من هو عبد الفتاح البرهان وما دوره في حرب اليمن واتفاق التطبيع؟

2021, 25 , تشرين اول

المصدر: الميادين نت

عبد الفتاح البرهان، القائد العسكري في السودان، يتردّد اسمه اليوم مع إعلانه حلَّ المجلس السيادي والحكومة، وفرضه حالة الطوارئ في البلاد. فمن هو؟ وما هي المناصب التي تقلّدها في حياته السياسية؟

'سنحرص على تنفيذ الاتفاق'
  • عبد الفتاح البرهان

يجسّد الفريق أول ركن عبد الفتاح البرهان، الذي أعلن اليوم الإثنين حلّ المؤسسات الانتقالية وحالة الطوارئ في السودان، عودةَ الحكم العسكري، وسط ترحيب من البعض، ورفض مطلق من آخرين ندّدوا بما وصفوه بأنه “انقلاب”.

ظهر البرهان اليوم الإثنين، عبر شاشة التلفزيون، في بزّته العسكرية. وأعلن، في نبرة حازمة، أنه يريد “تصحيح الثورة” التي أطاحت عمر البشير عام 2019. وأكّد إعفاء الوزراء ووكلاء الوزراء من مهماتهم، علماً بأن جزءاً كبيراً من هؤلاء اعتُقلوا منذ الفجر على أيدي قوى عسكرية.

في الشارع، يهتف متظاهرون ضده منذ أيام، رافضين “حكم العسكر”، لكن آخرين يطالبون بحكومة عسكرية، ويعتبرون أن الجيش هو المنقذ الذي سيحل كل مشاكل البلاد الاقتصادية والسياسية.

قبل إطاحة البشير، أدّى البرهان دوراً رئيساً بعيداً عن الأضواء في مشاركة السودان في التحالف العسكري الذي تقوده السعودية ضد اليمن، ثم أصبح في دائرة الضوء حين تولى قيادة المجلس العسكريّ الانتقالي في أعقاب إطاحة الرئيس السابق عمر البشير على يد الجيش، في 11 نيسان/أبريل 2019، في إثر تظاهرات حاشدة استمرت خمسة أشهر.

في 12 نيسان/أبريل، أدّى البرهان اليمين رئيساً للمجلس العسكري، الذي تولّى السلطة بعد البشير. تقلّد البرهان منصبه بعد أن تنازل الفريق أول ركن عوض بن عوف عن رئاسة المجلس العسكري بعد أقل من 24 ساعة من تسلّمه السلطة، تحت ضغط الشارع الذي كان ينظر إلى ابن عوف على أنه من داخل النظام، وحليف مقرّب من الرئيس السابق.

من الظلّ إلى المنصب الأول

تحوّل البرهان من شخصية تعمل في الظل إلى رئيس للبلاد بحكم الأمر الواقع. وقال عنه في حينه ضابطٌ في الجيش، طلب عدم الكشف عن هويته، إنه “ضابط رفيع المستوى في القوات المسلحة.. لم يكن يوماً تحت الأضواء كما هي الحال بالنسبة إلى ابن عوف (الذي كان وزيراً للدفاع) والفريق أول ركن كمال عبد المعروف (الذي كان رئيس أركان الجيش)”.

في آب/أغسطس 2019، وبعد عنف في الشارع ومفاوضات مع “ائتلاف قوى الحرية والتغيير”، الذي قاد الاحتجاجات الشعبية، وقّع المجلس العسكري اتفاقاً مع الائتلاف عُرِف بـ”الوثيقة الدستورية”، نصّ على مرحلة انتقالية يتقاسم خلالها المدنيون والعسكريون السلطة لقيادة البلاد نحو انتخابات وحكم مدني.

ترأّس البرهان، بموجب هذا الاتفاق، مجلسَ السيادة الذي كُلِّف الإشرافَ على إدارة المرحلة الانتقالية. ويتكوّن مجلس السيادة من 11 شخصاً: خمسة عسكريين يختارهم المجلس الانتقالي، وخمسة مدنيين يختارهم “تحالف قوى التغيير”، بالإضافة إلى مدني يتفق الجانبان على اختياره.

بعد سنتين من المرحلة الانتقالية، بات البرهان معتاداً على الأضواء، وبات يتصرف ويعامَل على أنه رئيس دولة، فلقد تلقى، الأربعاء الماضي، دعوةً إلى المشاركة في قمة بشأن ليبيا ستُعقَد في باريس في منتصف تشرين الثاني/نوفمبر. وهو يستقبل بانتظام المسؤولين والمبعوثين الأجانب الذين يزورون السودان.

يظهر، بصورة عامة، في بزّته العسكرية مع أوسمته، وغالباً برفقة نائب رئيس مجلس السيادة محمد حمدان دقلو، المعروف بـ “حميدتي”، وهو قائد قوات الدعم السريع المتهمة بقمع انتفاضة عام 2019.

علاقات بالخارج

خلال المفاوضات بين الجيش والمحتجين بشأن تركيبة الحكم، قام البرهان بزيارات لمصر والإمارات والسعودية. والأخيرتان من أبرز المانحين للسودان.

أمضى البرهان فترة من حياته المهنية ملحقاً عسكرياً لدى بكين. ويقول الضابط السوداني عن البرهان إنه “ضابط كبير يعرف كيف يقود قواته”، مضيفاً “ليست لديه ميول سياسية، إنه عسكري”.

وُلد البرهان عام 1960 في قرية قندتو شماليّ الخرطوم، ودرس في الكلية الحربية، ولاحقاً في مصر والأردن. وهو متزوج وأب لثلاثة أبناء. وكان قائداً لسلاح البر، قبل أن يعيّنه البشير في منصب المفتّش العام للجيش.

حرب اليمن

يشير محلّلون ووسائل إعلام سودانية إلى أن البرهان تولّى عملية تنسيق إرسال جنود سودانيين إلى اليمن في إطار “التحالف السعودي” في الحرب ضدّه.

أرسل البشير قوات سودانية إلى اليمن عام 2015 في إطار تحوّل رئيسي في السياسة الخارجية، شهد تخلّي الخرطوم عن علاقاتها المستمرة منذ عقود بإيران، عبر الانضمام إلى “التحالف” الذي تقوده الرياض.

وتقول ويلو بيردج، مؤلفة كتاب “الانتفاضات المدنية في السودان الحديث”، وأستاذة التاريخ في جامعة نيوكاسل، إن البرهان عمل عن كثب مع قوات الدعم السريع، بموجب تولّيه الملف اليمني، من دون أن تستبعد أن يكون دعم هذه المجموعة ساهم في إيصاله إلى السلطة.

عبد الفتاح البرهان و”إسرائيل”

أشارت وسائل إعلام إسرائيلية اليوم إلى أن التطورات في السودان “تمثل سبباً في قلق إسرائيل وإدارة جو بايدن، على حدّ سواء”، معلِّلة ذلك بأنه يعود إلى ترسيخ اتفاق التطبيع مع الخرطوم. 

وقالت إن “استمرار الاحتجاجات سيصعّب دفع عملية التطبيع قُدُماً في السودان، ويجب الأخذ في الحسبان أن رئيس حكومة السودان عبد الله حمدوك لم يكن هو من دفع إلى تطبيع العلاقات بإسرائيل، بل كانت القيادة العسكرية برئاسة عبد الفتاح البرهان”.

وفي السياق نفسه، انتقد مصدر إسرائيلي موقف واشنطن مما يجري في السودان، وقال لصحيفة “إسرائيل هيوم” إنه “في الوضع الحالي يفضّل دعم الجيش وقائده رئيس المجلس الانتقالي عبد الفتاح البرهان، لا رئيس الحكومة عبد الله حمدوك”.

يُشار، في هذا السياق، إلى أن البرهان قال، رداً على علاقته بـ “إسرائيل”، إنّ “لا عداء بين السودان وأيّ طائفة أو دين أو جهة”.

وأرجع عبد الفتاح البرهان توقيع حكومته اتفاقات “أبراهام” مع الولايات المتحدة و”إسرائيل” إلى “اقتناع الحكومة بأهمية نشر قيم التسامح والتعايش بين الشعوب، في مختلف أديانهم وأعراقهم”، بحسب الإذاعة الإسرائيلية.

وكان الرئيس الأميركي السابق دونالد ترامب أعلن، في تشرين الأول/أكتوبر الماضي، توصُّل السودان و”إسرائيل” إلى اتفاق من أجل تطبيع العلاقات بينهما.

وأدّت السعودية دوراً في دفع عملية التطبيع بين السودان و”إسرائيل”، عبر دفعها 335 مليون دولار إلى الولايات المتحدة من أجل تسريع تطبيع العلاقات بين الخرطوم و”تل أبيب”، بحسب ما ذكرت “ميدل إيست مونيتور”.

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Imam Khamenei: Palestine Index of Muslim Unity

25.10.2021

Imam Khamenei: Palestine Index of Muslim Unity

By Staff, Agencies

Leader of the Islamic Revolution His Eminence Imam Sayyed Ali Khamenei described the issue of Palestine as the main index of unity among the Islamic nations, saying if Muslim unity is realized, then the Palestinian issue will be resolved in the best way.

Imam Khamenei received the participants in the 35th International Islamic Unity Conference in Tehran on Sunday.

The meeting, also attended by the heads of the three branches of the Iranian government – judiciary, executive, and legislative – and a group of government officials, was held on the auspicious occasion of the birth anniversaries of Prophet Mohammad [PBUH] and Imam Sadiq [AS] at Imam Khomeini Hussainiyyah on Sunday morning.

“An indicator of Muslim unity is the issue of Palestine. If Muslim unity is realized, the issue of Palestine will be solved in the best way. Some Islamic governments committed a grave sin by normalizing relations with the usurping, despotic Zionist regime. They must repent and compensate,” Imam Khamenei emphasized at the meeting.

“On the auspicious birth anniversaries of the Great Prophet Muhammad and Imam Sadiq [PBUT], I congratulate the Islamic nation and the world’s free-thinking people and I send my greetings to the pure spirits of those who were martyred on the path of Islam,” His Eminence noted.

“The birth of the Prophet of Islam is in fact the beginning of a new era in humankind’s life. It’s an announcement that a new era of the divine will and divine favors for humankind have commenced,” Imam Khamenei stated.

“In any period of time, it is the believers’ duty to look at what situation they are in, what the religion expects of them, and what mission has been assigned to them. In this era, acting duly based on Islam’s comprehensiveness and the issue of Islamic unity appear to be very important,” His Eminence said.

“Islam is an all-inclusive religion. One must act according to this all-inclusiveness. Worldly political powers insistently try to limit Islam to individuals’ deeds and beliefs. The Quran rejects this in 100s of verses. Islam is active in all social, political, international areas,” Imam Khamenei underlined.

“The Islamic Unity is definitely a Quranic obligation. The unity of Muslims is not a tactical matter that some people assume we should be united in certain situations. No, it is a principle. Cooperation between Muslims is necessary. If Muslims are united, they will all be strong,” Imam Khamenei noted.

Top Trump Security Adviser Contradicts “Imminent Attack” Claim Behind Soleimani Assassination

October 20, 2021

Top Trump Security Adviser Contradicts “Imminent Attack” Claim Behind Soleimani Assassination

By Staff, Agencies

A new book that hit shelves today by Lt. Gen. Keith Kellogg reveals that the Trump administration planned the killing of Gen. Qassem Soleimani as part of a “disproportional” response to attacks on US troops in Iraq by Shiite resistance groups. Kellogg was then-Vice President Mike Pence’s national security adviser, and also served as executive secretary and chief of staff for the US National Security Council under Trump.

“We had always considered him a legitimate target because he was a sponsor for terrorism and was directly responsible for the deaths and maiming of hundreds of Americans,” Kellogg writes about Soleimani in “War by Other Means: A General in the Trump White House,” according to the UK Daily Mail, which received an advance copy of the book.

Solemani commanded the Quds Force, an elite formation of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard [IRG], and commanded Iranian forces in Syria fighting against the Wahhabi Daesh [Arabic acronym for “ISIS” / “ISIL”] and al-Qaeda-linked terrorist groups before leading the Iranian and Iraqi fight to push Daesh out of Iraq.

Despite being sanctioned by the United States as a “terrorist”, Soleimani enjoyed enormous prestige across the Middle East as the “linchpin” who united resistance groups to halt Daesh’s advance toward Baghdad when the Americans would not commit to anything more than airstrikes against Daesh.

Because of the anti-Daesh war, Soleimani was closely linked with resistance groups in Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Forces [PMF], which opposed the continued US presence in Iraq. According to Kellogg’s book, an exchange of strikes in late December 2019 is what pushed the White House over line and decided to take Soleimani out.

On December 27, 2019, the Shiite resistance group Kataib Hezbollah attacked an Iraqi military base in Kirkuk where US forces were based, killing a US contractor and injuring four US service members, as well as two Iraqi service members. The next day, the US launched an airstrike on Kataib Hezbollah positions, and that evening, protests in Baghdad descended on the US embassy in the Green Zone and set fire to some of its outer structures.

Washington blamed Iran for both of those attacks, and Soleimani in particular, who they learned would be secretly traveling to Baghdad in just a few days.

“But our response had barely begun,” Kellogg wrote about the December 28 airstrikes. “We had highly reliable intelligence reports affirming that our chief enemy here was Soleimani.”

“’The Iranians had crossed our ‘red line’ by killing an American and reinforced their folly by attacking our embassy in Baghdad. We would respond. And this time our response would be disproportional,” Kellogg wrote. “We jumped up the escalation ladder. Our answer would be unambiguous. Our target would be Soleimani.”

The airstrike, carried out by an MQ-9 Reaper combat drone, hit a group of vehicles at Baghdad International Airport just after midnight on January 3, 2020, killing 10 people. Among them was Soleimani, as well as Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the leader of Kataib Hezbollah and deputy commander of the PMF.

The fury over the US attack, which was carried out without consulting the Iraqi government, led to the country’s parliament voting to ask all US forces to leave the country. However, Trump threatened to freeze Iraqi oil assets in a Federal Reserve bank account if Baghdad followed through.

“Soleimani was plotting imminent and sinister attacks on American diplomats and military personnel, but we caught him in the act and terminated him,” Trump told reporters at his Mar-a-Lago resort the day after the attacks. He would later claim that Soleimani planned on targeting a US embassy, then later increased his claim to four embassies.

