The Campaign Against Sanctions & Military Intervention in Iran (CASMII) was founded by Abbas Edalat in 2005. CASMII claims to be “independent of all political groups and governments, including the Iranian government”, but a number of its senior members are in fact agents of the Iranian regime. Tellingly, the group’s website, www.campaigniran.org, was formerly hosted by the same company, Patrix LLP, as that of the Iranian Embassy in Britain. The founder of Patrix LLP also happens to be on CASMII’s International Steering Committee, which comprises the following individuals:
CASMII also has an Advisory Board, whose members include:
Until recently, the London-based charity International Islamic Link described itself on its website as the “office of his eminence Hazarat Ayatullah Nasir Makarem Shirazi”.
Ayatullah Shirazi is a senior Iranian cleric, and served on the Assembly of Experts that drafted the Islamist constitution of the Islamic Republic after the Iranian Revolution of 1979. He believes that “the Holocaust is nothing but superstition,” and that homosexuals should be killed.
In 2009, International Islamic Link was granted £15,000 by Brent Council in London for the promotion of “religious freedom and tolerance”.
Madness, you say? You haven’t heard the least of it yet.
As a result of lobbying of MPs by Stop the Bomb, the Charity Commission recently announced that it was conducting a “pre-investigation assessment” of International Islamic Link. By this time, however, the charity had removed all references to Ayatullah Shirazi from its website.
Upon conclusion of its assessment, the Charity Commission expressed its satisfaction with International Islamic Link’s claim that it “has no private or public link with Ayatullah Nasir Makeren [sic] Shirazi”.
Quite how an organisation can, in a matter of weeks, go from being the personal office of a prominent Holocaust denier to having “no private or public link” with him is unclear. What is clear, however, is that the Charity Commission has now exonerated International Islamic Link of any affiliation with the Iranian regime.
Madness, you say? We think so too.
The European coalition STOP THE BOMB, which campaigns for tough economic and political sanctions against the Iranian regime, demands the cancellation of the trip by a delegation of the European parliament to Iran, scheduled for October 27th.
Considering the given situation, in which the Iranian regime unwaveringly cherishes its nuclear program, continuously repeats its threats of annihilation towards Israel, represses by brute force every movement of the opposition in Iran and directly participates in quelling the protests in Syria, this visit would set the worst signal possible and subvert the Iranian opposition.
STOP THE BOMB’s spokesperson for Europe, Simone Dinah Hartmann, directly addresses the President of the EU Parliament, Martin Schulz: “We urge the conference of Presidents to prohibit courting the Iranian Regime as they did in 2011. This trip entirely contradicts the spirit of the EU’s sanctions and it thwarts the recent decisions by the EU member states. Instead of increasing pressure on Tehran, this trip offers the regime the possibility to celebrate yet another propaganda success.”
Source: The Daily Telegraph
In a letter to Congress on Monday, Mr Obama said more sanctions were warranted “particularly in light of the deceptive practices of the Central Bank of Iran and other Iranian banks”.
He said the problems included the hiding transactions of sanctioned parties, the deficiencies of Iran’s anti-money laundering regime and the unacceptably high risk posed to the entire international financial system posed by Iran’s activities.
The Central Bank sanctions were included as an amendment in the wide-ranging defence bill Mr Obama signed into law at the end of 2011. The White House said Mr Obama signed the executive order approving the sanctions on Sunday.
The new measures come as the White House tries to both ratchet up pressure on Tehran to abandon its nuclear programme and dissuade Israel from launching a unilateral strike on Iran.
Mr Obama said on Sunday that he does not believe Israel has yet decided whether to attack Iran. The president said he still believes a diplomatic solution is possible.
Iran insists its nuclear pursuit is for peaceful purposes, but the West accuses Iran of developing the know-how to build a nuclear bomb. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta last week would not dispute a report that he believes Israel may attack Iran this spring in an attempt to set back the Islamic republic’s nuclear programme.
In recent weeks, both the US and European Union have imposed harsher sanctions on Iran’s oil sector, the lifeblood of its economy.
In Washington, the Senate Banking Committee easily approved yet more penalties on Tehran last week. The sweeping measure, which is not yet law, would target Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps, require companies that trade on the US stock exchanges to disclose any Iran-related business to the Securities and Exchange Commission, and expand penalties for energy and uranium mining joint ventures with Tehran.
Source: BBC News
European Union foreign ministers have formally adopted an “unprecedented” oil embargo against Iran over its nuclear programme, banning all new oil contracts with the country.
They also agreed a freeze on the assets of Iran’s central bank in the EU.
The EU currently buys about 20% of Iran’s oil exports.
There was no official Iranian reaction, but one Iranian lawmaker played down the decision, calling it a “mere propaganda gesture”.
Iran had “failed to restore international confidence in the exclusively peaceful nature of its nuclear programme”, British Prime Minister David Cameron, French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel said in a joint statement.
“We will not accept Iran acquiring a nuclear weapon. Iran has so far had no regard for its international obligations and is already exporting and threatening violence around its region,” the leaders added.
The measures were “another strong step in the international effort to dramatically increase the pressure on Iran,” US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said in a statement welcoming the move.
Meanwhile, the International Atomic Energy Agency, the UN’s nuclear watchdog has confirmed it is sending a team to Iran between 29 and 31 January “to resolve all outstanding substantive issues”.
Last November the IAEA said in a report that it had information suggesting Iran had carried out tests “relevant to the development of a nuclear explosive device” – sparking the decision by the US and EU to issue tougher sanctions.
Tehran insists its nuclear programme is for energy purposes.
Earlier on Monday, the Pentagon said the US aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln, as well as a British Royal Navy frigate and a French warship, had passed through the Strait of Hormuz at the entrance to the Gulf without incident, in the wake of Iranian threats to block the trade route.
The EU said the sanctions prohibit the import, purchase and transport of Iranian crude oil and petroleum products as well as related finance and insurance. All existing contracts will have to be phased out by 1 July.
Investment as well as the export of key equipment and technology for Iran’s petrochemical sector is also banned.
Additional restrictions have been placed on Iran’s central bank and in the trade of gold, precious metals and diamonds.
BBC Europe Editor Gavin Hewitt says it is one of the toughest steps the EU has ever taken.
BBC Iran correspondent James Reynolds says oil is the country’s most valuable asset and sales help to keep the Iranian government in money and power.
A decision by the EU to stop buying from Iran may damage the Iranian economy – but in itself it won’t destroy it, our correspondent says.
Iran sells most of its oil to countries in Asia. The EU and the United States are now working to persuade Asian countries to reduce their purchases from Iran as well.
Iran has already threatened to retaliate by blocking the Strait of Hormuz at the entrance to the Gulf, through which 20% of the world’s oil exports pass.
The US has said it will keep the trade route open, raising the possibility of a confrontation.
Late last year Iran conducted 10 days of military exercises near the Strait of Hormuz, test-firing several missiles.
Oil prices have risen already because of the increasing tension and the expected impact of an EU ban on oil supplies to Europe.