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There is no good in much of their secret conferences save (in) whosoever enjoineth charity and fairness and peace-making among the people and whoso doeth that, seeking the good pleasure of God, We shall bestow on him a vast reward. (Al-Nisa, 4:114).


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Thursday, December 31, 2009

Gaza Freedom March

Paul Jay talks to Sam Husseini in Cairo, Egypt

Iran: Thousands of regime supporters turn out in show of force

Following Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejads call for a display of force against the opposition, hundreds of thousands of government supporters took to the streets of Irans major cities on Wednesday. This show of support renders MKO claims that the demonstration was about regime change as fallacious.

RT : Is Israel spreading misinformation about Iran?

Washington is pressuring Tehran to accept a U.N. deal on its nuclear program before the end of this year, but stories on Iran's nuclear intentions keep spreading. Recently reports were circulated that Kazakhstan could be selling uranium ore to Iran for enrichment. Are these stories true or is someone behind them?

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Viva Palestina Convoy Takes Another Route To Gaza

From Kuzaimah Idris  |  AQABA (Jordan), Dec 29 - 09  | Bernama 

-- After almost five days stranded in this port city, the 450 members of the Viva Palestina convoy of 220 trucks and ambulances were forced to make a detour to Damascus after the Egyptian authorities refused to let them use Nuweiba as a gateway to Gaza via Rafa.

The convoy which include eight Malaysians, four from the Perdana Global Peace Organisation and four Bernama TV crew had to reach the Syrian capital before continuing their journey to the Egyptian Mediterranean port of El-Arish.

The journey from Aqaba to El-Arish is expected to take about 12 hours.

Perdana Global Peace Organisation is donating almost RM500,000 of humanitarian aid and an ambulance to the Palestinians in Gaza.

Turkey's IHH Humanitarian Relief Foundation Deputy President Huseyin Oruc said the Egyptian government had insisted that the US$1 million medical, humanitarian and educational aid be delivered through El-Arish.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Meet the Talibans - Exclusive

An exclusive report of the Talibans in Afghanistan.The France24 reporters have shared the Taliban's life.

Gaza Aid Convoy - 25 Dec 2009 (Press TV)

U.S. Government giving Taliban weapons?

Investigative journalists like Wayne Madsen and Gareth Porter have been challenging claims made by U.S. officials and Taliban commanders that Iran is providing insurgents with tank killing mines in Afghanistan. These experts say that the TC-6 Italian-made mines were actually provided by the United States to the Jihadi Movement back in the 1980s. So why does there seem to be a concerted effort on the part of the U.S. Government and the media to blame Iran? RT's Dina Gusovsky discusses this issue with RT Contributor Wayne Madsen.

US testing unproven weapons in Afghanistan

The US is developing new, expensive weapons and testing them on the battleground in Afghanistan. Is this the best idea? How can new weapons designed for conventional warfare be effective against an insurgency? And do unproven weapons put soldiers at risk?

London protest recalls Israel’s murderous assault on Gaza.

About 500 people attended an angry protest outside the Israeli embassy in Kensington, West London on Sunday 27 December, marking the first anniversary of the invasion of Gaza that resulted in around 1,500 deaths. 

The protest, called by Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Stop the War Coalition, British Muslim Initiative and Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament came as news emerged of Israeli troops killing six Palestinians in two separate incidents in Gaza and in the West Bank.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Swansea humanitarian aid - VIVAPALESTINE

The News on aljazeera

Since June 2007 Gaza has been under a crippling blockade with few essential goods making it through. Now an aid convoy of 250 trucks and ambulances is attempting to reach the Strip to deliver much needed supplies. But a bureaucratic argument with Egypt is holding it back in Aqaba in southwest Jordan. Al Jazeera's Clayton Swisher reports.

Gaza devastation as statistics

In December 2008 Israel launched 23 days of war on Gaza, Operation Cast Lead they called it and began on 27 December.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

France TV : The marginalisation of Turkish Kurds

Turkey struggles to deal with the marginalisation and radicalisation of its young Kurds. Ethnic tensions are rife, and clashes erupted between Kurdish groups and nationalist factions in the heart of Istanbul earlier this month. 

But the government has recently made significant steps in offering an olive branch to the Kurdish minority - estimated to make up to 20 per cent.

Ray Hanania on Gilad Shalit prisoner exchange with Hamas

Op-Ed columnist Ray Hanania addresses the proposed prisoner swap between the Palestinian militant group Hamas and Israel, for Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit who was captured in 2006. Hanania argues that the Israelis should exchange the prisoners demanded by Hamas but to also release thousands of additional prisoners to the Palestinian National Authority, Palestine Government, in a separate effort to undermine the benefits Hamas might receive and bolster the legitimate Palestinian Government in the West Bank.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The Iranian Revolutionary Guard.

Babak Yektafar  - IRGC defended Iran against Saddam's attacks. IRGC has been crucial in defending the sovereignty of the Islamic Republic of Iran. IRGC had proven to be an efficient force. Babak accredited to IRGC for the survival of the Iranian present regime. IRGC has become a force to be reckoned with and the western media had taken every opportunity to degrade IRGC. Now the  western media is promoting this idea that the IRGC has .... but has turned into a repressive force?

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Prisoner swap talks enter critical phase in Israel

khaleejtimes  | 22 December 2009 JERUSALEM 

— Marathon top-level Israeli meetings ended early Tuesday without announcement of a decision over whether to accept Islamic militants’ demand to swap 1,000 Palestinian prisoners for a lone Israeli serviceman.

