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Sunday, October 21, 2012

[haw-info] Iran War Weekly - October 21, 2012

Historians Against the War is posting Frank Brodhead's "Iran War Weekly,' as a helpful resource for our members and friends. Frank earned a PhD in history at Princeton University and has co-authored several books on US foreign policy. He is a scholar and political activist who has worked with peace and social justice movements for many years. In 2010-2011 he produced the "Afghanistan War Weekly," which was widely used by antiwar groups across the country.
Iran War Weekly
October 21, 2012
Hello All – For the last several weeks – since the end of the UN's opening session – media reports about US and Iranian negotiations, or about changes in the parties' negotiating positions, have been officially denied as fast as they have been leaked.  It is evident that the Obama administration is determined to keep concrete issues and proposals regarding Iran's nuclear program out of the public realm until the election is over, pursuing a sort of "strategic ambiguity."  Nevertheless, as is illustrated in the leaks and denials linked below, it appears that – pending an Obama election win – negotiations will resume soon about Iran's nuclear program.
The Obama administration's Iran "strategy" now centers on its vast program of economic warfare ("sanctions"), backed up with threats of military force.  As indicated in some of the articles linked below, the "spin" on whether or not the sanctions are "working" depends on what you think the purpose of sanctions is.  The official position of the Obama administration and the UN Security Council is that the purpose of sanctions is to force Iran to comply with orders to cease enriching uranium and to cooperate fully with the International Atomic Energy Agency's demand for information, off-site inspections, etc.  The growing economic chaos within Iran, therefore, is presented as a "win" for the Obama administration, and also as an argument (against Israel and Congress) that military action against Iran is at present unnecessary.  The test of the sanctions strategy, of course, depends in this framework on whether or not Iran concedes to US demands about its nuclear program, something that is not now on the horizon.  For the immediate future, therefore, the US position is likely to be that sanctions are "working" (causing hardship), and should be given more time to persuade Iran's leadership to knuckle under.  How long this "immediate future" can last, of course, is the question.
Many analyst, however, believe that the purpose of US-led economic warfare is to accomplish "regime change," bringing down the Iranian ruling elite by promoting broad-based discontent through economic impoverishment of its poor and middle class.  While (as noted in the last IWW) there is little in the historical record to suggest that this is possible, the example of the devastation of Iraq by sanctions in the 1990s illustrates the power of economic warfare; and it may be that the Obama administration would be willing to continue sanctions over a long period, while refusing to modify its currently non-starting negotiating positions regarding Iran's nuclear program.  (For a chilling illustration of the possibilities of such economic warfare, I highly recommend Joy Gordon's book about Iraq, Invisible War, now in paperback.)
Unlike the negotiations and conflicts with Iran, the war in Syria is not beholden to the US election cycle, and each week this war engulfs more and more of its immediate neighborhood.  As indicated in some of the articles linked below, the conflict between Syria and Turkey involves far more than a few dozen mortar shells crossing international borders.  Today's news from Lebanon is very ominous.  And last week Jordan saw one of the largest anti-government protests in its history, this news coming on the heels of reports that the United States has now established a small military force inside Jordan, near the Syrian border.
Though this newsletter focuses on Iran, the war in and around Syria is obviously important for the resolution of the US-Iran standoff.  For current news about Syria I highly recommend War in Context (www.warincontext.org), Syria Comment (www.joshualandis.com) and Aljazeera's "Inside Syria" (http://www.aljazeera.com/programmes/insidesyria/).
Once again, I appreciate the help that many of you have given in distributing the Iran War Weekly and/or linking it on websites.  Previous "issues" of the IWW can be read at http://warisacrime.org/blog/46383.  If you would like to receive the IWW mailings, please send me an email at fbrodhead@aol.com.
