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November 22 2014
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TAKE ACTION: They Almost Killed The Deal

- Last week, Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) almost killed the Iran talks. He went to the Senate floor and attempted to pass a bill to give Congress the authority to kill any nuclear deal. Thankfully, Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT) intervened and blocked Graham's gambit. But it was a close call -- too close. -Jamal Abdi, NIAC - 11/21/14

Kerry in Paris as Nuclear Talks Move Toward Deadline

- U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is meeting Thursday in Paris with the foreign ministers of France and Saudi Arabia to discuss the ongoing negotiations over Iran's nuclear program. Later in the day he travels to Vienna, where officials from Iran and a group that includes the U.S., Britain, China, France, Russia and Germany have been trying to end a year of talks with a comprehensive agreement. -Victor Beattie, VOA - 11/20/14

Nuclear pact within reach if West drops excessive demands: Iran's President Rouhani

- Iranian President Hassan Rouhani reiterated on Wednesday that a nuclear agreement between Iran and the major powers is "within reach" if the West stops making "excessive demands". - 11/20/14

US: Iran Nuclear Deal by Deadline Difficult but Possible

- U.S. President Barack Obama's nominee for deputy secretary of state says it will be difficult, but not impossible, to reach a nuclear deal with Iran before a Monday deadline. - 11/20/14

Calling Sens. Mitchell, Daschle--Your "Bipartisan" Center Is In Funny Company

- On Thursday, BPC will co-sponsor a forum ("Looming Deadline and Unanswered Questions: What's Next for the P5+1 and Iran") at the Senate Visitors Center with two hard-line neoconservative groups closely tied to and funded by wealthy donors of the Republican Jewish Coalition (chaired by multi-billionaire casino magnate Sheldon Adelson) -Jim Lobe, LobeLog - 11/20/14

IRNA: Iran to Hold Market Share Talks With Saudi at OPEC

- Iran's oil minister said he will talk with top oil exporter Saudi Arabia about market share when OPEC meets next week in Vienna, as Tehran plans for the possible end of sanctions and unfettered crude exports. -Reuters - 11/20/14

Security Council Resolutions: Barrier to Iran Nuclear Deal?

- We have not yet reached such a dramatic juncture with Iran. But should it become useful to rapidly lift the sanctions imposed by the four UNSC resolutions between 2006 and 2010 in order to secure a comprehensive agreement on Iran's nuclear program, the Western negotiators may find themselves incapable of delivering and may instead try to kick the can down the road to some point in the distant future. -Francois Nicoulaud, LobeLog - 11/19/14

On the long-term agreement between Iran and the P5+1: Is Israel losing the war to wage war on Iran?

- The world's attention is focused once again on the negotiations between Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council and Germany, commonly referred to as P5+1. Many are speculating about whether these negotiations will bear fruit by November 24, 2014, and reach a long-term agreement on curtailing Iran's nuclear activities in exchange for removal of sanctions imposed on the country. Whatever the outcome, however, one thing is certain: the role of Israel in these negotiations has diminished considerably. -Sasan Fayazmanesh - 11/19/14

Column: Crunch Time for Iran Nuclear Talks

- With only one week to go before a self-imposed deadline, the nail-biting is accelerating over whether Iran will reach an agreement with the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany (P5+1) that curbs its nuclear program for years to come in return for sanctions relief. -Barbara Slavin, VOA - 11/18/14

Iran Nuclear Deal in Final Push

- Iranian and international negotiators convene in Vienna Tuesday for a final push to try to reach agreement on Iran's nuclear program by the November 24 deadline. The issues are largely the same as they have been for more than a year, and the implications of not reaching a deal are potentially as dire as ever. -Al Pessin, VOA - 11/18/14

Iran, U.S. have shared interest in reaching nuclear deal

- The political minefields that the Iranian and American presidents have to navigate in their respective capitals are now even more explosive than Iran's nuclear facilities. -Zvi Bar'el, Haaretz - 11/18/14

Iran's Kish Air Show: Investment Opportunities

- The 7th Biennial Kish Air Show opens on November 18 on the Persian Gulf Island. The 4-day exhibition is aimed at helping participants understand changes in the Iranian aviation industry, discover attractive business opportunities and meet new partners as well as competitors. - 11/17/14

