Iran Talks: France Anxious About Competition With the Other Five

By Jaya Ramachandran | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis

BERLIN | TEHRAN (IDN) – France is concerned about its declining influence in the Middle East and fears economic competition from the U.S., Britain and Germany if relations between Tehran and the West are normalized for the first time since the 1979 Iranian revolution. This, according to a senior Iranian analyst, is the reason French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius appeared to adopt a tough stance in Iran’s talks with the P5+1 – the UN Security Council’s permanent members, the U.S., Britain, France, Russia, China along with Germany – on November 9-10 in Geneva.

The Importance of Iran-US-Russia Triangle

By Alireza Noori* | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis

TEHRAN (IDN | Iran Review) – Although the idea of possible re-establishment of Iran’s relations with the United States is still at the stage of early speculations and does not seem to be realized even in the medium term, the mere mention of this issue has been followed by different analysis about the possibility of an Iran-U.S. détente and its outcomes. Among all other issues, relations between Tehran and Moscow will be certainly affected by such a development.

Iran and P5+1 Take One More Step Toward Mutual Confidence Building

By Hassan Beheshtipour* | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis

TEHRAN (IDN | Iran Review) – The fourth round of negotiations between representatives of Iran and the P5+1 group of world powers (USA, Russia, China, France, Britain and Germany), which ended on October 16, 2013, was a great leap ahead for both sides and a solid measure aimed at mutual trust building.

The two-day talks in Geneva were very remarkable for the Iranian side because serious negotiations had gotten underway again after a hiatus of several months. By offering a new proposal which was too attractive for the Western states to reject, Iran proved that it is ready to reach a comprehensive and complete understanding with the West over its peaceful nuclear energy program.

Syria Starts Abandoning Chemical Weapons

By Richard Johnson | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis

THE HAGUE (IDN) – When the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) enters into force for Syria on October 14, 2013, the country will become the 190th Member State of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), according to the Hague-based global watchdog.

The CWC – or the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on their Destruction – is the most recent arms control agreement with the force of International law. This agreement outlaws the production, stockpiling and use of chemical weapons. It is administered by the OPCW, an independent organization.

The Identity Crisis Of Two Palestinian Towns

By Ramzy Baroud* | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis

MOUNTLAKE TERRACE, WASHINGTON (IDN | CounterCurrents.org) – The distance between Gaza and Ramallah in sheer miles is hardly significant. But in actuality, both cities represent two different political realities, with inescapable cultural and socioeconomic dimensions. Their geopolitical horizons are vastly different as well – Gaza is situated within its immediate Arab surroundings and turmoil, while Ramallah is westernized in too many aspects to count. In recent years, the gap has widened like never before.

Of course, Gaza and Ramallah were always, in some ways, unalike. Demographics, size, topography and geographic proximity to Arab countries with different political priorities have always made them separate and distinctive. But the Israeli occupation of East Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza in 1967 had decisively removed Ramallah from its Jordanian element, and Gaza from its Egyptian political milieu.

Syria: A Complicated US-Russia Power Game

By Reza Hojjat Shamami* | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis

TEHRAN (IDN | Iran Review) – Without a doubt, during these days that the international community is grappling with the Syria crisis, a new sensitive and determining chapter is being opened for the international world order. Of course, the ongoing developments inside Syria do not constitute the main reason for this situation, but it is more a result of a complicated power game, especially between the United States and Russia.

As a result, continuation of this trend can lead to the stabilization or change of the existing structure of international world system. Since August 21, when a chemical weapons attack was carried out in Ghouta, an eastern suburb of the Syrian capital, Damascus, the type of position taken by the American officials as well as some of their allies such as the UK, has practically pushed the world to the brink of a new war in the Middle East.

Grounds For Optimism In Egypt

By Ismail Serageldin* | IDN-InDepth NewsViewpoint

ALEXANDIRA (IDN) – Violence is about in the land. The young, the idealists and the dutiful, along with the fanatics, are dying in the streets and the hamlets of Egypt. Hatred and attacks on the Christian minority have reared their ugly head again. Differences of opinion escalate into confrontation, and the declaration of a state of emergency and the imposition of a curfew have formally underlined the gravity of the situation.

Egypt: Out of Focus But in a Critical State

By Bernhard Schell | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis

BEIRUT (IDN) – While the focus of international attention has shifted to Syria, interest in Egypt is on the wane, despite the fact that political stalemate continues there and the country is reeling under the impact of one of the bloodiest events epitomized, among others, by the government crack-down on protests organized by the Muslim Brotherhood outside Rabaa al-Adawiya mosque and at Nahda Square in Cairo.

Iran Warns USA, Criticizes Syrian Government

By Jaya Ramachandran | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis

BERLIN (IDN) – As drums of war beat louder, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has warned that “resorting to force in the Middle East will ignite a fire, which will be difficult to contain”, highlighted Tehran’s role in encouraging the Syrian government to accept and cooperate with the UN inspectors, criticized President Bashar Hafez al-Assad for some “grave mistakes” and bashed the U.S. for playing into the hands of “radical Takfiri groups that seek intensification of the conflict, violence and sectarianism”.

In an interview with Aseman Weekly (Sky Weekly) in Tehran, Foreign Minister Zarif said Iran had alerted the U.S. in December 2012 that “handmade articles of chemical weapons, including sarin gas,” were being transported into Syria. The warning was conveyed in an official memo to Washington through the Swiss Embassy in Tehran, which serves as the U.S. interests section in Iranian capital, he said.

Syria: There Is Lot More Crying For Attention

By Jayantha Dhanapal and Paolo Cotta-Ramusino*
IDN-InDepth NewsDocument

As an emotional and political roller-coaster about Syria continues, some of the crucial facts and background are being ignored. So that these do not disappear completely from the radar, IDN is documenting the following statement issued on August 29 – Editor.

The Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs considers the possession and the use of chemical weapons, as with all weapons of mass destruction, abhorrent. We join with Syrians and people worldwide in expressing our horror at the recent apparent use of some sort of chemical agent against children and other sleeping civilians in the Damascus suburbs.

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