Obama Is Isolating The Third Horn Of Pakistan (Daniel 8:8)

Unclenching the Jaw

Newsweek Pakistan
 

Obama and Modi enjoying a cuppa, Jan. 25, New Delhi. Saul Loeb—AFP

Why is Pakistan so upset with Obama’s India visit?

Barack Obama’s headline-making India visit last month took Pakistan to an especially dark place. The U.S. president’s overfriendliness, said our zero-sum talk show hosts, meant harder times for Pakistan from an unholy Indo-American alliance. The national pity party appeared to also affect Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif who said that, “The U.S. can itself judge India’s seriousness in maintaining peace with Pakistan from the tension on the Working Boundary and excessive ceasefire violations” in disputed Kashmir. Sharif’s thrust: It is criminal for Obama to make nice with India ignoring its egregious trespasses in Kashmir.

The same talk show hosts thanked Allah for Gen. Raheel Sharif. At the same time that Obama was being regaled in New Delhi, Pakistan’s Army chief dashed off to Beijing, where General Sharif’s counterpart, Gen. Fan Changlong, declared China and Pakistan “strategic partners” and “iron brothers.” On Feb. 2, Islamabad gleefully announced that Chinese President Xi Jinping will attend Pakistan Day celebrations, being held after a seven-year gap, on March 23 as guest of honor.
Just what is the big deal about Obama’s India visit?

The talking heads who complained that Obama should have also come to Pakistan ignored his personal forewarning to Prime Minister Sharif in December that he would be attending India’s Republic Day celebrations and won’t be able to touch down in Pakistan. The pundits also ignored another event that would have made an Obama visit uncomfortable: the heaving, convulsing anti-Charlie Hebdo rallies where clerics have demanded Pakistan break off ties with France and, quite gratuitously, also with the U.S. Two clerics with international bounties on their head, Hafiz Saeed and Fazlur Rehman Khalil, have also demanded Pakistan quit the United Nations since Obama is supporting India’s bid for a permanent seat at the U.N. Security Council. Nonstate players like Saeed are powerful and have a long reach. In fact, this is one of the reasons that extraordinary security was mounted for Obama in India.

Pakistan was not mentioned in the joint Indo-U.S. statement, but there was significant reference to regional terrorism that applies to it: Obama and India’s Narendra Modi reaffirmed the “need for joint and concerted efforts to disrupt entities such as Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jaish-e-Mohammad, D-Company and the Haqqani network,” and agreed to continue ongoing efforts “through the Homeland Security dialogue as well as the next round of the U.S.-India Joint Working Group on Counterterrorism in late 2015” to develop “actionable elements of bilateral engagement.” Saeed, who founded Lashkar-e-Taiba, is wanted in India for the 2008 Mumbai attacks. And Indian Express explains that D-Company is a transnational crime syndicate run by Dawood Ibrahim, wanted in India for the 1993 Mumbai bombings. On Jan. 15, the U.S. State Department imposed sanctions on Pakistani businesses it said were owned or controlled by Ibrahim.

There’s no reason for this talk against Saeed, Ibrahim and the militant groups to upset post-Peshawar Pakistan. After the attack on Peshawar’s Army Public School, Pakistan’s political and military leaders have vowed to take on all terrorists and their sympathizers. Further, Ibrahim is “not in Pakistan,” and several of the militant organizations in question have been banned by the U.N. (with China not vetoing the move) and by Pakistan itself. Any denialist offense taken at India and the U.S.’s decision to “disrupt” these entities will be at odds with Pakistan’s approved National Action Plan against terrorism.

The world is looking differently at Pakistan. The new factor is the decision taken by Pakistan to confront regional and global terrorism fanning out from the safe havens in its tribal territory. Zarb-e-Azb, Pakistan’s ongoing military operation in the northwest, has greatly disabled local and foreign terrorists. The states that have expressed their open relief and approval of the operation include those Pakistan perceives as being at strategic cross-purposes with it. General Sharif’s warm receptions in the U.S., Afghanistan, the U.K., and China reveal this universal approval.

