Saturday, November 30, 2013

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TrentoVision - 11.29.13 - Is America at War with Islam?

Published on Nov 29, 2013
On September 11, 2013, at Patriots Park in Venice Fl., Tom Trento presented a message that had the locus of Islamic jihad centered in the system of Islam. Thus, Trento explained, the system of Islam (not Muslims per se) is an enemy ideology that is at war with America. Obviously, this delineation did not sit well with some wannabe journalists and leaders of terrorist organizations, like Hassan Shibly, executive director of CAIR, FL. Therefore, in this presentation, delivered in Nokomis FL., on November 19, Tom Trento presents more data supporting his thesis that the system of Islam, according to Islamic doctrine, is completely incompatible with American democracy. This presentation has been edited to fit into our one-hour show format. In the near future we will release the complete 100 minute Nokomis national security briefing.

Michael Coren on the Lee Rigby murder trial

Friday, November 29, 2013


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“Always believe the threats of your enemies
more than the promises of your friends.”
~ Elie Wiesel ~

Canadians’ Stake in Stopping Iran

Many intelligence analysts say we are only months or maybe weeks away from an Iranian A-bomb. Along with a nuke, Iran is rushing to develop ballistic missiles to carry atomic warheads regionally, and then across oceans. Parts of Europe are already within range. Sure, Iran is thousands of miles away, and often portrayed as a headache primarily for the United States and Israel. But if you don’t think Iran’s nuclear program is a menace to Canadians, you probably haven’t been paying attention.

The Geneva Agreement with Iran: A Foreign Policy Disaster

With the U.S. government forfeiting its leadership role, the Israelis, Saudis, and perhaps others are left to cope with a bad situation made worse. War has now become a much more likely prospect. Shame on we Americans for re-electing Barack Obama.

If you only read one article in this week’s Newsletter,
please make sure that it is the following one.

Electromagnetic Pulse or “EMP 101”-  A Basic Primer and Suggestions for Preparedness

Given the fanaticisms of some of our enemies today, some of whom believe that the creation of the Apocalypse will be their own fulfillment of a religious destiny, it would be madness not to think that such an attack within the next two decades is not just possible but in fact likely.  “The death of an individual is a tragedy.  The death of a million a statistic.”

Rep. Louie Gohmert: The Intentional Betrayal of Israel
Below is the video and transcript of Congressman Louie Gohmert’s speech at the Freedom Center’s 2013 Restoration Weekend.
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The Islamist Plan for Victory: "Gradualism"

One of the mistakes that the West makes is that it doesn’t listen to what the Islamists are saying. If only we listened, we could hear their strategy. On November 20, Sheikh Yousef al-Qaradawi, the top Muslim Brotherhood theologian and arguably the most influential Sunni cleric in the world, called on Muslims to embrace “gradualism.”

Anti-Islam Trumps Islam in the West by Daniel Pipes
As non-Muslims come to understand the Islamist challenge, anti-Islamic sentiments in the West are increasing, probably at a faster rate than Islamic practices. As anti-Islam trumps Islam, (I have concluded) opinions "will grow yet more hostile to Islamism over time. In this way, Islamist aggression assures that anti-Islamism in the West is winning its race with Islamism."
What is Multiculturalism?
Since Canada, Australia, and the United States were still overwhelmingly European in the 1960s/70s, the promotion of multiculturalism involved the deliberate diversification of the population by increasing the number of immigrants from the Third World. Before 1961, ninety percent of immigrants into Canada were born in Europe. During the 1970s the proportion of immigrants originating in Europe was cut by half, whereas the proportion coming from Asia almost quadrupled. Today, roughly one out of every five people in Canada is a member of a visible minority. 

