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Two Steps Forward, One Step Back for Iran Sanctions Bill

- After a three week showdown between supporters of the nuclear negotiations with Iran and Senators bent on passing new sanctions that would upend the talks, the pro-diplomacy crowd won the day - for now. -Jamal Abdi, NIAC - 1/30/15

Let Nuclear Sanctions on Iran Serve Their Final Purpose

- The kerfuffle over congressional moves to impose additional sanctions on Iran is obscuring a question that requires attention. Have the US and EU understood that the nuclear negotiations will not yield the non-proliferation measures that the US and EU need if they refuse Iran the sanctions relief that Iran needs? -Peter Jenkins - 1/27/15

A Portal Between Tehran and NYC: Open For Conversation

- Without a doubt, the lack of diplomatic relations between the US and Iran creates a serious hurdle for Iranians and Americans to meet one another. But artists in NYC and Tehran launched a project, known as Portals, that solves that problem. - 1/25/15

Middle Eastern Turmoil and the Scaremongering on Iran

- It has not been a smooth month for those who want to keep Iran in pariahdom forever and thus seek to kill any international agreement on Iran's nuclear program. The sanctions bill that is the deal-killers' principal vehicle at the moment and is in the Senate banking committee has not been attracting the hoped-for Democratic co-sponsors. -Paul R. Pillar, LobeLog - 1/25/15

Allies, Lawmakers and Officials Warn Against New Iran Sanctions

- Key allies, policymakers and members of Congress have recently warned about the impact that new Iran sanctions legislation would have on efforts to reach a comprehensive nuclear deal with Iran. -Ryan Costello, NIAC - 1/25/15

Obama's State of the Union Address and its Bearing on US/Iran Relations

- When it comes to America's foreign policies, It's too bad that trying to do what's good for America is so often blocked by special interest groups and elected officials who owe their positions, hence their loyalties, to influence peddlers with different agendas. Watching the proceedings of January 21st Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearings on C-SPAN exemplified this tragic state of affairs. -Kam Zarrabi - 1/24/15

Boehner, Netanyahu conspire to push war on Iran

- House Speaker John Boehner has invited Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to address Congress next month about negotiations with Iran, a visit that would come right at the time that Congress is debating controversial bills that would tighten Iranian sanctions. -Jay Bookman, AJC - 1/22/15

Former Iranian leader calls on UN to promote "reconciliation"

- Former Iranian president Mohammad Khatami has issued an open letter to the United Nations Secretary General calling for immediate action to "achieve historic reconciliation" in response to growing extremism across the world. - 1/18/15

Cotton Makes Aim of Iran Sanctions Legislation Kristol Clear

- As foes of a nuclear deal with Iran prepare new sanctions legislation that the Obama administration firmly opposes, Arkansas's new Republican senator, Tom Cotton, told a policy conference at the far-right Heritage Foundation Tuesday that the pending bills, which could be unveiled at any moment, are intended to sabotage the ongoing negotiations between Iran and the P5+1 -Jim Lobe, LobeLog - 1/16/15

The Senate's Gift to ISIS: Sanctions on Iran

- The Islamic State has many enemies and very few friends. But sometimes, even declared enemies of the Caliphate (or ISIS) can lend it a helping hand. That is essentially what is happening now as Senators Mark Kirk and Bob Menendez push to undermine the nuclear talks with Iran -- a key adversary of ISIS. -Trita Parsi, Huffington Post - 1/16/15

NIAC Warns Against Diplomacy-Killing Senate Sanctions

- The National Iranian American Council (NIAC) is deeply concerned by reports that the Senate will begin considering new Iran sanctions next week and warns that passage of new Iran sanctions into law would violate the Joint Plan of Action (JPOA) and dramatically reduce, if not eliminate, the prospect of striking a comprehensive nuclear accord. - 1/15/15

