Saudi Arabia has provided fighter jets to assist the United States with its drone strikes against Al-Qaeda targets in Yemen, the London Times reported on Friday.
US drones are backing Yemeni forces combating militants of Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP). The group’s Yemen branch is considered by Washington to be the most active and deadliest franchise of the global jihadist network.
The Times cited a US intelligence source as saying that “some of the so-called drone missions are actually Saudi Air Force missions”.
US drone attacks in Yemen nearly tripled in 2012 compared to 2011, according to the Washington-based think tank New America Foundation, and for the first time totalled more than in Pakistan last year.
A new US drone strike on Thursday killed three Al-Qaeda suspects in the town of Rada in Yemen’s central Al-Bayda province, the site of similar recent attacks, tribal sources there said.
AQAP took advantage of the weakness of Yemen’s central government during an uprising in 2011 against now ousted president Ali Abdullah Saleh, seizing large swathes of territory across the south.
But after a month-long offensive launched in May last year by Yemeni troops, most militants fled to the more “lawless” desert regions of the east.
Britain is furious at Israel’s decision to take punitive measures, including the authorisation of 3,000 new settler homes and the development of land east of Jerusalem known as E1 for settlement construction.
The development of E1 has been frozen for years under pressure from the US and EU. Western diplomats regard it as a “game-changer” as its development would close off East Jerusalem – the future capital of Palestine – from the West Bank.
Britain has demanded that Israel rescind the decision. UN secretary-general, Ban Ki-moon, said the settlement expansion plans “would represent an almost fatal blow to the remaining chances of securing a two-state solution”."
News stories on the latest International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) report suggested new reasons to fear that Iran is closer to a “breakout” capability than ever before, citing a nearly 50% increase in its stockpile of 20% enriched uranium and the installation of hundreds of additional centrifuges at the Fordow enrichment installation.
But the supposedly dramatic increase in the stockpile of uranium that could theoretically be used to enrich to weapons grade is based on misleading figures in the Nov. 16 IAEA report. The actual increase in the level of that stockpile appears to be 20%.
The coverage of the completion of the installation of 2,800 centrifuges at Fordow, meanwhile, continued the media practice of ignoring the linkage between large numbers of idle centrifuges and future negotiations on the Iranian nuclear program.
The latest round of media coverage of the Iran issue again highlights the failure of major news outlets to reflect the complexity and political subtleties of the Iranian enrichment program.
The IAEA report created understandable confusion about the stockpile of uranium enriched to 20% — also called 20% LEU (low enriched uranium). It does not use the term “stockpile” at all. Instead, it says Iran produced 43 kg of 20% enriched uranium during the three months since the August report and cited a total of 135 kg of 20% uranium now “in storage,” compared with only 91.4 kg in August.
Based on those figures, Reuters suggested that Iran might already be two-thirds of the way to the level of 200-250 kg that “experts say” could be used to build a bomb. The Guardian’s Julian Borger wrote that Iran was enriching uranium at a pace that would reach the Israeli “red line” in just seven months.
But analysis of the figures in the last two reports shows that the IAEA total for 20% LEU “in storage” actually includes 20% LEU that has been sent to the Fuel Plate Fabrication Plant in Esfahan for conversion to powder for fuel plates to be used by Iran’s medical reactor but not yet converted.
The November IAEA report includes the information that, as of Sept. 26 — six weeks after the data in the August report were collected — the total amount of 20% LEU fed into conversion process in Esfahan stood at 82.7 kg.
That figure is 11.5 kg more than the total of 71.25 kg fed into the conversion process as of the August report.
The difference between the two indicates that 11.5 kg had been taken out of the stockpile and sent to the Fuel Plate Fabrication Plant at Esfahan during September 2012.
In another indicator of the difference between the IAEA’s “in storage” figure and the actual stockpile size, the current IAEA report gives the figure of 73.7 kg of 20% LEU from the Fordow facility “withdrawn and verified” by the IAEA over the entire period of such enrichment. That total is 23.7 kg higher than the total of 50 kg from Fordow “withdrawn and verified” given in the August report.
A total of 23.7 kg of 20% LEU was evidently taken out of the stockpile available for higher level enrichment and sent for conversion to powder for fuel plates during the last quarter.
The current IAEA report nevertheless uses the same overall total of 96.3 kg of 20% LEU fed into the conversion process that it used in the August report.
