EU states in solidarity against Turkey

Hassan Hanizadeh, political commentator, in an interview with Taqrib News Agency (TNA) related on the recent tensions between Ankara and the European Union calling Turkish policies as unclear diplomacy inspired by uncommon behaviors.   He added,” Sharp criticisms by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Foreign Minister Mevlut cavusoglu from Islamic Republic of Iran, Erdogan visit to Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Bahrain amid the particular ambiance of the world and also interventionist policies of Ankara are all proof that Turkish government is not following a clear policy in the regional and global arena.”   He called the recent visit made by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Foreign Minister Mevlut cavusoglu to the Netherlands as a clear intervention in the domestic issues of the EU countries and that since European countries follow their particular policies in preventing any violation of their laws by any country, including Turkey, the reaction to Turkish Foreign Minister was a part of the disciplinary pursued in European Union countries.   According to the Iranian political expert said,” The disagreement between Turkey and the European Union is proof for public hatred of the European people for Turkey and that the governments support for ISIL terrorists has brought new security and political challenges for Erdogan government.”   Hassan Hanizadeh added,” Based on that, while Turkey is in urgent need of financial supports of the European Union, will face a challenge and Saudi Arabia has in fact trapped Recep Tayyip Erdogan by forcing Ankara to take severe stances against Iran and the EU.”   Based on the political commentator Turkey is already in a disagreement with Egypt, Russia, Syria, Iran as well as the EU and is prone to be harassed in a new political challenge; hence, the dictatorship of President Erdogan and imbalanced policies of the Turkish government may face Ankara with new challenges. He stressed,” EU is expected to cut its financial supports for Turkey as a punishment for President Erdogan providing the grounds that Ankara defines more moderate and logical policies otherwise it will start a gradual process of dissolution if it maintains present aggressive behaviors with the world.”   Iranian expert referred to a number of over 80’000 academicians and elites sacked from universities and political as well as security organizations leaving the country in a fragile and vincible situation; hence, if Erdogan does not review its policies and does not offer apologies to the regional and world countries or it intends to continue its aggressive policies, then it will certainly face issues because the European Union members are unanimous in their policy regarding Turkey.”   Hassan Hanizadeh concluded that,” Erdogan follows a dictatorship behavior with its own nation while it is trying to pretend to respect Turks by creating a pan-Turkism campaign when the main issue is his behavior with the people within its country. Based on the reports more than 60 percent of the Turkish people are against Erdogan policies and this is a domestic challenge. Turkish President is trying to gain a status in the global arena by stirring Turks living in other countries but he will find an opposite result.”   KD

President: Cabinet committed to resistance economy policies

  The administration will make every effort to carry out the policies of the Resistance Economy, as instructed by Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei, President Rouhani said in a letter to the Leader. His comments came after Ayatollah Khamenei on Tuesday designated the new Persian year as “Year of Resistance Economy: Employment and Production”. Rouhani added that devising plans to boost domestic production and create more job opportunities in the country will be top on the agenda at the first cabinet session in the new year. Back in 2014, Ayatollah Khamenei had sent a proclamation to heads of Iran’s branches of power and outlined general policies to boost the country’s economy and lower its vulnerabilities under a grand plan, dubbed Resistance Economy. /SR

