Iran

Iranian moderates win majority in parliament, clerical body

February 29, 2016

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iranian moderates have won a majority in parliament and a top clerical body charged with selecting the next supreme leader, dealing a major blow to hard-liners in the first elections held since last summer’s landmark nuclear agreement with world powers. Final results released by the Interior Ministry and broadcast on state TV show that reformists, who favor expanded social freedoms and engagement with the West, won at least 85 seats. Moderate conservatives, who also supported the nuclear agreement, won 73, giving the two camps a majority in the 290-seat assembly. Hard-liners, who had opposed the deal, won just 68 seats, down from more than 100 in the current parliament. Five seats will go to religious minorities, and the remaining 59 will be decided in a runoff, likely to be held in April. Read

Nicolas J S Davies – Hillary Clinton and the Dogs of War

February 22, 2016

A poll taken in Iowa before the presidential caucus found that 70 percent of Democrats surveyed trusted Hillary Clinton on foreign policy more than Bernie Sanders. But her record as Secretary of State was very different from that of her successor, John Kerry, who has overseen groundbreaking diplomatic breakthroughs with Iran, Cuba and, in a more limited context, even with Russia and Syria. In fact, Clinton’s use of the term “diplomacy” in talking about her own record is idiosyncratic in that it refers almost entirely to assembling “coalitions” to support U.S. threats, wars and sanctions against other countries, rather than to peacefully resolving international disputes without the threat or use of force, as normally understood by the word “diplomacy” and as required by the UN Charter. Read

Russia Warns of ‘World War’ as Saudi Plans Syria Intervention

February 15, 2016

Saudi Arabia’s decision to send troops to Syria is “final” and “irreversible,” Saudi military spokesman Ahmed Al-Assiri told reporters Thursday evening as he confirmed earlier comments about sending troops to the country. But Russia has warned the move could mark the beginning of a new “world war.” Assiri added that Riyadh is “ready” and will fight with the United States-led coalition to defeat the Islamic State group in Syria. When asked about the timing of sending the troops, he said that Washington is more suitable to answer that question. The Saudi comments Thursday come just one week after Riyadh said it was “ready” to send thousands of troops to Syria if the U.S.-led coalition decides on a ground operation in the country. Read

Timothy Alexander Guzman – Currency War Escalation: Iran Wants Euros Instead of US Dollars for Oil Payments

February 8, 2016

Washington must be getting nervous with the latest announcement from Iran’s state-owned oil company, the National Iranian Oil CO (NIOC) which declared that Iran will replace US dollars with Euros for its oil trades according to a Reuter’s news article titled ‘Exclusive: Iran wants euro payment for new and outstanding oil sales – source’. Iran wants something (well almost anything) to bypass the US dollar with other currencies because of Washington’s willingness to impose sanctions whenever it wants on the Iranian republic. “Iran wants to recover tens of billions of dollars it is owed by India and other buyers of its oil in euros and is billing new crude sales in euros, too, looking to reduce its dependence on the U.S. dollar following last month’s sanctions relief” the report said. Watch for AIPAC’s “bought and paid for” politicians in Washington call for more sanctions on Iran because they will find something to blame the Iranian government even global warming if they can get away with it. Reuters said: Read

Smart Show (goharrison) with Cary Harrison – 01.25.16

January 25, 2016

1) International business Times senior writer Eric Marcowitz on LA city Council irregularities hey bring private companies to outfit 8000 police body cams – the most on the entire planet four $57 million. Councilman Mitchell Englander taking private contributions from Wall Street taser manufacturer and body cam producer 2). Mileece Pitrie has found a way to make plants talk. 3) what's missing in the Iran deal

