Farvardin 26 1400 - April 15 2021
Why Israel would attack Iran's nuclear facility

Whatever else happens in the coming hours and days in the high-stakes drama over Iran's nuclear program, there is one thing we can all be sure of. Israel's apparent, daring attack on Iran's uranium enrichment facility in Natanz will be repeatedly and widely described in U.S. media as a move intended to "set back Iran's nuclear program." But it was nothing of the kind. -John Ghazvinian, Responsible Statecraft 4/13/21

Netanyahu's desperation could prompt him to sabotage the Vienna talks to restore the Iran nuclear deal

Benjamin Netanyahu is desperate. His first corruption trial has already started; he's struggling to form a government that might keep him out of jail; even observers who recognize his past ability to squirm out of trouble think he may finally have come to the end of the line. As the talks continue in Vienna to restore the Iran nuclear deal, Netanyahu's desperation could prompt him to extreme measures to try and sabotage the agreement - but, yet again, the U.S. mainstream media is ignoring the Israel angle. -James North, Mondoweiss 4/9/21

Biden Should Listen to Americans and Return to the Iran Deal

Despite being the most powerful nation in the world, the last U.S. election exposed the fragility of American democracy. It highlighted the need to continually work toward improving and fostering our democratic institutions... In order to nurture democracy, President Joe Biden should abide by its core belief to carry out the will of the people. His administration's openness to diplomacy with Iran reflects that very will. -Assal Rad, Newsweek 4/6/21

'Angry' protesters show up at Sen. Bob Menendez's house

Antiwar protesters demonstrated Saturday outside the suburban New Jersey home of Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) over his opposition to diplomacy with Iran. The protest was led by Codepink and Peace Action NJ. About two dozen people marched to the house in the upscale suburb of Englewood Cliffs where Menendez's third wife lives and the senator spends much of the year. -Matthew Petti, Responsible Statecraft 4/5/21

Don't let facts get in the way of your pursuit for regime change

Foundation for the Defense of Democracies CEO Mark Dubowitz is best known for his leadership in promoting "economic warfare" against Iran as a means to foment regime change in Tehran or outright war with the Islamic Republic. Part of that campaign requires spreading a lot of mis- or disinformation, and Dubowitz himself has been a fervent participant in those efforts. -Ben Armbruster, Responsible Statecraft 3/31/21

Sign the petition to President Biden: Restore the Iran Deal

President Biden campaigned on the promise of reviving the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, and we must hold him to that. Returning to the Iran deal is a necessary requirement for effective, broader diplomacy with Iran. The United States, along with people worldwide, deserve a long-term diplomatic approach to Iran and the wider region that minimizes human suffering and fosters lasting peace. -15 Participating Organizations 3/30/21

'Disclaimer' Turns the Spotlight on Its Audience

Can a culturally appropriative murder mystery in the guise of a cooking class prevent war with Iran? Piehole's interactive new Zoom play aims to find out. Disclaimer begins as a Persian cooking class on Zoom. Writer Tara Ahmadinejad also stars as Nargis Saleem, an Iranian American woman flailing in her attempts to teach her class how to cook Sabzi Polo, a dish traditionally served for the Persian New Year. It quickly becomes clear that Chef Nargis has an ulterior motive for this gathering. -American Theatre 3/25/21

Biden can end 'forever wars' only if he scraps Trump policies and pursues peace with Iran

President Joe Biden has inherited many debacles at home and abroad, including a global war that spans continents and has seen hundreds of thousands killed and trillions of taxpayer dollars spent. This endless war was almost catastrophically expanded by former President Donald Trump and his aggressive policies toward Iran. As the Biden years begin, the administration must fundamentally end America's reliance on military force, starting with coming to a lasting peace with Iran. -Sina Toossi and Yasmine Taeb, USA Today 3/22/21

Will Senate Dems join Lindsey Graham's effort to blow up the Iran nuclear deal?

