By Stephen Lendman, Contributor
October 19, 2012
Moscow’s gone all out to prevent proxy war on Syria exploding into full-scale conflict. Putin/Medvedev know the potentially catastrophic consequences. Washington vilifies efforts against its global imperial ravaging. Humanity everywhere is targeted.
In September, Moscow was again attacked. At issue was expelling USAID. It’s an imperial tool. A Foreign Ministry statement said:
“The decision was taken mainly because the work of the agency’s officials far from always responded to the stated goals of development and humanitarian cooperation. We are talking about attempts to influence political processes through its grants.”
Indeed so. USAID, NED, NDI, ISI, and other US agencies meddle subversively in the internal affairs of other countries. One way is by interfering in foreign elections. Russia’s 2011 State Duma elections were targeted. So was its 2012 presidential one.
Anti-Putin/majority party United Russia protests were organized. Pro-Western self-styled electoral watchdog Golos got USAID and other State Department funding. Its mission is subversion, not impartiality and democracy promotion.
Russia and other targeted countries have every right to object. Expelling USAID was long overdue. Victoria Nuland said what you’d expect. She lied because she’s paid to do so.
“We completely reject the notion that our support for civil society, democracy, human rights in any way interferes with elections,” she claimed.
“We make no secret of the fact that when we are supporting free, transparent elections that’s what we want to see.”
“This is not about how you win. This is about how you manage campaigns, about how you work with civil society.”
Washington abhors democracy at home or abroad. Far and away, America is the world’s leading human rights abuser. Interfering in the internal affairs of other countries is longstanding policy.
So are efforts to replace independent governments with pro-Western ones. Wars against humanity are waged to further America’s imperium. Russia and China have other interests. They include halting Washington’s quest for global dominance at their expense.
US media scoundrels vilify Putin. They’re relentless. They grab every chance. On October 17, a New York Times editorial headlined “Mr. Putin’s Gift to Terrorists.”
At issue is the so-called 1992 Nunn/Lugar Cooperative Threat Reduction (CTR) Program. It’s based on a Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DRRA) initiative. Its to “secure and dismantle weapons of mass destruction and their associated infrastructure in former Soviet Union states.”
In May 2009, Russia opened a facility to decommission chemical weapons. Earlier in 2012, efforts ended. On October 10, CTR ones did entirely. Itar Tass explained, saying:
“Russia intends to dispose the nuclear arsenals by its own forces. Russia explains this decision by the fact that the country does not need any allocations any longer, but needs to curb the leaking of the classified information.”
Nunn/Lugar “is discriminatory for Russia and does not take into account….changes, which took place since its signing in the hard 90s for our country.”
Moscow doesn’t oppose Russia/Washington cooperation. At issue is updating and negotiating fair terms. Nunn/Lugar ends in May 2013. US deals are heavily skewed one-way. A Foreign Ministry statement said new arrangements should be “based on the principles of equal rights and mutual respect.”
Not good enough, claims the NYT. “There will be plenty of losers from Russia’s recent decision to end two decades of cooperation with Washington on cleaning up nuclear and chemical weapons sites left over from the cold war.”
“….the world must watch as Russia’s unsecured weapons and materials remain a temptation for terrorists of all varieties to buy or steal for use in future attacks.”
Ending Nunn/Lugar “is perverse and reckless,” claimed The Times. (It’s) all too typical of President Putin’s sour, xenophobic and self-isolating worldview.”
It followed “expell(ing)” USAID. It “sponsor(s) human rights, civil society and public health programs….” Perhaps they were “too successful,” said The Times….”too threatening to Mr. Putin.”
“Paranoia and xenophobia in the Kremlin predates communism and has now outlasted it by more than two decades.”
Times readers are systematically lied to. Truth and full disclosure are verboten. All propaganda all the time best describes its editorial policy. So is beating up on US enemies, adversaries, and challengers.
Washington denies Russia the respect it deserves. So do media scoundrels. Putin is vilified for speaking truth to power. Times editors support destructive imperial policies.
They embarrass themselves with attack pieces like this one. To borrow an old Mike Royko phrase, no respectable fish would want to be wrapped in the paper it’s printed on.
On October 17, Mossad-connected DEBKAfile (DF) had its say. It bashed Russia for supporting Syria. At issue now is deploying advanced S-400 interceptor missiles near Turkey.
It quoted Moscow military spokesman Col. Igor Gorbul saying they’re “targeting Turkey” against its involvement in Washington’s missile shield.
He said S-400s can destroy all type aircraft, as well as ultra-stratospheric and ballistic missiles. DF added that “Moscow is relaying a double warning to Ankara on two additional scores:”
(1) “(A)ny more interceptions of Syria-bound aircraft coming from Russia….would bring forth a Russian response;” and
(2) Moscow won’t “tolerate aerial intrusion in the Syrian conflict by Turkey or any other NATO member.” At issue is imposing no-fly zone intervention. Perhaps Russia is also concerned about lawless safe havens in Syrian territory if established.
Hopefully DF is right. Preventing full-scale war on Syria requires drawing red lines to be challenged if crossed. Washington prefers soft targets.
Tougher adversaries give Pentagon planners pause. Ones able give as much as they take may halt further war entirely. It’s time to act and find out. Prioritizing Syria makes sense.
Since March 2011, Washington-led efforts ravaged the country relentlessly. Signs suggest imminent full-scale intervention. Perhaps it’s coming after US November elections. They’re less than three weeks away.
Turkish troops are mobilized on Syria’s northern border. US and UK special forces are in Jordan on its southern border. Congressman Dennis Kucinich thinks they’re up to no good.
“Without notifying Congress,” he said, Washington is “immeasurably” closer to full-scale involvement. He told US News:
“I can see in a moment how it happens: we’re a few dozen miles from the Syrian border and all of a sudden we are within the reach of physical danger. All it takes is a single incident.”
“Putting U.S. troops on that border draws the U.S. much closer to war in Syria, which is a nightmare already and can be more of a nightmare for our country.”
“There’s a trail of causality here….Once you position U.S troops on the border of a conflict area, it immeasurably increases the possibility of the US getting drawn into the conflict – because we’re there.”
Provocations are easy to instigate. False flags are often used. When Washington wants war, reasons are simple to manufacture as justification. Plans likely await the moment to strike. It could happen any time.
False accusations target Assad repeatedly. The latest involves use of cluster bombs Syria’s military doesn’t have. Claims are they’re Russian made. Moscow denies supplying any.
Human Rights Watch, BBC, and other scoundrel media falsified reports. Perhaps fake videos were used. It wouldn’t be the first time.
Destructive weapons, of course, can turn up anywhere. At issue is who’s using them or responsible for planting so-called evidence of their use. Western-recruited mercenaries can be armed any way Washington wishes.
Dirty tactics are a US specialty. So is use of illegal weapons. Depleted uranium ones irradiates all Pentagon war theaters. Media scoundrels say nothing. Subsequent cancer epidemics and other ill effects are ignored.
On October 17, retired Russian Lt. Gen. Gennady Yevstafiev told Voice of Russia he believes Turkey is playing a dangerous game. Perhaps it’s for greater regional dominance, gaining EU admission, and/or special favors from Washington.
