Archive | November 11th, 2011

Holocaust denier’ set for key role in Greek government?

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 by crescentandcross in Uncategorized 

 

Georgios Karatzaferis, right-wing leader who previously compared IDF to Hitler may have major role in new government

ynet

Jewish organizations in Germany have expressed their shock over plans in Greece to involve the extreme right wing party LAOS, led by Georgios Karatzaferis, in Greece’s provisional government.

Greek media reported Thursday that Karatzaferis played a central role in the steps that led to the establishment of a government that would try to navigate Greece out of its debt crisis by implementing a European financial plan. The reports also said he was set to be part of the new government.

Reports claim that in the last few years, Karatzaferis made a long line of anti-Semitic and anti-Israeli statements. After the 9/11 attacks in New York, the politician posed the question “why were all the Jews warned not to come to work that day?” before the Greek parliament.

On a televised debate with Israel’s ambassador to Greece he said: “Lets talk about all these tales of Auschwitz and Dachau”; in 2002 during a parliament session he asked the then Greek prime minister: “Is it true that your daughter secretly married a Jew?”; and during Operation Cast Lead in 2008, Karatzaferis said that the IDF was acting “with savage brutality only seen in Hitler’s time towards helpless people.”

Greek media reported that LAOS, the Popular Orthodox Rally party – an extreme right party established by Karatzaferis in 2000 with 7% of the vote in the last elections – will most likely be a partner in the national unity government.

They will join the government together with the left-wing PASOK party which has been in power until only recently, and the right-wing New Democracy party. It was claimed that Karatzaferis may even take up a role as a minister.

In the last few days, the Central Committee of German Jews published a letter in which they demanded that European countries put pressure on the central parties in Greece to refuse to cooperate with the party.

“A professed anti-Semitic politician cannot serve in a government with which the German government will need to negotiate billions in aid,” Committee Chairman Dieter Graumann told Germany’s Bild.

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Zio-Nazi Livni: The world must take action against Iran

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Zio-Nazi Tzipi Livni

jpost.com

Opposition leader Tzipi Livni embarked on a media campaign Wednesday in an effort to convince the international community to take action against Iran’s nuclear program. Speaking with The Jerusalem Post and nine different foreign media outlets, Livni called the Iranian issue, “not political.”

On Tuesday, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) released a report confirming suspicions that Iran is building parts for nuclear weapons.

“Today, the whole world faces an important test: Will they understand that Iran is a threat that must be taken care of?” Livni told the Post.

The Kadima leader explained that Iran is not a political issue.

“This is not something that a particular prime minister is advocating,” she said. “This isn’t an effort for just one side. We must try to bring a strong international decision.”

Livni’s media campaign is focusing specifically on Russia and China, in hopes of convincing the two key countries to intensify their opposition to Tehran in the UN Security Council.

“The report revealed a truth that Israel has been saying for years: Iran is in a nuclear arms race, and Iran must be stopped,” she said in interviews with Russian national television and radio, as well as China’s official news agency.

“Until now, China and Russia avoided dramatic sanctions for economic reasons,” Livni explained to the Post. “In the past, I tried to convince them, but the answer I received is that there is no proof.”

“Now there is proof that this isn’t a Zionist plot,” she added.

As far as China’s claim that the IAEA report doesn’t offer sufficient proof to act against Iran, Livni said “whoever is looking for an excuse can find it, but this is a serious report. They can’t argue with it.”

In interviews with Chinese and Russian media, as well as the BBC, AP, Reuters, CNN, Moscow Television and Sky News, Livni explained that “Tehran’s behavior is a problem for the entire free world. It is time to act.”

“Iran is not only an Israeli problem; it never was. It is a problem for the whole world, and if Tehran will reach its goals, the whole world will pay the price,” she said.

“World leaders must work together and take action,” Livni added. “Make the obvious conclusions from this report. You cannot claim that you don’t have enough information.”

“Iran must be stopped. The time to act is now. There is no longer a dilemma on this issue,” she said.

Earlier Wednesday, Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee chairman Shaul Mofaz (Kadima) called the IAEA report “an opportunity for the free world to take action.”

Speaking from the US, Mofaz told Army Radio that he thinks “the time has come to intensify sanctions and paralyze the Iranian economy.”

“The report exposed the true face of Iran and its intentions,” the Kadima MK said. “Anyone who thinks he’s immune [to the Iranian threat] is making a mistake.”

