JFP 11/9: Mr. Netanyahu, Tear Down This Wall
Just Foreign Policy News
November 9, 2009
Mr. Netanyahu, Tear Down This Wall
On the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, Western leaders are full of self-congratulation. But their paeans to universal freedom ring hollow, when they bear large responsibility for another wall constricting human freedom: the apartheid wall dividing the Palestinian West Bank. Today, to mark the anniversary, Palestinians tore down a chunk of the wall near Ramallah.
Video of the Palestinian action today:
NoEscalation.org: Help Us Push and Track Congress on Afghanistan Escalation
No decision has been announced. Call Members of Congress, ask where they stand, and report the results.
Support the Work of Just Foreign Policy
Your financial contributions to Just Foreign Policy help us create opportunities for Americans to advocate for a just foreign policy.
1) Afghans are voicing serious doubts about an increase in U.S. troops, the New York Times reports. They are increasingly skeptical that the Taliban can be defeated; nearly everyone agrees that the Afghan government must negotiate with the insurgents.
2) President Obama is nearing a decision to send more than 30,000 additional U.S. troops to Afghanistan next year, McClatchy reports. The first additional combat brigade probably would arrive in Afghanistan next March, officials said, with the other three following at roughly three-month intervals, meaning that all the additional U.S. troops probably wouldn't be deployed until the end of next year. The officials cautioned that Obama's decision isn't final, and won't be until after administration officials discuss it with the NATO allies at a Nov. 23 meeting of the alliance's North Atlantic Council and its Military Committee. Administration officials also want time to launch a public relations offensive to convince an increasingly skeptical public and a wary Democratic Congress - which must agree to fund the administration's plan - that the war, now in its ninth year and inflicting rising casualties, is one of "necessity," McClatchy says. Some administration officials privately concede the Afghan could cost $700 billion to $1 trillion over 10 years.
3) The Afghan Defense Ministry and local officials said on Saturday that seven members of the Afghan security forces had been killed in a NATO airstrike, the New York Times reports.
4) The possible collapse of the Palestinian Authority loomed Monday, as several aides to its president, Mahmoud Abbas, said that he intended to resign and forecast that others would follow, the New York Times reports. "[He] came all this way with the peace process in order to create a Palestinian state, but he sees no state coming," Saeb Erekat, the chief Palestinian peace negotiator, said. "So he really doesn't think there is a need to be president or to have an Authority. This is not about who is going to replace him. This is about our leaving our posts. You think anybody will stay after he leaves?" Abbas and those who work closely with him were shocked when the United States backpedaled on a demand that Israel freeze settlement building in the West Bank, the Times says.
5) Iraq approved a law on Sunday to administer a national election in January, a step that will allow the rapid withdrawal of US combat forces early next year, the New York Times reports. The agreement reached Sunday, brokered by the US and the UN, will use voter lists from 2009 in Kirkuk, but if the number of eligible voters in a particular area is suspiciously high, a committee overseen by the UN will be formed to determine whether fraud has occurred.
6) Pressure is growing within NATO for the removal of the remaining US nuclear weapons on European soil, the Guardian reporrts. The new German government coalition, has called for the removal of US nuclear weapons on its territory. The Germans have backing from the Belgians and Dutch. The new Norwegian government also called for a debate within NATO on nuclear doctrine. There are an estimated 200 US nuclear weapons in Europe, deployed in Turkey, Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany.
7) Tens of thousands of Okinawans rallied Sunday against a US military base on the island, raising pressure on the Japanese government days before President Obama is due in Japan, AFP reports. Okinawans who voted for the new Japanese government expect it to close the base, but the Japanese government is under heavy pressure from the US.
8) Palestinians tore down a chunk of Israel's West Bank separation barrier on Monday in a protest staged to coincide with the 20th anniversary of the day the Berlin Wall came down, AFP reports. When completed, 85 percent of the wall will have been built inside the West Bank, leaving 9.5 percent of the territory and 35,000 Palestinians between the barrier and the Green Line that marks the 1967 border with Israel.
