Thinking Through The Energy Problem - [MARCH 1979]
The strength and stability of the U.S. economy depend very heavily on an effective solution to the nation's energy problem. Thinking Through the Energy Problem offers a fresh approach to the multifaceted issues surrounding energy and a solid framework within which energy policies, present and future, can be judged.
The close association between energy and the economy has long been recognized by the Committee for Economic Development. In 1973, months before the Arab oil embargo, a CED Subcommittee was at work formulating proposals both for stimulating energy production and curbing energy demand. CED's findings and recommendations appeared in the policy statement Achieving Energy Independence, published in 1974.
Since that initial report, CED's Research and Policy Committee has published three policy statements that respond to various aspects of the nation's energy problem: International Economic Consequences of High-Priced Energy (1975), Nuclear Energy and National Security (1976), and Key Elements of a National Energy Strategy (1977). The 1977 statement warned that the intensifying public debate over energy was in danger of becoming "so enmeshed in details that fundamental domestic and international considerations may become obscured."
With this warning in mind, CED commissioned Professor Thomas C. Schelling of HarvardUniversity to prepare a study designed to help public officials and private citizens think through the energy problem in a rational and objective manner and to identify certain fundamental principles. It was clear from the outset that the purpose of such a study would be to construct a conceptual framework for evaluating energy policy, not to devise a set of specific recommendations.
Working closely with Professor Schelling was the Design Committee on Long-Range Energy Policy, a small task force of CED trustees whose names and affiliations appear on page v. The Design Committee, assisted by experts from business and academe, met with Professor Schelling monthly over a period of more than a year, commenting on the successive stages of his analysis and exchanging ideas as to its applications. Thinking Through the Energy Problem is a distillation and refinement of concepts that emerged from this process.
Professor Schelling focuses on oil imports as the principal connection between United States domestic energy policy and a multitude of energy-related strategic and foreign policy issues. The question of oil imports, he maintains, deserves special attention in the design of energy policy. Indeed, how oil imports are treated becomes a key element in the formulation of American energy strategy.
Instead of proposing specific solutions, the study suggests new ways of looking at the connections among energy issues and then explores the implications of those connections in the choice of policy mechanisms.
Among the myriad issues surrounding energy, Professor Schelling identifies one that is paramount: price. The prices that people are willing to pay for existing fuels, he states, help determine how much new fuel can be developed and at what cost "Keeping fuel prices artificially below the replacement cost of the fuels being used," he argues, "subsidizes excessive consumption, inhibits exploration and development of supply, and misrepresent the worth of technological changes that economize energy." Price regulation, he maintains, may disguise the ways the costs of fuel are paid and who pays them, but it docs not reduce those costs.
Professor Schelling finds that the energy-related costs of environmental protection are an important factor in the rise of energy costs; yet the price system does not reflect these costs. Moreover, these costs will grow substantially, he believes, unless environmental protection is treated as an "economic choice," with costs related to benefits, rather than as a "technological absolute."
Recognizing that the market system cannot respond to all environmental and foreign policy concerns, Professor Schelling nevertheless concludes that the market's virtues of flexibility and adaptability are our best resources in dealing with most of the risks and uncertainties in the energy picture.
Thinking through the Energy problem is published as a CED Supplementary Paper, and as is traditional for such papers, the author takes responsibility for its contents. In this case, however, the study was discussed, debated, and its contents unanimously endorsed by the trustees who comprised the Design Committee on Long-Range Energy Policy. Its publication was strongly endorsed not only by this group, but also by CED's sixty-member Research and Policy Committee in this language:
This analysis of the nature of the energy problem is being made available by CED as a framework for addressing energy policy. It does not contain specific recommendations. It differs in that respect from CED policy statements, which do contain recommendations that have been voted on by CED's Research and Policy Committee and that also may contain dissents and reservations. Publication of this statement, prepared by Professor Thomas C. Schelling working with a small Committee of CED trustees, has been endorsed by the Research and Policy Committee as a fundamental and constructive perspective for its ongoing consideration of energy policy and is published so that it may serve that purpose for others as well.
Robert C. Holland - President Committee for Economic Development
In a recent post here on Freerepublic, the dean of the graduate school of business at the American University of Paris believes that an internally built rebellion, aimed at toppling the clerics in Iran, cannot succeed due to the ruthless efficiency of the Iranian security services. The argument runs that only the thought of a nuclear Iran commands any attention from the outside world. "No foreign power can ever care about us Iranians, more than we care about ourselves." His argument concludes that only those Iranian expatriots safely outside of Iran can intervene to topple the current barbaric clerical rule.
Iranian student activists are quoted as maintaining that, "So long as our people are oppressed, our children raised as barbarians and taught to live as cave dwellers, we are Iranians aspiring to love and freedom…. We look forward to the extended hands of our sisters and brothers, to those of the children of Adam and Eve, those of the noble peoples of the world, to come to our rescue in helping us regain our due place in the concert of the civilized nations."
They are mistaken.
The American intervention in Iraq occurred because of a variety of factors not present in Iran; and the hope of Iranians now living under the barbaric conditions within that sad country, that the Marines will also depose what the Iranians cheered on in 1979, is less than a hollow dream. It is a bitter illusion.
The Leninists spent the night dancing in Russia after the fall of the Czar. They never danced again in their lifetimes, once the consequences of their "victory" was brought home to them under the iron boots of the communists. It fell to their grandchildren to begin the process of redemption. Eight decades and arguably a hundred million deaths is the tune the piper demanded.
Such is the cost of tossing freedom into the dust. It is a sad and horrifying thing to realize how easy it is to disdainfully tread upon that which others paid for with their lives, in a legacy then rejected by their countrymen. How bitter and bloody the long quest to regain it.
It must prove almost unmerciful to the Iranians to watch the chance for freedom purchased for the Iraqis by so much Marine and G.I. blood. Hiding in their homes from the bitter whip of the Islamic enforcers, they must naturally entertain hopes that once the Iraqis stand up, that the Americans will also liberate Iran soon.
Again, they are mistaken. I say this not in the spirit of unkindness, but in the harsh demanding voice of the Drill Instructor who must firmly dispel any ideas that a platoon of Marines, cut off and surrounded by the enemy, can crouch deeper in their foxhole and just wait for rescue. "You wanna live- you wanna a beer- you damnsure fight like madmen to live ta' get one. There's only you, your team... and the job in front of you. Momma's busy at home, and Dad went fishin, girls.... "
No one, including those American fighting men who have liberated so many all over the world, in the course of our 230 years as a Republic, wants to die. Everyone wants someone else to "make it go away". And finding yourself locked into a situation where everyone and anyone could be an informant, and discovery or even suspicion invites a retribution where torture gives way only to the cooling embrace of death, doesn't make the brochure any more attractive.
Americans aren't small enough to wish further ill upon the populace who killed several of our military officers and held so many diplomats and others captive during the mad years of the mullah ascendency. The hell they brought upon themselves for nearly 3 decades now, has so outweighed the anger of America, that we would just as soon leave them to their own devices, whether of manufacture or of torture as they choose, and simply wish them well.
Control of any body of people, in the absence of consent of the governed, can only be accomplished by the application of efficient brutality. But terror is only effective when the means of the victims to communicate with each other and begin the organization of resistance can also be extinguished. For the ruling hunta, this has the added benefit of concealing from outside eyes all indications of the prevailing mood of the people.
Snippets will escape in the form of anecdotal testimony and the pleas of any exiled resistance movement; but as has been learned the hard way, those in the ex-patriot opposition often have their own axes to grind, and a loose interpretation of "fact". Testimony as to the readiness of the populace for liberation must be taken with a mosque full of salt.
Yet most of this is beside the point. It doesn't matter that it will involve suicidal risk on the part of those in Teheran who wish for a release from hell for their children. It doesn't matter that efficient mechanisms of betrayal will render so many deaths as fruitless. And it really doesn't matter that young Iranians should not have to throw their lives away to bring down a system despised by so many.
You see, a large number of American soldiers should not have had to offer their lives to stop the madmen of the last 20 wars or so. They, too, had plans for their lives. They, too, shouldn't have had to make the biggest payment.
But they did. And they did because of that abiding love that seizes the hearts of young men who will interpose their very bodies between their communities and the evil that other men callously allowed to incubate.
They did the job that was in front of them.
They took down the Iraqi regime by invasion because we knew that Iraqi generals forced to publicly kneel down and kiss the hand of Saddam in front of their troops, would not inspire any loyalty and self sacrifice on the part of those troops. Only the averted eyes and the despair of the conscripted. It is not that the Iraqis are worthless as fighting men- it is just that Iraq, unlike America, had not shown them a community and a culture worth dying for.
We are adjusting their thoughts at present, and offering the chance, but only the chance, for them to seize a future for themselves, which doesn't include blowing up children, and gang raping women to death for dress code infractions.
The job is in front of them.
U.S., British, Polish and Australian blood has forestalled the massive death that would have occurred in an uprising against Saddam. The marsh Arabs of southern Iraq can testify as to the cost of trying and failing. The Kurds can attest to the esteem in which they will forever hold those young foreigners who paid for the future.
But for those of you in Iran, no such happy occurrence will set aside your time of tears. I only say this because R. Lee Ermy isn't there closeup-in-your-face, to make you understand.
The job is in front of you, and whether you want to live or not- whether you are afraid or not-, doesn't figure into the present situation. The fact is that evil has been let into your house, and engulfs your children and grandchildren. Despair over the unfairness, or the hopelessness of it all, cuts about as much ice now as a couscous hacksaw.
With no communications on a national scale, groups of young Iranians must periodically stage their own Bunker Hills, so as to test the waters, at the cost of their own deaths, as to whether the people are with them. It's easy to say, and not so easy to do. We know that. It's why we revere our own forefathers.
Your lives, your fortunes and your sacred honor... has a whole new meaning when it's now... and it's you... If you're fated to have a bomb strapped on you anyway at some time in the future, your only real choice now is what you want to leave for your children. But you better make the choice while it's still yours to make.
