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John Drake

US & Iran - peace breaking out?

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Obama holds historic phone call with Rouhani and hints at end to sanctions
President says discussion with Iranian counterpart showed 'basis for resolution' of dispute over Tehran's nuclear programme
http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/sep/27/obama-phone-call-iranian-president-rouhani

Barack Obama and Hassan Rouhani held the first direct talks between American and Iranian leaders since the 1979 Islamic revolution, exchanging pleasantries in a 15-minute telephone call on Friday that raised the prospect of relief for Tehran from crippling economic sanctions.
Speaking at the White House shortly after the historic call, Obama said his discussion with Rouhani had shown the "basis for resolution" of the dispute over Iran nuclear programme.
The conversation, in which Obama communicated his "deep respect for the Iranian people", capped a week of diplomatic breakthroughs. Rouhani ended a five-day visit to New York for the UN general assembly with a striking offer to work rapidly to defuse tensions with America, and hailed the US as "a great nation" – a dramatic shift in tone for an Iranian leader.

 

I think I just felt the earth tilt off its axis.

 

Good news, though! :)

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But for some hawks in the US sanctions would have been removed a few years ago.  We have far more peaceful relations with brutal dictatorships that use slave labour yet we haven't been able to step up to talk to a proper democracy, albeit one that shares far different views to us.

 

Even in Israel there's been credible criticism of Netanyahu's policy of walking out of the UN when Iran are speaking.  When one of your own senior ministers tells you that you're being a bit silly then maybe it's time to take note and maybe talk to Iran or at least stop ignoring them.

 

As we've discovered in many places throughout the world, jaw jaw is infinitely preferable to war war.

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The recent election of Rouhani is the key turning point, though.

 

Iran's previous President was fond of referring to the US as 'the Great Satan' and called for Israel to be wiped off the map.

 

That's not exactly conducive to friendly or progressive dialogue with anyone.

 

Goodwill is needed on all sides, and it seems we are getting closer to that now. Fingers crossed.

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Obama holds historic phone call with Rouhani and hints at end to sanctions

President says discussion with Iranian counterpart showed 'basis for resolution' of dispute over Tehran's nuclear programme

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/sep/27/obama-phone-call-iranian-president-rouhani

Barack Obama and Hassan Rouhani held the first direct talks between American and Iranian leaders since the 1979 Islamic revolution, exchanging pleasantries in a 15-minute telephone call on Friday that raised the prospect of relief for Tehran from crippling economic sanctions.

Speaking at the White House shortly after the historic call, Obama said his discussion with Rouhani had shown the "basis for resolution" of the dispute over Iran nuclear programme.

The conversation, in which Obama communicated his "deep respect for the Iranian people", capped a week of diplomatic breakthroughs. Rouhani ended a five-day visit to New York for the UN general assembly with a striking offer to work rapidly to defuse tensions with America, and hailed the US as "a great nation" – a dramatic shift in tone for an Iranian leader.

I think I just felt the earth tilt off its axis.

Good news, though! :)

are you sure it's not those two Australian DJs up to their old tricks?

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The recent election of Rouhani is the key turning point, though.

 

Iran's previous President was fond of referring to the US as 'the Great Satan' and called for Israel to be wiped off the map.

 

That's not exactly conducive to friendly or progressive dialogue with anyone.

 

Goodwill is needed on all sides, and it seems we are getting closer to that now. Fingers crossed.

 

Naive. 

 

I guess geopolitics isn't everyones cup of tea. 

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Naive.

I guess geopolitics isn't everyones cup of tea.

Many people said we would never have peace with the IRA.

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But for some hawks in the US sanctions would have been removed a few years ago.  We have far more peaceful relations with brutal dictatorships that use slave labour yet we haven't been able to step up to talk to a proper democracy, albeit one that shares far different views to us.

Oh dear.

Firstly all candidates have to be vetted by the religious authorities before they can stand. The Iranian electorate merely gets the opportunity to vote for this hardline cleric or that hardline cleric. I'm not sure how you call that democracy.

Secondly the last but one election was widely considered to be rigged in Ahmadinejad's favour. This lead to protests in which the government had rather a lot of demonstrators killed. No investigations into the killings of course.

Thirdly all real power lies with the unelected "Supreme Leader" anyway.

And that's before we get into a lack of judicial independence or journalistic freedom.

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Many people said we would never have peace with the IRA.

We do so at a price.

If the price of "peace" with Iran is allowing them to do what they want then it's not peace but surrender.

Now you've been very vocal on the subject of Assad's use of chemical weapons, who do you think has been propping up his regime all these years?

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Oh dear.

Firstly all candidates have to be vetted by the religious authorities before they can stand. The Iranian electorate merely gets the opportunity to vote for this hardline cleric or that hardline cleric. I'm not sure how you call that democracy.

Secondly the last but one election was widely considered to be rigged in Ahmadinejad's favour. This lead to protests in which the government had rather a lot of demonstrators killed. No investigations into the killings of course.

Thirdly all real power lies with the unelected "Supreme Leader" anyway.

And that's before we get into a lack of judicial independence or journalistic freedom.

Yet we're happy to deal with properly religious fanatic monarchies and dictatorships. I know which is worse in my mind. We're content that the 2022 football World Cup stadiums are built by slave labour because they're the "good guys"

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I'm not convinced we have peace with them.

We don't have an armed conflict now between our army and their paramilitaries.  We don't have terrorist bombs going off.  The IRA political people are now fully engaged in the Northern Ireland political process and accept it.

 

If that's not peace then it'll do for me.

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We do so at a price.

If the price of "peace" with Iran is allowing them to do what they want then it's not peace but surrender.