“It's not a right/left thing,
it's a free/unfree thing.”
~ Mark Steyn ~
Canada’s Chief Censor – by Mark Steyn
Even from a distance, I grew inclined to accord her less respect as our battles wore on. Had I found myself in her position, I would have recognized that it was indefensible and liquidated the problem by taking the lead on the abolition of Section 13. Instead, she embarked on her disastrous campaign for a "balancing" of rights. "I'm a free speecher. I'm also a human rightser," she told The National Post, as if it were a finely nuanced trade-off between two rights. But it's not: "Free speech" is a right the citizen is free to exercise against the state; contemporary "human rights" are pseudo-rights that the state confers on those citizens who meet its approval.
Harper Government Working To Prevent Violence Committed in the Name of So-Called 'Honour'
Immigrant women and girls from various ethnic communities face many challenges in adapting to life in Canada. Integrating into a society with different values, cultures and traditions can create conflict, both for the individual and within the family – realities that can lead to these women and girls experiencing violence committed in the name of so-called ‘honour’ – an issue of particular concern to our organization," said Ms. Louise Viens, Project Co-ordinator, Centre social d’aide aux immigrants.
If you’re not sure of the difference between honour killings and domestic violence, please listen to this 2 minute description:

Taiwan Immigrant:  Beware Saskatchewan of Investor/Enterpreneur Immigrant Speculators
An immigration consultant referred a new entrepreneur immigrant speculator to me in Regina. This guy is buying up commercial properties like crazy. He knows that Saskatchewan is probably the easiest province to immigrate to for foreigners. These guys know how to use the system. In order to qualify for Citizenship, these people are supposed to be living in Regina, but they are actually living overseas.
Will There Finally be Justice for Elisbeth Sabaditsch-Wolff in Austria?

Wolff is one of the remarkable people in Europe contesting the imposition of Blasphemy Codes restricting her right and hundreds of millions of Europeans to criticize doctrinal Islam, a right guaranteed here in America under our First Amendment. Unfortunately, a Constitutional right seemingly imperiled these days by Muslim advocacy and allied Civil liberties groups seeking to impose the false rubric of hate speech . Brava to Mother Courage in Vienna.

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Let us Raise a Flag to Truth and Liberation by Geert Wilders

Only when the free world comes to realize that Islam is predominantly a totalitarian ideology rather than a religion, will it be able to defend its liberties and values.

White Genocide by Paul Weston

"Being a dreadful, awful, ghastly racist such as myself does tend to give you an advantage because it means I can actually talk about race. And we do need to talk about race because the 21st century – unless things change – will see the virtual extinction of my white European race…by Muslims."
Answers to Objections When You Talk About Islam
Below is a list of responses you are likely to get when talking about the terrifying brilliance of Islam to someone who knows little about it. The responses link to an article giving you suggestions about how to effectively respond.


The news items, blogs, educational materials and other information in our emails and on our website are only intended to provide information, news and commentary on events and issues related to the threat of radical Islam. Much of this information is based upon media sources, such as the AP wire services, newspapers, magazines, books, online news blog and news services, and radio and television, which we deem to be reliable. However, we have undertaken no independent investigation to verify the accuracy of the information reported by these media sources. We therefore disclaim all liability for false or inaccurate information from these media sources. We also disclaim all liability for the third-party information that may be accessed through the material referenced in our emails or posted on our website.

This newsletter is not the official newsletter or communication of ACT! for America, Inc. This newsletter is independently operated by ACT! for Canada named on this communication. The statements, positions, opinions and views expressed in this website, whether written, audible, or video, are those of the individuals and organizations making them and do not necessarily represent the positions, views, and opinions of ACT! for America, Inc. or ACT! for Canada, its directors, officers, or agents.

Eye on Iran: Iran Nuclear Freeze Not Expected to Start Until Early January

For continuing coverage follow us on Twitter and join our Facebook group.
Top Stories

"Iran's six-month freeze of its nuclear programme agreed with world powers in Geneva will start by early January, Tehran's envoy to the UN atomic watchdog said Friday. 'We expect that either at the end of December or the beginning of January we should start implementing the measures agreed by both sides,' Reza Najafi, envoy to the International Atomic Energy Agency, told reporters... 'We have had preliminary discussions with the agency with regard to the nuclear-related measures ... to be verified by the agency,' Najafi said Friday. 'We are going to continue those discussions.'"

AP: "The U.S. says Iran can undertake some construction work at a key nuclear facility as long as fuel isn't produced and advances aren't made on a planned heavy water reactor. The Arak site was among the thorniest issues negotiators sought to resolve in last weekend's nuclear agreement in Geneva... State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki says she isn't sure what work Zarif meant. She says road or building work might be allowable. But nuclear fuel production, reactor work, testing, control systems advances and other activities aren't permissible."

