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April 28 2015
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Kerry Visits Iranian NY Diplomatic Residence

- In a sign of how much U.S.-Iranian relations have thawed as negotiations over Iran's nuclear file progress, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry met Iran's Foreign Minister Javid Zarif Monday for about an hour at the New York residence of Tehran's U.N. ambassador. -Margaret Besheer, VOA - 4/28/15

Iranian women's magazine shut down for reporting on 'White Marriage'

- Iran's Press Supervisory Board has shut down Zanan Emrooz (Today's Women) magazine and filed a complaint against it in court. The Tasnim website reports that the magazine has been shut down for "publishing material in violation of religious and national values". - 4/28/15

Verifying Iran's Nuclear Commitments

- On April 22, in the latest of a long line of congressional testimonies on Iran's nuclear program, the president of the Institute for International Science and Security, David Albright, issued a challenge to the six powers seeking a comprehensive resolution of the nuclear dispute with Iran. -Peter Jenkins - 4/28/15

Iran Slams Nuclear Powers At UN Conference

- Iran has demanded countries possessing nuclear weapons to scrap any plans to modernize or extend the life of their atomic arsenals. Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif was speaking in New York on April 27 at the start of a five-year review conference of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. - 4/28/15

Saudi Arabia teetering on edge of collapse: Iranian Commander

- A top Iranian commander has lashed out at the Saudi aggression against Yemen, saying Riyadh is on the verge of collapse. "Today, Saudi Arabia is brazenly and obnoxiously bombarding and massacring a nation, which is seeking the denial of the hegemonic system," said commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Major General Mohammad Ali Jafari on Monday. - 4/28/15

Tehran police to crack down on luxury vehicles after Supreme Leader's comments

- After the Iranian Supreme Leader criticized the prevalence of luxury cars in the streets, traffic police officials have announced that they are prepared to deal with possible violations by such vehicles. - 4/28/15

The World Must Stop the Saudi Massacre of the Yemenis

- After four weeks of savage bombing of their impoverished neighbor, Yemen, the Saudis declared "Mission Accomplished", and promised to halt their aerial bombardment at midnight on 22 April 2015. Yet only three hours later, they resumed their attacks with greater intensity from the sea and the air. -Farhang Jahanpour - 4/27/15

Iranian nuclear official signals agreement on lifting sanctions

- The head of Iran's Atomic Energy Agency said on Saturday April 25 that the parties negotiating a nuclear pact have agreed that all sanctions against Iran will be eliminated when the agreement takes effect. - 4/27/15

Will the U.S. Get Serious Now About Eliminating Its Own Nukes?

- A few years ago, a plucky contestant on Dancing with the Stars popularized a terrific phrase when asked about her daring routine late in the contest. It was time, she quipped, for her to "go big or go home." We'd like to see that can-do attitude manifested at the upcoming UN review conference on the Non-Proliferation Treaty - the so-called NPT RevCon. -LobeLog - 4/27/15

Truce: Iran, the U.S. and the Middle East After the Nuclear Deal

- The recent framework agreement between Iran and the P5+1-the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Russia and China-removed a major hurdle toward resolving the standoff over Tehran's nuclear program. Though a final deal between Iran and the West before the self-imposed June 30 deadline is far from guaranteed, it cannot be excluded and now seems more reachable than ever before. -Trita Parsi, NIAC - 4/27/15

Iran nuclear team heads to New York

- Iran's delegation of nuclear negotiators has set off for the 2015 Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) in New York, where nuclear talks will also be held on the sidelines of the event. - 4/26/15

Iran's President Rohani says religious oversight not the job of police

- Iranian President Hassan Rohani told a meeting of security force commanders on Saturday that the police must enforce the law and not Islam. "The police are not responsible for executing Islam, they are charged with the execution of the law, and any other expectation would create confusion and cause problems for the people." - 4/26/15

Final Phase of Iran Nuclear Talks Begins

- Iranian and international negotiators resumed talks in Vienna this week as part of efforts to finalize an agreement on the future of Tehran's nuclear program by the end of June. They are working from a list of agreed parameters, but important differences remain, as U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry acknowledged when he announced the framework accord April 2 in Lausanne, Switzerland. -Al Pessin , VOA - 4/25/15

