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October 06 2015
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The United States Needs to Rein in Its Regional Allies

- The interests of the great powers and their regional allies have seldom totally coincided, and often their interests have diverged in important ways. This was even true during the Cold War era, despite the fact that within each competing camp allies shared the same ideology. -Shireen T. Hunter - 10/6/15

Three Strikes and You're Out? The False Promise of Aerial Policing

- The unlearned lessons of America's recent failures in war took an ominous and strange twist last week as yet another state embraced the false promise of aerial policing in the Middle East. Russia represents the third country in the modern era to mount an aerial campaign to try and police the region's politics from 10,000 feet. - James A. Russell, LobeLog - 10/6/15

Former Iranian diplomat still missing in Saudi Arabia: Deputy FM

- A senior Iranian diplomat says the Islamic Republic is seriously pursuing the fate of Iran's former ambassador to Lebanon who remains unaccounted for after the tragic September 24 crush in Mina, Saudi Arabia. - 10/5/15

The Superpower as Victim

- Given the cluttered landscape of the last 14 years, can you even faintly remember the moment when the Berlin Wall came down, the Cold War ended in a stunned silence of shock and triumph in Washington, Eastern Europe was freed, Germany unified, and the Soviet Union vanished from the face of the Earth? At that epochal moment, six centuries of imperial rivalries ended. Only one mighty power was left. -Tom Engelhardt, LobeLog - 10/5/15

Iran holds funerals for victims of human crush in Mina

- Iranians held mourning ceremonies in the capital, Tehran, and other cities for the victims of the tragic human crush of September 24 in Mina, Saudi Arabia, during the Hajj pilgrimage rituals. A large crowd of people attended the funeral ceremonies across the country on Sunday October 4, 2015, 10 days after the tragic incident killed hundreds of pilgrims. - 10/4/15

First Group Of Iran Hajj Dead Return Home

- Iran is welcoming a plane carrying home the first group of Iranian pilgrims killed in last week's stampede during the annual Muslim hajj pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia. President Hassan Rouhani was among several senior officials attending a repatriation ceremony Saturday at the Tehran airport as the plane arrived. - 10/3/15

Kerry, Zarif Meet At UN To Discuss Syria, Iran Nuclear Deal

- U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif held an impromptu meeting at a United Nations gathering of world leaders October 2 to discuss Syria and carrying out the Iran nuclear deal. Kerry and Zarif sent their advisers out of the room to meet alone, then left separately without commenting. - 10/3/15

Iran Orders Bahraini Diplomat To Leave In Tit-For-Tat Move

- Iranian news media are reporting that Iran's Foreign Ministry has declared Bahrain's second-ranking diplomat in Tehran persona non grata and ordered him out of the country. - 10/3/15

Silent Arrogance: Netanyahu at the UN

- Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made his appearance at the United Nations General Assembly today, one day after a speech by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. Nothing of substance is going to change as a result of these speeches. But Netanyahu's in particular offered a good picture of the current state of affairs and why they are what they are. -Mitchell Plitnick, LobeLog - 10/3/15

The Destructive U.S.-Backed Campaign in Yemen

- The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCR) reports that during a six-month period from late March until last week (even before the incident involving the wedding) at least 2,355 civilians had been killed in the fighting in Yemen, with almost two-thirds of the deaths caused by airstrikes conducted by Saudi Arabia and its Gulf Arab allies. -Paul R. Pillar, LobeLog - 10/3/15

After the Iran Deal: Getting Beyond Enmity

- Why has the United States been so unwilling to take advantage of a closer tie with Iran, the most internally stable nation in the area with a population of roughly 80 million, a post-sanction burgeoning economy with substantial American investment opportunities, and sizable energy resources? Why have we been unwilling to recognize that Iran has legitimate national and religious interests-some quite compatible with our own regional concerns? -Charles Naas - 10/2/15

Netanyahu Slams Iran Nuclear Deal at UN

- Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu offered a blistering condemnation of the deal between Iran and major world powers aimed at curbing Tehran's nuclear program in a speech to the U.N. General Assembly Thursday in New York. -Margaret Besheer, Mark Snowiss, VOA - 10/2/15

NIAC Action Denounces Latest House Effort to Derail Iran Deal

- NIAC Action Executive Director Jamal Abdi issued the following statement after the House of Representatives passed H.R. 3457, the "Justice for Victims of Iranian Terrorism Act," a bill that would threaten to kill the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action: - 10/2/15

