MoI calls its absent elements to attend at their units
Monday, 02 September 2013 07:25
Baghdad (AIN) –The Ministry of Interior called all its absent elements to attend at their military units to rejoin their duty.
The Ministry of Interior reported in a statement received by AIN ''The office of the Commanding General of the Iraqi Armed Forces, the Prime Minister, Nouri al-Maliki, instructed the General Directorate of the Legal Department within the MoI to call the elements of the MoI who were absent to attend at their units.''
''The military units should work to open records to register all the information of the rejoined elements such as their mobile numbers and wait for further instructions in this regard,'' the statement added.
Maliki instructs to investigate attack targeted Ashraf Camp
Monday, 02 September 2013 01:43
Baghdad (AIN) -The Premier, Nouri al-Maliki, instructed to form a committee to investigate the attack against Ashraf Camp on Sunday morning.
A statement by Maliki’s office received by AIN quoted him as saying “As we confirmed the necessity of helping the Iraqi Government in transferring the elements of the Mujahedeen Khalq Organization abroad due to their illegitimate presence in Iraq, we also confirmed our adherence to ensure their safety.”
Earlier, the United States Embassy in Baghdad denounced the attack against Ashraf Camp on Sunday.
A statement by the US Embassy received by AIN cited “The US Embassy strongly condemns the terrible events that took place at Camp Ashraf today, which according to various reports resulted in the deaths and injuries to numerous camp residents. Our condolences go out to the families of the victims and those who were injured in today’s violence.”
Kurdish MP calls to conduct real national reconciliation to settle crises
Monday, 02 September 2013 10:26
Baghdad (AIN) –MP, Hassan Jihad, of the Kurdistani Alliance called to conduct real national reconciliation to settle the crises in Iraq.
Speaking to All Iraq News Agency (AIN), he said "Changing the current situation requires a real national reconciliation where all must hold the responsibly and submit concessions to settle the crisis in addition to responding to the demonstrators' demands by the government."
"The political blocs have also to cooperate among each other and cooperate with the security forces to settle the security crises and endorse the necessary law drafts such as the Parties, the Federal Court and Elections laws," he added.
He called "The security forces to be aware of the security threats and be close to the citizens in addition to adhere to the human rights to achieve their goals."
Sadrist MP: Arresting demonstrators to restore former dictatorship
Monday, 02 September 2013 13:17
Baghdad (AIN) -MP, Zaynab al-Sahlani, of Ahrar bloc stressed “Arresting the demonstrators and the activists to restore former dictatorship.”
She stated to AIN “Capturing the activists and the partisan leaders as well as the demonstrators is a start for a new stage to limits the freedoms and to restore dictatorship.”
Baghdad and some other provinces witnessed demonstrations on last Saturday calling for canceling MPs, three Presidencies’ pensions yet they were confronted by security forces in some provinces and led to injuries among the demonstrators in addition to arresting to some of them.
Mashhadani warns from regional and international schemes to Iraq and Syria
BAGHDAD / NINA / The former Parliament Speaker, Mahmoud al-Mashhadani warned from regional and international schemes to divide a number of Arab countries, particularly Iraq and Syria.
Mashhadani, during a meeting with president of / determined to construct / coalition, Sheikh Mohammed Taha al-Hadlush, on a head of a delegation from the province of Diyala, in his office in Baghdad said: "There are features of regional and international schemes aim to divide a number of Arab countries and probably Baghdad and Damascus will be in the forefront."
He added: "The initial indications confirm suspicious projects through which access to the division of Iraq and Syria to the small states on the basis of sectarian and nationalist."
Mashhadani demanded political blocs not to rely on the sectarianism and work within the framework of national identity, which can be comprehensive for all Iraqi factions.
Othman: Iraq must not be a part in the Syrian conflict or biased to any party
BAGHDAD / NINA / The independent MP, of the Kurdistan Alliance, Mahmoud Othman said "Iraq should not be a party in the conflict in Syria or biased to any party whatsoever."
Othman said in a statement to the National Iraqi News Agency / NINA /: "Iraq must be working for a political solution includes all parties in Syria, leading to form a transition government to oversee the elections supervised by the United Nations to form a national government."
He added: "Iraq must be careful and do not take sides for the efforts of the U.S. and Turkish or Russian and Iranian, so as to play an effective role of mediator to resolve the Syrian crisis."
Can Syrian Chemical Weapons Issue Lead to US-Iran Opening?
By: Al-Monitor Week in Review Posted on August 31.
US President Barack Obama today [Aug. 31] said he would seek congressional authorization to pursue a limited military strike on Syria.
