The Two Worst Rogue States in the United Nations

Noam Chomsky
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My transcript of part of a public lecture “The Emerging World Order: its roots, our legacy” given by Noam Chomsky at Politeama Rossetti in Trieste, Italy on September 17, 2012.

The basic reason for the concern [over the possibility of Iran building nuclear weapons] has been expressed succinctly by General Lee Butler, the former head of the US Strategic Command, which is in charge of nuclear weapons and the strategic policies involved. He writes, “it is dangerous in the extreme, that in the cauldron of animosities, that we call “the Middle East”, one nation should arm itself with nuclear weapons, which may inspire other nations to do so.”
General Butler, however, was not referring to Iran. He was referring to Israel. That’s the country that ranks highest in polls of European public opinion, as the most dangerous country in the world, right above Iran. But not in the Arab world. In the Arab world, the public regards the United States as the second most dangerous country after Israel  and that goes back quite a while. Iran is generally disliked, but it ranks far lower as a threat – among populations, that is. Just not the dictatorships.

Western media and commentary keep almost entirely to the views of the dictators, so we constantly hear that the Arabs want ‘decisive US action against Iran, which is that’s true of the dictators, and you may recall that a while ago, WikiLeaks released the diplomatic documents quoting Arab dictators – Saudi Arabia and the Emirates – as calling for strong US action against Iran.

The commentary about that was interesting. It was almost euphoric: “Isn’t this wonderful? The Arabs support US policy against Iran!” which is true of the Arab dictators. At the very same time, Western-run polls were coming out, showing that it’s quite the opposite, that though again, they don’t like Iran, they’re not regarded as a threat. The United States is regarded as a threat. In fact opposition to US policy was so strong, that a majority – and in some countries like Egypt, a substantial majority, thought that the region would be more secure if Iran had nuclear weapons. They don’t want Iran to have nuclear weapons, but if the United States and Israel have them and are there, that’s what’s needed.

That was almost never mentioned. And that reaction is pretty striking. It illustrates the contempt for democracy among Western elite opinion: it doesn’t matter what the population thinks, that’s derided as the “Arab street” – who cares what they think? What matters is what the dictators think. That’s a commentary about us, not about the Arab world.

Noam Chomsky

Unlike Iran, Israel refuses to allow [IAEA] inspections, refuses to join the non-proliferation treaty (NPT). It has hundreds of nuclear weapons and advanced delivery systems, and it also has a long record of violence and repression (it has annexed and settled conquered territories illegally in violation of [UN] Security Council orders and court decisions), and many acts of aggression: it has invaded Lebanon five times with no credible pretext, and much more.

Meanwhile, severe threats of attack continue, from the United States and particularly Israel. Daily, there are strong threats of attack, and there’s reaction from US Government. The Secretary of Defence, Leon Panetta, reacted to the threats from Israel by saying, ‘we don’t want them to attack Iran, but they’re a sovereign country, they can do what they like’. If Iran was making comparable threats about Israel – and it isn’t – the reaction would be quite different.

You may remember there is a document called the United Nations Charter. The key provision in the UN Charter is a ban against the threat or use of force in international affairs. But now there are two rogue states, the United States and Israel, that pay no attention to this, and are constantly issuing severe threats. And the European Union goes along, politely. The threats are not just words: there is an ongoing war – or at least what we would regard as an ongoing war, if it was directed against us – and there are regular assassinations of scientists and terrorist acts, there’s a very severe economic war.

The US threats, which are unilateral, have cut Iran out of the international financial system. The European countries don’t disobey the United States so they’ve gone along. Five high-level former NATO commanders have recently released what they call a ‘new grand strategy’, which identified various acts of war that justify a violent response. One of them is ‘weapons of finance’ – that justifies a military reaction, when it’s directed against us. But cutting Iran out of the global financial markets, is different.

The US Government is very proudly announcing that it’s undertaking extensive cyber-warfare against Iran. The Pentagon has identified cyber-warfare as a serious military attack, which justifies our military response. But that’s the difference between what we do to them and they do to us. Israel has an enormous lethal armoury, not just nuclear. Only recently, in the last few months, Israel has received advanced submarines provided by Germany. These are capable of carrying Israel’s nuclear tipped missiles, and they’re sure to be deployed in the Persian Gulf, or nearby. They may already be there. Certainly, if Israel proceeds with its plan to bomb Iran,  the US has a vast array of nuclear weapons surrounding the region, from the Indian Ocean, all the way to the West. In the Persian Gulf itself, the US has enough fire-power to destroy the world many times over.