China in Your Hand

In The China-Pakistan Axis: Asia’s New Geopolitics, Andrew Small notes that the previous Army chief, Gen. Ashfaq Kayani, shied from cleaning up the terrorist safe havens in the northwest because of feared “blowback” in Pakistan’s plains. He also notes that this didn’t please the Chinese, who repeatedly emphasized the threat to them from ETIM, the Uighur terrorist organization located in North Waziristan. When Kayani made his farewell call to Beijing in October 2012, an SUV crashed through the crowds in Tiananmen Square killing two tourists and injuring 38 others. The culprits turned out to be Uighurs based close to the China-Pakistan border.

Kayani forestalled peace in the region during his six-year tenure and the Chinese expressed their unhappiness to then-president Asif Ali Zardari, who, despite several trips to China, couldn’t succeed in his diplomacy.

There have been signals from China that it takes a dim view of the permanent state of regional hostility emanating from Pakistan’s Kashmir-first approach to India. China, too, has simmering border disputes with India, but is also India’s major trading partner; their bilateral trade volume is set to reach $90 billion. China has also invested heavily in Afghanistan and doesn’t want Pakistan to play spoiler there. It wants to up regional trade: its offer of the north-south economic corridor across Pakistan parallels a similar offer of the Eastern Silk Road joining China with India, Bangladesh and Myanmar, opening up the strategic Bay of Bengal to trade.

There’s no reason for this talk against Hafiz Saeed, Dawood Ibrahim and the militant groups to upset post-Peshawar Pakistan.

Advantage India

Obama’s visit clinched the big civil nuclear deal with India. This will earn big money for U.S. companies so far blocked by the Indian refusal to let Washington track fissile material coming to India through the deal. Competing with China, which went into Gujarat with large investments during the time the U.S. was refusing to even issue a visa to Modi, the U.S. thought it could regain some lost ground even though India’s protective red-tape regimes might take some time to break despite Modi’s efforts. After a decade of high growth, the Indian economy is far ahead of Pakistan’s. India is in the same economic league with China in BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) and tempts an America trying to get out of a bad patch fighting its decade-long expensive war against terrorism in Afghanistan and Iraq. When Obama landed in India, Pakistan was engulfed in a near-total blackout following a “petrol crisis.”

Obama and Modi have also agreed on a “joint strategic vision” of “economic integration of the regions” stretching from South Asia to Central Asia. This reference should be familiar to Pakistan because it has already signed under SAARC various documents pertaining to “infrastructural connectivity” (read: transit highways) with India under Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. Pakistan has so far resisted the idea of allowing a transit facility to Indian goods exported to Afghanistan and Central Asia, but is in a bit of a cleft stick about a commitment given to Kabul earlier about the transit of Afghan exports to India through its territory. The recent warning from Kabul on the subject, so far unheeded, may jeopardize the new relationship built with President Ashraf Ghani by General Sharif. Pakistan needs to unclench its jaw on regional strategy since the Central Asian republics too are alienated from it for the same reason as India, China, and Iran.

Pakistan’s strategic thinking suffers from obsolescence on two points: international isolation and a negative construction of its geopolitical vision. Because of cross-border terrorism from its territory, the world is more preoccupied with fear of nuclear Pakistan’s future than on any fair consideration of its case-making against India. Pakistan’s geostrategic “advantage” has been misinterpreted by its strategists, ignoring the fact that this advantage depends on Pakistan’s allowing transit trade through its territory, not on blocking it. So far the “blocking” strategy has lessened its strategic bonus by forcing its neighbors to exploit alternative routes.

It is significant that Pakistan is allowing its territory to be used for some international trade because of China. But the national mind is still concentrated on possibilities of war with India. The greatest flaw in this nationalism is its isolationism and the lack of credence in its explanation of how and why India is determined to destroy Pakistan. Today, the residual strategic importance of Pakistan flows from its contiguity to Afghanistan. India and China are going to be the dominant presences in Afghanistan in the coming days, with India enjoying the status of a SAARC partner with a history of positive Indo-Afghan relations. It is time Pakistan broke out of its isolationist shell with global assistance.

