Senate Iran-- now discussing a lessening of sanctions and continued negotiation

Discussion in 'Community' started by KnightWriter, Jun 14, 2009.

  1. Alpha-Red Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 25, 2004
    star 5
    And that's what pisses me off about Iran. They were the ones who picked a fight with Israel when the two of them had nothing to dispute over. And then they chose to build a nuclear program, knowing full well that we had to respond. And after we do respond, they complain about being threatened and that they're not being treated with respect?
  2. Jabba-wocky Chosen One

    Member Since:
    May 4, 2003
    star 8
    Why did we "have" to respond. There was no cogent reason save the cultural attachment we have to the idea of the Israelis, and the consequent reverberations on our Middle East policy. Which, you know, is the exact same thing that drives the Iranian position.
  3. Alpha-Red Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 25, 2004
    star 5
    It's not cultural attachment...it's that Israel is a pariah to the rest of the Middle East nations, and while they may justifiably deserve that reputation to a certain extent, having Israel "annihilated" or threatened with annihilation is not my idea of justice. So when Iran makes such threats and is simultaneously building a nuclear program, we've got a good reason to be very concerned.
  4. Violent Violet Menace Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 11, 2004
    star 4
    Well... ****! This was a sad turn of events. Khamenei was stupid to reject such a rare opportunity. He either doesn't know his own good, or he knows exactly what he's doing. The chances of the latter, however, are rather slim. This is the year of the reckoning with Iran, as Fareed Zakaria puts it. Something will happen this year, one way or the other. Khamenei should know that there is little remaining time to reach a deal. His predecessor, in his own words, drank from the poison chalice to end the war with Iraq on as favorable terms as possible. For the sake of the people he claims to lead, he should too.
  5. Violent Violet Menace Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 11, 2004
    star 4
    Video roundup:

    The Center for Strategic and International Studies hosted an hour-long panel on "dealing with a nuclear Iran" on Feb 6th. The panel featured, among other speakers, former general James Cartwright and Zbigniew Brzezinski. You'll find the link to the video here.There are links on the page for downloading the clip for later and also an audio-only file.

    The Wilson Center hosted on Jan 29th a nearly 1,5 hour long panel entitled "Why is Iran negotiating?". You'll find that here.

    On Feb 5th, the British parliament's Foreign Affair's Committee had a hearing on Iran's nuclear program that lasted about 1,5 hours. It's divided into two parts, the first being about Iran's behavior, the prospects of ongoing negotiations and possible models of compromise going forward. NIAC's president and the director of Iranian studies at the University of St. Andrews are invited to testify as experts. The second part is about the practical task of bombing their reactors, should negotiations go nowhere. You can watch the whole thing here.

    Al-Jazeera English has a panel on the state of press freedom in Iran and some other authoritarian countries, and details, among other topics, how the Iranian government has moved the goalpost of what constitutes "agitation", as opposed to reporting, in anticipation of the coming elections, and subsequently has intensified their arrests of journalists. Link here.

    And finally, a shorter one, this one audio-only, from the BBC. Should the U.S. military use force to destroy Iran's nuclear capacity? NIAC's Reza Marashi and Elliott Abrams from the Council on Foreign Relations discuss here. This one's less than 10 minutes.

