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Bushehr: Producing Energy and Political Capital

by MEIR JAVEDANFAR in Tel Aviv

20 Aug 2010 18:4943 Comments
File:Iran nuclear illustration.png[ comment ] On Tuesday, John Bolton made headlines by declaring that Israel had eight days to bomb Iran's Bushehr nuclear reactor before it is slated to be opened by the Russians. On the surface, Bolton, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations during the last Bush administration, appears deeply concerned about Israel's security, so much so that he believes bringing a nuclear power plant on line warrants an immediate attack. However, closer examination suggests other factors are at work. One is that Bolton is not all that well informed about the potential contributions of Bushehr toward the militarization of Iran's nuclear program. A second possibility is that instead of Israel's well being, in reality, Bolton's pronouncement was inspired by his interest in U.S. political developments.

The Bushehr nuclear power plant is for the production of energy. Every drop of nuclear fuel that it needs will come from Russia. Every delivery of nuclear fuel will be verified and certified by the IAEA, the U.N. nuclear watchdog. And every drop of waste that will come from the nuclear fuel cycle will be accounted for by the IAEA and hauled out of the country by the Russians. With constant on-site observation by Russian technicians, coupled with IAEA checks, it will be extremely difficult for the Iranians to take the waste from the nuclear fuel to make a bomb.

With this risk mitigated, the only other perceived danger is that the Iranians may decide to build a secret nuclear facility underneath Bushehr after it becomes operational. There is some logic behind such an idea, as attacking Bushehr could lead to a massive ecological disaster. Knowing that such a strike would be too risky for any attacker, Iranian authorities may try to use Bushehr as a shield for their alleged weaponization program. Although this may appear to be a sound theory, in reality it would be very difficult to conceal the construction of such a secret facility.

First, numerous spy satellites are now trained on Bushehr. Second, there is the very reason that after ten years of foot-dragging, the Russians suddenly decided to complete the plant -- to make sure that Iran never actually equips itself with nuclear weapons. In other words, with so many Russian technicians on site at Bushehr, they likely could and would expose the Iranians if any illegal activities took place there.

The motivation to do this has to do with Russia's ultimate goal vis-à-vis the current nuclear standoff between Iran and the West. Moscow does not want either side to win. A nuclear-armed Iran would be against Russia's interest because it could create competition on its southern border, and to some extent across the Middle East. At the same time, if America manages to stop Iran from becoming a nuclear power altogether, that could boost the U.S. position in the region, something that Moscow does not want either.

Therefore, to achieve its goal -- maintaining the status quo -- Russia employs a method by which it shifts support from one side to the other the moment it feels either is growing too strong. We saw this recently when Iran managed to build a secret site at Fordo. To keep its advantage in check, Moscow supported new U.N. sanctions the West had been asking for. This gave the United States the upper hand. Viewing this as against its interest, Moscow got back into the fray, this time by providing support to the Iranian side by completing the Bushehr plant after years of delays and excuses (if not outright lies). Now that the Iranian side has scored a victory, Russia is trying to address the balance by insisting that it will not supply the S-300 anti-aircraft and anti-missile systems it has promised to Iran.

Much like Russia, Bolton is using Bushehr for his own political gain. After the staggering victory of the Democrats in the 2008 election, the Republicans are desperate to recoup their losses and emerge victorious in this November's midterm elections. By egging on Israel to attack Bushehr, Bolton is trying to look like a "concerned" friend of Israel so that his party wins votes from the U.S. Jewish community.

The Israeli people and their government do not need such friends. The Iranian nuclear conundrum is challenging enough without Republican politicians giving Israel deadlines to attack Iran. Such statements damage Israel's position greatly as they make the country look like a warmonger. After the flotilla fiasco, this is one image that Israel needs to shed, not reinforce. Bolton is also making Israel look weak: If Israel doesn't attack, then it's made to look like a toothless tiger that did not have the spine to confront what Bolton sees as a mortal danger.

Despite statements by some Israeli politicians and Israel's supporters in America, an attack against the Islamic Republic's nuclear program by Israel is not yet a foregone conclusion. In the short span of 62 years, Israel has managed to become a substantial power, partly because of its sophisticated cost-benefit analysis. Israel will consider the option of attacking. However, if it turns out that the costs of attacking Iran outweigh the rewards, then the option of living with a nuclear Iran will most likely be accepted by its leadership. Judging by Obama's recent assurances that Iran is at least one year away from building a bomb, we have that long before Israel's leaders will have to make a decision. Until then, no deadlines for attack from foreign politicians sitting in posh Manhattan high-rises, please.

Copyright © 2010 Tehran Bureau

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43 Comments

Mr. JAVEDANFAR,

As an Iranian I would hate to see an Israeli hostile action against my country. Such irresponsible action would irreversibly damage the democracy movement of Iran and rally the Iranian people behind this barbaric regime and for one simple reason. Good, bad, ugly or beautiful this is our sacred land, our country. We will never forgive nor forget.

