Iran

Iran: Election clashes mount as West escalates pressure

By Bill Van Auken, 16 June 2009

Over 100,000 people demonstrated Monday in the streets of Tehran against the results of last week’s presidential election as the Islamic regime’s top clerical leader ordered an investigation of opposition charges of vote-rigging.

The Nation magazine and the Iranian election

By Joe Kishore, 16 June 2009

The Nation magazine, the voice of left-liberal supporters of Obama, has quickly weighed in to support charges of vote-rigging and a “coup d’état” in Iran.

Protests erupt after Iranian election

By Peter Symonds, 15 June 2009

Clashes between police and supporters of defeated candidate Mousavi erupted over the weekend after Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was declared the winner in last Friday’s presidential election.

The New York Times and the Iranian election

By Barry Grey, 15 June 2009

The response of the US media to the Iranian election says more about the state of democracy and the so-called “free press” in America than it does about the state of democratic rights in Iran.

Iranians voting in presidential poll

By Peter Symonds, 12 June 2009

Iranian voters go to the polls today in the first round of the presidential election after a boisterous campaign that has involved hundreds of thousands in rallies and street demonstrations for and against incumbent president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Iranian presidential election: candidates debate strategic shift

By Sahand Avedis and Alex Lantier, 4 June 2009

The campaign for Iran’s June 12 presidential elections has been dominated by debate over national strategy between the four candidates allowed by the clerical Guardian Council to run.

Ahmadinejad speech provokes walkout at UN anti-racism conference

By Richard Phillips, 23 April 2009

Hysterical denunciations by the US, Israel and the European powers of the Iranian president’s speech to the UN’s anti-racism review conference were entirely predictable and part of a highly-orchestrated campaign against the event.

Obama’s “carrot and stick” approach to Iran

By Peter Symonds, 25 March 2009

The US administration made a much publicised gesture toward Iran last Friday with the release of a video by President Obama to mark Nowruz, the Persian New Year. While the tone was conciliatory, the essential strategy remains the “carrot and stick” policy outlined by Obama in his election campaign.

As Hillary Clinton ratchets up rhetoric against Iran

Obama-linked think tank calls for US “nuclear umbrella” in Middle East

By Bill Van Auken, 6 March 2009

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton ratcheted up US rhetoric against Iran as a new report proposed that Washington consider imposing a Cold War-style “nuclear umbrella” over the Middle East.

The Tragedy of the Iranian Revolution

11 February 2009

The tragedy of the Iranian revolution that toppled the Shah’s dictatorship 30 years ago is that the working class proved incapable of assuming a political role commensurate with its social weight in the struggle. For this, Stalinism is responsible.

As oil prices plummet, OPEC meets to consider another production cut

By Patrick O’Connor, 28 November 2008

The value of a barrel of crude oil fell below $50 this month—just one-third of the record $147 a barrel recorded in July—marking the sharpest price collapse since formal futures trading began in 1981.

Iranian regime reacts to Obama’s election

By James Cogan, 13 November 2008

The Iranian view that Obama’s election would lead to a shift in US policy was reflected most clearly in a letter of congratulations sent to the president-elect by Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Oil price drop undermines stability of Iranian regime

By James Cogan, 29 October 2008

With the price of oil plummeting on world markets, the Iranian government of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is confronting a deepening financial and social crisis.

US calls for tougher sanctions on Iran

By James Cogan, 6 August 2008

The Bush administration, with the support of Britain, France and Germany, has announced its intention to seek additional economic sanctions against Iran, in the wake of the Iranian government’s refusal to bow to demands that it freeze uranium enrichment. The lack of any rhetorical heat in the US response, however, provides a further sign that the White House is looking, for the time being at least, to ease the tensions that surround Iran’s nuclear program.

Bush administration ratchets up diplomatic pressure on Iran

By Peter Symonds, 23 July 2008

In the wake of talks in Geneva last weekend, the Bush administration is increasing the pressure on Iran to agree to negotiations over an international incentives package in return for shutting down its uranium enrichment and other nuclear programs. US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice bluntly warned on Monday that Tehran would face a new round of “punitive measures” in the UN Security Council if its formal response, for which a two-week deadline has been set, were not satisfactory.

