" The Dinar Daily " ...... Saturday, 11 April 2013
Approval of the new salary scale and distribution of oil revenues 11-05-2013 | (Voice of Iraq)
Resulted in a meeting between all the political blocs on Friday for an agreement to approve the laws of the new salary scale and distribution of oil revenues and salaries of retirees after the holiday the current chapter.
The MP said the Iraqi List, Nahida Daini in an interview followed the term: that the House of Representatives passage of three laws binding after the agreement of all the blocks on the approval and will achieve gains for citizens and parliamentarians.
It showed that the mechanism of the new salary scale include equality and salaries balance between ministries.
It is hoped that send the General Secretariat of the Council of Ministers Act to amend the salaries of state employees to parliament for consideration by the parliamentary Finance Committee and forwarded to the vote during the current month of May.
The law includes increasing the salaries of employees of the fifth degree and below because they are paid do not meet their daily living needs.
Daini indicated that there is a great disparity in salaries between the Ministry and the other creating large gaps in income living.
It confirmed that the Parliament is determined to approve the three laws which is an important requirement for citizens and contribute to the improvement of living and economic income. The pension law are studied to be divided into two bills, the
Talabani as president between emotions and the provisions of the Constitution
11-05-2013 | (Voice of Iraq)
Erbil: Shirzad Shikhani of the
There were conflicting reports once again about the health of Iraqi President Jalal Talabani, between clinically confirmed his death, and his health improved to the degree of which may be able to return to Kurdistan.
In the midst of this controversy, highlighting the legal question of the vacancy of the post of President of the Republic of Iraq for a period exceeded Constitutional alone.
Article «72» of Iraq's constitution stipulates in paragraph «c» that «in case of vacancy of the office of President of the Republic for any reason, a new president is elected to complete the remaining period of the mandate of the President of the Republic». While confirming the third paragraph of Article 75 is that «solve the Vice President of the Republic replaced the President of the Republic when vacant office for any reason, and the House of Representatives to elect a new president, within a period not exceeding 30 days from the date of vacancy.
☻How long has it BEEN since Talabani has been clinically dead and/or has made great strives in improving health?? Quite a while now. Also, remember 2 weeks ago an article came out STATING they have 30 days TO REPLACE TALABANI WITH THE VICE PRESIDENT... ~~RED LILY
But it seems that the issue of emotions personal play its role so far in the no-brainer, even just thinking about filling his vacancy with another person, despite the fact that this position is the share of the Kurds, and the Kurdish leadership, represented by بالحزبين presidents; KDP, led by regional president Massoud Barzani, and the Patriotic Union, led by Talabani, have not yet dared to talk about this position, pending developments in the health status of President Talabani, currently lying in a German hospital.
TALABANI HEALTH DEVELOPMENTS:
In the light of the scarcity of reports, with the supervisor of the medical staff treating the president, as well as his personal physician, Dr. Necmettin cream, the statement further details about his health, the skies opened again in front of speculation and contradictory statements about the health developments of President Talabani. Has indicated Turkish newspapers, citing local sources to the death of Talabani, but his personal physician, Dr. Karim said in an official statement yesterday that «the president in good health», saying in a statement published by media website for the National Union Party, led by Talabani that «what some of the media about the health of President Talabani untrue, and has no basis, stressing that good health and continues to improve day after day.
Karim called the media to be accurate when you spread the news and make sure it is correct, because it violates the standards and professional assets.
He added: «Once again I would like to reassure the Kurdish people and everyone that President Talabani's health is very good and stable, and I will be going to Germany soon, and I will visit President Talabani, and from there I will announce the good news for all».
He called Dr. Necmettin to not to believe what is published about the health of President Talabani of any entity or person, except what comes out of the medical team, pointing out that he is only authorized to declare President Talabani's health.
According to a leading role in his party, he stressed the «Middle East» on condition of anonymity that «remarks Dr. Karim reassuring, and he would go to Germany within the next few days», according to the announcement, the health of President Talabani is very good, and when it was announced that Sazv GOOD NEWS for his people while in Germany, it is likely to come back with Talabani to Kurdistan within the next week, accompanied by a medical team German to oversee the recovery period that will go by the president with his return to Kurdistan, he added: «The picture will become clearer completely during the next week, and will be put an end to speculation and conflicting News about the president's health.
