More Persian Fantasies…

7:45 pm in Uncategorized by CTuttle

From Seoul today… Obama: Window for diplomatic solution to nuclear Iran is closing

U.S. President Barack Obama said on Sunday there was still time to resolve the Iranian nuclear standoff through diplomacy, but that the window for such a solution was closing.

Obama reiterated his position on the Iran nuclear issue after talks with Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan on the eve of a nuclear security summit in Seoul.

“I believe there is a window of time to solve this diplomatically, but that window is closing,” Obama told reporters.

Obama has pressed Israel to hold off on any attack on Iran’s nuclear sites to give sanctions and diplomacy time to work, but has said military action remains an option if all else fails. {snip}

Obama and Erdogan also discussed providing medical supplies and communications support to the Syrian opposition but there was no talk of providing lethal aid for rebel forces, a U.S. official said. {snip}

“We worked on a common agenda in terms of how we can support both humanitarian efforts… (and) the efforts of Koffi Annan to bring about much needed change (in Syria),” Obama said after his meeting with Erdogan, a sharp critic of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

With regard to Iran, the U.S. president made similar remarks in a joint press conference British Prime Minister David Cameron a week and a half ago, when he warned window for a diplomatic solution was “shrinking”.

In those remarks, he encouraged Tehran to seize the opportunity of talks with world leaders to avert “even worse consequences.”

Here’s a recent snapshot of the economic sanctions…

Shell scrambles to pay huge bill for Iranian oil

…Royal Dutch Shell is struggling to pay off $1 billion that it owes Iran for crude oil because European Union and U.S. financial sanctions now make it almost impossible to process payments, industry sources said.

Four sources said the oil major owes a large sum to the National Iranian Oil Co (NIOC) for deliveries of crude, with one putting the figure at close to $1 billion. A debt of that size would equate to roughly four large tanker loads of Iranian crude or about 8 million barrels.

“Shell is working hard to figure out a way to pay NIOC,” said an industry source, who requested anonymity. “It’s very sensitive and very difficult. They want to stay on good terms with Iran, while abiding by sanctions.” {snip}

‘Pressure working’

Rigorous U.S. and European financial measures, aimed at punishing Iran for its nuclear program have already come into force, making it increasingly difficult to pay for and ship crude from Iran, say oil executives.

“There are big frustrations with the payment route – the U.S. pressure is really working,” said a senior oil source.

“It’s now nearly impossible to use the banking system.”

Funny how all this bovine manure is taking it’s toll on us too… Iran sanctions cause new oil shock, and, Sanctions against Iran put cloud over global growth

Now, about those purported Iranian Nukes and Amano’s bootlicking…

Current Chief of IAEA Releases Its Brakes on Rush to War With Iran

“Amano’s director-generalship began under a bad star.”

That’s Julian Borger at the Guardian quoting Mark Hibbs, the journalist who helped take down the AQ Khan nuclear-weapons black market and is now with the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Yukio Amano, the “head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the nuclear watchdog at the heart of the growing Iranian crisis,” Borger explains, “has been accused by several former senior officials of pro-western bias, over-reliance on unverified intelligence and of sidelining sceptics.” {snip}

Previous director Mohamed ElBaradei was noted for his objections to IAEA findings being used as a pretext for ultimatums and/or war with Iran. Borger also reminds us of those WikiLeaks cables that confirmed suspicions about Amano almost too perfectly.

[They] revealed Amano’s assiduous courting of American support. In an October 2009 cable, the US charge d’affaires, Geoffrey Pyatt, wrote: “Amano reminded [the] ambassador on several occasions that he would need to make concessions to the G-77 [the developing countries group], which correctly required him to be fair-minded and independent, but that he was solidly in the US court on every key strategic decision, from high-level personnel appointments to the handling of Iran’s alleged nuclear weapons program.”

Not sure of the exact motivations for Amano’s bootlicking, but there it is for the world to see. Confirming Amano’s toadyism toward the United States

… the IAEA’s reports on Iranian behaviour have become steadily more critical. In November, it published an unprecedented volume of intelligence pointing towards past Iranian work on developing a nuclear weapon, deeming it credible.

However, some former IAEA officials are saying that the agency has gone too far. Robert Kelley, a former US weapons scientists who ran the IAEA action team on Iraq at the time of the US-led invasion, said. … “Amano is falling into the Cheney trap. What we learned back in 2002 and 2003, when we were in the runup to the war, was that peer review was very important, and that the analysis should not be left to a small group of people,” Kelley said. “… Just like [former US vice-president] Dick Cheney, Amano is relying on a very small group of people and those opinions are not being checked.”

…Compared to Dick Cheney, shamed by WikiLeaks, Yukio Amano is the wrong man for the wrong job at the wrong time. ElBaradei won the Nobel Prize; Amano is angling for the Ignoble Prize.

