مفاوضات فيينا: يد إيران هي العليا

الاربعاء 1 ديسمبر 2021

على رغم التفاؤل الذي طغى على اليومَين الأوّلَين من الجولة السابعة من محادثات فيينا، في ما يُعدّ بذاته تطوّراً إيجابياً بعد أشهر من التوتّر والتراشق، إلّا أن الطريق إلى إنجاز اتفاق نهائي وفي فترة معقولة لا يبدو ممهّداً. إذ إن الخلافات الأساسية لا تزال على حالها تقريباً، فيما فجوة الثقة باقية على عُمقها من دون بروز مؤشّر إلى نيّة لردمها قريباً. من جهة واشنطن، فإنه في الوقت الذي يفاوِض فيه الإيرانيون شركاءهم في فيينا، ثمّة في الجمهورية الإسلامية مَن يواصل العمل على الوصول بالتخصيب إلى نسبة 90%، وهو ما سيجعل أيّ اتفاق محتمل لاحقاً غير ذي جدوى جوهرياً. ومن جهة طهران، فإن الغربيين، وبينما يُبدون اهتماماً كبيراً بإحياء «خطّة العمل المشتركة الشاملة»، يواصلون فرْض العقوبات، بل ويساوقون إسرائيل في بعض ما تمارسه من تحريض. أمّا بالنسبة إلى تل أبيب، فإن المصيبة قد تكون الأكبر؛ إذ إنه مهما كان السيناريو الذي ستؤول إليه مفاوضات فيينا، سواءً اتفاقاً تُرفَع بموجبه العقوبات عن إيران أو فشلاً ينغلق عقبه باب الدبلوماسية، فإن «التهديد الإيراني» سيظلّ متعاظماً، فيما البيئة الاستراتيجية تتضاعف خطورةً، وحدود استخدام القوّة الإسرائيلية أو فاعليتها تزداد تراجعاً


إيران تُفاوِض بأيدٍ ملأى: الاتفاق نووي فقط… والضمانات أولوية

الأربعاء 1 كانون الأول 2021

محمد خواجوئي

برز بعض التفاؤل بإمكانية إحياء الاتفاق النووي في مقابل الحديث عن صعوبة الظروف التي تُستأنف فيها المحادثات (أ ف ب )

طهران | استؤنفت، أخيراً، المحادثات النووية الإيرانية في فيينا، بعد انقطاع دام أكثر من خمسة أشهر. وعلى نقيض الكثير من التوقّعات التي اتّسمت بالتشاؤم، فإن انطلاقة الجولة السابعة بدت هادئة، ومُظلَّلةً بمواقف متفائلة، مشوبةٍ في الوقت نفسه بنوعٍ من الحذر. هذا على الأقلّ ما أوحت به تصريحات المنسّقة الأوروبية لمفاوضات فيينا إنريكي مورا، وكبير المفاوضين الإيرانيين علي باقري، في ختام الجلسة الأولى، إذ تحدّثت مورا عن «حرص إيراني جادّ» على إحراز تقدّم، بينما أكد باقري وجود «اتفاق في وجهات النظر» على اعتبار مسألة رفع العقوبات الأميركية أولوية على جدول أعمال المحادثات، معبّراً عن تفاؤله في الوصول إلى نتيجة. وأفضى اجتماعُ ليل الإثنين – الثلاثاء للجنة إحياء «خطّة العمل المشتركة الشاملة» التي يرأسها كلّ من مورا وباقري، إلى تشكيل مجموعتَي عمل: إحداهما حول «رفع العقوبات»، والأخرى حول «الإجراءات النووية».

وعلى الرغم من أن هذا التفاؤل في أعقاب أشهر سادها التوتّر والتراشق الكلامي، يُعدّ تطوّراً ذا أهمّية، إلا أنه لا يعني أن الطريق إلى الاتفاق بات ممهّداً وسالكاً، إذ إن أطراف التفاوض لم تدخل بعد في التفاصيل، حيث تبدو الفجوة كبيرة إلى حدّ يُصعّب التوصّل إلى اتفاق نهائي بشكل سريع. وتطالب إيران برفع جميع العقوبات التي فرضتها عليها الولايات المتحدة في أعقاب انسحاب الرئيس الأميركي السابق دونالد ترامب، من الخطّة (أكانت نووية أم غيرها)، فيما تقول واشنطن إنها جاهزة لرفع العقوبات التي تتعارض مع اتفاق 2015، فحسب. أيضاً، تشدّد إيران على رفضها تخطّي الملفّ النووي في المحادثات، في حين يتحدّث الأميركيون عن «اتفاق أشمل» يغطّي القضايا الأخرى، بما فيها الصاروخية والمتعلّقة بالطائرات المسيّرة. كذلك، تطالب طهران بآلية للتحقّق من رفع العقوبات، وضمانات بألّا تنسحب واشنطن مجدّداً من الاتفاق، وهو ما لا يبدو متوفّراً إلى الآن. لكنّ الطرفين سيظلّان يسعيان، بأدواتهما المتاحة، إلى انتزاع المزيد من التنازلات، في مقابل إعطاء الحدّ الأدنى منها. وفي هذا الإطار، تتمثّل الأداة الأهمّ بيد إيران في الاقتراب من مرحلة «الطرد النووي»، بينما تتسلّح أميركا وحلفاؤها بمواصلة العقوبات والتهديد بالمزيد من الضغوط، بما يشمل التلويح بالخيار العسكري.

لا رهانات إيرانية كبرى
خلّفت انطلاقة محادثات فيينا ردود فعل متباينة في الداخل الإيراني، حيث برز بعض التفاؤل بإمكانية إحياء الاتفاق النووي، في مقابل الحديث عن صعوبة الظروف التي تُستأنف فيها المحادثات، ووجود خلافات عميقة بين أطرافها، مع التأكيد أن «اليد الإيرانية هي العليا» على طاولة التفاوض. وفي هذا الإطار، أشارت صحيفة «إيران»، في تقرير بعنوان «التصميم الإيراني والتسويف الغربي»، إلى أن «طهران اتّخذت قرارها الحاسم بالخروج من المحادثات بالنتيجة المرجوّة، لكن على الجانب الآخر، ثمّة نهج متناقض تتبعه الدول الغربية… يتمّ على أساسه الزعم بالجهوزية للعودة إلى الاتفاق، فيما يستمرّ إيقاع العقوبات على إيران، والتواطؤ مع أعدائها بِمَن فيهم الكيان الصهيوني، واتّهامها بالعمل على إطالة أمد المحادثات». وأضافت الصحيفة أن «طهران لا تطيق هذه المرّة التسامح والتساهل، وقد دخلت ميدان المحادثات مع القوى الكبرى بأيدٍ ملأى».

خلّفت انطلاقة محادثات فيينا ردود فعل متباينة في الداخل الإيراني


وفي السياق نفسه، كتبت صحيفة «كيهان»، القريبة من مكتب المرشد الأعلى علي خامنئي، أن «الجمهورية الإسلامية تملك في هذه الحقبة من حياتها وفي عهد الحكومة الثالثة عشرة، اليد العليا، ولن تتراجع على طاولة المفاوضات عن مواقفها المبدئية التي أكّدها القائمون الجدد على الجهاز الدبلوماسي: رفع جميع العقوبات، والتحقّق من ذلك، وتقديم الضمانات». من جهتها، أشارت صحيفة «وطن امروز» إلى التوقيع على اتفاقية مقايضة الغاز بين إيران وتركمانستان وآذربيجان، قبل يوم واحد من انطلاق الجولة السابعة، عادّةً ذلك مؤشّراً إلى «القبضة المملوءة لإيران في المحادثات». وقالت إن «التوقيع على اتفاقية ثلاثية لنقل الغاز مع دول الجوار، كنموذج موفّق للإفادة القصوى من طاقات المنطقة وتوسيع سلّة الدبلوماسية، يمكن أن يسهم في تطوير أسلوب السياسة الخارجية للبلاد». وتابعت أن «إيران لا تبحث عن الحصول على نتيجة سريعة في المحادثات، وفي الحقيقة فإن تبعية البلاد للمفاوضات آخذة بالانحسار، وهذا يؤدي إلى أن تكون يد إيران هي الطولى».
أمّا صحيفة «شرق» الإصلاحية والناقدة للحكومة، فاعتبرت التطوّرات الجارية في فيينا انعكاساً لتَغيّر رؤية إدارة رئيسي، إذ إنه بعد «النزعة الهجومية لرجال الإدارة الجديدة تجاه الاتفاق النووي، ومواقفهم الناقدة لستّ جولات من محادثات فيينا، تَغيّر اتجاه البوصلة بشكل محسوس صوب التوصّل إلى اتفاق». وهو ما عزته الصحيفة، قبل كلّ شيء، إلى إدراك «الحاجة الماسّة» للخروج من الظروف الحالية. واعتبرت «شرق» أن على إيران الدخول في حوار مباشر مع أميركا، قائلةً: «إن كان مقرّراً أن تتمثّل حصيلة المحادثات في رفع العقوبات، فإن عدم حضور العامل الرئيس خلف العقوبات (أميركا) على طاولة المفاوضات، لا يتناغم مع هذه الاستراتيجية والمحادثات الرامية إلى تحقيق النتيجة والاتفاق الجيّد الذي تحدّث عنه وزير الخارجية، لا بل إن ذلك بحاجة إلى مراجعة».

