Iran to Grab the Initiative in the “Combined War”

November 26, 2022 

By Ali Abadi

Have the authorities of the Islamic Republic of Iran begun to regain the initiative in the “combined war” that was imposed on them? What is the horizon for the next stage in dealing with the emerging internal-external challenge?

When Leader of the Islamic Revolution His Eminence Imam Sayyed Ali Khamenei indicated in a speech to a gathering of school students earlier this month that the enemy had a “plan” behind igniting the “combined war” currently targeting Iran, His Eminence was recalling the information contained in a joint statement of the Ministry of Intelligence and the Revolutionary Guards on October 28. The statement included data, most notably:

  • The involvement of the CIA and the British, “Israeli” and Saudi intelligence in the disturbances within the “plan to destroy Iran”. The planning and practical implementation of the bulk of the riots was carried out by the Mossad.
  • Smuggling military and espionage equipment for subversive networks into Iran.
  • The CIA organized training courses for some of its Iranian agents, including “N.H.” who took the first photo of the late Mahsa Amini while she was in the hospital.
  • Setting American institutes for riots several months before they occurred, as they ordered their agents to abuse sanctities, burn the Holy Quran and mosques, and target security forces and clerics.

The decline of “protests” and the progress of assassinations

About two months after the outbreak of the protests, it can be said that their course is taking a downward turn based on several indicators. The first chapter of it, which is to stir people up and push them to the street, has exhausted its energy, even if it has not completely ended yet. Now it is mainly dependent on armed groups carrying out assassination attacks against security personnel. Over the past few days, these groups carried out attacks that led to the killing of security officers who were working to control the situation and interview some people on the street [in Mashhad, Isfahan, Kurdistan, Khuzestan, and Baluchistan]. It seems that the aim of these attacks is to escalate the situation again in the street by provoking the security forces to draw them into a reaction that sheds more blood.

The shootings took place in provinces where the activities of separatist armed groups are concentrated, such as Khuzestan, Baluchistan, Kurdistan and West Azerbaijan, and incidents took place in other regions [Isfahan, Tehran, Mashhad] to give the impression that all of Iran is a hotspot. However, the movements remain limited in comparison to the vastness of Iran, and the number of participants in each movement in the street is in the hundreds at best.

In a preliminary reading, it appears that the security services are acting according to a plan that takes into account the following objectives:

  • Luring: Detecting riot groups and their organizers by giving them an opportunity to go out in public, as what happened in the past weeks, when a large number of people were arrested based on what was captured from cameras, drones and information of informants on the ground.
  • Gaining public opinion: To allow people who were affected by the demands raised by the rioters to see the truth about these people through their practices and to reveal the fall of a large number of security personnel during the protests at the hands of armed and rioting groups. It is worth noting here that the climate in which these disturbances were born affected some of the political elites in the country who did not take a position on what was happening, which the Iranian president referred to as “a clouding of the minds of the elite”. This reveals a loophole similar to what happened in Lebanon after October 17, 2019, where some figured had been affected by the propaganda atmosphere on social media and foreign media. This imposes a tax on solution that has a greater political and security cost.
  • Reducing casualties among people during security measures on the ground to prevent the enemy from benefiting from any mistakes that might contribute to the siding of bewildered Iranians to the rioters against public order. This may lead to losses and sacrifices among the officers of the security forces, but this price remains small given the goal of not harming the largest number of people.

The Iranian security services were able to defuse the tension in some areas after opening dialogues with many social elites, as many people who were concerned about the safety of their regions and countries confirmed that the issue was not related to specific demands, but rather to dragging the country into an open confrontation with dangerous consequences.

In parallel, the security services are carrying out local operations to dismantle many cells responsible for killing people and security personnel and arresting their members, which is expected to lead to the dispersion of these groups and the scattering of their efforts and ability to communicate. And the security services show that they have accurate information about the people involved, based on technical tracking and relying on surveillance cameras and drones that play a role in monitoring movements on the ground.

In his speech to a delegation from the people of Isfahan a couple of days ago, Imam Khamenei drew attention to two points: the first is reassuring, in which he said that the current events will be accommodated and that “rioters and those behind them are too despicable to be able to harm the regime”. The second is that the people respond to these practices with greater awareness through massive participation in the funeral ceremonies of security personnel who are killed by the enemy. This last observation was tested and seen clearly in the funerals of martyrs who died in different provinces, and this would “turn the threat into an opportunity” to mobilize the people in the face of the enemy’s plans.

Direct US Intervention

Also, within the combined war, there are direct interventions led by the United States to add fuel to the fire and encourage the continuation of the unrest through:

  • Statements by American and European political leaders criticizing what they call “violations against protesters in Iran”, in an unbalanced view that reflects a strategy pursued to undermine the Islamic Republic’s government.
  • The mobilization of the media and the use of the capabilities of social media platforms in order to undermine Islamic values and transform the current problem into a position on the Islamic identity of Iranian society [the hijab, turban, flag of the Islamic Republic, pictures of martyrs, various religious symbols]. This malicious endeavor is being carried out by some idiots who see the West as their reference, and not the broad masses of the Iranian people who are proud of their religious values.
  • Imposing commercial sanctions on Iranian companies and others on Iranian media personalities, particularly on state television, which broadcasts video clips of confessions of those arrested in the assassination crimes.
  • Pressure through the United Nations General Assembly, where Western countries pushed for a session that voted to condemn Iran regarding alleged “violations” of human rights, noting that the number of countries that supported the resolution [78 votes] represents less than half of the number of countries that participated in the session [178 countries], where the rest preferred to abstain [69 countries], and a smaller number dared to refuse to condemn [31 countries]. This comes at a time when the US State Department exempted the Saudi Crown Prince from prosecution in a case brought before US courts in the case of the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in exchange for US commercial interests.
  • Pressure through the United Nations Human Rights Council as well, as it will meet within days to vote on a project directed against Iran, after it was prepared in a text proposed by Western countries.
  • Pressure in the United Nations Women’s Committee “to get Iran out of the committee,” as US Vice President Kamala Harris pledged.
  • Pressure through the International Atomic Energy Agency [IAEA] by holding a meeting condemning Iran for “not cooperating with the agency in the investigation of uranium enrichment activities”, without regard to the steps presented by Tehran in this context, including the signing of the Additional Cooperation Protocol. Washington hopes, in coordination with its partners, to bring Iran’s file to the Security Council, claiming that it poses a threat to international peace and security. This claim is not approved by several countries, including Russia and China, which indicates that the ultimate US goal is to defame Iran and harm its reputation and credibility in international forums, in preparation for its isolation, to prevent it from achieving great gains in the event that an agreement regarding the nuclear file was reached later.

Thus, the US administration proves that it uses the United Nations with all its bodies to implement its own agenda aimed at subjugating Iran and achieving what it failed to achieve in the Vienna meetings. It is concretely confirmed that the Biden and Trump administrations are two sides of the same coin, as the current administration completes the investment in what its predecessor began in terms of the strict blockade against the Islamic Republic.

There remains a final sign: Iranian media reported that Iran had informed Qatar that it would not respond during the period of the World Cup hosted by Doha to external parties that planned and organized interference in its internal affairs, in response to Qatar’s positive position of not cooperating with the efforts aimed at preventing the participation of Iran’s national team in the event. And if this is true – and it appears that it is according to some evidence – then this means that the authorities of the Islamic Republic will take advantage of the period of the Qatar World Cup in order to rearrange the internal security situation, after which it will devote itself to dealing with the sources of the external threat.

Saudi War Killed, Injured More Than 8,000 Yemeni Children

November 22, 2022

By Staff, Agencies

A human rights organization said the ongoing Saudi war and tight blockade have taken a heavy toll on children in Yemen, leaving more than 8,000 minors dead and injured in the already impoverished Arab country.

The Entesaf Organization for the Protection of Women’s and Children’s Rights, in a statement released on the occasion of the World Children’s Day which is celebrated on November 20 each year, announced that 3,860 children have lost their lives and 4,256 others sustained injuries as a result of the seven-year war.

The group noted that the number of disabled people has soared by 50 percent as a result of the Saudi-led aggression, stating that while the figure was at around 3 million before the war it now stands at 4.5 million now.

The rights group further highlighted that nearly six thousand civilians have been disabled since the beginning of the Saudi-led aggression, including approximately 5,559 children, emphasizing that the actual number is likely much higher.

Entesaf noted that at least two million and 400 thousand Yemeni children are out of primary schools; and nearly three thousand schools are either destroyed or damaged.

It also warned that the number of children, who would have to leave school without basic qualifications may rise to nearly six million, according to the statistics of the Yemeni Ministry of Education.

The rights group further stated that four thousand children are victims of improvised explosive devices [IEDs], bombs, landmines and remnants of war, saying that at least 131 children were killed during the six-month ceasefire in Yemen. The truce was brokered by the United Nations in April and was renewed twice.

“More than 80 newborns die every day in Yemen due to the use of internationally banned weapons. This accounts for the high rate of premature Yemeni infants, as one third of the child births in the country are untimely,” Entesaf said.

The human rights organization finally held the United States and Saudi Arabia accountable for all crimes and violations against Yemeni civilians, especially women and children.

Saudi Arabia launched the devastating war on Yemen in March 2015 in collaboration with its Arab allies and with arms and logistics support from the US and other Western states.

The objective was to reinstall the Riyadh-friendly regime of Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi and crush the Ansarullah resistance movement, which has been running state affairs in the absence of a functional government in Yemen.

While the Saudi-led coalition has failed to meet any of its objectives, the war has killed hundreds of thousands of Yemenis and spawned the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.

The Middle East and US global power: Fossil Fuel- Lifeblood of the American Empire

November 22, 2022

Source

by Phillyguy

Summary

Among all of the events shaping post-civil war US economic development, one of the most prominent was the establishment of Standard Oil by John D. Rockefeller in 1870. Working with other US industrialists, along with domestic and international financial and banking interests, including the Rothschild’s London banking cartel, Standard oil decedents have dominated the fossil fuel industry and shaped US economic and social development and foreign policy to the present day.

Introduction

The current world security architecture arose following WWII, which established the US as the dominant global power. Since that time, US global supremacy has rested on unrivaled military and economic power, control of world’s energy reserves (primarily in the Middle East), and maintaining the dollar as the world’s reserve currency [1]. There has been much current discussion about promoting ‘green’ policies, including sustainable development and increasing the use of renewable energy sources, clearly articulated during the UN Conference on Environment and Development (aka ‘Rio Conference’; ‘Earth Summit’), held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (Jun 3-14, 1992) [2], and Greta Thunberg’s speech to the UN on Sept 23, 2019 [3], where she accused world leaders of failing younger generations by not taking more aggressive actions to stop climate change. Despite this push for Green policies, fossil fuels (coal, oil and natural gas) are still the dominant source of energy, currently supply over 80% of the world’s energy [4]. In addition, the dollar (aka ‘petrodollar’) is the primary reserve currency held by foreign central banks [5] and main currency used for commercial energy transactions [6] [7].

In 1863 John D. Rockefeller joined Maurice B. Clark and Samuel Andrews in an oil-refining business in Cleveland, Ohio, which was subsequently expanded and incorporated as Standard Oil of Ohio in 1870. Rockefeller was a shrewd and aggressive industrialist, acquiring additional refining capacity by “buying up and squeezing out of rivals by every device at hand—legal or illegal’ and as a result, Standard Oil would soon control over 90% of American oil refining capacity. Facing increasing resistance from the business community and the Ohio legislature, Rockefeller incorporated the Standard Oil Trust in New Jersey in 1982. This Trust consisted of seven subsidiaries- Standard Oil of Kentucky, Standard Oil of California, Standard Oil of New York, Standard Oil of New Jersey, Standard Oil of Indiana, The Standard Oil Co (Ohio) and The Ohio Oil Company. In Standard Oil Co. of New Jersey v. United States (1911), the US Supreme Court found the Standard Oil Trust guilty of engaging in anti-competitive practices, a violation of the Sherman Antitrust Act, breaking the company up into 34 separate entities, some of which the Rockefellers held major stakes [8] [9]. Ironically, decades after the Standard Oil Trust was ‘broken up’, these separate firms would subsequently merge into Chevron [10], ExxonMobil [11], British Petroleum (BP) [12] and Marathon [13], which are currently among the top 10 global energy companies [14]. The Rockefellers reach was vast- David Rockefeller, grandson of John D. Rockefeller, was Chairman of the Council on Foreign Relations (1970-1985) and Chairman and CEO of Chase Manhattan Bank (1969–1981) [15] [16].

The geographic location of the US, circa 8000 km (5000 miles) from major war theaters in Europe and 9700 km (6000 miles) in Japan shielded the US from the massive devastation that took place in Europe and Asia during WWII. As a result, many large US corporations were able to profit handsomely by supplying the War Department with fuel, aircraft, ships, motor vehicles, armaments and ammunition to equip American soldiers and allied forces. Some of these firms were working both sides of the conflict, supplying Nazi Germany with financial backing and war material; some of these firms include Alcoa, Brown Brothers Harriman, Coca-Cola, Dupont, Kodak, Chase Bank, Dow Chemical, Ford, IBM, General Electric, General Motors, Woolworth, Random House and Standard Oil [17]. Prescott Bush, father of George HW Bush (41st President) and grandfather of George W. Bush’s (43st President), was a partner of A. Harriman & Co Investment bank and later served as Senator from Connecticut (1952-1963). Prescott Bush was directly involved with companies that profited from their commercial involvement with Nazi Germany [18] [19]. It should be pointed out the WWII is the most expensive war in American history, costing taxpayers more than $4 trillion, adjusted for inflation [20].

