China to receive two million barrels of Iranian oil, despite US sanctions

Iran has been cooperating with China, Russia, Venezuela, and Cuba in order to bypass the effects of US economic sanctions

May 19 2022

(Photo credit: Press TV)

ByNews Desk

China is scheduled to receive around two million barrels of Iranian crude oil this week that it will pump into an oil terminal in the Zhanjiang city of Guangdong province, southwest of the country.

The oil will be discharged by the Diona crude oil carrier owned by the National Iranian Tanker Company (NITC), according to Vortexa Analytics, an agency that specializes in tanker tracking.

“This would be the third Iranian oil cargo destined for government stockpile following two similar-sized shipments in December and January,” the agency reported.

Despite ongoing economic sanctions imposed on Iran by the US, China has been purchasing large amounts of Iranian oil over the past two years.

Iran plays a crucial role in the Belt and Road Initiative, a mega-infrastructure and economic initiative launched by Beijing to link the economies of Europe, Asia, and Africa, with an eye on expanding to Latin America.

Over recent years, Iran has played an instrumental role in cooperating with other countries to overcome the effects of punitive US sanctions.

On 3 May, Iranian Oil Minister Javad Owji met with Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro in Caracas to discuss energy relations and ways to overcome the repercussions of US sanctions unilaterally imposed on the two countries.

Venezuela and Iran have recently stepped up energy cooperation to overcome sanctions, with Venezuela importing condensate and thinners from Iran.

Back in January, an Iranian supertanker started discharging about two million barrels of Iranian condensate at the main port of Venezuela’s state-run oil company, as part of a bilateral deal that defies the US sanctions imposed on both nations.

On 17 May, UN Special Rapporteur Alena Douhan said the US must lift economic sanctions on Iran due to the harmful impact they have on the Iranian people.

“I call on the United States to abandon unilateral sanctions,” the UN special rapporteur told a press conference in Tehran.

Douhan went further, saying that the application of “extra-territorial sanctions on Iranian companies or companies working with Iran or paying Iran in dollars is illegal under international law.”

The UN official said she would address her concerns over the legality of US sanctions in her final report, to be published at a later date.

UN rapporteur: Human Rights in Iran Severely Affected by US Sanctions

May 19, 2022

A top UN human rights official has slammed the United States for its brutal sanctions regime against the Islamic Republic of Iran, asserting that harsh economic sanctions have had a damaging impact on human rights in the country.

Alena Douhan, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Negative Impact of Unilateral Coercive Measures on the Enjoyment of Human Rights, who is on an official visit to Iran these days, convened a press conference in Tehran on Wednesday afternoon.

Speaking to reporters, Douhan noted that decades of sanctions have wholly affected Iranian people’s lives and have particularly hit the low-income section of the society.

While presenting her assessment of the unilateral coercive measures (UCM) against Iran, the UN official who works under a mandate from the United Nations Human Rights Council, called on Washington to abandon its hard-nosed policy of maximum pressure against Iran and other countries.

Douhan, who arrived in Tehran earlier this month, said she had met with many civil society members, representatives of financial centers, diplomatic community during her visit.

She said she will address her concerns about the legality of US sanctions in her final report, which will be released at a later date.

Douhan’s mission from May 7 to 18 is the first to Iran by a UN special rapporteur.

Before embarking on the trip, the UN official said she hoped to “gather first-hand information on the impact of unilateral coercive measures on the full realization of all human rights” in Iran.

“My visit will aim at covering all walks of life and sectors affected by such measures,” she noted, dismissing speculation in the Western media that she was heading to Iran with a specific agenda.

She told reporters on Wednesday that the US has since the 1970s imposed crippling economic and trade sanctions on Iran and significantly expanded them since the early 2000s.

In May 2018, the former US President Donald Trump, after unilaterally withdrawing his country from the 2015 nuclear deal, reinstated harsh economic sanctions on Iran and slapped new ones in an unprecedented move that was widely decried.

Under the 2015 agreement, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), international sanctions on the Islamic Republic were eased in exchange for Tehran putting limitations on certain aspects of its nuclear activities.

Trump’s sanctions deprived the Islamic Republic of economic dividends under the accord as it barred countries and international firms from working with Iran.

The mercurial real estate tycoon-turned-president’s successor, Joe Biden, who was vice president when the JCPOA was inked in 2015, promised to return his country to the deal. But his administration has failed to honor the commitment, following Trump’s legacy.

According to the UN special rapporteur, the US continues to illegally ban trade and investment in Iran, forcing foreign companies to leave the country for the fear of sanctions.

Douhan’s landmark visit to Iran came amid the stalemate over the nuclear deal, with the US showing reluctance to respond to Iran’s proposals.

Decrying the US decision to abandon the nuclear deal and continue with its sanctions regime, she said the deal was endorsed by UN Security Council Resolution 2231.

“Applying extraterritorial sanctions on Iranian companies or companies working with Iran … is illegal under international law,” she asserted.

Commenting on Iran’s frozen assets abroad, the UN official said the assets estimated to be around $120 billion need to be unblocked.

“I urge the states that have frozen the assets of Iranian Central Bank to immediately unfreeze Iran’s funds based on international law.”

Douhan began her 11-day visit to Iran on May 7, a day before the fourth anniversary of the US illegal withdrawal from the JCPOA.

Last week, Iran’s top human rights official Kazem Gharibabadi said Douhan’s visit was only aimed at gathering information on the impact of sanctions to hold countries (US) to account.

“Nations hit by sanctions should use all available resources to hold the countries calling for and enforcing unilateral sanctions liable,” Gharibabadi said.

His comments came in response to reports in Western media accusing Iran of exploiting the visit to avoid accountability and “deflect attention” from its alleged human rights violations.

In her Wednesday press conference, Douhan also welcomed Iran’s efforts to support Afghan refugees, displaced by the 20-year US war, despite reeling under sanctions.

“I call on the sanctioning states, particularly the US, to abandon the unilateral sanctions,” she stated.

She also referred to stalled negotiations in Vienna to bring the US back to the JCPOA, urging the JCPOA signatories and the US to resume the negotiations.”

Iran and the P4+1 group of countries – Britain, France, Germany, China, and Russia – have held several rounds of sanctions in the Austrian capital since April 2021 to revive the JCPOA.

Iran says its primary goal at the talks is to have the illegal US sanctions removed.

Source: Iranian media (edited by Al-Manar English Website)

Turkey, Israel, Al Qaeda, Kurdish SDF Coordinated Attacks against Syria

ARABI SOURI

Turkey, led by the madman sultan wannabe Erdogan, Israel’s most loyal servant, Israel itself, a host of Al Qaeda and its affiliated terrorist groups, the US-sponsored Kurdish SDF separatist terrorists, with the guidance of the USA and all the help they could receive from other NATO members have escalated their coordinated attacks against the Syrian people, the Syrian army, and the local defense units in central and northern Syria.

Israel carries out its heaviest bombing in months against four Syrian provinces, Hama, Homs, Tartous, and Latakia, the Kurdish SDF separatist terrorists besiege the Syrians in cities and towns in the northeastern Syrian provinces of Raqqa, Deir Ezzor, and Hasakah, and Turkey with its sponsored Al Qaeda terrorist groups join their efforts to attack and bomb local Syrian defense units, towns, and villages in Aleppo countryside.

The past 24 hours are considered the most violent in the US-led war on Syria in the past two years as this video report by Reda Al-Basha for the Lebanese Al Mayadeen news channel adds:

The video is also available on BitChuteRumble, and TikTok.

Transcript

This explosion took the escalation in the northern countryside of Aleppo to levels where the drums of war are beating again, eleven martyrs from the local defense west of Aleppo; Turkey’s militants targeted their bus with a guided missile.

Turkey entered the line of engagement, its artillery bombed villages and towns in the northern countryside of Aleppo, which reflects Ankara’s efforts to expand its geographical escalation from northeastern Syria to its northwest.

Rizan Haddou – Political Analyst: It is a Turkish message, the Syrian opposition factions are just a postman. The message is addressed first to Iran in response to the tension that has marred Turkish-Iranian relations recently. It is also a message to Russia for Turkey to announce that it is the guarantor and is able to control the Syrian opposition factions, which demand to exploit the Russian-Ukrainian war and Russia’s preoccupation, in order to open fronts inside Syria.

The Turkish messages of fire received a violent response from the Syrian army. The Syrian warplanes returned to the skies of the de-escalation zones, destroyed a camp for the Olive Branch militants, and the raids targeted the 111th Regiment of Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS aka Al-Qaeda in the Levant) west of Aleppo.

An air raid on its side and artillery shelling did not exclude the Turkish military bases.

Sohaib Masri – Syrian journalist: These fronts witnessed a cautious calm more than a year ago when Putin and Erdogan signed a ceasefire and agreed that these fronts would remain calm. There were minor skirmishes through shooting or shelling targeting empty places where there is no military presence, but yesterday there was a new escalation.

24 hours ranks the most violent on the Aleppo fronts for two years, a reality that brings Turkish plans to establish a buffer zone in northern Syria to the forefront of events again, and puts the region at the gates of battles whose fire is looming on the horizon.

Turkey’s transfer of its military escalation from northeastern Syria to its northwest, at a depth of 30 km, reminds us of Turkish efforts to establish a buffer zone along the border with Syria. Ankara wants it as an area to ensure the preservation of its tools from armed groups that can be employed according to the requirements of Turkish needs and interests.

Reda Al-Basha, Aleppo – Al-Mayadin.

End of the transcript

The coordinated attacks are all carried out under the supervision and sponsorship of the Biden junta, led by a demented old man whose hysteric madness against Russia is leading him to burn the world to save his family’s and his cult’s investments in Ukraine, and elsewhere. Distracting Russia in Syria after the Turkish madman Erdogan blocked the Russian navy fleet from moving out of the Black Sea to reach its naval base on the Syrian coast near Tartous sounds like a good strategy presented by some of his non-bright aides.

The main problem with the USA and its satellite states, entities, and terrorist groups is when they put a plan they put it only from their perspective and how they see the world, they do not take into consideration their adversaries counter plans and capabilities, hence the endless failures of the US foreign policies around the globe despite the unspoken level of criminality ever since it took over the empire of evil title from the British somewhere during WWII.

The USA might be at a better advantage than its stooges, it mainly fights from a distance and nobody is interested in waging a war against a wounded beast, the world is watching it licking its wounds and howl through its final days until it implodes from within; the US stooges, however, are either within the battlefronts or directly on its borders, the blowback of the failures will have very harsher repercussions against them.

Make no mistake, the response is coming, sooner than earlier anticipated after the latest escalations, it will come to Israel, its loyal Turkish servant the regime of the Turkish madman Erdogan and his plethora of Al Qaeda terrorist groups, and the ones who will pay the highest price are, as usual, the Kurdish separatists, their only consolation is they’ll join the temporary entity of European and other Zionist settlers in Palestine in paying the price, history repeats itself because it produces lunatics in abundance, lunatics who refuse to learn from history’s lessons and refuse to learn from their own mistakes.

Everything’s Getting Messy Again In Afghanistan

15 MAY 2022

Source

By Andrew Korybko

Afghanistan’s internal insecurity, border tensions, and the potentially Pakistani-backed US military factor are combining to create yet another storm in the New Cold War that threatens to destabilize the region.

Russia’s ongoing special military operation in Ukraine and the US-led West’s unprecedented response to it have distracted the international community from Afghanistan, which is once again becoming an issue of regional concern. The foreign occupiers’ chaotic evacuation from that country last August and the Taliban’s return to power in the aftermath haven’t stabilized the situation all that much. The group is still designated as terrorists by most of the world and their leadership remains unrecognized despite all stakeholders – including Russia — still interacting with them for pragmatism’s sake.

Afghanistan somehow avoided the full-scale humanitarian crisis that many were worried about but its people’s most basic needs still aren’t being adequately met. Observers also feel very uncomfortable about the Taliban returning to its old ways by once again banning women from showing their uncovered faces in public. The comparatively more secular and ethnically cosmopolitan northern part of the country that’s majority inhabited by Tajiks and other Central Asian people might not take too kindly to this decree, which could fuel anti-government movements there.

In fact, it was reported just this weekend that the “National Resistance Front” (NRF) has returned to fighting against the Taliban in the Panjshir Valley. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov was asked about this on Friday following the CIS Foreign Ministers Council meeting in Dushanbe where he reiterated Moscow’s stance that the only sustainable political solution is to form an ethno-regionally inclusive government. He also expressed optimism that “our allies in Tajikistan with serious influence in Afghanistan, primarily the country’s north, will also keep helping us achieve our common goals.”

That former Soviet Republic is a key stakeholder in Afghanistan since it exerts influence over its co-ethnics across the border and was previously suspected of supporting anti-Taliban forces there. President Putin also spoke to his Tajik counterpart Rahmon on Friday, during which time the two discussed Afghanistan and confirmed that they’ll “continue to cooperate to ensure security on the Tajikistan-Afghanistan border.” This is especially important following reports that ISIS-K terrorists from Afghanistan recently claimed credit for a cross-border attack that Tajik officials nonetheless denied.

On the topic of cross-border terrorism emanating from Afghanistan, neighboring Pakistan reportedly carried out several strikes there in the middle of last month against TPP terrorists who martyred several of their soldiers days prior. Islamabad also reportedly just handed over two top TPP commanders to the Afghan Taliban, who’ve been mediating peace talks between them. Amidst all of this, Pakistan remains mired in political uncertainty following its scandalous change of government in early April that former Prime Minister Khan claims was orchestrated by the US as punishment for his independent policies.

While its internal security situation is expected to remain stable considering the world-class professionalism of its military and intelligence services, speculation abounds about the trajectory of its foreign policy. Newly inaugurated Foreign Minister Bhutto’s upcoming trip to the US is inconveniently occurring at the exact moment that its political, economic, and international uncertainties are converging. The relevance of this to Afghanistan is the US’ recent reaffirmation that it retains the capabilities to strike terrorists in Afghanistan if it so chooses, perhaps with speculative Pakistani support.  

Former Prime Minister Khan claimed that the alleged US-orchestrated regime change plot against him first started when he publicly said that his country will “absolutely not” host any American bases in the wake of the US’ withdrawal from neighboring Afghanistan. Critics of the new authorities who replaced him suspect that they might be secretly negotiating some sort of military arrangement with the US to facilitate American anti-terrorist strikes there, which could possibly target ISIS-K but also the TTP that Washington also officially regards as terrorists just like Islamabad does.

While there’s nothing of tangible substance to base this speculation on, it’s still a matter of public record that the US said on multiple occasions that it’s actively seeking out regional bases to facilitate its so-called “over-the-horizon” strikes in Afghanistan. Russia was concerned that its American rival might poach one of the Central Asian Republics from its informal “sphere influence” into this scheme, though that hasn’t materialized, at least not yet. Even so, Moscow must be watching Washington’s reported $20 million unarmed Puma drone deal with Dushanbe with suspicion to see where it might lead.

