Iran News and Discussions

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Austin
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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby Austin » 14 May 2014 20:11

Some good pics of Iran SAM Development , PGM and other stuff

Exhibition of Achievements of the IRGC Aerospace Force of Iran


http://bmpd.livejournal.com/848290.html

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby gunjur » 19 May 2014 20:49

Apologies if already posted. Also posting it here, since its about iran more than syria.

Iran’s Drone War in Syria
Iran has been providing Syria’s regime with drones—some of them inspired by American technology—and they’re already playing a significant role in keeping Bashar Assad in power. On Sunday, Tehran announced it had replicated a top-of-the-line U.S. drone it claimed it captured in 2011, raising the possibility it will send still more sophisticated aerial robots into the skies over Damascus.

In some respects, this shouldn’t come as a surprise. Iran’s robust drone program dates back to the early 1980s, and it first tried to weaponize the birds some 30 years ago, long before American Predators and Reapers first soared aloft.

The Middle East was the first great proving ground for unmanned aerial vehicles, or UAVs, as they’re called. During the 1980s, Israel flew drones over Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley to spot Syrian artillery and anti-aircraft positions, allowing the Israeli Air Force to knock out the Syrian air defenses with minimal risks to its pilots. At about the same time, Iran began using drones to spy on Iraqi positions in its epic war against Saddam Hussein. It was during that bitter conflict that Iranian engineers crudely mounted Soviet rocket-propelled grenades on their drones and fired them at Iraqi troops.

Over the last decade, even as American drones grew fearsome and infamous, killing alleged terrorists and many civilians in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Yemen, the Iranians began expanding their own program dramatically.

According to Varun Vira, an expert at c4ads, a think tank in Washington, D.C., that specializes in defense issues, Iran now has a couple of dozen airframes and platforms it can use. “In recent years,” says Vira, “the drone program appears to be maturing, judging from the number of new unveilings in 2012 to 2013, including variants of the Shahed, Azem, Mohajer, Hamaseh and Sarir drones, to name but a few.” Given the overwhelming support of Iran for the Damascus regime, it was probably inevitable that Tehran’s drones would go into action there. “They’ve been seen on several airbases in satellite imagery, including Damascus, Hama and Shayrat airbases,” says Vira.

In addition to the steady influx of Iranian military drones, civilian drones also have appeared on the Syrian battlefield. In November 2013 rebels released images of a DJI Phantom they claim to have brought down in the besieged city of Homs. These tiny quad-copters are available in hobby shops in the United States and are often seen filming sporting events or music videos when mounted with GoPro cameras.

The rebels claim the quad-copter was being used by government forces to spy on their positions. But given the fact that the Phantom was found intact and is far less capable than the military technology in the Syrian arsenal, it is possible that it was a rebel drone all along. Indeed it would make sense for rebels to invest in these miniature UAVs because a Phantom with a GoPro attached costs much less than the street value of an AK-47 assault rifle. According to Vira, the DJIs can provide some basic “over the hill” intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capability for infantry, “but they’re far from what’s needed for persistent surveillance over combat areas, and they’re low-altitude and fairly easily shot down.”

The first evidence of Iranian drones in Syria appeared in early 2012, when opposition activists released video showing a Pahpad AB-3. The drones became known locally by the Arabic slang term wizwazi, and their presence was usually a good indicator of imminent shelling or airstrikes. There have since been numerous sightings of various models -- in December 2013, the al Qaeda affiliate Jabhat al-Nusra shot down a small Yasir drone and displayed the wreckage on social media.

The Yasir drones are particularly interesting because Iran claims to have developed them by reverse engineering American technology captured in 2012. In this case, Iran says they developed their own model based on captured American ScanEagle mini UAVs, a claim Washington will not confirm, but which was widely reported in the media. When Tehran unveiled its own copycat Yasir drone, officials made a point of publicizing it with a press conference attended by a high-ranking military delegation from Russia. According to Vira, “Gauging Iran’s true UAV capabilities is very difficult,” but pictures of the crashed Yasir show that it appears to be quite similar in design, “so it is likely to have been at the very least inspired by the ScanEagle.”

The Yasir shoot-down provided solid evidence of advanced Iranian weaponry in Syria, as does recent footage of an Iranian Shahed-129 over Damascus. Iran has armed drones in its own arsenal, but so far only unarmed drones have appeared in Syria and their main purpose appears to be reconnaissance.

According to Vira, “It appears fairly clear that the Syrian Air Force suffered significant attrition, and that Iranian/Russian resupply of spare parts, jet fuel, technicians, etc., is what has kept them in the fight.” The Iranian drones “are important in providing relief to an overstretched [Syrian Air Force],” says Vira, thus “freeing up Syrian aircraft for combat roles.”

But “Iran likely has its own limits in terms of mission creep in Syria,” says Vira. In other words, the Islamic Republic does not want to be implicated in direct attacks by providing armed drones, but “given this backdrop, Iranian ISR help, no doubt, is much appreciated.”

Despite the expansion, improvement, and proliferation of Iran’s drone program, American technology remains far in advance.

Peter Singer, an expert on drones and author of Wired for War, says Iranian claims of reverse engineering are “plausible on the hardware side, but dubious on the full software side.” Singer says that despite being able to fly, Iranian technology cannot provide the same level of ISR support as its American counterparts and that reverse engineering is not enough to “shift the regional balance of power.”

There is, however, every indication that Iran keeps trying. In 2011, it captured a highly advanced “stealthy” American RQ-170 on its territory. The incident was embarrassing for Washington from the beginning, and has gotten moreso as Iran claims to have deciphered data captured from the UAV.

The jury is still out on whether Iranian engineers can effectively reverse engineer the RQ-170 Sentinel, but in 2011, Air Force chief General Norton Schwartz said “There is a potential for reverse engineering clearly.” In a 2011 article for Wired, David Axe speculated that Iran would seek Chinese help in examining the RQ-170.

Iran now claims that it studied the American model to help create its first super-drone, the Fotros, and it seems quite eager for people to believe the new model is partially based on technology from the captured RQ-170. According to the Iranian ministry of defense, the new weapon is capable of delivering a 500-pound payload, can stay aloft for over 24 hours, and has a range of 2,000 miles. Extraordinary claims, to be sure, but Vira warns, “Iran has a history of hyping, exaggerating or even outright falsifying the capability of new military technology. The Fotros used in the unveiling appeared unfinished.”

Regardless of its true capacity and origin, the name “Fotros” appears to be a metaphor for the process of reverse engineering an American drone. In Shia mythology, Fotros was an angel who disobeyed God and was banished to Earth. After praying for forgiveness, Fotros was redeemed by the Imam Ali who gave him back his wings. On Sunday, Iranian state media reported that the Fotros would be flying soon. If so, it may only be a matter of time before we see those fallen angels in the skies over Syria.