☻ Let me REMIND YOU, we have been here before. We have heard of Talabani returning with a medical team. Let's hope it is true but either way, it is my opinion he will STILL be in NO CONDITION to RULE. ~~RED LILY
In the ♦ absence of long term (5 months) of President Talabani for his official position as president of the Republic, also raised the issue of his replacement in the presidency, an issue that still emotions overcome to now, while there are provisions unconstitutional handled such cases, there is a specific vacant position According to the Constitution, and is supposed to be filling the post after long absence of the president, but a legal expert is a member of the Council of Representatives of Iraq confirmed the «Middle East», students turn on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity Thread: «true there specific period in articles 72 and 75 of the Constitution, but none of the articles did not specify the causes of freedom, the text of constitutional emphasizes the need to fill the position within 30 days of being free, but did not specify the causes of freedom; Are due to illness, resignation or death or the issuance of a court ruling prevents the President from exercising his functions presidential, and therefore the President Talabani patient Currently, who, like all persons gallery of the disease for a period shorter or longer, but it is unlikely to regain full recovery, but it may not fill the office he is still alive », he added:« In one case, we can talk about filling his position; if progress is himself resign, or make sure his inability to exercise his duties by a medical report certified by ».
☻5 months Talabani has not been able to PERFORM HIS DUTIES. Once again we see they do not follow their own laws. I would think COMMON SENSE would tell us you CANNOT run a presidency FROM A HOSPITAL BED. I cannot keep up and post news like I use to due to lesser health problems.. GO FIGURE the Iraqi mentality ~~RED LILY
The party leader Talabani indicates that «this situation is comfortable for State of Law bloc, which became the executive as a whole in her hand, especially the Council of Ministers, which is managed by Nuri al-Maliki, and the Presidency of the Republic which became managed by Khodeir Khuzaie».
Al-Hakim: we fortify ourselves Iraqis before the (tsunami) in region
10-05-2013 | (Voice of Iraq)
Baghdad morning Najaf Hussain Al Kaabi
The leader of the Islamic Supreme Council emphasized Mr. Ammar al-Hakim to fortify ourselves against Iraqi political tsunami in a changing political map and geography in the region. "
At the time of the Diyala prepares to form a consensus Government, the independent High Electoral Commission that any change in the election results in the 12 provinces subject to a decision of the judiciary.
Mr. Hakim renewed his claim to preserve the principle of partnership in the country, adding that the Islamic action don't miss or exclude but involve the concerted efforts to achieve lofty goals.
This came during a tribute ceremony Thursday evening, the Office of the Supreme Council in Najaf, the Iraqi martyr day coinciding with the anniversary of the martyrdom of Ayatollah Sayed Mohammed Baqir al-Hakim.
And the leader of the Supreme Council that stream revered banner inclusive and embracing them and defends this principle and preserve the rights of its partners even if the UN-backed, rights "without partnership we can build a country."
Wise noted that the region faces great challenges not only for Iraq but for the region as a whole, more "political map and geographical changes and the status of security chaos and confusion continued, especially to undisciplined tools of conflict and could not control the forces that move in the region indicates that the region is preparing to open national and sectarian conflict, and this makes us before seriously requiring us to entrench ourselves in front of the Iraqi threats and political tsunami that moves in the zone, so we need more Internal cohesion and overcome political forces for the problems among themselves, "Hakim said that the results of the recent elections as an important message for the political forces in the country in terms of turnout and voter attitudes, saying" we have to study this message and translate them into practical reality and must leave the political rhetoric and turn to the language of service.
Provincial elections were held in the governorates that are not organized in the province of Anbar, Ninewa, except on 20 April, and the turnout of about 50 percent.
Hakim also called for relevant government agencies to compensate those affected by the floods and rains in Central and southern Iraq.
The Governor of Diyala province, revealing the age of all the understandings between his list (Iraqi Diyala) and the National Alliance and the Kurdistan Alliance to form a consensus Government in the province, saying its support for forces enhance security in the province from the Federal Army, the peshmerga.
Anil said at a joint news conference with the Governor of Kirkuk governorate building, "we held meetings with the National Alliance and the Kurdistan Alliance to form a consensus Government in Diyala."
He added that "all very appropriate and there are many understandings in Diyala", likely to be the Government of Diyala is fastest in the formation ".
Experts at New York Conference Optimistic Over Turkey-PKK Peace
by MUTLU CIVIROGLU
NEW YORK – Turkey is engaged in a historic opportunity for peace with its own Kurds and those beyond its borders, and a sign of the emerging relationship are Ankara’s growing ties with Iraq’s autonomous Kurdistan Region, according to experts at a conference in New York.
Eminent speakers, commenting in panel discussions at Columbia University’s Organization for the Advancement of Studies of Inner Eurasian Societies (OASIES), praised talks between Ankara and the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), whose first fruits are an ongoing withdrawal of fighters from Turkey.
“If Ankara can successfully solve this problem, it will not only build a partnership with some 17 million Kurds in Turkey, but also with five million in Iraq and two million Kurds in Syria too,” noted the University of Kentucky’s Professor Robert Olson, who has written several well-known books about the Kurds.
Professor Abbas Vali, a distinguished Kurdish scholar from Iran, added that the PKK has a very significant place in Kurdish history, not only as a political party but also as a social movement.
