Nuclear Iran, Reloaded

In the Reloaded version of my blog, I'll write about Iran, its nuclear program, its culture, and most importantly, myself.

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

The American Thinker

It is worth reading Nuclear Iran by The American Thinkers

Zarif's Interview with CNN

I was looking for Mr. Javad Zarif's Dec 2004 interview with BBC (video) and I found this old CNN interview:
Iranian diplomat denies nuclear weapons program - Dec. 13, 2002

If you have a video/audio link to Zarif's recent (March 2005) interview with CNN, please leave me a message.

Sunday, March 27, 2005

who is winning?

Richard Clarke has written a new document for The New York Times, in which he discusses Iran's strategy towards Iraq and United States:

Is a State Sponsor of Terrorism Winning?

There are a couple of points that need to be discussed:

In R. Clarke's point of view, the purpose of the Iran-Iraq war (from Iran's prospective) was
1. to place Iraq's majority Shiite religious faction in charge
2. to unseat Saddam Hussein
3. to protect the Shiite holy places
4. (perhaps) to get its hands on Iraq's vast oil deposits

Actually, that was Iraq that imposed the war on Iran. Iran was protecting its land. In addition:
purpose 1 can't be achieved by continuing an imposed war.
purpose 4 is not a reasonable idea if Iran still can't log its oil fields at their full capacity.
Purpose 2 does not correlate with Iran's behavior in the past couple of hundred years (and if there was any government to be toppled, that would have been Israel, not Iraq).
Purpose 3 is the only one that does make sense, given that Iraq's ruling power was Sunni.

Another point:
Iran does have a huge influence on Iraq's officials (no doubt about it). This is not because those officials lived in Iran, but because they are Shitte and they've been receiving financial aids from Iran. (It is interesting to know that many of the high-ranked Israeli officials were born and raised in Iran too. Former Defence Minister maybe!)
Shittes won the poll because they were more popular, not because they have been helped by Iran.

R. Clarke says: "Iran's nuclear strategists are also succeeding. President Bush has agreed to give Iran trade concessions to get it to abide by nuclear-nonproliferation agreements."
I guess he is not catching up with the story. NPT does not require nations to abandon their Uranium enrichment programs. (That is something that Bush administration has requested). Excluding some delays in reporting the programs, IAEA has no evidence of Iran violating its NPT obligations up to now.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Steering talks finished

MehrNews (in persian) reports that the steering talks that took some 7 hours just finished. EU and Iranian negotiators both contacted their capitals by phone for coordination. It seems that there is not going to be any more talks tomorrow (as it was speculated by some diplomats). The results are not out yet.

pictures from MehrNews.

Steering committee to be held in Paris

After a long period of negotiations between Iran and EU3, it is time to come up with a conclusion. The steering committee will determine how many steps both parties have gone forward. Iranian officials have been saying that they won't give up their right of producing nuclear fuel, while EU3 have been warning Iran of possible UN sanctions if Iran continues enriching Uranium. Besides, Iran has warned that it will pull out of the negotiations if it sees no advancement in talks. But pulling out of the talks would not be of interest of anyone but the US. Iran wants to prove its right, and Europe wants its share of the middle east.
Very important talks. I can't wait till tomorrow morning.

related link: Iran-EU agreement (14 November 2004)

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Happy Norouz

Today is the first day of the Persian New Year and the first day of spring. This is the time when earth wakes up from its winter sleep and reborns with its blooming flowers . The exact time is the moment of the vernal equinox (March 20, at 7:33 a.m. ET in 2005).

our HaftSin table [1.Seeb (Apple), 2.Sabze (green grass), 3.Serke (vinager), 4.Senjed (a type of berry), 5.Sekke (coin), 6.Seer (garlic), 7.Somagh (Sumac berry)]

Happy New Year to all Persians who celebrate this ancient Norouz celebration.
Happy Spring to all others.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

I'm back from California

After one week of perfect weather in California (T>+20), I am back in the snow and wind of Toronto (T<-20). To my surprise, US officials at the border did treat us well and friendly. The one that interviewed my wife said that Iranians, unlike many other people that need special registration (i.e. those born in other 'axis of evil' countries!; How many dimentions do we live in?), are very polite and patient during interviews. Other than the nature and my family, I enjoyed using Microsoft Streets and Trips with GPS, without which I couldn't have made it back on time to Toronto. I also enjoyed visiting Stanford University, and University of California at Berkeley. Thanks to all friends in Stanford (AmirAli, Alireza, Masoud, Yashar, Mehdi ...) who made it a good day for us.
do you feel the speed?
I also need to thank Gita and Gordon for their wonderful hospitality.

