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When Opposites Attract…

While the newly elected President Obama has been bombarded with letters, messages and advice, a message from Al Qaeda’s second-in-command, Ayman al- Zawahiri has struck an unlikely harmony between the terrorist organization and neoconservatives in the US.

The terrorist leader’s statement included discriminatory remarks toward President-Elect Obama as well as a charge of America’s military defeat in Iraq and a possible Iranian/US dialogue that would include bilateral cooperation over Afghanistan.

The slurs used toward the President-Elect, whether racial or religious, are discriminatory and disgraceful, and will likely prove counterproductive for the terrorist group, given the not only national but global enthusiasm over Barack Obama’s victory.

Something wicked this way comes…

Last week the Washington Post ran an OpEd by two former Senators, Chuck Robb (D-VA) and Dan Coats (R-ID).  In it, they endorsed sustained aggressive action in future U.S. dealings with Iran, saying that Iran must be prevented, using any means necessary, from not only obtaining nuclear weapons, but even “the ability to quickly assemble a nuclear weapon.”

They were part of the Bipartisan Policy Center’s national security task force on Iran which also includes current Obama advisor to Middle Eastern Affairs, Dennis Ross.  It’s well known that Ross is positioning himself for a seat in an eventual Obama administration–possibly special envoy to Iran.  So then why is he stating in an Israeli newspaper that “Today Iran is a nuclear power – it doesn’t have nuclear weapons yet, but in 2001 it was not yet able to convert uranium or uranium gas, it didn’t have a single centrifuge. Now it’s stockpiling highly enriched uranium.”?

Alleging that Iran is producing highly enriched uranium (HEU) is a pretty big deal.  Mohammed Elbaradai, and the IAEA have both declared that no HEU exists in Iran or within it’s nuclear program.  In the world of nuclear inspections, there are few greater certainties than this.  For me, this raises some questions about Ross’ qualifications for a high-level position regarding Iran.  Does he really believe he knows more about the existence of uranium in Iran than the IAEA inspectors? What is the drive behind making such a claim? One has to wonder what Senator Obama thinks of all this…

  • 10 October 2008
  • Posted By Joseph Ward
  • 1 Comments
  • Events in Iran, Legislative Agenda, Nuclear file, Persian Gulf

IAEA Alleges Russian Scientist Advised Iranian Weapon Design

Reports surfaced this week that the IAEA is investigating a Russian scientist who possibly assisted in complex detonator trials in conjunction with Iran’s alleged secret nuclear weapons program.  These detonators are an integral component to a nuclear weapon as they provide the force that ignites the bomb fuel thus starting the explosive nuclear reaction.

The scientist was named in a new document that was provided by  European and American officials.  It is unknown if this document originated from the stolen Iranian laptop that came into American hands by way of the Mojahedin-e Khalq (MEK).

This is the first time the IAEA has suggested that Iran received help from a foreign weapons scientist in developing nuclear arms.  Russia’s scientists forged ties with Iran through civilian nuclear assistance, though both Russia and Iran maintain that no work on a nuclear weapons program has been done.  Russia says it opposes any effort by Iran to obtain a nuclear weapon.

Sign the Petition

 

7,349 signatures

Tell Google: Stop playing Persian Gulf name games!

May 14, 2012
Larry Page
Chief Executive Officer
Google Inc.
1600 Amphitheatre Parkway
Mountain View, California 94043

Dear Mr. Page:

It has come to our attention that Google has begun omitting the title of the Persian Gulf from its Google Maps application. This is a disconcerting development given the undisputed historic and geographic precedent of the name Persian Gulf, and the more recent history of opening up the name to political, ethnic, and territorial disputes. However unintentionally, in adopting this practice, Google is participating in a dangerous effort to foment tensions and ethnic divisions in the Middle East by politicizing the region’s geographic nomenclature. Members of the Iranian-American community are overwhelmingly opposed to such efforts, particularly at a time when regional tensions already have been pushed to the brink and threaten to spill over into conflict. As the largest grassroots organization in the Iranian-American community, the National Iranian American Council (NIAC) calls on Google to not allow its products to become propaganda tools and to immediately reinstate the historically accurate, apolitical title of “Persian Gulf” in all of its informational products, including Google Maps.

Historically, the name “Persian Gulf” is undisputed. The Greek geographer and astronomer Ptolemy referencing in his writings the “Aquarius Persico.” The Romans referred to the "Mare Persicum." The Arabs historically call the body of water, "Bahr al-Farsia." The legal precedent of this nomenclature is also indisputable, with both the United Nations and the United States Board of Geographic Names confirming the sole legitimacy of the term “Persian Gulf.” Agreement on this matter has also been codified by the signatures of all six bordering Arab countries on United Nations directives declaring this body of water to be the Persian Gulf.

But in the past century, and particularly at times of escalating tensions, there have been efforts to exploit the name of the Persian Gulf as a political tool to foment ethnic division. From colonial interests to Arab interests to Iranian interests, the opening of debate regarding the name of the Persian Gulf has been a recent phenomenon that has been exploited for political gain by all sides. Google should not enable these politicized efforts.

In the 1930s, British adviser to Bahrain Sir Charles Belgrave proposed to rename the Persian Gulf, “Arabian Gulf,” a proposal that was rejected by the British Colonial and Foreign offices. Two decades later, the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company resurrected the term during its dispute with Mohammad Mossadegh, the Iranian Prime Minister whose battle with British oil interests would end in a U.S.-sponsored coup d'état that continues to haunt U.S.-Iran relations. In the 1960s, the title “Arabian Gulf” became central to propaganda efforts during the Pan-Arabism era aimed at exploiting ethnic divisions in the region to unite Arabs against non-Arabs, namely Iranians and Israelis. The term was later employed by Saddam Hussein to justify his aims at territorial expansion. Osama Bin Laden even adopted the phrase in an attempt to rally Arab populations by emphasizing ethnic rivalries in the Middle East.

We have serious concerns that Google is now playing into these efforts of geographic politicization. Unfortunately, this is not the first time Google has stirred controversy on this topic. In 2008, Google Earth began including the term “Arabian Gulf” in addition to Persian Gulf as the name for the body of water. NIAC and others called on you then to stop using this ethnically divisive propaganda term, but to no avail. Instead of following the example of organizations like the National Geographic Society, which in 2004 used term “Arabian Gulf” in its maps but recognized the error and corrected it, Google has apparently decided to allow its informational products to become politicized.

Google should rectify this situation and immediately include the proper name for the Persian Gulf in Google Maps and all of its informational products. The exclusion of the title of the Persian Gulf diminishes your applications as informational tools, and raises questions about the integrity and accuracy of information provided by Google.

We strongly urge you to stay true to Google’s mission – “to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful” – without distorting or politicizing that information. We look forward to an explanation from you regarding the recent removal of the Persian Gulf name from Google Maps and call on you to immediately correct this mistake.

Sincerely,

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