source of the laptop documents in November 2004 as the Mujahideen e Khalq (MEK), which along with its political arm, the National Council of Resistance in Iran (NCRI), is listed by the US State Department as a terrorist organization.”

And that

“CIA analysts, and European and IAEA officials who were given access to the laptop documents in 2005 were very skeptical about their authenticity.”

Iran demanded to see the contents of the laptop, and the US refused to allow them to see it.  Scott Ritter, noted in an interview that the CIA has the capability test the authenticity of laptop documents through forensic tests that would reveal when different versions of different documents were created.  The fact that the agency could not rule out the possibility of fabrication, indicates that it had either chosen not to do such tests or that the tests had revealed fraud.

What’s more, the laptop evidence, which came into US possession in 2004, wasn’t even referred to the UNSC, when it voted on the resolution for Iran to suspend it’s enrichment.

The 2007 NIE stated that there was no evidence of an Iran nuclear weapons program.  Blair did not give any caveats when he said that in 2009,  US intelligence still stood y those conclusions.  Evidence is all that matters and as Hayden stated,  “there is no evidence that proves Tehran is edging towards developing nuclear weapons”.  END OF STORY.

>> IAEA does issue conclusions for other countries, but only those that implement the additional protocol, which Iran refuses to do.<<

Wrong.  No other country has been subjected to such a protocol, because these additional protocols were implemented specifically for Iran. 

>>  IAEA has indeed reported Iran in non-compliance which has triggered UN resolutions.<<

Wrong.  The UN resolution had nothing to do with non-compliance by Iran.

>>  They missed it because the additional protocol had not been implemented <<

Wrong. Iran agreed to the additional protocols in return for a proposal that the E3 were supposed to provide.  The” stolen laptop” came from a terrorist group via Germany, where the IAEA are free to look wherever they want.

>> The whole purpose of the AP is to replace the inspection regime that was judged inadequate by the IAEA<<

Wrong.  If that were the case, they would not be name additional protocols but as standard IAEA terms of reference.  You are making this up as you are going along.

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By Shingo, June 24, 2009 at 5:35 am Link to this comment

Part 2 of 2

>> Also the NIE believes Iran covertly imported fissile material (which escaped IAEA inspection).<<

Wrong again. The fissile material were traces found on centrifuges that Iran purchased from Pakistan.  The IAEA investigated this matter and confirmed that these minute traces originated from Pakistan.

>>  NIE states that Iran would likely use covert facilities to restart its nuke program and IAEA only monitors the ones Iran has publicly acknowledged.<<

Likely meaning we don’t know as in no evidence.  The IAEA is imposing go anywhere inspections.  They have not been denied entry into any suspected sights.  You can’t claim that Iran is blocking inspection to suspected sites, because there is no evidence that such cites exist.

>> So now it’s “alleged”?  You’re contradicting yourself in the same post, and contradicting the NIE you use for support.<<

You are free to alledge whatever you like, but with regard to evidence, you either have it or you don’t.

The NIE fails to produce ANY evidence of a nuclear weapons program and relies on dubious evidence to “allege” that Iran had one.

You are falling over yourself to demonize Iran and no, Iran has not admitted deceptions at all.  It never had clandestine nuclear weaponization thus has not admitted to such programs. 

Like I said, weaponization of fissile material is impossible if you have not mastered enrichment, and seeing as Iran only succeeded in enriching to 3% in 2006, it could not possibly have had a weaponization program in 2003.

No I am not particularly concerned about the possibility of Iran obtaining nukes.  First, I know they don’t have them and as it turns out, the majority of Israel, who presumably would be the most at risk of an Iranian nuclear bomb, seem to agree with me. Even Tzipi Livni has said that an Ianian nuke is no threat to Israel.

So if Israel doesn’t fear a nuclear armed Iran, then why should we?

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By ardee, June 24, 2009 at 4:10 am Link to this comment

The propaganda of Marshall, calling for war ultimately, doesnt trouble me as much as the absence of opposition to his ridiculous charges.

Perhaps the forum understands his purpose and turns their backs in disgust, I certainly hope that is the case. But such lies and distortions as he casts upon these pages must be refuted or they gain credibility in the silence that follows.

The Marshall plan is the same as the Bush plan, permanent military presence in the Middle East in order to drain the last drops of oil into American vehicles, with its associated chaos, death and destruction, not only of lives and property, but of human rights and democracy ultimately.

Iran has stated , again and again, that the purpose of their constructing such plants is to produce electricity, thus saving their most profitable commodity for export . Russia provides the expertise, the raw material and controls the waste, including the fuel rods necessary to the production of enriched or weaponized uranium. Iran, should you believe this warhawks evil rant, is going it alone, unsupervised and in the dark.

If one is suspicious of the motives of that nation, then one should work to gain inspectors into the area in order to verify the claim of peaceful intent. But, instead, we find horrid little men like Marshall, insisting we follow Bush yet again into pushing away those folks that we should be making a special effort to pull closer into peace.

Marshall and his ilk are frauds, folks, they are propagandists of the first order and to believe their rants and their links and their suppositions will guarantee only more war, more destruction and more chaos.

Make up your own minds, please, but think long and hard about your silence on this very, very important subject.

