Macron: The Rothschild Agent Who Convinced Trump to Stay in Syria

Macron: The Rothschild Agent Who Convinced Trump to Stay in Syria

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In early April it was being widely reported that President Trump was seriously considering withdrawing U.S. troops from Syria. In an April 3rd news conference he told reporters that he had instructed commanders to prepare to withdraw U.S. troops with regional allies taking their place.
Then French President Macron paid him a visit and plans for a U.S. withdrawal from Syria were suddenly put on hold. Christopher Bollyn suggests that the French president, a Rothschild gofer, convinced Trump to change his plans. Ed.

Emmanuel Macron: The Rothschild Agent Who Convinced Trump to Stay in Syria

Christopher Bollyn —

Macron_Rothschild

Baron David de Rothschild with his employee, Emmanuel Macron and his wife. Macron only appeared on the French political scene last year and suddenly became president of France in a race against Marine LePen. Baron David de Rothschild is also the chairman of the Governing Board of the World Jewish Congress. Click to enlarge

Emmanuel Macron, the highly-paid Rothschild investment banker who became president of France less than a year ago, told French media on Sunday that “we convinced” President Donald Trump to stay in Syria.
Who is “we”?
Given the fact that Macron is a highly-paid Rothschild agent who became president of France, the question needs to be asked: Who is “we”?
“Ten days ago, President Trump was saying the United States of America had a duty to disengage from Syria… I assure you, we have convinced him that it is necessary to stay for the long term,” Macron said in a televised interview.
This admission by Macron indicates to me that the Rothschilds are the hidden hand behind the whole media drama about the alleged nerve gas attacks in Salisbury and Syria. This would explain the way the media has been in lock step with the anti-Russian and anti-Syrian narratives, neither of which are supported with any evidence.

Rothschild_Genie_group

Rothschild partners on the Golan Heights oil project include Dick Cheney and Rupert Murdoch, the Rothschild-funded owner of News Corp. The Rothschilds invest in media in order to control public opinion. The recent Salisbury-Syria nerve gas drama is a perfect example of how their media investment works for them.

Why would the Rothschilds be involved in such dastardly intrigue? Firstly, because they are the leading Zionist family in Britain and France and the Zionist war effort in Syria is in desperate need of their help since the Syrian army is winning the war. Secondly, because they are invested in the oil fields on the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, which legally belong to Syria. If Syria becomes fragmented as per the Israeli plan to dominate the region (i.e. Yinon Plan, 1982) there will be no legal challenger to Israel’s annexation of the Golan Heights.

Theresa_May_and_Rothschild

British prime minister Theresa May views the Balfour Declaration with the Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu and Jacob Rothschild at his house. The Balfour Declaration, which is the birth certificate for the Zionist state, was actually a letter written to Lord Rothschild in 1917. The letter stated Britain’s support for a Zionist state in Palestine, which was in effect one party (UK) giving to a second party (Rothschild Zionists) the land of a third party (i.e. Palestine, Palestinians). Click to enlarge

Why would France, or America for that matter, want to wage war illegally against the government of Syria in the first place? Macron’s frank admission suggests that we are not really talking about French national interests at all — but about the interests of the Zionist international, which is headed by the Rothschilds.

Rothschild_and_Genie

The Rothschilds own the mainstream media outlets that promote the false pro-war narrative against Syria. They also happen to own the oil of the occupied Golan Heights. Click to enlarge

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The Attack on Syria by the US, UK and France Was Aggression and Contrary to International Law

The Attack on Syria by the US, UK and France Was Aggression

By David Morrison | American Herald Tribune | May 30, 2018

The prohibition on the use of force by one state against another is one of the most fundamental principles of international law. It is set out in Article 2(4) of the UN Charter, which states:

“All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state … .”

The UN Charter recognises two exceptions to this fundamental prohibition on the use of force. The first is the right of self-defence under Article 51 of the Charter in the face of an armed attack. The other exception is if the use of force has been authorised by the Security Council under Article 42 in Chapter VII of the Charter.

The use of force in any other circumstance constitutes aggression contrary to Article 2.4 of the UN Charter.

On 14 April 2018, the UK engaged in military action against Syria in alliance with the US and France. Together, they fired 105 missiles against targets in Syria. This action was not carried out in self-defence in response to Syrian aggression, nor was it authorised by the Security Council. So, it constitutes aggression against Syria contrary to Article 2.4 of the UN Charter.

Oliver Miles: Is it legal?

Lest there be any doubt about this, here’s what former UK Ambassador Oliver Miles had to say about the action shortly after it took place:

“Before launching an operation of this kind, you have to pass three tests. The first test is: is it legal? The second is: is it effective? And the third test is: what are the political consequences?

“It fails on the first test, because I don’t think it’s legal. I think that the Prime Minister and the Government, and the other Governments concerned, have failed to address [the fact] that the Charter of the United Nations is very clear that military action of this kind can only be undertaken in two circumstances, either in self-defence, which clearly this was not, or with the authority of the Security Council, which they did not have.

“The Government, and the other Governments concerned, have stressed very rightly the importance of strengthening the taboo on use of chemical weapons, but the trouble is that in pursuing that objective they’ve weakened the intermission – the ban – on aggressive war.”

President Putin was not wrong when he described the airstrikes on Syria by the US, UK and France as: “an act of aggression against a sovereign state … without a mandate from the UN Security Council and in violation of the UN Charter and norms and principles of international law”.

This aggression was supported by the EU. Since EU foreign policy decisions require unanimity amongst EU members, this means that all 28 EU states support a fundamental breach of the UN Charter by the US and two of its own members.

