Shahrivar 25 1400 - September 16 2021
THE FOLLY OF EMPIRES: In the Wake of Afghanistan's Ruination

The Bible tells us that Cyrus the Great of Persia went to Babylon to rescue the Jewish people from captivity some 2,500 years ago; doubtless a very noble cause. No; he didn't! Cyrus was not motivated or "anointed" by Yahweh for that noble mission; he was a warrior, a conqueror, out to expand the domain of the empire he was ruling over. He was in his seventies when he was slain in another battle of expansion, this time against the Massagetae tribes, in the marshlands of eastern Caspian Sea area, a thousand kilometers away from Persia's capital. -Kambiz Zarrabi 9/16/21

Over Two Decades, US's Global War on Terror Has Taken Nearly 1 Million Lives and Cost $8 Trillion

THE U.S.-LED global war on terror has killed nearly 1 million people globally and cost more than $8 trillion since it began two decades ago. These staggering figures come from a landmark report issued Wednesday by Brown University's Costs of War Project, an ongoing research effort to document the economic and human impact of post-9/11 military operations. -Murtaza Hussain, The Intercept 9/2/21

Five Ways the U.S. Created and Prolonged the Afghan Crisis

Media coverage of the Taliban takeover of Kabul would lead most Americans to believe that U.S. involvement in Afghanistan began after 9/11, with the invasion launched to topple the previous Taliban government. But Afghanistan has been at war continuously for forty-two years, and the Pentagon has been involved every step of the way, under both Republican and Democratic administrations. -Zoltan Grossman, Progressive 8/24/21

The Crimes of the West in Afghanistan and the Suffering That Remains

As in Iraq, as in Libya, as in Mali. It is time to finally bury the doctrine of the so-called "responsibility to protect", which was coined at the time of the beginning of the Afghan war, and to brand it as what it was from the beginning: a neocolonial project. -Fabian Scheidler, Common Dreams 8/20/21

Our 20-year Reign of Terror, full circle

The war on terror is still not over, and Spencer Ackerman's new book Reign of Terror: How the 9/11 Era Destabilized America and Produced Trump is essential reading for understanding why it persists. Ackerman, one of the best national security reporters of the last twenty years, has traced the post-9/11 growth of the U.S. security state and the expansion of the war on terror that is as endless as it is toxic. -Daniel Larison, Responsible Statecraft 8/20/21

Now that the US war in Afghanistan is over, it's time to revisit war powers

While the scenes in Afghanistan have been horrifying and much has been said about Biden's decision to withdraw and the process by which it has been conducted, it's also important that we take a wider view of why the United States has stayed so long in Afghanistan, and what that means for competing war powers granted to both Congress and the president in the Constitution. -Sarah Burns, Responsible Statecraft 8/19/21

How the Afghanistan War really started

If you're looking for signs that America hasn't learned much from its decades-long involvement in Afghanistan, I recommend a New York Times piece that ran Saturday under the headline "Afghanistan's Unraveling May Strike Another Blow to US Credibility." -Nonzero 8/18/21

Diplomacy, Not Bombs: Anti-War Voices Say Afghanistan Shows Need to Stop Any Further March to War

Amid the lightning collapse of Afghanistan's U.S.-backed government and the all-but-certain return of Taliban rule, anti-war activists on Monday stressed that diplomacy, not bombs or the military-industrial complex, is the only path to lasting peace. -Brett Wilkins, Common Dreams 8/17/21

How a casual insult sowed the seeds of an anti-war crusade

Most people would not have even noticed the careless omission in a news report back in February, 2013. But for filmmaker Granaz Moussavi, it was the catalyst for a powerful new movie. -The Australian 8/13/21

No Clean Hands: The Interventions of Middle Eastern Powers, 2010-2020

Instability in the Middle East has often been blamed on a single expansionist U.S. opponent, whether that be Libya, Iraq, or Iran. However, a qualitative and quantitative view of the region's conflicts over the past 10 years shows several states to be interventionist to roughly the same degree, contradicting the argument that regional instability is primarily caused by a single "malign actor." -Matthew Petti and Trita Parsi, Quincy Institute 7/22/21

Ending forever wars must include economic warfare

Ending endless war has become an ever-present catchphrase, employed by Republicans and Democrats alike, to appeal to the majority of Americans who wish to see an end to ineffective U.S. wars and adventurism across the world, and better use of their hard-earned tax dollars. But, while we may think of war to mean military incursions, bombs and fighting, there is an aspect to U.S. warfare that is too-often absent from the discussion: economic warfare. -Assal Rad, Responsible Statecraft 7/19/21

Iran is a red herring in the debate over repealing the Iraq war authorization

Congress's momentum toward finally repealing the decades-old Iraq war authorization has hit a speed bump. After the House of Representatives in June overwhelmingly voted on a bipartisan basis to pass Rep. Barbara Lee's (D-Calif.) bill to revoke the 2002 Authorization for Use of Military Force, similar efforts in the Senate have hit a temporary standstill. -Elizabeth Beavers, Responsible Statecraft 7/15/21

America's Afghan War Is Over, so What About Iraq-and Iran?

