The Sword of Damocles Over Western Europe: Follow the Trail of Blood and Oil

The Sword of Damocles Over Western Europe: Follow the Trail of ...

Cynthia Chung June 3, 2020

In Part 1, we left off in our story at the SIS-CIA overthrow of Iran’s Nationalist leader Mohammad Mosaddegh in 1953. At this point the Shah was able to return to Iran from Rome and British-backed Fazlollah Zahedi, who played a leading role in the coup, replaced Mosaddegh as Prime Minister of Iran.

Here we will resume our story.

An Introduction to the ‘Shah of Shahs’, ‘King of Kings’

One important thing to know about Mohammad Reza Shah was that he was no fan of British imperialism and was an advocate for Iran’s independence and industrial growth. That said, the Shah was a deeply flawed man who lacked the steadfastness to secure such a positive fate for Iran. After all, foreign-led coups had become quite common in Iran at that point.

He would become the Shah in 1941 at the age of 22, after the British forced his father Reza Shah into exile. By then, Persia had already experienced 70 years of British imperialism reducing its people to near destitution.

Mohammad Reza Shah had developed very good relations with the U.S. under President FDR, who at the behest of the Shah, formed the Iran Declaration which ended Iran’s foreign occupation by the British and the Soviets after WWII.

His father, Reza Shah came into power after the overthrow of Ahmad Shah in 1921, who was responsible for signing into law the infamous Anglo-Persian Agreement in 1919, which effectively turned Iran into a de facto protectorate run by British “advisors” and ensured the British Empire’s control of Iran’s oil.

Despite Reza Shah’s problems (Mosaddegh was sent into exile during his reign), he had made significant achievements for Iran. Among these included the development of transportation infrastructure, 15 000 miles of road by 1940 and the construction of the Trans-Iranian Railway which opened in 1938.

Mohammad Reza Shah wished to continue this vein of progress, however, he would first have to go through Britain and increasingly the U.S. in order to fulfill Iran’s vision for a better future.

In 1973, Mohammad Reza Shah thought he finally found his chance to turn Iran into the “world’s sixth industrial power” in just one generation…

OPEC and the European Monetary System vs the ‘Seven Sisters’

In 1960, OPEC was founded by five oil producing countries: Venezuela, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Iran and Kuwait in an attempt to influence and stabilise the market price of oil, which would in turn stabilise their nation’s economic return. The formation of OPEC marked a turning point toward national sovereignty over natural resources.

However, during this period OPEC did not have a strong voice in such affairs, the main reason being the “Seven Sisters” which controlled approximately 86% of the oil produced by OPEC countries. The “Seven Sisters” was the name for the seven transnational oil companies of the “Consortium of Iran” cartel which dominated the global petroleum industry, with British Petroleum owning 40% and Royal Dutch Shell 14%, giving Britain the lead at 54% ownership during this period.

After 1973, with the sudden rise of oil prices, the Shah began to see an opportunity for independent action.

The Shah saw the price increase as a way to pull his country out of backwardness. To the intense irritation of his sponsors, the Shah pledged to bring Iran into the ranks of the world’s top ten industrial nations by the year 2000.

The Shah understood that in order for this vision to become a reality, Iran could not just stay as a crude oil producer but needed to invest in a more stable future through industrial growth. And as it just so happened, France and West Germany were ready to make an offer.

In 1978, France and West Germany led the European community, with the exception of Great Britain, in the formation of the European Monetary System (EMS). The EMS was a response to the controlled disintegration that had been unleashed on the world economy after the fixed exchange rate became a floating exchange rate in 1971.

French foreign minister Jean Francois–Poncet had told a UN press conference, that it was his vision that the EMS eventually replace the IMF and World Bank as the center of world finance.

For those who are unaware of the devastation that the IMF and World Bank have wreaked upon the world, refer to John Perkins’ “Confession of an Economic Hit Man”… the situation is 10X worst today.

As early as 1977, France and West Germany had begun exploring the possibility of concretizing a deal with oil producing countries in which western Europe would supply high-technology exports, including nuclear technology, to the OPEC countries in exchange for long-term oil supply contracts at a stable price. In turn, OPEC countries would deposit their enormous financial surpluses into western European banks which could be used for further loans for development projects… obviously to the detriment of the IMF and World Bank hegemony.

The Carter Administration was not happy with this, sending Vice President Walter Mondale to France and West Germany to “inform” them that the U.S. would henceforth oppose the sale of nuclear energy technology to the Third World…and thus they should do so as well. West Germany’s nuclear deal with Brazil and France’s promise to sell nuclear technology to South Korea had already come under heavy attack.

In addition, the Shah had started a closer partnership with Iraq and Saudi Arabia cemented at OPEC meetings in 1977 and 1978. In a press conference in 1977 the Shah stated he would work for oil price stability. Together Saudi Arabia and Iran at the time produced nearly half of OPEC’s entire output.

If an Iran-Saudi-Iraq axis established a permanent working relationship with the EMS it would have assembled an unstoppable combination against the London world financial center.

Recall that France and West Germany had already ignored British calls to boycott Iranian oil in 1951 under Mosaddegh, and therefore, there was no indication that they were going to follow suit with Britain and the U.S. this time either.

As far as London and Washington were concerned, the Shah’s reign was over.

British Petroleum, BBC News and Amnesty International as Servants to the Crown

Were we to select a date for the beginning of the Iranian revolution it would be November 1976, the month that Amnesty International issued its report charging brutality and torture of political prisoners by the Shah of Iran.

Ironically, the SAVAK which was the secret police under the Shah from 1957 to 1979, was established and pretty much run by the SIS (aka MI6), CIA and the Israeli Mossad. This is a well-known fact, and yet, was treated as somehow irrelevant during Amnesty International’s pleas for a humanitarian intervention into Iran.

For those who haven’t already discovered Amnesty International’s true colors from their recent “work” in Syria… it should be known that they work for British Intelligence.

Gruesome accounts of electric shock torture and mutilation were printed in the London Times, the Washington Post and other respected press. Within a few months, President Carter launched his own “human rights” campaign. With this, the international humanitarian outcry got bigger and louder demanding the removal of the Shah.

The Shah was caught between a rock and a hard place, as he was known not to be strong on “security” matters and often left it entirely up to the management of others. Once Amnesty International sounded the war-cry, the Shah made the mistake of not only defending the undefendable SAVAK in the public arena but continued to trust them entirely. It would be his biggest mistake.

With the international foment intensifying, the British Broadcasting Corporation’s (BBC) Persian language broadcasts into Iran fanned the flames of revolt.

During the entire year of 1978 the BBC stationed dozens of correspondents throughout the country in every remote town and village. BBC correspondents, often in the employ of the British secret service, worked as intelligence operatives for the revolution.

Each day the BBC would report in Iran gory accounts of alleged atrocities committed by the Iranian police, often without checking the veracity of the reports. It is now acknowledged that these news reports helped to fuel and even organise the political foment towards an Iranian revolution.

In 1978, British Petroleum (BP) was in the process of negotiating with the government of Iran the renewing of the 25 year contract made in 1953 after the Anglo-American coup against Mosaddegh. These negotiations collapsed in Oct 1978, at the height of the revolution. BP rejected the National Iranian Oil Company’s (NIOC) demands, refusing to buy a minimum quantity of barrels of Iranian oil but demanding nonetheless the exclusive right to buy that oil should it wish to in the future!

The Shah and NIOC rejected BP’s final offer. Had the Shah overcome the revolt, it appeared that Iran would have been free in its oil sales policy in 1979 – and would have been able to market its own oil to the state companies of France, Spain, Brazil and many other countries on a state-to-state basis.

In the American press hardly a single line was published about the Iranian fight with BP, the real humanitarian fight for Iranians.

The Sword of Damocles

The “Arc of Crisis” is a geopolitical theory focused on American/western politics in regards to the Muslim world. It was first concocted by British historian Bernard Lewis, who was regarded as the leading scholar in the world on oriental studies, especially of Islam, and its implications for today’s western politics.

Bernard Lewis was acting as an advisor to the U.S. State Department from 1977-1981. Zbigniew Brzezinski, the National Security Advisor, would announce the U.S.’ adoption of the “Arc of Crisis” theory by the American military and NATO in 1978.

It is widely acknowledged today, that the “Arc of Crisis” was primarily aimed at destabilising the USSR and Iran. This will be discussed further in Part 3 of this series.

Egypt and Israel were expected to act as the initiating countries for the expansion of NATO into the Middle East. Iran was to be the next link.

Iran’s revolution was perfectly timed with the launching of the “Arc of Crisis”, and NATO had its “humanitarian” cause for entering the scene.

However, the fight was not over in Iran.

On Jan 4th, 1979, the Shah named Shapour Bakhtiar, a respected member of the National Front as Prime Minister of Iran. Bakhtiar was held in high regard by not only the French but Iranian nationalists. As soon as his government was ratified, Bakhtiar began pushing through a series of major reform acts: he completely nationalised all British oil interests in Iran, put an end to the martial law, abolished the SAVAK, and pulled Iran out of the Central Treaty Organization, declaring that Iran would no longer be “the gendarme of the Gulf”.

Bakhtiar also announced that he would be removing Ardeshir Zahedi from his position as Iran’s Ambassador to the U.S.

An apple that did not fall far from the tree, Ardeshir is the son of Fazlollah Zahedi, the man who led the coup against Mosaddegh and replaced him as Prime Minister!

Ardeshir was suspected to have been misinforming the Shah about the events surrounding the Iranian revolution and it was typical that he spoke to Brzezinski in Washington from Teheran over the phone at least once a day, often twice a day, as part of his “job” as Ambassador to the U.S. during the peak of the Iranian revolution.

With tensions escalating to a maximum, the Shah agreed to transfer all power to Bakhtiar and left Iran on Jan 16th,1979 for a “long vacation” (aka exile), never to return.

However, despite Bakhtiar’s courageous actions, the damage was too far gone and the hyenas were circling round.

It is known that from Jan 7th to early Feb 1979, the No. 2 in the NATO chain of command, General Robert Huyser, was in Iran and was in frequent contact with Brzezinski during this period. It is thought that Huyser’s job was to avoid any coup attempts to disrupt the take-over by Khomeini’s revolutionary forces by largely misleading the Iranian generals with false intel and U.S. promises. Recently declassified documents on Huyser’s visit to Iran confirm these suspicions.

During the Shah’s “long vacation” his health quickly deteriorated. Unfortunately the Shah was never a good judge of character and kept a close dialogue with Henry Kissinger as to how to go about his health problems. By Oct 1979, the Shah was diagnosed with cancer and the decision was made to send him to the U.S. for medical treatment.

This decision was very much pushed for and supported by Brzezinski and Kissinger, despite almost every intelligence report indicating this would lead to a disastrous outcome.

In Nov 18th 1979, the New York Times reported:

‘The decision was made despite the fact that Mr. Carter and his senior policy advisers had known for months that to admit the Shah might endanger Americans at the embassy in Teheran. An aide reported that at one staff meeting Mr. Carter had asked, “When the Iranians take our people in Teheran hostage, what will you advise me then?” ‘

On Oct 22, 1979, the Shah arrived in New York to receive medical treatment. Twelve days later, the U.S. Embassy in Teheran was taken over and 52 American hostages would be held captive for 444 days!

With the taking of the hostages, the Carter Administration, as preplanned under the “Arc of Crisis”, set into motion its scenario for global crisis management.

The hostage crisis, a 100% predictable response to the U.S.’ decision to accept the Shah into America, was the external threat the Carter Administration needed to invoke the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, authorising the President to regulate international commerce after declaring a national emergency in response to an extraordinary threat

With this new authority, President Carter announced the freezing of all U.S.-Iranian financial assets, amounting to over $6 billion, including in branches of American banks abroad. Instantly, the world financial markets were thrown into a panic, and big dollar depositors in western Europe and the U.S., particularly the OPEC central banks, began to pull back from further commitments.

The Eurodollar market was paralyzed and most international lending halted until complex legal matters were sorted out.

However, the most serious consequence by far from the Carter Administration’s “emergency actions,” was in scaring other OPEC governments away from long-term lending precisely at a time when West Germany and France were seeking to attract deposits into the financial apparatus associated with the European Monetary System (EMS).

In addition, the Carter Administration’s insistent demands that western Europe and Japan invoke economic sanctions against Iran was like asking them to cut their own throats. Yet, the raised political tensions succeeded in breaking apart the economic alliances and the slow blood-letting of Europe commenced.

