Tag Archives: Nuclear

Prince Turki as a Nuclear Flying Dutchman: Is he Aiming to Learn Persian?………..

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““Whatever the Iranians have, we will have, too,” Prince Turki al-Faisal, the former Saudi intelligence chief, warned at a conference in South Korea last month. Under the emerging deal, instead of ending Iran’s nuclear program outright, Tehran might be allowed to keep up to 5,000 centrifuges to produce nuclear fuel for energy and medical purposes. Saudi Arabia’s leaders are fixated on containing Iranian power throughout the Middle East, whether real or perceived. The Saudis worry that, once economic sanctions are lifted under a nuclear deal, Iran would gain access to tens of billions of dollars in frozen funds and new oil revenue…………”

The Prince stated something that does not need to be stated, almost inane: “Whatever the Iranians have, we will have, too,”
Iranians also speak Persian: does this mean the Al Saud plan to all learn the Persian language? Anyway, a sovereign country can do whatever it wants at home. Which is exactly what the ruling mullahs of Iran have been saying (or claiming, if you prefer).

As I and others have posted and wisely opined, there is more to it. The Saudi princes want to keep their financial near-monopoly in the Middle East, while starving their neighbors. They feel entitled to keep their potential rivals (mainly Iran and possibly also Iraq) economically weak, and they want the Western powers to help them do it. It is a legitimate power play for the very short term, but it doesn’t work beyond that. You can’t starve national interest and sovereignty and scientific knowledge out of a society.

Of course nobody is stopping the Saudis from developing their own peaceful nuclear program, so there is no need for this Flying Dutchman Prince Turki to perpetually circumnavigate the world screaming about it. The prince is now competing on this issue with his alleged ally Netanyahu, and he sounds as stale: an alliance of convenience between the ultimate anti-semites and the Israelis.
Just do it: you can print it on a new T-shirt. Pull down your universities and colleges, restructure than away from all the Salafi Shariah “stuff” and focus on science.

If not, they can always buy a program, they are good at buying wars and Western weapons and Jihadis for Syria and terrorists for Iraq. It is all apparently legitimate……..

Nuclear Inscrutable Iranians, PrinceTurki as a Nuclear Wandering Semite………     

Cheers
Mohammed Haider Ghuloum                          Follow ArabiaDeserta on Twitter
m.h.ghuloum@gmail.com

Breaking News: OBama, Britain, and Canadian Likud Insist on a Nuclear-Armed Middle East………

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“Israel’s prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, thanked the US secretary of state, John Kerry, for blocking an Egyptian-led drive on a possible Middle East nuclear arms ban at a United Nations conference, an Israeli official said on Saturday. It was a rare message of thanks from Netanyahu, who has repeatedly accused President Barack Obama of undermining Israel’s security by attempting to reach a nuclear deal with Iran. A month-long review conference on the 1970 nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) ended in failure on Friday, over disagreements on the issue of a Middle East atomic weapons ban. Washington blamed the failure on Egypt, which in turn blamed the US, British and Canadian delegations………….”

So the Obama administration got together with the right-wing British government and the Likudnik Canadian petro-regime to block an attempt to ban nuclear weapons in the Middle East.

So what was all the fuss and threats and economic blockade against Iran about then? I had though they were about stemming the expansion of nuclear weapons in the Middle East. Apparently not.
And why would Benyamin netanyahu thank these three amigos for blocking that? And how do you spell hypocrisy in various languages of white folks?

    

Cheers
Mohammed Haider Ghuloum                          Follow ArabiaDeserta on Twitter
m.h.ghuloum@gmail.com

Nuclear Prince: Saudi Ambassador to Israel and AIPAC……..

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“‘If Iran has ability to enrich uranium… we’ll want the same,’ former head of Saudi intelligence says, warning a nuclear deal with Iran could spur nuclear proliferation in Gulf. Any terms that world powers grant Iran under a nuclear deal will be sought by Saudi Arabia and other countries, risking wider proliferation of atomic technology, a senior Saudi prince warned on Monday in a BBC interview. “I’ve always said whatever comes out of these talks, we will want the same,” said Prince Turki al-Faisal, who has previously served as head of Saudi intelligence and Riyadh’s ambassador to Washington and London but is no longer a government official……………”

Sounds fair enough: everybody has the right to peaceful (and safe) nuclear energy. As long as they stick to Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) rules to ensure peaceful use, as the Iranians claim they are doing. The problem is: the Saudis need to close a few of their ubiquitous Shari’a colleges and expand the sciences. Re-educate all these Wahhabi clerics-in-the-making to become scientists. That takes time, maybe a generation or two before they are nuclear-ready. Or they can take the usual easy way: offer many millions and buy a few foreign scientists.