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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby arun » 08 Jun 2014 12:28

I look forward to the Indian Ambassador to Iran addressing a seminar organized by moderate Kurdish or Baloch or Azeri separatist groups and visiting the homes of their leaders:

Iranian Envoy Skips Reference to JK, Disappoints Separatists

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby Agnimitra » 16 Jun 2014 15:31

X-post from Indo-US thread:

Earlier this year, in January, Iran came out with its human rights report on the US in 2013.

Full Farsi text here

Full English version available here (PDF)

Given the abused of subversive NGO's heavily funded by the US - some of which have been actively spreading propaganda about "slavery" in India among other things, it would be interesting if India joins up with several developing nations such as BRICS, etc. to come out with human rights reports on certain countries including the US.

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby Rony » 26 Jun 2014 04:17

Listen to the kind of nonsensical questions this Press TV bitch asks and some people here think these arseholes are our allies.Uday Bhaskar should have replied by asking how come Press TV does not asks these questions with respect to Baluchis who are being oppressed by the Iranian Shia regime.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kvzwr9s8uoQ
Kashmir conflict- India and Pakistan are at war

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby Agnimitra » 02 Jul 2014 23:01

In parallel with the unfolding ISIL situation in the Middle West, it is also interesting to observe the culmination of back-and-forth US-Iran negotiations over the last 3-4 years. Starting tomorrow, over the next 3 weeks (deadline extendable), the US, Iran and the P5+1 will negotiate non-stop in Vienna. If they cut a deal, then war will be off the table and sanctions impacting ordinary Iranians will be lifted. But Obama told the Irani-American NIAC lobby this weekend that failure of talks will put the US and Iran back on the path towards war.

What exactly will Obama want from the Iranis? Looking back over the past 4 years (minimum), what has the game been all along w.r.t. Iran, seemingly culminating now in 2014, the planned "Afg drawdown" year?

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby Rudradev » 03 Jul 2014 01:03

Agnimitra wrote:In parallel with the unfolding ISIL situation in the Middle West, it is also interesting to observe the culmination of back-and-forth US-Iran negotiations over the last 3-4 years. Starting tomorrow, over the next 3 weeks (deadline extendable), the US, Iran and the P5+1 will negotiate non-stop in Vienna. If they cut a deal, then war will be off the table and sanctions impacting ordinary Iranians will be lifted. But Obama told the Irani-American NIAC lobby this weekend that failure of talks will put the US and Iran back on the path towards war.

What exactly will Obama want from the Iranis? Looking back over the past 4 years (minimum), what has the game been all along w.r.t. Iran, seemingly culminating now in 2014, the planned "Afg drawdown" year?


Fascinating question, Carl-ji.

If I were a POTUS trying to do a Nixon-in-Beijing w.r.t. Iran, here's what I would put on the table.

Stop Looking West, Look East.

I could see the entire Islamic world being divided up by the US into mutually acceptable zones of primary influence, as the Pope divided the globe into Spanish (Western) and Portuguese (Eastern) spheres of influence with the Treaty of Zargossa. Saudi Arabia/Qatar/GCC + Turkey get the "West", in terms of overall (not just Sunni) Muslim leadership. This includes Sunni Central Iraq, the Arabian Peninsula, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt and the Maghreb. Iran gets the "East", in terms of overall (not just Shia) Muslim leadership: Af-Pak, Bangladesh, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Central Asian Republics to the China border. Sunni Kurdistan and Shia Southern Iraq are buffer zones, tilting towards KSA and Iran respectively.

What are the advantages for both the US/West and Iran in accepting this?

a) Iran and KSA do not get into a number of mutually destructive proxy wars over control of the Islamic "Heartland" in West Asia. Such conflicts disrupt US capacity to control global energy supplies and guarantee energy security to Western allies; in addition, they invariably end up benefiting the Russians.

If Iran abandons its plans for westward pipelines that would supply gas to Europe, and focuses on China (and possibly India) as markets instead, a major problem is solved: the US can guarantee energy supplies to Europe that would be sourced from GCC countries without contest. Washington could thus seek to challenge Russia's current domination of the EU gas market without worrying about its West Asia flank.

b) If Iran agrees, in exchange for uncontested domination of the East, to set oil prices exclusively in USD as KSA does... major coup. PRC would be ok with paying Iran for oil and gas in USD, because they are flush with dollars. India would have to make nice with the US so that it had enough USD to buy oil and gas. Meanwhile, Russian plans to sell energy to these markets would suffer.

c) Israel would be more secure if Iranian support to Hezbollah, Hamas and the Assad regime were ended by a policy shift in Teheran itself.

d) The Persian Gulf would no longer be prone to economic destabilization by Iranian mining operations, because both Iran and the GCC would have a shared interest in keeping these oilfields and trade routes secure and clear.

e) BIG one: There is no better solution to Af Pak. The West has always perceived Afghanistan and Pakistan as "Persian India"... parts of India that became Persianized and therefore are legitimately contested between the Indian and Iranian spheres of influence.

Today the problem (for the West) is that Salafi and Wahhabi groups have gained ground in Af Pak, with support from Saudi/GCC agencies externally and the TSPA/ISI internally. What if the Saudi/GCC could be prompted to back off from their support, via a Zargossa type treaty with Iran? What if, simultaneously, TSPA/ISI can be brought around to a new world-view: one which is still very much Islamist, but is based on a pan-Islamism that disregards Shia-Sunni-Ahmedi-Barelvi-Deobandi type divides, just as Jinnah originally envisioned? This is a "middle path" that the Khomeinists, Qutbists and Gulenists have all independently seen as a politically workable and non-sectarian neo-Islamism. The US (with Iran's Islamic Republic credentials on board) would have a much better chance of convincing Slumbad to adopt this version of Islamism over the Wahhab/Maudoodi version, rather than convincing Slumbad to "mend its ways" and become a secular-ish democrat-oid "good global citizen" by other means.

Also, let us remember that the US was very happy to finance, enable and even encourage the worst excesses of Paki adventurism when they had the Shah of Iran as a strong ally who could play big brother to the Paki munna, backing them up against India with implicit (and even explicit) military support. 1965 and 1971 happened in this situation. Having such a big brother back in Teheran, with American acquiescence, could be exactly what is needed to turn the Af-Pak mess from an American headache into a purely Indian (and maybe Chinese/Russian) one.

The Paki deep state, TSPA and ISI would be delighted to embrace a new Persian-based pan-Islamic identity as an ideological underpinning to their anti-India policies. Those elements of the Taliban who are very organized and strongly opportunistic: Hekmatyar, Haqqani etc. could be brought on board, while the die-hard Wahhabi types were culled as Saudi support dried up. There is no better ally the US could have to ensure continuing (US-friendly) "stability" for AfPak than Iran after 2015... it is right there in the region, has historical and cultural claims on a sphere of influence there, and would eagerly accept an "International Muslim Leadership" role which the Pakis in turn would be very glad to give them.

f) BIG one: the Eastern wing of the Islamosphere, under Iranian aegis, would go on to become a major jihadi headache for India and China under the new brand of Khomeinist/Qutbist/Gulenist pan-Islamism. Malaysia, Bangladesh, CARs and Indonesia may adopt stronger and stronger Islamist affiliations in their national identity; irredentism would spring up all over India, Myanmar, Thailand, Sri Lanka, the Philippines, Western China and Caucasian Russia. The Fortress Asia nightmare of the Americans (a Russia-China-India-Iran alliance) would be pre-empted by turning the Western bulwark against the rest.

g) If the experiment seems to work, even Iran's nuclear ambitions will be winked at. And all Iran has to do in exchange for all this is to stop looking West and look East.