Reuters: "The Democratic chairman of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee accused the White House on Wednesday of using 'over the top' rhetoric and 'fear-mongering' tactics to try to halt new sanctions against Iran after the United States brokered an interim deal with Tehran over its nuclear program. Senator Robert Menendez criticized President Barack Obama's administration for agreeing to the deal under which Iran will accept restrictions on its nuclear program in exchange for limited relief from economic sanctions that have damaged its economy and cut deeply into its oil exports... 'What I don't appreciate is when I hear remarks out of the White House spokesman that ... if we're pursuing sanctions we're marching the country off to war. I think that's way over the top, I think that's fear-mongering,' Menendez said on the National Public Radio program 'All Things Considered.'"
Nuclear Agreement

LAT: "As they prepare for battle over the new deal to limit Iran's nuclear program, the accord's supporters and foes are calibrating strategies based on their reading of Americans' conflicted views about the Islamic Republic. American war-weariness forms a big part of the Obama administration's campaign for the accord, a preliminary agreement to curb Iran's disputed nuclear program. Administration officials have said that without a diplomatic deal, the country would be on a 'march to war.' For now, the administration appears to have the upper hand. Many skeptics of the deal, who issued sharp criticism shortly after its announcement, have since muted their words. Instead of attacking the agreement directly, opponents have pinned their hopes on continued American suspicion of Iran and its leaders. They expect the government in Tehran to fail to meet its obligations under the agreement and are poised to go on the offensive if that happens... Mark Wallace, chief executive of the advocacy group United Against Nuclear Iran, acknowledged that the deal had support, but predicted that the backing would fade 'when people begin to digest and understand the agreement.'"

AP: "Iran's foreign minister said Friday his country will not enter nuclear talks with its arch-enemy Israel, the country's official news agency reported. A report by IRNA quoted Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif as saying that Islamic Republic 'would not attend a meeting in which the occupying regime participates.' ... The report said Zarif's remarks were in response to possible Israeli participation in talks between Iran and six world powers over Tehran's nuclear program. It did not elaborate on source of the reports on Israel's possible presence. 'Never such a thing will happen and we definitely we will not be in the room in which representatives from the Zionist regime will have presence,' Zarif said... 'We do consider the Zionist regime as the biggest regional and world danger,' he said."

AFP: "The UN nuclear watchdog said Thursday it was not yet ready to verify Iran's compliance with the recent deal with world powers, as Tehran invited inspectors to the key Arak site. 'We need to study the agreement (struck in Geneva on Sunday) and we have to identify the ways in which the elements relevant to the IAEA be put into practice,' International Atomic Energy Agency chief Yuyika Amano said. 'It will take time because it is a quite complicated task and we would like to properly prepare and do the job properly.... I cannot tell when we will be ready,' he told reporters. He added that the Vienna-based body would need more money to carry out the enlarged inspection role foreseen in Iran's breakthrough deal with the United States, China, Britain, France and Germany -- the P5+1. 'This requires a significant amount of money and manpower.... The IAEA's budget is very, very tight. I don't think we can cover everything from our own budget,' Amano said... Amano also said on Thursday that Iran has invited the agency to visit the heavy water production plant at Arak on December 8 for the first inspection there since August 2011."

AFP: "Critics of the deal to cap Iran's nuclear programme say it repeats mistakes made with North Korea, but analysts say there is little to suggest Tehran will follow Pyongyang's path of broken promises to a nuclear bomb. Under the agreement sealed in Geneva on Sunday, Iran undertook to brake its nuclear drive for the next six months in exchange for limited sanctions relief. Republican dissenters in the US Congress warned that Tehran was borrowing from Pyongyang's well-worn playbook, buying time and financial largesse with false promises that ultimately led to North Korea's first nuclear test in 2006. On the surface there are similarities that go beyond Iran and North Korea's joint billing with Iraq in former US president George W. Bush's 'axis of evil'. Albeit to varying degrees, both are autocratic, diplomatically isolated, sanctions-laden nations with a shared history of long-term enmity with the United States and a desire for nuclear leverage. In North Korea's case, a series of aid-for-denuclearisation agreements over the past 20 years have fallen apart, and Pyongyang is openly developing weapons on all fronts following its third and largest nuclear test in February this year... Critics of the Geneva deal point to the 1994 'Agreed Framework' that Bill Clinton's US administration signed with North Korea. At that time, the similarities with Iran were more striking. North Korea, like Iran now, had yet to conduct a nuclear test and was still a member of the non-proliferation treaty (NPT). The 1994 agreement eventually broke down amid mutual accusations of non-compliance, but non-proliferation experts say the Geneva accord -- even as an interim deal -- is stronger for its tough inspection regime."

