Putin and Russia: So what is it that Putin has done that doesn’t satisfy you, comrade communists?

Putin and Russia: So what is it that Putin has done that doesn’t satisfy you, comrade communists?

July 22, 2019

By Viktor Anisimov
Translated by Ollie Richardson and Angelina Siard

Source: https://cont.ws/@fybcbvjd/1392576

So what is it that Putin has done that doesn’t satisfy you, comrade communists?

Recently our resident (users of the “Cont” website) “communists” who are furiously criticising Putin again became more active. For what? Well, for anything, Putin doesn’t please our red-bellied guys, and that’s all.

Perhaps it is necessary for these faultfinders to see Putin furiously shaking his fists and threatening the whole world with an “atomic bludgeon”; to see in Putin the “double of comrade Kim”, threatening the US with his missiles? Or the “double of Trump”, who doesn’t shun to launch missiles at a sovereign and independent country?

Putin is not as they want to see him.

I would like to draw the attention of these people to the following circumstances. Let’s briefly run along Putin’s biography.

The political career of Putin started in 1990. Still being an employee of KGB, he was appointed to the position of the adviser to the chairman of the St. Petersburg city council.

Putin is often reproached for “carrying Anatoly Sobchak’s bag”. But in reality it was a developed and brilliantly performed KGB operation that aimed to introduce Putin into the security structures of Russia. It’s not known if Putin took part in the development of this operation himself. And it’s unlikely that we will learn about it one day.

Further there is the “Moscow period” of Putin’s career. The year of 1996. Pay special attention to this date.

After Putin’s move to Moscow in 1996, he was appointed as the deputy head of department of the Russian President. This position is much higher than all his previous positions. And just two years later he became the head of Federal Security Service.

In 1998 Putin is already the “head of the FSB”! A meteoric career, don’t you think?

Already at that time Putin obtained the rank of an incorruptible and experienced head with a great influence.

In 1999 “certain comrades”, perhaps also led by Putin, made an offer to Yeltsin that the lover of power couldn’t refuse. Yeltsin had to delegate power to Putin in exchange for lifelong guarantees. During this same year Yeltsin appointed Putin to the position of the Russian Prime Minister.

The year 2000, Putin becomes the President of Russia.

In only four years, Putin, from an unknown “colonel of the KGB”, reached the top of power. He became president and Supreme Commander. He stood at a wheel of the country, which was nearly breaking up into “appanage principalities”. He stood and prevented the disintegration of Russia quickly and ruthlessly. The regional elites were tamed or jailed “for corruption”.

Back then something similar to what is depicted on this map was prepared for us.

Ollie's MacBook:Users:O-RICH:Downloads:maxresdefault (168).jpg

But, Putin came………

And our Motherland, our Russia, was saved from disintegration and collapse.

Now about the “indecision and sluggishness of Putin” that he is criticized for by both the “right”, and the “left”! By both communists and liberals. I ask to consider one thing: Putin is always guided by expedience and what is beneficial for Russia. Always. And takes the necessary actions at the precisely calculated time, with precisely calculated effort.

Let’s remember, in 90’s the so-called ” Semibankirshchina” – the seven richest and influential people in Russia – ruled Russia. They ruled and impudently plundered Russia. They literally “kicked open the door of the president’s office”, they were the real rulers of Russia. Everything was in their power.

Putin considered it expedient to destroy “semibankirshchina”. It was destroyed, quickly, effectively, and ruthlessly. Where now are these people who at the time were the most powerful in Russia? Their fate was sad, some have already passed on, and some are still alive and have been deprived of all their assets and billions, leading a miserable existence. Some were left a little bit of money “for life”, as an example for others.

Khodorkovsky – the person who imagined himself almost as a god; the person who wanted to rule Putin; the person who decided that he is allowed to hand over Russia to the West! Putin decided that it would be expedient to boot Khodorkovsky. Khodorkovsky was jailed – qualitatively and for a long time. His billions and assets were nationalised.

Putin is a pragmatist, and in some measure a ruthless person obsessed with one idea. This idea is Russia! Everything that goes for the good, and for the benefit of Russia, should be done. And it is being done!

Thus practically all mineral deposits, oil, and gas handed over to the West in the 90’s by this same “semibankirshchina” were returned in Russian jurisdiction.

From the 260 Production Sharing Agreements concluded in the 90’s, in accordance with which the US and other countries of the West got bagels, Putin quietly and noiselessly, without waving red flags, without menacingly shaking fists, without shouting out trenchant slogans, cancelled 258 of them, and for the two that remained the conditions were revised in favour of Russia. Now the “bagels”, sorry, money, goes to the budget of Russia, and the US, and those like them, receive the holes from the bagels.

This, of course, can’t please either the US or the other countries of the West. And of course, they don’t like Putin very much. And in exactly same way, Putin is not liked either by our communists or our liberals. A strange and interesting coincidence of interests.

Now a little about the “indecisiveness and cowardice of Putin” in terms of foreign policy.

I will not speak in a circumlocutory manner, I will just mention his “Munich speech” in 2007, in which Putin, on behalf of Russia, imperiously declared Russia’s claims for “a piece of the world pie”.

In 2014 Putin decided that it would be reasonable and useful for Russia to attach Crimea. The operation was performed resolutely, accurately, and without glancing back at the “world’s opinion”! Do you think Putin did not count all the consequences of this step? You simply do not know Putin. Putin calculates all of his moves way in front. Like the grand master – nine moves ahead.

I am often told that in 2014 Putin could have easily taken all of Ukraine for himself too. He could have – back then in the military sphere the UAF was simply not able to show at lease some resistance to the army of Russia. In 2015 Putin considered it expedient to destroy ISIS on the territory of Syria, and ISIS was thus destroyed.

Putin considered it expedient and useful for Russia to support the president of Venezuela, and Guaido’s putsch failed, and the US silently sulked.

We know little, only what is shown to us by our and foreign media, which also doesn’t know any more than we do. And so we, with our “knowledge” scraped from the media, undertake to criticise Putin, who possesses considerably more knowledge than we do, saying that he “was mistaken”, that he “did not venture”, that he “was afraid”, and so on.

In our faultfinding we resemble these “internet experts”, I only ask that offense isn’t taken if someone recognizes himself or herself in this description.

As I already said, Putin is pragmatic and ruthless. Putin was criticised also for the fact that he didn’t give the order to the Russian Air Force in Syria to down the missiles of the western coalition and to destroy the carriers of these missiles. You simply do not know Putin – if he did not give the order, then it means that he considers it to still be inexpedient.

If this step will be expedient, if Putin will consider it to be useful for Russia, then he will give this order without hesitation, with his quiet and inexpressive voice. If Putin will consider the destruction of all NATO countries, with the US at the head, to be expedient and useful for Russia, then he will give such an order – the NATO countries will disappear.

If Putin will consider liquidating the “fifth column” in Russia, as well as all liberal and communist movements, to be useful and reasonable, then it will be done – quickly, accurately, and ruthlessly.