Iran Nuclear Pact Faces an Array of Opposing Forces

- When President Obama wrote last month to Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, urging him to overcome a decade of mistrust and negotiate a deal limiting Tehran's nuclear ambitions, it was perhaps the president's last effort to reach a reconciliation with Iran that could remake the Middle East. -NY Times - 11/17/14


- Before I traveled to Iran, I didn't want to read anything about Iran. Certainly nothing written by mainstream American news media, which often draws an absurdist caricature of the country. I wanted to arrive with an open heart. -Monica Byrne - 11/17/14

Iraq starts up Iran-made power plant near Najaf

- Iraq has inaugurated a 162-MW power plant made by Iranians near the southern city of Najaf. The power station became operational in a ceremony attended by Iranian and Iraqi energy ministers on Thursday in Heidarieh area, some 25 km north of Najaf. - 11/17/14

Photos: Iran opens largest Middle East gold plant, doubling production

- First Vice-President Eshaq Jahangiri inaugurated the largest gold plant in the Middle East in Zareh Shuran of Takaab in West Azarbaijan Province on Saturday. With the operation of the plant the gold bullion production capacity in the country will be doubled and reach 5.5 tons. - 11/15/14

Energy agency sees lower oil prices continuing

- The latest estimate by the International Energy Agency, published on Friday Nov. 14, foresees that depressed oil prices on the international market will continue until 2015. The agency cites falling demand as the reason for the drop in oil prices. - 11/15/14

Iran Nuclear Talks: Is a Deal by Nov. 24 Possible?

- Intensive nuclear talks between Iran and various world powers this week in Oman did little to signal that a comprehensive deal is on track to meet its 24 November deadline. But then again, a similar mood surrounded the weeks leading up to the unprecedented interim deal signed almost a year ago. -Ellie Geranmayeh, LobeLog - 11/15/14

UANI Targets Legal Humanitarian Trade With Iran

- The anti-Iran pressure group United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI) claims as its mission to stop the Iranian nuclear program. A big part of its effort revolves around what it calls "private sanctions campaigns"-attempts to get consumers to boycott or otherwise pressure companies doing business with Iran, while at the same time "striving not to punish the Iranian people," as the group's mission statement puts it. -Eli Clifton and Ali Gharib, LobeLog - 11/14/14

The Rare Place Where Israelis And Iranians Play Together

- What do you get when three Israelis, two Iranians and a German walk into a room? A Berlin-based world music ensemble known as Sistanagila, named after an Iranian province - Sistan and Baluchestan - and the popular Jewish folk song "Hava Nagila." -Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson, NPR - 11/14/14

Iraqi Forces Drive IS From Refinery Town

- Iraqi officials said Friday government forces have driven out Islamic State militants from the oil refinery town of Beiji, north of Baghdad. The Islamic jihadists had captured Beiji during their blitz across northern and western Iraq earlier this year. - 11/14/14

Leading Iranian Figures Support Nuclear Negotiations and Hope for an Agreement

- As the P5+1 negotiations on Iran's nuclear program between the world powers and Iran approach the November 24 deadline, it is important that the negotiators on both sides of the table take note of the voices of their respective citizens at home: support for the nuclear negotiations and hope for a successful agreement is clear and strong among both the Iranian and the US public. - 11/13/14

Iran, Azerbaijan ink five cooperation agreements during President Rouhani's visit

- The Iranian and Azeri officials signed five cooperation agreements on Wednesday to expand ties in areas of economy, renewable energy, industry, communications, and transport, IRNA reported on Wednesday. The cooperation deals were signed at the presence of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and his Azeri counterpart Ilham Aliyev in Baku. - 11/13/14

America's Last Best Hope for Defeating the Islamic State Is...Iran?

