Monday, August 06, 2007

Talks on Iraq

A new series of talks have taken place in Baghdad between American and Iranian officials on the state of security of Iraq. Security is definitely an issue as just hours before the meeting was to take place a suicide bomber killed 33 people. In reference to the talks, US State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said, "It is an established channel of communication and we will see in the future as to whether or not it is a useful channel of communication." (Ryan Crocker and his Iranian counterpart Hassan Kazemi-Qomi met Iraq's national security adviser Mowaffak al-Rubaie for two hours in Rubaie's office to go over what the committee had discussed.) The U.S. believes that Iran is supplying arms to Iraqi militias fighting against the U.S. . The meeting lasted hours and another meeting is to take place in a later time.
Sydney Morning Herald

In all reality any talks in between Iran and the United States are a fairly good sign. What these meetings have accomplished however, that's another story. When two sides meet to discuss but neither listen to each other, there is little headway.

Afghanistan and US, mixed opinions on Iran

The Afghan president, Hamid Karzai, stated that Iran is an asset to Afghanistan, while President Bush wanted to isolate Iran from the world. "Iran has been a supporter of Afghanistan, in the peace process that we have and the fight against terror, and the fight against narcotics in Afghanistan," said Karzai. Bush differentiated, "I would be very cautious about whether or not the Iranian influence there in Afghanistan is a positive force." "We will continue to work to isolate it. Because they're not a force for good, as far as we can see. They are a destabilising influence, wherever they are now," Bush added.
Gulf Daily News

Doesn't seem like a simple disagreement between the two nations. Quite more like opposing ends of a spectrum, I hope this is the only thing they disagree on.

The Daily Shargh (East), newspaper, shut down

The largest Iranian reformist newspaper was shut down for the second time in a year by the government, after publishing an article calling for gender equality. The paper was created in 2003 and faced it's first closure by the government in September of 2006 for criticizing Iranian Hard-liners. It restarted in June but less then 3 months later it has already been taken down once more.
The article was an interview, "with an anti-revolutionary figure, who is famous for promoting anti-morality materials," according to Ali Reza Malekian, a Culture Ministry official. The poets name was Saghi Qahraman who said that men should play a larger role in households and not make women do all the household work.
Since the new government has taken power from the 2005 elections, over 100 newspapers have been silenced in Iran.
Washington Post

Another ridiculous closure of newspaper for expressing media freedom. It's amazing to hear that the Iranian government even allows these papers to go on. The government clearly knows the paper will publish material it disagrees with, but I guess in act the government trys to show it's as not as strict as others may protray it. Although, it doesn't play the part so well.

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