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The Iran Cables: Secret Documents Show How Tehran Wields Power in Iraq - The New York Times
By Tim Arango, James Risen, Farnaz Fassihi, Ronen Bergman and Murtaza Hussain

Nov. 18, 2019

An unprecedented leak exposes Tehran’s vast influence in Iraq, detailing years of painstaking work by Iranian spies to co-opt the country’s leaders, pay Iraqi agents working for the Americans to switch sides and infiltrate every aspect of Iraq’s political, economic and religious life.

Many of the cables describe real-life espionage capers that feel torn from the pages of a spy thriller. Meetings are arranged in dark alleyways and shopping malls or under the cover of a hunting excursion or a birthday party. Informants lurk at the Baghdad airport, snapping pictures of American soldiers and keeping tabs on coalition military flights. Agents drive meandering routes to meetings to evade surveillance. Sources are plied with gifts of pistachios, cologne and saffron. Iraqi officials, if necessary, are offered bribes. The archive even contains expense reports from intelligence ministry officers in Iraq, including one totaling 87.5 euros spent on gifts for a Kurdish commander.
CIA  counterintelligence  covert_operations  espionage  influence  informants  Iran  Iraq  leaks  political_power  Qassim_Suleimani  Quds_Force  security_&_intelligence  Tehran 
november 2019 by jerryking
Behind Trump’s Termination of Iran Deal Is a Risky Bet - The New York Times
By DAVID E. SANGER and DAVID D. KIRKPATRICKMAY 8, 2018

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David_Singer  Middle_East  Mideast_Peace  Iran  nuclear  Donald_Trump 
may 2018 by jerryking
C.I.A. Names the ‘Dark Prince’ to Run Iran Operations, Signaling a Tougher Stance
JUNE 2, 2017 | The New York Times | By MATTHEW ROSENBERG and ADAM GOLDMAN

Michael D’Andrea, has a new job. He is running the C.I.A.’s Iran operations, according to current and former intelligence officials, an appointment that is the first major sign that the Trump administration is invoking the hard line the president took against Iran during his campaign......Mr. D’Andrea took over the agency’s Counterterrorism Center in early 2006 and spent the next nine years directing the hunt for militants around the world........Iran has been one of the hardest targets for the C.I.A. The agency has extremely limited access to the country — no American embassy is open to provide diplomatic cover — and Iran’s intelligence services have spent nearly four decades trying to counter American espionage and covert operations.......Mr. Trump has appointed to the National Security Council hawks eager to contain Iran and push regime change, the groundwork for which would most likely be laid through C.I.A. covert action......Lt. Gen. H. R. McMaster, the national security adviser, was an infantry commander during the early years of the war in Iraq, and he believes that Iranian agents who were aiding Iraqi insurgents were responsible for the deaths of a number of his soldiers. Derek Harvey, the senior director for the Middle East at the council, is also considered an Iran hawk.....
appointments  Iran  covert_operations  CIA  APNSA  security_&_intelligence  Al_Qaeda  NSC  H.R._McMaster  counterterrorism 
june 2017 by jerryking
Software as Weaponry in a Computer-Connected World - The New York Times
JUNE 7, 2016 | NYT | By NICOLE PERLROTH.

On average, there are 15 to 50 defects per 1,000 lines of code in delivered software, according to Steve McConnell, the author of “Code Complete.” Today, most of the applications we rely on — Google Chrome, Microsoft, Firefox and Android — contain millions of lines of code. And the complexity of technology is increasing, and with it the potential for defects.

The motivation to find exploitable defects in widely used code has never been higher. Governments big and small are stockpiling vulnerabilities and exploits in hardware, software, applications, algorithms and even security defenses like firewalls and antivirus software.

They are using these holes to monitor their perceived enemies, and many governments are storing them for a rainy day, when they might just have to drop a payload that disrupts or degrades an adversary’s transportation, energy or financial system.

They are willing to pay anyone who can find and exploit these weaknesses top dollar to hand them over, and never speak a word to the companies whose programmers inadvertently wrote them into software in the first place.
adversaries  software  hackers  books  coding  vulnerabilities  exploits  software_bugs  bounties  black_markets  arms_race  cyber_warfare  cyber_security  Stuxnet  espionage  Iran  security_&_intelligence  malware  cyberweapons  weaponry  stockpiles  financial_system 
june 2016 by jerryking
How Saudi Arabia Turned Its Greatest Weapon on Itself - The New York Times
By ANDREW SCOTT COOPERMARCH 12, 2016

The 1973-74 oil embargo was the first demonstration that the House of Saud was willing to weaponize the oil markets. In October 1973, a coalition of Arab states led by Saudi Arabia abruptly halted oil shipments in retaliation for America’s support of Israel during the Yom Kippur War. The price of a barrel of oil quickly quadrupled; the resulting shock to the oil-dependent economies of the West led to a sharp rise in the cost of living, mass unemployment and growing social discontent.

