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Iran

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Iran

Post by Isgrimnur » Fri Feb 03, 2017 2:28 pm

New sanctions
The Trump administration hit Iran with new sanctions Friday following the test-firing of a medium-range ballistic missile, an action the White House says is in defiance of a U.N. resolution.

"Iran's continued support for terrorism and development of its ballistic missile program poses a threat to the region, to our partners worldwide, and to the United States," said John E. Smith, acting director of the Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control.

The sanctions targeted three networks comprising 13 people and a dozen entities including a group affiliated with the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps working with the terrorist group Hezbollah. The Trump administration maintains that none of these designations violate the Iran nuclear deal.
...
The Obama administration previously issued similar unilateral sanctions in response to both Sunday's ballistic missile tests and Iran's continued sponsoring of terrorist activity.
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Re: Iran

Post by Kraken » Tue Jan 02, 2018 1:40 pm

Sixth day of protests. 12 dead, 450 arrested. Social media clampdown.

It appears to be spontaneous and led from the hinterlands, although some think that hardliners are behind them to justify a clampdown. The people rebelling at the "reformist" president's constituents, so he publicly affirms their right to protest peacefully. The unarmed, unorganized protesters don't stand a chance in open confrontation unless their numbers become too great to arrest.

Trump, of course, tweets unhelpfully from the sidelines.
The rallies began Thursday over the country's stagnant economy and rising living costs, but they developed into a broader outcry against the government and intensified over the weekend. Many of the protesters are young Iranians tired of the lack of economic opportunity in the country.
Is this leading anywhere? Is it really a grassroots movement, or is somebody behind it? Who?

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Re: Iran

Post by El Guapo » Tue Jan 02, 2018 2:12 pm

They appear to be genuine. There are clearly plenty of Iranians who despise the regime (unsurprisingly, since it's repressive and has not produced a high standard of living). I have seen some speculation that hardliners have held back a crackdown in order to justify expanding state security powers, but that's fairly speculative.

As far as I know the odds of success - of toppling the regime - are low, but it's hard to say. Protest movements never work until they do.

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Re: Iran

Post by Zarathud » Tue Jan 02, 2018 2:42 pm

NPR interview this morning suggested that hardline religious fundamentalists started protests against current leadership but lost control to genuine citizen dissatisfaction. Their goal is now to justify a crackdown.
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Re: Iran

Post by El Guapo » Tue Jan 02, 2018 2:46 pm

Zarathud wrote:
Tue Jan 02, 2018 2:42 pm
NPR interview this morning suggested that hardline religious fundamentalists started protests against current leadership but lost control to genuine citizen dissatisfaction. Their goal is now to justify a crackdown.
The main confusing thing about the protests is that they started in places like Qom, which are generally super religious and conservative (and thus generally regime strongholds). Which I think is the thing that has led to speculation that the religious conservatives started this (or possibly, just held back on crushing protests). Of course, there are also plenty of reasons for religious conservatives to dislike the government as well (they're presumably not especially fond of being poor either).

Either way, there's plenty of kindling for any protest in terms of ample citizen dissatisfaction with the regime.

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Re: Iran

Post by Kraken » Tue Jan 02, 2018 3:58 pm

I have to wonder if Saudi Arabia has a hand in this, too. They've been meddling everywhere lately. Haven't seen any pundits suggesting that yet, though.

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Re: Iran

Post by El Guapo » Tue Jan 02, 2018 4:00 pm

Unpopular regimes always blame foreign agitators for mass protests. It's rarely true to a significant degree.

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Re: Iran

Post by Defiant » Tue Jan 02, 2018 4:03 pm

Inside the classified Israeli report on the Iran protests
  • The Iran protests started over economic issues but very fast "took a political and violent turn which included harsh anti-regime criticism over government spending on Syria, Lebanon and Yemen."
  • The analysts wrote: "For now the #IranProtests are not a threat for the regime's survival but they weaken it, damage its legitimacy & if continue it can threaten its stability."
  • The report also said: "The radicalization of the #IranProtests messages & the fact people took to the streets shows in our understanding that the barrier of fear for the Iranian citizen started breaking."
  • Many Iranians fear the Iran protests might lead to chaos like in other countries in the region (Syria), according to the report.
  • President Hassan Rouhani's public image took a hit, the report says.
  • But many Iranians still support him because they see him as the least of all possible evils.

