Iran News and Discussions

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Agnimitra
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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby Agnimitra » 26 Oct 2013 04:43

Man with dual US-Iran citizenship (many such exist, living in the US or other Western countries) charged with procuring surface-to-air missiles for Iran:

U.S. charges man with seeking to buy missiles for Iran

A significant percentage of expat Iranians are classic oil droplet extensions of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

saip
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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby saip » 30 Oct 2013 02:39

Looks like they just grabbed sixteen 'rebels' from the jail and hanged them as a revenge. Swift justice.

Sixteen hanged after 14 Iranian border guards die in attack

Link

Agnimitra
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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby Agnimitra » 30 Oct 2013 02:42

The US delisted the MeK from the terrorists list, and wanted to relocate them out of their camps in Iraq. But EU is unwilling.

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby chaanakya » 30 Oct 2013 22:45

Pakistan gas contract probably dead, Iran minister says
DUBAI: Iran will probably abandon a multibillion-dollar contract to supply gas to Pakistan, the semi-official Fars news agency reported Iran's oil minister as saying on Wednesday.

"The contract for supplying gas to Pakistan is likely to be annulled,"
Fars quoted Iranian oil minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh as saying on the sidelines of a gas forum in Tehran on Wednesday. He gave no other details, Fars said.

Under the contract, Iran is supposed to export 21.5 million cubic meters of gas per day to Pakistan from next year.

Dubbed the "peace pipeline", the $7.5 billion project has faced repeated delays since it was conceived in the 1990s to connect Iran's giant South Pars gas field to Pakistan and India.

Iran has already spent hundreds of million or dollars and nearly completed the 900km (560 mile) pipeline to the Pakistan border.


Pakistan, although suffering from severe gas shortages, has made little progress on its part of the line due to a lack of funds and warnings it could be in violation of US sanctions on Iran.


Zanganeh's comments came two days after his Pakistani counterpart, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, was quoted by local media as saying that Pakistan risked being punished by sanctions on Iran if it goes ahead with the much-maligned project.

Until now Iranian officials have insisted that the project to supply Islamabad will be completed.

Exasperated by the lack of work across the border, Iran has even offered to build Pakistan's 780km section and provide multi-million dollar loans to help pay for it, according to Iranian media reports.

In contrast to his predecessor, Zanganeh has been open about the problems faced by Iran's energy sector since he took office in August.

On October 1 he warned that Iran faced serious gas shortages of its own because of slow progress in raising production from South Pars, the field that is supposed to fill the pipeline.

India quit the project in 2009, citing costs and security issues, a year after it signed a nuclear deal with Washington.

Iran sits on the world's largest reserves of gas. But Western sanctions aimed at stopping Iran's disputed nuclear activities have hindered its gas production growth, while the United States has pressured potential buyers to find other suppliers.

member_22872
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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby member_22872 » 31 Oct 2013 00:50

Exasperated by the lack of work across the border, Iran has even offered to build Pakistan's 780km section and provide multi-million dollar loans to help pay for it, according to Iranian media reports.

I don't understand, if Iran is ready to walk all nine yards and more, what is TSP's problem? they never pay back anyway...the pipeline is coming for free.

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Iran News and Discussions

Postby Peregrine » 07 Nov 2013 20:23

Iran offers to ship crude to India for free to boost sales : Reports

NEW DELHI : Iran is offering free delivery of crude to major client India, industry sources said, signalling that tough Western sanctions which have slashed its exports in half are driving Tehran to increasingly desperate measures to keep oil flowing.

The United States has yet to ease the pressure on Asian buyers to continue reducing purchases from the OPEC member, even though Iran and world powers began two days of talks on Thursday hoping to reach a "first step" towards ending the decade-old standoff over Tehran's disputed nuclear programme.

The drop in exports is costing Iran billions of dollars in lost revenue every month. Tehran is also unable to repatriate most of the money earned from oil it does manage to sell, as the sanctions have cut off bank transfer facilities, crippling its economy by choking off its biggest revenue stream.

Despite the near halt of petrodollar payments, Iran is resorting to measures such as offering deep discounts on oil and now free delivery to India, according to sources who requested anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue.

Iran's remaining Indian clients - Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Ltd, Essar Oil and Indian Oil Corp - could save freight of 70 cents to $1 a barrel on purchases from Iran, said one of the sources.

Tehran is also offering Indian buyers a discount on price if refiners raise purchases, the sources said.

"The more you buy, the more incentives you get. If a refiner buys 30 million barrels of Iranian oil in a year then the discount translates to 25 cents per barrel," this source added.

Iran already offers 90 days' credit on crude sales to Indian refiners while most other producers stick to 30 days' credit.

While any discount would be attractive as India tries to curb an oil import bill that was around $170 billion in 2012/13, it likely would be wary of raising imports just prior to a review of its waiver from US sanctions.

India's six-month exemption comes up for renewal in early December, shortly after top US energy diplomat Carlos Pascual's current visit to New Delhi.

Sources have said the United States is unlikely to allow Iran's exports to rise before a deal is struck with Tehran. Both sides involved in the Geneva talks have said a breakthrough was far from certain.

India so far looks well on track to meet US conditions to renew its waiver. Daily imports from Iran slid 34 per cent in June-September from the six months between December 2012 and May 2013, data from trade sources shows.

India is one of Iran's few remaining clients along with other Asian buyers China, Japan and South Korea.

In India, there is about $5.3 billion of Iranian oil money held up by the sanctions. Of the total, about $1.8 billion is with the oil companies who have bought crude from Iran and the remainder is held with a bank, sources said.

In South Korea, total Iranian money stuck in bank accounts is more than $5 billion, a source with direct knowledge of the matter said.

In Japan, a similar amount of Iranian oil money has been held up since the beginning of the year, according to sources

Cheers Image

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby abhishek_sharma » 16 Nov 2013 11:08


Rony
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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby Rony » 17 Nov 2013 20:05

This looks suspicious.I hope just like with this case, IB is monitoring all the Iranians in India.

Iranian studying at Andhra University deported for visa rules violations

An Iranian student, who was pursuing a B-Tech course at Andhra University in Visakhapatnam, has been deported to her country for violation of visa rules, city police said on Saturday.

Sahel Rabiani, who arrived in India in November 2005, overstayed her visa limit and the
Union Home Ministry had ordered her deportation, a police statement said.

As per the varsity, she did not attend the college regularly, failed in all the subjects, and was not in fact a bona fide student.

She was sent back to Iran via Rajiv Gandhi International Airport, Hyderabad, on Friday.



Meanwhile the Press TV dogs with their usual anti-India propaganda twisting facts.I don't even understand why they are even allowed to report from India much less from Kashmir

Indian security forces attack Shia mourners in Kashmir

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby SaiK » 25 Nov 2013 00:38

http://www.deccanherald.com/content/370 ... elief.html
i don't understand why our maun gov can't speak for our national interests? why only p5+1 and not p5+x here that are dependent on oil economy?

at least i expect some level playing here from India, to voice opinions.. totally engrossed in home grown politics and how to save their seats i suppose. this is what happens.

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby Philip » 25 Nov 2013 08:13

Because he has mortgaged Indian foreign and defence policy to Washington! The min-min PM is yet again lusting after a visit to Pak ,in the works because he desperately wants to visit his gaon while still min-min PM.Just look at how the "Great Satan" and the Iranians have secretly worked to find a deal on the N-issue.Indian diplomacy,as Gandhiji said of Western civilisation,"would be a good idea"!

The French are pissed off because they were not in the loop,the Brits will pad alongside Washington,"to heel",while the Israelis (the Netanyahu regime and hardliners) are livid and gnashing their teeth in fury at not being allowed to attack Iran and further spread the ME conflagration.They and the Saudis are now making truly strange bedfellows.The world's chief sponsor of Wahaabi terrorism fornicating with the Zionists! Wonders will never cease (but for how long?).

http://www.theguardian.com/world

Secret US-Iran talks paved way for nuclear deal
Meetings that ran parallel to official negotiations help achieve most significant Washington-Tehran agreement since 1979

Julian Borger and Saeed Kamali Dehghan in Geneva
The Guardian, Sunday 24 November 2013 20.16 GMT

Iran nuclear talks
Delegates at the Iran nuclear talks at the Palais des Nations in Geneva, Switzerland. Photograph: /Xinhua/Landov/Barcroft Media

A historic agreement on Iran's nuclear programme was made possible by months of unprecedented secret meetings between US and Iranian officials, in further signs of the accelerating detente between two of the world's most adversarial powers, it emerged on Sunday.

The meetings ran parallel to official negotiations involving five other world powers, and helped pave the way for the interim deal signed in Geneva in the early hours of Sunday morning, in which Iran accepted strict constraints on its nuclear programme for the first time in a decade in exchange for partial relief from sanctions.

The Obama administration asked journalists not to publish details they had uncovered of the secret diplomacy until the Geneva talks were over for fear of derailing them. The Associated Press and a Washington-based news website, Al-Monitor, finally did so on Sunday.