A decision to pay that lopsided price for 23-year-old Sgt. Gilad Schalit could reshuffle Mideast politics in unpredictable ways and possibly ease a punishing blockade of the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and six Cabinet ministers convened after nightfall Monday, the latest in a series of sessions over the past two days in a frenzy of activity that suggested a deal could be close.
The group was divided, however, with some ministers opposed freeing Palestinians convicted in fatal attacks, arguing they could kill again.
After more than four hours of talks, Netanyahu’s office released a statement early Tuesday saying only that instructions were given to the negotiating team about “the continuation of efforts to bring Gilad Schalit home safe and sound.” There was no word of a decision, further meetings or steps.
As the Monday evening meeting began, Netanyahu’s office issued a statement saying, “The prime minister will continue to protect Israel’s security and the lives of its citizens as the most important factor” in a decision over the soldier, a possible hint that he was leaning against approval of the deal.
A Palestinian close to the negotiations said a German mediator carrying a proposal approved by Hamas has set a Wednesday deadline for Israeli action. The Palestinian, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter, said there would be no further negotiations.
In between Monday’s meetings, Netanyahu sat down with Schalit’s parents, who have waged a high-profile crusade to free their son. The young tank crewman was dragged bleeding into Gaza by Hamas-linked militants who tunneled into Israel in a daring June 2006 raid, killing two other soldiers.
Schalit’s father, Noam, who has had his hopes raised and dashed repeatedly, said afterward that he was neither optimistic nor pessimistic. Asked if an Israeli decision would be forthcoming Monday, he replied, “Hopefully.”
At a protest tent outside the prime minister’s residence, about 100 demonstrators carried life-size cardboard cutouts of Schalit and urged Cabinet ministers to wrap up an agreement.
Hamas, the Islamic militant group that seized control of Gaza a year after Schalit’s capture, stands to be the biggest winner if the deal goes through.
It could claim credit for the largest prisoner release in years — an achievement of paramount importance in Palestinian society, where nearly every family has had relatives in Israeli jails. A swap could also bolster the Hamas claim that only violence, not peacemaking, wrings concessions from Israel.
Hamas also hopes a prisoner exchange would ease a crippling Israeli and Egyptian blockade of impoverished Gaza. That embargo has prevented the tiny seaside territory from rebuilding after Israel’s devastating offensive a year ago to stop daily Palestinian rocket attacks. Israel has said it would not consider lifting the blockade until Schalit is home.
Israel imposed tight restrictions on access to Gaza after Schalit was captured, then virtually sealed off the territory, home to 1.5 million Palestinians, after Hamas violently seized power the following year.
The big loser could be Hamas’ rival, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. The 74-year-old moderate leader, who governs only in the West Bank, has had little to show for years of peace efforts and could appear weaker than ever if Hamas wins the freedom of hundreds of Palestinians.
Abbas could be in even bigger trouble if Israel releases Marwan Barghouti, a popular grass-roots leader and Abbas’ key challenger inside the Western-backed Fatah movement. It’s not clear if Barghouti is on the list of those to be freed, but he’s considered a strong contender to become the Palestinians’ next president.
The Palestinian close to the negotiations said Barghouti, who is serving multiple life sentences after being convicted in fatal attacks against Israelis, would be allowed to return to his West Bank home. Hamas agreed that several other hard-core convicts would be deported, he said.
Prisoner swaps are controversial in Israel because of their potential to encourage militants to take more hostages. But the plight of the quiet, gangly soldier and his family has touched many hearts in Israel, where military service is compulsory and families expect the army to do all it can to protect their children.
Bringing Schalit home could boost Netanyahu domestically, given the Israeli public’s deep concern for the young man’s fate. However, it could also hurt the prime minister’s standing among Israelis who feel releasing prisoners convicted of violence would only invite more bloodshed.
Israel has balked at meeting the Hamas demand to release Palestinians convicted of particularly shocking violence, such as the bombing of a Passover celebration that killed 30 people in 2002. It also wants some of the prisoners deported outside the West Bank.
Hamas spokesmen had no comment Monday. But on Sunday, Izzat Rashaq, a top member of Hamas’ exiled leadership, said in Beirut that the group was sticking to its demand that senior militants be freed. He said he was expecting to get Israel’s response from a German mediator within days.
Israel and the Iranian-backed Hamas have held years of on-again, off-again swap talks through Egyptian mediators. But no dramatic progress was reported until a German mediator entered the picture several months ago.
Suleiman Awwad, the Egyptian presidential spokesman, called on Gaza’s Hamas rulers to end the suffering of Palestinians, an apparent reference to the release of Schalit, as a way to removing the blockade on Gaza.
On Sunday, Iran’s parliament speaker, Ali Larijani, said during a visit to Egypt that Iran was not trying to interfere in Egypt’s mediation efforts — a possible sign that Iran has given a green light for a deal on Schalit.
In October, Hamas released a video of Schalit, providing the first visual evidence since his capture that he was alive. Hamas also declared last month that all of Gaza’s militant groups had agreed to suspend rocket attacks on Israel, a promise largely kept. 

Iran nuclear trigger report fabricated: Ahmadinejad

khaleejtimes | 22 December 2009

A reported confidential Iranian technical document describing Tehran’s efforts to design an atomic bomb trigger was forged by Washington, Ahmadinejad said on Monday.

Ahmadinejad was asked by ABC News about a Times of London report last week on what it called a confidential Iranian technical document describing a four-year plan to test a neutron initiator, the part of a nuclear warhead that sets off an explosion.

“They are all fabricated bunch of papers continuously being forged and disseminated by the American government,” he told the U.S. network in an interview in Copenhagen, Denmark, after he attended the United Nations conference on climate change.

Reports that Iran is working on a bomb trigger are “fundamentally not true,” said Ahmadinejad.

The Times of London published on Dec. 14 what it said was the Farsi-language document, along with an English translation, entitled, “Outlook for Special Neutron-Related Activities Over the Next Four Years”.

The document describes steps to develop and test parts for a neutron initiator, a device that floods the core of highly enriched uranium with subatomic particles to touch off the chain reaction of a nuclear explosion.

Last week Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast called the report “baseless ... not worthy of attention, intended to put political and psychological pressure on Iran.”

Iran, the world’s No. 5 crude oil exporter, says its uranium enrichment program is aimed at generating electricity so that it can export more gas and oil. The West believes Iran wants bombs from enrichment because of its record of nuclear secrecy.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Uighurs seeking asylum deported to China.

Posted Sun Dec 20, 2009 9:23am AEDT

Cambodia has deported 20 Chinese Uighurs who had sought asylum there after fleeing ethnic riots in China's far west region of Xinjiang in July.

The expulsions came ahead of a visit to Cambodia by the Chinese vice-president, Xi Jingping.

Witnesses said the Uighurs left on an unmarked plane from Phnom Penh's military air field.

A government spokesman confirmed the flight was heading to China.

Earlier the authorities said the Uighurs were being deported because they had entered the country illegally.

Supporters of the Uighurs said they were fleeing persecution in China, where some had witnessed brutality by the authorities during ethnic violence in July.

A network of Christian missionaries had helped them to make their way to the Phnong Penn office of the United Nations refugee agency - the UNHRC.

The agency was still assessing the Uighurs' claim for refugee status when armed police took them into custody on Friday.

'US aided' deadly Yemen raids

The US provided firepower and intelligence to help the Yemeni government launch a series of deadly raids against suspected al-Qaeda bases in the country, the New York Times has reported.

Barack Obama, the US president approved the military and intelligence support after receiving a request from the Yemeni government, the newspaper reported late on Friday, citing officials familiar with the operations.

Al Jazeera's Muhammad Vall travels to Yemen to see what Yemenis think of the development.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Taliban warns US over Afghan war .

A senior Taliban commander has warned the United States that it will be defeated in Afghanistan, even if it sends an extra 200,000 US troops.Located in the so-called valley of death near the border with Pakistan, Taliban fighters vowed to fight to the very end.

However, the movement will not just be battling foreign forces as the Afghan government, with help from US and Nato forces, moves to equip and train tribal fighters.

Al Jazeera's Hashem Ahelbarra reports from Kabul, the Afghan capital.

The obvious result of the War in Yemen.

Saudi army now has its own mini war, a training ground for its well equip but inexperience army.

Press TV/news Analysis/Saudi Yemen war/ 15 Nov 2009

The civilians 13 Nov 2009

Yemen's war-displaced face dire hunger threats - 23 Nov 09 

Children who are malnourished and undernourished are not difficult to spot in Yemen where hunger stalks the poverty-stricken population. While fighting in northern Yemen between government troops and Houthi fighters has displaced thousands of civilians, aid workers fear they will not be able to address the country's growing hunger needs.

Several aid groups have warned that that widespread suffering could ensue if they unable to reach camps for internally displaced persons (IDP) that have effectively been cut off by the conflict.Some camps are running short of vital supplies and others are unable to accomodate the growing number of IDPs.

Al Jazeera's Hashem Ahelbarra reports from a camp in the far north of the country - just 5km from the frontline - for civilians fleeing the war zone, where each tent is packed with at least four families.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Kadeer (Uighurs) Ends European Tour with a Productive Visit to the Netherlands

During a one-day visit to The Netherlands, Ms Kadeer discussed the Chinese suppression of the Uyghur people with human rights organizations, Dutch Members of Parliament, the press and academic experts. 

The Hague - 15 December 2009

Following her visit to six other countries, Ms Rebiya Kadeer ended her one-month European tour with a productive visit to the Dutch city of The Hague. Ms Kadeer, leader of the suppressed Uyghur people visited the Netherlands on Monday, December 14 2009, with the aim of engaging in dialogue with Dutch civil society, academia and government.

“When I was finally released from prison by the Chinese government in 2005, I promised myself that I would travel to Siberia to tell the story of the Uyghur people if only a single person wanted to hear it”. That is how Ms Kadeer opened her address to a wide range of human rights organizations in the morning of her visit. After outlining the long history of Uyghur oppression, Ms Kadeer explained how the Chinese government had used the 9/11 attacks and the current economic crisis as smokescreens to further suppress the Uyghur people without interference from the international community.

Following the discussion with human rights organizations, Ms Kadeer proceeded to talk with Dutch Members of Parliament. By invitation of MP Mr Harry van Bommel, Ms Kadeer had a meeting with members from the Commission of Foreign Affairs, in which she explicitly stipulated how the Dutch Parliament could take concrete steps towards the protection of human rights of the Uyghur people. After discussing the dire situation of the Uyghurs in East Turkestan following the July 5th unrest, the Dutch MPs agreed to submit parliamentary inquiries into the ongoing media blackout in Urumqi, capital of East Turkestan, which is used by the government of China to inhibit all communication with and amongst the Uyghur inhabitants of the region.

Ms Kadeer then went on to meet with a group of academic experts to discuss political, human rights and communications issues from a Uyghur perspective. During this meeting, co-hosted by UNPO and the Clingendael Institute, the participants discussed the influence of the situation in East Turkestan on the international relations between China and other countries.

Ms Kadeer travelled back to Washington D.C. on December 15th, to continue her advocacy from the D.C. Headquarters of the Uighur American Association.

Courtesy : UNPO

Indonesia Bans Domestic Telecom Firms From Setting Up Ties With Israeli Counterparts

JAKARTA, Dec 14  09   |   Bernama

-- Indonesian Communication and Information (Kominfo) Ministry threatened to revoke business license of Indonesian telecommunication firms, if should they found embracing Israeli counterparts in developing telecommunication business in the country, Antara news agency reported.

Responding to an indication that an Israeli telecommunication firm is involved in the procurement of WiMax telecommunication equipment in Indonesia, Kominfo minister said that establishing business ties with Israel breaches the article No. 21 in the existing Communication Law.

"Based on the law, establishing business relation with Israeli firm is obviously banned as it would threat national security. There will be severe punishment up to business license revocation for firms that breaches the law," Kominfo ministry spokesperson Gatot S Dwo Broto said on the sidelines of ICT Expo 2009 opening ceremony here.

An Indonesian telecommunication firm, PT Abhimata Cipta Abadi, proposed to procure nomadic-standard WiMax equipment with frequency of 3.3 GHz, reported Antara.

It embraces Alvarion, a firm that tuned to be based in Tel Aviv, Israel, to procure the equipment, the report said.

Indonesian Kominfo minister Tifatul Sembiring said that verification over the allegation of Israeli firm involvement in national WiMax equipment procurement is underway at the moment.

"We don't have diplomatic ties with Israel, how can we establish a business relation that doesn't have ties with Indonesia," Tifatul said.

Instead of seeking business partners from Israel, the minister urged national telecommunication firms to seek partners from the United States, China or European countries.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Philippine govt, MILF to form peace pact to end Muslim rebellion after KL talk.

MANILA, Dec. 9  09  |  Xinhua

-- The Philippine government and the separatist Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) have agreed Wednesday to negotiate a final peace agreement that is expected to end 40-year Muslim rebellion in Mindanao, southern Philippines.
In a joint statement issued at the end of the two-day Malaysian-brokered talks in Kuala Lumpur, both parties reaffirmed their shared commitment to building a "just, enduring, and comprehensive peace in Mindanao."
"Step by step, we are inching towards our goal of achieving a just and lasting peace and sustainable development in Mindanao. No step is small towards this noble goal, no task is insignificant in this worthy endeavor," said Rafael Seguis, Philippine foreign affairs undersecretary and chairman of the government peace negotiating panel.
Both parties agreed to "continue creating and enabling a secure environment" by renewing the terms of reference for the International Monitoring Team (IMT).
The IMT is composed of representatives from the governments of Malaysia, Japan, Brunei, and Libya. It will monitor the ceasefire, humanitarian, rehabilitation, development and civilian protection agreements between the Philippine government and the MILF.
Both parties also agreed to expand the membership of the IMT by including foreign and local non government organizations like the International Committee on the Red Cross, the Mindanao People's Caucus, and the Non-Violent Peace Force.
The government and MILF negotiating panels also agreed to continue efforts in coordinating the interdiction and isolation of criminal and lawless elements by reviving the Ad Hoc Joint Action Group (AHJAG). 

