By Bethan McKernan for Independent – Iran, one of the states targeted by Donald Trump’s Muslim ban, is a country from which the US could learn a lot on the resettlement of refugees, the UN has said. The Soviet War in Afghanistan displaced six million people to neighbouring Iran and Pakistan in 1979. Almost four decades later, the Tehran government still shelters around one million registered Afghans, and up to two million are thought to also be living in the country – making Iran home to the world’s fourth largest refugee population. “The leadership demonstrated by the Iranian government has been exemplary in hosting refugees and keeping borders open,” Sivanka Dhanapala, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees in Tehran, said on Wednesday.
By Staff for Hands Off Syria Coalition. We call on all peace loving people throughout the world to unite and take action during the International Days of Action (March 11-19) against U.S. intervention in Syria and throughout the Middle East, against Islamophobia, and against the refugee Travel Ban, e.g. Initiate local actions together with civil rights and peace activists — demonstrations, teach-ins, workshops, panel discussions, video presentations — to oppose War, occupation and Islamophobia, and to reveal their connections; Tell the U.S. President Trump and Congress that you oppose the Travel Ban and that you want the U.S. to pursue peaceful relations with Syria, Iran and all the nations of the Middle East; Ask your Congressional Representatives to support Rep. Tulsi Gabbard’s bill, (H.R. 608). Please both call your Congressional Representative’s office directly AND sign the petition in support of STOP ARMING TERRORISTS ACT and more.
By Nicolas J S Davies for Consortium News – Rep. Alcee Hastings has sponsored a bill to authorize President Trump to attack Iran. Hastings reintroduced H J Res 10, the “Authorization of Use of Force Against Iran Resolution” on Jan. 3, the first day of the new Congress after President Trump’s election. Fritzie Gaccione, the editor of the South Florida Progressive Bulletin noted that Iran is complying with the 2015 JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action) and expressed amazement that Hastings has reintroduced this bill at a moment when the stakes are so high and Trump’s intentions so unclear.Hastings’s bill has come as a shock to constituents and people who have followed his career as a 13-term Democratic Member of Congress from South Florida. Miami Beach resident Michael Gruener called Hastings’s bill, “extraordinarily dangerous,” and asked, “Does Hastings even consider to whom he is giving this authorization?”
By Staff of Popular Resistance – If Donald Trump’s recent threat of military action against Iran sounds familiar to you, then It should. Democrats in Congress already beat him to it before Trump’s tiny hands could even grace the bible at his swearing-in ceremony. How did they do this? By creating a resolution in January to threaten military action against Iran if they tried to obtain nuclear weapons. Unfortunately, what’s being touted as a move for U.S. safety and security is starting to sound eerily similar to the threat to invade a country to find deadly weapons that turned out to never exist (think Iraq). So what’s the REAL reason behind this threat of military action? All signs seem to point both underground and in America’s wallets.
By Melissa Dykes for The Daily Sheeple – But Trump’s new Pentagon chief General Mattis also gave a press conference where he declared Iran to be “the single biggest state sponsor of terrorism in the world”. That was last week. This week, the Wall Street Journal reported that Trump’s administration is actively working to “drive a wedge between Iran and Russia”. So yeah, all that and it hasn’t even been three weeks yet…Now Breitbart is exclusively reporting (not much of a shock there considering their former executive chair is now White House Chief Strategist) that 17 ships from the US, UK, Australia, and France chose last week
By Craig Murray for Russia Insider – So what are the Clinton gang doing while Trump introduces anti-Muslim immigration discrimination? Oh, they are pushing for war with Iran, which might give pause to some who think the world would have been less awful had Hillary won. Here is the front page of the resolution introduced into the House of Representatives by Democrat Alcee L Hastings, an extremely close ally of Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who had to resign in disgrace as chair of the Democratic National Committee after WikiLeaks published emails establishing her corrupt endeavours to fix the primary elections for Hillary against Bernie Sanders.
