#Iran: the writing on the banknote

6 Mar

An Iranian banknote

Banknotes can sometimes be a good indicator of the national mood.

For example, after the death of the Star Trek actor Leonard Nemoy (Mr Spock), a new phenomenon has started in Canada whereby people draw “Leonard Nimoy-inspired Mr Spock pictures on their $5 bank notes.”

In Iran, banknotes sometimes also reflect the national mood.

For example in 2009, soon after the Green uprising, many people started writing anti- Ahmadinejad and anti regime messages on Iranian bank notes. Green colored pens were used to write such messages, in solidarity with the imprisoned leaders of the Green movement. This method of protest became so powerful and popular that the regime, six months after the start of the campaign declared all such banknotes invalid.

The Iranian government recently ordered the printing of new 50,000 riyal (5000 Toman) bank notes. According to the tweet below by Abbas Aslani, the General Director of world news at the Tehran based Tasnim news agency, “Nuclear energy symbol was removed from Iran’s new 5k Toman bill. The symbol has changed to gate of Tehran University”.

Could the removal of the nuclear energy symbol from the new 50,000 Riyal banknotes be taken as a sign that the Iranian government and the Iranian regime are preparing their public for a compromise over the nuclear program?

Perhaps. Its a sign that should not be ignored.

 

Funny remix of Netanyahu’s #Iran speech at the Congress

4 Mar

Noy Alooshe, one of Israel’s most talented DJs has created a remix of prime minister Netanyahu’s speech at the Congress. netan-small

Noy burst into the international scene in February 2011 with his famous remix of Ghaddafi’s “Zenga Zenga” speech. To date, that video has been viewed more than 5 million times.

His new remix of Netanyahu’s speech is also one to watch. He has poked fun at the prime minister before. He is doing it again.

It’s good let your hair down and have a sense of humor about such issues.

Dear PM Netanyahu: I may want my money back

3 Mar

Prime Minister Netanyahu just finished his speech at the Congress. Benjamin_Netanyahu_portrait

As I have stated before I respect and support his right to speak anywhere he wishes, but at a reasonable cost. His decision to sideline the President of the US so he can speak at the Congress could be too costly and detrimental to the interests of U.S – Israel relations.

Now that he has spoken, I have the following questions to ask:

1 – How many Congressmen/women did Netanyahu convince with his speech? 10, 20, 50?

This is an important question to ask, as the state of Israel has just taken a great risk by side lining President of America, for the sake of this speech. The goal was to convince Congressmen/women to vote against a deal with Iran. So did Netanyahu achieve this goal? How many Congressmen/women did he convince?

2 – What if Khamenei says no to a deal?

We have to remember that Netanyahu took the great risk of alienating the President of the United States for the sake of his speech, before Khamenei has even accepted the current deal. What if after all this, Khamenei says no to a deal? That he did not want a deal after all?

I agree with Netanyahu that Iran should stop calling for the annihilation of the state of Israel. Its repulsive and highly offensive to the citizens of this country.

The citizens of Israel deserve an answer for Question 1. Additionally, if Iran leader Khamenei ultimately says no to a deal, then as an Israeli tax payer, I will want my money back. Millions of Shekels would have been spent on this trip for nothing.

ICYMI: #Iran leader Khamenei has cancer, with 2 years to live

2 Mar

While we are all focused on Netanyahu’s upcoming speech at the Congress, we seem to have missed another piece of important news: according to the French newspaper Le Ali_Khamenei_(cropped).jpegFigaro, Khamenei has stage four cancer.

Citing western intelligence sources, the newspaper says he has two more years to live.

Lets not forget that Khamenei was admitted to hospital last year (around September) for a prostate cancer surgery.

What impact will his death have on the question of his succession?

I address the this scenario in my piece for Al Jazeera America last year.

Netanyahu in Congress: its how you say it!

1 Mar

I am not against Netanyahu’s right to voice his concerns regarding a possible ‪‎Iran‬ deal.

I am against the way he is trying to address his concerns.

I am against the way he is treating the US government and the US president.

Since when slapping your most loyal friend in the face hurt your enemies?

On #Iran: why I don’t agree with Netanyahu

26 Feb

I don’t want the current rulers of Iran to have a nuclear weapon. Not for a second. Not even for a Benjamin_Netanyahu_portraitnanosecond. Never. No, no, no, no, a thousand times NO to a nuclear armed Islamic Republic of Iran.

But at the same time, I don’t agree with the way Netanyahu has been managing the Iran question on behalf of Israel and Israelis. I know he is doing his job, but his method is causing damage to the credibility of Israel’s legitimate concerns regarding why it does not want the current rulers of Iran to have a nuclear weapon.

In my recent interview with SKY news, I have explained why.

Leaked cables regarding the Mossad & #Iran reveal nothing new

24 Feb

Some media outlets seem to be under the impression that the leaked South African cables regarding the Mossad’s assessment on Iran have revealed new information.

General Kochavi, former head of the IDF Military Intelligence branch. Source

In reality, from what has been published so far, these leaks have not yet revealed anything new.

In numerous speeches, going as far back as 2012, the serving head of Israel’s Military Intelligence General Aviv Kochavi (pictured right) publicly stated what seems so far to be a major part of these leaked confidential reports: that Iran has not yet decided to assemble a nuclear weapon.

For example at the Herzliya conference in 2012, General Kochavi stated:

When Khamenei gives the order to produce the first nuclear weapon – it will be done, we believe, within one year.”

Note the operative word “when”. It means he has not yet made the decision to make a nuclear weapon.

He repeated the same point at the Institute for National Security Studies (INSS) conference in 2013 in Tel Aviv. According to the Times of Israel, General Kochavi said:

“that the Iranian military nuclear program continues in a manner that enables Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, should he decide to give the order, to sprint ahead “to one bomb or more.”
Note the term: “should he decide”.

So are these different to what the Mossad allegedly told South Africa’s security services?

No. Because according to Al Jazeera, the Mossad reportedly told their South African counterparts that Iran scientists are “working to close gaps in areas that appear legitimate such as enrichment reactors”. And this will:

“reduce the time required to produce weapons from the time the instruction is actually given“.

So in short, nothing new has been revealed by these reports yet. Lets see if they have anything else to offer in the future.

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