Sexta-feira, 5 de Setembro de 2008

Protecção do Campo de Ashraf no Iraque

Instituições europeias favoráveis à aplicação da Convenção de Genebra

O deputado Paulo Casaca alertou hoje, em Bruxelas, para os perigos decorrentes da possibilidade dos Estados Unidos poderem vir a sancionar um dos piores crimes cometidos contra a humanidade ao permitirem, em ruptura com os compromissos públicos assumidos e com o mandato que lhe está atribuído pelas Nações Unidas, a deportação para o Irão de cerca de quatro mil iranianos, protegidos ao abrigo do artigo 27º da Quarta Convenção de Genebra, no Campo de Ashraf, a Norte de Bagdade.
 
No debate ocorrido na sessão plenária desta tarde – que foi aberto por Paulo Casaca, na sua qualidade de co-autor de uma Resolução do Parlamento Europeu sobre direitos humanos  – o deputado socialista referiu a necessidade de se respeitar o direito internacional e os princípios humanitários que devem reger a União Europeia, afirmando mesmo que a entrega dos opositores iranianos seria um acto muito pior do que "Guantanamo".
 
A posição do deputado socialista quanto à aplicação da Convenção de Genebra, massivamente apoiada pela Câmara, foi explicitamente apoiada pela Comissária Ferrero Waldner que afirmou o apoio da Comissão Europeia à aplicação da quarta convenção de Genebra aos refugiados iranianos no Iraque.
 
A Resolução votada exorta também os vários Estados-Membros e países democráticos a suspenderem a deportação para o Irão de pessoas ameaçadas de execução ou tortura, e condena, nos termos mais enérgicos, as condenações à morte e as execuções praticadas pelo regime teocrático iraniano, apelando para o estabelecimento de uma moratória, tendo em vista a abolição da pena de morte, de acordo com a resolução aprovada pela Assembleia Geral das Nações Unidas, em 18 de Dezembro de 2007.
 
A este propósito, e à passagem do 20º aniversário sobre a trágica execução em massa de milhares de prisioneiros políticos em Teerão, Paulo Casaca referiu que as execuções no Irão estão em completo descontrolo, tendo chegado a atingir, num único dia, de acordo com comunicações oficiais das autoridades iranianas, o número de 29 pessoas enforcadas, na prisão de Evin, em Teerão.
 
À semelhança de anteriores recomendações, o Parlamento Europeu voltou hoje a insistir na necessidade do Conselho e Comissão acompanharem de perto a evolução da situação no Irão, encarando os sistemáticos casos de violação dos direitos humanos como condição básica para o progresso das relações económicas entre a União Europeia e aquele país do Médio Oriente.
publicado por nx às 11:26
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Segunda-feira, 7 de Abril de 2008

Paradoxos Iraquianos

Paulo Casaca

A trégua conseguida pelo General David Petraeus, por parte do líder radical xiita Muqtada Al-Sadr, foi dos mais importantes sucessos estratégicos americanos no Iraque em 2007 e, contrariamente ao que se possa pensar, os actuais confrontos com as suas milícias são um revés de consequências potencialmente desastrosas.

O General Petraeus estudou e entendeu o que há de mais importante a compreender na história recente do Iraque, nomeadamente o facto de as principais correntes religiosas xiitas iraquianas se terem fortemente dividido nas três últimas décadas entre uma corrente nacionalista iraquiana "Al-Sadr" e uma corrente xiita pró-iraniana de que a família mais importante é a "Al-Hakim", família que veio do Irão para o Iraque em meados do século XIX e cuja origem é libanesa.

As duas correntes são igualmente partidárias de uma leitura extremista do Islão, mas enquanto a primeira alinhou com as forças leais ao país na guerra com o Irão a segunda integrou os destacamentos dos Guardas Revolucionários Iranianos (Pasdaran) na guerra contra o seu país de origem.

Quando os EUA resolveram invadir o Iraque, trouxeram na sua ilharga as facções iraquianas que o Irão armou e financiou desde o início da década de oitenta e que utilizou, desde então, na sua guerra contra o Iraque e depois em actividades terroristas neste país e na região do Golfo, nomeadamente as brigadas BADR, formadas como destacamento dos Pasdaran.

Foram as facções iranianas do Xiismo Iraquiano aquelas que ocuparam imediatamente o centro do poder e que, por essa razão, continuam a ter os lugares principais no Governo do Iraque, com um pequeno interlúdio quando os EUA resolveram convidar o mais pró-ocidental dos líderes iraquianos – Ayad Al-Alawi – para Primeiro-Ministro.

Moqtada Al-Sadr foi das primeiras figuras que se distanciou desta dupla ocupação do Iraque, pelos EUA e pelo Irão, tentando tirar partido do seu inequívoco apoio popular. O regime iraniano, de forma inteligente, ao mesmo tempo que utilizou os EUA para impor os seus homens de mão no controlo do Iraque, foi financiando todo o tipo de rebeldes que tornassem a presença dos EUA insuportável.

A estratégia de Al-Sadr está a atingir os seus limites, porque o apoio iraniano foi um apoio envenenado: por um lado deu armas e dinheiro e, por outro, infiltrou as milícias de Al-Sadr de Pasdaran e dos piores gangsters existentes no Iraque.

O crescente envolvimento destes elementos, não controlados por Al-Sadr, em ataques contra os EUA e a população fez com que a declaração de guerra do Governo iraquiano às milícias de Al-Sadr – que sem dúvida foi apadrinhada por Teerão – não pudesse ser contestada pelas forças americanas.

O afastamento ou a secundarização das milícias de Moqtada Al-Sadr virá assim apenas reforçar o controlo da situação no Iraque pelo regime iraniano.

publicado por nx às 12:19
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Sexta-feira, 7 de Março de 2008

Paulo Casaca no “National Press Club” em Washington

Os Co-Presidentes do Intergrupo do Parlamento Europeu "Amigos de um Irão Livre", Paulo Casaca e Struan Stevenson, conservador escocês, são hoje os oradores convidados do National Press Club em Washington, para uma palestra denominada de Irão e Iraque: Rumo a uma Parceria Transatlântica para uma Política Efectiva.