So who you are, “comrade Putin”? And who sent you to Russia, literally at the “last moment”? When it already seemed that Russia died and disappears from the world map! So who you are, the saviour of Russia? Will we have answers one day?

Who knows? Perhaps in 20 years it will be declassified.

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Pentagon Angst over China-Russia Strategic Unity

Global Research, July 22, 2019

Sino/Russian unity represents a vital anti-imperial alliance. A DOD/Pentagon white paper called Russia a strategic US  threat, especially united with China.

NYT editors addressed the issue, falsely calling both countries “adversaries.” Indeed they’re “growing closer,” both nations portrayed as strategic threats to US rage for global dominance.

The Times:

“(S)ince Western nations imposed sanctions on Russia after it invaded Ukraine in 2014 (sic), Chinese and Russian authorities have increasingly found common cause, disparaging Western-style democracy (sic) and offering themselves as alternatives to America’s postwar leadership.”

“Now China and Russia are growing even closer, suggesting a more permanent arrangement that could pose a complex challenge to the United States.”

Fact: No Russian Federation invasion of Ukraine or any other country occurred — a US/NATO specialty, not how the Kremlin operates.

Fact: So-called “Western-style democracy” is pure fantasy, not the real thing.

Fact: The US poses an imperial threat to Russia, China, and other countries, not the other way around.

China’s Xi Jinping earlier called Sino/Russia ties stronger than ever, the “best in history,” both nations “each other’s most trustworthy strategic partners,” adding:

“President Putin and I have built good working relations and a close personal friendship” — bilateral ties deepening, Xi calling Putin his “best and bosom friend.”

Leaders of both nations regard each other as key strategic allies — a vital counterforce to endless US aggression, threatening world peace, stability, and security.

Both countries rely on mutual cooperation, sharing a multi-world polarity worldview. They’re jointly implementing Beijing’s hugely ambitious One Belt One Road initiative for greater regional integration and development, involving well over $1 trillion in longterm investments.

The 2,500 mile Power of Siberian pipeline, linking Russia’s Far East to China to be completed this year will supply around 38 billion cubic meters of Russian natural gas to China annually for 30 years, according to agreed on terms between Gazprom and the China National Petroleum Corporation.

Construction of the Power to Siberia-2 pipeline will deliver another 30 billion cubic meters of Russian natural gas to China via a Western route – both projects and other major ones of huge importance to both countries.

Putin and Xi have met face-to-face around two dozen times — testimony to their longterm strategic partnership and friendship.

China is an economic powerhouse, Russia the world’s dominant military power, its super-weapons exceeding the best in the West.

Russia is rich in what China needs most — oil and gas, technological expertise, industrial equipment, and state-of-the-art weapons.

Sharing a common border, both countries want them for defense, not offense like the US, NATO and Israel operate.

A Sino/Russian Investment Committee fosters expanding economic and financial ties, diversifying trade to reduce dependence on global economic conditions.

It promotes and facilitates cooperation in technology-intensive industrial, financial, commercial, and military areas.

Both nations are increasingly trading in their own currencies, bypassing dollar transactions. Global de-dollarization is an idea whose time has come.

Dollar hegemony as the world’s reserve currency facilitates US global dominance.

It finances Washington’s reckless spending, global militarism, its empire of bases, endless wars, corporate takeovers, as well as speculative excesses creating bubbles and economic crises – at the expense of democratic freedoms and beneficial social change.

Ending dollar dominance would be the political, economic, financial, military equivalent of cutting the biblical Sampson’s hair, eliminating his strength.

According to the DOD/Pentagon white paper, the US and its allies aren’t acting effectively enough to counter Sino/Russian aims — falsely accusing both countries of using “gray zone” tactics to foment instability.

It’s how US-dominated NATO, Israel, and their imperial partners operate, not Russia and China.

They’re growing world powers, the US a nation in decline politically, economically and militarily — despite spending countless trillions of dollars to maintain global supremacy.

The myth of American exceptionalism, the indispensable state, an illusory moral superiority, and military supremacy persist despite hard evidence debunking these notions.

The US has been declining for decades. The late Gabriel Kolko believes it began during US aggression against North Korea, continued during a decade of Southeast Asia war, and accelerated post-9/11.

It’s the same dynamic that doomed all other empire in history. The US is declining  because of its imperial arrogance, hubris, endless wars against invented enemies, and unwillingness to change.

Ruinous military spending persists while vital homeland needs go begging.

The US ruling class serves privileged interests exclusively at the expense of peace, equity and justice.

Its power and influence are waning on the global stage while Russia and China are rising — especially united for common longterm constructive aims.

*

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Award-winning author Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. He is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG)

His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.

حرب الخلجان والمضائق طهران تمنع تقدّم الأطلسي باتجاه موسكو وبكين

يوليو 22, 2019

محمد صادق الحسيني

كلّ شيء يحصل في بحر العرب وخليج فارس من حرب ناقلات وتحفز وأرصاد الى تعارض إرادات وديبلوماسية حياكة السجاد تشي بما يلي:

انّ ما يطلق عليه الأزمة الأميركية الإيرانية، الدائرة الآن في الخليج وبحر العرب وبقية مناطق الإقليم، من اليمن الى العراق وسورية ولبنان وفلسطين، ليست أزمة عادية وإنما هي معركة استراتيجية كبرى بين كتلتين دوليتين هما :

الهضبة الإيرانية المتمثلة بالجغرافيا ونظام الحكم والأمة الإيرانية ومعه حلف المقاومة، بدعم روسي صيني متعدد الأوجه والمسارات…

الولايات المتحدة الاميركية، مدعومة من حلف شمال الأطلسي بشكل كامل ومن الأنظمة العربية العميلة في جزيرة العرب، الى جانب الكيان الصهيوني طبعاً.

وهي بمعنى من المعاني إنهاء هيمنة القطب الواحد، ايّ الولايات المتحدة، على العالم.

لا يوجد أيّ أفق، لا على الصعيد التكتيكي ولا على الصعيد الاستراتيجي، لتحقيق أيّ من أهداف الولايات المتحدة، لا في منطقة الصراع المفتوح حالياً ولا مناطق أخرى من ساحات المواجهة، مثل وسط آسيا أو بحر الصين أو منطقة البحر الأسود/ أوكرانيا. وكذلك هو الوضع في منطقة بحر البلطيق/ شمال غرب روسيا، حيث يستمرّ تحشيد قوات كبيرة لحلف الناتو بالقرب من الحدود الروسية الشمالية الغربية/ أيّ بالقرب من مدينة لينينغراد ذات الرمزية التاريخية والوطنية الكبرى في روسيا خضعت لحصار الجيوش الألمانية لمدة 900 يوم دون أن تستسلم .

