Newscast Media WASHINGTON—The UN General Assembly has elected five new
non-permanent members to the UN Security Council.
Saudi Arabia, Chad, Nigeria, Chile, and Lithuania will serve for two years on the
15-member Security Council, starting January 1, 2014.
All five countries ran unopposed in the October 17 election, but they still needed
approval from two-thirds of the General Assembly. They will replace Morocco, Togo,
Pakistan, Guatemala, and Azerbaijan.
Chad, Saudi Arabia, and Lithuania have never served on the U.N.’s most powerful
body, while Nigeria and Chile have both been on the Council four times previously.
The Security Council has five veto-wielding permanent members — the United States,
Britain, France, Russia, and China—and 10 non-permanent members.
Source: Radio Free Europe
Newscast Media NEW YORK—President Obama defended his threat of force against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime at the annual UN General Assembly in New York on Tuesday, saying Damascus must face consequences after the use of chemical weapons.
“There must be a strong Security Council resolution to verify that the Assad regime is keeping its commitments, and there must be consequences if they fail to do so,” Obama said to the world leaders.
His remarks come as the US and Russia negotiate a UN Security Council resolution in connection with an agreement by Damascus to give up its chemical weapons.
The US-Russia brokered deal was struck following a push by Obama for a military strike on Syria.
Obama denounced critics who questioned whether Assad carried out the August 21 chemical attack outside Damascus, which the US says killed more than 1,400 people.
“It is an insult to human reason – and to the legitimacy of this institution – to suggest that anyone other than the regime carried out this attack,” he said.
“Nevertheless, a leader who slaughtered his citizens and gassed children to death cannot regain the legitimacy to lead a badly fractured country,” he said of Assad. Obama cautioned, however, that military action would not achieve lasting peace and that any nation, including the US, should not determine who will lead Syria.
Obama also used his time in front of the Assembly to welcome the new Iranian government’s pursuit of what he called a “more moderate course,” in relation to stalled negotiations over its nuclear program.
“The roadblocks may prove to be too great, but I firmly believe the diplomatic path must be tested,” Obama said.
On Monday, the EU’s foreign policy chief, Catherine Ashton, announced that Iran’s foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, would join talks with six key nations due to “energy and determination” shown by Tehran for fresh talks.
The foreign ministers of the US, Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany are set to meet on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly on Thursday. Despite the focus on Syria and Iran, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff used her opening speech at the General Assembly to criticize Obama and the US National Security Agency (NSA) over reports it had spied on Brazilian government communications.
She announced Brazil would adopt legislation and technology to protect it from illegal interception of communications.
Last week, Rousseff called off a high-profile state visit to Washington scheduled for October over the reports.
“Meddling in such a manner in the lives and affairs of other countries is a breach of international law and, as such, it is an affront to the principles that should otherwise govern relations among countries, especially among friendly nations,” Rousseff said to the gathering of world leaders.
Source: Radio Deutsche Welle
Newscast Media NEW YORK—An Iranian diplomat who was attacked while talking to reporters on Wednesday after Iran’s President Ahmadinejad gave his speech at the UN General Assembly, said the police was indifferent toward him after he was attacked.
Ramin Mehmanparast, the Foreign Ministry spokesperson separated from his entourage and went to the sidelines to talk to the press, when a group of Iranian refugees attacked him physically. The Iranian government asserts that the attackers were aligned with the terrorist Mojahedin Khalq Organization (MKO), which the State Department might de-list from the list of terrorist organizations.
“Despite repeated requests for police’s help we were witnessing a kind of indifference by American police,” the diplomat said. “The United States as the host country is responsible for protecting the lives of diplomats. I think the American and European people are very worried that their officials have put support for such groups (MKO) on their agenda,” he added. Below is a heavily edited AP video of the attack:
Ramin Mehmanparast, Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson being attacked by refugees
Amateur video of assault on Iranian diplomat
Attacks on foreign diplomats are not unusual in host countries. George W. Bush was attacked in Iraq while giving a speech when the attacker threw shoes at him. Recently American diplomats were attacked and killed in Libya, and the US had to evacuate diplomats from Egypt because of the violence targeted to US foreign diplomats.