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مرة أخرى إيران تنجح بوضع الأمور بين خيارين: «الاتفاق أو الاتفاق»

الثلاثاء 30 نوفمبر 2021

ناصر قنديل

ليست العودة إلى مفاوضات فيينا جولة استكشافية، ولا محاولة مفتوحة على احتمالات، فالشهور التي مضت منذ توقف التفاوض كانت هي شهور المفاوضات الفعلية، وساحة الاستكشاف الحقيقية، وميدان اختبار الاحتمالات المتعددة، وقبل سنوات عندما قررت واشنطن استئناف المفاوضات في مثل هذه الأيام من عام 2013 ، بعدما توقفت عام 2012، قلنا إن العودة للمفاوضات هي قرار بالتوصل لاتفاق، لأن ما سبق العودة كان اختبارات كافية للبدائل، وأن الحرب على سورية وتحريك الأساطيل نحوها في آب 2013، كانت سقف هذه الاختبارات، وفي كل مرة كان هناك من يعتقد بأن فرص التوصل للاتفاق تتراجع كنا نقول إن بديل الاتفاق هو الاتفاق، واليوم نعيد أن البدائل التي يتحدث عنها الإسرائيليون هي تلك التي حازوا تفويضاً أميركياً باختبارها ولكن سقفها عمليات التخريب التي لحقت بالمنشآت النووية، والاغتيالات التي استهدفت علماء الملف النووي، وراقب الأميركيون نتائجها فوجدوا ان المشروع النووي الإيراني لا يزال يتقدم، علماً أن الإسرائيلي قبض نقداً وسلفاً ثمن ما قام به، سواء بعمليات التطبيع مع الخليج، أو بأموال عربية مولت هذه العمليات، أما الحرب فقد اختبرها الأميركيون في عهد الرئيس السابق دونالد ترامب، سواء يوم أسقطت إيران طائرتهم التجسسية العملاقة فوق الخليج، أو يوم دكت بصواريخها قاعدة عين الأسد، رداً على اغتيال الجنرال قاسم سليماني.

الاختبارات التي يفترض أن تقرر مصير المفاوضات قد جرت، والبدائل التي يمكن أن يلجأون إليها قد تم اللجوء إليها، ولذلك نكرر وبثقة أن بديل الاتفاق هو الاتفاق، وأن شروط إيران للعودة إلى الاتفاق قد تم فرضها في ساحات الاشتباك التي جعلت مسار فيينا بتوقيت طهران خياراً وحيداً أمام الأميركيين، على رغم كثرة كلامهم عن أن الوقت ينفد من أمام خيار التفاوض، وهم يكررون ذلك طوال ستة شهور، ثم يعودون عندما قررت إيران أن العودة صارت مناسبة، فذلك لأن التفاوض يأتي على خلفية بدائل تم اختبارها، أولها كان في لبنان بمحاولة الإنقلاب على حزب الله من بوابة الأزمة الاقتصادية وتفجير الشارع بوجهه، وقد انتهت بنتيجة صفرية، والثانية بمحاولة دعم الحرب على اليمن ودفعها باتجاه الحسم، عبر تشديد الحصار وحملات التجويع، والقصف التدميري الوحشي، ففاجأتهم مأرب بحضورها وتحول الحرب إلى حسم معاكس يقترب، والثالثة بمحاولة تغيير قواعد الاشتباك في فلسطين، ودفع غزة إلى التنازل طلباً للقمة الخبز، فكان سيف القدس، والتدهور في ميزان الردع الإسرائيلي لحساب ميزان ردع معاكس.

بعد الانسحاب من أفغانستان يدرك الأميركيون أنهم خارج سياقات حروب جديدة، وبعد الاتفاق الصيني- الإيراني يدرك الأميركيون أن إيران لم تعد بحاجة حيوية للعودة إلى الاتفاق، بل إن إيران التي قطعت أشواطاً في تطوير برنامجها النووي مستظلة بالانسحاب الأميركي من الاتفاق، فرضت معادلة قوامها أن أميركا خسرت الاتفاق الذي كان يقيد البرنامج النووي الإيراني، ولم تكسب بالمقابل شيئاً في الميادين التي قالت إنها تعترض على عدم تضمينها للاتفاق، وهي البرنامج الصاروخي الإيراني، الذي باتت فروعه منتشرة على ضفاف البحر المتوسط والبحر الأحمر وفوق مياه الخليج، وصولاً لباب المندب، أما الوضع الإقليمي فقد بات حضور قوى المقاومة فيه صاحب اليد العليا في كل ساحات الاشتباك، وكما يقول الروس للأميركيين، لم تعودوا في وضع يهدد إيران بكلفة عدم العودة، بل عليكم أن تقدموا لها حوافز للعودة، ويكفي دليلاً أن إيران ليست راغبة بامتلاك سلاح نووي عودتها للمفاوضات بنية العودة للاتفاق، على رغم بلوغها العتبة النووية.

معادلة فيينا هي العودة للاتفاق أو العودة للاتفاق، وإلا لما تمت العودة إلى فيينا.

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Iranian Spy inside the Residence of the Israeli War Minister Benny Gantz

ARABI SOURI 

Iranian spy in the house of Israeli war minister Benny Gantz - Black Shadow

A spy inside the residence of the Israeli war minister Benny Gantz with relations to an Iranian organization was arrested, the Israeli internal ‘intelligence’ claimed.

A 37-years old Omri Goren working as ‘cleaner’ in the residence of the notorious war criminal Benny Gantz who was also the chief of staff of the so-called IDF terrorist organization, Israelis like to call it Israel’s ‘Defense’ Forces.

Of course, and as the Israelis always claim, the spy was discovered and arrested before doing any harm and before managing to install spyware in the laptop of the Israeli war criminal Gantz, Israelis always claim no harm and no losses in whatever happens to them, that’s part of their official propaganda system dubbed ‘Hasbara’ which they taught to the officials in the USA, Britain, and others of their allies.

Israeli media reported that the ‘cleaner’ took some photos of the residence from the inside to prove his credentials and offered to work with a shadowy hacking group called ‘Black Shadow’ linked to Iran, somehow.

Israeli opposition is grilling the current Israeli junta and its extensive security apparatuses for their failure in screening the staff working closely with its top officials, the same Benny Gantz was also subject to an alleged hacking into his mobile phone in March 2019 by the same Iranian group which hasn’t acknowledged the hack till date.

A Palestinian child kidnapped by 21 heavily armed Israeli 'security' criminals
The reality of ‘Israel’

Israel is hostile to all its neighbors due to its core nature a cancerous settling entity planted in the heart of the Arab world and populated with millions of imported European settlers who stole the land of the real Semite people of the Levant, it continues to attack all its neighbors and threatens extended neighbors while playing the victim role all the time, its leaders and so-called defense forces are terrorists of former terrorist groups described as such by its main creator the British occupiers of Palestine.

It would take some time before finding out whether any serious leaks the alleged Iranian group managed to obtain through this spy, such information will be only distributed in one of the Israelis political battles when they attack each other, or if the alleged Iranian group decides to announce what they managed to put their hands on.

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IRGC Major General Hossein Salami speaks on the National Day of the Fight against Global Arrogance

November 04, 2021

IRGC Major General Hossein Salami speaks on the National Day of the Fight against Global Arrogance

IRG Chief: US Manufacturer of Dictatorships in the World; Iran Haven of Regional Peace

By Staff, Agencies

Chief Commander of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guard [IRG], Major General Hossein Salami, labelled the US as the manufacturer of dictatorships all over the world, while stressing that Iran represents the haven of peace in the region.

In remarks during the commemoration ceremony of the National Day of Fight against Global Arrogance, which was held in front of the former US embassy in Tehran, now referred to as the Den of Espionage, on Thursday, Salami said “The Americans are used to being defeated at the hands of the Iranian nation, but, they have yet to learn the lesson.”

Aban 13, which is reminiscent of November 4, 1979, is the day when Iranian students stood against the United States’ arrogance and hegemonic power, and seized the US Embassy in Tehran.

See the source image

“Today is a day of victory for the Iranian nation and overcoming the greatest empire in history,” Salami said.

He stated that on November 4, 1979, when the United States was at the peak of its political, military and economic power and the Iranian nation had not created the great structures of its current power at the beginning of a glorious Islamic Revolution, a glorious Islamic revolution was formed under the leadership of the late Imam Khomeini.

“This courage and endurance in the atmosphere of that day in the world is one of the most amazing historical facts both for humanity and for the Iranian nation,” Salami underscored.

Addressing the revolutionary people of Tehran who participated in the massive rally, Major General Salami said that today is a great day for the Iranian nation.

Referring to the anniversary of the seizure of the former US Embassy in Iran in 1979, Salami added that on this day, the United States, which was the greatest empire in history, was defeated.

