Inner City Press

Inner City Press -- Investigative Reporting From the Inner City to Wall Street to the United Nations

These reports are usually available through Google News and on Lexis-Nexis

  Search Search WWW (censored?)

In Other Media-eg Nigeria, Zim, Georgia, Nepal, Somalia, Azerbaijan, Gambia Click here to contact us     .


Home -

These reports are usually available through Google News and on Lexis-Nexis


Subscribe to RSS feed

Video (new)

Reuters AlertNet 8/17/07

Reuters AlertNet 7/14/07

Support this work by buying this book

Click on cover for secure site orders

also includes "Toxic Credit in the Global Inner City"




Bank Beat

Freedom of Information

How to Contact Us

While US Claims to Push China on Iran Sanctions, Oil Calls the Tune, GIT Prof Says Chinese Army Wants a Nuclear Iran

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, January 27, updated -- During Chinese President Hu Jintao's visit to Washington last week, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton talked to the press about China's compliance with US sanctions on Iran.

  She said that “there are some entities within China that we have brought to the attention of the Chinese leadership that are still not as, shall we say, as in compliance as we would like them to be.”

   But how hard is the US actually pushing? On January 27 Inner City Press asked China expert -- and resident -- Professor John W. Garver of the Sam Nunn School of International Affairs of Georgia Institute of Technology about China's compliance.

  Garver said that while China has an economic interest for now in being seen as respecting US unilateral sanctions, China's oil and historical relations with Iran make compliance unlikely.

  “China has decided it will cooperate with the international community,” he told Inner City Press, “but it won't give the US all that it wants.”

  Garver pointed out that even under the Shah, China had close relations with Iran, to “stop what was then called Soviet expansionism.” More recently, he said, China has tried so far without success to link the US cutting back support to Taiwan with it voluntarily complying with the US unilateral sanctions on Iran.

Inner City Press asked Garver to compare China's approach to Iran to its evolving Sudanese foreign policy. Garver called Iran much more important to China, given its greater economic development.

  “From a Chinese perspective,” he said, “Iran is simply a far more important country than Sudan, or Angola, with what the Chinese call comprehensive national power.” He acknowledged that for now, Angola is the number one supplier of oil to China.

Hillary Clinton & Hu, previously, US Iran sanctions not shown

   He analogized China's relations with Iran with its support of Pakistan, neither of which he predicted China will abandon. “It's not going to cut Iran loose, because Iran is too important.” By standing with Iran during its “hour of need,” he said, China “builds capital in Tehran as a country that is willing to pursue an independent line... despite American outrage.”

   Given China's relative silence compared to Russia in the UN Security Council on the stand off in Cote d'Ivoire, Inner City Press asked Garver about China's position on Angola ally Laurent Gbabgo. Garver said he had not prepared for that question. The call was sponsored by Realite-EU, with an announced focus on Iran.

   Garver opined that there are “hard realists” in the Chinese military who favor Iran getting nuclear weapons. He listed two reasons for this. First, if oil producing Iran is able to “stand up” to the United States, it makes it a multi-polar world.

  Second, if the US is caught up in fights with Iran, it is less able to be a player in the “Western Pacific,” where China's most immediate interests lie.

  Garver said that Hu and his successor have to take this hard realist view and the military into account. Follow up is pending. Watch this site.

* * *

As in Gabon Obame Seeks UN Support, Echoes of Cote d'Ivoire & UNDP in Yemen

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, January 27 -- In Gabon opposition leader Andre Mba Obame declared himself his country's real leader -- taking a page from Alassane Ouattara in Cote d'Ivoire -- and sought both UN recognition and protection.

In the latter, his precedent may have been the UN mission in Guinea Bissau, where an indicted drug kingpin enjoy UN protection for months a year ago. Inner City Press has repeatedly asked the UN why it protected a drug kingpin and was told, in essence, it was hard to get him to leave.

