Tag Archives: Iran

Mass incarceration and the pandemic (II)

The British Prison Governors’ Association submitted to the House of Commons Justice Committee (which on April 8 considered prisoner releases in closed session) that 15,000 non-violent prisoners need to be released to give the jails any chance of managing COVID-19. Continue reading

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China bolsters global effort to combat coronavirus

International Cooperation to Help Countries Cope

Chinese and Cuban doctors arrive in Italy to help treat COVID-19 pandemic.

Assistance to Italy and Other EU Countries

On March 12, a group of nine Chinese aid professionals arrived in Rome with tons of medical supplies, including 700 ventilators, monitors and defibrillators, as part of China’s efforts to help Italy contain the novel coronavirus outbreak. Continue reading

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Canada’s seizure, sale and disbursement of Iranian assets are acts of a hooligan and wrecker of international law

By Steve Rutchinski

Documents recently filed in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice reveal that some $30 million realized from the seizure and sale of Iranian government assets in Canada have been transferred to American families who filed for compensation under the Justice for Victims of Terrorism Act 2012. Their claim for compensation began in the U.S. court system but extended to Canada when they realized Canada would follow suit. The properties appropriated and sold were the Iranian Cultural Centre in Ottawa and the Centre for Iranian Studies in Toronto. The transfer of funds to the families only came to light last week. Continue reading

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Germany: A permanent base in the Middle East

german-foreign-policy.com

161001-OttawaSyriaAntiWar-6cr4BERLIN/BAGHDAD/AL AZRAQ (September 18) – Berlin is considering the establishment of a permanent Bundeswehr base in the Middle East, German Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen said during her recent visits to Jordan and Iraq. German Armed Forces could be stationed at Jordan’s Al Azraq Airbase for an extended period in relative proximity to Iraq – similar to the US Persian Gulf bases. Continue reading

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Donald Trump at the UN: A speech full of attacks on Iran, Venezuela, and its Cuban allies

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The era of retaliation

BERLIN (April 23) – Germany’s defence minister reaffirmed that Berlin is basically ready to participate in military aggressions, such as the recent western attack on Syria. “We could also fulfill the contribution from the air that Great Britain had made in this case,” said Ursula von der Leyen, but “we weren’t asked this time.” Continue reading

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The US secret plan against Damascus foiled: Russian role before and after the US-UK-France attack revealed

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By ELIIJAH J. MAGNIER

(Damascus)  – Donald Trump has climbed down from the tree he climbed up a few days ago when he gathered a large military force and firepower similar to “operation desert storm” (but without ground forces).  “Plan A” consisted of a destructive attack on Syria to destroy its army, presidential palace, command and control bases, elite force, strategic military and ammunition warehouses, radar, defence systems and political leadership institutions.

Prior to the triple attack on Syria by the US – UK – France, intensive contacts were carried out by Russia and President Vladimir Putin himself – at around 04:00 am– to reduce the attack and go to a softer, less significant “Plan B”. Continue reading

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Hands Off Syria!

No airstrikes against Syria in the name of high ideals!

On April 13 at approximately 8:30 pm the U.S. imperialists, in coordination with Britain and France, launched a criminal attack by firing missiles on Syria. News agencies reported loud explosions and smoke in the Syrian capital Damascus in the aftermath. The Syrian government reported April 14 that its air defences shot down 73 of 103 missiles. Continue reading

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Syria: A US attack is futile but serves a purpose

By M. K. Bhadrakumar*

Haligonians rally against threats of war against Syria, September 7, 2013

(April 11) – The United Nations Security Council turned down a compromise resolution on Syria, proposed by Sweden and seconded by Russia seeking investigation on the alleged chemical attack in Douma. Five countries supported the resolution with two permanent members – United States and Britain – opposing it. Earlier, a resolution on the same lines which was supported by Russia and China was also opposed by the US and Britain.

