Ed: 40: May/2015
The P5+1's preliminary deal with Iran over the latter's nuclear program certainly kicked off a chain reaction of discussion and coverage in the media.
Australian Financial Review International Editor Tony Walker's analysis on April 2 backed the deal because "anything that limits Iran's ‘breakout' ability to construct a bomb within a short time-frame... is surely worth the effort." Even if it's a bad deal ripe for cheating?
In the last decade, the Middle East has been living through a political convulsion of historic proportions. Regimes that once appeared immovable have been destroyed or have receded. New forces have risen up and are making war over the ruins.
For more than five years, the question of who exactly authored the UN's 2009 Goldstone Report has been an enduring mystery. The report, written under the auspices of South African Judge Richard Goldstone, was a shocking 500-page indictment of Israel that accused its political and military leadership of deliberately targeting Palestinian civilians during the 2008-2009 Operation Cast Lead in Gaza, and condemned the Jewish state as a whole for systematic and institutionalised racism, among other atrocities and abominations.
I admit it. I helped facilitate a situation where consumers can know the ingredients of food products which they are considering purchasing.
The genesis of this campaign, which for some was apparently nefarious, came at a meeting held in NSW Parliament House on issues relating to anti-discrimination.
After her controversial April 18 meetings in Iran, Foreign Minister Julie Bishop revealed that the two sides discussed future co-operation, including intelligence sharing, in the fight against ISIS in Iraq and on asylum seekers, as well as human rights issues.
On April 16, the UN Security Council (UNSC) held a closed door session to view video footage and hear testimony on the aftermath of an alleged chlorine gas attack on the town of Samin in Northern Syria on March 16. US Representative Amb. Samantha Power said the meeting was "very emotional" in the wake of footage of the deaths of three small children killed in the attack. This attack appears to be yet more irrefutable evidence that Syria's Assad regime is violating undertakings it made in a 2013 deal to give up its chemical weapons and abide by the Chemical Weapons Convention...
Why do bad things happen to good people? It is a question that confounds philosophers and theologians. Now politicians are being confronted with it, too.
First among them is Sweden's Foreign Minister, Margot Wallström. Her good intentions have cost Sweden the good will of a large chunk of the Middle East, broken diplomatic ties and hundreds of millions of dollars in cancelled contracts.
The nuclear framework agreement reached between Iran and world powers, namely the United States, Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany, on April 2, was defined by US President Barack Obama as an "historic understanding," while Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu defined the deal as "bad."
Having been told that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu equated Iran's anti-Israeli ploys with a biblical Persian anti-Jewish plot commemorated during the Jewish holiday of Purim, Mohammed Zarif said: "He even distorts his own scripture."
In the Iranian Foreign Minister's narrative, it turned out, "the Persian king saved the Jews," whereas in the Jewish narrative the decree "to destroy, massacre, and exterminate all the Jews" was "issued in the name of King Ahasuerus and sealed with the king's signet."