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  • 9 August 2012
  • Posted By Jessica Schieder
  • 0 Comments
  • NIAC round-up

Iran News Roundup: August 9, 2012

Israeli Defense Minister publicly divulges US intelligence report
Iran Syria talks seen short on action
Standard Chartered begins fightback on Iran allegations
Flame and Stuxnet Cousin Targets Lebanese Bank Customers, Carries Mysterious Payload
Iran says abrupt Assad fall would be “catastrophic”
Gulf Nations Aim to Secure Water, Food Supply
U.S. Navy Rescues 10 From Iranian Ship on Fire
Pakistan, Iran agree wheat price in barter deal
Turkey Warns Iran: ‘You Cannot Threaten Us’
Tehran denies kidnapped Iranians killed in Syria
Egypt’s president holds talks with Iran’s vice president
MTN in Talks With U.S. to Unlock Iran Earnings

Notable Opinion: Sanctions Will Kill Tens of Thousands of Iranians

  • 8 August 2012
  • Posted By Jessica Schieder
  • 0 Comments
  • NIAC round-up

Iran News Roundup: August 8, 2012

Tensions Rise Over Iranian Hostages
Iran Envoy Casts Syria as Part of Wider Conflict
Regulators irate at NY action against Standard Chartered
Storming British embassy in Iran was not right, says supreme leader
Hush Now, Mitt: A Nuclear Iran Is Not the World’s Greatest Threat
S.Korea to resume buying Iranian crude in Sept –sources
Asia takes record W.Africa oil as buyers shun Iran
Iran preparing for post-Assad era in Syria
Iran To Start First Natural-Gas Storage Facility
Notable Opinion: Israel’s diplomatic scare game

  • 7 August 2012
  • Posted By Jessica Schieder
  • 0 Comments
  • NIAC round-up

Iran News Roundup: August 7, 2012

The Secret History of America’s Thirty-Year Conflict with Iran
Iran foreign minister in Turkey to seek help in Syria
Syrian rebels: government attack kills 3 Iranian captives
Iran Warns U.S. on Fate of Hostages in Syria
New intelligence reveals Iranian military nuclear program advancing faster than previously thought
Standard Chartered may lose NY license over Iran ties
Iran shoots for 3rd Greco-Roman gold medal in 3 days at London Olympics
Aide’s Fees Draw Critics and, Then, Defenders
Iranian state goes offline to dodge cyber-attacks
Indian shippers wary of state’s Iran insurance
Notable Opinion: “What Americans outside the Beltway think about war with Iran

  • 30 July 2012
  • Posted By Jessica Schieder
  • 0 Comments
  • NIAC round-up

Iran News Roundup: July 30, 2012

Aide Says Romney Would Endorse Israeli Strike

Speaking in Jerusalem, Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney said preventing Iran from obtaining nuclear capability is America’s “solemn duty and a moral imperative”. Romney’s aide, Dan Senor, previewed the speech for reporters, saying that “if Israel has to take action on its own, in order to stop Iran from developing the capability, the governor would respect that decision.” However, Romney apparently stepping back from his aide’s comment, saying only “We recognize Israel’s right to defend itself,” (Huffington Post 7/29).

Senor, the aide, also endorsed a lower threshold for attacking Iran, saying:

It is not enough just to stop Iran from developing a nuclear program. The capability, even if that capability is short of weaponization, is a pathway to weaponization, and the capability gives Iran the power it needs to wreak havoc in the region and around the world.

(Think Progress 7/29)

Israeli Official Denies Obama Advisor Briefed Netanyahu on Iran Contingency Plans

On Sunday, Haaretz reported National Security Advisor Tom Donilon briefed Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu on US contingency plans for an attack on Iran during a three-hour dinner, sharing information on US weaponry and military capabilities. A senior Israeli official denied the report saying, “Nothing in the article is correct,” (Reuters 7/30; Haaretz 7/29).

  • 11 July 2012
  • Posted By Jessica Schieder
  • 0 Comments
  • NIAC round-up

Iran News Roundup: July 11, 2012

Pentagon: Iranian Military Capability “Designed to Slow Invasion”

A Pentagon assessment of Iran’s military capabilities delivered to Congress states “Iran’s military doctrine remains designed to slow an invasion; target its adversaries’ economic, political, and military interests; and force a diplomatic solution to hostilities while avoiding any concessions that challenge its core interests,” (FAS 7/11).

