Category Archive 'The U.N.'

22.11.05

Iran Raises Stakes on U.N. Inspections

Iran, News Articles, The U.N.


Demand, and resist. Demand, and resist. Demand, and resist. That’s the U.S. vs. Syria, that’s the U.S. vs. North Korea, and that’s the U.S. vs. Iran (below, resisting.)

We demand, and they resist. It’s the most natural thing in the world, really. People resist change the most when its being forced upon them. And a nation which is in a “superior nation” posture, like the U.S., is likely to engage “inferior” or “misbehaving” nations as a parent might engage a child: with commands and demands, not requests or persuasion.

I’ll resist the temptation to continue that analogy further (for now), but with this story, consider how very predictable this brewing stand-off with Iran is and will be, if the U.S. maintains its current level of pressure and demand. While the U.S. may be “superior” to Iran according to some geopolitical formulas, that does not automatically add up to Iran having to follow its orders. The same goes for the U.N. Security Council, really. Certainly, those nations together have more geopolitical might than Iran does, by many measures– but do they have any more power than the U.S. does to actually make Iran change its ways, if Iran decides to get ultra-stubborn?


Iran Raises Stakes on U.N. Inspections

By ALI AKBAR DAREINI
Associated Press Writer

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Raising the stakes before a key vote by the U.N. nuclear agency, lawmakers approved a bill Sunday requiring the government to block inspections of atomic facilities if the agency refers Iran to the Security Council for possible sanctions.

The bill was favored by 183 of the 197 lawmakers present. The session was broadcast live on state-run radio four days before the International Atomic Energy Agency board considers referring Tehran to the Security Council for violating a nuclear arms control treaty. The council could impose sanctions.

When the bill becomes law, as expected, it likely will strengthen the government’s hand in resisting international pressure to permanently abandon uranium enrichment, a process that can produce fuel for either nuclear reactors or atomic bombs.

The United States accuses Iran of trying to build a nuclear weapon. Iran says its program is for generating electricity.

The bill now will go to the Guardian Council, a hard-line constitutional watchdog, for ratification. The council is expected to approve the measure.

“If Iran’s nuclear file is referred or reported to the U.N. Security Council, the government will be required to cancel all voluntary measures it has taken and implement all scientific, research and executive programs to enable the rights of the nation under the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty,” lawmaker Kazem Jalali quoted the bill as saying.

Canceling voluntary measures means Iran would stop allowing in-depth IAEA inspections of its nuclear facilities and would resume uranium enrichment. Iran has been allowing short-notice inspections of those facilities. Read the rest of this entry »

20.11.05

Major survey shows non-interventionism rising in U.S.

Iraq, News Articles, The U.N.


MSNBC has this story about the results of a major 4-year survey, held by the Pew Research Center for People and the Press. The last time the “America’s Place In the World” survey was held was in the summer before 9-11. The findings should be a relief for those who have been worried that the neoconservative foreign policy approach had been embraced by the people of America. It was said by many during the 2004 election campaign that the election was to represent whether Americans rejected or embraced President Bush’s more aggressive foreign policy, but for a lot of reasons, it was not that straightforward. This survey would seem to be a lot more instructive on that issue, at least as far as opinion polls go.

Two graphs from the Pew report:

U.S. opinion results on being most assertive nation
Since 1997, when the PNAC was founded, acceptance of their core belief has gone down among “influencers”

Graph: U.S. non-interventionism on the rise
Non-interventionist sentiment is up slightly from 10 years ago

We will do a more in-depth look at the full survey results and report soon, but for now, this article is fairly self-explanatory. If the Pew study can be considered to be a report card on how well the neocons have convinced America to accept its doctrine, they seem to have earned about a “D”.

Here’s the opening paragraph from the report itself:

Preoccupied with war abroad and growing problems at home, U.S. opinion leaders and the general public are taking a decidedly cautious view of America’s place in the world. Over the past four years, opinion leaders have become less supportive of the United States playing a “first among equals” role among the world’s leading nations. The goal of promoting democracy in other nations also has lost ground, and while most opinion leaders view President Bush’s calls for expanded democracy in the Middle East as a good idea, far fewer think it will actually succeed.

