Captain Renault

Amid Cautious Optimism for P5+1 Talks, Iranian, Israeli Spies Arrested in Azerbaijan

As we approach the re-start of the P5+1 international talks on Iran’s nuclear technology this weekend, there are multiple signals that Iran may be planning to make a major move aimed at reducing tensions. As CNN pointed out yesterday, Iran suggested last weekend that it may halt its enrichment of uranium to the 20% level and return to only enriching to 3.5%:

“Based on our needs and once the required fuel is obtained, we will decrease the production and we may even totally shift it to the 3.5%,” Iranian nuclear chief Fereydoun Abbasi said in a televised interview, according to state-run Press TV.

Iran does not plan to produce 20% enriched uranium for long, Abbasi said, according to Press TV.

Uranium enriched at 20% is typically used for hospital isotopes and research reactors, but is also seen as a shortcut toward the 90% enrichment required to build nuclear weapons. Nuclear experts say Iran’s supply is far greater than it would need for peaceful purposes.

Iran says there is a medical purpose to its nuclear program.

Further signaling that a big move is in the works, we have this today on PressTV:

“Iran’s representatives will participate in the negotiations with new initiatives and we hope that the P5+1 countries will also enter talks with constructive approaches,” Jalili told reporters in Tehran on Wednesday, IRNA reported.

“The language of threat and pressure against the Iranian nation has never yielded results but will lead to more seriousness in the attitude of the Iranian nation,” he added.

He emphasized, “We are ready to hold progressive and successful talks on cooperation.”

At the same time that we are seeing hints of progress on the diplomatic front, it appears that a number of Iranian and Israeli spies have been taken out of action from their operations bases in Azerbaijan.

Back in the middle of March, Azerbaijan announced they had arrested 22 spies working for Iran:

The authorities in Azerbaijan have arrested 22 people on suspicion of spying for Iran, accusing them of links to the Iranian Revolutionary Guards.

The undated arrests were confirmed in a brief statement by the Azerbaijani national security ministry.

/snip/

“Firearms, cartridges, explosives and espionage equipment were found during the arrest,” the Azerbaijani national security ministry said.

The 22 detainees are said to have received orders from the Revolutionary Guards to “commit terrorist acts against the US, Israeli and other Western states’ embassies and the embassies’ employees”.

Yesterday, Iran announced the arrests of a number of Israeli agents, some of whom are presumed to have been in Azerbaijan and some of whom were in Iran. From Mehr News: Continue reading

Emptywheel Twitterverse
bmaz @petersuderman I think that is spot on. Last Ship is not great art, but surprisingly good entertainment. I like it.
24mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @MasaccioFDL @JoshuaHol @SultanAlQassemi @rudoren @nytimes @Sulliview Not sure there was much doubt already, but this is ridiculous.
40mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @Masoninblue I too think there is good chance the door hit Wilson.
42mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz RT @Masoninblue: Governor Nixon should appoint a special prosecutor to investigate the #MikeBrown shooting in #Ferguson http://t.co/4pI9mDn
43mreplyretweetfavorite
JimWhiteGNV RT @bmaz: "A jury of peers", just not Mike Brown's peers RT @stltoday Grand jury in Michael Brown case: 3 black members 9 white http://t.co
45mreplyretweetfavorite
JimWhiteGNV RT @onekade: Your trash heap legal system RT @stltoday: Grand jury in Michael Brown case: 3 black members, 9 white http://t.co/QikbhBCfPb
45mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz "A jury of peers", just not Mike Brown's peers RT @stltoday Grand jury in Michael Brown case: 3 black members 9 white http://t.co/DoZ0hV6InX
45mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz RT @stltoday: Grand jury in Michael Brown case: 3 black members, 9 white http://t.co/5n4JziBVtu
47mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @jaketapper Wow, that is amazing.
52mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @chrisgeidner @fordm @aclu_mo Is it possible people are confusing "incident report" with police "departmental reports" Theyre different here
53mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz Thanks Obama RT @RebekahLSanders Cost for Arizona's healthcare plans expected to rise 11 percent http://t.co/RBnCCer6lL via @kalltucker
55mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @ChunkyGlasses @johnson_carrie @930Club Uh, @dcbigjohn can you please attend this in my honor since I am thousands of miles away?
1hreplyretweetfavorite
August 2014
S M T W T F S
« Jul    
 12
3456789
10111213141516
17181920212223
24252627282930
31