“It is a significant accomplishment that the PKK was able to bring the Turkish government to the negotiation table. With this process, the ‘military solution’ option of Ankara also collapsed,” he told the audience.
If Ankara can successfully solve this problem, it will not only build a partnership with some 17 million Kurds in Turkey, but also with five million in Iraq and two million Kurds in Syria too,
Vali said that the goal that the PKK’s jailed leader, Abdullah Ocalan, wants today is not new as some claim. “I met with Ocalan in Rome in 1995 for five hours, and even then he was determined to end armed struggle and continue his struggle in the democratic field,” he said.
In a separate discussion, Professor Mehmet Gurses of the Florida Atlantic University was less overwhelmed by Turkish achievements, noting that Ankara has yet to address demands for greater rights from its restive Kurdish minority.
He praised the PKK as the most modern and effective among all political and social Kurdish movements, adding it had helped millions of Kurds in Turkey regain their identity.
“Due primarily to their distribution in four key countries in the region, Kurds can serve as a key to democratize Iraq and Syria, check and balance religious fundamentalism, and lay the groundwork for a secular and democratic co-existence between all groups” Gurses asserted.
He appealed to the US government to support the peace process with concrete steps, such as removing the PKK from its list of terrorist organizations.
“Considering the power of the Kurdish nationalist movement in the region, support for a political solution for the conflict in Turkey is also in the interest of the United States,” Gurses noted.
“The failure of the peace process is likely to result in some serious outcomes, none of which would serve the US national interest,” he warned, saying consequences could include further chaos in Syria, which in turn could strengthen radical Islamists.
David L. Phillips, a program director at Columbia and former senior adviser to the US Department of State, noted that Ankara and Turkey’s Kurds are both exhausted by years of armed conflict, making the situation ripe for resolution. An estimated 40,000 people have died in the three-decade conflict between the PKK and Ankara.
“Turkey’s Kurds have abandoned demands for an independent homeland, in lieu of expanded political and cultural rights, as well as economic opportunity,” Philips said, expressing hope that the Kurds would gain some of their rights before elections next year.
Considering the power of the Kurdish nationalist movement in the region, support for a political solution for the conflict in Turkey is also in the interest of the United States,
He said that if these rights are delayed the Kurds face the danger of leaving the process empty-handed, because the government now making peace with the Kurds may no longer be in power.
Philips said that the government of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan should show its sincerity to the Kurds with immediate changes, allowing greater freedom of expression, abolishing articles of the anti-terror and penal laws and improving human rights.
Philips also talked about his upcoming to trip to the Kurdistan Region, and praised the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) for its constructive role in bringing the peace process to life.
”It is ironic to see that Turkey, who once was the main opponent of the KRG, has a very strong economic and commercial relation with the Iraqi Kurds,” Philips said, adding that the success of the process will further strengthen Ankara’s ties with all Kurds, including the KRG.
Hasip Kaplan, an MP from the Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) which mediated the talks between Ankara and Ocalan’s prison cell, said that the peace process is embraced by all Kurds, not only Turkey’s Kurdish population.
“In the peace process, we rely on our people and our own power. No need to be pessimistic or emotional. We, as Kurds, will act together and achieve our goals,” Kaplan vowed.
He said that a Kurdish National Conference would be held in Erbil this fall to determine a national policy for all Kurds, and draw a future road map.
The lawmaker emphasized the need for a new Turkish constitution by the end of this year, adding that for guns to be silenced for good, opportunities for democratic politics and Kurdish rights should be created and recognized.
Kaplan also stressed it was time for the US to take the PKK off its terror list, and revise names of senior PKK commanders, such as Murat Karayilan, Riza Altun and Zubeyir Aydar from its list of drug traffickers.
Does the Kurdistan Region Have Alternatives to Turkey?
by Wladimir van Wilgenburg 10/5/2013
Could a change in government in neighboring Syria offer Iraq’s autonomous and landlocked Kurdistan Region an alternative to dependence on Turkey for oil and gas exports? According to Middle East expert Ruba Husari, it can, especially if Syrian Kurds also succeed in gaining autonomy in the future.
In an article for the Carnegie Middle East Center, she suggested that an alignment of interests between the Kurds of Syria and Iraq could offer the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) an alternative to dependence on Turkey as an oil-gas corridor.
But this seems unlikely.
Husari suggests that the “degree of autonomy that a new regime emerging in Syria would be able to grant Syrian Kurds -- as well as the latter’s ability to carve out an autonomous region within the new state -- will determine whether Iraq’s Kurds will be able to free themselves from the pressures of Ankara and Baghdad and establish a direct export route for their hydrocarbons via Syrian Kurdish territory.”