يتمثل الجانب الاستراتيجي، في المعركة الدائرة حالياً، في انّ إيران تتصدّى بشكل مباشر لمحاولات الولايات المتحدة السيطرة، ليس فقط على منابع النفط الموجودة في الجزيرة العربية وإيران بهدف التحكم في إمدادات الطاقة للأسواق الصينية والباكستانية وأسواق دول شرق آسيا لإبطاء نمو اقتصاديات هذه الدول وإضعاف قدرتها على منافسة الولايات المتحدة، على الصعيد الدولي، وانما تتعدّى الأهداف الأميركية كلّ ذلك، حيث انّ طبيعة هذه المواجهة تشمل قبل كلّ شيء الجوانب الاقتصادية الدولية. وبكلام أكثر وضوحاً فإنّ واشنطن ودول الناتو يحاولون السيطرة على منطقة المواجهة الحاليّة، الممتدة من سواحل فلسطين المحتلة غرباً وحتى سواحل الصين وروسيا الشرقية على المحيط الهادئ.

اما كلمة سر هذا الجانب الاستراتيجي فهي: مشروع الطريق والحزام الصيني، ذو الطابع الدولي والعابر للقارات، الذي سيكرّس إنهاء السيطرة الاقتصادية والمالية الأميركية على مقدرات شعوب العالم.

وهذا يعني أنّ معركة إيران، ومعها حلف المقاومة، الحاليّة، مع الأطراف الاستعمارية المذكورة أعلاه، هي معركة فرط استراتيجية، يتمثل هدف إيران وحلفائها، من وراء خوضها، في ما يلي:

ـ إنجاز حقوق إيران، ليس فقط في المجال النووي، وإنما في الحفاظ على أمن الملاحة البحرية في كلّ المنطقة الممتدة من خليج عدن وحتى غرب المحيط الهندي. وهو ما يشكل مانعاً قوياً أو خط دفاع أوّل عن حدود الصين الغربية وحدود روسيا الجنوبية الغربية.

ـ إنهاء عوامل التوتر المتجدّد في الإقليم وذلك باقتلاع جذور أسبابه، المتمثلة في الوجود العسكري الاميركي الأطلسي المكثف في جزيرة العرب وفي بحار المنطقة وصولاً الى بحر الصين الجنوبي، خاصة أنّ سلاح البحرية الإيراني قادر، ودون أدنى شك، على تأمين خطوط الملاحة بكلّ كفاءة واقتدار.

ـ أما آلية الحماية المنشودة فيمكن تحقيقها، وبكلّ سهولة، عبر تطبيق الاقتراح الإيراني، المقدّم منذ أشهر، والذي ينص على إنشاء نظام أمني إقليمي تشارك فيه كلّ دول المنطقة، العربية منها وغير العربية، كباكستان وإيران، وإخلاء المنطقة من القواعد والأساطيل الأجنبية.

أما في ما يتعلق باحتمالات سير هذه المعركة، وتطوراتها في الميدان، فإنّ ذلك لن يتعدّى مرحلة ممارسة التفاوض تحت النار، أيّ انّ طرفي المعركة، خاصة إيران وحلف المقاومة، سيواصلان تنفيذ خطوات للضغط العسكري على العدو، على امتداد ساحة المواجهة، وذلك لثقتها الكاملة بنفسها وقدراتها أولاً ولتيقنها من محدودية قدرات العدو ثانياً.

وعندما نتحدث عن محدودية قدرات العدو فإننا بالأكيد لا نعني انّ قدرات إيران العسكرية تفوق في حجمها قدرات المعسكر المعادي، وإنما نعني محدودية قدرة العدو في استخدام ما لديه من قدرات عسكرية. وهذا ما يسمّى في علم السياسة: محدودية استخدام القوة. الأمر الذي يعود الى أسباب عديدة لا مجال لتعدادها في هذا المجال…

وإنما لا بدّ من التذكير بأهمّها، ألا وهو عدم وجود ايّ نية حقيقية، لدى الرئيس الأميركي الحالي، في خوض حرب ضدّ إيران وحلفائها. علاوة على تخوّف الرئيس ترامب من تدحرج أيّ عمليات، حتى ولو كانت محدودة، ضدّ إيران إلى حرب شاملة، الأمر الذي لا قدرة للولايات المتحدة الأميركية على المغامرة به، إذ انّ مثل هكذا تطوّر سيحتاج الى نشر ما لا يقلّ عن 750 ألف جندي أميركي/ أطلسي في منطقة العمليات إيران والعراق وسورية ، بالإضافة الى قراءة الفاتحة على روح قاعدة واشنطن العسكرية في فلسطين المحتلة، «إسرائيل»، والتي ستزول عن الوجود خلال ساعات بدء الحرب الأولى.

إذن… فالولايات المتحدة لديها القوة العسكرية، المجمّدة او المشلولة او المغلولة الأيدي، بسبب ظروف الميدان السياسية والعسكرية. بينما تستند القيادة الإيرانية الى يد مطلقة في اتخاذ القرارت الحازمة والمبنية على الظروف الموضوعية المؤاتية أيضاً ما يجعل القارئ الموضوعي لمسرح العمليات، يخرج بنتيجة لا تقبل الشك ألا وهي:

انّ الطرف الأقوى في المواجهة سيكون بالتأكيد ذلك الطرف الذي تقاتل معه الجغرافيا والإرث الحضاري الإيراني، الأكبر والأعمق والذي يستند اليه الإمام السيد علي الخامنئي في قيادته للمعركة وفي قراراته وتوجيهاته للآلة السياسية والديبلوماسية والعسكرية في إيران، المتكئة الى فقه إسلامي ديناميكي ثوري أكثر عمقاً وزخماً من كلّ ما يمكن ان يتصوّره السياسيون التقليديون.

ثمة معادلة جديدة تتشكل في العمل السياسي الدولي تشي بحصول هزائم مدوية تنتظر الأميركيين وأذنابهم وانتصارات كبرى غير مسبوقة في المسرح الدولي لصالح إيران وحلفائها.

بعدنا طيّبين قولوا الله…

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Iran Busts CIA Spy Network of 17 Members – Intelligence Ministry

By Staff, Agencies

Iran’s Intelligence Ministry announced identifying and destroying an integrated network of operatives serving the US Central Intelligence Agency [CIA] inside the country.

The Ministry’s director-general for counterintelligence said Monday that Iran captured 17 professional spies working on behalf of CIA throughout last year and some of those arrested had been handed death sentences, according to the Fars news agency.

“The identified spies were employed in sensitive and vital private sector centers in the economic, nuclear, infrastructural, military and cyber areas… where they collected classified information,” the unnamed official said in a statement.

The official said that the suspects were operating in key organizations and institutions mainly in the private sector.

He noted that the CIA had recruited the individuals by mainly contacting them over the internet. Other tactics included issuing or renewing US visas, hiring Iranian specialists, providing necessary equipment and access to certain participants in scientific events abroad, sending emails and messaging through social.

Last month, Iran’s Intelligence Ministry said it had “penetrated the US safe system in cyberspace.” which the CIA has used for maintaining communication with the spies.

