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The Race for Iran

U.S. Sanctions Policy on a Collision Course against Iran; Increasing Tensions with China

America’s policy on Iran-related secondary sanctions is on a collision course with itself as well as China.  Secondary sanctions violate the United States’ obligations under the World Trade Organization and are, thus, illegal.  (While a WTO signatory may decide, on national security grounds, to restrict its trade with another country, there is no legal basis for one state to impose sanctions against another over business that the second state conducts with a third country.)  If Washington actually imposed secondary sanctions on another state for, say, buying Iranian oil and the sanctioned country took the United States to the WTO’s Dispute Resolution Mechanism, the United States would almost certainly lose the case. 

Given this reality, the whole edifice of Iran-related secondary sanctions is in reality a house of cards.  It rests on an assumption that no state will ever really challenge the legitimacy of America’s Iran-related extraterritorial sanctions—and this means that the United States cannot ever really impose them.  Instead, successive U.S. administrations have used the threat of such sanctions to elicit modifications of other countries’ commercial relations with the Islamic Republic; when these administrations finally reach the limit of their capacity to leverage other countries’ decision-making regarding Iran, the United States backs off.    

The Obama Administration is bringing this glaring contradiction increasingly to the fore, by supinely collaborating with the Congress to enact secondary sanctions into laws that give the executive branch less and less discretion over their actual application.  This dynamic is now coming to a head in the Administration’s dealings with China.    

We are currently in China, as Visiting Scholars at Peking University’s School of International Studies.  And that means we are here during the run-up to formal implementation of the United States’ newest round of Iran-related secondary sanctions, due to go into effect on June 28. 

These new sanctions, at least as legislated, threaten to punish financial and corporate entities in countries that continue to purchase Iranian oil at their historic levels of consumption.  So far, the Obama Administration has issued sanctions waivers to all of the major buyers of Iranian oil, see here and here—all the major buyers, that is, except the People’s Republic of China.

Trade data indicate that China’s imports of Iranian oil declined significantly in the first quarter of this year.  It is unclear to what extent this reduction was intended as an accommodation to the United States and to what extent it was the product of a payment dispute with Tehran.  But, whatever the reason, the reduction prompted Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to note last week that “we’ve seen China slowly but surely take actions,” see here.  Clinton even seemed to hint that the Administration might be looking for an opening to waive the imposition of sanctions against China:  “I have to certify under American laws whether or not countries are reducing their purchases of crude oil from Iran and I was able to certify that India was, Japan was, South Korea was…And we think, based on the latest data, that China is also moving in that direction.” 

Since the resolution of the payments dispute between China and Iran, however, China’s imports of Iranian oil have picked up once again, see here and here.  And the Chinese government continues to insist that the country’s purchases of oil from the Islamic Republic are “fully reasonable and legitimate,” see here.      

Once June 28 comes the White House and State Department will be under enormous pressure from the Congress (Hill Democrats will provide the President no cover on the issue), the Romney campaign, and various domestic interest groups to sanction China over its continued oil buys from Iran.  The Administration’s alliance with Congress and the pro-Israel lobby on Iran sanctions, combined with its misguided assessment that the United States can somehow compel Iran’s “surrender” on the nuclear issue, have put the President and his team in a “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” position.  This is very much a problem of the Administration’s own making.                

–Flynt Leverett and Hillary Mann Leverett 


167 Responses to “U.S. Sanctions Policy on a Collision Course against Iran; Increasing Tensions with China”

  1. Unknown Unknowns says:

    Thank you Castellio and to the Voluntarily Transported Professor for your enlightening responses. And thank you fyi for your response. It is good to know my (amateur) view is endorsed by you. And it is good of you to continue to engage me despite my perennial abuse.

    Castellio: Yes, I agree that it might come down to the irrational element determining events (the known unknowns), and then, as I tried to show earlier with the image of the tub of popcorn and the turbo-gulp “container” (let us call it), there are the unknown unknowns…

    Professor: Yes, I was going to repeat what you said about the real axis of weevil, but you drew attention to the jewel in the crown of your first post admirably in the second. And you are right: they (and yes, *especially* the liberals; right on) don’t like to shine the light where the sun don’t shine. I think it’s going to get ugly; I mean toys in the attic ugly; I mean Portrait of Dorian Gray in the attic ugly. Yikes.

  2. Rehmat says:

    US-Israel war against Ethiopian Muslims

    “Imperialist powers have always labeled as terrorists the people who fight for their right. Irishmen were terrorists until they signed an agreement. Abbas was a terrorist. Now, he is a friend,” Mohamed Hassan, former Ethiopian diplomat in Washington, Beijing and Brussels.


  3. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    Remember that the US-Ale Saud strategy is that the US-Ale Saud nexus is not spoken about too much among the western masses and things are done quietly. It’s the old thing about cockroaches and light. That’s why 9/11 was so traumatic for the geriatric cretins in Riyadh and DC. The Saudi cretins hate to be scrutinized, they can’t handle it, it’s just not part of their socialization and culture. And every single US official knows the that they have made a deal with the devil- even the Bible thumping evangelicals- to maintain “the American way of life” as Baker and Cheney honestly explained. They know it and are very uncomfortable talking about it especially the liberal ones. Better to talk about “the threat from Iran”.

    Like I said, the goal of every human being with any conscience on this planet is to shatter the US-Ale Saud axis- the real axis of evil.

  4. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    Remember its all about the oil fields in the Shia-populated eastern province of Saudi Arabia. The Israelis threaten to bomb them in their closed door meetings with the US, if Uncle won’t protect them, al-Qaida threatens to bomb them, even the Ale Saud themselves threaten the US with shutting them down for a few weeks if Uncle doesn’t give them what they want.

    Immediately after 9/11, some US official said that if we find out that Iran supports al-Qaida, we will destroy its oil infrastructure and won’t allow it to produce and export oil. The next day Iran announced that if it is not allowed to export oil, nobody in the region will be allowed to export oil. The Arabs got the hint.

    The whole darn mess is about the US-Saudi nexus which is the root of most evil on this planet. Obviously the long-term goal of every human being with a conscience on the planet, is to shatter this nexus. The sooner events allow us to do this the better this is for humanity.

  5. James Canning says:


    Very good report you linked (McClatchy, on Istanbul talks).

  6. Castellio says:

    Unknown Unknowns says:
    July 3, 2012 at 11:54 pm

    I’m not sure what I have to add. Those who know the military situation well believe that Iran is vulnerable to air attack. No-one I talk to believes that the Iranian air defense system can’t be destroyed by a sustained attack. But nobody wants to put boots on the ground, either.

    An interesting twist that seems to be re-emerging is that any attack on Iran will set up a long war against Israel, to which Israel is vulnerable. So, its not so much that the US can’t attack, as that the consequences may be greater to Israel than Israel envisions (Obama’s position). The counter-argument to that is that Iran and Israel are already engaged in a long war, and the best time to attack is now, not to defeat Iran, as much as to degrade it. But then the attack must actually be large enough to degrade Iranian society seriously (Netanyahu’s position).

    Again, like RSH, I think to discuss the actual Iranian-US conflict without recognizing the role that conflict plays in the consolidation of power in the US is to see less than half of the story. Between a sane (let alone moral) foreign policy and the reach for power in the US, the reach for power wins every day. (The creation and recognition of Israel is a good example, actually, as is the Republican parties role in the holding and release of the US embassy hostages, but there are so many examples that I’ll assume you’ll acknowledge the historical truth of the general statement.)

    Note, Turkey’s commitment to shooting down Syrian airplanes approaching its border actually creates a military no-fly zone in northern Syria, where the paid for and armed insurrection will attempt to consolidate its position.

  7. fyi says:

    Unknown Unknowns says:

    July 3, 2012 at 11:50 pm

    I agree.

  8. Don Bacon says:

    Big moves in regional politics involving Russian involvement to replace a vacuum to be left by the departing U.S.(?) and elbow aside some China interests. Pakistan and Iran are the key ingredients for Russia’s move to open up its hegemonic relations with Central Asia to the Indian Ocean, via Pakistan (and surely neighboring Iran). This couples with Indian interests to move its goods into Central Asia.

    Russia has come up with a plan to provide Pakistan financial and technical assistance, needed for its energy problems such as the Tajikistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-Iran (TAPI) pipeline project, the Iran-Pakistan (IP) gas pipeline and the (CASA-1000) power import project.

    Also Russian President Vladimir Putin will visit Pakistan in September. This will be the first time a Russian president visits Pakistan since its birth in 1947.

    In an atimes piece “A Russia House on the Indian Ocean” by M K Bhadrakumar:
    “The Russians are fabricating some hardy bricks for the mansion they hope to build in the region which forms a beachhead on the Indian Ocean – a mansion large enough for their friends in Pakistan and in the neighboring countries of India, Iran and Afghanistan to consort with them.

    “This Russia House will stand bang on the way of the New Silk Road that the US has been planning, which also needs to run through Pakistan. If the access is blocked, it becomes problematic for the US to keep together the body and soul of the tens of thousands of its troops who were hoping to settle down in the Hindu Kush and Central Asia as pioneers in the “Wild West” of China’s Xinjiang and on the “soft underbelly” of Russia.”

    Iran already will benefit from Indian road construction in Afghanistan to connect with the deep sea port at Chabahar in Iran. The Delaram–Zaranj Highway, also known as Route 606, is a National Highway in Afghanistan, connecting Zaranj in Nimruz Province, near the Iranian border, with Delaram in Farah Province. The highway connects the Afghan–Iranian border to Delaram on the main A01 highway, which provides connectivity to other major Afghan cities. (The highway is now controlled by the Taliban — that will require some accommodation.)

  9. BiBiJon says:

    Does it amount to a hill of beans?

    Homesick for Square One

    It seems the ever-repeating pattern is repeating itself, again. Sanctions went into effect on unaltered schedule. And sure enough, the response was counter-escalation.

    We had Iranian missile tests, a bill tabled in parliament to harass tankers delivering oil to ‘unfriendly’ countries, a stern warning to SK to flog their LGs somewhere else, and another parliamentary bill to command modernizing Iranian navy with nuclear powered propulsion (read enrich uranium to 90%)

    Results: ,http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/oil-above-84-in-asia-as-iran-sanctions-threaten-to-tighten-supplies-while-demand-holds-up/2012/07/03/gJQAhvpoJW_story.html

    Been there, done that, now back to the future

    Mr Ehud Barak of the “zone of Immunity”, and “talking about not weeks, but also not years” fame, blurted out a revision: “SEVERAL YEARS.”

    (Note to Nima Shirazi: does this qualify for an update to the Phantom Menace?)

    But also, “Mofaz has publicly contradicted the whole thrust of Netanyahu’s strategy by downgrading the threat from Iran and suggesting that a peace settlement with the Palestinians is actually more important.”

    That August institution: Summer driving season

    Any surprise then that Ashton and Jalili decided to re-upgrade the downgraded talks?



    Happy July 4th. Celebrate by wishing independence for others.

  10. Pirouz says:

    Don, chalk that up to Iranian “improvisation”.

    Anti-Iran observers are currently salivating over what they think is Iran pushed into a corner by sanctions, They think–once again–regime change is just around the corner.