9) The Obama administration, attempting to salvage a faltering nuclear deal with Iran, has told Iran's leaders it is willing to allow the country to send its stockpile of enriched uranium to any of several nations, including Turkey, for temporary safekeeping, the New York Times reports. But the overtures have all been ignored, officials said. The Iranians have proposed that international arms inspectors take custody of much of Iran's fuel, but keep it on Kish, a Persian Gulf resort island that is part of Iran. An administration official said that proposal had been rejected because leaving the material on Iranian territory would allow for the possibility that the Iranians could evict the international inspectors at any moment.
10) President Medvedev said Russia might back sanctions against Iran if the Iranians did not take a "constructive position" on an international plan to temporarily diminish their stockpile of enriched uranium, the New York Times reports.
11) The Haitian Senate unanimously approved Jean-Max Bellerive as prime minister, the Miami Herald reports. Bellerive has criticized the international community for the lack of aid coordination, donors' broken promises and the hundreds of millions of dollars that pass through nongovernmental organizations without Haitian government input.
1) Prospect of More U.S. Troops Worries Afghan Public
Alissa J. Rubin, New York Times, November 7, 2009
Charikar, Afghanistan - As Americans, including President Obama's top advisers, tensely debate whether to send more American troops to Afghanistan, Afghans themselves are having a similar discussion and voicing serious doubts.
In bazaars and university corridors across the country, eight years of war have left people exhausted and impatient. They are increasingly skeptical that the Taliban can be defeated. Nearly everyone agrees that the Afghan government must negotiate with the insurgents. If more American forces do arrive, many here say, they should come to train Afghans to take over the fight, so the foreigners can leave.
"What have the Americans done in eight years?" asked Abdullah Wasay, 60, a pharmacist in Charikar, a market town about 25 miles north of Kabul, expressing a view typical of many here. "Americans are saying that with their planes they can see an egg 18 kilometers away, so why can't they see the Taliban?"
Such sentiments were repeated in conversation after conversation with more than 30 Afghans in Kabul and nearby rural areas and with local officials in outlying provinces. The comments point to the difficulties that American and Afghan officials face if they choose to add more foreign troops.
If the foreign forces are not seen so by Afghans already, they are on the cusp of being regarded as occupiers, with little to show people for their extended presence, fueling wild conspiracies about why they remain here.
The feeling is particularly acute in the Pashtun south, but it is spreading to other parts of the country. More American troops could tip the balance of opinion, particularly if they increase civilian casualties and prompt even more Taliban attacks.
The grass-roots view among Afghans is at odds with those of top Afghan officials, as well as many American military commanders, who strongly endorse a full-blown counterinsurgency strategy, including a large troop increase.
Daily life continues to be so precarious for many people interviewed, especially those outside Kabul, that they have come to believe that the United States must want the fighting to go on. "In the first days of the war, the Americans defeated the Taliban in just a few days," said Mohammed Shefi, a graduate student in the pharmacy school at Kabul University. "Now they have more than 60,000 forces and they cannot defeat them."
Zia Ahmet, a seller of tea kettles and pots just down the street from Mr. Wasay, was positive about the current international presence, but dubious about increasing it. "Instead of increasing foreign troops, it's better to equip the Afghan National Army and the Afghan police," he said, a view that was shared by almost everyone interviewed. "The local army are known in the villages, and they are more useful than foreign troops."
A tribal elder in Balkh Province, in the remote north, said the insurgency had disrupted life for farmers and herders, and he repeated one of a growing number of conspiracy theories about the Americans' intentions. In his version, the Americans were transporting Taliban fighters to the north and dropping them from helicopters at night, on the theory that the Americans wanted more fighting so they could stay in the country. Other versions have the British transporting the insurgents. There is no truth to the accounts, according to American military officials in Kabul.
