Eye on Iran: Iran to Syria: Save Regime and Preserve Alliance

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AP: “Two weeks after Egypt’s uprising swept aside Hosni Mubarak, the presidents of Iran and Syria stood side by side in Damascus in a blunt message to the Arab Spring: The Syrian regime can count on its allies in Tehran. Seven months later – and after at least 2,700 deaths in Syria – Iran is tweaking its big brother role for Syrian President Bashar Assad. The Iranian leaders are now urging him to consider talks with protesters or risk heading down a path with few escape routes. It’s Tehran’s version of tough love: Pressing Assad to do what it takes to stay in power and preserve one of Iran’s most important relationship in the Middle East. ‘You have a decades-old strategic alliance on the ropes,’ said David Schenker, a Syrian affairs analyst at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. ‘No doubt Iran is very concerned.’ But Assad appears to be following his own rules in trying to ride out a mass revolt that has now spread into the security forces. Government troops have waged relentless crackdowns on opposition protesters, as well as police and soldiers who have turned against the crackdown. Iran is in the unfamiliar role of nervous bystander in Syria – a foothold on Israel’s border and a critical conduit to Tehran-backed Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in Gaza.”http://t.uani.com/nmJKrn

WashPost: “Iran quietly hosted a delegation of Taliban members in Tehran this month in a powerful and unusual signal of its ambition to shape the trajectory of the Afghanistan conflict as U.S. troops begin to withdraw. Iranian officials had apparently hoped to facilitate a meeting between the delegation and Burhanuddin Rabbani, a former Afghan president and leader of the country’s reconciliation efforts, who was attending the same conference in Tehran, his associates said. Although that did not happen, the presence of the Taliban members suggests Iran has cultivated deeper ties with the insurgent group than was previously known and is stepping up efforts to influence its eastern neighbor as the U.S. role recedes… The relationship between Iran and the Taliban’s central leadership has long been deeply fraught; when the Taliban was running Afghanistan in the 1990s, the two countries came to the brink of war. U.S. officials have for years accused Iran of fueling the Afghanistan war by providing training and sophisticated weapons to its favored insurgent commanders, although they have described Tehran’s role as minimal compared with other regional players.” http://t.uani.com/pYsJIX

ABC: “Iran is doubling down on the conspiracy theories after an al Qaeda magazine blasted Iranian president Mahmoud Adhmadinejad’s 9/11 claims, this time suggesting the true authors of the terror publication — which often instructs readers to murder Americans — are not radical Islamists, but secret agents for the CIA. Sandwiched between lengthy anti-American editorials, an al Qaeda author wrote in the latest issue of an al Qaeda English-language magazine called ‘Inspire’ that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad continued to spread the conspiracy theory that the U.S. government was behind the 9/11 attacks because Iran was jealous of al Qaeda… Responding to the article’s assertions today, Iranian state news repeated Ahmadinejad’s arguments and said ‘reports released by al Qaeda are usually believed to be produced by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).'” http://t.uani.com/oHDNT3

Nuclear Program & Sanctions

UPI: “Sanctions-battered Iran’s crude oil production fell in August for a second consecutive month, underlining how the Islamic Republic’s mature fields are steadily declining. This also gave added urgency to Tehran’s scramble to secure foreign investment to upgrade the fields and replenish shrinking reserves, an increasingly futile effort as U.N. sanctions, beefed up by U.S. and European measures, scare off international companies. The International Energy Agency reported that Iran produced 3.51 million barrels per day in August and only 3.53 million bpd in July. The June total was 3.65 million bpd. There are no expectations of boosting production to a planned target level of 5 million bpd by 2015 nor is there likely to be any significant investment for the foreseeable future. Indeed, production is expected to continue sliding. The IAE has forecast that it call fall to 3.1 million bpd by 2016, with revenue-earning exports suffering accordingly. The IEA said officials at the National Iranian South Oil Co. say production is declining at a rate of 300,000-330,000 bpd per year.” http://t.uani.com/n5Gnif

