Iran News and Discussions

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby Keshav » 30 Mar 2009 03:36

negi wrote:Only a day or two back I read a headline which claimed IRAN to be a number one security threat to the US, and now they talk about common interests. US arm twisted MMS to push India-IRAN relations down the toilet and now their Army Gen talks about involving India-TSP and Iran for stabilizing Afgansthan.


Since when have India-Iran relations gone down the toilet? India and Iran are decent allies now, especially with respect to resource management (talks about pipeline, arms, etc.) Whats the big deal?

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby renukb » 30 Mar 2009 15:42

negi wrote:There is no country which can compete with US in double talk and Duplicity, even TSP will hang its head in shame.

Ek number ke M#@$#&^%$ hain

US, Iran share interests in Afghanistan - Petraeus

WASHINGTON, Jan 8 (Reuters) - The United States and its allies share some interests with Iran when it comes to stabilizing Afghanistan, Army Gen. David Petraeus, head of the U.S. military's Central Command, said on Thursday.

Petraeus stopped short of advocating increased cooperation with Iran on Afghanistan, saying it would be up to policymakers to weigh the common interests there against major disputes between Washington and Tehran on other issues.

President-elect Barack Obama has pledged to increase diplomatic efforts to engage Iran and to talk directly to its leaders. Petraeus' remarks raised the prospect that Afghanistan could be part of that dialogue.

Speaking at a conference in Washington on the foreign policy challenges facing Obama's administration, Petraeus said stabilizing Afghanistan would require a regional approach, involving Pakistan, India and central Asian states.


Only a day or two back I read a headline which claimed IRAN to be a number one security threat to the US, and now they talk about common interests. US arm twisted MMS to push India-IRAN relations down the toilet and now their Army Gen talks about involving India-TSP and Iran for stabilizing Afgansthan.


Enjoy the fruits of REAL-politiking..... Until the people belonging to the region learn to live together, these type of duplicity is bound to be seen... USA can have vested SHARED interests with everyone and anyone... That's the beauty of 'REAL-politiking', which many here don't understand.

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby shyamd » 01 Apr 2009 02:59

Debka: Washington and Tehran are accelerating the tempo of their exchanges, DEBKA-Net-Weekly reports. Keeping pace is Barack Obama's search for a fast military exit from Afghanistan.

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby shaardula » 01 Apr 2009 07:30

if iran gets in on af-pak is it good or bad? looks like they want in.

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby JE Menon » 01 Apr 2009 14:50

There are good and bad points... How much and how far do they want to get into AfPak, for example?

If I were to try and summarise as pithily as possible, I'd put it like this: Iran getting into AfPak is good as so long as there is a Pak.

Post-Pak, and depending on the configuration of the remnants, we will obviously need to fine-tune some of our basic assumptions for the area. :)

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby ramana » 02 Apr 2009 00:47

JEM, has it right from Indian interests pov. BTW we are trying to game the situation using modern tools. Afpak thread has the data and the results might be posted once it thru the simulation.

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby shyamd » 30 Apr 2009 03:45

Washington to cut Iran in on Nabucco pipeline

Iran is about to become a major fuel supplier to the West, DEBKA-Net-Weekly reports.

For the sake of dialogue and cooperation, Washington is ceding Tehran the chance to feed its natural gas into the 3,000 kilometer-long Nabucco pipeline project (from the Caspian to the EU via Turkey).

The strategic-economic consequences of the Obama administration's major perk for Iran is analyzed in the coming DEBKA-Net-Weekly's issue out Friday.

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby Rudradev » 01 May 2009 08:25

shyamd wrote:Washington to cut Iran in on Nabucco pipeline


I remember another recent post (perhaps also by shyamd?) about "fast-track" talks regarding Iranian supply lines to the NATO and US forces in Afghanistan.

I wonder if this is quid-pro-quo... letting the Iranians into a US controlled fuel market, something very delicious to them that has been denied them for a long time.

I wonder how two other nations are going to take to this rapidly warming relationship: Saudi Arabia and Israel.

The Isroos will probably be pragmatic, and hopefully the Iranis will be equally pragmatic and not stir up the Hezbollah pot at this time when they stand to accrue real benefits from Obama's diplomatic overture.

The Saudis, though... I wonder what they make of the oil/gas flirtation that their steady boyfriend of six decades is now undertaking with Teheran.

It is interesting that the Saudi position on AfPak (along with the Pakis and British, pushing for a "moderate Taliban accommodation) is also directly at odds with Iran providing a supply route that reduces Paki leverage on the Americans.

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby shyamd » 02 May 2009 04:51

Rudradevji:

Israel: Huffing and puffing about this relationship and other Obama administration moves such as arming the lebanese army. Apparently the upper echelons of israel are now having growing differences with the US.