On the topic of cross-border attacks, it also deserves mentioning that reports came in a few weeks back alleging that tensions were boiling along the Afghan-Iranian border. Tehran denied that any clashes took place but most observers still consider ties between it and the Taliban to be very complicated, to say the least. Taking stock of the overall situation, Afghanistan’s domestic stability has been rocked by ISIS-K suicide bombings and the latest reported “NRF” offensive while international tensions are dangerously growing between the Taliban and its Iranian, Pakistani, and Tajik neighbors.

Against the backdrop of the Taliban imposing its strict socio-religious standards onto the rest of the population in spite of the risk that this will only worsen resentment from some minorities against it, as well as the country’s humanitarian crisis being far from resolved even though it hasn’t yet exploded, it can be concluded that everything risks spiraling out of control if all these counterproductive trends aren’t soon reversed. Pakistan’s crossing of the Rubicon by kinetically defending its objective national security interests through reported anti-TTP strikes also adds an unpredictable dimension to this too.

The same can be said for the pivot towards the US that the new authorities’ critics suspect is unfolding and which might manifest itself through those two unofficially teaming up to occasionally fight terrorism in Afghanistan. The US is still actively searching for a regional base, which can only realistically be in Pakistan if it ever comes to pass since its new Tajik partner can’t legally host one without Russia’s approval due to its legal commitments through the CSTO mutual defense pact. Any enhanced Pakistani-American anti-terrorist and/or military cooperation could greatly reshape regional dynamics.

All the while, there’s also some positive news too even though it pales in comparison to the negative. Foreign Minister Lavrov spoke at the beginning of the month about the need for mutually beneficial economic engagement with Afghanistan, which he repeated on Friday after the CIS meeting that was hyperlinked to earlier in this analysis. New Taliban-appointed Afghan charge d’affairs to Russia Jamal Nasir Garwal, who also reportedly attended the Victory Day parade in Moscow, publicly reciprocated this interest by emphasizing how much his country needs Russian energy resources right now.

These signals prompted speculation that a Taliban delegation might soon travel to Moscow to discuss such deals, though Russian Special Presidential Envoy to Afghanistan Zamir Kabulov denied that anything of the sort was in the cards at this moment. Still, that would represent a positive development if it comes to pass and would complement the Taliban’s planned economic cooperation with China. The larger trend seems to be that while Afghanistan’s ties with Iran, Pakistan, and Tajikistan become more complicated, its ties with Russia and China are becoming more comprehensive.

To be absolutely clear, correlation doesn’t mean causation so nobody should think that regional stakeholders are dividing into pro- and anti-Taliban blocs, but it’s still an important trend to pay attention to since it suggests that Russia and China might soon be able to exert more influence over the Taliban than previously expected. In the event that Pakistan strikes some sort of anti-terrorist or military deal with the US as part of its speculative plans to repair ties with it through such arrangements that critics might describe as concessions, then those two might become more suspicious of its intentions.

After all, Pakistan has unofficially frozen talks with Russia over what former Prime Minister Khan insists were his previously active negotiations to purchase fuel from Moscow, including at a 30% discount, but which the new Energy Minister claimed had never happened. The latter said this in spite of there being documented evidence from credible sources confirming that his statement was factually incorrect, including Foreign Minister Lavrov revealing while in Islamabad on 7 April 2021 that there was “mutual interest” in this, “appropriate proposals have been put forward”, and Russia is “waiting for a response”.

The scandal over Russian-Pakistani energy talks concerns much more than just those two countries since all interested observers can now see that the new authorities are publicly distancing themselves from their predecessors’ negotiations with the Kremlin for whatever reason, even going as far as to share factually incorrect information with the public about this. The impression that they’re probably left with is that this might be done under American pressure, which in turn adds credence to former Prime Minister Khan’s narrative about the US being behind his ouster and now influencing his replacements.

This insight is pertinent for Afghanistan since it also adds credence to suspicions that Pakistan and the US might be secretly negotiating some anti-terrorist or military deals focused on that war-torn country, with Islamabad possibly even conceding on some issues that its prior government never would have in pursuit of clinching such an agreement in the hopes of repairing its troubled ties with Washington. The reintroduction of US forces to the region, even clandestine ones such as CIA drone teams, could be very destabilizing and thus contribute to even more uncertainty about Afghanistan’s overall situation.

The scenario of Pakistan’s new authorities, who rose to power through scandalous circumstances that the ousted premier attributed to a US-orchestrated conspiracy, facilitating the American military’s and/or intelligence’s return to the region would certainly be frowned upon by all regional stakeholders. No matter what’s said between their diplomats, it’s doubtful that they place much trust in that country’s new leadership after its Energy Minister passionately insisted that former Prime Minister Khan was lying about his energy negotiations with Russia in spite of the official facts contradicting him.

The uncertainty about Pakistan’s grand strategic trajectory after its recent change of government and the credible concerns that its new leadership is preparing to decisively pivot towards the US contribute to the larger uncertainty about everything associated with Afghanistan right now. The overall situation is negative and there’s too much “fog of (hybrid) war” to confidently predict where everything is headed. Afghanistan’s internal insecurity, border tensions, and the potentially Pakistani-backed US military factor are combining to create yet another storm in the New Cold War that threatens to destabilize the region.

الرئيس الأسد في طهران: الحلف القويّ يزداد قوّة

الجمعة 13 مايو 2022

المصدر: الميادين نت

جو غانم 

استراتيجيّات دمشق وطهران المشتركة، فقد تجاوزت بأشواط بعيدة هوامش العلاقات والمكاسب والمصالح السياسية.

الرئيس الأسد في طهران: الحلف القويّ يزداد قوّة

في الشكل السياسيّ العام، قد لا تُشكّل زيارة الرئيس السوريّ بشار الأسد إلى طهران، يوم الأحد 8 أيّار/مايو، مفاجأة لمتابعي الملفات السياسية في المنطقة والعلاقات بين البلدين الحليفين، حتى لو ابتعدت نحو 3 سنوات عن الزيارة السابقة، فهي تأتي ضمن الحراك السياسيّ البينيّ المتوقّع في أيّة لحظة، وذلك ربطاً بطبيعة العلاقات بين البلدين، وبتطورات المنطقة المرتبطة بكلّ تفاصيلها السياسية والعسكرية والاقتصادية بالعاصمتين اللتين شكّلتا محور الأحداث في المنطقة، ووجهة أهداف كلّ المشاريع الدولية للإقليم على مدى العقد الأخير على وجه الخصوص.

لكنْ، ومن جهة أخرى، إنّ هذه الزيارة بعيدة كلّ البعد، في الشكل والمضمون، عن كونها زيارة روتينيّة أو تواصلاً عاديّاً ودوريّاً بين قيادتي بلدين حليفين أو صديقين، فمعظم الحراك السياسيّ الإقليميّ والدوليّ الذي شهدته المنطقة في الأعوام الأخيرة، وما رافقه من تطورات اقتصادية مفتعلة أو قسريّة، وتحرّكات أو خطط وهجومات عسكريّة، كان يستهدف فكّ هذا الحلف المتين بين البلدين أو على الأقلّ إضعافه.

إن دمشق تحديداً تلقّت أكبر قدر من الاستهدافات والضغوطات والإغراءات التي تركّزت بمجملها على هذا البند – الإيرانيّ والمقاوم – الثابت في طريقة التعاطي معها منذ انتصار المقاومة الإسلامية في لبنان، واندحار العدو الصهيوني من الجنوب في العام 2000، ثم اجتياح العراق ودخول مشروع “الشرق الأوسط الجديد” حيز التنفيذ، حتى اللحظة.

تأتي زيارة الرئيس الأسد إلى طهران بعد أقلّ من شهرين على زيارته العاصمة الإماراتية أبو ظبيّ، والتي اعتبرها العديد من المحللين والمتابعين وقتذاك منعطفاً مفصليّاً في السياسة الدولية والإقليميّة حيال الشام، بعد 10 سنوات من محاولات تحطيم سوريا بكلّ السبل، وكسر إرادة دمشق الوطنيّة، وعزلها في أقصى زوايا الضعف السياسيّ والعسكريّ والاقتصادي، لترفع آخر راية بيضاء يمكنها نزعها من مزق خيمة المقاومة، بعد أنْ صبغ العالم الغربي وأدواته الداخلية والإقليمية خريطتها كلها بلون الدم الأحمر. 

لقد قيل الكثير عن زيارة الرئيس الأسد للإمارات، وما سيليها، وذهب البعض بعيداً في الحديث عن نجاح العمل الغربي – العربيّ بإحداث خرق على خطّ دمشق – طهران، متّكئين على تداعيات الحصار الخانق الذي تعانيه سوريا، وحاجتها إلى طوق نجاه يُبعد شبح الجوع المُخيّم على بيوت مواطنيها ومؤسساتها.

وهناك من تحدث عن تحقيق العرب المطبّعين مع العدو الإسرائيليّ نقاطاً جديدة تخدم مشروع العدو، على حساب مشروع المقاومة التي تقف دمشق وطهران على رأسه وفي قلبه.

وقد تحدّثنا حينذاك في “الميادين نت” عمّا أثبتته دمشق دائماً بأنّ كل تلك التحليلات والاستشرافات تثبت جهلاً بالسياسة السورية وثوابتها الوطنية والاستراتيجية، وتنمّ عن ضعف في قراءة حقيقة طبيعة العلاقات السورية – الإيرانيّة، واستسهال في دراسة النتائج والتحديثات الاستراتيجيّة المتتالية التي عمل ويعمل عليها محور المقاومة الممتد ميدانيّاً من طهران إلى أقصى الشمال والشرق السوريّيْن، مروراً باليمن والعراق ولبنان، وبمركزه فلسطين المحتلة.

لذلك كله، يأتي هذا التواصل السوري الإيرانيّ الجديد، وكل تصريح أو جملة وردت خلال هذه الزيارة على لسان الرئيس السوريّ بشار الأسد، والسيد علي خامنئي، والرئيس الإيراني إبراهيم رئيسي، لتعطي فرصة جديدة لمن يريد قراءة الحدث كما ينبغي، ولاستشراف مستقبل المنطقة انطلاقاً من إرادة “محور القدس” وخططه ومشاريعه لمنطقته وشعوبه، لا من زاوية المشاريع والخطط الأميركية والإسرائيلية للمنطقة، والتي تهاوت وتتهاوى تحت ضربات هجوم مضادّ على امتداد ساحات المقاومة في المنطقة وميادينها، وصولاً إلى ميدان الصراع العالميّ الأشمل حول العاصمة الأوكرانية كييف، وعلى مشارف الحدود مع حلف الناتو.

لقد أصرّ الرئيس الأسد بدايةً على تذكّر الشهيد قاسم سليماني، ودوره الكبير في النضال في مواجهة المشاريع الغربية في سوريا تحديداً، وفي المنطقة عموماً، ومحبته لسوريا ومحبة سوريا له، ودوره في ترتيب زيارة الرئيس الأسد إلى طهران قبل 3 سنواتٍ.

وحين يكون اسم اللواء قاسم سليماني، بكلّ ما يعنيه هذا الاسم لأهل المقاومة وأعدائها الذين استهدفوه شخصيّاً، فاتحة الحديث بين قادة البلدين، ويكون خلَفه اللواء إسماعيل قاآني الذي رتّب هذه الزيارة وحضر كل تفاصيلها، فهذا يعني أننا لسنا أمام لقاء روتينيّ وعاديّ لقادة سياسيين عاديين، بل أمام لقاء بين قادة ميدانيين يقاتلون كتفاً إلى كتف لبلوغ غايات استراتيجية كبيرة تتعدّى كلّ ما هو عاديّ وروتينيّ في العلاقات بين الدول.

نحن هنا، وبناءً على كلّ كلمة قيلت في هذه القمّة أو خبرٍ رشح عن كواليسها أمام لقاء بين قادة محور مقاومٍ يتحدّثون لغة واحدة، ويستهلّون كلامهم ويختمونه بالحديث عن المقاومة وحاضرها وجدواها ومستقبلها وطرق تصعيدها وحصد نتائجها، ويبحثون في السياسة من قلب هذا السياق تحديداً، وتبدو وحدة الحال بينهم أمتن وأقوى من أيّ وقت مضى، منطلقين من واقعٍ عمليّ واستراتيجيّ اشتغلوا عليه معاً لسنوات طويلة، وقدّموا فيه الكثير من الأثمان الباهظة والتضحيات النفيسة، ويرون أنّ نتائجه حتى اللحظة باهرة وعظيمة، وتستدعي ظروفه الراهنة لقاءً مثل هذا للتباحث والتشاور ووضع الخطط الاستراتيجية القادمة. 

إنّ فلسطين تشتعل تحت أقدام المحتلّ الذي يتخبّط تحت وقع عمليّات فدائيّة يعجز عن التعامل معها، كما يعجز عن القيام بردّ عسكريّ شامل ومدمّر كعادته في أزمان خلت على مدن فلسطين وقراها، حيث تهدّد قوى المقاومة الفلسطينية العدو بالويل والثبور إذا ما أقدم على ذلك أو على اغتيال أيّ قائد من قادة المقاومة، والعدو يعرف أنّ المقاومة جدّية وقادرة، وهي على قدر التهديدات هذه المرّة، ويعرف أنّ فصائل المقاومة الفلسطينية التي تُشكّل عصب هذا المحور، أذابت الكثير من الفروقات والتناقضات والخلافات لمصلحة الهدف الأسمى، كما يعلم أنّ هذا العمل استلزم جهد جميع أطراف محور المقاومة لبلوغه، وعلى رأسهم طهران ودمشق. كما أنّ الواقع الميدانيّ في سوريا واليمن والعراق، والسياسيّ – الانتخابيّ – في لبنان، يُظهر تقدّماً كبيراً وراسخاً لقوى محور المقاومة، مقابل عجز واضح للمحور المعادي وأدواته المحليّة.

وانطلاقاً من هذا كلّه، فإنّ حديث قادة المقاومة في سوريا وإيران خلال هذه الزيارة عن نظام عالميّ جديد هو حديث يصدر عمّن ساهم وشارك في صنع هذا النظام على مستوى الإقليم على الأقلّ، الأمر الذي ساعد كثيراً القوى الدولية الحليفة والصديقة، وعلى رأسها روسيا والصين، في السير باتّجاه المواجهة مع النظام العالمي الذي تقوده الولايات المتحدة، والسعي إلى إزاحته وإرساء نظام جديد.

لقد ساهمت دمشق وطهران وقوى محور المقاومة في المنطقة بشكل أساسيّ ومباشر وفاعل في كسر أخطر المشاريع الغربية والإسرائيلية لمنطقتنا في السنوات العشر الأخيرة وإفشالها، وها هو الرئيس السوريّ بشار الأسد يقف إلى جانب إخوة السلاح في طهران – بعد حديث عن لقاء جمعه بالسيد حسن نصر الله قبل الزيارة إلى طهران – ليعلنوا معاً تمتين هذا الحلف الاستراتيجي، ويبحثوا في سبل ترسيخه وتقدّمه على جميع المستويات، وخصوصاً الاقتصاديّة منها، وذلك بعد أنْ بلغ المستوى العسكريّ والأمني درجة كبيرة من الوضوح في التقدّم والأفضليّة.