Within days of the taking of the hostages, the pretext was given for a vast expansion of U.S. military presence in the Middle East and the Indian Ocean.

Sound familiar?

The message was not lost on Europe. In a Nov 28, 1979 column in Le Figaro, Paul Marie de la Gorce,  who was in close dialogue with the French presidential palace, concluded that U.S. military and economic intervention into Iran would cause “more damages for Europe and Japan than for Iran.” And that those who advocate such solutions are “consciously or not inspired by the lessons given by Henry Kissinger.”

During the 444 day hostage crisis, a full-scale U.S. invasion was always looming overhead. Such an invasion was never about seizing the oil supply for the U.S., but rather to deny it to western Europe and Japan.

If the U.S. were to have seized the oil supply in Iran, the body blow to the western European economies would have knocked out the EMS. Thus, during the 444 day holding of American hostages, this threat was held over the head of Europe like the sword of Damocles.

It is sufficed to say that today’s ongoing sanctions against Iran cannot be understood in their full weight and international ramifications without this historical background.

To Understand Iran’s 150-Year Fight, Follow the Trail of Blood and Oil

To Understand Iran's 150-Year Fight, Follow the Trail of Blood and ...

Cynthia Chung May 23, 2020

This past Sunday, April 17th, a dispute between Iran and the U.S. occurred over the U.S.’ decision to increase its military presence in Caribbean and Eastern Pacific waters, with the purported reason being a counter-narcotics campaign.

Iranian foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif wrote to the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres this past Sunday, that the real purpose for this move by the U.S. is to “intervene and create disruption in the transfer of Iran’s fuel to Venezuela.” In the same letter, Zarif expressed concern over “the United States’ intention to consider dangerous, unlawful and provocative measures against Iranian oil tankers engaged in perfectly lawful international commerce with the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.”

The Iranian deployment consists of five tankers carrying around $45.5million of gasoline and related products, as part of a wider deal between Iran and Venezuela. The U.S. has imposed sanctions on both nations’ oil exports.

For the first time since 1962, Iran has requested IMF assistance due to severe shortages created by the COVID-19 pandemic, with Iran requesting an emergency loan of $5 billion. However, the request is currently being blocked by the U.S., which accounts for slightly more than 16.5% of IMF’s voting shares and has an effective veto over decisions.

Iran is presently experiencing a critical shortage of medicines and equipment amid the pandemic, and yet is prohibited from purchasing medicines and supplies because of the banking sanctions.

It is clear that these manoeuvres against Iran are not on behalf of anyone’s “security” but rather an attempt to force Iran to finally bend the knee and be reduced to a state of complete dependence.

Iran has fought a long fight to claim its independence from western powers.

However, what if I were to tell you that once there was a time when Iran and the U.S. had good relations and that the U.S. was in fact the leading promoter and supporter of Iran’s sovereignty?

Almost out of a Shakespearean play of tragedy and betrayal, the relationship was jeopardised by a third player. As identified by John Perkins, in his book Confessions of an Economic Hit Man, the first ever U.S. coup against a foreign country was the overthrow of Iran’s nationalist Prime Minister Mosaddegh in 1953. However, what is often left out…is that it was a British authored and designed operation.

In order for us to understand how and why the U.S. was dragged into such an affair, our story starts 150 years ago…

Dieu et mon droit

It all started in 1872, with Nasir al-Din Shah having granted to the British Baron Julius de Reuter, rights to Iran’s entire economic estate. Reuter not only controlled Iran’s industry, farming, and rail transportation, but also held the right to issue currency and to set up a national bank, called the Imperial Bank of Persia, which was under direct British control.

In 1901, Muzzaffar al-Din Shah negotiated what became known as the D’Arcy Contract, granting William Knox D’Arcy, a millionaire London socialite, the special and exclusive privilege to basically own and manage the natural gas and petroleum of Iran for a term of 60 years.

In May 26th 1908 D’Arcy struck pay-dirt in Iran, discovering a huge oil field in Masjed-Soleiman. Britain immediately set up APOC in 1908, purchasing the rights to the black gold from D’Arcy. Six years later, First Lord of the Admiralty Winston Churchill gave the order to purchase 51% of APOC, effectively nationalizing the company. This was to ensure the free flow of oil to the British navy. It was the first company to extract petroleum from Iran.

Iran received only 16% of the royalties on the oil.

Britain continued to pursue total control of Iran, not through colonial occupation, but rather through economic “agreements”. In the midst of carving up the empire’s new “jewels” of the Middle East from the Sykes-Picot fraud on the Arabian people and the illegal British occupation of Palestine, the notorious Anglo-Persian Agreement of Aug 19, 1919 was also signed, with London effectively turning Iran into a de facto protectorate run by British “advisors”. Britain had succeeded in becoming the masters of Iran’s natural resources through this agreement.

Iran received almost nothing in return, not even oil from APOC for domestic consumption, but rather had to import it from the Soviet Union!

On Nov 28th 1932 Reza Shah announced that he would be cancelling the British concession to APOC. The British Navy was heavily dependent on cheap Iranian oil and thus Britain refused to acquiesce. A compromise was reached in 1933 through bilateral negotiations and the British managed to extend their concession up until 1993! Iran had succeeded in getting the British to pay a higher price but it still did not control its own oil.

The American Relationship

Despite claiming a neutral stance for Iran during WWII, word had gotten out that Reza Shah was apparently sympathetic to the cause of Hitler. The argument was thus used that a pro-German Iran could become a launching pad for an attack against the Soviet Union, justifying British and Soviet entry into the country on Aug 25th 1941 for what would be a several years’ occupation. On Sept 16th Reza was forced by the British to abdicate and go into exile transferring power to his 22 year old son, Mohammad Reza Shah.

Mohammad Reza Shah was not happy with the joint occupation and sought an American military presence as a mediator to British and Soviet interests. The Shah sent a letter to President Franklin D. Roosevelt on Aug 25th 1941 asking him to:

“be good enough to interest yourself in this incident…I beg Your Excellency to take efficacious and urgent humanitarian steps to put an end to these acts of aggression.”

In response to this plea, Roosevelt sent Gen. Patrick Hurley as his special representative to Iran to help prepare what was to become the Iran Declaration, finally adopted at the Tehran Conference where Stalin, Roosevelt and Churchill would agree to guarantee the territorial integrity and national sovereignty of Iran.

The Iran Declaration was used to finally end the foreign occupation of Iran after WWII, despite some resistance, and would play a crucial role in Iran’s future fight for sovereignty. The Iran Declaration thus proved itself to be more than just words, and this would certainly never have happened if not for FDR.

As part of Hurley’s report to FDR, he wrote some biting words on the present system of British imperialism, “The imperialism of Germany, Japan, Italy, France… will, we hope, end or be radically revised by this war [WWII]. British imperialism seems to have acquired a new life. . . What appears to be a new life… is the result of the infusion, into its emaciated form, of the blood of productivity and liberty from a free nation [Iran] through Lend-Lease.”

Roosevelt sent a copy of the Hurley report to Churchill with his thoughts on the matter: “The enclosed memorandum was sent to me… I rather like his general approach to the care and education of what used to be called ‘backward countries’…the point of all this is that I do not want the United States to acquire a ‘zone of influence,’ or any other nation for that matter [in Iran].”

Churchill was less than enthusiastic on the Hurley-FDR vision. He was particularly irked by Hurley’s notion that British imperialism were in conflict with democracy.

FDR died only a few months later, and with his interment, Hurley’s plans for American support for a sovereign and democratic Iran as a model for the rest of the Middle East were relegated to the dust bins of time and forgotten by much of the world.

Following WWII, nationalistic sentiments were on the rise including in the Middle East, the most notable being Iran. However, following the death of FDR the British were free to disingenuously respond to Iran’s request for better economic conditions by offering what was called the “Supplemental Agreement”, in May 1949. This entailed a better payment in royalties but still denied Iran any oversight over accounts or any other form of control over Iranian oil.

Enter Mosaddegh

In the late 1940s, a new political force emerged in Iran called the National Front led by Mohammad Mosaddegh. Their campaign was centered on the demand to nationalize the AIOC and the people of Iran were in accord, electing Mosaddegh into the Majlis (parliament) in 1949.

Mosaddegh lost no time, and quickly became the head of the Majlis Oil Committee which was tasked to study the British “Supplemental Agreement”. When it came time to put it to a vote on Nov 25th 1950, the committee delivered a resounding “no” to the British proposition.

Less than four months later, the Majlis voted on March 15th 1951 for nationalization of the AIOC, and it was renamed as the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC). Less than two months later, Mosaddegh became Prime Minister of Iran on April 28th 1951.

The British were left empty handed.

Twice the British tried to argue their case before the international community, once in May 1951 at The Hague and again in October at the UN Security Council. Both attempts were to lose to Mosaddegh’s defense. Mosaddegh had earned a Ph.D. in law from the Neuchatel Law School in Switzerland in 1914.

This was anything but a formal victory. It was to set a precedent in the international community that a country’s right to national sovereignty would be favored over Britain’s imperial “claims”, which were exposed during these two very public trials as amounting to nothing more than the threats and bribes of pirates.

At the UN Security Council, Mosaddegh responded to Britain’s imperial ambitions over Iran with these eloquent words:

“My countrymen lack the bare necessities of existence…Our greatest natural asset is oil. This should be the source of work and food for the population of Iran. Its exploitation should properly be our national industry, and the revenue from it should go to improve our conditions of life. As now organized, however, the petroleum industry has contributed practically nothing to the well-being of the people or to the technical progress or industrial development of my country…if we are to tolerate a situation in which the Iranian plays the part of a mere manual worker in the oil fields…and if foreign exploiters continue to appropriate practically all of the income, then our people will remain forever in a state of poverty and misery. These are the reasons that have prompted the Iranian parliament… to vote unanimously in favor of nationalizing the oil industry.”

A British coup

The British were fuming over Mosaddegh’s high profile humiliation of the British Empire’s claim to Iran’s oil. Mosaddegh would have to be deposed, however, this could not look like a British retaliation.

During Averell Harrimann’s visit to Tehran in July 1951, in an attempt to salvage the broken British-Iranian relationship, Mosaddegh is reported to have said,

“You do not know how crafty they are. You do not know how evil they are. You do not know how they sully everything they touch.”

As coup rumours circulated and reports were rife of British contact being sought with Iranian military officers, Mosaddegh severed diplomatic relations with the UK on Oct 16th 1952. The British were further humiliated and had to leave the country taking their agents with them.

It was at this point that Churchill “invited” his lap dog, de facto president Truman, to participate in his vision for regime change in Iran. In November 1952, NSC 136 and 136/I were written into record, Truman had agreed to promote direct intervention in Iran through covert operations and even military force. A detailed plan was approved on Jan 8th 1953 which was 12 days before Eisenhower was inaugurated.

The management of this covert operation was under the treasonous Dulles brothers, who would use the very same technique when JFK first entered office in setting him up with the Bay of Pigs fiasco, however, JFK managed to publicly expose Allan Dulles in this scheme and fired him. Dulles had been the Director of the CIA for 8 years up until that point, and was Deputy Director of the CIA for two years prior. Refer to my paper on this for further details.

A preliminary meeting in Washington saw representatives of the Near East and Africa Division (NEA) with British Intelligence. The key personalities were Christopher Montague Woodhouse who had been station chief for British Intelligence in Tehran and on the American side Kermit Roosevelt (son of Teddy Roosevelt) acting as NEA Division Chief. It was the British who would propose a joint political action to remove Prime Minister Mosaddegh according to CIA documents, which were in part leaked by the New York Times on April 16th 2000. The final plan was codenamed TPAJAX.

Appendix B, aka “London Draft of the TPAJAX Operational Plan” was black propaganda aimed at hammering out these themes 1) Mosaddegh favors the Tudeh Party and the USSR 2) Mosaddegh is an enemy of Islam since he associates with Tudeh.

The aim of such tactics was to drive a wedge between Mosaddegh and his National Front on the one side and his clerical allies, especially Kashani on the other. Demonstrations against Mosaddegh in the streets were to provide the pretext for bought MPs to hold a vote against him, if he refused to step down the plan was to have Fazlollah Zahedi, leader of the opposition, to arrest him. Zahedi, as laid out in Appendix B was selected by the British to replace Mosaddegh as Prime Minister after the coup.

