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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Former Bosnian Serb Leader Doesn't Show for War Crimes Trial.




“Abbas to Obama: I'll Quit, There's No Chance for Peace with Netanyahu”

27/10/2009 reported by Almanar

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas told U.S. President Barack Obama that he intends to resign his post, Israeli Channel 10 television reported on Monday. According to the report, the Palestinian leader told Obama during a telephone conversation last week that he sees no chance of advancing the so-called peace process with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in power.

Channel 10 also reported that Abbas communicated to the White House his disappointment in the administration's "capitulation" to Tel Aviv on the issue of occupied West Bank settlement construction. The Palestinians are demanding a cessation of Israeli settlement activity as a precondition to the resumption of “peace negotiations”.

According to Channel 10, Abbas told the White House that the Palestinian Authority's initial decision to defer a vote on the Goldstone Report at the United Nations Human Rights Council was politically damaging. The Palestinian Authority agreed to delay debating the report that was condemning the Zionist entity for its aggression in Gaza last winter. The decision led to street protests by Palestinians and condemnation around the Arab world.

In recent days, Abbas has sent a number of blunt, unequivocal messages to the White House, Channel 10 reported. According to information which reached Israeli officials, Abbas told the U.S. president that he will not stand for re-election as Palestinian Authority president given the diplomatic stalemate with Israel.

Abbas called on Friday for presidential and parliamentary elections on Jan. 24, in a bid to regain dominance of the badly divided Palestinian movement and sideline his political rivals, Hamas.

According to Channel 10, Abbas also told the Americans that he sees no possibility that his Fatah faction can reach a reconciliation agreement with Hamas. Hamas and Fatah are currently in the midst of Egyptian-mediated reconciliation talks.

In response to the report, a senior Netanyahu aide told Channel 10: "Netanyahu carried out a number of steps in order to renew the peace process, as the American administration is fully aware. The prime minister called on the Palestinians to renew negotiations immediately and without preconditions."

"In contrast to the prime minister, the Palestinians are assuming a tougher stance and are placing preconditions before negotiations that they did not demand of previous [Israeli] governments," the source told Channel 10. "It is a shame that their transparent political maneuvers are casting a pall over the peace process."

Earlier Monday, Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erekat blamed Israel for the impasse. Erekat urged Washington to also find fault with Israel.

"The gap is still wide and Israel does not give a single sign of meeting its obligations under the road map, halting settlement activities and resuming negotiations where they left off," he told Voice of Palestine radio. "I do not see any possibility for restarting peace talks in the near future," Erekat said.

Tayeb Abdel Rahim, a senior aide to Abbas, on Monday night denied the Channel 10 report.

First US official resigns in protest at Afghan war.

Tue, 27 Oct 2009 - reproted by PressTV

The US-led war in Afghanistan has forced the first American official to resign his post, questioning the reason behind Washington's military presence in the country.

The senior State Department official in Afghanistan's Zabul province Matthew Hoh had stepped down in September, The Washington Post reported on Tuesday. "I have lost understanding of and confidence in the strategic purposes of the United States' presence in Afghanistan," Hoh wrote in his resignation letter to the State Department's personnel chief. "I have doubts and reservations about our current strategy and planned future strategy, but my resignation is based not upon how we are pursuing this war, but why and to what end," he added.

The former Marine Corps captain was offered a senior staff-level job at the US embassy in Kabul, which he also turned down. Hoh, who had also served in uniform at the Pentagon and as a civilian in Iraq, said he decided to speak out to influence public opinion. "I'm not some peacenik, pot-smoking hippie who wants everyone to be in love," he said after his resignation became final on Wednesday.

"I want people in Iowa, people in Arkansas, people in Arizona, to call their congressman and say, 'Listen, I don't think this is right.'" Since the 2001 US-led invasion of the country, Afghanistan has been suffering from the devastating war.

A high number of civilians have been killed both by indiscriminate US air strikes and by violent acts including suicide bombings and blasts carried out by militants against the occupying forces. Many other Afghans have also been forced to displace due to the conflict. According to the latest UN report, more than 1,500 civilians have been killed and many others wounded only in the first six months of this year, which shows a 24 percent increase compared to the same period in 2008.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Friday, October 16, 2009

Crisis with Turkey Taking its Toll on Israeli Exporters

16/10/2009 | Almanar

The crisis in relations between the Zionist entity and Turkey is also manifesting in credit and business dealings.


