Israel and Saudi Arabia Present United Front over Iran Deal


Iran’s enemies unsettled by its deal with the West, but Bashar al-Assad of Syria says it is ‘a great victory’

 writes: The nuclear deal with Iran caused fury in Israel and consternation around the region at the likely increase in influence and resources of a newly enriched Iran.

Most telling was the loudest expression of support. “I am happy that the Islamic Republic of Iran has achieved a great victory by reaching an agreement,” President Bashar al-Assad of Syria said in a message to his Iranian opposite number, Hassan Rouhani.

“In the name of the Syrian people, I congratulate you and the people of Iran on this historic achievement.”


Benjamin Netanyahu during an earlier, tense press conference (Reuters)

Israel and the Sunni Arab world have set aside old grievances to stand together against the West’s engagement with Iran.

The more strident denunciations came from Israel, which regards Iran as a direct threat. Benjamin Netanyahu, the prime minister, said the country would not be bound by what he called a “stunning historic mistake”.

“Israel is not bound by this deal with Iran,” he said in a televised address hours after the conclusion of the accord. “Iran continues to seek our destruction and we will defend ourselves.”

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad

Mr Netanyahu, who had condemned the deal even before it had been announced, said its terms failed to achieve the goal of denying Iran the capacity to build a nuclear bomb while, by lifting sanctions, enabled its theocratic rulers to increase their support for groups Israel considers terrorists.

“The bottom line of this very bad deal is exactly as Iran’s President Rouhani said today – the international community is removing the sanctions and Iran is keeping its nuclear programme,” he said. Read the rest of this entry »

Iranian Defector: ‘The US negotiating team are mainly there to speak on Iran’s behalf’


Pro-Hassan Rouhani Iranian editor defects while covering nuclear talks in Lausanne

Ahmed Vahdat and Richard Spencer report: A close media aide to Hassan Rouhani, the Iranian president, has sought political asylum in Switzerland after travelling to Lausanne to cover the nuclear talks between Tehran and the West.

Amir Hossein Motaghi, who managed public relations for Mr Rouhani during his 2013 election campaign, was said by Iranian news agencies to have quit his job at the Iran Student Correspondents Association (ISCA).

“There are a number of people attending on the Iranian side at the negotiations who are said to be journalists reporting on the negotiations. But they are not journalists and their main job is to make sure that all the news fed back to Iran goes through their channels.”

“The US negotiating team are mainly there to speak on Iran’s behalf with other members of the 5+1 countries and convince them of a deal.”

“My conscience would not allow me to carry out my profession in this manner any more.”

He then appeared on an opposition television channel based in London to say he no longer saw any “sense” in his profession as a journalist as he could only write what he was told.
“There are a number of people attending on the Iranian side at the negotiations who are said to be journalists reporting on the negotiations,” he told Irane Farda television. “But they are not journalists and their main job is to make sure that all the news fed back to Iran goes through their channels.

Jason Rezalan

“My conscience would not allow me to carry out my profession in this manner any more.” Mr Mottaghi was a journalist and commentator who went on to use social media successfully to promote Mr Rouhani to a youthful audience that overwhelmingly elected him to power. Read the rest of this entry »

Iran’s Leading Film Critic Ayatollah Ali Khamenei Reviews ‘American Sniper


Nasser Karimi reports: Iran’s supreme leader has criticized the film “American Sniper,” saying the movie about a U.S. soldier fighting in Iraq encourages violence against Muslims, a state-run newspaper reported Tuesday.

The comments by Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, published in the daily IRAN Farsi newspaper, come amid renewed criticism of the West by the leader as his country negotiates with world powers over its contested nuclear program.

“The movie ‘Sniper’ that is made by Hollywood encourages a Christian or non-Muslim youngster to harass and offend the Muslims as far as they could…You are seeing what sort of propaganda there are against Muslims in Europe and the U.S.”

— Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei

The newspaper quoted Khamenei as saying he hadn’t watched the film directed by Clint Eastwood and starring Bradley Cooper, but had heard about its plot from others. The film focuses on the life of U.S. Navy SEAL marksman Chris Kyle, who with 160 confirmed kills is considered the most lethal sniper in American military history.

“The movie ‘Sniper‘ that is made by Hollywood encourages a Christian or non-Muslim youngster to harass and offend the Muslims as far as they could,” the newspaper quoted Khamenei as saying.