After other senior administration leaders, including then-War Secretary Mark Esper, clarified that there wasn’t actually intelligence pointing to a specific attack Soleimani was allegedly planning, Trump momentarily let the mask slip by tweeting on January 13 that “it doesn’t really matter because of his horrible past!”

Then-US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo similarly claimed Soleimani was “actively plotting to “take big action” against the US. “There would have been many Muslims killed as well, Iraqis and people in other countries as well. It was a strike that was aimed at both disrupting that plot, deterring further aggression, [and] we hope, setting the conditions for de-escalation, as well,” he told Fox News on January 3.

However, Pompeo also soon said he had no specific intelligence on a specific threat posed by Soleimani, and also admitted within a week that “we don’t know precisely when – and we don’t know precisely where” the supposed attack was to have taken place.

However, by July of 2020, Pompeo had changed his tune again, aligning more closely with what Kellogg writes in his book. His response came after Agnes Callamard, the UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, submitted a report on Soleimani’s assassination finding it was an “arbitrary killing” that violated the United Nations charter.

“The strike that killed General Soleimani was in response to an escalating series of armed attacks in preceding months by the Islamic Republic of Iran and ‘militias’ it supports on US forces and interests in the Middle East region,” Pompeo told Fox News on July 10. “It was conducted to deter Iran from launching or supporting further attacks against the United States or US interests, and to degrade the capabilities of the Quds Force.”

تركيا تتخبّط وأردوغان بلا بوصلة ولا دور!


2021-تشرين الأول  – 20

 محمد صادق الحسيني

بعدما قال إنّ صبره قد نفد، وانه بصدد الإقدام على حملة لتطهير المنطقة المجاورة للحدود من الإرهابيين، تفيد الأنباء الواردة من الميدان بانه خسر معركته في الشمال السوري حتى قبل أن يبدأها!

فقد أفاد مصدر عسكري خاص في حلف شمال الاطلسي، حول احتمالات الهجوم العسكري الذي هدّد أردوغان بشنه في شمال سورية، بما يلي:

1 ـ اتخذت القيادة العسكرية التركية قراراً بالتراجع عن تنفيذ تلك المناورة القتالية، سواء باتجاه محاور شمال شرق او محاور شمال غرب سورية، ايّ محاور جرابلس/ عين العرب/ أو محاور تل رفعت ـ حريتان.

2 ـ انّ اتخاذ هذا القرار نتيجة لسببين محدّدين هما:

أولاً: الضغط العسكري الجوي المشترك، السوري الروسي، الذي يمارس على نقاط المسلحين التابعين لأردوغان في محافظة إدلب والتهديد الذي تبلغه بأنّ هذا القصف سيتوسع الى داخل الأراضي التركية ومواقع القوات التركية في شمال وشمال شرق سورية إذا ما قام الجيش التركي بإطلاق عمليات هجومية برية.

ثانياً: قيام هيئة الأركان العامة، لقيادة قوات حلف شمال الأطلسي، بإبلاغ أردوغان ووزير حربه، حرفياً، بأنّ الحلف لن يقدم ايّ مساعدة لتركيا في مثل هكذا عملية (الهجوم التركي الذي خطط له أردوغان) وانّ الحلف يعتبر نفسه في حِلٍّ من ذلك تماماً.

وقد أُبلغ حرفياً بـ «أن يذهب الى هذه المعركة لوحده».

من جهة أخرى فقد أفاد مصدر أمني خاص جداً، تعليقاً على اختفاء تسعة مواطنين فلسطينيين في تركيا، منذ أكثر من أسبوعين، بما يلي:

1 ـ هناك اربعة منهم معتقلون من قبل المخابرات التركية، بتهمة إنشاء كيانات اقتصادية (شركات) في مدن تركية عدة لصالح إيران. وهذا يعني أنهم كانوا يقدّمون خدمات غير مشروعة باستخدامهم أموالاً إيرانية في الاستثمارات وكأنها أموالهم الخاصة.

2 ـ هناك اثنان آخران معتقلان لدى الاستخبارات العسكرية التركية بتهمة التخطيط لتنفيذ اغتيالات ضدّ معارضين إيرانيين على الأراضي التركية.

3 ـ أما الثلاثة الآخرون فهم ايضاً رهن الاعتقال لدى المخابرات التركية بتهم مالية… تقديم خدمات مالية، مخالفة للقوانين التركية لصالح إيران.

4 ـ المعتقلون جميعاً من أتباع حركة حماس وهم من مواطني غزة والخليل.

هذا وقد أفادت التقارير من مصادرنا بأنّ أنقرة أبلغت السفارة الفلسطينية بالأمر، وانّ السفير أبلغ بدوره محمود عباس الذي طلب منه النأي بالنفس والاكتفاء بتقديم تسهيلات قانونية لمواطنين دون زيادة او نقصان إذا طلب منه ذلك…!

وتأتي هذه الاعتقالات فيما اعتبره مراقبون نوعاً من التخبط الذي تعيشه إدارة أردوغان في ظلّ أمرين غاية في الأهمية:

أولاً: فقدانها التدريجي لدورها التقليدي كحارس المرمى الجنوبي لحلف شمال الأطلسي الذي بدأ يتصدّع بفعل تحوّلات الحالة الأميركية مع القوى الدولية المنافسة لها وموسم الهجرة الذي تعيشه اميركا نحو شرق آسيا لمواجهة التنين الصيني الاقتصادي العملاق.

ثانياً: الانهيار الكارثي لليرة في ظلّ استغراق ادارة أردوغان في الصراعات الإقليمية من القوقاز حتى أفريقيا وما يسبّبه هذا من استنزاف للاقتصاد التركي وانعكاس ذلك على الليرة التركية، ما جعل أردوغان يشكّ حتى في أقرب الناس اليه فضلاً عن حلفائه الإقليميين أياً كانوا.

تركيا تفقد دورها في ظلّ انتقال مركز ثقل العالم من الغرب الى الشرق.

بعدنا طيبين قولوا الله…

Pepe Escobar’s new ebook: Forever Wars, recaptured in real time

October 14, 2021

Pepe Escobar’s new ebook:  Forever Wars, recaptured in real time

About 20 days ago, Pepe Escobar let us know that part 2 of his Forever Wars series is now available for purchase and download as an e-book.  I sat down to read it in order to write a book review for The Saker Blog.  It is now 20 days later and I am still in awe, comparing the historical with the recent.   It is as if the same bells are ringing once again, yet they are more muted and discordant.  So my book report is that I am still on part 1, which starts before 9/11 and to 2004.  I don’t want to miss one moment of Pepe’s evocative word sketches of the War on Terror, which he calls the War on Terra, and want to take my own sweet time to read Forever Wars I and II.  Because I am reading slowly, let us then not hold up the announcement of the new book.


It is my great pleasure and honor to announce that Pepe Escobar, our friend, our colleague, fellow warrior, and outstanding journalist, has published the second part in the series, Forever Wars.

Now Pepe will take the podium:

(Amarynth exists, stage left, spots on Pepe!)


Forever Wars, recaptured in real-time

By Pepe Escobar

The 21st century, geopolitically, so far has been shaped by the U.S.- engineered Forever Wars.

Forever Wars: Afghanistan-Iraq, part 2, ranging from 2004 to 2021, is the fourth in a series of e-books recovering the Pepe Escobar archives on Asia Times.

The archives track a period of 20 years – starting with the columns and stories published under The Roving Eye sign in the previous Asia Times Online from 2001 all the way to early 2015.

The first e-book, Shadow Play, tracked the interplay between China, Russia and the U.S. between 2017-2020.

The second, Persian Miniatures, tracked the Islamic Republic of Iran throughout the “axis of evil” era, the Ahmadinejad years, the nuclear deal, and “maximum pressure” imposed by the Trump administration.

Forever Wars is divided in two parts, closely tracking Afghanistan and Iraq.

Forever Wars, part 1 starts one month before 9/11 in the heart of Afghanistan, and goes all the way to 2004.

Part 2, edited by my Asia Times colleague Bradley Martin, starts with the Abu Ghraib scandal and the Taliban adventures in Texas and goes all the way to the “Saigon moment” and the return of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan.

The unifying idea behind this e-book series is quite a challenge: to recover the excitement of what is written as “the first draft of History”.

You may read the whole two-volume compilation chronologically, as a thriller, following in detail all the plot twists and cliffhangers.

Or you may read it in a self-service way, picking a date or a particular theme.

On part 1, you will find the last interview by commander Massoud in the Panjshir before he was killed two days before 9/11; the expansion of jihad as a “thermonuclear bomb”; life in “liberated” Kabul; life in Iraq in the last year under Saddam Hussein; on the trail of al-Qaeda in the Afghan badlands; who brought us the war on Iraq.

On part 2, you will revive, among other themes:

Abu Ghraib as an American tragedy.

Fallujah as a new Guernica.

Iraq as the new Afghanistan.

The myth of Talibanistan.

The counter-insurgency absurdities in “AfPak”.

How we all remain hostages of 9/11.

The Pipelineistan Great Game.

The failing surges – in both Afghanistan and Iraq.

How was life in Talibanistan in the year 2000.

NATO designing our future already in 2010.

Afghanistan courted as a player in Eurasian connectivity.

And since July 7, the chronicle of the astonishing end of the 20-year-long Forever War in Afghanistan on August 15, 2021.

The majority of the articles, essays and interviews selected for this two-part e-book were written in Afghanistan and in Iraq and/or before and after multiple visits to both countries.

So welcome to a unique geopolitical road trip – depicting in detail the slings and arrows of outrageous (mis)fortune that will continue to shape the young 21st century.

Ride the snake.

الأميركي وفرضية عدم عودة إيران للاتفاق

التعليق السياسي

أعلنت واشنطن عن سلسلة مشاورات تشمل كيان الاحتلال ودول الخليج لمناقشة فرضية فشل مساعي العودة إلى الاتفاق النووي، وأوردت واشنطن الفرضية بناء على معطيات يوردها الأميركيون تحت عنوان عدم رغبة إيران بالعودة للاتفاق، وتضعها إيران تحت عنوان مواصلة واشنطن لعبة التذاكي لعودة مشروطة تتبنى ما كان الرئيس السابق دونالد ترامب يسعى الى تحقيقه ولا يمكن لإيران القبول به.

التسريبات الأميركية تقول ان إيران تواصل السعي لتطوير برنامجها النووي، وانها باتت قريبة من بلوغ اللحظة النووية الحرجة، أي امتلاك إيران لما يكفي لإنتاج سلاح نووي، ويضيف الأميركيون انه إذا أرادت إيران تأجيل العودة للاتفاق الى ما بعد هذه اللحظة، فإن واشنطن لن تكون مستعدة لذلك.

المسؤولون الأميركيون يتحدثون عن خطة عمل، والوقائع الحاضرة في المنطقة تقول ان هذه الخطة وضعت قيد التطبيق، ففي افغانستان تحول تنظيم “داعش” من تفجيرات عشوائية ضد “طالبان” أو الأجانب الى تفجيرات تسهدف قومية الهزارة القريبة من إيران حيث سقط العشرات كضحايا بتفجيرين كبيرين، وفي العراق خطر انفجار سياسي وربما امني على وقع الإمساك بنتائج الانتخابات النيابية والدفع بها الى نقطة مواجهة داخل البيت الشيعي الذي يشكل بيئة التحرك القريب من إيران، وفي لبنان تحقيق قضائي في انفجار مرفأ بيروت لم يعد خافياً حجم الدعم الذي يلقاه أميركياً، وتوجيه التحقيق نحو حزب الله وحلفائه، وتأتي مجزرة الطيونة لتقول ان المخاطرة بأخذ لبنان نحو الحرب الأهلية فرضية قائمة ضمن سلة الخيارات البديلة.

تتجه واشنطن بعد الانسحاب من افغانستان لترك قواتها للمنطقة، على قاعدة حرق الأخضر واليابس وراءها ما يضع قوى المقاومة امام مسؤوليات جسام، قد يكون بيان غرفة عمليات حلفاء سورية الذي يتضمن إعلاناً عن العزم على رد قاس على الغارات الإسرائيلية أول رسائل محور المقاومة للأميركي نحن عنوان وصلت رسالتكم وإليكم جوابنا.

مقالات متعلقة

Learning from Your Enemy: Methodological Failures in Western War Analysis

October 12, 2021

Source: Al Mayadeen

Failing to read and understand one’s enemy is dangerous, as Lao Tzu said many centuries ago, creating an ignorant ‘yes man’ culture of self-deception.

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“There is no greater danger than underestimating your opponent” – Lao Tzu

Washington’s role in at least eight Middle East wars of the 21st century (against the peoples of Palestine, Afghanistan, Iraq, Lebanon, Libya, Syria, Iran, and Yemen) has been hotly debated between two broad camps: those (including this writer) who regard them all as illegal wars of aggression; and those who either imagine they are not connected or defend them as the necessary policing measures of a global hegemon.

However this debate is plagued by poor method, and in particular by a strategic bias that adopts obligatory ‘loyalty’ elements and fails to study what are seen as enemy perspectives. That cripples even the most articulate and apparently critical discussions.

Yet failing to read and understand one’s enemy is dangerous, as Lao Tzu said many centuries ago, creating an ignorant ‘yes man’ culture of self-deception. The refusal to read and learn from a substantial enemy is simply childish or ignorant cynicism.

Let me illustrate this problem with a few articles from the ‘New Middle East’ wars, a piece on Yemen by Bruce Riedel (Brookings, 2017), an article on Iran by Hassan Hassan (Politico, 2020), and a discussion on terrorism by Paul Pillar (Responsible Statecraft, 2021). These are far from the worst of western war analysis, but all share similar methodological problems.

1. The obligatory but misleading element: strategic loyalty

Many years into these various wars, to ‘qualify’ as published war discussion western journals carry a strong expectation of some initial expression of loyalty to the overall project, if not to all the tactics. In the most obvious version of this, the analyst directly identifies with a state party at war, speaking in the first person plural (“we”).

So Riedel speaks of “our de facto enemies”, asking “why are we at war” with “the Houthis” (i.e. the Ansarallah-led Yemeni government), while Pillar refers to “our allies” and Hassan to “our adversaries”. This is an immediate sign of biased orientation, but also of a desire to please and so qualify with likely patrons.