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By Marshall, June 24, 2009 at 1:03 am Link to this comment

Shingo - you continue to cherry pick the various reports to cobble together your own version of the truth.  This only makes you look disingenuous.

<<The word program can mean anything>>

To you perhaps, but the NIE is very clear that “program” means “Iran’s nuclear weapon design and weaponization work and covert uranium conversion-related and uranium enrichment-related work; we do not mean Iran’s declared civil work related to uranium conversion and enrichment.”  Hayden reiterates this in the March 2008 senate appearance you refer to when he says “It’s very clear they were weaponizing. It remained a program that the Iranians continue to deny ever existed.”

How can you use the fact that the CIA still stands by its 2007 NIE, then attempt to discredit the same NIE?  Your “stolen laptop” claim is nothing but hearsay and the CIA never said the intel was “dubious” - which is why you’ll be unable to supply links to support it.

You’re also mistaken about Blaire’s testimony in 2009. When he said that he still stands by the 2007 NIE, he’s not stating that Iran has not restarted its nuke program - NIE never makes that claim; he’s saying that the conclusions reached in 2007 were good ones at that time.  He makes clear that intelligence doesn’t know if Iran has restarted its nuke program, and that his own personal belief is that they have. I would wager that his personal belief is more informed than yours or mine, but you can believe whomever you want.

<<The IAEA is unable to draw a conclusion because it is impossible to prove a negative.  It has has not reported Iran non-compliance. >>

Incorrect.  IAEA does issue conclusions for other countries, but only those that implement the additional protocol, which Iran refuses to do.  IAEA has indeed reported Iran in non-compliance which has triggered UN resolutions.

<<IAEA did NOT miss the covert nuke program No facilities and no fissile material existed.  That is all the IAEA is tasked to locate.>>

Incorrect.  They missed it because the additional protocol had not been implemented (the whole purpose of the AP is to replace the inspection regime that was judged inadequate by the IAEA itself as a result of their failure to discover the Iraqi nuke program up through the 1991 gulf war.)  Also the NIE believes Iran covertly imported fissile material (which escaped IAEA inspection).

Going forward, the NIE states that Iran would likely use covert facilities to restart its nuke program and IAEA only monitors the ones Iran has publicly acknowledged.

<<To anyone with a brain, the alleged Iranian nuclear program of 2003 was non existent>>

So now it’s “alleged”?  You’re contradicting yourself in the same post, and contradicting the NIE you use for support.

You are falling over yourself to give Iran the benefit of the doubt despite admitted deception about its sensitive enrichment activities and its clandestine nuclear weaponization program.  You appear unconcerned about the possibility of Iran obtaining nukes and are more interested in indicting the US than in non-proliferation.

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By Shingo, June 24, 2009 at 12:53 am Link to this comment

niloroth,

You suffer delusions of grandeur.

You really believe that your pathetic rants are going to save the Iranians?

It seem to me that it is you that lives the sad sad life.  That Walter Mitty complex may just send you over the edge. 

You’re also a bit of a BA artist it seems. The Google trends profile for Truthdig for the past 12 months have remained constant. Jealousy is so unbecomming.

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By niloroth, June 24, 2009 at 12:47 am Link to this comment

kdelphi:

Ah, so this is a us government sponsored revolution, funded by the twitter corporation through the largest imperialist in the world Barack obama?

Well that explains why we don’t see eye to eye on this, you are a bat s**t crazy conspiracy theorist. 

You must live a sad sad life.  I sometimes wonder if the reason the people who write articles for truthdig don’t interact with people in the forums is because they look at how F’n crazy you all are and decide to stay away.  Seriously, no wonder truthdig keeps rating lower and lower via google trends.

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By Shingo, June 23, 2009 at 9:16 pm Link to this comment

Part 1 of 2

After the Iraq WMD farce, you’d expected people to be wiser with regard to Iran propaganda.

The hysteria from the Bush administration to the NIE proves that the BS about Iran’s is based on policy, not facts. The conclusion should have been welcomed, but instead, the intelligence community was attacked for trying to undermine the Bush administration.

Iran is subject to the most intrusive inspections in the history of the NPT. The IAEA are frustrated because the Washington demands they revisit issues that have already been investigated.  The same thing happened to UNSOM in the 90’s with Iraq. US policy is about regime change, thus they will not allow Iran to be give a pass..

Iran agreed to additional protocols and suspended enrichment.  The E3 (UK, Germany and France) were supposed to come up with a proposal. The E3 missed 2 deadlines and after the second,  Iran resumed as was it’s right. This was one of those “safeguard” violation.

The safeguards non-compliance has nothing to do with nuclear weapons proliferation, but is being used to suggest that it does. If anyone is in violation of the NPT, it is the UNSC.

Statements like “much of the world believes” is a vacuous argument.  The reason much of the world believes Iran wants nukes is because that is what they have been told by propagandists.  Were we not told that everyone “knows Saddam has WMD?  Were we not told that everyone believed Saddam had WMD?

When are you going to wake up Marshall?

Confidence in Iran’s claims to the contrary are low because Iran has been demonized.

I know that the NIE found.

>>1.Iran definitely had a secret nuclear weapons program through 2003 - which means it was (and still is) lying about not having one during that time.<<

The word program can mean anything.  The Duelfer report on Iraq WMD concluded that Saddam had WMD related programs, which included the redeployment of scientists from weapons programs to civilians programs, yet people like you would probably assume this meant he was still making mustard gas.

