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Old Wednesday, January 18, 2012
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Default Preventing a nuclear Iran, peacefully...PAKISTAN OBSERVER

Shibley Telhami
18 January 2012

The debate over how to handle Iran’s nuclear program is notable for its gloom and doom. Many people assume that Israel must choose between letting Iran develop nuclear weapons or attacking before it gets the bomb. But this is a false choice. There is a third option: working toward a nuclear weapons-free zone in the Middle East. And it is more feasible than most assume.

Attacking Iran might set its nuclear program back a few years, but it will most likely encourage Iran to aggressively seek — and probably develop — nuclear weapons. Slowing Iran down has some value, but the costs are high and the risks even greater. Iran would almost certainly retaliate, leading to all-out war at a time when Israel is still at odds with various Arab countries, and its relations with Turkey are tense.

Many hawks who argue for war believe that Iran poses an “existential threat” to Israel. They assume Iran is insensitive to the logic of nuclear deterrence and would be prepared to use nuclear weapons without fear of the consequences (which could include killing millions of Palestinians and the loss of millions of Iranian civilians from an inevitable Israeli retaliation). And even if Israel strikes, Iran is still likely to acquire nuclear weapons eventually and would then be even more inclined to use them Despite all the talk of an “existential threat,” less than half of Israelis support a strike on Iran. According to our November poll, carried out in cooperation with the Dahaf Institute in Israel, only 43 percent of Israeli Jews support a military strike on Iran — even though 90 percent of them think that Iran will eventually acquire nuclear weapons.

Most important, when asked whether it would be better for both Israel and Iran to have the bomb, or for neither to have it, 65 percent of Israeli Jews said neither. And a remarkable 64 percent favoured the idea of a nuclear-free zone, even when it was explained that this would mean Israel giving up its nuclear weapons.

The Israeli public also seems willing to move away from a secretive nuclear policy toward greater openness about Israel’s nuclear facilities. Sixty percent of respondents favoured “a system of full international inspections” of all nuclear facilities, including Israel’s and Iran’s, as a step toward regional disarmament. If Israel’s nuclear program were to become part of the equation, it would be a game-changer. Iran has until now effectively accused the West of employing a double standard because it does not demand Israeli disarmament, earning it many fans across the Arab world.

And a nuclear-free zone may be hard for Iran to refuse. Iranian diplomats have said they would be open to an intrusive role for the United Nations if it accepted Iran’s right to enrich uranium for energy production — not to the higher levels necessary for weapons. And a 2007 poll by the Program on International Policy Attitudes found that the Iranian people would favour such a deal.

We cannot take what Iranian officials say at face value, but an international push for a nuclear-free Middle East would publicly test them. And most Arab leaders would rather not start down the nuclear path — a real risk if Iran gets the bomb — and have therefore welcomed the proposal of a nuclear-free zone.

Some Israeli officials may also take the idea seriously. As Avner Cohen’s recent book “The Worst-Kept Secret” shows, Israel’s policy of “opacity” — not acknowledging having nuclear weapons while letting everyone know it does — has existed since 1969, but is now becoming outdated. Indeed, no one outside Israel today sees any ambiguity about the fact that Israel possesses a large nuclear arsenal. Although Israeli leaders have in the past expressed openness to the idea of a nuclear-free zone, they have always insisted that there must first be peace between Israel and its neighbours.

But the stalemate with Iran could actually delay or prevent peace in the region. As the former Israeli spy chief, Meir Dagan, argued earlier this month, Israel’s current stance might actually accelerate Iran’s quest for nuclear weapons and encourage Arab states to follow suit. Moreover, talk of an “existential threat” projects Israel as weak, hurts its morale, and reduces its foreign policy options. This helps explain why three leading Israeli security experts — the Mossad chief, Tamir Pardo, a former Mossad chief, Efraim Halevy, and a former military chief of staff, Dan Halutz — all recently declared that a nuclear Iran would not pose an existential threat to Israel.

