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05:43 PM on 12/11/2009

Iran's rulers lack any common sense, they'd ask this question:

"How much better off would we be right now had we not committed so many visible crimes? Did we accomplish what we hoped to achieve or the opposite?"

Anyone can see that such questions aren't asked. Like a runaway freight train, the regime commits a new and shameful crime almost daily. Trying to undo the damage afterwards with silly propaganda makes things worse for the regime. No one provides better fodder for satire that this government. No one does more to increase defections among former supporters.

Things have reached the point where anyone who now tries to defend the undefensible is rightly seen as a complete idiot or paid stooge. Crowds greeting Ahmadinejad and Khamenei shrink to Basilj and bussed in only, making photoshopping essential. Government spokesmen get a demoralizing taste of the regime's unpopularity every time they attempt to speak at a college campus.
09:25 AM on 12/12/2009
" paid stooge" that is exactly what I think of this post. which is it? CIA or Mosad?
01:17 PM on 12/12/2009
Wrong. Wrong on so many levels. Here's an example of Ahmadi's photoshopping a fake crowd:
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04:43 AM on 12/13/2009
paid like paid by the families of all those people killed and maimed during the demonstrations after Iran's so called "election"?

do you always seem like you lived in a capsule underground for the past 50 years?
04:12 PM on 12/11/2009
An assessment of options in dealing with Iran

by Karim Sadjadpour
05:10 PM on 12/11/2009
That was a very good article. I love the bit where now principilist Ali Larijani and Ghalibaf are "moderates" in the new dynamic. Would explain the comments of Mohseni-Eje'i against the latter, too. By the way speaking of his former position at VEVAK, I've heard the purging of many green sympathizers from within the ranks there, as well. With that, it's important to remember the IRGC aren't politically homogeneous, just as in the US military different political affiliations exist among the rank and file. Information on how predominate this is is scant though. In any case, I take polls in Iran with a grain of salt, but for what it's worth:
04:09 PM on 12/11/2009
A bit off topic:

ran regime depicts male student in chador as shaming tactic

Robert Tait, Friday 11 December 2009 16.53 GMT Article history
05:33 PM on 12/11/2009
Yet again, the hard-liners prove that they have the maturity of eleven year old boys.
03:15 PM on 12/11/2009
So long as China doesn't adhere to the sancations against Iran - they are meaningless!
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06:01 PM on 12/11/2009
China, Russia, Germany, France... etc.
01:39 PM on 12/11/2009
Here is a report from the BBC about protesters in Iran. It shows one Iranian protester, Maryam Sabri, who was raped in Iranian prisons for protesting AN. Now that she has sought refuge in Turkey, Iranian authorities are threatening her father back in Iran.
05:16 PM on 12/11/2009
I hope they can get further away than Turkey, or at least make sure to avoid the airports there.
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01:12 PM on 12/11/2009
one more aspect that seems incongruent, We have 120,000 tropps in Iraq and 100,000 in Afghanistan . . . both borders of Iran? . . . Would the USA be a little nervous if Iran had similar forces in Canada and Mexico at the borders?
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01:08 PM on 12/11/2009
Gates is not setting policy is he? . . . .considering Geitner and Summers do. . . of course he does. . . . Obama is really showing how much of a tool he is becoming!
Freedom = real democracy = living wages
01:00 PM on 12/11/2009
The US is not the only country to denounce Iran. Even before Obama came in it was clear they were a valid source of concern, if not an outright threat.

This is not a "neo-con pants-wetting issue" or anything else.

Keep keeping a close eye on Iran and do what is necessary. Many in the 'world community' are in support.

Thank you.
My long hair just cant cover up my red neck.
03:24 AM on 12/12/2009
Irans been a threat since the 70,s Every administration has passed the buck until now, they got nukes.
We instead insisted that Iraq was the problem. Iraq was a problem but they also were the only nation in that part of the world that could keep Iran in check.
Seriously do you think Saddam would let Iran get nukes, No. No. No. Over his dead body , baby!
I'm Just Me!
12:53 PM on 12/11/2009
Iran has run rings around your laughable sanctions, so how are more of the same going to break Iran's desire to get the bomb! Game over already!
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12:31 PM on 12/11/2009
Iran doesn't care about sanctions.
Dem belly full but we hungry
12:22 PM on 12/11/2009
Sanctions never work.

