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Entries in Fordoo (7)


Iran Special: The Stalled Nuclear Talks --- Why Tehran Cannot Give Up Its Right to Enrichment

Funeral of assassinated nuclear scientist Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan, 13 January 2012

Iran's stance that its people have the right to enrich uranium has become more than a negotiating position. It is an important element of the Islamic Republic's identity and an issue of national pride. A central symbol of the struggle against the US and the West, the dedication to that right is beyond the black-and-white narrative of "the West says Iran is building a bomb, Tehran says it isn't".

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Iran Live Coverage: No News is Good or Bad News at the Nuclear Talks?

Iran's chief nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili speaks with Al Jazeera English

See also Iran Special: Taking Apart the "Iran's Plan B for a Nuclear Bomb" Scare Story

Iran Follow-Up Video: How Fars News Protected the Oscars from Michelle Obama's Shoulders
Tuesday's Iran Live Coverage: Today's Nuclear Talks in Kazakhstan

1948 GMT:Oil Watch. Turkey maintained its current import level of three cargoes of Iranian crude oil in February.

Turkey has been importing three Suezmax tankers cargoes a month of Iranian crude oil since September, half of what Ankara used to purchase from Iran.

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Iran Analysis: US-Europe Strategy --- Break Tehran's Economy for "Real" Nuclear Talks in Autumn

The US-European strategy is to continue with aggressive sanctions to force Iranian concessions --- the "stop, shut, and ship" of suspended 20% enrichment, transfer of 20% stock out of Iran, and closure of the Fordoo enrichment plant --- at the outset of any negotiations.

But when will that occur? Certainly not at the forthcoming talks on 26 February in Kazakhstan between Iran and the 5+1 Powers (US, Britain, France, Germany, China, and Russia)?

Western officials give the answer....

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EA Video Analysis: The Lie About an Iran "Explosion" That Became Headline News

Eight minutes explaining last week's lie --- about an explosion at the Fordoo uranium enrichment plant, tracking hundreds of people including Revolutionary Guards and North Korean advisors underground --- became news in outlets like Germany's Spiegel, the Jerusalem Post, and The Time of London.

Four lessons:

1. "When you have a guy who claims to be a CIA spy dressed up in sunglasses and a bandana covering his face, you probably want to consider whether he's a trustworthy source of information."

2. "There are really important stories in Iran. Not all of them have to be preceded by the word 'nuclear'."

3. "It is no longer the case that you have a division between reliable print journalism and unreliable Internet journalism by people sitting in their bedrooms."

4. At the end of the day, knowledge is power. Lies are an abuse of that power."


Iran Special: New York Times Notices Important Nuclear Story...Four Months Later

Because Washington still envisages that it can get Tehran to agree to its conditions --- a suspension of all 20% uranium enrichment, a shipping of the existing stock outside the country, and a halt to operations at Fordoo --- it gave the lead to David Sanger and James Risen for their article today.

Those clues to the politics and propaganda of the Obama Administration, rather than journalism on Iran's nuclear programme, is the real value of The New York Times coverage.

Even it is sometimes months late.

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Iran Analysis: A 4-Point Beginner's Guide to the Nuclear Talks

After days of last-minute fencing --- reflecting both the tensions of diplomacy and the tensions within the Iranian political system --- Tehran finally agreed on Monday to the start of nuclear discussions in Istanbul. Iran's representatives will sit down with those of the 5+1 Powers (US, UK, France, Russia, China, and Germany) on Saturday to consider the future of Tehran's uranium enrichment.

The theatrical dispute over location, which started when Iran pulled back last week from Turkey as the host of the talks, ended with the declaration that Istanbul's opening meeting would be followed by another round of discussions in Baghdad.

At one level, that's a face-saving arrangement. The Islamic Republic had boxed itself in with its posture that Turkey --- which has been a diplomatic partner of Tehran, which had been vital in working with Iran for a possible agreement in 2010, but which had angered some in the regime with its position on the Syrian crisis --- was no longer acceptable as the venue. The Iranians (and by this, I primarily mean the Supreme Leader) either had to take this pose all the way to the collapse of discussions even before they started, or accept that it was the Istanbul way or no way for the negotiations.

At another level, however, the Baghdad add-on is a tip-off from the Islamic Republic to the US and European powers not to expect an immediate meeting of minds in Turkey. If there is to be an agreement, it will have to come through lengthy talks producing compromise, rather than an Iranian concession to sanctions and other pressure, and an arrangement not only respecting but highlighting the Islamic Republic's sovereignty. A meeting in Iraq is symbolic of that desire --- the Iranians know that Washington is suspicious of Baghdad's political leanings towards Tehran, so the US would have to make a concession in entering that diplomatic territory.

At the same time, the setting-out of not just one but two sets of talks --- albeit with those in Baghdad on an unspecified date, only to be confirmed at the end of Istanbul --- raises the question as to whether either side will put a substantial offer on the table this week or whether each will fence for position, trying to get the other to tip off their negotiating hand and even give way on it.

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Iran Document & Snap Analysis: The IAEA Report on Tehran's Nuclear Programme

I suspect there will be a lot of fuss this weekend about today's quarterly report from the International Agency Energy Agency, much of it made without actually reading the document. Many in the mainstream media are already primed to see a likely if not inevitable military showdown, and they will be fed soundbites that prove Iran's confrontational approach.

In fact, the major shift is not in substance --- "the Agency continues to verify the non-diversion of declared nuclear material" is the same clause in its conclusions of the last two years --- but in tone.

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