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Re: Iran

Post by Pyperkub » Tue Jan 02, 2018 4:44 pm

Kraken wrote:
Tue Jan 02, 2018 3:58 pm
I have to wonder if Saudi Arabia has a hand in this, too. They've been meddling everywhere lately. Haven't seen any pundits suggesting that yet, though.
The Saudis and Iran have been waging a proxy war in the Middle East for years. Name just about any conflict there in the past 10 or so years, and you'll find them supporting opposite sides.

However, in this case, I'm more of the belief that this is an actual popular airing of grievances (it did start around Festivus, as I recall ;) )
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Re: Iran

Post by Holman » Tue Jan 02, 2018 5:00 pm

They will greet us as liberators!
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Re: Iran

Post by El Guapo » Tue Jan 02, 2018 5:03 pm

Pyperkub wrote:
Tue Jan 02, 2018 4:44 pm
Kraken wrote:
Tue Jan 02, 2018 3:58 pm
I have to wonder if Saudi Arabia has a hand in this, too. They've been meddling everywhere lately. Haven't seen any pundits suggesting that yet, though.
The Saudis and Iran have been waging a proxy war in the Middle East for years. Name just about any conflict there in the past 10 or so years, and you'll find them supporting opposite sides.

However, in this case, I'm more of the belief that this is an actual popular airing of grievances (it did start around Festivus, as I recall ;) )
I don't really get why anyone would doubt that this is an actual popular airing of grievances. The regime is unpopular, as autocratic regimes tend to be when they are not providing a rising standard of living. They had mass protests as recently as 2009-2010.

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Re: Iran

Post by Isgrimnur » Wed Jan 03, 2018 10:59 am

Newsweek
Russia has hit out at the U.S. over its stance on the deadly protests in Iran—comparing the Iranian response to the demonstrations to the American authorities' reaction to Occupy Wall Street and the Ferguson riots.

The Russian government has repeatedly tried to play down the unrest in Iran and issued its latest rebuke after Washington’s top envoy to the U.N. praised the demonstrations as a cry “for freedom” and vowed to raise the issue at the Security Council.
...
“There is no doubt that the U.S. delegation (to the U.N.) has something to tell the world,” Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, Maria Zakharova wrote on Facebook.

“For example, Nikki Haley can share America’s experience in breaking up protests, going into detail about how, say, the mass arrests and the stifling of the Occupy Wall Street movement happened or how Ferguson was ‘quelled’,” she added.
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Re: Iran

Post by Rip » Mon Apr 30, 2018 3:39 pm

https://www.cnn.com/2018/04/30/middleea ... index.html

Finally the truth comes out.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says Israel has evidence Iranian officials were "brazenly lying" when they said Iran wasn't pursuing nuclear weapons and that the Islamic republic is keeping an "atomic archive" at a secret compound.

"Tonight, I'm here to tell you one thing: Iran lied -- big time," Netanyahu said late Monday during an address from the Israel Ministry of Defense in Tel Aviv.
Calling it one of the greatest achievements in the history of Israeli intelligence, Netayahu displayed what he said were files that demonstrate Iran planned to continue pursuing a nuclear weapons program despite the 2015 deal it brokered with the international community.

Speaking in English, Netanyahu accused Iran of ramping up efforts to obscure the files in 2015 and moving them to a secret location in Tehran last year.
The files were kept in massive vaults inside an "innocent-looking compound" in Shorabad District, the Prime Minister said. The 100,000 files contain, among other things, blueprints, charts, photos, videos and presentations dealing with nuclear weaponry.

"Iran planned at the highest level to continue work related to nuclear weapons under different guises and using the same personnel," he said.
Iran for years operated the secret Project Amad, which sought to produce five nuclear warheads, each with an explosive yield equivalent to five of the bombs dropped on Hiroshima during World War II, Netanyahu alleged. The nation stored material related to Project Amad to use later, he said.

