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Why Iran resists pressure to open Parchin to IAEA inspectors

By Cyrus Safdari | Iran Affairs | September 26, 2012

Parchin is a military site that has been in the news lately because the IAEA is insisting on sending inspectors there, and Iran has been resisting the pressure. While this has naturally led many US media outlets to suggest that Iran is hiding something there, Hassan Beheshtipour explains Iran’s position over at IranReview.org

1. No country [would] ever allow the IAEA to inspect its military sites because the agency is missioned to merely visit nuclear sites, and non-nuclear military bases [are not] covered by its inspections [authority].

2. In order to prove its goodwill and reveal [the] falsehood of the Western media propaganda, Iran has already allowed IAEA inspectors to visit the site twice in 2005, and after each visit, the inspectors said nothing illegal had been found there. Olli Heinonen, the deputy to the then director general of the IAEA, Mohamed ElBaradei, had orally promised that if Iran allowed inspection of the military site in Parchin, they would announce once and for all that Parchin is a non-nuclear site and would need no further inspection. However, as the agency’s deputy director general for safeguards changed, the new deputy, Herman Nackaerts, announced in 2011 that Parchin site needs to be inspected again in the light of alleged studies whose information had been provided by some member states of the agency. This issue has caused Iran not to trust the promises given by the IAEA officials anymore.

3. Following three rounds of negotiations with delegates of the IAEA, Iran announced that the agency would be able to revisit Parchin site if two conditions are met. Firstly, they should promise that following the visit, there would be no further request to inspect Parchin again. Secondly, documents related to the agency’s alleged studies should be made available to Iran in order to make it possible for Tehran to evaluate that information and give an appropriate answer. The IAEA, in return, responded to Iran’s logical request by claiming that countries providing information about the alleged studies would not allow copies of those studies to be provided to Iran. As a result, the agency rejected Iran’s request and denied the Islamic Republic of an opportunity to defend itself by alleging that the IAEA, an impartial international organization, is competent enough to verify the studies.

4. The Islamic Republic of Iran expects the IAEA to guarantee that after its inspectors visit the military site at Parchin, there would be no leak of confidential information related to this non-nuclear military site and such information remain secret. This is a result of the background of the IAEA’s performance in similar cases. For example, during the agency’s work in Iraq, information related to non-nuclear military sites of that country were made available to other states a few years before military invasion of Iraq by the United States. Of course, the United States announced that it had not gained that information through the IAEA inspectors, but at any rate, the leak of confidential information about Iraq’s military sites dealt a drastic blow to credit of the agency regardless of the source of the leaked information.

The writer goes on the remind readers that the IAEA and Iran resolved most of the “outstanding issues” between them back in 2007-2008, after they had reached a “Modalities Agreement” for a step-by-step process of cooperation, and,

At present, Iran is also ready to cooperate with the agency on all issues provided that the cooperation is mutual and based on a correct understanding of Iran’s security considerations.

I should point out here that regarding point no. 3 raised by Beheshtipour, former IAEA head El-Baradei wrote in his memoirs entitled “Age of Deception” about how ridiculous a thought it was that Iran was expected to rebut evidence that it was not allowed to see. In fact, under the 2007 Modalities Agreement, which led to the resolution of all of the claims against Iran except for the “alleged studies”, Iran agreed to provide an evaluation of these claims if it was presented with the documentation first. However the US has prevented the IAEA from sharing the information with Iran, and in some cases the US has even prevented the IAEA itself from seeing the full documentation which forms the basis of these “Alleged Studies” even though there are signficant doubts about the veracity of these same documents. Iran supplied their promised evaluation in the form of a 117-page document anyway. Under the terms of that Modalities Agreement, this was all Iran was obligated to do, and the IAEA was then bound to conclude the issue. That, of course, is not what happened. Read more here

September 26, 2012 Posted by | Deception, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , , | Comments Off on Why Iran resists pressure to open Parchin to IAEA inspectors

Press TV correspondent killed in Syrian capital

Press TV – September 26, 2012

Insurgents in the Syrian capital Damascus have attacked Press TV staff, killing the Iranian English-language news network’s correspondent Maya Naser, and injuring its Damascus Bureau Chief Hossein Morteza.

Naser came under attack while reporting on air just hours ago. He was shot and killed by a sniper.

Press TV and Al-Alam Damascus Bureau Chief Hossein Morteza also came under attack and was injured.

The two were covering twin blasts in Damascus and the ensuing fighting.

“We hold Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, who provide weapons and militants to kill civilians, military personnel and journalists, responsible for killing Maya,” Press TV’s News Room Director Hamid Reza Emadi said.