Chief of Staff Gen. Taghi Riahi found out about the coup plans and alerted Mosaddegh in time. When the chief of the Imperial Guards, Col. Nasiri went to Mosaddegh’s house the evening before the planned coup day (Aug 16th) to arrest him, Nasiri himself was taken as prisoner by the pro- Mosaddegh military. Zahedi managed to flee.

The coup attempt had failed and the word spread fast, crowds flooded the streets supporting Mosaddegh and denouncing the Shah. The Shah left the country quickly.

The CIA informed of the fiasco alerted Kermit Roosevelt that he should leave Iran immediately. But Kermit believed the coup could still work and would make a second attempt three days later. British Intelligence and CIA orchestrated demonstrations set to the streets on Aug 19th. The royal decrees signed by the Shah for the deposal of Mosaddegh to be replaced by Zahedi were made public in the press that very day with the radio news announcing: that Zahedi was Prime Minister, that Mosaddegh had been ousted and that the Shah would return soon.

Military units were dispatched to Mosaddegh’s home. As his house was being destroyed by gunfire and tanks, Mosaddegh managed to escape. It is said he later turned himself in to the authorities.

After a ten-week period in a military prison, Mosaddegh was tried on charges of treason, because he had allegedly mobilized for a rebellion and had contradicted the Shah. In fact, the accused treason was a nationalistic response to a foreign led coup.

Mosaddegh was promptly found guilty and sentenced to death, later lessened to three years in prison, followed by house arrest.

Mosaddegh’s response to the kangaroo court proceedings was,

“My only crime is that I nationalized the oil industry and removed from this land the network of colonialism and the political and economic influence of the greatest empire [the British Empire] on Earth.”

Members of his government were also arrested, as were the leading military who remained loyal to him. Six hundred of the 6, 000 of these men were executed.

Even after Mosaddegh had passed away, on March 5th, 1967, his enemies were fearful of his influence. Mosaddegh had requested that upon his death, he be buried in the public graveyard beside the victims of the political violence that occurred on the 21st July 1952 from British-backed Ahmad Qavam who ordered soldiers to shoot at Mosaddegh nationalists during a demonstration, resulting in a blood bath. Not wanting his grave to become the site of political manifestations, a public funeral for Mosaddegh was denied and his body was quietly buried underneath the floorboards of a room in his house.

Israel Annexation Plan: Jordan’s Existential Threat

Jordan is being forced to confront a new reality with alarming cartographic and demographic consequences

By Emile Badarin

Global Research, July 09, 2020

Middle East Eye 6 July 2020

More than any other Arab state, Jordan’s past, present and future are inextricably linked to the question of Palestine. Jordan’s emergence is an outcome of British imperialism, which imposed the infamous Balfour Declaration and the Zionist settler-colonial project on the indigenous population of Palestine and the region. 

Settler-colonialism is the essence of the question of Palestine. All else is derivative. Jordan emerged out of this historical reality, and therefore, its present and future will always be subject to it.

The founder of present-day Jordan, Emir Abdullah bin Al-Hussein, successfully carved a new sovereign space in Transjordan. But this was only possible because of his cooperation with British imperialism and “collusion” with Zionist settler-colonialism. This tacit relationship resulted in mutual restraint between Jordan and Israel, even during their direct military confrontations.

National security interest

In 1994, Jordan and Israel signed the Wadi Araba peace treaty, turning their tacit understandings and secretive relationship into an official peace between the two countries – even if an unpopular one. This peace treaty would have been inconceivable without the 1993 Oslo Accord and the implied promise of Israel’s withdrawal from the West Bank and Gaza, which were occupied in 1967 from Jordan and Egypt respectively, to establish an independent Palestinian state.

Land repatriation and Palestinian statehood hold a high national security interest for Jordan. Only the achievement of these two conditions can halt the border elasticity of the Israeli state and its expansion eastwards, which poses grave geographic and demographic threats to the Hashemite kingdom.

Besides the strategic significance, a Palestinian state would allow a substantial number of Palestinian refugees displaced in 1967 to return to the West Bank, in accordance with UN Security Council Resolution 237.

Yet, not only have neither of the two conditions been realised, but regional and international political dynamics have changed since 1994. In Israel, the political landscape has dramatically shifted to the far right, fuelling the settler-colonial practice of creating “facts on the ground” that make the prospect of Palestinian statehood and self-determination via the “peace process” a remote fantasy.

The political and material developments on the ground are complemented by complex regional and international dynamics. In particular, the Trump administration has taken a new approach towards most international conflicts, especially in the Middle East.

The Trump-Netanyahu plan (aka “the deal of century”) for Israel-Palestine promotes Israeli colonisation/annexation of the West Bank and sovereignty over the entirety of historic Palestine, as well as the Syrian Golan Heights.

Shifting geopolitics

Even worse for Jordanians and Palestinians, this plan enjoys the support of influential Arab states, especially Saudi Arabia and the UAE, which have stepped up their political rapprochement and normalisation with Israel.If Israel Annexes Part of West Bank, Palestine “Will Declare Statehood on 1967 Borders”

The EU, a staunch supporter and sponsor of the so-called peace process and two-state solution, failed not only to reach a common position on the US plan, but also to condemn Israel’s plans to officially annex any part of the West Bank.

Amid the changing international and regional politics, Jordan’s alliance with the US and EU has been a letdown. Jordan has become a victim of its own foreign and security policy, which has grown interlinked with the US and, more recently, the EU.

While half of this alliance, the US, is promoting Israel’s annexation and sovereignty over Palestine, the other half, the EU, is unwilling to act decisively.

The annexation is planned to take place while the entire world, including Jordanians and Palestinians, and the media are exhausted by the coronavirus pandemic. It provides the needed distraction for Israel to complete the annexation quietly, without effective local and international scrutiny and resistance.

Covid-19 has further entrenched the nationalist-driven trend in the Middle East. Even before the outbreak, the Arab world was consumed by domestic concerns, showing few qualms about the Trump-Netanyahu plan or recognition of Israel’s sovereignty over Jerusalem and the Golan Heights.

Israeli expansionism

The feeble Arab (including Palestinian and Jordanian) and international response to the US recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, and the relocation of the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, has encouraged Israel and the US to press ahead and turn Israel’s de facto sovereignty over all of Palestine into de jure.

While this is all illegal under international law, it is a mistake to believe that empirical reality and time will not deflect, strain and fractureinternational law and legality.

Since 1967, the Israeli strategy has pivoted on two parallel components: empirical colonisation on the ground, coupled with the facade of a “peace and negotiations” public relations campaign to obfuscate the settler-colonial structure and market it to the international community, as well as Arab regimes.

With this strategy, Israel has expanded in the region both territorially, by de facto taking over Arab land, and politically, through overt and covert relations with most of the Arab states.

Only formal territorial annexation and gradual de-Palestinisation remains. The formal annexation of the West Bank, especially the Jordan Valley, officially torpedoes the century-old Jordanian foreign and security strategy of cooperation with its imperial patrons (Britain, then the US) and the Zionist movement, which evolved into a Jordanian-Israeli peace with an expected Palestinian buffer state between the two.

Another ethnic cleansing

It also puts Jordan face-to-face with a new reality with alarming cartographic and demographic consequences. The chances of another ethnic cleansing become a palpable prospect under the formulae of official annexation and a Jewish statehood in the entirety of Palestine, as articulated in the 2018 nation-state law meant to ensure a Jewish majority.

This is very much tied in with Jordanian fears grounded in previous (1948, 1967) and current experiences of forced migration in the Middle East. Against this backdrop, another ethnic cleansing in the West Bank, forcing a large number of Palestinians to flee to Jordan, is a real possibility. The transfer and elimination of Palestinians from Palestine are embedded in the settler-colonial structure of the Israeli state, which looks at Jordan as their alternative homeland.

While another population flow would be catastrophic for Palestinians, it would also adversely affect Jordan’s stability and future.

Beyond annexation, the Hashemite regime is witnessing a contestation of its custodianship of the Muslim and Christian holy sites in Jerusalem, which constitute a significant source of legitimacy for the regime. Even on this matter, the US plan unequivocally appoints Israel as the “custodian of Jerusalem”.

After five decades, Israel’s grip over and presence in the West Bank is ubiquitous and entrenched. Most of the West Bank is empirically annexed and Judaised, especially the Jordan Valley, Greater Jerusalem, parts of Hebron and Gush Etzion. The pretence of the peace process and negotiations has thus become superfluous.

‘Considering all options’ 

Only against this background may one understand the depth of the trepidations that underlie the warning of King Abdullah II that the Israeli annexation will trigger a “massive conflict” with Jordan and that he is “considering all options” in response.

This warning does not reveal a strategy to respond to what constitutes a “direct threat to Jordan’s sovereignty and independence”, as the former foreign minister of Jordan, Marwan Muasher, put it.

It displays, however, the difficult decisions that have to be taken. Indeed, King Hussein was prepared to discontinue the Jordanian-Israeli peace treaty had Israel refused to supply the antidote for the poison its agents had used in an attempt to assassinate Khaled Meshaal, the former head of Hamas, in 1997. It remains to be seen whether the termination or suspension of this treaty and the realignment of alliances are currently options for Jordan.

The Jordanian response to Covid-19 has generated a unique, popular rally around the state – a perfect opportunity to conduct serious reforms to stamp out corruption and involve citizens in the decision-making process, in order to forge a nationally grounded response to Israel’s planned annexation of the West Bank.

Historically, the survival of the Hashemite kingdom has been at stake several times. But today, Jordan finds itself in an unprecedented political, security, economic and health emergency.

Whatever domestic, economic and foreign-policy decisions – or indecisions – that Jordan takes are likely to leave a long-lasting mark on the future of Jordan and the question of Palestine. Such existential decisions must be collective, with broader national consensus and real citizen participation.

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Emile Badarin is a postdoctoral research fellow at the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) Chair, College of Europe, Natolin. He holds a PhD in Middle East politics. His research cuts across the fields of international relations and foreign policy, with the Middle East and EU as an area of study.The original source of this article is Middle East EyeCopyright © Emile BadarinMiddle East Eye, 2020

Covid 19, Kashmiri Pandits and Muslims of Kashmir

Source

Dr Syed Nazir Gilani

Times have changed. So have inter-communal reflexes in the Indian sub-continent. In 1936 Jawaharlal Nehru wrote in his autobiography, “We were Kashmiris. Over two hundred years ago, early in the eighteenth century, our ancestor came down from that mountain Valley to seek fame and fortune in the rich plains below. Those were the days of the decline of the Moghal Empire after the death of Aurungzeb and Farrukhsiar was the emperor”.

Jawaharlal Nehru wrote his autobiography in 1936 and admitted that his Kashmiri ancestor came to India 200 years ago, that should have been somewhere in 1736. Syed Ruhollah Musavi Khomeini, Sir Allama Muhammad Iqbal and many others took pride in their Kashmiri ancestry. Nehru in particular courted arrest at Kohala on his way to Srinagar to defend Sheikh Abdullah in the sedition case brought against him by the Maharaja of Kashmir.

Kashmir was hit hard by famine and earthquakes in 17th and 18th centuries. People, in particular those who were able to pay for travel or were able to endure a travel, left Kashmir and spread all over British India. There was a sense of belonging and these migrants continued their longing for the habitat and people left behind. A caring sense and undying longing to return to Kashmir has never died in the lives of these generations.

After the RSS volunteer’s protest on the streets of Lahore on 20 December 1931, in support of Hindu Maharaja and against the Muslims of Kashmir, who had just been slaughtered by Maharaja forces on 13 July 1931, it was in 1990 that Kashmiri Pandits, suddenly changed over from Kashmiri Pandits into Hindus. After leaving Kashmir Valley, Kashmiri Pandit, turned into a lethal communal weapon in Delhi and throughout India. The good neighbourly traditions were dusted on the streets of India and ridiculed on Indian TV screens. Nehru during his Kashmir visit had warned Kashmiri Pandits not to allow anyone to use them as a minority card in politics.

Kashmiri Pandits had control of education, health and administration in Kashmir. The community was so proud and status conscious that the only Kashmiri Pandit tailor in Srinagar was declared an outcaste and subjected to a social boycott. No Kashmiri Pandit would associate with him and he could not marry all his life. It has very recently been revealed by ex-RAW chief A S Dulat in his book “Kashmir The Vajpayee Years” that Kashmiri Pandit has remained the backbone of Indian surveillance apparatus in Kashmir. Kashmiri Pandit officers had their input and hand in the preparation of a sedition case against Sheikh Abdullah as well.

