Iran – Stalling for Time

"Chief Iranian Nuclear Affairs Negotiator Hosein Musavian: The Negotiations with Europe Bought Us Time to Complete the Esfahan UCF Project and the Work on the Centrifuges in Natanz."  MEMRI

In this interview the chief Iranian Negotiator in the matter of their nuclear program explains that the protracted process of dealing with the IAEA and the European powers was worthwhile because it enabled Iran to procrastinate in dealing with the West long enough to complete major installation essential to the nuclear program.

Musavian makes it clear that the Iranian government’s negotiating strategy was motivated entirely by the tactical necessities required by the determination of the Iranian government to drive the program forward as rapidly as possible.

This interview should largely answer the uncertainty on the part of some people as to whether or not the Iranians could be lured into giving up their nuclear ambitions.

Pat Lang

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37 Responses to Iran – Stalling for Time

  1. Some Guy says:

    Interesting if disturbing. I wondered myself if something of this sort was not happening. The grugding agreement from Iran seemed suspect, out of character.
    So now Bush is left to rattle his empty saber guard?

  2. ismoot says:

    His scabbard is anything but empty. pl

  3. J says:

    what i find troubling is the fact that the video is ‘not’ the whole interview. easy manipulation can occur when one is not able to view the entire interview. things can be taken out of context, misread, and misinterpreted. also one needs to look at the origination source of the video being propagated. and with such a critical item — Iranian nuclear development, one cannot afford to have anything taken out of context. we (spelled U.S.) cannot afford to be ‘manipulated’ into another war, whether it be our own white house, or a foreign power or powers that may or may not be behind a production company.

  4. Some Guy says:

    Colonel, what are his options? I know we can launch devastating air and missle strikes, but with the ever-extension of ground forces, is such a thing wise?

  5. ismoot says:

    The excerpts seem pretty clear to me and difficult to take out of context. MEMRI is an Israeli associated translation service. I suppose that is what you are talking about. Information should not be dismissed just because you distrust the source. The information’s probability of reality also has to be judged. In the end one must judge both things for oneself. pl

  6. ismoot says:

    Oh! Are we talking “wise” now? I thought we were talking options available to the CinC.
    There is no ground option. There is no SOF option other than in the minds of the SOF fantasists who have seen “Where Eagles Dare” too many times. (Good Movie)
    There IS an air option whether it is wise or not. The US (Israel would of limited use in this)could, if it really exerted itself, set the Iranian nuclear program back a number of years.
    Would this be wise? Debatable. It depends on how much weight one gives to the long range political effect in the ME of the possession of nuclear weapons by Iran. Balanced against that there is the certainty that the Iranians will intensify their support of our adversaries. pl

  7. J says:

    just trying to interject a word of ‘caution’ is all. there are far too many players who will make big $$$ if the u.s. is ‘engaged’ with iran. like politics, war and such is all about $$$ in the end. a prime example is the current situation in iraq. big $$$ that have ‘disappeared’.

  8. RJJ says:

    And the long-range political effect at home? By this I mean the retaliatory attacks that will take place here, and the security measures taken in response to these attacks?

  9. Some Guy says:

    Colonel, ha! Yeah, I know, presuming wisdom with this crowd is asking a bit much.
    What seems quite frightening to me is that if we were to launch air stikes when we have no credible ground force available, and that our troops are committed and exhausted in Iraq, the Iranians might escalate. Why would they not treat such a strike as a declaration of war, and then what? Don’t they have a rather large army?

  10. RJJ says:

    Going into Iraq II the rarely asked and never answered question was, “never mind the merits of the policy, can these people execute it?”
    I think we have the answer.
    Occam’s hammer: “will these people screw it up?”
    What’s the emergency. Will a two year delay in taking action be worse?

  11. avedis says:

    I would recommend that anyone relying in whole or in part on MEMRI articles for position/opinion formation should first thoroughly research the history and background of that the MEMRI organization.
    I, for one, am highly suspicious of of the veracity of the material they publish. Again, thorough background research would help explain why I feel as I do.
    Though you are correct that the material should not be summarily dismissed because of the source. Rather the source should modify the weight given to the material.

  12. J says:

    if i may, i’d like to interject a question — if iran has nuclear power, and iran has also nuclear launch capability (mrbm,icbm), what threat does iran’s possession of nuclear weapons poses to the u.s.? what ‘immediate threat’ to the u.s. does such entail? we can all understand such a threat to israel, and to the surrounding arab oil states, but outside of control of mideast oil, what immediate threat to the u.s. does iran’s nuclear possession pose? is it a ‘real threat’ to the u.s., or is it a ‘manufactured’ one on the part of our political process?

