Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Iran Nuke Talks Head for Overtime

Iran Nuke Talks Head for Overtime

by Stephen Lendman

Negotiators on both sides in Lausanne indicated talks may continue past midnight into April 1.

Senior Iranian negotiator Hamid Baidinejad said "Iran does not want a nuclear deal just for the sake of having a deal, and a final deal should guarantee the Iranian nation's nuclear rights."

"We will continue the talks until we reach an agreement over disputed issues."

Un unnamed US official close to talks said "(w)e will, of course, keep working if we are continuing to make progress, including into tomorrow, if it's useful to do so." 

"At this time, no decisions have been made about our travel schedule."

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov left talks on Monday - saying he'd return if a deal was immanent. 

He's back saying "(w)e have an opportunity to realize our chances if no party to the negotiations tries to raise the stakes at the last moment to get something extra instead of keeping a balance of interests."

If a preliminary framework deal is reached in any form, Security Council members should end sanctions on Iran straightaway, he said.

"We do not recognize (unilaterally imposed sanctions) in any situation, whether it is Iran or any other country," he explained.

An unnamed Iranian source said "(w)e are working meticulously to produce a document." 

"If all goes well, the signing ceremony may take place in Geneva rather than Lausanne."

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said: "I think we will stay overnight" into Wednesday.

According to White House press secretary Josh Earnest:

"Our negotiators have determined…that they’re going to continue these conversations tomorrow…if necessary, as long as the conversations continue to be productive."

"It doesn't make sense if we are getting serious engagement from (Iran) to just abruptly end the talks based on (an artificial midnight) deadline, because the fact is if we are making progress towards the finish line then we should keep going."

Kerry spokeswoman Marie Harf indicated talks will continue into Wednesday. Whether another day makes a difference remains to be seen.

After months of talks, key sticking points remain. They include sanctions, nuclear R&D, uranium enrichment, and where enriched stockpiles will be stored.

Earnest suggested both sides are working to produce a text with few specifics - with accompanying technical documents indicating areas where further talks are needed.

Accomplishing this much would allow negotiators to claim a "new phase" of talks will follow - not just a continuation of incomplete current ones.

If talks end inconclusively, congressional hardliners intend pushing for imposing more sanctions - possibly with a veto proof margin.

Doing so would wreck talks. Things would go back to square one. All bets would be off.

Late Tuesday Lausanne time, senior Iranian negotiator Hamid Baeidinejad said agreement was reached on removing sanctions.

Minor issues remain to be resolved, he indicated. "Sanctions have many aspects," he explained.

"There are unilateral sanctions, US sanctions, EU sanctions, UNSC sanctions."

"I should say that many of these aspects have been resolved, but still there are some limited areas that also need to be resolved, and we are now concentrating on those remaining technical aspects with regard to the sanctions."

He expects oil, gas, and banking sanctions to be lifted as soon as a comprehensive deal is implemented, saying:

"The termination of oil sanctions, gas sanctions, financial banking…many of them have been resolved."

"But still there are a limited number of areas that are still under negotiations, which we hope we can resolve them and then we can admit that the whole issue of sanctions is resolved."

"We are now concentrating on some limited aspects of issues related to the overall sanctions, particularly sanctions of the UNSC, and only we are concentrating on those limited aspects now."

Talks will continue as long as it takes for both sides to resolve things enough to claim success (true or false) and move forward for a comprehensive agreement by June 30, he explained.

Whether any agreement, if reached, is meaningful going forward remains to be seen

Decades of anti-Iranian sentiment haven't changed. Washington tolerates no independent governments. 

Expect no fundamental change in US Iranian policy going forward - especially with the power of Israel and its Lobby going all-out to prevent normalization.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.


It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs. 

Iran Nuclear Talks: Kicking the Can Down the Road

Iran Nuclear Talks: Kicking the Can Down the Road

by Stephen Lendman

On March 31 deadline day, AP reported "Iran Nuke Talks to Continue in (a) New Phase."

Six days of negotiations in Lausanne left key sticking points unresolved - notably on lifting sanctions and nuclear R&D.

AP said P5+1 nations "prepared Tuesday to issue a general statement agreeing to continue negotiations in a new phase aimed at reaching a comprehensive accord by the end of June, officials told The Associated Press on Tuesday."

According to unnamed ones close to talks, a joint statement will include documents "outlin(ing) more detailed understandings, allowing the sides to claim enough progress has been made thus far to merit a new round," AP reported.

Eighteen months of talks haven't resolved things. Perhaps US hardliners irresponsibly accusing Iran of involvement in Obama's war on Yemen will torpedo things altogether.

On the one hand, he wants something to show for six plus years of failed policies - nothing but endless war on humanity, homeland repression and social injustice.

On the other, 36 years of hostile US relations toward Iran remain unchanged. Deal or no deal now or later, anti-Iranian sentiment persists.

America tolerates no independent states - notably Israel's main regional rival.

What a so-called "new phase" of talks on Iran's peaceful nuclear program to resolve outstanding differences means remains to be seen.

AP reported an unnamed official saying documents with technical information will be made public later on Tuesday.

Iranian negotiators haven't yet approved them as this article is written.

On Monday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov left talks. He said he'd return if a deal is imminent.

