Iran (December 9, 2020)


Iran (December 9, 2020)



Biden’s Iran Deal Faces Iran’s ‘Red Pill’

By Alastair Crooke

December 7, 2020

Biden’s Iran Deal Faces Iran’s ‘Red Pill’

„Biden says he wants – through diplomacy – to achieve a nuclear deal with Iran – i.e. a JCPOA ‘Plus + Plus’. The Europeans desperately concur with this aspiration. But the ‘deal protocols’ that his ‘A-Team’ inherits from the Obama era have always contained seeds to failure. And now, four years on, the prospect of failure seems assured – firstly by the hostages to fortune already offered up by Biden, and secondly (and decisively), by the fact that the ‘world’ today is not the ‘world’ of yore. The ‘chair’ at the head of the table of global leadership is no longer an American perquisite. Israel is not the same Israel, and Iran – for sure – is not the same Iran (as at the outset to the Obama initiative). The world has moved on. The last four years cannot simply be expunged as some inconsequential aberration to earlier protocols, still valid today. […]“


Another Look At Joe Biden’s Foreign Policy Team

By Moon of Alabama

November 24, 2020

„The choices the incoming president Joe Biden has made so far are not great at all. The people he so far selected are staunch interventionists who will want to continue the wars they have started during their previous time in office. […]“


Biden Foreign Policy Team on Iran

United States Institute of Peace

Updated: December 8, 2020

„President-elect Joe Biden’s top foreign policy appointments – Antony Blinken as Secretary of State and Jake Sullivan as National Security Advisor – both supported reentering the Iran nuclear deal negotiated by the Obama administration in 2015 and abandoned by the Trump administration in 2018. The following are their remarks by topic on Iran. […]“


A New Direction: A Foreign Policy Playbook on Military Restraint for the Biden Team

By the Quincy Institute

December 3, 2020

Klicke, um auf A-New-Direction-Restraint-Playbook.pdf zuzugreifen

„Two decades of endless war and a bloated Pentagon budget that has proven useless in preventing Covid–19 deaths, now 270,000 and counting, are a jarring reminder that America’s foreign policy is thoroughly broken: It actually makes America and Americans less safe. […] President-elect Joe Biden appears to recognize the need for a serious reorientation. His just-named national security advisor, Jake Sullivan, recently said that Biden has tasked his foreign policy team with “reimagining our national security for the unprecedented combination of crises we face at home and abroad,” including pandemics and the climate crisis. Moreover, Sullivan said that American foreign policy has to be judged by a basic question: Does it “make life better, easier, and safer” for Americans at home? Our foreign policy, in Sullivan’s words, has to deliver for American families. […] This document spells out how the incoming Biden administration should embrace these principles in five specific contexts: China and East Asia, Afghanistan, the Greater Middle East, Saudi Arabia, and Iran. These fresh approaches will meet the challenge of reimagining our national security and ensuring that it delivers for the American people. […]“


Dear Joe, It’s Not About Iran’s Nukes Anymore

Biden wants to reinstate the nuclear deal, but first he must confront the new Middle East.

By Thomas L. Friedman

November 29, 2020

„With the assassination presumably by Israel of Iran’s top nuclear warhead designer, the Middle East is promising to complicate Joe Biden’s job from Day 1. President-elect Biden knows the region well, but if I had one piece of advice for him, it would be this: This is not the Middle East you left four years ago. With the assassination presumably by Israel of Iran’s top nuclear warhead designer, the Middle East is promising to complicate Joe Biden’s job from Day 1. President-elect Biden knows the region well, but if I had one piece of advice for him, it would be this: This is not the Middle East you left four years ago. They were right. The Middle East was reshaped by this Iranian precision missile strike, by President Trump’s response and by the response of Israel, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates to Trump’s response. […]“


Any thought of Biden and his people riding into town on white horses to save the nuclear deal is strictly naïve. 

By Patrick Lawrence

December 1, 2020

PATRICK LAWRENCE: The Assassins & Iran

„[…] We now read that the Fakhrizadeh murder may have fatally sabotaged President-elect Biden’s plans to restore the U.S. to the 2015 accord governing Iran’s nuclear programs, which President Donald Trump abandoned a year into his term. How does that work?  If Biden and his new advisers — Antony Blinken at State, Jake Sullivan as national security adviser — are serious about diplomacy with Tehran, now is the time to go full-tilt for it, wouldn’t you say? Gentlemen, mount those white horses. In the same piece presenting the weird argument about the damage just inflicted on Biden’s diplomatic aspirations, Sullivan is quoted as saying the U.S. will return to the accord “if Iran returns to compliance, for its obligations that it has been violating, and is prepared to advance good-faith negotiations on these follow-on agreements.” The “follow-on agreements” seem to be those Trump and Pompeo have insisted upon — no missile-defense systems, no efforts to secure its neighborhood, the latter mischaracterized as “acts of terror.” Let me get this straight: We’re here to correct the Trump regime’s mistakes, and we propose to do so by embracing them?  These people are simply not serious. My tentative conclusion: Biden, Blinken and Sullivan cannot see their way to recommitting to the 2015 agreement because Biden is inexcusably close to Israel and Israel has stated its opposition to this in the clearest of terms. For the time being, it looks as if they will take cover in the Fakhrizadeh murder as they slither out the side door on Iran: Golly, we wanted to talk to Tehran but events have foiled us. Shall we mark this down as Foreign Policy Failure No. 1 for our “responsible American leadership?” We will have to keep track as the numbers rise.“