May justifies use of force

Prime Minister May justified this use of force on humanitarian grounds in a statement on 14 April. It was taken, she said, in response to the use of chemical weapons by the Syrian Government in Douma on 7 April 2018, which killed “up to 75” civilians. Its purpose was to “protect innocent people in Syria from the horrific deaths and casualties caused by chemical weapons” and, to that end, it consisted of “targeted strikes to degrade the Syrian Regime’s chemical weapons capability and deter their use” in future.

The Government published a paper Syria action – UK government legal position, which attempted to argue that this use of force was legal under international law. It asserted that:

“The UK is permitted under international law, on an exceptional basis, to take measures in order to alleviate overwhelming humanitarian suffering.”

Understandably, the paper made no mention whatsoever of the UN Charter, since there is no provision in the UN Charter which permits military action on humanitarian grounds without specific authorisation by the Security Council. Without that, military action against another state is aggression in breach of the UN Charter unless it is taken in self-defence.

Russia seeking to undermine “the international rules-based system”?

In recent years, the accusation that Russia is seeking to undermine “the international rules-based system” has become a mantra for the British Government and its supporters. For example, in the wake of the nerve gas attack on Sergei and Yulia Skripal, Prime Minister May told the House of Commons on 26 March 2018:

“This act against our country is the latest in a pattern of increasingly aggressive Russian behaviour, attacking the international rules-based system across our continent and beyond.”

The Prime Minister didn’t make clear what she means by “the international rules-based system”, but the UN system, and the rules specified in the UN Charter, must be at the heart of it. It is ironic therefore that a few weeks later Britain should drive a cart and horses through the UN Charter by taking military action without Security Council authorisation against a sovereign state that hasn’t attacked it.

The Russian veto

The Prime Minister inferred that efforts to sanction Syria in any other way for its alleged use of chemical weapons were “repeatedly thwarted” by Russia applying, or threating to apply, its veto in the Security Council.

Like it or like it not, the “international rules-based system” involves Russia having a veto in the Security Council, along with the other four permanent members: China, France, the UK and the US (see Articles 23 and 27 of the UN Charter). Russia’s status as a veto-wielding permanent member is a reflection of its outstanding contribution to the defeat of fascism in Europe in WWII.

What is more, it is impossible to take the veto away from Russia, or any of the other permanent members – because amending the UN Charter requires the support of all five permanent members (see Article 108 of the UN Charter).

So, in practice defending the “international rules-based system” involves accepting that Russia will always have a veto on the Security Council, the body which, according to Article 24 of the UN Charter, has “primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security”.

It is not insignificant that each of the three states which took military action against Syria on 14 April have a veto in the Security Council. They are in a position to engage in aggression against other states, as and when they like, without fear of being sanctioned by the Council for doing so, since they can veto any resolution critical of them proposed in the Council.

Did a chemical weapons attack take place?

But, did a chemical weapons attack actually take place in Douma on 7 April? All the Prime Minister has to say about the alleged attack in her statement of 14 April is that “a significant body of information including intelligence indicates the Syrian Regime is responsible for this latest attack”. This “indication” of the Syrian Government’s responsibility was sufficient for the Prime Minister to authorise the use of force and to put it into effect. For reasons that can only be guessed at, the execution couldn’t be delayed to give the OPCW inspectors (who were already on the ground in Damascus) sufficient time to gather information and make a judgment about what actually happened in Douma.

Did the Syrian Government really mount such a chemical weapons attack against civilians at this time when it is coming close to defeating the armed opposition? Such an attack was absolutely certain to provoke a military response from President Trump, since an alleged attack a year ago at Khan Sheikhoun had done so.

On that occasion, President Trump authorised the firing of 59 cruise missiles at a single target, namely, the Syrian air base from which the attack was said to have been launched. Damage to Syria’s military capabilities was limited. However, another chemical weapons attack was likely to lead to a more extensive US onslaught against Syria’s military infrastructure, which might undermine the Syria Government’s ability to finally defeat the armed opposition.

Why on earth would President Assad risk that outcome by using chemical weapons against civilians in an attack of little or no military value?

Lord West has doubts

As Lord West, former First Sea Lord and Chief of Defence Intelligence, pointed out in a BBC interview on 16 April:

“President Assad is in the process of winning this civil war. And he was about to take over and occupy Douma, all that area. He’d had a long, long, hard slog, slowly capturing that whole area of the city. And then, just before he goes in and takes it all over, apparently he decides to have a chemical attack. It just doesn’t ring true.

“It seems extraordinary, because clearly he would know that there’s likely to be a response from the allies – what benefit is there for his military? Most of the rebel fighters, this disparate group of Islamists, had withdrawn; there were a few women and children left around. What benefit was there militarily in doing what he did? I find that extraordinary. Whereas we know that, in the past, some of the Islamic groups have used chemicals [see here], and of course there would be huge benefit in them labelling an attack as coming from Assad, because they would guess, quite rightly, that there’d be a response from the US, as there was last time, and possibly from the UK and France …”

Little more than a gesture

In fact, the military response from the US, UK and France turned out to be little more than a gesture. This was because the US military accepted that missile strikes against military targets that might lead to Russian casualties had to be avoided, lest the Russians respond by striking the sources of the missiles, as they had warned in advance they might do. As Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov explained afterwards, the US military was informed “where [the Russian] red lines are, including red lines on the ground, geographically” and “the results show that they did not cross these red lines”.

So, instead of striking significant military targets, three sites associated in the past with Syria’s chemical weapons capabilities were chosen – a research centre in Barzeh near Damascus and two weapons storage centres near Homs. On the face of it, this choice was appropriate given that the military action was, in the Prime Minister’s words, “to degrade the Syrian Regime’s chemical weapons capability”. But would these sites have been attacked if it was really thought that significant quantities of chemical weapons were stored there, given the risk to civilians nearby from toxic chemicals?

