تفجيرات سريلانكا الأميركية وحرب المضائق والخلجان

أبريل 26, 2019

محمد صادق الحسيني

سيظلّ الحدث السيرلانكي حاضراً في المشهد الإعلامي العالمي إلى حين استكمال واشنطن لعبتها الهوليودية القذرة في أعالي البحار في إطار حربها المفتوحة على الكبار من إيران الى روسيا والصين…!

فمما لا يخفى على أيّ متابع للشأن السياسي بشكل عام، وللحملة الأميركية الإسرائيلية ضدّ إيران وحزب الله بشكل خاص خلال الأيام القليلة الماضية، إلا أن يقرأ تصريحات وزير الخارجية الأميركي، مايك بومبيو، والتي أطلق من خلالها سلسلة تهديدات، ضدّ كلّ الدول التي تكسر قرار الولايات المتحده القاضي بفرض حصار شامل على إيران، على انها التصريحات قنابل صوتية للتغطية على الفعل الحقيقي الذي اقترفته الإدارة الاميركية، عبر أدواتها التكفيرية المتطرفة، في سريلانكا هذه المرة في عيد الفصح المجيد عند الطوائف المسيحية الكاثوليكية في العالم، الحدث الذي لا يزال مستمراً…!

فعلى الرغم من خطورة تصريحات مايك بومبيو إلا أنه يعلم تماماً أنها غير قابلة للتطبيق، وذلك لأنّ إيران قادرة على منع ذلك، خاصة أنّ الولايات المتحده قد استدركت القرار من خلال إصدار سلسلة من الاستثناءات، لدول وهيئات ومؤسسات دولية، تعفيها من العقوبات في حال تعاملت مع الحرس الثوري الإيراني، الذي سرعان ما هدّد بإغلاق مضيق هرمز إذا ما أقدمت الولايات المتحدة على فرض إجراءات لوقف تصدير النفط الإيراني.

الأمر الذي ردّت عليه الولايات المتحدة بصيغة باهتة جاء فيها انّ هذا التهديد غير مبرّر وغير مقبول…!

فأين عنجهية وصلف الولايات المتحدة في مثل هذه الحالات…!؟ بالإضافة إلى انّ هذه التصريحات لا تحمل أيّ جديد وذلك لأنها تكرار للسياسة الأميركية، من فرض الحصار والعقوبات على إيران، المتبعة أصلاً منذ أربعين عاماً ضدّ هذا البلد الصامد…

هذا كما انّ اتفاق بومبيو مع السعودية لزيادة إنتاجها من النفط ليصل الى 14 مليون برميل يومياً لن يؤدّي الى أيّ نتيجة بسبب قدرة إيران على منع السعودية من رفع حجم صادراتها النفطية، حتى لو استطاعت رفع الإنتاج من الناحية الفنية، وذلك عبر سلسلة إجراءات إيرانية ميدانية سيتمّ تطبيقها في الوقت المناسب…

انها صورة جلية عن العجز والوهن الأميركيين…!

لكن الولايات المتحدة هذه، ورغم عجزها هذا، تواصل العمل على إشعال الحروب الأهلية والصراعات المسلحة، فها هي تطلق بؤرة توتر دولية جديدة في شبه القارة الهندية، وذلك عبر إعطاء الضوء الأخضر لمجموعات التطرف والإرهاب المتنقلة، والتي تشرف على إعادة تدويرها وتشغيلها الأجهزة الأمنية والعسكرية الأميركية، وذلك خدمة لأهداف استراتيجية أميركية على الصعيد الدولي.

فما هي هذه الأهداف الأميركية المتوخاة من وراء التفجيرات التي حصلت في عيد الفصح ولا تزال في سريلانكا، وذهب ضحيتها أكثر من ألف قتيل وجريح؟

ويبدو أنّ المستهدف الرئيسي كانت الكنائس الكاثوليكية في البلاد… وهذا ما يجعل الأهداف الاميركية من وراء ذلك تتمثل في ما يلي:

1 ـ السعي لإشعال حرب أهلية طائفية بين مكونات الشعب السريلانكي، الذي يبلغ تعداده 21 مليون نسمه، منهم 70 من البوذيين، و12 من الهندوس، إلى جانب 10 من المسلمين، و 8 من المسيحيين مليون ومائتي ألف مسيحي .

2 ـ يكمن الهدف الأميركي من وراء ذلك في خلق الظروف الملائمة لتدخل عسكري أميركي يفضي إلى إقامة قواعد عسكرية، جوية وبحرية، في هذا البلد الذي يتمتع بموقع استراتيجي غاية في الأهمية.

إذ انّ هذا البلد يقع على مدخل خليج البنغال، الذي تمرّ من جنوبه باتجاه الشرق، الطريق البحري المؤدّي الى مضيق مالاقا Strait of malacca ، الموصل الى بحر الصين الجنوبي. ما يعني تمكن الولايات المتحدة، في حال إقامتها لقواعد عسكرية في سريلانكا، من التحكم المباشر بحركة الملاحة البحرية عبر هذا المضيق وهو ما يعني تهديد حركة الملاحة البحرية الصينية، سواء كانت مدنية او عسكرية.

3 ـ كما تعني إقامة قواعد جوية وبحرية أميركية في سريلانكا تعزيزاً هاماً في عمليات الحشد الاستراتيجي الأميركي البعيد المدى ضدّ الصين. إذ انّ إقامة مثل هذه القواعد سيعزز قدرات القاعدة الجوية الاستراتيجية الأميركية في دييغو غارسيا في المحيط الهندي وذلك عبر إقامة قواعد أكثر قرباً الى الصين مما يشكل ميزة استراتيجية للولايات المتحدة في هذا الجزء من العالم.

4 ـ مواصلة الضغط على الهند شمالاً والتي تعتبرها واشنطن حليفاً لروسيا في الاصطفافات العالمية رغم صداقاتها الإسرائيلية التجارية وغير التجارية…

5 ـ أيضاً وأيضاً محاولة عرقلة خط الطاقة الاستراتيجي الصيني الذي تمرّ خطوطه من وسط خليج البنغال، وهو الطريق الذي اختارته الصين منذ مدة لنقل احتياجاتها النفطية عبره الى الأراضي الصينية الأكثر حاجة للتنمية المستدامة إضافة لكونه من خطوط مشروع طريق واحد حزام واحد الصيني الشهير…!

6 ـ يأتي كلّ هذا في إطار حرب المضائق والخلجان التي تخوضها الولايات المتحدة الأميركية وأذنابها الصغار من جبل طارق إلى باب المندب وهرمز امتداداً إلى أعالي البحار غرباً وشرقاً…! ورغم كلّ ذلك فإنّ سياسة واشنطن هذه تسارع الخطى للاصطدام بأسوار المقاومة العربية والإسلامية والعالمية من جبال الأطلس الكبير وصولاً إلى سور الصين العظيم.

بعدنا طيبين قولوا الله…

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Zelenskii beat Poroshenko – what will happen next?

Zelenskii beat Poroshenko – what will happen next?

[This analysis was written for the Unz Review]

As everybody predicted, Poroshenko completely lost the election. As I wrote in my previous column, this is both amazing (considering Poro’s immense and extensive resources and the fact that his opponent was, literally, a clown (ok, a comic if you prefer). His defeat was also so predictable as to be almost inevitable: not only is the man genuinely hated all over the Ukraine (except for the Nazi crackpots of the Lvov region), but he made fatal blunders which made him even more detestable than usual.

First, there was this masterpiece:

Translation: April 21st. A crucial choice!

Now one could sympathize with Poroshenko: not only did this “Putin the boogeyman” appear to work fantastically well with the main sponsors of the Ukronazi coup and with the legacy Ziomedia, but nobody dared to tell Poroshenko that most Ukrainians were not buying that nonsense at all. The suggestion that all the other candidates are Putin agents is no less ridiculous. The thin veneer of deniability Poroshenko had devised (the poster was not put up by the official Poroshenko campaign but by “volunteers”) failed, everybody immediately saw through it all, and this resulted in Poro’s first big campaign faceplant.

Next came this disaster:

Again, this was not officially Poroshenko’s campaign which made this video, but everybody saw through this one too. The quasi-open threat to murder Zelenskii was received with horror in the Ukraine, and this PR-disaster was Poro’s second faceplant.