“If I was the president,” Secretary of State Henry Kissinger fumed to his deputy Brent Scowcroft, “I would tell the Arabs to shove their oil.” But the president, Richard M. Nixon, was in no position to dictate to the Saudis....In recent years, the Saudis have made clear that they regard the oil markets as a critical front line in the Sunni Muslim-majority kingdom’s battle against its Shiite-dominated rival, Iran. Their favored tactic of “flooding,” pumping surplus crude into a soft market, is tantamount to war by economic means: the oil trade’s equivalent of dropping the bomb on a rival.

In 2006, Nawaf Obaid, a Saudi security adviser, warned that Riyadh was prepared to force prices down to “strangle” Iran’s economy. Two years later, the Saudis did just that, with the aim of hampering Tehran’s ability to support Shiite militia groups in Iraq, Lebanon and elsewhere.

Then, in 2011, Prince Turki al-Faisal, the former chief of Saudi intelligence, told NATO officials that Riyadh was prepared to flood the market to stir unrest inside Iran. Three years later, the Saudis struck again, turning on the spigot.

But this time, they overplayed their hand.
Saudi_Arabia  petro-politics  tools  economic_warfare  Iran  geopolitics  statecraft  Yom_Kippur_War  economic_policy 
march 2016 by jerryking
The United States shouldn’t take sides in the Sunni-Shiite struggle - The Washington Post
By Fareed Zakaria Opinion writer

...the most significant trend shaping the region today is something different: Sunnis vs. Shiites. That sectarian struggle now infects almost every aspect of the region’s politics....Though there always was tension, Sunnis and Shiites did live in peace, for the most part, until recently.....The pivotal shift took place in 1979. The Islamic Revolution in Iran brought to power an aggressively religious ruling class, determined to export its ideas and support Shiites in the region.....Saudi Arabia is facing a series of challenges, from the Islamic State to domestic extremists. The country’s large and active social media are dominated by radical Islamists. And as oil prices plunge, government revenue has collapsed, and the nation’s generous subsidies to its people will be hard to sustain. The regime needs greater legitimacy.
Fareed_Zakaria  Sunni  Shiites  schisms  Middle_East  U.S.foreign_policy  frameworks  sectarian  religion  trends  Iran  Wahhabism  extremism  Yemen  geopolitics  Saudi_Arabia 
january 2016 by jerryking
Iran Deal Players’ Report Cards - The New York Times
SEPT. 16, 2015
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Thomas L. Friedman
Obama  Iran  nuclear  negotiations  Tom_Friedman 
september 2015 by jerryking
Senate Democrats gain 34 votes to secure victory on Iran nuclear deal - The Globe and Mail
ERICA WERNER AND MATTHEW LEE
WASHINGTON — The Associated Press
Published Wednesday, Sep. 02, 2015
Obama  Iran  nuclear 
september 2015 by jerryking
Ten maps that explain Iran's power play in the Middle East - The Globe and Mail
PATRICK MARTIN, TONIA COWAN AND TRISH MCALASTER
The Globe and Mail
Published Wednesday, Apr. 15 2015,
geopolitics  Iran  Iraq  Lebanon  mapping  Middle_East  power_plays  Saudi_Arabia  Syria  Syrians  Yemen 
april 2015 by jerryking
A deal, yes, but the burden’s on Iran to come clean - The Globe and Mail
DEREK BURNEY AND FEN OSLER HAMPSON
Special to The Globe and Mail
Published Thursday, Apr. 02 2015,
CIGI  negotiations  Iran  nuclear 
april 2015 by jerryking
Technology Startups Take Root in Tehran - WSJ
By BENOÎT FAUCON and RORY JONES
Feb. 25, 2015 9:32 p.m.
Iran  Tehran  start_ups  Android 
february 2015 by jerryking
Are we witnessing a comeback of the Stars and Stripes? - The Globe and Mail
JOHN STACKHOUSE
Special to The Globe and Mail
Published Friday, Sep. 26 2014

