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Thread: Observing Iran (catch all historical thread)

  1. #41
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    I don't think it's impossible to come to consensus in the Middle East, but I do think it's highly improbable.

    It seems like one of the things Huntington was trying to illustrate was that it's not just a matter of opposing interests between us and them, it's a matter of diametrically opposed perspectives. We see things in terms of how it affects our nation and us as Americans and we negotiate with the leaders of other countries based on that. The Muslims see things in terms of how it affects their tribe, or their religious sect, or their immediate community, not a national identity. Huntington's point seemed to be that the nation-state in Islamic society isn't the ultimate authority for negotiation because the people don't recognize the authority of national identity as we do. Unless that changes, like in the case of Turkey, then the strongmen and the dictators in the Middle East may be the best bet for us. They aren't representing the interests of their people, and it creates its own problems, but at least they are a cohesive body to negotiate with and they can usually get their people to adhere to agreements with us (although, of course, not always).

  2. #42
    Council Member SSG Rock's Avatar
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    Default Iran in outerspace? Spy Satellites and ICBMs?

    An interesting tidbit of information here my friends. I can't vouch for the accuracy of the reporting. I was alerted to this article by my gold broker who seems to have his eye on absolutely anything that could impact the US economy. Be that as it may, I wonder how far along Iran really is in their nuclear weapons program? And, if they actually launch a vehicle into space, do you think that should be a green light for military action of any kind of any scope?
    Don't taze me bro!

  3. #43
    Council Member marct's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SSG Rock View Post
    An interesting tidbit of information here my friends. I can't vouch for the accuracy of the reporting. I was alerted to this article by my gold broker who seems to have his eye on absolutely anything that could impact the US economy. Be that as it may, I wonder how far along Iran really is in their nuclear weapons program? And, if they actually launch a vehicle into space, do you think that should be a green light for military action of any kind of any scope?
    Hi SSG Rock. I'm getting a "server not found" error. Can you check the URL? Thanks,
    Marc
    Sic Bisquitus Disintegrat...
    Marc W.D. Tyrrell, Ph.D.
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    Carleton University
    http://marctyrrell.com/

  4. #44
    Council Member SSG Rock's Avatar
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    Default Strange.

    I just checked the link and it worked for me, at any rate.

    Here is the text:

    Last update - 19:27 26/01/2007


    Report: Iran almost ready to launch spy satellite into space

    By Reuters

    Iran has converted a 30-ton ballistic missile into a satellite launch vehicle that will soon be used to send a reconaissance satellite into space, a move that could have wide security implications, Aviation Week & Space Technology magazine reported on its Web site on Thursday.

    Alaeddin Boroujerdi, the chairman of the Iranian parliament's National Security and Foreign Policy Commission, spoke about the upcoming launch to religious students and clerics in Qom, the industry trade publication said.

    The launcher is a version of the Shahab-3 missile that has a range of 800 to 1,000 miles (1,285-1,600 kilometers), the magazine said, citing unidentified U.S. agencies. A missile of its kind could reach Saudi Arabia and as far west as Turkey, the report said.

    Additionally, improvements in space launches could help Iran build an intercontinental ballistic missile with a range of almost 2,500 miles (4,000 kilometers), according to the magazine.

    Iran's satellite launch will likely increase Western concern over its strategic capabilities and intentions, the magazine said.

    The former head of the Israel Missile Defense Organization, Uzi Rubin, said that, "ultimately, [Iran's] space program aims to orbit reconnaissance satellites like Israel's 'Ofek,' using an Iranian satellite launcher from Iranian territory."

    He added, "a reconnaissance satellite of reasonable performance should weigh about 300 kg. [660 lb.] Once Iran learns how to put 300 kg. into earth orbit, it could adapt the satellite launcher into an ICBM that could drop more than 300 kg anywhere in the world."

    Iran has long been at odds with the United States and Europe, pushing ahead with plans to enrich uranium as part of what Tehran calls a peaceful energy program. The West has feared that Iran instead is trying to develop nuclear weapons.

    Another article from a more well known periodical: Aviation Week & Space Technology
    Last edited by SSG Rock; 01-26-2007 at 07:20 PM.
    Don't taze me bro!

