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Articles
Wednesday, 26-December-2007
Almotamar Net - BERLIN – The recent comprehensive assessment by America’s spy agencies about Iran’s nuclear program and ambitions – the so-called “National Intelligence Estimate” – has opened the door to fresh strategic discussions among the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council and Germany. Such a strategic reconsideration is probably most necessary for those in the Bush administration (and a few elsewhere), who until recently have been prophets of imminent danger. Project Syndicate - BERLIN – The recent comprehensive assessment by America’s spy agencies about Iran’s nuclear program and ambitions – the so-called “National Intelligence Estimate” – has opened the door to fresh strategic discussions among the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council and Germany. Such a strategic reconsideration is probably most necessary for those in the Bush administration (and a few elsewhere), who until recently have been prophets of imminent danger.

For Europeans, the NIE has not removed, but rather confirmed, the concerns that in 2003 prompted the EU-3 (Britain, France, and Germany) – namely, that Iran’s nuclear program could eventually give it a military nuclear capability, and that even before that point, it might trigger regional nuclear proliferation.

The NIE also confirmed two assumptions that have since guided European diplomatic approach: Iran reacts to external incentives and disincentives, and taking legitimate Iranian interests into consideration is the best way to influence Iran’s leaders. Most Europeans who have been dealing with the issue also assume that Iran is aiming at capacities that would eventually make available all options, including quick development of a nuclear weapon, rather than actually acquiring, let alone testing, a weapon and thereby violating the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

So concern about Iran’s nuclear program is still justified. The robust diplomatic approach that is needed to confront the problem must include three components. First, it should be based on a broad international consensus. Second, it should clearly communicate that the issue is proliferation, not the nature of the Iranian regime. Third, any further sanctions should be accompanied by an earnest offer of dialogue and engagement.

By contrast, some American policymakers continue to believe that Iran would abandon its enrichment program if only the European Union imposed unilateral sanctions. But a clear-headed analysis of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s behavior indicates that EU sanctions would lead to more trade diversion, with China, Russia, Turkey, or Dubai benefiting from reduced levels of European exports to Iran.

Of course, some imports would become more expensive for Iran, but the economic effect of such sanctions would remain limited. Politically, Ahmadinejad certainly would not miss the chance to exploit unilateral measures for propaganda purposes – claiming that Iran has a conflict not with the international community, but with imperialist states intent on depriving his country of technological progress.

For these reasons, Europeans favor a new Security Council resolution, even if its measures are weaker than what the United States or the EU could impose unilaterally. Such a resolution would send an effective signal to the Iranian public and political elite that Iran is in conflict with the entire international community.

Iranians do not like to be isolated; even the clerical elite has a strong interest in exchanges with the rest of the world, and they like to send their children to Western schools. Making it obvious that it is Ahmadinejad’s policies that are isolating Iran would strengthen the still-fragile anti-Ahmadinejad alliance of pragmatic conservatives and reformers, which has lately become more vocal.

This is important to bear in mind, as a parliamentary (majlis) election is scheduled for March 2008. The election will not be entirely free, but the government will be unable to manipulate them entirely. The majlis plays a role in the political process, to the point of being able to induce or hinder policy changes: witness the way a conservative majlis blocked reformist President Mohammad Khatami in the last years of his term.

Europeans should now be confident enough to call for a common policy with the US that focuses on domestic developments in Iran. Such a policy can include additional Security Council sanctions, but it must also carry an offer of dialogue that pragmatic forces in Iran would not refuse.

Both the EU and the US should be prepared to enter into direct, comprehensive, and unconditional negotiations with Iran. Where security guarantees are concerned, America is Iran’s actual foe and potential partner. So far, the two governments have communicated either through the EU or on strictly limited issues through their ambassadors in Baghdad. The US has so far insisted that it will agree to a comprehensive dialogue only if Iran first suspends its enrichment activities. But this should be the result of, not a precondition for, negotiations.

Whatever the US and Europe decide to do about Iran will affect that country’s internal political dynamics. There are no easy mechanics at work here. The best method of strengthening Ahmadinejad, however, appears to be to threaten the country and the regime as a whole. An honest offer of engagement would allow Ahmadinejad’s pragmatic opponents to show that it is Iran’s president and his controversial policies, not the West, that are at fault.

Volker Perthes is Chairman and Director of Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik, the German Institute for International and Security Affairs, Berlin.

Copyright: Project Syndicate, 2007.
www.project-syndicate.org

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Thursday, 30-April-2015
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In a statement issued on Wednesday, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said that the number of Yemeni IDPs had increased twice in 19 governorates since 17 April 2015 when 150 thousand Yemeni IDPs were registered.