Khamenei also reportedly discussed neo-Nazis attacking Muslims in Germany, saying Muslims have no safety in the West.

“You are seeing what sort of propaganda there are against Muslims in Europe and the U.S.,” he reportedly said.

The newspaper said Khamenei made the comments while meeting representatives of Iranian religious minorities in the country’s parliament three weeks ago. The newspaper did not explain why it was publishing the comments now. Read the rest of this entry »

Bill to Deny U.S. Entry for 1979 Hostage-Taker Hamid Aboutalebi Passes Senate

Hamid Aboutalebi

Aboutalebi was a member of the student group that led the 1979 seizure of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran.

According to the Washington Post, this news story isn’t about Hamid Aboutalebi, it’s about Senator Ted Cruz. Aboutalebi’s name doesn’t appear in the body copy until the end of the second paragraphCruz’s name is in the first paragraph. Ted Cruz’s name appear as the first words in (the Washington Post‘s version of) the headline. Aboutalebi isn’t mentioned in the headline.

That said, I’m impressed that it takes a whole 23 words before this Washington Post news story turns into a stealth Op-Ed. Note in the story’s opening paragraph this morsel of sarcastic editorializing: “rare legislative victory for its lead sponsor, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.)”.

Does any literate person in America really have any uncertainty about which political party Cruz belongs to, or what state he represents? Does anyone outside Washington D.C. keep Senatorial legislative record scorecards? Just asking. Even the choice of the photo (of Cruz) and its tag (see below) are a form of editorializing. I replaced the photo with what should normally be the subject of the article, Iran’s U.N. Envoy Hamid Aboutalebi. But hey, that’s just me, why bury the lede?

For the Washington Post and  report: A measure that would bar Iran’s recently appointed ambassador to the United Nations from entering the United States easily passed the Senate on Monday, delivering a rare legislative victory for its lead sponsor, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.).


(this is where The Post felt compelled to add “a first-term senator who is considering a run for president in 2016”. Seriously?The Washington Post wants to remind you, not of the bill being sponsored, or why it’s being sponsored, but of their view of the career aspirations of the Texas Senator sponsoring it. Got the message yet?)  

…has spent the last several days railing against Iran’s appointment of Hamid Aboutalebi (Finally! They can say his name. Bravo, Washington Post!) as its new top envoy to the United Nations in New York.


Note: the unaltered photo above, by Scott Applewhite, included in its metadata this file description, “2016_Presidential_Checklist_Cruz“. How’s that for a revealing bit of inside commentary by the Washington Post? If you’re in D.C., and you’re hip, you know Cruz ‘s motive for sponsoring this bill has nothing to do with Iran, U.S. foreign policy, or the U.N. He’s posturing, folks, it’s just an item on his “presidential checklist”.

Aboutalebi was a member of the student group that led the 1979 seizure of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran. He has acknowledged that he worked with the organization that took over the embassy, but has played down his role in the crisis.

“It is unconscionable that in the name of international diplomatic protocol the United States would be forced to host a foreign national who showed a brutal disregard of the status of diplomats when they were stationed in his country. This person is an acknowledged terrorist.”

— Senator Ted Cruz

Aboutalebi’s appointment by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has been criticized by the Obama administration, which called the nomination “extremely troubling.” In recent months, Aboutalebi’s visa application to enter the United States as a diplomat has been stalled. As host nation of the United Nations’ headquarters, the United States generally admits the chosen representatives of U.N. members, with limited exceptions.

Read the rest of this entry »

Good News: White House Exploring Ways to Let Iran Enrich Uranium

Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei meets with President Hassan Rouhani / AP

Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei meets with President Hassan Rouhani / AP

 writes: The White House is currently examining ways to enable Iran to have its own “domestic” uranium enrichment program, according to a senior Obama administration official.

As the details of a six month interim nuclear deal between Iran and Western nations are hashed out, the White House is exploring the practicality of permitting Iran to continue certain enrichment activities, an issue that Iranian officials have described as a “redline.”

“Over the next six months, we will explore, in practical terms, whether and how Iran might end up with a limited, tightly constrained, and intensively monitored civilian nuclear program, including domestic enrichment,” White House National Security Council (NSC) spokesman Caitlin Hayden told the Washington Free Beacon.

“Any such program,” she said, “would be subject to strict and verifiable curbs on its capacity and stockpiles of enriched uranium for a significant number of years and tied to practical energy needs that will remain minimal for years to come.”