General Sharif’s change of tack on terrorism has enhanced Pakistan’s leverage with Afghanistan and the U.S., with encouragement from China. This has given Pakistan some diplomatic advantage against India with regard to the current cross-border shelling along the Line of Control and Working Boundary. But Pakistan needs to move further for the consolidation of this advantage. It must normalize relations with India to be in a position to discuss the outstanding bilateral issues that all neighbors usually have to tackle.

Daniel Markey of Johns Hopkins notes that at present, “Modi has taken India out of serious bilateral negotiations with Pakistan. This missing piece of India’s strategy is profoundly dangerous, even counterproductive.” He urges Obama to point this out to India “not as a critic, but as a friend who recognizes the potential of peace through strength, Indian-style.”

Nothing happened from Obama’s visit to New Delhi that endangers Pakistan strategically. The world, including China, does not see deepening Indo-U.S. ties as some sort of reversal for Pakistan. As for the so-called “disturbed strategic balance” between Pakistan and India, this perception is simply illusory. It is wrong and ultimately self-damaging to pit Pakistan against India militarily or strategically. Pakistan has already suffered enough because of this national myth-making.

From our Feb. 7-14, 2015, issue.

History Always Repeats Itself: The Persian Horn Must Rise (Daniel 8:3)

Learning from history with Iran

t1larg.iran.1979.protest

The Iranian 1979 Revolution

Al-Monitor

It is said that fools learn from experience while the wise learn from history. The proverb remains silent on a third category: those who do not learn, even from their very own recent experiences. Ever since the revolution of 1979 that brought to power an Islamic republic in Iran, US administrations have chosen the wrong path. They should have tried to correct the mistakes they made in pre-revolution Iran in support of the Shah and helping him suppress all nationalist and democratic demands in this country, resulting in deep hatred and mistrust in Iranian people toward the United States. Instead, they thought of the new Iran as the most serious threat toward US interests in the region and mobilized everything in their power in order to annihilate this threat. In doing so, they even trespassed the Cold War boundaries and entered into a most bizarre alliance against Iran with a Soviet satellite state: Iraq under the socialist Baath Party. This alliance remains one of the strangest stories of the Cold War era. Until the last days of the Iraq-Iran War, both superpowers of the time — the United States and the USSR — continued flooding the Iraqi army with modern warfare, even though Saddam Hussein was ruling the most “undemocratic,” “oppressive” and “brutal” regimes in the world, and even though he used chemical weapons against both Iranian and Iraqi civilians in cold blood.

For this story to advance in an even more unbelievable manner, for the first time since 1945 the “big five” — as they call the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, or P5 — worked together, hand in hand, to draft and table a resolution prescribing a rather unfair cease-fire between Iran and Iraq, i.e., Resolution 598. Furthermore, upon US insistence, the Security Council would have adopted an agreed-upon draft resolution imposing sanctions against Iran, had Iran not accepted Resolution 598 with certain diplomatic and political maneuvers.

By then, the world powers thought of Iran as the source of insecurity in the region and tried to weaken Iran to the maximum level possible. The events that came afterward proved them to be deadly wrong. They were so obsessed with their miscalculated approach toward Iran that they were caught by surprise by the very demon they had unleashed themselves. Millions of lives were destroyed and cities ruined to redress this huge mistake and neutralize Saddam.

Many years after, determined to “contain” Iran, the P5 once again worked hand in hand and dictated several resolutions to other members of the Security Council. Sanctions were put in place to defuse the imaginary threat posed by a nuclear Iran to international peace and security. Once again, mistakes were made, one after another. Real and serious threats were ignored. Leaders of the “big five” and many others never tried to hide the joy they felt in the company of the leaders of countries in the region from which millions of dollars have continuously been injected into veins of extremist terrorist organizations across the region and the world. The world powers could not or perhaps did not want to see that a new demon much scarier than Saddam was being born. They could not see this, because they could not stop being obsessed with the stereotypical image of Iran they had created.

A decade ago, Iran and the West were on the verge of concluding a deal to provide assurances that Iran’s nuclear program would remain forever peaceful. By then, some did not think of it as a “good deal,” and they opted for “no deal.” They chose the path of pressure and sanctions to coerce Iran to do what they expected. I believe there is no need to restate the consequences. One thing is certain: The world and the region would have been a much better and safer place for everyone had that deal not been put to death by the West.

A popular comic character in Persian and Turkish folklore, Nasreddin, is said to joke with people and encourage them to go to a place in another part of the city that he claimed offered free food. Having repeated this lie over and over, Nasreddin himself thought that it might actually be the truth, so he went all the way to that place to verify a lie he had fabricated himself. Does this tale not sound familiar? Analyzing the behavior of some politicians in the United States, one is reminded of this Nasreddin tale. The United States knows, better than anyone else, that Iran’s nuclear program is not intended to be a military one. Even in the most radical realistic theories of international relations, it is not in the interest of Iran to pursue a military nuclear program, which will trigger a nuclear race in the region, endangering Iran’s conventional supremacy. Yet, US politicians have repeatedly claimed the contrary, in a way that they may have believed this to be the case.

As we are approaching the extended deadline set for the talks between Iran and the P5+1 (including Germany), the clock is ticking. The clock has always been ticking faster in the Middle East. Has the time not come yet to get over the prejudices and misperceptions, to embrace the realities, to discern between real threats and fabricated ones and to make the right decision? Iran today is a willing and able partner for those who genuinely seek a secure and stable region. For them to benefit from this reliable partner, all it takes is to start thinking rationally, leaving behind the mentality of pressure and coercion. In the words of Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, “Now, more than ever, is the time to join hands to work toward securing a better fate for all of us; a destiny based on the noble principles of mutual respect and noninterference.”

BEHZAD SABERI

Contributor, Iran Pulse

Behzad Saberi has a doctorate in international law from the department of law and political science at the University of Tehran. As a diplomat, he currently serves in the Permanent Mission of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the United Nations and other international organizations in Vienna.
Read more: http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2015/02/iran-sanctions-diplomacy-us-history-shah-iraq-west.html##ixzz3RUjQaEWYj

The Green Movement Not Babylon The Great Terrifies Khamenei (Daniel 8:3)

The Green Movement Still Terrifies Iran’s Leaders
Mousavi and Karroubi remain under house arrest for one simple reason: Khamenei is petrified of them.

Since February 2011 the leaders of Iran’s Green Movement, former Prime Minister Mir Hossein Mousavi and his wife Dr. Zahra Rahnavard, and former Speaker of the Majles [parliament] Mehdi Karroubi have lived under strict house arrest, ordered by Iran’s Supreme National Security Council (SNSC).

It is not completely clear why the trio were put under house arrest, and Iranian officials have given three different reasons at various times. The first is that the post-election demonstrations in 2009 were intended to topple the Iranian regime, and resulted in 35 deaths, 16 of whom were hardline Basij militia members.

Another reason given recently is that when the trio called for large-scale demonstrations in support of the Arab Spring in February 2011, they actually were seeking to foment similar revolutions in Iran.
Finally, it has been said that if the trio do not admit that they were wrong about the 2009 elections being rigged, they will continue to make these charges if they are released.

Pitting Political Factions against Each Other

Iran’s reformists and supporters of the Green Movement have been demanding the release of the trio. As a presidential candidate, for example, Hassan Rouhani promised the trio’s release as a way to court reformist voters.

In office, he has faced stiff opposition on this issue from Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, senior Revolutionary Guards, and the clerics and hardliners who support Khamenei. This should not be surprising. After all, from the beginning Khamenei labeled the Green Movement a “sedition” and claimed that only truly “insightful” officials could understand the depth of the threat that the movement posed against the regime.