This part of the NIE is highly suspect because it is based on the contents of a stolen laptop that the CIA has stated is dubious.  The US government has refused to allow that laptop to be forensically examined to verify it authenticity.

>>2.Iran likely halted its nuclear program in 2003, but is “keeping open its option to develop nuclear weapons”.  NIE does not know if Iran has restarted this program since 2007.<<

Keeping an option open means absolutely nothing. Dennis Blair, head on US intelligence testified in 2009, that the intelligence community stood by the conclusions of the 2007 NIE.  Iran has NOT restarted this program.  IAEA reports have supported this conclusion by stating with 100% certainty, that Iran is not diverting any nuclear material.

>>3.“We assess with moderate confidence that convincing the Iranian leadership to forgo the eventual development of nuclear weapons will be difficult”<<

This statement is also utterly meaningless incredibly vague.  No time frame is given to tell us what is meant by “eventual” and secondly, all it really says is that should the Iranians decide to go nuclear, it will be difficult to stop them. Kind of obvious isn’t it?  Look at North Korea.

>> In fact IAEA remains unable to draw a conclusion on whether Iran has a secret nuke program because of Iran’s non-compliance and refusal to implement additional protocol.<<

1.The IAEA is unable to draw a conclusion because it is impossible to prove a negative.  It has has not reported Iran non-compliance.
2.The additional protocol were never implemented because the E3 failed.
3.The IAEA did NOT miss the covert nuke program No facilities and no fissile material existed.  That is all the IAEA is tasked to locate.
4.The allegation in the NIE is based on a stolen laptop that the CIA regards as an unreliable source –  the political arm of the the MEK. 

The West “believed” Saddam had WMD.

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By Shingo, June 23, 2009 at 8:41 pm Link to this comment

Part 2 of 2

>> And since Iran is regarded with much suspicion due to its public bellicosity, hatred of Israel, funding of Hamas and Hezbollah

This is the crux of it really.  Iran is not our friend, therefore there are a separate set of standards which apply to such states.  If you don’t play ball with the West, the west will make life difficult for you.

Of course, even this statement is filled with double standards and half truths:

1.Iran is the biggest country in the Middle East.  It therefor has every right to be regarded as a regional power and command respect.
2.Iran has not attacked or invaded any other country in 300 years, so it is clearly false to imply that Ian has expanding regional aspirations.
3.Iran has no history of deception about enrichment and no nuclear program. No illicit activity has been uncovered.

>> Obviously the NIE contradicts this.

It’s not obvious at all. The US government refuses to allow the evidence (which came from a Iranian terrorist opposition group and Mossad affiliate) to be forensically examined and the CIA has stated it is highly dubious.

>> If it involved suicide bombers for example, that’d be terrorism.

Terrorism doesn’t need to include suicide attacks.  Your blinkered idea of terrorism is based on anti Muslim sentiment.  Israel was founded by terrorist groups, none of whom used suicide attacks.

>> You seem intent on excusing Iran’s bad behavior by demonizing the US.

No I just can’t tolerate the hypocrisy and double standards.  We have reduced the term terrorist to mean anyone we don’t like, while justifying our own terror.

>> Our intervention in WWII had unintended consequences, but few would judge it a failure.

Our intervention was of no consequence.  The Germans would have lost with or without us.

To anyone with a brain, the alleged Iranian nuclear program of 2003 was non existent.  Why else would it have taken Iran 5-6 years since then to achieve the process of enriching uranium to a mere 3%, when nukes require enrichment to over 90%?

In January, CIA Director Michael Hayden testified that there is no evidence that proves Tehran is edging towards developing nuclear weapons.  The worst that Hayden could say about his belief that Iran wants nukes is “Personal belief, yes. It’s hard for me to explain. This is not court of law stuff,”.

The head oft the CIA has a gut feeling that he can’t explain?  That’s the best we got.  How utterly pathetic.

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By Marshall, June 23, 2009 at 7:02 pm Link to this comment

<<you have failed to provide one shred of proof that Iran is trying to make a nuclear weapon.>>

Obviously, if someone had incontrovertible proof there’d be no argument here.  Part of the problem is Iran’s lack of transparency (hence IAEA recommendation of safeguards non-compliance and subsequent UN resolution, which you trivialize).  The point is that much of the world believes Iran is intent on obtaining nukes and confidence in Iran’s claims to the contrary is low.

<<The 2007 NIE ... concluded that there is no nuclear program.>>

You’ve simplified the NIE to make it say what you want.  Here’s what the NIE found:

1. Iran definitely had a secret nuclear weapons program through 2003 - which means it was (and still is) lying about not having one during that time.

2. Iran likely halted its nuclear program in 2003, but is “keeping open its option to develop nuclear weapons”.  NIE does not know if Iran has restarted this program since 2007.

3. “We assess with moderate confidence that convincing the Iranian leadership to forgo the eventual development of nuclear weapons will be difficult”

Dennis Blair’s testimony confirmed that the NIE was valid as of 2007, but offered no new information and no more current NIE has been issued.

http://intelligence.senate.gov/090212/blair.pdf

So if you’re going to try and use the NIE to support your position, then you’d better be prepared to accept the parts of it that don’t. 