Isn’t it a bit hypocritical of us to have thousands of nukes while telling Iran they can’t have any? Isn’t this a “do as I say, not as I do” situation?

Sure, one could make the case that we’re “responsible” with our nukes and Iran won’t be (even though we’re the only nation to have detonated one outside of tests). Who makes the call whether a nation is responsible enough to have one? Why don’t we have a problem with India and other nations building and testing nukes? We're not consistent.

Does anyone actually think Iran will go around nuking other nations willy-nilly? Iranian leaders are not stupid—they do not have a death wish. A nation would have to be stupid to detonate a nuke against another state, especially against a nation with powerful allies and/or with nukes themselves. Missiles have always been used as a deterrent, by any nation. Iran isn’t any different.

“Do as we say” won’t work, and neither will sanctions. They never do. Could it be that maybe we’d be better off reducing tensions by bringing Iran into the family of nations through constructive diplomacy instead of hypocritical “do as we say, not as we do?” Just a thought.
05:29 PM on 12/11/2009
Well said, but we've offered constructive diplomacy. If they don't like a deal, why don't they continue to talk? There's a lot of internal politics going on, and for the Hardline elements in power, that is anathema to their ideology, and furthermore, a better relationship with the US and West compromises their reins on power. I don't like sanctions, and am skeptical that they can effectively and exclusively target the IRGC corridor. However; the European "Critical Dialogue" (all carrots, no sticks) failed dramatically in changing behavior and just made energy business elite rich from lucrative deals. Similarly, our usual policy of containment without rewards was altered in the Clinton administration, where we reached out to them in search of a Grand Bargain, and Khamene'i rebuffed us (and later when it was proposed the other way, Bush rebuffed them). In the end, there are no good solutions to deal with a country whose leadership is all to ready to bunker down in its isolationism. While I don't see sanctions as doing much, it is a demonstration that we won't back down and a bit of bluster on our part. Tit-for-tat. If they ever want to talk we can reconvene the Geneva Group and everyone saves face. But, a lot of this is really about domestic posturing, in both countries.
12:23 PM on 12/12/2009
Well if you are offered a "deal" that is imposed upon you, would you accept it? Especially if you do not violate any of the rules of the NPT? Tought so.

So the argument that Irn is trying to make a nuke is based on what? Lies and propaganda.

Where did we hear that before? Right. In Iraq. And what did that accomplish? A destabilised Middel East.

So who should be sanctioned here? IMO the US and its allies for illegal wars, bullying other countries and generally making life miserable for everyone else. But i also know that will never happen, because the US would use its nukes - like they have done before as the only country on earth. Who therefore cannot be trusted with nukes??? ONLY THE USA.
05:49 PM on 12/11/2009
There is dangerous power vaccuum in Iran. Khamenie and Ahmadinejad are not really at the helm. A ruthless minority of IRGC is in charge under the auspieces of Hojatieh. That does not bode well for diplomacy or negotiation or lack of going willny nilly if you're familiar with this group.

This is Gary Sick talking:

"Ahmadinejad’s grip is slipping. The ayatollah is losing ground. And the military is on the rise. Gary Sick on how Obama should handle the aftershocks of a political earthquake."
semantics shamantics
12:18 PM on 12/11/2009
Spare us your baloney Gates.
12:15 PM on 12/11/2009
Oooh... "significant' sanctions..... are we sendikng Ahmadinejad to bed without his supper??

The Iranian government (not its people -they are more victims here than anything else) is a corrupt, evil theocracy that, like the Islam powers through the centuries, understands and respects only on thing from "infidel" nations... POWER AND STRENGTH.

Obama thought he could talk to this maniac like a rationale human being... WRONG.. Diplomacy serves only to give them time to obfuscate and stall.

This is where the UN is useless.. .we need a united group, inlcuding Russia and China to help out.. .but it ain't gonna happen
12:13 PM on 12/11/2009
It is not Gates job to call for sanctions.
11:41 AM on 12/11/2009
I am not a person against fighting, but when we look in the past has fighting people made everything come to a halt no it has only given us a little more time to live soon we won't have any time.