Al-Monitor’s analysis and coverage of a possible US military strike on Syria.
Author: Week in Review
Posted on: August 31 2013
Categories : Originals Syria Iran Lebanon
The announcement came as a surprise for those who were expecting military action over the US Labor Day holiday weekend.
The congressional debate buys time for the UN chemical weapons inspection team to present its report, and for the administration to further make its case to a wary Congress, at the UN, at the G-20 summit, which Obama will attend in St. Petersburg Sept. 5-6, and, perhaps, to test Iran’s willingness to play a constructive role in seeking a political settlement in Syria.
The president’s decision reflects an awareness of polls indicating Americans mostly want to stay out of the armed conflict in Syria, although there seems to be support for limited military action to deter chemical weapons use.
Rep. Eliot Engel of New York, ranking Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, has been a champion of limited military action against Syria and will have a leading role in the congressional debate. Engel told Al-Monitor on Aug. 2, “We can, I am convinced, send cruise missiles into Syria and destroy the runways of the air bases, the airports that [President Bashar al-] Assad’s people use to terrorize civilians. We could destroy those and we could put a very big crimp in Assad’s ability to use them. That doesn’t really involve any risk because the cruise missiles would not be launched from Syria proper.” (Click here for Al-Monitor interviews with House leaders).
“Anybody” and red lines
In an interview with the "PBS Newshour" on Aug. 28, Obama said that he is willing to work with “anybody” to resolve the Syria conflict.
“Although I have called for Assad to leave and make sure that we got a transitional government that could be inclusive in Syria, what I’ve also concluded is that direct military engagement, involvement in the civil war in Syria, would not help the situation on the ground,” Obama said, adding, “We’re prepared to work with anybody — the Russians and others — to try to bring the parties together to resolve the conflict.”
“Anybody” just might mean Iran, which holds more influence in Syria than any other country. Iran’s permanent representative to the United Nations, Mohammad Khazaee, welcomed the idea of the Geneva II conference on Syria in an interview with Al-Monitor on May 24.
A US-Iran diplomatic channel would be more decisive in ending the war and preventing further massacres than a limited bombing campaign against select military targets.
The president’s remarks about dealing with “anybody” came one day after UN Undersecretary General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman, a former US assistant secretary of state for near eastern affairs, discussed chemical weapons and Iran’s role in a political solution in Syria with Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif in Tehran, as reported for Al-Monitor by Ali Hashem.
On Aug. 30, US Secretary of State John Kerry recognized Iran for being a signatory to the Chemical Weapons Convention in his speech outlining Syrian culpability in the use of chemical weapons on Aug. 21, which killed more than 1,400 people in Damascus suburbs.
This column, on May 5, referred to a shared “red line” on chemical weapons as a potential bridge to a US-Iran dialogue on Syria.
Iran’s leaders have predictably warned of dire consequences in the event of a US military strike, but Meir Javedanfar, writing in Al-Monitor, does not expect the Iranian government to take any retaliatory action if the US attacks Syria, given the bigger stakes of trying to reach a deal with the US and its allies in the nuclear talks. Ali Hashem explains this week that Iran saying it will do what is “appropriate” conveys realpolitik behind the rhetoric. Arron Murat and Hossein Mossavian, former spokesman for Iran’s nuclear negotiators, both write that Syria can be an opportunity for US-Iran engagement, perhaps linked to progress in the nuclear talks.
Diplomacy on Syria would benefit from a reset with Russia in order that Geneva II does not become a casualty of a looming strike on Syria, as Fyodor Lukyanov warned. Bilateral ties have been set back by the defection of Edward Snowden and other issues. Obama will see Russian Federation President Vladimir Putin at the G-20 summit in St. Petersburg Sept. 5-6, although there are as yet no plans for them to meet separately.
Unless the US commits all-out to regime change in Syria, which Obama said he has no intention of doing, a strategy to end the war necessarily involves diplomacy with adversaries as well as allies. The NATO air campaigns in Bosnia and Kosovo, often and rightly considered successes for US policy, included intensive direct diplomacy with all parties, including Yugoslav dictator and war criminal Slobodan Milosevic. You need a cease-fire by all sides to stop the killing. It was the Yugoslav government, after the Kosovo war, which arrested Milosevic and transferred him to the International Criminal Tribunal of the former Yugoslavia. There should be several lessons here for Syria.
Terrorism in Syria, Iraq, Lebanon and maybe even Egypt would likely continue to surge even after a US strike absent a diplomatic strategy to end the war and address the now-rejuvenated terrorist threat in Syria.