Then the poor man “lost it.” I won’t list all the stupid and ridiculous things the man said and did, but I will say that his performance at the much-anticipated debate in the stadium was a disaster too.

The writing had been on the wall for a while now, and this is why the two candidates were summoned to speak to their masters (face to face in Germany and France, by phone with Mr. MAGA) and they were told a few things:

  • Poroshenko was told in no uncertain terms that he could not trigger a war, organize a last-minute false flag, murder Zelenskii or engage in any other “creative campaign methods.”
  • Zelenskii was also clearly told that should he win the election, he was not to touch Poroshenko.  It appears that the USA gave personal security guarantees to Poroshenko.

Meet the new Ukie President (no, this is not a joke!)

The western calculus is simple: try to keep Poroshenko alive (figuratively and politically) and to see how much of the Rada he can keep. Furthermore, since Zelenskii is extremely weak (he has no personal power base of any kind), Kolomoiskii will have him do exactly as he is told and Kolomoiskii can easily be told to behave by the Empire. Finally, there is Vladimir Groisman, the current prime minister who has kept a very low profile, who does NOT have blood on his hands (at least when compared to thugs like Turchinov or Avakov) and who has not made any move which would blacklist him with the Kremlin. Groisman is also a Jew (Israel and the Ukraine are now the two countries on the planet in which both the President and the Prime-Minister are Jews; ironic considering the historical lovefest between Jews and Ukrainian nationalists …). He might make a much more effective Ukrainian Gauleiter for the Empire than either Poroshenko or Zelenskii.  For the time being, Goisman has already ditched Poroshenko’s party and is creating his own.  And let’s not forget Avakov and Parubii, who are both soaked in innocent blood, and who will try to hold on to their considerable power by using the various Nazi death-squads under their control.  Finally, there is still the formidable (and relatively popular) Iulia Timoshenko whose political ambitions need to be kept in check.  Thus, Poroshenko with his immense wealth and his connections can still be a useful tool for the Empire’s control of the Ukraine.

The western calculus might also be wrong: for one thing, Zelenskii cannot deliver *anything* meaningful to the Ukrainian people, most definitely not prosperity or honesty. Pretty soon the Ukrainian people will wake up to realize that when they elected the “new face” of Zelenskii, they ended up with the “not new” face of Kolomoiskii and everything that infamous name entails. Zelenskii might not have another option than to jail Poroshenko, which he semi-promised to do during the stadium debate. Except that now Zelenskii is saying that he will consult with Poroshenko and might even use him in some official capacity. Yes, campaign promises in the Ukraine are never kept for more than the time it takes to make them. Finally, Poroshenko’s power base is very rapidly eroding because nobody wants to go down with him. I tend to believe that Poroshenko has outlived his usefulness for the AngloZionists because he became an overnight political corpse. But this is the Ukraine, so never say never.

Finally, the Empire is also pushing for a reform of the Ukrainian political system to give less powers to the President and more to the Rada.  Again, this makes sense considering that Zelenskii is an unknown actor and considering the fact that Rada members are basically on the US payroll (across all parties and factions).

What about Russia in all this?

Maria Zakharova: only caution and skepticism for now

Well, the Russians have been extremely cautious, and nobody seems to harbor any illusions about Zelenskii. In fact, just a day after his election Zelenskii is already making all sorts of anti-Russian statements. Truly, besides the logical implication of Poroshenko’s poster (that a defeat for him would mean a victory for Putin), nobody in Russia is celebrating. The main feeling about the entire topic of the Ukraine is one of total disgust, a gradual and painful realization of the fact that our so-called “brothers” are brothers only in the sense of the biblical Cain and the acceptance that there is nobody to talk to in Kiev. Thus Russia will have to embark on a policy of unilateral actions towards the Ukraine. These could include:

  • Decide whether to recognize the outcome of the election or not.  I think that it is more likely that Russia will recognize the fact that most Ukrainians did vote for Zelenskii, but that recognition will imply nothing more than that: the recognition of a fact.
  • Accelerate the pace of distribution of Russian passports to citizens of the DNR and LNR republics.
  • Slap further economic sanctions on the Ukraine (Russia has just banned the export of energy sources to the Ukraine – finally and at last!).
  • Declare that since millions of Ukrainians did not vote (inside the Ukraine, in the DNR/LNR and in Russia, and since the Minsk Agreements are dead (they are de facto if not de jure yet) Russia does not recognize this election and, instead, recognizes the two people’s republics.  I don’t think that the Kremlin will do that short of an Ukronazi attack on Novorussia (in which case the Russians will do what they did following Saakashvili’s attack on South-Ossetia).

So far, Russian spokespeople have just said that they “respected the vote of the Ukrainian people” and that they will judge Zelenskii “on his actions, not his words”.  This approach sure seems balanced and reasonable to me.

Conclusion:

The truth is that nobody knows what will happen next, not even Kolomoiskii or Zelenskii himself. There are just too many parameters to consider, and the real balance of power following this election has not manifested itself yet. As for the true aspirations and hopes of the people of the Ukraine, they were utterly ignored: Poroshenko will be replaced by Kolomoiskii, wearing the mask of Zelenskii. Hardly a reason to rejoice …

In spite of the large number of electoral candidates, the people of the Ukraine were not given a meaningful choice. So they did the only thing they could do: they voted to kick Poroshenko out. And that sure must have felt great.

But will Zelenskii turn out to be any better?  I very much doubt it, even though I also very much hope that I am wrong.

The Saker

Dr. Ibrahim Alloush to ST: US-Imposed Blockade on Syria Should Become a Political Problem for Arab Regimes that Abide by this Blockade

ST

Monday, 22 April 2019 09:24

Damascus, (ST)-What the Syrian people are going through economically is a continuation of the war they have been going through since 2011 by other means, according to the Arab political intellectual and University of Damascus economist Dr. Ibrahim Alloush, who has elaborated on the causes of the current oil crisis in Syria and how the country can survive it.

“The current oil crisis in Syria is the result of compounded factors. On one hand, the war partially or totally destroyed much of the infrastructure of the energy sector in Syria, including the Conoco gas plant in DeirEz-zour, which was targeted repeatedly by the US, always under the pretext of “fighting terrorism”!  It just so happens that both the terrorists and the so-called “Global Coalition against terrorism” have effectively coalesced to destroy Syria’s oil and gas installations all over the country,” he said in an interview with the Syria Times e-newspaper.

Dr. Alloush made it clear that the destruction caused considerable diminishment of Syria’s productive capacity compared to 2010.

“Work is ongoing at a rapid pace to rehabilitate oil and gas fields that have been reclaimed from the hands of terrorists by the Syrian Arab Army and allies. But obviously what has taken decades to build, and months to destroy, cannot be revamped in a few weeks.  Still, these efforts could barely keep up with the increased demand in areas liberated from terrorists, especially with the beginning of the return of Syrian refugees and the re-ignition of economic activity in the country,” he stated.

Moreover, the economist referred to the fact that foreign investment in the energy sector has been particularly hit by EU and other sanctions against Syria.

“EU and other sanctions targeting the energy sector in Syria have prodded Anglo-Dutch Shall, Total, and Gulf sands to halt operations in Syria early on in 2011 and 2012.  Foreign investment in the energy sector has been particularly hit by sanctions, most recently by the so-called Caesar’s Law enacted by the US Congress.   The objective of these sanctions, among other things, is to impede Syria’s ability to rebuild and rehabilitate its ailing energy sector,” Dr. Alloush said.

He went on to say: “ To add insult to injury, economic sanctions targeting the importation of energy products into Syria have been tightened to a halt recently in an attempt to suffocate the Syrian economy.  Oil tankers are prevented from reaching Syria.  Neighboring states have succumbed to US pressure to ban trade in energy products with Syria.  Thus, the tightened and strict enforcement of a total ban on importing energy products into Syria by the US and its allies is the primary reason for the current crunch in the energy sector.  Granted, shortages have existed before.  However, the US is making sure they get worse, thus discrediting every pretense the US and its allies have made about caring for the welfare of the Syrian people.”

The intellectual mentioned another factor related to the fact that the US is making sure that “Syrian Democratic Forces” militias continue to maintain control over the region of Eastern Euphrates, where most Syrian oil and gas deposits lie, in order to deprive the Syrian people and economy of the energy (and agricultural and water) resources they need to rebuild.