AFP: "Gulf Arab states called on Iran on Wednesday to fully cooperate with the UN nuclear watchdog in implementing a landmark deal with major powers. Foreign ministers of the six Gulf Cooperation Council member states, which include leading supporters of the rebels in Syria, also urged quick action to end the conflict and expressed hope that a peace conference planned for January will help lead to a settlement. In a joint statement issued after a one-day meeting in Kuwait City, the ministers called on Iran to 'fully cooperate' with International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors in implementing the agreement it reached with six major powers on Sunday. 'We express our comfort at this deal, hoping that it will be a prelude for a comprehensive solution to the Iranian nuclear file,' the ministers said, referring to the interim nature of the deal reached at the weekend."

Reuters: "Iran's Arab neighbors, deeply worried about Iran's nuclear program, want assurances that Tehran's deal with world powers will indeed enhance regional security, Bahrain's interior minister said on Thursday... 'The initial agreement between the Iranian republic and the big powers over its nuclear file makes us expect from these states to clarify to the leaders and people of the region that the agreement that has been reached serves to achieve regional security stability,' the interior minister, Sheikh Rashed bin Abdullah al-Khalifa, said. Addressing the start of a regular meeting of Gulf Arab interior ministers in Bahrain, he said Gulf Arab states wanted to be certain that the accord 'would not be at the expense of the security of any member of the (Gulf Cooperation) Council'. 'It is not a secret that we in Bahrain have felt (threats that) affect our security, with all foreign-related links to that.'"


AP: "The sanctions relief offered to Iran by the U.S. and five world powers has begun to get the gears of commerce slowly turning again in an economy that remains in shambles... Still, Iranians see the move as a much needed step toward a more normal economy after years of crippling inflation and job losses. 'Markets operate on a psychological basis,' says Ray Takeyh, an Iran expert at the Council on Foreign Relations and former U.S. State Department senior adviser. 'The psychology of Iranian commerce has changed.' ... The deal began to restore some confidence in the Iranian economy after an extraordinarily dark period. The public reaction to the deal was largely positive, and the rial immediately gained about 3 percent against the dollar, according to money exchangers in Tehran."

Reuters: "Asia's top buyers of Iranian crude cut purchases by about 15 percent so far this year but shipments may start rising after six world powers agreed this past Sunday to ease some sanctions on Iran in return for curbs on its nuclear programme... 'Buyers like India really couldn't take much Iranian oil because of issues surrounding insurance,' said Tony Nunan, oil risk manager at Mitsubishi Corp in Tokyo. 'The deal smoothens out things a bit, and that will make it easier for buyers to import Iranian oil. We may see some increases in exports,' he said. Imports by Iran's largest customers - China, India, Japan and South Korea - dropped to 924,560 bpd in the first 10 months of the year, down from 1.087 million bpd in the same period a year ago, according to official customs reports and tanker data from trade sources. Shipments in October by the four totalled 669,524 bpd, down 42.6 pct from 1.17 million bpd a year ago."

Reuters: "A pledge by world powers to ease ship insurance sanctions on some Iranian oil exports is likely to take months to come into effect due to complex law and regulation and to insurers' unease over providing cover. A deal struck last weekend between Iran and six world powers over Tehran's nuclear programme leaves U.S. and European oil sanctions in place for six months. Iran secured limited relief including an easing of a ban on European ship insurance, which could allow the transport of some oil to its Asian customers. European Union sanctions last year cut out Iran's oil trade from Europe's so-called Protection and Indemnity (P&I) clubs, which cover most of the global tanker market. 'Although this agreement suggests an improvement in relations, a formal change in EU, UK and U.S. laws will be needed to release insurers from existing prohibitions,' a spokesman for ship insurer UK P&I Club said. 'Until such changes are made, the effect of sanctions on Club cover remains unchanged,' he added."