Subtracting the 23.7 kg additional uranium “withdrawn and verified” by the IAEA during the quarter from the total 20% enriched uranium production of 43 kg during the quarter reduces the amount added to the stockpile of 20% LEU to 19.3 kg.
Adding the 19.3 kg to the August total of 91.4 kg gives a total for the stockpile of 110.7 kg — a 20% increase over the August level rather than the nearly 50% increase suggested by news stories.
The IAEA declined to respond to the substance of an IPS e-mail query citing the apparent inconsistencies in the data presented in the last two reports. IAEA Press Officer Greg Webb said in an e-mail that safeguards department officials who had been sent the query “reply that the report is clear and accurate as it stands.”
However, the Institute for Science and International Security in Washington, D.C., which normally supports everything in IAEA reports, said in a Nov. 16 commentary that the current report “does not make it clear if Iran has sent additional near 20% LEU hexafluoride to the Esfahan conversion site after August 2012.”
The Washington think tank added, “However, it if did, the near 20% LEU remains in the form of hexafluoride.” The comment implied that the IAEA may have included 23.7 kg of 20% enriched uranium sent to the Fuel Plate Fabrication Plant during the quarter as being “in storage.”
The IAEA report also said Iran had halted its conversion of 20% LEU for fuel plates during the quarter, although it did not indicate how long the halt might last.
Reuters cited that halt as “another potentially worrying development.” But in light of the actual level of the stockpile, that halt could simply reflect the fact that Tehran is content to keep the figure from rising too far above 100 kg.
The spokesman for the Iranian Parliament’s National Security and Foreign Affairs Committee, Hossein Naqavi, said Oct. 6 that Iran was taking “a serious and concrete confidence-building measure” by converting some of the 20% LEU into powder for fuel plates.
More surprisingly, an Israel official leaked to an Israeli daily that Iran was believed to have consciously avoided allowing its stockpile of 20% enriched uranium to go much beyond 110 kg by diverting much of it for conversion to fuel for its scientific research reactor.
Citing “defense sources,” Haaretz military correspondent Amos Harel wrote Oct. 9 that the Israeli policymakers had new information they considered “highly reliable” that each time new production of 20% enriched uranium could have brought the total above 130 kg, Iran had “diverted 15 or 20 kg to scientific use.”
Harel indicated that the new information was the justification for the Israeli position that the threat of Iranian threat of a breakout capability had receded for many months.
Media coverage of the addition of the last of 2,800 centrifuges added to Fordow enrichment facility over the past year played up the idea that the centrifuges could become operational at any time. “They can be started any day,” a “senior diplomat” from an unnamed country was quoted by Reuters as saying.
The fact that half of those centrifuges have not been put into operation was treated as a mystery. The Los Angeles Times said, “For unknown reasons, Iran has not begun feeding uranium hexafluoride gas into more than half of the machines….”
None of the stories mentioned the obvious connection between Iran’s continuing to add centrifuges but not putting them into operation and its maneuvering for a deal with the United States.
Iran has been suggesting both publicly and privately throughout 2012 that it is open to an agreement under which it would halt all 20% enrichment and agree to other constraints on its enrichment program in return for relief from harsh economic sanctions now levied on the Iranian economy.
Iranian strategists evidently view the unused enrichment capacity at Fordow facility as an incentive for the United States and the P5+1 to seek such an agreement.
Israeli officers try to detain a Palestinian demonstrator after they clashed with Palestinians during a protest against Israel’s military operation in Gaza, outside Damascus Gate in Jerusalem’s Old City, November 16, 2012. (Reuters / Ammar Awad)
Israeli soldiers prepare armoured personnel carriers (APC) at an area near the border with the Gaza Strip, November 16, 2012.
Israel’s last ground invasion of Gaza took place less than four years ago, known as ‘Operation Cast Lead’, took the lives of 1,400 Palestinians, more than 300 of whom were children. Palestinian armed groups responded, killing 3 Israeli civilians and 6 Israeli soldiers.
(Photograph: Reuters / Ronen Zvulun)
The flare up of violence between Israel and Gaza looks like its about to escalate, with an Israeli airstrike today killing a Hamas commander and Israeli military leadership talking openly about the possibility of an expanded war on Gaza, possibly including a ground invasion.
This escalation occurs just days after widespread reports about newly reelected Obama mulling a grand bargain with Iran over its disputed nuclear program. Barbara Slavin and Laura Rozen at Al-Monitor reported on Monday that US officials told them Washington was considering offering a “more for more” deal with Iran, based on the fuel swap deal from Obama’s first term.
I suspect this point was not lost on the Israeli leadership, either. So, is Netanyahu knowingly escalating military tensions in order to avoid a successful diplomatic overture? I’m speculating, but it isn’t far fetched. We know from extensive reporting, mainly in Israeli media, that in 2010 – just as President Obama requested a freeze on Jewish settlements in the West Bank with the aim of resuming peace talks – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tried to provoke Iran into a war with Israel that would eventually drag in the United States.
It reminds me of what former CIA Middle East analyst Paul Pillar referred to this week as “Netanyahu’s tension-stoking brinksmanship: to divert attention from continued Israeli occupation of Palestinian territory and inaction on the festering Israeli-Palestinian conflict.” “[T]he Iran issue,” Pillar has previously written, provides a “distraction” from international “attention to the Palestinians’ lack of popular sovereignty.” Now the situation seems reversed: Israel is escalating war with Gaza to maintain deadlock with their favorite scapegoat, Iran.
Israel, lest we forget, instigated this resumption of missile exchanges last week when two Palestinian civilians were shot and killed and Israeli tanks intruded into Gaza, prompting Gaza militants to respond by targeting Israeli soldiers, which then gave Israel an excuse to unleash successive airstrikes. And Israel had numerous chances to pacify the situation, considering Hamas publicly offered to establish a total ceasefire and Egypt appeared about to broker a truce between the two. Israel has intentionally inched towards escalation from the beginning. Are we to believe this isn’t strategic?
Americans reelected President Barack Obama on November 6th for four more years, giving so-called “mandate” to unconstitutional war, an expanding secret drone program, codification of indefinite detention, and widespread government secrecy.
In fact, the mandate for those policies was far greater than Obama’s side of the vote count. GOP contender Mitt Romney agreed with Obama on virtually every foreign policy and national security issue, from Iran to Syria, Israel to Egypt, the drug war to Afghanistan, and the pivot to Asia-Pacific.
Where voters saw a difference in this election was with regard to economic policies. The electorate was split over whether Obama or Romney was better equipped to magically create jobs via government coercion.
US foreign policy, though, would have stayed the same regardless of which candidate won the election. Romney offered no alternative to Executive-ordered war without congressional approval; no alternative to an expanding and illegal drone war; no alternative to a federal government that spends upwards of $11 billion just keeping secrets from the American public; no alternative to sanctioning Iran for a nuclear weapons program US intelligence admits Tehran doesn’t have; no alternative to the warfare-welfare-corporatist state.
Showing six massive craters covering what once was a weapons facility in the heart of Sudan’s capital, the satellite imagery of the aftermath of the October 23 attack suggested an aerial bombardment of such sophistication that the culprit is hardly shrouded in mystery.
Fingers have been pointing to Israel. Because of suspicion the destroyed facility held Gaza-bound arms supplied by Iran, few doubt it would not have captured the full attention of Tel Aviv.
By neither confirming nor denying involvement in the Khartoum attack, Israel has avoided shouldering responsibility, and for good reason. Analysts said this long-standing policy of ambiguity has been a reliable weapon along with its arsenal of F-16s, pilotless-drones and alleged nuclear bombs for softening the political fallout from decades of covert operations against nuclear facilities, arms traffickers and militants in the region.
The difficulty of proving an Israeli link helps to shield allies in Washington, Europe and the Arab world from the embarrassment of being accused of having prior knowledge of - or involvement in - its attacks, the analysts said. It also makes the case for retaliation harder to prove for those struck by Israel.
Thus its leaders can nudge themselves enough room to order operations far beyond its borders, said Jeremy Pressmen, associate professor of political science at the University of Connecticut.
“It’s hard to find cases when Israel didn’t get away with it,” he said.
Of course, ambiguity has not dampened suspicions of an Israeli hand in many such incidents. Psychologically, that probably works to Israel’s advantage. Because it does not deny such attacks, Israel leaves open the possibility that it could have been behind them. That has helped its military and Mossad spy agency create an aura of near-omnipotence in the Arab world.
