Iran’s shuts down nuclear talks with US

By SCOTT PETERSON | CSM | FEBRUARY 7, 2013

Iran‘s supreme leader today rejected the possibility of direct talks with the United States, nixing a proposal by Washington to ease the stalemate over Iran’s nuclear program.

Six world powers – including the US – are due to resume nuclear talks with Iran on Feb. 26 in Kazakhstan, after an eight-month hiatus. Few expect a breakthrough, not least because Iran is preparing for elections in June.

But the words of Ayatollah Ali Khamenei – who has the final say on all strategic decisions in Iran, as official holder there of the title “God’s deputy on earth” – appear to have scuppered chances of an immediate direct dialogue with the US.

“You [Americans] are pointing the gun at Iran and say either negotiate or we will shoot. The Iranian nation will not be frightened by the threats,”Ayatollah Khamenei told Air Force commanders in a speech today.

“Some naive people like the idea of negotiating with America [but] negotiations will not solve the problems,” Khamenei said in the remarks, which were posted on his website. “If some people want American rule to be established again in Iran, the nation will rise up to face them.”

US Vice President Joe Biden said on Feb. 2, that Washington was ready for one-on-one talks “when the Iranian leadership, supreme leader, is serious.” And in recent days, both President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Iran’s foreign minister issued cautious, but explicit and positive, signals about possible direct contact with the US.

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North Korea launches a new round of threats against the West after the U.N. imposes tougher sanctions

By LUIS MIRANDA | THE REAL AGENDA | JANUARY 28, 2013

The government from North Korea promised “significant steps” towards strengthening its position in the world stage, reported the Asian news agency KCNA. The report suggested that the country’s leadership is poised to carry out a third nuclear test despite the opposition of the international community.

The statement comes after leaders of security and foreign affairs held a meeting that has hosted by North Korea’s Kim Jong-un. Kim expressed “determination to take substantial and important government measures”, in view of the “grave situation” on the Korean peninsula.

The statement does not specify when the meeting took place or the nature of the actions that will be carried out, but Pyongyang said last Thursday that its military will perform and conduct more nuclear tests, including one with missiles that will point towards its “sworn enemy, the United States.”

The determination from the Asian country came after a late Tuesday U.N. Security Council meeting where the organization passed a new resolution condemning North Korea for the December release of a long-range missile, which, according Pyongyang, was only intended to put a satellite into space.

The North Korean regime accused the United States of leading the United Nations’ movements against the North and of pushing unprecedented “new sanctions that impede Pyongyang’s efforts to develop its economy. “This has proven once again that the (North) must defend its sovereignty by itself. It has become clear that there can’t be a Korean peninsula that is nuclear free before the world is nuclear free,” said North Korean state television.

The Security Council of the UN punished North Korea with new sanctions while ordering the nation not to conduct new nuclear tests.

The warning from Kim Jong-un on Sunday came a day after Pyongyang said that it plans a new nuclear test in response to the latest sanctions. These new sanctions increased the number of North Korean entities in an international blacklist.

The North Korean regime has also warned it will continue to develop rockets to counter what it sees as U.S. hostility. Washington says Pyongyang threatens their safety and that of the region, and this is the reason for the existence of its nuclear weapons program. The two countries fought in the Korean War (1950-1953). The conflict ended with an armistice, which never became a final peace treaty. The United States has about 28,000 troops in South Korea at the moment as a pre-emptive step to curb the North’s appetite for conquest.

It is estimated that Pyongyang has enough plutonium ready to build four to eight nuclear bombs, according to the U.S. nuclear scientist Siegfried Hecker, who visited the nuclear facilities located northwest of Pyongyang in November 2010.

No one in the international community is sure whether North Korean scientists have been able to manufacture nuclear warheads small enough to put in a long-range ballistic missile. The nuclear tests and rocket launches are necessary to perfect the technique. South Korea says the North is all set logistically to conduct a nuclear test within days.

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Construção de assentamentos ilegais explodiu sob administração Netanyahu

POR LUIS MIRANDA | THE REAL AGENDA | JANEIRO 26, 2013

A organização Paz Agora publicou um relatório em que fala de um crescimento recorde na construção de assentamentos nos territórios palestinos durante o atual mandato.