America’s retreat was the central question. Had the superpower become a super-bystander? Or had the President just lost interest, energy and credibility to do more than moralize?...Mr. Obama has drawn instead on what he calls “progressive pragmatism,” which his aides claim is his nature, relying on an informal network of networks, ad hoc groups of nations taking on the challenges of the day. Some of them champion liberal values. Some are partners of convenience. Exhibit A: the coalition of willing Arab states in this week’s air strikes. Exhibit B: the network of health agencies and charities operating with U.S. support in ebola-stricken West Africa....On the grander issues of his age – climate change, cyber-security, the financial imbalance between America and Asia – Mr. Obama will need ad hoc networks like never before. The 2008 financial crisis was mitigated by a small group of central bankers, commercial bankers, regulators and finance ministers, supported but not directed by the United States. A president who is not renowned for building private-sector trust, or the loyalty of other nations, may be challenged to do that again. He also needs what America has lacked of late – for its allies to do more. Canada’s approach to carbon emissions is the sort of passive resistance the U.S. has encountered from India on trade, Mexico on immigration and Turkey on Syria. Under Mr. Obama, everyone has loved to complain about Washington, but few have been willing to shoulder their share of the costs.

Skeptics believe this is no longer possible – the world has too many strong voices, too many competing interests, too much of what physicists call entropy, the thermodynamic condition that degenerates order into chaos.
America_in_Decline?  bouncing_back  U.S.foreign_policy  multipolarity  Obama  John_Stackhouse  G20  UN  NATO  Iran  Ukraine  geopolitics  complexity  networks  interconnections  instability  superpowers  indispensable  disequilibriums  ad_hoc  nobystanders  entropy  imbalances 
september 2014 by jerryking
The Shadow Commander - The New Yorker
SEPTEMBER 30, 2013 ISSUE

The Shadow Commander
Qassem Suleimani is the Iranian operative who has been reshaping the Middle East. Now he’s directing Assad’s war in Syria.

BY DEXTER FILKINS
Iran  Revolutionary_Guards  Qassim_Suleimani  Quds_Force  covert_operations  Syria  Middle_East 
august 2014 by jerryking
Aiming Financial Weapons From Treasury War Room - NYTimes.com
By ANNIE LOWREYJUNE 3, 2014

“The United States needs to remain involved in the world, but does not necessarily need to remain involved just through military power,” said David S. Cohen, Treasury’s under secretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, who is sometimes described within the administration as President Obama’s favorite combatant commander. “There are other ways of projecting U.S. power that are consequential.”

Mr. Cohen oversees the obscure Office of Foreign Assets Control, the engine that creates and administers the steadily increasing number of financial sanctions. They are a policy tool once considered largely ineffectual but are now used against a wide range of actors, from Iran’s revolutionary guard to Mexican drug traffickers to cronies of President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia....Sanctions have also become a central policy lever with Iran, Syria, South Sudan and North Korea — as well as drug cartels, arms traders and terrorists. In no small part, their swelling number is because of their improved potency, analysts said: Today’s sanctions tend to be “smart,” narrow rather than broad, and designed to pressure elites rather than squeezing average citizens....Legal changes during the Bill Clinton and George W. Bush administrations bolstered the tool. Analysts started focusing on travel bans and asset freezes, rather than whole-country or whole-industry sanctions. The interconnectedness of the global economy has also made sanctions stronger.

“We’re very nuanced about how to use the tool and, I think, very thoughtful about it,”
Iran  geopolitics  U.S.Treasury_Department  statecraft  21st._century  travel_bans  asset_freezes  sanctions  North_Korea  interconnections  economic_warfare  economic_policy  specificity  hard_power  rogue_actors  policy_tools  potency  global_economy 
june 2014 by jerryking
Saving the System - NYTimes.com
APRIL 28, 2014 | NYT | David Brooks.

“The ‘category error’ of our experts is to tell us that our system is doing just fine and proceeding on its eternal course toward ever-greater progress and global goodness. This is whistling past the graveyard.

“The lesson-category within grand strategic history is that when an established international system enters its phase of deterioration, many leaders nonetheless respond with insouciance, obliviousness, and self-congratulation. When the wolves of the world sense this, they, of course, will begin to make their moves to probe the ambiguities of the aging system and pick off choice pieces to devour at their leisure.