Full lecture: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8BK0XIm0DXE

Gulf states sideline Arab League in Syria talks

Leaders of the Gulf Arab States pose for a photo before the opening session of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) summit in Riyadh May 10, 2011. (Ho New/Courtesy Reuters)
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The meeting of Arab foreign ministers scheduled to be held in the Saudi city of Jeddah over the Syrian crisis has been postponed indefinitely without explanation by the Arab League. This “emergency meeting” was to discuss the conflict and the replacement of the UN and international mediator Kofi Annan, who resigned last week after the failure of his peace efforts. The Algerian diplomat Lakhdar Brahimi was tipped to succeed him .

However, the foreign ministers of the six Gulf monarchies (Saudi Arabia, Oman, Kuwait, UAE, Qatar, Bahrain) held last night in Jeddah a meeting about the Syrian crisis. Now, this session is expected to take place Tuesday during an Islamic summit in the kingdom following the initiative of King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia who seeks to mobilize the Muslim world in favor of the uprising in Syria.

Syria, a member of the OIC, “will not be represented at this summit,” according to Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, Secretary General of the Organization Islamic Cooperation (OIC), adding that a preparatory meeting of Foreign Ministers would be held Monday and should “decide on a suspension of Syria, recommended by representatives of member countries. ” The organization of this summit, which promises very sharp clashes between Iran, unwavering supporter of Syria, and the GCC, including Saudi Arabia, comes as the UN could not take a firm stand on this issue after the differences arising among members of the Security Council.

It would seem that those parties who declined Iran’s invitation to last Thursday’s “Friends of Syria” summit in Tehran have been forced by that event to step up their own efforts.

Leaders of the Gulf Arab States pose for a photo before the opening session of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) summit in Riyadh May 10, 2011. (Ho New/Courtesy Reuters)

Four days after launching its ground offensive to cleanse the rebels from Aleppo, tanks and warplanes of the regime of Bashar al-Assad continue to pound several districts of this metropolis in the North of the country. According to the Syrian Observatory of Human Rights (SOHR), the neighborhoods Shaar, Tariq al-Bab, Hanano, Bustan al-Qasr and Salaheddin are the target of violent firing of artillery by the army.

Shots were also heard in Damascus while the nearby towns of Al-Tal and Harsata were bombed, according to the SOHR.

In Homs, soldiers assisted by militiamen “executed” ten young people in the Shams neighborhood, according to the Syrian National Council, the main opposition coalition. The victims were selected from a crowd of 350 people gathered in one place, said SNC.

Clashes took place elsewhere in the province of Deraa (south), birthplace of the insurgency launched in March 2011 against the Assad regime.

In Beirut, a judicial source said that the Syrian security chief, General Ali Mamluk, is suspected of plotting attacks in Lebanon. Last week, the former Lebanese minister Michel Samaha was arrested . Samaha is a pro-Syrian figure.

Some content via Al Bawaba http://snup.us/Iij

How the Arab World Uses Facebook and Twitter

TwitterArabCountries
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Social media has been often touted for the role it played in the popular uprisings that have spread across the Arab world since December 2010. Despite the buzz, you may be surprised that only 0.26% of the Egyptian population, 0.1% of the Tunisian population and 0.04% of the Syrian population are active on Twitter.

Of all the countries in North Africa and the Middle East, Twitter is most popular in Kuwait, where 8.6% of the population is active users, defined as those who tweet at least once per month. Facebook’s more popular throughout the region. In its most popular country, the U.A.E., some 36.18% of the population is on Facebook.

Khaled ElAhmad (who goes by the Internet alias Shusmo) created these two infographics, exploring Facebook and Twitter trends in the Arab world, using Visual.ly. His data comes from a Dubai School of Government report on Arab Social Media.

Take a look through the two infographics, which also show growth of the social networks by country and overall membership stats. Did you expect more people to be active social media users? How do you think your country’s habits compare? You can also check out infographics on how China and India do social networking.

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via How the Arab World Uses Facebook and Twitter [INFOGRAPHICS].

News from Iran – Week 12 – 2012

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News of the Prisoners

A-Transfers

  • Kurdish political prisoner Habibollah Golparipour transferred to solitary in Oroumiyeh prison
  • Political prisoner Mohammad Ali Velayati on hunger strike since 3/14 has been moved to Evin 240 solitary.