Back in Moscow he said: "Prospects for this round of negotiations were not bad, and I would even say good."

Other P5+1 country foreign ministers remain in Lausanne.

On Tuesday morning, Iranian Foreign Ministry official Hamid Baeedinejad said:

"No agreement has been finalized until this moment, but we feel that all sides are seriously trying and these efforts will continue; we hope to attain the desired solutions."

Remaining issues being discussed "have important political dimensions," he added.

"We will continue the marathon meetings to strike a final agreement."

After Monday talks, Iran's Deputy Foreign Minister Seyed Abbas Araqchi said no breakthroughs were achieved on remaining sticking points.

"We cannot say that considerable progress has been made in this round of the negotiations yet," he stressed.

Asked how close all sides were to a final agreement, he added:

"We cannot resolutely comment in this regard. We made remarkable progress in the previous rounds of the talks, in this round we cannot say that noteworthy progress has been made, but we have worked on different ideas and seriously studied the possible solutions to the issues of difference."

"We have hopes and we will continue our efforts…but there is no guarantee" for successfully resolving remaining differences.

As of Monday afternoon, no draft document was prepared, he said.

Iran's redlines are unchanged, he stressed. Key is ending illegal sanctions. They never should have been imposed in the first place.

Ending them unconditionally should be part of any deal - with no triggering mechanism to automatically reimpose them based on unjustifiable US claims about Iran allegedly violating agreement terms.

Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif said:

"We have made progress in reaching acceptable solutions, but we still have to work on some important issues." 

"The key to striking an agreement lies in this strategic choice that the other side should make: pressure and sanctions or interaction and agreement by the other side."

Whether final agreement is possible by June 30 remains to be seen.

As long as Iran stays independently governed, nothing fundamental will change - deal or no deal.

Regime change remains longstanding US policy. Israel's dark shadow looms.

It wants its main regional rival eliminated. Netanyahu turned truth on its head calling an agreement if reached a message "that Iran's aggression (in Yemen) is to be rewarded."

He ludicrously claimed a responsible agreement with peaceful Iran will harm nuclear armed, dangerous, belligerent Israel.

His bluster wore thin long ago. If he orders Iranian nuclear facilities attacked, all bets are off.

Together with Obama's multiple regional wars, the entire Middle East could be set ablaze. 

Put nothing past lunatics infesting America and Israel. Maybe they have global war in mind.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.


It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs. 

Obama's Dirty War on Yemen

Obama's Dirty War on Yemen

by Stephen Lendman

Candidate Obama was elected promising peace. On October 28, 2007, he said:

"I will promise you this, that if we have not gotten our troops out of Afghanistan by the time I am president, it is the first thing I will do." 

"I will get our troops home. We will bring an end to this war. You can take that to the bank."

Instead he escalated. America's war on Afghanistan continues. Permanent occupation is planned.

Obama arguably is America's most belligerent president ever. He exceeds the worst of his predecessors.

Multiple direct and proxy wars continue raging nonstop throughout his tenure - against Afghanistan, parts of Pakistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Ukraine, Somalia, partnered with Israel against Palestine and now Yemen.

He wants congressional authorization for unlimited wars - permanent ones on humanity. 

So he can reign more death and destruction on planet earth. So he can turn more parts of it to rubble.

He's responsible for appalling levels of human suffering from wars, related violence, preventable diseases, starvation, and overall deprivation.

He presides over a homeland police state apparatus. He risks war with Russia. He threatens world peace.

He invents threats to justify the unjustifiable. Months of preparation preceded his war on Yemen. Detailed planning went into choosing targets now terror-bombed.

Saudis and complicit Gulf states are convenient US proxies. Israel is involved. Make no mistake. Yemen is Obama's war.

Before he's done, he may rape the country like Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria and Donbass. 

He may destroy it entirely. He'll likely slaughter many thousands. Civilians are considered fair game.

Pentagon direct or proxy terror-bombing murders them in cold blood. 

US-dominated NATO calls killing noncombatant men, women and children "precision strikes on legitimate military targets."

The vast majority of deaths and injuries in all US direct and proxy wars are noncombatant civilians.

Drone attacks are indiscriminate acts of state terror. Civilian neighborhoods, shopping areas, rescue parties, funerals and weddings are targeted.

Extrajudicial mass murder is official US policy - state terror by any standard.

War on Yemen continued overnight. Saudi-led terror bombing targeted an Al-Marzi district refugee camp.

Dozens of noncombatant men, women and children were murdered in cold blood.

A hospital south of Sanaa was attacked. Numerous casualties followed. Precise numbers weren't reported.

A Sanaa power plant was destroyed. Reuters reported it "knocked out by air strikes."

On March 31, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Marziheh Afkham categorically denied accusations about Iran sending weapons to Houthis.

She called reports circulating "complete fabrications, sheer lies." Iran sent humanitarian aid only - food, medicines and medical equipment provided by the Iranian Red Crescent.

Iranian naval commander Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari denied reports of an Iranian flotilla allegedly forced to retreat from the Bab Al-Mandab strait near the port of Aden.

He said it's completing its mission to provide security for shipping routes in full compliance with international regulations.

Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Consular, Parliamentary and Expatriates Affairs Hassan Qashqavi urged the International Red Crescent and other human rights groups to send beleaguered Yemenis vitally needed humanitarian aid.

He denounced irresponsible accusations about Iranian intervention in Yemeni affairs - what he called "the project of Iranophobia."

Reports indicate Saudi and Egyptian-led naval forces blockaded Yemeni ports. Aggressor warships pounded coastal areas.

AP said overnight strikes were the most intense so far. A Sanaa resident said they felt "like an earthquake."

"Never in my life have I heard such explosions or heard such raids," he explained.

At least nine of Yemen's 21 provinces were attacked. Maybe they'll all be brutally targeted in coming days and weeks.

Iran condemned Obama's proxy war on Yemen. Earlier, Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei urged Shiite/Sunni unity against divisive plots hatched by enemies of Islam."

"Shiites and Sunnis shouldn’t help the enemy by desecrating their sanctities and provoking one another’s sentiments," he said.

Western powers always sought to drive a wedge between Shiites and Sunnis, he explained - to deflect attention from the real enemy.

"If anyone fuels the fire in this regard, he or she will definitely be helping sinister America and Britain which are the creators of the ISIL and Al-Qaeda," he explained.

State terror is official US policy. Obama is systematically destroying Yemen - the same way he continues ravaging other regional countries. 

Ground invasion looms. Expect bloodbath conditions to follow.

Expect longterm conflict without resolution. Expect another regional country ravaged and destroyed.

Perhaps Obama's war eliminates any chance for meaningful agreement on Iran's nuclear program and ending sanctions.

For sure it's another example of America's dark side.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.


It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs. 

Monday, March 30, 2015

Britain Prepares for Nonexistent Russian Attack

Britain Prepares for Nonexistent Russian Attack

by Stephen Lendman

Britain is run by the same kinds of lunatics infesting America. Prime Minister David Cameron and other UK officials hype nonexistent "Russian aggression."

Last summer, Cameron said NATO must show Russia it "means business." It won't be "intimidated." 

Member states must "strengthen (their) ability to respond quickly to any threat, to reassure those Allies who fear for their own country’s security and to deter any Russian aggression."

In mid-March, UK Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond ludicrously called Russia potentially Britain's greatest threat.

"We are now faced with a Russian leader bent not on joining the international rules-based system which keeps the peace between nations, but on subverting it," he ranted.

"We are in familiar territory for anyone over the age of about 50, with Russia's aggressive behavior a stark reminder it has the potential to pose the single greatest threat to our security."

Britain's Royal Air Force (RAF) just held its largest air combat exercises in decades - preparing for nonexistent "Russian (or other) attacks."

Twenty Typhoon fighter warplanes and Tornado bombers participated in "a day-long war game in the skies above northeast  England" - on the pretext of alleged "frequent appearances of Russian military aircraft in UK airspace."

Nothing of the sort happened. British authorities fabricated the story - part of an on-going anti-Russian fear-mongering campaign matching what goes on elsewhere in Europe and America.

Russia's Defense Ministry said its aircraft strictly observe international regulations. They don't violate other nations' airspace. Claims otherwise are Big Lies.

So far no confrontations occurred in international airspace. Given Washington's rage for war and Britain's willingness to march in lockstep, it may just be a matter of time before a clash occurs.

All bets are off if it happens. Attacking Russian aircraft in international airspace could lead to something much more serious.

Lunatics in Washington and London risk the unthinkable. Preparing to confront Russia militarily could cross a rubicon of no return.

UK military sources called Operation Rising Panther the first of six annual so-called air defense operations - intended to "show Vladimir Putin in no uncertain terms" Britain is ready for "Russian aggression" if launched.

It was conducted ahead of the next scheduled Strategic Defense Review (SDR) - an exercise in saber rattling and then some.

According to wing commander Andy  Coe, "(d)ue our continuing commitment to operations overseas, this is the first time we have had the full spectrum of our capability operating together at the same time in a realistic, opposed, environment."

Conducting Rising Panther was a provocative show of force aimed at Russia.

One RAF source said Moscow "painted the background to these exercises, though they were needed in any event."

"I think there’s a view forward to the next SDR and the need to remind the powers that be about the prominence of air defense."

"The feeling is that, just because we haven’t had a large headline concerning Russian nuclear bombers recently doesn’t mean air defence isn’t important, and look at how seriously we’re taking it."

According to RUSI think tank defense analyst Justin Bronk:

"Given the tensions with Russia and Vladimir Putin’s well-known predilections for using nuclear bombers and other military aircraft to probe UK airspace, air defence really is assuming an importance that it has not since the days of the Cold War."

In a Friday interview with the Russian newspaper Rossiyskaya Gazeta, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said Western countries want "to weaken Russia and create a puppet state."

He called what's happening in Syria similar to Ukrainian crisis conditions. "(B)oth countries are important for Russia," he said.

Washington wants pro-Western stooges running them. In a separate interview with Tass, Izvestia, Sputnik News, RT International and other Russian media, he called Western countries "colonialist by nature."

They don't "accept partners. If they don’t like a certain state, they try to change it, or replace its president." 

"When they use this reasoning, they do not see the people. As far as they’re concerned, there is no people." 

"They don’t like the president, so they replace him. But when they made these statements, they based them on wrong assumptions." 