Syria became a party to the Chemical Weapons Convention on 14 October 2013 and, as required by the Convention formally agreed to destroy its chemical weapons stocks and production facilities. On 4 January 2016, the OPCW announced that all chemical weapons declared to it by Syria had been destroyed.

If Syria did not declare all its stocks to the OPCW (as the US and its allies claim), then it is highly unlikely that the undeclared stocks would be kept in known storage sites and be open to destruction from the air. A few months earlier, on 22 November 2017, the OPCW inspected the Barzeh site and didn’t discover any banned chemicals or “observe any activities inconsistent with obligations under the Convention”. Likely, the US and its co-aggressors didn’t expect to destroy any chemical weapons at these sites – there have been no reports that they did – but it made sense to target these sites in order to put a humanitarian face on the aggression.

Mainstream media turn a blind eye

The mainstream media in Britain have, almost without exception, accepted without question the Government’s narrative that the Syrian Government used chemical weapons against civilians in Douma on 7 April – and they have turned a blind eye to the growing body of evidence which suggests that there wasn’t a chemical weapons attack at all, which the Syrian and Russian Governments have claimed from the outset.

Remarkably few Western journalists have visited Douma to see for themselves. An exception to this was Robert Fisk, who has reported from the Middle East for over forty years (and is an Arabic speaker). Here is an extract from his account published in the Independent on 17 April of his conversation with Dr Assim Rahaibani, a senior doctor in the clinic where victims of the alleged chemical attack were brought for treatment. Dr Rahaibani told Fisk what had happened on that occasion:

“I was with my family in the basement of my home three hundred metres from here on the night but all the doctors know what happened. There was a lot of shelling [by government forces] and aircraft were always over Douma at night – but on this night, there was wind and huge dust clouds began to come into the basements and cellars where people lived. People began to arrive here suffering from hypoxia, oxygen loss. Then someone at the door, a ‘White Helmet’, shouted “Gas!”, and a panic began. People started throwing water over each other. Yes, the video was filmed here, it is genuine, but what you see are people suffering from hypoxia – not gas poisoning.”

Fisk walked freely around Douma talking to people he met but he encountered nobody who knew of a “gas” attack on 7 April. An American journalist, Pearson Sharp, from the One America News Network, had a similar experience: on 16 April he reported:

“Not one of the people that I spoke to in that neighbourhood said that they had seen anything, or heard anything, about a chemical attack on that day… they didn’t see or hear anything out of the ordinary.”

Russia Today has broadcast several interviews with paramedics from the clinic and with an 11-year old boy describing how he was roped into the making of the video by the White Helmets (see Interview with boy in Douma video raises more doubts over ‘chem attack’, 19 April). It has also broadcast the proceedings of a news conference organised at The Hague by the Russian Ambassador to the OPCW, when 17 doctors and paramedics, brought from Syria by Russia, testified to a complete absence of chemical weapons or victims at the clinic (see No attack, no victims, no chem weapons: Douma witnesses speak at OPCW briefing at The Hague, 26 April).

This evidence from Robert Fisk and Pearson Sharp, together with the witness testimony broadcast by Russia Today, is close to definitive proof that there was no chemical weapons attack in Douma on 7 April.

David Morrison is the co-author of “A Dangerous Delusion: Why the West is Wrong about Nuclear Iran” (published by Elliott & Thompson, 2013). He has written many articles on the US-led invasion of Iraq.

Iran – Trump’s Broken Deal – Maneuver to War?

The Saker

May 11, 2018

by Peter Koenig for The Saker BlogIran – Trump’s Broken Deal – Maneuver to War?

Trump’s “Broken Deal”, his irrational decision to withdraw from the JCPOA, or simply called Iran’s Nuclear Deal, has hardly any other motives than again launching a provocation for war. The decision goes against all reason. Let’s not forget, that deal took 9 years of diplomatic efforts, a negotiation called “5 + 1” for the UN Security Council Members, plus Germany – and, of course, Iran. It was finally signed in Vienna on 14 July 2015.

A quick background: From the very beginning, way into Trump’s Presidential Campaign, he was against the deal. It was a bad deal, “the worst Obama could have made” – he always repeated himself, without ever saying what was bad about it, nor did he reveal who was the “bad-deal whisperer”, who for once didn’t get across to Obama with his unreasonable requests.

My guess is, Trump didn’t know, and he still doesn’t know, what was / is bad about the deal. Any deal that denuclearizes a country, is a deal for Peace, therefore a good deal, lest you forget the profit motive for war. The reasons Trump recently gave, when announcing stepping out of the Nuclear Agreement – Iran could not be trusted, Iran was a terrorist nation supporting Al-Qaeda and other terror groups, Iran’s ballistic missile system – and-and-and… were ludicrous, they were lies, contradictory and had nothing to do with the substance of the Deal – which frankly and sadly, Trump to this day probably doesn’t quite grasp in its full and long-range amplitude.

But what he does understand are his very close ties to Israel, or better to his buddy Bibi Netanyahu. And this not least, thanks to Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law, who has long-standing business connections to Israel and is also close to Netanyahu. Even the mainstream media are not blind to this fact. But this is merely an added weight in Trump’s bias towards Israel, as the deep dark state that calls the shots on US Foreign Policy, is composed by the likes of Netanyahu. Survival, political or otherwise, Trump knows, depends on how well you follow their orders.