GOP Mega-Donor Sheldon Adelson Funds Mysterious Anti-Iran Pressure Group

- Nearly one-third of anti-Iran pressure group United Against Nuclear Iran's 2013 budget came from the country's foremost Republican mega-donor, a man who invested a reported $98 million to defeat Barack Obama in the 2012 election, casino magnate Sheldon Adelson. Adelson routed his $500,000 donation to UANI through his family foundation, according to tax documents. -Eli Clifton, LobeLog - 1/15/15

New Optimism Over Iran Talks Tempered by Threat of Incoming Congress

- The new year may have brought with it some signs of progress toward a comprehensive deal between world powers and Iran, lending credence to one of Graham Fuller's 2015 predictions for the Middle East. However, any movement toward a nuclear agreement must now contend with a potentially game-changing complication: the desire of a new and more hawkish Republican-led Congress to impose additional sanctions on Iran regardless of how the talks are progressing. -Derek Davison - 1/6/15

Lindsey Graham Says Congress Will "Follow Bibi's Lead"

- Lindsey Graham, who is not a stupid person, can be so embarrassing. Speaking at a press conference alongside Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem Saturday, Graham said the following in response to Bibi's call for "more sanctions, and stronger sanctions" against Iran. -Jim Lobe, LobeLog - 12/29/14

Ex-IAEA Chief Warns on Using Unverified Intel to Pressure Iran

- In a critique of the handling of the Iran file by the International Atomic Energy Agency, former IAEA Director General Han Blix has called for greater skepticism about the intelligence documents and reports alleging Iranian nuclear weapons work and warned that they may be used to put diplomatic pressure on Tehran. -Gareth Porter, LobeLog - 12/20/14

Film Director Abbas Kiarostami visits Tehran Peace Museum

- Celebrated filmmaker Abbas Kiarostami has visited the Tehran Peace Museum at the invitation of Hassan Hassani-Sadi, a war veteran who is a curator of the museum, some Persian news agencies reported on Saturday. - 12/17/14

The IAEA Faces a Major Credibility Test

- On December 11, the spokesman for the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) confirmed that his agency was, as Gareth Porter asserted on this website earlier this month, not interested in accepting a recent invitation by Iran to visit Marivan, at least at this time. -Robert Kelley, LobeLog - 12/15/14

Why Hasn't the IAEA Followed Up Iran's Inspection Offer?

- When Iran offered last month to allow the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to visit the Marivan region near the border with Iraq, the IAEA might have been expected to respond with alacrity to the opportunity. -Gareth Porter, LobeLog - 12/8/14

Poll: 81% in Tehran approve extension of nuclear talks

- A recent IRNA survey shows 81 per cent of people in Tehran have a positive view about 'Vienna agreement' and see the second extension of nuclear talks as positive for Iran. Results of this IRNA poll are based on telephone interviews conducted Nov. 25-26, 2014, with a nonprobability sampling of adults between 19-85 living in all 22 districts of Tehran. - 12/2/14

Pro-Israel Hawks Take Wing over Extended Iran Nuclear Talks

- Buoyed by the failure of the US and five other powers to reach a comprehensive agreement with Iran over its nuclear program after a week of intensive talks, pro-Israel and Republican hawks are calling for Washington to ramp up economic pressure on Tehran even while talks continue, and to give Congress a veto on any final accord. -Jim Lobe, LobeLog - 11/25/14

Top Foreign Policy Experts Endorse Iran Nuclear Deal

- As Iran and six world powers scramble to reach a deal over Iran's nuclear program by the deadline of Nov. 24 in Vienna, Washington is seeing a flurry of last-minute events focused on the pros and cons of pursuing diplomacy with Tehran. -Derek Davison, LobeLog - 11/22/14

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

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

Iranian Activists, Intellectuals Express Support For Nuclear Deal

- Many Iranians are watching the new round of nuclear talks in Vienna between major world powers and Iran with great interest, hoping for a deal that would lead to the lifting of economic sanctions imposed on their country and an improvement in their daily lives. Among those hoping for an agreement are intellectuals, political activists, opposition members, and some victims of the Iranian establishment's repressive policies. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE - 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