Inspection of ships by the naval forces in the maritime territories

- The article was written couple of years ago at the peak of Iran-US problems in the Persian Gulf. However in the light of recent issues in the waters around Yemen, and once again between the US and Iranian naval forces, it is worth reading to know the legal limits of whatever is going on. -Bahman Aghai Diba - 4/25/15

Iran flotilla in Gulf of Aden: Navy Commander

- Iran's Navy Commander Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari has dismissed reports about a warning to Iranian ships in the Gulf of Aden, saying the flotilla is currently carrying out its mission in the strategic region. - 4/25/15

Iran summons Saudi diplomat over obstruction of aid to Yemen

- Iran has summoned Saudi's charge d'affaires on Friday over the refusal of the kingdom to allow the delivery of humanitarian aid to the Yemeni people who sustained injuries during Saudi's airstrikes. - 4/25/15

How the US Contributed to Yemen's Crisis

- As a Saudi-led military coalition continues to pound rebel targets in Yemen, the country is plunging into a humanitarian crisis. Civilian casualties are mounting. With U.S. logistical support, the Saudis are attempting to re-instate the country's exiled government - which enjoys the backing of the West and the Sunni Gulf monarchies - in the face of a military offensive by Houthi rebels from northern Yemen. None of this had to be. -Stephen Zunes, LobeLog - 4/25/15

Iran to join talks aimed at resolving Syrian crisis

- The United Nations has announced that it has invited Iran to be part of the negotiations to find a solution to the crisis in Syria. - 4/25/15

The Triple Fear of Persian Gulf Elites

- Since the P5+1 (US, Russia, China, UK, France + Germany) powers began to engage in nuclear talks with Iran, Western leaders have sought to allay the security concerns of their allies in the Gulf over a possible deal. But what often is missed is a distinction between the security of the peoples and security of the elites and regimes in the Gulf. -Eldar Mamedov - 4/24/15

Has Yemen Reshaped the Middle East Geopolitical Map?

- Does anybody remember the old Cold War geopolitical concept of the "Northern Tier states?" They consisted of three countries-Turkey, Iran and Pakistan (sometimes Afghanistan) that lay along the southern border of the Soviet Union; they were perceived in the West as a potential bulwark against Soviet aggression southwards into the Middle East. -Graham E. Fuller, LobeLog - 4/24/15

Iranian Expats Face Arrest upon Return to their Homeland

- The International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran released a video today highlighting the plight of the thousands of Iranians who wish to return to their homeland, yet fear likely imprisonment upon arrival for the peaceful expression of their beliefs, art, or lifestyle. - 4/24/15

Prospect Of Iranian Nuclear Deal Stirs Hope For Detained Americans

- When Iran and the United States found some common ground at the negotiating table earlier this month, it gave Naghmeh Abedini a welcome glimmer of hope. Her husband, Christian pastor Saeed Abedini, a dual U.S.-Iranian citizen, has been imprisoned in Iran since 2012 on charges of threatening the country's national security through private religious gatherings. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE - 4/24/15

Adelson Holds Court as Kristol Blasts Corker, AIPAC

- Casino multi-billionaire Sheldon Adelson will once again host the annual convention and ring-kissing ceremony of the Republican Jewish Coalition. It will begin Thursday night in Las Vegas with a private dinner for the RJC's board and top donors, as well as special (gentile) guests, Mitt Romney and Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus. -Jim Lobe, LobeLog - 4/24/15

Prominent Iranians' Views on Impact of Nuclear Agreement on Human Rights

- "Our next agreement will be on our civil rights!" was one of the slogans people chanted in Tehran only hours after a nuclear agreement was reached on April 2, during their street celebrations. During his election campaign, President Hassan Rouhani repeatedly pledged to observe citizens' rights, end the house arrest of the Green Movement leaders, and release all political prisoners... - 4/23/15

Tikrit: Threat or Opportunity for Iran's Regional Hegemony?