It is the continuation of the war, the destruction of Syria, the rise of jihadists, the spread of terrorism to Syria’s neighbors and the waves of refugees that are the threats to US interests, and these are best handled by an immediate cease-fire and the start of negotiations — not by taking sides in the war.
The administration could seize the opportunity of the congressional debate to lay out the endgame in Syria with some clear benchmarks, beyond missile strikes in response to chemical weapons use, including: a channel with Iran; calling out both the Assad regime and the opposition, and especially their respective regional patrons, to enact a cease-fire immediately; urgently convening the Geneva II conference to include both the Syrian government and non-jihadist opposition forces, no exceptions; and a crackdown and some accountability on those US allies which directly or indirectly support the flow of jihadists to Syria.
Aleppo, Lebanon and Israel
In the meantime, Aleppo’s Christian community is under siege. Edward Dark (a pseudonym) reports from Aleppo that Christians are either fighting for their lives or fleeing from areas “liberated” by Islamist forces. Dark writes that Syrian Christians are on track to suffer the same fate as Iraqi Christians. This is a direct consequence of the war, and a terrible blow to Syria’s cultural mosaic.
Lebanon, already paralyzed by its broken, factional politics, is a ticking time bomb. Both Jean Aziz and Sami Nader write this week that the country will pay an even higher price from the fallout from any military strike.
Ben Caspit reports from Jerusalem that Israel, too, is on edge, somewhat bewildered by the US approach to Syria and keeping a wary eye on Iran: “Iran is the major dynamo generating the events in the Middle East. Through an Israeli prism, the war that’s raging in Syria is just a trailer for what will follow later. Israel keeps mentioning the American invasion of Iraq as the watershed moment when the Iranians decided to suspend the military program of their nuclear weapons groups. By contrast, what’s happening now — when the whole world is running around bickering over an airstrike in Syria — will only embolden the ayatollahs and their readiness to continue full throttle their plan to acquire nuclear military capability.”
Caspit is spot on: Iran, more than any other power in the region, is the “dynamo” and broker of either war or peace. It is time to put Iranian President Hassan Rouhani to the test and bring the Syria war to a close.
TEHRAN, Iran — It took the images of large numbers of dead children lined up in neat rows, snuffed out by a method of warfare that breached Obama’s so-called "red line," for the US administration to seriously consider the prospect of intervening militarily in Syria for the first time since the conflict erupted in spring 2011.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani emphasizes diplomacy, and US President Barack Obama should give it a try on Syria before going to war.
Author: Arron Merat
Posted on: August 29 2013
Categories : Originals Iran Syria
Aside from providing definitive evidence that the regime — and not the rebels he supports — is responsible for the attack, Obama must demonstrate he has exhausted all diplomatic efforts to de-escalate the crisis before he can justifiably go to war. This means talking to Iran.
Fortunately for the United States, the time has never been better to seek Iran’s assistance in helping to stem or even stop the violence tearing Syria apart. Iran’s new President Hassan Rouhani won a landslide majority after campaigning on engaging with the West, defeating isolationist conservatives. This week, he responded quickly to the attack in Syria by condemning the use of chemical weapons, which have killed or injured 100,000 Iranians.
In an interview with the Islamic Republic News Agency, Iran’s new Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif elaborated on his president’s condemnation.
“As the Islamic Republic of Iran, we are pioneers in countering chemical weapons, since we've been a victim of these weapons,” he said. "When others talk of chemical weapons, they do so without knowing what they are talking about. When we talk about chemical weapons, we feel with all our flesh and bones and blood the pain of their use and people's anguish and terror due to their use, because our people and civilians have been victims of chemical weapons.”
However, in an interview with Iranian state TV on Thursday, Aug. 29, Rouhani also pleged that Iran would work with Russia to stop any military intervention and criticized the current push for a strike in Syria as a political maneuver to save the weakened rebels, saying, "Western countries have found some excuse to prepare the ground to weaken the stance of Syria in further talks."
The Islamic Republic of Iran is the only country in the world with enough influence in Syria to have a chance of moving the civil war toward a negotiated political settlement. The two states forged a symbiotic relationship that at the beginning of the Iran-Iraq War (1980-1988), when mutual antipathy toward Saddam Hussein brought revolutionary Shiite Iran together with a statist and majority-Sunni Syria. Over the subsequent decades, there have been times when one member of the alliance has gained more from the relationship than the other, but they have found common cause to stick together.
Now — over two years into the Syrian civil war — is one of those times when Syria needs Iran more than Iran needs Syria. The Islamic Republic of Iran provides large credit-export loans and training to the embattled Syrian regime. Hezbollah — the Lebanese militia it formed in the early 1980s — is supporting Assad’s stretched military. Combined, these links have left Iran with huge leverage over Syria.