Of course the big question is how willing the Iranians would be to do that. Would it still continue to rankle them that the Saudis hold the keys to the Holy Places? Would they be willing to alienate Russia and China right now, in exchange for US promises of backing them in the long-term construction of an Eastward Caliphate? All these long-shot plans are a pie in the sky right now; meanwhile, the militant hostility of GCC-backed Sunni militias to Iranian interests close to home is an immediate reality. Can the Iranians trust the US to serve as an honest broker, like the Pope at Zargossa, between the Eastward-Persian and Westward-Arab Caliphates? A LOT will depend on how decisively and definitively the US acts to crush ISIS right now... if they smash ISIS with military strikes while also convincing the GCC to clamp down on their support to ISIS, there is some chance they can win Teheran's trust.

And even then, the very nature of Islam may prove an impediment that is impossible to overcome. There is a good reason why "non-sectarian pan-Islamism" as the Gulenists, Qutbists or Jinnah/Iqbal-types envisioned it has never actually translated into reality.

Of course, it goes without saying that it is India's best interest if all such proposals fail and Iran remains as anti-Western as ever :)

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby disha » 03 Jul 2014 02:08

^^ Rudradevji, excellent analysis as usual.

I wonder - will the Iranian mullahs become Amerikhan's mullah munnas so easily just by promises of 72 houris on east in future?

Maybe they will be incentivized to develop their own Shia bomb., which will make the whole thing destabilizing (since if the Shias explicitly announce they have the bomb, which they will to prove to their own people) the dominoes of a nuclearized ME will start falling, a very scary situation if it comes into the hands of caliphate types.

And without the nuke enticement, what enticement will the Iranian mullahs have?

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby Rudradev » 03 Jul 2014 02:38

Disha ji, I think the nuke enticement will also be placed on the table as a long term carrot, BUT only after the Iranians have shown their good intentions by going along with the plan for a few years... sanctions will be lifted and so on in a phased manner, just as they were with India.

Besides that there are other enticements for Iran that would be more immediate:

1) KSA/GCC/Turkey will back off from supporting wahhabi non-state actors against interests that affect the Iranian Eastern Islamosphere (from Southern Iraq upto Indonesia). Iran may have to bargain away influence over Syria/Lebanon/Palestine in exchange.

2) All highly sectarian troublemakers who appeal to specific sub-Islamic identities... from the wahhabi/salafi proxies of KSA to the Sadr-ite/Hamas/Hezbollah proxies of Iran... will lose their sources of state support and become increasingly irrelevant. This creates space and legitimacy for the STATE of KSA to claim the mantle of all Islamic leadership (not just Sunni) in the Western Islamosphere, while the STATE Iran gains the space and legitimacy to claim pan-Islamic leadership (not just Shia) over the Eastern Islamosphere. In effect, Islamism reverts from the hands of non-state effector groups like ISIS, Taliban, Al Qaeda or Hezbollah into the hands of national governments who control it directly. Win win for both Iran and KSA.

3) KSA/GCC will effectively negotiate a division of the global energy market with Iran. KSA/GCC will agree not to compete with Iran in eastern markets, while Iran does not compete with them for western markets. This would present a bissful resolution to the energy wars that are right now consuming West Asia. Iran is getting exhausted by fighting these proxy wars on top of crushing international sanctions; they might very well welcome the relief afforded by such a compromise, especially under a moderate government like Hassan Rouhani's. KSA/GCC would also probably want to stop watching their backs in Yemen and Bahrain, and stop having to deal with potentially dangerous proxies like ISIS roaming around very close to their backyards.

4) Relieved of sanctions, Iran can come into its own as a trading partner with many nations of the world, as long as it does not do anything to undermine the US-dictated international economic order (such as selling oil for Roubles, Rupees or Remninbi). The lack of opportunity to live up to their potential has really been hurting the Iranian educated classes (which include millions of talented engineers, doctors, scientists and business people). They would go from opposing or resenting the Ayatollah regime to proudly supporting it.

5) The Kurdish separatist problem is alleviated for Iran by US guarantees that independent Kurdistan will remain a neutral buffer zone between Iran and Turkey. The Baluch separatist problem is also alleviated for Iran because, by mastery over the Eastern Islamosphere, all of AfPak comes under their "legitimate" sphere of influence.

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby disha » 03 Jul 2014 03:35

If the above comes to pass, what will the baki munna do? Baki munna is no different from ISIS. So if ISIS loses legitimacy, so does Baki munna and coupled with the losing the Saudi state support to the wahabandis., and the sphere of eastern influence shifting to Iran, what is the utility of bakistan to US?

Of course Bakistanis may be humoured by US to be the red rag to the Indians (and a role which all Bakistanis will relish)., and this means the wahaabandis will be ready for jeehard in Cashmere and more trouble for India.

My other point is, will the caliphate types take this lying down? This is what I think OBL 1.0 protested - influence of US in the ME (and the US wanted Iraq to do a war so that they can insert themselves into the ME politics)., and ISIS is OBL 2.0., how soon from the above OBL 3.0 emerges?

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby Agnimitra » 03 Jul 2014 14:15

RD gurudev,

That's India's worst nightmare! It does seem to lead to an equilibrium of sorts, with radical runoff in directions the US would want. But that equilibrium makes sense in terms of the Iran-Arab equation. With the Iran-Turkey equation, its not so simple, since the Turkophone area sits heavily on Iran's East - erstwhile Khwarezm / Greater Khorasan. But there are many good reasons that it will play out towards this equilibrium. A Turko-Iranian condominium in Khorasan with Paki HuT type footsoldiers is quite possible - unless India/China/Russia can deny them enough jiziya or blood, so that they continue to seek sawab among themselves.

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby Rony » 03 Jul 2014 18:15

'Iranian attack jets deployed' to help Iraq fight Isis

Iran has supplied Iraq with attack jets to help it counter an offensive by Sunni rebels led by the Islamist group Isis, strong evidence suggests.

Russia supplied an initial delivery of the aircraft just a few days ago.

But analysts at the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) in London say that a further delivery, on 1 July, originates from Iran.

This means that the US - which has also sent aircraft to Iraq - is operating alongside Iran in this conflict.

The US has deployed drones and helicopters to Iraq and is actively gathering intelligence on the advance by the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (Isis). Washington is also supplying Iraq's existing air force with Hellfire missiles.

In this case adversity has made for strange bed-fellows.