If Israel and Israeli people are serious about their commitment to democracy they ought to rally behind the Iranian people in their struggle for freedom. They should use their power, influence and good offices in the United States and around the world to benefit this noble cause. How about helping some of Iranian refugees stranded in Turkey, Greece, and Cyprus? Show us you are sincere.

Israelis are not dealing with school children when addressing the Iranian people. We are very much aware of the political realities combined with the military capabilities of our two countries. The regime in Iran is extremely pragmatic and would never put its own existence in danger despite all its rhetoric. As a fellow Iranian who resides in Israel you know exactly what I am talking about.

The existential threat, and wiping Israel off the map may work for the American people, but they fall far short for Iranians. A nuclear Iran will clearly marginalize Israel as the supreme military power in the greater Middle East. A fact that Israel has hard time dealing with.
We will deal with Russians in due time, but please let’s not argue about an electric company endangering Israel’s existence. I have no doubt the Israeli leadership can look beyond the theatricals.

Bolton who? Shalom, is what Israel needs to seek from the Iranian people.

Make sure Iranians stand tall in Israel.

Niloofar / August 21, 2010 12:24 AM

Not Meir Javedanfar again. We hadn't seen his likes here at TB for a while, and I had really thought the editorial staff here had summoned together the integrity required to stop publishing these Israeli perspectives.

Oh well. Instead of objective analyses from academic sources inside Iran, we're "treated" to the manipulative workings put forth by the pro-Zionists. And we're left to wonder why the diaspora crowd has such a bad name for itself (sarcasm alert).

Pirouz / August 21, 2010 2:43 AM

The Author, Javedanfar, is an Israeli that constantly advocates for bombing of Iran, particularly on Huffington Post.

He also claims Israel is a "superpower." Anybody could be a "superpower" if it got billions of financial and military assistance from the US. Anyone could do well off, if they got "most favored trading" status from the US and European Union for no particular reason. Usually nations get such sweet deals because they represent a future market to the US or Eurpean manufacturers, such as China and India. Israel with its small population has no such need, yet it gets privilages it does not deserve.

Despite all the help pointed to above, Israel remains the only "superpower" who was been defeated in Lebanon, repeatedly, and even in Gaza. I guess our defenition of "superpower" has changed. We can now nominate Bahrain as a superpower. But the truth is that Israel is far from it, and that explains the true reason why they won't attack Iran without full US support. Meanwhile they can affort continuing bankrupting United States, all at a time American's are losing their benefits from Medicare to Social Security.

Pouya / August 21, 2010 4:13 AM

Niloofar

I second your comments. Very insightful. The Author is not Iranian.

pouya / August 21, 2010 4:18 AM

Niloofar:

Even though I often disagree with you, your post above is excellent.

Asghar Taragheh / August 21, 2010 5:43 AM

iran has the right to have nuclear bombs as russia and united states of america had the right to have nuclear bombs. there is equal among all nations to have nuclear bombs. and israel too has the right to have nuclear bombs. let no nation forbid any nation from having nuclear bombs. if russia and united states of america want to forbid iran from having nuclear bombs they must first destroy all their nuclear bombs for iran to follow them but as long as they have nuclear bombs and they keep them, they have no power or authority to forbid iran from having nuclear bombs

private / August 21, 2010 7:35 AM

Dear Pouya,
I was always under the impression that Mr. Javedanfar's family came from Esfahan as he clearly states in one of his postings in reply to a question about him.

Mr. JAVEDANFAR,
I trust Pouya would never make such claim about you unless he has sufficient reasons for it in which case you owe me an explaination since that brings your character into question for me. I am a straight shooter. I always say it the way I feel.

Do you personally advocate bombing Iran? I know as an Israeli citizen your loyalty must be to Israel, but do you have any feelings for Iranian people? That brings me to another question. Do Israeli Iranians care for the Iranian people? I will be waiting eagerly for your answers.

Niloofar / August 21, 2010 7:47 AM

Pouya,

The author was born in Iran - does that not make him Iranian?

Islamist fanatic Pirouz

"Instead of objective analyses from academic sources inside Iran"

hahahahahaha what a joke

"(sarcasm alert)"

Yes objective analyses from sources inside Iran is indeed a sarcastic statement.

Agha Irani / August 21, 2010 8:04 AM

Mr. Asghar Taragheh,

Your disagreement with me is about issues concerning the inner politics of Iran. That is quite all right. I welcome it. I will be the first one to admit having not lived in Iran I lack much of the insight that a lot of you demonstrate. But I am sincere about my feelings and I will not hesitate to post them.My best wishes.