Although President Rouhani Chairs the SNSC, the majority of its members are conservatives and hardliners who prevent him from releasing the three leaders. Indeed, as the national debate about the release of the trio gathered steam in recent months, the judiciary chief made it clear that if the three leaders are released from house arrest, they will be put on trial for “corruption on earth,” a charge that is punishable by death. Further impeding Rouhani on this front, all the resolutions approved by the SNSC must ultimately be approved by Khamenei.

A Conservative against Khamenei and Other Conservatives

One influential conservative pushing for the trio’s release is Ali Motahhari, a Majles deputy and the son of Ayatollah Morteza Motahhari (1918-1979), was one of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini’s most influential proteges, who was assassinated only 80 day after the victory of Iranian revolution in February 1979.

Despite being regarded as a conservative, Motahhari has been defending the rights of the critics and opposition members, and has been more effective in this regard than the entire minority reformist faction in the Majles.

In the middle of June 2014, Motahhari and several other deputies had a private session with Khamenei, in which they asked the Supreme Leader to release the Green Movement leadership. Khamenei reportedly responded to this request by stating:

“I have already spoken about this, and how we should not deviate from the path of our martyrs. Their [the trio’s] crime is grave, and if the Imam [Khomeini] were alive, he would have published them more severely. If they are put on trial, their sentence will be very severe which will not make you happy. We have been merciful to them.”

Similarly, in a meeting with Rouhani’s cabinet in August 2014, he reminded the ministers that: “The issue of sedition and the seditionist is highly important and one of [our] red lines, which you [the cabinet] should be committed to, as you promised the day you received vote of confidence [from the Majles].”

When Khamenei’s views became public, the hardliners went on the offensive. In a nationally-televised program last October, conservative cleric Ahmad Jannati, the powerful secretary-general of the Guardian Council, compared Mousavi and Karroubi with the Italian fascist leader Benito Mussolini. Like Mussolini, Jannai explained, the two men need no trial and must be executed, because “their crime was trying to topple the regime under the pretext of election cheating.” But, Jannati added, the state has been merciful to them by putting them under house arrest.

In November, cleric Ahmad Alam al-Hoda, a member of the Assembly of Experts and the Friday prayer Imam of Mashhad, also referred to Mousavi and Karroubi as Mohaareb – people who fight with God – and claimed that Mousavi wanted to bring people to the streets to confront the Supreme Leader and limit his power. He also said that Mousavi is responsible for the death of 23 people who had been killed in the demonstrations in June 2009, and thus must be put on trial. Like Jannati, al-Hoda argued that “putting them under house arrest is the greatest leniency.”

Despite the hardliners’ ceaseless attack on the trio, Motahhari has continued demanding their release from house arrest, which he argues is legal, or at least giving them a fair and open trial. In response, cleric Sadegh Larijani, the judiciary chief said at the end of December that the house arrest is legal because it has been approved by the SNSC, and that even if the SNSC releases the trio from house arrest, the judiciary will put them on trial. He added that the trio do not care about their trials, and only wish to use them for “propaganda.”

“There have been explicit statements,” Larijani said, “by some seditionists that they do not care about the outcome of the trials, and that they only want to use them to state their views. I must point out that a trial is not the place to speak with the people and complain about things, rather they must defend themselves, as they face many charges.”

In an open letter on January 3, Motahhari responded to Larijani, stating that, first, the SNSC is not an arm of the judiciary to issue such orders and put people under house arrest; second, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (who chaired the SNSC at the time) did not even sign the order for the house arrest, and in fact pleaded twice for their release; and third, any accused has the right to speak to the people about what he has been charged with, particularly the trio who have not had their chance for four years, while they have been accused of many crimes.

Two days later the judiciary denied that Ahmadinejad had written two letters pleading for the release of the three leaders. It also repeated the claim that what the SNSC had done was legal because, “the house arrest of the sedition leaders is a defensive act to protect the nation,” and emphasized that if and when the trio are put on trial, it will be closed to the public because “the judiciary’s mission is to hold trials, not provide a tribunal for the accused to speak to the people.”

The next day Motahhari reminded Larijani that he had told the Majles about Ahmadinejad’s letters and that his statements had been recorded. But, he delivered his main response in a session of the Majles on January 10 when he declared that according to Islamic teachings, so long as the opposition members are not armed [and do not resort to violence], they are free and their rights must be protected and respected. He also said that the house arrest has been a more severe punishment than imprisonment for the three leaders. “Even Prophet Muhammad cannot issue a verdict without hearing what the accused have to say, let alone the SNSC,” Motahhari declared, adding that the three leaders must either be freed, or be put on trial together with Ahmadinejad.

The speech angered the hardliners, who interrupted his speech. Motahhari claimed that that the attack on him had been planned and encouraged by the Deputy Speaker of the Majles, Hassan Aboutorabi. Even after the Majles restarted its session behind closed doors, the hardliners did not allow Motahhari to finish his speech.

Rouhani’s Approach to Ending the House Arrest

Behind the scenes Rouhani has tried to resolve the issue, but publicly he has spoken only in general terms. He has, for example, said repeatedly that the nation must forget the past, personal enmities must be set aside, and that the entire nation must work together in order to move the country forward. But, each time he has stated these things, it has provoked a harsh reaction from the hardliners.

In a meeting with Khamenei on the occasion of the anniversary of the birth of Prophet Muhammad on January 8, Rouhani echoed Motahhari in saying that the Prophet was “the prophet of mercy, not revenge.” He added:

“The Prophet’s moral masterpiece was taking Mecca over and issuing a general clemency. The Prophet did not even punish the murderer of Hamza, his beloved uncle. Our path, as the Supreme Leader has said repeatedly, must be attracting the maximum number of people, and repealing the minimum.”

Thus, Rouhani was telling Khamenei that just as the Prophet forgave his enemies, he too should do the same with the Green Movement leaders  Not surprisingly, the conservatives responded immediately in arguing that Hamza’s murderer was a slave who had only carried out his master’s order. In addition, they pointed out that the slave apologized to the Prophet, but Mousavi and Karroubi have refused to apologize to Khamenei. Moreover, the conservatives contended, that slave had converted to Islam while Mousavi and Karroubi are still “imperialism’s puppets.”

The Unsolved Problem of Khamenei and the Hardliners

The irony of this is that, while the hardliners have repeatedly declared that the Green Movement is dead, they have actually kept it alive through their own unbelievable lies and slanders against its three leaders.

Indeed, Khamenei and his supporters are concerned about the social support of the Green Movement. That is why they fear that the trio will restart the Green Movement if they are freed, and consequently demand that they apologize and repent before being released.

Their concern about the Green Movement’s appeal is also evident from the way Khamenei and his hardliner supporters have been warning about a new “sedition” taking hold during the Majles and Assembly of Experts elections in March 2016. Undoubtedly, they intend to use the “sedition” boogeyman as an excuse to prevent the opposition from winning the elections.

They are right to be worried as the the Iranian people have rejected Khamenei’s justification for cracking down on the Green Movement and putting its leaders under house arrest. Abbas-Ali Kadkhodaei, former Spokesman for the Guardian Council recently said that “the people must become convinced” of the trio’s political crimes, hence admitting that after four years of relentless attacks on the trio, people still reject the hardliners’ justifications for arresting the Green Movement leadership. If they’ve been unsuccessful at this thus far, there is little reason to expect this to change.

In sum, Khamenei and the hardliners made a strategic mistake by putting the Green Movement leadership under house arrest, but they remain unwilling to correct this error. Freeing the leaders of the Green Movement and other political prisoners is in Iran’s national interests and will also mend Iran’s image in the international arena. Khamenei still does not believe that democracy, respect for human rights and freedom strengthen a political system and state, because he is terrified of their consequences. Democracy will transform him, an unelected ruler for life, to one that must be elected by the people for a limited time, and must take responsibility for his actions. This is what terrifies him.

Akbar Ganji is an Iranian journalist and dissident. He was imprisoned in Tehran from 2000 to 2006, and his writings are currently banned in Iran. This article was translated from the Farsi by Ali N. Babaei.