But back to reality: First, the Atomic Commission in Vienna has confirmed up to the last minute that Iran has no intention to start a nuclear arms program. They have confirmed their attestation 8 times since the signing of the deal. Second, the European allies – speak vassals – have so far strongly expressed their disagreement with Trump’s decision, especially the three “M’s” – May, Merkel and Macron. Their less noble reasons for doing so, may have to do with economic interests, as they have already signed billions worth of trade and technology-exchange contracts with Iran. Thirdly, even the more moderate and diplomatic Foreign Minister of the European Union, Ms. Federica Mogherini, said in no unclear tones – that there was no justification to abandon the Deal, and that the EU will stick to it. However, given past history, the EU has rather demonstrated having no backbone. – Have they now suddenly decided – for business reasons – that they will grow a backbone? – Would be nice, but so far, it’s merely a dream.

Of course, Russia and China, will stick to the Deal. After all, an international agreement is an international agreement. The only rogue country of this globe, and self-nominated exceptional nation, feels like doing otherwise. Literally, at every turn of a corner, if they so please. And like in this case, it doesn’t even make sense for the United States to withdraw. To the contrary. In theory, Iran could now immediately start their nuclear program and in a couple of years or sooner, they would be ready and equipped with nuclear arms.

But Iran is a smart and civilized nation. They have signed the Non-Proliferation pact and, at least for now, Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani, has already pledged to stick to it. That could of course change, depending on how the Europeans will behave in the future. Will they eventually cave in to US pressure, or will they finally claim back their sovereignty and become an independent autonomous European Unit, able and willing to enter business relations with whomever they want and with whomever they deem is right, irrespective of illegal US sanctions. That would mean, of course, Iran, and normalizing relations with Russia, their natural partner for hundreds of years before the ascent of the exceptional nation. – Time will tell, whether this is a mere pipedream, or what.

What is it then that Trump and his handlers expect form this illegal decision of rescinding an international agreement? – A move towards “Regime Change”? – Hardly. They must know that with this undiplomatic decision, they are driving President Rouhani into the camp of the hardliners, this large fraction of Iranians who from the very beginning were against this Deal in the first place.

This decision is also a blow to the Atlantists or the “Fifth Column” which is quite strong in Iran. They see themselves abandoned by the west, as it is clear now, that Iran will accelerate the course they have already started, a move towards the East, becoming a member of the Eurasian Economic Union and formalizing their special status vis-à-vis the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), by becoming a regular member. Both are headed by Russia and China.

Plus, not to forget, President Xi Jinping was crystal clear when he recently said that Iran will be a crucial and vital link within the New Silk Road, or the BRI – Belt and Road Initiative, a Chinese socio-economic and cultural enterprise that will likely dominate the next few hundred years with trillions of investments in transport, industrial manufacturing, education, research and cultural infrastructure, connecting Asia from the very east with western Europe, Africa, the Middle East and even South America. The BRI is also being included in the Chinese Constitution.

There is a good reason why this gigantic Chinese Program is hardly mentioned in the western mainstream media. – The corporate oligarchs who control these media don’t want the world to know that the western fraudulent economy, built on debt and a pyramid monetary system (a large Ponzi scheme) is gradually declining, leaving all those that cling to it eventually abandoned and in misery.

Well, as in Chinese peaceful Tao tradition, President Xi is offering the world’s nations, to join this great socio-economic initiative – no pressure – just an offer. Many have already accepted, including Iran, India, Turkey, Greece … and pressure from business and politicians in Europe to become part of this tremendous project is mounting. The BRI is an unstoppable train.

What good will US-western sanctions do to an Iran detached from the west? And ever more detached from the western economy and monetary system? – None. As Mr. Rouhani said, Iran will hurt for a short while, but then “we will have recovered for good”. It’s only by hanging between east and west – a line that President Rouhani attempted to pursue, that western sanctions have any meaning. From that point of view, one can easily say, Trump shot himself in the foot.

But there is the other branch of the deep state – the military-security industrial complex – the multitrillion-dollar war machine – an apparatus which feeds largely on itself: It produces to destroy and needs to destroy ever more to guarantee its survival. That would explain how Obama inherited two wars and ended his Presidency with seven wars – which he passed on to Trump, who does his best to keep them going. But that’s not enough, he needs new ones to feed the bottomless war monster – which has become just about synonymous with the US economy, i.e. without war, the economy collapses.

Wars also make Wall Street live. War, like the housing market, is debt-financed. Except, war-funding is a national debt that will never be paid back – hence, the Ponzi scheme. New money, new debt, generated from hot air refinances old debt and will accumulated to debt never to be paid back. In 2008, what the General Accounting Office (GAO) calls “unmet obligations”, or “unfunded liabilities”, projected debt over the next five years, amounted to about US$ 48 trillion, or about 3.2 times GDP. In April 2018, GDP stood at about US$ 22 trillion as compared to unfunded liabilities of about US$ 140 trillion, nearly 6.5 times GDP. Ponzi would turn in his grave with a huge smile.

Since Washington’s foreign policy is written by Zionist thinktanks, it follows logic that more wars are needed. A big candidate is Iran. But why? Iran does no harm to anybody, the same as Syria – no harm to anybody, nor did Iraq, or Libya for that matter. Yet,
there is a distinct group of people who wants these countries destroyed. It’s the tiny little tail that wags the monster dog – for the resources and for greater Israel – as unofficial maps already indicate – stretching from Euphrates across the Red Sea all the way to the Nile and absorbing in between parts of Syria, Iraq, all of Palestine, of course, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt.