“The Americans are used defeats at the hands of the Iranian people, he added that however, they have not yet embraced a lesson,” he added.

Salami also slammed the US hegemonic moves to provoke wars in the world, saying that more than 40 major wars in 40 parts of the world are the outcome of the US politics in the world.

“The US has engaged in a war with many countries in Europe, Africa, South America, the far East, West Asia, and Russia,” Salami said, and “the US waged wars that have left more an 8 million dead in the world.”

He also noted that 750 US military bases in the world have each tried to establish pervasive political domination in the world with a circle of political influence.

Lot’s of things happening at the same time (UPDATED)

November 04, 2021

Let’s begin with a few headlines:

The first two seem to point to a US realization that war against China and Russia is unwinnable and that the USA simply does not have the means to impose a global world order run by one hegemon.  Some will say “well, good morning USA!” but the importance of these two events is that it appears that the USA has officially come to the realization that the international world order they attempted to impose on the planet is unachievable.  The fact that top US officials admit that is a very positive development and it pushes back the risks of a major, possibly nuclear, war.

The next two are probably a side-effect of the former, that is to say that since the USA cannot simply bully Russia and/or China, they now feel the need to bully Nicaragua and treat it like Cuba and Venezuela.  That is a very bad sign, as it shows that while Uncle Shmuel did have to give up his planetary ambitions, the nutcases in Congress are still bad old imperialists in the worst sense of the word, and they still think that they can, and should, bully smaller nations into submission.

Finally, there is this really weird story in the Gulf of Oman.

What actually took place here is hard for me to tell.  So first, let’s watch the video as filmed by the Iranians:

First, we see what appears to be an unopposed landing of IRGC soliders on an oil tanker.  Next, a number of fast attack craft led by what looks to me as a Shahid Nazeri high speed catamaran appear on the scene.  Then we are shown footage of a USN Arleigh Burke-class destroyer apparently heading in the direction of the IRGC catamaran.  Next, we see the oil tanker surrounded by Iranian fast attack craft which are shown delivering more personnel on the oil tanker.  A quick shot appears to show the Iranian fast attack craft ahead of the USN destroyer.  Then we hear what appears to be an IRGC radio message to the USN destroyer to leave the area and the USN reply that the destroyer is on “routine operations in international waters”.  Next we see close footage of the destroyer which suggests that the IRGC fast craft came very close to it, possibly surrounding it on all sides.  The destroyer’s hull has the number 68 which appears to belong to the USS The Sullivans.  We are also shown another number, 112, which appears to show that the USS Michael Murphy was also involved in the incident.

Next, we see that one of the two USN destroyers appears to be overtaking the tanker, possibly “pushed” away from it by Iranian fast attack craft.  They are then joined by the Iranian catamaran.  The Iranian then get very close to the USS The Sullivans and point their heavy machine guns at it.  Then we see this image:

Unless this picture was doctored we see three undeniable things:

  • The USN destroyed has fully stopped (no wake)
  • The Iranian catamaran is directly in front of the USN destroyer, facing it
  • Several fast attack craft are also in the immediate proximity
  • The USN destroyer is very close to the oil tanker, which begs the question why this destroyer ever got so near the oil tanker if it was “only” conducting “routine operations”?

In this very short shot it appears (at least to my non-trained in naval recognition eyes) that the 2nd USN destroyer is following the USS The Sullivans:

Next we see the tanker leaving the area while the USN destroyed is stopped, surrounded by Iranian vessels.  The Iranian then appear to also leave while escorting the tanker.  Then the various ships appear to be leaving.

The Iranians claim that the USN was trying to seize the tanker in a act of “piracy”.  The US only admits that an “incident” took place, but does not explain why/how its destroyers got so close to the tanker.  I see no evidence at all that any US personnel was on the tanker, yet the Iranians claim that its oil was transferred to another ship.  That makes no sense to me.

But what is undeniable is this: two USN destroyers were extremely close to that tanker and that IRGC forces forced both of these destroyers to first stop and then change course and leave.  That, by itself, is yet another huge slap in the face of what still remains the most powerful navy on the planet.

I would also note that the surface ships from the IRGC we see on the footage is only part of what the forces the Iranians must have had ready should a shooting incident begin: they could have had one, or several submarines nearby, and they certainly had their coastal defense missiles targeted at the USN destroyers.

The key factor here, as always, is that the Iranians were clearly willing to fight and, if needed, die for their country.  The USN personnel not so much 🙂  It is one thing to fire cruise missiles while being comfortably out of range and quite another to, literally, see IRGC soldiers face to face.

So I will let Roger Waters sing the conclusion to this incident:

Hugs and cheers,

Andrei

UPDATE: better video here: 

(thanks Pappagallo!!!)https://www.youtube.com/embed/03xfHVOIgco?feature=oembed

IRG Thwarts US Navy Attempt to Pirate Iranian Oil Tanker

Nov 3, 2021

IRG Thwarts US Navy Attempt to Pirate Iranian Oil Tanker

By Staff, Agencies

Navy Force of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard [IRG] thwarted the US navy’s attempt to pirate Iranian oil in the Oman Sea.

The recent confrontation follows the unprofessional behavior of the US warship in the southern waters of the country, which was met with a strong reaction from Islamic Revolutionary Guard speedboats, after which, American ship left the scene.

According to the reports, the naval forces of the Islamic Republic Revolution Guard have managed to thwart an attempt by the United States to take over a giant oil tanker in the strategic Sea of Oman and moved the vessel to the Iranian territorial water.

The United States confiscated a tanker carrying Iranian oil in the Sea of Oman and diverted the oil cargo to another tanker and directed it to an unknown destination.

At the same time, IRG Navy forces recaptured the tanker using Heliborne operations on the deck of the tanker and directed it to the territorial waters of Iran.

The US forces then pursued the tanker using several helicopters and warships but failed due to the decisive and authoritative forces of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard.

The American forces using some warships tried to block the path of the tanker but again failed. This tanker is currently in the territorial waters of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

The IRG has announced that it will shortly release the related video of the US attempted act of piracy.

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Israel to Attack Iran? Washington Gives the Green Light to the ‘Military Option’

October 28, 2021

See the source image

By Philip Giraldi

Source

The U.S. will be seen as endorsing the crime, resulting in yet another foreign policy disaster in the Middle East, Philip Giraldi writes.

Some might recall candidate Joe Biden’s pledge to work to rejoin the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) which was a multilateral agreement intended to limit Iran’s ability to develop a nuclear weapon. The JCPOA was signed by President Barack Obama in 2015, when Biden was Vice President, and was considered one of the only foreign policy successes of his eight years in office. Other signatories to it were Britain, China, Germany, France, and Russia and it was endorsed by the United Nations. The agreement included unannounced inspections of Iranian nuclear facilities by the IAEA and, by all accounts, it was working and was a non-proliferation success story. In return for its cooperation Iran was to receive its considerable assets frozen in banks in the United States and was also to be relieved of the sanctions that had been placed on it by Washington and other governments.

The JCPOA crashed and burned in 2018 when President Donald Trump ordered U.S. withdrawal from the agreement, claiming that Iran was cheating and would surely move to develop a nuclear weapon as soon as the first phase of the agreement was completed. Trump, whose ignorance on Iran and other international issues was profound, had surrounded himself with a totally Zionist foreign policy team, including members of his own family, and had bought fully into the arguments being made by Israel as well as by Israel Lobby predominantly Jewish groups to include the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD) and the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). Trump’s time in office was spent pandering to Israel in every conceivable way, to include recognizing Jerusalem as the country’s capital, granting Israel the green light for creating and expanding illegal settlements on the West Bank and recognizing the occupied Syrian Golan Heights as part of Israel.

Given Trump’s record, most particularly the senseless and against-American-interests abandonment of JCPOA, it almost seemed a breath of fresh air to hear Biden’s fractured English as he committed his administration to doing what he could to rejoin the other countries who were still trying to make the agreement work. After Biden was actually elected, more or less, he and his Secretary of State Tony Blinken clarified what the U.S. would seek to do to “fix” the agreement by making it stronger in some key areas that had not been part of the original document.

Iran for its part insisted that the agreement did not need any additional caveats and should be a return to the status quo ante, particularly when Blinken and his team made clear that they were thinking of a ban on Iranian ballistic missile development as well as negotiations to end Tehran’s alleged “interference” in the politics of the region. The interference presumably referred to Iranian support of the Palestinians as well as its role in Syria and Yemen, all of which had earned the hostility of American “friends” Israel and Saudi Arabia.

Israel inevitably stirred the pot by sending a stream of senior officials, to include Foreign Minister Yair Lapid, Defense Minister Benny Gantz and Prime Minister Naftali Bennett to discuss “the Iranian threat” with Biden and his top officials. Lapid made clear that Israel “reserves the right to act at any given moment, in any way… We know there are moments when nations must use force to protect the world from evil.” And to be sure, Biden, like Trump, has also made his true sentiments clear by surrounding himself with Zionists. Blinken, Wendy Sherman and Victoria Nuland have filled the three top slots at State Department, all are Jewish and all strong on Israel. Nuland is a leading neocon. And pending is the appointment of Barbara Leaf, who has been nominated Assistant Secretary to head the State Department’s Near East region. She is currently the Ruth and Sid Lapidus Fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP), which is an AIPAC spin off and a major component in the Israel Lobby. That means that a member in good standing of the Israel Lobby would serve as the State Department official overseeing American policy in the Middle East.