B- Arrests/Incarcerations

  • Kambiz Habibi, and Kavoos Samimi, Baha’i from Shiraz arrested and sent to Intel. Detention center.
  • Political prisoner Mostafa Tajzadeh is back in Evin after only one day out on furlough.
  • 70 Kurds arrested in Dehgolan and Kermashah in Nowrooz fests

C-Liberations

  • Amir Bahmani , Rajabali Dashab, Hamidreza Eizadyari, Hassan Faraji, Behzad Houshmand, Mohsen Javadi Afzali, Hamzeh Karami, Mehdi Karimian Eghbal, Mostafa Tajzadeh, Omid Norouzian, Didar Raoufi, Hamid Reza Khadem, Ali Goudarzi and Ali Akbar Mohammadzadeh on five days furlough for Norooz.
  • 63 years old political prisoner Abolfazl Ghadyani has been released on bail on furlough.
  • Political prisoner Hamid Reza (Mahan) Mohammadi has been released on furlough.
  • Labor activist Ali Nejati has been released on medical furlough.
  • Navid Nabili, Behnaz Hadadzadeh and Fataneh Hajipour, Baha’i, released on bail from Mashhad prison.
  • Journalist Seyyed Ali Mousavi Khalkhali has been released on bail.
  • Dr. Mehdi Khazali has been released on day 70 of his hunger strike.
  • Political prisoner Abbas Esfandiyari has been released from prison after completing five years sentence.
  • Arya Aramnejad, political prisoner and singer, was released.
  • Koohyar Gourdarzi’s mother Parvin Mokhtari has been released after 8 months in prison.
  • Advar(Alumni Association) member Moussa Saket was released from Tabriz prison last Friday after finishing 7 months term.
  • Dr Masoud Sepehr, a high-ranking member of Organization of the Mujahedin of the Islamic Revolution and an activist reformist in Fars Province was released after four months imprisonment ahead of Norooz.

D-Other News

  • Cleric/blogger Ahmad Reza Ahmadpour in Ahvaz prison is banned from phone calls and visits.
  • Student activist Payman Aref is on hunger strike protesting his illegal detention. Bail has been set and posted but he is still detained.
  • Opposition leader Mehdi Karroubi, under house arrest, met with his family, without presence of Intelligence ministry agents.

    Mehdi Karroubi

    Mehdi Karroubi


News of injustice in Iran

  • Dari Amri, Baha’i  from Mashhad, sentenced to one year.
  • Gholamreza Hosseini, Workers’ Rights activist, accused of collaborating with hostile governments, gets 9 years in prison.
  • Mona Rezaei, Baha’i  from Mashhad, sentenced to one year suspended.
  • Azari activist Behnam Sheikhi has been sentenced to five years suspended sentence.


University  – Culture

  • Britain says “UK for Iranians” website, launched on Wednesday, had been blocked three days later.
  • Iranian government turns to Gmail and Yahoo for support in online crackdown.
  • Jalal Zolfonun, master of the setar, as well a composer and teacher of Persian music, passed away.
  • Ansar Hezbollah rally outside the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance to protest the approval of two films.
  • Rahman Yaghubi, a student activist from Mazandaran University, was expelled from the university, one week after finishing his prison term.
  • Conservative blog Zahra HB blocked immediately after openly and vehemently criticizing closed, rigid and inflexible structure of Iranian regime.


Economy in Iran

  • UAE traders refuse all monetary transactions in Iranian currency for fear of rial’s free fall.
  • Iran central bank: Licensed exchange houses given permission to buy and sell foreign currencies.
  • In Asia, importers of Iranian oil are trying to escape European sanctions.
  • Iraq proposes its oil to Sri Lanka which imports 92% of its oil from Iran.
  • South Korea, Taiwan, South Africa cut Iranian oil imports.
  • Deputy Commerce Minister Hamid Safdel said that the import of 600 types of was temporarily banned: “The restrictions apply to goods that are either produced in Iran or for which there are no recorded statistics of import.” There is another list of 180 types of luxury items, which although not restricted, the government does not allocate a foreign exchange rate for their import.”
  • The city of Tabriz signed a 12 billion rial contract with the IRGC Rehabilitation and Construction Command to build a second Metro line in Tabriz.