Iran lied about Project Amad, he said, when one of the conditions of the nuclear deal was that Iran had to "come clean" about its activities related to nuclear arms.

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Re: Iran

Post by hepcat » Mon Apr 30, 2018 4:09 pm

You of all people should know that truth is subjective with Trump in office. Alternative facts, I believe he calls them.

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Re: Iran

Post by Fitzy » Mon Apr 30, 2018 4:15 pm

This one is weird. All it appears to show is that:

1. Iran at one time worked to get a nuclear weapon, but shockingly lied about it. Already known
2. Iran quit working on it.
3. Iran could start work on it again. Which is why the Iran Nuclear deal was set up in the first place.

So, if the US pulls out of the deal, what is stopping Iran from picking up where they left off?

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Re: Iran

Post by hepcat » Mon Apr 30, 2018 4:50 pm

Are we absolutely sure Nunes didn't write those documents?
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Re: Iran

Post by Pyperkub » Mon Apr 30, 2018 5:13 pm

Slate is indicating that the archive is from 2003-2007:

n his Monday broadcast, which he recited in English and Hebrew, Netanyahu did publicize a remarkable heist by Israeli intelligence agencies—if his claims are true—of 55,000 pages of “files” and “archives” showing that 15 years ago, Iran did have a plan with an avowed intent to build nuclear weapons.

But did the prime minister think his viewers, at home and abroad, would glide over those key words—files and archive—or that they wouldn’t notice that the quotations from some of those files were dated 2003?

He said and showed nothing to suggest that the Iranians ever put their plan into motion or that they are violating the deal’s restrictions on nuclear activities now. In fact, at one point in his telecast, he acknowledged that Iran stopped the program—supporting the conclusion of a U.S National Intelligence Estimate, published in 2007, that Iran had halted its nuclear weapons program in the fall of 2003.
Looks like more info is needed...
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Re: Iran

Post by Rip » Mon Apr 30, 2018 5:24 pm

One of the conditions of the nuclear deal was that Iran had to "come clean" about its activities related to nuclear arms

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Re: Iran

Post by Pyperkub » Mon Apr 30, 2018 7:19 pm

The American Conservative chimes in:
The IAEA has verified Iranian compliance with the terms of the agreement ten times in a row, so it is very doubtful that the Israeli government has any relevant information about a “significant development” regarding the nuclear deal. Whatever Netanyahu announces later today should be viewed with extreme skepticism. Netanyahu has every incentive to lie about the nuclear deal right now to make sure that Trump reneges on it in two weeks, and coming on the heels of another Israeli attack on Iranian targets in Syria and Pompeo’s visit the timing of this announcement is more than a little suspicious.
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Re: Iran

Post by Rip » Mon Apr 30, 2018 8:15 pm

Pyperkub wrote:
Mon Apr 30, 2018 7:19 pm
The American Conservative chimes in:
The IAEA has verified Iranian compliance with the terms of the agreement ten times in a row, so it is very doubtful that the Israeli government has any relevant information about a “significant development” regarding the nuclear deal. Whatever Netanyahu announces later today should be viewed with extreme skepticism. Netanyahu has every incentive to lie about the nuclear deal right now to make sure that Trump reneges on it in two weeks, and coming on the heels of another Israeli attack on Iranian targets in Syria and Pompeo’s visit the timing of this announcement is more than a little suspicious.
They aren't exactly chiming in. They wrote that without even knowing what Netanyahu was going to say or what evidence he has.

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Re: Iran

Post by Defiant » Mon Apr 30, 2018 8:50 pm

My take from what I've read:

It's was an impressive amount of intelligence that was presented, that further shows the ambitions of the Iranian nuclear program, but that it only points to it pre-Iranian deal. The Iranian deal does require them to come clean about their prior activities, and they've still and repeatedly denied their program, so there is a problem there, and a reason to continue to be highly skeptical of their commitment to the deal. I think this should be used to pressure the Iranians to come clean and be more open to inspections given that they continue to not be trustworthy (and maybe also pressure them with regards to their other activities in the region).

However, this isn't a smoking gun that their program has continued, and short of that I don't think we should be in a rush to leave the deal, even though I have grave issues with the deal (I'm still furious with Obama's bait-and-switch move).