- Although Iraq's regular army, along with U.S.-led coalition aircraft, eventually restored Baghdad's control over Tikrit last week, major credit for the victory over the so-called Islamic State (ISIS or IS) belonged to Iraq's eastern neighbor. It was the paramilitary Popular Mobilization forces (or Hashd al-Shaabi), led mostly by veteran Iranian commanders, that brought the fight to the militants. - Arash Reisinezhad - 4/23/15

US Lawmakers Urge Tough Stance as Iran Nuclear Talks Resume

- House lawmakers on Wednesday called for U.S. negotiators to be tough with Iran, as talks resumed to finalize the details of a landmark framework deal aimed at curbing the scope of Tehran's nuclear programs. -Cindy Saine, VOA - 4/23/15

Iran Seeks China's Help to Build New Nuclear Plants

- The framework nuclear deal between Iran and global powers has opened up new investment possibilities in an economy that has been stunted by international sanctions. Last week, a top Iranian atomic energy official said in addition to Russia, China will also help it build additional nuclear power plants. -William Ide, VOA - 4/23/15

Iranian Media on the Nuclear Issue

- Certain conservative media outlets are an important platform for Iran's security and military services such as the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) and the Ministry of Intelligence. These media function as tribunes for the hardline political groups close to the Iranian Supreme Leader. -Pupak Mohebali and Saeed Aganji, LobeLog - 4/23/15

Moderate Iranian candidates face threats from conservative group

- Ansar-e Hezbollah, the ultra-conservative group dedicated to preserving Islamic principles in Iran, has announced that if Hassan Khomeini and Ali Akbar Nateq Nouri arrive in Gorgan for a speech, they will receive the same reception that outspoken MP Ali Mortahari got in Shiraz. - 4/23/15

Atomic Labs Across the U.S. Race to Stop Iran

- When diplomats at the Iran talks in Switzerland pummeled Department of Energy scientists with difficult technical questions - like how to keep Iran's nuclear plants open but ensure that the country was still a year away from building a bomb - the scientists at times turned to a secret replica of Iran's nuclear facilities built deep in the forests of Tennessee. -New York Times - 4/23/15

The Best Case Against the Iran Deal Has Some Holes

- There's a lot wrong in Vox's interview with Michael Doran, the neoconservative Hudson Institute scholar, on diplomacy with Iran, which bears the very Vox-ish headline "This is the case against Obama's Iran deal that everyone should hear." Let's start with just one problem. -Ali Gharib - 4/22/15

U.S. Warns Iran About Shipping Weapons To Yemen

- President Barack Obama says the U.S. government has warned Iran against delivering weapons to Yemen that could be used to threaten shipping traffic in the region. "We've been actually very straightforward to them," Obama said in an MSNBC interview on April 21. - 4/22/15

Saudis announce end to bombing in Yemen

- The Saudi-led regional coalition has announced an end to its air strikes on Yemen on Tuesday night, April 21, adding that its operations in Yemen will now focus on politics. - 4/22/15

Iran Nuke Deal Would Be a Mixed Bag for Azerbaijan

- A lot still has to happen before a deal to monitor Iran's nuclear program can be implemented. But if it goes through, Azerbaijan could face a diplomatic quandary. From Baku's point of view, a nuclear deal, along with a possible rapprochement between the West and Iran, would have its advantages and disadvantages. -Eldar Mamedov, LobeLog - 4/22/15

Iran: Metal wall being built around Parliament raises concerns

- Iranian MPs have spoken out against the construction of a wall around the parliament building that began in March. The wall is meant as a security measure against protest gatherings. - 4/22/15

Iran Charges US Reporter With Spying

- A U.S. reporter jailed in Iran is being charged with four crimes, including espionage. A lawyer for Jason Rezaian told The Washington Postthat Rezaian also faces charges of "conducting propaganda against the establishment" and "collaborating with hostile governments.'' - 4/21/15

Yemen Brings US, Iran Closer to Naval Face-off

- Rising tensions over the conflict in Yemen appear to be pitting the United States against Iran in a sensitive showdown in the Gulf of Aden. Citing current instability and the need to ensure that vital shipping lanes in the area remain open, U.S. naval officials said Monday they are sending two more ships to the waters off the coast of Yemen to take part in "maritime security operations." -Aru Pande, Jeff Seldin, VOA - 4/21/15

Iran Teaching Head Sent To Jail

- The secretary-general of Iran's Teachers' Organization was arrested on April 20 and transferred to Tehran's Evin prison to serve a five-year sentence, Iran's semi-official ILNA news agency reported. Alireza Hashemi was sentenced to prison in 2010 for "pursuing union demands" and "meeting with relatives of jailed teachers," his deputy, Tahereh Naghiyi, told ILNA. - 4/21/15