Ankara’s taking great risks. “(N)body is going to care about Turkey in spite of all its contributions to the grand American design.” It won’t get the recognition it seeks.
Gaining regional dominance “sooner or later (means) hav(ing) to destroy Saudi Arabia and these kingdoms of the Gulf and of course Iran. This would never happen.”
Ankara officials “don’t even understand to what extent they are making a tragic mistake….Instead of making peace” and cooperating politically and economically with Russia, they’re going the wrong way. They hope America offers support. “This is absolutely wrong.”
It has much more to lose than gain. Internally, “Turkey (could) seriously deteriorate and we could see in the future, not in a distant future, a very different Turkey on the map of the world.” It may not be what Ankara wants.
Washington, EU nations, and Israel ruthlessly vilify Iran, hammer it with lawless sanctions, falsely make existential threat claims, deny its legitimate media European satellite distribution, and threaten imperial war.
Expect the worst ahead in some form because it’s planned. Waging war on free expression alone shows the moral depravity of EU states.
On October 17, Press TV headlined “Ban on Iran channels driven by fear of truth: Top IRIB official.”
Deputy Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB) Mohammad Sarafraz said, “They think by silencing those outlets (free alternative media), they would be able to control the flow of news and information and at the same time, cover up the events as they see fit.”
“They are now facing all (sorts of) challenges. On the one hand, they face domestic threats and on the other, they fear independent entities who pose a threat to their existence. That’s why they are seeking to mute them.”
Bet on dirty Washington and Israeli hands involved in what happened. At the same time, anti-Iranian terrorists were brought in from the cold.
The State Department delisted the Mujahedin-e Khalq Organization (MKO or MEK). Formerly it was designated a foreign terrorist organization (FTO). Known assassins are now valued US allies – openly, not covertly.
Perhaps they’ll get US funding, arms and training. Reports suggest that Washington, NATO partners, regional allies, and Israel supplied them for some time.
Maybe a White House invitation is coming like Reagan afforded Mujahideen fighters in the 1980s. They and Contra killers were called freedom fighters. Perhaps MKO assassins will be described the same way.
Press TV said MKO operatives “murdered over 17,000 Iranians since” the 1979 revolution. In the 1980s, they operated from Iraq near Iran’s border. They cooperated with Saddam in massacring Kurds.
Tehran “repeatedly called on the Iraqi government to expel the group.” US pressure keeps them there.
UN bodies willingly serve US imperial interests. Former Secretary-General Kofi Annan spurned inviolable UN Charter provisions for Washington. Ban Ki-moon does it repeatedly.
So does the Human Rights Council and UN Special rapporteur on human rights in Iran, Ahmed Shaheed. He lied, distorted, or greatly exaggerated in a report to the General Assembly. He made spurious accusations.
He cited alleged human rights violations. He claimed they “provide a deeply troubling picture of the overall human rights situation in (Iran), including many concerns which are systemic in nature.”
He also said “some elements of the Press Law and more recent legal developments undermine the rights to freedom of expression and to information.”
His information comes from anti-Iranian sources. Expect Washington and Israeli involvement.
Iran’s Judiciary Chief Ayatollah Sadeq Larijani responded. On October 17, the Tehran Times headlined “No one is executed in Iran for their political convictions….”
He stressed that Shaheed’s information comes from anti-Iranian elements.
On October 15, Press TV headlined “Iranian officials say Ahmed Shaheed’s latest report politically motivated,” saying:
“The report is solely based on claims of 221 people that were questioned from November 2011 to July 2012. Based on those (one-sided) claims, Shaheed has accused Iran of human rights violations.”
“In a part of the report it states that Iran’s penal code contradicts with International law.” Iran’s General Prosecutor denied Shaheed’s accusation as spurious distortions of truth.
Iran’s constitution guarantees freedom of expression, religion, assembly and association. Tehran denied criticisms of its human rights record.
Shaheed, of course, wouldn’t dare report accurately on America’s human rights record or Israel’s. Doing so would cost him his job. The same goes for media scoundrels. In service to Washington and other Western states, they skew their accounts one-way.
A Final Comment
Press TV published ways to watch its broadcasts in Europe. It’s accessible through the following links:
PressTV Watch Live
PressTV Smart Phone Applications
Watch daily for real news, information and analysis. It shames what’s available through scoundrel media sources. Avoid them. Watch Press TV.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at [email protected] His new book is titled How Wall Street Fleeces America: Privatized Banking, Government Collusion and Class War
Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.
Susanne Posel, Contributor
The UN sent a peace envoy headed by Lakhdar Brahimi, to assess the damage being inflicted on Syria by the US-supported terrorists called the Free Syrian Army (FSA). Brahimi requested a temporary cease fire while he was in Syria; as well as for the Muslim holiday beginning October 26th.
The FSA, being leaderless, is expected to have a difficult time signing an agreement of ceasefire.
Last week, the Human Rights Watch, a UN non-governmental organization (NGO) claimed that the Syrian government had used cluster bombs against the FSA. Assad denied having possession of these weapons. According to a statement: “The Syrian Arab Army does not possess these kinds of weapons and affirms that these reports (of their use) are completely untrue.”
Footage provided by the FSA have turned up images of these cluster bombs, which explode mid-air and rain down smaller bomblets over a specified area. An anonymous “citizen journalist” just happened to capture photos of these cluster bombs located in a home.
The HRW asked Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov about the cluster bombs. Lavrov replied that he had no legitimate confirmation that suggested “the bombs could have been made by former Warsaw Pact countries. The region is full of weapons. Weapons are being sent to Syria and other countries of the region in huge quantities. It’s very hard to establish who is supplying ammunition and other types of weaponry and from where.”
The FSA are comprised of Salafi militants from Saudi Arabia. The same faction of terrorists that attacked the villa where US Ambassador Stevens was murdered is in Syria fighting the proxy war for the United States.
The Salafi terrorist cells are given different names depending on their location geographically (such as al-Qaeda, FSA, etc.) so that the idea that they are separate is purveyed to the general public. However, they are subscribing to an extreme form of Islam that is encompassing in Saudi Arabia.
The Partisans of Sharia (PoS), or Ansar al-Sharia, are directly connected to the Muslim Brotherhood who believe that those who do not adhere to Sharia law should be crucified. During the manufactured Arab Spring in Egypt, the Muslim Brotherhood was able to obtain power through violence against the Egyptian citizens.
Partisans or followers of the Muslim Brotherhood are tied to the Salafi version of Islam that demand complete adherence to the religion, lest they be deemed an infidel and killed.
The Salafis being used in Syria are exceptionally violent and adhere to sectarianism with complete abhorrence for the US. This ideal is fostered because it helps to facilitate the psychological mindset necessary for manipulation.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Analysis October 20, 2012, 1:15 PM (GMT+02:00)
The assassination of the anti-Syrian Head of the Lebanon’s Internal Security Forces intelligence branch, Brig. Gen. Wissam al-Hasan, Friday, Oct. 19, by a huge car bomb blast in East Beirut’s Ashrafiya district marked the brutal spillover of the Syrian bloodbath into a second Arab capital and the threat of itsl spread towards Israel.
Eighteen months ago, in May 2011, shortly after Syrians rose up against Bashar Assad, Rami Makhlouf, a leading architect of his tactics of suppression, warned, “If there is no stability here, there’s no way there will be stability in Israel.”