Saudi King expresses sympathy to Iran over pilgrim deaths

- After days of contentious exchanges between Iranian and Saudi authorities over the tragic incident in Mena that led to the death of thousands of Muslim pilgrims, the Saudi King has reportedly sent a message of condolence to the Iranian government. - 10/2/15

Cardin Finally Introduces Still-Weaker Iran Oversight Bill

- After a couple of weeks of negotiations with fellow Democrats and (indirectly) with the White House, Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD) has finally introduced the latest version of his "Iran Policy Oversight Act of 2015." It is co-sponsored by eight of his most AIPAC-sensitive colleagues, including Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) who, like Cardin, voted with Republicans to reject the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) last month. -Jim Lobe, LobeLog - 10/2/15

Henry of Arabia

- The only person Henry Kissinger flattered more than President Richard Nixon was Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, the Shah of Iran. In the early 1970s, the Shah, sitting atop an enormous reserve of increasingly expensive oil and a key figure in Nixon and Kissinger's move into the Middle East, wanted to be dealt with as a serious person. He expected his country to be treated with the same respect Washington showed other key Cold War allies like West Germany and Great Britain. -Greg Grandin, LobeLog - 10/2/15

Iran Says Hajj Death Toll Hits 464

- Iran's hajj organization said Thursday that 464 Iranians are now confirmed dead after last week's stampede during the annual Muslim pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia. Before Thursday, Iran's total had been half that number with the fate of others unknown since the crush of pilgrims happened outside the city of Mecca last week. Saudi authorities have said the total number of victims is at least 769 people with Iranians making up the largest share. - 10/1/15

Conspiracy Theories Fly In Iran Over Deadly Hajj Incident

- Tehran has said that negligence and mismanagement by Saudi organizers caused last week's hajj stampede that left at least 464 Iranians dead. The Iranian losses were the largest incurred by any nationality in the deadly crush that took place in the Mina neighborhood of Mecca on September 24, the deadliest tragedy to befall the annual Muslim pilgrimage in 25 years. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE - 10/1/15

Assad allies, including Iranians, prepare ground attack in Syria: sources

- Hundreds of Iranian troops have arrived in Syria in the last 10 days and will soon join government forces and their Lebanese Hezbollah allies in a major ground offensive backed by Russian air strikes, two Lebanese sources told Reuters. - 10/1/15

Rouhani's Dual Messages and Iran's Security Strategy

- Rouhani's UN message has opened the door on engagement with the US but insists that cooperation on resisting IS is the priority in Syria Iranian President Hassan Rouhani's address at the UN General Assembly and a talk the previous night to about 150 Americans touted the recent nuclear breakthrough as a precedent for further diplomatic accommodation with the United States. -Gareth Porter, Counterpunch - 10/1/15

Iran's nuclear deal and the regional countries

- Although some regional countries initially opposed the nuclear deal between Iran and the P5+1 (the United States, Russia, China, United Kingdom, France and Germany), once the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) was signed by the two sides in July 2015, practically all regional countries welcomed it. -Farhang Jahanpour - 10/1/15

AIPAC Spent $14.5 Million on TV Ads during Iran Deal Debate

- In the aftermath of Senate Republicans' failed efforts to derail the plan agreed on in July to limit Iran's nuclear program, responsibility has fallen on AIPAC for its inability to persuade a meaningful number of Senate Democrats to join their GOP colleagues in opposing the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). To put it bluntly, AIPAC, a group with historically stronger ties to the Democratic Party, failed miserably. -Eli Clifton, LobeLog - 10/1/15

The United States and Iran: A Great Rapprochement?

- In 1968, as the world was unravelling at the seams, the historian Bradford Perkins published The Great Rapprochement. The book chronicled the U.S. move away from "Anglophobia" and toward "Anglophilia" during the two decades prior to the First World War. Without the "great rapprochement," a product of geopolitical calculations and cultural affinities, the United States may not have allied with Great Britain during the world wars. What a different world it could have been. -Matthew Shannon - 9/30/15

What Happens if Turkey's Next Election Is Still Inconclusive?