However, Syria’s own Kurdish areas contain oil and gas, but will themselves be dependent for exports on either Turkey, Syria’s future government or the KRG -- more specifically on the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), which controls the border near the Kurdish areas of Syria.
Some analysts think the Syrian Kurds have this access, but this is not the case.
Often analysts forget the fact that Kurds -- including Syrian Kurds -- are landlocked and therefore always dependent on others not only for gas and oil exports, but also for imports. Moreover, the current tensions between the KDP and Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) could make cooperation between Syrian Kurds and Iraqi Kurds difficult in the future. The oil industry knows the PKK-affiliated Democratic Union Party (PYD) controls most of Syria’s Kurdish areas.
At an oil forum in Washington DC last month, KRG energy minister Ashti Hawrami made clear that for the Kurdistan Region there is no alternative to Turkey. He said exports were possible through Iran and Syria, “But we infinitely prefer dealing with Turkey, for several advantages: first of all, the infrastructure -- more or less ready. The corridor is already being used for oil supply,” he said.
KRG Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani has also suggested that the only door of hope for Iraqi Kurds – or the KDP -- is Turkey.
The Iraqi Kurds cannot simply fly out oil and gas; they need pipelines. And those pipelines are the guarantee of possibly more independence or autonomy in the future. But for this, they need cooperation with one of their neighbors.
By: Ali Abel Sadah for Al-Monitor Iraq Pulse Posted on May 10.
The news on May 2 that the Iraqi cabinet will hold a session in Erbil opens the door to a number of possibilities, including the return of friendliness to the tense relationship between Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and Massoud Barzani, president of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG).
Such a meeting also indicates that Baghdad continues to probe the intentions of the Iraqi Kurds, especially given that its request that the cabinet meet in Erbil was vehemently opposed by some Kurdish members of the parliament in Baghdad.
Summary : Iraqi and Kurdistan Regional Government sources have confirmed that a cabinet meeting will be held in Erbil, reports Ali Abel Sadah.
Original Title: Baghdad and Erbil Agreement: Good Intentions With No Guarentee
Author: Ali Abel Sadah
Translated by: Steffi Chakti
Categories :Originals Iraq
Kurdish Minister of Trade Khairallah Babakir announced the meeting in a press release on May 2,“Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki agreed on holding a cabinet session in Erbil as part of a series of meetings to be held with Kurdish powers and President of Kurdistan Massoud Barzani to activate the agreement between both parties.”
The government in Baghdad is yet to make an official announcement about the meeting, but Maliki's Islamic Dawa Party has confirmed to Al-Monitor that a session is, indeed, supposed to take place in Erbil.
☻THIS IS CERTAINLY A GOOD SIGN.... IF of course, Maliki WILL DO WHAT HE PROMISES THIS TIME!! ~~RED LILY
Khaled al-Assadi, a leading member of the party, declared to Al-Monitor, “The aim of holding a cabinet session in Erbil is clear. [It is about] sending a message to everyone that Kurdistan is a part of Iraq and that the cabinet is a federal council for all Iraq.” When asked about the date of the meeting, Assadi responded, “It is not yet set.”
Negotiators from both sides confirmed to Al-Monitor that the latest agreement drafted by Maliki and a high-ranking Kurdish delegation in Baghdad involved cooperation in seven areas:
• amending the current general budget law;
• settling the issue of the law on oil and gas and
• the Tigris and Jazeera Operations Commands;
• redrawing disputed administrative frontiers;
• compensating people affected by the chemical attacks on the Kurdish areas under former president Saddam Hussein;
• and appointing representatives of both parties for cooperation and information exchanges.
♦ The seven items were the fruit of intensive meetings that began as soon as the Kurdish delegation, headed by KRG Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani, arrived on April 29 at the Baghdad office of Ibrahim al-Jaafari, the head of the National Iraqi Alliance, to which most Shiite parties belong. Afterward, the delegation headed to Maliki's office to discuss points of contention.
HISTORY PART OF ARTICLE:
In years past at meetings between Erbil and Baghdad, similar memoranda had been agreed upon, often resulting in new crises. Hiwa Osman, former media adviser to the Iraqi president, told Al-Monitor, “The cordial talks between the leaderships of Baghdad and Erbil help to promote a truce amid a tense political environment on multiple levels. Yet, the last agreement will not be fruitful unless accompanied by practical steps that achieve progress and unequivocally settle all disputes.”
Nonetheless, the disputes involving governing mechanisms in Iraq have not been settled because there is no institutional management of the dialogue between the parties, and the ink on their agreements has not been turned into action. At least that is what Osman hinted at when he declared to Al-Monitor, “The agreement between Baghdad and Erbil is crafted by politicians, yet it is more important to assign technical crews for execution.”
In Erbil, concern is rampant about the compromises made by Maliki. Some fear that they are merely a political lifeline for extricating himself from the crisis involving enraged Sunnis demanding his ouster.
