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WSJ: "Berlin Hearts Iran"

The Wall Street Journal (HT: John):
It's not surprising that Berlin's ambassador in Tehran apparently thought nothing of sending a military envoy to Iran's "Down with Israel" rally. He simply put Germany's mouth where its money already is.
Related posts in Atlantic Review:

Germany's Biggest Bank to Cut Business Ties to Iran

"Germany's Iran Lobby"

A Different Kind of Quagmire: Iran

Political Science Theories on the Likelihood of War between the US and Iran

Endnote: Sorry for the lack of posts recently. Please check out the frequently updated list of recommended articles in the sidebar.

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John in Michigan, USA on :

Thanks for posting that Joerg. In linking to that story, my hope is to go beyond mere "gotcha" scandal and address what I think is an interesting question that has come up from time to time on AR. The question is, when (if ever) must there be a moral component to a nation's foreign policy? For example, consider the difference between traditional realism, and neo-realism. Neo-realism requires that a nation limit its pursuit of its own interests to conform to international norms, such as NATO, the EU, the UN or International Law. It requires a nation to make a promise to these international institutions, and then keep that promise even when it may not be in that nation's interest to do so. In return, other nations also agree to that promise, which is better for everyone, according to the neo-realist. Therefore it seems to me Neo-realism has a moral component, since keeping a promise even when it may not be in one's self-interest, is a textbook example of a moral act. I tried to initiate some discussion of this issue [url=http://atlanticreview.org/archives/1162-How-Intelligent-are-Stratfors-Intelligence-Professionals.html#c16139]here[/url] but a) my writing probably wasn't very clear and b) it had little to do with the topic which was questioning the judgment of some Stratfor statements. I don't mean this to be a scold or a lecture, rather a chance to explore the role that morality plays (or doesn't play) in foreign policy.

Zyme on :

Yes I remember this discussion. Well if I understand you correctly, you consider it "moral" when a nation neglects its own interests by sticking to promises - but couldn't the country be only doing this because it believes keeping those promises might serve long term interests that are more important than those neglected short term ones? Maybe this is a rather philosophical question - and each one will have an individual perception of those in power depending on his/her idea of man. At least let's try to find a name for the school you described as being "neo"-realist. Neo is a hollow phrase - what is "new" today will not be in 20 years. Maybe it would be better to label it "cooperative" or "multilateral" realist?

John in Michigan, USA on :

There are several schools of thought that reduce all morality to enlightened self-interest. Ayn Rand's Objectivism is one such school, there are others. But perhaps we don't need to address deep questions on the origin and essence of morality, perhaps all we need is a good, working definition of morality. It seems to me we would have to include at least these two ideas in our working definition: 1) Moral actions, in the most basic meaning, are those in which the self is put in jeopardy, for something greater than the self. In this case, the self is the nation-state, and something greater than the self would mean some structure or institution that is more than just a common-cause alliance of other, self-interested nation-states. 2) Morality also has the concept that if A does harm to B, then C through Z are also harmed merely by the existence of the wrong that A has done to B. C-Z therefore have a certain interest in preventing, or redressing, that harm, even though they are not victims of A. I am happy to call it something besides neo-realism. How about structural realism? An example of such a structure could be International Law, but there are many others.

Don S on :

I'm never quite sure what the expected response to this kind of report is. Am I supposed to foam at the mouth like one of Pavlov's dogs who has contracted rabies? Very well - consider yourself foamed upon. It might just be a good thing if Siemens and BASF ceased supplying the Iranian nuclear program with critical equipment needed to speed their way to the ultimate denouement, but that is just my hairy-chested non-realist knuckle-dragging Yankeeism hegenomist speaking. I'm due to die anytime soon. We're such deplorably unsophisticated types - all of us it seems. At least acording to the chairman of the Swedish Nobel Literature Committee we are (or aren't). The storied days of yesteryear when something called a 'Good American' existed seem to been n illuion. Now we seem to be 'evil', incompetent, or 'hopelessly insular'. That must have come as a big shock to the parts of the Upper West Side not totally fixated on something else for the last few months, eh?

Don S on :

From a NY Times article about oil prices fallng below $70..... "The drop in prices has already created problems for oil producers. Iran and Venezuela both need oil prices at $95 a barrel to balance their national budgets, Russia needs $70, and Saudi Arabia needs $55 a barrel, according to Deutsche Bank estimates." $70 and heading down, some analysts believe they are headed to $50. Now, suppose some wicked bastard of a politician builds a floor under the oil price by enacting a tax putting it back up to $70 or $90, and uses the additional taxes to cut other taxes - like maybe the payroll tax? Hmmmm. http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/17/business/worldbusiness/17oil.html?em

Marie Claude on :

Iran wasn't/isn't or will not be a western allie or partner since Khomeyni accessed into power and set the "evil" mullahcraty as representatives of the iranian population. You can count the deads they are responsable of since then : US and french baracks in Lebanon in the eighties, Lokerbbee and Tenere plane crashes (wrongly and conveniently attribuated to Khadafi) the diverse terrorist attacks in Paris in the eighties and nineties the diverse terrorist attacks in world wide against american and or western interests the sponsoring of terrorist associations, HBZ, Hamas, AQ, Talebani..... so this is a MORAL duty to oppose to them, they don't want any good to us and or to their arab neighbour countries Sorry, I repeat myself, but I have no doubt about it

John in Michigan, USA on :

Interesting. I'm embarrassed to say I'd forgotten about the Ténéré incident, UTA Flight 772, which was every bit as important as Lockerbie. I suppose it didn't make the news because it happened in the middle of the desert. Then again, the Scots are famous for their anti-French bias... Seriously, [url=http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,958676,00.html?iid=digg_share]This Oct 2, 1989 article from Time Magazine[/url] says: "In Paris, UTA chairman Rene Lapautre said a terrorist bomb 'was the most probable' explanation for the crash. Hours later the Muslim terrorist group Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for the attack. Two weeks ago, the Lebanese and French press reported that pro-Iranian groups in Lebanon have threatened action against France for reneging on an alleged 1988 deal to trade a jailed Arab terrorist for the release of three French hostages held in Lebanon. The French government denies making any deal to free the hostages beyond agreeing to restore diplomatic relations with Iran." There are a number of groups called Islamic Jihad. One of them claimed responsibility for the 1983 Beirut barracks bombing and is associated with Hezbollah and therefore Iran. Back in the 80's, all these groups were assumed to be state-sponsored proxies. Today I wonder if it would be more correct to say these groups were supported by nation-states, but also has some ability to exist on their own. And of course that ability varies by group, and it varies over time. Later, authorities decided Libya was to blame, and of course Libya eventually accepted responsibility for both incidents. There's a lot of evidence against Libya, but it is possible to imagine that Libya might think that it gains status in the Arab League, or on the Arab Street, or something, by claiming responsibility for something it didn't do, or was only a little bit involved with. Marie-Claude, if you have more information about Iranian involvement, I'd be very interested.

Marie Claude on :

i have it but in french it's on a site hold by iranian resistants pro shah, and that don't trust the different iranian lobbies among the world that want to promote that there are moderated Iranians anti mullah : most of them are disguised mullah agents, ment to prevent that we don't declare war to Iran, that we release the boycot of their goods and bank accounts Well I 'll try to get the article from their archives well I know that the perfid albion twists the facts when it comes to whatever is french

Marie Claude on :

the deal with Lybia, is that Khadafi was searching a way to get out the boycott of arms and foreign investments on his oil sites, the country could have been a rich place without it, seeing that his population was ready for rebellion he endorsed Lokerbee and paid that amount of money to the american families, yep, soon after that he has paid, the boycott was released. Though the french families had no equivalences, fast nothing in comparaison, not useful to retribuate them cause big boss USA decided it was OK. France was silent because she knew the deal, and because all the western countries had something to win : make businesses with Lybia Khadafi who is not idiot but a clever fox, managed to regain all his money back with the transaction of the bulgarian nurses, that EU paid This is the wonderworld we are living in [url=http://www.iran-resist.org/article324?var_recherche=tenere+lokerbee]Lokerbee and Tenere crashes[/url]

Pat Patterson on :

Not in a million years did I ever think I would need to remember the US's Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act. That act, because of its aircraft sabotage provision, allowed US citizens to sue individually or in groups that drove up the cost of a settlement with Libya. At that time French law did not allow its citizens standing to sue in France a foreign government. As such the tendency by the government because of the lack of legal stature to block any agreement by the citizens is to settle sooner rather than later. Most governments in the world quite reasonably don't like the publicity of drawing up a settlement with a foreign government and then have junior associates of some law firm showing up with writs to freeze the accounts or in some cases seize the property of the other party to the settlement. Any settlement that France made was binding on its citizens but in the US a negotiated settlement, unless it was part of a congressionally approved treaty, could ultimately be undone by civil courts because Libya had interfered with the contract between PanAm and it passengers and UTA and its passengers. So in spite of the settlement arranged by the French government American civil law and a dependent clause in American terrorism laws the interests of the seven American families trumped the negotiations. We, thank goodness, have thousands of Lawyer Daggett's who can get blood from a stone.

