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Posts tagged "Iran"

TEHRAN — Iran’s interim nuclear deal with the world’s major powers is scheduled to begin on January 20, officials with Iran and the European Union said Sunday.

"Capitals have confirmed the result of the talks in Geneva … the Geneva deal will be implemented from January 20," Marzieh Afkham, a spokeswoman for the Iranian Foreign Ministry told reporters in Tehran, the semi-official Mehr news agency said.

The EU’s foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton also confirmed the news in a statement on Sunday. 

Ashton represents the six nations — the United States, Russia, China, France, Britain and Germany — in diplomatic contacts with Iran related to the nuclear standoff. 

h/t: TPM

Did you know that the Iranian nuclear deal was really a way for President Obama to distract the world from his thwarted plot to nuke America? Well, you do now!

Conservative activist Jim Garrow appeared yesterday on Full Contact with Erik Rush, where he presented his theory that the Geneva talks weren’t, as some have claimed, about distracting Americans from Obamacare but were actually the latest trick of the “Barnum and Bailey huckster in the White House” to keep the lid on an aborted nuclear electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attack.

Garrow and Rush, a Fox News regular, have both insisted that Obama almost nuked America until three anonymous members of the military [brass] blocked his deadly plan, which Garrow claims was meant to help George Soros make money by betting against the US dollar.


The two also praised Paul Vallely, a former general who spoke at Larry Klayman’s rally in favor of a “Second American Revolution” against President Obama.

Garrow said that Obama should be removed from office, tried for treason and “either put up against a wall and shot or hung” over the EMP plot. He also envisioned a sheriff with military support trying to arrest Obama for treason, noting that “whether it would be legal or lawful to do it would be answered after the bullets were fired.”

From the 11.25.2013 edition of Full Contact With Erik Rush:

h/t: Brian Tashman at RWW

(via nbcnews)

President Obama has dealt a blow to Republicans dreaming of war with Iran by announcing that he has directed Sec. of State Kerry to pursue a deal with Iran on their nuclear weapons program.

Video Obama at the UN discussing Syria:

The president provided deep insight into his foreign policy views. Obama told the UN that the United States is ready to act to prevent atrocities, but we can not and should not bear that burden alone. The president said that he was moving the United States away from a perpetual war footing, trying to close GITMO, cutting down on the use of drones, and trying terrorists in courts of law, and transferring detainees to other countries. Obama also said that the nation is reviewing the way they gather intelligence so that security and privacy concerns can be balanced.

President Obama told the UN that they must enforce the ban on chemical weapons when it comes to Syria. Obama laid out the agreement on the Syria’s chemicals weapons as a test of the UN’s ability to enforce basic international laws.

The big news is that Obama announced that he has directed Sec. of State Kerry to work with Russia and China on getting a deal on Iran’s nuclear program. The president said, “We should be able to achieve a resolution that respects the rights of the Iranian people, while giving the world confidence that the Iranian program is peaceful…The roadblocks may prove to be too great, but I firmly believe the diplomatic path must be tested.”

While Democrats strongly support diplomatic solutions to international issues, there are two distinct feuding camps within the Republican Party on foreign policy. The war with Iran faction is being led by John McCain and the Bush administration neo-cons. From the moment that Bush invaded Iraq, there has been a lust for war with Iran within a segment of the GOP. On the other side are the Rand Paul isolationists who have taken their distaste for any international involvement diplomatic or otherwise to the extreme. The Bush era pro-war conditioning is still dominant within the Republican Party, which is why there likely will be mass criticism of Obama’s diplomatic efforts towards Iran’s nuclear program.

For what feels like millionth time, President Obama demonstrated that his foreign policy ideology is almost the opposite of George W. Bush. His address to the UN today was comprehensive and insightful. Obama laid out the damned if you do, damned if you don’t position that the United States faces on many foreign policy issues. He expressed no reluctance to act when necessary, but made it clear to the UN that after a decade plus of war, the American people are tired of military conflict, so we expect the rest of the world to step up and do more.

It is a bad day to be a Republican warmonger. If Obama is successful, the entire Republican rationale for war with Iran will evaporate. After living through more than a decade of Bush instigated war, President Obama is attempting to lay the path for lasting peace.