To the victor go the spoils

The US emerged from WWII as the world’s foremost military and economic power, the dollar was anointed the status of world reserve currency at the Bretton Woods Conference (1944) and established as the primary currency used for energy transactions following the meeting between US President Franklin D. Roosevelt and Saudi King Abdul Aziz Ibn Saud, aboard the USS Quincy, in the Suez Canal on Valentine’s Day, 1945 [21].

Post-WWII US economic development saw the continued rise of the American economy which translated into robust corporate profits and better living standards for many working people. In 1956, President Eisenhower signed the Federal-Aid Highway Act (aka National Interstate and Defense Highways Act of 1956) described as the ‘Greatest Public Works Project in History’, allocating $25 billion (circa $274 billion in inflation- adjusted dollars) from taxpayers to develop a 41,000-mile system of interstate highways that Eisenhower promised would eliminate unsafe roads, inefficient routes and all of the other things that got in the way of “speedy, safe transcontinental travel.” [22] [23]. The Highway act would enrich the ‘pro-highway coalition of energy companies, automobile manufactures, truckers, bus operators, tiremakers, insurance companies, auto clubs, etc. It directly led to increased use of private automobiles for transportation and the systematic dismantling of energy- efficient public transportation, creation of suburbs, shopping centers, ‘strip malls’, and proliferation of McDonald’s and other ‘fast-food’ outlets, which have led to the current health crisis in the US- increased obesity, type II diabetes and related health problems [24] [25]. In addition, some of these highways were literally built through urban neighborhoods and frequently minority communities [26] [27], such as the Cypress Freeway in Oakland, CA, I95 in Chester, PA and the Cross Bronx Expressway in NYC [28] [29].

As a result, the functioning of the American economy and society has become very dependent on fossil fuel consumption (for more detail see [30]).

1. Energy consumption & generation– the US has 4.25% of world’s population (339 million people) but consumes ~17% of the world’s energy and has the highest per capita energy consumption and is the largest total energy consumer. In 2021, approximately 60% of US electricity was generated from fossil fuels- coal, natural gas and oil [31].

2. Suburban development– as described above, passage of the Highway act of 1956 [22], accelerated the development of low-density housing suburbs, which were only accessible by automobiles using fossil fuel.

3. Transportation– The average American relies on energy-inefficient automobiles and jet airplanes for transportation. Most US cities lack a comprehensive, energy-efficient public transportation system. Indeed, the US does not have 1 mile of high-speed rail lines. By contrast, China has 40,000 km (24,855 mi), Spain has 3,100 km (1,926 mi) and Japan has 2,830 km (1758 mi) of high-speed rail.

4. American agriculture is very energy-intensive, requiring 15 calories of energy to produce 1 calorie of food. The average food commodity transits 1500 miles from production to consumption point- e.g., California-grown produce, shipped to the US east coast, usually via diesel fueled trucks.

5. Information technology– US society is heavily reliant on information flow. This system encompasses local computers, the internet and fiber optic cables serving as data pipelines, computer server farms and “cloud” storage facilities, all of which consume lots of electricity.

6. Military– The Pentagon is the largest single consumer of fossil fuel and polluter in the world. To give this some perspective, on average, the US military consumes 12,600,000 gallons (48,000,000 L) of fuel per day. One F-16 fighter jet consumes over 20K gallons of Kerosene per hour (333 gal/min) [32].

American capitalism is dependent on fossil fuel consumption to function and serves as the lubricant for American power projection around the world. The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) have approximately 57% and 41% of proven oil and natural gas reserves, respectively (see Table 1 and [33]). Thus, it is not surprising that the US ruling elite have a major interest in this region and the energy reserves therein [34]. US attempts to control oil in the MENA region has been carried out in several ways. This has involved setting up client regimes in countries with vast energy deposits, such as the Gulf monarchies in the Persian Gulf (Figure 1), attacking and/or invading countries who attempt to follow an independent energy policy, such as Iraq and Libya or issuing frequent verbal threats, seizing assets and imposing economic sanctions on countries that the US has been unable to achieve regime change or are capable of defending themselves, such as the Islamic Republic of Iran [35] and Venezuela.

As part of this effort, the US has set up military bases in multiple ME countries including Bahrain, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), Turkey (Türkiye), UAE and Syria (See Figure 1 and Table 2) [36]. Due to its geographic location, Israel is crucial to US foreign policy goals. The ‘state’ of Israel/Zionist project was the creation of British imperialism (Balfour Declaration, 1918) [37], was driven, at least in part, by the desire of the British ruling elite to establish a reliable (read non-Muslim) proxy force that would assist the UK in controlling the region and its abundant hydrocarbon reserves [38]. The US emerged from WWII as the world’s leading military and economic power and assumed the role of Israel’s benefactor, providing $152 billion since 1949; $3.8 billion in 2020 [39] [40]. While Israel does not host a formal US base, she is a de facto appendage of the Pentagon, is fully integrated into NATO and serves as a reliable and well-armed US proxy in the region [41] [42], ranking 18th in global military power [43]. Israel conducts regular attacks on Syria [44] and estimated to have a stockpile of circa 90 nuclear weapons (likely a low estimate).

This effort has become all the more urgent as: the Russia-China-Iran axis has attained economic and military parity with the West, Iran is now a member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) [45], has applied for membership to the BRICS [46] and recently announced that it has developed a hypersonic missile, that is ‘capable of penetrating all defense systems’ [47]. One would infer that Iran received technical help developing this weapon system. As Iran’s ties with Russia and China continue solidifying, they are becoming increasingly ambivalent about rejoining the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA; aka Iran nuclear deal) [46], which was negotiated during the Obama Administration [48]. Trump unilaterally exited the JCPOA in 2018, stating ‘We cannot prevent an Iranian bomb under the decaying and rotten structure of the current agreement’ [49].

We hear a lot about ‘Green’ energy, the ‘Green new deal’, reducing our ‘carbon footprint’ and ‘sustainable development’, policies which are being promoted by a wide range of extremely committed environmental and conservation groups such as the Sierra Club, National Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and Clean Air Council in the US and many international organizations and prominent politicians. ‘Green’ polices have been promoted by US Vice President Kamala Harris, encouraging Americans to purchase [expensive] electric cars and endorsed by the paper of record (NYT) and other corporate media outlets. Any policy that reduces the production of ‘greenhouse’ gasses, such as CO2, is certainly a noble and worthwhile objective, that should be supported. Unfortunately, most of these groups, at least in the US, where I live, are missing the proverbial ‘elephant in the room’. This includes:

1. The entire structure of American society has been built around fossil fuel consumption. This includes the use of automobiles and jet airplanes for transportation. The profits of very powerful corporate interests, including energy corporations, automobile manufactures and their suppliers, banks and insurance companies and law firms to name a few, are highly dependent on fossil fuel consumption and ‘greenhouse’ gas production. They are not about to give this up without a big fight, including going to war.

2. The military is a key pillar of a [declining] American empire, with the Pentagon serving as the ‘enforcer’ of US global power, but is also the largest of consumer of fossil fuels and largest polluter in the world [32]. The Pentagon is supported by all factions of the ruling elite, readily apparent from the near-unanimous bipartisan support for every military appropriation in Congress (appropriation for 2023 is $773 billion). Not surprisingly, most environmental groups, which are dependent on funding from corporate-backed foundations, such as the Ford Foundation, Home Depot Foundation, etc. [50] are not going to ‘bite the hand’ that feeds them. Likewise, US corporate media is controlled by 6 large corporations whose class interests reflect those of the petrochemical companies and other large corporations [51] [52] [53]. Any reporter who steps out of line- i.e., criticizes the functioning of the US empire, including fossil fuel consumption, is immediately reprimanded and/or fired. 1) Reporter Emily Wilder was fired from AP because she had posted pro-Palestinian material on social media [54]. 2) In 1996, investigative reporter Gary Webb published a series of articles entitled ‘Dark Alliance’ in the San Jose Mercury News, linking the crack cocaine trade in Los Angeles with the Nicaraguan Contra rebels and the CIA. Not surprisingly, Webb’s story was met with outrage by MSM outlets such as the LA Times and Washington Post. Webb committed suicide in 2004 [55].

Concluding remarks

The survival of the American Empire is highly dependent on fossil fuel consumption and control of global energy reserves. This dependency has created irresolvable problems and led to a chaotic and at times, contradictory foreign policy. While there has been a lot of ‘whining’ about energy prices in the US and EU, the oil industry is reaping record profits. In 1980, President Jimmy Carter levied a “windfall” profits tax on the American oil industry in response to increasing gas prices and corporate profits [56]. While these taxes have had mixed results, no doubt a result of aggressive industry lobbying, there has been little discussion of taxing high corporate profits at the present time. Indeed, petrochemical industry profits were barely addressed in the recent US ‘midterm’ elections, as many candidates receive campaign contributions from energy companies. Fossil fuels still dominate US foreign policy. This can be seen from the enduring presence of military bases throughout the ME and maintaining generous financial support for Israel and the ruling families of Gulf Monarchies [57]. At the same time, these ruling families have watched the US/UK/NATO ferment coups in Iran (1953) [58] [59] and steal resources, invade and/or destroy Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria and Yemen; impose crippling economic sanctions and/or confiscate the assets of countries deemed a threat to US global power such as Iran, Venezuela and Russia and sabotage energy infrastructure (see below). Not surprisingly, KSA and other Gulf Monarchies have been reaching out to Russia and China; multiple reports indicate that KSA is ‘eager’ to join the BRICS Bloc [60]. No doubt, this was a motivation for President Biden’s trip to KSA in July of this year, meeting with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) at Al-Salam Palace in the Red Sea port of Jeddah. On Nov 18, the State Department recommended that MBS be granted ‘legal immunity’ for the brutal assassination of Washington Post columnist, Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey on Oct 2, 2018 [62] [63]. It should be noted that while campaigning for President, then candidate Joe Biden stated: he would “cancel the blank check” the Trump administration had given Saudi Arabia during its war in Yemen and during a speech at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) that “America’s priorities in the Middle East should be set in Washington, not Riyadh” and advocated making Saudi Arabia an international “pariah” for butchering Jamal Khashoggi [61]. Rhetoric notwithstanding, Biden’s polices towards the MENA region are largely a continuation of those of Trump and the ruling elite they represent. Biden has not rejoined the JCPOA and has continued Trump’s bellicose position towards the Islamic Republic of Iran. The US continues supporting Israel, the US Embassy in Israel remains in Jerusalem (Al-Quds in Arabic), which is not Israeli land and thus, a blatant violation of International law [64], US troops remain in Iraq and Syria while the Pentagon continues assisting KSA in their genocidal war on Yemen [65]. Trump continues his financial dealings with KSA, recently signing a $1.6 billion deal with a Saudi real estate developer [66]. It will be interesting to see how the US reacts when KSA joins BRICS [67].

On Sept 26, 2022, Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 pipelines, carrying natural gas from Russia to Germany, under the Baltic Sea were blown up [68] [69]. Shortly after the explosions, erstwhile British Prime Minister Liz Truss allegedly sent a message to US Sec of State Anthony Blinken stating ‘it’s done’ [70]. While the actual perpetrators of this attack have not been identified, it is likely that the US at a very minimum was aware of this action, as pointed out by Professor Jeffrey Sachs (Columbia University) during a Bloomberg interview [71]. The end result is that Germany and other countries in the EU will no longer have access to cheap and plentiful Russian energy, but will now be forced to purchase much more expensive liquified natural gas from the US or other countries. It should also be noted that nearly 8 decades following the conclusion of WWII, the Pentagon maintains circa 900 foreign military bases worldwide [72] [73]. Europe is still occupied by circa 100K troops [74], 35K in Germany alone [75]. Thus, Germany is not really a US ‘ally’ but rather a subordinate. This begs the question; will Germany and other countries in the EU continue serving as de facto US vassals or begin following a more independent foreign policy? One could argue their very survival as functional states depends on this.