Mr Dempsey of the IISS notes that "the camouflage scheme visible on the three aircraft is also identical to that currently applied to Iranian Su-25s; a scheme not adopted by any other operators.” He says there appear to have been attempts to conceal the original markings "with evidence of key positions being painted over. This includes the location of Iranian roundels on the side of the air intakes along with a large proportion of the tail fin normally occupied by a full serial number, the Iranian flag and the IRGC insignia."

Iran maintains a small number of Su-25 aircraft, operated by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).

Ironically, the majority of these aircraft used to be part of the Iraqi Air Force - seven Su-25s sought refuge in Iran during the First Gulf War.

Contrary to Iraqi wishes, these aircraft were retained and later brought into Iranian service.

Of course it is much harder to determine who is actually flying the aircraft.

Mr Dempsey says that "while Iraq may retain some capability, having operated the aircraft in the past, any pilots would not have had any flying experience for at least 11 years.

"So it would strongly suggest that some level of external support is required," he says.


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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby gunjur » 04 Jul 2014 21:10

Apologies if already posted.

Military intervention, Iranian-style - By Farzan Sabet

The Islamic Republic of Iran today is being confronted by existential attacks on its alliance system, the axis of resistance, on two fronts: first Syria, and now Iraq. While it has largely contained the Syrian civil war—having reversed the tide in favor of Bashar al Assad’s regime after three years of sustained military, political, and economic support—the crumbling of the Iraqi state and the possibility of a Sunni resurgence has elites in Iran alarmed.

Iran is now in the uncomfortable position of planning to stage a military intervention in Iraq, one that is likely to follow a pattern that has emerged since 1979.

Two decisive military experiences in the 1980s have helped shape Iran’s approach to military intervention and its very strong preference for covert operations. The first is the Iran-Iraq War (1980-1988), which is arguably the defining experience of the Islamic Republic, on par with the revolution itself. While Iran’s conventional military achieved its primary objective of not conceding an inch of Iranian soil to Iraq using overt operations, it was far less successful in projecting power into Iraq, and the stalemated war ultimately cost hundreds of thousands of casualties and hundreds of billions of dollars. Critically, Iran learned the limits of its conventional military power, constrained by technological and industrial shortcomings and international balance-of-power dynamics. The second experience was attempts by the Movements Branch, the predecessor of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Jerusalem (Qods) Force, to create resistance movements across the Middle East, especially Hezbollah in Lebanon in the early 1980s, and helped shape an evolving template which has been used widely elsewhere since. This second experience has left a greater imprint on Iranian military interventions due to its relative military success, cost-effectiveness, and deniability.

With this background in mind, what is Iran’s approach to military interventions? It typically follows three basic principles.

1. Leave a light footprint

Iran’s preference for a light footprint, especially covert operations, has been confirmed on numerous occasions since 1979; it has relied on small and discreet special operations and intelligence units which gather vital information and act as trainers and advisers to realize its goals, the most well-known example being Major-General Qasem Soleimani’s Jerusalem Force. As Robert Beckhusen has neatly summarized, “The Quds Force is not a front-line unit, but functions as a special operations group whose presence and leadership improves indigenous forces on the battlefield.” This preference, shaped by its experiences in the 1980s, coalesced into a more consistent approach in the aftermath of the killing of 13 Iranian diplomats in its Mazari Sharif consulate by the Afghan Taliban in 1998. This was an episode in which a large-scale Iranian overt operation in Afghanistan was seriously contemplated by the regime’s national security establishment. While we do not know all of the facts, credible accounts have begun to emerge. As current senior military adviser to the supreme leader and former IRGC commander Majour-General Yayha Rahim-Safavi recounts:

At that time [1998] I was commander of the IRGC and in 48 hours deployed two divisions with airplanes on the border of Taybad. I made an operational plan and took it before [Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei] to ask permission so that we could advance to the Herat region with a number of divisions. Herat is approximately 130 km from our border. I said: ‘Give us permission, for the punishment of the Taliban, to advance to Herat; annihilate, punish, eliminate them and return.’


This is said to be one of the few occasions in which Khamenei went against the consensus of the Supreme National Security Council (SNSC), the main body responsible for Iran’s foreign and national security policymaking. According to Rahim-Safavi, Khamenei disagreed on two grounds, saying that: “First the Taliban has not entered our territory and not infiltrated our country; the entry of Iran into the land of Afghanistan may lead others to react.” Here, Khamenei appears to have firmly established violation of Iranian territory as one of the very few red-lines that could trigger overt military intervention. Second, Khamenei is said to have asserted that “Right now 13 people have been martyred and you go to seek revenge,” but in a large-scale deployment this number could increase because “it is not the case that only you kill them.” Rahim-Safavi’s alternative proposal to “strike the Taliban border outposts with artillery and mortar and then demolish them with bulldozers and loaders in a short period,” was ultimately accepted. This was only a stopgap measure, however, and the thrust of Iran’s response to the Taliban from 1998 onward relied on covert operations, including a partnership with the Northern Alliance, an indigenous force in Afghanistan.

Iran’s preference for leaving a light footprint in military interventions has been strong enough that even in Syria, where reliable local forces have been stretched to their limits, Iran has tried to avoid using Iranian troops and deployed Lebanese Hezbollah, Iraqi Shi’a special groups, and—allegedly—Shia Hazara refugees from Iran, among others.

2. Partner with indigenous forces and use unconventional warfare

Iran has historically emphasized partnering with indigenous forces in carrying out its military interventions. While reliable publicly available information remains scant, these partnerships appear to follow a basic pattern epitomized by Hezbollah, though there can be important variations from case to case. First, it typically targets marginalized Muslim communities in the midst of a crisis in states where it wants to intervene. The Shia community in Lebanon following the Israeli invasion of 1982 certainly fits this profile, with its vulnerability creating an opening for Iran to enter and offer a partnership that includes financing, training, and arms, in exchange for cooperation in reaching Iranian foreign and security policy goals.

Second, rather than creating narrowly-focused armed groups, Iran typically attempts to create movements which can attract a social base (in part through the provision of social services), actively influence the politics of the states they live in, and act as a military force against opponents in and around their immediate geographical context. Hezbollah today constitutes precisely such a movement, a state within a state in southern Lebanon that broadens the scope of Iranian influence in the Levant.

Third, Iran’s reliance on indigenous forces often goes hand in hand with the use of unconventional warfare. The emphasis on this type of warfare emerged out of the exigencies of the Iran-Iraq War, in which Iran’s conventional military edge vis-à-vis Iraq steadily eroded over the course of the war. Since then, the IRGC has specialized in unconventional warfare and offers training and arms in this field to indigenous forces that partner with Iran. This is often borne out of necessity: Iran simply cannot train and equip its partners with mass-produced and technologically advanced military hardware like the United States can. Iran is, however, proficient in the mass production and use of small arms and light weapons as well as light vehicles, watercraft, and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), to great military effect. Such an approach allows Iran to rapidly build up the military capacity of its indigenous partners at a relatively low cost, and can be very effective in inflicting casualties and demoralizing enemies. This was certainly the experience of Israel during its occupation of Lebanon and war with Hezbollah, when it was not defeated in purely conventional military terms but was eventually forced to retreat without having obtained many of its primary objectives.

