Archive for the ‘Iran’ Category
Xinhua, April 26, 2011
The Iraqi government is preparing to accept the presence of more than 15,000 U.S. servicemen in Iraq to protect the U.S. interests after the deadline of U.S. troops’ pullout by the end of 2011, an Iraqi newspaper reported on Tuesday.
“The Iraqi government will arrange a special status that would allow more than 15,000 U.S. servicemen to stay in Iraq beyond the end of this year,” al-Mashriq newspaper quoted well-informed sources as saying.
It also said that thousands of employees working for foreign security firms will stay in the country to protect the U.S. embassy staff, American civil contractors, engineers and investors.
“The full U.S. troops withdrawal will be announced as scheduled (by the end of 2011) and the remaining of thousands of U.S. troops will be attributed to protect the embassy staff, foreign diplomatic corps and international companies in the country,” the newspaper said.
Maliki is planning to send a delegation headed by Abdul-Haleem al-Zheiri, a leading figure in Maliki’s Dawa part, to the neighboring Iran to explain his move and to give assurances to Tehran that the remaining U.S. troops will not be used against Iran, it added.
“The delegation will also ask Tehran to put pressure on Moqtada al-Sadr to accept the new arrangements and not to unleash his Mahdi Army militiamen,” the paper said.
On April 9, anti-U.S. Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr threatened to resume activities of his Mahdi Army militia against the American troops if they stay in the country after the end of 2011.
Earlier, Maliki ruled out signing a new security pact with the United States to extend the presence of its troops in the country.
“The Prime Minister ruled out possibility for any new security agreement to prolong the presence of U.S. troops in Iraq, because the (current) document of the strategic agreement (SOFA) is clear in this respect,” Maliki said in a statement.
However, Maliki noted that not signing another security agreement doesn’t mean that Iraq will not cooperate and coordinate with the United States in the fields of training and arming Iraqi troops, the statement said.
In mid 2010, U.S. troops in Iraq had been reduced to below 50, 000 soldiers. Washington said that the remaining U.S. troops in Iraq are conducting support and training missions.
U.S. military forces are to pull out completely from Iraq by the end of 2011 according to the security pact named (Status of Forces Agreement, or SOFA) signed late in 2008 between Baghdad and Washington.
Xinhua, April 25, 2011
Iran plans to hold international nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation conference in mid-June, the local ISNA news agency reported on Sunday.
It would be Iran’s second conference on nuclear disarmament which is scheduled for June 12-13 and mainly will seek examination of current challenges on nuclear disarmament and other Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD), said the report.
Tehran hosted the first international disarmament conference on April 18-19, 2010.
After U.S. President Barack Obama and his Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev met in Washington on May 13, 2010 to cooperate on nuclear disarmament, Iranian Majlis (Parliament) Speaker Ali Larijani criticized the United States saying that the U.S. was not ready to have a timetable for disarmament.
Xinhua, April 20, 2011
Chen, vice-chairwoman of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress (NPC), China’s top legislature, said China and Iran have a long history of friendship and the two countries have gained fruitful achievements in different areas.
High-level exchanges between the two sides have been deepened, political mutual trust has been enhanced, and cooperation in economy and trade has been developing soundly and steadily, Chen stated.
China appreciates Iran’s adherence to the one-China policy and its supports for China’s core interests on issues related to Taiwan, Xinjiang and Tibet, Chen added.
Chen said the two countries have shared views over regional and international issues, and bilateral exchanges and cooperation not only benefit the two peoples but also have positive influence upon regional and world peace and stability.
China and Iran will hold a series of celebrations to mark the 40th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations this year, and will seize the opportunity to promote the bilateral cooperation to a higher level.
Salehi said Iran values China’s important status and influence in the world, admires China’s achievements and hopes to develop bilateral exchanges and cooperation in various areas including politics, economy and culture.
Iran hopes the celebration of the 40th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations to be a big success, he said.
Chen and Salehi also exchanged their views on reforming the United Nations Security Council and the situation in west Asia and North Africa.
On the same day, Chen also met with Esfandiyar Rahim-Mashaei, top advisor to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and Mojtahed Zadeh, advisor to Iranian president on women’s affairs.
Iran can have an effect on world energy and fuel. Fuel prices will go up dramatically, if sanctions are not removed: Expert
Hamsayeh.Net, April 20, 2011
Financial expert advises the US and its allies to lift the self-imposed set of sanctions supposedly aimed at curtailing Iran’s economy or wrestle with sustained oil prices at $150 plus.
In an interview with Washington Times, Iran’s Central Bank head manager, Mahmoud Bahrami warned of growing uncertainties over future energy costs and security if Washington continues on with its futile anti-Iran program in particular imposing economic sanctions against the Middle Eastern nation.
‘Iran can have an effect on world energy and fuel. Fuel prices will go up dramatically, if sanctions are not removed, particularly sanctions against banks and other economic sanctions, the price of oil will go above $150 a barrel.’ Bahrami warned.
