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Talks begin in Istanbul on Iran’s nuclear future

Envoys from the P5+1 and Iran meet in Istanbul

The first set of formal talks in fifteen months have commenced in Istanbul today with exoectations for an immdiate resolution set low. Envoys from the P5+1 countries do not expect meaningful talks to start straight away but do expect Iran to show they are willing to take their proposals seriously.  Their proposals are said to be greater access for IAEA inspectors and a reduction in Iran’s uranium enrichment process, the BBC has reported that Iranian officials are less than happy at some of the requests and will again outline their position that Iran has the right to develop nuclear power for peaceful purposes and that their enrichment process is still well below what is needed to produce nuclear weapons.

We will have more information on this issue as the talks progress.

Source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-17706248

Obama promised arms to Israel in return for delay in Iran attack

Fighters and ‘bunker buster’ bombs were promised to Israel in return for delaying attacks until 2013

Israeli newspaper Ma’ariv featured a story today claiming that during talks between Benjamin Netanyahu and Barack Obama at the White House on Monday the US president offered to gift Israel advanced bunker busters and long range fighter jets designed to fly thousands of kilometers in return for delaying any attacks on Iran until 2013, after the 2012 US presidential elections.

Israel war flag

The information was said to be given to the paper by diplomatic officials who were present at the meeting and who heard the conversation between Netanyahu and Obama, the article also stated that this did not mean that the US was giving Israel the green light to attack only that they would not oppose any 2013 attacks.  Many will not see this ‘package deal’ in the same light though and may interpret it as a sign that the US is ready to support attacks on Iran once the presidential race is out of the way.

The bombs in question could be the US BLU-109′s or it’s successor the Massive Ordinance Penetrator (MOP), also dubbed ‘Big BLU’, which the US took delivery of in september last year.  The bunker busters work by smashing through the walls of the bunkers and have a delay so they explode only once they are inside the bunker to do the most damage.  Here’s a CNN video on the hilariously named Massive Ordinance Penetrator:

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Iran agrees to IAEA inspection of military site

Iran to allow IAEA inspection of Parchin

The ISNA news agency is reporting that Iran is willing to allow the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to visit it’s military base at Parchin, the news comes as Reuters reported that the P5+1 have agreed to reopen negotiations with Iran over sanction placed on the country.

An IAEA report from 2011 stated that Iran had built a large chamber at Parchin suitable for conducting explosives test which could be seen as ‘strong indicators’ of research into nuclear weapons.  Iran’s refusal to allow another visit to Parchin were among the key reasons of talks breaking down in February and Iran’s reversal on this matter will be seen as progress into dealing with the nuclear issues surround Iran.

Although a date has not been set for the visit we at Say NO to war with Iran hope that talks will progress quickly to allow these diplomatic measures to succeed. Below is a map showing the location of Parchin.

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Netanyahu says Israel have made no decision to attack Iran

Netanyahu tells Obama no decision has been made either way on whether or not to bomb Iranian nuclear sites

In a meeting between Benjamin Netanyahu and Barack Obama the Israeli Premier told the US President that Israel had made no plans on whether or not to attack Iran and it’s nuclear sites but stated that Israel retained the right to use military power.

An image of Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu

Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanuyahu

Washington fears that Israel could rush into an attack on Iran and Obama fears that a war during the build up to the US presidential election in the autumn could damage his chances of being re-elected.   Netanyahu however has continued to insist that Israel has the right to self defense and that a nuclear armed Iran could spell the end for the Jewish state,  Netanyahu later address the highly influential and hugely pro-israel AIPAC said:

None of us can afford to wait much longer. As prime minister of Israel, I will never let my people live in the shadow of annihilation.

This to me doesn’t sound like the words of a man prepared to give peace a chance for much longer.

BREAKING NEWS: P5+1 agree to open talks with Iran

EU foreign policy chief announces resumption of negotiations.

In response to a letter written by Iran’s nuclear negotiator, Saeed Jalili, the P5+1 have agreed to resume talks with Iran over their nuclear program.  The talks come at a time when there are fears over an attack on the country by Israel.

More information to follow as it becomes available.

Poll turnout a ‘slap to the face’ of the West.

Iran’s interior minister says election turnout is a ‘slap to the face’ for the West.

