Tag Archives: Meir Javedanfar

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.

Reported #Israel attack against #Hezbollah: why now?

18 Jan

Leader of Hezbollah Hassan Nasrallah. Source

According to the Lebanon based Daily Star newspaper, today, an Israeli attack against a number of vehicles on the Syrian side of the Golan heights killed 9 people. Among them were senior members of Hezbollah and an Iranian field commander.

Why would Israel undertake such an operation? And why now?

There are a number of possibilities:

1 – It appears that in his recent interview on the 15th of January, Hezbollah Chief Nasrallah set a red line for Israel. He stated:

“The repeated bombings that struck several targets in Syria are a major violation, and we consider that any strike against Syria is a strike against the whole of the resistance axis, not just against Syria,” he told the Beirut-based Arab news television.

The “axis of resistance” which he mentioned is made up of Iran, Syria and Hezbollah.

In other words, any attack against Syria will now be considered as an attack against Hezbollah and Iran, as well as Syria.

This declaration would be considered as a new red line, for Israel.

When it comes to Syria, Israeli security officials seem to have an allergic reaction to red lines being drawn for Israel.

For example, at the end of January 2013, Iran drew a red line for Israel around Syria. According to foreign reports, it took Israel only a couple of days to cross that line.

2 – We are getting close to elections in Israel. There is the possibility that Netanyahu may lose. At the beginning a Likud lead government headed by Netanyahu looked certain. By as time has passed, Netanyahu’s challenger Isaac Herzog from the Labour party has started to catch up.

So a war just before elections may boost Netanyahu’s chances. And lets face it, it would not be the first time that a war was started just before elections here in Israel. And Netanyahu would not be the first Israeli leader to do this.

3- In his interview with i24 news tonight, Amir Oren of Haaretz newspaper stated that we are getting close to the anniversary of the assassination of former Hezbollah commander Imad Mighniye who was killed on the 12 of February 2008. Hezbollah may have been planning to retaliate, and Israel may have decided to take the initiative.

4 – Perhaps Hezbollah was planning to place some of its Iran made Fatah 110 missiles and its other new missiles which Nasrallah bragged about in his recent interview on Israel’s border with the Syrian side of the Golan heights.

These are all possibilities. Lets not jump to conclusions. We just finished a war in Gaza based on the assumption of some people in Israel that the Hamas central command in Gaza had ordered the kidnapping and killing of 3 Israeli teenagers. It turns out that it had not.

#Iran: Rouhani’s most interesting speech to date

4 Jan
Hassan_Rouhani

Hassan Rouhani

Why?  

Most importantly because in his speech today, President Rouhani asked for or as the Financial Times put it, “threatened” to hold a referendum in Iran.

The Iranian president stated that Iran’s constitution allows such referendums for important issues such as economic, political, cultural and social related matters. Although he didn’t specifically say for which issue he wants a referendum, I think its safe to assume that he was talking about the nuclear program. This is right now the most important decision for the nezam or the system of the Islamic Republic to make.

So why would Rouhani call for a referendum?

Most probably because he is confident that the people would back his nuclear strategy, which is assumed to be more flexible than that of the supreme leader Ayatollah Khamenei and the hardliners around him.

Why propose a referendum now?

Here we are looking at two possibilities:

1 –  Rouhani is engaged in a behind the scenes tug of war with the hardliners regarding nuclear talks, and he believes that in a referendum the people would back him, thus tipping the balance in his favor.

2- give Ayatollah Khamenei a ladder to climb down from his current nuclear position. When it comes to face-saving, a referendum would provide the perfect excuse for the supreme leader. Ayatollah Khamenei could say that he didn’t want to compromise with the Americans, but as the people demanded otherwise, he had no other choice but to listen, “as he has always done” or so he could claim.

In the same speech today Rouhani also attacked monopolistic powers in Iran (in other words the Revolutionary Guards).

What next? – short-term

The Revolutionary Guards and the hardliners are not going to sit still. Rouhani should expect retaliation from them, perhaps in the parliamenet. They could dismiss yet another one of his minister.

What next? – long-term

Difficult to say. But if Rouhani feels confident enough to challenge the IRGC and the hardliners to a referendum, then it seems he is not as passive as some believed he was going to be (regarding the nuclear program). It also seems that the people could live with what the hardliners call “a bad deal”.

Why would #Iran agree to ship its enriched uranium to #Russia?