This is a significant political and diplomatic victory for Russia insofar as only two other countries joined the US and Britain to oppose the Swedish resolution. Six countries abstained. Continue reading

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How US media spin-doctored the Iranian protests

A new poll suggests recent mass demonstrations were not about Iran’s foreign policy | SHARMINE NARWANI*

Imam Khomeini Street in central Tehran, Iran | Shutterstock/Mansoreh

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Plans for redrawing the Middle East: The project for a ‘New Middle East’

This article first published by Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya* in November 2006 is of particular relevance to an understanding of the ongoing process of destabilization and political fragmentation of Iraq, Syria and Yemen

“Hegemony is as old as Mankind…”  –  Zbigniew Brzezinski, former U.S. National Security Advisor

The term “New Middle East” was introduced to the world in June 2006 in Tel Aviv by U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice (who was credited by the Western media for coining the term) in replacement of the older and more imposing term, the “Greater Middle East.” Continue reading

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Saudi Arabia: The second Saud dynasty

During the evening of November 3, Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman (MBS) launched his “Night of the Long Knives” – a virtual coup d’état. It included the house arrest of 11 princes and four ministers and scores of other former government lackeys in political, security, and business spheres, not to overlook the freezing of up to 1,700 bank accounts worth $800 billion. This coup has serious regional and international implications.The next day, a missile headed toward Riyadh from Yemen, which the Saudis quickly called an act of war. The visiting prime minister of Lebanon, Saad Hariri, was placed under house arrest and forced to resign in a letter reportedly dictated by his hosts blaming Iran and the resistance organization Hezbollah for threatening the security of Lebanon; the Saudis called on expatriates to evacuate. In parallel, Israel launched new air strikes against Syria and the Trump regime escalated its offensive against Iran;  the US ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley later in the week called for sanctions against Tehran, citing Saudi “evidence”. Iran has dismissed the claims as baseless, pointing to the Saudi air, sea and land blockade on Yemen as preventing any such weapons supply. Continue reading

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Lebanon: The fall and the fall of Hariri

ThThe Fall and the Fall of Haririis week Daniel Shapiro, a former US ambassador to Israel, wrote in the Haaretz newspaper that the Saudis were meddling yet again in Lebanese politics, forcing Hezbullah into greater political prominence, to provide the pretext for Israel to renew its confrontation with the Lebanese militia and thereby stoke a new war between Israel and Lebanon and Syria.

In his words: “Israel and Saudi Arabia are fully aligned in this regional struggle, and the Saudis cannot help but be impressed by Israel’s increasing assertiveness to strike at Iranian threats in Syria … When the moment of truth arrives, Israel’s allies, with the United States in the lead, should give it full backing.”

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Fitting replies to US president

Jorge Arreaza, Foreign Minister of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, replied to Trump’s speech at a September 19 press conference: “The United States Government is in complete violation of all the principles of the UN Charter.” Venezuela is a country of peace and no country can or has the right to violate Venezuela’s sovereignty, he said. “We do not accept threats from President Trump, we are a people of peace and what we want are relations of mutual respect, not only with the United States, but with all the countries of the world,” he added. Continue reading

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Compare the coverage of Mosul and East Aleppo: it tells you a lot about propaganda

In both countries, two large Sunni Arab urban centres – East Aleppo in Syria and Mosul in Iraq – are being besieged by pro-government forces strongly supported by foreign airpower. Yet the coverage is very different | PATRICK COCKBURN in The Independent

Residents of Nubul and al-Zahra along with soldiers of the Syrian Arab Army celebrate after the siege of their town was broken in the northern Aleppo countryside, Syri on February 4, 2016 | SANA /Reuters

Residents of Nubul and al-Zahra along with soldiers of the Syrian Arab Army celebrate after the siege of their town was broken in the northern Aleppo countryside, Syria on February 4, 2016 | SANA /Reuters

But look at how differently the international media is treating a similar situation in Mosul, 300 miles east of Aleppo, where one million people and an estimated 5,000 Isis fighters are being encircled by the Iraqi army fighting alongside Kurdish Peshmerga and Shia and Sunni paramilitaries and with massive support from a US-led air campaign. Continue reading

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Exponential growth of disinformation

