Archive for the ‘IAEA’ Category

Free, Unbiased Media Under Fire: U.N. Chief Boycots Network

January 28, 2009

Free speech and free press and media are cornerstone of any well functioning free and democratic society.  In China and Vietnam, two remaining communists nation, these basic human rights don’t exist; and efforts to promote free media and free press often come under fire.

But the media can be persuaded and pressured too; and this is a much more subtle destruction of the media right to preserve its own unbiased view…..

The BBC is currently under fire for electing not to air a charity plea to help people in Gaza.  The BBC says the video uses the same images used by the network to depict the news.  The BBC also says the video is not impartial and has a clear bias — that the BBC would like to keep at arms length.  The result has been huge protests in London, the closing by Iran of BBC’s Persian network, and now a top U.N. official has cancelled his scheduled interviews on BBC….

BBC director general Mark Thompson had said airing the appeal would compromise the BBC’s impartiality.

Protesters demonstrate in London against the BBC. The BBC is ... 
Protesters demonstrate in London against the BBC. The BBC is facing more pressure to broadcast a charity appeal for funds for people in Gaza, as the Archbishop of Canterbury joins the row and more than 50 MPs sign a motion condemning the move.(AFP/Frantzesco Kangaris)

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The head of the UN atomic watchdog, Mohamed ElBaradei, has cancelled planned interviews with the BBC in protest at the British broadcaster’s refusal to air a Gaza charity appeal, the IAEA said Wednesday.

A spokeswoman for the International Atomic Energy Agency said that the “director general has cancelled his scheduled BBC World Service TV and radio interviews because of the BBC management’s refusal to broadcast the DEC’s (Disasters Emergency Committee) humanitarian appeal for Gaza.”

“He believes this decision violates the rules of basic human decency which are there to help vulnerable people irrespective of who is right or wrong,” said spokeswoman Melissa Fleming.

Both the BBC and Sky News refused to air the appeal by the Disasters Emergency Committee, an umbrella group of 13 charities including Oxfam and the British Red Cross, which kicks in with coordinated fundraising after disasters such as the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami.

ITV, Channel 4 and Five, Britain’s three other terrestrial television broadcasters beside the BBC, have all aired the appeal.

And top Church of England archbishops, government ministers, opposition spokesmen, more than 11,000 viewers and 50 lawmakers have called for the BBC to reconsider its decision.

But BBC director-general Mark Thompson insists that the corporation will not change its mind.

Egyptian-born ElBaradei, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2005 for his work at the IAEA, is scheduled to step down in November after three terms as the UN nuclear watchdog’s chief.

–AFP

Related:
 Gaza Fight Thunders Across Middle East, Britain, France, Media

Sky News joins BBC in not broadcasting Gaza aid appeal

BBC Insists It Is Not The “Barack Broadcasting Channel”

BBC In Hot Water; Accused Of Not Helping Victims

Internet: Do You Really Believe China Cares About Porn, Public Morality?

Media Censorship, Criminalization of Free Press In Vietnam Needs Action

http://bernielatham.wordpress.com/2009/0
1/28/bbcsky-refusal-to-air-appeal-for-gaza-st
ill-causing-anger-and-debate/

Iran: We Have Best Plan for UN Consideration

December 15, 2008

An Iranian lawmaker said here [in Tehran] Sunday that the talks on Iran’s proposed package is the best solution to Iran’s nuclear standoff, Iran’s official IRNA news agency reported.

“Negotiations within the framework of Iran’s proposed package is the best solution to Iran’s nuclear dispute,” head of Iran’s Parliament (Majlis) National Security and Foreign Policy Commission Alaeddin Boroujerdi told reporters.

“Recognized principles of the UN nuclear watchdog and the Non-Proliferation Treaty as well as the framework provided by the two sides’ proposed packages are the best possible solution,” Boroujerdi was quoted as saying.

He made the remarks when asked about the European Union (EU) Foreign Policy chief Javier Solana’s statements concerning the hope to meet Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili in near future.              

Solana in mid-June presented to Iran a new package of incentives proposed by six major powers, including Britain, China, France, Russia, the United States plus Germany, suggesting that Iran get a temporary reprieve from economic and financial sanctions in exchange for freezing its enrichment activities.