Graduate students at Kabul University were no less suspicious. "Those countries that are working with the U.S. and are friends of theirs are Saudi and Pakistan and those are the same countries the insurgents are coming from," said Abdullah, a graduate student in the Faculty of Islamic Law who, like many Afghans, has only one name.
With less certainty about America's continued commitment, there is a growing sense that the only sure way to peace is through negotiations with the Taliban. "They are the sons of this country, it is right to negotiate with the Taliban," said Mohammed Younnis, a shopkeeper in Charikar who sells tea, sugar and grains. "This government is Afghan, and the Taliban are Afghan; they should build the country together," he said.
2) Obama Leaning Toward 34,000 More Troops for Afghanistan
Jonathan S. Landay, John Walcott and Nancy A. Youssef, McClatchy, Nov. 08, 2009
Washington - President Barack Obama is nearing a decision to send more than 30,000 additional U.S. troops to Afghanistan next year, but he may not announce it until after he consults with key allies and completes a trip to Asia later this month, administration and military officials have told McClatchy.
As it now stands, the administration's plan calls for sending three Army brigades from the 101st Airborne Division at Fort Campbell, Ky. and the 10th Mountain Division at Fort Drum, N.Y. and a Marine brigade, for a total of as many as 23,000 additional combat and support troops.
Another 7,000 troops would man and support a new division headquarters for the international force's Regional Command (RC) South in Kandahar, the Taliban birthplace where the U.S. is due to take command in 2010. Some 4,000 additional U.S. trainers are likely to be sent as well, the officials said.
The first additional combat brigade probably would arrive in Afghanistan next March, the officials said, with the other three following at roughly three-month intervals, meaning that all the additional U.S. troops probably wouldn't be deployed until the end of next year. Army brigades number 3,500 to 5,000 soldiers; a Marine brigade has about 8,000 troops.
The officials, all of whom spoke on the condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to discuss internal administration planning, cautioned that Obama's decision isn't final, and won't be until after administration officials discuss it with the NATO allies at a Nov. 23 meeting of the alliance's North Atlantic Council and its Military Committee.
Coalition forces now include 67,000 U.S. and 42,000 troops from other countries. The Army's counterinsurgency manual estimates that an all-out counterinsurgency campaign in a country with Afghanistan's population would require about 600,000 troops.
The officials said that Obama also wants to complete his Nov. 11-19 Asia trip and a state visit by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh of India, the arch foe of Pakistan, a key U.S. ally in the war on terror, before he announces his Afghanistan plan.
Administration officials also want time to launch a public relations offensive to convince an increasingly skeptical public and a wary Democratic Congress - which must agree to fund the administration's plan - that the war, now in its ninth year and inflicting rising casualties, is one of "necessity," as Obama said earlier this year. "This is not going to be an easy sell, especially with the fight over health care and the (Democratic) party's losses" of the governors' mansions in New Jersey and Virginia last week, said one official.
Generating public, congressional and international support for a troop increase will require heavy pressure on Afghan President Hamid Karzai to crack down on endemic corruption and drug trafficking, surrender more power to provincial and local governments and improve public services, the officials said. Karzai won a second term last week when his first-round election opponent bowed out of a run-off.
"Another reason for the president to hold off for a bit on ordering more troops to Afghanistan is that we can tell Karzai that if he doesn't act firmly now, there won't be any support for a troop increase," said one official. "That has the added advantage of being true, and it's easier to hold off on sending more troops than it is to threaten to pull them out once they're there."
Obama campaigned saying that he'd fund the Iraq and Afghanistan wars from the defense budget, but Adm. Michael Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said last week that the Afghan war - which some administration officials privately concede could cost $700 billion to $1 trillion - might require a supplemental funding bill next year. Among the cost estimates the Pentagon is considering is $1 trillion over 10 years, two senior defense officials told McClatchy.
3) NATO Airstrike Said To Kill 7 Afghan Soldiers
Alissa J. Rubin, New York Times, November 8, 2009
Kabul - The Afghan Defense Ministry and local officials in Badghis Province said on Saturday that seven members of the Afghan security forces had been killed in a NATO airstrike the day before that was part of an effort to aid a beleaguered Afghan and NATO operation against the Taliban.
A NATO spokesman confirmed that the seven Afghan officers had been killed, as well as an Afghan civilian working with the Afghan forces. The organization is investigating whether its close air support was responsible for the casualties. According to NATO, five American soldiers were wounded in the operation against the militants, along with 15 Afghan soldiers, two Afghan police officers and one Afghan civilian working with the troops.
If NATO close air support is responsible for the casualties, it would be one of the worst cases of friendly fire in the course of the eight-year war.
4) Collapse Feared for Palestinian Authority if Abbas Resigns
Ethan Bronner, New York Times, November 10, 2009
Ramallah, West Bank - The possible collapse of the Palestinian Authority, Israel's negotiating partner, loomed Monday, as several aides to its president, Mahmoud Abbas, said that he intended to resign and forecast that others would follow.
"I think he is realizing that he came all this way with the peace process in order to create a Palestinian state, but he sees no state coming," Saeb Erekat, the chief Palestinian peace negotiator, said in an interview. "So he really doesn't think there is a need to be president or to have an Authority. This is not about who is going to replace him. This is about our leaving our posts. You think anybody will stay after he leaves?"
Mr. Abbas warned last week that he would not participate in Palestinian elections he called for, to take place in January. But he has threatened several times before to resign, and many viewed this latest step as a ploy by a Hamlet-like leader upset over Israeli and American policy. Many also noted that the vote might not actually be held, given the Palestinian political fracture and the unwillingness of Hamas, which controls Gaza, to participate.
In the days since, however, his colleagues have come to believe that he is not bluffing. If that is the case, they say, the Palestinian Authority could be endangered.
Four top officials made the same point in separate interviews. Mr. Abbas, they say, feels at a total impasse in negotiations with the Israeli government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has declined to commit to a Palestinian state based on the 1967 borders, including East Jerusalem. Mr. Netanyahu favors negotiations without preconditions.
Azam al-Ahmad, head of the Fatah bloc in the Palestinian Legislative Council, said he spoke with Mr. Abbas on Saturday and that the Palestinian president was likely to resign in the next month or so. "Nobody will accept to be president under this situation," Mr. Ahmad said. "We could witness the collapse of the Palestinian Authority."
Ali Jarbawi, the minister of planning, spoke in similar terms in an interview, asking, "Why do we need anybody to take his place if the whole process is failing? If the authority is going to go on forever, who needs it?" But he suggested that the crisis was aimed at persuading the United States and Europe to become more actively involved in bringing about a two-state solution.
What a collapse of the Palestinian Authority would mean is far from clear. All legal definitions in Palestinian politics have grown fuzzy since the 2007 split between the West Bank, dominated by Fatah, and Gaza, run by Hamas. What is clear is that Mr. Abbas and those who work closely with him were shocked when the United States backpedaled on a demand that Israel freeze settlement building in the West Bank.
5) Iraq Passes Crucial Election Law
Timothy Williams and Sa'ad Izzi, New York Times, November 9, 2009
Baghdad - After weeks of political stalemate, Iraq approved a law on Sunday to administer a critical national election in January, a significant milestone for its fragile democracy and a step that will allow the rapid withdrawal of American combat forces early next year.
The election, only the second national vote since the fall of Saddam Hussein, will be a crucial step toward popular sovereignty and stability in Iraq. But the election law had been stymied by a political battle over the northern province of Kirkuk, claimed by Kurds, Arabs and Turkmens, each of whom hoped electoral power would give them control of the region's oil wealth.
The compromise reached Sunday, which satisfied all three groups, was hailed by Iraqi and American leaders as a triumph for Iraq's emerging democracy and a demonstration of Parliament's ability to resolve sticky sectarian disputes for the national benefit.
