Endorsed by Imam Khamenei, Raisi Becomes Iran’s 8th President

Endorsed by Imam Khamenei, Raisi Becomes Iran’s 8th President

By Staff, Agencies

Sayyed Ebrahim Raisi is now officially the 8th president of the Islamic Republic of Iran after his mandate was endorsed by Leader of the Islamic Revolution His Eminence Imam Sayyed Ali Khamenei at a ceremony in Tehran, weeks after the ex-Judiciary chief won the country’s 13th presidential election by a landslide.

During the inauguration ceremony, the Iranian President-elect asserted the importance of religion in the various aspects of life, saying, “Let the world learn the religion can rule in the modern life”.

Raisi shed light on the achievements of the Islamic Republic and said, “In the past 40 years, Iran has achieved development and power”.

He further added, “Iranians have scored a new epic by making enemies despair”.

“The Iranian elections were held despite all circumstances and problems”, Raisi explained and added that “the people’s epic has had clear messages, atop of which is transformation, change, justice, fighting poverty and discrimination”.

He went on to say, “The people’s message was to change the economic situation and the inflation that exceeded 44%, in parallel with the growth of the monetary mass and the increase in the government’s debts”.

Elsewhere in his inaugural speech, the former Judiciary chief slammed Iran’s enemies for the economic situation Iran has been facing, “We are suffering from hard economic circumstances because of the enemies, this situation should change and we will work to lift the unjust sanctions”.

“The people want a transformation and a change”, Raisi said, adding, “The government’s program is based on this idea and we are confident that we will solve all our problems and that we are able to do this”.

At the end of his speech, Raisi asserted that the new Iranian administration has “lots of things to do” and that it has pin-pointed a number of problems that “we will solve immediately”.

“I am the servant of the people”, the president-elect concluded.

Imam Khamenei’s decree, endorsing the presidential mandate of Raeisi, was read out at the event by head of the leader’s office.

Imam Khamenei at Raisi Inauguration Ceremony: Iran Needs Competent, Wise, Brave Management

Imam Khamenei at Raisi Inauguration Ceremony: Iran Needs Competent, Wise, Brave Management

By Staff, Khamenei.ir

The following is the full text of the decree endorsing the Presidency of Sayyed Ebrahim Raisi, issued on August 3, 2021 by the Leader of the Islamic Revolution His Eminence Imam Sayyed Ali Khamenei.

In the endorsement decree, Imam Khamenei emphasized, “Today, our dear country is thirsty for a competent, jihadi, intelligent, courageous management that can organize and bring the manifest and hidden capabilities of the nation into the field for constructive work and endeavor”.

In the Name of God, the Beneficent, the Merciful

All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds, and peace and greetings be upon Muhammad, and upon his pure Household, particularly the remnant of Allah on earth.

I thank God, the Omniscient and Omnipotent, Who has helped Iran once more with His grace and benevolence, to be honored in its political, social test of the presidential elections. Our esteemed nation displayed the authority of its vote over the affairs of the country with its significant, honorable presence in complex, difficult circumstances. By electing a popular, distinguished personage from among the descendants of the Prophet and a scholar who is adorned with great piety and wisdom and who has a brilliant managerial performance sheet, the people of Iran have shown their firm determination to tread the enlightened path of the Revolution, which is the path of justice, progress, freedom and dignity.

Today, our dear country is thirsty for valuable service and is ready to make a leap in all areas. The country needs competent, jihadi, intelligent, courageous management that can organize the manifest and hidden capabilities of the nation – in particular those of the youth, which are much greater in scope than the problems. A management is needed that can bring these capabilities into the field for constructive work and endeavor, eliminate the obstacles in the way of production, seriously pursue policies for strengthening the national currency and which can empower the middle and lower classes of society that are shouldering the burden of economic problems. Such a manager can smooth the path for the worldly and spiritual ascendance of the Iranian nation and accelerate the movement of the country toward the status that it deserves.

While thanking our dear people and in accordance with their choice, I endorse the victory of the knowledgeable, untiring, experienced, popular scholar, Hujjat al-Islam wal-Muslimeen Sayyed Ebrahim Raisi, and I appoint him as the President of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

I ask God, the Exalted, to bestow success and honor on him and his colleagues. I wish to remind everyone that the opinion of the nation and my endorsement will be with him as long as the President continues to travel the straight path of Islam and the Revolution. With God’s grace, this is the way it will be, God willing.

Greetings upon God’s righteous servants

 

Sayyed Ali Khamenei

August 3, 2021

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Iran Vows Crushing Response to Any Measure against Its Interests, National Security – Official

AUGUST 3, 2021

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By Staff, Agencies

An informed Iranian source said the Islamic Republic will give a strong and crushing response to any measure taken against its national interests and security, blaming Britain and the US for the consequences of such moves against Tehran.

“Although the Islamic Republic of Iran considers threats posed by the officials of Western countries and the Zionist regime to be mostly of propaganda value, any measure against Iran’s interests and national security will be met with strong and crushing response, with Washington and London being directly responsible for consequences of such moves,” the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity with an Iranian news outlet close to the Supreme National Security Council, said on Monday.

The Iranian source’s remarks came after the United States and the United Kingdom joined the ‘Israeli’ entity in accusing Iran of orchestrating Thursday’s attack on an ‘Israeli’ tanker off the coast of Oman, despite Tehran’s firm denial.

“Upon review of the available information, we are confident that Iran conducted this attack, which killed two innocent people, using one-way explosive UAVs,” US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement Sunday.

British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab also reflected on the matter, saying that the “unlawful and callous” attack had highly likely been carried out by Iran using one or more drones.

Later on, ‘Israeli’ newspaper Kan reported on Sunday that Tel Aviv has received a “green light” from Washington and London to carry out a “response” to the attack.

According to Iran’s Nournews news agency, the accusations against Iran come despite the fact that no evidence or a single proof has so far been provided to prove Iran’s role in this incident.

“Although the statements made by Blinken and Raab are in line with their Iranophobia project to impose their excessive demands in negotiations on [the revival of Iran’s] nuclear deal, they are also indicative of West’s extreme weakness in the area of intelligence and are aimed at creating a new crisis to help them meet their political goals,” it added.

The media report noted that Western countries’ false expression of concern about undermining of maritime security comes despite the fact that both the United States and the UK have many cases of piracy on their records.

“They have also turned a blind eye to the Zionist regime’s acts of terror against other countries and its frequent acts of mischief aimed at making shipping lines unsafe,” the report noted.

Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh on Sunday said recent accusations leveled against Tehran by the Zionist entity and the United States about attacking an ‘Israeli’-owned merchant ship in the Sea of Oman are “childish” and influenced by the Zionist lobby in the United States.

“The illegitimate Zionist entity must stop leveling baseless charges against Iran. This is not the first time that this regime brings up such accusations [against Tehran],” he added.

Green Light: US, UK Join “Israel” in Accusing Iran of Tanker Attack

August 2, 2021

By Staff, Agencies 

The United States and the United Kingdom have joined the apartheid “Israeli entity in accusing Iran of orchestrating Thursday’s attack on an “Israeli” tanker off the coast of Oman, despite Tehran’s firm denial.

“Upon review of the available information, we are confident that Iran conducted this attack, which killed two innocent people, using one-way explosive UAVs,” US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement Sunday. 

Blinken further stated they are “working with partners” on what he termed an “appropriate response” to the attack. 

Earlier British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said the “unlawful and callous” attack had highly likely been carried out by Iran using one or more drones. 

“We believe this attack was deliberate, targeted, and a clear violation of international law by Iran,” he said, adding that London was working with partners on a “concrete response.”

Iran on Sunday vehemently denied any involvement in the attack, dismissing allegations leveled by Zionist regime officials. 

The spokesman for Iran’s Foreign Ministry called the accusations “childish”, which he said were influenced by the Zionist lobby in the United States.

“The illegitimate Zionist entity must stop leveling baseless charges against Iran. This is not the first time that this regime brings up such accusations [against Tehran],” he noted.

“We must be very cautious not to fall into traps set by the Zionists and the Quds occupying regime in such cases,” the spokesperson said, adding that the ‘Israeli’ regime is at “the lowest point of legitimacy” and experiencing the “most difficult days of its life.”

The incident involved the Mercer Street, a Liberian-flagged, Japanese-owned vessel managed by ‘Israeli’-owned Zodiac Maritime, which according to reports was on its way from Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, to Fujairah in the United Arab Emirates when it was targeted.

“I declare unequivocally: Iran is the one that carried out the attack on the ship,” he said during a weekly meeting of his cabinet on Sunday.

In a statement on Friday, Zodiac Maritime, the “Israeli”-owned firm managing the oil tanker, said that two crewmen, a Briton and a Romanian, had been killed in the assault.

إيران دولة مواجهة… وسيدة البحر!

 محمد صادق الحسيني

العالم يتغيّر بسرعة ولا فرصة كبيرة أمام الطارئين للنجاة من عواقب مغامراتهم!

ففي ظلّ تلاطم أمواج البحار مع قواعد الاشتباك الجديدة التي يثبتها الميدان مع كلّ يوم يمرّ على محور المقاومة، تبدو حكومة تل أبيب بقيادة نفتالي بينت أكثر ضعفاً وتخبّطاً من أيّ يوم مضى وتبحث عن أيّ قشة تنجّيها من الغرق.

جنرالات تل أبيب يحذرونها من أيّ ردّ فعل على قصف سفينتها في شمال بحر عمان، لأنّ الغلبة ستكون حتماً لإيران، كما تزدحم صفحات إعلام العدو الصهيوني بتلك التقارير.

وواشنطن تنأى بجنرالاتها عن المواجهة رغم التصريحات السياسية الرنانة، ما يضع واشنطن في حرج من التصعيد الى الحدّ الأقصى خوفاً من الانزلاق لحرب مفتوحة غير قادرة على سبر أبعادها!

من ناحية أخرى فلم يعد مهمّاً التوقف طويلاً او الاستماع بالتفصيل الى الشيخ روحاني ووزرائه عن رأيهم بأميركا وأوروبا والاتفاق النووي الآن ـ يمكن العودة إليها في ما بعد لأخذ العبرة والدروس ـ بعد أن رست إدارة شؤون البلاد عند قبطان السفينة الجديد الرئيس سيد ابراهيم رئيسي، الذي سينصّب رسمياً يوم غد الثلاثاء من قبل قائد الثورة والمسيرة الإسلامية في إيران الإمام السيد علي خامنئي في حسينية جماران الواقعة في نهاية شارع فلسطين في العاصمة الإيرانية، والذي سيقدم فريقه الحكومي بعد ذلك بيومين أيّ الخميس أمام مجلس الشورى الاسلامي لنيل الثقة بحضور رؤساء دول ووزراء وممثلين عن عشرات الدول التي قرّرت إرسال من يمثلها ليس بينها المملكة السعودية (كما قال خطيب زاده) كما كان قد روّج البعض في إشارة واضحة الى الاستقطاب القائم بين عالم ينهض ويشتدّ عوده وعالم يتقهقر ويأفل نجمه…!

والإدارة الإيرانية الجديدة إذن، وكما يقول المثل «المكتوب يُقرأ من عنوانه»:

تدخل نادي الحكومات بهذا المشهد المتلاطم الذي يوحي للعدو بأنها ستضرب بيد من حديد على كلّ من تسوّل نفسه الاعتداء على الأمن البحري او السيبراني او الميداني الإيراني…!

