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There is no other description for what is happening other than war crime and genocide.   Israel is technically the occupying force on Gaza and as such is duty bound to protect civilians.   Complet

The scenes in Gaza look like the aftermath of a nuclear bomb, utter devastation. The Israelis telling people to go back to their homes in northern Gaza as its "safe", what are they supposed to go back

Reported on the BBC too... An air strike on an army camp has killed three soldiers, the Syrian government says, blaming the US-led coalition for the attack. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-

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  • Location: Camborne
  • Location: Camborne

    Oh dear the banks at it again.

    Standard Chartered ‘schemed’ with Tehran to hide $250bn

    Standard Chartered was fighting to save its reputation last night after it was accused of illegally channelling billions of dollars to state-backed institutions in Iran in breach of US sanctions.

    One of America’s top financial regulators claimed that the bank had “schemed†with Tehran for almost a decade to hide at least $250 billion in “secret transactionsâ€, including with the Central Bank of Iran.

    Standard Chartered’s actions had made the US financial system “vulnerable to terrorists, weapons dealers, drug kingpins and corrupt regimes†who could have used the funds, the New York State Department of Financial Services said as it threatened to revoke Standard’s New York banking licence.

    In a damning indictment, the department claimed that the bank hid almost 60,000 of transactions, with the knowledge and endorsement of at least one executive in London, between 2001 and 2010.

    “For nearly a decade, Standard Chartered Bank programmatically engaged in deceptive and fraudulent misconduct in order to move at least $250 billion through its New York branch on behalf of client Iranian financial institutions that were subject to US economic sanctions, and then covered up its transgression,†the department said.

    In its breaches, the bank demonstrated an “evident zeal†to make hundreds of millions of dollars in fees “at almost any costâ€, it said.

    The department summoned Standard Chartered to New York for a meeting next week to explain its actions. The bank, whose shares closed more than 6 per cent lower as the alleged scandal began to unfold yesterday, faces the threat of its US dollar clearing operations being suspended and could also be hit with a bumper fine.

    As part of a 27-page report issued yesterday, the department said that its “extensive investigation†had reviewed more than 30,000 documented pages. Its report featured details of an extraordinary exchange between the chief executive for the Americas and the executive director for risk at Standard Chartered in London, in October 2006.

    The unnamed US executive warns that the US branch’s dealings with Iran had the potential to cause “very serious or even catastrophic reputational damage†to the bank and even criminal liability for management.

    In response, according to the department, the director replied: “You nope - still swearinging Americans. Who are you to tell us, the rest of the world, that we’re not going to deal with Iranians.â€

    The accusation will be extremely embarassing for Standard Chartered, which is listed in London but carries out extensive business activities in the emerging markets. The bank, which is led by Peter Sands, its chief executive, is among the most respected of London-based lenders. Mr Sands, and the bank’s finance director Richard Meddings, have been seen recently as candidates for top vacancies at Barclays and the Bank of England.

    Standard Chartered has also avoided the mis-selling, rate-rigging and money-laundering accusations that have dogged its competitors. But the New York department described Standard Chartered as operating as a “rogue institution†for more than nine years. It said that it had engaged in “willful and egregious violations of lawâ€, including stripping wire transfers of information that could be used to identify sanctioned countries. It also said that it had uncovered evidence of apparently similar schemes involving Libya, Burma and Sudan, also sanctioned countries.

    Standard Chartered said last night that it “strongly rejects the position or the portrayal of facts†set out by the department. It said that it was reviewing its compliance and was in discussions with US enforcement agencies and regulators. “The group cannot predict when this review and these discussions will be completed or what the outcome will be,†it said.

    http://www.thetimes....icle3499882.ece

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  • Location: Camborne
  • Location: Camborne

    No surprise here.

    Iran's security chief has told President Bashar al-Assad that Syria is part of a vital regional alliance that Tehran will not allow to be broken.

    During talks in Damascus, Saeed Jalili said Syria was an essential part of an "axis of resistance".

    The statement came a day after Syrian Prime Minister Riad Hijab defected to the opposition.

    Syrian TV showed President Assad greeting the envoy - the first time he has been seen on TV for two weeks.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-19160410

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  • Location: Camborne
  • Location: Camborne

    Sometimes I woonder whether I'm living in the 21st century. I'm very much afraid that the sacrifices made by the British Armed Forces and those of other countries, particularly the US, are going to be in vain.

    KABUL — The decapitated bodies of a 7-year-old girl and a 12-year-old boy found Friday in the country's south and east continued a spate of grisly beheadings in Afghanistan this week.

    The body of the boy was discovered in the rural Panjwai district of Kandahar province in the south, where the Taliban retain command of some areas despite regular clearing operations by U.S. and Afghan forces.

    Residents and officials said the Taliban had killed the boy because his brother and uncle were members of the local police. The Taliban denied killing him.

    There was no immediate explanation for the killing of the girl, whose body was found in a garden in the Tagab district of eastern Kapisa province, said the governor of Kapisa, Mehrabudin Safi. Safi said she had been killed Thursday.

    "So far it is not clear to the security forces who was behind this beheading," he said. "The Taliban have not claimed responsibility for it."

    On Sunday, 15 men and two women were beheaded in a Taliban stronghold in Helmand province, in the south.

    http://www.denverpost.com/nationworld/ci_21446493/two-children-beheaded-latest-grisly-violence-afghanistan

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  • Location: Sheffield South Yorkshire 160M Powering the Sheffield Shield
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  • Location: Sheffield South Yorkshire 160M Powering the Sheffield Shield

    Get used to it. When the Taliban take over again which they will, anybody they think have collaborated with the West will meet a very sticky end. The country will return back to middle ages.

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    Sometimes I woonder whether I'm living in the 21st century. I'm very much afraid that the sacrifices made by the British Armed Forces and those of other countries, particularly the US, are going to be in vain.

    KABUL — The decapitated bodies of a 7-year-old girl and a 12-year-old boy found Friday in the country's south and east continued a spate of grisly beheadings in Afghanistan this week.

    The body of the boy was discovered in the rural Panjwai district of Kandahar province in the south, where the Taliban retain command of some areas despite regular clearing operations by U.S. and Afghan forces.

    Residents and officials said the Taliban had killed the boy because his brother and uncle were members of the local police. The Taliban denied killing him.

    There was no immediate explanation for the killing of the girl, whose body was found in a garden in the Tagab district of eastern Kapisa province, said the governor of Kapisa, Mehrabudin Safi. Safi said she had been killed Thursday.

    "So far it is not clear to the security forces who was behind this beheading," he said. "The Taliban have not claimed responsibility for it."

    On Sunday, 15 men and two women were beheaded in a Taliban stronghold in Helmand province, in the south.

    http://www.denverpos...nce-afghanistan

    Alas, some of these communities are still living in the times of the Middle Ages when there was scant respect for human life and the general lack of enlightened education keeps these people living in this time warp where the Taliban rule by fear and terror.

    The problem is that though there have been concerted efforts in some parts by our armed services to win hearts and minds, these have been let down on occasions by the antics of some of our people which have been less than honourable and sometimes by pure accidents of war, which we call collateral damage.

    No matter what community you come from it can't be very pleasant having your area ruled by foriegn soldiers and is bound to cause some resentment, so the people are left making choices between the devil they know and the devil they don't know and the bullying tactics of the Taliban cause many of the people to take the line of least resistance. So in Afghanistan, for instance, our current efforts will be a complete waste of time, effort and lives, for when we leave in a couple of years time it will all revert back to type and the only good thing, if you can call it that, is that our service people gain valuable experience at fighting under actual battle field conditions but at a tremendous cost.

    I fear there will be no quick solution - attitudes and customs which have been engrained in the people since the time of Ghengis Khan and before do not change overnight.

    Change will come eventually but it will take several generations and it has to come from within and will grow organically as the people do become better educated and enlightened.

    There is little doubt that the Taliban is an evil organisation, drunk with their own power and blood lust who use religion and harsh bullying tyranical tactics to subdue the population for their own ends but outside interference very often constitutes a recruiting sergeant for their numbers. But such oppression never lasts - eventually it will be defeated by the will of the people

    The constant interference by the west, especially when you consider that there are such ulterior motives as oil, continues to aggravate the situation - far better to stand at the edge and give advice and assistance when it is asked for.

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  • Location: Camborne
  • Location: Camborne

    Get used to it. When the Taliban take over again which they will, anybody they think have collaborated with the West will meet a very sticky end. The country will return back to middle ages.

