Saddam's Death, 180 (oct-nov 2021)
attempt to destroy political holism in the middle east

See also: Page 179: sept 2021 and Page 181: dec 2021

Israel & The Temple Revolution & Unesco & the Temple
Regime Change in Iraq - Overview 2002/2003 - Trump & the Pisces Messiah - Kennedy Speech 1961 - Eisenhower's Social Gospel - "I Have, I Rule and I will Destroy" - Iran & the dialogue of civilizations - Netanyahu & Infantilization of Israel - Jesus & Pophet Muhammed: "Be a stranger in the world" - Ideological Warfare Center - Jewish fundamentalism in the State of Palestine - Palestinian Martyrs and Jewish Heroes - The Balfour Declaration - Trump's move on Jerusalem (2017) - Abbas & Trump's "slap of the century" - John Bolton, prominent war hawk, National Security Adviser to President Trump - Lies & Provocations: France, UK and USA show their dark face - Trump, the 'deal-breaker' - Explaining America’s economic might - Netanyahu & The Survival of the Fittest - Bush’s ‘Axis of Evil’ Is Now Pence’s ‘Wolf Pack of Rogue States’ - Mike Pence & antisemitism - Amnesia of the US Foreign Policy Establishment - Israeli Elections 2019 - Was Jesus a Palestinian? - Labor disappears from Knesset - Settlers from the White House - NO to International Law - Israel & The Three Central Dilemmas - Netanyahu & Neo-Zionism - Secularism & 'Jewish' identity - Pompeo & Christian leadership - Jeremy Corbyn & Jewish Witch Hunt - Trump's Deal of the Century - Netanyahu & the Moongod Abraham - Gantz' betrayal - Trump's sanctions against ICC officials - The Ceasar Act - The Turkey-Armenia conflict - Joe Biden's Running Mate - The UAE-Israel-deal - The Sudan-US-Israel-deal - Robert Fisk Articles" - Joe Biden elected president - The return of Victoria Nuland - Putin 2014: New Rules or a Game without Rules - Alexander Dugin & The Great Awakening - Bennett is an 'evil' and 'wicked' Reform Jew, say haredi MKs - The Taliban enter Kabul

Index Page

Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein was born April 28, 1937 and died December 30, 2006. He was the fifth President of Iraq, holding that position from July 16, 1979 until 9 April 2003. He was one of the leading members of the revolutionary Arab Socialist Ba’ath Party, and afterward, the Baghdad-based Ba’ath Party and its regional organization Ba’ath Party, Iraq Region, which advocated ba’athism, an ideological marriage of Arab nationalism with Arab socialism. (Patricia Ramos, july 2013)

How the National Security State Manipulates the News Media
Ted Galen Carpenter,, March 09, 2021

An especially dangerous threat to liberty occurs when members of the press collude with government agencies instead of monitoring and exposing the abuses of those agencies. Unfortunately, collusion is an all-too-common pattern in press coverage of the national security state’s activities. The American people then receive official propaganda disguised as honest reporting and analysis.

"The national security of America and the security of the world could be attained if the American leaders [..] become rational, if America disengages itself from its evil alliance with Zionism, which has been scheming to exploit the world and plunge it in blood and darkness, by using America and some Western countries.
What the American peoples need mostly is someone who tells them the truth, courageously and honestly as it is.
They don’t need fanfares and cheerleaders, if they want to take a lesson from the (sept. 11) event so as to reach a real awakening, in spite of the enormity of the event that hit America.
But the world, including the rulers of America, should say all this to the American peoples, so as to have the courage to tell the truth and act according to what is right and not what to is wrong and unjust, to undertake their responsibilities in fairness and justice, and by recourse to reason..."

Saddam Hussein, INA 15-9-2002

Joe Biden & Truth - 2009

US Vice President Joe Biden said that the new administration would seek the unvarnished truth from its spies, whether or not their information supported the goals of the government.
The Vice President's address was greeted with loud cheers by the several hundred CIA employees who gathered for the swearing in ceremony in the foyer of the Agency's headquarters in Langley, Virginia.
Standing before the wall of 89 stars representing the CIA staff who have died in the line of duty, Mr Biden said:
"We expect you to provide independent analysis, not to engage in group think. We expect you to tell us the facts as you know them wherever they may lead, not what you think we want to hear." (Tim Shipman. 20-2-2009)

"We are not afraid to entrust the American people with unpleasant facts, foreign ideas, alien philosophies, and competitive values. For a nation that is afraid to let its people judge the truth and falsehood in an open market is a nation that is afraid of its people …
The wave of the future is not the conquest of the world by a single dogmatic creed but the liberation of the diverse energies of free nations and free men. …
Mankind must put an end to war or war will put an end to mankind." John F.Kennedy

“Human beings are members of a whole,
In creation of one essence and soul.
If one member is afflicted with pain,
Other members uneasy will remain.
If you have no sympathy for human pain,
The name of human you can not retain.”

Saadi Shirazi
(Persian poet & humanist, born in Shiraz, Iran, c. 1210)

Flashback- Hanan Ashrawi 2002:
The New Age of Ideology

"The post-September 11 era in the US has heralded in a new age of ideology whose discourse and world views have served not only to accommodate such extremist views as those held by Sharon, but also to provide him with a platform and an influence that were unthinkable only a year ago.
Thus while the American President is busy devising a new Manichean universe of absolute good and absolute evil, pronouncing policy on the basis of a simplistic polarization of the world, and unilaterally defining the terms while categorizing state and non-state actors accordingly, Sharon’s Israel has maneuvered itself into a position of even greater power on the world stage provided explicitly by the US."

"The globalists wants to make the world unipolar in order to move towards a globalist non-polarity, where the elites will become fully international and their residence will be dispersed throughout the entire space of the planet.
Accordingly, for the salvation of people, peoples, and societies, the Great Awakening must begin with multipolarity.
This is not just the salvation of the West itself, and not even the salvation of everyone else from the West, but the salvation of humanity, both Western and non-Western, from the totalitarian dictatorship of the liberal capitalist elites.
And this cannot be done by the people of the West or the people of the East alone. Here it is necessary to act together. The Great Awakening necessitates an internationalization of the peoples’ struggle against the internationalization of the elites.
Multipolarity becomes the most important reference point and the key to the strategy of the Great Awakening.

Alexander Dugin & The Great Awakening

Index Page

"Holism is the most fundamental discovery of 20th century science. It is a discovery of every science from astrophysics to quantum physics to environmental science to psychology to anthropology.
It is the discovery that the entire universe is an integral whole, and that the basic organizational principle of the universe is the field principle: the universe consists of fields within fields, levels of wholeness and integration that mirror in fundamental ways, and integrate with, the ultimate, cosmic whole...."
"For many thinkers and religious teachers throughout this history, holism was the dominant thought, and the harmony that it implies has most often been understood to encompass cosmic, civilizational, and personal dimensions. Jesus, Mohammed, Buddha, Lord Krishna, Lao Tzu, and Confucius all give us visions of transformative harmony, a transformative harmony that derives from a deep relation to the holism of the cosmos."

About political holism

Political holism is based on the recognition that "we" are all members of a single whole. There's no "they," even though "we" are not all alike. Because "we" are all part of the whole, and therefore interdependent, we benefit from cooperating with each other. Political holism is a way of thinking about human cultures and nations as interdependent.
Political holists search for solutions other than war to settle international disagreements. Their model of the world is one in which cooperation and negotiation, even with the enemy, even with the weak, promotes political stability more than warfare.
In an overpopulated world with planet-wide environmental problems, the development of weapons of mass destruction has rendered war obsolete as an effective means to resolve disputes.

Political dualists consider political holists unpatriotic for questioning the necessity to defeat "them." In times of impending war, political dualists tend to measure patriotism by the intensity of one's hostility to the country's immediate enemy.
Naturally, they would view as disloyalty any suggestion that the enemy is not evil, any call for cooperation with the enemy, any criticism of one's own country.
To political dualists, cooperation with the enemy means capitulation, relinquishment of the nation's position of dominance.
At its extreme, political dualism is essentially tribalism. (Betty Craige, 16-8-1997)

Desmond Tutu & Ubuntu

"A person with Ubuntu is open and available to others, affirming of others, does not feel threatened that others are able and good, based from a proper self-assurance that comes from knowing that he or she belongs in a greater whole and is diminished when others are humiliated or diminished, when others are tortured or oppressed."
"We think of ourselves far too frequently as just individuals, separated from one another, whereas you are connected and what you do affects the whole World.
When you do well, it spreads out; it is for the whole of humanity." (Ubuntu info)

Iran marks National Day of Rumi
Zahra Mirzafajouyan, Mehr News [Iran], Sep 30, 2021

Mehr 8 in the Iranian calendar corresponding with September 30 is considered a significant cultural event for Iranians to commemorate the prominent Iranian poet Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Rumi.
The land of Iran is the cradle of countless famous people and poets; one of the most famous Iranian poets is Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Balkhī, who is known as Mawlānā, Mawlawī and more popularly simply as Rumi.
Rumi was born to native Persian-speaking parents on the Eastern shores of the then Persian Empire on September 30, 1207, in the city of Balkh which is now part of Afghanistan and finally settled in the town of Konya, in what is now Turkey.

Rumi was a charming, wealthy nobleman, a genius theologian, law professor and a brilliant but sober scholar, who in his late thirties met a wandering and holy man by the name of Shams on November 30, 1244, in the streets of Konya.
For months the two mystics lived closely together, and Rumi neglected his disciples and family so that his scandalized entourage forced Shams to leave the town in February 1246.

