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Sunday, 8 January 2012

Fw: Chidambaram compromised national security!US sanctions on Iran: India keeping all options open!LPG Mafia Rule led by Extra Constitutional Corporate Elements may not Dare to Violate Zionist Brahaminical Global Order at any cost.Iran rails against West


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Subject: Chidambaram compromised national security!US sanctions on Iran: India keeping all options open!LPG Mafia Rule led by Extra Constitutional Corporate Elements may not Dare to Violate Zionist Brahaminical Global Order at any cost.Iran rails against West


Chidambaram compromised national security!US sanctions on Iran: India keeping all options open!LPG Mafia Rule led by Extra Constitutional Corporate Elements may not Dare to Violate Zionist Brahaminical Global Order at any cost.Iran rails against West's 'economic war'!

President Barack Obama signed a sweeping U.S. defense funding bill on Saturday that includes new sanctions on financial institutions dealing with Iran's central bank, but cited concerns about sections that expand the U.S. military's authority over terrorism suspects and limit his powers in foreign affairs.

Asian economy faces risk, has capacity to withstand euro crisis: IMF
Pravasi Bharatiya Divas 2012 kicks off, special pension & life insurance scheme for NRIs launched

Indian Holocaust My Father`s Life and

Time - SEVEN HUNDRED SEVENTY SEVEN

Palash Biswas

http://indianholocaustmyfatherslifeandtime.blogspot.com/

http://basantipurtimes.blogspot.com/



US sanctions on Iran: India keeping all options open!LPG Mafia Rule led by Extra Constitutional Corporate Elements may not Dare to Violate Zionist Brahaminical Global Order at any cost.
tHE mANUSMRITI hEGEMONY is Concerned defending Micro Minority Aryan Brahaminical Zionist Ruling Class as it has Excluded Majority Mulnivasi Bahujan and opted for Free Market Economy based on Ethnic Cleansing and Exclusion. Baba saheb Dr BR Ambedkar ensure Constitutional Safeguards for the Excluded Communities. Hence, the topmost Priority of the Ruling Hegemony is to KILL the Constitution. LPG and Reforms agenda have acomplished the task and the IMF World Bank fed Civil Society is doing the rest. Transparency in Legislation, Policy Making and Governance Wiped out. INFORMATION Blocked with Excellent Mind Control. Welfare STATE is Killed and Ethnic Cleansing Promoted! Survival is dependent on Purchasing power. whatsoever Representation was left despite Pune Pact, is FINISHED as Extra Constitutional Elements, NOT Elected by the People do Govern the Country by passing Parliament and Constitution!Hence, the India Incs Government does everything to defend NRI Brahamin interests.Now,Pravasi Bharatiya Divas 2012 kicks off, special pension & life insurance scheme for NRIs launched!
economic times reports:

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JAIPUR: The ministry of overseas Indian affairs kicked off the 10th edition of the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas in Jaipur on Saturday with the formal launch of the specialpension and life insurance scheme that will be available to the 5 million semi-skilled and unskilled Indian workers who are employed in various countries around the world - particularly in the Gulf - on temporary employment or contract visas in construction, healthcare and household services sectors.

"In recent months the ministry of overseas Indian affairs has been looking into the financial security issues of this segment of workers when they return to India and also in their old age. We have held discussions with various returnee associations and a large number of workers who are overseas," minister of overseas Indian affairs Vayalar Ravi said when launching they scheme.

The new PLIF scheme is a voluntary scheme that covers Indian nationals with the emigration clearance required (ECR) passports and offers three important benefits.

It helps the workers to voluntarily save for their old age requirements and accumulate savings for resettlement when they return to India. It also provides a life insurance cover against natural death during the specified period.

A secure and well regulated institutional framework has been created to encourage and enable the overseas Indian workers to participate in this scheme.

The MOIA will provide an annual co-contribution of up to Rs 2000 per year to overseas Indian male workers and Rs 3000 to women workers for up to five years.

Benefits of the scheme include pension in old age; savings for return and resettlement through a Sebi regulated mutual fund and a term life insurance cover of Rs 1 lakh per year against natural death.
http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/nri/working-abroad/pravasi-bharatiya-divas-2012-kicks-off-special-pension-life-insurance-scheme-for-nris-launched/articleshow/11401147.cms?google_editors_picks=true&google_editors_picks=true

President Barack Obama signed a sweeping U.S. defense funding bill on Saturday that includes new sanctions on financial institutions dealing with Iran's central bank, but cited concerns about sections that expand the U.S. military's authority over terrorism suspects and limit his powers in foreign affairs.

"The fact that I support this bill as a whole does not mean I agree with everything in it," Obama said in a statement, citing limits on transferring detainees from the U.S. base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and requirements he notify Congress before sharing some defense missile information with Russia as problematic.

The bill, approved by Congress last week, aims with its Iran sanctions to reduce Tehran's oil revenues but gives the U.S. president powers to waive penalties as required. Senior U.S. officials said Washington was engaging with its foreign partners to ensure the sanctions can work without harming global energy markets, and stressed the U.S. strategy for engaging with Iran was unchanged by the bill.

On the other hand,Iran rails against West's 'economic war'!

Iran said on Thursday that the West was waging "an economic war" through sanctions, after European diplomats said there was a preliminary agreement for an EU ban of oil from the Islamic republic.

"The enemies of the Islamic republic's regime, with all their tricks, have not been able to chain the nation and now they want to chain the economy," Economy Minister Shamseddin Hosseini said, in comments carried by the official IRNA news agency. "These sanctions are an economic war against us," he said, urging Iranians to defeat them.

At the same time, other officials played down the impact of the looming EU ban, saying demand was so high for Iranian oil that they would have no trouble selling it elsewhere.

"We hope that Iran's oil is not sanctioned officially but if so we have taken the needed arrangements," director of international affairs for the National Iranian Oil Company, Mohsen Qamsari, was quoted as saying on Iran's oil ministry website.

The 27-nation European Union has struck "an agreement in principle" to ban Iranian oil imports, an EU diplomat in Brussels told AFP.

Negotiations were ongoing to determine when the ban should start, though France said it hoped to see it announced at an EU foreign ministers' meeting on end of January. The West's sanctions squeeze on Iran stems from fears the country is trying to develop an atomic bomb under cover of a nuclear programme it insists is exclusively for peaceful, civilian use.

Iran exports around 18 percent of its oil to the European Union, making the bloc the second-biggest destination after China. Oil revenues make up 80 percent of Iran's foreign currency earnings. An EU-wide ban could theoretically land a heavy blow on Iran's economy, which is already weakened by successive Western sanctions.

But Iran's political leaders and its oil company have said it can easily offset an EU ban by simply shifting exports to Asia. The United States, which last weekend enacted a new law hitting Iran's central bank which processes most of the Islamic republic's oil sales, hailed the EU move and said it wanted other countries to follow suit.

"These (EU measures) are the kinds of steps that we would like to see not just from our close allies and partners in places like Europe but from countries around the world," US State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said.

"We do believe that this is consistent with tightening the noose on Iran economically," she said. "We think that the place to get Iran's attention is with regard to its oil sector."

Chidambaram compromised national security!

ZEE News reports:

Zeenews Bureau

New Delhi: A key witness on Saturday submitted before a court documentary evidence against Home Minister P Chidambaram in the 2G scam case.

Special CBI Judge OP Saini, while accepting the documents for examination, adjourned the hearing in the case till January 21.

"Put up for arguments on the application for summoning of accused on January 21," judge Saini said after the petitioner placed on record various certified copies of the documents in support of his private complaint.

The witness has pleaded before the court to make Chidambaram an accused in the 2G case as he had jointly taken the decision of spectrum prices with former telecom minister A Raja, the key accused in the case.

The petitioner told the court that the documents and evidence which he has furnished reveal the "connivance, collusion and consent" of then finance minister in the decision taken by Raja.

"This evidence reveals the connivance, collusion and consent of then Finance Minister P Chidambaram in the decisions taken by the then Minister of Communication and Information Technology (MOC&IT) A Raja in the matter of fixing the price of spectrum licence and in the matter of permitting two companies which received the licences namely Swan and Unitech in dilution of shares even before roll out of their services," the petitioner said.

The petitioner filed various documents in the court, including a January 15, 2008 letter written by Chidambaram to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

The petitioner also placed on record the certified copy of the minutes of a meeting between Chidambaram, Raja and the Prime Minister during the tenure of Raja as the MOC&IT.

The petitioner submitted that Chidambaram is "guilty of breach of trust of national security" as he did not disclose that Etisalat and Telenor, to which Swan Telecom and Unitech Wireless had diluted their shares, were blacklisted.

"I have also brought on record the evidence to show that Chidambaram, is also guilty of breach of trust in question of national security for not disclosing that Etisalat and Telenor were black listed by the Home Ministry advisory," he said.

Later, while speaking to reporters, the petitioner said the court has accepted the "evidence" and now hopes Chidambaram would be made a co-accused in the case based on the proof submitted.

Chidambaram was the Union Finance Minister when the 2G scam took place.

Testifying as a witness in support of his private complaint seeking prosecution of Chidambaram, the petitioner had in December last year told the court that Raja could not be held guilty "alone" of the charges that he fixed the price of spectrum licence in 2008 at the prevailing rates of 2001.

"Raja could not be guilty of this (fixing the rate of spectrum charges at nominal price fixed in 2001) charge alone but he committed this offence with the active connivance of P Chidambaram," the petitioner told judge Saini.

He said that as per a 2003 Cabinet decision, Raja and Chidambaram were empowered to determine the spectrum price jointly.

The petitioner said that the Prime Minister, in his statement made on the floor of Rajya Sabha on February 24, 2011, had said that pricing of spectrum was taken on the basis of a Cabinet decision of 2003 which specifically said that the issue would be determined by the Ministry of Finance and Department of Telecommunication.

The court had on December 8 allowed the petitioner to testify himself in support of his private complaint seeking Chidambaram's prosecution in the case.

The special judge had allowed petitioner's plea, saying that in view of his knowledge of "fresh evidence" on the identity of other conspirators, he be allowed to depose again in the case.

It had said the petitioner "was not prevented in law" from bringing fresh evidence about the roles of "other conspirators" in the scam.
http://zeenews.india.com/news/nation/2g-chidambaram-compromised-national-security_750946.html?google_editors_picks=true

With the US imposing new sanctions on Tehran, New Delhi is keeping "all options open" on approaching the US for waivers on ground that India imports around 12 per cent of its oil from Iran and the Iranian oil is crucial for its energy security.

"All options are open. We are exploring all options," a government source said here Saturday to queries whether India approached the US for waivers after it imposed fresh sanctions against financial institutions dealing with Iran's central bank.

National Security Adviser Shivshankar Menon is understood to have met Peter Burleigh, the US acting ambassador in New Delhi, Friday and discussed the issue of sanctions against Iran and India's need to procure Iranian oil.

India will be pressing the US for waivers that could minimise the impact of sanctions and that may be given to other key importers of Iranian oil like Japan,Turkey and South Korea.

The issue will be discussed with top US officials when Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai travels to Washington soon.

The US has, however, mounted a diplomatic offensive to get key players and importers of Iranian oil like India,China and Russia to implement sanctions against Iran.

"We are in close consultation with India, with China, with Russia, with countries around the world, about strengthening their implementation of the international sanctions regime and about curtailing their dependence on Iranian crude oil," Victoria Nuland, State Department spokesperson, told reporters in Washington.

India has made it clear that it will abide by the UN sanctions on Iran, but has contended that unilateral sanctions by some countries (a reference to the US) affect the market and hurts its genuine interests of energy security.

Sources said all options are on the table to keep access to Iranian oil open, and India is hard at work to resolve the issue of payment for the Iranian oil. Among other things under discussion is a plan to persuade Tehran to accept payment in Indian rupees.

India has been in a fix for the last one year on finding a viable mechanism to pay for Iranian oil after the Reserve Bank of India scrapped the Asian Clearing Union, which served as a clearing house for trading with Iran. For some time, India routed its payments through a German bank and later a Turkish bank, but the US sanctionshave made these options unviable.

China has rejected the US sanctions against Iran and made it clear it will continue to buy Iranian oil.

Apart from its energy needs, India is also determined to keep importing Iranian oil as it does not want to lose influence with Tehran, an important regional player with which it is trying to keep its ties on an even keel.

Iran's currency, the rial, slipped to a record low Sunday, the day after the United States imposed extra sanctions targeting the Islamic republic's central bank and financial sector.

The state news agency IRNA and an Iranian website tracking the currency said the rial's street value at money changers' slid to around 16,000 to the dollar.

That represented a huge difference with the official central bank rate of 11,179 rials to the dollar.

On Saturday, US President Barack Obama signed the new sanctions into law.

The measures aim to further squeeze Iran's crucial oil revenues, most of which are processed by the central bank, by making foreign firms choose between doing business with the Islamic republic or the economically mighty United States.

They were being imposed as part of a Western push to force Iran to halt its nuclear programme, which the United States and its allies believe is being used to develop atomic weapons despite Tehran's denials.

Iran, the second-biggest producer in OPEC after Saudi Arabia, depends on oil sales for 80 percent of its foreign revenues.

The European Union is mulling an embargo on buying Iranian oil, on which a decision could be announced at an EU foreign ministers' meeting at the end of the month.

Iranian leaders and military officials have warned that extra Western sanctions could push them to close the strategic Strait of Hormuz at the entrance to the Gulf.

Twenty percent of the world's oil passes through the strait, making it the "most important choke point" globally, according to the US Energy Information Administration.

Iranian naval forces are to complete 10 days of war games near the strait on Monday with an exercise practising tactics to close the channel if they are so ordered, the ISNA news agency quoted spokesman Commodore Mahmoud Mousavi as saying.
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Asian economy faces risk, has capacity to withstand euro crisis: IMF

Noting that a further downturn in Europe will have a significant spillover effect on the Asian economy, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Thursday said that Asia nonetheless has the capacity to respond to any new crisis.

Events unfolding far from Asia's shores could shape the region's economic outlook for 2012, the IMF economists said.

However, if the global economic situation deteriorates -- particularly in the troubled economies of the euro zone -- Asia's policymakers still have the room to respond aggressively, it said.

Asia's heavy reliance on trade is likely to make 2012 a difficult year, suggest economists from the Asia andPacific Department of the IMF.

Asia is one of the world's most trade-dependent regions, exporting everything from commodities such as metals and rice to sophisticated electronic products and cars.

In this regard, the level of external demand will be crucial in determining the region's economic performance, they said.

"Regional growth has already started to slow due to weaker demand, although domestic factors such as tighter macroeconomic policy stances have also played a role, especially in India and China," the IMF said.

