NETANYAHU WARNS OF “A NEW CALIPHATE”


NETANYAHU WARNS OF “A NEW CALIPHATE”
By Joel C. Rosenberg


(Washington, D.C., February 9, 2011) — Israeli Prime
Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivered an important address to a policy
conference in Jerusalem on Monday of some 400 European lawmakers and
dignitaries, organized by the European Friends of Israel. During the address,
which I encourage you to read in its entirety, Netanyahu warned of several
serious threats to world peace and Western civilization:

1. The
expressed ambition of Shia and Sunni Radical Muslims to build a Islamic kingdom
or “caliphate” that will encompass the Middle East and North Africa, and then
Europe, and then North America, and then the entire world. Netanyahu did not say
the caliphate would be achieved, but he rightly warned that this is what the
Radicals want to achieve.

2. The rise of an Iranian regime with nuclear
weapons and ballistic missiles that can not only reach Israel but more and more
of Europe.

3. An Egypt that doesn’t develop into a peaceful, moderate,
secular democracy with a prominent role for the military to provide stability
and security but into one of two other scenarios: A) one in which “the Islamists
exploit the[ir] influence to gradually take the country into a reverse
direction, not towards modernity and reform but backward; or B) one in which
“Egypt would go the way of Iran, where calls for progress would be silenced by a
dark and violent repression that subjugates its own people and threatens
everyone else.”

Netanyahu did not say these threats would inevitably
come to pass. To the contrary, he stated clearly, “The good news is that nothing
is inevitable. We have the power to protect our common civilization, to roll
back the forces of radicalism and to advance a secure peace. One of the keys to
defeating this fanaticism is to be able to distinguish friends from enemies.”

Well put, Mr. Prime Minister. Let us pray more people have ears to hear,
eyes to see and hearts to understand.

>> I’ve posted key excerpts
from the speech on the blog, along with a link to the full text. We’ve also
posted links to several interviews I have done in recent days on the Egypt
Crisis, including those with Glenn Beck, CBN, Janet Parshall, and Fox News,
along with links to the latest headlines from Egypt and the epicenter. Just go
http://flashtrafficblog.wordpress.com/. Thanks.

(Photo: PM Netanyahu
addressing the European Friends of Israel conference in Jerusalem.)

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Shockingly Weak Obama Shockingly Moves To Weaken Iran Sanctions

Shockingly Weak Obama Shockingly Moves To Weaken Iran Sanctions

April 29th, 2010 Posted By Pat Dollard.

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Washington Times:

The Obama administration is pressing Congress to provide an exemption from Iran sanctions to companies based in “cooperating countries,” a move that likely would exempt Chinese and Russian concerns from penalties meant to discourage investment in Iran.

The Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability, and Divestment Act is in a House-Senate conference committee and is expected to reach President Obama’s desk by Memorial Day.

“It’s incredible the administration is asking for exemptions, under the table and winking and nodding, before the legislation is signed into law,” Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Florida Republican and a conference committee member, said in an interview. A White House official confirmed Wednesday that the administration was pushing the conference committee to adopt the exemption of “cooperating countries” in the legislation.

Neither the House nor Senate version of the bill includes a “cooperating countries” provision even though the administration asked the leading sponsors of the Senate version of the bill nearly six months ago to include one.

The legislation, aimed at companies that sell Iran gasoline or equipment to refine petroleum, would impose penalties on such companies, up to the potentially crippling act of cutting off the company entirely from the American economy. It also would close a loophole in earlier Iran sanctions by barring foreign-owned subsidiaries of U.S. companies from doing business in Iran’s energy sector.

Although Iran is one of the world’s leading oil exporters, it lacks the capacity to refine as much oil into gasoline as its domestic economy uses. Three years ago, the Iranian government imposed gasoline rations on the population.

“We’re pushing for a ‘cooperating-countries’ exemption,” the White House official said. “It is not targeted to any country in particular, but would be based on objective criteria and made in full consultation with the Congress.”

Mrs. Ros-Lehtinen, however, said the exemption “is aimed at China and Russia specifically.”

“The administration wants to give a pass to countries for merely supporting a watered-down, almost do-nothing U.N. resolution,” she said.

All past sanctions against Iran have included a waiver that lets the president refrain from penalizing foreign companies that are doing business with Iran.

The “cooperating countries” language that the White House is pressing would allow the executive branch to designate countries as cooperating with the overall strategy to pressure Iran economically.

According to three congressional staffers familiar with the White House proposal, once a country is on that list, the administration wouldn’t even have to identify companies from that country as selling gasoline or aiding Iran’s refinement industry.

Even if, as current law allows, the administration can waive the penalties on named companies for various reasons, the “cooperating countries” language would deprive the sanctions of their “name-and-shame” power, the staffers said.

The prospect that China and Chinese firms would be exempt from penalty follows reports that Beijing is cooperating with Iran’s missile program. On April 23, Jane’s Defense Weekly reported that China broke ground on a plant in Iran this month that will build the Nasr-1 anti-ship missile.

Mark Dubowitz, executive director of the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, where he directs the group’s Iran energy project, said the “‘cooperating-country’ status would send a signal to the energy sector that the Obama administration is not serious about penalizing those companies that continue to do business with the Iranian energy sector, the lifeblood of the men who rule Iran.”

Indeed, Christophe de Margerie, chief executive of the French national oil concern Total, told Reuters news agency on Tuesday that his company would stop business in Iran only if required to do so by the law.

“I’ve been asked by certain people to reconsider,” he said. “I say, ‘OK, make it official.’”

However Patrick Clawson, the deputy director for research at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, said U.S. policy objectives should not be to penalize foreign companies, but instead to persuade countries like China to enforce their own trade restrictions with Iran.

“If the administration can use this ‘cooperating-countries’ waiver to get cooperation from a country like China on enforcing the U.N. sanctions and on suspending investment in Iran’s oil and gas industry, then this bill will be a great success for U.S. objectives about Iran’s nuclear program and support for terrorism,” he said.

One congressional staff member working on the bill told The Washington Times that Mr. Obama personally asked the House leadership this month to put off the sanctions bill until after the current work period. Shortly after that meeting, both the House and Senate named conferees for the legislation.

U.S. unilateral sanctions aimed at freezing foreign companies out of American markets have been irritants in U.S. diplomacy. Foreign countries complain that imposing such “secondary sanctions” is just a form of protectionism.

The Obama administration has promised to pursue sanctions at the U.N. Security Council and also has indicated it would pursue unilateral sanctions targeted at Iran’s banking sector and the companies that insure shipping to and from Iranian ports.

Keith Weissman, a former Iran specialist for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, said he did not think the current refined-petroleum sanctions would be effective.

“Of all the sanctions I have been around, this is one of the dumber ones,” Mr. Weissman said. “We have been talking about this for so long, the Iranians are ready for this. Not only are they building the capacity for refining the fuel, they will have more capacity to purchase it from regional countries.”

Nonetheless, a number of foreign companies have announced in recent months that they would end business in Iran in anticipation of U.N. and U.S. sanctions. Some companies that provide Iran with refined petroleum, such as the Indian firm Reliance and the Kuwaiti trader IPG, have announced they would end the gasoline shipments.

Mr. Weissman was accused in 2005 by the federal government of conspiring to leak classified information to a Washington Post reporter. The Justice Department dropped the charges last year.

Because oil-refining sanctions would end up increasing the price of gasoline and heating oil for average Iranians, they have been opposed by many in Iran’s “green” opposition movement, such as Shirin Ebadi, the Nobel Peace Prize-winning human rights lawyer.

Mojtaba Vahedi, a former chief of staff to opposition leader Mehdi Karroubi, said in a telephone interview that he would prefer to see targeted sanctions aimed at Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps and its front companies.

