Tag Archives: Iran

US Senate shows united support for blocking Iran access to euros

The US Senate has demonstrated strong support for blockingIran’s access to euros, as Congress continues to push for additional measures to choke funding toTehran’s nuclear programme.

The Senate unanimously passed a non-binding amendment to the budget plan on March 23 that seeks to stop Iran from using a loophole allowing it use the European Central Bank’s interbank payment system to gain access to euros.

The amendment, sponsored by Illinois Republican Mark Kirk and West Virginia Democrat Joe Manchin, is symbolic, as the budget will not become law. It follows a letter signed last month and sent to the European Union by 36 senators, and could indicate the Senate would introduce legislation later on the issue.

Washington and the EU last year hitIranwith sanctions that slashed its crude exports by half. That led to inflation and pushed down the rial,Iran’s currency. Still,Iran’s government has access to vast foreign currency reserves, including supplies of euros, that senators say helps it stabilize the budget and circumvent the sanctions.

‘Closing the euro loophole in our sanctions policy is critical in our efforts to preventIranfrom acquiring a nuclear weapons capability,’ Kirk said. ‘The US Senate has spoken and now the European Union needs to act.’

31 December 2012

UAE arrests cell planning attacks

Security forces in the United Arab Emirates have arrested a cell of UAE and Saudi Arabian citizens which was planning to carry out militant attacks in both countries and other states, the official news agency WAM has said.

The US-allied UAE, a federation of seven emirates and a major oil exporter that has supported Western counter-terrorism efforts in the region, has been spared any attack by al-Qaeda and other insurgency groups.

Other Groups in Pakistan Have Adopted the al Qaeda Ideology

The Democracy Forum hosted a seminar at the Commonwealth Club in London on March 25th. The subject was ‘Home Grown Terrorism; Threats from Within and Abroad’ and several leading experts attended and spoke on this aspect of the war on international terrorism. Dr Paul Gill of University College London, discussed the result of a study conducted at Pennsylvania State University which revealed that in 64% of cases, members of the perpetrator’s family knew about the planned violent attacks in advance.

Italy’s Bersani struggles to overcome election stalemate

Italian centre-left leader Pier Luigi Bersani was left with only a slim hope of forming a government after last month’s deadlocked election as talks with rival party leaders ended with a further rejection from Beppe Grillo’s 5-Star Movement.

The impasse inItalyhas been closely watched by investors mindful of the turmoil which brought down Silvio Berlusconi’s government in 2011 and was reflected in rising borrowing costs at a closely watched bond auction on March 27.

Swedish scientist to head UN Syria chemical weapons probe

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has named Swedish scientist Ake Sellstrom to head the UN investigation into allegations that chemical weapons were used in Syria.

‘He is an accomplished scientist with a solid background in disarmament and international security,’ UN spokesman Martin Nesirky said.

It was not immediately clear who else would be on his team.Russiasaid recently that Russian and Chinese experts should be part of the investigation, butMoscow’s UN Ambassador Vitaly Churkin said Russia would ‘most likely not’ be represented.