At the Pentagon one finds a malleable General Mark Milley, always happy to meet his Israeli counterparts, and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, an affirmative action promotion who likewise has become adept at parroting the line “Israel has a right to defend itself.” And need one mention ardent self-declared Zionists at the top level of the Democratic Party, to include Biden himself, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer and, of course, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer?

So rejoining the JCPOA over Israel objections was a non-starter from the beginning and was probably only mooted to make Trump look bad. Indirect talks including both Iran and the U.S. technically have continued in Vienna, though they have been stalled since the end of June. Trita Parsi has recently learned that Iran sought to make a breakthrough for an agreement by seeking a White House commitment to stick with the plan as long as Biden remains in office. Biden and Blinken refused and Blinken has recently confirmed that a new deal is unlikely, saying “time is running out.”

And there have been some other new developments. Israeli officials have been warning for over twenty years that Iran is only one year away from having its own nukes and needs to be stopped, a claim that has begun to sound like a religious mantra repeated over and over, but now they are actually funding the armaments that will be needed to do the job. Israel Defense Force Chief of Staff Aviv Kohavi has repeatedly said the IDF is “accelerating” plans to strike Iran, and Israeli politicians to include former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu have regularly been threatening to do whatever must be done to deal with the threat from the Islamic Republic. Israeli media is reporting that $1.5 billion has been allocated in the current and upcoming budget to buy the American bunker buster bombs that will be needed to destroy the Iranian reactor at Bushehr and its underground research facilities at Natanz.

In the wake of the news about the war funding, there have also been reports that the Israeli Air Force is engaging in what is being described as “intense” drills to simulate attacking Iranian nuclear facilities. After Israel obtains the 5000 pound bunker buster bombs, it will also need to procure bombers to drop the ordnance, and one suspects that the U.S. Congress will somehow come up with the necessary “military aid” to make that happen. Tony Blinken has also made clear that the Administration knows what Israel is planning and approves. He met with Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid on October 13th and said if diplomacy with Iran fails, the U.S. will turn to “other options.” And yes, he followed that up with the venerable line that “Israel has the right to defend itself and we strongly support that proposition.”

Lapid confirmed that one of Blinken’s “options” was military action. “I would like to start by repeating what the Secretary of State just said.  Yes, other options are going to be on the table if diplomacy fails.  And by saying other options, I think everybody understands here … what is it that we mean.” It must be observed that in their discussion of Iran’s nuclear program, Lapid and Blinnken were endorsing an illegal and unprovoked attack to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon that it is apparently not seeking, but which it will surely turn to as a consequence if only to defend itself in the future.

In short, U.S. foreign policy is yet again being held hostage by Israel. The White House position is clearly and absurdly that an Israeli attack on Iran, considered a war crime by most, is an act of self-defense. However it turns out, the U.S. will be seen as endorsing the crime and will inevitably be implicated in it, undoubtedly resulting in yet another foreign policy disaster in the Middle East with nothing but grief for the American people.  The simple truth is that Iran has neither threatened nor attacked Israel. Given that, there is nothing defensive about the actions Israel has already taken in sabotaging Iranian facilities and assassinating scientists, and there would be nothing defensive about direct military attacks either with or without U.S. assistance on Iranian soil. If Israel chooses to play the fool it is on them and their leaders. The United States does not have a horse in this race and should butt out, but one doubts if a White House and Congress, firmly controlled by Zionist forces, have either the wisdom or the courage to cut the tie that binds with the Jewish state.

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

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

By Ali Abadi

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

No Place for ‘Israel’ in Iran’s Neighboring Countries – IRG

September 30, 2021

No Place for ‘Israel’ in Iran’s Neighboring Countries - IRG

By Staff, Agencies

Commander of the Islamic Revolution Guard [IRG] Ground Force warned the neighbors not to allow the Zionist regime to use their soil as a safe haven, saying the neighboring governments themselves know why Iran holds war games at border areas.

Speaking to reporters in the western city of Sanandaj on Wednesday, Brigadier General Mohammad Pakpour said the Islamic Republic would by no means tolerate the territories of neighbors turning into “a safe haven and a base for the presence and anti-security activities of the fake Zionist regime.”

Without naming the Republic of Azerbaijan, whose president has voiced concern about the Iranian military exercises near the common border, the IRG general said, “We cannot accept that some countries would make unreal and provocative comments about the enhancement of preparedness of the Islamic Republic’s combat units under the influence of third countries and would harm our activities.”

“The neighboring governments are aware more than anyone else of the reasons for Iran’s war games,” he added.

In an apparent criticism of the Azerbaijan Republic whose military employed ‘Israeli’-made attack drones during the recent war with Armenia, General Pakpour said the neighbors of Iran are expected to prevent a stranger like the Zionist regime from using their soil for its evil and criminal purposes.

“There’s no doubt that the Zionist regime helps and supports certain regional countries with the purpose of creating disagreements and rift among Muslim nations,” he stated.

The commander warned that any trouble in the international boundaries of countries will definitely create new conflicts and tensions, especially if such problems are created to serve the ‘Israeli’ regime’s objectives.

“We will never allow the soil of a country in our neighborhood to become the source and base of creation and spread of such troubles,” he stressed.

Describing efforts to prevent any change in the frontiers of the neighboring states as a serious policy of the Islamic Republic, the commander said, “We deem any geopolitical change in the region disruptive to our domestic security and have always declared it as a red line. Accordingly, it is natural that we won’t remain indifferent to it.”

Iranian President Pledges to Wipe Out Poverty, Discrimination during Sistan-And-Baluchestan Visit

September 03, 2021

Iranian President Pledges to Wipe Out Poverty, Discrimination during Sistan-And-Baluchestan Visit

By Staff, Agencies

Iranian President Sayyed Ebrahim Raisi visited the Islamic Republic’s remotest border province of Sistan and Baluchestan, where he pledged to wipe out poverty and discrimination as he talked to locals to get to understand the problems and challenges of living in the deprived province.

Raisi arrived in Sistan and Baluchestan on Thursday, marking his second unannounced visit since he became president, in what is widely regarded as his attempt to fulfill his campaign promise of uprooting poverty and wealth inequality.

He said living in huts due to poverty is not a desirable situation for the people of the area, stressing that any measure to improve the living conditions of deprived areas is an admirable deed for those behind the move.

While also paying a visit to the coastal region of Makran, Raisi described Makran coasts as a “national treasure”, and said more attention should be paid to the coastal region.

“We should develop a good mechanism for a production boom [in the region],” he said. “The issue of development of Makran coasts must be seen and followed in a special way.”

“If given the required attention, the Makran and Chabahar regions by themselves will increase the capacity of the province’s economic development and eradicate poverty in Sistan and Baluchestan,” Raisi added.

He also expressed joy over the unity he witnessed between Shias and Sunnis in the province.

Raisi continued his trip to different areas of Sistan and Baluchestan on Friday, when he promised to follow up on the people’s water issue in order to turn the “threat” and “problem” into an “opportunity” and resolve the underprivileged people’s problems with respect to drinking and agricultural water.

“We intend to pursue everything that is raised during provincial trips and inform people about the outcomes afterward,” he said.

Raisi noted that he was saddened over the issues faced by the people who live in huts in the suburbs, and said measures must be carried out immediately to address those issues by the end of the current Iranian year, which falls on March 20.

According to him, more power and privileges have been given to the governors of deprived provinces, including Sistan and Baluchestan, in order to resolve their problems more rapidly.

Raisi made his first unannounced visit to Iran’s key province of Khuzestan last Friday, only two days after the formation of his cabinet. There, he promised to launch a concerted campaign to tackle the province’s problems.

“People should know that in the administration, we will put solving the problems of the country in general and solving the problems of Khuzestan in particular on our agenda, and it seems that with the participation of the people, many knots will be untied,” he said upon arriving at the General Qasem Soleimani International Airport in Ahvaz city on August 27.

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Amir Abdollahian, Assad Discuss Iran-Syria Cooperation

 August 30, 2021

By Staff, Agencies

Amir Abdollahian, Assad Discuss Iran-Syria Cooperation

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian and Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad talked about the regional and international cooperation between the two allies at a meeting in Damascus.

The new foreign minister of the Islamic Republic, who is visiting Syria with a high-ranking delegation, held talks with Assad on Sunday.

Amir Abdollahian congratulated Assad on holding a successful presidential election, and hailed Syria’s political and international victories and its achievements on the battlefield, and extended top Iranian officials’ greetings to the Syrian president.

He further referred to the economic cooperation between the two countries, highlighting the need to activate the Joint Commission of Economic Cooperation and other existing related mechanisms, according to the Iranian Foreign Ministry’s website.