Dan Schueftan, head of Haifa University’s National Security Studies Center, said Israeli officials constantly weigh the diplomatic repercussions of its operations against not acting. One of their first considerations is Washington, Israel’s most important ally, he said.
“If third-world countries protest, who cares,” he said in describing Israeli calculations. “If the Europeans protest, well, not that important. But if the Americans would really be against it, that’s a problem.”
Fortunately for Israel, Mr Scheuftan said, American-Israeli security interests have more closely aligned since the September 11, 2001, attacks on the US.
Israeli leaders, for their part, have publicly expressed concern that Sudan had become a transit point for Iranian weaponry supplied to anti-Israel militants. Moshe Yaalon, the vice premier, told Israel Radio on Wednesday “there’s no doubt that there is an axis of weapons from Iran via Sudan that reaches us, and not just us”.
Although Sudanese officials denied a Tehran link to the destroyed government-run factory in the attack in Khartoum that killed four, two Iranian warships later docked at Sudan’s Red Sea port.
Shlomo Brom, a retired Israeli brigadier general and research associate at Tel Aviv University’s Institute for National Security Studies, said the Khartoum strike likely knocked out Iranian arms destined for the Gaza Strip’s Hamas rulers or militants in the Sinai Peninsula.
It would not be the first time Israel was suspected of attacking Sudan. In 2009, aerial bombardments took out a ship at a Sudanese port and a convoy of arms headed to Gaza. But because of heightened sensitivities after the Arab Spring uprisings - and especially with the new Islamist leadership in Egypt - Mr Brom speculated Israeli leaders viewed Sudan as a less-costly location for thwarting weapons flows.
“Sudan is a remote place and action there won’t bear important diplomatic and political costs,” Mr Brom said. But not so when it comes to Iran and its nuclear facilities, he added.
Taking them out would require a large operation akin to the Israeli air force’s attack on an Iraqi nuclear reactor in 1981. But similar prospects for success in Iran are questionable, and any ambiguity in the aftermath has probably been undermined by Benjamin Netanyahu, who has been unusually vocal in his support of a strike.
Writing in The New Yorker magazine, David Makovsky described how striking Iran would be far more complex than Israel’s 2007 attack on Syria’s suspected nuclear weapons facility. By maintaining ambiguity and utmost secrecy before and after that operation, he wrote, Israeli officials hoped to give Syria’s president, Bashar Al Assad, enough deniability - or what they called a “zone of denial” - so he would not feel pressured to retaliate
He did not and the raid was “an unparalleled success” for Israel, wrote Mr Makovsky, a fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, a US-based think tank.
But he doubted such auspicious conditions for such an operation in Iran, which he said “differs fundamentally from Syria” because of the high risk of “civilian casualties and retaliation”.
The US-backed dictatorship in Bahrain has banned all rallies and protests in the country, the latest repressive measure imposed on the population in response to persistent pro-democracy protests that have not let up for almost two years now.
Lt. Gen. Shaikh Rashid bin Abdullah Al Khalifa, Bahrain’s interior minister, issued a statement on Monday essentially announcing that freedom of expression in Bahrain is a threat to the state and inserting lies about the pro-reform movement’s ties with “extremism.”
“It was decided to stop all rallies and gatherings until ensuring that security is maintained through achieving the targeted security to protect national unity and social fabric to fight extremism,” Bahrain’s state news agency reported, quoting the interior minister as saying “any illegal rally or gathering would be tackled through legal actions against those calling for it and participants.”
The Obama administration, contrary to its own propaganda about being on the side of the people in the Arab Spring, has continued to lend economic, military, and diplomatic support to the tiny Persian Gulf monarch throughout its brutal repression of peaceful demonstrators since early 2011, when forty-seven unarmed protesters were shot and killed with live rounds by security forces.
The Bahraini regime hosts the US Navy’s Fifth Fleet, which allows the United States to “project power” in the Persian Gulf and patrol the Straits of Hormuz, through which 40 percent of the world’s seaborne oil passes. That ruthless geo-political advantage is not something the Obama administration is willing to give up for the sake of democracy and human rights.
Banning all protests and demonstration is a dramatic violation of basic rights, but it is only one aspect of the repressive, martial-law type responses from the US-supported dictatorship. Others have included systematic torture, beatings, weaponizing tear gas, imposing curfews, harassing well-known activists, show trials and detentions, and cracking down on press freedoms, among many others.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday tried to convince Arab states that an Israeli military strike on Iran would benefit their interests and that “a feeling of relief would spread across the region” immediately following an attack.