وسواء كانت إيران هي من ضربت السفينة «الإسرائيلية» في بحر عمان كما يُصرّ «الإسرائيليون» على اتهامها، او ايّ طرف من أطراف محور المقاومة، فإنّ الرسالة باتت واضحة وهي انّ قواعد الاشتباك مع العدو قد تغيّرت.

والذي فهم الرسالة جيداً هم جنرالات العدو الصهيوني الذين نصحوا ولا يزالون رئيس حكومة تل أبيب بينت، بعدم الانجرار لهذه اللعبة الجديدة لأنّ أسياد البحر سيكونون الإيرانيون بلا ريب، وان تل أبيب ستخسر الرهان…!

الأميركيون بدورهم أيضاً، ورغم كلّ الجعجعة السياسية والإعلامية الهوليودية ضدّ إيران فإنّ جنرالاتهم هي الأخرى ستتذكر أيام ترامب الأكثر صلافة وتجبّراً منهم، ورغم ذلك كان الجنرال ميلي رئيس هيئة الأركان المشتركة الأميركية قد أصدر أوامره الواضحة بأن يعود الجند إليه للتشاور معه قبل أيّ إقدام يطلبه الرئيس منهم ضدّ إيران، ما يؤكد تخوّف جنرالات واشنطن من ايّ مواجهة مع طهران…!

هذه العلامات الأولية كما مجموعة من القرائن والإشارات الأخرى تعزز الانطباع بأنّ إدارة الرئيس الإيراني الجديد ستكون في قلب المواجهة الإقليمية والدولية المشتعلة على اكثر من ميدان، وهي صاحبة اليد العليا ما يعني أنها دولة ممانعة كحدّ أدنى انْ لم تكن دولة مواجهة ـ هذا لا يعني بالضرورة أنها دولة حرب ـ لكن بالتأكيد لن تكون من بين أولوياتها:

ـ العودة لمفاوضات فيينا بأيّ ثمن كان.

ـ ولا المراهنة على عودة واشنطن للاتفاق النووي.

ـ ولا انتظار نتائج حوارات طهران – الرياض الأمنية التي بدأت في بغداد وتستمرّ الآن في مسقط…

في المقابل فإنّ حكومة رئيسي ورغم ما ذكر أعلاه فإنها ستعمل على أسس وقواعد جديدة في التعامل الداخلي والخارجي أهمّها:

ـ أولاً المراهنة على الداخل، ولأن القضايا المعيشية هي أولوية الأولويات عند الناس فإنها ستقوم بتفعيل مبدأ الاقتصاد المقاوم وزيادة الإنتاج الوطني.

ـ ثانياً فإنّ التعامل مع الخارج فسيكون على قاعدة أقصى التعاون والتضامن مع الأخوة والأصدقاء من بغداد إلى دمشق الى بيروت فغزة فصنعاء، وصولاً الى كاراكاس وموسكو وبكين وكلّ من يقف في وجه الأحادية الهيمنية الأميركية.

ـ ثالثاً، التعامل بكلّ حزم وشدّة وعنفوان مع أعداء الأمة ابتداء بالقاعدة الأميركية المتقدّمة التي تسمّى «إسرائيل» مروراً بكلّ معتد إقليمي شرير وصولاً الى رأس محور الشر المتمثل بإدارة بايدن المحتالة والمخادعة وغير القابلة للثقة أو الاطمئنان.

ـ رابعاً التعامل مع سائر دول العالم وقواه الحية بناءً على سلوكهم وسياساتهم المعلنة على قاعدة: سلم لمن سالمنا وحرب لمن حاربنا، والسلام على من اتبع الهدى.

العالم بعيون إيران الجديدة سيكون مركز ثقله

الشرق وليس الغرب.

ومثلث الشام والعراق واليمن هو عمود خيمة هذا الشرق العتيد، ودرّة تاجه فلسطين.

وإيران سيفه البتار وجيشه الجرار بكلّ إمكانات دولة ولاية الفقيه.

بعدنا طيّبين قولوا الله…

فيديوات معلقة

مقالات معلقة

IRAN DENIES RESPONSIBILITY FOR RECENT TANKER ATTACK FOLLOWING ACCUSATIONS BY ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER

01.08.2021 

South Front

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On August 1, Israel’s Prime Minister Naftali Bennett directly blamed Iran for the July 30 drone attack on the MERCER STREET fuel tanker in the Arabian Sea.

Two crewmen, a British and a Romanian, were killed in the attack on the Liberian-flagged tanker which is operated by Zodiac Maritime, a London-based company owned by Israeli billionaire Eyal Ofer.

“The Iranians who attacked with unmanned aircraft the Mercer Street intended to harm an Israeli target,” the Associated Press quoted Bennett as saying at the start of Israel’s weekly Cabinet meeting. “We know, at any rate, know how to convey the message to Iran in our own way.”

Bennett stated that Israeli intelligence had evidence linking Iran to the attack, without providing any further details on the matter.

The Israeli PM accusations were rejected by Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh, who called them “baseless”.

“It’s not the first time that the Zionist regime occupying Jerusalem has made such empty accusations against the Islamic Republic of Iran,” Khatibzadeh said. “Wherever this regime has gone, it has taken instability, terror and violence with it … Whoever sows the wind shall reap the whirlwind.”

A recent report by the Iranian al-Alam TV revealed that the attack on MERCER STREET was a response by “resistance forces,” a term used to refer to Iran’s allies in the Middle East, to the July 21 Israeli strikes on Syria. Two “resistance fighters” were killed in the strikes.

Israel and Iran have been locked up in a cover war for years. The attack on MERCER STREET may, however, lead to an unprecedented escalation.

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Iran Behind Strike on Israeli-Managed Tanker?

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By Stephen Lendman

Source

On July 30, Israeli-owned Zodiac Maritime said an attack on the Liberian-flagged Japanese-owned Mercer Street tanker it manages killed two crew members onboard.

The incident occurred in the Arabian Sea off the coast of Oman.

According to Tehran-based Al-Alam News, attacking the Mercer Street was in response to Israeli aggression on Syria’s Dabaa airport that killed two resistance fighters.

On Friday, Zodiak Maritime said the following:

“Details of the incident are still being established and an investigation into the incident is currently underway.” 

“We continue to work closely with the UKMTO (United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations) and other relevant authorities.”

Calling the incident “suspected piracy (sic),” the company said it’s “not aware of harm to any other” crew members.

According to Refinitiv ship tracking, the Israeli-managed tanker was en route to the UAE port city of Fujairah from Tanzania.

It continues to an unnamed location with a US naval escort.

Press TV said the attack came “against a backdrop of the Israeli regime’s various assaults on cargo ships across the Persian Gulf region and elsewhere.”

A statement by Britain’s war ministry said it’s “aware of reports of an attack on a merchant vessel off the coast of Oman.” 

“UK military headquarters in the region are currently conducting investigations.”

Israel’s Ynet News quoted an unnamed Bennett regime official vowing a tough response.

An unnamed Biden regime official called the incident an attack by more than one drone — with no further elaboration.

A report by Dryad Global maritime intelligence said drones in the area were spotted before the attack.

In early June, Iran’s Kharg, its largest warship, mysteriously caught fire and sank in the Gulf of Oman near the Hormuz Strait.

At the time, Iranian media reported that crew members on board were rescued, dozens injured from the incident.

Around the same time, a large-scale fire occurred at Iran’s Tondgooyan Petrochemical Company.

In April, Israel was believed behind an attack on Iran’s MV Saviz commercial vessel in the Red Sea.

Ahead of the incident, an unnamed Biden regime official said Israel informed the US of a planned attack on the vessel. 

These and other incidents in recent years heightened tensions between Iran, the US, and Israel.

On August 1, interventionist Blinken and his counterpart Yair Lapid discussed a joint Biden/Bennett regime response to the July 30 incident against The Mercer tanker — according to State Department mouthpiece Price.

The incident comes against the backdrop of Iranian Foreign Minister Zarif’s sharp rebuke of the US and E3 for pressuring, bullying, and blackmailing Iran to accept unacceptable JCPOA changes.

Regional tensions remain heightened at a time of nuclear deadlock.

What Biden regime envoy for Iran Robert Malley falsely called its “unrealistic demands” suggests that the US and E3 intend abandoning the JCPOA if Iran won’t accept what’s unacceptable.

That’s where things appear to be heading.

Years of negotiations for JCPOA agreement in 2015 proved once again that diplomatic outreach to the US-dominated West assures failure even when deals are made.

Israeli Media: Iranians Identified the Israeli Point of Weakness and Attacked to Kill إعلام إسرائيلي: الإيرانيون حددوا نقطة الضعف الإسرائيلية وهاجموا بهدف القتل

Israeli Media: Iranians Identified the Israeli Point of Weakness and Attacked to Kill

July 31, 2021

Source: Israeli media

By Al Mayadeen

Israeli media outlets are talking about an ongoing secret battle in the sea between “Israel” and Iran, highlighting Iran’s ability to identify the Israeli points of weakness.

Israeli Media: It seems the attackers’ intention was to kill

Israeli journalist Amir Bohbot wrote in an article on the Walla website, “the link between all the mysterious events and explosions in the maritime arena that were attributed to foreign reports by Iran and Israel” points to “an ongoing secret battle that mainly involved carrying out strikes and causing damage to ships.”

Bohbot said that despite all that, “the drone attack against a Japanese, Israeli-owned ship, last Thursday, off the shores of Oman, indicates a change in the rules of the game, not because of the method of the attack, but because the attack resulted in two deaths on board.”

Also according to Bohbot, the attack that took place near Oman explains that “it is not about a making a hint or sending a message, but rather about collecting a killing price.”

Bohbot added that the initial reports have mentioned that for the first time ever, “the Iranians attack the ship, in the early morning hours, without success, and then launch a second attack, only this time with an accurate hit… It seems that the attackers’ intention was to kill.”

He continued, “Both sides know that the majority of their operations can be denied and kept it in the dark as long as there are no fatalities. But this time, this was not the case.” 

He explained, “If the reports are accurate and the mysterious explosions are part of the arm-twisting policy between Jerusalem and Tehran… then the reality has turned from a dominating superiority of ‘Israel’ to a major weakness.”

He continued to say, “If the operation evolves in the said direction, with open attacks involving fatalities, then the Israeli policy will face a major challenge, as the US alienates itself from the ongoing events in the Middle East.”

This came in an article Bohbot wrote one day after an Israeli ship was targeted by a “drone” in the Arabian Sea, causing two deaths, according to the Maritime Security website, Dryad.

For his part, Haaretz’s senior intelligence analyst Yossi Melman said, “This is the fourth attack in which Israel is targeted,” noting that “Israel started it all, as it has been involved for the past two and a half years in sabotaging Iranian ships.” 

Melman added, “Israel is playing with fire,” pointing out that 90% of Israeli goods pass through sea routes.


إعلام إسرائيلي: الإيرانيون حددوا نقطة الضعف الإسرائيلية وهاجموا بهدف القتل

المصدر: وسائل إعلام إسرائيلية

الكاتب: الميادين نت

وسائل إعلام إسرائيلية تتحدث عن المعركة السرية في البحر بين “إسرائيل” وإيران، وتشير إلى قدرة إيران على تحديد نقاط الضعف في الجانب الإسرائيلي.

