Archive | September 23rd, 2013

AL QAEDA,AL NUSRA TERRORISTS ARE TURKISH AND US AGENTS ”NOT MUSLIMS”!Turkey`s Army Al Nusra front killed 3 Truck driver because he was not a Muslim

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bAR8gF8CzGs 

 [ed notes:to further back up what i’m saying in anotehjr post below look,here we have dozens of alqaeda nusra figthers inside turkey,and they kill truck innocent drivers!!! ...why doenst us demand turkey troops kill them?why hasnt us invaded turkey(they already there anyway) to uproot them?because they control them!!!   [ed notes:we know from these nusra-rats and their fsa butt-buddies that they are (UN)Islamic…PROVE IT?SURE… Can Muslims torture prisoners of war? “Fight in the cause of God those who fight you, but do not transgress limits; for God loveth not transgressors.  (The Noble Quran, 2:190)“”But if the enemy incline towards peace, do thou (also) incline towards peace, and trust in God: for He is One that heareth and knoweth (all things).  (The Noble Quran, 8:61)””If thou dost stretch thy hand against me, to slay me, it is not for me to stretch my hand against thee to slay thee: for I do fear God, the cherisher of the worlds.  (The Noble Quran, 5:28)” “O ye who believe! stand out firmly for God, as witnesses to fair dealing, and let not the hatred of others to you make you swerve to wrong and depart from justice. Be just: that is next to piety: and fear God. For God is well-acquainted with all that ye do. (The Noble Quran, 5:8)””God does not forbid you from showing kindness and dealing justly with those who have not fought you about religion and have not driven you out of your homes. God loves just dealers. (The Noble Quran, 60:8)””…..Help ye one another in righteousness and piety, but help ye not one another in sin and rancour: fear God: for God is strict in punishment. (The Noble Quran, 5:2)””God doth command you to render back your Trusts to those to whom they are due; And when ye judge between man and man, that ye judge with justice: Verily how excellent is the teaching which He giveth you! For God is He Who heareth and seeth all things. (The Noble Quran, 4:58)””O ye who believe! stand out firmly for justice, as witnesses to God, even as against yourselves, or your parents, or your kin, and whether it be (against) rich or poor: for God can best protect both…..(The Noble Quran, 4:135)””Hold to forgiveness; command what is right; But turn away from the ignorant.  (The Noble Quran, 7:199)””We created not the heavens, the earth, and all between them, but for just ends. And the Hour is surely coming (when this will be manifest).So overlook (any human faults) with gracious forgiveness.  (The Noble Quran, 15:85)”

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Children in Syrian Town of Ras al-Ayn Play “Behead the Enemy”

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Iran’s elite military warns of dangers of dealing with U.S

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Reuters
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani is pictured during an interview with U.S. television network NBC in Tehran

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Iranian President Hassan Rouhani is pictured during an interview with Ann Curry from the U.S. television …

DUBAI (Reuters) – Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guard has warned of the dangers of dealing with U.S. officials, ahead of expected diplomatic contacts, underlining the internal challenges President Hassan Rouhani could face to improve ties with the West.

Rouhani is expected to pursue a charm offensive in the coming week while in New York for the U.N. General Assembly in order to set the right tone for further nuclear talks with world powers which he hopes will bring relief from sanctions, according to diplomats and analysts.

Hours before leaving for New York on Sunday, the new Iranian president said that Tehran was ready for negotiations with Western powers provided they set no pre-conditions. He also said the world needed to accept Iran’s right to enrich uranium.

The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) military force was established to safeguard Iran’s revolution in 1979 and has since influenced political, social and economic affairs.

“Historical experiences make it necessary for the diplomatic apparatus of our country to carefully and skeptically monitor the behavior of White House officials so that the righteous demands of our nation are recognized and respected by those who favor interaction,” an IRGC statement said.

It added the IRGC would support initiatives that were in line with national interests and strategies set forth by Iran’s theocratic leader and highest authority, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

The United States and its allies have imposed tough economic sanctions on Iran over suspicions Tehran intends to develop a nuclear capability. Iran says the program is purely peaceful.

