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The Assault on Teachers Unions

By David Macaray | CounterPunch | June 13, 2014

Although I can understand the relentless anti-union crusade being waged by free market fundamentalists who wish to: (1) weaken the American labor movement, and (2) do away with the public school system (because there are hundreds of millions of dollars to be made by “privatizing” education), I am stunned by the public’s willingness to accept what is, on its face, a monumentally stupid argument.

While no one ever hears of American colleges and universities being accused of producing consistently “bad” accountants or bad pharmacists or bad historians or bad computer programmers or bad anthropologists, apparently, those same colleges and universities have turned out a disproportionately high number of “bad” teachers.

Even though these idealistic men and women busted their humps earning their college degrees and teaching credentials (which, by law, are required to teach in a public school, but are not required by private schools), once they entered the classroom and began plying their trade, they turned out to be a bunch of incompetents and slackers.

Of course, the explanation given by the anti-labor, privatization propagandists is that these teachers came out of their colleges and universities in satisfactory shape, but turned “bad” as soon as they became union members, because the teachers’ union, as we all know, was put on earth to protect bad teachers. Yep, as a former union president myself, I can attest that there’s nothing we union honchos admire more than a shitty worker.

Here’s something to think about: Airline pilots, flight attendants, mechanics, firefighters, nurses, actors, writers, directors, coal miners, and that woman who plays oboe in the symphony orchestra are union members. They are good at their jobs. Being represented by a union didn’t turn them into bad workers.

Southwest Airlines is the most unionized carrier in the industry and, last time I checked, it was among the most profitable. If you want to accept the outrageous falsehood—the outright lie—that union members are bad workers, that’s your privilege, but unless you have a death wish, I suggest you stay off airplanes.

Here’s something else: Some of the best school districts in the country are heavily unionized. Something else: Demonstrating that the whole thing is mainly socio-economic, schools in stable areas perform better than schools in poor, distressed areas, and unions have nothing to do with it. And something else: Non-union teachers across the country get fired at about the same rate as union teachers. It’s true. Why don’t more non-union teachers get fired? Because they don’t deserve be fired.

Has anyone who did poorly in school ever blamed the teacher for their lack of success? Has anyone ever said, “Man, I would’ve been a kick-ass student if only my teachers had been capable of teaching me”? I’ve never heard one person say that. Instead, they either blame their parents for not having assisted or “pushed” them enough, or blame themselves for simply not having put in the necessary work.

Again, this whole assault on the teaching profession is a hoax. It’s designed to beat down the unions and convince people that “private education” is the way to go. And in order to win, they need to convince a critical mass of parents that the only reason their little Johnny or Judy isn’t performing like a budding genius is because of “bad” teachers. That people believe it is a shame.

David Macaray is a labor columnist and author (“It’s Never Been Easy: Essays on Modern Labor, 2nd Edition). Dmacaray@earthlink.net

June 13, 2014 Posted by | Deception, Economics, Solidarity and Activism | | 2 Comments

Journalists lament PA silence as Israel bans Gaza papers

Ma’an – 13/06/2014

GAZA CITY – Palestinian journalists on Thursday urged the newly-formed national unity government to respond to Israel’s decision to prohibit the printing and distribution of Gaza-based newspapers in the West Bank.

“Do we need an Israeli presidential decree to be able to print newspapers in territories controlled by the Palestinian Authority?” editor-in-chief of al-Risalah newspaper wrote on Thursday in exasperation over the lack of PA response.

On May 28, Israeli soldiers raided the Ramallah offices of the PA-affiliated al-Ayyam newspaper, telling managers that Israel would not allow them to distribute the Hamas-affiliated Falastin, Al-Risalah, and Al-Istiqlal newspapers in the West Bank.

The Israeli raid undermined an inter-Palestinian deal that aimed to ensure freedom of press by facilitating the sale of Gaza newspapers in the West Bank and vice-versa.

Political analyst Wisam Afifa criticized the Palestinian national consensus government for its unwillingness to stand up to Israel’s attack on Palestinian free speech.

“We consider that by remaining silent, the government actually accepts the Israeli decision to ban the printing of Gaza newspapers,” he told Ma’an.

He highlighted that managers of the Gaza newspapers had contacted the Palestinian government spokesperson Eyhab Bseso over the issue, but nothing had been done.