- On November 1, Turks will head back to the polls to redo their country's inconclusive June elections. That vote stripped Turkey's ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) of the parliamentary majority it had held since 2002 (the first election in which it stood) and led to months of negotiations over forming a coalition government. -Derek Davison, LobeLog - 9/30/15

President Rouhani: Iran Seeks Peace, Development

- Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said Monday that the nuclear deal agreed to between the six major powers and Tehran should signal a new era and help lead to peace and stability in the Middle East. Speaking at the annual gathering of world leaders at the United Nations General Assembly, Rouhani said the nuclear deal is "not the final objective, but a development which can and should be the basis of further achievements to come." -Margaret Besheer, VOA - 9/29/15

Obama Says U.S. Willing To Work With Russia and Iran To Resolve Syrian War

- U.S. President Barack Obama says the United States is prepared to work with Russia and Iran to bring an end to the conflict in Syria but that a resolution to the war must include a "managed transition" away from Syrian President al-Bashar Assad. - 9/29/15

Russia, Syria, Iran, Iraq to Share Intelligence on Islamic State

- Iraq says it will share military intelligence and security information with Syria, Iran and Russia to fight Islamic State. A spokesman for Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said the intelligence group will focus on "monitoring the movements of the terrorists...and degrading their capacity." - 9/29/15

Mecca Stampede: Behind Iran's Reaction

- The stampede in Mecca has opened the door to criticism of the Saudi monarchy and its management of a religious holiday that brings some two million Muslims to the holy city each year. Unsurprisingly, the loudest critiques have come from the Iranian government. At the heart of Iran's discontent is the sense that the Saudis, through their mismanagement, have deliberately put Iranian pilgrims in harm's way. -Henry Johnson, LobeLog - 9/29/15

Russian, Iranian Leaders: Assad Must Remain in Power

- Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Iranian counterpart, Hassan Rouhani, have told U.S. media outlets that embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad must remain in power to fight terrorism. Speaking to CNN on Sunday, Rouhani said that in driving out terrorists in Syria, "we have no solution other than to strengthen the central authority of that country." -Victor Beattie, VOA - 9/28/15

West's actions fomenting violence in Mideast: Iran's President Rouhani

- President Hassan Rouhani of Iran has hit out at the West for adopting measures that have fueled tensions in the region. He made the remarks in a Sunday meeting with members of American think tanks in the US city of New York, where he is to take part in the 70th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). - 9/28/15

Israel's Opposition to the Nuclear Treaty with Iran

- Relations between Iran and Israel go back almost to the foundation of the State of Israel in 1948. Iran was the second Muslim-majority country to recognize Israel as a sovereign state, following Turkey, and the two countries had very close diplomatic and even military cooperation for many decades. -Farhang Jahanpour, IPS - 9/28/15

ENTIRE INTERVIEW: Amanpour/Rouhani

- This is the full interview and accompanying transcript of CNN's Christiane Amanpour's conversation with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, HOST: Mr. President, welcome. Welcome to the program. Thank you for joining us. PRES. HASSAN ROUHANI, IRAN (through translator): I thank your program and you for preparing this interview. -CNN - 9/28/15

Russia is Back. Get Used to it.

- This coming Monday, President Barack Obama will meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the UN General Assembly, their first meeting in 15 months. This will be no ordinary occasion, given Russian aggression in Ukraine, the West's sanctions, and a lot of bad blood between the United States and the Russian Federation. -Robert E. Hunter - 9/28/15

Iranian women win their first futsal championship

- Iran's women's national futsal team has lifted the trophy at the 2015 Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Women's Futsal Championship in Malaysia following a victory over the Japanese side. - 9/27/15

Top US, Iranian Diplomats Discuss Syria, Iran Nuclear Deal

- The United States sees a "major opportunity" in diplomatic talks at the United Nations to end the bloodshed in Syria and Yemen and to make progress toward achieving peace there. Secretary of State John Kerry gave that optimistic assessment following his talks in New York Saturday with Iran's foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, ahead of the opening of the annual U.N. General Assembly debate on Monday. -Pamela Dockins, VOA - 9/27/15

Iran: Saudi Arabia Should Apologize for Hajj Deaths

- Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said Sunday in a statement on his Website, "The Saudis should accept the responsibility and apologize to the Muslims and the victims' families. ... This issue will not be forgotten and the nations will pursue it seriously. ... The Islamic world has a lot of questions." - 9/27/15

How Pope Francis US Visit Can Help Boost Diplomacy and Defeat Militarism

- Pope Francis's visit to Washington DC could not have been better timed for the Obama administration. Relations with Cuba have been normalized and the Iran nuclear deal has survived the theatrics of the mandated Congressional review. Pope Francis has of course played an important role in many of these wins for President Barack Obama. He helped with the backchannel diplomacy with Havana, he has endorsed the Iran deal and the White House has reportedly also enlisted his offices to help secure the release of three American citizens imprisoned in Iran. -Trita Parsi - 9/26/15

Whatever Happened to the Iranian Parliament's JCPOA's Review?