    -----

    I also have an alarmist op-ed by a former member of the Iranian ministry of foreign affairs, entitled Don't be fooled; Iran wants the bomb. Personally, I've never doubted that. Of course Iran wants the bomb. I'm not that naive that I believe all of this back and forth for a decade has all been just for nuclear energy. The West is justified in its suspicions. But I do believe there are peaceful ways of pressuring them from getting it. The West is onto their game, and all they need to do is to outsmart them at it. And even though the nuclear energy angle is a convenient excuse, Iran does have legitimate energy needs.
    Last edited by Jedi Merkurian, Feb 10, 2014
  6. RKORadio Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Jun 15, 2004
    Of course, Israel has nuclear weapons precisely to prevent the Arab states conquering Israel and ethnicly cleansing/massacring the Jewish population. What's too often forgotten by those in the western Left is that the Arabs stated openly exactly what they would do to the Jews had they won in 1948/67/73. Maybe not Holocaust 2.0 but it would have been Very Bad.
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  7. Alpha-Red Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 25, 2004
    star 5
    Even if the Arab countries attacking Israel were planning genocide, they wouldn't have been able to carry it out. A successful invasion of Israel would have resulted in America stepping in to intervene. The Soviets were ready to intervene on Egypt's behalf when Israel had the latter's armies cut off and surrounded, and if the situation had been reversed America would certainly have come to the rescue of Israel.

    In any case that's all moot. Israel was right to defend itself in 1967 and 1973, but that doesn't mean it's right today in holding on to territories that ought to belong to the Palestinians.
  8. Violent Violet Menace Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 11, 2004
    star 4
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  9. Violent Violet Menace Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 11, 2004
    star 4
    If you've got the time, this is a brilliant and very recent presentation with a nice q & a session halfway through that I highly recommend you to see. It's about 1,5 hours. The q & a begins at the 45:00 mark.
  10. Ghost Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 13, 2003
    star 6
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  11. Ghost Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 13, 2003
    star 6
    The moderate presidential candidate wins in a surprising landslide victory:

    http://www.aljazeera.com/news/middleeast/2013/06/2013615155229420816.html



    Finally some good news out of Iran!

    It's too bad that Iran's president doesn't control foreign policy, but still, this will hopefully improve relations and prevent Israel from going to war with them.
    Last edited by Summer Dreamer, Jun 15, 2013
  12. VadersLaMent Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Apr 3, 2002
    star 9
    That is good news. I browsed a headline earlier. The other rulers of Iran were apparently not pleased with him over the last few years, but they are not much better if at all.
  13. Juliet316 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Apr 27, 2005
    star 7
    Well at the very least, he likely won't be given interviews to Piers Morgan calling the Holocaust a 'hoax', unlike the outgoing President.
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  14. Alpha-Red Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 25, 2004
    star 5
    There was this article a while ago that put out the idea that Ahmadinejad might actually have been good for Iran in terms of democracy. He was the only guy who actually challenged the legitimacy of the Supreme Leader, saying stuff like "what makes him think he can override the will of the people?". Now obviously, Ahmadinejad probably wasn't a legitimately elected president either, but I think any kind of rhetoric that puts emphasis on the legitimacy of the will of the people (as opposed to the legitimacy of a self-appointed "holy representative") will flow towards a more democratic endpoint. At the moment, Supreme Leader Khamenei claims a mandate from God and most Iranians seem to tacitly accept this or are unwilling to challenge him on it. If Khamenei was somehow overthrown replaced by Ahmadinejad, the latter would claim a mandate from the people...which is important because it would force Ahmadinejad to abide by the will of the people or explain why he's not living up to his principles. Or the short version: anything that loosens the screws of Iran's theocracy is probably a good thing.
  15. Violent Violet Menace Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 11, 2004
    star 4
    Last edited by Violent Violet Menace, Jul 21, 2013
  16. DarthBoba Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 29, 2000
    star 9
    Just dug this out of my Twitters:

    Iran's biggest problem: going broke



    Frankly, it is insane that Iran is having economic problems. They're a net oil exporter with a large (for the region), highly literate and fairly frequently college-educated populace. It's pretty clearly the sanctions that have ground Iran's economy to this point.
  17. Ghost Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 13, 2003
    star 6
    I remember reading years ago that Iran's domestic consumption of oil/gasoline is fast approaching how much they drill, and they might have to become a net-importer of oil due to their population growth and higher living standards within 15 years. That was the economic rationale for a nuclear energy program in the first place.
    But yes, the sanctions definitely are crippling Iran.
  18. DarthBoba Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 29, 2000
    star 9
    I think I remember hearing that too.
  19. Alpha-Red Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 25, 2004
    star 5
    They should have tried other things. Solar power. Hydroelectric. If it absolutely has to be nuclear, then why not open your country up to U.N. inspectors for verification? Why do your utmost to piss off America and Israel?
  20. Mr44 VIP