<<The IAEA has repeatedly stated that there is no evidence of a nuclear program.>>

In fact IAEA remains unable to draw a conclusion on whether Iran has a secret nuke program because of Iran’s non-compliance and refusal to implement additional protocol.  IAEA also missed the covert nuke program the NIE says Iran had through 2003.  Though you consider the safeguards violation to be meaningless, it nonetheless is part of why the west believes Iran is pursuing nuclear weapons.

<<Failure to comply with the NPT safeguards agreements is common place among nuclear states, and can refer to trivial cases of unsafe handling of fissile material.>>

But does not in this case.  And since Iran is regarded with much suspicion due to its public bellicosity, hatred of Israel, funding of Hamas and Hezbollah, human rights abuses, expanding regional aspirations, and history of deception about its enrichment and nuke program, the world is naturally concerned.

<<Kameni has stats nuclear weapons are incompatible with Islam and Ahmadinejad has denounced nukes as backward.>>

Obviously the NIE contradicts this.

<<The west has tried to argue that Iran’s alleged nuclear weapons program is hidden, but has no idea where, so an invasion would be pointless.>>

Not pointless, but difficult.  And no guarantee of success.  No disagreement there.

<<Both Livni and Bush have admitted that we have covert operations underway to help exploit the apparent rift that’s formed within the ruling council.  That’s called terrorism BTW.>>

Depends on what that covert action is.  If it involved suicide bombers for example, that’d be terrorism.  If it involved disinformation, that would not.  You seem intent on excusing Iran’s bad behavior by demonizing the US.

<<Name one intervention in history that has born fruit, and not resulted in blowback or unintended consequences.>>

Name one medicine that does not have side effects; that doesn’t make medicine bad.  Our intervention in WWII had unintended consequences, but few would judge it a failure.

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By ardee, June 23, 2009 at 6:33 pm Link to this comment

Iran is already convinced that it wants nuclear weapons, so the point of an invasion would be to remove as much of its nuclear infrastructure as possible.  But it’s definitely the worst case scenario.
......................

The above is a typical right wing propaganda tool designed to put forth an absurdity and use it to convince you to commit an atrocity.

When one finds an individual who claims a knowledge unknown to most everyone else..
(Iran seeking nuclear weaponry) and uses that to warrant an attack to remove what may very well be a mythical target, an attack that is about as illegal under international law as one might get, one that will certainly double the chances of reprisals on American soil, one might consider that this person may very well be a madman.

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By Shingo, June 23, 2009 at 6:15 pm Link to this comment

niloroth,

“those of us who are interested in freedom and democracy around the world (yes, that includes the US) are doing something.”

Were you doign something when Egypt had it’s last elections and suppressed dissent, imprisoned political opponents and crushed demonstrations?

Iran does not have to make the case that the US is to blame this.  Bush policies for toppling the regime were reported more than 2 years ago.

“even though they are mistranslating Obama’s speeches and creating lies about the protesters.”

How do you know they are lying about the protesters?

“if you have the skills, help to take down Iranian government sites.”

That’s called terrorism.

“Sorry kid, only one of us is sitting in a chair doing jack shit about the world today, and it ain’t me.”

All you’re doing is feeding anti Iranian hysteria.

Every day it’s become more obvious that this is another one of the exports faux color coded revolution that we saw in Ukraine and Georgia.

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By KDelphi, June 23, 2009 at 5:57 pm Link to this comment

niloroth—I am not interested in religious propaganda.

Shingo—Thanks. It seems that that is entirely correct…

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By Shingo, June 23, 2009 at 5:52 pm Link to this comment

KDelphi,

Livni behind closed doors: Iranian nuclear arms pose little threat to Israel
http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/916777.html

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By KDelphi, June 23, 2009 at 5:25 pm Link to this comment

Shingo—I agree with most of your post, but, do you have a link as to where Livni said that Israel could live with Iranian nukes? Because I thought I had heard her say something quite different. I am not saying that I know, ok?

niloroth—I am “sitting this one out”, because the vast evidence indicates to me, that you guys are an Imperialistic tool. I have protested in the streets many time over many things, and spent time in jail but not over a US Shah’s son backed coup.

You can twitter, proxy and fake-revolution all you like.

But, it is probably best if you go to Iran. That is where the “revolution” is supposed to be, isnt it? or is THIS one “all about the uS”, too? Is everything “about the uS”?

Heaven forbid that they should “mistranslate Obama”—the biggest Imperialistic tool!!

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By Shingo, June 23, 2009 at 4:39 pm Link to this comment

Marshall,

I just noticed another example of your ignorance on the matter of nuclear weapons:

“The arms race that will ensue (indeed has already begun) after Iran’s program becomes public will morph a regional problem into a global one.”

Apart from the fact there is no evidence that an arms race has begun (a race involves more than one country), what you fail to comprehend is that for Iran to embark on a nuclear weapons program, they wold have to do as follows:

1. Withdraw from the NPT
2. Remove the IAEA inspectors
3. Conduct a nuclear detonation test

None of these steps could happen in secret, so even if Iran did have a nuclear weapons program, which is not the case, there woudl be clear signals along the way. No nuclear power has ever produced a nuclear weapons capability without conducting tests, including Israel, who conducted their tests in South Africa.

