Kenyans stand against terror attacks, the pros and cons of a modern nuclear Iran, beware of Houthi rebels in Yemen

A round-up of global commentary for the April 20&27, 2015 issue of the weekly magazine.

Ben Curtis/AP
A nun prays during the service at the Our Lady of Consolation Church, which was attacked with grenades by militants almost three years ago, in Garissa, Kenya, Sunday, April 5, 2015. Easter Sunday's ceremony was laden with emotion for the several hundred members of Garissa's Christian minority, which is fearful following the recent attack on Garissa University College by Al Shabab, a Somalia-based Islamic extremist group, who singled out Christians for killing, though Al Shabab has a long record of killing Muslims over the years.

Standard Digital / Nairobi, Kenya
Kenyans stand strong against terror attacks
“[D]espite the monstrosity of the attack [at Garissa University College], and in spite of the severest test the Kenyan bond and that attendant sense of nationhood and brotherhood has undergone, the country shall stand firmly on its feet,” states an editorial. “This is because the Kenyan spirit is unbreakable and its citizens know the kind of reaction the Al-Shabaab militia is goading Kenyans into.... [T]hey hope to trigger an ethno-religious conflict. In so doing, they expect then that they will perpetuate fear and plant the seeds of distrust among Kenyans. They have once again failed in their mission. Even as we struggle to rise from the rubble of ... [the] attack, we must once again realise that despair, anger and vengeance will court the reaction that the enemy wants to trigger. As humans we may flinch, we may cry, our souls may stir, but forever, we must remain unbowed, so as to deny them that which they are seeking.”

Arab News / Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
What could happen if Iran goes nuclear
“Washington is not being asked to adopt a hostile stance against anyone[,] but allowing Iran to be a nuclear country in 10 years or allowing it to be a regional power will lead to a long regional struggle that will increase the price of oil and will prepare the ground for the growth of extremist groups,” writes Abdulrahman al-Rashed, former general manager of Al Arabiya News Channel.

The Hindu / Chennai, India
Iran nuclear deal beneficial to West Asian region
“The signing of the [nuclear agreement]..., between Iran and P5+1, is the first definitive step on a road that will be long and tortuous but carries profound implications for the West Asian region as a whole...,” writes Rakesh Sood, a former Indian ambassador to Afghanistan and Nepal and a specialist in disarmament. “The agreed framework meets the test of a good deal. It closes Iran’s route to nuclear weapons, constrains elements of its programme that generate concern for a decade and more, deters breakout by introducing stringent monitoring, and helps build confidence by phasing out sanctions. Most importantly, diplomacy has achieved more than what a military strike could have achieved.”

Spiegel online / Hamburg, Germany
Iran is more modern than you think
“There are few countries in the world that are subjected to as much Western prejudice and misunderstanding as Iran,” writes German journalist and author Erich Follath. “I have known the country since the era of the shahs and I have visited it more than a dozen times in the past four decades, including a recent visit.... With the exception of Israel, there is unlikely any other country in the Middle East where pro-Western sentiment is as pronounced as it is in Iran. Millions of young people attend university. And even though women are still discriminated against ... they live more freely here than in many other countries in the region.... If the nuclear negotiations do ultimately fail, Tehran will decry it as a humiliation. It will follow up by eliminating any restrictions and placing all of its energy into its effort to build a nuclear bomb. It will use national pride as the argument to oblige its people to persevere through difficult times.”

The National / Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Beware of Houthi rebels’ peace-talk rhetoric in Yemen
“If there is one thing Yemen watchers have long understood, it is to take the words of the Houthi rebels with a pinch of salt...,” states an editorial. “Since their sweep out of their northern stronghold of Saada, the Houthis have cloaked themselves in the language of national unity, pretending to stand for the interests of all Yemenis. They have yet to explain precisely how standing up for Yemen involves seeking to assassinate the president, overthrowing the government and shelling the cities of Taez and Aden.... Peace talks are necessary for the conflict in Yemen to end. But what is also needed is compromise. The Houthis dragged Yemen to this point, pretending otherwise is unlikely to persuade anyone who has been paying attention.”

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