My teachers at the Higher Secondary School, College and at the University were Kashmiri Pandits. Men and women of great character and stature. Many close friends were Kashmiri Pandits. They would let me into their homes except their kitchen. It did not bother me. The trusting atmosphere was overwhelming and I did not have time to consider the merits of ‘kitchen’ being a no go area. I felt sorry for their exodus in 1990 and raised the issue of their rights at the UN Human Rights Commission and Sub Commission in Geneva.

I broke ranks with all others and asked Hurriet in January 1996 to say ‘sorry’ to Kashmiri Pandits, for failing to keep their sense of trust and security. As a good human being I was right but times have proved that Kashmiri Pandit has worked hard to malign Kashmiri Muslim in the House of Commons in London, at the UN in Geneva, on the streets of India and throughout the world. Kashmiri Muslims are hunted and hounded all over India and thrashed like banana peel.

Kashmiri Pandits left Kashmiri Muslims, their one time neighbours to the wild lunges of around 700000 and now 900000 Indian soldiers and the blood chilling surveillance apparatus of New Delhi. Muslims are now under curfew from 5th August 2019, locked inside and the only neighbour left is COVID-19.

Kashmir streets are deserted as they were during 1885 earthquake. Only one generation of Kashmiri Pandits has left Kashmir. Muslims have never reconciled with their departure and absence. The sense of glee and emotion is uncontrollable, whenever a Kashmiri Pandit visits his or her home in Kashmir. They are faking insecurity. If Muslims are suspects, Kashmiri Pandits have around 900000 Indian soldiers and a broad spread of surveillance apparatus, to endear them and protect them.

They would not disappear from their homes, would not be slapped with PSA, would not land in detention and torture centres spread all over Kashmir and beyond, would not have to report at the police station, would not languish in jails for years and years and would not suffer more that bites you in the heart. Ramadan has come at a time when the world is experiencing a pain and distress.

However, the pain and distress of a Kashmiri Muslim during Ramadan is very different. Muslims in Kashmir are known for their spiritual glee during Ramadan and how the Kashmiri damsels used to sing in groups at night. The moon would stall its travel to enjoy the human glee pouring out and seen rising high into the sky.

Man, woman, child, sick and old are all locked down. Daily provisions have depleted. Medical supplies are unavailable and badly needed medical intervention is not possible. The soldier sitting outside the house is just given the quota of liquor to fight cold and fatigue. His bacchanalian behaviour puts inmates at risk.

Kashmiri Pandits in high offices in Delhi, all over India and abroad have a duty to look back and see that the air that they breathed and love of Kashmiri mothers and sister that they enjoyed, is without food, without medicine and Indian soldier has been out to disgrace and humiliate them. There are some Kashmiri Pandits like Kapil Kak and Kashmiris like Karan Singh who would not agree to serve as exhibits of hate but serve the habitat and people, with good conscience and sense of duty. Such souls would make a difference.

(The author is President of London based Jammu and Kashmir Council for Human Rights – NGO in Special Consultative Status with the United Nations.)

Hong Kong, Kashmir, Palestine: Ruins of British empire on fire

By Hamid Dabashi

Source

The people of Hong Kong, Kashmir and Palestine have long histories of resistance to oppression.

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A demonstrator stands on a British flag during an anti-Israel rally in Karachi July 21, 2006 [File: Zahid Hussein/Reuters]

Continued mayhem in Palestine, increasing bloodshed in Kashmir, mass protest in Hong Kong – how do we connect these dots? Are they related?

Well, of course: The sun never set on the Union Jack! In the sunset of that empire – as is inevitable for all empires – chaos and turmoil were destined to follow.

“The world is reaping the chaos the British Empire sowed,” Amy Hawkins recently wrote in Foreign Policy, “locals are still paying for the mess the British left behind in Hong Kong and Kashmir.” The author left out Palestine, chief among places around the globe, where the British empire spread discord and enmity to ease its rule and prepare the ground for disaster after its exit.

Indeed, the anticolonial uprisings in the Indian subcontinent, China, the Arab world and elsewhere did not result in freedom or democracy for the nations ruled by the British Empire.

In Kashmir, the British left a bleeding wound amid the partition of colonial India.

In Palestine, they left a European settler colony and called it “Israel” to rule in their stead and torment Palestinians.

In Hong Kong, they left a major cosmopolis that is neither truly an independent entity, nor a part of mainland China.

They picked up their Union Jack and departed, leaving behind a ruinous legacy for decades and generations to bleed. Those consequences are not just historical and buried in the past. They are still unfolding.

When the sun finally set 

Ironically, today the United Kingdom is struggling to hold itself together, as the Brexit debacle tears it apart. One looks at the country and marvels at the poetic justice of wanton cruelty coming back to haunt the former empire.

The UK finds itself face to face with its imperial past, with the Irish and Scottish once again defying English nationalists and their schizophrenic belief in their own exceptionalism. How bizarre, how just, how amazing, how Homeric, is that fate!

We may, in fact, be witness to the final dissolution of the “United” Kingdom in our life-times. But there was a time when, from that very little island, they ruled the world from the Americas in the west to Asia and Australia in the east.

The terror of British imperialism – wreaking havoc on the world not just then but now as well – is the most historically obvious source that unites Hong Kong, Kashmir, and Palestine as well as the many other emblematic sites of colonial and postcolonial calamities we see around us today. But what precisely is the cause of today’s unrests?

In Hong Kong, Kashmir, and Palestine we have the rise of three nations, “baptised” by fire, as it were – three peoples, three collective memories, that have refused to settle for their colonial lot. The harsher they are brutalised, the mightier their collective will to resist power becomes.

Britain took possession of Hong Kong in 1842 after the First Opium War with China. It transformed it into a major trading and military outpost, and insisted on keeping it long after its empire collapsed. In 1997, Britain handed Hong Kong over to China, conceding to the idea of a “one country, two systems” formula that allows for a certain degree of economic autonomy for Hong Kong. But what both China and Britain had neglected to consider was the fact that a nation of almost eight million human beings throughout a long colonial and postcolonial history had accumulated a robust collective memory of its own, which was neither British nor mainland Chinese – it was distinct.

Kashmir came under British influence shortly after Hong Kong – in 1846, after the British East India Company defeated the Sikh Empire that ruled the region at that time. A century later, Kashmir was sucked into the bloody partition of India and Pakistan in the aftermath of the British departure from the subcontinent, with both post-colonial states having a mutually exclusive claim on its territory. Here, too, what India and Pakistan forget is the fact that almost 13 million Kashmiris have had a long history of countless troublesome colonial and postcolonial experiences, making Kashmir fundamentally different from either one of them.

The same is the case with Palestine, which fell under British rule in 1920 after the defeat of the Ottoman Empire in World War I. Before the British packed their colonial possessions and left almost three decades later, they installed a successor settler colony in the form of a Zionist garrison state. Decades of unrelenting struggle against the barbarities of the British and the Zionists have left Palestinians in possession of one of the most courageous and steadfast histories of resistance to colonial domination.

Memories of resistance

In revolting against China, India, and Israel, these three nations in Hong Kong, Kashmir, and Palestine have become three nuclei of resistance, of refusal to let go of their homelands.

They have narrated themselves into a history written by powers who have systematically tried to erase them and their collective memories. “Homeland” is not just a piece of land. It is a memorial presence of a history.

Those memories, corroborated by an entire history of resistance to imperial conquest and colonial occupation have now come back to haunt their tormentors.

China, India, and Israel have to resort to naked and brutish violence to deny the veracity of those defiant memories, now evident as facts on the ground. In doing so, these powers have picked up where the British empire left off.

They too seek to terrorise, divide and rule, but by now those they try to subdue have mastered resistance; their struggle has outlived one imperial oppressor, it can surely survive another.

In other words, no amount of imperial brutality, settler colonialism or historical revisionism can make the distinct identities, memories and histories of these people disappear.

Today people in Palestine, Kashmir, and Hong Kong see themselves as stateless nations ruled with brutish military occupation. In the postcolonial game of state formation, they have been denied their national sovereignty.

The more brutally they are repressed and denied their sovereignty, the more adamantly they will demand and exact it.

Neither China in Hong Kong, nor India in Kashmir, nor Israel in Palestine can have a day of peaceful domination until and unless the defiant nations they rule and abuse achieve and sustain their rightful place in the world.

إيران في المواجهة… تفرض قواعد اشتباك ومعادلات ردع فاعلة

يوليو 23, 2019

العميد د. أمين محمد حطيط

ظنّ الغرب بعد انهيار الاتحاد السوفياتي انّ الساحة الدولية خلت له وأنه أيّ الغرب بشكل عام وأميركا بشكل خاص لهم الحق بأن يقيّدوا العالم بأوامرهم وقوانينهم وبما يفرضونه من قواعد سلوك أو قواعد اشتباك. وتصرّف الغرب بقيادة أميركية بذهنية «الأمر لنا وعلى العالم الطاعة». وبهذا «المنطق الذي يرفضه منطق العدالة والسيادة والاستقلال الوطني»، بهذا المنطق خاضت أميركا وأحلافها القائمة او التي ركبت غبّ الطلب خاضت منذ العام 1990 أربع حروب الكويت أفغانستان – العراق لبنان وألزمت مجلس الأمن إما بتفويضها ابتداء أو بالتسليم لاحقاً بالأمر الواقع الذي أنتجته حروبها العدوانية.

اما إيران التي أطلقت في ظلّ ثورتها الإسلامية نظرية «الاستقلال الفعلي المحصّن بالقوة القادرة على حمايته« فقد تصدّت للمنطق الاستعماري الأميركي ورفضت الخضوع لمقتضياته، وجاهرت برفضها له وتمسّكها بحقها في السيادة والاستقلال الوطني، ليس هذا فقط، بل وأيضاً جاهرت بنصرة القضايا العادلة ومدّ يد العون للمظلومين ضحايا الغزو الاستعماري بوجوهه المتعدّدة والتي يشكل الاستعمار الاحتلالي التهجيري الذي تمارسه «إسرائيل» في فلسطين، الوجه الأبشع والأكثر ظلماً في ممارسات الاستعمار.

ولأنّ إيران رفضت ان تنصاع للاستعمار بأيّ صيغة من صيغ الإذعان التي أعدّها لها فقد اتخذ القرار الغربي بإسقاطها وشنّت عليها الحرب في الأشهر الأولى لنجاح ثورتها وإقامة دولتها الإسلامية… ولما فشلت الحرب في تحقيق أهدافها اعتمد الغرب الاستعماري سياسة الاحتواء والمحاصرة أسلوباً لمواجهتها.

وبالتالي فإنّ إيران الاستقلالية هذه وضعت بين شرّين: شرّ الاستتباع والهيمنة كما هي حال جوارها في دول الخليج، وشرّ التضييق والحصار للتركيع عبر ما يسمّى العقوبات، وبينهما اختارت إيران الشرّ الأدنى لأنها توقن «انّ جوع مع كرامة وسيادة أفضل من عبودية وتبعية مع وعد بالتساهل الاقتصادي». ومع هذا الاختيار حوّلت التحدي الى فرصة استغلتها من أجل تنمية اقتصادها سعياً لتحقيق الاكتفاء الذاتي الممكن.

استطاعت إيران ان تصمد طيلة الأربعين عاماً الماضية الى ان وصلت اليوم لموقع بالغ الحرج والخطورة حيث فرض عليها اختيار جديد، يخيّرها بين التنازل عن حقوقها استجابة لقرار أميركي ينتهك هذه الحقوق، او المواجهة المفتوحة مع ما يمكن ان تتطوّر فيه وصولاً الى الحرب. اختبار بدأه ترامب بالخروج من الاتفاق النووي وأكده موقف أوروبي متخاذل عن حماية هذا الاتفاق.

تدرك إيران انّ الخضوع للرئيس الأميركي ترامب في مطالبه يعني بكلّ بساطة التنكّر للثورة وتغيير طبيعة النظام الاستقلالي والعودة الى مقاعد الدول التي تفرض أميركا هيمنتها عليها، اما المواجهة فإنها مع مخاطرها تختزن آمالاً كبيرة بتحقيق النجاح وتثبيت المواقع الاستقلالية، ولهذا اختارت إيران ان تتمسك بحقوقها واستقلالها وان تعدّ لكلّ احتمال مقتضياته، وهذا القرار هو الأساس الذي تبني عليه إيران كلّ سياستها.