“The main problem in Iran is the management of the country, everything that helps to remove [Iranian President Mahmoud] Ahmadinejad is good for the people, especially smart sanctions that target the regime,” he said.

FREE Iran Reports Unlawful Execution Of Horses In Iran By IslamistsTaazi Thug Regime Officials

FREE Iran Reports Unlawful Execution Of Horses In Iran By IslamistsTaazi Thug Regime Officials

NOT SUITABLE FOR CHILDREN

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OYxsdSbwA0Q

Israel urges “crippling” sanctions now against Iran

Israel urges “crippling” sanctions now against Iran
09 Feb 2010 11:41:24 GMT

Source: Reuters

 JERUSALEM, Feb 9 (Reuters) – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called for immediate and crippling sanctions against Iran on Tuesday, on the day it began making higher-grade nuclear fuel. 

“Iran is rushing forward to produce nuclear weapons…I believe that what is required right now is tough action by the international community,” Netanyahu told European diplomats. “This means crippling sanctions and these sanctions must be applied right now.” (Reporting by Douglas Hamilton, Writing by Jeffrey Heller, Editing by Ori Lewis) (For blogs and links on Israeli politics and other Israeli and Palestinian news, go to http://blogs.reuters.com/axismundi)

US raises stakes on Iran by sending in ships and missiles

US raises stakes on Iran by sending in ships and missiles

Pentagon says Patriot shield will deter strike on American allies in the Gulf

Patriot missileA Patriot missile is launched during an Israeli-US military excercise in the Negev desert in southern Israel in February 2001. Photograph: Reuters

Tension between the US and Iran heightened dramatically today with the disclosure that Barack Obama is deploying a missile shield to protect American allies in the Gulf from attack by Tehran.

The US is dispatching Patriot defensive missiles to four countries – Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Kuwait – and keeping two ships in the Gulf capable of shooting down Iranian missiles. Washington is also helping Saudi Arabia develop a force to protect its oil installations.

American officials said the move is aimed at deterring an attack by Iran and reassuring Gulf states fearful that Tehran might react to sanctions by striking at US allies in the region. Washington is also seeking to discourage Israel from a strike against Iran by demonstrating that the US is prepared to contain any threat.

Chris McGreal: ‘The US is prepared to move decisively against any threat from Iran’ Link to this audioThe deployment comes after Obama’s attempts to emphasise diplomacy over confrontation in dealing with Iran – a contrast to the Bush administration’s approach – have failed to persuade Tehran to open its nuclear installations to international controls. The White House is now trying to engineer agreement for sanctions focused on Iran’s Revolutionary Guard, believed to be in charge of the atomic programme.

Washington has not formally announced the deployment of the Patriots and other anti-missile systems, but by leaking it to American newspapers the administration is evidently seeking to alert Tehran to a hardening of its position.

The administration is deploying two Patriot batteries, capable of shooting down incoming missiles, in each of the four Gulf countries. Kuwait already has an older version of the missile, deployed after Iraq’s invasion. Saudi Arabia has long had the missiles, as has Israel.

An unnamed senior administration official told the New York Times: “Our first goal is to deter the Iranians. A second is to reassure the Arab states, so they don’t feel they have to go nuclear themselves. But there is certainly an element of calming the Israelis as well.”

The chief of the US central command, General David Petraeus, said in a speech 10 days ago that countries in the region are concerned about Tehran’s military ambitions and the prospect of it becoming a dominant power in the Gulf: “Iran is clearly seen as a very serious threat by those on the other side of the Gulf front.”

Petraeus said the US is keeping cruisers equipped with advanced anti-missile systems in the Gulf at all times to act as a buffer between Iran and the Gulf states.

Washington is also concerned at the threat of action by Israel, which is predicting that Iran will be able to build a nuclear missile within a year, a much faster timetable than assessed by the US, and is warning that it will not let Tehran come close to completion if diplomacy fails.