Israel should take careful note of the outrage in Beirut in which seven Lebanese were killed and 73 injured in order to liiquidate Assad’s foe in Beirut.
In August, Gen. Al-Hasan uncovered a Syrian plot to destabilize Lebanon by a bombing campaign and arrested the pro-Syrian politician and ex-information minister Michel Samaha for complicity in the plot. He also led the investigation that implicated Damascus in the 2005 bombing atrocity that killed former Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri.
Gen. Al-Hasan’s murder brought forth angry protesters.They blocked roads and highways in several towns including the Beirut-Syrian road link as the Lebanese government met in emergency session Saturday, Oct. 20, and announced a day of national mourning.
In the wider sense, the murder of the Lebanese anti-Syrian terror crusader demonstrated that hopes in the West and Israel of the Syrian conflict eventually sundering the Tehran-Damascus-Hizballah axis were no better than pipedreams, just like the belief that liquidating Iran’s nuclear scientists or cyber warfare would turn Tehran back from its march towards a nuclear weapon.
After nearly two years, those illusions have been dissipated: The Syrian bloodbath is spreading more malignantly than ever with solid Iranian and Hizballah support and Tehran is closer than ever to realizing its nuclear aspirations.
This week, US President Barack Obama reined in Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan and his chief of staff Gen. Necdet Ozel from expanding Turkish cross-border clashes with Syria by sending Gen. Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, to Ankara. His restraining hand kept Turkey from going beyond artillery backing for Syrian rebels inside a10-kilometer limit inside Syria. He also cautioned the Turks against sending their warplanes across the border into Syrian airspace.
Because of these curbs, US Ambassador to Turkey Francis Ricciardone was able to state Tuesday “We don’t see a possibility of war between Syria and Turkey.” He spoke to reporters in Ankara with the top American soldier beside him.
If they were talking, Turkish Erdogan could compare notes with Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, who has experienced similar Washington restraints against launching military action to curtail Iran’s nuclear program.
Whether or not the United States should step into the two blazing conflicts with two feet – or limit itself to extending military support from the outside to the forces willing to take on Syria and Iran – is a tough question which the two US presidential contenders, Barack Obama and Mitt Romney may address in their third and final pre-election debate in Florida, Monday, Oct. 22.
The differences between the rivals on this point don’t appear substantial. However their contest in the run-up to the Nov.6 election has diverted attention from Ankara and Jerusalem and rescued the Turkish and Israeli leaders from even tougher questions about their reluctance to act without America – Turkey versus Syria and Israel versus Iran – although the Syrian-Iranian-Hizballah menace is knocking on their doors.
They are not alone. The list of Middle East governments, shy of acting without America against encroaching threats from one or more of the three aggressors, includes Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the rest of the Gulf emirates.
The rulers of Russia, Iran and its Lebanese arm Hizballah, in contrast, were emboldened by the US ambassador’s comment in Ankara, its effect on Erdogan and Netanyahu’s non-response to the Iranian stealth drone’s invasion of Israeli air space. They concluded that both leaders would continue to sit on their hands.
And so Assad seized the moment for sending his air force to assault opposition forces with unprecedented fury. Cluster bombs were dropped without mercy on urban areas, causing an estimated 1,200 deaths and reducing entire villages and small towns to smoking rubble.
And his assassins struck across the border into the heart of Beirut for a devastating bombing attack that recalled the horrors of a former Assad bombing campaign against his Lebanese opponents, one of which dispatched the former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri in 2005.
Every few days, the Syria-Hizballah-Iran bloc ratchets up the violence with a new outrage in the certainty that there will be no comeback.
Sunday, Oct. 21, the US and Israel launch Austere Challenge 12, which they are calling their biggest joint war game ever, to practice defending Israel against a missile attack.
But in tune with the general air of denial hanging over Washington and Jerusalem, the exercise has been reduced in scale to just 1,000 soldiers on each side, with most of the action conducted through simulated computer games. As every soldier knows, this is a far cry from real operations on a battlefield.
Both American and Israeli war planners also realize that even these games are only applicable to defenses against an Iranian ballistic missile attack – not a triple Iranian-Syrian-Hizballah missile assault. This would call for US-Israeli air force intervention. But the air force is not taking part in the war game.
October 20, 2012 – LEBANON – Tensions were high Friday night around Lebanon, hours after a top Lebanese intelligence official known for his anti-Syrian stance and at least two others were killed in a massive explosion in normally peaceful neighborhood of Beirut. Gunfire erupted in the capital and enraged citizens blocked roads after the blast, which left Brig. Gen. Wissam al-Hassan dead and heightened fears that Syria’s civil war could boil over into neighboring Lebanon. In Sidon, people shouted, blocked city streets and burned tires in protest, according to CNN iReporter Ernesto Altamirano. The friction turned to violence in other spots, including clashes in the seaside Lebanese city of Tripoli between supporters and foes of Syria’s government. Saad Hariri, a Lebanese opposition leader and former prime minister, told CNN that he had no doubt who was responsible for the bloody car bombing: Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. He accused the Syrian leader of “killing his own people” and said “he will not think twice” about killing Lebanese in order to protect himself. “The message from Damascus today is anywhere you are, if you are against the regime from Lebanon, we will come and get you,” said Hariri, who blames the 2005 assassination of his father, former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, on Syria’s government. “No matter what you try to do, we will keep on assassinating the Lebanese.” The blast took place during Friday afternoon rush hour in East Beirut’s cosmopolitan Ashrafiyeh district, a predominantly Christian and populous area replete with shops, churches and office buildings. The neighborhood is considered among the safest in the city, said Aram Nerguizian, who teaches around the block from the attack site. The huge blast shattered this peace — spurring panicked and tearful residents to pour out of their apartments, with some carrying victims to nearby ambulances. The bomb’s impact created a crater near Sassine Square, tore balconies off apartments, left rows of mangled cars and charred buildings, and shook the windows in CNN’s offices, about a 10-minute drive from the scene.
The size and location of the bomb on Friday awakened a general feeling of dread that the Syrian conflict, which has already depressed Lebanon’s economy and sent thousands of Syrian refugees into the country, was coming home to Lebanese civilians, and could set off tit-for-tat killings and reprisals that could spiral out of control. –Reuters
DEBKAfile October 20, 2012, 10:45 AM (GMT+02:00)
Leading Lebanese politicians accused the Assad regime of the assassination of security chief Wissam al-Hassam and 7 other Lebanese by a devastating car bomb attack on the Ashrafiya district of Beirut in the Friday rush hour. They charged the Syrian ruler of trying to export the Syrian conflict to Lebanon “after reducing his own country to rubble.” Angry protesters blocked roads and highways in several towns including the Beirut-Syrian road link. The Lebanese government met in emergency session Saturday and announced a day of national mourning for the atrocity.
With repost: Saad Hariri Aides Western Syria Destabilization from Lebanon.
Tony Cartalucci, Contributor
It was, starting at least in 2007, the goal of the US, Saudis, and Israelis to trigger a region wide sectarian war with which to overrun the governments of Lebanon, Syria, and Iran. This was documented in detail in Seymour Hersh’s 2007 New Yorker article, “The Redirection” which was covered in depth in, “Syrian War: The Prequel.
