The View from Abroad. Iran. Sharif Behruz @Sharif_Behruz
Sharif Behruz is co-founder of the Iran Roundtable, described in its website as a “non-partisan, non-profit coalition of Iranian-American of all ethnic groups and nationalities, dedicated to the advocacy of the rule of law, freedom and democracy for Iran and advancing the interests of the Iranian-American community in the US.” Mr. Behruz, a resident of Canada, explains in his own words, how his “father and family were evicted from Iran, in 1988, traveling in the back of a truck… to the Iraqi border…from there, they were able to apply for refugee status and moved to Canada…” Mr. Behruz comments on the riots and demonstrations that erupted last week in Mahabad, the Iranian Kurdish capital, (with 280,000 residents) over the sudden death/suicide of a young Kurdish girl. The incident is so disturbing because it provides an example of how “women in Iran, as a whole and particularly Kurdish women, have little legal protection against sexual harassment and violence, ” as Dr. Amir Sharif of the Kurdish Human Rights Advocacy Group once stated… Mr. Behruz speaks of his people’s desire to “dissent” under a “dictatorship,” and how they have to utilize any incident to let their voices be heard by the outside world. Mr. Behruz provides an update on the crime, and the outcome of what appears to be nothing less than the usual procedures taken by the authorities: a total “lack of an investigation under the regime’s standards…” Mr. Behruz also speaks of the 2009 demonstrations…”that could have toppled the regime…” but were ignored by this Administration…
The View from Abroad. The Iran Nuclear Deal. Sharif Behruz
Mr. Behruz speaks about the Iran Nuclear Deal, commenting on his article, published in November 2014, titled “Deal or no Deal, Iran is the winner…” For him, “negotiations with the regime have been futile (since 2003)”… and affirms that the Iranian leaders ” are betting on time…,” waiting to see “the changing alliances, the coalitions,” and the players,” the Europeans and the Americans…” Shrewd negotiators, and playing on the weaknesses of the West (we need Iran’s assistance against ISIS, in Iraq, Yemen, Afghanistan and Syria!), the Iranians are now demanding “the total lifting of economic sanctions…” Mr. Behruz also comments on Senator McCain’s recent criticisms of Secretary Kerry, noting profusely, “Senator McCain is right!”…”And by focusing too much on this Deal, the Administration has alienated its closest allies, Israel and the Arabs…, ” proof of this is tomorrow’s Summit in Camp David with Arab friends… however, Saudi Arabia’s Monarch and Bahrain’s King will be absent… Mr. Behruz concludes the interview by speaking of the Iran he envisions with a “Democratic future, pluralistic, where different nationalities have a say, in a federalist structure…” The will of the People: Freedom.
Trade with Cuba. Sports Diplomacy. Ralph E. Winnie Jr.
Ralph E. Winnie Jr. is an attorney in Washington, D.C., and Director of the Eurasia Center. Mr. Winnie is a member of the USA Wrestling Foundation and was part of the delegation to the Cerro Pelado International Tournament in Havana, Cuba in February of this year. He comments on his experience while in Cuba, noting the recent economic incentives and reforms passed by Raul Castro…similar to the reforms implemented in the 1970’s in China by Den Xiaoping and which were modeled on Singapore’s reforms… Mr. Winnie speaks of the difficulties encountered every day by Cubans, the different currencies, the worthless Peso and the black market Dollar…As Mr. Winnie explains, while the embargo only affected US-Cuba trade it did “not cut off the rest of the world…” Mr. Winnie notes that Raul Castro “wants to stay in power,”…but has a trail of human rights abuses behind him…The people of Cuba in due time will decide…where to send him…
The View from Abroad. Leftist Elections in Canada. Norman S. Leach
Norman S. leach, President of Norman S. Leach & Associates, speaks of the recent elections in his home province, Alberta. Mr. Leach compares Alberta to the State of Texas (oil and gas) and with a city, Calgary, where 100,000 American citizens reside, it was, for forty-four consecutive years, (until now!!!) a conservative stronghold!! The ultra-liberals just won! “ Leader Rachel Notley, (the Canadian Elizabeth Warren) now has the authority to take the province in a new direction” (The Globe and Mail)…Mr. Leach points to the Conservatives being in disarray (Progressive Conservatives and the Wildrose Party splitting the vote) and the unexpected win by a minority, the New Democratic Party which has immediately promised to raise 20% the corporate tax and increase the minimum wage from $10 – $15 CD…Sound familiar? Mr. Leach, who manages his business consulting firm advises his clients to go international, to look to other markets…, giving as an example how it took at least ten years for other provinces (Ontario, BC) to recuperate from the liberal plunder….