Mofaz, who was born in Tehran and moved to Israel at age 9, explained that Iran’s missile range could reach most European capitals, and will bring “a balance of terror in the Middle East.”

He contended that “military action of any kind, particularly from Israel, is the last and worst course of action at this time, but all options must be on the table and ready.”

“We will not accept a nuclear Iran,” Mofaz said.

BUT…BUT…BUT…THAT’S NOT WHAT YOU SAID A FEW YEARS AGO–

Livni behind closed doors: Iran nukes pose little threat to Israel

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 Friday.

Livni also criticized the exaggerated use that Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is making of the issue of the Iranian bomb, claiming that he is attempting to rally the public around him by playing on its most basic fears. Last week, former Mossad chief Ephraim Halevy said similar things about Iran.

The article also reveals for the first time a document Livni prepared and sent to Olmert a few months after the Second Lebanon War proposing a new division of labor between the two. “Enclosed is a proposal for work procedures between us, with the aim of providing an answer to Israel’s strategic needs and facilitating early planning and the formulation of coordinated Israeli positions … within the framework of cooperative relations, full transparency and continuous mutual updates,” wrote Livni.

She described in the document a number of required arrangements: “The prime minister and the foreign minister will hold regular work meetings at least once a week.” In an allusion to her absence form critical discussions during the war in Lebanon, she wrote: “The foreign minister will be invited to meetings with the prime minister on security matters and other meetings with serious implications.”

The most important part of the document relates to the talks with the Palestinians. Livni wrote: “The foreign minister shall represent the prime minister and the government of Israel, and will act on their behalf as the director of the dialogue with the relevant Palestinian representatives, and in accordance with the policy and methods to be coordinated in advance with the prime minster, while keeping him informed.”

It is reasonable to assume that Olmert’s decision to appoint Livni as head of the negotiating team with the Palestinians at the Annapolis summit is connected to the document.

The Haaretz article also reveals for the first time a draft of a document prepared for Livni by her advisor, Dr. Tal Becker of the Foreign Ministry, who is slated to serve as a senior member of the negotiating team with the Palestinians. The draft, named the Diplomatic Horizon, is pessimistic about the chances of reaching a permanent solution in the near future.

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Ahmadinejad–Iran ‘does not need’ nuclear weapons

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by crescentandcross in Uncategorized 

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says his country “does not need atomic bombs”, amid continuing controversy over Tehran’s nuclear ambitions.

Mr Ahmadinejad, quoted by state broadcaster IRIB, warned the US would “regret” any confrontation with Iran.

The UN’s atomic watchdog is expected to say this week that Iran is secretly developing a nuclear arms capability.

Israeli President Shimon Peres said on Sunday that an attack on Iran was becoming more likely.

Iran has always insisted that its nuclear programme is for civilian purposes.

Mr Ahmadinejad accused the head of the UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Yukiya Amano, of being a puppet of the US.

“This person does not publish a report about America and its allies’ nuclear arsenals,” he said.

“If America wants to confront the Iranian nation, it will certainly regret the Iranian nation’s response,” IRIB reported.

“If you think by pressuring the Iranian nation, you can change the situation in the world, you are very much mistaken.

“They are saying that Iran is seeking the atomic bomb. But they should know… we do not need a bomb. Rather, we will act thoughtfully and with logic.”

Diplomats say the IAEA report, due for release on Tuesday or Wednesday, will produce compelling evidence that Iran will find hard to dispute.

Fears calmed

On Tuesday, Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak played down speculation that Israel intended to strike Iranian nuclear facilities.

“War is not a picnic. We want a picnic. We don’t want a war,” Mr Barak told Israel Radio.

On Sunday, President Peres told the Israel daily newspaper Hayom that “there is an impression that Iran is getting closer to nuclear weapons”.

On Monday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov warned that military action against Iran would be a “very serious mistake fraught with unpredictable consequences”.

He said diplomacy, not missile strikes, was the only way to solve the Iranian nuclear problem.

Iran rejects IAEA report as ‘politically motivated’

Haaretz

Iran rejected as “politically motivated” a report by the UN nuclear watchdog on Tuesday in which the Islamic Republic was accused of working on developing an atomic bomb design, the semi-official Fars news agency reported.

“The report of the International Atomic Energy Agency is unbalanced, unprofessional and politically motivated,” Ali Asghar Soltanieh, Iran’s envoy to the IAEA, was quoted as saying.

