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Member since: 2003 before July 6th
Number of posts: 29,876

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Russia Reaffirms Opposition To Embargo On Iranian Oil Export

(RTTNews) - Coming to the aid of the largely-isolated Iran over its controversial nuclear program, Russia on Tuesday reiterated its opposition to fresh sanctions targeting Tehran's oil export and warned that it would block any U.N. Security Council (UNSC) resolution to that effect.

"We believe that sanctions relative to Iran have lost their usefulness," Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov told a press conference in Moscow.

"We will oppose any new resolution (on U.N. sanctions against Iran)," he was quoted as saying by Russia's Interfax news agency.

Gatilov's comments came after talks on Iran and Syria Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov had with U.S. Deputy Secretary of State William Burns, and Michael McFaul, the new U.S. Ambassador to Russia, in Moscow on Monday, a Foreign Ministry statement said.



A Progressive Victory on Israel, as Hardliners Fail to Mount Campaign Against Donna Edwards

January 16, 2012 |

Rep. Donna Edwards, a Maryland Democrat who is associated with J Street, which argues for a more progressive U.S. policy on the Israel-Palestine conflict, has staved off a challenge from a fellow Democrat who sought to raise money by running to her right on Mideast issues.

This week, Glenn Ivey, the former Prince George’s County state’s attorney, announced he was abandoning plans to challenge Edwards, citing his inability to raise money.

“It would take a very substantial amount of money to get my message out to voters in two very expensive media markets,” Ivey said in a statement. “A tough economy and a compressed election time-frame have made it tough for my campaign to raise enough funds to move forward.”

Ivey had raised about $150,000 while Edwards had taken in about $230,000, according to the latest available numbers reported by the Baltimore Sun. Part of the fundraising fight centered on the contentious issue of American policy toward Israel.



US: Visit By Top Iranian To Syria Is Strongest Sign Yet That Tehran Is Aiding In Crackdown

A senior Obama administration official says a recent visit by the commander of Iran's elite Quds force to Damascus is the strongest sign yet that Iran is supplying weapons to aid Bashar Assad's crackdown on the Syrian people.
Article continues below

The U.S. has long said Iran is helping drive the deadly crackdown on dissent in Syria. But the official says the visit by Quds Force Commander Ghassem Soleimani provides a concrete example of direct high-level cooperation between Iran and Syria.

The official spoke on the condition of anonymity because the person was not authorized to speak publicly.



Israel Raises Alarm Over Sinai-Gaza Cooperation

(AFP) JERUSALEM — Israeli is facing a growing security threat to its south because of the changes brought on by the Arab Spring which is not likely to disappear any time soon, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Monday.

"The security problem which is developing as a result of changes in the Middle East is getting worse, and is expected to continue for years," Netanyahu told MPs at the parliamentary committee on foreign affairs and defence, in remarks communicated by a spokesman.

"The state of Israel is required to strengthen its defence and attack capabilities immediately, which costs a lot of money," he said.

"Libyan arms continue to flow into Gaza through Sinai," he said, indicating that there were "more than 10,000 missiles" in the coastal enclave, some of which had a range "surpassing 40 kilometres (24 miles)."



Russian-Operated Arms Ship 'Docks' In Syrian Port

REUTERS - A Russian-operated ship carrying a cargo of ammunition has reached conflict-torn Syria after being temporarily halted during a refuelling stop in Cyprus, sources in Russia and Cyprus said on Friday.

A source in Cyprus, where the ship made a stop for refuelling on Tuesday, said the ship had given written assurances its destination would not be Syria but Turkey.

It was allowed to sail a day later, whereupon it dropped off conventional tracking systems, switched course and reached Syria on Thursday.

“It had bullets. There were four containers on board,” a Cypriot official told Reuters.



Suicide Bomber Kills Scores Of Shiite Pilgrims In Iraq

AFP - A suicide bomber killed 53 people in an apparent sectarian attack in southern Iraq Saturday casting a pall over the climax of a Shiite pilgrimage that draws hundreds of thousands from around the world.

The attack on Shiite devotees on the outskirts of the port city of Basra, which left 137 wounded, came with Iraq mired in a political row that has pitted the Shiite-led government against the main Sunni-backed bloc and stoked sectarian tensions less than a month after US forces completed their pullout.

The violence was the latest in a spate of attacks against Shiite pilgrims in the two weeks leading to the conclusion of Arbaeen, which marks 40 days after the Ashura anniversary commemorating the slaying of Imam Hussein, one of Shiite Islam's most revered figures, by the armies of the caliph Yazid in 680 AD.

The bombing killed 53 people and wounded 137, according to Riyadh Abdulamir, head of Basra province's health department. He said women and children were among the casualties, but did not give further details.



Hackers Assault Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, El Al Websites, Causing Slowdown

By Jonathan Ferziger and Alisa Odenheimer - Mon Jan 16 12:48:12 GMT 2012

Hackers attacked the websites of the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange and El Al Israel Airlines Ltd. (ELAL), slowing down access after a pro-Palestinian computer group calling itself “Nightmare” warned of an imminent assault.

Both the stock exchange and El Al, Israel’s biggest carrier, said today their websites had been affected by the attack, though not immobilized. Stock trading was unaffected.

“What was hacked was our main website, which provides information,” Idit Yaaron, a Tel Aviv Stock Exchange spokeswoman, said by telephone. “The trading computer was not hacked and trading is going on as usual.”

Nightmare signaled its plan to attack the two corporate websites in an e-mail last night to the Ynet news service, which reported on its own site that the message was sent by a person identifying himself as a Saudi Arabian hacker. The same person has been exposing the numbers of thousands of Israeli credit cards in recent weeks.



Iran Warns Gulf States Not To Make Up Oil Shortfall

By Agence France-Presse
Sunday, January 15, 2012

Iran has warned its Gulf neighbours to not make up for any shortfall in its oil exports under new Western sanctions, its OPEC representative said in comments published on Sunday.

“We would not consider these actions to be friendly,” Mohammad Ali Khatibi was quoted as saying by the Sharq newspaper.

“If the oil producing nations on the Persian Gulf decide to substitute Iran’s oil, then they will be held responsible for what happens,” he said.

Khatibi said Iran would consider any Gulf member of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries that “cooperate with the adventurous (Western) nations in substituting Iranian oil to be accomplices.”



Gas Outlook: ‘Most Painful Year At Pump Ever’

CHICAGO (CBS) — Gasoline prices could approach $5 a gallon by Memorial Day and stay a record levels for much of the summer, according to a forecast by GasBuddy.com.

Gas prices always spike in the summer, but the 2012 Gasbuddy.com Price Outlook predicts this summer will break records.

“It looks like it might be the most painful year at the pump that we have ever seen,” senior analyst Patrick DeHaan said.

By Memorial Day, gasoline in the Chicago area could rise to between $4.60 and $4.95 a gallon–more than a dollar above the current average.



Iran Says It Has Evidence U.S. Behind Scientist’s Killing

By Reuters
Saturday, January 14, 2012

TEHRAN (Reuters) – Iranian state television said on Saturday Tehran had evidence Washington was behind the latest assassination of one of its nuclear scientists.

In the fifth attack of its kind in two years, a magnetic bomb was attached to the door of 32-year-old Mostafa Ahmadi-Roshan’s car during the Wednesday morning rush-hour in the capital. His driver was also killed.

The United States has denied involvement in the killing and condemned it. Israel has declined to comment.

“We have reliable documents and evidence that this terrorist act was planned, guided and supported by the CIA,” the Iranian foreign ministry said in a letter handed to the Swiss ambassador in Tehran, state TV reported.


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