The greatest danger posed by a nuclear Iran would be the increased likelihood of a Middle East nuclear war, Dennis Ross said on Tuesday.
"If Iran has nuclear weapons, the potential for nuclear war in the Middle East goes up dramatically," Ross, who just retired as the White House's top Iran policy official, said during his first post-Obama administration address at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.
"You are not going to have a stable situation where anyone can feel that they are going to wait," he said. "If there is the slightest indication that Iran is changing its readiness, can Israel wait? ... The potential for miscalculation would be enormous."
Also in the news:
Iran Propositions Saudis, Seeks Anti-US Pact
A large Iranian delegation led by Intelligence Minister Heidar Moslehi visited Riyadh Monday, Dec. 12 and put a proposition before Crown Prince Nayef bin Abdulaziz: Why not bury the Saudi royal house's historic feud with the ayatollahs of Tehran and form an anti-US and anti-Zionist pact for leading the Middle East? The Iranians boasted that after the seizure of America's top secret drone technology by a successful cyber attack they must now be accepted as the superpower of the region.
Iranian sources report that the Iranians pushed hard for a partnership with the Saudis on such issues as oil, Iraqi, Syria, Afghanistan, Lebanon and Yemen, on most of which Tehran and Riyadh are in direct collision. Saudi Arabia spearheads the Persian Gulf emirates' campaign to establish a bloc of Sunni Arab kings and rulers to fight off Iranian expansion and the influence of the Shiite Hizballah and Syria.
British Christians Are Making A Stand Against Persecution
There was a remarkable debate in the House of Lords on Friday, which I don't think was widely reported. But it showed that Christians are coming together in a new way to try to influence foreign policy.
John Patten said: "We are facing religious cleansing in parts of the Middle East and may be entering what might be thought of as an Arab winter for Christians, Jews and other minority groups alike on a scale that we have not hitherto seen."
He suggested that the American government would never tolerate a government which persecuted homosexuals the way that Christians are persecuted across the Middle East: "We must persuade our rulers to treat religious freedoms as being just as basic as other, much vaunted human rights."
He urged the government also to stand up for the rights of Turkish Christians, which he said they had repeatedly refused to do. Even though Turkey is regarded as a model of secularised and liberal Islam, Christian congregations there complain of harassment and worse, and the British government, said Patten, will not stand up for them.
The Washington-"Moderate Islam" Alliance
The dynamic of democratic, nationalist and class struggles throughout the Muslim world has set in motion a new constellation of alliances between the imperial West (US and European Union) and Islamist parties, leaders and regimes, dubbed "moderate” by US officials, propagandists and academics.
This essay analyzes the changing contemporary context of imperial domination, especially the demise of longstanding client regimes. It then examines the previous significant ties between western imperial powers and Islamist movements and regimes and the basis of ‘historical collaboration’.
"Moderate” Islamists have become the Empire’s ‘contraceptive of choice’ against any chance the massive Arab peoples’ revolt might give birth to substantive egalitarian social changes and bring those brutal pro-western officials, responsible for so many crimes against humanity, to justice.
The West and their client officials in the military and police have agreed to a kind of "power-sharing’ with the moderate/respectable (read ‘reactionary’) Islamist parties.
Bumpy Ride For Fiscal Compact
The EU’s new fiscal compact is again getting a bumpy ride from a number of quarters in member states, with opposition parties in Ireland warning over loss of sovereignty and the leaders of the Czech Republic and Finland also underlining concerns.
In non-eurozone Prague on Tuesday, Prime Minister Petr Necas stressed to reporters that the government must wait for full details of the new agreement, which calls for tighter fiscal discipline and monitoring of budgets by the EU, before it can sign up to it.
In Finland on Tuesday, the prime minister, Jyrki Katainen, said that the government could not agree to a transfer of national budget sovereignty to the European Commission.
He also added that the country cannot sign off on majority-based decision making on the boards of the EU’s bail-out funds, the European Financial Stability Facility and the soon-to-be-established European Stability Mechanism.