Iran Election Guide

Donate to EAWV

Or, click to learn more


Entries in CNN (16)


Video: Goldstone Latest Comments on Israel & Hamas

Palestine: Goldstone Report Goes Back to UN General Assembly

Receive our latest updates by email or RSS SUBSCRIBE TO OUR FEED
Buy Us A Cup of Coffee? Help Enduring America Expand Its Coverage and Analysis

In his latest interview with CNN, Richard Goldstone rejected criticisms that he was "a traitor to Israel" and "anti-Semitic". When asked about his thoughts whether there has been any movement from Israeli and/or Hamas following the release of his report, he stated that there is a clearer movement on the Hamas side whereas there is a split in the Israeli Government.

Bring It On: Israel Counter-attacks UN over Gaza Enquiry

Palestine: Suffering Life at Israeli Checkpoints

Receive our latest updates by email or RSS SUBSCRIBE TO OUR FEED
Buy Us A Cup of Coffee? Help Enduring America Expand Its Coverage and Analysis

Under the terms of the Goldstone Report on the Gaza War, now approved by the UN Human Rights Council, Israel and Hamas are required to conduct internal enquiries into the conduct of their military forces.

Fat chance.

On Tuesday, Israel's President Shimon Peres told CNN that the Goldstone Report "one-sided" and "unfair".

Peres' statement was mere prelude to the full Israeli resistance. In fact, for resistance, insert "counter-attack". On Tuesday, the Israeli Cabinet and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, promising a lengthy battle to "delegitimize" the findings of the United Nations commission, established a committee to deal with the prospect of "legal proceedings abroad against the state of Israel or its citizens."

Even Defense Minister Ehud Barak, seen as the moderate amongst senior Israeli ministers, refused to discuss the possibility of a Governmental investigation: "There is no need for a committee of inquiry. The Israeli military knows to examine itself better than anyone else."

Meanwhile Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman chose a diversionary strategy of undermining the Israel-Palestine peace process. He told his European Union counterpart Javier Solana:
The policy of subversion carried out by the Palestinian Authority against the State of Israel, which follows decisions at the Fatah conference in August in which there were calls for the resumption of the armed struggle, raises serious questions about the real aims of the Palestinians. The question now is whether the Palestinians want to establish a state, or to destroy the state of Israel.

UPDATED Iran's Nukes: The Real Story on Vienna Talks and the Deal for Uranium Enrichment

Iran-US-Russia Deal on Enrichment, The Sequel
The Latest from Iran (20 October): Green Waves or Green Mirage?

Receive our latest updates by email or RSS SUBSCRIBE TO OUR FEED
Buy Us A Cup of Coffee? Help Enduring America Expand Its Coverage and Analysis


UPDATE 1930 GMT: Talks have ended for the day, to be resumed tomorrow. IAEA head El-Baradei said that negotiations were moving forward though more slowly than he had expected.

Julian Borger of The Guardian has a useful summary.

UPDATE 1825 GMT: Yep, that's where the not-so-silly games are heading. Iran, wanting France out of the loop, is talking directly to the US delegation, according to Lara Setrakian of ABC News.

Press TV gives more details: An Iranian source confirms the "positive and constructive" bilateral discussions, adding, "It was agreed that more studies should be held on...renewing the secondary, control and electronic facilities" of the medical research reactor, the source added.

UPDATE 1810 GMT: Oh my, the Iranians are playing silly games now. Having wound up the media with their pre-talk threats, Tehran's delegation decided today to give France a poke in the eye by never showing up at discussions. Other diplomats are insisting that this is not a walkout, and the French Foreign Ministry maintains, "It is a meeting of experts, in which we are participating." However, Iranian officials via Press TV are declaring, "The elimination of France from the deal's draft is certain."

There is a likely explanation for this rather comic manoeuvring. Under the "third-party enrichment" proposal backed by the US, Iranian uranium is to be enriched by Russia and then sent to France to be shaped into metal plates. Tehran may be insisting that Paris is cut out of the process, with Russia sending the uranium, raised to 19.75 percent, directly back to Iran.

Some of the media coverage of yesterday's opening of the Vienna technical talks on Iran's uranium enrichment was beyond hopeless.

It was unsettling to see international broadcasters suddenly and excitedly discovering that there were talks and then, when those talks did not produce an outcome within hours, suddenly and not-so-excitedly proclaiming disappointment. At least, however, that produced comic moments such as CNN's Matthew Chance, like a boy discovering there was no candy in the shop, sinking from "lot of anticipation" to "jeez...all day the talks have broken up".

Far worse this morning is the spectacle of reporters, despite having some time to collect information and consider, repeating distracting and irrelevant spin as "analysis". The Wall Street Journal goes off on a tangent into nuclear Never-Never Land, "Iran Drops Deal to Buy Uranium in France". Swallowing Iran's eve-of-talks posturing rather than understanding it, The New York Times and David Sanger declare, "Iran Threatens to Back Out of Fuel Deal" with Tehran's "veiled public threats".

Really? Then how does Sanger explain the comment of the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Mohammad El Baradei, "We're off to a good start" in the second paragraph of his story? Maybe he could reflect a bit more on the quote handed to him by "a participant" (fourth paragraph):
This was opening-day posturing. The Iranians are experienced at this, and you have to expect that their opening position isn’t going to be the one you want to hear.

