Archive for January 4th, 2012

04/01/2012

2012 Opens with Mounting War Threat in Persian Gulf

Human Wrongs Watch

By Peter Symonds* – World Socialist Web Site

The year begins with the looming threat of a new American war, this time against Iran. In the latest sharp exchange of words, the US yesterday brushed aside an Iranian warning that the American aircraft carrier, USS John C. Stennis should not return to the Persian Gulf as it constitutes a threat to Iran.

**Topography of Iran | Wikimedia Commons

The US and the European Union have deliberately raised tensions in the Gulf with further economic sanctions that could cripple the already weakened Iranian economy.

On Saturday [Dec. 31, 2011], President Obama signed into law the National Defense Authorisation Act (NDAA) that includes a measure to penalise foreign companies doing business with Iran’s central bank, potentially blocking Iranian oil exports.

Later this month, the EU will consider an embargo on imports of Iranian oil by its member states.

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04/01/2012

Iran ‘Recommends’ US to Stay Out of Persian Gulf

Human Wrongs Watch

Russia Today* – Iran has warned the United States it will take action if its fleet returns to the Persian Gulf. Meanwhile, France is pushing European countries to follow the US in freezing Iranian central bank assets and imposing an embargo on oil exports.

Ahmadinejad. **Photo: Marcello Casal JrABr – Agência Brasil | Wikimedia Commons

Iran’s army chief, General Ataollah Salehi had this message for US naval forces: “We recommend… to the American warship that passed through the Strait of Hormuz and went on to the Gulf of Oman, not to return to the Persian Gulf,” the official IRNA news agency quoted him as saying.

Salehi appeared to be referring to the USS John C. Stennis aircraft carrier that left the Persian Gulf through the strategic Strait of Hormuz last Tuesday, as was reported by the Associated Press.

The Pentagon issued its own statement in response, saying that the US Naval presence in the Gulf is in “compliance with international law,” and that its fleet is intended to maintain a “constant state of high vigilance” in order to ensure the safe flow of marine commerce.

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04/01/2012

Senegal: Singer Youssou N’dour Quits Music for Politics

Human Wrongs Watch

Famous Senegalese singer Youssou N’dour has decided to quit music for politics and to run for next month elections. The musician’s widespread popularity will make him a significant force in Senegalese politics, but his political ambitions are currently unclear.

Foto source: Think Africa Press

By Samantha Aidoo* – Think Africa Press

World-renowned Senegalese singer Youssou N’dour announced his retirement from music last month in order to enter Senegalese politics. With elections due to take place in February 2012, N’dour said that from January 2 he would be freeing himself from all artistic engagements.

With the 11-year dominance of current President Abdoulaye Wade, the 52-year-old’s entry into Senegalese politics could present the fresh change desperately desired by the country’s young population.

The key issue for many is the precise nature of N’dour’s politics. While the lyrics of his songs express a bank of opinions, he has on occasion been more specific, announcing previously his intention to work for the disenfranchised and his desire to fight for strong governance, service provision, peace, environmental justice and empowerment in Senegalese communities.

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