Now you've been very vocal on the subject of Assad's use of chemical weapons, who do you think has been propping up his regime all these years?

Look at all the dodgy places we've propped up over the years and made worse by our intervention, especially in our decades long cold war with the Warsaw Pact. 

 

Consider how we (the western NATO countries) look to outsiders.  We have the only nation that has used nuclear bombs.  A decade ago, we made up some facts to allow us to invade the sovereign nation of Iraq.  We routinely talk to despots, dictators and other nasty people and sell them some of our most advanced weapons technologies but then get all frothy mouthed about Iran who, despite your point above, do get to elect their leader.  Our head of state is an unelected monarch who has far too much say in our political life, our upper house is entirely appointed with no democratic mandate or power of recall.

 

You really can't be that black and white about things...

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The recent election of Rouhani is the key turning point, though.

 

Iran's previous President was fond of referring to the US as 'the Great Satan' and called for Israel to be wiped off the map.

 

That's not exactly conducive to friendly or progressive dialogue with anyone.

 

Goodwill is needed on all sides, and it seems we are getting closer to that now. Fingers crossed.

Reasons why Iranians refer to the US as the "great Satan":

1. In 1953 the US and UK overthrew the democratically elected prime minister Mohammad mossadegh in "operation Ajax."

2. The US and UK installed their puppet "the shah" a brutal dictator who imprisoned, tortured and murdered anybody who opposed his tyranny.

3. The US and UK helped the brutal tyrant "the shah" setup his feared secret police "SAVAK" who carried out the torture and murder of tens of thousands of Iranians during his reign.

4. "the shah" and his cronies along with the US and UK governments looted iran's oil revenues as average iranians lived in abject poverty.

5. When the people of Iran overthrew the US and UK puppet "the shah" the US government supported and armed saddam Hussein to the teeth during the Iraq-Iran war.

6. The US sold chemical weapons to Iraq and gave them the battlefield intel to better point the chemical weapons which killed and seriously wounded tens of thousands of Iranians.

7. The USS Vincennes shot out of the sky Iran flight 655, killing 290 civilians including women and children.

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Look at all the dodgy places we've propped up over the years and made worse by our intervention, especially in our decades long cold war with the Warsaw Pact. 

 

Consider how we (the western NATO countries) look to outsiders.  We have the only nation that has used nuclear bombs.  A decade ago, we made up some facts to allow us to invade the sovereign nation of Iraq.  We routinely talk to despots, dictators and other nasty people and sell them some of our most advanced weapons technologies but then get all frothy mouthed about Iran who, despite your point above, do get to elect their leader.  Our head of state is an unelected monarch who has far too much say in our political life, our upper house is entirely appointed with no democratic mandate or power of recall.

 

You really can't be that black and white about things...

Maybe not but let's not pretend that Iran is anything other than a theocracy. It might be preferable to Saudi Arabia but it's not remotely comparable to Western countries in terms of freedom and democracy.

The leader that matters in Iran is the supreme leader who is not elected and has far, far more power than our queen and far, far more than the President (who the people "chose" from a list of six drawn up by the supreme leader).

They sponsor all the Shi'ite parties in Iraq, who of course, run sectarian death squads. They back the murderous Assad, again involved in sectarian genocide as well as the terrorist (and sectarian) hezbollah.

Now is that really a state that you would be happy about acquiring the nuclear bomb? Most people would suggest not.

Now I know the argument that only the US has ever used it. But this ignores the context in which they used it. What is rarely mentioned is that the US bombing raids over Tokyo killed more people than the two nukes did. The war was never going end without a huge bodycount.

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Reasons why Iranians refer to the US as the "great Satan":

1. In 1953 the US and UK overthrew the democratically elected prime minister Mohammad mossadegh in "operation Ajax."

2. The US and UK installed their puppet "the shah" a brutal dictator who imprisoned, tortured and murdered anybody who opposed his tyranny.

3. The US and UK helped the brutal tyrant "the shah" setup his feared secret police "SAVAK" who carried out the torture and murder of tens of thousands of Iranians during his reign.

4. "the shah" and his cronies along with the US and UK governments looted iran's oil revenues as average iranians lived in abject poverty.

5. When the people of Iran overthrew the US and UK puppet "the shah" the US government supported and armed saddam Hussein to the teeth during the Iraq-Iran war.

6. The US sold chemical weapons to Iraq and gave them the battlefield intel to better point the chemical weapons which killed and seriously wounded tens of thousands of Iranians.

7. The USS Vincennes shot out of the sky Iran flight 655, killing 290 civilians including women and children.

Hate to spoil a myth but the Shah being in power had nothing to do with the West. He was the head of state during Mossadegh's time as PM.

Added to which, the US did not arm Iraq. The Iraqis bought Soviet technology and to a lesser extent British and French. If you look at the accounts of the first gulf war, the US was facing Soviet battle tanks not their own.

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Yet we're happy to deal with properly religious fanatic monarchies and dictatorships. I know which is worse in my mind. We're content that the 2022 football World Cup stadiums are built by slave labour because they're the "good guys"

I'm not happy about Qatar's ###### being kissed in this way either but I don't why this is a reason why we should give Iran carte blanche.

Fortunately Saudi Arabia has never shown any interest in developing nukes.

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We don't have an armed conflict now between our army and their paramilitaries.  We don't have terrorist bombs going off.  The IRA political people are now fully engaged in the Northern Ireland political process and accept it.

 

If that's not peace then it'll do for me.

We do have bombs going off and paramilitaries fighting the army. There are just fewer of them. We don't have peace, we have a reduced war.

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