Friday, February 26, 2010

First U.S. Envoy to the OIC Says the Position Does Have Value

The first U.S. envoy to the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), appointed during the last year of President Bush’s second term, believes the post is a valuable one and that his successor, named by President Obama this month, will do a good job. Read

Muslims Furious Over Israeli Decision to Highlight Ancient Link

A decision by the Israeli government to include a location with an almost 4,000 year-old link to the origins of Judaism in a list of 150 national heritage sites has sparked an uproar among Muslims – and drawn the disapproval of the Obama administration. Read

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Syria Seems to Ignore U.S. Calls to End Its ‘Troubling’ Relationship With Iran

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad welcomed Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to Damascus on Thursday, one day after Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told U.S. lawmakers that the Obama administration is urging Syria to move away from its “deeply troubling” relationship with Tehran. Read

Killing Terrorists Should Not Be Condemned, Israeli Opposition Leader Says

While Israel is maintaining its customary policy of ambiguity over the assassination of a senior Hamas figure in Dubai, opposition leader Tzipi Livni has called on the international community to stop criticizing the targeting of terrorists. Read

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Criticism of Obama’s OIC Envoy Raises Questions About the Need for Such a Post

President Obama’s decision to appoint an envoy to the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) has focused renewed attention on the Saudi-based body, and what role a U.S. envoy should play. Read

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Pakistan Pressing U.S. to Turn Over Woman Convicted of Trying to Kill American Soldiers

More than two weeks after a federal jury in New York convicted a Pakistani neuroscientist allegedly linked to al-Qaeda of attempting to kill American soldiers in Afghanistan, the case continues to make waves in her native country. Read

Iranians’ Support for Nuclear Program Cuts Across Political Lines

Former Iranian president Hashemi Rafsanjani, an important figure who has lent cautious support to the opposition, is accusing foreign countries of influencing an International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) report on Iran’s nuclear activities. Read

Monday, February 22, 2010

Obama’s Envoy to Islamic Bloc Admits Controversial Statements About Supporter of Terror Group

President Obama’s envoy to the Islamic bloc acknowledged Friday that he was accurately quoted in 2004 as calling the treatment of activist Sami al-Arian, then facing trial for supporting a Palestinian terrorist group, an example of “politically motivated persecutions.” Read

Friday, February 19, 2010

Revolutionary Guard Meddling in Iranian Politics Began Decades Ago

The Obama administration is painting Tehran’s failure to respond to its overtures as the result of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) having “supplanted” political and clerical leaders who would otherwise likely have been more open to engaging the U.S. Read

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Event Attended by Obama’s Muslim Envoy Was Held by Group With Troubling Views, Ties

The Islamic organization whose event was attended by President Obama’s new envoy to the Muslim world six years ago has a history of radical stances, and at the time of the event it was urging members to support incarcerated Muslims including terror suspects and a convicted cop killer. Read

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Publication Denies Cover-Up on OIC Envoy, Implies Anti-Muslim Bias Lies Behind Story

A Washington-based publication said Tuesday that it incorrectly quoted President Barack Obama’s newly appointed envoy to the Organization of the Islamic Conference as saying in 2004 that an American who aided a Palestinian terrorist group was the victim of “politically motivated persecutions.” Read

Dubai Government Issues Warrants for Mystery Killers of Hamas Terrorist

Authorities in the United Arab Emirates said Tuesday they were issuing international arrest warrants for 11 people – traveling on British, Irish, French and German passports – suspected of assassinating a top Hamas terrorist in a Dubai hotel room last month. Read

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Hillary Clinton Views Previous Iranian Governments as ‘Democratically Elected’

Expanding her views on Iran “becoming a military dictatorship,” Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said that the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps was increasingly filling the space once held by Iran’s clerical and political leaders. Read

Islamic and Leftist Allies Defend Iran’s Human Rights Record at U.N. Gathering

As the U.N. Human Rights Council scrutinized Iran’s domestic rights record on Monday, Western nations raised concerns about abuses including executions, torture and mass arrests, while Tehran’s Islamic and leftist allies lined up to defend and praise the regime. Read

Monday, February 15, 2010

Obama’s New OIC Envoy Defended Activist Who Aided Terrorist Group

President Obama’s newly appointed envoy to the Organization of the Islamic Conference was quoted in 2004 as saying an American who aided a Palestinian terrorist group was the victim of “politically motivated persecutions” who was being used “to squash dissent.” Read

Friday, February 12, 2010

Amid Turmoil at Home, Iran Eyes Seat on Top UN Human Rights Body

As Iran’s continuing crackdown on opposition supporters roils the country and makes headlines around the world, the Islamic republic is seeking support for a fresh bid to join the U.N. Human Rights Council. Read

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Russia’s NATO Envoy Says Stance on Missile Defense Has Not Changed

Do not expect us to be 'the idiots' who applaud the latest U.S. missile defense plans in Europe, says Russia's ambassador to NATO. Read

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Russian Envoy’s Objections to Missile Defense Plans Contradict Earlier Stance

Russia’s outspoken envoy to NATO, Dmitry Rogozin, is spearheading Moscow’s criticism of U.S. plans to deploy a missile defense shield in Romania, but just 18 months ago he spoke favorably about such an arrangement, calling it “logical.” Read

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Iranian Unity on Anniversary Will Deliver ‘Punch’ to Enemies, Says Supreme Leader

As the U.S. and European Union joined Monday in condemning “continuing human rights violations” by the Iranian government, supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei ratcheted up tensions ahead of Thursday’s anniversary of the Islamic revolution by vowing that the nation would deliver a “punch” to stun its enemies. Read

‘Stop Sending Your Spies Here,’ Judge Tells China

With a message to Beijing to “stop sending your spies here,” a U.S. judge on Monday sentenced a Chinese-born former Boeing engineer to more than 15 years in prison for economic espionage and acting as an agent for China. Read

Monday, February 08, 2010

As Sensitive Anniversary Nears, Iran Needles the West on Uranium Enrichment

Kicking off what promises to be a significant week in Iran, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Sunday ordered the head of the national nuclear agency to begin boosting uranium enrichment to new levels. Read

Comeback for Russian-Backed Politician in Ukraine Signals Likely Shifts Ahead

Six years after Ukraine turned away from Russia and towards the West, the strategically-located country on Sunday appeared to have swung the other way by narrowly electing as president the same Moscow-backed politician whose attempts to rig the last election triggered the “orange revolution.” Read

Friday, February 05, 2010

Obama Skips E.U. Summit, Partly Because of Its Confusing Structure

President Obama’s decision not to attend a U.S.-European Union summit in Madrid in May has prompted some soul-searching in Europe, where many commentators believe the E.U. is paying the price for failing to resolve internal differences and improve its arcane procedures. Read

Vietnam’s Clampdown on Dissent Draws U.S. Objections, but No Consequences

Vietnam’s communist government on Friday was holding yet another trial of a democracy activist, despite appeals by U.S. lawmakers and a warning by the American ambassador that its suppression of dissenting views was having an adverse effect on bilateral relations. Read

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Anti-Islam Dutch Lawmaker Says He’s Being Denied a Fair Trial; Court Rejects Most of His Witness List

The Dutch lawmaker on trial for his provocative views on Islam said Wednesday he was being denied the right to a fair trial after the court rejected most of his requested defense witnesses, including a convicted murderer who invoked the Koran to justify his actions. Read

Attempt by Netherlands to Comply with U.N. Resolution on Iran Nukes Is Discriminatory, Court Rules

As the international community grapples with Iran’s continuing defiance over its nuclear activities, one European government’s attempts to keep nuclear know-how out of Iran’s hands has fallen foul of the law. Read

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

U.N. Chief’s Comment on South Sudan’s Independence Stirs Anger

The United Nations has moved quickly to quell anger resulting from Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s reported remark that the U.N. would “work hard to avoid a possible secession” of southern Sudan in a referendum scheduled for next January. Read

Dutch Critic of Islam Wants Extremist Killer to Testify at His Trial

As the trial of Dutch anti-Islamist lawmaker Geert Wilders resumes Wednesday, the crucial question will be whether the court agrees to his request to have a Muslim extremist and convicted murderer testify. Read

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Head of ‘Policy Neutral’ IPCC Calls for ‘Grassroots Action’ in Response to Setbacks on Climate Legislation

The chairman of the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) – a scientific panel embroiled in controversy -- has appealed for “grassroots action” on climate initiatives in the face of global warming skepticism, which he attributed to well-funded lobbying. Read

Monday, February 01, 2010

Anniversary of Islamic Revolution May Bring New Clashes in Iran

Next week’s anniversary of Iran’s Islamic revolution is shaping up to be a key indicator of the opposition’s resilience. The regime, in a continuing clampdown, last week executed two of 11 protestors who recently were sentenced to death. Read

China Fumes Over Taiwan Arms Package, Even Though Fighter Planes Are Missing

China’s weekend response to the U.S. announcement on arms sales to Taiwan was characteristically strident. But more significant for close observers of the rift in the Taiwan Strait is what was left out of the offered package. Read