Archive | February 8th, 2014

Iranian Speaker: I$raHell is a ‘Cancer’ in the Region

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Israel National News

The speaker of Iran’s parliament criticized Israel and the United States during a ceremony in honor of Tunisia’s new constitution on Friday, causing the American delegation to walk out of the celebrations, Reuters reports.

Addressing the ceremony at the National Assembly in Tunis, Ali Larijani referred to Israel as a “cancer” in the region. He accused the Jewish state and the United States of trying to “sterilize” the Arab Spring revolutions.

Larijani charged, according to an Arab translation of his speech quoted by AFP, that Israel and the United States had “tried to render these (Arab) revolutions sterile, and to make them deviate from their course so that Israel can benefit.”

The American embassy in Tunis said following the incident, “What was intended to be a ceremony honoring Tunisia’s achievements was used by the Iranian representative as a platform to denounce the United States.”

“The U.S. representatives present at the NCA departed the ceremony due to the false accusations and inappropriate comments made by the Iranian representative present regarding the United States,” added the statement, quoted by AFP.

Deputy Assistant Secretary for Maghreb Affairs and Egypt, William Roebuck, was Washington’s top representative at the ceremony, which was also attended by African and Arab leaders, as well as French President Francois Hollande.

Larijani is no stranger to anti-Israel statements. Earlier this week, during a meeting in Tehran with the leader of the Islamic Jihad terrorist group, the Iranian speaker said that armed warfare against the “Zionist regime” is the only way to “free Palestine,” and that Iran’s policy has always been the “defense of the Muslim peoples, and particularly the rights of the Palestinian people under occupation.”

Larijani further claimed that the “occupation” is trying to weaken the Islamic opposition and make it forget the reasons to “free Palestine,” and called for unity and solidarity against the “pompous forces” of the West and Israel who are trying to capitalize on “differences of opinion” in the Muslim world.

Another Iranian official, Hossein Salami of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, said last week that “if the Islamic nation would unite, it could minimize the breathing room of the U.S. and the West until the Zionist regime would no longer have room to breathe.”

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Terrorist Groups in Syria Treat over 700 of Their Injured in I$raHell Hospital

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The Israeli occupation army established a field hospital on the Golan Heights to treat the Syrian injured militants who belong to the terrorist group

golan hospital

in Syria.

These groups have treated over 700 of their injured militants in that hospitals, according to Israeli media outlets.

The Zionist army prevented the media outlets from broadcasting the activities of the field hospital yet allowed the Second Channel to prepare a report about it in order to promote the “humane Israeli step towards the Syrians.”

The report mainly focused on the Israeli intentions behind treating the militants, clarifying that the Israelis aim at strengthen and deepen their relations with the terrorist groups in Syria in order to keep the calm and stability which now prevails between these groups and Israel at Palestinian-Syrian borders.

The report also included interviews with a number of the militants who stated that “Zionism is not macabre as it has been portrayed by the Syrian regime.”
“The regime used to force us to believe that our enemy is all the surrounding world, yet after the beginning of the revolution, we recognized our real friends and  real enemies.”

Source: Al Manar TV

 

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Infightings in Syria leave 2,300 militants dead in January

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Foreign-backed militants carry a rocket launcher in the Sheikh Lutfi area, in the northern Syrian city of Aleppo on January 27, 2014.
Foreign-backed militants carry a rocket launcher in the Sheikh Lutfi area, in the northern Syrian city of Aleppo on January 27, 2014.
More than 2,300 militants were killed in infightings among rival militant groups in Syria in January, as tensions between various militant groups escalate, a monitoring group says.

According to the report released by the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, more than 1700 militants were killed in infightings among the al-Qaeda-affiliated Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and other militant groups in northern and eastern parts of Syria.

The report also indicates that the identity of more than 600 militants killed has not yet been confirmed.

Hundreds of other militants also have gone missing, the report added.