Saudia: Not happy. what do you expect when Iran is harbouring the Anti Saud AQ people openly and also funding the Zaidi militants in Yemen/Saudi border.

US to Cut Iran in on Nabucco Pipeline
Outlet for Iranian Gas to Reach Europe via Turkey
This would be a windfall for Iran and a boost for Obama's grand design for a new pro-American Turkish-Syrian-Iranian bloc to supplant Egypt and Israel at Washington's Middle East center stage.

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby dinakar » 20 May 2009 15:42

Iran 'test launches' medium-range missile
Iran says it has successfully test launched a mid-range surface-to-surface missile, state media has reported.
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said the Sajjil-2 missile used "advanced technology" and had "landed exactly" on the unspecified target.

He was speaking in Semnan, from where the missile, with a range of 2,000km (1,240 miles), was reportedly launched.

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby Tilak » 25 May 2009 08:59

U.S. military chief: Iran within 3 years of nuke
Sun May 24, 2009 9:39pm IST

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Iran could be within one to three years from developing a nuclear weapon and time is running out for diplomacy to defuse the problem, the top U.S. military officer said on Sunday.

The assessment from Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, matched that of some independent analysts but appeared to go further than recent official statements from the U.S. government.

"Most of us believe that it's one to three years, depending on assumptions about where they are right now. But they are moving closer, clearly, and they continue to do that," Mullen said on ABC's "This Week."



>Whatever happened to the Geo-Politics Thread ?..

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby shyamd » 25 May 2009 17:36

Iran's secret new Indian Ocean base
Continuing its western thrust, Iran has secretly established a new base on an Indian Ocean shore, DEBKA-Net-Weekly reveals. It is located under the nose of the US Navy.

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby Rohit_K » 29 May 2009 03:10


shyamd
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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby shyamd » 30 May 2009 19:05

Moroni: The Iranian Navy's New Outpost
Drops Anchor at Former al-Qaeda Africa Base against America
US intelligence agencies in the region missed the stealthy establishment of an Iranian naval base on the Comoros islands, using the cover of the international armada for fighting Somali terrorists. They only found out too late - by chance.

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby Dilbu » 30 May 2009 23:43

ShyamD saar, can you please include the url in your posts?

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby Gerard » 30 May 2009 23:47

I think it is expected that we just assume Debka

Yep... there it is on the front page


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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby Muppalla » 31 May 2009 02:11

Any latest news on Indo-Iranian gas pipeline via Baluchistan? I guess they decided to lay until Baluchistan first and later think about India later. Not following much on this front. Any latest info if posted is appreciated. Thanks.

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby Patni » 31 May 2009 02:18

Muppalla wrote:Any latest news on Indo-Iranian gas pipeline via Baluchistan? I guess they decided to lay until Baluchistan first and later think about India later. Not following much on this front. Any latest info if posted is appreciated. Thanks.

Pakistan, Iran sign gas pipeline deal

QUETTA, Pakistan - Officials from Pakistan on Sunday finally signed a gas pipeline accord with Iran, without India's participation, after 14 years of on-off negotiations over what was initially framed as the Iran-Pakistan-India (IPI) gas pipeline project

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby Philip » 01 Jun 2009 12:55

Whatever the truth of the matter,who is behind the Iranian terror attacks and attempts,it is an inescapable fact that it is an attempt to destabilise Iran and create chaos just before the coming elections,which from most accounts should see no major political change in the offing.The timing of these attempts is indicative of them NOT being perpetrated by local dissatisfied ethnic minorities,but has a foreign hand in it.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/ma ... -elections
Homemade bomb on board plane raises tension ahead of Iran electionsDevice found on Tehran-bound Kish Air flight was defused after emergency landing

Simon Tisdall
guardian.co.uk, Sunday 31 May 2009 13.44 BST
Article history

Supporters of Iranian presidential candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi shout slogans during a campaign rally in Tehran Photograph: Atta Kenare/AFP/Getty Images

Rising political tensions in Iran ahead of watershed presidential elections on 12 June intensified today with the discovery of a homemade bomb on board a domestic airliner. The incident closely followed a fatal attack on a mosque that hardline Iranian leaders blamed on the US, Israel and Britain.

Iranian news reports said the device was found shortly after a Tehran-bound Kish Air flight with 131 passengers on board took off from Ahvaz, in Khuzestan province in south-west Iran. The bomb was defused after the plane made an emergency landing, Fars news agency said.

Irna, the official Iran news agency, said only that there had been a plot against the flight. "The plot … was unsuccessful due to the security forces' awareness and those behind it were arrested," it said.