This way of thinking might have suited the past, but is not fit for this age. Today, people do not accept for their future or destiny or rulers to be decided by the outside world."

"The same thing is happening now in Ukraine. And this is what they aim for in Russia." 

"They don’t like President Putin, so they demonize him. The same applies everywhere."

America especially "only wants satellite states. (It) does not even accept partners in the West."

"It wants Europe to follow the United States. They didn’t accept Russia, although it was a superpower." 

"They didn’t accept it as a partner. Russian officials talk all the time about partnership with the West, and talk positively about the West." 

"In return, the West does not accept Russia as a great power and as a partner on a global level."

"So, how could they accept a smaller state like Syria which could say no to them?"

Syria demanded its sovereign rights. So did other regional countries. US wars followed - ripping up the fabric of nations across the region.

Assad blasted US officials. "(T)he world has become used to (them) saying something today, and saying the opposite the next day. We see this happening all the time."

Assad expects Washington to continue targeting all independent government for regime change.

US policymakers won't stop, he said. They "want to dominate and control other countries."

"If not through war, then through the economy, and if not through the economy, then through creating problems and blackmail."

Imperial powers operate this way. None match America's ruthlessness - its hugely destructive world conquest ambition.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.


It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs. 

Britain's Foreign Secretary Secretary Matches Kerry's Bullying, Bluster and Big Lies

Britain's Foreign Secretary Matches Kerry's Bullying, Bluster and Big Lies

by Stephen Lendman

America and Britain partner in each other's high crimes. Their longstanding relationship dates from the 19th century.

It's modern form emerged post-WW II. Imperial interests are shared. 

When America goes to war or plans one (direct or proxy), Britain marches in lockstep.

One rogue state supports another. British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond and John Kerry specialize in bashing independent governments they want replaced with ones their regimes control.

Hammond's Foreign Office condemned Syria's right to defend itself against US recruited, armed, funded, trained and directed IS and other imported death squads ravaging the county.

It blamed Assad for their crimes. It lied claiming he uses chemical weapons, torture, starvation and "other despicable acts (as) methods of warfare."

Britain and America won't let Crimea go. It's Russian territory. It won't change.

It's been part of Russia since Catherine the Great (1783) - except from when Nikita Khrushchev ceded it to Ukraine in 1954 to when Crimeans voted near unanimously to rejoin Russia in 2014.

Kerry calls Crimean international law recognized Crimean  self-determination "an incredible act of (Russian) aggression."

You can't make this stuff up. You can't find a single major media profile in courage debunking his Big Lie - nobody. Or any of his other lies.

Hammond's knowledge of international law is as flawed as Kerry's. So is his propensity to lie.

Days after the March 18, 2014 anniversary of Crimea rejoining Russia, he turned truth on its head saying:

"The illegal annexation of Crimea by Russia one year ago was a blatant breach of international law." 

"It showed total disregard for Ukraine’s right to sovereignty and territorial integrity, and I condemn it in the strongest terms."

"It is completely unacceptable for Russia to use force to change borders." 

"We do not recognise last year’s sham referendum which President Putin has admitted was planned to provide a fig leaf for his land grab." 

"This behaviour threatens international security, and has grave implications for the legal order that protects the integrity and sovereignty of all states."

"Our message to Russia is consistent and clear: the annexation of Crimea was illegal and illegitimate in March 2014, and remains illegal and illegitimate in March 2015. Russia must return Crimea to Ukraine."

Fact: Russia didn't annex Crimea. No "land grab" occurred.

Fact: Russian sovereignty over Crimea is far more legitimate than Britain's phony claim to Argentina's Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas).

Fact: Crimeans freely chose to exercise their international law self-determination right to rejoin Russia.

Fact: Vladimir Putin accommodated them - what any responsible leader would do.

Fact: Rejoining Russia in no way "disregarded" Ukrainian sovereignty.

Fact: No Russian force was involved or at any other time against Ukraine or its neighbors.

Fact: Nothing suggests Putin has revanchist aims.

Fact: International observers monitoring Crimea's referendum judged it open, free and fair. It reflected model democratic choice.

Fact: In no way does Crimea rejoining Russia threaten international security - or have any "grave" legal implications.

Fact: Moscow's message to Britain, America and other rogue states is keep your dirty hands off its affairs.

Fact: Russia scrupulously observes international laws, norms and standards.

Fact: America, Britain and rogue NATO partners violate them them consistently. 

Fact: They're guilty of multiple high crimes of war and against humanity.

Don't expect Kerry, Hammond or likeminded partners to explain.

On March 25, Hammond addressed Britain's diplomatic corps at a Lord Mayor's Easter Banquet.

Russia bashing was featured. A litany of Big Lies followed. 

Ludicrously saying "Britain can stand tall in the world…confident that it is playing its part in maintaining peace and stability."

Along with America and Israel, it's done more to prevent it than any other nations in world history over a longer duration on a global scale.

Hammond outrageously said "Eastern Europe is menaced by President Putin’s flagrant disregard for international law in Ukraine."

Nonexistent "Russian aggression," he blustered. (It chose) the role of strategic competitor, at the very time when the diffusion of power more widely around the world makes the international rules-based system all the more important as the principal means to keep the peace between nations." 