American military commanders have said they intend to begin a rapid withdrawal of the 120,000 American troops still in Iraq after the election. The United States has pledged to withdraw all combat forces from Iraq by the end of next August, leaving about 50,000 troops in an advisory and support role. All American troops are scheduled to leave the country by the end of 2011.
The previous parliamentary vote, in 2005, was boycotted by many Sunni Arabs, an act that allowed the insurgency to fester and fueled subsequent sectarian bloodshed. This time, each of the major political parties and Iraqi's major religious and ethnic groups have all said they will participate.
For weeks, the legislature had wrestled with how to determine voter eligibility in Kirkuk, which sits on billions of barrels of oil. The issue threatened to undermine the election, and Parliament's inability to resolve it had become a symbol of Iraq's political dysfunction.
Tens of thousands of Kurds were forced out of Kirkuk by Saddam Hussein, who replaced them with Arabs in order to tighten his grip on the region's oil. Since the United States-led invasion that ousted Mr. Hussein in 2003, thousands of Kurds have moved back.
Arabs and Turkmens in Kirkuk had favored using voter registration lists from 2004 or 2005, while Kurds wanted to use voter rolls from 2009 that reflected their substantially higher numbers.
The agreement reached Sunday, brokered by the United States and the United Nations, will use voter lists from 2009, but if the number of eligible voters in a particular area is deemed by members of Parliament to be suspiciously high, a committee overseen by the United Nations will be formed to determine whether fraud has occurred, according to a draft of the law.
The election will also allow voters to choose individual candidates as part of an "open list," as opposed to the closed-list ballot in which voters pick political parties, who in turn choose people to occupy seats in Parliament.
The 2005 election used a closed list, which helped protect candidates from assassination, but it strengthened organized parties rather than individual candidates and was unpopular with voters.
6) Germans Press For Removal Of US Nuclear Weapons In Europe
Julian Borger, Guardian, Friday 6 November 2009 19.20 GMT http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/nov/06/germany-removal-us-nuclear-weapons
Pressure is growing within Nato for the removal of the remaining US nuclear weapons on European soil, and for a new doctrine for the alliance that would depend less on nuclear deterrence.
The initiative is being driven by the new German government coalition, which has called for the removal of American nuclear weapons on its territory as part of a Nato strategic rethink.
The German foreign minister, Guido Westerwelle, the driving force behind the new policy, raised the issue during talks in Washington today with the US secretary of state, Hillary Clinton.
Earlier this week, Westerwelle assured the Nato secretary general, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, that Germany would consult its allies on the removal of the estimated 20 nuclear weapons left on its soil.
The Germans have backing from the Belgians and Dutch. The new Norwegian government also called for a debate within Nato, as it revises its basic doctrine, known as the strategic concept, due to be completed in the first half of next year.
There are an estimated 200 US weapons - mostly tactical - left in Europe, deployed in Turkey, Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany.
Their future is also being debated within the Obama administration as it prepares a new "nuclear posture review" due early next year. The president is reported to have personally intervened in the Pentagon's drafting of the review to ensure that it reflects the commitment he made in a speech in Prague in April, committing the US to the eventual goal of a world free of nuclear weapons.
7) Japanese protest US base before Obama visit
Harumi Ozawa, AFP, Sun Nov 8, 4:59 am ET http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20091108/wl_afp/japanusdiplomacymilitarydemonstration_20091108100130
Ginowan, Japan - Tens of thousands of Okinawan residents rallied Sunday against a US military base on the island, raising the heat in a simmering row days before US President Barack Obama is due in Japan.
Opposition has often flared on the island against the presence of the large US military base, strategically located within easy reach of China, Taiwan and North Korea and dubbed the United States' "unsinkable aircraft carrier".
But the election of a new centre-left government in Tokyo in September, ending decades of conservative rule, has brought the issue to the centre of national politics and strained Japan's most important security alliance.