Some 979 members of the al-Qaeda-linked Islamic Front, the al-Nusra Front, and the so-called Free Syrian Army have been killed in infightings with the ISIL or in blasts. At least 5 senior militants were among the dead.

The ISIL militants also executed some 112 rival militants mostly in the cities of Aleppo, Homs, and Idlib.

531 ISIL militants were also killed in January. 34 of them blew themselves up in suicide attacks targeting rival militants and 56 others were executed by militants from the al- Nusra Front and the Free Syrian Army.

On January 27, the activists said that Haji Bakr, a top militant who was the second in command in the ISIL, had been killed in Syria in clashes with rival militants.

The battles among militants have strengthened the view among their Western backers that they cannot be a genuine alternative for the Syrian government.

 

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The Menace of the Military Mind

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By Chris Hedges

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, center, and other officials testify on Capitol Hill last Wednesday at a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on national security threats. From left: National Counterterrorism Center Director Matthew Olsen, FBI Director James Comey, Clapper, CIA Director John Brennan and Defense Intelligence Agency Director Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn. (AP/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

I had my first experience with the U.S. military when I was a young reporter covering the civil war in El Salvador. We journalists were briefed at the American Embassy each week by a U.S. Army colonel who at the time headed the military group of U.S. advisers to the Salvadoran army. The reality of the war, which lasted from 1979 to 1992, bore little resemblance to the description regurgitated each week for consumption by the press. But what was most evident was not the blatant misinformation—this particular colonel had apparently learned to dissemble to the public during his multiple tours in Vietnam—but the hatred of the press by this man and most other senior officers in the U.S. military. When first told that he would have to meet the press once a week, the colonel reportedly protested against having to waste his time with those “limp-dicked communists.”

For the next 20 years I would go on from war zone to war zone as a foreign correspondent immersed in military culture. Repetitive rote learning and an insistence on blind obedience—similar to the approach used to train a dog—work on the battlefield. The military exerts nearly total control over the lives of its members. Its long-established hierarchy ensures that those who embrace the approved modes of behavior rise and those who do not are belittled, insulted and hazed. Many of the marks of civilian life are stripped away. Personal modes of dress, hairstyle, speech and behavior are heavily regulated. Individuality is physically and then psychologically crushed. Aggressiveness is rewarded. Compassion is demeaned. Violence is the favorite form of communication. These qualities are an asset in war; they are a disaster in civil society.

Homer in “The Iliad” showed his understanding of war. His heroes are not pleasant men. They are vain, imperial, filled with rage and violent. And Homer’s central character in “The Odyssey,” Odysseus, in his journey home from war must learn to shed his “hero’s heart,” to strip from himself the military attributes that served him in war but threaten to doom him off the battlefield. The qualities that serve us in war defeat us in peace.

Most institutions have a propensity to promote mediocrities, those whose primary strengths are knowing where power lies, being subservient and obsequious to the centers of power and never letting morality get in the way of one’s career. The military is the worst in this respect. In the military, whether at the Paris Island boot camp or West Point, you are trained not to think but to obey. What amazes me about the military is how stupid and bovine its senior officers are. Those with brains and the willingness to use them seem to be pushed out long before they can rise to the senior-officer ranks. The many Army generals I met over the years not only lacked the most rudimentary creativity and independence of thought but nearly always saw the press, as well as an informed public, as impinging on their love of order, regimentation, unwavering obedience to authority and single-minded use of force to solve complex problems.

So when I heard James R. Clapper Jr., a retired Air Force lieutenant general and currently the federal government’s director of national intelligence, denounce Edward Snowdenand his “accomplices”—meaning journalists such as Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras—before the Senate Intelligence Committee last week I was not surprised. Clapper charged, without offering any evidence, that the Snowden disclosures had caused “profound damage” and endangered American lives. And all who have aided Snowden are, it appears, guilty of treason in Clapper’s eyes.