On December 5, 1247, fanatics in the community took Shams’ life. The body disappeared. Rumi wandered for months – desolate in disbelief that his companion was really gone. One day in Damascus, he realized there was no longer a need to search. Shams was with him, in him. Rumi embodied the Friendship...
Rumi was heartbroken, and his eldest son, Sulṭan Walad, eventually brought Shams back from Syria. The family, however, could not tolerate the close relation of Rumi with Shams, and one night in 1247 Shams disappeared forever.
In the 20th century, it was established that Shams was indeed murdered, not without the knowledge of Rumi’s sons, who hurriedly buried him close to a well that is still extant in Konya.

After Shams was extinguished, Rumi fell into a deep state of grief and gradually out of that pain outpoured nearly 70,000 verses of poetry almost all in Persian that are collected in two epic books.
The first collection is devoted to his mentor Shams named, Divan-e Shams-e Tabrizi. It took him 15 years to complete this collection.
After the first collection, he devotes the last ten years of his life to creating Masnavi Ma’navi. A work filled with anecdotes, life lessons, moral stories, stories from all three Abrahamic religions, and popular topics of the day.

Rumi and Shams stayed together for a short time, about 2 years in total, but the impact of their meeting left an everlasting impression on Rumi and his work.
In Rumi's own words, after meeting Shams he was transformed from a bookish, sober scholar to an impassioned seeker of universal truth and love.
His work has an all-embracing universality. A call from an independent soul yearning for true freedom from dogma and hypocrisy.

Rumi believed passionately in the use of music, poetry and dance as a path for reaching God.
For Rumi, music helped devotees to focus their whole being on the divine and to do this so intensely that the soul was both destroyed and resurrected. Rumi encouraged Sama, listening to music and turning or doing the sacred dance. Upon his death, his followers and his son Sultan Walad founded the Mevlevi Order, also known as the Order of the Whirling Dervishes, famous for the Sufi dance known as the Sama ceremony.

In a ceremony known as Sama, dancers wear long white robes with full skirts. On the dancers’ heads sit tall conical felt hats. The dancers, who fast for many hours before the ceremony, start to turn in rhythmic patterns, using the left foot to propel their bodies around the right foot with their eyes open, but unfocused.
This is sought through abandoning one's nafs, ego or personal desires, by listening to the music, focusing on God, and spinning one's body in repetitive circles, which has been seen as a symbolic imitation of planets in the Solar System orbiting the sun.

Colin Powell Dies. Iraqis say they won't be mourning
death of former US secretary of state who oversaw
the catastrophic invasion of their country
By Alex MacDonald, Middle East Eye, 18 October 2021

The death of former US Secretary of State Colin Powell has, as is usual with the death of a major political figure, provoked a discussion about his legacy and what his time in office meant to the world.
For millions of Iraqis, Powell will be remembered as the man who presented false intelligence before the United Nations as to the existence and threat of former ruler Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction (WMD).
Powell’s claims that Saddam had links to al-Qaeda and was hiding WMDs helped push forward the momentum for the 2003 invasion of Iraq and the resulting years of chaos and bloodshed that have continued to plague the country to this day.

Kamal Jabir, a politician with the Civil Democratic Alliance and former freedom fighter against Saddam in the 80s and 90s, saw many killed by Saddam’s administration and gave up much of his life to fighting and to exile because of him. However, he still regards the Iraq war as having been a catastrophe.
Since 2003, Iraqis suffered a greater deal because American administrations - Republicans and Democrats - insisted on supporting the most corrupt, most dishonest, and most disloyal officials and Islamic extremists to rise to power and ruin Iraq and slaughter Iraqis,” he told Middle East Eye.
He noted that while Powell had a reputation for decency as a politician, he failed to either object to the 2003 war or the “countless deliberate mistakes” made by Coalition Provisional Authority leader Paul Bremer during his rule over the occupied country.
“[Powell] chose to watch the massacres against Iraq and innocent Iraqis and do nothing about it. Iraqis today are busy trying to rescue their country and save tears for their young peaceful protesters, sons and daughters who got killed by the pro-Iranian militias and gangs,” he said.

Salam Ali, a member of the Central Committee of the Iraqi Communist Party, said Powell’s speech at the UN helped influence people both inside and outside the US who were “reticent about launching the war on Iraq”.
"Colin Powell is among top officials in the US administration responsible for waging that criminal war, and misleading the world with fabricated information, who should have been held accountable for what they did."
Ahmed Habib, an editor at the Baghdad-based publication, said that Powell's role in Iraq was irredeemable and pushed back at attempts to paint him like a dove whose role in the war was as an unwilling participant.
Colin Powell’s legacy lives on in the millions of lives destroyed, either dead or exiled, in the prehistoric infrastructure that everyday Iraqis are forced to [endure] today, one that his actions are almost entirely responsible for," he told MEE.

bush & hakim

Ali Khyail, a democracy activist who grew up during the turmoil of the post-invasion era, said that the ultimate effect of Powell's actions had been to "hand Iraq over to Iran", while at the same time removing a threat to Israel.
"If it was about saving Iraq, Iraq would not have been handed over to a country with which there was a war that lasted eight years," he told MEE.
"The United States was interested in saving Israel from Saddam's threat and was not interested in liberating Iraq. Colin was seeking to save Israel from those who threaten it."
As a crucial figure in the Bush administration that is largely responsible for this state of affairs, Powell's legacy in Iraq will not be as a liberator of ordinary people from Saddam's tyranny, but as someone who oversaw the country's decline.
"We are terrified now and we will never forgive him," said Khyail.

The ‘Cancel Culture’ of Israel Lobby in Canada
By Yves Engler, Palestine Chronicle, 22-10-2021

The Israel lobby regularly torments people and seeks to undermine their ability to make a living. While increasing numbers of Canadians are wise to their slander campaigns, some progressives still end up aligning with the bullies who have misused the term anti-Semitism to intimidate and silence.
The list of good people who have been put through the “cancel culture” ringer by the Israel lobby is long. Hundreds, probably thousands, of Canadians have lost jobs and contracts or simply been tormented by the Israel lobby for supporting Palestinians.
There’s a website entirely devoted to sabotaging the job prospects of university students who participate in pro-Palestinian activism. In a bid to intimidate students Canary Mission details individuals’ purported anti-Jewish activism...
The campaigns target individuals but they are designed to create a sense of fear regarding Israel...
While there are geopolitical, colonial, racial and other dynamics shaping the climate of fear, the most immediate source are the scores of Canadians employed full-time to lobby for Israel. (My guess is about 200 paid lobbyists.) This is no “conspiracy” theory or “anti-Jewish trope” but rather information easily gathered from pro-Israel organizations’ websites.

In “Welcome to the world of paid Israeli slanderers” I detailed the organizational and financial ecosystem of these groups...
The lobbying arm of UJA/CJA, the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA) has over 40 staff and a $10 million budget. In addition, B’nai B’rith has a handful of offices across the country. For its part, FSWC’s budget is $8-13 million annually.
These groups work closely with StandWithUs Canada, CAMERA, Israel on Campus, Honest Reporting Canada and other (often extreme right wing) Israeli nationalist political organizations.
More than a dozen campus based Hillels, as well as Israel and Jewish studies departments usually established by well-to-do Israel supporters, often participate in the anti-Palestinian slander campaigns. Dozens of registered Canadian charities, ranging from the Jewish National Fund to Christians United for Israel also engage in at least some pro-Israel campaigning.

The Israel lobby has far more resources than the pro-Palestinian movement. But they are also more determined. While the Israel lobby is focused and often ruthless, the Palestinian side is easily scared and sidetracked.

Yves Engler is the author of Canada and Israel: Building Apartheid and a number of other books. Visit his website:

How Arab autocrats benefit from
newfound friendship with Israel
Jonathan Hoffman, October 18, 2021

Lat week, Secretary of State Antony Blinken met with his Israeli and Emirati counterparts to discuss regional issues such as Iran’s nuclear program, their joint desire to expand the so-called “Abraham Accords” initiated under the Trump administration, and U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East more generally...
Israel and other Middle East states lobbying to influence Washington’s regional policies is nothing new.
Israel, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, and others have long sought to sway Washington’s policies in the region in favor of their respective interests.
For the Arab countries, their interests have long centered around maintaining absolute authority domestically while repressing the street, upholding the regional geopolitical status quo, and keeping the United States deeply engaged in the Middle East as the security guarantor of the prevailing order from which they benefit.
For Israel, in addition to maintaining the regional status quo, it is currently seeking a high-level, top-down “normalization” with Arab states that in part sidelines Arab popular opinion and the plight of the Palestinians...

Last August, following the Abraham Accords signing, both AIPAC and then-Israeli Ambassador to the U.S., Ron Dermer, openly expressed their strong support for the UAE acquiring the F-35 fighter jets as the arms deal came under scrutiny in Congress.
It was revealed earlier this year that Israel was reportedly planning to lobby President Joe Biden not to pressure the UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt on matters related to human rights.
Reportedly in September, they did just that, warning the U.S. not to press Egypt and Saudi Arabia too hard and risk sending them into the arms of Russia and Iran.
Additionally, this past June, the American Jewish Committee (AJC) formally opened an office in Abu Dhabi, and UAE Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed addressed the 2021 AJC Virtual Global Forum, where he expressed his enthusiasm for the new office.

