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16 January 2016

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Brunswick

Hear hear!

D

All presidents wear two hats: politician and executive. It was crucial to rectifying our ME policy when Netanyahoo intervened in US politics on behalf of the Republicans. It legitimated enough Democrats - including Obama - in defying the heretofore unbeatable AIPAC and its dwindling amen corner.

jr786

Delighted with this, and still a bit stunned that's actually coming to pass. Anyone interested in the Iranian take on things in general should take a loot at: http://www.presstv.com/

I hope, dream, that visa restrictions are eventually relaxed between us. The more Americans that visit Iran the more realize what a beautiful culture and civilization they actually had - and, frankly, the most beautiful women in the world. They should then visit Israel and draw their own conclusions.

Serendipity? Cleaning out the garage, opened a box of books and the one on top was a well-eared copy of "The Road to Oxiana" Brilliant, even if that world is gone.

LeaNder

agreed:

"access to Iranian pistachios, the best"

The very, very best.

kooshy

To be fair to the Leveretts, I think they were very instrumental to open a new vision to introduce a new thinking in American foreign policy with regard to Iran and greater middle east. IMO they achieved a very important part of what they worked on, maybe POTUS didn’t go to Tehran, but the work of adult FP sites like PL’ and theirs made possible for Kerry go halfway to Vienna. Not bad ,still a big achievement.

gemini33

News is breaking that as soon as the last prisoner exited Iran, US Treasury slapped more sanctions on Iran for their ballistic missile program.

"Jan 17 The United States imposed sanctions on 11 companies and individuals for supplying Iran's ballistic missile program, the U.S. Treasury Department said."
http://uk.reuters.com/article/treasury-sanctions-11-entities-and-indiv-idUKL2N1510A0

robt willmann

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) report appears to not yet be public; its website has general information about the implementation--

https://www.iaea.org/node/3278

https://www.iaea.org/newscenter/focus/iran/chronology-of-key-events

Once the commercial business activity between Iran and other countries starts, the probability of a military attack by the U.S. on Iran goes way down. Governments do not operate in a vacuum with respect to business organizations in the countries.

Iran has been getting around the sanctions on oil and gas by selling it for gold, which was routed through Turkey and Dubai as one method. Now the fun question is: in what money will Iran sell its oil and gas? for U.S. dollars? euros? the Chinese renminbi? the Russian ruble? Sales in anything other than U.S. dollars will attack the status of the 'Petrodollar'.

The next question is what impact will Iranian oil and gas have on the price? A rumor is that Iran is offering free shipping to buyers. To the extent that more oil and gas for sale will result in a lower price, that is not good news for the U.S. oil and gas industry, and especially for the expensive hydraulic fracturing (fracking), but is good news for gasoline and diesel users. The active oil rig count has gone down from last year, and the BakerHughes (as in Howard Hughes) rig count report is a good source--

http://phx.corporate-ir.net/phoenix.zhtml?c=79687&p=irol-rigcountsoverview

But it is not just the oil and gas companies that can be hurt by the price, but also the banks and financial companies that have been providing the financing for the drilling, especially for fracking. Some of these loans are in real trouble, and some have been made by banks, which can put the banks in trouble, both as to being solvent and as to having the required "reserves" to engage in their fractional reserve banking. There are rumors that the Not-Federal Reserve Bank is maneuvering behind the scenes and talking to banks to try keep the lid on the developing mess.

Castellio

I am curious to know what public internet sources were so precise and definitive on an issue that most likely had no single origin.

However, assuming you and the sources are right, why would Tom, Hillary and Anne-Marie want that?

The Beaver

It did not take that long and Hilary Clinton is getting her wishes ( either via the WH or David S Cohen formerly from treasury and now #2 at the CIA).

New sanctions:
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-35338901

Babak Makkinejad

Ask them.

Castellio

And the sources?

Castellio

I agree they were influential and important voices. I am hoping they will remain so.

Castellio

Yes, now that there is no way the Iranians can approach nuclear weapons directly (even if they had wanted to, which it seems they hadn't since the end of their war with Iraq), the neocon focus will be on closing down their ballistic missile capabilities.

It will be claimed that every ballistic missile launch is "capable of delivering a nuclear warhead" and therefore "against the agreement".

