|Southwest Asia News Digest
Secret Iran Talks on Uranium Swap
Dec. 18 (EIRNS)Britain's Daily Telegraph reports on a Turkish-led deal, according to which, Iran could ship about 1,000 kilograms of its low-enriched uranium, as well as its entire 30-kg stockpile of 20% enriched uranium, out of the country. In return, France and Russia would supply ready-made fuel rods for the medical isotope reactor for which Iran says it has been enriching uranium to 20%.
"We think the deal is doable," an official involved in the negotiations said, "but there's still a lot of detail to be worked through." Turkish and Iranian negotiators, diplomatic sources say, have met several times to discuss the contours of the deal, which they hope to bring to the table next month at a meeting with an international consortium called the P5+1the five permanent members of the UN Security Council and Germany. France, Russia, and the United States have also been involved in the negotiations, which began after a meeting between Turkey's Foreign Minister Ahmed Davutoglu, and Iranian officials in Bahrain earlier this month.
The Wall Street Journal reported today that representatives of the U.S., the U.K., and France met on Dec. 14, and are contemplating new U.S. and EU sanctions, to be announced prior to the next scheduled, January P5+1-Iran negotiating session in Istanbul. The Journal story had scant sources, and must be viewed with some suspicion. While media accounts, including the Daily Telegraph story of today, attempted to characterize the first P5+1 meeting last month as a flop, U.S. intelligence sources indicated that a concrete, updated proposal was put on the table, and it was considered important that Iran agreed to a specific time and venue for followup talks. No one expected an answer from Iran on the updated proposals at the initial meeting. The sources emphasized that the Iranians clearly want the talks to continue. The question is whether they are willing to make a deal.
The situation is now further complicated by the recent eruption of factional warfare between President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and the grouping around Parliament chairman Ari Larijani and Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki, which threatens to explode further. According to the U.S. intelligence source, it cannot be ruled out that Ahmadinejad and the IRGC (Islamic Revolutionary Guard) faction now running the country do make a deal with the P5+1, and try to use it to consolidate their power play, which essentially overthrows the Constitution and replaces the "Islamic Republic" with a junta. How the clerics in Qom, and even Supreme Leader Khamenei himself, will respond to the unconstitutional move of firing Mottaki is yet to be seen.
Tony Blair in the U.S. To Push War Against Iran
Dec. 16 (EIRNS)Since at least Dec. 10, Tony Blair, the British Empire criminal who got us into the illegal Iraq War, has been in the U.S., continuing to screw up U.S. policy in Southwest Asia and the Muslim world, and trying to build up for a war against Iran. On Dec. 10, Blair attended the Israel-Palestine forum at the Saban Center of the Brookings Institution, where he met with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who gave the keynote address on a program that included Labor Party Defense Minister Ehud Barak and Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad. Blair was interviewed by CNN's Larry King on Dec. 10, and on Dec. 16, gave a keynote speech on "good governance" in Africa at the Center for Global Development in Washington.
Lyndon LaRouche commented, "Tony Blair's in the U.S.? Fumigate the nation! He got us into an illegal war in Iraq!" LaRouche also pointed to the latest evidence in the case of the murder of Iraq War intelligence specialist, Dr. David Kelly, a critic of Blair's "sexed up" intelligence on Iraq that led to the war. New medical reports obliterate the official British government lie that Kelley committed suicide.
Just before his arrival in the U.S., Blair's "Faith Foundation" announced on Dec. 2 that it had chosen the first American university associatehonoring Wheaton College in Illinois, the notorious "Armageddon U," that has nourished the growth of the warmongering doctrine of "Christian Zionism" since the 1980s. Alumni of Wheaton College include evangelist Billy Graham, and Bush fundamentalist speechwriter Michael Gerson, who claimed credit for the infamous "Axis of Evil" State of the Union address in 2002. Gerson specialized in seeding Bush's speeches with Biblical references that spoke in "coded language" among the Christian Zionist fanatics in the Bush-Cheney constituency.
The role of Wheaton in promoting the Christian Zionist "End Times" doctrine is exposed in Clifford Kiracofe's 2009 book, "Dark Crusade: Christian Zionism and U.S. Foreign Policy."
The Wheaton College/Tony Blair alliance indicates an urgent need to purge Blair from any role affecting international affairs. Blair's "Faith Foundation" is a British intelligence operation through and through, that ties Blair, the "Quartet envoy" to the extremist "settlers' movement" in Israel. Both the Jewish fundamentalist settlers, and the Wheaton College "Darbyites" (aka millenialism or dispensationalism) named for 19th-Century British cleric, John Nelson Darby, embrace the fanatical doctrine that the borders of national Israel must be those of the Old Testament. For the Darbyites, this would fulfill the prophesies of the Book of Revelations and usher in the Battle of Armageddon.
As EIR exposed in its 2000 Special Report: "Who's Sparking a Religious War in the Middle East," this hellish alliance is the obstacle to any peace agreement and the alliance which generated the assassination of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzak Rabin in 1995 for being an enemy of the Jews.
Israeli Foreign Ministry Tentacles Grip Dutch Faction
Dec. 15 (EIRNS)Through a Netherlands-based operation known as the NIPAC, the Netherlands Israel Public Affairs Council, modelled on the U.S.-based AIPAC, the Netanyahu government is pushing a European faction to support war against Iran. On Dec. 15, Dutch Member of Parliament (MP) Wim Kortenoeven called for preventive war on Iran, the Dutch news service NOS reported.
"By attacking, we have to prevent our own destruction," said Kortenoeven, a member of the anti-Islam party led by Geert Wilders. He claims the war is necessary out of fear that the nation of Iran will acquire nuclear weapons. Kortenoeven has a seat in parliament for the Party for Freedom (PVV) which won 24 seats in the 150-seat second chamber of the legislative branch. The PVV is technically not part of the current government but, by its support, a minority cabinet could be installed by the liberals and Christian democrats. The warmonger is a publicist and a reporter specialized in the Arab Israeli conflict. He writes about Jewish history. He has worked for CIDI, the Centre for Information and Documentation in Israel.
Kortenoeven is currently the director of Dutch NIPAC, and has written op-eds on a website called Likud Nederland. According to published accounts, he has worked and lived on a kibbutz in Israel.