  13. RJJ says:

    make that a three plus year delay.
    These people don’t mess around. The least blowback from an Iran strike and Sic Semper Tyrannus becomes Sic Tyrannus Semper.

  14. ismoot says:

    No military threat at all except to whatever expeditionary forces we might have within “reach.”
    The difficulty would lie in the greatly enhanced politico-military status which would accrue to Iran in the region and in the eyes of the Jihadi movement across the world. pl

  15. ismoot says:

    I do believe that MEMRI is effectively an instrument of the Israeli government, and you have done a great job of “impeaching their witness.”
    Nevertheless, let us rise above the level of undermining generalities.
    Do you have any reason to think that THIS PARTICULAR TRANSLATION is incorrect or false? pl

  16. ismoot says:

    I am familiar with Occam’s Razor. You will have to explain his “hammer.” pl

  17. ismoot says:

    The effects of further war in the regon are essentially incalculable. Does that mean we won’t go to war against Iran? I wouldn’t bet any of MY money on the outcome of the decision making process on this. pl

  18. ismoot says:

    You are far more of an “economic determinist” than I, so I can’t address your comment in those terms.
    The ME is not, in my view, explicable on the basis of “economic determinism.”
    Neither do I accept the argument that the US went to war in either Afghanistan or Iraq for economic reasons. These are wars waged on the basis of ideas. that’s why we are not doing very well. Our ideas do not appeal to enough people in these places. pl

  19. avedis says:

    “Do you have any reason to think that THIS PARTICULAR TRANSLATION is incorrect or false? pl”
    No, I do not. I lack sufficient information to form an opinion regarding this particular piece.

  20. avedis says:

    “These are wars waged on the basis of ideas. that’s why we are not doing very well. Our ideas do not appeal to enough people in these”
    That is a very succinct – perhaps the most succinct- accurate summation of the entire situation that I have heard yet.
    I have voiced similar words to party line conservatives. Their reply is that I am a racist for suggesting that Arabs and Persians are not able to perceive and act on the self evident and objective virtues of democracy.
    I am glad that this blog offers a more considerate and thoughtful discussion and pursuit of truth.
    I am adding it to my favorites.
    BTW: I saw your bio. My son will be humping a rock up the Dog River in less than a week.

  21. Curious says:

    Memri is wingnut news site created by ex Israeli intel guys.
    That’s like quoting Drudge report/Newsmax of sort.

  22. angela says:

    I think at a petrsonal level Bush does not like risk. I think he did Iraq because he really believed that troops could srart withdrawing in months and that it would give him another huge boost in the polls.
    Iran is dangerous. Just withdrawing their oil, removes the existing surplus. The most productive fields in Iraq will probably go with them. This does not include the price hikes caused by a few mines i the gulf and possibly a few rockets launched at gulf facilities. Then the turmoil in Iraq that could make that country unoccupiable, further mischief elsewhere.
    So left to himself Bush would probably find a way to ignore these things. The problem is that lots of times the administration fails to tell him this kind of stuff, for example he didn’t know we were downgrading the war on terror to a struggle or that we were planning to start withdrawing as long as things kept going as wonderfully as they have been.
    Which leads to the question: should the administration be required to tell the president what they are doing? I would say yes since it would seem unreasonable to ask him to read newspapers or talk to the people who actually do things. But there are some who argue that we shouldn’t task his pretty little brain which is why an attack on Iran has some plausibility.

  23. Curious says:

    More note on MEMRI. THey are an absolute wingnut wack job, only slightly better than Debka. They are among the loudest trumpetting al qaeda-Iraq connection. They are also working very hard on ‘attack Syria/Iran’ scheme by pumping all sort of dubious information.
    Origins, History, and Influence
    To understand the political mission, it is helpful to examine the politics and origins of its cofounders Yigal Carmon and Meyrav Wurmser. Carmon is a reserve colonel in the Israeli Defense Forces, having served in the IDF/Intelligence Branch from 1968 to 1988. In that capacity, Carmon, who was born in Romania, was Acting Hear of the Civil Administration in the West Bank from 1977 to 1982. He served as counterterrorism adviser to premiers Shamir and Menachem Begin from 1988 to 1993. In 1991 and 1992 Carmon was a senior member of the Israeli Delegation to peace negotiations with Syria in Madrid and Washington. (4)
    Wurmser, an Israeli-born analyst of Middle East affairs, received her Ph.D. from George Washington University in Washington, D.C. where she wrote on Jabotinsky and the Revisionist Movement. (4) According to Arab Media Watch, Jabotinsky “brokered the marriage between Zionism and fascism.” (3) Wurmser, who has taught at Johns Hopkins University and the United States Naval Academy, and her husband David Wurmser are central figures in the right-wing’s web of Middle East policy institutes. According to the Hudson Institute, “Through her work at MEMRI [she] helped to educate policymakers about the Palestinian Authority two-track approach to ‘negotiating peace’ with Israel: calling for peace in the English press and with western policymakers while inciting hatred and violence through official Arab language media.” (7) Before joining the Bush II administration as a State Department policy adviser under John Bolton, her husband David Wurmser was an AEI scholar and associate of the Middle East Forum (MEF).

