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Iranian Officials Give Mixed Reviews of Nuclear Talks

May 21, 2014 Iran Nuclear Program, News
Really moderate, or just for show? Iranian President Rouhani. Illustrative. FEMA/Marty Bahamonde.

Really moderate, or just for show? Iranian President Rouhani. Illustrative. FEMA/Marty Bahamonde.

US President Barack Obama has said there is a 50-50 chance of reaching a deal with Iran that resolves concerns about their nuclear program, and Iranian officials agree a deal can be reached. But whether those officials believe that 50-50 chance is the glass half empty or half full depends on which quote you read.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani was quoted by PressTV as saying on Wednesday that considering the “good process of the negotiations, we are on the threshold of settling the issue.” However, just last week another Iranian official sounded less optimistic. Regardless, both Iranian officials think that the problem is the West. … Continue Reading

Iran Playing Role in Lebanese Elections?

As world powers are discussing Iran’s nuclear program, what’s sometimes missed is that Iran wants to be just that: a world power. In the Middle East, Iran has certainly made moves to grab power or influence across the region, including sending military support to the Syrian regime in their civil war.

Now, a Lebanese lawmaker is claiming that Iran is holding sway in Lebanon’s presidential election as well, via the Hezbollah terror group. The Daily Star, quoting from an interview Walid Jumblatt gave to Asharq Al-Awsat, reported the Lebanese politician said, “Hezbollah and the Islamic Republic [of Iran] are two main and essential electors [in the presidential election].” … Continue Reading

Disagreement over Missiles Continues in Iranian Nuclear Talks

May 14, 2014 Iran Nuclear Program, News
Radiation Warning Symbol. Public Domain.

Radiation Warning Symbol. Public Domain.

Even if 98 percent of a deal between the world powers and Iran is reached, the last two percent may “make all the rest of it not work,” a Senior US official said Tuesday. And with Iran and the US disagreeing over whether or not Iran’s missile program is even up for discussion, it looks like more than two percent of a deal is going to be very difficult to resolve with just over two months remaining in the original timeframe for talks.

The US official, in comments released by the State Department, continued to insist that Iran’s missile program—which is addressed by United Nations resolutions and could become a threat to carry nuclear warheads to Israel, Europe and beyond—remains on the table. But Iran hinted that they absolutely oppose such talks. … Continue Reading

US Hopeful on Nuke Deal While Iran Trains for War

May 7, 2014 Iran Nuclear Program, News
US Nimitz-class aircraft carrier. Photo courtesy of U.S. Navy Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Jordan Crouch/Released.

US Nimitz-class aircraft carrier. Photo courtesy of U.S. Navy Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Jordan Crouch/Released.

The United States is hopeful they can reach a nuclear deal with Iran by the deadline, while the Iranians are boasting about their preparedness in taking down American aircraft carriers in the Persian Gulf. An Iranian naval commander, Admiral Ali Fadavi, told the Fars News Agency in an exclusive interview that the Iranians can sink US carriers in less than a minute in training exercises.

As part of that training, Fadavi said they have built replicas of US warships, including a replica of a US carrier that is over 600 feet long, which is roughly two-thirds the size of the Nimitz supercarrier. Meanwhile, the day before Fars released the report, a US spokesperson said they think they can get the nuclear deal with Iran done by July 20. … Continue Reading

Iranian Military Issues Veto Threat on Nuclear Deal

April 13, 2014 Iran Nuclear Program

Sometimes ideas that are floated end up sinking, and other times they don’t really leave the docks. That’s what happened to Iranian goals of sailing warships into the Atlantic Ocean, with the Fars News Agency confirming the ships were called back to Iran before reaching the ocean that borders the US and Europe.

But if you think that’s a sign of Iran changing its tune, a military deputy chief of staff made it clear that’s not the case – especially when it comes to the nuclear talks with world powers. That’s key, because the Iranian armed forces are the biggest concern in those talks – they’re the most likely ones who would build or use nuclear weapons, after all.
… Continue Reading

Iran, World Powers Discuss ‘All Concerns’—Deal Drafting Is Next

Just talking, or making progress? Illustrative. Photo Courtesy of UN Photo/Evan Schneider

Just talking, or making progress? Illustrative. Photo Courtesy of UN Photo/Evan Schneider

If the goal for the first set of talks between Iran and the major world powers was to discuss every concern related to Iran’s nuclear program, then consider things a success so far. Of course, it means nothing if an actual deal isn’t reached—so don’t expect the actual negotiations and drafting of a deal to be easy. But it is next.

A senior US administration official, in comments released by the State Department, said that the deal drafting stage is the next step, but, “I would caution everyone from thinking that a final agreement is imminent or that it will be easy. As we draft, I have no doubt this will be quite difficult at times.” What’s more, just as everything was discussed, everything has to be agreed upon as well. … Continue Reading

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