The nuclear agreement, which arguably marks the most significant foreign policy achievement of Barack Obama's presidency, was struck at 4.30am at a Geneva hotel on day five of the third round of intensive talks. It amounts to the most significant agreement between Washington and Tehran since the 1979 Iranian revolution.

The deal releases just over $4bn in Iranian oil sales revenue from frozen accounts, and suspends restrictions on the country's trade in gold, petrochemicals, car and plane parts. In return, Iran undertakes to restrict its nuclear activities. Over the next six months Iran has agreed to:

• Stop enriching uranium above 5%, reactor-grade, and dilute its stock of 20%-enriched uranium, removing a major proliferation concern.

• Not to increase its stockpile of low-enriched uranium.

• Freeze its enrichment capacity by not installing any more centrifuges, leaving more than half of its existing 16,000 centrifuges inoperable.

• Not to fuel or to commission the heavy-water reactor it is building in Arak or build a reprocessing plant that could produce plutonium from the spent fuel.

• Accept more intrusive nuclear inspections by the International Atomic Energy Agency, including daily visits to some facilities.

"While today's announcement is just a first step, it achieves a great deal," Obama said in an address from the White House. "For the first time in nearly a decade, we have halted the progress of the Iranian nuclear programme, and key parts of the programme will be rolled back."

Iran welcomed back its negotiators as heroes at Tehran's Mehrabad airport. Its currency, the rial, which has been pulverised by a gruelling succession of economic sanctions, jumped more than 3%. "This is only a first step," Mohammad Javad Zarif, the foreign affairs minister, said. "We need to start moving in the direction of restoring confidence, a direction in which we have managed to move against in the past."

But there was silence from Iran's regional rival Saudi Arabia and dismal warnings from Israel that the deal would merely embolden its fiercest adversary. "Today the world has become a much more dangerous place because the most dangerous regime in the world has taken a significant step toward attaining the most dangerous weapon in the world," said Israel's prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu. David Cameron said the deal "demonstrates how persistent diplomacy and tough sanctions can together help us to advance our national interest". In a tweet from Downing Street, he said: "Good progress on iran - nowhere near the end but a sign pressure works".

Sunday morning's deal was agreed after a diplomatic marathon of three intensive rounds, culminating in a late-night session in the conference rooms of a five-star hotel in Geneva, chaired by the EU's foreign policy chief, Catherine Ashton, a former Labour peer and CND official, for whom the deal represents a personal triumph.

Britain's foreign secretary, William Hague, the French foreign minister, Laurent Fabius, and their German, Russian and Chinese counterparts, Guido Westerwelle, Sergey Lavrov and Wang Yi, also took part in a six-nation group mandated by the UN security council to handle the nuclear negotiations since 2006. Some of the complications involved in coming to a deal stemmed from the need to keep the six powers together.

However, the key overnight sessions that clinched the deal involved Kerry, Zarif and Ashton alone.

"This deal actually rolls back the programme from where it is today," Kerry said. However, he added: "I will not stand here in some triumphal moment and claim that this is an end in itself."

The bigger task, he said, was to go forward and negotiate a comprehensive deal.

The six-month life of the Geneva deal is intended to be used to negotiate a comprehensive and permanent settlement that would allow Iran to pursue a peaceful programme, almost certainly including enrichment, but under long-term limits and intrusive monitoring that would reassure the world any parallel covert programme would be spotted and stopped well before Iran could make a bomb.

That agreement would lead to the lifting of the main sanctions on oil and banking that have all but crippled the Iranian economy, and the eventual normalisation of relations between Iran and the US for the first time since the 1979 Islamic revolution.

The difficulties facing the negotiators in the coming months were highlighted by the different interpretations that Zarif and his US counterpart, John Kerry, took on the fiercely disputed issue of whether the deal represented a recognition of Iran's right to enrich uranium in principle. Zarif pointed to a line in the preamble in the text which said that an eventual comprehensive settlement "would involve a mutually defined enrichment programme with practical limits and transparency measures". American argued that the phrase "mutually defined" implied Iran would still require international consent to pursue enrichment.

The Associated Press said preliminary and secret talks were held in Oman and other locations. The US envoys for the meetings were the deputy secretary of state, William Burns, and Jake Sullivan, a foreign policy adviser to Joe Biden. Al-Monitor reported that a senior national security council official, Puneet Talwar, also took part. AP said there had been five meetings dating back to March, implying the first contacts came three months before the election of the reformist Hassan Rouhani as president. It is not clear which Iranian officials were involved in the talks.

The talks help explain why the US and Iran were able to strike a deal relatively quickly after Rouhani's election. But it also helps explain the irritation of the French foreign minister, Laurent Fabius, at the previous round of negotiations a fortnight ago when he was presented with an agreement that the US and Iran had worked out independently.


http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/n ... -alliances

Analysis
Iran nuclear deal shows US is now prepared to act independently of allies

Historic partners of US – Saudi Arabia and Israel – circumspect and angry over deal hailed by Syria and tolerated by Russia
Ian Black


It is too early to tell whether the Geneva nuclear agreement heralds a genuinely new phase in the tangled and troubled web of relations between the west and the Middle East. But initial reactions suggest it is a big deal – and one that has the potential at least, over time, to change the status quo of more than 30 years.

Israel responded angrily, Saudi Arabia with sulky silence and Syria with a swift welcome as the dramatic news from Switzerland triggered the rumbling of what may yet come to be seen as a tectonic shift in the political landscape of the region.

Mutual hostility between Iran and the US has formed the backdrop to much that has happened since the great rupture of 1979, when the staunchly pro-American shah was toppled by the Islamic revolution. The eight-year war launched by Saddam Hussein against Ayatollah Khomeini and the subsequent Iraqi invasion of Kuwait took place in the shadow of that estrangement.

Efforts at peace-making between Israel and its Palestinian and other Arab enemies have also faced complications because of Iranian hostility to the US and Israel – whose own undeclared (but internationally-tolerated) nuclear arsenal is a significant element of this story. Lebanon's Hezbollah, the strongest non-state actor in the region, remains one of Tehran's most potent assets.

And the Middle East's worst current crisis, the devastating war in Syria, is in some ways the frontline of a strategic and sectarian confrontation, fought both directly and by proxy, between Iran and the US-backed conservative monarchies of the Gulf.

It was no coincidence that President Bashar al-Assad's government was so quick to hail what it called an "historic accord" in Geneva. Russia, his main international ally and protector, has also come out well of the P5 + 1 negotiations, enhancing its role as a mediator.

So the nuclear agreement may create some movement in the Syrian stalemate if – still a big if – Tehran and Moscow use their influence with Damascus. That may make it easier to convene the long-delayed Geneva II conference, though prospects for a diplomatic end to the war remain slim as long as the rebels insist Assad must go. Opposition supporters fear he will now feel emboldened – condemning Geneva as "another Munich".

There are plenty of other reasons for caution. The deal is an interim one for six months and the sanctions relief it brings will be reversible. It faces threats from hardliners in Tehran and Washington. It is also still hard to envisage the often-mentioned "grand bargain" between these old enemies – because there are so many other contentious issues that have not been addressed.

Israel, looking uncomfortably isolated, has made its position clear, with Binyamin Netanyahu lambasting the agreement as an "historic mistake" – and perhaps, ironically, thus helping President Hassan Rouhani sell the deal at home.

But Israel's ability to attack Iranian nuclear facilities – without overt or covert US help – now looks like a hollow threat, for political reasons as well as the limited capabilities of even its formidable air force. It will also fear renewed pressure to come clean about its own nuclear arsenal – still a regional monopoly.

Elsewhere the discomfort is most obvious in Saudi Arabia and the smaller Gulf states, which have long seen Iran as a greater threat and strategic rival than Israel. Pejorative talk of a "Zionist-Wahhabi" alliance reflects that. King Abdullah, as revealed by WikiLeaks, famously urged Barack Obama to "cut off the head of the (Iranian) snake". Instead the US president has done a deal with it.

The silence in Riyadh on Sunday was thunderously eloquent. It would be smart of the Iranians to extend their current charm offensive to the Gulf neighbours but it will be difficult to allay suspicions. The UAE, interestingly, gave the agreement a terse welcome.

Viewed from the heartlands of the Middle East, the most striking conclusion of the Geneva drama is that the US is now prepared to act more independently of its traditional allies – the Israelis and Saudis – than ever before. That appears to confirm the dawning realisation that Obama is simultaneously pivoting away from the region – while helping craft its new realities
.


Harriet Sherwood in Jerusalem
theguardian.com, Sunday 24 November 2013 11.34 GMT

Binyamin Netanyahu
Israeli prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu: 'Today the world has become a much more dangerous place.' Photograph: Abir Sultan/EPA

Israel swiftly condemned the deal struck in Geneva, with the prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, calling it a "historic mistake" and warning that his country would not allow Iran to develop nuclear weapons.

Speaking to ministers at the weekly cabinet meeting on Sunday, Netanyahu said: "Today the world has become a much more dangerous place because the most dangerous regime in the world has taken a significant step toward attaining the most dangerous weapon in the world … Israel is not bound by this agreement.

"The Iranian regime is committed to the destruction of Israel and Israel has the right and the obligation to defend itself, by itself, against any threat. As prime minister of Israel, I would like to make it clear: Israel will not allow Iran to develop a military nuclear capability."