Pepe ESCOBAR – Planet of Fear

January 21, 2016

Facing the gleaming Doha skyline on a Persian Gulf winter carries the merit of a panoramic perspective. Most nations around it are going into melt down and the remaining ones – with the exception of Iran – exhibit neither the political leadership nor the economic and institutional infrastructure to do anything other than to meekly accept whatever tsunami hits their shores. They are nothing but scared spectators. The Empire of Chaos has enough warmongering hardware pre-positioned within spitting distance to turn the whole of Southwest Asia into ashes – as a gaggle of usual suspects in the Beltway, neocon or neoliberalcon, still can’t find a cure to their itching to «really win the next war» in a sort of exponential Shock and Awe. Read

Gareth Porter – Iran Changes the Regional Dynamic

January 20, 2016

The achievement of “implementation day” of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), when for both sides the central elements of the nuclear bargain went into operation on Saturday, means that it is going to be a fact of life in global and regional politics for many years. But will it have a profound impact on regional politics? That is the argument both the Barack Obama administration and U.S. allies in the Middle East who have opposed it have made in the past. While Washington has said the agreement makes it more likely that Iran will eventually come to terms with its neighbors, Israel and Arab states have advanced precisely the opposite forecast, suggesting it will inevitably cause Iran to be far more aggressive and uncompromising. However, especially in light of the dramatic deepening of the conflict between Iran and Saudi Arabia over the past year, it is now clear that focusing solely on whether it will reshape Iran’s policies is the wrong way to define the problem. Far more important is whether the agreement will create the impetus for realignment of U.S. policy in the region. Read

Gareth Porter – Iran Changes the Regional Dynamic

January 19, 2016

The achievement of “implementation day” of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), when for both sides the central elements of the nuclear bargain went into operation on Saturday, means that it is going to be a fact of life in global and regional politics for many years. But will it have a profound impact on regional politics? That is the argument both the Barack Obama administration and U.S. allies in the Middle East who have opposed it have made in the past. While Washington has said the agreement makes it more likely that Iran will eventually come to terms with its neighbors, Israel and Arab states have advanced precisely the opposite forecast, suggesting it will inevitably cause Iran to be far more aggressive and uncompromising. However, especially in light of the dramatic deepening of the conflict between Iran and Saudi Arabia over the past year, it is now clear that focusing solely on whether it will reshape Iran’s policies is the wrong way to define the problem. Far more important is whether the agreement will create the impetus for realignment of U.S. policy in the region. Read

The ‘Real’ Price Of Oil Is Below $17

January 15, 2016

“You see a big destruction in the income of the oil and commodity producers,” exclaims on analyst but, as Bloomberg notes, while oil prices flashing across traders’ terminals are at the lowest in a decade, in real terms the collapse is considerably deeper. Adjusted for inflation, WTI is its lowest since 2002 and worse still Saudi Light Crude is trading at below $17 (in 1998 dollar terms) – the lowest since the 1980s… Slumping prices are a critical signal that the boom in lending in China is “unwinding,” according to Adair Turner, chairman of the Institute for New Economic Thinking. In fact, while sub-$30 per barrel oil sounds very scary, Saudi prices would be less than $17 a barrel when converted into dollar levels for 1998, the year oil sank to its lowest since the 1980s. Read

Deaths Reported as MSF-Linked Hospital Bombed in Yemen

January 11, 2016

A Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF)-supported hospital in northern Yemen was bombed Sunday morning, killing at least four people and wounding eleven—marking the third attack in as many months against a facility associated with the medical charity. MSF said in a statement that it “cannot confirm the origin of the attack” on the Shiara Hospital, which is located in the Razeh district. But the organization noted that “planes were seen flying over the facility at the time.” The Saudi Arabia-led coalition, which has been waging an aerial assault on Yemen for nearly ten months with the backing of the United States, was responsible for the two other bombings of MSF-linked facilities. “On Oct. 27, Haydan hospital was destroyed by an airstrike by the Saudi-led coalition (SLC) and on Dec. 3 a health center in Taiz was also hit by the SLC, wounding nine people,” the organization said.   Read
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