The Vienna-based IAEA said the data “indicates that Iran has carried out activities relevant to the development of a nuclear explosive device”.

Major powers accuse Iran of trying to build bombs under cover of a civilian nuclear program. Tehran denies this, saying it needs nuclear technology to generate electricity.

“The IAEA is one of the most credible, thorough, important UN organizations out there,” State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said in response to Iranian assertions that the IAEA report is not credible.

“This is the director general of the IAEA’s report. It is based on inputs from the IAEA’s own cadre of inspectors and analysts, as well as inputs from some 10, 15 member states. So we would obviously reject that assertion. Iran should give the IAEA full access, full cooperation, full transparency that it has been asking for and that it has not received.”

The United States and its allies are expected to seize on the report to press for more punitive sanctions on the major oil producer over its record of hiding sensitive nuclear activity and lack of full cooperation with UN inspectors.

Soltanieh said the IAEA report did not contain any new issues.

“Despite Iran’s readiness for negotiations, the IAEA published the report … which will harm its reputation,” Soltanieh said.

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Labour Party celebrate by-election win in Sparkbrook

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Birmingham Mail 

BIRMINGHAM’S Labour Party has inched closer to securing over all control of the City Council with a by-election win in Sparkbrook.

Labour group leader Sir Albert Bore’s partner Victoria Quinn romped to victory in Sparkbrook with a 1,631 vote majority.

It means that Labour has 56 councillors, four short of the 60 needed to take over all control of the council from the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition.

The by-election was called following the resignation, due to ill health, of Respect Party leader Salma Yaqoob. The result leaves Respect with just one councillor, Shokat Ali, who is up for re-election in May next year.

Victoria Quinn, a lawyer, won 3,932 votes, while former Respect councillor Mohammed Ishtiaq came second with 2,301.

The remaining candidates were Liberal Democrat Adil Rashid, 395 votes, Green Party candidate Peter Tinsley, 179 votes and Sahar Rezazadeh gained 133 votes for the Tories.

A third of the electorate turned out.

 

List of candidates for Sparkbrook by-election

STATEMENT OF PERSONS NOMINATED

 The following persons have been nominated for the election of a Councillor on Thursday, 10th November 2011 for the SPARKBROOK Ward.

PERSONS NOMINATED

 

4.

 

 REASONS FOR WHICH THE RETURNING OFFICER HAS DECLARED A NOMINATION INVALID

 

1.

 

SURNAME

OTHER NAMES IN FULL

 

2.

 

HOME ADDRESS IN FULL

 

3.

 

DESCRIPTION (if any)

 Ishtiaq

Mohammed

22 Primrose Lane,

Hall Green,

Birmingham

B28 0JJ

The Respect Party

 Quinn

Victoria Elizabeth

86 Featherstone Road,

Birmingham

B14 6BE

The Labour Party Candidate

 Rashid

Adil

71 Pelham Road,

Ward End,

Birmingham

B8 2EP

Liberal Democrats

 Rezazadeh

Sahar

9 Doulton Close,

Birmingham

B32 2XF

The Conservative Party Candidate

 Tinsley

Peter James

75 Oakfield Road,

Birmingham

B29 7HL

The Green P

Read More http://www.birminghammail.net/news/birmingham-news/2011/11/11/labour-party-celebrate-by-election-win-in-sparkbrook-97319-29758656/#ixzz1dPQIrqDF

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Labour gains Sparkbrook seat on Birmingham City Council

NOVANEWS

Labour has increased its seats on Birmingham City Council after winning a by-election on Thursday.

Victoria Quinn has taken over the Sparkbrook ward formerly held by Salma Yaqoob, leader of the Respect Party.

Despite the gain, the council remains under the control of a Conservative/Liberal Democrat coalition.

Victory in the Sparkbrook seat means Labour now has 56 seats, with 61 needed for an overall majority.

Turnout was 33% and Ms Quinn won the seat with 3,932 votes, a majority of 1,631.

Birmingham City Council has been run by the coalition since 2004.

The Conservatives currently have 39 seats, Liberal Democrats 24 and Respect 1.

Forty seats on the council are due to be contested in May.

Ms Yaqoob, a member of the council since 2005, stood down in July due to ill health ??

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Gaza doctor tragedy central in IsraHell stage show

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by crescentandcross in Uncategorized 

Reuters

An Israeli mother-and-daughter play performed at a recent theatre festival climaxed with the tale of the killing of a Gaza doctor’s family, a 2009 event that brought the Israeli-Palestinian conflict deep into Israeli living rooms.

