A weekly Round-up about news regarding Iran

Week of March 15th

Gunboats, Super-Torpedoes, Sea-Bots: U.S. Navy Launches Huge Iran Surge
By Spencer Ackerman, Wired [March 16, 2012]
—- Sending more aircraft carriers to the waters near Iran, it turns out, was just the start. Yes, the U.S. currently has more seapower aimed at Iran in the Persian Gulf than in the fleets of most countries on Earth, Iran included. But that was just the Navy cracking its knuckles.
US Public to Israel’s Likud: On Iran, Negotiate or you are on Your Own
By Juan Cole, Informed Comment [March 14, 2012]
—- A new poll shows that the US public, showing a broad consensus across parties, wants the Iran nuclear enrichment issue dealt with through negotiations. They even want to entrust the issue to the UN Security Council. They think that the US should discourage Israel from attacking Iran. They are convinced that an attack would be a disaster and lead to a long-term conflict. And they hold that if Israel goes it alone and does strike Iran, the United States should remain neutral. All of these attitudes are the diametrical opposite of those held in the US Congress.
Little US Popular Support for Israeli Attack on Iran
By Jim Lobe, [March 14, 2012]
War, Pipelineistan-style
By Pepe Escobar, Asia Times [March 2012]
—- Clinton’s message to Pakistan was stark; try to go ahead with the IP (Iran-Pakistan) gas pipeline, and we’re going to take you out financially. Pakistan’s top official in the Petroleum and Natural Resources Ministry stressed that the 2,775-km, $1.5 billion IP was absolutely crucial for Pakistan’s energy security. That fell on deaf ears. Clinton evoked “particularly damaging” sanctions – tied to Washington’s push to isolate Iran by all means available and the no-holds-barred campaign to force particularly India, China and Turkey to cut off their imports of Iranian oil and gas. So as Washington has been impotent to disrupt Pipelineistan moves in Central Asia – by isolating Iran and bypassing Russia – it’s now going ballistic to prevent by all means the crucial integration of Southwest Asia and South Asia.
The New Arab Cold War and the Struggle for Syria
By Curtis Ryan, Middle East Report March 2012]
—- In his classic study, The Arab Cold War, Malcolm Kerr charted the machinations of inter-Arab politics during an era dominated by Egypt’s President Gamal Abdel Nasser. In another renowned work, The Struggle for Syria, Patrick Seale documented the links between Syria’s tumultuous domestic politics and the broader contest for supremacy in the region, stemming from factors ranging from inter-Arab conflicts to the global cold war. Today, amid the chaos in Syria and the transformations in the region, these texts, both originally published in 1965, seem all too contemporary. Once again, regional politics shows many signs of an Arab cold war and, once again, that broader conflict is manifesting itself in a struggle for Syria.