“So far, there has been no comment on the prohibition, and we expect a serious and real response to these violations, especially from President Abbas,” added Afifa.

Similarly, the editor-in-chief of al-Istiqlal newspaper criticized the Palestinian Authority and the national consensus government for not taking any action against Israel’s decision to ban Gaza newspapers in the West Bank.

Tawfiq al-Sayyid Salim has said that he views the Israeli decision to ban Gaza newspapers as a humiliation to President Abbas himself, belittling his authority.

In December, the Foreign Press Association accused the Israeli army of “deliberately targeting” journalists after soldiers fired rubber bullets and threw stun grenades at photojournalists clearly identified as press.

The Tel Aviv-based group, which represents journalists of all foreign media, said troops had directly targeted a group of photographers covering clashes at the Qalandia checkpoint between Jerusalem and Ramallah.

A 2013 report by Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedoms counted 151 violations of Palestinian freedom of speech by Israeli authorities, including incidents of “physical assault, detention, arrest, prevention from coverage, travel bans, interrogation, threat, raiding, closing and blocking, trial, and confiscation of equipment.”

The report also mentioned 78 violations by Palestinian authorities, primarily in the Gaza Strip, though these numbers are believed to be improving particularly since the the agreement to form a national unity government was made at the end of April.

June 13, 2014 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , , , | Leave a comment

3 journalists injured in Bilin protest

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Ma’an – June 13, 2014

RAMALLAH – Three journalists were injured and dozens suffered from excessive tear gas inhalation as Israeli forces dispersed a weekly protest in Bilin village near Ramallah.

Israeli forces fired rubber-coated steel bullets, stun grenades, and tear gas at protesters as they neared their lands near the wall, injuring photographer Abbas al-Momini with a rubber-coated steel bullet in the pelvis, and Palestine TV cameraman Shamekh Jagoub and photographer Haitham Khatib with tear-gas canisters in the abdomen.

Participants raised Palestinian flags and posters of prisoners as they marched throughout the village chanting songs for unity and in support of prisoners.

Protesters wore prisoner uniforms and played football in front of the prison.

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June 13, 2014 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Full Spectrum Dominance, Subjugation - Torture | , , , | Leave a comment

Fired for ‘Diverging’ on Climate: Progressive Professor’s fellowship ‘terminated’

By Marc Morano – Climate Depot – June 12, 2014

Dr. Caleb Rossiter was “terminated” via email as an “Associate Fellow” from the progressive group Institute for Policy Studies (IPS), following his May 4th, 2014 Wall Street Journal OpEd titled “Sacrificing Africa for Climate Change,” in which he called man-made global warming an “unproved science.” Rossiter also championed the expansion of carbon based energy in Africa.  Dr.  Rossiter is an adjunct professor at American University. Rossiter, who has taught courses in climate statistics, holds a PhD in policy analysis and a masters degree in mathematics.

In an exclusive interview with Climate Depot, Dr. Rossiter explained: “If people ever say that fears of censorship for ‘climate change’ views are overblown, have them take a look at this: Just two days after I published a piece in the Wall Street Journal calling for Africa to be allowed the ‘all of the above’ energy strategy we have in the U.S., the Institute for Policy Studies terminated my 23-year relationship with them… because my analysis and theirs ‘diverge.’”

“I have tried to get [IPS] to discuss and explain their rejection of my analysis,’ Rossiter told Climate Depot. “When I countered a claim of ‘rapidly accelerating’ temperature change with the [UN] IPCC’s own data’, showing the nearly 20-year temperature pause — the best response I ever got was ‘Caleb, I don’t have time for this.’”

Climate Depot has obtained a copy of a May 7, 2014 email that John Cavanagh, the director of IPS since 1998, sent to Rossiter with the subject “Ending IPS Associate Fellowship.”

“Dear Caleb, We would like to inform you that we are terminating your position as an Associate Fellow of the Institute for Policy Studies,” Cavanagh wrote in the opening sentence of the email.

“Unfortunately, we now feel that your views on key issues, including climate science, climate justice, and many aspects of U.S. policy to Africa, diverge so significantly from ours that a productive working relationship is untenable. The other project directors of IPS feel the same,” Cavanagh explained.

“We thank you for that work and wish you the best in your future endeavors,” Cavanagh and his IPS associate Emira Woods added.