Let's hope Biden has learned another history lesson: that the United States should stop invading and attacking other countries. If Biden had quickly rejoined the JCPOA nuclear agreement with Iran on taking office, tensions would be lower by now, and the U.S. troops in Iraq might well be home already. - Medea Benjamin & Nicolas J.S. Davies, Common Dreams 7/13/21

Take us to HIGH ALERT: Iranian oil tanker might be headed to the Atlantic!

If you ever wondered why Americans have an extremely irrational fear of Iran, two recent articles from Politico can provide a good answer. On Saturday evening over the Memorial Day weekend, Politico published what it purported to be an "exclusive" - "U.S. monitoring Iranian warships that may be headed to Venezuela," the headline read, with the two opening graphs -Ben Armbruster, Responsible Statecraft 6/4/21

Who should I hold responsible for the death of my son in Iraq?

Who should I hold responsible for the death of my son, killed in action while serving in Iraq 14 years ago this month? A Washington-based law firm, Sparacino, has stepped up to offer a straightforward answer to that question: I should blame Iran. My wife and I recently received a letter from the firm inviting us to join a lawsuit against the Islamic Republic that will "empower us to attempt to seize Iranian assets on your behalf should any opportunities emerge." -Andrew J. Bacevich, Responsible Statecraft 5/31/21

Natalie's Everyday Heroes: Pewaukee HS senior Nedda Besharat connects students in US to kids in Iran

Nedda Besharat launched the Project Speac website this year, and it connects kids at Pewaukee High School with students in Iran. "I truly believe that cultural understanding can be sparked from just having a simple conversation with another person and discovering we're more alike than we are different," Besharat said. And for Nedda, it's a personal mission. -Natalie Shepherd, CBS 58 5/21/21

50+ DNC Leaders Urge Biden to Lift Sanctions and Rejoin Iran Nuclear Deal

After weeks of negotiations in Europe, more than 50 members of the Democratic National Committee and state party leaders sent a letter Monday urging U.S. President Joe Biden to scrap his predecessor's economic sanctions against Iran and return to the nuclear deal that was reached in 2015. -Common Dreams 5/11/21

Groups call on Biden to offer Iran coronavirus relief

More than 40 humanitarian and human rights organizations called on the Biden administration to lift economic restrictions that are making it more difficult for Iran to deal with the coronavirus pandemic in a Wednesday open letter. The United States is currently enforcing strict sanctions on the Iranian economy, many of them imposed during the Trump administration's "maximum pressure" campaign. -Matthew Petti, Responsible Statecraft 4/22/21

Amid Nuclear Talks, 40 Groups Urge Biden to Lift Sanctions on Covid-Ravaged Iran

As diplomats continue negotiations in Vienna aimed at the United States returning to the Iran nuclear deal, over 40 faith-based, human rights, and civil society groups on Wednesday published an open letter urging the Biden administration to lift "unconscionable" sanctions against the Iranian people as they endure the dual crises of the economic embargo and coronavirus pandemic. -Common Dreams 4/22/21

Iranian activists slam Natanz attack, call for diplomatic response

Hundreds of Iranian civility society activists have condemned the recent attack on the country's nuclear facility, which they say was aimed at derailing talks in Vienna on reviving the Iran nuclear deal, or JCPOA. Diplomats from Britain, China, France, Germany, Iran, and Russia are currently meeting in Vienna to reach an agreement on the necessary steps for bring the United States and Iran into compliance with the 2015 accord. A U.S. delegation is also in Vienna but not talking directly to Iranian diplomats. -Sajjad Safaei, Responsible Statecraft 4/21/21

Hawks okay with Israeli attacks on Iran leading to all-out war

A former advisor to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Monday that Israeli actions against Iran may lead to a war that endangers civilian life, but supported that strategy over the Biden administration's current diplomacy with Iran. Speaking at the Jewish Institute for National Security of America, retired major general Yaakov Amidror found a receptive audience of American hawks who believed the Biden administration needed to be saved from its own policy choices. -Matthew Petti, Responsible Statecraft 4/21/21

Farideh Sakhaeifar: You are in the War Zone at Trotter & Sholer, NYC

You are in the war zone. is a retrospective exhibition of the Iranian artist Farideh Sakhaeifar, curated by Klaudia Ofwana Draber presented by Trotter&Sholer and KODA. This tight but emotionally packed show harshly criticizes U.S. foreign policy in the MENA region and gives ample space to contemplate the suffering of its people under constant imperialist aggression. -Jonas Albro, Arte Fuse 4/20/21

The Hawks Who Want War With Iran Are Working Overtime

Last week's cyberattack on an Iranian nuclear facility, reportedly by Israeli intelligence, is the latest gambit from the coalition of Israeli leaders, Christian fundamentalists, and hawkish Washington neocons who want to block a US return to the Iran nuclear agreement. If they're successful, millions of ordinary Iranians suffering under draconian sanctions will pay the price. -Ariel Gold & Medea Benjamin, Jacobin 4/15/21

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, 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, 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, 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, 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

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