Gareth Porter's blog

3 votes

Report on Iran's Nuclear Fatwa Distorts Its History

The Barack Obama administration's new interest in the 2004 religious verdict, or "fatwa", by Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei banning the possession of nuclear weapons, long dismissed by national security officials, has prompted the New York Times to review the significance of the fatwa for the first time in several years.

Senior Obama administration officials have decided to cite the fatwa as an Iranian claim to be tested in negotiations, posing a new challenge to the news media to report accurately on the background to the issue. But the Apr. 13 New York Times article by James Risen rehashed old arguments by Iran's adversaries and even added some new ones.

7 votes

U.S.-Israel Deal to Demand Qom Closure Threatens Nuclear Talks Analysis

WASHINGTON, Apr 12, 2012 (IPS) - The Barack Obama administration has adopted a demand in the negotiations with Iran beginning Saturday that its Fordow enrichment facility must be shut down and eventually dismantled based on an understanding with Israel that risks the collapse of the negotiations.

12 votes

How Mossad Justified Its Murder of an Innocent Iranian Electrical Engineer

On July 23, 2011, a 35-year-old Iranian electrical engineering student named Darioush Rezaeinejad was gunned down as he and his wife, who was also wounded in the attack, waited for their child in front of a kindergarten in Tehran.

Israel has never denied that it was behind that assassination, and two senior US officials have confirmed to NBC news that the accusation by Ali Larijani - a senior adviser to Iran's supreme leader Ali Khamenei - that Israel's Mossad had used the Mujahideen E. Khalq (MEK) to carry out the killing of Iranian scientists was essentially accurate.

Rezaeinejad was the fourth Iranian scientist whom the Israelis had tried to assassinate, but what was different about his assassination is the subsequent effort by the Israelis to justify it after the fact. That effort casts new light not only on the larger assassination campaign, but on the way in which Israel has gone about constructing its contention that there is an active Iranian nuclear weapons program.

30 votes

Alleged Photos of "Clean-up" at Iran's Parchin Site Lack Credibility

WASHINGTON, Mar 12, 2012 (IPS) - News stories about satellite photographs suggesting efforts by Iran to "sanitise" a military site that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has said may have been used to test nuclear weapons have added yet another layer to widely held suspicion that Iran must indeed be hiding a covert nuclear weapons programme.

But the story is suspect, in part because it is based on evidence that could only be ambiguous, at best. The claim does not reflect U.S. intelligence, and a prominent think tank that has published satellite photography related to past controversies surrounding Iran's nuclear programme has not found any photographs supporting it.

The original Parchin clean-up story by Associated Press correspondent George Jahn, published Mar. 7, reported that two unnamed diplomats from an unidentified country or countries – it was not made clear how many were involved – told him that satellite photos "appear to show trucks and earth-moving vehicles" at the site.

8 votes

Who was behind the Delhi bombing?

Washington, DC - The magnet bomb that exploded on an Israeli Embassy diplomat's car in Delhi on February 13 seemed on the surface to be consistent with an Iranian-sponsored action.

It was carried out with same method by which Israel's Iranian proxy, the Mujahedin-e Khalq, had assassinated an Iranian scientist in mid-January. It occurred on the anniversary of the 2008 assassination of Hezbollah operations chief Imad Mugniyeh, which Hezbollah had vowed to avenge. And it happened at the same time as what appeared to be attempted bombings in Bangkok and Tbilisi.

34 votes

How The Media Got The Iran Inspections at Parchin Access Story Wrong

News media reported last week that Iran had flatly refused the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) access to its Parchin military test facility, based on a statement to reporters by IAEA Deputy Director General, Herman Nackaerts, that “We could not get access”.

Now, however, explicit statements on the issue by the Iranian Ambassador to the IAEA and the language of the new IAEA report indicate that Iran did not reject an IAEA visit to the base per se but was only refusing access as long as no agreement had been reached with the IAEA governing the modalities of cooperation.

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