On May 13, 2013,  Rossiter wrote a blog titled on his website further detailing  his climate views. The article was titled: “The Debate is finally over on ‘Global Warming’ – Because Nobody will Debate.” He wrote: “I have assigned hundreds of climate articles as I taught and learned about the physics of climate, the construction of climate models, and the statistical evidence of extreme weather.”

“My blood simply boils too hot when I read the blather, daily, about climate catastrophe.  It is so well-meaning, and so misguided,” Rossiter explained.

Rossiter also ripped President Barack Obama’s climate claims in his blog post: “Obama has long been delusional on this issue, speaking of a coming catastrophe and seeing himself as King Canute, stopping the rise in sea-level.  But he really went off the chain in his state of the union address this year.  ‘For the sake of our children and our future’ he issued an appeal to authority with no authority behind it.”

Rosstier’s May 4, 2014 Wall Street Journal OpEd also pulled no punches. Rossiter, who holds a masters in mathematics, wrote: “I started to suspect that the climate-change data were dubious a decade ago while teaching statistics. Computer models used by the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change to determine the cause of the six-tenths of one degree Fahrenheit rise in global temperature from 1980 to 2000 could not statistically separate fossil-fueled and natural trends.”

His Wall Street Journal OpEd continued: “The left wants to stop industrialization—even if the hypothesis of catastrophic, man-made global warming is false.” He added: “Western policies seem more interested in carbon-dioxide levels than in life expectancy.”

“Each American accounts for 20 times the emissions of each African. We are not rationing our electricity. Why should Africa, which needs electricity for the sort of income-producing enterprises and infrastructure that help improve life expectancy? The average in Africa is 59 years—in America it’s 79,” he explained.

“How terrible to think that so many people in the West would rather block such success stories in the name of unproved science,” he concluded his WSJ OpEd.

Rossiter’s and IPS seemed a natural fit, given Rossiter’s long history as an anti-war activist.  IPS describes itself as “a community of public scholars and organizers linking peace, justice, and the environment in the U.S. and globally. We work with social movements to promote true democracy and challenge concentrated wealth, corporate influence, and military power.

But Rosstier’s credentials as a long-time progressive could not trump his growing climate skepticism or his unabashed promotion of carbon based fuels for Africa.

Rossiter’s website describes himself as “a progressive activist who has spent four decades fighting against and writing about the U.S. foreign policy of supporting repressive governments in the formerly colonized countries.”

“I’ve spent my life on the foreign-policy left. I opposed the Vietnam War, U.S. intervention in Central America in the 1980s and our invasion of Iraq. I have headed a group trying to block U.S. arms and training for “friendly” dictators, and I have written books about how U.S. policy in the developing world is neocolonial,” Rossiter wrote in the Wall Street Journal on May 4.

Rossiter’s Wall Street Journal OpEd continued: “The left wants to stop industrialization—even if the hypothesis of catastrophic, man-made global warming is false. John Feffer, my colleague at the Institute for Policy Studies, wrote in the Dec. 8, 2009, Huffington Post that ‘even if the mercury weren’t rising’ we should bring ‘the developing world into the postindustrial age in a sustainable manner.’ He sees the ‘climate crisis [as] precisely the giant lever with which we can, following Archimedes, move the world in a greener, more equitable direction.”

“Then, as now, the computer models simply built in the assumption that fossil fuels are the culprit when temperatures rise, even though a similar warming took place from 1900 to 1940, before fossil fuels could have caused it. The IPCC also claims that the warming, whatever its cause, has slightly increased the length of droughts, the frequency of floods, the intensity of storms, and the rising of sea levels, projecting that these impacts will accelerate disastrously. Yet even the IPCC acknowledges that the average global temperature today remains unchanged since 2000, and did not rise one degree as the models predicted.

“But it is as an Africanist, rather than a statistician, that I object most strongly to ‘climate justice.’ Where is the justice for Africans when universities divest from energy companies and thus weaken their ability to explore for resources in Africa? Where is the justice when the U.S. discourages World Bank funding for electricity-generation projects in Africa that involve fossil fuels, and when the European Union places a ‘global warming’ tax on cargo flights importing perishable African goods?”

June 13, 2014 Posted by | Corruption, Economics, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular | 1 Comment

GAO Audit Accuses Obama Administration of Lowballing Cost of Maintaining Nuclear Arsenal

By Noel Brinkerhoff | AllGov | June 13, 2014

For the second time this year, government auditors have issued a report critical of the Obama administration’s projections for preserving the nation’s stockpile of nuclear weapons.