By Jason Ditz for Antiwar – White House officials are ratcheting up the rhetoric over Iran’s recent ballistic missile test, accusing it of being “highly provocative” and threatening non-specific action, which might include military force, against Iran over the incident. National Security Adviser Michael Flynn announced that the Trump Administration is “putting Iran on notice” over the test, saying that the test threatens stability across the region and “places American lives at risk.” Other officials said a lot of options were under consideration. In practice very little happened to provoke this reaction. Iran’s single test of a medium-range ballistic missile almost certain did not violate the P5+1 nuclear deal’s restriction on testing nuclear-capable missiles
By Vijay Prashad for AlterNet – Gunfire broke out in Tehran, Iran’s capital, on Monday. A drone flew over the city and provoked anti-aircraft fire. Deputy of Air Defense Alireza Elhami said that the drone left the restricted area after the firing. It is likely that this episode is harmless. But nothing can be taken lightly just days before the inauguration of Donald Trump as the next US president. Trump has assembled a team that is obsessed with Iran. His Secretary of Defense James Mattis and his National Security Adviser Mike Flynn take their fulminations into bizarre territory. Last April, Mattis said that ISIS is ‘nothing more than an excuse for Iran to continue its mischief.
Pepe Escobar for Sputnik News. Putin already cut to the chase – when he spoke at the defense ministry’s HQ in Moscow before the holiday season; “We can say with certainty: we are stronger now than any potential aggressor.” And he added; “Anyone.” This after Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu stressed Russia “for the first time in its history” has fully protected the extensive Russian borders with early warning anti-missile systems. The Pentagon must be processing the information with extreme seriousness. That means, essentially, that before the S-500s were fully rolled out, Moscow could not but exercise extreme prudence. Now Russian air space seems to be effectively sealed. Putin could not actually admit on the record that Russia is the strongest military power in the world until the rollout of the S-500s is complete. All US offensive missiles and stealth aircraft as it stands are rendered useless. And that does no even take into account nuclear weaponized Russian silent submarines.
By Staff of NIAC Action – Washington, DC – NIAC Action applauds the Obama Administration’s decision to officially terminate the National Security Entry-Exit Registration System (NSEERS), the post-9/11 program that tracked and discriminated against immigrants from predominately Muslim nations, including Iran. “This is a major victory for communities who fear they will be targeted in the Trump era,” said NIAC Action Executive Director Jamal Abdi. “Dismantling the NSEERS framework ensures that Donald Trump will not inherit a nascent program to track and register immigrants from Muslim-majority countries.”
By Gareth Porter for Truthout – In a stunning diplomatic surprise, Turkey and Iran have announced a preliminary agreement on fundamental principles for a settlement of the Syrian conflict. The dramatic turn in the diplomacy of the Syria War was revealed in Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim’s regular weekly speech to the ruling AKP Party in the parliament and confirmed by a senior Iranian foreign ministry official Tuesday.
By Staff of Reporters Without Borders – Her family was notified yesterday of the sentence, the outcome of a flawed trial held under the influence of the intelligence ministry and Revolutionary Guards before a Tehran revolutionary court on 20 April. “Narges Mohammadi is an information hero who is a credit to journalism and the defence of human rights,” RSF secretary-general Christophe Deloire said. “Such a heavy sentence shows the iniquitous character of Iranian justice. President Rouhani cannot remain silent in the face of such a judicial outrage even if everyone knows the judicial systems takes its orders from the Supreme Leader.”
By Hamid Alizadeh in Marxist.com. Last Friday, Iranians went to the polls to vote in elections for the Iranian parliament (Majles) and the Assembly of Experts. 34 million people, 62 percent of the electorate, participated. Of course the elections were far from democratic by any measure. While no workers’ organisations or other real mass parties are allowed to exist, let alone run for elections, even the soft – Liberal leaning – wing of the established political set-up, the Reformists and Moderates, have been harassed to an extraordinary extent and all but 30 of their candidates were initially barred from running. It was only thanks to immense pressure and protests by the Reformist and Moderate factions that 200 of their candidates, mainly unknown people, were allowed to run. This also meant that many of the 290 seats were left uncontested, allowing Conservative factions, known as Principlist, shoo-in victories.