Prince Turki al-Faisal al Saud has become the de facto Saudi ambassador to Israel, and to AIPAC. Saying and doing things the other, more official princes can’t say or do publicly, especially about the ‘nuclear’ issue. A ‘good cop, bad cop‘ number for the Wahhabi faithful. So, maybe he will also one day ask for the “same thing” that Israel is believed to have (although Israel has never signed the NPT). Like about 100+ reported nuclear warheads, ready to go. Just to protect the Islamic Holy Sites from who knows what……..

Cheers
Mohammed Haider Ghuloum                         Follow ArabiaDeserta on Twitter
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Netanyahu’s Good Arab Proverb: the Dogs Bark but Will the Caravan Move On?……..

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The Dogs Bark, but the Caravan Moves On: الكلاب تنبح والقافلة تسير” A very good Arab proverb.

“It is said that Israelis’ favorite philosopher is Spinoza. I approve. Iranian intellectuals are less able to speak their minds in Iran’s unfree media than their Israeli counterparts (though there is a price to too much frankness in Israel, as well), but one on one they are also level-headed and clear-eyed. I suspect Iranians’ favorite philosopher is Rumi. If so, again, I approve. In fact, I think Rumi and Spinoza would have gotten along famously. Unfortunately contemporary Iran and contemporary Israel don’t get along at all politically, which sets the stage for the Washington melodrama planned for March 3, when Israel’s belligerent prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, will address Congress in a bid to undermine President Obama’s diplomacy with Iran on their civilian nuclear enrichment program…………”

“The coming weeks will put the relationship between their countries, which otherwise remain stalwart allies, to one of its toughest tests. Netanyahu is bound for Washington for an address to Congress on Tuesday aimed squarely at derailing Obama’s cherished bid for a diplomatic deal with Tehran. At the same time, Secretary of State John Kerry and other international negotiators will be in Switzerland for talks with the Iranians, trying for a framework agreement before a late March deadline………….”

There is an excellent Arab saying or proverb: “The Dogs Bark, but the Caravan Moves On= الكلاب تنبح والقافلة تسير“.
It seems that the caravan of the Iranian and P5+1 negotiations is moving on, even as Mr. Netanyahu and his American groupies become more shrill. Even as they intensify the campaign against a deal aimed at avoiding yet another Western war against a Muslim country. Throwing all kinds of distortions at the media here, while inserting himself and his reelection campaign into a tense American political situation. Something no foreign leader has ever done, not with the connivance of a major American political party. Not in this century.

So, the dogs bark and will continue to do so, but will the caravan of peaceful negotiations keep moving on?

Here is what I wrote on this many long months ago:
He has been warning them for more than twenty years now that the Iranians are only six months away from a nuclear bomb. From way back in the 1990s, when he was fear-mongering to win his first election, he claimed that the mullahs were about to go ‘nuclear’. I am surprised Europeans still listen to him (American politicians are different, they have their own ‘compelling’ excuses for listening to him). Over two decades, Mr. Netanyahu and his ministers have promised the world a lot of unrealized nuclear slam dunks about Iran………..”

Cheers

Mohammed Haider Ghuloum                          Follow ArabiaDeserta on Twitter
m.h.ghuloum@gmail.com

Iran Nuclear Talks: Netanyahu May Win Again…….

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2012: “Following his speech to the United Nations General Assembly this week, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced Friday that he is “pretty satisfied” with his trip to the U.S. to instigate World War III. “All in all, I think I accomplished my goal of pushing humanity toward the brink of complete and utter annihilation,” said Netanyahu, adding that his implicit calls for international military action against Iran, which would ultimately escalate the conflict to an Armageddon-level of death and destruction…………” 

2014: “Asserting the Middle Eastern nation’s right to a safe, peaceful energy program, members of the Iranian diplomatic team attempted to seek more favorable terms of a deal with the P5+1 global powers while openly assembling a nuclear weapon in the negotiating room, sources confirmed Monday. “Iran will not agree to any international accord without a total and immediate lifting of Western sanctions,” said Iranian foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif to representatives from China, Russia, and the United States while inserting a U-238 tamper sphere into a thermonuclear weapon on the floor of Coburg Palace………….”

