Terrorist War on Syria Uncovered How Fragile the International Law Is

Source

Monday, 19 September 2016 01:26

MARGARITA, VENEZUELA, (ST)-Syria’s Permanent Representative at the United Nations Bashar al-Jaafari has stressed that the terrorist war imposed on Syria has distorted the noble meaning of diplomacy and uncovered how fragile the international law is.

Al-Jaafari made the remarks on Sunday during the 17th summit of the Non Aligned Movement (NAM) currently held in Venezuela.

He said the cowardly American aggression against Syrian army positions in al-Tharda Mount area near Deir Ezzor airbase was a clear-cut evidence about the support of the United States and its allies for “ISIS” terrorist organization.

He expressed Syria’s call on NAM member states to condemn this aggression and hold the United States accountable for the attack and to ask the American administration to apologize to the Syrian government for this horrible act and to promise not to repeat such attacks.

He pointed out that achieving the common goal of eliminating terrorism and stopping the expansion of terrorist organizations like “ISIS , Jabhat al-Nusra and al-Qaeda”  and their affiliated groups necessitates unifying and coordinating all efforts.

Syrian government ready to cooperate with all efforts seeking political settlement

Al-Jaafari went on to say that the Syrian government has been open to all sincere initiatives and efforts aiming to help Syria get out of the crisis, stressing that today the government is also ready to cooperate with all efforts seeking political solution in which only the Syrians can decide their future through intra-Syrian dialogue led by the Syrians themselves and away from Arab, regional or international interference.

He affirmed that political solution should lead to eradicating terrorism and rebuilding what the terrorists and their supporters have destroyed. It should also preserve the Syrian state’s sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity and restore security and stability to the Syrian people, he said.

Al-Jaafari pointed out that since its establishment, NAM was based on a number of principles that call among other things for peace, solidarity, justice and respect of the states’ sovereignty and territorial integrity. He regretted that some NAM member states, especially the regimes of Saudi Arabia and Qatar have persisted over the past five years in violating these principles by disseminating terrorist takfiri thinking all over the world, by interfering in the internal affairs of other countries and by not respecting these countries sovereignty and territorial integrity, thereby violating the UN resolutions and the Security Council principles.

He affirmed that the unprecedented terrorist war imposed on Syria and in which tens of countries took part has distorted the noble meaning of diplomacy and uncovered how fragile the international law is and how weak the United Nations mechanisms are.

Stronger adherence to NAM principles urged

Al-Jaafari urged stronger adherence to the principles on the basis of which NAM was established and called for adopting  more effective role to stop the interventionist policies that serve the agenda’s of the enemies.

The Syrian diplomat condemned the flagrant Turkish aggression on Syrian territories and called for an the immediate stopping of this aggression. He asserted that fighting ISIS can’t be done through expelling ISIS and replacing it with other terrorist groups backed by the United States, Turkey, Qatar and Saudi Arabia.

He reiterated that the only viable way to combat terrorism is the implementation of the relevant Security Council resolutions and the establishment of an honest international alliance within the framework of international legitimacy and with the participation of concerned countries, foremost of which are Syria and Iraq which are fighting terrorism on behalf of the entire world.

Al-Jaafari said that five and a half years ago, Syria was one of safest and most stable countries, but this image was suddenly and dramatically changed after some Arab, regional and western countries adopted anti-Syria policies and media campaigns and conspired on the country by supporting terrorists and mercenaries from all over the world to kill and destroy in Syria.

Hamda Mustafa

US Providing Cover for Terrorists by Calling Them “Moderate Opposition”- Al-Jaafari

Sunday, 18 September 2016 11:50

MARGARITA, VENEZUELA, (ST)-The governments of Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey, the United States, France and Britain are directly involved in supporting terrorism in Syria and they give no heed to the Security Council resolutions relating to fighting terrorism, Syria’s Permanent Representative at the United Nations Bashar Al-Jaafari has stressed, pointing out that Israel is also providing flagrant support to the terrorists of Jabhat al-Nusra.

Interviewed by the “al-Mayadeen TV” on the sideline of the 17th Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) Summit in Margarita in Venezuela, al-Jaafari said “Israel hosts “Jabhat al-Nusra”, “Liwa Shuhada al-Yarmouk” and “Jund al-Aqsa” terrorist groups and all other terrorists who have been trained in Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Israel itself.” He clarified that Israel provides medical treatment to injured terrorists in its hospitals with the help of Qatari funding.

The Syrian diplomat went to on to say that the Syrian state has sent the UN Chief and the Security Council president hundreds of complaints about the Israeli occupation’s practices in the occupied Syrian Golan and about its full involvement in the country’s southern front’s battles.

He added documents were also sent daily to the peacekeeping operation command, but “what should we do if the peacekeeping operation command Chief is a French person called Hervi Ladso who is involved to the bone in anti-Syria campaigns?”

Al-Jaafari ruled out a solution to the issue of separating the so-called “moderate opposition” and terrorist groups “as long as there is a US willingness to provide cover for terrorists by callng them moderate opposition”.

“Senior US administration officials said shamelessly that they can’t support the request of dissociating [Jabhat al-Nusra from armed opposition groups because this will lead to empowering the Syrian government,” said al-Jaafari, stressing that “they are using terrorism as a political weapon to blackmail the Syrian government.”

He noted that the policies of France and Britain are based on hatred. Many terrorists were prepared and vetted within the societies of these countries and sent to the region, but now these countries are trying to get rid of this European terrorism in Syria and Iraq, he said.

Al-Jaafari added that some NAM member states, mainly Gulf States and Jordan, are supporting terrorism in Syria, stressing that political hypocrisy is unacceptable within this organization as it hinders the development of NAM performance.

Hamda Mustafa

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Cyprus, Russia and a geopolitics chess amateur

Via The Saker

by Kakaouskia 
It was with interest that I saw the Saker mentioning today that the government cabinet in Cyprus is actually considering granting Russia’s “wish” for an air force base on the island.

Being a Cypriot, I would like to take this opportunity to provide a – very brief – history lesson for the community as well as some thoughts on the matter.

Brief history 

Cyprus became “independent” from being a UK colony (since 1878) in 1960 following a 5 year guerrilla-type resistance movement which had the peculiarity of seeing more Cypriots being killed by the rebels as “traitors to the cause” – read Communists and leftist in general – than British troops.