Iran’s FM Zarif speech at Mediterranean Dialogue 2020

December 3, 2020

„Addressing the 6th edition of the Rome Mediterranean Dialogues 2020, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif reasserts Iran’s position that its 2015 nuclear deal with world powers is not open to renegotiation and that the US has to observe the agreement and the UN resolution that endorses it.“


Iranian Parliament Bill on Nuclear Program

Strategic Action Plan to Lift Sanctions and Protect Iranian Nation’s Interests

Full text in English

The National Iranian American Council (NIAC)

December 2, 2020

„On December 2, 2020, the Guardian Council of the Islamic Republic of Iran approved a bill passed by the Iranian Parliament, entitled “Strategic Action Plan to Lift Sanctions and Protect Iranian Nation’s Interests”. Speaker of the Parliament Mohammad-Baqer Qalibaf communicated the law to the government for implementation on the same day. […]“


Initiator of Iran’s Strategic Action Bill Urges Germany to Honor JCPOA

By Tasnim News

December 8, 2020

„[…] In a Monday meeting with Germany’s ambassador to Tehran, Chairman of the Parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Commission Mojtaba Zonnoori denounced the European states’ inaction in implementation of the 2015 nuclear deal and their failure to save the JCPOA in practice. “I believe that if Europe, including Germany, acts effectively in defending its commitments under the JCPOA, stand against the US’ excessive demands, and behave responsibly in the face of the ongoing crimes in West Asia, we will have a safe world with minimum tensions and crisis,” the MP added. He pointed to the newly-ratified parliamentary bill on lifting of the sanctions and safeguarding national interests, saying the JCPOA parties have a deadline of two months to prove their goodwill in practical commitment to the deal. […]“


Iran Won’t Negotiate, Compromise on National Security: Spokesman

By IFP Editorial Staff

December 7, 2020

„Iran’s foreign ministry spokesman says the country will neither negotiate nor compromise on its national security, warning Germany about its efforts to achieve what the US “maximum pressure” policy failed to fulfil. […]  “We spent tough years negotiating the JCPOA and the deal was the result of the Iranian nation’s resistance. The JCPOA was finally singed and inserted in UN Security Council Resolution 2231. So, all those who are familiar with international law know that neither will Iran re-negotiate something it has already negotiated, nor will these words change the binding nature of UNSC Resolution 2231 which also applies to the JCPOA.,” said Khatibzadeh. […] He slammed Europe for failing to deliver on its obligations under the nuclear deal. “In fact, it fell upon the Europeans to coordinate the enforcement of the JCPOA. The European countries, including Germany, failed to live up to its obligations even during the years when the US had not yet pulled out of the JCPOA,” he noted. […]“


The West’s true colors

By Tehran Times

December 7, 2020

„[…] The Europeans have recently said that the missile and regional issues should also be included in any new deal with Iran. German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas has explicitly pushed for such a deal in his recent interview with Der Spiegel. “A return to the previous agreement will not suffice anyway. There will have to be a kind of ‘nuclear agreement plus,’ which is also in our interest. We have clear expectations of Iran: no nuclear weapons, but also no ballistic missile program that threatens the entire region. Iran also needs to play a different role in the region,” Maas told the German magazine, adding, “We need this agreement precisely because we distrust Iran. I have already coordinated with my French and British counterparts on this.” But Maas didn’t say why Iran should agree to a new deal with the West while the existing one has not been implemented by the very same parties that are now calling for expanding it. Iran has long called on Europe and the U.S. to stop violating the deal and international law. However, the Europeans continued to ignore Iran’s calls, instead of honoring their commitments. And this seems to have enraged Iran’s top diplomat, who has recently told the West to “shut up” if it is unable to “put up”.[…]“