Best wishes,
Frank Brodhead
Concerned Families of Westchester (NY)
Obama Aides Launch Preemptive Attack on New Iran Plan
By Gareth Porter, Inter Press Service [October 16, 2012]
---- Although the place and time of the next round of talks on Iran's nuclear program have not yet been announced, the maneuvering by Iran and the United States to influence the outcome has already begun. Iran sought support for a revised proposal to the talks during the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) last month, according to a New York Times report Oct. 4. Then, only a few days later, the Barack Obama administration launched a preemptive attack on the proposal through New York Times reporter David Sanger. The officials suggested the Iranian proposal would give Iran an easier route to a "breakout" to weapons-grade uranium enrichment. But that claim flies in the face of some obvious realities. http://original.antiwar.com/porter/2012/10/16/obama-aides-launch-preemptive-attack-on-new-iran-plan/
White House denies report that US and Iran agreed to direct talks
By Laura Rozen, Al-Monitor [October 21, 2012]
---- The White House on Saturday denied a report in the New York Times that the United States and Iran had agreed to hold one–on-one talks on Iran's nuclear program after the US presidential elections next month. But the White House reiterated that the Obama administration has "said from the outset that we would be prepared to meet bilaterally." And a Washington Iran analyst told Al-Monitor that it is his understanding that a senior US arms control official has held authorized back channel talks with an Iranian official posted to Turkey. http://backchannel.al-monitor.com/index.php/2012/10/2813/white-house-denies-report-that-us-and-iran-agreed-to-direct-talks/#ixzz29xDCd1li
Also useful – From Reuters, "Iran denies report of plans for nuclear talks with U.S.," [October 21, 2012] http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/10/21/iran-nuclear-usa-idUSL5E8LL18W20121021.  For the report, Helene Cooper and Mark Landler, "U.S. Officials Say Iran Has Agreed to Nuclear Talks," New York Times [October 20, 2012] http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/21/world/iran-said-ready-to-talk-to-us-about-nuclear-program.html?hp&pagewanted=print
IAEA: We're seeing activity at Iran nuclear facility
From Reuters [October 17, 2012]
---- UN nuclear watchdog chief Yukiya Amano said on Wednesday the UN agency continued to see activity at Iran's Parchin military site, an apparent reference to suspected efforts by Iran to clean the site of any illicit operations. His comments came amid allegations by Western diplomats that Iran is further increasing its uranium enrichment capacity at its Fordow plant buried deep underground. http://www.jpost.com/LandedPages/PrintArticle.aspx?id=288206
On the Politics of how well Sanctions are Working
By Farideh Farhi, LobeLog [October 19, 2012]
---- The escalating sanctions regime that has been imposed on Iran by the United States and European Union has placed all parties involved in a rather strange position. On the US side, the palpable glee over the dropping value of the Iranian currency and the success sanctions have had in causing misery has been hard to hide. It is also politically astute for domestic electoral purposes to take credit for the success of sanctions. Yet it is not particularly seemly or civilized to take too much credit for causing misery in front of a global audience. That's why Obama Administration officials twist and turn to explain that while sanctions are the mark of the administration's great success, it is the Iranian government that is responsible for the deteriorating state of Iran's economy. The conversation regarding the impact of sanctions is as surreal and even more politicized inside Iran. http://www.lobelog.com/on-the-politics-of-how-well-sanctions-are-working/
Also useful – Kevin G. Hall, "Have Iran sanctions worked? That depends on what you think the goal is,"  McClatchy Newspapers [October 19, 2012] http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2012/10/19/172026/have-iran-sanctions-worked-that.html; and Gwynne Dyer, "No panic in Iran despite currency collapse, international sanctions," Cape Breton Post [October 18, 2012] http://www.campaigniran.org/casmii/index.php?q=node/12991
What's Really Behind Iran Sanctions
By Hillary Mann Leverett, Race for Iran [October 18, 2012]
---- Notwithstanding Western rhetoric about "targeted" measures that punish the Iranian government but somehow spare ordinary Iranians, the real purpose of sanctions is "to increase hardship for ordinary Iranians"just as "sanctions imposed on other governments and other systems, like the sanctions that were imposed for over a decade on Iraq," were intended to make ordinary Iraqis suffer.  In contrast to the all-too-frequent line put forward in Washington, Hillary makes clear that the sanctions against Iran "are in no way targeted.  When you sanction the Central Bank of Iran, when you say that SWIFT can't handle banking transactions into and out of Iran, you are covering transactions that people need in order to buy food and medicine…There's nothing targeted about it." http://www.raceforiran.com/hillary-mann-leverett-on-whats-really-behind-iran-sanctions
(Video) Iran: The impact and limits of sanctions
From Aljazeera [October 17, 2012] – 25 minutes
[FB – The discussants on this "Inside Story" segment include Hillary Mann Leverett.]