(I'll also point out that this comes in the wake of yet another threat by an Iranian leader to annihilate Israel)

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Re: Iran

Post by Pyperkub » Mon Apr 30, 2018 8:54 pm

Per Bloomberg (Opinion section, so take with salt and b(ia)s detectors on ful):
If verified, the intelligence also reveals Iran's intention to eventually build a nuclear weapon. "The most significant thing is that this is a warehoused collection intended to be used later for reconstitution," Albright said. "They could have destroyed these documents. But these were being carefully protected and hidden with the intention to reuse them when they launch their weapons program."

Beyond the fate of the nuclear deal, the Israeli intelligence also presents a crisis for the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty, to which Iran is a member. If verified, it shows that Iran has systematically lied to weapons inspectors for nearly 20 years. If Iran doesn't pay a price for its deception, then what is to stop future rogues from following the Iran model?
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Re: Iran

Post by Defiant » Mon Apr 30, 2018 9:25 pm

Weren't sanctions meant as a price to be paid (even if they started a decade into those 20 years), in an effort to dissuade Iran?

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Re: Iran

Post by Kraken » Tue May 08, 2018 11:02 am

Trump is widely expected to rip up the treaty today. I can foresee two possible outcomes, and one likely consequence:

1. Iran and the other signatories continue to abide by it. The US becomes further isolated diplomatically and US firms lose the benefit of trading with Iran as other countries fill the void. Oil prices shrug. Trump takes a victory lap.

2. The whole thing unravels, Iran restarts its nuclear program, and oil prices spike. Trump takes a victory lap. Ultimately Israel strikes Iran's facilities with tacit US support and oil prices spike again. Trump takes another victory lap. War spreads and draws in US forces. Trump takes another victory lap.

The consequence: NK gets fresh evidence of how unreliable treaties with the US are and the upcoming peace talks either stalemate or yield some token meaningless agreement (granted, these are already the likely outcomes). Either way, Trump takes a victory lap.

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Re: Iran

Post by Fireball » Tue May 08, 2018 11:09 am

Kraken wrote:
Tue May 08, 2018 11:02 am
Trump is widely expected to rip up the treaty today. I can foresee two possible outcomes, and one likely consequence:

1. Iran and the other signatories continue to abide by it. The US becomes further isolated diplomatically and US firms lose the benefit of trading with Iran as other countries fill the void. Oil prices shrug. Trump takes a victory lap.
If Trump is really stupid enough to tear up the JCPOA, then this is the only possible good outcome. If America is going to abandon its role as world leader, the rest of the world needs to stop giving American policy any consideration.
2. The whole thing unravels, Iran restarts its nuclear program, and oil prices spike. Trump takes a victory lap. Ultimately Israel strikes Iran's facilities with tacit US support and oil prices spike again. Trump takes another victory lap. War spreads and draws in US forces. Trump takes another victory lap.
This is the result Netanyahu is praying for. He'd like nothing more than a giant war — mostly costing American and Iranian lives, naturally — to distract the Israeli people from his own personal criminality and corruption. Trump is too stupid to understand what the cost of actual conflict with Iran would be. The Iranian regime is an order of magnitude stronger than Iraq was when that pointless, disastrous war started in 2003.
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Re: Iran

Post by Kurth » Tue May 08, 2018 11:11 am

Defiant wrote:
Mon Apr 30, 2018 8:50 pm
My take from what I've read:

It's was an impressive amount of intelligence that was presented, that further shows the ambitions of the Iranian nuclear program, but that it only points to it pre-Iranian deal. The Iranian deal does require them to come clean about their prior activities, and they've still and repeatedly denied their program, so there is a problem there, and a reason to continue to be highly skeptical of their commitment to the deal. I think this should be used to pressure the Iranians to come clean and be more open to inspections given that they continue to not be trustworthy (and maybe also pressure them with regards to their other activities in the region).

However, this isn't a smoking gun that their program has continued, and short of that I don't think we should be in a rush to leave the deal, even though I have grave issues with the deal (I'm still furious with Obama's bait-and-switch move).