The UAE, along with Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, have begun cultivating relationships with high-profile Jewish leaders and Christian Evangelicals within the United States.
Such efforts are part of a broader project pursued by these governments to promote so-called “moderate Islam” (i.e. state-controlled Islam) to appeal to the West and demonize domestic opposition.
In November 2018, Saudi Arabia hosted a delegation of Christian evangelical leaders led by Joel Rosenberg (they had been welcomed to the UAE earlier).
A similar delegation that included Rev. Johnnie Moore (then-co-chairman of President Donald Trump’s Evangelical Advisory Board) visited the kingdom once more in September 2019. In January 2020, the secretary-general of the Saudi-financed Muslim World League, Mohammad al-Issa, led a delegation of senior Islamic scholars accompanied by representatives of the American Jewish Committee in an unprecedented visit to the site of the Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland.

Earlier this month, officials from Bahrain traveled to New York City and were hosted by leaders of the local Jewish community and met with the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations. While in the U.S., these officials encouraged Jewish investment and tourism in Bahrain and emphasized their shared concern over the regional threat allegedly posed by Iran...
Meanwhile, AIPAC sought to protect Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi despite his leadership in the 2013 military coup that overthrew the country’s first democratically elected president...
The two newest members of these lobbying efforts are the states that most recently entered into normalized relations with Tel Aviv: Morocco and Sudan.
Morocco’s Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita recently attended an AIPAC conference where he expressed Rabat’s enthusiasm over engaging with Israel and the need to counter Iran’s destabilizing regional activities.

As these examples demonstrate, Arab autocrats throughout the Middle East have sought to harness the power and influence of Israel’s network in D.C. in order to help ensure their own domestic authority and regional positions...

Iran’s Khamenei urges reversal
of Arab-Israeli normalisations
Al-Jazeera News, 24 Oct 2021

Arab nations that normalised ties with Israel last year have “sinned” and should reverse such moves, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei said on Sunday.
The United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Sudan, and Morocco agreed to normalise ties with Israel in 2020, as Washington under the administration of then-US President Donald Trump made Arab-Israeli rapprochement a foreign policy priority.
“Some governments have unfortunately made errors – have made big errors and have sinned in normalising [their relations] with the usurping and oppressive Zionist regime,” Khamenei said, referring to Israel.
“It is an act against Islamic unity, they must return from this path and make up for this big mistake,” Khamenei added, in a speech marking a public holiday honouring the birth of the Prophet Muhammad.
“If the unity of Muslims is achieved, the Palestinian question would definitely be resolved in the best fashion,” Khamenei said.

Libyan PM calls on youths to stay away from war
AbdulkaderAssad, Libyan Observer, 23-10-2021

The Libyan Prime Minister Abdul-Hamid Dbeibah has called on young Libyans to renounce wars and destruction and work on construction and development for a better future for Libya, adding in a speech at the National Project for Rehabilitation and Reintegration launching ceremony in Tripoli, that his government will be providing youths with the best programs so they can work on creating a thriving country.
The new project aims to reintegrate young men, who are part of armed factions, into state institutions.
Dbeibah told the attendees that the youth are a national treasure that should be preserved, saying the project aims to provide them with professions and jobs that keep them away from war and make them feel an integral part of the society.
He also said that the timeline of the government in cooperation with the Ministry of Labor and Rehabilitation aims to raise the capabilities of the youths who want to be part of the reintegration, giving them opportunities to gain practical and scientific knowledge in a variety of specialities.

Russia, Turkey disagree but
don’t confront in Syria:
Dilan Sirwan, Ridaw News, Kurdistan Region

Moscow does not recognize Turkish “occupation” of Syrian territory and their backing of armed groups, but rather than confront Ankara, they agree to disagree, Russia’s ambassador to Iraq said on Wednesday.
“We do not recognize what Turks are doing in Syria, in terms of occupation of its territories, in terms of their support to terrorist groups,” said Ambassador Elbrus Kutrashev in a panel of the Middle East Research Institute (MERI) forum. While they disagree on many things, Moscow and Ankara do not exchange accusations, he added.
There is no deal between Russia and Turkey. In terms of future of Syria, we are disagreeing completely,” Kutrashev said. “Syria for us is a strategic ally. We do not make deals with anybody at the expense of our allies.”
Russia is a key backer of President Bashar al-Assad.
Turkey and its proxies control stretches of northern Syria, including parts of the provinces of Aleppo and Idlib, as well as areas around Sari Kani (Ras al-Ain) and Gire Spi (Tel Abyad) in the northeast that Turkey seized from Kurdish forces in a 2019 offensive. Ceasefires were brokered by Moscow and Washington, but are frequently violated.
Turkey’s opposition to Kurdish forces in Syria, which it considers a branch of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), extends to United Nations-led efforts to find a political solution to the Syrian crisis.
“There is Turkish veto on SDF participation in the political process,” Kutrashev said, referring to the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces.
From the beginning, Moscow wanted all parts of Syria to be included in the talks, but if Turkey were to object, it would scupper the effort, he said: “If Turkey leaves the room, so do many Syrian opposition groups.”
Russia is also trying to mediate between Kurds and Damascus. “We are now facilitating negotiation process between SDF, Rojava, and the Syrian government. It is not an easy thing to be done,” the Russian ambassador said, noting the two sides do not trust each other.
Iran is also an influential player in Syria. Damascus imports oil from Iran.
The SDF, the main ally of the US-led global coalition against the Islamic State (ISIS) on the ground in Syria, controls most of the country’s oilfields outside of areas held by the regime and the US has said they want to keep the oil out of the hands of Iran and Assad.


Kutrashev said Russia’s position is that it is “senseless” to discuss many Middle Eastern issues without including Iran.
“Those who are unhappy about Iranian influence in the region... should think about not confronting this Iranian influence but dealing with reasons for which Iran is playing such a big role, for example in Syria,” he said. “If it had not been for Iranian economic aid, Syria would have been crushed a long time ago.”

Iraq holds first Babylon International Festival since 2003
Middle East Monitor, October 30, 2021

The first Babylon International Festival since the 2003 US invasion of Iraq kicked off Thursday at the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Babylon....
The opening ceremony of the five-day event included a speech by Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi followed by a host of shows and performances, including music, dance, and folk arts.
In a statement, the Iraqi Culture Ministry said representatives of 54 countries including Russia, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, Egypt, Syria, and Kuwait will take part in the festival.
The ancient Iraqi city, once the capital of the ancient Mesopotamian state of Babylonia, is renowned for the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, considered one of the Seven Wonders of the World, as well as the Hammurabi Obelisk and the Lion of Babylon.
The Babylon International Festival, which was first held in 1985, has not returned to the country since 2003 due to the US invasion of Iraq and the deterioration of the security situation in the ensuing years.

Flashback - UNESCO lists Iraq's
Babylon as World Heritage Site
Arab News|AFP, 5-7-2019

Saddam's mission to rebuild Babylon, 1997
UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee voted on Friday to list the sprawling Mesopotamian metropolis of Babylon as a World Heritage Site after three decades of lobbying efforts by Iraq.
Iraq had been trying since 1983 to have the site — a massive 10-square-kilometer complex of which just 18 percent has been excavated thus far — recognized by UNESCO.
Straddling Iraq’s Euphrates River about 100 kilometers (60 miles) south of Baghdad, the city was the center of the ancient Babylonian empire more than 4,000 years ago.
What is the world heritage list without Babylon? How to tell the history of humanity without the earliest of old chapters, Babylon?” said Iraq’s representative to UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee ahead of the vote.
“Babylon was the largest populated city in ancient history,” said Qahtan Al-Abeed, who heads the Basra Antiquities Department and led efforts to get the site listed. Putting Babylon on the World Heritage List “will encourage research and development of the site,” and would “be free publicity for tourists,” he added excitedly.
Babylon occupies a special place in religion, appearing in the Bible, Hebrew scripture, and even mythical prophecies.

Bringing order out of chaos

In ancient Babylon, Marduk was honored as king of the gods and quite specifically associated with the planet Jupiter.
In Greece, Zeus was chief of the Olympians, with dominion over the planet Jupiter. In that sense he was the counterpart of Marduk. By contrast, the Egyptians portrayed Jupiter - and Mars and Saturn as well - with the falcon head of the skygod Horus.
The role of Jupiter-Marduk was preeminent in Babylon, for he was credited with the world's creation, bringing order out of chaos.
Texts of the Babylonian creation myth are preserved on cuneiform tablets, some from the library of Ashurbanipal, king of Assyria in the seventh century BC, but the tale itself is much older, apparently deriving from the Old Babylonian empire, about 1800 BC.
In the myth, Marduk establishes order by killing Tiamat, the dragon of primordial chaos. From the monster's body he fashions the sky and the sea. Then he prepares to take advantage of his victory. His price for his service is the right to fashion an ordered cosmos. (Astronomy of Babylon)

In Turkey opposition warms to Assad
By Umar Farooq, Al Jazeera, 3 Nov 2021

Turkey’s largest opposition parties have long called for a break with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s policy of hosting refugees and backing rebels in Syria.
As signs of a possible change in government emerge in the country, opposition leaders are now seriously thinking of how to re-establish ties with Damascus and pave the way for sending the Syrian refugees home.
Polls show Erdogan’s job approval rating has fallen – from a high of 68 percent in 2016 to 39 percent in October – as has the prospect of the AKP winning the next election in June 2023.
The AKP and its coalition partner, the right-wing Nationalist Movement Party, are polling at just under 40 percent, with the CHP, pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), IYI Party, and the allied opposition, garnering just above the majority they would need to control parliament.

