Iran (November 17, 2020)

Iran (November 17, 2020)

PDF-Version: Iran 17.11.2020



There’s a smarter way to be tough on Iran

By Joe Biden

September 13, 2020

„[…] First, I will make an unshakable commitment to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon.

Second, I will offer Tehran a credible path back to diplomacy. If Iran returns to strict compliance with the nuclear deal, the United States would rejoin the agreement as a starting point for follow-on negotiations. With our allies, we will work to strengthen and extend the nuclear deal’s provisions, while also addressing other issues of concern. This includes working aggressively to free unjustly detained Americans and calling out the regime for its ongoing violations of human rights, including the execution of wrestler Navid Afkari this week and the wrongful detention of political prisoners, such as human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh. And we will work to help our partners reduce tensions and help end regional conflicts, including the disastrous war in Yemen. I will also take steps to make sure US sanctions do not hinder Iran’s fight against Covid-19. And on day one, I will repeal Trump’s disgraceful travel ban targeting a number of Muslim-majority countries, among others.

Third, we will continue to push back against Iran’s destabilizing activities, which threaten our friends and partners in the region. Drawing on the record-setting US-Israel security assistance agreement signed when I was Vice President, America will also work closely with Israel to ensure it can defend itself against Iran and its proxies. We will continue to use targeted sanctions against Iran’s human rights abuses, its support for terrorism and ballistic missile program. If Iran chooses confrontation, I am prepared to defend our vital interests and our troops. But, I am ready to walk the path of diplomacy if Iran takes steps to show it is ready too. […]“


Will the Biden Team Be Warmongers or Peacemakers?

We must vigorously advocate for a team that would put an end to the normalization of war and make diplomatic engagement in the pursuit of international peace and cooperation our number one foreign policy priority.

By Medea Benjamin, Nicolas J.S. Davies

November 9, 2020

„[…] During his election campaign, Biden has relied on foreign policy advisors from past administrations, particularly the Obama administration, and seems to be considering some of them for top cabinet posts. For the most part, they are members of the “Washington blob” who represent a dangerous continuity with past policies rooted in militarism and other abuses of power. These include interventions in Libya and Syria, support for the Saudi war in Yemen, drone warfare, indefinite detention without trial at Guantanamo, prosecutions of whistleblowers and whitewashing torture. Some of these people have also cashed in on their government contacts to make hefty salaries in consulting firms and other private sector ventures that feed off government contracts. […]“


Joe Biden on Iran

By Garrett Nada, Caitlin Crahan

United States Institute of Peace

November 9, 2020

„Joe Biden’s projected victory in the 2020 U.S. presidential election could have profound economic, diplomatic and security repercussions for the Islamic Republic. During the campaign, he repeatedly pledged to reenter the Iran nuclear deal that President Obama negotiated in 2015 and President Trump abandoned in 2018, although he suggested it needed to be updated and broadened. “If Iran returns to strict compliance with the nuclear deal, the United States would rejoin the agreement as a starting point for follow-on negotiations,” Biden wrote in an op-ed in September 2020. “With our allies, we will work to strengthen and extend the nuclear deal’s provisions, while also addressing other issues of concern.”

Biden said that his administration would continue sanctions on Iranian state institutions and high-level officials for human rights abuses, support for terrorism, and developing ballistic missiles. But he also wanted to avoid undercutting Iran’s ability to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. “There are already humanitarian exceptions in place for sanctions, but in practice, most governments and organizations are too concerned about running afoul of U.S. sanctions to offer assistance,” the former vice president acknowledged in April 2020. […]“


What will a Biden presidency mean for Iran?

By Maziar Motamedi

November 8, 2020

„The effects of Joe Biden’s election as the next president of the United States are certain to reverberate across the world – perhaps nowhere more than in Iran. Many Iranians’ hopes for a better future following the signing of a nuclear accord between Iran and world powers in 2015 were quashed some three years later when US President Donald Trump unilaterally abandoned the landmark deal. […]“


ELECTION 2020: Reading Biden’s Signal on Iran

With an eye on a U.S. return to “international agreements and norms” Iranian leaders have cautiously welcomed the Democrat’s victory.

