iRanWonk Story

Iran Story

Iran and the IAEA: The Road to “Gridlock” and an Uncertain Path Forward

A CNS Feature Story by Liviu Horovitz and David Peranteau

iRan Goodies

The iWonk has no time to write very often, but here some of the goodies he found on our favorite kid, the iRan, during the last few weeks. Happy reading.

Gary Samore put together a gang of nuclear pundits including Jim Walsh, Charlers Ferguson, Henry Sokolski, Michael Levi, Mitchel Reiss, Bruno Tertrais, Jon Wolfstahl, Bob Einhorn, and George Perkovich to discuss what to do about the iRran (CFR). Pretty impressive!

Just today, Greg Bruno has an excellent analysis on the impact of lower oil prices on Iran (CFR). This should give the next US president a lot of free space..

Albright’s shop has a new page on Iran, something like a clearing house on the program, pretty good graphics and some interesting background, all on one page (ISIS). Cool that ISIS uses the NTI profile for the history :O)

Akbar Ganji argues in Foreign Affairs that the real decision maker in Iran is not Ahma but Khami (FA). Did not read it, but it might be interesting, even if somewhat lengthy. Well, well, well, but the conclusion, something that unexpected ;o)

Clawson and Eisenstadt argue in the last number of Survival that the military option is feasiable and the US should better take it (Survival). Well, Einstein said it, and I agree: I am sure about the fact that space is infinite…

This is not that new, but interesting: Perkovich arguing that the US should give Iran one chance and than stop if the response is not coming (Carnegie). An old negotiations strategy, I just don’t know whether it’s not a bit too transparent…

West Point’s Combating Terrorism Center has a paper by Felter and Fishman on Iran’s strategy in Iraq stating that the iRan has a lot of influence in the iRaq and the US should do something about it (WestPoint). What a surprise…

Finally, a bunch of folks got a meeting to put together a hawkish paper on the iRan, “the most significant strategic threat to the United States” (BipartisanPolicy). I would call this a great upgrade for our kid – almost as good as the Soviet Union two decades ago, yeah? :O)

Iran: Is Productive Engagement Possible?

Karim Sadjapour has a Carnegie Policy Brief asking “Iran: Is Productive Engagement Possible?” telling the next president what to do. Well, the answer is simple, namely YES, but the piece has a bit more than that. A bit of strategy, a bit of soft power, a bit of context – good Sunday read I suppose – if you finished the iWonk’s piece on the CNS website first :O)))

Else, if you’re bored this Sunday and don’t want to read or write any more, but cannot escape the attraction of doing something “nuclear”, watch this – to some degree connected to our dearest kid, the iRan :O))

Break: 9 weeks ;O(

This blog is taking a vacation for 9 weeks :O( The author is involved in a Russian immersion summer program and is not able to read and write every day about our favorite kid, the iRan. He appologizes for that – to you, the reader, and of course, to the iRan – for the lack of attention :O) Till soon

Iran: response to Mofaz

Iranian DM Mostafa Mohammad Najjar says in response to Mofaz the Iranian “armed forces are at the height of their readiness and if anyone should want to undertake such a foolish job the response would be very painful” (Reuters).

Solana will be in Tehran on Sunday, June 15, to deliver the 2006 updated proposal (PressTV). Schulte gives an interview in Baku saying Iran is trying to open up several secret plants (Trendaz), and Bush is in Europe to get support for his last Iran endeavors (Bloomberg).

Forden’s and Thomson’s plan from MIT to put an internationally run enrichment facility in Iran and control the technology starts to receive interest after 3 years of disapproval: Dianne Feinstein, Chuck Hagel, Edward Markey from the Hill, as we know the group of 3 around Pickering, and now even Cirincione, who until now dismissed the proposal. Even Kimball from ACT is considering it (BostonG).

I maintain that an approach along these lines is the only thing that the Iranians will accept and unless there is an interest in keeping this thing going, this is the solution the world will have to go for.

Larijani: Iran is not interested in prolonging this issue

Larijani says “the Agency has submitted an ambiguous report. They might be pursuing a ‘One Thousand and One Nights’ diplomacy that they are continually playing for time” as Iran “worked with the Agency honestly and if they want to complicate the nuclear issue, they will make themselves some problems” and Iran is “not interested in prolonging the issue” (AFP). I don’t know who’s the target of his speech, but it is a bit strange: if now even Iran starts to play the card of “we had enough, let’s end it,” what comes next?

With Iran protesting and the UN and (VOA) oil prices going up 11 dollars almost just because of Mofaz’ fun in saying bombing becomes unavoidable, the deputy defense minister Matan Vilnai criticized the declarations sharply for the internal political instrumentalization (AHN) and Olmert distances himself too from the statement (Haaretz). Well, too much is too much, even for Israel.

International cooperation: Chavez makes fun of nuclear bicycles imported from Tehran and wants to give one to G.W. 🙂 (Fars).

Daniel Dombey from the FT believes that Bush will try to push the Europeans on sanctions and investment restraints on Iran during his visit this week (FT).

David Ignatius has an interesting article about the leader of the Quds Forces Qassem Soleimani arguing that it is him who controls the operations in the Middle East and attributing him a very rational and calculate approach (WP).

Even Graham Allison agrees that it is time to talk to Iran as anything else has failed (Boston Globe) and if you want some simple and straight forwards thinking about good and bad, have fun here (MET).

And finally, if you don’t sleep and want to be frightened a bit, read the opinion of this “scholar” from the AEI to see how Iran can be compared to Nazi Germany (or to Aliens) – “they are with us again” 🙂 (WSJ).

Soltanieh: Pickering plan considered

On Thursday, 6 June, Soltanieh reiterates the invitation to states and private companies to create a joint venture to enrich uranium in Iran and ads Tehran is considering the Pickering/Walsh/Luers proposal (Bloomberg). In Tehran, Iranian FM spokesperson criticizes Obama’s Israel statement as opportunistic and contrary to his “campaign claims to confront political lobbies in the US” (m&c).

Israeli transport Minister Shaul Mofaz says “if Iran continues with its program for developing nuclear weapons, we will attack it / attacking Iran, in order to stop its nuclear plans, will be unavoidable” (Reuters). Asked about a US position, the White House spokesperson answered “I’m not going to talk about hypotheticals. I think we’ve been pretty clear in recent weeks and months about our approach on Iran” (Reuters).

After a meeting with Rice, the Turkish FM Babacan says his country does not want Iran to have a nuke but believes the problem can be solved through political dialogue (Hurriyet).