The White House clarified its openness to a limited Iranian enrichment program just days after Iranian President Hassan Rouhani promised to “forge ahead” with the country’s controversial nuclear program. Read the rest of this entry »

Former translator for Ahmadinejad called WSJ editor ‘Iranian House Negro’

Pro-Iranian Regime Journalist Defends Controversial Tweet

The New Civility, as practiced by NBC

The New Civility, as practiced by NBC’s Hooman Majid

 reports: An NBC News contributor who once worked for former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says he stands by his decision to label a conservative Wall Street Journal editor an “Iranian House Negro”.

NBC News contributor Hooman Majd, a vocal critic of Iran sanctions, referred toWall Street Journal assistant books editor Sohrab Ahmari as “WSJ’s (Iranian) ‘House Negro.’” Majd and Ahmari are both Iranian-Americans. Read the rest of this entry »

Ahmadinejads cameraman defects, seeks asylum in US

A lawyer for a cameraman who was accompanying Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to the US for the United Nations General Assembly in New York says his client has defected.

Paul O’Dwyer, a New York City-based lawyer who is representing Hassan Gol Khanban, confirmed Sunday that his client is seeking asylum in the US He provided no other details.

It wasn’t immediately clear when the Iranian defected or his current whereabouts.

A message left with Alireza Miryousefi, a spokesman for the Iranian mission to the UN, was not immediately returned.

Ahmadinejad addressed the assembly on Wednesday, his last as president of Iran…

via  The Times of Israel


Israel Must Be ‘Eliminated’

Netanyahu has to take Iran’s words seriously. Why doesn’t Obama?

“To see what is in front of ones nose needs a constant struggle.”—George Orwell

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad speaks at the United Nations today, which also happens to be Yom Kippur, the holiest day on the Jewish calendar. The timing is apt because when it comes to Iran and Israel, the hardest thing for some people to see or hear is what Iranian leaders say in front of the worlds nose.

“Iran has been around for the last seven, 10 thousand years. They [the Israelis] have been occupying those territories for the last 60 to 70 years, with the support and force of the Westerners. They have no roots there in history,” Mr. Ahmadinejad told reporters and editors in New York on Monday.

“We do believe that they have found themselves at a dead end and they are seeking new adventures in order to escape this dead end. Iran will not be damaged with foreign bombs. We dont even count them as any part of any equation for Iran. During a historical phase, they [the Israelis] represent minimal disturbances that come into the picture and are then eliminated.”

Note that word—”eliminated.” When Iranians talk about Israel, this intention of a final solution keeps coming up. In October 2005, Mr. Ahmadinejad, quoting the Ayatollah Khomeini, said Israel “must be wiped off the map.” Lest anyone miss the point, the Iranian President said in June 2008 that Israel “has reached the end of its function and will soon disappear off the geographical domain.”

He has company among Iranian leaders. In a televised speech in February, Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei called Israel a “cancerous tumor that should be cut and will be cut,” adding that “from now on, in any place, if any nation or any group that confronts the Zionist regime, we will endorse and we will help. We have no fear of expressing this.

“Major General Hassan Firouzabadi, chief of staff of the armed forces, added in May that “the Iranian nation is standing for its cause that is the full annihilation of Israel.”

This pledge of erasing an entire state goes back to the earliest days of the Iranian revolution. “One of our major points is that Israel must be destroyed,” Ayatollah Khomeini said in the 1980s.

Former Iranian President Akbar Rafsanjani—often described as a moderate in Western media accounts—had this to say in 2001: “If one day, the Islamic world is also equipped with weapons like those that Israel possesses now, then the imperialists strategy will reach a standstill because the use of even one nuclear bomb inside Israel will destroy everything. However, it will only harm the Islamic world. It is not irrational to contemplate such an eventuality.”

So for Iran it is “not irrational” to contemplate the deaths of millions of Muslims in exchange for the end of Israel because millions of other Muslims will survive, but the Jewish state will not.The worlds civilized nations typically denounce such statements, as the U.S. State Department denounced Mr. Ahamadinejads on Monday. But denouncing them is not the same as taking them seriously…

via Review & Outlook–

Photo of the Day

Photo of the Day

New York police officers look at a man dressed as Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad during a protest against Ahmadinejad outside the Warwick Hotel in New York September 25, 2012. Ahmadinejad is staying at the hotel during his visit to New York for the United Nations General Assembly. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly