Tag Archives: the democracy forum

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.’

Moderate Muslims must speak out in one voice’

 The following is an excerpt from a statement to the 22nd session of the UN Human Rights Council, Geneva, 25 February to 22nd March, 2013 (Agenda Item 3: Promotion and Protection of all Human Rights – civil, political, economic, social and cultural – including the right to development), made by Sultan Shahin, Editor of New Age Islam, on behalf of the World Environment and Resource Council:

Pakistan: democracy in danger

Tensions between the civilian Zardari-Gilani Government and the Army inPakistanare rising, with the Army-smitten Supreme Court and the Government’s main opposition, the Nawaz Muslim League, indirectly supporting the military. But it would be too hasty to conclude thatPakistan’s political history will soon repeat itself with the Army staging a coup. A coup may not be on the horizon for both foreign and domestic reasons.

A game of cat-and-mouse

The confrontation between the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP)-led coalition government and the country’s powerful military has subsided, but the respite could be temporary.

As was expected, Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani backtracked after issuing some tough anti-army statements. His decision to retract his remarks against Pakistan Army chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani and Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) head Lt Gen Ahmad Shuja Pasha was seen as an effort to defuse the tension and mend fences with the military establishment. There was even talk of some sort of deal, though no evidence was yet available that the democratically elected government and the uniformed generals had done some give-and-take in a bid to repair their damaged ties.

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.