Beyond establishing deeply-rooted Iranian social, political, and economic influence in the states where it is operating, this basic principle also supports the goal of leaving a light footprint, giving Iran a degree of deniability and allowing it to engage in proxy conflicts.

3. Create broad non-sectarian coalitions

In its military interventions, Iran has tried to legitimize its actions and weaken its opponents by creating broad non-sectarian coalitions, meaning that it often seeks to avoid overt sectarianism both in its discourse and actions, where feasible. This has been borne out with Hezbollah in Lebanon, which regularly works with Christians and other denominations under the banner of anti-Zionism, and the Northern Alliance in Afghanistan, which included Sunni Tajiks and Shia Hazara under an anti-Taliban banner. In Syria, it has been fighting to preserve a secular Arab Baathist regime presided over by Alawi (who, contrary to some claims, are outside of mainstream Shiism) and Sunni elites under the banner of anti-terrorism.

On one level, as a state that aspires to be an Islamic power and not merely a Shia power, it is important for Iran to be seen as not acting in an overtly sectarian manner in the various places it intervenes. The increasing sectarianism of the conflicts in Syria and Iraq threatens to alienate Islam’s Sunni majority from Iran, an outcome the latter will seek to avoid, though its fear of reputational costs will be balanced by the need to advance its national interests. On another level, as implied by Khamenei’s response to Rahim-Safavi in 1998, the Islamic Republic is highly cognizant of the way overt operations and outright military occupation can not only damage Iran’s reputation as an anti-imperialist force, but actually create a rally-around-the-flag effect that would ultimately doom any military intervention.

Conclusion

While some see the current Iraq crisis as an opportunity for Iran—and in the long-term it may well have advantages—in the short term it is a profound threat to its national security. For all themystique surrounding Jerusalem Force commander Soleimani, who the Western media would have us believe is an Iranian “Kaiser Soze,” regime leaders must be wondering if he was asleep at the helm in Iraq in allowing the Sunni discontent to reach crisis proportions. Indeed, the possibility of carving out a Shia Arab state from the dying Iraqi body politic is at best a last resort fraught with perils. The creation of hostile Sunni Arab state on Iran’s frontiers may give its regional foes the perfect vehicle for destabilizing its already fragile western border, including Iran’s Arab-majority oil producing province of Khuzestan, while an independent Kurdish state could strengthen the hands of Iranian Kurds seeking greater autonomy or outright secession. Geopolitically, this outcome would break the contiguity of borders between the Axis of Resistance, weakening Iran’s regional position.

The current situation will necessitate an Iranian military intervention, and indeed the basic framework laid out here is already playing out in Iraq. Despite reports of Iranian troop deployments in Iraq, Iran does not appear to be engaging in overt operations at this point but will likely maintain a light footprint and deny any military involvement, even in the face of credible claims to the contrary. In Iraq, demographics negate the problem of finding reliable military manpower. Rather, the Islamic Republic is likely to focus on creating lightly equipped local defense units capable of holding territory and putting into the field heavily equipped mobile units capable of taking the fight to ISIL and its allies. The existence of Iranian partners such as the Peace Brigades (a resurrected Mahdi Army), League of the Righteous (Asaib Ahl al-Haq) and Hezbollah Brigades (Kataib Hezbollah), which have either been on deployment in Syria or dormant, will accelerate this process and significantly deepen Iran’s ties with indigenous Shia forces in Iraq. Of course, In Iraq it is all the more urgent for Iran to be perceived as acting in a non-sectarian manner, and for these reasons Iran has been trying to enlist Sunni Arabs and Kurds in the coalition to fight ISIL. Despite its best efforts, however, the creation of a broad non-sectarian coalition may be difficult given Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s unilateralism, Shia-Sunni antagonism (aggravated by Iran’s support for Shia militias) and potential Kurdish opportunism. More generally, Iran will likely present the crisis as a war on terror, as it has been doing in Syria, and it may encounter some success with this narrative given the optics of ISIL’s blitzkrieg across Iraq.

There are, of course, caveats to the way this approach to military intervention may be carried out in Iraq, and certain scenarios may force Iran to deviate from its preferred modus operandi. The first scenario is one in which the red-line against hostile intrusion into Iranian territory, established as early as 1998 by Khamenei, is crossed. If ISIL attempts to penetrate the frontier, we are likely to see overt operations including a pursue-and-destroy mission into Iraqi territory. Any such intervention, however, would probably remain highly defensive in nature. The second scenario is one in which ISIL poses an immediate threat to the Shia holy sites or Baghdad itself. These areas are strategically and symbolically important and geographically close enough that a large-scale overt operation is practicable.

One question that remains somewhat ambiguous when it comes to the case of Iranian military intervention in Iraq is Iran’s willingness to coordinate with other states at the military level, especially extra-regional powers such as the United States. While Iran does not have a strong track record of such military cooperation, in the past it has at least shown the capacity to work with rivals such as the United States, the most prominent example in recent memory being U.S.-Iran cooperation to overthrow the Taliban and establish a mutually acceptable regime in Afghanistan in 2001. At the moment, despite murmurs on both sides about the possibility of military cooperation, it seems unlikely on any significant scale given the political difficulties it presents to both sides. In Iraq, Iran is likely to go it alone, at least for now.

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby Agnimitra » 21 Jul 2014 09:43

Two days ago ISIS made further gains against Iran-aligned Asad. ISIS pretty much gained complete control over Syria's Deir az-Zawr province, a major oil-producing region. That brings a total of about 60% of Syria's production capacity under their control. So while Sunni Iraq is just dry land, it now has oil-producing al-Sham, at the cost of Iran-aligned Asad's Syria.

Two days ago negotiators in Vienna let it be known that an agreement would not be reached on the Iran nukular deal by today, July 20. Talks given a 4 month extension.

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby Agnimitra » 06 Sep 2014 08:01

Interesting concert between Unkil and Iran vis a vis ISIS. Seems like a theater is being circumscribed within which ISIS can play its khilafat games and attract jihadis from the West (and India).

Business Insider: Iran's Military Mastermind Was Reportedly Present During Iraq's Biggest Victory So Far Against ISIS
The town was secured thanks to "an unusual partnership of Iraqi and Kurdish soldiers, Iranian-backed Shiite militias and U.S. warplanes," according to The Los Angeles Times, which reported that Amerli was the first town to successfully withstand an ISIS invasion.

Irani chatter meanwhile is getting pretty worked up about the ISIS threat.

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby member_28638 » 11 Sep 2014 02:06

Iran, Russia sign 70-billion projects to boost trade, economic ties

Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak says Tehran and Moscow have signed projects worth of seventy billion euro to develop their trade and economic ties.

