Written by  //  October 27, 2008  //  Geopolitics, Middle East & Arab World  //  Comments Off on Iran

Officials Counter Ahmadinejad Health Rumors
(NYT) The talk about his health comes at a time of increased pressure on Mr. Ahmadinejad, primarily for what critics call his mishandling of the economy in Iran, which has led to an inflation rate of 30 percent. His government faced one of its worst crises this month after street-bazaar merchants in major cities went on strike to protest enforcement of a new sales tax. Analysts have warned that the economy could worsen because of the tumbling price of oil, Iran’s leading export, which could force severe budget cutbacks and rising unemployment. BBC
4 October
US drops plan to put diplomats in Iran
(IHT/AP) WASHINGTON: The Bush administration has shelved plans to set up a diplomatic outpost in Iran in part over fears it could affect the U.S. presidential race or be interpreted as political meddling, The Associated Press has learned.
The proposal to send U.S. diplomats to Tehran for the first time in three decades attracted great attention when it was floated seriously at midyear but has been placed on indefinite hold as November’s election nears and Iran continues to defy demands to halt suspect nuclear activities, officials told the AP.
Iran offers to suspend enrichment in exchange for outside nuclear fuel
Marking a break from Iran’s insistence that it will not negotiate over its uranium enrichment program, a senior Iranian diplomat said the country would suspend uranium enrichment if offered a supply of fuel for its nuclear power stations. The West greeted the proposal with hesitation, saying that Iran had been offered a similar arrangement in a proposal from 2006. The Guardian (London) (10/3)
July 21
Rice wants “serious answer” from Iran
ABU DHABI (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice warned Iran on Monday that it faced more sanctions if it defied a two-week deadline to agree to curb its nuclear program.
Rice said Iran was stalling and must give a “serious answer” within the deadline set by six world powers, which offered trade and technical incentives if Tehran halts its uranium enrichment. The West fears Iran wants to build a nuclear bomb.It was her first comment on the subject since Washington broke from usual policy and joined nuclear talks with Iran in Geneva on Saturday.
July 13
‘Divide and fool’ is Iran’s plan
Christopher Booker
(Sunday Telegraph)While our media have been preoccupied with faked pictures of rockets put out by Iran’s sabre-rattling Revolutionary Guards, Tehran’s equivalent of the Gestapo, there have been extraordinary developments behind the scenes, in the ongoing drama over the West’s outlawing of Iran’s main opposition movement, the only real hope of a democratic, secular alternative to that fundamentalist tyranny.
Last month the British Government was forced by the Lord Chief Justice and the Court of Appeal to remove the People’s Mujahideen of Iran (PMOI) from its list of banned terrorist organisations.
Britain had only outlawed the PMOI, part of the National Council of Resistance in Iran (NCRI), in a bid to appease Tehran – even though the Revolutionary Guards themselves help to spread terror through the Middle East, from Lebanon and Gaza to Iraq and Afghanistan.
July 10
Iran’s confrontation with the West

On July 9th Iranian television showed the test-firing of nine missiles (see picture), a day after an aide to the supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, threatened to “burn” Tel Aviv and American ships in the Gulf, and strike at America’s “vital interests around the globe”, if it were attacked. More tests took place on July 10th.
Silent no more
From The Economist print edition
An Iranian student protester, sentenced to death for appearing on our cover, has escaped to America
Iran tests more missiles as U.S. vows to defend allies
TEHRAN (Reuters) – Iran tested more missiles in the Gulf on Thursday, state media said, and the United States reminded Tehran that it was ready to defend its allies.
The United States, which accuses Tehran of seeking nuclear arms, said after Iran test-fired nine missiles on Wednesday that there should be no more such tests if Iran wanted the world’s trust. An intelligence official in Washington said there had been a second test and that it was small.

What Americans Don’t Know:
There’s a Plan on the Table to End the Nuclear Standoff with Iran
Recently we’ve seen an escalation of threats to attack Iran. In the New Yorker, Seymour Hersh reported that Congressional leaders agreed last year to fund a major escalation of covert operations against Iran. The House of Representatives is currently considering a resolution promoted by AIPAC that would effectively demand a blockade against Iran. This resolution has over 200 co-sponsors, although a surge of opposition has prevented it from being passed so far.
Here’s what those promoting military attacks and blockades on Iran don’t want Americans to know: there’s an offer on the table that could resolve the dispute over Iran’s nuclear program and allow both sides to claim victory.
Help us spread the word by watching and forwarding this video, in which former US Ambassador to the United Nations Thomas Pickering makes the case for talks with Iran, without pre-conditions, on multilateral uranium enrichment in Iran:
In March, Ambassador Pickering co-authored “A Solution for the US-Iran Nuclear Standoff” in the New York Review of Books (3). Pickering and his co-authors wrote:
“We propose that Iran’s efforts to produce enriched uranium and other related nuclear activities be conducted on a multilateral basis, that is to say jointly managed and operated on Iranian soil by a consortium including Iran and other governments. This proposal provides a realistic, workable solution to the US-Iranian nuclear standoff. Turning Iran’s sensitive nuclear activities into a multinational program will reduce the risk of proliferation and create the basis for a broader discussion not only of our disagreements but of our common interests as well.”
On May 31, the Boston Globe interviewed(4) Iran’s Ambassador to the UN, who said that Iran “would not suspend its own enrichment program, but would consider establishing an internationally owned consortium inside Iran that could produce nuclear fuel with Iranian participation.” The Globe noted in a follow-up piece on June 10 (5) that Iran had proposed this idea in its May 13 letter to the UN calling for comprehensive negotiations, and that Iran’s UN Ambassador had said that the details should be negotiated.
Unfortunately, most Americans don’t read the New York Review of Books or the Boston Globe. So, while polls consistently show most Americans want negotiations with Iran to resolve the nuclear dispute, most Americans don’t know that there’s an offer on the table right now to resolve the dispute that the US government is walking away from.

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