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Posted by wmmbb in Humankind/Planet Earth, Middle East.

Why does Israel wish to attack Iran? It could be a distraction from the cruel and unjust treatment of the Palestinians.

The hypocrisy could not be more blatant. In some pretense of independence the Foreign Minister goes along with “the masters of the world” and imposes sanctions on Iran, but not Israel. Sanctions might be considered an act of war, but apparently not when you are following orders.

The Non-Aligned Movement is holding a summit this week in Tehran. Australia will be represented as a non-member guest. The Opposition suggested that this helps to give Iran “greater international legitimacy”. With the usual pomposity the Foreign Minister rejected the proposition, as reported by AAP:

But Senator Carr says that’s nonsense, pointing out Australia has officials permanently based in an embassy in Tehran.

“The opposition in this parliament hasn’t suggested we revoke diplomatic relations,” he told reporters on Thursday.

But Senator Carr says he does believe it is “regrettable” that the summit is taking place in Iran.

“If there is any of that anti-Semitic rhetoric, that inflammatory anti-Israeli rhetoric, from the president of Iran, our ambassador at the UN is under instruction from me directly to be the first on his feet to walk out,” he said.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad often uses international meetings to launch anti-Israel tirades.

Senator Carr this week announced new sanctions against Iran as part of a fresh push to pressure it into abandoning its nuclear program.

The fact the Secretary-General of the UN, Ban Ki Moon, along with the President of Egypt, Mohammed Morsi, is reported by Rick Gladstone in The New York Times:

Mr. Ban’s decision to attend the meeting of the Nonaligned Movement, announced by his spokesman, Martin Nesirky, came despite objections from both the Americans and Israelis, including a phone call from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel. It was announced a few days after the new president of Egypt, a country that has long been estranged from Iran, said he would attend the summit meeting as well, a decision that had already unsettled the Israelis.

Taken together, the moves reinforced Iran’s contention that a reordering of powers is under way in the Middle East, where Western influence is waning, and that the American-Israeli campaign to vilify Iran as a rogue state that exports terrorism and secretly covets nuclear weapons is not resonating in much of the world.

The meeting of the Nonaligned Movement, a group formed during the cold war, includes a number of other countries that the United States has sought to marginalize, among them North Korea and Sudan, whose president, Omar Hassan al-Bashir, is wanted under a war crimes indictment by the International Criminal Court. Although Iran’s hosting of the meeting is strictly a coincidence of history — under a rotating system, Iran presides over the group through 2014 — Iranian leaders have portrayed it as a privilege that repudiates the American narrative.

To “secret covet nuclear weapons” is sufficient to attract sanctions from Australia. The head of IAEA visited Tehran earlier in the year, and it seems, although not reported the Iranians have serious concerns, including the murder of nuclear scientists:

Al Jazeera noted that pressure from the US stopped Kofi Anan’s invitation to attend talks on Syria, which is significant since Iran shares a border.

Sanctions are a form of violence impacting the members of the population, that might otherwise oppose the government to which they are directed. Julie Tomlin reported:

Sanctions against Iran are harming women and giving conservatives increased ground to restrict their rights, campaigners have claimed.
Far from challenging its nuclear ambitions, sanctions have allowed the Iranian government to exploit the current “state of emergency” to justify the repression of dissent and allow more conservative leaders to pursue an agenda to restrict women’s entry into higher education and employment, a new report claims.
One women’s rights activist is quoted saying: “the international community’s sole focus on the nuclear issue has resulted in the adoption of policies that inflict great damage on the Iranian people, civil society and women.
“Militarization of the environment will prompt repressive state policies and the possibility of promoting reform in Iran will diminish.”
Spiralling food prices and unemployment as a result of the sanctions against Iran’s oil, gas banking and finance sectors, have already led to girls being pulled out of education, with many being married off early by families who can no longer afford to feed them.
The number of women entering into sex work is growing and there has been an increase in the trafficking of women.
“Reduction in family income inevitably is forcing women to find new sources of income,” the report says.
“Their coping strategies will likely include cutting back on their own health, wellbeing and dietary needs to provide for their dependents.

So much for the West as a moral force for good in the world. Once morality is allowed to become insignificance, all that remains is violence and ego.

Assange should be given free passage out of Britain. The Herald Sun reports:

Speaking through an interpreter on the sidelines of the International Council of Archives Congress in Brisbane, Mr Garzon said the United Kingdom is bound by international law to offer his client safe passage to asylum.

The UK could be ordered into negotiations with Ecuador if the ICJ finds in favour of an application.

The lawyer said they would request many provisional measures be taken by the UK, on humanitarian grounds, to guarantee Mr Assange’s safety.

Mr Garzon would not elaborate on what they might be.

“Mr Assange does not refuse to being tried in Sweden,” he said.

Ecuador has requested guarantees from Sweden, before and after it granted asylum, that Mr Assange not be handed over to the US in relation to Wikileaks’ activities.

“When that guarantee comes there won’t be any issues – that’s very simple, we don’t need any further explanation or elaboration.”

By this account, the critical issue is not the legal process in Sweden.



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