The real story, which EA has reported since Glenn Kessler's breakthrough story in The Washington Post last month, is that the deal to ship 80 percent of Iran's low-enriched uranium for processing in Russia and to use that uranium in a medical research facility (rather than for bombs) is on the table. Yesterday's public chest-puffing by Tehran does not change that agenda.

Indeed, both Time magazine and Sanger add details to that deal (although Time, in particular, does not have the professional decency to acknowledge Kessler's original article). Approaching the IAEA, Iran revived the idea --- broached by other countries months earlier --- of third-party enrichment of its uranium stock for the medical facility, and the Obama Administration ran with it during the President's trip to Moscow in early July. The top US official for nonproliferation, Gary Samore, put the proposal to the Russians.

Discreet talks between Iran, the IAEA, Russia, France (which would shape the enriched uranium as metal plates before it was returned to Tehran), and the U.S. followed. On three occasions, twice with El Baradei and once with Russian President Dmitri Medvedev, President Obama stepped in to confirm and advance the initative. The deal was considered at the first direct talks between Iran, the US, and the other "5+1" countries at Geneva on 1 October, producing the agreement for further technical discussions in Vienna.

The very fact that the Administration would be is leaking so much information to well-placed reporters should indicate that the real story here is that the US, irrespective of Iran's public posturing, is going to persist with this proposal. That trumps any misleading headlines from journalists who yearn for drama to break "all day silence" and are prone, beyond the details in their own articles, to the image of a talk-stalling, deal-breaking Iran.

The Israel-Turkey Split: Washington Intervenes

Middle East: Israel’s Troubles with a Turkish Ally

Receive our latest updates by email or RSS SUBSCRIBE TO OUR FEED
Buy Us A Cup of Coffee? Help Enduring America Expand Its Coverage and Analysis


UPDATE 0730 GMT: No sooner had we posted this than this report came in from Israel's YNet, "Syria said on Tuesday it would hold military exercises with Turkey, shortly after Turkey canceled maneuvers with Israel. 'We held our first joint land military exercise [with Turkey] last spring. And today we have agreed to do a more comprehensive, a bigger one,' said Syrian Defense Minister Ali Habib."

Latest signals over the feud between Turkey and Israel, marked by Ankara's cancellation of Israeli participation in military exercises, are mixed. While the Turkish Foreign Ministry had stated that the decision to abandon the "international dimension" of the drill was not against a third nation [Israel], both Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu's speech to CNN and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's statement on Monday targeted Israel and the international community: "When phosphorus bombs were rained on innocent children in Gaza, the whole world, all of humanity, watched from their comfortable chairs and their safe havens."

On Tuesday, after Erdogan's harsh" words, Washington finally broke its silence and criticised Ankara's last-minute manoeuvre. US State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said, "As to the question of whether there was a government that was invited to participate and then removed at the last minute, we think it's inappropriate for any nation to be removed from an exercise like this at the last minute." Asked if Israel was removed from the military operation, Crowley confirmed the report.

Meanwhile, Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Moallem and a senior Hamas official in Lebanon, Ali Baraka, praised Turkey's decision. Moallem said, "We encourage such cancellations as long as Israel is continuing its aggression and occupation." Baraka stated that Turkey's actions underlined its responsibility toward the Palestinians.

Middle East: Israel's Troubles with a Turkish Ally

The Results of the Mitchell Israel-Palestine Trip: Nothing

Receive our latest updates by email or RSS SUBSCRIBE TO OUR FEED
Buy Us A Cup of Coffee? Help Enduring America Expand Its Coverage and Analysis

israel-turkeyOn Sunday, Ankara made a dramatic last-minute decision to bar Israel from an international military exercise on Turkish soil. Israeli leaders see the decision as a political response linking to Turkey's continuing criticisms over Israel's military operations in Gaza.

On Sunday, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu spoke to CNN:
We hope that the situation in Gaza will be improved. The situation will be back to the diplomatic track. And that will create a new atmosphere in Turkish-Israeli relations as well. But in the existing situation, of course we are criticizing this ... Israeli approach.

On the same day, Several Israeli defense officials said advanced weapons sales to Turkey would now be reviewed, and a leading academic expert on Israeli-Turkish relations suggested ending support for Turkey on the Armenian genocide issue in Washington if the deterioration in ties continues.

The Turkish Foreign Ministry tried to minimise the issue on Monday:
The international part of the Turkish exercise had merely been postponed and it is inappropriate to draw a political meaning and conclusion from the postponement. it is impossible to accept the assessments and comments attributed to Israeli officials in the press. We invite Israeli officials to [use] common sense in their stance and statements.

This may have eased the situation, as Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak responded:
Israel's relations with Turkey are strategic, and have existed for dozens of years. Despite all the ups and downs Turkey continues to be a key player in our region.

Yet nothing in Middle East is ever limited to straightforward bilateral exchanges. The Turkish-Israeli tension occurs as Ankara's extends its Middle Eastern presence with other ties. On Tuesday, ten Turkish ministers including the Foreign Minister travelled to Damascus for the meeting fo the Turkey-Syria High Level Strategic Cooperation Council, established last month.