However, Iran’s government spokesman Gholam Hossein Elham said that the country would reject any nuclear deal offered by major world powers that demands a suspension of its uranium enrichment.

Iran’s failure to answer the new package in a way expected by the West, reasoning that Iran’s answer will be based on logical and constructive answers to Iran’s already-proposed package to the Westerners which is aimed to help resolve regional and international problems including Iran’s nuclear issue, disappointed the West.

The United States and its allies have accused Iran of trying to develop nuclear weapons under the cover of a civilian nuclear program.

Iran denies the charges and insists that its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes only.

–Xinhua

 

IAEA to Syria: Cooperate or be Punished

December 13, 2008

The chief US delegate to the International Atomic Energy Agency warned Syria on Saturday that it had until March to begin showing signs of cooperation over its nuclear plan or the country would face punishment.

Gregory L. Schulte presented Damascus with the ultimatum ahead of an IAEA’s meeting scheduled to take place in three months.

Jerusalem Post

Schulte told London-based newspaper Asharq Alawsat that “Syria must choose whether it plans to follow in Iran’s footsteps or to cooperate.”

Schulte said that according to an American investigation, North Korea had not denied involvement in the construction of the alleged Syrian reactor that was reported by foreign media to have been destroyed by Israel in 2007.

If Damascus chooses not to cooperate “there will be a negative reaction and serious questions will be raised,” the US envoy cautioned.

http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=122872
8176077&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

Who Should Govern Americans? United Nations or U.S. Congress?

December 11, 2008

Several news stories recently served as reminders that the United Nations has no special corner on the wisdom market.

And more often than not the U.N. takes down an anti-American and an anti-Israel path.

No matter how troubled, divided and worrisome the U.S. Congress may be, we at Peace and Freedom have much more trust and confidence in the Congress than in the United Nations.

In fact, many trumped up and just plain stupid accusations, decrees, positions and opinions emerge from the great deliberative body in New York.

And though we have our disagreements and problems with the U.S. Congress, we can vote for the members of the House and Senate and our free press and legal system holds them accountable: just ask William Jefferson or Randy “Duke” Cunningham, who are both in the slammer for corruption while elected members of the U.S. Congress.

Rod Blagojevich is playing out his corruption cards on the state level.

But even these American rascals are preferable to some of the world’s “diplomats.”

The Ambassador to the U.N. from Zimbabwe, Uganda, Iran, North Korea and a host of other nations has your American best interest at heart?  Really?  Hardly.

And who pays for the U.N. ?  You do.  As an American, you pay for more U.N. projects, reports, trips, vacations, boondoggles and corruption than any other group of citizens on earth.

If the U.S. agrees to even more U.N. say in the world — expect to pay even more.

Israel recently was taken to task by a UN body on the issue of human rights.

The Human Rights Council, in its Universal Periodic Review (UPR), raised concerns about Israel’s security wall, its detention of young Palestinians, and what they called ‘illegal’ Jewish settlements.

The most vocal members of the Human Rights group critical of Israel in the UN?  Syria, Egypt and Iran.

In November, Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni of Israel said that Israel had made a final decision not to participate in a U.N. forum on racism and urged other countries to boycott what she termed an “anti-Israel tribunal.”

Israel and the United States walked out of the first conference in protest over draft texts branding Israel as a racist and apartheid state — language that was later dropped.

Then we have the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)  — a UN group headed currently by its director-general, Egyptian-born Mohamed ElBaradei.

On the possibility of a nuclear weapon program in Iran, Mr. El Baradei said Iran had failed to “provide credible assurance about the absence of undeclared nuclear material and activities.”
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Mr. ElBaradei also said that he cannot exclude the possibility that there are “military dimensions to Iran’s nuclear program.” He’s complained – well, “complain” may be too harsh a characterization; he’s noted – that Iran has not been transparent to “the extent to which information contained in the relevant documentation is factually correct….”

 But the IAEA refuses to codemn Iran or come to any really concete conclusions on Iran’s nuclear progam.

Then we have widely reported abuses by the “peacekeepers” from the United Nations, usually in Africa.  The Blue Helmets of the UN have committed rape and other atrocities while on paid UN “peacekeeping” missions.  These horrible acts almost eliminate the good that UN peacekeepers so often do around the globe.