Cyprus Republic was then imposed with a British-made constitution, which under the guise of equality made things completely unworkable and allowed Greece and Turkey to each legally have about thousand soldiers on the island. In an attempt to find stability, Cyprus joined the Non-Aligned Movement in 1961. Things collapsed within three years, resulting in one of the longest missions of the UN to date as both sides formed militias (guided by the respective “Motherlands”) and attacked each other. In 1974, following a coup-d’état against the Cypriot president carried out by Greek Junta-guided elements of the Cyprus Army, an all-out war broke out between Turkey and Cyprus which resulted in Cyprus losing about 38% of the island to Turkey. This is the only war so far where forces from two NATO countries (Greece and Turkey) openly fought each other; although formal war was not declared.

Military interests and a fine middle-east deadlock 

Parting Cyprus, apart from being a guarantor to Cyprus’s independence (along with Greece and Turkey), the UK kept a few pieces of prime real estate around the island namely:

– R.A.F Akrotiri, an all important Sovereign Base Area. In the words of UK’s MOD, “RAF Akrotiri is an extremely busy Permanent Joint Operating Base that supports ongoing operations in Afghanistan as well as support for the Sovereign Base area on the Island of Cyprus. It is used as a forward mounting base for overseas operations in the Middle East and for fast jet training.” Akrotiri is only 50Km away – in a straight flight line – from Paphos base.

True to that, Eurofighter Typhoons are stationed there as well as Tornado jets conducting sorties all over the Middle East plus the occasional U2s flights – see video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jIP4W9_hwkI)

– R.A.F Troodos, formally a signals station, effectively a big radar and intelligence gathering facility.

– Dhekelia army base

Note that Akrotiri and Dhekelia are called Sovereign Base Areas and have their own police force, even courts.

Apart from the British, almost everybody else in the area is or was involved with Cyprus militarily one way or the other. Cyprus was caught in the Arab-Israeli wars with terrorist attacks rocking the island in the early 80s. In 1978, Egyptian commandos attacked Larnaca Airport in an attempt to rescue hostages taken by Palestinians; this resulted in a heavy firefight between Cyprus National Guard and the Egyptian commandos. Syria was also involved in this by sending their military attaché to help negotiate then surrender of the Egyptians.

Israel has been warming up to Cyprus in recent years after the discovery of adjoining gas reserves. Military exercises between the two countries have taken place involving substantial forces (in Greek). These exercises were prompted in part by Cyprus being equipped with similar Russian armaments like Syria. Two years ago the then defence minister was pushing for the purchase of two Israeli-made gun boats.

United States is of course claiming a stake in the island, mostly utilising British military bases and largely staying in the shadow, pulling strings from their embassy. It was noted in the local press that some key right-wing politicians were getting marching orders from the US ambassador.

Cyprus has tried over the years to decently equip its armed forces but every time it turned to the East, something has happened. The first attempt was in the mid-60s, early 70s, when then president Archbishop Makarios turned to the Soviet Union. While some old armaments were delivered like T-34 tanks and a few torpedo boats, the big item which was the SA-2 SAM system was not, despite Cypriots being trained in Russia. This had the effect of the Cyprus National Guard fighting the 1974 war against Turkey using the T-34s and Marmon Herrington armoured vehicles dating back to the battle of El-Alamein in 1943.

After that, France was quite helpful in providing decent armaments until the collapse of the Soviet Union. Then president Glafkos Klerides (founder of the current governing party) saw an opportunity and ordered among other things: T80-U battle tanks, BMP-3 IFVs, BM-21s, a dozen or so Mil-Mi-35Ps and S300-PMU1 batteries. While the armour was delivered quite fast (I personally saw spare parts for the BMP3s that were inscribed with ‘CCCP’) and National Guard personnel regularly visits Russia for training, history repeated itself and the S300 system was never allowed by NATO to arrive; instead batteries were transferred to Crete island in Greece where they remain partially operational due to lack of funds and maintenance. They were “exchanged” with TOR-M1 batteries.

Political map and power bases 

Before proceeding to comment on the military base deal, it would be prudent to give a brief picture about the political landscape. Cyprus is a presidential republic with the president having great power and the parliament controlling budget. Currently the parliament composition looks like below:

Democratic Rally (DHSY) – 20 seats: Governing party, Pro-West, right-wing with some members hating everything non-west while others being typical capitalists will not mind any deal as long as there is profit. Also have 2 members in European Parliament under the Group of the European People’s Party (Christian Democrats) – same party like Merkel. Controls one of the two biggest worker union (SEK).

Progressive Party of Working People – Left – New Forces (AKEL) – 19 seats: The evolution of the Communist Party of Cyprus, pro-Russian, most of the old guard studied in Soviet Union and speaks Russian to some degree. In identity crisis, members behaving increasingly like pure capitalists. Also have 2 members in European Parliament under the Confederal Group of the European United Left – Nordic Green Left. Controls the other big worker union (PEO).

Democratic Party (DHKO) – 9 seats: Centre-right, pro-West but mostly pro-money. Usually allies with the governing party, whoever that might be.

Movement for Social Democracy (EDEK) – 5 seats: Centre party with a modest left wing. Also have 2 members in European Parliament under the Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament. Although not exactly pro-Russia, it will be difficult to turn the other way.

European Party – 2 seats: Apostates from Democratic Rally, pro-West and heavily right-wing.

Green Party (Ecologists) – 1 seat: No real politics, go wherever the wind is blowing.

Other players include the Church of Cyprus, one of the biggest businesses, heavily pro-Russia and hard-core Capitalist and ELAM, our equivalent to Right Sector.

Current situation and the road to being obedient in EU 

As to the base deal, I wish our government realises that the EU is not the alliance we dreamed it to be but a wolf pack which keeps a few spare lambs around for dinner. BBC is already posting news that according to our foreign minister, Cyprus has denied the deal. This is the same foreign minister who was quoted saying “Cyprus belongs and has always belonged to the West”. Furthermore, the majority of the Cyprus “elite” was cultivated and nurtured with the mantra “West good – Russia bad” to paraphrase Orwell, despite the cultural and religious links Cypriots and Russians share. A few examples:

– Current president, Nikos Anastasiades was actively supported by Merkel in his bid for presidency two years ago and his party, Democratic Rally, is headed by a neon-liberal hardliner which would make the 1%s proud. During his election campaign, Anastasiades pledged to apply for membership into the Partnership for Peace, the gateway to NATO. Parliament members from his party at some point stated that the Mil-Mi-35s are junk and should be replaced, prompting a serious rebuff by the Russian embassy; the first time I recall an embassy officially protesting for such an event.

