Iran Talks Extended, Essential Services Key To Syria Keeping Hold Of Power, UN Ebola Response Slammed

Opposition To Iran Deal In Washington And Tehran
While Tuesday brought an extension of talks surrounding a proposed nuclear deal with Iran and some hope for those pushing for a negotiated deal, the extra time may provide opposition in Washington and Tehran to rally its forces.

In May, the Congress passed the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act, which states that if President Obama sends an agreement to Congress after July 9, they would have 60 days to review the deal. While many lawmakers are raising concerns, there is nothing they can do to prevent implementation of the agreement. But they can block the president from lifting some of the toughest sanctions against key sectors of Iran’s economy that were implemented by Congress, which would almost certainly cause the deal to fall apart.

It is not only in Washington that opposition is increasing to a deal currently being negotiated.

The New Yorker’s Robin Wright looks at the anti-deal movement in Tehran, and the contours of the discontent look pretty familiar. There are plenty of complaints over too much given away for too little in return, and legislation has been passed in the Iranian parliament barring foreign access to military and security sites, as well as to its nuclear scientists.

“Iran’s parliament passed its own legislation — two hundred and thirteen votes to ten—that forbid foreign access to its military, security, and sensitive non-nuclear facilities, as well as to its nuclear scientists. It demanded the right to review a deal and to ratify the so-called Additional Protocol on wider inspections.

“The broader concern in Tehran has been that a deal required major concessions for too little in return. In the Iranian press, opponents have charged Iran’s negotiators with capitulation,” she reports.

By Providing Services, Assad Keeps Grips On Regime
The Carnegie Middle East Center released a new report, “The Assad Regime’s Hold on the Syrian State,” which outlines how the dictator has guaranteed civilian support by ensuring that the state is the only resource to provide critical services, despite years of grinding war.

“Evidently, military and economic assistance from Iran and Russia has been a critical factor that has helped the regime cling to power. But another key element of the regime’s survival has been its ability to claim that the Syrian state, under Assad, has remained the irreplaceable provider of essential public services, even for Syrians living in the many areas that are outside the regime’s control,” Kheder Khaddour, a visiting scholar at the Carnegie Foundation, argues.

“The rise of the self-proclaimed Islamic State as the only other entity with the capacity to deliver some basic services has helped the regime to highlight the moderate opposition’s inability to do so, reinforcing the regime’s claim that its survival is integral to the daily lives of Syrians,” he adds.

Independent Panel Critical Of UN Response To Ebola Crisis
An independent panel established by the United Nations has released a report critical of the orgnization’s response to the ebola outbreak, which claimed more than 11,000 lives in the past 18 months, most of them in the west African countries of Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea.

“The Ebola crisis not only exposed organizational failings in the functioning of WHO, but it also demonstrated shortcomings in the International Health Regulations,” said the Ebola Interim Assessment Panel.

“WHO must re-establish its pre-eminence as the guardian of global public health; this will require significant changes throughout WHO,” the report declared.

In its response, the World Health Organization (WHO) noted that the “current Ebola outbreak is still ongoing and improved methods of working are incorporated into the response as they are developed and that “it will take many more months of continued hard work to end the outbreak and to prevent it from spreading to other countries.”


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