Watch a few old newsreels of the devastation in Berlin, as the city finally fell to the Allies. Watch them again and again. These men who have seized your country will bring all of that and more to your homes and communities. The pleasant people in our "mainstream" media will not say these terrible things to you. They are too much the sophisticated citizens of the world. Instead, it falls to us oldsters, to make you youngsters in a different land understand, that the clock is ticking.
We invaded Germany 60 years ago, and lost many thousands of good men. We then took Okinawa, in the Pacific, preparatory to an invasion of the Japanese mainland, and found that the suicide bomber, the Kamikazi, was their preferred response to our attempts to end the war. They drove their civilians off cliffs to die gruesomely. They drilled women and children to die in defense of the homeland. "Seven American deaths for every Japanese". Not to win the war for the Japanese, you understand, but simply to kill as many Americans as possible until the Empire fell. A matter of honor, they explained, before we tripped the trapdoor, and hung them.
Your mullahs ordered waves of Iranian teenagers in the 1980's to clear minefields the hard way, and to exhaust the ammunition of Iraqi machine gunners. Standing on the piles of adolescent skulls of uncountable numbers, they now boast that a million more young Iranians stand ready to die heroically, so as to kill Americans. Are you eager for your sons to be conscripted? If so, then also watch the newsreels of the surrender of Japan.
We ended that war... with nuclear weapons. It couldn't have happened any other way, in spite of the prognostications of the meatheads in our Universities. We didn't make the decision... the Japanese military did. We will not spend cheaply the lives of our troops, as your enlightened religious leaders do.
Understand this... despite what your leaders promise you, we have more nuclear weapons than you will ever have; we have more conventional weapons than you will ever have; but more importantly, we have over two centuries of experience in never bowing to the scimitar of Islam, or any other totalitarian force, for that matter. You might say that we have made a habit of it. Our young men will not die as willingly as yours will, but they will facilitate yours in that purpose with a terrible efficiency if you leave us no choice. And we will equip them with anything which will ensure that outcome, at whatever the cost in Democratic politicians.
You can watch Berlin, and Hiroshima, re-animate to render your nation a scattered collection of hill and cave-dwellers, such as Bin Laden has become. You can die in those ashes, secure that the forfeiture of your children's future at least bought a few more months or weeks for you of safety from that numerically smaller group of the mullahs' enforcers with all the guns, or ...
... you can suck it up and do the job that is in front of you.
We don't wish you ill, but you need to clean your own house. We can't do it. We won't do it. Don't expect it or even dare wish for it. There's only you and your team.
Do the job that is in front of you, and we will pray for you. You don't really have any choice...
U.S. secretary of state also will push to isolate Iran in Mideast -- From Elise Labott -- CNN -- Tuesday, February 21, 2006; Posted: 1:45 p.m. EST (18:45 GMT)
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice discussed U.S. foreign policy priorities on Capitol Hill last week.
CAIRO, Egypt (CNN) -- U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice arrived in Cairo on Tuesday on a mission to rally Arab allies to increase pressure on militant group Hamas and isolate Iran. In her first trip to the region since Hamas' landslide victory in last month's Palestinian elections, Rice will lobby Egyptian and Saudi leaders to use their influence with Hamas to moderate its policies.
She also wants those countries to withhold financial aid from Hamas if it refuses to accept Israel's right to exist, renounce violence or abide by agreements made by the previous Palestinian leadership. Rice will meet with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and top Egyptian officials who have been holding talks with Hamas in an effort to moderate between the group and international community. "The Egyptians are having those discussions and, I think, doing very good work to try and convince Hamas that there is an international consensus to which now Hamas must respond," Rice said in an interview with Arab journalists. The Hamas-led parliament was sworn in Saturday, officially removing the ruling Fatah Party from its decades-long prominence in Palestinian politics. On Tuesday, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas formally asked Ismail Haniyeh, Hamas' choice for prime minister, to form a new government, a process that could take up to a month or more. Hamas, which the United States, European Union and Israel consider a terrorist organization, has said it wants to include other parties in the government. Abbas' Fatah Party has refused invitations to join in a national unity government.
Palestinian aid under review
The United States has said it will review all aid to the Palestinian Authority and already has demanded $50 million be returned in anticipation of a Hamas-led government. Cairo plans to ask Rice to soften her position against Hamas and give the new Palestinian government a chance to prove itself, according to Egyptian state-run media Monday. In a roundtable with Arab journalists in advance of her trip, Rice said she hoped Hamas would make the "right choice" and give up its armed struggle against Israel in favor of a two-state solution. "Nothing would be better than to have Hamas make the right choice, because if you had all of the entities of the Palestinian people united in the renunciation of violence, disarming of militias, the acceptance of Israel's right to exist, I believe you could move the peace process along really very rapidly," she said. Rice also will tackle the thorny issue of democracy in Egypt. The Bush administration has pushed for democratic reform in the country but has muted its criticism of the Egyptian government's decision last week to postpone local elections for two years.
Rice to stress Iran's destabilizing effect
During her trip, Rice also will seek to further Iran's isolation. She will visit the United Arab Emirates, where she will meet with leaders from countries to the Gulf Cooperation Council. Rice will use her meetings to build on two years of diplomatic efforts, which have gained support from Europe, Russia and China for a tougher line against Iran. The U.N. Security Council formally received notification about Iran and its nuclear program from the International Atomic Energy Agency, opening the door to possible sanctions. Egypt has supported the move. While Arab governments have expressed concern about Iran's nuclear ambitions, they have balked at publicly giving support to the United States amid Muslim anger over the Iraq war and depictions of the Prophet Mohammed in cartoons as well as a perceived U.S. bias toward Israel. In an effort to convince Arab countries to sign on, Rice will highlight U.S. concerns that Iran is destabilizing the Middle East by supporting extremist groups in the Palestinian territories, Lebanon and Iraq. In testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee last week, Rice said the new U.S. strategy against Iran's suspected nuclear program was to "remind the world that this has to be understood in the context of broader Iranian policies." (Full story)
"We will not be able to address the Iranian nuclear program and problem in a vacuum," she said. "It is Iran's regional policies that really are concerning, as we watch them, with their sidekick Syria, destabilizing places like Lebanon and the Palestinian territories and, indeed, even in southern Iraq." Rice told the journalist roundtable she hoped concerned Arab governments "are prepared to really say to the Iranians: 'You are going to be isolated from us too if you continue down this road.' " "There is really now an obligation to let the Iranians know in no uncertain terms that this isolation is going to be complete."
Why the largest English-speaking country should broadcast to the world in English --- by Kim Andrew Elliott
The news came suddenly on the morning of 6 February. A Broadcasting Board of Governorspress releasestated that the budget for US international broadcasting would be redirected mainly to the war on terror.
Accordingly, the BBG proposes to eliminate the Voice of America Greek, Turkish, Croatian, Georgian, and Thai services, as well as News Now, VOA's global English service.
VOA English-to-Africa and slow-speed Special English would continue. Furthermore, VOA would discontinue radio but carry on with television in Albanian, Bosnian, Hindi, Macedonian, Russian and Serbian.
An essay could and should be written about each one of the affected VOA language services. I will confine myself here to VOA News Now. Many people find it incredible that VOA, the primary public international broadcaster of the largest English-speaking nation, will not broadcast to the world in English.
I confess that, in the past few years, while imagining what VOA services might be eliminated in a budget-reduction exercise, global English has been one of my candidates. This is because, outside of Africa, VOA does not have a large English audience in any one country. The major countries where English is the first language, such as the United Kingdom and Australia, have well-developed domestic media and thus little incentive to listen to foreign radio. Even in India, VOA's high-power shortwave relay in Sri Lanka was not in operation until 1999, by which time many Indians preferred to get their news from television.
Interpreting the figures
VOA's global English audience looks more impressive when it is aggregated across countries. Some five to ten million outside of Africa may listen weekly, although accurate estimates are difficult. Some of this audience is in countries where VOA usually does not conduct surveys. The audience becomes even more impressive when considering that it consists of the elites in non-English speaking countries. Unfortunately, the BBG's spreadsheet is arranged country by country and has no column for such an aggregated Anglophone audience.
Furthermore, VOA is virtually alone among international broadcasters in that it does not include broadcasts to fellow-countrymen abroad as part of its mission. The fact that VOA has never embraced the estimated three to six million Americans abroad as part of its English audience is, I think, a big reason why VOA News Now finds itself in its present predicament. Audience mail shows that Americans overseas do listen to VOA, but they are rarely included in surveys. And if the BBG is shifting its focus to the war on terror, Americans abroad are certainly potential targets for such terror. The US government needs to keep them informed.
VOA's global English audience consists not only of American expatriates, but also expatriates of other countries. An examination of audience mail finds many people who are in countries other than their home countries: guest workers, international students, travelers, Peace Corps and other volunteers, missionaries, NGO employees, mariners, yachtsmen, diplomats, military personnel, and others who are listening from countries other than their own. They are in places where English offerings on domestic radio and television are sparse. They tune to foreign radio for news from their home country, entertainment, or just plain companionship. This community of English-speaking expatriates is important and influential. It is a virtual target country.
Many in this English-speaking community have access to cable and satellite television. In the television realm, CNN International has become the de facto "voice of America." The Fox News Channel is expanding to many parts of the world and is becoming an "alternative voice of America." The International Broadcasting Act of 1994 calls on US government international broadcasting not to compete with private international broadcasting efforts, so a global VOA English television channel is not a likely prospect.
TV and Internet don't reach everyone
Many in this community also have access to the Internet. VOA will carry on with English-language content on voanews.com, but it will face competition from hundreds of English-language news websites, several of which have more resources to cover world and US news.
But there are many in the global English-speaking community who live in remote, or rural, or politically denied areas, with unsatisfactory access to international television and the Internet. They must get their news via shortwave. And here is VOA's unique advantage: only VOA and BBC World Service have global shortwave transmitting networks capable of reaching all parts of the world.
And even if the audience does have access to television and the Internet, radio provides a personal touch. VOA radio offers voices in American-accented English. It accomplishes this on a portable radio that can be toted to any part of the house, or outside, or to the beach.
