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Sunday, December 23, 2012
Excerpts: Irans smart economic war. Turkey to resume NATO cooperation with Israel. Egypt opposition to appeal referendum results December 23, 2012

Excerpts: Iran's 'smart economic war'. Turkey to resume NATO cooperation
with Israel. Egypt opposition to appeal referendum results December 23, 2012

+++SOURCE:”Ahmadinejad: Iran Fighting ‘Smart Economic War’ ” Agence France
Presse

SUBJECT: Iran’s ‘smart economic war’

QUOTE:”’They thought Iran’s economy would break down but it did not’ “

EXCERPTS:Iran is engaged in a "smart economic war" with Western powers whose
sanctions against its nuclear program are hurting some Iranians, President
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Saturday[22 Dec.].

"Targeted sanctions, which the enemies say are supposed to be crippling,
have led to a drop in our oil" sales, Ahmadinejad said in a live interview
on state television, referring to an oil embargo imposed by the European
Union.

"They do not even let us transfer the oil money," he said. "They thought
Iran's economy would break down, but it did not."

"Iran is engaged in a smart economic war with the enemy," he said.

. . .

Ahmadinejad said his government had "so far managed to control" the effects
of sanctions on the economy but admitted that "heavy pressure had been
exerted on some Iranians because of sanctions."

He did not elaborate on how Iran was fighting off sanctions for fear the
methods would be found by Western powers trying to goad Iran back to the
negotiating table over its nuclear ambitions.

"I cannot say what heavy pressure the enemy has imposed, and how we are
dealing with them."

"We have so far managed to control this blow, and it hasn't turned out the
way they predicted," he said.

Ahmadinejad has faced increasingly scrutiny at home for economic woes,
including the collapse of the national currency, which lost more than
two-thirds of its value in a 20-day span starting in late September.

Iran's economy is struggling to cope with the gradual tightening of
sanctions by the United States and the European Union over the past two
years.

The sanctions have also targeted Iran's access to the global banking system,
slowing its economy, accelerating inflation and boosting the ranks of the
jobless.

. . .

The plan to generate tens of billions of dollars in additional revenues for
his government has been criticized by his opponents, who blame it partially
for Iran's runaway inflation.

Ahmadinejad said his government had devised schemes to diffuse the effects
of Western sanctions in the "long-term."

"We have prepared long-term plans to decrease dependency on the
oil-generated money. We will not allow them to use economic measures as a
tool for putting pressure on us anymore," he said.

He said without elaborating that Iran was to "increase its non-oil exports."

His remarks came as Western powers engaging Iran to resolve a years-long
dispute over its nuclear program are pressuring Tehran to return to the
negotiating table.

Iran has yet to respond to offers of renewed negotiations with the so-called
P5+1 group, consisting of the five permanent members of the U.N. Security
Council plus Germany.

Iran insists its program of uranium enrichment is for purely peaceful
purposes, and denies Western and Israeli allegations that it wants to
manufacture nuclear weapons.

In addition to U.S. and EU measures, Iran is also under four rounds of
Security Council sanctions

:
+++SOURCE:”Naharnet (Lebanon) 23 Dec.’12:”Turkey to Resume NATO Cooperation
with Israel”, Agence France Presse
Subject;Turkey to resume NATO cooperation with Israel
FULL TEXT:Turkey has agreed to drop its ban on cooperating with Israel as a
third-country NATO partner, a diplomat said Sunday[23 Dec.].

Ankara cut off such cooperation after the Israeli army raided a Turkish ship
carrying humanitarian aid to the blockaded Gaza Strip in 2010, leaving nine
Turks dead.

The decision to renew NATO links came at a December 4 meeting in Brussels of
the 28-member alliance on a proposal by its Secretary General Anders Fogh
Rasmussen, the diplomat said.

The ban had "created a lack of confidence among the partners", he said.

However Turkey will maintain its ban on joint military maneuvers, and Ankara
has reserved the right to bar activities with Israel on its own soil.

The agreement comes after NATO agreed early this month to deploy Patriot
anti-aircraft missiles along the Turkish border with Syria.

Turkey's relations with its former ally deteriorated sharply after the raid
on the Turkish ship in international waters in the Mediterranean.

Israel has rejected Ankara's demands for an apology and compensation.

+++SOURCE: Jordan Times 23 Dec,’12:”Egypt opposition to appeal referendum
results”, Agence France Presse
SUBJECT:Egypt opposition to appeal referendum results”
QUOTE:”Egypt’s opposition will appeal . . . claiming that voting was riddled
with ‘fraud and violations’ “

FULL TEXT:CAIRO –– Egypt's opposition said on Sunday[23 Dec.] that it will
appeal the results of a referendum that ruling Islamists said approved a new
constitution, claiming that voting was riddled with "fraud and violations".

The announcement was made by the opposition National Salvation Front the day
after the second and final round of the referendum that President Mohamed
Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood said passed with 64 per cent support, according
to unofficial early tallies.

"The referendum is not the end of the road. It is only one battle," said the
statement, read by Front member Abdel Ghaffer Shokr at a Cairo news
conference. "We will continue the fight for the Egyptian people."

Another Front member, Amr Hamzawy, said: "We are asking the (electoral)
commission to investigate the irregularities before announcing official
results."

The results had been due to be announced on Monday(24 Dec.]

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

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