Marie Claude on :

uh, french families associations did sue http://www.terrorisme.net/p/article_49.shtml Also even for Lokerbee, until 2002, Khadafi refused to pay or endorse anything

Pat Patterson on :

I don't think we're talking about the same kind of law suit. It appears that the French families sued, under the Napoleonic code, to open an investigation independent of the one the government was conducting. It had no official status as to any government to government agreement such as seizing any Libyan assets or returning any kind of verdict against the Libyans. Only the criminal case mounted by the French government could do that. But as I pointed out a civil case was brought by the families of the Americans which caused much friction due to the huge difference in the amount of money offered. And that, again, was because in American law the assets of the Libyans could be seized anywhere in the US or anywhere the US had reciprocity agreements. While the criminal cases being pursued by both countries could indeed punish individuals but the courts were limited as to how much monetary compensation could be gained. It appears though that what the French families did, playing with a weak hand, was to put some much pressure on their government that it was forced to act. Which can be just as effective as the families have the ability to act.

Marie Claude on :

http://video.aol.com/video-detail/attentat-lybie-kadhafi-170-morts-en-septembre-1989-a-land39on/583166733 the french families had no choice in front of an agreement that had been already signed because of a state reason (negociation with the "devil" to free french otages in Lebanon) ageement where it wasn'y specified "terrorist attack, but blow up"

Marie Claude on :

uh, my comment and the link went into the spam box, you'll see it later (I hope)

pen Name on :

The statements of Marie-Claude in regards to PAN-AM103 and the UTA Flight 772 are false; Qaddafi has accepted responsibility for both and has paid the appropriate blood money. As for Hizbullah; it is akin to the partisans of WWII, The Free French, the (Russian) Young Guard, the Greek Fighters and others. I am sure Germans did not like the terrorist (French) Resistence one bit either. In regards to the 1982 attacks in Beirut: the American and French forces had taken sides in the Lebanese Civil War on the side of the Maronites. That is why they were attacked. The Italian forces remained neutral and stuck to their peace-keeping mandate; they were not harmed. There were, however, attacks in Europe against Iranian opponents of the Islamic Repulic of Iran that could be attributed to the agents of the Iranian government. I note here the car bombings in Lebeanon attributed to the United States government.

Marie Claude on :

BIG BS Lockerbie : Où l’on reparle d’une implication de l’Iran ? 30.08.2005 Jacques Duplouich, correspondant du Figaro à Londres a consacré un article à des révélations sensationnelles sur l’attentat aérien de Lockerbie survenu en 1988. Jacques Duplouich se contente de rapporter les dernières évolutions de cette affaire : La justice écossaise a-t-elle jugé « le » vrai responsable de la tragédie de Lockerbie ? La justice écossaise a-t-elle jugé « le » vrai responsable de la tragédie de Lockerbie ? Le doute s’installe au Royaume-Uni. De nouveaux éléments du dossier et une révélation sensationnelle viennent tarauder le bien-fondé du verdict qui, en janvier 2001, a condamné le Libyen Abdel Basset Ali al-Megrahi à 27 ans de détention pour 270 meurtres : les 259 passagers et membres d’équipage du vol PanAm 103 et 11 résidents du village de Lockerbie, en Écosse. Agent des services de sécurité du colonel Muammar al-Kadhafi, al-Megrahi n’a cessé de clamer son innocence. Il a été reconnu coupable, par une cour écossaise siégeant aux Pays-Bas, d’avoir disposé une radiocassette truffée d’explosif Semtex, activée par un détonateur sophistiqué, dans une valise introduite le 21 décembre 1988 dans la soute à bagages du Boeing 747 de la PanAm. L’avion, qui assurait la liaison Londres-New York, avait explosé au-dessus de la petite ville écossaise de Lockerbie, 38 minutes après le décollage. L’expertise scientifique a tenu un rôle déterminant dans l’argumentation de l’accusation. Alan Feraday, l’un des quatre experts en explosifs commis par la justice, avait reconstitué la machine infernale dissimulée dans le bagage grâce à un fragment de circuit intégré de la radio cassette. Toutefois, « cette pièce à conviction, décisive, est la seule ayant été visiblement altérée » relève Jim Swire, père d’une victime et porte-parole des plaignants de Lockerbie. La compétence d’Alan Feraday, ancien employé du Royal Armaments Research and Development Establishment, est contestée par la justice elle-même. Sept ans avant le procès du drame de Lockerbie, le Lord Chief Justice (président de la Cour de cassation) avait tonné contre l’expert infondé, selon lui, à se présenter comme « un expert en électronique ». Dans deux autres cas – le dernier en date, en juillet dernier – des condamnations prononcées sur la foi de ses expertises ont, aussi, été cassées. La déclaration d’un policier écossais « de haut rang » – mais anonyme – ayant participé à l’enquête et, aujourd’hui, à la retraite, renforce la suspicion. Selon lui, et à l’appui du témoignage transmis par un ancien agent de la CIA aux avocats d’al-Megrahi, la centrale de renseignements américaine aurait « écrit le scénario » accablant la Libye dans l’attentat. L’indice identifié par Alan Feraday comme étant un élément du détonateur aurait, dit-il, été « fabriqué » et « planté » par des agents de la CIA qui enquêtaient sur la tragédie. Pourquoi l’ancien policier a-t-il tardé à se manifester ? Il avance d’une part « la peur d’être vilipendé en n’apparaissant pas solidaire ». Il exprime, d’autre part, « la conviction », au moment où il s’est avisé du magouillage, que la perspective d’un procès était « rien moins qu’une certitude ». A la question de savoir pourquoi la CIA aurait induit sciemment les enquêteurs en erreur, le policier n’apporte pas de réponse. Mais, il est vrai que l’activité des agents américains soulève bien des questions. Ainsi, ils ont occupé le terrain de Lockerbie – avec préséance sur les inspecteurs écossais – dans la recherche d’indices. Ils ont récupéré la valise d’un des leurs, victime de la tragédie, ils l’ont vidée, avant de la restituer, dûment nettoyée, comme « preuve matérielle ». Pourquoi la piste libyenne a-t-elle été privilégiée alors qu’une autre, crédible, conduisait au Front populaire de libération de la palestine-Commandement général d’Ahmed Djibril et à son commanditaire, l’Iran. Autant d’interrogations sans réponses, pour l’heure. La Commission de révision des affaires criminelles, saisie du cas d’al-Megrahi, pourrait, 17 ans après les faits, relancer l’enquête si elle devait conclure à l’iniquité du procès. «Les révélations » tardives sur l’attentat de Lockerbie sont en rapport avec l’éjection de la Troïka des «négociations» sur le nucléaire iranien. Bons nombres de procès qui impliquent les services secrets du régime des Mollahs avaient été mis en sommeil ces dernières années pour plaire aux Mollahs et créer la «Confiance» si nécessaire pour aboutir à un accord sur le nucléaire. Dans différents pays, on assiste à la réouverture de dossiers sur des meurtres, enlèvements ou attentats. L’affaire de Lockerbie en est la plus spectaculaire illustration. Une fois de plus la recherche de la justice n’est pas le but visé, mais bien de mettre une pression sur le régime des Mollahs ou de préparer l’opinion à une avalanche de sanctions vis-à-vis de l’Iran. Soyons-en satisfaits tant pour les familles des victimes que pour les iraniens eux-mêmes qui sont les grands oubliés de l’histoire de l’humanité. Quelques faits En juin 2000, un transfuge des services secrets iraniens confirmait l’implication des Mollahs dans cette affaire comme cela avait déjà été dit. Le 24 février 1992, le « Sunday Times » publiait un rapport secret de l’OLP affirmant que l’Iran, et non la Libye, était à l’origine de l’attentat de Lockerbie qui fit 270 morts en décembre 1988. L’explosion en vol d’un avion de ligne de Pan Am, aurait été ordonnée et financée par Ali Akbar Mohtashami en représailles de la destruction par les Américains d’un Airbus civil iranien au-dessus du Golfe en juillet 1988 (voir plus bas nos révélations sur cette affaire). La bombe de Lockerbie aurait été fabriquée par Khaisar Haddad, connu sous le nom d’Abou Elias, un chrétien libanais. L’OLP estime qu’Abdel Baset Ali Mohamed El Megrahi et El Amin Khalifa Fhimah, deux Libyens soupçonnés par les Américains et les Britanniques d’être les auteurs de l’attentat, ne sont que des « techniciens » de bas niveau, bref des lampistes. Il faut se rappeler que la première piste d'enquête dans l'attentat de Lockerbie conduisait au FPLP-Commandement Général (groupe terroriste financé par les mollahs) qui a aussi son siège à Damas. Cette piste avait été abandonnée en 1990-91, quand il fallut intégrer la Syrie à la «Coalition de la 1e guerre du Golfe». FPLP-CG est également soupçonné dans le cas de l’attentat du DC10 de l'UTA, qui a explosé au-dessus du désert du Ténéré, causant 170 morts, le 19 septembre 1989. Pierre Péan s’intéressa à cet attentat dans son livre « Manipulations africaines : qui sont les vrais coupables de l'attentat du vol UTA 772 ? ». Selon Pierre Péan, le juge Bruguière a orienté l’enquête de manière intentionnellement erronée sur demande de l’appareil d’Etat pour accuser à tort la Libye et disculper l’Iran et la Syrie, les véritables auteurs de l’attentat via l’Hezbollah. « Mais la désignation du bouc émissaire libyen n’a pas soulagé seulement les Etats-Unis, elle a constitué une aubaine pour quelques hommes politiques français empêtrés dans de délicates transactions clandestines afin de faire libérer nos otages au Liban contre promesses faites à l’IRAN et au Hezbollah », Péan, (4e de couverture). « Avec le recul, il est effectivement intéressant de souligner que la piste libyenne s’est imposée au même moment dans les deux dossiers, Lockerbie et le DC10 UTA, alors que dans les deux cas, tous les services de renseignements occidentaux privilégiaient l’implication du FPLP-CG. Dans les deux cas, une preuve scientifique confortait l’implication d’Ahmed Jibril : le Toshiba pour Lockerbie, la valise d’Abou Ibrahim pour le DC10, p.68 ». Nous espérons que dans l’intérêt des victimes et du peuple iranien, les européens utiliseront tout ce dont ils disposent comme preuves contre les Mollahs pour imposer des sanctions très significatives contre leur régime afin d’aider indirectement le soulèvement du peuple iranien soumis. . La destruction par les Américains d’un Airbus civil iranien au-dessus du Golfe en juillet 1988| selon nos sources, l’aviation militaire de la République Islamique voulait lancer une attaque de type kamikaze sur un porte-avion américain en utilisant l’Airbus de l’aviation civile comme un écran. L’airbus était utilisé pour masquer l’image radar des chasseurs bombardiers de la République Islamique. Le porte-avions américain a fait feu sur l’Airbus et tous les passagers avaient péri. Bien avant le 11 septembre 2001, l’utilisation d’un avion de ligne dans un acte de guerre est une innovation des services secrets des Mollahs. WWW.IRAN-RESIST.ORG - - - - Attentat de Lockerbie expliqué en images - - - - WWW.IRAN-RESIST.ORG | Mots Clefs | Terrorismes : Attentats attribués aux mollahs | | Mots Clefs | Zone géopolitique / Sphère d’influence : Axe Iran-Syrie | | Mots Clefs | Terrorismes : Terrorisme Islamique | | Mots Clefs | Terrorismes : Formation de Terroristes par les mollahs | http : / / w w w .iran-resist.org/article324?var_recherche=tenere+lokerbee

