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Iran Demands Lifting of Sanctions for 'Irreversible' Moves, Says Insider

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As the P5+1 and Iran agree to continue talks on a possible joint statement past a midnight deadline into Wednesday, the most contentious issue in Lausanne still appears to be how and when sanctions on Iran will be lifted.

Virtually all the details of the negotiating positions of the two sides remain cloaked in secrecy. However, Middle East Eye has learned from an informed source in contact with negotiators in Lausanne that the core issue remaining to be resolved is whether the P5+1 will end some sanctions as soon as Iran has taken what it is calling “irreversible’ actions to implement the agreement.

Iran has already made some significant concessions on the sanctions issue, the source revealed. Iran and the six-nation group, led by the US, have agreed that unilateral US and European sanctions as UN Security Council sanctions that related to Iran’s nuclear programme could be “suspended” rather than being lifted permanently at the beginning of the implementation of the agreement. The Iranian delegation is also not contesting that the UN Security Council resolutions that forbid assistance to Iran’s ballistic missile program and other military programs can stay in place, the source said.
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The Biggest Threat to American Liberty

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George Washington pointed out, “Overgrown military establishments, which under any form of government, are inauspicious to liberty, and which are to be regarded as particularly hostile to Republican Liberty."

Wise words by the father of our country, but ones, unfortunately, rejected by modern-day Americans, who love and idolize the enormously overgrown military establishment that now characterizes our federal governmental system.

Eastern Europeans are getting a gander at America’s overgrown military establishment. Yesterday, the New York Times reported that a huge contingent of US military forces is winding its way through Eastern Europe as some sort of good-will tour and also to serve as a message to Russia that the United States is ready to go to war to protect Eastern Europe from Russia’s aggressive designs.

Never mind that it is America’s overgrown military establishment that gave rise to Russia’s so-called aggressive designs. Ever since the end of the Cold War, NATO has been absorbing Eastern European countries with the ultimate aim of absorbing Ukraine, which would enable the US military to place bases and missiles on Russia’s borders.
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Ron Paul: Is Indiana Law a Good Answer?

Looking to define "rights" has pitted those who seek special rights for sexual and other minorities against those who seek them for those of certain religious persuasions. Legislation forcing politically correct outcomes and that carve out special exemptions for matters of religious beliefs both miss the real point, says Ron Paul in his latest Liberty Report...
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After HIV Spike, Drug Warrior Governor Grants Limited Temporary Needle Exchange

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Indiana Governor Mike Pence on Thursday issued an executive order (EO 15-05) declaring a “public health disaster emergency” in Scott County in southeastern Indiana due to an epidemic of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) in the county. The extraordinary measures allowed under the executive order include permitting the Scott County Board of Health to seek the state government’s permission to design and administer a short-term needle exchange program for the sole purpose of suppressing the HIV epidemic in Scott County.

The Republican governor’s executive order further says that all 79 HIV cases the Indiana State Department of Health has confirmed in Scott County since December “directly relate to intravenous drug use.” According to the executive order, no more than than five confirmed HIV cases, irrespective of how transmitted, are expected yearly in the county.

If you are in one of Indiana’s 91 other counties and wish to access new, clean needles to protect yourself from infection, tough. (Less than half of one percent of Indiana residents live in Scott County.) Yet, people outside Scott County will be no less dead or debilitated because of infections they receive from using old, dirty needles.
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Repeal, Don’t Reform the IMF!

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A responsible financial institution would not extend a new loan of between 17 and 40 billion dollars to a borrower already struggling to pay back an existing multi-billion dollar loan. Yet that is just what the International Monetary Fund (IMF) did last month when it extended a new loan to the government of Ukraine. This new loan may not make much economic sense, but propping up the existing Ukrainian government serves the foreign policy agenda of the US government.

Since the IMF receives most of its funding from the United States, it is hardly surprising that it would tailor its actions to advance the US government’s foreign policy goals. The IMF also has a history of using the funds provided to it by the American taxpayer to prop up dictatorial regimes and support unsound economic policies.
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Ron Paul: Is Yemen the Next Big War?