Senate Democrats are considering signing on to a letter that critics say is meant to complicate President Biden's plan to return to the Iran nuclear deal, and is led by a senator who has been calling for war with Iran for more than a decade. -Ben Armbruster, Responsible Statecraft 3/18/21

Force of habit: Why the U.S. risks being sucked into a military showdown with Iran

Many Americans and Europeans applauded US President Joe Biden's recent willingness to authorise military strikes against Iranian-backed armed groups in Syria. This show of force was needed, they argue, to establish the credibility of the new US administration and to deter future attacks on US and coalition forces. There is also a sentiment among Europeans that, because Biden is not Donald Trump, the United States can now conduct military strikes in a calibrated manner that avoids escalation. But, in the chaotic battlegrounds of the Middle East, this argument is a dangerous fallacy. -Julien Barnes-Dacey and Ellie Geranmayeh, Responsible Statecraft 3/12/21

Photos: Friendship Tree Planting Ceremony in Tehran

The Friendship Tree Planting Ceremony was held in Behesht Madaran Park on Wednesday afternoon with participation of Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, Mayor of Tehran Pirouz Hanachi, and the spouses of foreign diplomats residing in Tehran. -Mona Hoobehfekr 3/11/21

How to Get America and Iran Back to the Negotiating Table

Last September, Joe Biden proposed a dramatic alternative to Donald Trump's bellicose Iran policies. As president, he would offer "a credible path back to diplomacy" aiming at return to the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, if Iran too returned to compliance. While spare on details, the overall thrust was clear: A Biden administration would prioritize the Iran deal as a centerpiece of its approach to the Middle East. -Perry Cammack, American Prospect 3/10/21

30+ Orgs to Biden: Fulfill Your Campaign Promise, Rejoin the Iran Deal

On March 3, 2021, 32 organizations, on behalf of the pro-diplomacy majority of the U.S. public, sent a letter to President Biden calling for him to fulfill his campaign promise to move swiftly to rejoin the Iran nuclear deal. 3/5/21

After Airstrikes in Syria, Senators Introduce Resolution to Repeal Some Presidential War Powers

As frustration is building among federal lawmakers over President Joe Biden's recent retaliatory airstrikes on facilities in Syria that the administration said belonged to Iran-backed militia groups, a bipartisan group of senators on Wednesday introduced legislation to rein in some of the president's war powers. -Common Dreams 3/4/21

Is Biden Committing Diplomatic Suicide Over the Iran Nuclear Agreement?

American neocons and hawks, including those inside his own administration, appear to be flexing their muscles to kill Biden's commitment to diplomacy at birth, and his own hawkish foreign policy views make him dangerously susceptible to their arguments. -Medea Benjamin & Nicolas J.S. Davies, Common Dreams 2/16/21

To End 'Blank Check' for Saudi-UAE Assault on Yemen, Coalition Demands Biden Permanently Cancel $37 Billion in Arms Sales

A coalition of more than 80 anti-war advocacy groups and experts is calling on President Joe Biden to solidify his commitment to ending U.S. support for the devastating, years-long assault on Yemen by permanently canceling dozens of Trump era arms sales-worth a combined $36.5 billion-to the murderous Saudi regime and the United Arab Emirates. -Common Dreams 2/12/21

Regime changers don't want Biden to re-join the Iran nuclear deal

Several proponents of regime change and war - as well as a Saudi prince and intelligence chief - signed a letter asking President Joe Biden to be "bipartisan" by continuing the Trump administration's pressure campaign against Iran. The letter was organized by United Against Nuclear Iran, a pressure group that received funding from recently-deceased Republican Party megadonor Sheldon Adelson, and Thomas Kaplan, an investor whose companies looked to profit from unrest in the Middle East. -Matthew Petti, Responsible Statecraft 2/8/21

'Good': Anti-War Democrats Applaud Biden for Freeze on US Arms Sales to Saudis and UAE

Peace-loving people around the world and anti-war Democrats in Congress hailed reports Wednesday that the Biden administration is imposing a temporary freeze on arms sales to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates pending a review of billions of dollars worth of weapons deals with the repressive regimes approved during the presidency of Donald Trump. -Brett Wilkins, Common Dreams 1/28/21