 ولعلّ تدشين خطّ ائتمان إيراني جديد باتّجاه سوريا، بالتزامن مع الزيارة، لإمداد دمشق بموارد الطاقة اللازمة للفترة القادمة، أفضل مؤشّر على طريقة العمل الواثق الذي تنتهجه قيادة البلدين. 

من هنا تحديداً، يجب أن يعيد المهتمّون في الإقليم والعالم قراءة العلاقات الثنائية بين سوريا وإيران، قبل أيّ قراءة في تفاصيل النشاطات السياسية التي تضطرب وتعتمل في المنطقة، والتي تشتغل دمشق وطهران معاً على هوامشها المتاحة لتحقيق إنجازات سياسية واقتصاديّة مدروسة تماماً، ولا تخرج عن المصلحة العامة لاستراتيجية المحور، فيما قد تحقّق بعض الهدوء وربط النزاعات على عدة جبهات وميادين، قد يبدو أنّ المحور الآخر يستفيد منها مرحليّاً أو يحدّ من خسائره على الأقلّ. 

وحين يركّز قادة سوريا وإيران في أحاديثهم خلال هذه الزيارة على شعوب المنطقة العربية وموقفها من القضية الفلسطينية، والهوّة الساحقة بينها وبين قادتها وحكوماتها، وهو ما تجلّى في الاحتفال بيوم القدس العالميّ، فإنّ الرسالة تعني تماماً وتحديداً الثقة بقدرة أهل المقاومة وشعبها في المنطقة على عزل كيان الاحتلال الإسرائيليّ، ورهان قادة محور المقاومة الثابت على فشل كلّ محاولات التطبيع العربية مع هذا الكيان المؤقت، أو دمجه في المنطقة ككيان طبيعي ينتمي إلى جسم الإقليم. 

هذا الأمر تحديداً يُظهر موقف دمشق وطهران الدائم من التطبيع، ويضع حدّاً للتأويلات الجديدة والضعيفة التي برزت بعد زيارة الرئيس الأسد إلى الإمارات العربية المتحدة في آذار/مارس الماضي، وخصوصاً أنّ الرئيس الأسد أكّد في تصريح له خلال زيارته طهران أنّ مجريات الأحداث في المنطقة “أثبتت مجدّداً صواب الرؤى والنهج الذي سارت عليه سوريا وإيران منذ سنوات”، وخصوصاً في مواجهة الإرهاب والمشاريع الغربية للمنطقة. وغنيّ عن القول إنّ دمشق وطهران تصنّفان كيان الاحتلال قوّة إرهابية عالميّة مدمّرة، كما تصنّفان الجماعات الإرهابية المتطرفة أدوات لهذا الكيان وللغرب الراعي له.

من المفترض أن يكون كل تعويل خارجيّ أو إقليميّ على كسر حلف طهران – دمشق أو إضعافه قد سقط في هذه الزيارة، كذلك المراهنات على تداعيات الحصار الغربي لسوريا، والحديث عن محاولات عربيّة لإحداث خرقٍ من خلال الانفتاح على دمشق وتعويضها اقتصاديّاً وسياسيّاً، فالاستراتيجية الوطنية السورية تعمل على مسار آخر تماماً، بعيد كلّ البعد عن المقايضات السياسية والاقتصادية، وهي ترى أنّ أيّ انفتاح عربيّ أو دوليّ عليها فرضه صمودها وقتالها المرير على مدى 10 سنوات، وإلى جانبها الحليف والشريك الإيرانيّ، وباقي الحلفاء في محور المقاومة والعالم.

وقد كان تمتين الحلف الاستراتيجيّ بين البلدين وجميع قوى محور المقاومة الموضوعَ الرئيسيّ في هذا اللقاء، وجرى البحث في كلّ السبل الواجب اتّخاذها فوراً لتعزيز هذا الحلف، ولسدّ كلّ نقص اقتصاديّ على جبهاته الداخلية، فقد كان المسؤولون السوريون والإيرانيون يوقّعون اتفاقيات وتفاهمات اقتصادية جديدة، حين كان الرئيس الأسد يقول للمرشد الإيراني السيد علي خامئني والرئيس إبراهيم رئيسي: “إنّ ما يمنع الكيان الصهيونيّ من السيطرة على المنطقة هو العلاقات الاستراتيجية السورية الإيرانية”، وهو السياق الذي اتّبعه جميع المسؤولين في البلدين في تصريحاتهم أثناء الزيارة وبعدها.

ولعلّ قول وزير الخارجية الإيرانيّ السيد أمير عبد اللهيان بعد اللقاء إنّ “زيارة الرئيس الأسد فتحت مرحلة استراتيجيّة جديدة بين البلدين”، وحديثه عن “العزم الإيراني السوريّ على الرقيّ بالعلاقات الثنائية وصولاً إلى أفضل مستوى لائق”، يدلان بشكل واضح على النحو الذي ستجري فيه الأمور على هذا الصعيد في المرحلة القادمة. 

بعد زيارة الرئيس الأسد هذه لإيران، هناك زيارة لأمير قطر على رأس وفد رفيع إلى طهران، وذلك بعد وقت قصير من إعطاء واشنطن أمير قطر صفة “الحليف الاستراتيجيّ”، وفي هذا مؤشّر على أنّ طهران ودمشق استطاعتا وأد جميع الرهانات التي جرى العمل عليها طوال السنوات العشر الماضية، والتي كانت تهدف إلى إسقاطهما وهزيمتهما أو عزلهما تماماً على الأقلّ.

 ومن الواضح أنّ انتصارهما وتقدّم حليفيهما الروسيّ والصينيّ على الجبهات العسكرية والاقتصادية على مستوى العالم، يدفعان دول المنطقة إلى السّعي نحو تعزيز العلاقات معهما، باعتبارهما قوّتين لا يمكن تجاوزهما بعد الآن. 

أمّا استراتيجيّات دمشق وطهران المشتركة، فقد تجاوزت بأشواط بعيدة هوامش العلاقات والمكاسب والمصالح السياسية العادية بين الدول، وبلغت مرحلة العمل كقوّة واحدة مع الشركاء في قوى المقاومة في المنطقة، وها هي تلك الاستراتيجية تعمل بأقصى قوتها على أرض فلسطين المحتلة الآن، إذ تُكمل المقاومة الفلسطينية مهمّة رسم النظام الإقليميّ الجديد.

إن الآراء المذكورة في هذه المقالة لا تعبّر بالضرورة عن رأي الميادين وإنما تعبّر عن رأي صاحبها حصراً

Beyond Seif Al-Quds: “Israel’s” Upcoming War

Posted by INTERNATIONALIST 360°

Karim Sharara

If a wider war breaks out, “Israel’s” strategy will be an offensive one that will feature the use of ground forces.

The battle of Seif Al-Quds introduced a shift in the Resistance’s operations and the future of the Axis of Resistance. What changed during the battle, and how does “Israel” plan on tackling the next war?

Much has been said in the aftermath of the Battle of Seif Al-Quds, what the Israelis termed “Guardian of the Walls” (the name did not age well). Seif Al-Quds, or Al-Quds Sword, was no less than a game-changer in terms of developments in the region, which introduced another chink into Israeli armor, an introduction to a paradigm shift in regional and international relations.

As the events of Sheikh Jarrah were unfolding, and anger mounting against “Israel’s” inhumane, illegal, and shameless colonial practices, so were Israeli attacks against the Al-Aqsa Mosque, and with them, popular resistance and confrontations against Israeli occupation forces picked up. For the first time, with the beginning of the Resistance’s ultimatum for Israeli forces to withdraw from Sheikh Jarrah and the Al-Aqsa Mosque’s courtyard, ending with the Resistance launching rockets after the occupation failed to comply and leave the occupied territories, there was a complete unity between the Resistance and the people.

While Palestine’s Resistance factions operated in complete unison, so did the people of Palestine take to the streets and riot against their oppression by the IOF.

The significance of these happenings wasn’t just limited to Palestinian unity, which was translated into a renewed hope for liberation. For the first time, we also saw statements by Resistance leaders signaling unison among regional Resistance factions as well.

In simple terms, a prolonged war on Gaza and continued violation of the Al-Aqsa Mosque may end with “Israel” having to contend with more than one front.

This wasn’t a simple development that Israeli decision-makers had to contend with, because the very pillars to which “Israel” owns its continuity as a political entity were at stake: Migration, settlement, and security. In order to prepare for the upcoming, inevitable battle, Israeli pundits and decision-makers had to formulate strategies in order to remedy the weaknesses revealed by the battle of Seif Al-Quds.

The Narrative

The battle over narratives is a very important one in fostering support or criticism for a certain event. In this instance, pro-Palestinian youth around the world made use of their social media presence to raise awareness regarding “Israel’s” oppression of the Palestinian people and their forced displacement of the people of Sheikh Jarrah.

Despite the very obvious attempts by Western social media to limit pro-Palestinian accounts from spreading their narrative, with Instagram and Facebook reducing the reach of pro-Palestinian content, the consensus around Israeli brutality during the battle, and “Israel’s” targeting of foreign media reporting on the battle shifted the balance toward Palestine.

This success was also in part due to the fact that people around the world had begun using TikTok, a Chinese platform that the West had no control over, and thus could not use to shape an anti-Resistance consensus. Thus, video and photographic content of the IOF’s targeting of civilians and civilian infrastructure could no longer be ignored and shifted world popular opinion against the Israeli war machine.

As a result of this shift in world public opinion, recommendations were made to Israeli decision-makers to further enhance “Israel’s” presence on social media and organize it as a “force multiplier”.

Security strategy

One of “Israel’s” main concerns is the perpetuation of security, and for Israelis living on the occupied territories to sense this security. Without said security, there would be no migration toward the occupied territories, “Israel” could neither build settlements on occupied territories and expand its colonial presence, nor could it afford to maintain its existence.

One of the main pillars of Israeli strength is for it to give off the impression of it being an impregnable fortress, either by way of building walls, or surrounding itself with the figurative Iron dome, so that any targeting is rendered futile, thereby allowing it to perpetuate its existence by sheer awe factor.

The Resistance’s main takeaway from the Seif Al-Quds Battle was that the myth of the Iron Dome, and the sense of security felt by Israeli settlers, especially those living in the Gaza envelope, were both dissipated. The Resistance’s use of rocket volleys in order to land actual hits on Israeli settlements and cities located deep in the occupied heartland meant that settlers had to contend with something new: rockets landing near them, and the possibility of dying or facing gravy injury at any moment; the Iron Dome could no longer protect them, and in their eyes, their government and military had failed them.

A second threat that Israeli decision-makers had to contend with was two-fold:

–          Prolonging the battle amid depleting Iron Dome reserves and an unwillingness to launch a ground incursion because of the risk of suffering heavy losses.

–          The possibility of developments ensuing on the northern front with Lebanon and Hezbollah joining the battle.

Multiple fronts

Faced with the prospect of “Israel” having to contend with multiple fronts, the IOF has decided to launch its largest-ever military drills, which were supposed to take place last May, but were delayed on account of the battle of Seif Al-Quds.

Put simply, even according to Israeli military minds, the occupation cannot withstand a multiple front approach and has had a hard enough time dealing with either the Lebanese or the Gaza front alone. One main problem faced by Israeli decision-makers is that the occupation cannot sustain a battle for an extended amount of time, not to mention the prospect of having to contend with multiple fronts.

If a wider war breaks out, “Israel’s” strategy will be an offensive one that will feature the use of ground forces, making high casualty rates in the IOF inevitable. In the words of the IOF’s Chief of General Staff, Aviv Kochavi, the strategy “Tel Aviv” will employ will be one of “widely expose, widely strike, and widely destroy.” This means Israeli occupation forces will be seeking high-intensity, simultaneous attacks on multiple fronts in order to inflict maximum civilian losses using air superiority so as to establish deterrence.

Non-military strategy

Other than “Israel’s” military strategy, its immediate concern is the Resistance factions in Gaza, who can mobilize the occupied territories. As such, one of its aims is to use the tools and influence at its disposal in order to weaken Resistance factions operating in Gaza by using a three-pronged approach:

1-     Halting the transfer of funds from Qatar to Gaza: Since it cannot use any of its influence against Iran, “Israel” is seeking to use its influence with Qatar in order to restrain the Gaza front, limit Hamas’ influence outside of Gaza, and stop using its media arm to fan the flames.

2-  Enlisting the help of Egypt to place pressure against Resistance factions by obstructing reconstruction in Gaza and closing crossings into the Sinai Peninsula.

3-     Preventing people from Gaza from being allowed to work in other parts of the occupied territories.

Aside from Gaza, its other main concern is the Lebanese Resistance. One strategy that Israeli pundits have been adopting over the past few months rests in applying internal pressure on the Resistance in order to weaken its popular foothold, or as one Israeli Reserve Forces Major put it: the “solution” to Hezbollah’s possession of precision missiles no longer lies in military threats, but “in the ability of the international community and ‘Israel’ to take advantage of the unprecedented internal crisis in Lebanon in order to succeed in fatally damaging the organization’s status (or force it to take over Lebanon and pay a very high price).”

As things are headed, with the promise of a unified answer to the violation of Palestine and Al-Aqsa by the leaders of the Axis of Resistance, there is a probability that the upcoming war will not be only limited to the Palestinian theater. An end to the illusion of Israeli and settler security is one that can prompt a reverse migration from Palestine, and an end to the misery suffered by its people for the past seven decades.

There is an old adage that says, the land’s owner is the one who defends it. Perhaps the coming battle will reveal to the world who the land’s true owners are: those rooted in it and are prepared to give their lives defending it, however possible.

Sayyed Nasrallah: Lebanon Has the Right to Drill in Its Territorial Water, We Seek A Strong State

May 10, 2022

By Al-Ahed news

Sayyed Nasrallah to the Lebanese: You are between two choices..Lebanon is a master or idles in front of the doors of an embassy
Sayyed Nasrallah: “When we entered the government in 2005, we did so against the background of protecting the back of the resistance.”

Welcoming the audience in the Dahiyeh’s electoral festival and thanking them for their massive participation, Sayyed Nasrallah underlined that “The massive contribution in Today’s [Tuesday] festival, and the one we witnessed yesterday in South Lebanon, and that we expect in Beqaa is the biggest message to those betting on the overturning of the people of resistance.”

Hezbollah Secretary General His Eminence Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah delivered a speech in Beirut’s southern suburb [Dahiyeh] ahead of May 15th parliamentary elections.

“Neither there is Arabism without Palestine and al-Quds nor with normalizing ties with the ‘Israeli’ entity,” His Eminence confirmed.

Hailing the vote of the Lebanese expatriates, Sayyed Nasrallah stressed that “Voting for the lists of resistance express expatriates’ bravery and loyalty.”