“This is what Putin is doing; this is what China has been moving toward doing in the maritime waters of Asia; this is what in the largest sense the upheavals of the Middle East are all about: i.e., who and what politico-ideological force will emerge as hegemon over the region in the new order to come. ....Today that system is under assault not by a single empire but by a hundred big and little foes. As Walter Russell Mead argues in a superb article in Foreign Affairs, geopolitics is back with a vengeance. Whether it’s Russia seizing Crimea or China asserting itself, old-fashioned power plays are back in vogue. Meanwhile, pre-modern movements and people try to eliminate ethnic and religious diversity in Egypt, Ukraine and beyond.

China, Russia and Iran have different values, but all oppose this system of liberal pluralism. The U.S. faces a death by a thousand cuts dilemma. No individual problem is worth devoting giant resources to. It’s not worth it to spend huge amounts of treasure to establish stability in Syria or defend a Western-oriented Ukraine. But, collectively, all the little problems can undermine the modern system. No individual ailment is worth the expense of treating it, but, collectively, they can kill you (JCK: Worst of all worlds).
authoritarianism  autocracies  category_errors  China  Colleges_&_Universities  Crimea  curriculum  David_Brooks  death_by_a_thousand_cuts  dilemmas  diplomacy  geopolitics  grand_strategy  insouciance  international_system  Iran  liberal_pluralism  multiple_stressors  obliviousness  power_plays  power_to_obstruct  rogue_actors  Russia  self-congratulatory  South_China_Sea  stratagems  strategic_thinking  strategy  Walter_Russell_Mead  worst_of_all_worlds  Yale 
april 2014 by jerryking
Four reasons why the Iran deal really matters - The Globe and Mail
Doug Saunders
Four reasons why the Iran deal really matters Add to ...
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The Globe and Mail

Published Monday, Nov. 25 2013,
Doug_Saunders  Iran  nuclear  negotiations 
november 2013 by jerryking
Yossi Klein Halevi: A Lesson From the Yom Kippur War for a Perilous Time - WSJ.com
October 3, 2013 | WSJ | By YOSSI KLEIN HALEVI.
A Lesson From the Yom Kippur War for a Perilous Time
Golda Meir didn't strike pre-emptively in 1973 because she was 'scared' of angering the White House.
security_&_intelligence  Yom_Kippur_War  pre-emption  Israel  lessons_learned  Iran  diplomacy  Mideast_Peace  IDF  Egypt  Syria  war  militaries 
october 2013 by jerryking
In ‘Treasury’s War,’ Missiles for a Financial Battlefield - NYTimes.com
August 31, 2013 | NYT | By BRYAN BURROUGH.

THE 21st century has ushered in new kinds of warfare that don’t involve soldiers wielding weapons. One type, cyberwarfare, seems to have drawn the most commentary and analysis. A less publicized type of attack, financial warfare, is covered in “Treasury’s War,” a useful new book by one of this strategy’s architects, Juan C. Zarate, a former assistant Treasury secretary. ... “Treasury’s War” chronicles an array of the department’s enforcement efforts, from corralling informal Middle Eastern money-transfer networks useful to Al Qaeda to tracking Saddam’s missing millions. But the heart of the book is the emergence and evolution of Section 311 of the Patriot Act, which allows the Treasury Department to designate any bank in the world as a “primary money-laundering concern” and prevent it from doing business with any American bank.

In today’s financial world, where every bank wants to do business with every other bank, and where New York and the United States dollar remain of paramount importance, “hitting” a bank with a Section 311 order has the effect of transforming it into an overnight pariah. Mr. Zarate cites example after example in which 311’s have all but destroyed rogue banks that had been important conduits for money flows involving, for example, Al Qaeda or Iran....“Geopolitics is now a game best played with financial and commercial weapons,” Mr. Zarate writes. “The new geoeconomic game may be more efficient and subtle than past geopolitical competitions, but it is no less ruthless and destructive.”
books  book_reviews  Iran  al_Qaeda  geopolitics  U.S.Treasury_Department  statecraft  money_laundering  21st._century  interconnections  sanctions  economic_warfare  economic_policy  banks  policy_tools 
september 2013 by jerryking
Iran's Leader Reduces Posts of Military Elite - WSJ.com
August 7, 2013 | WSJ | By JAY SOLOMON
Iran's Leader Reduces Posts of Military Elite
Move Seen Potentially Hopeful for Containing Nuclear Program
Iran 
august 2013 by jerryking
Overseas Hot Spots Could Entangle Obama - WSJ.com
April 1, 2013, 1:26 p.m. ET

Overseas Hot Spots Could Entangle Obama

By GERALD F. SEIB
Like this columnist
U.S.foreign_policy  threats  security_&_intelligence  Iran  Syria  North_Korea  Obama  hotspots 
april 2013 by jerryking
Cyberattacks to threat to U.S., intelligence chief says - Google Drive
March 13,2013 | NYT | Mark Mazzetti and Scott Shane.