  5. #45
    Council Member marct's Avatar
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    It must have been a blip with my server <sigh>. I could get it now, although a couple of minutes ago I couldn't (I HATE Bell!!!!). Thanks for posting the full article.


    Honestly, I wouldn't be worried about ICBMs. They are pretty passe in all too many ways. A dirty nuke or an EMP bomb over a selected target field, however...

    Marc
    Sic Bisquitus Disintegrat...
    Marc W.D. Tyrrell, Ph.D.
    Institute of Interdisciplinary Studies,
    Senior Research Fellow,
    The Canadian Centre for Intelligence and Security Studies, NPSIA
    Carleton University
    http://marctyrrell.com/

  6. #46
    Council Member bismark17's Avatar
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    Default Appears true

    When I logged into Stratfor.com it had an article on the emerging Iranian satellite program.

  7. #47
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    ICG, 6 Feb 07: Iran: Ahmadi-Nejad's Tumultuous Presidency
    ...The process of internal debate and elite competition evident in Ahmadi-Nejads’s still brief term of office suggests the continued ability of politics in Iran to swing the pendulum back, rein in policies deemed dangerous to regime survival and trigger change – arduous, slow and modest though it might be. The president’s inability to deliver on his economic program, more than anything else, is contributing to his noticeable and steady decline in the public’s eyes. At the same time, his inflammatory behaviour on the international stage is both causing disquiet and emboldening political rivals.

    But that is far different from concluding either that Ahmadi-Nejad’s days are numbered or that Iran soon will back down on the fundamentals that have driven its international policy. Under increased pressure, the president may well have to compromise on parts of his domestic agenda. But he also will rely more heavily on the nationalist sentiment that a more confrontational U.S. posture will likely provoke, in order to change the subject and seek to mask his domestic failures. In this sense, a hawkish U.S. – or Israeli – policy toward Iran could turn out to be Ahmadi-Nejad’s best friend. External military and security threats inevitably will constrain the ability – and even willingness – of domestic actors to press their case. Says a prominent reformist: “Those who threaten and pressure from the outside forget that we still think in traditional ways about national sovereignty. If we have to choose between individual freedom and national sovereignty, we will choose the latter. We hope we don’t have to choose”.

  8. #48
    Council Member RTK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jedburgh View Post
    As Ahmadinejad delegitimizes himself to his own people over time it would be a shame not to capitalize off this and begin some sort of talks with the more moderate leaders in that country that are gaining their power bases. Eventually (inshallah), the Iranian people are going to get sick of his radical hypotheses and rhetoric brimming with hyperbole.

  9. #49
    Council Member nichols's Avatar
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    Help Turkey, Armenia, Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan come up with a unified stance against Iran's military ambitions. Use the historical fear of the Turks to an advantage.

  10. #50
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    Talking

    Quote Originally Posted by nichols View Post
    Help Turkey, Armenia, Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan come up with a unified stance against Iran's military ambitions. Use the historical fear of the Turks to an advantage.
    None of those countries cooperate with each in the context of normal relations. And none of them, at the moment, feel directly threatened by Iranian military ambitions. The likelihood of that particular grouping forming any type of united front for that purpose is non-existent.

    ...but that is quite a thought - getting Turkey and Armenia to work together to use the "historical fear of the Turks" against Iran...

  11. #51
    Council Member tequila's Avatar
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    Agree with RTK. Ahmedinejad will fall because Rafsanjani and Khamanei are both out to get him. Only his populism and institutional base in the basiji and among Iranian war veterans save him, but that will dissipate as Iran's economic picture gets worse.

  12. #52
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    Default Power to the People!

    Quote Originally Posted by tequila View Post
    Only his populism and institutional base in the basiji and among Iranian war veterans save him, but that will dissipate as Iran's economic picture gets worse.
    Wow, so it is only his populist policies and the support of these policies among a significant percentage of the population that allows him to stay in power. Sounds awfully.....democratic.

    Back to the original premise, I don't see the harm in negotiating with the Iranian government. The problem will be to identify which government you are going to negotiate with. There is the formal government structure, the Revolutionary Guard, the shadow government, and any number of religious / political factions.
    It is right to learn, even from one's enemies
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  13. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jedburgh View Post
    ...but that is quite a thought - getting Turkey and Armenia to work together to use the "historical fear of the Turks" against Iran...
    I think an alliance between those three countries would effect Iran. A much better azimuth then sending in Divisions, Wings, & Carrier Groups.