The IRGC statement, published by Iran’s Tasnim news agency on Saturday and marking the 33rd anniversary of the start of the Iran-Iraq war, came days after Khamenei and Rouhani told the security hardliners to stay out of politics, in effect instructing them not to scupper the new centrist government’s attempt to resolve the nuclear dispute.

CLOUT

The 125,000-strong IRGC has a military budget that is said to dwarf that of the regular armed forces. Its top commanders are handpicked by Khamenei but its clout also derives from former members who have occupied positions of influence in business, parliament and across provincial government.

Rouhani spoke about negotiations with the West when addressing the military parade on Sunday to commemorate the annual “Sacred Defence Week”.

“In these talks all the rights of Iran, including nuclear and enrichment rights on our own territory should be accepted within the framework of international law,” he said, according to state news agency IRNA.

Rouhani also paid homage to Iran’s armed forces and indicated that the country would not forget about the suffering former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein imposed on Iran, and his backing from Arab and western states.

Iranian television showed footage of the parade featuring Sajjil and Ghadr missiles which commanders claim have a range of about 2,000 km (1,200 miles). Media reports said the latest air defence systems were also showcased.

“Our armed forces do not aim to dominate and colonize the region but in the face of aggression they will not dither and will defend the independence and the honor of our country and revolution with all their might,” Rouhani said.

U.S. President Barack Obama and his aides have made clear that they are ready to test Rouhani’s intentions to seek a diplomatic solution to the nuclear dispute.

The White House has left open the possibility Obama and Rouhani could meet on the sidelines of the U.N. meeting, and a U.S. official has privately acknowledged the administration’s desire to engineer a handshake between the two leaders, which would be the highest-level U.S.-Iranian contact since the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

Last week, Khamenei appeared to give his strongest endorsement yet to Rouhani’s attempts to initiate talks with the United States, saying he agreed with “heroic flexibility”.

Reflecting optimism over Rouhani’s diplomatic initiative, Iran’s currency, the rial, has strengthened against the dollar by more than six percent. Open-market traders currently offer around 29,000 rials to the dollar versus 31,500 a week ago.

(Reporting by Marcus George; Editing by Pravin Char and Mark Potter)

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The Victory Hour

The Victory Hour Sept 22, 2013

by crescentandcross

tvh-sept-22-2013.mp3

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High above Nazareth, an I$raHell mayor wants to keep his city Jewish ‘now and forever’

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jewishheart 

washingtonpost.com

This hilltop city has placid parks, broad avenues, low crime, a fancy mall and trash collection three times a week — all very nice and neat, and by design, slightly dull.

But not these days.

Over the past few years, well-to-do Arab Israelis, both Muslim and Christian, have been driving their minivans 10 minutes up the hill from the ancient, overcrowded nearly all-Arab city of Nazareth and snapping up sweet but pricey five-bedroom, four-bath houses.

Many of the homes are worth a half-million dollars or more, and Arab citizens of Israel count for 18 percent of the 50,000 residents in “Upper Nazareth,” as it is translated in English.

They are welcome here, the mayor says, as long as they remember one very important rule.

“This is a Jewish city,” said Shimon Gafsou of his adopted home town, “now and forever.”

To be more specific: “I would rather cut off my right arm than build an Arab school,” the mayor said in an interview on his terrace at city hall.

Ditto mosques. “No, no, no. No mosques, ever,” Gafsou said. No churches. Or Ramadan lanterns or manger scenes. “And no Christmas trees,” said the mayor of a town that abuts the largest Arab city in Israel, celebrated as the childhood home of Jesus.

“Everyone can live here, that is the law, as long as they understand this is a Jewish city,” Gafsou said. “And in that way we are a microcosm of the state of Israel.”

He said that “95 percent of Jewish mayors think the same thing. They’re just afraid to say so out loud.”

The situation here in Nazareth Illit may be a bit stark, even a little cartoonish, according to some critics of the colorful mayor, who is up for reelection next month. He has been temporarily sidelined from office after being indicted Tuesday by the Israeli courts for allegedly accepting bribes, a charge he denies and says is politically motivated.