A source close to Barzani revealed to Al-Monitor, “Barzani channeled the focus in the latest discussions with Baghdad on the importance of communication between both governments. He believes that the solution to crises is reached through mutual understanding, cooperation and harmony.”
The optimism of Baghdad and Erbil is not enough for moving forward, however, because it cannot resolve the deep-rooted, substantial and intractable problems related to ongoing issues of interests, influence and political intersections. Other political crises have been resolved through talks on agreements and clauses, but execution has been missing, especially when it comes to the distribution of national wealth and settlement of the legal status of Kirkuk in addition to the delineation of provincial borders.
Moayad al-Tayib, spokesperson for the Kurdish MPs in Baghdad, agrees with this view. He told Al-Monitor, “The agreement has not yet been coupled with guarantees. It is all related to goodwill, but if the agreement turns out to be just talk, we will have no choice but to go back to the drawing board.”
Ali Abel Sadah is a Baghdad-based writer for both Iraqi and Arab media. He has been a managing editor for local newspapers as well as a political and cultural reporter for more than 10 years.
☻This article, although contradicts itself throughout, I WILL REMAIN OPTIMISTIC that they may actually come to a compromise. HOWEVER, I still remain cautious of Maliki. Is this a ploy of Maliki's to SHOW TO THE WORD, "Hey LOOK, I AM TRYING TO REASON WITH THESE PEOPLE. They WILL NOT bend." Is this another Maliki "Theater Tactic" by Maliki? ~~RED LILY
What Was the Objective
Of Israel’s Airstrikes on Syria?
By: Fehim Tastekin Translated from Radikal (Turkey).
ORİJİNAL YAZIYI TÜRKÇE OKUYABİLİRSİNİZ
We are told that the targets of the Israeli airstrikes against Syria were Iranian-made Fateh-110 missiles. But if we look at the places hit, we see two administrative buildings, a research center, an air defense unit and a weapons armory. There is no cargo on the road to Lebanon. What is the aim of Israel, which has attacked Syria three times since January using Hezbollah as a pretext?
The recent Israeli airstrikes on Damascus could be a form of preparation for intervention, writes Fehim Tastekin.
Publisher: Radikal (Turkey)
Israel’s Damascus Operation and Its Dream of Joining the Sunni Crescent
Author: Fehim Tastekin
First Published: May 6, 2013
Posted on: May 8 2013
Translated by: Timur Goksel
Categories :Security Syria Israel
We first have to recognize that Israel’s Syria policy is intentionally kept obscure. Israel is satisfied with the Damascus regime maintaining the status quo on the Golan Heights, but it is also essential for Israel to remove Syria from the resistance axis that nurtures Hezbollah. Openly supporting the opposition, however, would strengthen President Bashar al-Assad’s hand, so Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has ordered his ministers to keep quiet.
Although Israel hesitates when it sees the alternatives to Assad, if the regime were to survive this war it would nevertheless mean nightmares for Israel. Although split over supporting the opposition, Israel has decided that the rebels have to win. I am reaching these conclusions based on the assessments Israeli experts provided to Agence France-Presse.
Preparation for intervention?
The latest operation followed Israel’s attempts to mold public opinion. This was voiced, for example, by former Defense Minister Ben-Eliezer, who said that the Syrians were using chemical weapons and those weapons were reaching the stores of Hezbollah, therefore intervention was justified. In the meantime, the Syrian army again made a mockery of predictions that the regime’s end was near, by inflicting heavy blows on armed groups around Homs and Damascus in recent weeks. Pressures by France and Britain on the EU and Obama administration’s decision to reassess weapons support are signs that the situation on the ground is not all well. It was at this critical juncture that Israel moved.
The following questions are therefore important: Is the United States having Israel do what it cannot do itself? Are Israeli attacks trying to test the regime’s level of reaction? Is this a preparation for a more comprehensive intervention?
Of course Israel wants to show its seriousness over the transfer of game-changer weapons to Hezbollah. Everybody got the message. But we have to consider that Hezbollah could just be a pretext and Israel is arbitrarily expanding the conflict’s dimensions.
Amos Gilad of the Israel Defense Ministry, in contrast to Ben-Eliezer, says Hezbollah was not after chemical weapons and that those weapons were under Assad’s control. There are increasing suspicions that there is an Israeli conspiracy. For example, according to Lawrence Wilkerson, an aide of former US Secretary of State Colin Powell, the use of chemical weapons in Syria could be a covert Israeli operation.
Making it easy for Israel
If the objective of the attack — that was launched with a green light from the United States — wasn’t just a nasty blow to Syria, then we have to consider the opportunism of Israel. Israel was perfectly at ease when launching an attack that could be a casus belli. Netanyahu did not hesitate to go on his five-day trip to China, meaning he wasn’t expecting retaliation. How come he was so comfortable? There are three reasons: the US’s irrevocable security guarantees, tough days its enemies in the region are living through and the overlapping of its interests with the bloc that has become enemies of Assad.
