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Iran Mediation Bazaar | Asharq AL-awsat | Instant News

With Donald Trump’s departure from the White House, doers of good have thrown their hats, or turbans, into the ring as mediators between Tehran and Washington.

First, French President Emmanuel Macron said he was ready to take advantage of Joe Biden’s chances of victory to build a bridge with Iran. Then, it was the turn of Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov who wore an honest intermediary robe. Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan is also pondering about mediation.

Last week, Qatari Foreign Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani traveled to Tehran to offer mediation. The last to join the line was Ammar al-Hakim, leader of the Iraqi National Policy Movement.

Interestingly, all of the potential mediators come from countries that have their own problems with the Islamic Republic – issues they have failed to resolve after four decades of diplomatic zigzags.

In some cases, this problem became a major obstacle to full normalization of the Khomein regime. In other cases, the problem is “the bush,” a diplomatic term for hot-tempered men who is not threatening enough to generate open hostility.

Tackling all the problems Tehran has with France, Russia, Pakistan, Qatar and Iraq will take more space than columns. So, let’s focus on the problem between Iraq and Iran.

Why didn’t Ammar al-Hakim offer to mediate between Tehran and Baghdad to get rid of the “bush”, restore bilateral relations and restore normality after four decades of war, intrigue and tension? Al-Hakim was well placed for the task.

He comes from an old Persian family and spent many years in Iran. His grandfather was Marj’a al-Taqlid (Source of Emulation) the highest Shia for a decade. By blood or marriage, he is associated with large clerical families in Iran and Iraq. In Iraq his party is one of the largest, and, unlike most of the rival Shiite groups, gets nods and winks from Ayatollah Ali Sistani the Great.

What problems should he mediate?

First, he must persuade Tehran to treat Iraq as an independent nation-state, not glacis for the Islamic Republic in its campaign for an “export revolution”.

The Kayhan daily, which reflects the views of “Supreme Advisor” Ali Khamenei, published an editorial on Monday about the visit of Ayatollah Ra’isi, head of the Islamic court, to Iraq. It concluded that “although borders are important and must be respected”, the visit demonstrated that “our revolution has dissolved nations into the ummah”.

The Tehran circle talks about the Qasr Shirin Treaty between Iran and the Ottoman Empire which gave Iran “control rights” over the “holy places” in Iraq. All of that was probably nothing more than gibberish about the fun-loving Khomein type.

What was not nonsense, however, was upgrading, arming, and funding the militias controlled by the Quds Corps. Former Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, an ally of Tehran, has spoken of instances when the Quds Corps directly intervened in Iraqi affairs.

The late General Qassem Soleimani spoke about how he often went to Iraq without telling the Iraqi government what he was doing. In the case of his crimes in Syria, at least, he claims to have received an invitation from Bashar al-Assad.

The next problem is for the Islamic Republic to stop bombarding Iraqi villages it deems “right-of-pursuit” against “Kurdish terrorists”. The Tehran media noted that Turkey did the same in Iraq. They forgot that Turkey got permission from Saddam Hussein who led the government at that time.

Next on the agenda is to rearrange the borders between the two neighbors according to the 1975 Algiers Accord. With good intentions, most of the changes caused by the 1980-88 war can be quickly corrected. The next item could be the creation of mechanisms to implement United Nations Resolution 598 ending war, to resolve issues such as responsibility for initiating hostilities, paying reparations and drafting a peace treaty to legally end the state of war.

The problem of thousands of wars killed and lost in action whose fate is unknown can also be resolved, ending decades of suffering by the many Iranian and Iraqi families who lost loved ones in the tragedy. (Last week, the Russians found and buried with military clocks the full remains of dozens of French soldiers who died in battle during Napoleon’s invasion two centuries ago.)

Another thing could be the resurgence of a 1976 agreement on Iranian pilgrimages to Shiite “holy sites” to end uncontrolled visits often led by black marketers linked to security services on both sides.