WASHINGTON — When a less-gray-haired Sen. Barack Obama declared, early in his first presidential campaign, that he would be willing to meet with the leaders of estranged nations like Iran and Syria without preconditions, he was roundly chastised by both Democrats and Republicans alike for naivete.

But now, after six arduous, solitary years of standing by a policy of preferring accord with rogue nations over recourse to full-on war, his approach seems to be on the verge of bearing fruit.

In Syria, President Bashar Assad has agreed to open his chemical weapons program to international oversight, and eventual destruction, after a furious round of diplomacy involving Secretary of State John Kerry and top Russian diplomats. And in Iran, a new, moderate president has responded to a personal letter from Obama, engaging in direct communication for the first time in years and hinting that he might be willing to pull back from his country’s controversial nuclear program in exchange for a reduction of painful economic sanctions.

None of the developments has occurred without context or notes of caution, but it’s nevertheless a remarkable turn of events for a president whose foreign policy, even a month ago, appeared to be in hapless disarray. If the diplomatic tracks in Syria and Iran pan out, proponents say they could point the way to the resolution of two of the most significant international crises facing the nation, without any American-caused warfare.

"The administration’s willingness to show both strength and smarts is paying off," said Joel Rubin, the director of policy at the Ploughshares Fund and a former State Department official, who has worked to promote conflict resolution in the Middle East through discourse.

"On Syria, the president demonstrated that there was a clear point that he did not want the regime to pass, and then took a window of opportunity to cut a deal that actually advances American security interests even more," Rubin added. "An ancillary benefit has been that it’s demonstrated to the Iranians that the U.S. is thinking before it’s shooting, and that’s a pretty new trend for the U.S."

Next week, the new Iranian president, Hassan Rouhani, travels to New York for the opening session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). His arrival brings perhaps the greatest hope for a diplomatic breakthrough between Washington and Tehran in recent memory, and in turn, a possible vindication of Obama’s refusal to condone military strikes against the country.

Moderate cleric Hassan Rohani has won Iran’s presidential election with just over 50 percent of votes, state TV reported. 72 percent of the 50 million Iranians turned out to vote, said Interior Minister Mostafa Mohammad-Najjar.

The Saturday news was reported by the country’s Interior Minister Mostafa Mohammad Najjar on state television. 

Rohani showed a clear lead with 16,413,281 votes against Qalibaf’s 5,073,652. Just behind Qalibaf is Saeed Jalili with 3,665,234 votes who by the end of the day surpassed former military commander, Mohsen Rezaie, with 3,593,507 votes.

The moderate cleric currently has a lead of 50.99 per cent which he must maintain in order to avoid another round of polls next week. If the result remains the same when all the votes are counted, Rohani will win the election outright and avoid a second-round run-off.

The turnout on Friday was significant, with Iranians coming out from Tehran, to desert polling stations, even to  nomads’ pastures - where people would wait in line for hours in the blazing sun. 

The final results are still a while away, observers say. The country of 77 million has more than 50 million eligible voters. Rohani’s early lead can be explained by his reformist stance, which appealed to Iran’s liberally-inclined population. Rohani has stated in the past that as the country’s president, he would push for reconciliation with the West. 

The hardline newspaper Kayhan estimated voter turnout to be around 75 per cent. In fact, voting had to be prolonged by five hours to accommodate the big numbers showing up. 

There is a total of six candidates running – with Qalibaf and Jallili coming in close to each other, in the second and third positions, behind Rohani by a big margin. 


It didn’t take long for Judicial Watch founder Larry Klayman to turn a column discussing the persecution of Christians and dissidents in Iran into a warning that President Obama is supporting a “second Holocaust.”

Klayman, who has consistently claimed that Obama is an anti-Semitic Muslim with secret Iranian ties, now argues that Obama has deliberately shown “little resistance” to Iran’s plan to orchestrate a “second Holocaust” and “has given them a carte blanche to continue their mission to eventually wipe all Christians and Jews off the face of the earth.”