"The nation’s top intelligence official warned Congress on Tuesday that a cyberattack could cripple America’s infrastructure and economy and suggested that such attacks pose the most dangerous immediate threat to the United States, more pressing than an attack by global terrorist networks. James R. Clapper Jr., the director of national intelligence, said in prepared testimony to the Senate Intelligence Committee that American spy agencies saw only a 'remote chance' in the next two years of a major cyberattack — what he defined as an operation that 'would result in long-term, wide-scale disruption of services, such as a regional power outage.' Still, it was the first time that Mr. Clapper has listed cyberattacks first in his annual presentation to Congress about the various threats facing the United States, and the rare occasion since 2001 that intelligence officials have not listed international terrorism first in the catalog of dangers facing the United States."
cyber_warfare  China  Iran  security_&_intelligence  spymasters  infrastructure  power_grid  vulnerabilities  James_Clapper  cyberattacks  cyberthreats 
march 2013 by jerryking
Qassim Suleimani, Iran’s Master of Iraq Chaos, Still Vexes the U.S. - NYTimes.com
By MICHAEL R. GORDON
Published: October 2, 2012

A soft-spoken, gray-haired operative who carries himself with the confidence that comes from having the backing of Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran’s supreme leader, General Suleimani is the antithesis of the bombastic Iranian president. Now a major general — the highest rank in the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps — after a promotion last year, he has been the mastermind behind two central Iranian foreign policy initiatives, exerting and expanding Tehran’s influence in the internal politics of Iraq and providing military support for the rule of President Bashar al-Assad of Syria.... General Suleimani first came to the attention of Iraqis during Iran’s bloody eight-year war with Iraq. As commander of the Revolutionary Guards’ 41st Division, he gained a reputation for leading reconnaissance missions behind Iraqi lines — so much so that the Iraqi military would single him out in its radio broadcasts, according to Ali Alfoneh, a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute who has made a career out of studying General Suleimani.

The war shaped his attitude toward Iraq, according to Ryan C. Crocker, the former American ambassador to Baghdad. “For Qassim Suleimani, the Iran-Iraq war never really ended,” Mr. Crocker said in an interview. “No human being could have come through such a World War I-style conflict and not have been forever affected. His strategic goal was an outright victory over Iraq, and if that was not possible, to create and influence a weak Iraq.”

In the late 1990s, General Suleimani was picked to lead the Quds Force, a Revolutionary Guards special operations unit. The Revolutionary Guards was formed to support revolutionary movements abroad, including in Afghanistan, Iraq and Lebanon.
Afghanistan  Iran  Iraq  Lebanon  Revolutionary_Guards  Qassim_Suleimani  Quds_Force 
october 2012 by jerryking
Cut off Iran? It’s about time - The Globe and Mail
MARGARET WENTE

The Globe and Mail

Published Tuesday, Sep. 11 2012,
Margaret_Wente  Iran  Canada  diplomacy 
september 2012 by jerryking
Amid Ties to Iran, Hezbollah Builds Its Own Identity - WSJ.com
July 21, 2006 | WSJ | By JAY SOLOMON in Beirut, Lebanon, and KARBY LEGGETT.
Shiite Group's Leader Vows Defiance After Israeli Hit; A Gift for Propaganda 'Frighteningly Professional'

Hezbollah quickly became the leading force in combating Israeli and U.S. influence in the region. After U.S. Marines occupied Lebanon in an attempt to enforce a United Nations-sponsored peace agreement between warring Lebanese factions, Hezbollah carried out a string of kidnappings and suicide bombings against American targets in Beirut and elsewhere. In October 1983, a Hezbollah bomber killed more than 241 Marines in a suicide attack on the Americans' barracks in Beirut. It was the largest terrorist attack on U.S. citizens at that time.
Iran  Hezbollah  Lebanon  Shiites  USMC  propoganda 
june 2012 by jerryking
Honest brokering is nice work -- if you can get it -
11 Aug 2006 | The Globe and Mail A.17 | by Clifford Orwin.

