Skip to main content

Home/ International Politics of the Middle East/ Group items tagged Iran UN

Rss Feed Group items tagged

Ed Webb

From SEALs to All-Out War: Why Rushing Into Yemen Is a Dangerous Idea | Foreign Policy - 0 views

  • As is often the case with Trump’s comments on policy, they quickly become the focus of media attention, rather than what the administration is actually doing — or what the facts are on the ground.
  • two separate but overlapping conflicts
  • a counterterrorism fight waged by Yemeni government, with U.S. support, against AQAP, al Qaeda’s most virulent franchise
  • ...13 more annotations...
  • The second, and more damaging conflict, is a civil war between the government of Yemen and the Houthi minority, which was expected to last a matter of weeks, and maybe months, but is now well into its third year. It began when Houthi militia fighters descended on the capital Sanaa in late 2014 and soon evicted the government of President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, a close partner of the United States.
  • if new Secretary of State Rex Tillerson wants to make an early diplomatic contribution, then there is a confounding but vital mission with his name on it: de-escalating a Yemen civil war that is damaging U.S. interests and should have stopped a long time ago
  • The civil war escalated dramatically in March 2015, with the intervention of a coalition led by Saudi Arabia, which understandably felt threatened by the turmoil on its border and by ties between the Houthis and Riyadh’s arch-rival Iran. The United States, which had long been urging Saudi Arabia to take greater responsibility for security challenges in its region, offered a range of support, including with intelligence, weapons sales, aerial refueling for Saudi planes, and various measures to help secure the Saudi border
  • According to the United Nations, 16,200 people have been killed in Yemen since the intervention, including 10,000 civilians. The humanitarian situation in what was already one of the world’s poorest countries, is now, after Syria, the most dire on the planet, with one in five Yemenis severely food insecure
  • The war has preoccupied key partners with an enemy that does not directly threaten the United States. Indiscriminate air strikes, conducted with American weapons and in the context of American assistance, have killed scores of non-combatants (such incidents eventually compelled the Obama administration to review and adjust our assistance to the coalition). And while Iran and the Houthis have historically maintained an arms-length relationship, the long conflict has brought them closer and led to the introduction of more advanced weapons, such as missiles capable of striking deep into Saudi territory or of threatening the Bab al-Mandeb Strait, a critical channel for maritime traffic.
  • Saudi officials and their Emirati coalition partners have been signaling for months that they are eager to end the conflict, which they did not expect to last nearly this long
  • after years of U.N.-led negotiations that sought to sell a relatively one-sided peace to the Houthis (despite what was, at best, a stalemate on the ground), the Obama administration developed and bequeathed to its successors a more balanced roadmap to which all key parties (the Saudis, the Houthis, and the Yemeni government — as well as the United States, U.N., and U.K.) grudgingly agreed
  • the Houthis are infamously difficult to work with. When Secretary of State John Kerry met for several hours with their representatives in Oman last November, he was forced to endure a lengthy airing of historical grievances before embarking on the topic at hand. They also have a long history of violating dozens of agreements, which every Saudi diplomat can recount, chapter and verse.

    Negotiating peace will also inevitably involve straining relationships with our key partners, who will need to be pushed in the right direction

  • Hadi, who all relevant players acknowledge cannot govern a reconciled Yemeni state, has consistently scuttled deals that would require him leave office. His Saudi patrons have proven either unwilling, or unable, to compel better behavior and are themselves too are quick to revert to unreasonable demands — a tendency that would be reinforced if the Trump administration signals it unconditionally has Riyadh’s back
  • the Emiratis, who maintain a heavy troop presence in southern Yemen but have, wisely, been more focused on AQAP (the first war) than the Houthis (second), have for many months been threatening to attack the Houthi-held port of Hudeidah, a provocative step that would almost certain set back any peacemaking efforts indefinitely
  • an expanded presence of U.S. forces — while Yemeni and Saudi governments are still at war with the Houthis — could bring U.S. troops into close quarters with Iran and its proxies, with all of the escalatory potential that entails
  • While the Houthis fired on a U.S. ship late last year, they have not repeated that mistake since the Obama administration retaliated by destroying radars located along the coast. If President Trump chooses to put U.S. forces into the middle of a civil war, it should explain a purpose and objective more concretely than simply “pushing back” on Iran. Moreover, it must do so with its eyes open to the risks those forces would be assuming and the reality that a limited special forces mission is unlikely to turn the tide on the ground
  • the longer the conflict with the Houthis continues, the more AQAP will continue to benefit from our, and our partners’, divided focus, as it strengthens its hold on ungoverned territory
Ed Webb

Iran cutting sensitive nuclear stocks, much work remains: IAEA | Reuters - 0 views

  • Among measures Iran is taking since the interim agreement took effect on January 20 is the dilution of its stock of higher-enriched uranium to a fissile concentration less suitable for any attempt to fuel an atomic bomb.

    Yukiya Amano, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), indicated that Iran had made sufficient progress in this regard to receive a scheduled March 1 installment of $450 million out of a total of $4.2 billion in previously blocked overseas funds.