The Ahvaz incident followed an apparent suicide bombing on Thursday at a mosque in Zahedan, in Sistan-Baluchistan province in south-eastern Iran, which killed 25 people and wounded more than 100. Three men convicted of planning the explosion were publicly executed yesterday.

Khuzestan and Sistan-Baluchistan provinces have witnessed numerous attacks attributed to separatists, ethnic and religious groups, and mujahideen resistance fighters since the 1979 revolution. Oil-rich Khuzestan, which borders Iraq, is home to Iran's Arab minority. Sistan-Baluchistan, bordering Pakistan, has a high concentration of Sunni Muslims. Iran is predominantly Shia.

A Sunni opposition group known as Jundullah (God's Soldiers), which Iran links to al-Qaida and the US, claimed responsibility for the mosque bomb. But it said the men executed yesterday were all in jail when it happened and had nothing to do with it.

The Saudi-owned al-Arabiya television said a man claiming to represent Jundullah called it saying the bombing was a suicide attack aimed at Basiji forces, a religious militia, that were meeting in the mosque to co-ordinate election strategy.

Iran's leaders have repeatedly blamed US and Israeli "spy agencies" for arming and assisting insurgent groups, including dissident Kurds living in western Iran. They say the aim is to destabilise Iran and promote regime change.

Jalal Sayyah, a spokesman for the governor's office in Sistan-Baluchistan, repeated the accusation after the mosque attack. "The terrorists, who were equipped by America in one of our neighbouring countries, carried out this criminal act in their efforts to create religious conflict and fear and to influence the presidential election," Sayyah told state radio.

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran's supreme leader and a strong, public backer of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's bid to win a second term, added his weight to the claims. "No one can doubt that the hands of … some interfering powers and their spying services are bloodied by the blood of the innocent," he said.

Major General Hassan Firouzabadi, Iran's armed forces chief of staff, also blamed outside forces, pointing the finger at Britain in particular. "The attempts made by colonialism, Zionism and on top of them England for sowing discord between Shias and Sunnis have yielded no result," he said.

Robert Gibbs, the White House spokesman, said President Barack Obama "strongly condemns" the Zahedan attack and other acts of terrorism inside Iran. "The American people send their deepest condolences to the victims and their families. No cause justifies terrorism, and the United States condemns it in any form," he said.

Any direct or indirect US involvement in fomenting pre-election tensions is considered unlikely, given Obama's new policy of engagement with Iran. Israel, which believes Iran poses an existential threat, takes a harder line.

Analysts suggest that hardline conservatives who back Ahmadinejad against the main reformist presidential candidate, Mir Hossein Mousavi, may try to use such incidents to whip up anti-American and anti-western sentiment.

Mousavi has adopted a more conciliatory approach to the controversy over Iran's nuclear programme and is seen in the west as a more promising interlocutor than the often confrontational Ahmadinejad.

Unconfirmed reports published in the US last year said the Bush administration obtained $400m in "off-the-books" congressional funding to finance covert operations aimed at assisting minority Ahwazi Arab and Baluchi groups and other dissident organisations inside Iran. It is unclear whether these alleged operations have continued since Obama took office.

In April, Iran's intelligence ministry said it had arrested a group of people linked to Israel who were planning bombings before the election.

Apparently concerned about the potential for internal ethnic and religious strife as the polls approach, Khamenei issued an appeal for unity. "The continued solidarity of all Iranian peoples and different political streams in defending the flag of Islam in Iran is necessary and guarantees a bright future for the nation," he said last month in Bijar, in western Kurdistan province.

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby RajeshA » 01 Jun 2009 14:29

JE Menon wrote:If I were to try and summarise as pithily as possible, I'd put it like this: Iran getting into AfPak is good as so long as there is a Pak.

Post-Pak, and depending on the configuration of the remnants, we will obviously need to fine-tune some of our basic assumptions for the area. :)


Yes. North & West Afghanistan should combine into a federation on the principles of canton-based Switzerland political system. No way should those areas be allowed to be divided up amongst the regional powers (Iran, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan).

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby JE Menon » 02 Jun 2009 01:27

Afghanistan is far less likely to be partitioned or divided than Pakistan. The Afghans have a national identity, despite the hardships and sectarian/factional/ethnic crises the have gone through for many decades...

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby RajeshA » 02 Jun 2009 02:34

JE Menon Ji,

What you say is true, but as and when the Pushtuns in Pakistan (25.6 million) decide to join their brothers (15 million) across the non-existing Durand line in Afghanistan, then it would be an Afghanistan (33 million) with an overbearing Pushtun majority under which the smaller Afghan ethnicities could go under. It will be better that the Pushtun have their own country, Pushtunistan separate from the Afghans.

