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My administration is now committed to diplomacy…and to pursuing constructive ties among the United States, Iran, and the international community. This process will not be advanced by threats. We seek instead engagement that is honest and grounded in mutual respect.

President Obama, March 20091

I have one word for you -  Stuxnet

Gaza Incursion a War Game Scenario?

Thought -

The current hostilities with Gaza were a pretext to test the new anti missile system, Iron Shield. It also gave the current Israeli government the opportunity to kill some Hamas dignitaries. The IDF use these kind of hostilities as a laboratory. Testing future war scenarios, in particular retaliation by Iran after the IDF launches it’s attack against same.

What do you think?

Obama Order Sped Up Wave of Cyberattacks Against Iran

The worlds is your oyster when use sharp cyber knives to pluck your pearls. Who’s the biggest bad ass on the cyber front?

Via NY Times:

by DAVID E. SANGER - June 1, 2012

WASHINGTON — 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 — even after an element of the program accidentally became public in the summer of 2010 because of a programming error that allowed it to escape Iran’s Natanz plant and sent it around the world on the Internet. Computer security experts who began studying the worm, which had been developed by the United States and Israel, gave it a name: Stuxnet.

At a tense meeting in the White House Situation Room within days of the worm’s “escape,” Mr. Obama, Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and the director of the Central Intelligence Agency at the time, Leon E. Panetta, considered whether America’s most ambitious attempt to slow the progress of Iran’s nuclear efforts had been fatally compromised.

“Should we shut this thing down?” Mr. Obama asked, according to members of the president’s national security team who were in the room.

Read Entire Article

The Israeli Generals Revolt

garysick:

Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu is convinced that Iran is on the verge of acquiring a nuclear weapon. He believes that the Iranians cannot be deterred through diplomacy, and he views the Iranian threat as one that may bring about a second Jewish Holocaust.

His generals disagree.

In one of the most astounding public breaks by the Israeli national security establishment with a sitting prime minister, Netanyahu’s own military Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz has stated that Iran’s leadership is rational. Gantz is not alone. 

[Read the full text of this article by Joel Rubin, the Director of Policy and Government Affairs at the Ploughshares Fund, at the link above.]

BBC suffers cyber-attack following Iran campaign

73r0:

(Via: Reuters) - The BBC has suffered a sophisticated cyber-attack following a campaign by Iranian authorities against its Persian service, director-general Mark Thompson said on Wednesday.

Thompson also reported attempts to jam satellite feeds of the British Broadcasting Corporation services into Iran and to swamp its London phone lines with automated calls.

BOMBSHELL REPORT: Koch Industries Made Illicit Payments, Stole Oil On Federal Land And Lied To Authorities

cultureofresistance:

In May 2008, a unit of Koch Industries Inc., one of the world’s largest privately held companies, sent Ludmila Egorova-Farines, its newly hired compliance officer and ethics manager, to investigate the management of a subsidiary in Arles in southern France. In less than a week, she discovered that the company had paid bribes to win contracts.

“I uncovered the practices within a few days,” Egorova- Farines says. “They were not hidden at all.”

She immediately notified her supervisors in the U.S. A week later, Wichita, Kansas-based Koch Industries dispatched an investigative team to look into her findings, Bloomberg Markets magazine reports in its November issue.

By September of that year, the researchers had found evidence of improper payments to secure contracts in six countries dating back to 2002, authorized by the business director of the company’s Koch-Glitsch affiliate in France.

“Those activities constitute violations of criminal law,” Koch Industries wrote in a Dec. 8, 2008, letter giving details of its findings. The letter was made public in a civil court ruling in France in September 2010; the document has never before been reported by the media.

Egorova-Farines wasn’t rewarded for bringing the illicit payments to the company’s attention. Her superiors removed her from the inquiry in August 2008 and fired her in June 2009, calling her incompetent, even after Koch’s investigators substantiated her findings. She sued Koch-Glitsch in France for wrongful termination.

(via hushpoint)

globalvoices:

Haleh Sahabi, an Iranian women’s rights activist died yesterday morning as a result of rough treatment by security agents during the funeral of her father, Ezatollah Sahabi, a veteran patriotic political leader.

globalvoices:

Haleh Sahabi, an Iranian women’s rights activist died yesterday morning as a result of rough treatment by security agents during the funeral of her father, Ezatollah Sahabi, a veteran patriotic political leader.

curate:

DOHA, QATAR - Al Jazeera has been given information  that journalist Dorothy Parvaz has been deported from Syria to Iran.
This information has come from Syrian officials, who had previously  told Al Jazeera they were holding Dorothy in Damascus, and that she  would be released.
An Al Jazeera spokesman said: “We have now received information that  she is being held in Tehran. We are calling for information from the  Iranian authorities, access to Dorothy, and for her immediate release.  We have had no contact with Dorothy since she left Doha on 29 April and  we are deeply concerned for her welfare.”
A statement from Dorothy’s family said: “Dorothy is a dearly loved  daughter, sister and fiancée, and a committed journalist. It is now  nearly two weeks since she was detained. We appeal once again for  Dorothy to be released immediately and returned to us.”
Dorothy is an experienced journalist who joined Al Jazeera in 2010.  She graduated from the University of British Columbia, obtained a  masters from Arizona University, and held journalism fellowships at both  Harvard and Cambridge. She previously worked as a columnist and feature  writer for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.
Al Jazeera is continuing to call for information about the  whereabouts of Dorothy Parvaz, access to Dorothy, and for her immediate  release.
Though Ali Akbar Salehi, Iran’s foreign minister, has said he has no  information about her location, Al Jazeera has requested details from a  number of ministries in Tehran in order to secure Dorothy’s release.
Mr Salehi had previously called on Syria’s government to look  into her case.
For a complete list of Dorothy’s feature articles on Al Jazeera, view  her profile.
(via Dorothy Parvaz - Al Jazeera English)

curate:

DOHA, QATAR - Al Jazeera has been given information that journalist Dorothy Parvaz has been deported from Syria to Iran.