With New Sanctions, European Union Tightens Screws on Iran Over Nuclear Work
By James Kanter and Thomas Erdbrink, New York Times [October 16, 2012]
---- The European Union toughened sanctions against Iran over its disputed nuclear program on Monday, banning trade in industries like finance, metals and natural gas, and making other business transactions far more cumbersome. The European Union "agreed to prohibit all transactions between European and Iranian banks unless authorized in advance under strict conditions with exemptions for humanitarian needs," according to an official statement. The statement said that the European Union also had "decided to strengthen the restrictive measures against the Central Bank of Iran. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/16/world/middleeast/european-union-intensifies-sanctions-on-iran.html?ref=world&pagewanted=print
Also useful – From Reuters, "E.U. Agrees to Impose New Iran Sanctions," [October 15, 2012] http://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2012/10/15/world/europe/15reuters-eu-iran-sanctions-westerwelle.html?hp; and from Reuters, "Russia slams EU for new round of Iran sanctions," [October 17, 2012] http://www.haaretz.com/news/middle-east/russia-slams-eu-for-new-round-of-iran-sanctions-1.470617
US-Led Iran Sanctions Putting Millions of Lives at Risk, Iranian Charity Says
By John Glaser, Antiwar.com [October 17, 2012]
---- US-led economic sanctions are putting millions of Iranian lives are at risk by blocking the importing of medicines and hospital equipment, according to country's top medical charity. Fatemeh Hashemi, head of the Charity Foundation for Special Diseases, a non-government organisation supporting six million patients in Iran, is warning publicly about deep shortages of medicines for diseases like hemophilia, multiple sclerosis and cancer.  Although the sanctions don't target medicine and humanitarian needs, they are "increasingly hitting vulnerable medical patients as deliveries of medicine and raw materials for Iranian pharmaceutical companies are either stopped or delayed," the Washington Post reported last month. http://news.antiwar.com/2012/10/17/us-led-iran-sanctions-putting-millions-of-lives-at-risk-iranian-charity-says/print/
Also useful – Yeganeh Torbati, "Iran says it will cut imports of non-essential goods," Reuters [October 2012] http://news.yahoo.com/iran-says-cut-imports-non-essential-goods-160300003--finance.html; Rick Gladstone, "Iran Sanctions May Cut Supply of Currency," New York Times [October 16, 2012] http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/17/world/middleeast/irans-supply-of-currency-may-be-at-risk-in-sanctions.html?ref=world&pagewanted=print; and from Reuters, "US exports to Iran soar despite sanctions," [October 15, 2012] http://www.aljazeera.com/news/americas/2012/10/2012101575726953693.html
The Myth of "Surgical Strikes" on Iran
By David Isenberg, Time []
---- For all the years that the world has focused on the confrontation between Western nations and Iran, oceans of ink have been spilled over many aspects of its nuclear program — the quantity and quality of its enriched uranium, various UN Security Council resolutions, the number of Iranian centrifuges, IAEA safeguards, compliance with the Non-Proliferation Treaty, diplomatic negotiations, red lines, U.S. and Israeli attack scenarios, possible Iranian responses, the impact of a nuclear Iran, and so on. Yet, almost nothing has been written about one critical factor: the impact on Iranian civilians, if the U.S. and/or the Israelis were to attack Iran's nuclear facilities. That vacuum has now been filled, thanks to a recent lengthy report — The Ayatollah's Nuclear Gamble: The Human Cost of Military Strikes Against Iran's Nuclear Facilities.  http://nation.time.com/2012/10/18/the-myth-of-surgical-strikes-on-iran/#ixzz29mIg60VZ
Massive US-Led Anti-Mining Drill in Persian Gulf a Disaster
By Jason Ditz, Antiwar.com [October 17, 2012]
---- More than 30 nations engaged in what is being called the single largest naval drill in human history aimed to find 29 simulated sea mines planted in the water. The results were not very good, according to Captain Robert O'Donnell. "I don't think a great many were found," O'Donnell said of the fake mines, saying that less than half of them were ever actually located. http://news.antiwar.com/2012/10/17/massive-anti-mining-drill-in-persian-gulf-a-disaster/
