Tag Archives: Iran

#Iran deal: From talk of a bomb to economic boom?

27 Jul

Will the removal of sanctions make much difference to Iran’s economy? What are the other obstacles which Iran’s economy faces?

These questions are addressed in the panel discussion below.

My comments on the #Iran nuclear deal for the FPA

23 Jul

Two days ago, The Foreign Press Association in Israel (FPA) invited Dr Dore Gold, the Director General of the Israel Foreign Ministry and the former head of the Conservative kham-netanThink Tank JCPA to present the Israeli government’s position on Iran and the nuclear talks.

The FPA then gave me the floor to comment on the official Israeli government’s position, as presented by Dr Gold.

The summary of both of our comments was published in this report by the Jerusalem Post.

Just one correction: where it says “Iran’s ethnic cleansing of Sunnis ” is wrong. I stated “Iran regime Shiite allies ethnic cleansing of Sunnis”

Here is a summary of my points.

Meir Javedanfar, an Iranian- born analyst who now lives in Tel Aviv and lectures at the IDC Herzliya, took issue with some of Gold’s statements Because Iran is obliged to allow inspection of undeclared sites, it cannot hide nuclear activity, he insisted.

“Nuclear material is extremely difficult to remove from air, land, or water,” he said, and therefore no matter what Iran might do, it would not succeed in hiding its nuclear operations.

The deal is not about trusting the Iranian regime, he insisted. “When it’s not in their interests they don’t keep deals. When it is in their interests they keep deals that others would throw away. Nobody trusts the Iranian regime, but you have to look at their political eco system. It’s not a question about trust. It’s a question about mistrust and verification.”

Javedanfar also made the point that if the Iranians had wanted to make a nuclear weapon, they would have done so before the agreement.

He suggested that what the West does not understand is that “in Iran there is a regime and there is a government, and we have to make that distinction.”

President Hassan Rouhani does not make any decisions without the instructions or approval of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said Javedanfar, who remarked that Khamenei is now distancing himself from Rouhani and letting him take the blame for anything that looks like compromise on Iran’s part in the agreement.

“If you want a moderate Iran, you have to worry about Rouhani,” he said.

Javedanfar left room for hope by saying that “Iran’s image in the region is starting to nosedive.” Iran’s ethnic cleansing of Sunnis is impacting on the region and is contributing to a strong anti-Iran coalition, said Javedanfar.

Talking peace with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas would make Israel’s position more acceptable in the region, he added.

As an Iranian who knows the language and the mentality of his former fellow countrymen, Javedanfar was adamant that “the Iranian regime is not an existential threat to Israel. It is a strategic threat.”

Debate me on the #Irandeal

22 Jul

A prominent reason given by those who believe that the current Iran deal is a bad deal is one that says the current deal does not force Iran to completely dismantle its nuclear program.

As someone who follows Iranian domestic politics closely, looking at this reason from a domestic Iranian political angle, in my opinion it is extremely unlikely that Iran’s leadership, with Ayatollah Khamenei at its helm, would agree to such a demand. There are numerous reasons why I believe this to be true, the extremely, almost unbearable high domestic political cost of adhering to such a demand being one of them.

Therefore, I disagree with the argument that says Iran’s leadership, through the continuation of the current negotiations can be forced to dismantle its entire nuclear program.

I would like to invite an expert from the other side of the argument who specializes in domestic Iranian politics to debate me on-line on this topic.

To make this a specialist level debate for our audience, I believe that the opposite side of the debate should also be a Persian speaker who can also read Persian fluently and to have published at least 1 article on a subject concerning domestic Iranian politics, for a news site or for an academic journal.

Do you know of anyone who would like to take part in such a debate?


Meir Javedanfar

In case you were wondering why some in #Israel are suspicious of the #Iran regime

10 Jul
ahmad khatami

From today’s Quds day Friday prayers. Read what it says about Israel.

In case you were wondering why I belong to a tiny minority in Israel who backs nuclear negotiations with Iran, then read the sign in front of today’s Friday prayer leader in Tehran. It says in Persian and English “Israel must be wiped from the pages of time”.

Since the start of the Iranian revolution in 1979, Israelis have been told by the Iran regime their country is a cancer, a microbe and that it should be wiped out. It even said so on the walls on my Jewish school in Tehran. I had to see it every day.

From my observations as an Iranian – Israeli who lives in Israel, a small minority in Israel don’t want a deal with Iran regime because they want war. Majority of those who don’t want a deal with Iran don’t want war, but at the same time find it difficult to trust a regime that has financed the killing of many of their compatriots, and has been calling for the elimination of their country, which is their home.