Additionally, Abdollahian briefed Assad on a summit in Baghdad which he had attended a day earlier.

The Syrian president, for his part, expressed pleasure at Iran’s support for his country and outlined his views on the bilateral ties and also cooperation between Tehran and Damascus in the regional and international spheres.

The Iranian diplomat has traveled to Syria after a visit to Iraq, where he attended the Baghdad Conference for Cooperation and Partnership, a summit with the objective of calming regional tensions.

Before leaving Tehran for Baghdad on Saturday, Amir Abdollahian complained that Syria had not been invited to the summit, saying, “However, we are in contact and hold consultations with Syria’s leadership about the region’s security and sustainable development.”

‘If Israel harms Iran fuel ship to Lebanon, Quds liberation war to begin’: Qandil

AUGUST 26, 2021

‘If Israel harms Iran fuel ship to Lebanon, Quds liberation war to begin’: Qandil

Original link: http://middleeastobserver.net/if-israel-harms-iran-fuel-ship-to-lebanon-quds-liberation-war-to-begin-qandil/

Description:

Senior Lebanese political analyst Nasser Qandil warns Israel of ‘the war that will dismantle Israel’ if Tel Aviv obstructs or attacks an Iranian tanker currently on its way to supply Lebanon with critical fuel supplies.

The unprecedented and daring move to ship fuel from Iran directly to Hezbollah was announced days ago by the Lebanese movement’s Secretary General, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah.

Source: Al-Manar TV via Kalam Siyasi (YouTube)

Date: August 20, 2021

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

Transcript:

Nasser Qandil, Senior Lebanese Political Analyst:

This conformity, what they call ‘strategic timing intelligence’. Before us lies a regional-international scene, in which the US has failed in Afghanistan. This collapse…just listen to what NATO and NATO leaders are saying, that there is no longer any reason for NATO to exist! After all, what is military force good for if the very concept of intervention for the sake of producing (new) political (conditions/realities/equations) is seen by the (US) president as outdated, and if this military force is going to be devoted to protecting the US homeland and national security?

This means that there is no longer any need for a global strike force, because it is incapable of producing (new) political (realities/equations). This is what Biden’s (new) dicourse reveals, that state building cannot be approached by way of military force.

Later on, we’ll also start to hear the consequences of this decision on US companies and rich, industrial American states, because why should I remain part of a federal government and finance it if it won’t open up markets and secure raw materials for me?

Amid this (US) collapse, the first side to make use of this opportunity – amid this new regional-international equation – was Hezbollah and its decision to bring in fuel-laden ships to Lebanon, because it made use of this vacuum, this weakness, this collapse, but did so for the greater good. It also made use of Israel’s weakness and decline.

I don’t think that the Israelis will refrain from striking Lebanon because the Lebanese people stand behind the resistance (i.e. Hezbollah), rather, it will be because “Israel” knows (the realities) in terms of sheer (military) power. What I mean to say is that that Sayyed Hassan (Nasrallah) sufficed himself to the equation that…

Host:

…I wanted to leave it to you to explain this matter, because a large portion…

Nasser Qandil:

(Nasrallah) said that (the Iranian fuel-laden ship) was ‘Lebanese territory’, nothing more, but Israel should read into this. You yourselves (i.e. the Israelis) are saying that ‘Sayyed Hassan is provoking you, that he wants a war’. You yourselves are saying that ‘he has a surplus of power, enough (power) for him to launch a war and destroy us, and we don’t want to give him any pretexts’. You are the ones saying that ‘the equation of (Israel harming the people & city of) al-Quds will ignite a regional war (with the Resistance Axis) is an invention…’ – and I’m only telling you what the Israelis are saying – ‘…that was invented by Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah in order to justify going into a confrontation in which he will use this surplus power (of the Resistance Axis) to destroy Israel.

Maintain your sanity! Any attack on this ship will spell the beginning of the war that will end Israel. This [attack] isn’t something that will end with a retaliation on an (Israeli) gas platform (or something of the like). This is something that will be the beginning of…

Host:

You’re trying through this analysis to explain a large portion of something that Sayyed (Hassan Nasrallah) left open for interpretation (during his speech)?…

Nasser Qandil:

I don’t claim to have (confirmed) information around this…

Host:

I only said analysis…

Nasser Qandil:

I’m just saying that if there is a voice of reason among the Israelis, he’d grab those hot-headed (Israeli official colleagues) by the ears, and he’d tell them to sit aside and not get (Israel) involved, (he’d get them) to turn a blind eye to this (Iranian) ship (headed to Lebanon) and let it arrive safely, because this resistance (i.e. Hezbollah) possesses the power, strength, and will to enter into a legitimate confrontation. So do not give it the justification to enter into the war that will destroy Israel and dismantle it.

Heading to (the liberation war) of al-Quds will begin if Israel does something to make going into (such a) war legitimate. And the legitimacy of (such a) war, in terms of the life and death of people, will be morally, religiously, patriotically and humanely unquestionable (if Israel does anything to that Iranian ship).

Iran, Hezbollah and Lebanon – No Strings Attached!

August 26, 2021

Iran, Hezbollah and Lebanon – No Strings Attached!

By Staff

The relationship between Iran and Saudi Arabia has always been eye-catching for regional observers.

For decades observers have seen the Middle East through the prism of a Saudi-Iranian cold war. During the eight-year Iran-Iraq war, Gulf States particularly Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, lent more than $37bn to Saddam Hussein’s war effort.

According to a report by The Economist, this binary view of a “proxy war” has outlived its usefulness—because the Saudis lost. They failed to build a deep well of support in other Arab countries, settling for ineffective chequebook diplomacy with fickle politicians and warlords. Iran is undeniably the strongest foreign actor in Lebanon, Syria and Iraq.

The Saudis still fight a rearguard action in Yemen, but their six-year war against the Yemeni Ansarullah revolutionaries, has been all in vain. Diplomats from the Gulf curtly describe several Arab states as “outside the Arab fold”, The Economist report explained.

It was a victory for Iran, not to mention, for the Axis of Resistance – which according to many includes resistance factions in Lebanon, Syria, Iran and Yemen.

Lebanon, a small Middle Eastern country, has been an important outlet to Mediterranean for many Arab countries, notably Saudi Arabia. It is also home to the Lebanese resistance movement Hezbollah.

In the past year, the country has been plagued with a suffocating economic crisis. Life in Lebanon is defined by petrol queues, lengthy blackouts and growing hunger. Lebanon’s bankruptcy stems from decades of misrule by the political class.

Hezbollah, founded in the 1980s, resisted the “Israeli” entity for its occupation of south Lebanon. Many Lebanese, regardless of sect or political persuasion, saw this as a legitimate struggle. The group’s popularity soared after the “Israeli” withdrawal in 2000, and stayed high even after war with the entity in 2006, which began with the capture of two “Israeli” soldiers. Arabs of all stripes cheered it for giving the “Israeli” entity a bloody nose, a feat no Arab state had managed in decades.

The Lebanese Resistance movement has not only protected Lebanon militarily, but it has attended to the medical and social needs of the all Lebanese.  

Today, with the worsening of the economic situation in Lebanon, Hezbollah and its allies promoted the notion of a resistance economy in Lebanon. In April, Hezbollah trumpeted the Sajjad card, a ration-card scheme named after the 4th Shia Imam Ali ibn Hussein Zein al-Abidin [AS] that offers discounts to participants.

However, the indignities that define life in Lebanon have not spared anyone. Pharmacy shelves are bare: expats visiting for the summer stuff their suitcases with medicines, not only prescription pills but even basics like paracetamol that are unavailable in the country. Petrol stations, if not closed, have hours-long queues that snake for blocks.

The situation has been getting even worse no thanks to the Western siege, which Hezbollah Secretary General His Eminence Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah has repeated in various speeches.

To the West, the “Israelis” and the locals, Sayyed Nasrallah offers more than empty words. In a televised speech during the 2006 “Israeli” aggression on Lebanon, the Resistance Leader told his viewers to look out to sea. Moments later a missile slammed into an “Israeli” destroyer off the coast, damaging the vessel and killing four sailors.

Sayyed Nasrallah supported peaceful anti-government demonstrations in 2019 and endorsed economic and political reform. However, His Eminence cautioned protesters from being infiltrated by a fifth column on the payroll of foreign embassies.

As for the economic crisis, Sayyed Nasrallah urged the Lebanese to bypass the Western siege and look east to Asian powers such as China, which stand ready to pour billions into Arab economies despite howls of outrage from the Americans.

Hezbollah remains the “Israeli” entity’s strongest Arab foe. Generals in Tel Aviv acknowledge that another war with the group would be painful. Aside from a few brief border skirmishes, however, it has not fought the entity in 15 years.

The Resistance Leader at various occasions reiterated the unconditioned Iranian support to the Hezbollah, Lebanon and the Lebanese. Most recently, His Eminence thanked Iran for its willingness to aid Lebanon with its oil and gas crisis. Sayyed Nasrallah further welcomed UNCONDITIONED aid from any country provided that it would ask nothing in return from Lebanon.