The discovery of the network was first announced by the Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council Rear Admiral Ali Shamkhani, who said then that the “cyber-espionage” network had been operating in countries other than Iran that it had been discovered “a while ago.”

“We provided the information on the exposed network to some other allied countries in which it had been operating, which resulted in the exposing and dismantling of the US intelligence officers network and arrest and conviction of some CIA agents in different countries,” Shamkhani said in June.

 

Imam Khamenei: Sayyed Nasrallah’s Performing Prayers at Quds is an Absolutely Achievable Aspiration الامام الخامنئي: ما قاله السيد نصرالله عن أنَّه سيصلي في المسجد الأقصى نعتبره أملاً عملياً يمكن تحقيقه

 

By Staff, Agencies

Leader of Islamic Revolution His Eminence Imam Sayyed Ali Khamenei received Deputy Head of Hamas Political Bureau Saleh al-Arouri in Tehran on Monday.

Heading a high-ranking delegation from the Palestinian resistance group Hamas, al-Arouri arrived in Tehran on Sunday to hold talks with senior Iranian figures in line with the efforts to boost its capabilities to continue the resistance against the occupiers.

During the meeting with the delegation, Imam Khamenei said, “Hamas is in the heart of Palestine and Palestine lies at the heart of the Islamic world.”

The Leader tackled the importance of the Palestinian Cause saying that

“The Palestinian Cause is the most important issue in the Islamic World and victory in its regard cannot be achieved without resistance and struggle.”

Elsewhere in his comments, His Eminence said,

[Hezbollah Secretary General His Eminence] Sayyed [Hassan] Nasrallah says: ‘I will pray at Masjid al-Aqsa, God willing,’ is an absolutely practical and achievable aspiration for us”, adding that “If we all act upon our duties, the divine promise will definitely come true.”

During the meeting, the two sides discussed issues related to Holy Quds, Gaza and the resistance of the Gazans and conveying the Palestinian cause to next generations.

Imam Khamenei said the resistance of the Palestinian people in the besieged Gaza Strip and the occupied West Bank promises “victory and conquest”.

“God has promised assistance and victory to those who are steadfast in His path. However, the fulfillment of this promise has requirements, the most important of which is Jihad, struggle and tireless effort in various political, cultural, intellectual, economic and military dimensions,” the Leader said.

His Eminence touched on the “treacherous” initiative proposed by US President Donald Trump, dubbed as the “Deal of the Century”, saying there is need for promotional, cultural and intellectual work to confront it.

“The dangerous conspiracy of the ‘Deal of the Century’ is aimed at destroying the Palestinian identity among the Palestinian public and youth. This is the main point to be confronted and we should not allow them to destroy the Palestinian identity by use of money,” Imam Khamenei said.

The Leader was apparently referring to a two-day conference held in Bahrain last month, aimed at rallying support for an “investment” plan in the Palestinian Territories as the first part of the “Deal of the Century”.

“Confronting the Deal of the Century requires promotional, cultural, and intellectual efforts and the other method is to make the Palestinians feel advancement. Today Palestinians are equipped with precise missiles rather than stones and this means the feeling of advancement,” His Eminence explained.

The plan has met broad disdain from Palestinians and others in the Arab world although regional US allies such as Saudi Arabia discreetly support it.

الامام الخامنئي: ما قاله السيد نصرالله عن أنَّه سيصلي في المسجد الأقصى نعتبره أملاً عملياً يمكن تحقيقه

أكد الامام السيد علي الخامنئي أنَّ قضية فلسطين هي القضية الاولى للعالم الاسلامي وأهم قضاياه، مشيدا بالصمود والمقاومة المذهلة للشعب للفلسطيني وفصائل المقاومة ومن بينها “حماس”.

كلام الامام الاخامنئي جاء خلال استقباله نائب رئيس المكتب السياسي لحركة حماس صالح العراري على رأس وفدٍ من الحركة يزور ايران.

اضاف الامام الخامنئي: إنَّ النصر لا يتحقق من دون مقاومة وكفاح، وأنَّ قضية فلسطين ستنتهي حتماً لصالح الشعب الفلسطيني والعالم الاسلامي. وشدَّد على أن صمود ومقاومة الفلسطينيين من سكان غزة والضفة الغربية يقدم بشائر الفتح والانتصار. وقال نعلن دائماً بشفافية عن وجهة نظرنا بشأن القضية الفلسطينية، والدول الصديقة تعلن أن إيران جادة تماماً في هذه المواقف.

واعتبر الإمام الخامنئي أنَّ أحد أسباب العداء مع إيران هو قضية فلسطين لكن هذه العداوات والضغوط لن تؤدي لتراجع إيران عن مواقفها، لافتاً الى أنَّه لو اتحد العالم الاسلامي حول القضية الفلسطينية لكانت ظروفه اليوم أفضل.

ورأى أنه من الحماقة ابتعاد بعض الدول عن القضية الفلسطينية نتيجة تبعيتها لأميركا كالسعودية، ولو كانت تلك الدول دعمت قضية فلسطين لاستطاعت انتزاع التنازلات من الولايات المتحدة.
وختم الامام الخامنئي قائلاً: ليس مستبعداً أن يحقق الفلسطينيون الانتصار واعادة الأرض المقدسة للعالم الإسلامي،

وأن ما قاله الامين العام لحزب الله السيد حسن نصرالله عن أنَّه سيصلي في المسجد الأقصى فنحن نعتبره أملاً عملياً يمكن تحقيقه.

هذا وقد نقل الوفد الى الإمام الخامنئي رسالة من رئيس المكتب السياسي لحماس اسماعيل هنية أكد فيها أن الحركة في قلب الحركة الفلسطينية كما هي فلسطين في قلب العالم الإسلامي.

المصدر: قناة المنار

 

Vladimir Putin Interview With Oliver Stone

Vladimir Putin Interview With Oliver Stone

South Front

22.07.2019

Vladimir Putin answered questions from American film director, screenwriter and producer Oliver Stone. The interview was recorded on June 19, 2019 in the Kremlin (source):

Oliver Stone: So, I interviewed Mr Medvedchuk. It was in Monte Carlo. He gave us a very interesting interview. He gave us his view of the Ukraine. I gather that you’re close with him.

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: I would not say that we are very close but we know each other well. He was President Kuchma’s Chief of Staff, and it was in this capacity at the time that he asked me to take part in the christening of his daughter. According to Russian Orthodox tradition, you can’t refuse such a request.

Oliver Stone: Oh, you cannot refuse it?

I thought it was a big honour for you to be the godfather of his daughter.

Vladimir Putin: It is always a great honour to be a godfather.

Oliver Stone: Well, how many children are you godfather to?

Vladimir Putin: I will not give a number but several people.

Oliver Stone: Wow. Is it like a hundred or three hundred?

Vladimir Putin: No, no, are you serious? Certainly not. Just a few.