 

O “National Press Club”, criado por três dezenas de jornalistas a 29 de Março de 1908, marca desde então o quotidiano de Washington. Pelas portas do seu edifício passaram todos os presidentes dos Estados Unidos, desde Theodore Roosevelt, assim como Reis e Rainhas, Primeiros-Ministros, Senadores, Congressistas, Embaixadores, Professores Universitários, Líderes Económicos, entre outros.

 

O convite para esta palestra tem lugar num momento particularmente delicado do Grande Médio Oriente e em que a parceria estratégica transatlântica se torna mais importante.

 

Esta palestra será precedida de uma reunião pública no Senado e deu-se na sequência de vários encontros com congressistas norte-americanos.

 

Ainda no âmbito da sua deslocação aos Estados Unidos da América, Paulo Casaca foi recebido pelos os congressistas luso-americanos Devin Nunes e Jim Costa tendo debatido formas de promover a cooperação luso-americana em especial através dos Açores.

 

Jim Costa, membro da Comissão dos Negócios Estrangeiros do Congresso discutiu em especial com Paulo Casaca a possibilidade de alargar à NATO a eventualidade de desenvolver o treino de pilotos na base das Lajes, facto que foi encarado com muito interesse.

 

Ainda neste âmbito, Paulo Casaca teve uma reunião com quatro responsáveis do Departamento de Estado e ainda com um conselheiro da Embaixada de Portugal junto dos EUA, em que se discutiu o papel dos Açores na promoção da cooperação transatlântica.

 

Em particular foi vista com muito interesse a realização de uma segunda edição da Conferência Transatlântica sobre Energias Renováveis que teve pela primeira vez lugar em Dezembro de 2006, na ilha Terceira.

 

Enquanto membro das delegações do Parlamento Europeu para as Relações com a Assembleia Parlamentar da Nato e para as Relações com o Irão, o Deputado socialista tem ainda reservado, para este último dia de deslocação, um encontro com os senadores norte-americanos, Kay Bailey Hutchison, do Texas, e Johnny Isakson, da Geórgia.

publicado por nx às 10:44
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Terça-feira, 4 de Março de 2008

Paulo Casaca em Washington

para contactos bilaterais sobre as actuais relações Luso-Americanas e o Médio Oriente

 

 

O Deputado Paulo Casaca é um dos oradores convidados de uma palestra subordinada ao tema “Irão e Iraque: Rumo a uma Parceria Transatlântica para uma Política Efectiva”, promovida na próxima sexta-feira, dia 7 de Março, no Edifício da Imprensa Nacional, em Washington, em que participa ainda o Deputado britânico Struan Stevenson, que partilha com o parlamentar português a Presidência do "Grupo de Amigos por Um Irão Livre".

 

O evento insere-se no programa de uma deslocação de três dias aos E.U.A que Paulo Casaca inicia já amanhã, dia 5 de Março, mediante a realização de um encontro com os congressistas luso-americanos Devin Nunes, Jim Costa e Dennis Cardoza.

 

Na ocasião, o Deputado socialista irá discutir aspectos relacionados com as actuais relações luso-americanas e a possibilidade de se encetarem novas frentes de cooperação no domínio das energias renováveis. Os desenvolvimentos registados ao nível das perspectivas agrícolas fixadas pelos EUA para os próximos anos, através da "revisão" operada na Farm Bill, em contraponto com os desafios que na Europa se colocam no âmbito do "Exame de Saúde" da PAC e o Acordo de DOHA, são outros dos assuntos que Paulo Casaca pretende abordar no encontro, em particular junto do congressista Dennis Cardoza.

 

Na quinta-feira, dia 6 de Março, o Deputado Europeu tem previsto uma reunião de trabalho com o Presidente da organização “Voice of the Copts” destinada a debater o problema de alegados casos de perseguição religiosa de comunidades cristãs minoritárias, no Egipto.

 

A agenda da visita do parlamentar português prevê ainda contactos com responsáveis do Departamento de Estado e de Defesa Norte-Americano com vista a discutir as possibilidades relativas à renegociação do Acordo das Lajes.

 

Para além da palestra já mencionada, Paulo Casaca, enquanto membro das delegações do Parlamento Europeu para as Relações com a Assembleia Parlamentar da Nato e para as Relações com o Irão, tem ainda reservado para o último dia da sua deslocação, sexta-feira, dia 7 de Março, um encontro com os senadores norte-americanos, Kay Bailey Hutchison, do Texas, e Johnny Isakson, da Geórgia.

publicado por nx às 19:08
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Quinta-feira, 24 de Janeiro de 2008

A contra-ofensiva de Teerão

Paulo Casaca

Um dos aspectos mais interessantes da guerra que se trava entre o Irão e os EUA é o de que os nossos analistas ocidentais estão sempre prontos a descobrir imensas fracturas ideológicas ou de interesses entre os vários membros da nomenclatura teocrática iraniana mas tendem a olhar para os EUA como um monólito, ignorando as evidências que nos dão uma imagem diferente.

De forma obviamente contraditória com todo o discurso e acção política do Presidente americano, um conjunto de americanos com posições importantes em vários departamentos governamentais editou um NIE – National Intelligence Estimate – sobre o programa nuclear iraniano que, para além de contestar o discurso de George Bush, contradizia o anterior documento análogo, editado dois anos antes, sobre o mesmo tema.

Documento inteiramente político, ele dedica-se a tentar demonstrar que o programa nuclear iraniano poderia afinal ter apenas intenções civis, longe de todas as intenções bélicas que anos a fio diplomatas, cientistas e funcionários dos EUA explicaram e garantiram que existiam. Por outras palavras, mais do que um documento contra o Presidente, trata-se de um documento que lança o descrédito sobre toda a política externa americana.

Apesar de tudo, e contra tudo, o Presidente George Bush, cuja credibilidade já não era grande em lado nenhum e menos ainda no mundo árabe, abalançou-se a uma ofensiva diplomática com um único objectivo: criar uma plataforma árabe de oposição ao expansionismo iraniano.