  • Separately, the IAEA is investigating suspicions - largely believed to be based on intelligence provided by Western states and Israel - that Iran has researched how to construct an atomic bomb, a charge Tehran denies. Iran says it is Israel's assumed nuclear arsenal that threatens Middle East peace.

  • Amano said 17 IAEA member states had so far expressed interest in contributing extra-budgetary funds to help finance the IAEA's extra workload in monitoring the implementation of the Geneva agreement in Iran, but that more was needed. "We are still short of some €1.6 million ($2.21 million)," Amano said.

    The U.N. agency said in January it needed about 5.5 million euros from member states to pay for its increased activities in Iran. This would cover more inspectors sent to Iran and the purchase of specialized surveillance-related equipment.

Ed Webb

New Iran envoy says hopes disputes with IAEA can be resolved | Reuters - 0 views

  • Iran will cooperate with the U.N. nuclear agency to find ways to "overcome existing issues once and for all", Tehran's new envoy said on Thursday, hinting at a more flexible approach under relatively moderate President Hassan Rouhani.
  • repeated Iran's stance that it would not cede what it calls its legitimate right to a peaceful nuclear energy program.
  • "Based on its rights and obligations recognized under the NPT (Non-Proliferation Treaty), Iran is ready to faithfully engage and remove any ambiguity on its nuclear activities,"
  • ...3 more annotations...
  • Western states see a meeting set for September 27 in Vienna as a litmus test of any substantive Iranian shift
  • Rouhani, who has vowed that Iran will be more transparent and less confrontational in talks both with the IAEA and the big powers, said this week that time for resolving Iran's nuclear dispute with the West was limited.

    He said he would meet foreign ministers of some of the six powers - Russia, China, France, Britain, the United States and Germany - when he attends the U.N. General Assembly in New York this month.

  • A senior adviser to Russian President Vladimir Putin, who is expected to meet Rouhani on Friday, told reporters Moscow hopes that new talks between Iran and the six powers will be held very soon and that both sides need to be flexible. Russia has much warmer ties with the Islamic Republic than Western states do.

    "It is important that Iran display the necessary flexibility and readiness to meet the international community's demands," Yuri Ushakov said. "The six nations, in turn, should also demonstrate a creative approach and be ready to respond adequately to the positive steps that we expect from Iran."

Ed Webb

Ahmadinejad and the 9/11 attacks - Americas - Al Jazeera English - 1 views

  • About 46 per cent of the world's people believe that al-Qaeda launched the 9/11 attacks, while 15 per cent think the US government was behind the assault, and seven per cent blame Israel, according to a
    2008 world public opinion study carried out by the Program on International Policy (PIPA) Attitudes at the University of Maryland, which interviewed 16,063 people worldwide.

    But Ahmadinejad views himself as a leader in the Arab and Muslim worlds. And, in these regions, surveys show significant sectors of the population believe that the US and Israel launched the 9/11 attacks to meet their own geopolitical goals.

    In Jordan, 31 per cent of those polled by PIPA believe Israel was behind the attacks, while only 11 per cent blame it on al-Qaeda. Likewise, 43 per cent of Egyptians blame Israel, and 12 per cent
    think the US was responsible, while only 16 per cent think al-Qaeda brought down the towers.

    A 2006 poll from Scrippsnews says 36 per cent of Americans consider it "very likely" or "somewhat likely" that US government officials either allowed the attacks to be carried or launched the attacks
    themselves.

  • Ahmadinejad is speaking to a significant global constituency. There is little evidence to suggest that they include "the majority of the American people, as well as most nations and politicians around the world", as the Iranian leader said in his UN speech. But the 9/11 "conspiracy theories" are not a fringe phenomenon either.
Ed Webb

AP Interview: Ahmadinejad says future is Iran's - Yahoo! News - 0 views

  • "The United States' administrations ... must recognize that Iran is a big power,"
  • "We are not afraid of nuclear weapons. The point is that if we had in fact wanted to build a nuclear bomb, we are brave enough to say that we want it. But we never do that. We are saying that the arsenal of nuclear bombs (worldwide) have to be destroyed as well,"
  • His answers were translated from Farsi by an Iranian translator, but Ahmadinejad appeared to be following the questions in English and occasionally corrected his interpreter
  • ...2 more annotations...
  • Ahmadinejad said that Iran's course is set and the rest of the world needs to accept it
  • Ahmadinejad said Iran wants answers to a number of questions it has presented to the six powers.

    They include whether the group wants "to create the circumstances for further friendship or for further confrontation," whether the six are fully committed to implementing the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, and "what the group's opinion is regarding the atomic bombs that the Zionist regime holds," he said, a reference to Israel, which refuses to confirm it possesses a nuclear arsenal.

  •  
    We should spend a minute or two discussing Mr Ahmadinejad's comments and how the US and others might sensibly react (if at all).
1 - 20 of 24 Next ›
Showing 20 items per page