Malaysia arrests 3 Thais with homemade explosives

Associated Press  |  2009-12-15

Malaysian police arrested three Thais who allegedly produced homemade explosives and are investigating whether they have links to a Muslim insurgency in southern Thailand, an official and a news report said Tuesday.

Authorities detained the three suspects and seized devices believed to be homemade explosives from a house in northern Kelantan state, which borders Thailand's southernmost provinces, a police official said on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to make public statements.

He declined to elaborate, saying the matter was under investigation. It was not immediately clear how authorities found the men.

The Star newspaper, quoting unidentified security officials, said the devices and material, including chemical fertilizer, may have been meant for use in a Muslim insurgency that has been raging in southern Thailand since 2004.

More than 3,700 people have been killed in the conflict. The insurgents have made no public pronouncements but are thought to be fighting for an independent Muslim state in Buddhist-dominated Thailand. A massive security force of 60,000 has failed to stop the violence.

Malaysia Willing To Help Muslim Community In Southern Thailand

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 15  09  |  Bernama

-- Malaysia is willing to provide assistance to the Muslim community in southern Thailand in the interest of restoring peace and harmony in the restive region, said Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Maj Gen (Rtd) Datuk Jamil Khir Baharom.

He said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak's visit to Thailand to meet Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva recently was very significant towards this end besides enhancing the existing neighbourly ties between the two countries.

"The existence of a business network on the Malaysia/Thailand border proves the communities in both countries need each other, as such, political and economic stability and security is important in the region so as not to affect Malaysia and other Asean countries," he told reporters after opening the Asian Haj Route Symposium at the Tengku Abdul Rahman Memorial here Tuesday.

The two-day symposium is organised by the National Archives and the Islamic Education, Scientific and Cultural Organisation( ISESCO) .

On the symposium, which is being attended by some 300 participants from ISESCO member countries, Jamil Khir said it served as an important platform for the exchange of ideas among the members particularly in relation to haj matters.

Monday, December 14, 2009

CIA admits Blackwater presence in Pakistan

Sat, 12 Dec 2009 08:13:42 GMT  | Presstv

Despite repeated denials, the CIA has now confirmed that US security contractor Xe Services, formerly known as Blackwater, has been operating in Pakistan. 

CIA spokesman George Little said that agency Director Leon Panetta has terminated a contract with Xe services that allowed the company's employees to load bombs on CIA drones at secret airfields in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Although the spokesman denied that Blackwater was currently involved in CIA operations in Pakistan and Afghanistan, his comments, contradicted past US assertions that the company does not operate in Pakistan.

Other than the US administration, the Pakistani government and Xe itself had denied that the company was operating in Pakistan.

Little did say, however, that the contractor still provides so-called security or support assistance to the US intelligence agency in the two countries. He did not elaborate further on exactly what that role involves.

While the New York Times published CIA's claim that Blackwater employees no longer have an operational role in the agency's covert programs in Pakistan and Afghanistan, the Guardian posted a quite different article.

Citing comments from an unnamed former US official, the British daily reported that Blackwater was still operating in Pakistan at a secret CIA airfield used for launching drone attacks.

According to the official, who has direct knowledge of the operation, Xe employees patrol areas surrounding the Shamsi airbase in Pakistan's Baluchistan province.

Blackwater gained its notoriety mainly from its activities in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Iraqis have launched several cases against the company in US courts over violent attacks carried out by the company against unarmed people, including an unprovoked 2007 shooting spree in Baghdad that killed 17 civilians.

After the Baghdad incident Blackwater changed its name to Xe Services.

The company CEO Erik Prince also is facing allegations by a former US marine and a past employee that he organized the murder of witnesses that could have testified against his company during the hearings.

He has also been accused by the two witnesses, whose identities have not been disclosed by the courts for safety purposes, of having anti-Muslim sentiments, "encouraging and rewarding the destruction of Iraqi life", and arms smuggling.

CIA confirmation of Xe involvement in Pakistan comes a day after the New York Times reported that links between Blackwater and the CIA in Iraq and Afghanistan have been closer than has yet been disclosed.

A US Congressional committee is apparently investigating links between Blackwater and American intelligence services.

The paper said that Blackwater staff had participated in clandestine CIA raids.

Blackwater is a sensitive subject in Pakistan where its name is associated with drone strikes, bombings and violent activities that have left hundreds of civilians dead.

Before the US avowal, some Pakistani TV stations had already aired images of what seemed to be "Blackwater houses" in Islamabad. Several papers had also published reports accusing certain US officials and journalists of being Xe operatives.

Pakistan's interior minister, Rehman Malik, has even offered to resign if it is proven that Blackwater is present in Pakistan.

However, it remains to be seen whether he will keep that promise now that the CIA has confirmed that Blackwater is and was working in Pakistan.  

Black Water in Pakistan - Time to Wake Up

American Black Water parallel Army is now operative in Pakistan. The Government has allowed them to abduct, kill and even shift the suspected terrorists to America. There is no way we can challenge them if they will charge any of us as accomplice of terrorist organization. Neither our Army nor our Courts are doing anything to stop the insult to the nation. Pakistan Leaders have already sold your skulls for few dollars and they are least interested in explaining this matter into parliament. Only people of Pakistan can join together to save their generations from perpetual insult and dark future. Pakistanis join the right group and show your support to the cause of expelling this man eaters group from your soil. 

BlackWater started its operations in 2007 in Pakistan. Since then, it has been involved in many under cover operations and establishment of offices in Pakistan. After changing its name to XE Worldwide, the mercenary army has penetrated in Peshawar, Islamabad and Karachi. 

Blackwater teams joined CIA operations - NY Times

WASHINGTON, Dec 11 09  |  Reuters

- Private security guards from Blackwater Worldwide participated in some of the CIA's most sensitive operations, including raids on suspected militants in Iraq and Afghanistan, the New York Times reported on Thursday.

Blackwater's role in Afghanistan began in early 2002 when the CIA hired the private company to guard the perimeter around its station in Kabul's Ariana Hotel, the newspaper reported on its website

Now known at Xe Services, Blackwater was also hired as security for the CIA station in Baghdad after the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq a year later.

But the Times said Blackwater's role in both wars changed sharply when its guards began providing security for CIA operatives in the field, sometimes during offensive missions in conjunction with Delta Force or Navy Seals teams.

Raids on suspected insurgents in Iraq, known as "snatch and grab" operations, began happening almost nightly during the worst years of the war between 2004 and 2006.

The Times quoted several former Blackwater guards as saying operations to capture and kill militants in Iraq and Afghanistan became so routine that Blackwater personnel sometimes became partners in the missions rather than simply providing the security for the CIA officers.

The Blackwater name burst into the headlines of the Iraq war after a September 2007 shooting in which its guards allegedly killed 14 unarmed Iraqi civilians while escorting a convoy of U.S. diplomats through Baghdad.

One guard pleaded guilty to manslaughter in connection with the shooting, which also wounded 20 people. Five others were charged.

The Times reported in August the CIA also hired Blackwater contractors for a secret program to track and assassinate senior al Qaeda figures. The program cost millions of dollars but never captured or killed any militants, the paper said. 

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Why is the USA in Afghanistan?

Engdahl: Key objective is a permanent military presence in Asia.

German Muslims feel growing Islamophobia

Berlin is home to some 80 mosques, but only five of them are recognizable as such because they have minarets; the remaining 75 are so-called backyard mosques, prayer rooms located in community halls and buildings in industrial districts. Critics often accuse Muslim congregations here of receiving financing from Saudi Arabia and Turkey, and of preaching fundamental views.

Muslims living in Germany don't believe a Swiss-like minaret ban is possible here, but they say they feel threatened by growing Islamophobia.

"I was made a Turk," says Burhan Kesici, the vice president of the Islamic Federation Berlin, a group that represents 12 Muslim congregations in this city.

Born and raised in Germany, Kesici for the first 35 years of his life told everyone that he was "German, a Berliner." Yet all those years, people replied that he wasn't really German. Sadly, Kesici has given up telling those people otherwise. "Today I'm saying that I'm a Turk." He even moved to Turkey a few years ago, but soon came back to Germany because he realized that this was his home -- although people here don't always make him feel that way.

"Latent Islamophobia is growing here in Germany," Kesici told a group of journalists during a tour of some of Berlin's mosques last week.

Especially since Sept. 11, 2001, Muslims in Europe
feel they are put under general suspicion and marginalized by society. An estimated 4 million Muslims are living in Germany, some 120,000 of those in Berlin.

Kesici said migrant organizations have in the past years tried to establish ties with non-Muslim clubs and organizations, but with limited success.

"There is this non-graspable fear of fundamentalism," he said. "There is a lot of fear and resentment."

As a result, some Muslim congregations have been retreating from the majority society, relying on the company of their peers instead.

Some Germans fear that Islamic parallel societies are established in the country's big cities that they see as breeding grounds for crime, extremism and human-rights abuses. Berlin is an example often cited, with schools in the Neukoelln district made up of students solely from a migrant background. This also reduces the chances for a good job: Some 40 percent of migrants have no job, Kesici said.

The tour came on the heels of a Swiss referendum to ban minarets, a vote that has sparked criticism across Europe.

Kesici said he didn't believe a similar decision would be possible in Germany. "When it comes to the building of mosques, we have always has sensible discussions with authorities," he said.

Berlin is home to some 80 mosques, but only five of them are recognizable as such because they have minarets; the remaining 75 are so-called backyard mosques, prayer rooms located in community halls and buildings in industrial districts. Critics often accuse Muslim congregations here of receiving financing from Saudi Arabia and Turkey, and of preaching fundamental views.

But Muslim leaders say that's an unfair accusation, adding that their communities offer more than just prayers.

"We are taking on social responsibility in our communities," said Selcuk Saydam, the spokesman of the Haci Bayram Mosque, a congregation founded by Turkish guest workers in the 1970s. Because many of the young Muslims from the Haci Bayram community have poor grades, Muslim leaders visit families to "explain them how important education is."

The Haci Bayram congregation, which counts between 300 and 1,000 active members, relies on private donations and the work of dedicated Muslims like Saydam to do community work.

While some mosques get financing or personnel from foreign countries, they do that mainly because they lack the money to pay for their own imam.

If they did, they would choose one who grew up and was educated in Germany, said Pinar Cetin, a senior member of the Sehitlik Mosque in Berlin's Neukoelln district, near the closed-down Tempelhof Airport.

"The imams from Turkey don't speak German Â… and it's very difficult for them to relate to the problems of the migrants here," she said, sitting in the beautifully adorned main prayer room of the mosque. "We need imams that have grown up here, who speak German Â… but no one knows how to finance them."

The Sehitlik Mosque is a beautiful building, complete with a traditional dome construction and two lavishly adorned minarets that stretch some 100 feet into the air.

If you see the building, you would wonder why anyone has something against minarets.

"I don't like it if we have had to hide our faith," Cetin said.

She added that integration is about feeling welcome, and about getting to know each other.

"The Muslims have been living here for 50 years and all of a sudden they are perceived as a threat," she said. "Why? Because we have not really gotten to know each other."

Cetin aims to change that. In her spare time she gives guided tours
of the mosque to explain its architectural and religious peculiarities and to introduce her congregation.

"Once the people have been in here, a lot of fears are gone," she said.

by Stefan Nicola  |  Berlin (UPI) Dec 8, 2009 

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Suspected Jewish settlers burn West Bank mosque

Palestinian officials suspect a gang of Jewish assailants vandalised a West Bank mosque on Friday.

Palestinian officials suspect a gang of Jewish assailants vandalised a West Bank mosque on Friday, torching its library and spraying hate messages in Hebrew in the northern West Bank's Yasuf village.

The village's mayor, Abdul Rahim Musleh, told a Palestinian news agency, the fire destroyed copies of the Quran and carpets which were inside.

One of the slogans sprayed on a wall read: "Get ready to pay the price." Another read: "We will burn you all."

Residents of the village scrambled to put out the fire, he said. Palestinian Authority security forces also arrived and began an investigation.

The modern mosque stands in the center of the village home to 2,000 Palestinians.

The area is home to some of the most hardline settlers who advocate a "price tag" policy under which they attack Palestinians in retaliation for any Israeli government measure.

The Israeli military said it views the incident "gravely" and that security forces are working to locate the "perpetrators", in a statement.