Yemen and the American Impulse to Take Sides

- A strong Manichean streak runs through American perceptions of the outside world. That streak involves a habit of seeing all conflict and instability in binomial terms, a presumption that one of the perceived two sides is good and the other bad, and an urge to weigh in on the presumptively good side. -Paul R. Pillar, National Interest - 4/21/15

US carmakers ready to invest in Iran market: Report

- Secretary-general of the Iranian Auto Parts Manufacturers Association says American carmakers have voiced their readiness to enter Iran's car market once sanctions against the country are lifted. The automobile industry is seen as Iran's biggest non-oil sector. It accounts for nearly 10 percent of the country's gross domestic product (GDP). - 4/21/15

Reimagining the Middle East

- Once Iran concludes a nuclear agreement with the P5+1 (the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany), the Middle East would be ripe for bold, creative, and courageous policy moves by the United States. -Emile Nakhleh, LobeLog - 4/21/15

US trade delegation studying post-sanctions Iran potentials in rare visit

- Reports have emerged in the media that a delegation of American businessmen has traveled to Iran to explore the avenues for investments after the sanctions against the country are removed. - 4/20/15

Where Does Hillary Stand on the Iran Agreement?

- There is little indication to suggest that Hillary Clinton has chosen to oppose the deal brokered between the P5+1 and Iran. But Clinton's ties to Saban will be an important relationship to keep an eye on as she rolls out her campaign's foreign policy positions and announces her support or opposition to a nuclear deal with Iran. -Eli Clifton - 4/20/15

Khamenei: US Created 'Myth' of Iranian Nuclear Weapons

- Iran's Supreme Leader lashed out at the United States on Sunday, accusing Washington of inventing the "myth" of Tehran's nuclear weapons threat. Ayatollah Ali Khamenei also urged "defensive preparedness" for Iranian armed forces after a top U.S. general warned last week about military action against Tehran's nuclear sites. - 4/20/15

Afghanistan, Iran To Work Together Against 'Macabre' IS Threat

- Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and Iranian President Hassan Rohani have vowed increased cooperation between their predominantly Muslim countries to counter the threat from militant group Islamic State (IS). Ghani arrived in Tehran on April 19 for a two-day state visit, his first official trip to the neighboring country since taking office in September. - 4/20/15

Iran Legislation: Winners and Losers

- Editor's note: As we have done recently, we are posting excerpts of the latest Legislative Round-Up of the week by Lara Friedman of Americans for Peace Now. Readers of this blog will be particularly interested in the analysis regarding Sen. Corker's legislation on congressional oversight of any Iran deal. -Lara Friedman, LobeLog - 4/20/15

Obama Says Iran Bill Will Not Derail Negotiations

- U.S. President Barack Obama said on April 17 he does not see proposed legislation in Congress derailing negotiations with Iran on its nuclear program. Obama called the bill allowing Congress to review any deal a "reasonable compromise" that he planned to sign. - 4/18/15

Family Waits to Hear Charges Against Reporter Jailed in Iran

- The Iranian trial of Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian is set to start soon, but Rezaian has yet to meet with his lawyer, and his family still does not know the exact charges against him. His brother, Ali Rezaian, told VOA's Persian service Friday that despite reports in the Iranian media that Jason has been charged with espionage, the precise indictment has not been made public. -Molly McKitterick, VOA - 4/18/15

Iran, Saudis on Collision Course over Yemen

- Tensions between Iran and Saudi Arabia continued to escalate Saturday, with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani slamming Saudi-led airstrikes against Houthi rebels in Yemen. "You planted the seeds of hatred in the hearts" of people in the region, said Rouhani at Iran's National Army Day ceremony, in comments directed at Saudi Arabia. "And you will see the response sooner or later," he added. - 4/18/15

Open Letter from Yemen Scholars Protesting War

- We write as scholars concerned with Yemen and as residents/nationals of the United Kingdom and the United States. The military attack by Saudi Arabia, backed by the Gulf Cooperation Council states (but not Oman), Egypt, Jordan, Sudan, the UK and above all the US, is into its third week of bombing and blockading Yemen. This military campaign is illegal under international law - 4/18/15

Iran's Justice Minister joins call against "dirty money" in campaigns

- The Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli had previously expressed concerns about "dirty money" backing parliamentary candidates in the coming elections, and now Mostafa PourMohammadi has expressed disappointment that there is no strict legislation to ensure transparency in election campaign funding. - 4/18/15