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby Agnimitra » 19 Oct 2014 03:02

X-post from STFU-Paki thread:

Iran ends cooperation agreement with Pakistan
Iran has unilaterally ended the government-to-government cooperation agreement with Pakistan, and after this decision the much-talked-about Iran-Pakistan IP gas pipeline project has become unfeasible, sources told Daily Times.

A copy of official documents seen by Daily Times disclosed that the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources on October 2 revealed to the federal cabinet’s ECC that Iran has unilaterally ended government-to-government cooperation agreement with Pakistan and is not even prepared to offer $500 million for the construction of the long-awaited IP gas pipeline project. With this decision the IP gas pipeline project, in its present form, has become not feasible.

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby khan » 19 Oct 2014 04:33

From nyt

Pakistan Demands Answers After Officer Is Killed on Iran Border
By SALMAN MASOOD
OCTOBER 18, 2014
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — The Pakistan government summoned the Iranian ambassador Saturday to protest the killing of a Pakistani security official by Iranian border guards, an official said.

“The Iranian ambassador was summoned, a protest was lodged and an investigation was demanded into the killing of our security official,” Tasnim Aslam, the spokeswoman for the Pakistani ministry of foreign affairs, said in an interview on Saturday.

A Pakistani paramilitary officer was killed and four soldiers were wounded after their vehicle came under fire from Iranian border guards in Kech district of Baluchistan, the southwestern Pakistani province that borders Iran, according to Pakistani officials. Dozens of Iranian border guards also raided a village in Chagai, another district of Baluchistan.

Tensions have been growing between the neighboring countries after recent allegations by Iranian officials that Sunni militants based in Baluchistan have been mounting strikes against bases and border posts inside Iranian territory.

Pakistani officials have dismissed the allegations and have asked for evidence from Iran.

“If Iran has evidence that elements from Pakistan are involved in activities against Iran, they should share it with us,” Ms. Aslam said Friday during a weekly press briefing. “Our information is that these incidents took place inside Iranian territory by Iranians and that is corroborated by their own accounts. It is not helpful to externalize problems,” Ms. Aslam said.

On Saturday, the situation at the border remained volatile. Provincial officials in Pakistan said Iranian soldiers launched five mortar shells at a Pakistani security post in the Mashkel area of Baluchistan. No casualties were reported.

The border problems with Iran come as Pakistan is also facing growing tensions with India on its eastern border. In recent weeks both countries have accused each other of initiating shooting and mortar attacks along the disputed border of Kashmir. At least 17 people have died and dozens have been wounded this month as Pakistani and Indian forces traded fire on both sides of the Kashmir frontier.

On Saturday, the Pakistani army chief, Gen. Raheel Sharif, speaking during a parade of army cadets in the northern town of Abbottabad, vowed to defend the country against external aggression, although he did not specifically name any countries.

“Sentiments of good will and amity notwithstanding, let there be no doubt that any aggression against our beloved country will get a befitting response and no sacrifice will be too great in this sacred cause,” Gen. Sharif said. “We desire regional stability and relationship based on equality and mutual respect.”


As someone posted earlier on the Paki thread, there beggars actually think it's ok to have the occasional terrorist act and as good neighbors its our duty to put up with this nonsense.

The Iranians were probably just killing a Paki for retaliatory purposes.

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby arun » 19 Oct 2014 07:07

X Posted from the Pakistani Role In Global Terrorism thread.

Shia Mohammadden majority Islamic Republic of Iran says that Sunni Mohammadden Terrorists from the Islamic Republic of Pakistan are sneaking into Iran to commit acts of terrorism joining other of Pakistan’s neighbor who frequently say the same thing, namely India and Afghanistan and the Peoples Republic of China that on occasion says the same thing.

Rather than title itself “Gateway to central Asia” and “Energy Corridor”, the Islamic Republic of Pakistan should retitle herself “Gateway for Terrorists” and “Terrorist Corridor”:

Iran says militants infiltrating from Pakistan

Meanwhile the Islamic Republic of Pakistan summons the Ambassador of fellow Islamic Republic Iran and lodges a diplomatic protest for Iran’s reaction to Pakistani provocations of permitting Sunni Mohammadden Terrorist sneak across the Pakistani border to sow havoc in Iran.

Next presumably is the Islamic Republic of Pakistan school-boyishly whinging to the UN Secretary General:

Firing by border guards: Iranian envoy summoned, protest lodged

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby arun » 19 Oct 2014 07:08

India clears USD 86 Million investment in Chabahar port in Iran. Good move to provide Afghanistan an alternate route for world trade that bypasses the Islamic Republic of Pakistan:

NEW DELHI: The Cabinet on Saturday cleared the long-stalled strategic investment plan to set up the Chabahar port in Iran that would serve as a critical transit route from Afghanistan to India that doesn't pass through Pakistan.

Finance minister Arun Jaitley said the port has an 'extreme strategic importance' for India and JNPT and Kandla port would partner the government in developing the port for which nearly $86 million is being invested.


From here:

Cabinet clears strategic investment plan to set up Chabahar port in Iran

The “Official” Press Release from : PIB :

Press Information Bureau
Government of India
Cabinet
18-October-2014 19:56 IST
India's participation in the development of Chahbahar port in Iran

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, today gave its approval for the framework inter-Governmental Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that is to be finalised by the Government of India with the Government of Iran. This inter-Governmental MoU will have the following main elements:-

i. An Indian Joint Venture (JV) company will lease two fully constructed berths in Chahbahar port’s Phase-I project for a period of ten years, which could be renewed by “mutual agreement”.
ii. The JV company will invest US $ 85.21 million for equipping the two berths within 12 months as a container terminal and the second as a multi-purpose cargo terminal.

iii. The Indian side will transfer ownership of the equipment to be provided through the investment to Iran’s port and Maritime Organisation (P&MO) without any payment at the end of the tenth year.

iv. The Indian side can form a JV that could include one or more Iranian companies subject to the approval of the P&MO.

v. The Indian and Iranian sides could enter into subsequent negotiations for participation in the construction, equipping and operating of terminals in Phase-II on BOT basis, subject to the Indian side’s satisfactory performance in Phase-I.

vi. The Iranian side will make efforts to provide Free Trade Zone conditions and facilities at the port.

The Cabinet also approved to constitute a JV or other appropriate Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) comprising the Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT) and the Kandla Port Trust (KPT) and if required a local Iranian partner and/or an Indian private sector partner to serve as the vehicle for India’s participation in the development of the port. Approval was also given for incurring annual revenue expenditure of US$ 22.95 million to support operational activities of the Indian JV.


India’s presence at the Chahbahar port would give it a sea-land access route into Afghanistan through Iran’s eastern borders.

Background

Iran's Chahbahar port located in the Sistan-Baluchistan Province on Iran's south-eastern coast is a port of great strategic utility for India. It lies outside the Persian Gulf and is easily accessed from India's western coast.

From Chahbahar port using the existing Iranian road network, one can link up to Zaranj in Afghanistan which is at a distance of 883 km from the port and then using the Zaranj-Delaram road constructed by India in 2009, one can access Afghanistan's garland highway thereby establishing road access to four of the major cities of Afghanistan; Herat, Kandahar, Kabul and Mazar-e-Sharif.