Niloofar / August 21, 2010 8:23 AM

Good Article! And I can't understand why some commentators above are pointing finger to Meir Javedanfar's country of residence[home country?]! Read the article and see if it is full of shit or not. If it is not full of it, which in this case is NOT, give some kudos to TB and the author who had several articles on guardian supporting Iran's Green Movement.

Amin / August 21, 2010 8:41 AM

pouya and pirooz, as usual you have talked before reading and thinking. Consider reading and using the brsin God has given you and read the words...

Farshid / August 21, 2010 11:27 AM

Sooner or later, you must cross the finish line no matter how much you drag your feet. That is, unless you find excuse to quit altogether. So, Bushehr had to be finished sometimes unless Russians openly retracted on signed contracts without legal justification to do so.

Russians tried to to give Americans time to deal with Iranian enrichment program. But, for over 5 years, Americans refused to talk as long as Iranians do not stop enrichment. In same time, they were unable to actually force them to stop without large war. Sanctions only push Iran down North Korea path and war which cold not cause regime change (meaning invasion) would just fast-track that pat. So, "After you stop enrichment" and "We won't stop enrichment" became unofficial greeting between USA and Iran.

Of curse, nobody in the West considers alternative which is reliably providing reactor fuel to Iran under stable prices. And Iran must prevent "Ukrainian gas bill" type of shock if they ever going to rely on nuclear energy for large percentage of their need.

In absence of nuclear energy, most economic way to produce energy for most Middle East countries is burning unrefined heavy fuel. So much for carbon footprint and environmental concerns. So some consistent strategy would be in order here. I know that you should not expect one from John Bolton. He and his likely minded obstructionists are satisfied to make life more difficult to Democrats and unfortunate people of affected countries. In same time, their ideas were abandoned even by European colonial forces shortly after WWII.

Mladen / August 21, 2010 2:21 PM

I find it incredible that I am being judged and attacked because as well as being an Iranian, I am also am an Israeli.

I am sure such attacks make president Ahmadinejad and the Basij very happy.

Tehran Bureau is a place where persons, regardless of race or religion come to discuss ideas, based on intellect and evidence. So if you wish to criticize me, please stick to the contents of my article and arguments and not my nationality. I am very proud of who I am and don't have to justify my identity to anyone.

Regards,
Meir Javedanfar
Tel Aviv,
Israel

Meir Javedanfar / August 21, 2010 6:24 PM

Why are you judging people based on
their nationality? Shame on you!

Negar / August 21, 2010 7:18 PM

Meir, I for one am not judging your article based on you "nationality" - I wish more than anything that we had a sane, fair minded Israeli Iranian writer in Israel.

It's your hypocritical, warmonginering (even if you try to brand it otherwise) pieces I've read on Tehran Bureau and elsewhere that make me cringe. You and your boss Bibi aren't doing any good for the world. I doubt Ahmadinejad cares for comments on forums here. You and Bibi's fanatical leanings however, make him squeal with delight. You and your posse, Ahmadinejad and Bibi, are taking the world to WWIII. Why not find a new hobby instead?

Houshang / August 21, 2010 7:55 PM

to the person who wrote Mr. Javendafar advocates the bombing of Iran - I would like to know how you've reached such a conclusion? As a personal friend of Mr. Javendafar, I know exactly to what extant he is against it. Numerous times already, on Israeli networks on prime time, he argued that bombing Iran would serve no good for Israel. He has reiterated those claims in many columns and articles and repeatedly refused to take part of the Israeli threat perception. I for one, as an Israeli, disagree with him on exactly this issue. I would be more than happy to discuss personally with Iranians about the topic. so please feel free to contact me. I wish the Iranian people that the current regime will not bring devastation upon a land with such a long and splendid tradition and history.

Assaf Rapoport / August 21, 2010 8:36 PM

Mr. Javedanfar,

I did not question your nationality. I asked you a straight question. Although Mr. Rapoport clealy answered it, I would like to hear it from you personally.
Do you advocate bombing of Iran? What is the general feelings of Israeli Iranians towards Iran? I await your respose. Thank you.

Niloofar / August 21, 2010 10:46 PM

Niloofar,

you write: "The regime in Iran is extremely pragmatic and would never put its own existence in danger despite all its rhetoric."

My question is, how is the world to be assured of this? Wouldn't it make more sense for the regime to abandond such rethoric, rather than to expect the world not to take it seriously?
Or if it chooses not to, than it should bear the consequences.

Another concern is that once Iran has a nuclear bomb, it will have it through regime changes. While we are naturally rooting for the Green Movement to take over, it is not a certainty that the next government will be saner than the present one. It is justified to fear a Muslim state acquring nuclear weapons, considering the ideology of Islam focused on jihad and martyrdom.