Netanyahu, who has staked his premiership on the need to defend Israel against the Iranian threat by military action if necessary, faces further isolation from key allies in the west who brokered and endorsed the diplomatic accord with Tehran. The issue has severely strained relations between Israel and the US over recent weeks.

But the prospect of diplomatic alienation did not stop a string of minsters taking to the airwaves to denounce the deal. "If in another five or six years a nuclear suitcase explodes in New York or Madrid, it will be because of the agreement that was signed this morning," the economy minister, Naftali Bennett, said. "We woke up this morning to a reality in which a bad, a very bad agreement was signed in Geneva."

The foreign minister, Avigdor Lieberman, said Israel needed to reassess its position in the light of the deal. He said: "A situation assessment is needed. Apparently, we are going to have to make decisions, when all the options are on the table."

He added: "Obviously when you look at the smiles of the Iranians over there in Geneva, you realise that this is the Iranians' greatest victory, maybe since the Khomeini revolution, and it doesn't really change the situation within Iran."

But some analysts suggested that Israel's options were limited by the west's consensus on the need for a diplomatic solution to the Iranian nuclear threat.

"International legitimacy for a unilateral Israeli attack is reduced significantly. The international community endorses this deal, and so Israel will find it really hard to use military power," said Yoel Guzansky, former head of the Iran desk in the prime minister's office and now a research fellow at the Institute for National Security Studies in Tel Aviv. The deal, he said, was "not perfect, not the deal we prayed for, but it's not as bad as some as saying this morning".

The justice minister, Tzipi Livni, suggested Israel needed to repair its relations with the US and seek tactical alliances elsewhere on Iran.

"After the signing of this agreement, Israel has to look ahead: to act in close co-operation with the United States, to strengthen that strategic alliance, and to create a political front with other countries as well, such as Arab countries that see a nuclear Iran as a threat," she said

But the prospects of an alliance between Israel and the Gulf states should not be exaggerated, said Guzansky. "The Gulf states don't like this agreement, but not necessarily for the same reasons [as Israel]. The fact is, Iran will be less isolated – this threatens the Gulf states. So there is a place for co-operation. But any suggestion that Israel could look for other allies is not serious. Israel now needs to repair the damage [with the US]," he said.

Meir Javedanfar, an Iranian-born Israeli analyst, stressed the agreement was interim, but "as an interim deal, it's a good deal. It halts the more sensitive parts of Iran's nuclear programme. But we have to see what kind of final deal is reached."

He added: "The sanctions relief element of the deal is so small it's almost symbolic. Iran needs far more than that, so it will take the deal seriously and come back to the negotiating table in six months. This is a promising initial step, but there are many challenges ahead."




However,Israel as long as the current regime is in power will never accept anything other than military action against Iran and indeed may do so within the next 6 months to scuttle a final deal.Though the tension is greatly reduced,the threat from the new Israeli-Saudi unlikely alliance cannot be underestimated.



http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/n ... -netanyahu

Israel condemns Iran nuclear deal as 'historic mistake'
Binyamin Netanyahu risks further isolation from key western allies, saying Israel will not bound by Geneva accord

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby PrasadZ » 26 Nov 2013 13:50

Iran and the oil markets

refiners in Asia aren’t getting giddy about the Iran deal


many of the most restrictive sanctions – including the restrictions on dealing with the Iranian central bank and the requirement for foreign countries to reduce their Iranian oil imports every six months – originated in the US Congress, not the White House. These measures were passed with overwhelming, bipartisan support in both the US House of Representatives and the US Senate. While President Obama has latitude to waive implementation, outright repeal would require action by both houses of Congress. To date, Congress has shown no signs of removing any of these sanctions, in fact it is currently considering additional punitive measures.


The US has now begun to acclimatize Congress and Israel to the idea that Iran will have a circumscribed enrichment program over the long-term. Finally, the administration has a very strong, even trump argument at its disposal; if this deal fails, the only way to prevent Iran from becoming nuclear-weapons capable is a war. That line will resonate with Congress.

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby Satya_anveshi » 27 Nov 2013 12:10

The historic phone call that led to US-Iran thaw

After seeing off Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh after their summit meeting in September, President Barack Obama hurried back to his Oval office in the White House to make a historic phone call. Obama's 15 minute call to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani at around 2:30 p.m. on Friday Sep 27 - as the latter headed in a car to the airport after attending the UN session in New York - laid the foundation for the landmark nuclear deal between Iran and six world powers led by the US announced Sunday.

"The two of us discussed our ongoing efforts to reach an agreement over Iran's nuclear programme," said Obama in a statement from the White House briefing room after the first conversation between the US and Iranian leaders since the 1979 Iranian revolution.

What part Manmohan Singh played, if any, in Obama's decision to make the ice-breaking call to Rouhani is not clear, though they did discuss Iran at their summit hours earlier.


As the six powers have agreed to freeze plans to further reduce Iran's crude oil sales, India, Iran's second largest customer, is expected to be one of the biggest economic benefactors from the interim deal, according to analysts.

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby JE Menon » 27 Nov 2013 12:25

^^Pure speculation and unworthy of the Hindustan Times. If they don't have anything concrete to report about any actual role, it would decent of them not to speculate with such clear credit-seeking motives...

This is not to say India did not have any role, rather to point out that the above article in itself is a simple compliment-fishing exercise ... Shameless and blatant, and utterly tabloid.

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby chetak » 27 Nov 2013 12:48

Jhujar wrote:http://iranian.com/posts/view/post/22524
Iran-India relations will remain constrained in the near future | The National
Oct 13, 2013 - As the diplomatic dance continues between Iran and the United States, the rest of the world is keen to work out the implications of a possible rapprochement between Tehran and Washington. One of the countries that is looking very closely at the possible realignment is India.Like many other states, India will not remain immune from the consequences of the trajectory of US-Iranian ties. New Delhi has long pursued a careful balancing act between its relationships with Tehran and Washington. A potential US-Iran rapprochement will likely ease a lot of the existing diplomatic and economic pressure on India.But while this will certainly open up new possibilities for Indo-Iranian ties, it is unlikely to resolve all the problems in the Delhi-Tehran relationship.
Despite all the hype surrounding India’s ties with Iran, they remain largely underdeveloped. Also, India’s significant stake in the Arabian Peninsula is often overlooked.The reality that faces New Delhi in the Middle East today is that India has far more significant strategic interests with the Arab Gulf states than with Tehran. And as tensions rise between the Sunni Arab states and Iran, India’s larger stake in the Arab world will continue to inhibit Indian-Iranian ties.At the same time, New Delhi’s outreach to Tehran will remain circumscribed by the internal power struggle within Iran, growing tensions between Iran and its Arab neighbours and Iran’s continued defiance of the global nuclear order.
Even with a possible decline in Iran-US tensions, a number of issues will continue to complicate the India-Iran relationship. This was exemplified this month when Iran released an Indian tanker – MT Desh Shanti, owned by the state-run Shipping Corporation of India – along with its 32 seafarers. The ship had been detained for 24 days at Bandar Abbas port on the allegation of pollution.Iran detained the ship carrying crude oil from Iraq to India on Aug 13, saying it was polluting Iranian water, discharging wastes and water mixed with crude near Iran’s Lavan island. India denied the allegation and underlined that the vessel was not in Iranian waters when it was detained. New Delhi took this incident very seriously and has filed an appeal with the Indian Ocean Memorandum of Understanding on Port State Control – a 16-nation grouping of maritime nations – calling for a review of Iran’s action.India’s rapid growth and development have drastically heightened its need for energy resources and security, thus attaching urgent importance to relations with countries possessing and producing energy resources. It is largely in this context that India has moved closer to Iran, a country heavily sanctioned by the US throughout the last decade due to its lack of cooperation with international nuclear regulations. Wary of any international support for Iran, the US has pressured India to curb its relations with Tehran and significantly cut its level of oil imports from Iran.
Actions by the US and the European Union have noticeably complicated transactions between Iran and importing nations, particularly India, which has been one of the largest recipients of Iranian oil exports. These complications were well illustrated by the EU sanctions banning European companies from insuring tankers that carry Iranian energy resources anywhere in the world. With nearly all tanker insurance based in western nations, Indian shipping companies are reportedly left to turn to state insurance, which covers tankers for only $50 million (Dh183 million) as opposed to the estimated $1 billion coverage typically offered by European agencies, thus taking greater risk in transportation.
Additionally, western efforts to undermine financial institutions in Iran have complicated payments for Iranian oil exports. An executive order issued by the White House in November 2011 authorises the US secretary of state to impose financial sanctions on any entity failing to satisfactorily curb support of the Iranian market according to American terms. This has pressured countries such as India to reduce imports supporting the Iranian economy.In an attempt to avoid threatened US sanctions, countries such as India and China are believed to be bartering food products, consumer goods and local currencies for oil – a system that may prove insufficient in meeting the payments necessary to maintain current levels of oil imports. As a result of these pressures, Iran no longer figures among India’s top oil supplies.
The relationship between India and Iran will face challenges in coming years, notwithstanding what happens on the US-Iran front. The two nations have little to bind them together in the current circumstances.An Iranian-western rapprochement might allow India to expand its economic and energy ties with Tehran and to develop a more productive relationship on Afghanistan. But that is all in the long term. In the short-to-medium term, there are numerous challenges that the two nations will have to navigate.