– In addition, a former president, Tassos Papadopoulos, was rumoured to have attempted to sell a TOR-M1 battery to the US and that his law office helped Milosevic do some serious money laundering of Serbia’s money during the NATO attacks in 1999. According to CIA documents, he was funded in the 1960s in order to create a union of right-wing workers as the one created by the Communist Party of Cyprus was getting too strong. His son is now the head of the centre-right Democratic Party.

Also, when our government does help someone in the East, disasters tend to happen; for example the explosion of “confiscated” Russian ammunition bound for Syria that obliterated our only naval base and the adjoining main power plant. Cyprus does not have warships; the base was built using NATO standards and was intended for use by the Greek navy in the event of an emergency. The explosion was estimated to be almost 1 kiloton in power – a before and after image comparison here. You can see the crater of the explosion (centre-left of the image) and note that the damage to the power station was from the shockwave. Of course sabotage was ruled out immediately although how a fire in a munition depot could rage for some time while only a few meters from the sea was never answered.

To compare, Paphos airbase is located at the edge of Paphos international airport, is the only airbase in Cyprus and was also build using NATO standards. It houses our military helicopters and can support fighter planes; Greek F-16s are regular visitors.

In conclusion, I seriously do hope that this deal will go through but I will not hold my breath.

Kakaouskia is a man in mid-30s, software engineer in meat-space, avid reader of military history and fond of reading strategy analysis.

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Oh how much they hate and fear Russia and Putin

 A (well anonymized) anonymous reader sent me a very interesting link today.  It is an opinion piece by Strobe Talbott for Reuters entitled “In 2015, Vladimir Putin may witness his empire’s death knell” in which Talbott predicts that:

The year ahead could see the outbreak of the third Chechen war, which, in turn, could be the death knell of the Russian Federation in its current borders. (…)  For the past five years, the situation has been more or less quiescent, though neighboring republics have been rocked by violence. The lull in Chechnya, however, ended in early December with a series of bloody incidents in the Chechen capital of Grozny.   The group behind the resurgence of unrest is advocating a “Caucasus Caliphate,” with ties to al Qaeda and, more recently, Islamic State. There is at least an indirect tie between outside support for Islamic radicalism in the Caucasus and Putin’s sponsorship of Russian secessionism in eastern Ukraine.   By proclaiming ethnicity and religion as the basis for Russian statehood and aggression against its neighbors, Putin is inadvertently stoking the forces of secessionism in those parts of Russia that are historically and culturally Islamic.

Needless to say, Talbott, himself a former Deputy Secretary of State under Bill Clinton, member of both the Council on Foreign Relations and the Trilateral, married to Brooke Shearer, also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and a senior aide to Hillary Clinton with links to banks Commission, is the archetypal US “deep-stater”.  He is also considered a “Russia specialist” which, in Foggy Bottom parlance means a rabid russophobe.  A person like Talbott is very much “plugging in” the US deep state and if he says that next year there will be an insurgency in Chechnia, we can be darn sure that the US will try to create one.

Of course, this does not at all mean that they will succeed.

In fact, I am quite sure that there is zero chance of overthrowing Kadyrov, nevermind of Chechnia breaking away from Russia.  If only because there is overwhelming evidence that the Chechen people want nothing to do with Wahabi terrorists and that they in fact form a very strong power base for Putin.  Not only that, but Russia truly has formidable military capabilities in and around Chechnia.  They keep a low profile and do not get involved in law enforcement or counter-insurgency operations, but only because the Chechens handle these tasks superbly.  But make no mistake, Russia can flush at least 100’000 highly trained, motivated and superbly equipped men into Chechnia drawn from the 58th Army of course, but also from various special forces, Internal Ministry and State Security troops. 

The weak link in the Russian Caucasus in Dagestan and the border with nearby Georgia from which attacks could come.  Could the US at the very least rekindle the Wahabi insurgency (possibly supported by Nazi units from the Ukraine)?  Yes, of course.  But their chances to succeed in anything more than one or several truly ugly terrorist attacks are very, very slim.

I think that Talbott probably understands that, but he just cannot help by daydream out loud being, as he no doubt is, aware that if Russia prevails in her defense against the AngloZionist Empire this will mean the end for the latter.

The US deep state is simply saturated with russophobia, phobia in both the sense of “hate” and “fear”, and so it should.  Just like all the other western invaders of Russia in the past, the AngloZionist Empire has completely cornered the Russian Bear which now has to fight for its very survival.  Neither side will back down and only one will prevail.  And my money is not on the US, neither is Talbott’s, at least now deep down.  He must realize that the writing is on the wall.  Hence the hate and the fear.

The Saker

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The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Blog!

America’s Lead Iran Negotiator Misrepresents U.S. Policy (and International Law) to Congress

 

I don’t think the USA has yet grasped the concept of diplomacy

America’s Lead Iran Negotiator Misrepresents U.S. Policy (and International Law) to Congress

Posted on November 3rd, 2013 .

Last month, while testifying to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Wendy Sherman—Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs and the senior U.S. representative in the P5+1 nuclear talks with Iran—said, with reference to Iranians, “We know that deception is part of the DNA.”  This statement goes beyond orientalist stereotyping; it is, in the most literal sense, racist.  And it evidently was not a mere “slip of the tongue”:  a former Obama administration senior official told us that Sherman has used such language before about Iranians.    

If a senior U.S. government official made public statements about “deception” or some other negative character trait being “part of the DNA” of Jews, people of African origin, or most other ethnic groups, that official would—rightly—be fired or forced to resign, and would probably not be allowed back into “polite society” until after multiple groveling apologies and a long period of penance. 

–But a senior U.S. official can make such a statement about Iranians—or almost certainly about any other ethnic group a majority of whose members are Muslim—and that’s just fine

Of course, it’s not fine.  But that’s the America we live in. 