(I'll also point out that this comes in the wake of yet another threat by an Iranian leader to annihilate Israel)
This is my take as well. Also, very much echoed by John Oliver last week in a pretty good episode on the Iran nuke deal. Pretty much, the Iranians are reliable liars and deceivers. We know they’ve not been honest about their nuclear program — as corroborated by the Israeli intel — BUT, that understanding was all baked-in to the deal. Confirming the underlying basis for the deal now is not a reason to tear it up. I’m sure Trump has grasped that nuance . . .
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Re: Iran

Post by Skinypupy » Tue May 08, 2018 11:13 am

I would love to have someone ask Trump what specifically he is opposed to in the Iran deal as it is currently structured. I would be truly shocked if he had an answer with any more substance than "IRAN BAD!!"

But since he's too chickenshit to actually take any questions from the press, I guess we'll never know.
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Re: Iran

Post by Isgrimnur » Tue May 08, 2018 11:14 am

I'd feel better with these guys in charge of our Iran policy:

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Re: Iran

Post by Kurth » Tue May 08, 2018 11:16 am

Isgrimnur wrote:
Tue May 08, 2018 11:14 am
I'd feel better with these guys in charge of all our policy:

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FTFY
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Re: Iran

Post by Moliere » Tue May 08, 2018 11:16 am

Kraken wrote:
Tue May 08, 2018 11:02 am
NK gets fresh evidence of how unreliable treaties with the US are
:lol:

Because NK is reliable?
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Re: Iran

Post by Fireball » Tue May 08, 2018 11:24 am

Skinypupy wrote:
Tue May 08, 2018 11:13 am
I would love to have someone ask Trump what specifically he is opposed to in the Iran deal as it is currently structured. I would be truly shocked if he had an answer with any more substance than "IRAN BAD!!"

But since he's too chickenshit to actually take any questions from the press, I guess we'll never know.
What he would say is that the deal is bad because it doesn't stop Iran from building missiles or funding Hezbollah. And it's true, a deal narrowly focused on stopping Iran's march towards a nuclear weapon did not try to address all of Iran's bad behavior in the world. But the fact that a deal that does address the most critical issue but doesn't address every issue is no reason to oppose it.
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Re: Iran

Post by Chaz » Tue May 08, 2018 11:30 am

Fireball wrote:
Tue May 08, 2018 11:24 am
Skinypupy wrote:
Tue May 08, 2018 11:13 am
I would love to have someone ask Trump what specifically he is opposed to in the Iran deal as it is currently structured. I would be truly shocked if he had an answer with any more substance than "IRAN BAD!!"

But since he's too chickenshit to actually take any questions from the press, I guess we'll never know.
What he would say is that the deal is bad because it doesn't stop Iran from building missiles or funding Hezbollah. And it's true, a deal narrowly focused on stopping Iran's march towards a nuclear weapon did not try to address all of Iran's bad behavior in the world. But the fact that a deal that does address the most critical issue but doesn't address every issue is no reason to oppose it.
No, see, here in America, if you can't fix a problem completely perfectly, accounting for every possible workaround existing or that may exist in the future, reducing the effects of the problem to absolutely 0, and without costing anything, having any impact on anyone, or compromising in literally any way, you shouldn't do anything at all. This logic also applies retroactively if someone comes in later and decides that problem A is somehow related to problem B, and if the solution for A doesn't also fix B in the same way, you shouldn't do anything about A.
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Re: Iran

Post by Fireball » Tue May 08, 2018 11:35 am

Chaz wrote:
Tue May 08, 2018 11:30 am
Fireball wrote:
Tue May 08, 2018 11:24 am
Skinypupy wrote:
Tue May 08, 2018 11:13 am
I would love to have someone ask Trump what specifically he is opposed to in the Iran deal as it is currently structured. I would be truly shocked if he had an answer with any more substance than "IRAN BAD!!"

