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Analysing Syria’s parliamentary elections

Syrians vote in parliamentary elections as war winds down.

Syrians vote in parliamentary elections as war winds down.

SaebPress

Syrians vote in parliamentary elections as war winds down. Syrians have gone to the polls to elect a new parliament and put bitter years of war behind them, even as the country strives to liberate territories still controlled by foreign-backed militants. Press TV Interview with Saeb Shaath to analysis the issues at hand.

Culture & Arts

Ghassan Kanafani, the era of revolutionary Palestinian media

Palestine’s Ghassan Kanafani, a writer, artist, journalist and politico has left a lasting legacy in the Arab world.

Ghassan Kanafani
Ghassan Kanafani, the Palestinian revolutionary.

Some of the biggest names in the world of literature – Dickens, Hemingway, Garcia Marquez – got their start in journalism. Their reporting tends to be forgotten; their prose is what lives on.

Ghassan Kanafani is a name you can add to that list. Kanafani was a Palestinian writer who, through books like Men in the Sun, humanised the Palestinian condition of dispossession and displacement. He was, however, first and foremost a journalist.

Palestine’s Ghassan Kanafani, a writer, artist, journalist and a revolutionary has left a lasting legacy in the Arab world.

He was also a product of 1960s Beirut – a period when the city was a magnet for young reporters, revolutionaries, migrants and misfits, as well as host to the Palestinian leadership in exile. It was in Beirut that Kanafani produced Al Hadaf, a forward-thinking Palestinian magazine, that has been somewhat lost in the mists of time.

The Listening Post‘s Tariq Nafi reports from Beirut, Lebanon, on the legacy of Ghassan Kanafani and the era of Palestinian revolutionary media. 

Contributors:

Refqa Abu-Remaileh – Professor of modern Arabic literature and film, Director of “PalREAD – Country of Words” project, Free University of Berlin

Elias Khoury – Novelist and playwright

As’ad AbuKhalil – Professor of political science, California State University

Source: Al Jazeera

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US Cornered at UNSC while attempting to extend arms embargo on Iran.

Shaath ‘the US is seeking to corner China and Russia for propaganda purposes‘

US Cornered at UNSC

Washington has stepped up calls for the extension of the UN arms embargo on Iran, which will expire in October under UN Security Council Resolution 2231, which endorses Iran nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

The Trump administration has threatened that it may seek to trigger a snapback provision spelled out in the Iran nuclear deal of all sanctions on Iran if its attempts to extend the UN arms embargo fail.

UNSC

Iran, Russia and China have repeatedly said that the US has no authority to invoke the snapback mechanism as it is no more a party to the 2015 accord. “It has no right to extend an arms embargo on Iran, let alone to trigger snapback,” China’s UN mission wrote in a tweet on Thursday. “Maintaining [the] Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action is the only right way moving forward,” it added

The US has circulated a new anti-Iran resolution at the UN Security Council calling for an extension of the UN arms embargo on Tehran, before it expires in October. The resolution reportedly urges member states to stop all arms sales to and from Iran. It also asks them not to provide Tehran with technical training, financial resources, and other services related to weapons program.

The new draft is almost identical to the previous one Washington circulated in June, which failed to gather support. US envoy to the council, Kelly Craft, has said Russia and China are likely to veto the resolution.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo also told reporters that the measure is “eminently reasonable,” alleging that “one way or another we will do the right thing.” He went on threatening Tehran with more sanctions through a mechanism embedded within the Iran nuclear deal, from which the US has unilaterally withdrawn.

Pompeo  added  “We’re deeply aware that snapback is an option that’s available to the United States, and we’re going to do everything within America’s power to ensure that that arms embargo is extended,” he claimed. “I am confident that we will be successful.”