Rob Malley for Iran Envoy: A Test Case for Biden's Commitment to Diplomacy

President Biden's commitment to re-entering the Iran nuclear deal-formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action or JCPOA-is already facing backlash from a motley crew of warhawks both domestic and foreign. Right now, opponents of re-entering the deal are centering their vitriol on one of the nation's foremost experts on both the Middle East and diplomacy: Robert Malley, who Biden might tap to be the next Iran envoy. -Medea Benjamin & Ariel Gold, Common Dreams 1/27/21

Iran Hawks Begin Effort To Undermine Joe Biden's Diplomacy

President Joe Biden and his top foreign policy aides have promised to move carefully to achieve one of his main diplomatic goals: restoring the 2015 international agreement to limit Iran's nuclear program, which former President Donald Trump withdrew the U.S. from in 2018. Iran hawks like Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) are determined to quickly stymie Biden's plans. -Akbar Shahid Ahmed, Huffington Post 1/25/21

Petition to U.S. President Joe Biden: End Sanctions on Iran

In violation of legal bans on collective punishment, U.S. sanctions on Iran harm ordinary people, not the Iranian government. These crippling sanctions have robbed the people of their livelihood, violating individuals' right to health, making the Coronavirus pandemic more lethal, and causing unnecessary suffering and death. Many members of the U.S. Congress have expressed their urgent concern. -Action Network 1/22/21

Making New friends: Meet an Iranian

The United States and Iran have spent decades in a tumultuous relationship, including: US overthrowing their elected leader in 1953, Iranian revolution with American hostage-taking, sanctions, diplomatic breakthroughs and a nuclear treaty, US exiting the treaty, coupled with the start of yet more sanctions. President Biden hopes to re-enter the nuclear treaty with Iran, which was working well, according to all international arms inspection organizations. -David Powell, Counterpunch 1/22/21

'Going Back to the Cheney Playbook': Fears of War Grow as Pompeo Plans to Accuse Iran of Ties to Al Qaeda

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is reportedly planning to accuse Iran of links to Al Qaeda in a speech Tuesday, an allegation critics described as a rehashing of a Bush administration lie that served as part of the rationale for the catastrophic invasion of Iraq in 2003. -Jake Johnson, Common Dreams 1/12/21

Experts urge swift return to Iran nuclear deal

A group of more than 50 international relations and Middle East experts have signed onto a letter urging President-elect Joe Biden to swiftly return to the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran. President Donald Trump had broken with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, replacing it with an economic and military pressure campaign aimed at the Iranian government. -Matthew Petti, Responsible Statecraft 1/8/21

Donald Trump's parting gift to the world? Signs suggest it may be war with Iran

President Trump's incitement of criminal mob violence and occupation of the Capitol makes clear there is no limitation whatever on the abuse of power he may commit in the next two weeks he remains in office. Outrageous as his incendiary performance was on Wednesday, I fear he may incite something far more dangerous in the next few days: his long-desired war with Iran. -Daniel Ellsberg, Guardian 1/8/21

Biden Must Do More Than Rejoin the Iran Nuke Deal

We need a decisive break from the previous century of US policy toward Iran, which has been based on domination. One year after the United States government assassinated Iranian Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani and nearly plunged the two countries into war, will the new administration lead a shift in relations? -Azadeh Shahshahani and Khury Petersen-Smith, Nation 1/5/21

'His Biggest-And Likely Most Disastrous-Stunt Yet'? Experts Warn a Desperate Trump May Attack Iran

Foreign policy experts are sounding the alarm that U.S. President Donald Trump could launch an assault on Iran in the final weeks of his administration, potentially provoking a full-blown war just days before President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration. -Kenny Stancil, Common Dreams 1/5/21

Trump and Netanyahu Keep Trying to Goad Iran Conflict. They Have 18 Days.

The U.S. mainstream media's biggest failure is not that it distorts coverage, but that most of it doesn't cover the danger of a Mideast conflict at all. -James North, Common Dreams 1/5/21

Trump and Iran in Last 17 Days: Will They or Won't They?