This information has come from Syrian officials, who had previously told Al Jazeera they were holding Dorothy in Damascus, and that she would be released.

An Al Jazeera spokesman said: “We have now received information that she is being held in Tehran. We are calling for information from the Iranian authorities, access to Dorothy, and for her immediate release. We have had no contact with Dorothy since she left Doha on 29 April and we are deeply concerned for her welfare.”

A statement from Dorothy’s family said: “Dorothy is a dearly loved daughter, sister and fiancée, and a committed journalist. It is now nearly two weeks since she was detained. We appeal once again for Dorothy to be released immediately and returned to us.”

Dorothy is an experienced journalist who joined Al Jazeera in 2010. She graduated from the University of British Columbia, obtained a masters from Arizona University, and held journalism fellowships at both Harvard and Cambridge. She previously worked as a columnist and feature writer for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.

Al Jazeera is continuing to call for information about the whereabouts of Dorothy Parvaz, access to Dorothy, and for her immediate release.

Though Ali Akbar Salehi, Iran’s foreign minister, has said he has no information about her location, Al Jazeera has requested details from a number of ministries in Tehran in order to secure Dorothy’s release.

Mr Salehi had previously called on Syria’s government to look into her case.

For a complete list of Dorothy’s feature articles on Al Jazeera, view her profile.

(via Dorothy Parvaz - Al Jazeera English)

Three ideas for how Obama can leverage the Arab uprising

A New Opportunity for the U.S. to Promote Human Rights in Iran

By Reza Marashi and Trita Parsi

Via: The Atlantic

>

Since the 2009 Iranian presidential elections, President Obama has stood up for peaceful protestors and criticized the Iranian government for its brutal tactics without (so far) playing politics with the issue at home. But his stance on human rights in Iran has brought little in the way of tangible actions. With nearly the entire Middle East embroiled in protests against the status quo, Obama may have an unprecedented opportunity to move his Iran agenda forward.

…… cut …….

Recent unrest across the Middle East has highlighted a key principle for Obama: There is no viable long-term solution to the U.S.’s uneven relations with Iran — or any Arab country — that does not include human rights as a central tenet. Relationships centered on security at the expense of basic freedoms are, to many people in the Middle East, the cardinal sin that poisons U.S. standing in the region. A consistent, regional dedication to improving human rights would do more than just further human rights in Iran — it would help the U.S. to overcome its costly association with such autocrats as now-deposed Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and Saudi King Abdullah, who on Monday invaded Bahrain to put down that country’s protests. Historically, the U.S. has favored national security concerns over human rights in Egypt and in Saudi Arabia. But now Obama may have an opportunity to balance those strategic objectives in Iran.

Sharp analysis on the current conditions in Iran and the Middle east and how Obama and the US can create space for human rights and help stabilize the region.

Reza Marashi is director of research at the National Iranian American Council and a former Iran desk officer at the U.S. Department of State. Trita Parsi is president of the National Iranian American Council.

‘Anonymous’ - Helps Iranian Activists Fight The Regime

Via: Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty (both US government run radio broadcast networks)

In recent days, with Iranians taking to the streets to protest against the government, the country’s Islamic authorities have boosted their censorship efforts in a bid to crush opposition activity online.

This is where Anonymous and its “Operation: Iran” come in.

The collective is providing users with special advice forums and tools to fight the Iranian government’s censorship. The group has also encouraged Iranian users to use distributed-denial-of-service attacks (DDOS) in order to take down key government websites like khamenei.ir, the website of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei, as well as leader.ir and president.ir.

The article includes an interview with Arash

Arash is a hacker who works with Anonymous to fight government censorship and cybercontrol in his native Iran.

Read Entire Article - comments are interesting

It is fascinating how the group Anonymous is lauded by the US government for it’s support for Iranian protestors and condemned by them for their support of wikileaks. I understand that Visa, MasterCard and Bank of America are not on par with the Iranian government, however more critical analysis needs to be done to see what similarities exist in these disparate targets. Iranian governmental institutions and western financial institutions are both tools used by those in control, neither are accountable to the people they control.

What does democracy mean to you?

Via: Juan Cole

From last summer after the passage of the Comprehensive Iran sanctions or CISADA: Rep. Ron Paul argues that this measure is more or less a declaration of war on Iran, and that therefore we are effectively on a war footing with Tehran already.

Ron Paul has his flaws, I am not a libertarian and don’t agree his financial analysis, but on Foreign Policy we agree, especially about our military foot print around the world and the violent posturing toward Iran.