Notes

1. US economic decline and global instability. The Saker Blog Jan 19, 2021; https://thesaker.is/us-economic-decline-and-global-instability/

2. UN Conference on Environment and Development (aka ‘Rio Conference’, ‘Earth Summit’), held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (Jun 3-14, 1992); https://www.un.org/en/conferences/environment/rio1992

3. Read climate activist Greta Thunberg’s speech to the UN By Gretchen Frazee PBS News Hour Sep 23, 2019; https://www.pbs.org/newshour/world/read-climate-activist-greta-thunbergs-speech-to-the-un

4. World Energy Balances: Overview (2020); https://www.iea.org/reports/world-energy-balances-overview/world

5. The International Role of the U.S. Dollar by Carol Bertaut, Bastian von Beschwitz and Stephanie Curcuru US Fed Reserve Oct 6, 2021; https://www.federalreserve.gov/econres/notes/feds-notes/the-international-role-of-the-u-s-dollar-20211006.html

6. What Is the Petrodollar? Petrodollar Explained in Less Than 5 Minutes By Kimberly Amadeo. the balance June 4, 2022; https://www.thebalancemoney.com/what-is-a-petrodollar-3306358

7. US economic decline and global instability Part 3: Money printing, debt and increasing international isolation. The Saker Blog Oct 31, 2022; https://thesaker.is/us-economic-decline-and-global-instability-part-3-money-printing-debt-and-increasing-international-isolation/

8. How Rockefeller Built His Trillion Dollar Oil Empire. By Jeremy Dyck Oct 8, 2019;

9. John D. Rockefeller and the Oil Industry- John D. Rockefeller changed the oil industry forever with his company Standard Oil. but that was by no means the only interesting thing about him. By Burton W. Folsom Foundation for Economic Education Sat Oct 1, 1988; https://fee.org/articles/john-d-rockefeller-and-the-oil-industry/

10. Chevron; https://www.chevron.com

11. ExxonMobil; https://corporate.exxonmobil.com

12. British Petroleum (BP); https://www.bp.com

13. Marathon Oil; https://www.marathonoil.com

14. Top 20 Oil and Gas Companies in the World in 2021; https://www.visualcapitalist.com/ranked-the-largest-oil-and-gas-companies-in-the-world

15. David Rockefeller Sr., steward of family fortune and Chase Manhattan Bank, dies at 101 By Timothy R. Smith Washington Post Mar 20, 2017; https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/david-rockefeller-sr-steward-of-family-fortune-and-chase-manhattan-bank-dies-at-101/2017/03/20/f2385f8a-0d7c-11e7-ab07-07d9f521f6b5_story.html

16. JPMorgan Chase & Co: Who We Are/History Of Our Firm; https://www.jpmorganchase.com/about/our-history

17. Top 10 American Companies that Aided the Nazis. By Dustin Koski Feb 18, 2016; https://www.toptenz.net/top-10-american-companies-that-aided-the-nazis.php

18. How Bush’s grandfather helped Hitler’s rise to power- Rumors of a link between the US first family and the Nazi war machine have circulated for decades. Now the Guardian can reveal how repercussions of events that culminated in action under the Trading with the Enemy Act are still being felt by today’s president By Ben Aris and Duncan Campbell The Guardian Sat Sep 25, 2004; https://www.theguardian.com/world/2004/sep/25/usa.secondworldwar

19. The Holocaust and the Bush family fortune Bill Van Auken Dec 5, 2018; https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2018/12/05/intr-d05.html

20. The Cost of U.S. Wars then and now. By Norwich University Online Oct 20th, 2020; https://online.norwich.edu/academic-programs/resources/cost-us-wars-then-and-now

21. ORDER FROM CHAOS- 75 years after a historic meeting on the USS Quincy, US-Saudi relations are in need of a true re-think By Bruce Riedel Brookings Mon Feb 10, 2020; https://www.brookings.edu/blog/order-from-chaos/2020/02/10/75-years-after-a-historic-meeting-on-the-uss-quincy-us-saudi-relations-are-in-need-of-a-true-re-think/

22. History of the Interstate Highway System; https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/interstate/history.cfm

23. The Interstate Highway System History.Com Jum 7, 2019; https://www.history.com/topics/us-states/interstate-highway-system

24. Tabish SA. Is Diabetes Becoming the Biggest Epidemic of the Twenty-first Century? Int J Health Sci (Qassim). 2007 Jul;1(2): V-VIII;

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3068646/

25. Obesity? Diabetes? We’ve been set up By Alvin Powell Harvard Gazette Mar 7, 2012; https://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2012/03/the-big-setup/

26. A Brief History of How Racism Shaped Interstate Highways By Noel King NPR Apr 7, 2021; https://www.npr.org/2021/04/07/984784455/a-brief-history-of-how-racism-shaped-interstate-highways

27. How Interstate Highways Gutted Communities—and Reinforced Segregation

America’s interstate highway system cut through the heart of dozens of urban neighborhoods. By Farrell Evans History.com Oct 20, 2021; https://www.history.com/news/interstate-highway-system-infrastructure-construction-segregation

28. Robert Moses’s Negative Impacts By SAFAA Feb 7, 2018 BY SAFAA; https://eportfolios.macaulay.cuny.edu/alonso2018/2018/02/07/robert-mosess-negative-impacts/

29. The Cross Bronx Expressway and the Ruination of the Bronx By lbennett Nov 10, 2019; https://pages.vassar.edu/realarchaeology/2019/11/10/the-cross-bronx-expressway-and-the-ruination-of-the-bronx/

30. War Essay- The consequences of nuclear war on US society The Saker Blog Jan 13, 2019; https://thesaker.is/war-essay-the-consequences-of-nuclear-war-on-us-society/

31. Electricity in the United States US Energy Information Administration;

https://www.eia.gov/energyexplained/electricity/electricity-in-the-us.php

32. Pentagon Fuel Use, Climate Change and the Costs of War By Neta Crawford Watson Institute June 12, 2019; https://watson.brown.edu/costsofwar/files/cow/imce/papers/2019/Pentagon%20Fuel%20Use,%20Climate%20Change%20and%20the%20Costs%20of%20War%20Final.pdf

33. How Much Oil in the Middle East? By Rasoul Sorkhabi, Ph.D. GoExPro Vol. 11, No. 1 – 2014; https://www.geoexpro.com/articles/2014/02/how-much-oil-in-the-middle-east; iea; https://www.iea.org/regions/middle-east

34. Michael Hudson: A New Bipolar World. US finance capitalism vs. China’s mixed public/ private economy Nov 7, 2022; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E_zY44YClCY

35. Missiles of Iran- Iran possesses the largest and most diverse missile arsenal in the Middle East, with thousands of ballistic and cruise missiles, some capable of striking as far as Israel and southeast Europe. CSIS Aug 10, 2021; https://missilethreat.csis.org/country/iran/

36. US military bases and facilities in the Middle East. American Security Project https://www.americansecurityproject.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/Ref-0213-US-Military-Bases-and-Facilities-Middle-East.pdf

37. Balfour Declaration History.Com Aug 21, 2018; https://www.history.com/topics/middle-east/balfour-declaration

38. More than a century on: The Balfour Declaration explained. More than 100 years since Britain’s controversial pledge, here is everything you need to know about it. By Zena Al Tahhan Aljazeera Nov 2, 2018; https://www.aljazeera.com/features/2018/11/2/more-than-a-century-on-the-balfour-declaration-explained

39. Israel-Gaza: How much money does Israel get from the US? BBC May 24, 2021; https://www.bbc.com/news/57170576

40. U.S. Foreign Aid to Israel: Total Aid (1949 – Present) Jewish Virtual Library;

https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/total-u-s-foreign-aid-to-israel-1949-present

41. Towards a World War III Scenario? The Role of Israel in Triggering an Attack on Iran? Part II The Military Road Map By Prof Michel Chossudovsky Global Research, July 30, 2018; http://www.globalresearch.ca/towards-a-world-war-iii-scenario-the-role-of-israel-in-triggering-an-attack-on-iran-2/20584

42. Understanding NATO- Ending War By Robert J. Burrowes Economy and Politics June 8, 2019; https://www.meer.com/en/54967-understanding-nato

43. 2022 Military Strength Ranking; https://www.globalfirepower.com/countries-listing.php

44. Israeli Attacks Continue to Kill Syrians, Iranians. Southfront Nov 16, 2022; https://southfront.org/israeli-attacks-continue-to-kill-syrians/

45. Iran signs memorandum to join Shanghai Cooperation Organization. As leaders meet in Uzbekistan, the eight-member regional body is poised to add Iran to its ranks. Aljazeera Sept 15, 2022; https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2022/9/15/iran-signs-memorandum-join-shanghai-cooperation-organisation

46. India, China, Iran: the Quad that really matters By Pepe Escobar Nov 15, 2022; https://thesaker.is/russia-india-china-iran-the-quad-that-really-matters/

47. Iran claims it has developed a hypersonic missile CBS News Nov 10, 2022;

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/iran-claims-it-has-developed-a-hypersonic-missile/

48. The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) at a Glance. Kelsey Davenport, Director of Nonproliferation Policy, Arms Control Association Mar, 2022;

https://www.armscontrol.org/factsheets/JCPOA-at-a-glance

49. Trump’s withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal, explained. The Iran nuclear deal isn’t dead — yet. By Zack Beauchamp Vox May 8, 2018;

https://www.vox.com/world/2018/5/8/17328520/iran-nuclear-deal-trump-withdraw

50. Society for Nonprofits; https://www.snpo.org/publications/fundingalert_bycategory.php?cs=ENVI

51. The 6 Companies That Own (Almost) All Media [INFOGRAPHIC]; https://www.webfx.com/blog/internet/the-6-companies-that-own-almost-all-media-infographic/

52. These 6 corporations control 90% of the media outlets in America- The illusion of choice and objectivity. By Nickie Louise Tech Startups Sept 18, 2020;

https://techstartups.com/2020/09/18/6-corporations-control-90-media-america-illusion-choice-objectivity-2020/embed/#?secret=bL4ldPvDPR

53. Index of US Mainstream Media Ownership- The Future of Media Project, Harvard University; https://projects.iq.harvard.edu/futureofmedia/index-us-mainstream-media-ownership

54. The Real Problem with the AP’s Firing of Emily Wilder- When one young journalist was fired, the incident revealed a problem deeper than bad social media policies. By Janine Zacharia May 26, 2021; https://www.politico.com/news/magazine/2021/05/26/emily-wilder-fired-ap-490892

55. How the CIA Watched Over the Destruction of Gary Webb- Freshly-released CIA documents show how the largest U.S. newspapers helped the agency contain a groundbreaking exposé. By Ryan Devereaux The Intercept Sept 25, 2014; https://theintercept.com/2014/09/25/managing-nightmare-cia-media-destruction-gary-webb/

56. Windfall profit taxes have benefits. But the devil is in the details. In times of crisis, the U.S. government has taxed excess profits — with mixed results Perspective by Ajay K. Mehrotra Washington Post Oct 24, 2022; https://www.washingtonpost.com/made-by-history/2022/10/24/windfall-profit-taxes/

57. List of current monarchs of the Arabian Peninsula; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_current_monarchs_of_the_Arabian_Peninsula

58. The Collapse Narrative: The United States, Mohammed Mossadegh, and the Coup Decision of 1953. By Gregory Brew Texas National Security Review. Vol 2, Issue 4 Nov 2019 | 38–59; https://tnsr.org/2019/11/the-collapse-narrative-the-united-states-mohammed-mossadegh-and-the-coup-decision-of-1953

Stable URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.26153/tsw/6666

59. The CIA in Iran- Key Events in the 1953 Coup; https://archive.nytimes.com/www.nytimes.com/library/world/mideast/041600iran-coup-timeline.html?scp=1&sq=mossadegh%252520coup&st=cse

60. BRICS to expand soon, Saudi Arabia keen to join. BRICS represents more than 40 percent of the global population and nearly a quarter of the world’s GDP and if it is expanded it will help in bolstering the BRICS bloc’s global influence. By Huma Siddiqui Oct 27, 2022; https://www.financialexpress.com/defence/brics-to-expand-soon-saudi-arabia-keen-to-join/2737102/

61. Biden’s visit to Saudi Arabia is the right thing to do, even if it feels wrong

The U.S. president has rightly come to the conclusion that a strategy of isolating the crown prince isn’t feasible. By Daniel R. DePetris NBC News July 15, 2022;

https://www.nbcnews.com/think/opinion/joe-biden-visits-saudi-arabia-bow-reality-rcna38419

62. U.S. declares Saudi crown prince immune from Khashoggi killing lawsuit

Biden administration cites executive powers, international law in shielding Mohammed bin Salman from legal responsibility. By Karen DeYoung and Missy Ryan Washington Post Nov 18, 2022; https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/2022/11/18/saudi-crown-prince-immunity-khashoggi-murder/

63. WaPo slams Biden’s move to shield MBS in Khashoggi killing suit. By Rebecca Falconer and Shawna Chen Nov 18, 2022; https://www.axios.com/2022/11/18/biden-admin-saudi-prince-immunity-khashoggi-killing-lawsuit

64. The Status of Jerusalem United Nations 1997; https://www.un.org/unispal/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/The-Status-of-Jerusalem-Engish-199708.pdf

65. Strategic Importance of the Indian Ocean, Yemen and Bab-el-Mandeb Strait Saker Blog Aug 5, 2020; https://thesaker.is/strategic-importance-of-the-indian-ocean-yemen-and-bab-el-mandeb-strait/

66. Trump family signs $1.6bn branding deal with Saudi real estate developer. Wed, Nov 16, 2022; https://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2022/11/16/692846/US-Donald-Trump-Saudi-Arabia-Dar-Al-Arkan-deal-Oman-MbS-Biden-

67. The Roundtable #34 The Kherson Withdrawal with Gonzalo Lira, Brian Berletic and Andrei Martyanov Thurs, Nov 10, 2022; https://smoothiex12.blogspot.com/2022/11/roundtable.html

68. Who Attacked Nord Stream 2? Maybe it was Russia, though that doesn’t make much sense. There are better candidates. By Doug Bandow Cato Institute Oct 14,

2022; https://www.cato.org/commentary/who-attacked-nord-stream-2

69. A journey to the site of the Nord Stream explosions- Prosecutors in Sweden say explosions on a gas pipeline between Russia and Europe were the result of sabotage. The explosions in the Baltic Sea targeted pipelines carrying natural gas from Russia to Europe. Russia denies any involvement. Before the announcement, Katya Adler travelled to the site, and was separately told by Nato chief Jens Stoltenberg that the west could go to war if Russia attacked infrastructure providing critical energy supplies. By Katya Adler BBC News Nov 18, 2022; https://www.bbc.com/news/world-63636181

70. ‘It’s done’: Putin fumes after Liz Truss ‘message’ to Blinken over Nord Stream attack ‘revealed’ Hindustan Times Nov 4, 2022; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GxzBqghRs5k

71. Jeffrey Sachs: Rest of the World Thinks the U.S. Probably Sabotaged the Nord Stream Pipeline, But it Doesn’t Show up in our Media By Tim Hains Real Clear Politics Oct 3, 2022; https://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2022/10/03/jeffrey_sachs_most_of_the_world_doesnt_view_the_ukraine_war_the_way_the_us_media_does.html

72. A List of All 900 U.S. Foreign Military Bases. By Eric Zuesse Nov 18, 2022; https://theduran.com/a-list-of-all-900-u-s-foreign-military-bases/