There is a lot of buzz inside the Beltway, most of it generated inside the Beltway, about possible hostilities between Iran and the Trump administration in the Mad President's last 17 days in office. Some of this buzz is around today's January 3rd, 2020, anniversary of Trump's assassination of Gen. Qasem Soleimani and Gen. Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, by rocket at Baghdad International Airport. -Juan Cole, Common Dreams 1/4/21

Iran attack may be next in Trump's farewell bag of tricks

No one thought President Donald Trump would leave quietly. But would he go so far as to start a military confrontation with Iran on his way out? Recent military movements by the Pentagon in the Middle East, combined with Israeli media reports that Saudi Arabi and Israel are pressing Trump to bomb Iran before he leaves office, has fueled speculation that Trump may be planning his biggest - and likely most disastrous - stunt yet. -Trita Parsi, Responsible Statecraft 1/2/21

Iran's Top Diplomat Warns Trump Plotting to 'Fabricate Pretext for War' as US Flies B-52s Over Persian Gulf

Hours after the U.S. flew two nuclear-capable B-52 bombers over the Persian Gulf for the second time this month, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif claimed Thursday that he is aware of intelligence suggesting that President Donald Trump's administration is engaged in a "plot to fabricate a pretext for war"during its final days in power. -Jake Johnson, Common Dreams 1/2/21

Time for Reflection: a year ago the U.S. assassinated a national leader

Sunday marks the first anniversary of the assassination of Iranian Gen. Qasem Soleimani by the United States, using an armed drone at the Baghdad International Airport. Soleimani was a major political and military figure whose role went well beyond his formal position as commander of the Quds force within the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. His influence over much of Iran's security policy was probably second only to that of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. -Paul R. Pillar, Responsible Statecraft 1/2/21

The big finale: is Trump dangerous enough to start a war?

Donald Trump, in the final days of his presidency, presents at least as much reason for worry. The principal specific concern is not the kind of circumvention of senior levels of the chain of command that Schlesinger's directive was designed to counter. And with the teetotaling Trump, alcohol is not a factor as it reportedly was with Nixon. But the psychopathology is. -Paul R. Pillar, Responsible Statecraft 12/27/20

'Unhinged, Lame-Duck President Wants to Start a War': Warnings as Trump Blames Iran for Rocket Attack

Anti-war campaigners are warning that U.S. President Donald Trump is on the verge of launching a full-blown military conflict with Iran after the lame-duck incumbent on Wednesday blamed the Middle East nation for a rocket attack on the American Embassy in Baghdad over the weekend, an accusation Tehran rejected as "fabricated." 12/27/20

House Dems unite to support the Iran nuclear deal

Democratic congressional leaders are marshaling a message to President-elect Joe Biden "strongly endorsing" his promise to return to the Iran nuclear deal without preconditions, Gregory Meeks, (D-N.Y.), the incoming chair of the House Foreign Relations Committee told the Quincy Institute this week. "We are sending a signal to our allies that America is getting back to the table!" -Trita Parsi, Responsible Statecraft 12/14/20

Now's the Time for Israel to Make Peace With Iran

The shifting sands in the Middle East have elicited surprising alliances and rapprochements between sworn enemies. Is an agreement with the Islamic Republic really science fiction? -Ofri Ilany, Haaretz 12/11/20

Boasting of 'Combat Power' to Threaten Iran, US Flies Two Massive B-52 Bombers Over Persian Gulf

The Pentagon predictably described the maneuver as defensive, even though it was the U.S. that pushed the two nations to the brink of war repeatedly over the past several years. -Jake Johnson, Common Dreams 12/11/20

The Assassins & Iran

I was on the telephone with a friend in Tehran Sunday and found myself telling him about a Christmas card I kept tacked to the pantry door of a farmhouse I lived in many years ago. "Merry Christmas, and I'm sorry...," it read on the front. And inside: "I'm sorry my country bombed your country." Soroosh, and we will stay with first names, laughed as I knew he would. "The joke extends to assassinations now," he said in a tone that was good-humored and rueful all at once. -Patrick Lawrence, Special to Consortium 12/11/20

'Shameful': Senate Republicans-and Two Democrats-Kill Effort to Stop Trump's Lame-Duck Sale of F-35s and Drones to UAE

"The United States should be working to deescalate conflict in the Middle East, not fueling it by selling more and more weapons to regimes using them to kill civilians," said Sen. Bernie Sanders. -Common Dreams 12/10/20

