Currently Browsing

Posts Tagged ‘ Mitt Romney ’

  • 18 September 2012
  • Posted By Dylan Zehr
  • 1 Comments
  • Election 2012, Nuclear file

Romney confused about “dirty bombs”


It’s hard to know where to begin when pointing out flaws in Mitt Romney’s recent comments on Iran’s nuclear program. A secretly recorded video, which was released by Mother Jones early this morning, portrays Mr. Romney channeling his inner role-playing geek, playing the part of Iran:

If I were Iran, if I were Iran—a crazed fanatic, I’d say let’s get a little fissile material to Hezbollah, have them carry it to Chicago or some other place, and then if anything goes wrong, or America starts acting up, we’ll just say, “Guess what? Unless you stand down, why, we’re going to let off a dirty bomb.” I mean this is where we have—where America could be held up and blackmailed by Iran, by the mullahs, by crazy people. So we really don’t have any option but to keep Iran from having a nuclear weapon.

As many have pointed out, “fissile material,” or the uranium that Iran is enriching, is an incredibly poor material for a dirty bomb. It released its radiation incredibly slowly, meaning that you’d need to vaporize well over one thousand metric tons to contaminate Manhattan. To put that in perspective, according to the latest IAEA figures, in the past decade Iran has accumulated less than 7 metric tons of LEU, or .4% of what they’d need.  Clearly Mr. Romney is confusing the science.

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

Iran News Roundup: July 31, 2012

Obama Authorizes New Iran Sanctions

President Obama authorized new sanctions against banks that facilitate the sale of petrochemical products by the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) and Naftiran Intertrade Company (NIC). Additionally, the President imposed sanctions on the Bank of Kunlun in China and Elaf Islamic Bank in Iraq for processing transactions for sanctioned Iranian banks (Reuters 7/31; The White House 7/31).

US Lawmakers Push for More Sanctions on Iran

US lawmakers in favor of new sanctions have reached an agreement, and the new legislation is expected to be voted on in the House as early as Wednesday. As explained by the Senate Banking Committee, “The bill aims to prevent Iran from repatriating any of the revenue it receives from the sale of its crude oil, depriving Iran of hard currency earnings and funds to run its state budget.” (AP 7/30; Senate Banking 7/30).

Iraq Says It Will Force MEK Out of Paramilitary Base

Iraq has told the Mujahadin-e Khalq (MEK), a US-designated terrorist organization, that they must move out of Camp Ashraf, or be forced to leave. Iraqi National Security Advisor Falih al-Fayadh said at a conference that, “Now we are free to implement the mechanisms required to transfer those who live in (Camp Ashraf) to where we find appropriate.” Iraq said it will observe a grace period of “a few days” to allow for a solution to the impasse, which arose when the MEK stopped cooperating with efforts to relocate the group’s members (Reuters 7/31).

Persian Gulf States Expand Arms Purchases

  • 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).

  • 18 June 2012
  • Posted By Jamal Abdi
  • 0 Comments
  • Congress, Neo-Con Agenda, US-Iran War

Romney says war with Iran already authorized

This past weekend, Bill Kristol came out and said the President should seek an authorization for war with Iran from Congress.  It’s no surprise that Kristol and friends have ratcheted up their rhetoric in the days ahead of critical negotiations with Iran that the pro-war hawks hope will go badly.

Given a chance to weigh in on Kristol’s comments on Face the Nation, Mitt Romney doubled down.

Romney said the President already has the “capacity” to go to war with Iran right now–without need for further Congressional approval.

“I don’t believe at this stage, therefore, if I’m President, that we need to have war powers approval or a special authorization for military force. The President has that capacity now. I understand that some in the Senate, for instance, have written letters to the President indicating you should know that– that a– a containment strategy is unacceptable.”

Romney apparently believes that if a few Senators write letters saying containment is unacceptable, you’ve got your war authorization.

