October 16, 2012 | 3:32 am
An increasingly desperate Iran could create a massive oil spill to force the West into temporarily suspending sanctions, writes Erich Follath in Der Spiegel.
According to the Pasdaran [Revolutionary Guards] leadership, if there were a tanker disaster today, the International Compensation Fund for Oil Pollution Damage would have to step in financially. But a decontamination effort would only be possible with the technical assistance of Iranian authorities, which would require lifting the embargo, at least temporarily. Iranian oil companies, some owned by members of the Pasdaran, could even benefit from the cleanup program.
The Palestinian leadership has wisely dropped its demand for an Israeli settlement freeze as a precondition for negotiations, writes Andrew Wilson in the World Policy blog.
Mahmoud Abbas and his leadership team are to be commended for their new realism. Last year’s futile gesture to bring a resolution on statehood to the Security Council only angered the Americans and pushed them to use their veto. This year for the resolution at the General Assembly, the Palestinians are seeking to engage in sober discussions with the Europeans and other potential partners with the aim of gaining broad-based international support.
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