“So it all really boils down to US policy,” he affirmed.

How can Syria survive?

In response to a question about how Syria can survive this energy crisis, Dr. Alloush said: “First of all, the Syrian people need to understand that what they are going through economically is a continuation of the war they have been going through since 2011 by other means.  It’s an economic blockade basically, a form of war, and it’s being perpetrated by the US and its allies.  Rationing is common in wars.  For example in WWII, Britain, the Soviet Union and other countries have resorted to rationing as common practice.  In short, there is no substitute for weathering it out while we look carefully at practical solutions to what has grown into a hideous and vexing problem for the people of Syria.”

He believes that practical solutions include quickening the pace of rehabilitating oil and gas fields and installations destroyed by the war.  He added that producing heat or electricity via relatively inexpensive technology by relying on solar energy is quite viable.  He asserted that quicker solutions include giving some leeway to private individuals and companies, both Syrian and non-Syrian, to import energy products into Syria “by any means necessary”, as a matter of survival and national security, and allowing them to sell those energy products as the market will bear.

“Another solution would be to clear the land route between Syria and Iran through Iraq, which is taking place right now, via railroad tracks and what have you.  But that would take longer, and is not immune to attacks from the US or “Israel,” Dr. Alloush added.

He underlined that allies, especially Russian allies, should not stand, hat in hand, watching Syria reeling from this gruesome blockade.

“There are two ways the embargo on importing energy products into Syria could be lifted: either Russia can go ahead and break it directly, or it can provide a staunch political cover for the Syrian Arab Army to reclaim the oil and gas fields of Eastern Euphrates. A political cover means making sure that NATO doesn’t interfere, not that Russia needs to get involved militarily. In both cases Russia’s role is crucial, and it is not much to ask, considering that it was the Syrian theater which allowed Russia to rise to prominence regionally.”

Furthermore, the intellectual described the violation of unjustly imposed sanctions, as was the case in Iraq and Libya before, and as is the case in Syria, Iran, and Yemen right now, as a ‘moral act’.

“It’s an act of defiance against injustice, and against the law of jungle in international relations.  This message should be relayed to fellow citizens across the Arab World and to anti-imperialists worldwide.  Imposing a blockade on Syria should become a political problem for Arab regimes who abide by this US-imposed blockade.  Fellow Arabs should be made to understand that yesterday it was Iraq and Libya, today it is Syria and Yemen, but tomorrow it will be them,” the intellectual concluded.

It is true that cars line up by the hundred outside petrol stations in Syria and long lines of people waiting to buy gas begin forming before dawn, but the fuel crisis has not brought life to a halt in Syrian cities as some western media reports claim.

Interviewed by: Basma Qaddour

القارة الإيرانية والقرار الأميركي الممنوع من الصرف

أبريل 24, 2019

محمد صادق الحسيني


يكفي أن تتمعّنوا جيداً في خريطة إيران ثم تنظروا الى عقارب التاريخ في ساعاتكم أيها الأميركيون حتى تتأكدوا أنكم لن تتمكّنوا من محاصرة إيران على الإطلاق ناهيك عن قدرتكم على عزلها فضلاً عن تصفير صادراتها النفطية…!

فإيران أولاً تتجاور في الجغرافيا مع أكثر من 15 بلداً متنوعاً في نظامه السياسي، غالبيتها ليست على وئام تامّ مع واشنطن حتى تلك التي لديها صداقات تاريخية او روابط سياسية جيدة والتي هي بحاجة ماسّة الى الطاقة الإيرانية لتسري في عروق اقتصادها…!

وإيران ثانياً تتحرّك في زمن لم يعُد اعتباره بالتأكيد زمن تحقيق الانتصارات الخاطفة على المستضعَفين أيّ زمن اضرب واهرب، بل العكس تماماً، هو زمن تضاعفت فيه القدرات الشعبية على تحقيق الانتصارات العظيمة ما يجبر أعداءها على تجرّع السمّ الكأس بعد الأخرى وبسرعة زمن قياسية…!

نقول هذا الكلام والأخبار المتواترة تؤكد ما يلي:

1 – ليس في نية أيّ من جيران إيران المشاركة في تنفيذ القرار الأميركي العدواني لا تركيا ولا العراق ولا الكويت ولا قطر ولا أفغانستان ولا الباكستان ولا الدول المتشاطئة معها في بحر قزوين وفي مقدّمها روسيا، بل العكس تماماً لأنّ هذه الدول لن تطلق النار على قدميها من أجل إرضاء أميركا حتى لو كانت صديقة لها…!

2 – الدولتان الوحيدتان اللتان أعلنتا نيتهما بالمشاركة في العدوان الأميركي الاقتصادي على إيران وهما السعودية والإمارات هما اللتان ستثبت الجغرافيا كما أثبت التاريخ من قبل أنهما ليستا فقط هما المحاصرتان من قبل إيران، بل إنهما اللتان ستمنعان من تصدير نفطهما الى العالم إن لم تصبحا في مرمى العزل التامّ إذا أصرّتا على المشاركة في العدوان وذلك من خلال إغلاق مضيق هرمز في وجه ناقلات نفطهما…!

3 – ثم مَن قال بوجود قدرة عملية حقيقية للرياض وابوظبي على سدّ النقص الذي سيحصل من فقدان النفط الإيراني في الأسواق العالمية!؟

لا قدراتهما الجوفية تسمح ولا إمكاناتهما الاستخراجية ولا نوع نفطهما بالضرورة، ولا تقديم النوعية التي اعتاد على تسلّمها المستهلك الدولي لتتناسب مع نوعية مصافي النفط عنده…!

هذا بالحسابات العينية المباشرة، وأما إذا أردنا ان نذهب بعيداً فإنه يكفي أن نبحر باتجاه الجهات الكونية الأربع لنكتشف أنّ تململاً أوروبياً يابانياً كورياً هندياً من هذا السلوك الأميركي الأحادي الذي يضرّ بالمصالح القومية العليا لهذه الدول فضلاً عن رفض روسي صيني قاطع…!

ثم مَن قال إنّ أميركا قادرة أصلاً على تطبيق قرارها الظالم عملياً وميدانياً. وهي التي تعجز عن التحرك السلس والمرن في محيط الحيّز الحيوي الإيراني الاستراتيجي الذي يمنح إيران اليد العليا المشرفة على أي تحرّك أميركي خارج رقابة وسيطرة العين الإيرانية الأمنية…!

كلّ هذا ولم نقترب بعد من العصا الإيرانية الغليظة التي إذا اضطرت القيادة الإيرانية لتحريكها فإنّ ذلك سيعني تعطيل كلّ حركة الأساطيل الأميركية التجارية والعسكرية من هرمز الى باب المندب وبالعكس…!

ولنأخذ بأسوأ الاحتمالات كما يقول أهل كتابة تقدير الموقف، فنقول: وماذا لو أُجبرت إيران بوقف صادراتها النفطية تماماً وهو أمر محال، ولكن فرض المحال ليس محالاً كما يُقال…!؟

الذين يعرفون إيران جيداً يؤكدون أنّ لدى إيران احتياطياً مالياً واحتياط طاقة واحتياط غذاء وزاد عليها الله من نعمه هذه السنة احتياط ماء واحتياط صبر ومقاومة ما يكفيها لفترات طويلة سيجعل الأميركان وأذنابهم في المنطقة يتوسّلون إليها لإعادة فتح أبواب عرينها لمساعدة جنود اليانكي الأميركي وجيران إيران الجنوبيين الذين سيُضطرون لشرب النفط والغاز الذي سيتكدّس في آبارهم وحقولهم…!

كلّ هذا ولم تبدأ إيران حربها الدفاعية بعد والتي قد تمتدّ من سواحل شرق المتوسط وصولاً الى جبل طارق وما بعد بعد جبل طارق وصولاً إلى المحيط الاطلسي…!

