Political http://english.irib.ir Tue, 17 Oct 2017 02:06:20 +0000 en-gb Leader’s guidelines for fair, free, healthy elections http://english.irib.ir/programs/political/item/222569-leader’s-guidelines-for-fair,-free,-healthy-elections http://english.irib.ir/programs/political/item/222569-leader’s-guidelines-for-fair,-free,-healthy-elections

Elections and people’s vote play a pivotal and decisive role in the popular system of government of the Islamic Republic of Iran. In view of this fact, months before the holding of any round of election, whether it is the parliamentary, presidential, Assembly of Experts, or for the town councils, the organs in charge of supervising and conducting the elections, start their work in order to ensure the holding of fair and free voting so that people from all walks of life enthusiastically participate.

 

Recently, election organizers for the 10th 4-year term of the Majlis or the Islamic Consultative Assembly – as the national parliament is known – as well as for the 5th 8-year term of the 87-member Assembly of Experts, met with the Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei to seek his guidelines. Elections for these two bodies are to be the held simultaneously on February 26.

Ayatollah Khamenei described the elections as a healthy competition among the eligible and qualified candidates in which the nation is always the final winner, since it is the people who determine the fate of the country. He said: When the masses enter the arena of elections with strength and resolve, and fill the ballot boxes with votes of determination, this is certainly a matter of pride for the popular system of the Islamic Republic of Iran. As a matter of fact, winning or losing of the honoured candidates have no meaning for the people, because either way it is the Iranian nation which is the real and final winner. This is the main point about the elections.

The Leader always encourages people to enthusiastically participate in the elections, including those who may have some problems with the Islamic Republic system. On the reason for encouraging this particular group for participation in the voting, he stated: Today this unique system of government has preserved the country’s security, has facilitated national development and progress, and given dignity to the people – facts that cannot be denied. What is, however, of prime importance, he said, is insight and carefulness while voting for any candidate, so that the people send the honest, aware, brave and faithful representatives to the parliament in order to ensure national development, as well as the independence and dignity of Iran. He elaborated on his remark on the necessity of participation of those who do not believe in the Islamic Republic, by making it clear that this does not mean a candidate who does not believe in the system is sent to the parliament.

He pointed out that nowhere in the world do decision-making centers allow someone who does not believe in the essence of the system of the national government to participate in elections. In many countries, such candidates are barred from contesting the polls on the slightest accusation.

As an example, the Leader recalled the US elections during the Cold War with the Soviet Union, when candidates suspected of leftist tendencies were barred and even imprisoned. Such restrictions in a country like the US which likes to call itself the bastion of democracy are now enforced against American Muslims.

As part of his guidelines for holding of fair and free elections, Ayatollah Khamenei turned the attention of the organizers and candidates to certain points. First and foremost is the law of the country as the most trustworthy factor and the best judge in case of differences among candidates, since it is essential to respect the legal organs responsible for holding elections, while any disrespect for them would result in chaos.

The Leader pointing to the unhealthy practice of lies, deceit, and false propaganda in the so-called democratic countries of the West during elections, said such a negative atmosphere should on no account prevail in the Islamic Republic of Iran. He advised the candidates against mudslinging and the sordid practice of insulting each other. He said: As a candidate, if you have faith in your competence and abilities, you can highlight your qualities during the campaign in order to inform the people of your plans; but you should not insult and slander your rivals, and you should not talk behind their backs. This is another vital responsibility to ensure free, fair and healthy elections.

The Leader advised the candidates against giving impractical promises to the people, when you very well know you cannot fulfill them. At the same time, no candidate should raise any illegal demand or promise by saying that if elected he/she will do such-a-such thing, when it is clear that whatever you are saying is illegal and against the country’s Constitution and laws. The candidates should be honest to the people, and this is one of the vital aspects of a fair, free and healthy election. Ayatollah Khamenei called the national elections a blessing and a big opportunity for thanksgiving.

The Leader of the Islamic Revolution then mentioned some important points about JCPOA, calling implementation of Iran’s nuclear agreement with G5+1 as a great stride, for which President Hassan Rouhani, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and other members of Iranian nuclear negotiating team deserve thanks. He dismissed the notion that these achievements are the result of US favours, saying: We developed nuclear energy with our own capabilities, with the ideas of our own scientists and with the support of our different administrations.

On this path, four people were martyred until we reached this stage. We did something to force the enemy to agree to the existence of several thousand centrifuges in the country, when this same enemy had vowed not to leave even one single centrifuge spinning in Iran. He added that this success of ours is because of the efforts of the people of Iran and our scientists.

Ayatollah Khamenei said that contrary to the US-European plan to make Iranians discontent with the Islamic Republic of Iran through sanctions, the Iranian people have stood firm and their steadfastness became a source of support for political and diplomatic work. The enemy was forced to retreat, while the Islamic Republic of Iran showed its power and dignity, thanks to the strong bond of the system with the entire Iranian nation.

The Leader said, basically the arrogant powers in the West well know that the Islamic Republic of Iran is not after a nuclear bomb, but still they imposed sanctions on Iran? He said the issue is about something else, and part of the plan to pressure the people of Iran, stop the people from pursuing their revolutionary movement, and preventing the increasing influence of the Islamic Republic in the region and in the world.

It is obvious, he said, the West failed, while the sincere intentions of the people and government have continued to attract people from all over the world towards the credible system of the Islamic Republic. Ayatollah Khamenei cautioned people and officials from the excessive optimism regarding the lifting of sanctions in resolving the economic problems of the country.

He asked: Now that sanctions have been lifted, will the economic problem of the country and the problem of the living conditions of the people be solved? He answered in the negative, saying that it is proper management and planning that ensure the progress of the country. Everyone has approved of the economy of resistance and everyone has planned for it. Fortunately, the executive organizations and our friends in the administration have certain plans to pursue this matter. They should seriously pursue it in order to make the country resistant in terms of the economy. Otherwise, if we fix our eyes on foreigners’ decisions and hands, we will not reach anywhere.

On the great capabilities for reaching self-sufficiency, the Leader said: We are a strong nation with a large population of approximately eighty-million people. There are tens of millions of educated youth in Iran, including professionals, experts, and masterminds in all areas and divisions. Plus, Iran is rich in underground resources. All these are valuable resources. All these are opportunities. We should stand on our feet and we should not be dependent on others.

AS/FK/SS

]]>
Iran Wed, 10 Feb 2016 12:05:22 +0000
The real obstacle to Syrian peace http://english.irib.ir/programs/political/item/220598-the-real-obstacle-to-syrian-peace http://english.irib.ir/programs/political/item/220598-the-real-obstacle-to-syrian-peace

Despite Russia and the U.S. coming together recently to back a U.N.-approved peace plan for Syria, major obstacles remain, including the on-the-ground reality that U.S. “allies,” such as Saudi Arabia and Turkey, have armed and financed terrorist forces that won’t compromise, as Gareth Porter explains.

Gareth Porter is an independent investigative journalist and winner of the 2012 Gellhorn Prize for journalism.