73. USA’s Military Empire: A Visual Database. World Beyond War;

https://worldbeyondwar.org/no-bases/

74. US likely to keep 100,000 troops in Europe for foreseeable future in face of Russian threat, US officials say By Ellie Kaufman and Barbara Starr, CNN Fri May 20, 2022; https://www.cnn.com/2022/05/20/politics/us-troops-in-europe/index.html

75. Where 100,000 U.S. troops are stationed in Europe. By Zachary Basu Axios Mar 22, 2022; https://www.axios.com/2022/03/23/where-100000-us-troops-are-stationed-europe

Figure 1. Map of the Middle East

Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Maps_of_the_Middle_East#/media/File:%22Political_Middle_East%22_CIA_World_Factbook.jpg

Table 1. Middle East Energy Reserves by Country

(TJ, tera joules; 1 TJ= 163 barrels of oil)

Source: iea; https://www.iea.org/regions/middle-east

CountryOil (TJ)Natural Gas (TJ)
Iran3,497,3477,738,423
KSA5,624,3503,357,725
Iraq1,626,278626,792
UAE190,4002,302,508
Qatar131,2591,599,572
Kuwait705,461846,450
Oman23,864957,632
Bahrain81,132563,867
Total12,477,03318,260,133

Table 2. US Military Bases and Facilities in Middle East [36]

*Numbers in parenthesis, estimated total number of US troops (thousands) deployed in each country; ** Estimated number of US troops (thousands)

Country*BaseTroops**
Bahrain (9K)US Naval Forces Central Command/ US 5th Fleet4.7
Shaikh Isa Air Base
Muharraq Air Base (Navy)
Iraq (2.5K)Al Asad Air Base
IsraelDimona Radar Facility
Mashabim Air Base / Bisl’a Aerial Defense School
JordanMuwaffaq Salti Air Base (Azraq)
Kuwait (13.5)Ali Al Salem Air Base1.5
Camp Arifjan9
Camp Spearhead Army Base
Camp Buehring
Camp Patriot3
Oman (<1K)RAFO Masirah
Muscat International Airport
RAFO Thumrait
Al-Musannah Air Base
Port of Duqm
Port of Salalah
Qatar (10K)Al Udeid Air Base- Special Operations Command Central10
Camp As Sayliyah
KSA (3K)Eskan Village
Turkey (5K)Incirlik Air Base5
Izmir Air Station
UAE (2K)Al Dhafra Air Base2
Port of Jebel Ali
Fujairah Naval Base
Syria (<0.2K)Al-Tanf garrison (ATG)

Israel Bombs Syria Killing 4 Soldiers, its 2nd Aggression in 6 Days

ARABI SOURI

The ‘Jewish’ Israel bombed several posts in central and coastal Syria in the early hours of the morning today, Saturday, November 19, a Syrian military spokesperson said in a statement carried by the Syrian news agency SANA.

In its report, strangely not the website’s main headline, SANA quoted the Syrian military spokesperson:

“At about six thirty in the morning, the Israeli enemy carried out an air aggression from over the Mediterranean Sea from the direction of Baniyas, targeting some points in the central and coastal region, and our air defenses intercepted the incoming missiles of aggression and shot down most of them.”

The Israeli aggression killed four soldiers and injured one more in addition to causing material damage, the military spokesperson’s statement concluded.

This is the second Israeli aggression against Syria in the past 6 days, the previous aggression killed and injured Syrian army soldiers.

The Israeli (Read: NATO and the collective West through Israel) aggressions are blatant violations of International Law, the UN Charter, and the May 31st, 1974 ‘Separation of Forces Agreement between Israel and Syria,’ dozens of useless UN peacekeepers (UNDOF) were deployed since on the Golan to observe the agreement whose role is just to count the Israeli aggressions and report it to the UNSC which in turn calls for peace in useless statements.

The role of Russia remains very strange in the continuous Israeli aggressions, the Russian military has an agreement with Israel on non-confliction over Syria’s skies, and holds back weapons Syria purchased over a decade ago under request from the Israelis despite the fact that some of those dated weapons like the S300 are very much available in NATO countries including NATO’s launchpad post against Russia, Ukraine.

Moreover, Russia offered its more advanced S400 to countries hostile to it like Saudi Arabia and Qatar, and actually sold it to other countries in its opponent camp like Turkey, all of which are parts of the US-led war of terror and attrition against the Syrian people.

The least that Russia can do in light of the repeated Israeli aggressions is not some empty words of condemnation by its foreign ministry, but rather withdraw itself from the weird agreement of coordination with Israel over Syria, which itself is against international law that Russia is saying it wants to preserve, draw down its diplomatic ties with the ‘Jewish’ state, or pressure the Israelis with fewer revenues through trade and tourism if the Israelis continue their breach of the UN Security Council resolutions which Russia is one of 5 permanent members of.

The same, above, goes for China, another permanent member of the UNSC that has very large economic and military ties with Israel.

That is if Russia does not want to sell its advanced weapons to Syria and actually allow the Syrian people to defend themselves with the weapons it delivered earlier.

The ‘Jewish’ state of Israel that commits crimes against the real Semites, the people of the Levant around the clock including on Sabbaths, needs wars to continue its illegal occupation of land, peace will force its criminal leaders to look after the Jews expelled from Europe and from Russia and shipped into Palestine to serve the overall Zionist dream of building the antiChrist’s kingdom.

Jews against Israel and Zionism
Israel is an anti-Jewish Zionist entity

Will Syria be able to restrain itself before retaliating militarily against Israel and its regional sponsors and causing mutual destruction to all parties, not only to Syria alone, is no longer a question, it’s a matter of when the retaliation strikes will start, Syria has nothing further to lose, unlike all its foes who contributed to its destruction.

Syria News is a collaborative effort by two authors only, we end up most of the months paying from our pockets to maintain the site’s presence online, if you like our work and want us to remain online you can help by chipping in a couple of Euros/ Dollars or any other currency so we can meet our site’s costs.

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KSA fears Yemen due to strategic location, resources: Sanaa

November 19, 2022

Source: Al Mayadeen & Agencies

By Al Mayadeen English 

The head of the Sanaa negotiating delegation, Mohammed Abdul Salam, stresses that Saudi Arabia’s fears of Yemen’s strength and independence are unreasonable.

KSA fears Yemen due to strategic location, resources: Sanaa

Riyadh’s payment of the salaries of Yemenis and the lifting of the siege on Yemen are basic demands and conditions for any agreement, the head of the Yemeni negotiating delegation, Mohammad Abdul Salam said on Friday.

This came in an interview published by the Majal forum, under the title “Does the new Yemen represent a threat to Saudi Arabia?”

“It is normal that Riyadh and Sanaa exchange visits on the humanitarian and political levels,” Abdul Salam said, stressing that “paying the salaries and lifting the siege are prerequisites for any agreement, and matters depend on how the Saudi regime will handle the new stage’s requirements.”

“Saudi Arabia’s fears that a strong and independent Yemen rises are unreasonable,” he said, explaining that “mercenaries are working to exaggerate these fears in order to invest them at the expense of the country’s security and interest.” 

Abdul Salam emphasized that the humanitarian issue is what should be the first point for any future agreements.

Unreasonable fears

“We believe that the Saudi side’s concerns are due to the strategic location of Yemen and its population and abundant resources,” Abdul Salam noted.

“The Saudi regime is afraid that countries in the Gulf Cooperation Council and other countries in the region be independent and strong, let alone Yemen, the country with the largest area after the Kingdom in the peninsula, in terms of area, population, capabilities, and strategic location,” he pointed out.

“Saudi Arabia’s best interest is for Yemen to have an independent, stable, and prosperous state,” Abdul Salam continued, stressing that “if the state is not self-managed, in accordance to its strategic interests and obligations to its people, it will be managed by external powers. This was the problem of the recent mortgage regimes, which were unable to achieve any strategic interests for Yemen.”

However, Abdul Salam stressed that “if there are other concerns related to borders, region, and security, it is only natural that discussion of such issues takes place between the countries, as happens between any two countries.”

The head of the Yemeni negotiating delegation then talked about the role played by some mercenaries, who stand by Saudi Arabia, “in exaggerating many fears and drawing many regional conflicts into the Yemeni arena.”

This role “keeps Saudi Arabia from looking at the chances of peace,” Abdul Salam explained.

Humanitarian file is a priority, and the ball is in Riyadh’s court

Abdul Salam affirmed that “the end of the truce came as a result of previous agreements ending, which were concluded under the auspices of the United Nations, given that it had completed or exhausted its options, and the payment of salaries became a basic requirement.”

He pointed out that the ball is in the Saudi regime’s court, because “relations between Sanaa and Riyadh are primarily linked to the latter’s position and the way it deals with it.”

“Sanaa is on the defensive, and this is clear. As for Riyadh, it is the one leading a major international coalition and working in the international corridors on continuing the blockade on Yemen and keeping the diplomatic pressure, with the United States of America and the United Kingdom behind the scenes,” he said.

Regarding the recent mutual understandings and visits of delegations, Abdul Salam explained that “meetings and visits between the parties for humanitarian or political goals are normal.”

Speaking on behalf of the Sanaa government, he added that the Yemenis “support these directions, and the most important thing is that there be a tendency to discuss all humanitarian aspects, not just the prisoners’ issue, which is considered one of the basics, in addition to opening airports and ports, removing restrictions on goods, and lifting the unjust siege on Yemen.”

International developments are an opportunity to realize the need to end the aggression

With regard to the changes in the international and regional arenas and their connection to the Yemeni issue, the head of the Yemeni negotiating delegation stressed that despite the effects, “We believe that it will not have a significant impact, because the US and British standpoints, as well as, unfortunately, the Saudi and Emirati, are similar.”

He pointed out that the only possible effect “goes to the Saudi side realizing that the war and aggression against Yemen are no longer in the interest of the Saudi regime, nor the future relations between the two countries or the future of the two peoples.”

“These developments may be an opportunity to re-evaluate the situation in Yemen, in terms of peace and stability,” Abdul Salam concluded, stressing that the interest of the two countries is understanding, coexistence, dialogue, and eliminating problems.

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قائد عسكري إيراني: ضبط النفس في وجه الفتنة السعودية له حدود

 

2022 السبت 19 تشرين ثاني

المصدر: وكالة فارس للأنباء

رئيس مركز الدراسات الاستراتيجية للجيش الإيراني العميد أحمد رضا بوردستان يصرّح بأنّ الأميركيين لم يكونوا قادرين على تنفيذ الخيارات العسكرية ضد إيران لذلك لجأوا إلى إشعال أحداث الشغب والفتنة.

رئيس مركز الدراسات الاستراتيجية للجيش الإيراني العميد أحمد رضا بوردستان (أرشيف)

أشار رئيس مركز الدراسات الاستراتيجية للجيش الإيراني، العميد أحمد رضا بوردستان إلى ضلوع السعودية في أحداث الشغب الأخيرة في البلاد.

وقال بوردستان في حوارٍ خاص أجرته معه وكالة أنباء “فارس” الإيرانية: “على النظام السعودي أن يعلم بأنّ إيران تُمارس ضبط النفس تجاهه إلا أنّ هنالك حدوداً لذلك”.

ولفت إلى أنّ “الولايات المتحدة غيّرت استراتيجيتها من الحرب الاستنزافية إلى حرب هجينة”، مضيفاً: “بعد أن جهّزت واشنطن أفراداً مُندسين وجندتهم في الميدان ووضعتهم قبالة القوات الأمنية، قامت بدعمهم لإشعال مواجهات وتنفيذ عمليات قتل”.

وأكّد أنّ الدول الداعمة للفوضى قررت إدخال العناصر الإرهابية لإشعال الفتن الإثنية والقبلية في كردستان وسيستان وبلوشستان، ثم في خوزستان، “إلّا أنّ يقظة الأجهزة الاستخبارية أفشلت مخططاتهم الخطيرة والمدمرة”، مشيراً إلى أنّ العمليات الميدانية للجماعات الإرهابية رافقها دعم إعلامي واسع ودبلوماسي معادٍ، لذلك قلت أنها حرب هجينة تمّ التخطيط لها في ثلاث طبقات استراتيجية وعملانية وتكتيكية.

وفي وقتٍ سابق، أكّد مدير مركز الدراسات الاستراتيجية والعلاقات الدولية في طهران، أمير موسوي، أنّ “السعودية أرسلت أموالاً لمثيري الشغب والأمن الإيراني اكتشفها”.

وشدد بوردستان على أنّ “إيران تحظى بالكثير من مكونات القدرة والصلابة العالية جداً ولا يمكن للحوادث أن تمسّ بها، وقد أدّى وجود هذه المكونات إلى صمود الشعب”.

وسائل إعلام معادية استخدمت “القصف الخبري”

ولفت بوردستان إلى أنه “في أعمال الشغب الأخيرة، استخدمت وسائل الإعلام المعادية، في عمل مشترك، جميع تقنيات وسائل الإعلام وجاذبيتها وبكميات ونطاق كبيرين للغاية نادراً ما شوهدت مثلها، وليس مبالغة أن نستخدم مصطلح القصف الخبري فيما يتعلق بحجم وكثرة الأخبار عن إيران، فالأخبار تتدفق مثل المدفع الرشاش بطريقة تسلب قوّة التفكير من الجمهور وتضع ما يريدونه في أذهانهم”.

وأضاف: “هناك مهمة أخرى غير مسؤولة ودنيئة لوسائل الإعلام المعادية، كانت تنسيق وتوجيه المشاغبين وتعليم أساليب التدمير والقتل وإبقاء ميدان الاشتباكات مشتعلاً، ويمكن القول بثقة أنّ وسائل الإعلام المعادية لعبت في أحداث الشغب الأخيرة دور القيادة والسيطرة، بتوجيه من أجهزة الاستخبارات والأمن الأجنبية”.