Anti-refugee sentiment, meanwhile, polls show, is something that cuts across party lines, prompting opposition parties to invoke the Syrian presence in hopes of drawing more votes away from Erdogan.
Opposition leaders in Turkey have campaign on slogans vowing not to “surrender” neighbourhoods to Syrians, and stump speeches have often included promises to send the refugees back home within a few years.
Ugur Poyraz, general secretary of the IYI Party, says his party does not seek to inflame anti-Syrian sentiments, but many Turks are rightly worried Erdogan lacks a long-term plan for refugees. Poyraz says if elected into a government, his party would offer a drastic break from the AKP’s policy of seeking to topple al-Assad. Erdogan’s initial decision to involve the country in the Syrian war, along with his support for other Arab Spring revolutions such as in Egypt, was driven by “emotional reflex”, he says. “This was a fundamental mistake Erdogan made,” he said.
With an eye towards the possibility of a new post-Erdogan relationship with Syria, Poyraz says the party formed a working group nearly two years ago to study not only the effects of Syrian refugees living in Turkey, but also how to create a pathway for their return to Syria. If elected to power, the IYI Party plans to reach out to the al-Assad government.

While the CHP is not advocating forcing refugees back to Syria, the party would take steps to encourage them to return on their own.
In a process the CHP hopes would take about two years, Turkish investors would be encouraged to invest in Syria, and the UN and EU would be asked to help secure funding for reconstruction and rehabilitation of the war-torn country.
The CHP has already tried to reach out to the al-Assad government, with limited success. In 2019, the party organised a conference to bring together stakeholders on Syria in Istanbul, but the Turkish foreign ministry did not grant visas for two people to represent al-Assad, including one Baath Party member, who were invited to join.

Simply rebuilding infrastructure would require a far more complex effort than what the CHP has in mind, says Samir Hafez, a member of the AKP who advises Turkish officials on Syria. “Who is going to find this huge amount of money to rebuild Syria?” he told Al Jazeera.
Aside from the human toll in the war, there is a reality that living in Syria right now would be near impossible, even for someone who does not fear reprisal from the al-Assad government, Hafez says.
Hundreds of hospitals and schools have been destroyed, militias have put up their own checkpoints, there is rampant inflation, and the public is grappling with widespread food and fuel shortages.
“Suppose you find the money to rebuild, even then we need 20 years to rebuild things, not two years,” he said.

The CHP’s hope to obtain funding from Western countries is unlikely to materialise, says Omar Kadkoy, a policy analyst at the Economic Policy Research Foundation of Turkey. “The EU, its member states, the UK, US, and Canada, they are all linking reconstruction funds to a concrete plan on political transition in Syria...”
Kadkoy says the biggest obstacle to normalising ties with Damascus, though, is the Turkish military presence inside Syria and its backing of rebel forces.
“That is Damascus’s main request from Turkey, before they do anything, that Turkey withdraw its army, and stop supporting what are, according to Damascus, terror organisations in Idlib and other areas.”

'On Way to Progress' Exhibition Kicks Off in Tehran
FARS News [Iran], 5-11-2021

TEHRAN (FNA)- 'On the Way to Progress' exhibition was kicked off in Tehran with the attendance of Iranian officials on the occasion of 13th of Aban (4 November 1978), a day in which Iranian students were massacred in the streets of Tehran.
'On the Way to Progress' exhibition showcases Iran's nuclear progress and achievements in cooperation with the Atomic Energy Organization and the Students.

Flashback 1978: Troops kill five students in Iran riot

The Iranian Revolution

TEHRAN, Nov. 4, 1978 (UP)
Troops opened fire on 6,000 students who tried to demolish a statue of the shah, killing five persons and injuring several others in the bloodiest riot in Tehran in two months.
The strikes and anti-government street demonstrations have put Iran under the greatest open pressure since Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi came to power 37 years ago.
Witnesses said thousands of students who gathered at Tehran University for an anti-shah protest went on a rampage through the downtown area, attacking banks, shops and government buildings and setting fire to at least six cars.
The slogan-shouting students then tried to destroy a statue of the shah near the university, but troops and riot police ordered them to stop, used fire hoses and blank shots and finally opened fire with bullets.
The five deaths reported by Iranian television was the highest death toll in an Tehran riot since the "Bloody Friday" massacre by Iranian troops Sept. 8 that killed and injured hundreds of persons. (UPI News)

Turkey reopens 10 girls schools in Afghanistan
By Ragip Soylu, Middle East Eye, 4-11-2021

Turkey has managed to reopen 10 out of 14 girls’ schools operated by the Turkish government in Afghanistan, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Thursday during a parliamentary meeting.
Cavusoglu said Turkey was trying to support Afghan women through diplomacy, which he personally conducted with a visiting Taliban delegation last month, urging interim foreign minister, Amir Khan Muttaqi, to embrace all parties and groups in Afghanistan.
“Of course our suggestions aren’t enough. That’s why ten out of 14 schools administered by Maarif Foundation have reopened,” Cavusoglu said, referring to the Turkish state-funded foundation that runs a total of 80 schools in Afghanistan, of which 14 are for girls only.
Turkey remains the only Nato country to have a functioning embassy in Kabul after the Taliban takeover earlier this year.
Cavusoglu said that Turkey had granted a scholarship to an Afghan girl who has taken first place in the Afghanistan university exam.

Shas rabbi: Russians are heretics,
Reform destroying Judaism
Jerusalem Post Israel News, 7-11-2021

Rabbi Meir Mazuz, a prominent spiritual leader and Shas head, accused Finance Minister Avigdor Liberman and Reform Jews in a sermon to his own community on Saturday of attacking Jewish values.
"Liberman comes from Russia. In Russia there is no religion, there is nothing," he said during his weekly Saturday night sermon...

vladimir putin & the russian orthodox church

"Russians are heretics... They blabber what they want. In Russian there are professors, but [the Russians] here know nothing. There [in Russia] they develop nuclear capabilities (gar'een), and here they sell seeds (gar'eenim). And where did that get them? They starved to death. Any person who says something gets sent to Siberia [and disappears] in darkness and despair," he said.
Mazuz then shifted to denouncing Reform Judaism.
"Those Reform Jews destroyed Judaism. They are neither blessed nor cursed. On one side a priest, and on the other a rabbi. One blesses and the other curses. This brought destruction onto Israel," he said.

Mazuz is a political leader and Sephardi Haredi rabbi in Israel, the dean of the Kisse Rahamim yeshivah, and the son of the Rabbi and Judge of Tunis, Rabbi Matzliah Mazuz. He is considered the spiritual leader of Tunisian Jews and was the spiritual patron of former Shas chairman Eli Yishai, who in 2013 lost a leadership battle to current Shas leader Arye Deri.

gay pride, israel 2017 & shas members

Mazuz has a history of making racist and anti-LGBT comments.
In March 2020, at the beginning of the COVID pandemic, he blamed the LGBTQ community for the virus' spread...
"This pride parade is a parade against nature, and anyone who does something against nature, the one who created nature takes revenge on him," he said...
In the March 2021 elections, Mazuz praised religious-Zionist leader Rabbi Zvi Tau, who is the spiritual patron of the anti-LGBT Noam Party.
Noam united with the far-right Otzma Yehudit Party, which then joined Bezalel Smotrich’s National Union to form the Religious Zionist Party.

Afghanistan News
Islamic Emirate to Bring Changes to Cabinet
TOLO News, 7-11-2021

The Islamic Emirate is seeking to bring changes to the formation of the government cabinet, the deputy spokesman for the Islamic Emirate Bilal Karimi said on Friday.
Karimi said that efforts are underway to appoint professional officials to the cabinet.
“The cabinet is still in a process of completion. This cabinet will be completed with experts and talents who represent different aspects of the society--they will be included,” he said.
The citizens urged the Islamic Emirate to form a strong army and include former security force members.
“Those soldiers who served the country and didn’t betray it should come back and join the national security forces,” said Masbah Zaland, a resident of Kabul.
The international community and regional countries have repeatedly called on the officials of the Islamic Emirate to work for the formation an inclusive government in Afghanistan and to uphold human rights...
If there are no elite and professional people in the government, it is not inclusive,” said Mohammad Isa Ishaqzai...

Iranian Daily Shut Down Over Depiction Of
Khamenei's Hand In Connection With Rising Poverty
Radio Free Europe, November 08, 2021

Iran’s Press Supervisory Board has shut down a newspaper apparently over a graphic that depicted the hand of Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in connection with a story about rising poverty in the country.
Alaedin Zohourian, the head of the press supervisory board, told the official government news agency IRNA on November 8 that board members had decided to cancel the license of the daily Kelid (Key).
Zohourian did not say whether the decision was final or just temporary. He also didn’t provide any reason for the move.
The Young Journalists' Club, a news site affiliated with Iran’s state broadcaster, said on November 7 that Kelid was being investigated over its front page a day earlier that included a graphic depicting Khamenei’s hand drawing the poverty line.

“Millions of households below the poverty line,” the newspaper said. The newspaper graphic seemed to clearly depict the supreme leader figuratively drawing the country's poverty line.

Criticism of Khamenei, the most powerful political authority in the Islamic republic, is considered a red line.
“Whenever the Leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran or the true Sources of Emulation are insulted in a publication, its license will be revoked and its responsible manager and the author of that article will be brought before the appropriate court and punished,” Article 27 of Iran’s Press Law says.
In the past, the Press Supervisory Board has revoked the licenses of a number of publications for alleged violations.

Naharnet Info, 9-11-2021:
Kelid could not immediately respond to a request for comment Monday. Their website has been taken offline.
Iran, whose state-dominated economy has long faced trouble since the 1979 Islamic Revolution, has been under increased pressure since former President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew America from Tehran's nuclear deal with world powers in 2018.
The Iranian rial is now about 281,500 to the dollar — compared with 32,000 rials for $1 at the time when the 2015 nuclear deal was struck. With U.S. sanctions still strangling the economy, record-breaking inflation has hit ordinary Iranians where it hurts most. Stunned shoppers are cutting meat and dairy from their diets, buying less and less each month.
While radio and television stations are all state-controlled in Iran, newspapers and magazines can be owned and published by private individuals. However, Iranian journalists face constant harassment and the threat of arrest in the country, according to press advocacy groups.