Meanwhile, the United States has major leverage on Iran. Its sanctions have cut its oil exports in half and new sanctions declared this month commit it to cutting the other half. Newly elected President Rouhani and his team have ambitious economic plans — particularly in the field of oil and gas development and distribution — that are effectively on ice until the sanctions are removed.
In theory, a bargain could be struck whereby the United States solicits Iran to assist in pressuring Assad to enforce a temporary cease-fire and come to the table, while it, and its Gulf allies, apply diplomatic pressure on the rebels to do the same. In exchange, the United States could soften its commitment to sanctions in the upcoming P5+1 (the five permanent members of the Security Council plus Germany), or even bilateral talks, over Iran’s disputed nuclear program.
Alternatively, the United States could cut a deal buying Iranian quietude in the event of a US/NATO strike on its Syrian ally in exchange for similar concessions on the nuclear talks. There are suggestions that this option is currently being pursued. This week, Jeffrey Feltman, a former US ambassador to Lebanon, visited Iran as a UN official to discuss Syria and reportedly called on Iran “to stay calm if there were strikes on Syria,” according to Ali Hashem’s sources in Tehran.
At the same time, Sultan Qaboos of Oman — a long-time mediator between Iran and the West — was discussing the upcoming US-Iran nuclear talks with Rouhani and Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, during a visit to Tehran that Al-Hayat, a pan-Arab newspaper, quoted sources in Iran as saying was "not normal and does not fall under normal protocol."
Former Iranian diplomat Nosratollah Tajik, who was released from house arrest in Britain after mediation by Qaboos, commented this week that Iran should pursue direct negotiations with the Americans over Syria.
Iran and the United States support different sides in the Syria conflict, which they are each providing with arms and cash. But Islamist groups such as the Islamic State of Iraq threaten to turn the Syrian conflict from a simple proxy war between Iran and the United States to a wider regional maelstrom affecting their other interests in the region vis-a-vis Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq.
Both counties have signaled they will now accept a negotiated political settlement, and the United States has reversed its position in trying to block Iran from participating in the Geneva II talks on Syria. At the end of last year, Iran drew up a six-point peace plan that called for an immediate cease-fire between rebels and the government, inclusive talks from across the “entire [political] spectrum” and the drafting of a new constitution. It brought up the plan to Feltman during his visit.
The only real roadblock to the Geneva II talks, as Al-Monitor editor and CEO Andrew Parasiliti points out, is the reluctance of the rebels to negotiate while on the back foot — the proposed air strikes may be a ploy to strengthen their position ahead of Geneva.
The tragedy unfolding in Syria could provide an opportunity for the United States and the new Iranian administration to work together in the common interest of taming the violence, while at the same time demonstrating Iranian good faith before the next talks on its disputed nuclear program. It should be noted that Iran, specifically Zarif, proved invaluable to the Americans in the run-up to its invasion of Afghanistan in 2001.
Working together could also play well domestically in both countries. Rouhani already has a mandate and tacit permission from Khamenei to engage with the Americans, and Iran’s conservative spoilers are weaker and less unified than they have been in well over a decade. Meanwhile, Obama can demonstrate that he is prepared to break diplomatic taboos in the service of the greater good, rather than prevaricating over how to react to events that are beyond his control.
Israelis Note: Obama's Decision
On Syria Is From Strength
By: Shlomi Eldar for Al-Monitor Israel Pulse Posted on September 1.
It is precisely because of his reluctance, precisely because he doesn’t seem eager to go to war, that it is easier to believe US President Barack Obama. His hesitations over whether to respond to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s war crimes with a military strike evokes much more trust than the arrogant, belligerent speeches of leaders who want to give the impression that they know everything. Any leader who sends his soldiers into battle on behalf of safekeeping of international norms, and not just to defend his country from a real and direct threat, should hesitate.
President Barack Obama's decision to seek authorization from the US Congress for a possible missile strike on Syria is a sign of strong moral values, not weakness.
It’s Easy to Understand Why Obama Is Reluctant
Author: Shlomi Eldar
Posted on: September 1 2013
Translated by: Danny Wool
Categories : Originals Syria Security Israel
Obama’s statement last week [Aug. 30] that America is “war weary” was made with a candor that very few world leaders would express publicly on the eve of a military attack. The president, who spent much of his first term trying to withdraw troops from Iraq and Afghanistan, explained to the American public that “there's a certain suspicion of any military action. … And I very much appreciate that. On the other hand, it's important for us to recognize that when over a thousand people are killed, including hundreds of innocent children, through the use of a weapon that 98- or 99% of humanity says should not be used even in war, and there is no action, then we're sending a signal that international norm doesn't mean much. And that is a danger to our national security.”