In both instances, the cost estimates put forth by the departments of Defense and Energy have been described as far too low, in part because key expenses were not budgeted. The latest audit, performed by the Government Accountability Office (GAO), supported some of the findings of the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), which concluded six months ago that the administration was off—by hundreds of billions of dollars—in estimating the future needs of maintaining the arsenal.

The Pentagon has claimed outlays will be about $264 billion. But the CBO put the figure closer to $570 billion and perhaps as much as $1 trillion over the next 30 years.

The GAO did not offer its own estimate for maintaining the weapons. But it did question the Defense Department’s claim that modernizing all ballistic missiles and bombers would require only $64 billion over the next 10 years.

In the case of the Minuteman III missile, which has served as the backbone of the nation’s land-based nuclear deterrent since the 1970s, GAO auditors found the administration left out all future funding for replacing these weapons, saying the program was “not yet defined.” As for a new bomber, the Air Force said those costs were “too sensitive” to include in the report.

At the Energy Department (DOE), which oversees all nuclear weapons research, the GAO found that officials had low-balled the cost of modernizing certain warheads for ballistic and cruise missiles.

The agency also reported that DOE had assumed billions of dollars in cost savings from efficiency efforts without determining where the savings would come from, and that Energy officials had left out the cost of revamping or replacing several nuclear-weapons laboratories.

To Learn More:

Federal Auditors Say Obama Administration Underestimates Nuclear Weapons Costs (by R. Jeffrey Smith, Center for Public Integrity)

Ten-Year Budget Estimates for Modernization Omit Key Efforts, and Assumptions and Limitations Are Not Fully Transparent (Government Accountability Office)

Obama Administration Underestimated Cost of Maintaining Nuclear Weapons by $140 Billion (by Noel Brinkerhoff and Danny Biederman, AllGov)

June 13, 2014 Posted by | Deception, Economics, Militarism, Progressive Hypocrite | , | Leave a comment

The Jewish Plan for the Middle East and Beyond

By Gilad Atzmon | June 13, 2014

Surely, what’s happening now in Iraq and Syria must serve as a final wake-up call that we have been led into a horrific situation in the Middle East by a powerful Lobby driven by the interests of one tribe and one tribe alone.

Back in 1982, Oded Yinon an Israeli journalist formerly attached to the Israeli Foreign Ministry, published a document titled ‘A Strategy for Israel in the Nineteen Eighties.’ This Israeli commentator suggested that for Israel to maintain its regional superiority, it must fragment its surrounding Arab states into smaller units. The document, later labelled as ‘Yinon Plan’, implied that Arabs and Muslims killing each other in endless sectarian wars was, in effect, Israel’s insurance policy.

Of course, regardless of the Yinon Plan’s prophesies, one might still argue that this has nothing to do with Jewish lobbying, politics or institutions but is just one more Israeli strategic proposal except that it is impossible to ignore that the Neocon school of thought that pushed the English-speaking Empire into Iraq was largely a Jewish Diaspora, Zionist clan. It’s also no secret that the 2nd Gulf War was fought to serve Israeli interests –  breaking into sectarian units what then seemed to be the last pocket of Arab resistance to Israel.

Similarly, it is well established that when Tony Blair decided to launch that criminal war, Lord Levy was the chief fundraiser for his Government while, in the British media, Jewish Chronicle writers David Aaronovitch and Nick Cohen were busy beating the drums for war. And again, it was the exact same Jewish Lobby that was pushing for intervention in Syria, calling for the USA and NATO to fight alongside those same Jihadi forces that today threaten the last decade’s American ‘achievements’ in Iraq.

Unfortunately, Yinon’s disciples are more common than you might expect. In France, it was the infamous Jewish ‘philosopher’ Bernard Henri Levy who  boasted on TV that ‘as a Jew’ campaigning for NATO intervention, he liberated Libya.

As we can see, a dedicated number of Jewish Zionist activists, commentators and intellectuals have worked relentlessly in many countries pushing for exactly the same cause – the breaking up of Arab and Muslim states into smaller, sectarian units.

But is it just the Zionists who are engaging in such tactics? Not at all.

In fact, the Jewish so-called Left serves the exact same cause, but instead of fragmenting Arabs and Muslims into Shia, Sunnis, Alawites and Kurds they strive to break them into sexually oriented identity groups (Lesbian, Queer, Gays, Heterosexual etc.)

Recently I learned from Sarah Schulman, a NY Jewish Lesbian activist that in her search for funding for a young ‘Palestinian Queer’ USA tour, she was advised to approach George Soros’ Open Society institute. The following account may leave you flabbergasted, as it did me:

A former ACT UP staffer who worked for the Open Society Institute, George Soros’ foundation, suggested that I file an application there for funding for the tour. When I did so it turned out that the person on the other end had known me from when we both attended Hunter [College] High School in New York in the 1970s. He forwarded the application to the Institutes’s office in Amman, Jordan, and I had an amazing one-hour conversation with Hanan Rabani, its director of the Women’s and Gender program for the Middle East region. Hanan told me that this tour would give great visibility to autonomous queer organizations in the region. That it would inspire queer Arabs—especially in Egypt and Iran… for that reason, she said, funding for the tour should come from the Amman office” (Sarah Schulman -Israel/Palestine and the Queer International p. 108).

The message is clear, The Open Society Institutes  (OSI) wires Soros’s money to Jordan, Palestine and then back to the  USA in order to “inspire queer Arabs in Egypt and Iran (sic).”

What we see here is clear evidence of a blatant intervention by George Soros and his institute in an attempt to break Arabs and Muslims and shape their culture. So, while the right-wing Jewish Lobby pushes the Arabs into ethnic sectarian wars, their tribal counterparts within George Soros’ OSI institute, do exactly the same — attempt to break the Arab and Muslims by means of marginal and identity politics.

It is no secret that, as far as recent developments in Iraq are concerned, America, Britain and the West are totally unprepared. So surely, the time is long overdue when we must identify the forces and ideologies within Western society that are pushing us into more and more global conflicts. And all we can hope for is that  America, Britain and France may think twice before they spend trillions of their taxpayers’ money in following the Yinon Plan to fight ruinous, foreign wars imposed upon them by The Lobby.

June 13, 2014 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular, Wars for Israel | , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Zarif Reveals Iran’s Proposal for Ensuring against “Breakout”

By Gareth Porter | IPS | June 13, 2014

TEHRAN — Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif has revealed for the first time that Iran has made a detailed proposal to the P5+1 group of states aimed at ensuring that no stockpile of low-enriched uranium would be available for “breakout” through enrichment to weapons grade levels.

In an exclusive interview with IPS, Zarif described an Iranian plan, presented at the meetings with the P5+1 last month in Vienna, that would exclude weapons grade enrichment. “The parameters of the proposal would be set to continue Iran’s enrichment but to provide the necessary guarantees that it would not enrich to anything over five percent,” said Zarif.

The proposal, which was later published by the Iranian government, included a series of “technical guarantees” against nuclear weapons proliferation.

The plan would involve the immediate conversion of each batch of low-enriched uranium to an oxide powder that would then be used to make fuel assemblies for Iran’s Bushehr reactor, according to Zarif.

Because Iran does not have the capability to manufacture fuel assemblies for Bushehr, the proposal implies that the oxide power would be sent to Russia, at least for several years, rather than remaining in Iran.

The previously undisclosed Iranian plan is part of a broader negotiating stance that insists on the need for a large increase in the number of centrifuges it would have in the future – a demand that the United States and its negotiating partners have rejected.

Obama administration officials have made it clear that they are insisting on very steep reductions in the number of centrifuges, based on the argument that Iran cannot be allowed to have the capability to enrich enough uranium to weapons grade for a single nuclear bomb in less than six to 12 months.

Zarif said he could not discuss the details of the Iranian proposal, because it is “still being negotiated”.

But he described it as involving a complete cycle “from conversion to yellowcake, to UF6, to enriched uranium, back to oxide powder, and back to fuel rods,” all of which would be “designed specifically to meet the requirements of the Bushehr reactor.”

Zarif revealed that the Iranian plan for guaranteeing that Iran could not have a nuclear weapons capability is very similar to the proposal that Iran made to a meeting with the European three (U.K., France and Germany) in Paris in March 2005.