- When President Barack Obama's secret missive to Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei was leaked to the media, the reactions were predictable: Israel was furious. Saudi Arabia was livid. And Mitt Romney was dumfounded. -Emad Kiyaei, AIC - 11/13/14

Russia: Nov. 24 Deadline for Iran Nuclear Deal in Doubt

- A deal to curb Iran's nuclear program before a Nov. 24 deadline may not be possible, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said on Thursday, while suggesting the talks may be extended. - 11/13/14

Iranian MP: Obama's Letter to Khamenei Could Be a Starting Point for More Contacts

- Speaking exclusively to Rooz, a member of Iran's parliament, the Majlis, said that both Iran and the US want the ongoing nuclear talks to come to fruition by the deadline of November 24th so they can celebrate. Ahmad Bakhshayeshi spoke of "signals" that he thinks are indications that the talks will be productive. -Fereshteh Ghazi, Rooz - 11/13/14

There's a Glaring Omission in the Economist's Special Report on Iran

- According to a recent special report on Iran in The Economist: "The revolution is over." The article concludes by suggesting that Iranian President Hassan Rouhani's approach to the country's controversial nuclear program and international relations is a departure from that of his predecessors. - Jahandad Memarian, LobeLog - 11/13/14

Netanyahu Warns Against Nuclear Deal With Iran

- Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has warned world powers against concluding a deal with Iran to curb its nuclear program. Netanyahu spoke to an assembly of the Jewish Federations of North America by satellite from Jerusalem. - 11/12/14

Iran's President Rouhani: Nuclear deal to benefit entire world

- President Hassan Rouhani said a nuclear deal between Iran and Group 5+1 will benefit the entire world. He made the remarks in his statement to the cabinet meeting. He made clear that the Islamic Republic of Iran would cooperate with the International Atomic Energy Agency to assure transparency of the Iranian nuclear program. - 11/12/14

Iran, US, EU Wrap Up High-Level Nuclear Talks

- Senior U.S. State Department officials said talks with Iran over its controversial nuclear program have been "tough, direct and serious." But they declined to say if progress was made during trilateral negotiations that also included the European Union. -Pamela Dockins, VOA - 11/12/14

Top political donors: "Bomb the daylights" out of Iran

- Did you hear what two of the most powerful political donors in America said yesterday about a potential deal with Iran yesterday?Haim Saban, a top Democratic donor who has given millions to candidates like Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, told the Israeli American Forum he "would bomb the daylights out of those SOBs" in Iran. - 11/11/14

'No Progress' in 2nd Day of Nuclear Pact Talks

- Iran, the United States and the European Union have wrapped up two days of talks in Oman without any noted breakthrough on a comprehensive nuclear agreement with Tehran. Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and European Union envoy Catherine Ashton were trying to reach a deal Monday, ahead of the looming November 24 deadline for a pact. - 11/11/14

On Qassem Soleimani, Superstar, and Negotiating with Iran in a Hobbesian World

- Karl Sharro published this brilliant satire on the news coverage of the "shadowy" Iranian Qods Froce commander, Qassem Soleimani, almost a month before a big story appeared Nov. 5 in the Associated Press about the "mysterious" military "mastermind" who is apparently running the ground war in Iraq. Had he seen the AP's piece, Sharro would have probably included its last juicy line about "Supermani" in his own article. -Farideh Farhi, LobeLog - 11/11/14

Obama: 'Big Gap' In Iran Nuke Talks

- U.S. President Barack Obama says there is a "big gap" between Tehran and international negotiators over Iran's nuclear program and that a deal to end a decade-long standoff could be out of reach. - 11/10/14

Iran, US, EU Hold Second Day of Talks

- U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton have begun a second day of talks in Oman as a deadline for a comprehensive nuclear agreement with Iran approaches. The extended discussions Monday are taking place after some of the participants originally had been scheduled to leave. - 11/10/14

ISIS in a Sunni-Shia perspective

- When ISIS suddenly emerged in Iraq it declared as one of its first targets the Shi'is and what it called the Safavids. The Safavid dynasty (1501-1736) was one of the most powerful Iranian dynasties after the Islamic conquest. -Farhang Jahanpour - 11/10/14

Kerry Meeting With Iranian FM With Deadline for Nuclear Deal

- U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif have begun face-to-face talks in Oman just two weeks ahead of a deadline for reaching a nuclear deal. European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton is also taking part in Sunday's talks. - 11/9/14

Iran Nuclear Talks: Reading the Tea Leaves

- Secretary of State John Kerry has a hectic traveling schedule, and this month's itinerary has been particularly focused on doing everything to ensure a good deal with Iran over its nuclear program is achieved by the deadline of November 24. -Francois Nicoulaud, LobeLog - 11/9/14