Resultado de imagen para map of greater israel
(source: globalsecurity.org)

Those who control the US thinktanks make sure that this target is enshrined in the minds of US decision makers. It would count as a major achievement in the course of global hegemony by the Chosen People (not to confound with the ‘exceptional nation’). Although, Iran is not within this picture, Iran would be the most serious and formidable opponent – enemy – of such a scheme.

By breaking the Nuclear Deal, Trump and his masters, especially Netanyahu, may have assumed a harsh reaction, now or later, by Iran. Or in the absence of such a reaction, launch a false flag – say a rocket lands in Israel, they claim it comes from Iran – and bingo, the brainwashed western populace buys it, and there is a reason to go to direct confrontation between Israel and Iran – of course, backed by Washington. This would make for war number 8, since Obama took over in early 2009. And it could account for a lot of killing and destruction – and most probably would involve also Russia and China — and – would that stay simply as a conventional war within the confines of the Middle East? – Or would it spread around the globe as a nuclear WWIII? – Would the commanding elite want to risk their own lives? You never know. Life in bunkers is not as nice as in luxury villas and on luxury boats. They know that.

That’s the dilemma most of those who stand behind the Trump decision probably haven’t quite thought through. Granted, it is difficult to think straight and especially think a bit ahead, when blinded by greed and instant profit – as the western neoliberal / neofascist doctrine dictates.

My hunch is, don’t hold me to it though, that this Trump decision, to “Break the Deal”, is the beginning of a disastrous and yet, ever accelerating decline of the western Global Hegemony Project.

Peter Koenig is an economist and geopolitical analyst. He is also a water resources and environmental specialist. He worked for over 30 years with the World Bank and the World Health Organization around the world in the fields of environment and water. He lectures at universities in the US, Europe and South America. He writes regularly for Global Research; ICH; RT; Sputnik; PressTV; The 21st Century; TeleSUR; The Vineyard of The Saker Blog; and other internet sites. He is the author of Implosion – An Economic Thriller about War, Environmental Destruction and Corporate Greed – fiction based on facts and on 30 years of World Bank experience around the globe. He is also a co-author of The World Order and Revolution! – Essays from the Resistance.

Eurasia torn between war and peace

The Saker

May 02, 2018Eurasia torn between war and peace

by Pepe Escobar (cross-posted with the Asia Times by special agreement with the author)

Iran’s top trading partner is China, while Tehran and Moscow have been improving ties as the three countries move closer to cementing a solid alliance

Two summits – the cross-border handshake that shook the world between Kim and Moon in Panmunjom and Xi and Modi’s cordial walk by the lake in Wuhan – may have provided the impression Eurasia integration is entering a smoother path.

Not really. It’s all back to confrontation: predictably the actual, working Iran nuclear deal, known by the ungainly acronym JCPOA, is at the heart of it.

And faithful to the slowly evolving Eurasia integration roadmap, Russia and China are at the forefront of supporting Iran.

China is Iran’s top trading partner – especially because of its energy imports. Iran for its part is a major food importer. Russia aims to cover this front.

Chinese companies are developing massive oil fields in Yadavaran and North Azadegan. China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) took a significant 30% stake in a project to develop South Pars – the largest natural gas field in the world. A $3 billion deal is upgrading Iran’s oil refineries, including a contract between Sinopec and the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) to expand the decades-old Abadan oil refinery.

In a notorious trip to Iran right after the signing of the JCPOA in 2015, President Xi Jinping backed up an ambitious plan to increase bilateral trade by over tenfold to US$600 billion in the next decade.

For Beijing, Iran is an absolutely key hub of the New Silk Roads, or the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). A key BRI project is the $2.5 billion, 926 kilometer high-speed railway from Tehran to Mashhad; for that China came up with a $1.6 billion loan – the first foreign-backed project in Iran after the signing of the JCPOA.

There’s wild chatter in Brussels concerning the impossibility of European banks financing deals in Iran – due to the ferocious, wildly oscillating Washington sanctions obsession. That opened the way for China’s CITIC to come up with up to $15 billion in credit lines.

The Export-Import Bank of China so far has financed 26 projects in Iran – everything from highway building and mining to steel producing – totaling roughly $8.5 billion in loans. China Export and Credit Insurance Corp – Sinosure – signed a memorandum of understanding to help Chinese companies invest in Iranian projects.

China’s National Machinery Industry Corp signed an $845 million contract to build a 410km railway in western Iran connecting Tehran, Hamedan and Sanandaj. And insistent rumors persist that China in the long run may even replace cash-strapped India in developing the strategic port of Chabahar on the Arabian Sea – the proposed starting point of India’s mini-Silk Road to Afghanistan, bypassing Pakistan.

So amid the business blitz, Beijing is not exactly thrilled with the US Department of Justice setting its sights on Huawei, essentially because of hefty sales of value-for-money smart phones in the Iranian market.

Have Sukhoi will travel

Russia mirrors, and more than matches, the Chinese business offensive in Iran.

With snail pace progress when it comes to buying American or European passenger jets, Aseman Airlines decided to buy 20 Sukhoi SuperJet 100s while Iran Air Tours – a subsidiary of Iran Air –  has also ordered another 20. The deals, worth more than $2 billion, were clinched at the 2018 Eurasia Airshow at Antalya International Airport in Turkey last week, supervised by Russia’s deputy minister of industry and trade Oleg Bocharov.

Both Iran and Russia are fighting US sanctions. Despite historical frictions, Iran and Russia are getting closer and closer. Tehran provides crucial strategic depth to Moscow’s Southwest Asia presence. And Moscow unequivocally supports the JCPOA. Moscow-Tehran is heading the same way of the strategic partnership in all but name between Moscow and Beijing.