US and Its Allies Stoking Fears of Possible Iranian Attacks

Since Iranian scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh was killed in an apparent Israeli plot, the US and Israel have been warning about threats in the region. Despite Iran's clear desire to make it to January 20th without a military confrontation with the US, anonymous officials are hyping the threat of Iranian retaliation for Fakhrizadeh's death. -Dave DeCamp, Antiwar.com 12/9/20

The assassination of an Iranian scientist and the double-standards of American outrage

Another day, another sleek Israeli (allegedly) assassination of an Iranian nuclear scientist in broad daylight outside Tehran. "An Eye for an Eye: Zionists Must Prepare Themselves" screamed the Saturday headline on Kayhan, Iran's hardline newspaper, a day after the car Mohsen Fakhrizadeh was travelling in with his wife was sprayed by bullets. Like so many other targeted killings by Israeli intelligence agency Mossad on Iranian scientists over the last 10 years (Fakhrizadeh was the fifth), the attack unfurled like a spy movie thriller. -Shenaz Kermalli, Responsible Statecraft 12/4/20

How Biden Is Determined to Parry Trump's Sabotage and Restore Iran Nuclear Deal

Biden realizes that the number one issue is Iran's nuclear capability, which is now civilian, and which Biden want to keep that way. Biden could reenter the JCPOA with a stroke of a pen on January 20, 2021. -Juan Cole, Common Dreams 12/4/20

Insanity Reigns - the US, Israel, and Iran

All too often, events occur that make me feel that I am living in "Bizarro World". The recent talk and extensive US corporate media coverage about whether or not the US and/or Israel will soon attack Iran is one of these occasions. The alleged rationale for such an attack is the possibility that Iran might pursue the development of a nuclear weapon. This rationale ignores the religious ruling or fatwa issued by the Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei against the acquisition, development and use of nuclear weapons. -Ron Forthofer, Antiwar.com 12/4/20

Iran Assassination Is a Political Provocation

Imagine for a moment what would happen if unknown assassins murdered a high-ranking US scientist involved with chemical weapons. Let's say officials in Iran quietly took responsibility, arguing that the US had violated international law because it continues to hold stockpiles of mustard gas and nerve agents VX and sarin, despite numerous commitments to destroy them starting in the late 1990s. Compare that fictional assassination with Israel's actual assassination of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, a prominent Iranian scientist described as the "father of the Iranian bomb." The fictional and real murders are analogous with an important exception. -Reese Erlich, Antiwar.com 12/4/20

Facing up to Israel's destabilizing behavior

Responsibility for the assassination of Iranian nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh is still officially a matter of speculation, but it is highly likely that Israel did it. Israel has the motive, the methods, and the moxie. It also has the record, including not only a string of murders of other Iranian nuclear scientists some eight years ago but also a more widely used killing machine that has made Israel the world's leader in targeted assassinations. -Paul R. Pillar, Responsible Statecraft 12/3/20

Despite Trump Efforts to Foment War With Iran, Experts Say Biden Has Chance to Restore Needed Diplomacy

Progressive experts on US-Iranian relations on Wednesday urged caution-and expressed hope for renewed diplomatic efforts from the incoming Biden administration-following news that Iran's parliament voted to increase uranium enrichment just days after the nation's top nuclear scientist was gunned down in an assassination plot endorsed by President Donald Trump and which many believe was carried out by the Israeli government. -Brett Wilkins, Common Dreams 12/3/20

How US media manipulates Iran's nuclear program into a sinister myth

Experts, media elites, and other Iran observers lit into New York Times national security reporter David Sanger this week for his sloppy - and perhaps "Judith Miller-level bad" - reporting on Iran's nuclear program following the assassination of one of the country's top nuclear scientists last week. The offense in question involved the opening line of Sanger's "News Analysis" which asserted that the scientist, Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, had "led Iran's pursuit of a nuclear weapon for the past two decades." -Ben Armbruster, Responsible Statecraft 12/2/20

Calls for Diplomacy-Not War-as Scientist's Assassination, Trump Impede Biden's Path to Iran Engagement