Iran Hawks Clearly Unhappy With Corker

- Three days after the Obama White House surprised many of its staunchest foreign-policy supporters by lifting its veto threat over a watered-down Corker-Menendez bill, it's become quite clear that hard-line neoconservatives and their congressional allies are unhappy. -Jim Lobe, LobeLog - 4/18/15

Princesses of Persia: Unveiling Iran's Female Ninja 'Assassins'

- Sputnik unravels the truth about Iran's all-female squad of martial artists three years after Western media published a story claiming Tehran was training ninjas to kill enemies of the Islamic Republic. - 4/18/15

Worsening Conditions for Women in Iran Begin to Draw Attention

- Almost two years after his 2013 election, President Hassan Rouhani and his Vice President for Women and Family Affairs, Shahindokht Molaverdi, spoke up against discrimination against women this week, in the face of steadily deteriorating conditions for women in Iran. - 4/17/15

Iranian News Agency, U.S. Spokesman Spar Over Jailed Reporter

- The continued detention of Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian in Iran on security charges has led to an online spat between a Persian-speaking U.S. State Department spokesman and an Iranian news agency affiliated with the powerful Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC). - 4/17/15

Aerospace companies keen on establishing Iran footing: Official

- The head of Iran's Civil Aviation Organization (CAO) says many aircraft manufacturers have visited the country in the past year, even before the recent Tehran-P5+1 statement in Switzerland on the Iranian nuclear program, which laid the ground for further negotiations toward a comprehensive nuclear deal. - 4/17/15

Putin, Netanyahu, and the S-300 Missile Sales to Iran

- There have been numerous reports about how Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu recently called Russian President Vladimir Putin to express Israeli displeasure with Moscow ending its embargo on the sale of Russian S-300 air defense missile systems to Iran. Putin reportedly responded by telling Netanyahu that these missiles are "purely defensive" and so "pose no threat to Israel." -Mark N. Katz, LobeLog - 4/17/15

Obama's Triple Crown

- It was only a couple years ago that I was bemoaning Obama's failure to fulfill his promise to resolve major confrontations in the world diplomatically. "Smart power," in the Obama lexicon, had largely been window dressing on the same old exercise of hard power - the widespread drone strikes, the surge in Afghanistan, the intervention in Libya, the Special Forces operations in Africa and elsewhere, the Pentagon's "pivot" to the Pacific.-John Feffer, LobeLog - 4/17/15

President Rohani: Iran Not Negotiating With U.S. Congress

- Iranian President Hassan Rohani says the Islamic republic is not negotiating with the U.S. Congress on a potential nuclear deal. "Our counterpart is not the U.S. Senate or the Congress, our counterpart is the group known as P5+1," Rohani said in an April 15 speech in the northern city of Rasht. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE - 4/16/15

Congress Learns to Compromise on Iran?

- One of the most striking things about the congressional discourse about the Iran talks had been the overwrought denunciations of diplomacy by Republicans. You don 't have to look hard. Mark Kirk, the Illinois senator, takes every chance to compare diplomacy with Iran to the Munich agreement that handed the Sudetenland over to Hitler. -Ali Gharib - 4/16/15

Putin: Iran's 'Flexibility' Fueled Decision to Lift S-300 Ban

- Russian President Vladimir Putin says Iran's willingness to try to reach a settlement over its nuclear program was behind his decision to clear the way for the possible sale of an S-300 air defense system to Tehran. - 4/16/15

Economics Will Decide the Fate of the Iran Deal

- Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu has a terrible record in predicting the future of Iran's nuclear programme, but it's hard to argue with his suggestion that last week's accord between Iran and the P5+1 countries will "bolster Iran's economy". -Djavad Salehi-Isfahani, LobeLog - 4/16/15

Israel's Netanyahu Likens Iran To Nazi Germany

- Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warns that the world is "closing its eyes" toward Iran's aggressive policies in the Middle East, as it has done toward Nazi Germany. - 4/16/15

US Would 'Welcome' Iran Engagement, Under Certain Circumstances

- Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken says the U.S. would welcome broader engagement with Iran, if an Iran nuclear agreement wound up helping Iran change its approach to the region and to the world. -Pamela Dockins, VOA - 4/16/15