    However, Turaj Atabaki, professor of Iranian and Central Asian studies at the University of Utrecht in the Netherlands, told RFE/RL that the U.S. presence in the region is a major barrier against the further expansion of Iranian ties with the five Central Asian republics .

    "The U.S. does not accept under any conditions the expanding of ties between the Central Asian republics and the Islamic Republic of Iran," Atabaki said. "So a future growing Iranian influence in the region will depend on the country’s relationship with the U.S. If Iran is willing to secure a stable place for itself in the region, first it should resolve its problems with the U.S."


    http://www.rferl.org/featuresarticle...ce58ebfe8.html

  14. #54
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    TEHRAN - Iran's supply of natural gas to Turkey was inexplicably slashed by 70% last Friday, in one of the coldest months of the year. On the same day, Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul raised the tension between the two countries by calling for greater Iranian "transparency" over Tehran's nuclear program.

    http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/HA24Ak02.html

  15. #55
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    Default Negotiating with Iran

    Another good piece from Asia Times Online: http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/IB02Ak03.html

    ElBaradei has asked for the simultaneous suspension of Iran's uranium-enrichment activities and the UN sanctions on Iran. Whereas Iran has given the call serious consideration, the United States has all but rejected it.

    According to IAEA spokeswoman Melissa Fleming, ElBaradei regards the regional situation as "potentially explosive" and wants to avert the escalation of a crisis that, if added to the present crises, could turn the situation "catastrophic".

    In reaction to ElBaradei's proposal, Iran has put on hold its plan to install 3,000 centrifuges, and Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki has stated that Tehran will seriously "review" the proposal...

    But that is precisely what may be wrong with the US approach, which involves upping the ante against Iran in Iraq, in spite of scant evidence of Iranian wrongdoing. The US is also fixated on the idea of a permanent suspension of Iran's enrichment and reprocessing program, even though the program is sanctioned by articles of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. There is no legal basis for the United States' request, given the absence of any "smoking gun" corroborating allegations of a clandestine nuclear-weapons program in Iran.

    Obviously negotiations are not in the plans.

  16. #56
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    Default Clarification

    Quote Originally Posted by Maphu View Post
    Another good piece from Asia Times Online: http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/IB02Ak03.html



    Obviously negotiations are not in the plans.
    The commentary piece you linked to and quoted was by Kaveh L Afrasiabi, former adviser to Iran's nuclear negotiation team.

  17. #57
    Council Member Van's Avatar
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    I think we're neglecting two key points.

    1) From Iran's perspective, they are surrounded. The U.S. has major contingents in Iraq and Afghanistan (~2300 km of ~5400 km of land borders) and we're moving carriers into the Persian Gulf. Folks, the Iranians can go on a major construction spree with the bricks they are defecating.
    <https://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/reference_maps/middle_east.html> Now consider that in their culture admitting fear is on a level with admitting paedophilia, and they are pretty panicky right now and probably being irrational by their own standards, much less the restrictive linear Western concepts of rationality.

    2) Ahmadinejad isn't worried about legitimacy. He's concerned with popularity, distracting the crowds from looking critically at his policies, and suppressing anyone who voices dissent. To our benefit, it looks like he's realized that he can't beat down dissenters forever without losing popularity. If he can keep the masses distracted and fired up with verbal attacks on Israel, he can make up for the dissenters not beaten. The negotiations buy him time with the world, the genocide conference buys him face with his own people.

  18. #58
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    Default U.S. quietly increasing back-channel contacts with Iran

    Interesting article about increased diplomacy with Iran.

  19. #59
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    Default Iran signs major gas deal with Austria's OMV

    In the "Intelligence" section there was talk about Austrian made cal .50 rifles, that were sold to Iran and ended in Iraqi insurgents hands.

    There is talk about new deal that helps to produce hard cash to Iran.

    State radio estimated the total value of the deal at $18 billion but other Iranian media did not mention any figures.
    http://jp.reuters.com/news/articlene...C2_worldNews-4

  20. #60
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    Anyone know for sure about the .50-cal. Steyrs which were supposedly captured in Iraq? Any idea why those were not produced in the latest presentations?

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