“In the past days and after al-Quds Day’s speech and the mobilization of the resistance in Lebanon. I have received a message via a diplomatic channel that the ‘Israelis’ do not want a war with Lebanon, but we do not trust the enemy nor its premier, and we will maintain the state of alert that we declared on Quds Day,” he announced.

The Resistance’s leader further announced that “Our mobilization and preparedness will remain as they are until the end of the ‘Israeli’ maneuvers, and the situation is the same for the Palestinian resistance groups,” noting that “All what have been voiced by Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri conveys the thoughts of the national duo.”

On the internal front, Sayyed Nasrallah confirmed that “The presence of the state is important and essential since the alternative isn’t but chaos.”

“Hezbollah doesn’t present itself as a state within the state, and nobody can replace the state on all levels; even in the issue of resistance, it doesn’t propose itself as a replacement for the state, it’s why we always talk about the Army, people and the Resistance,” he emphasized.

Warning that “Lebanon’s situation is very precise and sensitive and tackling its issues couldn’t happen through enthusiasm and revolutions like other countries,” His Eminence underlined that “The civil war is a redline which the Lebanese people must view as a treason.”

On this level, he recalled that “During the previous period, many tried to bring about dramatic changes, and the country was heading towards a civil war,” noting that “Through lies, accusations and siege, some bet over the past years that the resistance’s environment would turn against it.”

As he reiterated that Hezbollah doesn’t present itself as an alternative to the state, even in the issue of resistance, Sayyed Nasrallah declared that “What we seek is a fair, strong and capable state. This is what we announced in our 2009 political document. The state’s wealth belongs to all of the people and they have the right to access this wealth through fair and developmental projects.”

He also mentioned that “We neither did nor will ask the state to protect the resistance, rather we demand that nobody within the state stab the resistance’s back.”

“The Parliament is the mother of institutions that results from elections. This means that the electoral law is the key. The majority law was biased, while the proportional law is the most equitable one,” he stated, pointing out that “A fair state is that presents an electoral law whose citizens feel that they are able to be represented in the parliament.”

According to His Eminence, “There is great injustice when things are related to the voting age. The youth under 21 works and pays taxes, and the struggle must concentrate on giving the 18-year-olds the right to vote.”

Meanwhile, he detailed the aspects of the aspired strong state: “A strong state is one that can protect its sovereignty from any aggression. A fair state is one that practices balanced development among all regions, because state funds are for people and must reach them through development projects. The state should take care of citizens who are unable to work, including the elderly, orphans and those with incurable diseases. The fair and capable state is the one that is able to protect its sovereignty in land and water. It’s a state with an army capable of defending the land and does not place the burdens of liberation and protection on its people. A fair and capable state is the one that provides security to its citizens so that they feel that they are safe and away from any regional discrimination.”

Hoping that “A day comes when we have a strong state and a strong army that assumes the responsibility of defense,” Sayyed Nasrallah lamented the fact that “The Lebanese naval force can’t reach a depth of 300 or 400 meters to rescue the drowned victims in the ‘death boat’ in Tripoli.”

“We have been and will always be against taxes on the poor and the tax system must be progressive,” he highlighted, pointing out that “Given the sectarian Lebanese system, any talk of majorities and minorities is not realistic.”

In parallel, the Resistance Leader clearly stated: “If I say that Hezbollah alone is capable of building a fair and capable state, I won’t be honest. No one can do that alone in Lebanon. Rather, this needs cooperation between parties and movement, as we are in a country based on partnership.”

“Our country is built on partnership and non-elimination. Everyone must be represented in parliament according to their natural sizes, and the majoritarian electoral law did not do that but rather the proportional representation law,” he explained, warning that “Elimination and exclusion under the slogans of majority and minority would plunge Lebanon into adventures. I stress that we are with national partnership in order to pull Lebanon out of its crises.”

In addition, Sayyed Nasrallah declared that “Hezbollah feels that it is more responsible than before. From 1992 until 2005 we weren’t represented in the government because of our opposition to the policies that led to the current economic situation in Lebanon. We entered into the government because of the tense atmosphere in the country and in order to protect the resistance’s back from the political party that was allied with George Bush seeking a ‘New Middle East’.”

Once again, Hezbollah Secretary General clarified that “Lebanon can’t handle a leading sect nor a leading party, no matter how much this party may enjoy strength and popular support.”

“We insist on being present in any government, regardless of its nature, structure and program, in order to protect the resistance’s back. Now we insist to be present in the state with efficiency, seriousness, and responsibility,” he declared, noting that “The economic, living and financial situation needs a recovery plan that must be discussed honestly and seriously, without turning Lebanon into a dependent country. Hezbollah will seriously discuss this issue in the Parliament.”

However, His Eminence hinted that “The electoral and political alliances don’t mean that there are no differences between the allied parties and political groups.”

Urging the state to head towards both the east and the west, Sayyed Nasrallah viewed that “The government’s decision not to open the doors to companies from the east because of the US, means that we’ll achieve no progress.”

“We have treasure in the Lebanese water while the Lebanese people suffer from unemployment, hiking of prices, and starvation; why don’t we extract our treasure? Do we fear the Americans? If Lebanon goes to find its treasure, it will receive tens of billions of dollars. What can they do more than what they did in terms of sanctions, money smuggling, etc.?” he asked.

Meanwhile, His Eminence raised some points regarding the Lebanese maritime wealth: “Why doesn’t ‘Israel’ wait for the demarcation of the borders and explore the disputed regions? Why doesn’t Lebanon work within its waters and borders? I say that Lebanon has the right to drill as it believes that it is its territorial waters. Had the ‘Israeli’ enemy been able to prevent our exploration, Hezbollah can also prevent it from doing so.”

“Lebanon is neither poor nor bankrupt, but there are those who are conspiring against it to destroy it completely. There are those who rush to sell the state’s property. It’s not permissible to turn Lebanon into a country of beggars,” he went on to say, pointing out that “We are able to prevent the ‘Israeli’ enemy because Lebanon is rich and strong, so why should we turn to beggars and wait for the International Monetary Funding?”

Back to the internal files, Sayyed Nasrallah emphasized that “The file of bank depositors resembles a tragedy for hundreds of thousands of Lebanese.”

“The new parliamentarians’ signatures on the draft resolution presented by the Loyalty to Resistance bloc preserve the rights of the depositors. It is a major injustice for depositors to bear the responsibility for losses and the main culprit is Lebanese banks,” he said.

Moreover, His Eminence added that “The Lebanese judiciary must be dealt with, and a fair state means having a fair and transparent judicial system as well as qualified judges.”

To the Lebanese, Sayyed Nasrallah said: “Some call for partnership and cooperation while others call for exclusion; and you have to choose between those two choices. Had those who have this exclusionist mentality been able to exclude us, they would’ve done this since ages ago, but indeed they couldn’t. There are political parties today that present themselves as the opposition, while they are from the 1950s in politics.”

“Today you are in front of either choosing a team that insists on civil peace and serving the people and another team that kills people in broad daylight. The Lebanese are asked to choose between those who call for civil peace and cling to it despite being killed on the roads of Tayouneh and those who offer their services to foreign forces and are ready to make a civil war in Lebanon. Today you choose between those who employ their foreign relations to make Lebanon a strong nation, and the other team that brings the foreign money to add it to their bank accounts. Today you choose between a team whose main concern in Lebanon, and another team whose main concern is to please the US and other countries. You have to honestly select between those who shoulder the responsibility no matter what are the difficulties and between the team that has been deceiving you for years. You are in front of electing the real sovereigns who want Lebanon a strong nation, and the fake sovereigns who want it an exposed country,” he addressed the crowd.

Highlighting that “We, in Hezbollah, are neither tools nor agents nor chess pieces,” Sayyed Nasrallah explained that “The Islamic Republic does not interfere in Lebanon, neither in politics nor in elections, and you have seen which ambassadors are touring Lebanon.”

“The truthful are the ones who did not abandon Lebanon. As for the deceivers, they are the ones who will jump from the boat of responsibility, with what they earned from their money, and then present themselves as saviors. You the people of resistance, those whose houses and companies have been destroyed, who sacrificed thousands of martyrs and endured, we’re certain about your response and that your votes belong to the resistance and its allies,” he concluded.

President Assad Visits Iran, Meets Iranian Leaders Khamenei and Raisi

ARABI SOURI

Syrian President Bashar Assad paid a working visit to the Iranian Capital Tehran, during his visit, President Assad and his hosts emphasized the strong relations between Syria and Iran, its historic roots, continuous developments, and its future growth.

During this visit, the Syrian and Iranian leaders paved the way to increase the cooperation and coordination between their two countries to the highest levels and in all fields including combating terrorism and economic aspects.

The following report by the Syrian Ikhbariya news channel details the visit and its outcome:

The video is also available on BitChute, and Rumble.

Transcript

President Bashar al-Assad made a working visit to the Iranian capital, Tehran, during which he met Ayatollah Sayyid Ali Khamenei, Leader of the Islamic Revolution in Iran, and Ibrahim Raisi, President of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

The meetings dealt with the historical relations that unite Syria and Iran, which are based on a long path of bilateral cooperation and mutual understanding on the issues and problems of the region, and the challenges they face, in addition to topics and issues of common interest and the latest developments on the regional and international arenas.

During his meeting with Mr. Khamenei, President al-Assad affirmed that the course of events proved once again the correctness of the visions and the approach that Syria and Iran have followed for years, especially in confronting terrorism, this confirms the importance of continuing to cooperate in order not to allow America to rebuild the international terrorist system that it used to harm the countries of the world, especially the countries of the region over the past decades, noting that the United States today is weaker than ever.

His Excellency stressed that the Palestinian cause today is re-imposing its presence and importance more and more in the conscience of the Arab and Islamic world thanks to the sacrifices of the heroes of the resistance.

For his part, Khamenei reiterated Iran’s continued support for Syria to complete its victory over terrorism and liberate the rest of the Syrian lands, considering that Syria is achieving historic victories thanks to the steadfastness and courage of its president and the strength and steadfastness of its people and army.

Addressing President al-Assad, Khamenei added: We have no doubt that you will be able to liberate the rest of the Syrian lands and under your leadership, Syria will remain united, and we have to maintain the strong relationship that unites our two countries and peoples, this is beneficial not only for our two countries but also necessary for the region.

In turn, President of the Islamic Republic of Iran Ibrahim Raisi affirmed that his country has the serious will to expand relations between the two countries, especially the economic and trade relations, both public and private, and that it will continue to provide all forms of support to Syria and its people, especially in light of the difficult economic conditions the world is witnessing and will remain by Syria’s side to help it overcome difficulties, considering that any suffering for Syria is suffering for Iran.

Syrian President Bashar Assad Visits Tehran - Iran Meets Khamenei and Ebrahim Raisi - الرئيس بشار الأسد يزور طهران - إيران ويلتقي خامنئي وإبراهيم رئيسي
From the meetings President Bashar Assad held with Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and President Ebrahim Raisi

President al-Assad described Iran as the leadership and people of the brotherly, friend, and loyal partner, considering that the approach taken by the Islamic Republic of Iran in dealing with regional and international issues does not serve the interests of Iran and Syria only, but all the countries and peoples of the region.

Iran’s Foreign Minister Amir Abdollahian tweeted that President Assad’s visit and the high-level meetings with the Leader of the Islamic Revolution in Iran and the Iranian President have opened a new chapter in the strategic relations between the two countries; He added: We are determined to raise the relations between the two countries to the appropriate level.

The Iranian foreign minister concluded that “the defeat of the terrorist plot in Syria is due to the cooperation between the two countries.”

End of the transcript.

Despite the very strong decades-long unshaken relations and high level of agreement on most topics of importance between Syria and Iran and in the face of unprecedented challenges, the two countries are yet to achieve the needed levels of bilateral economic cooperation aspired to by the people in the two brotherly countries.

The Syrian – Iranian relations have withstood and overcome the US hegemony and US-led wars direct invasion, terrorism, attrition, blockade, sanctions, assassinations, destabilization, and direct piracy and theft. Their joint cooperation not only foiled the US’s evil plots for the region, but they also managed to weaken the US’s ability to impose its will on the rest of the world by breaking its military might after the illegal invasion of Iraq, and by breaking up the US proxies in the region, mainly Al Qaeda and ISIS.

The hefty price paid by the Syrian people has also saved the people of the world by absorbing the major terrorism and direct aggression shock and awe by the USA, Israel, NATO forces spearheaded by Turkey, and their proxy terrorists of Al Qaeda, and ISIS. The steadfastness of the Syrian leadership, army, and people has awakened Russia, China, and Iran to the dangers of the Western plots and allowed them to build their capabilities to come out of the cold and solidify a front against the imperial Zionist Nazi evil camp of NATO and its stooges.

Syrians are waiting to see a payback visit by the Iranian president to Damascus, it’s been over a decade since an Iranian president visited Syria, long before the US-led war of terror on the Levantine country despite several visits paid by the Iranian presidents around the world including to countries in the region that have been in the enemy camp against Syria, like Turkey, and like Egypt during the rule of the anti-Islamic Muslim Brotherhood president Morsy.


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Khamenei receives Al-Assad in Tehran: Damascus is a regional power

8 May 2022

Source: Agencies

By Al Mayadeen English 

Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad visited Tehran, where he met with his Iranian counterpart Ibrahim Raisi and Iranian Leader Ali Khamenei.

Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad with his Iranian counterpart and Iranian Leader Ali Khamenei

Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad, on Sunday morning, arrived in Tehran and met with Iranian Leader Sayyed Ali Khamenei and Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi.

This was the Syrian president’s second visit to Iran since the war on Syria began in 2011.

Iranian leader praised Syria’s president for his steadfastness during the foreign-backed war on the country, saying: “Today, Syria is not the same Syria that it was before the war, although the devastation [of war] was not there at that time, now Syria enjoys a higher degree of respect and credit and all countries look upon it as a power.”

“Some leaders of countries that are neighbors to us and you, have relations with the leaders of the Zionist regime and drink coffee together. However, people of the same countries pour into the streets on [International] Quds Day and chant anti-Zionism slogans, and this is the current reality of the region,” Khamenei added.

“One of the most important of those factors was your own high morale,” the Iranian leader said, adding, “and, God willing, you would be able to reconstruct the ravages of war with the same morale, because you have a great work to do.”

Elsewhere in his remarks, Khamenei said “That honorable martyr harbored a special zeal for Syria and made sacrifices in the true sense of the word. His conduct in Syria was no different from his conduct during the eight-year Sacred Defense in Iran,” referring to Martyr General Qassem Soleimani.

On his account, Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad said that “the steadfastness of Iran and its unwavering stances in the past four decades on regional issues, particularly on the issue of Palestine, have shown to the entire world that Iran’s path is a correct and principled path.”

Furthermore, he also praised the Iranian leader for carrying on the late Imam Khomeini’s legacy of support for the region’s nations, particularly the Palestinians.