Como não é surpreendente para qualquer observador informado, o primeiro tiro de resposta que recebeu foi do país árabe que é hoje mais controlado por Teerão, ou seja, o Iraque. Aí, em artigo publicado na imprensa londrina, o porta-voz do Governo, Ali Al-Dabbagh, convidou o mundo árabe a construir uma aliança com o Irão contra os EUA.

A peregrina ideia de depor o antigo ditador iraquiano para entregar o país aos grupos terroristas iraquianos controlados por Teerão foi ainda mais inconcebível e de consequências mais desastrosas do que a de ignorar o programa nuclear iraniano, e a realidade continua a dar-nos provas desse facto todos os dias. Mais inconcebível ainda é que os EUA continuem a apoiar esse governo.

Em qualquer circunstância, a resposta de Teerão não se fez esperar, e não se fez só ouvir através dos seus representantes em Bagdade. Entre outras acções, o Governo iraniano despachou para o Parlamento Europeu o responsável pela negociação do seu programa nuclear e para Lisboa o Ministro dos Negócios Estrangeiros, convicto de que o "pragmatismo" levaria a nossa diplomacia a dissociar-se da posição tomada pelo grupo dos chamados 5 + 1 (Conselho de Segurança das Nações Unidas mais Alemanha) em função de alguns obscuros negócios de exploração de gás iraniano.

A contra-ofensiva diplomática de Teerão, até aqui, não resultou, mas nada assegura que não venha a resultar num futuro próximo.

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publicado por nx às 13:55
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Quinta-feira, 17 de Janeiro de 2008

"Yankee, go home... mas leva-me contigo!"

Esther Mucznik - Público, 2008.01.17
Investigadora em assuntos judaicos

O ódio aos Estados Unidos tem mais a ver com o que eles são do que com o que fazem

"Yankee, go home... mas leva-me contigo!"


Esta expressão do indiano Jairam Ramesh, citada por R. J. Lieber no seu livro A Era Americana, ilustra perfeitamente a ambivalência dos sentimentos que grande parte do mundo nutre pelos Estados Unidos da América. Odiamos o imenso poderio americano, culpamo-lo de todos os males do planeta, execramos a sua proverbial arrogância e brutalidade, a cultura de hambúrgueres e ketchup que invade as nossas mesas e, do alto do nosso cepticismo sofisticado e condescendente, escarnecemos do optimismo messiânico, da religiosidade primária, da estupidez de Bush, do patriotismo básico dos cowboys do lado de lá do Atlântico. Mas, paradoxalmente, não perdemos uma oportunidade para ir ou mandar os nossos filhos para as universidades americanas e vivemos os seus actos eleitorais com uma expectativa apocalíptica, como se o nosso próprio destino fosse selado por elas. Em suma, de uma forma ou de outra, acabamos por partilhar o "sonho americano".


E com razão, porque a verdade é que os EUA são, pelo menos por enquanto, uma potência com um poder inigualável do ponto de vista militar, económico, tecnológico e cultural. A sua tradição de liberdade individual e de igualdade de oportunidades, de fé na democracia representativa, de não-conformismo religioso e de idealismo, fez dos EUA um lugar único de oportunidade. Com apenas 4 por cento da população mundial, representam cerca de 40 por cento da despesa em investigação e desenvolvimento, possuem o maior número das melhores universidades do mundo e produzem a parte de leão dos prémios Nobel em Ciência, Medicina e Economia. É o seu imenso poder e sucesso, despertando ressentimentos e invejas, que está, em grande parte, na base do antiamericanismo global. Dito de outro modo, o ódio aos Estados Unidos tem mais a ver com o que eles são do que com o que fazem.

Vem isto a propósito das eleições presidenciais americanas e da imensa expectativa que as rodeia a nível internacional, cristalizando ódios e paixões desmesurados, sobretudo quando comparados com as possibilidades de transformação real que aquelas representam. Todos temos consciência do peso e da imensa influência da América no mundo. Mas será que o resultado destas eleições, seja ele qual for, mudará substancialmente o exercício do seu poder? As aspirações dos americanos parecem centrar-se na vontade de mudança. Será esse, na opinião da generalidade dos comentadores, o sentido do interesse despertado pelas campanhas do democrata Barack Obama e do republicano John Mac Cain: nenhum dos dois faz parte do que se pode considerar o establishment político.

Obama é, sem dúvida, aquele que inicialmente mais mudaria a imagem dos EUA no mundo: não só por ser negro, não só por ser jovem, mas por um estilo próprio que o distingue dos outros, nomeadamente de Hillary Clinton: menos ideológico, menos "politiqueiro", mais próximo das pessoas, com um discurso virado para o futuro que surge como uma lufada de ar fresco. Também o facto de ter uma origem parcialmente afro-asiática com o pai e o padrasto respectivamente do Quénia e da Indonésia, assim como ele próprio ter vivido na Indonésia e no Havai, permitem-lhe, na opinião do investigador Fareed Zacharia, uma melhor compreensão do mundo porque sabe "o que significa não ser americano".
Isto pode parecer estranho: afinal, tantos e tantos americanos, incluindo políticos, têm uma origem não-americana. Mas o mundo está a mudar rapidamente, com a emergência de países como a Índia, a China, a África do Sul ou o Brasil cada vez mais ricos, fortes e orgulhosos que também disputam o seu lugar ao sol, o que pressupõe uma visão mais abrangente da realidade mundial que tenha em conta as mudanças da relação de forças. Nada garante, no entanto, que a origem não-americana de Obama permita essa compreensão, nem que ela faça realmente a diferença, nomeadamente na política externa. O exemplo do Iraque é, neste aspecto, significativo: Obama promete retirar as tropas americanas em 16 meses e, tal como desde o início se manifestou contra a invasão do Iraque, pronunciou-se igualmente contra a nova política que, desde há um ano e sob a direcção do general David Petraeus, reforçou significativamente a presença americana no terreno - o que, aliás, sempre foi defendido desde o início pelo republicano John Mac Cain. Contrariamente a todos os prognósticos catastróficos, essa mudança de política funcionou e, não sendo provavelmente o único factor, contribuiu para estabilizar e reforçar a segurança no Iraque, permitindo um início de retirada em meados de Julho conforme já anunciado. Ou seja, nem sempre o discurso voluntarista tem uma eficácia prática. Em contrapartida, seria lamentável por parte de Obama deixar a sua campanha resvalar para a vitimização anti-racista - já iniciada a propósito de umas declarações inofensivas de H. Clinton - que só terá como consequência obscurecer o debate político.


