There is so much misery in this region. There are wars, poverty, inequality, extremism. I could go on.
But there is also so much beauty. The Middle East is home to some of the most ancient cultures and traditions, religions and some of the most friendly and hospitable people. It has some of the most breathtaking mountains, deserts and beaches.
One of the most beautiful countries in this region is Iran. You may or may not have known this, especially since all most of what you hear in the news about Iran is negative: terrorism, nuclear program, abuse of human rights etc…
But never judge a country by politicians. This is especially true about Iran.
Remember the golden rule: whatever you think of Iranian politicians, the opposite is most probably true about the people and country of Iran. The latter have little control over the former. Very little.
But don’t let that stop you from learning and enjoying the sights and sounds of Iran. Its an amazing country, filled incredible people. The people of Iran are our friends and regional neighbours.
Enjoy this short and beautiful clip about the land of my birth.
The IRGC says the UAV which was shot down was HERMES UAV which Israel operates
Yesterday, the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corp (IRGC) of Iran announced that it had shot down an Israeli UAV.
Today it released photos of what it says are the remains of the alleged Israeli UAV. However it did not show any proof that the UAV belonged to Israel.
There was additional news today from Iran where the IRGC stated that the UAV was not launched directly from Israel.
What is interesting is that the government of Israel has refused to comment on this issue.
We can assume that this could be due to (at least) three reasons:
- The UAV was in fact Israeli, or
- The UAV had nothing to do with Israel. But by staying silent the government of Israel wants to create the perception in Iran that Israel is closely watching the Iranian nuclear program. As senior Haaretz correspondent Amir Oren stated on the i24 news channel last night, “as long as the Iranians believe they are being watched and whatever they do is transparent, this is good for Israel”. This theory is helped by the fact that the UAV news was headlines news in numerous Iranian news outlets today.
- The UAV belonged to another country and its not Israel’s place or business to comment on the military activities of other countries.
Lets see if any new evidence or news emerges over the next few days.
In 1978, a 28 year old Israeli by the name of Ben Nitay took part in a debate in the United States on Israel’s borders.
Today Ben Nitay has a different name: Benjamin Netanyahu.
Why did he call himself Ben Nitay? There are some unconfirmed reasons. Some believe he wanted to make it easier for his American colleagues (he studied in Harvard and MIT) to pronounce his name.
In the debate he is asked as a witness to outline what he sees as a possible solution for the fate of millions of Palestinians living in the West Bank and the Gaza strip under Israeli occupation. He is also asked whether he believes there should be a Palestinian state.
Just listen to his views then, and compare to what he is saying now. The biggest change in rhetoric is his Bar Ilan speech in which he stated that he believes in the 2 state for the 2 people solution.
However in reality, with his settlement policies he has made establishing a Palestinian state even more impossible. And lets not forget, he was so against the Gaza withdrawal in 2005 that he resigned as Finance Minister just before it.
I invite you to watch the video and to judge for yourself.
But dear Israeli compatriots, this is the man who after the current operation will use whatever happens in Gaza to undermine peace with the PLO. The fact that the PLO has cooperated in an unprecedented manner with Israel in areas of security and has recognized Israel means nothing to Netanyahu. Why? because in my honest opinion he does not believe in the 2 state solution. He just pays lip service to it.
Yesterday, President Rouhani of Iran visited Turkey.
What does this mean? What will he aim to achieve?
How will the Saudis view this visit? what does it mean in terms of domestic politics in Iran?
Has Iran changed its attitude towards Israel since the election of Rouhani?
I tried to address these issues in last night’s debate at I24 news.
Today we had the second day of the 2014 Herzliya conference.
One of the speakers was Brigadier-General Brun, military intelligence’s chief analyst.
In contradiction to Prime Minister Netanyahu, General Itai Brun had a more optimistic view of Iran’s role in the talks, so far.
According to the Jerusalem Post, he stated:
“It is very possible that Iran and the world powers that are negotiating with it are moving toward the signing, sometime during the year, of a permanent nuclear deal”.
In another part of his speech he added:
“In the meantime, Iran is abiding by the interim agreement and the pressures, mainly the economic crisis, are leading it toward a dialogue, which we regard as serious-minded, on a permanent agreement.”
This is not the first time that Israel’s intelligence community has come out with a different view to that of Netanyahu with regards to Iran’s nuclear program.
We saw another clear example on the 22nd of November last year.
In my assessment, the odds are at least 60:40 in favour of the current talks succeeding.
ببینم, چرا بعضی از هموطنان گرامی ایرانی من تا میشنون که ژنرال ال سی سی مصر کوده تا کرد کفرشون در میاد؟
پس این کوده تا نبود؟
ارتش دولت منتخب را بیرون کنه این کوده تا نیست؟ حالا بگیم چند صد هزار نفر هم تو خیابون ها باشند. دموکراسی بر اساس شمارش رای هستش یا براساس شماره تظاهر کنندگان؟ تازه شماره تظاهر کنندگان در اقلیت بود.
دوستان عزیز در فیسبوک که میگید از مرسی دفاع نکن: من از مرسی بدم میاد, ولی معنی دموکراسی این نیست که رهبر فقط بایستی کسی باشه که من یا شما ازش خوشمون میاد .
دوما چرا اوباما خط قرمز برای اسد کشید و وقتی اسد ان را با استفاده سلاح شیمیایی رد کرد اسد را تنبیه نکرد؟ به نظر من این اشتباه محض بود. در مورد این مسائل دیشب در برنامه افق با همکاران عزیز حسین علیزاده , امیر طاهری و سیامک دهقانپور گفتگویی داشتم.