"So we must be steadfast in the defence of where nations threaten to undermine it, as we have been, and will remain, in response to Russia’s actions."

Russia's Foreign Ministry (MFA) issued a statement calling Hammond's comments "undiplomatic and unacceptable."

Britain like America needs enemies. "Russia fits perfectly at all times, but also attachment to the prejudices of the imperial past, including the idea of containment of Russia," its MFA said.

Irresponsible Russia bashing continues relentlessly. Big Lies substitute for hard truths.

Propaganda wars precede hot ones. America seems headed toward confronting Russia militarily. 

Britain recklessly partners in its crimes. Both nations risk the unthinkable.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.


It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs. 

US-Sponsored Slow-Motion Genocide in Yemen

US-Sponsored Slow-Motion Genocide in Yemen

by Stephen Lendman

Bush and Obama administrations murdered Yemenis for years - through drone terror-bombings and internal subversion killing mostly civilians.

Yemen is the region's poorest country. Its people suffer horrifically. US imperial policy exacerbates conditions greatly.

Before leaving to participate in Iranian nuclear talks in Lausanne on Sunday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov highlighted Washington's typical double standard hypocrisy.

On the one hand, it ousted Ukraine's democratically President Viktor Yanukovych - replacing him with putschist Nazi thugs. 

On the other, it supports illegitimate Yemeni president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi - coronated in a 2012 election with no opposing candidates.

"I have to use the hoary old cliche," Lavrov said. "The double standards are evident."

Responsible policy isn't America's long suit. It's all take and no give.

On Sunday, Yemeni Foreign Minister Riyad Yassin said a Saudi-led ground invasion of Yemen is expected in days.

Both countries share a long border. Thousands of Saudi forces mobilized to cross over with heavy weapons.

Airstrikes continue. Scores of civilians have been killed.

A Saudi military spokesman said its forces together with regional allies are ready to launch ground attacks if needed.

Regional war could follow - another potential US-sponsored  bloodbath.

Clashes along border areas began - prelude to much heavier fighting if Saudi-led forces invade.

On Sunday, Houthi Ansarullah Political Council senior member Mohammad al-bakhiti said "(a)ny ground attack on Yemen will receive a rigidly harsh response."

"We have not responded to the Saudi aggressions in the past five days because we wanted to allow the Arab countries to reconsider their action and stop their attacks." 

"(F)rom now on, everything will be different. Whatever the (weekend Arab League summit) decided about Yemen will end in serious crisis."

Sunday night airstrikes attacked Yemen's capital, Sanaa - targeting areas around the presidential palace and diplomatic quarter.

A Yemeni official described things as "a night from hell."

In Aden, explosions and gunfire continued throughout the night. Other targets throughout the country were struck.

Arab aggressors vowed to continue terror-bombing until Houthis surrendered.

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov urged "all sides of the conflict to cease military action in the name of preserving the unity, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Yemen."

Scores of deaths so far are known. Precise numbers remain to be determined. Civilian residential areas were struck. Homes were destroyed.

On Sunday, a senior Yemeni air force official said 11 of 16 fighter aircraft were destroyed. Houthis control remaining ones.

Arab League leaders meeting in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt over the weekend agreed to create a joint military force to counter what they called extremism, political instability and threats to regional peace.

Creating it will take months at least. Previous efforts for joint military cooperation went nowhere. Perhaps this time will be no different.

The last thing the war-torn Middle East needs is more militarism. A regional army means more conflict, not less. 

Plans call for 40,000 combat troops, armor, fighter aircraft and warships - to be deployed NATO-style at the request of any member state claiming (true or false) its national security is threatened.

If formed, it'll be a US proxy force to be used aggressively against independent regional states Washington wants targeted - perhaps Syria, Iraq, Libya, Hezbollah-controlled Southern Lebanon and/or Yemen.

Ongoing conflicts threaten to set the entire region ablaze. Washington bears full responsibility.

Wherever it shows up, mass slaughter and destruction follow. The price of imperial arrogance is devastating wars without end.

Yemen is Washington's latest imperial high crime against peace. The entire country may be turned to rubble before things end.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.


It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs. 

Sunday, March 29, 2015

No Deal on Iran's Nuclear Program - So Far

No Deal on Iran's Nuclear Program - So Far

by Stephen Lendman

Reports of a deal reached over the weekend were way premature. As of Monday morning Lausanne time, key unresolved issues remain ahead of a March 31 deadline.

It could be extended days or weeks if all parties agree. Deadlines aren't written in stone. They're easily changed based on circumstances.

The latest as this is written comes from a senior Iranian negotiator, saying:

"No agreement has been achieved, and there are still issues which need to be resolved."

"Instead of launching a media hype, the concerned parties should quit their excessive demands and take the strategic decision if they want an agreement or continued pressure."

On Sunday, John Kerry said he's uncertain if a deal can be reached during current talks.

Lifting sanctions, Iranian nuclear R&D allowed, and control of its enriched uranium stockpile remain key sticking points.

An unnamed source said "(b)oth sides will do their best (Monday) to find solutions for these issues."

According to Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif:

"We have made progress in reaching acceptable solutions, but we still have to work on some important issues." 