On January 26, Inner City Press asked Ban Ki-moon's spokesperson's office what was happening in Gabon, and some hours later received the following back in response:

From: Deputy Spokesperson [at]
Date: Wed, Jan 26, 2011
Subject: Re: Press questions: Gabon, withholding, 99% public financial disclosure, Somalia, Cote d'Ivoire, CAR elections (5th time)

On Gabon, we have the following: Mr. Andre Mba Obame, Leader of the “Union Nationale”, is in the UN compound, along with party leaders. Obame handed a letter to the Resident Coordinator requesting UN protection, stating that they fear for their lives if they step outside of the UN office. The Resident Coordinator is consulting with authorities on the ground and with UN Headquarters.

The government of Ali Bongo has dissolved Obame's party and blocked his TV station.

Street calls for democracy: UN double standards not shown

 One difference in how this will play out, a cynic opined, is that Gabon happens to be on the UN Security Council and could make its voice heard. Watch this site.

Footnote: Obame and his band of 20 sought refuge in the UNDP building in Libreville. In terms of UNDP's position on democracy, while protesters in Yemen are now calling for Tunisia style changes, Helen Clark was just in Yemen for days, praising the government. Maybe the Yemeni government used her and the UN?

* * *

At UN on France's Cote d'Ivoire Resolution, Russia Objects on Sanctions, China "Flexible;" Kabila's DRC Change

By Matthew Russell Lee, Exclusive

UNITED NATIONS, January 14 -- The UN Security Council was slated to vote on January 14 on a peacekeeping resolution about Cote d'Ivoire. But the vote has been delayed, until January 18. Why?

  Inner City Press is told by Council sources that “the Westerners” -- drafter France and the United States -- loaded the resolution up with “too much politics,” getting back into the same issues which caused a long delay in issuing a mere press statement about Cote d'Ivoire.

  And so, with the clock ticking, on the January 14 day scheduled for voting France circulated another version of the resolution, with “some of the politics” removed, aiming to have this voted on January 18.

   After a Council experts meeting broke up at 5 pm on January 14, sources told Inner City Press that the remaining problem is a paragraph about sanctions that Russia is objecting to. "China is being more flexible," one said.

  Meanwhile, beyond Angola's President coming out in favor of Gbagbo, there are rumblings of other changes. A Congolese UN staffer approached Inner City Press on Friday morning to ask that Ban Ki-moon be asked what he thinks of Joseph Kabila's move to change his country's Constitution to avoid the type of run off that allowed the UN in Cote d'Ivoire to reach out and certify a winner.

UN's Ban: why rely on Gbagbo if UN certified as illegitimate?

  All told the UN's handling of Cote d'Ivoire makes it less likely, many diplomats say, that the UN will be invited in for any substantive role in their elections. Merely logistical, one African Permanent Representative told Inner City Press. “The UN should move the ballots around and pay for things, but say nothing.” We'll see.

 Click here for an Inner City Press YouTube channel video, mostly UN Headquarters footage, about civilian deaths in Sri Lanka.

Click here for Inner City Press' March 27 UN debate

Click here for Inner City Press March 12 UN (and AIG bailout) debate

Click here for Inner City Press' Feb 26 UN debate

Click here for Feb. 12 debate on Sri Lanka

Click here for Inner City Press' Jan. 16, 2009 debate about Gaza

Click here for Inner City Press' review-of-2008 UN Top Ten debate

Click here for Inner City Press' December 24 debate on UN budget, Niger

Click here from Inner City Press' December 12 debate on UN double standards

Click here for Inner City Press' November 25 debate on Somalia, politics

and this October 17 debate, on Security Council and Obama and the UN.

* * *

These reports are usually also available through Google News and on Lexis-Nexis.

Click here for a Reuters AlertNet piece by this correspondent about Uganda's Lord's Resistance Army. Click here for an earlier Reuters AlertNet piece about the Somali National Reconciliation Congress, and the UN's $200,000 contribution from an undefined trust fund.  Video Analysis here

Feedback: Editorial [at]

UN Office: S-453A, UN, NY 10017 USA Tel: 212-963-1439

Reporter's mobile (and weekends): 718-716-3540

  Search  Search WWW (censored?)

Other, earlier Inner City Press are listed here, and some are available in the ProQuest service, and now on Lexis-Nexis.

            Copyright 2006-08 Inner City Press, Inc. To request reprint or other permission, e-contact Editorial [at] -