Thought for the day

"When people fear the government, there is tyranny. When the government fears the people, there is more tyranny. Apologies to Thomas Jefferson!" -- Michael Rivero
"A rocket will never be able to leave Earth's atmosphere." -- New York Times, 1936


Iran's rulers bear responsibility for the attack against the British writer Salman Rushdie as the Islamic republic never repudiated a 1989 order issued by its founder calling for the novelist to be killed, activists and opponents charged Saturday.

While the fatwa issued by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini over Rushdie's novel "The Satanic Verses" has for some time not been part of daily discourse in Iran, the clerical leadership under his successor Ayatollah Ali Khamenei also did nothing to indicate it no longer stood and on occasions underlined the decree was still valid.

Any ‘Plan B’ in the talks on the Iranian nuclear program would violate a “consensus decision” of the UN Security Council on the issue and have “unavoidable negative consequences” for the entire Middle East, the Russian Foreign Ministry warned on Thursday.

“Any departure [from the original 2015 deal] or ‘Plans B’ that some people like to speculate about would run counter to the consensus decisions of the [UN] Security Council,” said Ivan Nechaev, the ministry’s deputy spokesman, referring to a 2015 UNSC resolution supporting that year’s agreement on the Iranian nuclear program.

A source close to Pompeo explained to Yahoo News that the Justice Department reached out to give him advance notice that he was the different high-ranking Trump official mentioned in charges against Shahram Poursafi, a member of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, unsealed on Wednesday.

The White House warned Iran against attacking U.S. citizens on Wednesday after the Justice Department revealed that a member of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) hatched plans to assassinate former Trump administration national security adviser John Bolton.

Russia launched an Iranian satellite into orbit on Tuesday from southern Kazakhstan, just three weeks after President Vladimir Putin and Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei pledged to work together against the West.

The remote Khayyam sensing satellite, named after the 11th Century Persian poet and philosopher Omar Khayyam, was launched by a Russian Soyuz rocket from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan and entered orbit successfully, Russia's space agency said.

The EU’s return to the Iran nuclear talks in Vienna appears to have borne fruit, as after just four days they have submitted what they are calling the final text that tackles everything. The text had been more or less finalized for months, but the EU is now saying this is it, and the question is if Iran and the US will accept it as written.


With EU managing the process, the US and Iran have returned to Vienna for nuclear talks. Both sides agree a breakthrough is unlikely.

There may not need to be one, though, as US officials say the negotiations are effectively done anyhow. That’s reported to have been the case for months, with a deal just waiting to be finalized.