Putting aside Sherman’s glaring display of anti-Iranian racism, there was another egregious manifestation of prejudice-cum-lie in her testimony to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that we want to explore more fully.  It came in a response to a question from Senator Marco Rubio (R-Florida) about whether states have a right to enrich under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).  Here is the relevant passage in Sherman’s reply: 

It has always been the U.S. position that Article IV of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty does not speak about the right of enrichment at all [and] doesn’t speak to enrichment, period.  It simply says that you have the right to research and development.” 

Sherman goes on to acknowledge that “many countries such as Japan and Germany have taken that [uranium enrichment] to be a right.”  But, she says, “the United States does not take that position.  We take the position that we look at each one of these [cases].”  Or, as she put it at the beginning of her response to Sen. Rubio, “It has always been the U.S. position that Article IV of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty does not speak about the right of enrichment at all” (emphasis added). 

Two points should be made here.  First, the claim that the NPT’s Article IV does not affirm the right of non-nuclear-weapons states to pursue indigenous development of fuel-cycle capabilities, including uranium enrichment, under international safeguards is flat-out false

Article IV makes a blanket statement that “nothing in this Treaty shall be interpreted as affecting the inalienable right of all the Parties to the Treaty to develop research, production and use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes without discrimination.”  And it’s not just “countries such as Japan and Germany”—both close U.S. allies—which affirm that this includes the right of non-weapons states to enrich uranium under safeguards.  The BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) countries and the Non-Aligned Movement (whose 120 countries represent a large majority of UN members) have all clearly affirmed the right of non-nuclear-weapons states, including the Islamic Republic of Iran, to pursue indigenous safeguarded enrichment

In fact, just four countries in the world hold that there is no right to safeguarded enrichment under the NPT:  the United States, Britain, France, and Israel (which isn’t even a NPT signatory).  That’s it. 

Moreover, the right to indigenous technological development—including nuclear fuel-cycle capabilities, should a state choose to pursue them—is a sovereign right.  It is not conferred by the NPT; the NPT’s Article IV recognizes states’ “inalienable right” in this regard, while other provisions bind non-weapons states that join the Treaty to exercise this right under international safeguards.       

There have been many first-rate analyses demonstrating that the right to safeguarded enrichment under the NPT is crystal clear—from the Treaty itself, from its negotiating history, and from subsequent practice, with at least a dozen non-weapons states building fuel-cycle infrastructures potentially capable of supporting weapons programs.  Bill Beeman published a nice Op Ed in the Huffington Post on this question in response to Sherman’s Senate Foreign Relations Committee testimony, see here and, for a text including references, here.  For truly definitive legal analyses, see the work of Daniel Joyner, for example here and here.  The issue will also be dealt with in articles by Flynt Leverett and Dan Joyner in a forthcoming special issue of the Penn State Journal of Law and International Affairs, which should appear within the next few days.        

From any objectively informed legal perspective, denying non-weapons states’ right of safeguarded enrichment amounts to nothing more than a shameless effort to rewrite the NPT unilaterally.  And this brings us to our second point about Sherman’s Senate Foreign Relations Committee testimony. 

Sherman claims that “It has always been the U.S. position that Article IV of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty does not speak about the right of enrichment at all [and] doesn’t speak to enrichment, period.”  But, in fact, the United States originally held that the right to peaceful use recognized in the NPT’s Article IV includes the indigenous development of safeguarded fuel-cycle capabilities

In 1968, as America and the Soviet Union, the NPT’s sponsors, prepared to open it for signature, the founding Director of the U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency, William Foster, told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee—the same committee to which Sherman untruthfully testified last month—that the Treaty permitted non-weapons states to pursue the fuel cycle.  We quote Foster on this point:   “Neither uranium enrichment nor the stockpiling of fissionable material in connection with a peaceful program would violate Article II so long as these activities were safeguarded under Article III.”  [Note:  In Article II of the NPT, non-weapons states commit not to build or acquire nuclear weapons; in Article III, they agree to accept safeguards on the nuclear activities, “as set forth in an agreement to be negotiated and concluded with the International Atomic Energy Agency.”]    

Thus, it is a bald-faced lie to say that the United States has “always” held that the NPT does not recognize a right to safeguarded enrichment.  As a matter of policy, the United States held that that the NPT recognized such a right even before it was opened for signature; this continued to be the U.S. position for more than a quarter century thereafter

It was only after the Cold War ended that the United States—along with Britain, France, and Israel—decided that the NPT should be, in effect, unilaterally rewritten (by them) to constrain the diffusion of fuel-cycle capabilities to non-Western states.  And their main motive for trying to do so has been to maximize America’s freedom of unilateral military initiative and, in the Middle East, that of Israel

This is the agenda for which Wendy Sherman tells falsehoods to a Congress that is all too happy to accept them.

Mursi’s Stances from Syria Unsound, Alliance with Iran in favor of Egypt (P2)

Israa Al-Fass
Al-Ashaal in the interview with Al-Manar WebsiteAl-Manar Website posts part two of the interview with Dr. Abdullah Al-Ashaal on the margin of the “Islamists: The System of Ruling, Palestine after the Revolutions” Conference, held in Beirut on 12 and 13 September, 2012.

The interview that was recognized by the conference organizers and some fellow journalists discussed a bunch of files some of which Al-Ashaal directly dealt with, while he was somehow diplomatic in dealing with others.

Syrian Crisis Viewed Mursi a Brotherhoodish Leader

Concerning the Syrian crisis, Al-Ashaal announces that he has his special approach that is a way different from what the Egyptian Presidency shows to public.

In his exclusive talk to Al-Manar Website, the former Egyptian diplomat explains that the Egyptian public opinion is being misguided about what is taking place in Syria. They view it as a repetition for the Egyptian experience, and they compare the Syrian President Bashar Assad with the toppled Egyptian President Husni Mubarak. They also don’t pay attention to the partition in Syria between the pro-regime and anti-regime groups, in contrary to Egypt whose people united in order to topple the regime. For this reason, the Egyptians find no problem in what their President had announced against the Syrian regime.

In a political evaluation to Mursi’s stances in the Non Aligned Movement summit held in Tehran, Al-Ashaal considers Mursi’s attitudes toward the Syrian regime unsound, and they showed him as a Brotherhoodish leader more than being a president of a major country as Egypt. He viewed Mursi’s announced stances as impeding any chance for Egypt to contribute to a serious initiative to solve the Syrian crisis.