وسائل إعلام إسرائيلية: يبدو أن نية مهاجمي السفينة كانت القتل

كتب الصحافي الإسرائيلي أمير بوحبوط مقالاً في موقع “والاه” قال فيه إن “الربط بين جميع الأحداث الغامضة والانفجارات في الساحة البحرية التي نُسبت لتقارير أجنبية لإيران وإسرائيل” يشير إلى “معركة سرية مستمرة تضمنت بشكل أساسي ضربات وإلحاق أضرار بالسفن”.

وقال بوحبوط، إنه على الرغم من ذلك فإن “هجوم الطائرات المسيرة ضد سفينة يابانية ملكيتها اسرائيلية، يوم الخميس الماضي، قبالة شواطئ عمان، يشير إلى تغيير في قواعد اللعبة، ليس بسبب أسلوب الهجوم وإنما لأن الهجوم انتهى بقتيلين على متنها”.

ويوضح الهجوم الذي وقع بالقرب من عمان، بحسب بوحبوط، إلى أن “الأمر لا يتعلق بتلميح أو إرسال رسالة، بل بجباية ثمن قاتل”.

وأضاف بوحبوط أن التقارير الأولية تذكر أنه وللمرة الأولى “يهاجم الإيرانيون السفينة، في ساعات الصباح، دون نجاح، ثم ينفذون هجوماً ثانياً ويسجلون إصابة دقيقة.. يبدو أن نية المهاجمين كانت القتل”.

وتابع: “يعلم كلا الطرفين أن غالبية عملياتهما يمكن نفيها وإبقاؤها في هامش غموض طالما لا يوجد قتلى. لكن هذه المرة لم يحدث ذلك. إذا كان بالإمكان تحليل أحداث الأشهر الأخيرة”.

وأوضح أنه “إذا كانت التقارير دقيقة والإنفجارات الغامضة تعود إلى لي الأذرع بين القدس وطهران، وفي الخلفية دفع المشروع النووي، والتمركز الإيراني في سوريا، وتمويل الإرهاب في الشرق الأوسط، انقلب الواقع من تفوق هائل لإسرائيل إلى نقطة ضعف كبيرة”. 

وقال: “إذا تطورت العملية في هذا الاتجاه السالف الذكر، مع هجمات علنية تنطوي على قتلى، فإن السياسة الإسرائيلية ستواجه تحدياً كبيراً جداً، بعد أن بدأت الولايات المتحدة في استبعاد نفسها من الأحداث في الشرق الأوسط”. 

ونقل بوحبوط عن مصادر إسرائيلية قولها إن من الواجب “على إسرائيل أن تضع خط صلب يشمل الكثير من العمليات الصغيرة وكشف يحرج الإيرانيين. كل هذا من أجل خلق شعور بالملاحقة”.

ويأتي كلام بوحبوط بعد يوم من استهداف سفينة إسرائيلية بـ”طائرة مسيرة” في بحر العرب، ما تسبب بسقوط قتيلين، وفق ما أفاد موقع “درياد” للأمن البحري.

من جهته، قال محلل الشؤون الأمنية في صحيفة “هآرتس” يوسي ملمان إنَّ “هذه هي المرة الرابعة التي يتم فيها استهدافٌ على صلة بإسرائيل”، مشيراً إلى أن “إسرائيل هي التي بدأت عندما عملت طوال عامين ونصف العام على تخريب سفن إيرانية”.

وأضاف ملمان أنَّ “إسرائيل تلعب بالنار”، معللاً ذلك بأنَّ “90% من البضائع الإسرائيلية تمرُّ عبر مساراتٍ بحرية”. 

فيديوات متعلقة

The Forever Imminent Collapse of the Iranian “Regime”

July 29, 2021

Source: Al Mayadeen

Seyed Mohammad Marandi

As Iran is literally depicted as illegitimate and derogatorily labeled a “regime,” these “experts” can inform their audiences without irony of the rising “menace” of Iran and the growing threat it poses to regional stability.

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Under US occupation Afghanistan has become the beating heart of global opium cultivation and distribution, but for Iran haters, just a whiff of unrest anywhere in the country is often enough for them to get practically stoned. BBC Persian becomes embarrassingly euphoric, while Persian television ‘Iran International’ headquartered in London and with ties to Mohammed bin Salman, and VOA Persian begin to hallucinate completely.

Arabic media narratives usually depend on state policy towards Iran. Saudi Arabia’s Al Arabiya news channel is consistent in its hatred and is often more deranged than ‘Iran International,’ while Aljazeera Arabic and English narratives largely sway in harmony with the state of play in Doha’s dealings with Riyadh, Ankara, and Washington.

Western corporate and state-owned media usually, but by no means always, put more effort into appearing balanced and professional than their state backed Persian language Iran bashing counterparts. However, in all these outlets there is a recurring and repetitive theme that can appear credible and even well documented to the uninitiated or the true believers.

Any objective review exposes a certain consistency in “analyses” that many years ago used to surprise me. Since the 1980s, audiences have been constantly told that the Islamic Republic of Iran is an evil, unstable, unpopular, incompetent and a corrupt “regime” that is on the brink of collapse. In over four decades of research and reporting, it has been regularly implied that the day is not far off when the “regime” will finally fall into the dustbin of history.

Some would argue that these “experts” confuse analysis with aspirations and facts with expectations. For them, it seems the ultimate collapse of revolutionary Iran is natural and inevitable, since its ideological foundations, constitution and political structures are not based upon “superior” or “contemporary” western intellectual traditions. These views are constantly reinforced by a small army of Iranian comprador intellectuals and many angry “scholars” affiliated with western academia, think-tanks and media, who reassuringly repeat the favorite talking points of their western overlords. Liberals and “leftists” at academic institutions may fight over Cuba, Venezuela, and Iraq, but when it comes to Iran there is often a loving consensus.

The latent Orientalism of these western analysts and their native informants as well as the Eurocentric worldview imposed upon western institutions and academia, are solid barriers that prevent most from recognizing the often irresolvable paradoxes resulting from such “expert” analyses. Hence, as the Islamic Republic is literally depicted as illegitimate, incapable of self-governance, and derogatorily labeled a “regime,” these “experts” can inform their audiences without irony of the rising “menace” of Iran and the growing threat it poses to regional stability and even the “international community.”

They feel no need to explain how an incompetent and universally reviled “regime” can possibly be such an enormous threat to the existing and well entrenched regional and international order. Either the US-led Western Empire is vastly overrated, or the Iranian “regime” is not quite the regime it is portrayed to be.

Their failure to acknowledge, let alone explain, this contradiction lies in the fact that most are simply blind to its existence. The Orientalist demonization of Iran makes almost all negative attributes seem reasonable and plausible, even though they are often mutually exclusive.

The seemingly always-in-crisis Iran doesn’t even have the luxury of being competently evil or deceiving. We are told that Iranians hate the “regime,” Iraqis despise Iran (no allusion to General Suleimani’s massive funeral processions in Iraq), Afghans are resentful, Lebanese feel subjugated, Syrians are outraged, and Yemenis abused. Nevertheless, it is largely left unexplained how an unpopular and heavily sanctioned Iran can wield such enormous influence and maintain such powerful allies, while its western and regional antagonists have infinitely more wealth and resources at their disposal.

These so called experts and analysts don’t seem to recognize that while these powerful anti-Iranian narratives may have a significant impact on perceptions towards Iran, they definitely do not inspire confidence regarding the stability or legitimacy of the US Empire. Hence, we will continue to be told that the Iranian “regime” is possibly facing imminent collapse, but the real story may actually be that the centuries old domination of the “Free and Civilized world” is closer to imminent collapse.

Requiem for an Empire: a prequel

July 29, 2021

Requiem for an Empire: a prequel

by Pepe Escobar with permission and widely cross-posted

Assaulted by cognitive dissonance across the spectrum, the Empire of Chaos now behaves as a manic depressive inmate, rotten to the core – a fate more filled with dread than having to face a revolt of the satrapies.

Only brain dead zombies now believe in its self-billed universal mission as the new Rome and the new Jerusalem. There’s no unifying culture, economy or geography knitting the core together across an “arid, desiccated, political landscape sweltering under the brassy sun of Apollonian ratiocination, devoid of passion, very masculine, and empty of human empathy.”

Clueless Cold Warriors still dream of the days when the Germany-Japan axis was threatening to rule Eurasia and the Commonwealth was biting the dust – thus offering Washington, fearful of being forced into islandization, the once in a lifetime opportunity to profit from WWII to erect itself as Supreme World Paradigm cum savior of the “free world”.

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Red Square

Today, it’s not Germany-Japan but the specter of a Russia-China-Germany entente that terrorizes the Hegemon as the Eurasian trio capable of sending American global domination to the dustbin of History.

Enter the American “strategy”. And predictably, it’s a prodigy of narrow mindedness, not even aspiring to the status of – fruitless – exercise in irony or desperation, yielding as it is from the pedestrian Carnegie Endowment, with its HQ in Think Tank Row between Dupont and Thomas Circle along Massachussets Avenue in D.C.

Making U.S. Foreign Policy Work Better for the Middle Class is a sort of bipartisan report guiding the current, bewildered Crash Test Dummy administration. One of the 11 writers involved is none other than National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan. The notion that a global imperial strategy and – in this case – a deeply impoverished and enraged middle class share the same interests does not even qualify as a lousy joke.

With “thinkers” like these, the Hegemon does not even need Eurasian “threats”.

Wanna talk to Mr. Khinzal?

Meanwhile, in a script worthy of Dylan’s Desolation Row rewritten by The Three Stooges, proverbial Atlanticist chihuahuas are raving that the Pentagon ordered the partition of NATO: Western Europe will contain China, and Eastern Europe will contain Russia.

Yet what’s actually happening in those corridors of European power that really matter – no, baby, that ain’t Warsaw – is that not only Berlin and Paris refuse to antagonize Beijing, but mull how to get closer to Moscow without enraging the Hegemon.

So much for microwaved, Kissingerian Divide and Rule. One of the few things the notorious war criminal really got it was when he noted, after the implosion of the USSR, that without Europe “the US would become a distant island in the coastline of Eurasia”: it would dwell “in solitude, a minor status”.

Life is a drag when the (global) free lunch is over and on top of it you need to face not only the emergence of a “peer competitor” in Eurasia (copyright Zbig “Grand Chessboard” Brzezinski) but a comprehensive strategic partnership. You fear that China is eating your lunch – and dinner, and nightcap – but still you need Moscow as the designated enemy of choice, because that’s what legitimizes NATO.

Call The Three Stooges! Let’s send the Europeans to patrol the South China Sea! Let’s get those Baltic nullities plus pathetic Poles to enforce the New Iron Curtain! And let’s deploy Russophobic Britannia Rules the Waves on both fronts!

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Chongqing Night

So far, Russia-China had been exhibiting infinite Daoist patience in dealing with those clowns. Not anymore.

The key players in the Heartland have clearly seen through the imperial propaganda fog; it will be a long and winding road, but the horizon will eventually unveil a Germany-Russia-China-Iran alliance rebalancing the global chessboard.