The anti-Assad coalition led by the United States continues to stagger toward the supposed objective of beginning peace negotiations between the Syrian government and what has now been blessed as the politically acceptable “opposition.” The first such meeting was scheduled for Jan. 1, but no one on either side believes for a moment that any such negotiations are going to happen any time in the foreseeable future.

The notion that negotiations on a ceasefire and political settlement will take place lacks credibility, because the political-military realities on the ground in Syria won’t allow it. Those opposition groups that are prepared to contemplate some kind of settlement with the elected government of Bashar al-Assad do not have the capacity to make such an agreement a reality. And those organizations that have the capacity to end the war against Damascus have no interest in agreeing to anything short of forcible regime change, but to no avail.

The United States is pushing the line that President Bashar al-Assad must step down, but Russia is insisting that such a demand is illegitimate.

The contradiction between the pretensions of the U.S.-sponsored plan and Syrian political-military realities was very much in evidence at the Riyadh conference earlier this month. The conference, which was supported by the United States and the other so-called “Friends of Syria,” including Britain, France, Turkey, Qatar and the UAE, was in theory to bring together the broadest possible range of opposition groups – excluding only what they like to dub as “terrorist” groups. Belying that claim, however, the Kurdish Democratic Union Party, YPD, being armed by the United States in Syria was excluded from the conference at the insistence of Turkey.

A key objective of the conference was apparently to bring Ahrar al-Sham, the most powerful armed terrorist group apart from the ISIS, into the putative game of ceasefire negotiations. But inviting the organization was bound to backfire sooner or later. Ahrar al-Sham has been closely allied with al-Qaeda’s Syrian franchise, al-Nusra Front, both politically and militarily. Moreover, it has explicitly denounced the idea of any compromise with the government in Damascus.
Ahrar al-Sham showed up at the conference, but refused to follow the script. The representative of Ahrar al-Sham called for “the overthrow of the government of President Bashar al-Assad with all its pillars and symbols, and handing them over for a fair trial.” That is not exactly the game plan envisioned in the negotiating process, which assumes that Assad must leave after a transitional period, but that the government security institutions would remain in place.
On the second day of the conference, Ahrar al-Sham’s representative announced that the group was leaving, complaining that the conference organizers had refused to endorse its insistence on their self-styled “Muslim” identity of the terrorist groups.

The terrorist group of Ahrar al-Sham refusal to play ball was the most dramatic indication of that the entire exercise is caught in a fundamental contradiction. But it wasn’t the only case of a major armed group whose attendance at the Riyadh meeting raised the obvious issue of conflicting interests. Jaysh al-Islam terrorist group is a coalition of 60 Salafist armed groups in the Damascus suburbs whose orientation appears to be indistinguishable from that of Ahrar al-Sham.

The coalition is led by Salafist extremist Zahran Alloush, and has fought alongside Ahrar al-Sham as well as al-Nusra Front. Last April, Alloush travelled to Istanbul, where he met with the leader of Ahrar al-Sham. Like their close allies, moreover, Alloush and his coalition reject the idea of a political settlement with the government, with or without Assad.
If it is so obvious that the Riyadh conference and the larger scheme for peace negotiations are not going to come to fruition, why has the Obama administration been pushing it? The explanation for what appears to be a lost cause can be inferred from the basic facts surrounding the administration’s Syria policy.

First, the US administration adopted the objective of regime change in Syria in late 2011, at a time when it was in a hope that the regime was on the ropes. And although it has partially backtracked from that aim by distinguishing between President Assad and the institutional structure of the government, it cannot back off the demand for Assad to step down without a humiliating admission of failure.

Second in its pursuit of that regime change policy the US administration allowed its regional allies – especially Turkey and Saudi Arabia – to do things that it wasn’t prepared to do. Obama tolerated Turkish facilitation of foreign terrorists and Turkish, Qatari and Saudi funneling of arms to their favorite terrorist groups. The result was that ISIS, al-Nusra Front, Ahrar al-Sham and Jaysh al-Islam emerged in 2013 and 2014 as the main challengers to the government of President Assad.

But the White House has officially maintained its distance from al-Nusra Front and Ahrar al-Sham, while continuing to collaborate closely with allies, as they have provided financial support to the “Army of Conquest” command dominated by al-Nusra Front and Ahrar al-Sham to help the forces under their leadership gain control of Idlib Province and pose the most serious threat to Damascus thus far.

And the third fact about the policy is that the Obama administration embarked on its campaign of illusory peace negotiations with little more than one year left before Obama leaves the Oval Office.

The obvious implication of these facts is that the ostensible push for a ceasefire and peace negotiations is a useful device for managing the political optics associated with Syria during the US administration’s final year. If it is not questioned by media and political elites, the administration will be able to claim both that it is insisting on getting rid of Assad and at the same time moving toward a ceasefire and political settlement.

Never mind that claim has nothing to do with reality. Being the dominant power, after all, means never having to say you’re sorry, because you don’t have to acknowledge your responsibility for the terrible war and chaos visited on a country because of your policy.
Meantime, the Syrian Army, backed by Hezbollah fighters, coupled with Iran’s advisory help and Russia’s air attacks, are gaining outstanding victory in different fronts day by day.
EA

]]>
Middle East Sun, 27 Dec 2015 12:53:37 +0000
Saudi Arabia and the “war on terror” http://english.irib.ir/programs/political/item/220407-saudi-arabia-and-the-“war-on-terror” http://english.irib.ir/programs/political/item/220407-saudi-arabia-and-the-“war-on-terror”

Speaking to the media during a visit to the Incirlik Air Base in Turkey, US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter praised the Saudi monarchy for proclaiming a new so-called “Islamic alliance” against terrorism.

Carter declared “We are happy with the alliance formed by Saudi Arabia and looking forward for the steps being taken by them against terrorism”.

No sooner was the Saudi announcement made, however, than a number of countries raised questions about their inclusion, without their knowledge, in the so-called alliance. Three Muslim countries of Iraq, Syria and Iran were excluded, leading to charges that the Saudi monarchy is really only patching together a kind of ‘Muslim’ alliance to prosecute its own vested interests.

A more fundamental question is what does the Saudi regime mean by “terrorism”? Clearly, it is not referring to the various Al Qaeda-linked groups fighting in Syria, all of which get substantial funding as well as large numbers of fighters and their religious-ideological inspiration from the Wahhabist Saudi kingdom.

This fact was confirmed by then-US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in a classified 2009 cable declaring that “donors in Saudi Arabia constitute the most significant source of funding to terrorist groups worldwide.”

This was further acknowledged by US Vice President Joe Biden in a speech delivered at Harvard last year. He admitted that the Saudi regime, along with other US client despots in the Middle East, had “poured hundreds of millions of dollars and tens, thousands of tons of weapons into anyone who would fight against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Of course what both Clinton and Biden sought to conceal was that this operation was fully coordinated by the CIA out of a station in southern Turkey. Washington had armed and funded similar groups in the US-NATO war for regime change in Libya, and well before that had worked closely with the Saudis in fomenting the war in Afghanistan, which gave rise to Al Qaeda.

