Morning Report: 2010-12-14

Iran: Mottaki dismissal won't change policy. The Iranian regime's foreign policy will remain unchanged following the abrupt dismissal of Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki, says the foreign ministry. (Mottaki was fired while on business in Senegal.) BBC: 'Analysts say it may reflect a power struggle within Iran's ruling conservatives, as Mr Mottaki was seen as a close ally of conservative opponents of President Ahmadinejad in parliament.'

BBC video on Iranian dissident Mohsen Sazegara. Also from the Beeb, a feature on a former regime member, now living in exile. 'Throughout the 1970s Sazegara had been a student activist agitating for the overthrow of the Shah. In 1979 he became Khomeini's press attache. He also helped found the now feared Revolutionary Guard, originally established as a defence force against possible attack from Israel or the United States.' Video at the link.

Hillel Neuer on CTV. Also on video: UN Watch's Hillel Neuer speaks out against the Iranian regime and the "wishy-washy" EU. Clip begins with Canadian PM Stephen Harper's bold speech on Canada's foreign policy.

Syrian President visits Qatar. Via Stratfor, Bashar Assad paid a visit to the Qatari Emir on December 14.

UNSC to end Iraq sanctions. Also from Stratfor, the United Nations Security Council has agreed to end Saddam-era sanctions on Iraq including bans on WMD development(!) and the oil-for-food program.

China getting fed up with North Korea. StrategyPage:
December 14, 2010: Leaked American government reports (Wikileaks) shows China is fed up with North Korea, calling its impoverished neighbor a "spoiled child." But there's been an unfortunate blowback from North Korea's recent aggression against South Korea. Reacting to an American suggestion, Japan and South Korea are planning the use of Japanese forces to help defeat another North Korean invasion of the south. This cooperation was long considered impossible, because of Korean hatred for brutal Japanese occupation from 1905-45. ...

Full article at the link.

Richard Holbrooke dies. Arutz Sheva: 'US diplomat Richard Holbrooke, who two years ago praised Truman for recognizing Israel despite State Department opposition, died at the age of 69.'