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 RT @BtBScore: Barry Bonds is 8th in position player fWAR since 2001. Bonds hasn't played since 2007.
5hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz Blatter would win easily. And Bernie Ecclestone would kill both. https://t.co/oRmFDT66C2
5hreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @shu_steve And starve...
7hreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @joepabike I was sort of curious which would exhibit enough human competence to best the other.
7hreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @AngelaMilanese And wouldn't that make great TV, in a way?
7hreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel Wonder what would happen if you had a reality show w/Sepp Blatter and Roger Goodell trying to stay alive by themselves on desert island?
7hreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel Kind of surprising no one has asked Tammy Duckworth about McConnell (and Mark Kirk) playing chicken with phone dragnet.
8hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @DickCheneyFacts @JesselynRadack @JohnKiriakou Uh, you might talk to David Passaro about that statement.
9hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz RT @deray: An NBA Player Is Missing the Playoffs Because the NYPD Broke His Leg—Why the Sports-Media Silence? http://t.co/gmjW0rwoKq
9hreplyretweetfavorite
JimWhiteGNV RT @GatorZoneBB: Peter Alonso gives the #Gators a 2-0 lead in the 1st with a 2-out RBI single to bring home Buddy Reed
11hreplyretweetfavorite
JimWhiteGNV RT @GatorZoneBB: Harrison Bader leads off with a home run - No. 13 for Bader - 1-0 #Gators
11hreplyretweetfavorite
May 2015
S M T W T F S
« Apr    
 12
3456789
10111213141516
17181920212223
24252627282930
31