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Scotland must have its own currency to succeed: S. Sha’ath


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Press TV has conducted an interview with Saeb Sha’ath, author and Middle East expert,  about the referendum for Scottish independence with the latest polls showing a surge in pro-independence support.


The following is an approximate transcript of the interview.


Press TV: Tell us overall the significance of this now that we’re seeing an increase of those going into the camp supporting an independent Scotland. One, tell us the significance of this increase; and two, what it really would mean for inside of the country and out if Scotland really did go independent.


Sha’ath: It’s significant for the Scottish people to gain their independence.


That will, on its own, spark changes within the United Kingdom and will have an impact on the European community as well; since other nations may follow suit like in Spain. The Catalonians will follow suit.


But it looks like it’s neck and neck in Scotland and there are 56 percent of voters in Scotland that are looking for more solid information regarding the economics, to take into account with their decision of a yes or no.


The economy is the key factor to sway the voter in going this way or that way. They want to see if they move into an independent Scotland, would it be better economically for them.


The worrying factor as I see myself in the independence is that the Scottish government itself wants to retain  using the sterling pound,  if the country votes for independence. That is, establishing a sterling zone with the rest of the UK.


Others who are pro-Independent like the Green Party in Scotland, do want a separate currency – which they are actually taking the more sensible decision here.


An arrangement of that means… the governor of the   Bank of England  – Mark Kearney said, an effective  sterling  union; would also force a new independent Scotland to hand over some of its sovereignty. He outlined that in his speech lately, which means there are ways of controlling an independent Scotland by the United Kingdom through the union of sterling – controlling by the economy through the sterling pound. And that is not good news.


I would say if an independent Scotland wants full independence they have to establish their own currency  and I think Scotland in that way will succeed. The impact of that in Europe is huge, especially in the EU.


Press TV: We are hearing more and more talk of independence in various places. We talked about Scotland and of course you mentioned Spain; even in the United States there are certain states right now more and more talking about perhaps going independent.


Why are we seeing this at this time more and more talk about independence from various entities now?


Referendum for Scottish independence.

Referendum for Scottish independence.

Sha’ath: Mainly it’s for two reasons: one is nationalistic background; and the other one is economic factors.


The people in Scotland they believe the United Kingdom sucked their North Sea oil fields dry and Scotland didn’t benefit out of the oil bonanza, which Thatcher at the time exploited very well and Westminster benefitted out of that. That is one of the economic factors.


And the Scottish people believe they can benefit from being independent themselves and they can explore more economic opportunities in the future.


And the EU as a supranational body can guarantee them security and safety from British revenge or imposing a British will and rule against the Scottish people.


Spain is going the same way; the Catalonian people have a nationalistic agenda, which is part of their belief that they should secede out of Spain  since  they well be  better economically as well; and for their nationalistic ideals.


The same thing in the United States of America we see in California believe they are richer than the other states, why should they subsidize others? And that is the economic factor in America. In the United States of America economics plays more obvious than nationalistic since more of the Americans are immigrants from different parts of the world.


SaebPress/SC/AB/Press TV


Iranian Intelligence arrested a US based anti-Iran ‎terrorist group ‎ringleader.

“The west must cease financing and harbouring terrorists,” Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif tweeted on Saturday night.


Iranian security forces have managed to arrest the head of the terrorist group, Jamshid Sharmahd, who directed “armed operations and acts of sabotage” in Iran from the US, the ministry said in a statement on Saturday.

Following a complicated operation, the ringleader of the group, named Tondar (Thunder), was arrested and he is “now in the powerful hands” of Iranian security forces, it added.

The ministry said it has dealt a heavy blow to the Tondar group that planned and carried out a deadly terrorist attack on Seyyed al-Shohada mosque in the southern city of Shiraz, Fars Province, in 2008, which killed 14 people and wounded 215 others.

Jamshid Sharmahd
Jamshid Sharmahd

It noted that the terrorist group had also planned to carry out other large-scale operations, like blowing up several places, including Sivand Dam in Shiraz, Mausoleum of the late founder of the Islamic Republic Imam Khomeini in southern Tehran, and Tehran International Book Fair, which were all foiled.

The ministry emphasized that further details of the “complicated and successful” operation leading to Sharmahd’s arrest would be announced later.

Security forces’ intelligence surveillance dealt final blow to Tondar: Minister

Meanwhile, Iran’s Intelligence Minister Mahmoud Alavi said security forces’ intelligence surveillance dealt the final blow to the terrorist group at the proper time. He added that the US and the Zionist regime were wrong to think that the ringleader of the Tondar group could be the source of action against Iran.

He noted that the operation that led to the arrest of the Tondar group ringleader was not the ministry’s first complicated operation in dealing with opponents of the Islamic establishment, adding that the ministry has already carried out several similar measures in the past. “People like Sharmahd make a mistake to rely on the US and the Zionist regime as these two support them as long as they serve their interests,” the Iranian intelligence minister said.