I recently read about the four
Iranian Brothers Freed From L.A. Detention. US Authorities alleged they supported MEK, a terrorist group opposing Iran's regime. But the brothers denied, saying that they just attended protests against Iranian regime.

Sunday, March 06, 2005

Iran kept a secret peaceful program!

AP reports from a two-day international conference on nuclear technology in Tehran (Iran Admits Keeping Nuclear Program Secret). It is worth reading. Title doesn't make sense though, cause Iran has already accepted that it failed to report some of its activities on time (and therefore kept them secret for a while).

Related Material: Iran's Populace Largely Opposes Nuclear Program

CFR Publications: Takeyh: Iran's Populace Largely Opposes Nuclear Program

Viewpoints: Iran's nuclear crisis

picture from BBC: Aerial view of nuclear facility BBC Viewpoints

United States is the most responsible nation for Iran’s nuclear issues. They provided the idea of building nuclear power plants before Iran’s revolution, and they refused to complete it after revolution. If US or other western countries could offer their assistance in completing the Iranian nuclear sites, they could have had full access to the sites. But now, Iranians have the knowledge to build the technology from scratch, and scraping what they currently have would only temporarily reduce the worries. The only thing that can be done at this point is to stop threatening the Iranian regime and let Iranian people proceed with their strong pro-democracy reform movements. Under close IAEA inspections and with no fear of regime toppling, there will be no need for Iranian government to divert its nuclear program towards nuclear weapons.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

The official you are trying to reach is currently unavailable!

In Reuters' recent article about iran (Iran Starts Building New Nuclear Plant ) I read:

    "Iran has provided changing and contradictory rationales to the IAEA for this project, which would be well suited for plutonium production," the head of the U.S. delegation to the IAEA meeting, Jackie Sanders, told the IAEA board on Wednesday.

    Iranian officials were not available for comment.

This was not the first time I read that Iranians "didn't comment" or "were not available for comment". I have also read that Iranian officials blame the western media for broadcasting "lies!" and "false accusations!".

If they don't have a powerful broadcasting company to broadcast the "truth!", why do they disappear when it is time for commenting on this important issue?

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Confidential deal with Russia

One of the LA-based Persian Satellite TV stations reported from a Russian radio station that the recent Iran-Russia deal obligates Russia to take part in protecting the Nuclear Reactor against possible attacks.

Why Iran rejects IAEA's request to revisit the Parchin complex

Iran rejected a request by IAEA to revisit a military base in Iran, where US accuses that Iran is conducting nuclear tests.

Although Iran is not required by NPT or the additional protocol to allow access to sites where there is no clear indication of ongoing nuclear experiments, Iran allowed inspectors to take samples from the open area of the complex in mid-January.

Iran refuses this time. Pierre Goldschmidt, an IAEA official, quoted Iran's response as saying: "The expectation of the (IAEA) in visiting specified ... points in Parchin Complex is fulfilled and thus there is no justification for an additional visit."

Iran has signed the additional prottocol to NPT, under which IAEA inspectors are allowed to visit Iran's nuclear sites on a short time notice. Details of the inspections that are supposed to remain confidential get public, disrespecting a nation's security measures. If Iran's intentions are peaceful, they should be more strict about the matters. The deals, the protocols, and the commitments it signs should be on a GIVE-and-TAKE basis, not GIVE-and-GIVE:

  • Iran signed the additional protocole to NPT, allowing impromptu site inspections. But it was followed by more allegations and requests to inspect military sites.
  • Iran suspended its enrichment program. But now it is being asked to halt the program.
  • Iran allowed inspections of a military base. But now inspection of another site is requested.

    OK. Iran need to take confidence-building measures due to its failure to report its programs in a timely manner.

    However, under NPT, countries with nuclear capability have obligations too. They are obliged to help other members use the technology for peaceful purposes. Not only EU and US have failed to do so, but also US has pressured others to stop dealing with Iran. Western countries, too, need to take confidence-building measure. (ie. Germany can release the fully-paid parts for Bushehr Nuclear PowerPlant confiscated after Iran's revolution, or settle the lawsuit that Iran filed against German companies for refusing to complete the Bushehr NPP)

    When Iran rejects the IAEA's request for revisiting the Parchin complex, western diplomats
    say that this is indication that Iran has a secret weapon program.

    No wonder Iran is getting more strict. I suspect next time you would read the following if the trend continues:
    But Iranian officials do not have the guts to spell it outloud. I hope they don't sacrifice the nation's right by their existence.