Archive for May 2, 2018

Abbas says he rejected offer from Egypt’s Mursi to settle Palestinians in Sinai

May 2, 2018

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said on Monday that he had rejected an offer by former Egyptian President Mohammed Mursi to get a part of Sinai to settle the Palestinians there.

“When the Brotherhood ruled during Mursi’s presidential term, we were offered a part of Sinai but we turned down the offer,” he said while addressing the Palestinian National Council in Ramallah.

He added that this was an Israeli project dubbed “Giora Eiland” and aims to completely put an end to the Palestinian cause.

Abbas voiced his rejection to Mursi and told him that the Palestinians will not accept such proposals as they will not leave their land and will not live on someone else’s land.

The Palestinian president had revealed details of this proposal four years ago while meeting with reporters in Egypt as he said that he had refused an Israeli offer to take 1,000 kilometers of Sinai during Mursi’s era.

He added that back then, Hamas and Israel were discussing taking 1000 km from Sinai to expand Gaza but he refused the plan saying: “We will not even take one centimeter from Egypt’s land.”

According to Abbas, Mursi reprimanded him for not accepting the offer.

Military expert Major-General Hussam Soueilam told Al that the “Giora Eiland document” is named after Giora Eiland, a reserve commander who works at the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies, and it was proposed as the “best solution” for the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

“Eiland’s project stipulated that resolving the Palestinian cause is not only Israel’s responsibility but the responsibility of 22 other Arab states as Egypt and Jordan in particular must positively and effectively formulate a regional and multilateral solution,” he said.

According to the Israeli project, the Palestinians would be granted 720 km2 of North Sinai that extends from Rafah in the west until Arish borders and from west Kerem Shalom border crossing until the south alongside the Egyptian-Israeli borders.

Soueilam added that according to this project, Gaza’s area will be three times more than its current area which is only 365 km2. He noted that the Palestinians will have to give up 12% of the West Bank’s area to be included within Israeli territories and that Egypt will be compensated with an equal area from Israeli lands southwest of Negev.

Last Update: Wednesday, 2 May 2018 KSA 15:04 – GMT 12:04

UK, Germany, France allow for possibility of new nuclear deal with Iran

May 2, 2018

April 29, 18:18

The three leaders “discussed the importance of the Iran nuclear deal as the best way of neutralizing the threat of a nuclear-armed Iran”

British Prime Minister Theresa May

© AP Photo/Geert Vanden Wijngaert

LONDON, April 29. /TASS/. Leaders of the United Kingdom, Germany and France have allowed for the possibility of a new deal with Iran over the elements of its nuclear program that the current deal failed to cover, says a press release issued by British Prime Minister Theresa May’s Office on Sunday.

On Saturday and Sunday, May had phone talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron.

“Acknowledging the importance of retaining the JCPoA, they committed to continue working closely together and with the US on how to tackle the range of challenges that Iran poses – including those issues that a new deal might cover,” the press release says.

The three leaders “discussed the importance of the Iran nuclear deal (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action) as the best way of neutralizing the threat of a nuclear-armed Iran, agreeing that our priority as an international community remained preventing Iran from developing a nuclear weapon,” it reads.

“They agreed that there were important elements that the deal does not cover, but which we need to address – including ballistic missiles, what happens when the deal expires, and Iran’s destabilizing regional activity,” a Downing Street spokesperson said.

In July 2015, Iran, the five permanent members of the UN Security Council (Russia, Britain, China, the United States and France) and Germany agreed on a settlement of Tehran’s nuclear problem. Under the JCPoA they worked out the UN, US and EU sanctions were to be lifted. Its implementation began in January 2016. Washington lifted the restrictions.

US President Donald Trump has described the agreement with Iran as a “bad deal.” He argued that it did not eliminate the possibility Iran might make nuclear weapons, but merely postponed the moment. On January 12, Trump said the United States would quit the deal if certain amendments agreed on with the European countries were not made to it. At the end of April a US administration spokesman said the United States, France, Germany and Britain had achieved progress at negotiations on amendments to the agreement on Iran’s nuclear program, but a final solution had not been identified yet.


Palestinians: The Real Gaza Blockade

May 2, 2018

US troops to remain in South Korea even if peace treaty signed with North – Moon

May 2, 2018

Published time: 2 May, 2018 13:24

A US army soldier stands guard in front of a F-22 stealth fighter jet at Osan Air Base in Pyeongtaek, South Korea. © Kim Hong-Ji / Reuters

South Korean President Moon Jae-in said on Wednesday that US troops will remain on the peninsula even if a peace agreement with the North is reached, saying their presence has “nothing to do with signing peace treaties.”

“US troops stationed in South Korea are an issue regarding the alliance between South Korea and the United States. It has nothing to do with signing peace treaties,” Moon’s spokesperson Kim Eui-kyeom said at a press conference.