Last week, a house and three vehicles were set on fire in another village, also near the West Bank city of Nablus. The owner of the house told police he saw three Jewish settlers start the fires.

Israeli settlers have expressed "outrage" over the government's decision to impose a 10-month moratorium on new building permits for settlements in the occupied West Bank.

However, an Israeli cabinet minister said, the population of Jewish settlements in the West Bank could grow by 10,000 in the coming year despite a declared "freeze" on Israeli building in the occupied territory.

Begin is a member of the ministerial commission responsible for the implementation of the 10-month moratorium on new building permits for settler buildings announced two weeks ago amid US-led pressure to freeze settlement construction.

The moratorium excludes settlements in occupied Arab east Jerusalem and several thousand buildings where construction has already started.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Will there be peace in Sudan?

Sudan is a Muslim country. Not the SPLA and the NPC comes to terms and entered into a CPA ( Comprehensive Peace Agreement ). SPLA and NPC are of different ethnicity and religion. Can CPA holds?

Inside Story asks if Sudan's elections can take place on time without a reform to the electoral laws.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Israel Bars EU Lawmakers From Entering Gaza

GAZA, Dec 9 -- The Israeli army on Wednesday prevented a European Union (EU) parliamentary delegation from entering the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip, China's Xinhua news agency reported.

The delegation, which comprises nine lawmakers from several European Union (EU) states, had held contact with the Israeli authorities to facilitate their entry to Gaza.

" The visit was cancelled three hours prior to the scheduled visit," Xinhua cited the delegation as saying in a statement.

Palestinian sources said the delegation had already arrived at Erez crossing point in northern Gaza Strip before Israeli soldiers turned the legislators back.

The ban comes hours after the EU called on Israel and the Palestinians to negotiate on Jerusalem as the future capital of two states.

According to the statement, the Israeli army cited "security concerns" in denying the delegation's entry.

The lawmakers were scheduled to inspect areas struck by Israel' s operation in Gaza last winter, meet officials from the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) and members of the deposed Hamas government.

On Tuesday, Israeli daily The Jerusalem Post reported that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu decided to ban high- profile diplomats from entering Gaza because he believes such visits may grant legitimacy to Hamas which seized the coastal strip by force in 2007.


Israeli Settlers Defy Temporary Construction Freeze

Israeli settlers in the occupied West Bank say they will continue to defy their government's order to freeze new construction for the next ten months. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has sought to quell the anger of settlers by saying that Israel will go back to building at the end of the 10-month period. VOA Jerusalem correspondent Luis Ramirez went to the West Bank settlement of Tekoa near Bethlehem, and reports Israeli West Bank settlers there are holding the Israeli leader to his word.

Israel's "settlement freeze"

No go for Negotiations, because of Israel's partial settlement "freeze" would be political suicide for Palestinian Authority.

Fighting widespread undernutrition in Somalia

HARGEISA, Somalia, 8 December 2009 - In Somalia, more than 40 per cent of children exhibit signs of chronic nutritional deprivation. This can be a life-threatening condition if appropriate interventions are not provided.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Iran Nuclear Case 'Fabricated'

The following is the transcript of Press TV's exclusive interview with Head of Iran's Atomic Energy Organization (AEO) Ali Akbar Salehi (Pic).

Press TV: What is really happening in the IAEA and the latest of their reactions to Iran?

Salehi: The latest resolution that was adopted by the Board of Governors in the IAEA has nothing to do with the attitude of the IAEA per se; it has to do with the [Group] 5+1. Of course it was Germany that tabled the resolution and it was with the support of the [Group] 5+1 that they were able to pass this resolution.

What is important to note is that for the first time there were about 10 countries out of 35 countries that did not agree with the resolution; three totally disagreed with it. The other seven voted in abstention.

When countries like Brazil, Egypt, South Africa, Turkey — which is almost part of the European Union, it almost associate itself with the European Union — do not vote in favor of the resolution has a message in it.

So I think the West, specially [Group] 5+1, has come to realize this when a country like Brazil, South Africa, which enjoy such a high stature in the international community, do not vote in favor of this resolution.

So I hope that the [Group] 5+1 will receive this message because if they continue like this, the 10 will be 15, will be 20 and at the end of the day, there will not be any possibility to get out of this fabricated crisis and a face-saving manner.

So, I think they have lost this opportunity to change the course from confrontation to cooperation. But there is still room for remedying this whole process.

Press TV: What do you think about the double standards in the nuclear arena? For example, Pakistan and India are not even signatories to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and the Board of Governors adopts a resolution against Iran which is a signatory to the NPT.

Salehi: The world of politics is a very complicated world [with] so many hidden things happening in it that makes things very complicated. Being an official, I cannot really express myself very openly in this regard. All I can say is, we do not understand why India, the biggest democracy in the world, behaved in such a way.

Because India itself is not a member of the NPT; it has exploded the [nuclear] bomb and for thirty-five or forty years it has been under the so-called international sanctions, it was not a sanction but let's say it was a so-called sanction, vis-à-vis their nuclear activities and I don't understand the logic behind the move, specifically that our relationship — politically and culturally and economically — is very strong.

India enjoys a special standing among Iranians; we have a lot of respect for the people of India; we have so much in common, culturally in particular. So it is very difficult for us to understand, even parties in India in the Parliament, they are beginning to question the stance of the government.

I hope India has some valid justification for what it has done. I have tried to understand what their justification would be … I mean a country that is not part of the NPT, that has not allowed inspectors to inspect its nuclear sites; how come it is so eager to vote in favor of this resolution.

We certainly question their move. I hope they will make up for it because India is an independent country. We cannot believe that India yields to superpowers and world powers, because India itself is a world power. India can be a role model for developing countries. For that matter, we are questioning China.

Press TV: My next question is about Iran's level of cooperation with the IAEA. Former director-general Mohamed ElBaradei has been criticized for adopting a soft tone toward Iran. But in his last month at the agency, he changed his tone. How will this affect Iran's cooperation with the IAEA?

Salehi: From my personal experience, since I was Iran's permanent representative to the IAEA for about five years, I happen to know Dr. ElBaradei as a friend.

You see, the IAEA is not a place where one person can make decisions. You have over 2,000 employees in the IAEA. You have the inspectors, so many departments that are involved in drafting any kind of report.

It is true that the director-general may have a say to some extent, but he cannot make decisions. The Board of Governors makes decisions for the IAEA.