“Explosive: War tourism” culminated with the sounds of an audio recording of Dr Izzeldin Abuelaish’s cries, heard live at the time on Israeli TV, as he pleaded in a phone call to an Israeli reporter friend asking him to get the army to stop shooting at his house.

Three of Abuelaish’s daughters and a niece were killed by a tank shell during Israel’s December 2008-January 2009 offensive in the Gaza Strip.

The annual Acco (Acre) Festival of Alternative Israeli Theatre held in the Mediterranean coastal town in northern Israel is a haven for unconventional shows, and the performance by Naomi Yoeli and her daughter, Galia, was no exception.

“It is a very painful performance about an impossible situation of violence,” said Galia Yoeli, who with mother Naomi, provided a snapshot of how Israeli-Palestinian relations have evolved over decades of conflict.

Israel investigated the killings and acknowledged that two tank shells had hit Abuelaish’s house in Jabalya refugee camp. But it said the action was “reasonable” because two suspected militants were spotted on the house’s upper level.

About 1,400 Palestinians, including hundreds of civilians, and 13 Israelis were killed in the war Israel launched with the declared aim of curbing cross-border rocket fire from Palestinian militants.

Since the tragedy, Abuelaish, a gynecologist who had worked for years at some of Israel’s top hospitals, moved to Canada with the surviving members of his family. He wrote a book “I shall not hate,” about his story.

Play producer Revital Malka told Reuters the doctor had given his blessing to inclusion of the subject matter.

The outdoor show started with Naomi recounting to daughter Galia their family history and how previous generations, including Holocaust survivors, had settled in Israel.

MINIATURES

Naomi used miniature items such as porcelain dolls, building blocks and a toy bus to illustrate her story while Galia sat at a laptop, whose display was projected onto a giant screen, to research the Internet details of her mother’s tale.

The miniatures forced each member of the audience to use binoculars handed out before the start of the show to be able to view the proceedings close up.

The turning point in the 75-minute performance came about two-thirds through when Naomi described the 1967 Middle East war, when Israel defeated its Arab neighbours and captured large tracts of territory from them.

She enacted scenes of a bus tour to the Gaza Strip, typical of the day, by triumphant Israeli civilians who visited areas of the “newly acquired” lands, and their disdainful treatment of the indigenous population.

Naomi explained the significance of the binoculars.

“We would like to touch the hearts and minds of the people and allow them to look at the issues with a magnifying glass and not be blind to events,” she said.

Galia said the binoculars were also symbolic of the “war tourism” among some Israelis who during the Gaza offensive, took up vantage points along the border and watched the fighting from a safe distance.

“When you stand and look from the outside, it looks almost like a miniature and people were saying: ‘Let’s kill them all’, but when you go into detail, you see a small child being killed and this is what we tried to share with our audience.”

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Iran: Five Minutes to Zero Hour

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by crescentandcross in Uncategorized

Tehran in the crosshairs

by Justin Raimondo

If you wade through the International  Atomic Energy Agency’s much-awaited report [.pdf] on Iran’s alleged pursuit of nuclear  weapons technology – a fate I wouldn’t wish on anyone – what you’ll  find is a studious ambiguity. “May,” “might,” and “could” are words that  modify practically every assertion of Iranian perfidy:

“The information indicates  that prior to the end of 2003 the above activities took place under  a structured program. There are also indications that some activities relevant to the development  of a nuclear explosive device continued after 2003, and that some may still be ongoing.”

Or – since “indications” are not evidence – maybe not.

“The Agency has information  from a Member State that Iran has undertaken work to manufacture small  capsules suitable for use as containers of a component containing nuclear  material. The Agency was also informed by a different Member State that  Iran may also have experimented with such components  in order to assess their performance in generating neutrons. Such components,  if placed in the center of a nuclear core of an implosion type nuclear  device and compressed, could produce a burst of neutrons suitable for initiating  a fission chain reaction. The location where the experiments were conducted  was said to have been cleaned of contamination after the experiments  had taken place.”

Notice how unverifiable this  is: if the evidence has been “cleaned” by those perfidious Iranians,  then we’ll never know for sure, now will we? How very convenient.

