Selected articles (January 10, 2020)

PDF-Version: Selected articles 10.1.2020


Selected articles (January 10, 2020)




Upcoming Events for Julian Assange



Mexico president calls for Julian Assange to be released from UK prison

January 3, 2020




Palestine: 2019 in Review

January 07, 2020

The IMEU (Institute for Middle East Understanding) presents a fact sheet highlighting the biggest and most significant moments surrounding Palestine in 2019.



International Criminal Court Prepares to Try Israelis over War Crimes

January 9, 2020

Shawan Jabarin of the Al-Haq human rights organization discusses the International Criminal Court decision to prepare a lawsuit against the state of Israel regarding war crimes committed against Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip. Israeli authorities are already panicking.




Iran urges all parties involved to contribute to Ukrainian plane crash probe

January 10,2020

“[…] “According to international regulations, representatives from the civil aviation agency of the country where the crash has taken place (Iran), the civil aviation agency of the country which has issued the airworthiness certificate (Ukraine), the owner of the airliner (Ukraine International Airlines), the aircraft manufacturer (Boeing Co.), and the jet engine manufacturer (CFM International) can participate in the investigation process. A delegate from Ukraine is already in Iran. We call upon Boeing Co. to dispatch its own representative to participate in the process of reading the black box data,” Ali Rabiei, spokesman for the Iranian administration, said in a statement released early on Friday.

“We also welcome the participation of all countries which have lost their nationals in the mishap,” the statement pointed out. […]”



Open Letter to Members of the U.S. Congress

January 7, 2020

The letter was drafted by Richard Falk in collaboration with Noam Chomsky and Daniel Ellsberg. It was composed prior to the Iranian missile attacks on two American military bases in Iraq and before Trump made his formal statement the following day, January 8th.



The AngloZionist Empire vs Iran: a discussion of the recent events

By The Saker

January 9, 2020

“[…] At this point my personal opinion is that the way the Iranians conducted their first anti-Empire operation is nothing short of brilliant: they achieved a truly phenomenal result with very little means and, most importantly, without forcing the Empire to counter-attack.

Has the US-Iran war really begun?  Yes, I think so.  In fact, it began in 1979, but now it has reached a qualitatively new level.  The outcome of that war is absolutely evident to me.  The cost, however, is not.

This have relatively cooled down, but that is an illusion and we should most definitely not take our eyes of the situation in the Middle-East: expect the initiation of asymmetrical anti-US operations very soon.”



Who the Winners Are From America’s Destruction of Iraq and War Against Iran

By Eric Zuesse

January 9, 2020

“[…] In any case, however: The answer to the headline-question “Who the Winners Are from America’s Destruction of Iraq and War Against Iran” is clear: the owners of U.S.-and-allied international oil and gas corporations, and the owners of U.S.-based armaments-firms such as General Dynamics. […]”



America, An Empire on its Last Leg: To be Kicked Out from the Middle East?

By Prof Michel Chossudovsky

January 7, 2020

“[…] Conclusion: A US president committed to war crimes. A failing  “War on Terrorism” narrative. Weakened military command structures. Failing alliances. Sleeping with the enemy. Unpredictable foreign policy analysts. Deception and mistakes.

At this juncture: The US’ most powerful weapon remains dollarization, neoliberal economic reforms and the ability to manipulate financial markets.”



China urges Easing of Iran-US Tensions

By Current Affairs Correspondent North America

January 7, 2020

China urges Easing of Iran-US Tensions

“[…] The general principle of the Chinese government on this issue was to “get the conflict under control,” said Jin Canrong, Associate Dean of Renmin University of China’s School of International Studies in Beijing. The US attack was against international law and should be condemned, he noted. […]”

“[…] China must also weigh its own interests in the region, according to analysts. Iran, located along the routes of the Chinese Belt & Road Initiative, is expected to play a more significant role in enhancing connectivity and trading between Asia and Europe. Globalisation has connected the world, not to mention China has overseas interests, Niu noted. “China’s oil imports from the Middle East and its construction projects in the region will all be seriously affected if the region becomes chaotic,” he said. China is Iran’s largest trade partner. The two sides’ trade reached $35 billion in 2018, according to the Chinese Embassy in Iran. China’s oil imports from Iran were 29.27 million tons in 2018, or $15 billion, increasing 21.8 percent compared to 2017. China-Iran economic ties were also seriously affected after November 2018 when the US government re-imposed full sanctions on Iran, a decision which the White House outlined as part of an unprecedented US economic pressure campaign. When unrest happened in the Middle East in the past, withdrawal was the only option for China, Niu said. Take Syria as an example. China suffered losses of about 18 billion yuan ($2.6 billion), he said. […]”



Policy Intervention: Recommendations for European Leadership on Iran and the Middle East


By Andreas Persbo and Sahil Shah

January 9, 2020

„On 10 January 2020, the Foreign Affairs Council of the European Union will meet to discuss current affairs, recent developments in Iraq, and ways to deescalate tensions in the region (see agenda). The 28 foreign ministers are likely to discuss the recent escalation of tension between the United States and Iran, its implications on Iraq, as well as Iran’s recent announcement to stop honouring its commitment to limit uranium enrichment. What should the ministers decide? […]“



Note from Tehran: Is there a last-minute rescue for the JCPOA?

By Tarja Cronberg (Former Member of the European Parliament, Distinguished Associate Fellow at SIPRI and Member of the Executive Board of the European Leadership Network)

January 9, 2020

“Iran has taken the fifth step in reducing its commitments to limit its nuclear program, as envisioned under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). In short, no JCPOA-based limitations will apply any longer, and Iran will be free to add centrifuges and enrich uranium as it wishes. Surely this is the end of the agreement that the remaining partners, the Europeans, Chinese and the Russians, have worked so hard to preserve after the U.S. exited the deal in 2018? Not so fast. Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi announced this week that the nuclear deal is savable if “the other side shows will”. To confirm its support for the original “win-win” deal, Iran is fully committed to work with the IAEA by allowing nuclear inspectors to stay in the country. […]”



Trump’s Chance to Take the High Road With IranTehran’s immediate retaliation for Qassem Soleimani’s killing could be an opportunity for both sides to de-escalate. Will Trump take it?

By Mike Giglio

January 8,2020

“[…] The missiles caused no American or Iraqi deaths as of Wednesday morning. Iraq’s prime minister said that Iran even provided advance warning. Though Iran’s response was uncharacteristic in that it claimed responsibility the attack—usually it prefers to have some deniability—the country’s foreign minister, Javad Zarif, seemed to offer a message of de-escalation, tweeting that Iran “took and concluded proportionate measures in self-defense.” He added: “We do not seek escalation or war.”[…]”



US-Iran Tension and Pakistan

By Zamir Awan

January 8, 2020

“[…] American Congress and citizens are divided on the “Iran War”. Allies are also not in full support of the “Iran War”. Regional environments are not in the US favor, strong resistance from Russia and China is also possible (just like in Syria). Pakistan’s geopolitical location is the pivot and may face more severe challenges. While Pakistan was struggling its survival after 4 decades of Afghan mesh, it may not be ready to face such big challenges foreseen from US-Iran tension.

The international community may act and may act swiftly before it is too late. Save the precious human lives, avert the bloodshed and proactively promote global peace, which is need of time. All Peace-Loving individuals and nations, may raise their voice for Peace and struggle hard to avert any big disaster.”



The Deeper Story Behind the Assassination of Soleimani

By Federico Pieraccini

January 8, 2020

“[…] Trump believed his drone attack could solve all his problems by frightening his opponents, winning the support of his voters (by equating Soleimani’s assassination to Osama bin Laden’s), and sending a warning to Arab countries of the dangers of deepening their ties with China.

The assassination of Soleimani is the US lashing out at its steady loss of influence in the region. The Iraqi attempt to mediate a lasting peace between Iran and Saudi Arabia has been scuppered by the US and Israel’s determination to prevent peace in the region and instead increase chaos and instability.

Washington has not achieved its hegemonic status through a preference for diplomacy and calm dialogue, and Trump has no intention of departing from this approach.

Washington’s friends and enemies alike must acknowledge this reality and implement the countermeasures necessary to contain the madness.”



Who Created the Persian Gulf Tinderbox?

By Daniel Lazare

January 8, 2020

“Joe Biden’s statement that “President Trump just tossed a stick of dynamite into a tinderbox” by assassinating Iranian military commander Qassem Soleimani was not inaccurate. But it skirts an all-important question: who created the tinderbox in the first place?

The answer, of course, is the United States. […]”

“[…] Never has imperialism been more nihilistic. Yet Donald Trump has dialed up the craziness even more by abrogating the 2015 Iran nuclear accord and imposing a trade embargo that has brought the Iranian economy to its knees. Not content with economic warfare, he’s now advancing to physical warfare by “droning” Soleimani and threatening massive retaliation against both military and cultural targets if Iran dares raise a hand in response.

The effect is to propel himself into the front ranks of international war criminals. But Trump could never have done it on his own if a long line of American militarists hadn’t paved the way.”



Transcript of Trump’s Iran speech, annotated

January 8, 2020

“[…] The speech came days after the United States killed a high-ranking military commander, Qasem Soleimani, and the morning after Iran retaliated by striking Iraqi bases that house U.S. forces with missiles. Trump announced that there were no American casualties and only “minimal” damage to the bases. He also said Iran “appears to be standing down.” “[…]




By Elijah J Magnier

January 9, 2020

“[…]Iran has shown the strength and technical ability to bomb the most powerful US base in Iraq with precision missiles and has now twice shown mercy by not killing US servicemen. The first time was in June 2019 when Iran declined to down a US spy plane carrying 38-officers that had violated Iranian space during the “Tanker’s war”. The second time was yesterday when Iran deliberately chose not to bomb human targets at the Ayn al-Assad base hosting in Iraq, home to thousands of US, British, Canadian, Norwegian, Belgian and Dutch officers. Iran used precision missiles to hit specific military objectives avoiding human casualties, by contrast with Trump’s decision to assassinate an Iraqi commander (Abu Mahdi al-Muhandes) and an Iranian general and diplomat on a mission of peace (Sardar Qassem Soleimani). […]”

“[…] “Beautiful military equipment doesn’t rule the world, people rule the world, and the people want the US out of the region”, said Iran Foreign Minister Jawad Zarif. President Trump doesn’t have many people in the Middle East on his side, not even among his allies, whose leaders have been repeatedly insulted. Iran could not have dreamt of a better President to rejuvenate its position domestically and regionally. All Iran’s allies are jubilant, standing behind the “Islamic Republic” that fulfilled its promise to bomb the US. A “New Middle East” is about to be born; it will not be “Made in the USA” but “Made in Iran”. Let us hope warmongers’ era is over. The time has come to recognise and rely on intelligent diplomacy in world affairs.”