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

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'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

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

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. -Rachel Eliasi Kohan - 11/8/14

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

US Catholic Bishops: Consider Iran's Nuclear Weapons Fatwa

- In March of this year, the US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) sent a delegation of religious and academic figures to the Iranian religious city of Qom to begin a dialogue with Shia scholars and ayatollahs. According to Bishop Richard Pates, chair of the USCCB's Committee on International Peace and Justice, the discussion in Qom focused heavily on the morality of weapons of mass destruction. -Derek Davison, LobeLog - 10/31/14

Beltway Foreign Policy Groups to Congress: Stay Out of the Way on Iran!

- The November 24 deadline for Iran and world powers to reach an agreement on Iran's nuclear program is quickly approaching. If negotiators can reach a deal next month, it will almost certainly provide unprecedented access for inspectors to Iran's nuclear sites... -Eli Clifton, LobeLog - 10/25/14

37 Organizations to Congress: Quit Playing Politics with Deal to Prevent Iran War

- The National Iranian American Council (NIAC) was one of 37 organizations to send a letter to Congress today regarding the roles of Congress and the President in sealing a nuclear deal with Iran. The letter was prompted when certain lawmakers reacted harshly to a New York Times report that, if there is a nuclear deal with Iran, the White House plans to initially use executive action to temporarily suspend certain sanctions. - 10/24/14

"Peace Horn" to sound in Tehran

- The Tehran Chamber Orchestra will perform a concert entitled "Peace Horn" at Tehran's Milad Tower on October 18. The concert aims to convey Iranians' message of peace to the world, vocalist Mohammad Motamedi, who will accompany the orchestra at the performance, said during a press conference in Tehran on Tuesday. - 10/15/14

The Iran Nuclear Talks: Show Us Your Brackets

- Some optimistic comments have been made about the nuclear negotiations with Iran, to the effect that we should not pay too much attention to indications of stalemate because both sides probably are saving their biggest remaining concessions until the last minute. Maybe, but there still seems to be good reason to worry... -Paul R. Pillar, National Interest - 10/12/14

Former US diplomat working behind scenes to foster US-Iran ties

- Iranian President Hassan Rouhani held an off-the-record dinner last month in New York with an elite group of former US officials. Among the guests were three former US national security advisers and a former secretary of state. -Laura Rozen, Al-Monitor - 10/8/14

Six Iranian Filmmakers Launch Campaign Urging Deal Over Nuclear Crisis

- Six prominent Iranian movie directors have launched an Internet campaign saying "there is no deal that is worse than no deal" in an effort to end the crisis over Iran's nuclear program. The website for the campaign, which is in English, says international sanctions have hurt the Iranian people without harming Iran's nuclear program and urges Tehran and world powers to "address the issues, not special interests." -Charles Recknagel, RFE - 10/1/14

Iranians and Israelis find an unlikely musical detente in Germany

- Israeli-Iranian ensemble Sistanagila, which combines both cultures' music into melodic wholes, is just one of several such collaborations that have sprung up in Germany. -Rachel Stern, CSM - 9/28/14

U.S. and Iran Engage in Volleyball Diplomacy

- Since the Iranian Revolution in 1979, the Iranian and American people have been isolated from one another due to long-standing disputes between their governments. Routine interactions, like sporting events between national clubs, and other cultural exchanges have been few and far between. However, recently thousands of fans across Southern California were able to witness a rarity: the U.S. and Iranian national volleyball teams squaring off in friendly exhibition matches as part of a goodwill exchange between the two estranged nations. -Farshad Farahat - 9/13/14

New Sanctions Threaten Iran Nuclear Deal

- On Aug. 29 the US Treasury added 28 Iranian individuals and entities to its ever-expanding sanctions list. Expectedly, Tehran denounced the decision. "They are in conflict with the spirit of talks. They are unconstructive in my opinion," said Iranian President Hassan Rouhani during an Aug. 30 news conference broadcast on State TV. -Esfandyar Batmanghelidj, LobeLog - 9/2/14

Is nonprofit "United Against Nuclear Iran" a Mossad front?