The statement came in response to a Foreign Affairs magazine article written by presidential adviser, Moon Cung-in, in which he stated that it would be “difficult to justify [US forces] continuing presence in South Korea,” if peace is concluded with the North. The spokesperson warned the adviser “not to cause any more confusion” with such comments.

READ MORE: Trump considers Peace House on North-South Korea border for Kim Jong-un meeting

The discussion regarding US troops in Korea follows Friday’s historic meeting between Moon and North Korea’s Kim Jong-un, which resulted in the two signing an agreement in favor of the Korean peninsula’s “complete denuclearization.” The summit marked the first time leaders of the divided nation have met in 11 years, and the first time a North Korean leader has entered the South since 1953.

North Korea previously signaled its readiness to denuclearize at a meeting between Kim and Chinese President Xi Jinping last month, noting that it would require a “security guarantee,” according to a report by the Japanese newspaper Yomiuri Shimbun. What the guarantee implied remains unclear, as North Korea reportedly dropped its long-held demand for US troop withdrawal, at least according to Moon’s public statement in late April.

Read more

A poster with the image of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un during an anti-North Korea rally in central Seoul, South Korea, February 11, 2016. © Kim Hong-Ji

The US has already expressed its intention to make North Korea take “irreversible” steps towards denuclearization, without guaranteeing any concession in relation to its military presence.

CIA Director and newly appointed US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo identified the Trump administration’s “objective” with regard to North Korea as “complete, verifiable, irreversible denuclearization” in an ABC News interview.

In a separate interview with Fox News, US National Security Advisor John Bolton stated that the 2003 agreement to eliminate Libya’s weapons of mass destruction program could serve as a model for the North Korea negotiations.

“We have very much in mind the Libya model from 2003, 2004. There are obviously differences. The Libyan program was much smaller, but that was basically the agreement that we made,” Bolton said.

Former Libyan president Muammar Gaddafi agreed to dismantle the country’s nuclear program in exchange for the lifting of imposed Western sanctions. In 2011, he was killed by a NATO-led bombing of the country, which led to a civil war and Islamist terrorism groups rising in the region.

At the historic Korean summit, Kim and Moon agreed to establish a direct telephone line between their executive offices, through which they will “hold frequent and candid discussions on issues vital to the nation,” according to the declaration they signed. President Moon is also set to visit Pyongyang this fall, months after US President Donald Trump’s anticipated meeting with Kim in the coming weeks.

Tehran terrified, ex-Pentagon official says 

May 2, 2018

Source: Tehran terrified, ex-Pentagon official says – Middle East – Jerusalem Post

The Iranian regime is “humiliated” after a daring Mossad operation seized scores of secret documents, the former Pentagon official said.

 MAY 2, 2018 04:20Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei
 Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. (photo credit: AFP PHOTO / HO / KHAMENEI.IR)

The Iranian regime is “quaking in its boots,” after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu revealed secret nuclear-program documents appropriated by the Mossad, an ex-Pentagon Iran expert told The Jerusalem Post on Tuesday.

Harold Rhode spent 28 years at the Pentagon and studied in Iran before the 1979 revolution there. The fluent Farsi speaker, who is now associated with the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, said his view stems from a wave of recent Iranian infighting.

He said when things are not going well in Iran, Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps officials and rival ayatollahs start attacking each other in a public blame game that expresses how exposed and vulnerable they feel their rule has become.

Rhode named senior Ayatollah Abdollah Javadi-Amoli from northern Iran who has been lashing out at rivals, saying their corruption was bringing down the regime.

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Israel claims proof Iran “lied” about past nuclear program, April 30, 2018 (Reuters

Israel “humiliated the Iranian government by capturing all of this material,” Rhode said, and many Iranians were laughing at the Islamic regime on social media.

While the global media stopped covering protests against the regime months ago, he noted, the protests are still churning.

The former Pentagon official said that when he asked Iranian friends for a list of where the protests were happening, they said protests were so widespread it would be easier to make a shorter list of cities where they were not happening.

He also said the audacious Mossad raid, “proves what they think of Jews – that they are the smartest people on earth and can do anything.”

Rhode added a personal anecdote from when he lived in Iran decades ago. When asked about the Jews’ ability, he joked to some Iranian friends: “There was a Jewish technology of tiny little zippers between our foreheads and hairlines to send messages to conspiracy central where the… ‘Elders of Zion’ collected everything. They believed this was how things really worked.”

Last week, the body that likely was that of former Iranian ruler Reza Shah Pahlavi – which had been hidden by the regime since the revolution – was discovered. That, he noted, has led many Iranians, who often think superstitiously, to question whether the discovery is an omen indicating the revolution leading to the Islamic Republic was a mistake.

Rhode said the average Iranian “would like nothing more than to wake up and have this nightmare regime over with and again proudly be accepted as members of the international community.”