- Earlier this week Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif appointed Abbas Araghchi, the deputy foreign minister for legal and international affairs and chief nuclear negotiator, to oversee the implementation phase of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). The appointment came after Secretary of State John Kerry designated Ambassador Stephen Mull as lead coordinator for JCPOA's implementation on the US side. -Farideh Farhi, LobeLog - 9/26/15

US-Iran Talks to Focus on Nuclear Deal, Regional Tensions

- Working out ways to implement the Iran nuclear deal and possible discussions of the Syrian conflict will be on the agenda when Secretary of State John Kerry meets with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif. The two will meet Saturday in New York, where world powers are gathering for the U.N. General Assembly. - 9/26/15

Iran Urges Saudi Arabia To Find Over 300 Missing Iranians In Hajj Stampede

- Iran has urged Saudi Arabia to find 344 of its citizens who are still unaccounted for in the aftermath of the deadly stampede at the hajj pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia that killed 717 people on September 24. Some 136 Iranians were killed and 102 injured, according to Said Ohadi, head of Iran's hajj organization. - 9/26/15

Iran's commitments under the Nuclear Treaty are just short of total surrender

- After 13 years of intensive talks and a fast-developing nuclear enrichment program, Iran has agreed to the most intrusive, restrictive and comprehensive set of demands to which any member state of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) has ever been subjected. In reality, as some Iranian commentators have argued, Iran has relinquished most of her rights as an NPT member, short of total surrender. -Farhang Jahanpour, IPS - 9/26/15

Tehran Says 131 Iranians Killed In Hajj Tragedy

- Iranian officials say at least 131 Iranians were among the more than 700 pilgrims killed in a stampede at the hajj in Saudi Arabia on September 24, the worst disaster at the annual Islamic event since 1990. Said Ohadi, the head of Iran's hajj organization, told the official IRNA news agency that more Iranians could still die, as 60 others were injured in the tragedy. - 9/25/15

The Real Reason America Needs to Engage with Iran

- A U.S. policy that counters bad Iranian behavior while increasing engagement will not turn Tehran into ally. But it may over time turn it into just a "competitor," and that would be a good thing. -Ilan Goldenberg, National Interest - 9/25/15

How Europe helped save Obama's historic nuclear deal with Iran

- On the surface it might appear that the key players who lobbied lawmakers the hardest for the congressional vote on this issue were the Obama administration and the pro-Israel lobby. However, the role of European members of the P5+1 (France, Germany and the United Kingdom) should not be ignored. These countries influenced the decision of the members of the US Congress both directly and indirectly, and it's possible the deal wouldn't have survived without their efforts. -Nader Habibi - 9/24/15

Not Losing Face in Syria

- After four years of war, with more than 200,000 dead and several million displaced and refugees, there's no end in sight to the Syrian crisis. On the contrary, the risks have increased that the West's differences with Russia over Ukraine and some other issues-and Moscow's greater involvement in support of Bashar al-Assad's government-will cause the Syrian conflict to acquire global dimensions far beyond the Middle East. -Shireen T. Hunter - 9/24/15

Over 700 Killed in Hajj Stampede Near Mecca

- At least 717 people are dead and 805 more are injured, after a stampede during the annual Muslim hajj pilgrimage in Mina, on the outskirts of the holy city of Mecca. Saudi officials say the incident occurred Thursday in Mina where pilgrims throw rocks at pillars representing the devil in the final hajj ritual before beginning the Eid al-Adha festival. - 9/24/15

Cardin's Bill Softer But Still Toxic

- Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD) appears to have watered down his "Iran Policy Oversight Act of 2015" in the hopes of wooing more Democrats to support it. But the latest draft, while not as toxic as the first, still contains a number of elements that are likely to prove highly objectionable and provocative to Iran and Washington's P5+1 partners. -Jim Lobe, LobeLog - 9/24/15

The longest subway line in Middle East inaugurated in Tehran

- The longest subway line in Tehran, considered the longest in the Middle East, was inaugurated in attendance of President Hassan Rouhani and Tehran Mayor Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf on Tuesday. - 9/24/15

"Baba Joon" the first Farsi-language Israeli film wins Best Picture at Israeli Oscars

- Baba Joon, the first Israeli film in Farsi, Yuval Delshad's debut feature, Baba Joon - beat all the competition in sight to be crowned Israel's Best Film of the year at the annual Israeli Film Academy Awards ceremony. The film also wins - Best Cinematography, Best Original Music, Best Production Designer and Best Casting at the Israel's Ophir Awards Yesterday night. As such, Baba Joon will represent Israel for next year's Foreign Language Oscars. - 9/23/15

