First Baluchi Sunni woman elected mayor in Iran

ShortNews Middle East

It is a significant step which local experts believe that can inspire Baluchi women to work for more rights and break boundaries that have been created by both the state and society.

Samiyeh Balochzehi, 26, who was elected mayor by the Kalat city council, is an engineer and has a master’s degree in natural resources management from the Islamic Azad University Science and Research Branch in Tehran.

Balochzehi is a widow, her sister is on the city council and she comes from a wealthy and influential family.

The province of Sistan-Baluchistan is situated in southeastern Iran and at 187,502 square kilometers [72,395 square miles, roughly the size of Washington state] is Iran’s largest province. From the north of the province to the city of Zabol (famous ancient city) is the region of Sistan, whose population is mostly Persian-speaking and Shiite.

This province has historically suffered from…

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US representative basically says US should “wipe Iran off the map”

Have you seen the INSANE things that opponents of US-Iran diplomacy have been saying? Representative Duncan Hunter (R-CA) – a sitting member of the House Armed Services committee – said today that the U.S. SHOULD NUKE IRAN.

Hunter says the nuclear military option must be on the table and should include a “massive aerial bombardment campaign” utilizing “tactical nuclear devices” to set Iran “back a decade or two or three.”

Take action and sign this online petition:

http://petitions.moveon.org/sign/rep-hunter-take-nuclear

or call Rep. Hunter’s office and tell his staff that you oppose Rep. Hunter’s war rhetoric and efforts to sabotage diplomacy with new sanctions. You can reach his office at (202) 225-5672.

Source:

http://www.payvand.com/news/13/dec/1036.html

Uranium enrichment: Iran and the Non-Proliferation Treaty

“Any close reading of the 1968 “Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons” (NPT) clearly indicates that…all signers have the right to the “peaceful applications of nuclear technology.””

“Iran currently has some 15,700 pounds of 3.5 to 5 percent nuclear fuel, and 432 pounds of 20 percent enriched fuel. International Atomic Energy Agency investigators have never turned up any weapons grade fuel in Iran and have certified that Teheran is not diverting fuel to build nuclear weapons. Intelligence agencies, including Israel’s, are in general agreement that Teheran has not enriched above 20 percent. A nuclear weapon requires about 110 pounds of uranium fuel enriched to between 90 and 95 percent.”

“The NPT has been signed or agreed to by virtually every country in the world, with the exceptions of Israel, India, Pakistan and South Sudan.”

http://www.counterpunch.org/2013/12/05/iran-and-the-non-proliferation-treaty/

New Poll on Iran Nuclear Deal and What Voters Expect from Congress Released

ShortNews Middle East

Poll_geneva_agreement

The top line of the agreement is that Iran will freeze its nuclear development program and neutralize its entire stockpile of enriched uranium for six months in exchange for eased economic sanctions from the U.S. and five other nations while the two sides work to hammer out a permanent solution. The new survey found that voters overwhelmingly believe Congress should watch closely how the deal is being implemented and whether Iran complies, but that it should NOT take any action including passing stiffer sanctions that could scuttle the agreement or undermine the negotiations.

Among the key findings from the Hart Research Associates poll conducted Nov. 26 – Dec. 1:

  • On an unaided basis, voters who have heard enough about the Iran nuclear agreement to have an opinion are favorable to it by a margin of 57% to 37%.
  • 63 percent of voters give approval for the agreement when they hear…

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Peter Jenkins: Nuclear-Related Sanctions On Iran Are No Longer Justified

ShortNews Middle East

The statements of US Senators and Representatives on the November 24 Iran/E3+3 Joint Plan have tended to be flawed in at least two ways.

First, Iran continues to be portrayed as a state that only responds to pressure and threats.

In March 2005, Zarif made an offer to the UK, France and Germany that resembles the understandings reached on Nov. 24 in many respects. At that time Iran was not groaning under the weight of US and UN nuclear-related sanctions.

Rouhani and Zarif are not men who cringe when threatened or who buckle under pressure. They are men of character…

But the whole course of Iran’s political evolution since 1979 suggests that the hard-line element in the elite is shrinking. The majority have lost their revolutionary zeal, their desire to export Iran’s revolution. The Islamic Republic is now predominantly a conservative, status quo state, which fights to defend its…

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Israel plans to forcibly remove 70.000 bedouins from their homes while encouraging at the same time the settlement of jews from Europe

ShortNews Middle East

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/nov/29/britons-protest-israel-plan-remove-palestinian-bedouin

More than 50 public figures in Britain, including high-profile artists, musicians and writers, have put their names to a letter opposing an Israeli plan to forcibly remove up to 70,000 Palestinian Bedouins from their historic desert land – an act condemned by critics as ethnic cleansing.

The eviction and destruction of about 35 “unrecognised” villages in the Negev desert will, the letter says, “mean the forced displacement of Palestinians from their homes and land, and systematic discrimination and separation”.

The population of these villages will be removed to designated towns, while plans for new Jewish settlements in the area are enacted.

The Bedouin comprise about 30% of the Negev’s population but their villages take up only 2.5% of the land. Before the state of Israel was created in 1948 they roamed widely across the desert; now, two-thirds of the region has been designated as military training…

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