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Entries in United Nations General Assembly (13)


The Latest from Iran (20 December): Revolutionary Guards Decide Which Reformists Can Stand in Presidential Election

See also Iran Feature: Breakthrough in Nuclear Talks? No Way.
The Latest from Iran (19 December): "The Worst Economic Conditions"

2110 GMT: Human Rights Watch. The United Nations General Assembly has criticised Iran for human rights abuses by an 86-32 vote with 65 abstentions.

The resolution on Iran voiced "deep concern at serious ongoing and recurring human rights violations in the Islamic Republic of Iran relating to, inter alia, torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, including flogging and amputations".

1840 GMT: Nuclear Watch. Iranian State media continues to play up renewed discussions, headlining, "Russia Hopes Iran-P5+1 Talks to Be Held Next Month".

The website seizes on a matter-of-fact statement by a Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman, "Currently negotiations are under way with Tehran on the place and date. We hope that this work will be completed in the near future and such a meeting will take place in January of next year."

Press TV repeats the mantra:

Iran claims that as a signatory of the Non-Proliferation Treaty and a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency, it is free to develop nuclear technology for peaceful purposes but the United States, Israel and others have accused Iran of developing nuclear equipment for military purposes.

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Palestine, Egypt (and Beyond) Live Coverage: Statehood for the Palestinians, A Constitution for Morsi

1513 GMT: Kuwait Tens of thousands of Kuwaitis took to the streets earlier, calling for a boycott of tomorrows elections (see 1213 GMT entry).

Reuters reports:

"The people want to bring down the decree!" demonstrators chanted, a spinoff from the main slogan in popular uprisings that have ousted four autocratic Arab rulers since early 2011.

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EA Video Analysis: Iran --- Ahmadinejad in New York "He Came, He Spoke, He Slipped Away"

"On Wednesday, before Ahmadinejad took the podium at the United Nations General Assembly, we said, 'Sound. Fury. Insignificance'.

"We got it partly right. There was no sound. There was certainly no fury. But there was lots of insignificance.

"Bye bye, Mahmoud. Nice knowing you. Don't let the door hit you on the backside on the way out."


Iran Analysis: Ahmadinejad Exits Stage Left

The prevalent mood in much of the US media after Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's last speech to the United Nations General Assembly was disappointment. It was not disappointment over the lack of any new substance on the nuclear issue or a statement on Syria, but extended lower lips that this was not the combative Ahmadinejad who had taken the stage in past years.

"Muted" was the immediate reaction, with The Washington Post reviewing that the speech was "decidedly less provocative", and thus "less notable". The New York Times, which normally embraces Ahmadinejad as its pantomime villain, did not even give him a leading role, let alone a place its headline --- he had been succeeded by other suspects, "At U.N., Egypt and Yemen Urge Curbs on Free Speech". The Wall Street Journal was slightly bemused by Ahmadinejad's emphasis on religion, with his anticipation of the return of the Hidden Imam, but appeared to be disappointed that he had not denied the Holocaust or called for the elimination of Israel or offered one of his denunciations of homosexuality.

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The Latest from Iran (26 September): Denials, "Fake Allegations", and Ahmadinejad's Speech

See also Our 1st EA Video Analysis: The Sound, Fury, and Insignificance of Iran's Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
Iran Opinion: Ahmadinejad 100, US Media 0
Iran Audio Feature: Predicting Ahmadinejad's Speech (and Does It Really Matter?) --- Scott Lucas with Monocle 24
The Latest from Iran (25 September): Which is More Important --- The Ahmadinejad Show or an Economy in Crisis?

1915 GMT: Press Watch. Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance has warned that he may ban the reformist newspaper Shargh because of an insulting cartoon during the "Week of Holy Defence", marking the 32nd anniversary of the start of the Iran-Iraq War.

The Minister said that Shargh, whose editor was summoned for an explanation, was propagating "Western culture".

Fars reported that 120 of Iran's 290 MPs have signed a letter condemning the cartoon.

