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07 April 2015


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Swami Bhut Jolokia

A good analysis by Halevy. Thanks for posting the link.


Manufactured Crisis:
( http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/has-iran-really-pursued-nukes )
Iran basically gives up something it never had ( http://therealnews.com/t2/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=33&Itemid=74&jumival=1331 ) and gets a DECLARATION of a modus vivendi from Pres. BHO. Obviously whether this can be trusted, or it is merely a disguise to meddle in internal affairs of the country, remains to be seen. (Cfr. http://www.moonofalabama.org/2015/04/thoughts-on-that-maybe-deal-about-irans-nuclear-achievements.html )


Hmm, good luck to the Iranians that have to fight their own hardliners and religious masters. There is still a way to go.

Apparently Ahmadinejad gets ready for the next election and recently his former supporter has been elected to the most important religious control institutions, the real masters behind the scene: Mohammad Yazdi. Take your pick according to your favorite news source in English.


Personally I would have preferred Haschemi Rafsandschani, but he did not even get half of Yazdi's votes.

Rafsandschani who supported Rohani, recently was interviewed by an Iranian paper. He is aware that Rohani didn't succeed in much what he promised voters.

The analysis of a friend over here in his monthly Iran reports ends his commentary this way. I am too lazy to translate it all. Mind you, this is of April 1, thus he didn't know when he wrote this, what we know now.


"Bahman Nirumand: All previous attempts by the government to mitigate the limitations of the press, censorship in art and literature and the repression in everyday life, failed as a result of opposition from the right. In foreign policy it tried by all means possible to thwart success of the government. It sounds absurd, but it is a fact that Iranian hardliners toot the same horn concerning nuclear negotiations as the Republicans in the US or the governments of Israel and Saudi Arabia, though with different motives. Their goal is to see this process end in failure.

Rohani still hopes to succeed and thereby to lift sanctions. In this case government would be able stimulate the economy, which has long been in a catastrophic state, and thus strengthen its base among the populace."


slight correction:
" to the most important religious control institutions"

not the most important, and not completely religious either maybe, if I recall correctly.

But an important one no doubt.

Patrick Bahzad

Oh yes, sure, Iran capitulated ... Because they are a ME bread of "cheese eating surrender monkeys" as everybody knows, right ???
Has it occured to anyone that Halevy's piece might have been written for a domestic audience in Israel, in order to give a reality check to the "Bibi" faction and the other lunies ?
Iran hasn't capitulated, Halevy knows it. They are on the brink on achieving what they have advocated for so long. Who says, it was their intention to go through with building a bomb anyway ? Who says they need one ? Who says they won't be able to build one, if the need arises ? Who says, they haven't gotten garantees from one of the 5+1 parties as to a sort of "nuclear umbrella" if they get threatened by another regional player who is already nuclear (and I'm not talking about Israel here) ? Who says they haven't won what getting the bomb would never have given them ? I could go on and on ...
But it's true that if you want to sell the deal to an anti-Iran audience in Israel and in the US, saying they capitulated is probably a better marketing strategy than admitting a compromise has been struck which is going to give Iran it's rightful place as a major regional power in the wider ME !

Babak Makkinejad

Yes, I generally agree with you; but shhh....let him sell it - no reason to say anything against it.

On the umbrella, I seriously doubt that.

Charles I

Pres Obama admitted that Iran could have a bomb in 13 years and the GOP is now on Defon High Dudgeon 1


Patrick: You are exactly right. It is nearly impossible to sell "diplomacy" that cannot be re-interpreted as surrender. Part of me hopes this deal was motivated by our "deep state," I.e., our institutional thinking (versus donor wish-listing) that should be running our foreign policy.

China is only going to get stronger. Russia is resurgent.

Why not play on Iran's historical suspicion and fear of the Russians by offering them a way out of Moscow's embrace?

Probably wishful thinking on my part.

Patrick Bahzad

Umbrella thing just a wild guess but there must have gotten guarantees as situation with regard to Pakistan potentially more dangerous then with KSA... Maybe they already have something worked out with India, wouldn't surprise me !