A recent bombing in Beirut, Lebanon left high ranking security chief Brigadier General Wissam al-Hassan dead. Al-Hassan is described as “anti-Syrian.” Before Al-Hassan’s death was announced, and literally as bodies were still being pulled from the wreckage caused by the bombing, politicians from Saad Hariri’s faction began immediately blaming Syria for the attacks. Hariri himself also laid the blame on Syria, offering no other details or supporting evidence.
Hezbollah, Syria, and Iran have all condemned the bombing and cite it as a provocation to start a greater sectarian war, from which none will benefit. Each in turn suspect Israel and the West, as greater sectarian tension is expected to result, playing into long documented attempts by US, Israel, and Saudi Arabia to trigger a sectarian war they hope will be the downfall of Hezbollah, Syria, and Iran.
Suspicious op-eds in pro-Western “Lebanon Now” insist that Syria is responsible, and again without evidence, concludes that blaming Israel is inappropriate, and that the Wall Street-London militant beachhead is by far a lesser threat to Lebanon than what it calls “the most deadly virus” of President Bashar al-Assad’s Syria.
The blast has given impetus to Hariri’s mobs to flood into the streets, who will no doubt portray themselves to be as “spontaneous” and “independent” as US-engineered mobs were throughout the equally premeditated “Arab Spring.”
Hariri in 2007 was, according to US journalist Seymour Hersh, building an armed militant front in northern Lebanon, across the boarder from Homs, Syria. Many of these militants admittedly had direct ties to Al Qaeda, and with US, Israeli, and Saudi support, they were continuously armed, funded, and prepared for the sectarian bloodbath now unfolding. Homs to this day remains as one of the strongholds for terrorist militants operating in Syria.
While the Western media claims it is a shocking revelation that Al Qaeda is “amongst” the fighters attempting to overthrow the Syrian government, it is well documented that it was Al Qaeda from the very beginning who began armed operations against Syria, using Lebanon and Turkey as a base of operations, with explicit support from the West. The operations were carried out under the tenuous cover of “pro-democracy” protests and with a constant torrent of disinformation provided by the Western media.
While the current story in Lebanon develops, it will be useful to understand the role Hariri has so far played. The republished article below, originally posted in May, 2012, is by no means an exhaustive expose of Hariri and his role in executing the foreign agenda driven by Wall Street, London, Tel Aviv, Doha, and Riyadh, which starts well before 2007.
Originally posted May 21, 2012 -The United Nations has been inexplicably silent over revelations that the United States, Saudi Arabia, and other Persian Gulf states, are arming militants in Syria in direct violation of a UN brokered ceasefire. Additionally, the US has openly threatened to arm Kurd militants in Syria to “rise up” against the government. While in reality this constitutes a greater threat to neighboring Turkey, and perhaps an attempt to motivate Ankara to take a more aggressive stance against Syria, the threat of purposefully inciting more violence in a conflict that has allegedly claimed “10,000” lives, seems not only grossly irresponsible, but a violation of international peace.
Image: A bomb detonates in Syria, May 19, 2012, killing and maiming scores. This is the latest manifestation of overt US and Gulf State military support for terrorists attempting to destabilize and overthrow the Syrian government. The West has planned and prepared years in advance for implementing bloody regime change in Syria and Iran.
The West’s meddling in Syria does not end there. Recently, clashes have broken out in Lebanon, revealing a large base of operations supporting the destabilization in neighboring Syria, located along the Lebanese-Syrian border. The significance of this discovery, and extremist groups in Lebanon being directly involved, highlights the veracity of a 2007 New Yorker article by Seymour Hersh titled, “The Redirection,” which exposed a joint US-Israeli-Saudi operation to create a violent extremist front and direct it at Hezbollah in Lebanon, President Bashar al-Assad in Syria, and at the Iranian government.
DEBKAfile October 19, 2012, 6:30 PM (GMT+02:00)
Syria and Hizballah are suspected of engineering the murder of Brig. Gen. Wissam al-Hasan, head of the Lebanese police intelligence unit by setting off a huge bomb blast that killed eight Lebanese, injured 78 and devastated buildings in the Christian east Beirut district of Ashrafiyeh Friday.
DEBKAfile: Gen. Al-Hasan was a leading opponent of the Assad regime and Hizballah militancy.
The Syrians long suspected him of a role in the flow of Syrian rebel fighters and arms across the border in conjunction with former Lebanese prime minister Said Hariri and the Saudi and Qatari backers of the Syrian rebellion.
Al-Hasan also fought hard to prevent the closure of the international inquiry into the 2005 murder of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri under Syrian and Hizballah pressure.
Of late, he led the inquiry which uncovered a string of Assad regime bombing plots using pro-Syrian Lebanese politicians. Twenty Syrian bombing devices were discovered in the home of one of those politicians when he was arrested.
The bomb car exploded 200 yards from the Lebanese Christian Phalange headquarters, whose leader Samir Geagea is another prominent opponent of Syrian ruler Bashar Assad and Hizballah and recently visited Saudi Arabia.
Oct 18, 2012
This week the US, UK, France, and a few Middle Eastern countries are conducting naval exercises in the Gulf of Persia to practice clearing mines that Iran, or other groups may place around the Straits of Hormuz in an attempt to disrupt the movement of oil tankers in the region.
Mohammed Ali Jafari, the commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, said that the “exercise is a defensive exercise and we don’t perceive any threats from it. We are not conducting exercises in response.”
Yet this is not the impression that is given.
Just yesterday, according to the official IRNA news agency, upon the direct orders of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei Iran launched a refitted Tareq-901 submarine and a Sahand destroyer into the Gulf from the port of Bandar Abbas.
MOSCOW | Wed Oct 17, 2012 10:53am EDT
(Reuters) – President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday that only the U.N. Security Council could restrict Russian weapons sales abroad, a remark that appeared aimed at defending the Kremlin against criticism of its arms supplies to the Syrian government.
“Only sanctions imposed by the U.N. Security Council can serve as a basis for limiting weapons supplies,” Putin said, according to state-run Itar-Tass news agency.
“In all other cases, nobody can use any pretext to dictate to Russia on how it should trade and with whom,” he was quoted as telling a meeting of a state commission on the arms trade.
The West has criticized Russia for vetoing, along with China, three U.N. Security Council resolutions aimed at putting pressure on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to end a conflict that has killed an estimated 30,000 people in 19 months.
Russia sold Syria $1 billion worth of weapons last year and has made clear it would oppose an arms embargo in the Security Council because of what it says are concerns rebels fighting Assad’s government would get weapons illegally anyway.
Putin said in June that Russia was not delivering any weapons to Syria that could be used in a civil conflict.
Turkey said on October 11 that a Syrian passenger plane grounded en route from Moscow to Damascus was carrying weapons. Moscow said the cargo included radar parts that were of dual civilian and military use but were fully legal.
Moscow in 2010 scrapped plans to deliver high-precision air defense missile systems to Iran, citing sanctions imposed by the U.N. Security Council over Tehran’s nuclear program, a move welcomed by the United States and its European allies.
Russia denies trying to prop up Assad, who allows Russia to maintain a naval supply facility in the port of Tartus that is its only military base outside the former Soviet Union.
But Moscow says Syria’s crisis must be resolved without foreign interference, particularly military intervention.
