Petition: Let diplomacy work! Do not call for war on Iran

Petition: Let diplomacy work! Do not call for war on Iran

Former US Ambassador to the UN John Bolton has openly called for war with Iran in a New York Times editorial. This is an outrageous statement, one that would commit the US to another disastrous war in the Middle East, as well as hurt ordinary Iranians who want to live in peace with the US.

Bolton's editorial is particularly outrageous at a time when the two sides are closer than ever to achieving their March 31, 2015 deadline for reaching a deal on the nuclear issue

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Dr. Amirahmadi on Iran nuclear deal

Dr. Amirahmadi on Iran nuclear deal

A provisional deal on Iran’s uranium enrichment capabilities has reportedly been reached. The agreement limits the country to running only 6,000 from its total of 19,000 centrifuges, almost half of them non-operational.

Radio Sputnik discussed the reported provisional deal with Dr. Hooshang Amirahmadi, political analyst and professor of the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers University.

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Dr. Ramazani discusses U.S.-Israeli rift

Dr. Ramazani discusses U.S.-Israeli rift

Originally published in The Daily Progress

By R.K. Ramazani
Honorary AIC Board Member

In the title of a March 12 editorial, The New York Times was right to deplore what it called "Republican Idiocy on Iran." By writing an astonishing letter directly to Iran without President Obama's knowledge, 47 senators attempted to sabotage the deal being negotiated between Iran and the 5+1 powers (U.S., Russia, Britain, France, China and Germany) to restrain Iran’s nuclear ambitions.

I believe that the congressional invitation to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to a joint meeting of Congress was misguided, since he was totally unaware of the ideological outlook of Iran and ignorant of Iran's conflict with the forces of ISIS. His talk was sheer propaganda about Iran. He said that "Iran's founding document pledges death, tyranny and the pursuit of jihad.”

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Amirahmadi says Iran cares about sanctions on banking more than any other industry

Amirahmadi says Iran cares about sanctions on banking more than any other industry

In an exclusive interview with Al Jazeera America, Dr. Hooshang Amirahmadi, President of the American Iranian Council, expresses his cautious optimism regarding the nuclear negotiations. He points out that two crucial issues remain, which include the extent of sanctions relief and the degree of nuclear research and development that Iran can undertake.

When asked if sanctions removal is Iran's biggest incentive to negotiate, Dr. Amirahmadi said, "Particularly sanctions on banking because that's really the killer. You could remove all sanctions on Iran except for banking and it wouldn't make a difference."

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Amirahmadi says harder to sell nuclear deal to US Congress than Iran's hardliners

Amirahmadi says harder to sell nuclear deal to US Congress than Iran's hardliners

In an exclusive interview with Al Jazeera America, Dr. Hooshang Amirahmadi, President of the American Iranian Council, asserts that while there has been some cooperation on various fronts between the U.S. and Iran, a nuclear deal is vital for maintaining any progress that has already been made.

When asked whether President Rouhani or Obama has a harder time selling the deal, Dr. Amirahmadi said, "I think President Obama. Because in Iran you have a central figure named Ayatollah Khamenei and everyone will listen to him in the final analysis."

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Nowruz Greetings

Nowruz Greetings

Dr. Hooshang Amirahmadi

On behalf of everyone at the American Iranian Council, I wish you the warmest Nowruz Greetings.  Nowruz is the first day of spring which begins on March 20. I wish you a healthy and happy 1394 (Iranian Calendar year), and I hope that this Nowruz will usher in better US-Iran relations.

In October of this year, the American Iranian Council will become 25 years old. Over the past quarter century, the tenacity and accomplishments of the AIC’s board members, sponsors, and supporters have proven to be unparalleled. We began in 1990 as US-Iran Conference Inc. and then changed our name to American Iranian Council in 1997.

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Emad Kiyaei stresses that dialogue must be started with Assad

Emad Kiyaei stresses that dialogue must be started with Assad

In an exclusive interview with Al Jazeera America, Emad Kiyaei, Executive Director of the American Iranian Council, urges the international community to begin a dialogue with Syria's Bashar Al-Assad to avoid a protracted conflict. He also added that a viable solution cannot be reached without having Iran at the table.

Mr. Kiyaei goes on to point out that the focus on IS or Daesh has sidelined the ongoing conflict and humanitarian crisis taking place in Syria.

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US-Israeli relations after Israel’s election

US-Israeli relations after Israel’s election

Originally published in The Middle East Eye

By Kayvon Afshari and Michael Brooks

The fallout from Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s address to Congress on the nuclear negotiations with Iran poses an important question: is there a long-term structural fissure between the US and Israel, or is this simply a personality conflict between Obama and Netanyahu?

With the Israeli elections coming up on 17 March, the answer is particularly important, as it indicates whether a change in leadership can resolve a potential structural fissure, or if it will simply mask over those deep policy differences with more welcoming handshakes and cosmetic smiles.
 