As the easing of sanctions gains traction, we will see the true colors of the islamic republic of iran, vis a vis India.

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby Paul » 27 Nov 2013 14:22

Their focus continues to be on the Levant region and build a chain of pro Iranian states all the way to Lebanon. They will use the breathing space to build a strong conventional military.

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby Paul » 27 Nov 2013 15:12

IPI pipeline will also revived.

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby chetak » 27 Nov 2013 15:50

Paul wrote:IPI pipeline will also revived.



We will have to wait and see.

Once the amir khans leave afghanistan, the paki hold becomes weak and the amir khan hold stronger because the free lunch session would have ended. amir khan money will not be as easily forth coming. India will take a major hit because the CIA will become dominant behind the scene players.

Neither India nor iran will get involved in the building and/or financing of the paki part of the pipeline.

Too much disturbance from the amir khan withdrawal will also affect the project. The baluchis will start to act up because the amir khan will use that trump card to stir up things to quieten the pakis and India will get blamed as intended. To counter, the pakis will stir up cashmer hoping to bring in fearful europeans anticipating a "nuclear flash point". All in all, same old, same old.

Pakis have become dangerous beggars who will not repay or return the money invested in the pipeline. They will jack up the transit costs to un affordable levels based on their usual misreading of their unique and mythological "geographical and strategic" position theory. The very same myth that has shored up their pathetic national ego for decades leading to their becoming international pariahs.


We are certainly going to be living in some (more!!) very interesting times.

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby Satya_anveshi » 27 Nov 2013 20:03

India always pushed Iran to talk directly to the US - Indrani Bagchi

NEW DELHI: In August 2012, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh met Iran's Supreme leader, Ayatollah Khamenei in Tehran for over an hour. The PM's decision to travel to Iran during the height of the sanctions was not easy. Surprisingly, Washington held its peace, which helped the Indian government.

In Tehran, Singh waited an entire day before meeting Khamenei. In fact, it was patently clear to all that Singh wasn't wildly interested in the NAM summit for which he was ostensibly there. :( (Apart from Khamenei and Ahmadinejad, Singh only bothered to chat with Sheikh Hasina and Asif Zardari during his stay).

India has often been asked if it could play the role of a "mediator" between Iran and the US. Institutionally, India dislikes mediation. But, as high level sources said, if there was something specific, India would reach out. For instance, when 5 British sailors were taken into custody by Tehran in 2009, quiet calls were made by New Delhi, which helped to free them. :roll: In this case, New Delhi was tight-lipped, but subsequent travels by US' chief back channel negotiator, William Burns and Bob Einhorn to India told a different story. Both, in their conversations, pressed India to influence Iran.

Meanwhile, New Delhi was also building a security relationship with the Gulf Arabs, starting with Saudi Arabia. PM visited Riyadh in 2010, and after a visit by AK Antony, a security relationship with Riyadh took root. Most significant from India's point of view, was a growing cooperation on counterterrorism. Quietly, Saudi Arabia put important terror suspects on a one-way trip to India (described by IB wags as "courier packages", of immense help to India

In January Saeed Jalili, Iran's top official paid an important visit to New Delhi. In his meetings with national security adviser, Shivshankar Menon, Jalili reportedly indicated Iran's willingness on a deal. But Iran still had to go through an election. And Khamenei was yet to be convinced. In March, Shivshankar Menon, NSA, paid an unpublicized visit to Tehran, where he was quoted saying, "New Delhi is after (sic) the establishment of comprehensive relations with Iran, including strategic ties." Of course, now that Iran has the opportunity to re-engage the world again, many Indian officials believe India could be the loser. Iran has never actually taken advantage of the rupee balance to increase trade with India, showing little interest in increasing trade with India. Instead, China has struck roots in Iran's battered economy. Now that the west is opening up again, Iran, many Indian officials say, may return to its natural market. "Iran is very western oriented," said officials dealing with Iran. India has been pursuing the development of the Chahbahar Port with Tehran for over a decade and it was only in 2012 that India managed to convince the Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei to lean on the Revolutionary Guards to allow the project to happen. The port is important for India — and even the US — as it promises an alternative access to Afghanistan and central Asia

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby Satya_anveshi » 27 Nov 2013 20:36

JE Menon wrote:^^Pure speculation and unworthy of the Hindustan Times. If they don't have anything concrete to report about any actual role, it would decent of them not to speculate with such clear credit-seeking motives...

This is not to say India did not have any role, rather to point out that the above article in itself is a simple compliment-fishing exercise ... Shameless and blatant, and utterly tabloid.


Appears it is not entirely baseless (reading the bagchi piece in TOIlet). There is a clear narrative about MMS personally investing in this venture to the point of duplicating US/UK Ambassador role in the region and possibly in divergence or disinterest of Indian interests.

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby JE Menon » 27 Nov 2013 20:43

My personal opinion, and it is just pure speculation as well, is that India had a very important role in what has happened between the US and Iran... Whether it brings about a real rapprochement remains to be seen, and depends more on US legislators than the Iranian ones

But someone else appears to have the central role:

http://blog.foreignpolicy.com/posts/201 ... _with_iran

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby Agnimitra » 28 Nov 2013 02:07

JE Menon wrote:My personal opinion, and it is just pure speculation as well, is that India had a very important role in what has happened between the US and Iran... Whether it brings about a real rapprochement remains to be seen, and depends more on US legislators than Iranians one.

But someone else appears to have the central role:

http://blog.foreignpolicy.com/posts/201 ... _with_iran

Oman has always maintained very close relations with Iran, despite US pressure not to. Oman is also the Gulf country we have closest relations with.

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby Prem » 28 Nov 2013 06:27

The historic phone call that led to US-Iran thaw
Paki Glory Owrr Phoka Teer

Washington: After seeing off Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh after their summit meeting in September, President Barack Obama hurried back to his Oval office in the White House to make a historic phone call. Obama's 15 minute call to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani at around 2:30 pm on Friday Sep 27 - as the latter headed in a car to the airport after attending the UN session in New York - laid the foundation for the landmark nuclear deal between Iran and six world powers led by the US announced Sunday. "The two of us discussed our ongoing efforts to reach an agreement over Iran's nuclear programme," said Obama in a statement from the White House briefing room after the first conversation between the US and Iranian leaders since the 1979 Iranian revolution. What part Manmohan Singh played, if any, in Obama's decision to make the ice-breaking call to Rouhani is not clear, though they did discuss Iran at their summit hours earlier. As the India-US Joint Statement after the Obama-Singh Summit noted: "The Leaders stressed the need for diplomacy to resolve outstanding issues relating to Iran's nuclear programme, and called on Iran to comply with its IAEA and UN Security Council obligations." But media reports suggest that Obama's historic conversation with Rouhani was less of "a foreign-policy milestone born of a rush of last-minute diplomacy" than it was made out to be and "was more intricately choreographed" with an Indian-American official playing a key role. "Obama had empowered the administration's top Iran specialist, Puneet Talwar, for some time to have direct meetings and phone conversations with Iranian Foreign Ministry officials," the Wall Street Journal reported citing unnamed US and European officials.
"Talwar, an Indian-American steeped in Iran policy, has at times conveyed a succinct message for his Iranian interlocutors: The US wants to peacefully resolve the dispute over Tehran's nuclear programme," it said citing the officials. Talwar, special assistant to the president and National Security Council senior director for Iran, Iraq, and the Gulf States, earlier served as a senior staffer on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, chaired by then Senator Joe Biden, who is now vice president.
While working for the Senate, Talwar was part of a small group of American academics, congressional officials and retired diplomats who met with Iranian officials during George W Bush's two terms as president, the Journal said. Talwar, who joined the Obama-Biden team in 2008, has represented the White House at all of the formal negotiations conducted between Iran and the global P5+1 powers (Britain, China, France, Germany, and Russia), since 2009, according to the Journal. The Nov 24 "initial nuclear agreement" between Iran and the six powers announced Nov 24 freezes key elements of Iran's nuclear programme in exchange for limited sanctions relief and provides negotiators with a six-month time frame to work toward a comprehensive and lasting accord.
As the six powers have agreed to freeze plans to further reduce Iran's crude oil sales, India, Iran's second largest customer, is expected to be one of the biggest economic benefactors from the interim deal, according to analysts.Without the sanctions India, China, South Korea and Japan, who have been given waivers by the US, would find it easier to lift the contracted supplies. India, which has reduced its crude imports from Iran from 12-14 percent to 7.2 percent post sanctions, would also not be under pressure to cut them down further.

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby Cosmo_R » 28 Nov 2013 18:40

I think this article was referenced previously however, I cannot find it.

"India has declared its intention to develop Iran's Chahbahar port, which could become an important alternative to Pakistan's Karachi port. However, in the past year, since the Iranian government gave the final clearances, the delays have been on the Indian side. Finance minister P Chidambaram has added a killer clause to his permission on the port, by demanding a certain percentage return on investment from the port development project."