So what does the Saudi monarchy view as terrorism? The answer can be found in its prison cells, where three young men, all arrested when they were minors, are awaiting death by beheading for the “crime” of participating in peaceful protests against the relentless repression of the US-backed regime in Riyadh.

They are among 52 similar, dubbed “terrorists” whose mass execution is expected at any time. Two of them—Ali Mohammed al-Nimr, who was 17 at the time of his arrest, and Abdullah al-Zaher, who was 15—in addition to being sentenced to die by decapitation with a sword, are to be crucified, their headless bodies mounted on crosses in a public space as an example to anyone thinking of defying the House of Saud.

What the Saudi monarchy considers “terrorism,” moreover, was codified into a new law last year. It establishes that terrorism includes “any act” intended to, among other things, “insult the reputation of the state,” “harm public order,” or “shake the security of society.”

Other acts defined as “terrorism” include: “Calling calling into question the fundamentals of the Islamic religion on which the country under the ale-Saud is based,” as well as “Contact or correspondence with any groups, currents of thought, or individuals hostile to the kingdom.”

The parents of Abdullah al-Zaher, now 19, have come forward to plead for his life. They describe how he was tortured and beaten with iron rods after his arrest until he signed a false confession that he was not even allowed to read.

The Saudi regime has already executed at least 151 people this year, the highest per capita rate of capital punishment of any country in the world.

Within the Obama administration and the corporate media, appeals for the lives of Ali Mohammed al-Nimr, Abdullah al-Zaher and the dozens of others who face imminent beheading have fallen on deaf ears.

Washington continues to count Saudi Arabia as its closest ally in the Arab world, selling it more US weaponry than any other country on the planet. Last year alone, the oil kingdom purchased $1.2 billion in US armaments. A new $1 billion deal was recently announced, as the Pentagon continues to resupply the Saudi military in its vicious war in Yemen that has already claimed more than 7,000 lives, while reducing tens of millions to the brink of starvation.

The media in the US has largely ignored the plight of the youth sentenced to beheading and crucifixion. Instead, it has lavished praise on recent elections to municipal councils on the grounds that women were for the first time allowed to vote and run for office, though they remain deprived of virtually every other right.

Most of the coverage dutifully ignored the fact that less than 10 percent of the population—and barely 1 percent of Saudi women—bothered to vote for the municipal bodies, which are utterly powerless advisory panels in a country where the royal family appoints all those who wield any real power.

Nor in the media’s celebration of a handful of rich Saudi women running for meaningless posts was any attention paid to the trampled rights of the Shia minorities in Saudi’s Eastern Province, in which most of the country’s oil reserves are located. However, these presumed to be wealthy Shia minorities live in bitter conditions under Ale-Saud repression and ethnic discrimination.

That US imperialism counts the Saudi regime as its closest ally in the Arab world exposes all the pretexts it has used to justify its continuous wars in the region. The alliance with a state that finances, arms and provides religious-ideological inspiration to Al Qaeda-linked groups, gives the lie to the supposed “war on terror,” just as US support for an absolute monarchy that beheads and crucifies youth exposes the fraud of Washington’s promotion of “democracy” and “human rights.”

Washington’s real objectives are purely predatory, directed at utilizing military might to make up for the economic decline of American economy by asserting hegemony over the world’s markets and resources.
That it relies on the ultra-reactionary and bankrupt Saudi regime as a key pillar of this policy only demonstrates that US imperialism is headed for a catastrophe.
It is destined to reap all that it has sown in the massive crimes carried out against the peoples of the region, even as the immense contradictions building up within US society create the conditions for an explosion.

That was from an article written by Bill Van Auken, a politician and activist and also a presidential candidate in the US election of 2004.
EA

]]>
World Wed, 23 Dec 2015 11:33:52 +0000
Making a mess of things http://english.irib.ir/programs/political/item/220404-making-a-mess-of-things http://english.irib.ir/programs/political/item/220404-making-a-mess-of-things

Ever since Turkey’s downing of a Russian military plane in November, a number of US Republican presidential hopefuls have been trying to outdo each other with who would shoot down more of Putin’s jets if elected president.

The latest GOP debate is a case in point. Vasko Kohlmayer, a reformed neocon, whose articles have appeared in a number of news outlets including the Baltimore Sun, the Washington Times, the New York Sun, LewRockwell.com, and Frontpage Magazine among others, has reviewed the latest GOP debate in the case.

When asked whether he would target a Russian plane if it flew into a no-fly zone, Chris Christie responded, "I’d say to Putin, ‘Listen, Mr. President, there’s a no-fly zone in Syria; you fly in, it applies to you.’ And yes, we would shoot down the planes of Russian pilots if in fact they were stupid enough to think that this president was the same feckless weakling that the president we have in the Oval Office is right now."
The moderator did not ask Christie why he thought we had the right to arbitrarily install no-fly zones over sovereign countries.
Not to be outdone, John Kasich said, "And for the Russians, frankly, it’s time that we punched the Russians in the nose."
Russian President Vladimir Putin is no angel to be sure, but he is the aggrieved party in the plane shooting incident. The Russian pilot hardly did anything that would justify such a drastic action on Turkey’s part.

And yet being the strongman that he is, Putin has shown a remarkable degree of self-restraint. It goes without saying that with Turkey in NATO a conflict with Russia could quickly escalate into a major conflagration had Putin responded in kind.
If anything Vladimir Putin should be commended for his forbearance and cool-headedness in this unfortunate episode.

Why, then, are some US Republicans so eager to pick a fight with someone who has not only caused us no harm, but who himself has been harmed? What exactly is our grievance against Putin?
Do we begrudge him the right to be involved in that part of the world? The region is in his backyard. Syria is less than 400 miles away from his country’s border. In contrast, Syria is nearly 6,000 miles distant from American shores.
Why do we think that it is only us, the Americans, and our allies who have the right to conduct military operations over there? Is it because we, the Americans, are so much better or smarter than everyone else?
Next year it will be fifteen years since the US started fighting its wars in the region. And what is the result?
Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya are largely failed states. They serve as breeding grounds and safe havens for head-chopping extremists, radicals and criminals. A number of other countries in the region are either on fire or very close to being set on fire.
We, the Americans, promised the people of the Middle East democracy, freedom and prosperity but instead they got death, destruction and extremism.

US presidential hopeful, Donald Trump, summed it up rather pointedly, saying: "We’ve spent $4 trillion trying to topple various people that frankly, if they were there and if we could’ve spent that $4 trillion in the United States to fix our roads, our bridges, and all of the other problems.” He went on to say that we, the Americans, have done a tremendous disservice, not only to Middle East, we’ve done a tremendous disservice to humanity. The people that have been killed, the people that have wiped away, and for what? Donald Trump said that it’s not like we had victory. It’s a mess. The Middle East is totally destabilized. A total and complete mess.