Even then, if Iran were to conduct a successful test, they would be back to square one because they would have consumed all their enriched uranium stockpiles during the detonation.

While Israel has been predicting for the last 10 years that Iran is 1 year away from a nuke,  the Jerusalem post recently reported that Iran could have enough HEU by the end of the year, if they converted all o their LEU to HEU. In other word, even the Israelis agree there is no nuclear weapons program.

This is assuming that Iran start the process and as the IAEA has stated, all fissile material in Iranian possession is accounted for.

last but not least, both Tzipi Livni and the Israeli public believe Israel could live with a nuclear armed Iran.

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By Shingo, June 23, 2009 at 3:42 pm Link to this comment

Marshall,

Among all your assertions, you have failed to provide one shred of proof that Iran is trying to make a nuclear weapon.

No, Europe and the U.S. do not disagree with me.  The 2007 NIE, the work of 16 intelligence agencies, concluded that there is no nuclear program.  2 months ago, Dennis Blair (Director of Intelligence) testified before the Senate that the 16 intelligence agencies still stand by the findings of the 2007 NIE.

The IAEA has repeatedly stated that there is no evidence of a nuclear program.  In fact, the IAEA has reported that it is certain there has been no diversion of nuclear material.  Iran has been subject to the most intrusive inspection regime in history.
There is also no evidence whatosoever that Iran has supplied arms against U.S. troops in Iraq.  In fact, only 1% of arms found in Iraq are Iranian made, and there is no evidence that the Iranians supplied them directly.

The US directly supports terrorism in the region also.  The MEK is listed by the State Department as a terrorist groups and the US has been supporting and financing them. The Jundullah is a jihadist group, and Kaleid Sheik Mohammed’s old gang, which the US has been supporting.  Both have been setting off bombs and meddling in Iran, so the US is in no position to be lecturing others about supporting terrorism
The IAEA HAS stated that there is no evidence of an Iranian nuclear program.  It is impossible to prove a negative, so the IAEA will never report that a state has no nuclear weapons program,
The IAEA has not has NOT ruled that Iran is in non-compliance with its request to halt enrichment.  That request came from the UNSC and is in violation of the NPT, which guarantees all signatories the inaliable right to nuclear power and enrichment for peaceful purposes.

Failure to comply with the NPT safeguards agreements is common place among nuclear states, and can refer to trivial cases of unsafe handling of fissile material.
Iran is NOT convinced that it wants nuclear weapons.  Kameni has stats nuclear weapons are incompatible with Islam and Ahmadinejad has denounced nukes as backward. You might argue that Kameni is lying, but as the religious supreme leader, his word is law.

The west has tried to argue that Iran’s alleged nuclear weapons program is hidden, but has no idea where, so an invasion would be pointless.

Both Livni and Bush have admitted that we have covert operations underway to help exploit the apparent rift that’s formed within the ruling council.  That’s called terrorism BTW.

Iran’s domestic moderates were in power for 16 years, and we still maintained bad relations with them.
Name one intervention in history that has born fruit, and not resulted in blowback or unintended consequences. Intervention begets more intervention and we end up with people like Saddam in power.

You clearly have a poor understanding of history and all subjects you have tried to address.

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By Shingo, June 23, 2009 at 3:41 pm Link to this comment

Marshall,

“A country that secretly develops its nukes whilst claiming it has no such program (as Iran does) is extremely worrisome.”

You mean like Israel?

“The arms race that will ensue (indeed has already begun) after Iran’s program becomes public will morph a regional problem into a global one.”

There is no evidence of an Iranian program so you are simply speculating.

“And while the likelihood of Iran attacking Israel directly is probably not high, the likelihood that it will seek to use its nuclear technology in more clandestine ways to further its ideologically hegemonic ambitions is high.”

A deranged, right wing analysis. An attack on Israel would de suicidal and Iran’s leadership has demonstrated it is highly pragmatic.

Secondly, Iran has no nuclear weapons program, so you are making absurd speculations.

Israel has no regard for human rights.  Do you find that worrisome?

BTW. Iran is has never threatened Israel and is not committed to it’s destruction. Anyone who reads knows that this lie was debunked years ago.
You are clearly not interested in facts Marshall, but propaghanda.

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By Marshall, June 23, 2009 at 3:20 pm Link to this comment

By Ed Harges, June 23 at 12:54 pm #

“Yes indeed, Marshall, [military action] would certainly would be the worst thing that could happen — worse even than letting Iran develop a nuclear weapons capability.”

Perhaps, perhaps not.  Either way is a big risk.  A country that secretly develops its nukes whilst claiming it has no such program (as Iran does) is extremely worrisome.  The arms race that will ensue (indeed has already begun) after Iran’s program becomes public will morph a regional problem into a global one.  And while the likelihood of Iran attacking Israel directly is probably not high, the likelihood that it will seek to use its nuclear technology in more clandestine ways to further its ideologically hegemonic ambitions is high.

Progressives more than anyone ought to be worried about the ascension of a regime with no regard for human rights, the will of its people, the rights of women, and which controls vast proxy armies that remain committed to the destruction of a neighboring state and its people.

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By dr wu, June 23, 2009 at 3:01 pm Link to this comment

Send Cheney to Iran! Heck, overthrow the damn government. We did it before using only Kermit Roosevelt, Teddy’s grandson.

