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16 January 2016


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IMO, this was, and could have been the easiest of all US foreign policy challenges and achievements ever since 2003, if cool heads and adults would have responded to Iran’s 03 offer sent by Swiss ambassador. I believe if a little bit of respect, and fairness was ever shown, what just happened, would have happened back then, if so, I am sure a lot of lives, and a lot of wealth would have been saved on both sides. IMO, today there is a similar situation with respect to Syrian war, a need to respect sovereignty can solve the problem and get the word relived from this murderers, Jihadists.


It would be good to get our sordid past with Iran behind us and get to some semblance of a mutually beneficial relationship. Or we could elect one of the many choices of dingbat currently running for POTUS as an alternative.

alba etie

It is amazing to me that the IO MSM "Iran is Evil incarnate " campaign continues to be full bore screeched out there (24 hous & seven days a week) on all the different media platforms. Iran is not our enemy .And yes President Obama should be congratulated for seeing this nuclear deal implemented with Iran. I continue to believe that after the Syrian deal was done to remove the CW that President Obama has done a series of small but important course corrections away from 'the Assad must go " crazy neocon agenda . One such course correction was what the administration did not do - give Erdogan his NFZ in Syria. (And as a sidebar correction we are still using Incirlik) . I also wonder if history might judge that President Obama had much more back channels communication with President Putin regarding exterminating the Liver Eaters then is currently known. I also think about how is it such a nefarious turn of events , as the neocon IO espouses that Russia is taking a bigger more effective role in the Levant - One such example in evidence is the joint command center in Jordan which is also making the Liver Eater extermination quicker and easier as I understand the Levant battle ongoing . There are other examples of a strategic course correction ongoing by BHO & its all underpinned by bringing in Iran from the cold. I just try to delete the kabuki neocon chatter from the President's rhetoric, in the context of a national election - and concentrate on the administration's actions . Perhaps I am being very naive - we shall see,

alba etie

"Prime Minister" Richard Bruce Cheney made damn sure that the neocon agenda was fully implemented ( google Clean Break , Micheal Ledeen ) back in 2003. I pray that we are seeing a historic course correction away from the neocon agenda . We shall see.


ISNA, Iranian news site is reporting that 4 dual citizen prisoners were exchanged today, it may as well be the dual American Iranian citizens ?


Aaron Lund of the Carnegie Endowment has highlighted:

The Ten Most Important Developments in Syria in 2015

10. The Death of Zahran Alloush.

9. The Failure of the Southern Storm Offensive.

8. Operation Decisive Quagmire.

7. Europe’s Syria Fatigue vs. Assad’s Viability

6. The Vienna Meeting, the ISSG, and Geneva III.

5. The Donald.

4. The Iran Deal.

3. The Continuing Structural Decay of the Syrian Government. 

2. The American-Kurdish Alliance.

1. The Russian Intervention.

Bill H

I agree as to Iran. Otherwise, I am more inclined to believe that other nations, Russia in particular, are simply listening to their own counsel and ignoring the ignorant posturing of American "diplomacy" and acting accordingly, forcing Obama to jog in their wake, panting to keep up.

The Beaver


Don't know whether you've seen this little ti-for-tat after FM Zarif's Op-Ed in the NYT:


"Diplomacy is the domain of the mature; not arrogant nouveau-riche," Zarif shot back on Wednesday.

I guess that's why the UAE have hired a Spaniard, whilst he was still working as UN Envoy for Libya to train ( at a pop of £1,000-a-day job) its diplomats :-)



The irony of all this for the neocons and Israelis who attempted to drag the US into a war with Iran is that their plan completely backfired. They put the pieces into place place to eliminate or weaken Iran's enemies in the region, and ultimately afforded the Iranian a position of relative strength from which to negotiate.

As a result, the US really has little choice but to continue to upgrade its ties with Iran, and by virtue that likely means that Assad will stay.

The risk now is containing (or destroying depending on how they react) the Saudis and their cohorts who are going to start feeling the isolation.


I have to agree with PL -- after many bitter disappointments with Obama he has done one good thing with this Iranian nuclear deal.

With this latest lifting of sanctions by the UN and the EU it will make it very difficult for any future US administration to reverse course. It is obvious that AIPAC and Israel have not given up on their opposition and they do seem to have complete control over the Republican Party (oh how Eisenhower must be tuning in his grave). Right now the Lobby is playing a long game to get a future US Congress to re-install sanctions against Iran. However this time, the US will have to go it alone. Any effort by the US to reimpose sanctions will only serve to embitter the rest of the world who will be free to trade with Iran. Any effort by the US to force the world to reimpose sanctions will definitely put to test the idea that the US is the world's only hyper-power that leads in all things military, economic and political.