(Reporting by Alissa de Carbonnel; Writing by Steve Gutterman; Editing by Jon Boyle)
October 17, 2012
The new executive order is posted here, in full, so that the reader can make their own interpretation.
We will also be publishing a few additional articles on the order in the very near future.
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The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
Executive Order from the President regarding Authorizing the Implementation of Certain Sanctions Set Forth in the Iran Threat Reduction and Syria Human Rights Act of 2012 and Additional Sanctions with respect to Iran
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AUTHORIZING THE IMPLEMENTATION OF CERTAIN SANCTIONS SET FORTH IN THE IRAN THREAT REDUCTION AND SYRIA HUMAN RIGHTS ACT OF 2012 AND ADDITIONAL SANCTIONS WITH RESPECT TO IRAN
By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, including the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (50 U.S.C. 1701 et seq.) (IEEPA), the National Emergencies Act (50 U.S.C. 1601 et seq.), the Iran Sanctions Act of 1996 (Public Law 104-172) (50 U.S.C. 1701 note), as amended (ISA), the Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability, and Divestment Act of 2010 (Public Law 111-195) (22 U.S.C. 8501 et seq.), as amended (CISADA), the Iran Threat Reduction and Syria Human Rights Act of 2012 (Public Law 112-158) (ITRSHRA), section 212(f) of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952, as amended (8 U.S.C. 1182(f)), and section 301 of title 3, United States Code, and in order to take additional steps with respect to the national emergency declared in Executive Order 12957 of March 15, 1995,
I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, hereby order:
Section 1. (a) When the President, or the Secretary of State or the Secretary of the Treasury pursuant to authority delegated by the President and in accordance with the terms of such delegation, has determined that sanctions shall be imposed on a person pursuant to ISA, CISADA, or ITRSHRA and has, in accordance with those authorities, selected one or more of the sanctions set forth in section 6 of ISA to impose on that person, the Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of State, shall take the following actions with respect to the sanctions selected and maintained by the President, the Secretary of State, or the Secretary of the Treasury:
(i) with respect to section 6(a)(3) of ISA, prohibit any United States financial institution from making loans or providing credits to the sanctioned person consistent with that section;
(ii) with respect to section 6(a)(6) of ISA, prohibit any transactions in foreign exchange that are subject to the jurisdiction of the United States and in which the sanctioned person has any interest;
(iii) with respect to section 6(a)(7) of ISA, prohibit any transfers of credit or payments between financial institutions or by, through, or to any financial institution, to the extent that such transfers or payments are subject to the jurisdiction of the United States and involve any interest of the sanctioned person;
(iv) with respect to section 6(a)(8) of ISA, block all property and interests in property that are in the United States, that come within the United States, or that are or come within the possession or control of any United States person, including any foreign branch, of the sanctioned person, and provide that such property and interests in property may not be transferred, paid, exported, withdrawn, or otherwise dealt in;
(v) with respect to section 6(a)(9) of ISA, prohibit any United States person from investing in or purchasing significant amounts of equity or debt instruments of a sanctioned person;
(vi) with respect to section 6(a)(11) of ISA, impose on the principal executive officer or officers, or persons performing similar functions and with similar authorities, of a sanctioned person the sanctions described in sections 6(a)(3), 6(a)(6), (6)(a)(7), 6(a)(8), 6(a)(9), or 6(a)(12) of ISA, as selected by the President, Secretary of State, or Secretary of the Treasury, as appropriate; or
(vii) with respect to section 6(a)(12) of ISA, restrict or prohibit imports of goods, technology, or services, directly or indirectly, into the United States from the sanctioned person.
(b) The prohibitions in subsection (a) of this section apply except to the extent provided by statutes, or in regulations, orders, directives, or licenses that may be issued pursuant to this order, and notwithstanding any contract entered into or any license or permit granted prior to the date of this order.
Sec. 2. (a) All property and interests in property that are in the United States, that hereafter come within the United States, or that are or hereafter come within the possession or control of any United States person, including any foreign branch, of the following persons are blocked and may not be transferred, paid, exported, withdrawn, or otherwise dealt in: any person determined by the Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with or at the recommendation of the Secretary of State:
(i) to have knowingly, on or after August 10, 2012, transferred, or facilitated the transfer of, goods or technologies to Iran, any entity organized under the laws of Iran or otherwise subject to the jurisdiction of the Government of Iran, or any national of Iran, for use in or with respect to Iran, that are likely to be used by the Government of Iran or any of its agencies or instrumentalities, or by any other person on behalf of the Government of Iran or any of such agencies or instrumentalities, to commit serious human rights abuses against the people of Iran;
(ii) to have knowingly, on or after August 10, 2012, provided services, including services relating to hardware, software, or specialized information or professional consulting, engineering, or support services, with respect to goods or technologies that have been transferred to Iran and that are likely to be used by the Government of Iran or any of its agencies or instrumentalities, or by any other person on behalf of the Government of Iran or any of such agencies or instrumentalities, to commit serious human rights abuses against the people of Iran;
(iii) to have materially assisted, sponsored, or provided financial, material, or technological support for, or goods or services to or in support of, the activities described in subsection (a)(i) or (a)(ii) of this section or any person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to this section; or
(iv) to be owned or controlled by, or to have acted or purported to act for or on behalf of, directly or indirectly, any person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to this section.
(b) The prohibitions in subsection (a) of this section apply except to the extent provided by statutes, or in regulations, orders, directives, or licenses that may be issued pursuant to this order, and notwithstanding any contract entered into or any license or permit granted prior to the date of this order.
Sec. 3. (a) All property and interests in property that are in the United States, that hereafter come within the United States, or that are or hereafter come within the possession or control of any United States person, including any foreign branch, of the following persons are blocked and may not be transferred, paid, exported, withdrawn, or otherwise dealt in: any person determined by the Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with or at the recommendation of the Secretary of State:
(i) to have engaged in censorship or other activities with respect to Iran on or after June 12, 2009, that prohibit, limit, or penalize the exercise of freedom of expression or assembly by citizens of Iran, or that limit access to print or broadcast media, including the facilitation or support of intentional frequency manipulation by the Government of Iran or an entity owned or controlled by the Government of Iran that would jam or restrict an international signal;
(ii) to have materially assisted, sponsored, or provided financial, material, or technological support for, or goods or services to or in support of, the activities described in subsection (a)(i) of this section or any person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to this section; or
(iii) to be owned or controlled by, or to have acted or purported to act for or on behalf of, directly or indirectly, any person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to this section.
(b) The prohibitions in subsection (a) of this section apply except to the extent provided by statutes, or in regulations, orders, directives, or licenses that may be issued pursuant to this order, and notwithstanding any contract entered into or any license or permit granted prior to the date of this order.
Sec. 4. (a) No entity owned or controlled by a United States person and established or maintained outside the United States may knowingly engage in any transaction, directly or indirectly, with the Government of Iran or any person subject to the jurisdiction of the Government of Iran, if that transaction would be prohibited by Executive Order 12957, Executive Order 12959 of May 6, 1995, Executive Order 13059 of August 19, 1997, Executive Order 13599 of February 5, 2012, section 5 of Executive Order 13622 of July 30, 2012, or section 12 of this order, or any regulation issued pursuant to the foregoing, if the transaction were engaged in by a United States person or in the United States.