Loyalty is also expressed by an early denunciation of the enemy. Most of the permissible western media criticisms of “Israel”, for example, begin with a denunciation of the Palestinian resistance, or of Iranian support for the resistance. At the least loyalty to the big power must be demonstrated by suggesting some kind of moral equivalence. 

The targets of terrorism should also be relatively privileged groups. In the case of Pillar’s criticism of Israeli terrorism, itself a departure from the normal western defense of the Zionist entity, he chooses the earlier British victims of Israeli terrorism – rather than the many thousands of contemporary Palestinian victims – and makes a moral equivalence with Palestinian resistance. The latter is typically reduced to “Hamas” and their alleged “poorly guided rockets”.  All this is to qualify the discussion for western publication and consumption.

Terminology also plays an important part in demonstrating loyalty, with the enemy described as a “regime” (implicitly illegitimate) and the intervening western power cloaked in an assumed stabilizing or conflict resolution role. 

With this in mind, Hassan speaks of Iranian influence as “a problem for the United States”, the Syrian government as a “regime”. Middle Eastern nations are said to be riven by sectarian conflicts (e.g. Sunni v. Shi’ite) and other “complexities”. On the other hand, Washington faces problems as a “stabilizing ally”. Pillar speaks of the Saudi-backed idea for repartition (and weakening) of Yemen as a “federal solution”.

2. Allowable criticism, within permissible space

Taking the problem-solving and stabilizing role of Washington as a given, criticism is allowed mainly as regards tactics. Accepting the benevolence of hegemonic prerogatives is a general principle of qualification. It is unimportant that this has little to do with post-colonial international law.

So Riedel writes of the US supposedly looking for a “political solution” in Yemen, while Hassan speaks of the US seeking to “stabilize” the region in face of the allegedly opportunistic agendas of Iran and the Saudis. 

Riedel also spoke of Yemen as a “complex problem” for US President Obama, while Pillar comfortingly agreed that it is necessary for Washington to “conduct business” with both “Israel” and Saudi Arabia, despite their terrorism. No real question is raised about what business the USA has initiating war after war in the Middle East region.

Indeed any serious questioning of the overall aims or strategy of western interventions would most likely invalidate or disqualify the article. It would not be published. Yet criticism of the tactical (and chronic) failure of interventionist wars to achieve their goals is allowed.

3. What can be learned from the enemy?

State integrated media (which includes most corporate media, as they are typically key associates of western states) typically steers mass audiences away from enemy media at times of war. Many analysts also either accommodate or fall prey to that prohibition. 

In recent decades we have seen many exhortations to stay away from the ‘regime media’ of China, Russia, Cuba, Venezuela, Iran, Syria, and so on. Enemy ‘regime’ media is often labeled as such in western social media. Not so the BBCVoice of America etc. In fact the US government has been busy taking down dozens of Iranian websites and banning or blocking Russian, Venezuelan, Chinese, Cuban, and other social media accounts linked to these various ‘enemy’ nations.

The problem for western war analysts in adopting this dictate is that important lessons are missed. In general, it is wrong to ignore ‘enemy’ sources because they might be seen as “biased” or “unreliable”. Any source with detailed information (as opposed to just spin and slogans) can be informative, properly read, in at least the following ways. 

A. Concessions and admissions: biased or enemy sources, when they contain detailed information, can make concessions on particular matters. This can help avoid pointless and endless debates. For example, senior US officials admitted in 2014 that US allies were funding and arming virtually all the Middle Eastern terrorist groups including ISIS, in support of US efforts to remove the Syrian Government. Syrian and Iranian sources had said this for some years, but the US admissions helped expose the charade.

B. Alerts to information and argument: hostile or ‘unreliable’ sources may alert us to particular information or argument, including independent factual information as well as vulnerabilities in enemy arguments. Any serious researcher or observer must remain open to the possibility that hostile sources might be correct, at least on some particular matters. The Israeli media, for example, understands this well. It has made the statements of Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah virtually mandatory reading, while the man is effectively banned in much other western media, including social media.

The lesson, therefore, should be how to intelligently read enemy sources, rather than avoid them. This must be done according to principle, that is, with regard to general principle and using traditional forensic tools while recognizing self-interest. This requires developing an ability to distinguish between self-serving statements and admissions against interest, a common distinction in law.

Learning in this regard has more to do with observing the detail of argument and particular evidence, and less about the adoption and recitation of conclusions.

The opinions mentioned in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinion of Al mayadeen, but rather express the opinion of its writer exclusively.

IRG General: “Israel” Attempts to Delay Its Downfall

October 12, 2021

IRG General: “Israel” Attempts to Delay Its Downfall

By Staff- Agencies

The Islamic Revolution Guards [IRG] deputy commander for operations, Brigadier General Abbas Nilforooshan anticipated that the “Israeli” entity is attempting desperately to delay its downward spiral toward dissolution.

He further stressed that the Islamic Republic’s timely responses and actions against the “Israeli” elements in the region have deterred many terrorist plans targeting Iran.

“The Zionist regime’s pillars have been rattled and it is heading toward dissolution,” he underscored noting that “the ‘Israeli’ officials have realized the regime’s looming downfall and are making every effort to delay such a demise.”

Highlighting the economic, social and cultural challenges that have engulfed the apartheid regime, the Iranian general said it would be a joke to envisage “hard threats” from “Israel”.

In parallel, he mentioned that “Even the “semi-hard threats” from the Zionist regime have gotten nowhere, adding, “They [‘the “Israelis’] have halted many of their terrorist measures against Iran because of the timely responses given by the Islamic Republic which has hit their main ringleaders in the region.”

The general also pointed to the Islamic Republic’s military advances in recent years, saying the IRG is employing its homegrown submarines.

“The IRG Navy has been working on an area of technology with which the enemy would run into trouble in any confrontation, “he added.

Asked about the situation in Afghanistan after its takeover by the Taliban, General Nilforooshan said it is still early to comment on how to deal with the Taliban, who have changed a lot since 2000.

“Ensuring border security, countering [drug] trafficking, and above all the situation of the oppressed people of Afghanistan are among our concerns, but when it comes to dealing with the Taliban, we should wait and see how much the policies announced by that group match their policies in practice,” he stated.

The Objectionable Discourse of Those Insisting on Sovereignty: ’Iranian Occupation’ & Overlooked Facts

The Objectionable Discourse of Those Insisting on Sovereignty: ’Iranian Occupation’ & Overlooked Facts

By Ali Abadi

The topic of diesel fuel deliveries from Iran is still making the rounds among elements belonging to the American camp, which seems to have been caught off guard. Following unrealistic propositions, these circles launched intensive media campaigns to recapture the popular base that emerged from the claws of the propaganda directed against Hezbollah and Iran.

The diesel fuel has become a form of “Iranian occupation”. That’s according to the point of view of those who got dizzy from their inability to keep up with this initiative. Not a day has gone by since the arrival of the Iranian diesel convoys without someone calling for neutrality, to liberate Lebanon from Iranian occupation, to join the wave of peace and normalization with “Israel”, and to reject the helping hand extending to Lebanon from Iran, Russia, or China, unless this is accompanied by explicit American permission.

These people are trying to regroup and raise their voices, but their weak presence in the arenas is being exposed and reflects the fragility of their proposal and approach.

All the headlines that were used to reject the initiatives presented by friendly countries that are ready to support Lebanon in times of need do not support the principle of national sovereignty and going through the state. Let’s take a closer look at the following headlines and facts:

1- Refusal to allow urgent relief aid to pass from Iran except through the state:

Those opposed to fuel coming from Iran claim that it passed through unofficial crossings. But is this the full story? In fact, they lobbied loudly not to receive oil derivatives from Iran through the official Lebanese crossings, sometimes under the pretext of international or US sanctions and other times claiming that Lebanon does not need them and can manage its affairs with the presence of import companies in conjunction with the imminent lifting of subsidies.

[Does this claim agree with the suffocation of markets and long queues for several months, in light of the collusion between local forces and external hegemonic forces?].

And when it became clear to them that the project to import fuel from Iran was very serious, and its effects began to appear in different areas, they changed their discourse tactically by showing a forced acceptance of the goods through official channels. But in reality, they placed one obstacle after another to prevent this from being achieved in order to preserve the interests of deep-rooted local capitalist forces and to sever the way for advanced economic relations that may link Lebanon and countries outside the system of American hegemony.

2- The organic organization of those opposing the American project:

While the logicof sovereignty and going through the state is used as a barrier to Iran and a red card in the face of Hezbollah, they accept the American statements that explicitly call for ignoring the existence of the Lebanese state and passing funds and aid to the so-called civil society associations under the pretext of corruption in the state apparatus. How is one right and not the other? Who guarantees that corruption will not occur in these associations as well, in light of reports of new “revolutionaries” enriching themselves while few benefits trickle down to society? Simply put, there is no comparison between Iranian fuel, which has tangibly reached all areas and sects, and the US aid, which is characterized by limitation and special teleology.

The US administration aims to support scattered cluster groups for an “eventual goal” which is the creation of “a more structured civil society organization that enjoyed strong relationships with the U.S., Europe, and international institutions and focused on creating economic opportunities, empowering new political voices and offering a meaningful alternative to Hezbollah for frustrated Lebanese Shias.” That’s according to an article published in the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, the voice of the Zionist lobby in the United States.

The institute adds that “donor nations, including the United States and international institutions like the World Bank and IMF, could work with the Lebanese business community to structure, develop, fund, and manage the organization. The critical thing is that this would take place outside Lebanon’s state institutions and political parties.”

How will this umbilical cord that was established between the American agencies and these societies that spawned in their hundreds help with the establishment of a healthy Lebanese state?!

3- Ignoring initiatives and official offers from Russian, Chinese, and Iranian companies in the energy field, at a time when electrical supply is the biggest problem for the Lebanese. Offers to establish railways to reduce the cost of transportation were also ignored.

These companies have presented attractive offers based on the BOT [build, operate, transfer] system, which does not cost the state a single penny. But there has been no answer! Who is restraining the will of the state and preventing it – with intimidation – from being open to various economic options that are in the interest of the Lebanese people? And another question: What has the United States provided, for example, over the past years to solve the electricity crisis in Lebanon, in light of its capabilities and huge energy companies?

The Lebanese must know the extent of the losses they incur as a result of the continuous rejection of the initiatives coming from Iran, Russia, China, and other countries offering deals related to electricity and various infrastructure projects. Such deals are only rejected by stubborn people or those who are ignorant about the interests of their country. On the other hand, we see nothing of the American, French, or Gulf support except for some crumbs here and there. Meanwhile, their companies are waiting for the privatization of key sectors, such as the port of Beirut, the airport, as well as communications and electricity, and the acquisition of oil and gas fields at sea.

For many years, the paralyzed interaction with the initiatives from abroad has produced a reality based on addiction to begging and waiting for aid and gifts from the Gulf and Western countries, as well as addiction to borrowing from governments and now from the International Monetary Fund.

A final note regarding the current controversy over Iranian aid and Hezbollah’s role at home: The approaching parliamentary elections are exacerbating the political campaigns around all the steps the party is taking. Washington has long invested in the siege and drying up the sources of the Lebanese local economy in order to strike the strength of the resistance and disperse the masses from around it. However, it was surprised by the bold steps taken by Hezbollah from outside the traditional economic equation, and now it fears that its plan may backfire.

Raisi: Iran Will Never Abandon ‘Definite Policy’ To Use Peaceful Nuclear Energy

9 October, 2021

Raisi: Iran Will Never Abandon ‘Definite Policy’ To Use Peaceful Nuclear Energy

By Staff, Agencies

Iranian President Sayyed Ebrahim Raisi said the Islamic Republic will never abandon its “main and categorical policy” of using nuclear energy for peaceful purposes.

Speaking in the southern province of Bushehr on Friday, Raisi said Iran needs “wise and purposeful” planning for the sustainable development of the nuclear industry based on the latest international standards in order to stand at the top economic, scientific and technological position in the region.

He added that the necessary mechanism has been developed in this regard and provided to the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran [AEOI].

“Nuclear knowledge in the future will determine the remarkable scientific development and progress of countries, and we should not lag behind the world’s scientific movement,” the Iranian president stated.

He noted that the advancement of nuclear knowledge would lead to the development of other technologies.

Raisi further said the Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant is currently operating at its nominal capacity and producing over 1,000 megawatts of electricity, but the figure would be tripled in its development phases.

He added, “One of the important missions of the Atomic Energy Organization [of Iran] is to increase the country’s electricity generation capacity to up to 10,000 megawatts which will be materialized within the next three years.”

The Busher power plant started operating in 2011 and reached full capacity the following year, but Iran and Russia agreed to expand it.

They signed a number of documents in November 2014 for the construction of up to eight new nuclear power plants at the site and expand cooperation in the field of peaceful use of atomic energy.

In November 2017, Iran began building two more nuclear reactors in a joint project with Russia’s Rosatom energy firm in Bushehr.

Lebanon’s Friends vs. Enemies: Tangible Practices Say It All

9 October, 2021

Lebanon’s Friends vs. Enemies: Tangible Practices Say It All

By Mohammad Youssef

Some of the Lebanese intentionally skip the root causes and the nature of the crises in their country, and that it is not only a mere confrontation with, or a struggle against, the ‘Israeli’ occupation, aggression and threat, but it extends beyond that to become a complicated and multifaceted issue, and here comes the sinister role of the West, namely the USA.

It is worth mentioning, that when we say that, we do not mean the American people, but their administration, and the warmongering military industrial complex!

Many of the Lebanese, even consider Washington a friend of the country without providing any evidence that supports their argument, forgetting its fixed alignment and continuous support to their enemy!

Now if we make a very simple research we can easily spot the truth, the US administration has always been the number one military supplier and political sponsor of the ‘Israeli’ enemy.

Without the Western support, firstly and mainly Britain and France in the forties till the sixties, and the American support that followed after that and continued till now, ‘Israel’ would not have continued to exist, not only that, but the Arabs and the Arab world would have been saved from many of the miseries, massacres, destruction and havoc that the Western-backed ‘Israeli’ occupation has caused in many of its parts, starting with Palestine, extending to Syria, Egypt, Jordan and reaching to Lebanon. This comes on the direct level; but if we intend to enlist what conspiracies and aggressions the ‘Israelis’ planned and how much they indirectly caused destruction in the Arab world we need volumes to do that.