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brewerstroupe's avatar

By brewerstroupe, June 23, 2009 at 2:56 pm Link to this comment

The Poll:

....there was only one poll carried out by a western news organization. It was jointly commissioned by the BBC and ABC News, and conducted by an independent entity called the Center for Public Opinion (CPO) of the New America Foundation. The CPO has a reputation of conducting accurate opinion polls, not only in Iran, but across the Muslim world since 2005. The poll, conducted a few weeks before the elections, predicted an 89 percent turnout rate. Further, it showed that Ahmadinejad had a nationwide advantage of two to one over Mousavi.

How did this survey compare to the actual results? And what are the possibilities of wide scale election fraud?

According to official results, there were 46.2 million registered voters in Iran. The turnout was massive, as predicted by the CPO. Almost 39.2 million Iranians participated in the elections for a turn out rate of 85 percent, in which about 38.8 million ballots were deemed valid (about 400,000 ballots were left blank). Officially, President Ahmadinejad received 24.5 million votes to Mousavi’s 13.2 million votes, or 62.6 per cent to 33.8 per cent of the total votes, respectively. In fact, this result mirrored the 2005 elections when Ahmadinejad received 61.7 per cent to former President Hashemi Rafsanjani’s 35.9 per cent in the runoff elections.

The vote count:

There were a total of 45,713 ballot boxes that were set up in cities, towns and villages across Iran. With 39.2 million ballots cast, there were less than 860 ballots per box. Unlike other countries where voters can cast their ballots on several candidates and issues in a single election, Iranian voters had only one choice to consider: their presidential candidate. Why would it take more than an hour or two to count 860 ballots per poll?  After the count, the results were then reported electronically to the Ministry of the Interior in Tehran.

http://www.counterpunch.org/amin06222009.html

The U.S. involvement:

On May 23, 2007, Brian Ross and Richard Esposito reported on ABC News: “The CIA has received secret presidential approval to mount a covert “black” operation to destabilize the Iranian government, current and former officials in the intelligence community tell ABC News.”

On May 27, 2007, the London Telegraph independently reported: “Mr. Bush has signed an official document endorsing CIA plans for a propaganda and disinformation campaign intended to destabilize, and eventually topple, the theocratic rule of the mullahs.”

A few days previously, the Telegraph reported on May 16, 2007, that Bush administration neocon warmonger John Bolton told the Telegraph that a US military attack on Iran would “be a ‘last option’ after economic sanctions and attempts to foment a popular revolution had failed.”

On June 29, 2008, Seymour Hersh reported in the New Yorker: “Late last year, Congress agreed to a request from President Bush to fund a major escalation of covert operations against Iran, according to current and former military, intelligence, and congressional sources. These operations, for which the President sought up to four hundred million dollars, were described in a Presidential Finding signed by Bush, and are designed to destabilize the country’s religious leadership.”

The protests in Tehran no doubt have many sincere participants. The protests also have the hallmarks of the CIA orchestrated protests in Georgia and Ukraine. It requires total blindness not to see this.

http://www.counterpunch.org/roberts06192009.html

One of my favourite things about Americans is the wonderfully colourful and appropriate sayings they come up with.

“Don’t piss on my leg and tell me it is raining” comes to mind in this instance.

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By ardee, June 23, 2009 at 2:50 pm Link to this comment

Ed Harges, June 23 at 11:21 am #

re:By ardee, June 23 at 6:35 am:

.........................

I am in agreement with Mr. Harges, I will now go and lie down until this passes.

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By niloroth, June 23, 2009 at 2:07 pm Link to this comment

Reposted from another site i frequent, some good info in here for those not wanting to sit on the sidelines

For any of you interested in following the events in Iran, and want a great primer on what is going on, who the people and groups involved, i would highly recommend this site.

https://sites.google.com/site/tatsumairanupdate/

It is being updated with solidarity protest all over the us, and updated as new info becomes available.  it seems to be a great source for some of the breaking info that is coming our of Iran via twitter. 

Just figured i would share, it is an interesting time over there.

Update 6/22

So, here are some more links and info.

Yes, Anonymous has joined the protests, along with the pirate bay.  If even all they do is contribute with proxies and forums for communication, it will be useful. However, as amorphous as anonymous is, there are some very talented people allied with them, and maybe some really really good stuff will come out of their joining the fight.

The anonymous website is Why We Protest - IRAN  Check it out.

If you are interested in setting up a proxy for iranians to use to communicate with the outside world, i would recommend either the anonymous website, or Austin Heap Blog Archive How to setup a proxy for Iran citizens (for Windows!) Note: if you are going to do this, please read over this link to make sure you are configured correctly, and only do it if you have a very very stable connection.  If someone only gets one shot at uploading their data, and they pick your proxy, and it is down, that could stop useful information from reaching the outside.

Check the rest of that blog as well for a lot of info. Austin Heap

Apparently changing your facebook and twitter to iran/tehran is making it harder for the government there to track everything, if you are so inclined, feel free to do so.