WSJ: "Turkish hotels and travel agents reported a sharp jump in bookings from Iranian tourists this week while traders in Istanbul's famed bazaar said more Iranian businessmen have been buying Turkish goods in bulk to sell back home. The pickup in activity immediately after Iran won relief from international sanctions in a nuclear agreement over the weekend signaled that Turkey's slowing economy may be among the first to reap economic benefits from the deal. Companies and merchants anticipate the once-burgeoning trade between the neighboring countries will thrive again... Iran's exports to Turkey, largely dominated by oil and gas, surged 20-fold over the past decade to $12 billion in 2012. But they have fallen 33% so far this year. Turkey's reliance on Iranian oil has dropped from more than half its needs to 15% this year because of sanctions. Turkish exports to Iran have also suffered, falling 66% so far this year... For Turkish companies with operations inside Iran, the interim deal is already bringing benefits. Turkish fertilizer producer Gubre Fabrikalari AS, or Gubretas, which has a 49% stake in the Razi Petrochemical Company, Iran's largest fertilizer production facility, saw its stock rise as much as 7.3% after the deal was announced."

Reuters: "All Turkish banks will be able to make Iranian transactions as sanctions on Iran are eased in the wake of a deal between Tehran and six world powers to curb Tehran's nuclear programme, Turkey's economy minister said on Thursday... 'Because of the pressure exerted by the United States, private banks were unable to process (Iranian) transactions. Now that obstacle has been removed, not only Halkbank but other banks will be able to process payments,' Economy Minister Zafer Caglayan told reporters in Istanbul. His comments are the first confirmation from Turkey about how it sees the deal affecting its banks."

Reuters: "Gold trade between Turkey and Iran will resume, albeit at lower levels than last year, once sanctions on Iran are eased, Iran's ambassador to Turkey said on Friday. Turkey's gold trade with Iran boomed in 2012 when Ankara was paying for its natural gas and oil imports with Turkish lira and Iranians were using those deposits held in Turkey's Halkbank to buy gold. 'Certainly the gold trade between Iran and Turkey will resume,' the ambassador, Ali Reza Bigdeli, told reporters in the Turkish capital on Friday. 'Due to the problems in money transfers in 2012, the gold trade rose. I don't think that we are still in the same situation that would require us to trade in gold in those amounts,' he said."

Reuters: "India is sending a team to Iran to speed up work on a port that will provide access to resource-rich Central Asia and Afghanistan, officials said, moving quickly to take advantage of a thaw in Iran's relations with the West. The port of Chabahar in southeast Iran is central to India's efforts to circumvent Pakistan and open up a route to landlocked Afghanistan where it has developed close security ties and economic interests. The port, which India is partly financing, will also be another gateway to Iran itself for Indian commerce. Work has been slow on expanding berthing facilities and container terminals, partly because India has been reluctant to press ahead too enthusiastically for fear of upsetting the United States, keen to isolate Iran over its nuclear ambitions."

Reuters: After years of difficulty caused by economic sanctions, suppliers are hoping a nuclear deal will make it easier to win lucrative contracts to sell wheat, sugar and other food to Iran. Iran was never barred from buying food, but EU and U.S. financial measures have made trade more difficult for the past two years by hindering payments and shipping... Private Iranian importers have returned to the international market in recent days for the first time in two years, seeking between 300,000 to 500,000 tonnes of wheat for flour making, trade sources said. The sources said they expect Iran to buy grain heavily to build up food stocks in the six-month period. Top global agribusiness groups such as Cargill and Archer Daniels Midland Co and others like Swiss commodities trader Glencore-Xstrata have been among the dominant players in Iran's food trade. Those three firms confirmed they sell agricultural products to Iran, and said the activity was in compliance with sanctions. The global food giants are now expected to be joined by mid-size trading houses in the European Union, Black Sea region and Turkey, trade sources said. The sources declined to identify the companies involved as deals were still in the works... 'Any perceived erosion of the sanctions regime - even if minor - will almost certainly make Iran's task of importing commodities easier,' said Torbjorn Soltvedt of risk consultancy Maplecroft."

