With tensions again rising in the Persian Gulf, an accident or provocation around the narrow Strait of Hormuz could precipitate a war. In this memo for President Obama, 11 former U.S. intelligence officials urge a U.S.-Iranian system for communications — a “hot line” — in case of crisis.
Exclusive: Mitt Romney took his campaign to Israel with a belligerent speech suggesting that he, as President, would happily support an Israeli war against Iran. In a major foreign policy speech, he also ignored Palestinian rights and repeated some old Mideast canards, reports Robert Parry.
Sweeping assertions by Israeli officials regarding their certainty about the authorship of a bus bombing in Bulgaria last week – pinning it first on Iran and then Hezbollah – may not be backed up by solid intelligence, but it may help rally European condemnation, writes Gareth Porter for Inter Press Service.
Led by Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, hard-line critics of Iran were quick to jump to a conclusion blaming its operatives for a bus bombing targeting Israeli tourists in Bulgaria. Some Israeli and Western media even cited a speech by Iran’s President Ahmadinejad as proof, but Nima Shirazi exposed the misleading charge.
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.