Patrick Bahzad

Yeah well I've been hearing since 2005 that Iran is going to have the bomb in six months, one year, two years, five years ... Take your pick ! Anything about that sort of timeline is just conjecture and basically BS as 9 heart have passes And they stil dont have built any bomb.
If they're smart, and in my experience they are, they'll stay a "threshold nation" just like Japan or Brazil ... No bomb but ability to produce within reasonable deadline.
You're right about GOP getting mental about this but I'm afraid there's lots of paranoia among democrats ... Go ask the Hillary crowd what they think about the deal !


Patrick and Babak,

Heh. Correct.

I have to say that Halevy reminds me of my great-grandfather and many of our family friends from back in the day...savvy and realistic.

Patrick Bahzad

i wouldn't bet on some high geopolitical skills or thinking being prominent in the "deep state" ... In my experience, deep state would be more equivalent to neocon state I'm afraid ! But there sure is some ethics and sanity left a,one some people there.
Thing with Iran is that for too long there was an elephant in the room and everybody pretended it wasn't there ... Now at least the elephant has been acknowledged and is sitting at the table ... Meaning everybody else's place at that table has gotten a little smaller

Yeah, Right

Efraim Halevy is talking nonsense if he really thinks that Kerry has "made" Iran capitulate, and his arguing of his point (1) (this is the first time that Iran has agreed to discuss limitations on its nuclear program) is laughable.

Look here:

That's a proposal that Iran presented to the E3/EU (the precursor to the P5+1) in March of 2005 i.e. a full 10 years ago.

Read it, and you'll see that the Iranians were offering what was essentially the same deal to "the West" a decade before Kerry did his full-bench press.

It isn't IRAN that has caved in. Far from it.

All that has happened is that in March 2005 the (then) US President would not even begin to contemplate a proposal that wasn't "no centrifuges, not ever", whereas in 2015 the current US President wants to be reasonable.

But between then and now? Iran has hardly budged an inch; what was acceptable to them in 2005 is still acceptable to them in 2015.


"Russia is resurgent"

In a sense, post-Soviet Russia was treated by the US like the moribund Ottoman empire was treated at the turn of the 20th century, with outside powers chipping away at it, and provinces breaking away.

I think that Russia has no choice but to 'resurge', that is, assert themselves. The alternative is to again be sneak-attacked (as in Ukraine) or steamrolled (as under Jelzin) by the US. To characterise that as resurgence only makes sense in light of Russia's previous weakness.

That weakness, however, was an aberration. When Russia under Putin now again enjoys a degree of stability, power and economic improvement, even with sanctions, well, good for them.

Tying themselves to the US obviously didn't work out well for them and basically gave them chaos, misery and creatures like Chodorchowski. I think that the US do not fully understand the extent of the bad experience they helped give Russia with their economic 'shock therapy'.


in particular:


"Following the complete collapse of the Russian economy in 1998, the number of people living below the official poverty line--in Russia, a measure of truly desperate conditions--rose to nearly 40%. Seniors in urban areas--with no access to jobs or land--were the hardest hit. Unlike those in rural areas, who could subsist on homegrown food, they had nowhere to turn. As in Soviet times, Russians were waiting in lines, hunting for scarce goods, and hoarding what they could find. The devastation of Russian life was by all measurements worse than America's Crash of 1929. U.S. unemployment at the end of 1929 reached 1.5 million, representing 1.2% of the total population, but more than 11.3 million Russians were jobless at the end of 1998--7.7% of the nation's total population. In the 1929 crash, stock prices fell 17% by year-end--and 90% by the depth of the Great Depression, four years later. By contrast, the Russian stock market lost 90% of its value in 1998 alone. Millions of ordinary men and women who had deposited their money in Russian banks lost everything. Here, an elderly Russian woman takes fruit from a trash bin in Moscow, August 28, 1998."


I can't for sure tell what Putin wants, but it is very clear to me what he does not want to happen again. One of the these things is a Russia again being subservient to the US.

The stunt in Ukraine must have driven home to Russia the point that the US not only gives bad advice, but is itself a bad actor acting in bad faith.

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