"I urge Prime Minister (Yukio) Hatoyama to tell President Obama that Okinawa needs no more US bases," said Ginowan mayor Yoichi Iha at the rally. "I urge Prime Minister Hatoyama to make a brave decision and put an end to Okinawa's burden and ordeal."
Protesters, from elderly people wearing straw hats to young families carrying babies, applauded the mayor's speech in a park near the controversial US Marine Corps Futenma Air Base in Ginowan city.
Organisers said some 21,000 people had gathered for the event, which comes ahead of Obama's visit to Tokyo on Friday and Saturday.
The Futenma base, located in a densely populated urban area, has emerged as a flashpoint for local opponents who have been angered by aircraft noise, pollution, the risk of accidents and crimes committed by US service personnel.
Okinawans reacted with fury to the 1995 rape of a schoolgirl by three US servicemen. Demands to close the base on safety grounds grew when a US helicopter crashed in the grounds of a local university in 2004.
Hatoyama's government, which swept to power in a landslide and has vowed a less subservient relationship with Washington, has said it may want the base moved off the island or even out of the country.
The United States has demanded Japan honour a 2006 agreement under which the Futenma base would be closed but its air operations moved to an alternative site to be built on Okinawa by 2014 in the coastal Camp Schwab area.
But many Okinawans and activists also oppose the planned new base, which would be built on reclaimed land and would include two runways protesters say are likely to affect a marine habitat that is home to corals and an endangered sea mammal, the dugong.
Protester Yoshiko Yonamine, 64, said: "Okinawans voted for the new administration, thinking it would remove the base from the island. I don't want it to betray us."
Ikita Kiyuna, 35, who brought his one-year-old son and wife to the rally said he already felt cheated by Hatoyama and his ruling Democratic Party. "If they don't do anything to make changes, they are just the same as the previous government" of the conservative Liberal Democrats, he said.
American occupation forces only handed the island back to Japan in 1972. Okinawa continues to host more than half of the 47,000 US troops stationed in the country, while Japan's pacifist constitution bars its Self-Defence Forces from offensive military action.
8) Palestinians tear down chunk of wall
AFP, Mon Nov 9, 11:22 am ET
Ramallah, West Bank - Palestinians tore down a chunk of Israel's West Bank separation barrier on Monday in a protest staged to coincide with the 20th anniversary of the day the Berlin Wall came down.
A truck was used to pull down the wall section to the cheers of an estimated 150 Palestinian activists and foreign supporters near the Qalandia refugee camp just outside Ramallah.
Israeli troops used teargas and stun grenades in a brief clash with stone-throwing Palestinians who then dispersed. "Today is the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall and marks the first day of a week of resistance to the apartheid wall in Palestine and around the globe," the Stop the Wall campaign said in a statement.
Israel says the network of steel and concrete walls, fences and barbed wire is needed for security. The Palestinians view it as a land grab that undermines their promised state.
To date, Israel has completed 413 kilometres (256 miles) of the planned 709-kilometre (435-mile) barrier, according to UN figures.
When completed, 85 percent of the wall will have been built inside the West Bank, leaving 9.5 percent of the territory and 35,000 Palestinians between the barrier and the Green Line that marks the 1967 border with Israel.
The International Court of Justice (ICJ) issued a non-binding resolution in 2004 calling for those parts of the barrier that are inside the West Bank to be torn down and for further construction in the territory to cease. Israel has ignored the ruling.
9) Iran Is Said To Ignore Effort To Salvage A Nuclear Deal
David E. Sanger, New York Times, November 9, 2009
Washington - The Obama administration, attempting to salvage a faltering nuclear deal with Iran, has told Iran's leaders in back-channel messages that it is willing to allow the country to send its stockpile of enriched uranium to any of several nations, including Turkey, for temporary safekeeping, according to administration officials and diplomats involved in the exchanges.
But the overtures, made through the International Atomic Energy Agency over the past two weeks, have all been ignored, the officials said. Instead, they said, the Iranians have revived an old counterproposal: that international arms inspectors take custody of much of Iran's fuel, but keep it on Kish, a Persian Gulf resort island that is part of Iran.