Human Rights

AFP: “The United States on Thursday warned Iran would show ‘utter disregard’ for religious freedom if it carried out a death sentence on a pastor who refused to renounce Christianity for Islam. ‘The United States condemns the conviction of Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani. A decision to impose the death penalty would further demonstrate the Iranian authorities’ utter disregard for religious freedom,’ White House spokesman Jay Carney said in a statement. ‘Pastor Nadarkhani has done nothing more than maintain his devout faith, which is a universal right for all people. That the Iranian authorities would try to force him to renounce that faith violates the religious values they claim to defend, crosses all bounds of decency, and breaches Iran’s own international obligations.'” http://t.uani.com/oR1heE

Domestic Politics

UPI: “The percentage of people ‘suffering’ in Iran as measured by a Gallup index has nearly doubled since 2008 to more than one in four people, the organization said. Gallup said Thursday 26 percent of people in Iran are ‘suffering,’ up from 14 percent in 2008 on a well-being scale. That puts the Islamic Republic on par with 2011 rates for Greece, at 25 percent, and 2010 rates for Haiti, at 27 percent, the Central Africa Republic, 26 percent, and Cambodia, 23 percent… Gallup said 55 percent of Iranians said they were struggling and 20 percent thriving.” http://t.uani.com/qQUN6s

Foreign Affairs

AFP: “A deputy chief of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards said on Thursday the force had killed more than 180 Kurdish rebels in a summer offensive along the northwestern border with Iraq, Fars news agency reported. ‘Our forces have killed over 180 members of this terrorist group and wounded 300 more,’ it quoted Brigadier General Abdullah Araqi, deputy commander of the Guards ground forces, as saying. Araqi said a number of Iranian fighters had also been ‘martyred’ during operations to reclaim the area, but did not elaborate. Tehran launched a chain of operations against the Party of Free Life of Kurdistan (PJAK) in July and began shelling districts near the border with Iraq, killing dozens including the rebels’ deputy commander.” http://t.uani.com/qUe5Kg

Opinion & Analysis

Guardian Editorial Board: “The proposed hanging of Youssef Nadarkhani is an outrage. It is also a terrifying glimpse of the injustice and arbitrary cruelty of the present Iranian regime. This paper opposes the death penalty always and everywhere, but at least when it is applied for murder or treason there is a certain twisted logic to the punishment. But Mr Nadarkhani’s crime is neither murder nor treason. He is not even a drug smuggler. He is just a Christian from the city of Rasht, on the Caspian Sea, who refuses to renounce his faith. There is a pure and ghastly theatricality at the heart of this cruel drama which goes to the heart of religious freedom. There is no question that Mr Nadarkhani is a Christian, and an inspiringly brave one. That is, in theory, legal in Iran. The particular refinement of his persecution is that he is accused of ‘apostasy’. The prosecution claimed he was raised as a Muslim, which is why his present Christian faith merits death. He was convicted last year. Mohammad Ali Dadkhah, the lawyer who was brave enough to defend him, was himself sentenced to nine years on trumped-up charges this summer. Both these sentences are offences against natural justice. Both were appealed. The supreme court in Tehran last week announced its judgment on one: Mr Nadarkhani might save his life if he publicly renounced Christianity. This he has twice this week refused to do. A third refusal – due at any moment – might spell his death sentence. Apostasy, even more than blasphemy, should never be a crime.”http://t.uani.com/rewNRz