While that may not hold up in court, the House has indeed passed an AIPAC-supported resolution ruling out containment of a “nuclear weapons capable” Iran.  NIAC warned that Congress was giving the current or future occupant of the White House a “blank check” for war.  When the resolution came up for a vote, the top Democrat on House Foreign Affairs took time on the House floor to state on the record that it is NOT an authorization for force and the President would need to seek such authorization from Congress before waging war on Iran.  The statement convinced some Members concerned about an Iraq rerun to get off the fence and vote for the resolution.  It is unclear if it convinced Obama that the President can’t go to war with Iran just yet–but Romney clearly was not convinced.

  • 22 November 2011
  • Posted By Jamal Abdi
  • 0 Comments
  • Election 2012, Sanctions, US-Iran War

Question’s for tonight’s GOP debate

The GOP candidates will take to the stage tonight at 8pm EST to debate national security issues, and we expect Iran policy will once again be a major point of discussion.  Given that many of the candidates have had a chance to offer their talking points on Iran, here are some questions the moderators can ask to dig a little deeper beyond the standard rhetoric.

Mitt Romney

Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta recently joined military and civilian officials and experts in stating that a military strike on Iran could only set its nuclear program back two or three years and would have many “unintended consequences.”  Experts say such strikes would convince Iran to make a full sprint towards a nuclear weapon.

You have suggested that a Romney Administration would be inclined to use military force to stop an Iranian nuclear weapon and have criticized President Obama’s stated willingness to engage Iran.  At the last debate you said, “If we re-elect Barack Obama, Iran will have a nuclear weapon.  If you elect me as president, Iran will not have a nuclear weapon.”

-Would a Romney administration be more willing to go to war with Iran than the current administration?  Given that military strikes short of a full-scale invasion of Iran would only delay–not end–the country’s nuclear program, does the “military option” mean you would be willing to send ground troops into Iran?

-Would a Romney Administration be willing to pursue a diplomatic resolution regarding Iran’s nuclear program and negotiate directly with Iran, or is diplomacy off the table?

Iran News Roundup 11/10

Romney attacks Obama on Iran: If you want peace, prepare for war
Ahead of this weekend’s GOP foreign policy debate, Mitt Romney took to the Wall Street Journal to lay out his case against Obama on Iran.  Romney criticizes Obama for saying he would pursue engagement with Iran in the previous election cycle, for not speaking out enough for Iranian dissidents, and for recently rejecting Central Bank sanctions.  Romney says if he were president, the U.S. would escalate military preparations and signaling against Iran and impose further unilateral sanctions if multilateral sanctions are not possible.  (Romney Wall Street Journal 11/10)

Slaughter: Diplomacy is least damaging option with Iran In contrast, former U.S. state Department Director of Policy Planning Anne-Marie Slaughter argues that “continuing with a policy of sanctions and pressure that is not working is worse,” than negotiating a deal that would constrain Iran’s nuclear program.  But domestic politics stand in the way, she says.  If Obama returned to negotiations “he would be hammered by Republican opponents, in Congress and on the presidential campaign trail, for negotiating from weakness, affirming US decline, and so on,” she writes.  “But if we are really as worried about an Iranian bomb as we claim to be, results should trump political perceptions.”  (Financial Times 11/10) 

Experts project record oil prices if military action is taken against Iran
Tensions with Iran have put oil prices at their highest levels since July, with the top worry among traders being an Israeli strike against Iran.  Financial Times reports that if war were to break out that oil prices would likely soar to record levels, surpassing the previous high of $175 per-barrel, and go as high as $290. AP says that a teetering global economy means oil sanctions on Iran are likely off the table.  (Financial Times – Iran worries spark fears of $200-a-barrel oil 11/8)(AP – Options for Iran oil sanctions face economic risks 11/9) (Bloomberg – Morgan Stanley Says Disruption in Iran Oil May Raise Prices 11/9)

Of Open Bars and McCain’s Outreach efforts to the IA community

So as you would have guessed, it’s not all serious panels and speeches at these political conventions.  Just like the Democrats in Denver, the Republicans know how to let loose and have a lot of fun – with a characteristic penchant for spending money freely.

 

Of the many sights and sounds one takes in during a week-long city-wide bash like this, the most impressive was seeing the political operatives at work in their element, including our ‘guide’ here in St. Paul, McCain’s outreach coordinator to the Iranian American community.

 

 

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,

[signature]

Share this with your friends: