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TOPIC: Iran
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Iran will be The US's next "Middle Eastern" invasion. And if you're doubting that there will be a war with them. Just watch.

Rumson NJ
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OK I know that wasn't useful, sorry.

I really don't know what we can do about Iran. On one hand, we really don't want them having nuclear weapons. On the other, why do we get to say that another country can't have them?

And, above all, short of an invasion, can we really stop them? I don't think so.

So what do we do? Other than make faces at them and hope they behave themselves?

Winter Garden FL
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I walk along the avenue I never thought I'd meet a girl like you Meet a girl like you With auburn hair and tawny eyes The kind of eyes that hypnotize me through Hypnotize me through

And I ran I ran so far away I just ran I ran all night and day I couldn't get away

Winter Garden FL
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Even Iranian officials now admit that the US-led sanctions regime against Iran is damaging its economy.

But the pressure has failed in its primary aim: to slow Iran’s nuclear progress. That has become obvious to the US and European officials imposing crippling sanctions, as has the fact that sanctions may have even sped up Iran's nuclear advancement.

A report released today – based on 30 in-depth interviews with Iranian officials, analysts, and businessmen – explains that dilemma and Iran’s determined defiance to Western policymakers, who will conduct a fifth round of nuclear negotiations with Iran in Kazakhstan next week.

The report's conclusions provide a rare glimpse from high levels in Iran of how sanctions have and have not worked, which could directly affect decisions by Western nuclear negotiators, and a US Congress keen on adding more sanctions, but reluctant to offer enough sanctions relief to convince Iran to stop its most sensitive nuclear work.

“It’s critical to understand how massive pain is being channeled and absorbed in Iran, because just sitting there expecting pain to deliver results is somewhat naïve,” says co-author Trita Parsi, president of the Washington-based National Iranian American Council (NIAC), which produced the report.

“Putting pressure is just half of the equation; [US and European officials] have succeeded with that, undoubtedly the pain on Iran is immense,” says Mr. Parsi. “But to channel the pain is a very, very different task.”

THE WRONG INCENTIVE?

Sanctions now include a European oil embargo, exclusion from the SWIFT international banking system that enables Iranian banks to transfer money, and US measures that target Iran’s central bank.

These measures have begun to bite, causing economic isolation and a precipitous fall in both oil revenues and the value of the Iranian currency. But Iran has still added thousands of centrifuges to enrich uranium, and deployed a more efficient, second-generation centrifuge model; stepped up uranium enrichment levels from 5 percent to 20 percent, which is technically not too far from weapons-grade; and moved its most sensitive work to a deeply buried site impregnable to air attack.

Those results so far indicate that pressure is not working, according to the NIAC report, because “escalating sanctions as a [Western] bargaining chip also gives Iran the incentive to advance its program for the same reason.”

One current Iranian official told the NIAC that Western governments expected Iran’s economy to collapse: “Well, now they know that they have failed. If they continue this way, it will just strengthen Iran’s resolve to confront the West.”

Describing regime thinking, a former deputy foreign minister said, “It was obvious to us that the sanctions pressure will increase and … the main target was to weaken the regime, but that compelled us to stay strong, work together, and prove the Western strategy wrong.”

Pittsburgh PA
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TOPIC: Iran