Altalena / August 21, 2010 11:23 PM

Pirouz Israel is a Superpower because of the superior intellect and drive of its forward-looking citizenry and culture. We do not stone our adulterors or execute them like your backward people do. When we are done dismantling your nuclear program you will have seen with yur own eyes the superiority of 8 million Jews.

Jim Varoll / August 21, 2010 11:51 PM

Niloofar,
Mr Javedanfar can answer for himself.
But do you advocate the Iranian government paying for Hamas to kill Israelis?
And are you aware that the Iranian government has already declared war against Israel from the early 90s by supporting Hamas and Hezbollah?
Hamas has killed 1000 Israelis! Who is Iran to finance the death of our citizens? I know we have differences with Palestinians. I am for the peace process. But we are not occupying no Iranian land, yet your country has paid for the death of my compatriots. That is war. If Iran had financed the killing of 1000 Americans on the streets of Washington, like Iran has on the streets of Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, the Americans would have bombed your country long time ago.
So please stop this rhetoric that Iran is competing with Israel.
The Islamic regime wants us all dead. It says so, and it has shown it to us.

mashreq / August 21, 2010 11:54 PM

Please read the article before making inane comments about the author's warmongering. Doesn't the fact that he is highly critical of John Bolton suggest to you that Javedanfar is against using force against Iran? I am glad that there is an Israeli Iranian analyst out there who constantly gives us interesting insights. Also, the fact that he is Israeli means that Israelis are more willing to listen to his pragmatic arguments than listen to the cliched rants of people like Pirouz.

Ali / August 22, 2010 12:40 AM

Mashreq, (Mashreq in Persian means East. Am I on the right track?)
"But do you advocate the Iranian government paying for Hamas to kill Israelis?"

I hate the Islamists period and I hate the Barbaric regime in Iran. You can see my postings all over the place and judge for yourself. But I love my country and I will do whatever humanly possible to prevent a conflict between our two nations.
I think Iran has no business with Hamas and Hezb and I support my fellow Iranians who by putting their lives on the line on the streets of Iran made it quite clear to those willing to listen that their primary concern is the future of the Iranian people and the prosperity of their country. A very different message to that of the Islamist thugs of the Barbaric regime.

I have never heard any slogans against Israel or the Israeli people by the supporters of the Green movement. So please take a good swallow of some cold water, lean back and let's have a constructive dialogue.

"Hamas has killed 1000 Israelis! Who is Iran to finance the death of our citizens?"

Some Iranians would bring up the Palestinian issue in response to your question. I speak for Niloofar and those Iranians who think like Niloofar and we are numerous.
It is shameful that with the passage of 60 years neither side has managed to arrive at a just solution. I feel the blame is on both sides and we would like Iranians to assume a neutral position and help both parties to achieve a just peace. Israeli Palestinian problem is not a business of Iran and I have heard more Palestinians telling Iran to butt out than Israelis.
Is my wish possible with the presence of the Barbaric Republic? You know as well as I, NO. So, don't you think it is in our mutual interest to rid ourselves from this menace?

“So please stop this rhetoric that Iran is competing with Israel.
The Islamic regime wants us all dead. It says so, and it has shown it to us.”

Mashreq, where did you see that? Please point me in that direction because you will indeed show me something new. I am not denying it. I would like to see it. Please show me some facts.
Again, the regime is pragmatic. In fact both regimes are pragmatic. The Persian Iran is trying for support in the Arab streets otherwise it would not have and Israel courtesy of Ahmadinejad is banking on the bogeyman image of Iran.

Mashreq, neither side is innocent. How would Iran at the present time challenge the nuclear might of Israel? Even in a year from now. Three years from now. Are all Iranians idiots? Excuse me, but come to America and take a look at the Iranian community. They can be the pride of any nation including yours.

Altalena: (what does Altalena mean? It is a beautiful name.)

In conclusion I would like to quote a gentleman who is far more knowledgeable than I about the nuclear facts vs. myth surrounding Iran. I will extract the portion of his response that applies to your questions.

“Iran has not been declared to be violating the NPT. The IAEA has said that Iran was in six cases of minor noncompliance with its Safeguards Agreement, which is vastly different from violating the NPT. And, the February 2008 report of the IAEA declared that all the six cases have been addressed to its satisfaction.
A NPT member state violates the NPT if, (1) it makes a nuclear weapon; (2) It helps another member state to do so, and (3) it transfers its nuclear technology to a non-member state. None has happened in Iran's case. Note, however, that the US has done (2) and (3).”
Dr. M. Sahimi

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/tehranbureau/2010/07/the-drumbeats-of-war-with-iran-are-getting-louder.html

Facts vs. myth and Dr Sahimi clearly states the facts. These facts are verifiable.