No matter, because he still appears to be the front-runner. And his town does reflect a central tension in Israeli society. In the current round of peace talks brokered by U.S. Secretary of State John F. Kerry, one of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s demands is that Palestinians not only accept Israel’s right to exist, but also recognize Israel as a Jewish state.

The parallel challenge is determining what Israel should do for the 21 percent of its citizens who are Arab, and what the Arab Israelis should do for Israel.

Arabs comprise large minorities in Jerusalem and in the southern Negev desert. Here in the northern district, not including the coastal metropolis of Haifa, there are more Arabs than Jews.

Israel guarantees its Arab citizens full and equal rights. But report after report documents the fact that spending for Arab citizens is lower, on average, in education, housing, business development and other areas.

Nazareth Illit is a classic Israeli “development,” or new town, built with government support starting in the 1950s as a home for Jews on expropriated lands, according to historians.

But now, as elderly Jews die and young Jews move to Tel Aviv and its environs, the annual growth of the Jewish population in northern Israel has slowed to just 3 percent, according to the government’s 2010 census reports. At the same time, the Arab Israeli population was climbing 11 percent annually in the north.

“We call a place like this an ‘invisible city,’ a kind of city within a city, here but not really seen, not recognized,” said Kamli Tayoon, a project coordinator for Shatil, a group funded by the U.S.-based New Israel Fund that promotes social justice and equality campaigns.

Tayoon said the group surveyed a sampling of the 9,000 Arab Israeli residents of Nazareth Illit and found that the focus of their desire was a government-funded Arab Israeli school. There are hundreds of such schools in Israel. They teach the Israeli curriculum, including Hebrew and Israeli history, but in the students’ mother tongue of Arabic.

“There’s an elementary school down the block, a two-minute walk, and a high school, five minutes away, but they are Jewish schools,” said Sawsan Qudsi-Hamed, a teacher and mother of three who is an Arab Israeli.

So she drives her kids to Nazareth to go to school.

There are more than a dozen schools in Nazareth Illit, but none of them are expressly for Arab Israelis — though they could enroll in the Jewish schools, as some do. The Arab kids, about 2,000 or so, generally take the bus, walk or drive with their parents down the hill to Nazareth.

Qudsi-Hamed has lived in Nazareth Illit for 20 years. She’s happy here, she says. “Maybe for Jews this neighborhood is a step down, but for Arabs, it is paradise,” she said.

Her neighbors treat her with courtesy. Life is peaceful and quiet, and property values are soaring. But there are things that bug her. The library? It has stacks of books in Hebrew, Russian and English. But not a single one, she says, in Arabic. Why not?

“I think we need to spend more time learning to get along with each other,” she said.

This is “a mixed city, meaning it is Jewish and Arab, both citizens of Israel, with all the rights. But we don’t have a school? Not one? And forget about a mosque or a church. The mayor says he will not allow it. What would you call that?” said Abd Elrazik Shtiwy, an activist and a resident here since 1954 who remembers when a Bedouin tent with camels stood across the street from where the Plaza Hotel is today.

“There is the whiff of racism,” he said. “Sorry to say.”

He said for years the Arab Israelis of Nazareth Illit have lived in their own community as if it were a hotel. “We work in Nazareth, shop in Nazareth, live our lives and culture in Nazareth, and come home and sleep in Nazareth Illit,” Shtiwy said.

Gafsou, the mayor, said some of his good friends are Arabs. He is a former Israeli paratrooper, his four sons are all in the military, he drives on the Sabbath, drinks a whiskey or two, and is a proud Zionist.

In the left-leaning Israeli newspaper Haaretz, Gafsou penned an opinion piece in August. “Over the past few days, many people have been calling me a racist. Sometimes they also call me a Nazi, a bully or even Hitler,” he wrote. “What’s my crime? What act of bullying did I commit? I made a clear and unequivocal statement that Upper Nazareth was a Jewish city.”

He then compared himself, not unfavorably, to Abraham, Moses, Theodor Herzl and David Ben-Gurion.

To keep his city’s population Jewish, Gafsou is working with the Israeli government to build a development of 3,000 units designed to attract ultra-Orthodox Jews from Jerusalem.

Gafsou showed off some architectural drawings of the planned addition. It will be located right below, and in front of, one of the up-and-coming Arab neighborhoods.