FM has its limitations, too
Because the global English community is located virtually everywhere in the world, no number of local FM relays could reach all of these people. A worldwide English service needs wide-area media, such as satellites, Internet audio streams and shortwave. Because shortwave signals are often heard outside of their nominal target countries, transmitting on as many frequencies as possible for as many hours as possible would usually allow a VOA worldwide English service to be heard in any part of the world any time of the day. Because many of these people work unconventional hours, it is best that the signal be audible even during non-peak hours.
There is another important reason for VOA to maintain a global English shortwave service. If VOA services such as Indonesian, Russian, or Swahili should find themselves evicted from their local rebroadcasting outlets, or their satellite links down, or their Internet access blocked, the transmitters and frequencies used for the VOA global English service would be available for VOA language services suddenly needing to get back in touch with their audiences.
Recent developments prove the point
Such scenarios are not only possible - they are likely. In most languages, VOA achieves large audiences by being rebroadcast through local FM and television stations. The governments of the target countries, however, can "pull the plug" at any time. Indonesia's new broadcasting law could prevent - and has in a few cases already prevented - live news from VOA, BBC, Radio Australia and Radio Netherlands being relayed by radio and television inside the country. On 29 January, an editorial in The Nation expressed concern that similar regulations could spread to other ASEAN nations. Russia cut off the Moscow mediumwave outlets of BBC, Deutsche Welle, and Radio France International, at least for a few weeks. On 10 January, Tajikistan authorities took the BBC FM relays in that country off the air. Such examples abound, and happen all the time.
Satellites have not proven themselves to be the solution to the free international flow of information. In September 2005, Libya jammed an opposition radio station on Eutelsat Hotbird, taking out several major international television channels in the process. Content via satellites is more commonly stopped by dint of politico-economic pressure, such as China applied to News Corp to take BBC Mandarin off the Star TV bouquet. Or more recently, when Iran kept the United Arab Emirates from allowing the uplink of a Persian-language opposition television channel.
And websites can be blocked, as the VOA, Radio Free Asia, and BBC sites are blocked vigorously and effectively by China. Iran recently filtered the BBC Persian website. Other countries, such as Cuba and North Korea, keep their people from reading foreign websites by prohibiting Internet access altogether.
Shortwave is the failsafe
Shortwave can be, and is, jammed, but rarely with complete success. This is because shortwave, alone among all the media available to international broadcasting, is protected from interdiction by the laws of physics. As we shortwave listeners know, between 3 and 30 MegaHertz, distant incoming signals are often heard better than closer jamming transmitters. As long as shortwave radios remain in circulation around the world, shortwave remains the medium of last resort for international broadcasting. It is the failsafe.
May it never happen, but if a major crisis hits, many modern means of getting news across national boundaries will be interrupted. Concerned people throughout the world will dust off their shortwave radios, turn them on, and spin the dials.
Will they get the accurate information they need?
And will they hear a voice from America?
Dr Kim Andrew Elliott works for the US International Broadcasting Bureau, but is here expressing his own views. His website ishttp://kimandrewelliott.com.
Stephen G. Rademaker, Acting Assistant Secretary, Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation led a discussion on "Challenges to the Global Nonproliferation Regime: The Case of Iran."
Stephen G. Rademaker, Acting Assistant Secretary, Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation Biography
February 2, 2006
Stephen G. Rademaker:
I welcome this opportunity to speak to you about the State Department's role in meeting the challenges confronting the global nonproliferation regime, particularly the challenges posed by Iran's pursuit of nuclear weapons. Iran's recent actions to restart uranium enrichment, and its long history of hiding sensitive nuclear activities from the IAEA, are a cause for great concern. Earlier this week Secretary Rice again reiterated the U.S. position that Iran cannot be allowed to develop nuclear weapons, including the technologies that could lead to a breakout capability. She reconfirmed that we are committed to working with the EU, Russia, China, and others to pressure Iran to abandon that pursuit.
Why can't countries like Iran and North Korea have nuclear power while countries like US, Russia and China can?
L.D. thank you for that good question. I think there is an unfortunate misperception sometimes about what the United States government's policy is on other countries enjoying peaceful nuclear energy, so I'm glad you asked that, and I hope I can help correct the record. The Treaty on Nonproliferation of Nuclear Weapons -- the NPT -- which almost all countries in the world including Iran have signed, makes very clear that all NPT members have a right to peaceful uses of nuclear energy, in conformity with other Articles of the Treaty, including Article II. (Article II is the article that obligates non-nuclear weapons states like Iran not to seek nuclear weapons.) So Iran has a right to peaceful nuclear energy, and the President has confirmed that the U.S. recognizes and supports that right. Our problem is that there is compelling evidence that Iran's nuclear program is not peaceful . The evidence is not just based on U.S. intelligence, but on an extensive and ongoing IAEA investigation, which has discovered serious and longstanding efforts by Iran to hide very sensitive aspects of its nuclear program -- like uranium enrichment -- from the IAEA and the world. The IAEA is also investigating evidence that Iran has been trying to develop nuclear weapons capabilities, a deeply troubling finding. What the U.S., the EU, and even Russia, China, and others are telling Iran is that they need to cooperate fully with that IAEA investigation, they need to freeze their sensitive nuclear-related work on uranium enrichment and other technologies that could help them make a nuclear weapon, and they need to negotiate a solution with the EU3 and others that helps build confidence over many years that Iran's nuclear activities are completely peaceful. If Iran does that, the international community, including Russia and the EU, are ready to help assist Iran with an expanded, safe, safeguarded nuclear energy program, with our support.
North Korea is a slightly different case, as they have announced their withdrawal from the NPT, and they actually admit to having nuclear weapons, unlike Iran. But even in North Korea's case, once they have verifiably dismantled their nuclear program and returned in good standing to the NPT, we can imagine North Korea having access to proliferation-resistant nuclear energy.
Iran's refusal to ignore the NAIA regulations or to follow the NPT is not a recent development. What sort of time frame does the UN or US have to react before Iran becomes too dangerous for any action? Is there a cutoff date to when the US can safely act against Iran ?
Drew, you are correct that Iran's refusal to follow (you said "ignore", but I think you meant "follow") IAEA regulations or follow the NPT is not a recent development. The IAEA has confirmed that Iran's efforts to hide its sensitive nuclear activities from the IAEA started about two decades ago. More importantly, the IAEA sees signs that those concealment efforts are still continuing, and many countries are greatly concerned by that. You asked what our "timeline" is for resolving this issue before Iran becomes too dangerous. Drew, I agree that we want the international community to act quickly. We hope we can find the right mix of incentives and pressure, or carrots and sticks, to persuade Iran to give up its pursuit of these sensitive nuclear technologies that would allow it to make fissile material for a nuclear weapon. I can't say exactly how much time we have, but we do hope and believe that as we enter a new phase of diplomacy very soon -- a phase that will include the involvement of the UN Security Council -- our diplomacy will be strengthened enough to help us resolve this problem before Iran acquires a nuclear weapons capability.
Could you please discuss the advantages and disadvantages of official diplomatic relations with Iran in the resolution of the issue of Iran 's obtaining nuclear weapons? Would we be better able to push our case in this instance if we were to have official diplomatic relations with the Islamic Republic of Iran?
Troy, you pose a very good question, which we are often asked by the press and by some other countries: should we be talking directly to Iran about its nuclear program? As you know, we do not have formal diplomatic relations with Iran, but that does not preclude our ever having contacts with Iranian officials. Our policy has always been that we will pursue contacts with Iran on issues of mutual concern when the President believes it is in our interests to do so. As a result, we have had limited contacts with Iran in recent years on issues like Afghanistan and Iraq, and following the devastating earthquake in Bam in 2003, when we offered humanitarian assistance that Iran rejected. On the nuclear issue, however, we fully support the wide-ranging diplomatic contacts that the EU3 have pursued. We have made clear that we support the offer of wide-ranging incentives that the EU3 offered Iran last August. In fact, we even offered our own incentives in support of that EU3 offer, including lifting our objection to Iran joining the WTO and reconsidering the export of aircraft spare parts to Iran. But Iran's response was to reject all offers and break its promises to the EU3 by resuming sensitive nuclear work. So we do not believe it is in our interest now to seek direct contacts with Iran on the nuclear issue. The EU3 and IAEA Board have made starkly clear to Iran all of the steps it needs to take promptly to resolve this issue. We agree with those steps and would have nothing further to add to those very clear messages. The ball is in Iran's court to listen and comply.
In case the regime of Tehran resist International Security Council pressure and continue its nuclear program, do you think that an armed intervention against Iran would be an advisable option?
Tom, thanks. Your question about our approach to Iran at the UN Security Council is certainly one that has been asked by others as well. I'm glad to have the chance to state this clearly: We believe the UNSC must get involved, in order to reinforce the ongoing efforts of the IAEA, and to put pressure on Iran to return to negotiations. The U.S. is not now seeking punitive action against Iran at the Security Council. We do not want to hurt the Iranian people. We are not trying to take the Iran issue out of the hands of the IAEA. On the contrary, we think the Security Council should use its moral and legal authority to strengthen the IAEA's investigations. We hope the Iranian regime will not ignore or defy the Council the way it has defied the IAEA. If the Iranian regime does ignore the Security Council, of course the Council would need to consider further tools that it has at its disposal, but we hope Iran will not allow the situation to escalate that far. Certainly, we are not proceeding on the assumption that Iran is going to defy the Security Council; quite the opposite."
In order to avoid Iran receiving the materials necessary for its nuclear development is it possible to have an international agreement where all cargos must be declared and revised by the sending and receiving (i.e. as cargo passes thru jurisdictional waters and/or stops in a country's port).
Excellent question, Gabo. We are bringing to bear a number of diplomatic tools and defensive measures to disrupt Iranian efforts to acquire nuclear materials and equipment. For example, in 2003, President Bush announced the establishment of the Proliferation Security Initiative, known as PSI, to stop trafficking in weapons of mass destruction on the land, at sea, and in the air. To date, over 60 countries are involved in partner capacity building activities to disrupt the trade in WMD materials. PSI is not a treaty or organization, and therefore its ability to act in support of PSI activities is governed by our respective national legal authorities and relevant international law and frameworks. Customs and law enforcement officials are enforcing a wide range of existing laws to disrupt proliferators and are also examining these laws to determine what additional authorities would be helpful.