IMF economists expect only relatively soft demand for exports from Asia, it added.

If the threatened risks materialise, Asian policymakers have the room to react aggressively. There is still ample policy space in the region, though less than at the onset of the 2008 global financial crisis in some countries, it said.

Some economies have already started monetary easing. Fiscal policy consolidation could be appropriately delayed if external demand were to collapse, especially where low levels of public debt afford space for measures, it said.

Apart from these conventional measures, Asian economies can use an arsenal of additional policies, as many did in response to the global crisis in 2008, it said.

Noting that Asia remains home to some of the world's most dynamic economies, the IMF said several reforms are still needed to sustain the region's excellent historical performance and reduce vulnerabilities to external shocks.
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"Unrestricted Power in the hand of Brahmins is the main cause of Corruption" - a Debate

"Unrestricted power in the hand of Brahmins is the main cause of Corruption -a debate'' was an important topic that constituted the 5th session of the National Convention of Bamcef. The topic itself is self-explaining. While heading the 5th session, Sir Waman Meshram disclosed some vital and valuable issues relating to the chosen topic. He asserted that if the power is under the control of Brahmins, then the Brahmins are at the root of all corruptions in India. He reiterated that Brahmins in fact enjoy unrestricted powers. He endeavored to explain how this unrestricted power went into the hands of Brahmins.

He said that the Indian Independence Struggle was nothing but the struggle for establishing superiority of Eurasian Brahmins in India. Prior to Gandhi, Tilak undertook an agitation for independence that was meant only for Brahmins and he opposed the entry of OBCs to Indian Parliament. At Athani village, in his speech Tilak said "Teli – Tamboli Aur Kun-bhatto Ko Kya Sansad Main Jakar Hal Chalana Hain?'' meaning OBCs are not capable enough to be part of Parliament.
In so called Swarajya of Tilak, Mulnivasi's were hardly going to get anything. He was against giving any rights to the OBCs. Hence there is no doubt, that Tilak would have a any thought of giving anything to the SC/ ST of the land.

Sir Meshram, highlighted another important point that Congress was born in 1885 but the resolution for independence was passed by it in 1927 after a period of 44 years since its inception. During this period of 42 years Congress was trying to persuade British Raj that as you are foreigners as we are and thus we can rule India amicably. Jawaharlal Nehru had wrote that Brahmins are Videshi, meaning foreigners and same was also mentioned by Vidhyasagar and Rajaram Mohan Roy. They also wrote that the Brahmins are Videshis. When Rajaram had been to Europe, he declared there that "we the Brahmins are not Indians". He said to the Britishes that we are just like you all. He reiterated that we and you all, meaning Britishes have common ancestry and hence have a common blood, and so we can betray Indians.

Sir Meshram further emphasized that Brahmins never went against the Moghuls in India, they didn't undertook independence struggle against Moghuls. He further said that when the Simmon Commission came to India, both Gandhi and Congress agitated and opposed it. In Second Round Table Conference Gandhi reiterated that if Bristishes want to give freedom to India and also the untouchables then we would not like to have such freedom. 
Sir Meshram during his speech claimed to have historical documentary evidences for proving how Brahmins acquired supremacy over Bahujans. As per Article 320, 330, 332 Pune Pact even today stands operational and implemented. Brahmins had control over the Parliamentary powers in pre-British India and because of the same they succeeded in enforcing the Pune Pact. Our people still carry out agitations for reservations in jobs, but their agitation lies unheeded. On the contrary the ruling upper caste parties have been enforcing Political Reservations. Pune pact was enforced and was made binding on SC/ ST and later it was also conspiringly enforced for OBCs. Because of Pune Pact Brahmins got unrestricted supremacy over all Bahujans. After 1947 there was further augmentation in the supremacy of Brahmins. 

In Parliament there are 131 parliamentarians and 1200 legislative members of SC/ST but it appears that they hardly have any say and value in the administration of the country. They are almost non-existent as far as a true representation of their respective communities is concerned. Brahmins care two hoots for them. The right of true representation of SC/ST was denied.Late Rajeev Gandhi through Panchayati Raj implemented Pune Pact on OBCs. Pune Pact was implemented on MP, MLA, Minister, and Party levels. Maulana Kalam was awarded Bharat Ratna because he sided the partition of the country. He belonged to the Moghul Race. He had sided with Nehru and Gandhi in favour of Partition.

Loksabha elections were held in 1952, and 03 percent Brahmins were allotted 60 percent tickets by Nehru and eventually they established their superiority. Rather than establishing true Democracy, through Stooges and Agents born out of Pune Pact, four pillars of Democracy were conquered and brought under the control of Brahmin Raj. Nehru breached the Constitution in order to bring power and control under Brahmins. Brahmins thus, now enjoy an unrestricted control of power in India's so called Democracy. 
Sir Meshram, elaborated on aftermath of Babri Masjid demolition. He said the opposition as well as the ruling parties further strengthened their ties and worked together.
It happened first time during the rule of Sir Devegauda government, that there was not a single Brahmin in his ministry. When his new ministry was re-constructed a Bhumihar Brahmin named Chatturranand Mishra rose to ministerial level. Bhumihar Brahmins have traits and characteristics of Brahmin, Shatriya and Vaishya too.
Sir Meshram enlightened about the opposition's role. He said that if there were to be an opposition party belonging to the Shudras then they were most likely to become the rulers and so the Brahmins knowing this fact felt that they themselves should be on both sides. He reiterated that one Brahmins goes and the other steps in and with this there is change in the leadership but there is no change in the caste of leadership and because of this change Brahmins were able to retain their supremacy through unrestricted control over the power in India. Whether Congress is defeated or BJP is defeated either of them is coronated or re-coronated on throne of India. Moreover the third parties also belong to the Brahmins. With the unrestricted power Brahmins have become fearless. If they commit a Corruption of Rs. 65 crore they do not consider it as a corruption. For them Rs.1000 crore is the benchmark to be called as corruption. 2G Spectrum Scam has corruption amounting to 1, 76,000 crore. Black money stashed in Foreign Banks amount to approx. 280, 00,000 crore and in fact some have opined that the amount is far greater upto 400, 00,000 crore. Recently as per the report it was found that India is not only corrupt but the most corrupted country.

Sir Meshram reiterated that Brahmins sit in the temples and they take commission for allowing devotees to have glimpse of their Deity. He said at some places they even charge Rs. 1051 from devotees for viewing Deity from a distance of 10 ft. and Rs. 5051 for more proximity to view a Deity. 

• In Dharma Shastras Brahmins have quoted that the entire earth is under the power of Supreme Being i. e. God 
• The Supreme Being i.e. God is under the power of Vedic Hymns i.e. Mantras 
• The Vedic hymns, i.e. the Mantras are under the power of Brahmins. 
Thus Brahmins declared their paternity on Supreme Being- the God-the creator. They declare that they are the father of God. 

Sir Meshram opined that either you bring - Lok-pal or Brahma-pal there will be no end and solution to the menace of Corruption which is nothing but the very product of Brahmanism. He said the sickness is something else and the treatment decided to be given is something else, meaning irrelevant treatment. He asserted that if unrestricted powers are the root cause of Corruption then unrestricted powers of Brahmins have to be curbed and ended. 

Sir Meshram said the right of representation is denied to the Bahujans, the original inhabitants of India and with this denial of right of representation Brahmins are causing grave injustice to the Bahujans. The system of representation that was favoured and established by the Brahmins for their own benefit was never approved by Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar.True representation was massacred and that resulted in creation of agents and stooges of Brahmins and so did the corruption eventually followed. 

Sir Meshram informed participants in the convention that one of our friend from Norway has come to specially attend the Convention. He further disclosed that the friend spoke about his own experiences when he happen to meet the Norwegian Prime Minister. The friend said that he informed the Norwegian Prime Minister that his ( friend's ) younger son was fond of him ( Norwegian PM ) and hence he wants to click one photograph of the PM. He requested him to bent on his knees for the desired photograph. The Norwegian PM did what was suggested as he considered him to be a true representative of the citizens. He bent on his knees for a photograph and displayed is understanding for the feelings of his people.

The war between Dr.Babasaheb Ambedkar and Gandhi was for the true representation of the people. Sir Waman Meshram spoke about the American Presidential Elections and exemplified his point about True Representation. He said if the process of electing true representative commences in real terms, then the true and the real representatives will not commit corruption.
    

How Sensex has changed over the last ten years

RAJALAKSHMI SIVAM
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Sensex ends down in special sessionCapital goods stocks jump as sentiment improves

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economy, business and financestocks and shares
stocks and sharesBSE
During this period, the Sensex has been reshuffled 18 times and as many as 26 stocks in the Sensex 30 have been replaced. Outgoing stocks generally witness selling pressure in the run-up to the shift ...
The Sensex has delivered a 17 per cent compounded annual return over the last ten years. Good for it.
But it's not one group of 30 stocks that delivered this return. Reason: the index has undergone sweeping changes in the last ten years.
For investors, these changes have big implications. They decide the nature of profits, the extent of volatility in the Sensex and even the index susceptibility to global factors.

A MORE DIVERSIFIED INDEX

The Bombay Stock Exchange selects stocks in the Sensex based on criteria such as regular trading and the company being in the top 75 based on free-float market capitalisation.
Over the last ten years, the Sensex has been reshuffled 18 times and as many as 26 stocks in the Sensex 30 have been replaced. The changes have resulted in three key trends.
One, as the selection of stocks is now based on a company's free float or non-promoter holdings, stocks with higher liquidity have assumed bigger weights in the index and stocks with lower liquidity have fallen in the rankings.
Castrol India, NIIT, GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals, Colgate Palmolive and Nestle (India) which were once part of the Sensex are out of it now. Instead we now have HDFC, HDFC Bank, Tata Steel, etc.
Two, the index itself has become more diversified. The top three stocks by weights in Sensex in 2002 were Hindustan Unilever, Reliance Industries and Infosys with a total weight of 45 per cent. Now, the top three — Infosys Technologies, Reliance Industries and ITC — carry a weight of just 29.3 per cent.
No individual stock has a weight of more than 11 per cent in the index. In 2002, Hindustan Unilever, the top stock, had a 20 per cent weight. Today it accounts for 3.5 per cent.
Three, the concentration of the index with a few business groups has reduced. At one point, there were three stocks from the Reliance group — Reliance Industries, Reliance Petroleum and Reliance Infrastructure in the Sensex. In 2006, Reliance Communications too made a debut.
But now Reliance Industries alone remains, with Reliance Infrastructure being replaced by Coal India and Sun Pharma substituting Reliance Communications.
These changes have been influenced by the splitting up of the group, subsequent demergers and loss of market fancy for stocks such as Reliance Communications.
Outgoing stocks generally witness selling pressure in the run-up to the shift, following selling by the index funds that held them. Stocks moving out of the Sensex can also influence other Sensex constituents.
If the incoming stocks carry a high weight (based on free-float market capitalisation), existing stocks in the index too witness some selling pressure, as they 'adjust' to make room for the new entrant.
For instance, Jaiprakash Associates is set to be replaced by GAIL India with effect from January 9. The free float market-cap of Jaiprakash Associates is Rs 7,893 crore whereas that of Gail is Rs 21,583 crore. This means the existing stocks in the index will also have to lose some weight to 'accommodate' GAIL India.

SECTOR REJIGS

The Sensex reshuffle has also led to sizeable changes in the sector composition of the index.
The FMCG sector has lost its dominance over the ten-year period, its weight dropping from 30 per cent in 2002 to 12 per cent now. After September 2003, as stocks began to be weighted on their free-float capital, the influence of Hindustan Unilever dropped, while ICICI Bank gained.
Cement and entertainment are the two sectors that have completely moved out of the Sensex in ten years.
Cement stocks ACC, Ambuja Cements and Grasim Industries had a 3.3 per cent weight in 2002. Now, this sector has no representation at all in the index.
Ambuja Cements was replaced by Sterlite industries in 2008, Grasim Industries hived off its cement business into a separate subsidiary and was replaced by Jindal Steel & Power.
In the same year, ACC was also removed and Bajaj Auto replaced it.
The entertainment sector, which was represented by Zee Entertainment in 2002, is also out of the index now.
Zee Entertainment's restructuring in 2005 saw it replaced by Tata Consultancy Services.
One high-profile debutant to the Sensex is the real-estate sector. DLF and Jaiprakash Associates debuted in Sensex during the market highs of 2007-2008, replacing Dr Reddy's Laboratories and Bajaj Auto.

INDUSTRY GAINS WEIGHT

As a result of the above changes, the industry-oriented sectors now wield a greater influence over the Sensex than consumer-oriented sectors.
The weight of consumer sectors has fallen from 45.3 per cent in to 34.9 per cent in ten years, making way for higher exposure from industrial sectors such as power, realty and information technology.
Lower exposure to consumer sectors has meant lower price-earnings multiple for the index and less secular growth in profits.
The increased weight to industrial (banks included) sectors meant increased correlation of the stock index to country's economic condition.
This is probably why macro factors such as the index of industrial production, growth/decline in core sectors and Reserve Bank of India's interest rate action have become key factors driving the Sensex in recent years.

http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/features/investment-world/article2783309.ece?ref=wl_companies

Contract farming lures Bengal potato growers

SHOBHA ROY
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KOLKATA, JAN. 7:
All these years, Mr Abdul Aziz Mondal, a potato farmer, opposed contract farming. However, midway during the sowing season (October-November), when he saw prices tumbling in the market for the second year in a row, he changed his stance.
The middle-aged marginal-farmer from Abhirampur village in Hooghly, 90 km from Kolkata, rushed to sow 'Atlanta' variety potato — supplied by PepsiCo India for manufacturing flakes and other Frito-Lay branded products — on a part of his four bigha (1.32 acre) land.
Mr Mondal regrets sowing the usual 'Jyoti' variety on a larger portion of his land, as he is likely to lose heavily at the current market price of Rs 200 a quintal. "Next year, I will prefer to go entirely for 'Atlanta' farming (for PepsiCo)," he says.
A blight attack in 2008-09 that damaged nearly 50 per cent of crop and the subsequent price crashes due to bumper crop have convinced an increasingly larger section of potato farmers in the locality to accept a steady return through contract farming than blowing away their wealth in the hope of an elusive windfall gain.