Turkish-Kurdish conflict
Syrian Kurdish commander says
"There can be no resolution without Damascus"
Al-Monitor, November 9, 2021

Turkey has resumed its threats of yet another large military operation against the Syrian Democratic Forces, the United States’ top ally in the fight against the Islamic State.
Thousands of Syrian Kurds live in constant fear of a Turkish attack that will cause further bloodshed and misery as they struggle with the impact of the worst drought in decades and the COVID-19 pandemic. Many continue to flee the region illegally in search of a better life. Dire economic conditions and instability offer succor to the Islamic State as it seeks to regain a foothold.
Mazlum Kobane, the commander in chief of the Syrian Democratic Forces, is seeking to steer what remains the most stable and freest part of the country through these turbulent times under the protection of the United States.
Al-Monitor sat down with Kobane, also known as Mazlum Abdi, at a military base in northeast Syria to talk about the challenges he and his people face.

_Al-Monitor: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is making fresh threats to launch another military operation against the Syrian Democratic Forces... Do you believe that Erdogan will follow on his threats?
_Mazlum Kobane: Erdogan has always sought the support of international actors before embarking on a military intervention here...
Now there are two agreements in place: the agreement between Erdogan and Vladimir Putin that was signed in Sochi, and the agreement that was signed between the United States and Turkey in Ankara [in the wake of Turkey’s October 2019 Operation Peace Spring against the Syrian Democratic Forces].
In my view, unless Turkey gets the approval of either Russia or the United States, Erdogan cannot take such a step. And as far as I am aware there is no such approval.

_Al-Monitor: Have Russia and the United States provided you with such guarantees?
_Mazlum Kobane: Yes. The United States said they were opposed to, and would not accept, any attack by Turkey against us....
The Russians also told us that they had not made any deals with Turkey. They did say though that Turkish-backed [Syrian National Army] forces might attack us rather than the Turkish military per se.

_Al-Monitor: In the meantime, something rather significant occurred in Turkey. The main opposition party, the Republican People’s Party, the CHP, launched a dialogue with the Kurds... Last month, the CHP sent a level delegation to Iraqi Kurdistan—a first. And more recently it voted against the government’s motion in the parliament to authorize the deployment of Turkish forces in Syria and Iraq for a further two years.
_Mazlum Kobane: The consensus around Erdogan is fading. The alliance between the AKP and the far-right Nationalist Movement Party is also weakening. These factors combined with the resistance displayed by international powers against a Turkish operation will have emboldened the CHP.

_Al-Monitor: Oil is a critical source of revenue for this region. The Biden administration, however, did not extend the Trump era waiver for the US oil company Delta Crescent to develop and market your oil.
_Mazlum Kobane: Our demands are not limited to oil. Our demand is that the whole of North and East Syria be exempted from the United States’ Caesar sanctions. A formal decision is required in this regard. Anyone who wants do to business here, to contribute to the economy here, should be allowed to do so.

_Al-Monitor: It’s no secret that the Biden administration wants you to come to an agreement with the regime through Russian mediation...
_Mazlum Kobane: Damascus is not ready for this. However much they claim that there will be no return to the pre-2011 era their mentality remains unchanged. They need to be pressured.

_Al-Monitor: Are they telling you to sever your ties with the United States?
_Mazlum Kobane: Not exactly. They are telling us, “We do not want a state within a state. We do not want an army within an army.”
We have no such demands. Our project is autonomy and we are implementing it at this time.
Their precondition is Syria’s indivisible unity. Preserving its flag, its borders, its president. Their sovereignty.
We are ready to offer guarantees on all these points. But they should be prepared to negotiate with us for our autonomy.

_Al-Monitor: Would that include the Arab majority areas as well?
_Mazlum Kobane: The Arabs have their demands too. There is a problem in their areas too. We did not seize those areas from the regime. Damascus needs to enter negotiations with those areas as well.

_Al-Monitor: Are the Russians sincere in their mediations efforts...
_Mazlum Kobane: We have good relations with Russia. For the past two years, we have cooperated on the ground within the framework of the [Sochi] agreement. This problem cannot be solved without Russia. I believe Russia could be more proactive and apply more pressure on the regime.

_Al-Monitor: Where does Iran figure in this picture? Don’t they need to be a part of the solution as well?
_Mazlum Kobane: Russia is here at the formal invitation of the government in Damascus. In my view, Russia’s role is the determining role.

_Al-Monitor: There are other recent developments that can affect your future. Various Arab governments, notably Egypt and the Arab Emirates, are seeking to bring back Syria within the Arab League and to restore the legitimacy of the Assad regime. It looks like Assad’s not going away. Would you agree?
Mazlum Kobane: Yes, I agree.
_Al-Monitor: Doesn’t that concern you?
_Mazlum Kobane: It doesn’t matter to us whether Assad goes or stays. It may be so for others.
What matters to us is that there be a solution for our region and for Syria as a whole. If that solution is to be reached with Assad, so be it.
We are not against that, and for the past 10 years that’s pretty much been our position... Everyone knows that Assad is not going to fall.

_Al-Monitor: Does the United States have a strategy for Syria or for this region? We know it is working on one but nothing has been announced so far...
_Mazlum Kobane: Unless a solution is found for the whole of Syria, the problems of this region will remain unresolved. We are a part of Syria after all. There can be no resolution without Damascus.

_Al-Monitor: Where can an agreement be reached? In Geneva, Astana?
_Mazlum Kobane: If America and Russia and indeed the Arab countries commit themselves to brokering an agreement between our administration and the regime, and if an agreement is reached within certain parameters, this could facilitate a solution, serve as a template for the rest of the country.
_Al-Monitor: And what of Idlib?
_Mazlum Kobane: I believe that if a solution is brokered for our region, Idlib will be solved as well.

_Al-Monitor: Will Turkey withdraw from Syria?
_Mazlum Kobane: Should the peoples of Syria, its government and the international stakeholders reach a consensus, Turkey will be forced to withdraw. And should the Erdogan government lose power in Turkey, that will definitely facilitate this.

_Al-Monitor: There has recently been a lot of speculation about your status in several news organizations and on social media. Who am I interviewing now? Am I interviewing the commander in chief of the Syrian Democratic Forces?
_Mazlum Kobane: Do you have the slightest doubt?
_Al-Monitor: So you remain the commander in chief of the Syrian Democratic Forces? Correct?
_Mazlum Kobane: Yes.

Syria can re-enter Arab League,
says Egypt's foreign minister
By MEE staff, 9 November 2021

Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry said Syria could regain its status in the Arab League and fully normalise relations if it is able to play its "traditional role" in supporting Arab regional security.
Speaking at the Wilson Center, during the foreign secretary's two-day visit to Washington for the Egypt strategic dialogue with the Biden administration, Shoukry said "​​Syria is a very important component of Arab national security".
Shoukry said the Syrian government needs to demonstrate "a willingness to once again play its traditional role in support of Arab national security" and also show it can deal with the aftermath of the decade-long conflict in the country, including "the humanitarian dimension as well as the refugee problem".
"When we ascertain that that is the case, I'm sure there will be a receptive re-entry of Syria into the Arab League and the Arab fold," Shoukry said.
"We hope it can regain its posture and play its traditional role in a way that is supportive of the peace and security of the region."
Syria was suspended from the 22-member Arab League in November 2011, following the country's civil war.

Syria: President Bashar Assad receives UAE foreign minister in Damascus (MEE info)
However, in recent months, several Arab countries have begun to engage with the Syrian government, including Egypt, Jordan, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
The Emirati foreign minister, Abdullah bin Zayed, visited Damascus on Tuesday and met with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
In September, energy ministers from Egypt, Syria and Lebanon convened and agreed to a US-brokered deal that would see the transportation of Egyptian gas through Jordan and Syria into Lebanon for electricity generation, a further sign of bringing Damascus back into the regional mix.
Syria remains unstable and crippled by poverty and western sanctions, but Assad is in control of most of the country, making him a viable ally in the region...
A major obstacle, is the US, which passed the Caesar Act, a piece of legislation designed to make it difficult for the Syrian government to trade with the outside world and engage in reconstruction efforts....

Syria: At Raqqa 'roundabout of hell',
Syrian lovers find new meeting spot
Rudaw News, 12-11-2021

RAQQA, Syria - Only a few years ago, Al-Naim square was the grim stage for Raqqa's public executions. Today, Nader al-Hussein sits in its new arched design, waiting for his date to arrive.
"This is the best meeting point for lovers, families and friends," the 25-year-old says, sitting on one of the rare public benches in the bustling, war-ravaged north Syria city. "Before, we used to avoid passing near it so that we wouldn't see blood and horror," Hussein says.
The Al-Naim (Paradise) traffic circle was anything but heavenly when the Islamic State group reigned over Raqqa, its former de facto Syrian capital, between 2013 and 2017.
Jihadists flaunted their implementation of Islamic sharia law in the square, carrying out flagellations, crucifixions and even decapitations on those deemed apostates or criminals.
Their marauding morality police made it impossible for lovers to meet, even in private, without risking death.