Nokia Siemans provided tech for the iranian government to censor the phones of the iranian people.  Feel free to let them know how you feel about that if you want.  Contact us - Other inquiries - Nokia Siemens Networks

As far as analysis of the election results goes, there are a few studies out there, i will try to find some of the better ones to link to if anyone really wants to get into the numbers and statistics.  However, a good overview can be found in this article.
Claims of vote-rigging in Iran backed by British academics’ analysis - Times Online

I have been keeping up with this rather steadily, and if there is any further feedback from people, i will continue to pass along info and links i find.  I am really pulling for the protesters, I think there could be a real tipping point on the horizon, it is just a matter of them maintaining pressure and presence for long enough.

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By niloroth, June 23, 2009 at 2:04 pm Link to this comment

Kdelphi:

You can sit on the sidelines if you want.  those of us who are interested in freedom and democracy around the world (yes, that includes the US) are doing something.  And no, i do not want a military invasion of Iran, I think that so far Obama is holding the right course.  The government in Iran wants nothing more than to blame this on the US, and so far, they have failed to make that case, even though they are mistranslating Obama’s speeches and creating lies about the protesters.

As far as what US citizens can do, well, set up a proxy for the iranians to use, or, if you have the skills, help to take down Iranian government sites.  Support doctors and reporters without borders.  Let your elected officials know you care, and turn up at rallies and protests. 

Sorry kid, only one of us is sitting in a chair doing jack shit about the world today, and it ain’t me.

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By KDelphi, June 23, 2009 at 11:59 am Link to this comment

niloroth—feel free to go and die for “regime change—in Iraq or Iran. I think its called the military. Or be an armchair coward. Or, maybe you could choose to work for “free and fair election” here, or is that too close to home and you might have to actually DO something?

And feel free to get rid of Nukes, Robert—US nukes first then Israel’s. Then, maybe we wouldnt sound like such hypoctrits.

Folktruther—Here is an article that speaks , somewhat, to that.

http://www.wsws.org/articles/2009/jun2009/iran-j23.shtml

“Mousavi’s call for a new election based on charges of fraud—picked up and amplified by the US and European media—was the principal demand of last week’s mass protests, which were confined largely to urban middle-class and more privileged layers attracted to the opposition candidate’s promise of “reform.”

The content of this “reform,” aside from vague promises of greater personal liberties, consists of reducing friction between Tehran and Washington, opening up Iran further to foreign capital, instituting a faster pace of privatization of state-owned industries, and a halt to the limited social assistance programs that Ahmadinejad has used to secure the regime a popular base…..

...Mousavi is himself a longtime senior official in the regime and an unlikely reformer. During the 1980s, as prime minister for nearly the entire decade, he presided over the brutal repression of left-wing and other dissident…

...Behind Mousavi stands Iran’s billionaire ex-president, Ayatollah Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, who lost the 2005 Iranian election to Ahmadinejad. In a profile of Rafsanjani published Monday, the New York Times described the ex-president as someone who “supports greater opening to the West, privatizing parts of the economy and granting more power to civil elected institutions.” The newspaper compared this agenda favorably to the current regime, which it said “has done little to modernize the stagnant economy.”

The media supports the symbolic “revolution” as it supports all Capitalist “revolutions”, because it opens up “markets”.
The media reports that 2.8% of US citizens are “on twitter”, dsepite the HUGE promotion of it. CNN says that “this is still alot”?..NO, its not. This was also a “twitter” promotion. (we’ll probably find about about financing later) 


“Behind the media’s enthusiasm for the “green revolution” in Iran stands the US government and its intelligence agencies, which have attempted to maintain a low profile while allowing the subservient press to propagandize in support of Washington’s line on the election.”

There is also media enthusisam for “obamizing” the Iranian elction , as in ‘he called for hope and change everywhere!”

Gawd.

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By Folktruther, June 23, 2009 at 10:50 am Link to this comment

You question, KDelphi, why people can’t see that what is happening now with Iran is what happened with Iraq, the Big LIe of a “Stolen Election” now serving the same function as the former Big Lie, “Weapons of Mass Desruction.”

People tend to identify with their own authorities when they are in conflict with the power of Enemy authorities.  The War Progressives, like Dionne, influence such rank and file progressives still in thrall to them.  Since the War Progressives, including, objectively, truthdig, overwelming support the Big Lie of the “stolen Election”, military intervention in Iran seems reasonaable, progressive and courageous to them.

What is needed is to enlighten the American people, indeed, all people, in the typical techniques that power uses to manipulate the population.  Such as the Big Lie technuque, and false flag operations.  This can be done within an ideologyy of Powerism, which promotes power to the people.  there is absolutely no reason whatever that people can’t learn about, say, geostrategy, if it were explained in a simple way.  But all political science is now explained from the perspective of power.  But there is no reason that it could not be explained from the perspective of the population ruled by power.

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By Ed Harges, June 23, 2009 at 9:54 am Link to this comment

Marshall unwittingly writes the truth:

“...the point of an invasion [of Iran] would be to remove as much of its nuclear infrastructure as possible.  But it’s definitely the worst case scenario.”

Yes indeed, Marshall, that certainly would be the worst thing that could happen — worse even than letting Iran develop a nuclear weapons capability.