Benyamin Netanyahu is determined to come to Washington soon, an unwelcome guest at the White House. In the past Netanyahu had relished every occasion to kick Obama in the shin (someone else’s term). Now he has become more ambitious, he has been emboldened by the U.S. Congress and other Likudnik Americans to aim higher, literally and figuratively. He is seeking to inflict more pain on the president in his own capital. Congress is helping Netanyahu kick Mr. Obama (still President Obama) again, straight in the testicles. If you grew up playing soccer, you know that no kick is more painful than that.
The powerful war party in Washington may win its battle and the nuclear talks may end without “success”, unless Obama stands firm. Already the Iranian supreme leader Khamenei seems to expect this victory for the Israeli right-wing (and left-wing actually). He has talked almost in sync with some Americans: Khamenei said this week that it makes no sense to extend the nuclear talks beyond the current deadline.
Back to the beginning. Some Iranians, and most Arabs especially outside the Persian Gulf region, have always suspected that the harsh unilateral Western blockade pushed by the Israeli lobby and voted dutifully by a pliant Congress was about more than the nuclear program. That there was a broader and more ambitious Israeli and other regional agenda behind it. The way some hawkish campaign-fund-hungry senators of both parties speak almost openly about it, those Iranians are probably right. It has evolved into something more broad that is hard to dismantle, with a full bureaucracy in Washington that naturally seeks to survive.

So what next? The blockade has failed to bring the Iranians to heel. It has brought them to the table, but without the white flag of surrender. Like all economic blockades it has inflicted a lot of pain on the people and not the regime, but they seem resilient and have become experts at evading some of its consequences. Are ‘all option on the table’ as the conventional press-conference bullshit says? That depends on how far the U.S. Congress is willing to push the White House, which depends on how much pressure the Israeli lobby will apply to the Congress as the U.S. heads toward the crucial but very expensive 2016 general elections. Mucho dinero needed these days for a campaign, almost any campaign.

Good news is that Barack Obama has no more political ambitions. For the first time since 2007 he does not need to pander to anyone anymore. That is when some recent U.S. presidents have become truly presidential. We may hear from Mr. Obama on all these issues after 2016, after the fog of campaign needs is lifted.
Cheers

Mohammed Haider Ghuloum                          Follow ArabiaDeserta on Twitter

Middle East Love-Hate: Iran and America, Islamic Republic Blues………..

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“One of the reasons this episode is deeply confusing might be because the “vibe” in Iran, the general feeling of walking down the streets, through the markets, the way we were received everywhere by total strangers and passersby, was overwhelmingly friendly. I have said that Iran is the most outgoingly warm, “pro-American” place we’ve ever shot—and that’s true: in Tehran, in spite of the fact that you are standing in front of a giant, snarling mural that reads “DEATH TO AMERICA!”, you will, we found, usually be treated better by strangers—meaning smiles, offers of assistance, curious attempts to engage in limited English, greetings and expressions of general good will—than anywhere in Western Europe, It would be hard to imagine strangers in Germany or France or England, on recognizing you as American, giving you a thumbs-up and a smile simply for your nationality. That was overwhelmingly the case in Iran…………”

This is a love-hate relationship: more love on the popular level, more hate on the political level. I have seen it in the Middle East and even among some Iranians in America. Many Iranians dislike American foreign policies in the region. They especially hate the unilateral economic blockade that they correctly believe Israeli leaders and their American political allies have pressured and browbeat Mr. Obama into imposing on their country.

Many mullahs and hardliners also naturally suspect and fear an opening to America. After all, they see how China has changed under Chairman Mao’s heirs so that it is now a “people’s republic” and “communist” only in name. Can the “Islamic Republic” be far behind? Probably not: many people in Iranian cities hope so. It is already changing profoundly from the inside.

Iran still probably has the most pro-American people in the whole Middle East. Many Iranians have relations, family ties, among the huge Iranian-American diaspora. They are also a relatively young population reacting to an orthodoxy their government has tried to impose on them, with waning success. They welcome mainstream American journalists who often visit, then go back home and declare their undying support for the economic blockade. (No surprise there: few if any would dare declaring against the sanctions and keep their jobs with the New York Times or Washington Post). Talking on a popular level, not on a government level: most mullahs and Revolutionary Guards are hardly pro-anything American and the U.S. Knesset Congress is violently anti-Iranian.

It is different from the Israelis that media propaganda here routinely picture as the most pro-American. Maybe they mean some shared ‘Western’ political and social values, and in many cases shared citizenship. Maybe the Mossad and the CIA and the military have some close cooperation, maybe, but that is government. The Israeli ties also reflect a degree of dependence, what many Muslims see as a one-way street that is often shaped by domestic American politics.

Nor do many others in the region feel friendly toward American policies. After all, the biggest attacks on the American homeland were planned and executed mainly by terrorists from two major allied Middle East countries. No doubt more are being planned and thwarted even now.

Cheers
Mohammed Haider Ghuloum

m.h.ghuloum@gmail.com

Mutually Painful Visits: Nuclear Humor and the Annual Likud Finger in Obama’s Eye………..