    Obviously they’re unaware of the Iranian mentality. Even Iranians here forget themselves of this very same mentality, thereby deluding themselves.

    Now you might say I’m putting forth stereotypical depictions. All I can say is it takes one to know one! lol

  11. Unknown Unknowns says:

    در طریق عشقبازی امن و آسایش بلاست ریش باد آن دل که با درد تو خواهد مرهمی

  12. Unknown Unknowns says:

    Castellio: I’m waiting.

    And anyone else: regarding my earlier comment in this thread: my contention is that the whole reason this siege warfare is taking place and the Weasel is hoping to win by attrition (which attrition is actually being visited on himself), is that he CANNOT attack Iran directly: Iran is “closer to him than his neckvein” thanks to the vulnerability of Ras Tanura. This goes back to my exchanges with the late Richard-san.

    What are everyone’s thoughts? Agree? Does Iran have Uncle by the short and curlies? I don’t know, but with all these missiles going off in war exercises and all, I’m just thinking its gotta be the case.

  13. Unknown Unknowns says:

    fyi says: “400 years of peaceful intercourse was killed last year by EU.”

    A-hem, in my experience, intercourse is never peaceful ;o)

  14. James Canning says:


    Mousavian was right, that Iran could negotiate with the EU and the US. Various mistakes were made, by Iran and by the West. Israel lobby caused a number of mistakes to be made by the US and other countries.

  15. James Canning says:


    Iran would benefit from improved relations with the EU (which I expect to survive the euro crisis).

  16. Photi says:

    James Canning says:
    July 3, 2012 at 1:57 pm

    James, in the sentence i quoted, you sounded as though you were questioning whether or not the West is actually trying to defeat Iran.

    I view America as the leader of the all the Western dawgs, and it is clear America wants to defeat Iran. Therefore the West wants to defeat Iran. Do you agree or disagree?

  17. fyi says:

    Rd. says: July 3, 2012 at 3:00 pm

    Actually, before Spain joined EU’s euro, many Spaniards hold 2 jobs; often in the informal economy.

    You see, they were claiming and collecting unemployment insurance while earning untrace-able money.

    Spain lived like that for at least 15 years; if I remember correctly.

  18. Fiorangela says:

    bigotry and hate speech.
    it’s not just for neocons & Christian zionists, it is — or was– throughout the US mainstream Christian establishment.


    see especially, “What is Prophecy and Why Study It,” by Rev John M. MacInnis — a masterful composition built on fatally flawed assumptions;
    “The Regathering of Israel in Unbelief” and
    “War on German Theology,” the 1918 warm-up act to Pat Robertson’s “9/11 happened because of XYZ.”

  19. Fiorangela says:

    fyi and BiBiJon, thanks for link to Jon Snow speech at Chatham House. Snow waxed eloquent on nature of Britain’s relationship with Iran, overlooking one or two unpleasant details.

    The Q&A http://www.chathamhouse.org/category/country/iranwas less irenic but worth careful consideration. Most remarkable concept that emerged from the event was the notion that Britain should part ways from the USA in its policy toward Iran, and partner perhaps with EU or perhaps with Russia in a combined ‘ingathering’ of common interests.

  20. fyi says:

    Nasser says: July 3, 2012 at 12:44 pm

    It was Winter of 1980 (1359) in Kurdistan, outside of Marivan, were you could see stream of refugees fleeing that city has Iranian government forces were forced by Kurdish rebels to abandon the city.

    Among them, and 80 year old Azeri woman fleeing for her dear life; fearing for her safety at the hands of the Kurdish fighters.

    She had lived all her life in Marivan, yet she had become a refugee in her own country.

    That is what happened in FRY.

    They did not have someone like the late Mr. Khomeini nor the common bond of Shia religion.

    If that could happen in FRY, it can happen anywhere else; including Iran.

    Well, I can never accept or endorese it; with millions of displaced people running all over the world because of fantasies of super-powers.

  21. Rd. says:

    there are no jobs in Iran, people have to work 4 different jobs to make ends meet!!!
    gerani, inflation is past mars.. and the government is scheduled to collapse tomorrow at 12:01 am!

    just a small potato for those with their heads stuck in their proverbial behind.

    Human Development Indicators



  22. fyi says:

    BiBiJon says: July 3, 2012 at 2:35 pm

    Fighting on multiple fronts are sapping Iran’s strenghts.

    That is part if US-EU strategy.

    SS-300 is irrelevant now; Iranian leaders, as far I can tell from public ources, are relying on their own capabilities.

    In my opinion, the major front is the Economic Siege War and not the nuclear file, the Syrian insurrection, or the oil embargo.

    It is critical for Iran to work through the Economic and Financial Siege – the overthrow of the nationalist governments of the late martyred president Dr. Allende and Dr. Mosaadeq were first preceeded by economic war, in case of Iran it began in 1951.

    In both cases, the governments in power were proven to liberal and too unprepared for this type of war.

    I have come to the conclusion that Iranian leaders have absorbed those lessons and have taken appropriate action.

  23. BiBiJon says:


    Multiple fronts provides multiple points of resistance which is advantageous to Iran. No?


  24. fyi says:

    James Canning says: July 3, 2012 at 1:57 pm

    Only transactional relationship – a few decades from now – will obtain between Iran and EU (if it even exists then).

    Good relations, critical engagements etc. are all gone.

    400 years of peaceful intercourse was killed last year by EU.

  25. Sineva says:

    Don Bacon says:
    July 3, 2012 at 12:56 pm
    Thanks for putting a smile on my face,its not often that the stories I read here do that

  26. fyi says:

    Humanist says: July 3, 2012 at 11:40 am

    Mr. Mousavian is not a strategist.

    He is one of those Iranians that thought Iran could usefully and productively enage and negogiate with EU and US.

    The course of events have shown that Mr. Shariatmadari of Keyhan fame has had a better grasp of the realities of the situation that the far more educated Mr. Mousavian.

  27. fyi says:

    Nasser says: July 3, 2012 at 12:44 pm

    Because Serbs were, in American parlance, shafted.

    Did a Serbian in Croatia or in Bosnia have a right to remian in Yugoslavia?

    Becuase Yugoslavia was a functioning country; it was not perfect but it had existed for 80 years and it was going places.

    I do not suffer fools gladly, Bosniacks were fools to have rebelled against the Federal Republic.

    What do they have now? The control of a few counties in a tinder-box called Bosnia-Hecegovina; an international protectorate until US and EU cannot pay for its maintenance and then there will be another war there.

    And all of that for what?

    Do what they have now compare favorably to what they had during the Sarajevo 1984 Olympic Games?

  28. James Canning says:


    Bill Clinton was very reluctant to intervene in the civil wars in the collapsed Yugoslavia. And it was not US policy to seek the collapse of that country. You are referring to events that followed in the wake of the collapse.

  29. James Canning says:


    I too see an unnecessary war as a catastrophic blunder. I agree with Jon Snow (lecture for Chatham House, linked by FYI).

    I favor a rich, strong Iran living in peace with its neighbors.

    I was trying to ascertain what FYI meant about Iran being “defeated”. I long have favored normal relations between EU countries and Iran, and between the US and Iran.

  30. Don Bacon says:

    Stratfor’s discussion of how shell corporations easily defeat sanctions reminds me of this:
    NPR, Dec 26, 2011
    TED KOPPEL: . . . I was in Iran about four years ago, and I was trying to check out of the hotel and handed my credit card to the cashier at the hotel. He said, would you come back for your credit card in half an hour, please? I did. I’d forgotten, totally, that, you know, obviously, he can’t use an American credit card in Iran. But I’d handed the credit card in without thinking about it, came back half hour later. The bill was paid. I forgot about it. Two or three weeks later, my assistant came in to see me and said, Ted, did you buy $1,300 worth of sporting goods in Dubai?


    KOPPEL: And I said, how much is that again? And it turned out to be precisely the sum of my hotel bill in Tehran. I tell that story only to point out that the Iranians have found numerous ways of getting around those sanctions.

  31. Nasser says:


    Why do you feel the need of constantly defending the Serbs? You voice words of sympathy for Palestinian Muslims and Indian Muslims but are somehow devoid of sympathy for Russian or Balkan Muslims?!

  32. Kathleen says:

    NPR still doing their part pushing for a war with Iran.

  33. Humanist says:

    Although here in RFI Bibijon has already provided the following link, because of its importance, I also urge folks to watch and study this remarkable 40 minutes long video.

    In it ex-embassador Hossein Mousavian, while presenting his book, discusses nearly all the keynotes related to the ‘Facts and Politics of Iranian Nuclear Issue’.


    I am an atheist and Mousavian is a Seyed yet in my view, except a few minor points his arguments are decisively convincing…. I humbly salute him with deep respect.

    I wonder how warmongering entities such as MSM will react to the content of his book. Most probably they’ll remain silent. Else they are bound to further expose their evil blood thirsty character.

  34. Rehmat says:

    UNESCO voted on Friday to include the Church of the Nativity in the Palestinian city of Bethlehem in its list of World Heritage Sites.

    The decision was announced during a meeting of UNESCO delegates in St. Petersburg. Thirteen members of the 21-strong World Heritage Committee supported the Palestinian bid. Two countries abstained and six others voted against.

    Friday’s decision will help the Palestinians oppose Israeli attempts aimed at the “Judaization of holy Palestinian sites,” PA spokesperson said in an interview with the Voice of Palestine radio station.

    UNESCO decision has been welcomed by Catholics because the church is in urgent need of restoration, so far hampered by the Orthodox communty. Importance of ensuring its architectural integrity to avoid its ruin, similar to that taking place in the Holy Sepulchre with the construction of the Katholicon. Also important to monitor Israeli attempts to place the holy sites in Galilee under the Zionist entity’s protection.

    However, UNESCO decision has angered pro-Israeli groups in the United States. Abraham Foxman, the head of ADL has called the decision “politically perverted”. He called on Washington to reconsider its participation in UNESCO, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESC).

    “With this vote, the UNESCO World Heritage Committee has forsaken its responsibility for protecting the world’s most important and sacred sites, and has proven to be another hackneyed, politicized body. As a result, the United States, which is not a member of the World Heritage Committee, should re-evaluate the value of remaining a member of UNESCO,” he said in a statement issued on June 29, 2012.

    On October 31, 2011 – UNESCO had admitted Palestinian membership in a vote of 107-14 with 52 abstentions. The Jewish lackeys American lawmakers had threatened to stop US contribution of $80 million (22% of total budget) to UNESCO for its anti-Semitic action.

    Very few Christians are aware of the fact that custodianship of the Holy Sepulchre is in the hands of the Nseibeh Muslim family since 638 CE when Islam’s second Caliph, Omar bin Khattab, appointed the family the responsiblity to control the three Christian sects killing each other inside the church. Omer also gave the custody of the ‘Temple of Mount’ to the chief rabbi of Jerusalem. The site was used as a garbage dump by the city’s Christian majority.

    The Palestinians have moved to seek full membership in the United Nations and the recognition of an independent Palestinian state by the global body. Israel, backed by the United States, strongly opposes these efforts.


  35. Photi says:

    James Canning says:
    July 2, 2012 at 7:59 pm

    What is the Iranian “defeat” you say the West wants?”