But since he's too chickenshit to actually take any questions from the press, I guess we'll never know.
What he would say is that the deal is bad because it doesn't stop Iran from building missiles or funding Hezbollah. And it's true, a deal narrowly focused on stopping Iran's march towards a nuclear weapon did not try to address all of Iran's bad behavior in the world. But the fact that a deal that does address the most critical issue but doesn't address every issue is no reason to oppose it.
No, see, here in America, if you can't fix a problem completely perfectly, accounting for every possible workaround existing or that may exist in the future, reducing the effects of the problem to absolutely 0, and without costing anything, having any impact on anyone, or compromising in literally any way, you shouldn't do anything at all. This logic also applies retroactively if someone comes in later and decides that problem A is somehow related to problem B, and if the solution for A doesn't also fix B in the same way, you shouldn't do anything about A.
I can't tell if this is mocking the Tea Party, or the Bernie Bros. And that's a pretty clear example of how our politics have gone wrong.
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Re: Iran

Post by Isgrimnur » Tue May 08, 2018 11:36 am

I thought he was supposed to be in the Gun Politics thread.
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Re: Iran

Post by Chaz » Tue May 08, 2018 12:59 pm

It was kinda mocking the screwed up place we've gotten ourselves into where compromise and incremental improvement are both considered dirty words and unnecessary to pursue. We want perfect results, right now, without giving up anything ourselves, and without giving the other side and inch. The moderates get pushed out in favor of extremists, which makes the other side's views even less palatable to compromise with, which pushes both sides farther out, etc. Tea party, Bernie Bros, guns, Iran, everything's wrapped up in that.
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Re: Iran

Post by Defiant » Tue May 08, 2018 1:22 pm

Fireball wrote:
Tue May 08, 2018 11:24 am
But the fact that a deal that does address the most critical issue temporarily but doesn't address every issue is no reason to oppose it.
FTFY

A lot of reasonable people had issues with the deal. And I, for one, was angry at Obama's maneuvering with regards to the Iran deal.

That said, once he pulled it, such that the Iran deal was the best option left, the emphasis should have been, and should now be, to improve the deal.

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Chaz
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Re: Iran

Post by Chaz » Tue May 08, 2018 1:43 pm

Just to close the loop, news has broken that Trump is killing the deal.
I can't imagine, even at my most inebriated, hearing a bouncer offering me an hour with a stripper for only $1,400 and thinking That sounds like a reasonable idea.-Two Sheds

malchior
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Re: Iran

Post by malchior » Tue May 08, 2018 1:47 pm

With Paris and the Iran we sure look like an unreliable partner. These were commitments made within the last decade. Abandoned without any justifiable reason. I mean we obviously tipped our hand that we were politically unstable and broken when we elected Trump but now it is affecting our partners massively. The future will belong to others. This is another benchmark day where our decline is front and center.

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Chaz
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Re: Iran

Post by Chaz » Tue May 08, 2018 1:54 pm

malchior wrote:
Tue May 08, 2018 1:47 pm
With Paris and the Iran we sure look like an unreliable partner. These were commitments made within the last decade. Abandoned without any justifiable reason. I mean we obviously tipped our hand that we were politically unstable and broken when we elected Trump but now it is affecting our partners massively. The future will belong to others. This is another benchmark day where our decline is front and center.
Don't forget the TPP. This is a great look when we're involved in active negotiations with North Korea.
I can't imagine, even at my most inebriated, hearing a bouncer offering me an hour with a stripper for only $1,400 and thinking That sounds like a reasonable idea.-Two Sheds

malchior
Posts: 8655
Joined: Wed Oct 13, 2004 12:58 pm

Re: Iran

Post by malchior » Tue May 08, 2018 1:58 pm

Chaz wrote:
Tue May 08, 2018 1:54 pm
malchior wrote:
Tue May 08, 2018 1:47 pm
With Paris and the Iran we sure look like an unreliable partner. These were commitments made within the last decade. Abandoned without any justifiable reason. I mean we obviously tipped our hand that we were politically unstable and broken when we elected Trump but now it is affecting our partners massively. The future will belong to others. This is another benchmark day where our decline is front and center.
Don't forget the TPP. This is a great look when we're involved in active negotiations with North Korea.
Yep TPP basically gave trade in Asia to China. His domestic policy is absolutely terrible but his foreign policy will be analyzed for its foolishness, stupidity, and ineptitude for ages.

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