Inside the Middle East
April 11, 2011
Posted: 1237 GMT

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March 17, 2011
Posted: 1138 GMT
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (pictured March 8) said military invention by the U.S. and Europe in Libya would make matters worse.
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (pictured March 8) said military invention by the U.S. and Europe in Libya would make matters worse.

The United States and Europe should not intervene militarily in strife-torn Libya because it would make matters worse, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad told Spanish state television TVE on Tuesday.

"I think a military intervention would be even worse. The experience of Iraq and Afghanistan is before us. It made things worse, not better," Ahmadinejad told TVE in an interview at the presidential palace in Tehran, Iran, which was televised in Spain.

He condemned Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi's bombardment of rebels, saying, "We condemn these massacres and we have condemned them previously. Whomever bombs his own people should be condemned."

But Ahmadinejad - speaking in his native Farsi that was translated to Spanish - also warned, "A Western intervention will just complicate the situation. The West needs to leave behind its colonialist vision."

He accused the United States and Europe of having provided weapons and backing to Gadhafi and other autocratic regimes in the region in the past. Read more...

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Filed under: Iran •Libya •U.S.

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March 8, 2011
Posted: 843 GMT
Rebel fighters take cover as a bomb dropped by a fighter jet explodes on the outskirts of Ras Lanuf on March 7.
Rebel fighters take cover as a bomb dropped by a fighter jet explodes on the outskirts of Ras Lanuf on March 7.

President Barack Obama is wrestling with a decision whether or not to intervene in Libya.
Here is a consideration that should top the president's thinking process: What message will it send if Moammar Gadhafi survives?
An anti-American, anti-Western supporter of international terrorism can hold power by killing large numbers of his own people. Meanwhile, nondemocratic rulers aligned with the West are nudged from power by their former friends.
If you were the king of Saudi Arabia, what conclusion would you draw? Would you not assess: It's a lot safer to be an American enemy than an American friend? After all, an American enemy can use maximum violence with impunity.
Let's do a quick tally of the Middle East's nondemocratic leaders.
America's friend Hosni Mubarak? Gone.
America's friend Zine El Abidine Ben Ali? Gone.
America's friend the king of Bahrain? Wobbling.
America's friend the king of Jordan? Shaken.
On the other side of the ledger:

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February 27, 2011
Posted: 831 GMT

The U.N. Security Council voted unanimously Saturday night to punish Moammar Gadhafi's government in Libya for violence against unarmed civilians, hours after the nation's budding opposition picked a former top official as its interim leader.

The draft resolution includes an arms embargo, asset freeze and travel bans for Gadhafi and several of his family members and associates. It also refers the situation unfolding in Libya to the International Criminal Court.

"This resolution will be a signal (to) put an end to the fascist regime that is still in existence," said Abdurrahman Mohamed Shalgham, Libyan ambassador to the United Nations, who urged action Friday in an emotional appeal. He'd earlier renounced support for Gadhafi, calling him Saturday "a leader who loves nobody but himself."

Military and security forces loyal to Gadhafi have killed more than 1,000 people, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon has estimated.

Meanwhile, Libya's deputy amassador to the world body, Ibrahim Dabbashi, indicated Saturday that he and fellow diplomats "support ... in principle" a caretaker administration to lead Libya under the direction of former Justice Minister Mustafa Abdul Jalil. Read more..

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February 17, 2011
Posted: 1022 GMT
Groups of protesters gathered to demonstrate both for and against the government of Moammar Gadhafi on Wednesday.
Groups of protesters gathered to demonstrate both for and against the government of Moammar Gadhafi on Wednesday.

Libyan police clashed with protesters chanting anti-government slogans and demanding the release of a human rights activist early Wednesday, an independent source in the country told CNN.

Up to 200 protesters in the coastal city of Benghazi were supporting human rights activist and lawyer Fathi Terbil, who had been detained earlier, the source said.

Several people were arrested after police confronted the protesters, the source added.

However, a highly placed Libyan source close to the government sought to downplay the reports of unrest. The source asked not to be identified because he was not authorized to talk to the media.

"There is nothing serious here," the highly placed source said. "These are just young people fighting each other ... There is no police, no security in Benghazi."

The source characterized the clashes as "street fights" and said they were "not political."
"Libya is not Egypt... This is not an organized revolution," he said.

Meanwhile, demonstrations in support of long-time Libyanleader Moammar Gadhafi took place in several cities Wednesday, including Benghazi, the country's state news agency reported.

CNN's independent source said the government mobilized thousands of people in several Libyan cities early Wednesday, and is conveying the message that while grievances will be addressed, calls for the regime's overthrow will not be tolerated. Read more...

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July 12, 2010
Posted: 1324 GMT

By the CNN Wire Staff

Jerusalem (CNN) - An aid ship trying to break Israel's blockade of Gaza still plans to aim for the Palestinian territory, its organizer told CNN on Sunday, despite Israel's foreign ministry saying it would likely dock elsewhere.


But the activists on the boat will not resist if they are confronted by the Israeli military, said Youssef Sawani, the executive director of the Gadhafi Foundation, which is sending the boat.

Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak called the ship "an unnecessary provocation."

The ship, launched by a charity headed by Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi's son, set sail from Greece on Saturday carrying 2,000 tons of aid.

It should take 70 to 80 hours – about three to three-and-a-half days – to reach Gaza, Sawani said.

The Gadhafi Foundation refers to the ship as the Hope, although it appears to be registered formally as the MV Amalthea. It is Moldovan flagged and run by ACA Shipping, based in Greece.

"This is purely a humanitarian effort," he said, adding "The Israelis should seize this opportunity and allow the goods into Gaza."

Aside from the ship's crew, Sawani says nine others are on board: Six Libyans, one Moroccan and one person from Niger, all of whom work with the Gadhafi Foundation, plus a journalist from Al Jazeera, Sawani added.

Israel insists on controlling the entry of all goods into Gaza, which is run by the militant movement Hamas, because it says it must keep weapons out of the hands of people determined to attack it.

Barak said Israel would not allow the aid ship to dock in Gaza, but said it could unload goods elsewhere and Israel would allow them to enter the Palestinian territory by land after Israel inspects them.

"Goods can be transferred into Gaza through the port of Ashdod after they are inspected, but we will not allow the transfer of weapons or ammunition into Gaza," he said. "We recommend to the organizers of the flotilla to allow navy vessels to escort it to the port of Ashdod or sail directly to el-Arish" in Egypt.

Israeli commandos boarded a Turkish aid ship in May, resulting in violence between the troops and the activists on the ship that left nine Turks dead. The raid prompted international condemnation and threatened Israeli-Turkish relations.

CNN's Frederik Pleitgen and Guy Azriel and journalist Elinda Labropoulou contributed to this report.

Filed under: Gaza •Israel •Libya

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January 18, 2010
Posted: 659 GMT
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September 24, 2009
Posted: 814 GMT
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September 11, 2009
Posted: 927 GMT

CNN's Nic robertson is in Libya covering the aftermath of the return of the Lockerbie bomber from a prison in Scotland to his homeland.
Watch as he is lead to a hospital in Libya for a press conference without any additional information on who will be speaking.

He filed this story for CNN's BackStory

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