In Mursi’s stances, Al-Ashaal read the former’s attempt to balance with his visit to the Islamic Republic, in which he was exposed to tough pressures and criticisms.

Egypt-Iran Relations and the American Concern

Egypt, US flags
“Most of which the United States fears of in the region is Iran. Not for developing its nuclear program, but for being independent, and courageous for saying “No” to America,” says the Professor of International Law in the University of Cairo.

Furthermore, he added that the Iranians do not follow any international side; they have their own independent outstand and interests that would intersect with some sides. Despite all the imposed sanctions on Iran, the Iranians saved this independence so that their country became an important player that cannot be outreached in the region.

Al-Ashaal sees that Egypt will restore its trust on the strategic level by joining the regional pivot in which Iran is a main pillar. He explains that this pivot will not quell Egypt, but will deal with it fluently. Iran is keen on showing its goodwill in openness to Egypt while the US is using all the pressure cards to prevent this openness and strengthening relationships.

He confesses that the Egyptian-Iranian relationships exist and are good, but they need a chance or an international event to be stronger. Al-Ashaal didn’t exclude the Egyptian initiative to solve the Syrian crisis from forming this event.

The Bahraini Crisis and the Regional Unrest

His diplomacy is clearly witnessed in his approach to the Bahraini issue. Dr. Al-Ashaal says that he had previously visited Bahrain and met official and opposing officers. He describes Bahraini people as peaceful. And about the turmoil between the two sides in Bahrain, he says that it is simple and is originally related to the tense regional atmosphere.

When asked whether discussing the Bahraini issue embarrasses regimes and personas who are keen on their relations when the Gulf States, Al-Ashaal smiles to repeat what he had previously mentioned.
He thinks that Mursi’s total ignorance to the political crisis in Bahrain doesn’t incite the Egyptian people that aren’t aware of the events and their backgrounds, and are influenced by what was marketed on the satellite channels that were trying to view the movement on the island as a sectarian movement.

The American Movie and September 11 Myth

Al-Ashaal considers breaking in the American Embassy in Cairo and raising the Al-Qaeda flags to condemn the offensive movie to Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) is a film made in the USA, noting that the protestors’ entry to the embassy was facilitated, and the security guards in charge of protecting the embassy didn’t resist them.

He explains that the American goal from this is to deceit the American public opinion with the idea that they are targeted by the “Global Terrorism” represented by the Al-Qaeda, consequently pushing the American people to support Obama and reelect him for being more capable of confronting this challenge, especially that Osama bin Laden, the movement’s former leader, was killed during Obama’s reign in a security operation directly supervised by him.

“Pushing the United States to offer more assurances to the American people” is considered among the goals which America is looking forward to achieve. According to his analysis, showing that the American interests in Egypt are targeted means that the Egyptian security forces are not able to protect those interests, which means that the Americans can demand bringing in American forces to fulfill the Egyptian deficiency, and push the Brotherhood for more concessions.

In this context, he remembers what he describes as the “September 11 Myth”, noting that he is convinced that the events were American-Israeli cofounded, and showing what the foreign and Arab newspapers had published about the Israeli Prime Minister at the time Ariel Sharon’s condemning the two planes attack half an hour before the second plane attacked the commercial tower, according to Al-Ashaal.

The former Foreign Minister Assistant explains that nothing is innocence in politics; September 11 events have had backgrounds and dimensions. This is also applied on the latest events that took place in Egypt as Abdullah Al-Ashaal emphasized.
Report translated by: Zeinab Abdallah

To read Part I of this interview click here

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The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this Blog!

The NAM Summit, Iran, and Syria: A Coup against the West?

by Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya

Mahdi Darius NazemroayaThe following article was written by Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya before the non-aligned summit. It helps to understand the issues that were at stake and, in retrospect, to appraise Iran’s success. The Movement has been reactivated and a permanent secretariat established, to be chaired for the next three years by Iran, Egypt and Venezuela. Defying the U.S. verboten, the Egyptian President traveled to Tehran. While he vented his disagreement over Syria, in a significant move he also restored diplomatic relations with Iran. Ultimately, Tehran put Cairo in the limelight to nudge it toward an independent stance where it could act as a counterweight to Riyadh.

JPEG - 42.9 kbThe upcoming summit of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) will be held in Tehran from August 26 to 31, 2012. The NAM and its summit are mostly ignored in the Atlanticist world of the United States and NATO, but this year’s gathering has gotten the attention of the Atlanticists and their press. The reason is that the NAM summit’s venue has upset the political establishment in Washington, DC.

The US government has got its feathers ruffled and even gone out of its way to berate NAM leaders for gathering in Iran. US State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland – the spouse of neo-con Project for the New American Century (PNAC) co-founder and arch-imperialist Robert Kagan – has asked Egypt’s new president, Mohamed Morsi, and even UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Washington’s own steward at the UN, not to travel to Tehran. Nuland and the US State Department have bitterly declared that Iran is not deserving of such “high-level presences.” The US, however, is forced to grin and bear the gathering of world leaders in Tehran.

What will take place is an international extravaganza, minus NATO and its key de facto members – Australia, Japan, New Zealand, and South Korea – in the Asia-Pacific and Israel. African, Asian, Caribbean, and Latin America officials will be there in full strength. The Chinese, which have the status of observers in the NAM, will be there. The Russians, which are not part of the NAM, have been invited as Iran’s special guests and will be represented by Konstantin Shuvalov, Russian ambassador-at-large and Vladimir Putin’s envoy. Even non-NAM member Turkey has been given an invitation from Tehran. To help the Palestinians, Hamas will also be given a special seat at the table under an invitation sent from Iran to Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh to participate at the summit alongside the US-Israeli puppet Mahmoud Abbas. [1] Alongside the Russian Federation, most the members of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) will be attending as either full members or observers. Aside from the Chinese and Russians, the other three members of the BRICS grouping – Brazil, India, and South Africa – that is becoming the new engine shaping the world will also be in attendance.

The NAM Summit, Iran, and Syria: A Coup against the West?