    James, one of the main theses of the Leveretts is that America seeks domination in the Middle East for reasons that are both religious and ideological in nature.

    In order for America to dominate the Middle East, the Americans have concluded they must first defeat the spirit of independence that some nations in the Middle East still hold onto, chief among those nations of course being Iran.

    As most of us here are aware, Iranian self-determination cannot be defeated, and so after this war the Americans and Israelis are gearing up for, we will still have Iran and we will still observe their strong national independence except sadly there will be so many more shortened lives for the Americans to answer to.

    Flynt Leverett’s answer to America’s foolish drive to defeat Iran is to demonstrate that America’s genuine interests in the Middle East are in reality better served through “offshore balancing.”

    James, your answer to America’s foolish drive to defeat Iran is apparently “denial.”

    Which of these two answers if implemented would lead to a peaceful resolution of the so-called crisis, and which answer would lead us to a war we didn’t see coming?

    Hint: De Nile is not just a river in Egypt.

    James: Why are you encouraging us towards denial? Are you looking for a war?

  36. fyi says:

    James Canning says: July 2, 2012 at 8:26 pm

    Do you have no shame Sir?

    How long will you go on denying the obvious?

    Did not the United States and the European Union attack Srbia, the core of FRY?

    Was it not NATO that attacked what was left of FRY under the pretext of saving Kosovars?

    They never relented until Montenegro was also separated from Srbia.

    Thank God that history has not ended and EU is on its way out.

    Serbs will be reclaim the Fields of Kosovo – no doubt.

    There is a saying in Persian: “He who rapes his own mother, God knows what he will do to others.”

    Indeed God only knows what YS-EU will do to Iran, given the shameful way they treated an allie of long-standing.

    I think, in regards to Iran and EU, a 400-year old cooperative relationship has been destroyed (excepting UK).

  37. fyi says:

    BiBiJon says: July 2, 2012 at 4:34 pm

    It is too late; the war was planned and begun in 2010.

    There is an Siege War front, a Nuclear file front, a propoganda front, a Syrian front, and soon there will be a maritime front as Iran stops EU-flagged ships.

    We have to watch as the war expands, we are in its early stages.

    Just like the Iran-Iraq War, this war will be a long one.

    Iranian leaders will expect and impose a very significant discipline on the Iranian population as this war is waged across multiple fronts.

  38. James Canning says:


    It was not the policy of the US to seek the collapse of Yugoslavia. And I agree there were plenty of thugs who got involved in the matter.

    Slovenia seems quite happy within the EU. Keeping Sovenia in Yugoslavia would have been quite difficult, once the Slovenes decided they wanted out.

  39. James Canning says:


    What is the Iranian “defeat” you say the West wants?

  40. James Canning says:


    Jon Snow’s lecture about Iran is most interesting. Well worth hearing.

  41. BiBiJon says:

    Slice of cheese, anyone?

    Cue http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/3/12/46727/Business/Economy/Kenya-agrees-to-buy-Iran-oil,-silent-on-sanctions-.aspx

    Response: another 2 MEK/Israeli operatives self-identify as IRGC and (get this) take the authorities to their stash of explosives, and Goldberg pounces on reports based on anonymous sources.


  42. BiBiJon says:

    fyi says:
    July 2, 2012 at 10:05 am

    Thanks for that link. By the time this message gets posted you may well wonder what link?

    Jon Snow I thought did an excellent job of making two crucial points.

    a) COSTS: If you take the last 33 years as whole, and consider that potentially Saddam would have never invaded Kuwait, that 9/11 would not have happened, that Taliban would never have taken over in Afghanistan (and increasingly Pakistan), etc. etc. etc. you come to realize the staggering costs of American pride (Snow calls it esteem). One has to conclude that the 3 or so trillion dollars spent on Iraq were in fact a fraction of the overall unnecessary costs born by the west.

    b) To express a debt of gratitude to Iranian culture and history through the ages is not for Iran’s sakes, but a self-nourishing act. Jon Snow positively gleamed with spiritual self-satisfaction in those parts of his talk when he was paying Iran her historically due homage. Truly there is no greater affirmation of self respect that when one expresses respect for others.

  43. fyi says:

    Fiorangela says: July 2, 2012 at 12:14 pm

    We shall see.

    Shale Oil in Canada requires $ 80 per barrel as the minimum price; in Israel I think that will be almost certainly higher.

    Canada also has water; Israel does not.

    Shale oil requires a lot of water.

  44. Pirouz says:

    I’m for peace. And where I see disagreeable policies being carried out by my country, America–of which I am indeed a loyalist–I’m relieved when they don’t adversely affect me, personally– economically or otherwise.

  45. Fiorangela says:

    Israel emerging as energy superpower; Canada, Russia wheeling & dealing

    Underseas gas reserves are already provoking border conflicts, but Israel also sets on shale gas formations:

    “Gas is one thing, but potential for huge shale gas reserves under Israel itself, however, is a new twist. According to the World Energy Council, a leading global energy forum with organizations and affiliates in some 93 countries, Israel may have the third largest shale oil reserves in the world: something like 250 billion barrels. (The US and China are both believed to have larger shale oil reserves, with the US believed to have the equivalent of well over 1 trillion barrels of potentially recoverable shale and China having perhaps one third of that amount.”

    Those shale reserves may be Israel’s undoing — literally.
    Economically beleaguered Youngstown, Ohio was delighted to discover it, too, was perched on the Marcellus shale formation, and drillers set to work buying leases and spreading around royalty cheques.
    Then the earthquakes started.
    And concerns about polluted water tables became the topic of discussion around kitchen tables and the water fountain.

    If Youngstown, Ohio is shattered forever by earthquakes, its surviving citizens will move to a neighboring town or state.

    If tiny Israel, reportedly on the “third largest shale reserve in the world” pollutes its already scarce water resources or disturbs its fragile geologic foundation, Israel could go the way of Atlantis.

  46. fyi says:


    Jon Snow at Chatham House:


    I agree with him that US-EU began their siege war against Iran without giving much thought to what would happen when that war ends (with or without Iranian defeat).

  47. BiBiJon says:

    Let’s focus on issues that develop glacially slow

    Given that your average cruise missile can hit a target within 20 minutes, and hence wars could be started, fought, and concluded by the time a comment may or may not appear on this thread, I have resolved to only opine about longer term thingumabobs.

    E.g. I think the future of chess in Iran could be rather bright. And because there are many years before child prodigies become adult chess champions, my opinion stated above will not go through the stages of inane, so-what, outdated, and moot all before it even gets displayed on the RFI comment thread.

    “The Iranian child prodigies matched their counterparts from India in Sri Lanka on Sunday in the Asian Youth Chess Championship, carrying home five gold medals in different sections.”

    From http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/sports/more-sports/chess/Iran-set-to-become-a-chess-powerhouse/articleshow/14608514.cms

  48. BiBiJon says:

    Castellio says:
    June 30, 2012 at 2:37 pm

    I agree with everything you say, though I cannot see how the war would remain ‘limited’ even if it started that way.

    and as you say, just watching Clinton(D), Baker(R), and urbane Rose having a hyena fest is a good indication of the political unanimity, and media’s compliance with an eventual war, it seems the military and intelligence services haven’t yet climbed completely on board. Their hesitance may well translate into ‘limits’ that convinces Iran she can survive by taking it on the chin.

    Shibley Telhami in agreement with you describes how rhetoric and domestic politics can propel Iran, Israel, and the United States toward (Jeffrey Goldberg’s) point of no return.

    “The prospects of war with Iran are not merely a function of strategic calculations but also of politics (Israeli, American, and Iranian), and of the way our discourse frames the Iranian nuclear issue, which is itself a product of both politics and strategy. The Israeli framing of the potential Iranian nuclear weapons threat as “existential” and the American consensus (among Democrats and Republicans) that Iran cannot be allowed to have nuclear weapons and that such a potential is essentially the greatest strategic threat facing the United States puts both countries on a slippery slope toward war — regardless of whether or not war is strategically warranted.”

    Still, folks like Telhami don’t give war odds better than a possibility (36%).
    See http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2012/06/wag-the-dog-odds-of-war-with-iran-now-at-36/258922/

  49. Sineva says:

    fyi says:
    July 1, 2012 at 11:53 am
    This is truly frightening stuff are these people desperate or just insane,the sort of thinking one sees here is just bizarre,lets start a war and then offer a regional peace proposal??,how on earth can you ever hope to make peace with reptiles like this,the answer of course is that you can`t the most you can ever hope to do is to deter them and at best contain them.After reading this I am no longer sure that a “virtual” nuclear capability is enough to keep iran safe.One can only hope that the views expressed in this document belong to the israeli lunatic fringe rather than the mainstream but to be honest of this I am not optimistic,I hope I am wrong.

  50. Unknown Unknowns says:

    Castellio says:

    “The American people will “re-unite” around the aggression…
    The media will sing praises to American strength and principles…
    …but I don’t expect much more than that, at least in the early months.”

    Methinks you might well be right about Baker and that Hillarious Lizard-cum-woman Shillary and the winds of change, but as in the time of Cheney’s tenure, what the politicians think does not matter if they can’t get their attack dogs in the military to do more than bark. Like I have said to the late (of this site!) Richard Hack in the past, two words: Ras Tanura! The 10 million carrells of Wahhabistani crude that leave for New Atlantis each and every day must go through two ports, one is on the Red Sea and the other northwest of Damman, less than 200 miles from Iran and well within the range of her Shi’a sabotage network, let alone her missile capability. Be sure that in the event of the scenario that you depict unfolds, Ras Tanura (Google Images recommended) will be crippled, causing not just the collapse of the Weaselistan economy and that of related New Atlantis-allied Europoodle psychological infrastructure, but also leading to the liberation of the Ka’ba, Qatif and Bahrain and the dissolution of the straight-evil Wahhabite state, and in short, the acceleration of a process that is, inshallah, inevitable, but would in the natural course of events take another half-century or two.

    You need to account in your theory for the fact that Pirouz and others of his ilk who are loyal to the flag and military and all things Uncle Weasel like their gas prices just where they are or a little lower please, thank you very much, and would not appreciate their country to be turned into a Thunder-Dome or something else out of Mad Max.

    But who knows, perhaps the Screenwriter is getting fickle in His old age and has grown tired of this ‘give the weasels enough rope to hang themselves’ game? Perhaps he wants to demonstrate that He loves his partisans (ahzaab) just as we love Him. Perhaps the popcorn has done poppin’, and He has sat down with a bucket of it in one hand and a 7-11 Turbo-Gulp -sized elixir (ma’jun) of High Fructose Corn Syrup Concentrate in the other, and is looking forward to see what’s playing on Showtime.

    In any event, we Partisans of Allah are not concerned. If Uncle Weasel’s spineless motley crew has ants in their pants and can’t listen to reason and wants to hasten their own destruction, in that case our attitude is: Bring it on! But remember: ‘We are closer to you than your neckvein’.

    Castellio-san: after you google the target rich environs of Head of the Fire-pit (Ra’s Tanura), you might want to do some research into the tiny little explosion that took place thereabouts oh about six months ago, which tiny explosion caused oil prices immediately to jump to well above the $100 mark and stay there for a well-sustained span of time.

    And then come back and report to base as to any changes in your thesis (or otherwise).

    Ta in advance.

