An Event and a Regional Trend

Iran is under light but this time there are two important events which will affect the developments and future trends in the area:
- 1. The remarkable presence of the Iranian president Mahmud Ahmadinejad in the Gulf Cooperation Council’s summit in Doha, the capital of Qatar, and the offers of Nejad about the economic and security cooperation between the two sides. The lights focused on the heat of the Iranian participation and the Gulf leader’s interest and the bilateral relations with president Ahmadinejad. This Iranian-Gulf scene seemed opposite to all what the US tried to market in its virtual plans for the area’s alliances and trenches in the last few years.
- 2. The US official declaration about its intelligence’s investigations which concluded that Iran closed its nuclear military project in 2003 (see document below). This means that the Iranian assurances are true and the repeated US and Israeli allegations are false and that the sanctions have no legal basis.
The questions that some commentators and analysts pose in the Arab press are: will the Arab states respond to the extended Iranian hand after revealing that the American provocation was based on cheating and build an Arab-Iranian partnership instead of creating more wars, divisions and crises? Will the Arabs admit that Syria is far sighted in dealing with the topic instead of boycotting it under the title of partnership with Iran?

An Event and a Lebanese Trend

After making the decision to approve the election of Michel Suleiman as a president for Lebanon this principle seemed as a safety ceiling that distances the danger of political confrontation which cast its shadows over Lebanon since the beginning of the presidential vacuum.
The serious discussion in the corridors deals with the stage which will follow the modification of the constitution and electing the army’s leader as a president. Developments yesterday revealed that the loyalists and the opposition will enter a stage of negotiations and that general Suleiman and al-Hariri will meet in order to achieve an understanding on the government and its structure and agenda.
- 1. The loyalists launched a violent political campaign under the title of refusing the previous understandings and targeted general Aoun while their stands of are not clear yet towards the understanding between Jumblatt and al-Hariri on electing the army’s leader without returning to their partners in March 14 alliance.
- 2. The opposition authorizes general Aoun to achieve political understanding before the electoral operation and insists on electing Michel Suleiman as a president for a radical solution not for directing the crisis.
- 3. Leader of the national liberal trend announced for the general public a document that includes the result of his consultations and a set of invariables related to partnership and rejecting marginalization and the national conciliation’s equations.
- 4. The New French entrance on the line of communications after Sarkozy’s phone call with Syrian president Bashar al-Assad and the circulated news about a US-Syrian-French understanding on supporting the election of Suleiman as an approved president. It was clear that this was behind the new stands of March 14 alliance.

Arab and International Press

Al-Bayan said in its editorial that a week after Annapolis the Israeli prime minister and his cabinet started to tear off the promises and emptying the conference from any commitments.
The Emirate paper Al-Khaleej said in its editorial some sides in the Palestinian authority are still optimistic concerning Annapolis’s promises but their optimism is based on reality.
Omar Jaftali said in an article published in the Syrian daily Tichrin that the US and Israel are disturbed by the success of the Syrian diplomacy on all the levels with states of the world and this success resulted in an international understanding of the reality of the situation on the area.
The Israeli paper Ma’ariv said that Moscow’s peace conference which will be held at the beginning of next year is a reward for Russia due to its success in persuading Syria to attend Annapolis conference, pointing out that there are disputes between Israel and Moscow on the nature of the anticipated conference.
Regardo Lagos said in an article published in Clarin that Latin America is witnessing economic growth but there is a lot of work in the field of education and security.
Al-Watan said in its editorial that there are many reasons that make the Gulf Cooperation Council’s summit jump to the forefront of international attention pointing out that one of these reasons is that the summit took place after a few days from concluding Annapolis conference.

Lebanese Press

An-Nahar said ambiguity dominates the horizon of modifying the 49th article of the Lebanese constitution after the press conference of general Aoun.
As-Safir said so far it is right to say that general Michel Suleiman arrived politically and popularly to Baabad palace, and we can say that there is a consensus on approving him as a president.
Al-Akhbar said that general Aoun set conditions for approving general Suleiman ad the electoral session is nominated for delay.

Television Station’ News in Lebanon

Al-Manar said that anticipations about the meeting between representative Saad al-Hariri and the house speaker Nabih Berry raised the level of optimism.
The NTV said that Michel Suleiman is a president in the vacuum and in the post-modification stage.
The NBN said the loyalists started to doubt the intentions of the opposition.
The OTV wondered about the heavy silence that dominates the political movement.
The LBC said the house speaker announced in the name of Hezbollah that it supports patriarch Sfeir and general Aoun. The patriarch’s list failed and the question to be posed is: what is the result of supporting general Aoun?
The Future said the sides focus on the mechanism of constitutional modification.

Attached documents

« National Intelligence Estimate : Iran: Nuclear Intentions and Capabilities »

(PDF - 134.2 kb)

Tendencies is a daily political watch newsletter about the Near East, issued by New Orient News agency in Beirut, Lebanon. It is available on in Arabic, English and French languages. Also worth a read is Indicators, the daily Near East economic watch newsletter, available in Arabic and English.