After extensive infighting in the U.S. Senate in which a small group of hardliners attempted to derail the Iran legislation, the Senate voted 98-1 in favor of the bipartisan bill that gives the U.S. Congress a chance to express its view on the final nuclear accord between Iran and the United States. “The lone vote against the bill was cast by Senator Tom Cotton, Republican of Arkansas.” It is useful to remember that a month ago 46 Republican senators signed a letter coordinated by Tom Cotton that attempted to derail the nuclear negotiations with Iran. Today, Tom Cotton was alone in his vote.
As Iran and the West move toward signing a historical nuclear agreement that will lead to lifting of some sanctions on Iran, Western companies like Apple are already negotiating with Iran for a slice of Iran’s consumer market. “According to people familiar with the matter, senior Apple executives are courting prospective Iranian distributors at the company’s headquarters in London, paving the way for an official reseller network in the Middle East country, reports The Wall Street Journal.“
Despite improving political environment between Iran and the United States, why are some U.S.base companies like Yahoo are blocking Iranians from establishing e-mail accounts ? This just does not make sense.
“Nader Habibi, professor of economics at Brandeis University, describes the tension between Iran’s goal of increasing its share of the world oil market once sanctions are lifted and OPEC’s desire to maintain a stable price for crude. He predicts that tensions between Saudi Arabia and Iran may drive OPEC to allow the price of oil to drop over the next few years.”
Carl Levin and Angus King write a piece in the New York Times’ opinion page and argue against their hardline colleagues in the Senate who want to undermine the nuclear deal with Iran.
Thomas Erdbrink of New York Times has a good report about how Iranian economy has improved under Rouhani with a steady number of Western delegations visiting Iran. As matter of fact, the number of delegations that have visited Iran in January 2014 outnumber the total number who visited in the year of 2013 ! Lot of interest, but few have committed to investing in Iran.
While Iran announced on Friday that it has reached agreement on the implementation of the nuclear accord with P5+1, neoconservatives and AIPAC supporters of additional sanctions try to keep up pressures for more sanctions. This has divided the Jewish groups in the United States, with the White House now in full war with AIPAC. In an unprecedented press release, the White House called on the backers of the bill to be “upfront about the fact that it puts the United States on the path to war.” “If certain members of Congress want the United States to take military action, they should be up front with the American public and say so,” Bernadette Meehan, the National Security Council spokeswoman, said in a statement posted by The Huffington Post. “Otherwise, it’s not clear why any member of Congress would support a bill that possibly closes the door on diplomacy and makes it more likely that the United States will have to choose between military options or allowing Iran’s nuclear program to proceed.”
The German weekly SPIEGEL has compiled the stories of four Iranians living under sanctions. SPIEGEL asked “residents of Tehran to compile a diary about everyday life in Iran. In this installment, some 100 days after President Hassan Rohani took office, four Iranians share their hopes, fears and daily woes.”