According to Russian energy minister Alexander Novak, the 2014  Moscow-Tehran oil-for-goods deal, bypassing the US dollar, is finally in effect, with Russia initially buying 100,000 barrels of Iranian crude a day.

Russia and Iran are closely coordinating their energy policy. They have signed six agreements to collaborate on strategic energy deals worth up to $30 billion. According to President Putin’s aide Yuri Ushakov, Russian investment in developing Iran’s oil and gas fields could reach more than $50 billion.

Iran will become a formal member of the Russia-led Eurasia Economic Union (EAEU) before the end of the year. And with solid Russian backing, Iran will be accepted as a full member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) by 2019.

Iran is guilty because we say so

Now compare it with the Trump administration’s Iran policy.

Barely certified as the new US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo’s first foreign trip  to Saudi Arabia and Israel amounts in practice to briefing both allies on the imminent Trump withdrawal of the JCPOA on May 12. Subsequently, this will imply a heavy new batch of US sanctions.

Riyadh – via Beltway darling Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, (MBS) – will be all in on the anti-Iran front. In parallel, the Trump administration may demand it, but MBS won’t relinquish the failed blockade of Qatar or the humanitarian disaster that is the war on Yemen.

What’s certain is there won’t be a concerted Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) front against Iran. Qatar, Oman and Kuwait see it as counterproductive. That leaves only Saudi Arabia and the Emirates plus irrelevant, barely disguised Saudi vassal Bahrain.

On the European front, French president Emmanuel Macron has stepped up as a sort of unofficial King of Europe, leveraging himself to Trump as the likely enforcer of restrictions on Iran’s ballistic missile program, as well as dictating Iran to stay out of Syria, Iraq and Yemen.

Macron has made a direct – and patently absurd  connection between Tehran abandoning its nuclear enrichment program, including the destruction of uranium stockpiles enriched to less that 20%, and being the guilty party helping Baghdad and Damascus to defeat Daesh and other Salafi-jihadi outfits.

No wonder Tehran – as well as Moscow and Beijing – is connecting recent, massive US weapons deals with Riyadh as well as MBS’s hefty investments in the West to the Washington-Paris attempt to renegotiate the JCPOA.

Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov has been adamant; the JCPOA  was the product of a strenuous seven-country negotiation over many years: “The question is, will it be possible to repeat such successful work in the current situation?”

Certainly not

Thus the suspicion widely floated in Moscow, Beijing and even Brussels that the JCPOA irks Trump because it’s essentially a multilateral, no “America First” deal directly involving the Obama administration.

The Obama administration’s pivot to Asia – which depended on settling the Iranian nuclear dossier – ended up setting off a formidable, unintended chain of geopolitical events.

Neocon factions in Washington would never admit to normalized Iranian relations with the West; and yet Iran not only is doing business with Europe but got closer to its Eurasian partners.

Artificially inflating the North Korea crisis to try to trap Beijing has led to the Kim-Moon summit defusing the “bomb the DPRK” crowd.

Not to mention that the DPRK, ahead of the Kim-Trump summit, is carefully monitoring what happens to the JCPOA.

The bottom line is that the Russia-China partnership won’t allow for a JCPOA renegotiation, for a number of serious reasons.

On the ballistic missile front, Moscow’s priority will be to sell S-300 and S-400 missile systems to Tehran, sanctions-free.

Russia-China might eventually agree with the JCPOA 10-year sunset provisions to be extended, although they won’t force Tehran to accept it.

On the Syrian front, Damascus is regarded as an indispensable ally of both Moscow and Beijing. China will invest in the reconstruction of Syria and its revamping as a key Southwest Asia node of the BRI. “Assad must go” is a non-starter; Russia-China see Damascus as essential in the fight against Salafi-jihadis of all stripes who may be tempted to return and wreak havoc in Chechnya and Xinjiang.

A week ago, at an SCO ministerial meeting, Russia-China issued a joint communiqué supporting the JCPOA. The Trump administration is picking yet another fight against the very pillars of Eurasia integration.

Is the US Gearing Up for War with Iran?

Darko Lazar

28-04-2018 | 08:04

Emmanuel Macron’s three days in Washington this week were apparently more than enough to help him realize that Europe’s supposed goal of preserving the Iran nuclear deal was unattainable.

Macron & Trump

While the mainstream media talked about the ‘bromance’ between U.S. President Donald Trump and his French counterpart and aired videos of Trump brushing dandruff off of Macron’s suit, the real consequence of their get-together appeared to go relatively unnoticed.

After just a few hours with Trump, Macron recognized the need for a ‘new nuclear deal’ with Tehran. Translation: Trump is right in trying to torpedo the existing one.

During a White House press conference, Macron outlined the four pillars that would make up the new agreement, which would encompass what he described as Iranian “regional activities”.

“Syria is part of the fourth [pillar],” the French leader explained as Trump tapped him on the back.

“This is the only way to preserve sovereignty in the region and provide peace in the long run. Otherwise, we will have to come back into the region.”

Although some experts maintain that the French leader’s ‘flexibility’ persuaded Trump not to scrap the deal altogether, Macron’s true role was never really about lobbying anyone in Washington. Instead, he is tasked with helping the Europeans embrace the bitter American narrative on the nuclear deal.

Naturally, Iran’s leadership has already rebuked the idea of rewriting the 2015 international agreement. Now it is time for the U.S. and Europe to jump into their traditional roles of ‘good cop, bad cop’, in an effort to intensify the Western offensive against Tehran.

According to the ANSWER Coalition’s Richard Becker, the West’s pursuit of a new deal is laying the groundwork for a “very dangerous situation.”

“If we don’t see efforts going in the direction of an agreement, then they are going to go in another direction and that direction inevitably almost always leads to war,” Becker opined.