- On July 19, 2013 Greek shipping magnate Victor Restis sued the U.S. based nonprofit American Coalition Against Nuclear Iran Inc. which is more popularly known as United Against Nuclear Iran. -Grant F. Smith, IRMEP - 8/29/14

Israeli Democracy Evaporates While Gaza Burns

- The wanton destruction Israel is wreaking in Gaza right now, its blatant declarations that it will never relinquish control of most of the West Bank, and its adamant refusal to recognize that Palestinians, whether citizens or not, are entitled to the same basic human, civil and, yes, national rights as anyone else, all make outside interference imperative. -Mitchell Plitnick - 8/22/14

Policy Memo: New Senate Bills Concerning Iran Nuclear Negotiations

- In the last week of July, three separate pieces of legislation were introduced in the Senate that, if passed, would have a significant impact on nuclear negotiations with Iran. -Tyler Cullis and Jamal Abdi, NIAC - 8/21/14

Profiting From Iranophobia?

- Eli has a new blog post on The Nation's website today that provides additional details about the curious - one is tempted to say incestuous - relationship between the staff of United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI) and the corporate interests of billionaire gold and silver investor, Thomas Kaplan. -Jim Lobe - 8/16/14

Iran and the U.S. sign MOU to boost Volleyball standards

- Iran's Volleyball Federation President, Mohammad Reza Davarzani and his U.S counterpart signed memorandum of understanding in Los Angeles on Monday in order to expand cooperations. Iran's men national volleyball team is in California for a four-game tour against the U.S. - 8/13/14

Washington's Sketchy Pro-Israel/Anti-Iran Camp

- My colleague Eli Clifton has a new piece up at Salon about the pro-sanctions group United Against a Nuclear Iran (UANI) and its somewhat murky links to a billionaire precious-metals investor named Thomas Kaplan. I suggest everyone check it out -Ali Gharib - 8/13/14

UANI, Silver Futures, and Confrontation with Iran

- Along with AIPAC and the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD), one of the most active groups that have promoted a policy of confrontation with Iran has been United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI), headed by a former Bush administration representative (under John Bolton) to the UN, Mark Wallace. -Jim Lobe - 8/12/14

Photos: Iran-USA volleyball match at USC in Los Angeles

- Olympian Matt Anderson had 23 points and the U.S. men's national team beat Iran 27-25, 25-21, 27-29, 25-17 in the opening match of the USA Volleyball Cup at USC's Galen Center on Saturday night. The series of exhibitions between the two teams are preparation for the upcoming FIVB World Championship later this month in Poland. - 8/11/14

Iran vs. USA Men's Volleyball Coming to Southern California

- In less than a week, the U.S. Men's National Volleyball Team will host Iran for four matches at sites around Southern California. The matches will help both teams prepare for the 2014 FIVB Men's World Championship on Aug. 30-Sept. 21 in Poland. - 8/4/14

Congressional Backlash on Iran is a Problem for Europe, Too

- In recent weeks, hard-line members of the US Congress have stepped up their game of obstructing diplomacy with Iran. Resolving the Iranian nuclear conflict has been used as a chip in domestic politics rather than a foreign policy issue pursued through a multilateral track.-Ellie Geranmayeh - 8/1/14

As World Condemns Attack on Gaza, US Resupplies Israel with Weapons

- The Pentagon on Wednesday announced its recent approval for unlocking a massive stockpile of ammunition for use by the Israeli Defense Forces who continue to pummel the civilian population living inside the Gaza Strip where the death toll now nears 1,400 people-a majority of whom are civilians, including close to 300 children. - 8/1/14