ويبدو انّ أميركا صُدمت بالقرار الإيراني فراحت تهوّل على إيران بالحرب وعملت على تشكيل أحلاف دولية للعدوان عليها بدءاً بـ «حلف الناتو العربي» واجتماع وارسو الذي دعت اليه للتحشيد ضدّ إيران، وصولاً الى فكرة الحلف البحري في الخليج لمحاصرة إيران، ثم شرعت بتحريك ونقل قوات عسكرية الى السعودية للإيحاء بأنّ الخيار العسكري لمواجهة إيران هو خيار جدي وقريب…

كلّ هذا لم يرعب إيران ولم يهزّ ثقتها بنفسها لا بل تعاملت مع المستجدات بموقف أذهل أميركا وحلفاءها حيث كان إسقاط إيران لطائرة التجسّس الأميركية ثم كان احتجازها لباخرة بريطانية انتهكت مقابل الشاطئ الإيراني قواعد الملاحة الدولية ثم كان اعتقال 17 جاسوس أميركي في إيران ومحاكمتهم…

قامت يران بكلّ ذلك في إطار تنفيذ استراتيجية دفاعية تثبت فيها أنها صحيح لا تسعى الى الحرب ولكنها أيضاً لا تتهيّب المواجهة إذا فرضت عليها، ولهذا أعدّت إيران نفسها للدفاع وأطلقت مع حلفائها «استراتيجية الحرب المفتوحة والمواجهة الشاملة على كلّ الجبهات» وحضرت نفسها للأكثر سوءاً. ما جعل أميركا تدرك انّ لعبتها على حافة الفشل والانهيار الأمر الذي جعلها تتراجع قليلاً وتأمر بريطانيا بفعل شيء ما ضدّ إيران فاستجابت ونفذت عملية قرصنة ضدّ باخرة نفط إيرانية كانت تعبر مضيق جبل طارق. وارتكبت بذلك عملاً غير مشروع ومخالف لأحكام القانون الدولي العام بما فيه أحكام الملاحة الدولية ويصنّف بأنه عدوان على إيران بكلّ المعايير.

تصوّرت أميركا وبريطانيا أنهما ستلويان ذراع إيران وتجبرانها على وقف تصدير نفطها، لكن الردّ الإيراني جاء معاكساً للتوقع الانكلوسكسوني، ردّ حصل على وفقاً لمبدأ «السن بالسن والعين بالعين والبادئ أظلم«، وترجم باحتجاز الباخرة البريطانية التي كاث تعبر مضيق هرمز.

انّ احتجاز إيران للباخرة البريطانية بعد أيام من إسقاط طائرة التجسّس الأميركية فوق النطاق الإقليمي الإيراني يشكل خطوة نوعيه في المواجهة من شأنها ان تفرض إيقاعها على الكثير من العلاقات الدولية التي يكون الغرب طرفاً فيها. وفيها من الدلالات فوق ما كان يتوقع او يتخيّل أحد من ساسة الغرب عامة وأميركا وبريطانيا خاصة دلالات يمكن ذكر بعضها كالتالي:

1 ـ رسم الفعل الإيراني قواعد اشتباك جديدة في العلاقة مع الخصوم والأعداء، قواعد قائمة على «الردّ المناسب في الوقت المناسب وبالطريقة المناسبة»، ينفذ تطبيقاً لقاعدة أساسية في قانون الحرب هي «قاعدة التناسب والضرورة». فإيران وفقاً لهذا المبدأ لا تعتدي ولا تبادر الى عمل ميداني إنْ لم يكن مسبوقاً بعدوان عليها، كما انّ إيران لن تسكت عن أيّ عدوان يستهدفها.

2 ـ أسقطت إيران الهيبة الأميركية والبريطانية وهذا أمر بالغ الخطورة بالنسبة لاثنتين من مجموعة المنتصرين في الحرب العالمية الثانية. وأكدت أنها لا تخشى ما هم عليه من قوّة، وبأن عليهم اعتماد الحسابات الدقيقة في مواجهتها وإلا كانت الخسارة المؤكدة.

3 ـ أكدت إيران انها عصية على الحرب النفسية وأنها واثقة من قدراتها الدفاعية الذاتية وإنها أيضاً مطمئنة لتحالفاتها الإقليمية والدولية. وأنها لا تتهيّب مواجهة عسكرية مع انها لا تسعى اليها.

4 ـ أكدت إيران احترامها للقانون الدولي وفقاً للتفسير الموضوعي الصحيح، وترفض أيّ تفسير منحرف وعدواني على حقوق الغير.

5 ـ أرست إيران معادلة ردع متبادل فاعل في مواجهة الخارج عامة وأميركا ومن يتبعها خاصة، معادلة جديدة تقوم مكان مبدأ الردع الأحادي الذي تفرضه أميركا في العالم وتمنع أحداً من الدول من مواجهتها حتى ولو كانت المواجهة دفاعاً عن النفس.

انّ مفاعيل ما تقوم به إيران يتعدّى إطار العلاقة البينية مع أميركا وبريطانيا ويتمدّد ليصبغ العلاقات الدولية كلها وليفرض نمطاً جديداً فيها قائماً على الثقة بالنفس وكسر قيود الهيبة الغربية التي بها فرض الاستعمار إرادته وبها أخضعت الدول وبها سرقت أموال الشعوب وحقوقهم، وعندما تكسر الهيبة تلك ستخلع أنياب الغرب وسيظهر مدى عجز دوله عسكرياً عن القبض على قرارات الشعوب والدول. وعندها سيفتح الطريق واسعاً أمام من يريد الحرية الحقيقية والاستقلال الفعلي الناجز والتمتع الكامل بثرواته.

وبكلمة أخرى نقول انّ إيران اليوم ترسم مشهداً دولياً استراتيجياً هاماً يتعدّى القول بمعادلة الطائرة بالطائرة والباخرة بالباخرة وهي تواجه معسكر الاستعمار بالأصالة عن نفسها والنيابة عن أحرار العالم ومظلوميه، وهنا تكمن أهمية المواجهة التي ستكشف انّ الخوف من الغرب كان قائماً على وهم وخيال أكثر منه على حقيقة وواقع، فالغرب لا يملك الجيوش التي تمكّنه من السيطرة على الكرة الأرضية لكن ضعف الآخر وعدم أخلاقية الغرب مكّنه من السيطرة، والآن تقوم إيران بكسر هذه الهيبة وتشجع الآخرين على المواجهة بعد الإعداد الصحيح لها وامتلاك الثقة بالنفس… وليعلم الجميع انّ الغرب سيحجم عن الحرب عندما يلمس انّ الآخر مستعدّ لها وقادر على خوضها… كما هي حال إيران ومحور المقاومة اليوم… وبهذا نفهم ما قاله بومبيو لبريطانيا «احموا سفنكم بأنفسكم فلسنا مستعدّين للحرب مع إيران».

أستاذ جامعي ـ باحث استراتيجي

Idiots Driving World to War

A view of the Grace 1 super tanker in the British territory of Gibraltar, Thursday, July 4, 2019
Finian Cunningham
10620

Like a person going up in an escalator while asserting they are going down, the British foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt has a bizarre way of trying to assure Iran that war is not on the cards.

Hunt, who is vying to become Britain’s new prime minister, stated on camera that “he wants to de-escalate” the danger of a military confrontation with Iran over mounting tensions in the Persian Gulf.

That was only days after he vowed to dramatically increase Britain’s military spending and in particular, boost the country’s naval firepower  – citing Iran as the main threat to British commercial shipping interests.

It also follows news that London has ordered a second warship to patrol the Persian Gulf. Earlier this week a British Royal Navy frigate reportedly challenged Iranian military vessels (three small boats) after they allegedly tried to impede a British oil tanker entering the narrow Strait of Hormuz. Iran vehemently denied any such interference by its boats and claimed that Britain and the US were engaging in a provocation.

Given that the Pentagon has announced plans to send an international coalition of warships to the Gulf “over the next two weeks”, under the guise of protecting commercial shipping from alleged Iranian threats, it must certainly look to Iran like the “war escalator” is speeding upwards.

Hunt has previously asserted that British forces would join in any American military attack on Iran. The resonance of past Anglo-American skullduggery against Iran is no doubt palpable to most Iranians.

There seems little doubt that Hunt is playing the “hard military man” card in his grubby contest with Boris Johnson to become the next prime minister. Conservative Party members are due to vote later this month on who is to replace the hapless Theresa May.

Bumbling Boris is the favourite to win the party race. But Hunt is making a last-gasp bid to rally the rank-and-file with seeming credentials of being a “tough leader”.

This week he wrote in a newspaper oped: “As the son of a naval officer, I know a little of the sacrifices of these individuals and of their families back home.”

He then promised that, if elected prime minister, he would ramp up military spending by 25 per cent, or by £15 billion, over the next five years. He claimed the tensions in the Gulf with Iran are “proof” that Britain needs to overhaul its maritime forces.

That exorbitant indulgence of military spending will likely wreak havoc on public services and prolong years of economic austerity on ordinary Britons. But such is the ambition of Hunt to get into 10 Downing Street, it’s a devastating price he seems willing to make British citizens pay.

However, more damning is Hunt’s reckless gamble from inflaming tensions with Iran. Sending more naval forces to the Gulf at a time of knife-edge fears about a war breaking out is ludicrous, if not criminally irresponsible.

Over the past two months, there have already been numerous incidents of alleged sabotage on shipping in the strategically important Gulf which the US has blamed on Iran. An American spy drone was shot down on June 20 by the Iranians after it allegedly violated Iran’s airspace. That incident nearly resulted in, reportedly, Trump ordering airstrikes.

The seizure last week by British commandoes of an Iranian oil tanker off Gibraltar has added to fraught nerves in the region. More so because Tehran contends that seizure to be an illegal “act of piracy” orchestrated by Washington and London. The refusal by Britain to release the cargo of two million barrels of oil – based on dubious claims of enforcing EU sanctions against Syria – would also seem to be a calculated insult to provoke Iran.

From Iran’s point of view, the British are permitted to hijack oil ships, but whenever its patrol boats even as much as approach a British tanker near its territorial waters, then London and Washington are crying “foul”. The flagrant hypocrisy is in itself another provocative goading.

Let’s be clear: the Buffoonish Boris Johnson would be equally as deplorable as the Silly Hunt. Both of them are unscrupulous sycophants to America’s President Trump and his crazed warmongering towards Iran.

Russia has warned that the escalating tensions in the Gulf could spark a catastrophic war. Potentially a war in the tinderbox region could lead to World War III.

Lamentably, Britain’s shambolic politics and its venal politicians are playing with fire in their pathetic plans for personal self-aggrandizement of power.

Hunt’s double-think posturing of “escalating to de-escalate” is a sure sign that this Tory toff should not be heading to Downing Street, but rather to a padded cell. Johnson could also qualify for a cell next door.

The backdrop to resolving the current madness for endangering global peace seems blindingly obvious. Washington needs to abide by the 2015 international nuclear treaty with Iran, lift the sanctions crushing the Iranian economy, and remove all warships from the Persian Gulf.

As Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said this week, there would be no need for the US or Britain to “protect shipping” in the Gulf if these two states simply respected international law and norms of diplomacy.

It is insane and gut-wrenchingly tragic that world peace is being jeopardized by idiots like Hunt, Johnson and their puppet master in Washington. The only long-term solution is for the whole rotten political class in Britain, and the US, to be thrown out by popular revolt.

Views and opinions expressed in the article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

The West’s Trumped-Up Hatred of Iran Serves The Zionist Dream of a Greater Israel Dominating the Middle East

By Stuart Littlewood
Source

Iran Quds 7447c

There’s no doubt about it. We’re at the height of the Silly Season.

First we have Boris ‘I-am-a-passionate-Zionist’ Johnson, the hot favourite to become the UK’s prime minister. His biographer Sonia Purnell, who worked alongside  Johnson as a journalist, writes in the Sunday Times that he’s “temperamentally unsuitable to be trusted with any position of power, let alone the highest office of all, in charge of the UK and its nuclear codes”. She talks of his terrible mood swings “triggered by the slightest challenge to his entitlement or self-worth” and says he has “the fiercest and most uncontrollable anger” she has ever seen. This confirms what many of us feared. And we wonder how those who mix with him in the parliamentary party could possibly back him for top leadership.

Ian Birrell in the ‘i‘ discusses his lack of discipline – turning up to Cabinet dishevelled, unprepared and cluching the wrong papers, and his notoriously poor grasp of detail. “It is strange that anyone might see this bumbling and toxic buffoon as the person to lead a divided Britain amid delicate negotiations.”