Coming back to Lebanon, the ‘Israeli’ occupation would not have been able to inflict all the damage it did without the US support.

Almost all of the invasions, major incursions, the ‘Israelis’ carried out in Lebanon, not only were given the green light from Washington but worse, they were supported with American military supplies and a veto power cover in the security council to spare ‘Israel’ any condemnation by the so-called international community.

Now Lebanon is in a major crisis, a structural one that poses an existential threat to the county and the people. What did Washington do and what is doing to help? Nothing is not the answer.

We would have loved that Washington does nothing and leave us as Lebanese alone to manage our affairs. Contrary, The US keeps meddling and negatively interfering. It is exercising its power and influence to block any possibility of help and rescue offers coming from other countries. Lebanon is not allowed by Americans to accept the generous offer by the Iranians that Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian has submitted this week to build and hand to Lebanon two power plants with a 2000 Megawatt capacity in Beirut and the South. The Iranians also offered to rebuild the destroyed Beirut Port. The real value of this very generous offer is the flexibility of the Iranians to accept any sort of payment whether through different loans or even by the Lebanese pound. This offer deeply reflects the genuine and sincere relation Iran has for Lebanon and its people.

Now the question that presents itself, would the Lebanese officials take a bold step and accept this offer or would they as the habit bow down to the American veto, and if they fell short to respect and maintain their country’s sovereignty would they demand from Washington to give the equal alternative.

This is a very simple exercise and experiment to both Lebanon and USA. The result would be very telling about who is blocking Lebanon from salvation and a way to know genuinely who are Lebanon and the Lebanese people’s real friends and who are their enemies.

العروض الإيرانية بالليرة اللبنانية فمن ينافس؟

أكتوبر/ 8 تشرين الأول 2021

 دعم إيراني متجدّد للبنان: عرض مُغرٍ لقطاع الطاقة
ناصر قنديل

لا يحتاج الأمر إلى تحليل ونقاش لاستنتاج محورية قطاع الكهرباء في أزمة لبنان المالية، فأزمة المازوت هي فرع من أزمة الكهرباء، ومتى توافرت الكهرباء تراجعت الحاجة للمازوت إلى أقل من الربع، وتأمين الكهرباء يستدعي زيادة الإنتاج، وهذا يتطلب تمويلاً لإنشاء المعامل ومثله لتشغيلها، ومن دون زيادة الإنتاج فإن تشغيل المعامل القائمة يستدعي توفير الوقود اللازم، وهذا يحتاج للتمويل، والتمويل بالعملات الصعبة، والدولة ومصرفها المركزي لم يعد لديهما القدرة على تأمين هذا التمويل، وشراء العملات الصعبة من السوق سيرفع سعر الصرف ويدفع بالدولار إلى أسعار مقلقة تعني مزيداً من الانهيار، والذهاب لتمويل عبر القروض بلا أفق، لأنه تراكم لديون لا يملك لبنان جواباً عن كيفية سدادها، وعندما يجري البحث بتمويل معامل جديدة من قروض خارجية سواء عبر صندوق النقد الدولي أو سواه، مهما كانت ميسرة ومؤخرة، تبقى كلفة التشغيل بقروض كمثل قرض البنك الدولي المفترض لتمويل استجرار الغاز المصري وشراء الكهرباء من الأردن، وهي قروض قد تتوافر لجزء من الحاجة وجزء من الوقت، لكنها لن تتوافر لكل الحاجة وكل الوقت.

أمام لبنان طريق وحيد لتفادي السقوط، وهو أن يحصل على وقود التشغيل بطريق يشبه المساعدة العراقية، ولا يبدو أن الحكومات العربية الأخرى التي تملك قدرات نفطية جاهزة للسير على خطى العراق، لكن إيران سبقت الجميع وقالت بلسان مسؤوليها مراراً، وكرر الأمين العام لحزب الله السيد حسن نصرالله التأكيد على جاهزية إيران لتأمين المحروقات التي يحتاجها لبنان، بما فيها وقود تشغيل معامل الكهرباء بالليرة اللبنانية، وهذا العرض الذي لم يلق الاهتمام اللازم تحول إلى مبادرة مباشرة من حزب الله بجلب سفن كسر الحصار، التي قدمت حلاً لجانب من أزمة فقدان المازوت من الأسواق، وأصابت سلم تسعير الاحتكارات التي فرضت معادلات تتحكم بموجبها بالتسعير والسوق، وإذا كانت معامل توليد الكهرباء التي يسعى لبنان لتأمينها تحت شعار زيادة التغذية ثم زيادة التعرفة، لوضع حد لخسائر كهرباء لبنان، فهذا يستدعي ربط التعرفة الجديدة للكهرباء بسعر الدولار، الذي سيضرب سقوفاً قياسية إذا بقي تأمين الوقود اللازم للتشغيل مرتبطاً بتمويل يعتمد على شراء الدولارات من السوق، وهذا يعني الانتقال “من تحت الدلف لتحت المزراب”.

خيار لبنان الوحيد الإنقاذي الذي ربما لا ينتبه له المسؤولون، أو يخافون أن ينتبهوا له، هو أن يكون لدى لبنان من يزوده بالوقود اللازم لتشغيل معامل الكهرباء بالليرة اللبنانية، فذلك هو الطريق الوحيد الذي يمنع إسهام الطلب على الدولارات اللازمة لشراء الوقود في التسبب برفع متواصل لسعر الصرف وبالتالي سعر التعرفة، وصولاً لحد الانفجار، وتأمين الوقود بالليرة اللبنانية يقع في صلب العروض الإيرانية المتكررة، والعرض الذي أعاد تقديمه وزير الخارجية الإيراني حول بناء معامل الكهرباء يستحق من يناقش تفاصيله مع الجانب الإيراني، لأن لا نقاش حول الجوانب التقنية وأهلية الشركات الإيرانية وقد قامت بإنهاض قطاع الكهرباء في بلادها، وصولاً لتحقيق فائض تبيعه إيران لباكستان والعراق وعدد من دول آسيا الوسطى، وحالياً لأفغانستان وفقاً للتفاهم الجديد بين الحكومتين الإيرانية والأفغانية، ومسؤولية الحكومة اللبنانية كبيرة اليوم في أن تحمل العرض الإيراني بمضمونه التفصيلي لجهة الاعتماد على تمويل بالليرة اللبنانية، وأن تذهب للمعترضين داخلياً وخارجياً وتقول إنه الحل الوحيد الذي يناسب لبنان، وعلى من يعترض أو يرفض أو يهدد بعقوبات أن يقول لا تشتروا من إيران فنحن جاهزون لتزويدكم بالمثل بذات الشروط والأسعار وبالتسعير بالليرة اللبنانية، وما لم نحصل على مثيل فالأمر يستحق المخاطرة بالتعرض للعقوبات، لأنه طريق وحيد لعدم الانهيار، فما نفع الموت وأنت غير معاقب طالما أمامك فرصة العيش ولتكن معاقباً، وعندها تعرف العدو من الصديق.

تجربة سفن كسر الحصار تقول إن حكومة تملك بعض الشجاعة تستطيع أن تستفيد من العروض الإيرانية لتحفيز الآخرين لعروض مقابلة، أو على الأقل للاستثناء من العقوبات.

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Canada Breaks Sanctions Imposed on Iran: Recommends Administration of Iranian Vaccine

 October 8, 2021 

Canada Breaks Sanctions Imposed on Iran: Recommends Administration of Iranian Vaccine

By Staff

In a guidance document titled: “COVID-19 Guidance for Individuals Vaccinated Outside of Ontario/Canada”, Canada’s Ministry of Health [MOH] officially authorizes Iran’s Barekat COVID-19 vaccine – an indirect recognition of the Islamic Republic of Iran’s efforts in the medical field as well as in the global fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

The MOH document is intended to provide health care providers and Public Health Units [PHUs] with approaches for individuals who have received COVID-19 vaccination outside of Ontario or Canada.

In the document, Canada’s MOH adds a list of other COVID-19 vaccines which are now authorized for use by Health Canada in addition to the four already authorized: Pfizer-BioNTech [mRNA], Moderna [mRNA], AstraZeneca/COVISHIELD [viral vector] and Janssen/Johnson & Johnson [viral vector].

Canada Breaks Sanctions Imposed on Iran: Recommends Administration of Iranian Vaccine

Ironically, by officially recognizing the Iranian COVID vaccine, Canada has broken the sanctions imposed on Iran which have resulted in severely limiting Iranian companies and hospitals from purchasing essential medicines and medical equipment from outside Iran that residents depend upon for critical medical care during the pandemic.

Various vaccines, biological and chemical products and medical devices – including medical supplies, instruments, equipment, equipped ambulances, institutional washing machines for sterilization and vehicles carrying medical testing equipment, have been blocked by the US from being exported to Iran.

This means blocking some of the equipment crucial to fighting the virus, such as decontamination equipment and full-mask respirators.

With the mounting of sanction and the former US administration’s so-called “maximum pressure”, Iran has proven its worth against all odds.  

Amir Abdollahian in Beirut: Iran Strongly Backs Lebanese Army, Resistance

October 7, 2021

Amir Abdollahian in Beirut: Iran Strongly Backs Lebanese Army, Resistance

By Staff, Agencies

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian confirmed that “friendly and deep” relations with Lebanon.

He further vowed that the Islamic Republic will continue to strongly support the Lebanese people, army, and resistance movement.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran will powerfully stand by its allies in the region and we will continue our support for the Lebanese independence, security and sovereignty,” Amir Abdollahian stated upon his arrival in Beirut on Thursday.

Amir Abdollahian pointed to a social media campaign launched ahead of his visit in appreciation of Iran’s assistance to Lebanon in breaking the United States’ economic siege, saying Tehran has even “better new offers” if the Lebanese officials make a request.

He further underscored that Tehran also stood ready to “continue on the previous path,” referring to recent energy sales to Lebanon, as long as Beirut kept up the demand, and also lend a helping hand to the Arab nation in other fields.

“This trip is indicative of deep and friendly ties between the two countries, and we support Lebanon’s army, people, and resistance with a strong voice,” he said.

In parallel, the top Iranian diplomat also extended his congratulations to the Lebanese people on the formation of a new government in the Arab country, following a 13-month-long political stalemate.

Heading a delegation, Amir Abdollahian arrived in Beirut on Thursday on a first visit to the country since his appointment, after wrapping up a trip to Russia. He is scheduled to hold talks with Lebanese President Michel Aoun, parliament speaker Nabih Berri, Prime Minister Najib Mikati and Foreign Minister Abdullah Bou Habib.

He also plans to meet representatives of Palestinian factions and groups at the Iranian Embassy in Beirut.

Afghanistan, Taliban, the Resistance, and the Region

October 05, 2021

by Mansoureh Tajik for the Saker Blog

Afghanistan, Taliban, the Resistance, and the Region

Disproportionate attention has been paid to Cirque du Soleil-style departure by the United States armed forces from Afghanistan, the scene of the West’s most dragged out heist. Clumsily-written roles for Russia, China, and others that seem to be pre-scripted are bandied about in the media (right, left, and center).

The Taliban, attired in quasi-reformed dunces and utilized as convenient props for more than three decades, have now been shoved into the center stage for their final participatory act dressed as independent defiance. Initially, they were dumbfounded with the position in which they had found themselves and kept glancing at their rears with dazed looks to figure out who was it that pushed them. If it were not so tragic for the people of Afghanistan, it would be comedic.

Here, I would like to sidestep catchpenny thrills for a moment and describe the events through a regional historical and contemporary wide-angle Iranian lens. Specifically, I would like to offer evidence that fracturing Afghanistan into what is dubbed as “zones of influence” but more accurately “fragmented infernos” is a mechanism to thrust a lethal sword into the heart of the heartland of the world[1] and to force Afghanistan to metastasize spreading instability and chaos into the entire region, and more specifically into Iran, China, and Russia, in order to unravel serious economic and political upturns and advancements.

There are two overarching goals for the West, US/England to be exact, to achieve. One is to “buy time” to recuperate economically, militarily, and politically while trying to keep the rising powers down. In an article was titled “Injustices Deadline and a Nation’s Ajal” published by the Saker last year, addressed the whole “buying time” preoccupation (See Here). In that article, I discussed why I believe the AngloZionist regimes’ time is up. The other overarching goal is to disperse and reposition the Resistance forces away from the vicinities of the Occupied Palestine/Zionist Regime west of Iran to Afghanistan in its east.

Afghanistan is a major keystone species in this ecosystem. Disintegration of Afghanistan means the new “Silk Road” will first turn into a “Rough Road” and then into an “Abandoned Road” and ultimately destroys the concord among the main players in Asia. In addition, it can serve as a tool for the application of internal-external clamp-style customized and separate pressures on Iran, Russia, China, and other countries in the region.

When the Taliban took over Kabul and the US military put its full power on display last month, Ayatullah Khamenei likened their newly emerging image as a deceitful fox. He stated:

“To be fair, [US] America, behind the scene of diplomacy, is a savage wolf. The appearance is diplomacy, smiles, and talks, occasionally self-righteous and seemingly truthful talks. But in its essence, it is wolf, a wild savage wolf that one sees around the world. Of course, sometimes it takes different shapes, sometimes a wolf and sometimes a deceitful fox, a manifestations of which has been put on display in Afghanistan today.”[2]

Very well. In this article, I would present information and discuss key players in Afghanistan from an angel I have not seen discussed in other essays. First though, I would conceptualize the image of the events (and the crux of this article) in the collage below (I am not a good artist). We shall see what unfolds amounts to unzipping or zipping up.

Afghanistan: Unknown Demographics

Notable facts on the ground regarding Afghanistan are helpful in understanding the past, deciphering the present, and predicting the future. There are some facts & figures, like demographics, that serve as foundations for quantitative analysis of things. These figures must, therefore, have certain level of reality and accuracy.