The aggressor’s reflex

Few can offer any kind of tangible argument to suggest that Iran is not a real geopolitical threat for Washington’s interests in the region. Through the fog of the U.S. invasion of Iraq, the 2006 “Israeli” attack on Lebanon, and the subsequent Western-fuelled bloodbaths in Syria and Yemen, Iran emerged as a dominant regional powerhouse.

These developments have awakened the aggressor’s reflex in Washington. And nowhere is this more apparent than in Trump’s White House, where the newly assembled ‘war cabinet’ testifies to just how real the danger of an armed confrontation between Iran and the U.S. is.

Earlier this year, Trump fired his secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, who believed in preserving the nuclear accord. In his place, he installed Mike Pompeo, who in 2014 downplayed the costs of bombing Iran and claimed that it would take “under 2,000 sorties to destroy the Iranian nuclear capacity.”

Shortly after Tillerson’s ouster, Trump appointed John Bolton as his national security advisor, whose hobby appears to be promoting war with Iran.

And then there are Trump’s friends abroad. Chief among them are “Israel’s” Benjamin Netanyahu and the Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman – both of whom share the White House’s hostility toward Tehran.

When it comes to the nuclear deal, London-based political commentator Adam Garrie believes that the U.S.

“is being pushed around by the one country in the world that is able to do so and that of course is the Zionist regime in Tel Aviv.”

“When you listen to the speeches about the JCPOA [Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action] that Trump frankly stumbles through, they are a word-for-word Xerox duplicate of the things said by officials in Tel Aviv. It’s as though they are two sides of different mouths but speaking with the same exact tongue,” Garrie adds.

Equating the Iran nuclear deal with the appeasement of Nazi Germany in 1938, “Israel’s” Avigdor Lieberman told the Saudi newspaper Elaph earlier this week that Tel Aviv would not tolerate an Iranian presence in Syria, “whatever the cost.”

“Every military outpost in Syria in which Iran seems to be trying to dig in militarily, we will destroy,” he said.

Lieberman is echoing threats by numerous “Israeli” officials and media outlets in recent months that are also warning of another war with a key Iranian ally – Hezbollah.

But despite repeated “Israeli” attacks against targets in Syria, the perfectly legal Hezbollah and Iranian military presence in that country remains undeterred in its fight against Western, Saudi and “Israeli”-backed terror proxies.

 

Are Trump & Co. biting off more than they can chew?

Whatever the military capabilities of the West, “Israel” and the Arab monarchies in the Persian Gulf, Iran is a far more formidable foe than any country Washington has dared to attack over the last few decades.

The Iranian military has at least four batteries of the Russian-made S-300 PMU-2 long-range surface-to-air missile system deployed across the country and placed on combat duty. It is also in possession of a self-developed version of the S-300, known as the Bavar 373.

Another impressive aspect of Iran’s armed forces is the country’s diverse arsenal of ballistic missiles – the most powerful of which includes the Shahab-3B that can easily hit targets as far away as “Israel” with its 2,000-kilometer range.

Meanwhile, Iran’s conventional forces number over half a million in active personnel, 350,000 in reserves, and include 1,500 tanks, as well as over 340 aircraft.

Whatever they lack in technological advances, they make up for with fiercely motivated troops. And with the help of the remainder of the resistance axis, Iran would be able to target American military installations anywhere in the Middle East.

Washington’s response to these daunting challenges came in the form of the recently unveiled hawkish Nuclear Posture Review (NPR) that expanded scenarios in which smaller-yield nuclear warheads can be used.

Trump hinted at as much when he told reporters during his joint press conference with Macron this week that

Iran “will pay a price like few countries have ever paid.”

Author and political scientist Kaveh Afrasiabi describes the U.S. president as being “foreign to the language of international diplomacy and persuasion.”

“Mr. Trump, with his empty threats against Iran, should know better than to try to bully a proud Iranian nation,” Afrasiabi warns.

Although Trump’s threats should not be ignored, for the time being at least, the Americans are more likely to stick to trying to soften their target through hybrid warfare – sanctions and subversion.

Recognizing the potential for further turmoil in the Middle East, Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif made an appeal on Tuesday for a ‘regional dialogue forum’ while speaking at the UN Headquarters in New York.

“We need to have a strong region, not to be the strongest in the region… time to break with [past conflicts],” Zarif said. “The era of hegemonic influence is long gone.”

It remains to be seen to what degree, if any, Iran’s neighbors will appreciate Zarif’s genuine attempt at reconciliation.

But one thing is certain; an armed confrontation between the U.S. and Iran is always likely. If Trump pulls out of the nuclear accord on May 12, that likelihood will only increase.

Source: Al-Ahed

Trump on Bin Salman: He Has Lice and Will Pay!

MBS

Ali Mrad

26-04-2018 | 07:32

The scene of last month’s press conference at the White House in which Trump revealed promises by the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman to pay Washington is still fresh in the eyes of the observers. When Trump carried the cardboards and laid them on Bin Salman’s lap, he explained to the world how to acquire the Saudis’ wealth that he is seeking. On Tuesday (April 24), Trump repeated for the hundredth time in front of Macron what he wanted from the Gulf countries, saying:

“we’ve spent $7 trillion in the Middle East and we’ve got nothing for it. The countries that are there, that you all know very well, are immensely wealthy. They’re going to have to pay for this. And they will also put soldiers on the ground … And we will in fact bring lots of people home.”

