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2021.09.30 國際新聞導讀-美國國家安全顧問蘇立文訪問沙烏地、阿聯與埃及討論利比亞等區域情勢、Youtube媒體阻止反疫苗活動之宣傳、美伊核武談判受阻美國盼中國不買伊朗原油、伊拉克還沒準備好與以色列改善關係

外交官的國際新聞導覽及中東中亞的歷史故事 Diplomat's daily news review and history research on Middle East and Central Asia
2021-09-29
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2021.09.30 國際新聞導讀-美國國家安全顧問蘇立文訪問沙烏地、阿聯與埃及討論利比亞等區域情勢、Youtube媒體阻止反疫苗活動之宣傳、美伊核武談判受阻美國盼中國不買伊朗原油、伊拉克還沒準備好與以色列改善關係 埃及的塞西和美國安全顧問同意加強在利比亞的工作-聲明 通過路透 2021 年 9 月 29 日 22:01 埃及總統聲明稱,埃及總統和來訪的美國國家安全顧問傑克沙利文週三在開羅舉行的會談中同意就利比亞即將舉行的選舉加強國際努力。 聲明說,塞西總統和沙利文還討論了加沙地帶的重建、埃塞俄比亞復興大壩(GERD)、雙邊關係以及突尼斯、敘利亞、也門和伊拉克的局勢。 它沒有提到人權,白宮週二表示,在沙利文訪問期間,人權也將列入議程。 國家安全顧問傑克沙利文。華盛頓現任政府的有限支持對伊朗在加沙地帶的代理人來說是一個福音。(信用:湯姆·布倫納/路透社) 沙利文在訪問沙特阿拉伯和阿拉伯聯合酋長國後抵達開羅,並由白宮中東和北非協調員布雷特麥格克陪同。 聲明說,在利比亞問題上,雙方同意加強在外國軍隊撤出和利比亞軍事機構統一方面的協調。它補充說,塞西強調了堅持在 12 月舉行選舉的計劃的重要性。 計劃中的民意調查是聯合國領導的在多年沖突和分裂後重新統一利比亞的努力的一部分,但面臨著深刻的挑戰。 Egypt's al-Sisi and US security adviser agree to step up work on Libya - statement By REUTERS SEPTEMBER 29, 2021 22:01 EGYPTIAN PRESIDENT Abdel Fattah al-Sisi attends a ceremony in Ismailia, Egypt, in 2019 (photo credit: AMR ABDALLAH DALSH / REUTERS) Advertisement Egypt's president and visiting US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan agreed to intensify international efforts over upcoming elections in Libya at talks in Cairo on Wednesday, an Egyptian presidency statement said. President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and Sullivan also discussed reconstruction in the Gaza Strip, the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), bilateral relations and the situations in Tunisia, Syria, Yemen and Iraq, the statement said. It made no mention of human rights, which the White House said on Tuesday would also be on the agenda during Sullivan's visit. NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISOR Jake Sullivan. The limited support from the current administration in Washington is a boon for the Iranian proxies in the Gaza Strip. (credit: TOM BRENNER/REUTERS) Sullivan arrived in Cairo after trips to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates and was accompanied by Brett McGurk, White House coordinator for the Middle East and North Africa. On Libya, the two sides agreed to reinforce coordination on the withdrawal of foreign forces and the unification of Libyan military institutions, the statement said. Sisi stressed the importance of sticking to a plan to hold elections in December, it added. The planned poll is part of a United Nations-led effort to reunify Libya after years of conflict and division, but faces deep challenges. 美國宣布包括象牙嘴啄木鳥在內的23種物種滅絕 這 23 個物種中的每一個都代表著美國自然遺產的永久喪失。 通過路透 2021 年 9 月 29 日 20:53 特拉維夫的 Eretz Israel 博物館舉辦年度野生動物攝影師展覽 (照片來源:公關) 廣告 象牙嘴啄木鳥——自 1944 年以來就沒有正式出現,長期以來一直受到美國南部鳥類的追捧——是美國魚類和野生動物管理局根據周三宣布的一項提議宣布滅絕的 22 種物種之一。 該部門在一份聲明中表示,政府科學家已經竭盡全力尋找這 23 種鳥類、魚類和其他物種,並警告說,氣候變化和棲息地減少以及其他壓力可能使此類失踪事件更加普遍。 “隨著氣候變化和自然面積的減少,越來越多的物種瀕臨滅絕,現在是時候採取積極、協作和創新的努力來拯救美國的野生動物了,”美國內政部長德布·哈蘭德說。 在過去的 50,000 年中,人類已經導致數百種鳥類滅絕(來源:特拉維夫大學) 來自 Jpost 的最新文章 負責魚類和野生動物管理局物種分類的布里奇特·費伊 (Bridget Fahey) 告訴《紐約時報》,這 23 個物種中的每一個都代表著美國自然遺產的永久喪失。 “這是一個發人深省的提醒, 滅絕 是人為環境變化的結果,”法赫告訴該報。 該機構表示,滅絕的動物包括 11 隻鳥類、8 只淡水貽貝、兩種魚類、一隻蝙蝠和一種植物。 象牙嘴啄木鳥是美國最大的啄木鳥,但南部古老森林的砍伐破壞了它的棲息地。該服務表示,它最後一次確認目擊是在 1944 年在路易斯安那州東北部。 名單上還有巴赫曼鶯,被認為是美國最稀有的鳴禽之一。自 1962 年以來,它就沒有在美國出現過。 野生動物管理局將在接下來的 60 天內接受公眾意見,最終判決將於 12 月 29 日公佈,服務發言人布賴恩海雷斯說。 “這些決定是根據現有的最佳科學做出的,”他說。 US to declare 23 species, including ivory-billed woodpecker, extinct Each of the 23 species represents a permanent loss to America's natural heritage. By REUTERS SEPTEMBER 29, 2021 20:53 Tel Aviv’s Eretz Israel Museum presents Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition (photo credit: PR) Advertisement The ivory-billed woodpecker - not officially seen since 1944 and long sought by birders in the American South - is one of 22 species that would be declared extinct by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service under a proposal it announced on Wednesday. Government scientists have exhausted efforts to find these 23 bird, fish and other species and warned that climate change and dwindling habitats on top of other pressures, could make such disappearances more common, the service said in a statement. "With climate change and natural area loss pushing more and more species to the brink, now is the time to lift up proactive, collaborative, and innovative efforts to save America's wildlife," said Deb Haaland, U.S. Secretary of the Interior. Humans have caused the extinction of many hundreds of bird species over the last 50,000 years (credit: TEL AVIV