Tag Archives: Iran

Europe’s Biggest Enemy Isn’t Russia Nor Islamic Terrorism, but Israel, by Martin Jay

Europe shouldn’t mistake either the U.S. or Israel as a friend. From Martin Jay at strategic-culture.org:

When Joe Biden took office, many pundits said that at least relations between the U.S. and EU would be restored. But the Iran deal is the ultimate test of just how much he loves the old continent.

Just how far will Israel go to scupper the so-called Iran deal from being signed by both Iran and the West? And will it play a fair game or use underhand and covert tactics to achieve its goal of the deal never being signed? Recently, we have seen the talks in Vienna progress as even the Americans say that certain key negotiating points have been taken out of the deal from the Iranians which has made the negotiations move closer to an agreement; we have also seen though Israel pulling out all the stops, from a PR and lobbying perspective at least.

And then there is the murky subject of skullduggery to destroy the talks. If you’re one of these people who believes in fairies at the bottom of the garden or that certain toothpastes can make your teeth whiter, then you might not buy into Israel using Mossad to derail the deal. Attacks on U.S. forces for example in Iraq, supposedly carried out by Iran-backed militias would normally have most people pointing the finger at Iran, proclaiming that Tehran is not at all serious about the deal but just playing along for time so that it can roll out a nuclear bomb. Then there is the curious case of the Salman Rushdie attack, which, again, many would point out could be attributed to the Iranians who still have a very much ‘alive’ fatwa against the British writer. Indeed, even the Supreme Leader is reported to have made a comment against Rushdie when he heard of the knife attack.

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‘Samarkand Spirit’ to be driven by ‘responsible powers’ Russia and China, by Pepe Escobar

Russia and China are making noteworthy progress putting together their Eurasian federation, which is spreading out far beyond Eurasia. From Pepe Escobar at thesaker.is:

The SCO summit of Asian power players delineated a road map for strengthening the multipolar world

Amidst serious tremors in the world of geopolitics, it is so fitting that this year’s Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) heads of state summit should have taken place in Samarkand – the ultimate Silk Road crossroads for 2,500 years.

When in 329 BC Alexander the Great reached the then Sogdian city of Marakanda, part of the Achaemenid empire, he was stunned: “Everything I have heard about Samarkand it’s true, except it is even more beautiful than I had imagined.”

Fast forward to an Op-Ed by Uzbekistan’s President Shavkat Mirziyoyev published ahead of the SCO summit, where he stresses how Samarkand now “can become a platform that is able to unite and reconcile states with various foreign policy priorities.”

After all, historically, the world from the point of view of the Silk Road landmark has always been “perceived as one and indivisible, not divided. This is the essence of a unique phenomenon – the ‘Samarkand spirit’.”

And here Mirziyoyev ties the “Samarkand Spirit” to the original SCO “Shanghai Spirit” established in early 2001, a few months before the events of September 11, when the world was forced into strife and endless war, almost overnight.

All these years, the culture of the SCO has been evolving in a distinctive Chinese way. Initially, the Shanghai Five were focused on fighting terrorism – months before the US war of terror (italics mine) metastasized from Afghanistan to Iraq and beyond.

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SCOTT RITTER: Washington’s Russian Drone Fantasy

The U.S. and Europe have sold short Russian military capabilities every step of the way in the Ukraine war, so it should come as no surprise that they continue to do so concerning Russian drones. From Scott Ritter at consortiumnews.com:

The information warfare campaign by the U.S. and its allies on behalf of Ukraine appeared to engulf Putin’s visit to Iran last week. 

U.S. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, center, with NATO Deputy Secretary General Mircea Geoana, left, and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, Oct. 7, 2021. (NATO)

According to the official U.S. government narrative, a “desperate” Russia — suffering significant battlefield reversals in Ukraine including the loss of “large numbers” of reconnaissance drones while its own military industrial capacity lacks the ability to provide adequate replacements due to Russia’s “economic isolation” — has turned to Iran for assistance.

“Our information,” National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan declared, “indicates that the Iranian government is preparing to provide Russia with up to several hundred UAV’s [unmanned aerial vehicles], including weapons-capable UAVs on an expedited timeline.” Sullivan said. “It’s unclear whether Iran has delivered any of these UAVs to Russia already.”

Sullivan’s assessment was drawn from U.S. intelligence reports indicating that Russian officials had twice visited Iran — on June 8 and July 5 — for the purpose of observing at least two versions of Iranian UAVs in operation.

Both visits took place at Kashan Airbase, in central Iran. The Kashan facility has been publicly identified by Israel as the main training facility for Iran’s UAV program. According to Sullivan, these visits represent the first by Russian officials. “This suggests ongoing Russian interest in acquiring Iranian attack-capable UAVs,” Sullivan noted.

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PATRICK LAWRENCE: 21st Century Order

Whether the West likes it or not, some of the world’s most substantial countries are building a new world order without them. From Patrick Lawrence at consortiumnews.com:

As a piece of the new world order that is under construction, Putin’s trip to Tehran last week was of singular importance. 