The gathering of NAM leaders will doubtlessly be an important event for Iran’s international prestige and status. For almost a week Tehran will be a key center of the world alongside the offices of the UN in New York City and Geneva. Not only will Iran be the venue for one of the largest international get-togethers of world leaders, but it will also be handed over the organization’s chairmanship from Arab powerhouse Egypt. Iran will retain this position as the leader of the NAM for the next few years and will be able to speak on behalf of the international organization. Up to a certain degree this position will allow Tehran to have more influence in world affairs. At least this is the view in Tehran where none of the significance of the NAM summit has been lost on Iranian politicians and officials who one after another are pointing out the importance of the NAM summit for their country.
The NAM is the second largest international organization and body in the world after the United Nations. With 120 full members and 17 observer members it includes most the countries and governments of the world. About two-thirds of the UN’s member states are full NAM members. The African Union (AU), Afro-Asian People’s Solidarity Organization, Commonwealth of Nations, Hostosian National Independence Movement, Kanak Socialist National Liberation Front, Arab League, Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), South Center, United Nations, and World Peace Council are all observers too.

The US and NATO which very generously and misleadingly throw around the term “international community” when they are referring to themselves are really a global minority that pale in comparison to the international grouping formed by the NAM. Any agreements or consensuses drilled out by the NAM represent not only the bulk of the international community, but also the non-imperialist international majority or those countries that have traditionally been viewed as the “have-nots.” Unlike at the UN, the “silent majority” will have its voice heard with little adulteration and perversion from the confederates of NATOistan.

The NAM gathering in Tehran signifies an important event. It demonstrates that Iran is genuinely not internationally isolated like the images that the United States and major European Union powers, such as the UK and France, like to continuously project. Atlanticist media are scrambling to explain this situation and the Israelis are clearly upset.

JPEG - 28.3 kbUndoubtedly, Iran will use the international gathering to its advantage and make use of the NAM to garnish support for its international positions and to help try to end the crisis in Syria. The US-supported siege of Syria will be denounced at the NAM conference and diplomatic blows will be dealt against the US and its clients and satellites. Already the hurried ministerial conference about the fighting in Syria organized by the Iranian Foreign Ministry in Tehran before the emergency summit held by the OIC in Mecca was a prelude to the diplomatic support that Iran will give the Syrian Arab Republic at the 2012 NAM summit.

Despite Algerian and Iranian opposition, Syria was expelled from the OIC at the behest of Saudi Arabia and the petro-monarchies. While the OIC emergency summit in Mecca may have been a political and diplomatic blow to Damascus, the situation is expected to be much different at the NAM summit in Tehran. The Syrians will also be present in Tehran and able to face their Arab antagonists from the petro-monarchies of the Persian Gulf.

The Genesis of the Non-Aligned Movement and Third World

The Non-Aligned Movement and concept of a “Third World” have their roots in the period of de-colonization after the Second World War when the empires of Western Europe began to crumble and formally end. This superficially represented an end to the domination of the weak by the strong. In reality, colonialism was merely substituted with foreign aid and loans by the declining empires. In this context, the British would offer aid to their former colonies while the French and Dutch would do the same with their former colonies to maintain control over them. Thus, the exploitation never truly ended and the world was maintained in a state of disequilibrium. The United Nations was also hostage to the big powers and ignored many important issues concerning places like Africa and Latin America.

What brought the formation of the NAM about was firstly the rejection of domination and interference by the countries of the “Global North” – a term that will be defined shortly – and the concept of co-existence that India and China carved out in 1954 when New Delhi recognized Tibet as a part of China.

The NAM started as an Asian initiative, which sought to address the tense relations between China and the US on one hand and China’s relations with other Asian powers on the other hand. The newly independent Asian states wanted to avoid any ratcheting up of the Cold War in their continent, especially after the disastrous US-led military intervention in Korea, or the manipulation of India and Indonesia as buffer states against the People’s Republic of China. This Asian initiative quickly broadened and gained the support of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, Egypt, and the various leaders of the nationalist independence movements in Africa that were fighting for their liberation against NATO countries like Britain, France, and Portugal.





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From left to right: Jawaharlal Nehru, Kwame Nkrumah, Gamal Abdel Nasser, Ahmed Sukarno and Josip Broz Tito.

Yugoslavian President Josip Broz Tito, Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, and Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser were the three main forces behind the organization’s creation. Kwame Nkrumah, the Marxist pan-African leader of Ghana, and Ahmed Sukarno, the leader of Indonesia, would also put their weight behind the NAM and join Tito, Nehru, and Nasser.

These leaders and their countries did not view the Cold War as an ideological struggle. This was a smokescreen. The Cold War was a power struggle from their perspectives and ideology was merely used as a justification.

The Different Worlds of the Cold War

The word “non-alignment” was first used on the world stage by Vengalil Krishnan Krishna Menon, India’s ambassador to the United Nations, while the term “Third World” was first used by the French scholar Alfred Sauvy. Third World is a debated political term and some find it both deregulatory and ethnocentric. To the point of confusion the phrase Third World is inextricably intertwined with the concept of non-alignment and the NAM.

Both the NAM and, especially, Third World are wrongly and carelessly used as synonyms for the Developing and Under-developing Worlds or as economic indicators. Most Third World countries were underprivileged former colonies or less affluent states in places like Africa and Latin America that were the victims of imperialism and exploitation. This has led to the general identification or misidentification of the NAM countries and the Third World with concepts of poverty. This is wrong and not what either of the terms means.

Third World was a concept that developed during the Cold War period to distinguish those countries that were not formally a part of the First World that was formed by the Western Bloc and either the Eastern/Soviet Bloc and Communist World that formed the Second World. In theory most these Third Worlders were neutral and joining the NAM was a formal expression of this position of non-alignment.

Aside from being considered Second Worlders, communist states like the People’s Republic of China and Cuba have widely been classified as parts of the Third World and have considered themselves as parts of the third global force. Chairman Mao’s views defined through his concept of Three Worlds also supported the classification of communist states like Angola, China, Cuba, and Mozambique as Third Worlders, because they did not belong to the Soviet Bloc like Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, and Poland.

In the most orthodox of interpretations of the political meaning of Third World, the communist state of Yugoslavia was a part of the Third World. In the same context, Iran due to its ties to NATO and its membership in the US-controlled Central Treaty Organization (CENTO) was politically a part of the First World until the Iranian Revolution in 1979. Thus, reference to Yugoslavia as a Second World country and Iran as a Third World country prior to 1979 are incorrect.