Role of powerful private interests and the necessity to build our own organizations and media. “Although the use of social media by parties of the rich to gain electoral advantage and the wielding of social media as a weapon of U.S. imperialism against sovereign states have been well-documented, the use of social media by state agencies to directly interfere with progressive and anti-imperialist political movements is less well studied.” | SAM HEATON

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One of the serious problems that faces the people’s movement for empowerment today is the exponential growth of disinformation that takes advantage of modern communications technology and social media. No sooner have these advances been made than powerful private interests, the state and its agents in the ranks of the people have worked out how to dominate and wield the technology in their interests. Continue reading

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The Middle East energy war heats up: Israeli-Turkish normalization, Turkey’s military base in Qatar

By MAHDI DARIOUS NAZEMROAYA*

Energy war

This article was originally published by the Strategic Culture Foundation on December 30, 2015.

After shooting down a Russian Sukhoi Su-24M tactical bomber jet operating in Syrian airspace, in early December 2015 the Turkish government sent a heavily armed battalion to the Zilkan military base in Iraq. This move ignited tensions between Ankara and the Iraqi federal government, which renounced it as an act of Turkish aggression.

Within the contours of a resource and energy war, the Turkish military deployment was a move by the Turkish government to secure its illegal oil trade with the so-called Islamic State (ISIL/ISIS/IS/DAESH).

Turkish military base in the Persian Gulf

Weeks after the Turkish military deployment to Zilkan, the Russian military’s General Staff reported that it had tracked 11,755 oil tankers and trucks around the town of Zakho on both sides of the Iraqi-Turkish border on December 25, 2015. Despite the claims by the Kurdistan Regional Government that the oil tankers and trucks were the result of a long lineup created by the closure of the Iraqi-Turkish border due to Ankara’s military operations against the Kurds in southeast Turkey, the oil tankers and trucks were understood to be part of a re-channeled smuggling route for Syrian oil stolen by the ISIL.

The Turkish government has taken several steps to redirect its energy ties away from Russia and Iran. It is precisely in the context of securing energy reserves that Ahmet Demirok, the Turkish ambassador to Qatar, announced Ankara’s plans to open a military base in Qatar in the Persian Gulf region on December 16, 2015. In an interview with Reuters Ambassador Demirok said that the Turkish base was being set up in accordance with the security agreement signed between Ankara and Doha in 2014 and that the military base would help both Turkey and Qatar jointly “confront common threats” from certain countries, which Demirok declined to name.

The unnamed countries that Ambassador Demirok was implying could be none other than the duet of Iran and Russia. Moreover, Turkey’s announcement about the establishment of a Turkish military base in Qatar coincided with an announcement on the following day, December 17, by Salem Mubarak Al-Shafi, the Qatari ambassador to Turkey, that Doha was prepared to provide as much liquefied natural gas (LNG) to Turkey as it needed.

Israel and Turkey come together: Eastern Mediterranean natural gas

A day after Qatar’s Ambassador Salem Mubarak Al-Shafi announced that Doha would provide Turkey with as much LNG as it needed, on December 18, it was announced that Israel and Turkey had signed a framework agreement to export Israeli natural gas to Turkey. Although Turkish tensions with Russia, Iran, and Iraq could have hastened the natural gas deal between Ankara and Tel Aviv, the Israeli-Turkish framework agreement for energy trade had been quietly negotiated over for several months by the Israeli and Turkish government.

Analysts and journalists presented the natural gas agreement between Israel and Turkey as a part of a Turkish move to normalize its diplomatic and military ties with Israel as a means of counter-balancing Russia, Iran, Iraq, Syria, and their regional partners. These views and claims, however, overlook the fact there have been clear signs that Israel and Turkey have maintained their cooperation, if not close allied relationship, in the economic and military sectors. Both the Turkish and Israeli militaries have even had synchronized movements and operations on the Syrian border.

