Tag Archives: Khamenei

On Arak, France made the right decision

12 Nov

On why I agree with the French position in the latest round of nuclear negotiations with Iran.

To read click here

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Iran: Death to America but long live Microsoft (and Facebook)

16 Oct

“Yes, and as I was saying we in the Iranian government plan to transfer all of Iran’s centrifuges to the Dimona textile plant in Israel for closer supervision. All those who agree say Ay. No one? forget it then “

If you were looking for a sign that the recent nuclear negotiations between Iran and the P5+1 have been positive, then this must be it:

The P5+1 delegates survived a one hour PowerPoint presentation by Iran’s foreign minister Javad Zarif, and as far as we know no one fell asleep or tried to throw themselves out of the window because of sheer torturous boredom.

Lets face it, some powerpoint presentations can double up as torture techniques at the Guantanamo Bay detention center.

And one hour? Thats quite a long time. Zarif must have had something really interesting things to say. Either that or lets just say that if these negotiations fail the P5+1 delegates will one day have a good shot at winning the next survivor episode.

And don’t you just love the Iranian delegates love for American tech products? Its death to America in Tehran, but not the America of Microsoft PowerPoint and Facebook which Mr Zarif loves to use.

While Mr Zarif and Rouhani are on their western charm offensive, why don’t they just go for the jackpot and get their supporters to chant “death to the Shut Down”?

Meir Javedanfar: Upcoming lectures in Boston College and Yale University on Iran and Israel

13 Oct

Boston College

Boston College, Tuesday 15th of October

The title of the lecture will be: “Iran and Israel: moving towards a cold peace?

With Iran and Hezbollah busy in Lebanon, they pose a lesser threat towards the state of Israel. And Hamas is no longer in Iran’s camp the same way as it was before the Syrian uprising.

With the nuclear negotiations with Iran approaching, chances of a military attack by Israel against Iran are decreasing to new lows. We also see Rouhani taking steps to reduce tensions with the state of Israel.

Meanwhile the biggest source of animosity in the region is the Sunni / Shiite conflict, currently being played out in full in Syria.

So the question is: despite the tough talk in both countries, are Israel and Iran finding themselves inadvertently moving towards a cold peace?

I will be addressing this scenario in my lecture. If you are in Boston, the details can be found below. It would be great to see you.

Date: October 15th, 2013
Time: 4:30 PM to 5:30 PM
Address: Fulton Hall 230, Boston College (Directions)
RSVP to : matt.sienkiewicz@bc.edu

Yale University, Monday 14th of October:

Yale Friends of Israel and the Yale International Relations Association are excited to invite you to a special talk this Monday

Meir Javedanfar: “Can a Nuclear Iran be allowed? Or trusted?” Perspectives from the U.S., Israel, and the rest of the world.

Monday, October 14th, 6:00pm. Calhoun Fellows Lounge.

RSVP to danielle.ellison@yale.edu.

Khamenei plays domestic politics

5 Oct

Portraying the American government as the Great Satan for decades and then suddenly sitting down and having bilateral negotiations with them was never going to be easy for the Iranian leadership.

And it was bound to raise the ire of those on the right side of Iranian politics who for years had been told that Iran needs to stay away from having direct contact with the US, because it “can not be trusted”.

To me this explains the most important reason why Khamenei stated today that:

“some of what happened in New York was not proper, because the U.S. government is not trustworthy, is self-important and illogical, and breaks promises,”.

The international community does not have much reason to be alarmed as Khamenei’s audience for this statement was domestic, most probably his loyal hard-line conservative supporters. He is trying to keep them on his side at what must be difficult times within the regime.

Khamenei does have the final word on all major decisions, but Iran does have domestic politics. Another reason why its comparison to North Korea is highly inaccurate.

Rouhani: this year’s UN celebrity

17 Sep

There is little doubt who will be this UN General Assembly’s celebrity: Hassan Rouhani.

With Ahmadinejad gone and reports about exchange of letters between Rouhani and Obama emerging, there will be much excitement about Rouhani’s presence at the UN.

What is likely to add more attention to Rouahni’s presence is a report published today in Der Spiegel. The report, citing intelligence sources says that Iran is prepared to close its nuclear plant in Fordo in return for lifting of the current sanctions.

Whether or not this report is true, people will be wanting to know what the anti-Ahmadinejad representing Iran at the UN will say. And more importantly, is he about to offer a new deal to Obama on behalf of Ayatollah Khamenei?

Which is why its important that the Israeli Prime Minister chooses his words carefully. Israel does not want to end up looking like the warmonger. Lets take a break from the “all options on the table” line. Yes we all know it is there and no, just because you don’t say it, the Iranian regime is not going to dash for the bomb. Tehran has a much bigger and more dangerous threat to worry about: the sanctions.

The Syrian challenge for Iran and Israel

8 Sep

Meir Javedanfar and Robert Wright discuss events in Syria and how they impact both Iran and Israel.


On Iran and US: don’t forget the Saudis

3 Sep

King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia is much an enemy of the Iranian regime as Netanyahu, if not bigger

Increasing number of pundits and experts are calling for the inclusion of Iran in talks to resolve the current Syria crisis.

In theory, its a good idea.

But in reality, something that is being overlooked is the opposition of the Saudis to such an idea.

I can even see Obama being willing to entertain such an idea, but the Saudis? I just don’t see it.

While the Iranian regime obsesses about Israel and AIPAC, they seem to be overlooking the quiet work which the Saudis have been doing behind the scenes and continue to do so in almost every imaginable area in order to undermine Iran. Although they are not as loud and proud as Israel and her allies, they do as much damage if not more.

And when it comes to Syria, it seems to me that they do not want to see Iran involved.

After witnessing the Iranian regime ally Hezbollah assassinate their ally Rafik Hariri in Lebanon in 2005, plus Iran’s role in Iraq and what the Saudis see as Iran’s influence over Shiites in Bahrain, the Saudis want Iran weakened and excluded from Syria more than ever before. To reach this goal they were even willing to to cut a deal with the Russians to keep Iran out.

Bottom line: the Saudis see Iran sinking in Syria with Assad. They’d be loathed to see Obama save them by reaching a deal with Iran over Syria. Expect maximum resistance and protestation from the Saudis in DC. Obama could find them difficult to ignore.