US / Iran relations
The al-Qaeda documents released by West Point’s Center for Combatting Terrorism (which needs to be better funded by Congress) show that the whole warmonger meme that Iran and al-Qaeda are in bed is a complete crock. Ali Gharib at Think Progress shows that the flurry of Weekly Standard articles alleging al-Qaeda-Iran links in recent months is fairly firmly refuted by the actual documentary record. Mark Hosenball at Reuters has more on the tense relationship of the mostly Wahhabi al-Qaeda with Shiite Iran. The [pdf] West Point Center writes, References to Iran show that the relationship is not one of alliance, but of indirectand unpleasant negotiations over the release of detained jihadis and theirfamilies, including members of Bin Ladin’s family.
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From the air, the terrain of the Department of Energy’s Nevada National Security Site, with its arid high plains and remote mountain peaks, has the look of northwest Iran.
Hamid Dabashi: Threat of war makes Iran more of a "garrison" state as sanctions hurt ordinary people - March 7, 2012
(updated below – Update II) One of the most significant foreign policy controversies of the 2008 presidential election centered around Barack Obama’s pledge ”to meet separately, without precondition” with the leaders of Iran, Syria, Venezuela, Cuba and North Korea.
A military strike on Iran ? Really ?
1) ' Too much loose talk .'
On Listening Post this week: Beating the drum for war - the US media and 'The Iranian Threat'. Plus, the burgeoning media scene in post-revolutionary Libya.
(updated below – Update II [Sat.])
With all the bluster of late in Western media that President Obama is assiduously working to “restrain” Israel from launching a preemptive attack on Iran, recent developments should put paid the lies of this dog-and-pony show. Last Sunday during an interview with NBC News, the president made it clear that “all options” regarding plans for a joint U.S.-Israeli attack “are on the table.” Far from distancing his government from the strident rhetoric emanating from Tel Aviv, Obama added that the administration is working “in lockstep” with Israel to “prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon.” Never mind that unlike Israel, which is estimated to possess upwards of 200 nuclear weapons, as a signatory of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty Iran is perfectly within its rights under international law to enrich uranium for peaceful purposes.
Wasting no time after its success in getting the administration to oppose Palestinian statehood at the United Nations, and still celebrating the UNESCO funding cut-off, AIPAC has returned to its #1 priority: pushing for war with Iran. The Israelis have, of course, played their own part in the big show. In the last few weeks, it has been sending out signals that it is getting ready to bomb Iran's nuclear facilities (and embroil the United States in its most calamitous Middle East war yet).
“Let there be no doubt,” President Obama declared in his 2012 State of the Union address. “America is determined to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon, and I will take no options off the table to achieve that goal.”
GOP presidential hopeful Rick Santorum warned North Dakota on Wednesday that it was in the cross-hairs of an Iranian attack. Among the news about Iran that had Americans thinking about that country was an announcement that Iran is making its own nuclear fuel and using it for a reactor.
The drumbeats for war with Iran keep pounding, as you can read about here and here. There are some features of the campaign that are scarily (or maybe comically) reminiscent of 2002-2003 (as Glenn Greenwald documents here ), but for now there's one key difference. Back in 2002, the neocon-heavy Bush administration led the charge to sell the invasion of Iraq.