Pretty fast to get this posted...
Great work, by the way. Kudos as well for committing to a DMCA abuse fund.
However, we don't want this to be a competitive advantage for GitHub; developers should choose GitHub because it is better, not because it has a license from OFAC. So we have taken it upon ourselves to advocate for OFAC to allow developers in Iran and other sanctioned countries greater access to all platforms, and we will continue to do so.
This kind of change would likely require an update to OFAC’s regulations, the issuance of an updated general license, or the issuance of formal guidance from the agency. We hope that OFAC’s issuance of a license to GitHub will help pave the way for broader access to similar platforms.
Was there some reason to believe that mentioning you were working towards this license would have a detrimental effect on the review process for that license?
Congratulations on prevailing here.
- Expectations settings. If they say they're working on a possible solution, people will expect the solution to materialize and get upset when it doesn't. Since this seems like it was a lobbying effort with OFAC, there was probably a large degree of uncertainty on whether this would happen at all.
- Like you suggested, maybe they thought any public comment about this might put at risk the conversations they were having with OFAC?
You have no control over when you get a permit from the government like this. It's nuts. Even when the open source exception to ITAR was passed in the late 90s MIT was very careful not to release kerberos V outside the USA until they had very clear guarantees that it was approved.
I am from Iran. unfortunately, we are prisoners of mullahs like peoples of other countries sanctioned by US that are prisoners of their dictatorship governments.
I'm very interested in hearing about the experience of HN people from these regions in terms of open source collabs. Since Github has such a large presence, what are you all using instead?
The blocking of GitHub accounts was unexpected and presumably took into account the usage history, so many accounts were blocked and had no further access to their private repositories and gists even if they used VPN after that.
GitLab was blocked in Iran after they migrated to GCP, but was accessible with VPN. A few month ago GitLab also started blocking some Iranian accounts, so our company moved all of its repositories to a self-hosted instance just to be safe.
Speaking of which [the industry], wtf? I left Tehran in 79, and I must tell you, AmirAli, that I fully expected Iran to be a software powerhouse by now (if not earlier), given the national propensities and talents, and the lack of an artificially imposed barrier to starting up an industrial/technical sector, and fairly open access to technical literature. Can you shed light on this?
Today I learned how similar to Iranians I am.
> many accounts were blocked and had no further access to their private repositories and gists even if they used VPN after that.
Can’t access with VPN? How?
Your account is unable to access _any_ private repository after being flagged as being from a sanctioned country. That's regardless of where you're actually accessing your account from.
While you could create a new account, you still couldn't grant that new account access (since you can no longer access private repositories from your primary account). Also a new account still runs the risk of getting flagged if you accidentally access the account without a VPN enabled just once.
Actually the next day after GitHub ban, I rolled out a GitLab instance on my server and opened it for free access and published it in Syrian devs groups, but it barely had a dozen active users after 6 months, and all from one company not individual contributors, so I had to turn it off.
What I can say from my experience and how we as Syrians look at open source contributions is that we see it as our ticket to get a better chance in leaving Syria to a good job that allows us to start a new life. It's not something we do as a hobby or for fun in our spare time, because we don't really have spare time.
Btw, it's quite common to have Syrians working on projects for US and Europe and avoid sanctions by VPN and registering their business in Dubai. I know a Syrian company that is a GitHub and AWS partner.
Why would Crimea be sanctioned? It was annexed.
That's like sanctioning the citizens of Iraq for the 2003 US invasion and occupation...
ctrl + f "Crimea", there's some interesting information there. It lists specific companies and explains why.
edit: This is a specific example: https://home.treasury.gov/news/press-releases/sm889
Source: have relatives there
The ones I'm seeing on the Treasury page target specific individuals and companies. And they're coordinated with Canada and other countries, and the EU.
And then the same winter Ukraine cut electricity and water supply. I remember doing homework with kids by a candle light, wearing warm jackets inside because heating didn't work. Fun times. I don't know how this all was supposed to turn people of Crimea back to Ukraine and who thought it was a good idea. I think it worked the opposite way and turned a lot of locals into supporters of the annexation.
Anyway, I'd say the most upsetting result of the sanctions is almost total absence of large international and Russian business in Crimea. It makes everything very expensive. It's like an additional tax on everything. For example, no large Russian bank has a local branch. There are only few small local banks and as a result it is really hard to get a business loan or mortgage, and the rates are bad. There are almost no stores of big food chains, and it means the food is more expensive than in mainland Russia; there are no McDonalds, no Burger King or Starbucks; you cannot receive an international delivery and you have to pay to one of the many proxy services that re-send packages if you want to receive a package from Amazon; no international flights which means you always need to buy a flight to Moscow first; etc.
But this GitHub announcement gives a hope that someone somewhere gives a shit about the problems of real people and that the sanctions will eventually end one way or another.
Now, because of sanctions, they can only work for Russian government and companies.
Trying to pretend it's business as usual is supporting the occupation.
I think it's still possible to hold Ukrainian citizenship in Russia-occupied Crimea, but your life will be thoroughly miserable.
It was only a power play by Khrushchev to move Crimea into the Ukrainian Republic, since that was his primary base of power.
Since during the collapse of the Soviet Union, the power broke down along the lines of the established Republics Crimea just defaulted into Ukraine even while in terms of infrastructure, population and military port it was Russian.
It was certainty a terrible way how Russia forced the change in the boundary but the people there real had nothing to do with it and shouldn't be punished.
If you're referring to the vote held in 2014, it was boycotted by supporters of Ukraine (because the vote itself was unconstitutional under the Ukranian constitution).
Though, I recently learned that Taobao has a publicly-available mirror of npm packages.
However, I'm also noticing more and more popular repositories with Chinese language, in the past couple of years—they gather plenty of stars presumably just due to the population size (can't judge them on merit). I guess the GFW block was lifted and Github is popular for publishing software even for consumption in China.
This is one of those cases where ECH would really make sense: the censor is forced to choose whether to pass TLS connections to an IP or not.
I honestly think that they're trying their hardest to keep it open for everyone - they can't ignore U.S. law as an organization of their scale, regardless of their views on issues like this and DMCA.
Nat also stays constantly in the public eye and really makes it seem like he cares - which is what a modern CEO should do, in my opinion.
The US has long imposed broad sanctions on multiple countries, including Iran. These sanctions prohibit any US company from doing business with anyone in a sanctioned country. (These sanctions can also apply to non-US companies whose activities directly or indirectly involve the US, including merely having payments that flow through US banks or payment mechanisms like Visa.)
One could interpret this as "this repo support 996" which is the opposite of reality, without that context.
Nat deserves praise for his leadership.
I started my career doing iOS development while in Syria and had to jump through hoops and loops so I can submit my apps to the App Store. I had to open accounts in Lebanon, use VPNs to log in to the connect portal and one point even being on the VPN wouldn't work.
I think more companies need to follow suit here, there are a lot of independent developers in these countries that would benefit from this.
And any frivolity aside, well done to github, both for this and also with their developer defense fund against take downs. Whether you like them or not, these are very positive outcomes for devs.
Edit: apparently this was a coincidence
Now for Iran it was control theory, FPGA design, chemical engineering, etc.. I suspect only weapons designers had internet access. Maybe universities, but no porn? Not likely..
So Google trends no longer shows porn or Iran.
As soon as Goodreads was launched in 2007, it swiftly attracted an enormous number of Iranian university students: they are one of the most active demographics on the site and they review all kinds of books since (with lax copyright laws and high literacy) translation of foreign literature flourishes in Iran. Does that sound like a people bereft of web access?
They were are/are prolific Iranian hacking groups too. I had the misfortune of having my small site defaced (in a drive-by) and Googled a string from the usual shout-out and found a lot of matches on similarly defaced sites. I counted that as evidence towards a robust Iranian underground hacking scene. This was way before APT & state-level actors were in the public consciousness.
Well done sir.
The cause: Iran has free government run universities, so education is a big thing here. Go to Stanford EE department, you would be surprised by seeing that many Iranians.
They also mention that "While ICE does manage immigration law enforcement, ... they are also on the front lines of fighting human trafficking [and] child exploitation" and that "GitHub has no visibility into how this software is being used, other than presumably for software development and version control."
If gh were to revoke their licenses, they would probably (a) just switch to gitlab or something similar, (b) be harming the anti-trafficking and anti-child exploitation efforts just as much as their anti immigration, and (c) not have an incentive to donate all this money to support groups.
But I personally agree with your thrust. i donate non-trivial amounts of MY money to organizations that support immigrant (including undocumented) communities, as well as my time, as well as participating in campaigns to eg get universities to not accept contracts to train ICE and CBP.
But I'm still not personally inclined to boycott github over relatively small ICE contracts. I assume almost any company is going to have contracts with entities I consider immoral. That's just living in society. You have to pick your battles, and to me this one isn't it, although I respect those who want to make it such. Doing software development without interacting with any companies who have contracts with entities I consider immoral is probably impossible. I personally consider any contract with US DoD equally indefensible morally, and it's just not realistic to avoid business with companies with DoD contracts. But I assume I could find such contracts among github competitors too.
I/my employer currently only use free github though.
Although if I worked for a company, I'd be trying to figure out how to advocate internally to get them to stop -- avoiding working for a company with DoD contracts has been part of my own personal career choices.
I assume Apple, Google, and Amazon definitely have contracts with morally indefensible entities, especially government agencies, including ICE/CBP/DHS -- I still use AWS, and most of y'all do too right? If people boycotting github over ICE contracts are not boycotting AWS, have you thought about why or why not? I'm not assuming you can't have a good reason, just curious if you've thought about it and what it is. i don't totally understand why github has become the posterboy for this, when they seem pretty typical and probably far from worst, when compared with say AWS.
While the company I work for uses github, we don't pay for it; we DO pay for AWS, which also has ICE contracts...
Exactly what about managing immigration law is something worth rallying against?
(b) that's quite a stretch. there are organizations who fight human trafficking without putting children in cages
(c) you cannot offset working with the morally reprehensible as if you're adding carbon to the atmosphere
Nowadays they're disguised under the euphemism "collateral damage"
Can you imagine your license of Microsoft Windows being de-activated because of a social justice campaign?
While it certainly makes lives of Iranian developers easier, it does not make it a good idea to put their code there: laws change, and quickly sometimes.
Much easier to migrate to a Gitlab instance. And they know this! Which is why it's so fun to see Github dancing around these issues lately. Finally some healthy competition.
I'd love to know how many times MS have tried to buy Gitlab. :D
But I don't think there's much standardization around this type of git usage, and I'm not sure how efficient it would be for large repos.
It doesn't seem like a good idea to make your git repo store all that data.
It's always a risk to put IP in a bucket you may lose access to just because of politics.
That applies to everyone, not just Iranian developers: setup daily backups of all your code.
Proper backups of all repos are an answer, of course.
It's not advised for these Iranian developers to use any Github-specific features, such as issues, wiki, CI, because losing them will cause disruption / knowledge loss.
And then the reason to use Github specifically, instead of something else is quite low.
If it's a single repo with a single branch, sure. No need for explicit backups.
If it's tens of repos with multiple important branches in each, then it would be very dangerous to assume that developer machines have all of them.
I think it's kinda hard to compete with the big boys with limited resources / footprint even whit / perhaps because of sanctions.
It says it's a two year effort. It's a great length for a company to go for, specially when they could very much default to what other companies are doing and simply block access.
As someone who comes from an underprivileged country, and just paid extra to renew a visa just because I come from an underprivileged country, I can see at least part of the daily trouble that we have nothing to do, apart from being born in the "wrong country".
This is a very wholesome news and made my day.
Take cryptocurrency for example. Yes it's decentralized and the government can't seize from the blockchain. Instead, all they have to do is ask "Do you have crypto?" and you answer truthfully or perjure yourself or risk worse consequences.
Your government doesn't need control over your technology. They have control over you. Technical and policy changes must go hand in hand. You can't use one to solve the other.
Just in case you misread. He is the CEO of GitLab.
PS: I'm trailing the comments and it is very interesting to see how this post is turned into a competition about GitLab vs. GitHub vs. BitBucket. But fellas, this is not about tech, it's about the people who use it. In particular about a thriving community of talented and young developers who have been ignored, sanctioned, and betrayed over and over both domestically and internationally.
PS: I agree this post should be about GitHub and what they achieved for the thriving community of developers in Iran who are making things work despite their circumstances.
Now that you guys have had some time to formulate policy do you have any comment?
Among other things, the policy requires that governments that want content removed from GitHub issue a lawful request to us, which we then push to a public repo:
So you are able to see all of the government takedown requests that we have processed, there. You'll notice that there are only 3 directories in that repo: Russia, China, and Spain. When we do (reluctantly) take down content at the request of a government, we try to limit the takedown only to viewers in the country that made the request, rather than doing a global takedown.
The latest news says he is just laying low, but that of course doesn’t make for a good story.
"Oh, we need to know all the programmers that reside in Iran."
"Let's look at github!"
Or Maybe it's as insidious as hoping some state orgs\Iran based enterprises would use github actively to host and commit code into their infrastructure.
It reminds me when I first became aware of how social media companies allow "terrorist" pages up - while there is some chance of recruitment, the intelligence gathered from metadata, who browses, time of engagement and such is much, much more valuable.
Super curious, and interesting, how "nice/good" gestures can be all part of a game.
> Over the course of two years, we were able to demonstrate how developer use of GitHub advances human progress, international communication, and the enduring US foreign policy of promoting free speech and the free flow of information.
What about orgnanizations and individuals working to hpromote the free flow of information, but aren't on the top-5 market cap coporations? Are they also exempt from sanctions?
Establish the the network doesn't support sanctions like this and diplomatic channels will find other venues. But free net accessibility only helps against regimes like we can find in Iran anyway.
(Now the next challenge is how to get GitHub paid services. As I understand they can now have full services - except that probably no payment processor that handles Iran.)
Of course citizens shouldn't suffer the pangs of incompetent, lazy, or evil governments. That's why virtuous imperialism was a thing.
But aside from sounding good, how do you suppose these government sanctions should be instituted in order to be effective?
Can they stop? Hardly. As soon as one stops paying taxes and gets caught he is officially a criminal. No he can't even emigrate because foreign countries won't give him a visa: you usually are required to provide a certificate of having no criminal records at your home country to the embassy when you apply and they don't take "I just didn't want to support our wicked government" as an excuse.
If the current military gulf presence escalates to armed conflict having software open to the Iranian population keeps communication tools available until the internet gets cut.
The US sanctions are part of a "maximum pressure" campaign on the Iranian government. The US government has banned the rest of the world from dealing with Iran. Therefore, Iran has no exports anymore.
As a result, Iran's currency lost it's value ~10 times in the past decade (When the original sanctions where started by the Obama administration).
The goal of the sanctions are to make people of Iran so miserable that they would go in streets and start a revolution. Now, Iranian people hate the Islamic Republic and would get rid of them if they could. But the Islamic Republic has no limits. They would shoot and kill and many as it takes.
Another challenge for Iranian people and a revolution, except for Islamic regime's cruelty is an unknown future. Iran shares a lot of border with Afghanistan and Pakistan. Iran also has many terrorist groups activated inside it already. That means there are real fears of Isis/Taliban/Other groups rushing to Iran if the central government is weakened.
So people are scared of Islamic Republic, and also scare of what can come next.
Therefore, basically, Maximum Pressure campaign's goal is to make people so miserable, they'd rather face bullets/wars.
This has lead to some really devastating results. Middle class doesn't exist anymore. Some rural cities are reporting that people cannot pay for bread anymore. Most people cannot pay for chicken/meat anymore. Add Covid 19 to this, and a very incompetent and cruel government which has been rendered completely useless by the sanctions, and you get a complete disaster on your hand.
The government is also quite scared, and to make sure there wont be uprisings, is spreading fear. They execute people and hand cruel sentences to everyone. Last weeks they gave a 10 years sentence to an 18 years makeup artist who had a famous Instagram account. Journalists are executed, etc. People's morale are completely shattered.
So the bottom line is, the maximum pressure campaign has rendered Iranian people completely miserable. Even if it were to succeed wit topping Islamic Republic, there is no guarantee that it wont make Iran another Syria situation. Please, as a U.S. voter, I urge you to consider your support for stopping the sanctions.
And they achieved it. All European countries and united nations and Obama administration confirmed that Iran was committed to the nuclear deal.Even current and former Israel generals wrote letters to show support for Obama's deal with Iran which stopped Iranian nuclear program.
What the current administration wants is much much more than nuclear concerns . They are basically telling the Islamic Republic to shoot itself in the head. Or face sanctions.
Of course they pick sanctions.
> Declare to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) a full account of the prior military dimensions of its nuclear programme and permanently and verifiably abandon such work in perpetuity.
> Stop enrichment and never pursue plutonium reprocessing, including closing its heavy water reactor.
> Provide the IAEA with unqualified access to all sites throughout the entire country.
> End its proliferation of ballistic missiles and halt further launching or development of nuclear-capable missile systems.
> Release all US citizens as well as citizens of US partners and allies.
> End support to Middle East “terrorist” groups, including Hezbollah, Hamas and Islamic Jihad.
> Respect the sovereignty of the Iraqi government and permit the disarming, demobilisation and reintegration of Shia militias.
> End its military support for the Houthi rebels and work towards a peaceful, political settlement in Yemen.
> Withdraw all forces under Iran’s command throughout the entirety of Syria.
> End support for the Taliban and other “terrorists” in Afghanistan and the region and cease harbouring senior al-Qaeda leaders.
> End the Islamic Revolutionary Guard corps-linked Quds Force’s support for “terrorists” and “militant” partners around the world.
> End its threatening behaviour against its neighbours, many of whom are US allies, including its threats to destroy Israel and its firing of missiles at Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, and threats to international shipping and destructive cyberattacks.
This really amounts to 3 things:
1. Stop pursuing nuclear weapons development, and actually give inspectors the ability to verify that Iran is staying true to it's word.
2. Stop supporting terrorist organizations, and other proxy wars.
3. Stop threatening to destroy Saudi Arabia, Israel, and other countries.
Sure, demanding the release of US citizens is superfluous and unnecessary. But how does this amount to telling Iran to "shoot itself in the head"? How would fulfilling these 12 points kill Iran? How does Iran somehow end up dying if it stops fighting proxy wars in Yemen and Iraq?
This thread is being rate limited. The commenter below is incorrect. The post deal demands included restrictions on nuclear-capable ballistic missiles, too, but they also included changes to increase the access of inspectors. This was a substantial part of why the original deal was rejected, the new administration believed the original restricted inspectors to the extent that Iran could still develop nuclear weapons in secrecy.
And there is no guarantee that meeting the new demands would result in sanctions stopping, rather than in more sanctions and demands.
The sanctions are to weaken its non nuclear aspirations, their push to create an Iranian crescent from Iran to Lebanon making many people life miserable on the way, people who don't want them in the region.
It's a country that clearly state their will to destroy Israel and their militias in Lebanon actively attacked Israel even though there is no border conflict there right now and the two countries could set up a peace agreement easily. But it is not only the Israelis that don't want them there, the majority Sunni and Christians in Syria, Lebanon and Iraq also not happy with the Iranian push, hence the joy everybody had when Trump killed Sulemeini.
Obama was an idiot who bought into the meme of "preventing nuclear", he didn't understand the middle east at all and during his time the middle east was in flames with millions of deaths and refugees. He didn't support the demonstrations in Iran when they happened, just stood there looking like a the lame useless president that he was with his useless speeches.
Trump brought quiet and peace and he did it with almost no cost of life, just by having a knack to dealing with crazy leaders of the region which is more aligned with his natural craziness and line of thinking, and with a bit of Kushner brilliance behind the scenes.
I just hope Biden is not as stupid as Obama and will keep the pressure on Iran, got a feeling he is a bit more experienced and realist so I am hopeful he will understand what's going on.
The Iran deal is actually rather simple in concept. Iran temporarily suspends certain nuclear activities (not all of them - for example, researching enrichment is fine). In return, Iran gets an economic boost and a permit to do whatever it wants, like supporting terrorists or mass murdering Syrians or trying to destroy Israel.
The latter part may surprise you, but it's obvious when one thinks about it. What is the West allowed to do when Iran commits those things? It's not economic sanctions, since removing sanctions and then placing them on again for different reasons would leave Iran no reason to comply with the nuclear deal. And of course, war is undesireable (the entire point of the deal was to avoid war). So Iran can do whatever, and if the West does anything serious, well, nukes.
The rest of the ME isn't going to meekly submit to Iran. Worse, Iran can't finance its holdings (Iran requires weak governments in order to hold Iraq and Lebanon, but that means no investments). That means things get done in the ME way, which already leads to mass amounts of refugees.
Iran's involvement in Syria directly led to Brexit (Leave would have lost without an immigration crisis on) and played a key role in Trump getting elected (Is it a surprise the most anti-immigration R candidate won the primary given that background? Didn't Trump end up hiring Cambridge Analytica, which would have never happened absent Brexit?). If it weren't for the deal, maybe the US would have done something about Syria and we'd have avoided all that. If Iranian destablization of ME restarts under Biden, the result may well be Trump mk2.
I do not believe this is an acceptable price for temporary restrictions.
It's appalling how you (even partially(?)) blame Iran for Brexit. The US decided to support Syrian rebels (of whom mostly turned out to become or move to ISIS). Syria is a secular state, whether you like to believe this or not. The Russians and Iranians were legitimately asked by its officials to help support the Syrian army to tackle the terrorists. Yet, the US and its allies financed/armed so called rebels that made a disaster of the country. Remember McCain's visits and photographs back in 2011? Why is the US even STILL there?!
I can not think of a single country in the ME that turned out to become better after the US started meddling in its elections/government - ironically, including the one which you are currently blaming.
Blame the incompetence of Brexit on the people who advocated for it and who like to ignore/dismiss facts.
If the US was ever serious about not letting Assad and Iran get away with it all that wouldn't have happened, and there wouldn't have been Brexit. The US's decision to not get involved against Assad (they're there for ISIS I remind you) had a far worse result in human lives and geopolitical impact than any of the US's 'meddling'.
So is Iran? Mind you: the weapons these rebels aka ISIS had were mostly/directly provided by the US and its allies! No official from Syria asked the US to be there! Imagine if Iran would deploy troops tomorrow in Washington to endorse groups to tackle the existing government.
The real danger is supporting regimes that endorse Salafist/Wahabist Islam, which the West likes to do. This hypocrisy of the West is fascinating. I think that could have somehow played a role in Brexit...
Iran supports Assad for a link with Lebanon and threatening Israel, and if a lot of Sunnis are forced by Assad to migrate, well, that's more like a bonus for them, since it destablizes the West.
US is a global superpower and they are the creators of the modern global order of free trade and democracy (it isn't a coincidence that there has been meteoric rise in the number of democracies since WW2, and end of Cold War). If that's 'world domination' then OK. But to be clear, if it wasn't them, another global superpower would fill the vacuum. In the 20th century, that would have been the Soviets. In the 21st, it may be China. Is that better?
Why would a government who doesn't care about its population look at the suffering of those people and change course? Are we naive enough to believe that the Iranian elite aren't circumventing these sanctions personally?
Finally, why? Like, after hundreds of years of imperialism and political interference, I've yet to hear a compelling case to continue doing these things given they've done nothing but push us further away from each other and closer to a climate-crisis, dystopian nightmare.
We need cooperation not blackmail.
I agree, cooperation is what is needed not blackmail. That's what the sanctions are doing: if Iran wants to cooperate economically with other countries, it needs to stop trying to blackmail other countries with threats of nuclear strikes.
As far as why, Iran regularly threatens to wipe other Middle Eastern countries off the map - including the nuclear armed Israel, which would easily trigger a nuclear war in the middle east. The simple reality is that there is not an equivalency between the possession of nuclear weapons by China, Russia, NATO, versus North Korea and Iran. The former don't go around threatening to wipe other countries off the map on a regular basis. Nor does Israel, they don't even officially acknowledge nuclear capacities. The latter do, and in North Korea's case it has created one of the most infamous geopolitical catastrophes of the 20th century. And Iran stands to become a much larger North Korea in a much more volatile part of the world.
Then there's all the hits on people by Mossad.
Every country that has the ability to enrich uranium is 99% of the way there towards developing nuclear weapons.
Iran feels threatened. Countries that have felt threatened (North Korea, India, Pakistan, Israel) have developed nuclear weapons.
The sanctions are there as a deterrent to Iran having a Nuclear weapons program.
Anyone who thinks it is possible for a country to have Nuclear power but not nuclear weapons is a fool.
What the current administration wants is much much more than that . They are basically telling the Islamic Republic to shoot itself in the head. Or face sanctions.
What evidence is there for this? At the time, Israel claimed that Egypt was trying to develop a nuclear bomb. However in his 1963 letter to Ben-Gurion, JFK says that American intelligence agencies had found no evidence of this and believed Egypt did not have facilities capable of it (unlike Israel.) To ny knowledge, in the decades since then, evidence of the alleged Egyptian bomb program has never surfaced.
> "I can well appreciate your concern for developments in the UAR. But I see no present or imminent nuclear threat to Israel from there. I am assured that our intelligence on this question is good and that the Egyptians do not presently have any installation comparable to Dimona, nor any facilities potentially capable of nuclear weapons production. But, of course, if you have information that would support a contrary conclusion, I should like to receive it from you through Ambassador Barbour. We have the capacity to check it."
It's neighbours continued to make public proclamations that they wanted to 'wipe it out'.
If that is not 'threatening' then what is?
Iran, in contrast, faces no real existential threat. Not Russia, Turkey. Saudis couldn't really if they wanted to. Iraq is weak and they control most of it.
Israel did not need an atomic bomb. In developing nuclear weapons (in cooperation with the white supremacist state of South Africa, it should be noted) Israel ensured that other middle east countries would eventually seek them. They deliberately threw water onto an oil fire.
Message to US President Kennedy Regarding UAR Threats' (https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/ben-gurion-message-to-u...)
> 2. Israel is not helpless: in a test of strength it can defeat all three but it is not eager for such a victory.
> 3. Israel finds it difficult to believe that the United States and the civilized world would acquiesce in such an attempt at "liberation".
In other words, Ben-Gurion admitted Israel could protect itself alone if needed, but doubted it would even need to.
Of all non-superpower nations, Israel's quest for Nukes is probably the most rational.
They have zero will or capability to wage any material war of conquest (beyond East Bank/Golan), there is zero chance that they could feasibly use those weapons to 'invade' Jordan, Syria, Saudi etc.. They couldn't hope to occupy any such territory. Ergo - they can only materially be used for defence. Besides - anything else and the entire world (including the US) would turn on them.
Israel's nukes has not caused others to seek nukes really - that's far flung. Iran is not threatened in any way by Israel.
Ironically - the opposite is true: Iran's nukes will destabilize the entire region and cause major problems. Saudi has access to nuke tech from Pakistan, and if Iran ever for a moment brandishes such a weapon, they will magically appear in Saudi very quickly.
Other players are likely to be able to overcome the geopolitical pressure to avoid them, but the fact is 'they would want to have them'.
Nobody is afraid of Israel, but almost everyone around Iran is afraid of Iran.
The 'conflict' in the ME is no longer Israel vs. Egypt an everyone else, now, it's Iran vs. Saudi and everyone else.
This just isn't true, America was offering to ensure their safety and Israel believed that if they were attacked, America and other first world countries would come to their defense. They acquired nuclear weapons anyway. This is all spelled out in the correspondence you can read here: https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/john-f-kennedy-administ...
What's more, those documents reveal the Israeli government was exaggerating the military competence and ability of the UAR in PR campaigns directed at the Israeli and American publics.
South Africa hastily dismantled its nuclear weapons program ahead of majority rule - becoming the only country to voluntarily give up nuclear weapons. Though it still stocks the weapons-grade nuclear material in storage.
and in today's news: https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/13657927/iran-warns-us-trigger...
Iran wants nuclear weapons to swing a heavier stick and threaten it's neighbours.
Sanctions to produce "maximum pressure" as you said is still against human rights but oh well guess how UN thinks about that. Putting citizens in misery is not how you treat a government, specially an Iranian one. You are just going against basic human rights, like not being able to import medicines or basic needs of people.
The only miserable person here is you, someone who claims to be Iranian and yet thinks giving access to private repositories on a platform is against his beliefs, let alone the way you talk about Iranian people also makes you disrespectful human being.
Your hatred against the government has nothing to do with Iranian people, so please, think twice before you post anything on the internet again, if you can't handle a simple thing like this, aka human rights, then you must have issues on giving opinions on other topics as well.
Off-topic: seems like you're one of those iranis who escaped the country for whatever the situation you were in and now you've got the tongue to speak out, so you start attacking on normal citizens because YOU think that YOU are better than them, there's just too many of you, you're not the only one.
Another possibility is that the US simply wants to isolate its geopolitical enemies and impoverish them. As it has been doing with Cuba since Batista was overthrown.
I'm not convinced US foreign policy were rational, but a possible rational explanation for US sanctions is to make an example of countries that refuse US dominance. Similar to how a gang running a protection racket punishes those who refuse to pay protection money.
Regardless of why US foreign policy has deemed it necessary to starve the Iranian people, it will not lead to a revolution in America's favour. The Shah is not coming back. It will just lead to more death of Iranians.
Rather, I would suspect that the real aim of America’s Cuba policy is to appeal to the Cuban-exile demographic, which has a powerful lobby and can deliver votes to politicians in favor of the status quo.
2. The people "really" punished are the same normal people. They are punished once by US economically and once punished by the regime morally/politically.
? US sanctions against Iran actually did lead to a 'win' for the US in the first round.
It's the expansion of those sanctions that has caused problems.
Sanctions on Russia have definitely had an effect . It's hard to say exactly, only Putin knows, it's not like he'd admit it, but there's no doubt it affects his calculus.
How can a US voter actually affect change? What options are available for us to vote for?
Here's my cynical take: the most effective way to lift the sanctions would be lobbying from US corporations. Lifting sanctions is probably profitable for every US business with a market in Iran, so if you work at a US corporation, lobby your boss!
So, essentially this would be about advocating for change by the Biden administration. It wouldn't be by voting (since the election is already done), but writing to your representative could help. Maybe there are advocacy groups that could use support?
Advocating for changes is more likely to be effective with an administration that isn't fundamentally opposed to them.
What makes you think he will do any of that besides a belief?
It seems the the US law was originally the Iran and Libya Sanctions Act  and there have been various laws extending it. Apparently they allow the President to waive sanctions on a case-by-case bases.
Someone who aligns with your views - like yourself.
Not to mention that the United States itself wasn't formed overnight; it was the product of many compromises. There's even a whole Broadway play about it: Hamilton[b].
[a]: Yes, these are actual "names" I've read online.
[b]: Sure, it's exaggerated, but it's pretty accurate
You forgot Muslims, Mexicans, poor people and the non-white people of the US. They are just as much an enemy as the opposing political party (and the Russians and the Chinese....)
The US currently has a largely non-functioning government. Voting enacts little, if any, change. The two-party system currently in place has such ingrained lockstep change won't happen because everyone is worried about not getting re-elected or seeing diversity of opinion.
This is not the right place to complain about political gridlock in the US.
Granted the post is a bit thin and doesn't go beyond the surface level of the issue, but its is relevant information for an outsider.
Given this is the US we are talking about most people probably know about the two party system and so on, but foreign relations is a special case even within that. My responds provides some more context to the problem pointed out.
Unlike Saudi, Qatar, Israel, UAE and others Iran has no lobby in the US. Because there is are no commercial ties, US buissness don't have existing relationships with Iran anymore.
While US companies like Boeing certainty would like to establish such commercial relation with Iran. Their far bigger intensive is to continue to support the Saudi/Israel vs Iran conflict and to sell massive amounts of weapons both to the US government and the governments of Saudi/Israel and allies.
Since there are no large factor to push the US a different direction the status quo has basically been established in the post 1979 world and things only changed minimally.
There is not genuine democratic support for these changes, mostly because most people simply have no idea of middle east politics and don't know the difference between Iran and Iraq or anything like that.
There is a broad based anti-war movement from both the left and the right, but it has very little politician influence outside of the presidential elections. In the presidential elections generally the more anti-war presidents wins, but usually once in office, everybody around is not of that opinion. In congress election foreign policy is usually not important enough of a factor.
Just considering that it was most Saudi bombers at the WW2 and the waste majority of issues and terror bombings have been by Sunnis has not changed the US political output in the least. Despite Iran actually reaching out to the US post-911 (threw the Swiss Embassy) putting a lot of issues up for debate but Bush categorically refused to even consider any engagement.
Its really hard to see what strategically could change so this policy direction could change anytime soon.
Ever since the revolution they took a purposefully antagonistic stance towards the US for their own ideological reasons. The sad reality (for Iran) is that the present global order has been created and maintained by US - so if you can't get along with US, you are going to be a pariah. Many non-democratic nations can get along with US just fine - why can't Iran?
Without excusing the actions of US, could you honestly say that the present circumstances Iran finds themselves in is not a result of their decisions and choices since the revolution? And like I said, it isn't even about regime change. US is friendly with plenty of non-democratic regimes, even ones they were at war with (like Vietnam). On the other side, nations that set an explicit policy of antagonism, like Cuba, North Korea and Iran, tend to not fare well. There's a lesson in there somewhere.
The people of Iran and North Korea are not doing so well. But if you were an Iranian citizen hoping for a better future, would you really pin your hopes on a US-backed regime change, after seeing the aftermath of Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, and Syria?
So your contention is that nation-states shouldn't interact with each other at the nation-state level? That is, if a nation-state proceeds with antagonistic policies, like funding regional militant and terrorist groups against your allies, you cannot hold that nation-state to account lest it hurt their populations? This is not an easy ethical question. At the nation-state level there is no rule of law, it is anarchy. It seems like there may be 'international law' in the modern world, but that's only for those that live within the sphere of influence of the relevant superpower who can enforce it (USA plays that role in much of the globe, soon to be replaced wholly or in part by Chinese influence).
Policies like sanctions have many goals. In the specific case of Iran, sanctions have a goal of curbing Iranian regional antagonism and not necessarily regime change (we're much too cynical for that).
>But if you were an Iranian citizen hoping for a better future, would you really pin your hopes on a US-backed regime change
There is no easy answer. Ultimately, it is the Iranian government that is responsible for the well-being of their citizens. Their citizens could have their lives drastically improved TODAY if their governments chose to do so. I don't know why you put that responsibility on the US because US cannot do this job. US needs to balance the well-being of their people as well as the well-being of the people of their regional allies as well, in addition to basic rights of all humans.
I posed a question to you in my previous message and you refused to answer it. But I'll rephrase: Why do you bend over backwards to remove all agency from Iranian government for actions they chose to get themselves and the people they are responsible for, into the present situation. This includes their absolute refusal for making decisions that would get them to stop being a regional and global pariah.
What does this mean? Who should I vote for?
Other than that, I'm not sure.
And unless you're in Georgia this obviously has no bearing on current candidates.
In general, the GOP, especially under Trump, have pursued the policy of sanctions against Iran at all costs. The Democrats have not.
So the answer to your question is pretty obvious, don't you think?
(so have the Republicans)
That's the problem with dictatorships. The only way to purchase a democracy again is with a lot of blood. Hopefully you had some sort of 2A rights (probably not since they are first to go under dictatorship) or else you'll be relying a lot on foreign provided weapons to break free in the future. Good luck, bad governments almost never "natually" become better over time. Power will continue to be consolidated.
Basically your whole comment amounts to "yes our government is evil, but we can't do anything to change it without people dying, and we aren't willing to do that so... just remove all the sanctions because people are suffering and it's better to have an evil government prosper than to prevent it from prospering by making its citizens suffer"
That said, I don't think Iranians should be barred from GitHub. Free exchange of ideas and code should be available universally.
It's not the only or even the main goal. The main goal of such sanctions is to Iranian government to not have resources for war and terrorism. And it seems that in this regard, these sanctions work just fine.
I don't know what else could be reasonably expected from US by all the other ME countries.
Maybe against other countries, but they just end up using the resources they have to do that anyways... just against their own citizens. Sanctions are nothing more than using civilians with no choice as a pawn to force a revolution because we couldn't do it ourselves. It's kindof disgusting considering how many uninvolved bystanders turn into "collateral damage" in these situations.
Beside leaving them alone and let them live in peace without American influence? Hm hard to say.
That is not possible when Iran threatens our allies and provides material support to organizations with the stated goal of causing mayhem to Americans and their allies.
Let’s be realistic: Iran and America are enemies. Keep that in mind when offering solutions.
Today we are enemies. It was different when the Shah was in power. I’m not talking about History. I’m talking about now.
Iran threatens your 'allies' in a minimal way as they have basically no real military. Iran supports material support to some organizations that the US but mostly its allies don't like. The US supports about 100x more people Iran doesn't like and are just as hostile to Iran as Iranian allies are to the US.
And this is outside of arguments if the US should even be such strong allies with Saudi and co (including Israel).
And to simply say 'we are enemies therefore we can no change policy' is idiotic. The US and the Soviet Union were enemies, until in series of diplomatic talks many of the issues were resolved. The same goes for China.
The US has totally fucked up its relationship with Iran and its broader middle east politics in the last 50 years that is is hard to even comprehend the amount of utter and complete stupidity that went on.
Unfortunately HN post are not conductive to explaining all these issues. What I will point out is that we have lots of evidence from Political Science that sanctions are not effective to achieving political goals. We also have very good knowledge that the sanctions are not actually effective at what they are targeting.
Neither the missile sanctions nor the nuclear sanctions have actually achieved their goals. Democrats will of course argue that Obama nuclear sanctions were effective at 'forcing Iran to the table' but this is basically just putting on rose colored glasses if you actually understand the negotiations. Iran actually forced the US to give up on its some of its central demand, since despite sanctions the Iranian nuclear enrichment program (note, not weapons program) was not slowed down (in fact it went faster).
And what is even worse is that the US spent all this massive amount of effort on preventing Iran from doing and having all these things, while the US completely ignored things other nations did that are 100x worse violations. Israels nuclear nuclear weapons program, Pakistans nuclear weapons program, Saudi ICBMs are all far more dangerous then anything Iran had or was even aiming for and yet the US didn't lift a finger or in some cases closed it eyes to it.
All of UAE, Saudi, Qatar (and arguably Israel as well) support groups that are far worse and ideologically more opposed to what the US stands for compared to the groups Iran allies with. Yet, those are allies and not enemies.
Not trying to destroy the live of avg Iranians with sanctions and 'leaving them alone' is actually very reasonable and would help both the US, Iran and the middle east in general. That does not mean you can not still be opposed to each other on major issues.
Iran has no intentions of 'living in peace' and that's the whole point.
They are concerned with overthrowing House of Saud, controlling Yemen and Bahrain, antagonizing/surrounding Israel, being a controlling force in Syria and Lebanon, and of course, making Iraq a vassal state and controlling the Gulf.
That's just for starters.
The world would be delighted for Iran to get along with it's neighbours, after all, nobody is powerful enough to do them material harm anyhow.
The only special interest the US has is to hold the House of Saud stable so their Oil can be sold freely on global markets.
Other than that, they just want stability, as does everyone.
The US wouldn't even need to have ships in the Gulf if it were not for Iran. The 5th fleet is there to protect cargo from Iranian aggression.
Particularly between Egypt and Israel both for the defence of Israel and of course, that the Suez Canal stays open (open to everyone, by the way).
The US did not have anything other than a basic presence over there (5th Fleet in the Gulf) before 9/11 and that was after a major war in Iraq.
The US wants to take a 'hard position' in the ME about as they want to in South Asia. Or South America. Or Western Europe i.e. they don't. They don't really even want to be there.
Iran is super chauvinist antagonizing state - they don't simply want to 'live in peace' with their neighbours, far from it, they want to be the 'regional superpower' and take their historic position as dominating the Arabs, who they hate.
Right now, the Arab/Persian hate war is much worse than the traditional Muslim/Jewish hate war and it's causing problems.
The bulk of instability in the Middle East right now can be traced to Iran.
If Iran would just shut up and stay home, then there'd be some mopping up in Syria, Yemen might very well stabilize and then there would be peace in the ME like there has not been in centuries.
To see Saudi Arabia, UAE and Israel getting along like buddies is basically shocking to everyone who remembers how bad it was, and they are 'besties' specifically because the mutual threat they face in Iran.
The fact is: regional superpower cannot compete with the world superpower, right? The Saudis have always seen themselves as the exclusive outside power in Yemen, for example. They called US when when Iranian-backed Houthi rebels marched on Yemen’s capital city and overthrew the transitional government that came into power during the Arab Spring of 2011. So it's not just about Iran, but to assure the geopolitical control in the region (through Allies and Proxy wars), control the global price of Oil, and to avoid that - in case of War - nobody does to US, what US did to Japan in the WWII (stop fuel provision)
The new episode from "Intelligence Matters" talks a lot of about that. It's not just because of Iran.
It's a positive view because the US, despite it's failings, is a positive and pragmatic actor.
It's not simplistic because I'm respecting the fact that 'geostability' is a primary concern, even as that might run counter to other objectives such as democracy, free markets etc.
"regional superpower cannot compete with the world superpower" of course they can and do.
It costs the US tremendously to project it's power in Iran obviously a 'full on war' between parties would be mostly decisive in the short run but that's besides the point.
You are failing to differentiate between the kind of power that the US projects vs Iran.
The US actually supports, and helps hold together the House of Saud and therefore stability in Saudi Arabia.
They otherwise don't interfere internally. They put some pressure on Saudis for social progress but that's that.
The US is trying to help 'hold things together'.
The result of this, is that Saudi can provide oil - not to America, but to the world, at market prices.
The only special provision that comes along with US protection of the Gulf is that the Saudis cannot for example sell their Oil exclusively to China or Russia or do some kind of big strategic deal with them.
Put another way - US presence there is to stop Russia/China or some other power from taking hold.
Saudi has an interest in Yemen because it's right on the border, and full of rebels who'd like to overthrow it, ultimately, they also want peace and stability.
Iran wants to cajole, control and antagonize the Arab states and Israel and not in a nice way. They now have Iraq as a vassal state, and they'd prefer the Arabs to be their vassals as well.
If Iran did not exist, there would be almost zero ongoing fighting right now in the ME. Syria, yes, but outside of that no.
Your statement is also not actually correct. And in so far it is correct, part of is that if they wouldn't support it, the US would consider them enemies as well.
You voted for the right wing last time you voted (I know because there are no one else to vote for). The Democrats are also right-wing, anti-Iran, pro-Israel, etc.
No, Iran, including the 'Regime' would actually be doing just fine if they dropped nuclear ambitions and stopped supporting the overthrow of Saudi Arabia.
It's an odd paradox, because even the Islamic Revolutionaries could be a quasi-ally of the US if they really wanted to. The US cares about security, predictability, trade and cooperation between state actors first, internal issues second.
" the maximum pressure campaign has rendered Iranian people completely miserable" - the Iranian government has rendered people miserable. Stop blaming the US for the bad behaviour of the regime.
Maybe we can have 'GitHub Diplomacy' ...
Our best bet is coalesce around each other, the working class, and build a better system of world governance.
This will get downvoted but the truth is the US doesn't treat us any better. Plenty of people are given harsh sentences for victimless-crimes. Property is protected at all costs. The system is pay-to-play. You either get in line or are ostracized.
The reality is that people simply don't care about Iran or know where it even is. Foreign policy issue outside of direct wars almost never dominate the political cycle.
And even if they do on a presidential level, since only the president is relevant vote for a national level it impact is minimal. Congress elections usually don't turn on foreign policy.
The parent stated "But the Islamic Republic has no limits. They would shoot and kill and many as it takes." Parent also stated "The government is also quite scared, and to make sure there wont be uprisings, is spreading fear. They execute people and hand cruel sentences to everyone. Last weeks they gave a 10 years sentence to an 18 years makeup artist who had a famous Instagram account. Journalists are executed, etc. People's morale are completely shattered."
You, and others, don't have it better in the US? Really?
I think you are trying to show empathy and I agree with most of your comment, but to me, you can't empathize unless you've experienced it.
And I don't wish to demean experiences of some oppressed people in the US and their experiences (certainly the wrongfully convicted come to mind as a huge injustice), but your comment is not objectively accurate.
It works on some level.
Also, it's definitely the job of the US diplomatic corps to set out the strategy there because most plebes couldn't find Iran on a map.
It'd be nice to try to explain the policy better, but as I check in with TikTok for a few minutes now and again, I don't think there's much hope there.