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By Marshall, June 23, 2009 at 9:40 am Link to this comment

By Shingo, June 23 at 3:57 am #

Europe and the U.S. would disagree with you Iran’s aims are peaceful and legitimate, and the IAEA has not been able to verify the absence of nuclear materials because Iran has dragged its feet on transparency - an ominous sign from a regime that has supplied arms against U.S. troops in Iraq and directly supports terrorism in the region.  The IAEA has NOT stated that Iran has no nuke program; in fact, it has ruled Iran in non-compliance with its request to halt enrichment as a result of its failure to comply with the NPT safeguards agreement.  And verification isn’t something the world wants to leave to chance. 

Iran is already convinced that it wants nuclear weapons, so the point of an invasion would be to remove as much of its nuclear infrastructure as possible.  But it’s definitely the worst case scenario.

I agree that the U.S. doesn’t have a strong hand in Iran with rhetoric alone, which is why I hope we’ve got covert operations underway to help exploit the apparent rift that’s formed within the ruling council.  “Staying out of their business” will not benefit Iran’s domestic moderates.  Mousavi will likely be in jail (or executed) soon and won’t have the opportunity to call for anyone’s help.

Your categorical rejection of intervention flies in the face of history where numerous interventions have born fruit, and are sometimes the only means by which we can protect our interests.  Obviously not all are successful, but many are and unfortunately unavoidable at times.

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By Ed Harges, June 23, 2009 at 8:21 am Link to this comment

re:By ardee, June 23 at 6:35 am:

The Israeli position (and the US position under Bush) has been that the mere fact that Iran is enriching uranium is alone unacceptable. The enrichment activity is by itself sufficient evidence of a nuclear weapons program, in their view. The hawks contend that Iran must be forbidden to enrich uranium for any purpose because it is impossible to verify with 100% certainty that Iran’s nuclear enrichment is for peaceful purposes only. (And that’s true. There is always some uncertainty.)

The NPT guarantees signatories the right to conduct enrichment, but Israel and its friends argue that Iran is too dangerous to be allowed have this legally guaranteed capacity, no matter how intrusive the inspection regime.

The IAEA has confirmed over and over again that it cannot find any evidence for diversion of the technology to any weapons program. But Israel fears that simply having enrichment capability makes it possible for Iran at any time to undertake a nuclear weapons program with worrisome speed, even if there is no such weapons program at this time, as far as the IAEA has been able to determine.

And the Israelis, unlike the rest of us, have the right to do whatever it takes to reduce their risk of harm to zero - even if that means obliterating anybody who even looks at them funny.

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By felicity, June 23, 2009 at 7:47 am Link to this comment

I’m always amused when ‘we’ get on our self-righteous soap-box and preach ‘fair’ elections as the hallmark of a true democratic state when our own elections are shot through with so many irregularities as to make the resulting numbers always suspect.

Why did we deny entry to U.N. election observers who asked to observe at polling places on federal election day in 2004?  Guess.

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By RobertinWestbury, June 23, 2009 at 5:42 am Link to this comment

I do not believe Obama has an ‘Iran dilemma.’  It is what it is, and he has stated how he intends to handle it, and is sticking to it. 

The dilemma is with the politicians who can’t stand the commander in chief deciding we’ll mind our own business…

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By ardee, June 23, 2009 at 3:35 am Link to this comment

Marshall, June 23 at 2:31 am #

Iran’s nuclear aspirations should be of paramount importance to the U.S. and our stance on the uprising should be in service to that concern.
................................

I would ask this forum if anyone here has proof positive that Iran seeks nuclear weaponry? I put the question to the forum rather than to the poster who makes that assertion because it is honest dialogue I seek and not extremist right wing propaganda.

I would also add that attempts by the USA to approach the question of who should have nuclear weaponry amounts to nuclear apartheid. We have no problem with Pakistan or Israel possessing such yet seek to deny others, and we refuse to even reduce much less abolish our own stockpiles of such devices. Who do we think we are?

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By Shingo, June 23, 2009 at 1:04 am Link to this comment

You can support tyranny through apathy, i will chose another route. All of us should.
niloroth, June 23 at 3:19 am

Someone’s been watching too many Harry Potter films. Tell us oh great niloroth (cool name), what’s your grand plan to overcome tyranny.

Remember, your wand isn’t real.

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By Shingo, June 23, 2009 at 12:57 am Link to this comment

Marshall,

Iran’s nuclear aspirations are established.  They are peaceful and legitimate and conform to the NPT. 

As a memebr of the NPT, Iran has the inaliable right to nucelar power.

What continued intransigence are you alluding to? teh IAEA and the US intelligenve have stated there in no nuclear weapons porgram.

Invading Iran will only convince them that they shoudl pursue nuclear weapons.

The only way to strengthen moderate voices within the country is to stay the hell out of their business. Do you hear Mousavi or any demonstrator calling for our help?

A hands-off policy is the only option and a sensible one.  How many more failures will it take before ignoramuses like you learn the simple lesson that intervention begets more intervention?

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By niloroth, June 23, 2009 at 12:19 am Link to this comment

KDelphi:

“I would like to know, exactly what is it that those who “wish to get involved” would have the uS do??

What right do we have to tell other countries govts what to do?? NONE!

Get the log out of your own eye, as they say.”

Coward.

instead of standing up for democracy, freedom of speech, freedom of communication, and the right to gather and criticize your government, you would say that americans should not get involved when another county cracks down on it’s own people? 

You are a sad sad person.  You can support tyranny through apathy, i will chose another route. All of us should.

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