Then we have the unhinged “cocked and loaded” Trump, bristling with aggression. Nobody is taken in by his claim that, having ordered military strikes against Iran’s radar and missile batteries in retaliation for their shootdown of a US spy drone, he changed his mind with only minutes to spare on account of a reminder that this lunacy might actually cost human lives.

It makes no difference if the US drone was 20 miles outside Iran or 4 miles inside. Iran presented GPS coordinates showing it was eight miles from the coast, which is inside the 12 nautical miles considered to be Iran’s territorial waters under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea. The drone obviously represented a military threat and a provocation, and the US has no lawful claim of self-defense that would justify a military attack.  Iran has the right to ask identification from any aircraft flying this near its territory and Iran’s ambassador to the United Nations is reported to have written to the Security Council that the drone failed to respond to several radio warnings before it was downed.

Any US attack on Iran in these circumstances could be a violation of the United Nations Charter, which only allows the use of military force in self-defense after an armed attack or with Security Council approval.

Let’s remind ourselves of earlier US aggression and dishonesty during the Iran-Iraq war, as recorded in Wikipedia:

In the course of escorts by the US Navy, the cruiser USS Vincennes shot down Iran Air Flight 655 on 3 July 1988, killing all 290 passengers and crew on board. The American government claimed that Vincennes was in international waters at the time (which was later proven to be untrue), that the Airbus A300 had been mistaken for an Iranian F-14 Tomcat, and that Vincennes feared that she was under attack. The Iranians maintain that Vincennes was in their own waters, and that the passenger jet was turning away and increasing altitude after take-off. US Admiral William J. Crowe later admitted on Nightline that Vincennes was in Iranian territorial waters when it launched the missiles. At the time of the attack, Admiral Crowe claimed that the Iranian plane did not identify itself and sent no response to warning signals he had sent. In 1996, the United States expressed their regret for the event and the civilian deaths it caused.

Trump now wants to impose further crippling sanctions on Iran and her people while the UK’s Foreign Office minister Andrew Murrison has just been to Tehran calling for “urgent de-escalation” and cheekily criticising Iran’s “regional conduct” and its threat to stop complying with the nuclear deal, which the US recklessly abandoned but the UK remains committed to.

Good news about Murrison, though. A medical man, he voted against the Iraq war but as a Navy reservist was called up to do a 6 month tour of duty there. Perhaps Murrison should go see Trump and ask:

  • Why is he not more concerned about Israel’s nuclear arsenal and the mental state of the Israeli regime, which are the real threat to the region and beyond?
  • Why isn’t he slapping sanctions on Israel for its refusal to sign up to the NPT or engage constructively on the issue of its nuclear and other WMD programmes, not to mention its repeated defiance of international and humanitarian laws in the Holy Land?

Trump meanwhile has signed an executive order targeting Iran’s leadership with hard-hitting new sanctions supposedly needed to deny their development of nuclear weapons. “Never can Iran have a nuclear weapon,” Trump has decreed. He added: “We will continue to increase pressure on Tehran until the regime abandons its dangerous activities and its aspirations, including the pursuit of nuclear weapons, increased enrichment of uranium, development of ballistic missiles, engagement and support for terrorism, fuelling of foreign conflicts and belligerent acts….” Achingly funny. Who else could all that apply to, I wonder? Exactly. The Bully-Boy-in-chief himself and his best buddies in Tel Aviv.

Sowing the seeds of hatred

We have conveniently short memories when it comes to our abominable conduct towards the Iranians in 1951-53 when a previous Conservative government, in cahoots with the USA, snuffed out Iran’s fledgling democracy and reinstated a cruel dictator, the Shah. This eventually brought about the Islamic Revolution of 1979 and created the deep distrust between Iran and the West. Is it not shameful that the present Conservative government is spoiling for another fight? Shouldn’t the Foreign Office now focus on exerting influence through trade and co-operation?

The Iranian regime, like many others, may not be entirely to our liking but nor was Dr Mossadeq’s democracy 65 years ago. Besides, what threat is Iran to Britain? And why are we allowing ourselves to be driven by America’s mindless hatred?

When new recruits join British Petroleum (BP) they are fed romantic tales about how the company came into being. William Knox D’Arcy, a Devon man, studied law and made a fortune from the Mount Morgan gold-mining operations in 1880s Australia. Returning to England he agreed to fund a search for oil and minerals in Persia and began negotiations with the Mozaffar al-Din Shah Qajar in 1901. A sixty year concession gave D’Arcy the oil rights to the entire country except for five provinces in the north. The Persian government would receive 16% of the oil company’s annual profits.

Mozzafar ad-Din was naive in business matters and unprepared for kingship when the time came. He borrowed heavily from the Russians and in order to pay off the debt he signed away control of many Persian industries and markets to foreigners. The deal D’Arcy cut was too sharp by far and would eventually lead to trouble.

He sent an exploration team headed by geologist George B Reynolds. In 1903 a company was formed and D’Arcy had to spend much of his fortune to cover the costs. Further financial support came from Glasgow-based Burmah Oil in return for a large share of the stock.

Drilling in southern Persia at Shardin continued until 1907 when the search was switched to Masjid-i-Souleiman. By 1908 D’Arcy was almost bankrupt. Reynolds received a last-chance instruction: “Drill to 1,600 feet and give up”. On 26 May at 1,180 feet he struck oil.

It was indeed a triumph of guts and determination. The Anglo-Persian Oil Company was soon up and running and in 1911 completed a pipeline from the oilfield to its new refinery at Abadan. But the company was in trouble again by 1914.  The golden age of motoring hadn’t yet arrived and the industrial oil markets were sewn up by American and European interests. The sulphurous stench of the Persian oil, even after refining, ruled it out for domestic use, so D’Arcy had a marketing problem.

Luckily Winston Churchill, then First Lord of the Admiralty, was an enthusiast for oil and wanted to convert the British fleet from coal especially now that a reliable oil source was secured. He famously told Parliament: “Look out upon the wide expanse of the oil regions of the world!” Only the British-owned Anglo-Persian Oil Company, he said, could protect British interests. His resolution passed and the British Government took a major shareholding in the company just in time, for World War One began a few weeks later.

During the war the British government seized the assets of a German company calling itself British Petroleum for the purpose of marketing its products in Britain. Anglo-Persian acquired the assets from the Public Trustee complete with a ready-made distribution network and an abundance of depots, railway tank wagons, road vehicles, barges and so forth. This enabled Anglo-Persian to rapidly expand sales in petroleum-hungry Britain and Europe after the war.

In the inter-war years Anglo-Persian profited handsomely from paying the Iranians a miserly 16%, and an increasingly angry Persia tried to renegotiate terms. Getting nowhere, they cancelled the D’Arcy agreement and the matter ended up at the Court of International Justice at The Hague. A new agreement in 1933 provided Anglo-Persian with a fresh 60-year concession but on a smaller area. The terms were an improvement for the Persians but still didn’t amount to a square deal.

In 1935 Iran formally replaced Persia as the country’s official name internationally and Anglo-Persian changed to Anglo-Iranian Oil Company. By 1950 Abadan was the biggest oil refinery in the world and Britain, with its 51% holding, had affectively colonised part of southern Iran.

Iran’s small share of the profits became a big issue and so did the treatment of its oil workers. 6,000 withdrew their labour in 1946 and the strike was violently put down with 200 dead or injured. In 1951 Anglo-Iranian declared £40 million profit after tax but handed Iran only £7 million. Meanwhile Arabian American Oil was sharing profits with the Saudis on a 50/50 basis. Calls for nationalisation were mounting.

As a result of the Persian Constitutional Revolution the first Majlis (parliament) was established in 1906 and the country became a constitutional monarchy with high hopes. By mid-century Iran not unreasonably wanted economic and political independence and an end to poverty. In March 1951 its Majlis and Senate voted to nationalise Anglo-Iranian, which had controlled Iran’s oil industry since 1913 under terms disadvantageous to Iran. Respected social reformer Dr Mohammad Mossadeq was named prime minister the following month by a 79 to 12 majority. On 1 May Mossadeq carried out his government’s wishes, cancelling Anglo-Iranian’s oil concession due to expire in 1993 and expropriating its assets.

His explanation, given in a speech in June 1951 (M. Fateh, Panjah Sal-e Naft-e Iran, p. 525), ran as follows…

“Our long years of negotiations with foreign countries… have yielded no results this far. With the oil revenues we could meet our entire budget and combat poverty, disease, and backwardness among our people. Another important consideration is that by the elimination of the power of the British company, we would also eliminate corruption and intrigue, by means of which the internal affairs of our country have been influenced. Once this tutelage has ceased, Iran will have achieved its economic and political independence.

“The Iranian state prefers to take over the production of petroleum itself. The company should do nothing else but return its property to the rightful owners. The nationalization law provides that 25% of the net profits on oil be set aside to meet all the legitimate claims of the company for compensation…It has been asserted abroad that Iran intends to expel the foreign oil experts from the country and then shut down oil installations. Not only is this allegation absurd; it is utter invention…”

For this he would eventually be removed in a coup by MI5 and the CIA, imprisoned for 3 years then put under house arrest until his death.

Britain, with regime change in mind, orchestrated a world-wide boycott of Iranian oil, froze Iran’s sterling assets and threatened legal action against anyone purchasing oil produced in the formerly British-controlled refineries. It even considered invading. The Iranian economy was soon in ruins…. sounds familiar, doesn’t it? Attempts by the Shah to replace Mossadeq failed and he returned with more power, but his coalition was slowly crumbling under the hardships imposed by the British blockade.

At first America was reluctant to join Britain’s destructive game but Churchill let it be known that Mossadeq was turning communist and pushing Iran into Russia’s arms at a time when Cold War anxiety was high. It was enough to bring America’s new president, Eisenhower, on board and plotting with Britain to bring Mossadeq down.

Chief of the CIA’s Near East and Africa division, Kermit Roosevelt Jr, arrived to play the leading role in an ugly game of provocation, mayhem and deception. An elaborate campaign of disinformation began, and the Shah signed two decrees, one dismissing Mossadeq and the other nominating the CIA’s choice, General Fazlollah Zahedi, as prime minister. These decrees were written as dictated by Donald Wilbur the CIA architect of the plan

The Shah fled to Rome. When it was judged safe to do so he returned on 22 August 1953. Mossadeq was arrested, tried, and convicted of treason by the Shah’s military court. He remarked

“My greatest sin is that I nationalised Iran’s oil industry and discarded the system of political and economic exploitation by the world’s greatest empire… With God’s blessing and the will of the people, I fought this savage and dreadful system of international espionage and colonialism.

“I am well aware that my fate must serve as an example in the future throughout the Middle East in breaking the chains of slavery and servitude to colonial interests.”

His supporters were rounded up, imprisoned, tortured or executed. Zahedi’s new government soon reached an agreement with foreign oil companies to form a consortium to restore the flow of Iranian oil, awarding the US and Great Britain the lion’s share – 40% going to Anglo-Iranian. The consortium agreed to split profits on a 50-50 basis with Iran but, tricky as ever, refused to open its books to Iranian auditors or allow Iranians to sit on the board.

A grateful US massively funded the Shah’s government, including his army and secret police force, SAVAK. Anglo-Iranian changed its name to British Petroleum in 1954. Mossadeq died on 5 March 1967.

Apologise? Hell no… Let’s demonise Iran!

But the West’s fun came to an abrupt halt with the Islamic Revolution of 1979 and a great British enterprise that started heroically and turned nasty ended in tears.

The US is still hated today for reimposing the Shah and his thugs and demolishing the Iranians’ democratic system of government, which the Revolution unfortunately didn’t restore. The US is widely known by Iranians as Big Satan and its regional handmaiden Israel rejoices in the name Little Satan. Britain, as the instigator and junior partner in the sordid affair, is similarly despised.

Moreover, Iran harbours great resentment at the way the West, especially the US, helped Iraq develop its armed forces and chemical weapons arsenal, and how the international community failed to punish Iraq for its use of those weapons against Iran in the Iran-Iraq war. The US, and eventually Britain, leaned strongly towards Saddam in that conflict and the alliance enabled Saddam to more easily acquire or develop forbidden chemical and biological weapons. At least 100,000 Iranians fell victim to them.