The first Iranian ship carrying fuel sailed last Thursday. It has been followed by a second ship days after… more ships are expected to come.  

“A second ship will set sail in the next few days, and it will be followed by others,” Sayyed Nasrallah said. “We will continue this process as long as Lebanon needs it,” His Eminence said. “The aim is to help all Lebanese, [not just] Hezbollah supporters or the Shia.”

THE RETURN OF THE TALIBAN 20 YEARS LATER

Taliban co-founder Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar leaves after signing an agreement with the United States during a ceremony in the Qatari capital Doha on February 29, 2020.
TALIBAN CO-FOUNDER MULLAH ABDUL GHANI BARADAR LEAVES AFTER SIGNING AN AGREEMENT WITH THE UNITED STATES DURING A CEREMONY IN THE QATARI CAPITAL DOHA ON FEBRUARY 29, 2020. (AFP PHOTO)

August 18, 2021

By Vijay Prashad,

Peoples Dispatch.

Vijay Prashad explains the Taliban’s defeat of the US-backed government in Afghanistan following the US troop withdrawal.

On August 15, the Taliban arrived in Kabul. The Taliban’s leadership entered the presidential palace, which Afghan President Ashraf Ghani had vacated when he fled into exile abroad hours before. The country’s borders shut down and Kabul’s main international airport lay silent, except for the cries of those Afghans who had worked for the US and NATO; they knew that their lives would now be at serious risk. The Taliban’s leadership, meanwhile, tried to reassure the public of a “peaceful transition” by saying in several statements that they would not seek retribution, but would go after corruption and lawlessness.

The Taliban’s Entry in Kabul Is a Defeat for the United States

In recent years, the United States has failed to accomplish any of the objectives of its wars. The US entered Afghanistan with horrendous bombing and a lawless campaign of extraordinary rendition in October 2001 with the objective of ejecting the Taliban from the country; now, 20 years later, the Taliban is back. In 2003, two years after the US unleashed a war in Afghanistan, it opened an illegal war against Iraq, which ultimately resulted in an unconditional withdrawal of the United States in 2011 after the refusal by the Iraqi parliament to allow US troops extralegal protections. As the US withdrew from Iraq, it opened a terrible war against Libya in 2011, which resulted in the creation of chaos in the region.

Not one of these wars—Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya—resulted in the creation of a pro-US government. Each of these wars created needless suffering for the civilian populations. Millions of people had their lives disrupted, while hundreds of thousands of people lost their lives in these senseless wars. What faith in humanity can now be expected from a young person in Jalalabad or in Sirte? Will they now turn inward, fearing that any possibility of change has been seized from them by the barbaric wars inflicted upon them and other residents of their countries?

There is no question that the United States continues to have the world’s largest military and that by using its base structure and its aerial and naval power, the US can strike any country at any time. But what is the point of bombing a country if that violence attains no political ends? The US used its advanced drones to assassinate the Taliban leaders, but for each leader that it killed, another half a dozen have emerged. Besides, the men in charge of the Taliban now—including the co-founder of the Taliban and head of its political commission, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar—were there from the start; it would never have been possible to decapitate the entire Taliban leadership. More than $2 trillion has been spent by the United States on a war that it knew could not be won.

Corruption Was the Trojan Horse

In early statements, Mullah Baradar said that his government will focus its attention on the endemic corruption in Afghanistan. Meanwhile, stories spread across Kabul about ministers of Ashraf Ghani’s government attempting to leave the country in cars filled with dollar bills, which was supposed to be the money that was provided by the US to Afghanistan for aid and infrastructure. The drain of wealth from the aid given to the country has been significant. In a 2016 report by the US government’s Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) relating to the “Lessons Learned from the US Experience with Corruption in Afghanistan,” the investigators write, “Corruption significantly undermined the US mission in Afghanistan by damaging the legitimacy of the Afghan government, strengthening popular support for the insurgency, and channeling material resources to insurgent groups.” SIGAR created a “gallery of greed,” which listed US contractors who siphoned aid money and pocketed it through fraud. More than $2 trillion has been spent on the US occupation of Afghanistan, but it went neither to provide relief nor to build the country’s infrastructure. The money fattened the rich in the United States, Pakistan, and Afghanistan.

Corruption at the very top of the government depleted morale below. The US pinned its hopes on the training of 300,000 soldiers of the Afghan National Army (ANA), spending $88 billion on this pursuit. In 2019, a purge of “ghost soldiers” in the rolls—soldiers who did not exist—led to the loss of 42,000 troops; it is likely that the number might have been higher. Morale in the ANA has plunged over the past few years, with defections from the army to other forces escalating. Defense of the provincial capitals was also weak, with Kabul falling to the Taliban almost without a fight.

To this end, the recently appointed defense minister to the Ghani government, General Bismillah Mohammadi, commented on Twitter about the governments that have been in power in Afghanistan since late 2001, “They tied our hands behind our backs and sold the homeland. Damn the rich man [Ghani] and his people.” This captures the popular mood in Afghanistan right now.

Afghanistan and Its Neighbors

Hours after taking power, a spokesperson for the Taliban’s political office, Dr. M. Naeem, said that all embassies will be protected, while another spokesperson for the Taliban, Zabihullah Mujahid, said that all former government officials did not need to fear for their lives. These are reassuring messages for now.

It has also been reassuring that the Taliban has said that it is not averse to a government of national unity, although there should be no doubt that such a government would be a rubber stamp for the Taliban’s own political agenda. So far, the Taliban has not articulated a plan for Afghanistan, which is something that the country has needed for at least a generation.

On July 28, Taliban leader Mullah Baradar met with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi in Tianjin, China. The outlines of the discussion have not been fully revealed, but what is known is that the Chinese extracted a promise from the Taliban not to allow attacks on China from Afghanistan and not to allow attacks on the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) infrastructure in Central Asia. In return, China would continue its BRI investments in the region, including in Pakistan, which is a key Taliban supporter.

Whether or not the Taliban will be able to control extremist groups is not clear, but what is abundantly clear—in the absence of any credible Afghan opposition to the Taliban—is that the regional powers will have to exert their influence on Kabul to ameliorate the harsh program of the Taliban and its history of support for extremist groups. For instance, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (set up in 2001) revived in 2017 its Afghanistan Contact Group, which held a meeting in Dushanbe in July 2021, and called for a national unity government.

At that meeting, India’s External Affairs Minister Dr. S. Jaishankar laid out a three-point plan, which achieved near consensus among the fractious neighbors:

“1. An independent, neutral, unified, peaceful, democratic and prosperous nation.

“2. Ceasing violence and terrorist attacks against civilians and state representatives, settle conflict through political dialogue, and respect interests of all ethnic groups, and

“3. Ensure that neighbors are not threatened by terrorism, separatism and extremism.”

That’s the most that can be expected at this moment. The plan promises peace, which is a great advance from what the people of Afghanistan have experienced over the past decades. But what kind of peace? This “peace” does not include the rights of women and children to a world of possibilities. During 20 years of the US occupation, that “peace” was not in evidence either. This peace has no real political power behind it, but there are social movements beneath the surface that might emerge to put such a definition of “peace” on the table. Hope lies there.

Vijay Prashad is an Indian historian, editor and journalist. He is a writing fellow and chief correspondent at Globetrotter. He is the chief editor of LeftWord Books and the director of Tricontinental: Institute for Social Research. He is a senior non-resident fellow at Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies, Renmin University of China. He has written more than 20 books, including The Darker Nations and The Poorer Nations. His latest book is Washington Bullets, with an introduction by Evo Morales Ayma.

Was the Tanker Attack an Israeli False Flag?

AUGUST 10, 202121

An incident that could lead to a much bigger war

PHILIP GIRALDI 

Source: The Unz Review

In the United States we now live under a government that largely operates in secret, headed by an executive that ignores the constitutional separation of powers and backed by a legislature that is more interested in social engineering than in benefitting the American people. The US, together with its best friend and faux ally Israel, has become the ultimate rogue nation, asserting its right to attack anyone at any time who refuses to recognize Washington’s leadership. America is a country in decline, its influence having been eroded by a string of foreign policy and military disasters starting with Vietnam and more recently including Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, Yemen and the Ukraine. As a result, respect for the United States has plummeted most particularly over the past twenty years since the War on Terror was declared and the country has become a debtor nation as it prints money to sustain a pointless policy of global hegemony which no one else either desires or respects.

It has been argued in some circles that the hopelessly ignorant Donald Trump and the dementia plagued Joe Biden have done one positive thing, and that has been to keep us out of an actual shooting war with anyone able to retaliate in kind, which means in practice Russia and possibly China. Even if that were so, one might question a clumsy foreign policy devoid of any genuine national interest that is a train wreck waiting to happen. It has no off switch and has pushed America’s two principal rivals into becoming willy-nilly de facto enemies, something which neither Moscow nor Beijing wished to see develop.

Contrary to the claims that Trump and Biden are war-shy, both men have in fact committed war crimes by carrying out attacks on targets in both Syria and Iraq, to include the assassination of senior Iranian general Qasim Soleimani in January 2020. Though it was claimed at the time that the attacks were retaliatory, evidence supporting that view was either non-existent or deliberately fabricated.