Oliver Stone: Otherwise I would ask you to be the godfather for my daughter.

Vladimir Putin: Does she want to become an Orthodox Christian?

Vladimir Putin Interview With Oliver Stone

Oliver Stone: Ok, we’ll make her that.

Vladimir Putin: You have to ask her.

Oliver Stone: As long as she stands in church, right?

Vladimir Putin: Of course. How old is she?

Oliver Stone: She is 22 now.

Vladimir Putin: Is she a believer?

Oliver Stone: Yes, she is a believer. She is raised Christian.

Vladimir Putin: I see.

Oliver Stone: You know, young people in America sometimes, they are different.

Vladimir Putin: Young people are different everywhere.

Oliver Stone: They are spoiled to some degree in the western world.

Vladimir Putin: It depends. The older generation always says that about the younger generation.

Oliver Stone: Yeah, I know, I know. That’s true. But I don’t know what is going on with the American culture. It’s very strange right now.

Vladimir Putin: Is there an American culture?

Oliver Stone: As you know, I’ve been very rebel all my life. Still am. And I have to tell you, I’m shocked by some of the behaviours and the thinking of the new generation. It takes so much for granted. And so much of the argument, so much of the thinking, so much of the newspaper, television commentaries about gender, people identify themselves, and social media, this and that, I’m male, I’m female, I’m transgender, I’m cisgender. It goes on forever, and there is a big fight about who is who. It seems like we miss the bigger point.

Vladimir Putin: They live too well. They have nothing to think about.

Oliver Stone: Yeah, but it’s not a healthy culture.

Vladimir Putin: Well, yes.

Oliver Stone: Years ago when we were talking about homosexuality, you said that in Russia we don’t propagate it.

Vladimir Putin: Not exactly. We have a law banning propaganda among minors.

Oliver Stone: Yes, that’s the one I’m talking about. It seems like maybe that’s a sensible law.

Vladimir Putin: It is aimed at allowing people to reach maturity and then decide who they are and how they want to live. There are no restrictions at all after this.

Oliver Stone: Ok. Mr Medvedchuk proposed recently, you know, a plan for solving the tensions in Ukraine between east and west. You know about this?

Vladimir Putin: To be honest, we do not talk so often. He has more free time than I do. But we meet from time to time, especially in connection with his efforts to get detainees released. He devotes much time to this.

He also told me something about his plans on Donbass but I do not know the details. At any rate, I consider it absolutely correct that he calls for direct dialogue with the people who live in Donbass. There is not a single example in recent history when a crisis was settled without direct contact between the sides to the conflict.

He says he thinks it is necessary to fully implement the Minsk agreements and I cannot help but agree with this as well. So, I know the elements of his proposals. He speaks about them in public and I agree.

Oliver Stone: Ok. They have a new president now. Has anything changed in Ukraine? Or still the same?

Vladimir Putin: Not yet. After all, the recent election was clearly a protest vote. A fairly large number of people supported the newly-elect President in central Ukraine, in the east and the south. And these are all people who sincerely seek a settlement in any event. During his election campaign President Zelensky continuously spoke about his readiness to do everything to solve this crisis. And then literally just yesterday, while in Paris, I think, he said suddenly he does not believe it is possible to hold talks with what he called separatists. This is clearly at odds with what he said during his election campaign.

Oliver Stone: So no change?

Vladimir Putin: Unfortunately, none for the time being.

Oliver Stone: Do you think there’s any revulsion? I mean, you were telling me about Ukraine and Russia. Do you think there is any reason for this hatred of Russia in Ukraine?

Vladimir Putin: You know, our relationship is not easy at the moment. This is the result of the grievous events linked with the coup d’état. The other part of this story is propaganda by the current government in Ukraine, which blames Russia for all the tragic events that ensued.

Oliver Stone: Well, historically, do you see these two countries coming together again?

Vladimir Putin: I think this is inevitable. At any rate, the cultivation of normal, friendly and, even more than friendly, allied relations is inevitable.

Oliver Stone: Yeah. Mr Medvedchuk would be a good liaison.

Vladimir Putin: I believe so. But our positions, our points of view, differ on many things. Mr Medvedchuk was born in the family of a man that was said to be convicted during the Soviet times for nationalist activities. He was born in Siberia, where his family and his father virtually lived in exile.

Oliver Stone: What’s the connection?

Vladimir Putin: Connection between what?

Oliver Stone: All this story to my question?

Vladimir Putin: The connection is that he has his own ideas about Ukraine and the Ukrainian people. For example, I believe that Russians and Ukrainians are actually one people.

Oliver Stone: One people, two nations?

Vladimir Putin: One nation, in fact.

Oliver Stone: You think it is one nation?

Vladimir Putin Interview With Oliver Stone

Click to see the full-size image

Vladimir Putin: Of course. Look, when these lands that are now the core of Ukraine, joined Russia, there were just three regions – Kiev, the Kiev region, northern and southern regions – nobody thought themselves to be anything but Russians, because it was all based on religious affiliation. They were all Orthodox and they considered themselves Russians. They did not want to be part of the Catholic world, where Poland was dragging them.

I understand very well that over the time the identity of this part of Russia crystallized, and people have the right to determine their identity. But later this factor was used to throw into imbalance the Russian Empire. But in fact, this is the same world sharing the same history, same religion, traditions, and a wide range of ties, close family ties among them.

At the same time, if a significant part of people who live in Ukraine today believe that they should emphasise their identity and fight for it, no one in Russia would be against this, including me. But, bearing in mind that we have many things in common, we can use this as our competitive advantage during some form of integration; it is obvious. However, the current government clearly doesn’t want this. I believe that in the end common sense will prevail, and we will finally arrive at the conclusion I have mentioned: rapprochement is inevitable.

Oliver Stone: I don’t think Mr Medvedchuk would agree. He would say: two nations, similar people. That what he would say, take a strong line on that.

Vladimir Putin: He doesn’t. That is what I am saying.

Oliver Stone: That’s what I’m saying. He does not agree.

Vladimir Putin: Yes, of course. This is what I am saying: our positions on some things, important ones, are different. But at the same time, he speaks in favour of establishing good relations with Russia in order to use these competitive advantages in the economy. He shows how today the Ukrainian economy is completely destroyed because it has lost the Russian market and, most importantly, cooperation in industry. Nobody needs Ukrainian industrial goods on Western markets, and that goes for agriculture too: very few goods are purchased. Round timber is in demand, but soon there will be no timber in Ukraine at all. It’s not like the vast expanses of Siberia.

For example, Europe often takes some steps towards Ukraine – or did so until recently – with, say, permitting purchases of round timber. And this is just one example. In fact, there are many more.

Oliver Stone: Well, someone told me today that Mr Medvedchuk’s party, For Life Party, is up 12 percent in the polls. So he is building a party that has a following, it seems to me.

Vladimir Putin: If so, that is good. To be honest, I don’t know. But if kit is true, that is good.

