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1.     Democratic Facade in Egypt

Roznama Urdu Times (The Urdu Times Daily), Mumbai

Editorial, 2 December 2010, Thursday

As expected the first episode of another democratic drama was completed in Egypt. The general elections, held on 28 November 2010, saw large scale manipulation of votes. The ruling party not only gained a “clear majority” once again, but the Muslim Brotherhood also could not win a single seat, vindicating the views held by a group within the Brotherhood which was against participating in elections sans major reforms in the state. Now, after it did not secure any seat in the first phase, the party is thinking of withdrawing from the second phase of elections to be held on Sunday, 5 December. The Muslim Brotherhood committed a mistake by participating in elections held under Hosni Mubarak’s undemocratic and anti-Islamic regime and this has been proved beyond doubt. Elections were held for 221 parliamentary seats. The ruling National Democratic Party (NDP) led by Hosni Mubarak won 209 seats, gaining enough seats required to form government. So, even if it does not get any seat in the second phase now, NDP will form the government. This time corruption and rigging of votes was so rampant that even the US Foreign Office expressed its anger saying that Egyptian authorities have failed to conduct a free and fair election. Similar allegations were made by the international human rights organisation, Human Rights Watch (HRW), saying that the elections held on Sunday, 28 November were not “free”! In such a situation one doesn’t need to be a political analyst to guess the outcome of elections going to be held on 5 December. It proves that Egypt is under the dictatorship of Hosni Mubarak and is completely different from Turkey. Unfortunately the Brotherhood in Egypt has not yet achieved the success of Necmettin Erbakan of Turkey. To achieve the success levels of Recep Tayyip Erdogan is beyond a thought for now. The Brotherhood needs a thorough and sincere introspection of the reasons behind such a debacle. The Islamic party is completely against using violence to achieve political end as well as it does not adhere to underground political activities. It has no role in the recent electoral violence in Egypt. In fact, it was the ruling party that incited violence during elections recently. It wants to come to power through legal means as enshrined in the Egyptian constitution through democratic means of ‘electoral politics’, as is the case with Turkey, but what are the problems that ails Egypt in attaining the Turkish level of democracy? The Turkish military is as ‘secular’ and anti-Islamic as the Mubarak administration. Turkish military had removed the Prime Minister Necmettin Erbakan’s government in a coup and had banned the party. What measure the Erdogan government has taken that the military could not rise in coup against his government? It’s true that the Brotherhood has sacrificed in both men and material, even more than their Turkish brothers then what prevents them from achieving success? There is no clear cut answer to this question, no doubt the Brotherhood has made huge sacrifice then why has the fate and time has always deceived it?

Source: Roznama Urdu Times  

2.     Attack on Nuclear Scientists

Roznama Rashtriya Sahara (National Sahara Daily), New Delhi

Editorial, 3 December 2010, Friday

The US and Israel are trying all ammunitions in their coffer to put a break on Iranian nuclear programme. Diplomatic pressure, economic sanctions, threat of attack on nuclear plants and continuous boastful warnings are regularly used to intimidate Iran. Meanwhile, another trick of killing and kidnapping of Iranian nuclear scientists is also being employed. Two Iranian nuclear scientists were attacked this week. A well known scientist Prof. Majid Shahriyari was killed in these attacks, while another scientist Fereydoun Abbasi was injured. These attacks were carried out by two motorcycle borne terrorists. In fact these attacks are proof of Zionist conspiracy. This is a result of failure of economic sanctions and diplomatic pressure on the people of Islamic Republic of Iran, so the Mossad and Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) agents are now killing these scientists as they have done in past.

Likewise, in the beginning of this year, on 12 January 2010, Prof. Massoud Ali-Mohammadi of Tehran University was killed in a remote controlled explosion while he was coming out of his house. Then also the Iranian leaders have accused the US intelligence agencies and Zionist government of killing the Iranian nuclear scientist. According to the Iranian authorities a terrorist group that has been nurtured by CIA had immediately taken responsibility of the attack, which proves the involvement of the US intelligence agency.

Earlier also the chief of Iranian human rights council Mohammad Javad Larijani had said, while speaking at the UN General Assembly session, that the US and some EU members are sheltering dangerous terrorist groups including MKO[1] and Jundallah (Soldiers of God) in Pakistan and Iran.

He also said that many terrorists responsible for the death of thousands of innocent people are freely active in Britain, France and Germany. This is a major cause of worry that when it comes to their enemies like Iran the West which generally issues statements condemning terror acts, starts funding and arming such organisations.

The killing of another Iranian nuclear scientist is a sign of tremendous frustration among Western countries due to Iran’s development of and advancement in nuclear technology. Such attacks on Iranian intellectuals are also a sign of Israeli frustration. Apart from their effort to kill these scientists, the American and Israeli agents are also involved in kidnapping Iranian scientists. The incident of kidnapping of young Iranian scientist, Shahram Amiri, from Saudi Arabia is still fresh. He was kidnapped from Saudi Arabia while performing Umrah (Hajj rituals performed out of season) by CIA and was sent to the US. Later it was announced by the US that Shahram Amiri came to the US with his free will and he was free to go back to his country. The interesting point is that, a spokesperson of US State Department, Philips Crowley, linked this kidnapping with the arrest of three American nationals who entered Iran illegally through Iraqi borders. But later he was found looking for words while he was asked by reporters during a press conference regarding when and how Shahram Amiri came to the US and said that he does not want to comment on the question.