(b) Penalties assessed for violations of the prohibition in subsection (a) of this section, and any related violations of section 12 of this order, may be assessed against the United States person that owns or controls the entity that engaged in the prohibited transaction.
(c) Penalties for violations of the prohibition in subsection (a) of this section shall not apply if the United States person that owns or controls the entity divests or terminates its business with the entity not later than February 6, 2013.
(d) The prohibitions in subsection (a) of this section apply except to the extent provided by statutes, or in regulations, orders, directives, or licenses that may be issued pursuant to this order, and notwithstanding any contract entered into or any license or permit granted prior to the date of this order.
Sec. 5. The Secretary of State, in consultation with the Secretary of the Treasury, the Secretary of Commerce, and the United States Trade Representative, and with the President of the Export-Import Bank of the United States, the Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, and other agencies and officials as appropriate, is hereby authorized to impose on a person any of the sanctions described in section 6 or 7 of this order upon determining that the person:
(a) knowingly, between July 1, 2010, and August 10, 2012, sold, leased, or provided to Iran goods, services, technology, information, or support with a fair market value of $1,000,000 or more, or with an aggregate fair market value of $5,000,000 or more during a 12-month period, and that could directly and significantly facilitate the maintenance or expansion of Iran’s domestic production of refined petroleum products, including any direct and significant assistance with respect to the construction, modernization, or repair of petroleum refineries;
(b) knowingly, between July 1, 2010, and August 10, 2012, sold or provided to Iran refined petroleum products with a fair market value of $1,000,000 or more, or with an aggregate fair market value of $5,000,000 or more during a 12-month period;
(c) knowingly, between July 1, 2010, and August 10, 2012, sold, leased, or provided to Iran goods, services, technology, information, or support with a fair market value of $1,000,000 or more, or with an aggregate fair market value of $5,000,000 or more during a 12-month period, and that could directly and significantly contribute to the enhancement of Iran’s ability to import refined petroleum products;
(d) is a successor entity to a person determined by the Secretary of State in accordance with this section to meet the criteria in subsection (a), (b), or (c) of this section;
(e) owns or controls a person determined by the Secretary of State in accordance with this section to meet the criteria in subsection (a), (b), or (c) of this section, and had knowledge that the person engaged in the activities referred to in that subsection; or
(f) is owned or controlled by, or under common ownership or control with, a person determined by the Secretary of State in accordance with this section to meet the criteria in subsection (a), (b), or (c) of this section, and knowingly participated in the activities referred to in that subsection.
Sec. 6. (a) When the Secretary of State, in accordance with the terms of section 5 of this order, has determined that a person meets any of the criteria described in section 5 and has selected any of the sanctions set forth below to impose on that person, the heads of relevant agencies, in consultation with the Secretary of State, shall take the following actions where necessary to implement the sanctions imposed by the Secretary of State:
(i) the Board of Directors of the Export-Import Bank shall deny approval of the issuance of any guarantee, insurance, extension of credit, or participation in an extension of credit in connection with the export of any goods or services to the sanctioned person;
(ii) agencies shall not issue any specific license or grant any other specific permission or authority under any statute that requires the prior review and approval of the United States Government as a condition for the export or reexport of goods or technology to the sanctioned person;
(iii) with respect to a sanctioned person that is a financial institution:
(1) the Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System and the President of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York shall take such actions as they deem appropriate, including denying designation, or terminating the continuation of any prior designation of, the sanctioned person as a primary dealer in United States Government debt instruments; or
(2) agencies shall prevent the sanctioned person from serving as an agent of the United States Government or serving as a repository for United States Government funds; or
(iv) agencies shall not procure, or enter into a contract for the procurement of, any goods or services from the sanctioned person.
(b) The prohibitions in subsections (a)(i)–(a)(iv) of this section apply except to the extent provided by statutes, or in regulations, orders, directives, or licenses that may be issued pursuant to this order, and notwithstanding any contract entered into or any license or permit granted prior to the date of this order.
Sec. 7. (a) When the Secretary of State, in accordance with the terms of section 5 of this order, has determined that a person meets any of the criteria described in section 5 and has selected any of the sanctions set forth below to impose on that person, the Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of State, shall take the following actions where necessary to implement the sanctions imposed by the Secretary of State:
(i) prohibit any United States financial institution from making loans or providing credits to the sanctioned person totaling more than $10,000,000 in any 12-month period, unless such person is engaged in activities to relieve human suffering and the loans or credits are provided for such activities;
(ii) prohibit any transactions in foreign exchange that are subject to the jurisdiction of the United States and in which the sanctioned person has any interest;
(iii) prohibit any transfers of credit or payments between financial institutions or by, through, or to any financial institution, to the extent that such transfers or payments are subject to the jurisdiction of the United States and involve any interest of the sanctioned person;
(iv) block all property and interests in property that are in the United States, that come within the United States, or that are or come within the possession or control of any United States person, including any foreign branch, of the sanctioned person, and provide that such property and interests in property may not be transferred, paid, exported, withdrawn, or otherwise dealt in; or
(v) restrict or prohibit imports of goods, technology, or services, directly or indirectly, into the United States from the sanctioned person.
(b) The prohibitions in subsections (a)(i)–(a)(v) of this section apply except to the extent provided by statutes, or in regulations, orders, directives, or licenses that may be issued pursuant to this order, and notwithstanding any contract entered into or any license or permit granted prior to the date of this order.
Sec. 8. I hereby determine that, to the extent that section 203(b)(2) of IEEPA (50 U.S.C. 1702(b)(2)) may apply, the making of donations of the types of articles specified in such section by, to, or for the benefit of any person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to this order would seriously impair my ability to deal with the national emergency declared in Executive Order 12957, and I hereby prohibit such donations as provided by subsections 1(a)(iv), 2(a), 3(a), and 7(a)(iv) of this order.
Sec. 9. The prohibitions in subsections 1(a)(iv), 2(a), 3(a), and 7(a)(iv) of this order include but are not limited to:
(a) the making of any contribution or provision of funds, goods, or services by, to, or for the benefit of any person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to this order; and
(b) the receipt of any contribution or provision of funds, goods, or services from any such person.
Sec. 10. I hereby find that the unrestricted immigrant and nonimmigrant entry into the United States of aliens who meet one or more of the criteria in subsections 2(a) and 3(a) of this order would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, and I hereby suspend the entry into the United States, as immigrants or nonimmigrants, of such persons. Such persons shall be treated as persons covered by section 1 of Proclamation 8693 of July 24, 2011 (Suspension of Entry of Aliens Subject to United Nations Security Council Travel Bans and International Emergency Economic Powers Act Sanctions).
Sec. 11. The Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of State, is hereby authorized to take such actions, including the promulgation of rules and regulations, and to employ all powers granted to the President by IEEPA and sections 6(a)(6), 6(a)(7), 6(a)(8), 6(a)(9), 6(a)(11), and 6(a)(12) of ISA, and to employ all powers granted to the United States Government by section 6(a)(3) of ISA, as may be necessary to carry out the purposes of this order. The Secretary of the Treasury may redelegate any of these functions to other officers and agencies of the United States Government consistent with applicable law.