A full-scale U.S. invasion of Iran could cost the global economy $1.7 trillion, according to the Federation of American Scientists, a nonpartisan think tank which released a report on Friday detailing the estimated costs of different approaches, including military strikes, to solving the Iranian nuclear issue. A “bombing campaign” could cost $1.2 trillion. If the U.S. decided to go about striking Iran’s nuclear sites “surgically,” it’d still cost the global economy more than $700 billion.

Not surprisingly, the group found that a diplomatic approach would be one of the least expensive ways to solve the issue. A continued, strengthened sanctions push could cost the global economy about $64 billion. If the U.S. decided to “isolate” and “blockade” the Iranian oil industry it could bring the cost $325 billion. The most frugal option, at an estimated $60 billion, would be to “de-escalate” with the U.S. uniltaterally taking “steps to show that the United States is willing to make concessions.”

The report bases its estimates on factors including: “(1) financial market losses, (2) oil price increases, (3) military costs and other expenditures to provide security, (4) damage to infrastructure resulting from conflict, and (5) other global economic costs.” The FAS created the report to “to provide a starting point for discussion about one category of potential outcomes” because it believes there has been “less discussion about the outcomes and consequences of any international actions that might be set in motion if and when Iran crosses that line.”

Thus far, the Obama administration has advocated for a diplomatic approach toward the Iran nuclear issue: sanctions enforced by the administration and its European allies have resulted in enormous pressure on the Iranian economy.

h/t: Hamed Aleaziz at Think Progress Security

The Christian Broadcasting Network’s terrorism analyst Erick Stakelbeck has no credentials to report on security issues (he is a sports reporter), but that hasn’t stopped him from playing the role as “expert.” Stakelbeck appeared on The Janet Mefferd Show to repeat right-wing talking points to claim that President Obama is a failed leader. He said Obama is “using the bin Laden raid as his sole, only foreign policy talking point,” arguing that it doesn’t reflect “foreign policy” and that “anyone in their right mind” would have made the call to go into Pakistan to find bin Laden (unless you’re Mitt Romney). But then Stakelbeck claimed that mission didn’t really matter since bin Laden “was basically isolated and neutralized at that point anyway.”

He went on to talk about how Obama is “empowering and emboldening the Muslim Brotherhood,” “throwing Israel under the bus” and “appeasing the Iranians,” and even said that Obama may pull of an “October surprise” by making a deal with Iran or sending troops into Libya. “Who knows what else they have up their sleeve, I have to say these are people who are leftist ideologues, they are hell-bent in their words ‘fundamentally transforming America,’ and I don’t think they’re going to go quietly,” he said.

Stakelbeck also discussed with Mefferd the non-scandal in Benghazi, arguing that the President has turned into “Imam Obama” over his UN speech where he said: “The future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam. But to be credible, those who condemn that slander must also condemn the hate we see in the images of Jesus Christ that are desecrated, or churches that are destroyed, or the Holocaust that is denied.” Stacelbeck decried the speech and lamented, “This is an American president saying that in front of the UN? This is madness,” apparently forgetting that President George W. Bush made similar statements during the Muhammad cartoon controversy. He concluded that Muslim countries can never have democracy because “Islam and true democracy are not compatible.”

h/t: Brian Tashman at RWW

1) “Syria is Iran’s only ally in the Arab world. It’s their route to the sea.” Romney has his geography wrong. Syria doesn’t share a border with Iran and Iran has 1,500 miles of coastline leading to the Arabian Sea. It is also able to reach the Mediterranean via the Suez Canal.

) “[W]hen — when the students took to the streets in Tehran and the people there protested, the Green Revolution occurred, for the president to be silent I thought was an enormous mistake.” Obama spoke out about the Revolution on June 15, 2009, just two days after post-election demonstrations began in Iran, condemning the Iranian government’s hard-handed crackdown on Iranian activists. He then reiterated his comments a day later in another press conference. Iranian activists have agreed with Obama’s approach.

5) “And when it comes to our economy here at home, I know what it takes to create 12 million new jobs and rising take-home pay.” The Washington Post’s in-house fact checker tore Romney’s claim that he will create 12 million jobs to shreds. The Post wrote that the “‘new math’” in Romney’s plan “doesn’t add up.” In awarding the claim four Pinocchios — the most untrue possible rating, the Post expressed incredulity at the fact Romney would personally stand behind such a flawed, baseless claim.

