Tagged: Trump administration

Iran protests continue for a third day despite warnings

(BBC) — Anti-government protests have continued in Iran for a third day, with reports of demonstrations in many cities despite warnings from authorities.

At Tehran University, protesters called for Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei to step down and there were clashes with police.

Demonstrators ignored the interior minister’s warning that citizens should avoid “illegal gatherings”.

Meanwhile, thousands of pro-government demonstrators turned out for rallies.

These official rallies were organized in advance of the anti-government protests, to mark the eighth anniversary of the suppression of major street protests in 2009.

The current protests began in the north-east on Thursday over living standards and by Friday had spread to several major cities.

Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani-Fazli urged people not to take part “as they will create problems for themselves and other citizens”, but videos posted online suggest that protests were held on Saturday in at least nine cities across the country.

The Iranian authorities are blaming anti-revolutionaries and agents of foreign powers for the outbreak of protests. The communications minister has also urged Telegram, a popular mobile messaging app in Iran, to stop “promoting violence”.

In the US, the Trump administration warned Iran overnight that the world was watching its response. Iran’s foreign ministry called the comments “opportunistic and deceitful”.

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Yes, border walls are needed, and they’re already everywhere

(PJ MEDIA) — By Michel Gurfinkiel

One may support or oppose the Trump administration’s grand design in terms of home security: the building, or the “updating,” of a 3200-kilometer barrier between the United States and Mexico. One cannot deny, however, that such structures — hermetic and heavily monitored separations, instead of merely classic borders — are quite common today.

While the Iron Curtain and Bamboo Curtain separating the USSR and Red China from the rest of the world were partially dismantled, some other 20th century barriers are still extant. And new ones are being erected all over the world at steady pace.

Le Point, a French right-of-center weekly, has published a comprehensive map in this respect. According to it, and other documents, the oldest existing barriers are the outcome of wars of aggression:

The “demilitarized zone” (DMZ) between North and South Korea — in fact, one of the most militarized fences in the world — was created in 1953 as part of the armistice agreement that ended a three-year war initiated by the Communist North Korean regime. The 180-kilometer long Attila that separates the Muslim-Turkish populated Northern Cyprus from the Christian-Greek populated southern Republic of Cyprus was unilaterally set up by Turkey after it invaded the Mediterranean island in 1975. The Sand Wall, a 2720-kilometer barrier put in place between 1980 and 1987 and manned by 100,000 Moroccan soldiers, marked Morocco’s 1975 unilateral annexation of the former Spanish colony of Western Sahara.

Likewise, the 120-kilometer fence on the Israeli-Syrian and Israeli-Lebanese borders and the 51-kilometer fence on the Israeli-Gazan line were set up in the wake of repeated aggressions by Arab states or terrorist organizations against the Jewish State from 1948 to 2014. The almost 3000-kilometer fence on the Indian-Pakistani border is the result of the many wars and skirmishes involving the two South Asian nations since 1947:

However, the more recent barriers were built or are being built within a very different context. Their main purpose is to prevent large-scale terrorist infiltrations or to monitor mass migrations.

The largest of them are to be found in the Islamic world. This should not come as a surprise, since many Islamic countries are hotbeds of competing jihadist movements or migratory pools or both.

There is a 3300-kilometer wall between secular but Hindu-dominated India and Muslim Bangladesh. Some 2700 kilometers of walls surround Uzbekistan, 1400 kilometers lie on Saudi Arabia’s borders, 1200 kilometers on Iran’s Eastern borders, and 700 kilometers on Oman’s borders. Jordan is completing a 500-kilometer fence on its Syrian and Iraqi borders; Tunisia a 200-kilometer fence along its Libyan border.

Israel, a Jewish islet in the Muslim ocean, operates some 550 kilometers of barriers in the West Bank and on its Jordanian and Egyptian borders in addition to its aforementioned military fences. Much smaller walls are to be found as well in the same area: Egypt built 11 kilometers on its Gaza border, and a combined 11.81 kilometers of fence separate the Spanish enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla from Morocco.

More barriers dot other parts of the world.

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