While full elimination of nuclear weapons is improbable without peace, starting the inevitably long and arduous process of negotiations toward that end is vital. Given that Israelis overwhelmingly believe that Iran is on its way to acquiring nuclear weapons and several security experts have begun to question current policy, there is now an opportunity for a genuine debate on the real choices: relying on cold-war-style “mutual assured destruction” once Iran develops nuclear weapons or pursuing a path toward a nuclear-weapons-free Middle East, with a chance that Iran — and Arabs — will never develop the bomb at all.

There should be no illusions that successfully negotiating a path toward regional nuclear disarmament will be easy. But the mere conversation could transform a debate that at present is stuck between two undesirable options: an Iranian bomb or war. The writer is a professor at the University of Maryland and a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution.
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Old Wednesday, January 18, 2012
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Default Yen-Yuan trade plan

Yasir Chohan
18 January 2012

In contemporary world the real indicator of state power is economy rather than territory, population or army, days of physical warfare are long gone, now is the era of economic warfare. Economy determines the destiny and position of states in international politics. The phenomenon of interdependence in international economy has modified the concept of sovereignty, Terms such as sovereignty are irrelevant to countries with weak economies, and sovereignty cannot be protected unless a country is self-sufficient with no dependency on any other country. One can see that leading countries in contemporary world having a strong position in world affairs are countries with huge economies at their back. Economically powerful countries Such as the United states use organizations like World bank and International Monitory Fund (Which are described by many economists as modern tools of colonization) to further their agenda and influence the policies of strategically important but economically weak countries, there is a very well known phrase in economics that aid of any kind is never without strings attached to it. One of the preeminent things that have happened at December 26, 2011 was the Sino Japan currency deal. Sino Japan deal is the beginning of direct trading in their currencies. Currently yen Yuan are not convertible and for trade between two countries need to buy Dollars that adding up extra expenses. China is the biggest trading partner of Japan, according to static’s of Japan external trade organization; trade volume between two countries was $339bn in 2010, which is expected to grow rapidly after Yen Yuan deal.

Through this deal it is first time that Chinese Government allowed any state to issue Bond in Yuan. Japan bank of international cooperation will issue Bond in Chinese market. Japan Government was interested to buy Chinese Government bond and through this deal a new door of mutual cooperation is open which is beneficial for both states. Japan Government stance to adopt China bond as foreign exchange reserve will assist Yuan’s future role as international currency. Sino Japan deal will be beneficial to get investor’s confidence to invest in China bond that give a credible boom to Yuan in eastern markets. China and Japan has long history of rivalry but they come to an agreement, which is beneficial for both states that will give confidence to foreign investor. Japan is the world’s third and china is second largest economy and the deal clearly depicts that rule of Dollar as global currency is going to end.

China also announced a Yuan currency swap agreement with Thailand to promote the use of the Yuan in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and establish free trade zones. Bank of Thailand has start-purchasing dollar from its all branches. China also signed three-year currency swap agreement with Pakistan for three years. Through this agreement it is concluded 140 billion Pakistani rupees and 10 billion Chinese Yuan. Chinese officials said that they want to expand the use of Yuan as global currency to reduce the relaying on Dollar. According to Japan Finance Ministry yen Yuan trade will reduce currency risks and trading cost, as Dollar is 60 percent of trade transactions between two states.

Wen added that China also hopes to accelerate the process of building a free trade zone among China, Japan and the Republic of Korea as well as to boost East Asian monetary and financial cooperation. China is interested to speed up process of building a free trade zone among China, Japan, and South Korea as well as a monetary system for East Asian states. The peoples bank of china said on its website that the China and Japan leaders are agree to strengthen their bilateral economic cooperation to increase the financial transactions.

In a situation where United States economy is trample and European Union is facing economic crisis there is need of a strong currency that can meet the demands of the current time. Yen Yuan deal will provide another option to the states to trade and to put as a foreign exchange reserve. Yen Yuan deal is first step towards new monitory system in which Yuan play an active role as global currency competing with Dollar. As international economy is too heavily depends on Dollar both states can easily alter the global currency map as they have world largest foreign exchange reserves. The push away from the US currency as well as the euro could in the long run create problems for US and Europeans economies. Analyst views that it’s a good sign that international system moves towards more balanced system where Dollar monopoly will end.
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