Pat Patterson on :

I'm too lazy to translate the whole thing but fairly certain that we agree Khadafy admitted no such guilt but "...accepted resonsibility for the actions..." of his officials and offered compensation which the West naturally interpreted as an admission of guilt. A quite reasonable assumption but it did leave the Libyans enough wiggle room to claim that the plot and bombing were carried out by rogue elements in the security services. The wording of the UTA settlement was almost identical. In fact recently Khadafy son claimed that those blamed for both bombings were innocent, that the Libyans were thinking about suing to get their money back and that their intelligence claimed the Iranians did it. I would say that those claims range from doubtful to idiotic. BTW-The first group claiming responsibility for the Lockerbie bombing was an Iranian group called Guardians of the Islamic Revolution.

Marie Claude on :

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1983_Beirut_barracks_bombing note that the Frenchs bombed the islamist guards (Iranians) in retaliation

Joe Noory on :

I'm afraid you're wrong. The US and French forces were there as a buffer and garrantor of the Israeli withdrawal from the Grapes of Rath operation. Their barracks were in a nominally government run Sunni seperatist stronghold around Beirut airport. The Italians were small in number and not in the same area as the attack. Get your facts straight, and stop trying to minimize the magnatude or redirect the attribution of what happened.

pen Name on :

Rubbish; that was the pretext under which their mission was changed to one of supporting the (Christian) government of Lebanon. I am amused by all these protestations of Western states and people to their "innocence"; the Mulsims are just evil people opposing the good Westerners. If you cannot stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.

Marie Claude on :

iran, afghanistan: ‘Afghan insurgent leader protected by Teheran’ A confidential military report made public last Monday charges Iran offered protection to an Afghan insurgent leader who claimed responsibility for an August ambush that killed 10 French soldiers. The report by Spain’s CIFAS military intelligence agency, which was obtained by Cadena Ser radio and posted on the station’s website, said Gulbuddin Hekmatyar enjoyed “total freedom” when he lived at a Teheran hotel in 2005 -- with his security provided by the Iranian government. He met daily with many unidentified individuals while in Teheran, added the report, which was dated August 9, 2005, according to Cadena Ser. Hekmatyar, who briefly served as prime minister during Afghanistan’s civil war in the 1990s, is considered one of the country’s most radical warlords who is already known to have sought refuge in Iran between 1996 and 2002. The United States has offered a multi-million-dollar reward for his capture. He recently said in a video message that his faction had carried out an ambush on August 18 that killed 10 French soldiers in Sarabi, to the east of the Afghan capital Kabul. The incident, in which 21 troops were also wounded, was the deadliest ground attack on international troops since their 2001 dispatch to Afghanistan to oust the hardline Taliban regime. Cadena Ser did not say how it obtained the report, which apparently was marked confidential and bore the seal of Spain’s Defense Ministry. The radio station also said the intelligence agency suspects that Teheran supplied an allied terrorist group with US-made Stinger missile launchers. Another report claims Iranian agents in April 2005 bought “several Stinger missile systems” from an Afghan arms dealer, Cadena Ser said. “Iran buys weapons to then transfer them to a third party, probably Iranian terrorist groups”, it alleged. The station recently published yet another confidential defense report dated the same year claiming Pakistan’s spy service helped arm Taliban insurgents in 2005 to carry out assassination attempts against the Afghan government.

pen Name on :

Slander!

