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.

Rouhani accommodates Iran’s Jewish students

18 Feb

Another positive step taken by the government of President Rouhani towards Iran’s Jewish community: as of Feb. 4, Jewish students officially no Hassan_Rouhanilonger have to attend school on the Sabbath.

#Iran: has the senior Norwegian Diplomat lost his contact lenses?

17 Feb

Wegger Christian Strømmen, the political director of the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs is in Iran on an official visit.

Below is a photo of him greeting Iran’s foreign Minister Javad Zarif.

I wonder if he suddenly realized that he has lost his contact lenses and is looking for them.

Either that or the Norwegian ambassador to Iran forgot to tell him that bowing like this in Iran is more associated with the pre 1979 revolution era.

NORWAY_ZARIF

Wegger Christian Strømmen, meeting Javad Zarif. Source: Jahan News

The US has NOT stopped updating #Israel on #Iran talks

15 Feb

Today, the Times of Israel quoting Israel’s Channel 2 broke the news that:

The US has stopped updating Israel on progress in talks with Iran over Tehran’s nuclear program.

According to the same report, Channel 2 characterized the move as:
revenge for Netanyahu’s planned speech to Congress next month, which has raised the ire of the Obama administration.
However, this report has been denied by Israel officials and now by US officials as well.

So nothing to see here. Move along.

#Iran: the writing on the placard

11 Feb
Placard in red ""an agreement is conditional upon the elimination of all sanctions"

Placard in red “”an agreement is conditional upon the elimination of all sanctions”

Today was the 36th anniversary of the 1979 Iranian revolution.

There were demonstrations all over Iran. People carried placards which were given to them.

Some placards are the usual: like “death to Israel” or “death to America” or as the late founder of revolution Ayatollah Khomeini said “America can’t do a damn thing”.

But others are specific, depending on what message the regime or the government want to convey to the outside world.

And there are two messages which I saw today which stood out. One which called for economic resistance, and another which stated: “an agreement is conditional upon the elimination of all sanctions” (see above).

Iran supreme leader also brought up this point, not once, but twice during his speech on the 8th of February. This is the same speech in which he hinted that Iran would be willing to accept a fair deal.

What I find interesting is that there is no talk from Iran regarding the number of centrifuges (unless I missed it). Does this mean that the two sides have reached an agreement over this issue already? is this why so much emphasis is being placed on Iran’s demand that in case of a deal, all sanctions have to be removed at the first stage, and not gradually as the US has demanded?

I can’t answer this question, because we know very little from what is going on in the negotiation room. But, I think we should note it.

It seems that if the nuclear talks breakdown, judging by the recent reaction from Iran, especially from Ayatollah Khamenei and today’s demonstrations, the question of how quickly sanctions are lifted in case of a deal could be one of the major reasons.

اهداف نتانیاهو برای سخنرانی در کنگره امریکا چیست ؟

10 Feb
- اهداف اصلی نخست وزیر اسرائیل بنیامین نتانیاهو برای سفر کردن به امریکا و نطق کردن در کنگره چیست؟ ​netan-small
- آیا چنین سفری میتواند به سود یا به ضرر حزب لیکود تمام شود؟
- دیدگاه مردم اسرائیل در مورد این برنامه آقای نتانیاهو در امریکا چیست؟
در مورد این مسائل با بخش فارسی رادیو بی بی سی فارسی گفتگویی داشتم.



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