3 Jan

Tonight it was revealed that:

Iran and the United States have tentatively agreed on a formula that Washington hopes will reduce Tehran’s ability to make nuclear arms by committing it to ship to Russia much of the material needed for such weapons, diplomats say.

The mentioned “material” is enriched uranium, produced by Iran.

This will mean that should there be a final nuclear accord with Iran, majority of its enriched uranium would be shipped to Russia. Consequently there will not be any sufficient amount of enriched uranium at one time in Iran which would enable it to make a nuclear weapon, if and when it decides to do so.

The other reason is that Iran needs to convert its enriched uranium to fuel for its Russian made nuclear reactors.

Why would Iran agree to take such a step?

One reason could be to allay fears that it wants to make nuclear weapons.

But another important reason is because Russian reactors in most cases only take Russian made nuclear fuel. Thats how they are designed. In fact using non Russian fuel for Russian made reactors could:

“trigger a nuclear accident”.

The Russians gave this warning to the Ukrainians after the latter reached a deal to buy US made nuclear fuel for its Soviet era nuclear reactors.

So this is something Iran would have had to do anyway. But the argument could also be made that allaying western fears regarding a bomb is a major part of Iran’s motivation, because if Iran didn’t want to allay such fears, it could have agreed to ship out the enriched uranium in smaller batches to Russia. This would have given Iran the option to have enough enriched uranium on its soil to make a weapon, if and when it decided to do so. In fact this is one of the reasons why the US and Russia rejected the 2010 Turkey – Brazil brokered deal for Iran’s nuclear program.

The news tonight is one small step forward. Lets not get too excited. There have been too many false starts. Its not over until Kerry and Zarif sing.

The #Iran – #Israel Observer: 2014 in review

31 Dec

2014 was a good year for my blog. Almost 63000 views. Thats approximately 172 views per day. Not bad for a part-time project (mostly half an hour max, at the end of the day). I hope 2015 will be a year in which Iran and Israel establish diplomatic relations again. Amen.

Below you will find the link to the stats report for my blog’s performance in 2014.

Here’s an excerpt:

Madison Square Garden can seat 20,000 people for a concert. This blog was viewed about 63,000 times in 2014. If it were a concert at Madison Square Garden, it would take about 3 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

مصاحبه: حمله دیروز به کنیسا در اورشلیم

19 Nov Handing out sweets in Gaza today
در مصاحبه امروزم با رادیو بی بی سی فارسی در مرد حمله دیروز به کنیسا در قسمت غربی اورشلیم که 5 نفر کشته به جا گذاشت گفتگو کردم.
به نظر من, حمله دیروز برای همه اسرائیلی ها چه از چپ و چه از راست, عبور از خط قرمز بود.

In Netanyahu vs Obama: the winner is likely to be #Palestine

29 Oct A youth holds-up a big Palestinian flag during a protest against the controversial separation wall in Ramallah

Make no mistake, after the US midterm elections, Netanyahu is going to take the gloves off. He is going to try to make life hell for Obama in any way he can in order to settle scores with him.

One area where Netanyahu is likely to try to make life difficult for Obama is Iran. If there is a deal between Iran and the P5+1, Netanyahu is likely to try to encourage the Congress to vote against the lifting of the sanctions. Or to slow down the implementation of America’s commitment, in any way possible, so that Obama looks like a lame duck.

And this is where the Palestinians enter the picture and are likely to be the biggest winner.

First scenario: Obama tries to settle scores with Netanyahu by not vetoing a very harsh resolution against Israeli settlements at the UNSC. Likely winner = Palestine as such a resolution is going to make it easier to isolate Israel and impose sanctions against the settlements in the international community.

Second scenario: AIPAC finds itself being pushed by both sides (Obama and Netanyahu), so it decides not to get involved or to reduce its involvement in such a scenario. Likely winner = Palestine. As far as the Palestinians are concerned, the less AIPAC is involved in anything to do with Israel, the better.

Whatever you think of AIPAC, it is an American organization. Despite its excellent relations with Israeli governments, its unlikely that it would want to be seen as standing against the President of the US in a long drawn out battle with the Prime Minister of Israel.  Such fights are the stuff of nightmares for AIPAC as its main goal is to strengthen relations between Israel and US governments. Publicly taking sides in a fight between the leaders of the two countries would be the last thing it wants.

Third scenario (and the less likely one): Obama does not VETO UNSC resolution which recognizes Palestine. Winner = Palestine.

Whatever happens, one of the aforementioned scenarios is likely to be realized and no matter which one is realized, Palestine is likely to be the winner.

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