Clapper and many others who have come out of the military discern no difference between terrorists and reporters, and by reporters I am not referring to the boot-licking courtiers on television and in Washington who masquerade as reporters. Carry out an interview with a member of al-Qaida, as I have, and you become in the eyes of generals like Clapper a member of al-Qaida. Most generals I know recognize no need for an independent press. The munchkins who dutifully sit through their press briefings or follow them around in preapproved press pools and publish their lies are the generals’ idea of journalism.

When I was in Central America the U.S. officers who were providing support to the military of El Salvador or Guatemala, along with help to the Contra forces then fighting the Sandinista government in Nicaragua, did not distinguish between us journalists and the rebel forces or the leftist Sandinista government. We were one and the same. The reporters and photographers, often after a day or two of hiking to reach small villages, would report on massacres by the Salvadoran army, the Guatemalan army or the Contras. When the stories appeared, the U.S. officers usually would go volcanic. But their rage would be directed not at those who pulled the triggers but at those who wrote about the mass killings or photographed the bodies.

This is why, after Barack Obama signed into law Section 1021 of the National Defense Authorization Act, which permits the U.S. military to seize U.S. citizens who “substantially support” al-Qaida, the Taliban or “associated forces,” to strip them of due process and to hold them indefinitely in military detention centers, I sued the president. I and my fellow plaintiffs won in U.S. District Court. When Obama appealed the ruling it was overturned. We are now trying to go to the Supreme Court. Section 1021 is a chilling reminder of what people like Clapper could do to destroy constitutional rights. They see no useful role for a free press, one that questions and challenges power, and are deeply hostile to its existence. I expect Clapper, if he has a free hand, to lock us up, just as the Egyptian military has arrested a number of Al-Jazeera journalists, including some Westerners, on terrorism-related charges. The military mind is amazingly uniform.

The U.S. military has won the ideological war. The nation sees human and social problems as military problems. To fight terrorists Americans have become terrorists. Peace is for the weak. War is for the strong. Hypermasculinity has triumphed over empathy. We Americans speak to the world exclusively in the language of force. And those who oversee our massive security and surveillance state seek to speak to us in the same demented language. All other viewpoints are to be shut out. “In the absence of contrasting views, the very highest form of propaganda warfare can be fought: the propaganda for a definition of reality within which only certain limited viewpoints are possible,” C. Wright Mills wrote. “What is being promulgated and reinforced is the military metaphysics—the cast of mind that defines international reality as basically military.”

This is why people like James Clapper and the bloated military and security and surveillance apparatus must not have unchecked power to conduct wholesale surveillance, to carry out extraordinary renditions and to imprison Americans indefinitely as terrorists. This is why the nation, as our political system remains mired in paralysis, must stop glorifying military values. In times of turmoil the military always seems to be a good alternative. It presents the facade of order. But order in the military, as the people of Egypt are now learning again, is akin to slavery. It is the order of a prison. And that is where Clapper and his fellow generals and intelligence chiefs would like to place any citizen who dares to question their unimpeded right to turn us all into mindless recruits. They have the power to make their demented dreams a reality. And it is our task to take this power from them.

 

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US, I$raHell plan to occupy south Syria

NOVANEWS

File photo shows militants with the so-called Free Syrian Army in the northern Syrian city of Aleppo.

File photo shows militants with the so-called Free Syrian Army in the northern Syrian city of Aleppo.

Press TV

An independent Jordanian news agency says the United States and the Israeli regime are working on a joint plan to occupy southern Syria.

The JBC News said the militant groups, which the US calls moderate opposition, will help occupy two regions in southern Syria.

The regions will then unite to finally create a security belt around Israel.

The report said the groups picked by Washington will be equipped with US-made arms such as Tow anti-tank missiles.

They will also be provided with intelligence gathered by Israeli and US spying agencies.

‘Moderate groups’ is a term used by the US administration for part of the militants fighting the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Washington had used the same term for Taliban militants in Afghanistan, in an effort to give them legitimacy in the face of the former Soviet Union forces.