This is the ultimate Imperial Night of the Living Dead nightmare – hence these lowly American emissaries frantically scurrying around multiple latitudes trying to keep the satrapies in line.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the pond, China-Russia build submarines like there’s no tomorrow equipped with state-of-the-art missiles – and Su-57s invite wise guys to a close conversation with a hypersonic Mr. Khinzal.

Sergey Lavrov, like an aristocratic Grand Seigneur, took the trouble of enlightening the clowns with a stark, erudite distinction between rule of law and their self-defined “rules-based international order”.

That’s too much for their collective IQ. Perhaps what they will register is that the Russian-Chinese Treaty of Good-Neighborliness, Friendship, and Cooperation, initially signed on July 16, 2001, has just been extended for five years by Presidents Putin and Xi.

As the Empire of Chaos is incrementally and inexorably expelled from the Heartland, Russia-China is jointly managing Central Asian affairs.

In the Central and South Asia connectivity conference in Tashkent,

Lavrov detailed how Russia is driving “the Greater Eurasian Partnership, a unifying and integrational outline between the Atlantic and the Pacific Oceans that is as free for the movement of goods, capital, labor and services as possible and which is open to every country of the common continent of Eurasia and the integration unions created here.”

Then there’s the updated Russian National Security Strategy, which clearly outlines that building a partnership with the US and hitting win-win cooperation with the EU is an uphill struggle: “The contradictions between Russia and the West are serious and are hard to solve.” By contrast, strategic cooperation with China and India will be expanded.

A geopolitical earthquake

Yet the defining geopolitical breakthrough in the second year of the Raging Twenties may well be China telling the Empire, “That’s enough”.

It started over two months ago in Anchorage, when the formidable Yang Jiechi made shark fin soup out of the helpless American delegation. The piece de resistance came this week in Tianjin, where Vice Foreign Minister Xie Feng and his boss Wang Yi reduced mediocre imperial bureaucrat Wendy Sherman to stale dumpling status.

This searing analysis by a Chinese think tank reviewed all the key issues. Here are the highlights.

– The Americans wanted to ensure that “guardrails and boundaries” are established to avoid a deterioration of U.S.-China relations in order to “manage” the relationship responsibly. That did not work, because their approach was “terrible”.

– “Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Xie Feng hit the nail on the head when he said that the U.S. “competition, cooperation and confrontation” triad is a “blindfold” to contain and suppress China. Confrontation and containment are essential, cooperation is expedient, and competition is a discourse trap. The U.S. demands cooperation when it is in need of China, but in areas where it thinks it has an advantage, it decouples and cuts off supplies, blocks and sanctions, and is willing to clash and confront China in order to contain it.”

– Xie Feng “also presented two lists to the U.S. side, a list of 16 items requesting the U.S. side to correct its wrong policies and words and deeds toward China, and a list of 10 priority cases of China’s concern (…) if these anti-China issues caused by the U.S. side’s bent are not resolved, what is there to talk about between China and the U.S.?”

– And then, the sorbet to go with the cheesecake: Wang Yi’s three bottom lines to Washington. In a nutshell:

1. “The United States must not challenge, denigrate or even attempt to subvert the socialist road and system with Chinese characteristics. China’s road and system are the choice of history and the choice of the people, and they concern the long-term welfare of 1.4 billion Chinese people and the future destiny of the Chinese nation, which is the core interest that China must adhere to.”

2. “The United States must not try to obstruct or even interrupt China’s development process. The Chinese people certainly have the right to a better life, and China also has the right to modernization, which is not the monopoly of the United States and involves the basic conscience of mankind and international justice. China urges the U.S. side to expeditiously lift all unilateral sanctions, high tariffs, long-arm jurisdiction and the science and technology blockade imposed on China.”

3. “The United States must not infringe on China’s national sovereignty, let alone undermine China’s territorial integrity. The issues related to Xinjiang, Tibet and Hong Kong are never about human rights or democracy, but rather about the major rights and wrongs of fighting against “Xinjiang independence”, “Tibet independence” and “Hong Kong independence”. No country will allow its sovereign security to be compromised. As for the Taiwan issue, it is a top priority (…) If “Taiwan independence” dares to provoke, China has the right to take any means needed to stop it.”

Will the Empire of Chaos register all of the above? Of course not. So the inexorable imperial rot will go on, a tawdry affair carrying no dramatic, aesthetic pathos worthy of a Gotterdammerung, barely eliciting even a glance from the Gods, “where they smile in secret, looking over wasted lands / Blight and famine, plague and earthquake, roaring deeps and fiery sands, / Clanging fights, and flaming towns, and sinking ships, and praying hands”, as Tennyson immortalized it.

Yet what really matters, in our realpolitik realm, is that Beijing doesn’t even care. The point has been made: “The Chinese have long had enough of American arrogance, and the time when the U.S. tried to bully the Chinese is long gone.”

Now that’s the start of a brave new geopolitical world – and a prequel to an imperial requiem. Many a sequel will follow.

Iranian analyst on Tehran’s efforts in post-US Afghanistan & role of Taliban

July 28, 2021

Iranian analyst on Tehran’s efforts in post-US Afghanistan & role of Taliban

http://middleeastobserver.net/iranian-analyst-on-irans-efforts-in-afghanistan-role-of-taliban/

Description:
In a political talk show appearance on RT Arabic earlier this month, Iranian political analyst Amir al-Moussawi commented on Iran’s stance towards the US army’s withdrawal from neighboring Afghanistan, and concerns surrounding the potential threat posed by the Taliban towards Kabul and the wider region.

Al-Moussawi is the director of the Centre for Strategic and International Studies in Tehran.

Source: RT Arabic (YouTube) Date: July 9, 2021

(Please help MEO keep producing independent translations for you by contributing a sustainable monthly amount https://www.patreon.com/MiddleEastObserver?fan_landing=true)

Transcript:

Host:

Mr. Amir, regarding the plans being prepared by Iran, regardless of its deterrence capabilities against any threat, and you pointed out that the Fatemiyoun are present as a force that can oppose any threat. But what about Iran’s ability to protect Afghanistan from falling into a whirlpool of chaos? Can Iran use its cultural or religious common ground with Afghanistan, or other common ground, to prevent it from entering the tunnel of a civil war?

Amir Al-Moussawi, Director of the Centre for Strategic and International Studies:

I believe that the American project will fail in Afghanistan. They’re after strife, they’re looking to damage Iranian, Russian and Chinese national security, even India, and maybe Pakistan as well. This is why you have good communication today between these parties. Yesterday, the Indian Foreign Minister arrived in Tehran to conduct important negotiations; I believe there is good communication between Mr. Zarif and Mr. Lavrov, the same goes with the Pakistanis and the Chinese as well.

I believe that there is a strong, resilient front in the region today, regionally speaking. As for the domestic scene, I don’t believe that the Taliban are as strong as they used to be. The Afghan people felt a type of freedom after the fall of the Taliban, and cannot withstand a stringent rule as that of the Taliban’s in the country (once again). There are also very strong forces, as you’ve said, in western Afghanistan.

So the Taliban must come to an agreement and form a national unity government, and Iran will push matters in that direction and encourage different parties to come to an understanding. Because I believe that no one will accept, regionally speaking at the very least…the US may be out to constantly create strife in the region because it has criminal objectives against China, against Iran, against Russia. I believe that the region is now in agreement, and the situation inside Afghanistan will not allow the Taliban to spread further.

Every side will accept its own share, its own reality, and a national unity government will be formed. This is what was agreed upon in Tehran. Iranian diplomacy will encourage this, and I believe that the government of President Rouhani will hand this matter over to Sayyed Raisi, who has formed an important and special committee tasked with Afghan affairs.

Of course we know very well that General Qa’ani, the leader of (IRGC’s) Quds Force, was specialized in Afghan matters during the days of Hajj Qassem, and so he is also present, and is helping bring together different sides in Afghanistan, not to mention the regional support (that exists).

I believe that everything will be under control, and will not devolve into a civil war, because things aren’t as the Americans see them, and even the Taliban can’t expand beyond their size.

Assad: Iran Is Key Partner to Syria, Coordination in War against Terrorism Gave Positive Results

 July 28, 2021

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President Bashar al-Assad received on Wednesday Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf, Speaker of the Islamic Shura Council and the accompanying delegation.

Talks during the meeting dealt with the close bilateral relations between the two countries and the standing constructive cooperation between them at various levels.

The two sides stressed the essential role played by the parliamentary institutions in Syria and Iran to open new horizons for bilateral cooperation, particularly in the economic field, not only in the government sector, but also activating cooperation between the private sector in both countries in a way that helps the two friendly peoples confront the economic war and the policy of blockade and sanctions imposed on them.

President al-Assad affirmed that Iran is a key partner for Syria and has stood by the Syrian people in the face of the terrorist war and provided them with support in all fields, pointing out that the coordination between the two countries in combating terrorism has given positive results on the ground and will continue until the liberation of all lands and the defeat of terrorist organizations.

In turn, Qalibaf considered that the recent election entitlements in Syria and Iran and the determination of the Syrian and Iranian peoples in fulfilling these entitlements prove the failure of the pressure policies that are being exerted against them, and stresses that no one can stand in against the people’s will.

SourceSANA

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Intelligence Forces Arrest Mossad Terrorist Network in Western Iran

July 27, 2021

Source

Intelligence Forces Arrest Mossad Terrorist Network in Western Iran
Intelligence Forces Arrest Mossad Terrorist Network in Western Iran

Iran’s Intelligence Ministry announced on Tuesday that a network of the members of the Zionist regime’s Spy Organization (Mossad) was arrested on the western border of the country.

Following the intelligence activities of the forces of Iran’s Intelligence Ministry, a network of members of the Zionist regime’s Spy Organization (Mossad) was arrested on the country’s western border, said Director-General of Counterintelligence of the ministry on Tuesday.

He added that a big haul of weapons and ammunition, including, pistols, grenades, Winchester rifles, shotguns and ammunition was also seized during this operation.

Stating that Mossad members intended to use the equipment during urban riots and assassinations, he said that during the elections days also, the Zionist regime repeatedly attempted to carry out acts of sabotage in different parts of the country that with the timely action of the forces of Iran’s Intelligence Ministry, their terrorist sabotages were thwarted.

How to Undermine a Diplomatic Triumph

About me

26 July 2021

by Lawrence Davidson

Part I—The Backstory

The true status of current negotiations to reinstate the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) with Iran is unknown to the American public—most of whom are tragically indifferent to the outcome. This is so even though the successful negotiation of this deal with Iran back in 2015 represents one of the greatest triumphs of diplomacy in the last hundred years. What we do know is this triumph was followed by tragedy—a premeditated tragedy—the sort of tragedy only fools can produce. But very few Americans care. That is the way it is with foreign policy. On the one hand, you can start wars to great public acclaim, and on the other, you can destroy hard-won diplomatic achievements almost without public notice. 