Nowruz harbinger of hope, peace for all: Iran’s UN envoy

  “It (Nowruz) is a 'cultural perception" that brings hope, peace and prosperity to millions of peoples around the globe, regardless of their ethnicity, political or religious views,” Khoshroo said during a ceremony held at the UN headquarters in New York on Tuesday on the occasion of Nowruz. Among the senior guests at the celebrations were UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres as well as diplomats from Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, India, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan. This is while millions of Iranians are celebrating Nowruz, which marks the advent of spring. In harmony with the rebirth of nature, the Nowruz festivities always begin on the first day of spring, which has fallen on March 20 this year.   Following is the full text of Khoshroo’s speech at the ceremony: Nowruz, with all its concepts, customs and rituals, is much more than a date marked in our calendars. It is a 'cultural perception" that brings hope, peace and prosperity to millions of peoples around the globe, regardless of their ethnicity, political or religious views. It celebrates moderation, friendship, light and life. So its message to our crisis-ridden world is more relevant than ever, running counter to the forces of extremism, hostility, darkness and destruction. From the time that Nowruz was established in the Land of Persia and during all these long centuries that Iran has been a melting pot for civilizations and ethnicities, up to now. Nowruz has served as the common language for over hundreds of million people all around the world. It represents an intangible cultural heritage of humanity as recognized by UNESCO in September 2009. We celebrate Nowruz in the United Nations in order to explore and promote the many synergies we find between Nowruz concepts and those of the United Nations. It is a nice coincidence between Nowruz celebration and CSW session. Women play the greatest role in celebrating Nowruz; they have been the main protector of this valuable cultural heritage transmitting it from one generation to the next. At a time when fundamental human values such as cultural diversity. Peace and conciliation, good neighborliness and life in harmony with nature and protection of environment are under constant danger, more than ever, we need to respect and salute Nowruz. The rich culture on Nowruz and deep spirit of spring has flown all over the world and all through history and it can never, ever be stopped by any travel ban'! /SR

India seeking new payment mechanism for trade with Iran

The previous mechanism involved a barter-like scheme that allowed India to make some oil payments to Tehran in rupees through a small state bank, UCO Bank. The same bank was used to make rupee payments to Indian merchants for their exports to Iran. The payments were made from the money that New Delhi owed Tehran for previous oil purchases and had been deposited over time at UCO. However, recent indications show that the deposit of rupees at the bank for previous oil purchases from Iran was already running dry, Reuters reported.  Since sanctions were partly lifted early last year the rupee account has been run down by more than 90% to just Rs2,000 crore ($305 million) because Indian refiners have resumed paying for Iranian oil in euros, the news service wrote in a report on Wednesday. Whilst the federal government and central bank have approved oil payments in euros — which Iran prefers because the currency is readily convertible — they have not given the all-clear for trade in the opposite direction to be settled in other currencies, leaving exporters stuck. “We are working on a mechanism through euros and looking for a common correspondent bank in Europe to act as an intermediary for India and Iran,” Reuters quoted R.K. Takkar, chairman of UCO Bank, as saying. “The euro payment system has not yet crystallized,” he said, adding the government was working to find a solution. /SR

US-led coalition air-drops militants near ISIL-held Raqqah

The Pentagon said in a statement on Wednesday that US military aircraft had airlifted members of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) militant group near Tabqa, located 40 kilometers from Raqqah, providing air support for them to retake a major dam -- most commonly known as the Euphrates Dam -- that remains in the hands of Daesh extremists. The SDF, a Kurdish-dominated and anti-Damascus alliance, said US forces had also been deployed with them in the airdrop. It noted that the operation also aims to block any advance by Syrian government forces from the western flank of Raqqah. A local official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the airdrop took place on Tuesday. Earlier this month, US Army Lieutenant General Stephen Townsend, the commander of the US forces purportedly fighting Daesh, said talks were under way with Turkey on the role Ankara might play in the operation to liberate Raqqah.  2017. "We are engaged in discussions with the Turks on how they might participate in the liberation of Raqqah and I don't know what the numbers of their participation might be," media outlets quoted the US military official as saying. Washington currently has about 500 Special Operations troops in Syria. However, their activities have been limited to what the Pentagon describes as training and assisting Kurdish forces in their battle against Daesh and other terrorist groups. Recently, General Joseph L. Votel, the commander of the US Central Command, said more American troops might be needed in Syria to step up their so-called campaign against Daesh. Votel also secretly visited northern Syria to meet US-backed militant groups. Turkey's Hurriyet daily newspaper reported in early February that Turkish military chief Hulusi Akar had presented his American counterpart, Joseph Dunford, with two plans for a potential operation said to liberate Raqqah. KD