Buried amidst all the technical  jargon, interpolated with ambiguous conditional phrases, we have a story  of a “clandestine nuclear network” – presumably the one set up  by A.Q. Khan – which supposedly helped the Iranians set up their  alleged weapons program. Or, rather, may have done so:

“In an interview in 2007  with a member of the clandestine nuclear supply network, the Agency  was told that Iran had been provided with nuclear explosive design information. > From information provided to the Agency during that interview, the Agency  is concerned that Iran may have obtained more advanced design information than the information  identified in 2004 as having been provided to Libya by the nuclear supply  network.”

In short: maybe – maybe  not. 

“Mainstream” media accounts of this farrago of half-truths and insinuations lead the unsuspecting  reader to believe the Iranians are physically constructing a nuclear  arsenal, which will shortly be aimed directly at Brooklyn, New York.  The fact is that the only “illegal” activities Iran has carried  out, in actual reality, are computer simulations. This is what they  mean when they accuse Iran of engaging in “nuclear testing.” No  one alleges Tehran has produced an actual physical bomb, or managed  to put together a nuclear armed missile, and is hiding them underneath  the Supreme Leader’s palace – this time around, the War Party is  at least trying to be a bit more subtle. But subtlety, as we know, is  not their forte.

What jumps out at the careful  reader of the IAEA report is that there is nothing concrete involved  in this nefarious plot: only hearsay descriptions of blueprints and  computer models, including various publicly available scientific studies  authored by Iranian scientists. According to Khan, what was transferred  to the Iranians was know-how: theoretical knowledge and contacts  with suppliers. Yet throughout the IAEA report, although there are plenty  of instances where Iran is alleged to have sought this or that dual  use component, we are never told if they actually succeeded in procuring  the item. While the report attributes its information to “Member States,” why will I not be surprised if this “intelligence” comes from the  same  folks who brought us the Niger uranium forgeries?

Although there is no smoking  gun, the injection of the A.Q. Khan network into the propaganda mix  at this level is a relatively new development, one that links the latest  Enemy of the Moment (Pakistan) with longtime-favorite Iran. Why not  kill two birds with one stone?

After the big  build-up,  the actual content  of the IAEA report is a major let-down: the  movie is nothing like the previews. That isn’t stopping the “mainstream” media from running screaming headlines. NPR declared “Some of Iran’s Work is ‘Specific’ to Nuclear Weapons,” a claim echoed almost word for word by the tabloid Daily Mail. In a declarative phrase preceded only by the word “Report” and a semicolon, CNN stated flatly: Iran  Developing  Nuclear Bombs.” Yet the report nowhere said anything this definitive: examined under a microscope – which is how we should look at any and all pretexts for war – the  whole tissue of suppositions and “secret” information is revealed  in all its embarrassing flimsiness.

There’s another headline   related to this that popped up in my Internet search for examples of   journalistic war hysteria, and it is this: Oil Rises on     Iran Nuclear Concerns.”   We are headed for a perfect storm of oil shock, economic turmoil, and   the looming  prospect of war with Iran.

This fits right in with the War Party’s agenda: wars are a great way to   mask the effects of economic failure – and simultaneously divert attention   away from its real authors. Instead of accusing “obstructionist”   Republicans of being the cause  of our increasing poverty – a   narrative even the President’s most devoted cultists must admit   is getting threadbare – Obama can blame those obstinate Iranians for   the economic chaos to come.

Now it’s clear why US officials   were ecstatic at the appointment of Yukiya Amano as the new IAEA chief,   replacing the troublesome Mohammed el-Baradei. As revealed by WikiLeaks, US diplomats came away from their   first encounter with Amano convinced it “illustrate[d] the very high   degree of convergence between his priorities and our own agenda at the   IAEA.”

The American government’s  agenda has never been in doubt, not since the days of George W. Bush,  and that is “regime change” in Iran by any means necessary. The  War Party has been building up to this climactic moment the way a composer  slowly but surely works his way up to a crescendo – and we are nearly  at the crest of the wave with the release of this report.

All we need now, to provoke  World War III, is a proper Sarajevo, an incident that will spark a regional  war, and eventually a global conflagration.

10, 9, 8, 7, 6 ….

In the context of the long  propaganda war the neocons have been faithfully waging over the pastdecade or so, we’re five minutes to zero hour.