Colum Lynch in FP: “For European and American leaders, U.N. General Assembly debates would not be the complete without delivering a full-throated attack on Iran’s nuclear program. But this year, the council’s major powers have been mute, particularly the three European powers, Britain, France and Germany, that have engaged in a long, fruitless effort to persuade the Iranian leadership to provide verifiable assurances that its nuclear program is peaceful in exchange for a basket of trade benefits and political rewards. France’s President Nicolas Sarkozy didn’t make a single reference to Iran’s nuclear program in his address last week to the General Assembly. British Prime Minister David Cameron blasted Iran’s repressive policies at home, but said nothing about its atomic ambitions. Ditto for Germany’s Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle. Minutes after Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadenijad blasted the United States, Britain, and Israel for military aggression in the Middle East and elsewhere, Cameron shot back: ‘He didn’t remind us that he runs a country where they may have election of a sort but they also repress freedom of speech, do everything they can to avoid the accountability of a free media, violently repress demonstrations and detain and torture those who argue for a better future.’ President Barack Obama did commit a couple of sentences to Tehran’s nuclear program, but it was largely boilerplate, and lacked the sense of urgency and alarm that has marked previous public statements. ‘The Iranian government cannot demonstrate that its program is peaceful, it has not met its obligations and it rejects offers that would provide it with peaceful nuclear power,’ Obama said in a U.N. speech that addressed the Arab Spring and the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. Iran, along with North Korea, ‘must be met with greater pressure and isolation,’ he said, if they ‘continue down a path that is outside international law.’ If one missed the fire and brimstone diplomatic sermons on Iran’s nuclear threat that used to be standard fare in Washington and Paris there was only Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Speaking a day after Ahmadinejad excoriated the West for a litany of historical sins, Netanyahu said ‘can you imagine that man who ranted yesterday — can you imagine him armed with nuclear weapons? The international community must stop Iran before it’s too late. If Iran is not stopped, we will all face the specter of nuclear terrorism, and the Arab Spring could soon become an Iranian Winter.’ But apart from Netanyahu, it was notably quiet. ‘Most Council members remain concerned about the continuation and possible acceleration of Iran’s nuclear program,’ according to an assessment by the Security Council Report, a non-profit, Columbia University-affiliated research group that tracks the Security Council’s activities. ‘However, as has been the case for some months, even members willing to consider additional action against Iran do not view any new measures as likely in the near future. It appears most members are not eager to push for additional Council action at this time.’  Certainly, Iran’s nuclear program hasn’t gone away or halted its advances.” http://t.uani.com/ozsvFB

Jamsheed Choksy in World Policy: “Diplomats trooped out of the General Assembly in disgust last Thursday during the perennial speech by the Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s continued denials of the Holocaust, abhorrence of Israel, and skepticism of 9/11 have earned him no friends in the West. However, despite his antagonistic relationship with the greater international community, Ahmadinejad may actually be winning at home. Muammar Gaddafi paid a heavy price for alienating the Americans and Europeans when those nations sided militarily with Libyan rebels. Even Gaddafi’s nuclear deal with the West and denouncing terrorism could not save him. After firing on his own citizens, Syria’s Bashar al Assad could easily become the next target of the international community. Just like Gaddafi and Assad, Iran’s president is abhorred by many of the world’s power players and this will likely prove to be his undoing-even ifhe remains powerful in Iran. Ahmadinejad is a hypocritical, bombastic, and racist politician who delights in aggravating Israelis, Americans, and Europeans. He is so easy to dislike that it is convenient to overlook the serious administrative and ideological challenges he has posed to the existence of the Islamic Republic’s theocratic system of government since 2009. The major fault line within Iran’s government separates those individuals who belong to the Shiite clergy and those who do not. Ahmadinejad, most of his cabinet, governors, bureaucrats, and military men are part of the latter group. Not unexpectedly, they are vocal that ‘an Islamic government is not capable of administering a modern country.’ The president and his allies have been dismissing mullahs from administrative posts, appointing women to high level positions in defiance of clerical edits on gender roles, instructing officials not to enforce Islamic behaviors like veiling, and rejecting the mullahs’ xenophobia of enhanced contact with the rest of the world. For their part, the mullahs and fundamentalist parliamentarians have announced that they will do everything possible to ensure that Iran is governed according to Shiite revolutionary principles. They cling to the sociopolitical notion of velayat-e faqih or governance by the Muslim jurist. The chief executive’s failure to conform is not just partisan infighting; it is moral failure. The future of Iran is shaping up as a tussle between religious and secular politics, with much of the population fed up with the theocratic state’s failures and oppression. Yet, over the past few months numerous Iran experts in the U.S. and E.U. have written off Ahmadinejad.” http://t.uani.com/oIePIA

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Veröffentlicht am 30. September 2011 in Empfehlungen, Medien, Meinungen, Politik und mit , , , , , , , , , getaggt. Setze ein Lesezeichen auf den Permalink. Kommentare deaktiviert.

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