At the end of President Obama’s term of office (January 2017) the JCPOA was complete and in force. In exchange for a lifting of “nuclear-related sanctions,” Iran undertook not to pursue research that might allow her to develop nuclear weapons. Up until May of 2018 “Iran’s compliance has been repeatedly verified by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), which oversees the most intrusive inspections regime ever negotiated.” It was in May of 2018 that Donald Trump, perhaps the most despicable human being to hold the presidency since Andrew Jackson, withdrew from the JCPOA, apparently for two reasons: (1) was the treaty was completed by Obama and Trump wanted to destroy the achievements of his non-white predecessor, and (2) Trump thought he could bully the Iranians into a “better deal.” It is important to note that the other signatories to the treaty did not initially follow Trump’s lead. “The leaders of France, the United Kingdom, and Germany issued a joint statement on behalf of their countries that reemphasized their support for the deal and its importance to the nonproliferation regime.” The United Nations expressed “deep concern” over Trump’s decision and released a statement in support of the JCPOA. Russia’s Foreign Ministry also reiterated its support for the JCPOA, and further stated that “U.S. actions compromise international trust in the IAEA.”

How did the Iranians react to Trump’s withdrawal from the treaty and reimposition of harsh sanctions? At first, Tehran suggested that if the other signatories to the agreement would remain loyal to their obligations, Iran too would keep to the treaty. Unfortunately, most of the European nations involved would soon succumb to U.S. economic pressure and cease to hold to their obligations. Nonetheless, it was not until a year following Trump’s irresponsible act that Iran announced that “The Islamic Republic of Iran in reaction to the exit of America from the nuclear deal and the bad promises of European countries in carrying out their obligations will restart a part of the nuclear activities which were stopped under the framework of the nuclear deal.” Even while the Iranian government took this position, it insisted that if at any time the United States returned to the treaty and removed all nuclear-related sanctions, Iran too would return to its obligations. Tehran even suggested a process whereby the U.S. and Iran would take simultaneous steps to that end. 

Everyone but Trump devotees, Israel and its supporters, and those Iranian exiles who would like to see the return of the country’s monarchy recognized that the U.S. withdrawal from the JCPOA had been a mistake. Accordingly, in the campaign run-up to the 2020 presidential election in the U.S., the Democratic candidate, Joe Biden, promised that upon election he would rejoin the treaty if Iran returned to compliance as well. 

Biden did win, but he has not yet fulfilled his promise. Instead, he entered an extended period of negotiations that is still ongoing. At first it was said that these were about “who goes first” when it comes to returning to requirements of the treaty. Was Iran to give up the small steps in nuclear enrichment since the Trump withdrawal, or was the U.S. going to go first in removing the draconian sanctions placed on Iran by the Trump administration? It was Iran who realized the childish nature of this question and offered a simultaneous return to the compliance mentioned above. While the Biden administration rejected this offer, it has been reported that now both sides are working toward “simultaneous, sequential steps” back to requirements of the treaty. 


Part II—Misleading the American Public


In the meantime, the Biden administration has been releasing misinformation to the public. For instance, Biden has insisted that sanctions relief depends on Iran “returning to compliance.” But, of course, for anyone familiar with the relevant events, it was Washington that broke the treaty and needed to return to compliance. Any subsequent Iranian actions following Trump’s folly were, and still are, perfectly legal under the terms of the JCPOA. Joe Biden can continue to justify draconian economic sanctions in this way—sanctions that are ruining the lives of millions—only because he is addressing an ignorant American audience. 

When Iran failed to be bullied, Biden’s diplomats adopted a “shift the blame” tactic. In May 2021, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said “Iran, I think, knows what it needs to do to come back into compliance on the nuclear side, and what we haven’t yet seen is whether Iran is ready and willing to make a decision to do what it has to do. That’s the test and we don’t yet have an answer.” Translation: the American people should know that we, the Biden administration, are trying, but those Iranians seem to be too thick-headed to do what is necessary. So if the whole thing fails, it is their fault and not ours. 

Blinken went on, “If both sides can return to the original deal, then we can use that as a foundation both to look at how to make the deal itself potentially longer and stronger—and also [to] engage on these other issues, whether it’s Iran’s support for terrorism [or] its destabilizing support for different proxies throughout the Middle East.”

That scenario will not encourage the Iranians. They have repeatedly stated that the JCPOA, and the present negotiations, are about two things: sanctions and the scope of nuclear development. It is not about Iranian foreign policy, which has been so blandly assumed to be “terrorism” by both Trump and Biden. If Mr. Blinken keeps tagging on these extras, we will still be running in circles come Christmas.   

What is the diplomatic aim of the Biden administration? Is it to pursue the Democrats’ traditional, and bankrupt, aim of sounding as tough on foreign policy as the Republicans? That irrelevant goal (remember most Americans don’t care about foreign policy) would not be surprising coming from a professional Democratic politician of Joe Biden’s generation. However, after all the work that has gone into the JCPOA and all the suffering endured by the Iranian population due to brutal U.S. sanctions, such a petty motive reflects the mentality of a street gang competing with rivals, rather than the peaceful ends of an alleged civilized society. 

With statements like this, Secretary of State Blinken transforms himself into someone we might mistake for a

Fox News TV anchor. It would seem that many who pride themselves on eschewing Fox’s lies are ready to swallow whole Mr. Blinken’s bunk. 

Part III—An Israeli Connection?

We know that ex-Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu and ex-President Trump were in agreement on Iran policy. In this regard, all the yelling and screaming about Iran’s nuclear program carried on by both men hid their real goal. Particularly for Netanyahu, the hyperbole was aimed at creating a “credible reason” to force regime change in Iran, even if it meant a U.S. invasion. Essentially, the model here was Iraq. Netanyahu was ready to pursue this end till the last dying American soldier. Obviously, the JCPOA was a major obstacle in that path. So was Barack Obama, who thought he was helping Israel and the world in general by negotiating the treaty. 

Now Netanyahu and Trump are gone from office. However, why should we believe that the new Israeli government has changed the ultimate goal? And why should we believe that Joe Biden—who is, as he never fails to remind us, an “ironclad” Zionist—will really follow in Obama’s footsteps?

In June, Israel sent some of its highest-ranking leaders to see Biden. These included Israeli President Reuven Rivlin and Defense Minister Benny Gantz. Both meetings were basically about Iran. “Iran will never get a nuclear weapon on my watch,” Biden told Rivlin. This was billed as a “stark warning” to Iran—a country which has, for religious as well as other reasons, disavowed the desire for such a weapon. How many Americans know this? Does President Biden know this?

Many scholars and other experts in Middle East policy believe that “Mr. Biden’s calculations are rooted in a different era of American-Israeli relations—when Israel’s security concerns commanded far more attention than Palestinian grievances.” This is true. But there is a more personal connection. Biden personally identifies with Israel like no other U.S. president since Lyndon Johnson. He collects yarmulkes and is reported to have knelt down in an impromptu “show of respect” after learning that Rivka Ravitz, President Rivlin’s Orthodox chief of staff, was the mother of 12 children. The Israeli Orthodox Jews often have such large families out of fear of a “demographic holocaust”—that is, the consequences of the Palestinians’ much higher birth rate than that of most Israeli Jews. Finally, Biden has completely accepted the highly debatable notion that world Jewry, many of whom are not Zionists, cannot be safe apart from the existence of Israel. 

Those same experts also believe that, when it comes to Israel, President Biden’s approach has much to do with domestic politics. Thus, getting back to the JCPOA is less important than catering to the desires of the Israel Lobby. This only makes sense for a politician born and bred to the power of that lobby.

Part IV—Conclusion


The U.S. and Israeli leaders are suffering from a group-think environment and tunnel vision, all shaped in good part by political pressure generated by dominant special interests.  At least in this instance, one cannot say the same for the Iranians who, though led by a rigid religious elite, broke through their tunnel vision and joined the JCPOA treaty. The present stalemate is the work of American ideologues tied hand and foot to a major U.S. lobby. 

Outside the tunnel one can see the obvious answer to the present stalemate. Having been polite and empathetic toward Rivlin and Gantz, Joe Biden should ask over to the Oval Office an outsider, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. At the end of June Guterres said, “I appeal to the United States to lift or waive its sanctions outlined in the plan.” He also appealed to Iran to return to full implementation of the deal. Right from the beginning of Biden’s election, the Iranians have been willing to follow Guterres’s lead. It is Biden who has temporized while being encouraged by his confidants from Jerusalem. 

Putin: We Can Carry Out Unpreventable Strikes Against Any Enemy

Jul 25, 2021

Source: Al Mayadeen Net

By Al Mayadeen Net

On the Russian Navy Day, Russian President Vladimir Putin stresses that his country is capable of discovering and striking any naval target.

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Putin participates in inspecting the course of the military parade (Sputnik)

Russian President Vladimir Putin has declared that the Russian Navy can detect any enemy and, if necessary, carry out an unpreventable strike against it.

On the occasion of the Navy Day, Putin said at a grand naval parade in St. Petersburg on the Baltic Sea, “Today, the Russian Navy has everything it needs to guarantee the protection of our Motherland and our national interests. We can detect any underwater, surface, or airborne enemy and carry out an unpreventable strike against it, if necessary.”

Noting that the Russian Navy possesses now powerful ships in the global oceans, and nuclear-powered missile submarines, he stressed: “We have effective long-range and short-range naval aviation, reliable coastal defense systems, the latest hypersonic high-precision weapons systems that still have no analogs in the world, which we are constantly and successfully improving.”

Putin added that “The naval presence of Russia is ensured in almost all regions of the World Ocean, and the watch in the northern and southern latitudes is carried out by the faithful heirs of the naval military glory.”

325th Anniversary of #Russian Navy.#INS Tabar is part of the mobile column being reviewed by President of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Putin. #RussianNavy #IndianNavy pic.twitter.com/9Ce6Nzysci— Shivani Sharma (@shivanipost) July 25, 2021

On the Russian Navy Day on July 25 of each year, the Commander of the Armed Forces, President Vladimir Putin, participates in the main naval parade in the waters of the Neva River in Saint Petersburg.

Around 4,000 sailors, more than 50 ships, boats, and submarines, as well as 48 combat aircraft and helicopters from naval aviation will participate in the parade.

Also partaking in the naval military parade are naval vessels from several European and Asian countries, including India, France, Iran, and Pakistan.

Before the start of the main part of the parade, the head of state inspected the course of the warships’ parade in the waters of the Gulf of Finland and on the Kronstadt waterway on the coast guard boat. Putin also congratulated the crew on the day of the Russian Navy, which celebrates its 325th anniversary today. 

Cleric politician calls on Raisi to follow long-term strategic ties with neighbors

24 July 2021 

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Cleric politician calls on Raisi to follow long-term strategic ties with neighbors. A member of the Expediency Council has called on the incoming administration of Ebrahim Raisi to establish long-term strategic ties with neighbors and countries which are not influenced by the United States’ anti-Iran position.

TEHRAN (Iran News) – Cleric politician calls on Raisi to follow long-term strategic ties with neighbors. A member of the Expediency Council has called on the incoming administration of Ebrahim Raisi to establish long-term strategic ties with neighbors and countries which are not influenced by the United States’ anti-Iran position.

Gholamreza Mesbahi Moqaddam also said “the foreign policy of the Islamic Republic of Iran is set by the Supreme National Security Council” and the president is chairman of the council and a change in government will not lead to a shift in foreign policy.

“Of Course,” the cleric politician remarked, “approaches are different. Certain approaches are resistant in the face of global arrogance and some are flexible.”

On his prediction of the foreign policy of the Raisi government, he told IRNA,  “My prediction of the approach of the government of Seyyed Ebrahim Raisi is resistance against global arrogance.”