After failing to pressure the Obama administration to back a preventive Israeli strike on Iran before the US presidential elections, Netanyahu has continued to make veiled threats of war catered for different audiences.
In an interview with a French magazine, Netanyahu pushed back against the claim that an Israeli strike on Iran would destabilize the region and worsen tensions.
“Five minutes after, contrary to what the skeptics say, I think a feeling of relief would spread across the region,” he said.
“Iran is not popular in the Arab world, far from it, and some governments in the region, as well as their citizens, have understood that a nuclear armed Iran would be dangerous for them, not just for Israel,” he said.
But experts generally agree that such an attack would spark a regional war, embolden Iran, and in fact motivate Tehran to build a nuclear weapon, a decision they have not yet made and one that Netanyahu is right to say Arab governments don’t want.
As a recent report by former government officials, national security experts and retired military officers concluded last month, the Iranian nuclear program is too redundant for a surgical strike – probably all Israel is capable of – to delay the program for any considerable length of time.
The report also concluded that an attack would prompt a large-scale Iranian retaliation that would spark an uncontrollable regional war, and this would be severely destabilizing for Arab governments, contrary to Netanyahu’s pandering.
Importantly, the report also warned the attack would increase Iran’s motivation to build a bomb, in order to deter further military action and that ”achieving more than a temporary setback in Iran’s nuclear program would require a military operation – including a land occupation – more taxing than the Iraq and Afghanistan wars combined.”
Netanyahu’s claim that a war on Iran would be good for Arabs is based on the tensions the Arab dictatorships in the Middle East have with the government of Iran. Those tensions come from incompatible competing national interests, and do not reflect how the actual Arab population feels about an Israeli strike. That is something Netanyahu ignores completely.
The Supreme Court on Monday heard oral arguments in Clapper v. Amnesty International, a case which will determine whether or not the government’s warrantless surveillance of American citizens can be challenged in court, even when the specifics of the program are secret.
The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) was enacted by Congress in the 1960s and 70s and regulates the government’s conduct of intelligence surveillance inside the United States. In 2001 – following the 9/11 attacks – President Bush illegally authorized the National Security Agency to launch a warrantless wiretapping program, in breach of FISA “and in 2008 Congress ratified and expanded that program, giving the NSA almost unchecked power to monitor Americans’ international phone calls and emails,” the ACLU explains.
Court challenges to the government’s new surveillance laws have come forth since 2001, but the government has typically stopped the judicial process in its tracks, arguing that the case cannot proceed because aspects of the program must remain secret for national security reasons and that plaintiff’s don’t have “standing” to challenge the law unless they know for sure they have been surveilled.
Jameel Jaffer, ACLU deputy legal director, participated in the oral arguments on Monday and firmly told the Supreme Court justices that the new FISA surveillance laws are unconstitutional.
But “the constitutionality of the global spying is not directly at issue,” writes Lyle Denniston at the SCOTUS blog. ”[T]he sole issue is whether anyone has a legal right to file a lawsuit against it.”
“As part of its concerted campaign to prosecute whistleblowers and to classify state secrets,” writes Jeff Rosen at The New Republic, “the Obama administration has taken a position in Clapper that makes the Bush administration pro-secrecy campaign seem pale in comparison: namely, that no one can challenge warrantless surveillance unless the government tells you in advance that you’re being surveilled—which national security interests prevent it from doing.”
The New York Times called the Obama administration’s position in the case “a particularly cynical Catch-22: Because the wiretaps are secret and no one can say for certain that their calls have been or will be monitored, no one has standing to bring suit over the surveillance.”
The Obama administration has fought tooth and nail to keep the details of its surveillance activities hidden from the public. For years it has insisted that its snooping on Americans’ phone and email communications fell perfectly within the law. But last month, the ACLU, “after months of litigation,” was provided with some internal documents that showed a dramatic increase in surveillance of Americans
So while it is now known that the government has been increasingly spying on its own citizens without warrant, an abominable violation of basic constitutional rights, the government is trying to say that unless specific cases of surveillance are known, which is impossible because of their own secrecy, the courts cannot challenge these blatant violations of the law.