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby vijaykarthik » 06 Nov 2014 12:43

Looks like the deal will get done by Nov 24th itself? Mmh. interesting days.

So qn for everyone. Why is it that if a sunni terror org kills people (incl Shias), its called a terror attack / looked down upon. However if Shias attack Sunnis, its called sectarian violence?

Another qn for people who have stats: have shias attacked anyone apart from Sunnis [and perhaps Jews?]. Or is it that they predominantly attack only Sunnis.

When there are just about 1/5 of Shias as muslims, the Sunnis can do a lot more to accept them, no? Minority and all that.

Easy, one should think. Why doesn't that happen.

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby RajeshA » 06 Dec 2014 14:40

Published on Dec 6, 2014
Iran confirms air strikes in Iraq against ISIS: Reuters

BAGHDAD (REUTERS) - A senior Iranian official has confirmed his country carried out air strikes in neighbouring Iraq against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) group at the request of Iraqi authorities, Britain's Guardian newspaper reported.

It quoted Deputy Foreign Minister Ebrahim Rahimpour as saying the strikes were not coordinated with the United States, which is also waging an air campaign against the radical Sunni Muslim militants who control large parts of north and west Iraq.

The purpose of the strikes was "the defence of the interests of our friends in Iraq", the newspaper quoted Rahimpour as saying in an interview in London.

"We did not have any coordination with the Americans. We have coordinated only with the Iraqi government," he said.

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby Agnimitra » 17 Dec 2014 18:21

Tidbit: Reza Aslan, the Islamist apologist who has been at the center of the debate against Sam Harris' analysis of Islamism on Bill Maher's show and elsewhere, is a key member of the National Iranian-American Council (NIAC). This is the premier lobby for nuclear 'talks' with Iran, and opposed to war.

Note how Shi'a Iran's lobby and important persons in the US merge seamlessly with Sunni forces to keep "Islamophobia" at bay.

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby A_Gupta » 29 Jan 2015 17:32

http://www.tehrantimes.com/economy-and- ... a-official
newsitem in full
TEHRAN- Iran is planning to increase non-oil exports to India, according to Iran-India Business Council (IIBC) Chairman Ebrahim Jamili.

Jamili said signing a preferential trade agreement with India could bolster Iran’s presence in the Indian market, the ISNA news agency reported on Wednesday.

Iran can export constructional services as well as cement and petrochemical products to India, he stated.

The official mentioned petrochemical products, chemical fertilizers and some raw materials as Iran’s major exported products to India and rice, food products and medicine as Iran’s main imported goods from the country.

Preferential trade agreement is a pact that reduces tariffs for certain products to the countries who sign it. While the tariffs are not necessarily eliminated, they are lower than countries not party to the agreement. It is a form of economic integration.

The Indian government has decided to get moving on the long-delayed construction of strategically critical Chabahar port in Iran that would give India easier access to Afghanistan and Central Asia through a shorter route that would also mean being able to avoid Karachi in neighboring Pakistan.

India and Iran had decided on the project in 2003, but the venture failed to make much headway because of U.S. sanctions on Iran, even though port construction was exempted from the sanctions.


India was the 4th biggest importer of Iranian non-oil goods in the previous Iranian calendar year, which ended on March 20, 2014, according to the Iran Customs Administration.

Iran exported $2.417 billion of non-oil goods to India and imported $4.31 billion of non-oil goods from the country.

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby A_Gupta » 30 Jan 2015 16:49

http://www.opednews.com/articles/Pak-Ir ... 9-393.html
Conversely, the politics in the region has negatively affected the Afghan security. Therefore, in the said chess of global and regional politics, Islamabad and Tehran cannot help remaining involved. In fact, Iranian ruling establishment observes that Afghan Talibans are planted by Pakistan. These Taliban are actually antagonistic towards Iran and remained rather less conciliatory in their divergence with Tehran due to ideological difference.

This is what disturbs Iranian Government and leads them to formulate policies regarding Afghanistan, which further irritates Pakistan. For instance, after US leaves Afghanistan; Iran seems united with India on Afghanistan and is stubborn to hamper Taliban from capturing power again in Kabul. Thus, it has engaged in working on various machinations.

Accordingly, Tehran has invested 260 billion USD for reconstruction of Afghanistan. It works on construction of road links of Chahbahar, Malik, Zaranj and Delaram, with the collaboration of India. Similarly, both Tehran and New Delhi have come closer in defense, enhancing cooperation in air, land and naval spheres. Both states are on the way to construct railway link between Degharoun and Islam Qaleh. All these aforementioned Iranian steps are enough to derail the Pak-Iran ties, making Pakistani decision makers mis-perceived.

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby deejay » 30 Jan 2015 18:06

A_Gupta wrote:http://www.opednews.com/articles/Pak-Iran-Ties-The-Disturb-by-Muhammad-Irfan-Cause_Steps_Tension-150129-393.html
...

Accordingly, Tehran has invested 260 billion USD for reconstruction of Afghanistan. It works on construction of road links of Chahbahar, Malik, Zaranj and Delaram, with the collaboration of India. Similarly, both Tehran and New Delhi have come closer in defense, enhancing cooperation in air, land and naval spheres. Both states are on the way to construct railway link between Degharoun and Islam Qaleh.


USD 260 Billion :shock:

May be they got it wrong. Could it be USD 26 Billion / USD 2.6 Billion / USD 260 Million?

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby vijaykarthik » 30 Jan 2015 21:37

must be 260 mn. If they had so much cash, they will not be attempting a deal with US now. D'oh!

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby putnanja » 30 Jan 2015 23:35

A_Gupta wrote:http://www.opednews.com/articles/Pak-Iran-Ties-The-Disturb-by-Muhammad-Irfan-Cause_Steps_Tension-150129-393.html
Conversely, the politics in the region has negatively affected the Afghan security. Therefore, in the said chess of global and regional politics, Islamabad and Tehran cannot help remaining involved. In fact, Iranian ruling establishment observes that Afghan Talibans are planted by Pakistan. These Taliban are actually antagonistic towards Iran and remained rather less conciliatory in their divergence with Tehran due to ideological difference.

This is what disturbs Iranian Government and leads them to formulate policies regarding Afghanistan, which further irritates Pakistan. For instance, after US leaves Afghanistan; Iran seems united with India on Afghanistan and is stubborn to hamper Taliban from capturing power again in Kabul. Thus, it has engaged in working on various machinations.

Accordingly, Tehran has invested 260 billion USD for reconstruction of Afghanistan. It works on construction of road links of Chahbahar, Malik, Zaranj and Delaram, with the collaboration of India. Similarly, both Tehran and New Delhi have come closer in defense, enhancing cooperation in air, land and naval spheres. Both states are on the way to construct railway link between Degharoun and Islam Qaleh. All these aforementioned Iranian steps are enough to derail the Pak-Iran ties, making Pakistani decision makers mis-perceived.