Rep. Ro Khanna on Monday called for strengthened diplomacy to "prevent catastrophic war" with Iran amid swirling fears the Trump administration is recklessly sabotaging the Biden White House's prospects for such diplomatic efforts. The post from Khanna (D-Calif.) tweet was shared by Win Without War, which earlier on Monday sounded a similar note as Sen. Chris Murphy. "A Monday morning reminder that the Trump administration's maximum pressure against Iran has been a maximum failure," the group tweeted. -Common Dreams 12/1/20

Art elites issue statements of grief over assassination of Fakhrizadeh

Iranian cineastes and stage artists have issued statements on Sunday evening expressing their grief and regret over the assassination of the Iranian nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh. The statement signed by 34 cineastes begins with the phrase, "To you whom I didn't know". "We heard the news of your cruel assassination and regretted why we didn't know you as well as the enemies of our country." -Tehran Times 12/1/20

Confronting the Islamic Republic of Iran: Give Peace a Chance

As President Donald Trump prepares to leave office, Iran is leading the news after the assassination of a top Iranian nuclear engineer, likely by Israel with U.S. knowledge if not assistance. The Obama administration criticized a similar Israeli hit in 2012, but Trump lauded the latest murder. He has been fixated on Iran since taking office. -Doug Bandow, Antiwar.com 11/30/20

'Reckless, Provocative, and Illegal': Sanders Warns Assassination of Iranian Scientist Designed to Kill Diplomacy

Sen. Bernie Sanders warned over the weekend that the assassination of top Iranian nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh-widely believed to have been the work of Israel-was carried out with the intention of undermining any prospect of diplomacy between the United States and Iran just weeks before President-elect Joe Biden is set to take office. -Common Dreams 11/30/20

Will the World Community Condemn the Murder of Iran's Nuclear Scientist?

Israel used all four years of Trump's presidency to entrench its systems of occupation and apartheid. Now that Joe Biden has won the U.S. election, the assassination of Iran's top nuclear scientist, likely by Israel with the go-ahead from the US administration, is a desperate attempt to use Trump's last days in office to sabotage Biden's chances of successful diplomacy with Iran. Biden, Congress, and the world community can't let that happen. -Medea Benjamin, Ariel Gold, Common Dreams 11/30/20

How the assassination of Iran's top nuclear scientist can sabotage diplomacy & start a war

Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, a key Iranian nuclear official, has been assassinated in Tehran. While it's unclear as of this writing who is responsible, Israel has assassinated numerous Iranian nuclear scientists in the past, but had, until now, been unable to get to the highly protected Fakhrizadeh. Some Iranian reports claim it was a suicide attack, which would reduce the likelihood of Israeli operatives carrying out the attack, but the bullet holes in Fakhrizadeh's car cast doubt on that. -Trita Parsi, Responsible Statecraft 11/30/20

'Iran in the Crosshairs?' Reports of Secret Meeting Between Netanyahu, MbS, and Pompeo Spark Fears of War Plot

The alarming possibility of a military attack on Iran-a nation that has long been in the sights of war hawks in the United States, Saudi Arabia, and Israel-was immediately invoked by foreign policy analysts Monday following reports that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met in secret late Sunday with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. -Jake Johnson, Common Dreams 11/24/20

The NYT's Trump Iran 'attack' story and the failures of foreign policy reporting

The New York Times published a major story this week, reporting that President Trump recently sought options for a military strike on Iran's nuclear program in response to a new International Atomic Energy Agency report finding that Iran had significantly increased its stockpile of low-enriched uranium. -Ben Armbruster, Responsible Statecraft 11/20/20

A Dedicated Obsession: Washington's Continuing Iran Sanctions Regime

One dogma that is likely to persist in US foreign policy during a Biden presidency will be the sanctions regime adopted towards Iran. Every messianic state craves clearly scripted enemies, and the demonology about the Islamic Republic is not going to go begging. -Binoy Kampmark, Counterpunch 11/19/20

US or Israeli attack on Iran unlikely - but not impossible

If there is one thing we know for certain about the Trump administration, it is that when we think it cannot possibly get worse, it does. In his waning days as president, Donald Trump is actively considering war with Iran. -Joe Cirincione, Responsible Statecraft 11/18/20

Trump's Requested Strike on Iran Could Kill More People Than Atomic Bombing of Nagasaki