The director of the CIA, Leon Panetta, met the Israeli prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, and other senior officials in Jerusalem last week to discuss Iran.

Pro-Israel lobby groups in the US have joined Republican party leaders in trying to build public pressure on the administration to take a tougher line with Iran. One group, the Israel Project, has been running a TV campaign warning that Iran might supply nuclear weapons to terrorists.

“Imagine Washington DC under missile attack from nearby Baltimore,” it says. “A nuclear Iran is a threat to peace, emboldens extremists, and could give nuclear materials to terrorists with the ability to strike anywhere.”

Washington is also concerned that if Iran is able to build nuclear weapons, other states in the region will feel the need to follow. Israel is the only country in the Middle East to already have atomic bombs, although it does not officially acknowledge it.

The US secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, said in London last week that the US will press for additional sanctions against Iran if it fails to curb its nuclear programme.

Europe’s foreign affairs minister, Catherine Ashton, today said the UN security council should now take up the issue. “We are worried about what’s happening in Iran. I’m disappointed at the failure of Iran to accept the dialogue and we now need to look again at what needs to happen there,” she told Sky News.

“The next step for us is to take our discussions into the security council. When I was meeting with Hillary Clinton last week we talked about Iran and we were very clear this is a problem we will have to deal with.”

However, China and Russia are still pressing for a diplomatic solution.

Tony Blair, Middle East envoy on behalf of the US, Russia, the UN and the EU, continually referred to what he described as the Iranian threat during his evidence at the Chilcot inquiry last Friday. Textual analysis now shows that he mentioned Iran 58 times.

Besides the new missile deployment, Washington is also helping Saudi Arabia to create a 30,000-strong force to protect oil installations and other infrastructure, as well as expanded joint exercises between the US and military forces in the region.

The move is a continuation of the military build-up begun under former president George W Bush. In the past two years, Abu Dhabi has bought $17bn (£11bn) worth of weapons from the US, including the Patriot anti-missile batteries and an advanced anti-missile system. UAE recently bought 80 US-made fighter jets. It is also buying fighters from France.

Petraeus said in a speech in Bahrain last year the UAE air force “could take out the entire Iranian air force, I believe”.

Missile defence

Patriot missiles are designed to intercept enemy missiles before they reach their target. Since production began in 1980, 9,000 missiles have been delivered to countries including Germany, Greece, Taiwan and Japan.

During the first Gulf war Patriot success was 70% in Saudi Arabia and 40% in Israel. Since then the US has spent more than $10bn (£6.3bn) improving, among other aspects, the system’s radar and computer compatibility for joint forces action. Once in position, the system requires a crew of only three people to operate. Each missile weighs 700kg and has a range of about 100 miles.

The US navy is in the process of upgrading all its Ticonderoga class cruisers and a number of destroyers to carry the Aegis ballistic missile defence system. It uses a surface-to-air missile that is capable of intercepting ballistic missiles above the atmosphere. It has also been tested on failing satellites as they fall to earth. Each missile is over 6m long and costs more than $9m. James Sturcke

AHMADINEJAD: ‘Iran will deliver telling blow to global powers on Feb. 11’…

Iran opposition leaders call for protests

STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Top Iranian opposition leaders call for February 11 protest, opposition Web site reports
  • They called for people to take to the streets to demand their rights back as citizens of Iran
  • Mehdi Karroubi and Mir Hossein Moussavi also met to discuss last week’s executions
  • The two executions followed mass trials of opposition supporters in August

(CNN) — Two top Iranian opposition leaders have called on supporters to protest on February 11, the anniversary of the 1979 Islamic Revolution, an opposition Web site reported.

According to The Green Way Web site, a meeting took place Saturday between opposition leaders Mehdi Karroubi and Mir Hossein Moussavi at Karroubi’s home.