The results of the US actions in the Middle East are the opposite of what we, the Americans, desired and intended. Widespread destruction has taken place, hundreds of thousands have been killed and millions have been turned into refugees. To say we have made a mess of things is a relatively mild way of putting it.
Rather than lashing out at others the US should accept responsibility for the calamitous consequences of its actions. When will the Americans finally acknowledge the costs that their ineptness exacted on themselves and others?

It is not wise to threaten and provoke Vladimir Putin after he just suffered the loss of a military jet. Instead we should acknowledge his temperance and wish him well. After all, he is trying to fight ISIS, the same enemy we, the Americans are supposed to be fighting. Perhaps he can help to clean up the mess we, the Americans, have made.

Why are some US Republicans itching to get into a conflict with a powerful nuclear nation for no good reason? Why do they want to risk World War III?
This brings up an even larger point: Why are they so eager to make ever more enemies?
Half of the world already hates the US. Many Americans seem to be continually surprised by this and naively conclude that it is because we, the Americans, are too good. They want to believe the world dislike them for the so-called US’s freedom, democracy and technological advancement. But this is only self-deception.
If they hated the US for this they would hate Switzerland all the more. Switzerland has more freedom, a better democracy and is at least as advanced as the US is. Yet the world nations do not hate or target Switzerland.

What may be the reason for that? In Switzerland they mind their own business. The Swiss do not meddle in other people’s affairs. They do not invade other countries or set other lands on fire.
On the whole Americans pretend to have good intentions. The problem is the US hubris. The Americans have an inflated view of their capabilities and the Americans also think that they are wiser and better than they really are.
The fruit of this error is on display for the whole world to see.

When will we, the Americans, notice it and finally wise up ourselves?
EA

]]>
Middle East Wed, 23 Dec 2015 11:16:54 +0000
ISIS in Africa: Reality far different from propaganda http://english.irib.ir/programs/political/item/220355-isis-in-africa-reality-far-different-from-propaganda http://english.irib.ir/programs/political/item/220355-isis-in-africa-reality-far-different-from-propaganda

The recent bloodbath in Africa’s most populated country Nigeria, where the army with the tacitly approval of the government, indulged in state terrorism against the peaceable followers of the Ahl al-Bayt of Prophet Mohammad (SAWA) by massacring over 2,000 men, women, and children, was an indirect way of expressing support for the Boko Haram Takfiri terrorists. This gross injustice has opened debates across Africa of the infiltration by various other Takfiri terrorist outfits, including ISIS or the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, which is a joint creation of the US, the Zionists, Saudi Arabia and Turkey.

 

This cannibalistic terrorist outfit, which has no relation with Islam, despite calling itself Jihadi in order to deceive simple and unsuspecting people in culturally-backward areas, has claimed of establishing a foothold in the Dark Continent. Over the past few months, there have been contradicting reports suggesting, on the one hand, a sustainable presence of ISIS within Africa or, on the other hand, that ISIS has failed to gain major ground in the continent.

The revelation that the alleged mastermind of the 13 November Paris attacks claimed by the IS was of Moroccan descent, the turmoil in Libya, and the general strife in numerous African countries such as Nigeria and Somalia that is being attributed to IS and al-Qa’ida has sparked speculation that this terrorist group is likely to expand within Africa, and even in South Africa. However, most of these assertions are the result of hurried summaries rather than sober analysis. One news outlet, for example, carried two contradictory headlines on the IS threat in Libya within two days of each other. One claimed IS was ‘struggling to expand in Libya’ and the other that IS ‘could expand from Libya’.

This, however, is not unexpected; news and analysis on IS has increasingly become alarmist. Given the paranoia in the West after the Paris and San Bernardino attacks, the anti-immigrant sentiment in western countries, and Islamophobia in the USA, coverage of the Takfiri terrorists suffers from exaggerations and enhances a politics of fear. Serious assessment of the threat presented by this terrorist outfit in Africa must begin with a few qualifications. First, a distinction must be made between Africans who leave their home countries to join ISIS in Syria and Iraq, and local African insurgents who were already engaging their domestic enemies when this terrorist outfit announced its so-called ‘caliphate’ in 2014 and who are now pledging their allegiance to it. Second, even among the insurgents, including groups such as the Egyptian Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis and the Nigerian Boko Haram, another distinction needs to be kept in mind. Not all insurgents are equally connected to IS in Syria and Iraq.

For example, even though Boko Haram has re-branded itself as IS’s West African Province (Wilayat Gharb Ifriqiyya), it does not have direct logistical links and is not under operational command of IS, as might be the case with insurgents in the Libyan city of Sirte, who are fighting under IS flag. Three groups of IS sympathisers in Africa must be kept analytically separate: 1) African ‘foreign fighters’ joining IS in Syria and Iraq; 2) insurgents in Libya and Egypt who claim to be IS followers and are likely in direct contact with IS in Syria and Iraq; and 3) insurgents in Boko Haram (in Nigeria, Chad, Cameroon and Mali). Analytically amalgamating them all together as if they are represent the same threat level and operational capacity will incorrectly assess IS strength in Africa.

Boko Haram, which calls itself the ‘West African Province of IS’ is the most feared terrorist outfit in sub-Saharan Africa, It is responsible for more killings than IS. Boko Haram’s relationship with IS, despite a slew of propaganda videos is tenuous at best. Though Boko Haram leader Abu Bakr Shekau is believed to have officially pledged allegiance to IS in March 2015, there was some confusion about the issue.

In July 2014, Shekau declared his support of IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s claim to caliphate in a video. A month later Shekau seemingly declared his own caliphate in Gwoza, Nigeria, in another video. This back and forth leads us to believe that while Shekau at first toyed with the idea of declaring his own caliphate he eventually settled on being considered an extension of IS rather than claiming primacy because the IS branding would be of greater propaganda value. That Shekau and Boko Haram’s eventual 2015 connection with IS is primarily for propagandistic and branding purposes is also evident from the fact that until the end of 2014 there was no link between the two groups, as Virginia Comolli points out.

Additionally, there are no reports of Nigerians, Cameroonians, Chadians or Malians joining IS this year. Thus, other than exchanges between the groups over social media, there is no evidence of operational links between Boko Haram and IS. Even the IS claim that it could purchase a nuclear weapon from Pakistan and relocate it to the USA via West Africa, supposedly using Boko Haram’s logistical support, is wildly speculative, and is better regarded as an IS fantasy.

Recent statements from important governmental sources such as the French defence minister and prime minister suggest that IS is set to expand within Libya. Added to alleged reports by western intelligence sources that Libya is becoming the fall back option for IS leaders if they are squeezed out of Syria and Iraq, Libya begins to appear like the next Syrian and Iraqi base of operations for IS within North Africa.

However, these reports too are based on exaggerated estimation of known claims by IS to expand territory wherever possible. The recent UN report describes the situation in Libya more carefully: IS is an evident short and long-term threat in Libya. The group is benefiting from the notoriety of ISIL in Iraq and in the Syrian Arab Republic. However, the group’s threat should be realistically assessed. IS is only one player among multiple warring factions in Libya and faces strong resistance from the population, as well as difficulties in building and maintaining local alliances.