1855 GMT: Tough Tslk Alert (Syria Edition). President Ahmadinejad might have taken a cautious line on Syria during his stay in New York this week, but others have not been so reticent. While 1st Vice President Mohammad Reza Rahimi was declaring, "Syria Will Eventually Conquer Enemies", MP Hamid Rasaei asserted that the remarks of Revolutionary Guards commander Mohammad Reza Jafari --- confirming that members of the Quds Force were in Damascus advising the Assad regime --- were those of the Supreme Leader. Rasaei continued, "We intervened in the 33 Days War in Lebanon (with Israel in 2006)."

Rejecting rumours that Iran might press President Assad to step down, Deputy Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said, “Today Syria’s presence in the [anti-Israeli] resistance front is stronger than ever."

All of this provides a counter-point to the line, put out by Press TV today, that "Iran’s Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi has called for a political solution to the Syrian crisis, saying Tehran supports dialogue between Damascus and the Syrian opposition.

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Iran Audio Feature: Predicting Ahmadinejad's Speech (and Does It Really Matter?) --- Scott Lucas with Monocle 24

I spoke last night with Monocle 24's The Daily about what Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will say today at the United Nations General Assembly --- they foresaw more "Israel should not exist" posturing; I am looking more to the Iranian President's emphasis on international "reform" to challenge Western "domination"; don't expect any detailed mention of Syria --- before taking on the bigger question:

Does the speech really matter, given that Ahmadinejad is a lame-duck President of declining significance in an Iran beset by economic and political difficulties?

To listen to the discussion, open The Daily's homepage, click on the programme for 25/9, and go to the 9:00 mark.


Video and Transcript: President Obama's Speech to the UN

The future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam. Yet to be credible, those who condemn that slander must also condemn the hate we see when the image of Jesus Christ is desecrated, churches are destroyed, or the Holocaust is denied. Let us condemn incitement against Sufi Muslims, and Shiite pilgrims. It is time to heed the words of Gandhi: “Intolerance is itself a form of violence and an obstacle to the growth of a true democratic spirit.” Together, we must work towards a world where we are strengthened by our differences, and not defined by them. That is what America embodies, and that is the vision we will support.

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Syria Transcript: Kofi Annan's Speech to the UN General Assembly

President Assad believed the main obstacle was the actions of militants.  Clearly, all parties must cease violence.  But equally clearly, the first responsibility lies with the Government.

Since then, shelling of cities has intensified. Government-backed militia seem to have free rein with appalling consequences.  Yes, some detainees have been released, and agreement has been reached on modalities for humanitarian assistance.  But the hour demands much more.  And President Assad has not indicated a change of course in his recent address to the National Assembly.

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The Latest from Iran (23 November): Noticing Human Rights

See also Iran Special Analysis: The Security Forces Cross Ahmadinejad's "Red Line"
The Latest from Iran (22 November): The Security Forces v. Ahmadinejad's Senior Advisor

Political Prisoners in Iran2020 GMT: Political Prisoner Watch. Student activist Rojin Mohammadi, studying medicine at the University of Manila, has been arrested at the airport on her return to Iran.

1955 GMT: Tough Talk of the Day. The Supreme Leader's military advisor, General Yahya Rahim Safavi, assures, "The IRGC [Revolutionary Guards] control the identity and destination of every US warship which intends to pass through the Strait of Hormuz. "And Americans fully respond to the IRGC's telecommunications center with complete answers."


An estimated 40% of the world's oil supply passes through the Straits of Hormuz, at the entrance to the Persian Gulf.

Rahim Safavi also said that air defences protecting Israel were "inefficient" against Iran's arsenal: "“These missile shields which they have deployed in Turkey, occupied Palestine, Iraq, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates cannot hit all our missiles. They may hit some of our missiles, but the number of our missiles is so large that they will not be able to target our missiles."

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The Latest from Iran (19 November): The International Front

1810 GMT: Foreign Affairs (Turkish Front). More fencing between Ankara and Tehran, even as Iran tries to get Turkish support on issues such as its nuclear programme....

Iranian MP Alaeddin Boroujerdi, the chairman of Parliament's National Security and Foreign Policy Commission, has said "Iranian air forces are strong enough" when he was asked if Turkey could use Iranian air space for "war against [the Kurdish insurgenct group] PKK".

Boroujerdi was in Ankara on Friday for talks with Turkish officials.

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