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/new ... 504744.cms

Why no 'killer' ROI clause on FSB. 'Madam' wanted it so return on Italian was enough:)

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby Agnimitra » 11 Dec 2013 17:21

An "anti-Zionist" type of Irani professor who occupied a chair in an American university writes this plaintive piece for Asia Times, bemoaning the raw deal that Iran has supposedly been subjected to:
Reflections on the US-Iran nuclear deal
Ismael Hossein-zadeh is Professor Emeritus of Economics, Drake University, Des Moines, Iowa.
While the Iranian economy and its people are already gravely suffering from the ravages of economic sanctions, the interim nuclear deal signed with the West in November was generous to the point of threatening national sovereignty. Iran has survived decades of US "regime change" efforts, and now regional achievements are being endangered by an ambitious capitalist class desperate to trade with the West.

There are a number of reasons for this aversion to a regimented war economy. A detailed discussion of such reasons is beyond the purview of this essay. Suffice it to say that many of the revolutionary leaders who successfully managed the 1980-88 war economy have now become business entrepreneurs and prosperous capitalists.

Having effectively enriched themselves in the shadow of the public sector economy, or by virtue of the political/bureaucratic positions they held (or still hold) in various stations in the government apparatus, these folks have by now lost all appetite they once had for the radical economic measures required by a war economy. Instead, they now seem eager to strike business and investment deals with their counterparts in the West.

More than any other social strata, President Rouhani and his administration represent the interests and aspirations of this ascending capitalist-business class in Iran. Representatives of this class wield economic and political power through the highly influential Iran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines, and Agriculture (ICCIMA).

Ideological and/or philosophical affinity between President Rouhani and the power-brokers residing within ICCIMA is reflected in the fact that, immediately upon his election, the president appointed former head of the Chamber of Commerce Mohammad Nahavandian, a US-educated neoliberal economist and an advisor to former president Hashemi Rafsanjani, as his chief of staff.

It was through Nahavandian and the Iran Chamber of Commerce that, in September 2013, an Iranian economic delegation accompanied President Rouhani to the United Nations in New York to negotiate (behind the scenes) potential business/investment deals with their American counterparts. The Iran Chamber of Commerce also organized a number of economic delegations that accompanied Iran's Foreign Minister Zarif to Geneva in pursuit of similar objectives in Europe.

It is understandable, therefore, why major factions within Iran's ruling circles, especially the Rouhani administration and their allies and co-thinkers, have no stomach for a regimented, war-like economy; and why, instead, they opted for compromises over Iran's nuclear program. The question remains, however, why did they make so many concessions in return for so little? Did they have to compromise as much as they did?

Having thus failed at its plots for "regime change" in Iran from without, the US (or more precisely, a major faction of its ruling powers) now seems to have opted for regime change (or reform) from within; that is, through political and economic rapprochement with Iran. Even some of the US allies such as Turkey, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Israel that have always been wary of Iran's radical influence in the region, and who initially opposed vehemently the Iran- P5+1 nuclear agreement, are beginning to see the "moderating" or "stabilizing" benefits of the success of this tactic.

What has made this option more promising (to the US and its client regimes) is the rise of an ambitious capitalist class in Iran whose chief priority seems to be the ability to do business with their counterparts in the West. These folks literally mean business, so to speak; for them, issues such as nuclear technology or national sovereignty are of secondary importance.

As mentioned earlier, they are the staunchest supporters of President Rouhani and the unquestioning supporters of his lopsided concessions in the nuclear deal. Also as mentioned before, it was the representative delegations of this class of Iranian capitalists that accompanied President Rouhani and Foreign Minister Zarif to the United States and Europe in order to negotiate business/investment deals with their counterparts in the West.

To be sure, the jingoistic factions of the US ruling circles, headed by the beneficiaries of war dividends and the Israeli lobby, continue to push for direct military intervention and/or further economic strangulation of Iran. But the leaders and/or beneficiaries of non-military industries such as oil, automobile, airlines, agriculture, and the like are lobbying the Obama administration for economic and political rapprochement with Iran.

Which of these two major factions of the US ruling powers (Proponents of regime change from within or from without) would succeed, depends largely on the process and/or outcome of nuclear negotiations. While making threats of additional sanctions, the hardline or militaristic faction seem to be for now sitting on the fence: if Iran continues to make more one-sided concessions, which would basically mean giving up its right to a level of uranium enrichment that is necessary for its peaceful domestic needs, they would soften their positions and gradually lower their shrill and menacing voices.

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby Agnimitra » 12 Dec 2013 10:37

Pakistan Wants to Accelerate Iran Natural Gas Pipeline
Pakistan’s foreign ministry announced that Pakistan would double-down on the construction of its pipeline with Iran.

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby gunjur » 12 Dec 2013 17:36

Apologies if already posted.

With Iran, Obama can end America’s long war for the Middle East

Basically the article says obama to open upto iran by doing a nixon who opened usa to china.

What Jimmy Carter began, Barack Obama is ending. Washington is bringing down the curtain on its 30-plus-year military effort to pull the Islamic world into conformity with American interests and expectations. It’s about time.

Like Carter in 1980, Obama finds himself with few alternatives. At home, widespread anger, angst and mortification obliged Carter to begin girding the nation to fight for the greater Middle East. To his successors, Carter bequeathed a Pentagon preoccupied with ramping up its ability to flex its muscles anywhere from Egypt to Pakistan. The bequest proved a mixed blessing, fostering the illusion that military muscle, dexterously employed, might put things right. Today, widespread disenchantment with the resulting wars and quasi-wars prohibits Obama from starting new ones.

Nothing is half so melancholy as to compare the expectations informing recent American wars when they began — Enduring Freedom! — with the outcomes actually achieved. So in Obama’s Washington, moralism is out, and with good reason. Now, for the moment at least, realism has regained favor.

This de-escalation is not without risks. For as America’s War for the Greater Middle East winds down, it leaves the Islamic world in worse condition — besieged by radicalism, wracked by violence, awash with anti-Americanism — than back in 1980.

Back in 1979, the “loss” of Iran provided much of the impetus for launching America’s War for the Greater Middle East. The shah’s overthrow had cost the United States an unsavory henchman, his place taken by radicals apparently consumed with hatred for the Great Satan.

At the time, the magnitude of the policy failure staggered Washington. It was as bad as — maybe worse than — the “loss” of China 30 years before. Of course, what had made that earlier failure so difficult to take was the presumption that China had been ours to lose in the first place. Discard that presumption, and doing business with Red China just might become a possibility. Richard Nixon, by accepting China’s loss, he turned it to America’s advantage, at least in the short run.

So too with Iran today. The passage of time, along with more than a few miscalculations by Iran’s leadership, has tempered the Islamic republic’s ambitions. One imagines Nixon, in whatever precincts of the great beyond he inhabits, itching to offer advice: Accept the “loss” of Iran, which will never return to America’s orbit anyway, and turn it to U.S. advantage.

In their heyday, neoconservatives boasted that while anyone could go to Baghdad, real men hankered to go to Tehran. But as a venue for displaying American power, Baghdad proved a bust. In Tehran lies the possibility of finding a way out of perpetual war. Although by no means guaranteed, the basis for a deal exists: We accept the Islamic republic, they accept the regional status quo. They get survival, we get a chance to repair self-inflicted wounds. It’s the same bargain that Nixon offered Mao: Keep your revolution at home, and we’ll make our peace with it. Negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program provide the medium for achieving this larger end.

Any such deal would surely annoy Saudi Arabia and Israel, each for its own reasons committed to casting Iran as an existential threat. Obama just might choose to let them fret. The United States no longer must defer to the Saudis. Much the same applies to Israel. Just as Israel disregards U.S. objections to its expansion of settlements in the West Bank, the United States should refuse to allow Israeli objections to determine its policy toward Iran.

The exit from America’s misadventures in the region is through the door marked “Tehran.” Calling off the War for the Greater Middle East won’t mean that the political, social and economic problems roiling that part of the world will suddenly go away. They just won’t be problems that Uncle Sam is expected to solve. In this way, a presidency that began with optimism and hope but has proved such a letdown may yet achieve something notable.

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby Agnimitra » 07 Jan 2014 13:58

Jerusalem Post:
Chahbahar port (built by India) transforms Iran's position
"While India will secure cost-effective access to markets vital for its future economic growth, Iran will secure a position in the world economy less vulnerable to international pressure."

With the prospect of even wider Iranian trade in the near future, India’s construction of Iran’s first deep-water port to meet modern shipping standards will radically transform Iran’s geo-strategic position, breaking the international economic pressure on Tehran and transforming Iran into the key transit link for the most cost-effective transportation corridor for European-Indian Ocean trade.

While Iran and India traditionally have been allies in Afghanistan against Pakistan, New Delhi’s drive to construct a deep-sea port at the Iranian city of Chabahar along with transportation corridors running northward has been motivated by New Delhi’s economic rivalry with Beijing.

For Iran, it means a centrally important position in the emerging pattern of trade between Europe and a rising Asia.