If so, we can only welcome this because he and his partners in the party stand for restoring relations with Russia. How could we not welcome that? Of course, we welcome it. I have known him for a long time. He keeps his word. If he says something, he does it.

Oliver Stone: So, he is a very courageous man, I think. His villa was bombed, his offices were bombed. He is under threat all the time. He is hanging in there, staying in his country.

Vladimir Putin: Yes, this is true because he has convictions. I mentioned that his father was a Ukrainian nationalist and was convicted by a Soviet court for this. Strange as it may seem but the founders, many founders of Ukrainian nationalism advocated good relations with Russia. They said good relations were necessary for the development of Ukraine itself.

Oliver Stone: When was that?

Vladimir Putin: This was in the 19th century. They came out for Ukraine’s independence but said that Ukraine must preserve good, friendly relations with Russia. Mr Medvedchuk adheres to similar ideas. This is why he has convictions. I may not agree with his position on something but I always respect it.

Oliver Stone: Yeah, two nations he says. When I hear the words “Ukrainian nationalism,” I get worried, because I think of Stepan Bandera and people who have convictions too.

Vladimir Putin: Me, too.

Oliver Stone: Ukrainian nationalism is dangerous too.

Vladimir Putin: In general nationalism is a sign of narrow-mindedness but I do not want to offend Mr Medvedchuk.

Oliver Stone: It’s words.

Vladimir Putin: Yes, but in any event, he is in the category of people who advocate independence, the consolidation of an independent Ukraine, but at the same time believe that it is easier to achieve this by pursuing cooperation with Russia. And I think he is largely right.

Oliver Stone: You’re very clear.

You talked about the coup d’état. Just want to revisit that because there has been a lot more research done. It seems that research has revealed that there were shooters, snipers at the Maidan. The forensics with the angle of shooting, bodies of the police and the protestors. It was all very badly investigated. Not at all really. But what evidence we have seems to point to there being, they say, Georgian shooters, people from Georgia. And I’ve heard that. Have you heard anything more on the Russian front?

Vladimir Putin: No but I know what you are talking about. I know that the authorities headed by President Yanukovych at that time did not use the army and were not interested in giving any excuse to the opposition to use force. And, as Mr Yanukovych told me repeatedly, it did not even occur to him to use force and the military against civilians, even against those who had already taken up arms. I completely rule out that he could have done this, but those who were looking for a pretext to stage a coup could have well done it, of course.

Oliver Stone: I remember you were telling me about the Obama phone call, Obama and you had an agreement that there would be no firing on the last day. And he gave you a promise that he would…

Vladimir Putin: You know, while Obama is no longer President, there are certain things we do not discuss in public. At any rate, I can say that the US did not follow through on the agreements that we reached during this phone call. I will stop there without going into detail.

Oliver Stone: Yes. So recently, you know Russia has been obviously accused and accused over and over again of interference in the 2016 election. As far as I know there is no proof, it has not turned up. But now in the US there has been an investigation going on about Ukraine’s interference in the election. It seems that it was a very confusing situation, and Poroshenko seems to have been very strongly pro-Clinton, anti-Trump.

Vladimir Putin: Yes, this is no secret.

Oliver Stone: Do you think there was interference?

Vladimir Putin: I do not think that this could be interpreted as interference by Ukraine. But it is perfectly obvious that Ukrainian oligarchs gave money to Trump’s opponents. I do not know whether they did this by themselves or with the knowledge of the authorities.

Oliver Stone: Where they giving information to the Clinton campaign?

Vladimir Putin: I do not know. I am being honest. I will not speak about what I do not know. I have enough problems of my own. They assumed Mrs Clinton would win and did everything to show loyalty to the future US administration. That is nothing special. They wanted the future President to have a good opinion of them. This is why they allowed themselves to make unflattering statements about Trump and supported the Democrats in every possible way. This is no secret at all. They acted almost in public.

Oliver Stone: You do not want to go any further on that because you do not have any information?

Vladimir Putin: You know, this would be inappropriate on my part. If I said something more specific, I would have to put some documents, some papers on the table.

Oliver Stone: You understand that it has huge implications because Mr Trump would be very grateful?

Vladimir Putin: I did not interfere then, I do not want to interfere now, and I am not going to interfere in the future.

Oliver Stone: But that is a noble motive. Unfortunately, the world has degenerated in these two years, with all this backbiting and accusations, dirty fighting. Anyway…

Vladimir Putin: There are no rules at all. It is no holds barred.

Oliver Stone: Well, you have rules. You say no interference.

Vladimir Putin: I have principles.

Oliver Stone: Ok. But you seem to have rules based on those principles.

Vladimir Putin: Well, yes.

Oliver Stone: Ok. Well, you are fighting with one hand tied behind your back.

Vladimir Putin: Why? You mean, because of these principles?

Oliver Stone: Yes. If you knew something about the election, it would tilt the balance in a very weird way.

Vladimir Putin: I think this is simply unrealistic. I have said so many times.

Oliver Stone: What is unrealistic?

Vladimir Putin: To change anything. If you want to return to US elections again – look, it is a huge country, a huge nation with its own problems, with its own views on what is good and what is bad, and with an understanding that in the past few years, say ten years, nothing has changed for the better for the middle class despite the enormous growth of prosperity for the ruling class and the wealthy. This is a fact that Trump’s election team understood. He understood this himself and made the most of it.

No matter what our bloggers – or whoever’s job it is to comment on the internet – might say about the situation in the US, this could not have played a decisive role. It is sheer nonsense. But our sympathies were with him because he said he wanted to restore normal relations with Russia. What is bad about that? Of course, we can only welcome this position.

Oliver Stone: Apparently, it excited the Clinton people a lot. The Clinton campaign accumulated the “Steele dossier.” They paid for it. It came from strange sources, the whole “Steele dossier” issue. Some of it comes from Ukraine. They also went out of their way, it seems to me, with the CIA, with Mr Brennan, John Brennan, and with Clapper, James Clapper, and Comey of the FBI. They all seem to have gotten involved, all intelligence agencies, in an anti-Trump way.

Vladimir Putin: They had levers inside the government, but there is nothing like that here. They applied administrative pressure. It always gives an advantage in countries such as the USA, some countries of Western Europe, about 2 percent on average, at a minimum.

Oliver Stone: Two percent? What are you talking about?

Vladimir Putin: Yes. According to experts, those with administrative pressure they can apply always have a 2 percent edge. You can look at it differently. Some experts believe that in different countries, it can vary, but in countries such as the United States, some European countries, the advantage is 2 percent. This is what experts say, they can be wrong.

Oliver Stone: I do not know. I heard of the one percent, but it seems to get more like 12 percent.

Vladimir Putin: That is possible, depending on how it is used.

Oliver Stone: Well, you are not disagreeing. You are saying that it was quite possible that there was an attempt to prevent Donald Trump from coming into office with a soft, I will call it a soft coup d’état?

Vladimir Putin: In the USA?

Oliver Stone: Yes.