For the United States, there is not much of a risk of a new front opening after the Israeli attack. Israel is already technically at war with Syria and Hezbollah. Damascus did not retaliate following earlier attacks. The probability of retaliation by Hezbollah is higher, but the Shiite organization is shackled by the election process in Lebanon. The cost of any move that could set fire to Lebanon as in 2006 could be much higher this time. A new war with Israel could lead to the disintegration of Lebanon, which is already experiencing tense sectarian conflict because of the war in Syria. Israel’s real enemy Iran is busy with coming elections in June. Their priority is to safely pull through it without suffering another “green wave” as in 2009.
To find a place in the Sunni bloc
Israel is also comforted by its joint interests with the Sunni bloc regarding the Syrian crisis. According to an Israeli official who spoke to The Sunday Times, Israel wants to join the “moderate Sunni crescent” alongside Turkey, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and the UAE. Israel is proposing to share its defense systems and defend Jordan with Arrow missiles in return for access to radars in Saudi Arabia and the UAE. Add to that the Arab League’s decision to amend the Arab Peace Plan to include exchange of territory.
Perhaps a bit provocative but the real question is this: In response to its handling of Syria, will a place be found for Israel in the “Sunni axis” it is dreaming of?
By: Meir Javedanfar for Al-Monitor Posted on April 30.
Until recently, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad behaved like a boxer who always knew that in fights against his rivals, the referee (i.e., the Iranian supreme leader) would back him. And he was right. The referee, who clearly favored him, was willing to overlook many things in his favor. In some cases, he also helped him, overtly and covertly. As Khamenei is Iran's most powerful authority, there was little that Ahmadinejad's rivals could do. Those days are gone.
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad may become the first former president under Ayatollah Khamenei to spend part of his retirement under house arrest, writes Meir Javendanfar.
Author: Meir Javedanfar
Posted on : April 30 2013
Categories :Originals Iran
Ahmadinejad has six weeks left in office — six weeks in the highest political office he has ever held and is likely ever to hold in his entire political life. What’s worse for him, however, is that his rivals know that the supreme leader will no longer be willing to throw fights his way, so they are going after him, verbally and politically. Until Ahmadinejad leaves office, the pent up anger felt by his rivals for the last eight years will continue to manifest itself in blows against him, and things could get much worse after he leaves office. At that point, the attacks could become more frequent and more merciless.
Ahmadinejad has two options: to defend himself now, with all his might, to try to deter his rivals from attacking him after he leaves office or to hold his fire until after he steps down. Both options have advantages and disadvantages.
Going after his rivals while in office might deter them from future attacks, but it could also anger the supreme leader, as elections are a sensitive time for him. This would translate into even less support from Khamenei once he leaves office. By holding fire until after his term, Ahmadinejad will have much less power and influence at his disposal. Lack of action might also be interpreted as a sign of weakness by his rivals. This is, indeed, a dilemma.
For now, Ahmadinejad seems to be taking the option to ward off his rivals. This has included threatening to reveal their corrupt dealings and practices and in one case following through on his threat. The latter took place in early February, when Ahmadinejad aired tapes showing the brother of his rival Ali Larijani asking for bribes. There were also reports by the Iranian website BAZTAB that Ahmadinejad had taped evidence of cheating during the 2009 elections (oddly enough in his favor). The article that published this report was soon removed, and Ahmadinejad's office denied the story.
Now Ahmadinejad is taking the battle to the next stage: the elections process. For years, the Interior Ministry has been in charge of overseeing elections. Although the interior minister is typically considered close to the supreme leader, the president, nevertheless, has some influence in the all-important ministry.
Worried about Ahmadinejad using his influence over the Interior Ministry to promote his right-hand man, Esfandiyar Rahim Mashaei, the Iranian parliament passed a new law for the supervision of elections, and the Council of Guardians approved it in January this year. According to the law, in supervising elections, the Interior Ministry will act as part of an Elections Central Executive Committee, which will include the minister of intelligence, head of the country's judiciary, and an appointee from the Majles. All the involved institutions are staunchly pro-Khamenei, and in fact, the intelligence minister and the country's top judge are his appointees. Meanwhile, the interior minister has to nominate 30 religious, political, cultural and society personalities to the oversight committee of the Council of Guardians so that they can be vetted and seven of them appointed to the Elections Central Executive Committee.
Ahmadinejad saw the new law as a challenge to him by his rivals. To retaliate, he has held off nominating the 30 people to the Council of Guardians committee, although it was requested that he do so in mid-February. This response has raised the ire of Ahmadinejad's rivals so much so that he is being accused of playing “dangerous games” and warned that his behavior is “preparing for sedition before the elections.”