AFP: "Iran and the United States are to establish a joint chamber of commerce within a month, with direct flights also planned, an Iranian official said Wednesday in a newspaper report. 'Iran-US chamber of commerce will be launched in less than one month,' Abolfazl Hejazi, a member of Iran's Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture, told the English-language Iran Daily... According to Hejazi, the project which he said had already been registered in the United States would allow the two countries to work towards restoring ties. Hejazi also said the government has authorised the private sector to launch joint activities and that Iran was ready to establish direct flights to the United States. Flights would connect Kish Island in southwest Iran with New York, he said."

WSJ: "The European Union's highest court Thursday ruled an Iranian energy company shouldn't be subject to sanctions but upheld restrictions against another, just a day after the EU subjected Tehran's largest cargo-shipping company to new sanctions. Thursday's decision is the latest in a series of court setbacks to the EU's Iran sanctions regime, even though the vast bulk will remain in place despite Sunday's confidence building deal between Iran and six major powers. EU officials have this week made clear they will continue to strictly implement the sanctions that weren't eased as part of last weekend's deal... The Luxembourg court confirmed Iranian private company Fulmen Group and its largest shareholder and chairman, Fereydoun Mahmoudian, shouldn't be on the list of companies subject to restrictions because their alleged support of nuclear proliferation couldn't be proven. But it ruled the EU was right to place restrictions on state-controlled company Manufacturing Support & Procurement Kala Naft Co. because it trades natural-gas and oil equipment, which are subject to EU sanctions... The EU also tends to 'relist' Iranian entities, subjecting them to restrictions on new grounds when the EU wins court challenges. In the most recent example Wednesday, the EU relisted state-owned Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines due to allegations by the United Nations Security Council that it had shipped arms-related materials. The 28-nation bloc hopes that by relisting companies and providing additional evidence, it can secure its Iran sanctions regime for the foreseeable future."

Reuters: "Lukoil, Russia's No.2 oil producer, is ready to resume cooperation with Iran when international sanctions are lifted, Chief Executive Vagit Alekperov was quoted as saying on Friday... 'After sanctions are lifted - definitely. We are interested in all regions where hydrocarbon reserves lie,' Alekperov told Interfax news agency in the city of Perm, answering a question about the possible lifting of sanctions on Iran."

Bloomberg: "Aban Offshore Ltd., Asia's third-most-indebted oil rig provider, will be able to obtain cheaper U.S. and European financing following the easing of some sanctions on Iran, the Indian company's biggest market... The relaxation of some restrictions on Iran by the U.S. and five other world powers will let companies with operations in the Islamic Republic get loans and insure their assets. Aban, which earns about 40 percent of its revenue from rigs leased to Iranian drillers, can now also renew contracts and improve operating margins that fell to a six-year low in the 12 months ended March 2013."

Human Rights

IHR: "Four prisoners were hanged in the southern Iranian city of Bandar Abbas today, reported the official Iranian news agency... According to the report three of the prisoners were hanged in public while one of those convicted of drug trafficking was hanged in the central prison of Bandar Abbas."

IHR: "According to reports from reliable sources in Iran, one of the classes belonging to Bahai' Institute of Higher Education (BIHE) in Karaj (west of Tehran) was stormed by the Iranian security agents earlier today Wednesday 27. November. According to this report the students present in the class were forced to fill out the forms about their personal information, names of the family members and relatives and also identity of the BIHE instructors and faculty members. The guards they made students to sign a disclaimer on not participating in any activities related to Bahai' Institute of Higher Education. The students' cell phones were also confiscated. Meanwhile, on this very day, the presidential office has published the Bill on Rights of citizenship. Passing more than 100 days of Rouhani's presidency, Bahai's are facing much more pressure than before."

Domestic Politics

Reuters: "A multi-billion dollar organisation controlled by Iran's supreme leader shook up the management of its charity division, appointing as its new chief a man involved in the confiscation of thousands of properties from Iranian citizens. Aref Norozi was named director general of the Barakat Foundation, Iran's state news agency reported on Wednesday. The foundation is a unit of a massive business empire controlled by Ayatollah Ali Khamenei that is known as Setad Ejraiye Farmane Hazrate Emam... Reuters this month published a three-part series entitled Assets of the Ayatollah detailing how Setad has become one of the most powerful institutions in Iran through the systematic seizure and sale of thousands of properties belonging to ordinary Iranians."