Prior to 1979, Iran and Israel were the best of friends. What happened Altalena? Did we Iranians go to sleep one night and woke up as jehadi idiots? Neither Iranians nor Israelis need another enemy. It is up to us ordinary citizens to bring our maverick politicians in line. Facts vs. myth. I trust we will. We have no other choice. God bless.

Jim Varol,

We all have our down time. So did you. Not much superiority back then hey? Look into the origin of stoning. It will humble you. We are not proud of it, but I have no doubt we will emerge victorious as did your people and I am proud of it for the sake of humanity at large.
Hale Hitler Jim. You take it from there.

Mr.JAVEDANFAR,

Now would you like to answer my questions?

Niloofar / August 22, 2010 3:33 AM

Is it not possible, however ill-advised, for Iran to simply throw IAEA and Russia out of the country and do whatever they want with Bushehr after it is fired-up?

Ed Franks / August 22, 2010 4:52 AM

Meir,

To be fair there are comments from Iranians here questioning the validity of accusations made against you based on nationality and by implication religion.

I believe this type of bigoted racist posturing is limited to the agents of the islamist republic who are waging their "soft war" campaign.

Notice they have not replied (as yet) to the points that you were born in Iran and therefore you are Iranian.

Agha Irani / August 22, 2010 4:55 AM


Hi Meir
Thanks for the article. You clearly stated your point and tried to describe, one of many, different scenarios that might be in works.

I hope the dark sarcasm of some folks here, has not discouraged you to write and share your ideas , no matter who controversial they might seem to some readers. Again i admire your work.


Dont let to be bothered by Hooligans here. Its not just israel who has to deal with Hammas like nuisance . Tehranbureau is infested with harassment of zealots like Niloofar ....etc as well. They are not here to make a constructive argument. They just like to generalize then attack, then attack and yell, and if that doesnt work as well then they start to use a dark and venomous sarcasm to make you stop answering them, which from what i see, it satisfy their unstable psyche. That is the kind of gratifications that they are looking for and not a discourse of any meaningful consequence.
Some people think they have monopoly of truth and are qualified to disqualify others from their identity ,if they wish so!
In Niloofar kind, you shall find one of the most venomous , uneducated, over zealot varieties out here. Somebody that would attack your article sensationally without offering any factual evidence to support, somebody that attacks your nationalities and dare to qualify who as a person are or should be...etc.


Looking forward to read more of you soon.

PersianTraveler / August 22, 2010 4:59 AM

Jim Varoll:

You are absolutely correct:

Only a superpower can illegally occupy the Palestinians lands since 1967, if not 1948.

Only a superpower steals the water resourcs and most fertile lands of Palestinians in the West Bank.

Only a superpower can create the largest open air jail on earth, the Gaza.

Only a superpower can ignore so many UN Resolutions against it.

Only a superpower can occupy southern Lebanon for 22 years, and then attack it at will.

Only a superpower sets up an apartheid state for the Palestinians in the West Bank with impunity.

Only a superpower forces pregnant Palestinian women to go through tens of military check points in their own lands to reach a hospital.

Only a superpower jails its own citizen because he revealed the secrets about Israel illegal nuclear program.

Only a superpower can attack USS Liberty with impunity.

Only a super power can attack unarmed humantarians who wanted to help the desperate people of Gaza.

I totally agree with you. But, I have news for you.

All superpower have disappeared from the face of Earth, from Rome, to Egypt, to France, Britain, and the Soviet Union, and given its state of affairs, the US is not far behind.

So, given that this superpower receives $3 billion/year in overt aide and much more in covert aide from the US just to survive, and given the state of affairs in the US, I would not count on being able to dismantle Iran's nuclear program.

I suggest you take your lies, arrogance, hollow propaganda, and sense of "superiority" elsewhere.

Asghar Taragheh / August 22, 2010 6:10 AM

great comments everyone, in particular Niloufar

@Jim Varoll

..."Pirouz Israel is a Superpower because of the superior intellect and drive of its forward-looking citizenry and culture. We do not stone our adulterors or execute them like your backward people do. When we are done dismantling your nuclear program you will have seen with yur own eyes the superiority of 8 million Jews"....

superior intellect and drive of its forward-looking citizenry and culture??? ....do i hear Nazism?

so lets kill everyone else who is not Jew...??

i stop here..not worth of replying...

dear moderator
you agree with the Jewish Nazi?

Alal / August 22, 2010 10:48 AM

Alal,

I don't believe in anyone's superiority.

moderator / August 22, 2010 6:07 PM

Traveler,

How nice of you to drop in. It is wonderful to hear from you. Honestly dear, people can judge me for themselves.I know dear, my previous comments about the Barbaric Republic and the Islamist elites bothered a whole lot of you. But then you people chose to follow an idiot called Khomeini. You only have yourselves to blame.

