In rebuffing Iran’s concessions on its nuclear program, the Obama administration is bending to hard-line neocon pressures at home and Israeli demands abroad. But it also appears stuck on the notion of permanent U.S. hegemony in the Middle East, says national security expert Flynt Leverett at www.RaceForIran.com.
So far, the West is taking a hard line in talks with Iran, responding to its concessions on its nuclear program with only modest rewards and, indeed, with new threats of sanctions. U.S. politicians, in particular, are bending to Israeli demands for either Iranian capitulation or war, a worry to ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.
The current head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, who was essentially installed by Western powers, is adding new hurdles for Iran to clear before an agreement can be reached on its nuclear program, a standoff addressed by Gareth Porter for Inter Press Service.
Exclusive: In the past week, several senior Israelis have criticized the extremism of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu toward Iran and the Palestinians, but his American supporters continue to escalate their denunciations of anyone who won’t march in lockstep, as Robert Parry reports.
Official Washington’s view of Iran is that the Islamic state is dangerously irrational, requiring “crippling sanctions” to bully it into concessions over its nuclear program. But Iran’s negotiating strategy is actually more thoughtful and deliberate, Gareth Porter writes for Al Jazeera.
Exclusive: President Obama has joined much of Official Washington in mistranslating a comment by Iran’s President Ahmadinejad into the provocative phrase, “wiping Israel off the map.” Obama’s falsehood recalls President George W. Bush’s bogus claim about Iraq seeking uranium in Africa, says ex-CIA analyst Elizabeth Murray.
In a pre-Super Bowl interview, President Obama urged Iranian leaders to renounce nuclear weapons, which Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei did, labeling them a “grave sin.” But Khamenei’s fatwa against nukes was not new, just widely ignored by Official Washington, as Gareth Porter explains in this Inter Press Service analysis.
Exclusive: For years, a propaganda drumbeat has been rising to justify a war to stop Iran from building a nuclear bomb, though U.S. intelligence agencies say Iran isn’t building one and Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei has decried nukes as a “great sin.” But nothing has stopped the drumbeat, ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern notes.
For months, major U.S. news outlets failed to note the consensus among intelligence agencies that Iran was NOT building a nuclear bomb. Now, Big Media is misleading the public about why previous talks failed and the value of Iran’s promises, as Flynt Leverett and Hillary Mann Leverett wrote at RaceForIran.com.
The rigidity of Official Washington – more than intransigence from Iran – is threatening negotiations beginning in Istanbul this weekend. President Obama’s flexibility to ease sanctions on Iran in exchange for Iranian safeguards against building a nuclear weapon is limited by political pressures, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.