Take any source of information regarding Afghanistan’s demographics, be it the UN, the CIA “fakt” book, World Bank, IMF, etc. Take any analytic and/or opinion article that uses maps and figures containing descriptive data on ethnicity, religion, and geographic distribution of people in Afghanistan. Let’s take a look at an article posted on this very blog as an example:

“Before the 1979 Soviet incursion and the 1980s jihad, that accounted for 40% to 55% of Pashtuns, 35% to 45% to Persian-speaking ethnic groups, and 10% to 15% to Turkish-speaking ethnic groups. It hasn’t changed much since.”

Let us look at a critical fact as well: In the history of Afghanistan, there has been absolutely no official or unofficial census count taken in full. Ever. Efforts undertaken by Soviet Union for an official population census count that began in 1979 amounted to little, the endeavor was aborted, data collection was abandoned midway, and the whole project was left unfinished.

Another decision was made by the so-called transition Afghan government in 2008 to take a count. The efforts then, too, suffered early miscarriage. A third attempt, planned and funded by the United Nations’ Population Fund in 2013 began a door-to-door census count beginning with the “most secure” districts at the time. That attempt ended in abortion in the first trimester. These are the facts on the ground.

In a 2013 article with a rather telling title, “Afghan census dodges questions of ethnicity and language,” The Guardian reporter, Emma Graham-Harrison wrote:

“[T]he complexity of Afghanistan’s ethnic politics means any kind of counting is controversial. The first results, from normally calm central Bamiyan province, showed an actual population barely half official estimates. The area is mostly home to Hazaras, a Shia minority who have often been persecuted in Sunni-dominated Afghanistan, and many took the findings as another form of attack. ’Death to the enemies of Bamiyan! The statistics are wrong!’ shouted more than 1,000 demonstrators as they marched on UN offices in the small town this summer, the Pajhwok news agency reported. A previous attempt to end the decades-long wait for a count of the Afghan people, in 2008, was scrapped, with the government citing security problems. In December officials even dropped plans to unveil a new estimate of the population.”[3]

Things are, of course, even more interesting than they appear. The Guardian article I cited above included a reference to a 170-pages 2012 report by Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). In there, I came across a particularly noteworthy, albeit flippant, remark. It states,

“Several sources for detailed data on Afghanistan provide an amazing amount of precision for a country at war, that has had massive population displacements, and that has been in a crisis or civil war for more than three decades. The fact that such data are generated, however, in no way makes them reliable or useful. Trend data are particularly suspect because many past estimates are either made long after the fact, or rely on estimates that had to be made at a time when the Afghan government either did not have any real sources for such data, had nothing approaching its current CSO [Central Statistics Organization], and/or did not have a functioning presence in many districts throughout the country.”[4]

Even for the partial attempts of telephone or door-to-door surveys by young locals hired for the task, CSIS report is even blunter:

“This is particularly true when the analysis does not provide maps of the collection effort or relies on phone sampling and interview numbers where the collector is effectively paid by the claim or simply for providing output, and not by a validated collection effort. Corruption is not simply the privilege of senior power brokers and the wealthy.”

If precise and accurate demographic information do not serve an important function in our assessments, then we should not base any of our assessment on that. If, however, they do, it would be a good start to say, “We really don’t know what percent of who is where.” Even more importantly, if this information were not that important and guestimates with wide margins would have sufficed, why were so many attempts made and why did they all fail? Assumptions based on non-existing data are counter-productive to deep understanding of things.

At any rate, I recommend a thorough read of the above somewhat dated (almost a decade old) CSIS report for those who are interested to see into what sort of a quagmire the US had gotten itself which had become quite evident in the very first years. In addition, it gives clear and detailed description of how and why the US/West plan for Afghanistan had already fallen apart. The report exudes frustration since billions upon billions of funding were tied to specific population sub-groups, regions, and the like, all adorned with extremely meticulous stats that were fabricated year after year:

“Unfortunately, however, no one knows how much outside money is being spent on, much less inside, Afghanistan. There are no reliable figures for how the US and other ISAF countries are actually spending on the war. Moreover, there is a major security aspect of this issue. In early 2011, the US and ISAF were planning on spending some $7-9 billion a year after Transition in 2014 on the ANSF for a force of over 300,000 through 2020 – most of the financing coming from the US. As of June 2012, the US was talking about a total of $4.1 billion a year for a force of 230,000, with only 25% to come from the US, 50% from other donors, and 25% from the Afghan government. This may be a more credible and sustainable figure, but it presents a real risk that Afghanistan cannot sustain the forces it needs and will see large numbers of young men with arms and military/police experience thrust back on an economy that cannot give them anything like the same job opportunities or income.”

The plan and process appear to have been set up to fail right from the beginning.

The Taliban

Ethnically, the Taliban is Pashtun, with an apparent twist. On January 17, 2010, The Guardian headlined a report titled: “Pashtun clue to lost tribes of Israel: Genetic study sets out to uncover if there is a 2,700-year-old link to Afghanistan and Pakistan.” An excerpt from the article read:

“Some leading Israeli anthropologists believe that, of all the many groups in the world who claim a connection to the 10 lost tribes, the Pashtuns, or Pathans, have the most compelling case. Paradoxically, it is from the Pashtuns that the ultra-conservative Islamic Taliban movement in Afghanistan emerged. Pashtuns themselves sometimes talk of their Israelite connection, but show few signs of sympathy with, or any wish to migrate to, the modern Israeli state. Now an Indian researcher has collected blood samples from members of the Afridi tribe of Pashtuns who today live in Malihabad, near Lucknow, in northern India. Shahnaz Ali, from the National Institute of Immuno­haematology in Mumbai, is to spend several months studying her findings at Technion, the Israel Institute of Technology, in Haifa.”[5]

Allow me to give a bit of background so that you could better contextualize the events. In the past few decades, projects to “Jewrize” several local populations in India, that is, to convince them they are actually one of the lost tribes of Jews and revert them back to becoming Jews, appeared to have been going rather smoothly.

Shavei Israel, a supposed non-profit organization, “has been spearheading the movement to bring back Jews from the lost tribe looking to immigrate to Israel and have coordinated the aliyah (immigration) of most of the Bnei Menashe community members living in Israel[6]. On May 31, 2021, it was reported that: “Some 160 Jews from the north-eastern Indian community of Bnei Menashe reached Israel on Monday but 115 others were left behind in India after 38 of them tested positive for COVID-19, according to authorities here.”[Ibid]

I must also note that evidence on the ground, however, shows the communities inside Israel are not that receptive to this sort of “grafting” and, in fact, said efforts have had destabilizing effects inside the Israeli society itself. On the other hand, in the communities within India, where a noteworthy number of people have been convinced of their “Jewish” origin 27 centuries later, good many have been trained to serve as 5th columns, pressure levers, and sticks over Indian government’s head.

Since 1970’s into 1980’s, Israel has been busy with similar projects to wake the Pashtuns in Afghanistan and Pakistan to their “Jewish” origins. Just a few days ago, on September 9th, 2021 to be exact, the Jerusalem Post ran an article titled: “Are the Taliban descendants of Israel?” The article goes on to assert:

“The Pashtuns, or Pathans, are said to number in the tens of millions, with the bulk living in Pakistan, Afghanistan and India. They consist of several hundred clans and tribes that have fiercely preserved their heritage amid waves of foreign conquest and occupation. Prior to the rise of Islamic fundamentalism in the region, many of the Pashtuns declared themselves to be what they referred to as Bani Israel (Sons of Israel), an oral tradition that their ancestors passed down through the generations.”

“The mere possibility of a shared historical identity could serve as a basis for discussion between Jews and Pashtuns, one that could lead to a dampening of hostility and suspicion and perhaps lay the groundwork for a stronger relationship in the future. In light of their fanatical theology, the Taliban are of course not an address for such efforts. But there are plenty of other Pashtuns worldwide with whom we should seek to build bridges, whether or not one believes them to be our long-lost cousins.”[7]

There your have it, Taliban! Your “cousins” are knocking. What’s going to be? While Taliban is pondering “to be or not to be” a Zionist or a Zionist puppet, at the least, a bit more specific background might be useful. An Iranian specialist on Afghanistan, Muhammad Ruhi, who was interviewed by IRIB a few months back, stated: “During 70’s and 80’s, Zionist organizations conducted significant activities to ‘Jewrize’ various Pashtun tribes of Afghanistan by employing and developing young Pashtuns in Beirut, Lebanon, and some other Western countries.”[8]

A well-known character who benefited from those sorts of activities was none other than Zalmay Khalilzad. An anthropologist who was formerly with Northern Illinois University, Dr. Muhammad Jamil Hanifi, who is also a contributor to the website Khorasan Zamin, wrote an essay (2015) titled: “Afghanistan in the Claws of Zionized Imperial Feminism.” In that essay, he referenced Khalilzad’s and Ghani’s past and presented interesting thoughts on the role they and their respective Zionist wives have been playing in Afghanistan. The essay followed the broadcast of an interview Rula Ghani (Ashraf Ghani’s wife) had done with BBC. Hanini stated,

“Rula Saade Ghani’s desire for Afghan men to become like her father or husband, her aspirations to Christianize the women of Afghanistan, her demand of more respect for Afghan women, and her consciousness about the presence of Judaism (see below) in her matrilineage, offer an opportunity to speak to her laments, longings, and aspirations and to identify and historicize the social context in which her cosmologies for changing social life in Afghanistan were constructed. An important layer of this context consists of a quartet: two Kabuli young boys—Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai and Zalmay Khalilzad—seeking “higher education” and two hypermodern young women—Rula Saade, a Europeanized Lebanese Zionist Christian and Cheryl Benard, a Euro-American staunch Zionist Jew. All four contemporaneously attended the ultra-liberal American University of Beirut (AUB) during the early 1970s. Ashraf Ghani and Zalmay Khalilzad are prominent names in the American political discourse about the occupation of Afghanistan from its first step during October 2001 to the present.”

“Here I wish to draw attention to the young women (especially Rula Ghani) in this quartet and reflect on how these two women and the two Kabuli boys coalesced into one of the most influential bands of Zionized feminists and feminized compradors in the service of the American imperial savagery in Afghanistan. How did two Western-struck Kabuli boys and their Western Zionist wives end up playing such crucial roles in the bloody American destruction of Afghanistan? Specifically, how did a Westernized hypermodern fiery feminist Lebanese Christian woman (with Zionist genes) end up being the “banu-ye awal” (Farsi, first lady) of Afghanistan being interviewed by the BBC in the presidential palace of Afghanistan?” [9]

It is useful to remember that Zalmay Khalilzad was in charge of negotiation with Taliban and served under Bush, Obama, Trump, and Biden until he fully handed Afghanistan back to Taliban.

Just as a side note, it might be interesting for you to note that Wikipedia reports the following information about Dr. Hanifi, the author of the essay quoted above:

“Hanifi received his Master’s degree from Michigan State University, and his Ph.D. from Southern Illinois University, Carbondale. Hanifi was a faculty member at Northern Illinois University and under consideration for the chairmanship of the Department of Anthropology when allegations of plagiarism in his dissertation surfaced. He wound up resigning from the university. He is no longer affiliated with the Department of Anthropology at Michigan State University.”[10]

People in the US have “freedom of speech” but whoever interpreted it to mean “freedom of consequences of speech” is beyond me.

It is well beyond the reasonable length of this essay to go into more details. I think there is enough material to give the gist of events that are unfolding. I would like to go back to the Muhammad Ruhi’s interview referenced earlier and quote him in the conclusion of his interview in which he summed the situation with a question posed to Taliban:

“This is a critical test to verify the truthfulness of Taliban’s knowledge of Islam and their love of the motherland. For Taliban, cleansing their hands and garbs of collaborating with Islam’s oldest sworn enemy and rejecting Zionist Regime’s claim regarding Jewish origin of Pashtun and Taliban is at the moment more critical and necessary than talks with the [US] America to obtain all seats to power in Afghanistan. This is also a test for other groups and tribes who claim some sort of Islamic rule in Afghanistan. At what price are they going to achieve their claims to power?”[8]

He went further and called for unity among all people of Afghanistan:

“It is, therefore, imperative for all ethnic groups, warriors, fighters, opposing groups, Ansar, all Afghans, young and old, regardless of their religion, school of thought, and tradition, to save the territorial integrity of Afghanistan. Of the utmost importance at this juncture is preserving Afghanistan as one cohesive nation and cutting off the hands of the ill-wishers. Let Afghanistan not to become another Occupied Palestine. With collaboration and participation of all groups and respect for all religions of God, the people of this country could ward off the danger the [US] America and the occupying regime of Al-Qos has concocted for our region.”[Ibid]

Taliban Not Involved in Iranian diplomats’ Massacre. On Mordad 17, 1377 [August 8, 1998], a group of armed men dressed like Taliban stormed into the Islamic Republic of Iran’s Consulate in Mazar Sharif, Afghanistan. They took nine Iranian diplomats and a reporter to a room in the basement of the Consulate, opened fired on 9 diplomats and an Iranian reporter. Taliban returned to the Consulate that night, threw the bodies of 8 diplomats and the reporter in a well in Sultan Razi school yard right behind the Consulate. One severely injured diplomat by the name of Allah Madad Shahsevan managed to escape and return to Iran. In an interview with Iranian Students News Agency on Bahman 27, 1393 [February 16, 2015], he described the events as follows:

“I dislike speaking about myself. However, since this story concludes with me, I am forced to speak. Seventeen years has passed since Mazar Sherif’s incident. For 17 year, for specific reasons, they left me in isolation. Although I love life and work hard, but I received treatments that I wished I would have been martyred, too. The martyrdom of those beloved people was bitter but since this one person had survived that event, it was sweet. I review the scenes with myself and I realize without a doubt, it was a real miracle. I journeyed 800 kilometer, sometimes on foot and sometimes in a vehicle, to get myself to the border. I did not show any weakness.”

“I had communicated with Tehran two months earlier and had explained the situation in Mazar Sharif. In Mazar Sharif, the amount of work was so much that I would begin work in the morning while it was still dark. I found out the Balkh Brigade had fallen and Taliban commanders had bought this brigade and Afghanistan’s Minister of Interior had told the commander of this brigade they will send a helicopter to get him over the border. When I heard this, I knew everything was finished. I immediately began hiding and destroying the special files. I woke everyone up and told them Mazar Sharif had fallen. I helped [Martyr] Saremi to communicate the news [to Tehran].”