While Israel has been re-exporting the smuggled oil that Turkey has been exporting from Syria and Iraq, Tel Aviv has tried to legitimize its appropriation of the Palestinian natural gas reserves off the cost of the Gaza Strip. In parallel, Tel Aviv has exerted its full influence to gain control of the Egyptian natural gas reserves north of the Nile Delta. This is while Israel has tried to lay claim to Lebanese maritime territory holding large deposits of natural gas and courted Cyprus for control of its Mediterranean natural gas reserves.

Contours of a broader energy war emerge

The agreements with Israel and Qatar are a part of a broader energy trade nexus that falls within the contours of an energy war predating recent Russo-Turkish tensions. In fact, both Ambassador Al-Shafi and Ambassador Demirok were only repeating information about deals that were reached between Erdogan and Qatari Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani during Erdogan’s visit to Qatar at the time of the Russian military’s press conference announcing his involvement in the ISIL’s oil smuggling. Furthermore, the spatial configuration of the Israeli, Turkish, and Qatar reflected the dimensions of the energy war taking place in the Middle East.

Turkey has done almost everything possible to stop an Iran-Iraq-Syria energy corridor bypassing Turkey from being created. The Turkish military deployment to the Mosul District in Iraq and the creation of a Turkish military base in Qatar are tied to the joint goals of Turkey and Qatar for creating a rival energy corridor running through Turkey to Europe from the Persian Gulf and Iraq. The public demands that Israel give Turkey “unrestricted” access to the Gaza Strip could also be tied to the Palestinian natural gas reserves off of Gaza’s coast.

Furthermore, for years both Israel and Turkey have worked to establish a Levantine energy corridor where Eastern Mediterranean natural gas would be mainly exported northwards towards Turkey and the European Union while oil would be mainly exported southwards towards Israel. The materialization of this corridor has been obstructed mainly by Syria. This is one of the reasons that the Turkish government has pushed for regime change in Damascus.

While there are claims that Turkey is acting independently of the US government, it is highly improbable that no coordination has taken place in regards to the joint US and Turkish objective of regime change in Damascus. The re-direction of Turkish energy trade falls in line with the US objective to cripple the Russian energy sector by obstructing energy trade between the Russian Federation and other international actors.

This article was originally posted by the Strategic Culture Foundation on December 30, 2015.

 

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Russian-Iranian canal could connect Caspian Sea and Persian Gulf

Zavtra*

(April 8) – Russia and Iran are discussing building a navigable canal from the Caspian sea to the Persian Gulf, announced the ambassador of Iran in Russia Mehdi Snai at the meeting with students of St. Petersburg State University, reports TASS. Continue reading

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Syria: Robert Fisk reports from the front lines

A poster in Nubl featuring Vladimir Putin, Bashar al-Assad and the Hezbollah leader Sayed Hassan Nasrallah (Nelofer Pazira)

A poster in Nubl featuring Vladimir Putin, Bashar al-Assad and the Hezbollah leader Sayed Hassan Nasrallah (Nelofer Pazira)

The following reports from the front lines of the war against Syria appeared online at the end of last month. Written by the veteran English journalist and author ROBERT FISK of the London Independent, they stand out from the media chorus orchestrating the disinformation of Obama and the Trudeau Liberals, who are claiming to support a “moderate opposition” in a “civil war” to justify their own intervention and warmongering against the Syrian Arab Republic and its allies. They are hysterically blaming the Syrian and Russian forces for “besieging” Aleppo, the economic and industrial heartland of Syria, and other Syrian cities and towns forcibly held hostage by terrorist forces cobbled together primarily by Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Jordan, instigated by the secret services of the United States, France, Britain, Qatar and others, including Canada. The Molotov cocktail of terrorist gangs is their creation. Under the cover of  “talks” and humanitarian gestures, they are frenziedly escalating the delivery of arms, deploying new forces for “training” and reorganizing their broken proxy forces.

Canadians are denied essential information about the real nature of this five-year-old conflict, which has caused so many lives. The number of Canadian journalists who have actually visited Syria during this period can be counted on one hand. I know of but five, three of whom are independent including this writer, and who travelled on the basis of their own resources. As a result, Canadians do not even know what they do not know.

