Saturday, May 19, 2012

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Analysis at an extremely high level:  "Iran Will Require Assurances: An Interview with Hossein Mousavian" (my emphasis in red):
"Iran does not have a real issue with transparency because Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the Supreme Leader of Iran, has committed to full transparency with the IAEA since 2003. The difficulty has not been with transparency, but rather with suspicions concerning the role of the IAEA. These suspicions are based on a perceived pattern in which increased cooperation with the IAEA and increased inspections have been correlated with increased sabotage of the nuclear program, increased assassinations of Iranian nuclear scientists and revelations by the IAEA about Iran’s military capabilities (including location of facilities) that are unrelated to the nuclear program. In other words, Iran believes that under the umbrella of IAEA inspections Western intelligence services are sending in agents to conduct espionage. Iran believes that revelations concerning the location of military sites have already occurred under the aegis of the IAEA, resulting in targeted sabotage activities. These concerns were already troubling to the country when Mohamed ElBaradei served as the director-general of the IAEA.
Following the end of ElBaradei’s third term, the appointment of Yukiya Amano as IAEA chief dealt a severe blow to relations between the agency and the Iranian government. Indeed, a cable from the US embassy in Vienna back to State Department headquarters in Washington, revealed as a result of the WikiLeaks disclosures, vividly substantiated Iranian concerns. The cable states explicitly that Amano is “fully in our [the US] court for all strategic issues including the handling of the Iranian nuclear file.” On the basis of his activities since assuming the post of director-general, Iran had already concluded that Amano was following Washington’s mandates rather than those assigned to him by the IAEA. The leaked cable only reinforced this impression.
More generally, Iran has come to believe that the West is using the nuclear issue as an instrument for other strategic goals unrelated to proliferation, such as regime change, and that this is the true purpose of the multilateral and unilateral sanctions imposed on Iran. This perception leads Iranians to conclude that the West is not sincere in its negotiating posture, since its interests lie in prolonging the nuclear crisis, which offers an additional (pretextual) instrument of leverage against Iran. Not surprisingly, then, I think that the initial confidence-building measure adopted by Iran should be met by a parallel measure on the side of the P5+1 related to sanctions. In particular, suspending implementation of the EU embargo on Iranian oil exports set to go into effect in July would be an important first step on the side of the Western powers and an expression of good will in advance of the Baghdad talks."
"Israel May Be Dropping Spies In Iran Using Secret American Stealth BlackHawk Helicopters"  Or not.  It is from F. Michael Maloof (here, here, here and here), so almost certainly bullshit from the usual bullshit factory.

"Lutfallah 2: Smugglers of The Mediterranean"  "Another Watergate unfolding? The Lutfallah II Arms-Smuggling Scandal"
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