Two years after IS was declared defeated in Syria, the revamped square is a far cry from the barren dirt mound that hosted some of the jihadist group's most repulsive acts.
Arched columns have been built around a new central fountain, replacing the metal fence on whose spikes an IS executioner once impaled the heads he had just severed before posing for a picture.
Benches have been placed near elliptical side pools. At night, multicoloured laser lights turn the square into a rare attraction amid the drab and ghostly concrete jumble of the city, four years after IS left.
The roundabout is central and ringed by cafes and restaurants, making it a popular spot for families and couples alike.

syria - raqqa 2013

In a scene unimaginable just four years ago, Mohammad al-Ali, 37, and his wife sit side-by-side, looking out for their three children as they play around one of the empty pools.
"We never brought the kids here so that they wouldn't see decapitated heads hanging," he told AFP. "But today, the square is a space for families and children."
Life is slowly picking up in Raqqa, where levelled buildings and traces of IS insignia provide stark reminders of the dark era of jihadist rule.
It was here that IS stoned people to death, tossed allegedly gay men from rooftops and auctioned off women from the Yazidi minority as slaves...

gay men, executed by isis, syria 2015

See also: Islamic Emirate and homosexuality
by Thierry Meyssan, Voltaire Network | Damascus, 20 June 2016

Documentary exposing France-Daesh ties
via Lafarge debuts on TRT
by Daily Sabah with AA, Nov 13, 2021

French company Lafarge sued for financing ISIS and complicity in war crimes in Syria, YouTube Vid 2016
A documentary exposing France's links with the Daesh terrorist group (IS) through cement giant Lafarge made its debut Friday on several channels of the Turkish public broadcaster TRT.
The documentary, "The Factory: A Covert French Operation," will "reveal the sinister network behind funding international terror," on the sixth anniversary of the 2015 Paris terrorist attacks, at TRT News, TRT World and TRT Arabi, a news release by TRT World said Thursday.
"The Factory was produced over a two year period with half a million documents being meticulously inspected – revealing dirty relationships behind funding int'l terrorism," TRT's Director-General Zahid Sobacı wrote on Twitter earlier.
"We did not expect the outcome would be this big when we started this project two years ago,” said Serdar Karagöz, the director-general of Anadolu Agency. He was the editor-in-chief of TRT World before joining the Turkish news agency.
He added that "the dirty operations of the French company Lafarge in Syria are presented with evidence in this documentary."
It details why Lafarge "decided to stay in Syria and keep its factory operative throughout the war, how EU funds were diverted to Daesh and the PKK, with the knowledge and cover-up of the French intelligence agencies, the steps taken by French politicians and intelligence agencies to save Lafarge from legal proceedings, and how the process of funding Daesh in Syria ended up financing 2015 Paris attacks..."
It was produced by the Exclusive News and Content Department at TRT World...

Lafarge operated a large facility some 50 kilometers (31 miles) southwest of the northern Syrian border town Ain-al Arab, also known as Kobani.
Documents obtained by Anadolu Agency showed Lafarge told French intelligence agencies about its ties to the Daesh terrorist group.
The documents exposed how Lafarge, charged with complicity in crimes against humanity regarding funding Daesh operations in Syria, had a relationship with the terrorism outfit that French intelligence fully knew about. Huge ransoms were paid to the terrorist group, in addition to raw material purchases.
French agencies, according to data obtained, used Lafarge's network to get intelligence in the region and maintain operations....

Flashback 2014: Erdoğan: "Wiping out IS(IS) is not enough,
Assad is the real target"
Daily Sabah with Anadolu Agency, 14.10.2014

Bashar Al-Jaafari dismissed the claims of some
countries that they care for the Syrian people
Syrian Arab News Agency, 27/02/2015

The U.S.-led coalition ran more than six hundred airstrikes on Kobani — eighty per cent of all its bombings in Syria—which cost hundreds of millions of dollars. Kobani has certainly paid a price. Fighting and bombings have destroyed half the city, which now has no economy, let alone electricity. There is little left for the forty thousand residents who fled; many may remain refugees for some time. (The New Yorker, 27-1-2015)
New York, SANA – Syria stressed that any measures that might be taken to stop the humanitarian suffering of needy Syrians would be patchy and insufficient as long as the relevant counterterrorism resolutions of the UN Security Council are not yet put into effect.
The Syrian point was made clear by the country’s Permanent Representative to the UN Bashar al-Jaafari...
Fighting terrorism, al-Jaafari said, demands putting an end to the practices of the “Turkish-Qatari-Saudi-Israeli alliance” which is providing support, funds and arms to the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), Jabhat al-Nusra, Free Army and other terrorist organizations.

Al-Jaafari dismissed the claims of some countries that they care for the Syrian people, reminding that some of those measures which are imposed by the EU include the Syrian civil aviation sector as well as the ministers of humanitarian relief, electricity and national reconciliation.
He also demanded a halt to the politicization of the humanitarian issue in Syria, a conduct he said appears evident in various reports put forth by the UN General Secretariat itself.

He went on saying that while it was the terrorist groups’ crimes which have driven the Syrians out of their home areas and turned them into displaced or refugees....
Those who really want to help the Syrian refugees, al-Jaafari said, must work first of all on helping them return home in cooperation with the Syrian government, which has repeatedly stressed its readiness to secure all the basic needs for them.

Libya: Saif Gaddafi Runs For President
Mohamed Emad, Libya Review, 14-11-2021

The son of long-time, leader Moammar Gaddafi, Saif Al-Islam, submitted his candidacy papers to the High National Election Commission (HNEC) in order to run for the upcoming presidential elections. These are planned to be held on December 24th.
On Sunday, Saif Al-Islam appeared inside the headquarters of the HNEC in the southwestern city of Sebha. He was surrounded by some of his supporters, including his lawyer, Khaled Al-Zaydi.
Last month, Chairman of Libya’s HNEC, Emad El-Sayeh, said Saif Al-Islam Gaddafi has the right to run for the upcoming presidential elections. In a discussion session via the Clubhouse, El-Sayeh noted that the law issued by the House of Representatives does not prevent the candidacy of Saif Al-Islam.
Even though Saif Al-Islam is wanted by the International Criminal Court, he can run for presidency; because the elections law stipulates that the candidate should not be finally convicted by a Libyan judiciary,” El-Sayeh explained.
Libyan Parliament Speaker Ageela Saleh said in October that the House of Representatives (HoR) will not prevent any Libyan who meets the conditions to run for elections. He noted that Gaddafi’s son can run for elections “if he meets the legal conditions.”
Saif Al-Islam Gaddafi has recently appeared in an interview with the “New York Times”, and hinted to a return to political activities. He also hinted to the existence of rapprochements and alliances with other Libyan parties during the coming period.

Flashback - New Wrinkle in US Plan
For Gaddafi-Free Libya
Richard Galustian, Ron Paul Institute, July 27, 2017

Field Marshall Khalifa Haftar, head of the Libyan National Army, has stated that former Libyan ruler Muammar Gaddafi's son, Saif Islam, "is free and in a safe place." Haftar further said he welcomed the idea of the younger Gaddafi playing some sort of political role in Libya's future.
In an interview (Arabic) with Al-Hayat newspaper, Haftar also stressed that he had no problems with moderate Muslim Brotherhood members but could never deal with the extremist elements..

The Libyan Muslim Brotherhood's Executive's rejected all communiques from Paris despite the olive branch extended to it by Haftar.
The United States, UK, and the UN are egging on their regional and international allies including France to finish the job in Libya to totally discount any thought of allowing Saif a role in the future of Libya..
To the West, Saif al-Islam is the poster child of the old order. The US and the UN want Saif al-Islam on trial at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague also to isolate and silence him. Quite simply he knows too much about the West's past duplicity.
Additionally, Saif al-Islam is wrongfully being held responsible for his father’s actions, from Lockerbie, which ironically his father was not involved in, to being part of the alleged plot of his father with Qatar to kill the then Saudi King Abdullah.
The West has become skeptical of Haftar mainly due to his closeness to Russia, however both Haftar and Saif Gaddafi are popular with the Libyan people....

Khalifa Haftar says to run for president
Arab News, November 16, 2021

BENGHAZI: Eastern commander Khalifa Haftar will run in Libya’s presidential elections due next month, he announced in a televised speech on Tuesday.
"I declare my candidacy for the presidential elections, not because I am seeking for authority but because I want to lead our people towards glory, progress and prosperity," Haftar said.
“Elections are the only way out of the severe crisis that our country has plunged into,” said Haftar, who was expected to formally register later on Tuesday at the election center in Benghazi.
Haftar, commander of a force called the Libyan National Army, waged war on factions in the west after the country split in 2014, including a 14-month offensive to capture Tripoli which was repelled by the internationally recognized government.

Libya News
Fathi Bashagha announces bid for president
By Adel Omran and Noha Elhennawy, AP, 19-11-2021

Libya’s former interior minister Fathi Bashagha announced Thursday his bid to run for president in the much-anticipated elections next month, the latest candidate to join the race for the highest office in the oil-rich nation devastated by years of civil war.
The 59-year-old is the fourth candidate to join the race, which has so far seen three controversial figures announce their bids, including a son of Moammar Gadhafi and a powerful military commander. Libya’s influential Parliament Speaker Aguila Saleh joined the race late Wednesday.

Libya will not go back to pre-2011. We will build a new Libya,” Bashagha told reporters in announcing his bid.
“Libya will turn from a rentier state into a free-market economy,” he added. “We will be embracing reform, reconciliation and the reconstruction.”
The presidential hopeful is believed to have links to armed militias in the western city of Misrata that played a key role in defending the capital against a 2019 military offensive from the east.