In the last move, which is about the resolution, in fact Dr. ElBaradei tried very hard [to stop it]. He spoke with the Germans that it is not wise and prudent to table this resolution and that tabling this resolution will not be conducive and will not be helpful.

So he did his best. So this has to be reflected. But the Germans were adamant about the resolution and they did what they had to do. And we are also astonished by the Germans.

Our relationship with Germany is very good, economically and in other domains. It seems Germany wants to gain prestige and they think if they use Iran as leverage they gain prestige for themselves, which is unfortunate to use others to gain prestige because Germans are a great nation. So they have the potential to uplift their position internationally without needing to rely on others or use others as a bargaining chip.

So this goes back to German politicians. I advise them as a friend, please make your decisions out of your own independent thinking and do not try to appease others. We know what Germany has been through in the first and second World Wars, we know about the complexity in its political scene.

But in our cooperation with the IAEA we have indicated many times and we are persistent on this, that as much as we are committed to our rights, to safeguard our rights, we are also committed to our international commitments.

So, whatever commitments we have, vis-à-vis our agreements with the IAEA, specifically the safeguard agreements, we will remain committed. And there was some voluntary cooperation with the IAEA. We may re-examine this cooperation. But whatever commitments we have, we will adhere to them and we stay firm in delivering on our commitments.

Press TV: There are talks of new sanctions. What do you think will happen?

Salehi: Iran is so internationally important that you keep hearing about Iran in international media. There is almost no news program that the name of Iran is not mentioned in. This is an indication of the importance of Iran; otherwise they would not bother about it.

So it seems international politics will be very boring without Iran. So they have kept the issue of Iran alive to keep the international politics lively, not boring.

Let's say this was a little joke but it emanates from the childish reaction of the West really. We do not understand why there is such a reaction, it's very childish. It does not originate from any kind of wisdom, does not stem from providence.

I think it is about time to make an axis of providence and to get wise people around the [negotiating] table and try to find a way that would save the faces of all those who are involved in this fabricated Iranian nuclear crisis. I call it fabricated because it really is fabricated.

Iran is a member of the NPT, is a member of the IAEA; Iran is a member of all the international conventions to do with the banning of weapons of mass destructions, such as chemical, biological, nuclear.

I have said it many times that we are very sensitive to the integrity of the NPT. We want to see the NPT as strong as it must be. Of course, we have to remove the part that has to do with the discrimination of the NPT. But that is a different story. Nevertheless, we are very sensitive to it because we feel the integrity of the NPT is in line with our national interests.

So I advise the West to read between the lines of the messages that Iran is sending out. One of them was our demand to send the 20 percent fuel that we asked through the agency, whichever country that has the capacity and the capability to supply the fuel that we are willing to accept their offer.

And there was this offer through a non-official document by the Americans and the Russians that they are ready to supply the fuel but in exchange for our 3.5 percent nuclear material that we even accepted this swap of fuel.

But of course we demanded a guarantee and because of our past experience over the past thirty years. The first time that we demanded the fuel we asked the Americans and we paid the money and they did not pay back the money and they did not send us the fuel then it was with the Germans and the French and they are currently holding our natural uranium in their countries.

So it is only fair for us not to trust them and ask for some kind of guarantee. And the only guarantee which we think would be acceptable in this regard was to accept the custody of the agency in Iran.

If it is accepted in Russia and France, why is it not accepted in Iran? So we are ready to put the nuclear material under their custody for as long as we receive the 20 percent enriched uranium.

We don't understand their logic. How do they justify this logic? And about the sanctions, what else do they want to do? The sanctions have already been applied. We have sanctions all over in all domains. What more do they want to do?

Iran is a great nation. We have three thousand years of written history, we have seen all ups and downs and we have withstood the test of history. I am worried about other countries that only have 200 years of history. I don't know what their future will be. But we have shown that we are a nation that can withstand the test of history.

So, do not try to test us anymore. You have tested us for the past thirty years. I think this is enough. Iran has grown stronger and stronger, and Iran has never been as strong in the past few centuries as it is now. It is a fact. It is not a slogan, this is not something [blown] out of proportion.

Whoever comes to Iran and looks at it from a real perspective from an objective point of view, will realize that Iran is a strong nation, a strong country.

It is almost self-sufficient in the food industry, it is almost self-reliant scientifically, technologically. So sanctions may create little problems but they will not disturb us to the extent that would make us cave into their demands.

Press TV: Is Iran's standing in the international arena being picked on or is there mistrust in what Iran has been doing in the nuclear program up until now? So is there any secret left that the world does not know about our nuclear program?

Salehi: If an impartial observer looked into this nuclear development for the past seven years, he would clearly see that Iran, had it been guilty of anything, wouldn't be so steadfast in its response to the agency, to some of the Western countries.

So because we know that we have not done anything wrong and that we are right in pursuing our objectives in our nuclear activities, whatever decisions we have made is indicative of the righteousness of our stance. Because had we somehow committed mistakes, then we would not be as steadfast as we are now.

Secondly, [the Leader of the Islamic Revolution] has clearly and explicitly stated that the manufacturing and holding and the utilization of any weapons of mass destructions, be it nuclear, biological, chemical, is forbidden religiously. And our government is based on the basis of Islam and so we are committed to the tenets of Islam.

If the West insists that we have wrong intentions that means somehow they are implicating us that we are not telling the truth and the West is looking at us from their own perspective. Because they are used to telling lies.

If it comes to measuring intentions, who is the one who used nuclear bombs? Us or them? They used it on Nagasaki and Hiroshima and they are saying, look, we are worried about your intentions. They have stated that we don't have a nuclear bomb, but they say they are worried about our intentions.

So this whole thing is a fabricated thing. We have a saying in Persian that you can awaken somebody who is really asleep but you cannot awake somebody who is pretending to be asleep. They are pretending to be asleep. How can we awaken them up?

You see, the fact is that when Iran embarked on [achieving] the entire nuclear fuel cycle it was something beyond its past experience. Had the West treated us properly, we probably would not have pursued this path.

But when the Germans left the construction of the Bushehr power plant thirty years ago in the beginning of the Revolution and then refused to send us the fuel we had in Germany along with the equipment we had there…then we realized that there is no way but to rely on ourselves. So that's why we chose this path.

Secondly, we wanted to show, specifically to the West and to the international community, that we have the capability and the capacity to produce fuel. Because if you have a nuclear power plant and you have no guarantees for the fuel then that nuclear power plant is worthless.