6) “[W]e are going to have North American energy independence. We’re going to do it by taking full advantage of oil, coal, gas, nuclear and our renewables.” Romney would actually eliminate the fuel efficiency standards that are moving the United States towards energy independence, even though his campaign plan relies on these rules to meet his goals.

9) “Well, Republicans and Democrats came together on a bipartisan basis to put in place education principles that focused on having great teachers in the classroom.” Education experts have faint praise for his proposals while he was governor. “His impact was inconsequential,” said Glen Koocher, executive director of the Massachusetts Association of School Committees. “People viewed his proposals as political talking points, and no one took Romney seriously.”

10) “So I’d get rid of [Obamacare] from day one. To the extent humanly possible, we get that out.” Romney cannot unilaterally eliminate a bill passed by Congress and his plan to grant states waivers may also be a non-starter.

11) “Number two, we take some programs that we are doing to keep, like Medicaid, which is a program for the poor.” Medicaid isn’t just a program for the poor. While it provides health coverage for “millions of low-income children and families who lack access to the private health insurance system,” it also offers “insurance to millions of people with chronic illnesses or disabilities” and is “the nation’s largest source of coverage for long-term care, covering more than two-thirds of all nursing home residents.” Medicaid is also a key source of coverage for pregnant women.

12) “[W]e’ll take [Medicaid] for the poor and we give it to the states to run because states run these programs more efficiently.” A Congressional Budget Office analysis of Paul Ryan’s proposal to block grant Medicaid found that if federal spending for Medicaid decreased, “states would face significant challenges in achieving sufficient cost savings through efficiencies to mitigate the loss of federal funding.” As a result, enrollees could “face more limited access to care,” higher out-of-pocket costs, and “providers could face more uncompensated care as beneficiaries lost coverage for certain benefits or lost coverage altogether.”

14) “And then the president began what I have called an apology tour, of going to various nations in the Middle East and criticizing America. I think they looked at that and saw weakness.” Obama never embarked on an “apology tour.”

17) “I would tighten those sanctions. I would say that ships that carry Iranian oil, can’t come into our ports. I imagine the E.U. would agree with us as well.” Almost no Iranian oil has come into the United States since Ronald Reagan signed an executive order in 1987 banning all U.S. imports from Iran. The nation received a small amount of oil from Iran after the first Gulf War, in 1991.

18) “I see jihadists continuing to spread, whether they’re rising or just about the same level, hard to precisely measure, but it’s clear they’re there. They’re very strong.” Obama’s policies appear to have gravely weakened al Qaeda Central, the lead arm of the organization in Pakistan and Afghanistan principally responsible for 9/11.

20) “My plan to get the [auto] industry on its feet when it was in real trouble was not to start writing checks. It was President Bush that wrote the first checks. I disagree with that. I said they need — these [auto] companies need to go through a managed bankruptcy.” Romney’s plan for the auto bailout would have ensured the collapse of the auto industry. In his editorial titled “Let Detroit Go Bankrupt,” Romney advocated for letting the private sector finance the bankruptcy of General Motors and Chrysler. Auto insiders, however, have said that plan was “reckless” and “pure fantasy.”

h/t: Igor Volsky at Think Progress


Mitt Romney apparently doesn’t know that Iran has a coast with the Persian Gulf, the Strait of Hormuz, and the Gulf of Oman, at least he didn’t during the third Obama-Romney debate, when he incorrectly claimed that Syria was Iran’s path to the sea.

As a result of Romney’s apparent lack of knowledge of world geography, I’m daring Mitt Romney to enroll himself in a geography class at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater taught by Eric Compas. For those of you that followed the Recall elections in Wisconsin earlier this year, Eric’s wife, Lori Compas, attempted to recall the Republican leader of the Wisconsin State Senate, Scott Fitzgerald, but lost despite running a spirited campaign.

Oh, and I’ll bet Reince Priebus $10 that Mitt would fail the course. I’m a poor guy from the middle of Illinois, so I can’t bet anyone $10,000 on anything.

He’s an idiot, worse than Palin could ever be.

(via prairiebadger-deactivated201305)