Nevertheless, it has demonstrated its intention to seize additional territory in Libya. This is a concern, given the country’s strategic location as a transit point within the region, control of which would enable terrorist groups associated with al-Qa’ida, to further influence various ongoing conflicts in North Africa and the Sahel, in addition to offering a new hub outside Takfiri occupied territories in Syria and Iraq.

In other words, while IS in Libya is a concern, it does not represent a singularly potent threat in the manner that French authorities have attempted to argue, presumably not only to hammer a deal between the warring Libyan parties, but also in a bid to widen their aerial campaign in Iraq and Syria to include targets inside Libya in order to support its favoured faction. At best, IS forces within Libya have only about 3 000 fighters across the country, a far cry from an estimated 27,000 foreign fighters in Syria and Iraq.

Additionally, the area from where IS is believed to have drawn the highest number of Libyan fighters to Syria and Iraq, Derna, has already witnessed fighting between an anti-IS coalition and IS fighters in June 2015 that eventually forced IS to retreat to the outskirts of the city and disperse into other parts of the country.  This is not to suggest that Libya is not important for IS. For recruitment purposes, it declared three different provinces in Libya: Wilayat Tripolitania, Wilayat Barqa and Wilayat Fezzan. Rather than representing IS control of territory, such statements illustrate its aspirations in the region.

Similarly in Egypt, though Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis is believed to have had contacts with IS officials in Syria and Iraq in December 2014, and changed its official name to Wilayat Sinai, thus marking itself as an IS affiliate, the total number of terrorists it commands is, at most, a couple of thousand, which might have decreased if we are to believe the Egyptian government claim that it had killed hundreds of terrorists after the group’s daring raid on Sheikh Zuweid city in Northern Sinai. Also, the fact that it has rebranded itself as an extension of IS is not a guarantee that it will get more recruits.

Significantly, in Derna (Libya), IS implementation of a distorted Wahhabi version of Islam, which is rejected by most Muslims across the globe, elicited a strong backlash from the population and competing militant groups in the area. A similar result is possible in Egypt if Wilayat Sinai tries to implement the Wahhabi version of Islam, especially if done at the hands of foreigners unfamiliar with the Sinai context. Wilayat Sinai remains, nevertheless, a marginal phenomenon. While it might be able to magnify and internationalise its potential threat through the targeting of the Russian Metrojet flight, its threat is not any greater because of its association with IS. As Zack Gold notes, these developments ‘might have taken place without IS affiliation’.

Terrorists from North Africa who joined IS in Syria and Iraq would present a danger if they returned and carried out operations in Africa, as in the case of Paris and Tunisia. One source indicates that at least 170 terrorists left from Algeria, about 1,000 from Egypt, 600 from Libya, 1,500 from Morocco, and 7,000 from Tunisia. Additionally, the 70 terrorists from Somalia and 100 from Sudan also present a threat, albeit to a lesser degree. These African terrorists known as ‘foreign fighters’ potentially represent the greatest security challenge to the African continent, because of their ability to move as individuals and engage in terrorist activities in their home and in neighbouring countries.

Most, even if they are not fighting, prefer to remain in IS occupied territory and propagandise for the so-called ‘caliphate’, as with South African recruit Abu Hurayra al-Afriki. Among those who return to their homes, many become repentant and disillusioned with the reality of life under IS, and thus do not pose a security threat. Even if some returnees were potentially operational, it is farfetched to suggest that they represent a threat to a large part of the African continent. The IS appeal in sub-Saharan Africa, outside of Boko Haram’s context, has been insignificant. This can be attributed to various factors: from the non-interventionist stance of governments in the region to the small numbers of Muslims to the general absence of domestic grievances on the part of the Muslim minorities in the region. While Somalia can be regarded as a counter-example, there are factors limiting IS reach even within Shabab-controlled parts of Somalia.

Not only has Shabab sided with al-Qa’ida in its antagonism towards IS for ideological reasons, but given the proximity of Yemen to Somalia, and the assistance Shabab receives from Yemen’s al-Qa’ida affiliate, it does not suit Shabab’s strategy to link with IS rather than al-Qai'da. While there are reports of some Shabab terrorists pledging loyalty to IS, there are also reports of IS sympathisers being persecuted by Shabab for having betrayed their cause. That Boko Haram has released videos asking Shabab to consider joining IS further underlines the assertion that IS has not been able to gather an amenable audience within Shabab.

Therefore, the problem of foreign fighters, while it does represent a threat to countries in North Africa where the fighters are from, it does not represent a threat for Africa as a whole. But this does not imply that there is a significant IS threat in Africa. In terms of insurgencies in Africa, especially in Nigeria, Somalia, Egypt and Libya – places where IS could potentially find sympathisers – IS has been unable to have a major impact.

Whether in Egypt or Libya, where its affiliates have not been able to capitalise on their relationship with IS in any substantial way, or in Nigeria, where Boko Haram has used IS only for propaganda purposes, or in the case of Somalia, where IS found an enemy rather than a friend, IS has not been as successful in Africa as its propaganda would have us believe.

The conclusion is that, the IS thrives in magnifying its propaganda and spreading irrational fear, as can be witnessed in its exaggerated claims of Libya as constituting three of its provinces, or claims that it can use Boko Haram to transport nuclear weapons to the USA. Responses to IS should consider the reality on the ground as a primary guide rather than propaganda or fantastical claims.

AS/SS

]]>
World Tue, 22 Dec 2015 14:12:15 +0000
Iran’s foreign minister expresses his views on US conduct http://english.irib.ir/programs/political/item/220302-iran’s-foreign-minister-expresses-his-views-on-us-conduct http://english.irib.ir/programs/political/item/220302-iran’s-foreign-minister-expresses-his-views-on-us-conduct

Following the approval of the resolution of the International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA) Board of Governors on closure of the case of so-called possible military dimensions in Iran’s nuclear issue, the implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) has started. While the executive phases of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action have taken shape, Iran’s Foreign Minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, notes that a number of contradictory messages are sent by Washington; the majority of which are negative.

 

In an interview on Sunday, Iran’s foreign minister noted that implementation of the law that restricts visits to Iran is against the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, while adding that such ratifications are completely meaningless, because any Iranian or other person who has traveled to Iran has nothing to do with the tragic incidents that took place in Paris or San Bernardino or other tragedies that have occurred in other locations.

Iran’s foreign minister believes that implementation of this ratification discredits those, who have approved, confirmed and execute it.

The US conducts such unjustifiable measures under the pretext of campaign against terrorism, and claims that the US diplomacy has focused on campaign against terrorist outfits. Meanwhile, the international community expects that the result of this claim to be observed in practice. However, the regional developments do not prove this US allegation.

The US repeatedly points the finger of blame toward other countries in regard to emergence of terrorism and extremism. However, countless evidences prove that the West has played an irrefutable role in promotion of radical actions. Even, some of the US officials, such as the former US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, have admitted that the US created Al-Qaeda terrorist outfit and has supported this terrorist group.