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 6
    But Iran still has its ear grounded to the Soviet-styled advisers who seem to be intent on keeping Iran nuclear and firmly planted in one of Russia's last sphere of influence. Also, it's not just the US and Israel. The last round saw quite the strong response by the entire EU, which also enacted sanctions against Iran that are on par with anything the US has put in place. There's nothing like trapping your back against the wall, and do so willingly.
  21. Ghost Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 13, 2003
    star 6
    Solar and hydro really aren't there yet. As for UN inspectors, didn't they have them in the beginning? Once their scientists started being assassinated and their efforts sabotaged, I can see why they didn't trust us. And of course we haven't trusted them, though some of it with good reason because of them sponsoring some foiled terrorist attacks against our allies and meddling in Iraq and Lebanon.

    And it's funny... before Ahmadinejad was elected and started making his crazy comments, it was Europe who was trying to contain Iran's nuclear goals and pursue sanctions (the US was kind of busy with Iraq and Afghanistan then). It wasn't until Ahmadinejad started talking about wiping Israel off the map did the US and Israel become involved.
  22. DarthBoba Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 29, 2000
    star 9
    And it's funny... before Ahmadinejad was elected and started making his crazy comments, it was Europe who was trying to contain Iran's nuclear goals and pursue sanctions (the US was kind of busy with Iraq and Afghanistan then). It wasn't until Ahmadinejad started talking about wiping Israel off the map did the US and Israel become involved.

    That's not accurate. Prior to 9/11 the US was pretty opposed to the Iranian nuclear effort:

    CFR report on Iran

    Basically, it was extremely difficult to prove the Iranians were actually after a bomb in the 1990s, but....saying "Europe took the lead" isn't an accurate assessment, IMO.
  23. Violent Violet Menace Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 11, 2004
    star 4
    There's no question in my mind that Iran wants so-called "breakout" capability, the ability and know-how to produce a nuclear weapon on short notice without actually having one. IIRC, that's the assessment of most Western intelligence agencies as well, including those of the United States. And it makes perfect sense. You have deterrence without technically breaking the NPT. It's a sneaky best of both worlds win-win strategy, and it's understandable that people in the West want to prevent it. Short of military attacks and efforts of sabotage, I'm doubtful that it's possible to prevent it, though. If the people in charge decide they want to have that ability at all costs, those are the only avenues that can get in their way.

    There are two reasons why they want this, in my humble assessment; the obvious deterrence factor, and the moral high horse prestige of being able to say "we could do it if we wanted, but we don't".
  24. DarthBoba Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 29, 2000
    star 9
    The biggest problem regarding Iran and a nuke and Western acceptance, I think, is that Iran's government has taken an antagonistic, we-want-to-be-in-charge approach to regional relations. That's not a good quality in a nuclear state for obvious reasons, and their largely hostile relations with their neighbors isn't a good point either. There is the Israel aspect and that is a major reason for involvement, but given Iran's relationship with the Saudis and Iraq I don't think the West would be as forgiving of them as they are of (for example) India even if Israel wasn't a thing. There's using your nuclear weapons for deterrence (India, again, and the US and Russians during the Cold War) and there's using your nuclear weapons to impose your policy on your neighbors.

    There's also that both Israel and Iran are highly unlikely to engage in anything like the arms-control deals NATO and the Soviets engaged in; both countries are dominated by extremist religion with very little room to accommodate others. It'd be like the late 1940s in US and Russian relations, except with no likelihood of a thaw.
  25. Violent Violet Menace Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 11, 2004
    star 4
    I can't disagree with any of that.
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