وصرّح بأنّ إيران واجهت حرباً معرفية عمل فيها العدو على خداع العديد من الشباب، موضحاً بأنّ عدداً ملحوظاً من الشباب الذين ألقي القبض عليهم خلال أحداث الشغب الأخيرة “أعربوا عن ندمهم وأيقنوا بأنّهم خُدعوا من قبل وسائل إعلام العدو، وأضروا بأنفسهم وأسرهم وبلادهم”.

وفي وقتٍ سابق، أحصت وكالة “فارس” الإيرانية أكثر من 38 ألف كذبة نشرتها وسائل الإعلام المعادية لإيران.

العدو لجأ إلى الفتنة لعدم قدرته على استخدام الخيار العسكري

وقال بوردستان: “المؤشرات الواضحة على قدرات البلاد العسكرية والقتالية أن الأميركيين لم يكونوا قادرين على تنفيذ الخيارات المطروحة على الطاولة، لذلك نرى أنهم بدافع اليأس والعجز لجأوا إلى إشعال أحداث الشغب والفتنة”.

ولفت إلى أنّ “لجوء نظام استكباري مثل النظام الأميركي، الذي يُعدّ بصورةٍ ما القوة العسكرية الأولى في العالم، إلى إثارة الفتنة والاستعراض في بيئة غير عسكرية، يبيّن ضعفه الشديد وعدم قدرته على القتال في حربٍ عسكرية”.

وأعلن بوردستان أنّه بالنظر إلى أنّ الأعداء غير موجودين على الساحة وأنّ وكلائهم يؤدون عنهم مهامهم في الميدان، فإن “ردّنا بالتأكيد لا يمكن أن يكون واضحاً وظاهرياً لأننا لا نرى العدو أمامنا لنقاتله. لهذا السبب، فإنّ أساليبنا لمواجهة الحرب الهجينة للعدو هي استخدام قدراتنا الهجينة”.

وتابع القائد العسكري: “يعرف الأميركيون وكذلك الأوروبيون وأيضاً النظام السعودي أنّ لدينا أدوات قوية جداً تحت تصرّفنا لنستخدمها بصورةٍ هجينة ضدهم، وبحسب خبرتي في القوات المسلحة لا بدّ لي من القول إنّ كل ممارسات الأعداء سيتم الرد عليها بالتأكيد وهذا الرد سيكون بالتأكيد للأعداء رداً باعثاً على الندم”.

وأشار إلى أنّ “العدو بعث أفراداً مندسين تحت غطاء سياح وزوار وعلماء، عملوا بعد دخولهم البلاد على تجنيد البعض من أصحاب السوابق والمشبوهين”، وأردف: “الأميركيون وظفوا في الفتنة الأخيرة خبراتهم التي حصلوا عليها من كل الفتن”.

وأضاف أنّ “هدف العدو من هذه الفتنة كان توريط البلاد في حربٍ أهلية إلا أنّه تمّ إجهاض هذه الفتنة في ظلّ توجيهات قائد الثورة وحنكته، وشجاعة القوات المتواجدة في الساحة”.

اقرأ أيضاً: إيران: “إسرائيل” ستتلقى الرد الأكبر إذا كانت تقود المؤامرة ضدنا

ابن سلمان عميل الموساد وأميركا

وتابع بوردستان: “علينا أن نقبل حقيقة أن محمد بن سلمان تدرّب على يد الأميركيين. لقد درس في أميركا وأساتذته كانوا من ضباط الموساد وهو أحد العملاء الرئيسيين للموساد وأميركا في المنطقة”.

ولفت إلى أنّ إبن سلمان “أظهر عداءه، بينما كان القادة السعوديون السابقون مهتمين بتخفيف التوترات إلى حدٍّ ما وهو ما رأيناه يحدث على مستويات عديدة. ومن الأمثلة على ذلك التسهيلات التي وفّروها لحجاجنا”.

وقال: “إيران وفقاً لقدراتها وإمكانياتها تمتلك القدرة التي يمكنها من خلالها أن تُنفّذ إرادتها في المنطقة، وباعتقادي أنّ إيران مارست ضبط النفس حقاً خلال الأحداث الأخيرة”.

وأردف: “شعرت أنا شخصياً أنّه كان من المناسب أن تتلقى السعودية صفعة قوية في هذه الفتن من خلال الطاقات الموجودة في المنطقة لكنني أرى بأنّ المسؤولين لدينا يمارسون ضبط النفس كما هو الحال دائماً. ومع ذلك، يجب أن تعلم السعودية بأنّ ضبط النفس له حدود، ولو أرادت تصعيد أعمالها العدائية، فإنّ ردّنا على هذه الأعمال سيكون رداً باعثاً على الندم بالتأكيد”.

Yemeni Women and the Economic Siege: Challenges and Opportunities

November 17, 2022

By Sarraa Al-Shahari

The Saudi-US aggression is trying to remove Yemen from the world map using all tools of destruction and killing. However, they aren’t aware that they triggered an unprecedented chance for those faithful people to revive in all fields as today after 8th year of war, Yemen turned much stronger.

Although the forces of the coalition of aggression destroyed everything, new production and development projects have risen from ashes to face the siege.

The “Ataa” production factories represent a model of those projects. They were established in June 2020 with no support or huge capitals. They were rather a part of a social initiative that made its first steps by a charitable loan from the “Bonyan Development Institution” and with the support of the agricultural committee in planning and organization. 

Yemeni Women and the Economic Siege: Challenges and Opportunities

Yemeni women were the first contributors to establishing these factories. They were in charge of managing, planning, production and marketing. Further, dairy products and natural milk are the main products of “Ataa”, which produce 350 liters equal to 800 boxes of different sizes on a daily basis. In the second place comes the spicy red sauce, as well as different kinds of detergents.

Yemeni Women and the Economic Siege: Challenges and Opportunities

Even though Yemeni factories are still manual, they have been defying the siege imposed by the coalition of aggression, and breaking it. They, likewise, contributed to the employment of dozens of Yemeni men and women and producing high quality local products, despite the spiking prices and the tight economic suffering.

Yemeni Women and the Economic Siege: Challenges and Opportunities

In an interview with Al-Ahed News, the Manager of “Ataa” factories Ashwaq Al-Dimashqi elaborated that “the successes of the project mainly rely on offering an organic product free of preservatives and creating job opportunities, which is an important step in the path to self-sufficiency.”

Yemeni Women and the Economic Siege: Challenges and Opportunities

The factories started selling and promoting their products in the capital, Sanaa, and achieved a significant reach over the two years of their establishment. Moreover, they duly overcame the dilemma of operational expenses and other obstacles. Those in charge of increasing production are working to meet the local needs of such important products, especially nutritional ones such as milk and yogurt.

Yemeni Women and the Economic Siege: Challenges and Opportunities

This organic Yemeni product is highly admired by Yemenis as they are rushing to buy it. For instance, Dimashki told Al-Ahed News: “We are in a phase of building and shifting from small factories to bigger ones, as neither an embargo would exhaust us nor a war would stop us.”

Yemeni Women and the Economic Siege: Challenges and Opportunities

It’s the Yemeni donation and resilience that took advantage to climb on the aggression to excel in all fields.

Yemeni Women and the Economic Siege: Challenges and Opportunities

The Manager of “Ataa” factories concluded her talk with Al-Ahed News by stressing that “Amid the siege and the aggression, women must have their marks, they have to contribute to accomplishing sufficiency and building the national economy, as well as to launch projects motivated by the Martyr Saleh Al-Samad’s quote: ‘There must be a hand to build and another one to protect’.”

War Coalition Impounds Another Yemen-bound Fuel Ship in Another Act of Piracy

November 16, 2022

By Staff, Agencies

The Yemen Petroleum Company [YPC] said the Saudi-led coalition has seized yet another Yemen-bound fuel tanker and prevented it from docking at Hudaydah port, in a new act of piracy against the besieged Yemeni people.

Essam al-Mutawakel, a spokesman for the YPC, said in a tweet on Monday that the Saudi-led coalition impounded the ship named Red Ruby, which was carrying thousands of tons of petrol.

The senior Yemeni energy official noted that the ship was detained and prevented from reaching the port of Hudaydah despite having undergone inspection in Djibouti and obtaining necessary permits from the United Nations Verification and Inspection Mechanism [UNIVM].

The development comes days after the Riyadh-led alliance, which has been waging a devastating military campaign against Yemen since 2015, seized two vessels named Fos Energy and Princess Halimah, which were carrying thousands of tons of diesel fuel, and banned them from anchoring at Hudaydah port despite securing UN clearance in Djibouti.

Last week, the YPC said in a statement that the continued detention of Yemen-bound fuel ships has led to substantial fines over lengthy delays in offloading the shipments, and the figure stands at approximately 11 million dollars.

It added that only 33 fuel ships out of 54 tankers reached the strategic Hudaydah port in western Yemen during the six-month UN-brokered truce, which was first accepted in April and saw a lull in fighting between warring sides in the country.

The Yemen Petroleum Company also held the Saudi-led coalition of aggression and the United Nations fully responsible for the adverse humanitarian and economic repercussions of the ongoing blockade.

Saudi Arabia launched the devastating war on Yemen in March 2015 in collaboration with its Arab allies and with arms and logistics support from the US and other Western states.

The objective was to reinstall the Riyadh-friendly regime of Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi and crush the Ansarullah resistance movement, which has been running state affairs in the absence of a functional government in Yemen.

While the Saudi-led coalition has failed to meet any of its objectives, the war has killed hundreds of thousands of Yemenis and spawned the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.

Saudi Crackdown: Regime Detains Yemeni-American Citizen While on Pilgrimage

November 14, 2022

By Staff, Agencies

As Saudi Arabia is hardening crackdown on dissent, including targeting its citizens who live abroad, a Yemeni-American citizen has been detained in Saudi Arabia while performing the ‘Umrah’ pilgrimage at the Grand Mosque in Mecca, Islam’s holiest site.

Mohamad Salem was taken into custody on November 1 and has been transferred to a maximum-security facility typically used for high-profile political prisoners and suspected terrorists.

Salem, a 63-year-old of Yemeni origin, is one of several Americans who have recently run afoul of Saudi authorities.

Abdallah Moughni, a family spokesman from the US state of Michigan said on Sunday that Salem traveled to Saudi Arabia with two of his sons to perform the Umrah pilgrimage.

While in line, he got into a verbal altercation with security officials who separated him from his sons.

Later, two men approached him, saying they were from Libya and asking what happened.

“At this point, Mohamad was livid, he was furious. He just let it out. He said, ‘If it was not for Mecca and Medina, we would burn this country to the ground’,” Moughni was quoted as saying on Sunday.

The two men turned out to be undercover Saudi agents, and Salem was detained.

Salem’s relatives have grown increasingly concerned for his welfare since he was transferred to Dhahban Central Prison, where rights groups previously documented allegations of torture via electrocution and flogging.

Saudi Arabia is often criticized for not tolerating dissent and has recently been in the spotlight for decades-long prison sentences handed down to a number of women who tweeted and retweeted posts critical of the Riyadh regime.

This week, Carly Morris, an American woman who has publicly accused her Saudi ex-husband of trapping their daughter in the kingdom under so-called guardianship laws, was briefly detained.

Last month, Saad Ibrahim Almadi, a 72-year-old US citizen of Saudi origin, had received a 16-year prison sentence apparently because of Twitter posts on topics including the war in Yemen and the 2018 killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

All sentences were handed down weeks after President Joe Biden of the United States set aside his past condemnation of Saudi Arabia’s human rights record to travel to the kingdom, despite criticism from rights groups and Saudi exiles.

It was a moment when the US urgently needed the kingdom to keep up oil production. But the Biden administration has ended up with no more oil or any improvement in human rights.

Saudi rights advocates say Biden’s attempts to soothe the crown prince have only emboldened him.

Saudi authorities illicitly monitor and strike out against their citizens in the US and other Western countries. Since the gruesome murder of Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, the Saudi crown prince has been emboldened to commit more crimes against dissidents. Khashoggi was killed and dismembered at the mission in October 2018.

Since bin Salman became Saudi Arabia’s de facto leader in 2017, the kingdom has arrested hundreds of activists, bloggers, intellectuals and others for their political activism, showing almost zero tolerance for dissent even in the face of international condemnation of the crackdown.

Freedom House, a research and advocacy group, says Saudi Arabia has targeted critics in more than a dozen countries.

Saudi Arabia, a key ally of the US and the ‘Israeli’ regime, has had one of the poorest human rights records in the world for decades.

Saudi border guards massacre African migrants on daily basis, Yemen

12 Nov, 2022

Source: Agencies

By Al Mayadeen English 

Al-Masirah Yemeni news channel reveals footage of Ethiopian migrants murdered by Saudi border guards and cites survivors stating that it the massacres are carried out daily

Footage of Ethiopian migrants massacred by Saudi border guards.

The Yemeni Al-Masirah news channel on Saturday revealed footage it said was of a “mass grave containing dozens of African victims killed by Saudi border guards.”

The footage shows Saudi border guards filtering out dozens of Ethiopian migrants, believed to have been taken in the moments before they were killed.

Read more: Hundreds of Ethiopians repatriated from Saudi Arabia after painful ordeal

The channel quoted African survivors of the massacre saying that “Saudi soldiers deliberately electrocuted dozens of Ethiopian migrants in a room where they were gathered.”

African migrants placed in body bags after being murdered by Saudis on the Saudi-Yemen borders.

“Saudi border guards shoot directly, often using mortars, to eliminate migrants gatherings,” one survivor noted.

Ethiopian migrants confirmed to the channel that, “the Saudi border guards kill about 5 migrants at the border every day and injure many more.”