“It has the best views,” he said, spreading his arms and smiling broadly.

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Turkey may ‘never be EU member’ – Ankara negotiator

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AFP Photo / Mustafa Ozer AFP Photo / Mustafa Ozer

Turkey’s bid for European Union membership may fail because of “prejudiced” attitudes from current members, an EU affairs minister said on Saturday. The statement comes as the country’s domestic goals shift away from EU accession.

The statement marks Turkey’s first high-level acknowledgement that its decades-long bid for membership may never be successful.

Instead of becoming a full member of the bloc, Turkey will likely negotiate special access to the EU market just as Norway has done, The Telegraph cited Turkish EU Affairs Minister Egemen Bagis as saying. The statement was made at the 10th annual Yalta meeting, which is designed to promote European integration with Ukraine.

If Turkey were to join the EU, it would be the first Muslim nation to do so.

Meanwhile, public opinion in support of the EU bid has waned from 73 percent when accession talks began in 2004 to 44 percent in 2013, according to a German Marshall Fund report released this week.

The survey also showed that public wants Turkey to have the freedom to act alone instead of being forced to cooperate with the EU when it comes to international matters. Thirty-eight percent of Turks said their country should act alone, while 21 percent thought Turkey should cooperate with the EU.

Moreover, more than half of all Turks have an unfavorable view of the EU and believe that working with Asia is more fruitful to their national interests, according to the 2012 Transatlantic Trends Survey.

Bagis also hinted that the EU would not be in such financial trouble if Turkey had joined earlier. He added that Turkey would have been an asset due to its obedience to balanced budgets.

Reuters / Osman Orsal Reuters / Osman Orsal

The minister also said that Turkey faced “prejudiced” attitudes in its EU membership ambitions, as well as in its bid to host the Olympics. No particular countries were named.

“They [the EU] should understand that they are not hurting me by putting me on the back burner. They are hurting themselves,” said Bagis, adding that allowing the EU to grow “means putting prejudice away and accepting young dynamic nations like Ukraine and Turkey.”

The main opposition against Turkey’s accession – which has been frozen for three years – is France and, most recently, Germany.

Both nations have concerns about allowing a Muslim country with a population of 76 million people into the EU, citing worries of how such a culturally different nation would integrate into the bloc.

German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble frankly stated Berlin’s opposition in July, saying that Turkey was not part of Europe. Germany also strongly objected Turkish authorities’ use of force against anti-goverment protesters in June.

Some of Turkey’s senior politicians have suggested that the country is strong enough to continue its development without the help of the EU.

“The process means more than the accession. Once the necessary levels are achieved, Turkey is big enough to continue its development without the accession. Our aim is to achieve a smooth accession process,”Turkey’s undersecretary of the Ministry of EU Affairs, Haluk Ilıcak, said in June.

Turkey has been showing off its cultural independence on the international stage. On Saturday, the country launched its own type of Eurovision, dubbed ‘Turkvision,’ which follows the same guidelines as the annual European song contest. The project was put in place after Turkey criticized Eurovision’s voting system last May.

Turkey has been an associate of the EU since the 1960s.

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More than 400 Syrian refugees reach Italy by sea, one dies

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Reuters
20139214187546734_20.jpg (680×450)

ROME (Reuters) – More than 400 refugees who said they were fleeing the Syrian civil war were intercepted near Sicily in the past 14 hours, and one 22-year-old woman died during the passage, Italy’s coast guard said on Saturday.

A first boat carrying 299 people, more than half of them women and children, was escorted to the port of Syracuse, Sicily, late on Friday. On board was the corpse of one woman who died during the journey.

The reason for her death was still unknown, but fellow refugees said she was a diabetic and had died after falling ill more than two days earlier, Ansa state news agency reported.

The people on the boat said they had left from Egypt about a week ago, Ansa said, citing Italian authorities.

Another boat was located overnight carrying 124 others, who also said they were Syrian refugees, and the coast guard escorted it to a Sicilian port early on Saturday, the coast guard said.

From the start of the year to the first week of this month, 21,870 illegal immigrants or refugees have arrived on the shores of southern Italy, three times as many as the same period a year ago, the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) said recently.