A senior Obama administration official said that proposal had been rejected because leaving the nuclear material on Iranian territory would allow for the possibility that the Iranians could evict the international inspectors at any moment. That happened in North Korea in 2003, and within months the country had converted its fuel into the material for several nuclear weapons.
The intermediary in the exchanges between Washington and Tehran has been Mohamed ElBaradei, the director general of the energy agency. He confirmed some of the proposals - including one to send Iran's fuel to Turkey, which has nurtured close relations with Iran - in interviews in New York late last week.
But members of the Obama administration, in interviews over the weekend, said that they had now all but lost hope that Iran would follow through with an agreement reached in Geneva on Oct. 1 to send its fuel out of the country temporarily - buying some time for negotiations over its nuclear program.
"If you listen to what the Iranians have said publicly and privately over the past week," one senior administration official said Sunday, "it's evident that they simply cannot bring themselves to do the deal." The administration officials spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were speaking about delicate diplomatic exchanges.
Dr. ElBaradei insisted he still had hope, but he conceded that the chances were receding. "I have been saying to the Iranian leadership, privately and publicly, 'Make use of that opportunity. Reciprocate,' " Dr. ElBaradei said last week. But he said that it now appeared that "the foreign policy apparatus in Iran has frozen," partly because of the country's own domestic turmoil.
10) Medvedev Says Russia May Back Sanctions On Iran If Nuclear Deal Falls Apart
Ellen Barry, New York Times, November 8, 2009
Moscow - President Dmitri A. Medvedev said Russia might back sanctions against Iran if the Iranians did not take a "constructive position" on an international plan to temporarily diminish their stockpile of enriched uranium.
The statement, made in an interview with Der Spiegel and released by the Kremlin, resembles one Mr. Medvedev made in September after meeting with President Obama in New York. But it takes on added significance now because Iran has equivocated on the international agreement. That deal would require Iran to ship its low-enriched uranium out of the country for processing, easing fears that the fuel would be used for nuclear bombs.
"If agreements are reached on the programs linked to uranium enrichment and its use for peaceful purposes in Iran, we will with pleasure take part in these programs," Mr. Medvedev said. "If the Iranian leadership takes a less constructive position, then anything is possible, in theory.
"We would not want this to end in imposing sanctions under international law, because sanctions, as a rule, are a complex and dangerous path," he continued. "But if there is no forward movement, no one can rule out this scenario."
11) Bellerive nominated for Haiti prime minister
Haiti prime minister nominee is a political survivor
Jacqueline Charles, Miami Herald, Mon, Nov. 09, 2009
The Haitian Senate unanimously approved a longtime technocrat as prime minister Friday, hoping that a man with long ties to Haiti's political power brokers and the international community can lead this nation through its fifth change of cabinets in five years.
Planning Minister Jean-Max Bellerive is a political survivor who has held different jobs with at least 10 different administrations, including the military junta, both presidential terms of exiled President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, both terms of President René Préval and the interim government that came to power following Aristide's 2004 ouster.
The lower chamber of Congress votes on his candidacy Saturday, and he is poised to present his Cabinet next week. He will replace Prime Minister Michele Pierre-Louis, who was ousted last week in a debate over not moving fast enough to solve Haiti's problems.
As minister of planning and external cooperation, Bellerive coordinates the lion's share of the more than $1 billion in foreign aid flowing into Haiti for investments in roads, infrastructure and social programs, as well as the allocation of the $150 million of investment projects financed directly by the Haitian treasury. But if Pierre-Louis was the darling of the international community, Bellerive is one of its most vocal critics. He has criticized the lack of aid coordination, donors' broken promises and the hundreds of millions of dollars that pass through nongovernmental organizations without Haitian government input.
Just Foreign Policy
Just Foreign Policy is a membership organization devoted to reforming US foreign policy so it reflects the values and interests of the majority of Americans.