“My work was such that I knew a lot. When [Martyr] Rigi who was the head consular told me I must stay, I obeyed. Otherwise, the conditions were such that I wanted to collect my belonging and return to Tehran. They told me to stay and I stayed but I also told them about the threats.”

“After these events, I found out this was an operation conducted by Pakistan since before then, they had told us from Tehran that ‘we have put you under the protection of Pakistanis.’ When this group came in, it was clear they were operating separately from Taliban. They had an order. They executed it and immediately left the scene. When one of those who had stormed in [to the Consulate] asked if he could contact Pakistan, I began to doubt them. Right then and there, I knew this was Pakistan’s work. After I had reached the Foreign Ministry and told them this, Mr. Brojerdi who was a special envoy in Afghanistan affairs just confessed that the operation had been done by Pakistan.”[11]

Alaeddin Brojerdy was then President Khatami’s special envoy to Afghanistan at that time. In an interview published on Mehr 16, 1391 [Oct. 7, 2012] by Mashregh News, he explained:

“Two to three days later, group of Taliban came to Mazar Sharif and killed our people. Of course, they had an order to do this. Mr. Jafarian (who has made a documentary about this) told me something that was quite significant. He told me a high-ranking ISI officer [Pakistani Intelligence] who had some position at that time had somehow relayed the news our embassy in Pakistan about a month before it happened that ISI has made this decision and was going to carry it out. He had said he was baffled as to why the information was not sent back to Iran.”[12]

When directly asked if indeed Taliban had killed the Iranian diplomats, Mr. Brojerdi said, “Multiple evidence show that this massacre was not the work of Taliban. Even Mr. Jafarian believes that Pakistan feared a closer relationship between Taliban and Iran.

Mohammad Hussain Jafarian was the Islamic Republic of Iran’s cultural attaché in Afghanistan from 1375 to 1377 [1996 to 1998]. He also made a documentary titled “Who killed us?” and was interviewed by Quds Online News and said, “Taliban had not part in the martyrdom of our diplomats.” In making the documentary, he explained how he went to that building in Mazar Sharif with “Allah Madad Shahsavan” so that the scene can be fully constructed. He also interviewed Wahidullah Mojdeh who had been one of Taliban’s commanders at the time:

“He [Mojdeh] vigorously denied Taliban’s role. He was quite logical. ‘For what would we want the dead bodies of diplomats? Could we have obtained important intelligence from them? Could we have used them as hostages to exert pressure on Iran for something? If the goal was punishing Iran, we could have constructed some sort of scene in which two or three people would be injured or killed. What sane mind would say this would have had any benefit what so ever for Taliban to order the massacre of the diplomats?’ Why of all foreign consulates in the city of Mazar Sharif, only the Iranian diplomats suffered that fate?!”[13]

At the same time, the Zionist-driven media outlets were quite busy beating the drums of war between Iran and Afghanistan:

Inside September 11, 1998 article, it was written though: “The Taliban, who control most of Afghanistan, said the Iranians had been killed by renegade forces who had acted without orders. But Iran, which had responded to the diplomats’ disappearance with a major military buildup along the Afghan border, appeared in no mood for swift forgiveness.”

And September 12, 1998 article reported: “Some Iranian officials took pains today to emphasize that Iran would not be drawn into hasty action. But the public declarations compounded an atmosphere of heavy tension already overlaid by an Iranian troop buildup along the Afghan border.”

CNN, Guardian, and multiple other mainstream media were salivating over the prospect of a war. However, getting the Islamic Republic of Iran into a war of attrition with Taliban in Afghanistan while reconstruction of the country after 8-year Iraq-Iran war was still ongoing was a dream of the US Inc. that never materialized.

I conclude this section by an excerpt from Ayatullah Khamenei, the Leader for piloting this ship in very turbulent waters:

“I quoted something from a well-known [US] American officials. Later s/he denied it. Apparently, they confessed that they themselves created these currents. Even if they had not confessed, we have evidence. We know. I don’t forget, late Sheykh Saeed Sha’ban – brining up his name now is not a problem – he was a well-known Sunni scholar in Mashhad. At that time, it was during the war [Iraq-Iran war during ‘80’s]. He told me, ‘I have information they are working to get you busy and involved in your eastern borders.’ I said, ‘Well, to our east is Afghanistan.’ He said, ‘Yes. From Afghanistan.’ This was before any of those talks about Taliban and Al-Qaedah in Afghanistan had taken shape. He had connections with all sorts of political and religious circles of Ahl-e Sunnah. He was present in sensitive places and was a very respectable character and had become aware of this. He said to me, ‘I feel it was my obligation to tell you.’”

“Before long, these events occurred and we understood they were as he said. There is no doubt that these currents are created by these very Western powers and their agents in the region. Now, sometimes they do not enter into the scene directly and enter others. But sometimes they act directly.”[14]

The Fatemiyoun

The Fatemiyoun unit is the Afghan arm of Qods Force and a significant fighting unit in Syria against ISIS and other terrorists. In a video documentary “The Time to Be,” the formation of the Fatemiyoun, why they joined the Qods Force, and some of their operational encounters are explained.

The documentary is in Farsi and I have chosen to translate specific excerpts of the transcript for you in this article. The excerpts are limited. However, they could give some clues into why there might be a sudden surge in media propaganda (especially in Western-funded Persian language media) urging the Islamic Republic of Iran as well as the Fatemiyoun into some sort of “intervention” in Afghanistan:

“It was around the year ’90 [2011], some events in Syria had taken place the news of which got to us as well. People protests were happening…and these people’s protests began to gradually take a new shape. Gradually, it transformed into chaos and armed battle and increasingly fighters from other countries began to pour into Syria. They advanced their ways toward Muslims’ holy places to destroy them…And we began to feel the danger that this movement of theirs go towards Hazrat Zeynab’s (Salaamullah Alayha) holy shrine. Our honor was threatened and we needed to do something.”

“One day Mr. Tavasolli, we were friends, we knew each other, he came and said, ‘have you heard the news? Of what has happened?’ I said, ‘yes.’ He said, ‘Are you to be?’ I asked, ‘What do you mean?’ He said, “Right now, there is a war in Syria. This war has advanced to haram of Hazrat Zaynab (SA). There is a probability the desecration that happened to the tomb of Hujr Ibn Aday to be brought upon the tomb of Hazrat Zaynab (SA).’ I said, ‘Of course we are. Why wouldn’t we Be?!’ Mr. Tavasolli said, ‘So, what should we do? What is the solution? How can we enter?’”

“There were all these questions and we had no information. So, there was not much talk after that. He said, ‘Very well, then. We will let you know. But you just be alert and prepared so that whenever we called you, you would be ready.’ I said, ‘For sure.’ That was it. We made our decision right then and there.”

Thus the time “to Be” arrived and the journey began. Over the following few months and after much ups and downs, a small group of Afghans were deployed to Syria on Ordibehesht of 1392 [April 2013]. They had no formal unit and were placed with Heydarioun unit of Iraqi forces. Sayyad Mousavi narrates:

“Because there were very of us, they didn’t take us seriously at first. In the very first operation in Ferrosiah, they sent us to an area and told us to go and take that area and secure it. Iraqi brothers were to our right and Hizbullah brothers were to our left. So, we were all supposed to conduct a coordinated attack and take the region.”

“As soon as the operation began, our kids went and got the entire area and even took a few houses beyond that. That means, before Lebanese kids and Iraqi kids did anything, our kids took the region and secured it and went a few houses beyond that. So, they kept on asking through the wireless where we were and we told them where, they kept on saying, ‘no, that is impossible because the terrorists are herehere and here. We want to make sure to know where you are so that we could begin the operation and hit those points.’”

“So, we told them not to hit because we were there. They said, ‘there is no way possible that you are there.’ We told them that no, we were there and gave them signals to show them we had secured the region… Here was when they realized these kids are good warriors. Gradually, Afghan forces increased and experience showed that any operation in which they participated they gained victory…That was when they gave these kids an axial position and more ammunition.”

“One day we were at Forousiyyah base, Mr. Tavasolli said that every group here has a name and we should choose a name for our unit. He said, ‘Iraqis are called Haydariyoun; Lebanese are Hizbullah, so, we, too, should have an identity.’ So, we said we came for the love of Hazrat Fatimah Zahra (SA), we call ourselves Fatemiyoun.”

The above excerpts give some information about the formation of the Fatemiyoun. However, it is at 15:31 into the documentary that things get more interestingly relevant. Three warriors (one of whom, Abu Hamed aka Mr. Tavassoli who was martyred later) are standing atop a hill overlooking Golan Heights in the horizon. It is the voice of Abu Hamed:

“Here is now Tal Mari’ah [Mari’ah mount]. The final mission is that white high mountain ahead of us which is Golan Heights and in the hands of Israelis. And now we are very close to Israel.”

Another voice says,

“Haj Agha, what is the plan? When are we going to go to there, Inshallah? Abu Hamed responded, ‘In the Summer!’ ‘Tal-a-Qarin, under a heavy bombardment by the enemy…’ In Tal-a-Qarin different and unusual events happened. The kids [i.e. Fatemiyoun fighters] were now in a one-to-one fight with the enemy [Israelis] …gun-to-gun and face-to-face in a real face off…”

Abu Hamed (Marty Alireza Tavasolli) was martyred in Tal-a-Qarin on Esfand 9, 1393 [February 28, 2015]. In the final few minutes of the video, the crux of the presence of Fatemiyoun in Syria is explained:

“The hardships of which I spoke were not even a fraction of the hardship the kids endured. The kids in Edlib, too, were fighting for the love of fighting with Israel. The battles in Edlib and Tedmore is just a preparation for the Fatemiyoun kids for a fight against Zionists. We truly love fighting these cowards. They are more of cowards than what is talked about them. Israel and [US] America with the help of their sycophants began this fire so that they could increase Israel’s security and reduce the power of the Resistance. But they committed a grave mistake because a force like Fatemiyoun was added to the Resistance’s camp. And till we have not brought the life of Zionists to its end, we are not going to let go. In remembering Abu Hamed an in his memory, we will continue his path until there is no Zionist is left.”

When some previews of that documentary had been released, newspapers in Israel went into a panic mode[15].

Fork in the Taliban’s Road

Atlantic Council headlined an article on August 20, 2021, that read: “Iran spent years preparing for Taliban victory. It may still get stung.”[16] Within the first few opening paragraphs and in the closing paragraphs, the article did not fail in being quite predictable:

In opening paragraphs: “Twenty-three years ago, the Taliban murdered eleven diplomats and a journalist at Tehran’s mission in Mazar-i-Sharaf, nearly sparking a war between the two countries.”

In closing paragraphs: “Even as Iranian officials boasted that the embassy in Kabul and consulate in Herat would remain open, the foreign ministry revealed on August 15 that it quietly shuttered missions in Jalalabad, Kandahar and, of course, Mazar-e Sharif, where the Taliban murdered Iranian personnel.”

I am not too sure whether Atlantic Council is more worried about the Iranians’ safety and security or is anxious to separate the Pashtun cousins from their Muslim roots so that they could find and embrace their supposed Jewish roots in isolation from the region.

I am dead certain, however, that only Taliban and Pashtun could demonstrate with their actions whether they are with the Zionists or with the people of Afghanistan and their Muslim brothers in the region.

References

[1] Mackinder HJ (1904). “The Geographical Pivot of History.” The Geographical Journal, No. 4, Vol. 23, Pages 421-437.

[2] Ayatullah Khamenei. Speech delivered during visit with the new president [Ayatullah Raisi] and the members of the 13th Administration on Shahrivar 6, 1400 [August 28, 1400]. Accessed online at: https://farsi.khamenei.ir/speech-content?id=48588

[3] Graham-Harris E. “Afghan census dodges questions of ethnicity and language: Door-to-door interviewers embark on controversial project to count population of country for first time since 1979.” Thu 3 Jan 2013 17.47 GMT. Accessed online at: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/jan/03/afghan-census-questions-of-ethnicity

[4] Cordesman AH, Gold B, and Mann ST (2012). “The Afghan War: Creating the Economic Conditions and Civil-Military and Efforts Needed for Transition.” Center for Strategic & International Studies (CSIS), Sept. 18, 2012. Accessed online at: http://www.CSIS.org/burke/reports

[5] McCarthy R. (2010). “Pashtun clue to lost tribes of Israel.” The Guardian, Sunday, January 17, 2010. Accessed online at: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2010/jan/17/israel-lost-tribes-pashtun

[6] Harinder Mishra (2021). 160 Indian Jews immigrate to Israel, several left behind after testing positive.” Outlook, 31 May 2021; Last Updated at 7:14 pm. Accessed online at: https://www.outlookindia.com/newsscroll/160-indian-jews-immigrate-to-israel-several-left-behind-after-testing-positive/2093378

[7] Michael Freund (2021). “Are the Taliban descendants of Israel?” The Jerusalem Post, September 9, 2021 @ 04:16. Accessed online at: https://www.jpost.com/opinion/are-the-taliban-descendants-of-israel-678995

[8] Islamic Republic of Iran News Agency, “[US] America’s peace with Taliban or Jewrizing Afghanistan?” Ordibehesht 15, 1400 [May 5, 2021] @ 7:10; News Code: 3096197; Accessed online at: https://www.iribnews.ir/00CzSf

[9] M. Jamil Hanifi (2015). “Afghanistan in the Claws of Zionized Imperial Feminism.” Khorasan Zamin, January 30, 2015. Accessed online at: https://www.khorasanzameen.net/php/en/read.php?id=2873

[10] M. Jamil Hanifi, Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M._Jamil_Hanifi

[11] Iranian Students News Agency (ISNA). “Untold Account of the only survivor of Terror of the Iranian Diplomats.” Monday, Bahman 27, 1393 @ 14:23 pm, News Code: 93112715048. Accessed Online at: https://www.isna.ir/news/93112715048/

[12] Mashregh News. “Broujerdi interview, Khatami Administration had recognized Taliban Government.” Mehr 16, 1391 [October 7, 2012], @ 16:57; News Code: 160945. Accessed online at: mshrgh.ir/160945

[13] QUDSonline: News-Analytical Website. “A documented account of the martyrdom of Iranian diplomats in Mazar Sharif.” Azar 6, 1393, @ 00:51; News Code: 249169. Accessed online at: http://www.qudsonline.ir/news/249169/

[14] Ayatullah Khamenei. Speech delivered in a visit with members of the Assembly of Khobregan Rahbari on Shahrivar 13, 1393 [September 4, 2014]. Accessed online at: https://farsi.khamenei.ir/speech-content?id=27356

[15] Seth J. Frantzman. “Iran’s Afghan mercenaries threaten Israel: Final target is the Golan.” The Jerusalem Post, December 24, 2019 @ 14:23. Accessed online at: https://www.jpost.com/middle-east/irans-afghan-mercenaries-threaten-israel-from-golan-611967

[16] Borzou Daragahi. “Iran spent years preparing for a Taliban victory. It may still get stung.” Atlantic Council, Friday, August 20, 2021. Accessed online at: https://www.atlanticcouncil.org/blogs/iransource/iran-spent-years-preparing-for-a-taliban-victory-it-may-still-get-stung/

ترحيب سيادي بالوزير عبد اللهيان

أكتوبر/ 7 تشرين الأول 2021

في علم القانون والعلاقات الدولية ليست مفردة السيادة تعبيراً انتقائياً يمكن إطلاقه وفقاً للأهواء والمشاعر، والتدقيق بمعايير انتهاك السيادة لا يحتاج الكثير من البحث، فمعاهدة جنيف التي وصفت الاحتلال ربطته بممارسة السيطرة وفرض إرادة أجنبية وتشريعات غير صادرة عن مؤسسات الدولة المعنية، بل هي تشريعات الدولة المهيمنة التي تقع عليها صفات انتهاك السيادة، هي ذاتها التي قالت إنّ تلكؤ الدولة التي تتعرض لانتهاك السيادة أو عجزها أو تغاضيها عن هذا الانتهاك توجب على الشعب ولا تمنحه الحق فقط، مقاومة هذا الانتهاك، ويقع فعل المقاومة هنا في مرتبة الدفاع عن السيادة بما في ذلك حمل السلاح بصورة غير مقوننة، لأن شرعية المقاومة تنبثق من شرعة أعلى من القوانين في ظل إرادة الدولة المشلولة بحكم العدوان الواقع على سلطتها السيادية.