Jerusalem of Tarnished Gold

- Take a particularly provocative and grandstanding Israeli government and shift its focus from Hamas and Gaza to Jerusalem and you have a most explosive recipe. That potion is being stirred now, and the results could shake up the status quo in a way that we have only seen a few times in Israel's history. -Mitchell Plitnick, LobeLog - 11/9/14

The Imminent Prospect of a U.S.-IRAN Breakthrough worries the Hawks

- The international community grapples once again with the imminent prospect of a "nuclear deal" between the U.S. (aka P5+1) and Iran before the extended deadline of November 24. Meanwhile, the neo-cons and fundamentalists from both sides have begun undermining and harming possible breakthroughs. With the visionary brinkmanship of both sides the lingering stalemate may be resolved, ending the fraught sanctions, and opening trades and diplomatic relations. - 11/8/14

Falling Oil Prices May Not Pressure Iran, Russia

- The global price of oil fell sharply in recent months, providing some benefits to consumers and putting economic pressure on exporting countries, including two that are involved in disputes with the West. But analysts say the impact on those two countries - Iran and Russia - may not be as great as some might expect. -Al Pessin, VOA - 11/8/14

Iranian Quds Leader 'Shuns Bullet-Proof Vest' In Fight Against IS

- Iran's "mysterious" Quds Force commander Major General Qassem Suleimani may have stepped out of the shadows in Iraq, but the Iranian media's myth-making efforts about the once-elusive military chief continue apace. -Joanna Paraszczuk, RFE - 11/8/14

Report Says Obama Wrote Iranian Leader About Fighting IS

- A report in "The Wall Street Journal" newspaper says U.S. President Barack Obama secretly wrote to Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in October about fighting Islamic State (IS) militants in Iraq and Syria. - 11/7/14

Column: Will US Election Results Undermine Iran Nuclear Talks?

- Foreign policy - apart from scaremongering about Ebola and terrorism - was not a major issue in U.S. midterm elections. But the imminent Republican takeover of the Senate could impact whether the international community and Iran agree to a landmark deal in talks that are nearing a November 24 deadline. -Barbara Slavin, VOA - 11/7/14

Iran is set to reclaim its role as regional leader

- Once US troops go home, Iran has the most battle-ready military force to offset regional challenges. -Shahram Akbarzadeh, Al-Jazeera - 11/7/14

Azerbaijan: Time to Address the Potential Salafi Danger

- Earlier in October, Azerbaijani news media reported the death of a professional Azerbaijani wrestler, Rashad Bakhshaliyev, who was killed in Syria while fighting for the Islamic State. The news, which came as a surprise to many in Azerbaijan, underscores an emerging security threat for Azerbaijan. -Eldar Mamedov, LobeLog - 11/7/14

Obama Says He'll Work With Outgoing Congress On New War Powers

- U.S. President Barack Obama said he would update congressional leaders about the fight against Islamic State militants during meetings in Washington on November 7. Speaking on November 5, a day after his Democratic Party was soundly defeated in midterm Congressional elections, Obama also expressed cautious optimism about reaching a deal with Tehran over Iran's nuclear program. - 11/6/14

Why Israel Opposes A Final Nuclear Deal with Iran and What to Do About It

- November 24 is the deadline for six world powers and Iran to reach a final deal over its nuclear program. If there is no deal, then the talks are likely to be extended, not abandoned. But as I learned from more than three decades' work on Middle East issues, in and out of the US government, success also depends on Israel no longer believing that it needs a regional enemy shared in common with the United States to ensure Washington's commitment to its security. -Robert E. Hunter, LobeLog - 11/6/14

Pentagon seeks Iran sanctions waiver for Afghanistan investment: Report

- The Wall Street Journal newspaper revealed on Tuesday that the Pentagon's Task Force for Business and Stability Operations has sought to use Iran's investment in major business ventures it was promoting in Afghanistan. - 11/6/14

Iran, 5+1 to meet in Oman soon after Zarif-Kerry-Ashton talks

- Negotiators from Iran and the 5+1 group - the U.S., Britain, Russia, China, France and Germany - will meet in Muscat, Oman, for nuclear talks on November 11, Abbas Araqchi, the Iranian deputy foreign minister and a leading nuclear negotiator, announced on Sunday. - 11/5/14

Nasrallah, Iran Praise Hizballah's Role In Fighting IS

- Iran's media has highlighted comments made by the secretary-general of the Lebanese Hizballah movement, who boasted on November 3 that the Shi'ite group was experiencing a "great victory" over the Sunni Islamic State (IS) extremist group in Syria. -Joanna Paraszczuk, RFE - 11/5/14

Is the Justice Department Shielding an Anti-Iran Smear Campaign?