It warned of the gravity of situations in Yemen because of the aggression.

The statement pointed out that the big number of IDPs are from the northern Hajjah governorate, in addition to southern Al-Dhalea and Abyan governorates.
Wednesday, 29-April-2015
Amnesty International has called for investigating the killing of hundreds of civilians, including scores of children, by the Saudi Arabian-led airstrikes across Yemen.

"The month-long campaign of air strikes carried out by Saudi Arabia and its allies has transformed many parts of Yemen into a dangerous place for civilians," said Said Boumedouha, Deputy Director of Amnesty International's Middle East and North Africa Programme.

"Millions of people have been forced to live in a state of utter terror, afraid of being killed at home. Many feel they are left with no choice but to move away from their destroyed villages to an uncertain future."

The UN has stated that more than 550 civilians have been killed including more than 100 children since the military campaign began on 25 March.

Amnesty International said it has documented eight strikes in five densely populated areas, which are Sa'ada, Sana'a, Hodeida, Hajjah and Ibb, noting that several of these strikes raised concerns about compliance with the rules of international humanitarian law.

According its research, Amnesty International said at least 139 people, including at least 97 civilians, 33 of whom were children were killed during the strikes, and 460 individuals were injured, at least 157 whom are civilians.
Wednesday, 15-April-2015

The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) has appealed member states and civil society organizations (CSOs) to provide humanitarian aid to the Yemeni people, especially medical supplies to cope with the big number of injured as a result of the military aggression.

The Secretary General of the OIC Iyad Madani said, in a statement issued Monday, that the OIC is holding consultations with several civil society organizations that have consultative status in the organization to provide food and medical and humanitarian assistance to the Yemeni people.
Monday, 13-April-2015
Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has renewed his country's desire to resolve Yemen's crisis in Yemen through talks, revealing that his government urges Iran to play a role in bringing various Yemeni parties to the dialogue.

In his statement issued Monday, Sharif said that his country wants to resolve Yemen crisis through talks.

He added that Islamabad urged Tehran to play a role to bring conflicting parties in Yemen to the dialogue table, the official news agency of Pakistan quoted the Prime Minister as saying in a statement.
Tuesday, 14-April-2015
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein on Tuesday reminded all sides to the conflict in Yemen to ensure that attacks resulting in civilian casualties are promptly investigated and that international human rights and international humanitarian law are scrupulously respected during the conduct of hostilities in the country.

In addition to hundreds of fighters, at least 364 civilians are reported to have lost their lives since March 26, including at least 84 children and 25 women. Another 681 civilians – possibly more – have been injured. Dozens of public buildings, including hospitals, schools, airports and mosques have been destroyed in airstrikes, through shelling and other attacks.
Sunday, 12-April-2015
Professor Feaqa al-Saeed Ba'alawy, Assistant Secretary-General of the GPC, chaired a meeting of the civil society.
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Friday, 10-April-2015
The UN secretary-general has said that two weeks of Saudi-led air strikes against Yemen, “have turned an internal political crisis into a violent conflict that risks deep and long-lasting regional repercussions”.
Ban Ki-moon on Thursday told reporters that he was urging all countries in the region to go beyond national priorities and help the Yemeni people, saying “the last thing the region and our world need is more of the chaos and crimes we have seen in Libya and Syria”.
Friday, 10-April-2015
ISLAMABAD: On day five of the joint parliamentary session on Yemen, lawmakers approved a draft resolution proposing that Pakistan “should maintain neutrality in the conflict so as to be able to play a proactive diplomatic role to end the crisis”.
It further said that the crisis in Yemen could “plunge the region into turmoil”, calling upon the warring factions in Yemen to resolve their differences “peacefully and through dialogue”.
The resolution noted that while the war in Yemen was not sectarian in nature, it had the potential of turning into a sectarian conflict and thereby having a critical fallout in the region, including within Pakistan.
Friday, 10-April-2015

Two planeloads of medical aid landed in Sana'a on Friday.

The planes were sent by the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).

The UNICEF plane contained almost 37 tons of medical aid, which "will be delivered to the Ministry of Public Health and Population, to distribute them to hospitals in the needed areas," said Mohammed al-Asadi, the communication officer at UNICEF.
Monday, 06-April-2015
Nine people were killed in Sahar district in Sa'ada province in a raid of the Saudi-led aggression airstrikes on Yemen, a military source said Monday.

Hussein al-Ahnomi's house was hit totally and all of his family members were killed, the source added

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