The number of Syrian refugees reaching Italy has increased steadily in recent months and the UN estimates that 3,300 have arrived since the start of August.

More than 2 million refugees have now fled Syria’s civil war, mainly to neighboring Iraq, Jordan, Turkey and Lebanon, out of a population of about 20 million. The two-and-a-half-year conflict is estimated to have killed more than 100,000 people.

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U.S. Seeks To Ease I$raHell’s Fears Over Iran As Obama, Rouhani Could Meet At UN Next Week

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us israel iran

By Matt Spetalnick

WASHINGTON, Sept 21 (Reuters) – Even as it crafts a response to overtures from Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, the Obama administration is working to reassure Israeli officials there will be no easing of sanctions on Tehran unless it first takes tangible steps to limit its nuclear program, U.S. and diplomatic sources said.

Private discussions taking place at various levels both in Washington and Israel appear intended to calm Israelis’ fears that the United States is moving prematurely toward rapprochement with Iran at a time when they are already questioning U.S. resolve to keep open the threat of military action.

But judging from the latest public comments from senior Israeli officials, the White House faces an uphill struggle to overcome those misgivings.

The outreach to close U.S. ally Israel comes as Rouhani, who has issued a barrage of favorable gestures toward the United States, prepares to travel to New York for his debut address at the United Nations on Tuesday and the tantalizing possibility of meeting President Barack Obama face-to-face.

In public comments, Obama and his aides have been cautious not to embrace Rouhani without reservations. But they have made clear that they are ready to test his intentions to seek a diplomatic solution to Iran’s long-running nuclear dispute with the West.

“We’re going to make judgments based on the actions of the Iranian government, not simply their words,” White House deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes told reporters on Friday, previewing the speech Obama will deliver before the U.N. General Assembly just hours before Rouhani takes to the world stage.

Rhodes reiterated that Obama, who has exchanged letters with Rouhani, had no meeting scheduled with his Iranian counterpart, who has struck a dramatically different tone than his stridently anti-U.S. predecessor, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

But the White House has left open the possibility they could still meet on the U.N. sidelines, and a U.S. official has privately acknowledged the administration’s desire to engineer a handshake between the two leaders, which would be the highest-level U.S.-Iranian contact since the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

Such a meeting likely would not go down well with Israel, where some officials have expressed dismay about how Obama’s handling of the Syria crisis might affect the Iranian standoff. They fear that his failure to follow through with threatened military strikes in Syria could encourage Iran to press on with its nuclear work.

The United States and Israel accuse Iran of seeking to develop a nuclear weapons capability. Iran says its program is entirely peaceful and for power generation purposes.

The U.S.-Israeli consultations, which were first reported on the New York Times website late on Friday, are expected to intensify as both sides lay the groundwork for a Sept. 30 Oval Office meeting between Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, a U.S. official said.

OUTREACH BOTH PUBLIC AND PRIVATE

As part of a public outreach parallel to the private contacts, the U.S. ambassador to Israel, Dan Shapiro, told the Israeli newspaper Ma’ariv that Washington recognized that a nuclear-armed Iran would be “much more dangerous” than Syria’s chemical weapons.

Despite that, Israeli Strategic Affairs Minister Yuval Steinitz told another Israeli newspaper “there is no more time” for negotiations between Iran and world powers and warned that Tehran was on course to develop a nuclear bomb within six months.

That followed a statement from Netanyahu’s office on Thursday that Rouhani’s pledge in a U.S. television interview that Iran would never develop a nuclear weapon amounted to “fraudulent words” that should fool no one.

On Friday, Rhodes sought to placate Israeli concerns, saying there was “not an open-ended window for diplomacy” with Rouhani, a relative moderate who took office in August.

But Rhodes insisted there was still “time and space” for a peaceful resolution, possibly a veiled message to Israel against any kind of go-it-alone military action to target Iran’s nuclear sites as threatened in the past.

In Washington, Michael Oren, Israel’s ambassador to the United States, accused Rouhani of trying to “spin out more time” to pursue nuclear weapons advances.