Noting that a “balanced approach” and not a cut of ties with countries is favorable, Mesbahi Moqaddam said such an approach has presented Iran to the world as an independent country which acts based on its interests.

The Expediency Council member also said his prediction is that the United States will not lift all sanctions against Iran even if the 2015 nuclear deal is revived.

The Americans will not lift all sanctions because they consider sanctions as a “pressure tool” to follow their policies against Iran, noted the cleric politician.

Iran and the remaining parties to the nuclear deal, officially called the JCPOA, have been holding sixth round of talks. The last round ended on June 20.

The U.S. is participating in the talks indirectly. Iran has said it will not talk directly to the U.S. until Washington rejoins the agreement and recommit itself to the legally binding agreement.

Iran’s chief negotiator Abbas Araqchi has said the next Iranian government will continue the talks.

“It is clear that the Vienna talks must wait for a new administration in Iran. This is a requirement of any democracy,” Araqchi tweeted on July 17.

He added, “We are in a period of transition and a democratic transfer of power is taking place in Tehran.”

Raisi will be sworn in as president on August 5.

There is still no official word about Raisi’s choice for the post of foreign minister and his foreign policy team.

Related

Does Resisting “Israel” and the US Benefit People of the Region?

22 Jul 21

Source: Al Mayadeen

Nassim Mansour

To address this issue, we need to breakdown a few key concepts to understand the interests of both the people and the governments in the region.

Does Resisting
Does Resisting “Israel” and the US Benefit People of the Region?

The answer to this question is the core focus in the ongoing media war between the Resistance Axis and the American-led Axis in the region.  All the countries that are within the Resistance Axis are facing dire economic difficulties, social divisions, and security issues (Palestine, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Iran, and Yemen). At a first glance, without digging too deep, one might ask that indeed, why not just make peace with “Israel” and the US and end all the chaos? Wouldn’t making peace end all the sanctions and economic pressure and make everyone’s lives easier? These are valid questions that young people in particular ask. To address this issue, we need to breakdown a few key concepts to understand the interests of both the people and the governments in the region.

Relationship between the West and the region

Let’s go back 100 years ago. The Ottoman empire that ruled the region for around 500 years was crumbling. This took place during the second industrial revolution in Europe. Cars, airplanes, ships, electricity, gas, oil, and communication systems were being created. The end of the Ottoman Empire led to the split of the region between France and Britain with the Sykes-Picot agreement. These events prevented various countries in the Middle East from engaging in the industrial revolution as their own independent nations. The owners of the technologies and the infrastructure builders were mainly France and Britain. They viewed the region as an investment for their own projects and a market for their industries. They built most of the region and became the main providers of various technological products. After World War 2, the Israeli entity was created by Western powers to be used as a foothold to project their power and protect their interests. Fast forward to the cold war, the leadership of the region was transferred from Britain and France to the United States of America. This was ratified in the 50’s with the creation of ARAMCO (Arabian-American Oil Company) and the Mutual Defense Assistance Agreement with Saudi Arabia, the Consortium Agreement of 1954 with Iran, which gives American, British, and French oil companies 40% ownership of the nationalized oil industry after overthrowing Mohammed Mosaddegh that nationalized the Britain-owned Anglo-Persian Oil Company, and other similar type of deals across the region. The US became the main weapons provider for the armies in the region, including “Israel”. This was in exchange for natural resources and compliance with American national security interests. Because of “Israel’s” usurper nature and its history of instigating friction, the USA had to make sure that “Israel” always had the upper hand over the rest of its regional allies. As a result, “Israel” became the policeman of the region. As Joe Biden has said before; “If there were not an Israel, we would have to invent one to make sure our interests were preserved”. By that time, the first world was engaging in the third industrial revolution (electronics, telecommunications, and computers).

Our region never took part in these industrial revolutions, as it relied on importing products and technologies from abroad rather than producing them. The capital required to import products and technologies coming from the sale of natural resources. With all this in mind, we can conclude that the relationship between the Middle East and the West is a relationship of “the buyer and supplier”. The West supplies technology, products, and armament while the region provides natural resources in return. This relationship exposes the region to extortion as it is unable to survive without foreign technology and products because it doesn’t have the industries or the knowledge. The Middle East region completely depends on the Americans and their allies to function. 

The Iranian revolution and independence

A major change came into the region with the Iranian Islamic revolution coming into play. Iran became the first country to break free from the “buyer and supplier” relationship by engaging in a local industrial revolution across many sectors, with the military sector being the most important one. Having an indigenous military industry is the key to true independence. It allows countries to truly rely on themselves for their security instead of relying on foreign powers that always impose conditions which limits sovereignty. 

Iran today creates its own vehicles, weapons, medicine, robots, satellites, food, energy, along with various other resources. Iran reverse-engineered what it could, sent students abroad to study technology and return to Iran with full knowledge and capability. The entire nation is engaged in being self-built. Iran is in the process of creating its own civilization, just like the US, China, and Russia are also doing. Any nation that breaks free from its client-status and elevates itself to self-sufficiency is seen as a threat to the United States’ dominance over markets across the globe. It is the reason why the US views China and Russia as enemies. 

The regional resistance

Regional resistance groups such as Hamas, Hezbollah and the Iraqi Popular Mobilization Forces were created by locals in response to the foreign Israeli and American invaders. Naturally, the only country that could supply them with weapons is Iran since its weapons are locally produced and not under the jurisdiction of the US like the rest of region. They also have the same interests as Iran, which is to break free from the American-Israeli hegemony. The initial stage in these resistance groups is always “The Armed-Struggle” which is necessary to their survival. 

The next stage of the resistance is working towards a revolutionary approach to gain independence from the foreign imposed buyer and supplier system. This quest for independence directly clashes with American security and economic interests in the region and the world. Given the buyer and supplier relationship between the US and the countries in the region, it automatically puts those countries in a collision course with Iran and any group or country that is seeking independence. Syria was one of the very few Arab countries that had local civilian industries – and they got intentionally dismantled by the NATO-backed mercenaries during the war; especially in Aleppo where thousands of factories were lost. 

The interest of the people

With the previous concepts in mind, we understand that the ultimate interest of any nation should be working towards as much self-sufficiency as its capability (utilizing the available resources it has, and working with other nations that are seeking the same goals). This is how nations contribute to humanity, share their cultures, and limit foreign powers from deciding their fate. 

Seeking these goals however comes at a great cost: the people must be ready to face sanctions and possible military actions. To limit the effect of sanctions, all the nations of the region that decide to take this path would have to fully co-operate with each other; to share resources and support each other. The region has enough natural and human resources to become independent from foreigners. A lot of sacrifices have to be made, but this is the key to long-term development, security, and prosperity. 

Role of the media

The media plays a large part in influencing and educating people about their own interests, which people are often unaware of. To achieve this revolution for independence, the people need to understand why they’re resisting “Israel” and the United States. Apart from the humanitarian and religious reasons, the ultimate goal of this resistance is to start the process of civilization and nation-building. The goal of the American hegemony is to prevent the rise of nations that will become future competitors in the international arena. There is still a big lack of awareness on such important subjects because the region is engulfed in religious, tribal, and ethnic wars. 

A lot of work needs to be done to raise awareness and to unite people towards these goals, which are way beyond religious, humanitarian, and justice considerations. These are goals that can unite the multi ethnic and multi religious region. It is definitely in the best interest of the people of the region to resist “Israel” and the United States. Although the revolution will take a long time, and although it comes at a great cost; if the revolution is achieved, the final outcome will be the rise of the Middle East and North Africa as global competitors.   The opinions mentioned in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinion of Al mayadeen, but rather express the opinion of its writer exclusively.

بكين وصلت إلى دمشق.. ماذا بعد؟

22 تموز2021

المصدر: الميادين

أحمد الدرزي

حملت زيارة الصين إلى دمشق 3 أبعاد، فقد تم فيها دعوة دمشق إلى الدخول في مشروعها الكبير وبدأ العمل فيها على البنى التحتية الضرورية.

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كان واضحاً الحرص الصيني على الوصول إلى دمشق في تاريخ القسم الرئاسي نفسه، للدلالة على الدعم الكبير لها.

تعاطى السوريون مع قدوم وزير الخارجية الصيني في يوم القسم الرئاسي إلى سوريا، والذي حمل دلالات رمزية عميقة، بمشاعر متباينة بين التفاؤل والتشاؤم، وخصوصاً أن الوضع الاقتصادي ضاغط بشدة على القاعدة الأكبر منهم، التي تجاوزت 90% من مجموع السكان، فأي مسارات ستسلكها العلاقات بين البلدين؟ وما انعكاسها على الوضع السوري الداخلي والخارجي؟

لا يعدّ اهتمام قادة بكين بسوريا وليد اللحظة، إذ إنه يمتد إلى نهايات الألفية الثانية، مع صعود الصين التي بدأت نهضتها الحقيقية في العام 1978، بمجيء دينغ هسياو بينغ. وكان من المفترض أن تحصل قفزة كبيرة في العلاقة بين البلدين بعد زيارة الرئيس الأسد لبكين في العام 2004، ولكن المشاريع الاقتصادية التي كان من المفترض أن تقوم بها الأخيرة في مدينة عدرا العمالية تم إيقافها لأسباب غير معروفة.

مع مجيء تشي جينبينغ في العام 2013 إلى موقع الرئاسة في الصين، تم الإعلان عن مبادرة “الحزام والطريق” التي قُدّرت كلفتها بحدود 4 تريليون دولار. وكان اللافت للنظر هو استبعاد سوريا والعراق من المشروع، واعتبار شمال غرب إيران وجنوب شرق تركيا الممرَّ البري نحو أوروبا، واعتبار مرفأ حيفا في فلسطين المحتلة المرفأ المعتمد في شرق البحر الأبيض المتوسط. 

أخذت السياسات الصينية تُظهر نفسها على المستوى السياسي بعد إدراك قادة بكين أن القدرات الاقتصادية الهائلة التي أتاحت لهم بناء قدرة عسكرية دفاعية، تتيح لهم ترجمة ذلك، لتحويل الصين إلى قطب دولي موازٍ للقطب الأميركي الأوحد، ما دفع الرئيس جينبينغ إلى الإعلان عن اعتباره أن العالم أصبح متعدد الأقطاب، ولا عودة عن ذلك، وذلك من منبر الأمم المتحدة في العام 2015.

ارتفعت نبرة التحدي الصيني بعد مجيء الإدارة الأميركية الجديدة بقيادة بايدن، واعتبارها كلاً من الصين وروسيا تهديدين استراتيجيين للولايات المتحدة، ما دفع الرئيس الصيني إلى الإعلان عن أنَّ “زمن التنمّر على الصين ولَّى بلا رجعة”.

كما أحدث الانسحاب الأميركي غير المشروط من أفغانستان، وتركه الفوضى والاضطرابات من خلال سيطرة حركة “طالبان”، قلقاً لدى دول الجوار، ما دفع 40 دولة إلى عقد مؤتمر آسيا الوسطى والجنوبية في مدينة طشقند في أوزباكستان بتاريخ 15 تموز/يوليو الماضي، بعنوان لافت للنظر هو “الترابط الإقليمي، تحديات وفرص”.