This is how John King writing in 2003 summed it up…

“The United States used methods both legal and illegal to help build Saddam’s army into the most powerful army in the Mideast outside of Israel. The US supplied chemical and biological agents and technology to Iraq when it knew Iraq was using chemical weapons against the Iranians. The US supplied the materials and technology for these weapons of mass destruction to Iraq at a time when it was know that Saddam was using this technology to kill his Kurdish citizens. The United States supplied intelligence and battle planning information to Iraq when those battle plans included the use of cyanide, mustard gas and nerve agents. The United States blocked UN censure of Iraq’s use of chemical weapons. The United States did not act alone in this effort. The Soviet Union was the largest weapons supplier, but England, France and Germany were also involved in the shipment of arms and technology.”

While Iranian casualties were at their highest as a result of US chemical and biological war crimes Trump was busy acquiring the Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Trump Castle, his Taj-Mahal casino, the Plaza Hotel in Manhattan and was refitting his super-yacht Trump Princess. What does he know, understand or care about Iran?

On the British side Foreign Secretary Jaremy Hunt was messing about at Oxford University; and the front-runner to fill our Prime Minister vacancy, Boris Johnson, former Foreign Secretary, was similarly at Oxford carousing with fellow Old Etonians at the Bullingdon Club. What do they know or care?

Which brings us to today… Why are we hearing nonstop sabre-rattling against Iran when we should be extending the hand of reconciliation and friendship? And why are these clueless leaders demonising Iran instead of righting the wrongs? Because the political establishment is still smarting. And they are the new-generation imperialists, the political spawn of those Dr Mossadeq and many others struggled against. They haven’t learned from the past, and they won’t lift their eyes to a better future.

It’s so depressing.

Economic sanctions: are they moral, or even legal?

The US and UK have led the charge on oil sanctions and other measures to make life hell for Iranians. But are they on safe legal ground?

The International Association of Democratic Lawyers (IADL) in a statement on 26 November 2011, said they were deeply concerned about the threats against Iran by Israel, the United States, and the United Kingdom. Referring to a report by the International Atomic Energy Agency, IADL stated that those threats were unacceptable and dangerous not only for all the region but for the whole of humanity, and that Article 2.4 of the UN Charter forbids not only use of force but also the threat of force in international relations. The right of defence does not include pre-emptive strikes.

The IADL also pointed out that while Israel was quick to denounce the possible possession of nuclear weapons by others, it had illegally possessed nuclear weapons for many years. The danger to world peace was so great as to require the global eradication of all nuclear weapons, and to immediately declare the Middle East a nuclear free zone and a zone free of all weapons of mass destruction, as required by UN Security Council resolution 687.

Furthermore, Article 33 states that “the parties to any dispute, the continuance of which is likely to endanger the maintenance of international peace and security, shall, first of all, seek a solution by negotiation, enquiry, mediation, conciliation, arbitration, judicial settlement, resort to regional agencies or arrangements, or other peaceful means…” Economic ‘terror’ tactics such as the vicious sanctions deployed by the US, UK and their allies – and the similar measures used by Britain and America in the 1950s to bring down the government of Dr Mossadeq and reinstate the Shah – are simply not part of the approved toolkit.

Remember the context

UN Security Council resolution 487 of 1981 called on Israel “urgently to place its nuclear facilities under IAEA safeguards”. Israel has been allowed to ignore it for nearly 40 years. In 2009, the IAEA called on Israel to join the Non-Proliferation Treaty, open its nuclear facilities to inspection and place them under comprehensive IAEA safeguards. Israel still refuses to join or allow inspections.

The Zionist regime is reckoned by some to have up to 400 nuclear warheads at its disposal. It is the only state in the region that is not a party to the Non-Proliferation Treaty (Iran is). It has signed but not ratified the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty. As regards biological and chemical weapons, Israel has not signed the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention. It has signed but not ratified the Chemical Weapons Convention.

In early 2012 the US intelligence community was saying that Iran hadn’t got an active nuclear weapons programme, and Israeli intelligence agreed. The Director of the National Intelligence Agency, James Clapper, reported: “We assess Iran is keeping open the option to develop nuclear weapons… We do not know, however, if Iran will eventually decide to build nuclear weapons…”

So the continual focus on Iran has been a deliberate distraction. We repaid Iranian co-operation in D’Arcy’s oil venture with corporate greed and diplomatic double-cross. America and Britain are still smarting from the time when Iran democratically elected Dr. Mossadeq, who sensibly nationalized her vast oil resources. Up till then the grasping British were raking in far more profit from Iranian oil than the Iranians themselves.

Back in the 1920s the US State Department had described the oil deposits in the Middle East as “a stupendous source of strategic power, and one of the greatest material prizes in world history”. Ever since, its designs on Iraq and Iran have been plain to see and it is still ready to pounce on every opportunity.

When the CIA-engineered coup toppled Dr. Mossadeq, reinstated the Shah and his secret police, and let the American oil companies in, it was the final straw for the Iranians. The British-American conspiracy backfired spectacularly 25 years later with the Islamic Revolution of 1978-9, the humiliating 444-day hostage crisis in the American embassy and a tragically botched rescue mission. What should have been a sharp lesson for Western meddlers became a festering sore.

The quest for the energy prize is not over. But it is no longer just about oil. Zionist stooges in controlling positions in the West’s corridors of power are pledged to ensure Israel remains the only nuclear power in the Middle East and continues to dominate the region militarily. And they are willing to spill Christian blood and spend Christian treasure in that cause.

US National Security Adviser John Bolton, recipient of the Defender of Israel Award last year and the Guardian of Zion Award the year before, is one such super-stooge. His stupefying remark: “No-one has granted Iran a hunting licence in the Middle East” typifies the arrogance of his ilk.

Julian Assange’s Blood Will be on The Hands of The Smug Elite — Eurasia Future

There is now a very grave danger that Julian Assange’s life is in imminent danger. This time the most proximate threat is not that of the hangman but of an unknown illness that according to reports has rendered Assange unable to even hold a conservation with his lawyers. At today’s […] The post Julian Assange’s…

via Julian Assange’s Blood Will be on The Hands of The Smug Elite — Eurasia Future

The Myth of the Sin the Mahatma Would Not Commit – Chapter 1

See Behind The Veil

The Prelude

Seven decades after the blood-spattered creation of a nation-state in South Asia, named ‘Pakistan’ in a 1933 pamphlet ‘Now or Never – Are we to live or perish forever?’ by Chaudhry Rahmat Ali (a Cambridge Graduate & Muslim activist of British India), namely for political and intellectual reasons the conception of this ‘Land of the Pure’ remains an enigmatic controversy attracting continued discourse both in liberal and conservative scholarship.

Broadly speaking most modern scholars, foreign and native, appear to permit preconceived notions, born of Western Rationalism and Liberalism, to combine with a fractured understanding of Islam’s vision and the evolution of Jinnah’s person, as they expound the causes of the creation of Pakistan.  Perceptions, primarily rooted in the modern-day concept of Free-thought, coupled with the nowadays in vogue passion for novelty of argument, further contribute to the invention of rather weak albeit fancy intellectual interpretations of…

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The British History of Terrorism in Palestine

Palestinian detainees in the Old City of AlQuds, during the British Occupation. Credit: Fox Photos, via Getty Images.

By Marwa Osman

Britain declared this past week that it intends to add the Lebanese political bloc Hezbollah ‘in its entirety’ to list of banned ‘terrorist’ organizations and to ban membership of or support for Hezbollah’s political wing. It was not surprising given the full-time lobbying that ‘Israel’ pushes into the UK Parliament. However, given the history of Hezbollah, a force of liberation and resistance against the occupation of the Zionist ‘Israeli’ entity and its big role in fighting off and eliminating takfiri terrorists in Lebanon and Syria, one has to stop and raise her/his voice in the face of Britain’s hypocrisy.

The hypocrisy of UK’s politicians does not manifest itself only when it comes to pointing fingers at the region’s only force that has ever defied and crushed ‘Israeli’ aggressions, yet it simultaneously turns a deliberate blind eye to the history of colonial Britain that is nothing short of terrorizing due to the warmongering foreign policy of the UK in support of Zionism.

One can easily make a massive collection of the UK’s historic atrocities committed with contemplation and determination to weaken and subordinate the natives within Britain’s colonies. Being an Arab from what the UK assigned “The Middle East” when it really is west Asia, the biggest atrocity I see committed by Britain in my region is its role in the illegal creation of Zionist ‘Israel’ on stolen Arab Palestinian land.

The British role in Stealing Palestine

The Balfour declaration was the moment that it became British state policy to support the creation of a “Jewish homeland” in Palestine. A hundred years ago, British Foreign Secretary Arthur Balfour wrote what was to some the Magna Carta of Zionism. To the Arabs, who ended up being violently dispossessed, it was a calamitous promise. As the British author Arthur Koestler famously put it, “One nation solemnly promised to a second nation the country of a third.” It was an early and foundational contribution from Britain to the world’s most intractable war still ongoing since 1948. However, the British role in terrorizing, stealing and colonizing Palestine started way before that.

In 1917, the British colonial forces entered Palestine, and by 1918, the Ottoman rule over Palestine was ended following the defeat of its forces in WWI at the Battle of Megiddo in September 1918. Under the ‘Sykes-Picot Agreement of 1916’, it was envisioned that most of Palestine, after ending the Ottoman control over it, would become an international zone not under direct French or British colonial control. However, after the war, Palestine was occupied by the British Military from 1917 until 1920.

During the period Palestine was under British occupation, the Zionists were putting pressure on the British Government to facilitate the establishment of a ‘Jewish Homeland’ on the land of Palestine. On the 2nd of November 1917, the British responded to the Zionist demands through what became to be known as the ‘Balfour Declaration’. Arthur Balfour, the British Foreign Secretary at the time, handed a letter to Lord Rothschild (a leader of the British Jewish community) for transmission to the Zionist Federation (a private Zionist organization). The letter declared the support of the British King’s Government to the Zionists’ plans of establishing a Jewish ‘national home’ in Palestine, as if Palestine is part of British land.

All this was established at the hands of the warmongering psychopath of all time, Winston Churchill. Churchill’s own efforts to help establish a “Jewish national home” for the sons of Zion in Palestine were at their most intense throughout 1921 and 1922 when, as Colonial Secretary, he was directly responsible for the evolution of British policy in the Middle East.

Since that date, Jewish immigration to Palestine, which started around 1882, increased rapidly. Conflicts erupted between the new Jewish settlers and the local Palestinian people, each fought for their survival. The Palestinian people rebelled against the British Mandate and its policies of settling foreigners on their land; meanwhile, the Jewish illegal colonial gangs continued to carry attacks on the Palestinian people as well as on the British mandate forces. So, the United Nations on the 29th November 1947 agreed upon a ‘Partition Plan of Palestine’, which would divide Palestine into two independent States; one for the Jews and another for the Palestinians, while keeping Jerusalem under international administration, by declaring it a ‘Corpus Separatum’. However, the plan was never implemented.

Churchill, the British terrorist regarded the Arab population in Palestine to be a “lower manifestation”, declaring that the “dog in a manger has the final right to the manger”, by this he meant the Arabs of Palestine. In 1921, as he stood in the Palestinian city of AlQuds, Churchill told Palestinian leaders “it is manifestly right that the Jews, who are scattered all over the world, should have a national center and a National Home where some of them may be reunited. And where else could that be but in this land of Palestine, with which for more than 3,000 years they have been intimately and profoundly associated?” He blatantly stood on a foreign land and demanded its people to give it away willingly to a third party. His demands were not very subtle and diplomatic you see, they were done with guns pointed to heads of Palestinian natives.

Obviously, the Palestinian Arabs refused to accept, and in London on 22 August 1921, they once more urged Churchill to bring a complete halt to Jewish immigration. Churchill rejected this appeal, telling the Arabs: “The Jews have a far more difficult task than you. You have only to enjoy your own possession; but they have to try to create out of the wilderness, out of the barren places, a livelihood for the people they bring in… they were in Palestine many hundreds of years ago. They have always tried to be there. They have done a great deal for the country. They have started many thriving colonies and many of them wish to go and live there. It is to them a sacred place.” As if to the Palestinian natives it is a place that they can just give up, because someone else who came from hundreds of miles away claims that Palestine is his, by religious right. You still find people in the west who read this last statement and actually agree with it, until you ask them how they would feel if Arabs decided to come back to Spain’s southern coast of Andalusia and claim it is sacred to them and start a one race/one religion state for them there. When you hear their deafening silence you understand that they know how wrong and illegal the creation of Zionist ‘Israel’ was, yet they don’t dare declare that in fear of being stigmatized as anti-Semitics, disregarding the fact that native Palestinians are the real Semites in this story and not the illegal European colonial settlers.