The key to understanding the fraud at the heart of the IAEA report is the first paragraph of the summary:

“While the Agency continues to verify the non-diversion of   declared nuclear material at the nuclear facilities and LOFs declared by   Iran under its Safeguards Agreement, as Iran is not providing the   necessary cooperation, including by not implementing its Additional   Protocol, the Agency is unable to provide credible assurance about the   absence of undeclared nuclear material and activities in Iran, and   therefore to conclude that all nuclear material in Iran is in peaceful   activities.”

Translation:  the Iranians have no suitably enriched fissile material   – but because they won’t surrender their sovereignty and allow us to   occupy their nuclear facilities at will, there is no “credible   assurance” of this. Iran is guilty, and must prove its innocence: that’s   what the justice of the West means in the context of its relations with   Iran.

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McCain: ‘Liar’ remark indicative of US policy toward Israhell

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by crescentandcross in Uncategorized 

 

Republican senator slams Franch, American administrations for embarrassing incident, says France has always been like that toward Israel, but Americans should know better

ynet

French President Nicolas Sarkozy may have stirred media frenzy by calling Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu a “liar” behind closed doors, but some politicians see it as an opportunity to shift the blame.

Republican Senator John McCain on Tuesday slammed the French and American leaders over their derogatory remarks on Netanyahu, saying that while the “French have always been like that” toward Israel, the United States should know better.

The former presidential candidate was referring to reports that during the G-20 summit, Obama and Sarkozy were overheard on an open mic bashing Netanyahu, with Sarkozy calling him a liar and Obama responding, “You’re sick of him, but I have to deal with him every day.”

In an interview with Fox Network, the Arizona senator said “I happen to be a great admirer of Prime Minister Netanyahu,” adding that “Israel is under more pressure and probably in more danger than they’ve been since the ’67 war and that kind of comment is not only not helpful, but indicative of some of the policies towards Israel that this administration has been part of.”

Commenting on the deadlocked peace process between the Israelis and Palestinians, McCain noted that “No one, not even the most ardent supporter of the president, can view the Israeli-Palestinian issue and peace in the region as anything but a total failure as part of (the current American) administration.”

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Imminent Iran nuclear threat? A timeline of warnings since 1979

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by crescentandcross in Uncategorized 

csmonitor.com

For more than quarter of a century Western officials have claimed repeatedly that Iran is close to joining the nuclear club. Such a result is always declared “unacceptable” and a possible reason for military action, with “all options on the table” to prevent upsetting the Mideast strategic balance dominated by the US and Israel.

And yet, those predictions have time and again come and gone. This chronicle of past predictions lends historical perspective to today’s rhetoric about Iran.

1. Earliest warnings: 1979-84

Fear of an Iranian nuclear weapon predates Iran’s 1979 Islamic revolution, when the pro-West Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi was deep in negotiations with the US, France and West Germany, on a nuclear-energy spending spree that was to yield 20 reactors.

Late 1970s: US receives intelligence that the Shah had “set up a clandestine nuclear weapons development program.”

1979: Shah ousted in the Iranian revolution, ushering in the Islamic Republic. After the overthrow of the Shah, the US stopped supplying highly enriched uranium (HEU) to Iran. The revolutionary government guided by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini condemned nuclear weapons and energy, and for a time stopped all projects.

1984: Soon after West German engineers visit the unfinished Bushehr nuclear reactor, Jane’s Defence Weekly quotes West German intelligence sources saying that Iran’s production of a bomb “is entering its final stages.” US Senator Alan Cranston claims Iran is seven years away from making a weapon.

2. Israel paints Iran as Enemy No. 1: 1992

Though Israel had secretly done business with the Islamic Republic after the 1979 revolution, seeking to cultivate a Persian wedge against its local Arab enemies, the early 1990s saw a concerted effort by Tel Aviv to portray Iran as a new and existential threat.

1992: Israeli parliamentarian Benjamin Netanyahu tells his colleagues that Iran is 3 to 5 years from being able to produce a nuclear weapon – and that the threat had to be “uprooted by an international front headed by the US.”

1992: Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres tells French TV that Iran was set to have nuclear warheads by 1999. “Iran is the greatest threat and greatest problem in the Middle East,” Peres warned, “because it seeks the nuclear option while holding a highly dangerous stance of extreme religious militanCY.”

1992: Joseph Alpher, a former official of Israel’s Mossad spy agency, says “Iran has to be identified as Enemy No. 1.” Iran’s nascent nuclear program, he told The New York Times, “really gives Israel the jitters.”

