The Palestinian-owned Al Quds al Arabi daily ran an opinion piece by the Chief Editor Abdel-Beri Atwan saying: "While the Arab regimes are busy with reconciliations and the settlement of secondary disputes, Iran has successfully completed the building of the Bushehr nuclear reactor on the eastern side of the Arab Gulf, rendering the production of nuclear bombs imminent."
Iran made this technological progress after an eight-year war against Iraq and under a suffocating American economic blockade, while the Arab regimes failed to achieve half the Iranian accomplishments at a time when they have not been engaged in war and when thousands of billions of dollars went into their treasuries from oil revenues, he wrote in the UK-based paper. "Israel, which is well aware of the meaning of those Iranian accomplishments, is currently living in a state of hysteria, which has peaked during these last two days, after reports were leaked about the completion of the Bushehr nuclear reactor," Atwan wrote. "Either Iran will succeed in developing nuclear bombs with American recognition and in the context of a deal to divide power in the Gulf,or Israel will carry out a military venture that will lead the region into a war that will change its geographic, demographic and strategic map."
The Saudi-owned newspaper Al Hayat ran an opinion article by Hassan Haidar saying one aspect of the International Tribunal to try suspects in Rafik al Hariri's killing holds a special place in the hearts and minds of the Lebanese.
"It is the idea that the arbitrary regime under which they lived for decades will be subjected to international legal accountability, despite the failed attempt of some parties last May to revive it through civil and sectarian strife," he wrote, referring to the Hezbollah-led opposition. "Those who took to the streets after the crime and announced their second independence did so with the spontaneity of those who seek salvation, one that is not prepared in political circles, regional settlements, and intelligence bureaus." Those demonstrators decided that they deserved to live in the 21st century according to the Charter of Human Rights, without fear or weapons, Haidar wrote in the London-based paper. "Today, the Tribunal revives the hope that their dream can be fulfiled, even though the path ahead is still long and arduous. But they can at least see its beginning."
"During the past few weeks, a number of American congress delegations visited Damascus to seek direct dialogue," regular writer Makram Muhammad Ahmad wrote in a Feb 26 opinion piece for Egypt's pro-government newspaper Al Ahram.
One sign of progress in the US congress delegation's negotiations with the Syrians may be the statement made by the head of the US delegation John Kerry who said that Damascus agreed on the formation of a Palestinian national unity government that embraces Fatah and Hamas. "This agreement, however, is only one item on an agenda filled with fears, suspicions and exchanged demands by Damascus and Washington," he wrote.
When the Syrians agreed to hold indirect negotiations with Israel through Turkish mediation, they did not hide their desire for the Americans to be a third party. For their part, the Americans saw Syria as an important key to the security and stability of Iraq if American forces withdraw. "The question that pressures Washington today is whether Damascus is still able to loosen its alliance with Iran, or whether things have gone so far that it will be impossible for it to step back."
"None of us can address the reports coming from Medina without feeling bitterness and pain toward the criminal violations that are occurring there and can no longer be disregarded or handled through requests for calm," Nader Ali al Hamdan wrote for the Saudi Shiite Rasid.net news website. "No one can continue to ask those who are being attacked and the victims who are still being tortured on the physical and moral levels to exercise self-control, knowing that their rights have been undermined by the Saudi government."
The Committee for the Prevention of Vice and the Propagation of Virtue embarked on an attack that did not exclude women and children, he wrote. Instead of protecting Shiite citizens, the Interior Ministry escalated an organized assault against them. "No one knows how this will end, unless the Interior Ministry reconsiders the serious mistakes it is committing against the Shiite community." * Digest compiled by www.mideastwire.com