  51. fyi says:

    Karl.. says: June 30, 2012 at 2:16 pm

    Will not happen.

    Regardless of Russia and China – Iranians will support Mr. Assad to the bitter end.

    Even if there is Civil War, like Lebanon from 1973-1990; Iranians will arm and supply their allies.

    Iranians prevailed in Lebanon 30 years ago when they were much weaker, there is no reason for them not to succeed in Syria either.

    It is true that situation in Syria is not going back to what obtained last Spring, but neither will that government fall.

  52. fyi says:

    James Canning says: June 30, 2012 at 1:08 pm

    EU was major source of finance for FRY.

    They cut it just when the Cold War ended and began their destablization campaign.

    Croats in Canada and elsewhere started arming thugs in Croatia.

    So, after all that dead and wounded, you have a bunch of statelets at the mercy of much more powerful neighbours.

    Instead of collective power they have no power.

    I do regreat the destruction of FRY; it is also a clear example of US-EU Perfedity.

  53. Rehmat says:

    Kofi Annan: ‘No regime change in Syria’

    Islamic Republic, which was invited by Ban Ki-moom and Moscow but opposed by USrael and its allies – refused to attend the meeting unless Syria is invited.

    “The Islamic Republic of Iran welcomes cooperation and participation in any meeting or conference that guarantees and is aimed at constructive results to resolve the issue of Syria,” said Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab and African Affairs Hossein Amir-Abdollahian on Friday.


  54. Rehmat says:

    Israeli prime minister Benji Netanyahu has sent a message of congratulation to Egypt’s newly elected President Dr. Mohamed Morsi urging him to uphold a peace treaty between the two countries arranged by then US President Jimmy Carter. Bibi, in return, has offered his full cooperation with the new government (annual $1.3 billion USAID to continue). Incidently, recently, Jimmy Carter has called President Barack Obama a war criminal.

    Morsi will represent a ‘democratic face’ while the real power will remain in the hands of pro-Usrael military elites (SCAF). Obama’s defense secretary Leon Panetta’s late Friday call to Egypt’s military ruler Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi shows Washington trusts that Morsi will continue Egypt-Israel friendly relations for the time being.

    “Secretary Panetta highlighted the need to move forward expeditiously with Egypt’s political transition, including conducting new legislative elections as soon as possible,” says statement released by the Pentagon.

    According to professor Said Sadek (American University in Cairo) the establishment is still there and they have an ideology against the Brotherhood. “They were trained to look the brotherhood and political Islam as the enemy,” he says.

    It’s reported that Dr. Mohamed ElBaradei, former head of the International Atomic Energy Agency and important leader of the opposition, is said to be involved in a mediation between both sides. Some reports indicate that shortly after he talked with the Muslim Brotherhood over a possible cabinet post, including the post of prime minister, he met with Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, the head of the SCAF.


  55. fyi says:


    A view from Israel (“give war a chance…”).

    Astonishing how much so-called experts are living in a dream-world.


  56. Rehmat says:

    Netanyahu’s demand list for Obama to get re-elected.

    1. Obama must freeze the so-called Israel-Palestinian “peace talks”.

    2. Obama pressure Turkey to cancel the indictment of four Israeli military Generals involved in a 2010 Israeli attack on a Gaza-bound aid flotilla that left nine Turks dead.

    3. Obama give green light to the Zionist regime to attack the Islamic Republic, whenever asked, and later join the attack to save Jewish army of a certain defeat.

    4. Obama’s unequivocal committment that he will prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapons capability and opposing any reliance on a policy seeking to containing a nuclear-capable Iran.

    5. Obama must pledge publically that the US will attack Iran and Hizbullah if either retaliates against Israel for its bombing of the Islamic Republic.

    6. Obama must promise to fund 14 new R & D projects for the Jewish army.

    7. Obama must free the convicted Jewish mass spy Jonathan Pollard.

    8. Obama must promise for a regime change in Damascus.


  57. fyi says:



    Consistent with the latest news.

    My guess is that Iranians will do their best to wreck this agreement on Syria and cpmbat it in Iraq and in Lebanon.

    Several years of more war and bloodshed are ahead.

  58. Castellio says:

    BiBiJon says:
    June 29, 2012 at 7:35 am

    “Castellio, could you explain the mechanisms for this “understanding.” Should hostilities start, what credible/reliable assurance is there from either side to the other that actions/reactions will be limited to a little dust up. Also, please explain why/why not the same mechanisms for achieving limits to a military confrontation can be applied to achieving limits to escalations/counterescalations that preceded the limited bombing.”

    The mechanism is in place. If no attack on Israel, then no need to attack Iran’s industrial infrastructure. If a missile attack on Israel, then a complete hot war against Iran.

    As to your second point: Of course, the current understanding can be continued with no hot war, and of course the US understanding of events, transmitted through Russia and Chine (as currently takes place) can be prolonged.

    But both you and FYI are misreading the American domestic situation, as well as how wars are begun. I did not say it will necessarily be a limited war, I did not say it would resolve foreign or domestic problems; I said that there is a tipping point after which one can’t govern the US without attacking Iran. The fact that both parties are now openly supporting the attack, and that Baker and Clinton together agree that it is not only a job that should be done, but only the US can do, should be a wake up call to you.

    The prize is not a nuclear free Middle East, and never has been: the prize is control of the US. That control can only be maintained with appropriate financial and elite support. That support has ‘gone over’, and the conversation is not if but when the Iranian nuclear sites will be attacked.

  59. Karl.. says:

    Doesnt it seems like Russia have ended its support for Syria now after the meeting on Syria today?

    1. Russia have earlier refused to participate in “Peace process” on Syria. Today they participated meaning Russia have bowed down by the pressure from US, EU, Gulf, Israel.

    2. The outcome of the today meeting was to set up a transistional government, meaning the outside pressure Russia have been against earlier is now ok according to Russia, they are in effect now pushed for regime change in Syria.

    3. Another change in its course is that Russia as explained in a earlier comment, have rejected to sell the S-300 to Syria.


    What will happen now is the following.

    1. Western world, Russia, Gulf regimes urge a transistional regime to be set up.
    2. Both sides refuse, fighting continues.
    3. At this state, as always, the pressure will only be added onto the Syrian government, leaving the violent opposition free of culpability for the continued fighting.
    4. More sanctions is added on Syria but not only unilaterally by EU and US but later on by UNSC (that means Russia will accept sanctions on Syria along with China).
    5. After these sanctions are imposed we will see a weapons embargo being put on Syrian government and Russia will pretty much end its support for Syria whatsoever at this point.
    (while the embargo is put on the syrian government, no embargo or enforcement of banning weapons to the opposition is of course made).
    6. At this stage the civil war will keep on going until the opposition have toppled Assad.

    Or what do you guys think?

  60. James Canning says:


    Do you have any evidence the leaders of the “Axis Powers” plottted the dismemberment of Yugoslavia? I doubt it. And to see the collapse of Yugoslavia as a programme imposed from outside the country’s borders is simply incorrect.

    I asked you what sense it would make for the EU to “crush” Iran. Or to “crush” Shia Muslim power.

  61. James Canning says:


    American policy was to preserve the territorial integrity of Yugoslavia. The country came apart due to internal tensions, pressures, etc.

    If the former consituent republics of Yugoslavia all end up as memebers of the EU, does the dissolution of Yugoslavia remain an event you regret?

  62. BiBiJon says:

    James (you know what) Canning says:
    June 29, 2012 at 5:46 pm

    “I am not trying to be a “scaremonger”. I do question the wisdom of Iran in making it easier for promioent people to claim Iran is getting ready to build nukes, when Iran apparently is not.”

    James, fully expecting my response to go through one ear and right out the other, still …

    As to your assertion that it is Iran’s latest milestone in nuclear technology achievements that has made all the difference in her adversaries jaundiced opinions of her eventual intentions, it does not hold water.

    Nima shirazi has tabulated how this western interpretation of Iran’s intentions dates back to 1984. He writes: “For nearly thirty years now, U.S. and Zionist politicians and analysts, along with some of their European allies, have warned that Iranian nuclear weapons capability is just around the corner and that such a possibility would not only be catastrophic for Israel with its 400 nuclear warheads and state-of-the-art killing power supplied by U.S. taxpayers, but that it would also endanger regional dictatorships, Europe, and even the United States.”

    Conversely, forget about intentions, actual possession of weapons has not stopped western friendly relations with India, Pakistan or Israel. As for intentions, all but explicitly stated goal of Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi for Iran to become a nuclear power only set off an intense cut-throat competition among European and US governments/nuclear technology firms to get a as big a slice of the lucrative nuclearizing-Iran pie as possible.

    Perhaps it is the stockpiling that has stuck in your throat. That hairball too is misplaced. Even if Natanz were operating at full capacity of 50,000 centrifuges, it would barely cope with supplying the fuel for Bushehr power plant. Iran’s stated intention to build several more radio-isotope-producing reactors makes current stocks of 20% enrichment inadequate. Having been forced into producing the fuel for TRR domestically, there was no other way around the necessary economies of scale than to plan on several more reactors that would consume more of the 20% enriched fuel to make the enterprise cost effective.

    Touchingly you express a lot of anguish that Iran should not make it easier for her detractors to keep on keeping on detracting. Perhaps you genuinely think if Iran were to surrender her NPT rights, then folks who have no qualms about announcing their intention to destroy the Iranian economy (read starve the population, read collective punishment) somehow would stop there. That they would not then demand that Iran cannot be trusted with her petrochemical industry, or biological labs/industries, or aerospace industries, or diplomatic/economic relations with her neighbors, etc. Simply, you are welcome to wait for Iran to surrender her rights until hell freezes over, or 2, 0, % keys on your keyboard explode.

    Do watch http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/23587822

  63. Karl.. says:


    If we assume Iran will not build nukes, due to the fatwa etc., it cannot make much sense for Iran to give the impression this is what it intends to do.


    You beat around the bush James, please tell us why you give have the impression that Iran cannot be trusted and are building nukes. Please tell us ok?

  64. ToivoS says:

    fyi says:
    June 29, 2012 at 8:40 pm

    “Why did they destroy the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia – an allie during the Cold War?”

    Boy if you have an answer to that let me know. Serbia was a major ally to France and England during WWI. Yugoslavia was a major ally to Western powers during WWII. Are you aware that the Tito’s partisans killed about 150,000 Germans troops during WWII and kept about 500,000 troops tied down during that war. Then of course Tito was the one Eastern European country that resisted Stalin’s domination.

    To this day I do not understand why the West turned against Serbia in the 1990′s; that is one country that deserved our support for their efforts over the 20th century to resist what were our enemies.

  65. Sineva says:

    James Canning says:
    June 29, 2012 at 5:55 pm
    What on earth do you base this bizzare claim on?? and by that I mean what actual evidence apart from the usual bullshit western propaganda claims where iran must prove its innocence to the satisfaction of the self same west,we`ve seen this game played before in iraq,remember james?,you might also remember this old saying as well – Fool me once shame on you,Fool me twice..Well I`m pretty sure you know the rest of that one by now

  66. fyi says:


    On Iran sanctions:


    Note the statements of Ms. Fiona Hill – an UK citizen – yet an enemy of Iran where she states “EU is the un-sung hero of Iran sanctions…”

    EU position in Iran is finished; their Near-Abroad approach to the Middle East is also over.

