Press TV
Greece, Sweden back Iran declaration
Thu Jun 3, 2010 16:46

Greece, Sweden back Iran declaration
(source: Press TV)
Thursday, June 3, 2010

Seeking to lighten the mood over Iran's nuclear program, Greece and Sweden have called for the implementation of the recent Tehran declaration on a potential nuclear fuel swap.

Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou and Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt called for the implementation of the Tehran nuclear declaration in a telephone conversation with Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki late Wednesday.

Iran, Turkey, and Brazil signed a declaration in the Iranian capital on May 17, committing Tehran to shipment of 1,200 kilograms (2,640 pounds) of its low-enriched uranium in Turkey in exchange for 120 kilograms of 20-percent enriched nuclear fuel for the Tehran Research Reactor that produces radioisotopes for cancer treatment.

In their telephone conversation, the three high ranking officials also discussed the recent Israeli attack on a Gaza-bound aid convoy and denounced the brutal assault against the Palestinian community.

The Israeli military attacked the Freedom Flotilla in international waters in the Mediterranean Sea early on May 31, killing at least 20 people, mostly Turkish nationals, on board and injuring about 50 others.

Israel also arrested nearly 700 activists from 42 different countries on board the Freedom Flotilla that were attempting to break the siege of Gaza in order to deliver humanitarian supplies to the long-suffering people of the coastal territory.

The official condemnations come as the pre-dawn attack by Israeli commandos on the Turkish-flagged Flotilla has sparked a torrent of international criticism against Tel Aviv.§ionid=351020104


The U.S.-led Drive to Isolate Iran Faces Uncertain Future
by Rostam Pourzal (source: CASMII)
Thursday, June 3, 2010

A day after Israeli commandos killed as many as a dozen multinational civilians aboard an aid flotilla bound for Gaza this week, Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad called for Muslim unity, which they said would accelerate the demise of the Jewish state. In a rare show of unanimity, Mir Hossein Mousavi, an icon of the reform movement that actively challenges Khamenei and Ahmadinejad, also issued a statement Wednesday demanding accountability in Palestine. By contrast, the Obama administration has expressed muffled regret for the carnage and called for a mere investigation.

The unsurprising reactions from Tehran and Washington mask how damaging Monday’s Israeli attack may be for the U.S.-led international order and by implication for Western efforts to isolate Iran. Last month, the pro-Israeli campaign to “contain” Iran faced an unprecedented hurdle when Turkey and Brazil, two non-permanent members of the U.N. Security Council, rose to Iran’s defense with a tension reduction plan that infuriated Washington. For influential U.S. rivals like China and Russia that have looked for ways to temper U.S. pressure to play along, the initiative was welcome relief.

Israeli and U.S. media and politicians are scrambling to minimize fallout from the bloody raid on the aid convoy. But it appears that, even with a Nobel peace prize winner in the White House, world public opinion is reaching a tipping point regarding U.S. and Israeli exceptionalism. The Security Council façade of “unity” often touted by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton faces its severest test since the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003.

On the other hand, the West will find new ammunition against Iran in an alarming report issued Tuesday by the International Atomic Energy Agency, whose inspectors monitor Iran’s nuclear program. According to the report, Iran’s nuclear fuel production has improved in both quantity and quality this year, raising fears that nuclear weapons could be within Iran’s reach.

Brazil has Latin America’s largest economy and Turkey is a member of the world’s premier military alliance, NATO. Iran’s own regional influence grew considerably after U.S.-led forces toppled Iran’s adversaries that ruled Afghanistan and Iraq – two of Iran’s immediate neighbors. Top U.S. officials – most notably Defense Secretary Robert Gates – have lamented publicly and in a memo leaked last April to The New York Times that Washington’s options for subduing Iran are limited.

Israel has invoked the right of self-defense in both this week’s assault and intermittent military attacks on Gaza, in which hundreds of Palestinians have died. Western media that have eagerly claimed in the past that Iran’s leadership is intent on wiping Israel off the map have failed to highlight evidence to the contrary in Khamenei’s and Ahmadinejad’s messages this week. The Supreme Leader called for Israeli prime minister and defense minister to be put on trial for their crimes, not for the destruction of their country. President Ahmadinejad warned if Israel is preparing for a major assault on Gaza itself, it “will be uprooted by a storm of collective rage from the region’s nations.” Neither is expected to favor spontaneous efforts underway in Iran to recruit volunteers to send to Gaza.

Most observers agree that the bold move by Turkey and Brazil could signal the beginning of a major shift in the international balance of power. A mere two weeks after their intervention, Israel’s raid on the Gaza aid flotilla, and Washington’s rejection of international calls to hold Israel accountable, are likely to complicate Western efforts to continue failed George W. Bush policies disguised as multilateralism against Iran.

Iran has no diplomatic relations with Israel or the U.S., whose leaders have for some time hinted Israel is ready for military strikes to destroy Iran’s nuclear infrastructure. The wild card in the equation is that the usual geopolitical alignments that have previously given Israel impunity are themselves being redrawn, possibly permanently, probably to Iran’s advantage. As if to underscore this, last month delegations from 189 states attending the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty review conference in New York singled out Israel, not Iran, for scorn in their concluding document.

Analysts across the political spectrum have named Iran’s emergence as a Middle East regional power the number one foreign policy challenge for the U.S. in recent years. Since 2007, the U.N. Security Council has been the scene of escalating tensions between Iran and the major powers that Washington calls “the international community,” and the price Washington has had to pay to hold the shaky coalition together has risen fast. Most recently, Washington had to offer unprecedented bilateral trade concessions to win tepid support from Russia and China for watered down new punitive sanctions against Iran.

But if the purpose is to finally overcome Iran’s resistance to ultimatums, it appears the West’s crusade may be doomed again. With world attention focused on Israeli brutality, it is unlikely that, even with the new report from the International Atomic Energy Agency, the Security Council will adopt a meaningful sanctions resolution against Iran this year.

  • Baradei supports the Iran-Turkey-Brazil nuclear deal, warns against sanctions and military strikes by Flynt Leverett and Hillary Mann Leverett (source: Race for Iran) Wednesday, June 2, 2010 Jornal... more
    • Greece, Sweden back Iran declaration — Press TV, Thu Jun 3 16:46
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