A guerra no Iraque estimulou o debate sobre o poder da América e os seus limites e pôs em questão a Estratégia Nacional de Segurança definida pela administração Bush em 2002, que previa a possibilidade de uma acção militar preventiva e, se necessário, unilateral, contra Estados hostis e grupos terroristas, candidatos às armas de destruição maciça; previa também espalhar a democracia e os direitos humanos, em especial no mundo muçulmano. Esta estratégia de 2002, na prática alterada a partir de 2004, foi posta em causa pela realidade no terreno, mas é bom lembrar que ela tinha como fundamento os criminosos atentados de 2001 e a guerra do terror desencadeada pelos djihadistas islâmicos, assim como a impotência das instituições internacionais, nomeadamente das Nações Unidas, de lhe fazerem face. Esses fundamentos persistem e não é por Bush desaparecer de cena que essas ameaças também desaparecerão automaticamente. Muito pelo contrário, a persistência dessas realidades, a que se vieram juntar as criadas no terreno nos últimos anos, determina uma margem de manobra relativamente apertada a quem vier ocupar a Casa Branca. Seria bom reconhecê-lo, ao invés de prometer um céu que não está ao alcance, pelo menos, sem passar pelo purgatório.
publicado por nx às 11:07
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Terça-feira, 18 de Dezembro de 2007

Iran and Syria Move Fast to Crush Democracy as Washington Dithers

Walid Phares

 

While Petrodollars Propaganda showers networks in North America, the Middle East and Europe in order to weaken the resolve of democracies to confront the Iranian and Syrian regimes; and while "lobbies" in the West accelerate their campaigns to break the isolation of Damascus and Tehran; these two regimes confronted their oppositions in several attempts to crush them as long as the "window of opportunity is open", according to insiders.

 

The Khamenei and Assad regimes, relying on the Baker-Hamilton report which caused confusion throughout the West, took advantage of the findings of the NIE and rushed to clamp down on what they consider the real dangers emerging from the inside their countries. While the Iranian propaganda machine uses oil-generated revenues to place favorable stories in the international media to impact think tanks around the world, Syrian Mukhabarat and Pasdaran operated swiftly over the past few days to shut down dissident groups and youth activities deemed "dangerous".  Read: getting too close to provoke political changes.

 

Syrian Mukhabarat arrest dissidents        

 

According to news agencies and the reformist site Aafaq, "Syrian security forces last Wednesday raided the home of Riad Seif and broke up a meeting of the Secretariat of the “Damascus Declaration for National Democratic Change in Syria.”  Those who were present at the time of the raid were threatened with arrest if they did not leave the house immediately. This was just two days after the government launched a campaign of arrests across Syria sweeping up leading members of the political opposition.   

 

Among those present at the meeting, reports Aafaq and other dissident news agencies, were:  Dr. Fada’ Al-Hourani, President of the National Council of the Damascus Declaration, Secretariat members Riad Seif and Riad Turk, Nawaf Al-Bashir, Suleiman Al-Shammar, Walid Bunni (a detainee of the Damascus Spring), Ali Al-Abdullah, Ismail Omar, and Abdul Ghani Ayyash, Amin Sheikh Abdi, Ghassan Al-Naggar, Gabra’il Koreah, Abdul Karim Al-Dahhak, and Muwaffaq Nirbeh. 

 

Syrian security services carried out a campaign of mass arrests on Sunday evening and Monday that covered all Syrian "governorates", and arrested members of the National Council of the Damascus Declaration, who held their convention in Damascus last week.  Most of the arrested have been released, but Akram Bunni, Ahmad Tomeh  and Jabar Shoufeh remain in custody. The Syrian Human Rights Committee (SHRC) said Sunday that the Amn al Dawla State Security in the city of Hama summoned Dr. Fida’a al-Horani, the president of Damascus Declaration for National Change, that same day, Sunday December 16.  She was arrested at the time of her arrival at 11.00 a.m. and hurriedly moved to the headquarters in Damascus.

 .

The SHRC immediately condemned this arrest and requested the immediate release of Dr. Horani, and the release of her colleagues Akram al-Bunni, Ahmad To’ma and Jabr al-Shoofi. According to Syrian opposition sources, the campaign aims at "breaking the backbone of the democratic opposition, while taking advantage of the American so-called dialogue with the Assad regime. The latter," added the source "took advantage of the invitation to Annapolis by the US to claim that a US-Syrian dialogue is underway. Hence under the aegis of such perception, Bashar Assad instructed his Mukhabarat to hit the iron while it is hot." Every time Western media talks about "talking with Syria" the secret services comes to "talk" with us, said a dissident.     

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Pasdaran stikes at internet cafes

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According to Reuters and other agencies, Iranian Police closed down 24 Internet cafes over the past 24 hours and arrested 23 youths. The Police commander Nader Sarkari said his troops burst into 435 cafes looking for anti-revolutionary elements. Iranian opposition sources said 11 young women were arrested. In addition security forces searched 275 restaurants and closed down 17.

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According to Iranian opposition sources, the Pasdaran were instructed by Ahmadinejad to sweep the capital and other cities for the "potential threat of growing pro-democracy youth." In fact, the Internet cafes have become bases for the "revolutionary anti-Khomeinist youth" in the country. Thousands of high school and college students meet in these locations and also communicate among each other across the country. Per Iranian dissidents appearing in chat rooms in cyberspace, a "real revolutionary force is mushrooming in Iran."  They said "how sad it is to see Western media and academics siding with the fascist regime in Tehran as we are on the brink of a formidable uprising." Iranian young scholars said in the chat rooms that "because of Internet we can read what these journalists are writing in defense of the regime. What they don't know, is that while they are covering up for the Ayatollah and their Petrodollars, we are becoming the majority among the youth." 

