Posted by alanmirs on November 29, 2010
Nov 5, 2010 – 21:29
United States placed in human rights hot seat
Image Caption: By welcoming three Guantanamo detainees, Switzerland has contributed to the closure of the camp (AFP)
by Simon Bradley, swissinfo.ch, Geneva
The United States has been defending its human rights record before the Geneva-based United Nations Human Rights Council.
A 30-strong US delegation was grilled by more than 80 states on issues ranging from the Guantanamo detention centre to racial discrimination. Switzerland called for a moratorium on executions with a view to abolishing the death penalty.
The US was the 136th UN member state to be scrutinised by allies and adversaries in the UN rights body, as the Obama administration opens itself up to a council that was shunned by his predecessor.
US Assistant Secretary of State Esther Brimmer, head of the high-level delegation, said she was honoured to present the first US Universal Periodic Review (UPR).
“We take our place in the UPR process with pride in our accomplishments, honesty in facing continued challenges, and a commitment to using the international system to elevate and advance the protection of human rights at home and abroad,” she told the packed meeting room in Geneva.
Cuba, Venezuela, Russia and Iran, some of the US’s fiercest critics, were among the first to speak during the three-hour meeting.
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Posted by alanmirs on November 28, 2010
Mullen: Iran diplomacy must be ‘realistic’ about country’s intentions
By Bridget Johnson – 11/27/10 03:02 PM ET
Admiral Mullin is getting to be senile. It is time for him to retire. His statement,”Iran is clearly on a path to building nuclear weapons,” shows clearly that he is from the George Bush school of random hallucinations. Well, why doesn’t he enlighten us with the evidence that Iran is building nuclear weapons. In the 2007 National Intelligence Estimate (NIE), 17 US intelligence unanimously said that Iran is not building nuclear weapons, yet President Bush said that he does not “believe” it. I suppose the same little bird that told George Bush not to believe facts is the one that is talking to Admiral Mullin.
When will Admiral Mullin understand that his empty talk and mindless speculations are creating a lot of diplomatic problems. The obvious fact is that there is ZERO evidence that Iran is building nuclear weapons. Even Obama and Gates have admitted it. So, why is Admiral Mullin shooting his mouth off so much with empty accusations?
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Posted by alanmirs on November 24, 2010
Iran ramps up uranium enrichment despite shutdown
Production was interrupted at least briefly, but despite sanctions and a reported virus, Iran increased output and apparently built up the number of centrifuges producing nuclear fuel, the IAEA says.
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Posted by alanmirs on November 20, 2010
Washington urged to engage Iran
By Jim Lobe
WASHINGTON – The administration of United States President Barack Obama should pursue a policy of “strategic engagement” with Iran that would offer Tehran more attractive incentives to curb its nuclear program, according to a study group convened by two centrist Washington think-tanks.An Israeli attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities would prove as harmful to US interests as an attack undertaken by Washington, according to the report, which called for increased consultations with the Jewish state to enlist its support for “strategic engagement”.
“In the context of this dialogue, the US should emphasize that Washington would neither countenance nor support an Israeli pre-emptive strike on Iran,” it said
Gatekeepers close door to Iran diplomacy
By Kaveh L Afrasiabi
Throwing cold water on the furnace of the military option on Iran, US Defense Secretary Robert Gates this week stated that there is basically no military solution to the nuclear standoff with Iran, and that a military strike would perhaps make Iran “more determined” to pursue its nuclear program clandestinely. Irrespective of such red flags in Washington, Israel continues to push for the military option, its editorials already branding the coming nuclear talks between Iran and the “Iran Six” or “P5+1” – comprising the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council plus Germany – as doomed to failure.
In turn, this raises the question of whether or not the Obama administration is capable of withstanding the onslaught of the next wave of anti-Iran diplomacy orchestrated from within the US Congress, scene to stronger pro-Israel sentiments in the aftermath of the recent mid-term elections . In other words, what about the other gatekeepers in congress, who have never been in sync with Obama on his “Iran engage” policy?
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Posted by alanmirs on November 14, 2010
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, November 13, 2010; 9:42 PM
For four months now, European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton and Iranian negotiator Saeed Jalili have traded a series of letters trying to pin down a time and place for Iran to meet with a group of powerful countries concerned about its nuclear program. Finally, late last week, the two sides appeared to have settled on a start date: Dec. 5.
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Posted by alanmirs on November 12, 2010
Iran, Turkey can be nuclear disarmament forerunners
TEHRAN, Nov. 11 (Xinhua) — Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said the Islamic Republic and Turkey have potentials to be forerunners of international nuclear disarmament, the local English language satellite Press TV reported on Thursday
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Posted by alanmirs on November 10, 2010
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Posted by alanmirs on November 9, 2010
The TV Watch
A New Bush, a Lot Like the Old One
By ALESSANDRA STANLEY
Published: November 8, 2010
He also gave an example of how out of control he could be before he gave up drinking. “So, I’m drunk at the dinner table at Mother and Dad’s house in Maine. And my brothers and sister are there, Laura’s there. And I’m sitting next to a beautiful woman, friend of Mother and Dad’s. And I said to her out loud, ‘What is sex like after 50?’ ”
When Mr. Lauer pressed him about his more critical decisions in office, Mr. Bush was both forthcoming and maddeningly opaque. He scoffed at the notion that he cared that critics viewed him as a puppet manipulated by his strong-willed vice president, Dick Cheney, then kept underscoring ways he had defied his No. 2, including by refusing to grant Mr. Cheney’s chief of staff, I. Lewis Libby Jr., a pardon after Mr. Libby was convicted of lying during the investigation into the unmasking of a C.I.A. operative. (Instead, Mr. Bush commuted his sentence.)
George W Bush laid plans for an attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities as president of the United States, his memoirs have disclosed
Former US president insists “waterboarding” terrorist suspects saved British lives by stopping Islamist attacks on Heathrow
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Posted by alanmirs on November 7, 2010
Jousting with Iran
Sunday, November 7, 2010
While American eyes were focused on the midterm elections, a bitter conflict has continued between the United States and Iran for influence in the Middle East.
The Obama administration hopes that an isolated Iran will eventually seek a compromise on the nuclear issue. But as Karim Sadjadpour argues in Foreign Policy , this regime with a “victimization complex” needs America as an enemy, perhaps more than ever. It makes sense for the United States to explore every reasonable area of compromise, but the proxy wars in Iraq and Lebanon show that Iran wants to bargain from strength, too.
After the election furor, President Obama must turn to this test – and discover whether Iran wants negotiations to reach a deal, or to kill time.
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Posted by alanmirs on November 7, 2010
By BRIAN MURPHY
The Associated Press
Sunday, November 7, 2010; 12:03 AM
Washington has tried to leverage one of Iran’s weak links – its shortfall in domestic refinery capacity – by seeking to block imports of pump-ready fuel. This has caused some shortages. But OPEC giant Iran still brings in 80 percent of its revenue through exports of crude oil, which pushed above $86 a barrel on Friday.
“Sanctions have increased living costs, but won’t cripple Iran’s economy,” said Tehran-based political analyst Majid Deljoo. “Sanctions that do not include export of crude oil won’t have any serious effect.”
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