|Southwest Asia News Digest
Geneva Talks a Positive Step Away from War
Oct. 2 (EIRNS)A senior U.S. intelligence source confirmed to EIR today, that yesterday's negotiations in Geneva, between Iran and the P5-plus-one group, represented a positive step forward, that has "stopped the clock" on sanctions and possible military action. According to the source, the 45-minute private conversation between the top U.S. negotiator, William Burns, and his Iranian counterpart, Saeed Jalili, was fruitful, and showed a shift in attitude on the part of the Iranian governmentas well as a willingness of the U.S. Administration to follow through on pledges to engage in direct diplomacy with Tehran.
The fact that International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors will be allowed to visit the newly revealed Qom enrichment facility, will mean that the IAEA will get a much more up-to-date window into Iran's centrifuge technology. But, the source emphasized, most important is that the Iranians will ship an as-yet-unknown portion of their 4,000 to 4,500 pounds of low-enriched uranium (LEU) to Russia and France for reprocessing into material needed for a medical reactor; and this means that Iran no longer has sufficient material to potentially build a bomb. This deters the British and the Israelis from claiming that Iran is on the verge of having a nuclear weapon.
The source explained that there is now a consensus among the top American, European, and Russian analysts, that Iran has decided, for the time being, to abandon, or at least delay, any further work on a weapons program. Furthermore, the current Iranian regime, including Jalili, represents the faction in the Islamic Republic that is most ideologically committed to obtaining a nuclear weapons capability. Thus, their decision to make the deal in Geneva is of particular significance. At minimum, they are looking to win international recognition, while they attempt to consolidate their grip on power, after the post-election demonstrations, and the international reaction against the crackdown on the protesters and reformers.
Briefed on this report, Lyndon LaRouche added his own assessment that the U.S. national security team did an overall good job, in pursuing a war-avoidance policy in Geneva. They have now minimized the short-term risk of a British-engineered Israeli "breakaway ally" attack on Iran. LaRouche further observed that President Obama is facing a pile-up of real policy problems at this moment, and this has minimized his adventurism. That, too, was helpful, LaRouche said.
Clinton Calls Iran Talks Productive
Oct. 1 (EIRNS)The P5+1 talks with Iran in Geneva on Oct. 1 have been seen, as Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said, as productive, and as opening the door to progress. Most notable is the one-on-one discussion over lunch between U.S. Undersecretary of State William Burns and Iranian Supreme National Security Council representative Saeed Jalili. The direct U.S.-Iran discussion, which covered a variety of issues, was the first such discussion in 30 years, since the Iranian Revolution in 1979.
At a press conference at the conclusion of the Geneva meeting, EU Secretary General Javier Solana announced that three areas of agreement had been reached:
1. A follow-up meeting will be held at the end of October, with the agenda being worked on by representatives of all participants in the coming days;
2. Iran says it will cooperate fully and will invite inspectors to visit the newly announced Fordu facility within weeks. After the meeting, the IAEA announced that its General Secretary, Mohamed ElBaradei, will travel to Iran this weekend to personally work out the details;
3. Low-enriched uranium produced in Iran will be transported to third countries and fabricated into fuel assemblies for the Tehran research reactor which produces isotopes for medical application. A senior U.S. diplomat, in a press conference, said Iran had requested this and that the U.S. and Russia had reached a proposal that Russia would perform the processing with France proceeding with the fabrication of the fuel assemblies.
Another diplomatic breakthrough was the U.S. permission to allow Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki to visit the Iranian interest section in the Pakistani Embassy in Washington, for the first time since Iran's revolution. The visit occurred on the day before the Geneva talks.
Iran's Press TV reported that the British attempted to undermine the talks by scheming to remove Iran's proposals from the agenda. The British attempt was evidentially unsuccessful, as U.S. officials, speaking at a press conference after the day's events, described discussions between all participants as free flowing.
British Intelligence Contradicts U.S. on Iran Nuclear Program
Sept. 30 (EIRNS)The Financial Times reveals on its front page today that British intelligence, in explicit contradiction to the U.S. 2007 National Intelligence Estimate, claims that Iran made the decision in 2004 to weaponize its nuclear program. This decision, they claim, was made by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. This "leak" was published on the eve of talks between the U.S. and Iran which involves the first one-on-one talks since 1979. The British scare story is an attempt to prevent the talks, or feed a U.S. faction that wants to prevent U.S.-Iranian normalization.
U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and Director of National Intelligence Adm. Dennis Blair have upheld and updated the 2007 National Intelligence Estimate, which found that Iran does not have a nuclear weapons program. And, on Sept. 27, 2009, Gates told ABC-TV that even recent revelations of a new Iranian nuclear facility do "not necessarily" contradict the 2007 NIE.
Recall that the British war party in 2002-03 through then-Prime Minister Tony Blair, was infamous for "sexing up" the Iraq weapons of mass destruction dossier in order to launch the Iraq war. Such Financial Times spin is a step in the direction of creating a similar false record for a future military strike against Iran.
Brits Play Their Temple Mount Card Once Again
Sept. 28 (EIRNS) Yesterday, the British Masonic-steered Temple Mount Faithful fanatics, with Israeli military and police escorts, staged a violent provocation at the Islamic holy sites on the Haram al-Sharif (Temple Mount) in Jerusalem. The Jewish fanatics, who enjoy extensive political and financial backing from the Quatuor Coronati Grand Lodge of British Freemasonry and the American and European "Christian Zionists," attempted to enter the al-Aqsa Mosque to stage a Jewish ceremony. Muslim youth threw rocks at the Israeli soldiers and the Temple Mounters, and a violent confrontation erupted, in which dozens were injured, and, possibly, two killed.
The incident was a replay of the Sept. 28, 2000 invasion of the Temple Mount by Ariel Sharon (who was then the chairman of the Likud party), accompanied by over 1,000 Israeli police and soldiers. That incident sparked weeks of rioting and triggered the second Palestinian intifada. It also brought down the Israeli government, and paved the way for Sharon's election as Prime Minister six months later. EIR documented that 2000 incident, and provided in-depth background on the British control over the entire Temple Mount apparatus, in a December 2000 Special Report, "Who Is Behind the New Religious War in the Middle East?"
Arab governments and the Organization of the Islamic Conference issued strongly worded protests against the Temple Mount provocations, which are clearly aimed at sabotaging any efforts at a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palentinian conflict. Sources in Washington have reported growing support for a binding UN Security Council resolution, creating a Palestinian state on the 1967 borders. Briefed on this, Lyndon LaRouche commented, "The British will never let it happen." The reactivation of the Temple Mount provocations show just how right LaRouche was.