Last week a main Iranian opposition group, based in Iraq and Europe, the "People’s Mujahidin" organized small demonstrations on several campuses in Tehran. The group, known as MEK is still designated as Terrorist in the United States while its status is now changing in Britain and other European countries. Tehran's regime, designated as Terrorist by Washington, considers the MEK as terrorist. This puzzling situation is due to the fact that pro-Iranian pressure groups consider the Mujahidin Khalq as a real threat to the regime and thus put significant pressures internationally to keep the designation of the MEK as is. 

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"Axis" strikes at Lebanese Army

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The Syro-Iranian move to crush their opposition using the "window of opportunity", created by the NIE and the "talk-to-Syria-and-Iran" campaign in Washington and Brussels, is not confined to these countries. This week, the "axis" war room delivered a deadly blow to the Lebanese Army, which is considered by Hezbollah as the only native force capable of engaging its militias at some point. The assassination of Brigadier General Francois Hajj is increasingly perceived as a preemptive strike by the Pasdaran-controlled Hezbollah against a future commander of the Lebanese Armed Forces. Hajj was the chief operations officer who planned and led the campaign to defeat Fatah al Islam in Nahr al Bared. A growing opposition inside Lebanon is building against this Iranian-funded organization. In today's issue of the Kuwait Al Siyassa, several Lebanese NGOs called on the UN to investigate with Hassan Nasrallah at the Hague. "The only military force capable of perpetrating these terror acts, other than the Lebanese Army and the UNIFIL is none [other] than Hezbollah" said these groups in al Siyassa.       

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As events are unfolding, the two terror regimes of Iran and Syria are sprinting to eliminate the democratic opposition rising inside their public and the Cedars Revolution in Lebanon. They feel they can strike fast while the Beltway debate is still trying to figure out if the power elite in Tehran and Damascus can become good partners in peace and stability. 


Dr Walid Phares is the director of Future Terrorism Project at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, a visiting scholar at the European Foundation for Democracy, and the author of The War of Ideas: Jihadism against Democracy.

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publicado por nx às 19:11
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Sexta-feira, 7 de Dezembro de 2007

Reacções internacionais ao relatório do NIE

International Media Intelligence Analysis

I-M-I-A Special Report


INTERNATIONAL REACTION TO THE U.S. NIE REPORT ON IRAN

By Simon Barrett


The National Intelligence Estimate Report on Iran
The office of the Director of National Intelligence, National Intelligence Council prepared a National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) on Irans nuclear programme titled, Iran: Nuclear Intentions.

President Bush press conference (discusses NIE report on Iran)
Iran was dangerous, Iran is dangerous, and Iran will be dangerous if they have the knowledge necessary to make a nuclear weapon. The NIE says that Iran had a hidden -- a covert nuclear weapons programme. That's what it said. What's to say they couldn't start another covert nuclear weapons programme? Mr President: I think it is very important for the international community to recognise the fact that if Iran were to develop the knowledge that they could transfer to a clandestine program it would create a danger for the world. And so I view this report as a warning signal that they had the program, they halted the programme. And the reason why it's a warning signal is that they could restart it. And the thing that would make a restarted program effective and dangerous is the ability to enrich uranium, the knowledge of which could be passed on to a hidden programme.

How Much Does Weaponization Matter? Judging Iran's Nuclear Programme
The just-released National Intelligence Estimate (NIE), "Iran: Nuclear Intentions and Capabilities," is about weaponization, not the enrichment and fuel cycle issues that have been the focus of multiple UN Security Council and International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) board resolutions regarding Iran's nuclear programme. The NIE only suggests that Tehran has changed its sequence -- something that does not slow the country's progress toward a nuclear weapon by a single day. Therefore, it is not clear how this report affects the current thrust of U.S. policy: to stem Iran's nuclear fuel cycle capabilities.

U.S. Intel Possibly Duped by Iran
A highly controversial, 150 page National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) on Irans nuclear programs was coordinated and written by former State Department political and intelligence analysts not by more seasoned members of the U.S. intelligence community, Newsmax has learned. Its most dramatic conclusion that Iran shut down its nuclear weapons program in 2003 in response to international pressure is based on a single, un-vetted source who provided information to a foreign intelligence service and has not been interviewed directly by the United States. Newsmax sources in Tehran believe that Washington has fallen for a deliberate disinformation campaign cooked up by the Revolutionary Guards, who laundered fake information and fed it to the United States through Revolutionary Guards intelligence officers posing as senior diplomats in Europe.

Pentagon: Intelligence Estimate Shows Need to Keep up Pressure on Iran
Defence Secretary Robert M. Gates today pointed to the new national intelligence estimate as evidence that non-military means are the best way for the United States to deal with Irans nuclear enrichment program. Responding to a reporters query during a joint news conference with Afghan President Hamid Karzai here, Gates said the estimate, released yesterday, also underscores the need for the international community to continue pressuring Iran not to restart its nuclear weapons programme. If anything, the new national estimate validates the administrations strategy of bringing diplomatic and economic pressures to bear on the Iranian government to change its policies, Gates told reporters. The report finds that the intelligence community has high confidence that Iran halted its covert nuclear weapons programme in the fall of 2003 and they have moderate confidence that they have not restarted that programme as of mid-2007, national security advisor Stephen Hadley said in a Washington news briefing yesterday.