ولمن لا يعرف إيران، فإيران دولة قارية بكلّ ما تعني القارة، ففيها كلّ ما تختزنه الطبيعة من إمكانات حيوية وفيها من البشر والعقول والقدرات المكتسبة التي تمّ تخزينها خلال العقود الأربعة الماضية ما يكفي ليس فقط لمقاومة كلّ أشكال الحصار كما أثبتت حتى الآن، بل ولمحاربة أيّ عدوان كوني جديد قد يفكر من نصّب نفسه شرطياً «أزعر» للعالم، ودحره بأسرع مما يتصوّره الكاوبوي المتهوّر، وصولاً إلى إجباره لتفكيك قاعدته الأهمّ والأكبر في العالم وهي الكيان «الإسرائيلي» الجاثم على اليابسة الفلسطينية…!

من هنا نعتقد بأنّ المستر ترامب وعصاه المتصدّعة بومبيو ليسا سوى قنابل صوتية تحاول التأثير على حركة حلف المقاومة الذي يتقدّم بخطى ثابتة نحو فلسطين بهدف وقف نفوذه المتنامي والمتسارع على أكثر من ساحة وفي أكثر من محور، كما أسرّ بومبيو لأتباعه الذين التقاهم في بيروت خلال زيارته التفقدية لبقايا بقاياهم…!

ثم أليست هي الولايات المتحده نفسها التي استدركت القرار الخاص باعتبار الحرس الثوري منظمة إرهابية من خلال إصدار سلسلة من الاستثناءات، لدول وهيئات ومؤسسات دولية، قالت إنها ستُعفيها من العقوبات في حال تعاملت مع الحرس الثوري الإيراني…!؟

كلّ هذا تعرفه أميركا جيداً، لأنّ إيران لم تعد مجرد دولة ثورية محدودة بحدود جغرافية معينة، بل نهج جديد عالمي بدأ ينتشر في كلّ مكان وهو يتمرّد يومياً وفي كلّ لحظة وفي أكثر من مكان على السلوك الأميركي البشع والمتوحّش واللا عقلاني تماماً…!

لذلك ولغيره الكثير مما ستكشفه الأيام للصديق كما للعدو ثقوا بأنّ إيران في أمن وأمان وأن لا أحد مطلقاً يقدر على محاصرتها فضلاً عن عزلها أو تصفير صادراتها النفطية.

بل إنّ الأميركي هو مَن سيصبح المحاصر براً وبحراً من النهج الثوري الجديد. وهو الذي ينبغي عليه قريباً البحث عن خريطة طريق آمنة وسالكة لمغادرة بلادنا وبحارنا وسمائنا قبل أن نضطر لإخراجه ركلاً وتحت وقع صواريخ الكرار وتحت جنح الظلام كما فعل به أبناء العراق الغيارى في العام 2011…!

انظر لساعتك من جديد أيها اليانكي

فالزمن لم يعد زمنك أبداً

وانتبه لتصريحاتك جيداً

فلكلّ كلام تاريخ وجغرافيا معينان، خاصة وأنت في بلاد ما بين النهرين وشام الحوراء اللتين جعلتاك تتجرّع كؤوس السمّ أكثر من مرة في زمن قياسي ولم تتحرّك بعد يمن الحكمة والسلطان…!

كلامك حول إيران ممنوع من الصرف في زمن الانتصارات.

بعدنا طيّبين، قولوا الله…

 

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SYRIAN WAR REPORT – APR. 22, 2019: CHEMICAL WEAPONS WAREHOUSE EXPLODED IN WESTERN ALEPPO

South Front

A supposed chemical weapons warehouse of Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (formerly Jabhat al-Nursa) near city of al-Atarib in western Aleppo exploded on April 20. According to pro-government sources, the warehouse was one of the sites where militants were arming rockets and shells with toxic materials.

Members of the notorious propaganda organization “White Helmets” reportedly recovered the bodies of at least six people killed in the explosion. Three injured persons were evacuated to nearby hospitals.

The version of the events provided by pro-militant media outlets argues that the targeted facility was belonging to a local pharmaceutical company known as “al-Khalil” and stored “baby milk” only. Pro-opposition media added that the explosion was likely caused by an improvised explosive device. Nonetheless, it remains unclear who would need to blow up a baby milk storage facility.

Over the past few months, Russia and Syria have repeatedly warned that members of Hayat Tahrir al-Sham and the White Helmets, with assistance from Western intelligences, are making preparations for staging chemical attacks that would be blamed on the Assad government.

Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, Horas al-Din and several other radical groups have carried out a series of attacks on positions of the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) near the so-called Idlib de-escalation zone. The most successful attacks took place in al-Saraya, northern Lattakia, where 5 SAA troops were killed and in western Aleppo, where over 15 SAA soldiers died.

Additionally, pro-militant sources as well as several Kurdish outlets, linked with the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), came with a new round of speculations about supposed clashes between “Russian” and “Iranian” forces in the provinces of Aleppo and Deir Ezzor. The SAA denounced these claims as fake news.

These claims appear to be a part of a well-coordinated military psychological operation that’s aimed to undermine the Syrian-Iranian-Russian alliance. Similar reports repeatedly appeared over the past few years, but every time they were not supported by any evidence.

The situation remains tense in the desert area between the cities of Palmyra and Deir Ezzor. The ISIS news agency Amaq claimed on April 19 that ISIS members had ambushed an SAA convoy near the al-Bishri mount killing at least 20 soldiers and destroying 4 vehicles.

SDF-linked Kurdish insurgents continued their attacks on Turkish forces in the region of Afrin. On April 19, Kurdish fighters targeted alleged Turkish positions near Maryamayn and Villat al-Qadi with anti-tank guided missiles. Pro-Kurdish sources claim that 6 Turkish soldiers were killed. However, the Turkish military released no statements regarding its casualties. Therefore, most likely the attacked positions belonged to Turkish-backed militants.

Syria’s naval port of Tartus will be given for lease to Russia for 49 years, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Borisov told journalists on April 20 after meeting with Syria’s President Bashar Assad. Moscow will use the port for economic and logistical purposes.

Russia already has a naval facility in Tartus, which was set up at the second largest port. This military facility is currently undergoing modernization.

These developments took place amid the growing economic cooperation between Russia’s Republic of Crimea and Syria. According to official estimates, the cargo turnover between Crimea and Syria may reach 150,000t by the end of 2019. During the recent Yalta economic conference in Crimea, Syria and the local authorities reached even more agreements on the economic cooperation.

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Lavrov’s interview for Zvezda network

April 22, 2019

Lavrov’s interview for Zvezda network

 

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s interview for Glavnoye with Olga Belova programme on Zvezda network, Moscow, April 21, 2019

http://www.mid.ru/ru/foreign_policy/news/-/asset_publisher/cKNonkJE02Bw/content/id/3622162?p_p_id=101_INSTANCE_cKNonkJE02Bw&_101_INSTANCE_cKNonkJE02Bw_languageId=en_GB

Olga Belova: Mr Lavrov, thank you so much for agreeing to this interview today. Thank you for your time. We are recording this interview on the eve of the second round of Ukraine’s presidential election, so if you would allow me, we will begin with this subject, since it is currently making headlines. Against this backdrop we cannot fail but to recall the events that took place five years ago during the 2014 election in Ukraine. Since then the question of whether Russia had to recognise the outcome of the 2014 election resurfaces from time to time in the public space. What will happen this time around? Does recognising this election make any sense? We understand all too well that Russia has many formal and moral reasons to break up all contacts with the Ukrainian authorities.

Sergey Lavrov: Five years ago when the presidential election was called in Ukraine, it happened in the aftermath of an armed and anti-constitutional government coup that, for some reason, was carried out within a day after the signing of an agreement between the opposition and President Viktor Yanukovich. Moreover, foreign ministers of Germany, Poland and France assumed the role of guarantors under this agreement that was also proactively backed by the US. But the next morning the opposition announced on Maidan Square that they had seized power and had formed a government of victors. This is when they began splitting their people apart. This agreement was signed on February 21, 2014, and if we recall its text, the first paragraph sets forth the need to form a “national unity government.” Instead, they established a government of victors, and started treating everyone else like losers. They put forward multiple requirements that ran counter to the interests of a significant part of people in Ukraine, including minorities such as Russians and Russian speakers. All this brought about serious problems and triggered a referendum in Crimea as a response to the threats made by nationalists to expel Russians from the peninsula and attempts to take over the Supreme Council building by force.