It is like a car without fuel; so what can you do with the car…you have to push it. So this is why we need a guarantee or an assurance for the supply of fuel. For that matter Iran embarked on [achieving] the nuclear fuel cycle including enrichment activities; because nuclear power plants use 3.5 percent enriched uranium.

But when we started this we thought that having one or two enrichment facilities like Natanz and of the same size as that site would be enough to show to the West that we have the capacity and then for the rest of our needed fuel we can enter into international trades just like any other country and buy the fuel from the cheapest sources. So that was our initial intention.

But unfortunately as we proceeded, specifically after this last resolution, the government of Iran realized that there is absolutely no room for having trust in the West or their assurance for the supply of the fuel. So since we plan to have 20 thousand megawatts of nuclear power plants in a period of over twenty years and each nuclear power plant needs one [nuclear] site like Natanz to be able to produce the fuel that it needs.

Therefore if we want twenty thousands megawatts that means twenty Natanz… Now the government has decided to have ten sites with the same size as Natanz, of course when I say with the same size as Natanz it is concerning the amount of fuel that is produced and it is about thirty tonnes per year.

Every site will be producing thirty tonnes per year which is enough for one nuclear power plant. So that is why the government decided to proceed with the feasibility studies and [about] the potential sites in Iran deciding that they will be scattered in the mountains…we will be using the passive defense so that we don't need to have active defense, which is very expensive.

So we have started looking for possible sites and [so far] we have identified some but we are looking further for other sites. So had the West not taken such a decision, Iran probably would have never entered into this domain.

This is while the more they put pressure on us, the more resilient Iran will become in reaction to such pressure. This is unfortunate…I have had doubts about the intentions of the West and there has been another doubt which has been added to them... I think the West is trying to force us out of the NPT because they have noticed that we are so insistent on adherence to the NPT and this is not to the liking of the West.

I don't know what they are really after because already there are some voices in Iran from the Parliament, from among the [country's] politicians and the media that are asking the government of Iran to mull over pulling out of the NPT which the government of Iran will not do.

But I have my doubts about the intentions of the West because their actions are somehow indicative of this fact that they are trying to push us out of the NPT for their own purposes and political games, which I think are very dangerous. But our official stance that we have always stated is that the NPT is very important to us as it safeguards the peaceful use of the nuclear energy.

Without the NPT the world would be a dangerous place so I hope that the West recognizes this and looks at one country that pulled out of the NPT and how they are being challenged by that country.

But we — contrary to India and other countries including the five nuclear powers — are a member of the NPT and the safeguards regime and we are also very insistent on adherence to this agreement.

Press TV: Was Fordo [power plant] the first block, building the mistrust between Iran and the West?

Salehi: No contrary to that…because Fordo was declared to the Agency much ahead of the time that we are officially obliged to declare it, which is about 180 days before introducing nuclear material into the plant.

In Fordo not only have we not introduced any nuclear material but also we have yet to even introduce any centrifuge equipment there. It is only the basic infrastructure that has been constructed there… we declared it to the Agency at this stage to show the level of our transparency.

This is one example of our voluntary cooperation beyond our commitments. But with their reaction it would be very difficult for us to continue such voluntary cooperation in the future.

Press TV: Well, not having relations is not in the interest of none of the countries, not Iran and not even the US and other Western countries…even bringing more sanctions… so what do you think would be left on the table? What are the options that would follow?

Salehi: You see, I would like to make an assessment but my assessment is not an official stance. As a specialist in this whole issue of disarmament and the peaceful uses of the nuclear energy and as a person who has been active in international diplomacy in the past ten years at least, I think the West is looking for a way out and we welcome this.

That is why our last proposal to the Agency about the fuel, asking them for the 20 percent enriched uranium carried a lot of messages in it; because Iran has the capacity and the capability to enrich uranium to any level that is required.

But noting the sensitivity of this issue, we prefer to demand the Agency to provide us with our requirements and all this in order to send a message to the West which says: Look! Although we have the capacity and the capability, rather than creating an environment of mistrust, we prefer to request the fuel from you.

And then we thought that we have to leave a way out for them. They received part of the message but not the entire message. They began to appreciate this whole process as a decent way out for them, which would save their faces, and it would be a win-win situation for both countries.

In the West there are two camps; this is what I have noticed. I am assessing this as a specialist not as an official. One camp would like to really resolve this issue. The other camp would like to escalate this nuclear issue.

It seemed the other camp could win over the first camp. I hope that as President [Barack] Obama has talked of seeking change and looking for another way of interacting with Iran, I hope that he translates his words and his intentions into deeds.

We have indicated that we would prefer cooperation and that we are not after confrontation. No wise man or wise woman or [better said] no wise human being looks for any confrontation.

So based on prudence and wisdom and providence, we should look for peaceful ways to deal with any kind of international crisis that we are facing, one of them being the nuclear crisis.

However, it is unfortunate to say this, as I said I have begun to doubt that the West is trying to force us out of the NPT and impose some kind of confrontation as they did in the Iraq-Iran war.

I just warn them based on my little knowledge, Iran has never been stronger as it is now. Comparing Iran to itself — I am using one scale— Iran compared to what it was in the past centuries has never been as strong as it is now. And the West, during the past few decades, has never been as weak as it is now. They should realize this.

So [in case of] any kind of confrontation...the least of consequences are not known to anybody…any kind of confrontation with Iran will lead to unknown consequence, which I don't think is to the benefit of any country.

So the deal for the fuel from our side still stands. We are ready to accept the fuel from any source and we are ready to accept the custody of the Agency [on the fuel exchange] but only in Iran.

Why is the custody of the Agency only valid in Russia or France and not in Iran? This is somehow demeaning and is belittling the Agency. So this is my final word: let's come to an axis of providence, all of us, rather than an axis of confrontation.

Press TV: You said that they are trying to push us to the edge so that we pull out of the NPT. Do you think they would actually do that and that there would be military action?

Salehi: Iran will never get out of the NPT and this is our official stance. It is because of our national interest and because we believe in the NPT. The NPT is one of the most important pillars that would guarantee non-proliferation and would ensure disarmament. It is beneficial to the entire world.

Press TV: Do you think that another intention of the West would be to get China and Russia away from Iran?

Salehi: I think Russia and China are wiser than that. They would not dissociate themselves from Iran…because…what would they gain in return?

Because Iran is the most important neighbor of Russia; Russia without Iran will face a lot of problems. So for Russia, Iran is a very strategic entity as Russia is for us.

So we may have ups and downs in our diplomatic relationships but strategically speaking, we are complimentary to each other; we need each other.