Commentary: Was Bush Behind the Iran Report?
Bombing Iran, it seems, is now off the table. There's no other reasonable take on the latest National Intelligence Estimate that concludes Iran halted its nuclear weapons programme in 2003. But there is also no doubt that the Bush White House was behind this NIE. While the 16 intelligence agencies that make up the "intelligence community" contribute to each National Intelligence Estimate, you can bet that an explosive, 180-degree turn on Iran like this one was green lighted by the President. And explode is what the hawks in and outside the Administration are about to do. They were counting on Bush being the one President prepared to take on Iran. As recently as last month, Bush warned of World War III if Iran so much as thought about building a bomb. Bush's betrayal is not going to go down well. The neocons, clinging to a sliver of hope, will accuse the intelligence community of incompetence; pointing out that as late as 2005 it estimated "with high confidence" that Iran was building a bomb.

U.S. admits intelligence gaps on Iran
NIE has 'only moderate confidence' nuke option halted The U.S. intelligence community has determined that Iran halted nuclear weapons development in an estimate that reversed its earlier assessments and differed from those of Israel. In a position that contrasted with that of the Bush administration, the U.S. intelligence community asserted that Iran ended its nuclear weapons program in 2003. Since then, Teheran has focused on developing uranium enrichment, a process used in the assembly of nuclear weapons, Middle East Newsline reported. The National Intelligence Estimate acknowledged gaps in intelligence regarding Iran's nuclear program. The report said the intelligence community has assessed "with only moderate confidence" that Iran ended its entire nuclear weapons programme.

NIE: An Abrupt About-Face
As many recognise, the latest NIE on Irans nuclear weapons program directly contradicts what the U.S. Intelligence Community was saying just two years previously. And it appears that this about-face was very recent. How recent? Consider that on July 11, 2007, roughly four or so months prior to the most recent NIEs publication, Deputy Director of Analysis Thomas Fingar gave the following testimony before the House Armed Services Committee (emphasis added): Iran and North Korea are the states of most concern to us. The United States concerns about Iran are shared by many nations, including many of Irans neighbours. Iran is continuing to pursue uranium enrichment and has shown more interest in protracting negotiations and working to delay and diminish the impact of UNSC sanctions than in reaching an acceptable diplomatic solution. We assess that Tehran is determined to develop nuclear weapons--despite its international obligations and international pressure. This is a grave concern to the other countries in the region whose security would be threatened should Iran acquire nuclear weapons. This paragraph appeared under the subheading: "Iran Assessed As Determined to Develop Nuclear Weapons." And the entirety of Fingars 22-page testimony was labelled "Information as of July 11, 2007." No part of it is consistent with the latest NIE, in which our spooks tell us Iran suspended its covert nuclear weapons programme in 2003.


REACTION: ISLAMIC REPUBLIC OF IRAN

Iran-President-Centrifuges
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Iran needs 50,000 centrifuges to supply fuel for one year to a power plant. In a meeting with war veterans here on Wednesday, Ahmadinejad said, "When we commissioned 164 series of centrifuges, the ill-wishers told us to stop there and that they would ignore it, but "we said we need 50,000 centrifuges to supply fuel for one year to a power plant." The president said Iran continued industrial production of nuclear fuel in spite of ill-wishers' will. On the possible issuance of a new resolution at the United Nations Security Council against Iran's peaceful nuclear activities, the president said, "Our nation does not fear such threats."

Iran Celebrates the NIE Report
The U.S. intelligence report on Irans nukes is being hailed in Tehran as a political victory by an exultant Ahmadinejad and his supporters, and is a clear cause of worry for Irans neighbors. But there are also some within Iran worried about its implications, reports Meir Javedanfar. The The new assessment by US intelligence agencies, which states that Iran halted its nuclear weapons programme in 2003, has been enthusiastically received by Iranian media and officials. Bush is the biggest loser of the US intelligence report read the headline in Wednesdays edition of the Keyhan newspaper. Similar sentiments were shared by the pro-Ahmadinejad Raja News Agency, which called the report is a disgrace for the White House. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad himself joined in the exultations. While addressing a large crowd in the city of Ilam on Wednesday, he boasted that the publication of the recent US intelligence report with regards to Irans nuclear program can be considered as one of the biggest political victories for the people of Iran.

President Views NIE Report a Bullet in Enemy's Head
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said that the US intelligence report on the peaceful nature of Iran's nuclear programme shot a bullet into the head of all ill-wishers of the Iranian nation. Addressing a large public congregation in Iran's western province of Ilam on Wednesday, the president said that despite enemies' efforts, the Iranian nation could gain victory on the nuclear scene. "Today, Iran has turned to a nuclear country and all the world countries, even the western states, have accepted this fact," he said. "Three months ago I announced that the political story of Iran's nuclear issue ended and that the Iranian nation would continue its clear and glorious path, but some imagined that I wanted to give courage to the Iranian nation," the president continued.


REACTION: BRITAIN AND EUROPE

Britain says potential threat from Iran remains
The British government believes that the potential threat from Iran remains a 'very serious issue' despite a US intelligence report saying that Tehran halted its atomic weapons programme in 2003. Foreign Secretary David Miliband said suspicions about Iran's intentions were inevitable, given that Tehran was enriching uranium while there were no civilian nuclear power plants in the country capable of using it. Asked whether the new US report made military action against Iran less likely, Miliband said Britain remained '100 per cent focused, with the rest of the international community, on a diplomatic resolution to this issue.' 'They (Iran) have no nuclear power plants to put this enriched uranium into. That's why people have fears about what the enrichment is for. That's why they have fears about the dangers of weaponization,' Miliband said in a BBC interview.

Sarkozy: Iran report reinforces concerns
PARIS (AP) French President Nicolas Sarkozy said a new U.S. intelligence report saying Iran stopped its nuclear weapons development in 2003 reinforces international concerns and should not diminish pressure for new sanctions. Sarkozy's office said early Thursday that he had spoken Wednesday night with President Bush about the report, which reversed earlier American statements and said Iran had halted the nuclear program because of international pressure. The report also contained warnings about Iran's continued nuclear activity, however, and said that it could have a nuclear bomb between 2010 and 2015.Sarkozy said that if confirmed, the findings mean "international concerns since 2002 about the intentions of nuclear activities in Iran would be further reinforced," his office said. The demands of the international community therefore are pertinent: Iran should cooperate fully with the International Atomic Energy Agency and suspend its enrichment activities," the statement said. Irans refusal to conform justifies a new U.N. resolution reinforcing sanctions," it said.