  67. Rehmat says:

    Once again, Washington is forced to exempt China and Singapore from sanctions over purchases of oil from the Islamic Republic. Israel-Firster Hillary Clinton used her usual lie that China has “significantly reduced” its oil purchases from Iran. In reality, China imported 524,000 barrels per day in May, a 35% jump on the previous month, the BBC reported on June 22, 2012.


  68. fyi says:

    James Canning says: June 29, 2012 at 6:00 pm

    Please pose your question to the leaders and planners of the Axis States; architects of the destruction of Yugoslavia.

    Why did they destroy the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia – an allie during the Cold War?

  69. Don Bacon says:

    Iran is playing the US like a fish.

    June 21, 2012
    China Iran oil imports rise as payment dispute resolved
    – China’s imports of crude oil from Iran rebounded in May after the two countries resolved a payment dispute.
    Beijing imported almost 524,000 barrels per day, a 35% jump from the previous month.

    June 28, 2012
    US clears China, Singapore from Iran oil sanctions
    – The Obama administration on Thursday cleared China and Singapore from possible U.S. economic penalties, citing their sharp cuts in imports of Iranian oil, as an American deadline arrived for banks to stop processing petroleum transactions with Tehran.

  70. fyi says:

    BiBiJon says: June 29, 2012 at 4:30 pm

    It is not some people “who could be catastrophically wrong in their beliefs.”

    It is some Muslims who are arrogating to themselves God’s perogative of Adjudication in who is or is not a Muslim.

    I think that you just have not lived in a Muslim society for any extended period of time.

  71. James Canning says:


    What need can there be, to “crush” the rising power of the Shia Muslims and Iran? In fact, Saudi Arabia has encouraged Iraq to increase Iraqi oil production as much as possible. Iran is probably lessening its power by bringing on the latest sanctions.

    I think the unrest in Syria is more complicated that merely an effort to injure the “rising power” of Shia Muslims and Iran.

  72. James Canning says:


    If we assume Iran will not build nukes, due to the fatwa etc., it cannot make much sense for Iran to give the impression this is what it intends to do.

  73. James Canning says:


    Apparently you are in favor of Iran’s further stockpiling of more of that category of you-know-what, which will inevitably lead to more sanctions.

  74. James Canning says:


    You apparently lack an understanding of the sequence of events this past year that produced the latest round of sanctions.

  75. James Canning says:


    Yes, the 2011 NIE on Iran confirmed there is no evidence Iran has decided to build nukes.

    I am not trying to be a “scaremonger”. I do question the wisdom of Iran in making it easier for promioent people to claim Iran is getting ready to build nukes, when Iran apparently is not.

  76. ToivoS says:

    Channing obsesses: “You apparently have difficulty comprehending that Iran brought on the latest sanctions by trebling production of 20 percent uranium.”

    Nope, you have this broken groove in your brain that plays over and over again one bar from the 20% waltz. The word Iran triggers it and all other thoughts, possibilities become subsumed. Critical analysis is gone– rote, repetitive action is all that remains.

  77. BiBiJon says:

    Talk about Chinese ingratitude about last minute exemption

    China is always opposed to one country’s unilateral sanctions against another country on the basis of its domestic law. It is even less acceptable for such unilateral sanctions to be imposed on a third country.

    Hong made the remarks at a daily news briefing in response to the decision by the US State Department.

    China’s import of crude oil from Iran through normal channels is to meet the needs of its economic development, Hong said, adding that the import “is completely legitimate and justified”.

    “This does not violate any UN Security Council resolutions or undermine the interests of a third party or the international community,” said Hong.

    From http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2012-06/30/content_15538264.htm

  78. BiBiJon says:

    fyi says:
    June 29, 2012 at 3:59 pm

    “Neither the United States nor EU can manage the oil economy that finely that only Iran is hurt.”

    Matthew Hulbert agrees. http://www.forbes.com/sites/matthewhulbert/2012/06/29/boom-how-to-hurt-iran-scrap-sanctions/

  79. BiBiJon says:

    fyi says:
    June 29, 2012 at 12:38 pm

    “Last year, The governor of Pakistan’s Punjab province was assassinated by his own security guard because he spoke out against the country’s controversial blasphemy law.”

    This clearly shows some people can be catastrophically wrong in their beliefs. What else did you want me to conclude?

  80. BiBiJon says:

    James Canning says:
    June 29, 2012 at 2:16 pm

    “Are you arguing that James Baker is just mistaken, and there is no reason for him to worry about any Iranian nuclear weapons programme?”

    No. But, thanks for asking. Jim Baker is lying. He has no indepenedent ssource of intelligence. For him to concoct out of whole cloth something that flies in the face of NIE’s assertions since 2007, and 2011, SecDef Paneta’s categorical attestation that Iran is NOT building weapons, as well as both US and Israeli highest ranking military officers’ clear statements to the same effect makes Jim Baker a shameless scaremongering propagandist, just like yourself.

    “ARe you urging Iran to trigger even more sanctions?”

    Don’t be so daft in public.

  81. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    You have not chosen “Life”, you have chosen takhayol and nafse amareh.

    There is no “Truth” without Imam Ali (as). Every other “path” is for your ameh.

    As the Holy Prophet (sawas) said: “Ali is with the Truth and the Truth is with Ali.”

  82. fyi says:

    James Canning says: June 29, 2012 at 2:40 pm

    Iranians will not build nuclear weapons; this is well known by the leaders of the Axis States as well as China and Russia.

    It is not politically possible for Iran to build nuclear weapons after the Fatawa of Iran’s highest state authority.

    Iran also has made many promises to NAM states in that regard.

    The Iranian nuclear file is just a front in the war between Axis Powers and the Shia/Irani power.

  83. fyi says:

    James Canning says: June 29, 2012 at 2:31 pm

    Oil has to remain above $ 80 (today’s dollar) for extended period of time (years) so that the investments made in Canadia shae/oil sands be economical.

    The rise in price of oil is manageable by US – but bad for other consumers, such as China.

    Neither the United States nor EU can manage the oil economy that finely that only Iran is hurt.

    Oil sanctions are only a headache for Iran; the financial sanction have been much worse.

    But, Iran will work through them, I have no doubt.

    I expect them nullified within 5 to 6 years.

    In the meantime Axis Powers will do this or that tactical activity in the Middle East hoping to contain or crush the Shia/Irani power.

    Just like the Iran-Iraq War that has alienated Iran from the Arab World until the Islamic Awakening, the Siege War of Iran will have alienated Iran from EU until new governing structures are in place in EU.

  84. Karl.. says:


    Are you arguing that James Baker is just mistaken, and there is no reason for him to worry about any Iranian nuclear weapons programme?

    ARe you urging Iran to trigger even more sanctions?

    Are you arguing that James Baker is just dead wrong to think Iran is trying to get ready to build nukes?

    You have again proved to think that Iran cant be trusted and that sanctions, war threats and even war is legit.

    You beat around the bush James and I sense this started when iranians attacked the UK embassy, it seems that you changed your mind here, why not admit your warmongering views fully?

  85. James Canning says:


    You apparently have difficulty comprehending that Iran brought on the latest sanctions by trebling production of 20 percent uranium. Blunder. Accomplished ZERO for Iran. ZERO.

    Many European businessmen are not happy to lose billions of euros in business deals with Iran due to the sanctions.

  86. James Canning says:


    You appear to predict Iran will build nukes, and the US or Israel will not attack in order to prevent it. Correct?

  87. James Canning says:


    China reducted its oil imports from Iran earlier this year due to a dispute regarding pricing.

  88. James Canning says:


    Peter Lee should be able to see it served the best interests of the Obama administration to grant an exemption to China.

  89. James Canning says:


    Interesting story in AsiaTimes you linked. I think it was a good thing for Iran to allow Nicholas Kristof to traverse the country and report on it to the fairly ignorant American public.

    China shifted huge sums into the euro from the dollar, and took a big hit as a result.

  90. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    For the Farsi readers. With China exemption, 90% of Iranian oil purchasers are now exempt from secondary sanctions.


  91. James Canning says:


    Are you arguing that James Baker is just mistaken, and there is no reason for him to worry about any Iranian nuclear weapons programme?

    ARe you urging Iran to trigger even more sanctions?

  92. James Canning says:

    Don Bacon,

    You probably noticed by now the US gratned an exemption to China, as I had expected. It is in the best interests of the US for China to continue to buy large amounts of oil from Iran. To keep oil prices down.

  93. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    Blow it out of whence the turd came…

  94. James Canning says:


    Are you arguing that James Baker is just dead wrong to think Iran is trying to get ready to build nukes?

  95. fyi says:

    BiBiJon says: June 29, 2012 at 10:55 am

    Look my friend, let me make in plain to you.

    Last year, The governor of Pakistan’s Punjab province was assassinated by his own security guard because he spoke out against the country’s controversial blasphemy law.

    The security guard, apparently, had come to the conclusion that the Governor of Punjab was a kafir.

    So a man who has never denied being a Muslim, whose ancestors have beem Muslims had been deemed a heretic by another Muslim.

    Others groups of (Sunni) Muslim men have decided that Shia are not Muslims and are indeed heretics and have been murdering them over the last 3 decades in Pakistan, in Afghanistan, and in Iraq.

    However, Abu Sofyan, Ma’awiyeh, Yazid, Shmr, and others are all Muslims in good standing.

    You and Mr. Bussed-in-Basiji go figure out among yourselves how to define a Muslim and a Heretic.

    Since I do not have the internal fears of you and Mr. Bussed-in-Basiji and have chosen Life – as opposed to Death – I stated that “eveyone is a Muslim”.

    Leave it at that go on with your life.

    In case of Iran, going on with one’s life is to go from a Human Development Index of 88 to one of 17 – which is South Korea’s.

  96. Don Bacon says:

    Increasing tensions with other countries deemed to counter US world hegemony is a staple of US foreign policy because there’s so much money in it, and corporations rule. Particularly when another country is obviously better managed than the US, as China is, then cooperation is impossible. The US doesn’t do diplomacy in such cases, it does confrontation. Iran, Pakistan and India are other examples of the general case.

    Since China is better managed, it will also manage confrontation better. While the US is currently playing its silly war games with other countries in the Pacific Ocean, China is restricting its export of rare earth materials that these countries desperately need, for one example. Other examples:
    –As to US pulls its failed military out of Afghanistan, China moves in with oil exploration contracts.
    –As the US confronts India over its Iran oil purchases, India works deals with Iran for trade entries into Central Asia.
    –As the US confronts Pakistan over its Iran ties, Pakistan arranges to obtain much-needed gas supplies from Iran.

  97. Fiorangela says:


    Susan Glasser interviewed Hillary Clinton in Beijing during negotiations concerning Chinese dissident Chen Guangcheng. Keen insight into the feints and pressures of superpowers diplomacy.

  98. BiBiJon says:

    From fyi’s link

    “The pragmatists are ready to receive U.S. financial and military aid, but will not heed U.S. advice on foreign and domestic policy. ”

    Is he talking about Israel?