- A new wrinkle in an already bizarre lawsuit is shaping up to potentially embarrass the Obama administration. If allegations made in a recent court filing are true, then the Justice Department, with an unprecedented assertion of the state secrets privilege, might be shielding from any accountability a group actively engaged in spreading false information. -Ali Gharib and Eli Clifton, Nation - 11/5/14

ISIS Improves Hezbollah's Standing

- The horrors perpetrated by IS in Iraq against religious minorities and Sunni opponents in areas that have come under its control have, if anything, rallied Lebanese Shi'a behind Hezbollah, particularly in the absence of a strong Lebanese state and security forces that are able to protect the country. Indeed, Hezbollah has effectively come to be seen as the only armed group that can defend Lebanon against a possible "invasion" by the "beheaders gang." -Aurelie Daher - 11/5/14

Pentagon Says Policies Of Iran, Pakistan Destabilize Afghan Security

- The Pentagon's latest assessment on security in Afghanistan has strongly criticized Pakistan and Iran, saying they are destabilizing regional security. - 11/5/14

Iran plans to double gas production by 2017

- Over the next three years, our plan is to increase production to 1 billion cubic meters (bcm) per day," Managing Director of National Iranian Gas Company (NIGC) Hamid Reza Araqi told Bloomberg. He added that Iran's daily gas output will increase to 680 mcm in winter, up from 550 mcm. - 11/4/14

Role for Russia Gives Iran Talks a Possible Boost

- Iran has tentatively agreed to ship much of its huge stockpile of uranium to Russia if it reaches a broader nuclear deal with the West, according to officials and diplomats involved in the negotiations, potentially a major breakthrough in talks that have until now been deadlocked. -NY Times - 11/4/14

Iran Warns Of "Serious Contradictions" In U.S. Anti-IS Policies

- The Iranian media, both in Persian and English, has made much of remarks by Iran's Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab and African Affairs, Hossein Amir Abdollahian, who said that Tehran mistrusts the intentions of the United States in Syria and the fight against the Islamic State (IS) group. -Joanna Paraszczuk, RFE - 11/3/14

An Unprecedented Look at Stuxnet, the World's First Digital Weapon

- In January 2010, inspectors with the International Atomic Energy Agency visiting the Natanz uranium enrichment plant in Iran noticed that centrifuges used to enrich uranium gas were failing at an unprecedented rate. The cause was a complete mystery-apparently as much to the Iranian technicians replacing the centrifuges as to the inspectors observing them. -Kim Zetter, Wired - 11/3/14

ISIS eyes using Ebola as bio weapon: Spain

- The Spanish government said it is concerned that terrorists could use the Ebola virus as a biological weapon against the West. A close eye is being kept on online chat rooms, where such attacks are reportedly discussed among jihadist groups. - 11/3/14

Iran was OPEC's 3rd largest oil producer in first half of 2014: EIA

- Iran was the third-largest crude oil producer in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries in the first half of 2014, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. The largest buyers of Iranian crude and condensate are China, India, Japan, South Korea, and Turkey, the EIA stated. - 11/2/14

Kerry, Iranian FM to Hold Nuclear Talks in November

- U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will hold talks next month with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif as the deadline for an agreement on Iran's nuclear program approaches. The State Department says Kerry will meet with the Iranian diplomat in Oman on November 9 and 10. European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton will also be part of the talks. - 11/1/14

Iran advised to cut expectations for oil revenue

- The National Oil Company of Iran says the Iranian government should abandon scenarios based on oil selling for $100 a barrel and instead base its budget on a price of $70 per barrel. - 11/1/14

Iran Defeating IS With 'Ideas' Not Arms

- Asenior Iranian hard-line cleric has said that Iranian Qods Force Commander Major General Qassem Suleimani's ideas are more effective against Islamic State (IS) militants than arms. Grand Ayatollah Hossein Noori Hamedani said that Suleimani's "intelligence and ideas" had defeated the "terrorists" in Syria and Iraq. - 11/1/14

Netanyahu and Obama: Name-Calling and its Discontents

- The obsession in politics and diplomacy with decorum-largely a relic from the past-can easily distract people from the realities of the present. Case in point, the uproar over Jeffrey Goldberg's latest article in the Atlantic, the headline of which, The Crisis in U.S.-Israel Relations Is Officially Here, would seem important enough to warrant more attention than it has gotten so far. -Mitchell Plitnick, LobeLog - 11/1/14

An Iranian who could balance Tehran's factions?

