Tag Archives: Iran

28 August 2013

FP: United States complicit in Saddam Hussein’s chemical weapons use

Foreign Policy reported on recently declassified CIA files that reveal that the United States provided assistance to Iraq in the Iran-Iraq war despite having knowledge of chemical weapons use by Saddam Hussein’s military.

According to the report, the CIA documents and former US intelligence officials confirm that the US had firm evidence of chemical weapons attacks beginning in 1983, but the Reagan administration nevertheless continued to provide assistance, including satellite imagery, to Iraq. Previous reports had indicated that the US had suspected the use of chemical weapons, but the declassified documents reveal that US officials were regularly informed on the scale of nerve gas attacks, which according to the FP report, amounts to American complicity in Saddam Hussein’s chemical weapons attacks.

The US has denied acquiescing to Iraq’s chemical weapons attacks, and the CIA declined to comment for the FP report.

Source: Foreign Policy | Exclusive: CIA Files Prove America Helped Saddam as He Gassed Iran

22 July 2013

Australia intercepts boat with Iranian asylum seekers, violent riots in Nauru detention camp

A boat carrying 89, mainly Iranian, asylum-seekers was intercepted off the coast of northern Australia. This occurred a day after the country announced that asylum seekers arriving by boat can no longer be resettled in Australia as refugees. The Australian Immigration Minister Tony Burke stated that the group can either press an asylum claim in Papua New Guinea, or be transferred to a third state.

The announcement of the new immigration policy was reportedly followed by violent riots in an Australian-run immigration detention camp in Nauru over the weekend where hundreds of asylum seekers escaped detention.

Source: Al Jazeera | Australia intercepts boat with asylum-seekers

7 May 2013

Israel strikes targets in Syria

On Friday 3 May, and Sunday 5 May, the Israeli air force has carried out two strikes in Syria. While Israel has refused to comment on the strikes, an Israeli official has pointed out that both strikes were directed against shipments of Fateh-110 missiles (Iranian made missiles) that were allegedly shipped to Hezbollah in Lebanon. The strikes have prompted strong reactions both from Syria and from Iran. Syria in particular, alleged that the Israeli attacks amount to a declaration of war.

Source: The Guardian | Syria accuses Israel of declaring war after further air strikes
Source: AP The Big Story | Israeli airstrikes on Syria prompt threats, anger
Source: The New York Times | Syria Blames Israel for Fiery Attack in Damascus
Source: The New York Times | Airstrikes Tied to Israel May Be Message to Iranians

4 March 2013

Western sanctions on Iran lead to increase in deaths because of shortages in life-saving medicines

The sanctions regime imposed on Iran by the United States and the European Union impairs the delivery of drugs and medical equipment to Iran. Although the regime allows humanitarian trade, other laws restricting financial transactions with Iran make it impossible to implement that exception.

An Op-ed in The New York Times notes that although the Iranian government deserves criticism for poor allocation of scarce foreign currency resources and failing to act against corrupt practices, ‘the main culprit are the U.S. and European sanctions that regulate financial transactions with Iran.’ It concludes that ‘The West must relax and rationalize the terms of its sanctions regime against Iran to allow more medical goods into the country. If it doesn’t, more Iranian men, women and children will suffer needlessly’.

Source: Wilson Center | Sanctions and Medical Supply Shortages in Iran | by Siamak Namazi | February 2013
Source: The New York Times | Blocking Medicine to Iran

9 January 2013

U.S. law should deal harshly with individuals in the fight against money laundering

In a column published in the New York Times, Robert Mazur argues that making bankers more easily punishable under the law would help in the fight against professional money laundering.

Banks have laundered money for drug cartels and used schemes in order to move hundreds of millions of US Dollars to States that are subject to trade sanctions, such as Sudan, Cuba and Iran. Since 2006, more than a dozen banks have reached settlements with the Justice Department in the United States concerning violations related to money laundering. Mazur argues that ‘without the ability to “wash” billions of dollars of money from illicit sources each year and bank the untraceable profits’ both drug trade and terrorism as being criminal enterprises ‘would falter.’

Source: The New York Times | How to Halt the Terrorist Money Train

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