AFP: "A music video has surfaced on YouTube hailing Iranian President Hassan Rouhani in a similar way to a famed 2008 paean to his US counterpart Barack Obama. In the video, which has been retweeted on the Iranian president's unofficial Twitter account, Rouhani is shown along with traditional musical instruments, banned on state media since the Islamic revolution of 1979. A voice-over commentary attached to the video highlighted the significance of the retweet. 'The fact that the president's personal Internet site decided to pick up this video shows that it is a major step forward in breaking taboos and supporting artists,' the commentary said. The video features excerpts of a speech Rouhani delivered on taking office in August, 100 days ago on Wednesday... The four-and-a-half minute music video mirrors the famed 'Yes We Can' video produced by the Black Eyed Peas' in support of Obama during his triumphant 2008 election campaign."

AFP: "A 5.7 magnitude earthquake on the Gulf coast near Iran's sole nuclear power plant killed eight people and injured 190 on Thursday, emergency response chief Hassan Qadami told state media. 'So far, there are seven dead and 30 injured receiving hospital treatment,' the official IRNA news agency quoted Qadami as saying. However, an official said the temblor had 'not created any problem for the activities of the power plant' at Bushehr, where Iran has its Russian-built reactor. The quake's epicentre was near Borazjan, around 60 kilometres (35 miles) from Bushehr."

LAT: "The Iranian capital has long been known for its smog, but pollution in recent days has taken an eye-watering turn for the worse, hampering visibility and causing authorities to shutter schools and curtail the number of cars allowed in the city center. Children and the elderly have been told to stay indoors if possible, and the smog has forced even healthy residents to cut back on strolls and jogs. On Wednesday, only cars with license plates ending in even numbers were permitted on downtown streets. Tehran's air quality control office issued an advisory that anyone with health problems, particularly respiratory ones, should stay home, but acknowledged that most people could not afford to skip a day of work. Yousef Rashidi, the organization's head, described the level of particulates and other pollutants as dangerous."

Foreign Affairs

Reuters: "United Arab Emirates Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed on a rare visit to Iran on Thursday called for a partnership with Iran, but suspicion remains despite Tehran's tentative overtures towards its Gulf neighbors. Mostly Sunni Muslim Gulf Arab states are wary of Iranian influence in the Middle East, fearing the Shi'ite-led country is seeking regional dominance and stirring sectarian tensions."
Opinion & Analysis

WashPost Editorial Board: "The fact sheet distributed by the Obama administration about the nuclear agreement with Iran is notable for its omissions. The 2,000-word document, like President Obama's televised statement Saturday night about the deal, stresses Iran's pledge to cap its enrichment of uranium, delay the completion of a plutonium-producing reactor and accept additional inspections - measures that will guard against an attempt to produce a bomb while negotiations continue. What the White House didn't report is that the text of the accord makes several major concessions to Tehran on the terms of a planned second-stage agreement. Though White House officials and Secretary of State John F. Kerry repeatedly said that Iran's assertion of a 'right to enrich' uranium would not be recognized in an interim deal, the text says the 'comprehensive solution' will 'involve a mutually defined enrichment program with mutually agreed parameters.' In other words, the United States and its partners have already agreed that Iranian enrichment activity will continue indefinitely. In contrast, a long-standing U.S. demand that an underground enrichment facility be closed is not mentioned. Mr. Obama and other U.S. officials have spoken about a six-month time frame for completing negotiations, but the agreement says the six-month arrangement can be renewed 'by mutual consent' and that 'the parties aim to conclude negotiating and commence implementing [in] no more than one year.' It also states that 'there would be additional steps in between the initial measures and the final step,' including 'addressing the U.N. Security Council resolutions.' Those resolutions order Iran to suspend uranium enrichment, but the agreement does not say whether those demands will be enforced. The most troubling part of the document provides for what amounts to a sunset clause in the comprehensive agreement. It says the final deal will 'have a specified long-term duration to be agreed upon,' and that once that time period is complete, 'the Iranian nuclear program will be treated in the same manner as that of any non-nuclear weapon state party' to the Non-Proliferation Treaty. Iran thus could look forward to a time when there would be no sanctions and no special restrictions on its nuclear capacity; it could install an unlimited number of centrifuges and produce plutonium without violating any international accord. Administration officials say they regard Iran's agreement to the words 'long-term' in the sunset clause as a significant concession. In theory, this might mean 15 to 20 years. Iran, however, has proposed a far shorter period; we are told it was three to five years. Whatever the final compromise, it would be dangerous to allow this Iranian regime to have an unrestricted nuclear program at any time - and it surely would be unacceptable to Israel and Iran's Arab neighbors. The United States should retain the ability to block the expiration of controls with its veto in the U.N. Security Council... The agreement leaves the United States and its partners at a disadvantage in negotiating the comprehensive settlement. The concessions made to Iran will have to be balanced by a major rollback of Iran's nuclear infrastructure - with no automatic expiration date."