“The steadfastness of the Iranian nation on the principles and fundaments laid by [the late founder of the Islamic Republic] Imam Khomeini, which has continued through your determination, has paved the way for great triumphs of the great nation of Iran and the regional people, especially the people of Palestine,” Al-Assad said.

The Syrian president concluded by saying: “What prevented the Zionist regime of Israel from gaining the rule over the region is the strategic relations between Iran and Syria, which must continue with might”.

It is worth mentioning that Iran’s Nour News reported that the Syrian leader left Tehran for Damascus on Sunday after important talks.

Related

الأسد للسيد خامنئي: علاقة دمشق بطهران منعت “إسرائيل” من التحكم بالمنطقة

الآحد 8 أيار 2022

المصدر: الميادين نت

الرئيس السوري بشار الأسد يجري زيارةً إلى طهران التقى خلالها نظيره الإيراني إبراهيم رئيسي والمرشد الأعلى علي خامنئي.

الرئيس الإيراني ابراهيم رئيسي مع نظيره السوري بشار الأسد، والمرشد الإيراني السيد علي الخامنئي

دعا المرشد الإيراني السيد علي خامنئي، لدى استقباله الرئيس السوري بشار الأسد، اليوم الأحد، إلى “ضرورة التعامل مع سوريا على أنها قوة إقليمية في المنطقة”، مشيراً إلى أنّ “دمشق لم تعد اليوم مثل مرحلة ما قبل الحرب”.

وقال السيد خامنئي، بحسب بيانٍ على موقعه الإلكتروني إنّ “سوريا لم تعد اليوم مثل ما قبل الحرب فمكانتها أصبحت أعلى بكثير من السابق وعلى الجميع أن ينظر إليها اليوم كقوة إقليمية”، مضيفاً أنه “بوجود الروح العالية والتصميم لدى الرئيس والحكومة الإيرانية على توسيع التعاون مع سوريا، يجب بذل الجهود لتحسين العلاقات بين البلدين أكثر من ذي قبل”.

وأشار السيد خامنئي إلى أنّ “بعض قادة دول جوار إيران وسوريا، يجلسون ويقفون مع قادة الكيان الصهيوني ويشربون القهوة سوياً مع بعضهم البعض، ولكن أهالي وشعوب هذه الدول في يوم القدس ملأت الشوارع بالحشود والشعارات المعادية للصهيونية والصهاينة، وهذا هو واقع المنطقة اليوم”.

الرئيس السوري مع السيد علي خامنئي

بدوره، قال الرئيس الإيراني إبراهيم رئيسي خلال استقباله الأسد اليوم إنّ “ما يحدث اليوم في منطقة غرب آسيا هو ما توقعه قائد الثورة الإسلامية قبل فترة بأنّ مقاومة الشعوب أمام المعتدين والمستكبرين ستثمر”، مضيفاً أنّ “جنابكم كوالدكم، تمثّلون وجهاً من وجوه جبهة المقاومة”.

وأوضح رئيسي أنّ “مجاهدي المقاومة أثبتوا أنهم قوة يمكن الاعتماد عليها لإحلال الأمن والاستقرار في المنطقة ولا سيما في سوريا”، لافتاً إلى أنه “عندما كان بعض الزعماء في العالم العربي وخارجه يراهنون على انهيار النظام السوري، اصطفت إيران إلى جانب سوريا حكومةً وشعباً ووقفت معها”.

وشدد الرئيس الإيراني على ضرورة “تحرير كل الأراضي السورية من دنس المحتلين والعملاء الأجانب ويجب طردهم”، مضيفاً أنه يجب تنويع “معادلات ردع إسرائيل” في المنطقة.

وأشار رئيسي إلى أنّ “ما يحسم مصير المنطقة ليس طاولة المفاوضات وإنما مقاومة الشعوب التي تحدد النظام الإقليمي الجديد”.

الأسد: إيران كانت البلد الوحيد الذي وقف إلى جانبنا منذ بداية العدوان 

من جهته، أكد الرئيس السوري بشار الأسد أنّ “البعض يعتقد أنّ دعم إيران لجبهة المقاومة هو دعم بالسلاح فقط، ولكن أهم دعم ومساعدة للجمهورية الإسلامية هو بث روح المقاومة واستمرارها”، مشيراً إلى أنّ “ما جعل الكيان الصهيوني غير قادر على حكم المنطقة هو العلاقة الاستراتيجية بين إيران وسوريا التي يجب أن تستمرّ بقوة”.

وتابع الأسد أنّ “أنقاض الحرب يمكن إعادة بنائها، لكن إذا دمرت الأسس والمبادئ فلا يمكن إعادة بنائها”، لافتاً إلى أنّ بلاده “مستعدة لتعزيز التعاون والتنسيق مع إيران على الصعد الأمنية والسياسية والاقتصادية”.

وشدد الرئيس السوري على أنّ “دور إيران مهم في مكافحة الإرهاب وإيران كانت البلد الوحيد الذي وقف إلى جانبنا منذ بداية مواجهة العدوان الغربي التكفيري”، مضيفاً أنّ “علاقتنا مع إيران استراتيجية والصمود أثبت أنه مؤثر”.

وأردف الأسد: “نشهد انهياراً للدور الأميركي في المنطقة وقد أثبتنا أننا قادرون على الانتصار أمام أميركا والقوى المهيمنة من خلال التعاون الوثيق بين دول المنطقة”، مشيراً إلى أنّ “نجاح المقاومة الفلسطينية أثبت أنّ تطبيع بعض العرب مع إسرائيل له نتائج عكسية”.

وأكد الرئيس السوري أنّ “ما يمنع الكيان الصهيوني من السيطرة على المنطقة هو العلاقات الاستراتيجية الإيرانية السورية”.

حضور وزيري الخارجية وعدد من المسؤولين ولاسيما العميد اسماعيل قاآني قائد قوة القدس

الرئاسة السورية 

هذا وأكدت الرئاسة السورية أنّ “لقاءات الرئيس الأسد في إيران تناولت العلاقات التاريخية القائمة على مسار طويل من التعاون الثنائي”، مضيفةً أنّ “الرئيس الأسد أكد خلال لقاء السيد خامنئي أنّ مجريات الأحداث أثبتت مجدداً صوابية النهج الذي سار عليه البلدان”.

وتابعت أنّ “الأسد أكد أهمية استمرار التعاون لمنع أميركا من إعادة بناء منظومة الإرهاب التي استخدمتها للإضرار بالمنطقة”، مشيرةً إلى أنّ “الرئيس الأسد أكد خلال لقائه السيد خامنئي أنّ القضية الفلسطينية اليوم تعيد فرض حضورها وأهميتها أكثر فأكثر”.

وأردفت الرئاسة السورية أنّ السيد خامنئي “أكد استمرار إيران في دعمها لسوريا لاستكمال انتصارها على الإرهاب وتحرير باقي أراضيها”، لافتةً إلى أنّ “الرئيس الإيراني أكد للرئيس الأسد أنّ لدى إيران الإرادة الجادّة في توسيع العلاقات بين البلدين”.

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مقالات متعلقة

انقلاب المعادلة الروسيّة بين محور المقاومة و«إسرائيل»

الخميس 5 مايو 2022

 ناصر قنديل

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كثيرة هي الأسباب التي كانت تسمح بالقول إن هناك هامشاً روسياً استثمر عليه الإسرائيليون في بناء استراتيجيتهم المسمّاة، معركة بين حربين، والتي كانت الغارات الإسرائيلية على سورية تحت شعار منع وصول السلاح الإيراني الى حزب الله، ومنع تركيز بنى عسكرية لإيران وقوى المقاومة في سورية، وخلال سنوات عرفت هذه المعادلة الكثير من المنحنيات والمتغيرات رسمت ما عرف بقواعد الاشتباك، التي منحت “إسرائيل” زمام المبادرة العسكري مقابل ثنائية، تعامل شبكة الدفاع الجوي السورية مع الغارات والصواريخ الإسرائيلية من جهة، والاحتفاظ بحق الرد في الزمان والمكان المناسبين لمحور المقاومة من جهة ثانية، بعدما قيّدت جولات الاشتباك نطاق الغارات الإسرائيلية بضوابط متلاحقة، منها حرمة الدخول الى الأجواء السورية بعد إسقاط سورية للطائرة الحربية الإسرائيلية عام 2018، والاكتفاء بغارات من البحر والأجواء اللبنانية والقصف من الجولان السوري المحتل، ومنها الردّ الفوريّ أو دون تأخير، عندما يسقط شهداء أو يتم إلحاق أذى يستدعي التذكير بالخطوط الحمراء الممنوع تجاوزها، ومنها تجنب استهداف مواقع المقاومة في لبنان، ومنها الابتعاد عن حركة الطائرات الروسية والاحتماء بها أو بالطائرات المدنيّة خلال الغارات.

لم تكن روسيا تخفي عدم رغبتها بجعل وجودها في سورية مصدراً لتأزم علاقتها بـ”إسرائيل”، فهي جاءت بقواتها تحت عنوان دعم سورية وجيشها في الحرب التي استهدفتها منذ عام 2011، وكانت الجماعات الإرهابية هي الأداة المسلحة التي سيطرت على أجزاء من الأراضي السورية، رغم ادراك موسكو أن وراء هذه الحرب حلف دولي تشكل “اسرائيل” أحد اطرافه، ورغم إدراك موسكو أن واشنطن هي من يقود حلف الحرب على سورية، وأنه في أية مواجهة روسية أميركية فإن “إسرائيل” جزء عضويّ من جبهة حلفاء أميركا، لكن موسكو التي تعتبر أن الصراع بين سورية و”إسرائيل” سابق على تمركزها في سورية، وتعتبر أن الصراع بين محور المقاومة و”إسرائيل” أكثر جذرية من مضمون الحرب التي تخوضها في سورية، هكذا قامت معادلة التحالف بين سورية ومحور المقاومة مع روسيا في مواجهة الإرهاب وإنهاء الاحتلالين الأميركي والتركي، على قاعدة فصل المواجهة مع “إسرائيل” عن هذا التحالف، من جهة، وتوفير الشروط اللازمة على مستوى الظرف السياسي والمقدرات العسكرية للردّ من خارج سورية، لإعلان عندها عن سقوط هذه المرحلة وقواعد الاشتباك التي حكمتها، بينما سعت سورية لمنح الأولوية للمعارك التي يشكل الدور الروسي عاملاً حاسماً في كسبها شمال سورية، ومواصلة السعي لتطوير سلاح الدفاع الجوي السوري لتعزيز وتوسيع نطاق حرمة الأجواء السورية، نحو حرمة الأراضي السورية، والى حين ذلك الاكتفاء بالتصدّي للغارات بالدفاعات الجوية، وما قد يرافقها بين حين وآخر من صواريخ دفاع جوي تتم برمجتها للسقوط داخل وفي عمق الأراضي السورية والفلسطينية المحتلة.

جاء التحوّل الكبير في العلاقات الدولية والإقليمية الذي فرضته الحرب في أوكرانيا، وبدأت رياحه تضغط على مواقف الأطراف الإقليميّة، وكانت العين الأميركية على “إسرائيل” وسعيها للحياد تفادياً لتغيير قواعد التعامل الروسية مع الغارات الإسرائيلية على سورية، وبدأ بعد شدّ وجذب أن واشنطن لا تستطيع التسامح مع حياد “إسرائيلي” يهدّد بتفكيك جبهة الحلف بوجه روسيا، تحت شعارات للخصوصية مشابهة للخصوصية “الإسرائيلية”، من تركيا الى الخليج وما أظهرته فوارق التصويت بين قرار الجمعية العامة بإدانة الحرب وقرارها بتعليق عضوية روسيا في مجلس حقوق الإنسان، وبدأت تظهر علامات التموضع الإسرائيلي في الحرب الأوكرانية ضد روسيا، ولعله من المفيد التذكير هنا أن أوكرانيا معقل للحركة الصهيونية جعلها مرشحة من ضمن لائحة ضمّت فلسطين والأرجنتين لتكون أرض الميعاد الصهيونيّة، حيث كانت مملكة الخزر، إحدى الممالك اليهودية عبر التاريخ، ولم تكن كلمات وزير الخارجية الروسية سيرغي لافروف التي استفزت “اسرائيل” عن دماء أدولف هتلر اليهوديّة، مجرد اقتباس تاريخيّ لمواجهة مزاعم فلاديمير زيلنسكي، وهو استفزاز عقائدي عميق لا يمكن أن يرد في حال انفعال ولا تعبيراً عن غضب، كما أظهرت ردود الكرملين ووزارة الخارجية الشديدة القسوة على الاحتجاج الإسرائيلي، وما رافق الرد الروسي من كشف عن مشاركة مرتزقة صهاينة في الحرب ضد روسيا، ومعدات إسرائيلية، وأدوار استخبارية إسرائيلية، في التنصت والأقمار الصناعية وتشغيل شبكات الدفاع الجوي.

تدرك روسيا أنها تخوض حرب تغيير قواعد العلاقات الدولية مع الغرب، وأن هذه الحرب ممنوع أن تنتهي دون تحقيق هذا الهدف، خصوصاً لجهة فرض التراجع على المكانة الأميركية المتحكمة بالهيمنة السياسية والاقتصادية والدبلوماسية على العالم. كما تدرك روسيا أن الحرب في أوكرانيا ليست كافية لتحقيق هذا الهدف، وأن أهمية هذه الحرب بأنها فتحت الباب لتغيير قواعد اللعبة الدولية، ومنها حرب الطاقة، وحرب العملات، لكن منها أيضاً حروب إقليمية لها حساباتها وقواها الذاتية التي تنتظر الفرصة المناسبة، كسعي الصين لاسترداد السيادة على تايوان، وسعي كوريا الشمالية لكسر الحصار المفروض عليها، وسعي محور المقاومة وعلى رأسه إيران لمكانة “إسرائيل” وحجم حضورها في المنطقة، والتي تشكل مجتمعة البيئة الدولية الجديدة، لفرض نظام عالميّ جديد، وربما تكون الحرب الإقليمية المقبلة تحت سقف فرض معادلات جديدة لفك الحصار عن غزة، وردع الغارات على سورية، وربما فتح الطريق لتحرير الجولان، بعض الحراك الدولي المطلوب روسياً، والذي تكفي فيه إشارات كالتي ظهرت بعدم الممانعة، حتى تلتقطها القوى المعنيّة وفي طليعتها محور المقاومة للانتقال من مرحلة إلى مرحلة، فلعل استهداف الأمن الإسرائيلي يشكل الخاصرة الرخوة في نظام السيطرة الأميركيّ على العالم، وقد آن أوان هزّه.