Marie Claude on :

yeah, revisit history through your pal propaganda, nah ? BTW, we aren't anti all the muslims, only those of the states that want the holy war and impose us their rules got myself 2 muslims in my family, though they had to escape from death threats in their former country, Algeria

pen Name on :

My observation is that EU people are very uncomfortable with religious-based government. Well, get used to it. As far as the Jihad etc. that is no concern of us in Iran; that is a Sunni Muslim and is between you and them. And we are not imposing our rules on you, we are in our own country and in our own region of the world. Accept us the way we are or leave us alone.

Joe Noory on :

Marie Claude is right - you're pitching pure BS, and forgetting that in that glorious German-Iranian relationship there were two events glossed over entirely: the defeat of Hitler and the Iranian revolution. My background is Lebanese. Half of my family still live there. I have followed every security issue facing Lebanon for the past 25 years. It's clear to me that you've read something that appeals to your sence of political vanity and adopted it as your opinion. [i]The leaders of the Islamic Republic have to contend with the possibility of nuclear attacks on Iran.[/i] The only reason they contend with it is becuase the onlyt way to maintain the balance of power is to threaten them in kind, just as there was a nuclear balance during the cold war which led to the fact that there was no nuclear exchange betweeen NATO and the USSR. The only way to prevent the need for this at all is for them to abandon their nuclear weapons program at the risk of attack. The [url=http://no-pasaran.blogspot.com/2005/08/congratulations-to-eu3-on-another.html]EU-3[/url] have been talking to Iran for years for its' own sake and to no avail at all. The EU-3 prompted it to the delight of Iran, because there is no need for Iran to concede a thing, it gives them an opportunity to extract some enducements out of them, and has bought them years of time to develop weapons. That desire to talk to them in meaningless terms without a timetable or goals will bring them their technology. This reminds me of the old comic tagline that [i]it's better to look good than to feel good[/i], because this sort of time-killing grandstanding is very, [url=http://no-pasaran.blogspot.com/2007/11/in-spite-of-plenty-of-money-and-b-large.html]very dangerous[/url] when the west doesn't follow up it's rhetoric and stated committments with action, and actual doing what it says it will.

pen Name on :

Iran should have left NPT back in 1998 when Pakistan and India exploded their nuclear bombs. We have no allies and no protection except ourselves. Perhaps it is too late to withdraw from NPT but it is not too late to develop and maintain a latent nuclear capability. As for EU helping Iran; that is a laugh. They (EU) are just a less belligerent version of US. They (EU) supported S. Hussein to the hilt in his war against Iran; they armed him with chemical weapons and endorsed (together with US, Russia, China) their use against Iran. We have real enemies and no friends.

Marie Claude on :

Iran used chimic weapons against his kurd minorities too, from whom did he get it ?

pen Name on :

Slander again. It was Iraq that gassed the Kurds (an Iranian people) and US & EU tried their hardest to at first supress the evidence and then to blame it on Ira. The Dead of Halabja are Witnesses. In fact, it was Mr. Khomeini who prohibited the use of chemical weapons during the Iran-Iraq War.

Marie Claude on :

OK, your people might not have gased the Kurds, but they have another way to eliminate them, they fire at them check the video and the report http://www.iran-resist.org/media201

pen Name on :

Iran, as a unitary state, is sovereign in maintaining Law & Order in all her provinces. Those who are in rebellion against the duely constructed legitimate authority must be confronted and crushed. Indeed, it was this same state authority that saved the Azeri Turks, living in predominantly Kurdish areas of Iran from almost certain ethnic cleansing by Kurds (and possibly even death) in early 1980s when some Kurds saw it fit to rebel against the central government of Iran. Reality is much more complex that you are led to believe. I invite you to come to Iran and find for yourself. Juliette Binoche has visited us here and nothing untowards happened to her.

Marie Claude on :

Pen Name, I would love to, the persian civilisation was one of the greatests, the landscapes are dreamingly beautiful, the music a marvel, (at the origin of flamenco, which I love) Also, I am sure you are a nice person, but you must understand that since our revolution and for the americans, its the same, we have in our constitution some moral principles about how a state ought to consider its population and or its relations with the other states : in our regard, your leaders are not what we consider respectable, you still will have to suffer long discredit and contempt times from us, it's not that we consider ourselves superior, your people have many times shown their intelligence, the actual problem is that they use it for "evil", its not irreversible, germany managed to recover from a destrucful psychose, you CAN also. Please try it

pen Name on :

All you can claim, in my opinion, is that your country is one of the 23 (mostly Christian) countries in the World in which representative government and the rule of law obtains. The Rule of Law and Representative Government do not exist in China, in Algeria, in Zaire, in Bulgaria, in Belarus, in Thailand, in Pakistan and you do not seem to have any trouble with those governments and leaders. You respect them all right. In fact, the butchers of histroy were always well admired by your intellectuals; Lenin, Stalin, Mao, and others. Also, I am sure you are a nice person, but you must understand that since our revolution and for the americans, its the same, we have in our constitution some moral principles about how a state ought to consider its population and or its relations with the other states : I plainly state that Iran is the center of a once ancient and existing religious spirituality with which you have trouble. Your problem is not with lack of respect for the rule of law or the existence of a restricted form of representative government. Your problem with Iran is that we have rejected your semi-religion of Shoah and your secular (non-sacred) world-view. Calling us Evil will not make it so. For we stand on the Rock of Ages and support the Palestinians against the depredations of Israel's murders. And last I looked, it was you who attacked Serbia because she refused to conform to your fantasies of human-rights etc.

pen Name on :

The image of Germany in Iran was positive for a long time; since before WWI. During WWII, huge crowds would gather in a number of Tehran squares and listen to the loudspeakers announcing news of successive German victories and cheering the Germany in her campaigns against the traditional enemies of Iranian sovereignty; UK and Russia. This ended with the Iran-Iraq War and the participation of Germany in arming Iraq with chemical weapons. From the German point of view, it is understood that the great geopolitical prize is the re-orientation of Iran towards the West (US-EU). It is also understood by Germany that the current US-EU policies are making that very very difficult to reach. UK has a special relationship with US, it has oil, and also she is in possession of nuclear weapons and is an island. On the other hand, Germany is in the middle of Europe and thus again a potential battle ground. It makes no sense for Germany to strengthen the position of Russia in the Middle East and in hydro-carbon energy sources. So, naturally, Germany is reluctant to burn all her bridges to Iran. And for what? To make Israel happy? And the quite frankly, the German people are tired of giving money to Israel and also indirectly subsidizing her aggressive land-grab policies in the Levant. And of course, Americans will complain. They are oblivious to other peoples' concerns. As for US-EU reaching a deal with Iran; I cannot see it as a possibility any longer. US is satisfied with a policy of containment (similar to the one employed against USSR) and Iran is comfortable with that as well; they (the Iranians) believe they can endure and outlast it. In the meantime EU has been the looser as Mr. Larijani had predicted 5 years ago. And please spare me your jingoistic militarism; that will not change the orientation of the Iranian State - Iran is looking East and South.

