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Posts Tagged ‘ US-Iran War ’

  • 7 August 2009
  • Posted By NIAC
  • Events in Iran, Iran Election 2009, US-Iran War

There is a military option on Iran — and it stinks

This came to us from an Iran analyst that we work closely with here in DC:


Included in today’s Wall Street Journal is an op-ed from Gen. Chuck Wald (U.S. Air Force four-star, retired) arguing for serious consideration of military action against Iran if diplomacy fails.

The crux of the general’s argument is below:

“Of course, there are huge risks to military action: U.S. and allied casualties; rallying Iranians around an unstable and oppressive regime; Iranian reprisals be they direct or by proxy against us and our allies; and Iranian-instigated unrest in the Persian Gulf states, first and foremost in Iraq.

Furthermore, while a successful bombing campaign would set back Iranian nuclear development, Iran would undoubtedly retain its nuclear knowhow. An attack would also necessitate years of continued vigilance, both to retain the ability to strike previously undiscovered sites and to ensure that Iran does not revive its nuclear program.

But the risks of military action must be weighed against those of doing nothing. If the Iranian regime continues to advance its nuclear program despite the best efforts of Mr. Obama and other world leaders, we risk Iranian domination of the oil-rich Persian Gulf, threats to U.S.-allied Arab regimes, the emboldening of radicals in the region, the creation of an existential threat to Israel, the destabilization of Iraq, the shutdown of the Israel-Palestinian peace process, and a regional nuclear-arms race. “

So basically a US attack on Iran would destroy the reformist movement in Iran, strengthen the regime internally, and cause it to strike our allies (including Israel, which the general manages not to name).   Also the general fails to mention that a US attack on Iran would most likely cause the regime to make the political decision to pursue nuclear weapons (something all intelligence agencies have said they have not done).

General Wald also does not explain how “doing nothing” will cause the peace process to stop, but striking Iran will not harm the peace process (even though in his words Iran would instigate instability in the region and strike our allies).

Further, General Wald admits that a military strike would not result in an actual loss of any nuclear know how (nor the destruction of any unknown nuclear sites), which means military strike would not cripple Iran’s nuclear program.  Thus, many in the US would argue that the only way to end Iran’s nuclear program would be by a military invasion (since obviously the regime would not want to negotiate right after being attacked).

All in all, it seems like a US attack on Iran is a pretty poor option indeed.

  • 30 July 2009
  • Posted By Patrick Disney
  • Events in Iran, Iran Election 2009, MEK, UN, US-Iran War

John Bolton *still wants to bomb Iran

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The Daily Show with Jon Stewart last night featured former Bush Administration UN Ambassador John Bolton, who is now a senior fellow at the neoconservative American Enterprise Institute in Washington DC.  Bolton has been busy lately, penning op-eds on the need for harsh action against Iran, lest Tehran obtain a nuclear weapon and destroy Israel and the United States.

Aside from his bizarrely enthusiastic support for what he calls “Iranian dissidents” (based on his description, it’s clear he means the MEK), Bolton laments the fact that to this day neither Israel nor the United States has “stepped up” to attack Iran militarily.  He tries to depict his recommendation as the product of a rational calculation, and even goes so far as to call his conclusion regrettable; but his eagerness to attack Iran comes across on television as bloodlust, plain and simple.

And as if that weren’t brazen enough (though it did remind us all why we’re not exactly nostalgic for his term at the United Nations), he finished the segment with a flippant comment about how he wishes the United States were the only nuclear-armed country in the world.  Our friend Joe Cirincione of the Ploughshares Fund took that one on over at the HuffingtonPost, articulating how Bolton’s joke was as unwise as it was unfunny.

With all the unrest in Iran over the last few weeks, and the disturbing images that have been coming out of the country, at least we can find some comfort in the fact that no one but the most fringe elements in the neoconservative camp take any of these arguments seriously.  Small comfort.

  • 12 January 2009
  • Posted By Patrick Disney
  • Diplomacy, Nuclear file, Persian Gulf, Sanctions, US-Iran War

Nuclear disarmament in exchange for US relations: North Korea official

iran-north-koreaKyodo News has reported that North Korea would consider disarming its nuclear arsenal in exchange for a renewal of diplomatic relations with the United States.