Meanwhile, the terrorist outfit, dubbed ‘Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant’ (ISIL) is currently used as a means by the US to infiltrate into the region.

The US statesmen, instead of confessing to their role in creation of terrorist groups such as Al-Qaeda and ISIL, are making claims about the role of other countries in spread of terrorism. In a controversial measure to this end, the US announced that the nationals of 38 countries who have maintained a visa waiver for entry to US, from now on should obtain a visa for entry to US if they have traveled to one of the four countries of Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Sudan in the past five years. This ratification might seem as an internal decision in the US. But, it tries to somehow isolate Iran. Hence, Iran’s foreign minister underscored that this act sends a very bad message to Iranians, revealing that the US has got used to maintaining hostile policies against Iran.

MR/MG

]]>
Iran Mon, 21 Dec 2015 07:36:11 +0000
Saudi regime’s blatant violation of rights of Shi’a Muslims http://english.irib.ir/programs/political/item/219859-saudi-regime’s-blatant-violation-of-rights-of-shi’a-muslims http://english.irib.ir/programs/political/item/219859-saudi-regime’s-blatant-violation-of-rights-of-shi’a-muslims

The country called Saudi Arabia which has no historical basis, was created by the British colonialists in 1932 in the name of their agent, the tribal leader from Najd Abdul-Aziz ibn Saud, who seized through bloodshed the holy cities of Mecca and Medina, the commercial Red Sea port of Jeddah, the northern parts of Yemen, and the eastern oil-rich Shi’a Muslim populated region bordering the Persian Gulf.

 

Today it is a US client state that occupies an area of 2 million and 149,000 square kilometers with a population of 27 million, of which 11 million are foreign workers from various countries. Of the 16 million citizens, Shi’a Muslims account for over 26 percent or around five million, and are mostly concentrated in the eastern oil-rich region, and in Medina, as well as in Najran, which was seized by the Saudis from Yemen and whose population is mainly Ismaili Shi’a, followed by Zaydi Shi’a Muslims.

Unfortunately, the regime is run by the heretical Wahhabi cult, which is a fraction of the minority of the total population, compromising around twelve percent, of which most are political Wahhabis who pretend to follow the faith of the rulers to enjoy privileges, while the majority of the people, especially Shi’a Muslims, are religiously, culturally, politically and economically discriminated against and deprived of even basic birthrights. Stay with us for an interesting feature in this regard.

All aspects of life in Saudi Arabia are dominated by the deviant Wahabbi cult, which not only suppresses liberties of the Muslims of the land, but spends billions of dollars from the usurped oil wealth of the local Shi’a Muslims to spread its heretical ideas abroad. Through petro-dollars and propaganda it exploits the ignorance of unsuspecting, economically-poor and culturally-backward Muslims of other countries, to make them Salafis, and even terrorists, as is evident by the cannibalistic Takfiris that are destabilizing Syria, Iraq, Libya, Nigeria, Pakistan and Afghanistan. It pretends to be Sunni, but has no connection to the Sunnah or genuine practice and behaviour of the Prophet Islam, as is evident by its deviated policies and desecration of holy sites associated with Prophet Mohammad (SAWA).

For instance, the Wahhabis have destroyed not only the house where the Prophet was born and where he lived, but also the sacred Cemetery of Jannat al-Baqie in Medina, where four of his 12 Infallible Successors rest in peace, in addition to his aunts, uncle, wives, and companions. In Mecca, the Wahhabis destroyed the Sacred Jannat al-Mo’alla Cemetery which contains the tomb of the First Lady of Islam, the Mother of all True Believers, Hazrat Khadija (peace upon her), as well as the tombs of the Prophet’s monotheist ancestors. It is strange that the Wahhabis accuse Shi’a Muslims of grave worship, when the fact of the matter is that the followers of the Ahl al-Bayt or the blessed household of the Prophet, never indulge in such practices, but pray to God Almighty beside the resting places of those who had dedicated their life to Islam, attained martyrdom, and where the mercy of God is all evident. 

The presence of Shi’a Muslims in Arabia dates back to the time of the Prophet himself, when some of his prominent companions, like Abu Zar, Salman, Meqdad, Ammar, etc, were known as Shi’as or devotees of the Prophet’s cousin, son-in-law, and divinely-designated heir, Imam Ali ibn Abi Taleb (PuH). In the subsequent eras, despite the usurpation of the right of Imam Ali (PuH) and suppression of his followers, the Shi’as, like Jaber ibn Abdullah al-Ansari, Abdullah ibn Abbas, Owais Qarani, and others, not only made their presence felt in Mecca and Medina, but spread out in the newly conquered lands of Iraq, Syria, Egypt, and Iran.

The severe persecution unleashed by the Omayyads and subsequently by the Abbasids, although it marginalized Shi’a Muslims, they still flourished in Medina, where the Infallible Imams were based. In the subsequent centuries, the Shi’a Muslims established rule in Yemen, while short-lived Shi’a rule rose and fell in the Hijaz. During the over two-century rule of the Egypt-based Fatemid Ismaili Dynasty over Hijaz, Shi’a Muslims thrived in the holy cities of Mecca and Medina, the Red Sea port of Jeddah, the summer resort of Ta’ef, and other parts of Arabia. In about 968, a branch of the descendants of the Prophet, established the non-sovereign emirate of the Hijaz, and from 1201 until 1925, ruled in in unbroken succession as Sharifs of Mecca.

Although this dynasty had adopted Taqiyya or Dissimulation to escape persecution from the Ayyubid, Mamluk and Ottoman Empires, they promoted the culture of the Ahl al-Bayt, until overthrown by the Saudis of Najd. This was the factor for the presence of large number of Shi’a Muslims in Arabia, especially in Medina, where until the usurpation of the Hijaz by the Saudi Wahhabis, as much as half of the population of Medina was Shi’a.

Meanwhile, Eastern Arabia, which the Saudis call Sharqiya Province today, was historically known as Greater Bahrain for almost a millennium until the 19th century and geographically included what are now Kuwait, Qatar, the Bahrain islands, UAE, al-Hasa, Qatif, and northern Oman. This area was dominated by Shi’a Muslims, who looked towards Iran for support until its occupation by the Ottomans, who continued to appoint the local Bani Khalid emirs as governors to check the raids from Najd in the interior of the Arabian Desert where the Aal-e Saud tribe of brigands had embraced the heretical Wahhabi beliefs.

There was bitter animosity between the local people and the Aal-e Saud, who with British help encroached on this vast Shi’a majority region and seized it by force of arms, some years after the end of First World War. Years later, the discovery of oil in this occupied Shi’a area made the Saudis to tighten their tentacles on it, and since the late 1930s, the Wahhabi regime in Riyadh has been looting the wealth of this region and spending it to consolidate their power and prestige, as well as to promote their heretical ideas abroad, while depriving the local people of their birthrights.   