Babak Makkinejad

You can do your own research.

But for a start, here is the hardline speech of Tom Donilon at Brookings Institution - 2011

http://iranprimer.usip.org/blog/2011/nov/22/speech-national-security-advisor-tom-donilon

The Beaver

FYI:Prisoners' ( and hostages) swap

[Quote]Fourteen months ago, President Obama authorized a top-secret, second diplomatic channel with Tehran to negotiate freedom for Americans who had disappeared or been imprisoned in Iran. It was a high-risk diplomatic gamble. The initiative grew out of nuclear negotiations, launched in the fall of 2013, between Iran and the world’s six major powers. On the margins of every session, Wendy Sherman, the top American negotiator, pressed her Iranian counterparts about the American cases. The Iranians countered with demands for the release of their citizens imprisoned in the United States for sanctions-busting crimes. More than a year of informal discussions between Sherman and her counterpart, Majid Takht Ravanchi, the Iranian Foreign Ministry official in charge of American and European affairs, led to an agreement, in late 2014, that the issue should be handled separately—but officially—through a second channel. After debate within the Administration, Obama approved the initiative. But it was so tightly held that most of the American team engaged in tortuous negotiations on Iran’s nuclear program were not told about it.[EOQ]

http://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/prisoner-swap-obamas-secret-second-channel-to-iran

So Zarif must not have trusted the "Social Worker" who was the eyes and ears of the Israelis to ask for such thing.

Ray47

USA and Iran are the world's biggest producers of pistachios. My biggest rapprochement-related fear is the formation of an OPEC-style pistachio cartel.

Ulenspiegel

Be careful. US nuts contain much less mold than products from the ME or African countries. If I want to be on the save side I stay with the US stuff. :-)

different clue

Castellio,

Was CNN losing money when Turner sold it? Then I can see why he sold it. But if it was making money, then why did he sell it? I can't imagine Turner somehow being "threatened" into selling it. I can only imagine Turner selling it because he was bored with it and wanted a bunch of money to go do something else with. So if Turner didn't care enough to defend CNN, then the blame is half his along with half the buyer's for how CNN turned out. IF it was making money when he freely chose to freely sell it.

different clue

jr786,

I know this will sound paranoid, but Iran still has "hard liners" in its governing structures who would like to embarrass or even derail the moderation-agenda of Rouhani and etc. These hard liners could still kidnap any random American in Iran to hold for political ransom. Perhaps the USgov should not issue any visas for any American citizen persons to go to Iran for the time being. We really don't want to face another round of Official Judicial hostage-taking.

Castellio

Thank you. I imagine you have seen this already: http://www.juancole.com/2016/01/evangelical-hate-speech-towards-muslims-does-wheaton-colleges-case-against-dr-hawkins-signal-a-problem.html

Babak Makkinejad

Yes, I have seen it.

It seems to me that when it comes to intolerance, it is a universal phenomenon that differs by degrees.

I think if a professor in many a Muslim country suggested that Christianity is not an obsolete religion (made so by Islam) and , in fact, deserves respect, he would be murdered, or removed from his position, or jailed - often all of the above.

LeaNder

Babak, Donilon sounds pretty US mainstream at the time of the speech in 2011.

Admittedly, the man has left no deep traces on my mind. If I look at his Wikipedia site, I can't see any outstanding positions by him, other then that he may be well connected:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_E._Donilon

********
personal note: what drew my attention where his diverse allusions to the Arab spring. Which felt a bit like Iranian meddling in this context, while not correctly responding to protests at home. Well strictly Iran already had its revolution in 1979.;)

One sure would like to know more about the intelligence behind this:
"Second, we have led a concerted effort to isolate Iran diplomatically as never before, regionally and globally. Third, we have worked with partners to counter Iran’s efforts to destabilize the region, especially during the Arab Spring."

********
"Babak: War-in-Syria-to-Wound Iran was the brain child of Tom Danilon, Hillary Clinton, and Anne-Marie Slaughter and not Israelis."

Iran seems to have two popular scapegoats, big Satan and little Satan. That may in minor ways shape relations to other Arab states. Any further "reliable" study on the topic?

How would knowledge of this shape the speech of a man, that seems to have zero background information about the region?

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