عرف لبنان من أربعة عقود اجتياحاً إسرائيلياً بلغ عاصمته وفرض على اللبنانيين اتفاقاً للإذعان عرف باتفاق 17 أيار، وخرجت المقاومة الوطنية والإسلامية لمواجهة هذا العدوان على السيادة بعدما تلكأت الدولة وعجزت وتغاضت، فكانت المقاومة هي الفعل السيادي، وسلاحها هو الحامي لمفهوم السيادة، وعندما وقفت الجمهورية الإسلامية في إيران إلى جانب المقاومة وأمدتها بما احتاجت من أسباب للقوة، كانت إيران تقف على ضفة الدفاع عن السيادة اللبنانية المنتهكة، وكان الذين رضخوا لمشيئة الاحتلال أو راهنوا عليه واستفادوا منه واستثمروا على تداعياته مجرد خونة وعملاء باعوا وطنيتهم وسيادتهم، وعندما وقفوا ينددون بالمقاومة كانوا يفعلون ذلك من موقع خدمة الاحتلال والتفريط بالسيادة.

مع بدء نظام العقوبات الأميركية باستهداف العديد من دول العالم بما فيها دول صديقة وحليفة لواشنطن، كانت تشريعات العقوبات انتهاكاً موصوفاً لسيادة هذه الدولة، وشكلاً من أشكال الاحتلال، طالما أنها تفرض على هذه الدولة تطبيق تشريعات غير صادرة عن مؤسساتها السيادية، وكان لبنان من بين هذه الدول، سواء بما يخص شموله بالعقوبات على إيران أو سورية، وهي عقوبات صادرة عن السلطات الأميركية وليس عن مؤسسات لبنانية، وتلكؤ أو عجز أو تغاضي الدولة اللبنانية عن مهمة مقاومة هذه التشريعات المنتهكة للسيادة يفرض على الشعب مقاومتها، وكل مقاومة من خارج الدولة تمتلك مشروعية أعلى من مشروعية خضوع الدولة أو تلكؤها أو تغاضيها.

قيام المقاومة في لبنان بكسر الحصار المفروض على لبنان عبر سفن النفط الإيراني فعل سيادي يسقط مفعول قرارات تنتهك السيادة صادرة عن مؤسسات غير لبنانية، ولا تتمتع بصفة القانون الدولي كحال القرارات التي تصدر عن مجلس الأمن الدولي، وكل مندد بقيام المقاومة بمبادرتها السيادية يقع في دائرة الشبهة لمساندة الاحتلال غير المباشر الذي يفرض تشريعات تنتهك السيادة ويندد بمقاومتها المشروعة خدمة للمحتل العابر للحدود بتشريعاته.

لأن إيران في كل مرة تعرض فيها لبنان لانتهاك لسيادته وقفت إلى جانب مقاومته النابعة من روح سيادية شرعية أعلى مرتبة من أي معايير أخرى، ولأن إيران لم تطلب يوماً ولم تحصل يوماً على مقابل لهذه المساندة المتعددة الأشكال، فإن كل سيادي لبناني غير مزور، معني بالترحيب بزيارة وزير خارجية إيران إلى لبنان.

أهلاً وسهلاً معالي الوزير حسين أمير عبد اللهيان صديقاً للبنان واللبنانيين.

أخبار متعلقة

The Iran-Azerbaijan standoff is a contest for the region’s transportation corridors

October 05, 2021

Sides are forming around the Iran vs Azerbaijan squabble. But this fight is not about ethnicity, religion or tribe – it is mainly about who gets to forge the region’s new transportation routes.

By Pepe Escobar posted with permission and cross-posted with The Cradle

The Iran-Azerbaijan standoff is a contest for the region’s transportation corridors

The last thing the complex, work-in-progress drive towards Eurasian integration needs at this stage is this messy affair between Iran and Azerbaijan in the South Caucasus.

Let’s start with the Conquerors of Khaybar – the largest Iranian military exercise in two decades held on its northwestern border with Azerbaijan.

Among the deployed Iranian military and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) units there are some serious players, such as the 21st Tabriz Infantry Division, the IRGC Ashura 31 battalion, the 65th Airborne Special Forces Brigade and an array of missile systems, including the Fateh-313 and Zulfiqar ballistic missiles with ranges of up to 700 kilometers.

The official explanation is that the drills are a warning to enemies plotting anything against the Islamic Republic.

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei pointedly tweeted that “those who are under the illusion of relying on others, think that they can provide their own security, should know that they will soon take a slap, they will regret this.”

The message was unmistakable: this was about Azerbaijan relying on Turkey and especially Israel for its security, and about Tel Aviv instrumentalizing Baku for an intel drive leading to interference in northern Iran.

Further elaboration by Iranian experts went as far as Israel eventually using military bases in Azerbaijan to strike at Iranian nuclear installations.

The reaction to the Iranian military exercise so far is a predictable Turkey–Azerbaijani response: they are conducting a joint drill in Nakhchivan throughout this week.

But were Iran’s concerns off the mark? A close security collaboration between Baku and Tel Aviv has been developing for years now. Azerbaijan today possesses Israeli drones and is cozy with both the CIA and the Turkish military. Throw in the recent trilateral military drills involving Azerbaijan, Turkey and Pakistan – these are developments bound to raise alarm bells in Tehran.

Baku, of course, spins it in a different manner: Our partnerships are not aimed at third countries.

So, essentially, while Tehran accuses Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev of making life easy for Takfiri terrorists and Zionists, Baku accuses Tehran of blindly supporting Armenia. Yes, the ghosts of the recent Karabakh war are all over the place.

As a matter of national security, Tehran simply cannot tolerate Israeli companies involved in the reconstruction of regions won in the war near the Iranian border: Fuzuli, Jabrayil, and Zangilan.

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdullahian has tried to play it diplomatically: “Geopolitical issues around our borders are important for us. Azerbaijan is a dear neighbor to Iran and that’s why we don’t want it to be trapped between foreign terrorists who are turning their soil into a hotbed.”

As if this was not complicated enough, the heart of the matter – as with all things in Eurasia – actually revolves around economic connectivity.

An interconnected mess

Baku’s geoeconomic dreams are hefty: the capital city aims to position itself at the key crossroads of two of the most important Eurasian corridors: North-South and East-West.

And that’s where the Zangezur Corridor comes in – arguably essential for Baku to predominate over Iran’s East-West connectivity routes.

The corridor is intended to connect western Azerbaijan to the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic via Armenia, with roads and railways passing through the Zangezur region.

Zangezur is also essential for Iran to connect itself with Armenia, Russia, and further on down the road, to Europe.

China and India will also rely on Zangezur for trade, as the corridor provides a significant shortcut in distance. Considering large Asian cargo ships cannot sail the Caspian Sea, they usually waste precious weeks just to reach Russia.

An extra problem is that Baku has recently started harassing Iranian truckers in transit through these new annexed regions on their way to Armenia.

It didn’t have to be this way. This detailed essay shows how Azerbaijan and Iran are linked by “deep historical, cultural, religious, and ethno-linguistic ties,” and how the four northwestern Iranian provinces – Gilan, Ardabil, East Azerbaijan and West Azerbaijan – have “common geographical borders with both the main part of Azerbaijan and its exclave, the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic; they also have deep and close commonalities based on Islam and Shiism, as well as sharing the Azerbaijani culture and language. All this has provided the ground for closeness between the citizens of the regions on both sides of the border.”

During the Rouhani years, relations with Aliyev were actually quite good, including the Iran‑Azerbaijan‑Russia and Iran‑Azerbaijan‑Turkey trilateral cooperation.

A key connectivity at play ahead is the project of linking the Qazvin‑Rasht‑Astara railway in Iran to Azerbaijan: that’s part of the all-important International North‑South Transport Corridor (INSTC).

Geoeconomically, Azerbaijan is essential for the main railway that will eventually run from India to Russia. No only that; the Iran‑Azerbaijan‑Russia trilateral cooperation opens a direct road for Iran to fully connect with the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU).

In an optimal scenario, Baku can even help Iranian ports in the Persian Gulf and the Sea of Oman to connect to Georgian ports in the Black Sea.

The West is oblivious to the fact that virtually all sections of the INSTC are already working. Take, for instance, the exquisitely named Astara‑Astara railway connecting Iranian and Azerbaijani cities that share the same name. Or the Rasht‑Qazvin railway.

But then one important 130km stretch from Astara to Rasht, which is on the southern shore of the Caspian and is close to the Iranian–Azeri border, has not been built. The reason? Trump-era sanctions. That’s a graphic example of how much, in real-life practical terms, rides on a successful conclusion of the JCPOA talks in Vienna.

Who owns Zangezur?

Iran is positioned in a somewhat tricky patch along the southern periphery of the South Caucasus. The three major players in that hood are of course Iran, Russia, and Turkey. Iran borders the former Armenian – now Azeri – regions adjacent to Karabakh, including Zangilan, Jabrayil and Fuzuli.

It was clear that Iran’s flexibility on its northern border would be tied to the outcome of the Second Karabakh War. The northwestern border was a source of major concern, affecting the provinces of Ardabil and eastern Azerbaijan – which makes Tehran’s official position of supporting Azerbaijani over Armenian claims all the more confusing.

It is essential to remember that even in the Karabakh crisis in the early 1990s, Tehran recognized Nagorno‑Karabakh and the regions surrounding it as integral parts of Azerbaijan.

While both the CIA and Mossad appear oblivious to this recent regional history, it will never deter them from jumping into the fray to play Baku and Tehran against each other.

An extra complicating factor is that Zangezur is also mouth-watering from Ankara’s vantage point.

Arguably, Turkey’s neo-Ottoman President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who never shies away from an opportunity to expands his Turkic-Muslim strategic depth, is looking to use the Azeri connection in Zangezur to reach the Caspian, then Turkmenistan, all the way to Xinjiang, the Uyghur Muslim populated western territory of China. This, in theory, could become a sort of Turkish Silk Road bypassing Iran – with the ominous possibility of also being used as a rat line to export Takfiris from Idlib all the way to Afghanistan.

Tehran, meanwhile, is totally INSTC-driven, focusing on two railway lines to be rehabilitated and upgraded from the Soviet era. One is South-North, from Jolfa connecting to Nakhchivan and then onwards to Yerevan and Tblisi. The other is West-East, again from Jolfa to Nakhchivan, crossing southern Armenia, mainland Azerbaijan, all the way to Baku and then onward to Russia.

And there’s the rub. The Azeris interpret the tripartite document resolving the Karabakh war as giving them the right to establish the Zangezur corridor. The Armenians for their part dispute exactly which ‘corridor’ applies to each particular region. Before they clear up these ambiguities, all those elaborate Iranian and Tukish connectivity plans are effectively suspended.

The fact, though, remains that Azerbaijan is geoeconomically bound to become a key crossroads of trans-regional connectivity as soon as Armenia unblocks the construction of these transport corridors.

So which ‘win-win’ is it?

Will diplomacy win in the South Caucasus? It must. The problem is both Baku and Tehran frame it in terms of exercising their sovereignty – and don’t seem particularly predisposed to offer concessions.

Meanwhile, the usual suspects are having a ball exploiting those differences. War, though, is out of the question, either between Azerbaijan and Armenia or between Azerbaijan and Iran. Tehran is more than aware that in this case both Ankara and Tel Aviv would support Baku. It is easy to see who would profit from it.

As recently as April, in a conference in Baku, Aliyev stressed that “Azerbaijan, Turkey, Russia and Iran share the same approach to regional cooperation. The main area of concentration now is transportation, because it’s a situation which is called ‘win‑win.’ Everybody wins from that.”

And that brings us to the fact that if the current stalemate persists, the top victim will be the INSTC. In fact, everyone loses in terms of Eurasian integration, including India and Russia.

The Pakistan angle, floated by a few in hush-hush mode, is completely far-fetched. There’s no evidence Tehran would be supporting an anti-Taliban drive in Afghanistan just to undermine Pakistan’s ties with Azerbaijan and Turkey.

The Russia–China strategic partnership looks at the current South Caucasus juncture as unnecessary trouble, especially after the recent Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit. This badly hurts their complementary Eurasian integration strategies – the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and the Greater Eurasian Partnership.