May I suggest a dose of peptobismol? Very soothing dear under the present circunstances. Just pass it on to your buddies on the way out.

Niloofar / August 22, 2010 7:37 PM

Houshang

Well said.

Niloofar

I was making a rhetorical attack. I apologize if it was misleading.

To the rest:

I warn the readers of this article because of their presumptions regarding the background of the author. Let's examine this issue. The former defense secretary of Israel is born in Yazd. Yet, he advocated the use of nuclear weapons on Iran to preemptively eliminated a threat to his beloved Israel. Is he an Iranian? Just because you were born in a nation, does that make you Iranian? I have Jewish Iranian friends that could not see Iran get a papercut much less the advocation of military strikes. On the other hand, I have, now former, friends who have openly said "Iran should be wiped out," long before Ahmadinejad became President. Are the latter people Iranian? they were born there too. I have pointed out in my previous postings, when black americans were faced with slavery they joined Lincoln's army. When their rights were denied they formed black platoons and served in the first and second world wars. They did not go to Germany or Russia and advocate the "wiping" America off the map. Did they? Is the Jewish situation is Iran worse than Black Slaves? Are they any worse than any other minority in Iran? Are they worse off than the Bahai's? Have you ever heard a single Bahai wish Iran be bombed? Then, we must recognize that, that minority amongst the Iranian Jewish community who advocate war at any cost with Iran, are no longer considered Iranians.

There must be a set of values that makes one recognized as Iranian in heritage. I think not wishing war on Iran would serve as a good first point. I recognize America's right to nuke any nation, including Iran, if that nation would use such weapons on America. United States has a right to defend herself.

Please notice, Mr. Javedanfar's response did not deny his advocation of war on Iran. That's because his stance on that desire for war is very well documneted by his own writings. Second, also notice, he was quick to evoke the "race" issue, when he says "I find it incredible that I am being judged and attacked because as well as being an Iranian, I am also am an Israeli." Yes, he is trying to say this is antisemitism. Yes, Mr. Javedanfar, we see where you're trying to go with this. But it won't silence us! Then he goes on the attack by using a broad brush to paint those who criticize him as "I am sure such attacks make president Ahmadinejad and the Basij very happy." This is another way, and his effort, to say "don't criticize me again, because if you do you must be Basiji." Nice try!! And still, no word on denying to wish war upon Iran.

To Mr. Javedanfar:

You are being criticized based on your overall stance on issues. As a man who wished death of many, your writings become suspect, thus are rejected everytime you put pen on paper. That is a lesson you should learn and remember as you progress in you human development.

You are right to say "Tehran Bureau is a place where persons, regardless of race or religion come to discuss ideas, based on intellect and evidence." Yes, this is not HuffingtonPost where you can freely censor those who politely criticize you. That is a positive aspect of TB. But I have been previously critical of TB that it contained too many writers like yourself and lacked more moderate view points who could give us a less biased opinion on Iran. I must say, that it seems someone is listening at TB, because a broader point of view has been brought in recently. I hope this trend continues and we are exposed to broader points of views. In such settings, where truth and human dignity are respected, you and your cohorts find little air to survive. That is what is happening to your current article. So, don't find it "incredible" that you can't live in an uncensored world.

YOUR WRINTINGS NEED CENSORSHIP TO SURVIVE SCRUTINY!!

Pouya / August 23, 2010 12:35 AM

Altalena,

I am curious to know why you picked this name to post under. I liked it so much I did a little research on it and guess where I landed, IRGUN. To make it short, so radical that even Ben-Gurion had to stand up to them and the rest is history.

So Herr Varoll,

Even Israelis like the rest of us inferior species have had to evolve and better themselves through the short history of that country. HOW HUMAN, HOW ORDINARY like the rest of us. שלום?

Niloofar / August 23, 2010 1:34 AM

Niloofar,


What?!! You don't approve of the Irgun?


As punishment, you must remain in class after school hours and write this line 1000 times on the blackboard:


1. Sirys freed the Juice from the Bubble-Onions.
2. Sirys freed the Juice from the Bubble-Onions.
3. Sirys ...

Ali from Tehran / August 23, 2010 2:14 AM

Ali,

LOLOLOL

Sometimes you are too much.

I must admit I just love your command of the English language.
There is something about that English schooling, is it not mate?

Pouya,

I am not going to pretend I have total knowledge of Mr. Javedanfar's articles, but he can rest assured I will dig them up. I find his silence very disturbing and as far as I am concerned his silence speak volumes. I am right beside you and we have every right to ask. And no, it is not just Iran. It concerns the future of both countries and both peoples. Enough of political theatrics on both sides.

Niloofar / August 23, 2010 5:11 AM

Dear all,

Hope you are well.
There are a lot of questions to be answered here. But I will stick to the one which seems to be bothering some people here.

