News of Note

  • According to DEBKAfile, a “senior official in the Obama administration described the UN nuclear watchdog inspectors’ discovery of traces of highly processed plutonium at the bombed Syrian-North Korean facility at Dir a-Zur as a “smoking gun” – evidence of Iran’s covert nuclear activities and proliferation.”
  • The continued standoff between Iran and the world over Iran’s nuclear program escalated—at least verbally—with Iran’s oil minister, Masoud Mirkazemi, threatening to cut off Iran’s oil exports if economic sanctions continue.
  • Cuban dictator Raul Castro “has urged his Tanzanian counterpart, Mr Jakaya Kikwete, to use his closeness to the United States administration to have the decades long economic sanctions against his country lifted.”  According to the news article, “last month, the Cuban Ambassador to Tanzania, Mr Ernesto Gomez Diaz, appealed for support to pressure the United States to free five of their nationals being held in American jails.”  By the way, those five are convicted spies.
  • The government of Zimbabwe rants again against U.S. economic sanctions and USAID programs.   It is not a new argument.  In this latest op-ed, they say that the “purpose of the global propaganda onslaught against Zimbabwe’s land reform is to hide the agricultural histories of settler Rhodesia and white South Africa as well as to deny the reality of illegal economic sanctions in order to make it possible to condemn and reverse the land revolution. That is why there is money for constitution-writing for non-governmental organisations, but not for irrigation pumps and electricity transformers for the agricultural sector.”
  • Missed this one last week, but worth passing along – Swiss voters overwhelming and wisely rejected a left-wing driven arms export ban at the polls recently.  Of note, the “neutral” Swiss do ban weapon sales to Israel.
  • Iranian arms dealer is harmless, his attorney says?!  No comment.
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