Excerpts: U.S.Senate votes more sanctions on Iran, Arab League urges Iran
end anti-Bahrain campaign, UNESCO-Jordan cooperation re Jerusalem, May 22,
+++SOURCE: The Syria Report 22 May '12:"Shortages, Deficit Push Government
to Raise Gas Oil Price(21 May)
SUBJECT: Syria increases gas oil by 33.3%
QUOTE: "need for lower consumption"
TEXT:The Syrian Government has increased by a third the retail price of gas
oil, or mazout, only a year after it reduced it, a decision that reflects
the need for the authorities to lower consumption as they battle shortages
and a growing budget deficit.
+++SOURCE: The Syria Report 22 May '12:"Syria’s Inflation Rate at 30 Percent
in March(21 May)
SUBJECT: Marked rize in Syrian inflation
QUOTE"Syria's inflation rate reached 30.7 %
TEXT:Syria’s inflation rate reached 30.7 percent in March on an annual
basis, according to official statistics, more than double its rate of only
two months earlier
Sent: Tuesday, May 22, 2012 1:04 PM
Subject: Lebanon policy re Syria
SOURCE: Naharneet (Lebanon) 22 May '12:"Beri Says Lebanon to Hold onto
Disassociation Policy despite Pressure"
SUBJECT Lebanon policy re Syria
QUOTE:" 'Berri:'Lebanon won't change is policy of distancing itself (from
the Syrian crisis) no matter how much internal and external pressure was
exerted on it' "
EXCERPTS:Speaker Nabih Berri stressed on Tuesday[22 May] that Lebanon would
not yield to internal and external pressure to change its policy of
dissociating itself form the Syrian crisis.
In remarks to Ad-Diyar newspaper, Berri expressed regret that four Gulf
countries have advised their citizens not to travel to Lebanon, hoping that
such a decision was not part of the pressure exerted on Lebanese officials
to change their policies towards Syria.
“Lebanon won’t change its policy of distancing itself (from the Syrian
crisis) no matter how much internal and external pressure was exerted on
it,” he said. . . .
+++SOURCE: Naharnet (Lebanon) 22 May '12: U.S. Senate Approves More
Sanctions against Iran", Agence France Presse
SUBJECT:More U.S. sanctions against Iran
QUOTE:"the meaaure does not authorize the use of military force"
FULL TEXT:The U.S. Senate on Monday[21 May] approved new sanctions against
Iran aimed at convincing the Islamic Republic to suspend its uranium
enrichment, which western powers say is a cover for developing nuclear
The measure was approved unanimously ahead of talks Wednesday[23 May] in
Baghdad between Iran and representatives of the world's main powers.
The bill allows President Barack Obama to impose sanctions on any country or
company that enters joint ventures with Iran to develop its oil or uranium
resource, or provides technology or resources to help Iran with such
It also includes measures against anyone who provides goods that "materially
contribute to Iran's proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD)
program or its terrorism-related activities."
Iran insists its nuclear program is purely for civilian purposes.
"Both the White House and Congress are committed to preventing Iran from
obtaining nuclear weapons capability," said Democratic Senator Robert
Menendez, the bill's chief architect.
Iran can either "come to Baghdad with a real plan" to end its nuclear
program "or we'll make our own plan -- through sanctions or other necessary
measures -- to ensure that Iran fails to achieve its nuclear ambitions."
"The Senate has worked hard to improve our sanctions toward Iran," added
Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, "and this effort, combined with
the sanctions of the European Union, should strengthen the hand of our own
The bill must now be reconciled with sanctions approved by the U.S. House of
Representatives on December 14.
The legislation targets Iran's national oil and tanker firms, its elite
Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), and would for the first time
widen sanctions on Iran's energy sector to any joint venture anywhere in the
world where Iran's government is a substantial partner or investor.
The bill calls for a U.S. travel ban and freezing of U.S. assets aimed at
individuals and firms that provide Tehran with technology -- everything from
rubber bullets to surveillance equipment -- used to repress dissent.
It would require firms competing for U.S. government contracts to certify
that they and their subsidiaries have not had "significant economic
transactions" with the Revolutionary Guards or individuals or entities
connected to it.