They discussed the two executions that happened last week and the cases of 16 protesters who went on trial Saturday, the site reported.

“The widespread arrests of political activists and university students, the silencing of the media, and the forced confessions of prisoners are against the principles of Islam and the constitution of Iran,” the leaders said in a statement.

They also called for people to take to the streets on February 11 to demand their rights back as citizens of Iran, The Green Way reported.

Meanwhile, state-run Press TV quoted Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Sunday as saying that the nation will deliver a harsh blow to “global arrogance” on February 11.

Press TV offered no details on or explanation of the statement.

Opposition protests were launched after the disputed June 12 presidential election that gave hardline Ahmadinejad a second term. The government denies accusations of fraud.

About 4,000 people have been arrested in the post-election crackdown. As of January 24, the government had confirmed the deaths of at least 37 people in the protests or in detention, seven of those deaths happening on the religious holiday of Ashura.

On Thursday, authorities hanged Mohammed Reza Ali Zamani, 37, and Arash Rahmanipour, 20, who had been convicted of being enemies of God and plotting to topple the Islamic regime.

The two were convicted in mass trials of opposition supporters in August, but Rahmanipour’s lawyer said the young man was arrested two months before the election.

 
 
Links referenced within this articleIran
http://topics.edition.cnn.com/topics/Iran
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
http://topics.edition.cnn.com/topics/Mahmoud_Ahmadinejad

Iranian Protesters Are Dying for Freedom – Where is Barack Obama?

Iranian Protesters Are Dying for Freedom – Where is Barack Obama?

I wrote back in June about the shameful silence of the Obama administration during the mass street protests that greeted Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s fraudulent re-election victory as President of Iran. As White House spokesman Robert Gibbs ludicrously put it, the administration was “impressed by the vigorous debate and enthusiasm this election generated.” Or in Vice President Joe Biden’s words on NBC’s Meet the Press, describing Ahmadinejad’s victory – “we’re going to withhold comment… I mean we’re just waiting to see.”

Embarrassingly for Washington, even many European leaders showed more backbone in condemning the Iranian regime’s brutal suppression of protesters, with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton humiliatingly outflanked by her French and German counterparts, who had no qualms about speaking out swiftly and firmly against the election result and the actions of the Iranian government.

In the six months that have followed, Barack Obama’s high-risk engagement strategy has simply encouraged more repression from the Mullahs, as well as ever greater levels of defiance over Iran’s nuclear weapons programme. As Con Coughlin noted in an excellent piece for The Wall Street Journal last month, Obama’s Iran diplomacy isn’t working:

Iranian human-rights groups say that since the government crackdown began in late June, at least 400 demonstrators have been killed while another 56 are unaccounted, which is several times higher than the official figures. The regime has established a chain of unofficial, makeshift prisons to deal with the protesters, where torture and rape are said to be commonplace. In Tehran alone, 37 young Iranian men and women are reported to have been raped by their captors.

Now once again huge street protests have flared up on the streets of Tehran and a number of other major cities, with several protesters shot dead this weekend by the security forces and Revolutionary Guards, reportedly including the nephew of opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi, and dozens seriously injured. And again there is deafening silence from the Commander-in-Chief as well as his Secretary of State. And where is the president? On vacation in Hawaii, no doubt recuperating from his exertions driving forward the monstrous health care reform bill against the overwhelming will of the American public and without a shred of bipartisan support.

This is not however a time for fence-sitting by the leader of the free world. The president should be leading international condemnation of the suppression of pro-democracy protesters, and calling on the Iranian dictatorship to free the thousands of political dissidents held in its torture chambers. Just as Ronald Reagan confronted the evils of Soviet Communism, Barack Obama should support the aspirations of the Iranian people to be free. The United States has a major role to play in inspiring and advancing freedom in Iran, and the president should make it clear that the American people are on the side of those brave Iranians who are laying down their lives for liberty in the face of tyranny.