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby negi » 02 Jun 2009 02:43

Interesting times ahead

Israel stages biggest-ever war drill

The move comes amid tension between Israel and Tehran.
The Israeli government considers Iran's nuclear program as the dominant threat facing the country. Israel is publicly supportive of President Barack Obama administration's outreach to the Islamic state.

Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak told Israeli Army Radio last week that he believes "that the chance the dialogue has of stopping Iran's nuclear efforts is very low."

Barak's views are keeping with the majority of his countrymen.

An Israeli poll released this month found that 74 percent believe that the U.S. policy of engagement with Iran will fail and 81 percent think Iran will develop a nuclear weapon capability.

Israel has conducted emergency drills the past two years, but officials said this is the biggest so far.

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby satya » 02 Jun 2009 03:11

OT
Afghanis do have a deep sense of nationalism but ones belonging to minorities have a common feeling of Pasthuns always selling them & Afghanistan to highest bidder & never sharing the bounty with them and this grudge is there for outsiders to take advantage of be it Iranians or Russians or anyone else . But one feeling in common , they all hate TSPians even Pasthuns .

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby JE Menon » 02 Jun 2009 13:37

Rajesh... indeed, the majority of Pashtuns will pose a problem for Afghanistan... but Pashtun majoritarianism is of a different stripe. My assessment (and I could be wrong) is that they would still prefer an Afghanistan in which minorities have relatively high autonomy. But, they have to be given a chance to live it. Pakistan is at present preventing this through its machinations orchestrated by a Punjabi dominated military. What they are doing in Afghanistan is evil. Completely aimed at dominating that country and undermining any chance of harmony there. And they don't even bother to hide their intentions. How can they even talk of "strategic depth" otherwise? Don't they recognise Afghanistan as a separate country?

Afghans have been getting along for much longer than Pakistan has existed through their jirgas and other mechanisms. There is a clear understanding of ethnic and territorial boundaries and they can live together. Sure, there will be issues as there always have been. We know what that is, but it is none of our business so long as they don't "export" their difficulties.

The first priority therefore is Pakistan. The problem is Pakistan. Specifically, it is the Pakistani elite who have been explicitly using various instruments of terror and subversion to perpetuate its control over Afghanistan. It will fail. It is essentially a sort of Pakjabi megalomania (I include in this "Pakjabi" even those from the other provinces who have been co-opted into the Pakistani elite system). Take a look at Marvi Memon's comments in Minnesota - absurd beyond belief, out and out blackmail of sorts, and she doesn't even realise it. It is that ingrained into the system. And they do not have the imagination, the intellect, the desire, and certainly not the will to make fundamental change in their worldview. Therefore, the country as we know it will end - i.e. the RAPE will be reconstituted into something else. It is only a question of when and how bloody it will be. I think it will not be very bloody. The RAPE will flee well in time.

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby RajeshA » 02 Jun 2009 14:23

JE Menon ji,

You are right. Pakistan is the problem. The question is what political geographical vision should one lend to the region, to facilitate, indeed precipitate the break up of Pakistan.

As long as we bundle the Pushtuns into an Afghanistan,
- Pakistanis will continue to claim the Durand Line as their international border on the one hand,
- continue to treat Afghanistan as their strategic backyard,
- Afghani Pushtuns would remain Pakistan's pawns there in exchange for help in the domination of politics in Afghanistan

However if Pushtuns claim a different identity, separate from that of Afghans, claim a different land, separate from that of Afghanistan, then the Pakistani textbook lands in the dustbin.

Then
- Pakistan will not be able to influence North Afghanistan (a separate political entity) having no border with it.
- the question of domination of Pushtuns in a country (e.g. Afghanistan) made up of different ethnicities will not rise, as in a Pushtunistan, they will dominate a 100%.
- Any intervention of Pakistan in a Pushtunistan will be severely resisted, this time by the Pushtuns themselves. They will not act as pawns anymore.
- instead of gaining strategic depth, this will lead to a break up of Pakistan itself.

In Afghanistan, there is already an ethnic divide. The Tajiks, Uzbeks, Turkmen, Aimaks, Hazaras, Pamiris, etc already working with the new internationally supported govt. in Kabul. The Pushtun areas are reeling under the Taliban yoke. What needs to be done is to formalize this situation. Northern and Western Afghanistan should be demarcated from Pushtuni Afghanistan. North and West Afghanistan should be organized as a Federation according to the Canton-principles of Switzerland, and North&West Afghanistan and Pushtun Afghanistan can form a loose confederation.

That pushes the Afghan Pushtuns to look for expansion into Pakistan to incorporate Pakistani Pushtun areas too into a Greater Pushtunistan.