Pamela on :

I really don't want to hear any crap about mullah-led Iran. I had Iranian friends whose whole families were murdered by those bastards. A few survivors made it to France. I do appreciate the brutality of SAVAK under the Shah and the role that organization played in his overthrow. But Khomeini? Please. I've met Khatami. Maybe he'll run again? But if memory serves, the last time he was in office, there were a couple of assassinations that proved intimidating for his pursuit of a reform program. I realize the following link belongs more properly on the thread below, but I'm not sure anyone is still there and it does point out that Germany is schizophrenic about her role in the world. Thanks Germany. For nothing. http://news.scotsman.com/world/They-came-they-saw-.4573584.jp -------------------------- They came, they saw, then left the Afghan war without a single mission GERMANY has admitted its Special Forces have spent three years in Afghanistan without doing a single mission, and are now going to be withdrawn. More than 100 soldiers from the elite Kommando Spezialkrafte regiment, or KSK, are set to leave the war-torn country after their foreign minister revealed they had never left their bases on an operation. The KSK troops were originally sent to Afghanistan to lead counter-terrorist operations. But Frank-Walter Steinmeier, the foreign minister, admitted they had not been deployed "a single time" in the last three years, despite a desperate shortage of Special Forces units in the country. Troops from Britain's Special Boat Service and the SAS work round the clock, across Afghanistan, alongside US navy Seals and Delta Force, to target terrorists, arrest drug lords and rescue hostages. The KSK were part of the US-led Operation Enduring Freedom, which spearheads the international hunt for Osama bin Laden. Senior military officials last night blasted the KSK commanders for keeping the troops in camp. One western military official accused Germany of "sitting on the sidelines while the rest of the world fights". He said: "It's just unbelievable to think there have been 100 highly-trained troops sitting doing nothing for three years, while everyone else has worked their socks off. It's no good sending troops if they don't do anything. They might as well have stayed at home." Another source said: "It's ludicrous that they would be here and not contributing." Berlin is under almost constant pressure from the rest of Nato to increase its troop contribution and scrap special national caveats which prevent German troops deploying to volatile parts of the country, like Helmand. Last year it emerged that Norwegian troops, fighting alongside their German allies, were forced to abandon a battle at tea-time because German pilots refused to fly emergency medical helicopters in the dark. Mr Steinmeier claimed the KSK's inactivity as an excuse to withdraw the Commandos from Afghanistan. He said: "That's why the KSK element should be taken out of the OEF mandate." Berlin was set to renew the KSK mission for another year in November, but they are now expected to fly home instead. A spokesman for Operation Enduring Freedom said: "We don't have enough troops in Afghanistan." But, he added: "Common sense says if they weren't being used, they won't be missed." The KSK revelations came as Nato's leading commanders were renewing their calls for more troops. Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, agreed to send an extra 1,000 troops to Afghanistan this week, but they will be confined to the north of the country which is relatively safe. Most of Germany's troops are based in Mazar-e Sharif, at an airbase complete with a series of bars and a nightclub. Nato wants Germany to do more in Afghanistan, but the mission is deeply unpopular with German voters. Mr Steinmeier told Der Spiegel newspaper: "You cannot just keep piling elements on without taking a critical look at our current responsibilities." -------------------------- Not a whole helluva lot to be proud of there, I think. Note to Marie Claude (and I never thought I'd say this) YOU GO GIRL!!

pen Name on :

You are correct that many many innocent people were killed during the Iranian Revolution by the revolutionary government. Specially this was true in the period following the assasination campaigns of the Mudjahedin Khalq of Iran (a.k.a. MKO) the leaders of which later joined Mr. Hussein in Iraq. But that time is over. Unfortunately, while something like a rehabilitation of those killed would be desirable it is not possible under the current security threats to the Iranian State and People by US, EU, Israel, and Pakistan. The leaders of the Islamic Republic have to contend with the possibility of nuclear attacks on Iran. To that end, they will do anyting, pay any price, and use any means to assure the survival of the Iranian State and People. Not you in EU nor your friends in US have offered Iran any reassurance or succor that could or would change the strategic calculus of the Iranian leaders. No responsible government in Iran, be it Islamic, Secular, Imperial, etc. can do anything else after the events of 2002-2003 where iran was explicitly and publicly threatened, the nuclear tests of India and Pakistan in 1998, and the WMD attacks on Iran by Iraq (aided and abetted by your governments and companies) during 1980s. This does not mean that Iran cannot or will not have correct diplomatic, commercial, and cultural relationships with US, EU and others. But US & EU have lost Iran and cannot retrieve that position in near term (1 to 3 years), or medium term (5 to 10 years).

Pamela on :

Been hanging any 14 year old children from cranes lately?

pen Name on :

If the 14-year old, with the knowledge of Good & Evil, has comitted a capital offense (premeditated murder, armed-robbery leading to death, rape leading to death, kidnapping leading to death) he should be hanged. I fully support the death penalty.

Marie Claude on :

yeah more than 220 hanged since january 2008, among them some were teens how many women stonned ? you don't know, cause a woman doesn't count how many young girls have been raped by their libidinous old husband and then thrown to prostitution ? how many young girls or women have been stolen in Afghanistan... for prostitution ? yeah your regime is nice, we DO not need that its lectures us with its supposed religious principle the jihadism conforts your government annoyance, indeed it's also the brotherhood business, that is why your money is useful to them. No, you will not impose your rules, you'll make sure that we'll be killed wherever we are a problem to your lunatic libidinous monsters funny they are also on the net nowadays thanks to the Americans, that are aware of the threats, cause they have more technological softwares surveyance than us, some of your sites can be cut down http : / / w w w .washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/10/17/AR2008101703367.html?hpid=topnews

pen Name on :

I recall a book published in 1970s in France portions of which I was reading; something called "The Dirty Files of French Polic". In the light of that book's information, your statements are truly a case of the kettle calling the pot "black". From a broader point of view, one could argue that there is no respect for the Rule of Law in Iran. But Iran is not alone in that. Outside of the 23 states in Europe, North America, and Oceania (almost all Christian) there is no respect for the Rule of Law in most countries of the world. There are degrees to this of course, some states are worse than others. Is Iran worse than Algeria, for example? I think not. But you have no quarrels with Algerian government because it muders only the "bad" Muslims. And you are very uncomfortable with the ideals and realities of Islam - thus you implicity endorse murder in Algeria since you are - in your heart of hearts - against Islam and indeed all Religion.

Marie Claude on :

yeah, ironise iranian guy, these statments don't come from a french file but from iranian opponents' to your evil mullahcraty, the book your referring is "the dirty hands" from Jean Paul Sartre, meaning that when you make politic, you have to dirt your moral principles. You can't say that Iran policy is equivalent to Algeria's, Algerian government tries to clean its country from AQ warmongers, while yours is paying them

pen Name on :

I rest my case; you endorse murder in Algeria in the name of "clean up"; almost exactly the words the Communists used in support of Stalin - "dirt and garbage of historical progress". Further, I observe here, that you do not care about the lives of Muslims; you do not consider them worthy of protection by the Law (La Lois doit etre pour touts o elle est pour personne!).

Marie Claude on :

I rest my case; you endorse murder in Algeria in the name of "clean up"; almost exactly the words the Communists used in support of Stalin - "dirt and garbage of historical progress". I accord you that point, that was the last colonial war, where 3 of my elder cousins participated, and they were saying that they were not defending France's rights but of a few rich colons that lobbied our governments. It's also why de Gaulle accorded The independance and also the raison why OAS tried to assassinate him. Further, I observe here, that you do not care about the lives of Muslims; you do not consider them worthy of protection by the Law (La Lois doit etre pour touts o elle est pour personne!). WTF are you talking there, the french muslims benefit of our laws at the same level as we do, though there more "gangters" among them, some prefer dealing drugs than going to school, it also bring them more money than working

pen Name on :

You have misunderstood me. My point had to do with the FIS and the way the French Government supported the military in nullifying the election. Later, they (you) remained slient while the military of Algeria was killing Muslims. Because you madame preferred a secular dictatorship to a Muslim government. This was my point.

Marie claude on :

My point had to do with the FIS and the way the French Government supported the military in nullifying the election. there is no way we can't interven in Algeria, too touchy as far their independance is concerned, of course we agreed that a secular army kept this country sane from the kind of terrorists like the Fis, thare are nowadays GIA and affiliated to AQ, I recall you that the FIS killed a dizain of french priests there. Later, they (you) remained slient while the military of Algeria was killing Muslims. Because you madame preferred a secular dictatorship to a Muslim government. There have been abuses, OK, you can't accord pardon to terrorists, being also sure that they'll betray you the next day. As far as the muslim persons in my family they were rather threatened by islamists It's a pity that you can't remember the title of the book, of course Sartre didn't work in that registre,, but more in the marxism dream

pen Name on :

The book, almost certainly, was not by Sartre. It was well documented with precise data and time references to the incidents. Sartre was incapable of composing such a book; he lived in the Dream Palace of (French) Intellectuals.

