Exclusive: Iran is resuming talks over its nuclear program with leading international powers – the United States, Britain, Russia, China, France and Germany – with the prospect of an agreement to swap some enriched uranium for research isotopes. But a similar plan was torpedoed by U.S. neocons in 2010, recalls Robert Parry.
With negotiations set to begin with Iran over its nuclear program, the Obama administration is signaling a hard line toward closing Iran’s newest – and best protected – site built into a mountain. But such a demand could torpedo a peaceful settlement to the dispute, warns ex-CIA analyst Paul Pillar.
Exclusive: German poet Gunter Grass is under withering attack for writing a poem that urges Germany to stop supplying nuclear submarines to Israel, objects to Israel’s threat of war against Iran and suggests both countries accept nuclear inspectors. That last idea has opened Grass to charges of “moral equivalence,” notes Robert Parry.
Historically, ardent Christians have been among the most bloodthirsty of religious believers, justifying wars and genocides around the world, ironically, in the name of Jesus, an avowed pacifist. Now, many devout Christians rally to Israel’s side in its ethnic cleansing of Palestinians from the Holy Land, Lawrence Davidson notes.
It’s difficult to know what’s happening in Syria not only because of the confusing violence but because the Western news media has lost nearly all credibility when it comes to reporting on Muslim countries, at least those on America’s and Israel’s enemies lists. William Blum explained the dilemma at the Anti-Empire Report.
Iran says it doesn’t want a nuclear bomb and Western intelligence agencies say it isn’t building one, but Israeli leaders and their U.S. supporters say a preemptive strike may still be necessary. A key argument is the threat of a regional arms race, a claim that ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar finds dubious.
In Israel, the debate over bombing Iran has been tamped down by the belief in national security circles that Prime Minister Benjamin “Bibi” Netanyahu may be bluffing about going to war but that the bluff requires the world to think he may do it, Gareth Porter reports from Tel Aviv for Inter Press Service.
Israeli hardliners and American neocons say U.S. and Israeli interests are one and the same, meaning that if Israel bombs Iran, the United States should join in. But other observers say Washington must create some distance from Israel’s messianic Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, notes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.
A legal fight is underway in Minnesota over the state’s investment in Israeli bonds that are used to support settlements and other Israeli actions in the West Bank deemed illegal under international law. Sylvia Schwarz, a plaintiff in the lawsuit, explains why she’s demanding the state’s divestiture.
Official Washington treats New York Times pundit Thomas Friedman as an oracle on the Middle East, but his commentary is often pedestrian and wrongheaded, as it was disastrously on the Iraq War. But Friedman has now proclaimed what must be done to reverse U.S. failures in Muslim countries, Lawrence Davidson writes.