This is the right plan to
- protect the Northern and Western Afghanistan ethnicities from a Taliban surge,
- shield the Central Asian Republics from a constant Taliban threat as well as Uzbek and Tajik Islamic radicalism surge in Afghanistan.
- help make the ISAF and NATO mission in Afghanistan a possible success (as they would have ensured stability and democracy in at least the smaller Afghanistan)
- possibly solve the Pushtun itch in Central Asia for a long time to come. They will have their hands full in the internal politics of Pushtunistan.
- break up Pakistan
- leading to a further break up of Pakistan and the creation of a Baluchistan.
- leading to a further break up of Sindh.
- leading to incessant turmoil within the Pakjabis themselves.
- solving the Problem of Nazariya-e-Pakistan forever.

So India, Iran, Russia, CARs can initiate talks on this division of Afghanistan with the Northern & Western Afghanistan ethnicities. NATO/ISAF/US too will see the benefits in due course.

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby JE Menon » 02 Jun 2009 19:30

Boss, let's forget the "ji" business...

>>The question is what political geographical vision should one lend to the region, to facilitate, indeed precipitate the break up of Pakistan.

Depends on what you mean by “lend”. If you mean we should have a policy articulation of any sort, or any indication that such is our goal, it is bound to make it harder to achieve. As such, it is best to follow the advice of the late Mr. Kao, i.e. to let “Pakistan stew in its own juice”. Left to its own devices, Pakistan’s existential and fundamental contradictions will ensure a slow but certain death – UNLESS, it abandons its founding principles and vectors towards what we would consider normalcy; in other words, it is no more an “Islamic” state but rather a country where the majority are Muslim, and which is accommodative, inclusive and pluralistic in every sense. Given the current configuration of the state and its internal dynamics, I don’t see that happening.

In the meantime, we will have to absorb violence as the dying beast lashes out, and as it does, it is hitting out at others as well, not just India. So we must stand aside and allow others to do our dirty work, fight with the shadow sword. We must let someone else become the Predator, let someone else play the role of the grim Reaper. To the extent we can, while continuously reiterating our desire for a stable and sane Pakistan, we will provide guidance and support to these forces while quietly accumulating our own leverage with them and learning from their expertise and actions. That is the best and most cost-effective way of dealing with the monster at our doorstep. Because remember, our overarching strategic objective is to steadily increase our own strategic autonomy and space, and that is best accomplished through an ever-growing economy.

>>As long as we bundle the Pushtuns into an Afghanistan,
>>- Pakistanis will continue to claim the Durand Line as their international border on the one hand,

This is not entirely accurate. Pakistan had many chances to demand formalization of the Durand line. It has shown less enthusiasm for this than some might think. It had a couple of chances when it could have pushed for it and “maybe” secured it. The reason is simple: it wanted to have the option of crossing over. So long as the line is “informal” – so to speak – Pakistan’s strategic depth option would be stronger. Typical tactical brilliance based on unfounded bravado. They assumed that they would be the ones going over, never seriously considered the possibility that the tables would be turned – even though the Pashtuns have been yelling for their own homeland for a while. It is another matter that no Afghan leadership, including the Taliban, has agreed to the line.

>>- continue to treat Afghanistan as their strategic backyard,

The Pakistanis think that Afghanistan is their strategic backyard. But what does that mean really? What is it for America then? Or for the other countries present there. “Strategic depth” or “strategic backyard” and so on are just terms which really mean nothing. What Pakistan is doing is straightforward. It is actively destabilizing a neighbouring state in a way that has seriously undermined its own interests and stability. What it has done is turn Pakistan into America’s latest war technology testing ground. It has turned India into a considerably more respected power in the region for its forebearance and strategic perspective, and pushed China into a corner in terms of soft options. Massively foolish. Only a Pakjabi could come up with something boneheaded like this. Pakistan is being turned into a Pashtun playground.

>>- Afghani Pushtuns would remain Pakistan's pawns there in exchange for help in the domination of politics in Afghanistan

The Pashtuns will dominate in Afghanistan anyway – Pakistan or no Pakistan. They don’t need Pakistan’s help. What Pakistan has been doing, through the Taliban, is to try and stir the Pashtun clan and tribal mix to create a kind of flux whereby their own nominees will usurp ascendancy from traditional Pashtun tribal leaders. That’s why maybe hundreds of Pashtun elders have been killed in the past few years. This, too, will backfire on Pakistan, rest assured. There will be a reckoning.

>>However if Pushtuns claim a different identity, separate from that of Afghans, claim a different land, separate from that of Afghanistan, then the Pakistani textbook lands in the dustbin.

That’s a possibility I suppose, but as far as India is concerned, I’m not sure that this is something that needs to be stated by anyone. Things might evolve in that direction, and there are pros and cons as far as we are concerned. We can optimise in any environment that might develop. The precondition for that, of course, is not to be seen to be over-involved in Afghan politics in the meantime. We should stick to improving the general welfare of the people, supporting the elected government, handing out aid without favour, etc... SOP for us.