As a Jew, This Makes Me Angry

- On Monday, I attended the National Leadership Assembly for Israel. The gathering was more than a little disquieting. Big names who addressed the audience included National Security Adviser Susan Rice, House Speaker John Boehner, Former Chair of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and current Chairman Ed Royce, and Israeli Ambassador to the US Ron Dermer. -Mitchell Plitnick - 8/1/14

Polo in Iran: Breaking barriers, building diplomacy

- When the doorbell rang at our California winter home, it was George Dill, telling me in his trademark, gruff voice, "Gery, I've got some Iranian visitors here. I want 'em to meet you." -Gery and Suzanne Warner, Common Ground - 8/1/14

Gaza: Ode to the Lost American Conscience

- Watching the US-backed Israeli bombardment of Gaza makes me ashamed to be an American. The sight of US-made bombs bursting in the air, in hospitals, in homes, and over beaches is a far cry from the sense of American exceptionalism engendered by Francis Scott Key's observations of the British shelling of Baltimore during the war of 1812. -James A. Russell - 7/31/14

Neocons Agree: Pressure Iran Forever

- One of the unintended consequences of the decision to extend the international talks on Iran's nuclear program is the growing number of neoconservative calls for even more pressure on Iran. -Derek Davison - 7/30/14

How to End the Gaza War

- As the killing and destruction rages on in Gaza, and as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the Hamas leadership exchange recriminations and threats, key regional and world players must accept a central truism: No peace can be achieved between Israel and the Palestinians without including Hamas. The quicker they internalize this fact, the faster the cycle of violence can be broken. -Emile Nakhleh - 7/30/14

"All is lost" -- Unless the US and EU Start Thinking Straighter

- On the face of it, July has not been a bad month for those of us who would like to see the West's nuclear quarrel with Iran resolved peacefully, not least so that the US, EU and Iran can feel less inhibited about regional security cooperation, and so that trade and investment can resume, sanctions having created hardship not just for ordinary Iranians but also for many EU companies. -Peter Jenkins - 7/29/14

In death, soccer fan-turned soldier embodies Israeli-Palestinian gap

- In death, Staff Sergeant Nissim Sean Carmeli, a 21-year old soccer fan, embodies the deep fears, distrust and dehumanization of the other that has exploded into massive bloodshed in Gaza, threatens to spark another uprising on the West Bank and makes achievement of even a temporary Israeli-Palestinian ceasefire an almost impossible task. - James M. Dorsey - 7/28/14

Why the Hawks Are Winning the Iran Debate

- Last week, my colleague Ali Gharib and I published an article in The Nation in which we explored the influence of hawkish groups in shaping congressional legislation on Iran sanctions. One of the explanations we offered was the overwhelmingly large budgets enjoyed by hard line, pro-sanctions organizations such as the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies (FDD) and the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). -Eli Clifton - 7/26/14

Photos: Iranian Mothers For Peace group protests attacks on Gaza

- Iran's Mothers for Peace gathered in protest in front of the United Nations offices in Tehran to condemn the Israeli attacks on Gaza. Iran's Mothers for Peace expressed affinity with the Palestinian mothers who have lost family members in the Israeli attacks. - 7/24/14

Fuzzy Math From Iran Hawks

- Being a Washington analyst means never having to say you're sorry. And so it has been throughout the diplomatic process with Iran, where naysayers who stridently opposed talks have found themselves dealing with the reality of negotiations over the Islamic Republic's nuclear program by not dealing at all with their past records on the matter. -Ali Gharib - 7/24/14

Meet the Billionaire Funders of the Anti-Diplomacy Lobby

- My colleague Ali Gharib and I just published an article in The Nation in which we explore how hawkish, deep-pocketed organizations hold disproportionate influence in shaping the discussion about Iran-policy on Capitol Hill. -Eli Clifton - 7/24/14

Fear of an Iranian Bomb Grips Capitol Hill

- With the rumored extension of the negotiations in Vienna on Iran's nuclear program hanging in the air, a group of legislators and right-wing thinkers gathered on Capitol Hill on Friday to talk about what they believe a comprehensive deal with Iran should entail. -Derek Davison - 7/20/14

