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Posts Tagged ‘Tehran’

Can India Balance Its Ties with the U.S. and Iran?

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on May 9, 2012

Shannon Stapleton / AFP / Getty Images

US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton (L) meets with United Progressive Alliance (UPA) Chairperson Sonia Gandhi in New Delhi on May 7, 2012.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton used her visit to Kolkata and New Delhi this week to urge India to up its efforts in reducing oil imports from Iran. In remarks made in Kolkata, Clinton commended the cuts India has made in the last few years, but said that it is part of “India’s role in the international community” to go further and join the U.S.-led effort to pressure Tehran to open its nuclear program up to inspections.

(READ: To confront Iran, will the U.S. risk ties with India?)

In late June, the U.S. will be imposing sanctions targeting the financial institutions of nations that don’t cut back on their Iranian oil imports. The heat got turned up a notch for both India and South Korea — both big customers for Tehran — since Clinton announced in March that 10 European nations as well as Japan, which is in the midst of an energy crunch after last year’s tsunami and nuclear crisis, earned an exemption from the sanctions after slashing their imports. Read the rest of this entry »

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The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty – At the Heart of the Global Nuclear Debate

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on April 28, 2012

By Alistair Burt, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, Foreign & Commonwealth Office

The word “nuclear” is often on the front pages of the press, whether you’re in Tehran, Tokyo or Tunis. In the last few weeks alone, we’ve seen international talks about Iran’s nuclear programme and united international concern that it is developing a nuclear weapon. We have also seen the DPRK rocket launch – ostensibly a failed satellite launch, but widely suspected to be part of a nuclear weapons programme. Yet at the same time we’ve seen unprecedented agreement by world leaders at the Nuclear Security Summit in Seoul to work together to tackle the threat of nuclear terrorism.

The issue of nuclear safety was thrust onto the front pages last year during the massive emergency response to the accident at the Fukushima nuclear plant, following the tragic earthquake and tsunami in Japan. Given our expectation that world-wide energy demand is set to double by 2050, and the stark reality that we must reduce global greenhouse gas emissions if we are to avoid catastrophic climate change, then it is clear that the debate about the peaceful uses of nuclear power and the risks of the spread of nuclear weapons is set to continue. The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) is at the heart of our approach to this debate.

The Treaty, borne out of fear that the Cold War era would lead to a nuclear arms race, has in many ways surpassed expectations in terms of longevity, participation and meeting its counter proliferation objectives. Today, with 189 States Parties to the Treaty, it has more signatories than any other treaty of its kind. The three non-signatories India, Israel, and Pakistan, are the only additional states believed to have gained possession of nuclear weapons since the Treaty’s inception in 1968. Read the rest of this entry »

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Tighter Sanctions On Iran: An Alternative to War — or a Road to War?

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on December 12, 2011


A security guard patrols Marun petrochemical plant on September 28, 2011 in Mahshahr, southern Iran.

Pity President Barack Obama trying to stay off the slippery slope to war with Iran in an election year, while his challengers perform crowd-pleasing, spoken-word versions of Senator John McCain’s ”Bomb Iran” adaptation of the Beach Boys. As they demonstrated last Wednesday in a forum hosted by the Republican Jewish Coalition (RJC), GOP presidential hopefuls are free to rattle imaginary sabers at Iran (“If I were president…”) without risk or consequence, while branding Obama as feckless in the face of the grave and gathering danger of Tehran’s nuclear program.  (The somewhat less alarmist consensus of U.S. intelligence remains that Iran has not made, let alone implemented, a decision to build nuclear weapons, despite steadily accumulating the means to do so.)

Republican frontrunners Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney committed themselves, at the RJC forum,  to policies that would effectively put the U.S. at war with Iran. Both stressed that regime-change in Tehran would be the goal of their Iran policy (now there’s an incentive for Tehran’s regime to seek a nuclear insurance policy), and both signaled a willingness to use military force to stop Iran’s nuclear program. When CNN interviewer Wolf Blitzer asked Gingrich later how he would respond to the proverbial 3 a.m. White House phone-call telling him that Israel had bombed Iranian nuclear facilities, Gingrich answered that it would never come to that, because he’d plan a joint military operation with Israel rather than put it in a position where it felt compelled to act alone. Besides, the former House Speaker said, Israel would never spring that surprise on him; they know he’s an ally and willing to help. Read the rest of this entry »

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Iran Protests: Britain Closes Tehran Embassy And Calls For Iranian Diplomats To Leave London

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on December 1, 2011

The British embassy in Iran has been closed following an “outrageous” raid by students, and Iranian diplomats have been ordered to leave the UK within 48 hours, as tensions between Tehran and London intensify.