Infograph: Hundreds of Ethiopians repatriated from Saudi Arabia after an agonizing experience

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Hezbollah: New Lebanese President Must Acknowledge Resistance Role, May Never Be Match US-Saudi “Specifications”

 November 10, 2022

Head of Loyalty to Resistance parliamentary bloc, Hajj Mohammad Raad

Source: Al-Manar English Website

Head of Loyalty to Resistance parliamentary bloc, Hajj Mohammad Raad, called for electing a president that does not confront any local party.

During a mourning service in South Lebanon, MP Raad stressed that the new president must acknowledge the Resistance role and abstains from backstabbing it in case some foreign sides grant him lavish amounts of money.

MP Raad added that electing a new president will facilitate the other issues, underscoring the importance of exploiting the maritime gas resources in order to improve the economic situation in Lebanon.

Meanwhile, Member of Hezbollah Central Council Sheikh Nabil Qawook underscored, during a ceremony on Hezbollah Martyr’s Day in Southern Lebanon, that the new president may never match the US-Saudi specifications and requirements.

Sheikh Qawook added that victorious Lebanon may never tolerate a new High Commissioner and will always reject a foreign guardianship.

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Intelligence Online: MBS ‘purges’ politically aimed at certain clans

 November 9, 2022

Source: Intelligence Online

The purge is directed toward certain clans; commercial agents close to former King Abdullah and Mohammad bin Nayef.

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in Athens, Greece, July 26, 2022. (Reuters)

By Al Mayadeen English 

Website Intelligence Online has revealed that Saudi Arabia’s purges are motivated by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman using the pretext of tackling corruption and that the purge is directed toward certain clans; commercial agents close to former King Abdullah and Mohammad bin Nayef. Interestingly, agents of the Mishaal and Sultan clans are not being targeted. 

Saudi authorities are trying via Interpol to get their hands on Salah Fustok, a former commercial agent for a clan of King Abdullah bin Abdelaziz. Fustok is the uncle of Muteb bin Abdullah, who commanded the Saudi National Guard (SANG) until he was ousted by MbS. Muteb then got caught up in the anti-corruption purge that took place in November that year. He is still under house arrest and cannot leave the kingdom.    

Individuals close to bin Nayef are facing legal proceedings, and bin Nayef himself remains under house arrest. Bin Nayef’s former counter-terrorism chief and head of a financial empire, Saad Al-Jabri, in addition to Nader Turki Al-Dossari, a Saudi businessman, are both under intense judicial pressure.

King Salman bin Abdelaziz’s brother, Ahmad bin Abdelaziz, is forbidden from leaving the country while businessmen close to him are avoiding the kingdom. 

However, members of the late Mishaal bin Abdelaziz’s clan won’t be worrying too much about the purge.

Although complaints against businessman Abdullah Al Shugair have been made to the Saudi Oversight and Anti-Corruption Authority – Nazaha – no actions have been taken despite documented evidence. Shugeir was a factotum to Prince Mishaal, who allowed MBS and his son to prevail, after which he died a multi-billionaire in 2017. 

Noting that Shugeir owns his Security Technology Company (STC), according to a 70-page complaint filed by US company DefensTech, he had stolen intellectual property related to body armor. The complaint puts down that Shugeir owes DefensTech over $5.6 million after selling 10,000 vests to the Royal Guard in 2014.

The vests sold to the Royal Guard were not DefensTech’s, but rather counterfeits that they purchased through a scheme in which Saudi interior ministry officials were involved. According to Intelligence Online, although the US company made a strong case, Nazaha did not take action. 

Read next: NBC: “Mohammed Bin Nayef Was Beaten & Biden Stepped in to Rescue Him”

Bi-annual repression of French anti-government protests gets usual cover-up

Wednesday, 02 November 2022 10:05 AM  [ Last Update: Wednesday, 02 November 2022 10:05 AM ]

French union members and workers attend a protest in Paris on December 26, 2019, after 22 days of strike against pension reform. (Photo by Reuters)

By Ramin Mazaheri

So this is what it’s like being outside of Europe during the repression of their long-running, bi-annual (spring and fall) violent anti-government and anti-EU protests? There’s barely a sound in the mainstream media about them.

Every year since the pan-European project went fully online, 2009, it’s only during the two-year Covid era when Europe has failed to be ablaze with social chaos during their two mild seasons. I assumed the non-European West had been aware, but now I see that their media couldn’t care less.

In France, Italy, Czechia, Germany and elsewhere anti-NATO (i.e. anti-war), anti-capitalism (i.e. anti-austerity/right-wing economics) and anti-government (i.e. anti-liberalism) activism has virulently returned. But anyone remotely paying attention to continental politics realizes this autumn’s protests are not an exception but a return to the norm.

So, of course they are protesting NATO, austerity and police brutality in Europe right now – that’s what they do every autumn, and to no real effect. 

What is interesting is to compare the protests in Europe with the current protests against the laws on modesty in public dress in Iran.

In 2019 France, amid the brutal and unprecedented Yellow Vest crackdown, a crowd chanted for despised riot cops to commit suicide – the mainstream media vented their indignation on behalf of the cops but remained silent on the dozen dead and scores of permanently crippled protesters. In 2022 Iran viral videos (all absent in the Western media) have shown a suspected plainclothes cop being horrifically set on fire; madmen shooting blindly into crowds; people falsely posing as policemen (and then enacting who knows what carnage in an effort to discredit the government). Like many in Iran, I don’t even attribute these obvious acts of armed, anti-revolution rebellion to legitimate protesters but to foreign spy agencies. The point must be underlined: Western protesters have nothing like this to contend with, and it’s even hard for them to comprehend the existence of such obstacles. 

In 2015 France after the Charlie Hebdo attack Paris expected the world to mourn for their instigating cartoonists. Just this week Daesh has just accepted responsibility for over 50 casualties at a mosque, but the massacre of Iranian faithful gets ignored or diminished by Western media (France24 headline: “Several people killed as gunmen open fire at shrine in Iran’s Shiraz”). I doubt any “Je suis Shirazi” (I am from Shiraz) campaigns will be demanded by Western NGO executives.

At last month’s United Nations general assembly I took a photo of a book put on display by Iran’s delegation, titled “The Encyclopedia of Iranian Terror Victims”. It contains 17,000 names of those killed since 1979 by the Western-supported MKO, Daesh, the Israelis, the House of Saud and others. A victim of the United States, the renowned anti-terror hero General Qassem Soleimani, was recently included. When terrorists killed 3,000 Americans in 2001 the retribution was the destruction of two entire countries.

Certainly this is the coup de grâce: The protests in support of the Iranian government and revolution continue to be (and have been since 1979) exponentially larger than the anti-government protests, whereas the only pro-government protests in France since 2009 were the rather comical, one-time “Red Scarves” of 2019.

Nobody is protesting in favor of what we can term the “pan-European revolution” because it continues to only gut the quality of life for the average European citizen. Contrarily, and much like those I have reported on from Cuba, the pro-government protests in Iran exist in such numbers and tenacity because the Iranian Islamic Revolution has created so much improvement, redistributed so much wealth and redistributed so much political & cultural power to the average Iranian.

The laws for modesty in dress – a demand made on both men and women, it must be said – is actually an excellent example of that last fact.

In the name of openness I am willing to discuss the worth of Iranian mores with Westerners who cannot even name five cities in Iran, but all discussions of the modesty laws should start with – as far as I am concerned – this main point: The 1979 revolution elevated the mores and culture (and dress style) of the average Iranian (the working class) for the first time in Iranian history. The mores and styles of Iran’s Western-aping elite minority – which in 1979 was 5% of the country, at the very most – ceased to be elevated. Without grasping this realization – which is never related in Western media – a Westerner’s opinion on the anti-modesty law protest amounts to them telling Iranians to be less Iranian and more like them.

Europe is not concerned with modesty in dress – and this is their sovereign right – so the differences in the issues being protested in Europe and Iran are obviously quite different.

One has had its elite cut off their source of oil and energy – and to hell with the consequences on the average person – whereas the other is forced to nurture its people despite a “zero dollars in oil sales” blockade/war.

One has given up any semblance of military sovereignty – France gave in and joined NATO in that fateful year of 2009 – whereas the other is an island of sovereignty surrounded by a sea of US military bases.

One, France, has been routinely condemned by human rights groups for police brutality whereas the last time I was in Iran – July of this year – it was impossible for me (as I was coming from cop-filled Paris) to not remark on the lack of anything but traffic cops on the streets of Tehran. I asked multiple Iranians if they believed plainclothes police were lurking around, and I can truly report that not one person believed that there were.

So it’s not that the current protests, strikes and police brutality in Europe are uninteresting, it’s that they are so routine that Westerners are apparently immune to them; or are denied the truth about them.

Exceptionally brave groups like the Yellow Vests prove how historically high anti-government sentiment is in Europe, but if they cannot break through Western arrogance (or apathy) about the failures of Western Liberal Democracy then who can, I wonder?

What the politicians and mainstream media of Western Liberal Democracies rely on is constant demonization, finger-pointing and war hysteria in order to deflect from their own regular turmoil. Too bad for them that this not enough to stop their own citizens from protesting them.

Ramin Mazaheri is the chief correspondent in Paris for Press TV and has lived in France since 2009. He has been a daily newspaper reporter in the US, and has reported from Iran, Cuba, Egypt, Tunisia, South Korea and elsewhere. His latest book is ‘France’s Yellow Vests: Western Repression of the West’s Best Values’. He is also the author of ‘Socialism’s Ignored Success: Iranian Islamic Socialism’ as well as ‘I’ll Ruin Everything You Are: Ending Western Propaganda on Red China’.


Press TV’s website can also be accessed at the following alternate addresses:

www.presstv.ir

www.presstv.co.uk

MORE FROM VIEWPOINT

Arab Tribes in Lebanon’s Bekaa Expel Saudi Ambassador: He Humiliated Us! (Video)

 November 1, 2022

Social media websites circulated several videos which a quarrel between the Arab tribes in Bekaa and the Saudi ambassador to Lebanon, Walid Al-Bukhari.

In details, Al-Bukhari was on a visit to Al-Faour tribe in Bekaa when he left before entering the tent where the leaders of the tribe gather.

According to the tribal norms, this is considered as a humiliation for the tribesmen and their dignity.

The Arab tribes in Bekaa pleaded the Saudi crown prince Mohammad bin Salman to sack Al-Bukhari over this incident.

The following video shows one of the tribesmen explaining Al-Bukhari’s fault  and insisting on sustaining the tribe’s dignity.

https://english.almanar.com.lb/ajax/video_check.php?id=108561

Source: Al-Manar English Website

Record Embryological Malformation in Yemen Due to The Saudi Use of Internationally Prohibited Weapons

November 2, 2022 

By Sarraa Al-Shahari

The crises resulting from the Saudi-led aggression and blockade on Yemen don’t seem to be ending. The truce has ended without a true humanitarian relief to the Yemenis’ sufferings. The forces of the coalition of aggression, along with the United Nations, were more unjust than sparing those people a window for life after more than seven years of their tight siege and aggression.

The Yemenis are circulating news of embryological malformation at an unprecedented pace. To tackle the issue, Al-Ahed News lens documented some cases at the Sabeen Hospital in the capital, which is the first standard maternity and childhood hospital in Yemen.

Record Embryological Malformation in Yemen Due to The Saudi Use of Internationally Prohibited Weapons

It was astonishing to see a premature baby, who was born in the seventh month of pregnancy, and came to life with several malformation in the head, the neck, the back, and the limbs. His pain didn’t have the chance to be embraced by his mother, as his deteriorating health condition requires to be kept inside the incubator.

Record Embryological Malformation in Yemen Due to The Saudi Use of Internationally Prohibited Weapons

Doctors soon brought another baby with a swollen belly. The doctor diagnosed his case as having a colonic malformation.

Record Embryological Malformation in Yemen Due to The Saudi Use of Internationally Prohibited Weapons

Such horrible cases weren’t reported before the war. It was very rare to have a malformed baby or an early delivery.

Record Embryological Malformation in Yemen Due to The Saudi Use of Internationally Prohibited Weapons

Other incubators were full of premature babies whose malformations are complicated and spread all over their body organs.

Record Embryological Malformation in Yemen Due to The Saudi Use of Internationally Prohibited Weapons

The incubators were full of children who came to life with malformations resulting from the criminality of the American-Saudi aggression. They had in their inside and outside alike scars that pain the heart.

Record Embryological Malformation in Yemen Due to The Saudi Use of Internationally Prohibited Weapons

The Intensive Care staff confirmed to Al-Ahed News that they receive similar cases on a daily basis, with the Health Ministry being unable to finalize an accurate survey to the ongoing war. An earlier report by the Health Ministry, published in August, emphasized that the blockade and the heavy bombardment of internationally prohibited weapons, have led to the rise in the congenital anomalies and miscarriages at the level of 350,000 miscarriages and 12000 malformed cases.

In a visit to one of the hospitals in the capital we discovered this number of cases, so what is the size of the nationwide catastrophe that the aggression has committed against the future generations? Who will bear the repercussions? And when will the aggression stop stealing the rights of the Yemeni people in front of the hypocrite world’s eyes?

The continued closure of Sana’a International Airport has tragic effects that threaten the lives of many, such as the case of thalassemia patients

Iranians attend huge funeral for victims of terror attack in Shiraz

Saturday, 29 October 2022 9:50 AM  [ Last Update: Saturday, 29 October 2022 10:26 AM ]

Iranians attend the funeral procession for victims of a terrorist attack on the holy shrine of Shah Cheragh in the southern Iranian city of Shiraz, on October 29, 2022. (Photo by Fars news agency)

Source

Tens of thousands of people from different walks of life have taken part in a funeral procession for the victims of a terrorist attack on the holy shrine of Shah Cheragh in the southern Iranian city of Shiraz.