Iran  abroad

  • 20 International organisations urge renewal of mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of Human Rights in Iran.
  • US grant exemption on Iran sanctions to 10 EU countries, Japan.
  • Treasury issues subpoenas in investigation into funding for pro-MEK lobby campaign.
  • Iran accused at UN of shipping weapons to Syria.
  • Iran resumes funding Hamas.
  • India sells 3 millions tons wheat to Iran.
  • Mandate of UN Human Rights special rapporteur for Iran is extended (22-5-20)
  • Ahmadinejad will attend Norooz Festival in Tajikistan on March 24-26.
  • Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan will pay an official two-day visit to Iran on March 28 and 29 to inaugurate the Turkish Cultural Center in Tehran.
  • EU to add 17 Iranians to its sanctions list for Human Rights abuses.
  • EU foreign ministers agreed a ban on the export of equipment and software to Iran that can be used to monitor or intercept telecommunications.


Politics in Iran

  • Iran will hold runoff elections for 65 parliamentary seats on May 4.
  • After fiasco of “Year of economic Jihad” Khamenei declares 91 “Year of national production, support of Iran labour/investment”
  • Al Alarabiya news agency has claimed that Kamran Daneshjoo, the Iranian Science Minister, has converted to Christianity.


Miscellaneous

  • Iran removes World AIDS day from state calendar

Des Nouvelles d’Iran – Semaine 12-2012

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Nouvelles des Prisonniers

A- Transferts
  • Habibollah Golparipour, prisonnier politique kurde, transféré à la prison d’Oroumieh à l’isolement.
  • Le prisonnier politique Mohammad Ali Velayati en grève de la faim depuis le 14 mars a été transféré au bloc 240 d’Evine à l’isolement.
B- Arrestations/Incarcérations
  • Kambiz Habibi, et Kavous Samimi, bahaï de Shiraz, arrêté et envoyé au centre de détention du ministère du renseignement.
  • Le prisonnier politique Mostafa Tadjzadeh de retour à Evine après seulement un jour de liberté provisoire.
  • 70 Kurdes arrêtés à Dehgolan et Kermashah lors des fêtes de Norouz.
C-Libérations
  • Arya Aramnejad, prisonnier politique et chanteur, a été libéré.
  • Amir Bahmani, Radjabali DashabMohsen Djavadi AfzaliHamidreza Eizadyari, Hassan Faradji, Hamzeh Karami, Mehdi Karimian Eghbal, Hamid Reza Khadem, Behzad Houshmand, Ali Goudarzi, Ali Akbar Mohammadzadeh, Omid Norouzian, Mostafa Tadjzadeh, Didar Raoufi en liberté provisoire pour cinq jours pour Norouz.
  • Abbas Esfandiyari, prisonnier politique a été libéré à la fin de sa peine de cinq ans.
  • Le prisonnier politique de 63 ans  Abolfazl Ghadyani en liberté provisoire sous caution.
  • Behnaz Hadadzadeh et Fataneh Hadjipour, bahaïe, libérée sous caution de la prison de Mashhad.
  • Le Docteur Mehdi Khazali a été libéré sous caution au 70ème jour de sa grève de la faim.
  • Hamid Reza (Mahan) Mohammadi, prisonnier politique, en liberté provisoire.
  • La mère de Kouhyar Gourdarzi, Parvin Mokhtari a été libérée au bout de 8 mois de prison.
  • Seyyed Ali Moussavi Khalkhali, journaliste, libéré sous caution.
  • Navid Nabili, bahaï, libéré sous caution de la prison de Mashhad.
  • Le syndicaliste Ali Nedjati libéré pour raisons médicales.
  • Le membre d’Advar(Association des anciens étudiants) Moussa Saket a été libéré de la prison de Tabriz vendredi dernier à la fin de ses 7 mois de prison.
  • Le Docteur Massoud Sepehr, membre de haut rang de l’Organisation des Moudjahiddines de la Révolution Islamique, militant de la province du Province a été relâché après quatre mois de prison avant Norouz.
D-Autres Nouvelles 
  • Le religieux et blogger Ahmad Reza Ahmadpour incarcéré à Ahvaz interdit d’appels téléphoniques et de visites.
  • Le militant étudiant Payman Aref est en grève de la faim pour protester contre sa détention illégale. Le montant de la caution a été fixé et versé mais il est toujours en détention.
  • Le chef de l’opposition Mehdi Karroubi, assigné à domicile, a rencontré sa famille hors la présence des agents du ministère du renseignement.