One of Iran’s strategic weaknesses is its lack of deep-water ports. Iran’s southern ports, such as Bandar Abbas which handles 85 percent of Iranian seaborne trade, can only receive 100,000 ton cargo ships. Since most shipping is conducted via 250,000 ton cargo vessels, cargo must first be offloaded in the United Arab Emirates and then sent on smaller ships which can dock in Iran. Aside from the hundreds of millions of dollars lost to the UAE, Iran is also vulnerable to a UAE closure of its seaborne trade in the case of conflict between Iran and the UAE or its GCC and Western allies.

Unlike Bandar Abbas, which is located in the congested waters of the Straits of Hormuz, subject to constant US naval patrol, Chabahar is located further east and is the only Iranian port with direct access to the Indian Ocean.

For India, the Chabahar port will serve as the Indian Ocean outlet for New Delhi’s grand International North- South Transit Corridor (INSTC) initiative. With India’s overland access to Central Asia is blocked by Pakistan, the Chabahar deep-sea port and the INSTC running northward through Iran and Afghanistan will provide New Delhi vital access to Central Asian, Russian, and ultimately European markets, enabling India to effectively compete with China. Compared to the current Indian Ocean-European transport route via the Red Sea, Suez Canal and the Mediterranean, the Chabahar-based INSTC is estimated to be 40% shorter and will reduce the cost of Indian trade by 30% (Meena Singh Roy, Strategic Analysis, November 2012).

India began developing the Chabahar port in 2002 in response to China’s construction of a deep-water port at Gwadar, Pakistan, approximately 72 km east of Chabahar (Samanta Pranab Dhal, The Indian Express, March 24, 2012). An extension of the enduring Sino-Pakistani strategic partnership, the Gwadar port provides China with a long-sought-after, land-accessible port on the Indian Ocean. The $248m. first phase of the part was completed in 2006. The $1b. second phase of the port construction will develop two oil terminals and an oil pipeline that will carry energy from Gwadar directly into China. The Sino-Pakistani oil pipeline will provide China with an alternative route for Persian Gulf energy, which would alleviate China’s need to transport oil around the Indian Subcontinent and through the increasingly disputed territorial waters of the South China Sea. The route will be cheaper, less vulnerable and give Beijing greater freedom of action to pursue its claims to sovereignty over the South China Sea (M.T., East Asia Forum December 6, 2013).

Until 2012, India ceased construction of the Chabahar port under pressure from the United States as part of Washington’s efforts toughen the international sanctions against Iran. However, when a Chinese stateowned firm took over administration of the Gwadar port from a Singaporean company in 2012, New Delhi resumed construction of the Chabahar port, overriding Washington’s objections. Whereas the original Chabahar port project and transit corridors involved a trilateral agreement between Iran, India and Russia, the Indian- led 2012 resumption of the project involves the participation of 11 additional countries from Middle East, the Caucasus, Central Asia and Europe, each lured by the benefits of easier access to the Indian Ocean.

New Delhi’s INSTC includes a highway running from the Iranian port through Afghanistan. In addition to India’s $100m. investment in Chabahar, New Delhi has already completed a 200 km road from the Iranian bordertown of Zaranj to Delaram in Afghanistan. India has also assisted in the construction of the Iranian portion of the highway from Chabahar to Zaranj. India is also planning to build a parallel 900 km railway from Chabahar to the iron-ore rich Hajigak region of Afghanistan’s Bamiyan province. Home to the oppressed Shi’ite Hazara ethnic group, Bamiyan’s substantial iron deposits may become a major source of income for the Iranian sympathetic population. The Chabahar port will serve as a cost-effective outlet to bring the iron to market (The Telegraph, November 2, 2011).

Trade between Afghanistan and Chabahar will bolster Iranian and Indian influence in Afghanistan after NATO’s 2014 withdrawal, providing a measure of counter- balance to Pakistani influence.

Although there are no signs of any significant Indian- Iranian naval cooperation, commercial maritime cooperation and joint transportation infrastructure development has elevated the level of Indo-Iranian strategic cooperation (Harsh V. Pant, The Washington Quarterly, 2011). Moreover, the Chabahar port and the INSTC will place Iran at the center of a Eurasian transport corridor for international trade in which significant number of nations are developing vital economic interests.

As the INSTC nears operation, the time-window is diminishing to apply tougher economic pressure on Iran to abandon its nuclear weapons program. While India will secure cost-effective access to markets in Central Asia, Russia and Europe vital for its future economic growth, Iran will secure a position in the world economy less vulnerable to international pressure.

The author is a Fellow at the Department of Middle East and Islamic Studies, Shalem College, Jerusalem, and at the Asia and Middle East Units, Truman Research Institute for the Advancement of Peace, Hebrew University. He also teaches in the Departments of Middle Eastern History and East Asian Studies, Tel Aviv University. The piece first appeared on the website of The Alliance Center for Iranian Studies (ACIS) at Tel Aviv University.

-----------

Meanwhile, Iran was busy twisting India's arms in another context, and India had to go to international agencies to free one of its vessels:

India gets favourable international ruling on ship detention by Iran
India, in its appeal, had told the global body that the vessel on her "innocent" voyage from Basrah (Iraq) to Vishakhapatnam (India) was intercepted by Iranian navy on August 12 beyond its territorial waters and forcibly diverted towards Nowrouz oil fields and later coerced to anchor at Bandar Abbas port.

The vessel with a capacity to carry 1,40,000 tonnes of crude, belonging to Shipping Corporation of India (SCI), was held up on charges of pollution :roll: in August last year. After 26 days, it was released on September 6 after a letter of undertaking by SCI to the Iranian Ports and Maritime Organisation.

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby vishvak » 07 Jan 2014 19:56

On ship detention by Iran, it was after some Iran ship was apprehended in India for no reason other than sanctions. Lets not read more in it.

Iran ship in detention due to commercial dispute

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby gunjur » 17 Feb 2014 21:58

West aims to minimize nuclear bomb risk in Iran talks
When world powers start talks with Iran next week on a final agreement on their nuclear dispute, the main question for the West will be how to ensure Tehran gives up enough atomic activity to ensure it cannot build a bomb any time soon.

If successful, the negotiations could put to rest a decade of hostility between the West and the Islamic Republic, and head off the danger of a new war in the Middle East.

Ingrained mistrust and a vast gap in expectations between the two sides may still doom the search for a deal: U.S. President Barack Obama has put the chance of success at no more than 50 percent. Some say that is optimistic.

But both sides say the political will is there to reach what would amount to a historic compromise with potentially far-reaching geopolitical and economic consequences.

Iran holds some of the world's largest oil and gas reserves and with nearly 80 million people represents a largely untapped market with vast potential for foreign businesses.


Western governments appear to have given up on the idea, enshrined in a series of United Nations Security Council resolutions since 2006, that Iran should suspend the most controversial aspect of its program - enrichment of uranium.

Diplomats privately acknowledge that Iran's nuclear work, which Western states fear may be aimed at developing the capability to assemble bombs, is now too far advanced for Tehran to agree to dismantle it completely.

But while Iran may be allowed to keep a limited enrichment capacity, the West will seek guarantees that mean any attempt to build a nuclear bomb would take long enough for it to be detected and stopped, possibly with military action.

Iran says its nuclear program is entirely peaceful.

KEY QUESTION

"The key question for us is what kind of breakout time we can accept," said a diplomat on one of the six powers' negotiating teams, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Extending that "breakout time", experts and diplomats say, means Iran would have to restrict enriching uranium to a low fissile concentration, stop a large number of its centrifuges now used for such work, limit nuclear research, and submit to highly intrusive monitoring by U.N. inspectors.

Ahead of the February 18 start of the talks in Vienna, a defiant President Hassan Rouhani pledged that peaceful atomic research would be pursued "forever".

Tehran wants an end to the sanctions that have battered its economy, mainly U.S. and European Union bans on its oil sales. Western states are wary of giving up this leverage too soon.

"They are going to start this negotiation very far apart and it's hard to speculate on what the end state's going to be," Robert Einhorn, a former top U.S. State Department official on Iran, said last month.

"But to be acceptable to the United States, Iran for a substantial amount of time ... is going to have to live with a very limited enrichment capacity."

The talks coordinated by European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton aim to build on a deal last November under which Iran agreed to halt some of its most sensitive work for six months, in return for modest sanctions relief.

That accord, made possible with last year's election of Rouhani on a platform to ease Iran's international isolation, was designed to give the sides confidence that a broad agreement is possible. It left the biggest challenges for later.

DIPLOMATIC PHASE

In the new diplomatic phase, which has to finish in July or the six-month interim accord may have to renegotiated, both sides must satisfy hardliners at home.

In a foretaste of difficulties ahead, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif clashed with U.S. negotiator Wendy Sherman this month over the future of Iran's planned Arak heavy water reactor and the Fordow underground enrichment site.

Western states worry Arak, likely to be at the heart of the talks, could yield plutonium for a bomb. Sherman suggested Iran had no need for it or for Fordow. Zarif called her comments "worthless" and said atomic technology was non-negotiable.