On Tuesday, a US airplane carrying a weapons cargo for foreign-backed militants fighting in Syria reportedly landed in Jordan’s Mafraq Airport, some 80 kilometers Amman.

In January, US security officials disclosed that the Congress has funded the delivery of weapons, in votes behind closed doors, through the end of government fiscal year that is September 30, 2014.

Syria has been gripped by deadly unrest since 2011. According to reports, the Western powers and their regional allies — especially Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey — are supporting the militants operating inside Syria.

Reports indicate that over 130,000 people have been killed in the violence.

The foreign-backed militancy has also displaced a total of 7.8 million Syrians, more than 1.8 million of whom are living in neighboring countries, mainly in Iraq, Jordan and Lebanon.

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EU ambassador warns I$raHell of isolation

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Lars Faaborg-Andersen says if peace talks collapse, move to pressure the Jewish state could be led by private companies

Times of Israel

The European Union’s ambassador to Israel warned the Jewish State that it would likely endure “increasing isolation” if peace talks with the Palestinians collapse.

Lars Faaborg-Andersen told Israel’s Channel 2 TV Monday that such a scenario wouldn’t necessarily be a result of European policy, but rather the actions of private companies.

The ambassador’s comments echo earlier statements he made in late January.

“If the talks are wrecked as a result of an Israeli settlement [construction] announcement, then the blame will be put squarely on Israel’s doorstep,” the EU envoy said on January 22. If Israel’s actions result in the talks’ breakdown, “naturally and logically [Israel] will be to blame,” he said then.

“If Israel continues to expand its presence beyond the Green Line, without a peace agreement being signed, it “will find itself increasingly isolated,” he predicted in his Monday interview. “Not necessarily because of any decisions taken at a government level but because of decisions taken by a myriad of private economic actors, be it companies, be it pension funds, be it consumers who will be choosing other product on the supermarket shelves.”

EU Ambassador to Israel Lars Faaborg-Andersen, left, with Israeli Minister Yuval Steinitz (photo credit: Yossi Zwecker)
EU Ambassador to Israel Lars Faaborg-Andersen, left, with Israeli Minister Yuval Steinitz (photo credit: Yossi Zwecker)

His remarks came after US Secretary of State John Kerry warned last weekend that the boycott would expand if talks fail.

Speaking at the Munich Security Conference on Saturday, Kerry said that Israel faces an “increasing delegitimization campaign that has been building up. People are very sensitive to it. There are talk of boycotts and other kinds of things.”

Kerry said he was utterly certain that the current status quo was “not sustainable… It’s illusionary. There’s a momentary prosperity. There’s a momentary peace.”

The warnings caused uproar in Israel, with some officials condemning the remarks while others recommended the government take note. Chief peace talks negotiator Tzipi Livni rushed to Kerry’s defense on Monday, and said the right-wing lawmakers that “would lower their eyes in embarrassment if they knew what Kerry has done to prevent these threats and these boycotts.”

Kerry’s statements were dismissed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday, who said “immoral and unjustified” boycotts would only “push peace farther away.”

But Finance Minister Yair Lapid said Israelis had to “face the facts” and be aware that in the absence of an agreement, Israel would suffer a “huge economic blow” that would get persistently worse.

He said that while Israel would combat the economic threats against it, Washington shouldn’t be attacked for drawing attention to them.

“John Kerry is allowed to speak his mind,” Lapid said. “He deserves appreciation for investing countless hours and trips and a significant portion of his time to an attempt to facilitate an agreement between us and the Palestinians in spite of the difficulties.”

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After Failed Geneva Talks, US Steps Up Threats Against Syria

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syrian2

By Bill Van Auken

In the wake of last week’s failed talks in Geneva, Washington and its allies are escalating pressure on Syria over chemical weapons and professed “humanitarian” concerns.

The shift toward a more aggressive posture toward the Syrian government of President Bashar al-Assad only underscores the fact that the Western powers remain committed to an agenda of regime change, whether by means of United Nations-brokered talks or outright military aggression.