STEPS UP PROCUREMENT

According to the West Bengal Cold Storage Association (WBCSA), during the last three years, the area under contract farming for PepsiCo has increased by over two-and-a-half times to about 6,000 acres in 2011-12.
The number of farmers associated has also increased by over 50 per cent to around 10,000.
Bengal is reportedly the largest supplier of potatoes to Frito-Lay's India operations. According to Mr Ram Pada Pal, president of WBCSA, the company nearly doubled its procurement from the State to 42,000 tonnes in 2010-11.
When contacted, a company spokesperson confirmed the procurement from Burdwan, Birbhum, Hooghly, Bankura and Midnapore (West) districts in West Bengal. "Owing to good growth, our potato requirement has been growing rapidly, requiring us to expand our agricultural footprint," he said. The company is also reportedly stepping up its processing capacity in the State.
Mr Nazibur Rahman Mondal, a relatively larger farmer, confirms the trend. "Last year I cultivated Atlanta for PepsiCo on eight bighas (2.64 acres) at Rs 600 a quintal, substantially higher than the market price of Rs 360-400 a quintal. This year I have sown Atlanta on 22 bighas (7.26 acres)," he said.

OTHER PLAYERS JOINING

The increased interest has also had its share of disappointments. According to Sajan Mondal, a liaison between PepsiCo and the farmers, there was more demand for 'Atlanta' seeds this year than supply.
On its part, Pepsico has been buying the potato from farmers without fail.
Taking a cue from the trend, a few local brands have reportedly started engaging themselves in contract farming of potatoes in a small way in Abhirampur and its neighbouring villages.
"Gee Pee Foods — the makers of Pogo brand of chips and flakes — has been procuring some 5,000 tonnes of 'Atlanta' and 'Chipsona' varieties at contracted prices for the last couple of years," Mr Pal said.
shobha@thehindu.co.in
Keywords: potato farmers, contract farming, sowing season, prices tumbling, 'Atlanta' variety potato, supplied, PepsiCo India, manufacturing flakes, other, Frito-Lay, branded products,

http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/industry-and-economy/agri-biz/article2783433.ece

Collapse of euro will hit EU, global financial system: George Soros
HYDERABAD: The collapse of the euro will have catastrophic consequences not only for Europe but for the global financial system because of inter-connectedness, said George Soros, chairman of Soros Fund Management which has assets of about $27 billion.

The euro-zone debt crisis is a direct consequence of the crash of world economy in 2008 and weakening of the currency may lead to the break-up of the European Union itself, he said at an interactive session here today.

"If the common currency broke down, it will then lead to the break-up of the European Union itself. So it is political problem. Thus, euro crisis in my opinion is something more serious and more threatening than the crash of 2008," he added.

Certain inadequacies in designing the euro have led to the euro-zone crisis that looms large over world economies, said George Soros.

"There were also flaws in the design (of euro), of which the authors were not aware and actually which are still not fully recognised or not even fully are still ignored and those flaws are causing the problem," Soros said.

"The most important of which is that there was a false conception about how financial markets operate. It was assumed that any imbalances would arise only in the public sector. There was a lack of recognition that financial markets themselves can generate those imbalances," he added.

The Hungarian-American is in India and participated in an interactive session in the Indian School of Business.

When the euro was introduced, the European Central Bank accepted the government bonds of the member countries at face value, Soros said.

The move brought the interest rates in the various countries very close together and the banks loaded up with the government bonds of the weaker countries.

"That then created imbalances in economic performance, because on the one hand, Germany which is the strongest country (in Europe) had to face the burdens of reunification and therefore had to undergo very serious economic reforms to deal with that," Soros said.

7 JAN, 2012, 05.59AM IST, ET BUREAU

Labour unions seek higher returns on SDS for better EPF yield

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NEW DELHI: Labour unions will press the finance ministry for measures to increase returns on employee's provident fund on a sustained basis. They will also demand bringing enterprises with more than 10 employees within the purview of the EPForganisation at the pre-budget meeting later this month.

"Most of the issues that will be taken up are pending for some time. We will meet next week to finalise our list of demands before we make our presentation to the finance ministry," said AK Padmanabhan, president, Confederation of Indian Trade Unions. The finance minister will meet representatives from registered trade unions on January 16.

They would demand re-activation of the special deposit scheme (SDS), where more than one-fourth of the EPF money is parked, and to increase interest rates on it.

"We not only want higher EPF returns this year, but want to ensure that returns are stabilised over the years. For that it is important that the rate of interest on SDS, which is money borrowed by the government, is increased and fresh deposits are permitted," said DL Sachdev, secretary, All India Trade Union Congress.

Trade union representatives are demanding that interest rate of SDS, which was slashed to 8% in 2003-04 from 12%, should be increased to 9.5%. They also want fresh deposits in SDS to be allowed again so that share of EPF money going into the fund increases from the present 30% to earlier over 70%.

The finance ministry, however, is not keen to hike interest on SDS. "There is no justification behind the demand," a government official told ET.

Labour unions and the government have locked horns on the interest rate on EPF for next year with workers demanding that returns should be at the current level of 9.5% and the EPFO proposing that it should be brought down to 8.25% to make up for an error in calculation that resulted in a higher payout last year.

Labour unions will also press the finance ministry to implement the decision to reduce threshold limit for establishments covered under the Employees Provident Fund Act from 20 employees to 10 employees.

It will bring millions of employee's under social security net of the EPFO and will also increase burden on the finance ministry that contributes 1.16% of the basic salary of each employee to the fund.
http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/economy/policy/labour-unions-seek-higher-returns-on-sds-for-better-epf-yield/articleshow/11396562.cms
-- 

Iran–United States relations

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Iranian - American relations
Map indicating locations of Iran and United States

Iran

United States
Today there are no formal diplomatic relations between Iran and the United States. Due to poor relations between the two countries, instead of exchanging ambassadorsIran maintains an interests section at the Pakistani embassy in Washington, D.C.,[1]while the United States, since 1980,[citation needed] has maintained an interests section at the Swiss embassy in Tehran.[2]
Relations between the two nations began in the mid-to-late nineteenth century. Initially, while Iran was very wary of British and Russian colonial interests during the Great Game, the United States was seen as a more trustworthy Western power, and the Americans Arthur Millspaugh and Morgan Shuster were even appointed treasurers-general by the Shahs of the time. During World War II, Iran was invaded by the United Kingdom and the Soviet Union, both US allies, but relations continued to be positive after the war until the later years of the government ofMohammad Mossadeq, who was overthrown by a coup organized by the CIA. This was followed by an era of close alliance between ShahMohammad Reza Pahlavi's regime and the American government, which was in turn followed by a dramatic reversal and hostility between the two countries after the 1979 Iranian Revolution.
Opinions differ over what has caused the decades of poor relations. Iranian explanations include everything from the natural and unavoidable conflict between the Islamic Revolution on the one hand, and American arrogance[3] and desire for global hegemony on the other.[4] Other explanations include the Iranian government's need for an external bogeyman to furnish a pretext for domestic repression against pro-democratic forces and to bind the government to its loyal constituency.[5]
American fears that Iran is developing nuclear weapons have been a major militating factor in relations since shortly after the revolution.
Since 1995, the United States has had an embargo on trade with Iran.[6]

Contents

  [hide

[edit]Early relations

Political relations between Persia and the United States "began when the Shah of Persia, Nassereddin Shah Qajar, officially dispatchedPersia's first ambassador, Mirza Abolhasan Shirazi, to Washington D.C. in 1856."[7] In 1883, Samuel Benjamin was appointed by the United States as the first official diplomatic envoy to Iran, however; Ambassadorial relations were not established until 1944.[7]
The first Persian Ambassador to the United States of America was Mirza Albohassan Khan Ilchi Kabir. Americans had been traveling to Iran since the early-to-mid 1880s, even before political relations existed between the two. Justin Perkins and Asahel Grant were the first missionaries to be dispatched to Persia in 1834 via the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions.
Amir Kabir, Prime Minister under Nasereddin Shah, also initiated direct contacts with the American government in Washington. By the end of the 19th century, negotiations were underway for an American company to establish a railway system from the Persian Gulf to Tehran.
Until World War II, relations between Iran and the United States remained cordial. As a result, many Iranians sympathetic to the Persian Constitutional Revolution came to view the U.S. as a "third force" in their struggle to break free of British and Russian dominance in Persian affairs. American industrial and business leaders were supportive of Persia's drive to modernize its economy and free itself from British and Russian influence.
In 1909, during the Persian Constitutional Revolution, Howard Baskerville, an American, died in Tabriz while trying to help the constitutionalists in a battle against royalist forces. After the Iranian parliament appointed American financial consultant Morgan Shuster as appointed Treasurer General of Persia in 1911, an American was killed in Tehran by henchmen thought to be affiliated with Russian or British interests. Shuster became even more active in supporting the Constitutional revolution of Persia financially.[8] When Iran's government orderedShu'a al-Saltaneh (شعاع السلطنه), the Shah's brother who was aligned with the goals of Imperial Russia in Persia, to surrender his assets, Shuster moved to execute the seizure. Imperial Russia immediately landed troops in Bandar Anzali, demanding a recourse and apology from the Persian government. Russia's General Liakhoff shelled Iran's parliament in Tehran, and Morgan Shuster was forced to resign under British and Russian pressure. Shuster's book The Strangling of Persia is a recount of the details of these events and is critical of Britain and Imperial Russia.
The American Embassy first reported to the Iran desk at the Foreign Office in London about the popular view of Britain's involvement in the 1921 coup that brought Reza Shah to power.[9][10] A British Embassy report from 1932 admits that the British put Reza Shah "on the throne". At that time, Persia did not view the United States as an ally of Britain.
Morgan Shuster was soon followed by Arthur Millspaugh, who was appointed Treasurer General by Reza Shah, and Arthur Pope, who was a main driving force behind the Persian Empire revivalist policies of Reza Shah. The friendly relations between the United States and Iran lasted until the 1950s.

[edit]Mohammad Reza Pahlavi reign

Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi maintained close ties with the United States during most of his reign, which lasted from 1941 until he was overthrown by the Islamic Revolution in 1979. He pursued a Westernizing, modernizing economic policy, and a strongly pro-Western foreign policy; he also made a number of visits to America, where he was regarded as a friend.[citation needed]
Iran's long border with America's Cold War rival, the Soviet Union, and its position as the largest, most powerful country in the oil-rich Persian Gulf, made Iran a "pillar" of US foreign policy in the Middle East.[11] Prior to the Iranian Revolution of 1979, many Iranian students resided in the United States.

[edit]Premier Mossadeq and his overthrow

In 1953, Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadeq was overthrown by a Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)-organized coup, in what has been called "a crucial turning point both in Iran's modern history and in U.S. Iran relations." Many Iranians argue that "the 1953 coup and the extensive U.S. support for the shah in subsequent years were largely responsible for the shah's arbitrary rule," which led to the "deeply anti-American character" of the 1979 revolution.[12]
We like to forget the history, Iranians don't. In 1953, The United States and Britain overthrew the parliamentary government [in Iran] and installed a brutal dictator. [...] In 1979, the population overthrew the dictator. And since then the United States has been essentially torturing Iran: First tried the military coup and then supported Saddam Hossein during Iraq's invasion of Iran which killed hundreds of thousands of people and after that United States started imposing harsh sanctions on Iran.
Until the outbreak of World War II, the United States had no active policy toward Iran.[13] When the Cold War began, the United States was alarmed by the attempt by the Soviet Union to set up separatist states in Iranian Azerbaijan and Kurdistan, as well as its demand for military rights to the Dardanelles in 1946. This fear was enhanced by the "loss of China" to communism, the uncovering of Soviet spy rings, and the start of the Korean War.[14]
In 1952 and 1953, the Abadan Crisis took place when Iranian Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadeq began nationalization of the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company (AIOC). Established by the British in the early 20th century, the company shared profits (85% for Britain, and 15% for Iran), but the company withheld their financial records from the Iranian government. By 1951, Iranians supported nationalization of the AIOC, and Parliament unanimously agreed to nationalize its holding of, what was at the time, the British Empire's largest company. The British retaliated with an embargo on Iranian oil, which was supported by international oil companies. Over the following months, negotiations over control and compensation for the oil were deadlocked, and Iran's economy deteriorated.
American President Truman pressed Britain to moderate its position in the negotiations and to not invade Iran. American policies created a feeling in Iran that the United States was on Mosaddeq's side and optimism that the oil dispute would soon be settled with "a series of innovative proposals to settle" the dispute, giving Iran "significant amounts of economic aid". Mosaddeq visited Washington, and the American government made "frequent statements expressing support for him." [15]
At the same time, the United States honored the British embargo and, without Truman's knowledge, the CIA station in Tehran had been "carrying out covert activities" against Mosaddeq and the National Front "at least since the summer of 1952".[16]

[edit]1953 Iranian coup d'état

As the cold war intensified, oil negotiations stalled, and the Republican President Dwight D. Eisenhower replaced Democratic President Harry S. Truman, the United States helped destabilize Mosaddeq on the theory that "rising internal tensions and continued deterioration ... might lead to a breakdown of government authority and open the way for at least a gradual assumption of control" by Iran's well organized Tudehcommunist party.[17] In spring and summer 1953, the United States and Britain, through a covert operation of the CIA called Operation Ajax, conducted from the American Embassy in Tehran, helped organize a coup d'état to overthrow the Mossadeq government. The operation initially failed, and the Shah fled to Italy, but a second attempt succeeded, and Mosaddeq was imprisoned.
According to a study of the coup headed by Mark J. Gasiorowski and Malcolm Byrne, intended "to resolve" the "controversy" over who and what were responsible, "it was geostrategic considerations, rather than a desire to destroy Mosaddeq's movement, to establish a dictatorship in Iran or to gain control over Iran's oil, that persuaded U.S. officials to undertake the coup." [18]

[edit]Post-coup

Following the coup, the United States helped build up the Shah's regime. In the first three weeks, the American government gave Iran $68 million in emergency aid, and an additional $1.2 billion over the next decade.[19]
During his reign, the Shah received significant American support, frequently making state visits to the White House and earning praise from numerous American presidents. The Shah's close ties to Washington and his Westernization policies soon angered some Iranians, especially the hardline Islamic conservatives.
In America, the coup was originally considered a triumph of covert action but is now considered by many to have left "a haunting and terrible legacy."[20] In 2000, U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, called it a "setback for democratic government" in Iran.[21] Supreme LeaderAli Khamenei condemned the admission as "deceitful", complaining that it "did not even include an apology".[22]

[edit]Cultural relations

Relations in the cultural sphere remained cordial. Pahlavi UniversitySharif University of Technology, and Isfahan University of Technology, three of Iran's top academic universities were all directly modeled on American institutions, such as the University of ChicagoMIT, and theUniversity of Pennsylvania.[23][23][24][24] The Shah was generous in awarding American universities with financial gifts. For example, theUniversity of Southern California received an endowed chair of petroleum engineering, and a million dollar donation was given to the George Washington University to create an Iranian Studies program.[23]