  24. ismoot says:

    If you think I like these people, then you have not been paying attention.
    The question remains, is this an accurate translation? pl

  25. ismoot says:

    I would agree on Bush and go farther to say that he is basically a chicken hawk whose personal record substantiates that charge as does that of the Vulcan Jacobins who programmed him.
    Their problem with him now, I think, is that he has moved beyond them into a region of the mind in which the ideas that the Vulcans gave him have become “dogma” and essentially a “floor” for his thinking. pl

  26. ismoot says:

    You can’t argue over the quality of information on the basis of not liking the source.
    A lot of the foreign asset agents I ever know were not likable. That did not meant that what they brought in was necessarily untrue.
    I ask again. Do you have a reason to believe that this translation is inaccurate? pl

  27. ismoot says:

    Your son is welcome among us.
    The Conservative thing always surprises me. I just about always vote Republican because the Democratic Party moved away from me over my life time. On the domestic agenda of the conservatives, I am the side of conservatism as Russell Kirk uderstood the concept. The one exception would be capital punishment against which I have religious scruples.
    Nevertheless, I find that people whom I would consider merely right-wing want to say that I am on the Left.
    Now, that is “Curious.”
    Pat Lang

  28. manowar says:

    Returning to the CinC options, it appears we have rather extensive air and to a lesser extent naval power in removing a degree of nuclear facilities and perhaps immobilizing any large Iranian excursions crossing the Iraqi and Afghani borders.
    What we don’t have are the ground forces to sustain a heightened insurgency in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Lebanon (Hezbollah). Were this thing done right, we could probably count on Nato and possibly UN forces; however, the whole thing would become a serious regional war with possible overspill throughout the world. We surely would receive terrorist acts within the U.S. and would probably institute a draft.
    So my question is: were Iran allowed nuclear weapon development and be in effect countered by Israeli, a similar MAD strategy conducted during the Cold War, could this be an alternate strategy? Or is this particulary naive in light of peak oil?

  29. ismoot says:

    Elegant thought.
    I think what you miss is that the Iranians are intent on going about their business and their nuclear program is not, I think, a reaction to the Israeli program except in that Israel is a permanent provocation by the West from their point of view. pl

  30. RJJ says:

    “The information’s probability of reality also has to be judged. In the end one must judge both things for oneself.”
    What are the consequences if it the translation is not accurate.
    Do you have confidence that it IS accurate — and COMPLETE, as well? You can assume, judge, probabilize and even guesstimate all you like if there is no action to be taken on the basis of the statement.
    But surely there are enough Farsi speakers in the country to get a second or even third translation of the statement, aren’t there?
    This outrage is based on idea(l)s? Macro-scale do-goodism? That would indeed be the evil of banality (sic).

  31. RJJ says:

    “We surely would receive terrorist acts within the U.S. and would probably institute a draft.”
    and an Enabling Act.

  32. ismoot says:

    Well, I am waiting for someone to tell me that it is not accurate. pl

  33. RJJ says:

    Send me the original document – complete. I will get three translations. THEN you can judge.

  34. RJJ says:

    or to revisit my earlier botched wordplay: from sic semper tyrannis to sic semper tyrannus or sic semper tyranni. one letter changes the meaning from thus ever to tyrants to yes, tyrant(s) forever.
    It is easy to get it wrong — even without a bias. On this I AM an expert.

  35. RJJ says:

    QED!!! I meant that I am an expert at dropping bytes which lead to getting things wrong.

  36. ismoot says:

    I’m afraid I don’t have time to do that. pl

  37. Michael D. Adams says:

    The link is dead so I’m at a loss except to say I wouldn’t use anything from MEMRI without independently confirming every facet of their “information”.
    The document you requested doesn’t exist. Click Here for a complete list of available documents in this section

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