    That's possible. But there is tremendous mineral wealth in the country and the Chinese have already signed one contract.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/25/world/asia/lucrative-afghan-oil-deal-was-awarded-fairly-karzai-says.html

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  • Location: Sheffield South Yorkshire 160M Powering the Sheffield Shield
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  • Location: Sheffield South Yorkshire 160M Powering the Sheffield Shield

    That's possible. But there is tremendous mineral wealth in the country and the Chinese have already signed one contract.

    http://www.nytimes.c...arzai-says.html

    Have they signed it with the Taliban though???

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  • Location: Camborne
  • Location: Camborne

    The United States ambassador to Libya and three embassy staff were killed after a mob stormed the consulate, angered over an amateur short film that mocks Islam's Prophet Muhammad.

    There is currently systematic killing of gays in Iraq.

    A bit odd when you consider that Muhammad's second wife was seven years old and nine when the marriage was consummated.

    Is there really any hope?

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    I take the view that if Islam is as strong as they make it out there should be no need to take action against people who they perceive to be insulting their religion, such as this case, the case of a mentally retarded Christian girl in Pakistan, who if the the religious leaders had their way would have met her death, and so many others who have been condemned under shari law but if they are confident and steadfast in their beliefs no amount of supposed slights against them should alter this.

    Talking about the extremists, they just can't get it into their heads that someone may have an opinion which differs from their own. We went through the same phase ourselves when we burned heretics at the stake but that is going back to the middle ages when we didn't know any better, well mostly, we still have some antagonism between the left footers and the right footers but slowly by degrees most of us are more enlightened now.

    I wonder what their take is on the program on the box a couple of weeks ago where it was suggested that there was very little if any historical evidence to support the life of Mohammed and his teachings did not become widely known until a hundred or so years after his death once the Arabs were flexing their military muscles and starting their conquests - I almost wonder whether they had a really good spin doctor about at that time.

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  • Location: Camborne
  • Location: Camborne

    I wonder what their take is on the program on the box a couple of weeks ago where it was suggested that there was very little if any historical evidence to support the life of Mohammed and his teachings did not become widely known until a hundred or so years after his death once the Arabs were flexing their military muscles and starting their conquests - I almost wonder whether they had a really good spin doctor about at that time.

    Are you sure about that?

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    Are you sure about that?

    Well as sure as channel 4, I think it was, and the historian presenting the program can be - I was merely reporting what I recalled of the this and I had no reason to doubt it although I do not always take everything at face value. I wasn't there at the time.

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    Posted
  • Location: Camborne
  • Location: Camborne

    There is alot posturing concerning Iran at the moment. At least I hope it is as I think any attack would have disastrous consequencies.

    Netanyahu’s diagram trick was actually a retreat

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    The world can breathe easier after Binyamin Netanyahu’s speech to the UN General Assembly late yesterday.

    The Israeli Prime Minister sounded bellicose. He held up a cartoon drawing of a bomb. Across it he drew a thick red line that, he insisted, the world should not permit Iran to cross. But it was a clever politician’s trick — the use of hard-line rhetoric to mask a retreat.

    The real significance of Mr Netanyahu’s speech was that he pushed back the deadline for Israel — and possibly the United States — taking military action against Iran’s nuclear facilities to next spring or early summer, the point at which he calculates that the Islamic Republic will have produced enough enriched uranium for a nuclear bomb.

    In other words, he all but ruled out an Israeli strike this autumn, an “October surprise†that would leave President Obama with little choice but to offer support lest he lose the Jewish vote in key states like Florida in November’s presidential election. Nobody could accuse his rival, Mitt Romney, of being anything but robust in his support of Israel, or an out-and-out hawk when it comes to Iran.

    The consequences of such a strike would be enormous. The Israeli air force might succeed in delaying Iran’s nuclear programme by a couple of years, but at a huge cost — Iran’s disruption of world oil supplies through the Gulf, sending prices rocketing at a time of great economic fragility; Iranian retaliation against Israel both directly and through Hezbollah and Hamas, raising the threat of a regional conflagration that could suck in the US; the rallying of domestic support for Iran’s embattled regime, and possibly for President Assad’s in Syria; a dramatic acceleration of Iran’s efforts to acquire a bomb and its ejection of International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors.

    In his own speech to the UN General Assembly Mr Obama said Iran would not be allowed to acquire the Bomb, but laid down no red lines. The administration believes it will know if and when Iran’s leaders decide to build such a weapon, not least because they would have to bar IAEA inspectors from enrichment facilities like Fordow. Only then would military action become a realistic proposition.

    In the meantime Washington will continue to rely on draconian international sanctions and diplomacy to curtail Iran’s nuclear ambitions. Those sanctions are reckoned to have cut Iran’s oil exports by half, and to be costing it roughly $5 billion a month in lost oil sales, and even Mr Netanyahu’s colleagues acknowledge that they are having an effect. “Iran is on the verge of bankruptcy because of the sanctions, and there are growing protests against the Ayatollahs,†Danny Ayalon, Israel’s deputy foreign minister, said this week.

    Mr Netanyahu’s colourful speech on Thursday night also diverted attention from a meeting in the margins of the UN General Assembly of the foreign ministers of the so-called P5 +1 world powers — the US, Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany. They agreed to try and revive negotiations with Iran that have been deadlocked since June.

    “We have some reason to believe that the (talks) will move to a point of seriousness,†a senior state department official was quoted as saying.

    http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/news/world/agenda/article3552667.ece

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  • Location: Camborne
  • Location: Camborne

    Sanctions and massive aid to Syria is costing Iranians dear.

    Iran demonstrators defy police as currency collapses

    Hugh Tomlinson

    Riot police clashed with protesters in Tehran yesterday amid growing signs of panic at Iran’s collapsing currency as pressure from international sanctions sent the rial plunging to record lows this week.

    Police fired teargas at stone-throwing demonstrators after traders in the main bazaar closed their shops and staged a protest demanding government action to halt economic meltdown. Another protest by about 200 people was also broken up outside Iran’s central bank. Witnesses said that dozens were arrested.

    The scale of public anger, and the regime’s draconian response, suggested that Iran could be on the verge of its worst civil unrest since the protests that followed the disputed 2009 presidential election, prompting a government crackdown that left hundreds dead.

    Yesterday protesters chanted: “Leave Syria alone and think of us.†Many Iranians are furious that the Government has apparently failed to address the country’s economic nosedive in recent months, while pumping billions of dollars into Damascus to prop up President Assad. State news outlets initially denied that the Tehran bazaar, the capital’s main trading hub, had been closed, mentioning only a few “troublemakersâ€. Later, the semi-official Mehr news agency reported that the bazaar had been closed for “security reasonsâ€.

    The protests came after days of turmoil on currency markets. The rial lost 50 per cent of its value in a week, slumping to an all-time low of 37,500 against the dollar by Tuesday. Late last year the currency still traded at 13,000.

    In an effort to stem the slide, the Government shut down currency trading altogether yesterday and several illegal moneychangers were arrested. But the regime appears powerless to halt the collapse, brought on by sanctions imposed by the West to curb Iran’s disputed nuclear programme.

    Rumours that the Iranian treasury is close to running out of cash are now constant, banking staff in Tehran said.

    The public accusations over Syria are particularly damaging for the Government. The Times has learnt that Iran spent $5 billion (£3.1 billion) over six months this year propping up Mr Assad, fracturing the regime in Tehran as pressure mounted on the economy. Senior figures are counselling Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the Supreme Leader, that the Government must refocus on domestic concerns or face protests. Inflation and unemployment are soaring and the value of wages is falling by the day. Staples such as chicken are already beyond the reach of many Iranians and there is talk of rationing for basic foodstuffs.

    Oil exports have almost halved since the West banned all oil trade last year and urged major importers such as China and India to buy less. Iran is losing $8 billion a quarter as a result.

    President Ahmadinejad tried to deflect criticism over the crisis yesterday, insisting that Iran’s economy was fundamentally sound and blaming “psychological pressures†from the sanctions and currency speculators.

    But the faultlines within the regime were again exposed when the President lashed out at Ali Larijani, the Speaker of the Iranian parliament, who has blamed most of Iran’s economic woes on mismanagement by Mr Ahmadinejad’s Government. “The Speaker should help the Government overcome the problem instead of accusing the administration,†he said.

    Iranians will be wary of taking to the streets en masse after the crackdown in which hundreds were killed and thousands arrested for their role in the protests that followed the 2009 election. But further unrest appears certain as poverty deepens across the country and the regime refuses to bow to international pressure on the nuclear programme.

