30 Jul 2012

Ramadan Moon



Syrian Crises exposes Arab double game towards the West

Wahhabi King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia sat next to Shia President of Iran, Mahmoud Ahamadinejad. It was a first during fasting of holy month of Ramadan. Sunnis Arabs are greatly concerned about the fate of Syria. Arabs want to break up the "Shia Crescent" which they see rising over the Middle East. They dont see West hitting Iran hard and so they play a double game. Saudis believe that Iran is exporting its version of Islam since the Revolution of 1979. Arab Gulf states fear that they might be next on the list of regime changes which began with the Arab Spring protests in January 2011.


7 August 2012

Syria crisis: Iran pledges support for 'vital partner'

Iran's security chief has told President Bashar al-Assad that Syria is part of a vital regional alliance that Tehran will not allow to be broken.

During talks in Damascus, Saeed Jalili said Syria was an essential part of an "axis of resistance".

The statement came a day after Syrian Prime Minister Riad Hijab defected to the opposition.

Syrian TV showed President Assad greeting Mr Jalili, his first TV appearance in two weeks.

Mr Jalili was quoted as saying: "Iran will not allow the axis of resistance, of which it considers Syria to be an essential part, to be broken in any way."

Correspondents say "axis of resistance" refers to Iran, Syria, Hezbollah in Lebanon and the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas in Gaza.

Iran has accused Turkey and some Gulf states of arming the Syrian rebels, in collusion with Israel and the US.

Syria is one of Iran's most important allies - a pro-Iranian foothold in the Arab Middle East and an important conduit for contacts between Tehran and Hezbollah in Lebanon, and Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

Iran sees Turkey as a competitor for regional influence. Tehran is alarmed at renewed ties between Egypt and Saudi Arabia which constitute, at least in part, a thinly-veiled alliance of "moderate Sunni Islam" against Shia Iran.

The ultimate fall of the Assad regime could leave Iran dangerously isolated. Its diplomatic activism is an effort to underscore that whatever happens it remains an essential regional player.


Iran, Saudi Arabia in direct talks‎

13 Aug 2012

Arch rivals Iran and Saudi Arabia would hold direct talks in Mecca to address the crisis in Syria and cool the region's growing sectarian divide.


Syria is struggle with US for Mideast: Iran official

18 Aug 2012

The conflict in Syria is a struggle between the United States and Iran whose outcome will decide whether the Middle East follows the path of an Iran-inspired Islamic movement or US influence, a top Iranian official said on Saturday.

"Today, we are in the final with the United States in Syria," Mohsen Rezaie, secretary of the Expediency Council that advises supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, was quoted as saying by the Mehr news agency.

"If Syria falls into the hands of the Americans, the Islamic Awakening movement (Iran's term for the Arab Spring) will become American. But if Syria maintains its policies, the Islamic Awakening will take root in Islam," said Rezaie, who used to lead Iran's powerful Revolutionary Guards.

Khamenei has portrayed the series of Arab revolts since late 2010 as inspired by Iran's own 1979 Islamic revolution, which overthrew a US-allied monarchy.

Iran, though, has sought to depict the Syrian conflict as apart, saying it is an external aggression fomented by the United States and its Gulf allies rather than a popular uprising in the mould of Tunisia, Egypt or Libya.

Iran and the United States accuse each other of giving military support to the opposing sides in Syria's bloody, 17-month conflict, raising the spectre of a vicious proxy war between the longtime enemies.

The Islamic republic is a staunch ally of Syria's regime, and has vowed to do everything to defend Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's grip on power. It denies, however, sending fighting forces or arms to Syria.

"If Syria remains independent and doesn't fall into the hands of the Americans and the (Western) occupiers, the Islamic Awakening in the region will turn towards Islamism," Rezaie was quoted as saying.

He added that Syria was part of a "golden belt" in the Middle East that the United States wanted to dominate. The other links in the belt, he said, were Iran, Iraq and Afghanistan.

US officials allege that the Revolutionary Guards' elite special operations unit, the Quds Force, was behind numerous attacks on US troops in Afghanistan and Iraq, which America invaded in 2001 and 2003 respectively.