  99. BiBiJon says:

    ToivoS says:
    June 28, 2012 at 11:28 pm

    Rd. says:
    June 29, 2012 at 10:18 am

    Guys, James really meant to say:

    Baker seems to believe that Iran is trying to build nukes or getting ready to do so quickly. And reason, of course, is Baker’s narrow-minded, wrong-headed approach to what he mistakenly believes is in America’s imperial interests.

    But the keys for 2, 0, and % are now stuck and he has given up correcting the autonomous keyboard.
    James Canning says:

    Baker seems to believe that Iran is trying to build nukes or getring ready to do so quickly. And reason, of course, is that stockpiling of 20 percent uranium.

  100. Kathleen says:

    Row erupts as ‘Miss Holocaust Survivor’ pageant is held in Israel

    Critics slam beauty pageant to find ‘Miss Holocaust Survivor’ as macabre and offensive


    Should we expect a Miss Gaza survivor contest? Mavi Marmara survivor contest? Hmmm

  101. BiBiJon says:

    fyi says:
    June 29, 2012 at 9:33 am

    I cannot help being obtuse, partly because I really dislike getting into pedantic arguments, and partly because the subject matter may be too broad to fit snugly in a couple of declaratory sentences.

    But, just for you, best I can …

    In their religious/spiritual role as sources of emulation, as well as their role these last decades as Vali of a nation, marej’e have a social responsibility for the well being of a community/nation as a whole. e.g. What may be good for 16 year olds, must be balanced against the well-being of the family. Their task is solomonic. My limited understanding of Shari’a is that it is mainly a set of principles pertaining to protection of human dignity derived from the Qur’an.

    see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fkI71DXLxgQ

    Your rhetorical arguments can be replicated for any body of governing principles and laws. You keep pointing out potentially wrong interpretations of Sharia by self-serving authority figures/outright nut jobs, or diabolical execution of penal codes by a rouge judge/prosecutor/policeman. Then you draw conclusions that are unconvincing.

  102. fyi says:


    An assessment of the Economic Siege War against Iran:


  103. Rd. says:

    James Canning says:

    Baker seems to believe that Iran is trying to build nukes or getring ready to do so quickly. And reason, of course, is that stockpiling of 20 percent uranium.

    James Canning says:
    June 23, 2012 at 12:40 pm
    It was not my intention to “point the finger at Iran alone” for the failure of the nuclear exchange.

    James, I think your finger is pointing at the wrong direction again. Perhaps you would consider rebooting the operating sys behind your finger to get it in the right direction!!!!!

  104. fyi says:


    An Israeli opinion.

    The assessment is correct, the policy recommendations are impossible to realize.


  105. fyi says:

    Castellio says: June 29, 2012 at 2:08 am

    There is no limited war option war against Iran.

    Furthermore, war will not resolve the US strategic conumdrum in the Persian Gulf, in the Levant, in and Palestine.

    Nor such a war can settle internal US issues; it will further aggravate the degenerated politics of the United States.

    I stand by my prediction: there will be no US War against Iran other than the Siege War currently in place.

  106. fyi says:

    BiBiJon says: June 29, 2012 at 4:34 am

    I am plain and simple; if you like to pose a question please be more explicit.

    Go to Bologna and walk ant 12:00 AM and you see young women walking in dark alleys at night.

    There is no “oriental” context here.

  107. fyi says:

    Bussed-in Basiji says: June 29, 2012 at 2:20 am

    Who are you to judge the worth of my life, God?

    I think not.

    You heard it from me here, perhaps for the first time, that everyone is a Muslim.

    You have no excuse now for going around and labeling fellow Iranians and fellow Muslims kafir.

    Chose this path that I have indicated to you – it is the Path of Life.

  108. BiBiJon says:

    Castellio says:
    June 29, 2012 at 2:08 am

    “So I expect a US led strike on Iranian nuclear plants sometime between October, 2012 and June, 2013. The understanding will be that it will not be a general bombing of industrial infrastructure, but limited to nuclear related targets. If the Iranians retaliate with missiles on Israel or on shipping in the Gulf (rather than restricting their actions to trying to shoot down airplanes overhead) then the US will in fact initiate a full scale aerial bombardment, not different than Israel on Beirut, just much larger and more sustained.”

    Castellio, could you explain the mechanisms for this “understanding.” Should hostilities start, what credible/reliable assurance is there from either side to the other that actions/reactions will be limited to a little dust up. Also, please explain why/why not the same mechanisms for achieving limits to a military confrontation can be applied to achieving limits to escalations/counterescalations that preceded the limited bombing.

    Also, with reference to http://www.lobelog.com/dont-underestimate-an-iranian-response-to-a-u-s-attack/#more-12475

    … it is not just Iran’s military retaliation which is at stake. Iran’s retaliation can be withdrawal from NPT. Then what?

  109. BiBiJon says:

    Unknown Unknowns says:
    June 28, 2012 at 7:30 am

    Thank you for the link. http://www.takebackthenight.org/history.html

    fyi didn’t get the gist of my question. As usual you hit the nail on the head. Ask any ‘American’ soccer dad what he would do to anyone hurting his daughter with his bare hands. Invariably he will sound ‘oriental’ in his personal attitudes towards social deviants.

    Ask him what he thinks of Singapore caning a teenager for painting graffiti on someone’s car. They’ll invariably “wax indignant.”

    The reason I’d asked the question to begin with was to try and get fyi to factor in “Take back the night” as he condemns the plight of ‘desperate housewives’ attributing it to sharia, and conveniently ignoring the wider ‘oriental’ context.

  110. imho says:

    US exempts China, Singapore from Iran sanctions

    we are led to believe, as Clinton says, this is because China reduced its oil imports from Iran to conform to US law, while everyone knows that reduced oil imports is due to the economic situation and the perspective of growth.
    Once again they back off against China while they continue pressuring Pakistan and Afghanistan, two weak countries. Are they gonna really impose sanctions on Afghanistan ?!

  111. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    If Buchanan and the Leveretts weren’t around, we would have to conclude that everyone in Washington is an idiot traitor. Reread the section posted from Washington’s farewell address- it has become reality and this is great for those who are resisting the American empire.


  112. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    That turd and whence it emanates has a higher existential value than your whole life. See it, smell it, taste it, maybe it will help you reach “Truth”. Otherwise keep twirling, it seems to help your strategic analysis.

  113. Castellio says:

    FYI… perhaps you’ve heard this interview already: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C1Hqo-7fSH0

    It clarifies that the US is well aware that the sanctions can’t work without Chinese support, which isn’t forthcoming.

    So I expect a US led strike on Iranian nuclear plants sometime between October, 2012 and June, 2013. The understanding will be that it will not be a general bombing of industrial infrastructure, but limited to nuclear related targets. If the Iranians retaliate with missiles on Israel or on shipping in the Gulf (rather than restricting their actions to trying to shoot down airplanes overhead) then the US will in fact initiate a full scale aerial bombardment, not different than Israel on Beirut, just much larger and more sustained.

    Israel may use this “opportunity” to launch a war against Hezbollah and Syria as well as to “legally” claim more (or all) of the West Bank, while continuing to expel and/or concentrate the Palestinian population.

    There is much less danger now to US soldiers in Iraq or Afghanistan than was the case in 2006. The American people will “re-unite” around the aggression led by the “Nobel Peace Prize winner”. Those who aren’t sufficiently patriotic will be rounded up and suppressed harshly. The media will, as the saying goes, sing praises to American strength and principles.

    I hope, however, that you are right in your belief that the US and Iran are locked into a stalemate, but frankly, I don’t see it.

    The governments and military of Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Egypt will remain on stand-by doing nothing. There will be outrage in the streets, but nothing effective to shorten the American action, which may last from one to three months. Iraq’s power is, at this point, inconsequential. Russia will cocoon with China, and offer to sell it more gas. Pakistan will align yet more closely with China… but I don’t expect much more than that, at least in the early months.

    This will be done not so much to secure a non-nuclear Iran, as to clarify domestic power relations in the US. The issue is who controls the US, and we’re at a tipping point where the control of the US must be earned and maintained by attacking Iran. That is what we are seeing.

  114. fyi says:

    James Canning says: June 28, 2012 at 7:28 pm

    Nuclear developments in Iran are no longer the main front of the US-EU War against Iran.

    The major war front at the moment are the financial sanctions on Iran; followed by the war for the control of Syria.

    Axis Powers will keep it in their back pocket to use when they can – if they can.

    I am no loner concerned about war or possibility thereof; Axis states confirmed that they have no war option this past February-March.

    They still think that they have an economic siege war option; they will be disabused of that a few more years from now.

    Axis states will get Iran-as-North-Korea wish; they will not like it.

  115. ToivoS says:

    Poor James (20% U238) Canning returns with his solution to THE PROBLEM.

    He wants us all to know that the only problem is 20%. Only if Iran would agree with him, he clearly sincerely believes that if Iran concedes on this one point then peace would be possible. Many threads back I concluded that James is effected with an obsessive compulsive disorder. It makes absolutely no difference to him if people point out that the the real issue is regime change, not enrichment levels. The US, UK and other EU countries trying to overthrow the Islamic Republic of Iran. Sorry James, you do not understand this basic fact — but why do keep on coming back and obsessing on this 20% distraction. As I said before it just makes you look like some obsessive-compulsive disorder nut case.

  116. Rehmat says:

    After learning the true nature of the state of Israel hiding behind the ‘Jewish facade’ – more and more Jewish intellectuals are searching for their ‘Jewish identity’. Rabbi Michael Lerner (Beyt Tikkun synagogue in Berkeley), Gilad Atzmon, Roger Tucker, Israel Shamir, Hilda Silverman and Professor Richard Falk being among them. Incidently, all of them have earned the title of ‘Self-Hating, Israel-Threatening (S.H.I.T)‘ Jews from Israel lobby groups.


  117. Castellio says:

    I seem to have a problem getting my posts submitted. So, I hope I’m not repeating myself: is it true that an increase of oil from Iraq will offset the sharp decrease of oil to South Korea from Iran?

    If true, what are we to make of that?

  118. Castellio says:

    BiBiJon says:
    June 28, 2012 at 5:31 pm

    Karl.. says:
    June 28, 2012 at 3:32 pm

    They’re quite happy with the thought of the war. It seems like a good time for all.

  119. James Canning says:


    Wow (video you linked of James Baker and Hillary Clinton on the Charlie Rose show –PBS in America).

    Baker seems to believe that Iran is trying to build nukes or getring ready to do so quickly. And reason, of course, is that stockpiling of 20 percent uranium.

  120. James Canning says:


    Are you arguing Iran will be able to sell more than 1.5 million barrels per day (of oil)? On current trends, this may be ambitious.

    Your belief Iran can stockpile more 20% U and not get attacked may be wishful thinking, sadly.

  121. BiBiJon says:

    Karl.. says:
    June 28, 2012 at 3:32 pm

    Karl, it really is distressing to watch that video. Particularly because she is supposed to be in charge of diplomacy. You’d think WAR which she was cackling about uncontrollably, would be a failure of diplomacy, her cabinet brief for crying out loud.

  122. fyi says:

    James Canning says: June 28, 2012 at 2:43 pm

    By perseverance; that is the State policy as Mr. Khamenei articulated that a few months ago.

    In practice it means by-passing the sanctions by hook or by crook.