Flashback - Ex-Interior Minister Bashagha
turns to BGR for Libya election lobbying
by Julian Pecquet on September 3, 2021

Former Libyan interior minister Fathi Bashagha has hired Washington lobbying firm the BGR Group...
The contract is for $50,000 per month for six months starting Aug. 23. BGR is expected to provide government affairs and PR services “to engage and facilitate communications with the media, relevant officials and decision-makers in the U.S.,” according to a new filing under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA).
“Bashagha is building support for elections in December as an important step in keeping Libya on track for a stable and prosperous future,” BGR told Foreign Lobby Report in an emailed statement.
“BGR will help Mr. Bashagha make this case to government officials and the media in the U.S.”
A former fighter jet pilot originally from the northwestern city of Misrata, Bashagha lost a bid to serve as prime minister of the transitional Government of National Unity (GNU) earlier this year.
Bashagha is seen as close to the Muslim Brotherhood and Turkey. He was part of the Libya Dawn coalition of Islamist groups and conservative Misratan merchants that battled eastern commander Khalifa Haftar‘s forces for control of Tripoli in 2014 and helped push back Haftar’s subsequent assault on the capital when he was interior minister from October 2018 to March 2021.

Aisha Gaddafi Calls on Libyans to Support her Brother’s Candidacy
Libya Review, 20-11-2021

Aisha Gaddafi, daughter of the late Libyan leader Moammar Gaddafi and sister of Saif Al-Islam Gaddafi, candidate for the presidential elections, called on the Libyans to support her brother in the upcoming elections.
Gaddafi’s daughter said, “to the sons of my dear country, to the free women of Libya, mothers, sisters, sisters of the martyrs and men, to whom my father recommended in his testimony, and to all the honorable women of the country. The time has come for the night of humiliation to end in a morning that restores the purity of life and lifts Libya out of the muck of filth and rises again.”
Speaking about the elections, the sister of Saif Al-Islam Moammar Gaddafi added, “the hour of truth has come, a cry that your brother and my brother, Dr. Saif Al-Islam Moammar Gaddafi, appeared to you, Saif al-Islam that you knew well in prosperity and adversity, in hardship and ease.”

Flashback 2011- Aisha Gaddafi v. North Atlantic Treaty Organization
International Crimes Database Website

In 2011 NATO supported the Islamic Revolution in Libya. American and British naval forces fired over 110 Tomahawk cruise missiles, while the French Air Force, British Royal Air Force, and Royal Canadian Air Force undertook sorties across Libya and a naval blockade by Coalition forces. French jets launched air strikes against Libyan Army tanks and vehicles.

On 7 June 2011, Aisha Gaddafi, the daughter of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, filed a claim against NATO in Belgium over the bombing of a building in Gaddafi's compound that allegedly killed the youngest son of Colonel Gaddafi, Seif al-Arab, 29, and three grandchildren of the Libyan leader: Seif (2 years), Carthage (2 years) and Mastoura (4 months), as well as friends and neighbors. She claimed that "in her capacity as a mother, an aunt and a sister, suffered considerable prejudice".
In addition, she asserted that the attack constituted a war crime because the air strike did not target a military objective but a civilian building. Gaddafi's lawyers filed the petitions in Brussels and Paris.
The complaint in Paris was made against NATO, France, the French Defense Minister Gerard Longuet and the President Nicolas Sarkozy. The latter three defendants were accused of supporting the NATO operations of "war crimes" and "assassination."

On 27 July 2011, it was reported that Belgian prosecutors declined to investigate the war crimes complaint filed by Gaddafi against NATO, saying that the requirement of their country's universal competence law for establishment of a connection between a defendant and Belgium, is not satisfied in this case.

Libya News: HNEC releases list of presidential candidates
Saif al-Islam Gaddafi excluded
The Libya Observer, November 25, 2021

The High National Elections Commission (HNEC) published on Wednesday a preliminary list of 73 presidential candidates including Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Dbeibah, Khalifa Haftar, Parliament Speaker Aguila Saleh and former Interior Minister Fathi Bashagha

HNEC also published another list of 25 excluded candidates saying that they fail to meet the necessary legal conditions.
The list of 25 candidates excluded from the race includes Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, former Prime Minister Ali Zeidan, former General National Congress President Nuri Boushamin, Gaddafi's Secretary Bashir Saleh, and a senior leader in the Gaddafi regime, Muhammad al-Sharif.
In the case of Gaddafi, the committee pointed to articles of the electoral law stipulating candidates "must not have been sentenced for a dishonourable crime" and must present a clean criminal record.
The military prosecutor in Tripoli had urged the commission to rule out Gaddafi after his conviction in absentia on war crimes charges in 2015 for his part in fighting the revolution that toppled his father, Muammar Gaddafi, in 2011. The younger Gaddafi has denied wrongdoing.
The commission said that the candidates could appeal against these decisions within a 12-day limit established by law.

Flashback 2011 - The 'Libyan' Revolution
Obama Starts Another Illegal War
Eric Blair - Activist Post - March 20, 2011

What balls! What hubris! What hypocrisy! What happened to America?
Once again, America has preemptively attacked a sovereign nation that posed no threat to her without a declaration of war from the people's representatives.
Apparently the U.S. president now gets permission from the U.N. to spend U.S. taxpayer dollars on unprovoked wars and outright murder. Isn't it still called murder when killing is not done in self-defense? Okay, just checking to make sure I haven't lost my mind.
Nobel Peace prince Obama launched his liberation of the good people of Libya with his own shock-and-awe bombing campaign appropriately on the eighth anniversary of Bush's illegal invasion of Iraq. This tyrannical intervention is so naked, so brazen in its hubris that whatever shred of goodwill America had left is completely gone....

Arab League condemns broad bombing campaign in Libya
Washington Post 19-3-2011

CAIRO—The Arab League secretary general, Amr Moussa, deplored the broad scope of the U.S.-European bombing campaign in Libya on Sunday and said he would call a new league meeting to reconsider Arab approval of the Western military intervention.
Moussa said the Arab League’s approval of a no-fly zone on March 12 was based on a desire to prevent Moammar Gaddafi’s air force from attacking civilians and was not designed to embrace the intense bombing and missile attacks—including on Tripoli, the capital, and on Libyan ground forces—that have filled Arab television screens for the last two days.
“What is happening in Libya differs from the aim of imposing a no-fly zone,” he said in a statement on the official Middle East News Agency. “And what we want is the protection of civilians and not the shelling of more civilians.”

Arab spy chiefs found an inner circle in Cairo,
embrace Syria with US nod
DebkaFile [Israel], Nov 16, 2021

A group of Arab intelligence directors got together for a secret rendezvous in Cairo last week...
The project was initiated by the US CIA and Egypt’s president Abdel Fateh El-Sisi. Prominent as a special guest was Syria’s Maj. Gen. Hussam Luka, who is currently President Bashar Assad’s favorite intelligence persona.
The meeting kicked off the foundation of a club of Arab intelligence chiefs to be followed up in the coming months.
Its initial purpose, our sources reveal, was to bring together the head of Saudi General Intelligence Khaled Al-Humaiden and his Syrian counterpart, after a decade-long disconnect.
The Syrian [leader] is clearly emerging from the role of pariah he held in the Arab world and his return to the fold.
Last Saturday, the United Arab Emirates foreign minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed visited Damascus. He was closeted for some hours with Assad, and then flew to Amman to meet with Jordan’s King Abdullah.
There is talk in Arab capitals of inviting the Syrian president to the next Arab summit taking place in Algiers in March 2022.
Clearly underway is an Arab-US move to restore the Syrian ruler to the role he held prior to the outbreak of the 2011 civil war.

Flashback - Security reshuffle consolidates
Assad’s posture as Syria’s strongman
Arab Weekly, Saturday 13/07/2019

Syrian President Bashar Assad ordered a major reshuffle of the Syrian security apparatus, which led to the retirement of Syrian Air Force Intelligence commander Major-General Jamil Hassan.
Appointed in 2009, Hassan played a crucial role in suppressing the Syrian opposition during the early stages of the uprising. He worked closely with the Iranians, then shifted into the Russian orbit after Russian President Vladimir Putin sent troops to Syria in 2015.
Due to the sensitivity of his job, Hassan’s tenure was extended seven times by Assad, with the Russians supporting the move. Hassan had been due to retire at the age of 60 in 2012. His top general, Suheil al-Hassan, led the military campaigns of East Ghouta and Daraa in 2018, which were decisive victories for regime forces thanks to massive Russian air cover.
Jamil Hassan and Suheil al-Hassan take orders from Assad, not from Iran or Russia.
The same applies to Hussam Luka, the newly appointed head of Syria’s General Intelligence Directorate. A Sunni Muslim from Khanaser in Aleppo province, Luka rose to prominence last November when he was appointed director of political security.
He replaced General Deeb Zeitoun, who commanded state security since 2012. Both are considered Assad’s men who were too junior under the rule of his father and rose to prominence after Bashar Assad became president in 2000.
The security change is very cosmetic, replacing one Sunni Muslim Ba’athist officer with another Sunni Muslim Ba’athist officer, both Assadists.
Assad’s message appears to be that there are no strongmen in Syria apart from the president, who has dismissed all senior officers who were in power when the conflict started in 2011...

Israel 'not returning to UNESCO, despite US pressure
The New Arab Staff, 22 November, 2021

Israel will not return to the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) in the near future despite US efforts, Israeli Foreign Ministry Director-General Alon Ushpiz told media on Sunday.
Israel's tense relations with UNESCO began when it became the first UN body to give "member state" status to Palestine in 2011.
Israel withdrew its membership from the heritage body at midnight 31 December 2018 following years of fall-outs over Palestine's inclusion.
A return to UNESCO membership would "influence the way that the international community looks at the Palestinian Authority and our position is that the Palestinian Authority is not a state", Usphiz said on Israeli radio.
The UNESCO's recognition of Palestinian statehood prompted both Israel and the US to halt payments to the organisation, thereby losing their voting rights in 2013.
Both countries eventually slammed the door completely in 2019, under former US President Donald Trump.
Tensions between Israel and UNESCO also crystallised around several UNESCO decisions criticising the actions of Israel to alter the cultural and historical legacy in occupied Palestinian territories and East Jerusalem, which Israel claims as part of its capital.
In May 2017, UNESCO passed a resolution which criticised actions taken by "Israel, the occupying power... to alter the character and status of the holy city of Jerusalem".