Israel, which views a nuclear-armed Iran as an existential threat, will push the six negotiating powers - the United States, Russia, China, France, Britain and Germany - to demand that Iran gives up Arak as well as its enrichment plants.

Iran says it is Israel, with its assumed atomic arsenal, that threatens regional peace and security.

Negotiators say one possible way forward on Arak could be to modify it so that it can still produce medical isotopes, Iran's stated goal, without using heavy water which provides a potential route for obtaining weapons-grade plutonium.

Another major issue will be the number of centrifuges - machines that spin at supersonic speed to refine uranium - that Iran is allowed to keep. Enriched uranium can have both civilian and military uses.

Jofi Joseph, former director for non-proliferation on the White House National Security Council staff, said Iran will likely demand it can keep 10,000 machines in operation. It has nearly the same number installed but not running.

But nuclear experts say Iran must sharply reduce its centrifuges in order to extend the time for producing enough weapons-grade fissile material for a bomb. Iran says it only refines uranium for a planned network of nuclear power plants.

"The number and type of centrifuges will be limited to ensure that breakout times are ... a minimum of six to twelve months at all times," the Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS), a U.S.-based think-tank, said.

"In the case of a six-month breakout time, Iran should have in total no more than 4,000 IR-1 centrifuges," it said, referring to the old-generation equipment Iran has. It is also testing more modern machines, another bone of contention.

The two sides want the final-phase talks to last no more than half a year, and be finished by the time the interim deal expires on July 20. Many experts believe that is unrealistic.


========================

Meanwhile iran economy is recovering courtesy sanction relaxation

The International Energy Agency's monthly oil report estimated that Iranian oil exports spiked by about 100,000 barrels a day in January. That brought Iranian crude exports to just over 1.3 million barrels per day, worth almost $4 billion a month given the current price of oil.

Before oil sanctions began in 2012, Iran exported about 2.5 million barrels per day, and exports fell as low as 760,000 barrels a day last fall. The partial relief, U.S. officials said, would still limit Iranian crude exports to about 1 million barrels of oil a day, but Iran is now clearly exporting significantly more than that.

President Barack Obama used a press conference with visiting French President François Hollande this week to warn that the United States would come down on sanctions violators "like a ton of bricks." The comment was a subtle dig at the private French trade delegation to Iran earlier this month that raised the ire of administration officials. More than 100 businesspeople went to Tehran to meet with officials and explore possible future opportunities. The group, the largest European delegation to visit Iran in 30 years, included French energy giant Total, carmaker Renault, and engineering firm Alstom.

Under the existing sanctions regime, revenues from Iranian oil exports are held in escrow accounts, which theoretically limits the amount of hard currency Tehran can receive. But Iran has managed to sidestep banking restrictions in the past, notably in deals with Turkey, and critics of the administration's approach worry that greater oil exports will translate into a stronger Iranian economy.

Agnimitra
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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby Agnimitra » 18 Feb 2014 02:12

X-post from TSP thread:

Iran threatens to send forces into Pakistani territory
Tehran's interior minister has warned Pakistan that Iranian forces may enter Pakistani and Afghan territory to release border guards reported to have been seized by a rebel group.

Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli's remarks on state TV come a week after the little-known Jaish al-Adl posted photos on Twitter of five men it claims are border guards it seized near Pakistan.

He said Iran had asked Pakistan to treat the case “strongly and seriously” or allow Iran to secure the remote region “deep on Afghanistan and Pakistan soil.”

“Otherwise we do consider it our own right to intervene and create a new security sphere for our safety,” he said.—AP

The Iranian armed forces' deputy chief of staff was quoted as telling the semi-official Fars news agency that Iran would “show tough confrontation in this case.”

“We will have no soft stand in this case and our neighbouring country ... should account for its lack of action,” Major General Hossein Hassani Sa'di told reporters in Tehran on Monday, according to Fars English language website.

Sa'di said the guards were still alive, and underlined that “political and military measures are underway to set them free”, without elaborating.

Interior Minister Rahmani-Fazli said an Iranian delegation would visit Pakistan on Monday to secure the guards' release, state news agency ISNA reported.

In October, 14 Iranian border guards were killed and three others captured in the same area in an attack that ISNA said was carried out by Jaish al-Adl.—Reuters

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby Austin » 23 Feb 2014 12:06


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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby gunjur » 26 Feb 2014 20:22

Apologies if already posted

New thesis on how Stuxnet infiltrated Iran nuclear facility
One enduring mystery about Stuxnet, the first cyberweapon the world has known, is this: Just how did that “digital missile” infiltrate Iran’s secret Natanz nuclear fuel-enrichment facility in the first place?

A new thesis about that, to be outlined Tuesday at a security conference in San Francisco, points to a vulnerability in the Iranian facility's supply chain – and may hold lessons for owners of critical infrastructure in the US concerning how to guard their own industrial equipment against cyberattack.

Presented by Critical Intelligence, a cyber security firm based in Idaho Falls, Idaho, the tale of cyber infiltration comes nearly four years after the covert operation was discovered. It’s already been fairly well documented that the United States and Israel created the Stuxnet worm, which ultimately infected and destroyed about 1,000 fuel-refining centrifuges at Natanz. The surreptitious attack sowed confusion within Iran’s uranium-fuel-enrichment program, which the US suspects is aimed at creating a nuclear bomb, and delayed it for years.

But how did Stuxnet get in there? As early as 2004, US intelligence agencies identified an Iranian company, NEDA Industrial Group, that had oversight of the Natanz facility’s computerized industrial control systems, says the Critical Intelligence report, citing documents gleaned from federal court cases, leaked State Department cables, and nuclear proliferation reports.

Documents suggest that the US was monitoring NEDA’s efforts to procure components that may be needed for a nuclear weapons program, says Sean McBride, lead author of the report and director of analysis for Critical Intelligence. The report is the first to name NEDA in connection with Stuxnet.

The US, he maintains, had identified NEDA as Iran's leading expert in Siemens Step7 software used throughout Iran’s nuclear program, including its centrifuge fuel-refining system. Then, probably in 2008, the US targeted industrial control systems equipment that NEDA had ordered from suppliers overseas.

Leaked State Department cables posted on the WikiLeaks website show the US at that time to have been seeking to intercept shipments of equipment headed to Iran.

“It’s my contention that the evidence shows the US targeted the leading Siemens control systems integrator for Natanz – and that was NEDA,” Mr. McBride says in a phone interview. “NEDA would have had all the plans for just how the Natanz system was going to be set up, the proper centrifuge speeds, when they would be turned on and off. The company had all the key information the US needed to write Stuxnet – and then a way to get the worm into Natanz.”

Sometime around 2008, computerized industrial control system equipment bound for Iran was intercepted, and Stuxnet or other malware was installed on it before it was sent on its way, McBride posits.

His thesis runs contrary to prevailing theories that a spy used a memory stick, or “thumb drive,” to introduce Stuxnet into the network. Rather, NEDA engineers unwittingly installed infected work stations or other equipment, which then proceeded to infect all of Natanz’s systems, McBride says.

Among the report’s findings are online documents showing that NEDA was involved in industrial control systems work in Iran. They include archived files in which an Iranian control systems engineer, identified only as “Behrooz,” asks during an online Siemens support forum for help dealing with an unspecified virus that he says had infected all the machines in his company’s network.

Other online documents show that person was probably Mohammad Rez, an engineer with NEDA. By September 2008, the US Department of Commerce had added NEDA to a watch list of companies thought to be assisting Iran’s nuclear program. Finally, in December 2012 NEDA and a handful of other companies were placed on a US Treasury Department list of firms banned from doing business with the US because of alleged involvement in Iran’s nuclear program. E-mail requests to NEDA seeking comment on the new report were not returned.

McBride says his findings are not conclusive, and he notes that gaps in documentation remain. But they do dovetail with recent media reports based on top-secret National Security Agency documents leaked by Edward Snowden, a former NSA contractor. One such report reveals aggressive NSA efforts to “interdict” computer equipment in transit and to install surveillance software and hardware before the equipment reaches an intended surveillance target.

Some security experts say McBride's hypothesis makes sense given what is now known about the frequent cyber vulnerability of corporate suppliers – and is a warning shot across the bow of critical infrastructure operators in the US that use them.

“It’s certainly a plausible theory,” says Jen Weedon, a manager in the threat intelligence division at Mandiant, a firm specializing in mitigating cyber espionage attacks on US corporations. “We’ve seen a lot of targeting of supply chains and partner companies in the US by the Chinese. For a difficult target like Natanz, infiltrating the supply chain would make a lot of sense – and it could work that way in the US, too, if companies aren’t careful.”

Worldwide, even large companies with excellent cyber defenses are facing the fact that smaller business partners may have less robust security and may be vulnerable to attacks, she and others note.

“It highlights an infection vector – contractors – that almost definitely would be used against hard targets in the US,” writes Ralph Langner, the cyber security expert who first identified Stuxnet as a cyber weapon, in an e-mail interview. “A sophisticated attacker wouldn't bother to try directly attacking a power utility, for example. They would go after the several hundred contractors with access to critical distribution systems [such as] electrical substations.”