وكان من الواضح من خلال طبيعة تحركات وزير الخارجية الصيني أنَّ القرار اتخذ بضرورة تأمين منطقة غرب آسيا، التي تشمل المنطقة الممتدة من أفغانستان إلى شرق البحر الأبيض المتوسط، وهو ما يقتضي بطبيعة الحال إخراج سوريا من منطقة الصراعات الدولية والإقليمية، فالتقى القوى الدولية والإقليمية المؤثرة في الملف السوري، ممثّلة بكل من وزيري خارجية روسيا سيرغي لافروف والمملكة العربية السعودية سعود الفرحان في اليوم الأول. وفِي اليوم الثاني، التقى وزير خارجية تركيا مولود جاويش أوغلو قبل التوجّه إلى دمشق.

كان واضحاً الحرص الصيني على الوصول إلى دمشق في تاريخ القسم الرئاسي، للدلالة على الدعم الكبير لها، وعلى أنّ بقاء الرئيس الأسد في سدة الحكم لم يكن سوى مظهر لنتائج الصراع الدولي والإقليمي وتحولاته الكبرى، وتأكيداً على دور الصين في المرحلة القادمة في تأمين الجغرافيا السورية كمنطقة آمنة، بالتعاون والتنسيق بشكل أساسي مع موسكو وطهران، وإشراك المملكة العربية السعودية التي تعتبر قاطرة دول الخليج، إضافة إلى مصر التي زارها في اليوم التالي، والتقى فيها الرئيس المصري عبد الفتاح السيسي، ومعالجة الدور التركي السلبي الذي لم يفِ بتعهداته لبكين بتسليم القيادات الإرهابية التركستانية، رغم الدعم الاقتصادي الصيني لها.

وكان لاتصال وزير الخارجية وانغ يي بوزير الخارجية الإيراني محمد جواد ظريف في اليوم الذي زار فيه دمشق دلالة كبيرة، وخصوصاً أن بيان وزارة الخارجية الصيني أعلن استعداد الصين للعمل مع إيران على مواجهة السياسات الأحادية والهيمنة، وهو ما يعني بالضرورة التوافق مع استراتيجيتها بإخراج الأميركيين من غرب آسيا بأكملها، وخصوصاً سوريا والعراق، ما يمهّد الطريق لدخول مبادرة “الحزام والطريق” إلى كل من العراق وسوريا ولبنان.

حملت الزيارة الصينية إلى دمشق 3 أبعاد، فقد تم فيها دعوة دمشق إلى الدخول في مشروعها الكبير، أسوةً ببقية الدول التي وافقت عليه، وبدأ العمل فيها على البنى التحتية الضرورية. 

وللتأكيد على ذلك، وقعت على اتفاقيات الاستثمار في كل مدينة عدرا الصناعية واللاذقية، وعلى إنشاء خط بري من الشمال إلى الجنوب، يربط دول الخليج العربي وشمال أفريقيا بتركيا وأوروبا، وبناء خط لسكك الحديد يربط مرفأ طرطوس بالعراق وإيران وباكستان والصين، إضافةً إلى الاستثمار في قطاع النفط والغاز، والجانب الآخر يتعلق بالمساعدات التي يمكن أن تقدمها إلى سوريا.

وقد توج ذلك بمبادرة للحل السياسي وفق قرارات الأمم المتحدة، مع الدعم الكبير لتصورات دمشق في أكثر القضايا، وخصوصاً ما يتعلق بالإدارة الذاتية والاحتلال التركي، عندما لمّحت المبادرة إلى “رفض جميع المخططات المحفزة على الانقسامات العرقية تحت ذريعة مكافحة الإرهاب”، إضافةً إلى شرط أساسي: “ينبغي دعم حل سياسي شامل وتصالحي للقضية السورية” بقيادة السوريين.

من الواضح أنَّ المساهمة الصينية في مساعدة سوريا اقتصادياً وسياسياً مرتبطة بتحقيق متطلبات أساسية، تتعلق بتغيير بيئة العمل الاقتصادي وتغيير التشريعات الاقتصادية، وهو ما تعهّد به الرئيس الأسد في خطاب القسم، عندما أكّد أن العمل في المرحلة القادمة سيكون على مكافحة الفساد وإصدار تشريعات اقتصادية جديدة.

أما الحلّ السياسي، فقد يذهب نحو مسار تشكيل منصّة للمعارضة السورية الداخلية بعنوان منصة دمشق، تكون مهمّتها الأساس إيجاد أرضية للحوار والتفاوض بين الطرفين في دمشق، وليس جنيف، وإنهاء دور المنصات التي تشكل امتدادات دولية وإقليمية.

بعد أن اختارت دمشق قرار التوجّه شرقاً، تطلَّب منها ذلك الشروع في تحقيق المتطلبات الثلاثة الآنفة الذكر، وهو ما ينتظره أغلب السوريين الذين طحنتهم الحرب، والذين يبحثون عن مخرج لاسترداد حياتهم السابقة واستعادة المناطق المحتلة في الشمال السوري وجنوبه، والبدء بإعادة إعمار ما تهدم على الصعيد الاجتماعي والاقتصادي، والّذي تعجز عنه الدولة السورية وحدها.  

Today’s Taliban May Be Truly ‘New’, and the Shift Could Transform the Middle East

Today 20/07/2021

Source: Al Mayadeen

Most significantly, rather than having a tunnel vision limited to the narrow territory of Kandahar, the new young Taliban leaders want to play the strategic ‘Great Game’.

There is a subtle breeze blowing; it is too soon to call it ‘a wind’.  But a striking change has – and is – occurring.  Is it enough?  We should be rightly cautious; yet the Taliban that I knew, as it first coalesced – the brainchild of General Hamid Gul of Pakistan’s Intelligence service – is not the Taliban of today.  Perhaps we need, too, to avoid being locked into stale narratives. Suhail Shaheen, their spokesman, made this point when he lamented the “propaganda launched against us”, and by which he implied that the world should admit that the Taliban has indeed changed.

Several of these shifts are breathtaking: The Taliban were a narrow Pashtun revanchist movement, wholly Gulliverised by rigid tribal law, and influenced by intolerant Saudi Salafism and Pakistani Islamism.

What do we see today? The Taliban is engaging in extensive diplomacy with Iran. Tehran, it seems, is no longer apostate, no longer an ideological and theological foe.  The Taliban now seek to mesh Iran into their wider strategic interests. And more extraordinary, the Afghan Shi’i Hazaras – originally slaughtered and fearfully repressed by the Taliban – are now a component of the Taliban!  Then there is now also a ‘Tajik Taliban’, whereas before, the Taliban were a sworn enemy to the northern (mostly Tajik) forces of Ahmad Shah Massoud. Today’s Taliban is no longer a simple instrument of Pashtun hegemony – maybe up to 30% are Tajik, Uzbek, or Hazara. In other words, the kernel of inclusion is already in the soil.

Most significantly, rather than having a tunnel vision limited to the narrow territory of Kandahar, the new young Taliban leaders want to play the strategic ‘Great Game’. Their vision has broadened. They are saying as such, very forcibly to Moscow and Tehran: They will be inclusive; they will try to avoid major bloodshed, and they look to Moscow and Tehran as mediators for a new Afghan dispensation.  And there is something more: Saudi and Pakistan formerly controlled the money spigot. Now it is China.  For several years now, the Taliban has cultivated China – and China has cultivated the Taliban.

But we must keep our feet on the ground.  The Taliban is not autonomous. Both India and Pakistan wield weight in it, and the narco-gangs (the legacy of the CIA’s ill-considered earlier attempts to buy prominent Afghan warlords) may act as spoilers.

But the point here – aside from the caveats above – is, is this enough?  Enough for what? Enough to see the US out of the region, that is. There is here, a marked and unusual, constellation of interests.  All the principal actors want the US gone from the region.

It is not geo-strategic high science to understand that America’s withdrawal from Iraq and Syria will be contingent on what now happens in Afghanistan. If there is an unholy mess after August 31st, further US withdrawals from the region will become hugely more problematic in terms of domestic US opposition.  It is in the interest of the Taliban – as much as of Russia, Iran, and China – that Afghanistan does not now humiliate Biden through a descent into (very possible) bloody civil war.

A tough ‘ask’, but as Pepe Escobar points out, the SCO heavyweights, China and Russia, will be joined on July 14 in Dushanbe, by four Central Asian ‘stans’, plus India and Pakistan (Afghanistan and Iran attend as observers).

Wang Yi and Lavrov likely will tell Ghani’s FM, “in no uncertain terms, that there’s got to be a national reconciliation deal, with no American interference, and that the deal must include the end of the opium-heroin ratline”.  (Russia already has pocketed a firm promise from the Taliban that jihadism won’t be allowed to fester.  The endgame: loads of productive investment, Afghanistan is incorporated to Belt and Road and – later on – to the Eurasia Economic Union (EAEU).

Why should the Taliban agree?  Well, they can be the facilitators of an American wider withdrawal (or, its’ spoiler). But, if they are patient – and agree to wait until US attention has moved on – they can allow Ghani to fall some months later – all in good time.  The Taliban might claim then to be the vanguard to a new more sophisticated, more inclusive Sunni Islamism that is aligned with a major Belt and Road infrastructure project.

How did this happen?  Professor Rabbani just might be smiling from his grave.  It seems the ‘new’ Taliban may have taken the Tajik leader’s political clothing.The opinions mentioned in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinion of Al mayadeen, but rather express the opinion of its writer exclusively.

President Bashar Assad Takes the Oath for a New Presidential Term

 ARABI SOURI 

Syrian President Bashar Assad taking the oath

President Bashar Assad took the constitutional oath for a new presidential term yesterday, 17 July 2021, at the Syrian People’s Palace – the Presidential Palace in a highly ceremonial style and delivered one of his most direct speeches yet leaving no room for ambiguity in regards to the complete liberation of the country from NATO powers, Israel, and their proxies of Al Qaeda and the Kurdish SDF terrorists.

Syrian President Bashar Assad took the oath in attendance of dignitaries of the Syrian people, top state officials, army officers, members of the parliament, tribal notables, prominent artists of all arts, and intellectuals.

The ceremony started with the arrival of the president’s humble motorcade to the Presidential Palace to be received by the Guards of Honor walking him to the gates of the palace where he was received by the Syrian orchestra and then into the large hall with attendees jumping on their feet cheering their leader of victory over the most vicious and longest war of terror and war of attrition spearheaded by the world’s superpowers and super-rich countries resorting to all sorts of unthinkable massacres, genocide, displacement, and terrorism carried out directly by tens of thousands of terrorists on the ground and both directly and indirectly by the sponsors of the terror, the NATO member states.

For the full speech in Arabic visit SANA page.

Syrian President Bashar Assad taking the oath

President Assad was received at the podium by the Speaker of the Parliament who invited him to take the oath and declared the beginning of the new presidential term, the Syrian presidential term is for 7 years, after which, President Assad delivered his inaugural speech.

In his one hour speech, which was interrupted several times by the enthusiastic audiences delivering short poems, praises, and blessings to their leader, President Bashar Assad outlined his new term’s strategy in all fields starting with continuing to liberate all of Syria and maintain its unity, sovereignty, and territorial integrity, the liberation of all of the recognized Syrian territories including Idlib province, the last stronghold of Al Qaeda in Syria, Hasakah, Deir Ezzor, and Raqqa provinces where US troops and their Kurdish SDF separatist terrorists occupy parts of those provinces, and of course, the Golan.