When it comes to stopping ships at sea, we are actively pursuing and concluding bilateral ship-boarding agreements to establish points of contact and procedures to facilitate requests to board suspect vessels. A number of our PSI partner countries are also pursuing similar agreements.
So while we don't have a "one size fits all " treaty, we are actively pursuing robust counterproliferation activities along the lines you suggest to prevent Iran and other proliferators from acquiring the material and equipment necessary to build a nuclear weapon, and we've had some big successes.
Could you please provide the "evidence" that Iran has violated the terms of the Non Proliferation Treaty (NPT). It's all very confusing. The NPT [seems to] allow Iran to build and manufacture fuel for their nuclear energy program. Has Iran "violated" the NPT? What is the evidence?
Terry, I'd be happy to answer that. Iran claims there is no "legal basis" for the IAEA Board to report Iran's safeguards noncompliance to the UN Security Council, and no evidence that they have violated the NPT. Iran is incorrect. The IAEA's nine written reports on Iran -- which are all available at the IAEA's website, and I encourage everyone to read them carefully -- document a two-decade history of Iran hiding sensitive nuclear work from the IAEA, work like uranium enrichment and plutonium separation, all of which it was legally obliged to report to the IAEA. But rather than report such work to the IAEA, Iran tried to hide it systematically for 20 years. The IAEA reported this in 2003 to the IAEA's Board of Governors, which last September adopted a resolution confirming that Iran was thus in noncompliance with its NPT safeguards obligations. The IAEA Statute is very clear that in such a situation where the Board is faced with such noncompliance, the Board is required to report that noncompliance to the UN Security Council. So there is actually a statutory obligation to report Iran to the UN Security Council, which we hope the Board tomorrow or Saturday will finally meet. That same safeguards noncompliance is also a clear violation of Article III of the NPT, which obliges non-nuclear weapons states members of the NPT to put their nuclear programs under IAEA safeguards. Iran clearly did not. The international community firmly agrees that Iran's long record of safeguards noncompliance violates Article III. The U.S. and many other countries also believe that there is enough evidence of Iran's nuclear weaponization efforts to conclude that Iran has also violated Article II of the NPT, an Article I mentioned a little bit earlier in response to L.D.'s question.
How can we proceed to eliminate all atomic weapons to protect our future?
Thanks for the thoughtful question, Felicia. Under Article VI of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), all states parties, the nuclear weapons states and the non-nuclear weapons states, have undertaken to "pursue negotiations in good faith on effective measures relating to the cessation of the nuclear arms race at an early date and to nuclear disarmament, and a Treaty on general and complete disarmament.
While the language of Article VI establishes no timetable and sets no deadline for accomplishing these tasks, the United States has an impressive record of achievement in this area, having ended the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons nearly 20 years ago, and having dismantled more than 13,000 nuclear weapons since 1988. Moreover, we are pursuing policies that will reduce our reliance on nuclear weapons, such as advanced conventional capabilities and missile defenses.
Fortunately, the nuclear arms race ended well over a decade ago. Thus, we are deeply concerned by Iran's pursuit of a nuclear weapons capability and the resulting potential nuclear proliferation domino effect in the Middle East region.
Iran claims to be enriching uranium for the purpose of providing energy. Do we have the right to dispute this when many Western countries are doing the same?
Major, thanks for that timely question. Iran claims to be enriching uranium for the purpose of providing nuclear energy. Why do we dispute this? For many reasons. First, Iran only has one nuclear power reactor even under construction, the Bushehr reactor that Russia is building. Iran and Russia have agreed that Russia will provide the first ten year's worth of nuclear fuel for Bushehr, and Russia has in fact offered to supply fuel for that reactor's lifetime. Iran has no other nuclear reactors operating or even under construction, so for at least the next ten years, Iran has no need for domestically produced nuclear fuel, which is one reason that Iran's mad dash now for uranium enrichment capability is inexplicable. Second, the IAEA still has many outstanding questions about whether Iran is still hiding portions of its uranium enrichment program. Until the IAEA can offer assurances that Iran is not covertly pursuing uranium enrichment for nuclear weapons, Iran should not move ahead with activities at declared facilities either, because technical advances at those declared facilities could aid Iran in any ongoing secret work as well. And as I said above, Iran has no pressing peaceful need to pursue uranium enrichment in any case. Third, Iran does not have sufficient domestic uranium reserves to support a significant nuclear power program. Based on Iran's own geological data that it submitted to the IAEA and the OECD, Iran does not have enough "known reserves" of uranium to support the Bushehr reactor for more than six years. Even if you add in all the theoretical, "speculative reserves" that might be in Iran, Iran only has enough domestic uranium to support the seven-reactor plan it claims it is pursuing for less than 10 years. And yet Iran appears to have spent in the neighborhood of a billion dollars of the Iranian peoples' scarce resources to develop enrichment capability. Frankly, the only other countries in the world that have pursued enrichment capability so secretly and extensively in violation of their NPT obligations -- Iraq, Libya, and North Korea -- did so expressly to try to build nuclear weapons. If Iran's regime were really interested in economically rational and resource-wise nuclear energy, they would simply do what most other countries with nuclear power programs do, and that is buy nuclear fuel cheaply on the open market.
Supposing that the issue of Iran is, in fact, sent to the UN Security Council, what sort of sanctions may be placed on the Iranian government, seeing as the Russian Federation and People's Republic of China won't allow any sort of oil-based sanctions?
Thanks, Brown, I touched on a similar question in response to Tom above, but I'm happy to revisit this important issue. We are not seeking sanctions on Iran at the Security Council. We are looking forward to consulting closely with all UNSC members -- certainly including our "Permanent Five" colleagues the UK, France, Russia, and China -- on how the Security Council can most effectively address the Iran issue when it begins to do so in March. We believe an appropriate first step would be a statement from the President of the UNSC that calls on Iran to take the very same steps that the IAEA Board has already repeatedly called on Iran to take, including fully re-suspending its enrichment-related efforts, cooperating fully with the IAEA, stopping its unnecessary heavy water reactor project, ratifying the Additional Protocol, and returning to good faith negotiations with the EU3. We hope that having such a call come from the UNSC would be enough to persuade the Iranian regime to comply. But if not, and if necessary, the UNSC does have the legal authority under Chapter VII of the UN Charter to require member states to take certain actions, in this case, for example, requiring Iran to provide the cooperation to the IAEA that the IAEA Board has asked for. I certainly hope the Iranian regime will recognize that for the good of the Iranian people, and for the best interests of their country, and to avoid ever-deepening political and diplomatic isolation, they need to comply with any Security Council requests and resolve this issue peacefully and diplomatically.
Iran-e-Azad. Available at: http://www.iran-e-azad.org/english/ Home page of the supporters of the National Council of Resistance of Iran which is believed to have connections to MEK. Offers news and analyses. Iranian Mojahedin. Available at: http://www.mojahedin.org/indexenglish.html Site offers access to news, the Iran Liberation Weekly, and online books by the National Council of Resistance of Iran.
Mujahedin-e Khalq Organization (MEK or MKO). Available at: http://www.ict.org.il/ Site maintained by the International Policy Institute for Counter-Terrorism. Under the 'International Terrorism' section choose 'Terrorist Organization Profiles' then 'Mujahedin-e Khalq'. Offers sections titled: History, Terrorist Activity, Updates and Attacks.
Abrahamian, Ervand. The Iranian Mojahedin. New Haven, Yale University Press, 1989. 307 p. Book call no.: 955.053 A159i
Anderson, Sean and Sloan, Stephen. Historical Dictionary of Terrorism. Metuchen, NJ, Scarecrow Press, 1995. 452 p. Mujahideen - Iran, pp 226-228. Book call no.: R 303.62503 A594h
Defense & Foreign Affairs Handbook 1999. Alexandria, VA, International Strategic Studies Association, 1999. 1760 p. Iran: History, pp 685-694. Book call no.: R 355 D313 1999
Facts on File, 1999. New York, Facts on File, 1999. 1 vol. Iran: Opposition Group Kills General, April 15, 1999, p 274. Book call no.: R 909.82 F11 1999
Facts on File, 2000. New York, Facts on File, 2000. 1 vol. Iran: Mujahedeen Bombing, p 101, February 17, 2000. News in Brief: Mujahedeen Shelling of Residential Area, p 175, March 16, 2000. Book call no.: R 909.82 F11 2000
International Encyclopedia of Terrorism. Chicago, IL, Fitzroy Dearborn, 1997. 805 p. Iraqi Sponsorship of Terrorism: Supporting Terrorism Against Iran, pp 390-391.
