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Iran

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US stalls CIA Covert Action in Iran report disclosure


The U.S. Department of State has blocked the publication of a long-awaited documentary history of U.S. covert action in Iran in the 1950s out of concern that its release could adversely affect ongoing negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program.

The controversial Iran history volume, part of the official Foreign Relations of the United States (FRUS) series, had been slated for release last summer. (“History of 1953 CIA Covert Action in Iran to be Published,” Secrecy News, April 16, 2014).

But senior State Department officials “decided to delay publication because of ongoing negotiations with Iran,” according to the minutes of a September 8, 2014 meeting of the Advisory Committee on Historical Diplomatic Documentation that were posted on the Department of State website this week.

Dr. Stephen P. Randolph, the Historian of the State Department, confirmed yesterday that the status of the Iran volume “remains as it was in September” and that no new publication date has been set. The subject was also discussed at an Advisory Committee meeting this week.

The suppression of this history has been a source of frustration for decades, at least since the Department published a notorious 1989 volume on U.S. policy towards Iran that made no mention of CIA covert action.

But the latest move is also an indirect affirmation of the enduring significance of the withheld records, which date back even further than the U.S. rupture with Cuba that is now on the mend.

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E3+3 Talks on Iran


The major E3+3 countries of the world (including the UK, US, China, France, Germany and Russia) will be meeting today in Instanbul with the Iranian Government once again to discuss and have an offer of an  assurance over any proposed nuclear programme that Iran may be conducting. This follows a meeting of the E3+3 at the UN General Assembly in September 2009. At that meeting Iran’s nuclear programme was found a matter of concern to the E3+3 countries as they said in their statement – those talks basically wanted to see Iran to implement all measures required by the IAEA and the UN Security Council and to build confidence that a exclusively peaceful nature nuclear programme was only being developed.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) website has issued the following statement : “We welcome the fact that the Iranian government is ready to re-engage with the United Kingdom and other members of the international community on its nuclear programme.  These talks present a genuine opportunity to move things forward. The Iranian government has written to us to say it wants these talks to cover its nuclear programme.  The talks will be a demonstration of whether or not the Iranian government is really ready to do that”

The Oxford Research Group have said on their website about the risk of a conflict appearing greater than ever due to events in Iran and the arab world since the last meeting took place.ORG say’s in a statement about the talks that a negotiations between Iran and the member states of the E3+3 have proved elusive due to ‘a lack of political will, demonization, deep distrust and misunderstanding on all sides.’  They warn that if these talks fail, there could be the prospect of a military attack on Iran –  which they have previously published a  series of reports since 2006. Israeli itself is also poised to take action should Iran be planning such a programme (as discussed in their Global Security Briefing ‘The Potential for Israeli Military Action against Iran’s Nuclear Facilities’)

Below is the Foreign Office Minister Alistair Burt discussing his hopes for negotiations with the Iranian Government during the E3+3 talks today.

EU Imposes Oil Sanctions


In an attempt to deflect Tehran‘s nuclear development program the European Union has today joined the United States in a new round of measures and imposed sanctions on Iran‘s oil imports to Europe. It however has not imposed a complete ban on oil imports.

In response to this a Iranian politician responded by renewing a threat to blockade the Strait of Hormuz, which is a oil export route vital to the global economy, and another said Tehran will cut off it’s crude shipments to the EU immediately which would greatly affect ailing European economies such as Greece, Italy, which depend heavily on Iranian oil.

All this follows after a U.S. aircraft carrier, accompanied by French and British warships, made a symbolically loaded voyage into the Gulf, defying Iranian hostility,

The expected EU sanctions are likely to prove angering to Iran in an already tense region.

It is believed by some political analysts and observers, that Iran, which denies accusations that it is seeking nuclear weapons could be in a position to make them next year.  Israel has also warned it could use force to prevent that Iran from any such development program

This row over Tehran’s plans is an increasingly pressing for world leaders, not least U.S. President Barack Obama as he is campaigning for a re-election in November. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has voiced skepticism about the chances of Iran being persuaded by non-military tactics, called the EU sanctions a “step in the right direction” but said Iran was still developing atomic weapons.

EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said of the new sanctions: “I want the pressure of these sanctions to result in negotiations … I want to see Iran come back to the table and either pick up all the ideas that we left on the table … last year … or to come forward with its own ideas.”

Iran has said lately that it is willing to hold talks with Western powers, though there have been mixed signals on whether conditions imposed by either side make new negotiations likely.

Ayatollah : Dont let west ‘confiscate’ Arab spring”


20:57 31/08/2011
TEHRAN, Iran — Iran’s top leader warned the Arab world Wednesday not to allow Western powers and Israel to “confiscate” the region’s pro-reform uprisings, in comments that appear to reflect the Islamic republic’s unease about their standing in a profoundly altered Middle East.

Iran has tried to walk two paths since the pro-democracy rebellions began in February – lauding the popular revolts as modern-day heirs to Iran’s 1979 Islamic revolution, while maintaining relentless pressure on opposition groups at home.

But Iran is at risk of serious political setbacks. Iran’s main Mideast ally, Syria’s Bashar Assad, is under growing international pressure for his fierce crackdown on anti-government protests.

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, in a speech broadcast on Iran’s state TV to mark the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, reflected the added worries that the West and its allies could gain ground in the Arab Spring.

“Muslim nations in Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, Yemen or other countries need vigilance today. They should not allow enemies confiscate the victories they’ve achieved,” Khamenei said. “They should not forget that those who have come to the scene in Libya (U.S. and NATO) today and consider themselves owners of the uprising are the same people who used to sit and drink with those who once suppressed the Libyan nation.”

Iran’s supreme leader, who has the final say on all state matters in Iran, urged Libyans not to allow the U.S. and its allies to dominate their country.

On Tuesday, Iran’s Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi said his country secretly provided humanitarian supplies to Libya’s rebel National Transitional Council. Salehi said Iran had sent four medicine and food shipments to the rebel stronghold of Benghazi.

“Today they (U.S. and its allies) seek to take advantage of the situation. Nations must be vigilant and wakeful,” said Ayatollah Ali-Khamenei.

But he made no mention of Syria, where Assad’s regime is struggling to contain opposition forces.

Source: Huffington Post

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