Railway station constructed in 2013 in Kazandzhik, Turkmenistan, an important crossroad of the Trans-Caspian Railway and North-South Transnational Railway. (Balkan Wiki, CC BY-SA 3.0, Wikimedia Commons)

At last we were able to read, last week, a New York Times story that concerned the Russians but not the brutal Russians. However, if we are not reading about the brutal Russians and their brutal military and their brutal attacks on civilians in Ukraine, we are obliged to read about the lonesome Russians, the pariah Russians, the Russians the world has forsaken. We are never going to read about ordinary, just plain Russians in the Times or in the rest of the mainstream press as it apes the Times. This we must accept.

Vladimir Putin traveled to Tehran last Tuesday for a summit with Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran’s supreme leader. This was an unusual occasion: The Russian president has not been much for foreign travel since the Covid–19 pandemic erupted; it was his second state visit outside the Russian Federation since Russia intervened in Ukraine last February.

And it is a big deal, deserving of our attention. It marks another step, a considerable one, in the construction of the diplomatic, political, and economic infrastructure that will — I don’t consider this a daring prediction — define the 21st century. We witness the new world order many of us anticipate as it is being built.

The new world order many of us anticipate, if you have not noticed, ranks high among the great unsayables in American discourse and among American media. No, we’re still stuck on our “rules-based international order,” which is clunky code for the hegemony America defends. It is hopelessly passé at this point but remains lethally destructive.

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The power troika trumps Biden in West Asia, by Pepe Escobar

As the Eurasian axis takes shape, there’s one simple fact that will override American desires to stifle it. The Eurasian nations are playing on their own territory, the U.S. is not. From Pepe Escobar at thesaker.is:

The presidents of Russia, Iran, and Turkey convened to discuss critical issues pertaining to West Asia, with the illegal US occupation of Syria a key talking point.  Oil and gas, wheat and grains, missiles and drones – the hottest topics in global geopolitics today – were all on the agenda in Tehran this week.

The Tehran summit uniting Iran-Russia-Turkey was a fascinating affair in more ways than one. Ostensibly about the Astana peace process in Syria, launched in 2017, the summit joint statement duly noted that Iran, Russia and (recently rebranded) Turkiye will continue, “cooperating to eliminate terrorists” in Syria and “won’t accept new facts in Syria in the name of defeating terrorism.”

That’s a wholesale rejection of the “war on terror” exceptionalist unipolarity that once ruled West Asia.

Standing up to the global sheriff

Russian President Vladimir Putin, in his own speech, was even more explicit. He stressed “specific steps to promote the intra-Syrian inclusive political dialogue” and most of called a spade a spade: “The western states led by the US are strongly encouraging separatist sentiment in some areas of the country and plundering its natural resources with a view to ultimately pulling the Syrian state apart.”

So there will be “extra steps in our trilateral format” aimed at “stabilizing the situation in those areas” and crucially, “returning control to the legitimate government of Syria.” For better or for worse, the days of imperial plunder will be over.

The bilateral meetings on the summit’s sidelines – Putin/Raisi and Putin/Erdogan – were even more intriguing. Context is key here: the Tehran gathering took place after Putin’s visit to Turkmenistan in late June for the 6th Caspian summit, where all the littoral nations, Iran included, were present, and after Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov’s travels in Algeria, Bahrain, Oman, and Saudi Arabia, where he met all his Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) counterparts.

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In The Multipolar World Iran Will No Longer Fear U.S. Sanctions, by Moon of Alabama

Our rulers have no idea of how impossible it will be for the U.S. regaining its fading unipolar dominance. From Moon of Alabama at moonofalabama.org:

When U.S. president Joe Biden recently held a number of talks in the Middle East Iran was one point on his agenda. The U.S. has made it clear that it does not want to reenter into the nuclear deal with Iran. It is instead again attempting a ‘maximum pressure’ strategy to pressure Iran into additional concessions.

Iran has made it clear that there will not be any more then those it had made in the original agreement. Biden then tried to form an anti-Iran coalition out of Israel and the Gulf regimes. The Gulf Cooperation Council states rejected that:

[T]he Saudi foreign minister poured cold water over any imminent normalization with Israel, saying this was not a precursor to further steps. He said Riyadh was not part of any discussions on a Gulf-Israeli defense alliance to counter Iran.

All GCC are talking with Iran to normalize their relations.

Iran will benefit from the new multi-polar world. It has been seeking to ally itself with the Russia and China block with added relations to a neutral India. Last year Iran became a full member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. This year it applied for membership in BRICS.

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Chris Hedges: War With Iran

War with Iran is only slightly less stupid than war with Russia or China. An Iran war would probably lead to war with one or the other or both of those countries, Iran’s allies. From Chris Hedges at consortiumnews.com:

Illustration by Mr. Fish — “Biden at Bat”

The United States, Saudi Arabia and Israel, responsible for military fiascos, hundreds of thousands of deaths and innumerable war crimes in the Middle East, are now plotting to attack Iran.