First, it should be noted that Iran is not engaged in illegal activity. Its right to enrich uranium for civilian electricity production was acknowledged by the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action or nuclear deal signed with all the permanent members of the United Nations Security Council plus Germany. Iran has only departed from that agreement in very minor ways, and mainly as a way of putting pressure on Europe to defy the US severe economic sanctions, which contravene the treaty. It is Trump's Washington that has behaved illegally, not Iran. -Juan Cole, Common Dreams 11/17/20

A Defeated Trump 'Has No Authorization for a New War,' Say Campaigners After NYT Reports President Wanted Military Strike Options for Iran

"Trump's request for military options to strike Iran's nuclear program in his waning days in office encapsulates the bankruptcy of the pressure-only approach toward Iran favored by so many in Washington." -Kenny Stancil, Common Dreams 11/17/20

In a Persian Market: Iran and the U.S.

Let's send over to modern Persia (Iran) a major U.S. orchestra. Or, it could be a fine town/gown company, such as the (Rio Grande) Valley Symphony Orchestra. Let them go-as a goodwill gesture - to Iran, to play that piece and others over there. Why? It's time to make peace with Iran, site of ancient Persia, where civilization began. Persian scientists invented the first wind machine. Persians first distilled alcohol; Gracias! Salud! Viva Persia! Persia, now Iran, is home of my ancestors ("Mounce," a derivative of the Persian word for "moon"). Time to make nice. -Dr. Gary Mounce, Rio Grande Guardian 11/9/20

Covert strikes against Iran recount Israeli campaign against Iraq

The country had become an existential threat. It was ruled by a megalomaniac who wanted Israel eliminated. And now he wanted a nuclear bomb. The leader claimed his nuclear program was purely a civilian program, but Israel knew that was not true. So, it set the program back. Israel undertook covert assassinations of nuclear scientists. And, when that did not work, it blew up a nuclear facility. But the country wasn't Iran. This was Iraq under Saddam Hussein who came to power in 1979 and ruled for 24 years. -Ted Snider, Mondoweiss 10/28/20

Chomsky: from nuclear weapons to Iran, Trump's worst threats are dangerously ignored

Noam Chomsky warns that the Trump administration poses a unique threat to humanity, and its most reckless policies are receiving far too little attention. -Aaron Mate, Gray Zone 10/23/20

For Arizonans, war with Iran should be a top issue

On Wednesday night, Vice President Mike Pence and Sen. Kamala Harris debated many issues that are on the minds of Arizonans: COVID-19, racial unrest, and Supreme Court nominations, to name a few. However, they also dedicated significant time to an urgent matter that has slid under the radar of many voters: the threat of a U.S. war with Iran. -Heather Mace, Arizona Daily Star 10/13/20

After two decades of war, it's time to shift our focus on diplomacy

For two decades we have both decided on and then lived with the vision that with the world's most powerful military, we could use it to solve political and security problems far faster and far more effectively than our past resorts to negotiation. The idea was seductive beyond attractive. It built on the experience of World War II and unconditional surrender. According to Colin Powell, when he was Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff during the Clinton administration, then-U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Madeleine Albright once asked, "What's the point of having this superb military that you're always talking about if we can't use it?" -Tom Pickering, Responsible Statecraft 10/13/20

An Iranian Woman Walking For Peace: Pupeh Mahdavi Nader embarks on round-the-globe journey

Iranian globetrotter Pupeh Mahdavi Nader has started a journey on foot from the UNESCO-registered Burnt City, southeastern Sistan-Baluchestan province, with the motto of "Love, Friendship and Global Peace". 9/30/20

Mike Pompeo is trying to provoke U.S. conflict with Iran to boost his own presidential aims, not just Trump's

Mike Pompeo, the U.S. Secretary of State, is already running for president in 2024. To that end, he is trying to provoke Iran into a conflict in the days and weeks to come. The U.S. Navy aircraft carrier Nimitz just steamed through the Straits of Hormuz and into the Persian Gulf, the first American capital ship there in nearly a year. The Trump administration has already illegally imposed harsh sanctions against Iran, and reserves the right to board Iranian (or other) vessels to enforce them. -James North, Mondoweiss 9/25/20

When it comes to Iran, how many failures is enough for Pompeo?