President Hassan Rouhani said Iraq is now Iran’s biggest foreign market with more than $ 10 million in goods imported. However, most of that happens in a black economy. The remainder is handled by individual smugglers who cross borders on foot or mules.

The resurgence of the 1977 trade agreement could help end the current turmoil and allow Tehran and Baghdad to secure revenue from tariffs and taxation. Establishing mutually accepted rules on charities could also help curb money laundering and tax evasion through fake religious charities linked to crime syndicates and security services.

Another problem concerns dual nationality.

An estimated 1.2 million Iraqis also hold Iranian identity documents while neither Iraqi nor Iran recognize dual nationality. This creates huge problems for many people, including the children of two citizens born in Iran or Iraq. The issue of unpaid Iraqi electricity bills imported from Iran could also be on the agenda while the old agreement on the discharge of water from Iranian rivers flowing into Iraq could be put forward for review.

The ecological crisis in the southern marshes (80 percent in Iraq, 20 percent in Iran) also calls for cooperation through common bodies.

Experts claim that the Majnun Islands, which are owned by Iran and Iraq, represent one of the largest oil fields in the world. However, despite the interests of more than 30 oil companies, no large-scale exploitation is possible without normalization between Iran and Iraq.

The draft 1977 continental shelf agreement could quickly activate, allowing the rebuilding of Um al-Qasr as a deep sea port. That will in turn finalize a similar agreement Iran, under the Shah, signed with Kuwait. The big enchilada in al-Hakim’s imaginary mediation was the reopening of Shatt al-Arab, the border waterway was closed and blocked during the war. Reopening, Shatt can ensure the rise of Basra in Iraq and Khorramshahr in Iran, the region’s largest port for centuries. Dredging and renovating the waterway could cost around $ 20 billion, worth considering if the two parties form a joint navigation management body.

Ah, we omitted the word “normalization”.

If the Islamic Republic cannot normalize relations even with Iraq, how can it be normal with America’s “Great Satan”? There can be no normalization with a regime whose leader openly says “We will never be a normal country.”

If Ammar is wise to intervene, let him start with his two hometowns.


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Men can wear dresses, forget it: Why does fashion have no gender | Instant News

Fashion is synonymous with personal expression: It’s a big part of who we are, how we present ourselves and how others perceive us. It should make us feel comfortable and confident in ourselves, while also allowing us to showcase our individuality and personality. Whether you would personally categorize yourself as “stylish”, in the end, your fashion is a part of who you are.

Beyond the rigid boundaries of gender norms that our society too often enforces, fashion is a place where people can be whoever they want to be and give us the freedom to express ourselves in any way we want. And since fashion’s main goal is to promote individuality, fashion is genderless.

Although society appears to have made great strides to break away from the grip of the traditional gender binary, both in general and in terms of fashion, this progress has really only taken place in recent years.

When I first thought about the gender binary, I imagined the classic portraits of 1950s husbands and wives, whose images project detrimental gender stereotypes on society. The man, the strong and handsome breadwinner, and his wife, a fit housewife who was assigned to look good and take care of the household, were once the blueprint for how “both sexes” should behave and appear.

Fast forward to today, while some gender stereotypes may still be prevalent, people are definitely starting to go against traditional norms. For example, society is starting to recognize gender and sex not the same and that people can identify by gender or whatever identity they perceive they embody, regardless of their anatomy.

And in terms of fashion, we’ve seen it move further away from the gender binary. Even though there are those who challenge gender fashion, such as singers David Bowie or Prince, it has become more common over the last few years to see people wearing whatever they want regardless of their gender or gender.

Women dressed in “men’s” clothes or men in “women’s” clothes are no longer an uncommon sight, and our generation generally accepts the idea that clothes are inherently genderless.

Celebrities love Ezra Miller, Billy Porter and Delevingne way are just a few of the notable figures who often boast gender-neutral looks and defy traditional gender binaries in fashion, and in recent history singer Harry Styles has joined this fashion shift.