Doubtless, there are dishonest brokers, but it pays to be an honest one. It's only if parties see you as honest that they'll choose to deal through you. And you have no reason to favour either party: Wheat or rye, bauxite or bdellium, it's all the same to you. Broker a deal that makes the parties happy, pocket your percentage, and you'll be happy, too. One of them may be unhappy tomorrow, but that's his worry: Your commission is non-refundable.
ProQuest  Clifford_Orwin  Lebanon  2006  Hezbollah  Iran  Israel 
june 2012 by jerryking
The Limits of Intelligence - WSJ.com
December 10, 2007 | WSJ | By PETER HOEKSTRA and JANE HARMAN.

On one of our several trips together to Iraq, a senior intelligence official told us how she wrote her assessments -- on one page, with three sections: what we know, what we don't know, and what we think it means.

Sound simple? Actually, it's very hard....The information we receive from the intelligence community is but one piece of the puzzle in a rapidly changing world. It is not a substitute for policy, and the challenge for policy makers is to use good intelligence wisely to fashion good policy.

In fact, the new NIE on Iran comes closest to the three-part model our intelligence community strives for: It carefully describes sources and the analysts' assessment of their reliability, what gaps remain in their understanding of Iran's intentions and capabilities, and how confident they are of their conclusions....Nevertheless, Congress must engage in vigorous oversight -- to challenge those who do intelligence work, and to make site visits to see for ourselves.

Intelligence is an investment -- in people and technology. It requires sustained focus, funding and leadership. It also requires agency heads that prioritize their constitutional duty to keep the intelligence committees informed. Good intelligence will not guarantee good policy, but it can spare us some huge policy mistakes.
security_&_intelligence  critical_thinking  Iran  memoranda  policy  sense-making  unknowns  interpretation  interpretative  information_gaps  oversight  rapid_change  think_threes  assessments_&_evaluations  policymakers  policymaking  intelligence_analysts 
june 2012 by jerryking
Why did he call for Israel's obliteration?
November 4, 2005 | Globe & Mail Page A17 | By NADER HASHEMI. The answer to the Iranian President's vitriolic remarks lies in the enduring legacy of European colonialism.
Iran  Israel  Ahmadinejad  anti-Semitism  ethno­nationalism 
may 2012 by jerryking
Iran, Israel and the United States - NYTimes.com
Editorial
Iran, Israel and the United States
Published: March 5, 2012
Iran  Israel  Obama 
march 2012 by jerryking
U.S. Sees Iran Attacks as Likely if Israel Strikes - NYTimes.com
By THOM SHANKER, HELENE COOPER and ETHAN BRONNER
Published: February 29, 2012
Iran  nuclear  Middle_East  Persian_Gulf  Israel  retaliation 
february 2012 by jerryking
Richard Haass and Michael Levi: How to Talk Down Tehran's Nuclear Ambitions - WSJ.com
FEBRUARY 22, 2012 | WSJ | By RICHARD HAASS AND MICHAEL LEVI.

How to Talk Down Tehran's Nuclear Ambitions
Before deciding on war or containment, the West should offer a good-faith compromise to the mullahs and the Iranian people.
Richard_Haass  Iran  nuclear 
february 2012 by jerryking
Stephens: (How) Should Israel Bomb Iran? - WSJ.com
FEBRUARY 7, 2012

(How) Should Israel Bomb Iran?
Diplomacy has run its course, sanctions are too late, and Israel can't cry wolf again.

By BRET STEPHENS
Bret_Stephens  Iran  Israel  nuclear 
february 2012 by jerryking
Will Israel Attack Iran? - NYTimes.com
By RONEN BERGMAN
Published: January 25, 2012
Israel  Iran  U.S. 
january 2012 by jerryking
No mullah left behind
THOMAS L FRIEDMAN Posted: Feb 14, 2005

By adamantly refusing to do anything to improve energy conservation in America, or to develop a crash programme for renewable sources of energy, the Bush team is financing both sides of the war on terrorism. We are financing the US Armed Forces with our tax dollars, and, through our profligate use of energy, we are generating huge windfall profits for Saudi Arabia, Iran and Sudan, where the cash is used to insulate the regimes from any pressure to open up their economies, liberate their women or modernise their schools, and where it ends up instead financing madrassas, mosques and militants fundamentally opposed to the progressive, pluralistic agenda US is trying to promote. How smart is that?
Iran  Tom_Friedman  energy_security  energy_independence  energy_conservation  renewable 
january 2012 by jerryking
The New Cold War
May 14, 2008 | New York Times | By THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN.

The next president is going to be a cold-war president — but this cold war is with Iran...As the May 11 editorial in the Iranian daily Kayhan put it, “In the power struggle in the Middle East, there are only two sides: Iran and the U.S.”