"The key to striking an agreement lies in this strategic choice that the other side should make: pressure and sanctions or interaction and agreement by the other side."

Throughout 18 months of talks, Washington is the main obstacle to resolving what never should have been negotiated in the first place.

The whole world knows Iran's nuclear program is peaceful. It has no military component.

No evidence suggests Tehran intends pursuing one. Its program is no different from dozens of other countries operating nuclear facilities.

Yet it alone is singled out for unacceptable pressure and demanded restrictions because of a combination of 36 years of US hostility plus the power of Israel and its Lobby influencing America's policy.

Iran showed great flexibility during talks. It's gone way out of its way to negotiate in good faith.

Concessions it made way exceed what it got back in return so far. It justifiably demands the right to operate its nuclear program as Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) provisions allow.

It won't surrender its legitimate rights to unreasonable US demands. Nor should it.

Over the weekend, Zarif said Iran is "ready to make a good deal for all. We wait for our counterparts' readiness."

He and Deputy Foreign Minister Seyed Abbas Araqchi said Iranian negotiators will stay in Lausanne as long as needed.

Current talks began last Thursday. They continued over the weekend into Monday.

"Iranians have already made their choice: Engage with dignity," Zarif stressed.

"It's high time for the US and its allies to choose: pressure or agreement," he added.

The ball is clearly in Washington's court. It's up to Obama to decide if he wants a deal or not.

A previous article said his tenure so far has no positive achievements - nothing besides advancing America's ruthless agenda, handing the nation's wealth to rich elites already with too much, and cracking down hard on nonbelievers.

It's now put up or shut up time. Come to terms or walk away.

Even if agreement is reached, US history shows Iran has no guarantee it would stick.

America doesn't bargain in good faith. Its word isn't its bond.

It can't be trusted. Duplicity defines its agenda. It says one thing. It does another.

As long as Iran remains independent, US hostility won't change. 

It's just a matter of time before Washington invents reasons to rescind terms agreed to.

Months of good faith Iranian efforts will have been wasted.

It's leadership knows what it's up against. Decades of deplorable US policy leave no doubt what to expect going forward.

Imperial powers are all take and no give. Washington wants unconditional Iranian surrender to US demands. 

They're written in stone. They're longstanding. They won't change.

Chances for normalized US/Iranian relations ahead are virtually nil - not as long as neocons infest Washington and Israeli Lobby power owns Congress.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.


It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs. 

Obama, Rogue Arab States Support Mass Murdering Yemenis

Obama, Rogue Arab States Support Mass Murdering Yemenis

by Stephen Lendman

Yemen is Obama's war. It was planned months ago. Military campaigns require extensive preparation. They're not launched overnight as headlines suggest.

Saudi and other rogue Arab states were enlisted as US proxies to mass murder Yemenis.

Obama usurped diktat authority for wars without end. He's waging multiple direct and proxy ones - endless ones for power and profit.

Yemen is his latest naked aggression. Conflict could continue longterm. Over the weekend, airstrikes intensified.

Countless thousands may die. Perhaps another refugee crisis looms.

Yemen is the latest Middle East country mired in conflict, violence, instability and human misery - a direct result of US imperial policy.

Civilians are being deliberately targeted. Human Rights Watch headlined "Saudi-Led Airstrikes Take Civilian Toll."

Dozens perhaps were killed on day one of bombing alone - maybe hundreds by now heading for thousands.

On Thursday, Amnesty International (AI) reported "(s)ix children (under age 10) among dozens killed in Saudi-led airstrikes."

Fourteen houses near Sanaa's international airport were "turned…to rubble."

AI's Middle East and North Africa Programme director Said Boumedouha "(t)his high toll of civilian deaths and injuries" shows contempt for international humanitarian law.

An ongoing bloodbath continues. US direct and proxy wars show no mercy.

On Saturday, Arab League leaders met in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt.

They endorsed naked aggression on Yemen. Ousted US-installed puppet Yemeni leader Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi called for continued terror-bombing.

"I call for for the continuation of Operation Decisive Storm until this gang (the Houthis) announces its surrender, exits all occupied territories in the provinces, leaves state institutions and military camp," he said.

Naked aggression "will continue until all the goals are achieved," he added.

Saudis said they'll do "whatever it takes" to restore US-installed puppet rule.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon ignored mass murdering civilians.

He issued a pathetic statement urging Arab leaders to "lay down clear guidelines to peacefully resolve the crisis in Yemen."

Ban supports all US imperial wars. He disgraces the office he holds. He has no legitimacy whatever. He's a convenient US-installed stooge.

Obama ignored his full responsibility for naked aggression saying Washington shares a "collective goal" with its regional allies for stability in Yemen.

The Wall Street Journal said Washington intends expanding aid to Saudi-led airstrikes.

It's providing intelligence, logistical help, munitions, aerial refueling and other services.

Washington "is deepening its support for the fight by providing military planners with vital intelligence from surveillance flights to help choose targets for the airstrikes in Yemen," the Journal cited US officials saying.

"American military planners are using live intelligence feeds from surveillance flights over Yemen to help Saudi Arabia decide what and where to bomb."

The Pentagon is "beef(ing) up its role in a new military coordination center set up with the Saudis and other countries in the region taking part in the evolving operation." 