UN envoy to Syria Lakhdar Brahimi was compelled to admit last Friday, after the final round of talks, “We haven’t made any progress to speak of.”

The reason for the collapse of the negotiations was clear. The talks began with a ceremonial session in which US Secretary of State issued an ultimatum that the Syrian regime had to accept the removal from power of President Bashar al-Assad and the installation of a puppet of Washington’s choosing. Throughout the rest of the talks, the Western-backed “rebels” of the Syrian National Coalition (SNC) followed Washington’s script, insisting on the ouster of Assad as a pre-condition for any agreements, while the negotiators of the Syrian regime insisted on a common declaration calling for an end to violence and terrorism.

The negotiations only underscored that the SNC, composed of exile politicians, represents no one outside of the US State Department and various Western intelligence agencies. In discussions on prisoner exchanges, it insisted it could not speak for the Islamist-dominated militias that have abducted civilians, while on the issue of humanitarian aid to Homs, it allowed that it had no influence over the armed factions fighting government troops there.

On the ground in Syria, the major “rebel” forces are divided between those led by the Al Qaeda-linked Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) and another coalition of Islamist militias led by the al-Nusra Front, an opposing faction that also swears allegiance to Al Qaeda. All of them opposed the Geneva talks and threatened deadly reprisals against anyone who attended.

In the final days of the talks, Washington staged a deliberate provocation by revealing that it has resumed arms shipments to the “rebels,” and that the US Congress recently approved secret legislation providing aid and funding for the anti-regime forces through September. This aid supplements the billions of dollars’ worth of arms and funding being funneled into Islamist militias by Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey, with the CIA’s collaboration.

Much of the maneuvering by the SNC and its Western backers has appeared to be aimed at securing Russia’s support for a “transition” that includes Assad’s removal from power. Both Moscow and Washington are agreed that regime change should maintain the basic institutions—most critically the security forces—intact. Russia, however, fears that the imposition of a US-backed regime in Damascus will undermine its strategic interests throughout the region.

Following the collapse of the Geneva negotiations, Washington has engaged in renewed saber-rattling against Syria, particularly over the chemical weapons disarmament agreement reached last September. This deal, brokered by Moscow, provided the means for the Obama administration to back down from its threat to launch direct military strikes on Syria, an intervention that failed to garner the support of the Congress and even the closest US ally, Britain, and which was overwhelmingly opposed by the American people.

The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, the implementing body of the international chemical weapons treaty, which is supervising Syria’s disarmament, issued a statement Friday acknowledging that the shipment of two consignments of deadly chemicals out of Syria represented “a start” of the process, but added that the need “to pick up the pace is obvious.”

The US delegate to the OPCW, Robert Mikulak, claimed that the disarmament effort had “languished and stalled” resulting in only 4 percent of Syria’s total arsenal of 530 metric tons of poison gas being shipped out.

Damascus has said that it is working on the OPCW timetable, but that it has faced challenges moving the poison gas under threat of attack by the Western-backed Islamists as well as difficult weather conditions. The deal providing for the elimination of Syria’s chemical weapons set a timetable that was unprecedentedly short, even for countries not in a state of civil war.

The Syrian government also has insisted that the international agency is satisfied with its cooperation, but that Washington is attempting to seize on delays as a pretext for aggression.

“We now know that the Assad regime is not moving as rapidly as it promised to move the chemical weapons out of Syria,” Kerry said on Friday.

He insisted that Security Council Resolution 2118, which instituted the chemical disarmament process, “makes it clear that if there are issues of non-compliance, they will be referred to the Security Council for Chapter 7 compliance purposes.”

Chapter 7 of the UN charter allows for military action to “restore international peace and security.” It was the invocation of Chapter 7 in relation to Libya that provided the legal fig leaf for the 2011 US-NATO war of aggression that toppled the regime of Muammar Gaddafi.