Sec. 12. (a) Any transaction that evades or avoids, has the purpose of evading or avoiding, causes a violation of, or attempts to violate any of the prohibitions set forth in this order or in Executive Order 12957, Executive Order 12959, Executive Order 13059, or Executive Order 13599 is prohibited.
(b) Any conspiracy formed to violate any of the prohibitions set forth in this order or in Executive Order 12957, Executive Order 12959, Executive Order 13059, or Executive Order 13599 is prohibited.
Sec. 13. For the purposes of this order:
(a) the term “entity” means a partnership, association, trust, joint venture, corporation, group, subgroup, or other organization;
(b) the term “Government of Iran” includes the Government of Iran, any political subdivision, agency, or instrumentality thereof, including the Central Bank of Iran, and any person owned or controlled by, or acting for or on behalf of, the Government of Iran;
(c) the term “Iran” means the Government of Iran and the territory of Iran and any other territory or marine area, including the exclusive economic zone and continental shelf, over which the Government of Iran claims sovereignty, sovereign rights, or jurisdiction, provided that the Government of Iran exercises partial or total de facto control over the area or derives a benefit from economic activity in the area pursuant to international arrangements;
(d) the terms “knowledge” and “knowingly,” with respect to conduct, a circumstance, or a result, mean that a person has actual knowledge, or should have known, of the conduct, the circumstance, or the result;
(e) the term “person” means an individual or entity;
(f) the term “sanctioned person” means a person that the President, or the Secretary of State or the Secretary of the Treasury pursuant to authority delegated by the President and in accordance with the terms of such delegation, has determined is a person on whom sanctions shall be imposed pursuant to IEEPA, ISA, CISADA, or ITRSHRA, and on whom the President, the Secretary of State, or the Secretary of the Treasury has imposed any of the sanctions in section 6 of ISA;
(g) for the purposes of section 4 of this order, the term “subject to the jurisdiction of the Government of Iran” means a person organized under the laws of Iran or any jurisdiction within Iran, ordinarily resident in Iran, or in Iran, or owned or controlled by any of the foregoing;
(h) the term “United States financial institution” means a financial institution (including its foreign branches) organized under the laws of the United States or any jurisdiction within the United States or located in the United States; and
(i) the term “United States person” means any United States citizen, permanent resident alien, entity organized under the laws of the United States or any jurisdiction within the United States (including foreign branches), or any person in the United States.
Sec. 14. For those persons whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to this order who might have a constitutional presence in the United States, I find that because of the ability to transfer funds or other assets instantaneously, prior notice to such persons of measures to be taken pursuant to this order would render those measures ineffectual. I therefore determine that for these measures to be effective in addressing the national emergency declared in Executive Order 12957, there need be no prior notice of an action taken pursuant to subsections 1(a)(iv), 2(a), 3(a), and 7(a)(iv) of this order.
Sec. 15. Executive Order 13622 is hereby amended as follows:
(a) Subsection (1)(c)(ii) is amended by deleting the words “with respect to the country with primary jurisdiction over the foreign financial institution.”
(b) Subsection (2)(b)(ii) is amended by deleting the words “with respect to the country with primary jurisdiction over the person.”
(c) Subsection 1(d) is amended by inserting the words “agricultural commodities,” after the words “sale of.”
Sec. 16. The Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of State, is hereby authorized to take such actions, including the promulgation of rules and regulations, and to employ all powers granted to the President by IEEPA, as may be necessary to carry out section 104A of CISADA (22 U.S.C. 8514). The Secretary of the Treasury may redelegate any of these functions to other officers and agencies of the United States Government consistent with applicable law.
Sec. 17. All agencies of the United States Government are hereby directed to take all appropriate measures within their authority to carry out the provisions of this order.
Sec. 18. This order is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.
Sec. 19. The measures taken pursuant to this order are in response to actions of the Government of Iran occurring after the conclusion of the 1981 Algiers Accords, and are intended solely as a response to those later actions.
THE WHITE HOUSE,
October 9, 2012.
By Stephen Lendman, Contributor
October 16, 2012
Washington bears full responsibility for imposing illegitimate sanctions on Iran. Other countries are pressured to go along. Doing so harms their own interests.
Heavy-handed US bullying largely gets its way. Rule of law principles and norms are violated. At issue is advancing Washington’s imperium.
America’s 1977 International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA) lets presidents claim unusual and/or extraordinary foreign threats, declare a national emergency, and regulate commerce accordingly.
Presidents took full advantage deceptively, unjustifiably, and illegally. Targeting Iran began in November 1979. Iranian assets were lawlessly seized. A full trade embargo followed.
In January 1981, it was lifted under provisions of the Algiers Accords. Most Iranian assets were unblocked. Nonetheless, Iranian Assets Control Regulations remained in effect.
Sanctions harm nations. Ordinary people are hurt most. That’s the whole idea. Iranians feel the full brunt of US ruthlessness. Multiple rounds of sanctions have been imposed. Doing so is lawless. The previous article explained.
The General Assembly’s 1974 Charter of Economic Rights and Duties of States says no nation may use or encourage use of economic, political or other measures to coerce another country to to subordinate its sovereign rights in any way.
Under Part IV, Section 1, Chapter III, Article 54 of the Protocol 1 Additional to the Geneva Conventions (1977):
(1) Starving civilians during war is prohibited.
(2) Attacking, destroying, removing, or compromising indispensable items is prohibited. They include foodstuffs, crops, livestock, drinking water installations and supplies, irrigation works, and other essential products, services, and facilities relating to them.
UN General Assembly Resolution 44/215 (1989) prohibits political and economic coercion against developing countries.
It specifically covers trade and financial restrictions, blockades, embargoes, and other economic sanctions. It calls them incompatible with UN Charter provisions. They adversely affect the ability of nations to function politically, economically and socially. They harm civilians most.
The International Conference on Nutrition, World Declaration on Nutrition, Food and Agriculture Organization, and World Health Organization (1992) recognized the right to access nutritionally adequate and safe food as a fundamental right.
US Code defines international terrorism as follows:
A. “violent acts or acts dangerous to human life that are a violation of the criminal laws of the United States or of any State, or that would be a criminal violation if committed within the jurisdiction of the United States or of any State;
B. appear to be intended –
i. to intimidate or coerce a civilian population;
ii. to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or
iii. to affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination, or kidnapping; and
C. occur primarily outside the territorial jurisdiction of the United States….”
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report October 16, 2012, 8:30 PM (GMT+02:00)
As US president Barack Obama and his Republican challenger Mitt Romney prepared for their duel on foreign policy in Long Island, Tuesday night Oct. 16, Iran moved was on the move to present them with an accomplished fact: Its nuclear program’s high-speed uranium enrichment plant has now been entirely sequestered in the fortified underground Fordo site near Qom, debkafile’s intelligence sources report.
On Iran, the differences between President Obama and Mitt Romney are significantly nuanced: Obama pledges not to let Iran acquire a nuclear weapon, i.e., build a bomb, whereas Romney promises to prevent Iran acquiring a nuclear capability, i.e., attain the capacity for building one – a point which US intelligence believes will upon us in six months.
This estimate may not fully take into account Iran’s accelerating momentum. With the advanced IR-2 and IR-4 centrifuges, its enrichment plants can turn out more 20 percent enriched uranium at greater speed than ever before and so reach Iran’s one-ton target before then.
