Tag Archives | Iran
When we hear that the United States government is announcing a new policy, it is usually the result of a detailed process, a calculated weighing of options and scenarios in which planners seek to calculate the likely impact and reaction to policies they are advocating.
The stepped-up anti-Iranian sanctions strategy now underway was not an off the top of the head impulsive decision, but one reached through a process of careful strategizing — as in, if we do this, what are they likely to do?
It’s just one step of an ongoing process with many stages that usually leads to armed conflict even if it is always presented as a way to reduce conflict.
Sometimes strategists seek to provoke the very responses they decry. Sometimes, they calibrate policies with allies; sometimes they undertake initiatives that are suggested or planned by allies, especially Tel-Aviv which has been promoting the crusade, at first loudly, threatening unilateral action, but then, quietly, maneuvering Washington publicly into the lead.… Read the rest
The religious bounty on the head of Satanic Verses author Salman Rushie will be the basis for a video game under development in Iran, the Guardian reports:
Salman Rushdie was the target of a notorious fatwa issued by Ayatollah Khomeini, the founder of the Islamic republic of Iran, 23 years ago.
The Stressful Life of Salman Rushdie and Implementation of his Verdict is the title of the game being developed by the Islamic Association of Students, a government-sponsored organisation which announced this week it had completed initial phases of production.
News of the game came as Tehran on Tuesday played host to the country’s second International Computer Games Expo. Little has been revealed about the game but its title suggests players will be asked to implement Khomeini’s call for the killing of Rushdie.
Watch as our consensus reality mutates over time. A twentieth-century print advertisement by a consortium of American nuclear power companies, via Wikipedia:
Earlier this year, I was in Tehran for a conference on Hollywood’s power and impact. It was called “Hollywoodism,” featuring many scholars and critics of the values and political ideologies featured in many major movies with a focus on the way Israel (a.k.a., “the Zionists”) are continually portrayed as if they do no wrong.
What we didn’t know then while we were debating these issues was that some of Hollywood’s biggest stars were at that very moment making a movie that will certainly be perceived as hostile to Iran, if not part of the undeclared war that Israel and the United States are waging with crippling economic sanctions and malicious cyber viruses.
The movie is Argo, and the hype for it has already begun. In a business driven by formula, a “hostage thriller” must have been irresistible to an industry always more consumed by itself and its own frames of reference than anything happening in the real world.… Read the rest
It’s official — Barack Obama covertly made history by engaging in cyberwarfare against Iran. New York Times breaks the news:
… Read the rest
From his first months in office, President Obama secretly ordered increasingly sophisticated attacks on the computer systems that run Iran’s main nuclear enrichment facilities, significantly expanding America’s first sustained use of cyberweapons, according to participants in the program.
Mr. Obama decided to accelerate the attacks — begun in the Bush administration and code-named Olympic Games. Computer security experts who began studying the worm, which had been developed by the United States and Israel, gave it a name: Stuxnet.
This account of the American and Israeli effort to undermine the Iranian nuclear program is based on interviews over the past 18 months with current and former American, European and Israeli officials involved in the program, as well as a range of outside experts. None would allow their names to be used because the effort remains highly classified, and parts of it continue to this day.
An alarming (or is it alarmist?) report by Daniel Golden for Bloomberg News:
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Michigan State University President Lou Anna K. Simon contacted the Central Intelligence Agency in late 2009 with an urgent question.
The school’s campus in Dubai needed a bailout and an unlikely savior had stepped forward: a Dubai-based company that offered to provide money and students.
Simon was tempted. She also worried that the company, which had investors from Iran and wanted to recruit students from there, might be a front for the Iranian government, she said. If so, an agreement could violate federal trade sanctions and invite enemy spies.
The CIA couldn’t confirm that the company wasn’t an arm of Iran’s government. Simon rejected the offer and shut down undergraduate programs in Dubai, at a loss of $3.7 million.
Hearkening back to Cold War anxieties, growing signs of spying on U.S. universities are alarming national security officials.
Middle East expert Seymour Hersh reveals the United States’ military’s ties with The People’s Mujahedin of Iran, a/k/a M.E.K., in the New Yorker:
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From the air, the terrain of the Department of Energy’s Nevada National Security Site, with its arid high plains and remote mountain peaks, has the look of northwest Iran. The site, some sixty-five miles northwest of Las Vegas, was once used for nuclear testing, and now includes a counterintelligence training facility and a private airport capable of handling Boeing 737 aircraft. It’s a restricted area, and inhospitable—in certain sections, the curious are warned that the site’s security personnel are authorized to use deadly force, if necessary, against intruders.
It was here that the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) conducted training, beginning in 2005, for members of the Mujahideen-e-Khalq, a dissident Iranian opposition group known in the West as the M.E.K. The M.E.K. had its beginnings as a Marxist-Islamist student-led group and, in the nineteen-seventies, it was linked to the assassination of six American citizens.