General Hassan Firouzabadi, the head of Iran's armed forces joint chiefs of staff, was quoted by the Revolutionary Guards' website Sepahnews as renewing Iran's accusation that the United States was backing Al-Qaeda cells in the Muslim world.

"Bolstering Al-Qaeda and the Takfiris (extremist Salafist groups) to conduct a civil war in Syria and massacre Syrians only reinforces these groups, which will use their experience to deal even more severe blows to the Westerners," he said.

Iran's animosity towards the United States has sharpened this year following the application of US and EU economic sanctions crippling its vital oil exports. AFP


Saudi king sits next to Iran's Ahmadinejad in goodwill gesture


RIYADH - Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah seated Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad at his side to welcome leaders to a summit on Wednesday, an apparent conciliatory gesture before the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation suspends the membership of Iran's ally Syria.

Foreign ministers of the 57-member body have already agreed to suspend Syria over President Bashar al-Assad's crackdown on protests. The decision, which requires support of two thirds of members and is strongly opposed by Tehran, is expected to be implemented on Wednesday at a summit called by Abdullah in the holy city of Mecca.

Syria's civil war has divided Muslim countries on sectarian lines, with Sunni-led Arab states and Turkey backing Syria's rebels, while Shi'ite Iran supports Assad.

Sunni Saudi Arabia and Shi'ite Iran have tussled for influence in recent years in sectarian conflicts across the Middle East. In giving Iran's leader such a prominent place at the summit - shown on Saudi state television - King Abdullah was making what analysts described as an important gesture.

"It was a message to the Iranian nation and, I assume, to the Saudi people, that we are Muslim and we have to work together and forget about our differences," said Abdullah al-Shammari, a Saudi political analyst.

Ahmadinejad, wearing the dark suit and shirt without tie favored by Iranian leaders, sat at the left hand of the octogenarian king in his traditional Arab robes. The two were shown talking and sometimes laughing together.

As each of the leaders, including those of major Middle Eastern and South Asian states, arrived in the entrance chamber, Abdullah rose to meet him followed by Ahmadinejad.

The emir of Qatar, which like Saudi Arabia has voiced support for Syria's rebels, sat on Abdullah's other side.

Analysts had billed the summit as a potential showdown between Iran and Sunni states led by Saudi Arabia over Tehran's support for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in his 17-month suppression of a popular uprising.

"I think Abdullah is trying to tell Ahmadinejad that whatever Saudi Arabia wants with regard to Syria is not going to be directed against Iran," said Saudi political scientist Khalid al-Dakhil.

Riyadh has called for Syrians to be "enabled to protect themselves" if the international community cannot protect them, and has excoriated Assad's use of force against civilians.

Iran has echoed the narrative of Assad's government that the country is being torn apart by "terrorist gangs" supported by Sunni states and the West.

Riyadh has also accused Tehran of fomenting discord in the Gulf by backing a popular uprising among majority Shi'ites in Bahrain against the Sunni monarchy there and stirring unrest among Saudi Arabia's own Shi'ite minority.

Tehran denies responsibility for unrest and accuses the Sunni states of crushing Shi'ite dissent.

Analysts said the move to place Ahmadinejad next to Abdullah was intended to soothe sectarian ill will across the wider Middle East.

"King Abdullah was showing Shi'ites: we haven't tried to skip over you and ignore you. And he was showing to Sunnis here that here is Ahmadinejad and he is a Muslim too. He is not different to us," said Shammari.

That message was reinforced in Abdullah's opening speech to the conference, in which he proposed setting up a center for dialogue between different Muslim sects.


Iran rejects US earthquake aid offer

Thu Aug 16, 2012

Iran has rejected a United States offer of aid for survivors of deadly earthquakes which struck villages in its north-west, saying the offer was not made in "good faith".

The weekend earthquakes killed 306 people and injured 3,000, according to an official toll, and the US issued a statement sending "the Iranian people" its condolences and saying, "we stand ready to offer assistance in this difficult time".#

However, the head of the interior ministry's crisis management organisation, Hassan Ghadami, told local media Iran had declined aid offers.

"Iran did not accept the US offer for sending humanitarian aid for quake survivors," he said.

"We do not believe the US put forward the offer in good faith. We are currently having a medicine supply crisis because of sanctions.

"Do us a favour and lift the sanctions."