The massive ceremony started on Saturday morning with a number of high-ranking state and military officials in attendance.

The participants held up pictures of the victims and chanted slogans against the United States, Israel, Saudi Arabia, and Britain for their support of the Daesh terrorist group.

They also demanded that those behind the vicious act of terror must be held accountable as soon as possible.

Following the funeral procession, the coffins are going to be flown to the northeastern city of Mashhad, which houses the mausoleum of the eighth Shia Imam, Ali ibn Musa al-Reza, where mourners will bid farewell to the victims.

Iranians attend the funeral procession for the victims of a recent terrorist attack on the holy shrine of Shah Cheragh in Shiraz, on October 29, 2022. (Photo by Fars)

After Friday prayers, Iranians from all walks of life took to the streets across the country, including the capital Tehran, to condemn the terrorist attack on Shah Cheragh holy site.

They waved signs and chanted slogans asking for the prosecution of the perpetrators.

A heavily-armed terrorist assaulted the well-known shrine at approximately 5:45 p.m. local time (1415 GMT) on Wednesday, just before the evening prayers,  killing 13 pilgrims — including a lady and two children — and injuring at least 40 others.

Iranians rally nationwide to condemn terrorist attack in Shiraz

Iranian demonstrators take to the streets to condemn a terrorist attack on the Shah Cheragh shrine in Shiraz.

The attacker opened fire indiscriminately on visitors within the shrine, according to the police commander of Fars province. The perpetrator was wounded and taken into custody by security personnel. He later succumbed to his wounds.

Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei has offered condolences to the Iranian nation, assuring that the perpetrators of the “outrageous” crime will definitely face punishment.

IRGC chief: US, Israel main architects of recent riots across Iran

Chief commander of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) said Saturday the United States and Israel have hatched a sinister plot to incite the recent riots across the country. 

Addressing the funeral procession in Shiraz, Major General Hossein Salami said the US, Israel, and Saudi Arabia are desperate about their back-to-back defeats in West Asia, including in Yemen.

Iran

The senior commander stated that those behind Iran’s riots cannot tolerate the Islamic Republic’s political and spiritual influence across the region, and have therefore resorted to provoking unrest inside Iran, but to no avail.

He said Washington has a long history of making attempts to weaken Iran, stressing that the Islamic Republic has successfully overcome hurdles caused by inhumane US sanctions.

“The Iranian nation has well proven that the US cannot do a damn thing,” Major General Salami said, emphasizing that Pentagon officials did not dare to respond when the IRGC targeted the US-run Ain al-Asad in Iraq’s western province of Anbar on January 8, 2020, after launching a wave of attacks to retaliate against the assassination of top Iranian anti-terror commander Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani.

The IRGC chief stressed that the Iranian nation is inspired by Imam Hussein (AS), the third Shia Imam and the grandson of Prophet Mohammad (Peace be upon Him), and his companions in the fight against tyranny.

He added, “The US wants the Iranian nation to be dependent in order to plunder its natural wealth. It wants the Iranian universities to be shuttered and its public assets torched.”

“The Islamic establishment is deeply-rooted in the hearts and minds of the Iranian nation,” Major General Salami said, calling on young Iranian rioters not to sell their honor to American statesmen.

“My advice to rioting students is: ‘Return to the nation, don’t play into the hands of enemies,” he said.

“Those flouting hijab and harassing veiled women are following the path of enemies. This ominous plot of riots in Iran has been constructed in US command rooms.

We (Iranians) will bury US pipedreams in this land. We also warn Saudi rulers to think about the repercussions of their actions,” the high-ranking Iranian military commander also noted.


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Yemen Can’t Wait: 19 million Suffer Food Insecurity as Saudi Siege Continues

October 29, 2022 

The United Nations warned in March that millions of Yemenis are at the brink of starvation as a result of the economic collapse caused by the Saudi-led aggression on Yemen for the seventh year in a row, calling for “urgent measures to be taken.”

By Staff, Agencies

Yemen needs an urgent political solution that culminates in the country reaching a solution that ends the suffering caused by the war on the country, which has been going on for eight years, the International Committee of the Red Cross [ICRC] said on Friday.

“Two out of three Yemenis are currently suffering from food insecurity, i.e., about 19 million people,” said the Director of Operations at the International Committee of the Red Cross Martin Schuepp on Twitter during his visit to Yemen.

“Many more suffer from a lack of access to basic health care, yet despite all this, Yemen is too often out of the spotlight. We need to ensure that the support we receive from donors and partners continues to enable us to continue our work,” Schuepp added.

The UN official explained that “the ICRC is dealing with urgent needs and at the same time trying to come up with solutions that would allow the country to catch a breath”. However, he stressed that a “full recovery in the long term will be possible only with a political solution to the ongoing conflict.”

“During the visit, I personally saw local doctors, together with ICRC staff, treating people with gun wounds in a local emergency department, and I spoke to farmers whose livelihoods were severely damaged during the years of conflict,” said the Red Cross operations director. “We are trying to provide them with some additional income to restore their livelihoods.”

For almost eight years, numerous treaties and laws were violated by the Saudi-UAE aggression coalition, but no international action was taken. Yemen is now known as the world’s largest humanitarian crisis, but officials only had empty statements and imposed double standards.

Other than the numerous bombardments, the coalition attacked hospitals and human aid warehouses and imposed an aerial and naval blockade on Yemen, violating Articles 9, 11, 14, and 18 of the Additional Protocol II.

Earlier this year, the Eye of Humanity Center for Rights and Development in the Yemeni capital, Sanaa, announced that the number of civilian casualties as a result of the Saudi-led coalition’s direct bombing over the past seven years resulted in 46,262 casualties, between martyrs and wounded.

The aggression has so far caused 17,734 deaths, among which are 4017 children, 2434 women, and 11,283 men, while the number of those wounded reached 28,528, including 4,586 children, 2,911 women, and 10,032 men.

In the same context, Entisaf Organization for Child and Women’s Rights in Sanaa reported that the siege imposed by the aggression caused the loss of 100,000 newborns, at a rate of six children every two hours, in addition to more than 3,000 children with cancer who are at risk of death.

The United Nations warned in March that millions of Yemenis are at the brink of starvation as a result of the economic collapse caused by the Saudi-led aggression on Yemen for the seventh year in a row, calling for “urgent measures to be taken.”

MBS Will Have to Choose Between Acquiescence or A Fate Like that of King Faisal

October 25, 2022

By Mohammad Baqer Yassin

There is a new season of the Saudi-US soap opera and the tense relationships between the allies. What’s new in the crisis is the decision of the OPEC+ to reduce oil production which has urged a clear American response, along with a series of reactions in newspapers and speeches of US politicians, amid a Saudi affirmation on the technical aspect of the unanimously-made decision, according to Riyadh. Is the Saudi decision purely technical or political? What are the expected American steps towards Riyadh? Will the Kingdom insist on its position or will it acquiesce, as usual?

To clarify the nature of the decision taken by OPEC +, we must go back to the time before the decision was taken, as the Wall Street Journal articulated that “US Officials called on their Gulf counterparts, headed by Saudi Arabia, to postpone the decision for another month, which was rejected by Saudis.” The newspaper also stated, according to sources within the Saudi government, that “Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman [MBS] told his advisers that he is not willing to sacrifice much for the administration of US President Joe Biden, which criticizes Saudi Arabia’s war in Yemen and is trying to conclude a nuclear agreement with Iran which Riyadh opposes.” Adding to the aforementioned, the decision of Aramco, the Saudi energy company, to raise prices of oil exports to the US in November, it becomes clear to us that the Saudi decision unmasks the economic-shelled Saudi decision as purely political. MBS is under US pressure in three stressful topics [the war on Yemen, the nuclear agreement and the Jamal Khashoggi case]. Thus, by reducing production, he tried to blackmail the US administration, as it is in this sensitive stage in need of stabilizing oil prices, especially to harm its enemy Russia, in order to reach its goals.

After facing the American anger, MBS was sure he made a foolhardy rushing decision of overwhelming consequences. He consequently insisted that it was a pure technical decision with no political dimension, which forced Saudi officials to issue statements agreeing with this point. For this purpose, Adel Al-Jubeir spoke several times on this point in particular, and after him, Saudi Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan in an interview with Al-Arabiya, in which he confirmed that “the decision of OPEC + is purely economic, and the decision was taken unanimously by member states.” After the failure of this attempt, the kingdom was forced to save face through its foreign ministry statement, in which it rejected what it called “dictations, actions or efforts seeking to alter the lofty goals it is working on to protect the global economy from oil market fluctuations,” adding that the Kingdom “looks at its relationship with the US from a strategic perspective that serves the mutual interests of both countries.” Lately, Riyadh called upon the positions of states [like Kuwait, Qatar, Iraq, Jordan, Pakistan, Tunisia, Malaysia, Egypt, Morocco and Algeria so far] to back its “technical position” in the face of continuous American declarations regarding reducing oil production.

MBS’s blackmailing of Washington during tough circumstances urged a strong reaction from the US side, expressed by media and American political figures by demanding deterrent measures. This blackmail forced US President Joe Biden to talk about serious consequences during his interview with CNN. Speaking in the interview, Biden hasn’t defined the nature of his administration’s decisions against the Saudi decision, as he said that he would not go into details. He was quoted as saying that his country is discussing reviewing relations.

Among the expected measures, which fall under the division of military measures, is reducing or canceling military deals between Washington and Riyadh, as well as withdrawing air defense batteries. If the US goes far in its decision, it would evacuate its bases in the Kingdom. Furthermore, economic sanctions against Riyadh are among the expected measures, especially after it classified the Saudi move as being part of Russia’s aid. The US will include Saudi Arabia in the list of states and companies sanctioned for their cooperation with Russia, if it wants to move forward and give its words legal effects. Accordingly, the US is sending MBS a deterrent message that will make him think wisely before taking any similar measures in the future, and in order for him to know his limits and that he should not cross them.

On the basis of what has been stated before, MBS is bounded by two difficult choices, the best of which is bitter; the first one is to acquiesce again to US dictates, and the second is to continue insisting on his firm stance and take the decision to the end. MBS set the ground for the first choice when he limited his decision in the pure technical dimension and neglected any support to Russia, this delivers a message saying that he was still under the path of American dependency and did not deviate from it. As for the second option, MBS knows with certainty that his fate will not be far from the fate of King Faisal, and he will not be dearer to him in the American administration.

Saudi Arabia doubles up on Russia’s request to cut down production

 October 21, 2022

Source: The Intercept

By Al Mayadeen English 

Russia requested a one million barrels reduction in OPEC+ production, but Saudi Arabia insisted on a two million barrels reduction, which was a surprise even to Putin.

The oil cut was deliberately planned by Saudi Arabia to hurt Dems, the 

The Intercept published an article on Thursday that detailed the reasons why Saudi Arabia pushed for an oil cut on October 5, which rankled Democrats in Washington ahead of the upcoming midterms elections which are set to take place on November 8. 

OPEC+ had announced earlier this month that it was slashing 2 million barrels of oil per day, leading the Democrats to accuse Riyadh of taking Russia’s side in that decision. 

“What Saudi Arabia did to help Putin continue to wage his despicable, vicious war against Ukraine will long be remembered by Americans,” said Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer.

However, according to two anonymous Saudi sources familiar with the matter, Saudi Arabia pushed the oil cut twice as much as Russia intended, thus revealing motives that “run deeper than what top Democrats want to admit.”

The media has especially made it obvious that Saudi Arabia intended to drive an oil cut that was far more aggressive than Russia’s.

On September 27, Russia sought to implement a 1 million barrel per day cut — just half of what would later be agreed upon.

This is what the world initially expected. 

Then came the fatal announcement on October 5 that OPEC+ would double that cut by 2 million barrels a day.

On October 14, the White House National Security Council Spokesperson John Kirby accused Saudi Arabia of coercing other OPEC+ members who did not initially agree on the cut though he failed to specify which countries.

According to The Wall Street Journal, the members who were “coerced” into agreeing to the cut include Kuwait, Iraq, Bahrain, and the UAE.

That is obviously untrue since Iraq recently expressed that it fully supported OPEC+’s decision

These countries reportedly feared that the production cuts could lead to a recession that would ultimately reduce demand for oil.

But Saudi Arabia’s decision came as a shock to the US.

“People in D.C. think MBS is siding with Putin, but I think MBS is even more Putinian than Putin,” one of the sources, a Saudi close to the royal family, said, referring to Saudi Arabia’s de facto ruler, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Read more: Iraq rejects exerting pressure policy, supports OPEC+ decision

Despite that Saudi Arabia argued that its decision was based on goodwill and wholly economic and aimed at stabilizing the energy markets, the Democrats accused the Saudis of “pursuing a conscious alignment with Russia.”

“The Saudi foreign ministry can try to spin or deflect, but the facts are simple,” Kirby said, alleging that “they knew” that the oil production cut would “increase Russian revenues and blunt the effectiveness of sanctions” against Russia amid its special operation in Ukraine.

Some Democratic experts argue that the cut particularly targets the Democratic Party, something that officials have been reluctant to admit.

Bruce Riedel, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, told The Intercept in an email, “The Saudis are well aware that the price of gasoline at the pump has been a crucial political issue in the United States since 1973.”

“They want a big increase to help the Republicans,” he added, explaining that MBS sees the GOP winning back Congress as the “first step to Trump winning in 2024 and a setback for Biden.”

Read more: WH considers recommending US firms of pulling out from Saudi Arabia

During the 1970s, Saudi Arabia led two oil embargoes that had a decisive impact on the US economy and on presidential elections which cost Jimmy Carter to lose to Ronald Reagan in 1980.

Following this defeat, Carter placed solar panels on the White House roof to bring to light the US’ over-dependency on oil; a gesture he was mocked for.