Fakhrizadeh’s Assassination Will Bring Security to Neither the US nor Israel

By Vladimir Platov

December 01, 2020

„On November 27th, the treacherous murder that was committed in the suburbs of Tehran on a Friday, a holy day for all Muslims, of the leading Iranian nuclear physicist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh elicited strong reaction not only from the Iranian public, but from Israel, the United States, and the entire world. […] Fakhrizadeh was the fifth nuclear physicist killed in Iran over the past 10 years, and along with that the telltale signs of Israeli involvement could be observed with all the assassination attempts. The murder of Fakhrizadeh was the most high-profile one, since he was the highest-ranking official in his industry. In the past, Israel has used specially trained opponents of the Islamic regime to do its dirty work in Iran against Iranian nuclear facilities, and nuclear physicists. However, given the professionalism and complexity involved in the attack on Fakhrizade, it can be assumed that it was carried out by the Israelis themselves. […]  However, some emphasize that Iranian leaders have proven that they can be patient, and prudent, in their responses, and that may largely depend on the extent to which the international community, and especially Iran’s partners in the nuclear deal, denounce those who initiated the killing. Therefore, if Iran sticks by its initial hot-headed reaction to exact revenge for this murder, and Israel by its relentless intention to destroy its enemies as per the Begin doctrine, then we can expect the situation in the region to worsen, even right up to military conflict. And in this case, calls for the parties to exercise restraint – which have already been sounded by the UN, Russia, China and a number of other countries – are quite fitting to help prevent a situation from developing dangerously any further that will not bring security to Israel, the United States, the region, or the world as a whole.“


How Israel Deployed an Intelligence Deception to Justify Killing Scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh

By Gareth Porter

December 4, 2020

How Israel Deployed an Intelligence Deception to Justify Killing Scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh

„[…] The origin of the Mossad propaganda operation on Fakhrizadeh lies in the early 1990s, when the U.S. and Israel first developed suspicions of Iranian ambitions to develop a nuclear weapon. U.S., British, German and Israeli intelligence analysts had intercepted telexes from Sharif University about various “dual use” technologies — those that could be exploited in a nuclear program but also be applied for non-nuclear use.  […]“


Does the Cost of the Fakhrizadeh Assassination Outweigh the Benefits?

By Shlomo Brom, Shimon Stein

The Institute for National Security Studies, Tel Aviv University

December 2, 2020

„The prevailing assumption in the Israeli and international media, and among governments around the world, is that the assassination of the head of Iran’s military nuclear project, Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, was carried out by Israel. If so, the costs and benefits of the assassination from Israel’s vantage point should be examined and weighed. To this end, certain questions must be answered: What was the strategic purpose of this action, and what is the likelihood of its ultimate success? In light of this goal, was the timing of the action correct? And finally, are the potential costs greater or smaller than the expected benefit? This article concludes that in the case of the killing of Fakhrizadeh, it is doubtful that the benefits outweigh the costs, and unclear that the assassination will substantially serve the goal of damaging and delaying the Iranian nuclear program.“


Trump’s Support for Israel’s Killing of Iranian Scientist Could Lead to War

By Marjorie Cohn

December 1, 2020

Trump’s Support for Israel’s Killing of Iranian Scientist Could Lead to War

„In the weeks remaining before Joe Biden’s inauguration, Donald Trump is taking actions — including aiding and abetting murder — to prevent his successor from pursuing diplomacy with Iran. […]“


Trump Tells Pompeo: Go Wild on Iran, Just Don’t Risk ‘World War III’

Trump has given some of his most hawkish officials, particularly Mike Pompeo, carte blanche to squeeze and punish the Islamic Republic as aggressively as they wish.

By Erin Banco, Asawin Suebsaeng

December 1, 2020

„[…] Secretary Pompeo has been particularly forward leaning in the administration’s efforts to inflict damage on the Iranian government. In a recent trip to the Middle East, Pompeo met with leaders from Israel, the UAE, and Bahrain on ways all three countries could work together on countering the Islamic Republic. The trip followed on the heels of an announcement by the State Department that it had recently approved a massive sale of F-35 jets to the UAE. The deal has been widely viewed as a way to get Dubai to cooperate with Jerusalem on deterring Iran. And on Friday, Pompeo announced additional Iran-related sanctions, this time targeting Chinese and Russian entities for transferring sensitive technology and items to Iran’s missile program. […]  “If Iran takes the bait, which is clearly the intention behind [the Farikhzadeh assassination], then it probably makes it impossible to return to the JCPOA and diplomacy,” said Jarrett Blanc, the former coordinator for Iran nuclear implementation in the Obama State Department. “If Iran doesn’t take the bait… I don’t know that it really changes the choices that confront the Biden team or Iran in January.” Any negotiations between a Biden administration and Iran would include conversations about the lifting of some sanctions, two individuals familiar with the Biden team’s thinking on Iran said. But those sanctions would likely only be lifted if and when Tehran complies with a deal. “Iran says it is prepared to come back in compliance and reverse some of the decisions it’s made. And the U.S. says it would lift some of the sanctions. [There’s] no legal bar to reverse them. Many of them were imposed for political reasons,” said one former senior Obama administration official. “It’s likely going to be a two-step approach for Biden—getting back in and then perhaps renegotiating a different, better deal.”“