Let me mention one more event. In mid-April, that is before the election was called, but after the referendum in Crimea, Geneva hosted a meeting attended by US Secretary of State John Kerry, yours truly, EU High Commissioner for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton, and then acting Foreign Minister of Ukraine Andrey Deshitsa. At this meeting we agreed on a one-page declaration, and its key provision consisted of supporting the intention of the Ukrainian authorities to implement federalisation, that is to decentralise the country with the involvement of all regions. A representative of the new Ukrainian government that came to power in Kiev following a coup signed this document, guaranteeing federalisation with the involvement of all regions of the country.

But this commitment was instantly forgotten. Against this backdrop, when people started to state their intention to run for president, President of Ukraine Petr Poroshenko was saying on every street corner that he was a “president of peace” and would settle the conflict in a matter of two or three weeks. It is for this reason that Western capitals, Paris and Berlin, urged Russia to refrain from making a statement rejecting the election outcome. We did refrain in order to give them a chance.

In early June 2014, President-elect Petr Poroshenko met with President of France Francois Hollande, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and President of Russia Vladimir Putin, when they all attended celebrations of the allied Normandy landings. The very fact that Vladimir Putin took part in this meeting, proposed by France and Germany, attested to Russia’s commitment to peace in Donbass and protecting the rights of those who were firm in their refusal to accept an armed coup. We proceeded from the premise that Petro Poroshenko was primarily elected for this promise to resolve the problem peacefully. With this in mind, I would refrain from stirring up the past on this particular matter.

By the way, during the Normandy format meetings that followed, Petr Poroshenko proved that he was not a “president of the peace,” and was forced by the developments on the ground to sign the Minsk Agreements. Russia also believed that it was unacceptable for him to consistently fool his people, while also lying to his curators abroad, since they were irritated by Poroshenko “getting out of hand.” I am talking about the Europeans represented within the Normandy Format, namely France and Germany. When the Minsk Agreements were signed everyone let out a sigh of relief, considering that this created a clear path to peace, especially since the UN Security Council approved the Minsk Agreements, thus implementing them into international law. However, in this sphere as well Petr Poroshenko proved to be very apt in dodging responsibility, turning for protection to the US administration which does not encourage Ukraine to abide by the Minsk Agreements. The Europeans found themselves in an awkward situation.

This was a look at the past, but coming back to your question, we have seen electoral programmes released by Petr Poroshenko and Vladimir Zelensky. We see how they approached the run-off. I have the impression that what matters the most for them at this point is to attract voters by some kind of a constructive agenda in order to secure victory. This is what their efforts are all about. I would rather not draw any final conclusions on what Vladimir Zelensky’s policy will look like if he is elected president, which is a done deal as far as observers are concerned. I would refrain from paying too much attention to declarations coming from his campaign. We have to wait for the second round results when they will have to deal with real things instead of campaign slogans and propaganda. Only then will we understand what this person as president thinks about the millions of his compatriots who speak Russian, love the Russian language and culture and want to live according to their values and the values of the winners in the Great Patriotic War, instead of being guided by values that extoll Roman Shukhevich, Stepan Bandera and other Petlyuras.

Olga Belova: You said we need to wait for the president-elect to take actual steps. Everyone realises that it is imperative to sit down and talk no matter what happens. What should Kiev’s first actions, statements and steps be so that, to use your words, Moscow “gives them another chance” to a peaceful resolution of the situation?

Sergey Lavrov: Most importantly, the new or old government should be able to talk and reach agreements and to respect international law and Ukraine’s international obligations. Such obligations include an international legal instrument which is the UN Security Council resolution, which approved the Minsk Agreements. A direct dialogue between Kiev, on the one hand, and Donetsk and Lugansk, on the other hand, lies at the core of these agreements. This will be the key to success. To reiterate, we heard about the plans to continue the settlement in the election statements, in particular, on the part of Mr Zelensky and his staff, but this time with the involvement of the United States and Great Britain and without direct dialogue with the proclaimed republics − DPR and LPR.

When contenders for a post make such statements, they will then be somehow tied in with such a position in the future. I hope that life will make them realise that there’s no alternative to implementing the Minsk Agreements and, in any case, that there’s no alternative to direct dialogue with the people who represent an enormous part of your nation, if you still consider them to be such, of course.

Olga Belova: We see that so far no one has been talking to them, and there’s no direct dialogue with the republics. Recently, the DPR published the foreign policy concept which shows a certain dualism: on the one hand, there’s a commitment to the Minsk Agreements and, on the other hand, the Republic of Donbass recognises itself as an independent state. What does Moscow think about the dualism of this document? What is your vision of the future of that region following the elections?

Sergey Lavrov: I don’t see anything unusual here, because these republics proclaimed sovereignty five years ago, in May 2014, responding to what we just talked about, namely, radical nationalists who came out with strong anti-Russian statements and launched an attack on the language, cultural and religious rights of ethnic minorities. It started a long time ago. These republics responded by declaring independence. Let’s remind our Western colleagues, if they ever take any interest in these unpleasant facts from recent history, that these republics did not attack the rest of Ukraine. The rest of Ukraine declared them terrorists. This, of course, is a stunning phenomenon in modern diplomacy and politics.

The rest of Ukraine was represented by the putschists who seized power in Kiev and launched an attack on millions of their fellow citizens demanding that they submit to illegal authorities. So, as I understand it, independence was simply reaffirmed in these doctrinal documents adopted in Donbass. But after this independence was declared five years ago in May − returning to what we think about the then elections and the election of Poroshenko solely because he proclaimed that his goal was immediate peace and an immediate agreement on resolving the Donbass problem by way of talks, Russia talked these republics into agreeing to a political process.

Political and diplomatic efforts were interrupted by the military actions of Kiev, which did not respect the truce and ceasefire agreement. There was the August offensive which ended badly for the Ukrainian armed forces and, most importantly, claimed a huge number of human lives, followed by the January offensive in Debaltsevo. Only after receiving a rebuff, did Petr Poroshenko sit down at the negotiating table. That’s how the Minsk Agreements were signed.

I was in Minsk and saw how the leaders of the four countries spent 17 hours at the negotiating table taking short breaks, mostly talking between themselves, and sometimes inviting us as experts to clarify certain fine points. It took considerable effort to convince the leaders of the DPR and LPR who were present in Minsk to give the go-ahead to the Minsk Agreements. We did it. We convinced them to once again demonstrate their willingness, even determination, if you will, to achieve peace with the rest of Ukraine.

Unfortunately, the way the current Ukrainian authorities see our efforts is disappointing. Despite provocations, we will push for these agreements to be implemented. We are a country that is capable of reaching agreements.

Olga Belova: That is, if I understood you correctly, Moscow is still capable and willing to continue to influence the leadership of these republics? Are we going to push them to sit down and talk as best we can, or not? I’m asking this because the leaders of the republics have made it clear that they have parted ways with Kiev.

Sergey Lavrov: You said there was a dual decision to reaffirm independence and commitment to the Minsk Agreements. To a certain extent (I will not frame it in terms of a percentage), this is the result of our influence on them and our call for them not to follow the example of the Ukrainian authorities which break down and trample upon their own promises. We will continue to exert this influence. We have long been calling, above all, the Germans and the French, to realise their responsibility for Kiev’s behaviour, because the Minsk Agreements involve, above all, proactive steps on the part of the Ukrainian authorities. The Contact Group is the only format where Donetsk, Lugansk and Kiev sit down at one table with the representatives of the OSCE and Russia. It took an inordinate amount of effort to create it, primarily because Mr Poroshenko began to back pedal shortly after the Minsk Agreements had been signed, and refused to maintain direct dialogue with the republics. But we forced our Ukrainian colleagues do that. Although in practical work − the Contact Group meets every month −  and even more often than that the Ukrainian government outwardly sabotages everything that was agreed upon, be it security, separating forces and means, the political process, coordinating the formula for conducting elections or providing this region with a special status in accordance with the Minsk Agreements. There is an open and blatant sabotage. We need to understand how the election results will affect the Ukrainian delegation’s activities in the Contact Group, and what kind of people will be delegated there.

Olga Belova: Indeed, now everything depends on how the presidential election will end, including the situation in the Kerch Strait, which was endlessly brought up in the first part of the campaign, before the first round. How harshly are we ready to respond if another provocation is made, especially considering that NATO has declared its readiness to support Ukrainian warships if they undertake another breakthrough?

