Monthly Archives: January 2012


Ahmadinejad accuses world powers of meddling in region as UN inspectors arrive to check military aspects of nuclear program.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Sunday that western powers had implanted the Israeli regime into the Middle East as part of a scheme to gain control of the region and its resources.

“Why did they install the Zionist regime (Israel)? To gain control over oil, as well as the popular and revolutionary uprisings in the Middle East,” Iranian news agency Press TV quoted Ahmadinejad as saying during a speech at a youth conference in Tehran.

“It is clear that this was a historical scheme,” he added.

Ahmadinejad’s comments came as UN nuclear inspectors arrived in Iran on a visit aimed at shedding light on suspected military aspects of Tehran’s atomic work.

Iran said on Sunday it was very optimistic over the visit, but warned it would curb cooperation if the experts became a “tool” for outside powers.

An International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) team began a three-day visit on Sunday to try to advance efforts to resolve a row about nuclear work which Iran says is for making electricity but the West suspects is aimed at seeking a nuclear weapon.

Tensions with the West rose this month when Washington and the European Union imposed the toughest sanctions yet in a drive to force Tehran to provide more information on its nuclear program. The measures take direct aim at the ability of OPEC’s second biggest oil exporter to sell its crude.

Also Sunday, the Mehr news agency quoted Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi as saying during a trip to Ethiopia: “We are very optimistic about the outcome of the IAEA delegation’s visit to Iran … Their questions will be answered during this visit. We have nothing to hide and Iran has no clandestine (nuclear) activities.”

Iran’s parliament speaker, Ali Larijani, warned the IAEA team on Sunday to carry out a “logical, professional and technical” job or suffer the consequences.

“This visit is a test for the IAEA. The route for further cooperation will be open if the team carries out its duties professionally,” he said.

“Otherwise, if the IAEA turns into a tool (for major powers to pressure Iran), then Iran will have no choice but to consider a new framework in its ties with the agency.”

‘EU oil embargo could cause crude prices to skyrocket to $150 a barrel’

The country’s deputy oil minister was quoted as saying by the official IRNA news agency on Sunday that oil prices could rise as high as $150 a barrel because of the European Union ban on imports of Iranian crude.

“Although a precise prediction cannot be made on oil prices, it seems we will witness a $120 to $150 oil price per barrel in future,” said Iran’s Deputy Oil Ministry Ahmad Qalebani.

Benchmark Brent crude prices rose to around $111.50 a barrel on Friday on expectations Iran’s parliament will vote to halt exports to the European Union as early as next week in retaliation for EU plans to stop all Iranian crude imports by July.

Escalating tensions between Iran and Western allies over Tehran’s nuclear program, including Iranian threats to close the vital Straits of Hormuz, have helped push up Brent crude prices by about $8 a barrel since mid December.

But analysts say the world is likely to have more oil this summer thanks to additional output from Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Libya that will more than make up for any lost from Iran after the EU’s ban is imposed on July 1 – and this is likely to be reflected in oil prices.

Iran’s parliament is due to debate a bill this week that would cut off oil supplies to the EU in a matter of days, in response to a decision last Monday by the 27 EU member states to stop importing crude from Iran as of July.


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Brigadier General Ahmad Reza Pourdasta says America and its allies are ‘fearful of the Iranian forces and nation’; U.S. Defense Secretary warns that Iran only a year away from producing a nuclear bomb.


The Iranian army’s ground force commander said Monday that the United States and its allies would not dare launch an attack on the Islamic Republic, Iran’s state-run Press TV reported.

“They are fearful of the Iranian forces and nation,” Press TV quoted Brigadier General Ahmad Reza Pourdastan as saying.

Pourdastan said that despite the fact that the U.S. dispatched the USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier to the Persian Gulf, and despite the advanced weaponry in America’s possession, fears of an Iranian retaliation would deter any kind of attack by the U.S.

The U.S. and European nations have recently increased pressure on Iran by imposing a wide-reaching oil embargo over Tehran’s disputed nuclear program.

Earlier Monday, U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta warned that Iran is only one year away from producing a nuclear weapon, saying that the U.S. “will take whatever steps necessary” to stop it.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said earlier this month that Iran would stand up to growing international pressure over its nuclear program and threatened to “respond to attacks.”