The United States remains the only country in the world that would still lead a coalition to war for the sake of justice and morality. France, Australia, and the Arab League have already announced that they will participate. Meanwhile, Great Britain, a country with a strong and resounding liberal dialogue, has forgone the honor of inscribing those values on its banner.
Obama uses language that most of the world no longer speaks. It is language that says that human beings are responsible for one another, even if they don’t share the same country, religion, or nationality, and that we have no moral right to ignore the suffering of others, even if we are divided by oceans. Obama speaks about the collective responsibility, which results from the simple fact that we are all human beings.
It would be foolhardy to claim that American foreign policy in the Middle East is free of any problems or mistakes, or that our particular neighborhood on this planet follows the same moral guidelines as the Americans. And yes, the case can even be made that Obama doesn’t always understand the way the game is played in our corner of the world. Nevertheless, when he speaks in this language, we should pay rapt attention. When he explains his reasoning and its underlying values, it is much easier to understand and be convinced.
Oscar Wilde famously said: “We have really everything in common with America nowadays except, of course, language.” When it comes to Syria, it turns out that English really does have different dialects. Britain didn’t hesitate. It responded with a loud and resounding “no,” relieving itself from any deliberations over whether to be one of the countries that flies the banner of humanist morality. Britain’s decision will be remembered for years to come. It reverberates all the more given US Secretary of State John Kerry’s statement, “History would judge us all extraordinarily harshly if we turned a blind eye to a dictator's wanton use of weapons of mass destruction.”
In his outstanding biography of Barack Obama, The New Yorker editor David Remnick describes how the president expresses himself on both foreign and domestic affairs: “His views, foreign and domestic, were generally progressive, but their expression was more analytic and deliberative than passionate. Passionate moralism would never be his dominant key.” Remnick may be right technically, but when Obama ascends to the podium and declares, “I haven’t decided yet,” there is something sentimental about it too. That very sentence encompasses all his deliberations, all his concerns, and his recognition of the enormous burden of responsibility placed on his shoulders.
Since Israelis tend to prefer leaders who pound on the table, they most likely connected to Kerry’s statement more. According to the Israeli mentality, the more determined and strong a person sounds, the more correct his position is perceived to be. In contrast, the very statement, “I haven’t decided yet,” is perceived as a sign of weakness and an absence of leadership abilities. Israelis simply don’t like deliberations and open questions.
And it is precisely because of this that it is so easy to believe Obama — it is because of his values, his moral world view, and his concern for the lives of the people of Syria on the one hand, and the lives of American troops on the other. True, there are no moral wars, but within every war there are moral conflicts. It is possible to hope and to believe that the American president will handle the attack on Syria in the same way that he handles the moral dilemmas and conflicts raging inside him.
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.
Maliki appointed Tabatabai instead of dry-director of the Iraqi bank
02-09-2013 | (Voice of Iraq)
Baghdad (Iraq) / Future News:
Source revealed yesterday (Sunday, September 1, 2013) reported that Prime Minister Nuri al-Royal isolate the Director General of Trade Bank of Iraq Hamdiya dry from her position and was appointed commercial attache at the Embassy of Iraq in London Abbas Mohammed Tabtabai instead. The news agencies quoted a source (unnamed), said that «the commercial attache at the Iraqi embassy in London owner Abbas Mohammed Tabtabai attended today (Sunday) abruptly to the headquarters of the Bank of Iraqi Trade, along with Administrative Order for his tenure as Chairman of the Board Test bank Bank».
Document: prevent demonstrations license without the consent of al-Maliki
02-09-2013 | (Voice of Iraq)
Baghdad (Iraq) / Smirali:
I got 'the future' on the official document issued by the office of Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki addressed to the Ministry of Interior emphasizes not to grant a license to any demonstration in Baghdad, after obtaining the approval of the Prime Minister and the Baghdad Operations Command.
The document says outgoing number 25/13/411 dated 02.27.2013, addressed to the Ministry of Interior / Office of the Minister, under the title «secret and personal and very urgent»: attributed not to approve the issuance of approvals to demonstrate or protest in Baghdad province only after the combined approval of the President Ministers and the Baghdad Operations Command, because of the security situation on the capital Baghdad.
The marginalization of the document: Baghdad Operations to the work thereunder.
The document bearing seal the Office of the Prime Minister and the signature of the Director of the Office of the Prime Minister and the agency Dr Hamid Khalaf Ahmed on 27/2/2013.