"The center has become the focal point for military planning and a handful of Americans are currently taking part, officials said. That number is expected to grow."

Yemeni aggression is the latest example of America's dark side. 

US direct and proxy wars rage for unchallenged global dominance - no matter how many millions of lives they cost.

No matter how many countries are turned to rubble. No matter how much human suffering is inflicted.

The American way is permanent wars of aggression against one country after another.

Yemen may end up a protracted bloodbath - potentially another Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya or Syria.

Vladimir Putin sent a message to Arab League leaders meeting in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. 

He urged prompt resolution of conflicts in Syria, Libya and Yemen "based on the principles of international law, through extensive dialogue and search for nationwide harmony."

On Friday, Hezbollah leader Seyyed Hassan Nasrallah denounced Saudi-led aggression.

It's "aimed at regaining domination over Yemen," he said.

He called Saudi claims about Houthis threatening regional security "false and baseless."

"It is the right of Yemen's people, who are brave and resilient, to fight and resist, and they will succeed," he stressed.

On Sunday, Fars News (FNA) headlined "Saudi Arabia Sends over 5,000 Takfiri Terrorists to Yemen."

Saying Yemeni army commander Col. Abdel Sattar al-Boushali told FNA Saudi Arabia sent them "to fight the Yemeni army and revolutionary committees."

He said Saudi's defense minister asked Turkey to help deploy more terrorists from its airports to Riyadh.

Houthi Ansarullah Executive Committee member Abdel Mon'em told FNA:

"As the Ansarullah movement has promised collapse of some Arab regimes supporting the terrorists, if Saudi Arabia continues its aggressions against the oppressed Yemeni people the Ansarullah fighters will pave the way for the Saudi regime's destruction by conducting martyrdom-seeking (suicidal) operations inside Saudi Arabia in the coming hours."

He said Israel is involved in fighting. Saudis take orders from Washington, he stressed.

It bears repeating. Yemen is Obama's war - lawless naked aggression by any standard.

How many more countries will he attack? How much more war is too much?

How many more millions of lives will be lost? How much more human suffering will be tolerated?

When will mass world outrage say no more? End America's wars on humanity or they'll end us.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.


It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs. 

New York Times Editors Endorse Murdering Millions of Iranians

New York Times Editors Endorse Murdering Millions of Iranians

by Stephen Lendman

Times editors are neocons masquerading as journalists. They have no credibility whatever. 

They're key parts of America's Big Lying Machine. They suppress hard truths. They blast out daily managed news disinformation rubbish.

They support all war of aggression America wages or plans. They're in lockstep with imperial mass slaughter and destruction. 

They serve wealth, power and privilege exclusively. They're unapologetic about where they stand.

On March 26, they featured former Bush official/unindicted war criminal/neocon hardliner John Bolton.

He took full advantage. He urged Washington bomb Iran's nonexistent nuclear weapons facilities.

He knows doing so puts millions of lives at risk. So do Times editors. 

They published his war advocacy anyway. Doing so supports it.

Attacking Iran could set the whole region ablaze. What's a few million lives to eliminate Israel's main regional rival.

Lunatics like Bolton and Times editors consider them a small price to pay

Maybe they think turning the entire region to rubble is OK as long as oil in the ground remains for America to control - to plunder for profit.

Bolton is a very dangerous lunatic - one of many infesting Washington.

Imagine a Republican winning the White House in November 2016 appointing him Secretary of State or Defense.

Imagine global war exploding straightaway. Bolton ludicrously claims negotiating with Iran on its nuclear program to resolve differences diplomatically "brought a bad situation to the brink of catastrophe."

He claims US intelligence calling Iran's program peaceful is "little more than wishful thinking."

Despite no evidence whatever suggesting it has a military component, Bolton claims he knows better.

"Iran's steady progress toward nuclear weapons has long been evident," he blustered - despite indisputable evidence proving him wrong.

Lunatic neocons like Bolton crave war. They like killing people. They relish mass slaughter and destruction.

They enjoy turning one country after another to rubble - to murdering millions of men, women, children, the elderly and infirm, slaughtering them in cold blood.

They want violence and instability replacing peace and calm. They want governance of, by and for America's rich and powerful alone.

They want control of world resources. They want them plundered for profit.

They want ordinary people exploited as serfs. They want greater human misery worldwide than already exists.

They want all independent governments eliminated. They want unchallenged US dominance. They want it achieved through the barrel of a gun.

Bolton spit out one Big Lie about Iran after another. "The inescapable conclusion is that Iran will not negotiate away its nuclear program," he blustered. 

"Nor will sanctions block its building a broad and deep weapons infrastructure." 

"The inconvenient truth is that only military action" can work.

"Time is terribly short, but a strike can still succeed," he ranted.

Responsible editors wouldn't touch Bolton's rubbish. Times editors featured it.

As long as lunatics like him infest Washington, expect world peace to hang by a thread.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.


It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs. 

Nuclear Armed and Dangerous Israel Blasts Iran's Peaceful Program

Nuclear Armed and Dangerous Israel Blasts Iran's Peaceful Program

by Stephen Lendman

Netanyahu and other Israeli officials suppress information on its longstanding nuclear weapons program - an arsenal with thermonuclear ones and long-range delivery capability able to incinerate entire cities.