Now, President Joe Biden wants the US to return as a voting member, a move that will require Congress to scrap legislation prohibiting funding of any UN organisation that grants full membership to groups not recognised by the US as a state - in this case, Palestine.
To build political traction for the motion, the Biden administration has pressed Israel to also return to UNESCO.

Russia supports two-state solution
to Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Putin tells Abbas
Ahram Online, Tuesday 23 Nov 2021

Russian President Vladimir Putin met on Tuesday with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in the Black Sea resort city of Sochi, where Putin stressed the importance of achieving a two-state solution to the Palestinian issue, Wafa news agency reported.
President Abbas, who arrived in the Russian city yesterday, briefed President Putin on the latest developments related to the Palestinian issue.
The discussion focused on bilateral cooperation as well as the Middle East agenda with regards to Russia’s efforts to help reach an Palestinian-Israeli settlement.

Putin said that the Russian Federation’s position on Palestine with regards to how to solve the Palestinian issue remains unchanged, according to a Kremlin press release:
"The most important thing I would like to say is this: the Russian Federation’s position on Palestine and as regards solving the Palestinian problem remains unchanged. The Palestinian problem should be solved in keeping with the earlier UN Security Council resolutions and on a just basis that takes into account the interests of all people living in this region, on the basis of the two-state concept. And we will certainly work towards this, no matter how difficult this might be." (Kremlin info)

UN nuclear chief seeks ‘common ground’ with Iran
Rudaw News, Kurdistan Region, 24-11-2021

Less than a week ahead of the resumption of talks to revive the battered Iranian nuclear deal, the United Nations nuclear chief Rafael Grossi said he was looking for "common ground" with Tehran and the head of the Islamic Republic’s atomic energy agency said Iran is “determined” to continue developing its nuclear program with an eye towards boosting its power generation.

Iran has plans to generate 10 gigawatts of electricity, especially via small nuclear plants with a capacity of up to 300 megawatts,” head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, Mohammed Eslami, said in Tehran on Tuesday in a joint press conference with the director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Rafael Grossi.
Grossi is visiting Tehran in the hopes of establishing a direct line of communication with Iranian officials so his agency “can resume essential verification activities in the country,” he tweeted the day before.
The IAEA monitors Iran’s nuclear activity to ensure compliance with the 2015 accord, which United States President Donald Trump walked away from in 2018, imposing sanctions in a failed attempt to force Tehran to negotiate a new, broader deal.
After the US re-imposed sanctions, Iran began walking back on its commitments under the deal, including restricting some IAEA access. Iran is now enriching uranium to 60%, far above the 3.67% limit set in the deal. Tehran maintains that its nuclear program is peaceful.
Grossi said they had a morning of “intense” work and that negotiations continue “with a view to finding common ground.”
It’s very important that we put this in the perspective of the peaceful nuclear program of Iran at a time where climate change demands that we work together, that we add clean nuclear energy to the matrices around the world, as it was discussed just a few days ago in Glasgow,” he added, referring to the UN climate summit.
Grossi also met with Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian who urged the IAEA to “ignore foreign political pressures...”

Egypt reopens 3,000-year-old Avenue of Sphinxes
in grand, glitzy Luxor ceremony
By Charlene Gubash and Petra Cahill, NBC, Nov. 26, 2021

Egypt revived a cultural tradition that has not been seen for several thousand years: The country opened the 3,000-year-old Avenue of Sphinxes to the public Thursday in an extravagant ceremony in the southern city of Luxor that follows decades of excavation efforts.
The ancient walkway, nearly two miles long and about 250 feet wide, was once named “The Path of God.” It connects the Temple of Luxor with the Temple of Karnak, just up the Nile river to the north.
A spectacular parade that began after nightfall in Egypt proceeded along the length of the avenue, which is lined on either side by over 600 ram-headed statues and traditional sphinxes, statues with a lion’s body and a human’s head.
The extravagant march included participants in pharaonic dress, a symphony orchestra, lighting effects, professional dancers, boats on the Nile, horse drawn carriages and more.

The road was buried under sand for centuries until Egyptian archaeologist Zakaria Ghineim discovered the first eight sphinx statues in front of the Luxor Temple in 1949.
The effort to excavate and restore the site persisted over the next seven decades and was interrupted numerous times by political upheaval, like the 2011 Arab Spring uprising...
The road is believed to have been built to celebrate the annual Opet Festival in the ancient city of Thebes, now known as Luxor.
The festival promoted fertility and included a procession that carried a statue of ceremonial gods from Karnak Temple to Luxor Temple.
“The Opet festival will be held, as it was in the past at the time of the Pharaohs,” said Ali Abu Dashish, an Egyptian archaeologist and member of the Archaeological Union, ahead of Thursday’s event. Dashish said it should send a message from Egypt to the world that, “we preserve and restore antiquities.”
Zahi Hawass, an Egyptian archaeologist, called the Luxor site “the largest open [air] museum, the largest archeological site in the world” that tells the history of Egypt from the 2,000 BC era — known as the Dynasty XI — until the Roman Period.

Israel leaving no stones unturned
to stop Vienna talks, UK plays along
Tehran Times, November 29, 2021

Foreign Secretary Liz Truss has signed a joint “memorandum of understanding” with her Israeli counterpart Yair Lapid – including a pledge to work “night and day” to stop Iran’s nuclear weapon programme... (Jewish News 2021)
TEHRAN — As the first day of the new round of talks in Vienna ended, one thing is certainly noticeable: Israelis are knocking on every door to stop Iran and P4+1 reach an agreement on how to find ways to lift illegal sanctions imposed on Iran.
On the eve of the Vienna talks, the first since Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi took office, the UK Foreign Secretary, Liz Truss, co-authored an article with the Israeli Foreign Minister, Yair Lapid, published in the Daily telegraph.
Truss and Lapid wrote that they will work together “night and day” to prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear power.
“We will also work night and day to prevent the Iranian regime from ever becoming a nuclear power. The clock is ticking, which heightens the need for close cooperation with our partners and friends to thwart Tehran’s ambitions,” they wrote on Sunday, November 28.

On the same day, and prior to publishing the aforementioned article, Iran’s top negotiator, Ali Bagheri Kani, wrote for Financial Times, clarifying Iran’s demands and positions.
“We are ready for a fair and careful discussion, based on the principles of ‘guarantee’ and ‘verification’. This must prioritize compensation for the violation of the deal, which includes the removal of all post-JCPOA sanctions. In return, Iran is ready to voluntarily fulfil its nuclear commitments in accordance with the agreement. We remain prepared to react proportionately to any pressure and reciprocate any goodwill gesture. We have made our choice. We will now find out whether or not the West has the will to enter real negotiations,” Bagheri noted.

The difference is clear. The Iranian top negotiator writes and clarifies Iran’s position, speaks of goodwill and seriousness to have fruitful talks.
But we have the UK top diplomat, allying with Iran’s biggest enemy. This sends the signal that the UK thinks that the Vienna talks are doomed to failure before it even started.
In line with the UK-Israeli alliance to portray the Vienna talks as a failure, Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett released a video. In that video, Bennett said, “I call upon our allies around the world: Do not give in to Iran's nuclear blackmail!” He continued his speech by saying that Iran deserves no rewards.

In an article on Monday, November 29, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian said that Tehran is determined to achieve a “good, sustainable, and effective verifiable deal.”
“Despite the unfulfilled promises of the West and distrust towards the unconstructive approach and policies of the White House, the Islamic Republic of Iran will endeavor ‘with true determination’ and ‘in good faith’ in the Vienna negotiations to achieve a ‘good,’ sustainable and effective verifiable deal for the lifting of sanctions,” the foreign minister wrote.

Israel warns US:
Iran preparing to enrich weapons-grade uranium
Arutz Sheva Staff, Nov 30, 2021

Israel has shared intelligence over the past two weeks with the US and several European allies suggesting that Iran is taking technical steps to prepare to enrich uranium to 90% purity — the level needed to produce a nuclear weapon, two US sources told Axios’ Barak Ravid on Monday.
Enriching to 90% would bring Iran closer than ever to the nuclear threshold. The Israeli warnings come as nuclear talks resume in Vienna, with Iran returning to the negotiating table on Monday after a five-month hiatus.
Enrichment alone will not produce a bomb. Estimates vary as to how long it would take Iran to master the additional technological requirements, but US and Israeli intelligence sources have put the timeline at one to two years.
The intelligence Israel shared with the Biden administration suggests the Iranian preparatory steps would allow Iran to move ahead with 90% enrichment within weeks if it chose to do so, according to one of the US sources cited by Ravid.
Israeli intelligence analysts assess that Iran could take that dramatic step soon in an attempt to gain leverage in the Vienna talks, the source said.
Israel also shared an intelligence assessment that Iran's desire for leverage in Vienna could lead Tehran to further increase attacks against US forces and interests in the region via proxies in Yemen, Syria and Iraq, the US source said.
Asked to comment on this story, a senior Biden administration official declined to discuss intelligence matters but said that the US was focused on diplomacy with Iran but "prepared to pursue other options should diplomacy fail."

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