For many years Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has worked to bring Iran to heel, if not to destroy the Islamic Republic altogether. He would presumably prefer to accomplish those ends through economic and political warfare, but it is unlikely he would object to military attacks if that is what it takes. As a Congressman from Kansas as early as 2014, he was urging Washington to attack Tehran's nuclear facilities, noting it would take "under 2,000 sorties," or bombings, to do the job. "This is not an insurmountable task for the coalition forces," he said. -Muhammad Sahimi, Responsible Statecraft 9/15/20

Another Opinion Columnist Pushing War With Iran Who Doesn't Actually Exist

There is at least one more foreign policy opinion writer from the Mujahideen-eKhalq (MEK) whose existence is dubious, based on a study by a social media analyst and statements from a defector from the group. Amir Basiri, who contributed to Forbes 9 times, the Washington Examiner 52 times, OpenDemocracy, Algemeiner, and The Hill once also appears to be a fabrication. -Arthur Bloom & Paul Brian, American Conservative 9/4/20

The Trump administration is hungry for war with Iran

Seeing the likely scenario of a Biden victory, Iran hawks have doubled down on their failed approach in hopes of sparking a conflict before Trump potentially leaves office -Negar Mortazavi & Assal Rad, Independent 8/19/20

Will October Surprise Be Trump-Provoked War With Iran?

Was Donald Trump's January 3rd drone assassination of Major General Qasem Soleimani the first step in turning the simmering Cold War between the United States and Iran into a hot war in the weeks before an American presidential election? Of course, there's no way to know, but behind by double digits in most national polls and flanked by ultra-hawkish Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Trump is a notoriously impetuous and erratic figure. -Bob Dreyfuss, Common Dreams 8/12/20

The Beginning of the U.S.-Iran Hot War?

In the face of overt aggression from the Trump administration, Iran has alternated between restraint and careful counter-escalation. As the Iranian economy has come under a brutal chokehold, Iran has responded in calibrated fashion to demonstrate the costs of maximum pressure while isolating the U.S. internationally and keeping the nuclear deal alive. -Sina Toossi, Juan Cole 7/28/20

How a hawkish Washington 'think tank' is promoting ethnic strife in Iran

As Iran is riled by a series of incidents, of which some bear all the hallmarks of a novel, and audacious, sabotage campaign, traditional forms of pressure on the country persist. Among those are attempts to promote ethnic strife in a society where various minority groups account for almost half of the population. -Eldar Mamedov, Responsible Statecraft 7/23/20

The undeclared war against Iran

A series of violent attacks, involving explosions and fires, has been hitting Iran. The incidents have been too frequent and intense to be random accidents. They are part of an organized effort. Caution is always advisable in attributing responsibility for such unclaimed acts, especially for all of us outside the government channels that possibly have better information about what is going on. But circumstances point strongly, as some mainstream press reporting reflects, to either or both of two suspects: the Netanyahu government in Israel, and the Trump administration in the United States. -Paul R. Pillar, Responsible Statecraft 7/16/20

Sabotage, sanctions and the bullying of Iran is bound to backfire on the west

t now seems fairly certain that Israel or its agents blew up Iran's main nuclear fuel enrichment facility at Natanz on 2 July. A "Middle Eastern intelligence official" who told two American newspapers that Israel was behind the explosion was identified in Israeli media reports last week as Yossi Cohen, head of the Mossad spy agency and a close confidant of prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu. -Simon Tisdall, Guardian 7/13/20

Israel Is Trying To Provoke Iran To Start a War

With only four months left to the U.S. presidential elections, and the increasing likelihood of Donald Trump, the most pro-Israel President in history, losing, Israel has been trying to provoke Iran to start a war, so that it can drag the United State into it. This is not anything new. For over a decade Benjamin Netanyahu has been trying to force the United States to go to war with Iran, and Israel itself almost attacked Iran three times between 2010 and 2011. But the with events of the last several months darkening the prospects of a second Trump term, Israel feels a new urgency for a war with Iran. -Muhammad Sahimi, Antiwar.com 7/6/20

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