UNIVERSITY) Each of the 23 species represents a permanent loss to America's natural heritage, Bridget Fahey, who oversees species classification for the Fish and Wildlife Service, told the New York Times. "And it's a sobering reminder that extinction is a consequence of human-caused environmental change," Fahey told the newspaper. The extinctions include 11 birds, eight freshwater mussels, two species of fish, a bat and a plant, the agency said. The ivory-billed woodpecker was America's largest woodpecker but logging of old growth forests in the South destroyed its habitat. Its last confirmed sighting was in 1944 in northeast Louisiana, the service said. Also on the list is Bachman's warbler, considered one of America's rarest songbirds. It has not been seen since 1962 in the United States. The wildlife service will accept public comment for the next 60 days and a final judgment will be published Dec. 29, said Brian Hires, a service spokesman. "These decisions are being made based on the best available science," he said. YouTube 阻止所有反疫苗內容 Facebook 和 Twitter 等其他科技巨頭也因沒有採取足夠措施阻止虛假健康信息在其網站上的傳播而受到批評。 通過路透 2021 年 9 月 29 日 20:22 2015 年 10 月 21 日,美國加利福尼亞州洛杉磯,洛杉磯 YouTube 空間的 YouTube 標誌。 (照片來源:路透社/露西·尼科爾森/文件照片) 廣告 它在周三的一篇博客文章中表示,YouTube 將阻止所有反疫苗內容,超越其禁止有關 COVID 疫苗的虛假信息的禁令,包括包含有關其他已批准疫苗的錯誤信息的內容。 根據 YouTube 的政策,YouTube 上不允許發布的內容示例包括聲稱流感疫苗會導致不孕症以及預防麻疹、腮腺炎和風疹的 MMR 疫苗會導致自閉症。 YouTube 發言人表示,Alphabet Inc 旗下的這家在線視頻公司還禁止與包括小羅伯特·肯尼迪和約瑟夫·默科拉在內的幾位著名反疫苗活動家有關的頻道。 2020 年 3 月 17 日,一名科學家在美國加利福尼亞州聖地亞哥的 RNA 藥物公司 Arcturus Therapeutics 的實驗室對新型冠狀病毒 (COVID-19) 疫苗進行研究。(來源:BING GUAN/REUTERS) Mercola 網站的一封新聞郵件在一份聲明中說:“我們在世界各地團結在一起,我們不會生活在恐懼中,我們將站在一起,恢復我們的自由。” 肯尼迪在一份聲明中說:“歷史上沒有任何例子表明審查和保密促進了民主或公共衛生。” 採取這些措施之際,YouTube 以及 Facebook Inc. 和 Twitter Inc. 等其他科技巨頭因未能採取足夠措施阻止虛假健康信息在其網站上的傳播而受到批評。 但即使 YouTube 對錯誤信息採取更強硬的立場,它也面臨著世界各地的強烈反對。週二,俄羅斯國家支持的廣播公司 RT 的德語頻道從 YouTube 上被刪除,因為該公司表示這些頻道違反了其 COVID-19 錯誤信息政策。 俄羅斯週三稱此舉是“前所未有的信息侵略”,並威脅要封鎖 YouTube。 YouTube blocks all anti-vaccine content Other tech giants like Facebook and Twitter have also been criticized for not doing enough to stop the spread of false health information on their websites. By REUTERS SEPTEMBER 29, 2021 20:22 YouTube logo at the YouTube Space LA in Playa Del Rey, Los Angeles, California, United States October 21, 2015. (photo credit: REUTERS/LUCY NICHOLSON/FILE PHOTO) Advertisement YouTube will block all anti-vaccine content, moving beyond its ban on false information about the COVID vaccines to include content that contains misinformation about other approved vaccines, it said in a blog post on Wednesday. Examples of content that won't be allowed on YouTube include claims that the flu vaccine causes infertility and that the MMR shot, which protects against measles, mumps, and rubella, can cause autism, according to YouTube's policies. The online video company owned by Alphabet Inc is also banning channels associated with several prominent anti-vaccine activists including Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and Joseph Mercola, a YouTube spokesperson said. A scientist conducts research on a vaccine for the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) at the laboratories of RNA medicines company Arcturus Therapeutics in San Diego, California, U.S., March 17, 2020. (credit: BING GUAN/REUTERS) A press email for Mercola's website said in a statement: "We are united across the world, we will not live in fear, we will stand together and restore our freedoms." Kennedy said in a statement: "There is no instance in history when censorship and secrecy has advanced either democracy or public health.” The moves come as YouTube and other tech giants like Facebook Inc. and Twitter Inc. have been criticized for not doing enough to stop the spread of false health information on their sites. But even as YouTube takes a tougher stance on misinformation, it faces backlash around the world. On Tuesday, Russian state-backed broadcaster RT's German-language channels were deleted from YouTube, as the company said the channels had breached its COVID-19 misinformation policy. Russia on Wednesday called the move "unprecedented information aggression," and threatened to block YouTube. 伊朗海軍指揮官強調海軍成功——分析 伊拉尼說,伊朗海軍一直在幫助海上救援人員。他還強調了其種族多樣性。 作者:SETH J. FRANZMAN 2021 年 9 月 29 日 17:51 伊朗海軍艦艇進行訓練演習 (圖片來源:維基共享資源) 廣告 伊朗海軍負責人沙赫拉姆·伊拉尼上將最近訪問了他來自的伊朗庫爾德地區。據伊朗報導,他當時在薩南達季,在那裡他在電視節目中發表講話並舉行了其他會議。 他強調了海軍最近取得的成功,並鼓勵伊朗庫爾德青年受到這些近期成功的鼓舞。伊朗的庫爾德社區有時被政權邊緣化,伊朗與許多庫爾德持不同政見者團體對抗。 然而,與土耳其、敘利亞和伊拉克不同,伊朗的庫爾德人沒有面臨種族滅絕,也沒有試圖抹去他們的身份或剝奪他們的公民身份。 伊朗法爾斯通訊社和塔斯尼姆通訊社援引伊拉尼的話說:“伊朗人民和庫爾德斯坦省人民有必要知道,國際組織多次鼓勵我們採取一些有益的行動。” 他說,伊朗海軍一直在幫助海上救援人員。