The different legal systems under which Israelis and Palestinians are tried apply to children as well. As +972 has consistently documented, Palestinian children arrested by the Israeli army are treated by the military court system as “potential terrorists.” The visual below demonstrates what would happen should two 12-year-old boys, one Israeli and one Palestinian, get arrested for fighting. One would swiftly be brought before a judge, given access to a lawyer, tried and spared jail time. The other could face two years in jail without trial.
By Michal Vexler, with the cooperation of Caabu – The Council for Arab-British Understanding
Report accuses EU of hypocrisy for condemning settlements as illegal while simultaneously buying vast quantities of exports
The European Union imports around 15 times more produce from Israeli settlements in the West Bank than Palestinian products, despite its consistent condemnation of Israel’s settlement policy as illegal under international law, according to a report.
Based on figures supplied by Israel to the World Bank, the estimated value of settlement imports to the EU is $300m (£187m) a year. The comparative figure for Palestinian produce is less than $20m. “With more than 4 million Palestinians and over 500,000 Israeli settlers living in the occupied territory, this means the EU imports over 100 times more per settler than per Palestinian,” says Trading Away Peace: How Europe Helps Sustain Illegal Israeli Settlements, published by a consortium of 22 organisations across Europe.
Imports include agricultural produce, such as dates, grapes, avocados, herbs, and citrus fruit; cosmetics using Dead Sea minerals marketed under the Ahava brand; and SodaStream domestic carbonation devices.
Many settlement goods are misleadingly labelled “Made in Israel”. The report calls on retailers to provide clear and accurate labelling to allow consumers to make informed choices.
“Europe says settlements are illegal under international law and yet continues to trade with them,” said William Bell of Christian Aid UK and Ireland, one of the consortium partners. “Consumers are unwittingly contributing to the injustice by buying products that are inaccurately labelled as coming from Israel when in fact they are from settlements in the West Bank.”
Western sanctions hitting import of medicines for diseases including multiple sclerosis and cancer, charity warns
Ban Ki-moon has warned the UN that humanitarian operations in Iran are being hampered because of economic canctions. Photograph: Fred Dufour/AFP/Getty
Millions of lives are at risk in Iran because western economic sanctions are hitting the importing of medicines and hospital equipment, the country’s top medical charity has warned.
Fatemeh Hashemi, head of the Charity Foundation for Special Diseases, a non-government organisation supporting six million patients in Iran, has complained about a serious shortage of medicines for a number of diseases such as haemophilia, multiple sclerosis and cancer.
Sanctions over Tehran’s nuclear programme are not directly targeting hospitals but measures imposed on banks and trade restrictions have made life difficult for patients, according to Hashemi, the daughter of former Iranian president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani. Two of her siblings are in prison on separate anti-state charges.
“More than anything else, we have a lack of medicines for patients suffering from cancer and multiple sclerosis,” Hashemi told the conservative website Tabnak. “Those with thalassaemia or in need of dialysis are facing difficulties too – all because of sanctions against banks or problems with transferring foreign currency.” …
In midsummer, Hashemi wrote to United Nations secretary-general Ban Ki-moon calling on him to intervene for the health of Iranian patients who, she said, have had “their basic human right” taken away from them because of sanctions.
Earlier this month, it emerged Ban had warned the UN in a report that humanitarian operations in Iran were being harmed because of sanctions.
“The sanctions imposed on the Islamic Republic of Iran have had significant effects on the general population, including an escalation in inflation, a rise in commodities and energy costs, an increase in the rate of unemployment and a shortage of necessary items, including medicine,” he said.
“The sanctions also appear to be affecting humanitarian operations in the country,” he wrote. “Even companies that have obtained the requisite licence to import food and medicine are facing difficulties in finding third-country banks to process the transactions.”
Mozhgan Elmipour, the mother of a four-year-old Iranian girl who was brought to London from Tehran for a life-saving surgery on her oesophagus, said: “Iranian hospitals have serious difficulties because of sanctions and not everyone in the country is as lucky as my daughter to be able to afford to come here.”
Rojan Pirsalehi, whose oesophagus was damaged after swallowing a battery at the age of two, is being treated at Great Ormond Street hospital in London.
Her parents could not afford to bring her to the UK but thanks to a media campaign in Iran and help from the Iranian government enough funds were raised. The UK government facilitated her journey to London by granting visas to her family. The Guardian initially highlighted her case in June …
Read Whole: The Guardian