With six weeks before the presidential elections, Ahmadinejad seems to be trying to use the electoral process and his remaining influence over it to show his teeth. By doing so, he is also hoping to send a warning to his rivals. He also seems to be using his influence as political leverage to improve Meshai's chances of being approved by the Council of Guardians, should he decide to run.
This is a gamble. Should Ahmadinejad continue to drag his feet, Khamenei could simply appoint seven people himself. Judging by the reported cheating in the 2009 elections, fairness and procedure are not exactly the supreme leader's priorities.
If such a scenario were to unfold, Ahmadinejad might feel cornered and even more threatened, thus forcing him to react. This could include revealing more secrets about regime officials, which would lead to even more infighting and instability while damaging the legitimacy of the entire regime. If so, soon after the elections, Ahmadinejad would find himself pursued and possibly under house arrest. This scenario cannot be dismissed, given the sensitivity Khamenei has recently shown to those seen as destablizing elements. More important, the supreme leader needs to show that he will not stand by while his government officials spy on each other and use intelligence material to settle scores.
Regardless of what happens, upon leaving office, Ahmadinejad will join the three-member club of former presidents who served under Khamenei and then fell out of his favor. Whether Ahmadinejad will be the first member of the club to serve part of his retirement under house arrest depends on him.
Meir Javedanfar is an Iranian-Israeli Middle East analyst. He teaches contemporary Iranian politics at the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya.
A New Challenge to the West
By: Shlomi Eldar for Al-Monitor Israel Pulse
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinehad has just a few months left in office. People in Iran, as well as in the West, are expected to sigh in relief when he finally exits center stage and leaves the presidential office as soon as the elections, scheduled for June 14, 2013, are finally over.
Shlomi Eldar argues that with the upcoming elections in Iran, the international community should try another, more conciliatory approach.
The Iranian Elections: Give Peace a Chance
Author: Shlomi Eldar
Translated by: Danny Wool
Categories :Originals Israel Iran Security
I am well-aware of the attitude that this particular Iranian president was “good for the Jews.” It is an approach that I have even seen expressed on this very website. According to this particular perspective, Ahmadinejad’s fundamentalism and his anti-Semitic comments were a strategic and public relations boon for Israel and its efforts to recruit the international community against Iran’s nuclear program. I dispute that point of view.
Ahmadinejad has placed Iran’s nuclear ambitions at the top of that country’s national agenda. He personally instated the dynamic by which any concession is perceived as an act of surrender and any compromise is seen as a sign of weakness. The situation today is that any candidate who wants to step into the current president’s shoes will have no choice but to play by the same volatile set of rules that Ahmadinejad put in place. In other words, Ahmadinejad placed a loaded nuclear pistol on the desk of the incumbent president and forced him, even before he was elected, to choose between two detrimental alternatives: The future president can move ahead with the nuclear project and bring the wrath of the entire world against him; or he can call a halt to the program and be considered a capitulating coward.
Ahmadinejad is a former student revolutionary who rose through the ranks to attain the highest political office in the Islamic Republic. During his time in office, he set his country on a collision course with the rest of the world. But over time, he lost favor in the eyes of the country’s spiritual leader Ayatollah Khamenei, the one man who confirms the religious eligibility of any candidate who hopes to make an impression in that crowded presidential race. Given the economic sanctions that the West imposed on Iran, the timetables set before it, and President Barack Obama’s “red lines,” there is no doubt that the coming elections will be the most fascinating the country and the world have seen since Khomeini’s revolution in 1979.
The race for president is well-underway. The candidates are competing over who is more politically dexterous to give the sense that “they are going with” (nuclear weapons), while “feeling like they are without” (by eliminating the sanctions). None of them is entirely able to completely ignore the sanctions that have devastated the Iranian economy, the terrifying drop in the value of the rial and the very real threats of war hovering in the background.
It should also be noted that even those Iranians who oppose the blind race after nuclear armaments — and there are many — and who are absolutely convinced that having a strong economy is preferable to having an atomic bomb and other weapons of deterrence, still have problems connecting with a weak candidate with a diminished sense of “national pride.” They have problems supporting a leader who will not stand firm against pressure from the West. After all, no nation likes a weak leader. Even the pragmatic forces in Iran and the supporters of reform would prefer a leader who radiates strength. This is true even of those who struggle for a new dawn in the Islamic Republic.
A survey conducted by the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB) network, which was recently released, shows that there are two leading personalities, which could have the highest chances of being elected; two former presidents: Mohammad Khatami and Hashemi Rafsanjani. It should be noted that they have said in the past that they will not present their candidacy, but Rafsanjani did not deny it either, and might make an announcement on the issue in the coming days.