US sends senior diplomat to nuclear talks with Iran

By Peter Symonds, 18 July 2008

The Bush administration’s announcement on Wednesday that a senior US diplomat will participate in international talks in Geneva tomorrow with Iran’s top nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili marks a shift, albeit tentative at this stage, in White House policy toward Tehran. Bush officials have previously insisted that Iran had to shut down its uranium enrichment and other nuclear facilities before the US would take part in any discussions with it on the nuclear issue.

An interview with an Iranian student activist

14 July 2008

In December and January, the Iranian government arrested students involved in left-wing protests against the Iranian political establishment and US war plans against Iran. The International Students for Social Equality, the student wing of the Socialist Equality Party, organized a demonstration on February 16 to protest their incarceration and demand their immediate release.

Reactions to Iranian missile tests underscore danger of war

By Peter Symonds, 12 July 2008

American and Israeli reactions to Iranian missile tests this week have again highlighted the danger of an explosive new military conflict in the Middle East.

Bush reaffirms “all options on the table” over Iran

By Peter Symonds, 5 July 2008

For all the denials on both sides, a top-level discussion is clearly underway in the US and Israel over the pros and cons of an attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities. In separate press conferences on Wednesday, US President George Bush and the chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen, both reaffirmed that the use of military force against Iran, either directly by the US or following air strikes by Israel, remained an option.

More signs of Israeli-US preparations for attacking Iran

By Peter Symonds, 28 June 2008

The visit by US Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman Admiral Mike Mullen to Israel yesterday is one more indication that the two countries are actively discussing a military strike on Iran. Mullen’s trip followed news that the Israeli air force carried out a major exercise earlier this month involving 100 fighter jets, backed by midair fuel tankers and rescue helicopters, flying some 1,500 kilometres westward over the Mediterranean Sea—roughly the same distance as eastward from Israel to Iran’s nuclear facilities.

War threats against Iran overshadow US elections

By Bill Van Auken, 24 June 2008

The US election campaign, rather than offering the American people any real opportunity to vote for an end to the war and occupation in Iraq, is increasingly overshadowed by threats of new acts of military aggression against Iran.

Israeli attack on Iran: “not a matter of if, but when”

By Stefan Steinberg, 20 June 2008

An Israeli military strike is not a matter of if, but when, according to the German magazine Der Spiegel. The latest edition of the news weekly carries a four-page article entitled “Plan to Attack” devoted to preparations currently underway in Israel for air strikes against Iran.

More talk of war as Iran delays response to demand it end uranium enrichment

By James Cogan, 20 June 2008

The Iranian government is seeking to delay its response to the latest demands that it suspend its uranium enrichment operations in the face of threats of new European Union economic sanctions and more talk of unilateral US or Israeli air strikes.

More US, Israeli threats against Iran

By Peter Symonds, 5 June 2008

Strident remarks by Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) on Tuesday once again raised the prospect of a military attack on Iran before the end of the Bush administration.

Iran: Inflation, privatization intensify working class struggles

By Sina Mazdak, 29 May 2008

Working class struggles are intensifying in Iran as a consequence of inflation and the privatization of many industries. Several recently-privatized manufacturing companies have declared bankruptcy in recent months, leading to job losses and social conflicts.

Bush administration uses IAEA report to make new demands and threats to Iran

By Peter Symonds, 29 May 2008

The latest International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) report on Iran’s nuclear programs, handed to member states on Monday, has already prompted a new round of criticisms, demands and threats on the part of the US and its allies. The report will be released publicly only after it has been discussed at next week’s meeting of the IAEA board of governors.

Israeli press reports US pledge of war on Iran—is Bush preparing an October Surprise?

By Bill Van Auken, 21 May 2008

An Israeli press report that US President George W. Bush intends to launch a military attack on Iran before he leaves office at the beginning of next year prompted a heated denial from the White House Tuesday.

A barrage of US threats against Iran

By Peter Symonds, 1 May 2008

During a press conference on Tuesday, US President George Bush spelled out the threat to Iran contained in last week’s release of CIA intelligence on an alleged Syrian nuclear reactor. As well as warning Syria and North Korea, which purportedly helped construct the building, he declared that the US was “sending a message to Iran, and the world for that matter, about just how destabilising a nuclear proliferation would be in the Middle East”.