Book call no.: R 303.625 I612
Jane's Sentinel: The Gulf States. Alexandria, VA, Jane's Information Group, 2000. 541 p. Iran, pp 47-138 (especially note sections '2.7.4 Threat Internal' and '2.14.4 Insurgent Forces - Organization'). Book call no.: R 953.6 J33 2000 May - 2000 Oct
Jane's World Insurgency and Terrorism. Alexandria, VA, Jane's Information Group, 1999. 520 p. Mujahideen-e-Khalq, pp 244-245. Book call no.: R 364.1 J33 1999 May-August
Mawsilili, Ahmad. Historical Dictionary of Islamic Fundamentalist Movements in the Arab World, Iran, and Turkey. Lanham, MD, Scarecrow Press, 1999. 401 p. Mujahiden Khalq, pp 197-198. Book call no.: 297.09 M462h
Milani, Mohsen M. The Making of Iran's Islamic Revolution: From Monarchy to Islamic Republic. Boulder, CO, Westview Press, 1988. 361 p. See index under 'Sazeman-e Mojahedin-e-Khalq-e' and 'National Liberation Army' for specific references. Book call no.: 955.053 M637m
Reeve, Simon. The New Jackals: Ramzi Yousef, Osama Bin Laden and the Future of Terrorism. Boston, MA, Northeastern University Press, 1999. 294 p. See index under 'Mujaheddin-e-Khalq'' for specific references. Book call no.: 364.1097471 R331n
Russell, Malcolm B. The Middle East and South Asia 1999. 33rd ed. Washington, Stryker-Post, 1999. 257 p. Islamic Republic of Iran: Domestic Concerns During and After the War, pp 97-100. Book call no.: R 915 C635m 33rd ed 1999
Terrorism in Context, edited by Martha Crenshaw. University Park, PA, Pennsylvania State University Press, 1995. 633 p. Terrorism and Politics in Iran, 553-596. Book call no.: 363.32 T3285
Library of Congress. Congressional Research Service. The People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran, by Kenneth Katzman. Washington, Nov 1992. 6 p. Doc. call no.: M-U 42953-1 no.92-824F
Library of Congress. Congressional Research Service. Terrorism: Middle Eastern Groups and State Sponsors, 1999, by Kenneth Katzman. Washington, GPO, August 1999. 37 p. People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI), p 25. Doc. call no.: M-U 42953-1 no.99-RL30277
Barzin, Saeed. Proxy Warriors.Middle East International No.627:16 June 16, 2000. Mojahedin Khalq Organization steps up its military campaign.
Boyne, Sean. Tehran Targets Iraq-Based Rebel Forces.Jane's Intelligence Review 12:20-23 April 2000. Reviews the origins of the MEK, relations between the MEK and Iraq, NLA equipment, etc.
Burns, John F. Left-Wing Group in Iran Fires Mortars at a Military Base.New York Times, p A4, March 14, 2000.
Commentary on U.S. "Two-Faced Policy" on MKO.Foreign Broadcast Information Service Daily Report: Near East & South Asia, p 70, November 16, 1994. FBIS-NES-94-221 (Microfiche)
Dissidents Claim a Mortar in Teheran (against the Intelligence Ministry).New York Times, p A6, February 1, 1999.
Entessar, Nader. Factional Politics in Post-Khomeini Iran: Domestic and Foreign Policy Implications.Journal of South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies 17:21-43 Summer 1994.
Foreign Broadcast Information Service Daily Report: Near East & South Asia. For up-to-date information on the Mojahedin-e-Khalq (MEK, MKO) and its National Liberation Army wing, check the FBIS online database under 'MKO". MKO has been active in 1999 and 2000.
Gelb, Norman. The Problem of Iranian Resistance.New Leader 80:6-7 November 3, 1997. Discusses the clash between U.S. government security forces and the Iranian National Liberation Army. Also offers information on the National Council of Resistance.
Iran.Pinkerton Global Intelligence Services 2000. Military Exercises Target Opposition. 17:7 February 4, 2000. Calm Prevails Despite Assassination Attempt. 17:7 March 17, 2000.
Iran: Events in Tehran Become More Tense and Complicated (attacks by Mujahedin-e-Khalq).Pinkerton Risk Assessment Services Weekly 1998 15, no.23:3-4 June 5, 1998.
Iran's Army: Don't Count on Us, Ayatollah.Economist 332:34 August 27, 1994. Officers of Iran's armed forces warned their government that in the future they will not let the military be used to quell internal conflicts.
Iraq: Capital Hit by Rockets.Pinkerton Global Intelligence Services 2000. 17:9 May 5, 2000.
Kirschten, Dick. Who's the Real Terrorist?National Journal 26:2284-2285 October 1, 1994. Details the debate in Washington over the People's Mujahedin of Iran.
Miller, Bill. 2 Groups Appeal Designation as Terror Organizations.Washington Post, p A2, March 14, 1999.
Miller, Bill. State Department Listing of Terror Groups Upheld.Washington Post, p A12, June 26, 1999.
Mojahedin-E-Khalq Claims Responsibility for Esfahan Attack.Foreign Broadcast Information Service Daily Report: Near East and South Asia, p 52, April 25, 1996. FBIS-NES-96-081 (Microfiche)
Mojahedin-e Khalq Denies Pressure by Baghdad.Foreign Broadcast Information Service Daily Report: Near East and South Asia, p 64, November 22, 1995. FBIS-NES-95-225 (Microfiche)
Sciolino, Elaine. Iraq Builds Base for Rebels Fighting Iran, U.S. Contends.New York Times, p A3, March 24, 2000.
Overview - National Council of Resistance of Iran Monday, 13 June 2005 --- National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI)
National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), a broad coalition of democratic Iranian organizations, groups and personalities, was founded in 1981 in Tehran upon the initiative of Massoud Rajavi, the Leader of the Iranian Resistance.Parliament in ExileThe NCRI has 550 members, including representatives of ethnic and religious minorities such as the Kurds, Baluchis, Armenians, Jews and Zoroastrians, representing a broad spectrum of political tendencies in Iran. Acting as parliament in exile, the NCRI aims to establish a democratic, secular and coalition government in Iran.Women comprise 50% of the council’s members. Five organizations are also members of the NCRI, including the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran, the largest and most popular resistance group inside Iran.Democratic decision-makingAll members of the Council have one vote. All decisions are adopted by a simple majority.
As the Secretary noted in her February 15 Senate testimony, we will work with our friends and allies on a range of measures to reach out to the Iranian people and support their calls for freedom. These will include:
Empowering Iranian Civil Society: The Administration will spend at least $10 million in FY06 funds to support the cause of freedom in Iran this year. These funds will be used to support political dissidents, labor union leaders and human rights activists. We will also work with NGOs to help build networks of support inside and outside Iran.
FY06 Supplemental Request: The Administration will request an additional $75 million in its FY06 supplemental request to support:
Broadcasting to the Iranian People: With $50 million we will significantly increase our television broadcasting ability, establishing a 24 hour/7 days a week broadcast in Farsi into Iran. We will also work to improve our radio transmission capability and tap into satellite technology for both radio and TV transmission into Iran.
Promoting Iranian Democracy: An additional $15 million will foster participation in the political process and support efforts to expand internet access as a tool for civic organization. Working with NGOs and through organizations such as the International Republican Institute, National Democratic Institute and National Endowment for Democracy we will support civic education and work to help organize Iranian labor unions and political organizations.
Scholarships and Fellowships: We will also expand our outreach to young Iranians with $5 million for Iranian student education and international visitors programs designed to build bridges between the people of our two nations.
Enhancing Communication: We will support internet and other efforts to reach the Iranian public with $5 million in funding for public diplomacy. We will also support the development of independent Farsi television and radio.
Enabling Action: To enable U.S. and other NGOs to undertake these activities for the Iranian people, inside and outside Iran, the Departments of State and Treasury are working together to secure Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC) licenses so that we can make grants to these organizations. New licensing procedures will allow us to move quickly and effectively to support democracy efforts in Iran. We will be announcing more details about the new licensing procedures by the end of this week.
This is just a beginning. As these initial efforts begin to bear fruit, we will build on them to create new opportunities to expand our support for the Iranian people.
“Russians just refuse to take us seriously”: Armenian press digest
Armenia needs deeper relations with Iran, Azg daily reports the director of the Caucasian Center for Iranian Studies Garnik Asatryan and its editor-in-chief Hakob Avetikyan as saying at a Yerevan scientific conference “Present-day Iran as Viewed by Armenian Intellectuals,” an event devoted to the 27th anniversary of the Iranian revolution. They say that it is necessary to develop bilateral relations and to deeper understand each other. The conferees discussed Armenian-Iranian relations in culture, Iran’s role in the region, the country’s achievements in arts.
At the 6th meeting of the Armenian-Iranian inter-governmental commission on trade-economic relations, Tehran, Feb 2, Iranian Economy and Finance Minister Davud Danesh-Jafari said: “Iran wants the Iran-Armenia gas pipeline project to be finished as early as possible. We hope that the pipeline will be launched in Jan 2007. Tehran and Yerevan are also interested in the projects to lay a high-voltage PTL, to build a gas TPP, a power plant and a borderline transport terminal in Nurduz.” (Aravot)
Radio Liberty reports Iranian Economy and Finance Minister Davud Danesh-Jafari to say that Iran wants and will help Armenia to join the North-South transport corridor agreement. 168 Zham daily notes that now they have to do something to make the Armenian authorities want this too.
The United States understands Armenia’s energy situation and its aspiration to diversify its energy sources, US Ambassador in Armenia John Evans says in a Feb 3 press-conference in response to the question about the problems Armenian-Iranian cooperation may pose to Armenian-US relations. Noyan Tapan news agency reports Evans as saying that Armenian-US relations are progressing and will progress in the future too. He points out three key problems the US has with Iran. First, Iran helps terrorist organizations, first of all, Hezbollah. Second, Iran has obvious problems with human rights and has been violating them for over 20 years already. One bigger problem is Iran’s nuclear program. Following this, the US has formed a legislation applying sanctions against companies investing in the Iranian energy sector more than allowed. Until now Armenia’s cooperation with Iran has not run counter to the US legislation, says Evans. He notes that in his meetings with Armenian officials he has repeatedly noted that the cooperation with Iran should not come up to the level of possible sanctions. The US is an advocate of free market and prefers energy problems to be solved within this market. The last crisis in Georgia and also Armenia, has shown what the South Caucasian countries should do to get stable energy sources.
NEW DELHI (AP) - Reversing decades of U.S. policy, President Bush ushered India into the world's exclusive nuclear club Thursday with a landmark agreement to share nuclear reactors, fuel and expertise with this energy-starved nation in return for its acceptance of international safeguards.
Iran says it will promise not to develop nuclear weapons if the United States and the rest of the world got rid of theirs.
Hmmmm... The U.S. is downsizing its nuclear arsenal while China is making more warheads. Iran is signing energy contracts with China but asking the U.S. to get rid of its nuclear weapons? Based on what Iranian officials say, the Iranian government is comprised of hypocrites who assume no one is paying attention. The Chinese and the Americans are paying close attention, and they have limited time for official Iranian duplicity.