The term Third World has also given rise to the phrase “Global South.” This name is based on the geographically southward situation of the Third World on the map as opposed to the geographically northward situation of the First and Second Worlds, which both began to collectively be called the “Global North.” The names Global North and Global South came to slowly replace the terms First, Second, and Third World, especially since the Cold War ended and the Soviet Union collapsed.

Bandung, Belgrade, and Non-Aligned Institution Building

PNG - 51.9 kbPNG - 26.1 kbThe NAM formed when the Third Worlders who were caught between the Atlanticists and the Soviets during the Cold War tried to formalize their third way or force. The NAM would be born after the Bandung Conference in 1955, which infuriated the US and Western Bloc who saw it as a sin against their global interests.

Contrarily to Western Bloc views, the Soviet Union was much more predisposed to accepting the NAM. Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev even proposed in 1960 that the UN be managed by a “troika” composed of the First, Second, and Third Worlds instead of its Western-influenced secretariat in New York City that was colluding with the US to remove Prime Minister Patrice Lumumba from power in the Democratic Republic of Congo, as well as other independent world leaders.

Fidel Castro and Cuba, which hosted the NAM’s summit in 1979 when Iran joined as its eighty-eighth member, would actually argue that the Second World and communist movements were the “natural allies” of the Third World and the NAM. The favorable attitudes of Nasser and Nehru towards the Soviet Union and the Soviet Bloc’s support for various national liberation movements also lends credence towards the Cuban argument about the Second and Third World alliance against the capitalist exploitation and imperialist policies of the First World.

The first NAM summit would be held in the Yugoslavian capital of Belgrade in 1961 under the chairmanship of Marshall Tito. The summit in Belgrade would call for an end to all empires and colonization. Tito, Nehru, Nasser, Nkrumah, Sukarno and other NAM leaders would demand that Western Europeans end their colonial roles in Africa and let African peoples decide their own fates.
A preparatory conference was also held a few months earlier in Cairo by Gamal Abdel Nasser. At the preparatory meetings non-alignment was defined by five points:

(1) Non-aligned countries must follow an independent policy of co-existence of nations with varied political and social systems;
(2) Non-aligned countries must be consistent in their support for national independence;
(3) Non-aligned countries must not belong to a multilateral alliance concluded in the context of superpower or big power politics;
(4) If non-aligned countries have bilateral agreements with big powers or belonged to a regional defense pact, these agreements should not have been concluded in context of the Cold War;
(5) If non-aligned states cede military bases to a big power, these bases should not be granted in the context of the Cold War.




First conference of the Non-Aligned Movement
held 50 years ago today

All the NAM conferences to follow would cover vital issues in the years to come that ranged from the inclusion of the People’s Republic of China in the UN, the fighting in the Democratic Republic of Congo, African wars of independence against Western European countries, opposition to apartheid and racism, and nuclear disarmament. Furthermore, the NAM has traditionally been hostile to Zionism and condemned the occupation of Palestinian, Lebanese, Syrian, and Egyptian territories by Israel, which has earned it the seamlessly never-ending aversion of Tel Aviv.

Making NAM Relevant Again

Many people ask what relevance the Non-Aligned Movement has today. Since the end of the Cold War the NAM’s strength has been eroded as the US, neoliberal economic reforms, the IMF, and the World Bank have gained more and more control over NAM members. In many cases NAM members have reverted back to de facto colonies in all but name. Many members of NAM, such as Belarus, Colombia, Ethiopia, and Saudi Arabia, are actually fully aligned states.

There is no question about it that Iran wants to make NAM relevant again to use it to fight off the expansionist Atlanticist World. So do the Russians and the Chinese. The NAM after all has provided Iran important diplomatic support in its politicized nuclear dispute with the Atlanticists. The NAM is also the closest alternative to the Atlanticist-infiltrated and perverted United Nations.
The NAM summit will be capitalized on by Iran and its allies to try and develop some sort of strategy to fight and circumvent the unilateral US and European Union sanctions against the Iranian economy and to show the Atlanticists in the US and the EU that their powers in the world are limited and declining. One small step in this direction is that Iran will begin negotiations with 60 NAM countries to drop bilateral visa requirements with Iran. A universal statement may also be released asking for the anti-Iranian sanctions to be dropped or modified. Other steps would include proposals for a new and alternative financial global structure, which would evade the Atlanticist chokehold on international financial transactions.

An important event at the NAM summit will be the arrival of Morsi in Tehran as a sign of warming relations. Ties between Cairo and Tehran will not be restored overnight either, because there are restrictions on Morsi. Whatever happens between Egypt and Iran at the NAM summit in Tehran will be just steps in an unrushed process. The Egyptians are taking pains not to antagonize their Western and Arab paymasters and the Iranians have opted to be patient. Morsi’s presence in Iran, however, is still symbolically very important. Tehran indeed has reason to be very optimistic as all its stars are aligning at its NAM gala.

Diplomatic circles are looking at Egypt on the eve of the NAM summit. Before it was announced that Morsi would go to Iran, it was expected that Egyptian Vice-President Mahmoud Mekki would represent Egypt at the NAM summit as a demonstration of Egypt’s estrangement from Iran.
Cairo’s relationship with Tehran and what develops from Morsi’s trip to Iran is what all Arabdom, Israel, and the US will be watching carefully.

Some analysts are asserting that Egypt’s stance could “make or break” the project to isolate Iran, especially in sectarian terms involving a Shiite-Sunni divide. This is actually wrong, because there is nothing specifically significant that Egypt can do to break or isolate Iran. After all, Cairo and Tehran have essentially had no ties since 1980 and Mubarak was a staunch ally of the US who put Egypt to work with Saudi Arabia and Israel to curb Iranian influence.

In the worst case scenario the relationship between the two countries will stay as it was during the Mubarak era. This is not a losing situation for Iran, albeit the situation in Syria has catalyzed the Iranian desire for faster rapprochement. Egyptian-Iranian relations have nowhere to go except upward.

