Khamenei Suspicious of United States after Nuclear Deal

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei congratulated Iranian President Hassan Rouhani yesterday on the implementation of the international nuclear agreement this weekend, but cautioned Rouhani to be “vigilant about the deceit and treachery of arrogant countries, especially the United States.” Khamenei’s comments came in the form of a letter, in which he wrote that “the ...

GettyImages-502145688
GettyImages-502145688

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei congratulated Iranian President Hassan Rouhani yesterday on the implementation of the international nuclear agreement this weekend, but cautioned Rouhani to be “vigilant about the deceit and treachery of arrogant countries, especially the United States.” Khamenei’s comments came in the form of a letter, in which he wrote that “the comments made by some American politicians in last two, three days are suspicious.” Rouhani has received little benefit from the implementation of the nuclear agreement and lifting of international sanctions. The event has not received much press in Iran and coincided with the announcement that many of the reformist candidates for next month’s parliamentary elections would not be allowed to run. Reformist candidates will make up only about 1 percent of the slate of candidates. Rouhani, who will be a candidate for the Assembly of Experts, said that he is “not happy” about the disqualifications.

Khamenei’s letter did not mention the release of U.S. prisoners. Freed Washington Post journalist Jason Rezaian met with the newspaper’s editors in Germany yesterday, where he is receiving medical and psychological evaluations along with other released Americans, Saeed Abedini and Amir Hekmati. The fourth released American, Nosratollah Khosravi-Roodsari, chose to remain in Iran.

U.N.: Death Toll in Iraq “Staggering”

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei congratulated Iranian President Hassan Rouhani yesterday on the implementation of the international nuclear agreement this weekend, but cautioned Rouhani to be “vigilant about the deceit and treachery of arrogant countries, especially the United States.” Khamenei’s comments came in the form of a letter, in which he wrote that “the comments made by some American politicians in last two, three days are suspicious.” Rouhani has received little benefit from the implementation of the nuclear agreement and lifting of international sanctions. The event has not received much press in Iran and coincided with the announcement that many of the reformist candidates for next month’s parliamentary elections would not be allowed to run. Reformist candidates will make up only about 1 percent of the slate of candidates. Rouhani, who will be a candidate for the Assembly of Experts, said that he is “not happy” about the disqualifications.

Khamenei’s letter did not mention the release of U.S. prisoners. Freed Washington Post journalist Jason Rezaian met with the newspaper’s editors in Germany yesterday, where he is receiving medical and psychological evaluations along with other released Americans, Saeed Abedini and Amir Hekmati. The fourth released American, Nosratollah Khosravi-Roodsari, chose to remain in Iran.

U.N.: Death Toll in Iraq “Staggering”

A new U.N. report called the death toll in Iraq “staggering,” citing 18,800 deaths from January 2014 to October 2015. During that period, 3.2 million Iraqis were displaced by violence, primarily perpetrated by the Islamic State, but the report also documents abuses committed by government troops and Shia and Kurdish militiamen. The report also concludes that the Islamic State is holding approximately 3,500 people, including Yazidis and other ethnic and religious minorities, as slaves in Iraq.

Headlines

  • Moroccan officials announced yesterday that they have arrested a Belgian man who was tried and convicted in absentia by a Belgian court last year for involvement in a terrorist organization; he is believed to have been an associate of one of the leaders of the Nov. 13 Paris attacks.

 

  • Heavy bombing from Saudi coalition airstrikes targeting Sanaa, Yemen, has killed at least 35 people in recent days, including Almigdad Mojalli, a Yemeni journalist who had reported for Voice of America.

 

  • Israeli officials are responding to two stabbing attacks targeting women in Israeli settlements; on Sunday, a Palestinian suspect killed a 38-year-old Israeli woman in her home in Otniel, south of Hebron, and on Monday, a pregnant woman was stabbed in the Tekoa settlement near Jerusalem.

 

  • Libya’s Unity Presidential Council announced today that it has formed a 32-member cabinet drawn from representatives of both the Tobruk and Tripoli governments; the Council, which is based in Tunisia, is the result of a U.N.-brokered peace plan, but it faces significant opposition from holdouts in both governments.

 

  • Formal invitations to Syrian peace talks, scheduled to begin in a week, have yet to be sent and the talks could be postponed pending continuing disputes between Saudi Arabia and Russia over who should represent the Syrian opposition.

Arguments and Analysis

Occupation, Inc.: How Settlement Businesses Contribute to Israel’s Violations of Palestinian Rights” (Human Rights Watch)

“The employment of Palestinians in settlement businesses does not, in any case, remedy settlement businesses’ contribution to violations of international human rights and humanitarian law. The cumulative impact of Israeli discrimination, as documented in this report and numerous others, is to entrench a system that contributes to the impoverishment of many Palestinian residents of the West Bank while directly benefitting settlement businesses, making Palestinians’ desperate need for jobs a poor basis to justify continued complicity in that discrimination. The World Bank estimates that discriminatory Israeli restrictions in Area C of the West Bank, most of which are directly linked to Israel’s settlement and land policies, cost the Palestinian economy $3.4 billion a year. These restrictions drive up unemployment and drive down wages in areas of the West Bank. Farmers in Area C are particularly hard hit by Israel’s unlawful and discriminatory land and water policies, causing many to lose their traditional livelihoods. Many Palestinians are therefore left with little choice but to seek employment in settlements, providing a steady source of cheap labor for settlement companies.”

 

Female refugees face physical assault, exploitation and sexual harassment on their journey through Europe” (Amnesty International)

“A dozen of the women interviewed said that they had been touched, stroked or leered at in European transit camps. One 22-year-old Iraqi woman told Amnesty International that when she was in Germany a uniformed security guard offered to give her some clothes in exchange for ‘spending time alone’ with him. ‘Nobody should have to take these dangerous routes in the first place. The best way to avoid abuses and exploitation by smugglers is for European governments to allow safe and legal routes from the outset. For those who have no other choice, it is completely unacceptable that their passage across Europe exposes them to further humiliation, uncertainty and insecurity,’ said [Amnesty International’s Crisis Response Director] Tirana Hassan.”

-J. Dana Stuster

ATTA KENARE/AFP/Getty Images

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