[edit]Growth of oil revenues

In the 1960s and 1970s, Iran's oil revenues grew considerably. Starting in the mid-1960s, this "weakened U.S. influence in Iranian politics" while strengthening the power of the Iranian state vis-a-vis the Iranian public. According to scholar Homa Katouzian, this put the United States "in the contradictory position of being regarded" by the Iranian public because of the 1953 coup "as the chief architect and instructor of the regime," while "its real influence" in domestic Iranian politics and policies "declined considerably".[25]

[edit]1977-1979: Carter administration

The Iranian Shah, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi meeting with Alfred Atherton,William H. SullivanCyrus Vance, President Jimmy Carter, and Zbigniew Brzezinski, 1977.
Mohammed Reza PahlaviShah of Iran, shakes hands with a US Air Forcegeneral officer prior to his departure from the United States.
In the late 1970s, American President Jimmy Carteremphasized human rights in his foreign policy, including the Shah's regime, which by 1977 had garnered unfavorable publicity in the West for its human rights record.[26] That year, the Shah responded to Carter's "polite reminder" by granting amnesty to some prisoners and allowing the Red Cross to visit prisons. Through 1977, liberal opposition formed organizations and issued open letters denouncing the Shah's regime.[27] [28]
At the same time, Carter angered anti-Shah Iranians with aNew Years Eve 1978 toast to the Shah in which he said:
'Under the Shah's brilliant leadership Iran is an island of stability in one of the most troublesome regions of the world. There is no other state figure whom I could appreciate and like more.'[29]
Observers disagree over the nature of United States policy toward Iran under Carter as the Shah's regime crumbled. According to historianNikki Keddie, the Carter administration followed "no clear policy" on Iran.[7] The American ambassador to Iran, William H. Sullivan, recalled that the U.S. National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski "repeatedly assured Pahlavi that the U.S. backed him fully". On November 4, 1978, Brzezinski called the Shah to tell him that the United States would "back him to the hilt." At the same time, high-level officials in the State Department believed the revolution was unstoppable.[30] After visiting the Shah in summer of 1978, Secretary of the Treasury W. Michael Blumenthal complained of the Shah's emotional collapse, reporting, "You've got a zombie out there."[31] Brzezinski and Energy Secretary James Schlesinger were adamant in their assurances that the Shah would receive military support.
Another scholar, sociologist Charles Kurzman, argues that, rather than being indecisive or sympathetic to the revolution, the Carter administration was consistently supportive of the Shah and urged the Iranian military to stage a "last-resort coup d'etat" even after the regime's cause was hopeless.[32] In addition, some Iranian supporters of the Shah believe Carter betrayed the Shah.[33][34]

[edit]The 1979 revolution

The 1979 Iranian Revolution, which ousted the pro-American Shah and replaced him with the anti-American Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khomeini, surprised the United States government, its State Department and intelligence services, which "consistently underestimated the magnitude and long-term implications of this unrest".[35] Six months before the revolution culminated, the CIA had produced a report, stating that "Persia is not in a revolutionary or even a "prerevolutionary" situation"[36]
The Islamic revolutionaries wished to extradite and execute the ousted Shah, and Carter refused to give him any further support or help return him to power. The Shah, suffering from cancer, requested entry into the United States for treatment. The American embassy in Tehran opposed the request, as they were intent on stabilizing relations between the new interim revolutionary government of Iran and the United States.[28]
Despite agreeing with the staff of the American embassy, Carter agreed after pressure from Kissinger, Rockefeller, and other pro-Shah political figures. The move was used by the Iranian revolutionaries to justify their claims that the former monarch was an American puppet, and this led to the storming of the American embassy by radical students allied with the Khomeini faction.[28]

[edit]The 1979 Iran hostage crisis

Walls of the American embassy covered in anti-American mural
On November 4, 1979, the revolutionary group Muslim Student Followers of the Imam's Line, angered that the recently deposed Shah had been allowed into the United States, occupied the American embassy in Tehranand took American diplomats hostage. The 52 American diplomats were held hostage for 444 days.
In Iran, the incident was seen by many as a blow against American influence in Iran and the liberal-moderate interim government of Prime Minister Mehdi Bazargan, who opposed the hostage taking and resigned soon after. The hostage takers felt that their action was connected to the 1953 American-backed coup against the government of Prime Minister Mosaddeq.
"You have no right to complain, because you took our whole country hostage in 1953."
said one of the hostage takers to Bruce Laingen, chief U.S. diplomat in Iran at the time.[37] Some Iranians were concerned that the United States may have been plotting another coup against their country in 1979 from the American embassy.[37]
In the United States, the hostage-taking was seen as a violation of a centuries-old principle of international law that granted diplomats immunity from arrest and diplomatic compounds sovereignty in the territory of the host country they occupy.[38]
Vice President George H. W. Bush and other VIPs wait to welcome the former hostages to Iran home
The United States military attempted a rescue operation, Operation Eagle Claw, on April 24, 1980, which resulted in an aborted mission and the deaths of eight American military men. The crisis ended with the signing of the Algiers Accords in Algeria on January 19, 1981. On January 20, 1981, the date the treaty was signed, the hostages were released. The Iran-United States Claims Tribunal (located in The HagueNetherlands) was established for the purpose of handling claims of American nationals against Iran and of Iranian nationals against the United States. American contact with Iran through The Hague covers only legal matters.
The crisis led to lasting economic and diplomatic damage. On April 7, 1980, the United States broke diplomatic relations with Iran, a break which has yet to be restored. On April 24, 1981, the Swiss Government assumed representation of American interests in Tehran via aninterests section. Iranian interests in the United States are represented by the Iranian Interests Section of the Pakistani Embassy in Washington, D.C.

[edit]Economic consequences of the Iran hostage crisis

Families wait for the former hostages to disembark the plane.
Before the Revolution, the United States was Iran's foremost economic and military partner. This facilitated the modernization of Iran's infrastructure and industry, with as many as 30,000 American expatriates residing in the country in a technical, consulting, or teaching capacity. Some analysts argue that the transformation may have been too rapid, fueling unrest and discontent among an important part of the population in the country and leading to the Revolution in 1979.
After the 1979 seizure of the American Embassy in Tehran, the United States froze about $12 billion in Iranian assets, including bank deposits, gold and other properties. According to American officials, most of those were released in 1981 as part of the deal to release the hostages. Some assets—Iranian officials say $10 billion, U.S. officials say much less—remain frozen, pending resolution of legal claims arising from the Revolution.
Commercial relations between Iran and the United States are restricted by American sanctions and consist mainly of Iranian purchases of food, spare parts, and medical products as well as American purchases of carpets and food. Sanctions originally imposed in 1995 by President Bill Clinton were renewed by President Bush, who cited the "unusual and extraordinary threat" to American national security posed by Iran. The 1995 executive orders prohibit American companies and their foreign subsidiaries from conducting business with Iran, while banning any "contract for the financing of the development of petroleum resources located in Iran". In addition, the Iran and Libya Sanctions Act of 1996 (ILSA) imposed mandatory and discretionary sanctions on non-American companies investing more than $20 million annually in the Iranian oil and natural gas sectors.
The ILSA was renewed for five more years in 2001. Congressional bills signed in 2006 extended and added provisions to the act; on September 30, 2006, the act was renamed the Iran Sanctions Act (ISA), as it no longer applied to Libya, and extended until December 31, 2011.

[edit]1980s: Reagan administration

[edit]Iran–Iraq War

Then-American Secretary of State Alexander Haig may have stated[clarification needed] that the United States gave Iraqi President Saddam Hussein approval to attack Iran:
"It was also interesting to confirm that President Carter gave the Iraqis a green light to launch the war against Iran throughPrince Fahd of Jordan." [39]
When Iraq invaded Iran, Carter called Iranian charges of American complicity "patently false". Carter's memoir, Keeping Faith, briefly mentioned this accusation: "Typically, the Iranians accused me of planning and supporting the invasion."[40] Journalist Said K. Aburishclaimed that Hussein visited to AmmanJordan before the war, where he may have met with King Hussein three CIA agents. Aburish believes that there is "considerable evidence that he discussed his plans to invade Iran with the CIA agents". The records of the meeting that occurred on this date between American officials and King Hussein suggest that Saddam Hussein was not present and that the border disputes between Baghdad and Tehran were not discussed, but that joint efforts between Jordan and the United States to oppose Iran were discussed.[41] Others have opposed this view; Eric Alterman in The Nation has called the charge a "slander" and argued there is no credible evidence to back it up.[42] Adam Tomkins wrote: "There were no diplomatic relations between the US and Iraq for seventeen years, until president Reagan restored them in 1984".[43]
American intelligence and logistical support played a crucial role in arming Iraq in the Iraq-Iran war, although Bob Woodward states that the United States gave information to both sides, hoping "to engineer a stalemate.[44][45] According to the American Senate Banking Committee, the administrations of Presidents Reagan and George H. W. Bush authorized the sale to Iraq of numerous dual use items, including poisonous chemicals and deadly biological viruses, such as anthrax and bubonic plague.[46]
According to senior military officers, the United States provided battle planning assistance to Iraq at a time when American intelligence agencies knew that Iraqi commanders would employ chemical weapons in waging the war.[citation needed] American officials publicly condemned Iraq's employment of mustard gassarinVX and other poisonous agents, especially after Iraq attacked Kurdish villagers in Halabja in March 1988. Sixty Defense Intelligence Agency officers were secretly providing detailed information on Iranian deployments, tactical planning for battles, plans for airstrikes and bomb-damage assessments for Iraq, however. In contrast, Secretary of Defence Frank C. Carlucci said: "My understanding is that what was provided" to Iraq "was general order of battle information, not operational intelligence". "I certainly have no knowledge of U.S. participation in preparing battle and strike packages," he said, "and doubt strongly that that occurred." He added, "I did agree that Iraq should not lose the war, but I certainly had no foreknowledge of their use of chemical weapons." Secretary of State Colin Powell, through a spokesman, said the officers' description of the program was "dead wrong," but declined to discuss it.[47]According to reports of the Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs of the U.S. Senate, the United States sold chemical weapons, including anthrax, VX nerve gasWest Nile fever and botulism to Iraq until March 1992. The chairman of the Senate committee, Don Riegle, said: "The executive branch of our government approved 771 different export licences for sale of dual-use technology to Iraq. I think its a devastating record."[48] In 2000, U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright expressed regret for that support.[49]

[edit]1983: Hezbollah bombings

The United States contends that Hezbollah has been involved in several anti-American terrorist attacks, including the April 1983 United States Embassy bombing which killed 17 Americans, the 1983 Beirut barracks bombing which killed 241 U.S. peace keepers in Lebanon, and the 1996 Khobar Towers bombing. An American district court judge ruled in 2003 that the April 1983 United States Embassy bombingwas carried out with Iranian support.[50]
United States District Court Judge Royce C. Lamberth declared that the Islamic Republic of Iran was responsible for the 1983 attack in a 2003 case brought by the victims' families. Lamberth concluded that Hezbollah was formed under the auspices of the Iranian government, was completely reliant on Iran in 1983, and assisted Iranian Ministry of Information and Security agents in carrying out the operation.[51] An American federal court has also found that the Khobar Towers bombing was authorized by Ali Khomeini, then ayatollah of Iran.[52]

[edit]Iran-Contra Affair

In 1986, members of the Reagan administration helped sell weapons to Iran, using the profits to fund anti-communist Contras militants inNicaragua.[53][54] Documents relating to the affair were destroyed or withheld from investigators by Reagan administration officials.[55][56] In November 1986, President Ronald Reagan issued a televised statement that the arms sales did not occur.[57] One week later, Reagan confirmed that weapons had been transferred to Iran. He denied that they were part of an exchange for hostages.[53]

[edit]United States attack of 1988

In 1988, the United States launched Operation Praying Mantis against Iran, claiming that it was retaliation for the Iranian mining of areas of the Persian Gulf as part of the Iran-Iraq war. The American attack was the largest American naval combat operation since World War II.[58]American action began with coordinated strikes by two surface groups that neutralized the Sassan oil platform and the Sirri oil platform of Iran. Iran lost one major warship and a smaller gunboat. Damage to the oil platforms was eventually repaired.[59] Iran sued for reparations at the International Court of Justice, stating that the United States breached the 1955 Treaty of Amity. The court dismissed the claim but noted that "the actions of the United States of America against Iranian oil platforms on October 19, 1987 (Operation Nimble Archer) and April 18, 1988 (Operation Praying Mantis) cannot be justified as measures necessary to protect the essential security interests of the United States of America."[60] The American attack helped pressure Iran to agree to a ceasefire with Iraq later that summer.[61]

[edit]1988: Iran Air Flight 655 tragedy

On July 3, 1988, near the end of the Iran–Iraq War, the U.S. Navy guided missile cruiser USS Vincennes shot down Iranian Airbus A300B2, which was on a scheduled commercial flight in Iranian airspace over the Strait of Hormuz. The attack killed 290 civilians from six nations, including 66 children. USS Vincennes was in the Persian Gulf as part of Operation Earnest Will. The United States initially contended that flight 655 was a warplane and then said that it was outside the civilian air corridor and did not respond to radio calls. Both statements were untrue, and the radio calls were made on military frequencies to which the airliner did not have access.[62] According to the Iranian government, the attack was an intentional and unlawful act. Iran refused to accept the idea of mistaken identification, arguing that this constituted gross negligence and recklessness amounting to an international crime, because the aircraft was not on a trajectory that threatened the Vincennes and had not aimed radar at it.[63] The United States has expressed regret for the loss of innocent life but has not apologized to the Iranian government.[64]

[edit]1990s: Clinton administration

In April 1995, a total embargo on dealings with Iran by American companies was imposed by Bill Clinton. This ended trade, which had been growing following the end of the Iran–Iraq War.[65] The next year, the American Congress passed the Iran-Libya Sanctions act, designed to prevent other countries from making large investments in Iranian energy. The act was denounced by the European Union as invalid, but it blocked some investment for Iran.