Meanwhile, the US, Britain, other major NATO powers and Washington’s allies among the Arab monarchies are reportedly preparing another UN resolution laying the groundwork for intervention on the grounds of humanitarianism.

The West and its Syrian puppets have indicted the Syrian regime for attempting to starve areas held by the Islamist militias into submission, including parts of the western city of Homs.

The plight of around 800 families besieged in the old city of Homs became an issue in the Geneva talks, with the West and its proxies in the SNC demanding the opening of “humanitarian corridors,” a ploy that was also used to prepare intervention in Libya. Syrian government negotiators countered with an offer to let all women and children out of the area, but this was rejected by the “rebels.”

Ignored in the West’s “humanitarian” concerns is the far larger population—an estimated 45,000 people trapped in the predominantly Shia towns of Zahraa and Nubl outside Aleppo—which is on the brink of starvation after being placed under siege by the Islamist Sunni “rebels” for the past year and a half.

Among the worst starvation has taken place in the Yarmouk Palestinian refugee camp on the southern outskirts of Damascus, which elements of the Al Qaeda-linked Islamists seized at the end of 2012 and turned into a free-fire zone. While most of the residents fled, some 18,000 people trapped there have undergone severe hunger, with dozens starving to death. Attempts to deliver humanitarian aid were repeatedly turned back both by the army’s siege and by gunfire from the US-backed armed opposition. The UN was able to deliver two shipments late last month.

UN humanitarian chief Valerie Amos is set to convene a conference on Syria in Rome today, which will likely lay the groundwork for the Western powers to push for a resolution designed to further their campaign for regime change.

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Interpol busts Jews smuggling stolen luxury cars to I$raHell

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jpost

Flipping out the vehicle identification numbers and forging documents, an international network imported stolen luxury cars from Europe to Israel by way of the Haifa port in recent months, the Coastal District Police said on Tuesday.

The suspects include a Haifa port worker and two employees of a company that works with the customs authority at the port, police said.

Altogether on Tuesday, police arrested 20 suspects believed to be involved in running the network, following a collaborative investigation between agents from the Tax Authority’s “Yahalom” unit and detectives from the Coastal District’s special investigative unit.

The suspects worked with accomplices in a number of countries in northern and western Europe that moved stolen cars into ships bound for the Haifa port, after which they would be taken and sold in Israel with counterfeit documents. Police said so far they know of 10 vehicles sold this way, all of them luxury cars, mainly BMW and Mercedes-Benz, worth around NIS 500,000 each.

Police said that the men arrested Tuesday are not organized crime figures or suspected of being well-connected in the underworld, rather that most of them are Israeli professionals who would purchase the cars from middle-men at below market value. Police said they are now trying to examine the extent of the business, if there are more cars brought in with this method and where they ended up in Israel. They did say that the middle-men abroad are Israelis living in Europe, and that the investigation has been carried out for the past few months with the full collaboration of Interpol.

At the moment police plan to bring four central suspects to remand extensions, while the rest will be released pending charges.

During a tour of their facilities at the Haifa Port in July, customs authorities described how every shipping container entering the country is profiled in order to determine its level of risk, and that out of the ten percent that are scanned, about a third contain some sort of illegal contraband.

Customs officials also said that since the Egypt border fence went up last year and with greater turmoil in bordering Syria and Lebanon they have seen smugglers try other ways to smuggle contraband into Israel, including by way of the ports.

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Iran will never be military aggressor, minister says

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Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif attends the annual Munich Security Conference February 2, 2014. REUTERS/Lukas Barth

Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif attends the annual Munich Security Conference February 2, 2014.

(Reuters) – Iran will never launch a military operation against anyone, the country’s foreign minister, Javad Mohammad Zarif, said on Monday during a visit to Berlin.

“We will not start a military operation against anyone – I say: against anyone,” Zarif told the German Council on Foreign Relations, a day after talks in Munich with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and other officials from the six powers who are

negotiating with Iran about its nuclear programme.

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Kids on Frontline: Syria children study as missiles fall nearby

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