The Third Patriotic War

May 07, 2022

Source

A St George’s Day Contribution by Batiushka

Introduction: War

I am not a technical-military man, but I have very strong military connections and a keen interest in military history, both Russian and Western, and also in geopolitics, having lectured on it. I lived in Soviet Russia in the 1970s, experienced its weaknesses, its strengths and also its hollowness, understanding that it would eventually fall, for even then nobody believed in Communism any more. All continued by inertia. Collapse was inevitable. I also know contemporary Russia, the Ukraine, Belarus, the Baltics and Moldova very well. In fact, I was in Kiev only last October, being shown the SBU/CIA Secret Police building in the centre and being told to hush my voice as we walked past. No-one wanted to visit the torture-chambers in the basement.

The special operation to free the Russian Donbass from Fascist oppression which began on 24 February 2022 meant a war between the Russian Federation and the Kiev regime, which under Western pressure would refuse to back down. This would inevitably mean a war between Russia and NATO, even if the actual battleground would still be limited to the Ukraine. I firmly believe that the Russian government knew all this and foresaw the consequences, that the West would intervene with all the economic, political, military and technological might of the US/NATO military complex. This knowledge was why the Donbass had had to wait for liberation for eight long and grim years. Russia had had to get ready for the inevitable very carefully.

The Preparation

Let us recall how Soviet Russia fell through treason, ending up dissolving itself on 25 December 1991. In October 1993, 4,000 US Marines (I know one of them) were flown to a base outside Moscow. This was just in case the popular rising against ‘democracy’ and the drunkard Western puppet and traitor Yeltsin went Russia’s way and against the neocons and their privatisers’ ‘shock therapy’. The repression of the October bid for freedom left 5,000 Russian dead. The US support had been there, though it did not have to be used, as there were enough Russian traitors to do the dirty deed themselves.

Russian weakness and internal treachery was why the Russian government betrayed Serbia in the 1990s and Libya in 2011 – it was far too weak to stand up to the West. After the Crimea democratically returned to Russia after 60 years (1954-2014) with the internationally-observed referendum in 2014, the West still applied illegal sanctions to Russia. Then Moscow knew that any action to free the Ukraine from the Western junta in Kiev would have to be prepared very carefully, for the sanctions would only be multiplied. What preparations had to be made?

Firstly, there was the diplomatic and trade front. Allies had to be brought onside, in Eurasia with China, Iran, India, Turkey (Russia rescuing Erdogan from the US assassination attempt at the last moment in July 2016), Hungary, then, from Venezuela to Brazil, Latin America and then, from Egypt to South Africa, Africa. As regards the Western world, especially the EU, there was a chance to present the Russian point of view through RT, as at that time Western censorship was not yet total.

Secondly, there was the modernisation of the Russian Armed Forces to be undertaken, with new, non-nuclear weapons, hypersonic missiles, drones, electronic technology, some of which would be tested out in Syria.

Thirdly, there was the policy of import substitution to be implemented in order to make Russia independent in case of further illegal Western sanctions.

Why Did It Start on 24 February 2022?

There were four triggers which sparked off the special operation on 24 February.

Firstly, the Zelensky regime wanted the Ukraine to become a NATO member. The weak post-Communist Russian Federation had already made that mistake many times, allowing Eastern Europe, notably the Baltics, Poland and Romania, to join that aggressive protection racket. In that way the post-War buffer states of Eastern Europe, providing a demilitarised zone for Russia, ended. After all, if you have been invaded from the West very regularly for 800 years, leaving 27 million of your citizens dead in the most recent invasion, would you not also want a demilitarised buffer zone to protect you? Post-War offensive NATO was the only reason why the defensive Warsaw Pact had to be set up.

Secondly, with missiles on American bases in Poland and Romania and NATO troops smugly parading at the Estonian border with Russia, the Ukraine then threatened to obtain nuclear arms. Did Zelensky, reading his American script as a true actor, really expect Russia not to react to this?

Thirdly, the US, not without the help of its local pronconsul, the cocaine-addled Hunter Biden, had set up some thirty biolabs in the Ukraine. Their target? To find genetically-concocted viruses to infect Russians. Would Russia not defend itself?

Fourthly, though possibly this may not have been discovered by Russia until a day or two after the special operation began, though possibly they knew perfectly well beforehand, the NATO-manipulated, instructed and armed Kiev Army had a plan to invade the Russian Donbass and genocide its people. Had they succeeded, it is doubtful they would have stopped at the Russian border. Truss, the supremely stupid British Foreign Secretary, let slip that NATO already had Russian Rostov and Voronezh in its sights.

After eight years of attempts to negotiate, which Russia used to buy time to prepare for the War in case of Western idiocy, it was only because there was no alternative that it sent in some troops in an initially limited military operation.

A Fight for Survival

This is now a war of attrition. Russia has to destroy all Western/NATO arms and troops that get into the Ukraine from Poland or elsewhere as soon as possible, quicker than they can be sent. And this must go on until the West caves in, because so much Western war material will have been destroyed at huge financial loss to itself.

Russia is also relying on the self-imposed economic problems that the West faces. The West, and not just the EU, is already suffering economically. There could easily be popular uprisings as a result of inflation and the incredible cost of energy. This will hit very hard next autumn and winter. And the embargos on Russian grain and fertilisers have not hit yet. Wait till food costs go up by 100% in Western countries, instead of just going up by 10% as now: then you will have rioting in the streets and looting of supermarkets. As for the Ukrainian currency, it is worthless, propped up by the IMF run by the US, which in 2014 stole the $15 billion of Ukrainian gold reserves in expectation. Otherwise, the Ukraine would long ago have defaulted.

The stakes are huge for all. China stands behind Russia because Russia is like a shield for it. If Russia falls, then China is next and it knows that, which is why it supports Russia. The White Peril will next head towards China, making the British-imposed mass suicide of the so-called ‘Opium Wars’ look like a picnic. There will be no taking back of Taiwan in the near future, instead there will be Harvard economists and merchant bankers taking power and grasping billions in Beijing, as in Russia after 1991. And then, amid civil wars, millions and millions of Chinese will take the path of suicide, exactly as happened in 1990s Russia. Make no mistake, this is a battle for survival of the world’s seven billion against the one billion.

This is why today Russia remains firm, with 80% of the population behind President Putin, unlike in the Western world where it is rare to find a leader who has more than 30% of support. Why? It is simple: President Putin loves his country, he is a patriot: Western leaders are not patriots, they are venal mercenaries, no more so than the US puppet governments in Eastern Europe. The only Russians against President Putin are the traitors, recruited by the CIA, and there are still quite a few in Moscow and elsewhere, but we will not here name names.

True, many of the fifth column of traitors in Moscow have already left or are leaving, Tel Aviv being a popular destination for them. For Russia this is not some localised conflict on its borders, as it still appears to most Western people, lulled into delusions by their Goebbels propaganda ministries (‘media’). For Russia this is just as much a fight for survival as World War Two. This is the Third Great Patriotic War. Let me explain.

For those who do not know, the 1812 invasion of Russia by Napoleon and his multinational barbarian hordes is known as the First Patriotic War. The 1941 invasion by Hitler and his multinational barbarian hordes is known as the Second Patriotic War. It is our view that just as the 1941-1945 defensive War was called the Second Patriotic War, the 2022- ? defensive War will be known as the Third Patriotic War. Warsaw and Bucharest, Berlin and Paris, pay attention.

When Did It All Begin?

When did it all begin? Actually, it was not on 24 February 2022. Some, grudgingly, will admit that it was the US-run regime change of 2014 with its $5 billion price-tag for the hapless US taxpayer. Grudgingly, some might admit that it goes back even further to November 1989, the Fall of the Wall. Some might suggest two generations before that, in September 1939, when Stalin took the poison-chalice of the western Ukraine, Galicia, from Poland and had to fight a CIA-supplied war there against Fascist partisans until 1958.

Some might suggest exactly 100 years ago in 1922, when the brain-syphilitic Lenin transferred from Russia the southern and eastern half of the present Ukraine to the Ukraine, as he wanted the pro-Communist industrial proletariat of the south and east to counterbalance the real Ukrainian agricultural north and west. But we could also go back to 1914, the invasion of the Russian Empire by Germany, Austria-Hungary and Turkey. This is exactly 100 years before the 2014 US-orchestrated colour-revolution in Kiev, with its Lithuanian snipers on the roof of the American Embassy in Kiev murdering Ukrainian policemen and then the US blaming ‘repression’ on the democratically-elected pro-Russian government.

Conclusion: A Fight to the End

Russia must win this War against NATO. However, the last thing Russia wants is a nuclear war, however much some fools in the West talk that up. And however tempting as targets the 1,000 or so US bases around the world may be, Russia certainly does not want the war to spread outside the current Ukrainian territory. If Russia does not win, the Russian Federation will be humiliated and dismantled and become just another group of colonies for Western asset-strippers and slavers. Then the British dream for its 1917 coup d’etat, turned into a nightmare because the stupid dream permitted Bolshevism to come to power, will become real.

After that, China will fall next and then the rest of the still free, if for the moment impoverished and exploited, world will fall just like dominos into neo-colonial Western hands. And that will be the end of the world under a US Global Dictatorship, euphemistically known as ‘the Unipolar World’. We are not ready for that. We prefer to fight. As President Putin has said, a world without Russia is not one we wish to live in. As we have said before, this is our ONLY chance to work towards a Union of Sovereign (NOT Soviet) Social (NOT Socialist) Republics and an Alliance of countries which favour Prosperity and Justice, not Poverty and Injustice.

Russian Orthodox St George’s Day 2022

Iran to Boost Gas Production in South Pars Phase 11

 May 6, 2022

An official with the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) revealed that Phase 11 of the South Pars Gas Field is expected to generate 14 million cubic meters of gas per day by the end of current Persian calendar year (March 20, 2023).

According to IRNA, Karim Zobeidi, NIOC’s director of corporate planning, said one of the Oil Ministry’s top priorities is ensuring adequate gas supply throughout the cold season.

“Increasing production from the joint oil fields in the West Karun region is a priority for the administration,” Zobeidi said, adding that by the end of the current Iranian calendar year, production from the first phase of the South Azadegan oil field should also reach 220,000 barrels per day.

“This year, the final three refinery trains in Phase 14 of South Pars will be commissioned,” he stated.

According to the official, South Pars phases 22 to 24 would also be fully operational.

Iran had previously awarded the development of the phase 11 project to a consortium comprising France’s Total, China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC), and Petropars which is a subsidiary of the NIOC, however Total and CNPCI pulled out of the project in 2019 due to the US sanctions.

Currently, Petropars is developing the phase 11 project after its partners left the contract.

The drilling operation for the first well of mentioned phase was officially started in December 2020. In the early production stage, the output of this phase will reach 500 million cubic feet (equivalent to 14 million cubic meters) per day.

Back in January, the managing director of Petropars Company had announced the implementation of two new contracts as of December 22, 2021, to accelerate the development of the mentioned phase.

According to Hamid-Reza Masoudi, the mentioned deals were concerned with the construction of an off-shore pipeline as well as the installation of the phase’s SDP11B platform.

South Pars is the world’s largest gas field, covering an area of 3,700 square kilometers of Iran’s territorial waters.

The giant field is estimated to contain a significant amount of natural gas, accounting for about eight percent of the world’s reserves, and approximately 18 billion barrels of condensate. The field is divided into 24 standard phases.

Source: Iranian media (edited by Al-Manar English Website)

Sergey Glazyev: For those who still don’t understand

May 04, 2022

Source:  

Machine Translation and then checked and finessed by the Saker Blog Translators

I will try to briefly explain and justify the necessary measures to achieve Victory

A special military operation (SVO) revealed a plan prepared in advance by the US power and financial elite to seize power in Russia. It includes the following components and stages.

1. Wear out the Russian armed forces in a war with well-trained and directly controlled by the Pentagon fighters of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, “stitched” by the Nazis with a vertical of officers appointed by the US and British special services. Turn the population of Ukraine into zombies infected with Russophobia. At the same time, incite the international community against Russia, making accusations of war crimes and genocide against its leadership. On this basis, confiscate Russia’s foreign currency assets and impose total sanctions against it, causing the maximum possible damage. This stage is actually completed.

2. Terrorize the Russian population with shelling of border settlements and military infrastructure, sabotage of transport, and hacker attacks. Hit the public consciousness with a flood of negative fake news and anti-government propaganda through social networks. To impose, through their agents of influence in the financial and economic authorities, an economic policy that blocks the mobilization of resources, including: inflating interest rates, continuing the export of capital, encouraging currency and financial speculation, manipulating the ruble exchange rate, and inflating prices. Thus, the sanctions can be repeatedly aggravated and provoke a collapse in production and a decline in living standards. This stage is in full swing.

3. Provoking protest moods and destructive socio-political actions aimed at overthrowing the legitimate authorities against the background of falling living standards and losses in the course of their activities. The use of the entire arsenal of methods for organizing “color revolutions” financed by the Comprador oligarchy under the promise of unfreezing assets seized in the US-European jurisdiction. At the same time, we are preparing the organizational and ideological foundations for separatist actions in the regions. This stage is under active development.

This plan also provides for the following tasks::

  • consolidation of US control over the European Union and NATO countries;
  • use of the armed forces of Poland, Romania and the Baltic states, as well as mercenaries from the West, the Middle East and the Middle East in combat operations against Russia;
  • the destruction of the male population and the actual enslavement of women and children of Ukraine for the subsequent development of this territory in the interests of the power and financial elite of the United States, Britain and Israel.

The implementation of this plan, in fact, is aimed at destroying the Russian world, followed by the American “deep state” plans to destroy Iran and block China.

Due to the objective laws of global economic development, this plan is doomed to failure. The United States will not be able to win the global hybrid war it has unleashed to maintain its global hegemony. They are irrevocably losing it to China, which is rapidly strengthening as a result of anti-Russian sanctions.

Washington, London, and Brussels played their main trump cards in an effort to inflict maximum possible damage on Russia: a monopoly on the issue of world currencies, an image of an exemplary legal democratic state, and a belief in the “sacred” right of private property. Thus, they have put all independent countries in front of the need to find new global currency instruments, risk insurance mechanisms, restore the norms of international law and create their own economic security systems.

Anti-Russian sanctions did not strengthen, but, on the contrary, undermined the global dominance of the United States and the EU, which the rest of the world began to treat with distrust and apprehension. They dramatically accelerated the transition to a new world economic order and the shift of the center of the world economy to Southeast Asia. Russia needs to stand up to the United States and NATO in its confrontation, bringing IT to its logical conclusion, so as not to be torn between them and China, which is irrevocably becoming the leader of the world economy.

US hints at possibility of not reaching nuclear deal with Iran

3 May 2022

Source: Agencies

By Al Mayadeen Net 

US permanent representative to the United Nations hints at the possibility of not reaching an agreement regarding Iran’s nuclear program.

US Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield during a news conference at United Nations headquarters, on March 1, 2021 (AP)

Washington does not rule out not reaching a nuclear deal with Iran in Vienna, US Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield said Tuesday.

Regarding the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), Thomas-Greenfield said, some progress was made on several issues seen as pivotal for a return to the agreement, though she highlighted that there were several things that needed to be done.

“We do not have an agreement now, and it is possible that we do not reach one,” she revealed, noting that the US would work with the international community to pressure Iran if diplomacy fails.