Israel Credit Insurance Company figures show late payments by Turkish importers of Israeli products increased dramatically in the first nine months of the year, by 90%. A total of $40 million in debt is "substantially late," which the ICIC defines as more than 30 days after the credit terms set by Israeli exporters and their customers. The increase encompasses all exports to Turkey.

Relations have taken a turn for the worse in recent years. The rift deepened with Israel's January offensive in Gaza.
ICIC chief executive David Milgrom said there have been unusual instances of Turkish companies not paying debts to Israeli exporters. Collecting debt in Turkey is relatively complicated, he added. Turkish banks that used to provide information to exporters about which potential clients had restrictions placed on their bank accounts have stopped doing so, making it even more difficult to manage customer credit in the country.

At the same time, Israeli exports to Turkey have plunged by 40%, while exports overall decreased 22%. Israel exports totaled $800 million in the first nine months of the year, compared to $1.3 billion in the same period last year. The hardest hit industries have been metals, chemicals and plastic.

ICIC, an Israeli company, issues $12 billion annually in export insurance for customers in 115 countries. The coverage assures that suppliers will receive their payment, in the event that their customers become insolvent, financially strapped, or don't pay due to political events. ICIC is owned by Harel Insurance, Bituach Haklai and international credit insurer Euler Hermes.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Erdogan: Why does West single out Iran

Thu, 15 Oct 2009 | PressTV

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan (photo) says the world powers' constant focus on Iran's nuclear program is not fair.


"We don't want nuclear weapons in this region and this is what we have always called for. We have also voiced this to the Iranian officials and they stress that they don't have any intention of developing nuclear weapons," Erdogan told Al -Arabiya satellite channel.

"They [the Iranians] want to use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes because they worry that the traditional energy recourses might not meet their needs in the future," Turkey's Yenisafak newspaper quoted Erdogan as saying on Wednesday.

"Besides, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has found no evidence indicating that Iran is developing nuclear weapons," he added.

"What upsets me is another thing: why those talking about nuclear weapons always pick on Iran? Why don't they discuss Israel? They only point the finger at Iran and North Korea," Turkey's Prime Minister said.

"We call on them to adopt a just behavior. We urge the UN Security Council and especially its five permanent members to take necessary precautions to prevent proliferation of nuclear weapons."

Most experts estimate that Israel has at least between 100 and 200 nuclear warheads, largely based on information leaked to the Sunday Times newspaper in the 1980s by Mordechai Vanunu, a former worker at the country's Dimona nuclear reactor.

Israel, which has initiated several wars in the region in its 60-year history, maintains a policy of ambiguity over its military nuclear capabilities.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Turkey: Israeli delay in UAV delivery canceled air drill

Wed, 14 Oct 2009 14:13:53 GMT

Turkey has cited Israel's delay in the delivery of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to the country as the main reason behind the cancellation of an international air force exercise.

The Heron UAV drone is capable of flying at an altitude of 30,000 feet for 30 hours. IAF photo


The revelation comes in contrast with earlier Israeli reports that Ankara banned the Israeli Air Force from participating in a joint military maneuver scheduled by the US, NATO, Italy, Israel and Turkey for later this month in protest at Tel Aviv's military offensive in Gaza.

Israel's all-out strike on the Gaza Strip at the turn of the year resulted in the loss of thousands of Palestinian lives, many of them civilian, and brought about international condemnation for Tel Aviv.

However, a Turkish air force official denied the allegations on Wednesday, saying that there were no political motives behind the cancellation of the international air force exercise and that Tel Aviv should not draw a political meaning and conclusion from the postponement.

"Turkey needs those vehicles (the Israeli-made surveillance drones, known as Herons) in its fight against terror. What led to the recent crisis between Turkey and Israel was the delay in the delivery," Today's Zaman quoted the unnamed official as saying.

Turkey and Israel signed a multi-million dollar military deal four years ago, under which Israeli Aerospace Industries (IAI) and Elbit Systems, Ltd. were obliged to equip the Turkish military with ten surveillance drones by October 2009.

According to Turkish officials, Israel's failure to meet the deadline resulted in the cancellation of the annual drills.

Turkey has so far received two Heron UAVs from Israel, but the military has not accepted them due to persistent problems occurring in the strengthening of their engines.

Washington blames Turkey for air drill cancellation

Wed, 14 Oct 2009 | PressTV

(Photo Turkish airplanes) Washington has reportedly taken a swipe at Ankara's decision to revoke ts previous invitation to the Israeli air force to participate in a multinational air exercise in Turkey.