The most important question however is, what message does the US wants to convey to the world through killing and kidnapping of Iranian scientists and intellectuals? Does it wish to tell the world that they can block Iranian nuclear advancement through agents if diplomatic and economic efforts fail? One more reason behind such terrorist acts is creating problems for Iranian population. Iran is one country where many terrorist acts have occurred in past. Once, seventy two Members of Parliament were killed in a terror strike. Terrorists have killed the Iranian President and Prime Minister together in an attack. Despite all this neither the Islamic revolution was weakened nor do the people’s resolve to move forward. Apart from such incidents the life on Iranian streets are still safe but the Western countries strongly wish to create Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iraq like situation in Iran. The West is trying to promote terrorism, so as to make people’s life in Iran difficult and pressurise Iran to buy x-ray machines, metal detectors and explosive detectors from Western industries. The killing of Iranian scientists is indeed highly condemnable but the silence of international community on the issue is criminal and deplorable.

Source: Roznama Rashtriya Sahara

3.     Unnecessary Worry of the West

Roznama Rashtriya Sahara (National Sahara Daily), New Delhi

Editorial, 6 December 2010, Monday

The Western powers have asked Iran to defer from the path of confrontation and non-cooperation, taking steps to dispel the concern of West with respect to its nuclear programme, before the talks start on 6 December 2010, coming after a long gap. Iran has consented to join the talks with the six world powers on 6-7 December in Geneva. However, it has made clear that no compromise would be made on Iran’s nuclear rights.

Any expectation on what aspects will be discussed in these talks and to what extent Iran would be able to convince these powers about its nuclear programme may not be suitable at this juncture, as Iran has not budged under American pressure in past and has maintained that it would not hand down its right for nuclear test. Iran has continuously clarified that its nuclear programme is for peaceful purposes but the US and its Western allies have regularly targeted its nuclear programme. The reason behind this is not that Iran is a threat for world peace but that they take it as their right to rule the world and interfere in the matters of other countries and stop nuclear proliferation especially in Asia despite having nuclear bombs themselves and even if a country wants to use the nuclear energy for peaceful purposes and to fulfil its energy needs. During the nuclear test by India and Pakistan, the stand taken by the US, Europe and UN under their pressure is not hidden from anyone, and now these powers are indulging in similar tricks, even harsher steps are being used in case of Iran. On the other hand North Korea has declared that it has developed nuclear bomb and other deadly weapons, recently it attacked its neighbour and American ally, South Korea, but nobody dared to take any harsh measure against it due to Chinese support.

Instead, despite Iran’s continuous denial from intending to make a nuclear bomb, the West is behaving in a manner that, as if the world peace now completely depends on Iranian nuclear programme. The threatening tone towards Iran despite its agreement to take part in the Geneva talks, only show their attitude towards Iran. The question here is, did the country that is asking West to dispel its worries regarding Iranian nuclear programme consulted the world before starting its nuclear programme or did it tried to dispel any possible worry of any Muslim country? Absolutely not, so if the West is not convinced from continuous Iranian denial then there must be something wrong with their intentions and not Iran. It should be lauded for agreeing to enter into talks with the six powers despite having the right to do nuclear test.

In fact Germany, France, Britain etc. are all toeing the American line on this issue, which doubt that Iran is developing nuclear arms. That’s the reason why these countries have almost threatened Iran to take the West in confidence regarding its nuclear programme. This threatening tone is very obvious from their statements and is in fact the root of this problem, which shows that the issue is not of “worry of the West” but of their ego. In such a scenario, any expectation that gradually Iran would come to the path of confidence building would be futile.

Source: Roznama Rashtriya Sahara

4.     Wiki-Leaks and Obama Administration

The Etemaad Urdu Daily (The Confidence Urdu Daily), Hyderabad

Editorial, 7 December 2010, Tuesday

The Wiki-Leaks revelations that are doing the rounds all around the world may mislead people’s perception but will it be beneficial for anyone? Julian Assange, the chief of Wiki-Leaks, has put more than two hundred thousand secret American diplomatic cables on the internet. Strangely, the Obama administration is still clueless about who is responsible for this terrorist act. The reaction of White House is very lacklustre, which makes one think that the administration in backing this bagful of lies and propaganda and that is why White House is completely silent. The administration has taken steps to prevent the further leaking of secret documents from State Department. But no immediate step was taken to block the misleading revelations.

The Attorney General Eric Holder has said that they are contemplating charges against Assange and Wiki-Leaks as per the espionage act. But the question is what they were doing for the past 18 months, during the period secrets were leaked about Iraq and Afghanistan. It seems that the Obama administration does not bother about its responsibility. This leak could cause major embarrassment for Obama who still seems to be unaware of it. A deep analysis of the last one and half year since the start of Wiki-leaks revelations would tell that it all started immediately after Obama administration started to put pressure on Israel to solve the Palestinian problem. New secrets were made public after the success of Republican Party in Senate elections recently.