Marie Claude on :

You are correct that many many innocent people were killed during the Iranian Revolution by the revolutionary government. Specially this was true in the period following the assasination campaigns of the Mudjahedin Khalq of Iran (a.k.a. MKO) the leaders of which later joined Mr. Hussein in Iraq. But that time is over. they were the "commies" that were betrayed by Khomeyny ; he used them to access to power, then he reduced them to death or to get away

pen Name on :

Mr. Khomeini did not need the Communists to gain and retain power. His power came from implicit affection and trust that large sectors of the Iranin populations gave him.

Marie Claude on :

OK, there isn't any moderated shias in Iran, thank you you made my point

pen Name on :

What, in name of God, do you mean by "moderate"? We are not a Western people. We are emotional people and our religion suits us; it is an emotional religion. We are not alone in this; Spaniards are like us and so are Mexicans. Sikhs are like us. If by moderate you mean people who would agree to your Western latest fantasy projects in the Levant and the Persian Gulf; then we are produly immoderate.

Marie Claude on :

We are emotional people and our religion suits us; it is an emotional religion. I can see that, so much as you stonned your women and prostitute the youngest ones for emotion sake escuse me Spain is a democratic country, I am less sure of Mexico, though emotional retaliations don't happen there

pen Name on :

Once again, you do not wish to hear what is against your point if view. You, in Europe (specially in Northern Europe) and North America are not an emotional people. You are incapbale of feeling how raised emotions can change the course of history for the better or for worse. I was trying to point out one of the fundamental differences between us in the interest of increasing your understanding of us. I do not think that you care; for you the important point seems to be that we are not like you and have no wish to be like you either. I mentioned Spain to show another emotional people of whom you might have some knowledge. Is it not true [for example] that the Catalan people, with their emotional aspirations to independence [however misguided], were directly responsible for the Spanish Civil War? In regards to Mexico: for 70 years that country was a restricted representative democracy with nary a peep out of US or EU regarding Human Rights or Democracy there.

Marie Claude on :

surprisingly you don't see that that's your emotional inclination for killing us every where it's possible for your government agenda that keeps us from discussing your point, again your agents interven everywhere, last january a french family who was making tourism in Saudi arabia was killed (by iranians), in Mauritania also another french family (by AQ) Don't you find it bizarre that behind each terrorist attack there is an iranian origin ? We have nothing against the iranian population as per so, but against your government, as long you'll support it, as long we can't discuss with you Remove the murderers that head your country and you'll get our support

pen Name on :

You wrote: "your emotional inclination for killing us every where". I am Iranian and Iran is not killing you or your people. You have a quarrel with a small segments of Sunni Muslims - deal with them.

pen Name on :

"Don't you find it bizarre that behind each terrorist attack there is an iranian origin ?" More of your lies; was Iran behind the 9/11 attacks on US? Or the Kenyan Embassy bombings? Or the bombing of the Indian Airlines over the Irish Sea? Or USS Cole? Stop conflating us with Sunni Muslims. Please stop lying - you are an intelligent grown woman and have a License but not a license to lie. And I am proud of our government - the Islamic Republic of Iran. Nosotros estamos para El Senor y para todos Santos. Nosotros estamos para Libertad, para independencia nacional, y independencia political, y independencia economical. Y tu?

Marie Claude on :

Pen, you are practicing your emotional skill at the best, to make us confused, so that we don't know what we were talking about, in fact that is how your lunatic chiefs conduct your policy I never post on that board or anywhere else that the Iranians were behind 9/11 I know the difference between sunni or shias, actually that arranges your country that we believe that lots of dirt come from the sunni if your proud of your murderers leaders, I feel sorry for you, prepare to die ! choose the nation between the several that have a motive to bomb Iran, include Russia, China with them, be sure that these countries don't trust your emotional politic

Zyme on :

You have to keep in mind the main reason why removing those caveats is impossible: This war in Afghanistan is irreversably connected with the USA here. The electorate does not want to lift a finger for America, let alone spend public money or risk soldiers! German soldiers may be at the front in other coming wars - but certainly none that are associated with American interests. We need not argue about the point whether the war in Afghanistan is as important for Germany as it is for the Americans. Only one thing is important regarding the caveats: The opinion of the electorate about the case in Afghanistan, which has been hardened to a point impossible to change anymore.

Marie Claude on :

Pamela, for more than a year, I followed an intensive training on a military site :lol: I have also read that the Brits also want to quit the vessel, uh, it smell the "O" election in the US

Reid of America on :

Nobody is discussing the core issue. Iran is very open about their intent to destroy Israel. It is Holocaust version 2.0 and Germany is complicit because of it's high technology sales. At least the Iranian regime is honest about their intent. Germany on the other hand is a hypocritical liar when they talk about their solidarity with Israel and their commitment to never again allow the genocide of Jews.

pen Name on :

Your statements are all slander. But let me ask the following: Why do you care about the Zionist entity? It is not your country, why do you take sides in a religious war between Judaism and all of Islam? Why do you, a citizen of a secular state, support the religious fantasy projects of Jews? What is in it for you? And for your country?

Reid of America on :

pen Name asks "It is not your country, why do you take sides in a religious war between Judaism and all of Islam?" Because we understand that the war is not between Judaism and Islam. It is between Islam and infidels and most Germans and Americans are infidels. They should realize that Israel's fight is their fight. In the same way the Iranians believe that the Palestinian fight is their fight.

pen Name on :

Hyperbole! Why isn't Sweden, Switzerland, or South Africa attacked? Why aren't South American states attacked? Or Japan? No my friend, the fault lies in you and your policies; propaganda is not going to alter the facts on the ground. My questions still stand.

tedders on :

Pen, let's just imagine that most of Western Europe and the United States were conquered my Islamofacists, do you think Sweden, Switzerland and South America wouldn't be next in line to be converted to f Islam by the sword, the religion of peace? (snort!) "We are emotional people and our religion suits us; it is an emotional religion." And that is one of the major reasons your leaders make and will continue to make such poor decisions for their people, why you will suffer military and economic defeats over and over again. Emotional ideology and irrational rants serve no one except to keep incompetent leaders like Khomeini and Ahmadinejad in power. All your troubles are the fault of the Jews, if only the Jews weren't here everything would be perfect. You are elevating Israel to a supernatural position, nobody else is claiming Israel is omnipotent except your own rhetoric. If they were rally as powerful as your type claims why haven't they done something about it already? "We are not alone in this; Spaniards are like us and so are Mexicans. Sikhs are like us." LMAO! Don't flatter yourself, Spaniards, Mexicans and Sikhs out class militant Muslims by light years, they live in the 21st century, you want to live in the 7th. When's the last time you heard of a Sikh, Spaniard or Mexican hijacking a plane and flying it into an office building full of innocent people!! don't be ridiculous, your letting you emotional side far out weigh your rational side. "Why do you care about the Zionist entity? It is not your country, why do you take sides in a religious war between Judaism and all of Islam? Why do you, a citizen of a secular state, support the religious fantasy projects of Jews? What is in it for you? And for your country? Why did we care if Iraq invaded Kuwait? It's not our country (can't wait to hear what conspiracy theory you have worked out to explain it) Why did we care about Muslims in the Republic of Kosovo? Don't give us your crocodile tears about how the evil zionist state has gotten all the good land and breaks, the Jews got the only land in the Middle East without any oil, you hate Jews because your a radical Muslim, because your parents never taught you compassion or forgiveness. The US and her allies are benevolent protectors of weaker non aggressive states. Your twisted religious based propaganda doesn't hold up to anyone but the most brainwashed living in a closed society. Fair is fair and your leaders in Iran are on the wrong side of the good and evil line. The Japanese Imperial Fleet Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto told his superiors when he was told to attack Pearl Harbor that the would only awaken a sleeping bear that would devour them, I wonder if anyone in a leadership position in Iran is wise enough to tell Khomeini or Ahmadinejad the same. Better start to learning to love your neighbor or your leaders rhetoric is going to unleash events that you cannot imagine. My bet is sometime just after the US Presidential elections. "why do you take sides in a religious war between Judaism and all of Islam?" With brilliant statements like that, the western world will unite to neuter you until you finally agree that there is no world war of the religions. There's plenty of room and resources for everyone who wants to live in peace.

pen Name on :

I stand by what I have said. "The US and her allies are benevolent protectors of weaker non aggressive states." Is that why US mined the harbors of Nicaragua? Is that why the French government bombed the Green Peace vessel in New Zealand? Is that why US & UK destriyed Freedom in Iran in 1953? Your self-delusions are worse than those of the Arabs! I do not think it useful to further engage in rhetoric with you. You are not interested in listening to the others' point of view which can be diametrically opposite to your cherished notions and fantasies of the world. Accept us the way we are or leave us alone - we are not asking you to come the Persian Gulf or to our country.

