The Middle East Channel

IAEA report expected to confirm Iranian nuclear arms research

IAEA report expected to confirm Iran nuclear arms research The United Nation’s International Atomic Energy Agency is set to release a report this week evaluating the status of Iran’s nuclear capabilities showing that Iran is within reach of attaining a nuclear weapon. According to U.S. officials the report will confirm suspicions that Iran continued nuclear ...

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IAEA report expected to confirm Iran nuclear arms research

The United Nation’s International Atomic Energy Agency is set to release a report this week evaluating the status of Iran’s nuclear capabilities showing that Iran is within reach of attaining a nuclear weapon. According to U.S. officials the report will confirm suspicions that Iran continued nuclear arms research after 2003, when pressure to halt experiments was heightened. While Iran’s Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi maintained the reports are based on “counterfeit” claims asserting the nuclear program is solely for peaceful purposes, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad stated Iran’s military technology is advancing to be on par with Israel and the West. He said, “Yes, we have military capabilities that are different from any other country in the region,” continuing on to say “Iran will not permit [anyone from making] a move against it.” His remarks have come as speculation has increased over a possible Israeli attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities. Israeli President Shimon Peres said an attack is becoming “more and more likely.” Russia responded to this threat stating that a preemptive military strike would be a “very serious mistake fraught with unpredictable consequences.”

Headlines  

Daily Snapshot

Thousands of Muslim pilgrims arrive to throw pebbles at pillars during the ‘Jamarat’ ritual, the stoning of Satan, in Mina near the holy city of Mecca, on November 6, 2011. Pilgrims pelt pillars symbolising the devil with pebbles to show their defiance on the third day of the hajj as Muslims worldwide mark the Eid al-Adha or the Feast of the Sacrifice, marking the end of the hajj pilgrimage to Mecca and commemorating Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his son Ismail on God’s command (FAYEZ NURELDINE/AFP/Getty Images). 

Arguments and Analysis

‘Why the past is crucial to Egypt’s future’ (Michael Wahid Hanna, The Cairo Review)

“The fate of former regime figures will be an important test of the supremacy of civilian authority and Egypt’s commitment to the social movement that toppled the Mubarak regime. Prosecutions and vetting of the guilty among the felool [remnants of the regime] will be essential steps in the elucidation of past repression and the construction of a new and open politics. However, the process of accounting for the past will require systematic and creative commitment that goes beyond individual culpability of former regime figures. In this regard, truth commissions, historical archives, victim compensation, and other steps could be important complementary measures in the near future. There is no acknowledged or universal formula for transitional settings and Egypt will need to tailor its own course in line with its history, culture, and society. The creativity and resilience of Egypt’s protest movement offer grounds for cautious optimism in this regard. However, the sense of moral authority among the most committed protest leaders should also be a warning sign as to the potential for excesses and truncation of due process in the pursuit of revolutionary justice.”

‘Rising up in Israel’ (Eyal Press, New York Review of Books)

“Netanyahu surely hopes that by the time elections take place the paramount concern of most Israelis will once again be bitachon-security. But if the protests this summer proved nothing else, it’s that many citizens are no longer waiting for elections to air their grievances or for their leaders to tell them what is important. When Knesset members dropped by the tents this summer to express their (belated) support, the reaction was cool. When the protesters were advised to go home after the violence in August, they refused, not because they didn’t care about security but because the word carried a different meaning to them. “If we don’t have health care, education, housing, a welfare system, we’ll never have security,” Stav Shafir said. “You need to have a strong society to have security, and right now our society is very weak.”

‘Qatar: pygmy with the punch of a giant’ (The Economist)

“While cheerleading the Arab spring, Qatar has interposed itself, with mixed diplomatic success, in conflicts as far away as Lebanon, Palestine, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. Its sheikhs sit on an array of big European boards and own choice chunks of London. Their spreading portfolios embrace Chinese refineries, French fashion houses and Spanish football teams. In 2022 Qatar will host football’s World Cup. Such clout carries a cost in controversy. Critics sniff that the global shopping sprees of institutions such as the ruling Thani family’s investment arm, Qatar Holdings, along with the Qatar Investment Authority, a sovereign-wealth fund worth $70 billion, are a crude attempt to buy influence. Chastened dictators obviously resent what they see as Al Jazeera’s meddling, whereas leftists, citing the presence of a giant American airbase just outside Doha, charge Qatar with being Washington’s cat’s paw. Arab liberals, meanwhile, look at the generous air time which Al Jazeera gives to Islamists and at the Qataris’ enthusiasm for radical Islamist groups such as Hamas in Palestine and Hizbullah in Lebanon, and conclude that the emirate is promoting not popular revolution but a fundamentalist power grab.”

Recent articles on the Channel

‘Kind of not quiet’ by Ra’id Zuhair Al-Jamali

‘Keeping it in the family’ by Jane Kinninmont

‘How Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood will win’ by Shadi Hamid

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