As of November 2020, Styles is pictured on the front cover Mode wearing a dress, which sparked a big talk about gender fashion on social media. While a lot of people support and overwhelm Styles’s gender-bending outfit, there are others who openly hate her look.

A critic, conservative political commentator Candace Owens, said on Twitter that society should “Bring back the male.”

This Tweet not only perpetuates harmful gender stereotypes, but also suggests that men who wear traditional “feminine clothes” cannot be “manly” as well.

The choice of stylish fashion does not in any way nullify his identity as a man, or his masculinity, but rather allows him to express himself authentically, regardless of what society thinks.

“The clothes are there for fun and experimenting and playing around,” Styles said, according to Vogue. “What’s really interesting is that all these lines are about to break. When you pick up ‘There are clothes for men, and there are clothes for women,’ once you remove any obstructions, it’s clear you’re opening up an arena where you can play.”

When society perpetuates the idea that fashion is gendered, it ultimately only hinders our ability to not only develop our personal style but also the ability to truly show who we are – that’s why it’s so important to allow anyone, regardless of gender or gender. them, to explore freely and let them wear what they want to wear.

By breaking down the binary boundaries of gender in fashion, everyone can be who they really are without having to conform to meaningless and oppressive social standards that shouldn’t have existed in the first place.

Fashion has no gender! Forget it. Put on that dress, put on a trouser suit, that heel support – the best look is to wear what makes you feel like you.


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Prince Harry is returning to England for the first time in more than a year | Instant News


Meghan and Harry have lived in California. Photo / Getty Images

Prince Harry is set to return to England to visit his family, but he will be traveling alone.

Meghan Markle is believed to be living in California while her husband Prince Harry is returning to England for the first time since November 2019.

Multiple sources have told Britain’s Daily Mail that Harry will be traveling to visit his family for the first time since quitting royal duties and moving to the United States with Markle and their son Archie.

The couple have lived abroad since November 2019, and last visited England for their last royal engagement in March 2020.

Sources told the Daily Mail that travel plans were not finalized and the pandemic and travel restrictions would play a role in the final decision.

Queen Elizabeth II will turn 95 years old on April 21.  Photo / Getty Images
Queen Elizabeth II will turn 95 years old on April 21. Photo / Getty Images

Markle’s decision is believed to be based on “personal and practical” reasons and is not viewed as an “insult” to the royal family.

However, if she decides not to travel with her husband, the Daily Mail says it will save royal officials from “diplomatic headaches”.

The couple is expected to appear at major royal family events in the coming months such as Prince Philip’s 100th birthday in June and Queen Elizabeth’s 95th birthday.

Along with attending the unveiling of the statue he and William ordered in memory of Diana at Kensington Palace which will occur in July.

Meghan Markle may have missed the memorial opening for Harry's mother, Princess Diana.  Photo / Getty Images
Meghan Markle may have missed the memorial opening for Harry’s mother, Princess Diana. Photo / Getty Images

There is widespread concern whether the couple’s appearance can diminish the significance of events.

“It must be emphasized strongly that there is still an element of uncertainty about this due to the unpredictable Covid situation, but the understanding is that Duke is likely to return on his own,” a source told the Daily Mail.

“This is a personal and practical decision of the couple, but it will definitely help officials navigate what may become quite a complex situation.

“His Majesty made it very clear when they left England that Harry and Meghan were still very much loved members of his own family and would be most welcome to attend family functions. It still applies.

“In practical terms, however, it comes with the need for some diplomacy. There is still some distance between Harry and many family members, especially his brother. Nobody wants a repeat of the Commonwealth Service.”

A third source confirms that they were told Harry would likely return home alone.

“Harry wants to come back for the big Queen and Prince Philip birthdays. But it looks like it’s just him, ‘they said.’ If Meghan came back, her feelings would cover up the opportunity. People would just have a look at the “drama” of all.

“Of course he will be accepted, but the decision not to come will delay the headache at least temporarily.”