    Mehdi Karroubi

    Mehdi Karroubi

 

Nouvelles de l’injustice en Iran

  • Dari Amri, bahaï de Mashhad, condamné à un an de prison.
  • Gholamreza Hosseini, syndicaliste, accusé de collaboration avec des gouvernements hostiles, condamné à 9 ans de prison.
  • Mona Rezaï, bahaïe de Mashhad, condamnée à un an de prison avec sursis.
  • Le militant azéri Behnam Sheikhi a été condamné à cinq ans de prison avec sursis.

L’université  – La culture

  • La Grande Bretagne déclare que le site “UK for Iranians” lance mercredi a été bloqué 3 jours plus tard.
  • Le gouvernement iranien utilise Gmail et Yahoo pour sa répression online.
  • Djalal Zolfonun, maître du setar, compositeur et professeur de musique persane, est décédé.
  • Ansar Hezbollah se rassemble devant le ministère de la culture et de la guidance islamique pour protester contre l’approbation de deux films.
  • Rahman Yaghoubi, militant étudiant de l’université du Mazandaran, est expulsé de l’université, une semaine après la fin de sa peine de prison.
  • Le blog conservateur Zahra HB bloqué immédiatement après avoir critique ouvertement et de façon véhémente la structure fermée, rigide et inflexible du régime iranien.

L’économie de l’Iran

  • Les traders des Emirats refusent toute transaction monétaire en rial iranien de peur d’une chute vertigineuse de cette devise.
  • La banque centrale iranienne autorise les maisons de change officielles à acheter et vendre des devises étrangères.
  • Les importateurs asiatiques de pétrole iranien cherchent à être exemptés des sanctions européennes.
  • L’Irak propose son pétrole au Sri Lanka qui importe 92% de son pétrole d’Iran.
  • La Corée du Sud, Taiwan et l’Afrique du Sud coupent leurs importations de pétrole iranien.
  • Le Secrétaire d’Etat au Commerce Hamid Safdel déclare que l’importation de 600 articles est interdite : “Les restrictions s’appliquent à des marchandises qui sont soit produites en Iran ou pour lesquelles il n’existe pas de statistiques d’importation. ”Il existe une liste de 180 produits de luxe dont l’importations n’est pas interdite mais qui ne peuvent pas bénéficier du taux de change official pour les importer”.
  • La ville de Tabriz a signé un contrat de 12 milliards de rials avec le commandement de la réhabilitation et de la construction des gardes révolutionnaires pour construire une deuxième ligne de métro à Tabriz.

L’Iran à l’étranger

  • 20 organisations internationales demandent instamment le renouvellement du mandat du Rapporteur spécial sur la situation des droits humains en Iran.
  • Les Etats Unis exemptent 10 pays européens et le Japon des sanctions contre l’Iran.
  • Le trésor américain poursuit son enquête sur le financement de la campagne de lobby de l’OMPI par des assignations.
  • L’Iran accusé à l’ONU d’envoyer des armes à la Syrie.
  • L’Iran recommence à financer le Hamas.
  • Le mandat du rapporteur spécial des Droits Humains pour l’Iran de l’ONU est prolongé (22-5-20)
  • Ahamdinejad se rend au Tadjikistan du 24 au 26 mars pour les fêtes de Norouz.
  • Le premier ministre turc Recep Tayyip Erdogan se rendra en visite officielle  du 28 au 29 mars pour inaugurer le centre culturel turc de Téhéran.
  • L’union européenne ajoute Iraniens à sa liste de sanctions pour les violations des droits humains.
  • Les ministres des affaires étrangères de l’union européenne ont adopté une interdiction d’exporter des équipements et des logiciels qui pourraient être utilisés pour surveiller ou intercepter les télécommunications.

La politique en Iran

  • Le deuxième tour des élections législatives se tiendra le 4 mai pour élire les 65 députés en ballottage.
  • Après le fiasco de “l’année du Djihad économique” Khamenei déclare 91 “l’année de la production nationale, du soutien au travail et à l’investissement iraniens”
  • L’agence de presse Al Alarabiya déclare que Kamran Daneshdjou, ministre des sciences, se serait converti au christianisme.
  • L’Inde vent 3 millions de tonnes de blé à l’Iran.

Nouvelles en vrac 

  • L’Iran retire la Journée Internationale contre le SIDA du calendrier officiel.