Sergey Lavrov: Morally and politically – maybe they will support it. But I do not see a situation where NATO ships will join these adventurers for a military provocation. I do not foresee such a situation, and, considering the information that we have, I have reason to believe that this has already been decided at NATO.

Olga Belova: So all the support they will be getting is just words?

Sergey Lavrov: Probably, as it was the last time, a condemnation, and once again they will come up with some new sanctions. As we have said many times, we have no problem with Ukrainian warships passing from the Black Sea to their ports in the Sea of ​​Azov. The only condition is to comply with the safety requirement for navigation along the Kerch Strait. It is a complex stretch of water, which is quite shallow and doesn’t go in a straight line and requires compulsory pilotage as well as coordination when it comes to the weather conditions. All ships — and there are thousands of them — stop at the entrance to the Kerch Strait, report to the channel operators, pilotage, recommendations, and, depending on the weather forecast, move on to the Sea of ​​Azov, as was done before Ukraine’s warships last November. They passed smoothly without any incidents.

In November 2018, Petr Poroshenko, obviously during the election heat, tried to create a scandal to have reason to appeal to the West again, complaining of Russia harassing him, and insisting on more sanctions. He is better at it than many others. So the warships tried to secretly pass through the Kerch Strait, trespassing into our territorial waters – the part that was Russia’s territorial waters even before the referendum in Crimea. What they did actually boiled down to probing the limits of those who ensure the security of the Kerch Strait and the territorial integrity of the Russian Federation.

I must note that among the numerous arguments our opponents seem to forget is the fact that the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea actually implies a so-called unimpeded passage through the territorial waters of a foreign state, including military vessels, subject to several conditions. One of them is the mandatory fulfillment of security requirements, which in this case was grossly violated. The second is that a coastal state cannot allow military ships to maneuver through its territorial waters. That is, you either pass complying with the rules or you violate the Convention. What they did was military maneuvers, trying to hide from our border guards. This much is clear to all without exception. I have no doubt about it.

That we have nothing to hide can be confirmed by a very simple fact.

In mid-December, German Chancellor Angela Merkel asked President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin to allow German specialists to observe the process to better understand what the hitch was and to study the conditions for passing through the Kerch Strait. Vladimir Putin immediately agreed. We reaffirmed the agreement and asked for their names and dates that would suit them. They made a pause, and then suddenly my colleague, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas, said at a meeting in January when I reminded him of this that they wanted to bring French experts along.

I said that was new, but I was confident that our President would also agree to French specialists being on this study tour. But after some time, the Germans sent us the concept of their visit, which was not a single visit at all but involved establishing a kind of permanent observation mission, which would be associated with the OSCE mission in Donbass, and would also include Ukrainians. All of them would be staying in our territory doing I do not know what.

Olga Belova: You mean they actually wanted to come and stay there?

Sergey Lavrov: Yes, they certainly wanted to stay. The Germans are usually very punctual and precise people. When Angela Merkel asked Vladimir Putin whether their experts could come and see, he said yes… Apparently, after that, they consulted with their big brothers.

Olga Belova: So they just thought it would be a good reason to enter and station their ships there?

Sergey Lavrov: Of course, but this is an absolutely hopeless story. At the same time, I can assure with all responsibility that if the Germans and the French still have an interest in visiting and seeing it firsthand, so as not to rely on the gossip that the Ukrainian side spreads, they are very welcome.

Olga Belova: You believe that Russia will not directly clash with NATO ships in the Kerch Strait because NATO will not have the courage to sail there.

But there is another place where Russian interests clash with those of its Western partners, which is Venezuela. Will Washington decide to stage a military intervention there? What do you think of this? If yes, how far is Russia ready to go in this region? Are we prepared for a direct and tough stand-off in the region that would culminate in a peace enforcement operation against those who don’t want this, provided that all legal formalities are complied with?

Sergey Lavrov: I don’t want to bring up this scenario. I am convinced that Washington does not yet completely understand that its line regarding Venezuela has become deadlocked. They believed that the people of Venezuela would rebel against the incumbent government from the very outset, that they would be disappointed with the government’s inability to ensure the normal operation of the socioeconomic sector. Our Western colleagues took care of this: The United States froze the Venezuelan oil company’s accounts, and the United Kingdom impounded the country’s gold reserves. They hoped to stifle Venezuela using economic methods. When the crisis was in its early stage, they also organised humanitarian relief aid deliveries and tried to cross the Venezuelan border. Obviously, that was a very cheap show. Yes, they said all the options were on the table, but they obviously expected a blitzkrieg. However, they admit that no blitzkrieg took place. Indeed, the country faces a very complicated economic situation which was complicated and continued to deteriorate even before all this began. We repeatedly advised the government of Venezuela, at its request, how to launch economic reforms. Quite possibly, someone did not like this, and they also decided to halt this process, so as to prevent the situation from working in favour of the Maduro government. They decided to further stifle Venezuela by economic and financial methods. When the blitzkrieg petered out, when it became clear that the people of Venezuela had their own pride and a feeling of national dignity, when they became obviously insulted by a situation when, speaking from abroad, US Vice President Mike Pence noted that he was appointing Juan Guaido as Acting President, one should be very far from historical experience while hoping that the people of Venezuela would “swallow” this.

Today, when the Americans continue to say that all options are on the table, I don’t doubt the fact that they are assessing the consequences of an audacious military undertaking. It is highly unlikely that anyone in Latin America will support them. To the best of my knowledge, they are counting on one or two countries. I have no doubts, and I know that the Latin Americans have a great feeling of personal dignity. This would pose a challenge to all of them, all the more so as a righteous rejection of such a dictate has been accumulating for several months already, especially when the Americans de-mothballed the Monroe Doctrine and said it was quite appropriate to use this doctrine in the current situation.

On April 17, US National Security Adviser John Bolton said the United States was bringing its own version of freedom to the region. And what version of freedom does the region prefer? Would you like to ask them how they perceive their own freedom?

I hope very much that a line which stipulates talks and which is conducted by Mexico, Bolivia, Uruguay and the Caribbean Community will prevail. President of Venezuela Nicolas Maduro is ready for such talks, and he has repeatedly confirmed this in public. Juan Guaido emphatically and ostentatiously refuses, comprehending Washington’s support and counting on this support alone. It appears that he has copied the bad example of President of Ukraine Petr Poroshenko who also behaved in the same way with regard to the need for conducting a national dialogue that would involve all political forces, and he hoped that Washington would shield him whatever the situation.

Olga Belova: Washington says it is bringing freedom to the region. But what is it that we are bringing to the region?

Sergey Lavrov: We want international law to be respected in the region as well as in the world at large. This means that states build their relations via dialogue and a balance of interests takes shape. This also means that we listen to each other and want to negotiate mutually beneficial security, economic and humanitarian projects as well as projects in any other spheres, where countries and peoples operate. Our relations with the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) rest precisely on this basis. We are finalising talks with the South American Common Market (MERCOSUR). There is an agreement with the Central American Integration System (CAIS) and a number of other sub-regional organisations.

We have even-handed and good relations with practically all the Latin American countries. We don’t force anyone to do things we would like to get as unilateral advantages. The entire US policy towards Russia comes down to the US ambassador in any country visiting, with envious regularity, government agencies and demanding that they don’t receive Russian delegations, nor send delegations to Russia, nor trade with Russia, nor buy anything from Russia, particularly military products, and the like.

You can’t conceal information in today’s world. We learn this the moment these “visits” occur, the more so that the Americans are not particularly hiding the fact. They publicly say: Don’t communicate with Russia. It is Russia along with Iran and Cuba that are to blame for what is going on in Venezuela. They demand that not a single Russian soldier be found in Venezuela because the US wants it this way: no one located outside of the Western Hemisphere has the right to be there at all. Our explanation that the Russian military are performing contractual obligations servicing military equipment that was supplied on fully legitimate terms way back in the 2000s are simply disregarded. The fact that the US military and other NATO personnel – Britons and Canadians – have filled Ukraine is not mentioned. It looks like they proceed from logic suggested by the saying “What is allowed to Jupiter, is not allowed to the bull.” This is rotten logic, very much so, and it will not help our US colleagues. I am quite hopeful that they will come to understand this. Yes, within some historically very brief period preceding the next electoral cycles in the US, they are likely to reap certain benefits because they are brazenly putting pressure on countries that are unable to resist them. But in the long term, increasingly more countries will proceed from the assumption that America is just an unreliable and impolite partner that is abusing its influence in the world. The UN Charter insists on sovereign equality of states. We build our relations precisely in this way.