Since MBS stepped into power, it was clear that the Conservatives had less difficulty dealing with oil demands.

MBS complied with Donald Trump two times over the fluctuation of gas prices: the first in 2018 and the second in 2020 so that Trump can ensure that the domestic American shale industry would survive the pandemic. 

“MBS enjoyed a sweetheart relationship with Trump,” Riedel said. “Trump stood by MBS when he murdered Khashoggi and his war in Yemen which has starved tens of thousands of children; there was never any criticism of the Saudi’s human rights abuses from the Trump administration.”

As soon as Trump got elected, the first thing he did was fly to Riyadh as President where he was generously well-received and struck a record-breaking $350 billion weapons deal with the Saudi government.

He also vetoed three separate congressional bills that would have blocked the sale of weapons to Riyadh, and he even boasted about covering MBS from consequences for the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, saying, “I saved his ass.”

Read more: Biden sells more oil reserve after OPEC+ cut, US crude at $80 lows

Sarah Leah Whitson, executive director of Democracy in the Arab World Now, said, “You don’t need to look hard to understand that MBS is deliberately and persistently acting against U.S. interests and the Biden administration in particular. His actions are not just ‘snubs’ but punches in the face.”

“He’s very nakedly using oil as a lever to try to influence the midterm elections with the aim of bringing in more compliant Republicans, trying to show us all who’s boss even in our own democracy.”

Saudi officials have themselves acknowledged that they could exert an impact on the domestic US.

In 2004, Prince Bandar bin Sultan Al Saud, the Saudi aQmbassador to the US from 1983 to 2006, said during a talk show, “The kingdom’s oil decisions can influence the election or non-election of the president of the United States, the largest and strongest country in the world. For that to be taken into consideration, regardless of what the kingdom decides to do, is in itself evidence of the strategic weight for the kingdom of Saudi Arabia.”

In another interview in 2004, Bandar said, “President [Bill] Clinton asked us to keep the prices down in the year 2000. In fact, I can go back to 1979, President Carter asked us to keep the prices down to avoid the malaise.”

In October 2018, following the assassination of Khashoggi, a Washington Post columnistTurki Aldakhil warned of an economic disaster if the US sanctioned Riyadh.

“If U.S. sanctions are imposed on Saudi Arabia, we will be facing an economic disaster that would rock the entire world,” wrote Turki Aldakhil. “It would lead to Saudi Arabia’s failure to commit to producing 7.5 million barrels [of oil].”

We are not saying here that Saudi Arabia under MBS hasn’t pursued cozier relations with Russia. 

Relations between Putin and MBS go back to 2015 when former US President Barack Obama turned down MBS’ requests for a meeting. MBS had then opted to meet with Putin on the sidelines of the 19th St. Petersburg International Economic Forum.

In response to the oil slash OPEC+ imposed, and after using up all other possible options, the White House was left with no choice but to release 15 million barrels of oil from its strategic emergency oil reserves.

It even considered lifting sanctions on Venezuela to alleviate the negative effects of OPEC+’s production cut.

An executive vice president of the Quincy Institute, Trita Parsi, told The Intercept, “The U.S. has helped artificially make Saudi Arabia more powerful on the energy markets by sanctioning the oil of other major producers.” 

“Just as [Secretary of State] Tony Blinken said that the destruction of the Nord Stream gas pipeline was an opportunity for Europe to reduce its dependence on Russian gas, Biden should turn the current crisis into an opportunity to reduce its own dependence on Riyadh by rethinking its unsuccessful energy sanctions on Venezuela and Iran.”

Read more: Blinken says OPEC+ oil production cut not action of ally

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Opec+ row: The US has lost control of its Gulf allies

13 October 2022 

David Hearst

The Biden administration is now paying the price for its chaotic and inconsistent policy on Saudi Arabia

On Wednesday, US President Joe Biden issued his national security strategy, which boasted, among other things, of his country’s unique capacity to “defend democracy around the world”.

US President Joe Biden at the White House, on 4 October 2022 (AFP)

One of the standout phrases of this unashamed piece of geopolitical fiction was this one: “We are forging creative new ways to work in common cause with partners around issues of shared interest.”

This statement was released just days after Opec+, led by Saudi Arabia and Russia, unleashed the biggest shock to oil markets this century by cutting production by two million barrels a day.

It’s chaos – not in the unstable Middle East, but in the corridors of the National Security Council

Despite Riyadh’s latest protestations that the decision was based only on “economic considerations”, the move has triggered a tidal wave of anger among Democratic members of Congress, who are now threatening to suspend arms sales to the kingdom for a year. National security adviser Jake Sullivan has also said the White House was looking into a halt to arms sales. As 73 percent of the kingdom’s arms imports come from the US, this is no mere rhetorical threat.

“If it weren’t for our technicians, their airplanes literally wouldn’t fly… We literally are responsible for their entire air force,” Ro Khanna, a Democratic congressman from California, told reporters. “What galls so many of us in Congress is the ingratitude.”

Incidentally, the same is true of the British firm BAE Systems, which supplies and maintains aircraft for Saudi Arabia, but the UK government is staying silent. 

It should not. Because the national security strategy shows that, among other things, the US has lost control of its allies, especially in the Middle East and particularly in the Gulf.

Courting a ‘pariah’

To take Biden’s tenure as an illustration, one of the first things he did upon taking office was to appoint Brett McGurk, a diplomat who had served under previous presidents, as his National Security Council coordinator for the Middle East.

McGurk is famous, or rather infamous, among Sunni political circles in Iraq – let alone pro-Iran Shia ones – for being rather too close to Mohammed bin Salman, the crown prince of Saudi Arabia and latterly its prime minister. McGurk set up the disastrous “fist bump” encounter between Biden and Mohammed bin Salman by negotiating an agreement between Israel, Saudi Arabia and Egypt over the transfer of two uninhabited but strategically placed islands in the Red Sea, Tiran and Sanafir.

How, then, could Mohammed bin Salman poke such a large finger in Biden’s eye just before the midterm elections, if McGurk had been doing his job? It’s chaos – not in the unstable Middle East, but in the corridors of the National Security Council.

Biden and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman are pictured in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, on 16 July 2022 (AFP)
Biden and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, on 16 July 2022 (AFP)

Or take the decisions that Biden made over Jamal Khashoggi, the Saudi journalist and Middle East Eye columnist murdered in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in 2018. Biden abandoned the principles he touted as a presidential candidate to treat the Saudi crown prince as a pariah, the moment he took office. 

Upon the publication of a summary of a CIA report on the murder, which concluded that Mohammed bin Salman had ordered the killing, Biden had an opportunity to put US weight behind a UN investigation into the killing. He notably declined to do so.

The US announced visa restrictions against 76 Saudis implicated in the plot, but did nothing against the man its intelligence services said was behind it. 

“The relationship with Saudi Arabia is bigger than any one individual,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken said at the time of the so-called Khashoggi ban. “What we’ve done by the actions that we’ve taken is really not to rupture the relationship, but to recalibrate it to be more in line with our interests and our values.”

Dennis Ross, a former Middle East negotiator, applauded Biden for “trying to thread the needle”, telling the New York Times that the affair was “a classic example of where you have to balance your values and your interests”.

Not unnaturally, Mohammed bin Salman concluded that he had gotten away with it. Now, Biden is paying the price.

State of surprise

The American foreign policy establishment has been, since the end of the Cold War, in a permanent state of surprise.

There was surprise that it had “lost Russia” at the end of the 1990s; surprise at the devastation caused by its invasion of Iraq; surprise over Vladimir Putin’s 2007 Munich speech, in which the Russian leader called out the US’s “almost uncontained hyper use of force in international relations”; surprise at Putin’s intervention in Syria; surprise over the fall of Kabul; and surprise that strategic decisions such as expanding Nato eastwards would ultimately lead to Putin’s invasion of Ukraine

At least the US is showing consistency in its faulty analytics and strategy, and massive blind spots. You can now rely on it to make the wrong choice

A world power that, until Putin’s intervention in Syria, held a monopoly on the use of international force but has squandered its authority in a series of mainly unforced errors. That is why it can no longer lead the democracies of the world.

Alienating China at the very time the US needs President Xi Jinping to contain Putin and stop him from using battlefield nukes, which he is quite capable of doing, is perhaps the biggest strategic mistake it is currently making. 

At least the US is showing admirable consistency in its faulty analytics and strategy, and massive blind spots. You can now rely on it to make the wrong choice. 

But what of its wayward allies, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates?

Saudi miscalculations

Saudi foreign policy cannot be untangled from the personality of its de facto ruler, Mohammed bin Salman. He is to international relations what a Nintendo game console is to careful reflection. He presses a button and thinks it can happen. He has an idea, and it has to be true.

I recently met an academic in Tehran who believed Mohammed bin Salman had moved beyond his Game Boy past. He is involved in backchannel negotiations with the Saudis.

Saudi Arabia: Mohammed bin Salman is now the state

Read More »

“A senior Saudi diplomat told me that MBS started as a kid playing video games,” he told me. “Killing Khashoggi, starting a military intervention in Yemen which would last ‘two weeks’, the siege of Qatar, getting rid of [Lebanese Prime Minister Saad] Hariri were all video games for him, buttons you can press, enemies disappearing from the screen. Out of necessity, he is becoming more strategic.

“Strategic maturity does not come from what you would like to have. It comes out of necessity,” the academic added. “I don’t think the Saudis decided to move beyond that strategic relationship with America. The American hand is still strong. But there are differences happening. The Americans are not seen with the same confidence that was seen in Riyadh.

“Where does it leave the Saudis? The Saudis have been trying to build relations with China and Russia and in the region. Vision 2030 cannot move without calm all around the kingdom. The Saudis see Yemen in two tracks: one, the Saudi-Yemeni track [with the Houthis]; two, the national reconciliation track. But the two rely on each other, and MBS is moving towards a compromise.”

The Iranian academic admitted that this was music to his ears, which was why he thought his Saudi counterpart was playing it, but nor could he discount the temptation to believe it.

Machiavellian tutor

Mohammed bin Salman admires Putin personally. Multiple sources have told me that the inspiration for the Tiger Squad – which killed and dismembered the body of Khashoggi and tried to do the same to Saad al-Jabri, a former minister of state and adviser to deposed crown prince Mohammed bin Nayef – came from the killing of former Russian agent Alexander Litvinenko in London and the attempted poisoning of defector Sergei Skripal in Salisbury.

But beyond that, Mohammed bin Salman sees the limits of the kingdom’s ties to the US. He used former President Donald Trump as his ticket to the top of the Saudi royal family, but now that the Trump clan is – for the moment – out of power, he sees no reason not to court Russia. 

But he remains impulsive, and his tutor in the modern art of Machiavelli, UAE President Mohammed bin Zayed, is more astute.

Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed (R) and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman are pictured in Abu Dhabi in November 2019 (AFP/Saudi Royal Palace)
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (left) with Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed in Abu Dhabi, in November 2019 (AFP/Saudi Royal Palace)

In distinction to his pupil, Mohammed bin Zayed still sees his country’s growing trade alliance with Israel as his ticket to influencing US policymakers. It was his ambassador in the US, Yousef al-Otaiba – not the Saudi ambassador – who introduced Mohammed bin Salman to the Trump family and to Washington.

But Mohammed bin Zayed hates being told what to do. One official familiar with relations between the Saudi and Emirati crown princes told me of a plan Mohammed bin Salman once had to run a maglev railway around the Gulf. Only a few of these systems, such as the Shanghai Transrapid, are running in the world, due to the enormous cost of construction. 

“MBS makes a plan and tells everyone else how much to invest without consulting them,” the official said. “He had an idea to run a maglev train going around the Gulf. Its [cost] was $160bn, because it’s $1bn a mile. Abu Dhabi’s share was huge. They were furious and stopped the plan.

“MBZ resents being told what to do by MBS, because he thinks he created him. MBS could not conceive of a relationship to him where he is subservient.”

New era of power projection

So while Mohammed bin Zayed went to Russia courting Putin, his officials distanced themselves from the Opec+ oil cut. The Financial Times reported that the UAE and Iraq had “expressed misgivings”.

Foreign policy in the hands of Mohammed bin Zayed is more nuanced than in those of his Saudi protege. This means that every move Mohammed bin Zayed makes is reversible, and therefore tradeable. He calculates each move before he makes it.

Although the two men look in public to be close to each other, in reality, Mohammed bin Salman is moving faster than his neighbour wants him to. The one thing that Mohammed bin Zayed does not want is for Mohammed bin Salman to become his own man. At the same time, the one thing that Mohammed bin Salman will not tolerate is for anyone else to issue him orders. 

The US is being tested as much by its allies as by its foes. And for good reason

It happened once over Yemen, where the announcement of the pullout of UAE troops left the Saudi crown prince on his own.

Biden and his advisers may be tempted to take a successful pushback of Russian troops in Ukraine as a starting gun for a new era of American power projection around the world – one whose target is China. But even if Putin is turned back in Ukraine, they would be profoundly wrong to do so.

The US is being tested as much by its allies as by its foes. And for good reason: they sense that the US won’t resume the role of unchallenged leader, which it held briefly for three decades.

The US has learned no lessons from the fall of Kabul. It reacted to its military defeat in Afghanistan by trading up. A geographically limited conflict in Central Asia was replaced by a potentially much larger conflict with China. Large parts of the world have rightly lost faith in this type of leadership.

The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Eye. 

This article is available in French on Middle East Eye French edition.

David Hearst is co-founder and editor-in-chief of Middle East Eye. He is a commentator and speaker on the region and analyst on Saudi Arabia. He was the Guardian’s foreign leader writer, and was correspondent in Russia, Europe, and Belfast. He joined the Guardian from The Scotsman, where he was education correspondent.

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