Part of the problem for Washington is that the US had inextricably tied itself to worthless so-called allies in the Middle East, most notably Israel and Saudi Arabia. The real danger is not that Joe Biden or Kamala Harris will do something really stupid but rather that Riyadh or Jerusalem will get involved in something over their heads and demand, as “allies,” that they be bailed out by Uncle Sam. Biden will be unable to resist, particularly if it is the Israel Lobby that is doing the pushing.

Perhaps one of the more interesting news plus analysis articles along those lines that I have read in a while appeared last week in the Business Insider, written by one Mitchell Plitnick, who is described as president of ReThinking Foreign Policy. The article bears the headline “Russia and Israel may be on a collision course in Syria” and it argues that Russia’s commitment to Syria and Israel’s interest in actively deterring Iran and its proxies are irreconcilable, with the US ending up in an extremely difficult position which could easily lead to its involvement in what could become a new shooting war. The White House would have to tread very carefully as it would likely want to avoid sending the wrong signals either to Moscow or Jerusalem, but that realization may be beyond the thinking of the warhawks on the National Security Council.

To place the Plitnick article in its current context of rumors of wars, one might cite yet another piece in Business Insider about the July 30th explosive drone attack on an oil tanker off the coast of Oman in the northern Indian Ocean, which killed two crewmen, a Briton and a Romanian. The bombing was immediately attributed to Iran by both Israel and Washington, though the only proof presented was that the fragments of the drone appeared to demonstrate that it was Iranian made, which means little as the device is available to and used by various players throughout the Middle East and in central Asia.

The tanker in question was the MT Mercer Street, sailing under a Liberian flag but Japanese-owned and managed by Zodiac Maritime, an international ship management company headquartered in London and owned by Israeli shipping magnate Eyal Ofer. It was empty, sailing to pick up a cargo, and had a mixed international crew. Inevitably, initial media reporting depended on analysis by the US and Israel, which saw the attack as a warning or retaliatory strike executed or ordered by the newly elected government currently assuming control in Tehran.

US Secretary of State Tony Blinken, who could not possibly have known who carried out the attack, was not shy about expressing his “authoritative” viewpoint, asserting that “We are confident that Iran conducted this attack. We are working with our partners to consider our next steps and consulting with governments inside the region and beyond on an appropriate response, which will be forthcoming.”

The US Central Command (CENTCOM) also all too quickly pointed to Iran, stating that “The use of Iranian designed and produced one way attack ‘kamikaze’ UAVs is a growing trend in the region. They are actively used by Iran and their proxies against coalition forces in the region, to include targets in Saudi Arabia and Iraq.”

Tehran denied that it had carried out the attack but the Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz was not accepting that and threatened to attack Iran, saying predictably that “We are at a point where we need to take military action against Iran. The world needs to take action against Iran now… Now is the time for deeds — words are not enough. … It is time for diplomatic, economic and even military deeds. Otherwise the attacks will continue.” Gantz also confirmed that “Israel is ready to attack Iran, yes…”

New Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett also made the same demand, saying Israel could “…act alone. They can’t sit calmly in Tehran while igniting the entire Middle East — that’s over. We are working to enlist the whole world, but when the time comes, we know how to act alone.” If the level of verbal vituperation coming out of Israel is anything to go by, an attack on Iran would appear to be imminent.

After the attack on the MT Mercer Street, there soon followed the panicked account the panicked account of an alleged hijacking of a second tanker by personnel initially reported to be wearing “Iranian military uniforms.” The “…hijacking incident in international waters in the Gulf of Oman” ended peacefully however. The US State Department subsequently reported that “We can confirm that personnel have left the Panama-flagged Asphalt Princess… We believe that these personnel were Iranian, but we’re not in a position to confirm this at this time.”

So, the United States government does not actually know who did what to whom but is evidently willing to indict Iran and look the other way if Israel should choose to start a war. Conservative columnist Pat Buchanan is right to compare the drone attack on the Mercer Street to the alleged Gulf of Tonkin Incident in 1964, which was deliberately distorted by the Lyndon B. Johnson Administration and used to justify rapid escalation of US involvement in the Vietnam War. Buchanan observes that it is by no means clear that Iran was behind the Mercer Street attack and there are a number of good reasons to doubt it, including Iranian hopes to have sanctions against its economy lifted which will require best behavior. Also, Iran would have known that it would be blamed for such an incident in any event, so why should it risk going to war with Israel and the US, a war that it knows it cannot win?

Buchanan observes that whoever attacked the tanker wants war and also to derail any negotiations to de-sanction Iran, but he stops short of suggesting who that might be. The answer is of course Israel, engaging in a false flag operation employing an Iranian produced drone. And I would add to Buchanan’s comments that there is in any event a terrible stink of hypocrisy over the threat of war to avenge the tanker incident. Israel has attacked Iranian ships in the past and has been regularly bombing Syria in often successful attempts to kill Iranians who are, by the way, in the country at the invitation of its legitimate government. Zionist Joe Biden has yet to condemn those war crimes, nor has the suddenly aroused Tony Blinken. And Joe, who surely knows that neither Syria nor Iran threatens the United States, also continues to keep American troops in Syria, occupying a large part of the country, which directly confront the Kremlin’s forces. Israel wants a war that will inevitably involve the United States and maybe also Russia to some degree as collateral damage. Will it get that or will Biden have the courage to say “No!”

Philip M. Giraldi, Ph.D., is Executive Director of the Council for the National Interest, a 501(c)3 tax deductible educational foundation (Federal ID Number #52-1739023) that seeks a more interests-based U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East. Website is https://councilforthenationalinterest.org address is P.O. Box 2157, Purcellville VA 20134 and its email is inform@cnionline.org

Raeisi Takes Oath of Office as Iran’s 8th President

By Staff, Agencies

After having his mandate endorsed by Leader of the Islamic Revolution His Eminence Imam Sayyed Ali Khamenei, Sayyed Ebrahim Raeisi has taken the oath of office to be officially inaugurated as the eighth president of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

The swearing-in ceremony was held at the Iranian parliament on Thursday afternoon, attended by high-ranking Iranian civil and military officials as well as a great number of foreign dignitaries from more than 70 countries.

The ceremony started with a speech by Iran’s Parliament Speaker Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf followed by an address delivered by head of Iran’s Judiciary Gholamhossein Mohseni Ejei.

After speeches were delivered by heads of the Judiciary and Legislature, Ebrahim Raeisi took to the podium to be sworn in as Iran’s eighth president following the Islamic Revolution of 1979.

During the oath-taking ceremony, Raeisi read out the text of the oath, which says, “I, as the President, upon the Holy Qur’an and in the presence of the Iranian nation, do hereby swear in the name of Almighty God to safeguard the official Faith, the system of the Islamic republic and the Constitution of the country; to use all my talents and abilities in the discharge of responsibilities undertaken by me; to devote myself to the service of the people, glory of the country, promotion of religion and morality, support of right and propagation of justice; to refrain from being autocratic; to protect the freedom and dignity of individuals and the rights of the nation recognized by the Constitution; to spare no efforts in safeguarding the frontiers and the political, economic and cultural freedoms of the country; to guard the power entrusted to me by the nation as a sacred trust like an honest and faithful trustee, by seeking help from God and following the example of the Prophet of Islam and the sacred Imams, peace be upon them, and to entrust it to the one elected by the nation after me.”

Addressing the inaugural ceremony, Iranian Parliament Speaker Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf first welcomed the Iranian and foreign guests of the ceremony.

Iran’s top diplomat then focused on the problems facing the country and the nation in his speech, especially economic problems, stressing the importance of taking decisive steps to solve people’s problems without bringing any excuses.

“We have entered a new phase of management in the country. The [Iranian] people, through their participation in the parliamentary and presidential elections, gave us the opportunity to solve people’s problems, particularly those problems that are nagging the underprivileged and middle classes, in order to prove that a Jihadi [strong and relentless] managerial system is the solution to all material and spiritual problems in the country,” he said.

Iran’s parliament speaker emphasized the importance of boosting the efficiency and accountability in the country to make progress during the new phase of governance, saying that all Iranian officials are duty-bound to restore the economic stability, hope and cheerfulness to the country and its people.

The administration shoulders the main responsibility in this regard because it possesses the highest executive capacities of the country, Qalibaf said, adding, however, that synergy and cooperation among all branches of the government will play a leading role in solving the country’s problems.

“We know that the enemy’s threats and sanctions have created difficulties in the country’s management, but there are also considerable God-given, popular, economic and international capacities that can help us overcome these challenges,” the top Iranian parliamentarian pointed out.

Addressing the ceremony, Mohseni Ejei expressed the readiness of the Judiciary to help the administration fight against corruption.

According to the Constitution, he added, the president is the highest ranking official in the country after the Leader and shoulders the responsibility to execute the Constitution except for those affairs relating to the Leader.

He wished success for the president in fulfilling such an important responsibility in cooperation with other branches of the government, the elite and the public.