The proposal, which was later published by the Iranian government, included a series of “technical guarantees” against nuclear weapons proliferation. It describes one of those guarantees as “immediate conversion of all enriched uranium to fuel rods to preclude even the technical possibility of further enrichment.”

The U.S.-educated Zarif said he had developed that 2005 proposal himself when he was Iranian Ambassador to the United Nations, after he had consulted with a number of American nuclear scientists on ways to reassure the Europeans and the U.S. that Iran could not enrich enough uranium to weapons grade for a nuclear bomb.

“I asked them what would provide the necessary confidence,” said Zarif. “They gave me a number of elements, which I put in a package and sent to Tehran, and they took it to Paris.”

Frank N. Von Hippel, former assistant director for national security in the White House Office of Science and Technology and now a professor at Princeton University, confirmed in an e-mail that he had been part of a small group of American scientists and others who had met with Zarif to discuss the problem of how to provide assurances that Iran’s civil nuclear programme would not be used to support a nuclear weapons programme.

Von Hippel said his recollection was that the group had suggested “not building up a stockpile but rather shipping [the low-enriched uranium] to Russia to make fuel for the Bushehr reactor.”

Peter Jenkins, then the U.K. permanent representative to the International Atomic Energy Agency, participated in the Mar. 23, 2005 meeting at which the Iranian plan was presented.

“All of us were impressed by the proposal,” he recalled in a 2012 interview. The Europeans did not accept it as the basis for negotiation, however, because the George W. Bush administration had insisted that Iran not be allowed to have any enrichment whatsoever, according to European diplomats involved in that earlier phase of negotiations.

Zarif rejected the Obama administration’s position that Iran should obtain whatever reactor fuel it needs for Bushehr or any future reactors from Russia or other foreign sources rather than relying on its own enrichment capabilities. “People should not tell us you have to rely on us,” he said. “It is 30 years too late.”

He was referring to Iran’s experience with its reliance during the early 1980s on a French-based uranium enrichment consortium called Eurodif in which it had a financial stake acquired during the Shah’s regime that entitled Iran to 10 percent of the enriched uranium produced by the consortium.

After the Islamic Republic resumed the nuclear programme begun by the Shah, however, the French government prevented Eurodif from supplying any enriched uranium for nuclear fuel for the nuclear reactor at Bushehr in the early 1980s.

The U.S. State Department acknowledged in 1984 that it had not only ended its own nuclear cooperation with Iran but had “asked other nuclear suppliers not to engage in nuclear cooperation with Iran, especially while the Iran-Iraq war continues.”

The foreign minister ruled out the acceptance of the P5+1 proposal in the last round of negotiations, which reportedly would limit the number of Iranian centrifuges to a fraction of its present total of 19,000.

“We’re not going to redefine our practical needs,” he said, referring to the language in the Joint Plan of Action agreed to last November calling for agreement on an Iranian enrichment programme whose “parameters” would reflect Iran’s “practical needs”.

But the foreign minister indicated that Iran was “prepared within the scope of those practical needs to work on timing, to work on various technical details….”

Zarif criticised statements by former and present U.S. officials to the news media as well in the negotiations referring to demands that the number of Iranian centrifuges must be geared to the need to extend the time required for “breakout” to 6 to 12 months.

Some of the statements made to the press, including those by former State Department proliferation official Robert Einhorn, as well as some of those made in the negotiations “amount to posturing”, Zarif said, adding that they “amount to creating expectations that can never be met.”

“It will be much more productive if everyone involved refrains from shaping the debate in a way that [it] will be out of control,” said Zarif.

Zarif said the U.S. insistence on Iran’s ending of all enrichment at its Fordow facility, which is located in a tunnel under a mountain, is based on “the argument that you can’t have this facility, because otherwise we can’t bomb it.”

The implied assertion of the right to bomb Iranian facilities “strikes the wrong chord in the Iranian psyche and produces exactly the opposite reaction,” he said.

Zarif challenged the view reflected in Western news coverage that the Rouhani government is under strong political pressure to produce results in the talks that would remove the worst sanctions.

The last round of talks in Vienna, which were unsuccessful “has been the easiest time at home,” he said, and “the toughest time” for him as he had to explain “each positive result to a population that is extremely skeptical of the West’s intentions.” If he rejected a deal, Zarif said, he would receive a “hero’s welcome.”

June 13, 2014 Posted by | Timeless or most popular | , | Leave a comment