[edit]Khatami and Iranian reformers

In January 1998, newly elected Iranian President Mohammad Khatami called for a "dialogue of civilizations" with the United States in a CNN interview. In the interview, Khatami invoked Alexis de Tocqueville's Democracy in America to explain the similarities between American and Iranian quests for freedom. American Secretary of State Madeleine Albright responded positively, and the countries exchanged of wrestling teams. This also brought freer travel between the countries as well as an end to the American embargo of Iranian carpets and pistachios. Relations then stalled due to opposition from Iranian conservatives and American preconditions for discussions, including changes in Iranian policy on Israel, nuclear energy, and support for terrorism.[66]

[edit]Inter-Parliamentary (Congress-to-Majlis) informal talks

On August 31, 2000, four United States Congress members, Senator Arlen Specter, Representative Bob Ney, Representative Gary Ackerman, and Representative Eliot L. Engel held informal talks in New York City with several Iranian leaders. The Iranians included Mehdi Karroubi, speaker of the Majlis of Iran (Iranian Parliament); Maurice Motamed, a Jewish member of the Majlis; and three other Iranian parliamentarians.[67]

[edit]2001-2004

[edit]Concerns of Iranian and American governments

Anti US mural, Tehran
In 2003, Jahangir Amuzegaran, Finance Minister and Economic Ambassador in Iran's pre-1979 government, identified several obstacles to "resumption of relations" between the two countries from the American perspective:[68]
He noted that "in recent years, the last two issues seem to have lost some of their potency and are now only infrequently raised. On the other hand, a new accusation of Iran's harboring of al Qaeda operatives has recently been added to the list".
Iran's original post-revolutionary list of demands required the United States to :
  • Accept the legitimacy of the 1979 revolution
  • Not interfere in Iran's internal affairs
  • Deal with the Iranian regime on the basis of "respect and equality"
Amuzegaran noted subsequent demands by Iran:
  • Lifting American economic sanctions,
  • Releasing frozen Iranian assets in the United States
  • Ending the American military presence in the neighboring countries of Iraq and Afghanistan
  • Removing the U.S. Navy from the Persian Gulf
  • Ending perceived one-sided support for Israel
  • Formally apologizing for intervention in Iran, including the CIA-backed overthrow of Mohammed Mossadegh in the 1950s[70]
  • Paying reparations for:
    • American companies' assistance in developing Iraq's chemical weapons facilities during the Iran-Iraq war[citation needed]
    • American support for anti-Iranian organizations (i.e. the People's Mujahedin of Iran [MEK]);[71]
    • USS Vincennes shooting down Iran Air Flight 655
    • Economic damage caused by American sanctions and political pressure
    • American unmanned aerial vehicle flights over Iran violating Iranian airspace since 2003[72]
    • America's human rights record

[edit]Bush administration, first term

[edit]"Axis of evil" speech

On January 29, 2002, American President George W. Bush gave his "Axis of evil" speech, describing Iran, along with North Korea and Iraq, as an axis of evil and warning that the proliferation of long-range missiles developed by these countries constituted terrorism and threatened the United States. The speech caused outrage in Iran and was condemned by reformists and conservatives.[73]
Since 2003, the United States has been flying unmanned aerial vehicles, launched from Iraq, over Iran to obtain intelligence on Iran's nuclear program, reportedly providing little new information.[74] The Iranian government has described the surveillance as illegal.[75] In January 2006,James Risen, a New York Times reporter, stated in his book State of War that the CIA carried out a Clinton-approved operation in 2000 (Operation Merlin) intended to delay Iran's nuclear energy program. According to Risen, the United States fed Iran flawed blueprints missing key components, but the plan backfired and may have aided Iran, as the flaw was likely corrected by the former Soviet nuclear scientist who headed the delivery operation.

[edit]"Grand Bargain" proposal

A tractor-trailer from Virginia's Fairfax County Urban Search and Rescue Team loaded aboard a C-5 Galaxy heading forBam, Iran
In 2003, prior to the Iraq War, the Bush administration reportedly received overtures from the Iranian government. With help from the American Iranian Council, Iran purportedly proposed a "grand bargain", which would have resolved outstanding issues between the United States and Iran, including Iran's nuclear program and support for Hamas and Hezbollah.[76] Bush administration officials, including Richard Armitage, thought the Khatami government and the Swiss ambassador in Tehran were "promising more than it could deliver". Others, such as Vali Nasr and Gary Sick consider the lack of an American response to be a missed opportunity.[76][77]According to Trita Parsi, author of Treacherous Alliance: The Secret Dealings of Israel, Iran and the United States,[78] Lawrence Wilkerson, Colin Powell's chief of staff, said that "it was Cheney and Rumsfeld who made sure that Washington dismissed Iran's May 2003 offer to open up its nuclear program, rein in Hezbollah and cooperate against al-Qaeda".[79]

[edit]2003: Border incursions begin

Several claims have been made that the US has violated Iranian territorial sovereignty since 2003, including drones,[72][80][81] soldiers,[82] and provocations and bombings by former or current members of the MEK[83] and the Party for a Free Life in Kurdistan (PEJAK).[84] An American RQ-7 Shadow and a Hermes UAV have crashed in Iran.[80] In June 2005, Scott Ritter stated that American attacks on Iran had already begun through the use of drones.[81] Seymour Hersh stated that the United States has also been penetrating eastern Iran from Afghanistan in a hunt for underground installations developing nuclear weapons.[82]

[edit]Divide between public opinion and state policy

An American Reuters/Zogby opinion poll published on September 28, 2006, found 70 percent of respondents opposed to any attack on Iran, 9 percent in favor of "air strikes on selected military targets", and 26 percent supportive of the use of ground forces. In a separate poll, 47 percent were opposed to Israeli intervention.[85] An opinion poll in 2003 asking Iranians if they supported resuming government dialogue with the United States found 75% in favor. The pollsters were jailed,[86] and at least one spent several years in prison.[87]
Although anti-American billboards can be found in Iran and the slogan "death to America" is heard in Friday prayers, some have noted that Iran "just might" have the "least anti-American populace in the Muslim world".[88] Following the September 11 attacks, Iranians gathered in the Maidan-e-Mohseni shopping area in northern Tehran in a candlelit vigil for the victims of the attack. These vigils were violently broken up by Ansar-e-Hezbollah hardliners.[89]

[edit]2005-2009: Bush administration, second term

American journalist Seymour Hersh stated in January 2005 that U.S. Central Command had been asked to revise the military's war plan, providing for a maximum ground and air invasion of Iran. He said that the "hawks" in the American government wished to act if EU3negotiations did not succeed. He stated that a former intelligence official told him, "It's not if we're going to do anything against Iran. They're doing it."[82]
Scott Ritter, former UN weapons of mass destruction inspector in Iraq, stated in June 2005 that The Pentagon was told to be ready to launch an aerial attack to destroy the Iranian nuclear program. He added that the American military was preparing a "massive military presence" inAzerbaijan that would foretell a major land-based campaign designed to capture Tehran. He also claimed that the American attack on Iran had "already begun".[90]
In August 2005, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad became Iran's president, giving Iran a religious and conservative president. The following month, the U.S. State Department was accused of refusing to issue visas for Iran's parliamentary speaker, Mousa Qorbani, and a group of senior Iranian officials to participate in a meeting held by the United Nations (UN). According to UN rules, the United States must grant visas to senior officials from any UN member states to take part in UN meetings, irrespective of their political views.[citation needed]
In 2006, the Pentagon created the Iranian Directorate to handle intelligence regarding Iran.[91]
In March 2006, Joseph Cirincione, director for non-proliferation at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, wrote that "some senior officials have already made up their minds: They want to hit Iran" and that there "may be a coordinated campaign to prepare for a military strike on Iran."[92] Stephen Zunes, Professor at the University of San Francisco and Middle East editor for the Foreign Policy in Focus Project, also believes that a military attack on Iran is being planned.[93]
On 8 May 2006, Ahmadinejad sent a personal letter to President Bush to propose "new ways" to end Iran's nuclear dispute.[94] U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley both dismissed it as a negotiating ploy and publicity stunt that did not address American concerns about Iran's nuclear program.[95] Ahmadinejad later said that "the letter was an invitation to monotheism and justice, which are common to all divine prophets".[96]
Bush insisted in August 2006 that "there must be consequences" for Iran's continued enrichment of uranium. He said that "the world now faces a grave threat from the radical regime in Iran."[97] Ahmadinejad invited Bush to a debate at the UN General Assembly, which was to take place on September 18, 2006. The debate was to be about Iran's right to enrich uranium. The invitation was promptly rejected by White House spokesman Tony Snow, who said "There's not going to be a steel-cage grudge match between the President and Ahmadinejad".[98]
Columbia University students protesting against the university's decision to invite Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to the university campus
In November 2006, Ahmadinejad wrote an open letter to the American people,[99] stating that dialogue was urgently needed because of American activities in the Middle East and that the United States was concealing the truth about relations.[100]
In April 2007, Michael T. Klare stated that President Bush had already taken the decision to attack Iran. He said that Bush's references to Iran in major televised speeches on January 10, January 23 and February 14, 2007, established that he "has already decided an attack is his only option and the rest is a charade he must go through to satisfy his European allies". Klare said that Bush had developed a casus belli in order to prepare public opinion for an attack, focused on claims that Iran supports attacks on American troops in Iraq, claims that Iran has a nuclear weapons program, and claims that Iran could become a dominant power in the region and destabilise pro-American governments in IsraelJordanBahrain and Saudi Arabia, thereby endangering oil supplies.[101]
In September 2007, Ahmadinejad addressed the UN General Assembly. Prior to this, he gave a speech atColumbia University, where university president Lee Bollinger used his introduction to portray the Iranian leader as "astonishingly uneducated" and as a "cruel and petty dictator". Ahmadinejad answered a query about the treatment of gays in Iran by saying: "We don't have homosexuals like in your country. We don't have that in our country. We don't have this phenomenon; I don't know who's told you we have it". An aide later stated that he was misrepresented and was actually saying that "compared to American society, we don't have many homosexuals".[102] Ahmadinejad was not permitted to lay a wreath at the World Trade Center site. He stated, "Many innocent people were killed there. Some of those people were American citizens, obviously...We obviously are very much against any terrorist action and any killing. And also we are very much against any plots to sow the seeds of discord among nations. Usually, you go to these sites to pay your respects. And also to perhaps to air your views about the root causes of such incidents." When told that Americans believed that Iran exported terrorism and would be offended by the "photo op", he replied, "Well, I'm amazed. How can you speak for the whole of the American nation?...You are representing a media and you're a reporter. The American nation is made up of 300 million people. There are different points of view over there".[103]
In an April 2008 speech, Ahmadinejad described the September 11 attacks as a "suspect event", saying that all that happened was that "a building collapsed". He stated that the death toll was never published, that the victims' names were never published, and that the attacks were used subsequently as pretext for the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq.[104] That October, he expressed happiness about the 2008 global economic crisis and what he called "collapse of liberalism". He said the West has been driven to a dead-end and that Iran was proud "to put an end to liberal economy".[105] The previous month, he had told the UN General Assembly, "The American empire in the world is reaching the end of its road, and its next rulers must limit their interference to their own borders".[106]

[edit]U.S. military revises plans

In March 2005, the United States revised its Doctrine for Joint Nuclear Operations to include preemptive or possibly preventive use on non-nuclear states.[citation needed]
In August 2005, Philip Giraldi, a former CIA officer, stated that American Vice President Dick Cheney had instructed STRATCOM to prepare "a contingency plan to be employed in response to another 9/11-type terrorist attack on the United States...[including] a large-scale air assault on Iran employing both conventional and tactical nuclear weapons...not conditional on Iran actually being involved in the act of terrorism directed against the United States". Tactical nuclear weapons were specified because the targets are "hardened or are deep underground" and would not be destroyed by non-nuclear warheads.[107] In 2006, Jorge Hirsch,[108][109] Michel Chossudovsky,[110] theCampaign Against Sanctions and Military Intervention in Iran[111] and Seymour M. Hersh[112] also stated that the United States planned to use nuclear weapons against Iran.
On April 18, 2006, a journalist asked Bush, "Sir, when you talk about Iran, and you talk about, how you have to have diplomatic efforts, you often say all options are on the table. Does that include, the possibility of a nuclear strike, is that something that your administration has plans about?" Bush replied, "All options are on the table".[113]
The Iraq War has hurt American willingness to accept another war. A June 2006 CBS poll showed that 21 percent of Americans supported military action against Iran. 55 percent favored diplomacy, and 19 percent said Iran was not a threat to the United States.[114] Some groups have organized opposition to an attack on Iran.[115]

[edit]Iran's nuclear program

Since 2003, the United States has alleged that Iran has a program to develop nuclear weapons. Iran has maintained that its nuclear program is aimed only at generating electricity. The United States's position is that "a nuclear-armed Iran is not acceptable",[116] but officials have denied that the United States is preparing for an imminent strike. The United Kingdom (UK), France andGermany have also attempted to negotiate a cessation of nuclear enrichment activities by Iran.[117]
In June 2005, Condoleezza Rice said that International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) head Mohamed ElBaradei should either "toughen his stance on Iran" or not be chosen for a third term as IAEA head.[118] Both the United States and Iran are parties to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). The United States and other countries were alleged during the May 2005 NPT meeting to be in violation of the NPT through Article VI, which requires them to disarm. The IAEA has stated that Iran is in violation of a Safeguards Agreement related to the NPT, due to insufficient reporting of nuclear material, its processing and its use.[119] Under Article IV, the treaty gives non-nuclear states the right to develop civilian nuclear energy programs.[120] From 2003 to early 2006, tensions mounted between the United States and Iran while IAEA inspections of sensitive nuclear industry sites in Iran continued.
On March 8, 2006, American and European representatives noted that Iran has enough unenriched uranium hexafluoride gas to make ten atomic bombs, adding that it was "time for the Security Council to act".[121] The unenriched uranium cannot be used either in the Bushehrreactor, which is a pressurized water reactor, nor in atomic bombs, unless it becomes enriched.

[edit]Bush's "wave of democracy"

George W. Bush has claimed that his administration's goal in Iraq was to bring democracy to countries in the Middle East and to opposeislamofascism. The anti-Iraq War World Tribunal on Iraq and others doubted the sincerity of this motive, pointing to what they believe to be an American campaign against academia in IraqRobert Dreyfuss, author of Devil's Game: How the United States Helped Unleash Fundamentalist Islam, stated that American actions in the region support islamofascism rather than oppose it.[122]

[edit]Iran fears of attack by the U.S.

