Saturday, April 26, 2014

Major Iran omission by tirman

In his piece tirman neglects to include the administration at mit, where he is head of the center for international studies, who have recently threatened to arrest me and other Iranians and members of the community who attend events about Iran at mit which have been previously advertised as open to the public.  This has been escalating since the death of Professor Frye, who's memorial service I spoke at, and not only sets a dangerous policy for academic institutions it also incites violence against law enforcement.

John Tirman
Executive Director, MIT Center for International Studies

The Usual Suspects Aim to Spoil Iran Nuclear Deal
Posted: 04/24/2014 3:16 pm EDT Updated: 04/24/2014 3:59 pm EDT Print Article

As the negotiations over Iran's nuclear program proceed -- apparently with steady progress toward a comprehensive agreement -- and Iran demonstrates to the world it is abiding by the interim agreement signed last fall, the usual suspects who hope to derail this progress have been relatively quiet. But we can expect the calm to end soon. That's the longtime pattern of the U.S.-Iran relationship: spoilers never go away, they just regroup and try to despoil again and again.

The attempt by the Israel Lobby in particular to scuttle the negotiations at the behest of Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu failed earlier this year. The gambit was to intimidate Congress into passing crippling conditions on the talks and indeed new sanctions, even as Iran was complying with the interim deal. The most powerful pro-sanctions group, American Israel Public Affairs Committee, or AIPAC, finally backed off, seeing that several Democratic leaders in the Senate were not going to be coerced.

So the last three months have been quiet as the P5+1 (the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council, plus Germany) negotiate with Iran to reach a comprehensive -- that is to say, final -- deal that will constrain Iran's capacity to "weaponize" its civil nuclear power program, to which it's entitled under the terms of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

The high probability is that a final deal will permit Iran some capacity for enrichment of uranium, also permitted under the NPT, but at levels so low that there is no danger of weaponizing. The interim deal implicitly has that provision, and Iran would not accept anything less. (Israel, not so incidentally, is not a signatory of the NPT and has up to 200 nuclear weapons.) It will be this aspect of the final agreement that will provoke the spoilers yet again, even though airtight inspection and monitoring provisions will prevent breakout toward a weapon.

But the spoilers are gearing up using a different tactic, which is to undermine the legitimacy of Hassan Rouhani, the reform-minded president elected nearly one year ago. The Wall Street Journal, owned by right-wing majordomo Rupert Murdoch, chimed in this week with an attack on Rouhani for the treatment of some prisoners in a Tehran lockup. In a piece entitled "Rouhani's Republic of Fear" (recalling Kanan Makiya's book about Saddam Hussein), the Journal opined:

"Perhaps a regime, and a president, that can brutalize political dissidents as a matter of routine can prove reasonable at the nuclear negotiating table. We wouldn't count on it, and neither should the West."
Coming from a country that has the highest number of imprisoned citizens and a shameful system of racial bias in sentencing, that's a bit much. But the strategy is clear: disparage and delegitimize the popular Rouhani, who has pushed for more openness in society and is, by all accounts, adhering to nuclear obligations.

The Heritage Foundation has similarly been at work. In a forum last week, it raised not only the human rights issue, but Iran's alleged support for terrorism. The longstanding protocols of arms control have always excluded extraneous issues, not because they're unimportant, but because the challenge of nuclear restraint -- filled with technical details and political compromises -- is complicated enough without entering into a rhetorical contest over who is worse on other issues.

Then there's the tempest-in-a-teapot over Iran's naming an envoy to the U.N. who had served as a translator in the 1979-80 U.S. embassy hostage crisis. This appointment of a reformer who has long served as a diplomat was turned absurdly into a virtual new 9/11 threat. From this thin reed the right-wing Washington Post columnist Jennifer Rubin went ballistic:

"Iran remains a terrorist state and will manipulate international institutions to its advantage with no intention of changing the underlying nature of the regime," she wrote on April 3. This view, she avers, "is so obviously true, one wonders why any responsible lawmaker would indulge the administration in its folly."
So, you see, Rouhani is an abuser of human rights and a terrorist. Iran is hence beyond redemption and should not be treated as a "normal" state. The implication, of course, is that a nuclear deal of any kind -- no matter how much in keeping with the NPT and how tightly regulated Iran's nuclear program would be -- is not worth pursuing.

This is classic spoiler behavior. Just about everyone sees a nuclear deal as a godsend to a region in perpetual turmoil. Such an agreement could have powerful, salutary effects on Iran's relations with its Gulf neighbors, on possible diplomatic approaches to the Syria crisis, and other nettlesome problems. And one suspects that because it has such potentially positive effects, the deal is opposed by Israel, which has fed off the specter of a nuclear Iran for many years.

We will see more of this hysteria as an agreement between Iran and the P5+1 draws near. It would be a small miracle if the United States and Iran, who have nourished each other's misperceptions of the other for 35 years, could ignore the spoilers and write a new narrative of a new relationship.

John Tirman is coauthor and coeditor, most recently, of U.S.-Iran Misperceptions: A Dialogue (Bloombury).

Friday, April 11, 2014

Mistakes by icke about Tsarnayevs in his new book

In reading icke’s newest book and what he says at the end about the Tsarnayev raid it is clear to those who knew the Tsarnayev’s and what went down that as usual icke does his typical half assed job.
The mistakes are obvious.  He does not get the identities of the Tsarnayev’s family members correct, his most obvious mistake.  Despite icke proclaiming to be an excellent researcher he does not attempt to find the source of the emergency drill which was occurring during the 2013 boston marathon.  Despite all icke’s discussing the Caucasus he does not follow up on that Armenian who was involved in militant dealings with Tamerlan Tsarnayev, namely as that Armenian was a member of the armenian revolutionary federation and had access to bomb-making knowledge, namely how to make explosives like the ones the Tsarnayev’s used from everyday objects.
Despite icke complaining in his book about Putin and his elitist dealings he ignores the elitist connections of evo morales when he mentions him in his piece on the Tsarnayevs.  The elitist part leads to the way Tamerlan was dealing with american military and law enforcement, and what icke fails to realize is that why Tamerlan was approached by the fbi, cia, homeland security, and the military he never became a paid informant and used his dealings with them to improve his fighting/survival skills, which was apparent in the way he fled the marathon and on how he killed mit pig collier at mit on April 18, which icke ignores.  Notice how icke ignores what I, his one-time collaborator, did to providence city hall on December 9, 2012, and how Dzhokar Tsarnayev quoted me on that, and icke ignores that sunil tripathi disappeared on March 16, the start of Hamaspathmeadeaa Ghambar, though icke usually pays attention to those details.  Then again notice how icke ignores the fact that the bombing occurred during patriots day celebrations in boston, or that Tamerlan killed collier on the five year anniversary of my fatally injuring brown pig enos, llt alone explain the signifigance of the date April 18 or mention which department at brown tripathi was studying at.
Even more glaring is how icke ignores eyewitness accounts of the Tsarnayev shootout and manhunt, despite the fact that those witnesses are coming forward using their real names, why icke uses aliases is beyond me.