Germany Calls for Continued Pressure on Iran
The German government said Wednesday that the international community needed to continue pressing Iran to halt its uranium enrichment program as Tehran remained in violation of international law. Iran continued to violate international law in this respect because it was failing to adhere to UN Security Council resolutions, German government spokesman Ulrich Wilhelm said. "There remains a cause for concern," the spokesman said, two days after a US intelligence assessment concluded that Tehran appeared to have suspended its nuclear weapons program in 2003. At the same time, Wilhelm said an offer of cooperation with Iran remained in force if the government there agreed to halt enrichment, which some nations in the West fear is geared towards making a bomb. "The findings (of the report) confirm what the German government has always said -- that diplomatic negotiations are promising," Wilhelm told a press conference.

European Press Review: Iran Report Could Impact Elections
Some European papers saw the US Iran report as a danger to Israel, while others took it as hope for diplomacy. In any case, World War Three has been avoided -- at least for now. Writing on Wednesday, Dec. 5, from Munich, the Sddeutsche Zeitung said the recent US report, which stated that Iran had halted its nuclear weapons program in 2003, was intended to avoid a mistake similar to the invasion of Iraq in 2001. "The domestic consequences of the reversal are incalculable," continued the paper. "The distrust will now intensify in favor of the Democrats." Only Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton's popularity will suffer from the report as she had been the most outspoken against Iran in her party, opined the Sddeutsche Zeitung.

Details in Military Notes Led to Shift on Iran, US Says
American intelligence agencies obtained notes last summer from deliberations of Iranian military officials involved in the nuclear weapons programme. American intelligence agencies reversed their view about the status of Iran's nuclear weapons programme after they obtained notes last summer from the deliberations of Iranian military officials involved in the weapons development programme, senior intelligence and government officials said on Wednesday.


REACTION: ISRAEL

Israel urges strong position on Iran
Daily Telegraph: Israel gave warning yesterday that Iran must either co-operate with the West over its uranium enrichment programme or face military action. Ron Prosor, Israel's newly appointed ambassador to Britain and one of his country's leading experts on Iran's nuclear programme, said that Teheran could enrich enough uranium to make an atomic bomb by 2009."At the current rate of progress Iran will reach the technical threshold for producing fissile material by 2009," he told The Daily Telegraph. "This is a global threat and it requires a global response. It should be made clear that if Iran does not co-operate then military confrontation is inevitable. It is either co-operation or confrontation." Mr Prosor, who served Ehud Olmert, the Israeli prime minister, as his senior adviser on Iran, said that time for resolving the nuclear issue was rapidly running out. However, he was non-committal about the possibility of Israel launching military action."There needs to be full verification of what is happening in Iran," said Mr Prosor, who was speaking for the first time since his arrival in London last month. "In Israel there is a belief that the Iranians are continuing with their nuclear weapons programme."

Analysis: Why does US and Israeli intel differ?
All it took was eight pages, and the entire international front against Iran has undergone a revolution. The US intelligence report released Monday with the claim that Iran froze its nuclear military track four years ago has Israel concerned that the United States is weakening its strong stance against Iran that had President George W. Bush warning that World War III would break out if the ayatollahs got their hands on a bomb. What the report makes even clearer are the major differences between the various intelligence agencies in Israel and the United States. The Mossad claims that the Iranians will be able to develop a nuclear bomb by the end of 2009; Military Intelligence warns that Teheran will cross the technological threshold within six months; and now the Americans are putting the timeline toward the middle of the next decade, or 2013 at the earliest.

Decoding the U.S. National Intelligence Estimate on Iran's Nuclear Weapons Programme
The U.S. government's latest National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) has concluded that Iran froze its active efforts to manufacture nuclear weapons in 2003, and will not have such a capability until at least 2012. While the NIE states that the U.S. intelligence community has "high confidence" that the Iranians halted their nuclear weapons programme in 2003, it also states that it has only "moderate confidence" that Tehran has not restarted the programme. In contrast, Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak has said that while it is "apparently true that in 2003, Iran stopped pursuing its military nuclear programme for a certain period of time," nonetheless, he adds that "in our estimation, since then it is apparently continuing with its programme to produce a nuclear weapon."

'US nuclear report based on notes of Iranian officials'
The new US intelligence assessment which stated that Iran halted its nuclear weapons programme four years ago was based mainly on notes acquired last summer from discussions between Iranian military officials, senior intelligence and government officials told The New York Times on Thursday. The notes reportedly detailed conversations in which certain army officials complained about Iranian leaders' 2003 decision to shut down efforts to develop nuclear weapons. The notes gave no clue as to why Iran had decided to stop weapons development. The information contained in the notes was supported by other intelligence, including conversations between Iranian officials which had been intercepted in recent months, the paper reported.


I-M-I-A seeks to provide news and analysis of world-shaping events.

publicado por nx às 10:37
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Quinta-feira, 6 de Dezembro de 2007

A CIA e o Irão

A CIA quase nunca acerta mas provoca sempre estragos. A New Estimative Intelligence (NEI) sobre o Irão não foge a esta regra. Antes de podermos analisar o relatório na totalidade, a mera leitura do que é reproduzido pelo  New York Times, mostra incoerências. Afirma que o Irão abandonou a 100% o seu programa nuclear militar em 2003 mas que só está moderadamente convencida que o Irão não tenha já armas nucleares: 100% ou moderadamente convencida? Outras contradições e erros grosseiros estão presentes no documento, mas o mal já está feito.

Resta observar como uma certa extrema-esquerda e extrema-direita – depois de décadas com todo o tipo de acusações aos serviços secretos americanos (golpes de Estado, ingerência externa, apoio a ditadores, Guantánamo) – se agarram à CIA como tábua de salvação. Caricato, mas muito perigoso...