>>….instead of gaining strategic depth, this will lead to a break up of Pakistan itself.

Perhaps it is better the other way around, the break up of Pakistan should create the conditions for the emergence of a Pashtun state. In the meantime, like that evil swine Zia used to say, let the pot keep simmering but it must not overflow. Karma, as they say, is a beaaaaatch.

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby RajeshA » 02 Jun 2009 20:05

JE Menon ji,

Much wisdom coming through there in your response.

JE Menon wrote:
RajeshA wrote:The question is what political geographical vision should one lend to the region, to facilitate, indeed precipitate the break up of Pakistan.


Depends on what you mean by “lend”. If you mean we should have a policy articulation of any sort, or any indication that such is our goal, it is bound to make it harder to achieve. As such, it is best to follow the advice of the late Mr. Kao, i.e. to let “Pakistan stew in its own juice”. Left to its own devices, Pakistan’s existential and fundamental contradictions will ensure a slow but certain death – UNLESS, it abandons its founding principles and vectors towards what we would consider normalcy; in other words, it is no more an “Islamic” state but rather a country where the majority are Muslim, and which is accommodative, inclusive and pluralistic in every sense. Given the current configuration of the state and its internal dynamics, I don’t see that happening.


A few points:
1. The articulation of political geographical vision by India, I mentioned, pertains to Afghanistan, and not Pakistan directly. 2. This vision need not have our fingerprints on it, but rather that of a collective of Iran, Russia, CARs and India.
3. This vision need not be articulated explicitly either, but rather can be masked in the language of stabilization of Northern & Western Afghanistan.
4. This vision need not be born as a full grown up, but may rather take shape after a series of iterative cycles and incremental vision aspects.
5. In the end, this vision would have to carry a vote of confidence by the powers in Afghanistan, the Presidency, the Wolesi Jirga, the tribal jirgas, the opinion makers there.
6. The vision should grow from a collective effort to demarcate non-Pushtun areas, where the Taliban will not be allowed to enter, and where security would need to be bolstered in a way different than through the policies being followed in Pushtun areas.

JE Menon
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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby JE Menon » 03 Jun 2009 19:07

RajeshA,

>>1. The articulation of political geographical vision by India, I mentioned, pertains to Afghanistan, and not Pakistan directly.

I know, but my point is why should we articulate for Afghanistan? Why should we not articulate for Pakistan, but do so for Afghanistan. There is no reason to view Afghanistan as a lesser, or somehow subordinate, state than Pakistan. In any event, India should refrain from stating that it would like to see another country divided based on ethnic/sectarian or other fissures. If we declare anything, it should be for the territorial integrity of Afghanistan and the harmonious co-existence of the communities therein.

>>2. This vision need not have our fingerprints on it, but rather that of a collective of Iran, Russia, CARs and India.

It is nearly impossible to do this, especially if other parties are involved. Then it is guaranteed that at some point in time our fingerprints will be made evident. In any case why should we? What is our interest in a divided Afghanistan before a divided Pakistan?

>>3. This vision need not be articulated explicitly either, but rather can be masked in the language of stabilization of Northern & Western Afghanistan.

Northern Afghanistan and Western Afghanistan are already relatively stable, compared to the rest of the country. If anything it is southern and eastern Afghanistan that needs some work.

>>4. This vision need not be born as a full grown up, but may rather take shape after a series of iterative cycles and incremental vision aspects.

I did not understand this… If you mean that through an evolutionary process a new reality of a divided Afghanistan may come to pass, then sure that’s possible. My only point is that we should not be seen or perceived to have anything to do with that. We can live with a divided Afghanistan or a united one. Ditto for Pakistan. The difference is that Afghanistan has not given us a reason why we might wish to see it divided.

>>5. In the end, this vision would have to carry a vote of confidence by the powers in Afghanistan, the Presidency, the Wolesi Jirga, the tribal jirgas, the opinion makers there.

If the Afghan communities decide to go their separate ways, who are we to say no. But we must not explicitly encourage this, nor discourage this. It should be seen to be their call – or something forcibly wrought by their immediate neighbours. In that lies circumstance lies our advantage, and leverage.

>>6. The vision should grow from a collective effort to demarcate non-Pushtun areas, where the Taliban will not be allowed to enter, and where security would need to be bolstered in a way different than through the policies being followed in Pushtun areas.