By Jessica Corbett

November 11, 2020

ELECTION 2020: Reading Biden’s Signal on Iran

„[…] Both France and the U.K. — along with Germany, Russia, China, and the European Union — remain supporters of the Iran nuclear deal that Trump ditched in 2018. Negotiated under President Barack Obama’s administration, in which Biden served as vice president, the deal is officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). The Financial Times had reported earlier Tuesday: “Mr. Biden has …] said he will return to the multi-party 2015 deal that limited Iran’s nuclear program, as long as Iran also returns to strict compliance, as a “starting point for follow-on negotiations.” But while the president-elect has promised to offer Iran “a credible path back to diplomacy,” the task is fraught with complexity and Biden advisers are playing down expectations of a deal.” […] If the U.S. raises issues such as Iranian ballistic missiles or its support for militias in the region — which did not feature as part of the original deal — or Tehran demands compensation for U.S. withdrawal from the accord, then the talks immediately become more difficult.[…]“


The Optimistic Case for Biden and Iran

By Esfandyar Batmanghelidj

November 8, 2020

„[…] The notion that Iran’s commitment to engagement (and the nuclear deal) is structural was underscored in a November 3 speech by Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei. Addressing the possible impact of U.S. elections on U.S.-Iran relations, Khamenei stated, “We follow a sensible, calculated policy which cannot be affected by changes of personnel.” Many took the statement to be Khamenei’s way of pouring cold water on the prospect of a Biden victory revitalizing the JCPOA. But again, in the Iranian assessment, the deal is not yet dead. The calculated policy to which Khamenei is referring is the policy of keeping the nuclear deal alive in accordance with Iran’s strategic interests. […]“


A Manifesto For Restrainers

By Stephen Walt

The Quincy Institute

December 4, 2019

A Manifesto For Restrainers

„After 25 years of repeated failures, Americans want a foreign policy that preserves the security of the United States, enhances prosperity, and maintains the core U.S. commitment to individual liberty. They recognize that U.S. power can be a force for good, but only if it is employed judiciously and for realistic objectives. In short, a large and growing number of Americans want a foreign policy of restraint. But what does that mean in practice? In a sense, it’s easier to understand what restrainers don’t want. They don’t want endless wars, bloated military budgets, and security commitments that keep expanding, but are never seriously debated or approved by the public. If restrainers were suddenly put in charge of U.S. foreign and national security policy, however, what would they do differently? What do restrainers really want? […]“



Analysis of November 2020 IAEA Iran Verification and Monitoring Report

By David Albright, Sarah Burkhard, Andrea Stricker

The Institute for Science and International Security

November 12, 2020

Klicke, um auf IAEA_JCPOA_Verification_Report_Analysis_Nov_12_2020_Final.pdf zuzugreifen

„This report assesses information in the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA’s) quarterly report for November 11, 2020, Verification and monitoring in the Islamic Republic of Iran in light of United Nations Security Council resolution 2231 (2015), focusing on Iran’s compliance with the limits in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). […]“


The Amad Plan Pilot Uranium Conversion Site, Which Iran Denies Ever Existed

By David Albright, Sarah Burkhard, and Frank Pabian

The Institute for Science and International Security

November 9, 2020

Klicke, um auf The_Amad_Plan_Pilot_Uranium_Conversion_Site_Mod_Nov_10_2020.pdf zuzugreifen

„Based on information in the Nuclear Archive, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) visited an Iranian site in the late summer, concerned that the site had possessed undeclared nuclear material, in particular uranium, a violation of Iran’s safeguards agreement. The site was involved in pilot-scale uranium conversion under the Amad Plan in the early 2000s and was dismantled in 2004. In the archive, the site is called the “Tehran site,” despite being located near the village of Mobarakiyeh, about 75 kilometers southeast of Tehran. After resisting for months, Iran finally allowed the IAEA visit, and the inspectors took environmental samples. The inspectors are expected to report on their initial findings soon. This report provides background information on this pilot uranium conversion site. […]“



A Dedicated Obsession: Washington’s Continuing Iran Sanctions Regime

By Binoy Kampmark

November 14, 2020

A Dedicated Obsession: Washington’s Continuing Iran Sanctions Regime

„One dogma that is likely to persist in US foreign policy during a Biden presidency will be the sanctions regime adopted towards Iran.  Every messianic state craves clearly scripted enemies, and the demonology about the Islamic Republic is not going to go begging.  Elliot Abrahams, the current US special representative for Iran, told Associated Press on November 12 that, “Even if you went back to the (nuclear deal) and even if the Iranians were willing to return … this newly enriched uranium, you would not have solved these fundamental questions of whether Iran is going to be permitted to violate long-term commitments it has made to the world community.” […] The statements of the president-elect suggest nothing comforting to health specialists and policy makers bearing witness to the suffering caused by sanctions.  Trump’s “maximum pressure” policy might be abandoned in name, but will continue exerting a haunting influence.  The hawks in the Republican Party will be sharpening their talons, ever watchful of any softening towards Tehran.“