The show Crosstalk has a good discussion on some of these questions by Flynt leverett and Seyed Mohammad Marandi from the University of Tehran that is shown here : http://goingtotehran.com/

Medicine Man

I agree completely. Reaching an agreement with Iran is a major step in the direction of aligning US foreign policy with the challenges the country actually faces in this era. I hope this is the first of many steps to come.


one aspect that might mitigate against the u.s. congress reimposing sanctions will be the pressures asserted by the business community who are desperate to open up shop in iran. i've seen comments that they are currently largely sidelined while watching their european partners all moving in. and since they control the purse strings of so many members of congress....
things are certainly going to get much more interesting.

also worth nothing... you can almost feel the dismay of the cable chattermonkeys at their disappointment there is even less possibility of u.s. military action against iran. (blitzer in particular; and i'm looking forward to monday's morningbro and joescar's spin.) cnn and msnbc were counting on those bombs dropping to boost their ratings..


Why did GoingToTehran go quiet... I, for one, miss the on-going analysis of the Leverett's.

Babak Makkinejad

Based on public Internet sources, I have come to the conclusion that the War-in-Syria-to-Wound Iran was the brain child of Tom Danilon, Hillary Clinton, and Anne-Marie Slaughter and not Israelis.

Babak Makkinejad

That explains 2003, it does not explain what did not happen circa 2007.

In my opinion, the rest of P5+1 bear also major responsibility for 8 years of escalation against Iran.

And all for what?

To settle for the same deal that had been on the table since 2006; but not before Syria lies in ruins, refugees are flooding to EU, and your customer was sanctioned to hell.

Babak Makkinejad

US freed 7, Iran 4.


ex-PFC Chuck

Sovereignty is so yesterday. Just ask the people who are negotiating the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, and the Trade In Services Agreement. And just ask the best administratiion and Congress that money can buy who put all three on Fast Track a few months ago. These bozos have no idea what they're messing with when they undermine the Westphalian system, flawed as it is.


Responded to Iran's 03 offer?

Amb. Chas Freeman (ret) describes the White House thinking at the time in an interview last week, "Saudi Disillusionment with the U.S. Started With Bush." Covers what's going on now between Iran and Saudi Arabia. Fascinating. Freeman, as always, speaks plainly, and elucidates The Other's view with insight.



Iran buying 114 planes from AirBus. And judging by the neglect its aviation industry has suffered from, I'm guessing there are way more orders of planes in the offing.


"With this latest lifting of sanctions by the UN and the EU it will make it very difficult for any future US administration to reverse course."

No doubt the French (Airbus, luxury store owners) are in the air right now enjoying champagne and caviar on the way to Tehran. Ditto the German car and medical instrument manufacturers.

I, on the other hand, want access to Iranian pistachios, the best. The Jewish owners of the biggest pistachio farm (industry) in California (and the US) were adamant and generous pro-Israeli supporters of the anti-Iran position. (Google it.) It's been good for business since 1979.


Col. Lang you have had a major contribution to achieving this realignment, I hope you realize. You have been a voice of reason and above all have shown to the "other side" they there is an alternative view point and they are not confronted by a "Monolithic Evil", a Great Satan bent on their destruction.

I personally owe you a debt of gratitude for avoiding a situation that would have caused a major internal cognitive and existential dissonance.

ex-PFC Chuck

Clinton is still cheek by jowl with the neocons on Iran.


I took a look at Iran's media today and along with the Iran deal news, they're really working on their image as the anti-terrorism nation in the region and creating that contrast between themselves and the pro-terror Saudis, without directly saying Saudis are the pro-terror nation. They don't have to say it.

Not only that, they're getting some help doing it. This seems like a really smart strategy.

Couple videos on their YouTube channel:
"Iraq can combat terrorism with extra effort: Nabil Mikhail"

"Luxembourg urges world powers to work with Iran" [to establish security in the region]


It's initially not about the ratings - it's about why the channel is owned in the first place.

Turner's initial and quite 'revolutionary' CNN grew rapidly because people felt they were getting unpackaged news as it was happening.

It was bought and subdued - and has been for a long time now an important voice for the neocons.

That particular objective was met.


Entirely agreed. What a battle its been since those desperate early days. But the war for sanity and morality is not won yet.

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