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Iran’s leaders foresee end of Israel, ‘Islamic awakening’

Syria’s Assad continues brutal crackdown on protesters

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7 Sep 2011 (Toute la journée)
Iran’s leaders foresee end of Israel, ‘Islamic awakening’

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad told Hamas chief Khaled Mashal last week that the world is slowly becoming more favorable to a Palestinian state and the bid for statehood at the UN Opening Assembly in two weeks will mark the beginning of the end of Israel. Ahmadinejad also praised the Arab Spring, even as Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, referred to it as an "Islamic Awakening." Ahmadinejad is expected to show up once again in New York for the annual fall opening of the UN General Assembly and deliver speeches full of anti-Israel and anti-Semitic diatribes.

Nevertheless, former CIA director Leon Panetta said on Tuesday that it was only a matter of time before the revolutionary spirit sweeping the Middle East would reach Iran as well. “The Iranian reform movement is learning from the revolts in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and Syria,” he said. “The fact is when people decide that that moment has come, that's a moment when tremendous change is about to happen, and I think it's true, not only in the Middle East. It's going to be true in Iran as well."

In related news, the hard-line regime of Syrian dictator Bashar Assad continues to crack down on civilians demanding democratic and social reforms and even his ouster. On Monday, Syrian forces killed seven civilians in the city of Homs. According to human rights groups active within Syria, forces loyal to Assad have clamped down on at least three neighborhoods in the city, which is located some 165 km north of the capital Damascus.

Meanwhile, a group of Syrian Kurds recently met in Stockholm, home to a large community of Syrian Kurds, in order to unite behind a strategy to help speed the removal of Assad. So far, the 1.7 million-strong Syrian Kurdish population still living in the country have stayed out of the mass protests against Assad’s regime, fearing it would be used as an excuse to devastate the minority community. Since he came to power, Assad has continued his father Hafez Assad’s policy of suppressing the Kurdish population, depriving them of their land and rights to full citizenship. It is estimated that Syria’s Kurdish population makes up roughly 10% of the country’s 17 million citizens.

 

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