    “There is a real crisis of confidence in the Government’s ability to manage the economy, especially after 30 years of economic mismanagement,†said Dina Esfandiary, at the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London. The United States is urging EU nations to tighten the screws further on Iran, arguing that its plunging currency makes it harder for it to pursue its nuclear ambitions.

    David Cohen, the US Under-Secretary for the Treasury responsible for Iran sanctions, is due in London for talks with British officials today after visiting Paris, Berlin and Rome. “We are consulting . . . on the next steps that may be taken at the EU,†he said. “What is sometimes lost in the discussion is that the Iranian Government . . . is itself deeply affected by the state of the Iranian economy, by the value of the rial. It makes it more difficult for the Government to acquire what it needs for its nuclear programme.â€

    http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/news/world/middleeast/article3557220.ece

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  • Location: Gulberwick, Shetland
  • Weather Preferences: Snow, thunderstorms, storm force winds
  • Location: Gulberwick, Shetland

    Things moving quickly after the Syrians shelled a Turkish town yesterday. Today the Turkish Parliament has given the Govt authority (subject to renewal in 1 years time) to send the Turkish Military across the border into Syria if it deems it necessary.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-19830928

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  • Location: Camborne
  • Location: Camborne

    An interesting perspective.

    Forget Israel. Arabs are their own worst enemy

    Abdulateef al-Mulhim

    Corruption, lack of freedom and dictators’ atrocities bring more misery than full-scale wars

    I was recently struck by some photos and reports I saw on the al-Arabiya network, the most respected news outlet in the Middle East. There was a starving child in Yemen, a burnt-out ancient souk in Aleppo, Syria, car bombs in Iraq and destroyed buildings in Libya.

    What links all these images is that the destruction and the atrocities were not perpetrated by an outside enemy. The starvation, the killings and the destruction in these Arab countries were carried out by the same hands that are supposed to protect and build the unity of these countries and safeguard their people. Who, therefore, is the real enemy of the Arab world?

    Many Arabs would say it is Israel — their sworn enemy, an enemy whose existence they have never recognised. From 1948 to today there have been three full-scale wars and many confrontations. But what was the real cost of these wars to the Arab world and its people? The harder question that no Arab wants to ask is: what was the real cost of not recognising Israel in 1948 and why didn’t the Arab states spend their assets on education, healthcare and infrastructure instead of wars? But the very hardest question of all is whether Israel is the real enemy of the Arab world and the Arab people.

    Hundreds of billions of dollars were wasted and tens of thousands of innocent lives lost fighting Israel. The Arab world, though, has many enemies and Israel should have been at the bottom of the list. The real enemies of the Arab world are corruption, lack of good education, lack of good healthcare, lack of freedom, lack of respect for human lives and, finally, the many dictators who used the Arab-Israeli conflict to suppress their own people. These dictators’ atrocities against their own citizens are far worse than all the full-scale Arab-Israeli wars.

    In the past, we have talked about Israeli soldiers attacking and mistreating Palestinians. We have seen Israeli planes and tanks attack Arab countries. But these attacks in no way match the current atrocities being committed by some Arab states against their own people.

    In Syria, the atrocities are beyond imagination. Aren’t the Iraqis the ones who are destroying their own country? Why would Iraqi brains leave Iraq in a country that makes $110 billion from oil exports? Wasn’t it Tunisia’s dictator who was able to steal $13 billion from the poor of his country? How can children starve in Yemen if their land is the most fertile in the world? Why have the Lebanese failed to govern one of the tiniest countries on the planet?

    On May 14, 1948, the state of Israel was declared. On May 15, the Arabs declared war on Israel to win back Palestine. The war lasted for nearly ten months. The Arabs lost and now call it Nakbah (catastrophic war). The Arabs gained nothing and thousands of Palestinians became refugees.

    In 1967 the Arabs went to war with Israel again and lost more Palestinian land, creating more refugees who now live at the mercy of the countries that host them. The Arabs called this war Naksah (setback).

    The Arabs have never admitted defeat in either war. And now, with the Arab Spring, the Arab world has no time for the Palestinian refugees or the Palestinian cause because many Arabs have become refugees themselves and are under constant attacks from their own forces. Syrians are leaving their own country not because of Israeli planes dropping bombs on them but the Syrian Air Force doing so.

    If many of the Arab states are in such disarray, we should contrast them with Israel. It now has the most advanced research facilities, top universities and infrastructure. Many Arabs don’t know that the life expectancy of Palestinians living in Israel is far greater than in many Arab states and they enjoy far greater political and social freedom than many of their Arab brothers. Even the Palestinians living under Israeli occupation in the West Bank and Gaza Strip enjoy more political and social rights than in some parts of the Arab world.

    The Arab Spring showed the world that the Palestinians are happier and living better than their Arab brothers who fought to liberate them from the Israelis. It is time to stop the hatred and wars and create better living conditions for future Arab generations.

    Abdulateef al-Mulhim is a former commodore of the Saudi Navy. This is an edited version of an article that first appeared in Arab News

    http://www.thetimes....icle3564622.ece

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  • Location: Near Lauder, SE Scotland, 175 m asl
  • Location: Near Lauder, SE Scotland, 175 m asl

    Iranian colleagues told me that it is increasingly difficult to get a flight to iran. BA and KLM have stopped flying there, Lufthansa apparently going to do the same. Major Asian airlines pulling out.

    They still have Turkish airlines, but for how long..

    An ominous sign?

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  • Location: Camborne
  • Location: Camborne

    Iranian colleagues told me that it is increasingly difficult to get a flight to iran. BA and KLM have stopped flying there, Lufthansa apparently going to do the same. Major Asian airlines pulling out.

    They still have Turkish airlines, but for how long..

    An ominous sign?

    For sure things are not looking good SS. Do your Iranian colleagues have any thoughts on how this may pan out? The cost of sanctions, the nuclear program and the massive aid to Syria must, I would thought, ensure a power struggle as ordinary Iranians are the main sufferers. I caanot believe that Cameron is still not ruling out military action. Sheer madness.

    Cameron says military intervention in Iran ‘still on the table’

    Military intervention in Iran cannot be ruled out should a new round of sanctions fail to halt the Tehran regime’s pursuit of nuclear weapons, David Cameron warned last night.

    A British-led drive for new restrictions on Iran’s banking, shipping and industrial sectors was agreed by the European Union yesterday amid signs that sanctions are taking their toll on the country’s economy.

    In an attempt to forestall Israeli threats to attack alleged Iranian atomic installations, the Prime Minister said the new sanctions should be given a chance to work.

    However, Mr Cameron also warned Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad that he would not take military action “off the table†should he continue to pursue a nuclear arsenal.

    He said the regime’s claim that its nuclear programme was purely intended for civilian purposes was “not remotely credible†and blamed the state for “exporting terror†to Iraq, Syria, Gaza and Lebanon.

    “We need the courage to give these sanctions time to work,†Mr Cameron told the influential United Jewish Israel Appeal group last night.

    “But let me also say this. In the long term, if Iran makes the wrong choice, nothing is off the table. A nuclear armed Iran is a threat to Israel. And a threat to the world. And this country will work unwaveringly to prevent that from happening.â€

    British diplomats believe Iran is currently in breach of six United Nations resolutions, but are encouraged that sanctions are having a profound effect on its economy. Oil exports have slumped by 45 per cent, around one million fewer barrels a day. Its currency, the Rial has also plummeted, prompting protests on the streets.

    “Inflation is soaring — thought to be as much as 50 per cent,†Mr Cameron said. “And the Iranian Regime has had to establish an economic austerity taskforce to manage the pressure they have brought on their own people.

    “Most significantly, there are signs that the Iranian people are beginning to question the regime’s strategy with even pro-regime groups protesting at the actions of the Government. It’s mind-boggling that the leaders of a nation so rich in oil have succeeded in turning their country into a banana republic desperately trying to put rockets into space while their people suffer.â€

    The Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, said yesterday that the threat from a nuclear Iran must not be underestimated. Mr Cameron said he had warned him that the time for a military strike had not yet arrived.

    “[iran’s leaders] know too that there is a simple way to bring sanctions to an end — by giving the international community the confidence we need that they are not and will not develop a nuclear weapon,†Mr Cameron said.

    “I have said to Prime Minister Netanyahu that now is not the time for Israel to resort to military action … at the very moment when the Regime faces unprecedented pressure and the people are on the streets; and when Iran’s only real ally in Syria is losing his grip on power, a foreign military strike is exactly the chance the Regime would look for to unite his people against a foreign enemy.â€

    New sanctions, agreed by EU foreign ministers, have been designed to force President Ahmadinejad to hold serious talks about its nuclear programme. A blanket ban on financial transactions was among the measures.