One can see the famous "pakistan speaks better english than India" english by this "junior scholar who has presented papers nationally & internationally" :mrgreen:

$260 billion?? picked it from his musharraf no doubt.

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby arshyam » 31 Jan 2015 05:54

Lol, Iran's nominal GDP in 2014 was around $400B. No wonder they are in dire straits now, as they 'gave' $260B to Afghanistan, whose GDP is, hold your breath, all of $21B!
:rotfl:

[Added later]
I think the article meant 260B Rials, not USD. In 2012, 1 USD = 16000 rials, so 260B Rials would be USD 16.25 million.

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby Agnimitra » 27 Feb 2015 04:16

Pro-Iran lobby group in the US, NIAC leader Trita Parsi writes:
Netanyahu Has Crossed the Point of No Return on Iran
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s open conflict with U.S. President Barack Obama over his diplomacy with Iran has not only served a blow to the U.S.-Israeli relationship. It has also collapsed Israel’s otherwise arguably successful Iran policy.

Contrary to Israel’s rhetoric, the fear of Iran getting a nuclear weapon has not been the driving factor of Israel policy on Iran since the early 1990s. Obviously, Iran obtaining a nuclear weapon would be highly undesirable for Israel. But that has not been Israel’s primary concern. Rather, the fear has been that Washington would end up finding a compromise with Iran that on the one hand would close off any Iranian path to a bomb, but on the other hand would lock in a shift in the regional balance of power in Israel’s disfavor.

Regardless of the details of a nuclear deal with Iran, a deal per se would reduce Washington’s tensions with Tehran, while not necessarily tempering the Israeli-Iranian rivalry proportionally. Israel will be “abandoned” to face Iran alone, Israelis fear. Moreover, a deal would signal, the argument goes, that Washington has accepted and will not contest Iran’s geopolitical advances in the region. Iran has hegemonic aspirations, Israel contends, and must be stopped, not accommodated. After a deal with Iran, Washington would be even more likely to shift its geopolitical focus elsewhere and be less intertwined with Israel’s needs.

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby Agnimitra » 11 Mar 2015 23:50

Funny! They do this often, to make a point:

Iran Offers to Mediate Talks Between Republicans and Obama

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby A_Gupta » 01 Apr 2015 02:37

http://www.hellenicshippingnews.com/ind ... -pressure/
India halted oil imports from Iran for the first time in at least a decade in March as New Delhi responded to U.S. pressure to keep its shipments from Tehran within sanction limits during the last month of negotiations on a preliminary nuclear deal.

Iran and six world powers have ramped up the pace of negotiations this week ahead of the Tuesday deadline for reaching an initial accord on a final nuclear agreement. Both sides have warned it was crucial to overcome differences that could still wreck any chance at a deal.

India is Iran’s second-biggest buyer on an annual basis after China, yet it did not take any crude from Tehran in March, according to tanker arrival data from trade sources and ship tracking services on the Thomson Reuters terminal.

Refinery sources said this was the first time in at least a decade that no imports were made over the space of a month – indicating how Washington is trying to maximise economic pressure on Tehran amid the talks aimed at stopping Iran from gaining the capacity to develop a nuclear bomb.

“There is pressure from the U.S. on all Asian buyers to stick to the sanctions regime,” said Johannes Benigni, chairman of JBC Energy GmbH in Vienna.

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby chanakyaa » 01 Apr 2015 07:00


It is funny, after all it is from NooYorker. What I don't get is that the party which is about to take power Mr. O leaves office in about year and half is saying this, what is the point of noo-clear deal dramebazi?

Israel Should ‘Go Rogue’

Image

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby A_Gupta » 03 Apr 2015 22:09

http://www.outlookindia.com/news/articl ... off/889562

The breakthrough in a standoff between Iran and the West over its nuclear programme is likely to help major buyers of Iranian oil like India by lifting curbs on quantity of import and payment restrictions.

The US and its allies had blocked all financial channels in order to choke Iran to pressurise the countries like India to cut their oil purchase from the Persian Gulf nation.

This saw India cut its imports from over 18 million tonnes five years back to 11 million tonnes in 2013-14.

In 2014-15, US pressured India to maintain imports from Iran at 2013-14 level, which led to New Delhi not importing any oil last month.

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby A_Gupta » 03 Apr 2015 22:20

http://www.firstpost.com/world/more-rad ... 84929.html

With the relaxation of economic sanctions:
This would mean that in a matter of years Iran would become a mirror image of Saudi Arabia, having deep and long pockets and courted by every power in the world.

An immediate impact of this will be that Iran will inevitably get into two activities that Saudi Arabia has been doing for decades: exporting its brand of Islamic ideology by bankrolling foreign institutions and conducting limited and localised wars through proxies.

The Iranian attention and money will definitely zero in on India’s immediate neighbourhood: Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Thus far the region was getting convulsed only by the Saudi export of extreme Wahabism. But now India and the world will have to cope with a new source of radicalism funding – Iran. Obviously Iran will play catch-up with the Saudis in this aspect. The result: newer radical outfits will mushroom in the region, this time of Shia variety.

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby Tuvaluan » 03 Apr 2015 22:25

The Iranian clerics are not idiots like the Saudi clerics -- they all hold portfolios not unlike those in the CCP or in the Indian parliament. They won't be going around funding mosques and madrassas in the region with rabid mullahs like the saudis did -- they are likely to make far better use of any power accumulate from selling their oil/gas....of course, the important part is who is going to pay for rebuilding all of Iran's decrepit oil/gas processing plants.

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby shravanp » 03 Apr 2015 23:37

A_Gupta wrote:http://www.firstpost.com/world/more-radical-outfits-to-proxy-wars-what-india-should-beware-of-after-the-iran-nuclear-deal-2184929.html

With the relaxation of economic sanctions:
This would mean that in a matter of years Iran would become a mirror image of Saudi Arabia, having deep and long pockets and courted by every power in the world.

An immediate impact of this will be that Iran will inevitably get into two activities that Saudi Arabia has been doing for decades: exporting its brand of Islamic ideology by bankrolling foreign institutions and conducting limited and localised wars through proxies.

The Iranian attention and money will definitely zero in on India’s immediate neighbourhood: Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Thus far the region was getting convulsed only by the Saudi export of extreme Wahabism. But now India and the world will have to cope with a new source of radicalism funding – Iran. Obviously Iran will play catch-up with the Saudis in this aspect. The result: newer radical outfits will mushroom in the region, this time of Shia variety.



There might be spurt in Shia-Sunni clashes in India.

Tuvaluan
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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby Tuvaluan » 03 Apr 2015 23:43

That Firstpost article is nonsensical -- Iranian are not quite like the Saudis and they will not be funding the spread of shia'ism like the Saudis funded the spread of Wahabbism. The Iranians are more interested in using this breathing space consolidate their economic and military position in the region, and draw in more investments to allow them to sell more oil/gas to Asian countries in the coming decades.


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