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Iran Chat with Amb. Hossein Mousavian, former Iranian Nuclear Negotiator

Iran Chat with Amb. Hossein Mousavian, former Iranian Nuclear Negotiator

Ambassador Hossein Mousavian, a former spokesman for the Iranian nuclear negotiating team, discusses US-Iran relations and the nuclear issue in this exclusive Iran Chat interview. While he says that the mistrust is mutual, he argues that Iranians have more reasons to be mistrustful of the United States than vice versa.

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Statement on Netanyahu's Speech

Statement on Netanyahu's Speech

Following much anticipation and commentary, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, delivered his address to a joint session of the US Congress on Tuesday, March 3, 2015. He argued that the P5+1 nuclear negotiators are being duped into a “very bad deal” with Iran, and that, coupled with the Islamic Republic’s misbehavior and untrustworthiness, the deal threatens the long-term existence of Israel.

It is important to note that Mr. Netanyahu did not call for an end to the negotiations and did not threaten attack on Iran. He even dismissed the argument that a collapse of the current negotiations will lead to a war. Indeed, Mr. Netanyahu’s speech more than anything reflected his desire to play “bad cop” as the Obama Administration negotiates for more concessions from Iran.

The American Iranian Council understands Mr. Netanyahu’s concern but disagrees with his coercive approach—which has proven to be counterproductive. In truth, Israel, Iran, the United States, regional players, and others do have legitimate security, energy, proliferation and regional stability concerns, and that these must be addressed in any sustainable nuclear deal.

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Radio Sputnik Interview with Dr. Amirahmadi

Radio Sputnik Interview with Dr. Amirahmadi

The next talks on Iran's nuclear program between representatives from Tehran and the P5+1 group may take place next week, Iran's Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi told RIA Novosti on Monday.

Radio Sputnik discussed the future of Iran’s nuclear talks with Dr. Hooshang Amirahmadi, political analyst and professor of the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers University

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Amirahmadi: Rouhani's New Budget Offers Pain Without Hope

Amirahmadi: Rouhani's New Budget Offers Pain Without Hope

Originally Published in The National Interest

By Dr. Hooshang Amirahmadi

President Hassan Rouhani submitted a budget bill for the next Iranian year (which begins in March) to the Iranian parliament this last December. This budget should be of particular interest to Iran watchers at a time when sanctions are biting, oil prices have fallen and the country is in the midst of nuclear negotiations.

Tehran may blame a foreign plot by Saudi Arabia and the United States for many of its troubles, but such complaints are of no use for a besieged economy that needs a far deeper understanding of global economic trends, a better appreciation of successful development models, and smarter economic management. We don’t find any of that in the new budget

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Iran Chat with Robert Einhorn

Iran Chat with Robert Einhorn

Robert Einhorn, former senior advisor to the US nuclear negotiating team, discusses the Iranian nuclear issue in this exclusive interview with the AIC's Kayvon Afshari. Mr. Einhorn says that, while existing sanctions have played an "important role" in bringing Iran to negotiate "very seriously", new sanctions are not necessary at this time.

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AIC Statement: Sanctions Bill Delayed

AIC Statement: Sanctions Bill Delayed

Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ), who has been leading the drive for new sanctions legislation announced that he would delay introducing a sanctions bill until after March 24, the deadline for nuclear negotiators to reach a political framework. The American Iranian Council, which has always supported diplomacy and been against all sanctions on Iran, welcomes this delay as a positive step. As the Council suggested in previous statements, this bill was essentially designed as a pressure tactic for the US to extract the maximum possible concessions from Iran. Menendez’s announcement of a delay is consistent with our theory that the Congress and Administration have been playing a clumsy “good-cop-bad-cop” strategy all along.

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AIC Statement: Menendez-Kirk Sanctions Bill

AIC Statement: Menendez-Kirk Sanctions Bill

While Iranian and American officials are negotiating over the nuclear issue, the US Congress is pushing for new sanctions legislation. Even before it is finalized, drafts of the “Nuclear Weapon Free Iran Act of 2015,” co-sponsored by Senators Bob Menendez (D-NJ) and Mark Kirk (R-IL), are in circulation. The latest draft calls for new sanctions that would be “triggered by violations by Iran of any interim or final agreement regarding its nuclear program, failure to reach a final agreement in a discernible time frame, or the breach of other conditions...”

This threat of potential new sanctions has sparked an intense public debate between Republican and pro-sanctions Democratic Senators on one side and the Obama administration on the other. Even Conservative British Prime Minister David Cameron sided with Democratic President Obama in opposing the bill in a joint press conference. Although the bill is likely to achieve a filibuster-proof 60-vote majority in the Senate, Obama has already threatened to veto it. Less clear is whether the bill can muster 67 Senators to override the President’s veto.

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