AIPAC's Democrat Problems Go Beyond Obama

- Last week, journalists Josh Rogin and Eli Lake published a piece at Bloomberg Businessweek explaining how the influential pro-Israel lobby AIPAC came to be defeated in the biggest fight in a generation. The story holds important truths. It's essentially about the tough spot AIPAC was put in by the Obama administration's hardball tactics to protect the achievement of the nuclear deal with Iran, hardly a surprise given the stakes at hand. -Ali Gharib, LobeLog - 9/23/15

Iran's Parchin Nuclear Myth Begins to Unravel

- For well over three years, heavy doses of propaganda have created a myth about a purported steel cylinder for testing explosives located on a site at Iran's Parchin military testing reservation. Iran was refusing to allow the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to inspect the site while it sought to hide its past nuclear weapons-related work, according to that storyline. -Gareth Porter, CounterPunch - 9/23/15

Iranian Activists Call On Iran To End Support For Syria's Assad

- Scores of Iranian political activists and intellectuals have launched an online campaign calling on Iran to end its support for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and take in Syrian refugees fleeing violence there. The more than 70 activists, who include several former political prisoners, blame Assad and his foreign supporters, including Tehran, for the exodus of tens of thousands of Syrian refugees to Europe. - 9/23/15

Could Iran, U.S. tag-team ISIS? 'You must be dreaming,' Iranian general says

- Some of Iran's top commanders we spoke to laughed off any notion of cooperating with the U.S. in the battle against the extremist group. Many of the country's military and political leaders accuse the United States of being responsible for ISIS' rise. They also believe that the American-led air campaign to root out ISIS is deeply ineffective. -CNN - 9/23/15

Iranian officials head to US to follow up on JCPOA

- A number of high-ranking Iranian officials, including Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, have headed to New York, the United States, to pursue the implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) recently clinched between the Iran and the P5+1 group of countries. - 9/22/15

Iran making film on 175 martyred military divers

- Iran is making a film to pay tribute to 175 military divers whose bodies were recently recovered some 30 years after the end of the Iraq-Iran war. Some of the retrieved bodies had their hands tied and bore no scars, indicating that they were buried alive by the forces of the former Iraqi Ba'ath regime during Operation Karbala-4. - 9/22/15

Is Russia Dictating Next Steps in Syria?

- A series of Russian moves to bolster support for dictator Bashar al-Assad and for a negotiated political settlement to Syria's four-and-a-half-year civil war may allow for a new, unified focus on combating the Islamic State (ISIS or IS). But many questions remain about Russia's true aims, America's response, and the willingness of the Syrian parties themselves to negotiate an end to their conflict. -Derek Davison - 9/22/15

President Rohani Says Iranian Military Ready To Fight IS

- Iranian President Hassan Rohani says his country's military is the most reliable force to take on "terrorists in the region." Rohani said Iranian troops are willing to help both Iraq and Syria in the struggle against Islamic State militants, but insisted Tehran has no military intentions toward other nations. - 9/22/15

Russian Involvement and a Redirection of Policy on Syria

- The recently increased Russian involvement in Syria ought to be viewed as an opportunity, more so than as a threat or as something that needs to be countered. Although Moscow's current involvement is only an extension of its longtime relationship with the Syrian regime, it represents just enough of a change to serve as the closest thing we are likely to have to a peg on which to hang some needed rethinking about the Syrian conflict. -Paul R. Pillar, LobeLog - 9/22/15

UN Watchdog Reports 'Significant Progress' in Iran Probe

- The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency said Monday that "significant progress" has been made in the U.N.'s long-running probe into allegations Iran worked to develop nuclear weapons. Yukiya Amano said he reported to the IAEA's board about his trip to Iran that included visiting the Parchin military site that has been a key focus of the investigation. - 9/21/15

Rohani Says Most Iranians Back Nuclear Deal

- In an interview with the U.S. television program "60 Minutes" broadcast on September 20, Rohani said Iranians still distrust the United States, but that the deal should improve relations. - 9/21/15

Iranian designer chosen for one of a kind project: Eco Desert Retreat in UAE

- Baharash Architecture were recently tasked to design a luxury desert eco-retreat for one of Emirate's highest profile individuals. The eco retreat which is located in Liwa, in southern region of UAE, is designed to be in harmony with the pristine and untouched desert-scape. - 9/21/15