Despite the reformist Green Movement telling their supporters to stay away from the polling stations, turnout for the Iranian Parliamentary elections was 64%. Iran’s interior minister,  Mostafa Mohammad Najjar, told state TV:

the great Iranian nation slapped the enemies in the face

He added:

The Americans, the Zionists, and the enemies of the system made some claims. People slapped them by this action

Since all the candidates for the election were pre-approved by the Guardian Council the election was a choice between only two conservative groups, the supporters of President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad and those of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Leaders of the Green Movement have been under house arrest and banned from taking part.

Pakistan faces US sanctions unless they drop Iran pipeline

Hillary Clinton threatens Pakistan with sanctions over Iran pipeline.

A Wall Street Journal blog article has stated that Hillary Clinton has threatened Pakistan with severe economic sanctions if it pushes ahead with plans to complete a gas pipeline to Iran to meet it’s energy shortfall.  The US has been putting increasing pressure on a number of countries to cut their oil and gas supplies from Iran but this latest threat will be seen as some as a type of indirect sanction on Iran.  Pakistan currently have severe energy shortages and have said that they need to deal with Iran to meet their energy needs but might not be able to withstand US sanctions as their economy is currently very fragile.

Iranian Defense Minister speaks out against possible Israeli attack

Ahmad Vahidi says attack will result in disintegration of Israel

Ahmad Vahidi

Brigadier General Ahmad Vahidi

Iran’s Defense Minister, Brigadier General Ahmad Vahidi, has said that he feels recent war rhetoric coming from Israel would lead to the dissolution of the Israeli state should an attack follow.

“The Zionist regime [of Israel] is on the verge of dissolution… a military attack by the Zionist regime will undoubtedly lead to the collapse of this regime,” Vahidi said on Thursday.

“Israeli officials’ remarks about launching an attack against Iran are ridicules,” the Iranian defense minister added.

Israel has certainly been gearing towards war with Iran and feel that any attacks should happen swiftly.  The United States would also consider attacks against Iran but favors waiting to see if sanctions imposed on Iran work first.  At the center of the conflict is Iran’s development of nuclear technology, the US, Israel and Britain feel that Iran could be developing the technology for a weapons program where as Iran has repeatedly stated that as a member of IAEA (Internation Atomic Energy Agency) and a signatory of the Non-proliferation Treaty it has the right to research nuclear energy for peaceful civilian projects.

For further information please visit Press TV.

US and Israel at odds over timetable for Iran war

UK news agency Reuters has run an interesting piece stating the Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu are currently in disagreement over when if at all to launch an attack against Iran.  Both Israel and the US feel that Iran has already undertaken the development of nuclear weapons, although US intelligence feels that they haven’t started constructing a bomb, and even if publicly they are prepared to give sanctions imposed on Iran a chance to succeed, Israel especially feels that it is time to attack Iran using the the prospect of a nuclear weapons program as justification.

Obama, the article states, knows that a war started just before the November 6th US elections would put himat a serious disadvantage as the resulting increases in oil prices and public outcry over an unwanted war would send his popularity dropping.  Israel however feels that the time to strike is now and that an attack made later would not be as effective.  Obama and Netanyahu have never enjoyed a good relationship and this latest difference of opinion will hardly help matters.

For the full story head to the original article on Reuters.

William Hague warns of ‘Middle east cold war’

In an article in the UK newspaper The Daily Telegraph William Hague states that Iran’s continued pursuit of nuclear weapons could lead to a Middle Eastern cold war.  Hague states that he feels Iran is clearly continuing their nuclear weapons program and that such a course would be “ a disaster in world affairs”.  At a time when reports from Washington indicate that officials feel Iran are ignoring economic sanctions and that there is a reluctance to bring anything new to the negotiation table there are fears that there is an increased chance of Israel of the US attacking Iran.  The official line from the UK government says that they do not support a war with Iran however Hague stated that “all options must remain on the table”.

William Hague

William Hague

“[The Iranians] are clearly continuing their nuclear weapons programme, If they obtain nuclear weapons capability, then I think other nations across the Middle East will want to develop nuclear weapons.

“And so, the most serious round of nuclear proliferation since nuclear weapons were invented would have begun with all the destabilising effects in the Middle East. And the threat of a new cold war in the Middle East without necessarily all the safety mechanisms. That would be a disaster in world affairs.”

An article about the interview from the Guardian website can be found here: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/feb/18/iran-nuclear-ambitions-middle-east?fb=native&CMP=FBCNETTXT9038