Today, the Shi’a Muslims in what is called Saudi Arabia, have become a minority in their ancestral land, the Hijaz, while most of them live in the Eastern Region, especially in the cities of Qatif, Zahran, al-Awamiyah, Ahsa, and other parts, where they form an over-whelming majority, despite the attempts of the regime to change the demography by settling outsiders. Shi’a Muslims also form the majority in Najran in the south which the Saudis had seized from Yemen in 1934, and where the Ismaili Shi’as are the dominant force, followed by Zaydis and Alawis.

It is gross violation of human rights and injustice by the international community which pampers to the minority Wahhabi regime, despite the fact that the over 25 percent of the country’s population, that is, the Shi’a Muslims, are persecuted and deprived of their rights. The irony is that, the regime in Riyadh not just refuses to grant official recognition to the followers of the Prophet’s Ahl al-Bayt, but considers them outside the pale of Islam. Some of the Wahhabi mullahs barely hide their animosity towards the Prophet of Islam and his Immaculate Ahl al-Bayt, by publishing seditious statements, such as the one declaring that meat animals slaughtered by Shi’a Muslims as not halal.

They use the degrading term “Rafizi” for Shi’a Muslims and openly prefer Christians and Jews over the followers of the Prophet’s Ahl al-Bayt. It is for this reason that some Wahabbis consider the blood and properties of Shi’a Muslims as permissible, despite the fact that Article 18 of the international human rights declaration says every person has the right to enjoy freedom of thought, conscience and religion..

Today the Shi’a Muslim of Arabia, compared to their brethren in other countries, are the most deprived. They are oppressed and harassed because of obeying the commandments of God and the Prophet to follow the Immaculate Ahl al-Bayt, whom the holy Qur’an hails as the most purified persons. It is not unusual in Saudi Arabia for Shi’a Muslims to be sentenced to death on the slightest of excuses. Those Shi’a Muslims living in holy Mecca are the most oppressed. They have to perform the five-times-a-day ritual prayers at home, away from the prying eyes of the Wahhabis. The ulema are not permitted, even privately, to impart the teachings of the Ahl al-Bayt to their followers. The ulema are arrested and persecuted on the slightest pretext, forcing many Shi’a scholars to seek the refuge of the seminaries of Iran and Iraq.

While there are over 3700 mosques in Saudi Arabia and the Wahhabi regime has so far built over 1600 mosques in various countries of the world, it does not allow the Shi’a Muslims of Arabia to build one single new mosque. It has moreover, destroyed the religious sites of Shi’a Muslims including mosques and hussainiyahs, where the mourning ceremonies for the martyrs of Karbala are held.

Hojjat-al-Islam Adel Bu Khamseen, one of the outstanding Shi’a  ulema of Arabia and head of a number of cultural and educational associations, says religious schools cannot openly function, and are devoid of most modern amenities. There is shortage of books as well, since the regime does not permit the entry of theological and jurisprudential books from Iran, Iraq and Lebanon.  

There is discrimination against Shi’a Muslims at universities as well. They are hardly accepted by the country’s higher educational board. There is discrimination in employment as well, and no Shi’a Muslim is ever given an executive or political post. In postgraduate studies, especially in religious science, universities such as Mohammad bin Saud University or the so-called Islamic University of Medina, students who write dissertations against the Shi’a Creed and members of the household of the Prophet, are handsomely rewarded and provided scholarship and free education. The situation in schools is even worse, and both Shi’a teachers and students are under acute pressure. School students of other sects are asked to term the Shi’a Muslims as Rafizi, while the textbooks published by the government, heap insults against the followers of the Prophet’s Ahl al-Bayt.

In terms of economy, although the Shi’a Muslims live in the eastern region with its world’s largest oil reserves, they are one of the most deprived sections of the society. The Shi’a-inhabited areas are considered among one of the poorest regions of Saudi Arabia. The government virtually does not provide any development budget for these regions, such as building of roads, health and education. They are deprived of their own oil wealth.

Politically, Shi’a Muslims have no place in the administration and government apparatus. The Saudi ruling family has a monopoly over all key jobs. The army doesn’t recruit soldiers from the Shi’a community, and no Shi’a could ever dream to be a pilot, even for passenger planes. This is nothing but violation of human rights and international laws, but neither the UN nor the regimes in the West, which are main beneficiaries of the oil wealth of Eastern Arabia, have ever expressed the slightest protest in this regard.

According to Articles One and 55 of the UN Chatter, all UN member states should respect human rights and provide basic freedoms for all citizens, without any discrimination in terms of race, gender, language or religion. According to Article Two of the International Human Rights Declaration, every person of member states is entitled to all rights, liberties, and freedom, without any distinction on the basis of race, colour, gender, language, religion, political idea, or social status.

The declaration also requires governments to forbid any type of national, racial or religious hate which increase hate, violence and discrimination. It is thus an undeniable fact that the Shi’a Muslims of what is called Saudi Arabia, despite forming over 26 percent of the country’s population, have no rights whatsoever, in addition to the theft of their oil wealth by the deviant Wahhabi cult.

FK/AS/SS

]]>
Middle East Fri, 11 Dec 2015 14:15:18 +0000
Leader’s letter continues to absorb western youths http://english.irib.ir/programs/political/item/219671-leader’s-letter-continues-to-absorb-western-youths http://english.irib.ir/programs/political/item/219671-leader’s-letter-continues-to-absorb-western-youths

The second letter of the leader of the Islamic revolution for the youths of North America and Europe is still an important issue among the world media and social networks. Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei wrote a letter on November 29 for the western youths just a few days after the Paris incidents. The leader had written another letter on January 2015 for the youths in North America and Europe.

 

Ayatollah Khamenei asked these youths to set up the foundations of a correct and honorable interaction with the Islamic world on the basis of a proper perception with profound vision.

The leader of the Islamic revolution, referring to the bitter events caused by the ISIL terrorist group, stressed that seeing the pain of every human being in any corner of the world is saddening.

Ayatollah Khamenei said, “Anyone with a shred of mercy and sense of humanity is impressed and saddened by these scenes whether they occur in France, or Palestine, or Iraq, or Lebanon, or Syria. For sure, 1.5 billion Muslims have the same sense and hate the agents and perpetrators of such tragedies.”

Foreign Policy magazine, publishing part of this missive, wrote that Iran’s leader has said that the only way for removing misconception about Islam is to get familiar with this religion through Qur’an and the life of the grand prophet of Islam.

New York magazine, too, wrote that the leader of the Islamic revolution has asked the western youths to think about Islam with open minds. According to this magazine, the leader of the Islamic revolution wants the western youths not to let humiliating depictions make an emotional dam between them and reality by to deny them an unbiased judgment.

In his letter, the leader stresses that terrorism is the “common pain” of the world people today and makes it clear that there is a major difference between the recent insecurity in France and the pain of the people in Iraq, Yemen, Syria and Afghanistan. He made it clear, “First, the Islamic world has been the victim of terror and brutality to a larger extent territorially, to greater amount quantitatively and for a longer period in terms of time. Second, that unfortunately this violence has been supported by certain great powers through various methods and effective means.”