UN Peacekeepers or “Blue Helmets”

The leader at the United Nations just now is Ban Ki-moon from South Korea.  He is an admirable and gentle man who is easily run over by leaders who will promise him anything and deliver nothing.  This was his fate after the typhoon destroyed Myanmar: the junta promised to allow all aid and assisance into the country and as soon as the U.N. Secretary-General departed the deal was off.

United Nations chief Ban Ki-moon has called on China to continue ... 
United Nations chief Ban Ki-moon.(AFP/Fabrice Coffrini)

No; we find no special wisdom at the United Nations, and little fortitude, strength and honesty, despite a lot of good the international body can do.  In fact, we have great hope for the promise of a better UN.  But we do see now a lot of mumbo jumbo, doublespeak, gobledegook, corruption, lies and playing fast and loose with the facts and other people’s money at the UN.

And the UN’s own inability to end wrongdoing and corruption, which runs to its core, is also well documented.

So when 650 scientists recently disputed UN claims on global warming, Al Gore may have been shocked and appalled.  We at Peace and Freedom weren’t even tickled with the slightest bit of dismay.

Former U.S. Vice President Al Gore listens during a ceremony ... 
Al Gore  (AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski)

In his book, “The Audacity of Hope,” Mr. Obama wrote, “When the world’s sole superpower willingly restrains its power and abides by internationally agreed-upon standards of conduct, it sends a message that these rules are worth following.”

Really? 
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Our best wishes to Susan Rice, President-elect Obama’s choice to represent the United States at the UN.  But Susan Rice should know two things: she is going into a land of corruption even greater than that found in Illinois and the U.S. Congress.  And the real power players in the Obama Administration will be in Washington DC near the White House  and not in New York at the UN — if history is any guide.

But we don’t know if history is any guide for how the U.S. will interact with the U.N. for the next four years.  Because Mr. Obama and Ms. Rice haven’t exactly said, have they?

Related:
U.N.: Mexico Will Cut Emissions 10% By 2050 If U.S., Japan Pay

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations nominee Susan Rice listens ... 
U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations nominee Susan Rice listens as U.S. President-elect Barack Obama announces his national security team during a news conference in Chicago December 1, 2008.REUTERS/John Gress (UNITED STATES)
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Susan Rice Starts Her Own Transition
Team at the State Department

From Fox News

President-elect Barack Obama’s choice for U.S. ambassador to the United Nations — Susan Rice — reportedly has plans to install her own transition team within the State Department.  

The first sign of cracks in President-elect Barack Obama’s foreign policy team of rivals emerged on Monday as his choices for secretary of state and U.S. ambassador to the United Nations visited the State Department.

As Secretary of State-pick Hillary Rodham Clinton and U.N. envoy-choice Susan Rice separately visited the diplomatic agency’s headquarters in Washington’s Foggy Bottom neighborhood, persons familiar with the transition said that Rice wants to install her own transition team inside the department.

Such a move by an incoming U.N. ambassador is rare, if not unprecedented, because the job is based at the United Nations in New York, where Rice already has a small transition staff, the sources familiar with the incoming administration.

The push by Rice, an early Obama supporter whose position the President-elect wants to elevate to a cabinet post, is also a signal that she intends to use her influence with the new president to play a more significant role than previous U.N. envoys, they said. The transition sources spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations.

Officials with Clinton’s transition team declined to comment on the matter, and aides to Rice could not immediately be reached. State Department officials declined to comment on issues related to the transition.

It was not clear if Clinton and Rice — who had strained relations during the Democratic primaries because of Rice’s steadfast backing of Obama — saw each other at the State Department as Clinton left the building shortly after Rice arrived.

Read the rest:
http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2008/12/09
/sources-rice-install-transition-team-state-de
partment/

Missile Defense Success; Urgent Need

December 9, 2008

The spectacular intercept of a long-range ballistic missile over the Pacific on Dec. 5 shows once again that the technology works. The ground-based national missile defense now has destroyed its target in eight intercept attempts. It is simply inaccurate for critics to keep saying it does not work. This defense now should be placed in Europe.

Today, 22 of these ground-based midcourse interceptors are operational in Alaska and California, protecting against North Korea and other Asian threats, and 22 more are being fielded. That technology also should be used to protect the Eastern United States and Europe against Iran and other Middle Eastern threats, by installing the interceptors planned for Poland.