In the third place stands the mayor of Tehran, Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf. The latter has even formed a political bloc together with Ali Akbar Velayati, a former foreign minister and adviser to Khamenei, and with Gholam-Ali Haddad-Adel, the former speaker of the Majlis.
Obviously, each of these men needs the support of Iran’s ultimate authority, Ayatollah Khamenei. Not one of them would dare propose any new policies that run counter to his worldview. Not one of them would dare say, either before the elections as part of their campaign, or after the elections, regardless of who wins, that they are putting Iran’s efforts to become a nuclear power on hold to get sanctions lifted.
Despite the differences between them, Khamenei threw his significant clout behind Ahmadinejad in a speech to mark Nowruz (the Iranian New Year). A summary of his speech that appeared on the IRIB website in Hebrew reads:
“The Iranian people have succeeded in overcoming the pressures and embargo imposed by the forces of arrogance. Our enemies have tried to harm Iran in all areas, but mainly economically and politically. Nevertheless, their efforts were futile. It is incumbent on the Iranian people to thwart these hostile ploys.” In other words, Iran is the victim, and it must fight the good fight against the forces of darkness that threaten its economy and its sovereignty. As for compromise, concessions, or the cancellation of the nuclear project, they do not appear in the Iranian lexicon, at least not as it is presented to the public. They are not in the vocabulary of Khamenei, and certainly not in the vocabularies of those people competing for the coveted post of president of the Islamic Republic.
So what can be done to divert the Iranians as they gallop forward on a collision course with the West? By now it is clear that economic pressure and international isolation will not change the mind of whoever is eventually elected to the presidency. That may actually provoke even greater antagonism and entrenchment in anti-Western positions, regardless of whether the winner is Rafsanjani (if he runs), Ghalibaf or even Mohammad Khatami, who is considered the most moderate and pragmatic of the three.
The only real option is to provide them with a respectable escape route that doesn’t look like they are surrendering. The ideal solution would be to announce that from now until the presidential elections and the inauguration of a new Iranian president, the Western nations will lift their sanctions against Iran to foster a friendlier environment between the countries, which is more conducive to negotiations. Only this can create the space needed for considerations that are not based on games of honor or a sense of surrendering to the pressure imposed by the West.
By the way, the most surprising expression of the desire to reduce the tension, the threats and the deeply embedded hostility, and to replace them with a new series of considerations was recently voiced by Rafsanjani. On April 29, he said to several Iranian media outlets: “The Islamic Republic is not in a state of war with Israel." They gave his statement considerable coverage.
As already mentioned, not one of the candidates wants to appear as if he is succumbing to foreign dictates and threats and that he will have no choice but to change course as a result. Not one of the candidates will get up and announce right here and right now that outgoing President Ahmadinejad brought trouble on his people. And it is absolutely certain that not a single one of them will come out against Khamenei, whose seal of religious approval for one candidate or another will ultimately determine their political fate.
But even Rafsanjani, considered as the most extreme, has issued contradictory messages to the West. What the West must do now is internalize the inner workings of Iranian politics and extend a friendly hand to the next president of the Islamic Republic, no matter who it is.
Sanctions can always be reinstated. It will be much harder to put the brakes on the rapid descent into war.
Shlomi Eldar is a contributing writer for Al-Monitor’s Israel Pulse. For the past two decades, he has covered the Palestinian Authority and especially the Gaza Strip for Israel’s Channels 1 and 10, and has reported on the emergence of Hamas. In 2007, he was awarded the Sokolov Prize, Israel’s most important media award, for this work.
Najafi: call to stick Palmstrkat the rejection of "suspicion" that marred the political process
11-05-2013 11:43 AM
Baghdad (news) .. The head of the House of Representatives Osama Najafi, that the Iraqis are able to bury terrorism, noting that the country is in front of a critical juncture, paid by foreign wind to split the motherland to shreds small, weak and find themselves wandering circle in front of hate, as he put it.
Najafi said in a speech during a ceremony held today on the occasion of the anniversary of the martyrdom of Mr. Mohammed Baqir al-Hakim: 'there is no real democracy and the rule of solid institutions, and with a controlled chaos Fouh fire murderers and thugs'.
He added: that Iraq يستصرخنا, to loot the gift of one man, Fenrma factors small and marginal difference, to the bins, and keep on Iraq and homeland pregnant noblest messages and the cradle of the finest civilizations, and a house for the noblest minds.
He continued: call to stick Palmstrkat the, and the rejection of distrust and suspicion that marred the political process over the past years and stick loop Iraq.
He explained: that our region has been home to love and peace, Ttaktafha now 'bats of darkness', and he said: 'if Ntaadd helped Bassaad and heart, heart and mind mind, we will find ourselves in a spiral of violence that is sweeping the region and threaten the entire world disasters and calamities do not count nor infinite.'