The diplomat’s words came despite US State Secretary Antony Blinken underlining earlier today that returning to the Iran nuclear deal was the only way to confront the Iranian nuclear “threat” in light of the Vienna talks.

The Vienna talks, which also include the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Russia, and China, have been on hold since March 11, with officials saying at the time that the final draft was virtually complete.

The talks between major powers and Iran aim to revive the 2015 nuclear agreement and return the United States to it following Washington’s unilateral withdrawal in 2018 under then-President Donald Trump, who accompanied his decision with the imposition of harsh sanctions on Tehran.

Iran has been stressing that its nuclear program is purely for civilian purposes, while hopes for a deal remain slim. However, Washington seeks to revive the nuclear deal, because, as state secretary Blinken said, reviving the nuclear deal is still in the interests of the US.

Iran to pursue diplomacy until agreement is reached

Iran will continue the path of diplomacy until achieving a final agreement in the Vienna nuke talks, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian told his Irish counterpart, Simon Coveney, on Tuesday.

In addition to developing and proposing political initiatives, Amir-Abdollahian said, Iran has shown that it has the necessary will to reach a good, strong, and lasting agreement in Vienna.

“Now, it is the American side that has to, by adopting a realistic approach, rectify [former US President Donald] Trump’s illegal behavior and take steps in the direction of [developing] political initiatives,” he noted.

Coveney commended Iran’s initiatives in the Vienna talks, highlighting the necessity of reaching a “good” agreement through the diplomatic process that would be capable of safeguarding the interests of Tehran as well as the other parties.

Since April 2021, eight rounds of talks have been held in the Austrian capital of Vienna. The US has been indirectly involved in the negotiations, as it has withdrawn from the deal.

According to Western diplomats, European officials are preparing to try and make another push to salvage the nuclear deal with Iran, offering to send senior EU negotiators to Tehran in an effort to reach an agreement.

Enrique Mora, Brussels’ negotiations coordinator, informed his Iranian counterpart that he was ready to return to Tehran to break the stalemate, the diplomats said while revealing that Mora was yet to receive an invitation.

One of the remaining points in the Vienna Talks was the removal of the Islamic Revolution’s Guard Corps (IRGC) designation as a terror group. The terror designation means that criminal penalties would be imposed on anyone doing business with any individual or entity connected to the IRGC.

Iran demanded the removal of the IRGC’s “terrorist” designation before negotiations proceeded, but bipartisan opposition in Washington and anger from Israelis at the prospect of the removal of the designation prevented the US from proceeding through that.

Nasrallah to Israel: ‘From here on, Iran may strike you back directly’

May 3, 2022

Description:

Hezbollah’s leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah warned Israel in a speech on International Quds Day on 29 April 2022, that the Islamic Republic of Iran may strike back directly at the Tel Aviv regime from here on in retaliation for any attacks on Iranian forces in the region.

Seen as a symbol of resistance and anti-imperialism to many in the Arab and Islamic world, Hezbollah is simultaneously listed as a terrorist organisation by a number of Western states, including the U.S., the UK, Canada and Australia.

Date: May 1, 2022

( Please help us keep producing independent translations for you by contributing a small monthly amount here )

Source: Spot Shot Video (YouTube)

Transcript:

Hezbollah’s Secretary GeneralSayyed Hassan Nasrallah:

The biggest response to the treacherous normalization meeting in the Negev was those operations that took place in Tel Aviv and Occupied Palestine. (They formed) a harsh, decisive, and firm answer. The message these operations are delivering to the Zionists is: ‘your normalization with these Arab states won’t protect you’, and this message says to the Arab states as well: ‘your relations with Israel won’t protect you’.

I wish to tell you a piece of information, (it is also directed) to the media, after the Zionists, the Mossad, attacked the Islamic Republic (of Iran) from (the) Erbil (base) in Iraq, and the Islamic Republic struck the Mossad (base in) Erbil with 12 Fateh-110 missiles – the missile strikes that accurately struck their targets – Iran sent a clear and public message, and I want to add a non-public message to that public message. I learned that the Islamic Republic notified regional states that have normalized (relations) and established ties with Israel, (ties) which may (may entail the) building (of military) bases for Israel on their territories, that any aggression against Iran from these states will be responded to (by striking) the Israeli base(s) in these countries, regardless of the country from which the aggression against the Islamic Republic of Iran was launched from.

 The normalizing states have received this message, and so did the temporary Israeli entity, and we are making progress on another matter, which I wish to inform you of too, (and that is that) the Islamic Republic’s field and military stance is now advancing to the extent that, in case of the continuation of Israeli aggression against the Iranian presence in the (West Asia) region, it may strike Israel directly. This position is evolving, its preconditions are developing, and the issue depends on Israeli behaviour, and (the extent of) Israeli foolishness and Israeli stupidity. Officials in the Islamic Republic said: ‘The era in which we bring (back) our martyrs (to the homeland) and hold funeral ceremonies for them is over. (Today) we will avenge our martyrs’. This is a significant development.

Here I should also talk about a point that has to do with Lebanon in relation to the Israeli issue. In May last year, they wanted to conduct major (military) exercises at the level of the entire (Israeli) entity, and we warned (them) then. Today, I wish to reiterate. In May, which happens to be the month in which the (parliamentary) elections (in Lebanon) are taking place, perhaps on the first days or first week of May – they haven’t announced an official date yet – major exercises will take place in the (Israeli) enemy’s entity. Last time, they cancelled it because of The Sword of al-Quds battle and the Palestinian victory (back then). This year, it seems that they are willing to conduct these exercises, in which the navy, air force, ground forces, security bodies, internal front and reserve forces will take part, and it is (planned) to continue for a month. It’ll be a month of (continual) exercises. I wish to say to the Zionists today, that first, this matter does not frighten us, yet it calls us to be careful. We must always consider, in a time of exercises of this kind, and a high Zionist readiness of this kind, that the Israelis might commit a certain act of foolishness, (like) striking a target, assassinating a (certain) figure, bombarding (targets), we can’t know for sure what they might do. They would suppose that as we know Israel is in a state of readiness and (conducting) major exercises, we would recede, be scared, and retreat.

I say to the enemy: first, we are waiting for your exercises – and here the Lebanese people will be surprised, in the past few weeks, while our electoral machines were running, our jihadi troops were conducting silent exercises, and many people might not have noticed that. Exercises (were conducted) for all scenarios, theories, and weaponry which we possess. And I announce today, when Israeli exercises begin, whether they start before the elections or after – (and this is for everyone to hear) so that no one gets surprised – but of course no one will see anything with their own eyes, and this is one of the characteristics of the (Islamic) resistance in Lebanon, when the Israeli exercises start, we, the (Islamic) resistance in Lebanon, will be at the highest level of alertness and readiness. The brothers (in Hezbollah) are informed of this situation and they’re carrying out (the required) preparations, so that we don’t end up taken off guard. I also say to the Israeli enemy: do not bet on a (state of) exhaustion or weariness in a place or another (in Lebanon), hunger or poverty here, or fear or hesitation there. Any mistake – any mistake, any foolish act, any act of aggression, (be it) small or big, that the Israeli enemy might do, will be met by an instant and direct response, and you (Israelis) will not hear (the statement of) ‘we (Hezbollah) reserve right to respond at the appropriate time and place’. These major exercises of yours do not frighten us, and it will not prevent us from establishing the (regional) deterrence equations that have protected (the peace and sovereignty) of Lebanon to date. Do not presume that we are now preoccupied with the elections. The elections won’t distract us from (military) readiness, nor will they distract us from responding to aggressions and protecting our country, which is the original and main goal (of ours).

West Asia’s economic savior is called ‘multipolarity’

The transition from a western economic order toward a multipolar one is ushering in unprecedented economic and security advancements for West Asia.

May 02 2022

With Russia and Iran standing guard, and China’s ambitious investments, West Asia must sever its western economic dependencies and race toward the riches of multipolarity. Photo Credit: The Cradle

By Matthew Ehret

With Russia and Iran standing guard, and China’s ambitious investments, West Asia must sever its western economic dependencies and race toward the riches of multipolarity.

A race is now underway that will determine the shape of things to come for many generations.

While it is easy to get lost in the swarm of chaotic facts, sound bites, narrative spin, and other noise, it is vital to keep sight of the larger historical forces shaping our present crisis-ridden age.

Two weeks ago, in an important exclusive interview for The Cradle, influential Russian economist Sergey Glazyev outlined the terms and operating principles quickly being brought online by the leading member states of the Greater Eurasian Partnership.

Glazyev laid out the fundamental principles upon which the new post-US dollar economic system will be based. Although some common unit will be agreed upon, it will not be based upon any particular currency as with the Bretton Woods order, but rather a market basket of local currencies tied more deeply to an array of real commodities such as gold and other precious metals, grain, hydrocarbons, sugar, etc.

Real science, not casino-economics

The difference between this system and the now defunct Anglo-American economic structures is that Glazyev’s conception is based on real, tangible, measurable processes defining economic value among participants of the multipolar alliance.

This new paradigm of value stands in stark contrast to the post-1971 floating exchange rate system of rampant speculation and hyperbolically increasing rates of unpayable debts supporting decades of western economic malpractice.

Whereas one system justifies the increase of monetary flows within its system by speculative casino-logic devoid of any measurable improvement in the productive powers of labor, the opposing Eurasian system as described by Glazyev is very different. This multipolar system justifies economic growth, investment, and profit by activities that are tied to improving the conditions of life of people through practices tied to agro-industrial and scientific progress.

For those willing to do their research, they will take note that this is ironically how the west behaved when it was still growing industrially during the 19th century and first half of the 20th century. Sadly, two generations of a post-industrial consumer society logic have destroyed that earlier heritage.

Glazyev is not just any theoretician. He is the Russian minister in charge of Integration and Macroeconomics of the Eurasia Economic Union (EEU) and a leading strategist behind the Eurasian Economic Union-China commission for a new financial architecture. As such, his words are not merely academic, but an active force of grand strategy which keeps even monetarist ideologues at the Russian Central Bank up at night.

In all of his recent interviews and writings, Glazyev has also made it clear that the principles of this new system are already operational in the form of China’s unique approach to finance and international relations, recently describing China in the following terms:

“The entire banking system in China is state-owned, it operates as a single development institution, directing cash flows to expand output and develop new technologies. In the United States, the money supply is used to finance the budget deficit and is reallocated to financial bubbles. As a result, the efficiency of the US financial and economic system is 20 percent-there only one in five dollars reaches the real sector, and in China almost 90 percent (that is, almost all the yuan created by the Central Bank of the PRC) feed the contours of expanding production and ensure ultra-high economic growth.”

Across South and Central Asia, the Sino-Russian alliance has been transformative with Moscow providing strategic military and intelligence assistance to prevent western-directed regime change over the past seven years, as we have seen in the case of Syria since 2015, Turkey in 2016, and most recently Kazakhstan in 2022.

However, Russia lacks the economic freedom to carry out construction of mega-projects due to the continuing (for now) IMF hold on its economy — this is where China comes in. Beijing has been able to use its vast state banking apparatus to provide long term investments for the reconstruction of all nations abused by globalization for generations.

‘Tunxi’ to transform western Asia

While China’s flagship Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) has been evolving at a fast pace since it was first unveiled in 2013, nowhere does it offer more hope than in the regions of West and Southwest Asia which have suffered under Anglo-American manipulation for generations and whose people are hungry for economic advancement.

With the April 1, 2022 comprehensive Tunxi Agreement signed by the foreign ministers of Russia, Pakistan, China, Afghanistan, Iran, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, the Southwest and Central Asian BRI projects took on new energy.

Among the many initiatives in the Tunxi’s goal of integrating Afghanistan into the BRI while also amplifying BRI influence in surrounding regions, we see a high priority on energy projects, transport/connectivity, integration, agriculture, telecommunications and integration with surrounding nations. Among its 72 points, the agreement states:

“China supports the extension of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and the China-Central Asia-West Asia Economic Corridor to Afghanistan, and is ready to promote synergy between the Belt and Road Initiative and the development strategies of Afghanistan, and support the smooth operation of the China-Afghanistan freight train services, to help Afghanistan better integrate into the regional economic integration process.”

Leading projects will include the Khaf-Herat railway which will be completed and extended to central Asian countries via the Mazar-e-Sharif rail line and also the Chabahar Port in Iran.

Iran’s Deputy Transport Minister Abbas Khatibi pointed out that this project will soon link to China and other regional nations saying, “In addition to connect Iran’s rail network to Europe, the new Khaf-Herat railroad will link the country’s southern ports to Central Asian countries, the Caucasus, Iraq and even China.”

Increased interconnectivity

On February 23, 2022, The Silk Road Briefing stated:

“There is much to be done to attain Iran-Afghanistan-China rail connectivity. The planned route east would exit Afghanistan on the border with Tajikistan, then continue east to Kyrgyzstan before entering China through valleys of the Tian Shan mountain range that divide the two countries. A likely terminus would be Kashgar, with existing spurs heading north to Urumqi and connecting to China’s high-speed national rail network and through West to Kazakhstan. There are as yet unrealised plans to create a southern rail connection from Kashgar through to Pakistan.”

According to the Tunxi agreement, Turkmenistan also vowed to contributed to the “development of the transport, transit and communication system of Afghanistan, the intensification of the transit of cargo and passenger flows, by maintaining the operation of the railways along the route Atamyrat-Imamnazar-Akina-Andkhoy, which is designed to connect the countries of the region with further access to the railway network of China.”

Also important is the 6540 km Pakistan-Iran-Turkey freight line now being re-opened after 10 years of disarray. This strategic line which can easily intersect with CPEC and rail networks in China cuts travel down from 21 days at sea to only 10 days. Plans to add a new parallel passenger line to the freight service are also underway.

Commenting on the significance of this project, Pakistan’s Railway minister Azam Khan Swati said, “The start of the container train from Pakistan to Iran and Turkey was a long-standing dream of the countries of the region which has come true again.”

Following the Economic Cooperation Organization meeting in November 2021, projects to connect the Persian Gulf (at the Port of Bandar Abbas in Iran) with the Black Sea via rail were advanced by representatives of Iran, Azerbaijan and Georgia.

This development is part of the broader International North South Transportation Corridor (INSTC) which has become increasingly synergistic with the East-West BRI in recent years and which offers multiple points of intersection with both Russia, Ukraine and Europe. If a wider conflict is to be avoided among Russia and its European neighbors, win-win projects of economic cooperation embodied by this project are essential.

A high priority in the Tunxi agreement was placed on energy projects which Afghanistan desperately needs. Among the many coal, natural gas and other projects showcased, much effort was made to emphasize their complementarity with the CASA-1000 project launched in 2016. This $1.2 billion energy mega project involves creating a vast system of transmission lines stretching from the Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, Pakistan, and Afghanistan.

Another high priority project featured in Tunxi is the 1814 km Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) Natural Gas Pipeline whose construction began in 2018 which will be an important force for residential and industrial development of all four nations.