Outcome of Iranian election points to simmering popular discontent

By Peter Symonds, 18 March 2008

Counting in last Friday’s parliamentary election in Iran is still to be finalised, but the main trends are clear. The conservatives, also known as principalists for their hard-line defence of the country’s theocratic state, will again dominate the majlis or national assembly. The reformers, who advocate limited democratic reforms, an accommodation with the major powers and economic restructuring, will retain a small parliamentary presence despite the disqualification of many of their leading contenders prior to the poll.

Iranians vote amid concern about US aggression and falling living standards

By Peter Symonds, 14 March 2008

Iranian voters go to the polls today to choose a new majlis or parliament in a stunted election in which more than 2,000 candidates have been disqualified from standing. Official campaigning lasted just one week and debate has been narrowly confined to differences between the “conservatives” and “reformers”—competing wings of the existing political establishment.

Washington pushes through new UN resolution against Iran

By Peter Symonds, 5 March 2008

After a year of cajoling and bullying by Washington and its allies, the UN Security Council passed a resolution on Monday imposing a third round of sanctions on Iran over its nuclear programs. While the Bush administration has hailed the vote as proof that the “international community” regarded Iran as a threat, Washington’s campaign for the resolution was a rather desperate attempt to shore up waning support for action against Tehran.

ISSE demonstration to free Iranian students calls for international unity of workers

By our reporter, 19 February 2008

On February 16, the International Students for Social Equality (ISSE) held a demonstration in New York City to demand that the Iranian government immediately release and drop all charges against more than 40 left-wing students. In addition to calling attention to the plight of these students, the demonstration focused on the necessary political basis for a struggle against war, inequality, and oppression.

ISSE demonstrates in New York to demand release of jailed Iranian students

By Bill Van Auken, 18 February 2008

The International Students for Social Equality held a demonstration Saturday, February 16 to protest the Iranian government’s arrest of more than 40 left-wing students and demand their immediate release.

Ahmadinejad under fire in lead up to Iran’s parliamentary election

By Peter Symonds, 16 February 2008

The election for the Iranian parliament due on March 14 is shaping up as a contest over President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his policies. While the differences within ruling circles are narrowly circumscribed, Ahmadinejad’s opponents are seeking to make an appeal to broader popular discontent, particularly over rising prices, high unemployment and widespread corruption.

Demonstration in New York to protest arrest of Iranian students

14 February 2008

The International Students for Social Equality is calling a demonstration to protest the Iranian government’s arrest of more than 40 left-wing students.

Letters opposing the arrest of Iranian students

4 February 2008

The following letters were sent to the World Socialist Web Site denouncing the arrest of over 40 left-wing students in Iran. The letters have been sent to the Iranian Interests Section in the United States.

Iranian government intensifies crackdown on left-wing opposition

SEP and ISSE demand immediate release of arrested students

By Joe Kay, 28 January 2008

On January 15, as part of a brutal crackdown on domestic opposition, the Iranian government arrested another 10 members of the Students for Freedom and Equality in Iran (also known as the Radical Left). Two more students were arrested on January 24. More than 40 members of the group are now behind bars at Iran’s notorious Evin prison or have been released on bail

An interview with an Iranian activist on arrests of left-wing students

28 January 2008

On January 15, the Iranian government arrested 10 students involved in left-wing protests against both the Iranian political establishment and US war plans. This followed the arrest of more than 30 students in December. (See “Iranian government intensifies crackdown on left-wing opposition.”)

Bush exploits Strait of Hormuz incident to threaten Iran

By Peter Symonds, 11 January 2008

Five days after Sunday’s encounter between US warships and Iranian boats in the Strait of Hormuz, details of what took place remain in dispute. What is clear, however, is that the US administration, at the very least, deliberately inflated the incident on the eve of President Bush’s visit to the Middle East to menace Iran and raise the political temperature in the volatile region.

Iranian government cracks down on student protests

By Sina Mazdak and Tom Carter, 11 December 2007

A recent wave of government crackdowns on student political activity in Iran culminated on Tuesday, December 4, when government security forces violently intervened at a rally of left-wing students at Tehran University commemorating “Students Day.” Masked police stormed the campus, dragging targeted student leaders into waiting vehicles.

Despite US intelligence shift:

European powers back continued sanctions against Teheran

By Stefan Steinberg, 7 December 2007

Following the release of the US National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) report Monday, leading European politicians have stressed the need for continuing sanctions and political pressure on Tehran.