I believe that a diplomatic solution will serve the interests of the state of Israel as it will increase inspections and will distance the Iranian regime from a nuclear weapon in a peaceful manner. I also think it will reduce an important threat to Israel. I think its unlikely that the Iranian regime would break such a deal, if there is going to be one. Why agree to increased inspections on your soil if you want to “sneak out” to make a nuclear weapon?

That said, I understand the logic of those in Israel who do not trust the Iranian regime. I don’t agree with them, but I understand their suspicion.

No regime has the right to call for the elimination of another country, time after time after time, for 36 years. And for what? The Iranian regime says its calling for the elimination of the state Israel because it wants to defend the rights of the people of Palestine. Well, the people of Palestine have not given a mandate to the Iranian regime to do that. Majority of them don’t even like the Iranian regime. According to the latest survey by Pew research, 57% of Palestinians have a negative view towards the regime in Tehran.

Yes to peace with the people of Palestine. Yes to diplomacy. No to threats of elimination by a regime which says it’s the defender of Muslims, yet it finances and helps the Assad regime which has gassed and killed hundreds of thousands of Muslims in Syria.

Nouri Al Maliki wants Vilayat-e Faqih for #Iraq?

18 Jun

Former Iraq PM Nouri Al Maliki

Iraq’s’ president Haider al-Abbadi is in Iran, again. This is his second visit in 10 months.

According to my colleague Imran Khan, he is in Tehran to:

seek reassurances from the Iranians that they will allow him to be in complete control of the armed forces.

By armed forces he is referring to the Shia militia umbrella group called Hashd Al Shaabi, or the Popular Mobilisation Forces (PMF). It claims to have 100,000 fighters.

The PMF consists of Shia militia such as the Badr Brigade, Asaib Ahl Haq and others. It also includes a small number of Sunni tribal fighters. Their goal is to fight and destroy ISIS.

It is believed that until now Iran has exercised great control over the military command and activities of this group. It seems now that Iraq’s PM wants to e in charge, and not Iran.

What I find particular interesting in Imran’s latest article was the remark made by Mohammed Jasim al-Dadhim, who is a professor at the Islamic jurisprudence college at Baghdad University.

Professor Al Dadhim states that Iraq’s former president Nouri Al Maliki is trying to implement the Vilayat-e Faqih (Guardianship of the Jurist) system, which is currently ruling Iran. One of the most notable features of such a system is a supreme leader who has more political power than anyone else.

While its true that Al Maliki is close to the leadership in Iran, I think such an observation deserves to be questioned.

If Vilayat-e Faqih is implemented in Iraq, it would mean that if Maliki does return to power again as Prime Minister (something which many believe he wants to do) under the Vilayat-e Faqih system, he would be subordinate to the position of the supreme leader. However under the current system, he would hold the highest political office in his country.

Why would Al Maliki want to reduce his own potential influence? Why would any politician?

In #Iran, some are openly pining for the Shah

17 Jun

The late Shah of Iran, Mohamamd Reza Phlavi

Since 2009 I have been hearing from increasing number of reporters who have been to Iran that more and more Iranians are pining for the Pahlavi dynasty which ruled Iran until the 1979 revolution.

According to the article below from The Guardian’s Tehran Bureau, some Iranians are not just pining for the Shah and how life was comparatively better under him (compared to the current regime), they are now showing it by buying Pahlavi memorabilia from the Bazaars of Tehran and Shiraz.

According to the article, the Shah is also popular with some members of the younger generation, who were born after the revolution:

“Another time I struck up a conversation with a skate boarder in Laleh Park and he noticed it. “These fucking mullahs man, they don’t give a fuck about us,” he said. He had a septum piercing and tattoos up his right arm. “The Shah cared about his people. He was a real leader. ”

The Pahlavi regime was also corrupt and abused human rights. But the current regime is far more corrupt and far more ruthless with the people of Iran. Life after the revolution has gotten worst for so many Iranians. So I can fully understand why some in Iran would want to be ruled by the Pahlavis again.

You can the read the article “Why Iranians are lapping up Shah memorabilia” here

A lively debate re: #Iran nuclear deal

9 Jun

RT CrossTalk recently hosted a lively debate on the Iranian nuclear program.

Iran based Professor Mohammad Marandi was in his full propagandist mode. He is however worth listening to. He is one of the most famous thinkers which the regime has.

The other two guests gave their two cents. The former CIA guest was unreasonable in many of the things he said. The lady in London had the most salient points.

A lively debate worth watching.


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