Iran denies role in cyberattacks on oil and gas companies in Gulf, welcomes probe
From the Associated Press [October 14, 2012]
---- Iranian officials denied any role in recent cyberattacks against oil and gas companies in the Persian Gulf and said they welcomed a probe of the case, a semiofficial news agency reported Sunday. Mahdi Akhavan Bahabadi, secretary of the National Center of Cyberspace, denounced as "politically motivated" American allegations of an Iranian link to the Shamoon virus that hit Saudi Arabian state oil company Aramco and Qatari natural gas producer RasGas, according to remarks carried by ISNA. http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/middle_east/iran-denies-role-in-cyberattacks-and-gas-companies-in-gulf-welcomes-probe/2012/10/14/c29d45d0-15f4-11e2-a346-f24efc680b8d_story.html
Iranian-Americans' California dreaming
, Al-Jazeera [October 18, 2012]
---- Being on the sharp end of US foreign policy is nothing new for Iranians. More than 30 years of sanctions and the recurring spectre of war have cast a heavy shadow over relations between the two countries. Nearly 1.5 million Iranians have made the United States home, seeking their slice of the American Dream. Iran, its controversial nuclear programme, its suspected hand in the Syrian conflict , and its role in regional security are hot topics this US election, figuring prominently in the campaigns of President Barack Obama and the GOP candidate, Mitt Romney. In California, a "blue state", Obama's handling of Iran is not seen in a favourable light.
Stop Supporting Separatist Groups in Iran
By Muhammad Sahimi, Antiwar.com [October 15, 2012]
---- Trying to turn Iran into a client state — one that will carry water for the interests of the U.S. and Israel over its own national interests — through military means is impossible. Iran was a client state during the reign of Mohammad Reza Shah, but the 1979 Revolution toppled his regime. While crippling sanctions have mostly hurt ordinary — especially sick — Iranians, the War Party and Israel have been trying to find other ways of achieving their goal as well, and one approach that had been discussed for years and is now being seriously pursued is inciting ethnic unrest and creating puppet separatist groups or "liberation movements" in Iran's provinces where ethnic groups other than Persians make up a significant portion of the population. They include Iran's two Azerbaijan provinces, Kurdistan, and the oil-rich province of Khuzestan, where a small but significant part of the population is Iranian-Arab. http://original.antiwar.com/muhammad-sahimi/2012/10/14/stop-supporting-separatist-groups-in-iran/
A Separation at Iranian Universities
By Nazanin Shahrokni , Parastou Dokouhaki, Middle East Reports [October 18, 2012]
---- With the fall semester well underway in Iran, it is clear that the spin from both the Islamic Republic and the West was somewhat misleading. The new restrictions affect both men and women, and are part of a long-standing scheme of gender segregation that is not an invention of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's hardline conservative government. … In the 1980s, the state sought physically to separate men and women on campus, in keeping with the idea that mingling of the sexes outside the home was "un-Islamic" and dangerous for public morality. Today, the hardliners want to "Islamize" the campus anew, but also to redress the unintended consequences of the feminization of higher education in Iran. The new gender segregation measures are primarily aimed at protecting the life chances of men, in education, marriage and the job market, and at shielding the state from political pressure amidst high unemployment and overall economic malaise. http://www.merip.org/mero/mero101812
Also useful – United Nations, "[Iran] Human Development Report 2011" http://hdrstats.undp.org/images/explanations/IRN.pdf; and Sandeep Dikshit, "Iran says "tangible" progress in India-Afghanistan link," The Hindu [India] [October 2012] http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/iran-says-tangible-progress-in-indiaafghanistan-link/article4003285.ece
Bibi's Three Steps Forward, One Back