"As to the question of whether there was a government that was invited to participate and then removed at the last minute, we think it's inappropriate for any nation to be removed from an exercise like this at the last minute," US State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said Tuesday.

The wargames - intended to be the sixth such exercises - were to have included forces from NATO, the US, Italy, and Israel. The sixth annual Anatolia Eagle exercise was scheduled to take place October 10-23 at an air base in the city of Konya in central Turkey in the heart of the Anatolian plateau.

Anatolian Eagle was first held in June 2001, with Turkish, Israeli and US participation. The drill was to have lasted almost two weeks and included Israeli F-16 fighter aircraft, helicopters and aerial refueling tankers.

Israel last participated in the exercise in September 2008, but has not flown its military aircraft in Turkey since its blitz against the beleaguered 1.5 million residents of the Gaza Strip from December 27, 2008 until January 20, 2009. Over 1,400 Palestinians were killed during Israel's land, sea and air assault against the blockaded coastal land between Israel and Egypt.

In addition the onslaught inflicted at least $1.6 billion worth of damage to the already fragile Gaza economy.

While Washington slammed Turkey, Damascus commended Ankara Tuesday for withdrawing its invitation to the Israeli military, which led the US and Italy to pull out as well.

"We encourage such cancellations as long as Israel is continuing its aggression and occupation," Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem said Tuesday.

The Palestinian Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) has also shown support for the Turkish decision, saying that other Muslim nations should take similar steps and sever relations with Israel.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Israel holds emergency meeting on Turkish ties

Mon, 12 Oct 2009 | PressTV

Israel's foreign ministry has held an emergency meeting to discuss the mounting tension between Israel and Turkey, after Ankara canceled a military drill with Israel.

Turkey informed Israel of cancellation of the Anatolian Eagle exercise last week in protest to Israel's Operation Cast Lead on Gaza Strip earlier this year which killed at least 1500 Palestinians and injured many others, a large number of them women and children.

The US, Italy and NATO air forces were also to participate in the air force drill, which was to be held this week. The military maneuver however was canceled after Ankara withdrew from the exercise over Tel Aviv's participation in the drill. Turkey's move, which was taken over Israel's decision to send planes to the exercise which possibly took part in the Gaza war last December, caused "disappointment" in Washington, The Jerusalem Post reported on Sunday.

Israel is concerned about its jeopardized strategic ties with Turkey, a senior official at the ministry told Haaretz.
Israeli Foreign Ministry sources confirmed that the meeting had taken place following instructions by ministry director general Yossi Gal, but they declined to give details. Israeli officials are debating the depth of the crisis.

Some officials say the Turkish government under Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is not interested in strategic ties with Israel.
"It may be that the reality has changed and the strategic ties that we thought existed have simply ended," said a senior Israeli official. "Maybe we need to be the ones who initiate renewed thinking regarding our ties and must adopt response measures."

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

12,000 UN Peacekeepers in Southern Lebanon




Fardoo New Nuclear Facility

Regarding Fardoo New Nuclear Facility an informed political source stated that on the verge of the new round of nuclear talks between the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Group 5+1, the Presidents of the United States and France along with the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom in a new sensationalist move in keeping with their disinformation campaign accused the Islamic Republic of Iran in New York, on Sep. 25, 2009 of building a clandestine underground enrichment facility without the knowledge of he inspectors of IAEA.

The political source stressed that such allegations are made when, on the same day, the IAEA reported that Iran has notified the Agency of its new enrichment facility which is in the process of construction to this agency. The spokesman of the IAEA announced in a statement that "Islamic Republic of Iran, in a letter sent on Sep. 21, 2009, notified the Agency that it has a new fuel enrichment plant under construction. Iran's letter adds that the ceiling of the enrichment level in this plant is 5%. Iran also informed the Agency that nuclear materials have not been entered into this plant. In this letter, Ira assured the Agency that more complementary information will be submitted in due time". In response to this letter, the IAEA has asked the Islamic Republic of Iran to submit particular information in this regard and prepare the ground for a visit to this plant as soon as possible.

The informed source added that the IAEA sent a letter to the Islamic Republic of Iran on Sept. 25, 2009 to appreciate the submission of the information relating to the new enrichment plant. The letter of the IAEA to Iran reads: "In reference to your letter of Sep. 21, 2009, I wish to thank the Islamic Republic of Iran for the submission of the information relating to the construction of a new semi-industrial enrichment plant to the Agency. To ensure that appropriate safeguards measures will be taken, it would be appreciated if the agency receives additional information with regard to the new plant. The Agency would also appreciate access to this facility at the earliest possible time. I thank you for your cooperation."

