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Ed Webb

Iran parades long-range missiles - Middle East - Al Jazeera English - 0 views

  • Iran has paraded 30 missiles with a nominal range of 2,000km, this is the first time it displayed so many with the theoretical capacity to hit Israeli targets.
  • Iran revealed 12 Sejil and 18 Ghadr missiles at the annual parade on Sunday marking the anniversary of the outbreak of the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq war.
  • In a speech at the state event, President Hassan Rouhani insisted the weaponry on show was purely for defensive purposes.

    "In the past 200 years, Iran has never attacked another country," he said.

    "Today too, the armed forces of the Islamic Republic and its leadership will never launch any aggressive action in the region.

    "But they will always resist aggressors determinedly until victory."
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    Swaggering
Ed Webb

Krasner on democratization - 0 views

  • Elections pose a particular problem. They are attractive and salient for political leaders in the United States. They get media attention. They provide concrete evidence that the United States is supporting freedom and democracy. Pushing for free and fair elections, however, is often a bridge too far. Even if elections are held, they may make things worse rather than better. There is no guarantee that winners will be committed to democratic values. Once in power, new rulers may try to disempower their opponents, as was the case with the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and Hamas in Gaza, and they will resist election outcomes, often violently, that would force them out of power.
  • The assumption that countries could confidently be put on the path that would end with consolidated democracy — including not just elections but rule of law, physical security and protection of political and property rights for all — has been the fundamental cause of American failures in Afghanistan and Iraq. It is also a major reason for Washington's inability to devise a coherent policy for Egypt, Syria and other countries in the Middle East.
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    A realist critique of US democratization policies.
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    A realist critique of US democratization policies.
Ed Webb

Iran: This time, the west must not turn its back on diplomacy | Mohammad Khatami | Comm... - 0 views

  • Those who are trapped by bitter experience make every effort to disrupt the progress of diplomacy once again. These people fail to realise a simple point about the relationship between domestic and foreign policy.

    President Rouhani's government was elected by a society seeking positive change, at a time when Iran and the wider region was desperately in need of prudence and hope. This vote was not limited to a specific political camp; as well as many reformers, many political prisoners and a significant body of conservatives had a share in Rouhani's victory. For the first time there is an opportunity to create a national consensus above and beyond partisan factionalism – one that may address the political predicaments of the country, with an emphasis on dialogue and mutual understanding globally.

  • A peace-seeking Iran can contribute as a willing partner not only to solving its own differences with the global powers, but also to overcoming some of the region's chronic political disputes. But it requires a degree of courage and optimism from the west to listen to the voices of the Iranian people who have been painfully targeted by unjust sanctions, which have threatened the very fabric of civil society and democratic infrastructures.
  • The Iranian people's vote for Rouhani and his agenda for change has provided an unrivalled and possibly unrepeatable opportunity for Iran, the west and all local and regional powers. With a foreign policy based on dialogue and diplomacy at the heart of the Middle East, we can imagine a better world for the east and the west – including the diplomatic resolution of Iran's nuclear issue, which is utterly feasible if there is goodwill and fairness.
Ed Webb

George Orwell: Politics and the English Language - 0 views

    1. Never use a metaphor, simile, or other figure of speech which you are used to seeing in print.
    2. Never use a long word where a short one will do.
    3. If it is possible to cut a word out, always cut it out.
    4. Never use the passive where you can use the active.
    5. Never use a foreign phrase, a scientific word, or a jargon word if you can think of an everyday English equivalent.
    6. Break any of these rules sooner than say anything outright barbarous.
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.
  • Western states see a meeting set for September 27 in Vienna as a litmus test of any substantive Iranian shift
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  • "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,"
  • 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

Syria isn't Kosovo and this isn't 1999. Not even close | openDemocracy - 0 views

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    Useful contrast of the two cases, reflecting how careful one must be with historical analogies.
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