As for the Iranian diplomat who was attacked by his own countrymen, the problem lies in a lapse with security. There should have been a buffer zone where protesters were confined, much like at the RNC convention in Tampa, Florida where virtually the entire downtown was sealed off from protesters and only credentialed personnel were permitted access to politicians and the venue. New York is too big to be sealed off, but a buffer can be created to protect diplomats in the future.
Newscast Media TEHRAN—Iran has called rumors that Tehran embraces an overthrow or regime change of Syria “sheer lies” and has pledged its steadfast support for the Syrian people and Bashar al-Assad, Fars News Agency reports.
According to FNA, Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab and African Affairs Hossein Amir Abdollahian said on Wednesday that Iran’s stance on Syria is “clear and transparent”, and stressed the recent claims that Iran has consented to the fall of the Syrian president are “untrue”.
“Supporting the Syrian people and Bashar Assad’s reforms has always been at the center of Iran’s attention,” Abdollahian underscored.
He pointed to the meeting of the so-called Contact Group on Syria in Cairo, and reminded that the group has agreed on “political solution to Syria, cessation of hostilities and stop of arms shipments to rebel groups, negotiations between the Syrian government and opposition groups, and democratic decision-making about the future of Syrian by the country’s people and through election”.
“The Islamic Republic of Iran is serious about defending Syria’s national sovereignty as (part of) an axis of resistance against the Zionist regime and will stay on the side of that nation,” Boroujerdi said in a meeting with head of the Syrian parliament’s Foreign Affairs Commission Fadiya Daib and head of the National Security Commission Mohammad Sobhi Abu al-Shamat here in Tehran.
Iran’s Ahmadinejad is currently in New York attending his last UN General Assembly meeting as president. When asked in an interview yesterday by Al-Monitor whether he will retire from politics after his presidency he replied, “Of course, I cannot be away from a political atmosphere. Wherever I am, politics will follow me.” http://newscastmedia.com/iran-syria.htm
Newscast Media TEHRAN—The Iranian navy has concluded missile drills in the Persian
Gulf in which a large mock-target, the size of a warship was sank in 50 seconds after
four missiles were fired at it, Press TV reports.
In recent weeks, the US navy and more than three dozen countries have been
conducting mine-sweeping exercises at sea around Bahrain.
According to IRGC Navy Commander Rear Admiral Ali Fadavi, “Iran’s missile systems
can reach the entire Persian Gulf coastline and beyond where the US bases are.”
The U.S. military says these exercises are strictly “defensive,” but it is obvious they
are preparing for any contingencies in case Iran closes or threatens to close the
Strait of Hormuz. It is estimated that over 500 vessels sail through Hormuz carrying
fuel to the rest of the world.
Iran’s Ahmadinejad is currently in New York, and is scheduled to speak at the United
Nations General Assembly. Ahmadinejad has repeatedly warned Israel against striking
the Islamic Republic, saying it would trigger World War III.
Newscast Media –President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is headed to New York where he will address the United Nations General Assembly next Thursday. Ahmadinejad said that besides attending the U.N. meeting, he’d also meet with American government officials.
“In New York, I will talk to heads of governments, a group of American people, industrialists, thinkers, politicians and decision-makers, have a dialogue with one of the American universities, and talk to the media,” local media outlets reported.
“People (in Islamic countries) are against that ugly behavior,” he said. “They are not against the people of the United States. They are not against Americans, they are not against Jews. They are not against Christians or Christianity.”
The president said that while in the United States, he would also take part in the Millennium Development Goals summit to be attended by 140 heads of state. http://newscastmedia.com/ahmadinejad-newyork.htm