Iran has retaliated to the growing pressure with threats to block oil transport through the Strait of Hormuz, which carries a large part of Middle East oil to the rest of the world.


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Sheldon’s Money Talks: Newt Gingrich has toed an ultra-right wing line on Israel. Could that be because Sheldon Adelson and his wife have donated $10 million to a pro-Gingrich Super PAC?

Adelson Millions Ensure Gingrich Steers to Far Right on Israel
It is safe to say that without multi-billionaire Sheldon Adelson’s help the  chances of Newt Gingrich becoming the Republican nominee for president would be  zero — and consequently the race itself, going into Florida at the moment, would  not be the competitive, drag-out fight it has become. Adelson, the hotel and  casino magnate, has kept Gingrich alive, first through an infusion of $5 million  into a super PAC, which allowed the former speaker to defend himself against  attacks by Mitt Romney and led to Gingrich’s thumping victory in South Carolina.  And now we know that Adelson’s wife, Miriam, has committed another $5 million to  the cause of Newt.

One of Adelson’s passions — and a reason for his desire to play such a big  role in American politics — is undoubtedly Israel. And his positions are  unambiguously right-wing and hawkish to the extreme. When it comes to the  Palestinians, there is no one to be trusted. The New Yorker quotes him as  calling Salam Fayyad, the Palestinian prime minister widely respected in the  West, as being one of the “terrorists” running the Palestinian Authoriy. Even  AIPAC was not far enough to the right for him. After being a diehard supporter — funding a new building in Washington, D.C. — he split with the group in 2007  when it decided to support a congressional initiative, backed by the Israelis,  to increase economic aid to the Palestinians. “I don’t continue to support  organizations that help friends committing suicide just because they want to  jump,” he said at the time by way of explanation. He had the same reaction when  Ehud Olmert, whom Adelson had once befriended, came to the conclusion that he  had to pursue negotiations with the Palestinian leadership.

In short, Adelson does not believe in the two-state solution. As he told The  Jewish Week last year, “The two-state solution is a stepping stone for the  destruction of Israel and the Jewish people.”

What does it mean to have someone with these views have such an outsized  influence on a candidate and the race he is in? Well, for Gingrich it seems this  has translated into him tripping over himself to prove his pro-Israel bona  fides, to the point where he was willing to say, this past December in an  interview with the Jewish Channel, that the Palestinians were an “invented” people who “had the chance to go many places.’’ No Palestinians, no need to  negotiate a state. And Adelson clearly showed his satisfaction with Gingrich’s  line. As he told a group of Birthright participants at a Hanukkah party a few  weeks later, “Read the history of those who call themselves Palestinians, and  you will hear why Gingrich said recently that the Palestinians are an invented  people.”

As Wayne Barrett recently reported in The Daily Beast, there has been a  marked turn in Gingrich’s positions on Israel since his political life began  depending on Adelson. Not that long ago, in a 2005 Middle East Quarterly  article, Gingrich urged the “Palestinian diaspora” to invest in “their ancestral  lands,” and even proposed that Congress “establish a program of economic aid for  the Palestinians to match the aid the U.S. government provides Israel.”

You will not hear anything like this from Gingrich again any time soon.

But the greater concern is that because of his influence on Gingrich, Adelson  has turned the Republican contest into a competition of extreme rhetoric, in  which there is no room for compromise or diplomacy, and the only answer to any  international problem is unmitigated toughness. No one wants to be outflanked by  the right when it comes to foreign policy (no one, I should say, besides Ron  Paul) and so Gingrich’s apparent parroting of Adelson’s hardline attitudes about  Israel — and, I should add, Iran — means that the whole tone of the race is  affected.

So in a recent debate in Florida, Gingrich advocated a covert war with Cuba  to deal with the problem of Fidel Castro. Romney, at a number of the now  mind-numbingly frequent candidate gatherings, answered that he would not be  negotiating with the Taliban. When asked by Brian Williams, “Governor, how do  you end the war in Afghanistan without talking to the Taliban?” Romney simply  said, “By beating them.” Isn’t this what we’ve been trying to do without much  success for a decade now?