He also said that concurrent with this new unfounded sensationalist campaign launched by some western states and the United States against the Islamic Republic of Iran, the new head of Iran's Atomic Energy Organization in a statement announced: "To safeguard and exercise its inalienable right to peaceful use of nuclear energy, in a new successful step, the Islamic Republic of Iran has moved to build a semi-industrial nuclear fuel enrichment plant. Iran is now in the process of the construction of the new plant by observing all the necessary precautions including passive defense system. The activities of this new enrichment plant like those of all other nuclear facilities of Iran will take place within the framework of the rules and regulations of IAEA. Iran's Atomic Energy Organization congratulates the Eminent Leader of the Islamic Revolution and the noble people of Iran on this grand achievement in the development and advancement of this industry in our country."

He added that inspection and monitoring activities and also the declaration of any nuclear activities and facilities will take place within the framework of the safeguards agreement between the Islamic Republic of Iran and the IAEA.

In this regard, it is to be recalled that based on the provisions of Code 3/1 of the subsidiary arrangements ratified by the National Consultative Assembly of Iran in 1976, Iran has a duty to notify the Agency of its new nuclear facility only 180 days (6 months) before the injection of nuclear materials into its nuclear facility. For instance, with regard to an enrichment plant, all the construction works and installation of the equipment and centrifuges can be completed and only 6 months before the injection of nuclear materials into the facility, it should be declared to the Agency. In spite of this provision, the Islamic Republic of Iran has decided to declare its new enrichment facility which is in the process of construction almost 18 months before the injection of nuclear materials. It is to be reminded that the period needed for the completion of this plant is between 1.5 to 2 years. This measure by the Islamic Republic of Iran aims for further transparency and goes beyond its existing legal obligations.

The same source pointed out that notification to the Agency about the new enrichment facility by the Islamic Republic of Iran was made within the framework of the Agency rules and regulations and based on the Iranian obligations and in this respect no violation has taken place by any means until now.

He also said that it was expected that this transparent measure by the Islamic Republic of Iran which was admired and welcomed by the Agency should, away from any political sensationalism, had also been welcomed by the western countries who as a politically motivated move, has always been criticizing the cooperation between Iran and the Agency. Despite the early notification by Iran of the new facility, we are witnessing that certain western states including the United States are adopting the unnecessary sensationalist policies. We wonder about their attitude. Every move we make receives no appreciation on their part. These states need to reconsider their contradictory and double standard policies making them as much transparent as possible for the world public opinion.

He stressed that establishment of the new nuclear facility is in fact considered as a precautionary measure by the Islamic Republic of Iran aiming to produce clean energy as well as maintaining our peaceful nuclear achievements to let our enemy know that the Islamic Republic of Iran, with its iron will, does not allow any party to interrupt its nuclear activities even for a single second. Enrichment level in the new facility would not exceed 5 percent just like that of Natanz. Construction of the new facility began around one year ago and so far no machinery, equipments or radioactive materials has been transferred to its site and most of the current activities within the site are of construction and infrastructural nature. Based on the Agency's rules and regulations, we did not need to notify the Agency of the new facility and we were entitled not to make the news in this respect public. But, just for building further confidence and making further transparency we decided to make the notification much earlier than the time set for the notification.

The political source, referring to recent foreign forces's hue and cry finalized that all can remember that a similar political sensationalist move on the Natanz enrichment facility and Arak heavy water plant had been raised by the same states and they embarked on a similar propaganda ploy on the concealment of Iranian nuclear activities by Iranian authorities. This occurred while Iran had informed the Agency of the existence of such facility much earlier than its safeguard obligations and the Agency had been completely informed of the facility. In the meantime, according to the Head of the Iranian Nuclear Energy Organization the new facility will be opened to the supervisors and inspectors of the Agency within the framework of the Agency's rules and regulations and Iran does not have any problem with these inspections which shall be carried out within the framework of the Agency's rules and regulations. In fact, we are fully prepared to cooperate with the Agency in this respect and announce the time of inspection accordingly.

Thanks
Mahmoud Khoshrou
First counselor of the Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran
No 1. Lorong U Thant Satu Off Jalan U Thant
55000 Kuala Lumpur
Tel : 03-42514824
Fax: 03-42532813
e-mail : m_khoshrou@yahoo.com
: m.khoshrou3@gmail.com

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