Pat Patterson on :

Probably because Swiss chocolate soldiers did not seize an embassy something that not even Stalin or Hitler ever did. Plus the Argentians still have open arrest warrants for some Iranian consular officials for the bombing of a Jewish center in 1994. And just this year there were three bombing attacks, one succesful, carried out against Iranian dissident groups in Cape Town and Durban. Oddly enough warrants were issued for Iranian diplomatic personnel who were identified as smuggling in the bomb making materials in a diplomatic pouch. Plus it was the contras that mined the harbor of Corinto not the US. Which charge was brought and dismissed by the ICJ even though the US did not even appear at the trial.

John in Michigan, USA on :

For someone defending Iran and the mullahs to include South America on a list of places not being attacked, makes me roll on the floor with laughter (an emotion). Hezbollah has a major presence in a region of Paraguay, Brazil and Argentina known as the Tri-border, or the Triple Frontier. Also, Sweden and South Africa, HAVE suffered attacks by Islamists (some attacks are connected to Iran, others not) The govt of Switzerland thinks they have one or more terror cells operating on Swiss soil, so far targeting non-Swiss targets but that could change at any time. I suspect the situation in Japan is similar.

Marie Claude on :

the thing is that the Green Peace vessel as far as the Drakkar building belonged to Syrian army before, tell me that this country is not serving iranian interests. the green peace people are no saints either, I had like to visit their accountability, from whom they get their finances

tedders on :

"I do not think it useful to further engage in rhetoric with you. " Yeah, right. You have no convincing rhetoric and when you come up against arguments you can't debate you say, "I'm going home and taking the soccer ball with me". I guess that means you lose. No feasible ideas to expound on so you leave, seems a bit weak and cowardly to me. Have a great life!! ;-)

pen Name on :

All too typical response citizens of US & EU; convinced of the rightness of their view point heaping ridicule on those who dissent.

Zyme on :

All too typical response from an Arab - stop mixing up Americans and Europeans!

Marie Claude on :

Zyme, seems your mixing arabs and persians too, Pen is Iranian :lol: I supposed he ment by EU, the Frenchs, for we are the EU people that have the most griefs against their government

Zyme on :

I knew this would follow - although I expected him to be more quickly :D The fundamental reason for the grief most people in the Orient have against the "West" is that the "East" has lost its well known dominance in so many fields over the course of the last five centuries - be it in various sciences, architecture, economy or raw military power. And this to my opinion precisely because at the same time religion lost its hindering influence in the "West", it maintained its strong position in the Orient. Now when the biggest source of identification is somewhat sensed to be responsible for your own backwardness, what else can result from that other than pure repulsion and hatred against the disbelievers?

Marie Claude on :

I think that Iran want us to recognise the preheminence of the Persians over the ME,(as long we don't see that with optimism, they'll fight us wherever they can) and naturally they dispise more the sunni muslims (mostly arabs)than us. If they had kept their secular Shah, I expect that Iran would be a very modern country with a special role in foreign policies. The problem of the actual Iran, is that the poeple are brainwashed by retardeds who want to keep their population as "serfs" and to manage their agenda, they need to show them "ennemies" : the westernies

pen Name on :

Your statement: "The fundamental reason for the grief most people in the Orient have against the "West" is that the "East" speaks of an inaccurate characterization of billions of diverse human beings as "most people in Orient"; Muslims, Hindus, Chinese, Korean, Arabs, Turks, and assorted others. A deep sense of intellectual laziness is betrayed in your statement. Be as it may, you observe that comapred to you we are backwards in emprical sciences. There is no doubt in that and we are learning fast; just like other non-Western people of the World. However, your superiority in empirical sciences does not translate into spiritual superiority nor moral advantage. All you have, in the final anaylsis, is the ability to annihilate more people more efficiently than any previous previous time in history.

Zyme on :

"Hindus, Chinese, Korean" are part of the "Far East" as we say here :) The Middle East (or "Close East" as we say in Germany) is restricted to the area at the peak of the former Osman Empire - excluding those norther african countries west of Egypt. "However, your superiority in empirical sciences does not translate into spiritual superiority nor moral advantage." While I would be willing to argue about the spiritual part, I agree that this does not create any moral advantage. "All you have, in the final anaylsis, is the ability to annihilate more people more efficiently than any previous previous time in history." Now this is a far too one-sided way of looking at the issue. We are not only able to destroy more - we also can create more than at any previous time. Our societies have been freed of so many horrors of the past, most notably diseases. Medicine and nutricion are the two factors that allow us to enjoy a life most people in the Middle East are unable to live. Does it not worry you that whenever expert machinery is needed in your cultural sphere, you have to buy it from elsewhere? How often have Nobel Prizes been awarded to a citizen of the Middle East? If the Osman Empire was the sick man in the end, then today most of its former territory is knocked unconscious.

pen Name on :

"Now this is a far too one-sided way of looking at the issue". Indeed! And I suggest that your treatment of Islam in general and Iran in particular has been so as well. Now may be we can begin a real and substantial discussion rather than hysterics.

John in Michigan, USA on :

Since we are beginning the real discussion now, I am interested in knowing more about the Iranian justice system that decides if 14 year olds are good or evil. Iranian law is sharia law, no? And under sharia law, isn't the testimony of a woman, or a non-Muslim, worth less than the testimony of a Muslim male? Also, sharia describes specific punishments for specific crimes. Where is hanging mentioned in sharia? Where is hanging from a crane, specifically?

pen Name on :

In your own country you have judges that every day have to make the determination if an accused person knows the difference between Right & Wrong (between Good & Evil). There is no difference and you are too old and too intelligent to resort to this rhetorical device. Again, you are not interested in dialogue - only on seeking confirmation of the superiority of yourself, your country, and your system of Laws. I observe here that in your country armed robbery gets the criminals a 15-year mandatory jail term (even if no one has been killed) with no possibility of parole. For us, this is cruel & unusual punishment. Now, we take Shria and amputate one of the accused's hands. He is without one hand; yes, but he has not lost 15 years of his life. Sharia is a body of Legal opinions; it is not a codified system of the laws. As far as I know, Iran is the only Muslim state that is attempting to rationalize Sharia and turn into a Legal body of Laws (in contradistinction to Theoretical Jurisprudence). Again, Shria is practiced in many states in an incoherent way - some of them nominally your friends such as Qatar, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, and others. And nary a voice of protests against their abuses. Not even when their citizens attack you, not even when their citizens celeberate attack on your country (there were days of jubilation in UAE cities). And yet you are hper-critical of Iran, the only Muslim country the citizens of which spontaneoulsy held memorial vigils for the victims of the 9/11 attacks on your country. Shame, shame, shame!

John in Michigan, USA on :

You still haven't answered my specific questions about Sharia as practiced in Iran. May I take it the answers are Yes, Yes, Never, and Never? How on earth does hanging from a crane rationalize sharia, as compared to the sword or the stones? Also, it will come as a shock to your religious leaders that sharia is in need of rationalization. I understand Iran has strict blasphemy laws as well. No wonder you use a Pen Name. In my country there isn't a single court with the power to decide if someone is good or evil. They can only decide guilty or not guilty. Perhaps after another couple of decades of "rationalizing" sharia, Iran will come to appreciate the difference. "Now, we take Shria and amputate one of the [b]accused[/b]'s hands" OK, maybe English isn't your first language, still, that is a very interesting mistake for you to make...