"Why don't you just report the news instead of what might be the news?" —Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld
I have a sense that the quality of media is in decline and I can't put my finger on the source of the cause. The symptoms seem to be, regular journalists feel the need to be commentators. Unfortunately, quality of comment has migrated off the presses to greener pastures [BLOGS] and the standards of media commentary are now slipping. Maybe, when hiring, the NYT should ask for a degree in journalism and five years experience of quality blogging?
The popular conception of a quagmire is all wrong. America’s only quagmire is that the media believes itself to be the news. If only reporters were to have the self image of the fiber optic cable they transmit over. Maybe, just maybe, blogs will inject a sense of humility into journalists and they will go back to their roots...
The evidence of Iran's intention to embark on full-scale uranium enrichment appeared to jibe with news of lack of progress in talks between Moscow and Tehran meant to move Iran's nuclear enrichment program to Russia, thereby defusing concerns it might be misused to make nuclear warheads instead of fuel.
Yes... I also thought that these two events appeared to jibe.
'Maggie' Merkel, Germany's Mrs. Thatcher? Germany: Monday, July 04 - 2005 at 17:46
Angela Merkel is virtually unknown outside Germany, but within a few months this former East German chemist will probably be leading the third largest economy in the world. AME Info caught up with the woman many think will be Germany's answer to Mrs Thatcher at a meeting in Berlin.
Iran Revolutionary Guards say Merkel thinks she is Hitler
Wed. 08 Feb 2006
Tehran, Iran, Feb. 08 – Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps have said that German Chancellor Angela Merkel sees herself as former German dictator Adolf Hitler.
The IRGC’s spokesman, Brigadier General Massoud Jazayeri, told the Persian-language website Hemaseh, “The way Europe is dealing with the case of Iran’s peaceful nuclear energy program shows the weaknesses and uselessness of countries such as Britain, France, and Germany. This weakness is in particular clearly noticeable in speeches by newcomers such as the German Chancellor”.
“Merkel in her childish dreams imagines herself as Hitler and therefore thinks that now that she is leaning against the Chancellorship’s chair she can give orders to the world and free countries”, Jazayeri said.
“From individuals who have a Zionist background nothing less is expected”, the IRGC spokesman added.
In Munich on Saturday, Merkel compared hard-line Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to Hitler.
Commenting on Iran’s likely intent to acquire nuclear weapons, Merkel said that the world must not repeat the mistakes it made in appeasing the Nazis.
“Looking back to German history in the early 1930s when National Socialism was on the rise, there were many outside Germany who said, ‘It’s only rhetoric — don’t get excited”, she said
“Iran has blatantly crossed the red line”, she added.
“I say this as a German chancellor, a president who questions Israel’s right to exist, a president who denies the Holocaust cannot expect to receive any tolerance from Germany.”
Last Update: Sunday, August 14, 2005. 6:20am (AEST)
Gerhard Schroeder says a US threat of force against Iran is unacceptable. (AFP)
Germany rejects Iran military option
German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder has rejected the threat of military force against Iran, hours after US President George Bush said he would consider it as a last resort to press Tehran to give up its nuclear program.
Iran angered the European Union and the United States by resuming uranium conversion at its Isfahan plant last Monday.
It resumed the work after rejecting a European Union (EU) offer of political and economic incentives in return for giving up its nuclear program.
Mr Schroeder, one of the most prominent European opponents of the US-led war in Iraq, told an election rally in his home city of Hanover that the threat of force was not acceptable.
"I am worried about developments there because no-one can want the Iranian leadership to gain possession of atomic weapons," Mr Schroeder said.
"The Europeans and the Americans are united in this goal. Up to now we were also united in the way to pursue this.
"This morning I read that military options are now on the table. My answer to that is: 'Dear friends in Europe and America, let us work out a strong negotiating position. But let's take the military option off the table. We have seen it doesn't work'," he said.
'All options on table'
The comments came after Mr Bush told Israeli television that "all options are on the table", including the use of force.
Mr Bush added that he was "sceptical" that Europe's diplomatic approach to Iran would work.
Tehran says it aims only to produce electricity and denies Western accusations it is seeking a nuclear bomb.
Mr Schroeder's opposition to the Iraq war was seen as a decisive factor in his unexpected victory in the 2002 general election, which he won narrowly after coming from behind.
His critical stance caused serious ruptures in Germany's traditionally strong relations with the United States.
He faces another election this September.
Mr Schroeder's Social Democrats are currently lagging the opposition conservatives but the latter's lead has shrunk in recent weeks.
SCOOP ^ | Friday, 24 February 2006, 4:30 pm | AI (Brussels) The EU must address Iran’s widespread human rights violations, says Amnesty International, as Iranian Foreign Minister Manoucher Mottaki meets with EU high officials Javier Solana, Benita Ferrero-Waldner and the European Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee. Amnesty International has just released a report, "New government fails to address dire human rights situation" (available at http://amnesty-news.c.topica.com describing the failure of the new President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his government to address the serious ongoing human rights violations. This report illustrates an apparent intensification of repression over the past six months since the President took office, which includes frequent use of the death penalty... Read | Comments
ISIS ^ | February 23, 2006 | David Albright or Corey Hinderstein at (202) 547-3633 with comments or questions. The report, Iran: Is there a way out of the nuclear impasse? issued today by the International Crisis Group, contains errors of both facts and judgments, some of which result from an apparent lack of understanding of centrifuges and safeguards. This e-mail is not meant as a comprehensive critique, but rather a quick reaction to a couple of the most concerning assertions of the report. The ICG's fallback proposal of limited enrichment is not realistically assessed and represents a fundamentally flawed and dangerous recommendation. In particular, this recommendation would not actually significantly delay Iran's centrifuge development. Under the ICG plan,... Read | Comments
Committee for Economic Development ^ | March 1979 | Thomas C. Schelling FOREWORD The strength and stability of the U.S. economy depend very heavily on an effective solution to the nation's energy problem. Thinking Through the Energy Problem offers a fresh approach to the multifaceted issues surrounding energy and a solid framework within which energy policies, present and future, can be judged. The close association between energy and the economy has long been recognized by the Committee for Economic Development. In 1973, months before the Arab oil embargo, a CED Subcommittee was at work formulating proposals both for stimulating energy production and curbing energy demand. CED's findings and recommendations appeared in... Read | Comments
It's small groups getting their hands on unsecured nuclear material for terrorist weapons that is the problem. States can be deterred, non-state actors cannot.
Tyrants monopolize power and a good rule of thumb Americans are familiar with is, “absolute power corrupts absolutely”. Corruption is the bane of civil society because corrupt actors are difficult to track and prosecute. Corrupt actors use familiar institutions against the public and this can be done even more effectively if such corruption is carried out under the guise of national or international sovereignty. [Recall oil for food]. Terrorism, like corruption is made more difficult to accomplish without the sponsorship of states.
You mentioned deterring non-state actors cannot be done. I disagree; it certainly can be done, both directly and indirectly. The act of deterring non-state actors is made easier by relieving non-state actors of their official state sponsors. Regardless, you’ll probably agree that there are unpleasant symptoms of deterring non-state actors, IE terrorists.
Symptom of deterring terrorism may include but are not limited to, inciting retaliatory terrorist violence, public sympathy for terrorists and the creation of new and more deadly terrorist tactics. Some look at these symptoms and say, “deterrence is worse than living with the disease”; while others ask, “can terrorism be cured in its entirety?”
In my opinion the answer to both is an unequivocal, NO! Terrorism is a disease that must be deterred by Americans while they simultaneously acknowledge that terrorism, as it is currently defined, cannot be cured. Look around… violence is a political tool! It always has been and I cannot imagine a world in which “fear of bodily harm” does not influence the public sphere to act politically.
The lessons of history make another point clear about political violence. As society has become more civil, the price for using violence to meet political and economic goals has gone up. This is particularly true for developed states, like the United States. The American Government, a government for the people --- by the people, is paying a massive toll in blood, treasure and reputation for resorting to violence to achieve regional peace and stability in the Middle East. In my opinion --- It is worth every drop, dime and slur!
Why? With our blood, treasure and reputation we are buying the future. It will be a future that you, I and the entire world can live with. Would we get there faster if we did it the way this author prescribes? I doubt it…
Russia is building Iran’s first nuclear power plant and stands to lose billions of dollars if sanctions are imposed on Iran. President Putin also hopes to score diplomatic points by defusing the crisis in Russia’s first year as president of the G8 group of leading industrial powers.
Russia is wasting time and money negotiating with this regime. Putin, get used to the idea of regime change in Iran and flip the switch on these guys. You stand to make more on the flip side of regime change than what you’re making now. Go ahead P, crunch the numbers! You’ll see how quickly things will smooth out when rational Iranians hold the reigns of power in Tehran.
That stony soil for democracy’s growth is the soil of Islam, which teaches that legitimacy comes from Allah and the Shari'a, not from mere mortals casting their ballots.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
DEMOCRACY! God grants liberty, not mortals. The ballot represents a peaceful transition into the future, nothing more - nothing less. The evolution of our intellect demands all mankind will eventually turn to the ballot or some version of it. Think about the social dynamics happening in front of us. Those of us with the right to bear arms will use them to protect and propagate methods that allow us and our children to peacefully transition into the future. We are duty bound to use them against persons who would strip us of our rights; freedom of the press, freedom of assembly, freedom of religion and yes, including our right to bear arms.
While life has gotten easier for many in the West and arms have a different meaning to us than they did to the founders of our great nation, there is no guarantee that life will stay easy. In fact, withdrawal, disengagement, separatism, and isolationism are all behaviors that guarantee life will become untenable. There are those among us, and with family members, who have invented arms so powerful that these arms could erase the works of our preceding generations. We cannot let these tools slip into the hands of tyrants and therefore tyrant must go the way of the dinosaur. The Iranian government with its medieval intellect cannot come to possess the tools that could render them capable of destroying Washington. Iraq cannot slip into another brand of dictatorship! There will be no sequel to Saddam!
Accomplishing these goals will not be easy but they must be accomplished. I'm glad you posted this because it is a view, although terribly wrong, worth critical analysis.
