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Resources updated Wednesday, October 11, 2017

October 11, 2017

A sign for the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)

"The United States plans to formally withdraw from UNESCO, the U.N.'s Paris-based cultural, scientific and educational organization, to save money and protest what it views as the organization's anti-Israel bias...

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson made the decision several weeks ago, and told French President Emmanuel Macron Washington was considering leaving during a meeting with President Donald Trump in late September on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly. Macron was seeking Trump's support for a French candidate seeking the top job at UNESCO.

The State Department wanted to delay its departure until after UNESCO selects a new director general this week. The two front runners are the former French culture minister, Audrey Azoulay, and a Qatari diplomat, Hamad bin Abdulaziz Al-Kawari. China's nominee and early frontrunner, Qian Tang, has seen his candidacy crater...

The Reagan Administration decided to withdraw from the organization in 1984, at the height of the Cold War, citing corruption and what it considered an ideological tilt towards the Soviet Union against the West. President George W. Bush rejoined the organization in 2002, claiming it had gotten its books an order and expunged some of its most virulent anti-Western and anti-Israel biases...

But six years ago, the United States cut off more than $80 million a year, about 22 percent of its entire budget for UNESCO, in reprisal for its acceptance of Palestine as a member. The Obama administration said it had to cut funds because a 1990s-era law prohibits U.S. funding for any U.N. agencies recognizing Palestine as a state.

Despite the funding cut, the United States remains a member of UNESCO, and even has a vote on the executive board, which selects the new director general. But the United States has and it continues to be charged tens of millions in dues each year and has lost its voting rights in UNESCO's principal decision-making body, which is known as the General Conference...

As a result of U.S. funding cuts, U.S. arrears have been swelling each year, surpassing $500 million that's owed to UNESCO. Tillerson wants to stop the bleeding.

But the fundamental strain is over UNESCO's approach to Israel. Last year, Israel recalled its ambassador to UNESCO in protest after Arab governments in the organization secured support for a resolution denouncing Israel's policies regarding religious sites in East Jerusalem and the West Bank.

And in July, UNESCO declared the old city in Hebron, a West Bank town that includes the Tomb of the Patriarchs, a Palestinian World Heritage Site, a move Israel claims negates Judaism's links to the biblical town."

Six years after cutting funding, losing voting rights, U.S. withdraws completely from UNESCO Article

Imagery of Iranian nuclear facilities

"President Donald Trump is expected this week to 'decertify' the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), better known simply as the Iran deal, declaring that the agreement reached in 2015 by the U.S. and five other international powers is not in America's national interest. The matter will then be tossed back to Congress, which will have 60 days to decide whether to reimpose hefty pre-2015 sanctions.

While the President's likely move has generated wide condemnation from foreign policy leaders - who reiterate that the United Nations nuclear watchdog agency, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), has maintained Iran is in compliance - a new 52-page investigative report by the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), entitled: 'Iran's Nuclear Core: Uninspected Military Sites,' obtained exclusively by Fox News and slated for release Wednesday, asserts that the country's nuclear weapons program has far from halted.

'It has been known for years that Iran has two nuclear programs - one is civilian and the other, the military, has the goal of giving Iran its first nuclear bomb,' Alireza Jafarzadeh, deputy director of the Washington office of the NCRI, also referred to as the Iranian Resistance, and considered the primary opposition coalition to the clerical administration of Iran, told Fox News. 'The civilian sector of the nuclear program has systematically provided a plausible logistical cover for the military sector, and acts as a conduit for it. The military aspect of the program has been and remains at the heart of Iran's nuclear activities.'..."

Iran's secret sites linked to nuclear weapons development revealed Article

Former ICC chief prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo

"The United Nations and its "International Criminal Court" (ICC) just suffered another massive blow - possibly a fatal one - to whatever credibility they may have had left. In explosive leaked documents making headlines around the world, former ICC 'chief prosecutor' Luis Moreno Ocampo (shown) was exposed using dubious offshore accounts to engage in what have been widely described as shady dealings. Among his big-spending "clients," meanwhile, are extremely shady characters that, experts say, could someday be hauled before the very UN "court" that Ocampo used to work for...

Ocampo's shady schemes, being exposed in leading media outlets around the world, may accelerate the ICC's ongoing implosion. And many of the former ICC chief prosecutor's most controversial acts - ordering the arrest of a duly elected Christian president, for example, as UN-backed jihadists slaughtered Christians with machetes to install a totalitarian-minded Muslim central banker as leader - have not even been brought up amid the latest brouhaha...

Among the recent scandals that have received the most attention thus far, Ocampo reportedly received huge sums of money from a mega-wealthy Libyan oil and media baron, Hassan Tatanaki, known for his close ties to a particular armed faction in that nation's brutal ongoing civil war. The militia he supports, led by former Gadhafi General Khalifa Haftar (sometimes written Hifter) has reportedly perpetrated ghastly war crimes and atrocities in its bid to seize control over Libya and its wealth. Among the crimes the military leader has been accused of: ordering extrajudicial killings, including murdering prisoners. Speaking on Tatanaki's own TV stations, some of Haftar's top officers have called for 'slaughtering' everyone who opposed them. Multiple allegations of war crimes have been made against the Tatanaki-backed militia leader in media outlets all over the world. Human rights groups have also documented some of the crimes.

All of that had many calling for Haftar and his associates to be arrested and prosecuted. Ocampo, though, offered costly advice on how to protect his client - who agreed to pay $1 million per year in addition to $5,000 per day for Ocampo's 'services' - from potential prosecution. As a result, Ocampo is being labeled a mercenary, a hypocrite, and worse by critics. 'He told me he was trying to fix Libya,' Ocampo claimed in trying to justify his lucrative deal with Tatanaki. 'What he was proposing to me was absolutely not just legal, it was positive." Ocampo said it was 'obvious' that Hafter and his men, as well as 'every side,' were committing crimes. So for a million dollars a year plus $5,000 daily, Ocampo claims he told Tatanaki 'be careful not to be involved in financing any crimes.'..."

Leaks Expose Shady Deals of Chief Prosecutor for UN "Court" Article

The Iranian military complex at Parchin

(Mis)Reading the IAEA reports on Iran's nuclear program Article