He expressed hope that Raeisi would take swift steps to solve the people’s problems at the earliest, eliminate corruption and discrimination and amend complicated administrative structures.

“Iran’s Judiciary will be more serious than ever in the fight against corruption,” Mohseni Ejei said.

According to Seyyed Nezamoddin Mousavi, the spokesman for the Parliament’s presiding board, long lists of foreign officials and political figures have accepted Iran’s invitation to attend the event despite the COVID-19 pandemic.

More than 100 officials from 73 countries took part in Raeisi’s inauguration ceremony, including 10 heads of state, 20 parliament speakers, 11 foreign ministers and 10 ministers, as well as special envoys, deputy parliament speakers and chairmen of parliamentary commissions and parliamentary delegations.

A high-level delegation from the European Union [EU], led by the Deputy Secretary General of the European External Action Service Enrique Mora, has participated in Raeisi’s inauguration. Mora is accompanied by Stephan Klement, head of the EU delegation to the international organizations in Vienna, and Head of Task Force European Union Bruno Scholl.

Afghanistan’s President Ashraf Ghani is also taking part in Raeisi’s swearing-in ceremony.

A high-ranking delegation representing the Palestinian Hamas movement also arrived in the Iranian capital at dawn Thursday to attend the inauguration of president-elect Ibrahim Raeisi. The Hamas delegation is led by head of the movement’s political office, Ismail Haniyeh.

Syrian Parliament Speaker Hammouda Sabbagh is also present at new Iranian president’s inauguration ceremony, representing the Arab country’s President Bashar al-Assad.

The heads of 11 international and regional organizations and the representative of the UN chief; officials from the Inter-Parliamentary Union [IPU], including its President Duarte Pacheco; the Economic Cooperation Organization [ECO]; the Conference on Interaction and Confidence-Building Measures in Asia [CICA] and the D-8 Organization for Economic Cooperation also known as Developing-8 are also present at the event.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries [OPEC]’s Secretary General Mohammed Sanusi Barkindo, President of Iraq’s semi-autonomous Kurdistan Region Nechirvan Barzani and Serbia’s Parliament Speaker Ivica Dacic are among the guests at the inauguration ceremony.

Some 170 domestic and foreign journalists have been invited to provide coverage of the event.

Will Israel Stop Playing in the “Axis of Resistance” Playground?

Posted by INTERNATIONALIST 360° on 

https://misionverdad.com/sites/default/files/styles/mv_-_712x400/public/oman.jpg?itok=0hMCgzWH
Tanker in the Gulf of Oman (Photo: Guiseppe Cacace / AFP)

Elijah J. Magnier

A Romanian captain and a British security officer were killed by a suicide drone attack on the tanker M/T Mercer Street, a Liberian-flagged Japanese vessel that is part of the Zodiac Group, owned by Israeli billionaire Eyal Ofer, sailing from Tanzania to the United Arab Emirates. The first attack on the tanker caused only material damage, but was followed by a second attack where the command and control tower was targeted to cause human casualties.

Al-Alam TV claimed that the attack was a retaliation to the Israeli operation on the Dabaa (Homs) airport in Syria, where Iranians and Lebanese Hezbollah were killed and others wounded. Thus, the Israeli attack represents a change in the Rules of Engagement (ROE), violating the admitted limits of the ongoing conflict and pressuring Iran to initiate a “campaign between wars”, expected to increase in intensity in the future. What surprises Israel is that, for the first time, Iran is showing how connected all the theaters are and how an Israeli strike provokes an unexpected response in the Gulf of Oman.

Israel has carried out more than a thousand strikes against targets in Syria during the decade-long war against the Syrian army and “Axis of Resistance” targets. However, Israel’s only objective result was to expand the influence of the “Axis of Resistance” in the Levant, which won the destructive war and defeated the takfiri groups (ISIS and al-Qaeda) and the various Syrian groups supported by the Gulf and Western countries. The “Axis of Resistance” expanded and consolidated its influence in Iraq and Yemen, forming a solid front against Israel and its allies.

Israel tried to operate in the Iraqi theater, sending suicide drones that destroyed seven warehouses belonging to the Iraqi security forces of the al-Hashd al-Shaabi (Popular Mobilization Forces). Also, an Israeli drone operated from U.S. bases in Syria and Iraq attacked and killed an Iraqi commander while he was traveling in the direction of the Syrian-Iraqi borders.

Two years ago, Israel sent two suicide drones into Beirut, the Lebanese capital. One exploded near Hezbollah headquarters, and another crashed and was found intact, containing explosives. This set off alarm bells among the “Axis of Resistance” about Israel’s use of this kind of kamikaze drone to hit its targets while avoiding accountability. The “Axis of Resistance” then adopted the Israeli use of suicide drones for many theaters.

Over the past two and a half years, Israel claims to have carried out several attacks against Iranian targets. The “war of sabotage” between Iran and Israel is no longer a secret, with both sides admitting respective responsibility for attacks inflicted on each other in the traditional way: through leaks to the media. Former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu explicitly broke the Israeli practice of denial and made known Israel’s responsibility for many sabotage attacks and illegal assassinations against Iranian scientists and institutions.

Nevertheless, it can be recognized that Israel is playing with fire since it operates outside its comfort zone and competes in Iran’s backyard. Moreover, Israel is clearly facing a severe challenge to its authority and reputation in the Middle East. The question is, how long can it sustain this tit-for-tat game it initiated itself?

There is no good news for Israel in its war against Iran.

What makes Israel shudder is that Iran has responded in the Gulf of Oman with an attack of its own in Syria, introducing a new SR and choosing the theater directly and not through its allies or in the same operational theater in the Levant. This Iranian decision indicates that Tehran has deliberately evaded any further involvement of the Syrian government, no doubt reluctant to start an open war against Israel. It is also saying that Iran will no longer be restrained by the Syrian framework of retaliation or containment, and that it will choose where to hit back at Israel for its continued attacks on Iranian targets in the Levant.

According to a senior official in the “Axis of Resistance,” Iran is aware that “90% of Israel’s assets pass through the sea, falling in Iran’s operational theater and within a comfortable range for its military size.

“90% of Israel’s assets pass through the sea, falling in Iran’s operational theater and within comfortable range for its military magnitude. Israel is undoubtedly an intelligent enemy. However, the idea of expanding its operational theater into the area controlled by Iran is arrogant, provocative and counterproductive. Israel is offering Iran infinite targets at sea to select from when it initiates this game, which will undoubtedly break its teeth. Israel has much more to lose if it decides to respond to the Iranian attack because retaliation from the Iranian side will not be long in coming. The latest Iranian reaction was significant and balanced, imposing deterrence and a new Rule of Engagement that still causes confusion and annoyance to Israel.”

This is not the first time Israel has bombed the Dabaa airport located in the Al Quseir area. Israel considers the area as a base for the “Axis of Resistance”, a depot area for its strategic and high-precision missiles, and an area involved in the next war against Israel. However, this is the first time Israel targeted a residence at the airport with the apparent intention of causing human casualties, killing and wounding three people.

Israel was thus aware that a retaliation could be on the way. Really, it ignored how, when and where. The tanker Mercer Street was initially attacked by a drone that only damaged the tank. The second suicide drone strike against this Israeli-operated tanker appears to have intentionally sought to cause loss of life (two people were killed), apparently settling the score with Dabaa casualties.

“If Israel escalates tension and attacks, it will get similar acts unless the traditional SRs are restored, where Israel bombs insignificant targets, destroying replaceable warehouses or a kitchen or a runway. If not, Israel should expect retaliation against its interests wherever, with or without a U.S. naval escort. Iran’s target bank is abundant, and Israel is evidently far more vulnerable than it is capable of imagining. This time, the attack took place against an empty tanker, but enough to increase the cover price and cause financial repercussions for Israel,” says the source.

Israel has opened Pandora’s box, and hiding under America’s skirt will not protect Israeli ships if the attacks in Syria continue. Iran is conducting a “between the wars” campaign on Israel, which includes limited options. Any escalation would endanger Israeli shipping, and a lack of response means that Israel has decided to bite its wounds before the watchful eyes of the world.

Iranian deterrence has had its way. The most troubling and crucial part for Israel to consider is whether Iran invokes a Rule of Engagement every time Israel bombs targets in Syria or only when it targets a target belonging to the “Axis of Resistance.” The next moves will answer this question. Neither answer is good news for Israel, which has set in motion a new chain of events that it will itself suffer.

MORE ON THIS TOPIC:

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

AUGUST 3, 2021

Visual search query image

By Staff, Agencies

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

August 2, 2021

By Staff, Agencies 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

إيران دولة مواجهة… وسيدة البحر!

 محمد صادق الحسيني

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ـ العودة لمفاوضات فيينا بأيّ ثمن كان.

ـ ولا المراهنة على عودة واشنطن للاتفاق النووي.

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

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

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

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

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

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

العالم بعيون إيران الجديدة سيكون مركز ثقله

الشرق وليس الغرب.

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

وإيران سيفه البتار وجيشه الجرار بكلّ إمكانات دولة ولاية الفقيه.

بعدنا طيّبين قولوا الله…

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