Secretary Kerry Weighs In

- Just last week, the pagliacci at the head of America's Department of State, John Kerry, gave an interview on the much-esteemed house organ of domestic propaganda, the "PBS NewsHour". The entire interview was a farce of human reason, yet was mindlessly absorbed by millions of armchair Americans, 41 percent of whom cannot name the Vice President of the United States. -Jason Hirthler, Counterpunch - 4/16/15

Two Presidents and the Ayatollah

- Despite appearances, Ayatollah Khamenei and Presidents Barack Obama and Hassan Rouhani are not worlds apart in their thinking on US-Iran relations. In the aftermath of announcing the parameters of a nuclear deal between Iran and world powers on April 2 in Lausanne, Switzerland, each of the men took to the podium. -Ellie Geranmayeh - 4/15/15

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee's Decision to Give Congress a Veto on the Iran Deal

- Earlier today (April 14), Sens. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) and Benjamin Cardin (D-Md.) negotiated compromise language that makes very minimal adjustments to the earlier version of Corker's bill, S. 615, "The Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act of 2015." The revised bill was approved by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and will go to the floor of the Senate and eventually the House in the coming weeks. -Daryl G. Kimball, Arms Control Now - 4/15/15

Alleged Assault On Iranian Teens Stokes Anti-Arab Sentiment

- Awave of public fury and anti-Arab sentiment has engulfed Iran after the alleged sexual assault of two teenage Iranian pilgrims traveling through Saudi Arabia's Jeddah airport last month. The two boys were on their way back to Iran after performing the Umrah Islamic pilgrimage when they were allegedly assaulted by Saudi officers during a security search. -Frud Bezhan, RFE - 4/15/15

Post Executive: Iran Denying Jailed Reporter Legal Counsel

- The Washington Post's executive editor said Tuesday that the newspaper's Iranian correspondent, jailed in Tehran on unspecified charges, was being denied acceptable legal representation. Martin Baron said that Jason Rezaian, who was arrested last July, had been allowed only one meeting with a lawyer and that they were not allowed to discuss the charges against him. - 4/15/15

MPs grill Iranian Communications Minister on increasing internet bandwidth

- Iranian Parliament was not persuaded by the Communications Minister's explanations for "increasing internet bandwith before the launch of the National Internet" and gave him a yellow card. IRNA reports that of the 195 MPs present, 99 voted against, 70 voted for and 11 abstained in response to the explanations offered by Mahmoud Vaezi. - 4/15/15

Kerry Confident About Iran Nuclear Deal's Prospects

- U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said Wednesday he is confident about reaching a final nuclear agreement with Iran, after President Barack Obama pledged to sign a bill that would subject the deal to U.S. congressional review.Kerry spoke ahead of a meeting of Group of Seven foreign ministers in Germany that was expected to include discussion of the negotiations, which yielded a framework deal earlier this month. - 4/15/15

For Iran, respect is the death knell of colonialism

- If U.S. President Barack Obama was correct when he declared that his meeting with Cuban President Raul Castro in Panama City last weekend marked the end of the Cold War, we should get ready for a potentially even more momentous historical marker if Iran and the P5+1 powers led by the U.S. reach full agreement on Iran's nuclear technology and the lifting the sanctions. Such a deal could well signal the end of the colonial era in the Middle East. -Rami G. Khouri, AlJazeera - 4/15/15

AIPAC to UANI: Make Gary Samore Shut Up!

- I attended a lunch panel on Iran hosted by the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA) yesterday with Eric Edelman, John Hannah, Ray Takeyh, and Jonathan Ruhe as the featured presenters. The conversation on the dais veered between quite hawkish and moderately hawkish, as one might expect from members of JINSA's Iran task force. -Jim Lobe, LobeLog - 4/15/15

Obama Administration Not Swaying US Lawmakers on Iran Deal

- CAPITOL HILL- Initial Obama administration pleas that U.S. lawmakers set aside legislation giving them a say on a final Iran nuclear accord appear to be falling on mostly deaf ears in the Republican-led Congress. -Michael Bowman, VOA - 4/14/15

Russia Flexes Missile Diplomacy With Iran

- Russia's potential delivery of anti-aircraft S-300 missile systems to Iran has long been shrouded in controversy and contradictions. But with Russian President Vladimir Putin's decree allowing shipments of these high-precision systems to Tehran, will Moscow finally make good on these deliveries? -Carl Schreck, RFE - 4/14/15
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