3. US joins the warnings: 1992-97

The same alarm bells were already ringing in Washington, where in early 1992 a task force of the House Republican Research Committee claimed that there was a “98 percent certainty that Iran already had all (or virtually all) of the components required for two or three operational nuclear weapons.”

Similar predictions received airtime, including one from then-CIA chief Robert Gates that Iran’s nuclear program could be a “serious problem” in five years or less. Still, the bureaucracy took some time to catch up with the Iran threat rhetoric.

1992: Leaked copy of the Pentagon’s “Defense Strategy for the 1990s” makes little reference to Iran, despite laying out seven scenarios for potential future conflict that stretch from Iraq to North Korea.

1995: The New York Times conveys the fears of senior US and Israeli officials that “Iran is much closer to producing nuclear weapons than previously thought” – about five years away – and that Iran’s nuclear bomb is “at the top of the list” of dangers in the coming decade. The report speaks of an “acceleration of the Iranian nuclear program,” claims that Iran “began an intensive campaign to develop and acquire nuclear weapons” in 1987, and says Iran was “believed” to have recruited scientists from the former Soviet Union and Pakistan to advise them.

1997: The Christian Science Monitor reports that US pressure on Iran’s nuclear suppliers had “forced Iran to adjust its suspected timetable for a bomb. Experts now say Iran is unlikely to acquire nuclear weapons for eight or 10 years.”

4. Rhetoric escalates against ‘axis of evil’: 1998-2002

But Iran was putting the pieces of its strategic puzzle together. A US spy satellite detected the launch of an Iranian medium-range missile, sparking speculation about the danger posed to Israel.

1998: The New York Times said that Israel was less safe as a result of the launch even though Israel alone in the Middle East possessed both nuclear weapons and the long-range missiles to drop them anywhere. “The major reaction to this is going to be from Israel, and we have to worry what action the Israelis will take,” the Times quoted a former intelligence official as saying. An unidentified expert said: “This test shows Iran is bent on acquiring nuclear weapons, because no one builds an 800-mile missile to deliver conventional warheads.”

1998: The same week, former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld reports to Congress that Iran could build an intercontinental ballistic missile – one that could hit the US – within five years. The CIA gave a timeframe of 12 years.

2002: CIA warns that the danger from nuclear-tipped missiles, especially from Iran and North Korea, is higher than during the cold war. Robert Walpole, then a top CIA officer for strategic and nuclear programs, tells a Senate panel that Iran’s missile capability had grown more quickly than expected in the previous two years – putting it on par with North Korea. The threat “will continue to grow as the capabilities of potential adversaries mature,” he says.

2002: President George W. Bush labels Iran as part of the “axis of evil,” along with Iraq and North Korea.

5. Revelations from inside Iran: 2002-05

In August 2002, the Iranian opposition group Mojahedin-e Khalq (MEK, a.k.a. MKO) announces that Iran is building an underground uranium enrichment facility at Natanz, and a heavy water reactor at Arak. It is widely believed that the evidence had been passed to the MEK by Israeli intelligence.

Enrichment and reactors are not forbidden to Iran as a signatory of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), but the failure to disclose the work prompts an IAEA investigation and much closer scrutiny. Iran insists its efforts are peaceful, but is found in breach of its IAEA safeguards agreement, and accused by the IAEA of a “pattern of concealment.”

2004: Then-Secretary of State Colin Powell tells reporters that Iran had been working on technology to fit a nuclear warhead onto a missile. “We are talking about information that says they not only have [the] missiles but information that suggests they are working hard about how to put the two together,” he said.

2005: US presents 1,000 pages of designs and other documentation allegedly retrieved from a computer laptop in Iran the previous year, which are said to detail high-explosives testing and a nuclear-capable missile warhead. The “alleged studies,” as they have since been called, are dismissed by Iran as forgeries by hostile intelligence services.

6. Dialing back the estimate: 2006-09

2006: The drums of war beat faster after the New Yorker’s Seymour Hersh quotes US sources saying that a strike on Iran is all but inevitable, and that there are plans to use tactical nuclear weapons against buried Iranian facilities.

2007: President Bush warns that a nuclear-armed Iran could lead to “World War III.” Vice President Dick Cheney had previously warned of “serious consequences” if Iran did not give up its nuclear program.

2007: A month later, an unclassified National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) on Iran is released, which controversially judges with “high confidence” that Iran had given up its nuclear weapons effort in fall 2003.