This weblog is circulating the reports of Robert Fisk as part of our ongoing series of information updates to assist our readers as well as the anti-war forces to maintain their orientation against the massive disinformation coming from the monopoly media, including the CBC and CTV. In contrast, although Fisk refers to an elected secular government as “regime” and replicates some of the sectarian viewpoints characterizing the conflict as religious in nature, he brings out some features of the real forces in combat and portrays a “human face” and the resistance of the valiant people of Syria, their soldiers and allies against a barbarous aggression that as caused enormous tragedy.

The use of force to solve political issues and justify foreign intervention is unjustifiable. We reiterate our categorical opposition to a U.S. attack against Syria, or by any other country. Collusion by Canada under the pretext of “democracy,” “peacekeeping” and “saving refugees” is unacceptable and cannot be conciliated with. – TS (Note: Some photos have been added.)

The ‘untold story’ of devastating siege and resistance of the two villages of Nubbul and Zahraa 

Syrian volunteers aged 50 to 70 in the northern towns of Nubl and Zahra are fighting against forces opposing the Syrian government

Syrian volunteers aged 50 to 70 in the northern towns of Nubl and Zahra are fighting against forces opposing the Syrian government

Robert Fisk, talks about the suffering of the two liberated towns of Nubbul and Zahraa in Syria’s Aleppo besieged by Takfiri terrorists for about three years. Villages that remained loyal to the Syrian government have paid a steep price. Continue reading

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Syria’s President Assad vows to recapture whole country

Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad pledged that the army will retake the whole country from terrorists

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad

However, in an interview with AFP released on Friday, February 12, Assad said the process could “take a long time,” stressing that the eventual goal of the government is to liberate the whole country from the control of the terrorists. Continue reading

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UN: Unacceptable human rights resolution of Trudeau Liberals against Iran

070317TOAntiWar06.Iran.crOn November 19, the Third Committee of the United Nations General Assembly passed Resolution L.45: Situation of Human Rights in the Islamic Republic. This resolution was drafted and introduced by Canada as part of ongoing attacks by the Canadian state against Iran that are aimed at isolating and destabilizing that country in the service of Anglo-American geo-political interests. These attacks include the unilateral severing of diplomatic relations with Iran on September 7, 2012, and putting Iran on a spurious list of states that sponsor terrorism. One of the pretexts given for these actions at that time was the accusation that Iran was the biggest human rights violator in the world. Continue reading

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Word. Interview with President Assad of Syria

Bashar al-Assad speaking during an interview in Damascus broadcast by Khabar TV

Bashar al-Assad speaking during an interview in Damascus broadcast by Khabar TV

Question 1: In the name of God, the most compassionate, the most merciful. Mr. President, thank you very much for accepting the invitation of the Television of the Islamic Republic of Iran to give this interview. Thank you very much.

There are many issues which need to be raised; and in this interview, I’ll raise a number of them. I hope that I’ll get candid and transparent answers from your Excellency. For about five years now, Syria has been suffering from a war waged by armed terrorist groups that inflicted tremendous damage on the Syrian people. According to available statistics, these damages are estimated at more than USD 200 billion to the infrastructure, about 250,000 casualties and about six to seven million displaced Syrian individuals. All this was the result of Western states’ insistence on overthrowing the Syrian regime. They haven’t succeeded in doing so. Now we can see a change in positions regarding the situation in Syria. The states which used to call for overthrowing the regime have started to declare that they accept President Assad’s participation in an interim government. What’s your reading of this change in positions, and why has it happened? Continue reading

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Word. ‘West crying for refugees with one eye, aiming gun with the other’ – President Assad of Syria

Syria's President Bashar al-Assad © SANA / Reuters

Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad © SANA / Reuters

In a rare interview with Russian media outlets on September 18, 2015, RT among them, Syrian leader Bashar Assad spoke about global and domestic terrorism threats, the need for a united front against jihadism, Western propaganda about the refugee crisis and ways to bring peace to his war-torn nation.

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Did a Chinese-Russian-Iranian coalition opposing NATO debut in Moscow?