US intelligence report heightens danger of Israeli strike on Iran

By Peter Symonds, 6 December 2007

The Israeli government has bluntly rejected the conclusion of the US National Intelligence Estimate (NIE), released on Monday, that Iran currently has no nuclear weapons programs. The NIE report directly contradicts previous Israeli claims that Tehran represents an imminent nuclear threat to Israel and the world. While government ministers continue to call publicly for greater diplomatic efforts, there are obvious signs that a discussion is underway in Israeli political and military circles about possible air strikes on Iranian nuclear facilities.

Following intelligence report exposing administration’s lies

Bush continues threats against Iran

By Bill Van Auken, 6 December 2007

President Bush reiterated Wednesday that he will continue his provocative policy against Iran despite the release of a US intelligence report demonstrating that his administration deliberately and systematically lied to the American people and the world about Iran’s nuclear program.

US intelligence report shows war drive against Iran based on lies

By Bill Van Auken, 5 December 2007

President Bush used a White House press conference Tuesday to defend his administration’s policy of aggression towards Iran. He insisted that new findings by US intelligence agencies that Teheran has no active nuclear weapons program would not change his policy in the slightest.

Iran: Why does Bush invoke the threat of World War III?

Part 3: Globalization, Iran, and the dollar crisis

By Alex Lantier, 3 December 2007

This is the final article in a three-part series. Part one was posted on November 30. Part two was posted on December 1.

Iran: Why does Bush invoke the threat of World War III?

Part 2: Eurasian geopolitics and US threats against Iran

By Alex Lantier, 1 December 2007

This is the second article in a three-part series. Part one was posted November 30. Part three will be posted December 3.

Iran: Why does Bush invoke the threat of World War III?

Part 1: Iran’s strategic position

By Alex Lantier, 30 November 2007

This is the first of a three-part series. Part two will be posted December 1. Part three will be posted on December 3.

US dismisses IAEA report of “progress” over Iran’s nuclear programs

By Peter Symonds, 17 November 2007

The Bush administration has rapidly rejected the findings of an International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) report finalised on Thursday, which found that Iran had made “substantial progress” towards clarifying outstanding questions about its nuclear programs.

US prepares for tougher action against Iran

By Peter Symonds, 12 November 2007

With the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) due to report on Iran’s nuclear programs this week, the US administration has been intensifying its campaign for stronger action against Tehran. While insisting that it is still “pursuing diplomacy”, Washington refuses to rule out a military attack on Iran.

US intensifies push for further UN sanctions on Iran

By Peter Symonds, 2 November 2007

The Bush administration is pressing for tough new UN Security Council sanctions at a meeting in London today of the five permanent members—the US, Britain, France, Russia and China—plus Germany. The demand for a third UN resolution is one more step in Washington’s campaign to vilify Tehran over its nuclear programs and to justify US preparations for a military strike on Iran.

Report: Strategic air base being readied for war on Iran

By Bill Van Auken, 31 October 2007

The key base used by the US military for air strikes in the Middle East is being made ready for a war against Iran, a Scottish newspaper reported Monday.

More warnings of a US war on Iran

By Peter Symonds, 29 October 2007

The Bush administration’s unprecedented decision last week to brand the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) as a weapons proliferator and its Quds Force as a “supporter of terrorism” has heightened tensions with Tehran and undermined European efforts at negotiations, setting the stage for a US attack on Iran.

US imposes unilateral sanctions on Iran: One step closer to war

By Bill Van Auken, 26 October 2007

In an act unprecedented in the history of international relations, Washington on Thursday unilaterally imposed harsh and potentially crippling economic sanctions against Iran’s main uniformed security force, as well as against more than 20 Iranian companies and the country’s three major banks.

Putin in Tehran: US-Russia rift widens

By Peter Symonds, 18 October 2007

The visit by Russian President Vladimir Putin to Tehran this week has underscored the deepening gulf between Moscow and Washington on a range of issues, in particular the Bush administration’s threat of war against Iran over its nuclear programs.

US general fires a new propaganda salvo against Iran

By Peter Symonds, 9 October 2007

The top US commander in Iraq, General David Petraeus, has raised the propaganda war against Iran another notch levelling new allegations that the Quds Force of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corp (IRGC) was responsible for the deaths of US troops in Iraq. The comments to journalists last weekend at a military base near the Iranian border come in the wake of persistent leaks in Washington indicating that the Bush administration is preparing to use “counter-terrorism” as the pretext for air strikes on Iran.