Paul Pillar, the former CIA official who led the preparation of all National Intelligence Estimates (NIEs) on Iran from 2000 to 2005, told the InterPress Service that all NIEs on Iran during that period "addressed the Iranian fears of U.S. attack explicitly and related their desire for nuclear weapons to those fears". He added, "Iranian perceptions of threat, especially from the United States and Israel, were not the only factor, but were in our judgment part of what drove whatever effort they were making to build nuclear weapons". Another former CIA official,Ellen Laipson, said that "the Iranian fear of an attack by the United States has long been a standard element in NIEs on Iran".[123] In 2006, the United States passed the Iran Freedom and Support Act, which appropriated millions of dollars for human rights Non-governmental organization (NGOs) working in Iran. Several politicians in both countries have claimed the Act is a "stepping stone to war",[84] although the Act prohibits the use of force against Iran.
In May 2007, Iran's top diplomat Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki stated that Iran is "ready to talk" to the United States.[124] That month, Iran announced willingness, under certain conditions, to improve its relations with the United States despite having passed up the opportunity for direct talks at the Iraq conference in Sharm El-Sheikh on May 3, 2007. The conference had been seen by the Americans as an opportunity to get closer to the Iranians and exchange gestures in a public forum.[125][dead link]

[edit]U.S. military operations inside Iran

Scott Ritter has stated that CIA-backed bombings had been undertaken in Iran by the MEK, an opposition group included in the U.S. State Department list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations.[81] In April 2006, a blog called The Raw Story cited an unnamed UN source "close to" the UN Security Council, stating that the United States had used former MEK members as proxies in Iran for "roughly a year". The blog said that the proxies were made to "swear an oath to Democracy and resign from the MEK" before being incorporated into American military units and trained for their operations in Iran.[83]
In March 2006, the Party for a Free Life in Kurdistan (PEJAK), an opposition group closely linked to the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) killed 24 members of the Iranian security forces. The PEJAK is linked to the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), which is listed by the U.S. State Department as a Foreign Terrorist Organization. Dennis Kucinich stated in an April 18, 2006, letter to Bush that PEJAK was supported and coordinated by the United States, since it is based in Iraq, which is under the de facto control of American military forces.[84] In November 2006, journalist Seymour Hersh in The New Yorker supported this claim, stating that the American military and the Israelis are giving the group equipment, training, and targeting information in order to create internal pressures in Iran.[126]
Global intelligence company Stratfor stated that the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps was attacked in early 2007: "this latest attack against IRGC guards was likely carried out by armed Baloch nationalists who have received a boost in support from Western intelligence agencies".[127] On April 3, 2007, the American Broadcasting Company (ABC) stated that the United States had supported Jundullah since 2005.[128] The Washington Times has described Jundullah as a militant Islamic organization based in WaziristanPakistan and affiliated with Al-Qaeda that has claimed to kill approximately 400 Iranian soldiers.[129]
The United States has escalated its covert operations against Iran, according to current and former military, intelligence, and congressional sources.[130] They state that Bush sought up to $400,000,000 for these military operations, which were described in a secret Presidential Finding and are designed to destabilize Iran's religious leadership. The covert activities involve support of the minority Ahwazi Arab and Baluchi groups and other dissident organizations. United States Special Operations Forces have been conducting cross-border operations from southern Iraq, with Presidential authorization, since 2007. The scale and the scope of the operations in Iran, which involve the CIA and the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC), have been significantly expanded in 2008.[130]
The United States claims that Iran is backing Shiite militias in Iraq and supplying them with arms in order to wage a proxy war on America. The United States said that 170 Americans have died in this proxy war, but Iran denies these charges. Iraqi prime minister Nouri Maliki has praised Iran for its providing security and fighting terrorism in Iraq.[131] In May 2008, the Los Angeles Times reported that both American military spokesmen and Iraqi officials backed off from some of the accusations against Iran when American experts examined weapons and munitions recovered from Shiite militias and found that they did not originate in Iran.[132] American and Iranian ambassadors in Iraq have engaged in direct talks,[citation needed] but tensions remain high over this issue.

[edit]2006 sanctions against Iranian institutions

Pushing for international sanctions against Iran because of its nuclear program, the United States accused Iran of providing logistical and financial support to Shi'a militias in Iraq. Iran denied this claim.[133] The American government imposed sanctions on an Iranian bank on September 8, 2006, barring it from direct or indirect dealings with American financial institutions. The move against Bank Saderat Iran was announced by the undersecretary for treasury, who accused the bank of transferring funds for terrorist groups, including $50,000,000 toHezbollah. While Iranian financial institutions are barred from directly accessing the American financial system, they are permitted to do so indirectly through banks in other countries. He said the United States government would also persuade European financial institutions not to deal with Iran.[134]

[edit]2007 US raids Iran Consulate General

In 2007, American armed forces raided the Iranian Consulate General located in ErbilIraq and arrested five staff members. Sources[who?] said that American forces landed their helicopters around the building, broke through the consulate's gate, disarmed the guards, confiscated documents, arrested five staff members, and left for an undisclosed location. People living in the neighborhood were told they could not leave their homes. Three people who left their homes were arrested, and a wife of one of these men confirmed her husband's arrest.
Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs Mikhail Kamynin said that the raid was an unacceptable violation of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations. The Kurdistan Regional Government also expressed their disapproval.
At a hearing on Iraq on January 11, 2007, United States Senator Joseph Biden, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, told Rice that the Bush Administration did not have the authority to send American troops on cross-border raids. Biden said, "I believe the present authorization granted the president to use force in Iraq does not cover that, and he does need congressional authority to do that. I just want to set that marker".[135] Biden sent a follow-up letter to the White House asking for an explanation on the matter.
The same day, Iran's foreign ministry sent a letter to Iraq's foreign ministry, asking Iraq to stop the United States from interfering with Iraq-Iran relations. The official said, "We expect the Iraqi government to take immediate measures to set the aforesaid individuals free and to condemn the US troopers for the measure. Following up on the case and releasing the arrestees is a responsibility of primarily the Iraqi government and then the local government and officials of the Iraqi Kurdistan".[citation needed]
On November 9, American forces released two Iranian diplomats after 305 days,[136] as well as seven other Iranian citizens. The officials were captured in the raid, and the others had been picked up in different parts of the country and held for periods ranging from three months to three years.[137] American officials said, "The release followed a careful review of individual records to determine if they posed a security threat to Iraq, and if their detention was of continued intelligence value".[137] American forces still hold 11 Iranian diplomats and citizens.[citation needed]

[edit]IRGC terrorist designation

The United States has opposed the activities of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) based on "the group's growing involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan as well as its support for extremists throughout the Middle East".[138] The United States branded the IRGC a terrorist organization,[139] and Iran responded by declaring the CIA and U.S. Army to be terrorist organizations.[140] The Iranian resolution cited American involvement in dropping nuclear bombs in Japan in World War II, using depleted uranium munitions in the Balkans, bombing and killing Iraqi civilians, and torturing terror suspects in prisons.[141]
President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan has argued that Iran is "a helper and a solution" for Afghanistan,[142] and Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki of Iraq stated that Iran has a "positive and constructive" role in helping the Iraqi government improve security in his wartorn nation.[143][dead link] When asked if Iran is supplying weapons to the Taliban by Voice of America, a U.S.-funded outlet, Ahmadinejad said the United States does not want Iran to be friends with Afghanistan: "What is the reason they are saying such things?"[144]
Joseph Cirincione, a nuclear proliferation expert at the Center for American Progress, said that "the only way you could get a nuclear deal is as part of a grand bargain, which at this point is completely out of reach".[145] Michael Rubin, a senior research fellow with the American Enterprise Institute, said he feared the IRGC designation "might exculpate the rest of the regime when, in reality, the IRGC's activities cannot be separated from the state leadership of Supreme Leader Khamenei or President Ahmadinejad".[146] The Iranian newspaper Kayhan quoted the commander of Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards as threatening to deal heavier blows against the United States in response to the designation.[147] Mohammad Khatami, former Reforms Front Iranian President hoped to "remind those in the U.S. Congress or elsewhere working for the benefit of the American nation to stand against these measures or the wall between the two countries grow taller and thicker".[148]
This is the first time that official armed units of sovereign states are included in a list of banned terrorist groups.[149] Kaveh L. Afrasiabi, a former consultant to the UN's program of Dialogue Among Civilizations,[150] stated in Asia Times Online that the move has possible legal implications: "Under international law, it could be challenged as illegal, and untenable, by isolating a branch of the Iranian government for selective targeting. This is contrary to the 1981 Algiers Accord's pledge of non-interference in Iran's internal affairs by the US government".[151] News leaks about the prospective designation worried European governments and private sector firms, which could face prosecution in American courts for working with the IRGC.[152]

[edit]2008 Naval dispute

The American government has stated that naval stand-offs between Iranian speedboats and American warships occurred in the Strait of Hormuz in December 2007 and January 2008. American officials accused Iran of harassing and provoking their naval vessels, but Iran denied the claim. The United States presented audio and video footage of the incident, which included threats made to the Americans. Iranians have told The Washington Post that the accent in the recording does not sound Iranian. Iran has accused the United States of creating a "media fuss" and has released its own abridged video recording of the incident, which does not contain threats.[153][154] There has been significant confusion as to the source of the threatening radio transmissions. According to the newspaper Navy Times, the incident could have been caused by a locally famous heckler known as the "Filipino Monkey".[155][156][157]

[edit]Covert action against Iran

In 2008, New Yorker reporter Seymour Hersh detailed American covert action plans against Iran involving the CIA, Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), and Special Forces.[158] He also stated that the United States was supporting several groups that are performing acts of violence inside Iran. He wrote, "The use of Baluchi elements, for example, is problematic, Robert Baer, a former C.I.A. clandestine officer who worked for nearly two decades in South Asia and the Middle East, told me. 'The Baluchis are Sunni fundamentalists who hate the regime in Tehran, but you can also describe them as Al Qaeda,' Baer told me." He also states that the United States was supporting Jundallah, aSunni and Salafi group; the People's Mujahedin of Iran; and the PJAK.
Journalist David Ignatius of the Washington Post asserted that American covert action "appears to focus on political action and the collection of intelligence rather than on lethal operations".[159] Iranian commentator Ali Eftagh stated that the covert actions are being made public by the American government as a form of psychological warfare.[160]

[edit]Other events (2007 - 2008)

A meeting in Baghdad between Iranian and American diplomats was "the first formal direct contact after decades during which neither country has been willing to talk to the other."[161] Asia Times commentator Kaveh L Afrasiabi noted that success in United States-Iran nuclear negotiations depends on Iranian perception of American respect.[162]
A former Iranian diplomat, Nosratollah Tajik, was arrested in the UK and accused by the United States of smuggling arms. He initially appeared in court on April 19, 2007, fighting extradition to the US.[163] The case is still ongoing. [164]
Congressional Resolution 362[165] calls for a naval blockade of the Strait of Hormuz. As of June 2, 2008, the resolution had 146 co-sponsors.[166] In January 2009, The New York Times reported that the United States had rejected a 2008 appeal from Israel to attack Iran's main nuclear complex.[167]

[edit]Panel's message to Obama

A panel of 20 Americans, who include academics and former ambassadors, warned against a military attack on Iran and called for unconditional negotiations, saying that dialogue was the only viable option to break "a cycle of threats and defiance". The panel included former special envoy to Afghanistan James Dobbins, former ambassador to the UN Thomas Pickering, and Middle East scholars from American universities. They called on the United States to replace calls for regime change with a long-term strategy, allow Iran a "place at the table" in shaping the future of Iraq and Afghanistan, offer security assurances in the nuclear talks, and re-energize the Arab-Israeli peace process.[168]

[edit]Obama Administration

Two days after Barack Obama was elected president in November 2008, Ahmadinejad issued the first congratulatory message to a newly elected American president since 1979: "Iran welcomes basic and fair changes in U.S. policies and conducts. I hope you will prefer real public interests and justice to the never-ending demands of a selfish minority and seize the opportunity to serve people so that you will be remembered with high esteem".[169]
In his inaugural speech, President Obama said:
To the Muslim world, we seek a new way forward, based on mutual interest and mutual respect. To those leaders around the globe who seek to sow conflict, or blame their society's ills on the West — know that your people will judge you on what you can build, not what you destroy. To those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent, know that you are on the wrong side of history; but that we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist.
Ahmadinejad issued a list of grievances, including the 1953 coup, support for Saddam Hussein in the Iran-Iraq war, and the Iran Air Flight 655 incident.[170] In March 2009, an official delegation of Hollywood actors and filmmakers met with their Iranian counterparts in Tehran as a symbol of United States-Iran relations, but Javad Shamghadri, the Arts Adviser to Ahmadinejad, rejected it and said, "Representatives of Iran's film industry should only have an official meeting with representatives of the academy and Hollywood if they apologize for the insults and accusations against the Iranian nation during the past 30 years".[171]
On March 19, 2009, the beginning of the festival of Nowruz, Obama spoke directly to the Iranian people in a video saying, "The United States wants the Islamic Republic of Iran to take its rightful place in the community of nations. You have that right—but it comes with real responsibilities".[172]

[edit]Roxana Saberi and detained diplomats

In April 2009, Iranian-American journalist Roxana Saberi was sentenced to eight years in prison after being convicting of spying for the United States. She was accused of possessing a classified document but denied the charge. After spending four months in prison, she was released in May, and the charge was dropped.[173][174]
On July 9, 2009, the United States released five Iranian diplomats (Mohsen Bagheri, Mahmoud Farhadi, Majid Ghaemi, Majid Dagheri and Abbas Jami), who had been held since January 2007.[175] Some analysts[who?] believe this was a part of hostage exchange deal between the countries.[176] The U.S. State Department said the release was not part of a deal with Iran but was necessary under an American-Iraqi security pact.[177]

[edit]Iranian presidential elections 2009

On June 12, 2009, Obama said of the Iranian presidential election: "We are excited to see what appears to be a robust debate taking place in Iran".[178] Ahmadinejad's landslide win, which led to fraud allegations and widespread protests, received little comment from the United States. White House press secretary Robert Gibbs stated, "Like the rest of the world, we were impressed by the vigorous debate and enthusiasm that this election generated, particularly among young Iranians. We continue to monitor the entire situation closely, including reports of irregularities".[179] Vice President Joe Biden said, "It sure looks like the way they're suppressing speech, the way they're suppressing crowds, the way in which people are being treated, that there's some real doubt".[180] On June 15, State Department spokesman Ian Kelly declared that the US was "deeply troubled by the reports of violent arrests and possible voting irregularities".[181]

[edit]Detention of U.S. Hikers over Kurdish Border

Three American hikers were arrested on July 31, 2009, in Iran after they crossed into Iranian territory. Reports say the hikers accidentally crossed into Iran while hiking between Halabja and Ahmad Awa in the Kurdish Region of Iraq.[182]

[edit]Al-Qaeda Prisoners

Since the beginning of the War in Afghanistan, the United States believes that Al-Qaeda operatives have snuck into Iran. The United States has expressed concern about Iran possibly letting these prisoners leave the country, in violation of a UN treaty.[183]

[edit]Strict enforcement of currency embargo

In the case of United States v. Banki, on June 5, 2010, a U.S. citizen was convicted of violating the Iran Trade Embargo by failing to request Iranian currency transfer licenses in advance from the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC).