他強調了伊朗海軍的多樣性,並補充說,在海軍服役的人來自伊朗的許多民族。 “我們的日常努力和戰略是能夠以最好的方式和最高的權威舉起我們國家的旗幟,”伊拉尼說。 上週,一艘油輪在阿曼灣遭到襲擊後,一艘伊朗海軍船隻正在撲滅著火。(來源:塔斯尼姆新聞社) 伊朗希望擴大其海軍並使之現代化。然而,伊朗海軍也因來自伊斯蘭革命衛隊的競爭而缺乏資源,伊斯蘭革命衛隊在伊拉克擁有自己的海軍部隊。近年來,海軍遭遇挫折,包括一場大火,導致其最大的船隻之一沉沒。 今年,海軍派出兩艘艦艇遠航俄羅斯,展示伊朗實力。報告稱,伊拉尼“進一步呼籲庫爾德斯坦青年、學者和科學家進入這一領域,並通過獲得知識和意識來追隨他們的腳步,因為這方面的空間和平台已經準備就緒”。這位海軍上將說,最近對俄羅斯的海軍任務已經覆蓋了大約 45,000 公里。 “我很高興今天回到我的家鄉,”伊拉尼在接受媒體採訪時說。“我親吻了庫爾德斯坦每一位親愛的人民的手。” 這表明伊朗海軍指揮官如何能夠強調他的庫爾德背景,而伊拉克、土耳其和敘利亞的一些民族主義媒體經常發表反庫爾德觀點。 伊朗希望利用其海軍與中國、俄羅斯和其他國家建立更牢固的關係。雖然伊朗海軍不是美國的對手,但伊朗經常用它來表明它可以威脅到它的敵人。 例如,最近與以色列的緊張關係導致伊朗對商業航運進行攻擊。這些襲擊通常由伊斯蘭革命衛隊領導,而不是伊朗的常規海軍部隊。 美國,中國,伊朗三角:在岩石和堅硬的地方之間 在讓伊朗花費數月時間以越來越危險的方式違反 JCPOA 的核限制和檢查之後,美國尋求中國幫助的最新舉措是軟弱的。 作者:尤娜傑瑞米鮑勃 2021 年 9 月 29 日 16:03 3月27日,伊朗外長穆罕默德·賈瓦德·扎里夫和中國外長王毅在德黑蘭舉行的25年合作協議簽署儀式上肘擊肘部。 (圖片來源:MAJID ASGARIPOUR/WANA(西亞新聞社)通過路透社) 廣告 美國終於製定了一項計劃,試圖迫使伊朗重返 2015 年的 JCPOA 核協議並遵守 IAEA 的檢查。 問題是該計劃是陷阱,幾乎可以肯定會提前失敗。 據路透社週二報導,美國和歐盟將求助於中國,試圖讓中國減少從伊斯蘭共和國的石油採購。 最近的報告估計,中國在 2021 年每天至少進口 553,000 桶石油。儘管這與中國過去和如果沒有製裁可能進口的石油還有很大差距,但也足以讓德黑蘭在經濟上站穩腳跟並無視西方的壓力。 在阿亞圖拉更符合美國和西方願望的階段,中國每天進口零桶,或者最多在 100,000-200,000 範圍內。 2021 年 9 月 21 日在美國紐約舉行的第 76 屆聯合國大會期間,伊朗裔美國人在聯合國總部外集會反對 Ebrahim Raisi。(圖片來源:REUTERS/DAVID 'DEE' DELGADO) 但在這一點上,華盛頓說服北京對伊朗採取更強硬路線的可能性很小。 在 9 月 24 日的吹風會上,中國外交部將責任推給了美國而不是伊朗,他說:“美國作為伊朗核局勢新一輪緊張局勢的始作俑者,應該糾正其極限施壓的錯誤政策。伊朗問題,取消對伊朗的所有非法制裁和對第三方的長臂管轄措施,努力恢復談判並早日取得成果,“根據部筆錄。 甚至有可能伊斯蘭共和國最近採取部分違背與國際原子能機構總幹事拉斐爾格羅西的協議的舉動是在中國發表聲明之後,並得到了中國國家主席習近平的支持。 由於當前中國與美國總統喬拜登政府(以及之前的美國總統唐納德特朗普政府)之間的全面貿易戰,北京幾乎沒有動力與華盛頓合作對抗德黑蘭。 事實上,中國人甚至可能喜歡伊朗為美國製造更多麻煩,以此作為在更廣泛的貿易戰中讓步的一種方式。 在特朗普任期內,只要特朗普在與中國加強合作的模式下運作,習近平就會下令在伊朗問題上與美國臨時合作。 如果拜登政府願意向北京做出讓步,很可能會找到更多的盟友向伊斯蘭共和國施壓。 然而,這種情況不太可能發生,因為華盛頓已將中國列為其首要外交政策挑戰。伊朗可能被視為遙遠的第三個甚至更低的優先事項。 那麼,如果華盛頓不願意給中國任何它想要的東西,它為什麼希望在製裁伊朗石油進口方面有任何合作? 當然,美國可以直接對中國實施更嚴厲的製裁來威脅習近平,但目前尚不清楚即使那樣會導致任何短期讓步。美國對中國的壓力越來越大,通常只會導致更緊張的對峙,或者經過幾個月的談判後只是做出微小的讓步。 影響中國的短期希望的唯一來源是國際原子能機構本身。 可能是因為該機構的非政治技術專家宣布伊朗不合作,這可能會影響中國要求伊朗更多地遵守允許進入目前有爭議的卡拉傑核設施。 具有諷刺意味的是,這可能是伊朗的戰略。 製造關於卡拉伊的二次危機可能會轉移人們對其持​​續 60% 鈾濃縮的注意力,並為它爭取時間隱瞞其他核軍事活動,這意味著它可以在以後通過同意進入卡拉伊來宣布它表現出“靈活性”——這是它已經同意的9 月 12 日。 與此同時,隨著可能的隱蔽活動,該國以 60% 的鈾濃縮率可能還會再過去一個月或更長時間。這意味著,如果原子能機構恢復全面檢查,伊朗可能已經秘密實現了更多核目標,以便在其選擇的稍後某個時間突破核武器。 阿亞圖拉可能準備在未來幾週或幾個月內宣布,他們有足夠的武器化鈾來製造核彈——儘管目前幾乎沒有分析人士預計到這種情況。 無論哪種方式,在讓伊朗花費數月時間以越來越危險的方式違反《聯合綜合行動計劃》的核限制和檢查之後,美國尋求中國幫助的最新舉措與華盛頓所能採取的行動一樣軟弱。 它繼續向德黑蘭發出信號,在拜登將在經濟上採取更強有力的行動之前,該政權可以阻撓至少幾週——甚至幾個月——之前,更不用說軍事了。 如果美國公開宣布新的全面製裁新聞,那將是另一回事。 但是到目前為止,中國牌雖然很弱,但與提前讓對方知道您在虛張聲勢沒有太大區別。 US, China, Iran triangle: Between a rock and a hard place The latest US move to seek help from China after letting Iran spend several months with increasingly dangerous violations of the JCPOA’s nuclear limits and inspections is weak. By YONAH JEREMY BOB SEPTEMBER 29, 2021 16:03 Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi bump elbows during the signing ceremony of a 25-year cooperation agreement, in Tehran on March 27. (photo credit: MAJID ASGARIPOUR/WANA (WEST ASIA NEWS AGENCY) VIA REUTERS) Advertisement There is finally a US plan for trying to pressure Iran into coming back to the 2015 JCPOA nuclear deal and complying with IAEA inspections. The problem is that the plan is booby-trapped and almost certainly condemned to failure in advance. The US and the EU will turn to China to try to get it to reduce its oil purchases from the Islamic Republic, Reuters reported Tuesday. Recent reports estimate China has been importing at least 553,000 barrels of oil per day in 2021. Though this is still a far cry from what China was and might be importing if there were no sanctions, it is also enough to keep Tehran on its feet economically and defiant against Western pressure. At stages in which the ayatollahs were more compliant with US and Western wishes, China was importing zero barrels per day or, at most, in the 100,000-200,000 range. Iranian Americans rally against Ebrahim Raisi outside the United Nations headquarters during the 76th Session of the U.N. General Assembly, in New York, US, September 21, 2021. (credit: REUTERS/DAVID 'DEE' DELGADO) But the chances at this point are low of Washington convincing Beijing to play ball on a tougher line with Iran. In a September 24 briefing, the Chinese Foreign Ministry put the onus on the US rather than on Iran, stating: “As the one that started the new round of tensions in the Iranian nuclear situation, the US should redress its wrong policy of maximum pressure on Iran, lift all illegal sanctions on Iran and measures of long-arm jurisdiction on third parties, and work to resume negotiations and achieve outcomes at an early date,” according to a ministry transcript. It is even possible that the Islamic Republic’s latest move to partially renege on its deal with International Atomic Energy Agency Director-General Rafael Grossi came after this Chinese pronouncement with the knowledge of backing from Chinese President Xi Jinping. Due to the current all-out trade war between China and US President Joe Biden’s administration (as well as US president Donald Trump’s administration before), there is little to no incentive for Beijing to cooperate with Washington against Tehran. In fact, the Chinese may even enjoy Iran making further trouble for the US as a way to get concessions in the broader trade war. During Trump’s term, there were brief periods in which Xi ordered temporary cooperation with the US on Iranian issues as long as Trump was operating in a mode of greater cooperation with China. If the Biden administration was willing to make concessions to Beijing, it is quite possible that it would find more of an ally in pressuring the Islamic Republic. However, this is an unlikely scenario, as Washington has named China as its No. 1 foreign-policy challenge. Iran is likely seen as a distant third or even lower-down priority. So if Washington is unwilling to give China anything it wants, why would it expect any cooperation on sanctions regarding Iranian oil imports? Of course, the US can threaten Xi with harsher sanctions enforcement directly against China, but it is unclear that even that would lead to any short-term concessions. Increased pressure from America on China often simply leads to an even tenser standoff or mere minor concessions after several months of talks. The only source of short-term hope in influencing China is the IAEA itself. Possibly, since the nonpolitical technocrats of the agency are declaring Iran noncooperative, this could influence China to demand greater Iranian compliance with allowing access to the Karaj nuclear facility, which is currently in dispute. Ironically, this may be Iran’s strategy. Creating a secondary crisis about Karaj could deflect attention from its continued 60% uranium enrichment and buy it time to conceal other nuclear military activities, meaning it can later declare it is showing “flexibility” by agreeing to access to Karaj – something it already agreed to on September 12. In the meantime, likely another month or more will have passed with the country enriching uranium at 60% alongside possible concealed activities. That means if and when full IAEA inspections are restored, the Islamic Republic may have clandestinely achieved many more of its nuclear goals for a breakout to a nuclear weapon at some later point of its choosing. There is also an outside shot that the ayatollahs may be preparing to announce in the coming weeks or months that they have enough weaponized uranium for a nuclear bomb – though almost no analysts expect this scenario at this time. Either way, the latest US move to seek help from China after letting Iran spend several months with increasingly dangerous violations of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action’s nuclear limits and inspections is about as weak a move as Washington could make. It continues to signal to Tehran that the regime can stonewall for at least several more weeks – and maybe months – before Biden will take stronger action economically, let alone militarily. If the US announces a new full-court press of sanctions publicly, that would be a different story. But the China card, as weak as it is being played so far, is not much different than letting the other side know in advance that you are bluffing. 美國,卡塔爾制裁真主黨金融網絡 該部門在其網站上說,這些人包括卡塔爾、沙特阿拉伯和巴林的公民,以及一名巴勒斯坦人。 通過路透 2021 年 9 月 29 日 18:30 在黎巴嫩馬爾賈永揮舞真主黨旗幟。 (照片來源:AZIZ TAHER/REUTERS) 廣告 美國財政部在一份聲明中說,美國和卡塔爾週三針對阿拉伯半島的真主黨金融網絡採取了協調行動。 財政部表示,它已指認包括 Ali Reda Hassan al-Banai、Ali Reda al-Qassabi Lari 和 Abd al-Muayyid al-Banaiare 在內的個人為華盛頓擁有的黎巴嫩什葉派伊斯蘭組織真主黨提供了財政或物質支持。被認定為外國恐怖組織。 財政部表示,卡塔爾也指定了該網絡,但沒有詳細說明這些行動。 “真主黨試圖通過發展全球金融家網絡來充實其金庫並支持其恐怖主義活動,從而濫用國際金融體系,”該部門外國資產控制辦公室主任安德里亞·加奇說。 真主黨旗幟(來源:REUTERS) “這個真主黨金融網絡的跨境性質凸顯了我們與卡塔爾政府等國際夥伴繼續合作的重要性,以保護美國和國際金融體系免受恐怖分子的濫用。” 該部門在其網站上說,這些人包括卡塔爾、沙特阿拉伯和巴林的公民,以及一名巴勒斯坦人。 國務卿安東尼·布林肯表示,此舉是華盛頓與海灣合作委員會成員採取的“最重要的聯合行動之一”,並敦促其他政府效仿以打擊真主黨。 布林肯在一份聲明中說,巴林還同時凍結了與該網絡相關的銀行賬戶,並將三人轉介到其檢察官辦公室。 US, Qatar target Hezbollah financial network with sanctions The individuals include citizens of Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, as well as a Palestinian, the department said on its website. By REUTERS SEPTEMBER 29, 2021 18:30 WAVING THE Hezbollah flag in Marjayoun, Lebanon. (photo credit: AZIZ TAHER/REUTERS) Advertisement The United States and Qatar took coordinated action on Wednesday targeting a Hezbollah financial network in the Arabian Peninsula, the US Treasury Department said in a statement. The Treasury said it designated individuals including Ali Reda Hassan al-Banai, Ali Reda al-Qassabi Lari and Abd al-Muayyid al-Banaiare for having provided financial or material support to Hezbollah, the Lebanon-based Shi'ite Islamist group that Washington has designated as a foreign terrorist organization. Qatar had also designated the network, the Treasury said, but it did not detail those actions. "Hezbollah seeks to abuse the international financial system by developing global networks of financiers to fill its coffers and support its terrorist activity," said Andrea Gacki, director of the department's Office of Foreign Assets Control. The Hezbollah flag (credit: REUTERS) "The cross-border nature of this Hezbollah financial network underscores the importance of our continued cooperation with international partners, such as the Government of Qatar, to protect the US and international financial systems from terrorist abuse." The individuals include citizens of Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, as well as a Palestinian, the department said on its website. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the move was "one of the most significant joint actions" Washington has taken with a member of the Gulf Cooperation Council, and urged other governments to follow suit in targeting Hezbollah. Bahrain had also concurrently frozen bank accounts related to the network and referred three individuals to its prosecutor's office, Blinken said in a statement. 從薩達姆到伊朗民兵:伊拉克人不能暗示與以色列的關係 伊拉克試圖阻止任何有關以色列或亞伯拉罕協議的討論與伊朗的地區野心有關。 作者:SETH J. FRANZMAN 2021 年 9 月 29 日 12:33 伊拉克總統巴勒姆·薩利赫於 2021 年 8 月 5 日在伊朗德黑蘭會見了伊朗新任總統易卜拉欣·賴西。 (圖片來源:伊拉克共和國總統辦公室/REUTERS 講義) 廣告 參加會議的伊拉克人據報導暗示以色列和伊拉克之間存在關係,但伊拉克最高層面臨監禁和譴責的威脅。 騷動並不奇怪。這是在巴格達對以色列擺出姿態的一部分。支持這種反應的不是伊拉克的官僚機構,甚至不是普通的伊拉克人,而是伊朗及其在伊拉克的民兵的手,他們想利用該國作為攻擊猶太國家、美國和其他國家的平台。 了解這裡的背景很重要。伊拉克過去曾試圖將自己置於該地區反以色列鬥爭的最前沿。在薩達姆·侯賽因 (Saddam Hussein) 的統治下,該國領導了針對以色列的地區性言論,甚至在海灣戰爭期間向其發射飛毛腿導彈。導彈是一個已經筋疲力盡的政權的最後一口氣,該政權已經精疲力盡,入侵科威特並威脅沙特阿拉伯,挑起一個以美國為首的大型聯盟,將薩達姆逐出科威特並導致伊拉克走向毀滅。 但薩達姆的威脅比飛毛腿更嚴重。該政權是 1980 年代的地區強國。它曾試圖推動核武器,導致以色列在 1982 年襲擊了奧西拉克反應堆。除此之外,伊拉克還參加了三場針對以色列的戰爭:1948 年、1967 年和 1973 年。它在 1948 年的戰爭中包括派遣小部隊遠至傑寧地區。 1973 年,伊拉克向敘利亞派遣了其第 3 裝甲師的部分人員以協助對以色列的戰爭,從而出現了更嚴重的伊拉克威脅。伊拉克軍隊在 10 月 11 日至 14 日期間遭到重創。伊拉克還對其少數猶太人採取行動,試圖因以色列的存在而懲罰他們的殘餘勢力。1969 年,14 名猶太人在伊拉克被絞死,被指控為“間諜”。 這就是伊拉克反以立場的背景。在這種立場上,伊拉克是侵略者,該國自 1940 年代以來一直對以色列發動戰爭,並試圖在針對這個猶太國家的地區努力中發揮帶頭作用。這些努力曾經在阿拉伯民族主義或薩達姆侯賽因試圖控制中東的旗幟下進行,現在已經發生了變化,因為伊朗支持的民兵正在滲透到一個更弱的伊拉克。 沒有真正的證據表明普通伊拉克人很關心或經常想到以色列。伊拉克是一個遭受極端貧困、經濟困境、環境災難和親伊朗民兵佔領的國家,這些民兵針對的是學者、媒體和敢於批評德黑蘭的其他人。它也是一個非常分裂的社會,伊拉克什葉派表面上在伊朗的影響下擁有權力,而伊拉克遜尼派在薩達姆領導下管理伊拉克後,近幾十年來被推到一邊。 伊拉克庫爾德自治區一直試圖與這種宗派極端主義保持距離,並為伊拉克展示一條更加開放的前進道路。 然而,庫爾德地區在試圖與伊拉克其他地區不同的過程中也遇到了許多障礙。它受到伊朗和伊朗特工和民兵的威脅。民兵經常以駐紮在庫爾德地區埃爾比勒的美軍為目標。這些部隊是美國領導的打擊伊斯蘭國聯盟的一部分,自 2014 年以來應巴格達的邀請進入伊拉克。他們的發言人在推特上與暗示與以色列的關係的“會議”保持距離,這說明他們是多麼擔心被捲入某種爭議。 多年來,庫爾德地區經常被伊朗和土耳其指責對以色列過於開放。這可以追溯到庫爾德人與猶太人之間的歷史聯繫,也是為了支持以色列在 1960 年代和 70 年代抵抗薩達姆的種族滅絕統治時給予庫爾德地區的支持。在那些日子裡,在德黑蘭更願意接受耶路撒冷的時候,對庫爾德人的支持將通過伊朗。 現在一切都顛倒了。伊朗是該地區最反以色列的國家,而阿拉伯國家大多與以色列保持和平。亞伯拉罕協議是這種變化的一部分。對德黑蘭試圖滲透並讓民兵控制伊拉克、也門、敘利亞和黎巴嫩的擔憂是該地區國家將以色列視為對抗伊朗的潛在夥伴的原因之一。 伊拉克南部薩達姆侯賽因的子彈頭壁畫,沿著通往巴格達的道路(圖片來源:PICRYL) 但這種夥伴關係的看法有其局限性。有 300 名伊拉克人參加了在庫爾德斯坦地區埃爾比勒舉行的支持亞伯拉罕協議和與以色列的關係的活動的報導在巴格達引起了憤怒。很多憤怒,以及要求對參與者開庭審理的呼籲,都是美德信號。目標是讓伊拉克政界人士,從總統到穆克塔達·薩德爾,爭先恐後地炫耀誰能譴責會議和以色列。 薩德爾必須擺出姿態,因為他多年來一直掌握著巴格達的權力。在伊朗通過哈迪·阿米里的法塔赫聯盟在議會中發揮影響力的伊朗在巴格達的角色與近年來與沙特阿拉伯和其他國家的接觸之間,薩德爾必須表明他在以色列問題上的強硬態度。 總理和總統也必須擺出姿態。巴勒姆·薩利赫總統是庫爾德人,在沒有伊朗統治的正常伊拉克不會反以色列。但這位曾經的學者發表了一份聲明。現任總理穆斯塔法·卡迪米 (Mustafa al-Kadhimi) 在親伊朗民兵於 2019 年屠殺伊拉克人之後上台。以色列問題。“提出正常化的概念在伊拉克國家在憲法、法律和政治上遭到拒絕,”總理辦公室的聲明中寫道。 埃爾比勒討論以色列的事件也發生在伊拉克選舉之前,所以政客們必須假裝對這次會議非常生氣。此外,被稱為“伊拉克覺醒之子”運動領袖的 Wisam al-Hardan 也在華爾街日報的一篇評論文章中寫到了這一事件。“他說它聚集了300 多人,包括來自巴格達、摩蘇爾、安巴爾、巴別塔、薩拉哈丁和迪亞拉的 10 月抗議運動的部落領袖、知識分子和青年活動家,”報導稱。現在伊拉克據說已經下令逮捕參與的官員。 伊拉克的“憤怒”似乎更像是口頭上的,而不是現實。《阿拉伯周刊》稱,這一事件落入了親伊朗的民兵之手。這是一個正確的分析,因為這些民兵想要針對埃爾比勒,並指責庫爾德人過去是親以色列的,甚至是伊拉克境內的“第二以色列”。親伊朗媒體中的頻繁謠言將埃爾比勒描繪為與以色列有聯繫,或撰寫有關伊拉克“摩薩德基地”的文章。 這是一些地區媒體浮出水面的歷史陰謀謠言散佈胡說八道的一部分,旨在通過對普通人的耳朵低聲說“以色列”或“猶太人”是替罪羊來分散他們對家庭失敗的注意力。當然,這會產生非常真實的後果,其根源還在於該地區和歐洲的歷史反猶太主義,可以追溯到大馬士革血腥誹謗和其他臭名昭著的事件。 亞伯拉罕協議本可以為更細緻地討論以色列與該地區國家之間的關係打開大門,無論是伊拉克、突尼斯、阿曼、卡塔爾還是其他國家。我們今天看到的是,對以色列的敵意往往來自親伊朗民兵佔領的國家,這意味著反對是槍桿子上的。 該地區更大的故事是,埃及、約旦和其他國家希望伊拉克與敘利亞一起重新加入阿拉伯世界,並削弱伊朗的觸角。為此,在巴格達舉行了高層會議,海灣國家、埃及、約旦和其他國家都在會上尋求支持伊拉克的立場。甚至法國也參加了,巴格達將自己定位為土耳其、伊朗和沙特阿拉伯甚至可能會面討論地區問題的地方。約旦已宣布計劃開放與敘利亞的邊界。 但這一切與埃爾比勒會議有什麼關係? 為了展示在該地區強大的資格,伊拉克領導人認為有必要炫耀反以色列的言論。同時,發生兩個並行過程。“我們在境外建立了六支軍隊。這些軍隊包括黎巴嫩真主黨、哈馬斯和聖戰運動、敘利亞政權部隊、伊拉克人民動員部隊和也門的胡塞民兵,”據報導,一名伊朗指揮官本週表示。 