I cannot refrain from mentioning the fact that the United States has recently added a frontal attack on Orthodox Christianity to the arsenal of its policy towards Russia. Given that the Russian Orthodox Church was a world Orthodoxy leader, the crazy gamble involving the conferral of autocephality on the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, known today as the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, a gamble undertaken by the Istanbul Patriarch Bartholomew, has been – we have enough facts to claim this – inspired and supported by Washington. Today Washington is engaged in tough diplomatic action as it works with other Orthodox Churches that have refused to support the Istanbul Patriarch’s self-willed decision. Its aim is to somehow make them recognise what has happened. This unceremonious and gross interference in church affairs is at odds with all diplomatic norms and international law in general. And this is deplorable.

We would like the United States to be a decent member of the world community. We are open to dialogue but their approach to relations is highly utilitarian and selfish.

They suggest that we and the Chinese cooperate with them when it comes to Afghanistan and North Korea because they are unable to operate successfully on their own there. And we accept this because a settlement in Afghanistan, on the Korean Peninsula and in Syria, on which we can communicate usefully, is also in our interests. We don’t dig in our heels and say that we will not negotiate on these issues if they don’t want to discuss other ones. Our position is more pragmatic. Russia is ready to work with all influential parties who see eye to eye with us and can help to achieve a settlement.

But generally their policy towards Russia is based solely on the wish to make us accept their unilateral domination and renounce international law. This is deplorable and cannot last ad infinitum. The Americans will be unable to sustain this course for long. They are antagonising a huge number of countries. So, it is in their best interests to come back to square one and start talking to all countries respectfully. Currently, they are doing this arrogantly, something that cannot help their interests.    

Olga Belova: We do need to talk, but so far talking to these Western partners of ours has been quite challenging. There is a saying: Those who do not want to talk with Sergey Lavrov will have to deal with Sergey Shoigu. This echoes what you have been saying. In your opinion, who is the main guardian of peace now, the military or the diplomats? What enables Russia to maintain parity: state-of-the-art armaments or the power of words? Who has priority at present?

Sergey Lavrov: When the Soviet Union was being dissolved, pro-democracy forces both here in Russia and in the West were ecstatic. There was a theory whereby the factor of strength in international relations was no longer relevant now that the bipolar world order was no more, the Cold War became a thing of the past, ideological differences faded away and we all came together on a strong democratic footing. This euphoric state persisted for several years. The situation was far from rosy of course, but as you may remember, in the 1990s Russia was young and proactive in its commitment to working with the US and NATO, all but deciding to join the alliance. However, disillusionment came very quickly. It dawned on everyone that behind the veil of these beautiful words the West meant only one thing: Russia was to give up on using the factor of strength in its policy, while the West would continue relying on it. Why was NATO still around after the Warsaw Pact was dissolved? How come we did not come together within the OSCE to transform it into a pan-European, Euro-Atlantic organisation without any western or eastern variants in order to address all questions without exception based on consensus? It did not happen. Of course, the plan they nurtured was to use Russia’s weakness in the first years after the collapse of the Soviet Union in order to achieve an overwhelming military and strategic advantage.

President of Russia Vladimir Putin has talked about this on numerous occasions. It became clear to us that our positive attitude towards the West was not reciprocal. The West continued to push NATO further east in violation of all possible promises, moving its military infrastructure to our borders, and there was no end in sight, especially when the US withdrew from the ABM Treaty. At this point, everything was clear. Decisions were taken, paving the way to the development of the weapons the President presented during his address last year to the Federal Assembly. Of course, it is highly regrettable that in today’s world no one will talk to you, unless you have a strong army and cutting-edge weapons.

Olga Belova: Has it become easier to talk?

Sergey Lavrov: When I was appointed to this post, the situation was already beginning to change. However, I would not say that talking was a challenge before, and that now things are easier. Unfortunately, the US, as our main partner, labelled Russia its “high-priority adversary,” as you have said. Later the US backtracked, and propelled China to this position. Later Russia was again on the list, and after that we were accompanied by China and Iran. They want to set their policy straight. They want to be in total control, but have yet to understand how this can be done. Sanctions work in some cases, but definitely not with Russia. They will not work with other countries that respect their history and identity.

We have no problems talking with the Europeans when it comes to relations with each specific country. There are challenges in our dialogue with NATO, since the US decided to convene meetings of the Russia-NATO Council with the sole purpose of lecturing us on Ukraine and other matters or criticising us for allegedly violating and dismantling the Intermediate-Range and Shorter-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty. We do not intend to attend any meetings of this kind in the future. If they want to have a serious conversation, they have to convene a Russia-NATO Council meeting at the military level. The outgoing Supreme Allied Commander Europe of NATO Allied Command Operations, General Curtis Scaparrotti, recently voiced regret over the lack of military-to-military interaction with Russia that existed even during the Cold War. Better late than never. Let us hope that his successor in this position is receptive to this advice. This is what we hope for.

We have a very good dialogue with each country of the European Union. Yes, we sometimes happen to disagree. We have problems with the Baltic countries, with Poland, but we are ready to talk about them. Especially because the Baltic states are our neighbours, and we have good trade and investment cooperation in business. There are also security issues, because NATO is pushing its units into Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia. It is too close to our borders. At the same time, NATO is moving away from implementing the understandings we reached following the initiative of President of Finland Sauli Niinisto concerning flight safety over the Baltic. We responded to it; our military proposed ideas that would help allay concerns. It is possible to talk with everyone. On a bilateral basis, even the Baltic countries show interest: President of Estonia Kersti Kaljulaid has visited Moscow. We are talking in a neighbourly way about what we can do so that people can live comfortably and there would be no security concerns. But the collective platforms – NATO and the EU – are dominated by mutual responsibility: the Russophobic minority in the EU imposed sanctions on Russia, punishing us for supporting the will of the people of Crimea. This position of the European Union is now extended every six months, and no one can do anything, although individually, they assure us that the majority already understands that this is a dead end and something needs to be done. We are patient people, but as long as the EU as an organisation is not ready to restore all the mechanisms of our strategic partnership – we used to have summits twice a year, a ministerial council that oversaw more than 20 sectoral dialogues, four common spaces … All that was frozen because someone decided to try to “punish” us. Funny, honestly.

We are always open to honest, equal and respectful dialogue both through the military and through diplomatic channels. We have a very good tradition with a number of countries, in particular, with Italy and Japan, the 2 + 2 format, when Sergey Shoigu and I meet with our colleagues, the four of us. This is a very interesting format. It enables us to consider security issues through the prism of diplomacy and vice versa – purely military issues in foreign policy. We had such formats with the Americans and the British – but they froze them on their own initiative. But with the Italians and the Japanese, we continue these processes.

Olga Belova: I seem to understand why they froze them. Because when you two come to the negotiations, it’s simply impossible to resist you in such a duo.

Sergey Lavrov: Oh, don’t say that. We are modest people. Modest and polite.

Olga Belova: You’re modest and polite – but are you ready to give everyone a second chance, as with Ukraine?

Sergey Lavrov: Some do not need to be given a chance – they already rely on their national interests, not on what some foreign brother tells them. But if someone digs in their heels and expects an apology from us – well, we have nothing to apologise for. Our actions are guided by international law, and the UN Charter. We respect the right of any nation to determine its own future. This also applies to the rights of national minorities, in Crimea or anywhere else. We are always ready for dialogue.

الحصار يشتدّ على أطراف محور المقاومة… ما الردّ؟

أبريل 23, 2019

د. عصام نعمان

لكلّ رئيس أميركي حربه الخاصة. جورج بوش الابن شنّ حرباً ضارية على أفغانستان وأخرى أشدّ هولاً على العراق. باراك أوباما شنّ حرباً ديبلوماسية طويلة أنجز خلالها الاتفاق النووي مع إيران، واتفاق باريس حول المناخ، والتطبيع مع كوبا. دونالد ترامب يشنّ، بلا هوادة، حرباً اقتصادية على العالم، تستهدف دولاً كبرى منافِسة كالصين وروسيا والاتحاد الأوروبي، وأخرى متوسطة وصغرى كإيران وسورية والمكسيك وفنزويلا وكوبا ونيكارغوا، وقبلها كوريا الشمالية التي كان أسلافه قد فرضوا عليها عقوبات اقتصادية لإكراهها على وقف تصنيع الأسلحة النووية.