Iranian Human Rights Defenders Voice Support for Nuclear Talks

- The talks in Vienna over Iran's nuclear program will likely continue past the July 20 deadline for reaching a final deal. President Barack Obama noted "real progress" but hinted at an extension yesterday after being briefed by Secretary of State John Kerry, who held several meetings with the Iranians this week. -Jasmin Ramsey - 7/18/14

Strong US Majority Prefers Iran Deal says "Citizen Cabinet" Survey

- Sixty-one percent of the American public prefers a deal permitting Iran to continue limited uranium enrichment and imposing intrusive inspections on its nuclear facilities in exchange for some sanctions relief, according to a unique new survey released here Tuesday. -Jim Lobe - 7/16/14

New Study Shows Leading Iranian Figures Support Nuclear Negotiations

- In a study released by the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran today,Voices from Iran: Strong Support for the Nuclear Negotiations, prominent members of Iranian civil society expressed their strong support for the P5+1 nuclear negotiations between Iran and the world powers. - 7/16/14

Column: Religion, Sports Exchanges Bring Iranians and Americans Closer

- While U.S. and Iranian negotiators labor to reach a long-term nuclear agreement, other Americans and Iranians are stepping up contacts in a new wave of people-to-people diplomacy. -Barbara Slavin, VOA - 7/14/14

The Map: A Palestinian Nation Thwarted & Speaking Truth to Power

- As part of my original posting, I mirrored a map of modern Palestinian history that has the virtue of showing graphically what has happened to the Palestinians politically and territorially in the past century. -Juan Cole - 7/13/14

Spoiler Alert: Iran Hawks Take Wing Against Nuclear Deal

- After a period of relative (and blissful) quiescence, the Iran hawks are springing back into action, preparing the groundwork for sabotaging any nuclear deal that may be reached by Iran and world powers by July 20 or shortly thereafter. -Jim Lobe - 7/12/14

The Hopes and Fears of an Agreement with Iran

- Over the last century, July 20 was more than once a consequential date, for good and ill. The ill was in 1944: the unsuccessful plot to kill Adolph Hitler. The good was in 1969: the first manned landing on the moon. Success on the former July 20 might have spared at least some of the terrible suffering that continued for another 10 months; the latter ushered in a new era of expectations. -Robert E. Hunter - 7/12/14

US Backing Israeli War of Choice In Gaza

- The moral high ground is always a tenuous piece of property. It is difficult to obtain and is easily lost. It is seen, however, as crucial because most people, all over the world, cannot accommodate the notion that life is composed of shades of grey; they desperately need to see black and white, good guys and bad guys, heroes and villains, in every situation. Nowhere is this truer than in the Israel-Palestine conflict. -Mitchell Plitnick - 7/12/14

How a U.S.-Iran nuclear deal could help save Iraq

- A new strategic relationship between the United States and Iran may seem impossible and risky, yet it is also necessary and in the interests of both. While an alliance is out of the question, mutually informed parallel action is essential. -Ryan Crocker, William Luers and Thomas Pickering, Washington Post - 7/12/14

Israel's Groundhog Day: Reverse Snowballs and the Horror of Lawn-Mowing

- As in the Bill Murray science fiction vehicle "Groundhog Day," the Israelis, the Palestinians and the world are doomed to relive these periodic slaughters over and over again, until slowly, inexorably, they further corrupt the Israeli soul and make the Zionist enterprise so unlovely in the eyes of the world that it loses crucial support, and the snowball rolls uphill, getting smaller and smaller. -Juan Cole - 7/12/14

Linking the US and Iran

- Should the (Iran nuclear) talks fail to reach agreement, what happens next? More sanctions, more enrichment, and more talk of military action are the most likely outcomes. What has been missing from the debate, and what could save the long-term relationship between Iran and the West, is more talk of enhancing "linkage" with Iran. -David Collier - 7/11/14
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