Did US intelligence agencies score one of their biggest cyber attack victories using clandestine supply-chain infiltration to get Stuxnet into Natanz?

“I’m not saying other theories about how Stuxnet got into Natanz aren’t true,” McBride says. “They could be. But there’s plenty of evidence that what I’m suggesting happened was what actually did happen.”

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby sooraj » 02 Mar 2014 20:58


Agnimitra
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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby Agnimitra » 15 Mar 2014 02:36

Majid Rafizadeh writes:

The fallacy of Iranian-American rapprochement
Kerry’s recent speech and U.S. foreign policy moves towards Tehran indicate that Washington views the current status of American-Iranian rapprochement as similar to the American-Chinese rapprochement in the early 1970s with President Nixon’s trip to Beijing.

The United States believes that the Islamic Republic under Rowhani’s administration, like Zedong’s China, is making a strategic shift in its policies with Iranian leaders searching for a fundamental policy change and a fresh era of geopolitical and strategic relationships with Washington, the West, and other regional powers.

However, the fallacy in this inaccurate analogy arises from the notion that Iranian leaders’ recent foreign policies, particularly with regards to its nuclear program, are not strategic changes as depicted by the White House. The policies enacted by Rowhani’s government are tactical.

Rowhani’s government, in addition to all the technocrats that he brought to his administration, can be characterized as the most competent Iranian administration since 1979. Rowhani’s team is made up of individuals that made incredible mistakes in the late 1980s and 1990s. They have learned from their mistakes though, and are applying new tactical policies to survive, remove sanctions, and regain their economic and geopolitical power. Tactical policies are reversible at anytime.

In one of his speeches, Khamenei gave an example of such tactical moves in recent nuclear talks by referring to wrestling (a popular sport in Iran), where sometimes, when the wrestler faces a strong rival, he must show some “heroic flexibility” in order to win the match or survive.

President Rowhani clearly wrote in his memoir that the negotiations he led during the Khatami era, and the agreement to suspend Iran’s nuclear enrichment for two years, not only did not halt the advancement of the nuclear program, but actually moved the program forward, expanding the centrifuges and nuclear infrastructure in those years. This is a prominent example of tactical policies. He added that through his policies he was capable of buying time and progressing the nuclear program to 20 percent enriched uranium with higher number of centrifuges.

The crucial issue is that the tactical policies implemented by Rowhani’s government are temporary and when the political and economic objectives of Tehran are achieved, all the agreements on the nuclear issues can be reversed, as Iranian authorities, including Iran's Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi, have repeatedly pointed towards.
Last edited by Agnimitra on 16 Mar 2014 01:20, edited 1 time in total.

JE Menon
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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby JE Menon » 15 Mar 2014 19:36

^Appears to be a clear articulation of the Gulf Arab position...

It's Majid Rafizadeh, and his attitude towards Iran can be understood...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Majid_Rafizadeh[quote][/quote]

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby Agnimitra » 16 Mar 2014 01:21

JEM ji, yep, I find that some of the MeK-aligned expat Iranis are perfectly happy to support Gulf Arab causes against the regime in Tehran. I'm not saying that Rafizadeh is himself MeK-aligned - but just an indicator that this should not be very surprising.

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby Prem » 20 Apr 2014 08:46

http://www.iranfocus.com/en/index.php?o ... Itemid=125
Iran may supply gas at $3/mmbtu to India's proposed urea plant

New Delhi - Iran is likely to supply gas at USD 3 per mmbtu for India's proposed urea and ammonia plant to be set up in the Persian Gulf nation.
Rashtriya Chemicals and Fertilisers (RCF) and Gujarat Narmada Valley Fertilisers & Chemicals (GNFC) have been jointly working on this project. The project will also include an Iranian firm.The project is proposed to set up at a petrochemicals hub at Chahbahar, Iran, using natural gas as feedstock with an estimated investment of about Rs 7,000 crore."Talks are at an advanced stage and there have been indications from the Iranian authorities for supplying gas at USD 3 per mmbtu," sources said.As per the proposal, the Iraninan government will assure supply of gas at fixed rate and India will lift the total quantity of soil nutrients produced at the proposed plant.Work on the project has expedite following the lifting of sanctions on Iran by the US in November last year.Iran had struck a deal with world powers to curb its nuclear programme in return for some sanctions relief and no new nuclear-related sanctions on the country for 6 months.The Fertiliser Ministry had also received a letter from the Iranian embassy inviting a delegation from India to discuss gas prices and supply for the proposed urea plant there, sources added.However, the Indian government is already in talks with Iran to provide financial assistance and develop Chabahar port.

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby vijaykarthik » 24 Apr 2014 14:42

Eurasia review

Analysis of the Iran-Russia 20bn oil for goods and services deal


Iran and Russia are negotiating an oil-for-goods agreement worth US$1.5 billion a month that would see Iran export oil to Russia in exchange for unspecified goods and equipment from Moscow. The deal would further enable Iran to raise oil exports substantially, undermining Western sanctions that helped persuade Tehran in November 2013 to agree to a preliminary deal to curb its nuclear programme in exchange for temporary and modest sanctions relief.

It is not surprising that the US government has been quick in criticising Russia for trying to seal an oil-for-goods agreement with Iran. If the deal materialises, it would raise serious concerns as it defies the terms of the P5+1 agreement with Iran. It could possibly trigger fresh US sanctions.

Though the oil-for-goods agreement has been rumoured for months, new reports highlighting positive developments towards the finalisation of the deal have emerged. These developments came as tensions between Russia and the West flared up after the US and the European Union enacted a series of sanctions targeting Moscow, in response to the Crimean crisis. By negotiating this agreement publicly, both Russia and Iran are sending a message to the Obama administration.

Iran’s Objectives

First, periodic reports have emerged ever since Hassan Rouhani’s election, discussing the possibility of Moscow’s interest in building new nuclear plants inside Iran – there have been negotiations over four new nuclear plants. While there has been no confirmation about the oil deal from either side, it is likely that the oil exports would be able to finance the new nuclear plants in Iran.

Second, the barter agreement could pave the way for Iran to gain access to the highly advanced Russian weapons industry, which Tehran has always been interested in. The trade deal has also sparked concerns that Russia will import sanctioned military hardware, capable of violating the terms of the interim nuclear deal signed by Iran. Iran could benefit from the transfer of items of significant value to Iran’s military and nuclear programme.

Third, the deal would ease the pressure on Iran’s battered energy sector and further help restore Iran’s links with Russia. It will ease economic pressure and benefit the Iranian economy.

Finally, it is not clear whether the deal would be implemented before the finalisation of a nuclear agreement between Iran and the six world powers by July 2014. The agreement could act as a positive motivator for Iran. The deal could be used to pressurise the US in the talks, particularly amid reports that the Senate is nearing agreement on a bill that would call for new sanctions on Iran.

Russian Motivations

Russia is willing to expand its market and shift towards the Asian countries so that it becomes less dependent on Germany and the EU, is hence looking for options in countries like Iran and China.

Russia has not imposed sanctions on Iran, unlike the US and the EU. Although it is involved in the nuclear negotiations with Iran along with the other five nations, the fact is that Russia is least concerned about the prospects of a nuclear or non-nuclear Iran.

In the latest round on the nuclear negotiations in Vienna, Russia and the US worked together, unaffected by the unfolding events in Ukraine. However it would be wishful thinking to assume that Russia will continue to cooperate and not square accounts despite the tensions building up between Russia and the West. If cornered, Russia will be tempted to use all levers at its disposal to retaliate against the penalties imposed by the West.

Apart from the barter agreement between Iran and Russia, Moscow could also go ahead and resume transactions with entities in Tehran. Trade routes which were opposed by the US could also be revived.

Will the Deal Go Through?

While Russia and Iran might strategise to gain leverage with the US, their ability to cooperate against it is limited. There are grim chances of this deal translating into a long-term relationship between Russia and Iran; each would gladly give up its commitment towards the other in exchange for concessions from the US.

Iran will also be mindful of whether or not to meddle in the east-west tensions. Iran has maintained a cautious stand in its reaction to the Crimean crisis. Moreover, the decrease in the dependence on Russian oil and gas opens a window of opportunity for Iran as an alternative energy exporter for EU nations.

Also, both Iran and Russia are oil exporters and producers and thus rivals in the market, which will make it difficult for the two countries to come closer. It is harder to strike a deal with a fuel exporter like Russia than importer like China. Hence it will be a tough deal to seal.

Hassan Rouhani does not want to reverse the inroads and risk his country going back into deep isolation. Despite the benefits in the short-run of rekindling ties with Russia, Iran’s main objective is to fix its economy with the help of Western finance, investment and technology, not tie it to a faltering Russian economy burdened with its own set of sanctions.

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby member_28440 » 24 Apr 2014 17:29

Why Iran Doesn’t Trust the International Community – Media, Institutions, NGOs

The role of the United Nations Security Council in the Iranian nuclear enrichment program, the legality of extraterritorial and unilateral sanctions, the lawfulness of attacking nuclear facilities under laws of armed conflict, cyber-attacks as a use of force, and the legal effects of threatening a party during the course of negotiations.



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