And here’s the MSNBC article:


Americans less enchanted as sole superpower – Politics – MSNBC.com
Major new poll shows sharp rise in belief U.S. should mind its own business

By Alex Johnson
MSNBC
Nov. 17, 2005

Americans’ appetite for world leadership has waned significantly since before the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, with more than two-fifths saying the United States should mind its own business, according to a major new survey released Thursday.

The survey, conducted by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press and the Council on Foreign Relations, found an isolationist streak that rivals sentiments that emerged in the mid-1970s in the aftermath of the Vietnam War.

Pew and the Council on Foreign Relations conduct the survey, titled “America and Its Place in the World,? every four years. The last survey was conducted in the summer of 2001, just before the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, providing a useful gauge of changes in Americans’ attitudes after the attacks and the subsequent wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

“September 11 is losing its power to shape views on foreign policy,? Lee Feinstein, deputy director of studies at the Council on Foreign Relations, said in a briefing for reporters. “Activism looks much less appealing.?
Read the rest of this entry »

12.11.05

Iran ♥’s Syria

Iran, News Articles, Syria, The U.N.


Syria has been getting pretty well roughed up on the international scene lately (justifiably or not). They’ve been hearing increasingly tough talk from the U.S., they stand accused of taking part in the assassination of the neighboring prime minister, of not cooperating with the investigation of that event, of supporting terrorists, and of allowing replacement insurgents across their border and into Iraq. And now they are the subject of a U.N. Security Council resolution, under Chapter 7 of the U.N. Charter (which allows it to be backed by force, if necessary). Also, the war in Iraq is at their border, and possibly within their borders, with reported casualties on their side.

But as Syria tries to weather the storms of international pressure (and occasional military incursions), they can know that they have a friend…in the form of Iran, and its recently elected president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Which is convenient, in a sense, since the U.S. has been linking the two countries as problem states for some time now. Iran has stated its support of Syria in the face of the pressure at the U.N., and against their “common enemy”, the U.S.

It just seems to be getting easier and easier for the U.S. to end up at war with the next door neighbors of its two current wars. For a while, it seemed like it had to be improbable, what with the U.S. troops being overstretched, and the war in Iraq becoming so unpopular. But regardless of those two things, troubling signs are lapping at the shore with unsettling regularity. Here’s a round of those signs:

Two on the presidents of the two countries connecting and Iran’s president positioning himself as a strong regional ally of Syria and its President Assad…
Read the rest of this entry »

10.11.05

Syria balks at U.N. Resolution, but promises cooperation

News Articles, Syria, The U.N.


Three stories on Syria’s reaction to the introduction and passage of U.N. Security Council Resolution 1636.

First, on the events at the U.N., two like-named stories from CNN…

Nov. 1: CNN – Syria rejects U.N. Resolution

Nov 2: CNN – Syria rejects U.N. Resolution

The first story is more in-depth, but the second one has some unique content, including the statement below from Condi Rice:

The resolution is under Chapter 7 of the U.N. Charter, which holds open the ultimate possibility of the Security Council considering the use of force with failure to comply.

Speaking in Monday’s meeting, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said the resolution “made it clear that failure to comply with these demands will lead to serious consequences from the international community.” She called the Chapter 7 resolution “the only way to compel the Syrians” to cooperate.

It’s worth noting that Syria had, at the request of the U.N.’s Hariri bombing probe leader Detlev Mehlis, created its own commission to investigate the bombing, with a presidential order to cooperate with the U.N. investigation. This occured days before the U.N. resolution.

That fact is noted in the last paragraph of the first, longer story, but it is not mentioned at all in the shorter story– the one with the Rice quote about “the only way to compel” Syria’s cooperation.

The first article has a lot more quotes of the actual debate surrounding the resolution.

Sorry if that was a confusing way of introducing the two articles. :-\

The third, which I’m archiving here in full, deals with Syria’s stated plans to comply with the resolution.

I’ll be tying all this Syria stuff together shortly…there’s just a lot to get caught up on there, news-wise. And it keeps developing.


Syria to allow investigation of officials

Syrian ambassador to London says Syria will let U.N. Investigators into Hariri’s killing question Syrian officials in Damascus on their own

-New Agencies

Syria will let U.N. Investigators trying to identify the killers of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri to question Syrian officials in Damascus on their own, the Syrian ambassador to London said.

U.N. Chief Investigator Detlev Mehlis has complained that Syrian security figures interviewed in Damascus last month appeared to give only prepared responses. The Syrians had insisted that other officials attend the interviews.

“There shouldn’t be a problem to meet with them as witnesses any time,” The ambassador, Sami Khiyami, told Reuters.

“Mehlis can meet them completely alone, even choose a place in Damascus with a U.N. Flag,” He said, adding that the investigators would be free to produce their witnesses at the interviews, while keeping their identities secret if necessary.

Mehlis, who pointed to Syrian and Lebanese involvement in the assassination in an interim report in October, also accused Damascus of failing to cooperate properly with his mission.

Khiyami said his understanding of the Security Council resolution was that Mehlis must get the approval of a council committee before naming anyone as suspects in Hariri’s killing.

Asked if Syrian President Bashar Assad would agree to be interviewed for the investigation, the ambassador said: “Let us not forget that he is the symbol of the country. Mehlis can ask to meet him, and I don’t think there should be a problem, but there is no other way to meet the president but to ask for an audience.”

Mehlis is expected soon to request interviews with Syrian officials, including members of Assad’s inner circle such as his his brother Maher Assad, a key military commander, and his brother-in-law and military intelligence chief Assef Shawkat.

Syrian investigating committee calls for informants

Also Friday, the Syrian judicial committee investigating the assassination of former Lebanese prime minister called Friday for the public’s help, urging anyone with information related to the February 14 bombing to come forth, Syria’s official news agency said.

The call came a day after the committee, headed by Syrian Prosecutor-General Ghada Murad, met for the first time since President Bashar Assad ordered its creation on October 29.

The decision to set up the committee came after U.N. Investigator Mehlis called on Syria to conduct its own probe into the assassination to work with the international investigation.
Read the rest of this entry »

09.11.05

U.N. Resolution on Syria and Hariri assassination investigation

News Articles, Research Materials, Syria, The U.N.


CNN has a summary of the main action points if the recent U.N. Securinty Council resolution on Syria. Generally it insists that Syria cooperate fully with the U.N. investigation team that is looking into the killing of Lebanon’s Prime Minister Rafik Hariri (and 20+ others, via car bombing) this past February.

Here’s more, courtesy of CNN/Reuters:

  • The resolution threatens to consider “if necessary” unspecified “further action” against Syria if Damascus does not cooperate fully with the U.N. commission that Mehlis heads.
  • Cooperation includes a demand that Syria detain officials or other individuals the U.N. commission suspects of “involvement in the planning, sponsoring, organizing or perpetrating of this terrorist act” and make them available for questioning.
  • The U.N. commission can determine the location and circumstances for interviewing Syrian officials.
  • The measure puts a ban on travel and a freeze on overseas assets of individuals designated as suspects by the commission or the Lebanese government in planning, organizing or carrying out the assassination. But such sanctions are subject to approval by Security Council members, any one of which can object to the submission of a name.
  • The Security Council will extend the mandate of the U.N. commission beyond December 15 if Lebanon requests it.
  • The measure invokes Chapter 7 of the U.N. Charter, which makes a council resolution mandatory for all U.N. members and lays the groundwork for punitive measures.

  • We’re storing a copy of a PDF version of the entire Resolution 1636 here at PNAC.info. It can also be found at its original location on the Security Council’s 2005 resolutions page.


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