Tehran Warns Against Reports on Effects of Sanctions

Tehran has warned the media against publishing reports regarding the impact of Western sanctions on the regime. The Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance, Mohammad Hosseini said, “Our country is not in a position to allow the media to publish (any) news or analysis which is not compatible with the regime’s and national interests,” (AFP 7/11).

Supreme Leader Says West “Vaccinated” Iran Against Sanctions

Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has said, “[Westerners] don’t understand that throughout the last 30 years they themselves vaccinated the Iranian nation against sanctions,” adding, “The Iranian nation in the past three decades stood against all the conspiracies and sanctions and made progress and now we are 100 percent stronger than 30 years ago,” (Bloomberg 7/11).

Iraq Overtakes Iran as World’s Second Largest Oil Producer

For the first time since 1988, Iraq’s crude production last month has overtaken Iran’s output. Iraq pumped 2.984 million barrels per day (bpd) in June, whereas Iran produced 2.963 million bpd ahead of the implementation of EU sanctions starting July 1, said the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) (Bloomberg 7/11). Iran’s production is at its lowest level since 1990 (WSJ 7/11).

Iranian Foreign Minister Says Iran Unlikely to Close Strait

After the EU began enforcing a ban on the purchase of Iranian oil, Iranian foreign minister Ali Akbar Salehi said that Iran would close the Strait of Hormuz to oil if its own exports are halted, adding “but I don’t think such a time will ever come,” (AP 7/10).

  • 9 July 2012
  • Posted By Jessica Schieder
  • 0 Comments
  • NIAC round-up

Iran News Roundup: July 9, 2012

U.S. Urges MEK to Leave Camp Ashraf Ahead of Iraqi Deadline

The Obama administration has increased pressure on the Mujahadeen-e Khalq (MEK) to leave its paramilitary base in Iraq. On Friday, Daniel Benjamin, the State Department’s coordinator for counterterrorism and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s special adviser on Camp Ashraf said, “It is past time for the M.E.K. to recognize that Ashraf is not going to remain an M.E.K. base” (Reuters 7/6).  Benjamin said, “MEK leaders appear to believe that the Secretary has no choice now but to delist them,” but added, “That conclusion is quite

P5+1 Talks with Iran to Resume July 24th

Deputy nuclear negotiators for Iran and the P5+1 will meet again in Istanbul on July 24th announced an EU spokesman. The spokesman said, “The objective for the meeting of [Helga] Schmid and [Ali] Bagheri is to look further at how existing gaps in positions could be narrowed and how the process could be moved forward,” (Al Monitor 7/9).

In the interim, diplomats have indicated that the P5+1 and Iran went into the Moscow talks with “maximalist” proposals (Christian Science Monitor 7/9).

Iran MPs Propose Tariff on Ships Passing Through Strait of Hormuz

  • 24 November 2009
  • Posted By Lloyd Chebaclo
  • 4 Comments
  • Diplomacy, Events in Iran, Nuclear file

Iran Prepared to Exchange Uranium on its Soil

AP reports:

“Iran said Tuesday it was ready to exchange its low enriched uranium with a higher enriched material, but only on its own soil, to guarantee the West follows through with promises to give the fuel”

This position is being taken as Iran’s  “official” response to the IAEA-brokered nuclear proposal born of talks among p-5+1 countries in October.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said Iran had sent its response on the proposal to the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany, saying it wants a simultaneous exchange on Iranian soil.

“Iran’s answer is given. I think the other side has received it,” said Mehmanparast. “The creation of a 100 percent guarantee for delivery of the fuel is important for Iran.”

Another Iranian official, Ali Akbar Salehi, head of Iran’s atomic energy agency, confirmed the details, saying that in Iran’s view such an exchange was an “objective guarantee.”

Details on the text of the response are forthcoming.

While the response is not quite what the p-5+1 had hoped to get, this development still marks progress with Iran. The deal helps by putting time back on the nuclear clock. The more proliferation-resistant fuel rods Iran would receive in exchange for giving up its raw stockpile of LEU would lengthen the time Iran would need to develop a nuclear weapons.

Now…before any of us get ahead of ourselves, we should caution: if Iran decides in the coming days to alter its response, waffle back and forth, or vacillate in any way–such as requesting the exchange be made over multiple installments–the West would be absolutely correct to excoriate Iran for going back on its word.  It’s bad enough that this entire process–which was intended to build confidence between the two sides–has done nothing of the sort.  Now is not the time to end diplomatic engagement with Iran when it appears that some compromise deal may actually be struck.  After all, such a deal would form the basis for future cooperation and actual trust-building.

