Obama urges Republicans and Israel to set aside the war drums
In and address to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) on Sunday evening, US President Barrak Obama urged the crowd to reconsider the use of force in Iran and reiterated his stance that he would only consider using military force once it had become apparent that sanctions and diplomacy had failed to stop Iran obtaining nuclear weapons. On the surface this would appear to be great news but Obama also stated that excessive public discussion regarding Iran would undermine the security of both America and Israel, this hints of more clandestine motives meaning that the US might be openly talking of more peaceful measures while at the same time covertly maneuvering towards an attack on Iran. Only time will tell.
Obama also stated that Israeli officials and US presidential candidates who were calling for war could be pushing up the price of oil and helping Iran financially. Another point he made was that some statements from the Israeli government could be drawing unnecessary flack towards Israel, this is certainly true as some quarters have long seen Israel as being a warmongering nation so the smallest hints of war rhetoric can be interpreted as a lust for attack.
Iran holds it’s parliamentary elections today to decide it’s 290 members of the Majilis. Since Green Movement leaders are still under house arrest the election is essentially between supporters of President Ahmadinejad and supporters of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Given the issues currently surrounding Iran the elections could have a significant impact on what unfolds in the months ahead, although it is unlikely that the new Parliament will change Iran’s stance on it’s nuclear program. Hopefully for this election there will be no allegations of fraud and the people will get the Parliament they want.
It could have come straight out of a Monty Python sketch but the following video claims to show footage of thousands of Iranian women training to become Ninja in advance of a possible coming war. This is possibly one of the most bizarre propaganda stunts I’ve ever seen.
The Russian Deputy Foreign Minister, Gennady Gatilov, has said about the recent inspection by the IAEA “I would not draw any final conclusions saying that the dialogue has failed and deadlocked during the visit” he also suggested that he felt Iran and the P5 + 1 could resume talks on the nuclear issue. The news comes after the IAEA held a two day inspection in Iran headed by IAEA Deputy Director General Herman Nackaerts starting on 21st Feb 2012. IAEA Director General, Yukiya Amano, claimed that the IAEA had failed to reach an agreement with Iran due mainly to the Country’s refusal to allow the IAEA access to military sites. Opponents of Iran’s nuclear program have often pointed to the fact that Iran refuses to give the IAEA full access during inspections to suggest that there is more to the Country’s nuclear program than purely civilian projects. Iran however has always maintained that it is not researching nuclear weapons and that as a member of the IAEA and a signatory of the Non-proliferation Treaty it has the right to research nuclear power for peaceful purposes, Iran’s representative to the IAEA, Ali Asghar Soltanieh, highlighted that the two recent IAEA visits and accompanying rounds of talks show that Iran is committed to working with the IAEA.
The US/Israel and Britain have used the idea of an Iranian nuclear weapons program to impose heavy sanctions on the Country leading to Iran pre-emptively stopping oil export to Great Britain and France. This however has been a largely symbolic move as neither Country relies on Iranian oil.
This current situation further highlights the rift between East and West with Iran firmly stuck in the middle.