INSTC could, of course, go the trans-Caspian way and cut off Azerbaijan altogether. This is not likely though. China’s reaction, once again, will be the deciding factor. There could be more emphasis on the Persian corridor – from Xinjiang, via Pakistan and Afghanistan, to Iran. Or Beijing could equally bet on both East-West corridors, that is, bet on both Azerbaijan and Iran.

The bottom line is that neither Moscow nor Beijing wants this to fester. There will be serious diplomatic moves ahead, as they both know the only ones to profit will be the usual NATO-centric suspects, and the losers will be all the players who are seriously invested in Eurasian integration.

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أكذوبة التفرّغ للصين لتغطية الانكفاء الأميركي

 أكتوبر/ 5 تشرين الأول 2021

يتشارك منظرو التسويق لسياسات الرئيس الأميركي جو بايدن، مع خصومهم داخل أميركا وخارجها، بالترويج لنظرية أولوية المواجهة مع الصين بالنسبة للإدارة الأميركية، واشتقاقاً منها نظرية أخرى تقول بأنّ الانسحابات والتراجعات الأميركية ليست إلا تموضعاً جديداً عنوانه التفرّغ لمواجهة الصين، ولأن في هذا السياق قدراً من الاعتراف بالضعف يمثله العجز عن الجمع بين مواجهة الصين وخوض المعارك المفتوحة في جبهات أخرى، والاعتراف بالصعود الصيني وتصويرها كخصم تحدٍ كافٍ يستحق التفرّغ له، يحقق أصحاب النظرية شروط الإغواء لخصومهم لمشاركتهم في تسويقها، لكن أي تدقيق بعناصر هذا الزعم سيوصلنا إلى اعتباره كذبة كبيرة.

التفرغ لمواجهة الصين، كعنوان يعني توفير شروط مواجهة أفضل والانصراف عن كل إلهاء عن هذه المواجهة، والتمسك بكل تموضع سياسي أو اقتصادي أو عسكري يحسن شروط هذه المواجهة، ولأن المواجهة مركبة على المستويات السياسية والاقتصادية والعسكرية، فكل تقدم أميركي في هذه الميادين هو تسجيل نقاط تعزز فرص الفوز في المواجهة، وكل تراجع يعزز فرص الخسارة، خصوصاً عندما تكون الصين هي المرشح الأول للتموضع مكان الفراغ الأميركي، وإذا توقفنا أمام الخطوات الأميركية الأخيرة في ظل رئاسة بايدن، والتي تم تلطيف الطابع الانهزامي فيها والتخفيف من وطأته المعنوية بعبارة تجميلية اسمها التفرغ لمواجهة الصين، سنجد أمامنا ثلاثة نماذج، الأول هو الانسحاب من أفغانستان، والثاني هو السعي للعودة إلى الاتفاق النووي مع إيران، والثالث هو الحلف الأميركي البحري البريطاني- الأسترالي في المحيطين الهندي والهادئ المسمى «أوكوس»، وقد تم ربط كل منها بجملة التفرغ للمواجهة مع الصين، سواء على قاعدة وقف الاستنزاف في حالة أفغانستان، أو منع ظهور قوة نووية تربك المشهد الدولي وتوازناته كمبرر للعودة إلى الاتفاق النووي مع إيران، أو التقرب من خط المواجهة مع الصين كما يفترض بمهمة حلف أوكوس.

في حالة أفغانستان، يطرح السؤال عن صدقية الكلام حول كون الانسحاب العسكري، وتبعاته السياسية والاقتصادية يشكل عنصر تعزيز للوضعية الأميركية في المواجهة مع الصين، وأفغانستان كانت هدفاً أميركياً بالأساس لوقوفها جغرافياً على مثلث التقاطع بين روسيا والصين وإيران، وكانت الحرب التي مولتها ودعمتها الاستخبارات الأميركية منذ ثمانينيات القرن الماضي ضد الاتحاد السوفياتي في أفغانستان تتم تحت عنوان قطع الطريق على تنامي قوة روسيا والصين وإيران، كمصادر لتحديات للأمن القومي الأميركي، وعندما غزت القوات الأميركية أفغانستان عام 2001 كانت كل المواقف الأميركية في عهود جمهورية وديمقراطية تربط البقاء في أفغانستان باستراتيجيات المواجهة مع الثلاثي الآسيوي الصاعد، وما بعد الانسحاب الأميركي من أفغانستان، تبدو أفغانستان جائزة اقتصادية للصين، وجائزة عسكرية لروسيا، وجائزة سياسية لإيران، فكيف يكون الانسحاب منها مكسباً لمشروع التفرغ لمواجهة الصين، وعبرها تكون المواجهة من المسافة صفر، على الأقل لجهة فرص التنصت والحرب الاستخبارية والإلكترونية، إذا كانت الحرب العسكرية مستبعدة؟

في حالة إيران، يكفي التذكير بأن معاهدة التعاون الاستراتيجي بين الصين وإيران كانت سابقة لوصول بايدن إلى البيت الأبيض، والتذكير بأن إيران تمثل قلب آسيا الذي يشكل انضمامه إلى خطة الحزام والطريق التي تشكل عنوان المشروع الصيني الأول على الساحة الدولية، تمثل تحولاً نوعياً في ميزان القوى بين أميركا والصين، فعندما تصبح الصين في إيران فهي تلقائياً صارت على بوابة الخليج وبوابة قزوين وبوابة المتوسط وعلى تماس مباشر مع تقاطعات حدودية لعشرات الدول، وأي تفكير بإعادة الصين إلى ما وراء الحدود يبنى على منع الصين من التموضع في إيران، أو على الأقل بعدم تمكين إيران من تشكيل شريك فاعل للصين في توسيع نطاق نفوذها الدولي والإقليمي، وهذا ما كان أنصار الرئيس الأميركي السابق دونالد ترامب يبررون به ما يسمونه بالضغوط القصوى، وما جاء بايدن ليعلن فشله، مسلماً بأن إعاقة إيران عن التقدم أصيبت بالفشل، وأن مواصلة المواجهة تعني تكبد المزيد من الخسائر من دون جدوى، ولأن هذا صحيح، فالصحيح أيضاً أن التسليم بفوز إيران في جولة التحدي هو تسليم ضمني بأن الصين ستكون على ضفة الرابحين في كل إنجاز تحققه إيران.

في حلف أوكوس الذي قدمه أنصار بايدن كخطوة متقدمة للتقرب من البيئة الجغرافية المحيطة بالصين، بعض الخداع البصري، لأن السؤال هو هل هدف الحلف التقرب من الصين أم تأمين خط دفاعي عن الجغرافيا الأميركية من الميمنة البريطانية والميسرة الأسترالية كترجمة للانكفاء، أم خطة حشد نحو الصين، والجواب يكمن في ربط ولادة حلف أوكوس من رحم حلف الناتو، في وقت تلقى الناتو ضربة أولى بالانسحاب من أفغانستان وأصيب بتصدع لا تزال تردداته تتواصل، وجاء إعلان أوكوس بمثابة الضربة القاضية للناتو، بما أصاب فرنسا من خسارة وأذى بسببه، وبعدما أصابت شظايا صفقة الغواصات العلاقات الأميركية- الفرنسية، فهل يمكن الحديث عن التفرغ للمواجهة مع الصين من دون أولوية بناء حلف سياسي وعسكري متين تقوده واشنطن ويشاركها المواجهة، وهل أن تدمير الناتو يخدم المواجهة مع الصين، وقد كان الناتو مرشحاً أول لتشكيل خط المواجهة الدولية مثله مثل قمة السبعة، كركائز تتداعى من حول واشنطن، التي تعرف ما تفعل، لكنها تكذب بما تقول، فما تفعله واشنطن هو التخفف من أعباء سياسة الدولة الأولى في العالم للتفرغ لوضع داخلي على شفا كارثة، لا يملك ترف الدفاع عن موقع الزعامة في العالم وهو ينهار، ويشكل شعار التفرغ لمواجهة الصين ترجمة نموذجية للكذبة المطلوبة في تغطية هذا الانكفاء.

خصوم واشنطن الذين يكررون معادلة التفرغ الأميركي للمواجهة مع الصين مدعوون للمزيد من التدقيق بالعبارة قبل تردادها.

Secretive UK Base Linked to US Assassination of Iran’s Gen. Soleimani

October 4, 2021

Secretive UK Base Linked to US Assassination of Iran’s Gen. Soleimani

By Staff, Agencies

A new research reveals that a secretive UK intelligence base was likely involved in the US military’s drone strike that assassinated Iran’s Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani in early 2020, among its other controversial targeted killings.

According to the research, it “was probable” that the targeted killing of General Soleimani – who headed the Quds Force of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards [IRG] – had been planned using information obtained from the Menwith Hill intelligence base, run by the UK Royal Air Force, in Yorkshire, The Guardian reported on Saturday.

The research, titled ‘Menwith Hill in 3D, Domes, Data and Drone Strikes,’ was presented at a special meeting of the Menwith Hill Accountability Campaign, which works to raise public awareness meant to make the facility accountable for its activities.

Menwith Hill, the report said, “acted as a foreign outpost of the US National Security Agency [NSA].”

The research also raised questions about whether British personnel on the site are involved in assisting deadly US drone strikes – in particular in Yemen, Pakistan and Somalia.

“The involvement of the UK and Menwith Hill in an assassination that threatened to spark a war should be of great concern,” Barnaby Pace, an investigative journalist, wrote in the report in reference to General Soleimani’s assassination. “The UK government’s failure to assure the public that the base was not involved raises deep questions about the accountability for actions at the base.”

He also complained that the US and UK forces at Menwith Hill “operate beyond public scrutiny and accountability,” and that, unless there were change, “Orwellian surveillance systems and extrajudicial executions exposed in recent years will likely continue.”

“Intelligence programs at Menwith Hill have reportedly played a key role in operations to ‘eliminate’ people in Yemen, as part of a deadly drone bombing campaign that has resulted in dozens of civilian deaths in a country that neither the UK nor US has declared war with,” he added.

“Any US military activity or US security agency activity carried out at Menwith Hill [must] be carried out in such a way as to make those responsible fully accountable to the UK.”

Menwith Hill is the largest known overseas site of the NSA, with 600 US personnel and 500 British civilians on site.

The base is part of an eavesdropping network, able to collect data from hundreds of millions of emails and phone calls daily and of pinpointing phones on the ground, according to the files leaked by US whistleblower Edward Snowden. Information obtained can be used in “capture-kill” operations.

Late last year, a senior Iranian Judiciary official said British security services firm GS4 had been linked to General Soleimani’s assassination.

Agents of the company handed the information of General Soleimani and his entourage to the US as soon as they entered the Baghdad International Airport, outside of which the then Quds Force commander was murdered by the US drone raid, Tehran Prosecutor Ali Alqasimehr told Mizan on December 31, 2020.

General Soleimani was visiting Baghdad at the official invitation of the Iraqi government when he was assassinated, along with his Iraqi trenchmate Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the deputy head of the Popular Mobilization Units, and their other companions.

Both commanders were highly popular because of the key role they played in eliminating the Wahhabi Daesh [Arabic acronym for “ISIS” / “ISIL”] terrorist group in the region, particularly in Iraq and Syria.

The latest revelations have prompted calls from human rights campaigners for London to provide explanations on whether Yorkshire’s Menwith Hill base has been directly involved in the carrying out of US drone strikes.

Sayyed Safieddine: Iran Fuel Imports Not Hezbollah’s Last Step

October 4, 2021

Sayyed Safieddine: Iran Fuel Imports Not Hezbollah’s Last Step

By Staff, Agencies

The Head of Hezbollah’s Executive Council, His Eminence Sayyed Hashem Safieddine, underscored that Iran’s fuel shipments to Lebanon dealt a heavy blow to sanctions imposed by the US and its allies on the Arab country, but the resistance movement will double down with other measures.

“Fuel imports from Iran will not be the last step, as we have many other measures to take,” Sayyed Safieddine said at a ceremony in the southern Lebanese town of Bint Jbeil on Sunday night.

He said Lebanon is currently facing numerous crises and challenges, because it is now an integral part of the regional equations, but it needs to emerge victorious and dignified out of them and to move towards a new phase.

“We know that some Lebanese citizens are afraid of the word ‘challenge’. Nevertheless, Hezbollah will stand committed to the protection of our country, our nation, and our future,” Sayyed Safieddine said.

“There is no way to strengthen Lebanon other than performing a leading role in regional equations. Any other initiative is worthless, and falls within the framework of capitulation and surrender to ‘Israel’s’ interests,” he added.

Sayyed Safieddine said not only did the arrival of Iranian fuel shipments into Lebanon help solve the country’s dire shortages, but it also showed the Zionist entity’s inability in maritime terms to stop Lebanon-bound oil tankers sent by the Islamic Republic of Iran.

The ‘Israeli’ enemy, he said, is not seeking a naval confrontation with Hezbollah, which would expose the weakness of its regime.

“They know very well that our missiles can strike the farthest point deep inside the occupied territories. ‘Israel’ is also aware of the fact that we can prevent any ship from docking in the port cities of Acre, Haifa and Tel Aviv or any other region in the occupied lands.”

Tanker Trackers said on Friday that the third ship carrying Iranian gasoil or gasoline for distribution in Lebanon had entered the Gulf of Suez from the Red Sea. It identified the vessel as Fortune.

Last month, the first tanker trucks carrying Iranian fuel arranged by Hezbollah arrived in Lebanon, with the resistance group declaring that it had broken the “American siege.”

Lebanon has been mired in a deep economic and financial crisis since late 2019. The crisis is the gravest threat to the country’s stability since the 15-year civil war ended in 1990.

The economic and financial crisis is mostly linked to the sanctions that the United States and its allies have imposed on Lebanon as well as foreign intervention in the Arab nation’s domestic affairs.

Last month, Hezbollah Secretary General His Eminence Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said the Iranian fuel shipments would be distributed free of charge to institutions, including state hospitals, nursing homes, orphanages and the Red Cross.

“[Hezbollah] is not looking to make a business out of this but wants to help ease the people’s hardships,” Sayyed Nasrallah said, adding that the rest of the Iranian fuel would be sold “below cost” to bakeries, private hospitals or companies that run private generators.

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