***

It was also reported today that the p-5+1 have prepared a resolution critical of Iran’s nuclear defiance for the next IAEA board meeting, calling for more openness about is nuclear activities particularly in light of the revelation of the Fardo facility near Qom. Notably, Russia and China, who have been resistant in the past to confrontational positions on Iran, stifling calls for more sanctions, join in the criticism. Iran’s response today might give pause to delay those considering moving the resolution, in favor of hammering out a more concrete deal.

Sign the Petition

 

7,349 signatures

Tell Google: Stop playing Persian Gulf name games!

May 14, 2012
Larry Page
Chief Executive Officer
Google Inc.
1600 Amphitheatre Parkway
Mountain View, California 94043

Dear Mr. Page:

It has come to our attention that Google has begun omitting the title of the Persian Gulf from its Google Maps application. This is a disconcerting development given the undisputed historic and geographic precedent of the name Persian Gulf, and the more recent history of opening up the name to political, ethnic, and territorial disputes. However unintentionally, in adopting this practice, Google is participating in a dangerous effort to foment tensions and ethnic divisions in the Middle East by politicizing the region’s geographic nomenclature. Members of the Iranian-American community are overwhelmingly opposed to such efforts, particularly at a time when regional tensions already have been pushed to the brink and threaten to spill over into conflict. As the largest grassroots organization in the Iranian-American community, the National Iranian American Council (NIAC) calls on Google to not allow its products to become propaganda tools and to immediately reinstate the historically accurate, apolitical title of “Persian Gulf” in all of its informational products, including Google Maps.

Historically, the name “Persian Gulf” is undisputed. The Greek geographer and astronomer Ptolemy referencing in his writings the “Aquarius Persico.” The Romans referred to the "Mare Persicum." The Arabs historically call the body of water, "Bahr al-Farsia." The legal precedent of this nomenclature is also indisputable, with both the United Nations and the United States Board of Geographic Names confirming the sole legitimacy of the term “Persian Gulf.” Agreement on this matter has also been codified by the signatures of all six bordering Arab countries on United Nations directives declaring this body of water to be the Persian Gulf.

But in the past century, and particularly at times of escalating tensions, there have been efforts to exploit the name of the Persian Gulf as a political tool to foment ethnic division. From colonial interests to Arab interests to Iranian interests, the opening of debate regarding the name of the Persian Gulf has been a recent phenomenon that has been exploited for political gain by all sides. Google should not enable these politicized efforts.

In the 1930s, British adviser to Bahrain Sir Charles Belgrave proposed to rename the Persian Gulf, “Arabian Gulf,” a proposal that was rejected by the British Colonial and Foreign offices. Two decades later, the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company resurrected the term during its dispute with Mohammad Mossadegh, the Iranian Prime Minister whose battle with British oil interests would end in a U.S.-sponsored coup d'état that continues to haunt U.S.-Iran relations. In the 1960s, the title “Arabian Gulf” became central to propaganda efforts during the Pan-Arabism era aimed at exploiting ethnic divisions in the region to unite Arabs against non-Arabs, namely Iranians and Israelis. The term was later employed by Saddam Hussein to justify his aims at territorial expansion. Osama Bin Laden even adopted the phrase in an attempt to rally Arab populations by emphasizing ethnic rivalries in the Middle East.

We have serious concerns that Google is now playing into these efforts of geographic politicization. Unfortunately, this is not the first time Google has stirred controversy on this topic. In 2008, Google Earth began including the term “Arabian Gulf” in addition to Persian Gulf as the name for the body of water. NIAC and others called on you then to stop using this ethnically divisive propaganda term, but to no avail. Instead of following the example of organizations like the National Geographic Society, which in 2004 used term “Arabian Gulf” in its maps but recognized the error and corrected it, Google has apparently decided to allow its informational products to become politicized.

Google should rectify this situation and immediately include the proper name for the Persian Gulf in Google Maps and all of its informational products. The exclusion of the title of the Persian Gulf diminishes your applications as informational tools, and raises questions about the integrity and accuracy of information provided by Google.

We strongly urge you to stay true to Google’s mission – “to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful” – without distorting or politicizing that information. We look forward to an explanation from you regarding the recent removal of the Persian Gulf name from Google Maps and call on you to immediately correct this mistake.

Sincerely,

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