Iran's response underlined what it saw as US hypocrisy, given that Washington this year has done all it can to isolate Tehran, by imposing economic sanctions.

Although Iran's Red Crescent said it had rejected other offers of aid from Germany, Taiwan and Russia, media reports say humanitarian cargoes from a handful of countries, including Qatar, Pakistan, Switzerland and Azerbaijan, have arrived.

The US stressed that Americans had ways of sending assistance to Iran for the quake, despite the sanctions.

"Americans wishing to provide humanitarian assistance to Iranians during this time may donate food and medicine without obtaining an Iranian transactions regulations licence," State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said.

The US and Iran have no diplomatic relations and have been involved in a tense diplomatic standoff for decades, most recently over Tehran's nuclear program. AFP


Supporting al-Qaeda to boomerang on Western sponsors

18 Aug 2012

A senior Iranian military commander has warned the Western countries against the ramifications of lending support to al-Qaeda and other extremist groups, saying the actions of such terrorist networks will ultimately target the West.

It will not take long until al-Qaeda and extremist groups realize the deceitfulness of the West and change the direction of their actions against the interests of the West, said Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff of Iran's Armed Forces Major General Hassan Firouzabadi on Saturday.

The Iranian commander pointed out that no Muslim group, whether Shia or Sunni, support al-Qaeda and other extremist groups, and reiterated that all the Islamic countries are obliged to counter the threat of these terrorist groups that “fight against Islam and kill Muslims.”

The US, Britain and Israel will not be able to provoke al-Qaeda and the extremists to infiltrate into the Muslim world and pose a threat against the Islamic countries, he added.

In the 1980s, the United States assisted the so-called Mujahedeen militants in Afghanistan to fight the forces of the former Soviet Union. The al-Qaeda later emerged from the same group that had years earlier received US weapons and training.

Just over a decade later, the US attacked Afghanistan to topple the Taliban regime, which it accused of harboring al-Qaeda.

Political observers say the US favors the presence of al-Qaeda militants and other extremists in Syria to help the country’s armed insurgents overthrow the government of President Bashar al-Assad.

According to chairman of the US House Intelligence Committee Rep. Mike Rogers, as many as a quarter of the many insurgent groups in Syria see themselves as al-Qaeda offshoots.


Syria: Iran tries to hijack international diplomacy to defend Assad‎

9 August 2012
Iran accuses Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar of arming the opposition in Syria, in collusion with the United States and Israel, to overthrow Assad...


Hezbollah will give crushing response if Tel Aviv attacks Lebanon: Nasrallah

17 Aug 2012

Hezbollah Secretary-General Seyyed Hassan Nasrallah has warned that the anti-Israel resistance movement will turn the lives of hundreds of thousands of Israelis into a living hell if Tel Aviv attacks Lebanon again.

Addressing Hezbollah supporters on the occasion of the International Al-Quds Day, Nasrallah said on Friday that Hezbollah has both the capability and the courage to defend Lebanon and that the movement's missiles are ready to strike back certain targets inside Israel in self-defense if Tel Aviv launches an attack on Lebanon. #

"If we are forced to use them to protect our people and our country, we will not hesitate to do so... and that will turn the lives of hundreds of thousands of Zionists into a living hell," Nasrallah said, adding that Hezbollah has fixed its targets.

He also said that a possible future war would be extremely costly for Israel and incomparable with its 2006 war against Lebanon.

Hezbollah leader said Israel's humiliating defeat in the 33-day war in 2006 is the main reason behind Israeli military officials' opposition to the government plans for launching war against another country, namely Iran.

He also criticized certain Arab states for fueling the unrest in Syria by supporting and funding anti-Damascus insurgents, saying that they are serving Israeli interests by doing that since Tel Aviv wants the anti-Israel resistance axis to lose Syria.

Nasrallah described some Arab leaders as "leaders of sedition" over their tough approach toward Syria unrest.

He urged Saudi Arabia to stop funding media outlets that promote division among Muslims.

The Hezbollah leader also condemned the Organization of Islamic Cooperation's (OIC) decision to suspend Syria’s membership, saying that the move means a green light to more killings and bloodshed in the country.

Nasrallah also urged Muslims around the world to adopt a unified stance on Israeli-Palestinian conflict and al-Quds issue.


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