New Yorker article points to advanced US preparations for war on Iran

By Peter Symonds, 3 October 2007

A lengthy article by veteran journalist Seymour Hersh published in the New Yorker on Sunday provides further confirmation of the Bush administration’s well-developed military and political preparations for attacking Iran. According to Hersh, the Pentagon has drawn up new war plans, the CIA has allocated substantial extra resources and the White House has already sounded out US allies, including Israel, Britain and Australia, for support in any military strike.

Widening rift between major powers over Iran’s nuclear programs

By Peter Symonds, 1 October 2007

A foreign ministers meeting of the UN Security Council permanent members—the US, Britain, France, Russia and China—plus Germany broke up last Friday without agreeing to the Bush administration’s call for the immediate imposition of tough new sanctions against Iran over its alleged nuclear weapons programs. Russia and China, which both hold a veto in the Security Council, opposed the US demands.

Washington’s proxy war inside Kurdish Iran

By Peter Symonds, 20 September 2007

A string of articles have appeared in the US press over the past week reporting on the Iranian shelling of border areas inside the Kurdish north of Iraq since August. One American journalist after another has trekked to the Qandil mountains to interview guerrillas belonging to the Party for Free Life in Kurdistan (PJAK) and the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), and describe first hand the resulting devastation to crops, livestock and impoverished villages.

Bush administration consolidates plans for war against Iran

By Peter Symonds, 17 September 2007

For months, a debate has been taking place within the Bush administration over the launching of a new war of aggression against Iran. As US propaganda against Tehran has become more shrill, media leaks have pointed to a factional tussle in the White House between the “diplomatic approach” advocated by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and the demand for military action by Vice President Dick Cheney. Articles in the US and British press over the weekend indicate the debate is all but over, with the war faction prevailing.

British troops in Iraq deployed to Iranian border

By Julie Hyland, 14 September 2007

Britain’s Independent reported Wednesday that UK troops stationed in Iraq have been deployed to the Iranian border.

British academics warn US is preparing “shock and awe” attack on Iran

By Peter Symonds, 11 September 2007

An 80-page study written by two British security analysts and released on August 28 makes a chilling estimation of the overwhelming force that the US would use in the event of any attack on Iran. “The US has made military preparations to destroy Iran’s WMD, nuclear energy, regime, armed forces, state apparatus and economic infrastructure within days, if not hours, of President George W. Bush giving the order,” the paper declared.

Bush administration to “ratchet up pressure” on Iran

By Peter Symonds, 3 September 2007

The Bush administration’s abrupt dismissal of last Thursday’s International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) report on Iran’s nuclear programs is one more sign that Washington has no interest in a diplomatic resolution to its confrontation with Tehran. Following Bush’s bellicose denunciations of Iran last week, the US has reiterated its intention to push for tougher UN sanctions against Tehran this month.

Another US provocation: Iranian officials arrested in Baghdad

By Peter Symonds, 30 August 2007

Late on Tuesday night, the US military detained a visiting delegation of Iranian officials at a Baghdad hotel. The men were handcuffed, blindfolded and dragged away under the glare of TV cameras for further interrogation. Following protests in Tehran and appeals by Iraqi government officials, the delegation, which had been formally invited by the Iraqi Electricity Ministry, was finally released on Wednesday morning.

Bush threatens to militarily “confront” Iran

By Bill Van Auken, 29 August 2007

In his second foreign policy speech in less than a week, President Bush Tuesday portrayed the ongoing US military occupation in Iraq as part of a broader regional struggle to defend vital US interests against “radicals and extremists.”

Washington continues propaganda barrage against Iran

By Peter Symonds, 24 August 2007

As it prepares for a diplomatic offensive against Iran at the UN next month, the Bush administration is maintaining a steady barrage of threats and propaganda—in particular, over so-called Iranian “interference” in US-occupied Iraq and Tehran’s alleged nuclear weapons programs.

New York Times on Iran: Neo-colonialism with a liberal twist

By Barry Grey, 18 August 2007

The New York Times on August 16 published an editorial in response to reports that the Bush administration plans to declare Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps a foreign terrorist organization. The editorial by the organ of the liberal, Democratic Party wing of the US political establishment, entitled “Amateur Hour on Iran,” exemplifies the hypocritical and two-faced character of its critique of the Bush administration’s policy toward Iran and the Middle East as a whole.