---- Once again, the threat of military action had succeeded in yielding more sanctions on Iran, limiting Obama's diplomatic maneuverability, and getting a U.S. commitment for a trip wire for war with Iran.Netanyahu's strategy has been to take three steps forward and, occasionally, once he has gotten what he wants, he takes a step back. Declaring victory every time Netanyahu agrees to back off temporarily confuses tactical developments with the larger strategic picture. It is a fundamental misunderstanding of Netanyahu's strategy: Even though he temporarily dials down his pressure on the U.S., he has nevertheless ensured that the trajectory of developments are in his favor; that is, the U.S. and Iran inch closer to a confrontation. http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/10/11/bibi-s-three-steps-forward-one-back.html
The Lebanonization of Syria
By David W. Lesch, Al-Monitor [October 12, 2012]
---- So what happens now? Neither the Syrian rebels nor the Syrian government forces have the wherewithal right now to land a knockout punch against their opposite number. Unless there is something that is injected into the current equation — such as outside military intervention — that would create an imbalance of power on one side or the other, a stalemate of bloodletting and the disintegration of state and society will continue. The new UN special envoy to Syria, Lakhdar Brahimi, has it right. His latest pessimistic report on Syria will not raise unrealistic expectations. The conflict has become so existential and militarized on both sides that no new diplomatic initiative stands a chance. The domestic, regional and international dimensions of the crisis have become more intertwined — and therefore more complicated and difficult to unravel without causing more harm than good. http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2012/al-monitor/the-lebanonization-of-syria.html#ixzz29f2IAXwy
Syria and the battle for regional control
By David Hearst, The Guardian [UK] [October 16, 2012]
---- What emerges loud and clear from Istanbul is that toppling Assad is not the problem. With the right weapons, it could be over in two months. It's the makeup and allegiance of the post-Assad government that Syria's regional neighbours are really fighting for. The proxy war being waged in Syria is a battle not for Syrians, but for regional control. The Iran government tells their Turkish counterparts every time they meet that they hate what Assad is doing to his people, but the bottom line is that Iran wants access to and influence over the government that replaces it. http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/oct/16/syria-battle-regional-control
Iran and Turkey Join Syria Peace Envoy in Call for Truce
By Anne Barnard and Rick Gladstone, New York Times [October 17, 2012]
---- Iran declared support on Wednesday for the new Syria peace envoy's cease-fire proposal, joining Turkey in a rare moment of accord between two of the regional powers backing opposite sides in the 19-month conflict that has pitted the Syrian government against an array of armed opponents. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/18/world/middleeast/iran-and-turkey-join-syria-peace-envoy-in-truce-call.html?hpw
Inside Syria
Holy Warriors: A field guide to Syria's jihadi groups.
By Arun Lund, Foreign Policy [October 15, 2012]
---- Even the most well-known insurgent alliance, the Free Syrian Army (FSA), a loose umbrella term used by several inter-related insurgent networks, is hardly the secular movement it is portrayed as in the West, where it is represented by a small coterie of exiled military defectors. In Syria, the main body of FSA networks has come to resemble a Sunni sectarian movement, which is increasingly influenced by Islamist ideology. The reasons for this shift towards overt sectarianism and Islamic radicalism are complex and interrelated. http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2012/10/15/holy_warriors?page=full
Enemies of Assad in Syria fit a mold: Poor, pious, rural
From the Associated Press [October 16, 2012]
---- Syria Most of the rebels fighting government forces in the city of Aleppo fit a specific mold: They're poor, religiously conservative and usually come from the underdeveloped countryside nearby.