Tehran's Milad Tower hosts event on International Day of Peace

- UN Resident Coordinator in Iran has attended a ceremony in Milad Tower of Tehran on the occasion of International Day of Peace. Last Thursday, Gary Lewis applied a knot to carpet called 'Carpet of Peace' along with all guests and dignitaries of the ceremony. - 9/21/15

Iran inks gas deal as Omani minister visits

- Iran and Oman have signed an agreement on studying an undersea gas pipeline across the Persian Gulf in a project worth $60 billion, managing director of the National Iranian Gas Exports Company (NIGEC) says. - 9/21/15

IAEA chief Yukiya Amano visits Parchin military site in Iran

- Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Yukiya Amano has visited the Parchin military site in Iran as a formality arranged during his brief stay in the country. Iran has repeatedly denied Western allegations about secret nuclear activity at the site. - 9/20/15

Iran expects IAEA to monitor JCPOA implementation fairly: President Rouhani

- During a meeting with the visiting Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Yukiya Amano, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said Tehran expects the UN nuclear monitoring agency to be "fair" in overseeing the implementation of the Islamic Republic's nuclear agreement with the P5+1 group of world countries. - 9/20/15

War Profits Drive GOP Hawks: Wilkerson on GOP Debate

- Lawrence Wilkerson, former chief of staff to United States Secretary of State Colin Powell: But there is a group in this country who will put money behind anyone who looks like he's going to maintain and even push more stridently than before the business of war, if you will. I've recently had a person at the highest levels of power in this land say to me, inside Washington there's a bias toward war. That's absolutely correct. Lots of people made a lot of money off the invasion of Iraq. Lots of people made a lot of money off Afghanistan. - 9/20/15

Kerry: Syrian President Must Step Down

- Speaking in London after talks with British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond, Kerry urged Russia and Iran to use their influence in Syria to persuade Assad to negotiate his eventual departure in order to end to the country's catastrophic civil war. - 9/20/15

Washington's Great Game and Why It's Failing

- For even the greatest of empires, geography is often destiny. You wouldn't know it in Washington, though. America's political, national security, and foreign policy elites continue to ignore the basics of geopolitics that have shaped the fate of world empires for the past 500 years.- Alfred McCoy, LobeLog - 9/20/15

Afghan Army Now Ready ... to Lose to the Taliban

- One need not be prophetic to sense a bad outcome for the U.S. war in Afghanistan. Almost nothing has gone by plan since the Bush administration joined forces with the Northern Alliance in 2001 to kick the Taliban out of Kabul and into the tribal territories of Pakistan. -Charles Knight, LobeLog - 9/20/15

Hillary Clinton's Aggressive Approach to Iran

- Many Europeans are indifferent to whether the occupant of the White House is a Democrat or a Republican. What concerns them is that he or she be a "safe pair of hands." They want someone who is knowledgeable and intelligent on the one hand, and dispassionate and free of prejudice on the other hand. -Peter Jenkins - 9/19/15

The P5+1 and Iran Nuclear Deal Alert, September 17

- The sixty-day period for congressional review expired today, Sept, 17, and without the passage of resolution of disapproval, the Obama administration will be able to waive sanctions as required under the deal known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA.) -Kelsey Davenport, Arms Control Association - 9/19/15

The Rubicons That Have Been Crossed

- In their attempts to sabotage Iran's nuclear program, the United States and Israel have resorted over time to a number of unorthodox, illegal and in some cases criminal methods to achieve their aims. -Farhang Jahanpour, IPS - 9/19/15

Iran is Standing!

- Why should I care whether Iran has nukes? It most likely doesn't, but even if it does... it never attacked anyone, never overthrew any government, and never performed experiments on human beings. It had not committed a single genocide, and never dreamed about conquering the world. -Andre Vltchek, CounterPunch - 9/19/15

Iran Nuclear Deal Withstands Final Vote in Congress

- The U.S. Congress has failed to kill the Iran nuclear deal, and in another month the accord will begin to go into effect, as Iran makes the changes required so that economic sanctions can be lifted. -Pamela Dockins, VOA - 9/18/15

Top Ten Ways That Iran Hawks Became Their Own Worst Enemies

- Opponents of the agreement negotiated by the U.S. and its European allies to limit Iran's nuclear program haven't yet given up. There's still a likelihood that "poison pills" will be introduced in forthcoming legislation designed to win over nervous Democrats and derail implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). But the Obama administration cleared its biggest hurdle on September 10... -Eli Clifton, LobeLog - 9/18/15
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