    All these sanctions on Iran are going to diminish in effectiveness as time goes on and the world emerges from the ruins of US-EU Finance Empire.

    20% etc. are now irrelevant.

  123. fyi says:

    Bussed-in Basiji says: June 28, 2012 at 3:44 pm

    I believe we have established whence the “turd” emanates.

  124. Cyrus says:

    The funny thing about these “secondary sanctions” is that when the Arabs imposed similar sanctions on foreign companies for doing business with Israel, the US authorities were up in arms defending “the freedom of trade” etc. and passed their own blocking laws that prohibited American companies from abiding by the Arab embargo. But I guess secondary sanctions are fine when the US does it.

  125. kooshy says:

    Was this article a direct address to our well-traveled secretary of state, Hillary Clinton just when she arrived in Moscow for talks on Syria? If so looks like she wouldn’t get much except the US media’s millage credit.

    Your Syria Is My Bahrain

    28 June 2012
    By Mark N. Katz


  126. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    Left a little legal turd for you in the last thread. You consistently fail to understand the difference between a legal issue and a non-legal one. You make a horrible lawyer. Like I told you, no spiritual enlightenment and ascension without strict adherence to divine laws. Keep twirling and tell us when you get there.

    Let’s just say that both Agha and Ayat. Sistani- may God bless and protect them both- are hosseini seyyeds from Mashhad…(nudge nudge, wink wink)…remember when Ayat. Sistani was asked about Velayate Faqih he affirmed it with the condition that “if the people support it”…which is precisely the view of Imam Khomeini (r). Guess nobody briefed Dick Cheney on that one :-)

    Also notice that Ayat. Sistani did not have a single meeting with any occupation official. At one point the Americans offered to have Pres. W himself visit the Ayat. personally- you know in Najaf, taking his shoes off, sitting cross-legged on the floor, basically they might as well have offered that W will publicly and in front of the cameras kiss his blessed backside :-) but the Ayat. refused. That really killed the Americans.

    In terms of the Sunni brothers…as long as they like the Wahabis more than the Shias, nothing will change. When this changes, everything else will change, however I’m not holding my breath. There are other matters involved but this is not the forum to discuss it.

  127. Karl.. says:

    One could just imagine the outrage if the secretary of foreign affairs of Iran joked about attacking Israel or the U.S. You surely dont have a psychotic blast while talking about war…


  128. James Canning says:


    How can Iran “nullify” the sanctions? Perhaps you mean Iran should expect to get by on oil sales of perhaps 1.5 million barrels per day? Are you encouraging more stockpiling of 20 percent uranium?

  129. James Canning says:

    I think the US actually benefits from China’s buying of Iranian oil, to lessen pressure on oil price.

  130. fyi says:


    The minimalist Axis States’ poistion on Iranian Nuclear case:


    Note the requirement of abandoning Arak – which can be fueled by natural uranium and thus makes Iran independent of imported uranium….

    Another non-starter – as is said in US.

  131. fyi says:



    Evidently, they are unaware of the Sharia doctrines of Shia or, alternatively, they believe in theirs.

    The fact remains that a group of Muslims have arrogated to themselves to determine who is and is not a Muslim or a kafir and have acted upon that determination.

    These dead are witnesses to the evil of that arrogance.

  132. fyi says:

    Unknown Unknowns says: June 28, 2012 at 9:19 am

    Look, I do not have any major issues with the late Mr. Khomeini’s views.

    He broke with 1400 years of rigidity and swept aside the garbage accumulated during that time.

    But, in my opinion, he had misplaced expectations and hopes for the Fuqaha of Islam – they uniformly failed to follow him where he led – excepting a few.

    And even he called the Fuqaha of Islam – out of exasperation – “Stupid Mullahs”.

  133. fyi says:

    Anon says: June 28, 2012 at 1:38 am

    Of course it is all illegal under inetrnational law.

    Iran has no recourse but to endure and nullify these sanctions.

    Years of hard work are ahead of Iran and the Iranian people.

  134. fyi says:

    Unknown Unknowns says: June 28, 2012 at 12:35 am

    We shall see.

    The ayatollhahs have been very jealous of their autonomy and I doubt that the Iranian state will succeed in curbing their independence or subordinate them to the Iranian State.

    As for Sunnis; there is sonw-ball’s chance in Hell that they would ever have a centralized authority – Al Azhar has predominance but not the Spiritual nor the Moral Authority to be such a center.

    And other Sunnis will not adhere to its rulings if does not suit them.

    Watch for more attacks on Shia by Sunnis in Iraq, Pakistan, and in Afghanistan – all justified on basis of the Holy Sharia…

  135. fyi says:

    Persian Gulf says: June 27, 2012 at 10:18 pm

    “What Man is important to God?” since he was created – in his state before the Fall – to participate with God in the Creation.

    Jesus could, that is why he could bring back the dead etc. since he was not in the state of Fall.

    I believe the Law not to be sacred and immutable – some precepts of teh Quran are – but not the body of Law that goes by the name of Sharia.

    Furthermore, the way the Life of a Muslim is envisioned by these Legalistic men such as Mr. Bussed-in-Basiji, there is no scope for human freedom and liberty.

    Sharia does not discuss Liberty.

    Sharia is full of contradictions and absurdities; as I demonstrated in my discussion with Mr. Bussed-in-Basiji.

    For them, an intelligent electronic monitoring device – worn around the neck – that applies electric shock when one deviates from this or that person’s ideas of Sharia would be the epitome of living in an Islamic millieu.

    In regards to the Injustice (of God) that you brought up, that is a correct observation and I do not have any answer for it.

    Islamic Tradition states that there have been thousands of prophets.

    Perhaps they were sent before writing was invented.

    But I do not know.

    In Christian Tradition, the answer is that those born before Jesus are condemned to remain in Limbo for eternity; a rather harsh and pitiless view, I afraid.

    [Read Dante's Divine Comdey - the translation is available in Persian.]

  136. Unknown Unknowns says:

    fyi: I thought you might be interested in hearing it from the horse’s mouth. Imam Khomeini offered several revelation-based proofs (Koranic and hadith-based) in his seminal work Hokumat-e Islami: Valayat-e Faqih (Islamic Government: The Governance of the Faqih. Here are excerpts from one of the hadith proofs:

    It is related in the book Ikmal ad-Din wa Itmam an-Ni’ma that Ishaq ibn
    Ya’qub wrote a letter to the Imam of the Age112 (may God hasten his renewed
    manifestation) asking him for guidance in certain problems that had arisen, and
    Muhammad ibn ‘Uthman al-’Umari) the deputy of the Imam, conveyed the letter to
    him. A response was issued, written in the blessed hand of the Imam, saying: “In case of newly occuring social circumstances, you should turn for guidance to those who relate our traditions, for they are my proof to you, as I am God’s proof.”

    What is meant here by the phrase “newly occurring social circumstances”
    (havadis-i vaqi’a) is not legal cases and ordinances. The writer of the letter did not wish to ask what was to be done in the case of legal issues that were without
    precedent. For the answer to that question would have been self-evident according to
    the Shi’i school, and unanimously accepted traditions specify that one should have
    recourse to the fuqaha in such cases.

    Indeed people had recourse to the fuqaha and made enquiries of item even during the
    lifetime of the Imams (upon whom be peace). A person living in the time of the
    Lesser Occultation and in communication with the four deputies of the Imam, who
    wrote a letter to him and received an answer, must have known whom to refer to for
    the solution of legal cases. What is meant by havadis-i vaqi’a is rather the newly
    arising situations and problems that affect the people and the Muslims. The question
    Ishaq ibn Ya’qub was implicitly posing was this: “Now that we no longer have access
    to you, what should we do with respect to social problems? What is our duty?” Or he
    may have mentioned certain specific events and then asked: “To whom should we
    have recourse for guidance in these matters?” But it seems that his question was
    general in intent and that the Imam responded in correspondingly general fashion,
    saying, “With respect to such occurrences and problems, you should refer to those
    who narrate our traditions, i.e., the fuqaha. They are my proofs to you, and I am God’s proof to you.”

    Today, the fuqaha of Islam are proofs to the people. Just as the Most Noble
    Messenger (upon whom be peace and blessings) was the proof of God— the conduct
    of all affairs being entrusted to him so that whoever disobeyed him had a proof
    advanced against him— so, too, the fuqaha are the proof of the Imam (upon whom be
    peace) to the people. All the affairs of the Muslims have been entrusted to them. God will advance a proof and argument against anyone who disobeys them in anything
    concerning government, the conduct of Muslim affairs, or the gathering and
    expenditure of public funds.

    There can be no doubt concerning the meaning of the tradition we have quoted,
    although it is possible to have certain reservations about its chain of transmission. Nonetheless, even if one does not regard the tradition as being in its own right a proof of the thesis we have advanced, it serves to support the other proofs we have mentioned.

  137. BiBiJon says:

    Anon says:
    June 28, 2012 at 1:38 am

    Do you happen to know if there have been any lawsuits brought in courts challenging the legality of the (not retorsion, not sanctions, and therefore) countermeasures adopted by EU/US against Iran?

  138. Rehmat says:

    Listening to Turkish prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s recent rants against Syria’s shooting-down a Turkish military plane inside Syrian airspace – convinced me that he must have learned his bullying tactics from his friends among the Zionist regime in the occupied Palestine.

    Erdogan called Syria’s defense of its airspace a “heinous attack” adding “This latest development shows that the Assad regime has become a clear and imminent threat to the security of Turkey…”. Of course, because according to colonial-Zionist logic, any country which shoots down enemy reconnaissance jets violating its airspace and sovereignty is in fact threatening the security of the offending state which seeks to invade it. Indeed, states which defend themselves from aggressors are “warmongers”.

    “We will not fall into the trap of warmongers, but we will not stay silent in the face of an attack made against our plane in international airspace….Turkey’s wrath is fierce and intense when it needs to be,” Erdogan told Turkish parliament.

    At a press conference Tuesday, NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen called the shooting down of the plane “unacceptable” and said the NATO countries stood together “in the spirit of strong solidarity” with Turkey. The shooting down of the jet, he claimed, “is another example of the Syrian authorities’ disregard for international norms, peace and security, and human life”.

    It’s the same Rasmussen who refused to condemn Israel’s murder of nine Turk aid workers on board Gaza flotilla two years ago.

    Joseph Kishore’s very informative article on this subject is worth reading here.


  139. Unknown Unknowns says:


    Contra fyi, methinks it is a big deal. The womenfolk in your neck of the woods used to hold vigils in protest of the conditions you speak about (which obtained pre-1979 in Iran also), which turned into a movement called ‘Take Back the Night’.

    I can only assume the entirety of the movement is completely unaware of the actual (religious) roots of the problem, condemning them to a lifetime of wasted effort hacking away at its branches instead – a microcosmic pantomime or mute display of the macrocosmic condition of Western man: the myth of Sisyphus.


    Why Take Back the Night?
    A woman walks alone down a dark, deserted street. With every shadow she sees, and every sound she hears, her pounding heart flutters and skips a beat. She hurries her pace as she sees her destination become closer. She is almost there. She reaches the front door, goes inside, collects herself, and moves on forgetting, at least for tonight, the gripping fear that momentarily enveloped her life. This scene could have occurred anywhere last night, last year, or even 100 years ago. Historically, women faced the anxiety of walking alone at night and that is why Take Back the Night began.