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Germany Investigates Spying Activities in Europe Related to Former Iranian Diplomat | Instant News

Germany is conducting an extensive investigation to trace Iranian intelligence activity on its soil, revealing documents taken from the ongoing investigation.

The activity of spies connected to Tehran is being tracked through a ledger compiled from the car of a former Iranian diplomat.

Asadollah Asadi had worked as a diplomat at the Iranian embassy in Vienna until he was arrested in Bavaria in 2018 for his involvement in planning an attempted bombing at an assembly hosted by the National Resistance Council in Iran (NCRI) outside Paris.

German authorities have handed him over to Belgium, where his trial is currently underway in the port city of Antwerp at the same time as the trial of a Belgian-Iranian couple who were arrested for attempting to carry out the attack.

When Asadi was arrested on July 1, 2018, German police found multiple documents, including a black ledger on his car, with coded dots, which appeared to be clues to building a bomb, according to a report by Germany’s Channel One TV.

The instructions found in the black ledger are believed to be aimed at the arrested couple, whose verdict is expected to be announced this February.

The Channel One report said the couple received hundreds of thousands of euros in recent years for their cooperation with Iran’s secret services.

Among other documents found on Asadi’s belongings was a 200-page green checkered ledger, with receipts showing that diplomats had distributed cash to individuals in various European countries.

The green ledger has 289 Latin and Persian records, which mention tourist attractions, shops, hotels, and restaurants, with times and dates. It is believed that Asadi had visited these spots.

German agents have learned that this information involves about 11 countries including France, Austria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Belgium, the Netherlands and Italy, but there are also 144 records of locations in Germany.

One note points to the entrance of the Islamic Center Hamburg, which is under German internal security surveillance. According to German intelligence, the center was used by the Iranian regime to “export the revolution” and was known to support the Lebanese militia.

When interrogated by the German authorities, Asadi defended himself by saying that he was just a tourist and that the sites on the green ledger were for tourist spots he used to visit accompanied by his children.

However Asadi brought several receipts that indicated a suspicious cash payment. All recipients who have signed the receipts have very common Iranian names and their identities are still unknown.

Some have received payments of between 2,500-5,000 euros. The other person has confirmed receiving the laptop. German police speculated that the payment was for espionage.

Sources at NCRI have confirmed the findings reported to Asharq Al-Awsat.

“The Iranian Intelligence Ministry has a network of agents in Europe which is managed with the help of the Iranian embassy, ​​and abuses diplomatic capabilities,” Javad Dabiran, spokesman for the Iranian opposition group, told Asharq Al-Awsat.

“Asadi is the head of Iranian intelligence in Europe and used to run a spy network,” Dabiran stressed, adding that three agents linked to the former diplomat are now facing trial in Belgium.

“At least 40% of Asadi’s meetings with his agent network were held in Germany,” he said.

Dabiran warned that there are various sleeping cells of Iranian terrorists and spy networks across Europe and they are handled by the Iranian embassy.


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The King, the Crown Prince congratulates the newly elected Swiss president | Instant News

Saudi Gazette Report

RIYADH – Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman and Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman sent a congratulatory telegram to the newly elected Swiss President Guy Parmelin.

In his congratulatory message, the King expressed his sincere congratulations and congratulated and successful on the president, praising the strong relationship between the two countries and affirming his desire to improve in order to serve the best interests of both friendly countries and their citizens.

Custodians of the Two Holy Mosques wish the Swiss president good health and happiness and to the friendly Swiss people for further progress and advancement.

The Crown Prince also expressed his utmost wishes and wished the Swiss president good luck and success.

The Swiss federal assembly elected Parmelin last month to take over as president from 2021 onwards replacing Simonetta Sommaruga.

Parmelin, from the far-right Swiss People’s Party, has served as minister of economic affairs, education and research for the past two years.

Under the unique Swiss presidential system, the president is not directly elected by the public but is elected by the federal assembly.

Parmelin was elected with 188 out of 202 valid votes.

The president in Switzerland serves a one-year term and must be a member of the seven-member Federal Council to be elected to the top office.


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