The United States, Israel and Saudi Arabia are plotting a war with Iran. The 2015 Iranian nuclear arms accord, or Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which Donald Trump sabotaged, does not look like it will be revived.  U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) is reviewing options to attack if Teheran looks poised to obtain a nuclear weapon and Israel, which opposes U.S.-Iran nuclear negotiations, carries out military strikes.

During his visit to Israel, Biden assured Prime Minister Yair Lapid that the U.S. is “prepared to use all elements of its national power,” including military force, to stop Iran from building a nuclear weapon.

Saudi Arabia, Israel and the U.S. function as a troika in the Middle East. The Israeli government has built a close alliance with Saudi Arabia, which produced 15 of the 19 hijackers in the Sept. 11 attacks and has been a prolific sponsor of international terrorism, supporting Salafi jihadism, the basis of al-Qaeda, and such groups as the Afghanistan Taliban, Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and the Al-Nusra Front.

The three countries worked in tandem to back the 2013 military coup in Egypt, led by General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who overthrew its first democratically elected government. He has imprisoned tens of thousands of government critics, including journalists and human rights defenders, on politically motivated charges. The Sisi regime collaborates with Israel by keeping its common border with Gaza closed to Palestinians, trapping them in the Gaza strip, one of the most densely populated and impoverished places on earth.

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The War Party Is Still Targeting Iran, by Daniel Larison

The neocons, joined at the hip with Israel, really want to go to war with Iran. From Daniel Larison at antiwar.com:

The drumbeat for war with Iran is starting up again in Western media outlets, and it is following the usual pattern of promoting false claims to exaggerate the threat from Iran and its non-existent nuclear weapons. One recent report stands out as an example of how news outlets can misinform the public about major foreign policy issues to make military action seem as if it is inevitable. NBC News published a story that was supposedly on Biden’s trip to Israel and Saudi Arabia, but the story was focused almost entirely on whipping up fear of Iran’s nuclear program and distorting the facts about the Iranian government’s ability to obtain nuclear weapons. Now that the nuclear negotiations have stalled, we can expect to see even more agitation for attacking Iran and more “news” reports that pave the way for another unnecessary war.

One of the most important claims in the story is wildly inaccurate, and it creates the impression that the Iranian government could soon be on the verge of possessing nuclear weapons. According to the report, “Iran has stockpiled a significant amount of uranium enriched to 60 percent purity…and could create an atomic bomb in a matter of days if it chose to enrich the material to 90 percent, arms control experts says.” Even if the Iranian government decided to enrich to 90%, which it hasn’t done, it would take much longer than a “matter of days” to build even one working weapon. That assumes that their government made the choice to build weapons in the first place, and that option is one that their government has rejected for a long time. The report doesn’t quote any of these “experts” by name, and we are just expected to swallow this outlandish claim.

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Doug Casey on What Happens Next in the Conflict With Russia

The Ukraine-Russia war will inflict more damage on the U.S. empire than it will on Russia. From Doug Casey at internationalman.com:

Russia

International Man: Prior to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, we discussed the rising tensions between the US and Russia over Ukraine.

What is your take on what has transpired since then?

Doug Casey: I think it makes sense first to recount the genesis of this war.

It started when an American-backed coup overthrew the Ukrainian government in 2014. A US-backed thug replaced a Russian-backed thug— nothing unusual, except that Ukraine shares a long border with Russia. The Russians viewed that much as the Americans would if the Russians had put a puppet government in Ottawa.

Next, the two Russian majority provinces in Ukraine, Donetsk and Luhansk (Donbas) seceded from Ukraine. Secession is usually the best way of solving a political problem between groups with radically differing religions, ethnicities, cultures, or what-have-you. It’s much better than staying “united,” with one group dominating the other. The Russians simultaneously took back Crimea, which Nikita Kruschev had arbitrarily transferred to the Ukrainian SSR from the Russian SSR in 1954.

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Iran-Russia Hit Maximum Strategy, by Pepe Esobar

A lot of countries on the receiving end of U.S. hostility are making common cause together. From Pepe Escobar at unz.com:

Three ain’t a crowd: The Iran-Russia summit this week, concurrent with RIC military drills in the Sea of Oman, in advance of a Xi-Putin meeting in two weeks, suggests a rapidly-advancing strategic vision for the three Eurasian powers.

The official visit to Russia by Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, at the invitation of Vladimir Putin, generated one of the most stunning geopolitical pics of the 21st century: Raisi performing his afternoon prayers at the Kremlin.

Arguably, more than the hours of solid discussions on geopolitical, geoeconomic, energy, trade, agriculture, transportation and aerospace dossiers, this visual will be imprinted all across the Global South as a fitting symbol of the ongoing, inexorable process of Eurasian integration.

Raisi went to Sochi and Moscow ready to offer Putin essential synergy in confronting a decaying, unipolar Empire increasingly prone to irrationalism. He made it clear at the start of his three hours of discussions with Putin: our renewed relationship should not be “short-term or positional – it will be permanent and strategic.”

Putin must have relished the torrents of meaning inbuilt in one of Raisi’s statements of fact: “We have been resisting the Americans for more than 40 years.”

Yet, much more productive, was “a document on strategic cooperation” between Iran and Russia that Raisi and his team presented to Russian officials.

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