Trump deliberately repeated his intention to withdraw his troops from Syria in front of Macron, who had announced after the tripartite aggression on Damascus that he persuaded Trump to keep his forces there. He repeated the word “pay” when he spoke of countries that “you all know very well” (some Gulf states) as if he was sending a message to Riyadh and Abu Dhabi that his plan to replace his forces with Saudi and UAE nationals with all financial costs covered could not be amended or canceled. It is clear that the Saudis are trying to maneuver through and evade the plan that Trump envisaged. They do not object in principle to send troops to northern and eastern Syria, but on the condition that the Americans are present alongside their forces. In other words, they don’t want the Americans to withdraw all their forces. They want them to leave a satisfactory number to protect them from attacks.

Saudi fears were evident in statements made by the Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubei that were carried by the kingdom’s official news agency on Tuesday. He said, “according to President Trump’s statement, Qatar has to pay for the US military presence in Syria and send its military forces there.” Al-Jubeir’s speech falls within the strategy of “turning a deaf ear” when he tries to deflect what Trump said onto Qatar, as if the main target wasn’t Riyadh. Trump was also quoted as saying that the countries he talked about would fall within two weeks in the absence of US protection. Al-Jubeir wanted to attack Qatar exclusively when he suggested that “if the U.S. withdraws the American protection at its military base in Qatar, the regime would fall in less than a week.”

The pathetic level of Saudi Arabia’s exposure, to the extent of being publicly blackmailed by Trump, raises a fundamental question about Riyadh’s options if it decides not to comply with the US President’s demands. Can Mohammed bin Salman really afford to say “no” to Trump and refuse to pay for the military presence in northern and eastern Syria? Would he dare to refuse to send soldiers (both his soldiers or even mercenaries like those in Yemen)? He chose to climb to the throne at the expense of other princes of the ruling family, resulting in the accumulation of affected princes who would not remain silent for long. He put himself and his entertainment committee in the face of the Wahhabi religious current, while he imposed taxes on the ordinary people and increased the prices of goods and services. He reached a point of no return. He found no one but Trump to rescue him and allow him to reach his goal: to secure the throne and pass it on to his brother or son. Trump is well aware of Bin Salman’s situation and how he put all his eggs in his basket. That is why he deliberately goes so far in humiliating him by repeating the need to “pay” in front of the media and cameras. But information indicates that he speaks out even more openly about his views on Bin Salman at the White House. An informed Arab source in Washington quoted a member of the US Congress and revealed to al-Ahed Website that after Trump met with Bin Salman last month in the Oval Office, he asked his staff to

“examine the chairs and furniture that Bin Salman touched and sat on, to check if he had left lice behind for them to clean.”

This is how the American President viewed his “friend” when he received him at the White House on March 20. 

Trump will never stop expressing this view of belittlement on every occasion he sees fit to blackmail the prince to pay more. Trump is not the only one with this view. The source adds that the new National Security Adviser, John Bolton, told some of his senior White House colleagues a few days after his appointment – speaking of Mohammed bin Salman – that

“this Bedouin cannot promise you anything or pay the contracts that he signed.”

The Bedouin might be euphoric after succeeding in the assassination of the head of the Supreme Political Council in Yemen, Saleh al-Samad, especially since he was frustrated during his recent visit to Washington because of his failure in the aggression on Yemen and his inability to accomplish any achievements. Bin Salman does not have the tools of tracking and espionage or even the security and military expertise within his forces necessary to carry out a complex operation such as the assassination of Samad. Therefore, many observers tend to accuse the Americans of directly planning and executing the operation to give Bin Salman a morale boost to continue. But nothing comes for free with Trump, the businessman, who seems to have added a new arena to blackmail his “friend” in Syria.

Source: Al-Ahed

In a clear breach of International Law, the USA, UK and France attack Syrian targets

Strike On Syria Won’t Remain Without Consequences – Russian Ambassador to US
By RT

Strike on Syria won't remain without consequences – Russian ambassador to US

 

The Russian Ambassador to the US has warned of “consequences” after the US and its allies launched a coordinated military action against Syria.

Russia feels threatened by the US decision to strike Syrian targets in retaliation for the alleged chemical attack in Douma on April 7, which Moscow believes was staged.

“A pre-designed scenario is being implemented. Again, we are being threatened. We warned that such actions will not be left without consequences,” Anatoly Antonov said in a statement on Friday night. “All responsibility for them rests with Washington, London and Paris.”

Despite repeated warnings from Russia, US President Donald Trump has ordered American forces, along with their British and French allies, to strike military targets in Syria on Friday night. The Russian military operating in Syria was not notified about the American targets in advance, General Joseph Dunford, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told reporters following the attacks.

The US “specifically identified” targets to “mitigate the risk of Russian forces being involved,” Dunford said. “We used the normal deconfliction channel to deconflict airspace. We did not coordinate targets.”

While Trump said that the purpose of the US actions is to “establish a strong deterrent against the production, spread, and use of chemical weapons,” Antonov reminded that “the US – the possessor of the biggest arsenal of chemical weapons – has no moral right to blame other countries.”

The combined decision by the US and its allies to strike Syria comes after Russian Defence Ministry spokesperson Major-General Igor Konashenkov presented evidence claiming that last Saturday’s alleged chemical attack in Douma was orchestrated.

The attack also comes just hours before experts from the UN Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) were scheduled to visit Douma on Saturday to determine whether chemical weapons had indeed been used there.

Amid escalating tensions in the region, Russia has repeatedly warned the US and its allies against taking any military action in Syria, as it might lead to grave consequences for the whole world, especially given the fact that Russian troops are deployed in the country. Moscow also suggested that it will shoot down any projectiles that threaten Russian personnel fighting jihadists in Syria.

So far, there is no information that Russian citizens have been injured in the strike, the embassy in Damascus told RIA.

This article was originally published by “RT” –

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