Political Concepts

Views on the News – 04 July 2014


• Iran, World Powers Resume Push for Nuclear Deal by July 20

• FO condemns NSA Surveillance, calls it Violation of International Laws

• China Bans Xinjiang Officials from Observing Ramadan Fast

Iran, World Powers Resume Push for Nuclear Deal by July 20

Iran and six world powers resumed talks on Thursday aimed at clinching a long-term deal later this month on the scope of Tehran’s contested nuclear programme, seeking to bridge still wide gaps in negotiating positions. After informal contacts on Wednesday, chief negotiators from Iran, the United States, France, Germany, China, Russia and Britain began a full plenary session shortly after 9 a.m. (7 a.m. BST), the sixth round of talks in Vienna since February. They have less than three weeks to try to agree on the future dimensions of Iran’s uranium enrichment programme and other issues if they are to meet a self-imposed July 20 deadline for a deal. Western officials privately acknowledge that an extension of the talks might be needed. Washington and some of its allies have imposed sanctions on Iran over suspicions that its nuclear programme is designed to produce weapons – a charge denied by Iran, which says it is only interested in producing electricity and other peaceful projects. July 20 is the expiry date of an interim accord that granted Iran modest relief from economic sanctions after it curbed some aspects of its nuclear work. But an extension of up to half a year of the deadline for a long-term accord is possible. The powers want Iran to scale back enrichment capacity sharply to deny it any capability to quickly accumulate enough fissile material for a nuclear bomb. Iran says it needs to expand its enrichment capacity to fuel a network of nuclear power plants, although these have yet to be built and it would take many years to launch just one of them. Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif took to YouTube on Wednesday to deliver a message that Iran was ready to take steps to ensure its nuclear programme remains peaceful but would not “kneel in submission” to do a deal with the powers. In an article in Monday’s Washington Post, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said Iran’s “public optimism about the potential outcome of these negotiations has not been matched, to date, by the positions they have articulated behind closed doors”. European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton is shepherding the negotiations on behalf of the six powers. Zarif heads the Iranian delegation in Vienna. [Source: Reuters]

The Iranian leadership boasts about being a powerful state and yet covertly its leaders are surrendering Iran’s ability to produce nuclear weapons to Western powers. Islam forbids Muslims from surrendering their authority to the foreign powers. Allah says:

وَلَن يَجْعَلَ اللّهُ لِلْكَافِرِينَ عَلَى الْمُؤْمِنِينَ سَبِيلاً

“And never will Allah give the disbelievers over the believers a way [to overcome them].”

(Al Nisa: 141)

FO condemns NSA surveillance, calls it Violation of International Laws

Pakistan condemned on Thursday the US National Security Agency’s (NSA) surveillance programme for spying on the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) in 2010, calling it a violation of international laws. Foreign Office (FO) spokesperson Tasneem Aslam said that the matter was being taken up with the US administration. “Appropriate measures are being taken to protect our cyber communication from any attack or spying,” Aslam said. Earlier, the PPP had expressed dismay over the revelation that NSA had been spying on the party. The PPP had also called upon the government to take up the issue at the diplomatic level and had sought guarantees that such violations would not take place in the future. “Such insensitive operations and unacceptable interference in the affairs of a political party of a sovereign country will serve no purpose except to increase resentment and distrust,” the PPP spokesman had said. Senator Babar said that those who have violated the norms of responsible behaviour by spying on the political institutions of a sovereign country owe an apology. According to media reports, declassified documents have revealed that the NSA had been spying on the PPP government in 2010. However, a US government agency had defended the US National Security Agency’s surveillance programme, which includes spying on foreign banks, political parties and government officials. The US Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board observed that the programme had allowed the government to collect a greater range of foreign intelligence “quickly and effectively.” It endorsed the controversial collection of Internet data as not only legal but also effective. “The programme has led the government to identify previously unknown individuals who are involved in international terrorism,” the agency noted. “It has played a key role in discovering and disrupting specific terrorist plots aimed at the United States and other countries.”

Every day there is another revelation that clearly underscores America’s distrust for Pakistan and how Pakistan is viewed as an enemy. The Pakistani leadership on the other hand is in awe of America and wants to become a loyal servant. Allah says:

إِنَّ الشَّيْطَانَ لَكُمْ عَدُوٌّ فَاتَّخِذُوهُ عَدُوًّا إِنَّمَا يَدْعُو حِزْبَهُ لِيَكُونُوا مِنْ أَصْحَابِ السَّعِيرِ

“Indeed, Satan is an enemy to you; so take him as an enemy. He only invites his party to be among the companions of the Blaze.”

(Fatir: 6)

China Bans Xinjiang Officials from Observing Ramadan Fast

Several government departments in China’s far western region of Xinjiang have banned Muslim staff from fasting during the month of Ramadan. One department website said that civil servants cannot “take part in fasting and other religious activities”. The move comes amid tightened security in the region which has been hit by a growing number of violent attacks. Authorities blame separatist Muslim Uighurs, but Uighur leaders deny they are behind the attacks. Activists have accused Beijing of exaggerating the threat from Uighur separatists to justify a crackdown on the Uighurs’ religious and cultural freedoms. State-administered Bozhou Radio and TV University said on its website that the fasting ban applied to party members, teachers and young people. “We remind everyone that they are not permitted to observe a Ramadan fast,” it said. Similarly a weather bureau in western Xinjiang was reported by the AFP news agency to have said on its website that the ban was “in accordance with instructions from higher authorities”. Among those imposing a ban are a commercial affairs department and a government hospital which got Muslim staff to sign a written pledge that they would not fast. State-run newspapers have in addition been running editorials warning about the health dangers of fasting. [Source: BBC]

Where are the Muslim countries that enjoy close commercial ties with China, but dare not speak out about the injustices practiced by the Chinese authorities against its Muslim population? Then there are those Muslim countries that are desperate to form strategic relations with China in a bid to counter Western interference. The truth of the matter is that the disbelieving countries are same when it comes dealing with Muslims both at home and abroad.