New provocation against Tehran

Bush to brand Iranian force as “terrorist”

By Peter Symonds, 16 August 2007

In a move with ominous implications, the Bush administration, according to articles in yesterday’s New York Times and Washington Post, has resolved to brand the entire Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) as a “specially designated global terrorist” organization. In doing so, Bush will use powers provided under a presidential order signed shortly after the September 11, 2001 attacks.

An insight into the White House debate over military action against Iran

By Peter Symonds, 18 July 2007

The British-based Guardian has provided a fresh glimpse into the fierce debate raging inside the Bush administration over taking aggressive military measures against Iran. In an article on Monday based on a “well-placed Washington source,” the newspaper concluded that the balance “has shifted back in favour of military action before George Bush leaves office in 18 months”.

US Senate unanimously passes threatening measure against Iran

By Peter Symonds, 14 July 2007

A little publicised amendment to the defence spending bill denouncing Iran for the “murder” of US soldiers in Iraq was proposed by Independent Democrat Joseph Lieberman and passed unanimously in the US Senate on Wednesday. Republicans and Democrats all lined up to support the White House’s unsubstantiated accusations that Tehran is funding, training and arming Iraqi militias, “who are contributing to the destabilisation of Iraq and are responsible for the murder of members of the United States Armed Forces”.

New US accusations against Iran

By Joe Kay, 3 July 2007

A US military official leveled new accusations against Iran on Monday, asserting Iranian government involvement in a January, 2007 attack that killed five American soldiers in Iraq. The charges are the latest in a campaign to increase pressure on Iran, while laying out a rationale for possible future military action.

IAEA chief declares any attack on Iran “an act of madness”

By Peter Symonds, 16 June 2007

The latest meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), which ended on Thursday, has set the stage for a new round of punitive measures against Iran over its nuclear programs. Washington is pressing for a third round of UN Security Council sanctions, but the presence of two US aircraft battle groups in the Persian Gulf is a constant reminder that the Bush administration is keeping “all options on the table”.

US steps up threats against Iran over nuclear programs

By Peter Symonds, 26 May 2007

The US administration has responded belligerently to the latest International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) report on Iran’s refusal to suspend its nuclear programs by calling for a third UN resolution and tougher penalties. The report, which was sent to IAEA member states on Wednesday, sets the stage for a further heightening of tensions in the Persian Gulf, where the US navy provocatively began a major exercise the same day.

Bush authorises covert CIA operations to destabilise Iran

By Peter Symonds, 25 May 2007

An ABC News report on Tuesday provided further evidence that the Bush administration is actively engaged in a covert campaign of destabilisation aimed at “regime change” in Iran.

Britain’s Guardian promotes Bush administration war propaganda against Iran

By Chris Marsden, 23 May 2007

The Guardian offered its May 22 front page as a propaganda conduit for the Bush administration to provide preemptive justification for an escalation of the US military “surge” in Iraq and possible military action against Iran.

Debate over Iran’s nuclear programs heats up again

By Peter Symonds, 17 May 2007

Iran’s nuclear programs are once again being pushed to centre stage as a second UN deadline is due to expire next week. Under pressure from the US, the UN Security Council voted in March to strengthen sanctions on Iran and to set a 60-day deadline for Tehran to shut down its uranium enrichment and other nuclear facilities. Iran continues to reject the resolution as “illegal” and insist on its rights under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty to develop all aspects of the nuclear fuel cycle.

Iran and US to hold limited talks in Baghdad

By Peter Symonds, 15 May 2007

The announcement on Sunday of a meeting between Iranian and US officials in Baghdad in the next few weeks will do nothing to ease mounting tensions in the Persian Gulf. Washington has repeatedly made clear that any discussions with Tehran will be narrowly confined to Iraqi security, thus excluding the continuing confrontation over Iran’s nuclear programs, the longstanding American economic and diplomatic blockade of Iran and other issues.

Cheney threatens Iran from US aircraft carrier in Persian Gulf

By Bill Van Auken, 12 May 2007

Underscoring the essential objective of his Middle East tour, US Vice President Dick Cheney used the deck of the aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis in the Persian Gulf Friday to deliver a bellicose threat against Iran.