According to Washington, al-Qaeda and ISIS are the biggest danger facing the US. But in Yemen, the US has backed Saudi Arabia's bombing of the Houthis, who are bitterly opposed to al-Qaeda and ISIS? The neocons are all behind the bombing because they are dedicated to giving Iran a black eye in the hopes that any Iranian response will finally scuttle any nuclear deal with the country.
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Sanctions and the Fate of the Nuclear Talks

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With the agreed deadline for reaching a “political framework” for a final comprehensive nuclear agreement only a few days away, the fate of the negotiations now hang on closing the gap between the P5+1 and Iran on removing sanctions. 

The issues associated with Iran’s nuclear program have now been pretty much resolved, except for limits on Research and Development. But on sanctions relief, all the evidence indicates that the two sides have not advanced beyond where they were last November, when they were very far apart. 

Part of the problem is the West’s myopic perspective on the issues. The Obama administration clings to the belief that the only reason Iran is negotiating is that it was so seriously hurt by the sanctions. It fails to grasp the depth of Iranian commitment to removing the sanctions as a matter of national pride as well as to be able to achieve a higher level of economic development. 

In fact, Iranian national security strategists have been scheming for two decades about how to accumulate enough bargaining chips to induce the United States to negotiate an end to the sanctions imposed during the Clinton administration. An independent Iranian analyst told me some years ago that senior Iranian national security officials had been saying in private conversations from 2003 to 2005 that they viewed Iran’s future stockpile of enriched uranium as bargaining chips for the eventual negotiations with the United States.
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Leave the Houthis Alone!

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Saudi Arabia
‘s US-backed aggression against the sovereignty of Yemen is a textbook example of how local conflicts are internationalized – and become tripwires for regional wars and even global conflagrations.

Like Libya, Yemen is yet another Middle Eastern country that doesn’t really exist: it is actually at least two separate countries, perhaps three – the southern provinces, which are primarily Sunni, the northern tribes, who adhere mostly to they Zaydi form of Shi’ite Islam, and the area around Sa’na, the capital, one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities on earth, where all Yemen’s clashing cultural, political, and religious factions meet.



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Yemen Exploding: Is The Stage Set for the Big War?

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Rapid changes are occurring in Yemen. Ever since United States had to leave its military base there, other powers have been lining up to benefit from the chaos. It has been revealed that Saudi Arabia has commenced bombing targets in Yemen. Egypt has announced its support for the Saudi effort. I am quite confident that this support is in compliance with our instructions to our puppet leader now in charge in Egypt. The current president of Yemen, Hadi, a leader who took over after the Arab Spring revolution, has been removed from power. He is said to have escaped to Saudi Arabia, and those who are now in charge in Yemen will most likely kill him if he returns.


Yemen has been instrumental in the US effort to fight al-Qaeda in the region. Unsuccessfully, I might add. The Houthis who have deposed Hadi are said to get their support from Iran and are now likely the strongest political force in the country. But they will not have an easy time of it. Too much is at stake for the United States and Saudi Arabia. We don’t read much about the Saudi Air Force being involved in military conflict, but the seriousness of the situation has prompted them to do exactly that. There are also reports that 150,000 or more troops are massed near the borders of Yemen for a probable invasion. It is assumed that other Arab nations will be involved, along with Egypt. One report said that it appears the country is “sliding toward a civil war.” I would suggest that it’s past sliding toward the civil war, and, rather, is involved deeply in a civil war that is now spreading outside its own borders.
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For Once, Don’t Blame the Israelis

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The recent revelation that the Israelis had obtained classified information relating to the P5+1 negotiations with Iran over the latter’s nuclear program should not really surprise anyone. Israel has invested a great deal of political capital in confronting Iran and convincing the American public that it poses a genuine threat. So, it would be a given that its intelligence service, Mossad, would be tasked with finding out what information is not being shared by the White House.


But the truly intriguing back-story to this development is, “how did the Israelis do it and with whom exactly did they share their information?” The information obtained was described by the White House as “eavesdropping,” which would suggest some sort of electronic interception. But as the meetings undoubtedly took place in a technically secured room, which means that it was electronically “swept” before, during, and after meetings, the conversations could not be picked up either from bugs planted inside -- which would be detected -- or from penetration techniques originating outside, which is possible but would require a major deployment of high-tech gear close to the target.
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