Daily Archives: January 15, 2012


William Hague says EU is likely to agree on tough new sanction against Tehran later this month; insisted West not pressing for military action.


Britain’s foreign secretary said Sunday that European nations will intensify pressure on Iran over its nuclear program, but insisted the West wasn’t pressing for military action.

William Hague told Sky News television that he believed the European Union would agree tough new sanctions against Tehran’s oil sector later this month, and would continue to look for peaceful methods of persuading Iran to ditch its pursuit of a nuclear weapon.

Iran insists its nuclear program is intended solely for peaceful purposes, but the West and others accuse it of attempting to build a bomb. Britain’s defense secretary Philip Hammond said earlier this month that Tehran was working “flat out” on its weapons program.

“We have never ruled anything out. We have not ruled out any option, or supporting any option. We believe all options should be on the table, that is part of the pressure on Iran, but we are clearly not calling for or advocating military action,” Hague said.

“We are advocating meaningful negotiations, if Iran will enter into them, and the increasing pressure of sanctions to try to get some flexibility from Iran,” he said.

European officials have worked for several months on banning the purchase of Iranian oil, and are expected to agree to the measures at a meeting of foreign ministers on January 23.

German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said the new sanctions would help to choke off funding to Iran’s nuclear program.

“Even just the option of nuclear armament by Iran would have far-reaching negative consequences far beyond the Gulf region, so it is not acceptable,” German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle was quoted as saying in a weekend interview with the Rheinische Post newspaper.

“So, with new sanctions that we want to approve this month, we are now targeting the heart of the Iranian nuclear program: its oil and, with that, its sources of financing,” he added. “But the door to dialogue with Iran remains open at the same time.”

Westerwelle also dismissed discussion of possible military action if Iran continues to defy international demands to halt its weapons work. “We should not further charge an already tense situation in a turbulent region,” he was quoted as saying.


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‘Israel jails worse than Nazi camps’


Palestinian Minister for Captives Affairs Ataollah Abu Sabah says Israel jails are more horrific than Nazi camps.
A Palestinian official says Palestinian prisoners are subjected to the most inhumane treatment and are tortured in Israeli prisons, which are even more gruesome than Nazi concentration camps.

In an interview with Iran’s Fars News Agency on Sunday, Palestinian Minister for Captives Affairs Ataollah Abu Sabah said of the 44,000 Palestinian inmates currently languishing in Israeli prisons, seven are women and 23 are members of the Palestinian Legislative Council.

Abu Sabah described the desert prison of Naqab (Negev), where the detainees are kept in tents, as the Israeli regime’s worst prison.

Last year, an Israeli TV station released video footage of Palestinian detainees being tortured by Israeli troops in the notorious Naqab prison in 2008, as a result of which one Palestinian died and several others sustained injuries.

The Palestinian official further confirmed reports that the relatives of the inmates and sometimes even their lawyers are forced to strip and are interrogated.

In late December 2010, a human rights group called Public Committee against Torture in Israel revealed that Palestinian detainees are systematically denied the right to meet a lawyer during interrogations.

Being shackled to chairs for long periods, sleep deprivation, intimidation, torture and excruciating detention conditions are some of the instances documented by the rights group in its report.

Abu Sabah went on to add that stripping captives in the subzero cold in the winter is one of the most common torture methods of the Israeli regime.

The ill captives, he said, are deprived of even the most basic medical treatment, adding that the inmates suffering from medical conditions are not few in number and face gradual death in the regime’s prison

Israel has some secret prisons where it keeps some of the first captives of the Resistance Movement, Abu Sabah said, adding that the regime has even abducted activists from other Arab countries, whose fate is unknown.

Israel Prison Service (IPS) Director Aharon Franco announced in October that there are several prisons in Israel, including Damon prison, Ramle’s Neve Tirza prison, and the Ma’asiyahu prison, that are no longer fit for inmates.

Franco also said the standard in the US is to allocate eight meters of space for each inmate and the standard is six meters in Europe. In Israel, however, just four meters are allocated for each inmate.

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