is in many ways the last word politically, he doesn't have dictatorial powers and doesn't, for example, write laws
The CIA has been subjecting operatives to monthly polygraph tests in an attempt to suppress details of a US arms smuggling operation in Benghazi that was ongoing when its ambassador was killed by a mob in the city last year, according to reports.
Buchanan vocally opposes those neoconservatives whom he calls "undocumented aliens from the Left, carrying with them the viruses of statism and globalism." He describes their first generation as people who began as "Trotskyist, socialists or Social Democrat," then became "JFK-LBJ Democrats," but broke with the Left during the Vietnam War and "came into their own" during Reagan's administration. He said he welcomed neoconservatives during the early 1970s, but that it has become an inquisition, "hurling anathemas at any who decline to embrace their revised dogmas." Buchanan compares "Neocons" to squatters who take over a once-beloved home (the Republican Party) and convert it into a crack house
Previous reports by the Director General have identified outstanding issues related to possible military dimensions to Iran’s nuclear programme and actions required of Iran to resolve these. Since 2002, the Agency has become increasingly concerned about the possible existence in Iran of undisclosed nuclear related activities involving military related organizations, including activities related to the development of a nuclear payload for a missile. Iran has dismissed the Agency’s concerns, largely on the grounds that Iran considers them to be based on unfounded allegations.
The Annex to the Director General’s November 2011 report (GOV/2011/65) provided a detailed analysis of the information available to the Agency, indicating that Iran has carried out activities that are relevant to the development of a nuclear explosive device. This information is assessed by the Agency to be, overall, credible.
After years of stalemate, Mr Rohani's election provides grounds for optimism. Final decisions on the nuclear file remain with Ali Khamenei, the hardline supreme leader. And descriptions of Mr Rohani as a "moderate" are sometimes misjudged. He is a regime insider. But Mr Rohani was elected with a mandate to promote centrist policies. He knows it is essential for Iran to be rid of economic sanctions...
The west must avoid giving ammunition to the many Iranian hardliners and apparatchiks who seek to undermine the new president to keep the country on a resolutely anti-western, nuclear path. This is the time for the US to engage in creative diplomacy with Iran, diplomacy which has three key elements.
First, the US must resist adding more economic sanctions to those in existence. The current sanctions regime is effective enough to be forcing a serious policy rethink in Iran. Legislation currently before Congress would go even further, however, and impose a blanket oil embargo at the start of next year. This must be averted.
Second, the US and its allies should reconsider their current offer to Iran. In the past 12 months, the US has tried to get Tehran to sign up to an early confidence-building deal. This would see Iran shut down its second enrichment site at Fordow; stop production of highly enriched uranium; and ship existing stockpiles of highly enriched uranium out of the country. In return, the US and its allies are offering Iran a modest peeling back of existing sanctions.
The west should revise its approach and ask "more for more". It should extend its demands to require that Iran freeze its centrifuge installation and allow intrusive inspections of its nuclear programme. In return, it should offer a much more substantial reversal of the banking and energy sanctions in place. It should also nod to the idea that Iran will end this entire negotiation with some limited right to enrich uranium.
Third, it is time for the US and Iran to forge a direct bilateral relationship. Thus far Iran has been negotiating with a forum of six world powers including China and Russia. The time is ripe for direct diplomatic contact between Washington and Tehran. The US should use such an opportunity to sound out Iran on regional security – notably in relation to Syria. But a deal on the nuclear file should not be dependent on progress here...
Labour’s shadow foreign secretary Douglas Alexander, said the decision by Britain to decline the invitation to attend the inauguration ceremony of the new president of the Islamic Republic was “ill-judged and short sighted”.
It would be good to know what Douglas Alexander would have expected the UK representative to do when the rest of the invitees to the inauguration ceremony were asked to chant “Death to those who oppose the Supreme Leader, Death to America, Death to England, Death to Israel” as seen in this clip from yesterday's inauguration ceremony?
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