The Tahrir (Liberation) Square protests that dethroned Mubarak and helped bring about the elections that brought the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood into power are part of what Iranian officials call an “Islamic Awakening” in contrast to an “Arab Spring.” Iran did not hide its belief either that Egypt and it could eventually form a new regional axis after dictator-for-life Mubarak was booted out from power. If there is any man that can make the leap from the conception of an Arab Spring to an Islamic Awakening, at least publicly, it is President Morsi through an alliance with Iran.
On August 8, Iran sent Hamid Baqaei to deliver Morsi’s invitation to attend the NAM summit in Tehran. Along the way the international press and pundits gave higher attribution to Baqaei’s governmental rank, because they failed to realize or mention that he was the most senior of eleven junior or assistant vice-presidents and essentially the cabinet minister responsible for the Iranian presidency’s executive affairs.

First Vice-President Mohammed-Reza Rahimi, the former governor of the Iranian province of Kurdistan and himself a former junior vice-president, is Iran’s senior vice-president. Regardless, Baqaei’s visit to Cairo as both a presidential envoy and a close presidential aide was important. Iran could have delivered the invitation letter through its interest section in the Swiss Embassy to Egypt or other diplomatic channels, but made a significant gesture by sending Baqaei directly to Egypt. The move made all the countries conspiring against Iran and Syria very anxious. For these anxious countries the NAM get-together in Tehran will be all about Egypt, Iran, and Syria.

Are Saudi, Qatari, and IMF moves in Egypt tied to the NAM Summit in Tehran?

Both Saudi Arabia and Qatar have offered Egypt their financial aid before Morsi’s visits to Beijing, where he is expected to ask for Chinese help. Aside from the use of Saudi and Qatari aid to shape the way that the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood interacts with Iran, the offers of aid from the petro-despots of Doha and Riyadh are part of the Arab competition over influence in Cairo.

Morsi is widely seen as Qatar’s man and relations between Riyadh and Cairo have been uneasy for some time. The Saudi Embassy in Cairo was even temporarily closed after Egyptian protests against Saudi Arabia flared up. More importantly, the House of Saud opposed Morsi in support of longstanding Mubarak henchman Ahmed Shafik during the Egyptian presidential elections. In addition, the House of Saud has propped up its own political clients inside Egypt against the Muslim Brotherhood. The House of Saud’s Egyptian clients, the Nour Party and the their parliamentary coalition called the Alliance for Egypt (Islamic Bloc), trailed in second place behind the Muslim Brotherhood’s parliamentary coalition, the Democratic Alliance.

Despite the fact that Doha and Riyadh are both serving US interests, the two sheikhdoms have a rivalry with one another. This Qatari-Saudi rivalry picked up again after a brief pause that saw both sides invade the island-kingdom of Bahrain to support the Khalifa regime and to work together against the governments of Libya and Syria.

The Saud and Al-Thani rivalry has seen both sides supporting different armed groups in Libya and competing anti-government forces during the so-called Arab Spring (or Islamic Awakening in Tehran). The elections in Egypt, where Doha and Riyadh supported different sides, just added fuel to the Qatari-Saudi fire.

Qatar’s Emir Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani has made it a point to support the Muslim Brotherhood almost wherever they are as a means of expanding Qatari influence. Just days after the ousting of Mubarak, Qatar’s Al Jazeera showed great foresight when it launched Al Jazeera Mubasher Misr, a news channel dedicated exclusively to Egypt. While Qatar and its media have put their weight behind the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, Saudi Arabia and its media have not.

This has also been the reason that the Saudi-controlled media, like Al Arabiya, has continued to level criticisms against President Morsi even after the elections in Egypt. To alleviate the House of Saud’s tensions with Egypt, Morsi made his first foreign trip as president to Saudi Arabia.

Sultan - three terror sheikhs2Aside from favorable news coverage, it is also widely believed that Qatar helped finance the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt during elections. In addition, Qatari investments in Egypt grew by 74% according to figures released by the Egyptian Central Bank in July 2012. On August 11, Emir Al-Thani and a Qatari delegation also travelled to Egypt for a one-day visit with Morsi. The next day, on August 12, Morsi politely dismissed or “retired” Field Marshal Tantawi, the head of the Egyptian Armed Forces, and Sami Anan, the Egyptian Armed Forces chief of staff and Tantawi’s number two. After Al-Thani’s visit, rumors also began to circulate in Egypt that the Muslim Brotherhood was planning to lease the Suez Canal to Emir Al-Thani, which was denied by Morsi and his presidential staff.

An outcome of Emir Al-Thani’s Egyptian visit was that it was announced that Qatar gave Cairo two billion dollars (US). In reality, the Qataris only gave Egypt 500 million dollars (US) and said that the remainder will be given in installments, which will start after the NAM summit in Tehran. Does the payment schedule say anything?

The timing of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) visit to Cairo to negotiate a loan on the eve of the NAM summit in Tehran is also suspicious. After a year of uncertainty and begging, Qatar and the IMF have opened their pockets to the Egyptians (although Qatar sent some money earlier). The Libyan Transitional Council government has even offered to pitch in financially, even when its own coffers are in disarray as a result of the NATO war on Libya and the looting of Libya’s treasury and assets by the Atlanticists with the help of US neoliberal economist turned Libyan “minister of oil and finance” Ali Tarhouni. As for the House of Saud everyone understands that their terms for financial aid to Egypt include the continuation of anti-Iranian policies in Cairo.

Everyone will be Watching Morsi in Tehran

JPEG - 30.9 kbLooking East Policy Shift in Cairo? Where Morsi’s foreign policy is going after the NAM conference in Tehran is the other important question. Where he stands will begin to crystallize from the NAM meeting onwards. The fear of rapprochement between Iran and Egypt certainly keeps a lot of people up at night in Riyadh, Tel Aviv, London, and Washington, DC. Everyone is waiting to see what Cairo and Tehran will do and for many the expectations of rapprochement are running high, but the leverage and restrictions that exist over Morsi should not be forgotten either.

Although there is far less fanfare and attention being paid to Morsi’s trip to China, what he does there will also be very important. Some say he plans on slowly shifting Cairo’s foreign policy away from the Atlanticist camp, with Washington as its capital, towards the Eurasianist camp that includes China and Iran. Certainly Chinese foreign aid will reduce Egyptian dependency on the Atlanticists and their Arab petro-monarch partners. What we are dealing with here is an intricate web of multiple relations between different groups who are interacting with one another in different ways and through changing relationships.

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