By James Hackett
The Washington Times

A missile said to be a Shahab-3 being tested in 2006
The Shahab-3 is Iran’s most advanced and longest-range missile

Iran is continuing to test new solid-fuel and longer-range missiles, and experts of the International Atomic Energy Agency say Tehran already has enough fissionable material to build a nuclear warhead. But the Middle Eastern threat is wider than Iran and could include international terrorists or rogue elements in Pakistan, which already has both nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles.

The test last week was the most challenging to date. The target missile was launched from Kodiak Island, Alaska, toward the ocean off California, where it was struck and destroyed by an interceptor launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. The target was tracked by four radars on land and sea. The fire control system then combined the radar data and fed it to the interceptor, enabling the shoot-down of a complex target.

Missile defense opponents keep calling for more flight tests and oppose funding for the base in Europe until the “new” interceptors to be used there have been thoroughly tested.
Eight of the United States' 13 missile defense tests have been deemed a success.

Eight of the United States’ 13 missile defense tests have been deemed a success.

Read the rest:
http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2008
/dec/09/missile-defense-success/

International Atomic Energy Agency: No Friend of Israel, Wrong on Iran

December 8, 2008
Most people think of the International Atomic Energy Agency as “the world’s nuclear inspectorate” – verifying that civilian nuclear activities “are not used for military purposes” and working 24/7 to stem the spread of nuclear weapons. Sometimes, though, to hear its director-general, Mohamed ElBaradei, talk, you might think the IAEA’s paramount mission was to promote pacifism.
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Editorial
The Jerusalem Post
 

 

International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director General Mohamed ... 
International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director General Mohamed ElBaradei attends an IAEA board of governors meeting in Vienna’s U.N. headquarters November 27, 2008. REUTERS/Herwig Prammer

The IAEA got Iraq right in 2003. And just last month, ElBaradei admitted Iran had failed to “provide credible assurance about the absence of undeclared nuclear material and activities.” That’s bureaucratese for: Iran is being deceptive and opaque and we, the IAEA, can’t attest that they’re not moving full speed ahead on building a bomb.

The Egyptian-born ElBaradei, 66, is a lawyer by training. He’s lately been thinking about retiring to the south of France. His comments on Iran are invariably lawyerlike; sufficiently wide-ranging so that no one could plausibly accuse him of looking the other way as the Iranians build a bomb. Indeed, he shared a Nobel Peace Prize for his non-proliferation work.

ElBaradei will say that he cannot exclude the possibility that there are “military dimensions to Iran’s nuclear program.” He’s complained – well, “complain” may be too harsh a characterization; he’s noted – that Iran has not been transparent to “the extent to which information contained in the relevant documentation is factually correct….”

Related:
Iran Rejects Obama’s Ideas as “Unacceptable and Failed”

Israel’s Defense Minister asks Clinton, Gates to help face up to Iran

Read the rest:
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702464397&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

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Mohamed ElBaradei urges dialogue between the West and Tehran. He says Obama has given him ‘lots of hope.’
By Borzou Daragahi
Los Angeles Times
December 6, 2008
Reporting from Vienna — The chief of the world’s nuclear weapons watchdog organization considers five years of U.S. and international efforts to rein in Iran’s nuclear ambitions a failure, as Tehran moves ever closer to obtaining the means to develop weapons of mass destruction.

The United Nations Security Council has imposed three sets of sanctions to try to get Iran to halt uranium enrichment and other activities, while the United States and Europe have offered economic and security incentives. Yet Iran continues acquiring nuclear technology and stockpiling sensitive material.

“We haven’t really moved one inch toward addressing the issues,” said Mohamed ElBaradei, director-general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, or IAEA. “I think so far the policy has been a failure.”

The 66-year-old Egyptian diplomat and 2005 Nobel Peace Prize laureate also urged world leaders to address broader unease about security, poverty and perceived injustice rather than zero in on narrow security concerns, such as nuclear weapons.

“Now, I am talking more and more about poverty, HIV/AIDS” and other matters, he told The Times this week during a rare one-on-one interview at the agency’s headquarters in Vienna. The nuclear issue “is the tip of the iceberg.”

Read the rest:
http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-
fg-elbaradei6-2008dec06,0,6607799.story