US steps up pressure on Iran’s nuclear programs

By Peter Symonds, 21 April 2007

The US administration intensified its pressure on Tehran after a leaked International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) letter written on Wednesday revealed Iran had doubled the number of gas centrifuges installed in an underground hall at its Natanz uranium enrichment facility.

US continues detention of five Iranian officials in Iraq

By Peter Symonds, 19 April 2007

In a decision that was barely reported, the Bush administration resolved last week to continue to hold five Iranian officials seized in the northern Iraqi city of Irbil on January 11. While the US and international media was flooded with stories about Iran’s contentious arrest of 15 British sailors last month, there was not a murmur of protest over the illegal and provocative American detention of the Irbil five.

Iranian diplomat accuses US of detention and torture

By Peter Symonds, 11 April 2007

Senior Iranian diplomat Jalal Sharafi told the county’s state-run TV last weekend that the US had been involved in his seizure and detention in Iraq and that CIA officers had taken part in his interrogation and torture. Sharafi, who was released last week, had been missing for more than two months after armed gunmen in the uniforms of the elite 36 Iraqi Commando Battalion bundled the diplomat into a car in the predominantly Shiite neighbourhood of Karrada in central Baghdad.

British marine admitted that captured patrol was spying on Iran

By Chris Marsden, 7 April 2007

Captain Chris Air, the man in charge of the 15 marines and sailors captured by Iranian revolutionary guards and released on April 4, told Sky News that they were on an intelligence-gathering mission.

Iran charges Washington with sponsoring terrorist attacks

By Bill Van Auken, 6 April 2007

A leading government official in Teheran charged Thursday that the Bush administration is sponsoring terrorist attacks as a means of ratcheting up its campaign of aggression against Iran.

Iran’s release of sailors: A humiliating episode for Britain

By Chris Marsden, 5 April 2007

Iran’s release of the 15 British naval personnel captured in the Gulf is the dénouement of a humiliating episode for the Blair government and for British imperialism.

Standoff over detained British sailors occasions US threats against Iran

By Ann Talbot, 4 April 2007

President George Bush made his first public statement on Iran’s detention of 15 British sailors and marines on Saturday, nine days after the affair began. Iran’s action was “inexcusable behaviour,” he said, calling on Iran to “give back the hostages.”

Britain heightens confrontation with Iran over detained sailors

By Peter Symonds, 29 March 2007

The Blair government, backed by the Bush administration, yesterday stepped up diplomatic pressure for the release of 15 British sailors and marines detained by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards (IRG) last Friday. In an already tense situation in the Persian Gulf, US aircraft carrier battle groups have held a major military exercise over the past two days, while British ministers in London called for Iran to be further diplomatically isolated.

UN agrees to new Iran sanctions as military tensions mount in Gulf

By Chris Marsden, 26 March 2007

The unanimous March 24 vote by the United Nations Security Council to impose stricter sanctions on Iran is the latest step in the Bush administration’s campaign to isolate the regime in Tehran and prepare the conditions for a possible military attack. The resolution came one day after Iranian Revolutionary Guard naval forces seized 15 British Navy personnel in the Persian Gulf, setting off a diplomatic confrontation between Iran and the UK.

Bush administration steps up economic pressure on Iran

By Peter Symonds, 22 March 2007

Even as the UN Security Council debates a punitive new resolution against Iran, the Bush administration is threatening to impose unilateral sanctions against foreign corporations and banks engaged in investment and trade with Tehran. The measures to cripple the country economically are accompanied by ongoing US military preparations in the Persian Gulf for an attack on Iran.

Targetting Tehran: the case of the missing Iranian general

By Peter Symonds, 14 March 2007

Very little of the detail appearing in the media about the recent unexplained disappearance of a top Iranian general, Brigadier General Ali Reza Asgari, including his age, can be taken at face value. But all the accounts point to the involvement of the US, Israeli and/or other Western intelligence agencies in the defection or abduction of Asgari, a former deputy defence minister, who is currently being interrogated or tortured to obtain Iranian defence secrets.

No easing of US-Iranian tensions after Baghdad conference

By Peter Symonds, 12 March 2007

The much-vaunted international conference on Iraqi security took place in Baghdad on Saturday without any diplomatic breakthrough or thawing of relations between the US and Iran. Despite the urging of the Iraqi government, no direct talks took place between American and Iranian officials. Nothing was announced beyond the formation of several low-level regional working parties and confirmation that a further conference would be held at the foreign minister level at a date and place yet to be decided.

Under pressure from Washington, IAEA votes to penalise Iran

By Peter Symonds, 10 March 2007

Amid mounting US military and political threats against Iran, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) meeting in Vienna this week provided another display of political cynicism and cowardice on the part of the so-called international community.

World Socialist Web Site publishes antiwar statement in Farsi

8 March 2007

The World Socialist Web Site is publishing today the Editorial Board Statement “Stop the US war drive against Iran!” in Farsi, or Persian. Farsi is the official language of Iran, where it is spoken by more than half the country’s population of 70 million, as well as a significant Iranian diaspora around the world. Farsi dialects are also spoken in neighbouring Afghanistan and Central Asia. The dialect known as Dari is an official language in Afghanistan, where it is spoken by about a quarter of the population.

US to join Iran at international talks: another round of threats and ultimatums

By Peter Symonds, 2 March 2007

Despite widespread media speculation of a “shift” in US policy toward Iran, the announcement this week that Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will take part in a regional conference with her Iranian counterpart does not represent any softening of the US stance. Amid a mounting confrontation with Iran, the US will undoubtedly use the forum to heighten, not lessen, the tensions with Tehran.

The Bush administration’s new strategy of setting the Middle East aflame

By Peter Symonds, 28 February 2007

A lengthy article in this week’s New Yorker magazine by veteran investigative journalist Seymour Hersh provides further evidence that the Bush administration has not only set course for war against Iran, but has over the past few months embarked on a reckless and incendiary strategy that has the potential to unleash sectarian Sunni-Shia conflicts throughout the Middle East.

US war drums beat louder after Iran fails to meet UN deadline

By Peter Symonds, 26 February 2007

The Bush administration is intensifying the pressure on Iran following its refusal to abide by last week’s UN deadline to suspend its uranium enrichment and other nuclear programs. While publicly pushing for a new UN Security Council resolution with tougher economic and diplomatic sanctions against Tehran, the US is also pressing ahead with preparations for a military attack on Iran.

US Vice President Cheney menaces Iran with military aggression

By Peter Symonds, 24 February 2007

Military action against Iran may not have featured in US Vice President Dick Cheney’s keynote speech in Sydney yesterday, but it is certainly on his mind. In two interviews published today—in Murdoch’s Australian and on the US-based ABC News website—he confirmed that the Bush administration was willing to go to war against Tehran on the pretext of halting its nuclear programs.

What is behind Russia’s delay of Iran’s nuclear reactor?

By Peter Symonds, 22 February 2007

Russian officials suddenly announced on Monday that work on Iran’s nuclear power reactor at the southern port of Bushehr would be slowed due to Tehran’s failure to make scheduled payments on the construction contract. Far from being an ordinary commercial dispute, the delay is another pointer to the extreme tensions produced by the Bush administration’s military threats against Iran.

BBC reports on US military plans to strike Iran

By Peter Symonds, 21 February 2007

Despite its menacing naval build up in the Persian Gulf, the US has repeatedly denied any plans for war against Iran. Last Thursday Defence Secretary Robert Gates brazenly told a Pentagon press conference: “For the umpteenth time, we are not looking for an excuse to go to war with Iran. We are not planning a war with Iran.” The statement is another of the Bush administration’s lies.

Is the Bush administration behind the bombings in Iran?

By Peter Symonds, 17 February 2007

Two bombings this week in Zahedan in southeastern Iran are the latest in a series of incidents involving armed opposition groups based among the country’s ethnic minorities. The most recent attacks again raise questions about the activities of the US military and CIA inside Iran as the Bush administration intensifies its preparations for war.

The Bush administration prepares for war against Iran

Part two

By Peter Symonds, 17 February 2007

The following is the second part of a report delivered by Peter Symonds to a membership meeting of the Socialist Equality Party (Australia) from January 25 to January 27, 2007. Symonds is a member of the International Editorial Board of the World Socialist Web Site and of the SEP central committee. Part one was posted on February 16.

The Bush administration prepares for war against Iran

Part one

By Peter Symonds, 16 February 2007

The following is the first part of a report delivered by Peter Symonds to a membership meeting of the Socialist Equality Party (Australia) from January 25 to January 27, 2007. Symonds is a member of the International Editorial Board of the World Socialist Web Site and of the SEP central committee. Part two will be posted on February 17.