On Sunday, Netanyahu railed against Iran's known peaceful nuclear program as a March 31 deadline approaches to reach a preliminary framework deal ahead of a June 30 final one.

The whole world knows Iran's program is peaceful. It conforms to Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) provisions.

It has no military component. US and Israeli intelligence assessments say so. No evidence suggests otherwise.

For years, Netanyahu lied about Iran's program. Israel continues what he calls an "uphill battle" against it.

He absurdly called what's emerging, if agreed on, worse than he thought.

"This deal, as it appears to be emerging, bears out all of our fears, and even more than that," he said.

It's hard imagining anyone taking him seriously. He lost credibility long ago.

He's a world-class thug, a war criminal multiple times over, a serial liar and threat to regional peace.

"After the Beirut-Damascus-Baghdad axis, Iran is maneuvering from the south to take over the entire Middle East," he blustered.

"The Iran-Lausanne-Yemen axis is dangerous for mankind and must be stopped," he added.

He pressured Republican US Senate leaders to intervene. He lied about agreement terms endangering Israel.

On Sunday, he turned truth on its head saying "(w)hile (P5+1 countries) convene to sign this deal, Iran’s proxies in Yemen are conquering large swaths of land in an effort to overtake the Bab al-Mandab straits, so that they can change the balance of power in shipping oil."

Discussions continue in Lausanne. On Sunday, AP said Iran agreed to limit its centrifuges enriching uranium to 6,000 - maybe fewer numbers.

It's willing to ship its enriched uranium to Russia, AP reported.

Unresolved issues remain on permitted Iranian nuclear R&D, duration of an agreement, monitoring and removing sanctions.

An unnamed official close to talks said Russia remains opposed to Washington's demand to be able to quickly reimpose any lifted sanctions if it claims Tehran reneged on any commitments.

Moscow fears establishing an unacceptable precedent. With discussions reaching a critical point, talks continue "in various formats," said AP.

On Sunday, P5+1 foreign ministers will get directly involved in trying to consummate a framework deal.

Israel keeps going all-out to sabotage it. Strategic Affairs Minister Yuval Steinitz spearheads pressuring P5+1 countries against it.

"We may still have a chance," he said. "We are not alone. There are still great doubts in the United States as well as in France, even in England," he claimed.

Interior Minister Gilad Erdan said "(i)t's true that a deal is close, and there is a chance that an agreement on basic principles will be reached in the coming days." 

"But until the final agreement, which is supposed to be signed with Iran by the end of June, there are still a wide range of diplomatic options." 

"If, God forbid, it happens, Israel will also be required to reassess the whole resulting security situation."

His comment borders on threatening war with Iran.

Around midday Lausanne time, AFP reported Iran and P5+1 countries "reached a provisional agreement on key parts of a deal sharply curtailing Tehran's nuclear programme, Western diplomats in talks in Switzerland said Sunday."

An unnamed diplomat close to talks said Tehran "more or less" agreed to limit the number of its centrifuges by "more than two-thirds."

It'll ship most of its enriched uranium "abroad" - apparently to Russia.

Iranian diplomats denied reaching a tentative agreement. They called reports "journalistic speculation."

An unnamed senior Iranian negotiator said "publication of such information by certain Western media is aimed at creating an atmosphere to disturb the negotiating process."

With P5+1 country Foreign Ministers involved, expect talks to continue on remaining sticking points.

Congress may be the main one. It's ready to legislatively challenge any deal struck.

A bipartisan group of 367 House members sent Obama a letter stipulating their demands - in defiance of taking a step toward ending 36 years of imperial arrogance toward Iran.

Every House and Senate member knows Iran's nuclear program is peaceful and intends staying this way. 

Tehran threatens no one. It hasn't attacked another country in centuries. It values cooperative relations with all nations. 

The power of Israel and its Lobby keep going all-out to sabotage any prospective deal.

House members said any agreement "must constrain Iran’s nuclear infrastructure so that Iran has no pathway to a bomb, and that agreement must be long-lasting."

"(I)t will be impossible for the international community to judge Iran’s future breakout time with certainty."

They lied knowing Iran has no intention to develop nuclear weapons. 

No evidence suggests otherwise. Plenty confirms Israel is nuclear armed and dangerous - thanks to considerable US help aiding its program since the 1950s.

House members lied claiming "Iran's record of clandestine activity and intransigence prevents any trust in Iran."

"(S)hould an agreement with Iran be reached, permanent sanctions relief from congressionally-mandated sanctions would require new legislation." 

"In reviewing such an agreement, Congress must be convinced that its terms foreclose any pathway to a bomb, and only then will Congress be able to consider permanent sanctions relief."

AIPAC owns Congress on matters relating to Israel and US Middle East foreign policy. 

Expect Israeli orchestrated heavy-handed pressure against consummating any final deal if a framework one is reached.

It's unclear if Obama wants one short of unconditional Iranian surrender to US demands.

Longstanding US policy calls for regime change - replacing Iranian independence with US controlled stooge governance. 

Nuclear talks are red herring cover for Washington's real objective. Whatever comes out of current talks, expect US/Iranian relations to remain largely unchanged.

Expect Iran bashing to continue - maybe war if Washington hardliners get their way.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.


It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs.