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Thursday, November 29, 2012
Excerpts: Urgency in Iran diplomacy. Morsis dilemma bad news for Jordanian Islamists November 29, 2012

Excerpts: 'Urgency' in Iran diplomacy. Morsi's dilemma bad news for
Jordan's Islamists November 29, 2012

+++SOURCE:”Naharnet (Lebanon) 29 Nov.’12:”IAEA Chief Calls Calls for
‘Urgency’ in Iran Diplomacy”, Agence France Presse
SUBJECT:’Urgency’ in Iran diplomacy

QUOTE:”‘IAEA chief ‘There is an opportunity to resolve the Iranian nuclear
issue diplomatically’ “’

FULL TEXT: Diplomatic efforts to resolve the crisis over Iran's nuclear
activities need to be pursued with "urgency," the head of the U.N. atomic
agency said Thursday.

"The IAEA is firmly committed to dialogue," International Atomic Energy
Agency head Yukiya Amano said at the start of a two-day meeting of the U.N.
body's board set to be dominated by Iran's program.

"There is an opportunity to resolve the Iranian nuclear issue
diplomatically. Now is the time for all of us to work with a sense of
urgency and seize the opportunity for a diplomatic solution."

Many in the international community suspect that Iran wants to develop
nuclear weapons, something Tehran vehemently denies, and multiple U.N.
Security Council resolutions have called on it to suspend key parts.

The Persian Gulf country has also been subjected to four rounds of sanctions
imposed by the U.N. Security Council, which in combination with additional
Western restrictions have began to cause real problems for the Iranian
economy this year.

Israel, the Middle East's sole if undeclared nuclear-armed state, has
refused to rule out military action to stop its arch rival also getting the
bomb.

Renewed diplomatic efforts to resolve the crisis are gathering pace
following a hiatus of several months caused in part by the lengthy U.S.
presidential election campaign won by Barack Obama on November 6.

The P5+1 powers -- the U.S., China, Russia, Britain, France and Germany --
held a meeting in Brussels last week and said afterwards they want talks
with Iran "as soon as possible." This may happen as soon as in December.

Parallel diplomatic efforts between the IAEA and Iran, focused on what the
agency calls "overall, credible" evidence of past weapons research work, are
meanwhile set to resume on December 13 in Tehran.

"It is now one year since I spelled out in detail the basis for the Agency's
concerns about possible military dimensions to Iran's nuclear program,"
Amano said.

"In the meantime, Iran has continued to enrich uranium ... and has expanded
its enrichment capacity, contrary to resolutions from the Agency's Board of
Governors and of the U.N. Security Council."

He called for a "structured approach" to address the allegations that
"should be agreed and implemented immediately, with concrete, tangible
results."

+++SOURCE: Jordan Times 29 Nov.’12:”Morsi’s dilemma in Egypt bad news for
Jordan’s Islamists”by Hani Hazaimeh
SUBJECT: Morsi’s dilemma bad news for Jordan’s Islamists

QUOTE:”Muslim Brotherhood movement’s leaders in Jordan struggle to
disassociate themselves from their Egyptian peers”

FULL TEXT:AMMAN — As the political scene in Egypt continues to unfold, the
Muslim Brotherhood movement’s leaders in Jordan struggle to disassociate
themselves from their Egyptian peers, advocating a narrative focused on the
so-called “Moroccan option” for reform rather than the Egyptian scenario.

Last week, Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi declared unilaterally that until
a new constitution is decreed all presidential decisions would be immune
from legal challenge, triggering a wave of protests across the country, and
setting him on course for a showdown with Egypt’s judges as well as other
political rivals.

Several demonstrations, strikes and sit-ins have been planned to protest
against the decision, with thousands thronging Cairo’s iconic Tahrir Square
on Tuesday[27 Nov.] to call for rescinding the decree.

Mohammad Abu Rumman, a columnist and a specialist in Islamist movements,
said the image of the Islamists was negatively affected by the developments
in Egypt, especially that the local state-owned media outlets have used the
situation in Egypt to highlight what they see as Muslim Brotherhood’s greed
for power.

“Some of the local media questioned their [Islamists] credibility and their
ability to rule democratically and address problems facing society amidst
the economic difficulties the country is going through,” Abu Rumman said.

“What is happening in Egypt stirred domestic criticism and made some people
sceptic as opposed to supportive of the Islamists in their demands,” he told
The Jordan Times.

“Their narrative has been shaken and become weaker, and they are now trying
to unify their voices and defend their calls as a moderate voice that is
only seeking circulation of power rather than controlling the
decision-making process,” the analyst said.

Going from being an opposition power to a ruling party might also reveal the
Brotherhood’s Islamic Action Front as a political party that has no
experience in ruling, Abu Rumman argued.

This could backfire on the party, undermine the Islamists’ credibility among
their supporters and give more clout to their opponents, he added. That is
exactly what happened in Egypt, and the people here are fearful it would
happen in Jordan should the Islamists make it to the helm of power, Al Ghad
columnist said.

But despite the dramatic events in Egypt, Abu Rumman said, the Muslim
Brotherhood leaders in Jordan continue to reiterate their demands to apply
the Moroccan scenario, where Islamist party leaders formed the government
after winning a majority of parliamentary seats, rather than the Egyptian
option in terms of the political reform they have been calling for.

“They have made it clear that they did not and will not adopt the slogan
calling for the downfall of the regime and that they only want to reform the
regime,” Abu Rumman said, adding that the Islamists are aware of the
sensitivity of the local political scene and that the Monarchy remains a
safety valve for a united society.

“Indeed what is happening in Egypt is giving a bad image to the Muslim
Brotherhood and their policies,” a political activist and a member of the
centrist National Current Party said on condition of anonymity.

“It is telling people that they are seeking unlimited power to implement
their agenda, and they neither respect the agreements with their partners
nor the institutions and existing laws,” he said.

“This is a cause of worry for Jordanians as well, as the Muslim Brotherhood
insists on having absolute power through a ‘tailor-made’ elections law which
gives them a comfortable majority in Parliament,” the activist said.

He added that the Islamists keep insisting on changing Articles 34, 35 and
36 in the Constitution to limit the authority of the King and “guarantee
that they will keep power for years to come”.

“Comparing what is going on there and here, it seems that they are following
the same games for the sake of power, which means that they are getting
orders from a higher authority, i.e. the International General Executive
Office. I think that this body has a regional plan to grab power in most
Arab countries, and each branch is working towards this goal by all means
possible,” he charged.

Agreeing with Abu Rumman’s analysis, former MP Mamdouh Abbadi said Morsi’s
approach of ruling gave the people an idea of the Islamist ideology should
they assume power here, adding that no matter how organised a political
party can be, their actions can affect their reputation whether negatively
or positively.

Citing a recent meeting of more than 60 political activists from an Islamist
background last week, in which they indirectly criticised the Muslims
Brotherhood’s intransigence in boycotting the upcoming elections, Abbadi
argued that there is a significant breakdown within the Brotherhood’s ranks.

“This new grouping gives an impression of significant differences within the
movement, which made some of them resort to launching a moderate voice that
calls for reason,” he said, adding that the Brotherhood will remain an
important component of the political and social fabric, but in the end it is
the country’s interests that will override any other objective.

Ad Dustour columnist Batir Wardam said the image of Islamists in Jordan is
based on passion more than critical examination.

“If you are a supporter and an affiliate with them you will always remain so
regardless of the circumstances,” he told The Jordan Times.

“Even a decision like Morsi’s can be interpreted in a positive way, and the
reactions could be considered a conspiracy against Islamists. For those who
are against them, this will be a strong tool for naming and shaming their
thirst for power and will certainly affect the general image of Islamist in
Jordan,” Wardam said.

However, he noted that the majority of people will follow the events with
curiosity and confusion and would simply see it as a struggle for power
which could also happen in Jordan.

“It is difficult to determine the exact outcome on people in Jordan, but
this is a case of damaging credibility, to a certain extent

=========
Sue Lerner - Associate, IMRA

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