William Hague told the House of Commons on Wednesday it was “fanciful” the Iranian government did not know about an attack on the British embassy in Tehran on Tuesday.

“The majority of demonstrators were from a student Basij militia organisation. We should be clear from the outset that this is an organisation controlled by elements of the Iranian regime,” he said.

David Cameron branded the Iranian government a “disgrace” for failing to protect staff at the embassy.

“The attack on the British Embassy in Tehran today was outrageous and indefensible. The failure of the Iranian government to defend British staff and property was a disgrace,” he said.

Germany and France have recalled their ambassadors from Tehran in response to the incident, while across Europe Iranian ambassadors have been summoned to receive strong protests.

On Wednesday, the foreign minister of Austria said: “With the attack on the British Embassy, Iran is now on the verge of placing itself completely outside of the framework of international law.

“If Iran thinks it can undermine European solidarity through such actions, it is wrong. Officials in Teheran are called upon to implement their legal commitments and protect diplomatic facilities, with no ifs or buts”.

Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

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You Say You Wanna Bomb Iran? Take a Number and Stand in Line

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on November 3, 2011


Yes, you heard right: Britain  is preparing to bomb Iran. Well, that’s if the latest reported leaks from the British government are to be believed. The Guardian — not known, like some of its British rivals are, for frequent breathless front-page claims of imminent military strikes on Iran — reported Wednesday that Britain’s Defense Ministry has stepped up plans for military action against Iran. Not that the Brits would kick things off, of course; their contingency planning is ostensibly geared towards playing a largely symbolic support role (think “Coalition of the Willing”)  should the Obama Administration “decide to fast-forward plans for targeted missile strikes at some key Iranian facilities.”

Beneath the attention-grabbing headline, the story is a familiar one:  British officials believe that while President Barack Obama “has no wish to embark on a new and provocative military venture before next November’s U.S. election … the calculus could change because of mounting anxiety over intelligence gathered by Western agencies, and the more belligerent posture that Iran appears to have been taking.”

The Guardian’s sources create the impression of dramatic new developments and a ticking clock, although the consensus among the  world’s intelligence agencies that Iran remains some years away from having  nuclear weapons, and has not yet decided to actually build them even though it is assembling the means to do so. But the alarmist messaging certainly jibes with an Israeli diplomatic campaign launched to persuade reluctant governments to impose tough new sanctions on Iran if they hope to avoid a potentially catastrophic war. Israel underscored the point, Wednesday, announcing it had successfully tested a missile capable of reaching Iran — at the same time as Israeli papers were filled with stories claiming that  Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is seeking cabinet approval for bombing Iran. Read the rest of this entry »

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Will the Washington Bomb Plot Force Obama into War with Iran?

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on October 14, 2011

By Tony Karon 

“We are not talking to Iran, so we don’t understand each other,” outgoing Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Admiral Mike Mullen told the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace last month. “If something happens, it’s virtually assured that we won’t get it right — that there will be miscalculation, which could be extremely dangerous in that part of the world.”

Mullen’s warning of the perils arising from the two sides’ inability to communicate and understand each other’s intentions — “Even in the darkest days of the Cold War, we had links to the Soviet Union” — seems especially prescient amid the fallout from the alleged plot to kill the Saudi ambassador to Washington, blamed by the U.S. on “elements of the Iranian government.” Claims that officials within the elite Quds Force of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps initiated a bizarre scheme via an Iranian-American used-car salesman — described by his former business partner as “a sort of hustler” — to enlist the services of a Mexican drug gang for a terrorism strike in the U.S. capital have been seized on by the Administration to press for tougher international action against Tehran.

“We see this as a chance to go out to capitals and around the world and talk to allies and partners about what the Iranians tried to do,” an unnamed official told the Washington Post. “We’re going to use this to isolate them to the maximum extent possible.” Vice President Joe Biden added, darkly, that when it came to responding to Iran’s behavior, “nothing has been taken off the table.” Read the rest of this entry »

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Iran Protests: Hundreds Of Thousands March, Tear Gas Fired

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on February 15, 2011

Another revolution in the Middle East?
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

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Iran Launches New Fateh-110 Missile (VIDEO)

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on August 25, 2010

Finally Iran there.
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

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