Clinton: Iranian Hardliners Believe An Attack Would Boost Regime

In an interview with PBS’s Charlie Rose, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said that although  hardliners in Iran are split between two schools of thought, there are those who think, “‘The best thing that could happen to us is be attacked by somebody. Just bring it on because that would unify us. It would legitimize the regime’” (ThinkProgress 6/21).
Chinese Imports of Iranian Oil Rebound

New data indicates Chinese imports of Iranian products increased by 39% in May, as compared to the previous month. Crude imports had been down 25% between the beginning of January and the end of May due to a pricing dispute, but have recovered sharply. However, import levels are still 2.3% lower than last year (WSJ 6/21).
Illegal Exportation to Iran Means 92 Months for NYC Resident
Richard Phillips, 54, of New York, was sentenced to 92 months in prison for agreeing to illegally ship a spool of aerospace-grade carbon fiber to Iran without obtaining an export license (Bloomberg 6/21).
Allegations of Planned Cyber Attack on Iranian Nuclear Facilities
Iranian news sources claimed on Thursday to have discovered a planned “massive cyber attack” against Iran’s nuclear facilities. Iranian Intelligence Minister Heydar Moslehi blamed the US, Israel, and Britain for the planned attack (Reuters 6/21).
Notable Insight: “Iran talks – across the table, a wary stalemate”
Justyna Pawlak and William Maclean of Reuters reflect on first-hand impressions of the mood and culture during the P5+1 talks with Iran in Moscow:

At one time the Iran talks were friendlier, says Peter Jenkins, Britain’s representative to the IAEA from 2001-06, now a partner in a negotiation consultancy, ADRg Ambassadors.
“The E3 political directors got to know them as human beings…We ate together on some occasions and mingled during breaks he said, referring to an EU trio of Germany, France and Britain then leading the talks.
He told Reuters the atmosphere in the talks cooled when President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad came to power in 2005. “The chemistry was awful, like dealing with a Soviet official in the worst days of the Cold War, with no give and take,” he said.
These days, the teams eat separately – a reality that produce the occasional attempt at humor.
In Bagdhad, the Iranian side ran out of main course plates during lunch. An Iranian delegate came over to the area where the teams from the six powers were eating to get some of their plates, and was greeted with a quip that ran along the lines of “you can have them, in return for some movement on 20 percent”.

Read the full article at Reuters

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