Israel’s Gift to Joe Biden, War with Iran

By killing Fakhrizadeh, Israel is doing its best to ensure that, for Biden, that military action is the only viable option available

By Scott Ritter

December 1, 2020

„ […] The assassination of Fakhrizadeh serves two main purposes. First, it hardens the resolve of Iran when it comes to any potential flexibility it might have been prepared to have with Biden regarding a resolution to the nuclear standoff, with Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei directing Iranian scientists “[t]o follow up Martyr Fakhrizadeh’s scientific and technical activities in all fields in which he was active.” The idea that Iran would seek to compromise with the US in the aftermath of Fakhrizadeh’s murder is, to put it bluntly, absurd. But the most important purpose behind the killing of Fakhrizadeh is to create a fait accompli when it comes to policy options being considered by a future Biden administration. Rejoining the JCPOA is likely a non-starter – Iran will never agree to the many preconditions sought by Biden and his advisers.  Likewise, continuing Trump’s program of ‘maximum pressure’ is not a politically viable option, given the advanced state of the Iranian nuclear program and the impact this has on the all-important ‘breakout window’ that underpinned, from the US perspective, the legitimacy of the JCPOA. The same contingencies being confronted by the Trump administration regarding the possibility of US forces attacking Iran’s nuclear infrastructure will be confronted by President Biden on his first day in office. By killing Fakhrizadeh, Israel is doing its best to ensure that, for Biden, that military action is the only viable option available.“



Upcoming Election Offers Little Hope to a Dispirited Iranian Electorate

The economic mismanagement and resistance to change over the past four decades by a succession of regimes has demoralized supporters of conservatives, reformists, and pragmatists alike.

By Sara Bazoobandi

The Arab Gulf States Institute in Washington (AGSIW)

December 1, 2020

Upcoming Election Offers Little Hope to a Dispirited Iranian Electorate

„On June 18, 2021, Iran will hold its presidential election at a significant moment in the history of the Islamic Republic, as the regime confronts mounting domestic and international pressure. Internationally, the U.S. “maximum pressure” campaign and deterioration of relations between Iran and its Arab neighbors has increased external political and economic pressure on Tehran. This has been compounded by recent agreements to normalize diplomatic relations between Israel and two Gulf Arab states through the Abraham Accords. Domestically, as economic conditions deteriorate in Iran, the rift between the state and its citizens has been visibly widening. […]“


1400 budget bill: how realistic the draft is?

By Ebrahim Fallahi

December 6, 2020

„[…] Based on the draft of the national budget bill, the government expects to sell 2.3 million barrels per day (bpd) of crude oil and gas condensate in the next Iranian calendar year, with oil at $40 per barrel. This has raised criticism among the country’s experts and officials, saying that the upcoming year’s budget bill has been drafted based on unrealistic expectations and is not the expected recipe for an oil-free economy. In this regard, the Tehran Times held talks with Economic and Energy Expert Hamidreza Salehi, who is the Head of Iran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture (ICCIMA)’s Energy Committee, to see how much the oil revenues envisaged in the mentioned bill are practical and achievable, and what solutions can be applied to compensate for the potential deficits in the future. […]“



US sanctions block Iran’s purchase of COVID-19 vaccine: CBI governor

By Press TV

December 7, 2020

„The governor of the Central Bank of Iran (CBI) says inhumane sanctions imposed by the United States against Iran prevent the country from purchasing coronavirus vaccine as the deadly virus takes its toll on the Iranian nation. In a post on his Instagram page on Monday, Abdolnasser Hemmati said the purchase of the coronavirus vaccine should be officially made through the World Health Organization (WHO). However, he added, “So far, every method used to make payment and transfer the required currency [for the purchase of the vaccine] has been faced with obstacles due to the inhumane sanctions imposed by the US government and the need to obtain permits from OFAC (the US Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control).” He noted that South Korea has failed to provide guarantees that the CBI’s money would not be confiscated by the US government in the course of money transfer via a dollar U-turn path for the purchase of humanitarian items. […]“



Thermidor of Public Education: Privatization 40 Years After the Iranian Revolution

By Mohammad Reza Niknejad and Behnam Zoghi Roudsari

November 19, 2020

„The privatization of education is hotly debated across the world. It hardly represents a uniform set of policies with experts, economists, civil society organizers, and state officials weighing potential gains and losses. Iran has been no exception to this pattern. As most theoretical literature predicts, the privatization of education in Iran has caused harm. According to experts, it exacerbates class divisions, consolidates social gaps, and leads to serious detrimental consequences in the classroom. With over a century of experience with institutions of modern education, Iran has its own unique history of debate and struggle over privatization and its implementation. This article provides an overview of that history and an assessment of the current state of education in Iran. […]“




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