For now, Team America is losing on just about every front. How come? The short answer is that Iran is smart and ruthless, America is dumb and weak, and the Sunni Arab world is feckless and divided...Ehud Yaari, one of Israel’s best Middle East watchers, calls “Pax Iranica.” In his April 28 column in The Jerusalem Report, Mr. Yaari pointed out the web of influence that Iran has built around the Middle East — from the sway it has over Iraq’s prime minister, Nuri al-Maliki, to its ability to manipulate virtually all the Shiite militias in Iraq, to its building up of Hezbollah into a force — with 40,000 rockets — that can control Lebanon and threaten Israel should it think of striking Tehran, to its ability to strengthen Hamas in Gaza and block any U.S.-sponsored Israeli-Palestinian peace.

“Simply put,” noted Mr. Yaari, “Tehran has created a situation in which anyone who wants to attack its atomic facilities will have to take into account that this will lead to bitter fighting” on the Lebanese, Palestinian, Iraqi and Persian Gulf fronts. That is a sophisticated strategy of deterrence...Alas, the right question for the next president isn’t whether we talk or don’t talk. It’s whether we have leverage or don’t have leverage.

When you have leverage, talk. When you don’t have leverage, get some — by creating economic, diplomatic or military incentives and pressures that the other side finds too tempting or frightening to ignore.
Lebanon  Iran  U.S.foreign_policy  Tom_Friedman  nuclear  Hezbollah  incentives  deterrence  Middle_East  Mideast_Peace  Cold_War  leverage  ruthlessness  influence  Palestinian  Iraq  Persian_Gulf  multiple_stressors  grand_strategy 
january 2012 by jerryking
Israel, Iran and Hezbollah - WSJ.com
NOVEMBER 19, 2011 | WSJ | By NICHOLAS BLANFORD. Hezbollah Waits and Prepares
With new tensions over Iran's nuclear program, the militant group stands ready to retaliate against Israel...The rate of recruitment into Hezbollah's ranks has soared. New recruits are bused to secret training camps in the Bekaa Valley, where they endure lengthy marches over the craggy limestone mountains carrying backpacks weighed down with rocks. They learn fieldcraft and weapons handling, and some go on to receive advanced training in Iran. The military instruction is interspersed with religious and cultural lessons, teaching them the importance of jihad, martyrdom and obedience to Hezbollah's religious figurehead, currently embodied by Ayatollah Ali Khameini, the supreme leader of Iran.

Hezbollah never divulges details of its ever-improving military capabilities, but reports claim that the organization has amassed as many as 50,000 rockets, including guided missiles that can strike targets in Tel Aviv. Hezbollah fighters have repeatedly hinted that they are being trained to slip across the border into Israel in the next war, a development to which Sheikh Nasrallah himself referred for the first time in a speech earlier this year.
Hezbollah  Israel  Iran  retaliation  IAEA  Lebanon 
november 2011 by jerryking
Meet Iran’s nuclear ambitions with resolve - The Globe and Mail
Globe and Mail
Published Friday, Nov. 11, 201

Any offensive action by Israel, with or without U.S. support, would likely only set back Iran’s nuclear efforts a few years. And it would prompt a flurry of terrorist responses and could invite a regional war.

But the international community should pick up every other available tool. The U.S. has stepped up arms sales to Iran’s neighbours. Sanctions, so often a perfunctory instrument, could have a greater effect if more broadly applied. Iran is the fourth largest oil exporter in the world, and if its Asian and European customers can be persuaded to stop buying, even for a short time, that would further isolate Iran. The U.S. could also lead an effort within the UN to articulate when the use of force against Iran would become necessary.

There are no easy or good answers to Iran’s nuclear ambitions. One thing is clear: International resolve, across geographical and ideological lines, is a necessary precondition to any resolution.
Iran  IAEA  editorials  Mahmoud_Ahmadinejad  Israel  resolve  sanctions  isolated  economic_warfare  tools  nuclear 
november 2011 by jerryking
Iranian Plot to Assassinate Saudi Arabian ambassador to the U.S. was uncharacteristically unskilled - TIME
Oct. 12, 2011 | TIME | By Robert Baer.

According to the Department of Justice indictment, an Iranian-American used-car salesman attempted to recruit a Mexican drug cartel to carry out the hit. Other parts of the plan included bombing the Israeli embassy in Washington, as well as the Israeli and Saudi embassies in Argentina. The Iranian was willing to pay the cartel assassins $1.5 million to murder the Saudi ambassador.