Oren echoed White House assertions that it was the threat of U.S. military action that drove Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to agree to get rid of his chemical weapons stockpile, and insisted in an interview that “the American military threat to Iran has to be endowed with that same credibility.”

Elliott Abrams, a Middle East adviser under Republican former President George W. Bush, said Obama had undercut his leverage with Iran by striking a deal with Russia on Syria’s chemical weapons rather than launching the military strike that he appeared poised to order in late August.

“What happened with regards to Syria (suggests) that the Americans don’t want any kind of military engagement, so all options are not on the table with regards to Iran,” said Abrams, now at the Council on Foreign Relations think-tank. “This makes an Israeli strike more likely. They may think the U.S. is out of the game.”

But some other analysts believe the chances of a unilateral Israeli strike have diminished significantly, not just because Rouhani’s overtures have raised hopes internationally for a negotiated end to the impasse. Netanyahu also has little support from the Israeli public for a go-it-alone approach.

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Can Washington Reciprocate Iran’s “Constructive Engagement”?

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By Flynt Leverett and Hillary Mann Leverett

As New York prepares for the annual opening of the United Nations General Assembly next week, the volume of Western media speculation about the prospects for a U.S.-Iranian diplomatic breakthrough is mounting to impressive levels. Predictably, much of this speculation amounts to little more than wondering how many concessions the Islamic Republic’s new president, Hassan Rohani, is willing and will be able to make, especially on the nuclear issue.

As usual, we prefer looking at facts and authoritative statements of official positions over the speculation of journalists and pundits. In this spirit, we want to highlight a few passages from President Rohani’s much noted Op-Ed in the Washington Post earlier this week, see here.

Three passages seem especially relevant for understanding Tehran’s position on the nuclear issue. The first presents Rohani’s definition of “constructive engagement” (emphasis added):

“It is—or should be—counterintuitive to pursue one’s interests without considering the interests of others. A constructive approach to diplomacy doesn’t mean relinquishing one’s rights. It means engaging with one’s counterparts, on the basis of equal footing and mutual respect, to address shared concerns and achieve shared objectives. In other words, win-win outcomes are not just favorable but also achievable. A zero-sum, Cold War mentality leads to everyone’s loss.”

The explicit reference to not relinquishing one’s rights is, of course, very much of a piece with Rohani’s statements, during his presidential campaign and since his election, that he is not about to surrender Iran’s right—as a sovereign state and as a non-weapons state party to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT)—to enrich uranium under international safeguards. Unfortunately, there is no concrete indication that the Obama administration is prepared to acknowledge this right. In fact, one can find multiple statements from administration officials over the last five years publicly denying that there is such a right. (This is, among other things, a legally and intellectually dishonest reading of the NPT.)

The second passage from President Rohani’s Op-Ed that we want to highlight here explains with admirable clarity why the Islamic Republic is not about to compromise its right to safeguarded enrichment (again, emphasis added):

“We must also pay attention to the issue of identity as a key driver of tension in, and beyond, the Middle East. At their core, the vicious battles in Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria are over the nature of those countries’ identities and their consequent roles in our region and the world. The centrality of identity extends to the case of our peaceful nuclear energy program. To us, mastering the atomic fuel cycle and generating nuclear power is as much about diversifying our energy resources as it is about who Iranians are as a nation, our demand for dignity and respect and our consequent place in the world.”

President Rohani goes on to note, “Without comprehending the role of identity, many issues we all face will remain unresolved.” Indeed. Unfortunately, it remains far from clear that the Obama administration understands how tightly the matter of Iran’s nuclear rights is linked to fundamental questions of identity (like independence and control of the country’s energy resources) for Iranians who supported Imam Khomeini’s revolution and continue to support the political order it produced.

The third passage from President Rohani’s Op-Ed that we want to highlight discusses the requirements for diplomatic progress (yet again, emphasis added):

“To move beyond impasses, whether in relation to Syria, my country’s nuclear program or its relations with the United States, we need to aim higher. Rather than focusing on how to prevent things from getting worse, we need to think—and talk—about how to make things better. To do that, we all need to muster the courage to start conveying what we want—clearly, concisely and sincerely—and to back it up with the political will to take necessary action. This is the essence of my approach to constructive interaction.”

President Rohani certainly is not the first Iranian leader to want the United States to clarify its ultimate intentions vis-à-vis the Islamic Republic. Unfortunately, it remains far from clear that the Obama administration is or will be prepared to lay out a clear and positive end game for nuclear talks with the Islamic Republic—for this would require the United States to acknowledge Iran’s aforementioned right to safeguarded enrichment as an essential pillar of any negotiated solution to the nuclear issue.

So, going into UNGA next week and looking beyond UNGA to renewed nuclear negotiations with the Islamic Republic, the relevant question is not how much is Iran’s leadership prepared to concede on the nuclear issue. Rather, the relevant question is whether Washington is prepared to abandon a strategic approach to the Middle East that has done profound damage to America’s own position in this vital region—in no small part, by rendering productive diplomacy with the Islamic Republic impossible.

This was very much the theme of an interview that our colleague, Seyed Mohammad Marandi from the University of Tehran, gave earlier this week to Russia Today, see here. We append the interview, titled “Iran’s position strengthening while US in decline,” below, along with Russia Today’s editorial precede:

“Iran’s vow to never develop nuclear arms appeared to be an olive branch extended America’s way. But it is Washington, and not Tehran who needs all the friends it can get these days, Professor Seyed Mohhamad Marandi from the University of Tehran told RT.

On Wednesday, Iran’s new president Hassan Rouhani said of the Islamic Republic, ‘under no circumstances would we seek any weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear weapons, nor will we ever.’

Underscoring Rouhani’s concerted efforts to kick start negotiations over its controversial uranium enrichment program with the West, US President Barack Obama and Rouhani exchanged letters. This followed recent elections in Iran and the two leaders may meet on the margins of the UN general assembly next week. Rouhani, who took office in August, also ordered the release of Nasrin Sotoudeh, an Iranian human rights lawyer, and a number of other political prisoners on the eve of a visit to the United Nations.

The White House has thus far reacted positively towards these overtures, with White House spokesman Jay Carney saying ‘there is an opportunity for diplomacy when it comes to the issues that have presented challenges to the United States and our allies with regards to Iran.’

Professor Marandi says that while the onus has been put on Tehran to return to the Western fold, it is Washington who needs Iran to help fix the mess it’s made in the region.

RT: Iran has always said that it would not construct nuclear weapons. So why the apparently enthusiastic reaction from the US now?

Seyed Mohhamad Marandi: It’s hard to say, it really should be asked why the United States didn’t respond earlier because this is what the Iranians have been saying all along. But still I think the Iranians are quite willing to see if the apparent enthusiasm will lead to any change in US policy; that’s the important thing. What the Iranians are doing right now is saying ‘look, we are going to preserve our sovereign rights as an independent country, we will continue with our peaceful nuclear program, we’ve never disregarded international law, there’s no evidence of that, but we are willing to create a new favorable environment for negotiations.’ So basically what the Iranians have done is put the ball firmly in the American’s court, where it’s been for quite a while, but they’re doing this basically for the international community to see, and it’s now for the United States to respond.

So far the United States has responded negatively. As soon as Mr Rouhani became president [Washington] slapped on new sanctions, now they are taking a building that is linked to the Iranian community in the United States. These are not positive signs, so the Iranians are waiting to see over the next few days and weeks whether the United States is going to rethink its previously irrational approach toward Iran.

RT: You mentioned peaceful energy purposes. Will the US ever accept that?

SMM: That’s up to the United States. Iranians are not going to wait for US acceptance. The Iranian position has been strengthened over the past few months, recent Iranian elections have shown Iran’s strength; the high turnout has shown there is a great deal of legitimacy in the Iranian electoral process. The reason why some of these people in prison were released was not because of any human rights work that they did, but because after the previous elections (which they deemed fraudulent), they were helping to create unrest in the country. But after this election, President Rouhani and many reformists and people from all backgrounds in the political establishment have said that there never was fraud and that basically this has strengthened Iran’s position. Right now, while the rest of the region is in uproar and there’s increasing instability thanks to the United States, Iran is the only country that is completely stable and with a high turnout in the political process in the country.