A publicação desta informação coincide com o anúncio de novos concursos nos assentamentos pelo Ministério da Habitação israelense. Cerca de 200 unidades residenciais foram a concurso, 89 delas em Kiryat Arba, um assentamento perto de Hebron, no coração da Cisjordânia, como publicado pelo jornal Yedioth Ahronoth.

Anúncios de novos assentamentos, que a comunidade internacional considera ilegais, ocorrem em um contexto de crescente isolamento no mundo pelo primeiro-ministro de Israel

Um dia depois de esta informação veio à luz, também anunciou-se que o presidente Barack Obama está aumentando a sua desaprovação das políticas de Israel em relação à construção de assentamentos e da maneira em que Netanyahu dirige assuntos do país .

Obama acredita que tais ações estão levando o país para o abismo, principalmente devido à contínua expansão dos assentamentos. Há, no entanto, pouca probabilidade que os novos dados publicados pela Paz Agora tenham um impacto significativo sobre Israel, especialmente após a eleição, porque a relação com os palestinos é uma questão pouco importante agora.

O relatório do Paz Agora, que acompanha de perto a evolução dos assentamentos indica que o governo israelense aprovou 6.676 unidades habitacionais nos territórios palestinos em 2012.

Em 2011, Netanyahu aprovou 1607 e apenas algumas centenas em 2010, ano em que Netanyahu lançou uma moratória sob pressão dos EUA. Até 40% da nova construção que começou no ano passado ocorreu em colônias isoladas, localizadas ao leste do muro de segurança israelense.

“As políticas e ações de Netanyahu na Cisjordânia e em Jerusalém Oriental revelam uma clara intenção de usar os assentamentos para torpedear e tornar impossível a opção de ter dois estados – Israel e Palestina -” disse Paz Agora, em seu artigo.

Junto com Paz Agora, Washington e a União Europeia consideram que a expansão dos assentamentos ameaça a continuidade territorial e até mesmo a viabilidade de um futuro Estado palestino.

Mais de meio milhão de colonos israelenses vivem em assentamentos na Cisjordânia e em Jerusalém Oriental. As convocações para as negociações de paz entre palestinos e israelenses têm permanecido estáticas por pelo menos dois anos. Os palestinos se recusam a sentar à mesa de negociações até que Israel decida parar a construção de assentamentos.

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Construcción de asentamientos judíos ilegales explotó bajo administración Netanyahu

POR LUIS MIRANDA | THE REAL AGENDA | ENERO 26, 2013

La organización Paz Ahora ha publicado un informe en el que habla de un crecimiento récord en la construcción de asentamientos en los territorios palestinos durante la actual legislatura.

La publicación de esta información coincide con el anuncio de nuevas licitaciones en los asentamientos por parte del Ministerio de Vivienda israelí. Cerca de 200 unidades residenciales han salido a concurso, 89 de ellas en Kiryat Arba, un asentamiento cerca de Hebrón, en el corazón de la Ribera Occidental, según lo publicado por el diario Yedioth Ahronoth.

Los anuncios de nuevas colonias, que la comunidad internacional considera ilegales, se producen en un contexto de creciente aislamiento en el mundo por el Primer Ministro de Israel

Un día después que esta información saliera a la luz, también se ha hecho público que el presidente Barack Obama sigue aumentando su desaprobación de las políticas de Israel con respecto a la construcción de los asentamientos y la forma en que Netanyahu ha dirigido los asuntos del país.

Obama cree que tales acciones están llevando al país al abismo, debido principalmente a la continua expansión de los asentamientos. Hay, sin embargo, pocas posibilidades de que los nuevos datos publicados por Paz Ahora tengan un impacto significativo en Israel, especialmente después de las elecciones, ya que la relación con los palestinos es un asunto de poca importancia por ahora.

El informe de Paz Ahora, que sigue de cerca la evolución de los asentamientos, indica que el Ejecutivo israelí aprobó 6.676 unidades de vivienda en los territorios palestinos en 2012.

En 2011, Netanyahu aprobó 1607 y sólo unos pocos cientos en 2010, año en que Netanyahu lanzó una moratoria bajo presión de EE.UU.. Hasta el 40% de la nueva construcción que se inició el año pasado se produjo en las colonias aisladas, situadas al este del muro de seguridad israelí.

“Las políticas y acciones de Netanyahu en la Ribera Occidental y Jerusalén Oriental revelan una clara intención de utilizar los asentamientos para torpedear y hacer imposible la opción realista de los dos Estados – palestino e israelí -” dice Paz Ahora en su artículo.

Junto con Paz Ahora, Washington y la Unión Europea consideran que la expansión de los asentamientos pone en peligro la continuidad territorial e incluso la viabilidad de un futuro Estado palestino.

Más de medio millón de colonos israelíes viven en asentamientos en Cisjordania y Jerusalén del Este. Las convocatorias de las conversaciones de paz entre palestinos e israelíes se han mantenido estático durante al menos dos años. Los palestinos se niegan a sentarse a la mesa de negociaciones hasta que Israel decida detener la construcción de asentamientos.

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Attack on Sovereignty: The United States is the New World Order

By PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS | PCR.ORG | JANUARY 16, 2012

Those concerned about “The New World Order” speak as if the United States is coming under the control of an outside conspiratorial force. In fact, it is the US that is the New World Order. That is what the American unipolar world, about which China, Russia, and Iran complain, is all about.

Washington has demonstrated that it has no respect for its own laws and Constitution, much less any respect for international law and the law and sovereignty of other countries. All that counts is Washington’s will as the pursuit of hegemony moves Washington closer to becoming a world dictator.

The examples are so numerous someone should compile them into a book. During the Reagan administration the long established bank secrecy laws of Switzerland had to bend to Washington’s will. The Clinton administration attacked Serbia, murdered civilians and sent Serbia’s president to be tried as a war criminal for defending his country.

The US government engages in widespread spying on Europeans’ emails and telephone calls that is unrelated to terrorism. Julian Assange is confined to the Ecuadoran embassy in London, because Washington won’t permit the British government to honor his grant of political asylum. Washington refuses to comply with a writ of habeas corpus from a British count to turn over Yunus Rahmatullah whose detention a British Court of Appeals has ruled to be unlawful. Washington imposes sanctions on other countries and enforces them by cutting sovereign nations that do not comply out of the international payments system.

Last week the Obama regime warned the British government that it was a violation of US interests for the UK to pull out of the European Union or reduce its ties to the EU in any way.

In other words, the sovereignty of Great Britain is not a choice to be made by the British government or people. The decision is made by Washington in keeping with Washington’s interest.

The British are so accustomed to being Washington’s colony that deputy prime minister Nick Clegg and a group of UK business executives quickly lined up with Washington.

This leaves Great Britain in a quandary. The British economy, once a manufacturing powerhouse, has been reduced to the City of London, Britain’s equivalent to Wall Street. London, like New York, is a world financial center of which there are none in Europe. Without its financial status, there wouldn’t be much left of the UK.

It is because of the City’s financial importance that the UK, alone of the EU member states, kept the British pound as its currency and did not join the euro. Because the UK has its own currency and central bank, the UK was spared the sovereign debt crisis that has plagued other EU member states. The Bank of England, like the Federal Reserve in the US, was able to bail out its own banks, whereas other EU states sharing a common currency could not create money, and the European Central Bank is prohibited by its charter (at Germany’s insistence) from bailing out member states.

The quandary for the UK is that the solution to the sovereign debt crisis toward which the EU is moving is to strip the member governments of their fiscal sovereignty. For the individual countries, the spending, taxing and, thereby, deficit or surplus positions of the member countries’ budgets will be set by EU central authority. This would mean the end of national sovereignty for European countries.

For Britain to remain an EU member while retaining its own currency and central bank would mean special status for Great Britain. The UK would be the only member of the EU that remained a sovereign country. What are the chances that the UK will be permitted such exceptional status? Is this acceptable to Germany and France?

If the British are to fold themselves into Europe, they will have to give up their currency, central bank, their law, and their economic status as a world financial center and accept governance by the EU bureaucracy. The British will have to give up being somebody and become nobody.

It would, however, free the UK from being Washington’s puppet unless the EU itself is Washington’s puppet.

According to reports, sometime this year Scotland, a constituent part of the UK, is to vote on leaving the UK and becoming an independent country. How ironic that as the UK debates its dismemberment the country itself faces being merged into a multi-national state.