[edit]Disappearance of Shahram Amiri

Iranian nuclear scientist Shahram Amiri disappeared in May 2009, and Iran accused the United States of abducting him. On the July 13, 2010, the BBC reported that Amiri had taken refuge in the Iranian interests section of Pakistani Embassy in Washington, D.C. and sought help to reach Iran.[184]

[edit]Threats to close Persian Gulf

Iran backed down from threats to close the Strait of Hormuz to oil traffic in the face of a firm response by the Obama administration, saying that such threats belonged to a period during the Bush administration.[185]
On Jan 3, 2012 Iran's army chief Ataollah Salehi warns "We recommend to the American warship that passed through the Strait of Hormuz and went to Gulf of Oman not to return to the Persian Gulf". The warship is believed to be the American aircraft carrier the USS John C. Stennis which recently vacated the area as Iran conducted a 10-day naval exercise near the Strait of Hormuz. While motives for the threat where not clear, Salehi was also quotes as saying "We have no plan to begin any irrational act but we are ready against any threat."[186] The US Navy responded that it will continue with its regularly scheduled deployments, in accordance with international maritime conventions.[187]

[edit]Economic relations

Trade between Iran and the United States reached $623 million in 2008. According to the United States Census Bureau, American exports to Iran reached $93 million in 2007 and $537 million in 2008. American imports from Iran decreased from $148 million in 2007 to $86 million in 2008.[188][189] This data does not include trade conducted through third countries to circumvent the trade embargo. It has been reported that the United States Treasury Department has granted nearly 10,000 special licenses to American companies over the past decade to conduct business with Iran.[190]
American exports to Iran include cigarettes ($73 million), corn ($68 million); chemical wood pulp, soda or sulphate ($64 million); soybeans ($43 million); medical equipment ($27 million); vitamins ($18 million); and vegetable seeds ($12 million).[189] In 2010, American exports to Iran dropped by 50% to $281.8 million.[188]

[edit]See also

[edit]References

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  3. ^ online.wsj.com APRIL 1, 2009, Q&A With the Head of Iran's New America's Desk
  4. ^ Reading Khamenei: The World View of Iran's Most Powerful Leader, by Karim Sadjadpour March 2008 p.20
    It is natural that our Islamic system should be viewed as an enemy and an intolerable rival by such an oppressive power as the United States, which is trying to establish a global dictatorship and further its own interests by dominating other nations and trampling on their rights. It is also clear that the conflict and confrontation between the two is something natural and unavoidable. [Address by Ali Khamenei, the Supreme Leader of Iran, to students at Shahid Beheshti University, May 12, 2003]
  5. ^ The New Republic, Charm Offensive by Laura Secor April 1, 2009
    To give up this trump card--the non-relationship with the United States, the easy evocation of an external bogeyman--would be costly for the Iranian leadership. It would be a Gorbachevian signal that the revolution is entering a dramatically new phase--one Iran's leaders cannot be certain of surviving in power.
  6. ^ Iran Chamber Society - Islamic Revolution of 1979
  7. a b c The Middle East and the United States: A Historical and Political Reassessment, David W. Lesch, 2003, ISBN 0-8133-3940-5, p.52
  8. ^ Ibid. p.83
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    • The Memoirs of Anthony Eden are also explicit about Britain's role in putting Reza Khan in power.
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  96. ^ "President says his letter to President Bush was invitation to Islam." Islamic Republic News Agency. Retrieved 29-10-2006.
  97. ^ Bush: Iran's defiance will bring 'consequences', August 31, 2006, CNN
  98. ^ "No 'steel-cage, grudge match' between Bush, Ahmadinejad."CNN. Retrieved 10-01-2007.
  99. ^ "Ahmadinejad's letter to Americans." CNN.. Retrieved 26-01-2008.
  100. ^ "Message of H.E. Dr. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad President of the Republic of Iran to the American People." Fox News. Retrieved 29-11-2006.
  101. ^ Klare, Michael T.. "Bush's Future Iran War Speech: Three Charges in the Case for War"Nation Institute. Retrieved 2007-04-09.
  102. ^ "President misquoted over gays in Iran: aide | International | Reuters". Reuters<!. 2007-10-10. Retrieved 2009-06-21.
  103. ^ Gendar, Alison (2007-09-21). "Well, if you're gonna be like that, I won't go to WTC". New York Daily News. Retrieved 2010-03-10.
  104. ^ "Ahmadinejad: 9/11 'suspect event'". BBC News. 2008-04-16. Retrieved 2009-06-21.
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  107. ^ Deep Background, August 1, 2005, Philip GiraldiThe American Conservative
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  109. ^ America and Iran: At the Brink of the AbyssJorge Hirsch, February 20, 2006
  110. ^ Nuclear War Against IranMichel Chossudovsky, January 3, 2006
  111. ^ Campaign Against Sanctions and Military Intervention on Iran
  112. ^ The Iran plans, Seymour Hersh, The New Yorker Mag., April 8, 2006
  113. ^http://www.geocities.com/jorgehirsch/nuclear/bushoptions.mov,C-SPAN interview archived by Jorge E. Hirsch
  114. ^ PollingReport.com on Iran
  115. ^ Active Petition against War with Iran Hosted by Just Foreign Policy and Peace Action
  116. ^ Blair's Next War, May 4, 2005, Dave Wearing
  117. ^ http://usinfo.state.gov/is/Archive/2006/Mar/24-427575.html
  118. ^ US agrees to back UN nuclear head, June 9, 2005, BBC
  119. ^ Implementation of the NPT Safeguards Agreement in the Islamic Republic of Iran: Resolution adopted on 24 September 2005, IAEA
  120. ^ Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT)
  121. ^ US demands drastic action as Iran nuclear row escalates, Ian Traynor, The Guardian, March 9, 2006
  122. ^ Political Islam vs. Democracy: The Bush Administration's Deadly Waltz with Shiite Theocrats in Iraq and Muslim Brotherhood Fanatics in Syria, Egypt, and Elsewhere, November 29, 2005,Robert Dreyfuss
  123. ^ Fear of U.S. Drove Iran's Nuclear Policy, Gareth Porter, February 10, 2006, InterPress Service
  124. ^ Interview: 'We are Ready to Talk' - TIME
  125. ^ [Dead link.... Dar Al Hayat]
  126. ^ Hersh, Seymour M. (November 20, 2006). "The Next Act"The New Yorker. Retrieved 2006-11-19.
  127. ^ "MEDIA ALERT: A MENACE TO US ALL - MAX HASTINGS AND IRAN"Media Lens. April 4, 2007. Retrieved 2007-04-05.
  128. ^ Ross, Brian; Christopher Isham (2007-04-03). "The United States Secret War Against Iran"American Broadcasting Company. Retrieved 2007-04-03.
  129. ^ Massoud, Ansari (January 16, 2006). "Sunni group vows to behead Iranians"Washington Times. Retrieved 2007-04-05.
  130. a b The Washington Post, June 30, 2008, "Cheney's Fingerprints" citing The New Yorker investigative journalism article by Seymour Hirsch, http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/blog/2008/06/30/BL2008063000719.html?hpid=opinionsbox1
  131. ^ BBC NEWS | World | Middle East | Iran urges US pull-out from Iraq
  132. ^ Susman, Tina (2008-05-08). "IRAQ: The elusive Iranian weapons". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 11 February 2010.
  133. ^ "Iraq prime minister to visit Iran"Al Jazeera. September 9, 2006.
  134. ^ People's Daily Online - U.S. imposes sanctions on Iranian bank
  135. ^ Senators fear Iraq war may spill to Iran, Syria Reuters Jan 11, 2007
  136. ^ رادیو زمانه | خبر اول | ايران و آمريکا | 9 ایرانی از زندان آمریکا در عراق آزاد شدند
  137. a b BBC NEWS | World | Middle East | US releases nine Iranians in Iraq
  138. ^ Iranian Unit to Be Labeled 'Terrorist'
  139. ^ "Fact Sheet: Designation of Iranian Entities and Individuals for Proliferation Activities and Support for Terrorism". U.S. Department of the Treasury. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2010-07-12.
  140. ^ "Iran's parliament votes to label CIA, U.S. Army 'terrorist' groups". CNN. 2007-09-29. Retrieved 2010-07-12.
  141. ^ FOXNews.com - Iran's Parliament Signs Resolution to Label CIA, Army as 'Terrorist Organizations' - International News | News of the World | Middle East News | Europe News
  142. ^ US feels heat as Iranian leader visits Afghanistan
  143. ^ Leader: Iran, Iraq Must Work Together
  144. ^ Ahmadinejad Makes First Visit to Afghanistan
  145. ^ Iranian Unit to Be Labeled 'Terrorist'
  146. ^ Iran Still Evading UN Sanctions, Says Policy Expert
  147. ^ Iran Guards warn U.S. of heavier blows ahead: report
  148. ^ U.S. intellectuals prevent extremist views: Khatami
  149. ^ Iran Guards 'join US terror list'
  150. ^ Featured writer: Kaveh Afrasiabi
  151. ^ US steps closer to war with Iran
  152. ^ U.S. Officials Begin Crafting Iran Bombing Plan
  153. ^ Washington Post, January 11, 2008, "Iranian Boats May Not Have Made Radio Threat, Pentagon Says,"http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/01/10/AR2008011000692_2.html?hpid=topnews&sid=ST2008011001831
  154. ^ Inter Press Service, January 10, 2008, "Official Version of Naval Incident Starts to Unravel," http://www.ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=40747 archived at -http://www.commondreams.org/archive/2008/01/11/6314/
  155. ^ 'Filipino Monkey' behind threats? - Navy News, opinions, editorials, news from Iraq, photos, reports - Navy Times
  156. ^ "Prankster linked to US-Iran incident"Television New Zealand.Reuters. January 15, 2008. Retrieved October 5, 2011.
  157. ^ "The Filipino Monkey"?
  158. ^ Hersh, Seymour (2008-07-07). "Preparing the Battlefield: The Bush Administration steps up its secret moves against Iran.". The New Yorker.
  159. ^ "Spy Games in Iran: U.S. Half Steps Mask Indecisive Policy", by David Ignatius, Washington Post, July 2, 2008
  160. ^ "Memo to Uncle Sam: Iran Is Not Your Enemy", Ali Eftagh,Washington Post, July 1, 2008
  161. ^ "The revolution strikes back." The Economist. July 21, 2007. Vol. 384, Iss. 8538; pg. 2
  162. ^ http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/JG25Ak01.html"For Iran, respect above all else", by Kaveh L Afrasiabi, July 25, 2008, Asia Times
  163. ^ Arms accused diplomat in UK court, BBC News, April 19, 2007
  164. ^ http://www.tehrantimes.com/index.php/politics/93016-tajik-extradition-to-us-would-be-another-hostile-move-by-uk
  165. ^ H.CON.RES 362
  166. ^ "House Resolution Calls for Naval Blockade against Iran: America's powerful pro-Israel lobby pressures the US Congress", Global Research, June 18, 2008
  167. ^ (January 11, 2009) Report: U.S. rejected Israeli plea to attack Iran CNN
  168. ^ Colvin, Ross (November 14, 2008). "Experts urge Obama to rethink Iran policy"Reuters.
  169. ^ [2][dead link]
  170. ^ Iran Not Likely To Meet Obama Halfway
  171. ^ NAZILA FATHI (2009-03-01). "Despite Hopes of Hollywood Visit, Iran's Leaders Stick to the Same Script". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-03-18.
  172. ^ "Obama offers Iran 'new beginning'"BBC News. March 20, 2009. Retrieved January 5, 2010.
  173. ^ Fathi, Nazila (2009-04-18). "Iran Sentences U.S. Journalist to 8 Years". The New York Times. Retrieved May 5, 2010.
  174. ^ [3], NPR "Roxana Saberi On Her Imprisonment in Iran, May 28, 2009
  175. ^ "U.S. Hands 5 Detained Iranians to Iraq". The New York Times. 2009-07-09.[dead link]
  176. ^ Omid Memarian. "Hostage Diplomacy: Roxana Saberi and the Three Jailed Iranian Diplomats".
  177. ^ [4], BBC "US Releasese Five Iranians in Iraq," July 10, 2009
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  186. ^ "Iran warns U.S. carrier to stay out of Persian Gulf" AP, 3 January 2012.
  187. ^ "U.S. says will continue to deploy warships in Persian Gulf despite Iranian threats." Haaretz Newspaper, 3 January 2012.
  188. a b http://previous.presstv.ir/detail.aspx?id=119065&sectionid=3510213
  189. a b http://www.nitc.co.ir/iran-daily/1387/3300/html/economy.htm
  190. ^ "Report: U.S. Treasury approved business with Iran." AP, 24 December 2010.

[edit]Bibliography

  • Gareth Porter, Bush's Iran/Argentina Terror Frame-Up, The Nation, posted January 18, 2008 (web only), [6].
  • Kaveh L. Afrasiabi, Abbas Maleki, Iran's Foreign Policy After September 11, Booksurge, 2008.
  • Farideh Farhi, The U.S. and Iran After the NIE, The Audit of Conventional Wisdom Series, MIT Center for International Studies, December 2007. pdf
  • Scott Peterson, Iran's Peace Museum: The reality vs. the glories of warThe Christian Science Monitor, December 24, 2007. [7]
  • Lindsay Holmwood, Book: Powell Pushed Iran Policy Shift, Associated Press, November 11, 2007. [8]
  • Maziar Bahari, 'A Wall of Mistrust' - A former Iranian diplomat [Sadeg Kharazi – Iran's former deputy foreign minister and ambassador to France] discusses nukes, the Holocaust and how Washington can win Tehran's trust, Newsweek Web Exclusive, November 9, 2007:[9]. A brief comment on this article by Farideh Farhi can be read here: Informed Comment: Global Affairs (November 11, 2007).
  • Cirincione, Joe & Andy Grotto: "Contain and Engage: A New Strategy for Resolving the Nuclear Crisis with Iran. The Center for American Progress, 2007.
  • Wright, Steven. The United States and Persian Gulf Security: The Foundations of the War on Terror, Ithaca Press, 2007 ISBN 978-0-86372-321-6
  • Friedman Alan, Spider's Web: The Secret History of how the White House Illegally Armed Iraq. New York, Bantam Books, 1993.
  • Jentleson Bruce, With friends like these: Reagan, Bush, and Saddam, 1982-1990. New York, W. W. Norton, 1994.
  • Phythian Mark, Arming Iraq: How the U.S. and Britain Secretly Built Saddam's War Machine. Boston, Northeastern University Press, 1997.
  • Torbat, Akbar E.,"A Glance at US Policies toward Iran: Past and Present", Journal of Iranian Research and Analysis, Vol. 20, No. 1, PP. 85–94, April 2004
  • Morgan ShusterThe Strangling of PersiaISBN 0-934211-06-X
  • US - Iran Economic and Political Relations Handbook (World Diplomatic and International Contacts Library), ISBN 0-7397-0759-0
  • Wise, Harold Lee (2007). Inside the Danger Zone: The U.S. Military in the Persian Gulf 1987-88. Annapolis: Naval Institute Press.ISBN 1-59114-970-3.
  • YaleGlobal Online.
  • Gareth Porter, Documents linking Iran to nuclear weapons push may have been fabricated, TheRawStory, November 10, 2008, [10].