In that light, he said, it is now “the time to reassure the Iranian people that we stand with them against their brutal rulers,” and reassure the Iranian people that “after their terrorist regime is overthrown, we will gladly welcome them back into the community of nations.”

Iran ordered to pay billions to families of victims of 9/11 terror attacks

May 2, 2018

The ruling will probably turn out to be largely symbolic, as Iran is very unlikely to ever pay the damages.

By Juliane Helmhold May 2, 2018 12:13 Jerusalem Post

Source Link: Iran ordered to pay billions to families of victims of 9/11 terror attacks

{Obama the Bastard could have settled some of these claims with all the cash he sent to the Mullahs, but I guess doing the right thing was just not part of his forte. – LS}

By court order, Iran is to pay billions of dollars to the families of the September 11 terror attacks, The Hill reported on Tuesday evening.

US District Judge George Daniels ruled that the Islamic Republic and other institutions must pay $12.5 million per spouse, $8.5 million per parent, $8.5 million per child and $4.25 million per sibling killed in the incident, according to the report.

The lawsuit was first filed in 2004 and was joined by families of the over 1,000 victims of the attack. It accused Iran, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and the Central Bank of the Islamic Republic of Iran for aiding the 2001 hijackers although the 9/11 Commission never found direct evidence for Iran’s involvement.

The lawsuit was only able to proceed in 2016, when Congress passed the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act, permitting the families of the victims to sue state actors for the terror attacks. Then-President Barack Obama had vetoed the law, arguing it could set a dangerous precedent but Congress overrode that veto.

According to the report, the ruling will probably turn out to be largely symbolic, as Iran is very unlikely to ever pay the damages, which in total amount to 6 billion dollars. There would be no feasible way to force the Islamic Republic, which never even responded to the lawsuit, to make the payment.

However, the lawsuit sets a significant precedent which could be used to hold Saudi Arabia responsible for the 9/11 attacks. The Saudi government has previously denied providing aid to the hijackers, many of whom were Saudi nationals, and last month Riyadh filed a bid to toss the lawsuit. This bid, however, was rejected by Judge Daniels, leading to the successful ruling against Iran.

Netanyahu’s speech reawakens Iranian protests against their regime 

May 2, 2018

Source: Netanyahu’s speech reawakens Iranian protests against their regime – Middle East – Jerusalem Post

The Islamic Republic took us hostage. You have to differentiate between Iran, which has a history of 3,000 years, and the Islamic Republic, which is 39 years old.”

 MAY 2, 2018 16:12
Thousands of people rally in support of Iranian anti-government protests in Los Angeles, California

  Thousands of people rally in support of Iranian anti-government protests in Los Angeles, California US January 7, 2018. (photo credit: MONICA ALMEIDA/REUTERS)

“The speech by Netanyahu reawakened something in the Iranian people that greatly disturbs them,” Dr. Thamar Eilam Gindin, an expert on Iran from the Shalem Academic Center and the Ezri Center said in her podcast “Enriched Uranium” on Wednesday.

Yet, however dramatic and sensitive the information Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu presented on Monday regarding Iran’s intentions to develop nuclear technology were, what was disturbing to the Iranians was not at all related to the content of his remarks.

“I saw a large number of people who asked not to call Iran the Islamic Republic,” said Eilam Gindin. “There were many calls from people who said: ‘They [the Islamic Republic of Iran] do not represent the Iranian people, they took us hostage. You have to differentiate between Iran, which has a history of 3,000 years, and the Islamic Republic, which is 39 years old.”

In a broader light, according to Dr. Eilam Gindin, these reactions reflect a mood currently prevailing in the streets of Iran in relation to the regime and the authorities in the republic, the United States and Israel and Netanyahu himself.

“At first the reactions were a bit hysterical,” she continued. “People in Iran feel insecure, their currency is weak and the economy is shaky. There are many who oppose the regime. Netanyahu’s speech, claiming that Israel caught their regime in a breach of agreements, put some pressure on them.

They also very much want their regime to fall. There are many keyboard warriors but when it comes to taking to the streets, they are scared. Recently the hashtag “We’re done!” was used a lot and it returned yesterday in the wake of Netanyahu’s speech.

On Monday, Prime Minister Netanyahu presented what he described as the reveal of a huge amount of intelligence material obtained by the Mossad proving that Iran lied to the superpowers while they were signing the 2015 nuclear agreement which lifted sanctions on the country.

Among other things, Netanyahu presented hundreds of binders containing copies of the material obtained by Israeli intelligence. “Here’s what we have in the files: incriminating documents, incriminating presentations, incriminating plans, pictures, clips and more,” Netanyahu said.

“We shared this information with the United States and shared it with the International Atomic Energy Agency,” the prime minister added. “We have known for years that Iran had a secret nuclear program – the ‘Amad’ project.”

Netanyahu’s speech was made in light of the United States threatening to withdraw from the nuclear agreement it signed in 2015, unless it is amended until May 12.