Shaath ‘the US is seeking to corner China and Russia for propaganda purposes

Wednesday, in an Interview with Press TV with Saeb Shaath, Author and Middle East affairs expert and Michael Springmann, Author and former U.S diplomat, Shaath said, “The US strategy always is to have Russia and China abstain in that regard in the UNSC and obviously not to veto, the USA’s resolution.

Shaath, pointed out that “ But, today and right now the strategy is working maybe with other members of the Security Council, so the USA intending  from this as Pompeo hinted and Craft the US representative  in the Security Council that Russia and China are not coming round and obviously they are going to veto the resolution.”

Shaath then questioned their motives “So why are they doing this? [Pompeo & Craft] they are doing this, to try to corner China and Russia for propaganda purposes, as Craft said to pot the spot light on the Chinese and Russian.”

Shaath went on to say, “Since the Trump administration maintains that quitting the deal does not prevent it from invoking the provision of the snap back mechanism, which is sanctions according to what they envisaged in the Iran nuclear deal.”

Shaath pointed out “ Other member states, as you mentioned in your report, like  France, Germany, Britain, Russia and China are trying to negotiate a solution which might prevent the USA from taking such a step, but until now there is no clear compromise has emerged among them”.

‘U.S. seeks to blackmail UNSC member states’

Mikhail Ulyanov, Russia’s permanent representative to the Vienna-based international organizations, has said that it looks like the U.S. attempts to blackmail the UN Security Council members.

“Looks like an attempt to blackmail the UNSC Member States. US position on arms embargo against #Iran and #SnapBack is very weak not only from the viewpoint of common sense but also in legal terms,” he said in a tweet on Thursday.

‘U.S. plans to impose indefinite arms embargo on Iran have no prospects’

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Thursday that Washington’s plans to introduce an indefinite arms embargo against Iran have no prospects.

“The stubborn shattering of the JCPOA through new anti-Iranian ideas, which include the proposal to impose an indefinite arms embargo against Iran, simply does not honor the United States. It is clear that this course has no prospects,” Zakharova said at a briefing, Sputnik reported.

Those members of the JCPOA, who have maintained a genuine full commitment to the nuclear deal, will continue to fight for its preservation and sustainable implementation, she said.

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Beirut a disaster-stricken city after port’s explosion.

Declaring Beirut a “disaster-stricken” city, announcing a two-week state of emergency in the capital and handing over security responsibility to military authorities.

Explosion in Beirut's port

Lebanon’s Supreme Defence Council an emergency meeting in the early hours of Wednesday. Following the session, a statement by the council, said President Michel Aoun, had decided to release 100 billion Lebanese pounds in emergency allocations from the 2020 budget.

The council recommended forming a committee tasked with investigating the blast and present its findings within five days, to impose the maximum punishment for those responsible.

It further suggested declaring Beirut a “disaster-stricken” city, announcing a two-week state of emergency in the capital and handing over security responsibility to military authorities.

 The blast took place on Tuesday in port warehouses near central Beirut storing highly explosive material, specifically ammonium nitrate, commonly used in both fertiliser and bombs.

The explosion — the most powerful ever in Beirut— flattened much of the strategic port and left buildings in ruin.

Germany’s geosciences center GFZ said the explosion triggered a 3.5 magnitude earthquake, which was also felt as far away as Cyprus over 200 kilometers across the Mediterranean.

The Lebanese Red Cross said on Wednesday in a statement, ‘’until now over 4,000 people have been injured and over 100 have lost their lives. Our teams are still conducting search and rescue operations in the surrounding areas”.

Lebanese Prime Minister Hassan Diab promised there would be accountability for the fatal incident, “I promise that this catastrophe will not go unpunished and those responsible will be held accountable.” he said during a speech.

Hassan Diab went to say that “Beirut is grieving… All of Lebanon is disaster-torn. Lebanon is going through a quite ordeal that could only be faced with national unity and solidarity among all Lebanese from all backgrounds and regions. We are going through a disaster that could only be overcome with determination and tenacity to face this serious challenge and its destructive consequences”.

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