 The Moscow Conference on International Security in April was used as a venue to give notice to the US and NATO that other world powers will not let them do as they please. By MAHDI DARIUS NAZEMROAYA

Russia’s Defense Minister Shoigu and Iran’s Defense Minister Dehghan at the IV Moscow Conference on International Security (RIA Novosti/Iliya Pitalev)

 Talk about joint efforts between China, India, Russia and Iran against NATO expansion was augmented with plans for tripartite military talks between Beijing, Moscow, and Tehran.
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Harper government’s motion to ‘extend and expand’ Canadian mission in Iraq

‘Fight against terrorism’ – Cover to support U.S. aggression against Syria and Iraq

Harper stated in Mississauga, “The current authorization laid open the possibility of going into Syria, though we have not done that.” He will “address those issues” when the new proposal is revealed, he said. LOUIS LANG

(March 21) – In a speech in Mississauga on March 18, Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced that he would be presenting a motion to the House of Commons the following week to “extend and expand” the Canadian mission in Iraq. Continue reading

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Clashes between Israel and Hezbollah and the ‘Iran-led Resistance Bloc’

2015.Lebanon.Shebaa Farms.Israeli convoy

In a startling attack, Hezbollah, the Lebanese national resistance organization, punished Israeli occupying forces in the Shebba Farms on Jan. 28 for its assassination of six of its members and an Iranian general inside Syria on Jan. 18. The number of Israeli casualties was 15 according to a report by Al Mayadeen TV.

By MAHDI DARIUS NAZEMROAYA*

The strategic equation in the Middle East is about to see major changes. It strongly appears that the Iranian-led Resistance Bloc or Axis of Resistance — comprised of Iran, Syria, Hezbollah, and a cross-section of Palestinian and Iraqi groups — is about to become more powerful than ever before. Continue reading

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US fifth column: Pretext for regime change in Argentina?

The Politicization of the AMIA Investigation

Nisman-and-KirchnerA fifth column exists in Argentina. It should be noted that some of the individuals involved in this case are leftover elements from the period of the military dictatorship in Argentina that collaborated closely with the US.

History has a strange way of replicating itself. Argentina has been going through a process similar to the post-1999 years, after Boris Yeltsin stepped down and Vladimir Putin took his place in the Kremlin as the president of the Russian Federation. While it has been struggling to throw off the foreign yoke, the Argentine federal government in Buenos Aires has been consolidating its economic and political power. Continue reading

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Whodunit: Argentina’s reconnaissance work against US and Israeli spy networks

By NIL NIKANDROV*

(Feb. 17) – Two recent high-profile suicides – one in France and another in Argentina – are very similar. A successful and well-liked French police chief by the name of Helric Fredou was found dead after launching an investigation into the terrorist attack on the offices of the Charlie Hebdo weekly. Official reports claim the officer shot himself in his office using his service weapon before he had completed his report on the high-profile terrorist attack in Paris.  Continue reading

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Discovering Iran: a travelogue

By SORAYA SEPAHPOUR-ULRICH 

Marcel Proust once said: “The voyage of discovery is not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes.” During the past two decades, I visited Iran on numerous occasions staying 10-14 days at a time. This time around, I stayed for 2 months and heeding Proust, I carried with me a fresh pair of eyes. I discarded both my Western lenses as well as my Iranian lenses and observed with objective eyes. It was a formidable journey that left me breathless.  Continue reading

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Whodunit: Argentine prosecutor mysteriously dies as CIA steps up efforts to topple President Kirchner

By NIL NIKANDROV*

(Jan. 31) – Argentine prosecutor Alberto Nisman was found shot dead on 18 January, a pistol by his side. He had been hours away from outlining his accusations against President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner at a congressional hearing. The prosecutor was to deliver a report on the investigation of Argentina’s worst terrorist attack – a bombing in 1994 that killed 85 people and left dozens wounded at a Jewish community centre. The Argentine special services and the prosecutor’s office first traced it to Iran, then the «Syrian trace» emerged, dirty cops from Buenos Aires were also on the list of suspects. Iran immediately denied its involvement. Continue reading

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