Fredrik Dahl in Reuters: "By dropping earlier demands that Iran shut down an underground uranium enrichment plant and ship material out of the country as part of a preliminary deal, nuclear negotiators have kicked some of the toughest questions forward to talks for the next year. The curbs to its nuclear program that Iran agreed to on Sunday are easier to reverse than measures that were previously called for by the six global powers seeking to prevent Tehran from developing an atomic bomb, experts say. To opponents of the deal, like Israel, which branded it an 'historic mistake', that is a fatal flaw. But supporters say the compromise was necessary to halt Iran's nuclear advances so that the real bargaining could begin, and should help keep both sides focused on the final negotiations which lie ahead. A senior Western diplomat acknowledged that Iran could resume its most controversial activity - production of 20 percent enriched uranium - if it should decide to abandon the deal or if final talks fail. But by making it easier for inspectors to detect any such move, the preliminary accord requires Tehran to demonstrate its sincerity while a final deal is hammered out. 'This is all about testing their good faith. We would pick that up very quickly if they did it,' the envoy said. 'Any agreement like this represents an element of compromise. Given where we were six months ago, to get the two sides together to agree something, there had to be some compromise from both sides.' Instead of requiring Iran to take steps that would be hard to undo, the powers' demands focused on stopping the higher-grade enrichment and halting future progress in other parts of the nuclear program for six months, while increasing inspections to determine if Iran is complying... In addition to lower-grade work which began in 2007, Iran has since 2010 been enriching uranium to 20 percent purity, which Western countries see as a small technical step from reaching the 90 percent level needed to make a bomb. In fruitless meetings during 2012, the powers sought a confidence-building, interim deal that would require Iran to stop its higher-level enrichment, close its Fordow enrichment site and send its stockpile of the higher-level uranium abroad. Those demands were dubbed 'stop, shut, ship' by diplomats. In the end, the November 24 deal in effect dropped two of the three demands: it obliges Iran to 'stop' 20 percent enrichment but says nothing about 'shutting' Fordow or 'shipping' material out. The same number of centrifuges can continue to spin, producing lower-level enriched uranium at Fordow - built deep inside a mountain near the holy Shi'ite Muslim town of Qom to shield it from any military attacks - and at Iran's other enrichment plant close to the central town of Natanz. And instead of sending out the stockpile of 20 percent uranium, Iran will dilute it or convert the gas to a less proliferation-sensitive oxide powder. The United States says this will 'neutralize' the material. But experts say Iran could in theory convert the powder back, although it has agreed not to build a facility to do so. 'This is not a roll-back of the program,' said Olli Heinonen, former deputy director of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and now an expert at Harvard University. Instead, he said, it represents a 'temporary halt' of many of the nuclear program's elements. Apart from the enriched uranium, Western countries are also concerned that Iran could produce plutonium at Arak, an unfinished research reactor where Tehran says it intends to make medical isotopes. Plutonium can be used as an alternative to enriched uranium to build a bomb core. Sunday's deal requires Iran to halt activity at Arak, although it may contain a loophole allowing it to build components off-site. In comments unlikely to go down well in Western capitals, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Wednesday that construction would continue at Arak, though he said there would be no new equipment installations. Western officials and experts accept that the deal leaves Iran's nuclear program largely in place for now. 'For the time being, Iran will be allowed to retain most of its current infrastructure, which will have to be substantially reduced at a later stage,' said Robert Einhorn, the U.S. State Department's non-proliferation adviser until earlier this year."

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