Iran Election Guide

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Sunday
Dec052010

Egypt Elections Video: Saturday's Protest Against the Ruling Party's Vote-Rigging

We will be keeping an eye on the second round of Egypt's disputed elections for the Parliament.

On Saturday, activists held a protest in front of Cairo's Press Syndicate, accusing the ruling National Democratic Party of rigging the votes during Sunday's first round.

Sunday
Dec052010

Turkey Special: FM Davutoglu Sets Out Ankara's Foreign Policy in the "Normalisation of History"

Last week, Turkey's Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu was in the US for discussions with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Davutoglu also delivered a speech at Georgetown University about Ankara's "zero problem with neighbours" strategy.

In regional politics, within the contexts of the Middle East, Asia, Russia, the European Union, and the fight against terror, Washington needs Turks as much as Ankara needs Washington. This, Davutoglu underlined, is the significance of the "model partnership" set out by President Obama in his address to the Turkish Parliament in April 2009.

Click to read more ...

Saturday
Dec042010

Palestine Analysis: Can US Make the Most of Moves by Abbas and Hamas?

On Saturday, the leader of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke by phone. Abbas expressed his condolences over the deadly fire in Israel, and Netanyahu expressed his thanks for the help of Palestinian civil defence members. 

Beyond that conciliatory conversation, there were significant political manoeuvres.

Click to read more ...

Saturday
Dec042010

Wikileaks Iran Special: US Diplomats Assess Green Movement & Politics "From Crisis to Stalemate"

We have now added a special analysis to our posting of Part 2 of the US Consulate in Dubai's analysis in January 2010 of the Green Movement and Iran's political situation. The revised post is at the top of the homepage.

Saturday
Dec042010

North Korea Weekend Website Special: "Kim Jong-Il Looks at Things"

This is really self-explanatory: an entire website devoted to North Korean Dear Leader Kim Jong-Il looking at things.

A few examples....

Looking at Pigs

Click to read more ...

Saturday
Dec042010

Iran Snapshot: Will Rafsanjani Use Political Prisoners to Make a New Move?

>A group of 16 Iranian political prisoners, including prominent reformist politicians Mohsen Aminzadeh and Mostafa Tajzadeh and journalists Bahman Ahmadi Amoui and Mohammad Nourizad have written an open letter to former President Hashemi Rafsanjani, describing their continued incarceration “in violation of the law” and in the “framework of settling political accounts”.

Is this the prelude to a renewed Rafsanjani initiative?

Click to read more ...

Saturday
Dec042010

The Latest from Iran (4 December): Behind the Postures

2050 GMT: Signs for a Deal? Signals from both Iran and the US that talks in next Monday and Tuesday on Tehran's nuclear programme can move toward a resolution.

The US media are picking up on Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's implicit acknowledgement on Friday that Iran has a right to enrich uranium:

The position of the international community is clear. You have the right to a peaceful nuclear program, but with that right comes a reasonable responsibility, that you follow the treaty you signed and fully address the international community’s concerns about your nuclear activity. We urge you to make that choice … we urge you to restore the confidence of the international community and live up to your international obligations.

(And Iranian media and officials, despite the apparent snub to Clinton by Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki only a few seats away, have also taken note. Mottaki said today, “This is a step forward that even the United States [officials] admit to Iran's right to acquire nuclear technology and fuel cycle in their every speech.")

Equally notable, however, is the statement of President Ahmadinejad today. After a week filled with denunciations of the "West", the US, and the UN, Ahmadinejad said:

We are ready to cooperate on a wide range of issues including economic, nuclear, international security and international political issues and the resolution of global problems. This is a unique opportunity...that we hope Western leaders will not waste.

Click to read more ...

Saturday
Dec042010

WikiLeaks Warning: State Department to Students "Link to Documents and You'll Never Work for Us"

UPDATE 1400 GMT: State Department spokeswoman Nicole Thompson comments:

To talk about current events is one thing. Would talking about it make you ineligible for a job at the State Department? No. But to go into detail, and propagate information that was illegally obtained—I don't think that's a good move for anyone. Not Julian Assange, not Wikileaks, and not any U.S. citizen.

---

DO NOT post links to these documents nor make comments on social media sites such as Facebook or through Twitter. Engaging in these activities would call into question your ability to deal with confidential information, which is part of most positions with the federal government.

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Saturday
Dec042010

Terrorism Weekly: The Dangers of the Drones and Short-Term Thinking

The US needs to fashion a broad, integrated plan to stop the next generation of terrorists. However, Washington is putting relatively little effort into a long-range plan while devoting a great deal of effort into a short-term casualty count. The US spends billions against the terrorists' costs of millions.

For Washington, that is not a promising cost-benefit ratio.

Click to read more ...

Friday
Dec032010

Turkey, WikiLeaks, and Fire-Fighting: Ankara's Challenge to Israel

So why give fire-fighting assistance to Israel while claiming West Jerusalem is behind the WikiLeaks releases to tarnish Turkey? Erdogan's government wanted to boost its credibility in the eyes of the Turkish public, where there are critical views of the "anti-Israeli" standing of the ruling party. Secondly, Erdogan was trying to get an IOU of gratitude. Finally, Ankara found a way to reiterate its demands, boosting its autonomy in the region while Israel becomes bogged down.

Click to read more ...