Ahmadinejad aproveitou para afirmar que este relatório provava que a nação Iraniana era vitoriosa e que os USA não conseguiriam nada contra ela. E reclamou a utilização de 20.000 centrifugadoras para acelerar o programa nuclear civil!!

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publicado por nx às 10:37
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Quarta-feira, 5 de Dezembro de 2007

Podemos confiar na informação dos serviços secretos americanos sobre o Irão?

Claude Moniquet responde a esta questão no artigo «CAN U.S. INTELLIGENCE BE TRUSTED ON IRAN?» publicado na edição online de Realité EU.
publicado por nx às 22:25
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Quinta-feira, 22 de Novembro de 2007

Triple Entente or Dual Alliance


Professor Raymond Tanter and Thomas McInerney, Lt. Gen. USAF (Ret)

 

[21.11.07] In 1776, Benjamin Franklin went to Paris as America’s first ambassador to gain support for American independence. Franklin convinced Paris to recognize U.S. independence from Britain and concluded an alliance. Scholar Leo Lemay wrote: “There is no doubt that America would not have won the Revolutionary War against Britain without France's financial and military aid and that Franklin was almost entirely responsible for obtaining that aid.”

 

Now Washington again needed Paris during the first State visit of President Nicolas Sarkozy to America. Sarkozy’s visit advanced the cause of American-French relations almost as much as the sojourn of Benjamin Franklin. This time around, Paris can play a role in unison with Washington and London, instead of in conflict with London, as during the Revolutionary War. At issue, however, is whether London will join a “triple entente” with Paris and Washington or allow a new “dual alliance” to isolate the British.

 

On the Bush-Sarkozy agenda was policy on Iran. But Washington cannot solve a growing crisis with Iran on its own and needs assistance from Paris and London to fashion a transatlantic policy. The European Union (EU) maintains leverage over Iran in trade, credits, and investment. EU member states constitute Iran’s main trading partner, with a 35% total market share; the EU supplies 44% of Iran’s total imports.

 

Both presidents agreed that with the bomb, an Iranian regime driven by aggressive Islamist ideology would create an unprecedented international crisis. So far, however, Iran’s nuclear clock ticks faster than stalled Western diplomacy.

 

Consistent with the Sarkozy position that, "Iran represents the most important problem on the international scene," on October 25, Washington blacklisted the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps and its affiliates because of its tasks: save the clerical regime from its opposition, export terrorism and radical Islamism, suppress the Iranian people, and produce nuclear weapons.

 

Absent a third UN Security Council resolution, France suggested EU members willing to implement sanctions should not wait for others. If the EU, led by Paris, would impose Washington-like sanctions on Tehran, it would make the regime feel pressure of a unified West.

 

This growing relationship between 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue and the Elysee Palace is encroaching upon the “special relationship” between the White House and 10 Downing Street. Hence, it is essential that London join Washington and Paris in a transatlantic trio to enhance sanctions against Iran, with or without a UN Security Council Resolution or EU consensus.

 

And to reinforce the diplomatic front, London, Paris, and Washington should look to the Iranian street. Major anti-government demonstrations in protest of gasoline rationing in June indicate that Iran is rife with disenchantment and ripe for coercive diplomacy.

 

Given growing Iranian instability, consider three options: multilateral diplomacy, unilateral military action, and empowerment of the Iranian people. Empowerment would reinforce diplomacy and make military action unnecessary.

 

Because Tehran has failed to respond to the diplomatic option, EU emphasis on diplomacy is likely to lead to a nuclear-armed Iran, something the United States will not allow. The more Europe stresses a failing diplomatic option, the more Washington moves toward the military option, which Europe correctly wants to avoid.

 

On August 27, President Sarkozy said that increasing sanctions while holding out the possibility of dialogue with Iran was the only policy “that can enable us to escape an alternative that I say is catastrophic: the Iranian bomb or the bombing of Iran.”

 

For coercive diplomacy to work requires the West gain leverage over Tehran by empowering the Iranian people. Empowerment requires an organized resistance movement in the lead not Western-styled regime change, as in the 1953 UK-USA overthrow of the elected government of Iran. The role the Iranian opposition can play is crucial in an Iranian solution to the dilemma of an Iranian bomb or bombing Iran.

 

The Iranian parliament-in-exile, the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), and the Mujahedeen-e Khalq (MEK) are Iranian opposition groups that threaten survival of the extremist regime in Tehran. A study of regime statements by the Iran Policy Committee finds that Tehran pays attention to the MEK 350% more than all other groups combined.

 

A 16-month review by the United States in July 2004 found no basis to charge members of the MEK in Iraq with violations of American laws, though the group is listed as a terrorist organization by the State Department. Interviews by officials from State and FBI did not produce any basis to indict MEK members. In July 2004, General Geoffrey Miller, then deputy commander in Iraq, announced MEK members as protected persons by the United States, under the Fourth Geneva Convention, providing them new rights.

 

And because the NCRI is not on the EU list, London and Paris are in a position to convince Washington to remove the NCRI from the State Department list. Indeed, Washington is considering whether to remove the NCRI from its terrorist lists; hence, Sarkozy has an opportunity to help Bush move in the direction the White House is already moving. Now is the time to reinforce unilateral American sanctions against Tehran with a common western approach, led by London, Paris, and Washington, to empower the Iranian people via their opposition groups.

 

Ambassador Benjamin Franklin would be proud to see President Sarkozy advancing the cause of American-French relations, reinforcing diplomacy, and preventing war by empowering the Iranian people to oppose the unelected clerical regime. Such a move would be consistent with the Benjamin Franklin dictum, “Rebellion to tyrants is obedience to God.”

 

Professor Raymond Tanter is a former senior staffer of the National Security Council in the Reagan-Bush White House and is President of Iran Policy Committee. General Thomas McInerney (USAF, Ret.) is former Assistant Vice Chief of Staff of the Air Force and Chair of the Iran Policy Committee Advisory Council.
publicado por nx às 10:34
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Colaboradores

Paulo Casaca
Walid Phares
Raymond Tanter
Thomas McInerney
Alireza Jafarzadeh
Matthias Küntzel

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