He noted that Iran has previously informed Interpol of Sharmahd’s criminal acts in Shiraz but he was not arrested. “Although Interpol was tasked with arresting him, no action was taken against him, which shows the West’s empty slogan of fighting terrorism,” he pointed out.

US regime must be held liable for supporting terrorists: Foreign ministry

Terrorists organising murder from their safe havens in US, EU: Iranian Foreign Minister Zarif

“The west must cease financing and harbouring terrorists,” Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif tweeted on Saturday night.

“From their safe havens in US and Europe, they promote hatred, agitate and organize murder and mayhem, and shamelessly claim responsibility for the murder of innocent Iranian civilians,” he added.

“Smokescreens can’t obscure this hypocrisy.”

His tweet came a few hours after the Iranian Intelligence Ministry said it has arrested the ringleader of an anti-Iran terrorist group based in the United States.

Iran’s Foreign Ministry Spokesman Abbas Mousavi said on Saturday that the US regime must be held accountable for “supporting this terrorist grouplet (Tondar) and other [terrorist] outfits as well as criminals that lead sabotage, armed and terrorist operations from within the United States against the Iranian people” and shed the blood of Iranians.

Mousavi hailed the “decisive move” by Iranian security forces to arrest the ringleader of the Tonadr terrorist group and questioned the US claim of standing by the Iranian people while supporting terrorists targeting the nation through different ways.

“The US regime considers itself to be standing by the Iranian people while it harbors and supports in different ways the known terrorists and those have claimed responsibility for several terrorist operations inside Iran and who have the blood of innocent Iranian people and citizens on their hands,” he added.

Press TV

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Culture & Arts

Justice for Palestine, Jews Step Forward.

These are the moral voices of bravery and justice inside JEWS STEP FORWARD

This indie documentary highlights twenty-four moral voices within the American Jewish community speaking on behalf of justice for the indigenous Palestinian people.  Directed and produced by Elika Rezaee and Marjorie Wright, this powerful, truthful, controversial documentary has been screened at festivals around the world.  It has been recognised by the 2016 justice Awards Festival and given a certificate of merit as the best “Human Rights, War and Peace film in the category Documentary Feature” by the sixteen International Film Festivals.

“Few are willing to brave the disapproval of their fellows, the censure of the colleagues, the wrath of their society. Moral courage is a rarer commodity than bravery in battle or great intelligence. Yet it is the one essential, vital quality for those who seek to change a world that yields most painfully to change. Each time a person stands up for an idea, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, (s)he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centres of energy and daring, those ripples build a current that can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.”– Robert F. Kennedy. These are the moral voices of bravery and justice inside JEWS STEP FORWARD.

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Iran launches first underground ballistic missiles

IRGC’s aerospace division said this was the first underground launch of a ballistic missile. Most of this arsenal is believed to be hidden in underground silos.


On Wednesday, July 29, The Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) has, in an unprecedented manoeuvre, fired ballistic missiles from underground launch facilities on the second day of its major naval and aerial drills in southern Iran.

The US Navy condemned the “irresponsible and reckless behavior by Iran,” calling it an attempt “to intimidate and coerce.”

The firings prompted a military alert at two US CENTCOM Gulf headquarters – the Al-Dhafra Air Base at Abu Dhabi in the UAE and the Al-Udeid Air Base in Qatar. Troops were ordered to take cover. as stated by Central Command spokeswoman.

Iran’s Revolutionary Guards launched underground ballistic missiles in a military drill in which a mock US aircraft carrier was attacked in the Strait of Hormuz.

replica of the USS Nimitz

The IRGC’s said in a statement on Wednesday that ground, aerial and naval operations were carried out against positions of the hypothetical enemy on the second day of the final phase of the exercises, code-named Payambar-e A’zam (The Great Prophet) 14.

The statement further said the IRGC Aerospace Force applied modern tactics and military equipment to display the elite force’s extensive capabilities to counter potential enemy threats.

Drone footage showed two missiles blasting out from covered positions in what appeared to be a desert plateau in central Iran. Gen. Amir Ali Hajizadeh, the head of the IRGC’s aerospace division said this was the first underground launch of a ballistic missile. Most of this arsenal is believed to be hidden in underground silos.

The final phase kicked off on Tuesday across land, air and sea in the general area of Hormozgan Province, west of the Hormuz Strait. The drills involved units of the IRGC’s Aerospace Division and Navy.

The  footage of the first day of exercise, showed a missile fired from a helicopter leaving a trail of smoke before appearing to smash into the side of the fake warship, a rough replica of the USS Nimitz.

Other footage from the exercise showed speedboats encircling the replica, commandos rappelling onto the deck of the vessel, and scuba forces underwater. Antiaircraft batteries were seen firing from a location that the report described as being near the port city of Bandar Abbas.

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