الحصار والعقوبات الإقتصادية أبرزُ أسلحة ترامب في حربه المتصاعدة، وهي أسلحة مؤذية ومرهقة لأنّ استعمالها يتمّ عبر النظام المصرفي العالمي حيث للدولار الأميركي دور كبير ومهيمن، كما عبر شركات التأمين الكبرى، وامتثال معظم الدول المتحالفة مع الولايات المتحدة الى إملاءاتها.

إيران استطاعت تجاوز مفاعيل العقوبات المفروضة عليها منذ العام 1979. لولا نجاحها في ذلك لما اضطر أوباما الى التراجع عنها وتوقيع الاتفاق النووي معها. ترامب أدرك هذه الحصيلة، فقام بإخراج الولايات المتحدة من الاتفاق المذكور وعاود فرض عقوبات جائرة ومتصاعدة في قسوتها عليها.

سورية نالت هي الأخرى «نصيبها» من العقوبات الاقتصاديــة كُرمى لـِ «إسرائيل» من جهة وكُرهاً بإيران من جهة أخرى. هذه العقوبات فعلت فعلها، على ما يبدو، في الاقتصاد السوري، لا سيما في سوق الوقود، بدليل طوابير الأفراد والسيارات التي تحتشد لساعات قرب محطات البنزين والمازوت والغاز.

ما العمل؟

قيل إنّ دمشق طالبت موسكو أواخرَ العام الماضي بتسيير قوافل من ناقلات نفطها الى الموانئ السورية لمواجهة الضائقة. موسكو استمهلت لدرس الموضوع… وما زالت تدرس.

طهران سارعت الى محاولة سدّ النقص بتوجيه ناقلات نفطها، عبر قناة السويس، شطرَ الموانئ السورية. لكن السلطات المصرية رفضت الترخيص لها بالعبور.

ثمة من يعتقد في دمشق وطهران انّ تشديد الحصار الاقتصادي على سورية مؤشر الى تفاهم ضمني بين واشنطن وموسكو على ليّ ذراع دمشق لحملها على تليين مواقفها الصلّبة بشأن تطوير نظامها السياسي خلال محادثات أستانة المرتقبة أواخرَ الشهر الحالي.

بعض أصدقاء دمشق في بيروت كشفوا ما وصل إلى مسامعهم من معلومات وتسريبات. قالوا إنّ موسكو طلبت من دمشق الموافقة على إخلاء «الوجود الإيراني» من البلاد، وكذلك وجود حزب الله. دمشق رفضت، طبعاً، بدليل مسارعة الرئيس بشار الاسد إلى زيارة طهران وعقد محادثات ذات طابع استراتيجي مع قادتها السياسيين والعسكريين، وانّ زيارة وزير الخارجية الإيراني محمد جواد ظريف الأخيرة الى دمشق كانت لاستكمال تلك المحادثات.

ما من أمر لافت تكشّفت عنه محادثات طهران ودمشق الاستراتيجية سوى ما صدر عن قائد القوات البرية الإيرانية من تصريحات هجومية ضدّ الولايات المتحدة و»إسرائيل». غير انّ ظاهر الحال، كما المواقف الإيرانية والسورية المتشدّدة من سياسة أميركا المتواطئة مع الكيان الصهيوني، ماضياً وحاضراً، توحي كلها بأنّ أطراف محور المقاومة لن تكتفي بموقف الرفض للضغوط الأميركية والروسية؟ الاقتصادية والسياسية بل ستبادر الى إجراء ما هو أشدّ وأقسى. في هذا المنظور يستطيع المراقب المتابع ان يستشرف ويستنتج الآتي:

لا شك في انّ للقيادة العليا المشتركة لأطراف محور المقاومة أولويات للمدى القصير وأخرى للمدى الطويل في شتى ميادين المواجهة مع الولايات المتحدة و»إسرائيل». لعلّ أولى الأولويات تأمين استمرار إيران في إنتاج نفطها وتصديره. ذلك لأنّ واشنطن أعلنت اعتزامها فرض وجبة جديدة قاسية من العقوبات في مطلع شهر أيار/ مايو المقبل يكون من شأنها منع إيران من تصدير نفطها، وهو مصدر دخلها الرئيس، وذلك بقصد ضرب قدراتها وإحباط دعمها لحلفائها. طهران تحسّبت لهذا التحدي الخطير بمواقف خمسة:

التفاهم مع روسيا على نقل نفطها عبر بحر قزوين الى شتى أنحاء العالم.

التفاهم مع الصين، وهي أكبر مستوردي النفط الإيراني، على نقله بواسطة ناقلات صينية من موانئ التصدير الإيرانية على شاطئ الخليج الشرقي.

التفاهم مع مستوردي النفط الإيراني على تقاضي ثمنه بعملة غير الدولار الأميركي أو مقايضته بسلع وبضائع شتى.

تأمين حاجات سورية من الوقود بتسيير أسطول من صهاريج النفط والغاز من إيران إليها عبر العراق، والضغط على مصر لإعادة النظر بقرار منع مرور الناقلات الإيرانية المتجهة إلى سورية عبر قناة السويس كونه منافياً للقانون الدولي ولأحكام المعاهدة التي تنظّم الملاحة عبر القناة المذكورة.

الضغط على روسيا لاستجابة طلب سورية تسيير ناقلات نفط من موانئها على البحر الأسود الى الموانئ السورية على البحر المتوسط بغية تأمين حاجاتها النفطية والغازية.

ثانية الأولويات مواجهةُ التهديد الصهيوأميركي لأمن إيران وسورية القومي وللحصانة الأمنية لحزب الله كونه القوة الرادعة لـِ «اسرائيل» والمشارك في حماية كلٍّ من لبنان وسورية على حدودهما الجنوبية مع فلسطين المحتلة. ذلك كله يستوجب توسيع دائرة الاشتباك مع العدو الصهيوأميركي بمشاغلة القوات الأميركية في منطقة التنف على الحدود السورية – العراقية، وفي محافظتيّ الرقة والحسكة، وربما القوات «الإسرائيلية» في الجولان المحتلّ.

ثالثة الأولويات مواجهةُ ردود فعل أميركا و»إسرائيل» المحتملة على قيام أطراف محور المقاومة بتوسيع دائرة الإشتباك معهما وذلك باعتماد تحركات أمنية محسوبة، بعضها منظور وبعضها مستور، لإفهام العدو الصهيوأميركي بأنّ أيّ استهداف مباشر لإيران أو لسورية سيؤدّي إلى ردٍّ صاعق وشامل من أطراف محور المقاومة ضدّ قواعد أميركا العسكرية في غرب آسيا وللكيان الصهيوني بشكل مباشر وبالغ الشدّة.

رابعة الأولويات تعاونُ روسيا وإيران في مقاربة سياسية ضاغطة على تركيا لتجاوز حال الخصام الى حال الوئام مع سورية كونهما يواجهان تحدياً ومخططاً صهيوأميركياً يرمي الى إضعافهما وصولاً الى تفكيكهما عبر تمويل وتسليح جماعات اثنية متمرّدة على الحكم المركزي في دمشق وأنقرة، ناهيك عن وجود دول وشركات أميركية وأوروبية طامعة بمشاركة وحصة وازنتين في ثروات العراق النفطية، كما في فرص استثمار مكامن النفط والغاز البرية والبحرية في سورية.

خامسة الأولويات قيامُ الصين وروسيا وإيران و»مجموعة شنغهاي» بتنفيذ مشروع اعتماد عملة ثقيلة بديلة من الدولار الأميركي لأغراض التجارة الدولية، وإقامة مصرف عالمي للتمويل الإنمائي.

أخيراً وليس آخراً: لا داعي للخوف من ترامب وتهويلاته، لكن حذار الإستهانة به…

وزير سابق

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