President Assad emphasized on the unity of the Syrian people of their rich ethnicities, religions, sects, and cultures, he stated that Arabism does not eliminate other cultures rather unites them under the leading culture on the one united land of Syria, in the oath itself, the President swore to work for the unity of all the Arab nation, that means all the Arab world who share the same language, lifestyle, culture, tradition, history, and have shared aspirations and future.

The Syrian President stressed on economic challenges due to the regions that remain under occupation especially in the northeast of the country where Syria’s main food and oil comes from, the western blockade against the country, and the inaccessibility of the foreign currencies held by the Lebanese banks with an estimate of 40 to 60 billion dollars owned by Syrian businessmen who moved most of it into the neighboring country during the early days of the war on Syria for protection and to facilitate trade with the world.

President Assad highlighted the achievements of the Syrian industrialists who remained in the country during the difficult years of the war and continued to work, those who resumed working after their cities were liberated from the terrorists, and those who founded new businesses with thousands of new factories and tens of thousands of workshops all over the country. The need to solve the electrical power shortages was also mentioned by the Syrian president where he called on more investments in alternative energy sources even when the main Syrian oil and gas fields are liberated and restored, he mentioned a recent solar power project that was started in the past week in the Industrial City of Adra as a PPP (public-private partnership) with the initiative from the state and with the contribution of several private investors, the project will be generating 100 Megawatts enough to cover the industrial city’s needs which will allow the now used electrical power to be available back to the grid in order to lessen the hours of the power rationing.

The Syrian president called on those who chose to fight against their own state to drop their weapons and join the reconciliation and return to their normal lives and help rebuild their country offering amnesty and reminding that the most generous were the families of the martyrs who forgave the killers of their loved ones in order to turn a page on this ruthless war, there’s no future for those fighting the state except more bloodshed and inevitable victory of the people over terrorism and the international sponsors of terrorism. He called on the displaced abroad to return to their country which needs them and they need it.

President Bashar Assad thanked Russia, China, Iran, and other countries and parties who stood beside Syria politically, militarily, and economically which helped the Syrian people in their fight and victory.

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New Great Game gets back to basics

New Great Game gets back to basics

July 13, 2021

Russia-China-Iran alliance is taking Afghanistan’s bull by the horns

By Pepe Escobar with permission and first posted at Asia Times

The Great Game: This lithograph by British Lieutenant James Rattray shows Shah Shuja in 1839 after his enthronement as Emir of Afghanistan in the Bala Hissar (fort) of Kabul. Rattray wrote: ‘A year later the sanctity of the scene was bloodily violated: Shah Shuja was murdered.’ Photo: Wikipedia

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi is on a Central Asian loop all through the week. He’s visiting Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. The last two are full members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, founded 20 years ago.

The SCO heavyweights are of course China and Russia. They are joined by four Central Asian “stans” (all but Turkmenistan), India and Pakistan. Crucially, Afghanistan and Iran are observers, alongside Belarus and Mongolia.

And that leads us to what’s happening this Wednesday in Dushanbe, the Tajik capital. The SCO will hold a 3 in 1: meetings of the Council of Foreign Ministers, the SCO-Afghanistan Contact Group, and a conference titled “Central and South Asia: Regional Connectivity, Challenges and Opportunities.”

At the same table, then, we will have Wang Yi, his very close strategic partner Sergey Lavrov and, most importantly, Afghan Foreign Minister Mohammad Haneef Atmar. They’ll be debating trials and tribulations after the hegemon’s withdrawal and the miserable collapse of the myth of NATO “stabilizing” Afghanistan.

Let’s game a possible scenario: Wang Yi and Lavrov tell Atmar, in no uncertain terms, that there’s got to be a national reconciliation deal with the Taliban, brokered by Russia-China, with no American interference, including the end of the opium-heroin ratline.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi chats with guests after the opening ceremony of the Lanting Forum in Beijing on June 25. Photo: AFP / Jade Gao

Russia-China extract from the Taliban a firm promise that jihadism won’t be allowed to fester. The endgame: loads of productive investment, Afghanistan is incorporated to Belt and Road and – later on – to the Eurasia Economic Union (EAEU).

The SCO’s joint statement on Wednesday will be particularly enlightening, perhaps detailing how the organization plans to coordinate a de facto Afghan peace process farther down the road.

In this scenario, the SCO now has the chance to implement what it has been actively discussing for years: that only an Asian solution to the Afghan drama applies.

Sun Zhuangzhi, executive director of the Chinese Research Center of the SCO, sums it all up: the organization is capable of coming up with a plan mixing political stability, economic and security development and a road map for infrastructure development projects.

The Taliban agree. Spokesman Suhail Shaheen has stressed, “China is a friendly country that we welcome for reconstruction and developing Afghanistan.”

On the Silk Road again


After economic connectivity, another SCO motto encouraged by Beijing since the early 2000s is the necessity to fight the “three evils”: terrorism, separatism and extremism. All SCO members are very much aware of jihadi metastases threatening Central Asia – from ISIS-Khorasan to shady Uighur factions currently fighting in Idlib in Syria, as well as the (fading) Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU).

The Taliban is a way more complex case. It’s still branded as a terrorist organization by Moscow. Yet on the new, fast-evolving chessboard, both Moscow and Beijing know the importance of engaging the Taliban in high-stakes diplomacy.

Taliban fighters have taken large swathes of Afghanistan in the past two weeks. Photo: AFP / Aref Karimi

Wang Yi has already impressed upon Islamabad – Pakistan is a SCO member – the need to set up a trilateral mechanism, with Beijing and Kabul, to advance a feasible political solution to Afghanistan while managing the security front.

Building blocks include the deal struck between China Telecom and Afghan Telecom already in 2017 to build a Kashgar-Faizabad fiber optic cable system and then expand it toward a China-Kyrgyzstan-Tajikistan-Afghanistan Silk Road system.

Directly connected is the deal signed in February among Islamabad, Kabul and Tashkent to build a railway that in fact may establish Afghanistan as a key crossroads between Central and South Asia. Call it the SCO corridor.

Here, from China’s point of view, it’s all about the multi-layered China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), to which Beijing plans to incorporate Kabul. Here is a detailed CPEC progress update.

All of the above was solidified by a crucial trilateral meeting last month among China-Pakistan-Afghanistan Foreign Ministers. Team Ghani in Kabul renewed its interest in being connected to Belt and Road – which translates in practice into an expanded CPEC. The Taliban said exactly the same thing last week.

Afghanistan in trade connectivity with CPEC and a key node of the New Silk Roads could not make more sense – even historically, as Afghanistan was always embedded in the ancient Silk Roads. Crossroads Afghanistan is the missing link in the connectivity equation between China and Central Asia. The devil, of course, will be in the details.

Wang Yi knows very well that jihadism is bound to target CPEC. Not Afghanistan’s Taliban, though. And not the Pakistani Taliban (TTP), as quite a few CPEC projects (fiber optics, for instance) will improve infrastructure in Peshawar and environs.

The Iranian equation


Then, to the West, there’s the Iranian equation. The recently solidified Iran-China strategic partnership may eventually lead to closer integration, with CPEC expanded to Afghanistan. The Taliban are keenly aware of it. As part of their current diplomatic offensive, they have been to Tehran and made all the right noises towards a political solution.

Their joint statement with Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif privileges negotiations with Kabul. The Taliban commit to refrain from attacking civilians, schools, mosques, hospitals and NGOs.

Tehran – an observer at the SCO and on the way to becoming a full member – is actively talking to all Afghan actors. No fewer than four delegations were visiting last week. The head of Kabul’s team was former Afghan Vice President Yunus Qanooni (a former warlord, as well), while the Taliban were led by Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanikzai, who commands their political office in Doha. This all implies serious business.

There are already 780,000 registered Afghan refugees in Iran, living in refugee villages along the border and not allowed to settle in major cities. But there are also at least 2.5 million illegals. No wonder Tehran needs to pay attention. Zarif once again is in total synch with Lavrov – and with Wang Yi, for that matter: a non-stop war of attrition between the Kabul government and the Taliban could lead only to “unfavorable” consequences.

The question, for Tehran, revolves around the ideal framework for negotiations. That would point to the SCO. After all, Iran has not participated in the snail-paced Doha mechanism for over two years now.

Aerial view of Mashhad. Photo: Wikipedia

A debate is raging in Tehran on how to deal practically with the new Afghan equation. As I saw for myself in Mashhad less than three years ago, migration from Afghanistan – this time from skilled workers fleeing the Taliban advance – may actually help the Iranian economy.

The director general of the West Asia desk at Iran’s Foreign Ministry, Rasoul Mousavi, goes straight to the point: “The Taliban yield” to the Afghan people. “They are not separated from Afghanistan’s traditional society, and they have always been part of it. Moreover, they have military power.”

On the ground in western Afghanistan, in Herat – linked by a very busy highway corridor across the border to Mashhad – things are more complicated. The Taliban now control most of Herat province, apart from two districts.

Yet the Taliban have already vowed, in diplomatic talks with China, Russia and Iran, that they are not planning to “invade” anyone – be it Iran or the Central Asian “stans.” Taliban spokesman Suhail Shaheen has been adamant that cross-border trade in different latitudes, from Islam Quilla (in Iran) to Torghundi (in Turkmenistan) and across northern Tajikistan will “remain open and functional.”

Legendary local warlord Ismail Khan, now in his mid-70s, and carrying an overloaded history of fighting the Taliban, has deployed militias to guard the city, the airport and its outskirts.

That non-withdrawal withdrawal


In a fast-evolving situation, the Taliban now control at least half of Afghanistan’s 400 districts and are “contesting” dozens of others. They are policing some key highways (you can’t go on the road from Kabul to Kandahar, for instance, and avoid Taliban checkpoints). They do not hold any major city, yet. At least 15 of 34 regional capitals – including strategic Mazar-i-Sharif – are encircled.

Afghan news media, always very lively, have started to ask some tough questions. Such as: ISIS/Daesh did not exist in Iraq before the 2003 US invasion and occupation. So how come ISIS-Khorasan emerged right under NATO’s noses?

Within the SCO, as diplomats told me, there’s ample suspicion that the US deep state agenda is to fuel the flames of imminent civil war in Afghanistan and then extend it to the Central Asian “stans,” complete with shady jihadi commandos mixed with Uighurs also destabilizing Xinjiang.

This being the case, the non-withdrawal withdrawal – what with all those remaining 18,000 Pentagon contractors/mercenaries, plus special forces and CIA black op types – would be a cover, allowing Washington a new narrative spin: the Kabul government has invited us to fight a “terrorist” re-emergence and prevent a spiral towards civil war.

The protracted endgame would read like win-win hybrid war for the deep state and its NATO arm.

Well, not so fast. The Taliban have warned all the “stans” in no uncertain terms about hosting US military bases. And even Hamid Karzai is on the record: enough with American interference.

All these scenarios will be discussed in detail this Wednesday in Dushanbe. As well as the bright part: the – now very feasible – future incorporation of Afghanistan to the New Silk Roads.

Back to the basics: Afghanistan returns, in style, to the heart of the 21st Century New Great Game.

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