Iran will talk ‘if US pressure stops’

Updated 11 February 2013
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Iran will talk ‘if US pressure stops’

TEHRAN: Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said yesterday that he is ready to have talks with US if the West stops pressuring his country, the latest in a series of hints from leaders in both Washington and Tehran about the prospect of direct bilateral negotiations over the Islamic Republic’s controversial nuclear program.
“You pull away the gun from the face of the Iranian nation, and I myself will enter the talks with you,” Ahmadinejad said at a ceremony marking the 34th anniversary of the 1979 revolution that toppled a Western-backed monarch and ushered in the Islamic Republic.
He said the West had recently taken a “better” tone toward Iran — a nod to statements made by Vice President Joe Biden last week, in which he said the United States was prepared talk directly to Iran. But the Iranian president said this was not enough. “The Iranian nation will not give up one iota of its rights,” Ahmadinejad said. “Your efforts had aimed at preventing us from become nuclear, but we did.”
However Ahmadinejad admitted that sanctions have taken a bite. “Today, because of dishonorable pressure by enemies, people are under pressure. The government is concerned about the uneasy situation of a big portion of the country.”
Ahmadinejad also said Iran will soon send a satellite into geostationary orbit.
“God willing, soon Iran’s satellite will be located at an orbit at (an altitude of) 36,000 km next to others from four or five advanced powers and it will relay a message of peace and fidelity to all world,” said Ahmadinejad.
Iran regularly announces technological breakthroughs, most of which are impossible to verify independently. Iran says it has launched small satellites to low orbits of up to 450 km.
Iran displayed a model of the Pishgam rocket, which the country says it used to send the monkey into space, in a corner of Tehran’s Azadi Square where demonstrators gathered to listen to the president.
The West fears that technology Iran’s space program can be used to develop long-range missiles.
State TV meanwhile broadcast rallies throughout the country to mark the anniversary. Many demonstrators chanted “Down with the US” and “Death to Israel,” slogans traditionally used to denounce the Islamic Republic’s arch enemies.


Assad accused of ‘using urban development law to carry out ethnic cleansing’

Pro-government forces stand in the destroyed Thalateen Street in the Yarmuk Palestinian refugee camp on the southern outskirts of the capital Damascus on May 24, 2018, as civilians return to see their homes after the regime seized the camp and adjacent neighborhoods of Tadamun and Hajar al-Aswad earlier in the week from the Daesh group. (AFP / LOUAI BESHARA)
Updated 27 May 2018
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Assad accused of ‘using urban development law to carry out ethnic cleansing’

  • he so-called “Law 10” allows the regime to acquire previously private property in which to create zoned developments, and to compensate the owners with shares in the new projects.
  • Many of the displaced have lost the necessary paperwork, are struggling financially or may not learn of the legal requirements in time.

JEDDAH: The Assad regime in Syria was accused on Saturday of using a new law on urban development to carry out and rid the country of all political opposition.

The so-called “Law 10” allows the regime to acquire previously private property in which to create zoned developments, and to compensate the owners with shares in the new projects.

However, after a seven-year war that has created more than 5 million refugees and 6 million internally displaced people, property rights are in a state of confusion. Many of the displaced have lost the necessary paperwork, are struggling financially or may not learn of the legal requirements in time.

The Assad regime is using the confusion to create a suitable environment for demographic change, Syrian opposition spokesman Yahya Al-Aridi told Arab News. 

“The regime has a two-fold goal,” he said. “First, terrorize the opposition and supporters of the Syrian revolution so that they lose the right to their properties.

“Second, there is talk of reconstruction in Syria now. This law sends out a message to investors that their interests lie with the regime. It is an attempt to tempt companies and business people to support the regime, because the regime is the only party that approves bids and gives grants and contracts. All this merely adds to the Syrians’ plight and misery.”

Al-Aridi said the attempted land grab was being resisted by European countries, especially France and Germany. “The Syrian Negotiating Committee is also exerting a very important effort so that such an evil act will not happen,” he said. 

Also on Saturday, the US warned Damascus it would take “firm action” if the regime violates a cease-fire deal, after Syrian aircraft dropped leaflets on a southern province in advance of an expected offensive.

Al-Aridi said any such offensive would be a breach of agreements between Russia and the US on de-escalation zones, and he warned the regime and Iran against “playing games” with the US. “Such threats are part of a response to the two unanswered Israeli attacks on Iran’s military positions in Syria,” he said.

“They area also meant to divert attention from the American-Israeli intent to kick Iranian militias and forces out of Syria.”

He said the regime and Iran could do nothing without Russian support. “We don’t think the Russians are willing to provide such support, or to mess with the US or Israel. Parallel to such threats, Assad is trying to make certain reconciliation agreements with what they call ‘Syrians in liberated areas.’ We believe that they cannot do anything of the sort.”