Omid Memarian-UNITED NATIONS, Jul 31 (IPS) - As the U.N. Security Council debated the wording of a resolution extending the peacekeeping force in Darfur, Sudan for another year, a coalition of human rights groups and NGOs criticised the world body and the international community for failing to back up the mission with basic equipment.
Wrangling over the resolution continued Thursday as diplomats considered delaying a potential indictment of Sudanese President Omar Hassan Ahmad Al-Bashir by The Hague-based International Criminal Court (ICC), whose chief prosecutor earlier this month presented evidence of his role in war crimes and genocide in Darfur. Read more
November 30, 2008 1 Comment
UNITED NATIONS, Aug 13 (IPS) - While the United States has repeatedly accused Iran of providing lethal weapons to Shiite militias, last week, U.S. officials once again failed to provide solid evidence for this charge, raising questions about the actual level of Iran’s meddling in Iraq.
Last Wednesday, Alejandro Daniel Wolff, deputy permanent U.S. representative to the U.N., accused Tehran of funnelling lethal weapons into Iraq. “During the recent operations in Basra, Sadr city, and Maysan, Iraqi troops uncovered convincing evidence that Iranian lethal aid has continued to flow into Iraq,” he said. Read more
November 30, 2008 Leave a Comment
Omid Memarian -UNITED NATIONS, Aug 7 (IPS) - Though human rights and environmental issues — such as censorship and pollution in Beijing — have been the two major focuses of criticism levelled against the Chinese government during the lead up to the Olympic games, Achim Steiner, the Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), is expected to address some of Beijing’s environmental successes during the opening ceremonies.
In continuing support for the Greening of the Games initiative, Steiner will take part in the Olympic Torch Relay before attending the opening ceremony. He will also meet with Zhou Shengxian, China’s environment minister, and Wan Gang, the minister for science and technology. Read more
November 30, 2008 4 Comments
Interview with Minky Worden, media director of Human Rights Watch- NEW YORK, Jul 7 (IPS) - Barely a month before the opening ceremony of the 29th Olympics in China, it remains uncertain whether the Chinese government will respect basic human rights and press freedom during the Games.
To secure the 2008 Summer Games, Beijing committed to major reforms, such as allowing international reporters unfettered access throughout the country. In July 2001, in his final presentation to win the bid for the Olympic Games at the Moscow vote, Beijing Mayor and Bidding Committee President Liu Qi boasted that the Beijing Games would “benefit the further development of our human rights cause”.
In an interview with IPS correspondent Omid Memarian, Minky Worden, the editor of “China’s Great Leap: The Beijing Games and Olympian Human Rights Challenges” (Seven Stories Press) and media director at the New York-based Human Rights Watch, pointed out that although most of the world thinks of the Olympics in the context of athletics, inside China, the Games serve a principally political role for the government: to boost its legitimacy and standing at home and abroad. Read more
November 30, 2008 6 Comments
NEW YORK, Aug 1 (IPS) - Since the Islamic Revolution in 1979, thousands of intellectuals, activists and poets have left Iran, many fleeing to Europe and the United States. A new book brings together the work of 18 Iranian poets from this diaspora to share their experiences with a wider audience.
“Belonging: New Poetry by Iranians Around the World” (North Atlantic Books, August 2008) is a bilingual (Persian/English) anthology, edited and translated by Niloufar Talebi, who is passionate about making contemporary Iranian voices heard in translation. Read more
November 30, 2008 Leave a Comment
Sen. McCain’s risky decision to run his presidential campaign based on character assassination, spreading fear and hatred and even questioning the patriotism of members of Congress, is the best indication that, come November, the Americans’ decisions will be based more on the candidates’ characters rather than real issues.
For some reason, whether it is because he is losing control over his campaign, has weak stance in the Republican Party or has an obsessive desire to go the While House, McCain’s behavior over the past few months has displayed an alarming inconsistency in his character, which is at odds with his previous alleged values and principles. Read more
November 26, 2008 1 Comment
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was the first leader from the “axis of evil club”, and its affiliates, to congratulate Barack Hussein Obama on his November 4th victory. Ahmadinejad’s unprecedented congratulation letter might be interpreted as an olive branch from Tehran.
But, in essence, it is the recognition of this new image of the United States, which has strong potential to restore the American reputation that was injured in Muslim countries during the two wars against Afghanistan and Iraq, the forefront of war against terrorism. It is a significant symbolic step that, in a long run, can turn to a dramatic shift in the U.S. foreign policy toward its major issues in the region. Read more
November 26, 2008 Leave a Comment
While Americans might have been satisfied when Iraq’s Cabinet approved a proposed security agreement on Sunday, Iranian leaders will be thrilled with the consolidation of the Iraqi Shiite government in Baghdad.
Next door to Iraq, Iranians, who had opposed an agreement to withdraw American forces from Iraq by the end of 2011, now are assured that Iraq will not be used to attack them. Even though Iraq is not a Shiite theocracy like Iran, the Iraqi Cabinet’s decision was significantly affected when Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, Iraq’s most influential Shiite cleric, signed off on the deal. Read more
November 25, 2008 2 Comments
Omid Memarian- While Americans might have been satisfied when Iraq’s Cabinet approved a proposed security agreement on Sunday, Iranian leaders will be thrilled with the consolidation of the Iraqi Shiite government in Baghdad.
Next door to Iraq, Iranians, who had opposed an agreement to withdraw American forces from Iraq by the end of 2011, now are assured that Iraq will not be used to attack them. Even though Iraq is not a Shiite theocracy like Iran, the Iraqi Cabinet’s decision was significantly affected when Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, Iraq’s most influential Shiite cleric, signed off on the deal.
The approval of this security pact, coupled with President-elect Barack Obama’s “no more war” rhetoric and the promise of direct talks and tough negotiations, will pressure Iranian leaders to respond responsibly to the international community’s concerns about Iran’s nuclear ambitions and its support of Hezbollah and Hamas. Read more
November 19, 2008 1 Comment