  140. Unknown Unknowns says:

    Anon says:
    June 28, 2012 at 1:38 am

    Yes, except the false assumptions in all that are that the US is not a rogue state and menace to the law-abiding community of nations, that Britain and France are something other than hapless yapping poodles, and that Russia and China are not principle-less whores who wouldn’t sacrifice their humanity for 30 pieces of silver.

  141. Anon says:

    Here is an expert legal opinion on EU sanctions:


    “In this piece I argue that the EU measures cannot be characterised as measures of retorsion or as sanctions. Rather they are to be regarded as countermeasures. However, characterising these measures as such raises the question whether it is open to States or regional organizations to take countermeasures in circumstances where the UN Security Council has already adopted measures under Chapter VII of the Charter.”


    “In addition, as regards the measures taken against the Iranian Central Bank, they may be deemed to conflict with rules governing immunities and privileges of foreign States under international law, and in particular of the 2004 UN Convention on Jurisdictional Immunities of States and their Property, which is widely considered as reflecting customary international law, and provides for immunity of property of property of a central bank or other monetary authority from execution. It may also be considered that this measure violates the rules of the IMF. Article VIII(2)(a) of the IMF Agreementprovides indeed that no IMF member ‘shall, without the approval of the Fund, impose restrictions on the making of payments and transfers for current international transactions’.”

  142. Pirouz says:

    Coincidentally, I’ve been viewing the following university course on DVD taught by Professor Baum at UCLA, titled “The Fall and Rise of China.” Highly recommended:


  143. Castellio says:

    Karl.. says:
    June 27, 2012 at 6:06 pm

    What are your sources for that??

  144. Unknown Unknowns says:

    That was supposed to be “from al-Azhar down…”

  145. Unknown Unknowns says:


    I share Sineva’s sentiments about your insights: Bravo!

  146. Unknown Unknowns says:

    Yes, fyi; you are beginning to see the (reflected) light (of the Lunar Hojjat). And kudow for picking up on that important post. That is what it is all about. That is what the New Atlantans of Weaselistan are concerned about: the syzygy of the miriad micro-moons falling in line with the meta-moon.

    You say, “If what he articulates is ever realized it will be the first time in 800 years…” What I can tell you is that theoretically (or theosophically, to be more precise), it already *has* been realized in that – as mentioned earlier – the vast majority (95%+) of the maraje’ accept and believe in, after Imam Khomeini (ra), in what I have called the Lunar Hujjaticity of the Vali-e Faqih, and that even the minor exception, Sistani, who underscores the rule among the ayaat-e ozma, still believes in the faqih’s right to rule, except that this belief in the velayat or wilayah of the faqih is based, after Ayatollah Khoi (who Sistani was a student to), not on the Vali’s Lunar Hojjaticity but on the priority of his right to govern (wilayah, legitimate authority) the community of Moslems on simple meritocratic grounds (rather than rational and revealed theosophic proofs). But while that is an important distinction in kalamic circles, the political signification is asymptotic in the long and even medium term. Even today, Ayatollah Sistani (may God preserve him) has given and abides by his bay’at (personal pleadge of fealty) to (what he considers to be) the Vali-e Amr of the Moslems (and whom others consider to be the Vali-e Amr, yes, but more than that, the (Lunar) Imam (Leader and Lunar Hojjat) of their community.

    I have had a couple of interesting conversations recently with a fellow who is pretty high up there (at the level of Deputy Minister of Islamic Guidance). He told me that during Bremer’s tenur in Iraq, the good Ayatollah left for London for medical reasons, but that he cut his trip short after just three days because he had received word from Imam Khamenei that he was needed back in Iraq. I personally think the gentleman’s take regarding “The Syzygy” (let us call it) is too optimistic, but he has a (much) higher vantage point than this faqir. Certainly, the way the 800 lb Bremer was checkmated was no act of a “quietist” ayatollah.

    The gentleman also went on to assert that within the Sunni** world, with the obvious exception of the likes of al-Qaida and other CIA avatars such as the Wahhabis, salafi-takfiris and neo-khawarij generally, the actual Sunni leadership from al-Ashar on down has *already* fallen in line behind the Imam. I find this hard to swallow and put it down to wishful thinking, but I am certainly prepared to be pleasantly surprised (see what I did there? :) The Egyptian ‘hood is the crucible on that one. Will they take off the symbol of their servitude, the necktie? We shall see.

    I would love to read the Bussed-in Professor’s views on these last two points)

    ** The criterion for the demarcation of Sunnite from Kharijite is Taqlid (and the institution of marjai’at (albeit, the Sunnite marja’ quartet are dead and closed the Door of Ijtihad behind them): it is wajeb for the former while the latter consider it to be haram.

  147. Sineva says:

    Bandolero says:
    June 27, 2012 at 10:11 pm
    These are some excellent ideas,let us hope the chinese are thinking along the same lines

  148. Persian Gulf says:

    fyi (from another thread):

    I am not sure if Sufism, even in the individual level, would stand for long without being usurped (due to its shear arbitrariness), for I don’t think there is any short cut to reach the mind of God.

    “The keystone is the importance of Man to God – an act of Faith in believing the Revelations on this point.”

    I see this statement conformance to Sharia of some sort. why only Man should be more valuable to God? coincidentally in an evolutionary perspective Man would be valuable to one another as well. in fact, not just Man, but everything specially animals too.

    Regardless of whether Sharia is equal to Islam, my previous question was: If you have stated your view on a strong religious belief, how can you not accept the very governing law the comes with it, be it as the scripture or the concept driven out of it?

    I think the main question was whether or not moral/immoral actions have intrinsic value. do you think some moral/immoral actions are universal? or can you bring an example that human being’s action is essentially any different than natural forces governing any other species? I have to emphasis that I am not a dieheart positivist, rather just contemplating the idea here.

    I think, the idea of God’s actions through natural forces is an important one for consideration, and it might not necessarily come at the expense of Revelation. if at all nature exist anymore is another issue.

    the Revelation as you define dismisses the very importance of every human being in God’s Eyes for there is an obvious injustice (justice we know of) toward all human being ever lived (particularly the ones prior to your defined Revelation time) and the ones to come in future.

    and finally, I think, and this is my own view, evolution is too much based on linear notion of time while we know that time is not, or has not always been, linear. as long as time is taken as a linear factor (is there any other factor?), no matter the initial assumptions, same outcome about almost everything will be reached. sounds to me that your definition of Revelation has the same shortcoming.

  149. Fiorangela says:

    meanwhile, in another part of the world — the observation that Saudi Arabia will soon experience succession pressures


  150. Bandolero says:

    I think the Chinese can have a lot of fun with the US secondary sanctions.

    Just an example of an idea: If I would be a Chinese CPC official I might think about advising some Chinese rare earth companies to take the good opportunity, buy lot’s of Iranian crude and publish it proudly on th companies website. Then I would watch the US boycotting one Chinese rare earth company after the other and thereby moving all US rare earth processing jobs abroad – probably to China.

    Or another example: If I would be a Chinese CPC official I might think about advising a Chinese company with not much interesting business in the US to buy some Iranian crude. And when the US boycott against that company comes I would have a fre hand to retaliate with counter-measures against a US company in China of my choice I want to get rid of for a long time but was hindered to do so by WTO obligations – thereby Chinesefy the Chinese economy where I desire it.

    As I see the secondary sanctions the US has bound itelf by internal law to sanction specific companies. China can choose which Chinese companies it want to place at a risk to be sanctioned. But whe China retaliates China is free to retaliate where it finds it is in it’s best interest to do so. If the US secondary sanctions play out in this way China can have a lot of fun with these illegal US secondary sanctions.

  151. fyi says:

    BiBiJon says: June 27, 2012 at 7:25 pm

    No big deal; Bologna, Madrid, Cordoba, Pisa are the same way.

  152. BiBiJon says:

    Thank you UU, BiB, and fyi for the responses in the previous thread, see http://www.raceforiran.com/playing-for-time-on-the-iranian-nuclear-issue#comments

    One more thought for your consideration:

    “You wax indignant about minority rights. First off, it is not about minority rights, but even if it were, minority rights must, by definition, be granted a lower priority than majority rights.”

    Reading UU’s above reply to Tivos, I’d like your opinion on something entirely natural and comprehensible in the Orient which I think is utterly misunderstood in the west.

    Years ago, I was telling a colleague in Singapore about my little escapade the night before. I told him I was lost at 1:00AM and somehow found myself behind the row of hotels, a dimly lit desolate area meant only for truck deliveries. I saw a figure in the distance and said excuse me. Without a moment’s hesitation she turned on her heels and approached me asking how she could help. I was telling my colleague this would never happen in NY city, if anything anyone as young and as pretty as her would have quickened her pace to get further away from me.

    My colleague explained that she has no fear knowing what the authorities would do to anyone who’d harm her. I’ll spare you the details of my colleague’s elaboration.

    I thought then as I think now that the ‘price’ Singaporeans were willing to pay for that young woman’s assured sense of safety was just.

  153. Karl.. says:

    In one sources given in the article above (yomiuri.co.jp/dy/world/T120321005811.htm), it says that 10 EU states are exempt from US sanctions. Actually this proves that they havent found enough alternatives for iranian oil, while bragging much about their potentials, obviousy Saudiarabia havent managed to pump up enough oil to cut off Iran for good.

    The exemption and continued import of iranian oil by EU states also give Iran some tools to use, for example they could stop exporting oil to certain EU states causing oil prize to going up and therefore sending a warning signal to US, EU to change their attitude.

  154. fyi says:

    ToivoS says: June 27, 2012 at 6:11 pm

    This will be handled just like the case of North Korea or Sudan; they will agree to disagree and go on with business as usual.

    Americans and Chinese will not butt heads on Iran.

  155. ToivoS says:

    This policy towards China is incomprehensible. The Chinese hold over $1 trillion of US govt bonds. Releasing just a fraction of those bonds into the secondary markets could cause considerable economic havoc. This threat is always countered with the notion that such selling would cause China to lose money on their investments — basically they are stuck with those bonds. This assumes that China is motivated entirely by profit and that notions such as national pride and larger self interests play no role. This assumption is wrong.

    It is for this reason I do not believe that the US would engage in retribution against China for buying Iranian oil. However, even hinting that we might do so is playing a dangerous brinkmanship. That along with opening the old US bases in the Philippians, the marine base in Darwin and other “pivot” actions makes it clear that the US is trying to send some kind of message to China.

    Will these threatening acts make China more docile in the face of US demands?

  156. Karl.. says:

    In just days after Putin was in Israel debating Iran, Syria, Russia now suspends the selling of s300 to Syria, a reprise of how Russia dealt with Iran in 2010.

    Obviously Russia got a better deal by Israel and the US. What this means is that Russia have probably abandoned Syria even though we will hear more vocal strategic support from Russia.

  157. BiBiJon says:

    Nixon leaves China

    It’s a doggone shame that in order to avoid a Nixon-China policy towards Iran, we’ll have to destroy the Nixon-China policy towards China.

  158. Castellio says:

    Are you saying, then, that China will contest the American led sanctions in international fora?