Thomas Freidman, leading New York Times columnist, rightly views the Wiki-Leaks indicating that Republican Party wants to weaken Barrack Obama, as he has signed an agreement on Iran with Russia. Republican Party fears that Russia will try to find a favourable deal for Iran on its nuclear programme. So, the deal is not acceptable to them. Arizona Senator John Keal has blocked the endorsement of the deal in the Senate on argument of protecting American interest.

Wiki-Leaks tries to create misconception among nations, but the kind of revelations that has been made to create hatred and misconception between Arab world and Iran, gives an impression that the mind working behind Wiki-Leaks, wants to create a huge gap of hatred among Muslims of the world. The revelations are trying to create hatred among Arab population towards Iran which is an important regional power, saying that most of the Arab leaders want the US to take any step to control Iran including going to war. However, the Arab leaders can not dare to say this in front of their public. In one of the cables sent by an American diplomat in the region, it has been said that the Arab leaders are so weak and scared that they completely depend on the US for their security. These Arab leaders see a major danger in a possible nuclear Iran. They take Iran as someone who can incite the Arab population to revolt against their leaders. Addressing a conference on Middle East security, Iranian Foreign Minister Manoucher Mottaqi has said that the neighbouring Arab countries should not be wary of Iran as it would never use power against them as they are brothers.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad wisely rejected these revelations terming it as a Zionist conspiracy immediately after Wiki-Leaks made it public, he also said that he had a fruitful discussion with King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia on the Palestine issue. In the sub-continent also, doubts and lack of confidence between India and Pakistan has been confirmed. The Pakistani leadership now fears that the US wants to control its nuclear plants, since it expressed its fear that the terrorists may get hold of Pakistani nuclear weapons. Such revelations may cause dangerous lack of confidence among nations. The US administration should take steps to stop the leaking of secret cables and take action against the perpetrators of this crime. It has caused enough mayhem in the world.

Source: The Etemaad Urdu Daily

5.     Commendable Decision from Argentina

Roznama Rashtriya Sahara (National Sahara Daily), New Delhi

Editorial, 9 December 2010, Thursday

After Brazil, the Argentinean decision to recognize Palestine as an independent state has agonised Israel. This decision by Argentina and Brazil is a slap on the face the US and other Israeli supporters. These are the countries responsible for the current situation in Middle East and independence of Palestine. It is the American support due to which Israel has always suppressed the rights of Palestinians. Due to lack of sincerity from the US and an organisation like UN almost all Israel-Palestine negotiations have proved nothing more than a public relations exercise. In such a situation if some countries have stood up for the rights of Palestine and have recognized Palestine as an independent state then Israel and its supporters have no business to get angry.

Israel has termed the announcement of recognising independent Palestinian state as unfortunate which is a proof that Israel and the US are not sincere about Palestinian independence. The spokesperson of Israeli Foreign Ministry has said that ‘this unfortunate decision will not help in changing the current situation between Israel and Palestine.’ But even before this decision, has the efforts to solve this Middle East problem bore any fruit. All are aware of this bitter truth that Israel has always used all legal and illegal means for its benefit and to block the resolution of the Palestine issue. The Israeli leadership has always sabotaged any effort to resolve this conflict, anytime any hope was raised to solve the problem. Off late, whenever Israel has faced pressure for resolving the conflict and demands for recognising an independent Palestinian state has been raised, Israel has created problems by announcing construction of new Jewish settlements in occupied areas. In the beginning of this year, during the visit of American Vice President, as the pressure on Israel was growing to enter into a dialogue with Palestine, Israel announced the construction of new settlement in the occupied lands, which was condemned by the US as well.

So, it is completely meaningless to say that the recognition of independent Palestine by Brazil and Argentina would not help improve the situation in Middle East. Also the Israeli intention in this regard makes this question completely meaningless. Israel also said that this decision is completely against the spirit of past agreements between Israel and Palestine. What agreements is Israel talking about, and in what sense this decision violates the spirit of those agreements can only be clarified by Israeli leadership. However, as far as international conventions and agreements and UN resolutions are concerned Israel itself has always violated the spirit of these laws and resolutions. The real headache for Israel is the fear of the spread of this means applied by Brazil and Argentina to pressurize Israel and to recognize Palestine. Uruguay has also announced that it will recognize Palestine as an independent state in 2011. The support for Palestine is growing and in current situation it would be difficult for the US to prevent this as the country itself is facing lots of problems. The stand taken by Latin American countries regarding Palestine has become a big worry for Israel in such a situation.

Source: Roznama Rashtriya Sahara

Compiled & translated by Md Muddassir Quamar

Md Muddassir Quamar is a research student at the School of International Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi

As part of its editorial policy, the MEI@ND standardizes spelling and date formats to make the text uniformly accessible and stylistically consistent. The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views/positions of the MEI@ND.  Editor, MEI@ND: P R Kumaraswamy

[1]  The People’s Mojahedin of Iran (PMoI) is referred to as Monafiqeen-e-Khalq (MKO) by Iranian Government.