Iran blames U.S. sanctions for vaccine payment problems

By Reuters Staff

November 13, 2020

„U.S. sanctions are preventing Iran from making advance payment to the global COVAX facility set up to provide COVID-19 vaccines to poorer countries, the Iranian government said as the virus death toll kept climbing in the Middle East’s hardest-hit state. […]“


American Sanctions vs. Iranian Heritage (Part 3)

Museum Diplomacy Falters in the Face of Iran Sanctions

By Kyle G. Olson

November 12, 2020

„[…] American foreign policy has complicated the ability of museums—whether University research museums, like the Oriental Institute and the University of Pennsylvania Museum, or major art museums such as the V&A and the Louvre—to conduct the exchanges of objects and personnel required put on exhibitions related to Iranian cultural heritage. Nevertheless, museum professionals in North America, Europe, and Iran recognize the importance of these events for educating the public and for establishing ties between nations. […]“



German lawmakers demand release of Nasrin Sotoudeh

By Deutsche Welle

November 12, 2020

„A group of German lawmakers released a signed statement on Thursday demanding the „unconditional“ permanent release of Iranian human rights activist Nasrin Sotoudeh, who was named a Right Livelihood Laureate last month. The 38 signatories included Bundestag Vice-President Claudia Roth, Dr Anton Hofreiter (Chairperson of the Green Parliamentary group), Gyde Jensen (FDP), Bärbel Kofler (SPD), Gysi Gregor (Die Linke) and Michael Brand (CDU). […]“



IRGC Pounds Terrorists’ Positions across Iran’s Northwestern Border

By IFP Media Wire

November 15, 2020

In a statement released on Saturday, the Hamzeh Seyed al-Shohada Base said the IRGC’s ground forces had targeted the positions of counter-revolutionary outfits and inflicted heavy damage and casualties on them. […]  In recent years, Iranian border guards have on many occasions engaged terrorists who attempted to cross the frontier and carry out attacks. Such confrontations are not rare in West Azarbaijan Province, which borders Iraq and Turkey. The area has seen occasional fighting between Iranian forces and PJAK terrorists as well as militants linked to the Daesh group. In July, Iran said terrorists had killed two people and wounded a third person in an attack in Iran’s province of Kurdistan, to the south of West Azarbaijan. In June, Iran attacked bases of PJAK terrorists in northern Iraq.“


Top Iranian, Iraqi Commanders Discuss Regional Security, War on Terror

By Tasnim News Agency

November, 15, 2020

„Defense Minister of Iraq Lt. General Juma Anad Saadoun, who is heading a high-ranking delegation of Iraqi military commander in a visit to Tehran, met with Chief of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces Major General Mohammad Hossein Baqeri on Sunday morning. The main purpose of the meeting was to expand defense and military cooperation between Iran and Iraq. […]“



Front-page ‘NY Times’ story on Iran-Al Qaeda links is dishonest — and could help justify a U.S./Israeli attack

By James North

November 14, 2020

Front-page ‘NY Times’ story on Iran-Al Qaeda links is dishonest — and could help justify a U.S./Israeli attack

„The New York Times is publishing a misleading report on its front page that further raises the risk that Donald Trump and Benjamin Netanyahu could provoke a conflict with Iran during the Trump administration’s final 66 days. Unnamed “intelligence officials” have just told the Times that “Al-Qaeda’s second-highest leader,” Abu Muhammad al-Masri, was “gunned down on the streets of Tehran” in August, “by Israeli operatives at the behest of the United States.” […]“


Al-Qaeda’s Number 2 Killed In 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 … 2017, 2020

By Moon of Alabama

November 15, 2020

„The story is laughable. If any important al-Qaeda guy had been killed last August Trump would have screamed about it during his campaign from the top of his lungs. […] Twelve years ago we already joked about all the fake „Al-Qaeda No.2 killed“ stories which appeared in 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008. […] Being Al-Qaeda’s number 2 is a dangerous job! As No.2 one might be media-killed anytime the U.S. seeks a pretext to ramp up sanctions on Iran. […]“



Iran’s demographic issue: fertility reaches lowest rate in 8 years

By Tehran Times

November 11, 2020

„The fertility rate in Iran has been declining over the past eight years, the lowest of which was related to the past [Iranian calendar] year (March 2019- March 2020) with the birth rate of 1.2, according to the data recently published by the Statistics Center.[…]“



How Iran is destroying its once thriving environmental movement

Iran once boasted one of the greenest governments. But persecution, paranoia, and war have sunk the Middle East’s most vital conservation programs.

By Peter Schwartzstein

November 12, 2020