They bring to the battle their fury over years of economic marginalization, fired by a pious fervor, and they say their fight in the civil war is not only against President Bashar Assad but also the elite merchants and industrialists who dominate the city and have stuck by the regime. The rebels regard this support for the government to be an act of betrayal. The blend of poverty, religious piety and anger could define the future of Aleppo, and perhaps the rest of Syria, if the rebels take over the country's largest city, which is also its economic engine. http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-202_162-57533688/enemies-of-assad-in-syria-fit-a-mold-poor-pious-rural/
Rebel Arms Flow Is Said to Benefit Jihadists in Syria
By David E. Sanger, New York Times [October 14, 2012]
---- Most of the arms shipped at the behest of Saudi Arabia and Qatar to supply Syrian rebel groups fighting the government of Bashar al-Assad are going to hard-line Islamic jihadists, and not the more secular opposition groups that the West wants to bolster, according to American officials and Middle Eastern diplomats. That conclusion casts into doubt whether the White House's strategy of minimal and indirect intervention in the Syrian conflict is accomplishing its intended purpose of helping a democratic-minded opposition topple an oppressive government, or is instead sowing the seeds of future insurgencies hostile to the United States. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/15/world/middleeast/jihadists-receiving-most-arms-sent-to-syrian-rebels.html?hp
Tensions between Syria and Turkey
U.S. steps up support of Turkey amid Syrian conflict
By Craig Whitlock, Washington Post [October 19, 2012]
---- The U.S. government is intensifying its intelligence sharing and military consultations with Turkey behind the scenes as both countries confront the possibility that Syria's civil conflict could escalate into a regional war, according to U.S. and NATO officials. The Obama administration has said it wants to avoid getting drawn militarily into Syria and for months has resisted pressure from Arab allies and some Republicans to back Syria's rebel groups more forcefully. But as Syria's internal conflict has increasingly spilled across its northern border into Turkey, the U.S. government has stepped up cooperation with its key NATO ally. In recent weeks, military officials from both countries have met to make contingency plans to impose no-fly zones over Syrian territory or seize Syria's stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons, U.S. officials said. U.S. intelligence agencies were also the source of a tip that led the Turkish military to intercept and ground a Syrian passenger plane en route from Moscow to Damascus last week on suspicions that it was carrying Russian-made military hardware, according to U.S. officials. http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/2012/10/19/98b4f104-1a1e-11e2-b235-9cd54b35db6f_print.html
As Assad Hangs on, Turkey Confronts Failure in Syria
By Andrew Parasiliti, Al-Monitor [October 9, 2012]
---- Turkish President Abdullah Gul said this week that Syria is becoming the "worst-case scenario that we've all been dreading." The shelling across the Turkish-Syrian border, now entering its seventh day, gives further testimony, as if any were needed, that Turkey's Syria policies have failed and that the civil war in Syria is also a regional, sectarian war, with no end in sight. Turkish intervention in Syria is unpopular and Ankara may be desperate to end it.  A clear majority of Turkish citizens oppose intervention in Syria, according to a recent poll. Just two years ago, Turkey prospered under a "good neighbor" policy with Syria, Iran and Iraq.  Now Turkey has problems along all three borders. http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2012/al-monitor/turkeysyriacase.html#ixzz29f2wl19V
Also useful – John Glaser, "Turkey Has Fired on Syria 87 Times, Killed 12 Syrian Soldiers," Antiwar.com [October 20, 2012] http://news.antiwar.com/2012/10/20/turkey-has-fired-on-syria-87-times-killed-12-syrian-soldiers/; Eyup Can, "Syria's Air Defenses Would Stifle A Turkish Military Intervention," Al-Monitor [October 16, 2012] http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/security/01/10/turkey-cannot-sustain-buffer-zone-in-syria.html#ixzz29wn2JQ7H; and Jason Ditz, "Turkey's Southern Buildup May Aim at Kurds, Not Syrian Government," Antiwar.com [October 16, 2012] http://news.antiwar.com/2012/10/16/turkeys-southern-buildup-may-aim-at-kurds-not-syrian-govt/
The War Spills into Lebanon
In Lebanon, everyone loses
By Mark Levine, Aljazeera [October 21, 2012]
---- The latest blast to rock Beirut could be a desperate hurrah from the Assad government - but were they behind it? … Ultimately, everyone loses if this bombing heralds a wider expansion of the Syrian conflict into Lebanon. Even in the best of times Beirut is a city on edge. Before I left in mid-October, many Lebanese friends expressed the fear that the war would spill over but were too weary from all the troubles of the last few years to think beyond how to plan a quick exit from Beirut and even Lebanon if things suddenly got out of control. http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2012/10/20121021113431671978.html
(Video) Lebanon capital tense after public funeral
From Aljazeera [October 21, 2012]
---- Opposition leaders urge calm as clashes erupt outside PM's offices shortly after slain spy chief is laid to rest. http://www.aljazeera.com/news/middleeast/2012/10/2012102113542122371.html
And Now Trouble in Jordan
The Jordanian spring has begun
By Zaki Bani Rashid, The Guardian [UK] [October 19, 2012]
---- The call for reform started in Jordan well before the Arab spring. However, it has intensified since – not only because of the Arab revolutions, but also in response to widespread state corruption. Jordan's reformers are demanding constitutional changes; in particular, changes to our election law so that a truly representative parliament is possible, together with an elected prime minister who is accountable to parliament. http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/oct/19/jordanian-spring-has-begun


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