To me, when deciding what is best for the future of a country, I believe that pragmatism should go before nationalism. Becoming blind with nationalistic and religious fervor has lead to many wrong decisions being made.

In terms of dealing with the Islamic Republic's differences with Israel, I believe that we should, in fact we must try to resolve our differences through dialogue. And I call upon the leaders of the Islamic Republic to recognize Israel's right to exist, and stop calling for its destruction, so that we can sit and resolve our differences in a civilized manner.

Just like Iranian people, Israeli people have their pride too, and the Iranian leadership must stop humiliating them by calling the most painful part of their history (the holocaust) a lie, to stop publishing cartoons which ridicule their dead, while calling their democratically elected country a germ, a virus and a cancer.

I believe that Iran and Israel are natural allies. They have the longest friendship in the history of the Middle East, and the Islamic government's hatred for Israel is not for national interest of Iran and Iranians. It is only for their own interests.

You are welcome to follow my work for the Tehran Bureau and other publications by subscribing to my mailing list:
http://middleeastanalyst.com/email-subscription/

Thanks and regards,
Meir

Meir Javedanfar / August 23, 2010 1:22 PM

Mr. Javedanfar,

Thank you for your delayed response. A great speech sir. You really sound like a Republican or a Democrat running for a political office. Perhaps you are indeed.

Since you did not touch on the nuclear issue and a possible military action against Iran, I take it as the issue has been dropped. In which case, we can all go home and live happily ever after.

P.S.
According to the latest stats from Iran, 80% of Iranians would like an alternative to the religious establishment, 14% would like to see reform within the same establishment and the remaining 6% support the status quo. If I was an Israeli, I would pick the right crowd. You are right Mr. Javedanfar, the pride runs deep on both sides. Let's enjoy a different kind of fire works. It is only logical.

Niloofar / August 23, 2010 7:48 PM

Dear Meir,

Keep up the good work. I enjoyed reading the piece and clear cut analysis.


Mohammad

Mohammad / August 24, 2010 12:43 AM

Mr Javendafar,
I think you answered Niloofar really well. Its good balanced and objective.
Her comment shows that she just couldn't take it. Very sad. With all her supposed peaceful gestures, she ridiculed you when you called for negotiations and talks between both sides, instead of supporting.
It show that despite her so called hatred of the regime, she supports its ideals for recognition of Israel. So she is the person who want war here.

Well done, and continue with your work.

mashreq / August 24, 2010 1:29 AM

Mashreq,

Talk about a shallow analysis on your part. I am truly sorry for your kind. Take what? His refusal to answer me directly? If I wanted war with Israel and had the support of the Barbaric Republic in mind, I would say so. Who is going to stop me, You? Javedanfar? The idiots Khamenei and Ahmadinejad? or the new assigned super general of generals who is supposedly sending a clear message to Iran, the one and only Yoav Galant?
Take a number kid. The last thing both countries need is war. THINK.

Niloofar / August 24, 2010 5:46 AM

Dear Niloofar,
thanks for the link about how Iran complies with the NPT. However, since the article fails even to mention the secret facility at Qom, it can't be taken seriously. Iran obviously has plenty of opportunities to build other secret underground enrichment facilities that are presently unknown.

You write: "Prior to 1979, Iran and Israel were the best of friends. What happened Altalena?"

You tell me what happened; I don't know how a tremendously rich culture like the Persian can tolerate being ruled by Jihadists. Islam happened, that's my best guess.

'Altalena' was the pen-name of Ze'ev Zhabotinsky, as you have researched. It is an Italian word that means 'swing' - it refers to the nature of the human soul which keeps alternating, 'swinging' between different moods and views. It reminds me that we as humans are far from perfection.
I don't necessarily approve of Irgun, but Zhabotinsky was a very clear-sighted man who saw the hopelessness of the Jewish-Arab conflict long before anyone else.

Altalena / August 24, 2010 2:25 PM

Pirouz writes "instead of objective analys[i]s from academic sources inside Iran".

Who would these people be??? Anyone truely objective inside Iran would not want to risk their livelyhood to post an honest article about their governments actions on a website. But if you can find one, I'm sure PBS would gladly post it here.

muhammad billy bob / August 25, 2010 12:43 AM

John Bolton? Really? Again? You guys seem to be obsessed with this guy.

Bolton was appointed by Bush II to the U.N. but was not confirmed by the U.S. Senate, for good reason. And therefore was not a representative of U.S. policy. What he is, is an idealog of an extremely minor opinion of U.S. foreign affairs.

Why not quote my next-door neighbor Bill Anderson? His opinions carry the same weight as Bolton's. Probably more weight. He was never voted down by the U.S. senate.