CNN ^ | Tuesday, February 21, 2006; Posted: 1:45 p.m. EST (18:45 GMT) | From Elise Labott CAIRO, Egypt (CNN) -- U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice arrived in Cairo on Tuesday on a mission to rally Arab allies to increase pressure on militant group Hamas and isolate Iran. In her first trip to the region since Hamas' landslide victory in last month's Palestinian elections, Rice will lobby Egyptian and Saudi leaders to use their influence with Hamas to moderate its policies. She also wants those countries to withhold financial aid from Hamas if it refuses to accept Israel's right to exist, renounce violence or abide by agreements made by the previous Palestinian leadership. Rice will meet... Read | Comments
though he did add "imagine the reaction if the U.S. were to bomb another Moslem country."
the GWOT is not a war on Islam and therefore his addition only feeds into the claim that it is a war on Islam. Sure, there would be a reaction from Moslem communities around the world but it is up to them to measure the facts and pick a side. If they decide "foe," the American response to that decision will be a secular response. The United States kills the enemies of the American people not because they are Moslem, but because they have made a decision to be the enemies of the United States.
Great! Fine! So you say strikes won’t work… What will work then? No answer… FOX, get this guy off my television please. The American people have friends and relatives engaged in the GWOT to win it, and who are also tasked with stopping Iran’s nuclear proliferation. Tangible alternatives make for good content, not dismissals of solutions, no matter how bad those solution may be.
It is the terms of surrender that must be worked out in Chamberlinese fashion a few times
Combining the total deaths of 11,000,000 people for the Axis and 51,000,000 people for the Allies, the total estimated human loss of life, irrespective of political alignment, caused by World War II was roughly 62,000,000 people with combined civilian and military deaths of 37,000,000 and 25,000,000 respectively. There was a disproportionate loss of life and property; some nations had a higher casualty rate than others, due to a number of factors including military tactics, crimes against humanity, economic preparedness and the level of technology.
US Mideast democracy plan backfiring: Iran president
The West should expect and even appreciate these sentiments from a tyrant. He knows he is propagating a BIG lie. Hitler was absurdly confident of his future successes and shouted about the failures of his enemies as well. Ahmadinejad and his breed will squeal these sorts of falsehoods until the day liberty chokes the breath out of them. The louder dictators and tyrants shout "Liberty is Failing!" the more confident we in the West should be that the opposite is true.
BTW, do you know which countries made easy and quick overthrow of Taleban possible? Do you know how were the sponsors of Northern Alliance?
Yes, and I know where you are going with this. There were irregular Iranian forces in Afghanistan in the campaign against the Taliban and American Special Operations Forces have made it clear, to those paying attention, that while Iranian forces were fighting the Taliban in theater, they were not operating in a way that assisted Americans or Afghanis. Organizing tribes to cut the throats of rival tribes does not lead to political stability, only increased mayhem. The situation there is indicative of a larger Afghan-Iran relationship. The Iranians have never been on good terms with their Afghani neighbors. Afghanis in Iran are treated like second class citizens and the Iranian government was all too happy to deport Afghani refugees after the Taliban fell. Not surprisingly, Afghan refugees were all too happy to leave.
To those familiar with his political and military megalomania, Ahmadinejad wishes his Afghani neighbors were wiped of the map almost as much as his public enemy number one, Israel. Obviously, saying so publicly would not foster the kind of Muslim solidarity he and the Valeyat need to dominate the region.
A. POLE: What about the "negative effect on relations between" Teheran and Tbilisi?!
While air strikes are not officially considered at this time, it's clear they are unofficially being considered by many governments. Therefore, it wouldn't be wise for Tbilisi to say anything official on the subject. As for relations with Tehran, it looks like Tehran has isolated itself so well that foreign relations between Tehran and its neighbors have degraded into "get gas and oil from the mullahs while it can be got". Regime change may come in the near term and it is understood by Georgia, Turkey, Japan and China that pipelines have temporary masters. Georgian gas deals like this one illustrate that the Iranian government is not much more than a whore that stays in power only through manipulating its customers. This whoring behavior is not diplomacy and only vaguely approaches international relations. It goes without saying that in its current incarnation Tehran has political AIDS and its carriers are its most ardent allies.
I’d be interested to see a list of positive effects on relations between Tehran and any other government, besides the ardent enemies of the United States, which of course would be a list of negatives anyway. Thanks for the ping and playing the devil’s advocate A-Pole.
Were there any volunteers for 'live' demonstrations of the techniques?
I don't think the press has access to the results of DNA tests of suicide bomber splats in Iraq. We can however speculate that at least a few of those splats represent demonstrations of Iranian suicide bombers.
Associated Press ^ | Feb 18th - 8:53pm | NASSER KARIMI TEHRAN, Iran (AP) - An Iranian group that claims its members are dedicated to becoming suicide bombers warned the United States and Britain on Saturday that they will strike coalition military bases in Iraq if Tehran's nuclear facilities are attacked. Mohammad Ali Samadi, spokesman for Esteshadion, or Martyrdom Seekers, boasted of having hundreds of potential bombers in his talk at a seminar on suicide-bombings tactics at Tehran's Khajeh Nasir University. "With more than 1,000 trained martyrdom-seekers, we are ready to attack the American and British sensitive points if they attack Iran's nuclear facilities," Samadi said. "If they strike, we have... Read | Comments
A dog's breakfast of insider commentary thrown together like dirty laundry.
He could've rambled on about the nuclear NPT and Iran's various violations of its sections, but instead he kept the reasoning simple. This is important because the world consists of more interested parties than international lawyers. From the simple to the complex, at every level, Iran is wrong on this issue and that's why the U.S. is finding traction in its efforts to build consensus at the IAEA.
The only part that makes me think this is “insider speak” is how he says the U.S. is not behaving at all like the imperial giant of Ahmadinejad’s and Chavez's rhetoric. He couldn’t be more right on this. Given the flood of banter in the MSM, this knowledge is drowned out and therefore not readily available to the average Joe. The truth is that our State Department folks have been and are unbelievably accommodating to the slightest protests from their Board of Governor partners in Geneva. I don’t think details are necessary to illustrate how important it is that the world understands what Iran is up to with its nuclear weapons program. This crisis has forced the United States to adopt a leadership role in international affairs and the democratic character of American foreign policy is blatantly showing there. Unfortunately, responsible governance doesn’t sell commercial spots on CNN, for that they need someone to F-UP.
VDH knows the Americans in Geneva are going to solve crisis democratically, not just for Americans, but for the world! VDH demonstrates this solemn truth without ramming satellite photos and legal jargon into his reader’s corneas. This kind of work is impressive and necessary in a multimedia effects world of, “if it bleeds, it leads”…
Georges Le Guelte, a nuclear expert at France's Institute for International and Strategic Research, called Douste-Blazy's statement "remarkable." "It was not very diplomatic," he said, adding it sent a powerful message to French companies operating in Iran that have pressured the government to remain cautious.
Mr. Le Guelte must assume the objective of all diplomacy is to grease the wheels of business. Maybe it is. Douste-Blazy statement takes into account that it is bad for business to end up on the wrong side of an Iranian nuclear weapon. Thank you Douste-Blazy, the truth will set us free.
In US shifts Iraq Loyalties we learn that the US is now negotiating with the Sunnis at all levels to strengthen them in order to avoid a Shiite dominated Iraq influenced by Iran.
The United States is doing what it always does, build broad consensus and target terrorists for elimination. An observation of political motion in Iraq depends on your frame of reference. This author is looking at the world through Shiite eyes. It is true that the political sand is shifting under the feet of Iraqis and their situation is very dynamic, but this reality is of their own making. Not so for the Americans. CENTCOM's mission has not deviated one iota. A national unity government requires the participation of the Sunnis. Would this author have us believe that Ayatollah Sistani’s support for a national unity government makes him a political ally to the Sunni?
Show me one Islamic fanatic that you're able to hold a civil conversation with or who will agree to treaties, etc. They have to be killed.
In principle, yes, but the architecture of the defense and propagation of civil society is more complex than your comment. How does an officer of democracy compile a list of Islamic Fanatics to kill? How do Islamic Fanatics create and or recruit more Islamic Fanatics? Alternatively, how do democracies create officers of civil society? How do democracies create and or recruit rational minds capable of compromise? Inversely, how does an officer of Islamic Fanaticism compile a list of democrats to kill?
The United States is a nation that governs by the rule of law and what defines our nation is the U.S. Constitution. In my opinion, the first and second amendments to the U.S. constitution are the vertebra of all civil society. The first establishes freedom of the mind and spirit. The second authorizes force to protect freedom of the mind and spirit. Let me be crystal clear on this point, arms are necessary but inferior tools to win the war to protect freedom of the mind and spirit.
Years ago Malcolm X, an American Muslim, delivered a speech entitled the Ballot or the Bullet. And while I disagree with X on his segregationalist ambitions, his point in that speech was valid. The application of force is either at the ballot box or out of the barrel of a gun. The ballot represents a new concept, a fix, a solution. The bullet represents finality and death but on its own cannot solve anything. The point here is that the best way to kill Islamic Fanaticism is not by killing its host, but by:
replacing the idea itself through understanding Islamic fanaticism and exposing it as fascist.
Simultaneously, the free and compromising mind must also understand and expose why it is demonstratively not fascist.
Doing these two things answers all of the questions I posed in my first paragraph. No expert can do it for you, you have to do them. Yes, it is a lot of work but our freedom is worth the effort.
The point of the comparison is not to suggest that history simply repeats itself, but to learn why intelligent people delude themselves into embracing naive policies. After the removal of the Taliban and Saddam Hussein, the furious reply of the radical Islamist world was to censor Western newspapers, along with Iran's accelerated efforts to get the bomb.
There is great skill and effort that goes into rejecting evidence of impending disaster. It could be argued, "priorities change" and that's why the architecture and mechanics of our defenses change. This is true and explains choices made under difficult circumstances, IE, the Cold War. To VDH’s point, beyond adjusting to the times, apologists are unusually consistent in doling out their apologies to outsiders, while simultaneously castigating their countrymen. It’s as if the apologist is assuming too much responsibility for the crisis in the face of the crisis. No! A democratic mind will never be responsible for the aggression of the fascist mind. The tough part is knowing when to stop trying to compromise when your entire world view is built on compromise. In a way, the end of the appeaser’s world comes at the same time the world that authorizes compromise, including appeasement, is saved.