How are we going to do this without (a) troops on the ground, and (b) alienating a big chunk of the Pashtuns? The Pashtuns are a majority. We need to keep them on board. Dealing with the Taliban is a separate matter, that is more related to dealing with Pakistan. The Taliban will disappear as soon as Pakistan cuts the strings, or at the very least they will become far less of a factor. The Taliban exists at the pleasure of the Pakistani establishment. They will disappear when it becomes sufficiently clear to Pakistan that they are cutting their own throats. The process is underway. It is only a question of whether the establishment will stop before it hits the carotid.

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby RajeshA » 03 Jun 2009 20:13

JE Menon ji,

I do not wish to cause any harm to the Afghans.
- The separation of a Pushtuni Homeland, separate from Afghanistan, is to accelerate the setting up of Pushtunistan consisting of Pushtuni areas of Pakistan also.
- I also think that Taliban is going to be the vehicle for Pushtuni nationalism and has the highest chance of achieving a Pushtunistan.
- I also think that a Pushtunistan in Afghanistan can be the engine for the break up of Pakistan.
- I also think that Pushtuni pursuit of domination in Afghanistan has led to constant instability there.
- I also think that a Pushtunistan can act as a containment field for the Taliban and Taliban activity.
- I also think that a stable Northern Western Afghanistan can be a stable launchpad for Indian influence in Central Asia, however a Pushtuni disaffected element in Afghanistan, will not allow this launchpad to reach stability.

The focus of my suggestions above lie not in the Indian efforts to actively create the above positive scenario in an inhospitable Talibanized environment, but rather that the scenario comes to pass.

On the question of Talibani ownership, I believe that it is in transit from TSPA to Al Qaida, and it will survive the current withdrawal of support or toleration by the TSPA, a withdrawal conducted to a large extent at the behest of USA.

I do support the benign influence and efforts of India in Afghanistan, and can understand the reasons for avoiding interference in their political system.

JMTs

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby SwamyG » 06 Jun 2009 11:11

Reliance suspends exports to Iran

NEW DELHI, June 4 (UPI) -- Reliance Industries Ltd., the largest private-sector oil conglomerate in India, stopped petroleum exports to Iran under pressure from U.S.-backed sanctions.

U.S. lawmakers in April introduced a bill imposing harsh penalties on companies involved in the Iranian energy sector as punishment for a controversial nuclear program.

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby SwamyG » 06 Jun 2009 11:13

Source: http://www.tehrantimes.com/index_View.asp?code=196110

Iran to publish Afghan school books
Tehran Times Culture Desk

TEHRAN -- Head of Iran’s printing industry exporting union Reza Rezaii announced that Iran would be publishing textbooks for Afghanistan’s schools.

Several representatives from the union met with an Afghan publisher during a number of visits to Afghanistan and over 70 percent of the job is complete, Rezaii told MNA.

We hope to become like India someday and print the majority of publications used by other countries. This is quite possible for Iran but achievement requires more logical program.

“In recent years, Iran has enjoyed vigorous development in the printing industry and has the potential to turn into a regional magnet for the export of its printed products,” he remarked.

Rezaii later pointed to the exhibit of Saudi Print 2009 in October and said that volunteers from Iran’s printing industry can register for this exhibit at the venue of the union.

The organizers of Saudi Print have designated an area of 300 square meters for Iranian participants.

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby Hitesh » 06 Jun 2009 18:48

SwamyG wrote:Reliance suspends exports to Iran

NEW DELHI, June 4 (UPI) -- Reliance Industries Ltd., the largest private-sector oil conglomerate in India, stopped petroleum exports to Iran under pressure from U.S.-backed sanctions.

U.S. lawmakers in April introduced a bill imposing harsh penalties on companies involved in the Iranian energy sector as punishment for a controversial nuclear program.


Then India should ban or impose sanctions on any US companies doing business with Pakistan. Tit for Tat!

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby Mahendra » 06 Jun 2009 20:28

How about India doing it first?


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Re: Iran News and Discussions- Reliance petroleum

Postby atma » 11 Jun 2009 06:14

Back to the discussion, submitting to amerikhan's sanctions w.r.t. Iran always sounds like 'cutting your nose to spite....'

India gets a bulk of her crude oil from Iran.

http://www.eia.doe.gov/emeu/cabs/India/pdf.pdf

And R. Petroleum takes this stance of not shipping refined products. If Iran squeezes its crude exports to us, indeed then it forces us to rely on less friendly sunni/wahabi opec sources like KSA, UAE etc, which in turn is a transfer of wealth to those nations, increasing wahabi funding of anti-India Jihadist efforts in Porkistan.

It just worsens our security and energy security nightmare.

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby atma » 11 Jun 2009 07:40


RajeshA
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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby RajeshA » 11 Jun 2009 13:58

Iran rivals attract huge crowds by Atul Janeja: Hindu

Image
Breaking new ground: Zahra Rahnavard, wife of presidential candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi, waves to people during a rally in Tehran on Tuesday.