與此同時,路透社報導稱,“身份不明的飛機”襲擊了敘利亞的親伊朗民兵。過去,伊朗及其在伊拉克的盟軍民兵曾指責以色列發動了這些空襲。美國還在敘利亞打擊了親伊朗的民兵組織。 這很重要,因為德黑蘭將伊拉克作為民兵基地,通過以色列的阿爾布卡邁勒過境點向敘利亞和真主黨運送武器。2018 年,其中一個民兵組織 Kataib Hezbollah 的總部在敘利亞遭到襲擊。其領導人阿布·馬赫迪·穆罕迪斯 (Abu Mahdi Al-Muhandis) 在美國於 2020 年 1 月擊斃伊朗的卡西姆·蘇萊曼尼 (Qasem Soleimani) 的空襲中喪生。 與此同時,伊朗是 2017 年 9 月強烈反對庫爾德地區獨立公投的國家之一。 在公投前夕,在埃爾比勒和杜胡克等地的集會上,許多以色列國旗飄揚。 因此,重要的是要看到對最近這次會議的反對與這些區域構造變化直接相關。伊朗及其在巴格達的民兵盟友不僅希望以伊拉克為平台,通過向伊拉克運送彈道導彈、無人機和武器來打擊以色列,而且還希望確保伊拉克境內沒有人能夠表達支持以色列或批評伊朗。這就是為什麼伊朗可能會在 2020 年下令謀殺伊拉克研究員 Hisham al-Hashimi,並在 2021 年下令謀殺黎巴嫩出版商 Lokman Slim,以此作為壓制任何批評知識分子聲音的運動的一部分。 伊拉克的言論,以及試圖關閉任何關於以色列或亞伯拉罕協議的討論,都與伊朗的地區野心有關,並試圖讓任何越軌的人保持沉默。與此同時,人們認為該事件分散了注意力,甚至以某種方式幫助了選舉前的親伊朗議程,這種看法是基於這樣一種觀點,即在伊拉克從伊朗體制中撬開伊拉克的唯一途徑。地區是推動伊拉克民族主義的聲音。 這一理論——伊拉克民族主義可以取代伊朗的觸角——可以追溯到 2016 年和 2017 年的時代,當時西方政策制定者在打擊伊斯蘭國的戰爭期間試圖支持伊拉克總理海德爾·阿巴迪。事實上,試圖加強他,甚至薩德爾,導致西方反對 2017 年的庫爾德公投。 那一年庫爾德地區集會上出現的以色列國旗讓德黑蘭感到震驚。結果是庫爾德地區被削弱,伊朗被加強,更加擔心美國和其他國家是否會留在伊拉克。 現在隸屬於中央司令部行動區的以色列也被捲入了可能涉及美國在伊拉克的聯盟的任何爭議,從而引發了聯盟與這次會議保持距離的推文。 伊拉克人今天無法在不擔心受到迫害或起訴的情況下討論以色列。黎巴嫩真主黨也使用這些相同的法律手段來壓制任何可能對這個猶太國家開放的討論。黎巴嫩、伊拉克和其他國家的人們正在悄悄地更加積極地看待亞伯拉罕協議和該地區的其他趨勢。 對伊拉克人施加的限制不僅來自薩達姆反以色列統治的遺產,還來自伊朗試圖利用他們的國家對抗以色列的新嘗試。對於該地區的許多人來說,劫持伊拉克的企圖不符合任何人的利益。這次會議成為這場更廣泛爭議的象徵。 From Saddam to Iran’s militias: Iraqis cannot suggest ties with Israel The attempt in Iraq to shut down any discussion about Israel or the Abraham Accords is tied to Iran’s regional ambitions. By SETH J. FRANTZMAN SEPTEMBER 29, 2021 12:33 Iraq's President Barham Salih meets with Iran's new President Ebrahim Raisi in Tehran, Iran August 5, 2021. (photo credit: Presidency of the Republic of Iraq Office/Handout via REUTERS) Advertisement Iraqis who took part in a meeting that reportedly suggested ties between Israel and Iraq have faced threats of imprisonment and condemnation at the highest levels in Iraq. The uproar is not surprising. It is part of posturing in Baghdad against Israel. Underpinning the reaction is not Iraq’s bureaucracy or even average Iraqis, but rather the hand of Iran and its militias in Iraq who want to use the country as a platform for attacks on the Jewish state, the US and others. It is important to understand the background here. Iraq has attempted in the past to posture as being at the forefront of anti-Israel struggles in the region. Under Saddam Hussein’s regime, the country led regional rhetoric against Israel, even firing Scud missiles at it during the Gulf War. The missiles were the last gasps of a failing regime that had already exhausted itself invading Kuwait and threatening Saudi Arabia, provoking a large US-led coalition that ejected Saddam from Kuwait and led Iraq to ruin. But Saddam’s threat was more serious than the Scuds. The regime was a regional powerhouse in the 1980s. It had attempted a push for nuclear weapons, which led to the Israeli strike on the Osirak reactor in 1982. More than that, Iraq had participated in three wars against Israel: in 1948, 1967 and 1973. Its participation in the 1948 war included sending small forces as far as the Jenin area. In 1973, a more serious Iraqi threat emerged when the country sent elements of its 3rd Armored Division to Syria to aid the war against Israel. The Iraqi forces were decimated between October 11 and 14. Iraq also acted against its Jewish minority, seeking to punish their remnants over the existence of Israel. In 1969, fourteen Jews were hanged in Iraq, accused of being “spies.” This is the background of Iraq’s anti-Israel stance. It is a stance in which Iraq is the aggressor, a country that has waged war against Israel since the 1940s and sought to take the lead in regional efforts against the Jewish state. Where once these efforts were waged under the banner of Arab nationalism or Saddam Hussein’s attempt to control the Middle East, they have now shifted because a much weaker Iraq is now being infiltrated by Iranian-backed militias. There is no real evidence that the average Iraqi cares much or thinks about Israel often. Iraq is a country suffering extreme deprivation, economic woes, environmental catastrophes and occupation by pro-Iranian militias that target academics, media and others who dare to critique Tehran. It is also a very divided society, with Iraqi Shi’ites ostensibly having power under Iran’s influence, and Iraqi Sunnis pushed aside in recent decades, after having run Iraq under Saddam. THE AUTONOMOUS Kurdistan Region of Iraq has sought to distance itself from this sectarian extremism and showcase a more open minded path forward for Iraq. However, the Kurdish region also has many obstacles in its attempt to be different than the rest of Iraq. It is threatened by Iran and Iranian agents and militias. The militias frequently target US forces who are based in Erbil in the Kurdish region. Those forces are part of the US-led coalition against ISIS and are in Iraq at the invitation of Baghdad since 2014. They are in a precarious position; a tweet by their spokesperson distancing themselves from the “conference” that suggested ties with Israel illustrates how concerned they are to be drawn into some kind of controversy. Over the years, the Kurdish region has often been accused by Iran and also by Turkey of being too open to Israel. This dates from historic ties that Kurds have had with Jews and also to support that Israel gave to the Kurdish region in the 1960s and 70s when it was resisting Saddam’s genocidal rule. In those days, support for Kurds would go through Iran, at a time when Tehran was more amenable to Jerusalem. Now everything is reversed. Iran is the most anti-Israel country in the region, while the Arab states are mostly at peace with Israel. The Abraham Accords are part of that change. Concerns over Tehran’s attempt to infiltrate and place militias in control of Iraq, Yemen, Syria and Lebanon are one reason that countries in the region see Israel as a potential partner against Iran. BULLET-RIDDLED mural of Saddam Hussein in southern Iraq, along the road to Baghdad (credit: PICRYL) But that perception of partnership has its limits. The reports that 300 Iraqis took part in an event in Erbil in the Kurdistan region, supporting the Abraham Accords and ties with Israel, were greeted with anger in Baghdad. A lot of the anger, as well as calls for court cases to be opened against participants, is virtue signaling. The goal is for Iraqi politicians, from the president to Muqtada al-Sadr, to jump over one another to show off who can condemn the conference and Israel. Al-Sadr must posture because he has been holding the keys to power in Baghdad for years. Navigating between Iran’s role in Baghdad in which Iran has influence through Hadi al-Amiri’s Fatah Alliance in parliament, and his outreach to Saudi Arabia and other states in recent years, Sadr must show that he is tough on the Israel issue. THE PRIME Minister and president must posture as well. President Barham Salih is Kurdish and would not be anti-Israel in a normal Iraq, free from Iran’s domination. But the one-time academic has put out a statement. Current prime minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi came to power after pro-Iran militias massacred Iraqis in 2019. He is also someone that in a normal world, untethered from Iran’s guns in Iraq, would be open minded, liberal and able to show nuance on the Israel issue. “Proposing the concept of normalization is constitutionally, legally and politically rejected in the Iraqi state,” read the statement from the Prime Minister's Office. The event in Erbil discussing Israel also comes prior to Iraqi elections, so politicians must pretend to be very angry about this conference. In addition Wisam al-Hardan, who is described as a “leader of the 'Sons of Iraq Awakening' movement” also wrote about the event in an opinion piece for The Wall Street Journal. “He said it gathered more than 300 people, including tribal leaders, intellectuals and youth activists from the October protest movement, from Baghdad, Mosul, Anbar, Babel, Salahaddin and Diyala,” reports claimed. Now Iraq has supposedly ordered the arrest of officials who took part. The “outrage” in Iraq appears more like lip service than reality. The Arab Weekly says the event played into the hands of pro-Iran militias. That is a correct analysis since these militias want to target Erbil and have accused Kurds in the past of being pro-Israel or even a “second Israel” within Iraq. Frequent rumors in pro-Iran media paint Erbil as being linked to Israel or write about “Mossad bases” in Iraq. This is part of the historical conspiracy rumor-mongering nonsense that boils to the surface in some regional media, designed to distract the average person from failings at home by whispering into their ears that “Israel” or “the Jews” are the scapegoat. Of course this has very real consequences and also has its roots in historical antisemitism in the region and Europe, going back to the Damascus Blood Libel and other infamous incidents. The Abraham Accords could have opened the door for more nuanced discussions about relations between Israel and countries in the region, whether it be Iraq, Tunisia, Oman, Qatar or others. What we see today is that hostility to Israel is often coming from countries occupied by pro-Iran militias, meaning that opposition comes at the barrel of a gun. THE LARGER story in the region is that Egypt, Jordan and other states want Iraq to rejoin the Arab world along with Syria, and to diminish the reach of Iran’s tentacles. Toward that end there have been high-level meetings in Baghdad in which the Gulf states, Egypt, Jordan and others have sought to shore up Iraq’s position. Even France has attended, and Baghdad has positioned itself as a place that Turkey, Iran and Saudi Arabia might even meet to discuss regional issues. Jordan has announced plans to open the border with Syria. But what does all that have to do with the conference in Erbil? To posture about credentials of being strong in the region, the Iraqi leadership feels the need to show off anti-Israel rhetoric. Meanwhile, two parallel processes take place. “We have established six armies outside our borders. These armies include the Lebanese Hezbollah, the Hamas and Jihad movements, the regime forces in Syria, the Iraqi Popular Mobilization Forces and the Houthi militia in Yemen,” an Iranian commander reportedly said this week. Meanwhile, Reuters reported that “unidentified aircraft” struck pro-Iranian militias in Syria. In the past, Iran and its allied militias in Iraq have accused Israel of these airstrikes. The US has also struck pro-Iran militias in Syria. This matters because Tehran uses Iraq as a base for militias that traffic weapons to Syria and Hezbollah via the Albukamal border crossing in Israel. In 2018, a headquarters of one of these militias, Kataib Hezbollah, was struck in Syria. Its leader, Abu Mahdi Al-Muhandis, was killed in the US airstrike that killed Iran’s Qasem Soleimani in January 2020. At the same time, Iran was one of the countries that pushed hard against the Kurdistan region’s independence referendum in September 2017. During the lead-up to the referendum there were many Israeli flags flown at rallies in places like Erbil and Dohuk. IT IS IMPORTANT, then, to see the opposition to this recent conference as tied directly to these regional tectonic changes. Iran and its militia allies in Baghdad not only want to use Iraq as a platform to strike at Israel through the movement of ballistic missiles, drones and weapons to Iraq, but they also want to make sure no one in Iraq can express opinions supporting Israel or critical of Iran. That is why Iran likely ordered the murder of Iraqi researcher Hisham al-Hashimi in 2020 and Lebanese publisher Lokman Slim in 2021, as part of a campaign to silence any critical intellectual voices. The rhetoric in Iraq, and the attempt to shut down any discussion about Israel or the Abraham Accords, is tied to Iran’s regional ambitions and attempts to silence anyone who steps out of line. At the same time, the perception that the event was a distraction, or even somehow helps the pro-Iran agenda in the lead-up to elections, is anchored in the view that the only way to pry Iraq away from the Iranian system in the region is to push Iraqi nationalist voices. This theory – that Iraqi nationalism can supplant Iran’s tentacles – goes back to the era of 2016 and 2017 when Western policymakers sought to champion Haider Abadi, the Iraqi prime minister during the war on ISIS. In fact, attempts to strengthen him, and even Sadr, led to Western opposition to the Kurdish referendum in 2017. The presence of Israeli flags at rallies in the Kurdish region that year alarmed Tehran. The outcome was that the Kurdish region was weakened, and Iran was strengthened and has become more concerned about whether the US and others will stay in Iraq. Israel, now under Central Command’s area of operations, is also being drawn into any controversies that might involve the US coalition in Iraq, precipitating the tweet in which the coalition distanced itself from this conference. Iraqis can’t discuss Israel today without fear of persecution or prosecution. These same legal means have also been used by Hezbollah in Lebanon to silence any discussion that might appear open to the Jewish state. People in Lebanon, Iraq and other countries are quietly being more open to looking positively upon the Abraham Accords and other trends in the region. The constraints placed on Iraqis come not only with the legacy of Saddam’s anti-Israel rule, but also the new Iranian attempt to use their country against Israel. For many in the region, that attempt to hijack Iraq is not in anyone’s interests. The conference became a symbol of this wider controversy.

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