Our sources disclose that, racing against time, Tehran managed to install the last four clusters of 174 centrifuges each inside in “Fordo’s B Chamber” shortly before European Union foreign ministers approved toughened sanctions in Brussels Monday, 15 Oct.
The 27-nation block tightened restrictions on Iran’s central bank, halted the import of natural gas and listed 30 firms and institutions as targets for asset freezes, including the National Iranian Oil Company exporter and the National Iranian Tanker Company.
Tuesday, Iran denounced the new European Union sanctions as “inhuman,” vowing they will not force any retreat on the country’s nuclear program.
The remarks by Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast underlined Iran’s insistence that it can ride out Western economic pressures. The new EU measures will not force Iran to surrender and back down from enriching uranium, he declared. “This sort of act will encourage the Iranian nation to continue on its way, strongly.”
This is in line with Tehran’s consistent response to every form of pressure, financial, economic, intelligence or military, which is to whip up its nuclear program for an extra spurt and leave no assault unanswered.
Saturday, Oct. 6, shortly after Fordo power lines were disabled by sabotage, causing small fires which damaged some centrifuges, Tehran sent Hizballah to launch a stealth drone over Israeli air space and beam back images of the Dimona nuclear reactor. Those images will soon be released. The lesson for the West was this: You may hit the Fordo power supply, but our arm is long enough to reach the Israeli reactor. And our payback for new European sanctions is faster centrifuges.
In Jerusalem, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu thanked the EU for the new sanctions at a reception Tuesday Oct. 16 for European envoys. “We’ll know they are achieving their goal when the centrifuges stop spinning,” he added.
He knew when he spoke that the sanctions had had the opposite effect. And like Obama and Romney, he knows what Iran plans next. debkafile’s military and intelligence sources report that the Iranians are preparing to change the “active formation” of the Fordo centrifuges and adapt them for refining uranium up to the 60 percent level, a short step before the weapons grade of 90 percent. The conversion is expected to be ready to go in the second half of December or early January, 2013.
US and Israeli intelligence experts on Iran recently arrived at a consensual assessment that Fordo was the only site capable of producing uranium enriched to the high 90 percent level.
Iran has therefore leapt across another red line in its steady advance toward a nuclear capability and is about to across its next.
Conscious that a moment of decision was at hand, British Prime Minister David Cameron Monday night informed Anglo-Jewish leaders that he had called Netanyahu to ask him not to attack Iran’s nuclear facilities but allow more time for sanctions to have an impact.
Cameron was undoubtedly acting on a request from the White House in Washington.
But both the British and Israeli prime ministers haven’t forgotten that only a few weeks ago, Israel had marked with a red line a fully operational Fordo which had to be stopped before it was buried out of reach in “an immune zone.”
That line was crossed this week and still Israel has refrained from action.
What this means for Tehran is that, so long as Israel heeds the “advice” coming from Washington and London, and President Obama holds back from the “October surprise” proposed by one of his insiders, Tehran need not be afraid to go forward and start refining uranium up to 60 percent and, from there, all the way up to the manufacture of a nuclear bomb without hindrance.
DEBKAfile October 16, 2012, 8:45 PM (GMT+02:00)
A senior Iranian military official claimed Tuesday that Iranian-made surveillance drones made dozens of apparently undetected flights into Israeli airspace from Lebanon in recent years to probe air defenses and collect reconnaissance data. An Israeli official rejected the account. The Iranian official declined to give further details, including whether they were similar to the unmanned aircraft launched last week by Lebanon’s Hezbollah and downed by Israeli warplanes. The oficial’s claim could not be independently verified as he spoke on condition of anonymity.
Published: 15 October, 2012, 22:55
Despite increased sanctions against Iran this year, US exports to the Islamic Republic have increased by about a third, bringing earnings nearly $50 million higher in the first eight months of this year than in all of 2011.
The US Census Bureau found that from January through August, exports to Iran totaled $199.5 million, an increase of about one third from last year’s $150.8 during the same period. Most of the exports came from the sale of wheat and other grains, which were valued at $89.2 million and comprised 45 percent of all US exports to Iran, Reuters reports.
Dairy products and medical equipment have also continued to enter Iran, with sales of milk products more than doubling since last year. The sale of such goods is permitted with a Treasury Department export license.
But had the US stopped exporting wheat to Iran, exports would have declined overall.
American companies have also complained that it is difficult for them to get paid for their sales, since many of Iran’s largest banks have been blacklisted by the US for involvement in terrorism or the country’s nuclear program. Some Americans, especially religiously affiliated or non-profit groups, have argued that banking sanctions could prevent humanitarian trade.
“The administration’s sanctions against Iran have created a de-facto humanitarian banking blockade,” Kate Gould of the Friends Committee on National Legislation told Reuters.
But the news comes at a time when the European Union has just agreed to increase the already-tight sanctions against Iran over its nuclear program, two and a half months after US President Barack Obama threatened increased action.
In August, Obama announced sanctions against foreign banks that help Iran sell its oil and petrochemical products, choking the country even more of its finances.
“If the Iranian government continues its defiance, there should be no doubt that the United States and our partners will continue to impose increasing consequences,” he said. Two and a half months later, sanctions are once again increasing. The EU on Monday decided to prohibit all transactions between European and Iranian banks, unless national authorities have approved them.
“We have always said sanctions are not an end in themselves, but are there to apply pressure on the Iranian authorities to meet their international obligations,” said EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton.
At a time when Iran is suffering from the effects of the sanctions, Reuters calls the increase in US exports “surprising given Western efforts to isolate Iran economically.”
Published: 15 October, 2012, 16:36
Edited: 16 October, 2012, 08:33
The EU has approved one of the toughest sets of sanctions yet on Iran’s nuclear program. It includes banning the import of Iranian natural gas into union nations.
The sanctions also include a ban on financial transactions between European and Iranian banks, with some exceptions for those involving humanitarian aid, food and medicine purchases.
The decision was made during Monday’s meeting of EU foreign ministers in Luxembourg.
“The [EU] Council has agreed additional restrictive measures in the financial, trade, energy and transport sectors, as well as additional designations, notably of entities active in the oil and gas industry,” a written statement issued by the European Union council said.
Further export restrictions were imposed on industrial software, graphite, and the metals which the EU believes could be used to develop ballistic missiles. The new restrictions also prohibit eurozone companies from providing shipbuilding technology and classification services to Iranian tankers and cargo vessels.
The sanctions aim to pressure Iran to cooperate in talks regarding its nuclear program. British Foreign Secretary William Hague said the new sanctions were a “sign of our resolve in the European Union that we will step up the pressure.”
And that pressure is expected to continue until Iran agrees to negotiations.
The statement released by the EU council said that ministers remained “determined to increase, in close coordination with international partners, pressure on Iran.”
But the country’s Supreme Leader, Ali Khamanei, said the “insidious policies” did nothing to upset political stability in the country, and that Iran was able to maintain a sense of “tranquility” despite growing economic pressure.
“The Iranian nation has managed to show its capabilities to the world despite threats, sanctions and the enemies’ hostilities relying on this stability and tranquility,” Khamanei was quoted by Fars News Agency as saying.
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