Vladimir Putin: It is still going on.

Oliver Stone: A coup d’état is planned by people who have power inside.

Vladimir Putin: No, I do not mean that. I mean lack of respect for the will of the voters. I think it was unprecedented in the history of the United States.

Oliver Stone: What was unprecedented?

Vladimir Putin: It was the first time the losing side does not want to admit defeat and does not respect the will of the voters.

Oliver Stone: I would disagree. I would say it happened in 2000, that the Republicans lost the popular vote, they lost Florida, and they did not accept that, and they had a coup d’état in their way, a soft coup d’état also. And they put Bush in.

Vladimir Putin: But this was a court decision, as far as I remember.

Oliver Stone: Yeah, in a way, but the court decision was blocked. There was a vote going on. And if you remember the Brooks brothers’ riot, all those Republicans rushed to electoral offices in Miami, and they prevented the vote from going through in a county, in one of those major counties. It was a key factor. It was not like the Russian revolution. It was a minor event, but it was big. It shifted the momentum, totally. I remember that night. Then they referred it to the Supreme Court. Also, and the same thing in January 2017, when the intelligence assessment was released, what was it, January 7th,, a few days before Trump was to be inaugurated, the intelligence assessment actually said that the intelligence agencies suspected Trump would have been colluding with Russia. That is even bigger. That is an attempt at a coup d’état, because the electors in America still had the right to overturn the election vote.

Vladimir Putin: This is what they call unscrupulous application of administrative pressure.

Oliver Stone: Ok, ok, ok. Well, listen, it seems to be going on a lot more than we know. Talking about America and Russia, I have not seen you since the Kerch Strait. Any comments on that?

Vladimir Putin: No, I do not, as we have repeatedly said. The former President, Mr Poroshenko, staged this provocation intentionally during the election campaign. He was aware that people in the country’s east and south would not vote for him, and he used this provocation to escalate the situation and then declare a state of emergency there. I have reason to believe that he was going to declare a state of emergency in the entire country, and possibly to postpone the election as a result. Generally speaking, he was trying to hold on to power at all costs, and he was seeking any means to execute this plan. This was the regime’s death throes.

As far as I remember, recently the newly appointed Chief of the Ukrainian army’s General Staff has made a statement that offers roughly the same interpretation of events but perhaps using milder language.

Oliver Stone: Who gave that interpretation?

Vladimir Putin: Chief of the General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces.

Oliver Stone: Ok, but beyond Poroshenko, the United States has a shadow here. The United States knows what he is doing, and supported it.

Vladimir Putin: Absolutely.

Oliver Stone: It is the creation of a strategy of tension that worries me enormously. I have seen this happen in so many places now. I think I read on Monday, the Russian bombers, the Russian SU-57 escorted, what was it, the B-52 bomber, a nuclear bomber, US bomber, close to the Russian borders.

Vladimir Putin Interview With Oliver Stone

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Vladimir Putin: The Su-57 aircraft are just entering service. This is a fifth-generation jet fighter. It was the Su-27 that was mentioned.

Oliver Stone: Do you think that is normal?

Vladimir Putin: Actually, it is sad, probably, but this is common practice. US aircraft did not enter our airspace, and our aircraft did not conduct any high-risk maneuvers.

But generally speaking, this is not great. Just look where the Baltic or Black seas are located, and where the USA is. It was not us who approached US borders, but US aircraft that approached ours. Such practices had better stop.

Oliver Stone: In this continuing strategy of tension, there was a report in The New York Times last week that the Obama Administration, before they left office, put in what they call a cyber warfare device. It was inserted in Russian infrastructure in January 2017.

Vladimir Putin: This is being discussed almost openly. It was said Russia would be punished for interfering in the election campaign. We do not see anything extraordinary or unexpected here. This should be followed closely. That is the first thing.

The second is I believe that we only need to negotiate how we are to live in this high-tech world and develop uniform rules and means of monitoring each other’s actions. We have repeatedly proposed holding talks on this subject to come to some binding agreement.

Oliver Stone: Continuing that theme of strategy of tension, how is Russia affected by the US-Iranian confrontation?

Vladimir Putin: This worries us because this is happening near our borders. This may destabilize the situation around Iran, affect some countries with which we have very close relations, causing additional refugee flows on a large scale plus substantially damage the world economy as well as the global energy sector. All this is extremely disturbing. Therefore we would welcome any improvement when it comes to relations between the US and Iran. A simple escalation of tension will not be advantageous for anyone. It seems to me that this is also the case with the US. One might think that there are only benefits here, but there will be setbacks as well. The positive and negative factors have to be calculated.

Oliver Stone: Yeah. Scary.

Vladimir Putin: No, this is not scary.

Oliver Stone: You sound very depressed, much more depressed than last time.

Vladimir Putin: Last time the situation concerning Iran was not like this. Last time nobody said anything about getting into our energy and other networks. Last time the developments were more positive.

Oliver Stone: The situation is worse now?

Vladimir Putin: Take North Korea, they have also rolled back a bit. Trade wars are unfolding.

Oliver Stone: Venezuela.

Vladimir Putin: Venezuela as well. In other words, regrettably, the situation has not improved, so there is nothing special to be happy about. On the other hand, we feel confident. We have no problems.

Oliver Stone: Well, you are an optimist, and always have been?

Vladimir Putin: Exactly.

Oliver Stone: You are a peacemaker.

Vladimir Putin: Absolutely spot on.

Oliver Stone: So obviously, you have to get together with the Americans, and the Chinese, and the Iranians. I know.

Vladimir Putin: Just do not put the blame on us. Lately no matter what is happening, we always get the blame.

Oliver Stone: Well, the irony is that Mr Trump came to office promising that he was not going to interfere in other countries. He made this overall strategy, he was against the wars that we have started, and ever since he has been in office, it has got worse. Why, one wonders? Is he in charge, or are other people pushing these agendas?

Vladimir Putin: I think he is against this now, too. But life is complicated and diverse. To make the right decision it is necessary to fight for what you believe in.

Oliver Stone: Yeah, conviction.

It is your fourth term, are you getting tired?

Vladimir Putin: No, if I had been tired, I would not have run for the fourth term.

Oliver Stone: Ok. Listen, can I find out something? Let’s take a pause. I just want to ask my director if he wants to ask any more things about Ukraine. Five minutes?

Vladimir Putin: The director always has the final word; after all, he is the one calling the shots.

Oliver Stone: Thank you.

I think we are fine.

Vladimir Putin: Very well. Are we done?

Thank you so much.

Oliver Stone: Thank you, sir.

Vladimir Putin: Are you going back to the States?

Oliver Stone: I am very worried about you.

Vladimir Putin: Why?

Oliver Stone:I can see there are so many problems. It weighs you down. It is sad to see. It is a tough situation.

Vladimir Putin: It is all right. We have seen worse.

Oliver Stone: Russian bombes in Syria. What has happened to Skripal? Where is he?