Muhammad billy bob / August 25, 2010 1:04 AM

Altalena,

Dr. Sahimi's points still stand. The secret facility at Qum is no longer a secret and very much known to IAEA at the present time. Please refer to IAEA's reports. I cannot comment on additional secret facilities since I would not know about them. Consequently any assumption is nothing but an assumption and not a fact.

Islam happened close to 14 centuries ago and Iranians were Muslim prior to 1979. The issue is not Islam, but Islamists in the name of Islam. You can find bad and good in any religion. Nazis were not Buddhists Altalena. They were Christian just as the other Eastern European communities that were cruel to their Jewish populations. Judaism is no exception either.

I believe you will find the closest presentation of the current state of affairs between Iran, Israel and U.S. in Tony Karon's article.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/tony-karon/post_739_b_692882.html

You can also refer to the following two segments to see how Israel deceived everyone in order to have its nuclear bomb(s) and how its sercret was discovered.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PYeJ7uIPEbE&feature=related

and

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7sfIh3poEDc


Everybody is fishing Altalena. There is no absolute truth. Try to read between the lines and refer to logic. I wish you the best in life.


Mr. Javedanfar,

Greetings. How are you taday?

Niloofar / August 28, 2010 12:31 PM

Niloofar

"The secret facility at Qum is no longer a secret and very much known to IAEA at the present time. Please refer to IAEA's reports. I cannot comment on additional secret facilities since I would not know about them. Consequently any assumption is nothing but an assumption and not a fact." That is the damning truth that won't come out of Meir's mouth.

I urge readers to read Meir's articles on HuffingtonPost and other outlets, his love to kill Iranians just oozes out.

Meir

"I believe that Iran and Israel are natural allies" you say. Let me make something clear, Iranians and Israelis like you, have nothing in common. Iran is not founded on 70 years of denying ethnic cleansing. When Iranians poored onto the streets of Tehran last year, many wanted a democratic and inclusive society based on modern secular values. One that includes all Iranians regardless of religion or ethnic background, even one that includes an Iran hater like you. That is very inconsistent with Israels' wish to use the levers of law, warfare, and ethnic cleansing to maintain a "majority Jewish state." Iranians in the opposition seek to end Shiite rule and form an inclusive state. That is very contrary to the desires of Israelis like yourself. It is that backward, inhumane desire to maintain an artificial majority Jewish state that has Israel in conflict with every neighboring nations and people. Blaming Iran will not end discriminatory principals that are the foundations of your nation. That is the problem! In fact, not even the IR has built concrete walls around entire cities to wall off human beings. Not even the IR cuts off water, electricity or food to entire cities, even though the central government has been in conflict with Kurds and the Baluchis. It is time to accept responsibility and stop blaming others. The only thing your country has in common with Iran is its desire to remain a Jewish Republic of Israel as the mullahs attempt to keep the Islamic Republic of Iran. Israel has much in common with the regime in Iran in that respect.

The only way Israel would be considered a democratic state is when we all deny the existence of Palestinians as human beings under the control of your nation. That is obviously something that is within your capabilities.

let's hope that Israelis like yourself, someday see the wisdom of accepting responsibility for their own actions. After all, what were you "peace loving" people doing before 1979? Is Iran responsible for Israel's occupation of the Golan? Is Iran responsible for 60 years of settlement build up in Palestinian lands? Is it Iranian banks, and contruction companies who refuse to stop building settlements? Is Iran blocking food into Gaza? The fact is that Iran is only able to maneuver in that part of the world because of Israel's own stupidity. I hope the state of Israel continues to exist because anythingelse would lead to another human catastrophe, similar to the one Palestinians have suffered. Two wrongs don't make a right. Most Iranians feel the same way.

If everyone stopped denying the Holocaust would be a great thing. I agree with you. But you misrepresent the issue when you say the "leaders" of Iran should stop doing that. Mr. Khatami said "denying the Holocaust is denying history." Ay. Khamanei has never denied it. Even Ahmadinejad said, at his Columbia speech, "If you say it happened, I accept it as a historic fact." The fact is that he does not deny it, he simply says he doesn't care. He further says "if it happened where did it happen?" In another words, his main thrust is that why are the Palestinians paying for it. Now, we could all argue about whether the Palestinian issue is any of Iranian concerns, that's a fair debate. Finally, arguing and hating people based on their opinion on the holocaust is not going to make Israel safe. Only Israel makes Israel safe when she treats her neighbors with dignity and humanity. Israel can't even keep her friendship with Turkey; is that Iran's fault? Blame yourselves first, everything will fall into place.

I second your positive comments about dialogue and peaceful settelement of any concerns. I hope it will be reflected in your future writings on Iran. I am eager to believe that, and develop a positive opinion of you. May Israel and all people around her live safely and peacefully for thousands of years to come. I wish you and your family well.

Pouya / August 29, 2010 12:18 PM