The bill also includes language introduced by Senator Rand Paul stating that
the measure does not authorize the use of military force.
+++SOURCE: Jordan Times 22 May '12 : Arab League to Iran: Stop anti-Bahrain
SUBJECT: Arab League urges Iran end anti-Bahrain campaign
QUOTE:"Saudi Arabia has been pushing the idea of closer Gulf integration. .
.(to) counter the influence of regional Shiite power Iran"
CAIRO — The Arab League called on Tehran on Monday[21 May] to halt what it
described as a media campaign against Bahrain over a proposal for political
and military union between Gulf Arab states.
Saudi Arabia has been pushing the idea of closer Gulf integration to contain
Shiite Muslim unrest in Bahrain and counter the influence of regional Shiite
Riyadh's initial goal appears to be a merger with Bahrain, where majority
Shiites have been staging pro-democracy demonstrations targeting the Sunni
Muslim ruling family for over a year. Bahraini leaders have been publicly
receptive to union.
"The Iranian government must stop its media escalation campaign and
provocative statements from Iranian officials ragarding the situation in
Bahrain," Arab League Secretary General Nabil Elaraby said in a statement.
"Any union steps between Bahrain and Saudi Arabia are a sovereign issue of
the two states and other Gulf countries and no other country has the right
to interfere in it," he said.
Iranian state television aired last week footage of thousands of people
holding rallies around the country protesting against the proposed
Manama-Riyadh union and an influential cleric denounced the idea as an
+++SOURCE: Jordan Times 22 May '12:"Jordan.UNESCO coordinate plans to
SUBJECT: UNESCO-Jordan cooperation re Jerusalem
QUOTE:"Director General of UNESCO Irina Bokava emphasized Jordans special
and historic role in protecting Jerusalem"
FULL TEXT:AMMAN — His Majesty King Abdullah on Monday[21 May] stressed that
Jordan will continue its historic role in preserving and protecting the holy
sites in Jerusalem, according to a Royal Court statement.
The Monarch, during a meeting yesterday with Director General of UNESCO
Irina Bokova, discussed the Israeli unilateral measures in the Palestinian
territories, especially at Jerusalem’s holy places, stressing the importance
of activating international and humanitarian laws to address the Israeli
measures and protect the cultural heritage of Jerusalem, the statement said.
The King also highlighted the symbolic value of Jerusalem for the followers
of the monotheistic and Abrahamic religions, underlying the importance of
the Israeli authorities’ abidance by the international law to enable Jordan
to carry out its mission of preserving the Old City of Jerusalem, including
maintenance works at Al Aqsa Mosque, Magharbeh Gate, the Marwani Mosque and
Al Haram Al Sharif, which, he noted, are all hindered by Israel, the
His Majesty also expressed his deep concerns over the ongoing Israeli
excavations under the Old City of Jerusalem, especially at Al Aqsa Mosque.
Turning to the role of UNESCO, the Monarch expressed appreciation for the
organisation’s efforts to safeguard global peace, achieve comprehensive
development, preserve the world’s scientific, cultural and natural heritage
and empowering woman.
He expressed Jordan’s keenness on enhancing cooperation with the
international agency in various fields, the statement said.
For her part, Bokova emphasised Jordan’s special and historic role in
protecting Jerusalem [IMRA: How 'protect'? and providing UNESCO with
documented reports on the violations of international laws in the holy city,
the statement said.
Bokova also voiced appreciation for Jordan’s support of UNESCO’s activities,
noting that the Kingdom is considered a model of development and
modernisation despite its limited natural resources, the statement said.
In 1981, Jordan inscribed the “Old City of Jerusalem and its Walls” on
UNESCO’s World Heritage list and on the international organisation’s List of
World Heritage in Danger in 1982.
HRH Princess Dana, Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh, Minister of Education
Fayez Saudi and the King’s Office Director Imad Fakhoury attended the
meeting, according to the statement.
Also on Monday[21 May], Judeh and Saudi held separate meetings with Bokova
during which they discussed means to enhance cooperation between Jordan and
Sue Lerner - Associate, IMRA