And then there is Iran. The only tool in the toolbox for these candidates is  belligerence. Rick Santorum might present the most extreme example, advocating  preemptive action, telling David Gregory on Meet the Press recently that he  would demand the Iranians open up their nuclear facilities, “or we will degrade  those facilities through air strikes — and make it very public that we are doing  that.” This is, of course, one of the implicit last options in the president’s  repeated threat that “all options are on the table.” But for Santorum there  seems to be no other method but the threat itself, no carrots, no sticks,  nothing besides a bomb. Nor do Romney or Gingrich have any other ideas. They  don’t talk of a preemptive strike, but they speak about war as an inevitability.  Romney says that “if you elect Mitt Romney, Iran will not have a nuclear  weapon,” and calls for regime change as well as “covert and overt” actions.  Gingrich says he would “break the Iranian regime” within a year by “cutting off  the gasoline supply to Iran and then, frankly, sabotaging the only refinery they  have.”

Regardless of what you believe needs to be done to avoid a nuclear Iran — and  something surely has to be done — this is just toughness for toughness sake,  without much thought to its implications for the United States and the world or  the realities of actual leadership.

Can one man’s predilections and attitudes — his worldview — have an effect on  an entire election? If he’s willing to spend enough money, the answer is,  apparently, yes.


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Speaking at weekly cabinet meeting, Prime Minister blames latest negotiations stall on Palestinians’ unwillingness to discuss Israel’s security demands.


Peace prospects with the Palestinians are looking poor, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Sunday after exploratory talks aimed at relaunching negotiations ended in deadlock.

“As things stand now, according to what happened over the past few days – when the Palestinians refused even to discuss Israel’s security needs with us – the signs are not particularly good,” he told his cabinet in public remarks.

Netanyahu’s comments came after Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas told reporters in Ramallah on Saturday that Israel was to blame for the failure of the recent round of talks to relaunch direct talks.

Abbas claimed that during talks mediated by Jordan in recent weeks, Israel had presented an unclear position on security matters and on the question of borders between Israel and a future Palestinian state. Palestinian sources said Israel’s border proposal would have prevented the establishment a Palestinian state.

Palestinian officials said last week an Israeli negotiator’s verbal presentation on Wednesday of ideas for borders and security arrangements of a future Palestinian state was a non-starter, envisaging a fenced-off territory of cantons that would preserve most Jewish settlements.

Netanyahu said he still hoped the Palestinians would “come to their senses and continue the talks so that we can move on to real negotiations.”

Israeli and Palestinian negotiators held five rounds of exploratory talks in Jordan, part of a push by international mediators to revive negotiations suspended in 2010 in a dispute over Jewish settlement building in the occupied West Bank.

A Palestinian source said no more meetings were scheduled. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has said he wants to consult Arab League states on the next move.

An Israeli official said Israel’s approach to territorial compromise in the West Bank, captured in the 1967 Middle East war, includes the principle that “most Israelis will be under Israeli sovereignty and obviously most Palestinians will be under Palestinian sovereignty.”

The official said Netanyahu had acknowledged, in a speech to the U.S. Congress last May, that not all Jewish settlements “will be on our side of the border” with a future Palestinian state.

The Palestinians want a state in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip with East Jerusalem as its capital. They say Israeli settlements could deny them a viable and contiguous country.

Last week, a bitter confrontation broke out between the head of the Israeli negotiating team Isaac Molho and chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat during their meeting In Jordan on Saturday, after Erekat refused to let a senior Israeli officer present the Israeli position on security arrangements.

An Israeli official familiar with the content of the talks said that, by all accounts, Erekat and Molcho exchanged harsh words in front of their stunned Jordanian hosts, with the argument reaching its peak when Prime Minister Netanyahu’s envoy asked to present Israel’s position on security arrangements.


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American billionaire, close ally of Netanyahu, and main donor to Gingrich’s campaign has been under federal investigation for his casino empire’s alleged involvement in a corruption scandal in China, ABC reports.


Another one of those ‘CAN YOU JUST FREAKING IMAGINE’ moments that are becoming all too familiar these days…

Oh, if only it were a MUSLIM, donating not 10 MILLION but A MERE 10,000, and UNDER INVESTIGATION TO BOOT WE— WOULD NOT HEAR THE END OF IT.

However, a couple of Jews, and the response is as deafening as the silence of the lambs. 


That is merely an old canard and a conspiracy theory drummed up in the minds of Anti-Semites, Jew haters and neo-nazis



The casino company owned by American billionaire Sheldon Adelson, a close ally of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, has been under federal investigation for the last year for alleged bribery of foreign officials, ABC News reported over the weekend.

Adelson, the main donor to U.S. presidential candidate Newt Gingrich and the owner of the Israeli daily Israel Hayom, holds 49% of the Sands casino company, and according to reports, is directly involved in the company’s operations. The casino that the company set up in the Chinese island of Macau turned it into the largest gambling company in the world.

Last year, the Department of Justice and the Securities Exchange Commission launched an investigation into Adelson’s alleged bribery of Chinese officials.

According to ABC, Sands casinos was allegedly cooperating with Chinese organized crime groups, known as triads, who allegedly organized high stakes gambling and sex junkets.

Chinese press reported at the time that more than 100 prostitues were found in the casino, during a raid by local authorities. A former manager at the casino, Steven C. Jacobs, sued Sands, claiming that Adelson told him to remain silent regarding investigation taking place against the company.

Adelson reportedly instructed Jacobs to refrain from reporting to the corporate board of Sands about the company’s ties to the local crime organizations. Jacobs also claimed that Adelson wanted to investigate high-ranking officials in Macau to provide him “leverage” over any attempts to hurt the company.

Last year, Adelson commented on Jacobs’ lawsuit and said that it is merely an attempt at blackmail and that Jacobs is trying to take revenge upon the country using a lies after he was fired.

Several months ago, Adelson contributed $5 million to Winning Our Future, a pro-Gingrich super PAC. More recently, Adelson’s wife gave another $5 million to the same super PAC, providing a major lift to the former House Speaker’s campaign.


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The New Moon (Month) of Solmonath started 26/1/12

The “Plough” Month or Month of Cakes


Comments Off on Solmonath

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JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, citing the lessons of the Nazi Holocaust and the danger a nuclear-armed Iran, said on Tuesday that Israel must not shy from acting alone to thwart any threat to its existence.

Addressing parliament ahead of International Holocaust Remembrance Day on January 27, Netanyahu praised a European Union decision on Monday to place sanctions on Iranian oil exports.

“But on this day of international cooperation and an important achievement against Iran, I want to remind everyone of the main lesson of the Holocaust against our people – that ultimately when there is threat to our existence, we must not leave our fate in the hands of others,” he said.

“When it is a question of our fate, it is our obligation to rely only on ourselves.”

Israel has said a nuclear-armed Iran would pose a threat to the existence of the Jewish state and that all options were on the table in dealing with Tehran, which insists it is enriching uranium for electrical generation.

Israel’s main ally, the United States, has voiced concern that Israel could attack Iran preemptively and deepen instability in an already volatile region. Last week, Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak said any decision about such a strike was “very far off.”

In the speech, Netanyahu repeated his long-standing call for tougher sanctions against Iran coupled with a “credible military option” to dissuade Tehran from building nuclear weapons.

He signaled, however, that Israel was not about to give up on international diplomatic efforts to curb Iran’s atomic ambitions.

Netanyahu said that one lesson of the Holocaust, in which 6 million Jews were killed during World War Two, was that Israel must “forge as many alliances in the world as possible” to act against any existential threat.

But he added: “We must not bury our heads in the sand. The Iranian regime calls openly for the destruction of Israel, and plans the destruction of Israel and acts for the destruction of Israel. The lesson says that the nations of the world must be awoken.”


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Time Magazine quotes Israeli defense official as saying that Israel can only delay Tehran’s nuclear program by several months, at most a year.


A senior Israel Defense Forces commander has said that Israel is unable to attack Iran’s nuclear program in a meaningful way, Time Magazine reported on Thursday.

According to the report, which is quoting an Israeli defense official, a senior IDF commander presented the cabinet of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with a gloomy assessment last fall.

“I informed the cabinet we have no ability to hit the Iranian nuclear program in a meaningful way,” the official quoted the senior commander as saying. “If I get the order I will do it, but we don’t have the ability to hit in a meaningful way.”

The defense official told Time, that according to an estimate by the Atomic Energy Commission, Israel will only be able to push back Iran’s nuclear program by several months to a year, after taking into account the wide geographic dispersion of Tehran’s nuclear facilities and the the limits of Israel’s air force.

Earlier Thursday, former IDF chief Gabi Ashkenazi said that Israel must do all it can to operate under the radar against Iran, but should simultaneously prepare for a possible strike against Tehran’s nuclear facilities.

“Israel must do all it can under the radar and combine that with paralyzing sanctions, but at the same time keep a reliable military option on the table with the willingness to use it if necessary,” Ashkenazi said.

“When the moment comes I don’t know if we won’t be alone, and for this reason Israel must also rely on itself,” he said.


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Defense Minister says Iran is soon reaching a point where even a ‘surgical’ military strike could not block it from acquiring nuclear arms.


Defense Minister Ehud Barak said Friday the world must quickly stop Iran from reaching the point where even a “surgical” military strike could not block it from obtaining nuclear weapons.

Amid fears that Israel is nearing a decision to attack Iran’s nuclear program, Barak said tougher international sanctions are needed against Tehran’s oil and banks so that “we all will know early enough whether the Iranians are ready to give up their nuclear weapons program.”

Iran insists its atomic program is only aimed at producing energy and research, but has repeatedly refused to consider giving up its ability to enrich uranium.

“We are determined to prevent Iran from turning nuclear. And even the American president and opinion leaders have said that no option should be removed from the table and Iran should be blocked from turning nuclear,” Barak old reporters during the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum.

“It seems to us to be urgent, because the Iranians are deliberately drifting into what we call an immunity zone where practically no surgical operation could block them,” he said.

Barak called it “a challenge for the whole world” to prevent a nuclear-armed Iran but stopped short of confirming any action that could further stoke Washington’s concern about a possible Israeli military strike.

Separately, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon urged a resumption of dialogue between Western powers and Iran on their nuclear dispute.

He said Friday that Tehran must comply with Security Council resolutions and prove conclusively that its nuclear development program is not directed to making arms.

“The onus is on Iran,” said Ban, speaking at a press conference. “They have to prove themselves that their nuclear development program is genuinely for peaceful purposes, which they have not done yet.”

Ban expressed concern at the most recent report of the International Atomic Energy Agency that strongly suggested that Iran’s nuclear program, which it long has claimed is for development of power generation, has a military intent.

IAEA chief Yukiya Amano said at a Davos session that “we do not have that much confidence if Iran has declared everything” and its best information “indicates that Iran has engaged in activities relevant to nuclear explosive devices.”

“For now they do not have the capacity to manufacture the fuel,” he said. “But in the future, we don’t know.”

In spite of his tough words to Iran, Ban said that dialogue among the “three-plus-three” … Germany, France and Britain plus Russia, China and the United States … is the path forward.

“There is no other alternative for addressing this crisis than peaceful … resolution through dialogue,” said Ban.

Ban noted that there have been a total of five Security Council resolutions so far on the Iranian nuclear program, four calling for sanctions.

As tensions have been on the rise recently, some political leaders in Israel and the United States have been speaking increasingly of the possibility of a military strike to eliminate, or at least slow down, what they allege is a determined effort by Iran to obtain nuclear weapons.


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Emboldened by the sanctions regime, the Iranian government is preempting an EU embargo on their oil scheduled for this summer

Iran is preempting the European Union’s embargo on their oil, deciding to cut off exports to Europe six months before the embargo is set to take place.

The EU embargo on Iranian oil, pushed stringently by the United States, was delayed for six months to let economically troubled countries such as Greece, Italy and Spain find alternative supplies. Some 500,000 barrels arrive in Europe every day from Iran. But the U.S. had been successful in pressuring EU countries to inflict more economic pain on themselves by cutting off one of their main oil suppliers.

These measures aren’t only harming the EU economies, they are impoverishing the Iranian people. Jobs are being lost because the oil sector is weakened and rampant inflation caused by sanctions targeted on the central bank have pushed the price of meat and milk up 50 percent.

“People are buying less because the prices have gone up,” Iranian-American scholar Haleh Esfandiari said. “That affects the shopkeepers. It’s a vicious cycle.” An Iranian interviewed on the subject said, “People are hungry and this is why crime has gone up.”

The move to cut off exports to the EU before the embargo sets in is an illustration of how poorly the sanctions program on Iran has worked. Instead of pressuring the Iranian government to conform to the wishes of the U.S. and its western allies, it has emboldened the regime.


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