Speaking of the Shrub/Darth Cheney War Cabal… Condoleezza Rice suggests Iran plan for White House

…“The most important thing is to make very clear to the Iranians that we really will not allow them to get a nuclear weapon. That means that you have to have a military option that you are prepared to use and that the Iranians know that you are prepared to use. And you can’t send mixed signals about that,” the former secretary of state said on “Fox & Friends.” “It’s got to be a very strong message and it’s got to be unequivocal.”

Asked to explain what she meant by the “mixed signals” coming out of the Obama administration, Rice noted, “The president has said he has a military option and he means he will use it, but then you do get the back stories and the whispers here and there and occasionally someone questioning whether or not the military option is a real option — and the Iranians just eat that up.

She added, “So let’s have one message from the president that we will use military force if necessary.

Now in an ironic twist, the rabid Zionist Rabbi Eliezer Melamed advocates against striking Iran, but, for all the wrong reasons…

It’s Hard to Trust Netanyahu and Barak on Iran

…Even if the State of Israel succeeds in destroying the Iranian nuclear facilities, such an action apparently will not cancel this dangerous phenomenon, but merely postpone the date that Iran and other hostile states acquire nuclear weapons.

Today, countries such as India, China, Pakistan, and North Korea already possess nuclear weapons. The entire world must learn to deal with threats of this magnitude, and in this respect, our situation is not significantly different from that of many other countries. Given this fact, the statements of the Prime Minister and the Defense Minister that Iranian nuclear weapons are an existential threat to the State of Israel are simply not true. They are one threat in a chain of many others… {snip}

…In other words, precisely with regard to Iran’s main threat against us, via Hizbullah and other terrorist organizations in Gaza operating on their behalf, the State of Israel reveals incompetence, eroding its deterrence to an absolute minimum, until our enemies have the nerve to liken the State of Israel to a “cobweb”.

Our weak image was intensified as a result of the withdrawal from the Gaza Strip, and our ongoing incompetence against the rocket attacks from there.

In order to deal with the threats and dangers, we have to create deterrence built less on the verbal bravado of Ehud Barak, Ariel Sharon, and Binyamin Netanyahu, and based more on determined actions against those who actually attack us.

Strengthening Our Control of the Land

Nevertheless, painful military punishment is not enough. As a result of a lack of clarity concerning our ambitions in the Land of Israel, we invite threats and dangers upon ourselves, leading our enemies to believe that we will continue to withdraw until the State of Israel is eradicated, God forbid.

Therefore, the correct response to a missile attack from Gaza or Lebanon should also include applying Israeli sovereignty over additional parts of the Land of Israel, and strengthening construction in Judea and Samaria…

That folks is the epitome of Zionism…!

Some common sense prevails at the Guardian… Bomb Iran and it will surely decide to pursue nuclear arms…

Even the Grey Lady seemed to have experienced a momentary lapse in their usual warmongering…

The False Debate About Attacking Iran

I wonder if we in the news media aren’t inadvertently leaving the impression that there is a genuine debate among experts about whether an Israeli military strike on Iran makes sense this year.

There really isn’t such a debate. Or rather, it’s the same kind of debate as the one about climate change — credible experts are overwhelmingly on one side… {snip}

…Let’s also remember that as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu bangs the drums of war, that may empower Iranian hawks. “The continual threat of a military strike is as likely to convince them to move ahead as to deter them,” Slaughter notes.

Whether Israel will attack Iranian nuclear sites is one of this year’s crucial questions, and people in the know seem to think the odds are about 50-50. We don’t know that the economy would be harmed or that a war would unfold, but anyone who is confident about what would happen is a fool.

So as we hear talk about military action against Iran, let’s be clear about one thing. Outside Netanyahu’s aides and a fringe of raptors, just about every expert thinks that a military strike at this time would be a catastrophically bad idea. That’s not a debate, but a consensus.

Meanwhile, in Israel… Israel beefs up border security ahead of Global March to Jerusalem

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) is gearing up for massive protests and possible infiltration attempts along its borders as part of the Global March to Jerusalem rallies on Friday, local media reported on Sunday.

IDF’s preparations are based on the “Summer Seeds” operation prepared by the army to contain any riots during last year’s Palestinian statehood bid.

Soldiers have been deployed along Israel’s borders in order to prevent any infiltration attempts, after pro-Palestinian activists called for a Global March to Jerusalem the coming Friday.

The call urges participants to try to storm into Israel by sheer force, such as during the Palestinians’ Nakba (disaster in Arabic) and Naksa (setback) day events, on May 15 and June 5 respectively, when dozens of protesters were killed trying to infiltrate into Israel from Syria and Lebanon.

Soldiers have also been instructed to cause minimum harm, if needed, to protesters in order to avoid any more flare-ups, the Ynet news service reported.

Thousands of pro-Palestinian activists arrived in Damascus on Sunday to participate in the protest, and it is expected that there will be infiltration attempts on the borders with Lebanon and Syria, where the IDF has already reinforced the fences.

God Speed and God Bless…!