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Headlines: Khamenei: No Talks with US

18 Aug 2010 18:053 Comments

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Talks with US only if sanctions are dropped: Khamenei

AFP | Aug 18, 2010

Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on Wednesday that any talks with arch-foe the United States would occur only if Washington drops "sanctions and threats" against Tehran.

"The respected president (Mahmoud Ahmadinejad) and others have said that we are ready for negotiations. It is right. But not with America," Khamenei told a gathering of senior Iranian officials, including Ahmadinejad, in a speech broadcast on state television.

"The reason is that America does not enter the field honestly as a normal negotiator. They should drop the face of a superpower, they should drop threats, they should drop sanctions and they should not set a goal for negotiations. Then we are ready."

CIA forms new center to combat nukes, WMDs

AP | Aug 18, 2010

The CIA is opening a counterproliferation center to combat the spread of dangerous weapons and technology, a move that comes as Iran is on the verge of fueling up a new nuclear power plant.

CIA Director Leon Panetta said Wednesday that the new unit would place CIA operators side by side with the agency's analysts to brainstorm plans to "confront the threat of weapons of mass destruction -- nuclear, chemical and biological."

The center would formalize the collaboration between the agency's analysts and operators, a close working relationship that CIA spokesman George Little said already has yielded intelligence successes.

London blasts Iran over stoning case

AFP | Aug 18, 2010

London said Iran had showed an "unwillingness" to follow even its own standards in recent judicial cases, after a junior foreign minister met Iran's ambassador on Wednesday.

The Foreign Office said Alistair Burt and ambassador Rasoul Movahedian discussed the case of Sakineh Mohammadi-Ashtiani, a 43-year-old mother of two sentenced to death by stoning by an Iranian court.

A Foreign Office statement said: "These cases are indicative of a continued unwillingness by Iran to follow even its own judicial standards and due process.

Rafsanjani urges national unity

AFP | Aug 18, 2010

Chairman of Iran's Expediency Council Ayatollah Akbar Hashemi-Rafsanjani has called for national unity.

"People, parties and statesmen should be prudent in maintaining unity against foreign meddling and mischief so as to disappoint enemies in fulfilling their vicious objectives," ISNA reported the senior cleric as saying on Tuesday.

'Public Clamor' seeking venue

Mehr | Aug 18, 2010

The director of the play "Public Clamor" is seeking another theater after the cancellation of its performances at Tehran's Molavi Hall following the hall's closure.

Shadmehr Rastin has threatened to stage it in an art gallery or a movie theater if the Center for Dramatic Arts fails to allocate a theater for his play.

"Our troupe is committed to performing the play," Rastin told the Persian service of ISNA on Wednesday.

"Public Clamor" was scheduled to be performed at the Molavi Hall from July 18 for a month.

However, it was canceled after the hall was shut down by the University of Tehran on June 22 with no specific reason mentioned for the abrupt decision.

Clerics responsible for Iran's failed attempts at democracy

WaPo | Aug 18, 2010

Thursday marks the anniversary of one of the most mythologized events in history, the 1953 coup in Iran that ousted Prime Minister Muhammad Mossadeq. CIA complicity in that event has long provoked apologies from American politicians and denunciations from the theocratic regime. The problem with the prevailing narrative? The CIA's role in Mossadeq's demise was largely inconsequential. The institution most responsible for aborting Iran's democratic interlude was the clerical estate, and the Islamic Republic should not be able to whitewash the clerics' culpability.

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3 Comments

Nice WaPo article!

Agha Irani / August 19, 2010 10:38 PM

WaPo's article is only half the story. plenty of clerics supported Mosadegh and to suggest otherwise is blatantly untrue and harms legitimate criticism of the role clerics in Iranian politics. Only through honesty can we move forward. For a good narrative of what happened, I suggest reading Abrahamian's A History of Modern Iran. And to premptively dispel any of the usual ad hominems that are thrown around on this board--I am know supporter of the Veylat e Faqih.

Ibn Daniyal / August 20, 2010 2:23 PM

"The respected president (Mahmoud Ahmadinejad) and others have said that we are ready for negotiations. It is right. But not with America,"

This is an incorrect quote. Khamenei did not say anything new, just reiterated his position that as long as the US talks to Iran from the position of a superpower, continues with the sanctions, etc. Iran will not negotiate with it. Here is the quote from Khamenei's website :

"Ayatollah Khamenei said: "We have rejected negotiations with the US for clear reasons. This is because engaging in negotiations under threats and pressure is not in fact considered as negotiation. And it is due to the same reason that the honorable officials of the country have stated that the Islamic Republic is ready to engage in negotiations but not with a US that is seeking to conduct negotiations under threats, sanctions and bullying."

This is much different from categorically rejecting negotiations. What is interesting however is how Khamenei has made public his difference with Ahmadinejad on this matter. Was Ahmadinejad testing the waters, and got slapped on the wrist?

Rasool / August 21, 2010 12:41 AM