Zyme on :

Contrary to many of my colleagues I have come to the conclusion that there is some justification for a totally different set of punishments in different countries. This can be pointed out by looking at extremes, by creating a hyperbole: In an ideally civilized society, a robber will feel fully punished by getting jailtime on probation. He will sense the rejection of his kind and have difficulties to become a part of his society again. The mere stamp "convicted" will shake him so that he will always try to avoid future violations. At the same time, a true barbarian would always laugh at such a sentence. It would be like an acquittal for him. So in a barbarian society full of ancient beliefs and raw customs, there are different punishments needed to fulfill one of the main roles of every criminal law: Prevention.

pen Name on :

At least there is some one who is willing to admit, albeit theoretically, that at least part of his tradition and culture is inapplicable to others. This is a small begining.

pen Name on :

Your questions, the way you have posed them, are inapplicable. The reason is that Shaira is a body of theorectical jurisprudence and not a set of Laws. In that, it is similar to Thalmud. Iranian law is sharia law, no? No, Iranian Law is a mixture of Common Law, Civic codes of Switzerland circa 1920s, Sharia, etc. Personal Law was always based on Sharia but was not Sharia. And under sharia law, isn't the testimony of a woman, or a non-Muslim, worth less than the testimony of a Muslim male? This depends on the School of Shria and in the case of Shia, the individual opinion of Doctors of Jurisprudence. Also, sharia describes specific punishments for specific crimes. Where is hanging mentioned in sharia? Where is hanging from a crane, specifically? For Sunni Islam, stipulations of Shria are fixed for all times, that is not the case among the Shia Muslims - Sharia's precepts may be modified (observing certain rules) in order to meet the demands of time and place. As far as the specific hanging from the crane is concerned; I do not see any issue with it - do you prefer the gallows? But I really am tired of educating you people - go to a bookstore and buy a couple of books about Islam and Iran and study them. As for your judges only passing guilty and non-guilty; you are being disingenous. So, your claim is that among you there are no Evil people or Good people, just plain guilty and not guilty. I assume them that the notion of Right and Wrong amiong you is devoid of any moral content and it only indicates conformance or non-conformance to what is "Right" according to legistlation enacted by a pluraity of your representatives. I assume then in your country incest can become legal if the electorate so wills it - after all sex between consenting adults is not Evi, is it? Please, do not waste my time. Study.

John in Michigan, USA on :

Pen Name, From what I can tell, the Iranian legal system is a mess. The application of the law is arbitrary and capricious. These non-sharia elements you speak of may exist on paper somewhere, but there is no meaningful government support for this grand project to "rationalize" sharia in Iran. It is as if I claimed that today, right now, my government was intent on putting a man on the moon. That was true in the past, and it could become true again in the future, but it isn't true right now. I've studied enough about the various forms of Islam to recognize Taqiyya (dissimulation) when I read it. The only part I am unsure of is whether you are practicing dissimulation, or are the victim of it. Probably a bit of both, plus a little wishful thinking.

pen Name on :

The Iranian codes of Law are neither consistent nor coherent. Your point, such as it is, is that our laws are not up to your standards therefore you and your EU friends are justified - in your minds - to attack and kill us. This is the sum total of your argument. Of course, it is nonsense; your so-called friends such as Qatar, UAE, and others may be considered in even worse shape than us from the point of view Law and its application. But you see, they do not oppose your fantasy projects in the Middle East like us. That is why you are against us. To wit, you are willing to gloss over UAE gloating over 9/11 attacks! But I digress. I know what Taqiyyah is and it is practiced to save Islam. In this discussion, Islam is not in danger nor my life. Thus, you are wrong in your surmise. In regards to rationalization of Sharia, you are wrong. For example, only a few years ago the Boold Money of a non-Muslim and a Msulim was finally equalized. And the theoretical argumenst for that decision came out of Sharia itself. But this is the work of decades, if not centuries and it is taking place, for the first time in more than a millenia, in the Islamic Republic of Iran. As I have observed in this forum before; our sin (such as it is in your eyes) is that we oppose your fantasies in the Middle East.

John in Michigan, USA on :

Pen (may I call you Pen?), First you accuse us of wanting to attack and kill you. "our laws are not up to your standards therefore you and your EU friends are justified - in your minds - to attack and kill us." Then you say you couldn't possibly be practicing Taqiyyah because...we are no threat to you or Islam?!?! "I know what Taqiyyah is and it is practiced to save Islam. In this discussion, Islam is not in danger nor my life. Thus, you are wrong in your surmise." In other words, you are practicing Taqiyyah the whole time. For the record, I do not want to kill or even wound you, and I am not against Islam, only Islamism. --- For those readers new to the concept, here is what I've learned, bearing in mind I am not a Muslim. Taqiyyah can include outright lies if necessary, but it prefers an artful twisting of facts and meaning. It also includes what in English is sometimes called "speaking in code". You leave just enough clues so that someone on your side can admire how you managed to completely mislead or fool your opponent, while resorting to as few outright fabrications as possible. In that respect, it is a bit like the game of riddle-making. There is much to be admired in Pen Name's Taqiyyah, so long as you treat it as literature or amusement, and not serious analysis.

pen Name on :

I am reluctantly compelled to repeat my statement: "...in this discussion". I believe the context was clear. But which of my previous statements are you considering as lies? Was not your President in UAE this past January, haranguing us? Aren't your various political leaders always speak of "all options are on the table"? Aren't your various analysts, Think-Tankers, Journalists, etc. picking targets in Iran? Wasn't your Congress allocating 70 million dollars for a campaign of terrorism & destablization in Iran? I do not know what Islamism is; it must be a new tag that you have created under which you could kill people; no doubt.

John in Michigan, USA on :

"So, your claim is that among you there are no Evil people or Good people, just plain guilty and not guilty" No, good and evil certainly exist. However, our law is wise and humble enough to avoid the temptation to decide matters of good and evil. Instead, our law limits itself to matters of guilty and not guilty. If everything good is required by law, and everything evil is banned by law, then there is no freedom. If our law ever elevated itself to decide matters of good and evil, it would become a dictatorship. These may seem like strange ideas to you. Perhaps if you studied some more?

pen Name on :

I cannot credit you. Certainly jurists such as Judge Bork will not agree with you. And if your law is so wise and humble why does your president talk of "Evil Doers"? Why do you torture people? Why don't you close Guantanamo Bay prison? Why do you kidnapp people and torture and execute them secretly (with the help of your allies: EU, Egypt, and other of their ilk?)?

Zyme on :

"I assume then in your country incest can become legal if the electorate so wills it - after all sex between consenting adults is not Evi, is it?" This is an issue that can be dealt with ratio, like all the others. Sex between close relatives is punished due to the fact that they have a too close genetical code - thus the code of their children is severely weakened which leads to serious disabilities in a very high probability. To prevent these problems, sex between close relatives is prosecuted.

pen Name on :

But then, if they practice contraception, all should be well, no? Rationally, then there will be nothing wrong.

John in Michigan, USA on :

I see pen name has devoted a great deal of thought and study to this question of sex with his relatives. Hmm.

pen Name on :

My point was to show the emptiness of your positions, that it leads, without God, to places that you do not want to go.

Zyme on :

He is simply challenging our legal systems - nothing I would find offensive. It is only natural that he does, given the fact that he lives in a totally different one. Contraception is a good point, although we all know that the state cannot force its people to use it. Since they are free to do so, they may as well stop using it. Of course Abortion would be a final saver here, but I guess it will be a really long time from now until the public does not consider a forced abortion to be inhuman.

Marie Claude on :

since we are beginning the real discussion ... um, really, I didn't see what is the real discussion, unless FACTS are shown, the rest is "passo-doble"

tedders on :

"All too typical response citizens of US & EU; convinced of the rightness of their view point heaping ridicule on those who dissent." And your convinced your hatred of Israel is correct and the rightness of backwardness! Laughably predictable, sadly enough. I'd be worrying about being heaped with more than ridicule if I were Iran.

pen Name on :

I do not hate Israel. Please do not mis-state my remarks.

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