Exclusive: A decade after the infamous “Downing Street Memo” and its “fixed” intelligence for invading Iraq, the pressure is on again to make the case – whatever the facts – for a new war with Iran. Will the UK’s MI6 and the CIA bend again or hold firm, ask ex-intelligence analysts Annie Machon and Ray McGovern.
In rushing to judgment blaming Iran for a bus bombing in Bulgaria, Israeli officials and neocon writers cited the conventional wisdom about Iran’s authorship of a bombing in Argentina in 1994. However, the investigation of that case was deeply compromised by political pressure, recalls Gareth Porter for Lobelog.
Western powers test out harsh economic sanctions on Iran. Israel pins the blame for a bus bombing in Bulgaria on Iranian agents, presumably retaliating for Israeli assassinations of Iran’s scientists. As tensions ratchet up – Syria’s unraveling, too – the chances for a disastrous war escalate, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.
America’s influential neocons cite the lack of progress in Iranian nuclear talks as reason for more sanctions and more threats, but the real problem is the West’s unwillingness to reward Iran’s concessions with meaningful relaxation of sanctions and threats, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.
The United States has threatened to impose punishing sanctions on countries importing oil from Iran and – only at the last minute on Thursday – granted China a waiver from the penalties. But these third-party sanctions are likely illegal under trade laws, write Flynt and Hillary Mann Leverett at RaceForIran.com.
Exclusive: Hard-headed realism and outside-the-box thinking might be needed to avert another catastrophe in the Middle East, this time an Israeli attack on Iran and the unpredictable consequences. In that light, ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern imagines a bleak report that an Iranian intelligence officer might send back to Tehran.
As talks on Iran’s nuclear program resume in Moscow, the United States and Western powers are showing little willingness to pull back on economic sanctions, even in exchange for Iran’s suspension of its higher refinement of uranium. Ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar suggests looking at the issue from the Iranian side.
Exclusive: Earlier this year, U.S. news outlets began revising their false boilerplate that the United States believed Iran was building a nuclear bomb. They grudgingly recognized that U.S. intelligence didn’t believe that. But now there are signs of backsliding, reports Robert Parry.
The U.S. press is playing up claims that Iran is “sanitizing” evidence of nuclear experiments at a military site, but experts say Iran knows nuclear residue can’t be erased, suggesting the Iranians may be engaged in a negotiating ploy to boost the trade-off value of the site, reports Gareth Porter for Inter Press Service.
A former top Iranian negotiator says Iran offered the West a deal in 2005 that would have eliminated the possibility of Iran developing a nuclear bomb, but the plan was blocked by hardliners in George W. Bush’s administration who rejected any right of Iran to process uranium, Gareth Porter reports for Inter Press Service.