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Ref. my post yesterday about Netanyahu poking, yet again, another finger into President Obama’s eye even as he visits with him. Doing it again to the man who, probably correctly, called him ‘a liar’ into an open microphone a couple of years ago. That finger in the eye was, yet again, the announcement of another settlement construction while the Israeli potentate visits Washington (or while American officials visit Israel). It always happens around these mutually painful friendly visits: like the proverbial clockwork. You can take it to the bank, if you are the type that for some perverse weird reason actually trusts and likes his/her banker.

Back to the usual whining about the Iranian “nuclear threat”. Unlike the Iranians, Netanyahu has never said he doesn’t want nuclear weapons; he has never sworn not to pursue them. You know why? Because he has no sense of humor. He is so humorless you’d think he is Jordanian, not Jewish. But I forget: Israelis of all faiths are almost as humorless as the neighbors surrounding them. Could be something to do with the current neighborhood and perhaps with the earlier also humor-challenged Slavic neighbors.

Cheers
Mohammed Haider Ghuloum

m.h.ghuloum@gmail.com

The Labors of Hassan Rouhani: Local Landmines, Regional Sea Mines……

      


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Hassan Rouhani is facing the toughest test of his career, the toughest test any Iranian leader has faced in decades. Can he fulfill the promises he made to the majority that elected him by opening up the country and get the Western economic blockade lifted? He faces regional and domestic obstacles:

 

  • Israel: the debate about the Iranian nuclear ‘program’ has been a Godsend to Benyamin Netanyahu and he has been milking it for all its worth since the 1990s. He has claimed various deadlines by which time Iran would have nuclear bomb, and then he has ignored his earlier deadlines and suggested yet new dates. Top ‘retired’ Israeli intelligence and military leaders often contradict him on this. The amazing thing is that all the caca de toro has not hurt him with the Israeli electorate. Nor has it hurt his credibility in the U.S. Senate and Congress: on the contrary, the schmucks now look at him as an oracle of Middle Eastern and Iranian (especially nuclear) matters. Besides, it has served one of the purposes he used it for: for years it has helped him divert Western attention away from his problems with the Palestinians.
  • Iranian hardliners: the country needs a nuclear deal but any reasonable deal will probably have to get past these old revolutionaries. Many of them would prefer no deal but they also realize that most Iranians are young and want to open up to the world and want more freedoms and less intrusion in their private lives by the mullahs. Besides, the economy is hurting from the blockade no matter what officials claim.
  • American Hawks (Democrats and Republicans and others): when it comes to the Middle East, almost the whole Senate and Congress are hawks. Being seen as soft on the Iran negotiations is like being against “motherhood and Memorial Day and Independence Day”, and not necessarily in that order. It is like being soft on Ho Chi Minh before 1968 or accepting Chairman Mao as the legitimate leader of China before the 1970s …………

 

  • Gulf GCC: it is divided over Iran, as it is divided over many other issues. But the GCC states are divided among themselves regardless of the Iranian question. Three of them have pulled their ambassadors from Qatar because its government rejects Saudi hegemony on certain aspects of the Arab turmoil
  • Saudi Arabia: the Al Saud have been the most hawkish about both the nuclear issue and Iran’s ties to the Arab world, until recently. Failure of their policies in Syria, Iraq, and Lebanon (and American advise) may have pushed them to seek some form of accommodation with Tehran. 
  • UAE: there are some divisions. Abu Dhabi potentates are hawkish but Dubai and possibly some others do not seem so. 
  • Qatar: has been concerned about balancing worrisome forces (Saudi vs. Iran). Its dispute with Iran has been mainly over Syria and possibly Iraq. But it has had more serious and more threatening disputes with the Saudis. Some Arab media even reported in recent months allegations of military threats against Qatar from the Saudi-UAE alliance. I have posted about past tensions between Qatar and the Saudis
  • Kuwait: was invaded from both Iraq and Saudi Arabia during the past century. It also uncovered at least one large Iranian espionage network in recent years. It tries not to antagonize either Saudis or Iranians, mindful of the ability of both to cause trouble. Then there is the recent past experience with Baathist Iraq………
  • Oman: has been mostly neutral and it does not seem to buy the Saudi argument about either the nuclear issue or the general “Iranian threat”. It does not seem to feel threatened. Oman was reportedly instrumental in starting the recent Iranian-American dialog last summer. 
  • Bahrain: the least important of the GCC members. Nobody cares wtf its repressive rulers think now. It has become a full-fledged Al Saud appendix and the ruling potentates do exactly as they are told. 

Cheers

mhg

m.h.ghuloum@gmail.com