Churchill stuck to his Zionist policy later in 1937, at the Palestine Royal Commission (Peel), where he stated that he believed in intention of the Balfour Declaration was to make Palestine an “overwhelmingly Jewish state”. On 19 May 1941, in a secret memorandum, he wrote of his hope for the establishment after the war of a “Jewish State of Western Palestine” with not only the fullest rights for immigration and development, but also with provision “for expansion in the desert regions to the southwards which they would gradually reclaim.” Even after the great theft of Palestine, Churchill was still promising the illegal Zionist settlers more free land for them to grab to the south of Palestine, meaning in both Egypt and the Arabian Peninsula.

Rigid Partnership to Terrorize Arabs

Even now, more than 100 years later, the British political, military and intelligence support for ‘Israel’ facilitates the ‘Israeli’ aggression be it against Palestine, Lebanon or Syria. In 2018, the UK pledged to increase “trade and investment” between the two countries, which already stands at a record 9 billion dollars as ‘Israel’ continues to murder Palestinian natives on a daily basis. Yet, one cannot find a single article in the British “mainstream” media noting the depth of supportive UK policies towards ‘Israel’ since the late 1890s to date.

In 2016 and 2017, the UK sold 512 million dollars’ worth of military goods to ‘Israel’, including components for combat aircraft, tanks, drones and military communications and approved export licenses for 34 types of military-related equipment. No one seems to ask; for what? Or more practically; to kill whom?

The UK wants to ban Hezbollah for being a force of resistance to the continuous ‘Israeli’ occupation and aggressions while at the same fills up the tanks of the most aggressive entity in west Asia, expecting the natives in that region to sit and watch instead of prepare to defend themselves.

The UK’s military relationship with Zionist ‘Israel’ is extensive, covering areas such as naval cooperation and the provision of components for ‘Israeli’ nuclear-armed submarines. However, the UK chooses to brand Hezbollah as a terrorist group, all while ‘Israel’ has nuclear-armed submarines without being a signatory of the Nuclear Proliferation treaty. The British government revealed in 2018 that it was providing military training to ‘Israel.’ This followed news in 2016 that British military pilots were due to be trained by a company owned by ‘Israeli’ arms firm Elbit Systems. Training is longstanding: in 2011, it was revealed that British soldiers were being trained in ‘Israel’ in the use of drones that had been “field-tested on Palestinians” during the 2008 war on Gaza.

So tell us again Britain, who exactly is the terrorist organization?

(Video): How British Empire & America gave rise to Kings of Saudi Arabia – English subtitles

Description:

Senior Arab political analyst and writer Anees Naqqash recounts how the British Empire played a decisive role in the creation and regional rise of the modern state of Saudi Arabia, and how the Americans later provided protection in exchange for control over Saudi oil.

According to Naqqash, who is a prominent feature on Lebanese and Arab media, the Saudi royal family has for decades been used by the British and Americans due to their political and economic expediency.

Naqqash was speaking at an event promoting his new book ‘A look at the course of future transformations to the Gulf’.

Source: Al-Wafa’a Islamic Party (YouTube)

Date: 6 October, 2018

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Partition: Bad in Ireland and Palestine, Good in Syria?

By Gavin O’ Reilly
Source

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Ask the question in left-wing circles of what affect partitioning a country along ethno-religious lines at the behest of an imperial power can have and the response will usually be straightforward.

In Ireland, following the 1921 surrender agreement between former revolutionaries and the British government, a six-county statelet was formed in the north-east of the country remaining under British rule and with an inbuilt Unionist majority; the pro-British element descended from English and Scottish colonizers, planted in the region by King James in the 17th century in a bid to displace the native Irish population which had provided so much resistance to British occupation.

The Nationalist population of this British-ruled part of Ireland, those descended from the indigenous Irish and who sought to live in an Ireland free of British rule, suffered systemic discrimination at the hands of this newly-formed British statelet, being denied the same access to housing, education, and employment that was afforded to their Unionist counterparts.

A neo-colonial pro-British state was also formed in the south of Ireland, where secret police and military units intern Irish Republicans through the use of non-jury courts to this day.

In Palestine, following the establishment of the Zionist State in 1948 in line with the UK-authored 1917 Balfour Declaration, more than half a million Palestinians found themselves refugees in their own country overnight; being forced from their homes in order to accommodate Jewish settlers from Europe.

The State of Israel, in a similar vein to the occupied North of Ireland, would also subject its indigenous Arab population to systemic discrimination and would go on to launch several imperialist wars against its Arab neighbors throughout its existence, with the most recent being covert Israeli involvement in the Syrian conflict.

This would all ultimately suggest that partition is a concept that should be universally opposed by anyone claiming to be anti-Imperialist. Right?

Wrong; when it comes to the issue of Syria, many ‘anti-Imperialists’ do a complete U-turn on the position and instead demand that the Arab Republic, along with Iran, Iraq, and Turkey, is divided up to form a US-Israeli backed Kurdish ethnostate.

In July 2012, when the Syrian conflict was its height, units of the Syrian Arab Army withdrew from the predominantly Kurdish Rojava region in the north of the country in order to provide assistance to military units fighting elsewhere in the Arab Republic; besieged at the time by Western-backed terrorists and yet to receive the key support which would later be provided by Iran and Russia.

The withdrawal of the SAA allowed local Kurdish militias to turn Rojava into a de facto autonomous region, with the most prominent of said groups being the People’s Protection Units (YPG), part of the wider Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), a US-backed anti-government group.

However, whilst US-backed groups elsewhere in the country were supported by the White House with the intention of ousting the government of Bashar al-Assad, the primary reason for Washington’s support of the Kurds was to fulfill the 1982 Tel Aviv-authored Yinon plan.

This document, written by Oded Yinon, a senior advisor to Ariel Sharon, envisaged Israel maintaining hegemonic superiority in the region via the balkanization of neighboring Arab states hostile to Tel Aviv; in Syria, a country long known for its opposition to Zionism, this would entail the creation of a Kurdish state in the north of the country in a bid to undermine the authority of Damascus.

However, despite this US support for Rojava lining up perfectly with the Yinon plan, support for the creation of a Kurdish state within Syria remains widespread amongst Western leftists, with the feminist politics of the YPG endearing itself to Western Anarchists in particular; the lessons of Ireland and Palestine being lost it would ultimately seem.

How Britain stole $45 trillion from India

By Jason Hickel
Source

3a4683d7f99349baa4791de15b662965_18.jpgLord Louis Mountbatten, the last Viceroy of India, and his wife, Lady Edwina Mountbatten, ride in the state carriage towards the Viceregal lodge in New Delhi, on March 22, 1947 [File: AP]

There is a story that is commonly told in Britain that the colonisation of India – as horrible as it may have been – was not of any major economic benefit to Britain itself. If anything, the administration of India was a cost to Britain. So the fact that the empire was sustained for so long – the story goes – was a gesture of Britain’s benevolence.

New research by the renowned economist Utsa Patnaik – just published by Columbia University Press – deals a crushing blow to this narrative. Drawing on nearly two centuries of detailed data on tax and trade, Patnaik calculated that Britain drained a total of nearly $45 trillion from India during the period 1765 to 1938.

It’s a staggering sum. For perspective, $45 trillion is 17 times more than the total annual gross domestic product of the United Kingdom today.

How did this come about?

It happened through the trade system. Prior to the colonial period, Britain bought goods like textiles and rice from Indian producers and paid for them in the normal way – mostly with silver – as they did with any other country. But something changed in 1765, shortly after the East India Company took control of the subcontinent and established a monopoly over Indian trade.

Here’s how it worked. The East India Company began collecting taxes in India, and then cleverly used a portion of those revenues (about a third) to fund the purchase of Indian goods for British use. In other words, instead of paying for Indian goods out of their own pocket, British traders acquired them for free, “buying” from peasants and weavers using money that had just been taken from them.

It was a scam – theft on a grand scale. Yet most Indians were unaware of what was going on because the agent who collected the taxes was not the same as the one who showed up to buy their goods. Had it been the same person, they surely would have smelled a rat.

Some of the stolen goods were consumed in Britain, and the rest were re-exported elsewhere. The re-export system allowed Britain to finance a flow of imports from Europe, including strategic materials like iron, tar and timber, which were essential to Britain’s industrialisation. Indeed, the Industrial Revolution depended in large part on this systematic theft from India.

On top of this, the British were able to sell the stolen goods to other countries for much more than they “bought” them for in the first place, pocketing not only 100 percent of the original value of the goods but also the markup.

After the British Raj took over in 1858, colonisers added a special new twist to the tax-and-buy system. As the East India Company’s monopoly broke down, Indian producers were allowed to export their goods directly to other countries. But Britain made sure that the payments for those goods nonetheless ended up in London.

How did this work? Basically, anyone who wanted to buy goods from India would do so using special Council Bills – a unique paper currency issued only by the British Crown. And the only way to get those bills was to buy them from London with gold or silver. So traders would pay London in gold to get the bills, and then use the bills to pay Indian producers. When Indians cashed the bills in at the local colonial office, they were “paid” in rupees out of tax revenues – money that had just been collected from them. So, once again, they were not in fact paid at all; they were defrauded.

Meanwhile, London ended up with all of the gold and silver that should have gone directly to the Indians in exchange for their exports.

This corrupt system meant that even while India was running an impressive trade surplus with the rest of the world – a surplus that lasted for three decades in the early 20th century – it showed up as a deficit in the national accounts because the real income from India’s exports was appropriated in its entirety by Britain.

Some point to this fictional “deficit” as evidence that India was a liability to Britain. But exactly the opposite is true. Britain intercepted enormous quantities of income that rightly belonged to Indian producers. India was the goose that laid the golden egg. Meanwhile, the “deficit” meant that India had no option but to borrow from Britain to finance its imports. So the entire Indian population was forced into completely unnecessary debt to their colonial overlords, further cementing British control.

Britain used the windfall from this fraudulent system to fuel the engines of imperial violence – funding the invasion of China in the 1840s and the suppression of the Indian Rebellion in 1857. And this was on top of what the Crown took directly from Indian taxpayers to pay for its wars. As Patnaik points out, “the cost of all Britain’s wars of conquest outside Indian borders were charged always wholly or mainly to Indian revenues.”

And that’s not all. Britain used this flow of tribute from India to finance the expansion of capitalism in Europe and regions of European settlement, like Canada and Australia. So not only the industrialisation of Britain but also the industrialisation of much of the Western world was facilitated by extraction from the colonies.

Patnaik identifies four distinct economic periods in colonial India from 1765 to 1938, calculates the extraction for each, and then compounds at a modest rate of interest (about 5 percent, which is lower than the market rate) from the middle of each period to the present. Adding it all up, she finds that the total drain amounts to $44.6 trillion. This figure is conservative, she says, and does not include the debts that Britain imposed on India during the Raj.

These are eye-watering sums. But the true costs of this drain cannot be calculated. If India had been able to invest its own tax revenues and foreign exchange earnings in development – as Japan did – there’s no telling how history might have turned out differently. India could very well have become an economic powerhouse. Centuries of poverty and suffering could have been prevented.

All of this is a sobering antidote to the rosy narrative promoted by certain powerful voices in Britain. The conservative historian Niall Ferguson has claimed that British rule helped “develop” India. While he was prime minister, David Cameron asserted that British rule was a net help to India.

This narrative has found considerable traction in the popular imagination: according to a 2014 YouGov poll, 50 percent of people in Britain believe that colonialism was beneficial to the colonies.

Yet during the entire 200-year history of British rule in India, there was almost no increase in per capita income. In fact, during the last half of the 19th century – the heyday of British intervention – income in India collapsed by half. The average life expectancy of Indians dropped by a fifth from 1870 to 1920. Tens of millions died needlessly of policy-induced famine.

Britain didn’t develop India. Quite the contrary – as Patnaik’s work makes clear – India developed Britain.

What does this require of Britain today? An apology? Absolutely. Reparations? Perhaps – although there is not enough money in all of Britain to cover the sums that Patnaik identifies. In the meantime, we can start by setting the story straight. We need to recognise that Britain retained control of India not out of benevolence but for the sake of plunder and that Britain’s industrial rise didn’t emerge sui generis from the steam engine and strong institutions, as our schoolbooks would have it, but depended on violent theft from other lands and other peoples.

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