“Press TV will pursue the matter of the murder of Maya and would not let those who killed the correspondent feel like they can kill the media people and get away with it,” he emphasized.

Syria has been experiencing unrest since March 2011. Damascus says outlaws, saboteurs, and armed terrorists are behind the unrest, but the opposition accuses the security forces of being behind the violence.

The Syrian government says that the chaos is being orchestrated from outside the country, and there are reports that a very large number of the armed militants are foreign nationals.

September 26, 2012 Posted by | Full Spectrum Dominance, War Crimes | , | 1 Comment

Quakers Divest from Veolia and Hewlett Packard

By Anna Baltzer | US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation

HP Protest

The US Campaign is thrilled to announce that the Quaker Friends Fiduciary Corporation (FFC) has become the first U.S. national fund to divest from Hewlett-Packard (HP) and Veolia Environment following concerns expressed by Palestinian rights advocates about the companies’ involvement in the Israeli occupation. At last count, FFC held investments of more than $250,000 in HP and more than $140,000 in Veolia.

FFC handles investments for over 300 Quaker meetings, schools, organizations, trusts, and endowments around the U.S., with over $200 million in assets. According to the Executive Director of FFC, Hewlett Packard was dropped for providing information technology consulting services to the Israeli Navy, while Veolia Environment was removed due to “environmental and social concerns.”

The decision followed advocacy from member group Palestine Israel Action Group of the Ann Arbor Friends Meeting (AAFM), which also successfully urged FFC to divest its $900,000 in Caterpillar shares in May. FFC has a “zero tolerance for weapons and weapons components” and said, “We are uncomfortable defending our position on this stock.” Caterpillar produces and sells bulldozers to Israel that are weaponized and used to violate Palestinian rights and destroy Palestinian homes, schools, hospitals, olive groves, and lives.

The US Campaign commends AAFM and FFC, which made its recent decision, in line with FFC’s principled commitment to investment in companies that “contribute positively to a peaceful, sustainable world.”

HP maintains a biometric ID system used in Israeli checkpoints for racial profiling; manages the Israeli Navy’s IT infrastructure; and supplies the Israeli army with other equipment and services used to maintain its military occupation. Veolia is involved in a light rail linking illegal Israeli settlements with cities in Israel; it operates segregated bus lines through the occupied West Bank; and it operates a landfill and a waste water system that dumps Israeli waste on Palestinian land.

2012 will truly be remembered as a landmark year of victories in the global campaign to hold corporations accountable for profiting from Israel’s violations of Palestinian human rights and international law:

Earlier this month, the dining services of Earlham College, another Quaker institution, stopped selling Sabra products in response to concerns from students and faculty about the company’s links to the Israeli army. Other campuses have de-shelved Sabra recently. BDS (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions) Earlham, a member group of the US Campaign, continues its exciting campaign to convince the college to divest from Caterpillar, Motorola, and HP.

Shortly thereafter, the Student Union of the massive University of California (UC) system voted to protect students’ rights to advocate BDS on campus and demanded that UC stop profiting from Israel’s abuses of Palestinian rights. The motion passed by a vote of 12 to 0 (with 2 abstentions).

And of course, Morgan Stanley Capital Investment decided this year to remove the company from its list of socially responsible companies, prompting financial giant TIAA-CREF to divest more than $72 million in Caterpillar shares previously held in TIAA-CREF’s Social Choice Fund (though the company still holds Caterpillar shares in other funds). This was a major victory for the We Divest Campaign, the largest coalition-led U.S. divestment campaign in the country, which calls on TIAA-CREF to divest from companies involved in the Israeli occupation, including Veolia and HP.

These are just a few of the extraordinary victories this year in the movement to end U.S. institutional support for Israel’s violations of Palestinian rights. Many more are surely on the way, as many campaigns forge ahead. This Thursday, September 27, 2012, the Minnesota Court of Appeals will hear arguments in an appeal brought by member group Minnesota Break the Bonds Campaign against the Minnesota State Board of Investment. In the California Bay Area, a new campaign to Stop HP — led by member groups Friends of Sabeel, UC Berkeley Students for Justice in Palestine, Bay Area Campaign to End Israeli Apartheid, American Friends Service Committee, Global Exchange, Middle East Children’s Alliance, Jewish Voice for Peace and others — is collecting pledges from individuals and organizations to boycott the company until it ends its complicity with the Israeli occupation.

Let’s continue to show our support for corporate accountability by clicking here to thank FFC for divesting from Veolia and HP!

September 26, 2012 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation, Militarism, Solidarity and Activism | , , , , , | 1 Comment