In several of US states, the price of gasoline hit $4 per gallon which means motorists will have to pay a lot more for gas or lower down their daily level of social activities. In recent days, Brent Crude Oil price reached $123 and expected to move higher during the summer driving season. Back in 2008 when Western financial institutions experienced their biggest collapse, oil prices picked $147 in July that year.
US and its allies have imposed a series of self-inflicted sanctions against Iran so that this fiercely independent ancient Middle Eastern nation gives up its peaceful scientific nuclear program. But despite the sanctions Tehran successfully managed to advance its domestic nuclear program.
Branstad signs bill limiting investment in Iran
Chicago Tribune, April 20, 2011
Gov. Terry Branstad has signed a bill into law requiring that the state treasurer, public retirement systems and the board of regents not invest public funds with certain companies doing business in Iran.
Branstad signed the measure Wednesday. It restricts directly investing state funds in companies that provide power production-related services, mineral extraction activities, oil-related activities or military equipment to the government of Iran. The measure encourages, but does not require, that funds not be indirectly invested in those same areas.
The Legislatives Services Agency estimates the Iowa Public Employee Retirement System has between $11.9 million and $81.4 million invested in prohibited companies.
Implementing the law is expected to cost the Iowa retirement system at least $100,000 in the next fiscal year.
ISRIA, April 18, 2011
President Ahmadinejad stressed the need for formation of a global movement to establish peace and security in the world.
President Ahmadinejad made the remarks in a phone conversation with his Venezuelan counterpart Hugo Chavez.
He condemned the military actions of some hegemonic powers against world nations and stressed the need for initiating global movements regarding important regional and international issues.
Saying that the US and its European allies were only seeking their own interests, President called for new independent movements to solve the existing problems based on dialogue and negotiation.
Dr. Ahmadinejad further pointed to the plans engineered by the US to solve its problems and expand its dominance over the region as well as the world and said that like the 9/11 plot, America will again fail in its plans to rob countries from their resources thanks to the vigilance of world nations.
Turning to the situation in libya, he said Iran was against any intervention of the NATO and the US in the internal affairs of the countries.
President Ahmadinejad also highlighted the strategic ties between Iran and Venezuela.
President Chavez criticized some countries for backing military operations against the Libyan nation and said the present situation called for joint and collective measures by all world nations.
Tamara Pearson, Venezuelanalysis, April 18, 2011
Yesterday Venezuela’s president Hugo Chavez said he was renewing his proposal to form an international peace commission to settle the conflict in Libya.
The Venezuelan government will propose the creation of a broad commission to serve as mediator with the situation in Libya to presidents and countries of the African Union. Chavez urged the formation of a larger commission to see if it’s possible to “stop this craziness of aggressions”.
He made the decision after talking to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad by phone. In order to strengthen his proposal, originally made in February, Chavez said he would seek support from other presidents around the world who “have an interest in a peaceful solution to the conflict in [Libya]”.
“We will work hard to contact other presidents, and try to shape a larger committee than the one that emerged from the African Union, to see if we can stop this madness. That’s what politics, international law and diplomacy are for,” Chavez said.
“When will you, distinguished U.S president and especially European countries stop? I’m going to keep talking about this situation. We have mentioned the U.S. president, [Barack] Obama. Now, we must also talk about President of France [Nicolas] Sarkozy and Prime Minister of Italy [Silvio] Berlusconi and the British Prime Minister David Cameron,” he said.
“Do these presidents think that they own the world? Do they think they have the right to bomb villages and peoples? NATO is now asking for more planes, they lack planes and bombs to kill more people … That’s not the way to solve any problem in this world,” he continued.
“Imperialism and the [governments] of Europe want to take over Libya’s petroleum, they don’t want to defend the people of Libya, that’s a lie,” Chavez said.
“Here in Venezuela we ask for peace in the world, humanity and the human cause. A greater level of peace, total peace, human peace through social justice and that is socialism, “he concluded.
During the last days of February and first days of March, Chavez promoted his proposal for the creation of an international peace commission to mediate and help solve the crisis in Libya, which NATO and its allies then began attack on 19 March.
On 11 April the anti-Gaddafi forces rejected a peace plan presented by the African Union, according to them, because it did not include plans for Gaddafi to step down.
Xinhua, April 19, 2911
Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast on Tuesday called the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC)’s recent statement regarding Iran as “baseless”, the semi- official ISNA news agency reported on Tuesday.
Mehmanparast called the accusations levelled at Iran by GCC an action for distracting the public opinion of the international community from the military measures of a number of GCC member states in Bahrain, said the report.
After a meeting in the Saudi capital Riyadh on Sunday, GCC states in a statement called on the international community and UN Security Council for “necessary measures” against what they called Iran’s “interference and provocations” in the Persian Gulf affairs and to prevent it from sowing regional discord.
“It is surprising that in the statement issued (by GCC), Iran is accused of interfering in the regional affairs, while the military forces of some of the member countries violate all international conventions and laws and meddle in the domestic matters of their neighboring country,” Mehmanparast was quoted as saying in his weekly press briefing.
Iran has proper relations with those countries and follows the principles of respecting national sovereignty, good-neighborliness, mutual respect, he added.