On the other hand the United States has isolated itself by threatening Syria; the international community has moved against the United States, and even within the United States Obama and the political establishment has lost popularity and support over their proposed aggression against Syria. So Iran feels that its position is much stronger today, and America’s position is much weaker.

RT: Could Iran’s new efforts to improve relations with the West be seen as a sign that sanctions have actually worked?

SMM: Sanctions are working in the sense that some people have died because of a lack of medicine because Americans have basically tried to shut down the Iranian central bank, along with their allies. But that has created anger among Iranians. But at the same time, President Rouhani has said specifically that Iran is very willing to resolve questions that exist with regards to the Iranian nuclear program in the West as long as Iran’s rights are preserved. But when the United States threatens countries, invades countries and imposes sanctions on ordinary Iranians, creating a lack of medicine for cancer patients for example, then that does not help resolve the situation. The Iranians are not going to kneel to the United States. Iran is a sovereign and independent country, that’s what the revolution was about 34 years ago, for Iran to gain its independence and overcome American hegemony. It’s not a client regime like Saudi Arabia, Qatar or Jordan. So if the United States comes to respect Iran, then we can have rapprochement. The United States needs Iran, because thanks to its own policies, its destabilized the whole region, the United States has allowed Al-Qaeda to thrive through Saudi Arabia, Qatar and other oil rich dictatorships. In order to salvage the situation, it needs a strong, powerful, secure and stable country like Iran to help resolve the current mess that they’ve created in the region.”

We will be spending time in New York over the next week, monitoring developments and meeting with senior members of the Islamic Republic’s UNGA delegation. Whatever happens, it is likely to be an interesting—and potentially very revealing—week.

Posted in USA, IranComments Off on Can Washington Reciprocate Iran’s “Constructive Engagement”?

AIPAC Draws Red Lines on U.S. Talks With Iran

NOVANEWS
americaisraelring

Forward.com

Talks of a renewed diplomatic effort to reach a deal with Iran have caused some unease in Israel and among its supporters in the United States.

As Israeli leader Benjamin Netanyahu warned against falling for the Iranian charm offensive as “the Iranians are continuing to deceive so that the centrifuges continue spinning,” the pro-Israel lobby is also laying out its red lines for any future engagement with Tehran.

In a memo sent out on Friday, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) joined the Israeli attempt to throw cold water on the idea that Iran, and its new president Hassan Rouhani, have made areal change in policy.

“Pleasant rhetoric will not suffice,” AIPAC states, “If Iran fails to act, sanctions must be increased.”

Rouhani’s new tone was on display this week with an interview he gave NBC news in which the Iranian president promised his country is not and will not be interested in developing nuclear weapons, and in a Washington Post opinion column in which he called for diplomatic engagement.

This gestures, coupled with a release of several political prisoners in Iran, did not go unnoticed in Washington, where the White House indicated that President Obama could be open to the idea of meeting with Rouhani on the sidelines of the United Nation’s General Assembly next week.

Alerting its supporters for action, AIPAC stressed that while Rouhani is trying to change his tone, Iran’s actions on the ground have not changed and the country has continued to advance its nuclear program even after Rouhani was sworn in as president.

The pro-Israel lobby stated the U.S. should not agree to suspend any sanctions against Tehran before the Iranian’s adhere to UN resolutions, stop uranium enrichment, allow international inspection of nuclear sites, stop work on installing new centrifuges and move out of the country its stockpile of highly enriched uranium. Otherwise, AIPAC’s memo stressed, sanctions should not be removed but rather tightened.

“If Iran continues to advance its nuclear program, Washington should step up sanctions,” AIPAC noted. The memo also called on the administration and Congress to maintain a credible military threat against Iran and to “support Israel’s right to act against Iran if it feels compelled—in its own legitimate self-defense—to act.”

The lobby’s strong position on the issue and similar views expressed by Israeli leaders in the past days are all meant to send Obama a clear message of Israel’s skepticism regarding the new diplomatic opening with Iran. Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu is expected to reiterate this approach in his meeting with Obama on September 30 and in his address to the UN General Assembly the next day.

Posted in ZIO-NAZI, CampaignsComments Off on AIPAC Draws Red Lines on U.S. Talks With Iran

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