This is a great commentary because it uses history as a tool, not to shift blame or credit for the sake of an agenda, but to help navigate the future. BTTT!
BLAM: A waste of $75 million. Send the people guns & bullets.
We have a situation in Iran where 60 million people [plus] are isolated, not by choice but by the authority of the Islamic Republic of Iran (IRI). The state has created an alternate reality with state media outlets such as the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting services (IRIB). This media is translated into Arabic, Albanian, Armenian, Bangla, Bosnian, Chinese, Dari, English, French, German, Hausa, Hebrew, Hindi, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Kazakh, Kiswahili, Kurdish, Pashtu, Russian, Tajik, Turkish and Urdu.
NOTE: Section 12 of Iran's constitution specifies authority over Radio and Television - Article 175
The freedom of expression and dissemination of thoughts in the Radio and Television of the Islamic Republic of Iran must be guaranteed in keeping with the Islamic' criteria and the best interests of the country. The appointment and dismissal of the head of the Radio and Television of the Islamic Republic of Iran rests with the Leader. A council consisting of two representatives each of the President, the head of the judiciary branch and the Islamic Consultative Assembly shall supervise the functioning of this organization. The policies and the manner of managing the organization and its supervision will be determined by law.
Let's take the view for a moment that Iran instituted IRIB World Services, translated into 24 languages to confront the 44 languages Voice of America is translated into, including پخش زنده. Check out VOA radio and you'll find it heavily influenced by the free press Americans are so familiar with. Despite the fact that VOA is a taxpayer funded free media outlet that pumps out stories of American controversy to foreign nationals, it still has unassuming phrases buried in its radio program like "We're not your role model, we're your radio station." Iran blocks VOA, with all the ammunition it has against the West... Therefore, IRIB isn't competing with VOA, it is supplanting it. A free media is being supplanted by state media! This is what leads to mega death... It is not unreasonable to forecast millions of isolated Iranians willing to fight and die for a fake perception they hold perpetuated by their fascist state. These walls need to come down so that the Iranian government cannot segregate Iranians from the rest of the world.
Have you read Hitler's Willing Executioners: Ordinary Germans and the Holocaust? If you had, you'd quickly realize the next book could easily be Ahmadinejad's Willing Executioners! 75Million bucks is a drop in the bucket when one considers the value of preventing the next world war. War with Iran would cost far more than 75Billion and an unimaginable cost in human suffering. You say send guns, I say "The Middle East is full of people who are all too quick to resort to arms". Instead, figure out a better way to send this!
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan yesterday warned President Bush not to "escalate" tensions over Iran's nuclear ambitions because the world wants to "find a way out of this crisis." "We need to be able to resolve it, and I hope there will be no steps taken to escalate this approach," Mr. Annan told the president at the end of a meeting in the Oval Office.
With the deepest regard for international diplomacy and international democracy, this commentary from the Secretary of the UN is laughable. American officials taking concrete steps to solve the Iran problem is not an escalation. Secretary Annan, should we remind you of the millions of lives the Iranian leadership has threatened and the billions of lives the Iranian leadership is gambling with! Barking orders at responsible democratic nations sympathetic to international governance in order to protect dictatorships with nothing but contempt for you is bad leadership. The net result Mr. Annan is that these remarks will drive the constituents of real democracies to lose sympathy for you and your institutions. This is an unfortunate trend to initiate. When the constituents of healthy democracies lose faith in international democracy, democratic representatives of nations like the United States will be obliged to lose sympathy for you as well.
"We talked about U.N. reform, structural reform, management reform, as well as the reform of the Human Rights Commission," Mr. Bush said. "I was most interested in the secretary-general's thoughts. I appreciate very much his leading on these issues, and we'll continue to work closely." Mr. Annan said he agreed that reforms of the human rights panel "should be done as soon as possible."
If you would NOT have the courage to do so yourself under the above circumstances, stop asking or expecting them to do it and throw their lives and well being away to satisfy YOUR mindset or Western protocols that have no hold in Iran while the Mullahs are there.
Two Iran clocks are ticking; the international and the domestic. It is common knowledge, or at least it should be, that Iranians are struggling for a better life, be it within the confines of the Islamic Republic or outside it. They deserve a better life than what the Islamic Republic is offering and the Free World deserves peaceful partners, not fascist dictators who threaten global security.
This poll is interesting in that it encourages rational debate about potential solutions to the Iran problem. At this stage, it looks like air strikes have the lead and supporting opposition is not far behind. Confidence in dialogue and sanctions appears relatively low. Is this poll scientific? Not at all, however the constraints of internet polling are, at a minimum, suggestive and could lead to more stringent statistical analysis.
That said, what does this poll have to do with the courage you mention in your commentary? Iranians have some hard decisions to make in the near term. Americans do too. In a world fraught with terror and nuclear proliferation, courage is the order of the day. Without courage, Tehran would be making nukes today without oversight. It goes without saying that both Official American and Iranian DissidentCOURAGE has made great strides in preventing the Islamic Republic from fulfilling its ambition of regional domination. These are realities that are wholly separated from any individual’s mindset.
Iran focus ^ | 14 FEB 2006 | Iran Focus What’s the most effective way of dealing with the threat posed by Iran’s radical leaders? Vote! Initiate more dialogue 6 % (4) Launch surgical military strikes 32 % (21) Impose Security Council sanctions 7 % (5) Support Iranian dissidents as agents of change 53 % (35) Total Votes as of This Posting: 65 Vote! Read | Comments
Piracy, terrorism threats overlap --- By Adam Young and Mark J. Valencia --- SPECIAL TO THE WASHINGTON TIMES --- July 07, 2003 HONOLULU — Images of walking the plank aside, piracy has made a spectacular comeback in recent years. Reported incidents have increased dramatically around the world, approaching nearly 400 annually. Worldwide there were 103 attacks on ships in the first quarter of 2003, according to the International Maritime Bureau. In some cases, though, in the charged political atmosphere, the mass media and governments have blurred the line between piracy and acts of terrorism. Such acts can appear similar, but it is important to understand that piracy and terrorism have different causes, objectives and tactics. A good example is the March attack on several chemical tankers in the Strait of Malacca region by assailants with automatic weapons. Some of the ships were sprayed with bullets, while others were boarded silently. A New York Times article attributed the attacks to "terrorists." But it was later revealed that the attackers were apparently after only equipment and other valuables. In other words, they were pirates, albeit unusually bold and violent ones. The precise definition of piracy and terrorism has been problematic for national and international policy-makers alike. The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea defines piracy as violence on the high seas, i.e., beyond any state's 12-nautical-mile territorial waters. ... ...Ship hijackings by terrorists are a serious threat, but there has yet to be such a case in Southeast Asia. Because of the overlap in operational similarities, short-term countermeasures such as enhanced patrols, coordination and ship defense will be useful in countering piracy and terrorism. But long-term solutions aimed at completely eliminating piracy and terrorism may have to be fitted to the particular problem. Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies
"The proposals remain in force; the whole package of proposals has been presented, and our position has not changed," he said.
Iran 'resumes' nuclear enrichment
Iran has restarted uranium enrichment work, UN diplomats have said. Monday, 13 February 2006, 22:14 GMT. --- They said it had begun feeding uranium gas into centrifuges - a first step in a process that can produce fuel for nuclear reactors or bomb material. Tehran had warned it would resume enrichment after the UN nuclear watchdog decided to report it to the UN Security Council nine days ago.
"One of my nightmares would be a maritime terrorism attack in the Strait of Malacca," Greenert said.
That relatively narrow waterway between Indonesia and Malaysia handles heavy traffic to and from the Indian Ocean, South China Sea and the Pacific. About 40 percent of Asia's oil, including at least 80 percent of Japan's oil, travels through the strait, Greenert said. Japan's security is one of the Seventh Fleet's top priorities.
With new discoveries, reserves could meet demand for 150 years at the present rate of consumption. In such a scenario, transnational gas pipelines are becoming extremely important for achieving the economic growth targets. These facts make out a strong case for India pursuing its gas pipeline project with Iran, he said.
PRO: Energy is good for the economy, no arguments there.
CON: Giving money to state sponsors of terror is bad for the economy.
CON: Giving money to a nation that does not abide by its own commitments at the IAEA is bad business.
CON: Democracies doing business with human rights abusers is asinine....
Great segment on the cartoon controversy --- Q: Where are the Moderate Muslims? A: MPAC
Communications Director: Edina Lekovic --- email@example.com
Edina has participated in numerous national and international conferences and interfaith dialogues speaking on a variety of issues related to American Muslims. Earlier this month, Edina represented MPAC at a United Nations seminar on “Confronting Islamophobia.” In 2003, Edina was invited by the Malaysian government to be one of two U.S. representatives to the International Conference of Muslim Young Leaders, which served as a precursor to the annual conference of the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC). As a leading spokesperson for the American Muslim community, Edina has appeared on national media outlets, including CNN, BBC, and the History Channel. Edina is a founder of Elev8, an arts-based youth program that aims to identify, train and develop youth community leadership rooted in awareness, responsibility, and action. Edina is also pursuing her Master's degree in Communications at Pepperdine University. Her master's thesis seeks to understand whether Arab males' willingness to speak out on airline racial profiling is determined by their perception of dominant public opinion.
However, in the face of domestic political opposition to new military action, as well as budget constraints and deployment problems, undoubtedly many even within the Bush administration would welcome an excuse to do nothing about Iran.
Iran will not allow the U.S. to do nothing about Iran. N-Bomb making, holocaust denying fascist agitators do not have idle hands.
Amir Abbas Fakhravar: The regime is trying hard to tell to everybody that the nuclear activities are like the nationalization of oil 50 years ago. They are telling the world that this is somehow a national interest and that it's something the people want. But it's not like that at all.