...The other man in the plot, a member of the Quds Force, a secretive special forces unit of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, remains at large.(Read "Did Iran Hire Narcos as Assassins?")

Before examining these claims, it's helpful to remember what we know about the Iranian unit implicated in the indictment: The Quds Force was responsible for the truck bombing the Marine barracks in Beirut. It was behind most of the kidnappings in Lebanon in the 1980s, including that of CIA station chief Bill Buckley. It organized the 1992 and1994 bombings of the Israeli embassy and cultural centers in Buenos Aires, as well as Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia. And most recently, it undoubtedly was behind the execution of five American soldiers in Karbala, Iraq in 2007. In other words, the Quds Force has been happy to target the United States, Israel, and Saudi Arabia.

Read more: http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,2096747,00.html#ixzz1al73dpql
Iran  Washington_D.C.  assassinations  Hezbollah  Iranians  Quds_Force  Revolutionary_Guards  Saudis  Qassim_Suleimani 
october 2011 by jerryking
Ahmadinejad's Successful Publicity Tour in Lebanon
Oct 14 2010 | The Atlantic | Ruthie Ackerman. See comments /1 & /2
Ahmadinejad  Iran  Lebanon  Hezbollah  provocations  2006 
october 2010 by jerryking
Crovitz: Iran's Ahmadinejad, Information Pariah - WSJ.com
SEPT. 27, 2010 | WSJ | By L. GORDON CROVITZ. When a
dictator's lies are so easily unmasked, can his threats be ignored?
Sometimes the reasonable response to threats is to take them seriously.
In his history of WW II, Churchill identified the theme of the 1st vol.
("The Gathering Storm") as "how the English-speaking peoples through
their unwisdom, & carelessness allowed the wicked to return."
Churchill spent the 1930s in the political wilderness, warning that
Hitler meant what he wrote in "Mein Kampf". He wrote that German
"opportunities for concealment, camouflage, & treaty evasion are
numerous & varied." For an info. pariah who persecutes his own
people & threatens others, the presumption must be that his
rhetoric, no matter how extreme, reflects his policy...Today, a leader
who consistently mocks, lies & threatens deserves to be set apart.
We can`t plead misunderstanding & will have ourselves to blame if
Ahmadinejad achieves his ambition of a bomb to back up his threats.
Iran  Ahmadinejad  L._Gordon_Crovtiz  Winston_Churchill  lying  political_wilderness  '30s  WWII  threats  nuclear  presumptions  naivete 
september 2010 by jerryking
Zakaria: Rising Powers Aren't Acting Like It -
Sept. 25, 2010 | Newsweek | by Fareed Zakaria. The newly
rising powers—China, India, Brazil—rightly insist that they be more
centrally involved in the structures of power & global decision
making. But when given the opportunity, do they step up to the plate
& act as great powers with broad interests? On trade? Energy use?
Climate change? No. Many of these countries seek deference on matters of
regional peace & stability while pursuing their national interests
even more zealously. Perhaps the most egregious e.g. is South Africa,
which has insists that it is Africa’s natural leader. Yet S. Africa has
been shamefully absent in the efforts to rescue the people of Zimbabwe
and Sudan from the tragedies unfolding in their lands. Says Shimon
Peres, “You can call yourself a decision maker, but if you are not ready
to donate, to sacrifice life, to take risks—not because your country is
being attacked but because peace is being put into danger—then it’s
more of a perception than reality.”
Fareed_Zakaria  BRIC  Iran  Ahmadinejad  Turkey  rising_powers  South_Africa  Shimon_Peres  leadership  Zimbabwe  Sudan  rogue_actors 
september 2010 by jerryking
Most Sophisticated Malware Ever Targets Iran
Sep 22 2010, - The Atlantic Alexis Madrigal . A computer worm
is drawing awed respect and fear from security researchers, even as
they wonder how and why it was created.

Four things about Stuxnet are particularly noteworthy, according to
experts consulted by ComputerWorld. One, it appears to be the most
sophisticated malware anyone has ever seen. Two, because of that,
researchers do not believe it could have been created by a private
group. They think it's the handiwork of a nation-state. Third, it could
control real world machinery, like, say, a power plant. Fourth, it
appears to have targeted Iran.
malware  Iran  cyber_warfare  computer_viruses  Stuxnet  physical_world  cyberphysical  power_grid 
september 2010 by jerryking
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