[edit]External links

India–United States relations

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Indo-American relations
Map indicating locations of India and USA

India

United States
President Barack Obama with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh at the White House.
Indo-American relations or India–United States relations refers to international relations between the Republic of India and the United States of America.
Despite being one of the pioneers and founding members of the Non-Aligned Movement, India developed a closer relationship with the Soviet Union during the Cold War. India's strategic and military relations with Moscow and strong socialist policies had an adverse impact on its relations with the United States. After the dissolution of the Soviet Union, India began to review its foreign policy in a non-polar world, following which, it took steps to develop closer ties with the European Union and the United States. Today, India and the U.S. share an extensive cultural, strategic, military and economic relationship.[1][2]
Long considered a "strategic backwater" from Washington's perspective, India emerged in the 21st century as increasingly vital to core U.S. foreign policy interests. India, the region's dominant actor with more than one billion citizens, is often characterized as a nascent great power and "indispensible partner" of the United States, one that many analysts view as a potential counterweight to China's growing clout. Since 2004, Washington and New Delhi have been pursuing a "strategic partnership" based on shared values and apparently convergent geopolitical interests. Numerous economic, security, and global initiatives, including plans for civilian nuclear cooperation, are underway. This latter initiative, first launched in 2005, reversed three decades of U.S. nonproliferation policy. Also in 2005, the United States and India signed a ten-year defense framework agreement to expand bilateral security cooperation. The two countries now engage in numerous and unprecedented combined military exercises, and major U.S. arms sales to India are underway. The value of all bilateral trade tripled from 2004 to 2008 and continues to grow; significant two-way investment also flourishes. The influence of a large Indian-American community is reflected in Congress's largest country-specific caucus. More than 100,000 Indian students are attending American universities.
Thus, during the tenure of the Clinton and Bush administrations, relations between India and the United States blossomed primarily over common concerns regarding growing Islamic extremism, energy security and climate change.[3][broken citation]
According to some foreign policy experts, there was a slight downturn in India-U.S. relations following the election of Barack Obama as thePresident of the United States in 2009. This was primarily due to the Obama administration's desire to improve relations with China,[4] and President Obama's protectionist views on dealing with the economic crisis.[5] However, the leaders of the two countries have repeatedly dismissed these concerns.[6] In November 2010, President Obama visited India and addressed a joint session of the Indian Parliament, where he backed India's bid for a permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council.[7]

Contents

  [hide

[edit]Country Comparison

India India Flag of the United States.svg United States
Population 1,210,193,422 312,948,000
Area 3,287,240 km2 (1,269,210 sq mi) 9,850,476 km2 (3,803,290 sq mi)
Population Density 356/km² (922/sq mi) 31/km² (80/sq mi)
Capital New Delhi Washington, D.C.
Largest City Mumbai – 13,922,125 (21,347,412 Metro) New York City – 8,363,710 (19,006,798 Metro)
Government Federal parliamentary constitutional republic Federal presidential constitutional republic
Official languages Hindi and English, 21 other constitutionally recognized languages English (de facto)
Main religions 80.5% Hinduism, 13.4% Islam, 2.3% Christianity, 1.9%Sikhism, 0.8% Buddhism, 0.4% Jainism 76% Christianity, 16.1% non-Religious, 2 % Judaism, 1%Buddhism. 0.4% Hinduism
Ethnic groups See Ethnic Groups of India 74% White American, 14.8% Hispanic and Latino Americans(of any race), 13.4% African American,
6.5% Some other race, 4.4% Asian American, 2.0% Two or more races,
0.68% American Indian or Alaska Native, 0.14% Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander
GDP (nominal) $1.530 trillion ($1,276 per capita)[8] $14.256 trillion ($46,381 per capita)
GDP (PPP) $4.001 trillion ($3,290 per capita)[8] $14.256 trillion ($46,381 per capita)
Indian Americans 60,000 American born people living in India 2,765,815 People of Indian origin living in the United States
Military expenditures $37.6 billion (FY 2011-12) $663.7 billion (FY 2010) [9]

[edit]History

Historically, the relationship between India and the United States has been very strong. This is reflected in the visit of Swami Vivekananda who introduced Yoga and Vedanta to America. Vivekananda was the first known Hindu Sage to come to the West, where he introduced Eastern thought at the World's Parliament of Religions, in connection with the World's Fair in Chicago, in 1893]. Here, his first lecture started with the line "Sisters and Brothers of America," [6]. This salutation caused the audience to clap for two minutes, possibly because prior to this seminal speech, the audience was always used to the opening address: "Ladies and Gentlemen". It was this speech that catapulted Vivekananda to fame. first, from his large audiences in Chicago and later at numerous other locations in the U.S., including MemphisBostonSan FranciscoNew YorkLos Angeles, and St. Louis.
After Indian independence until the end of the cold war, the relationship between the U.S. and India was often thorny. Dwight Eisenhower was the first U.S. President to visit India in 1959. He was so supportive of India that the New York Times remarked "It did not seem to matter much whether Nehru had actually requested or been given a guarantee that the U.S. would help India to meet further Chinese communist aggression. What mattered was the obvious strengthening of Indian-American friendship to a point where no such guarantee was necessary."
During John F. Kennedy's period as President, he saw India as a strategic partner against the rise of communist China. He said "Chinese Communists have been moving ahead the last 10 years. India has been making some progress, but if India does not succeed with her 450 million people, if she can't make freedom work, then people around the world are going to determine, particularly in the underdeveloped world, that the only way they can develop their resources is through the Communist system." The Kennedy administration was disturbed by what was considered "blatant Chinese communist aggression against India" after the Sino-Indian War. In a May 1963 National Security Council meeting, the United States discussed contingency planning that could be implemented in the event of another Chinese attack on India. Defense SecretaryRobert McNamara and General Maxwell Taylor advised the president to use nuclear weapons should the Americans intervene in such a situation. Kennedy insisted that Washington defend India as it would any ally, saying, "We should defend India, and therefore we will defend India".[10]
Kennedy's ambassador was the noted Canadian-American economist John Kenneth Galbraith. While in India, Galbraith helped establish one of the first Indian computer science departments, at the Indian Institute of Technology in Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh. As an economist he also presided over the largest (to that date) US-Foreign Aid program to any country.
From 1961 to 1963 the U.S. promised to help set up a large steel mill in Bokaro but the U.S. later withdrew the offer. The 1965 and 1971 Indo-Pakistani wars did not help U.S.-India relations. During the Cold War, the U.S. asked for Pakistan's help because India was seen to lean towards the Soviet Union. Later, when India would not agree to support the anti-Soviet operation in Afghanistan, it was left with few allies. Not until 1997 was there any effort to improve relations with the United States.
Soon after Atal Bihari Vajpayee became Indian Prime Minister, he authorized a nuclear weapons test in Pokhran.
The United States strongly condemned the test, promised sanctions, and voted in favor of a United Nations Security Council Resolution condemning the test. United States President Bill Clintonthen imposed economic sanctions on India. These consisted of cutting off all military and economic aid; freezing loans by American banks to state-owned Indian companies; prohibiting loans to the Indian government for all except food purchases; prohibiting American technology and uranium exports to India; and requiring the United States to oppose all loan requests by India to international lending agencies.[11] However, these sanctions proved ineffective. India was experiencing a strong economic rise, and its trade with the United States only constituted a small portion of its GDP. Only Japan joined the U.S. in imposing direct sanctions, while most other nations continued to trade with India. The sanctions were soon lifted. The Clinton administration and Vajpayee exchanged representatives to help build relations. In March 2000, President Bill Clinton visited India. He had bilateral and economic discussions with Prime Minister Vajpayee. Over the course of improved diplomatic relations with the Bush administration, India has agreed to allow close international monitoring of its nuclear weapons development while refusing to give up its current nuclear arsenal. India and the U.S. have also greatly enhanced their economic ties.
After the September 11 attacks against the U.S. in 2001, President George W. Bush collaborated with India to control and police the extremely crucial Indian Ocean sea-lanes from the Suez to Singapore. The December 2004 tsunami saw the U.S. and Indian navies cooperating in search and rescue operations and reconstruction of affected areas. An Open Skies Agreement was made in April 2005. This helped enhance trade, tourism, and business by the increased number of flights. Air India purchased 68 U.S. Boeing aircraft, which cost $8 billion.
Former U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice have made recent visits to India as well. After Hurricane Katrina, India donated $5 million to the American Red Cross and sent two plane loads of relief supplies and materials to help. Then on 1 March 2006, President Bush made another diplomatic visit to expand relations between India and the United States.

[edit]Military Relations

President of the United States of AmericaRichard Nixon and Prime Minister of IndiaIndira Gandhi in 1971. They had a deep personal antipathy that colored bilateral relations.
The U.S.-India defense relationship derives from a common belief in freedom, democracy, and the rule of law, and seeks to advance shared security interests. These interests include maintaining security and stability, defeating terrorism and violent religious extremism, preventing the spread of weapons of mass destruction and associated materials, data, and technologies and protecting the free flow of commerce via land, air and sea lanes.
In recent years India has conducted joint military exercises with the U.S. in the Indian Ocean.
Recognizing India as a key to strategic U.S. interests, the United States has sought to strengthen its relationship with India. The two countries are the world's largest democracies, both committed to political freedom protected by representative government. India is also moving gradually toward greater economic freedom. The U.S. and India have a common interest in the free flow of commerce and resources, including through the vital sea lanes of the Indian Ocean. They also share an interest in fighting terrorism and in creating a strategically stable Asia.
There have been some differences, however, which include U.S. concerns over India's nuclear weapons programs and the pace of India's economic reforms. In the past, these concerns may have dominated U.S. thinking about India, but today the U.S. views India as a growing world power with which it shares common strategic interests. A strong partnership between the two countries will continue to address differences and shape a dynamic and collaborative future.
In late September 2001, President Bush lifted sanctions imposed under the terms of the 1994 Nuclear Proliferation Prevention Act following India's nuclear tests in May 1998. The nonproliferation dialogue initiated after the 1998 nuclear tests has bridged many of the gaps in understanding between the countries. In a meeting between President Bush and Prime Minister Vajpayee in November 2001, the two leaders expressed a strong interest in transforming the U.S.-India bilateral relationship. High-level meetings and concrete cooperation between the two countries increased during 2002 and 2003. In January 2004, the U.S. and India launched the Next Steps in Strategic Partnership (NSSP), which was both a milestone in the transformation of the bilateral relationship and a blueprint for its further progress.
In July 2005, President Bush hosted Prime Minister Singh in Washington, DC. The two leaders announced the successful completion of the NSSP, as well as other agreements which further enhance cooperation in the areas of civil nuclear, civil space, and high-technology commerce. Other initiatives announced at this meeting include: an U.S.-India Economic Dialogue; Fight Against HIV/AIDS; Disaster Relief; Technology Cooperation; Democracy Initiative; an Agriculture Knowledge Initiative; a Trade Policy Forum; Energy Dialogue; and CEO Forum. President Bush made a reciprocal visit to India in March 2006, during which the progress of these initiatives were reviewed, and new initiatives were launched.
In December 2006, Congress passed the historic Henry J. Hyde United States-India Peaceful Atomic Cooperation Act, which allows direct civilian nuclear commerce with India for the first time in 30 years. U.S. policy had opposed nuclear cooperation with India because the country had developed nuclear weapons in contravention of international conventions and never signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. The legislation clears the way for India to buy U.S. nuclear reactors and fuel for civilian use.
In July 2007, the United States and India reached a historic milestone in their strategic partnership by completing negotiations on the bilateral agreement for peaceful nuclear cooperation, also known as the "123 agreement." This agreement, signed by Secretary of State Rice and External Affairs Minister Mukherjee on October 10, 2008, governs civil nuclear trade between the two countries and opens the door for American and Indian firms to participate in each other's civil nuclear energy sector. The U.S. and India seek to elevate the strategic partnership further to include cooperation in counter-terrorism, defense cooperation, education, and joint democracy promotion.

[edit]Economic Relations

The United States is also one of India's largest direct investors. From 1991 to 2004, the stock of FDI inflow has increased from USD $11.3 million to $344.4 million, totaling $4.13 billion. This is a compound rate increase of 57.5% annually. Indian direct investments abroad were started in 1992. Indian corporations and registered partnership firms are allowed to invest in businesses up to 100% of their net worth. India's largest outgoing investments are manufacturing, which account for 54.8% of the country's foreign investments. The second largest are non-financial services (software development), which accounts for 35.4% of investments.

[edit]Trade Relations

U.S. President George W. Bush and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh during a meeting with Indian and American business leaders in New Delhi.
The United States is one of India's largest trading partners. In 2007, the United States exported $17.24 billion worth of goods to India and imported $24.02 billion worth of Indian goods.[12] Major items exported by India to the U.S. include Information Technology Services, textilesmachinery,ITeSgems and diamondschemicalsiron and steel products, coffeetea, and other edible food products. Major American items imported by India include aircraftfertilizerscomputer hardware,scrap metal and medical equipment.[13][14]
The United States is also India's largest investment partner, with American direct investment of $9 billion accounting for 9% of total foreign investment into India. Americans have made notable foreign investment in India's power generation, telecommunications, ports, roads, petroleum exploration/processing, and mining industries.[14]
In July 2005, U.S. President George W. Bush and Indian Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singhcreated a new program called the Trade Policy Forum. It is run by a representative from each nation. The United States Trade Representative is Rob Portman and the Indian Commerce Secretary is Minister of Commerce Kamal Nath. The goal of the program is to increase bilateral trade, which is a two-way trade deal and the flow of investments.
There are five main sub-divisions of the Trade Policy Forum which include: Agricultural Trade group- This group has three main objectives: agreeing on terms that will allow India to export mangoes to the United States, permitting India's Agricultural and Process Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) to certify Indian products to the standards of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and executing regulation procedures for approving edible wax on fruit.
Tariff and Non-Ta