Putin Will END Up Eating His Words (Daniel 7:7)

Putin says Iran has right to enrich uranium
putin and khamenei
By staff and agency of Tehran Times
On Line: 09 February 2015 19:02
In Print: Tuesday 10 February 2015

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said that Iran has the right to have peaceful nuclear activity including uranium enrichment.

He made the remarks in an interview with Al-Ahram daily published on Monday.

“Our position is based on a belief that Iran has a right to peaceful nuclear activity including uranium enrichment, naturally under control of the IAEA.” he stated.

Commenting on measures taken by Russia to settle the problem over the Iranian nuclear program, Putin said, “I can say with no exaggeration that Russia makes a significant contribution to the settlement of the situation around the Iranian nuclear program.”

“It was not an easy task to convince our partners from the P5+1 to agree with this approach. At first, we continuously asked all the parties involved to sit down at the negotiating table and start a serious discussion of the ways to resolve this problem. We tried to convince them that there was no alternative to the political and diplomatic settlement. Then, we proposed a conceptual framework to advance along this way – the principles of the stage-by-stage movement and reciprocity. And such an approach was supported by all the participants in the process,” the Russian leader stated.

He went on to say, “The negotiations are well under way now. Substantial progress has been made. However, we have not managed yet to produce a final comprehensive solution either regarding the Iranian nuclear program itself or the prospects of lifting the sanctions.”

“We expect the efforts in this field to be continued. The crucial point is that nobody should try to derive unilateral benefit from the situation or to bargain out more than what is needed for a balanced and just resolution of this complicated issue,” Putin stated.

Quote of the day:

“I can say with no exaggeration that Russia makes a significant contribution to the settlement of the situation around the Iranian nuclear program.”

Karma Is About To Teach Babylon A Very Hard Lesson (Rev 16)

U.S. Judge Dismisses Marshall Islands’ Nuclear Zero Lawsuit

The Bikini Atoll Hydrogen Bomb

The Bikini Atoll Hydrogen Bomb

February 9, 2015

February 6, 2015 – On Tuesday, February 3, 2015, U.S. Federal Court Judge Jeffrey White dismissed the U.S. Nuclear Zero Lawsuit.

The Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) filed the Nuclear Zero Lawsuits against all nine nuclear-armed nations in the International Court of Justice (ICJ) and separately against the United States in U.S. Federal District Court. The lawsuits call upon these nations to fulfill their legal obligations under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and customary international law to negotiate in good faith to end the nuclear arms race and for total nuclear disarmament.

Judge White granted the U.S. government’s motion to dismiss the case on the grounds that the RMI, although a party to the NPT, lacked standing to bring the case. White also ruled that the lawsuit is barred by the political question doctrine.

The Marshall Islands, a former U.S. territory in the northern Pacific, was the ground zero for 67 U.S. nuclear tests between 1946 and 1958 and suffered the equivalent of 1.6 Hiroshima bombs daily for 12 years. The lawsuit, which the RMI plans to appeal, does not seek compensation, but rather, a court order requiring the U.S. to enter negotiations for nuclear disarmament.

Laurie Ashton, counsel for the RMI, respectfully expressed disappointment with the Court’s ruling, saying, “The next step is an appeal of the Court’s Order to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. As the RMI continues to pursue legal remedies to enforce the most important clause of the NPT, we implore the U.S. to honor its binding Article VI obligations, and call for and pursue the negotiations that have never begun—namely negotiations in good faith relating to cessation of the nuclear arms race and nuclear disarmament.”

David Krieger, President of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation and consultant to the RMI noted, “The Court’s decision on this is akin to turning the matter over to the foxes to guard the nuclear henhouse. This will cause many national leaders to reconsider the value of entering into treaties with the U.S.

The RMI remains engaged in the three lawsuits for which there is compulsory jurisdiction at the ICJ – those against India, Pakistan and the UK. To learn more about the Nuclear Zero lawsuits, go to nuclearzero.org.