For those not familiar, North Korea developed nuclear weapons after it pulled out of the NPT in 2003, tested a weapon in October of 2006, and is currently estimated to have approximately 5 warheads (give or take a few).

The US has engaged in multiparty negotiations with North Korea for the better part of two decades, with progress coming in fits and starts throughout.  Though the source for this latest news was particularly vague, it seems that “diplomatic relations” would involve the establishment of a US Embassy with an ambassador in Pyongyang.

  • 10 January 2009
  • Posted By Patrick Disney
  • Diplomacy, Nuclear file, Sanctions, US-Iran War

NYT: Bush rejected Israeli request for Iran attack; authorized covert action

From today’s New York Times:

 WASHINGTON — President Bush deflected a secret request by Israel last year for specialized bunker-busting bombs it wanted for an attack on Iran’s main nuclear complex and told the Israelis that he had authorized new covert action intended to sabotage Iran’s suspected effort to develop nuclear weapons, according to senior American and foreign officials.

White House officials never conclusively determined whether Israel had decided to go ahead with the strike before the United States protested, or whether Prime Minister Ehud Olmert of Israel was trying to goad the White House into more decisive action before Mr. Bush left office. But the Bush administration was particularly alarmed by an Israeli request to fly over Iraq to reach Iran’s major nuclear complex at Natanz, where the country’s only known uranium enrichment plant is located.

  • 29 October 2008
  • Posted By Patrick Disney
  • Events in Iran, Human Rights in Iran, Neo-Con Agenda, US-Iran War

Video: “Secret War on Iran”

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(h/t From Current TV, an in-depth look at some of the militant groups operating against the Iranian government, with an eye toward whether any of these groups receive American assistance.  Very interesting.

  • 16 October 2008
  • Posted By Patrick Disney
  • Culture, US-Iran War

US Military’s Cultural Intelligence on Iran

The Center for Public Integrity, on its blog “Paper Trail,” reports on what the US military gives to Marines so they can be familiar with Iranian culture in the event of a military conflict:

PaperTrail has obtained an exclusive copy of the military’s field guide for cultural intelligence for possible military operations in Iran, which is designed to help the U.S. military understand foreign cultures. Though nowhere near as enjoyable as the U.S. Army’s 1943 Instructions for American Servicemen in Iraq During World War II, … it describes in detail what our soldiers are learning about Iran – and it’s everything from paranoia within the military to preferred pants widths.

The existence of fault lines among Iran’s military organizations and its ethnic groups is a major theme in the Marine Corps’s CD-ROM, Cultural Intelligence for Military Operations: Iran.

The guide also paints a picture of endemic paranoia within Iran’s armed forces. “Relationships between superiors and subordinates are characterized by deference and gratitude but also by cynicism and manipulation. Iranians expect their social inferiors are scheming somehow to oust or overthrow them, even though they profess allegiance and obedience,” according to a section called Cultural Influences on Military Effectiveness. …

Read the entire entry here, and access the full manual here.

(h/t: Laura at War and Piece)

Debating Iran Policy – Republican experts don’t hold back

Within an hour of having landed at Minneapolis airport (and having to pass up our golden opportunity to visit it’s infamous bathroom), Patrick and I found ourselves going through 3 layers of security and 5 iterations of having our names checked off of the RSVP list for the IRI panel. 


No, I promise that the ‘Islamic Republic of Iran’ is not hosting a panel discussion at the RNC, rather this was a star-studded (for you IR geeks out there) event hosted by The International Republican Institute titled: National Security in a Global Era (you can listen to it at the link).  The panelists included a former Secretary of State, a former National Security Advisor, a former Chair of the house Intelligence Committee, and its most junior member having started his illustrious career with the Reagan administration in 1981. Amateur night, this was not!



  • 12 March 2008
  • Posted By Babak Talebi
  • Diplomacy, Neo-Con Agenda, Persian Gulf, US-Iran War

Fallon’s Retirement has unclear implications for US-Iran War

On Tuesday, the Pentagon announced that Admiral William Fallon, the 41-year navy veteran and commander of US Central Command (CentCom) requested permission to retire, and that Secretary Gates approved his request.  Last week, Thomas Barnett of Esquire Magazine published a revealing piece speculating that Fallon might be pushed out because he “was the strongest man standing between the Bush Administration and a war with Iran.”

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.



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