Vladimir Putin: I have no idea. He is a spy, after all. He is always in hiding.

Oliver Stone: They say he was going to come back to Russia. He had some information.

Vladimir Putin: Yes, I have been told that he wants to make a written request to come back.

Oliver Stone: He knew still and he wanted to come back. He had information that he could give to the world press here in Russia.

Vladimir Putin: I doubt it. He has broken the ranks already. What kind of information can he possess?

Oliver Stone: Who poisoned him? They say English secret services did not want Sergei Skripal to come back to Russia?

Vladimir Putin: To be honest, I do not quite believe this. I do not believe this is the case.

Oliver Stone: Makes sense. You do not agree with me?

Vladimir Putin: If they had wanted to poison him, they would have done so.

Oliver Stone: Ok, that makes sense. I don’t know. Who did then?

Vladimir Putin: After all, this is not a hard thing to do in today’s world. In fact, a fraction of a milligram would have been enough to do the job. And if they had him in their hands, there was nothing complicated about it. No, this does not make sense. Maybe they just wanted to provoke a scandal.

Oliver Stone: I think it is more complicated. You know, you think I am much too much of a conspiracy guy.

Vladimir Putin: I do not believe this.

Oliver Stone: I have seen things. I do.

Vladimir Putin: You should not. Take care of yourself.

Oliver Stone: Can we get a picture?

Remark: This is a great honour for us. Can we take a picture with you?

Vladimir Putin: With pleasure.

WHAT MAKES IRAN STRONG ENOUGH TO STAND AGAINST A SUPERPOWER LIKE THE USA?

By Elijah J. Magnier: @ejmalrai

During the Iran-Iraq war in the 1980s the Islamic Republic of Iran deployed the slogan “Karbala, Karbala we are coming” ( كربلا كربلا ما دارييم مياييم) to “defend the value of Islam”. In Syria the battle cry “Zeinab shall not be abducted twice” helped mobilise Shia allies and rally  thousands of men to fight the Sunni Takfiri of al-Qaeda and the “Islamic State” (ISIS).

Today, despite the existential battle between Iran and the US, the “Islamic Republic” no longer uses religious slogans, but is instead rallying support on a national basis. Even Iranians who disagree with the present regime are supporting their country in the face of the aggressive posture of the US. Iranian pragmatists were disappointed by the US’s unlawful revocation of the JCPOA nuclear deal. Severe sanctions are being imposed on the Iranian people because Trump ditched the deal to please Netanyahu and to spite his predecessor Obama. In the face of these sanctions, the Islamic Republic refuses to bow to US dictates. Unlike other Middle Eastern countries who willingly submit to Trump’s blackmail and bullying, Iran says “NO” to the superpower. Why? How can Iran do what Saudi Arabia and other regional powers could do but will not?

Iran manufactures its own tanksmissiles,submarines and is a member of the global club of nuclear science capable countries.

Iran has strong allies in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Palestine, Afghanistan and Yemen and can rely on them to take part in any war imposed on Tehran, even one imposed by the US.

Iran has democratically elected members of the parliament and a President who serves a four-year mandate and has the right for a single term renewal if he wins via the ballot, unlike Arab states who have presidents for life or inherited monarchies. Christians and Jews are recognised minorities in Iran; the Jews have a member of the Parliament, Siamak Moreh, and feel “safe and respected”. They number around 15,000 out of 85 million Iranians and have more than 25 synagogues.

Iran has faced US sanctions for over 40 years without bowing to US demands. It has confronted the US in many arenas around the Middle East and recently shot down a drone to send the clear message that it is ready to face war and its consequences, if war is imposed on it. Iran is ready to pay the price of defending its air, water and lands; it will not compromise on any violations of its sovereignty even by a superpower like the US. Iran is sending a message to the US, its main ally Israel, and to all Middle Eastern countries: it will retaliate harshly against any aggression.

Iran is not afraid of regime-change attempts because its electoral system is in the hands of the people, and, if hit internally, Iran has the capacity to hit back anywhere its allies are deployed, against its regional enemies wherever they are deployed.

Iran’s situation should not be unique or surprising. It is natural to have democratic institutions. It is normal for a country to have allies ready to stand by and lend support when needed. It is ordinary for any country to use force, when needed, to defend its sovereignty and protect its borders. Citizens support their government and armed forces when they defend the country against aggression and when their rulers take tough and courageous decisions.

There are no voices in Iran calling for the fall of the current regime despite the US “maximum pressure”. The Iranian President responded with “maximum patience” for 14 months before taking the first legal step to partially withdraw from the nuclear deal. Rouhani then moved towards a “confrontational strategy” and has ended up adopting a “strategy of equal response” against any attack. The Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) has no need of religious slogans this time because Iranians are united, regardless of ethnicity, behind their leaders and against the US. Trump has managed to unite the pragmatists and the radicals under one flag, against him.

Europe rushed to play a mediation role in a failed attempt to ease tensions between the US and Iran. European leaders have little leverage against President Trump because they are far from united, even if they are signatories of the JCPOA nuclear deal and are therefore bound to respect it. Iran imposed on Europe the devising of a new payment system, INSTEX, notwithstanding its lack of effectiveness. INSTEX shows the will of European leaders to accommodate Iran in order to stop its production of nuclear bombs. That is a substantial European effort.

Iran will not give up on its allies neither would they because they are at the forefront of its national security and the defenders of its values and existence. Without them a confrontational policy towards US hegemony would not be possible. The harsh sanctions on Iran have hurt its allies but have not deteriorated or even affected their military capabilities.

Iran will not give up on its missile capabilities because they are its only defensive mechanism and potential. Iran is ready to go to war; it will not abandon its missile production and development. It has delivered many of these missile capabilities to allies in Palestine, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Yemen.

Iran will not submit to the blackmail by which Trump extorts hundreds of billions of dollars from Middle Eastern countries by forcing them to buy US weapons and spare parts. Middle Eastern countries, like Saudi Arabia, the Emirates and Qatar, pay handsome ransoms to limit the damage of Trump’s bullying.

If all these Middle Eastern countries were to stand up against the “neighbourhood bully” as Iran has done, and invest a fraction of what they are paying Trump in the region’s development and prosperity, the US would be incapable of racketeering Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the Emirates.

And last but not least, Iran rejects the plan Trump is attempting to impose on the Palestinians: a demand that they sell their territories for a handful of dollars. Many Middle Eastern countries have adopted the childish plan of an amateur – Jared Kushner, who holds power only because he is the US President’s son-in-law – who believed he could achieve what many experienced presidents and diplomats failed to do over decades. Iran, together with Iraq, Lebanon and Kuwait, has rejected the “Deal of the Century”.

Trump admits that he understands only “the language of figures and money”. Iran’s response to the US blackmail strategy embodies the perception that this world only respects and understands those who manifest strength and refuse to submit to coercion, and its conscience is only awakened by those who have the will to resist.

Proofread by: C.G.B 

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