The report, meant to codify the received wisdom of America’s 16 spy agencies, turns decades of Washington assumptions upside down. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad calls the report a “victory for the Iranian nation.” An Iranian newspaper editor in Tehran tells the Monitor, “The conservatives … feel the chance of war against them is gone.”

June 2008: Then-US Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton predicts that Israel will attack Iran before January 2009, taking advantage of a window before the next US president came to office.

May 2009: US Senate Foreign Relations Committee reports states: “There is no sign that Iran’s leaders have ordered up a bomb.”

7. Israel’s one-year timeframe disproved: 2010-11

Despite reports and intelligence assessments to the contrary, Israeli and many US officials continue to assume that Iran is determined to have nuclear weapons as soon as possible.

August 2010: An article by Jeffrey Goldberg in The Atlantic’s September issue is published online, outlining a scenario in which Israel would chose to launch a unilateral strike against Iran with 100 aircraft, “because a nuclear Iran poses the gravest threat since Hitler to the physical survival of the Jewish people.”

Drawing on interviews with “roughly 40 current and past Israeli decision makers about a military strike” and American and Arab officials, Mr. Goldberg predicts that Israel will launch a strike by July 2011. The story notes previous Israeli strikes on nuclear facilities in Iraq and Syria, and quotes Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu saying, “You don’t want a messianic apocalyptic cult controlling atomic bombs. When the wide-eyed believer gets hold of the reins of power and the weapons of mass death, then the world should start worrying, and that’s what is happening in Iran.”

2010: US officials note that Iran’s nuclear program has been slowed by four sets of UN Security Council sanctions and a host of US and EU measures. The Stuxnet computer virus also played havoc through 2011 with Iran’s thousands of spinning centrifuges that enrich uranium.

January 2011: When Meir Dagan steps down as director of Israel’s Mossad spy agency, he says that Iran would not be able to produce a nuclear weapon until 2015. “Israel should not hasten to attack Iran, doing so only when the sword is upon its neck,” Mr. Dagan warned. Later he said that attacking Iran would be “a stupid idea…. The regional challenge that Israel would face would be impossible.”

January 2011: A report by the Federation of American Scientists on Iran’s uranium enrichment says there is “no question” that Tehran already has the technical capability to produce a “crude” nuclear device.

February 2011: National intelligence director James Clapper affirms in testimony before Congress that “Iran is keeping the option open to develop nuclear weapons in part by developing various nuclear capabilities and better position it to produce such weapons, should it choose to do so,” Mr. Clapper said. “We do not know, however, if Iran will eventually decide to build nuclear weapons.”

November 2011: The IAEA claims for the first time that Iran is has worked on weapons-related activities for years, publishing detailed information based on more than 1,000 pages of design information that is corroborated, it says, by data from 10 member states and its own investigation and interviews.

Posted in IranComments Off on Imminent Iran nuclear threat? A timeline of warnings since 1979

Clinton: US democracy promotion helped turn a long Arab winter into ‘Arab Spring’

NOVANEWS

by crescentandcross in Uncategorized 

 

ed note–readers of this site will note that from the beginning, we at TUT did not buy into this ‘Arab revolution’ and instead pegged it for what it was–a Western/Zionist/Imperialist plot to rearrange the existing regimes in the Middle East and to forestall any true revolution as took place in Iran in 1979. One of the groups we fingered for being elemental to this agenda was the National Endowment for Democracy, known as the NED, and its subsidiary groups, one of which just happens to be the National Democratic Institute where Clinton spoke. Not only does the wicked witch of the Potomic admit that the revolutions were the direct result of these subversive groups, but as well announces to the world that  any future revolutions (such as in places like Syria, Iran, Pakistan, etc, etc, etc) will be their doing also.

In her Keynote Address at the National Democratic Institute’s 2011 Democracy Awards Dinner, Hillary Clinton acknowledged NED’s role in the “Arab Awakening”:

I think it’s important to recognize that back when the streets of Arab cities were quiet, the National Democratic Institute was already on the ground, building relationships, supporting the voices that would turn a long Arab winter into a new Arab Spring. Now, we may not know where and when brave people will claim their rights next, but it’s a safe bet that NDI is there now, because freedom knows no better champion. More than a quarter-century old, NDI and its siblings in the National Endowment for Democracy family have become vital elements of America’s engagement with the world.

Posted in USAComments Off on Clinton: US democracy promotion helped turn a long Arab winter into ‘Arab Spring’

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