- The newly prominent official is Ali Shamkhani, the head of Iran's national security council. He played a key role last summer in the ouster of Nouri al-Maliki as Iraq's prime minister. -David Ignatius, Washington Post - 11/1/14

Iran, Turkey Rivalry Puts Focus on Kurds

- As differences over Syria and the Islamic State continue to deepen between Turkey and Iran, Kurds living across the Middle East are set to become pawns in the intensifying rivalry between these two regional powers. This week, former close allies Tehran and Ankara again exchanged angry barbs. -Dorian Jones, VOA - 10/31/14

Facing its own Islamic State-inspired militants, Iran wields a smaller stick

- With the help of local Sunnis on its southeastern border with Pakistan, Iran is using a blend of force, dialogue, and money to counter Jaish al-Adl, a radical group that claims to fight for Sunni rights. -Scott Peterson, CSM - 10/31/14

The U.S.-Iran non-alliance alliance against Islamic State

- Washington and Tehran say they abhor each other. Yet they appear to be tacitly working together - if awkwardly and at arm's length - to fight Islamic State. When everyone hates everyone else (welcome to the Middle East!) and pursues their own self-interest, strange political alliances can emerge. -Aki Peritz and Faris Alikhan, Reuters - 10/31/14

Will the World Blame Iran if Nuclear Talks Fail?

- The remarks of US Under Secretary of State Wendy Sherman at a symposium in Washington, DC on Oct. 23 contained at least one very questionable assertion: "We hope the leaders in Tehran will agree to the steps necessary to assure the world that this program will be exclusively peaceful...If that does not happen, the responsibility will be seen by all to rest with Iran." -Peter Jenkins - 10/30/14

As West Applauds Kurdish Female Fighters, Iran Praises Peshmerga 'Elders'

- While Western media and social networks have lauded the courage of young Kurdish female fighters, the Iranian press has praised their older, male Iraqi Peshmerga counterparts. -Joanna Paraszczuk, RFE - 10/30/14

Goldberg Sees Crisis in US-Israel Ties, Blames Bibi

- While everyone ritually insists that the bonds between Israel and the United States are "unbreakable," yesterday's analysis by Jeffrey Goldberg, "The Crisis in U.S.-Israel Relations Is Officially Here," argues that they're currently under unprecedented strain and that the fault lies mainly with Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu. -Jim Lobe, LobeLog - 10/30/14

Resolving Key Nuclear Issue Turns on Iran-Russia Deal

- U.S. and Iranian negotiators are working on a compromise approach to the issue of Iran's uranium enrichment capabilities, which the Barack Obama administration has said in the past Iran was refusing to make concessions on. -Gareth Porter, LobeLog - 10/29/14

The Collapse of Order in the Middle East

- Will Rogers once observed that "when you get into trouble 5,000 miles from home, you've got to have been looking for it." It's a good deal more than 5.000 miles to Baghdad or Damascus from here. And, boy, have we gotten into trouble! -Chas Freeman, LobeLog - 10/29/14

Iran Accuses Turkey of Prolonging Civil War in Syria

- Iran accused Turkey on Tuesday of prolonging the three-year conflict in neighboring Syria by insisting on President Bashar al-Assad's overthrow and supporting "terrorist groups" in Syria, the official IRNA news agency reported. -Reuters - 10/29/14

Kobani Kurds Expose the Hypocrisy of the Coalition to Fight ISIS

- The coalition's purported fight against ISIS is essentially akin to a parent's trying to discipline a disruptive or disobedient teenage child. No matter how harsh the punishment for the child's unruly behavior may be, it will not include killing him. ISIS is simply too useful to the nefarious interests of the coalition members-and of the beneficiaries of war-dividends in general-to be eliminated. -Ismael Hossein-zadeh - 10/28/14
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