British BBC channel, also, citing Ayatollah Khamenei’s letter, wrote that the leader of the Islamic revolution has invited the western youths in an open letter to embark on first-hand endeavour instead of believing in fanatic views.

The American weekly Time, publishing parts of the leader’s letter, wrote that he has encouraged the youths in the west to get information about Islam and not allow their image of Islam to be put behind the curtain of prejudgments.

Blumberg, too, reported that Ayatollah Khamenei has warned the western youths against using the Paris events for shaping prejudgments on Islam.   

RM/MG

  

 

 

]]>
Iran Mon, 07 Dec 2015 10:35:41 +0000
US, Zionist officials escalate Iranophobia http://english.irib.ir/programs/political/item/219629-us,-zionist-officials-escalate-iranophobia http://english.irib.ir/programs/political/item/219629-us,-zionist-officials-escalate-iranophobia

The US state secretary portrayed a bleak and illusive image of Iran-5+1 group nuclear agreement at Saban Forum in Washington. John Kerry, who was speaking at the forum on Saturday, said that the verification criteria and supervision of Iran’s atomic program will remain forever. He added that according to the agreement Iran’s effort will be prevented forever from what he called “pursuing a military atomic program.”

 

These remarks have two basic points. First, Kerry spoke of violating the Nuclear non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) by Iran while the United States is the biggest violator of the Treaty and has acted as the main obstacle on the way of implementing the treaty. The horrendous record of dropping atomic bombs on Japanese people, continuation of nuclear tests, adamant support for the atomic weapons of the Zionist regime of Israel, opposition to holding the conference on Middle East Free of Atomic Weapons, and appropriation of billions of dollars for renovation and production of new generations of nuclear arms indicate how the US keeps smirching Iran’s peaceful nuclear program despite its own bleak and shameful record in this domain.

The second point in Kerry’s remarks is his insistence on full-scale support for the Zionist regime; a support that the US official calls it as interaction with Israel. Kerry said that since 2009, the US has provided Israel with 20 billion dollars as military aid.

As he stressed this figure is half of the military support rendered by the US in the world.

John Kerry added that his country has spent 3 billion dollars for making and transfer of the so-called Iron Dome for Israel. He emphasized that this concession has been given to the Zionist regime so that it has access to the state-of-the-art military equipment such as F-35 fighters. The Zionist regime of Israel is the only possessor of the 5th generation of American fighters. The recent remarks of the US secretary of state and the American incessant support for the illegal regime in Tel Aviv are the continuation of the promises the Zionist premier had received in his trip to the United States.

Netanyahu had said, “I and President Obama have differences on Iran’s nuclear issue but this agreement has been signed and we should concentrate on its non-violation.”

The Minister of War of the Zionist regime Moshe Yaalon, too, adopting illusive rhetoric, considered Iran as a bigger threat for Israel than ISIL.

Undoubtedly, the aim of these ballyhoos is to reduce the international pressure against Israel as the main threat to the regional and global security and the greatest violator of human rights and international treaties.       

The Saban Forum was indeed part of a political farce which was manifested in the words of John Kerry and Moshe Yaalon.

 RM/ME

 

]]>
Iran Sun, 06 Dec 2015 10:27:43 +0000
Leader stresses importance of the environment http://english.irib.ir/programs/political/item/219562-leader-stresses-importance-of-the-environment http://english.irib.ir/programs/political/item/219562-leader-stresses-importance-of-the-environment

One of the issues of specific importance in the light of religious teachings in the Islamic Republic of Iran is the subject of environment and the challenges in this field. The reason for this is the direct impact of the environment on the social life of human beings. Undoubtedly destruction of the environment has harmful consequences, for this reason, the Islamic Republic of Iran’s Constitution in Article 50 has considered protection of environment as a public duty.

 

This was the concern of the Father of the Islamic Revolution, Imam Khomeini (God bless his soul), as well as other prominent Iranian revolutionary thinkers. The present Leader of the Islamic Revolution, Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei, frequently focuses on the basic points about protection of the environment. He recently gave guidelines to the heads of the three branches of government regarding the general policies for protection of the environment.

Environmental challenges have always been stressed by Ayatollah Khamenei. From the Leader’s viewpoint, these challenges are actually continuation of social inequalities which have affected the natural atmosphere. The Leader makes special emphasis on personal and social acceptance of responsibility and considers protection of the environment as a vital issue. He says all citizens are responsible, as per their capabilities, making efforts to protect the environment, since it is the general public which suffers the consequences of damage to the environment. The Leader also believes that government officials are responsible for protecting the environment.

Therefore, he considers removal of environmental challenges as one of the basic responsibilities of the government, and adds, that in addition to domestic policies, protection of the environment should be placed on the agenda of Iran’s ties and interactions with other countries and world bodies at the regional and international level. On the basis of the first clause of Article 110 of the Constitution, the Leader in a letter to the heads of three branches of government announced the general policies of the environment.

The declared policies are 15 and the axis points are establishing a cohesive and national system on the issue of the environment, harmonious and organized management of vital resources, preparing an environmental atlas of the country and protecting, reviving, optimizing and developing renewable natural resources, expanding the green economy and strengthening environmental diplomacy.

Another important point of the general policies is attention to the issue of diplomacy, because positive results require strengthening of environmental diplomacy and proper coordination with regional organizations for tackling the issue of dust particles in the atmosphere as well as pollution of water resources that do not recognize the political boundaries of countries. The problem of dust particles has in the recent years faced Iran with many challenges.

This phenomenon which is the result of destruction of the environment in Iraq, Kuwait, Syria, and other places, not only endangers plan and animal life but could become an existential threat to human life itself. Iran has taken valuable steps concerning environmental diplomacy. It positively interacts with Persian Gulf, Caspian Sea, and Gulf of Oman littoral states. It is evident that expansion of ties and good cooperation in the field of environment within the framework of these policies can be a basic step in the interest of all regional states.

On the whole one can say that the Islamic Republic of Iran, on the basis of religious teachings seriously pursues efforts to protect the environment, in harmony with the economic, social, and political interests of the country and the region. Therefore the goal of conveying the environmental general policies by the Leader is to draw attention to all effective aspects in protecting the environment including economy, and expansion of interaction with neighbours as well as coordination with relevant world bodies.

The issue of environment is actually the issue of survival of the human race, because if the environment is destroyed, human life with suffer. This crisis is not restricted to one or a number of countries or a continent, but it affects all countries of the world. Environment can be the factor for peace and friendship as well. Regional cooperation can act as a pivot for both regional countries and non-regional countries to safeguard internal and external insecurity.

The Leader’s proclamation actually stresses the need for proper planning of the industrial and economic projects to ensure these are friendly to the environment. The other importance aspect of the Leader’s guidelines to the three branches of the Iranian government is related to the forthcoming summit of heads of state of world countries regarding climatic changes. The Islamic Republic of Iran is committed to improve the situation of the environment in the framework of the concept of the global village.

FK/AS/SS

  

]]>
Iran Fri, 04 Dec 2015 17:04:05 +0000