How ‘new’ will the international order be?

While the Russia-China alliance is robust, other nations among the 148 which have so far signed cooperation agreements with the BRI are on shakier ground. It is in these weaker zones that efforts are being made to loosen the fabric of the Eurasian alliance through any and all possible means.

Such has been the fate of Pakistan which saw an alleged US State Department-directed overthrow of Prime Minister Imran Khan on 10 April. This has cast doubt over the new government’s level of commitment to the CPEC and BRI projects as outlined in Tunxi and other locations as well as broader pro-Eurasian security agreements advanced through the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) in recent years. At least for the time being, the new Pakistani government of Shehbaz Sharif has vowed to maintain CPEC as a top national priority.

Whatever the outcome of the unfolding conflict in Ukraine, military saber-rattling by the US in Asia-Pacific, or broader efforts to destabilize the allies of Russia, Iran and China (RIC), the fact is that the current order as we know it is in terminal decline, while a new economic system will arise one way or another.

The question isn’t “will it collapse?” but “will the new system be based on the principles advocated by Sergey Glazyev?” If not, will it be premised on the model of a new Roman Empire managing a divided, impoverished, and warring world under the influence of a sociopathic supranational hegemon?

The views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect those of The Cradle.

Why has Turkey Closed its Skies for Russian Aircraft Bound for Syria?

Posted by INTERNATIONALIST 360°

Valery Kulikov
On April 23, during a tour of Latin America, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu announced that his country was closing its airspace to Russian military and civilian flights bound for Syria. But he added that this decision did not mean that Turkey was joining in the anti-Russian sanctions – it was simply that the agreement on an air corridor concluded between Moscow and Ankara was only valid for three months. That term is expiring at the end of April, and Turkey does not plan to renew it, as Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan recently informed his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin. The two nations have agreed that Russia will not use Turkish airspace to transport its troops to Syria, Mr. Çavuşoğlu added.

Clearly, Ankara’s decision is related to a number of situations that have taken a more serious turn in recent months.

One of these is Turkey’s new military operation against the Kurds – not just the Kurdish armed groups in Iraq, but also those in Syria. Clearly Ankara does not wish Moscow to get in the way of its plays in some way.

It should be noted that this operation, Ankara’s third special operation against the Kurds, is clearly not being conducted at Washington’s behest, as it is, in part, directed against Kurdish formations loyal to the US-supported Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF). Evidently, in an attempt to rein in Turkey’s military zeal, Washington has pressurized it into taking certain anti-Russian steps, and as a result Turkey has closed its airspace to Russian military and civilian aircraft.

The US itself is also concerned to limit Russia’s military operations in Syria, intending as it does to step up its aggressive operations there and, it seems, to open a “second front” in the confrontation with Russia. To this end, on April 23 the US sent a “convoy of 35 vehicles with trucks with munitions and technical supplies” as well as tankers for transporting oil from areas of Syria under Kurdish control. On April 25 another US military convoy arrived at the Kharab al-Jir aerodrome in the al-Malikiya area district of Al-Hasakah Governorate. According to a source from the Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) reporter it consisted of 36 vehicles loaded with boxes, cement panels and generators, supported by four US military armored vehicles.

In a bid to reinforce its position in its conflict with the Syrian state, Washington appears to have encouraged its ally Israel to launch military attacks on Syrian territory. In the morning of April 27 sites in the suburbs of Damascus were hit by Israeli rockets – the third such attack in less than a month.

Washington is also clearly concerned that Moscow may redeploy Russian forces and Syrian volunteers from its Khmeimim and Tartus bases to its special operation in Ukraine.

In short, it is clear that Turkey’s decision to close its airspace to Russia is entirely consistent with both its own and Washington’s interests.

In recent months Turkey, has been walking a tightrope in an attempt to avoid damaging its own interests by antagonizing either Washington or Moscow. It has made a point of showing Moscow that it is complying with the Montreux Convention, and doing all it can to prevent the clashes between NATO and Russian forces in the Black Sea. On April 26 it even initiated a new round of talks with Moscow on the purchase of a second Russian-made S-400 air defense system. The talks were led by Ismail Demir, head of Turkey’s Presidency of Defense Industries, who declared that “Ankara has no wish to discontinue its cooperation with Russia on arms supply issues because of the situation in Ukraine.”

It should also be noted that Ankara has urged all concerned to resolve the crisis in the Azovstal steel plant, and in particular to evacuate “the civilians and military personnel who are trapped there.” These initiatives are clearly not just spontaneous gestures or motivated by humanitarian considerations. After all, Turkey is continuing, along with other NATO members, to supply the Kiev regime with arms and other military equipment. These include Bayraktar TB2 drones, which have already been used in strikes on Russian territory.

Ankara’s concern is understandable, as it is now known that the fighters trapped in the Azovstal steelworks by Russian, PRD/PRL soldiers include hundreds of mercenaries from Turkey and Europe and high-ranking instructors from NATO countries, who are managing Kiev’s military operation in the Donbass. It would therefore clearly not be in the interests of the “collective West” for them to fall into Russia’s hands or for their presence to be made known to and judged by the international community, thus confirming what is already clear from the documentary evidence received by Moscow – namely the provocative role played by Washington and Brussels in inflaming the war in Ukraine. That is why in the last few days the West has allowed Ankara a much greater role in regulating the current situation.

As for Turkey’s closing of its airspace to Russian aircraft bound for Syria, that decision will certainly have an impact on the development of relations between Moscow and Ankara. Russia’s could potentially retaliate in any number of ways. It could, for example, restrict fruit and vegetable imports from Turkey, or limit the number of Russian tourists visiting the country. After all, 18% of Turkey’s national budget comes from Russian tourists, and given its current economic woes it can ill afford to lose this source of income. Or Moscow could take measures against the Turkish Stream project, promoted by Ankara in a bid to replace Ukraine as the leading gas hub in the region. Russia has many other sources of leverage over Turkey, including in Central Asia, and Ankara is well aware of this fact and has in recent years managed a fine balancing act to avoid losing Russia’s support.

It should also be remembered that Russia would have no problem finding alternative flight routes to Syria. Moscow could transport all the necessary supplies, including military equipment, via the Caspian Sea and Iran, which is happy to allow Russian military and civilian aircraft to use its airspace 24 hours a day for purposes related to the two countries’ joint military operations in Syria.

Related

Vassily Nebenzia’s Statement at the UNSC Meeting on Chemical Weapons in Syria

Iran makes gains as Israel, Turkey test Moscow’s limits on Ukraine

April 25 2022

Under pressure to side with the west on Ukraine, Israel and Turkey risk falling out with Russia – which will benefit Iran in the long-term.

Winners and losers: West Asian geopolitics are shuffling during the Russia-Ukraine conflict, as states are increasingly forced to take sides.Photo Credit: The Cradle

By MK Bhadrakumar

The closure of Turkey’s air space to all Russian aircraft has not come as a surprise to Moscow, which is aware that Ankara and Washington are involved in a new dalliance and that there is a full spectrum calibration of Turkish regional policies under way.

The best evidence of it is that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan now says that a “reasonable, consistent and balanced relationship” with Israel is the only way to effectively defend the Palestinian cause, while Ankara’s rapprochement with Jerusalem solidifies despite intense tensions over the Al-Aqsa Mosque.

However, the closure of Turkish air space to Russian planes has broader regional implications. Russia has bases in Syria and although the conflict in that country has subsided, it remains “kinetic” with Turkey on the prowl with a large force of Syrian rebels it has trained and equipped over the last few years — at least 20,000 fighters following a unified command structure under what is being called the Syrian National Army.

Syria still matters

Suffice to say that Moscow, which anticipated the non-availability of the Turkish air space sooner or later, would have worked out alternate arrangements. The air route via the Caucasus and Iran is one option. Of course, Moscow and Tehran have congruent interests that the military balance in Syria should not tilt, although some redeployment of Russian forces from Syria to the conflict zones in Ukraine is to be expected.

Collaterally, Iran’s role as a stabilizer in the Syrian situation can only become more prominent. Meanwhile, Erdogan sees a window of opportunity to tiptoe around the presence of US and Russian forces in northern Syria and take control over the Kurdish autonomous regions. Turkey has also moved hundreds of troops, armor, and firepower to boost its presence around Idlib in northwestern Syria, which, if Ankara fails to reach an understanding with Russia, could come under attack.

There was a time until recently when Moscow and Washington stood in the way of any Turkish offensive to take territory from Kurdish forces. But that looks like a bygone era now. Turkey finds itself in a far better position than ever before to cut the Gordian knot that thwarted its ambitions and delayed any large scale offensive to pursue those ambitions in northern Syria.

An opportunity for Iran?

This evolving segment of the Syrian conundrum must be bothering Iran. However, no less significant is the contradiction regarding Russia’s relations with Israel, which provided the latter the space to attack Iranian assets in Syria.

Iran is intensely conscious that Israeli intelligence is ’embedded’ in US bases all across the region, which not only gives cover for intelligence gathering but also grooms Israel, as it were, for future roles as a subaltern of the US Central Command (CENTCOM) — the US military’s command center which covers activities from Egypt and West Asia to Central and South Asia.

Last year in January, the Pentagon reported a change in the Unified Command Plan shifting Israel from US European Command (EUCOM) to CENTCOM in a move envisaging the “strategic upgrade” of that country’s future role in West Asia as Washington pays greater attention to the Indo-Pacific.

All things considered, it must be a welcome development for Iran that there is greater clarity now about the limits to the Russian-Israeli relationship. Israel tried hard initially to remain neutral in the conflict between Ukraine and Russia and even projected an aspirational role as facilitator-cum-mediator. But the Biden Administration would have none of it and has come down on the Naftali Bennett government like a ton of bricks, demanding that it must behave like any subaltern is expected to do.

Israel-Russia relations are being tested

Israelis are realists. Which is why Foreign Minister Yair Lapid went down on his knees to explicitly accuse Russia of war crimes in Ukraine. But in the process, Lapid went somewhat overboard, as he chose a venue in Greece in the presence of his Greek and Cypriot counterparts to lambast Russia:

“A large and powerful country has invaded a smaller neighbour without any justification. Once again, the ground is soaked with the blood of innocent civilians. The images and testimony from Ukraine are horrific. Russian forces committed war crimes against a defenceless civilian population. I strongly condemn these war crimes.”

Lapid, a former general himself who is no stranger to war crimes, probably ingratiated himself personally with the Russophobic “hawks” in Washington, being Israel’s next prime minister. But he twisted the knife deep into the Russian consciousness. And Moscow’s reaction has been swift.

Not only was the Israeli ambassador summoned by the Russian Foreign Ministry but two other things happened in quick succession. First, in a not-too-subtle hint, Admiral Oleg Zhuravlev, the deputy chief of the Russian Centre for Reconciliation of the Opposing Parties in Syria, disclosed that  a Syrian-operated, Russian-made Buk M2E air defense system had recently intercepted a guided missile fired from an Israeli F-16 fighter jet in Syrian airspace.

The disclosure of the Syrian interception was as good a warning as there could be that Russia might no longer tolerate future Israeli strikes against targets in Syria (which are mostly Iranian assets.)

Second, Putin himself appeared on the scene writing a letter to Bennett demanding that Israel should transfer control of Jerusalem’s Church of St. Alexander Nevsky to Russia, as was promised by Netanyahu as part of a deal two years ago to win the release of an Israeli-American national detained in Russia on drug charges.

This latter issue will be a bitter pill for Bennett to swallow — to transfer to Russia the custodianship of the church located in Jerusalem’s Old City. The church is of exceptional importance to the Russian Orthodox Church and is a place of pilgrimage for Orthodox Russians who are inextricably linked with the rising tide of Russian nationalism.

Voice of America report lost no time in noting that “the issue is one of the latest flashpoint in the increasingly contentious relations between the two countries during the Russian war against Ukraine.”

Long-term planning

While Israel has a parochial and time-serving foreign policy, what distinguishes Iran’s compass is its sheer breadth of strategic vision. Iran understands perfectly well that the west is pursuing dangerous intentions in the Ukraine crisis.

Tehran sees through “the west’s strategy of turning Ukraine into a deadly quagmire for Russia to create the conditions for the west to play a more active role on the world stage, especially in the eastern hemisphere, by removing it from the list of major players on the international stage,” as an influential Iranian commentator wrote last week.

Conceivably, Iran’s best hope and interest would lie in Russia’s success in overcoming the crisis which may lead to a reset of the world order in the direction of greater multipolarity away from the prevailing western-led political and financial systems.

Evidently, the Biden administration is taking its own time to reach an agreement with Iran on the lifting of sanctions against Iran. It is baiting Tehran with patently-contrived, fantastic propositions almost on a daily basis: while Washington may remove the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) from the terror list, its elite Quds Force shall remain branded as such; and so forth.

However, the heart of the matter is that the Biden administration’s foreign policies are currently Russia-centric (rather, ‘Putin-centric’) and will remain so for the foreseeable future. Washington is seeking reasonable certainty that Iran is willing to distance itself from Russia. The specter that haunts the Biden administration is the sheer possibility of two energy superpowers — with ideological affinities for a just and equitable world order and multipolar trade and currency regimes — working in tandem, which the US is hard-pressed to counter effectively.

The views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect those of The Cradle.

Israeli media: Upcoming weeks pose huge challenge to Israeli army

30 Apr 2022

Source: Israeli media

By Al Mayadeen Net 

Israeli media comment on the speeches of Hezbollah Secretary-General and IRGC Commander on the occasion of International Al-Quds Day.

Israeli occupation soldiers

Israeli media underscored Friday that the upcoming weeks will pose a major challenge to the Israeli security and military establishment.

Arab affairs commentator on Israeli Channel 13, Hezi Simantov, said that Hezbollah Secretary-General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah and Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Commander Major General Hossein Salami praised and encouraged Palestinian operations.

Simantov added that the two leaders called on more Palestinians to carry out operations in occupied Palestinian territories, knowing that it would be difficult to thwart them in advance.

The Israeli commentator pointed out that the Hamas movement will continue to activate one-man solo operations carried out by Palestinians in the occupied territories in the coming weeks, considering that this would be a major challenge to the Israeli occupation security and military establishment.

It is noteworthy that Sayyed Nasrallah underscored Friday in his speech on the occasion of the International Al-Quds Day that these operations exposed the fragility of the Israeli occupation’s security and the weakness of its security apparatus. He stressed that they also impacted the Israeli settlers’ trust in their government and army, which has vast tremendous repercussions.

In the same context, the Israeli newspaper “Israel” Hayom quoted an excerpt of Nasrallah’s speech, in which he said, “I found out that Iran informed normalizing countries that any aggression against Iran from these countries will be responded to, and this message has made it to [“Tel Aviv”]… Iran could strike Israel directly, and its preludes are becoming greater by the day.”

The newspaper indicated that in his statement, Nasrallah meant by the normalizing country the two Gulf states who signed the so-called “Abrahamic Accords”, namely the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain.

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