By mobilising millions, often by resorting to the use of SMS messages and working the Internet, Mr. Mousavi is posing Mr. Ahmadinejad a stiff challenge. Mr. Mousavi has the ability to reach out effectively to the urbanised elite, middle classes and the burgeoning student community.

Analysts say he is a credible leader, mainly because as a Prime Minister in the eighties he handled the economy effectively during the painful years of the Iran-Iraq war. Mr. Mousavi has also gone the extra mile to mobilise women voters.

For the first time in an Iranian election, the presidential candidate’s wife, Zahra Rahnavard, campaigned hard to draw women to polling booths.

Mr. Mousavi’s chances of causing an upset would improve if there is a high voter turnout in urban areas.


If Mousavi wins the chances of India and Iran getting really cozy also increase, IMO. A new democratic power is born to our West. Bravo!

Image
Presidential Candidate: Mir Hossein Mousavi

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby Philip » 12 Jun 2009 17:32

Fisk on the elections.

http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/co ... 03225.html

Robert Fisk: Iran's old guard are poised to crush any hope of revolution

The West has no right to expect the polls to bring in radical change
Reuters

Supporters of presidential candidate Mirhossein Mousavi show their colours at a rally in Tehran on Wednesday, the last day of campaigning before the poll

All the world wants to know the results of today's presidential election in Iran, not least the Republican Guard supporters of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. But will it make a difference, either to the Iranians or to the rest of the world?


Of course the West wants to be told that this dramatic poll will change Iran's desire for nuclear facilities. Whatever it is, this election is not about nuclear power. It may be about presidential arrogance and stupidity and fear, or about responsible government or unemployment or the economy. But the West should abandon hope of any real change in Iran's nuclear strategy. Mirhossein Mousavi may talk more sense to the Americans – if he wins – but the nuclear facilities will keep functioning. It is all a matter of pride in Iran – where pride is a special quality.

And the thick, dark skin of clerical rule that covers Iran will remain, scratched occasionally perhaps, but unable to bleed or to re-imagine history or to reform a nation which so badly needs the change that only Mousavi, among the candidates, dreams of. Government for and by the dead – symbolised in the continued "supreme leader" ethos that old Ayatollah Khomeini constructed before his death, has effectively sealed off Iran from those human rights which obsess the West.

Related articles
Mousavi's aides fear dirty tricks could swing result
Only one month ago, a 22-year-old woman was dragged shrieking to the gallows as she pleaded with her mother on a mobile phone to save her. Delara Darabi was hanged for a murder supposedly committed – if indeed she was guilty – at the age of 17. In any Western election, this would cause an earthquake, the resignation of governments, the destruction of whole political parties. In Iran, the most serious scandal involving a woman during this election has been an apparently slanderous remark by President Ahmadinejad about the university qualifications of Mousavi's wife. Is there something sick in all this? Or is savage childishness the word we are looking for?

Mousavi is at least backed by the saintly ex-president Mohamed Khatami – the West's rejection of his rule brought us the triumph of the oddball Ahmadinejad, another victory for America at the time – and this might just give Mousavi the 50 per cent plus one seat for a clear win. But the Basiji and the Iranian Republican Guard Corps (IRGC) scream about velvet and green revolutions à la Ukraine, as if threatening a coup to overthrow a coup. It is interesting to remember that only a month ago, the corps stated that "on the eve of elections, the IRGC, as a matter of policy, does not let its official and contractual personnel nor the special Basiji interfere in election affairs, including support for or against a particular candidate." A month is clearly a long time in Iranian politics.

True, the campaign has given us some spectacular television bust-ups in which Ahmadinejad's loopy views on the world – not to mention his doubts about the Jewish Holocaust – have been held up to ridicule by Mousavi. But does that have them laughing in the millions of villages and hundreds of cities across Iran where the poor last gave their vote to the humble man who is the incumbent President and claimed a "halo" shone around him at the United Nations, causing his listeners not to blink for 25 minutes?

Iranian politics has always produced a weird combination of sacred old men and smart economists – occasionally in highly unsacred coalition – and Mousavi's steady hand as prime minister during the Somme-like Iran-Iraq war may add to his popularity. But this was a war fought largely by the Basiji and the Republican Guards – as Ahmadinejad is well aware – and which Iran lost.

And now to find on the very eve of the election that Ahmadinejad is threatening to jail his opponents because of what he claims are their Hitler-like lies is surely moving towards infantilism of a unique kind. It is certainly odd that Ahmadinejad denies Hitler's greatest crime and then accuses his opponents of being Hitler. If Hitler didn't kill the Jews of Europe, which crimes, one wonders, was Iran's weird President thinking of?



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