    Restrictions on the trade of key energy and naval equipment, as well as raw metals including aluminium and steel, have been tightened. Iranian oil tankers will also face further sanctions.

    http://www.thetimes....icle3569123.ece

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  • Location: Near Lauder, SE Scotland, 175 m asl
  • Location: Near Lauder, SE Scotland, 175 m asl

    For sure things are not looking good SS. Do your Iranian colleagues have any thoughts on how this may pan out? The cost of sanctions, the nuclear program and the massive aid to Syria must, I would thought, ensure a power struggle as ordinary Iranians are the main sufferers. I caanot believe that Cameron is still not ruling out military action. Sheer madness.

    Need to have a chat with my office mate when he's back from a training course; he was over there recently. My PhD student is about to head home for some hols. She's worried she might need to leave on the way back by mule over mountain tracks the way things are going!

    The sanctions are hurting, but not hurting those in power as much as they hurt the man on the street, as usual. Opposition leaders all all locked up and their supporters demoralised. Internal strife at the top though, but not sure to what extent.

    I've said this before and I'll say it again, none of the Iranians I know - who are all very intelligent scientists and quite politically active - don't believe for a second that the Iranian government would ever use nuclear weapons in aggression, whatever the rhetoric. They hate the regime, they are against it developing weapons, but they know it is not stupid enough to use them. The regime is simply trying to protect itself from what looks like may be about to happen.

    I just hope that internally it will collapse. It's so close to home because I have good friends from both Iran and Isreal, all of which are extremely worried.

    What my Iranian friends have noticed here is a change in tone from the BBC. Previously, it was quite supportive of the opposition movement, protests etc around the time of the last presidential rigged election. Since then, they say (notably BBC Persian) that it is telling lies and seems to have subtly turned against Iran in general, i.e. as if it was preparing the ground for justifying what may lie ahead. Living in Scotland, I quite believe them from local experience; BBC is horrendously biased. State TV is state TV the world over.

    Edited by scottish skier
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  • Location: Leeds/Bradford border, 185 metres above sea level, around 600 feet
  • Location: Leeds/Bradford border, 185 metres above sea level, around 600 feet

    Iranian inflation is now over 20% and their currency has collapsed by 80% meaning that the purchasing power of the Iranian citizen is collapsing and unless Iran increases gas and oil output substantially their economy will soon collapse, at this point will come the political strife (apparently the presidents hard line is not in keeping with all of the ruling elders or whatever they call themselves so this may finish him).

    I have to admit i am in two minds, the potential of Iran is significant economically (i could be wrong but i think when gas is added to oil reserves they are a long way ahead) with a large population who are not all Muslims of the extreme variety and so i want the UK to welcome them to the global family with open arms (and an open wallet) however these sanctions are effectively killing the head (government) by chopping at the body (citizens) and i am skeptical as to whether ordinary Iranians will be endeared to us because of it.

    At any rate, the president will be gone within 2 years in my opinion and there is the possibility of Iran becoming a democracy especially if we intervene.

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    Posted
  • Location: Camborne
  • Location: Camborne

    I've said this before and I'll say it again, none of the Iranians I know - who are all very intelligent scientists and quite politically active - don't believe for a second that the Iranian government would ever use nuclear weapons in aggression, whatever the rhetoric. They hate the regime, they are against it developing weapons, but they know it is not stupid enough to use them. The regime is simply trying to protect itself from what looks like may be about to happen.

    This is really a Catch 22 situation. If they hadn't embarked on a nuclear program, with much help from the Russians as usual, then they wouldn't need to protect themselves as Israel would never have attacked Iran. So I'm not sure who they would have been protecting themselves from.

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    • 2 weeks later...
    Posted
  • Location: Sheffield South Yorkshire 160M Powering the Sheffield Shield
  • Weather Preferences: Any Extreme
  • Location: Sheffield South Yorkshire 160M Powering the Sheffield Shield

    So much for the cease fire in Syria lasted about one second.

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    I still think that the best we can do in the west is to leave them alone - they will find their way eventually - if the Taliban continue to shoot girls in the head merely because they want an education their own people will rise up against them.

    Too much meddling by the west is counter productive.

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